Friday, May 29, 2009

I Am


I am a mom who gets lonely. I miss deep meaningful conversations with other moms. I long for time to talk with other ladies. I ache for a couple of hours to just laugh and connect.

I am a mom who sits next to her young son, rubbing his head, holding a cold washcloth on the back of his neck, as he lays sprawled out across the cool, hard linoleum of the bathroom floor.  He moans and I pray as he tries to find relief from a migraine. 

I am a mom who struggles with selfishness. I want "me" time. I want to do and be what I want to do and be. I get tired of being pestered with questions and fights and ouchies.

I am a mom who cherishes snuggles and kisses. I love to feel chubby hands on my cheeks. I treasure the conversations, questions and learning. I store up in my heart the giggles and smiles. And I hope I never forget the look of utter trust in my children's eyes.

I am a mom who fights feelings of guilt. I sent my son to bed with a sore throat and stuffy nose and didn't take the time to rub his head as he drifted off to sleep. I rushed through the day not taking time to listen carefully to the story my little one wanted to share. I spoke sharply to my children because I was irritated with their behavior.

I am a mom who loves to care for my children. I am grateful that I am able to feed them body and soul.  I appreciate my full days cleaning, cooking and teaching. Their dependency on me is is fulfilling.

I am a mom who tires from the constant requirements of motherhood. The cleaning and feeding and refereeing can feel all consuming. The needs and wants loom before me like an unclimbable mountain

I am a mom who feels greatly. Happy and sad. Angry and content. Compassion and irritation. Wonderment and befuddlement. Guilt and success. But most of all I am a mom who adores!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

In Case You're Wondering

I am doing more and feeling better! YEAH!

Today I went to a local greenhouse and bought some of the plants and flowers I have been dreaming of all winter. I have been saving my birthday money just so I could get these...


I went with my mom. We brought the kiddos and of course all the boys ended up buying flowers for 4-H projects. We were there for a little over an hour and I was able to be on my feet the whole time, with a little help from some Ibuprophen.

When we got home and opened the garage door, we found this


A sweet, little, scared and weak female Ruby-throated hummingbird. She had a wad of gray kitty fur stuck in her foot. We're pretty sure my cat was probably after her. We sent her home with my mom, so my dad, the vet, could take a look at her. He soon brought her back and we tried to let her go. She only flew a short distance and landed in the yard. Jay scooped her up and we brought her indoors and placed her beak in some hummingbird solution. At first, she wouldn't drink any, but before long we saw her tiny tongue flickering. After she was done eating we took her outside and she quickly flew up to the top of a tree. We all stood there and cheered her on!

I am still dealing with some pain, but it isn't nearly as severe as it was 2 1/2 months ago. I pretty much have to stay on Ibuprophen to function throughout the days, but at least I'm up! I pretty sure my husband is extremely grateful that I am doing laundry and cooking meals again!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Bit of Mommy Humor

A 3-year-old tells all from his mother's restroom stall.

By Shannon Popkin

My little guy, Cade, is quite a talker. He loves to communicate and does it quite well. He talks to people constantly, whether we are in the library, the grocery store or at a drive-thru window. People often comment on how clearly he speaks for a just-turned-3-year-old. And you never have to ask him to turn up the volume.. It's always fully cranked. There have been several embarrassing times that I've wished the meaning of his words would have been masked by a not-so-audible voice, but never have I wished this more than last week at Costco.

Halfway, through our shopping trip, nature called, so I took Cade with me into the restroom. If you'd been one of the ladies in the restroom that evening, this is what you would have heard coming from the second to the last stall:

''Mommy, are you gonna go potty? Oh! Why are you putting toiwet paper on the potty, Mommy? Oh! You gonna sit down on da toiwet paper now? Mommy, what are you doing? Mommy, are you gonna go stinkies on the potty?''

At this point I started mentally counting how many women had been in the bathroom when I walked in. Several stalls were full .... 4? 5? Maybe we could wait until they all left before I had to make my debut out of this stall and reveal my identity.

Cade continued: ''Mommy, you ARE going stinkies aren't you? Oh, dats a good girl, Mommy! Are you gonna get some candy for going stinkies on the potty? Let me see doze stinkies, Mommy! Oh...Mommy! I'm trying to see In dere. Oh! I see dem. Dat is a very good girl, Mommy. You are gonna get some candy!''

I heard a few faint chuckles coming from the stalls on either side of me.. Where is a screaming new born when you need her? Good grief. This was really getting embarrassing. I was definitely waiting a long time before exiting. Trying to divert him, I said, ''Why don't you look in Mommy's purse and see if you can find some candy. We'll both have some!''

''No, I'm trying to see doze more stinkies...Oh! Mommy!'' He started to gag at this point. ''Uh - oh, Mommy. I fink I'm gonna frow up. Mommy, doze stinkies are making me frow up!! Dat is so gross!!''

As the gags became louder, so did the chuckles outside my stall.. I quickly flushed the toilet in hopes of changing the subject.. I began to reason with myself: OK. There are four other toilets. If I count four flushes, I can be reasonably assured that those who overheard this embarrassing monologue will be long gone.

''Mommy! Would you get off the potty, now? I want you to be done going stinkies! Get up! Get up!'' He grunted as he tried to pull me off. Now I could hear full-blown laughter. I bent down to count the feet outside my door.

''Oh, are you wooking under dere, Mommy? You wooking under da door? What were you wooking at? Mommy? You wooking at the wady's feet?''

More laughter. I stood inside the locked door and tried to assess the situation. ''Mommy, it's time to wash our hands, now. We have to go out now, Mommy.'' He started pounding on the door. ''Mommy, don't you want to wash your hands? I want to go out!!''

I saw that my wait 'em out' plan was unraveling. I sheepishly opened the door, and found standing outside my stall, twenty to thirty ladies crowded around the stall, all smiling and starting to applaud. My first thought was complete embarrassment, then I thought, where's the fine print on the 'motherhood contract' where I signed away every bit of my dignity and privacy? But as my little boy gave me a big, cheeky grin while he rubbed bubbly soap between his chubby little hands, I thought, I'd sign it all away again, just to be known as Mommy to this little fellow.

(Shannon Popkin is a freelance writer and mother of three She lives with her family in Grand Rapids , Michigan , where she no longer uses public restrooms)

* I know exactly what this lady went through. I had a very similar experience with one of my boys when they were little. Talk about embarrassing! Hope this gives you a chuckle like it did me!

Friday, May 22, 2009

So Sorry


My son motioned to me to come to him. As I got closer I saw tears pooling in his eyes. In a trembling voice he told me he needed to talk to me.  I met him in his room and asked him what was wrong. With tears tumbling from his eyes, he told me that he had said something that he shouldn't have.  He had been angry with his brother and it had just popped out of his mouth in a rush of emotion. He continued to tell me how sorry he was and that he felt physically ill from keeping it to himself.  I thanked him for his honest confession and held him in my arms until he felt forgiven.

A perfect teachable moment presented itself when he said that he still felt awful about his bad choice even though he had asked God to forgive him repeatedly.  I gently put my arms around him, telling him that this was the exact reason why Christ died for us;to save us from our sins. When we confess our sins, the Lord wipes them away. He cleanses us.  He loves us so much that he doesn't keep account of all our wrongs but forgives us for each and every one.  The look of joy on his face was irreplaceable. His face lit up with a smile and his eyes shone. Then like all little children everywhere, he turned on his heel and rushed from the room to continue in his play.

Our conversation stayed with me longer.  I began to think about how I view confession of my sins.  Do I feel as remorseful for my mess ups as my son did?  When a bad word slips from my lips in anger, do I feel tears spring to my eyes and quickly seek the Lord's forgiveness? When I am sarcastic or short in my responses to those whom I love, do I feel my heart breaking?  As a young girl I would have answered yes to each of these questions. Like my son, I would feel physically sick until I confessed to God and my parents. Now, though, my conscience isn't so sensitive. I have let time harden me. Jesus said to his disciples

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." Mark 10:14-15

How easy it is for us to forget the innocence of our youth. To get hardened by the world and lose our sense of remorse.  I want to be more like my son. When I lose my patience I want to feel awful until I seek forgiveness. When I let my tongue run wild I want to my heart to hurt from the damage I have caused. I don't want to live like the world and feel I have the right to hurt others with my words just because they may have wronged me.  I don't want to live my life based on vindication. I want, I need to live my life surrounded by God's forgiveness, mercy and love.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Spring Has Sprung

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Babies, babies everywhere! Our baby bunnies now have their eyes open. They are fuzzy, fluffy and squirmy. We love to check on them each day and see how they are changing. The baby turkeys we got a week and a half ago are getting bigger. They are starting to get feathers on their wings.

Out in the garden the radishes are starting to push their way through the soil.


In my flower garden and around my yard colors are vibrant...




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100_5390 Trees in my yard and a bud on my Clematis

I LOVE this time of year!


Visit A Southern Daydreamer for more photos of the great outdoors.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

To My Princess


To my princess,

In the past three years you have brought so much joy into my life. From the moment I found out I was pregnant with you, my surprise baby, I have loved you beyond words.


I treasure you smiles, giggles, hugs, squeals, kisses and even your pouts!


I hold close to my heart our conversations about babies and our many tea parties.

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You are my precious treasure from God and...




Happy Birthday, baby!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday

Pictures of spring happenings in our neck of the woods!


We finally got part of our garden in. It has been so wet here, we weren't able to work the ground before now. I can't wait to harvest my first radishes and lettuce leaves. M-m-m-m-m!


I love the flowers of spring! My Flowering Almond bush is one of my favorites (above). And I love looking out my kitchen window and seeing this OLD apple tree in my back yard.


One last spring picture....


I love this picture of my daughter and son, flying a kite earlier this spring. We all went to the big hill in the field north of our house and enjoyed the blue sky, warm sun and spring winds.

For more outdoor pictures visit A Southern Daydreamer .


Monday, May 11, 2009

In the Stillness Of the Night

The hallway was silent, filled with the soft glow of a nightlight. I walk slowly, quietly.  My bare feet taking me noiselessly to my destination.  My old flannel nightgown swishing around my ankles.

I trail my fingers across the cool, hard surface of the much abused wall. Feeling the nicks and dings. Visualizing the scuffs and marks left by toy guns and light sabers. Hearing the echo of giggles and shouts, the arguing of sibling rivalry. The stomping of running feet. Wondering why in the still of the night these happenings should ever bother me.

I step into the closest room. Resting against the door while my eyes adjusted to the darkness. I move carefully to the nearest bed, dodging discarded clothes and toys. I slowly drop to my knees and rest my cheek against my sleeping son's face. I breathe in deeply, smelling his pineapple banana shampoo, reveling in his warmth. I listen closely for his deep even breathing. I place my hand on top of his head and bow my head in prayer, giving my precious son to the Lord. Praying for his needs. Asking for wisdom and strength as I walk through the days with my gift from the Lord. Praying that I will remember to enjoy these days when my home is full with young, energetic children.

I bring my lips to his forehead and leave a lingering kiss. Stealing one more breath of little boy sweetness. I rise to my feet and repeat the process three more times, before I walk back down the silent hallway with my heart full of love, thankfulness and promise.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Face Only a Mother Could Love

It's bunny time!


Sorry the picture quality is poor. I was taking this in the barn where the lighting was poor. Plus I was trying to hurry so that we could get the little baby back into the nest where it is toasty warm. Our Black Mini Rex Charlie (yes, she is a girl!) had four babies yesterday!


Here's a picture of some of our babies from last spring. Look how cute they get and they are super soft. We actually had them on our mudroom! Every once in awhile they would escape and we would find them scattered throughout the house, often underneath my bed!

We'll also be having bunnies that look like these. Molly just had five babies yesterday. She is a Broken Castor Mini Rex and the babies are Castor Mini Rexs


Plus we have five Californian does, who are due to deliver today. So, we will have lots of baby bunnies on our little farm.


*These bunnies will be sold to kids who are participating in out counties 4-H program

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Just Out of Reach



Two winters ago I had the privelege of feeding the bluebirds that lived around my home.  I started with just a few, but soon the number grew to around thirteen.  Each day I would set out a batch of homemade suet in the morning and a handful of meal worms in the afternoon. Before long the bluebirds came to expect this daily ritual.  Every afternoon at 4:00 I would have a bluebird or two waiting on the rail of my back deck. As soon as I would step through the door, I would call out "come blues, come blues". Before a minute passed I would have all thirteen of them fluttering just a few feet above my head.  Every day I fed them I would hold my hand up with a mealworm in the tips of my fingers.  Each time they would just fly a bit farther up, out of my reach.  Never risking contact. Never taking the gift in my outstretched hand.

As Christians are we a bit like these bluebirds? Do we willingly take God's gifts and blessings, yet forget or refuse to make full contact with Him. Do you find yourself busy with life, flitting from one activity to the next never making a strong commitment to the One who loves you? Do you flutter around just on the edge of His righteousness, but never take the time to receive the full glory of a strong relationship with Christ?

I know I struggle with this.  I desire a relationship with Christ, but I don't put in the effort.  I move throughout my days caught up in busyness, living my life just on the fringe of God's love. Revelation 3:16 says

So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

I find myself like the bluebirds I feed. I am eager to take the gifts God gives me, but I tend to do it from a distance.  Keeping just out of reach from my Savior. Never venturing in too deep. Accepting His goodness, but skirting a deeper relationship.  It's a difficult path, because I have good intentions. I DO want a deeper relationship with God. But, somehow I always find myself skipping off on another tangent when I should be focusing on the Lord.

I WANT to be on fire for the Lord. I desire to serve Him. I don't want God to "spit me out" because I have lived a life of lukewarm service to Him. I want to "shine like a star in the universe" (Phil. 2:15).  I yearn for others to see a difference in me. I want them to see God's all powerful love. But, to do all this I need to make an investment. I need to stop living on the outskirts one moment and living in His palm the next. I need consistency. I want to run to my father's arms and stay there. Instead of wriggling my way out and fluttering away to live my busy life. Its a struggle. One that I can't seem to win. This old sin nature keeps me jumping back and forth. In and out of the fold.

Thankfully I can claim this verse

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57

I will be claiming VICTORY!



* For the past few weeks I have had no desire to read my bible or pray. I let my physical condition effect my spiritual life. I became depressed and frustrated. Instead of turning to God, I turned away. I tried to read my bible. I tried to search for texts that would lighten my despair, but I just grew weary. Galations 5:7 says, "You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?"  I know who kept me from running a good race- satan. Not anymore!  I'm back in the race, on the right track and heading for the finish line

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Crochet Craziness

Since I have had to spend a lot of time just lying around, I decided to entertain myself by doing a little crocheting. Here are some of the projects I have finished.

These are three of the rose ponytail holders I have made. They look really cute in Lauren's hair.

This was my first attempt at crocheting a toy. I tweaked the pattern a bit and I really shouldn't have! It was trying to make it a floppy eared rabbit. It looks a bit too much like a dog. Oh well, the important thing is that Lauren loves it!

This is a set of baby washcloths. I made each one different and I love how they turned out. I might try to sell these on Etsy or maybe I'll keep them to give away in the future.

Here's another ponytail holder. This is a little bigger than the roses, but I still like it.
And finally one of the projects I am working on right now, a rag rug. I started this yesterday morning. It took me a while just to get this far, because I am cutting scraps into 1/2" strips and then hand sewing them together all while lying on my back! I have wanted to make a rag rug for a long time now. I am hoping this one turns out the way I want it, because I already have a spot in mind for it.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

LOOK! Spring has finally sprung at my house.

Last Sunday while everyone was at church, I gingerly snuck out to take a few pictures of my spring flowers. I didn't stay too long, because I can only be on my feet for about 7 minutes before the pain becomes to intense. But a for a few of the shots I just laid down in the lawn, so I was able to stay out a bit longer!

As for an update on how I am doing... well my Chiropractor seems to think I am doing well. I on the other hand want this to just hurry up and go away, NOW! But, lets me put it into perspective for you. I can now brush my teeth, use the bathroom, take a quick (and I mean lightning speed quick) shower, put away a few things here and there, get drinks for Lauren, fold part of a load of laundry, and walk through the house without feeling like I'm going to pass out from the pain. Of course, for you humorous ones, I don't do this all at once! I take a lot of breaks. When the pain gets bad I have to lay down until it goes away and if I do to much the time I can spend on my feet starts to diminish. But, two days ago, I made a double batch of biscuits for our dinner. I had to do it in three steps with a bit of resting in between, but I did it! It was great to be in the kitchen again.

Just keep me in your prayers.
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