Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Miss Me?

I began this post 11-28-10, and am finally publishing 12-8-10.  It seems my freshly cleaned, newly virus-free personal computer is lacking the magic potion that allows me to compose blogs at this moment.  Hence, I am at the library... we spend a lot of time at the library.

Through October I didn't know what to post, what to say.  Through November I was without access to say much of anything.  So now it's December, and there's a lot to say!

We've had some rough times, and we've had some great times.  For this, I'd like to present two ideas:
1.  What is something you would not like your children to know/experience? and
2.  What is something you would desire for your children to know/experience?

My #1:  I would not like for them to know the pain of this (my) life-the single, lonely, vulnerable walk that is mine.  I wish this on no one.

My #2:  I would like for them to know what it's like to give-to give of themselves, to give until they are give out, and know the deep satisifaction that can come, (after, of course, a nap :)

Interesting, how the two seem to be the inside-out of each other.

Until next time, Happy Holidays and God Bless!
From a Peaceful Ozark Hilltop

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday Quotes

This week's quote comes from a meteorologist:

"If it's time to paint the house, stain the deck, wax the car, air out the living room... what have you... you have another easy-win with this mild and dry week of weather. If you're at a loss for what to do, talk a walk in the woods or by the creek and enjoy a quiet moment in the Ozarks.  Enjoy!"

Dave Snider
KY3 Stormteam

Oh, and just for fun:

"We're all mad here."  Alice in Wonderland

Monday, September 6, 2010

Living While You're Here

Maybe it's not about living "happily ever after," but about living while you're here.  I wrote a few weeks ago of change, thinking the changes would be pleasantly closer to the desires of my heart.  I did not foresee exes having babies and ex-in-laws moving back.  Or ex-in-laws going to jail.  Yuck!  Why do I still have to hear of these things?  And help my children through yet another messy season?

Because I'm "Mom."

And I've seen such growth (maturing) in the older two.  Yeah, life's messy.  But God is good.  And he has a most spectacular way of taking the good and the bad and giving us something better.  We just have to watch for it.  Because it's not always showy or flashy, but no less extravagant for the time it takes.  Little Sister has discovered the movie "Love Comes Softly."  Sometimes our healings do, too.  To one day look inside and realize, "Oh, that doesn't hurt anymore."  Maybe it's a greater victory because of the time it took.  Hmmm.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Where I awoke this morning!

After a week of miracles, this is where I found myself this morning.  Yep, me and three kids stayed up to observe Perseid Meteor Shower.  I took the middle (notice John Deere pillow), Little Sis & Er-bear on either side.  Son stuck with us til eleven, then went in pursuit of real bed.  Little Sis gave it up, after a cup of milk, falling asleep in her sleeping bag shortly after, followed by Er-bear who was asleep just before midnight.

They were all blessed to see the "shooting stars", which helped sweet four-year-old to know what the heck we were doing out there anyway.  And the girls and I spent a lovely night under the stars.  Grandma came over 2 a.m. checking on us; I went to sleep at 3 a.m.  The darling kittens were sure to have us all up in time for breakfast!

It's been a great week of making some memorable memories :)


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Some of What We've Been Doing

Whew!  The time has gone by!  I like to think I've made the most of it.  Hope I have.  I've really been struck this summer with the realization, "I only get one chance at this life thing."  The kids are growing and healthy, the bills are paid, and God loves me.  Er-bear turned 10 this summer, and I am 32.  Life is messy, but God is good.

We made it two weeks into July without air conditioning.  We'd never done that before, so now we have the experience and know we can do it if we have to.  But July 18 I saw the forecast high temps and high humidity and thought, "I don't know if I can do this."  So that eve I turned things on.  It took off the edge so we could sleep, but by noon the next day, wasn't working again.  Put in a call, and by bedtime we were good to go.  Praise God!  Yeah, I still have to shopvac the vents because the gremlins have jimmied the drain, but at least we're cool.  Even the tomatoes suffered, because I was too hot to mess with gardening.  But now that I know I can get cool, the tomatoes are looking a lot better :)

We've spent a lot of time at the library.  I've enjoyed selecting a stack of books, settling into a quiet corner with Little Sister and reading together.  The kiddos took an interest in the summer reading program, and that has given us something to break up the monotony of schooling through the summer without co-op.  The older two have read 2,000 plus pages and have their names entered in the drawing.  Little Sister has had 75 plus books read to her.  If she gets to 100, she'll be entered in a drawing also.  The library will be having a pizza party on the 7th, when the summer reading program ends.  It's been nice to have this to look forward to.  Another favourite has been Hank the Cowdog.  A friend introduced us to this series of books, and he's turned out to be great fun!

Co-Op started up for us this week.  The classes are Cooking, Choir, PE, and Art.  God has put together a great bunch of people.  I am so blessed to be a part.  By September, we will begin our new homeschool year:  6th, 3rd, Preschool.  Lots of good things to look forward to :)
Also I've been selling on ebay for a friend.  So, that's my update of what we've been doing.  If I fall behind again, know that I haven't forgotten, and I'll see you soon! 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Another Day

Well, it's Saturday.  The rain we'd been waiting for arrived today!  Maybe not as much as we needed, but it brought along a nice breeze and cooler temperatures, and we have rain chances the next few days.  For those of us "roughing it" without a/c, that's a very good thing.

I'm good a couple weeks with the kids, by week three and four I start feeling it, anything past that is just...  Survival mode.  I can do what must be done and I live in a perpetual state of tired.  That's where I am right now.  Five weeks tomorrow.  Maybe they can go to their dad's soon.  I don't know what else I can share right now.  There's not a lot left in me.  I look forward to co-op starting again.  I miss the people.

Off to enjoy a snack, yogurt/trailmix & orange juice, with a movie, Bed of Roses.

From a sleepy Ozark hilltop, Good Night!

Friday, June 25, 2010

My Day, A Gift

By the time I reach the end of my day, I'm too tired to do anything else.

But I had a good day with my kids today. 

We waited for rain that never came.  Painted.  Found sock puppets.  Repaired sock puppets.  Rounded up more socks to make more sock puppets.  Played in the water.  Played maze (or something) through the round haybales by the garden.  Required more time in the water :)  Shared a nice supper together.  Baths.  Storytime.  Hugs, kisses, prayers. Goodnight.

And a thousand other little moments in between that encourage me, keep me going.  Yep, I'm headed in the right direction.  And yes, what I do is important.  I am glad to be here with my kids.  Even if I have nothing left to give to anyone else at the end of the day.  Yes to being...  Alone.  Single.  Unmarried.  Three children.  Homeschooling.  A Child of God. 

Yes to Being.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Who Would You Give Your "Yes" To?

What I mean by this is, Who would you be willing to give your authority to?  Who would you be willing to receive "orders', as it may be, from?  In choosing a mate, we choose, whether we realize it or not, to give that person authority in our life.  I've been head of my home four years, and before that married to a truck driver.  So I did pretty much whatever I wanted.  Except when he was home.  A respected friend said something to me that got me thinking:  "You'd have to give up a lot to get married again."  I like not having someone to answer to.  Or to ask before I do something.  I like being in charge.  I like not having someone to fight with.  I so don't want to fight.  But I get tired of my self for company.  Of being the only one when something goes wrong.  Or being the only one when something goes right.  I long for a "grown-up" intimacy.  I am a gift.  But I will not give my self to just any one.  I will not settle.  Because I am worth it. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I Walk the Lonely Places

Lonely places I have been:  Alone with 2 small children while my husband drove over the road.  Homeschooling two children while expecting a third.  I have held on while everything fell apart, and my husband left when the baby was 4 months old.  I have raised three kids by myself.  I held on when my son was angry and my daughter was sad.  I held on when the baby needed... everything.  I have done teething, potty training, puberty, alone.  I have seen God replace washer, dryer, hot water heater, refrigerator, and keep the jeep running.  I have sat with two children while one had eye surgery.  I have cleaned the house, prepared the meals, and paid the bills.  All by myself.  Because if I didn't do it, it didn't get done.  And I have learned:  I can do this.  God is Good.

I have walked the lonely places, and I have found my strength.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Change Is

I feel like it's a slow and steady plodding along with my Heavenly Father, knowing I'm headed in the right direction.

Some changes may be in store for us, but as seasons gradually fade into each other, there is no way of marking beginnings and endings.  Change just is.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Redneck Fishin'

A redneck was stopped by a game warden in Central Arkansas recently with two ice chests full of fish. He was leavin' a cove well-known for its fishing.

The game warden asked the man, 'Do you have a license to catch those fish?' 'Naw, sir', replied the redneck. 'I ain't got none of them there licenses. You must understand, these here are my pet fish.'

'Pet fish?'

'Yeah.. Every night, I take these here fish down to the lake and let 'em swim 'round for awhile. Then, when I whistle, they jump right back into these here ice chests and I take 'em home.'

'That's a bunch of hooey! Fish can't do that.'

The redneck looked at the warden for a moment and then said, 'It's the truth Mr. Government Man. I'll show ya. It really works.'

'O. K.', said the warden. 'I've got to see this!'

The redneck poured the fish into the lake and stood and waited. After several minutes, the warden says, 'Well?'

'Well, what?,' says the redneck.

The warden says, 'When are you going to call them back?'

'Call who back?'

'The FISH,' replied the warden!

'What fish?,' replied the redneck. ............

Moral of the story: We may not be as smart as some city slickers, but we ain't as dumb as some government employees.

You can say what you want about the South, but you never hear of anyone retiring and moving North.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Little Catching Up

I realize my last post left a lot unsaid.  But, hey, it's been a busy month.  Month?!  OMG, how it has gone by!  We've really enjoyed the journey, though.  Been able to plant seeds, flowers, tomatoes.  "It's good growing weather."  Yep.  Good for growing kids, too.  :)  They've been able to see their dad, attend our homeschool co-op, and generally enjoy the change of seasons.  It's been so good to get outside!

To expound on the previous post, my uncle (Dad's brother, who is number 7 of 8 Ozarks Originals that my grandparents "grew") has remained at home all these years.  Even after the "moving on" of Grandma & Grandpa, he's just never left.  The way I heard it, he'd been out doing chores Easter morning when he heard something, looked back toward the house, and saw smoke.  Fortunately he had his cel on him, called my brother-in-law (who is on volunteer fire department but mostly because that was the first number that came up) his wife gets me to keep their three kids so they can go, I send my oldest next door to tell my dad, "There's a fire at Randy's!"  This was around 10 a.m.

Everyone hits the road.  Except me.  I'm here.  With six children.  11.  9.  5.  4.  2.  3 months.  Not years.  Months.  And I hold him the whole time.  And pray.  And watch people come and go.  Smell smoke.  See smoke.  Pray.  And by the end of the day, the house is gone.  And why is losing a thing like losing them all over again?  Because now we can't even go back to their house.  Where, at least my sister and I, spent so much time. 

Here is where you may see what we saw that day, if you'd like.  Dad and bro-in-law are in some of them; Dad burned his hand, other uncles are busy inside.  I live, obviously if you've been here before, on the top of the hill.  My grandparents' place is down the road, around the corner, down again, in the holler.  Closer if you short-cut through the fields.  Just down.  So as the smoke rose, we could see it not just over the roof of my parents' place, who are on the other side of this hill, but drifting across the holler. 

Unfortunately, I was unable to snap pics with babe-in-arms.  We all went through the myriad of emotions that day, and those that followed.  But we've all come to conclude, this is a good thing.  Time to move on.  Romans 8:28 "All things work together for good to those who love God."  What if the flip works too?  All things work together for good to those whom God loves?  John 3:16.  I John 5.  My uncle may not love God now, but he might some day realize love has been there all along.  Religion has been hurtful to many in my family.  But God is good.  It's the goodness of God that brings repentance. Romans 2:4.

On a lighter note, we welcomed kittens this week!  Four of 'em.  And we get to go camping this weekend.

Oh, I forgot to tell you about the fishing trip!  Well, let me catch you up...  April 6 Missouri Department of Conservation provided a fishing clinic for the kids of our co-op.  They are big on 'catch and release,' which is a good  thing to learn.  We bait, cast, reel 'em in (which is the most fun!), remove the hook, then send them back again.  Each group, one morning and one afternoon, had two hours allotted for this.  It was really nice.  Also there are trails to walk, and a welcome center with displays and gift shop.  I actually learned a lot this time:  replacing fishhooks.  At least 3.  And I touched a fish, to release it All By Myself!  I won't tell you how we did it when we were kids fishing in Dad's pond!  I'm sure someone would frown  :( 

The water was muddy; it had recently rained.  We were the first to fish this season.  Everyone caught something!  Either sun fish (which to me looks like perch), or channel catfish.  My son caught one of each!  He was really proud.  There's a picture somewhere, I'll have to find it.  Er-bear says she caught 5, and little sister had her first fish ever!  Way to go kiddos!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sunday Quotes

I juggled six kids for seven hours, cancelled Bible study with two hours notice, and mourned the loss of my grandparents' home. 
"And that was without even a single drop of rum!"  -Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean 3 At World's End.

Just for fun:  Do you see the double rainbow?
We actually see these quite often over our Ozark Hilltop.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Little Honesty

Our family grape-vine is recently a-buzz with pregnancy news!  
And before you think it, no, it's not me! 
But this did get me to thinking, and when my middle child was the baby, I realized that there are no "oops" babies. 
Did you ever think about the miracle of conception? 
It's a wonder sperm and egg ever meet anyway, with all that works against them. 
(Kinda like finding Mr. Right!) 

Anyway, to be in the right time, right place, planets aligning and all that. 
A law that was set in motion, like cause and effect. 
"For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." 
All ramblin' aside, sex makes babies, and if we're surprised by that, maybe we shouldn't be having sex! 
Just my opinion.

Monday, March 29, 2010

What Color Is Your Tiger?

Recently we were seated at the table together, and my son was going on about colors and tigers and getting frustrated because no one was listening.  So I zoned Mom Radar in on what he was saying:  He was trying to get Er-bear to tell him what color her (imaginary) tiger is because his is blue with black stripes.  Not black with blue stripes.  Blue.  Black stripes.  Very important.  To sis?  Not so much.

I sensed an angry outburst with lots of tears and redness, so noticing the shirt he had on, I quickly attempted to diffuse the situation.  And straight-faced asked him, "Is your shirt light blue with dark blue stripes, dark blue with light blue stripes, or white with dark blue and light blue stripes?"  Pointing to each color as I spoke. 
I don't think he realized what shirt he was wearing, then he just looked at me with bewilderment.  Like that's not at all what he meant.  But it ended with laughter, and that's the important thing.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Quotes

"Finish every day and be done with it.  You have done what you could.  Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can.  Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense:  This day is all that is good and fair.  It is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on yesterdays."  Ralph Waldo Emerson

I had opportunity this day to share coffee with a lovely lady.  I'm learning to recognize these things, these times of stepping outside of what's comfortable and doing something different.  And when I do, it not only blesses me, but those around me.  I have had five wonderful days of discovering who I am without my children; that there is life other than just caretaking.  I realize that for this season I am a guardian over my kids, but someday they may no longer need me.  And at that time I'll need to know how to step into another aspect of Who I Am.  I believe I'm glimpsing portions of "what's next.'  And God is Good.  I love where I am, and I love where I'm going.

Here's to enjoying the journey.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Lesson in Laundry/A Lesson in Thankfulness

Why is it when we buy cheap to save cash, we then can't wait to get "cheap" all used up so next time we can get the "good stuff"?

There's nothing wrong with this, it's just not my favorite.  At the time, the "good stuff" had gone up to $8.  This was around $5.  But every time I have to do a load of laundry, I catch myself counting down to when I can buy the "good stuff" again.  I guess the flip side of this would be Thankfulness.  Thank God I have laundry detergent so I can do the wash.  It was as I was writing this out, Father showed me how much I had been grumbling and complaining.  Yes, I am thankful to not be covered up in dirty laundry, and so glad that for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  Maybe there's a message in there somewhere...

From a freshly laundered (inside & out) Ozark Hilltop :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring Forward

I forgot this was the time-change weekend.  When it took me an hour to go from the bed to the computer, which is just a few steps across the room, I realized I had a problem. 
In need of more sleep...

Some quotes:

"Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time,
and always start with
the person nearest you."
- Mother Teresa

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  Einstein.
"Most of our obstacles would melt away if,
instead of cowering before them,
we should make up our minds to walk through them." 
Orison Swett Marden

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Enjoy the Journey :)

I read this somewhere, and it became one of my favorites:

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive, well-preserved body,

but rather to skid in sideways-Chardonnay in one hand-chocolate in the other-body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming--'Woo-Hoo! What a RIDE!'"

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Looking Forward

What a beautiful way to start the day!  I woke up.

Knitting In The Wild is having a pre-spring give-away- a skein of Porter Peaches yarn.  Makes my mouth water for garden-fresh goodies and fans the flame of my longing for spring!

I love the sounds of farm life.  As the coffee brews and breakfast cooks, Dad fires up the tractor to go feed hay.  Music to my ears, the rhythm of the country.  Now, off somewhere, is the drone of a chainsaw.  Probably Dad on to the next farm chore.  A few weeks ago I had my first taste of operating a chainsaw.  In my 30-something years, I've never even touched one; always watched Dad.  But he had a hand injury, and I offered to lend him mine.  It was a great experience!  Hope I can do it again sometime.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Priceless Moments

I had a couple of different blog ideas, but again, I've had to combine them or forget them!  Individually they would have been "How Did You Spend Your Friday Night?"  and "Adventures in Homemade Pizza."  So grab a slice, pull up a chair, and "set" a spell.

Last week my kids were with their dad.  By Friday I realized the starter in my Jeep needs replaced, or I'm gonna be sitting.  So with a little help, the part was purchased and put on, no problem!  How did you spend your Friday night? Mine was spent in the shop as Dad changed the starter for me.  Thanks, Dad.

Fixed in time to pick up kids Saturday afternoon.  Spent the weekend settling back into the familiar comfort of home.  Sunday we had Bible study.  What a lovely day!  Monday, back to school.  I'm realizing my preschooler needs more time with me so today we sat on the couch with some books.  Her "school" time.  At one point I asked if she could sing her abc's.  Without missing a beat, she jumps right in, "A, B, C, I wanna piece of cake!"

And later on our Monday, the older two are preparing homemade pizza.  My son was concerned with the amount of cheese he should put on.  I very clearly, enunciating and pausing so he'll understand, have this to say:  "'Exceeding abundant, above all that you ask or think, according to God's riches in glory by Christ Jesus,' put cheese on that pizza."  Ephesians 3:20, said in love, followed by light-hearted laughter and a cheese-covered sausage pizza on a homemade wheat crust.  Tasty.  "Oh taste and see the Lord is good."

And now our Tuesday...  We had a rough start, but we got through it.  Had an enjoyable school day, meals were easy, and we were able to end our day on a high note.  Nothing remarkable, except the simple, beautiful day that it was.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Out of the Mouths of Babes...

These are some random thoughts and happenings from our home to yours.  Enjoy!

Twilight Talk:  My oldest daughter informed me, as we were watching  Edward protect Bella from an auto accident, "Mom, Edward had to save his lunch!"  It took a minute for me to realize what she said, but once it sank it, I chuckled.  How on earth did she come up with that?  How funny.  Thanks, Er-bear. 

My baby, soon to be four, has been testing the limits of her vocabulary.  Upon hearing the lastest burst of genius from her little lips, she was instructed to apologize to her sister.  Yep she said it!  "E, I'm sorry I said *@#!.  Will you forgive me?"  And it may not have been good, and it may not have been the best thing, but then again, maybe it was just the thing we needed, for none of us could help it, and we all burst out laughing!  It really was such a stress reliever!  And we'll all learn...that none of us are perfect  :)

We watched "While You Were Sleeping" this past week.  Now my kids can quote it:  "Nice coat. Merry Christmas to you too. You're beautiful! Will you marry me?  I love you! "  And act it out:  Thud, as she drops her head on the desk.  Drama, as Peter falls on the tracks. 

Maybe we should work drama into our schedule? 

Monday, February 15, 2010

One Word

 Where is...?  What is...?  Or the first thing you think of...  Answer in one word!

 1.  Cel phone?  None
 2.  Your hair?  Blonde
 3.  Your mother?  Nearby
 4.  Your father?  Closer
 5.  Your favorite food?  Potatoes
 6.  Your dream last night?  Friends
 7.  Your favorite drink?  Caffeine
 8.  Your dream/goal?  Praise
 9.  What room are you in?  Bliss
10.  Your hobby?  Praying
11.  Your fear?  Failure
12.  Where do you want to be in 6 years?  Traveling
13.  Where were you last night?   Home
14.  Something that you aren't?  Tall
15.  Muffins?  Yummm
16.  Wish list item?  Firepit
17.  Where did you grow up?  Missouri
18.  Last thing you did?  Dishes
19.  What are you wearing?  Pjs
20.  Your TV?  On
21.  Pets?  Lots
22.  Friends?  Some
23.  Life?  Good
24.  Mood?  Thankful
25.  Missing someone?   Yes
26.  Vehicle?  Yes
27.  Something you are not wearing?  Earrings
28.  Favorite store?  JCP
29.  Favorite color?  Red
30.  Last time you laughed?  Yesterday
31.  Last time you cried?  Saturday
32.  Best friend?  Jesus
33.  Place you go over and over?  Computer
34.  One person who emails regularly?  Grace
35.  Favorite place to eat?  Mom's

Monday, February 8, 2010

Time for Snow

And still it snows...  We've seen a lot of it this year, but each time seems like the first time.  Today I walked the farm with my camera.  Peaceful.  Beautiful. 

Fluffy stuff has fallen most of the day, but for now our road and driveway are clear.  For my frozen pleasure, I saw a deer in the distance.  Even the animals seem to be at ease.  It warmed my spirit and refreshed me.  Now for hot cocoa to warm the body.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Two Notices

I have just realized two things:

1.  We have passed the shortest days of winter as we leave December behind.

2.  Growing season will soon be upon us again. 

From a frigid Ozark Hilltop...