Thursday, May 26, 2011

{rain on me}

I had mentioned this a few days ago....a big God Moment.

Those little moments {or big} in which God clearly speaks to us. 
Here in the year 2011.  It didn't just happen in Biblical times.
And, on most days, we probably miss them, sadly because we
are so crazy busy or simply fail to see it for what it is. 

This week.  It has been an emotional roller coast on speed. 
Highs and lows and lows and turns and twists. 

On Sunday, I heeded that small voice again even though I argued.
I knew despite all that I had to do {I know you are all sick of hearing that}.
But, I do have many deadlines that are simply LATE.  VERY late. 
However, I knew I needed to go to the hospital and visit Roy and Marta.
I knew it was getting close to the end and I really would rather avoid those
visits to be perfectly honest but, I knew I couldn't.  And, I had Evan in tow. 

I dropped Noah off with his buddies for a game in NWA.  And, then
Evan and I headed for Sam's for some snacks for the hospital room.
And, I picked up some flowers.  And, I strolled through the books?

A book was not on the agenda.  I knew Marta felt like doing nothing,
let alone reading.  Unless, she is like me and sometimes when sleep
refuses to come, I read.  Some of my greatest blessings have been
in those sleepless moments through the night.  I spotted a book.  Well,
I spotted several books.  But, this one, I'm not sure if it was the cover
or what but, I kept going back to it.  I had no intention when I went down that
aisle to get a book for her.   I would pick it up, then put it down. 

There were several books on hope and encouragement.   Finally,
I put it in my cart with full intentions to take it home, look it over and possibly
give it to her.   Once we were in the car, I simply prayed {well, 
pleaded would be more of an accurate description} to let me know
if I should take it with me today or wait.   I opened it nothing being marked of course.

Page 61. 

Here is a little excerpt, I will explain soon....

"Hearts Created for Hope"

We know that all things God works for the good of those who
love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. 
Romans 8: 28

Still nothing too earth shattering.  I would expect a book on hope to 
include writings on hope and the above verse.  Not too shocking.  But, wait....

"Dr. Gary Oliver and his wife Carrie are two of my heroes. {that's an important
word in and of itself for the Pickle family....} Carrie went to home to be with Jesus
in July of 2007 after a brave battle with pancreatic cancer.  Gary carries on 
in his work as a psychologist, writer, and speaker.  I've been privileged to know
him as one of my professors and a member of my church."

The writing continued explaining Carrie's hope throughout her illness and 
how Gary has carried on and where he chooses to focus.

The significance in the above besides the association with pancreatic cancer?

Carrie, well, I knew her.  Well, I didn't know her, but I knew her sort-of.

Carrie was a pivotal person in someones life that I dearly, dearly love. 
She helped my friend in ways that she carries with her to this day.   A huge
battle Carrie helped her get though.  I honestly felt like I knew her.  Carrie
knew of me because I was in the trenches beside this friend.   When
she was diagnosed, I reached out to Carrie thanking her for giving so
many blessings to my friend in helping her get through the nightmare
she was in the midst of.  I also conveyed my sorrow in her diagnosis, let
her know that I was praying for her, etc, etc, etc.  My initial contact
was an email.  She was getting THOUSANDS,  I never expected to hear
back from her.  Well, I did.  And, we stayed in contact for quite a while.
She was unbelievably encouraging to others even though she was
in a battle for her life.   Carrie was a precious soul and has impacted so even though we never met......I honestly felt as though I knew her.

I dog-tagged the page and as I left the hospital, I flipped it open
for Marta and whispered a very abbreviated explanation  -
she was amazed, had tears and told me should would be reading
it that night. 

I know that may not seem huge to anyone else.  But, of all the books.
Of all the authors that were included in the book.  Of all of the pages - 206
to be exact...............I opened it to Page 61. 

And, I read not one more page of it.  

{i've fallen}

but, I did get up! 

Well, after I rolled around on the wet floor trying to see if I could
move my right foot and left wrist.

I forgot I had a Swiffer Jet mishap that left a flood on my tile. 

Well, I forgot until my feet totally slipped out from under me and I still
fought it.

Not sure why I fought it because there was no stopping it. 

I crawled for a bit.

I am mobile now.  

Sore and hurting, but mobile.  


The day it hit seems like yesterday.  And, then, it seems like a lifetime ago. 
He was three.  Evan was a few weeks old.  It started with some stomach
pain and vomiting and quickly progressed to uncontrollable pain.   On to the
ER we went.  I thought it was surely appendicitis.  When the phone calls
started occurring just outside our doorway to specialists, my heart sank.  Of
course, I diagnosed him with all sorts of things within that 20 minute time span,
including polycystic kidneys.  He was hospitalized at St. Edwards as they
worked to get him into ACH.  I would sleep with him in his hospital bed and 
get coverage to go over to a hotel and nurse Evan.  Then, he was stable and 
we were sent to ACH.  One of THE worst experiences in my life as a mom
as the diagnostic testing was EXCRUCIATING for him.  Angela and I paced
outside the doors when I would have to leave {per hospital staff} and then would
return to try and get him through it.  Being tied to the bed did not help matters. 
The rest of the family, well, they were pacing too. 

Diagnosis:  hydronephrosis of the kidneys.  Prognosis included everything from 
one end of the spectrum: transplants {yes, it involved both} to surgery to
no additional problems.  It would be a wait and see game.  A game that would
basically last his lifetime.   It was scary and heartbreaking. Typically it only
affects one kidney, but he somehow ended up with both.   The next several years held
MANY trips to the ER, continued testing, followups, and trips and a hospitalization
back at ACH.   Well, I found out Tuesday night after returning from being with Marta
and the girls most of the day, that we had an appt at ACH the next day.  Not
on my radar at all.  So, yesterday morning the four of us headed down. 

Long story short, after scans and meeting with two different physicians.....we are
released!  I kept doubting what I had heard.  The scans showed stability comparable
to last years scan with good kidney growth.  Since we have not had an obstruction in years
along with no infections.......for now, we are released. Yippee!  And, there always
seems to be a "but" with this diagnosis.  We are technically released until either
a) he has another bout with pain, obstruction or infection or b) when he turns or gets
near turning 18.  At either point we will be back in business with ACH.  At 18, he
will be given extensive testing again and be referred on to an adult urologist.
Although both kidneys have improved dramatically - he was almost as bad
as it could get when he was initially diagnosed - he will always have this to
look after and deal with.  But, for now, we are thrilled and thankful for
the news!  And, are just going to accept it for what it is today.  :)  

He does start have to wearing a watch because he is not doing too well on the
every 2 hour routine of emptying the bladder.  So, he will be "beeping" for
however long it takes to get back on track with that.  :)

We did have quite the eventful attempt to leave LR.  We were going to run across
town and see friends for a few minutes, but the skies did NOT look too good 
when we exited the hospital.  Found a local radio station about the time a tornado
warning was being issued for the area of Maumelle and I40.  So, south we went
taking the long way home through Hot Springs.  We did have a nice lunch 
and because we are getting season passes to Magic Springs this year, the
boys planned our summer out.   CANNOT wait to have them home with us!!!   

A happy, happy mom here! 

{a peek}

 I have a lot of important things to blog about, but, I wanted to start with one
I didn't have to "think" or get emotional about.  Of course, the chickens and
the garden.  I only wish the boys were here as they spend time with the 
chicks every evening.  They are getting used to E's loving! ha!  This is their
temporary run.  They will need a bigger space before long, but for now, this one
was quick and easy.  Notice I still have to paint and finish up the coop.  Is anything
ever completed around here??? 

They have grown!!! 

Everytime  they see me coming, they go nuts.  They know now that I typically
have the outgoings of the garden in hand.  A huge supplement to their feed.  And, 
because I refuse to use pesticides, still keeping it all organic. 

They LOVE radishes!  Cheap and easy!  
 Here is my favorite banny rooster.  So sweet! And, I love to hear him crow.  He is
doing better with it! ha! 

 Yes, I have very talented chickens.   

 The little white/gray one is E's favorite....Small Fry.  I am shocked that she made it!  She was so tiny and lifeless in her early days!  She is very shy.  It's sweet.
The garden is coming slowly, but surely.  Weeds and all. :)  If this rain would just stop for a bit. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011


HUGE God Moment today {as Rae would say}

I'll definitely post it, but still need to wrap my own brain
around it a bit more..........


{review mirror}

where o' where has my weekend disappeared to?

i had big plans?

but, few of my have-to-finish-projects got finished for one
reason or another, but the reasons were basically out of my control.

but, today, i want to remember a few tidbits.

*exhausted this morning, slept a little later than i should have, but
scott was up and around, so i planned on help from him to get
us all out the door.
*migraine hit, very late getting out the door.
*BUT, the boys  were kind enough that as soon as they were ready
they loaded themselves in the car and patiently waited for me.
*stopped by wal-mart for cash.  yes, no debit card on me, so my
next best bank is wally-world.  i did have to pick up a bd card as well.
*i gasped when I saw E exit the car at walmart.  remember:  they had loaded
themselves.  he had also dressed himself.  BIG striped, multi-colored polo with 
a huge hole in it with brown plaid shorts, mismatched socks and muddy play shoes.
remember, on our way to church.  as we ran to get a card and cash i zipped through
the boys section and got a new shirt.  dressed in the car.
*to church a tad late.
*WONDERFUL service.
*late service, exited the church in a mad dash as the clock glared 12:08 at me.
i was to have N to the carpool parking lot across town to meet the boys. 
*gathered boys and ran.  sat with my reverse lights on for SIX minutes as no
one would let me out.  traffic jam in GW in the resturant sections. dads were
nice enough to wait on us.  i think they know it will always be me.
*could not make my car go home although i needed to.  to pick up some
things for hospital and on to hospital to see our sweet friends. 
*groceries in heels.  with , E.
*gallon on milk spilled in the back on the vehicle on the way home.
*so, i am trying to figure out what to do next.  
*i'm thinking yoga pants are in order.
*awaiting call to  pick up N in GW, and then we will be swinging to 
a car wash that houses a wet/dry vac. 
*then, I will start working.  

*oh, and, I've gone without carbs today. 
that in and of itself....well, you can imagine......

my white flag is raised.

Friday, May 20, 2011


I got this from the wedding planner:

"Great news! I already had someone from The Wedding Post (Arkansas's daily wedding blog) contact me wanting to feature Anna & Michael's wedding! I told them I'd send pictures as soon as I had them. I also want to submit to at least one wedding magazine (Arkansas Bride or Southern Weddings or Southern Bride) and I'm also planning on submitting the images to Style Me Pretty. Just wanted to keep you posted on the plans! "


{radical, no, but.....}

Here goes.....

Well, since Bro. Ronnie led  the awesome study on Radical, I think
a lot of us have really examined what we are trulydoing with our lives. 
In the things that matter.  The eternal things.
Maybe that, in combination with it being a big year for me {I turn 40!}, I can personally say
 that I have been searching and examining in a big way. 

I know I don't have to travel to Africa to reach people.   I think if I 
would make certain I had a smile on my face everyday I could
actually reach more people than I do!  And, although we clearly do
not live in a 'neighborhood' I love the idea of neighborhood.   We
live on an amazing farm.   Could the two be combined?  
This will likely sound absolutely crazy to many, but, it is something that 
has been on my heart and as crazy as it may be, I think it could be a great
outreach.   So, after much praying and many conversations with Scott, we
are ready to take the small plunge.  Radical?  No.  But I am hoping it will
be something that can be enjoyed by families, provide a great fellowship
for friends and the "community" outside our comfort zone as
well as be inspirational in content.

Maybe it's because I do love community so much?  I'm not sure? I do LOVE
to be fluttering in the midst of friends and family.  I love opening our home to 
family and friends.  However, with my schedule over the last several years, it's 
honestly been quite the struggle.  It is always floating in the back of my mind, but
something else seems to always pop up and overshadow my great idea. {total
sarcasm there!}  We are hoping as quirky as it may sound at first, that it
will actually be an avenue for evangelism.  

I'll get to it....

deep breath!

Scott and I will be investing in an outdoor HD projector/screen and 
are hoping to host several Family Movie Nights in an area {a mowed area} 
here at the farm.   The movie choices will be inspirational and family oriented.
   The set-up: simple.

Basically just encouraging families to have a night under the stars together
bringing their blankets, quilts, lawn chairs and snacks.  Maybe it's because
I LOVE outdoor 'anything' under the stars....movies, concerts, whatever.  It's
just pretty impossible to ignore the wonders of creation when you are snuggled
up to your sweet spouse and kids {in their pj's} surrounded by great friends.   Maybe it's because I am always in search of 'Mayberry Moments' when times were just simpler and
community was a HUGE part of our daily lives.  We rush and we hurry and
sometimes it just takes simple things to refresh us.    

And, we'll have popcorn and snocones! :)  

So, yes, you may think we are crazy and yes, I am perspiring profusely as I type this and
make it "public".   For a while I struggled with people thinking we were 
crazy {well, the jury may still be out on that}, it being a flop, etc, etc. etc.
But, we've decided to be obedient and see where this leads.

I also do not think that it was by chance that when I walked back in
from the office just a bit ago, Facing the Giants was randomly playing
on our television. 

Open your homes to each other, {in our case, our fields}, without complaining.
1 Peter 4:9

So what do you think?

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I have so much to do.

And, I emotionally drained from all that was involved
in the heartbreak of the day for my friends.

I came home and

When I say it's therapeutic, it is really therapeutic.

So, although I have a file that has to be at the law firm as soon
as I drop of the boys, edits and orders.  My brain cannot think. 

So, I'll post some garden pictures I took yesterday.  And,
it's amazing because it has already changed SO much.  It is really
beginning to take shape.   And, then, what happens?  More rain! ha! 

My little pea tendrils. 

Happy to have the plow below.  Very sentimental.

Hmmm.... the picture below is tweaked just a bit now.  Imagine
24 new grape, blueberry, muscadine and blackberry bushes.
More zinna's and shasta daises transplanted.  2 rows of corn
planted.  Bamboo tomato cages being constructed.  {I didn't want
to use the metal cages, so yes, I go the time consuming route.  But
so cute! and, yes, I had the idea before Ree made her post, promise!}
Sugar peas planted.  I think that is about it.  Will try to update the
picture soon as it is changing so quick!

If you look in the far upper right corner of the picture below, you will see
my garden companion, Molly girl.  She stays out there out there in the 
morning attached to a peach tree stump.  She's as happy as a lark!  

The new plot to the right of the big garden we've made into pretty much all raised beds. 
That one alone is much smaller than the big one at a mere 1200 sq feet??  I
think I may be sitting down on the corner with a vegetable stand in a month or so??
All I can say, it is super hard work, but is probably what is keeping me sane
at this point! :)  My hands look horrible.  My feet even worse.  But, I'm
still loving digging in the dirt

Evan finally got his collard greens with supper last night.  And, even
I must say they were YUMMY!  I picked 3/4 of a bushel for the meal.   


It's been a VERY difficult week.

In the midst of it, things look very different.

A lot of things more appreciated.

An immense sense of love.

And, loss.

A broken heart.

A thankful heart.

Pain that only a mother can comprehend.

Pain for friends that rip me apart.

An out of control incident of bullying.

Sweet words from friends.

Why did I take the above picture?

It's back to the bullying issue that wrecked havoc this week.

Those were actually happy tears above. 

I conveyed  sweet words to him that a long time friend had said
about the situation.  

Words can destroy.  Or, restore.

Even I need to remember that as often as I open my mouth.

But, for now, I am going to continue to pray.  And, then pray some more.

And, if you think of it....PLEASE pray for my sweet friends, the Pickles.
Roy was placed on Hospice today.  It has been such a long road.
He has fought such a hard fight.  It is painful to watch this family being
forced to say goodbye.  I think I had rather have been anywhere but
there today.  But, at the same time, there was no other place I would
have rather been.   Praying for peace and comfort. 

BTW, one phone call to the school and our issue was handled
swiftly and appropriately.  I am very thankful for a school district
that has zero tolerance for such a painful issue.   N has bounced back very well!  

Monday, May 16, 2011

{a growing experience}

I'm learning alot my trial and error in an effort to grow a garden
for the first time in YEARS.

I am about to till under the lettuce and I am thinking the spinach
is at the end of its days.

I have transplanted more zinnias that I grew from seed on the patio.
Planted four peonia bushes from roots.
Planted garlic in my little herb bed.
Transplanted more cucumbers that I grew from seed.
Planted a MASS of wild flowers on one end.

Very shortly, I need to finish tilling.
Determine what spring veggies are about to be compost.
Get the trellis up for the cucumbers. 
Tranplant my sweetie tomatoes. 
Transplant my squash.
Plant my remaining pink lemonade raspberry and pomegrante bushes.

Plant from seed {I'm getting a late start}:
corn, okra, squash, zucchini, more sunflowers, herbs, and 
finish the pumpkin patch.

I am hoping none of my friends will have to purchase pumpkins or 
cut flowers this year!    

{summer daze}

On the way to school this morning, they plotted their
summer is to include.....

LOTS of cupcakes
LOTS of snow cones
homemade ice cream
my chocolate chip cookies
LOTS of dinners on the patio
canned pickles {that would be E only}
salads {again, E}
bakery cookies {the decorated variety}
popcorn at the movies {this would also entail the drive-in} 

the countdown is on.   {mostly for E on that one too!}

{o' happy day}

It's a beautiful Monday!

I actually revived last night and have energy despite a long, exhausting weekend.

I get to hang out with my very best friend tonight  {camera in hand}.

Looking forward to my first weekend off since the first of March.
{and, it wasn't planned, a wedding was called off}.  Get to spend
some time Saturday with friends I dearly love!  

and, my banny roosters are learning to crow {so stinkin' cute}. They
must be teenagers as their voices are cracking so much! :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

{the answer}

to the prayers that flooded Heaven.

she looks so much like her sweet big brother Wyatt.

That is a GREAT thing. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

{my mother's day}

Dear Boys:  

It goes without saying that you were the greatest gifts I've ever received.  You make my heart smile every every day is truly Mother's Day to me.   Although my journey to both of you was not typical, I would take every step of that long trip a million times over without hesitation. But only if it led me back to both of you. 

For whatever reason God shined on me to be your mommy, I am eternally grateful.  I pray everyday that I can help you grow into your fullest potential.  I pray that you see Jesus in me and that you crave that for yourself as each day passes.  I hope you forgive me when I fail as I will never claim to be a perfect mother.  I hope I am giving you sweet, simple memories that will last your lifetime. 

Thank you for simply being you.    

mommy to E
mom to N

{field trip: strawberry patch}

It was one of those days in which I had to let the calendar slide. 
I had a date, a very important date.   
With a little cutie. 
And, by the way the little girls in his class room act around
him, I'm not the only one who thinks that. ;)

Way too early!

But, WW had their field trip yesterday which started out
at Wild Things Farm for picking strawberries in a loaded field,
a petting zoo and a hay ride.

Notice below:  he really does listen to instructions.
The application is where we slip at times.

His best classmate buddy:  Jake


 There were THOUSANDS of berries for the picking and yes,
they scattered to claim their "own" plots. 

Hmmm...peacocks.  Although beautiful, 
they are clearly not my favorite animal.
Let's just say I got attacked by one in Hawaii.
Remind me to tell JC about that one, it needs to
go in my book.

I snuck inside a greenhouse.  After I swooned, I stomped out
when remember my flooded garden. 

Although I detest honey.

THEN, we were off to Ben Geren for our picnic and time
on the playground.  Exhausting, but fun day! 


Since the rain, rain and more rain has literally made my garden a weed filled,
mud pit...instead of throwing in the towel, I've decided to dive back in. 

Well, then it rained last night.

So, that little thought will have to wait until I do not sink to my knees.


 I decided to appreciate what I had out there instead of how 
terrible it all looks.

Then,  I saw Jen's beautiful garden.{sigh}

I won't even go look at Angela's. 
It took me a bit, but here our little mud mess is in all of its glory. 

Or, at least the glory that should have been. :)

Below is a bowl of fresh spinach that our deer and rabbit
were kind enough to leave for us.

Yeah, that fence is still on the to-do list.


But, it was YUMMY!  And, there really is something about
growing it yourself that is very rewarding.

Below is the dill that is awaiting the cucumbers that drowned
in their own hills.

And, the raspberries are doing fairly well.

Although the strawberries are growing back, I'm not sure
it will be in time to get much of a harvest. 

The plant below is a pink lemondade raspberry bush.  I have
a few of those, can't wait to see what they do. 
Or, taste actually. 

Below are Evan's collard greens.  I'm thinking I have alot of washing in my future.

The boys love checking out the cabbage.  I must
admit, it is pretty fun to watch it take shape. 

Some romaine lettuce. 

And, my poor drowned out snap dragons. 

The cucumbers are perking up. 
The peas are grabbing hold to the trellis.
The chickens are loving the radishes.  
The onions are everywhere. 
The blackberries are producing.
The tomatoes are blooming. 
The flowers are recovering from way too much water. 

And, the grass is everywhere!  

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!!