Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Friendship Can Be Seen On Every Face

I love spending time with my friends. The problem is that it doesn't happen very often. With children, spouses, jobs, and other responsibilities, it's surprising we gals ever get time together. Distance is also a factor with several of my best girls living hours away.

This weekend I got to hang with my favorite red head (just don't count my red headed nephew and niece).  This girl and I became friends way back when cabbage patch kids were growing in the garden and "We Are the World" was being sung by all as we held hands and willed starvation to become a thing of the past.

Kelly knows my secrets and my dreams. We were in each other's weddings and held each other's newborns. We talk of the past and look to the future. Laughter meets us at every get together. We know the One who holds our future, which makes our bond even stronger.
As much as I love my girl friends, I have a hard time making new ones. My heart is guarded. It's not the way I want it to be. Losing loved ones has made me reserved in sharing myself. It's difficult to give my love to others when I know how it feels to have them go away. Or not return the feelings.

But isn't life about taking chances and giving of yourself? If I get over my selfish insecurities, I can see others hurting. I see sadness. I see lonely. Friendship is helping an exhausted mom unload her grocery cart while she is bouncing a screaming infant. It's listening to the cashier talk of her bunions and offer sympathy. It's smiling and say hello to the lady wearing too little clothing while wearing too much make-up.

Jesus doesn't teach us to offer our friendship only if they are like us or if we get something in return. He commands us to love one another as He as loved us (John 13:34). And boy, does He love us. He is personally telling me to get out of my comfort zone, become vulnerable, and reach out to others.

Though my best friends will always be my soul sisters, everywhere I look I see friends just waiting to be noticed.

More pics from Kelly's:
    Kelly and I try to get together once a month, though it doesn't always work that way. This time we flaunted our youthfulness by dancing to Just Dance 3. If you want to see star quality rockers, our daughters took video footage. (ruh roh!) We require our husbands to be friends too. :-) And we may or may not have arranged marriages with our children. I hope everyone has a friend like my Kelly. Life is so much sweeter for sure.  The saying is true...friendships are one of life's greatest gifts!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Confusion in the Barn

It's that time of year when our number of pigs and cattle begins to multiply. It's always exciting when we wake to new babies. We got word that two cows gave birth this morning at my grandparent's farm. We keep some of our herd at his place because Grandpa loves farming and is still a young cowboy at heart.

When we got there Grandpa had the new mommas and their calves in a pen away from the rest of the expecting cows. One calf seemed a little shy and her mother was not being very motherly. In fact, so unmotherly we questioned her maternity. You'd think as somewhat seasoned cow farmers we would know all the marks of a new mother. The signs weren't all there but Grandpa saw her with the calf.  The biggest red flag was she didn't seem to have milk.

We let the poor, unwanted calf go out with the soon-to-be-moms hoping one would claim her. She went from one cow to the next trying to nurse. Not one was interested in her and some were down right mean.  We were starting to wonder if we would have to bottle raise her. Before we decided, Court was determined to find out which cow was orphaning her baby by manually milking each of them to see who had the goods. (They are all previous 4H heifers or that task would have been a little tricky.)

While Court was taking inventory, the real momma stepped forward. It was the same momma as calf number one. Twins!! The thought crossed our minds but Grandpa was sure that big Momma was locked in the pen before almost-orphan Annie was born outside. Grandpa must have overlooked her until later in the day.

It's all good now. Mom and her twin girls are together and doing well.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Birthday Boy

Week 7:

Austin Matthew:   Gracious.   Loyal.   Giver.   Adventurous.   Intelligent.   Generous.   Compassionate.   Energetic.   Hopeful.   Responsible.   Encourager.   Honest.   Mischievous.   Charming.   Easy-going.   Respectful.   Determined.   Funny.   Independent.   Loving.   Courageous.   Industrious.   Reliable.   Faithful.  

I'm blessed to be your mom. Keep seeking God's will for your life. I love you and am so proud of you.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Best Apology Ever

Am I the only mom with sassy teens? Surely not. Am I? Secretly, I like a little bit of sass. But please, let it come out respectfully. Sassy respect....is that an oxymoron? It's not back talk that I like, it's witty responses. (It's a good thing that I am amused by them because I'm married to King Cheeky Monkey.)  I know I wasn't the most pleasant-mouthed teen either but I knew when to bite my tongue. Right, Mom?

Tonight one of my saucy gals (blondie) didn't know when enough was enough. She was sent to her room pronto. During her go-upstairs-not-another-word-or-you'll-really-be-sorry downtime, she wrote a little ditty.

I've been given permission to share, in exchange for an extra hour of computer time for her. Come on! I won this, not her. You decide.

"Sitting right here.....writing this song.....thinking of what I might have done wrong....to get sent away...on such a fine day....today."

I should mention that this apology came complete with singing.

"Maybe I spoke out of my place?.....Or maybe my parents were just tired of seeing my face?..... Although I wish someone would text me.....so I wouldn't be so bored and lonely......I think these words are so convincing...... I should have just shut my big fat front door.......and then I wouldn't be lying here so bored.
To conclude this song......I'd like to say.....that I'm sorry......I wish I could go back and erase...those...things that I said so meanly..........It really doesn't define-------------me--------! Please accept my apology!!

Apology accepted.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My Brown Eyed Girl

I love having a house full of girls. The boys aren't so bad either, but in this house pink and purple dominate. There is a constant hum of giggling and singing. Hearts and rainbows can be found doodled on foggy windows. Skirt twirling is the dance of choice, along with jitterbugging from one room to the next. Sometimes my girls dress girly and fru fru and other times they are farmy or sporty. They have challenged me to redefine style.

I'm regularly engrossed in the teen scene of my big girls;
 dealing with things like make-up, geometry, future plans, facebook, algebra, relationships, volleyball, youth group, literature, boys, texting, science, clothes, history, morality,.....did I mention schooling?

And, of course, I'm up to my eye balls in toddler shenanigans.

Often there is a little girl who feels left out, and rightly so. First off, she got "stuck" with the brown eyes while all three sisters have baby blues. I know where she's coming from. I, too, had the boring brown while my sister's eyes are a stunning sky blue. But I look into those dark brown eyes and all I see is beauty,

a deep beauty that goes beyond her outward appearance.  Her compassionate heart and love for Jesus shines for all to see. I don't purposely neglect this tenderhearted child of mine. She does well at staying out of trouble and entertaining herself. She doesn't require constant attention and rarely does she seem to need me. She feels left out from jokes and secrets from her older sisters who think she is too young to understand. And she feels unwanted from her baby sister who is too busy to be bothered by one more bossy caretaker. Em is trying to find where she belongs in this family and where she fits in life. I pray that God helps me be the  mom that she needs and that she sees her value and worth through His eyes. I love my little M&M. She is a blessing beyond measure. You're an angel waiting for wings, Emmaly.

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Toddler is Perfect, How About Yours?

Who says raising toddlers is a difficult job? Not me. I have a dream child.
She treats her brothers and sisters with the utmost respect and kindness.

She is obedient when I tell her not to touch things that are special to others, like Mommy's camera.
photo courtesy of Toddler Photographer
She is a modest child whom you will never see streaking across the room....especially not more than once a day. Her clothes are always put away where they belong because she loves order. She rearranges her drawers, unfolding all her shirts and pants, because she is trying to learn to put together her own outfits. She is perfectly well behaved, never making messes.

There are no toddler temper tantrums in this house. The few times she needs redirection she is compliant and understanding. "Let's be friends." is her favorite thing to say, not "Leave me alone" and "Go away!"

The nursery workers at church rejoice when they see her walk in the door. They get to relax and enjoy their Sunday morning and not be vigilant about the babies not getting pinched. Or bit. 

I'm thankful for restful nights. I have plenty of room in my bed since she sleeps well in her OWN bed every night. She is a peach to get to sleep too. Just give her a smooch, lay her down and turn off the light. No crying and screaming until puke happens. When she has a runny nose, like today, she brings me tissues and patiently lets me wipe her nose. No pushing me away or wiping snot all over my shoulder.

What an independent girl she is. If bored she will make up her own games, like Pick Up Sticks. With pretzels.

 She is very good at feeding herself. Very rarely does she need a napkin.

I love her self expression! Her creative capabilities amaze even the finest artists.

She allows me to accomplish my daily chores without any interruptions. I consider myself lucky on the days she declares naps unnecessary. Those are the days I sit around with my feet up and let her entertain me with her quiet play. Unfortunately, she decided to take a nap today. How bored I am.

All these wonderfully fun pictures were taken this week. See how much fun I have? I suppose I could share the joy. If any of you would like to spend time (or a weekend) with my perfect toddler, give me a call!

Favorite picture (snot and all) for week 5: