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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thankful Thursday


We spent all last weekend painting over at the house we are moving into. I was hoping for a September 1st move in day, but given the amount of work I see still needs to be done I think it will be later.

The family that lived there before were slightly rough on the poor house. By rough I mean pen, crayon and permanent marker drawn all over walls and kitchen cabinets…. They peeled most of the paint off in the downstairs bathroom, and there are lots of tiles missing in bathrooms. All the carpet upstairs is being replaced and bedrooms being painted as well. There is a lot to do.

Jancsi is much more aware this move. Although we’ve moved him his entire life, this is the first time he is starting to understand. He has been asking a lot of questions about things we are taking and what if we leave this or that. The other day when I brought boxes home from the barn he began to frantically throw all his toys into them. He was in a bit of a panic thinking we were leaving that minute and heaven forbid his treasures get left. Poor guy. I try to listen to all his questions and worries and put them all to rest, assuring him we are taking EVERYTHING with us.

He was allowed to pick out his own bedroom in the new house- which he decided in a span of maybe 5 minutes after going to each one and saying “I think this one!” “No I think this one!” “Or maybe this one!” He is getting a slightly blue room once it’s painted and he could not be more excited!

Things I am thankful for this Thursday:
  1. Reaching 31 weeks of pregnancy!
  2. A beautiful wrap around porch to enjoy at the new house.
  3. The nearing of the end of August and the beginning of a new month. (One month closer to Baby Girl’s arrival!)
  4. The scent of freshly mowed hay.
  5. Big green round bales out my window.
  6. Good walks each morning with the Littles!
  7. The privilege of making dinner tonight for a friend who recently had her baby. (The first of the four women in our church!)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Flying


Everyone who knows me, knows I do not like to fly. Like I dread it for days and the morning of I’m always sick to my stomach. Pathetic I know. Flying with children is difficult and yet a positive for me. They distract me from bumps and turns as I try to entertain. =)

We are not a technical family (I hear some of you laughing right now), so no ipods or ipads to keep kids busy on trips. It’s just me, two kids and my very pregnant belly, squished into a tiny row, next to a complete stranger that I can only pray is alright with us for 2.5 hours…..

Our flight from Dallas to Charlotte left on time, but they didn’t let me board early with the kids. Normally when you travel with children they let you board early to get all your stuff situated before the masses of other fliers get on. Not this time. I had to board with my zone….. which was the last zone to be called….which means the plane was full by the time I even started down the little boarding tunnel thing.

And of course I do all carry-ons because I’m cool and thrifty like that. =) So I’m waddling done those teeny aisles trying to keep up with my three year old and keep my 16 month old’s (who’s on my back) feet from kicking people in the shoulders as we pass. All while trying to push half carry my suitcase and Jancsi’s duffle bag as well as keep my bulky mom bag with all our flying survival gear from swinging off my arm and whacking people in the head.

I try to smile at people as we crash by. They avoid eye contact of any sort and I’m pretty sure they are praying I’m not going to park my circus in their row. There are sighs of relief when I pass. We find our row and thankfully we have a nice older lady who happily reads her book the whole trip.

We do a lot of snacking and staring at the people behind us through the cracks in the chairs. Laughter does a lot of banging on the little drop tables in front of us. She finally crashes into sleep the last 30 minutes of the flight. We start landing and Jancsi starts screaming because his ears hurt. He’s never done this before and we’ve never had a problem with his ears on flights. Of course I’m totally not prepared. He continues to scream at the top of his lungs while I try to hush him. The nice lady offered a piece of gum which I thankfully accepted It’s breath gum and Jancsi complains that it’s spicy. I get him to chew it a few minutes which was enough to pop his ears and give him relief.

The Charlotte airport could not come quick enough for this Mama. We made it and Nana was there to greet us with open arms! Our flight home was the same except I was armed with gum (fun fruity flavors) and we sat on the run way for well over an hour while the airport people got their act together.

Oh flying, I will continue to conquer you!

**Due to our worsening internet out here on the Prairie, my computer will no longer allow me to upload pictures. So I'm afraid until we move, my posts will be photoless. =(

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thoughts from my couch


I’m sitting here in a quiet house. The kids are bathed and in bed, Sebron is out riding horses with friends- the house is quiet and I’ve been looking forward to blogging all day. Now my chance is here and all I can think of is my bed is calling my name.

Just 10 minutes ago I had screaming children and blood running down my shoulder and smeared across my cheek as I tried comforting little sister when a game of rough housing with older brother became well, too rough. Her little face took a crash to our concrete floor and the concrete won. Her little lip is a sight to be seen. Once I was able to calm her and make sure there was no horrible damage and teeth were in fact still intact, we all read books and then to bed it was. And now, here I sit. 

We are back from two weeks in North Carolina. My parents graciously flew the kids and I out. (More on that soon.) Poor Seeb had to stay here to work and was greatly missed. We are enjoying being back together!

This week we’ve been in recovery mode and taking long naps and trying to get the kids to sleep in passed 5am… dang NC time! Laughter caught a cold out of nowhere our last day and kindly passed it on to me. I think it’s horribly hilarious how when you’re 30 weeks pregnant a simple cold feels like the end of the world. Poor Laughter has had a bad week with her upper lip. Just yesterday she took a nose dive off one of the chairs in our living room.... and now tonight. Concrete-2 Laughter-0. 

We’ve been walking a lot in the mornings and then come home to mow away the jungle that is our yard. The heat is bad but I keep telling myself that this month will be the worst. Get through August and it’s smooth sailing! Oh October come quickly!

We will be moving here in the next short weeks- so please put up with me as my blogging might take a back seat to all that is our life right now.  =)

When we were building this house, I did not see us moving just 7 months later. But I have to remind myself that God is writing our life story….. not me. Change is hard for me and stepping out in faith actually takes faith. So as I begin to pack up our happy home here on the prairie, I ask the Lord for renewed strength daily, faith to follow Him, and joy in the difficult moments. In everything, speak LIFE!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

This life we have chosen.


This agricultural life is hard. It’s all we’ve ever known since we were married. Farming and ranching is not for the faint of heart. It is not for people who want a Monday through Friday, 8-5 job. It is hard. You work sun up to sun down with a lot of days starting before the sun has risen and finishing long after if has gone to bed. The job is never done. There is always something more to do. Fences to fix, fields to plant, hay to bring in, animals to be fed. I wish I could remember all the nights that work continued on by the light of tractor or truck head beams. It is hard to leave work at work when you get off and come home because, well, it is home.
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Waiting their turn to come in the the milk parlor. 
There are no dress shirts and clean hands, no pressed and ironed kakis or loafers. Just ripped up blue jeans with a tshirt and a pair of your favorite scuffed up boots.  My husband’s hands are hard and rough. He always has a black nail or two and blood blisters. His fingers forever stained and looking perpetually dirty even after my bathroom sink has been put to the test.
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My helpers. 23 weeks along.
You have to be smart. Able to crunch numbers on a whim. Know the feed to weight gain ratio for your livestock. You keep up with sales and bookkeeping. You’re a businessman, a welder, plumber, vet, electrician and mechanic. You know when to plant, when to sell and when to buy. You can be covered in sweat and manure one minute and the next you’re down town, clean, pressed and dressed- addressing potential customers and selling your product.  You’re a jack of all trades. You have to be.
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The milk tank.
It can be lonely, sometimes you go without seeing people except at church on Sundays. You freeze in the winter and fry in the summer. There is no employee of the month or bonuses. Just back braking work and an occasional ‘good job’ pat on the back. Sometimes money runs out and a job ends. So we move again. Another ranch, another farm. Life is hard out here. Tractors brake down and hay gets rained on. Animals die and crops burn in the relentless heat with no rain. No one told us it would be easy. In fact we’ve had several people encourage us to get out. But it’s a part of us. You might say it’s in our blood. Call us crazy but we love it.

Sebron and I have had moments when we talk. What are we doing? We could do something else….. but what?
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It does have its rewards. We fill our plats with food we grew and raised and it fills us with satisfaction and pride almost as much as it fills our belly. There is no feeling like when you haul that last bale of hay to the barn, beating the black storm clouds and rain that have been threatening all day. No reward like when you work to pull a calf and see it stand on it’s own for the first time. The feeling of accomplishment when you stand along a tall field that you plowed and planted with your own hands and prayed each night for rain and are now reaping the harvest. When you load up those cows or pigs you raised from babies to take to market. You come home each night exhausted and yet fulfilled. We are the backbone to society. Some people look down on us. But without us they’d be naked and hungry.  =)

No, agriculture is not for the faint of heart. Sometimes things don’t go as planed. Three other raw dairies in the area opened right after Yellow Rose did. Our milk sales never picked up and we found ourselves throwing out hundreds of gallons of milk a week, or spraying it on the fields. The operation just wasn’t paying for itself. So, last week I said goodbye to the ladies of Yellow Rose Dairy. They were sold to another dairy in West Texas and our last milking was last Sunday evening.
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Saying goodbye.
It was sad to say goodbye. I enjoyed milking, but I also knew it was time. Milking was getting harder and harder since I had to take the kids with me. Trying to keep milkers going, kids and cows happy and keep the kids entertained was a full time exhausting job. I am so grateful for the dairy. It allowed me to help out financially while Sebron was down with his back. But it wasn’t meant to be long term. So Sunday evening I milked for the last time and said goodbye. We still have one Holstein we are milking and giving the milk to the pigs, but I’m only milking on Saturday mornings and when they need me to fill in. It’s not the same.

We are looking for work again as it was the dairy that brought us here to begin with.
I do not know what the Lord has in store for us but I know He will provide and it will be good. We are trusting Him and as always I know He will show Himself Big!

Monday, July 14, 2014

102 at the Zoo


Sunday it was supposed to get up to 102 so we decided after Church to head to Fortworth to the zoo. =) Why not?! It was hot. So hot. But despite the heat we had a fabulous time!
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In the old town
Jancsi is at the awesome age where he really gets into it and loved the animals. He would be so into each pen and each animal and then he’d yell “lets go see what’s next!” skipping away. Laughter would ooo and aww everytime an animal caught her eye. Sometimes they would be right in front of her but she would scan the entire pen before she would see them and start giggling.
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We drank our weight in water at every water fountain we found. They had a little western town in the middle of the zoo with a cute ice cream store where we were only too happy to each get a cone and sit in the shade for a moment. They had an old water tower in the center of the town that had a water shower spraying out. Jancsi had a ball running through it several times to cool off- Evan Daddy and Laughter Grace enjoyed the spray.
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Looking for animals!
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Enjoying the 'leak' and getting cooled off. 
They had all the animals you could think of and I think favorites were the elephants where the two baby elephants were celebrating their 1st birthday and the house of penguins. I had pictures of both, but for some unknown annoying reason, my camera deleted half our zoo pictures. Laughter LOVED the penguins! They got excited with the kid’s faces pressed up against the tank and really put on a show. Diving and swimming and squawking. They loved it!
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My boy loved every minute!
Another favorite for Jancsi was the building full of reptiles and snakes…. I enjoyed it simply for the air conditioning! =)
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Ice cream never tasted so good!
All the animals were up close which was really cool! The whole day was just a breath of fresh air. To be able to be out enjoying God’s amazing creation as a family was wonderful.
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Love these Littles and this Man.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Pregnancy Update (25 weeks)


25 weeks down (tomorrow)! We are well over the middle hump of this pregnancy and onwards to closing the gap to the final trimester! Baby girl has been more active and I love feeling her squirm. Jancsi has really been interested in Baby this go around and also loves squishing her to feel her kick at him. =) He will come up to me throughout the day and place his little hands on my tummy asking “Is she jumping on her bottom?” He is excited about being a big brother again and talks often about coming to the hospital to see Laughter when she was born. Lulu of course has no idea what is going on, but at times will giggle as she pokes my growing belly.
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24 weeks.
I have had more energy this pregnancy overall (so far….). Yes I’ve had my days where I’m living for a nap, but compared to my first two pregnancies this one has been my easiest so far.
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Love!
I am bigger this stage then before- something I was expecting due to it being my third but still hoping I would somehow luckily avoid!

We have a name! Which of course I’m in love with! I love how when you’re pregnant and talking names, there are so many Sebron and I like but we both know that feeling when we find ‘the one’! God is so good!

This pregnancy is passing quickly and I know she will be here before I know it! I can’t wait for those new baby snuggles! New babies bring so much joy and life with them and you cannot help but be amazed with one in your arms!

There are three other young Mamas at our church who are also pregnant and I’ve loved having other close pregnant girlfriends! We are all just weeks apart with due dates in Sept, Oct and Nov.

Cravings:
-Chocolate. (It’s like every day I need that special ‘fix!’)
-Fruit.
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25 weeks.
Things I’m not enjoying:
-Trying to use public bathrooms. Picture a pregnant lady trying to hover over the potty while holding a 15 month old on her disappearing lap while also trying to keep her three year old turned the other way and not touching anything. I’m exhausted by the time I’m done.
-This Texas heat.
-Drinking lots of water.
-I’ve been very bloated later on in the day with this one. Not fun. Not to mention, uncomfortable.
-People telling me I’m going to have my hands full…. Why would you say that to an expecting Mama? I have come up with a few different reasons: 1. Because they don’t know what else to say. 2. They can’t believe someone would want more then two children. 3. They think having children close together is ridiculous. Either way, I don’t think it is very encouraging and if someone doesn’t agree with my husband and my choice to have more then one child they should keep it to themselves. Each child is a gift regardless of the number. Three children is not that absurd and I look forward to having my hands full come October! Okay, soapbox moment over. Lol It’s been interesting to see the difference between baby 2 and baby 3. People’s response has been more negative. I wonder if other Mothers of more then two children have experienced this and at what number?
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My favorite!
Things I’m loving:
-My Bio Oil. A must have!
-Bert’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter.
-Praying for this Girly by NAME!
-Getting back into walking and running again!
-Feeling Baby move.



Saturday, July 5, 2014

Meme Comes to Town


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Laughter loved walking with Meme and climbing rocks. 
We said goodbye to Meme after a month with her here. I cannot begin to list everything she did for us during her visit. What a blessing for me to be able to leave the kids with her so I could work while Sebron was at therapy sessions.
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We gave Meme a farm tour and had to stop to visit the dairy babies. 
Meme is one of those wonderful people who sees something that needs to be done and just does it. She spent an entire day at the auto shop getting Sebron's truck inspected and different things worked on and fixed. A nightmare to attempt with children- so thankful she was willing to do that for us. 
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Laughter Grace has ALWAYS fallen asleep on her Meme. She doesn't even do that with me! 
She made meals and entertained kids and really encouraged Sebron and I. We even got away for TWO date nights during her stay! We hadn’t been on a date since her last visit over Christmas! Such a treat! She kept Laughter the week I had Cow Camp (Cowboy VBS) which was gigantic.  
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Morning snuggles. 
Jancsi had nightly wrestling matches and special reading times with Meme before bed. A favorite. Laughter got lots of walking time going up and down the driveway and mastered her little bike while Meme was here.
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Double duty!
And of course everyone enjoyed the extra treats Meme brings with her! Special snacks, cheese sticks, Gatorades, strawberry pretzel salad etc! Yum!
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The six of us! 
I am thankful for everyone back home who let us have her for so long! I know she was missed but we sure loved having her here!