Sunday, May 29, 2011

More Feathers in my Empty Nest

In July 2008, Pretty Princess graduated from High School and moved from where we were living back to our home state. Pop and I thought we were experiencing an empty nest permanently at that time. I blogged about it then, as I sorted through my youngest's things. At that time, I never dreamed that our we would move back home where our girls' and their families live, and settle into a multi-generation home...full of life, noise, fun, and sometimes chaos. Happy, crazy chaos.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you already know about our multi-generational family living arrangement for the past nearly two years. This past weekend, it came to an end...not in a dramatic, sad way - but in a happy, watching-to-see-what-God-will-do kind of way. EJ and Farm Chick are being blessed in a big way with the house they have just bought and moved in to. Bubba, Wubba, and Q are going to LOVE their new house and probably will grow up with very distant memories of living with Pop and Grammy. It's good stuff.

Two days ago, I quietly worked away doing things that would help facilitate the farmhands' move to their new home in the "city" while Q was getting a nap in his pack'n'play and everyone else was somewhere else. As I washed down the dining room table and chairs, I was reminded of all the meals we had shared - usually cooked by Farm Chick. I used a thumbnail to scrape off a little bit of brownie and thought about how much fun it has been to be a part of a daily ritual that many have discarded as old-fashioned...we call it dinner. I thought about all the laughs we have shared as we watched the boys antics and the events of each day were reviewed. What a privilege.

God gave us this precious time and my hope is that EJ and Farm Chick and the cowboys will have great memories of our "great adventure" at Four Sisters Farm together. EJ and Farm Chick, you have helped make our dream of a place for our family to gather come true. As I've read over old blog posts and realized all that has been accomplished here, I am reminded that we have much to be grateful have contributed much. We choose to think upon good things, but we have weathered a few storms as we learned to make our living arrangement work. I pray that you will reap blessings and benefits from living at Four Sisters Farm and have wonderful memories that you will share and laugh about long after Pop and I are about the future...

We're looking forward to many more gatherings - with all the four sisters and their families - all at one time or one at a time - each gathering will be a blessing to us. I thank God for our Four Sisters Farm family and friends and while it will quieter than we're used to, Pop and I will enjoy each and every moment the dream.

As I said the last time our nest became empty, "The house is more quiet than ever before...emptier than ever before...but my heart is more full than ever. Thank You, God!"

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Random Moving Notes

1. My beloved Keurig stays UNpacked.  I will need my coffee on moving morning.  She may possibly ride in the front seat of my car...right next to me...with a seat belt on...

2.  My children can definitely feel the stress of moving.  They have zero patience for each other.  It is my job to make sure my patience level does not under any circumstances fall to zero.  That would be a catastrophe.

3.  EJ and I are sleeping on a Queen size bed this week.  Our King is prepped to move.  Now I remember why I love the King.  That is all I am going to say about that.

4.  Poor Bubba has developed a wicked rash.  We are unsure at this point if it is Chicken Pox or just a random virus.  He is being super tough through it all.  I am assuming it will spread through my boys like a wild fire and then head straight for their cousins.

5.  We ordered the Big Table from a local wood worker/carpenter.  (more like Artist who makes furniture)  He will have it completed later this summer.  We are thrilled.   Once we get moved in, I need to start finding the dinning room chairs.  I can't wait to have that project completed.

6.  I finally talked EJ into a new Washing Machine.  I have hated my washer for four years.  I am certain that it hates me back.  I asked Grammy if she wanted to keep it.  She said "No Way" and ordered a new Washer/Dryer for the farm.  She is a smart lady.

7.  Daisy and Huckleberry are moving to town.  Turning country dogs into town dogs makes me really nervous.  I told EJ they have to have a visit to the vet before I will take them into town.  They need an update on their vaccines and a good scrubbing.

8.  I am pretty sure the kitty cats are all staying here.  They are barn cats.  They like the country and they roam around.  I don't think my new neighbors would love them roaming around like a bunch of hobos. 

9.  I got a steal of a deal on my new refrigerator.  It was marked half off in the "scratch and dent" section of the store.  I could care less that there is a dent in the freezer door.  My children will bestow a whole lot more dents on that thing immediately. 

10.  I have managed to keep the eating out to a minimum by cooking last weekend and placing the food in disposable containers.  Now we are just two days away from the move.  This will no doubt begin the week long eating out extravaganza.  Don't judge me.

That is all for now.

No, it's not.  I forgot to say... 

The twitch in my eye that took up residence about a week ago shows no sign of leaving.  Clearly I have stress issues.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

He understands.

I would have been 20 weeks pregnant with the twins by now. 

I would have known if they were boys or girls or one of each. 

I would have been more than half way through their pregnancy.  (A normal pregnancy is 40 weeks but twins are delivered earlier than that). 

I was sitting here tonight thinking about what it was like when I was pregnant with them.

Sometimes I just miss them.

I miss my other baby too.

I have three babies in heaven.

I know God has a plan and I trust Him.

I am so grateful for His comfort.

I still miss my babies.

I'm certain my God understands.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Prayers of an obscenely honest man...Part 2

"Dear Lord, please help us to all sleep in our own beds all night long so we can be rested and ready to play tomorrow."

This is a common prayer before bed at our house. Subtlety I hope that the cowboys realize that God wants their daddy to get sleep so that he can fulfill his duties as dad, and when they get me up that I can't do least not very well!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Have you ever looked at

I think everyone should look there. 

At least once. 

Once you see their little faces they are real. 

Real children in need of real families. 

I can hardly stand the reality that we have children growing up in the US (or anywhere for that matter) without permanent families.

It breaks my heart.

God is calling EJ and I to adopt more children.  We have known that for a long time.  Last summer we participated in our state's course on adopting from foster care.  It is the course required to foster and/or adopt from the system.  It takes 30 hours of class time as well as homework and home visits. 

For nearly a year, we have been saying to any adoption caseworker who will listen, "WE ARE HERE."  We have put our names in the hat for many different children and sibling sets in several different states.  So far, we have not been selected.

God's timing is perfect and we will continue to trust Him to bring our children home. 

He is preparing our hearts and the hearts of our children to receive them. 

Just the other day, I was looking at the picture of a  little girl in need of a family.  Bubba climbed up in my lap and asked about her.

Bubba: "Mom, does that little girl need a Mommy and Daddy?"

Me: "Yes, she does."

Bubba: "What happened to her Mommy and Daddy?"

Me: "I don't know.  It is sad that they can't take care of her anymore but I think we should pray that God will bring her a new family fast."

Bubba: "Does she need us?"

(Cue the tears in my eyes and the lump in my throat)

Me: "I don't know yet.  Let's pray for her and tell God that if she needs us, we are here and we are ready."

Bubba: "Mom, I would be happy if she was my sister."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

the end of an era

My special coffee cup C.C. is broken!

One of the boys accidentally knocked over my fancy coffee cup with a toy.

At first I thought the only issue was the coffee all over the place.

Then I saw this huge crack...

C.C., you have served me well.

Farewell my friend.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Prayers of an obscenely honest man... part one

"God, please let my kids like radishes..."

So it's NOT why you think.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE CORN. In fact, if I were a bachelor, I would probably fill my body with so much corn that does so little for my well being.

I always wait until everyone has gotten the corn that they want on their plate before I will get mine; and usually what I do is just take the whole corn bowl and eat from it, because I will finish it up.

So yesterday my lovely wife made corn for dinner and the boys are starting to become like their dad, however I hadn't started in on mine and they had already finished their first round of corn. The problem is that they wanted MORE! As I was judging how much that would/could leave me I started to think how much nicer it would be if they just like radishes. Then I would be able to just eat almost as much as I wanted of the delightful yellow veggie.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cloth Diapering Success

I have been cloth diapering for 1 whole year now. 

Go me! :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I am going to miss this.

It is starting to feel real.

The boxes are stacking up.

The moments of this season in our lives are flying by all too fast now.

It has been nearly three years of living at the Four Sisters Farm and nearly two years of living here with Pop and Grammy.

My head knows that I am only moving fifteen minutes away.

My head knows that I am the one who initiated this move.

My head knows that we need to have more room to welcome the children who are coming.

My head knows that this is a good thing.

But my heart just doesn't get it.

My heart, that stinkin' heart.  It loves so big and it feels way too much.

I am going to miss this.

I will miss cooking for everyone.

I will miss coffee chats with Mom.

I will miss watching my boys scurry to the back door to greet Pop and Grammy.

I will miss stolen moments with my Dad when it was just us even in a house with this many people.

I will miss Buzz Lightyear pancake mornings.

I will miss walking to the pond when I need a little time to myself.

I will miss the front porch.

I will miss being in the middle of all the action.

I will miss lingering after dinner with EJ, Pop and Grammy while we solve the world's problems or maybe just laugh our heads off about something that happened that day.

I have to remind myself that Pop and Grammy will still be here. 

The farm will still be here.

I can come out anytime I need to.

I can drop off my boys so they can soak up special time with Pop and Grammy.

I am not losing them.

It is time for the next chapter and I know good things await for all of us.

That doesn't mean there won't be tears.  Change is hard but God is good.

Pop, Grammy, and EJ,
I love you each so much.  Thank you for this adventure.  I am proud to have been a part of it.
Love always,
Farm Chick

Friday, May 13, 2011

Gettysburg - The Battle Comes Alive

Pop recently attended a leadership institute in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and I was blessed to tag along.

Neither of us had been there before and it was truly amazing. The Battle of Gettysburg came to life for us. Pop is a bit of a history buff but a love of history eluded me when I was a just never seemed to stick. I always learned enough to pass the tests in school but it wasn't meaningful to me. Gettysburg changed me...history came alive while we were there. It wasn't a reenactment of the battle that brought it to life. Instead it was brought to life by Abraham Lincoln and a young woman named Jennie Wade.

We lived in Charleston, SC for about four years and heard how some folks there still call the Civil War "The War of Northern Aggression". I always knew there were people who still fly the Confederate flag but I thought it was just for fun. I had no idea that there are people who don't hold to the notion that "all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights" as our Country's constitution states.

As I pondered the historical events of 1863, I became convinced that President Lincoln's motivation was love for his fellow man and his heart's desire was for our Country to be unified. In spite of much opposition, he held firm to his belief that slavery was wrong. He was a wise man and the words of his Gettysburg Address are powerful even today. I didn't retain from my girlhood history lessons that Lincoln's speech on November 19, 1863 was part of a ceremony commemorating a burial place for the soldiers who gave their lives that others might know freedom. He must have been heavily burdened as he led the Union during war time. The weight of all the men who died surely rested squarely on his shoulders.

Then there was Jennie Wade - the only civilian who was killed during the Battle of Gettysburg. She was shot by a sharpshooter's rifle through two wooden doors as she was making biscuits for some Union soldiers. I toured the house where she died and learned that in her devotion that morning, she prayed a prayer asking God that if anyone had to die in their house that day, she wanted it to be her.

Abraham Lincoln was the right man, in the right place, at the right time to ensure freedom for all in this great country. Jennie Wade was also where she was meant to be - feeding soldiers. Both of these people are heroes in my mind - both motivated by LOVE for their fellow man - both died having fulfilled God's purpose for their lives.

I know there are many other "players" in the drama of war whose hearts were and are pure...whose motivation was and is love...who unselfishly gave and are giving of themselves. I am grateful.

John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends."

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Diaper Pancakes

Grammy is cool.  No one would argue with that.  She has proven it over and over.  Her pancakes are the boys preferred pancakes.  Who can blame them when she makes them into superheroes?

This morning I was making them pancakes.  They know that Mommy doesn't do shapes.  Just plain old pancakes. 

One of them was a little misshapen.

Bubba: "Look Wubba!  Mom made DIAPER pancakes!!!"

Bubba and Wubba: "HA HA HA HA HA"

Little stinkers!  They ate them anyway. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ahhh - Chocolate

After spending time in Gettysburg, Pop and I drove an hour to Hershey (also in Pennsylvania) to visit The Hershey Story which is a museum all about Milton Hershey and his work that has made so many of us so happy! I LOVE chocolate and the museum did not disappoint - neither did the chocolate. I would have brought some home for everyone but it wouldn't have been safe with me on the trip.

We learned that Mr. Hershey and his wife never had children and invested their time and resources into their factory, their town, and the people who lived and worked there. They were good to their employees and made the work place a good one. The town of Hershey, PA was Mr. Hershey's concept and it boggled my mind thinking about all he did to make it work.

The museum showed off technology used in making chocolate through the years and Pop and I attended a "lab" to learn more - well - and to get some chocolate.

Hershey was ahead of his time in many ways - he was "green" before it was the thing to be. The Hershey Company wastes next to nothing in the chocolate making process and even uses the hull of the cocoa seed as mulch. :-)

I asked one of the museum employees what was wrong with Mrs. Hershey (Kitty) - we had read that she had an illness and she died early...this employee was an adorable, young gal - sweet as she could be. She told us that they didn't know for certain but some thought that Kitty had "MD" (ummm...maybe MS?) and that the cause of death was listed as "ammonia" (ummm...maybe pneumonia?) on her "birth certificate" (ummm...maybe death certificate?).

Anyway, it was fun and the chocolate was tasty. There is a lot to do in Hershey, PA and we highly recommend the chocolate!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Stink Bugs?????

Pop and I recently took a trip to Gettysburg, PA which I'll blog on later; but for now I wanted to share a sign with you that was in the elevator of one of the hotels where we stayed. The sign from the General Manager warned people not to kill (smash) stink bugs because that is when a terrible odor is released. Thankfully we didn't see any but we got tickled about's what the sign says...

"The Stink Bug is a common problem in this area (and many others).


Although we do our very best to keep these bugs out of the hotel, some do get inside. They come in when doors are opened, on luggage, and on people. They like WARM AREAS (windows) & will come inside if they can.

If you encounter a Stink Bug, either pick it up with a tissue & flush it or call the Front Desk & someone will get it for you.


We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause now or in the future."

Friday, May 6, 2011

When love takes you in

When Love Takes You In is a song by Steven Curtis Chapman.  I think it has been around for a long time but I heard it for the first time on the radio recently.  It is a beautiful song about adoption. 

As we wait and pray for the rest of our children to come home this song touches me deeply.

Here are the words...
I know you’ve heard the stories
But they all sound too good to be true
You’ve heard about a place called home
But there doesn’t seem to be one for you
So one more night you cry yourself to sleep
And drift off to a distant dream

Where love takes you in and everything changes
A miracle starts with the beat of a heart
When love takes you home and says you belong here
The loneliness ends and a new life begins
When love takes you in

And somewhere while you’re sleeping
Someone else is dreaming too
Counting down the days until
They hold you close and say I love you
And like the rain that falls into the sea
In a moment what has been is lost in what will be

When love takes you in everything changes
A miracle starts with the beat of a heart

And this love will never let you go
There is nothing that could ever
cause this love to lose its hold

When love takes you in everything changes
A miracle starts with the beat of a heart
When love takes you home and says you belong here
The loneliness ends and a new life begins
When love takes you in it takes you in for good
When love takes you in

As Mother's Day approaches I am so grateful for the sweet boys God has given me.  I look forward with anticipation to the day I meet the ones yet to come.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Chair

I saw this chair while we were furniture shopping and I wanted it. is not practical to spend hundreds of dollars on a chair that is just for fun.

So, I chose more practical furniture but I did not forget about the chair.

Then today, while perusing craigslist for used furniture I came upon this beauty.


I am picking her up tomorrow.

Often God blesses me with the little things.  I feel extra loved today. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

a lots

Wubba likes to eat just the insides of the cookie.  I looked over and realized just how many insides he had eaten.  Wow.  In his own words...

"I eat a lots!"

"Four many..."

"Five many..."

"a lots!"

I love that kid!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The big 'ol table

I have always wanted a huge dinning room table.  I love to have friends and family over for dinner.  When we have our big family gatherings there are 10 adults and 10 children (so far).  That is just Pop and Grammy's bunch.  Not to mention our large extended families on both sides. 

Combine my love for cooking with my love for people and you have a fantastic reason for a big table.

Our new place will allow room for my dream table.  EJ talked to a local furniture maker and it looks like my dream is going to come true!  I'm not sure yet what it will look like.  (I still need to look at ideas)  However, I do know that it will seat at least 14...maybe up to 18.

I am thinking something like this...

Now for the chairs...I really want to purchase mismatched chairs second hand.  Then I want to paint them the same color and recover the seats with the same material.  Here are some ideas:

It will take forever to do that many chairs but it will be worth it!