Friday, July 29, 2011

Portrait of [this] Homeschool Mom

wanna read about me?

Reading about my life today was a good reminder--
even to myself--
of why I do what I do every day.
I also felt very cool to be featured on someone else's blog--
especially someone as cool as Gretchen.
(Does that date me to use the term "cool"?  I'm not sure.)

The past two weeks have been crazy busy with
the fair, VBS, swimming lessons, and life
so I haven't had any time to write.
I hope to be "back at it" in the blog world next week!

Leave Gretchen a comment and let her know you stopped by!
She is a dear friend and I know you will love her blog.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


They say comparison is the death of contentment.
To a point, I beg to differ.

If when we compare, we either beat ourselves up or set the other up on a pedestal, then yes, comparison would bring the death of contentment.

If, however, when we observe a situation and filter it through it's applicability in our lives, and use it to change something in our life for the better, then I would disagree with those who say comparison is the death of contentment.

If all you got out of the first lines of this post were "Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah", let me give an example.

My kids interrupt me.  A lot.
As in, all. the. time.
It drives me nuts.
It probably drives other people nuts, too, but they're too polite to say it (to my face).

When my children interrupt me, I'm faced with some options:
1.  Stop my conversation or train of thought to answer my child
2.  Ignore said child.
3.  Place my hand out to halt them.
4.  Say politely, "Don't step on Mommy's words, Honey..."
There is another option, but I reserve this one for when no one else is around.
It goes like this:
Yeah, not exactly the response I should use...but I do.  Terrible, I know.

UNTIL-----I observed my friend Theresa and they way she deals with her little man's interruptions.
I compared her way with my way and thought, "Hm.  I like that much better.  It's something I could easily implement.  I'm going to work hard to change the way I handle interruptions."

Now, had I said--"Oh man...Theresa's a waaaaay better mother than me.  Look how she handled that.  I'm such a bad mom.  No wonder my kids don't like me."--that would have been the death of contentment.
Instead, I used it to change something in my life for the better.  Ahhh...contentment.

Would you like to know what I try to (but don't always) do now when my rude little children interrupt me?
I tell them to put their hand on my arm (if I'm sitting) or my knee/leg (if I'm standing) and when I'm finished talking, I'll talk to them.
Mother and child both feel better than when using response number 5--take it from me.

Monday, July 18, 2011

I'm Blessed

You'd think I'd have remembered that Mondays
are for 
I'm Blessed posts--but I didn't.

But I remembered now.
(Does it count as remembering if I didn't think of it until I read
Gretchen's blog?  I'm not sure...)

I'm Blessed--and here's how:
~Yesterday was Dennis' birthday--his 37th.
~We went to church and no one even argued/fought/got carsick/had a leaky diaper.
~I had a delightful visit with friends right after church.
~Dennis grilled some good hotdogs for dinner.
~Ivy took a gooooooooood long nap.
~Dennis and I each got a nap, too!
~Even though it was/is beastly hot and humid, so far all the animals are alive.
~Dennis and I went out for supper for his birthday, and then went for a drive.
(I know, we're not even 65 but we still like to go "for a drive.")
~We ended up out near Gretchen and Knut's, so we stopped by.
(This is SO unlike me, because the thought of unexpected company pretty much gives me hives.  Dennis, however, not so.  He loves to stop by and I'm the one freaking out going "we should have called!" and he's the one saying "how dumb is that if we're driving right by?  We'll just stop by and say "hi"!"
We did and had a wonderful little visit.  It was like dessert after our supper out--without the calories.)
~I'm blessed at the way God teaches me things.
~I'm so thankful for His hand of protection over all my pregnancies/births.
At just over half-way, this is a fun time of feeling the baby a lot and looking quite pregnant,
and not yet to the point where I can't breathe, touch my toes, or complete a thought.  

Finally, I am blessed to know Gretchen.  I'm not being sappy about that, either.
Though we haven't known each other all that long, 
she has become a dear friend and sister in Christ.

Feel free to head on over to read her post and others to see how God is working--and we know He IS working.
Leave a comment there and here to share how God has blessed YOU! 


I haven't talked very much lately about 
Baby Number 9--
it's hard to believe I'm just past the
half-way point.

I felt absolutely awful for the first trimester
and into the second.
It's only been the last few weeks that 
I have started to feel more alive.

I can feel the baby move often
which is one of the things I treasure the most in pregnancy.

Before I know it,
fall will arrive and as it fades,
Baby will be close!

I can't wait to meet this person
that I already feel I know.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What I Learned on My Walk

I try to go for a walk each morning--it's a vital part of getting some time where I don't have to answer a question, wipe up a spill, or think about much of anything if I don't want to.
I have quite a scenic route, which I enjoy very much and for which I am so thankful.

I don't always get my walk in, especially in the winter, and there have been several times over the years when months have passed between opportunities to leave the house for 30 minutes to walk--just so you don't go thinking I'm some fitness queen, which you wouldn't do anyway if you knew/know me in real life.

A few weeks ago, just as I was headed out, my father-in-law drove up and said the neighbors' horses were out and on the road.
I decided to head that way and see if I could help keep them off the road until the neighbor arrived. (Dennis called him to let him know.)
I walked quite a way, and as I crested the hill I saw eight or so heads appear.
The horses.

I started to talk to them to let them hear my voice and I hoped they wouldn't run away from me.
I got within maybe 15 feet of them when a car pulled up behind them.
I thought, Oh great; please don't let this be someone who's going to honk his horn and holler to get the horses off the road.
I watched the man roll down his window and I braced for the worst.

I heard him call, "Hep!" (or something like that) and instantly every horse perked its head in his direction, turned as a unit, and walked right over to his car.
It took only an instant as he called out that word for me to realize it was our neighbor--and the horses sure knew it was him, too!

He never even had to get out of his car!  Those huge horses just followed the sound of his voice; they had been taught well and knew how to obey.
He backed his car around and just kept talking to them and they kept following.  I kept going on my route and I was able to keep watching what he/they were doing.

Then this thought occurred to me:
Even though they had done wrong (getting out of their fenced pasture) they could still choose to obey--to come back to their master.

Perhaps you see where I'm headed.

We screw up.  We're disobedient.  We make mistakes.  Sometimes BIG mistakes.
But we can always come back to the Master.
When we hear His voice calling us back, we can turn to His His His provision.

I learned that on my walk that morning and I've seen it for the truth that it is in my walk as a Christian.
I'm so glad the Master knows me, and calls me His own.

Friday, July 15, 2011

It's Been Awhile

I know--it's been awhile since I wrote about anything on here.
Some of that has been due to technical difficulties:  laptop out of commission for 2 months, archaic equipment, slow internet, etc.
Also, as a mother of many, and it being summer, we've been running hither and yon to swimming lessons, the lake, and busy with general play outside.
Additionally, the county fair is next week and that takes some time to prepare for.

Sometimes I come to the computer thinking "ahhhh, maybe NOW I'll have 15 minutes to write something."  And like moths to a flame, suddenly everyone needs me--big and small.
And there goes that.

Sometimes life is hard...things weigh heavy on my heart. At these times, I don't know what to say--or how to say it.
So I don't.

Today, though, I'm working on a few posts.  Hopefully no one will need me for just a few more minutes and I can get a few done!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Life on Our Farm

Our kids are in 4-H, so the early part of summer 
is spent making sure we get the calves out and train them to lead.
And by "we", I don't mean "me."
Now that the kids are older, they can do much of this on their own
and I no longer need to take such an active roll in trying not to get stepped on.

Here is Andrew with his calf, Maggie.

Christopher with Angel.

Elijah loves the calf, the calf loves the dog.

Elijah loves the dog, too.

Linnea spelled Christopher
and the calf thought her shirt looked tasty.

Ivy was very interested in the baby calf

baby calves love to suck fingers
Ivy thought this looked interesting too.

Her level of interest changed quickly
once the calf took an interest in Ivy.

(That Miss Ivy has absolutely NO FEAR.
She would walk up to just about anything!
It makes this mama a bit nervous--
the good thing is, she listens well when told 
not to touch, to stay back, or to come back to Mommy.)

We only have two full weeks left to get everyone ready to go.
Here's to workin' hard!

Monday, July 4, 2011

I'm {Still} Blessed

I haven't written for awhile, as you may have noticed.
Last week was a hard one, but after what happened last time, I'm not too inclined to talk about it here.

I am, however, going to play along with Gretchen's party this week, too.

I am blessed to live in a nation where it is legal to educate my children at home.

I'm blessed that today we have been invited to a picnic and all I have to bring are the paper products.  A meal I didn't have to make?  Rare, indeed.  And always so yummy.

The icing on the picnic-cake is that Dennis is planning on coming with us; also very rare.  The kids are very excited at the prospect of playing catch with Dad.

I'm blessed to have parents who love and want to spend time with my children.  On Friday night, the six younger children had a "peep-over" (how Ruby says 'sleep-over') at my mom and dad's.  I was able to do some cleaning up in the house and I was able to go from one thing, to the next, to the next, to the next---without interruption.  Another rarity.  When I mentioned this to my mom when I went to pick them up on Saturday evening, she said she happened to notice the exact opposite happened at her house.  Hmmm.  Coincidence?  I think not.

Another blessing is that Nathaniel and Isaiah were able to go to a youth group convention in Colorado this week.  A man from church has helped to pay their way to go, along with some help from grandparents and what the boys raised themselves.  It is quite an opportunity for them.

The weather lately has been perfect for sitting outside.  In the summer, I like to be outside as much as I can.  {And in the winter, I am perfectly content to be inside.  I'm not one who starts complaining about being stir-crazy in the long MN winters.}  So, yesterday after church and dinner, the younger kids and I splashed in the kiddie pool and ran through the sprinkler.  Yes, even I ran.  Okay, okay, I don't know that you could actually classify  my actions as "running", but I started on one side of the sprinkler and quickly made it through to the other side.  Call it what you want.  And even though I took up a disproportionate amount of the space in the little pool, the kids thought it was fun to have Mom in with them.

So, here's to a better week than last week.  Thanks, Gretchen, for hosting this to help me get my mind off myself and onto more important things.
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