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.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Four Sisters Farm Resort?

Remember that cruise EJ and I missed?  When we arrived home from the airport, we found a party waiting for us.  Pop and Grammy set up a pool and a slip n slide.  It was a hot day and we all had a blast!  Even with the disappointment of that day, we laughed and played together.

 I love this picture of Pop and Grammy...Don't you just want to yell "SAFE!"  When you see it!

Don't feel too sorry for EJ and I.  We did go on a cruise this summer.  We were able to do the same cruise just two weeks later.  It was a great time, we appreciated it even more after missing the first one.  I will have to tell you more about the ship very soon.  It is crazy what they put on cruise ships these days!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I guess marathons are addictive

Today my crazy husband is running another marathon!  Go EJ Go!  Stay tuned for results.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A step in the right direction

On a recent cousin play date we noticed a troubling trend.  The 6 pack (all the older boys ages 2-5) were having trouble getting along.  The problem was that they would pair up and then leave someone else out.  Feeling were hurt.  Mommas were mad.  Corrections were made.  We insist that these boys treat each other with love and respect.  It starts young and we expect them to tow the line when it comes to their family.

Fast forward a few days...

We are at the zoo with the kiddos.  Their favorite part of the zoo is a playground.  (Which is really crazy when you consider it's the animals at the zoo that are the attraction not the playground...but that's neither here nor there).

We were watching them play and enjoying the beautiful day.  Next thing we know another mother on the playground says, "There are some boys up there who won't let the other children get by.  And one of them is growling." 

Rock Star and I exchange glances...

We investigate further and discover that the cousins have formed a gang.  When children try to enter their section of the jungle gym.  They say, "You can't come in...this is our house!"  I'm not sure where the growling comes in but maybe it is pre-schooler speak for "back off".

We broke up the gang and they proceeded to play nice with others.

The truth is...we had to smile a little.  At least they were including their cousins.  It has to be a step in the right direction.

Friday, October 8, 2010

You might be a bargain shopper if...

Your child brings you his teddy bear with a post it note and announces, "Look Mommy, my bear is on sale!"

I am so proud.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

That's right...I'm out of control

But aren't they super cute in their matchy PJs? 

I have 5 pairs of matching jammies and it does my heart good.