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.
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.
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?

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!
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!
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!
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! =)
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.
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.
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.
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.

-Chocolate. (It’s like every day I need that special ‘fix!’)
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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

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.
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. 
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.  
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.
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! 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Walking on Water

“Shorty before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’ ‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’ ‘Come,’ he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’ –Matthew 14:25-31

I’ve been thinking of this story a lot lately. Why were the disciples so afraid when they saw Jesus walking on the water? They had seen countless miracles, why was this one so hard for them to believe and caused them to be terrified? Aren’t we the same? We are read the stories, believe in the miracles and say ‘I have faith’ and yet when a miracle happens we refuse to see it for what it is. We recoil in fear. Fear of the unknown, the unexplained. There is no way explanation of walking on water. But isn’t that the Lord? His ways are higher then ours. Thank the Lord we serve a God who is capable of the unimaginable!

I love how Peter gets up enough faith to say Lord if it’s really you, call me out on the water as well. He joins the Lord on the water and is walking toward Jesus. All of a sudden, he sees the wind and storm rising around him and quickly loses faith and begins sinking. I am such a Peter. How often do I find myself in a crisis, I’m doing fine, I’m praying, having faith. Then just like that I take my eyes of my Lord. I get distracted by the storm around me. I start listening to people other then Jesus who is telling me “Come.” I immediately begin to sink. The struggles of life and home welling up around me ready to drown me. All because I simple took my eyes off my Father.

I am forever thankful I serve a God who does not leave us there. He doesn’t let us sink in order to learn our lesson. “(Peter) ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.” He is there in the storms of life. He is walking the water WITH us. He has not sent us to figure it out alone. Praise God!

So many people are willing to sit life out in the boat. Terrified of the miracles going on around them. Refusing to be a part and see them for what they are. They choose to cling to that rickety old fishing boat instead of trusting the Lord and jumping out of the ‘safe’ boat. The Lord is asking all of us to walk on water. To keep our eyes on Him. To come. Lord help us jump!

Lord, may I have the faith to walk on water. To believe the unbelievable. To trust You when the storms of life seem to great. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Little Buddies

A little relationship has been blossoming around here. I am hearing way more giggles and way less shrieks from these two. The other day they entertained one another the entire morning. I never had to step in once to see what the fuss was about.
Movie time.
They read books, had a wild horse race through the desert and watched a movie snuggled up close. No wonder Laughter isn’t saying any words, her older brother interprets everything and is sure he knows exactly what she needs and wants: “Mommy she said she wants a pop!”
Check out competitive older brother's expression.... he had to win the horse race! 
Laughter is figuring out that although Jancsi can be a bit rough at times, it can be great fun to wrestle! Jancsi is of course thrilled and most days very patient as she crawls on top of him giggling only to start screaming if he tries to do the same. “It’s ok Mommy, she’s still learning to wrestle me.”
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She copies everything he does and because of this, our little concrete floored home will echo loudly as they run around making absurd noises just for fun.
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Breakfast accessories by Jancsi.
This new copy business has given us lots of opportunity to talk about how Jancsi needs to be a good example because his sister is watching him and learning how to be a big sister for when little sis comes along. Most days he accepts the responsibility with a good attitude. Although the other day he made the comment to me- “I don’t want to be a peace-maker!” as screams erupted from the other room……
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More on this later, our first day of Cow Camp (cowboy VBS)! 
I am loving this season of where our precious kiddos are and each day they bring such joy to my heart. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Speak Life

Songs have really been jumping out at me lately. Tobymac has a new song out called Speak Life. It has been my anthem this year. The words are so powerful.

Some days, life feels perfect.
Other days it just ain't workin.
The good, the bad, the right, the wrong
And everything in between.

Though it's crazy, amazing
We can turn a heart with the words we say.
Mountains crumble with every syllable.
Hope can live or die

So speak Life, speak Life.
To the deadest darkest night.
Speak life, speak Life.
When the sun won't shine and you don't know why.
Look into the eyes of the brokenhearted;
Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope,
You speak love, you speak...
You speak Life, You speak Life.

Some days the tongue gets twisted;
Other days my thoughts just fall apart.
I do, I don't, I will, I won't,
It's like I'm drowning in the deep.

Well it's crazy to imagine,
Words from our lips as the arms of compassion,
Mountains crumble with every syllable.
Hope can live or die.


Lift your head a little higher,
Spread the love like fire,
Hope will fall like rain,
When you speak life with the words you say.

Raise your thoughts a little higher,
Use your words to inspire,
Joy will fall like rain,
When you speak life with the things you say.

Lift your head a little higher,
Spread the love like fire,
Hope will fall like rain,
When you speak life with the words you say.

So speak Life, speak Life.
To the deadest darkest night.
Speak life, speak Life.
When the sun won't shine and you don't know why.
Look into the eyes of the brokenhearted;
Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope,
You speak love, you speak...
You speak Life, You speak Life. You speak Life, Some days life feels perfect.

My Mom always uses the term ‘life giver’. Meaning, be someone that brings positivity and life to situations. Look for the bright side of things. Be encouraging.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” –Proverbs 18:21

“The words of the reckless piece like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” –Proverbs 12:18

It has been a great reminder to me lately to speak life into those around me. My family, my husband, children, friends, the cart collector at Walmart.

Speak life into someone today. Blow them away with a kind word. You might be the only one in their life who does.