Tuesday, March 29, 2011

{a fresh perspective: better or bitter}

More on this later.  

But, for now, I have to get the boys up and at em', run
a few errands {as in actually mailing my bills so I continue
to have electricity and water and things such as that},
  get to the office {very weird} and put in another head-beating day
with a crazy amount of medical records,  cram TWO {two??} pre-op
appointments in this morning, and......

 make it to a very important lunch. :)

Then, return here.  My little messy haven.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

{remember: breathe}

I think I totally threw myself into the MUCH needed deep cleaning mode today because of the way this next week looks.  The scales are tipping just a tad toward the insane side of being overwhelmed.  It was destined to be a busier than usual week already as I have a little surgery on the horizon {I promise, nothing at all major Aunt J}.  Trying to prepare to  be down a day or two and  then add that the law firm got slammed by way of a huge subpoena that they are calling me INTO the office for.  That VERY rarely happens.  And, of all weeks.  So, beginning Monday up until surgery on Thursday I will be unexpectedly, totally away from home and all of the things I desperately needed to wrap up.  Lovely.  Well, not really so much. 

I have a late, late night of work planned.  Orders, an edit and reading a bazillion pages of medical records.  I have had a full day today as I HAD to tackle that office as I will be 
smack dab in the middle of my spring schedule the moment I am back on my feet.   And, I literally cannot work or at least accomplish much with things around me are completely out of place.  So, that was a must.  I have my list that has to be accomplished tomorrow.  And, then in all of the multi-tasking we moms often do.........I know I need to breath in there somewhere and find the time to fit in some quality time with the boys {all three} because the moment that alarm clock goes off on Monday morning, the race is literally on.  Some of the things on this list in front of me will be checked off, some of the things will not and will just have to wait.  Because in the midst of the chaos I am feeling, I do not want that to spill over.  And, truly, I don't really want to feel it either.   Prioritizing will likely be an ongoing struggle for me to some degree.  It's easy to rattle off the list of course:  God, then family, then work, then.........but, it's much more difficult {at least for me} to actually consistently prioritize well.  Not everything has to be done today.  Or, in my case tomorrow.   And, even though this is an ongoing struggle for me personally......
I am doing MUCH better in so many areas that I've mentioned on here before.  

As I had an issue flare up last week that literally broke my heart, I needed some advice from TH.   Because I wanted to sulk, my feelings were hurt, I knew I needed to talk through it.  She sent me a link to a video that is WONDERFUL.  I had seen it a little while back and it spoke volumes to me even then.  But, it was about being truly aware of the "moments" because they are fleeting at such a fast, fast pace.  And, although I have huge room for improvement, I think I am mastering {for the most part} some aspects.  I think it's the simple things that can honestly speak volumes to those I love, both family & friends, as to what I value {prioritize}.   Thankfully due to a new mentor in my life {RD} I am actually on a pretty good routine with my daily quiet time.  As soon as I type that, I know I can fall off that wagon.  But, it seems to be different now.  It no longer feels like an obligation.  I look forward to it so much.  I have my little chair and typically coffee in hand and some sweet, sweet time ALMOST every morning now.  {I hope to be able to say EVERY morning soon}.   I am trying to stay off the phone once the boys are home and as well as when we are in the car together.   This was something they called me out on so often before.  It always shattered my heart when they did.  There are occasions when I do have to take a call or return one, but I try to explain why and get on with it and finish it up as quickly as I can.  But, typically not much "chatting" goes either on the way to school or once they get home.  Doesn't really seem like much, but it is HUGE to them, so it has become huge to me. 

So, even though I felt some guilt tugging at me today as I tried to get some necessary things completed and in order before this rat-race-of-a-week begins, I tried hard to make certain they were necessary........and due to some major neglect and an office that hibernated with me through winter.......they were.  Tomorrow's list will have to be evaluated even harder as it is such a myriad of tasks.   But, regardless, the time I get to be with my little family tomorrow and over this looming week.....I want to make a point to really and completely  "be there." 

Still trying! :) 

This is what I have written on my scheduling calendar above every month throughout the summer, and I'm pretty certain that I will continue it throughout the year:  "Commit to the Lord whatever you do and He will establish your plans."  Proverbs 16:3.  I cannot tell you how much I LOVE that. And, for me, it's not just about my work schedule, but that "To-do List" that often calls me loudly, facebook, shopping, mindless activities, and trust me.....the list could go on and on!


I have cleaned my office all.day.long.

And, I mean alllllllllllll day long.

It has been in winter hibernation as well and was GROUCHY!

But, it looks great now, thank the Lord! 

I'm about to get very productive in there again.  I'm still
contemplating moving my small "temporary" set up that
now resides in the living room back to the office.
Temporary as in the fact it was only suppose to reside
in the living room for a few weeks, the peak of my fall
season so I wouldn't be totally isolated from the family as I
edited like a mad woman.  Oh, and here we are five+
months later, still in the living room with cables everywhere.

NOT a pretty sight.

As I drank my 3rd cup of coffee {well, not technically as I
had to throw #2 out as I got dust in it} it dawned on me
there are things about me the boys - although they are
around it, likely will not remember.  Or, understand, but that's
another story.  So, I'll jot some thoughts down here. 

Some weird facts really........

1.  I drink coffee from Christmas mugs all year long.  It tastes better. ;)
2.  On that subject, I start listening to Christmas music around July.
3.  I still adore Elvis.  Like REALLY adore although I pretty much keep that in the closet.
4.  I have become ridiculously afraid of flying {I definitely keep that hidden from them} and
not long ago when I shared this in Bible study a new friend shared that she had been
in a house that was HIT BY A PLANE.   That is my exact #2 fear regarding airplanes.
You won't see me at an airshow.  I sooooo hate that about myself!  I've actually tried hypnosis. 
Did NOT work.  I have analyzed myself and think it has to do with the fact I was 
suppose to fly into the East Coast the Saturday after 911.  Major damage.  
5.  I detest cotton candy.
6.  I'm a little accident prone.  HA!  Kidding! ALLLLL  of you knew that, including my boys!   I'll spare you from all the details but will clue you in on the fact I have a son that takes after me. ;) 
7.  I used to love deer.   Don't mention strawberries around me for a few years.
8.  My soul adores old barns.   They have caused more than one near-miss when it comes to crashes because I can't drive past one without ohhhing and ahhhing. 
9.  I hate cell phones.   They think I love them, but my friends know I don't.
10.  Don't take me to the fair, I will throw up on you.  Been there, done that on several occasions.   And Farris Wheels are a death trap in my opinion. 
11.  I sing until the boys ask me not too.
12.  I hate public speaking.  I hyperventilated during a speech in college and almost passed out.   That was AFTER I was on a very active Debate team. 
13.  I ADORE flowers. 
14.  I am overly addicted to beauty products.  And, you would think I would have some major results by the looks of my bathroom counter and drawers.  Sinful really.
15.  I love, love, love simple.  Even though I have a tendency to complicate matters. ;)

Friday, March 25, 2011

{the girls}

The flock is complete, I think.

I finally got my Silver Laced Wyandotte's today. 

And, finally a Barred Plymouth Rock.  By accident really.
Thankful for that accident finally.  Today's chicken people did not
know chickens.  
 We have full sized and bantam black silkies.
 And, either gray or blue, not sure yet.

 The sweet Buffs.
 And, the Ameracauna, otherwise known as Easter Eggers -
blue, green and sometimes pink eggs. 
 Rhone Island Reds.

We have some two crested and I'm sure we have some
surprises out there as well.

We have a total of 28.  The big coop is under construction. 
This morning we lost the little one that hurt its foot in transit
last Friday.  I had a little boy who cried his heart out. And,
a mommy who sat and held him tight and choked back the tears.


Hoping the novelty does not wear off any time soon!


I have actually been trying coupongal.net and been very happy with things I've
ordered.  Well, all except for that crazy joy dishwashing detergent fiasco.  Otherwise,
it has been without any problem.

Recently, I've ordered a CASE of the snack packs of Animal Crackers, they
averaged I think 17 cents a piece.  I've ordered my microdermabrasion kit for a significant
savings in comparison to Walmart {I researched that one out on my own and did the subscribe
& save plan}.  I've ordered cereal, mac and cheese, detergent, and today, several a packs of 20 AA batteries {I go through a ton with my flash} for $8.60 I  believe.  Scott paid $4+ for 4 when we were out on the road the other day for one of Noah's games.   I think it's hit or miss.  And, some of the things I've missed, I've kicked myself over - but, overall you can have huge savings if it's something you use anyway.  Nothing like the doorbell ringing and you have a big box of a stockpile with free shipping and not to mention what I save by NOT going into the store.
Also, a spring cleaning tip from 88.1 I heard yesterday that I am using as I type this and the house smells soooooo good......put a package of plain Koolaide Lemonade into an empty dishwasher and run it - it cleans the dishwasher and makes the house smell.........yummy. ;)

 Very inexpensive too!   

Not sure why this is posting with such big gaps and spacing......
does not look like that when I hit publish??

Thursday, March 24, 2011


A treasure trove of tiny shells on the riverbank. 

Our pockets were overflowing.

{back in time}

In every sense of the word.


No phone service {unless we drove into town} and no internet
until the last night.

I don't have enough time to upload the pictures now, but wanted to get
a few thoughts {memories} down before they slipped my brain.

Because right now, I am crying at my desk {not really} because I got
home this morning from Scott's OT to find that about 87 of my 90+,
BEAUTIFUL, HEALTHY strawberry plants were attacked, eaten and
ripped from the ground last night while we were sleeping.  The war
is on.  I think I may be sitting out in my car all night with a gun tonight. 

I'm not really kidding. 

**first trip with both of my brothers and family/wife - great time!
**stayed in a wonderful lodge in the middle of nowhere
**four-wheeler and ranger riding along nice and not-so-nice trails
**lodge owner plane fly-bys as we had our hotdog roast and sat by the fire
**a boy named Stonewall
**a dog named Colonel 
**a night cave entry on the property by flashlight.  HELLO bats!
**the white river
**bible study catch-up next to a waterfall
**hiking {snakes are out}
**trout fishing
**one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen:  Blanchard Springs Cavern {a MUST see!!} 
**a lot of history learned
**holding hands with my SIL as we plunged down a trail {unknown to her it was my hand}
**a town square
**food poisoning by many on night #1.
**antique heaven......I thought of TH.    
**laughs, laughs and more laughs.....

{answered prayer}

For all of you who prayed for my sweet friend Jessica and her husband Ryan after
she delivered precious Wyatt and through the days & months after they lost him.......

here is the answer to many, many prayers

meet little Miss Finley....

{where, oh, where}

do I even begin?

be back later.........

Friday, March 18, 2011

{home, home or icu}

on the range. 

No worries, I'm still talking chicken.

I will not even begin to explain the escapades of today.

Embarrassing really, and I'll leave it at that.

Let me just say that there was an injury to a new chick en route home. 
A leg injury of some sort.   So, I had to isolate her from the 'flock'
or else she would have been beaten up.  Or, worse. Likely the later. 

So, here is one of  Rhode Island Reds - prognosis:  stable with 'room
for improvement." ha!   At least she can  sit and scoot now without
her right leg stiff and stuck out straight in front of her.

 I was thrilled to see her up and not flat on the floor. 

 You can literally tump them back and they immediately fall asleep. 
Wish it worked that well in humans. 

 Isolation. :( But, hopefully she'll  make it.  Not sure at this point with all
of the time I've put in who would be more devasted.
 That little grey one looking up is Small Fry.  The picture does not do her justice.  In fact, most
of the chicks she's with are a week younger than her.  But, she seems to be doing well! 
 Just TINY!! 
 I got two crested ones today.  This one is soooooooooo sweet.   She pretty much posed.

 We are up to 22, I'm still holding out for some Barred Rocks and a White Lace. 
 I need them soon so they will fit into the flock without major problems. 
I'll be back in a week or so to show you how much they have changed!  

ps, the week old babies are flying short distances.  so fun to watch!  

{answered prayer}

Tomorrow is a HUGE day.

I will travel up the hill and photograph one of the sweetest families I know. 

Miss Finley arrived on Tuesday.

She looks so much like her big brother Wyatt 

Mom and Dad now have a little piece of their Heaven here on earth........

So, so thankful!  My heart is about to burst. 


I had already finished my daily devotion this morning.  However, when I was skimming through emails I stopped at my emailed devotional from Girlfriends in God and knew before opening it that it would be for me.  It was without a doubt.  Maybe it's for you as well.  If you do not subscribe to their devotions, you should.  It's a great devotional site.   I've even printed this one off and placed in it purposely in my calendar.   ;)

An Uncluttered Woman
Gwen Smith  
Today’s Truth“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33, NIV).

Friend to FriendWhen I was a little girl, one of my favorite things to do was to twirl in the grass. With arms out stretched, I’d spin around and around until I was silly-dizzy, and then fall to the ground with a giggly heart. It was thrilling, invigorating and a fun and simple way to spend a lazy summer day in the rolling hills of southwestern Pennsylvania. Now that I’m older, I can’t handle spinning in circles. My body rejects any twisty endeavor. Nausea quickly sets in and reminds me that I’m not a “spinny-girl” anymore.

A few years ago while my family and I were at an amusement park, in an effort to gain favor in the eyes of my kids and earn imaginary super mom points, I enthusiastically got on a ride that spins in circles. My hero-husband always goes on this type of ride with our children, so I thought, “If Brad can do it, then I can do it, right?”
What a joke!
I walked up the ramp to the wretched “Wheel of Whirl” naively optimistic and walked down the ramp having made a great big fool of myself. The park employee had to stop the ride to let me off. Bad decision. Yucky feelings followed. Instead of becoming super mom, I became super sick mom. My center of balance and my emotions were quickly thrown off leaving my poor family with the disenchanting consequences of my twirling ambitions.
Just like that day in the amusement park, I constantly find myself thrown off balance from the wheeling whirl-of-life clutter. Why? Simply put: I complicate my life.
If we’re being honest – and I assure you, I’m all about straight talk – then I’d have to confess that I am one of my own biggest obstacles to living life as an uncluttered woman. I know that I should depend solely on God for direction and strength, but the simple fact is I often don’t. Most of us would admit that this is the case. It is hard to sift through all that is thrown at us each day. Clutter happens and it challenges all of us. I’m in the trenches with you and readily admit that navigating this silly-dizzy world is difficult.

There are ten bazillion things that compete for our attention and clutter our faith: emotions, materialism, negative thinking, overbooked schedules, doubts, legalism, laziness, self-reliance, our past pains and failures, technology, work, our need to control things, finances, debt, stress,  addictions, discontentment and relationships. And I’m just getting started! This list could go on forever.

The Bible instructs us to direct our silly-dizzy days toward God. “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans” (Proverbs 16:3, NIV).

In His presence, God gives order to both our thoughts and our to-do lists. Everything changes when we seek Him first and commit our plans to Him. The journey to becoming an uncluttered woman is all about personal contact with Jesus. You and I will experience greater peace and deeper faith as we determine to respond to His constant invitation to come. But don’t worry. Jesus is no stranger to clutter. He walked the same earth we do and dealt with the same struggles and problems we deal with. He loved many a cluttered woman while here on earth and many more before and since His ascension. He knows your clutter – your stuff – and He invites you to come just the same.
When we position ourselves in the presence of the Peace-giver and look to Him to lead and prioritize our heart matters, the uncluttering begins.

Let it begin.
Let’s PrayDear God, Thanks for reminding me that I can always come to You and trade in my exhaustion for Your rejuvenation. Please bring order to my day and establish my priorities according to Your will. Teach me what it means to live a Spirit-led life and show me how to become an uncluttered woman.
In Jesus' name,
Now It’s Your TurnWhat came to your mind as you read this devotion?

In Matthew 6:33, Jesus said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” What are you seeking first?

Are there activities, emotions, relationships, or thoughts in your life that need to be committed to the Lord? Spend a few moments in prayer and ask the Lord to establish your plans according to His will.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

{welcome spring}

I'm not sure what I got accomplished today, if anything.

I did determine that they do not make clothes pins like they used to. Period.
But, I'm sure the 70 mph winds today did not help too much. 
After I finished accomplishing nothing, tonight I planted 70+ strawberry plants with more to go tomorrow. I can now go to the garden and not be stressed. It's actually coming together. Tomorrow I am putting in an fence-panel arch to plant my peas. Classy, I know. But, it was laying there, and it will serve the purpose just fine. So cattle panel arbor it will be. :)

The boys played outside while I was in the garden. Noah had his first big {not really} bike wreck. He is recovering on the couch as I type this. {he's fine, but is in need of a little sympathy} Since I am the QUEEN of bike wrecks {and my legs will tell that story} I have to be intentional about my empathy. I know it hurts so bad, and he actually held up pretty well to it. At least we got the first one behind us. Little man's may be a total wipe out at the rate of speed and all of his little "trick" biking he does. Noah's probably happened because of he tends to be VERY safe.
I can't believe this hasn't happened before now.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!!!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Nothing major which tends to be a GREAT thing around here.

We like boring.  Busy, but with no catastrophes of late. 

Well, I say that and then below happened. 

The hard part of life on the farm.  I took Molly for a quick walk down our lane and saw the cow below in labor.   Hard labor.  So, I went out to the field to watch her for a bit and the other cows and calves kept pestering her so she took off for the woods.  Unfortunately,  the baby suffocated as the bag was not totally off its face.  Always so, so sad. :(   And, even though they are animals........it is heartbreaking to watch them when they lose their baby - they are in agony. 

This is how it should be.......

The chicks are doing well.  They are all getting their feathers.  Well, all except Small Fry.  I'm not sure about that chick.  It is the tiniest thing I have ever seen.  I keep preparing E because I'm not sure it's going to make it.  He/She acts fine, but so, so tiny.  I can't imagine the eggs she will have.  Pebbles.

Saying goodnight.

Oh, and we're up to 15 with 9 more to go. I just can't get a hold of the breed that is left on my list.  Maybe tomorrow.......................and, we broke ground on the big coop today.   

SOMEDAY, when the boys read this........I so hope they realize how much
 effort has been put into their little chickens.    I don't want them being attacked. ;)

And, my clothes line is up thanks to my brothers.   

I'm actually getting to cross some things off my long list.  Nothing of real significance though.

Like taxes.

or, bills. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

{just keepin' it real}

I would love for each blog to be all about daises and butterflies.

They do exist in my world, but, definitely not always.

I'm having a problem.  And it's becoming bigger by the day.

Or night would be a more accurate account. 

It may not sound like a huge issue to most, but, in reality, it is to me.


I mean, as in going to bed at 10, wide awake by 12, may or may not eventually fall back to sleep around 2-ish,  and then wide awake by around 3-3:30 pretty much until the alarm goes off.
Or sometimes not going back to sleep from the 2 am point on. 

I am soooooooo tired, I can't even put it into words.  To the point my concentration is zilch; 
 I am crabby;  I am overwhelmed; I am bone-dead tired.  I feel like a hamster on a wheel, getting absolutely nothing of substance completed.  Just spinning and spinning. 

I've tried cutting out the caffeine, making myself physically tired, etc.  Not a workin'.  

I'm on the verge of going to the doctor, but REALLY don't want to. 

So, I'm asking for prayer.  Before you fall asleep, please pray that I do. 
I know it sounds silly, but it really is about to get the best of me. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

{THE Chicken Mansion}

This would be Angela's Coop.  Noah snapped it on his iPod so I could share.  

Here she is in all of her glory!! 

My chicks will be living in a shack, just sayin'. :)  

{another one bites the dust}

Evan has joined Scott in the Infirmary. :( 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

{i think i can, i think i can, i think i can}

Get from this...

to something like this.........

I'm pretty determined.

Although, it may kill me. 


{a good day}

This little guy saved the day!  And, yes, he pretty much ALWAYS wears his bike helmet because you never know when you may be riding through the field, do a bunny hop, jump off your bike and need to plant spinach.   You never, ever know.  Thankfully, he loves spinach.   But, he did great with the plant spacing although I re-set a few when he wasn't looking as the line got a tad wavy. ;)   Today was such a good day in getting us all out of the house.  Well, all except Scott, he's super-sick right now. :(  But, James came down and helped me out with the tiller.  Until it started smoking about 3/4 of the way through.  I'm thinking tillers are not suppose to smoke.    But, it was so nice to be away from the desk, medical records, driving in the car just to dig in the dirt.  There is just something about it, very therapeutic.  Something really nice until that back pain you've been having for about a month kicks into high gear.  So frustrating.  And, it's actually making me a little nervous, it's a pain I've never had and the stiffness if disconcerting in a big way.  I'm thinking I need to go back in {no pun intended, I've been on a roll with them}.

I will say early on in the day, I  got a bit overwhelmed with the garden.  I am already envisioning at its peak - not at the point all of the grass and rocks and weeds still need to be evacuated.  Or, that the seeds are hidden and the wimpy spinach is wilting.  I'm envisioning the lush, beautiful bounty.  So, I think I almost had myself a panic attack until I mentally {and physically} broke up that plot into small sections.  It will definitely take time and since this is the first year to use this location, it will definitely be the most difficult just in prep alone.  Baby, baby steps I kept chanting to myself.  The end result with come.  And, then, I'll be all sad because it will be time to pack it all away and ready it for winter.  So, to enjoy the here and now.  The birds singing helped a lot with that.   On a fun note, I do have my layout sketched and have decided to go with a natural picket fence around it.  {I have needed one for pictures anyway, so that tipped the scale}

Yes, the size of it - got the best of me for a few minutes.

Noah was in and out of it all day.  But, he had another project going on in the garage.   

 Uncle James saved the day! 

And,  Uncle Shawn called to inform me he had my clothesline welded together and ready to paint.  I think I am regressing back to pioneer days.  Forget the 50's. 

This is the project Noah helped with all morning.  He is great with projects like this; whereas I would be chopping it up using it as a firestarter before I could even finish the directions.  It is
is so fun to watch him in action.   This is the little coop.  I'll move the chicks from their bin in probably 5-7 days.  They grow so fast.  Then they will reside in here remaining in the garage where it is safe and warm.  In the meantime, the big coop will be built and this will serve as a separate area for injured/sick birds, new chicks/chickens that will join in the flock, etc.  Are ya'll getting sick of my chicken adventures yet?  Sorry!    

Although there is so much still to do out there {major yard work, yuck!}, despite my ailing  back...it was still a good day.  I have had the hardest time sleeping lately, so I'm at least hoping the fatigue I feel, will allow me to sleep tonight as the lack thereof is about to do me in!    

today we planted:  from plants - romaine lettuce, cabbage, onions and spinach.  from seed:  zinnias (yay), romaine lettuce, salad bowl lettuce and collard greens (for e)

next:  strawberries, daisies, sunflowers and i'm thinking.........more zinnias ;)    

Friday, March 11, 2011

{caution: BuSY weekend ahead}

I need to plant all of these.  A flat + of strawberries, cabbage, spinach, white onions {salsa}, lettuce for now.  Oh, and moss. 

I'm planning on planting this 'moss milkshake' around my chicken coop.  Cute packaging anyway.  We shall see......................

Oh, and a little play.  Safety helmet and all.  Brother is helping Mr. John build the storage shed. 

The remaining chicks arrived today.  So, we have 12 total that consists of Ameraucanas,  black and gray bantam and regular silkies {furry legs},  and Buffs.  All very kid-friendly.  At the rate the boys are handling them, if true to their breed, they will likely run and jump into the boys' arms when they see them coming.  IF they survive E's loving.  I found out today they named the smallest silkie bantam "Small Fry", the brown Ameraucana is "Henny Penny" {they heard that from Ang as she had a HP in her past} and the two twin Buffs are "The Girls".   I opt to call them all "The Girls" as I reallllllllllllly don't want to get too attached.  {sigh}

Location of Coop.  We've moved it to the side of the house by our bedrooms in hopes to hear any signs of predators if when they arrive.  We are batting down the hatches {pardon the pun} as tight as we can.

A yard that needs mowed already. 

And, last but not least..........my new accessory. 

The above is just the tip of the iceberg.  I have major orders and edits to finish this weekend along with law firm work.  Let the marathon begin!  Just happy it's a nice weekend!!