Friday, October 31, 2014

Layla reading.

Layla has taken off on reading.  There is so much joy in seeing the wheels turn and pictures and words clicking to stories.  She has gone from knowing sight words, to sounding out, to now being able to read a story as a story.  Layla has always been very animated, so you can imagine her reading a book.  And, she wants to read all.the.time.  You moms know this is so fun!  [But, also a bit painful.]  It's slow moving and sometimes hard to sit and listen to them souuunnddd it out.  But the pay off?  So very worth it!!

I had her parent-teacher conference the other day and was so proud.  Of course because of how well she is getting along academically, but more so because she has a good attitude, eager to learn, respectful, and sweet to her classmates.  We have a few sounds to work on, and Mrs. Bader commented that she reads lips a lot.  Yes, she does and always has.  I'm not sure if her ear problems led to that or if it's just a Layla thing, but she learns her sounds best by watching her mouth in the mirror.  This doesn't surprise me in the least.

Kindergarten is off to a great start!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Maleah's Violin.

This weekend Maleah had her violin recital.  She did such a great job!  It's so fun to watch her blossom and progress with her talents.  She is very musical, doesn't seem to get nervous one bit, is willing to put in the time and be diligent with practicing, and loves to bless people with her gifts.  It's pretty easy to be so proud of her.

This recital was at the Western Home assisted living facility.  The recitals used to be at a church, but what a great idea this was!  It was packed with family and friends, but also residents.  What a highlight of their week.  Not to mention a great outreach opportunity for the kids.

Maleah had a crew of supporters.  We are so thankful she is so well loved and people have invested interest into what she does.  So, so grateful.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Charlie, the farmer.

Welcome to the life of my boy.  He farms  No joke.  On the dining room floor, out to ride in the combine, back to the dining room floor, out in the yard with his fertilizer hooked up to the jeep, and it goes on and on and on.

I am absolutely amazed by what he knows.  He tells me about waterways, the white Dodge, he knows where all the fields are and how to get there.  He knows when the guys use a different tractor for the wagon and if it has an auger or not.  If not, he tells me they can't use a semi.  He has work boots, Carharts, a bright orange Carhart coat, and a lunch box.  He is legit.

This morning on the way to speech he told me we had to get right back home so he could keep farming.  And he told me that if I helped him he could get finished faster.  Smart kid.

This photo is a bit concerning to me, however....HA!

And here is farmer Charlie.  Works so hard, then crashes on the school bus.
I could take photos all day long, and one day I'll probably wish I had.  When we found out we were having a boy, I never imagined this.  It's so fun.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

life and death.

Dallas and I went to a funeral today of a 56 year old man.  That's young.

Dallas was randomly assigned a roommate at Central College his freshman year.  It was Nick Anderson.  They became best friends and roomed together all together fours.  Nick, his wife, and kids are friends we have continued to keep in contact with.  We just got together a couple weekends ago, in fact, and always love our time together.  They are such a great family!  Here we are:

Last weekend Nick's dad, Jim, got in a car accident and died.  He was just on his way to work, like every other night.  It was tragic and terribly sad.

The thing about death and funerals are that they give you this harsh kick in the pants, a reality check. We really do not know what tomorrow brings.  Jim had no idea waking up Friday morning that by night he would be on his death bed.  It was unplanned.

I'm emotionally drained and have very few thoughts right now.  I can't imagine how the family feels considering how I feel after a few hours of it.

But I do know this:  Death is imminent and we are all one day closer to dying.  Are you ready if it were you tomorrow?  Do you know Jesus?  KNOW Jesus? Is He your personal Lord and Savior?  Cause today, He was the only hope.

It was a beautiful ceremony that truly honored Jim's life.  We learned so much about Jim, made connections to what we know about Nick, laughed, and cried with them.  We left feeling like we celebrated a great man.  And we left making sure our priorities and how we spend our days are straight.  Tomorrow is no guarantee.  There's the day you are born, the day you die, and then the dash in-between those numbers.  Make your dash matter!

Thursday, October 9, 2014


Today was one of those really great days.

This morning was MOPS, always a highlight of my week.  While there is so much going on in people's lives that always leave me feeling burdened, I can't help but feel encouraged and uplifted after leaving church Thursday mornings.  It feels so great to celebrate the gift of motherhood with like minded people.

After MOPS, my mom and I went to Culvers.  We ran into an old time friend, enjoyed kid's meals, and shared and cried about all the great things that are happening.  Because we couldn't squelch Layla's excitement about Michael's being open, we took a walk through the store and I found some super cute crafts I'm excited to dig into with the kids.  We ventured over to Old Navy and ran into another great friend.  All kinds of awesome.

Ruby and Charlie fell asleep on the way home and took nice naps.

After Maleah got home, we brought Charlie to the field with his lunch box, and the girls and I headed back into town for music lessons.  While Maleah had piano, I went on a walk with Ruby and Layla.  Layla rode her scooter and Ruby was in the stroller.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day, and Layla and I chatted about the clouds and heaven.  Her mind amazes me.  During violin, Layla and Ruby at their supper I packed for them and were good and quiet.  Score.

Tonight, I sat with them as they all constructed with legos.  We chatted and just were together.

Now they are all peacefully sleeping, and instead of some nights where I analyze the day and feel guilty, regretful, worried, the list goes on...I am basking in the beauty that was today.  There are no guarantees tomorrow will be so great.  But today?  It was.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Canning & Farming.

Things have been pretty smooth and normal lately.  We have fallen into a nice fall rhythm.  There's enough to keep us rolling along, yet plenty of room for margin.  With the margin I've been trying my hand at a few things that leave me feeling kinda "Ol' Ma' ish."  I don't feel like we live very farm-like.  No livestock or bib overalls.  Just normal life.  But sweating over the canner, buckets of peels and stems on my kitchen counter, and fresh produce every.time.I.turn.around have offered me a new experience this summer.

Canning.  It's a lot of time and effort, but I am trying to give it a fair shot.  I committed to trying it out this summer and seeing if I felt it was worth it.  So far, jury is still out there.  Middle of winter, though, I'm thinking homemade chicken tortilla soup is going to be amazingly convenient.

I've done tons of tomato like things: diced, stewed, tomato sauces, salsa, etc.  I've also canned homemade soups and applesauce.

Then there's harvest.  Dropping off my little Charlie boy and bringing meals out has kept us hopping.  We love doing both.  I don't know if the guys enjoy the hot food as much as the kids enjoy offering it to them, but we don't care.  It's fun.

The hum of the bin dryer puts me to sleep at night, I'm in full sandwich making gear, and the kids have been extra gracious to me this week as we transition to single mommy for just a bit.  Field work is in full swing.

Monday, September 29, 2014