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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Little mess ups

We’ve been busy every moment Sebron is home from work. We’ve been slowly chopping up the trees that were pushed down last summer. The kids and I kept the bonfire going last weekend with all the branches we hauled. Later, we haul logs to the wood pile while Sebron chainsaws.

Back in January, when the lambs were born, we spent an afternoon separating part of the pen into a nursery so they wouldn’t get stepped on by the other ewes. The ram had to be moved off into his own separate lot and of course all of this just takes time.
We filled an order for firewood last week and at night after we put the kids to bed Sebron and I bundled up and chopped and stacked wood for awhile. I like to have a good stash up on the porch in case of a big cold spell or we get rain.
Once we made our decision to move, we went back and forth on if we should sell the sheep or not. We really wanted to take them with us but with not knowing what our housing is going to be, we decided it would be best to sell. I posted them on craigslist and literally two hours later we had a guy out here with his trailer and he bought all my ewes and babies. I was glad he took all of them, but it was so hard to see them go. I’d really spent a lot of time with them, sold the culls and really gotten our little flock to how I wanted them. I’m not going to lie, I was glad it was dark when I put those babies on that trailer. No one could see my tears.

Sebron and I had really wanted to be able to keep them through the lambing. You know, to see our work pay off, to do the whole process. I realized with a move date in March, we probably wouldn’t be able to do that and the ewes would be easier to sell while still pregnant. It’s funny how God works. When we first brought our ram home, he jumped fence that first night and got in with the ewes. I was upset because I was worried he had bred a few and I really didn’t want lambs in January. Well, the Lord knew way before we did that we would be moving. He knows my heart and how much I wanted to see our lambs. We had two ewes lamb the first week of January. I got to love on and enjoy them for a whole week. I got to dock tails and give shots and do all the messing around with them that I enjoy. I know without a doubt that God allowed the ram to get in that night. He did it for me; so I could see the whole process through. I love how He cares about the small things like that. Little things that are so big to us and mean so much. A couple of scrawny lambs, meant the world to me. Thank you Lord for the little mess ups in life that turn out to be big blessings.
The chickens left the next day and Gideon (the ram) followed the day after. All we have left is the horse and dogs. It’s so quiet around here. No sheep yelling at us when we walk out the door. It’s somewhat lonely.

We’ve sold off all the shelters we had built for the sheep and only have the chicken coop left for sell. Sebron has started slowly taking down fence and we hauled off a good load to the dump. We are making progress slowly.

I’m 38.5 weeks pregnant and Meme is here, so all of us are excited for Baby to arrive! She spent a morning this week packing up all my china and Christmas dishes into boxes to be sent home with my parents when they come.


There is still so much to do, but I just can’t get motivated because all I can think about is snuggling this little guy as soon as he gets here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Branded

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

This post has been going through my mind for a few days now. Thoughts running wild.. I’ve written it, rewritten, erased. I still don’t feel like I can get it right. Trying to put into words what is on my heart is so difficult. When we left North Carolina almost four years ago, we left our families behind and set out on new exciting adventures. I was born here in Texas, and have always felt a connection with this beautiful state and was excited to actually live here. I wasn’t prepared for how Texas would grab my heart. Jancsi was only Hayva’s age when we got here. Not even walking yet. We knew no one and were wet behind the ears in marriage and the hardships of life.
We had to learn how to work together, as a team, as a couple. We went from Sebron being gone all the time landscaping, to mending fence and working cattle together 24/7. It was hard. We argued. But out here under the huge Texas sky, loading hundreds of hay bales, we figured it out. Jancsi learned how to walk in those fields while we pulled fence, pulled calves and hauled hay.

We made friends and found our church. Friends became family as we dug our roots in deep. As we moved around from place to place, ranch to ranch, to farm and back to ranch, we learned more about life and the curve balls it can throw. We learned to lean on each other and depend on God.
We hauled more hay, milked cows and planted seed. We worked with deer and trained horses. We lived in an RV with only cows for neighbors. We built a house and rode bulls. We bought our first little flock of sheep and hid under the stairs when tornado came through. We brought our babies home and grew our family under this big Texas sky. We watched the sun rise through our kitchen windows and saw it set outside our front porch.

Texas has branded us and we will never be the same. We fell in love with not only this life and culture, but the people as well. We fit in and we didn’t have to try. Texas has everything we could ever want.
Except family.

It’s hard not having your Mama able to come over and help with the babies. It’s hard missing sibling’s wedding showers and engagement parties. It’s hard calling home and everyone is over for dinner but you. 
We’d always talked about maybe one day going back. But it was mostly just talk. Our talks got more serious last summer. We were pregnant with number four and the absence of grandparents, aunts and uncles was feeling bigger. We started praying and applying for jobs.
Back in December, Sebron flew to North Carolina to interview with the Corporative Extension Service. They called the week after Christmas and offered him a Livestock Extension Agent position in the mountains of NC. With much praying, tears and seeking the Lord, we have felt Him leading. We accepted the job. And so our path has changed once again and we find ourselves leaving Texas for North Carolina come March.

The thought of being closer to family is exciting, but leaving Texas is harder then we thought it would be. I will so miss this place that has been such an important part of our life. I have come to know and love this land. The dirt and the smell of earth. The seasons and storms. It’s become a part of us. Have you ever lived in a place that was a part of you? The crickets and coyotes have lulled us to sleep each night under this Texas sky that’s bigger than life.

The Lord is asking us to follow Him. Again. And so, bravely we are. I know He has something big. Something awesome for us. We are excited for what He has in store, but the goodbyes sure are going to be rough.
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.” Isaiah 55:12-13

“So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today- to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul- then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine, and olive oil. I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied” Deuteronomy 11:13-15

Friday, January 15, 2016

15 Months {Hayva Joy}

I love this stage. So much curiosity and unruly hair. My feisty blue eyed girl is 15 months old. She is loud and messy. Her favorite thing is to go through my cards and stationary…throwing them all over the living room floor. Over and over. Unfolding and throwing the clean clothes around is another favorite...
She loves banging pots and pans around in Lulu’s little kitchen. She’s big on dancing and if there’s music on she will find her way to the source and will stand there dancing stiffly and clapping.  She is saying several words and will copy a lot of what you say. She knows exactly what you’re saying and you can’t slip things by her.

She refuses to drink her milk out of anything but her bottle, but has fallen in love with her new big girl nalgene bottle she got for Christmas. It’s just like her brother and sister’s and she walks around with it proudly.
Hayva loves the outdoors and helping with whatever we are working on. If we’re getting up wood she will pick up tiny pieces of bark and walk back and forth putting them on the pile. She waddled around picking up clumps of sheep poo while we docked lamb tails and vaccinated which left me feeling like a total Mom failure. She isn’t a bit afraid of dirt and usually covered in it about 5 minuets after being out. She loves all the animals and is right on level with the dogs, which results with many knock overs and face licks. She is my little helper getting feed for Darby. She loves playing in the feed bucket and fishing out pieces of hay from the water tank.
Hayva is none stop all day and it will be interesting to see how she takes to her little brother. She is growing up so fast and changing into such a little girl before my eyes. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Lambs!

As we finished up breakfast this morning, I walked over to put a log on the fire and happened to glance out the window at the sheep. They were all huddled around something in a group. I looked closer and saw something small walking around in the middle, between all those legs. “She’s had her baby!” I yelled! Everyone at the table yelled “WHAT?” “Mama had her baby!”
Mama is our friendliest ewe and I knew from the beginning she’d be a good mom. She just has this soft nature about her. Maybe that’s why both Sebron and I started referring to her as Mama. We weren’t supposed to have any lambs until February, but our ram got in with our ewes back in August for one night. I thought he was courting one when we went to separate them the next morning but wasn’t sure. I did the math and figured if he was successful, we might have some lambs in January.  
I was quit sure she’d been bred early when she started bagging up about two weeks ago. We started watching her more closely and this week the poor thing was waddling around.

We all grabbed boots and jackets and ran out in our pjs. Twins! Dorpers hardly ever have more then one lamb, so I was so excited to see two stumbling around after Mama. Their coloring is also great! I didn’t know at the time we bought the sheep, but Dorpers are always all white or white with black heads. Mama is a slight mixture and doesn’t have the true Dorper markings. Because of this we’ll get docked on price if we ever try to sell her. I was worried her lambs might have the same colors as her and was thrilled to see those little white bodies with perfect little black heads!
The larger one is a ewe and the smaller with just a hint of droopy ears is a ram. They are everything adorable and Mama even allowed me to hold them briefly while she kept a watchful eye.

We have one other ewe that has bagged up and looks like she isn’t going to make it to February. Yay for one night stand babies! I’m so thankful for a healthy start to our lambing season!

Monday, December 28, 2015

33 Week Update

We woke this morning to a light covering of snow! So fun and a shocker to our systems since it’s been a steady upper 70’s kind of winter! The kids were of course thrilled and talked of nothing but going out and trying their new sled. We dug out all our winter snow clothes and enjoyed a bit of winter wonderland fun!
We had a wonderful Christmas! It was our first one to be alone, just us. It was actually really special. Yes we missed family and hearing everyone together when we called, but it was something special to just be us this Christmas. We were totally spoiled by grandparents and we felt completely blessed and loved as we opened gifts sent from afar! We spent the day enjoying each other and the newest toys, books and goodies.

I’m 33 weeks pregnant and ready for this little guy to be here! It’s been a long two weeks of sickness in our house and on top of being pregnant, I’m worn out from all the extra whining and no sleeping. All three kids had pink eye over Christmas and we’re still doing eye drops. We also had bad cold go through and the girls had horrible coughs that are just now clearing up. No one napped. No one slept. It’s been exhausting.
I ran into Walmart the other day to grab some things in case we were iced in with this storm and they had already replaced all the Christmas things with Valentine d├ęcor and candy. I’m normally amazed at how early stores try to push the next holiday. I’m not going to lie, not this year. They can push Valentine’s Day as early and as much as they want. Baby boy is due the day after and it makes it feel like his due date is just around the corner!


He is an active little thing and I can feel elbows and knees jabbing me as he gets comfy in his ever shrinking space. I’ve had horrible restless legs at night which makes it difficult to fall asleep. Over all though, I’m hanging in there and counting down the days. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

14 Months {Hayva Joy}

They change so quickly at this age. Each day she amazes me with things she knows. Brushing her hair, putting shoes on, going and getting her coat when I ask if she wants to go outside. Today I was writing some thank you notes and I glanced over to see her licking envelops. She loves to take off ornaments and re-hang them. But only certain ones. She has two or three she goes after and after pulling them off she grunts and groans as she tries to put them in their new place on the tree. I have really been impressed with her ability to leave it alone for the most part. I was worried it was going to be an issue all season!

Sisters
Hayva has totally taken to the whole walking thing. I brought out Laughter’s old boots and Hayva has been getting used to wearing them outdoors. It took her a few days to figure them out since most of her life she has been barefooted. She loves the freedom she now has outside and I love watching her Frankenstein walk after the older kids. She is always covered head to foot in dirt and grime by the time we come in and I usually have to completely strip her down to her diaper. But oh she has so much fun!
Look at that dirty little bum!
She has become a little Daddy’s girl lately which I love! As soon as I mention Daddy is home she starts shrieking “Hi Daddy “ and blowing kisses as she runs for the door. After hugs and kisses she follows him around and will lean her little head against his leg whenever he is sitting or standing still. I’m usually the one who brings her down in the morning, and as soon as her little feet hit the floor she is tottering off into our bathroom waving to find Daddy getting ready for the day.
By about 6:45pm she starts getting ready for bed and as soon as she is in her pj’s and I make her bottle, she heads to the stairs on her own yelling “bye!” and blowing kisses. Love her!

Hayva still is our Little Destroyer as Jancsi likes to call her. She takes great delight in pulling Lulu’s hair and knocking down Jancsi’s block buildings. She chews on their art projects and wrecks their train tracks. As soon as they hear her climbing the stairs, I hear the screams erupting from the older ones in the playroom as the dash around trying to barricade whatever they are playing with. I can’t help but smile as I also hear Hayva giggle as she climbs. She knows, yet she gets some wicked pleasure out of making them scream. Ahh siblings.
Amos has taken on his new charge without complaint. 
Poor thing has some teeth coming is and has been waking up several times during the night crying. We’d just gotten her sleeping through the night too (stupid teething!). Here’s to hoping they pop through soon and for her sake and mine starts sleeping better!

She is eating SO much better and completely off formula now! Whew that stuff is crazy expensive! She is much more willing to try new things and isn’t just surviving off milk. One of her favorites is potato soup!

Hayva has discovered the joy of dancing and whenever there is music on she can be found clapping her hands and swaying/be-bopping (very stiffly) along! It’s pretty adorable and I love to encourage her in it….so pretty much within a minute we are all dancing and cheering her on. J


She is SO much fun here lately and simply bursting with personality! Here’s to you kiddo! Happy 14 months! 

Monday, December 14, 2015

SiNgLe DiGiTs!

31 weeks. There is something big about making it to the big three zero. This feeling like we’ve arrived! The final stretch! Reaching 31 weeks is just as momentous because it means we have single digits to go until this little guy arrives!  I am seriously so excited and simply cannot wait to hold this new little one and kiss his precious face! I’ve especially enjoyed pulling out baby boy clothes with Jancsi lately. It’s awfully fun seeing blue in the closest after two years of pink!

I’m feeling good over all. Somewhat large and just ready to meet him. The daily tasks of motherhood which require you to be up and down all day are getting a bit more tiresome but I know it will be worth it in the end.

We’ve had some lovely days here lately. In the 70’s and the kids and I have enjoyed being outdoors soaking up this last bit of sunshine before winter hits. Jancsi even pulled out the hose the other day and they played for several hours building rivers and lakes in the dirt.

As I look toward a new year so much is tumbling around in my heart. Dreams, questions, changes, hopes and more questions. The Lord calms the wonderings of my heart and anchors me in the knowledge that He is ever in the midst of things and is ever knowing. What a relief to this Momma who tries all too often to figure things out on her own.

He led me to this verse the other day during my quiet time. It’s in Isaiah, chapter 55 verse 12-13.

“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.” ....What a beautiful picture!

Jancsi can hardly contain his excitement!