Friday, March 28, 2014

Not Everyone Can Be Perfect Like We Are (cough, cough)

A while back, I was looking over some old blog posts about our family.  I came to realize that we are fairly adept at putting our best foot forward; and while that isn't necessarily a bad thing, I realize that to some the Four Sisters Farm family may look, ummm, better than we really are.  To folks who don't know us well, we might even seem sort of unreal.

We do post our best pictures and write nice, funny, witty, inspiring blog posts; but  I can assure you we are real.  Oh, we clean up well; but we certainly have our faults! We are like everyone else.  We have our moments...hours...days...even weeks and sometimes months.  Come to think of it, I have a few years here and there I would just as soon forget!

Some of the Four Sisters Farm family get downright "hangry" from time to time.  In case you are not familiar with that affliction, it occurs when someone gets so hungry they become angry.  (ANGER) Trust me, it is not a pretty sight!  I am not personally prone to this condition, but I've seen it...a lot.  I don't have any pictures of family members experiencing "hanger" because, quite frankly, I would be afraid of what they might do to me if they knew I was taking their picture when they are hangry.  (Shudder.)

We definitely have bad hair days!  The Four Sisters look great in hats on bad hair days but I do not.  I don't know why.  So I have to admit that once in a while I panic about my hair and chop parts of it off.  Once, just days after birthing one of the four sisters, I decided my hair was too long and there was no way I'd be able to go somewhere for a cut.  (LACK of CONTENTMENT) Let's just say that when Pop came home from work and saw me he just had to know what happened...he was probably wondering if I was suffering from severe post-partum depression and thinking he might need to rescue the children from a similar hairdo.  If he did think that, he just had to wait a few years until I did again when I hadn't just given birth.

The last time I chopped my hair was just about a year ago.  Yeah, you would think I'd learn, right?  It just so happens that Farm Chick, Pretty Princess, Rock Star, and I all go to the same awesome hair stylist.  She is SO awesome that sometimes I have trouble getting an appointment with her.  About the time I had chopped away, Farm Chick had an appointment and she told our stylist on me!  Can you imagine???  She told her that I tell people about her doing my hair and how much I like her and how badly something like this could reflect on her.  Well...I didn't take that lying down!  No Way!

The next time I went in to get my hair done (it was a while, because it had to grow back out a little), I laughed with our stylist and related a story about Farm Chick when she was small.  She opened up a beauty shop in the bedroom she shared with her sisters and proceeded to cut not only her own hair, but Rock Star's hair as well.  I actually handled it pretty well but, darn it, I always trimmed my girls' hair and folks who knew us knew that I did.  (PRIDE) I was somewhat tickled but also somewhat mortified that someone would think I had given my little beauties these haircuts!  Anyway, I provided this picture to our stylist with the request that she simply hang it on her mirror the next time Farm Chick had an appointment...and to my delight she remembered.  I got a text from Farm Chick while she was getting her hair said, "Well played, Mom."

I still giggle when I look at the haircut picture.  Even with their "special bangs" they are precious.  They are also really good sports.  I don't think I have any pictures of myself on bad hair days but I will watch my back now!

At times we can be sarcastic, use humor that stings, and sometimes be just about as fun as a grumpy cat with all its claws.  (COARSE JOKING) I mean, sometimes, some of us can be pretty "ugly"!  I don't blog about those things...because no one would appreciate it.  And if I DID, someone might blog about me!  Grandma and Grandpa Mac raised me and my siblings with sound advice.  One of the things Grandma told us was, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

If you wonder about us, come hang out a while...or let us know...we can put you in touch with people who have seen us act human for sure.  But along with our human faults, we carry with us something amazing. Something that truly helps.

It is the love of God...THAT is what makes the difference at Four Sisters Farm.  We hurt each other, we falter; but we keep letting God work on us and trust that while He is doing that, He is working on others as well.

1 Peter 4:8-10 says, "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms." 

Monday, March 17, 2014

What About the Pancakes!?!?

The Pancake Pen
At Four Sisters Farm, pancakes have been the thing...the big started a long time ago...when Bubba was small and lived at Four Sisters Farm.  I have learned to make all kinds of different shapes.  The Unconventionals even bought me a fancy Pancake Pen so I could practice my art!  Besides Buzz, we've done superheroes, spiders, Star Wars characters, kitties, puppies, and even monkeys.  Even when the shapes don't turn out so great, the kids extend me grace and eat them anyway.  They are nice like that...and they are hungry.

But recently, I've noticed that waffles are requested more and more.

Pop and I have had the same sad, little waffle maker for years.  It makes one round waffle at a time and that doesn't work well when there is a crowd for breakfast!  A few weeks ago, Pop made a request for waffles and I obliged...all the while fighting the old waffle maker.  Most of the time, the waffles stick even if I use cooking spray.  So as we sat down to eat, Pop said it was time.  He said he was empowering me to purchase a new and bigger waffle maker.  I guess I have a habit of just making due and not realizing when it is time to give up on something. (I don't think that is necessarily a character flaw!)

So I got busy researching.  I googled.  I read reviews.  I went to a variety of sites to check prices and (drumroll, please) found THE one.  Not only does it make four big beautiful Belgian waffles at one time, it is RED!  I love RED in the Four Sisters Farm kitchen!

I tried it out the morning after it arrived and Pop approved.  Move over, old waffle iron!  It's time to ring the dinner bell...or breakfast or brunch or lunch!  Anytime is waffle time as far as I'm concerned.  Comedian Mitch Hedberg says, "A waffle is like a pancake with a syrup trap."  Perfect.


Come and get it!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What in the world is a "book launch team"?

I recently "liked" a facebook page for a ministry called Authentic Intimacy. Authentic Intimacy is a ministry working to get the word out that God designed sex...and it is good. Their message is clear and scriptural...the truth is spoken in love. A while back they announced the selection of a Pulling Back The Shades book launch team and their readers could complete a survey of sorts if they were willing to serve in that way.  I was hesitant because grandbaby number 15 was due and I would be on Grammy Duty during the book launch time...and I almost didn't "apply" but near the deadline, I went ahead and I'm SO glad I did!
Some of the members of the Pulling Back The Shades book launch team

There are 200 women on the launch team (100 from Authentic Intimacy and 100 from Secret Keepers which is a part of Dannah Gresh's Pure Freedom ministry) and most of us have facebook accounts and are now participating in a "secret" facebook group.  These women rock!  They are a variety of ages and walks of life...there are young women, older women, single and married women. It has been amazing to see their comments, questions, facebook statuses, blogs, and a bit of their life stories.

A funny thing is that Rock Star (one of the four sisters) and Hollywood (a niece and honorary sister) were also selected...and none of us had talked, messaged, or posted about it!

We were given pre-release copies of the book and asked to post a picture of ourselves with our books, then read and utilize social media and relationships to get the word out about it.  I told Pop about it and he asked if I wanted to read the book together...ummmm...YES!!!  But because I have been really busy with Grammy Duty after Baby E was born, he read it before me!  And LOVED it!
Pop and Grammy were deep into snuggling grandbaby #15 when the book arrived.

So here's the deal...the book is called Pulling Back The Shades (co-authored by Dr. Juli Slattery and Dannah Gresh) and it is a worthwhile will make you might make you change.

Here is the premise:

Christian women don't have to choose between being sexual and spiritual. They have legitimate longings that the Church has been afraid to talk about, and books like Fifty Shades of Grey exploit. Whether you are single or married, sexually dead or just looking to revive your sex life, Pulling Back the Shades will address your desire to be both sexual AND spiritual. With solid Biblical teaching and transparent stories, trusted authors Dannah Gresh  and Dr. Juli Slattery, offer an unflinching look at the most personal questions women ask.

I have been honored to be a part of the launch team and privileged to read the book.  Pop and I both recommend it highly and hope you will become a part of a revival that will change how our culture views intimacy.

Check it out.  You won't be sorry.  It sold out on Amazon right away and as of this writing, they are still waiting to restock!!  But don't despair...You can order the book for 1/2 price through the end of March 2014 through Pure Freedom!!  Just click on the image below and place your will be in "check out" stage of your order when you enter FIFTY in the coupon/promo code space to get 50% off the cost of the book(s) you order.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Peeeewwww!!! Skunks!

Skunks are supposedly a good thing in the country.  They eat grasshoppers, crickets, cut worms and things like that; but Pop and I do not want to share our living space with them.  I suppose we should be grateful for their appetite for other things we don't want around, but quite frankly, those other things don't smell like skunks do!

It is currently mating season for skunks at Four Sisters Farm.  When the weather warms a bit in February and March, these smelly cousins of weasels become amorous.  They apparently also become really hungry...hungry enough to come to the back door and eat whatever the farm cats have not devoured from their evening meal.

Pop protects our home in a serious way and protecting it from varmints is on his list; so this spring he has diminished the skunk population by a small number...but not without cost!  The latest stinky guy who help himself to a little cat food met his demise near our back door and neither Pop nor I have ever smelled a skunk so stinky!!

We had to do something about the stench!  This thing must have sprayed about an 8'x8'x8' area that stinks to the sky.  We couldn't come through our back door without nearly losing our lunch (and I don't mean we misplaced our brown bags)!    So, of course, I googled "get rid of skunk smell" and found a plethora of information from commercial products to home remedies and settled on one to try.  (Credit goes to: Lynn at Lynn's Kitchen Adventures and we are grateful).  It worked!  And it took a LOT of work!

I mixed the ingredients in my red plastic watering can:

1 quart hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup baking soda
1-2 tsp liquid dish washing soap

I also added about two cups of water since I had so much area to cover.  I donned some rubber gloves and grabbed some worn rags that I could throw away when I was finished and got busy washing the back door, storm door, the house on both sides of the door, and the concrete walkway.  I also employed a stiff marine broom to scrub things down. After I scrubbed it all down, I rinsed everything with water and began to relax a bit.  There is still a faint, lingering scent that will go away in time; and the cat food will no longer be left out at night.  Good night, farm cats.  Good night, skunks (and opossums, and raccoons, and whatever else)!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Officially Fifteen

Fifteen First Cousins with Pop and Grammy
The oldest is holding the youngest.
I could just stare at this picture for hours.