Thursday, November 18, 2010

November 18th

Tonight is a hard night to find gratitude in my heart. Tonight it is filled with anger. Ugliness. And down right darkness. I'm mad. Mad at my husband. My kids. Circumstances completely out of everyone's control.

You see, I'm not Superwoman. Yes, I run after eight children. We teach them their book knowledge, their social interactions, and their spiritual teachings. To some, this seems like an overwhelming, daunting task. It is difficult at times to just raise one or two children. And to think of someone doing it with eight just seems impossible. And they say things like "I don't know how you do it", or "You must have lots of patience", or better yet "Glad it's you and not me". Well right now, I feel like that last quote. I want to scream and yell. I want to point the finger at someone else. Tell them it's all their fault. I want to make sure I'm blameless. Do you know what that is called? Selfishness. Plain and simple. And that, my friend, is a sin.

Is it any ones fault that we haven't been home for two weeks? That we have been traveling for a funeral? That we have had one week in which every organization Heath and I are involved with has had a meeting? Is it Heath's fault he is suddenly sick? Do I have any one to blame for the uncleanliness of our home?

Nope. Just as I have no one to blame but my self for the uncleanliness of our home, so it is with my heart. I truly feel awful for Heath that he is sick. I'm just being selfish that it doesn't fit in my schedule. And I have taken it out on him. I made my three year old daughter cry because I yelled at her for getting in my way with the broom. "But Momma, I was only trying to sweep so you wouldn't have to". And with that statement, God's love broke through. And I went to my knees and wept. Wept for my circumstances (albeit, mostly my fault for procrastinating). Wept for my anger. My ugliness. And then I asked for forgiveness. I am sinful. I am not perfect. I mess up. I yell. I take out my anger on the innocent. Yet I have a Savior that loves me too much to leave me that way.

So tonight, I am thankful for a Savior's love. My God, the Creator, and my Comforter is here to pick up the pieces. To understand my feelings, and push me to a place of growth. The Counselor that forgives me of my sin, and holds my hand along the path. I am definitely not perfect, but through Jesus, I am so thankful I am being perfected.

"Create in me a clean heart, O God. And renew a right spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

Beth

Monday, November 15, 2010

November 15th

cartoon from www.weblogcartoons.com

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

Today, I'm thankful for a working washer and dryer. Really. I am. Must keep saying that over, and over, and over....


Beth

Sunday, November 14, 2010

November 14th


So I'm a little behind. I will try to go back and catch up, but I had to post today's gratitude musings on this specific day.

Today we celebrate a birthday. It has been two years since I gave birth to this little guy.

It's amazing to me how fast time goes by. We have welcomed another child to our home. Said goodbye to other family members. Watched children grow, laughed, cried, counted of milestones. Sometimes we take it for
granted; healthy babies, growing children. But today I couldn't be more thankful for our house full of healthy, vibrant children. And especially for this guy. He goes
by many monikers: Tubs, Rollie, Chunk, Moose, Anderson. My favorite is Sanson. And we love him so.

Happy 2nd Birthday Anderson Dean!


Beth


Sunday, November 7, 2010

November 8th


Today is a very special day. Today is the day my brother was brought into the world. Thirty years ago that is.

Thomas is four years younger than I. Yeah, do the math. You can figure out my age. I remember going to the hospital to pick him and my Mom up to bring them home. I was terrified. Thought they both were going to break. I honestly do not remember ANYTHING of him as a baby. I'm a heavy sleeper, so I guess he didn't interrupt my nights.

We played hard as kids. He loved the Justice League and we spent many hours rescuing the world from the evils of Darkseid. But on that same note, we also spent hours playing with Barbies. We coated ourselves with all the dirt there is in Logan County. There were trees to climb, horny toads to find, 4 wheelers to ride, Grandpa's tools to hide, cows to feed, Grandma's candy to eat. And of course there was Grandma's clothes and jewelery. Yep, I dressed him up all the time. And we're not talking a little toddler that couldn't stop me. I think he was like 10 the last time I put the "Princess Di" jewels on him. We fought, we loved, we're siblings.

My Mom went back to school one summer. What I remember most is eating Macaroni and Cheese for lunch while watching Dukes of Hazard with Thom. And we would inevitably get into a fight. I have the guilt today of being the person solely responsible for my brother's claustrophobia. I never once hit him, but I would pin him down to the floor. He still goes mad if someone tries that. We were typical siblings. And over the years, our relationship has stretched. Sometimes it's close together, sometimes it's thin. But you know what? That brother of mine will drop everything for me if I ask him to. There was that time he drove for a couple of hours with my Dad to rescue my family from the side of the road in the middle of the Oklahoma heat. Or stayed up all night while babysitting my oldest as we waited for my second to be born. I may not remember everything, but I know that Thomas will always be there.

I am so very grateful for a little brother. No matter how many feet he towers over me.


Beth

November 7th

This will be a nice and short post. I'm so very tired. Extremely tired. So tonight all I have to offer for thankfulness is my bed. I am so grateful for a night to sleep in my bed, with my pillow and blanket, and my husband.


Beth

November 6th


"We'll keep the light on for you"

Do you remember that tag line? Motel 6 ended it's commercials with it, and was a promise the chain made to it's customers.

Today, I have a new appreciation for it. Today was a day spent at a hospital watching as a life slowly ebbed away. It was a long day. Sometimes full of laughter and shared memories. Often filled with tears. Seconds became minutes, minutes turned to hours. And we waited. Heath and I made the decision to go home to catch a little sleep. Well, he went all the way home, I went to my parents' home. My kids were there, but it wasn't planned for me to be there. And as I pulled into the driveway, long past bedtimes, there in the front window was the light. I have never pulled into that driveway and seen that light off. All my teenage years it was on. Waiting. And tonight, YEARS later, my Momma and Daddy left it on again. Just in case. If I came home, they wouldn't want me come home to a dark house. And I sat in that driveway and cried. Cried for the lose that was coming. For Heath and his family. And for parents who never forget to comfort their child. I am so very grateful for those who "keep the light on for you".


Beth

Friday, November 5, 2010

November 5th

I'm going to get this one done "early" today.


Today, I am getting a day off. Since I am not at home, I don't have a to-do list staring at me. Sure, I'm working on laundry. And I need to make sure the kids aren't tearing my parents' house down. But I don't have any "have to's". No decorating. No sewing. No house keeping. No nothing. Granted, I enjoy these things. Mostly. But sometimes, after deadlines and multiple projects, you just need time off. Hobbies and such become work, and then they aren't enjoyable. They become a chore, and they don't relax the mind and spirit. So instead of sweating all the things I'm not doing today, or worrying about getting behind, I'm going to enjoy a day off. I might even spend the day playing video games with the kids. And I'm grateful I can.


Beth

November 4th

I'm a day late. Again. But I had a legitimate excuse. I promise.


Yesterday we had to quickly rearrange schedules and such so Heath could get to the hospital where his Grandmother is. She has a host of medical issues going on right now, and he felt the need to be by her side. And I was more than happy to help arrange everything so he could.


So I was thankful yesterday for flexibility. One might not think that is a worthy offering, but it really is. Ever know someone who wasn't willing to deviate from the schedule? To roll with the punches? To give grace, and be understanding? When we received word from Heath's family, I had 36 cookies cooling, a cake in the oven, cookie dough in the freezer, and mounds of laundry. After some quick phone calls, the cookies went into the freezer for another event. Two ladies from the church are cooking a couple of extra pies today for my contribution to the community fire department dinner. The cake was quickly decorated and delivered a day early. The dough will still be there next week to make cookies. And laundry travels. And my parents have huge, front loading machines. And the clothes are getting clean, quick. And speaking of them. They graciously let us invade their home a day early. Made room for everyone. Changed their routines around so we could be here. Stepped over sleeping bodies and played musical chairs with the vehicles this morning. See, there is something to being flexible. And I'm so grateful I know people who are willing to roll with the punches.


Beth

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November 3rd


Today I am so very thankful for a chance to teach my children. There are days I take that privilege for granted. And there is more to it than just my kids. We spend our days together as a family. No having to rush around to find family time. No looking at my kids wondering when was the last time I spent time with them. We are a unit. And we feel lost when one part is missing.


Plus, we get to determine what our kids learn. And then get to learn it ourselves. This year we are "mixing" our bible studies with history, and coming up with a wonderful time line. And then there is Latin. Whew. It's keeping me on my toes. Honestly, it's all Greek to me. But we're learning.


And lastly, there is fellowship. With other families. Families that don't look down on us for the number in our household. Families that celebrate each child, not just the first one or two. Ladies who laugh with and at me. Who think I have important things to attribute, and that I'm not "just a Mom". Children who accept my kids, and I don't have to worry about what they are teaching my children. Men who watch over their families. Care for them, provide for them. And pass those traits on to their sons.


I am truly grateful for our experiences as a homeschooling family. It just works for us.


Beth

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November 2nd



This is an easy day to be thankful. Today is my 14th wedding anniversary. I have been gleefully married to a man that has brought so much to my life. I thank the

Lord for Heath everyday, but very much so today. He has been the leader of our home. He provides for me, protects me, and guides me deeper in my relationship with Christ. Heath and I have eight children together,

and he cares for them in the same ways. I chose to love him 14 years ago, and I still chose to love him today. And I am so grateful, he chooses to love me more each and every day.

Beth

A day late


I'm a day behind. I wanted to do a post a day during the month of November sharing my joy. This is the month of thankfulness. Usually lost because we are all getting the jump on Christmas. (Trust me on this. I'm betting my tree is up in a week and a half.) Normally forgotten as we rush from here to there preparing for the "holiday season". Well, it got the jump on me. This is the busiest week we've had in quite a while. So I'm going to back up to yesterday, and post for it, then post for today. This is my month to be grateful.

November 1st~

This day, I am thankful for the breath I breathe. I am preparing food for a funeral dinner for a long time community member. I moved to the town after she was moved in with family, so I did not personally know her. But it was very important to those still here to bring her family back to our church and feed them. They are not surprised she is gone. This has been a long time coming. But they still miss her. And they told me, "don't take a moment for granted. It will be gone before you know it." I take my mornings for granted. I see them as drudgery. Trying to shake the cobwebs free. Not wanting to let go of slumber. Dreading putting my feet on the floor. Knowing that once I leave my place of rest, the headaches of raising a household will begin. I sleep late. I avoid getting up. I start my day behind and defeated. But not today. Today I welcomed joy back into my mornings. I let the Light of the Son back into my room. And I thanked Him for this day. This day He is giving me. This day to start anew. With new mercies. With His presence.

Beth

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Sister


Do you know her? If not, you should. Let me tell you about her. This sweet girl is Teri Lynne Underwood. I hunted everywhere, and I think this is the only picture of just the two of us. Ever. I've known her for 14 years. Been married to her brother for the same number of years. Oh, wait. I bet I just confused you. We are not blood related. Teri Lynne is my husband's sister. But the two of us waited a very long time to have someone we call sister. And at first, we didn't think we would the ones. We had a rocky beginning. Maybe we were jockeying for position, or just trying to figure out who we were together. But I am so thankful we kept trying. Over the years, we talked, emailed, phoned, and even just kept our distance. But now, we just seem lost if we don't touch base with each other every week.

Teri Lynne is ALWAYS getting me into some new scheme or another. Once it was a spring cleaning gig, another time it was planning a surprise for her parents. Then there is this whole blog business. And I'm pretty sure it's because of TL that I started and am now addicted Facebook. Well, last night, she surprised me with a whole new look to my blog. And she let me know through Twitter. I swear, I'm NOT getting sucked in to Tumbler! (And if you have no idea what I am talking about, be very glad. It's another social network. I think.) Anyway, I couldn't be happier. I LOVE it. My oldest told me that all I needed was a picture of our family on the blog, and it would be my whole life wrapped up in a nutshell. The blog is even in my favorite color! I shed many tears last night over my blog. And a sister who loves me enough to surprise me with a gift.

So please, if you have a chance, go check her out at her blog. It is a place she pours her heart into, a place of ministry, and a place many could call home. It's called Pleasing to You, and you won't be disappointed. And Teri Lynne, thank you just doesn't seem adequate, but it's all I have. I am truly blessed and thankful to call you my sister.


Beth

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Stalking then copying....Works for Me Wednesday

works for me wednesday at we are that family
So I have been a huge fan of Bake at 350. Bridget can do things with cookies and icing I've never seen done. And don't get me started on her homemade hostess cupcakes. I unfortunately never really liked sugar cookies. That is until I ate my mother-in-laws. Then I could eat my weight in them. So when I started stalking Bridget's blog, I was really leery about actually making any of them. Well, that and the fact that I didn't think there was any way I could produce a cookie that would even resemble something she did. I mean go ahead, check this one out. Or maybe this one. I'll wait. Waiting. See, I told you she was good.
Well, I finally decided to try out her recipe and copied straight from her. Here's a link to her pumpkin cookies, and here is a picture of mine. Not nearly Bake at 350 worthy, but not bad for me. And I added leaves. Because I just don't know to leave well enough alone.

Now, I know the picture isn't perfect, but these were pretty cute. I made them for our teachers and staff at our school. I had some orange leaves as well, but they just looked odd to me. So shucks, I had to eat them. I mean, I let the kids have them as a snack one day. And as picky of a sugar cookie connoisseur that I am, these were REALLY good. In fact, I could eat these or a Sue Buster sugar cookie any day of the week, and would be perfectly content.

I really liked the white pumpkins. They were gorgeous.

And these were pretty cute as well.

And I now have three orders for cookies over the next four weeks. See what happens when you stalk someones blog, and resort to copying them? Just don't tell my kids it worked out so well!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Who would ever have thought of mixing that?

Really. Some things just are a perfect match. Peanut butter and jelly. Bologna and cheese. Roast and potatoes. Biscuits and gravy. They just work. Everyone loves them together, no one questions them, it's just a law of nature.

Then there are those I question. Sliced apples with pepper. French fries and ice cream. Ketchup and eggs. Really people. There is a facebook page dedicated to odd food pairing. One my husband likes; buttered bread sprinkled with sugar. It's just gross.

Upon moving here to this seemingly normal small town three years ago, my children were invited to a home for breakfast. Oddly enough, I didn't ask them later what they had to eat. Must have had my brain cells leaking at that moment in time or something. Fast forward to Christmas last year, and this same family gave me one of their family cook books. As I was reading it, (yes, I'm just goofy enough to actually read cook books cover to cover) I discovered a recipe for chocolate gravy. Seriously? I think I puked a little in my mouth. What on earth would cause anyone to put something as good as chocolate into something as savory and wonderful as gravy?! And then ruin a wonderful batch of biscuits by smothering them with it?!

I posted this morning on facebook about making this "treat" (I use the term loosely) for my kids today, and have received all sorts of comments about the wonderful goodness and fond childhood memories this "dish" (again, loosely) brought to mind for people. So upon request, here is the recipe.
CHOCOLATE GRAVY
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 t. vanilla
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
dash of salt

Melt butter in skillet and whisk in flour to make a roux. Cook over medium-high heat for a minute or two. Reduce heat and whisk in milk, cooking to let thicken slightly. Mix together sugar and cocoa in a small bowl and slowly add to gravy, whisking constantently. Add vanilla and continue cooking on low heat until thickened. Add salt at the end. Remove from heat and serve over warm biscuits.

*disclaimer: I do NOT endorse the consumption of this product. My children, however, highly recommend it. They think you haven't lived until you have tried it.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Isn't she a beauty? We have five of these in our chicken yard. They are definitely my favorite. I'll post pictures of the others in a few days. But these are called a barred rock. They are very curious, quiet, and full of personality. And great egg layers. I haven't quite figured out who is laying and who is not, but I'm pretty sure one of them is among the three that have started laying.

Since the chickens are so genteel, we let the kids in the pen with them often. Partly to keep the chickens acclimated, and partly to teach the kids to care for animals. So the other night, Paulee was in the pen because she wanted to pet one of the "girls". They were being very compliant, but she just wouldn't touch them. So as she stood there telling me all the reasons she couldn't pet the chicken by herself, this "girl" spotted some tiny little fingers. They were just hanging there. Right at chicken eye level. Being the wonderful Mom that I am, I stood there nice and quiet to see what would happen. The chicken cocked her head, took a hesitant step or two towards Paulee, and then lightening fast pecked Paulee's finger. Oh the commotion that started! Paulee jumped and yelled. The jumping spooked the chicken who then jumped and yelled. And that started a chain reaction amongst the other girls. Once Paulee was calm, she chased all the chickens in a circle for about five minutes, lecturing them about biting her.

The next day, she summarized the event with a perfect statement. "That dumb ol' chicken tried to eat me yesterday!" Guess I'd better stop calling our rooster "that dumb ol' boy".

Friday, August 20, 2010

Easter has come early (or late, whichever way you look at it)

The kids went out to feed the chickens some peaches. I was inside, still peeling, pitting, slicing, and storing peaches. In mid-slice, I heard a massive scream from the kids outside, and literally heard them galloping to the house. They tore the screen door off the hinges, and all yelled at different times, "There's an egg! There's an egg!" I heard it five different ways. As did the entire neighborhood. And yes, there it was, in the corner of the coop, a tiny little brown egg. I'm so proud of my girls!! And now over the next few days and weeks, we'll be getting 14 more little tiny eggs. The kids can't wait for the "real" eggs to start. They are envisioning scrambled and fried eggs every morning for breakfast. They're dreaming, but that's what they think. I don't make a big, hot breakfast every morning, and fresh eggs isn't changing that. But, Jeffie Jean is going to get to fix breakfast one morning a week this school year, so that will be one more hot breakfast for them all, and maybe it will be eggs.

And back to those peaches. A dear man from our church brought me a huge box of peaches Wednesday morning. Yep, not quite a week after Georgia Beth's birth. It has taken me three days to get them all processed. I knew I wouldn't have the stamina to can them, so I was just going to freeze them. Now here is where it gets interesting. I called Mom to find out how Grandma froze her peaches. I always call Mom to find out how Grandma did something. Because if Grandma had a way of doing something, that's just the way it should always be done. Always. Never deviate. Never improvise. Follow her directions to the tee. Yeah. Until this time. WHAT?! Did I just say that?! I didn't do it just like Grandma. How could I? She actually peeled each and every peach. Do you know how hard that is? And how long that takes? Now, I helped one year with the peaches. My job was to slice the peaches. She peeled them. And I promise, I couldn't keep up with her. She could peel a peach faster than I could slice them. My Mom mentioned that she like to peel them. Didn't blanch them because she thought that cooked them too much. Really, I think she took pride in her peach peeling abilities. I tried. I ended up with half the size of the peach when I finished, and it took me like five minutes just to get the skin off. So, I broke, and did it different. I blanched them. And then, I didn't dry freeze them either. Grandma just sprinkled hers with fresh fruit, and put them in zip top bags and froze them. And I chose to make a syrup for them, and freeze them that way. Man am I being a rebel! Mom said that the peaches texture changed, and I remember Grandma always fussing about freezer burn. (But then again, she worried about that with anything that spent even a day in the freezer) So after some research, I found that "wet freezing" significantly reduced freezer burn. So that's what I've done. As you can see, I've felt the need to confess. To whom, I have no idea, but I'm glad my secret is out. And I now have 13 quarts of sliced peaches in my freezer. And a massive batch of peach crisp. And the chickens even got a treat too. And I'm so glad I don't have to look at peaches anymore. Did I mention I can't stand peaches?

Too bad I can't find the cord to the camera. I'd love to share pictures of the egg, chickens, and peaches with you! And the clean kitchen too. Oh yeah, I even cleaned up after myself!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Good things come in little packages


If you have kept up with things, I have had a VERY long month. Starting at week 32 of my pregnancy, I've been on a modified bed rest schedule. It wasn't official, doctor's orders, do not get out of bed kind of bed rest. But it was, doctor said take it easy, if working causes contractions, don't work, let the rest of the family take care of everything kind of rest. And I still had issues with contractions. Still had to take labor stopping medicine on occasion. Still had awful side effects to the medicines. And prayed daily for my fraying emotions.

And then my dear doctor took pity on me. At least that's why I
think he decided to induce me. I made it to week 37, and the game was on. Heath and I walked around the area mall waiting for a phone call from the hospital as to when the induction would begin. We discussed names, since I still didn't know what the sex of our baby was. I decided if it was a girl, she was doomed. We had no names, and not much else prepared for a girl. Not that we had a ton ready for a boy either. But at least there was a name, a blanket made, and a Mom who was ready to see her next boy. The induction wouldn't be until the next day, so Heath and I headed to my parents house to spend the night.

We arrived the next morning early, anxious, and ready for what the day would bring. At least, so
I thought. The induction didn't move as fast as all my others did. And when my doctor came and broke my water, labor didn't progress as fast then either. Usually, the doctor has to stay very close by when my water is broken, because it is less than an hour from that point that a new baby is in my arms. Not so this time! This was probably my most painful delivery, and almost my longest. Finally, it was time for this sweet baby to join us, and my doctor did something amazing. He let Heath deliver his own child. And low and behold, wouldn't you know it?! It wasn't that big, healthy boy I'd been dreaming of. It was this tiny, sweet, beautiful little girl that was blessed to us. Welcome to the family Georgia Beth! You are loved beyond belief.

Two Lie, Two Seven


This is actually a date. A date that will forever be burned into our memories. One that will be talked about through the ages, and will be family lore. Or at least something that is always laughed over on this particular day. This is the day, three years ago, our sweet, yet sassy, second daughter (sixth child) joined our family. Now, that in itself, is enough to never forget the day, but it's not what I'm writing about today.

It all started the end of April. We were teaching our son, Terry, his
birth date. He was very soon to turn four, and we were reminding him of the date. Nothing doing, Paulee needed to know when HER birthday would be. So we told her, July 27th. And that's when it began. "My birfday is TWO LIE, TWO SEVEN!" She announced this to everyone. Sunday school teachers, relatives, the cashier at Wal-Mart. She didn't care. She knew her birth date, and she was going to be "two-ree".

Finally, two and a half months later, her birthday arrived. What a day it was. I had been on bed rest for a week and a half. I was able to bake her cake and decorate it. Heath and the kids took care of all the cleaning and other prep work for the day. And little Miss Paulee Rea was wound up tight! She had been telling me since May that she wanted a purple, orange, and blue birthday with stars and hearts. Really?! Now what kind of theme is that?! But inspiration hit, and this is what I came up with.

And now we have one more year that has passed with our Paulee Rea. Can't say it was a breeze, but it sure was a hoot. That little girl, tiny as she may be, packs a punch! She is definitely living up to her name sake, and keeping us in stitches! I love you, my baby girl. Happy Birthday.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Complaining

Any one who follows me on Facebook, knows very well how cranky I have been the last two weeks. Not that it wasn't warranted. I am 8 months pregnant in the middle of an Oklahoma summer. And a REALLY hot one at that. But then again, we say that every summer. Two weeks ago, while in the city (hehe, that makes me sound like a country girl. Wait. I am.), I started to go into labor. My dear husband decided to not listen to my suggestions, and just drive the 10 minutes to my doctor's office to get advice. After seeing him all out sprint into the offices and back, I was beginning to think this was more than just a few uncomfortable cramps. Long story short, we spent the next seven hours in the hospital doing what it takes to stop the labor of a 32 week pregnant woman who in all her seven previous pregnancies has only gone into labor on her own once. Let me tell you, it was worse than anything I've physically gone through before. I then spent the next week battling a horrific headache, and debilitating fevers. All without my doctor's advice, as he left for a much needed vacation the day I went to the hospital. I was told to take it easy, and everything would be fine. Well, the doctor is back in town, and has declared me sidelined. It seems that if I get up and do ANY type of work, no matter how easy or menial, within 12 hours I start contracting. And the meds to stop it are just plain awful.

So, what's the problem you ask. What Mom doesn't dream of reclining on the couch, sweet tea in one hand, and fruit in the other, and all the members of her household at her beck and call. No thoughts to what's for dinner, smooth, creamy hands do to the lack of dish washing. No laundry, no cleaning a tub, no running after every little thing the children do. You don't even have to answer the phone because you don't have to get up. Admit it. We've all had that dream. It was really nice for a two days. Then the walls began to cave in, and I began to get frustrated. So for two weeks I've been complaining about all that I can't do, the sitting around, the lack of action in my life. Do you know how hard it is to not be allowed to pick up your 18 month old son? He doesn't understand what's going on at all, and to have to look into those big eyes brimming with tears and say "I can't", just kills this Momma.

It has boiled down to the fact that I am a woman. I am the wife to a wonderful man, and a mother to beautiful children. My heart is for my home. It is my joy to make this a place we all call home. Where we all place our hearts. And suddenly, I just cannot. My husband and oldest daughter are taking care of all the meals, the dishes, the laundry. My oldest son, along with his sister, are taking over the duties of dressing the baby, making sure all the kids are where they need to be, and all the basic child care duties. Poor Heath has taken care of my duties, still been Dad, had all of his chores to do (aka mowing and such), fed and watered my chickens, weeded and cared for the garden, and still had his pastoral duties to tend to along with the needs of the members of our church. And so I've been pouting. And you know what. The only bad attitude, the only complaining, the only grumpiness has been coming from the one laying on the couch. Yep, that's right. Here I am without a duty one, while everyone else has doubled and tripled their work load, and I'm the sour one.


So I must make an apology. It should not be my nature to whine or complain. God has called me to be so much more. I have been given enough grace for the day, new mercies every morning. And I have been the selfish little child who only sees herself. Well, we only have a few more weeks to go, but I am resolved to stop the whining. I'm not entirely sure what lessons God is teaching me, but I'm going to count this all joy. The dross of my life is not going to go away without a holy fire. So from this moment on, I shall sit on the couch and follow the anthem we expect our four year old to follow. "Do everything without complaining or arguing," Philippians 2:14. That even applies to those who just sit.

Friday, June 18, 2010

He just wants to come home.



Today, I am so privileged to be a part of a great auction. A dear family and blog friend is in the process of bringing their little boy, Joel, home from Ethiopia. But they need our help. If you would please head over to Sandra's blog and read their story, that would be so great. And who knows, you just might find something you would love to buy!!!

So, this is what I sewed this week. Nothing for us, but something for a wonderful family!

Friday, May 21, 2010

My afternoon project


Well, I had nothing to do yesterday afternoon, so I sewed together some scraps. Okay, I ignored the things that needed to be done, and played with scraps none the less. In thirty minutes, I had this little bow tie made up. And look at the smile it invoked! He can't wait for Sunday to get here, so he can wear it to church.

I just loved the little white polka dot fabric. And I think he does to. With a velcro closure, it will be quick and easy to put on during the busy, sometimes rushing Sunday mornings. It's a win all the way around! Wouldn't your little boy look adorable in one of these?
Posted by Picasa

Friday Finishes

Whew! I've finished two skirts, yep, two, and have two more nearly finished! Here is my baby girl modeling one of the skirts. This one is going to a little girl in our church, but there will be one going into my upcoming shop to sell to the general public. Gotta love the hot pinks, lime greens, and bright oranges of this skirt! It's something else!

And this is skirt number two. It is going to a cute little girl in SC, whose Mother is so very sweet. I adore her, even if she is a Texas Longhorn fan! I love the little owls on the skirt. This skirt will be so cute all summer, as well as the fall! Just throw some tights on with it, and you'll get a whole other season out of it!!
And if you want to see what other's have been sewing this week, check out Amy's Sew and Tell Fridays!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Where does she get it?

So I was amazed at my oldest daughter the other day. She decided to do housework without any prompting. I thought I would get a quick picture of it just in case it isn't a common occurrence. But then again, since we have been both been working to keep each other accountable in being homemakers, this should become the norm. Now see how cute she is vacuuming?
I mean really, who does she think she is? June Cleaver? All she needs is some pearls and heels. Trust me, she is NOT personifying me!
I think the only thing I'm channeling is Rosanne Barr. That is so not good. Guess I need to take lessons from Jeffie Jean! Amazingly enough, 10 year old little girls can teach us stuff too!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday's Menu


I feel like I am cheating. I have nothing ready to post today, so I'm joining in on Menu Planning and adding our menu to the list. Eventually, I will add the recipes to the site as well. In fact, whichever meal gets the most comments for the recipe, will be the first that I post. How's that? And now without further ado...

Monday
B-Cereal
L- Out
Dinner- Goolash

Tuesday
B-Biscuits and Chocolate Gravy (kid favorite)
L- Sammies
D- Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

Wednesday
B-Cereal
L- Cowboy Spaghetti
D-Sammies/Church

Thursday
B-Banana French Toast
L-Sammies
D- Enchiladas

Friday
B-Cereal
L-Sammies
D- Dijon Pork Chops

Saturday
B-Cereal
L-Party
D-Hot Dogs

Sunday
B-Breakfast Casserole
L-Homemade Pizza (Birthday Boy's request)
D- OYO (On Your Own. Momma is done for the week!)

And, of course, I am linking this up with Org Junkie's Menu Planning Monday. Check it out for more recipe and menu ideas!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Passion. It shows up early!

video

This is our Paulee Rea (pronounced Polly Ray, but used family names and spellings). She is two and a half years old. She has been holding entire conversations for a year and a half or more. We've been able to understand them for the last year. She is stubborn, obstinate, and to say she is strong willed would be the understatement of the year. She is the personality spitting image of me. I over heard my Mom say to her once, "I did this once already. I'm not going to do it again. Do what I told you, or go find your Mother." Our new phrase we are trying right now is "Obey your Mommy/Daddy with a happy heart". We get a 50/50 response to that one. But we're working on it. And for all her "faults", this little girl melts your heart and keeps us laughing minute by minute. She is so very passionate about everything she does. And therefore puts her entire self into whatever she is doing. Just like in the video. She just HAD to do her "pano lessons". It was past her bed time, crazy loud around the house, but she had been obedient, so she was allowed to play. And I'm so glad I let her.

Today the older kids are off to piano lessons. She has had her own here at the house, gotten herself dressed, brushed her teeth and hair (hopefully not with the same implement this time), washed her face (and everything within 5 feet of her. What a water mess!), helped feed and water the chicks, checked on new growth in the garden, rotated laundry, and "helped" me fold two loads of clothes. Now, she can fold pants decent enough that I don't have to go back and refold them, but only if they are the three youngest children's pants. Do you know how fast I have to fold to get everything else done before she folds the three or four pj pants in the load?! Otherwise, she folds, twists, wads, and smashes shirts and such into piles, and then melts down if she sees me refold them! Whew, she has kept me busy this morning! And to reward the hard work, the rarely seen servant attitude, and the obedience, she is outside with two of her brothers swinging to her little heart's content. And that, my friends, is our precious Paulee Rea!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Boxing in

This is what we did today. We worked from first thing this morning, all the way to dinner. Well, Heath did. Kids took lots of play breaks, and if you look close, you can see the chair in which I did most of the supervising. There was a late lunch, and a longer break than intended, but everything that needed to get finished today was completed. And this "Little Hen House" that I had envisioned looks more like a "Cluckingham Palace" at this point! It just looks huge! And after we get the A-frames up this week, it will just look massive. But that's okay, the chooks will love the luxury, and Heath will love having his shop back!

I guess in all fairness, I will show you what didn't get done. This is today's laundry. At least of it. It's kind of hard to see, but it's quite a bunch. Trust me. I don't think I've seen the bottom of the pile in forever!


This is the dishes. Shhh... Don't tell, but I didn't wash them up last night after dinner. So now I have last night's to do, AND tonight's. Can we say FAIL! Oh well, it's just the way it goes around here some days. I promise, I'm not going to lose sleep over dirty dishes or laundry!

I thought that I would post these pics so I could squelch the rumors running around that I am Superwoman or that I "do it all". Nope. Some days I get work done, other days I play with my sewing machine, play outside, or answer the call of the couch. The hard part is to make sure the playing doesn't get more time than the cleaning!

Friday, April 23, 2010

My hero


Most of my boys at some point or another have wanted to grow up and be a hero of some sort. You know, fireman, police officer, military. That type of thing. And most of them have stated they want to be in those professions so they can keep harm from coming to me, other family members, or other families. My most creative child was going to grow up and be a super hero bigger than Superman, but you get the general idea.

I'd like to introduce you to my fourth son. His name is Terry, and he's three years old. I recently asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. After we got past a dozen "I don't knows", and twice as many, "I'm just a little boy!"s, he really thought about the question and answer. I wish I could tell you what teachings prompted his answer, but I'm pretty sure it was just by God's grace and wisdom this little boy answered with these words. "Well Mom, when I grow up I'm going to be a protector. I will protect you, my sisters, and all the other girls. God made me a boy, and I am supposed to work hard. And I will be a Daddy, just like mine."

Do you know how humbling his statement was and is to my heart? Are we teaching all our boys to have this same heart and attitude? Am I teaching my girls to hunt for a boy just like this, so they can truely submit and serve their husbands? I don't know, but it is something that has drove me to my knees countless times. And I couldn't love my protector any more.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The baby


I just couldn't resist. Isn't he adorable?! I just love this little guy!
Posted by Picasa

Seriously?

I have got to be the worst blogger in all history. I haven't posted anything since December 9th. That was five months ago! We've had three birthdays, three or more MAJOR holidays, additions to our family, and all the chaos of everyday life. And not one word from me. Oops. Can't say that I will catch you up, but we'll try and go from here.

There are some changes that are going to be occurring here hopefully sooner rather than later. My dear SIL Teri Lynne is going to help me change up the look. Of course, it would help if I told her what I want. But that's beside the point. We are still busy raising the all seven children, and waiting for number eight to make it's appearance late in the summer. We are also starting to raise chickens and a garden. Should prove to be at least comical, if not helpful. I'd like to include more of our everyday stuff and not just my sewing things. Hence the need to change up the look just a little bit.

And since I don't like posts without pictures, I will show you what I worked on yesterday. I was teaching myself a new technique. I am not a huge fan of gather stitches, but every little girl has to have plenty of twirly skirts and dresses, so I'm stuck with endless amounts of gathering.
Until yesterday when I decided to try hand pleating. Not too bad considering I hate to use
excessive amounts of pins! I did finish it yesterday, but am waiting until I finish the second skirt for the younger daughter before I get any finished pictures. Hopefully that will push me to blog again. Because it would just be mean to leave you hanging for another five months to see the finished product. At least I think so! I'm going to shoot for some pictures of the chicks as well. They are only two weeks old and have already lost their adorable, cuddly look for a more gangly, adolescent, grungy persona. It's hilarious the personality that already comes with them!

That's a quick hello. Let me know if you are still out there, or if you have given up hope for me!