Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ga Ga

Baby Q can say "Da Da" for Daddy and "Ba Ba" for his bottle.
When I ask him to say "Ma Ma" he gets a silly little grin as if to say, "You wish!"  A lot of times he lets out a full belly laugh.

The other day I was having a big conversation with him.  I asked him to say, "Ma Ma".   He looked up at me with those gorgeous brown eyes, gave me a big toothy smile and then said, "Ga Ga".

Baby Q, are you seriously going to say Grammy or Grandma before you say "Ma Ma"?!?!  You little stinker!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Okay, I am tired of stuff.  We have too much of it.  I hate feeling suffocated by it.  I am trying to systematically organize, donate and throw away the excess stuff.

So if you are part of the plethora of unwanted stuff around my house...I am about to go all Fly Lady on your behind.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Auntie Self-Esteem Booster

I adore my nieces and nephews.  My heart for them is so big.  I am thrilled that my sisters live close enough to me that I can be a part of their lives.  I love to give them a squeeze and a kiss and tell them that I love them.  I want them to always know that their auntie thinks they are the bees knees.  (What exactly is the bees knees anyway?)  I pray for their little lives and I dream about the ones yet to come.  It is a privilege to be their aunt.

Each little one warms up in their own time.  Little Super Girl is sort of a Momma's girl.  She is a sweet and sassy mix that is just perfect to me.  Her little smile melts my heart and her sad faces make me want to fix it fast.  During our Christmas gathering I received a special gift from her.  She came to me on her own will for a snuggle...twice!  Her Momma snapped a picture I will always treasure.

As if that wasn't enough to keep me flying high...

Little Lady Bug slipped and got a bonk on her head.  Her Momma and Daddy rushed to her aid.  She was sitting in her Daddy's lap with a cool cloth on her boo boo when she said through tears..."I want Aunt Farm Chick"  (Granted, she didn't say Farm Chick because our babies don't know our secret blog identities.  She called me by name)  You better believe I dropped what I was doing and rushed to get her.  I snuggled her for a long time while she recovered from her boo boo.

Thank you, baby girls, for loving this Auntie!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010

Welcome to Four Sisters Farm!
This year, Farm Chick and I thought a live tree on the porch would be the way to go. Pop and I have limited space downstairs and of course, she and EJ with three little cowboys would be pushing space limits and fighting off the littlest cowboy from the tree wouldn't exactly make the season merry and bright! Add all that to the fact that Rock Star is allergic to live Christmas trees and you have the perfect solution with a tree outside! We really thought we were smart until we found the tree blown over with the Kansas wind...but we worked around it and secured the tree.

We put up a HUGE wreath around the star that stays on the porch. The candy canes are there for Bubba because it just isn't Christmas without candy canes!

Come on up! It's been a little chilly but the decor warms things up.

2010 has been a wonderful year. We feel blessed by God in every way. We are grateful to Him that we live near our family and share everyday life with each other. Some years ago, we made an agreement with out adult children to refocus what we do at Christmas to make Christ what Christmas is about.

So we released ourselves from buying gifts for the grownups and limited our material expressions of love to gifts for the kids and to stocking stuffers. We began a new tradition that we call "The Hope Stocking." The Hope stocking hangs with all our family stockings and holds notecards that we each write down our hopes and prayers for the coming year and review the past year's notes and talk about how God has answered prayers...healthy babies born, jobs accepted, moves made, etc. It brings us back to God in a thoughtful and thankful way.

We went even farther as a family this year...Farm Chick suggested that we anonymously adopt a family through a local agency who would not have a Christmas celebration otherwise and we had so much fun planning and shopping for them. It was a great way to teach the kiddos about sharing God's love in a tangible way and that Christmas can be about giving instead of getting.

We are grateful for the Christmas season and for the chance to gather together to remember the best gift ever...God's gift of His one and only Son, Jesus...Who came to seek and save the lost and to reconcile us to our Father in heaven by His death and resurrection. Without that gift, we would be hopelessly lost. Thank You, God, for the perfect gift for now and every Christmas.
Merry Christmas! Enjoy your best gift ever! If you haven't received the gift of Jesus from God yet, the offer is still good. All you have to do is tell God that you want it. "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!" (Mark 1:15)

Q My Baby

Q My Baby
(to the tune of Santa Baby)

Q My Baby, welcome to our family,
with glee
We’ve been waiting for you
Q My Baby, we love to kiss and hold you tight.

Q My Baby, we gained a dear birth mom too,
from you
God has blessed us, sweet one
Q My Baby, you’ve made our days oh so bright.

Think of all the fun you’ve had
with Bubba and Wubba and your Mom and Dad
Four Sisters Farm is the place to be
If you know your way to Pop & Grammy’s Pad.

Q My Baby, you love to watch your brothers play,
all day.
You try to keep up with them
Q My Baby, don’t worry ‘cause you’re well on your way.

Q My Honey, one little thing I really need,
less feeds
In the middle of the night
Q My Honey, just let us get some sleep tonight.

Q My Cutie, your DaDa ran two marathons
That’s long
He’s done a total of four
Q My Cutie, your Daddy is really strong!

This Momma keeps busy with you three
and there is nowhere else that I’d rather be
Of course, that Cruise with Daddy was fun
We love the Grandparents in our family tree

Q My Baby, remember the most important thing
The King
He came to save the world
Q My Baby, His praises we will always sing!

Merry Christmas to all!
EJ, Farm Chick, Bubba, Wubba & Baby Q

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fa La La La FART La La La La

Okay.  Being the mother of boys is funny.

Wubba (3 1/2) rips a big 'ol toot and then looks at me in complete shock.

Wubba says, "Did you hear that???
I don't have time to respond before he points at me and says...

Seriously did their Daddy already teach them to blame a fart on someone else. 

Well played little man.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

This is shameful

Who is in charge of laundry around here? 
Right, me.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'll do the dirty work!

I got this phone message from Rock Star the other day...

"Hey, I woke up with a song in my head and you are one of the few people who will understand.
"I'll do the dirty work.  I'll handle all the dirty work.  You go relax in your room."  Then she says, "I can't remember the rest and then it ends with...all you have to do is get the flume!"

I called her back and left this message...
"I'll do the dirty work.  I'll handle all the dirty work.  You go relax in your room.  I'll collect the muck and mire.  I wouldn't want you to perspire.  All you have to do is get the flume!"

Only 1980's loving little girls would know this obscure reference.

Drum roll please!

My Little Ponies: The Movie

The song starts at around 2 minutes and 49 seconds.

Enjoy this little piece of the four sisters childhood.  It's a jem.  (Remember JEM?  That is a whole different blog post)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I love being silly with Pop

Recently Pop and I received an email request from Farm Chick asking about our availability to watch the cowboys for her and EJ...Pop and I love spending time with our grandchildren...that isn't a question but schedules do get hectic at times so we needed to compare calendars...via email...

Farm Chick: Hi Mom and Dad! I was just looking at the calendar and had some requests...For EJ’s office Christmas party this Saturday night...Would you be available to keep the boys that night? Next, I am planning to take EJ out for his birthday. I’m planning an overnight at a B&B. Will you guys be available? Also, Mom, I have a doctor appointment on Monday, could the boys stay home with you while I do that? Thanks so much!Pop: I would love to spend time with them. Count me in.
Grammy: Pop (Honey/Baby/Sweetheart/My Love), is anything on your calendar that would keep us from wrangling cowboys for the Christmas party and the birthday excursion? The daytime appointment is no problem - I'll be here.
Pop: Grammy, (Sugar Baby/Love of My Life), I am in on the Cowboy roundup. I will be planning several man outings but you will be invited because you are an honorary Cowboy (and B will not go without you anyway) plus we may need a little lunch and dinner and maybe some snacks and pancakes and stuff. So we will waive the rules and let you join us but you can not act like a “Gril” and question us on the dangerous and adventurous stuff we do. However, if we get an ouchy or need attire assistance, you may feel free to help us. It's complicated as we are complicated and you can feel free to ask for clarification on any issue that may arise.
Grammy: Darling Man of Mine...Though the world of boys is somewhat foreign to me, you have been so very gracious to help me understand and navigate in the "man world" when need be and I do appreciate it. I think your proposition of the Cowboy Roundup is acceptable to me. I will stand by with food, drinks, love, understanding, ice packs, and bandages. I will also be available to administer hugs, smooches, dry diapers and/or clean clothing if needed. I do love my complicated men and will keep trying to figure you all out until the day I go to be with God. Thanks for your kind instruction on the matters of men where I am concerned and thanks also for keeping things that I don't need to know to yourself.

All my love,
Your Woman
Pop: Now that's the way to manage a Man!! Nicely done!!!! It is no wonder you have been invited into the hallowed world of Boydom. I would suggest that you share this insight with women everywhere, but heck we don't have to put up with them and it would probably take away your focus on us. Consequently, those guys are "on their own" sucks to be them!!!!

All my love,
Your Man

I don't really care much what we're doing...I like doing it with Pop...and when you throw the grandkids into the mix it's even more fun. I love being silly with Pop.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Christmas card that made me cry

My heart skips a beat any time we get mail from Q's birth mom.  Not only do I rejoice that she is reaching out to us but I know that these notes will help Q put the puzzle together some day.  She loves him and I love her for loving him.  I have been thinking about the Christmas letter and pictures I will send her.  I am going to have to include these photos of Q reading the Christmas card from his birth momma!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Clearly we have failed him

While utilizing a family restroom at Target the following conversation took place:

Son: "Mommy if you practice you could stand up."

Me: "When I go potty?"

Son: "Yes, if you practice a lot you could do it.  I will have to teach you how."

Me: "I see an important conversation in your future."

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Crooked Bangs

This year I gave Rock Star a special birthday card.  It said:

"Behind every girl with crooked bangs..."

" a very supportive sister with scissors.  Happy Birthday, Scissor...I mean Sister!"

I found the card months before her birthday and held on to it. 

It has a deep and profound meaning to us...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What are they looking at?

When I am out and about with Q I tend to get a lot of attention.  EJ thinks it is funny.  He wonders what they are noticing...

Is it the wrap I wear my baby in?

Is it the fact that my baby and I are two different colors?

Could it be the weird bottle my baby drinks from?

Is it all of the above?

I know we look a little strange but we are very friendly.  We often have long chats in various stores with complete strangers who want to know our story.  Or maybe they just want one of my baby wraps.  Or maybe they want to know where to get the bottle.

Q and I don't mind the attention.  We think we are pretty cool when we are out and about together.  Heck, we think we are pretty cool all the time.  Hee Hee.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ode to my Crock Pot

My dear, sweet Crock Pot
I need to thank you a lot

You make this busy momma smile
You work hard when I'm gone a while

Chili, soups, roast, lasagna
The ovens got nothing on ya

BBQ beef, stuffed peppers, teriyaki chicken
You are always welcome on the counter in my kitchen

Chop, measure, season, slice
The ease of preparation is oh so nice

Throw it all in and walk away
You stay here and cook all day

Next thing I know, bada boom bada bing
it's time for the dinner bell to ring

You light up this lady's life
and make everyone think I'm a rockin' wife

So today I'm gonna shout
Thank you Crock Pot for helping me out

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Black Friday

I never do Black Friday shopping.  I usually purchase gifts through the year and put them away.  This year I just didn't get that done.

So I devised a plan.

We stayed overnight at EJ's folks on Thanksgiving night so we could leave our sleeping children in their care.  Then we got up in the 3 o'clock hour in order to make it to Target at 4am. 

I have NEVER seen Target like that.  There were so many people in line that it was outrageous.  When we got there the line was moving so we didn't have to wait long.  When we got through the doors we went for it.  EJ went one way and I went another.  We met up to compare notes and then waited in line to check out.  We were in and out of Target in less than 1 hour. 

Next we were off to Walmart, then Best Buy, then Ace Hardware, then Home Depot, then Verizon, then Breakfast, then World Market, and then back to Target. 


EJ was an awesome Black Friday partner.  I think it was his competitive nature.  He was going to win and that worked well for me!  I just had to make sure his list was specific.

It was sort of like an 8 hour date.  With the kiddos at Papa and Grandma's place we were foot loose and fancy free.  Even if it was at 4am!

The best shopping is 99% complete.  Go team!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Just read this...

Pop and Grammy know that DW and I are doing some major Black Friday shopping this year.  DW does it every year with her sis in law but this will be my first year.  (I have wrangled EJ into going with me).  DW has been coaching me.  "Bring a big carts, etc."  She is a regular Target lady.

Grammy thinks we are crazy.  She doesn't like the crowds and has no desire to Black Friday shop.  So we weren't surprised when we received an e-mail asking us to pick up a few thing.

From Grammy & Pop to DW & I:

"Hey, Chicks! We understand you are braving the black Friday sales…we think you’re crazy but maybe a little brave. Hope it is good fun. We’re hoping we could impose upon you to pick up a couple of items while you are out. There are only two stops (besides what we know you are planning) on our list…maybe EJ wouldn’t mind doing the Gander Mountain Stop? Are you meeting up and going together?

Here’s what is on our list:
Gander Mountain:
· Centurion 20 Gloss Black Gun Safe $549.99
· Pelican Apex 80 Kayak $129.99 – Pop thinks it would be great for the pond!
· Daisy BB rifles…they have pink and regular(Red Rider)…we think it would be great to target shoot with the kids…so at this point, we need 3 pink and 7 regular and 1 box of BBs per family.
· Carbon 15 .223 Rem. Semi-Auto Rifle with Bushnell Red Dot Sight $599.99 (Dad says this price is unbelievable!)
· Backwoods Deer Target $99.99 – we have a great idea for a Christmas Lawn display…we’ll need 8 of these.

Best Buy (opens at 5am) – just one item there:
Panasonic - VIERA / 50" Class / 1080p / 600Hz / Plasma HDTV for $699…that’s a good price, right? We are thinking it might nice to get rid of the entertainment center for a little more floor space downstairs! Not sure if you will need a cart or if EJ can just carry it.

Oh, one more thing…
Dad is tired of fighting his old out-dated MP3 player…so while you are Target, could you go ahead and get the Apple 8GB iPod Nano Bundle With $15 Gift Certificate $145

Let us know if you any questions. Thanks SO much.

Love you!"

DW and I (both busy with kiddos) just skimmed the e-mail at first and went about our day.  That evening I sat down to read it more thoroughly and nearly fell out of my chair.

My heart was starting to palpitate when I read how much money and how big the items were. I was thinking...oh my, Mom is going to have to move money over before I can even get everything on this list. will we fit everything in the car. Can we even buy a gun for someone else. 8 deer...that's like $800! Wow! What does Dad have planned for them? Maybe he is going to make Christmas display and then use them for a practice hunting range. BB guns? Aren't the kiddos still pretty young for that? A kayak? Really? The MP3 Player...that makes sense. But a $550 gun safe? That thing is going to be heavy!

I'm calling DW!

They have to be kidding...but...Mom listed specific items from the black friday ad. Crazy.

Then DW and I devised a plan.  She sent the following e-mail to call their bluff...

"Hey Mom and Dad!

Hope you made it to your destination alright (they were traveling for Dad's work) and that Dad's feeling a bit better!

I talked with Farm Chick and we aren't planning on meeting up to shop, but Doc and I pow wowed and he said he'd help me... here's what we've worked out:

I'll hit Best Buy after my sis in law and I get done at Kohl's (open at 3) and Target (open at 4) 5 will be just about right! I'll pick up the MP3 (Farm Chick, I will call you if they don't have anymore in stock by the time I get to that dept. and you can check the Target on your side of are going there early, right?)

Doc will take the truck and my bro in law said we could borrow his dump trailer. I'll meet up with him after Best Buy and we'll hit Gander Mt. last so that we can just make a delivery to your house after that! (I will sacrifice my no cart rule, this once, to get the TV )

Doc's folks will be over around 4:30 am to watch the kids so Doc can hit Lowe's (open at 5) on his way to meet me at Gander Mt.!

Have a great trip! Be safe and I guess we'll plan to see you mid to late morning for a delivery. Sorry but this Santa will arrive in a dump trailer instead of a sleigh! LOL

Love you!

Then we waited for a response.  Surely they were going to break first.  We knew Mom had been on the computer but no response. 

DW's e-mail to me this morning..."Dude...the longer it takes for her to reply, the more fear grows in my very soul that they were serious. LOL. She even sent out an email last night and didn't reply. Really? Could they be serious? Surely not...they wouldn't ask us to buy a semi automatic weapon for them... LOL"

DW sent another note to Pop and Grammy..."I hadn't heard back on this plan going to work for you guys???"

Finally a response from Pop, "Sounds perfect. Ha"

Pop and Grammy, you are very bad people!  When you get home you are getting the big elbow!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Out with the old, in with the new

I found Mr. Pumpkin with this on his head today.  Perhaps my children are ready for Christmas?  I give them points for creativity.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Processing a Deer

Okay, those of you non-hunter, non-meat eater types might want to skip this post.  (Did you know that Rock Star eats no meat and Pretty Princess eats very little...just a fun fact for you).

Anyway, Pop, Grammy and I worked together to make use of the deer Pop brought home from a recent hunting trip.  Now, I must say that I never saw the deer and I like it that way.  It was already in meat form by the time I had to touch it.  Good work on that Pop.

This is fat and meat.  You have to grind them together to create the sausage and ground venison.  For the sausage, you also add seasoning.

I am a big dork and somehow deleted the picture of Grammy.  I did, however, manage to keep the picture of her hands.  So there you go, proof that Grammy was there putting meat into the grinder.

I told Pop that this doesn't gross me out.  In fact, I find it sort of fun.  It reminds me of the play dough toy I had as a kid.  Remember those?  You put the play dough in and push that lever down and it comes out in different shapes. 

We made 10 pounds of breakfast sausage and 20 pounds of ground venison.

Go Team!

I think Pop and EJ are still on the hunt so we may need to do this again.

Are you totally grossed out or impressed with our skills?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Running Man

Wubba has decided that he does not need a shirt.  He has announced to all of us that he is "Running Man" and therefore will not be wearing a shirt.  He has also decided that he can only wear one pair of shoes...his running shoes.

He has decided that he needs to run a "bunny" race with Daddy.  It took us a while to figure that one out.  Then it donned on us that the medal from EJ's most recent marathon had a rabbit on it.

So...they ran a bunny race together.  I think Wubba won!

I imagine that this little man will indeed run some races with his Daddy.

The down side of this new's getting cold here.  Really cold.  I guess we will see how long Running Man can keep this up.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A family not yet complete

Sometimes I wish I had the ability to read ahead in the story of my life.  Do you know what I mean?  Just a sneak peak to see what is coming next.

I guess that would take all the fun out of it, wouldn't it?

When I was a little girl all I ever wanted to be was a momma.  I adored babies.  I even got kicked out of the church nursery for trying to "help" when I was too young.  Man that hurt my feelings.  How could they not see what a spectacular little momma I could be. 

When EJ and I decided to try for a baby, I can remember the joy and excitement we felt.  We had no idea that things wouldn't go as planned.  The months kept passing us by.  No baby.  After 2 years we still had no baby but what we did have was a lot of sadness.  Man, were we sad.  EJ was still building his career and that kept him busy.  I was working too but it didn't matter.  I was a momma without a baby and it hurt.  I find it hard to describe the feelings that go along with infertility.  It is a deep and personal pain. 

Tests were done, procedures were completed.  We felt like our lives were consumed.  We took a break from treatments for a few months.  During that time, we got the best surprise of our lives.  Little Bubba was on his way.  We were finally pregnant!  We were over the moon for this little miracle that was growing in my tummy.

We held little Bubba in our hands and praised the Lord for the gift of his life!

Just 5 months later, we were shocked to learn I was pregnant again.  We knew the babies would be close but we were okay with that.  After all, we knew every baby was a miracle.  Just 8 weeks into that pregnancy we had to say goodbye.  Our second baby would not be ours here on this earth.  We were so sad but we knew we could trust God with our hearts.

One month after we lost our baby, I had a dream.  In my dream it was clear that I was pregnant.  The next day I took a test and nearly fell over.  I was pregnant.  This time with little Wubba.  As you know, we got to keep him! :)  Once again we rejoiced and praised God!

Wubba is 3 1/2 years old.  Since his birth God has not given us another pregnancy.  What he has given us is a broken heart for orphans. 

We were always moved by stories of adoption.  At one point we thought adoption would be the only way we would become a family.  When time passed with no pregnancy after Wubba we started to wonder if God was telling us it was time to add a baby through adoption.  We started the process and then we waited.  When our little Q was born we could not believe God would give us this incredible gift!

We knew the moment we held Q in our arms that we would adopt again.  It is hard to explain.  Not everyone is called to adopt.  Not everyone knows what it feels like to know in your heart that God has other children out there for you.

So here we are.  A family not yet complete.  It is a weird feeling to know that we have children missing from the picture.  They will come, in His time.  If there is one thing I have learned in our family building years it is that I can trust Him.  His plan is perfect.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Grammy's Workout

Since I've been living on the farm, I haven't worked out...okay...actually, I have an aversion to working out at all...much unlike nearly all of the Four Sisters Farm Pop who believes in a consistent workout involving strength training and aerobics like running, EJ who loves to run - a long way - like miles, DW who is training to run farther than she's ever run before, and Farm Chick, Pretty Princess, and Rock Star who faithfully go to the gym to hit the treadmill or eliptical. (shudder)

Today, it occurred to me that although I don't run or go to the gym, I am far from sedentary. I enjoy being outside and working on things. So if I'm outside and working, doesn't that mean I'm working out? It's just semantics really, right?

Anyway...I decided to run you through my workout today. You might want to try it and see if you can keep up. Keep in mind that this was just the morning routine (try not to feel sorry for me).
  • I began with Flexibility Training - I climbed up and down the porch railing to install steel "eyes" on the roof line trim boards for hanging plants, Christmas lights, etc. repeating this up and down process until the entire porch has enough eyes (it's a big porch, okay?).
  • Next I moved on to Strength Training - I loaded firewood into big wagon and drug the wagon to the back door; then carried the wood down the stairs to the fireplace...repeating until the wagon was empty. Next, I grabbed a sledge hammer and pounded the pieces of old damaged firebricks into small pieces in the driveway. (I noticed the dogs backed way off when I started this routine!)
  • Then it was time for Aerobics - I watered all the animals by making trips between the well house and the hydrant. Dogs - check! - 1 and 2 and cats - check! - 3 and 4 and chickens - check! 5 and 6 and ...well you get the idea. I'm just glad we don't have a horse, cow, pig, goat or other livestock yet...I'll have to work up to that but it's good to have goals.
  • Next, I moved on to Step Aerobics - I began in the basement and carried up a load of laundry, washed it, moved it to the dryer, carried up the next load, etc. and when it was all clean, I carried it all back down the steps and put them away. Granted, it's a slow moving kind of step aerobics but it does involve steps.
  • After all that, I went for Advanced Aerobics - I chased the one crazy chicken who "flew the coop" while the water in the chicken watering thing was being replenished. (Note: all the other chickens were being good and patient through this process.)

I think if I keep it up I'll be really fit. Now if I can just "exercise" self-control and limit my portions of Farm Chick's awesome cooking!!

True Confession Time

The kids and I have a theme song we dance to before we do our home school preschool.  We like to get jazzed up and have a good day at school. 

Can you guess what it is? 


Don't worry...after we rock out to our theme song we sit down for prayer time before we begin our lessons. 

Don't judge me.

Life is too short to miss the opportunities to dance with your preschoolers in the kitchen.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fall Party

2nd Annual Four Sisters Farm Fall Party

Well we did it!  We pulled together another rockin' Fall Party.  The kiddos are starting to really enjoy the event.  It is so fun to watch them get excited about this family event.

The Fall Party includes 28 people in all.  We were missing three so we had 25 people.

This year we missed Pretty Princess (she is in nail tech school and had to be at the salon all day).  We were also missing Romeo's folks.  Hopefully everyone will make it next year.

Pop, Romeo & Grammy

All day, I kept thinking, we need to take a picture of the four sisters together.  Then I would realize that Pretty Princess was missing!  This is not allowed.  I'm glad her Saturday classes won't last forever.

The Unconventionals and Doc's folks

The Farm Hands and EJ's folks.

The Super Heroes and PhoJo's folks.

This was our agenda:
Brunch...yummy stuff including the ever tasty pumpkin-cream cheese muffins
Costume Parade...this is super fun for the kiddos because they have both sets of grandparents to show off for.

This year we had:
Annie Oakley
Olivia (the pig)
Plus: SuperDad, SuperMom and the Flu Bug.

Games: Fishing and Bean Bag Toss...the kiddos get a full size candy bar for each game.  Holla!
Hay Rack Ride...Pop rocks!
Pumpkin Picking...We are still trying to get our pumpkin planting/harvesting right so we have had to "plant" pumpkins again this year.
Pumpkin Painting...The kiddos were super cute working on their pumpkin masterpieces.

I am already thinking about the things we should do next year!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Parenting with EJ

On a recent, VERY LONG, car ride.  Our Bubba was sitting in the way back asking to "hold" the bag of twizzlers he had chosen at the last gas station.  We were trying to explain to him that he could have a few twizzlers but couldn't hold the bag.  (Of course, we knew he would eat them all if he held the bag).

It was a pretty intense discussion (as far as 4 year old discussions go).  Finally a light went off for EJ.

EJ to Bubba:  "When I was a little boy I ate a whole bag of twizzlers and then I got sick!"
Bubba: "What happened Daddy?"
EJ: "I threw up and had naughty poo poos (aka diarrhea...for some reason this is what the kiddos call it)"

EJ quietly so only I could hear: "No I didn't...I ate the whole bag and it was delicious."

I nearly fell out of my seat!

The good news is that Bubba took that as a decent reason to only eat a few twizzlers at a time.

The great news is that I am still laughing!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Lost in translation

Mommy: "Wubba (my 3 year old who currently has the sniffles), do you need some cold medicine?"
Wubba: "Noooo Momma...I need some WARM medicine."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Paint Bucket Blues

Most of the time, I am inside...doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, teaching, taking care of baby Q and his big brothers.

There are a lot of projects in the works at Four Sisters Farm.  There is always something going on.  I rarely get to help because as I stated above...I am inside.  I do, however, feed the people and that does make them happy.

Anyhow, two glorious days, I got to help.  EJ's mom came and picked up the boys so they could spend a little time with them.  This meant both EJ and I could help Pop and Grammy paint the garage.  Although it's not "fun" work I was glad to be doing it.  I happily climbed my ladder and participated as part of the team...

That's where it all went wrong.

Somehow I dropped my paint bucket full of grey paint onto the newly painted white garage door and the concrete below it.  FANTASTIC.

The wind was totally out of my sails!  I told Grammy maybe I wasn't qualified for this work.  She smiled, laughed and said, "You aren't getting out of this that easily.  Climb back up that ladder." 

So I did.

I am happy to report that we got my mess cleaned up and EJ even covered my gray splashes with white paint.  All is right again.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Front Porch - Before and After

There may not be much of a need for words but I have some anyway...When we bought the farm in 2008 we knew there was a lot of work to be done but we were okay with that. We were buying much more than 40 acres, a house, and some out buildings. We were buying a dream. The house was not why we bought the place but we wanted it be inviting. You may have read some about the painting of the house, renovations in the basement, and the list goes on. The work will continue until we die, but it's all a part of "living' the dream" as Pop and I say.

We are thankful for the four sisters of Four Sisters Farm and their awesome husbands who lend us a hand when they can. Thanks to them, we have a house that as Pop says, "looks like someone actually lives here and cares about the place."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hollywood Part Two

Hollywood and the four sisters share a very special Grandpa.  We call him the Sheriff on the blog because that was his job during our growing up years.  The Sheriff is Pop's Dad.  He has been in Heaven since 1990 and we all miss him.  He loved us and he made sure we knew it.

Hollywood sent a really sweet note to our family after the marathon.  I cried as I read it.  It includes a moving childhood memory of the Sheriff.  I'm so glad she shared it with us!

"Just want to tell you all how much your love and support meant to me on Sunday! My cousins are such amazing and powerful women that just being around them will give a person power and encouragement. All of you hold a special place in my heart. But I must say I think you got a lot of your best stuff from your mother. Aunt (Grammy), you are one of the most beautifully loving and calming people in my life - - I love just to look at you because when I do . . . I see Jesus in there :) Some big moments in my life (wedding, J's diagnosis, and marathon) have been blessed with your love and I need you to know what it means to me.

When I was 9 years old I wanted to swim in the mile swim and get a plaque at the end of the school year awards ceremony but didn't believe I could do it. Just when I was about to hang up my suit and cry myself back to school, I saw a pair of grey cowboy boots walking along the pools edge and looked up to see a Sheriff's uniform. Grandpa appeared mysteriously from nowhere and proceeded to just "small talk " with me until 24 laps had passed. The PE instructor had to interrupt our conversation to tell me I had just swam one mile. Needless to say the Sheriff went back to work covered with pool water from my crazy excited hug.

I walked into the rest of my life with that love and encouragement that has stuck with me. Through the course of this training, I have secretly wished that at some point in this race I could smell his tobacco (Grandpa smoked a pipe) and hear him yelling "sister" at me. Here's the crazy thing: He did show up but he looked and sounded exactly like my uncle (Pop)   :) What an incredible blessing to have him carry on a family legacy of love and encouragement in such a powerful way.

Much Love and Appreciation -

Hollywood Part One

Hollywood is one of our cousins.  She could be easily mistaken for the 5th sister.  Her Momma is Pop's sister.  She is a beautiful, fun, fantastic woman.  She lights up a room and we love to be around here.  She set a goal to complete a marathon and we were privileged to watch her run victoriously across the finish line.

Here is a picture of Hollywood and EJ carb loading the night before the big race.  They both have fierce determination even when it comes to their pre-race dinner.

 Here is Hollywood at mile 17...still giving a thumbs up!

 Here she is ready to cross the finish line.  Still lookin' good!

EJ and Hollywood celebrate a job well done!

Hollywood wrote her reflections on the marathon.  It is amazing and I got her permission to share it here...

"Why run 26.2 miles? What on earth would possess you to do that?

In January of 2008, we learned that our first born son was missing a tiny piece of a chromosome. . . something called PWS. . . something scary. . . something that seemed impossible. . . something that would change our lives forever. . . Can I do what I will ask him to do? Persevere through great difficulty. . . can I deny myself that which I crave. . . continue to push through physical discomfort that seems too much. . . accomplish something amazing beyond my natural abilities. . . trust my heavenly Father to bring me through. .

Who am I? Where does my power come from? Am I powerful even though I feel I'm never enough? How will my story end? Will fear and endless toil find relief? All questions that must be answered but they could only be answered by a partnership between God and myself.

So that's what we did.

I grabbed a training schedule and expensive shoes and gave Him my time and attention. He grabbed my soul and wrestled until deep pockets of fear and self doubt were replaced with faith and security.

This was a grueling class and the final exam happened on Marathon morning when I awakened at 4 am and proceeded to puke my guts out for over an hour and a half. The final exam had only one question on it: Through a trash can of puke God asked me " do you trust me?' My heart's reply was I trust you God. If today is not my day to accomplish this task it is because you are protecting me from something I will never have to go through or because I am not spiritually ready to let go of myself and give you the full Glory for what you are wishing to do. Either way I trust you and I have loved the time with you on every run during every prayer.

God desires to do incredible seemingly impossible things with our lives if we will let Him. He will turn devastation into victory and overcome insurmountable obstacles for our joy. He will quiet your stomach and your very soul to take you on spiritual adventure like no other.

You see God is preparing me for the calling on my life in everything he brings into my life just like a training schedule prepares you for a marathon. We will breeze along through much of it - - not even fully aware of how much I need HIM much like the first 13.1 miles of yesterday's race.

And then there will be times of pain and darkness where I will beg for the energy just to make it through fully doubting that I can. But he will never forget me. . . He will always show up. . . He may ask me to relax and stretch like He did at mile 18 or He may ask me to dig deeper and lean into HIM like He did at mile 25 when he gave me the desire to finish stronger than I started.

And most importantly after we take this unbelievable journey of faith and tears and trials and sufferings and victories and mysteries with HIM. . . we will be surrounded by his supernatural LOVE and PEACE. . . fully relieved of the strain of this life and united with him in Power and Mercy beyond our imagination. He gave me so many gifts along the way but this hopeful vision of my true future of resting in HIM will prove the most valuable to me. . . and so " I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Jesus Christ, is calling us" Philippians 3: 14 and I strive to "lead a life worthy of my calling, for I have been called by God" Ephesians 4:1


Hollywood, A Child of God and A Victor in Christ Jesus"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

4th marathon...2nd this year...and what it means...

So I just ran my fourth marathon this past Sunday. I changed my training to use the FAST training...I highly recommend it! I ran less, spent more time with my family, had less pain during training, had very little pain during the run, and basically finished at the same time (~30 seconds faster, ha ha ha).

Again, it took me about 18 weeks of training; I ran on beaches, on cruise ships, many miles were in 100+ degree temps, before 6am many times, used much more sportslick (keeps me from bleeding on my chest), many pairs of running shoes, started using a hydration pack (so I could get H2O and NOT overheat in the summer), and changed to using Hammer gel and Gu chomps (both are much easier to get down...hammer is more viscous, and chomps are like gummy bears, yummy!)

So here I am at the beginning of the race, ready and raring to go!

Here I am at mile 7.5 miles! I'm still kickin' hard!

My wife asked me the night after I ran this, when I was already planning my next race (hopefully a trail ultra marathon 50k or 31 miles!!!), she asked "what is going through your head; because most people would be thinking, just put one foot in front of the other and I hope that I can just finish; and you're thinking run faster than you are you slow poke; you know you can finish it and you're already thinking about the're not like most. While I didn't really come up with a good answer, what I do know is that while I really like to run and I'm sure that in the next several decades I'll continue to run in some way, this last picture is what life's really about, the important stuff that I love! Savour every moment God gives you! Allow God to bless you the way He wants to bless you! Don't look a gift horse in the mouth! Children, family, relationships are more important than money, things or races; keep that in mind!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Handy Grammy - Bubba's Perspective

I've been working on some projects at Four Sisters Farm lately. Mostly painting. So when Bubba wanted to help me get my things together to work on some front porch painting, he grabbed a paper and crayon to make a list and this image is what he came up with.

I think that maybe Pretty Princess is wardrobe (and possibly my hair) could use a bit of sprucing up. Hmmmm. At least there is a smile on my face. :-) I love you, Bubba and I'm glad you love your Grammy.