Family, Kids

Generations

I have two girls.  They both look like me – one more than the other.  Every time I see a picture of my mother at a young age or one of my daughter’s most recent ones I think of the proverbial apple falling from the tree.  It’s strange how uncanny it is.

I remember someone holding my daughter as an infant.  She was facing me but across the room.  With the distance the lines of time blurred and I saw not my baby, not myself, but my mother.  Weird. Very deja vu.

I was looking through some of my junior high and high school photos not long ago.  I was surprised to see myself now through an older me’s eyes.  I was cute and funny and active.  I wasn’t the ugly duckling that I remember feeling like.

Now I look to the future and I see my beautiful girl.  I tell her nearly every day that she is beautiful.  I tell her even more often that I love her.

When I see my mom again I will hug her tightly and tell her I love her.  I am so thankful to be given  the blessing of a wonderful mother and the opportunity to mother a lovely daughter.  I just happened to get sandwiched in between! This is one time I don’t mind being caught up in the middle 🙂

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Me and a pretty awesome lady I get to call Mom
Farm, Health, Kids, Life, The Begining

Authentically me- How I happened upon blogging and farming

I began blogging in an effort to ease myself out of my introverted tendencies.  I don’t hibernate and I’m not a hermit but I do keep to myself.  Pent up ideas, emotions, thoughts, energy and opinions that never get out can eat you up if you aren’t careful.  I treasure the quiet times and the peaceful moments just as much as I do the happy gatherings and visiting friends but I was never truly myself.  As time wore on and life continued it’s demands I found myself pushing back what I really wanted to say and do in favor of what I thought I should say and do.  This is what I want to break.

I want to be authentically me. My thoughts, opinions and views.  My hopes and dreams and goals.  I  know God has a plan for each of us and I want to reach my full potential.  I wasn’t doing that.  I was waiting for some little fairy to come and tap that wand on my shoulder. Sprinkle a little pixie dust maybe.

Isn’t it amazing how we are told that we can be anything we want to be but so few of us know what it is that we really want?  Life has come full circle for me at this point.  The ideals I held in my mind were really just mirages in the distance.  They don’t ring true anymore. The true me was there underneath it all the whole time.

Truth is- I don’t want a career. I want to be a farmer.  I want to dig the cold damp earth of spring and to pull weeds under the hot sun.  I want to cultivate things of the earth so it can in turn feed my body and spirit.  I want the open air and the seasons hot/cool/mild/freezing.  I want to feel alive and grounded and to know that the animals around me are serving their purpose.  I want to appreciate the bounty that is around me and thank the God above me for not only providing it but for allowing my body to be fully active in the work.  This is the real me that I never knew.

I probably wouldn’t have discovered this fact if my kids had not become involved in 4H.  The daily work with my son’s first goat set something stirring in me. I became almost more attached to that animal than he did.  We both grieved on sale day.  We will grieve every sale day.

I know that our farm is small and we are very inexperienced.  We have a couple strikes against us there.  There are even more in our favor.  Strength and our family and the blessing of God upon our home. I am so thankful for the opportunity given to us!

Being Mama, Get Happy!, Kids

These people…

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My little family Fall 2013

So here are four of the reasons I get up each day and face the world.  My sweeties.  I am so thankful for this group right here.  I want to forever be mindful of that.

How many times have I focused on the bad and not seen the good?  Oh, don’t answer that!  I caught myself the other day thinking murderously about how the children leave messes, don’t close the door, are needy, etc.  My mind was a swirl- not a good one.  I felt a small check and in my mind I could hear a voice saying.  “Your children are a blessing in so many ways”.  Thanks God.

Nobody else heard it but it came to my  mind as plainly as if it were spoken.  I love that.  I love that God cares.  He cares about our mommy hearts.  The part that worries and stresses over our babies.  He cares about our everyday needs. A decent shower and not being interrupted in the bathroom to name a couple.  He also cares about how we treat His gifts to us.  Our children.

When your mind is a mess of messes take a little time to reframe it. This is a continued effort in my world as some of us *ahem, ME!* are born with a natural skepticism.  Not always a helpful trait.

As we head into fall and enjoy the cooler temps and cozy fallish things I am going to make a concentrated effort to keep my eyes on the good.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

James 1:17

 

Being Mama, DIY, Get Happy!, Health, Kids

Monday DIY

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These are my lovelies.  Cute right?  I know, I am blessed!  I love them all but sometimes a mama need her own space!  And spa treatments…

Here is my Monday cure for getting myself prepped and feeling good for the week:

*Hair mask*

1 Tbs conditioner of your choice

1 Tbs oil (olive for thick/dry hair, coconut for finer hair)

1 egg

mix all ingredients and apply to clean WET hair- leave for 30+ minutes and wash as usual

 

*Face mask*

In a blender mix 2 Tbs oatmeal, 1 Tbs honey and 1Tbs warm water.  You can add extras like bentonite clay or charcoal if you have any of those fancy things.  If not, no biggie.  Blend until it is soupy and apply to clean dry face.  Leave to dry (it’s a thin mix, it won’t take long) Wash face as usual and moisturize!

Also, stop and get your favorite drink while running your Monday errands.  That is a treatment in itself!

Health, Kids, Life, Marriage

Investing in myself

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Today is Monday.  Most of the working world treats this day as one big UGH.  I happen to have Mondays off so I’m in errand mode most of the day. I have to start off with a little pampering first though.

I decided a while back to do some investing in myself.  This was long overdue.  LOOOONG overdue!  Let me tell you a little story…

My baby brother (ok, he’s 30) just graduated from the lineman program.  BIG DEAL!! Like, REALLY big deal.  This guy struggled through school and it was touch and go that final year of high school.  To celebrate the accomplishment there was a shindig- Yay! My dear sweet hubs decided that there was no room in the budget for this big sis to attend 😦 So I sold the boat.  He actually sold it but i convinced him as we:

A) NEVER use it

B)it needed repairs and

C) I was NOT going to miss the shindig!

Off I went on my merry way.  Hubs suggested I take the kiddos. (he had to stay home and tend the animals)  I suggested they would be more help on the farm than screaming in a car for 7 hours only to return in a day for another 7 hours….so they stayed.

Upon my return I called a friend and as my family walked in the door I was chatting away to a girl having a rough time.  I was in the middle of the convo and waved hello.  The fam was not happy.  In fact, they were all completely mad at me.  I had got their goat without even knowing it.  I had dared to return and not bring them presents or give them every ounce of my attention.

I.WAS.FLOORED.  Clearly, we needed a change here.  When did I change from an individual to the chief gopher girl?  It was astonishing how upset everyone was.  I simply had a call.  It happens.  Apparently not to mothers and wives though.  Somewhere there is an unwritten rule that we are not allowed.  I missed that.

So, I decided that I am going to have to  work a little less around the house -DELEGATE! I will make a point to take care of important things first and to make sure my name is at the top of that list. I vow to not let myself down.  I want more out of life.  My kids will thank me later.  My husband will too.  He will have a happier wife for it.

At this very moment I have my head wrapped turban style as I soak in a DIY hair mask. I figured I toss on a face mask while I was at it.  Yes, its a small thing but it’s a start.  I think I’ll book a massage and check out the schedule for the local fitness group.

Oh, and my amazon packages should be arriving today….

Farm, Home, Kids, Life

We made it

Well, it’s Friday morning.  The first week of school is nearly complete.  The school year has begun and with it all the routines and schedules revived.  Gone are the lovely, lazy summer mornings or the impromptu fun days.  Gone are the long, hot chores days and the county fair prep days.

We had our first fire in the stove last night as our temps dove down.  It’ is always so thrilling.  My son and I especially take a prideful glee in that first blaze.  We were fortunate enough to have gotten some wood as a result of a tree removal in town.  We were double fortunate in that a friend let us borrow a wood splitter for those terrifically large rounds.

Ah, the farm life.  It’s is both laborious and rewarding in each act.  Caring for 50 day old chicks was a BIG task, but now that I get to gather eggs- Reward!

The garden was a monumental feat for us.  It has more than paid us back with it’s delicious and healthy offerings.

So here’s to making it- I’ll raise my coffee cup to that!

Kids, Life

Tuesday tumble

It’s Tuesday- the first day of school for us.  I should be doing the mom thing…taking the pics. Posting on FB- Look at my gorgeous, amazing, talented offspring!  They are completely superior because they are going into — grade! Except- it kinda feels weird to me.  I love my children.  I am soooo proud of them.  Just not because they happen to be bumped up the stair step of life.  I am proud of them for so many things.  Mostly, they way they make me laugh and the fact that they are just really fabulous human beings.  So to all you school selfie takers- snap on! Just don’t be surprised if I post my kid with a misshapen pancake on their head and a goofy grin instead of a school pic.

Kids, Life, Love

Campfire contemplation

We recently took a family camping trip.  I’m not sure if it was the beauty of the night sky or simply insomnia but I was up in the wee hours to kindle the fire and muse.

Here it is:

Sitting here by the fire in my hoodie, I contemplate life as I sip my coffee. Instant Taster’s Choice…. It is anything but- the coffee, I mean.

Anyhow, I am so thankful for my family peacefully snoozing in the “8 person tent” (always subtract at least 2 when buying a new tent) behind me. I wonder a moment at my love for them.  How have these persons shaped me? Created a better being simply by entering the world.

I wonder if I have helped them enough.  Have I made them resilient and strong enough? Have I prayed for them as much as I could have? I find myself coming up short in so many ways.

I cannot undo what is done or return to moments past. We all get one shot.  I have loved my children fiercely- manically at times. Holding onto them as if I would break.  Maybe I would have.

My grasp on their world loosens as they grow.  I see beauty in the people they are becoming. I am so thankful for the positive influences and people around them that helped shape their lives. And yet, I miss the little days.  The hold my hand days- read me a story days.

I want to erase every angry word, every frustrated outburst – but I cannot.This is the irony and yet perfection of God’s plan.  If we could redo it would we be even more careless knowing we could always go back and fix it? It keeps me humble and looking forward to a better tomorrow.

I’m sure most mothers can relate,  How many times has our crown slipped? How many times did our rule as Queen Mama become a tyranny? You are not alone.  We have a God who believes in grace.  So much, in fact that He showered us with it.  I am learning (I’m a slow learner sometimes) to apply that to myself.  I’m not perfect- no one expects me to be. Except maybe me……

Today, Veronica, I give you grace.  I officially have permission to be human.  It is a gift I am giving to myself.

I look into the small fire before me. I watch the pieces of wood smoke then catch. Then it suddenly blossoms into flames.  I think of the scripture about the smoking flax.

…A bruised reed he will not break and smoking flax shall he not quench… Matthew 12:20

That’s me.  Smoking flax. I’ve been worn and I have failed at times but I am not finished.  I’m going to polish off my crown.  God is in charge of this fire.

Kids, Life

messes

One of those days…. did the dishes… it lasted through one meal. Did the laundry… the kids made mud pies. The kind of day where you find smooshed dog poop on the floor and then discover it was none other than yours truly who owned the offending sneaker. Moms everywhere know what I’m talking about.

I conducted a very unscientific experiment to see just how long a basket of clean towels (washed, dried and neatly folded) would sit on the bathroom counter before someone put them away- without my asking. Who would like to know what happened to my experiment? Any educated guesses out there? Three days later I put the towels away.

Hmmmm… time to start delegating again! What are your chore charts like? How do you manage your messes? I work part time at two jobs so I’m a stay-at-home-on-the-run mom.

Normally we reserve one day to hit our chores hard Monday (trash day). As it happens the kids and I are off school and it’s our homework day as well. It usually works out well. Chores, breakfast, homework and then maybe some errands thrown in there before dinner. Trouble is, one day a week is NOT enough. We do a daily quick pick up to put items back but not a “clean sweep”.

So, not wanting to reinvent the wheel I naturally want to see what other mamas have come up with for a fast and furious clean up during busy weekdays.

I’ve tried the 15 minute cleaning frenzy but that usually means that my son does 2 minutes of cleaning and disappears, my middle daughter cleans 30 minutes and holds a grudge, my little girl prances around “trying” to clean and ends up being more of a mess. DOES NOT WORK FOR ME.

Chore charts are great but I’m pooped when I get home and I honestly want 30 minutes to an hour to relax before I jump into dictator mode and git ‘er done.

Best thing I’ve done so far is clear out a bunch of clutter. My house feels cleaner and bigger. I can move around more freely and see what needs to be done with more clarity. Plus,…I can breathe again. There is something wonderful about the spareness of a room. It becomes a relaxing retreat and soothes the tired mind. I’m still working on it and my clutter bug comes out now and then.

What are your cleaning and clutter busting tips for busy mamas?

Get Happy!, Kids

If you’re happy and you know it, sing along!

If, for whatever reason, you should feel a bit down… try singing! I’m not kidding!  The freedom you feel when you really belt it out is unbelievable.  Try it, you’ll like it 🙂  I find that even when I’m not in the singing mood my little students are fully expecting me to lead them in our usual numbers.  Just knowing that they are waiting on me and my enthusiasm to set the tone can really make me take singing seriously… and myself not so much!

Some songs to consider:

You are my sunshine (classic mood lifter)

Army cadence (if you can’t sing you can surely march and shout!)

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands 🙂

The hokey pokey (it’s impossible to feel bad when you shake yourself about!)