May was a month full of growth…
Oh, the wonderful vision of my children praying for one another and others. I am so glad to say that my kiddos are still going strong at the house church. They have finally found a church that truly loves them and accepts them and makes them feel at home. A place where they can not only find fellowship but can grow in the Word and in the Spirit. Or as God put on my heart me, “In spirit and in truth.”
John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
This prayer of mine has finally been answered. I am thankful.
May was a beautiful spring oasis! Sunflowers were blooming, bees were buzzing, the garden was growing, ladybugs were working hard, and the grass always needed mowing!
For Mother’s Day, my hubby wanted to buy me a mother’s ring. He liked the caged rings that have the stones inside and I like the “Tree of Life” design. We had two opals for my boys and a topaz birthstone for my girl carefully placed inside to be protected by the tree of life! The finishing touch was my kiddos names engraved on the inside of the ring. I am very pleased with my ring! I only wish I had gotten gold instead of silver so the opals would have shown up better but the meaning is what makes me happy not the contrast. My kids brought me flowers, I sure do love those little stinkers!
May is a great month for birding! We had Cowbirds, Cardinals, Chickadees, Wrens, Finches, and humming birds all visit our feeders. We even had the chance to help out a fledging Blue-Jay!
The evangelist at the house church noticed that my kids were fairly different than most kids she meets and when my oldest told her that we homeschool, she said, “Ah, that must be it!” She told my daughter she wanted to meet the momma of these kids. So Anna talked me into going to a lady’s meeting. It was a lovely evening of fellowship, prayer, reading the Word, and talking about the issues that women deal with everyday that originated all the way back in the Garden of Eden with Eve … and of course meeting the lovely evangelist. I am very glad I went, I learned a lot and my fire for God was rekindled.
My husband and I attended a Marriage Retreat at the house church the week after the ladies’ meeting. It was so good and so much to it you will just have to go to that separate blog and read all about it. Sorry to say it is long!
While my hubby and I was at the marriage retreat the kids fellowshipped with the youth. The first night they gathered to watch movies and play around outside some and the second day they went to Boykin Springs to hike, picnic, and swim! They had a blast! I am so very thankful they are socializing and making good quality friends through the church!
Our “first fruits” of our garden! About 10 quarts of green beans and one squash! I battered some for fried green beans and blanched and froze the others. Nothing better than homegrown!
Austin has worked part time in the deli at the local grocery store for about 11 months now. I am happy to announce he was recently promoted to Grocery manager, more pay and full time! I am so proud of him and happy he is doing well at his job! He is a good person with a great work ethic.
An early Father’s Day gift for my hubby! He happily grilled for us and my sister’s family on Memorial Day. It was nice to set around and talk to family about all the glorious things God was doing in our lives lately.
And the best is for last! Our second great niece was born on the last day of May!! Maddelynn Ruth was born at 11:01 pm weighing in at 8.7lb and 20 1/12″ long!!!!! We were excited to get to go meet this beautiful little addition to the family! Congrats to our Nephew Josh and Niece Noell Husband!!
Love and Blessings,
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This is really long, I apologize for that but I had to share it all.
We were invited to a Christian marriage retreat at the house church that my kids have been attending for the last month. This is the last place I would think I needed to go, but I was drawn to it. We didn’t NEED help in our marriage, for the most part, we were good. Time has worked out most of the kinks and we were at a content place now. These are all the things I told my introverted self as I wrestled with the idea of going. I talked myself in and out of it until literally the day of the retreat.
April Showers brings…
Flooding! Sadly, we didn’t get out on too many adventures this month due to all the lovely rain that we East Texans received. Here are some pictures hubby took while on his mail route this month. Too often he has to re-route his route to get the mail delivered!
With the kids at their cousins, hubby and I took advantage of the day and headed out to a nice biking trail. We stopped and had a picnic in a nearby town and noticed they were having a Dogwood Festival so we decided to look around. We walked by vendors and food carts and loved seeing the classic cars! We then headed on our to do our biking! I really enjoyed being carefree and not having to be anywhere at any particular time, causally just deciding “Let’s do this” and do it! I think I am looking forward to our post-child rearing era of our lives!
Sibling rivalry at its best… Anna was told by her big bro that she “Wasn’t allowed to drive his truck.” What he didn’t think about was that we have his spare key! So naturally, we let her sneak into his truck while he was at work and drive it to the farthest corner of the parking lot as a prank! She was thrilled… him, not so much. We spent the rest of the evening letting Anna drive our truck down to the local lakeside park for the practice and then we went walking around the camping loops just for some fun and exercise. Anna tends to like to ride more than walk… even if it is riding her little brother.
Hubby and the kids have been busy with the garden! Purple hull peas, tomatoes, squash, peppers, green beans, potatoes, and I don’t remember what else hubby has out there but they have been busy getting it all in the ground! I was happy to see the ladybugs are back this year doing their best to keep the bad bugs away from our plants and trees!
Nothing like enjoying a beautiful day at the state park on our bikes! Getting your heart pumping, wind blowing in your face, looking around at the deer and squirrels that are abundant in the park are some of my favorite things to do!
We took the kids to the park for a picnic and playtime. I am always glad to see them finally loosen up and just have fun. Now that they are teens they aren’t as ‘carefree” as they used to be. But sometimes, when no one else is looking, they just let go and have fun being kids again. Jumping out of the swings have always been an exciting challenge. This time, they were trying to look like ninja’s flying through the air as they took flight from their swings. We finished up our outing with a little one on one basketball with their daddy. Nothing makes me smile like seeing my hubby playing with his kids.
April is always a busy birding month! All of the lovely birds begin their trek back north after the winter is over. I set on my front porch and just wait and watch in hopes to catch a glimpse of one of our migrators. Most of the birds are locals (Cardinals, Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, Cowbirds) but sometimes, I am blessed and get to see something unique like the Indigo Bunting (lower left.)
It was a perfect day to go “wildflower hunting.” We went to what hubby calls, “The boy scout lake” and hiked around, looking at the huge pinecones and the mostly fish-less mineral water, taking pictures of the flowers along the way! We then let the kids ride the tailgate as we drove along the back road hunting more flowers. We stopped when we spotted flowers, they would jump off the tailgate and take a picture… of course, they would end up sitting (or rolling around) in the middle of the road while getting their picture but when there is barely any traffic, it really doesn’t matter… it is the privilege of living in the country.
A local state park was hosting a Folk Festival with re-enactors showing us how early Texas settlers lived. We use these opportunities as homeschool field trips! We learned about Civil War Ambulances, Surveying, Dying fabrics with plants, Pioneer life, and our favorite, The Buffalo Soldiers! We had a really good time, I love Historical re-enactments!
After the folk festival, we headed back toward home to celebrate our grand-nieces 1st birthday! I love seeing family and getting sweet baby time! Other than the fact baby girl was sick and cried when we all sang the happy birthday song to her, it was a great party!
The kids were with their cousin, so hubby and I went riding around the lake in his Jeep with the top off. The day started out really great, we happened across a fella that had his truck stuck down some back road. I think he would have been there for quite some time if we hadn’t happened along. With a little effort, we got him pulled out and he was very thankful, giving us both a hug of gratitude! It always makes me feel good when I can help someone out! As we drove around we came upon a car stopped in the middle of the road with all the doors hanging open. It didn’t look like anyone was in the car and we were not planning on setting there waiting for whoever to wander back to their car so hubby (forgetting it had rained a lot this April and that his 4-wheel drive was not working) took to the ditch to go around the stopped car. Next thing we know, we were the ones stuck. The people (who were actually in the car waiting for others to relieve themselves in the nearby woods) tried to help un-stick us by physically pushing the Jeep but we didn’t budge. I thanked them (a bit annoyed because they were kind of the reason we were stuck) and I sent them on their way as I called for Austin to bring us our truck. With the truck pulling us out, we were out in just a minute. Annoyed at the whole situation, we headed home. Hubby, trying to have a positive attitude, decided to give it another try so we headed back out riding around.
He reminded me that just because you have a bad moment doesn’t mean you have to consider it a bad day, get past the moment and embrace your day with joy.
All three of my kiddos started going to a house church with their cousin and I would have to say, looking at the pictures that a friend took, it is going well. These kiddos are all huddled in a prayer circle for each other along with their cousin and a couple friends. I had thought about going too but I keep feeling that this is something my kids need to do on their own, for now. With them all being teens, they need to feel in control of certain aspects of their own life and their walk with God is a big one. I decided not to “tag along” in hopes that I don’t hinder their progress since at this age there is more resistance to something if the parents are involved. So I just wait, watch, and pray that one day they will actually ask me to come because they want me there.
I pray they keep seeking God with all their might and He will direct their paths. A happy ending to April indeed!
Love and Blessings,
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March 2nd “Skating”
“I want to go skate!” These words come from my kids all too often. They usually go to the local store and skate around the parking lot but we are trying to wean them from doing that for safety reasons. So we headed down to a local lakeside park. We let them skate a bit them we hiked around the lake a little. I was happy to be outside and with my little family.
March 5th “A.B.C Trail”
I have a need to get out in nature as much as possible while the weather is pretty and cool! So we headed out to a trail. After a picnic, we hiked a trail that just happened to have letter markers ever so many feet… so we made up a game. When we got to a letter marker we had to find something in nature that began with that letter. For example: B – blossoms! It was much easier when they were little and had a natural passion for discovery but after hiking so many trails we have to think up new ways to make our teens interact with the wonder of nature. Once we got a little ways down the trail they relaxed back into their old selves playing around and being silly together.
March 6th “Donkey Cart”
For his birthday last year, Adam had to have a mini-donkey. His ambition was to teach the donkey to pull him on a cart. Today hubby and Adam make a “training cart” and had Rowdy the donkey pull Adam around a little. Rowdy was not thrilled with the idea but he accepted it and moseyed around with Adam in tow as hubby led. Rowdy did get extra loving in return so it wasn’t so bad! The kids then decided they would let Rowdy have a break and just pull each other around on the cart! That was just as fun!
March 16th “Legal to Drive”
Anna passed her written driver’s license test! Not only “passed” but aced it with a 100%!! We took her down to the DMV to get her learner’s permit and now she is “legal to practice” driving! Of course, she joined us all with the self-hating of our drivers license. She said, “I am just glad I can retake the picture when I turn 16 and get my real license!”
March 20th “Backyard B-Ball”
Adam decided he wanted to learn to play basketball for fun. He and Anna went out in the back yard and shot a few hoops but the goal was too short and the ground too uneven to successfully dribble the ball but they played around being silly and enjoying the pretty spring day!
March 21st “Courtside”
Adam decided basketball would be easier on a court. He bought himself a new ball and we headed out to the park and let the kids play a little one-on-one! It wasn’t long before dad decided to play too and yes, even I sat the camera own long enough to make a hoop! It was such a blessing to see my husband playing and laughing with the kids! All too often we get caught up in so much work and worry and stress with the kids that we forget to just enjoy them and moments like these!
March 23rd “Lakeside Hike”
Anna wanted to practice driving sow e let her drive around the lake area which gave us a perfect opportunity to enjoy a quick hike. The water levels were still high from the earlier flooding in East Texas but we could still walk the deserted old camping loops that had been blocked off since the flood last year. It makes me smile to see the kids acting silly and playing around with each other. It also pleased me when Adam picked up a piece of bark and informed me that a sap sucker had been busy (referring too the small holes pecked into the bark.) It was a moment for me thinking, “Yay, he remembered something from our hikes a few years ago!”
March 28th “No-Fishing”
We decided to try to go fishing on this beautiful spring day. Sadly, we forgot about the high lake levels which flooded the roads to where we usually would fish. We had fished on the flooded road last year when the water was even higher and caught plenty of little perch. Today was completely opposite. Today we could not get a cast out in the water without hanging the hook on some branch or debris. Anna had to walk out several times to unhook the line. We kept hearing a large splash about 100 feet out in the brush, we were not sure if it was a big fish, a gar, or an alligator but either way, Anna was not to keen on wading out there repeatedly to get the fishing line untangled and besides, it was spooking the fish losing any chance to catch anything. We tried a couple of other places with the same luck but finally just gave up and went home. We will have to wait for the water to go down to try again.
31st “Spring Has Sprung”
March ended with a bounty of flowers blooming everywhere! The heavy rains then the warm weather on top of that caused everything to bloom! Here are a few of the flowers I enjoyed in my yard!
For those wondering about our eldest, he comes around and visits maybe once a week and on occasion eats dinner with us but is generally busy with his friends, girlfriend, and job. He is living the typical busy life of a young adult.
Love and Blessings,
February 5th, Simple Pleasures
A pleasant chilly sunny day. Adam and I decided to make a couple of pine cone bird feeders to use up some peanut butter that we had to throw out. I am thankful he is still interested in doing little simple things like this with me. Anna opted out… she is getting to the age she doesn’t join in as much with things like this.
But then just when I think Anna is getting “All grown up” she decides to turn our “hand truck” dolly into her own personal red-neck Segway! At least, she isn’t “too grown up” to play and have an imagination! I guess that is just how she rolls!
February 6th, Garden Prepping
Hubby used the beautiful spring-like day to till and spread mulch in the garden.
He used his extra big wheelbarrow to empty out his old compost pile and move it to start a new one closer to his greenhouse.
February 7th, Just a Normal Day
The newly hatched baby turkey chicks were getting out of their cage. So we got busy wiring one of our dog kennels so it is “poult proof” and moved momma hen and chicks into their new home. We have 6 new chicks with this hen making a total of 11 poults!
Hubby then decided to grill some burgers and chicken. I called Adam in to ask a question and he declared, “Hey, I got to get back, I’m learning to grill!” I thought, “How sweet, daddy and son time!”
With the burgers done, hubby decided to cook some chicken while the grill was hot. He brought in the grilled chicken… opened the cabinet looking for something, I asked, “Is the grill on fire.” He calmly answered, “Yes.” ( I know him too well)
Then it became a frantic race… He grabbed the flour, I shouted, “No it’s salt!” We attempted to salt the grease pan under the grill to smother the flames… that didn’t work.
Hubby: “I need to get it off the porch before it blows up!” I reminded him to unhook the propane bottle, but then thought, “Wait that is dangerous!” He got the bottle unhooked and away from the grill. Then we had the problem of getting the grill off the porch into the yard so we could douse it with water… “Ok, grab the ramps.. line it up!”, wheel almost went off the edge.. we re-adjusted, then into the yard! He hosed the grill down, smoke poured out of it, then finally the fire was out.
When it was all said and done, hubby said the fire was intentional so he could get the grill good and clean…
”Yes, that is exactly how I would go about “planning” to clean the grill!”
Anna said, “Mom, one of us should have been watching them.” LOL
February 9th, More Hens
We decided our older hens were barely laying anymore and it is time for a new batch. We also decided it was a good idea to get them while we had a “momma” to tend to them and never mind if the momma was a turkey!
We weren’t sure she would “take” them so I snuck them under her (all eight of them) without her paying me much attention. Poor momma turkey then had 14 babies to tend too, her six turkey poults and eight chicks too!
The chicks snuggled up under her just fine loving a big ol’ warm body to keep the chill off. We watched her for a while and I finally pulled a few of the chicks out to see if she would be fine with them once we left. She pecked at one or two of them but then settled in to accepting them and would preen them a little and so we decided she would be fine to leave.
February 13th, Up-Sizing the Turkey Brooding Pen
We never really expected to have our turkeys hatch out babies not to mention hatch out two sets and then we silly humans added chicken babies to the mix it was high past time to make a pen but it had to be a secure pen because we have wildlife and barn cats and goofy dogs that all could do a chick some serious damage. Hubby decided to buy cattle panels and wire “bitty wire” to the sides and top to make a heavy duty pen for the chicks. It was certainly heavy duty and just plain heavy! The kiddos and hubby worked on the pen most of the day.
They finally got the pen finished and it was my turn to go to work because generally speaking, I am the animal handler of our little farm. We caught the momma turkeys and settled them in and then all the babies were added. They all seemed very pleased with a bit more room to run and ability to peck at grass. Momma turkey stood vigilantly watching over her brood.
February 16th, Just Another Day
Hubby tilled his garden for the zillionth time. Thankful for a tiller that does most of the work all he has to do it guide it.
The kids were forced outside. They got spoilt staying indoors through winter it often takes a “nudge to get them out at first. A little while later I found them making the most of it by having a little batting practice.
February 20th, My Mommy’s 70th Birthday!
My beautiful wonderful mother had her 70th birthday! And my sister and I threw her a party! We hand made all the decorations in her favorite colors and cooked some of her favorite foods and invited her favorite people… her family.
I can never fully express how wonderful this lady right here is! She has endured so much throughout the years. She was going through menopause when I hit my teen years and until I had teens of my own I never fully appreciated what I put her through back in my horrible teen years. To this day, I apologize to her for being a teen and breaking her heart at times but she endured it with all the grace and love in the world (so much better than I do it now.) She is so full of wisdom and calm advice and the love only a seasoned mother and grandmother can have. When I feel like the world is beating the crap out of me I always know my mommy will give me a shoulder to cry on and try her best to understand and give unbiased un-judgmental advice. She is always my biggest fan and supporter. I love my mother so very much!!
Trying to get a dozen people looking at you and all smiling is like herding cats but mom celebrated her birthday surrounded by all of us!
February 21st, A Day at the Park
It was so pretty out we just had to go to the park and have a picnic! I think a couple of us were either not quite in the “park day” mood yet or was just hungry and didn’t want to pause for a quick selfie but, either way, I got my picture!!
Then off to the playground for a little while so they could get reacquainted with their inner child. It took a little while but they soon got into the “spirit” of it. I think it is wonderful that my teens are willing to still just play no matter how goofy they do it! It makes me happy to see them getting along and smiling on these rare occasions.
Then over to the duck pond to feed the ducks and geese. Adam tried really hard to get this shy little goose to eat out of his hand but she was bullied quickly by the other geese once they saw Adam had food.
We watched the turtles and ducks and geese feed on our offerings until other people arrived and we left to allow them to enjoy the pond in peace.
February 23rd, Adam’s Bad Day
Adam is, in general, a clumsy kid at this age but today he was having an especially bad day.
He was outside helping his dad do some work around the yard and the next thing I know he came in with blood running down his hand. I asked, “What on earth happened?!” He had cut his finger on the tin on the dog house they moved. I bandaged him up and sent him back out and literally two minutes later he came back in and had blood running down his face. “Seriously!!??” This time, he was using the drill and it kicked back and hit him by his eye. Knowing I just finished fixing the first wound, his dad told him “Don’t go in there and show your mother!” I got him bandaged again and told him I was going to wrap him in bubble wrap if he wasn’t more careful!
February 24th – 26th, Happy Anniversary?
Hubby and I supposed to go celebrate our anniversary on the 24th but we postponed it to help a daughter deal with a hard break up with her boyfriend. After a couple days of letting her be sad, I made her go to her cousin’s house to spend the night hoping that her getting away would help get her out of her funk. It did, she refocused and was more determined to get HER life moving in the direction she wanted which started with studying for her learners license.
Hubby and I tried to enjoy our anniversary while the kids were at my sister’s house but knowing our baby girl was still sad made it hard to be happy. When one of our kids hurt, we hurt. We did go on a hike and enjoyed the peace and calm of the lake. He knew I would feel better getting out of the house, at least for a little while. He always knows what I need.
The next day we went on a different hike and played on the swings and the spinning chair thingy at the playground like a couple of kids. And there, I finally found my smile, I even found my laughter again. It has been a rough couple of months for us through changes and outside influences wreaking havoc in our life it was a true blessing to be able to just forget all our troubles, if only for a moment and just be… us.
Times like these are what makes a marriage, times when you can’t seem to work past the problems and yet, you do, with the love and support of the one you vowed to stay with through all of these good times and bad. I love this man more today than I ever have and I am eternally grateful to God for my husband.