Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today is my dad's birthday.  He is an incredible man with much to show for his years...a loving and beautiful wife, five children, twelve grandchildren, sixteen great-grandchildren and several more on the way right now.  He and Mom have established a home for themselves and their continually growing family in their small rural Kansas town.  They have tons of extended family and they continue the heritage begun by Dad's parents...they actually live in the home my grandparents lived in and where most of Dad's upbringing happened.

Yesterday, a friend of mine posted a beautiful note on facebook entitled, "My Dad's Face."  While it made me cry, it also made me count my blessings.  The love expressed by her father echoed deep in my soul as I am grateful for those same expressions by my dad.  

Some years ago, I gave Dad a gift of monthly letters for Father's Day; and of course, there is a special one to be written each June on Father's Day and each September for his birthday.

As I wrote his letter this morning, tears trickled down my face and placed a wet pattern of dots on my pink tee shirt.  I was glad I was alone and could write (and cry) with abandon.

I have loved having a monthly opportunity to tell my Dad how much he means to me and I want to share part of what I wrote to him with the readers of the Four Sisters Farm blog...

I am so grateful to have you…so grateful to be able to send you a letter today to say, “Happy Birthday!”…so grateful to have watched your face all these years to see the love and concern you have expressed to your family…so grateful for each smile and wink…so grateful for the contentment in just being alive…so grateful for the times I have seen you surprised and pleased…so grateful for the delight I’ve seen expressed over each pregnancy that has been announced, every baby that has arrived, and all the ornery antics of all the little ones in our family.

I am also grateful that I have seen love and acceptance in your face.  I don’t recall ever seeing rejection…I know I have disappointed you over the years but the main thing I’ve seen expressed has not been disappointment even in my worst moments…it has been concern and love that I’ve seen.  What a blessing!  Because of your expressions, I view God in much the same way that I view you.  I am more secure in God’s love because of your love.  Thank you!

So today, I say "Happy Birthday to you!"  I love you and I love your face!!  I love everything about you and I thank our Heavenly Father for the gift he gave me (and all of us) when He gave you life.

My hope is that today, as a result of reading this blog you will have warm thoughts of your fathers...if they aren't/weren't as gracious as my dad, I pray that you will remember all the good things and let go of the things that are painful as you rest in the love of the Father who loves us all the best. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Unless the LORD builds the house...

I was awakened at about 2:45am yesterday morning and laid awake until after 4:00.  What woke me up was a panicky feeling about where we had placed outlets upon a wall we were planning to place cabinets and because of space had made a decision not to.  Yikes!  Was there enough wiring to lower the outlets?  Should we revamp and modify cabinets to make it work in the limited space?  What should we do?


That should not keep a gal awake in the middle of the night.

Then I took it to God.  I said, "Lord, this is getting to me.  You are the one Who knows how things should be laid out.  You are the One Who knows what we need in order to accomplish Your purposes at Four Sisters Farm.  Please help us!"  As I pondered what God might want, Psalm 127 came to mind:

Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.
In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.

Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.

I want the LORD to build this house.  I want the LORD to watch over our farm.  I want the LORD to grant sleep to me (because I know He loves me).  We do believe our children and grandchildren are a heritage from the LORD and we feel so rewarded and blessed by them.  It is exciting to think about them being like arrows...shot out by us into this world to spread the Good News of God's love.

THAT is what Four Sisters Farm is all about!  I don't have to know the whole plan right now.  I don't have to second guess things.  I know we have to physically do the work...but I don't have to worry or fret.  That outlet is probably right where God wants it.  We will see...He will make it evident.  It will all work out and will be a blessing...and I will sleep better knowing that.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Blessings...Like King David!

I feel a little like King David today!

Psalm 21:1-6

The king rejoices in your strength, LORD. How great is his joy in the victories you give!  You have granted him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips.  You came to greet him with rich blessings   and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.  He asked you for life, and you gave it to him—   length of days, for ever and ever. Through the victories you gave, his glory is great;   you have bestowed on him splendor and majesty. Surely you have granted him unending blessings   and made him glad with the joy of your presence.  For the king trusts in the LORD;   through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken.

This past weekend found us busy as most weekends working on the renovation of the Four Sisters Farm house. It feels overwhelming to Pop and me at times. We are grateful for the skills to be able to do much of the work ourselves, but with Pop's work and the fact that I'm a "girl" and don't know how to do many of the things that need doing, it sometimes seems like we will never be past this first phase of preparing for the sheet rocker to come do his thing!
Some weekends it is just Pop working, sometimes it's Pop and me, other weekends find our children and grandchildren in the mix.  This past weekend, the main project was wiring (electrical, phone, antenna cable).  We didn't get it all done but we came a LONG way with help once again...most of the day on Saturday and Sunday afternoon and evening as well!
Thanks to Doc, DW, EJ, and Farm Chick at Heart.  The guys worked hard, the women rode herd on the kids and fed us.  Lou also helped some - she pulled wire with her dad and picked up staples, screws, and nails with the big magnet.  You all bless us!!

I feel a little like King David today!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Encouragement came to Four Sisters Farm yesterday evening in the form of help and DQ ice long time friend brought with her a mutual friend to have dinner with us and to help with some of the remaining demolition.

I've given this young man the blog name "Barnabas" because the name means "son of encouragement" and my girlfriend should have had a blog name a long time ago. I chose the name "Daina" for her for a couple of reasons but the main reason is that it means a form of music or poetry and Daina LOVES music in a huge way so it fits.

You can see that Barnabas LOVES to do demolition and I hear that he’s good at constructing things as well! We have known Barnabas for some years now...since he was a boy...literally. He has grown into a fine young man and we're blessed to know him.

If you have followed the blog, you have seen pictures of Daina before as she has been a long-time friend who seems to always show up and help with our crazy projects. God brought her into our lives more than ten years ago and she is the same now as she was then...she speaks encouragement to us even when she is in the midst of trial herself. She continues to choose to recognize that God is in control and she trusts Him. I'm grateful for her friendship.

The words of Philemon 1:7 sum up my feelings about their visit to Four Sisters Farm yesterday evening, "Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother (and sister, Daina), have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people."

We have had much encouragement from family and friends - but never so much as since we have been "living the dream" at Four Sisters Farm. Sign me "Grateful."

Monday, September 12, 2011

Group discount?

Without realizing it, the three preggo sisters all scheduled OB appointments on the same day.  That wouldn't be all that interesting except for the fact that we all go to the same OB.

We asked our Dr. if there was a group rate? 

No such luck.

Hee Hee.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Babies, Babies all around!

We have a little announcement...

I am sick and tired.  Just like a pregnant woman should be.

Praise the Lord!

If you are keeping track, yes, that means 3 of the 4 sisters are pregnant. 

We are each due 6 weeks apart.

This family better get ready for some serious baby cuddle time!

So far we know that Pretty Princess is having a girl. 

Rock Star will find out in October and I will find out in November. 

Exciting stuff!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Labor Day Weekend 2011

We took the term "Labor Day" literally here at Four Sisters Farm and had a weekend extravaganza of hard work! If you are a regular reader, you already know that we are working hard on a renovation of the main floor of the farm house.

Pop is the "man with the plan" and Doc, PhoJo, and Romeo gave up some rest and relaxation time to join us in more demolition. We are ever so grateful for their help!

Farm Chick at Heart, EJ, and the cowboys had some family plans for the weekend so they missed out on the "fun". They probably are not as tired and sore as the rest of us...we sure missed them!

Pretty Princess, DW and the Unconventional kids were out to Four Sisters Farm to join in where they could. There was some time for go kart rides and some hammock swinging for the kids (I think I spotted Romeo and Pretty Princess in the hammock once as well). DW, Doc, Pop, and I talked through some kitchen design ideas...I know it will all be great but it's still somewhat up in the air!

For the record, we had a few muscle strains, one injury to a finger with a power tool, a broken pickup window, and a power saw that gave up the ghost. We feel blessed that with all we've done, everyone's health is intact and the window and saw can be replaced. God is gracious!

Pretty Princess got in on a wild ride with me from a nearby Lowes where we hauled a new one piece shower to the farm...let's just say, the guys loading it didn't load it right...the wind was blowing hard and we had to drive about 18 or so miles. Picture a Grammy and a pregnant Princess working the ratchet straps over and adding more tie downs so the shower didn't become a sail on the way home. Pretty Princess kept an eye on things as we drove. We prayed, the shower stayed, and Pop was amazed and relieved when he saw that we made it in spite of the way it was loaded! (Sorry, no pictures of that episode!)

However, I did get some candid shots of some of the work...

Go away unwanted walls! Your outdated paneling and 1970s wallpaper
(hiding behind the cabinetry) will not be tolerated
(even if Ladybug likes the flowers on it). It has to go!

Goodbye old cabinets. You've served the house well but you are worn out and your doors no longer stay consistently closed. Thank you for your service. So long. Your more intact pieces will find new places of honor in the shed so you will be seeing more of Pop and less of me.

So long harvest gold bathtubs. Enough said!

We will keep working and posting progress reports. Stay tuned!