The Best Age

33 is the best age. Two matching numbers. Lots of experience. Mature, still able to be silly. Learning style and how to dress with aplomb. Has shapely legs to make up for the well nursed bosom. Thoughtful, understanding, and well-intentioned. Figuring out this mothering thing as we go along, figuring it well, most days. Marriage, no longer new, but still exciting–rates high on a 1-10 scale. Honest, yet tactful. Able to confront when necessary. Still a little afraid to approach local celebrities for conversation, but doesn’t let it show. Can befriend total strangers easily, and selflessly. Inventive, creative, and has better follow through than ever. Sold out to God. Truly.

4 is the best age. Four loves to hold hands and snuggle, but doesn’t need to. Loves to pretend–loves to be fairies and build fairy houses. Loves to be a princess and loves to build castles and dungeons. Loves to be volcanoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, rainbows and fog. Loves Loves to laugh. Loves to be tickled. Loves to dance.

Four can pedal, skip, tiptoe, gallop, fly like a butterfly and run like cheetah. Is curious. Is creative and inventive. Is literal and oh so stinkin’ hilarious. Is interested in reading and letters and writing. Four can cross-stitch, color, do puzzles, and pump in the swing. Four is starting to say her l’s and r’s regularly.

When four wants to ‘help’ around the house, she is actually a help. No longer a baby, relish in her independence. Has perfect obedience nearly always, and horrible tantrums are a thing of the past (running out of the room crying notwithstanding). Has amazing sense of style. Four wants to be a window washer and dance on stage with Michael Flatley.

Four is sweet and snuggly and thinks I’m the best mama she’s ever had!

2 is the best age. Two can still take naps in my lap, but rarely naps. Two can forget why she crossed the room because the fifteen things in between here and there caught her eye. Two is potty trained, sleeps through the night, and doesn’t wake up too early.

Two is learning her manners and almost always remembers to ask permission before going outside. Two pretends, but makes sure you know she’s only pretending. Two is rarely afraid, always vivacious and can be awfully loud. Loves to be read to, and learned to read her numbers without my even realizing it. Two can memorize books and “read” them back to me. Two can tell stories with a beginning, a middle and an end.

Two ends up in the corner a lot, but is well tomato staked, so fall down blow out long lasting tantrums are becoming a memory. Two wants to be like her big sister in nearly everything, but is also a great big sister herself.

Two loves to race, jump, teeter totter, slide, cross trippy trap bridges and fly in her swing. Two wants desperately to be able to do it herself, and almost always can. Two still needs her mama, makes me laugh a thousand times a day and is delightful fun to be around.

10 months is the best age. Ten months crawls faster than some children can run. Ten months climbs stepstools and stairs as well as the ladder to the loft. Ten months has no fear.

10 months istens to and obeys “no” and “come”. Can sign “nurse” but only when you’re feeding him ‘real food’. Loves to eat applesauce and cereal. Will go to sleep on his own, and wakes up to nurse in the night, but goes right back to sleep. Sleeps a 12 hour night, with about 3 hours of naps in the day.

Crows exuberantly, hums delightedly, ‘coughs’ on command, and coos himself to sleep. Ten months says, “Mmmmmama!” Ten months cuddles and pats me. Ten months looks at me adoringly, grins brilliantly showing all four teeth, and crawls off to play.

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I’ve disabled comments.

I have disappointed myself over the last couple of years. I started this blog for a few reasons. One, a record of my life, for myself and for my children. Two, a cheap therapy session–journaling is good for the soul. Three, family and friends from afar could keep up with the happenings of the Farm Fresh crew.

And then, blogging somehow took on a life of its own. I discovered a whole new world out there. I found women (and one guy–hi Luke), with whom I have tons in common, who are in the same throes of raising families as I am, who understand, sympathize and commiserate.

But then, I started kind of posting to the comments. I started checking to see if I got any comments more than once a day, getting on line specifically to see if I got any comments. The narcissist in me started needing the comments.

Bad Jessica. Bad. No donut.

I’m going to see if this changes my thinking, if I can go back to blogging just for me.

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Should you let the government parent your kids?

Mike Huckabee and Mike Ferris discuss “The U.N. Convention for the Rights of the Child (CRC)”

*Under this treaty, your 13 year old child could sue you for grounding her, or via the court force you to not take him to church “so much”.

*Reasonable spanking would be illegal.

*Christian schools would not be able to teach that Christianity is the only true religion.

*Children would have a “right to leisure”.

*If a government worker disagreed with a decision you made in regards to the best interest of your child, YOU would be overruled.

*The CRC would overrule the U.S. Constitution.

For more information, and how you can act, please go to

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Quote from an article in Parenting magazine: The “no” thing backfired when Renny insisted on bringing her doll-baby into preschool. “No!” I said with smug confidence. She started shrieking. I handed her the doll.

Does anyone else see something wrong with this? This isn’t parenting. At least not good parenting. You don’t say “no” to your two year old, and then when they commence a fit, change your mind. What are you teaching your child?

You are teaching your child to scream when they don’t get their way. You are teaching your child they are more important than you, that what they want is more important than what you want. You are teaching your child your authority, really, means little. You are teaching your child if they make it unpleasant enough for you, you’ll give in.

Bad idea.

It may seem like a small thing, but you must NEVER never cave to a screaming response. If you can’t be consistent in the small things, how will your child know you mean it when something is truly a big deal? Now, honestly, that mom probably didn’t really care if her tot brought her doll to school or not, but that isn’t the point. If you say no, you have to keep your no.

I really hate Parenting, Parents, American Baby and the like because in EVERY issue of their magazine there is at least one scenario like this. Wishy washy parenting that only hurts the child in the long run. I stopped reading it when Aviana was a baby, because the values they teach, aren’t really values. They mean well, but there aren’t any absolutes in what they preach.

The only reason I even was reading this magazine was because my nine month old ate the cover off at the library, and I had to buy it. He isn’t trained yet, but I would have told him “No!”

And I would have meant it! 🙂

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In My Arms

In My Arms–by Plumb
(she kind of reminds me of Tori Amos, who I used to just love, hers was the first CD I EVER bought!)

Your baby blues
So full of wonder
Your curlicues
Your contagious smile
And as I watch
You start to grow up
All I can do is hold you tight

Clouds will rage in
Storms will race in
But you will be safe in my arms
Rains will pour down
Waves will crash all around
But you will be safe in my arms

Story books
Are full of fairy-tales
Of kings and queens
And the bluest skies
My heart is torn just in knowing
You’ll someday see
The truth for lies
When the

Clouds will rage in
Storms will race in
But you will be safe in my arms
Rains will pour down
Waves will crash all around
But you will be safe in my arms

Castles they might crumble
Dreams may not come true
Cause you are never all alone
Cause I will always
Always love you

Hey I
Hey I
Will love

Clouds will rage in
Storms will race in
But you will be safe in my arms
Rains will pour down
Waves will crash all around
But you will be safe in my arms

In my arms

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Keepin’ Busy

Creating a community with my oldest. My favorite thing!

Going on an outing with the family. My favorite thing!
(I don’t know that guy in the background by the way, he just wanted in the picture I guess)
Cadrian winning Iowa State football tickets in a drawing. My favorite thing!
Going to Wal-mart for the first time since the remodel. Having scotch tape be where the sporting goods used to be. Coffee down by the milk. Wandering around as if in a foreign country. My favorite thing!
Little helpers, who really are a help. My favorite thing!
Sisterly compassion. My favorite thing!
My boy has good balance. My favorite thing!
Book in the background–Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s In Praise of Stay at Home Moms. My favorite thing!
Dandelion Princesses. My favorite thing!

I’ve been spending a lot of time (A. Loh-ot. Of Time. ) on child training lately. Apparently, that’s my full time job. I sort of forgot. I direct your attention to Raising Godly Tomatoes. It’s SOOOOOO good. Seriously, if you love God and you love kids, you need to carve out some time for this site.

I plan to write a post about how much this is helping us. Someday. Right now, I’m keepin’ busy.

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Mother’s Day

Four Generations of Women: my mom Georgann AKA Gigi, my sister Leah AKA Tia, her daughter Ella, me, Grandma, Aviana, Brielle, and my other niece Cora

We went to church. This simple statement doesn’t even begin to sum up the craziness of getting three small children fed, dressed, combed and pottied and out the door by 8 a.m. while your husband is doing chores.

I got through the singing before I got paged from the nursery.. Cadrian had to be changed into a new onsie. After wiping him down top to bottom and nursing him, the sermon was over, and it was time for my nephew’s dedication.

But then I got paged for Brielle. She was telling the child care worker emphatically, that only MAMA can take her to the potty, to get out of the bathroom, and had been in the bathroom for nearly 10 minutes.

I asked her, “Were you being mouthy?” Big jovial grin. YES! I walked back into the sanctuary just in time to see Eli’s dedication.
To celebrate Mother’s Day, Eli’s Dedication and my grandma’s 86th birthday, we all (well, Kevin went home to plant) went to a state park for a picnic. And then a short “hike”.

We relaxed in the lodge for a while.
After bidding adieu to my loved ones, we went home. Even though it was three o’clock, knowing that Kevin would be putting in another long day made it seem like a lo-o-o-o-ng time until bedtime…

But we managed to find ways to entertain ourselves.

Hope you had a wonderful day too!

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Aviana: Mama, toffee is rewwee bad for you.
Me: I know it is.
Aviana: Den why do you dwink it all the time?
Me: I have no idea.


Brielle and her recent hijinx: Marker + couch. Baby powder + bathroom. Paper towels + toilet + lots ‘o water. Baby lotion + toilet paper + water. Peanut butter + her hair + baby’s head. Pee-pee + wagon. Gold pen+ window sill + new ottoman. Urge to pee-pee in the grass + bare bummie + city park full of people. Honey+ table.

= one exhausted mama relying soley on God’s strength, and not very well at that.
I was standing in the kitchen, engrossed in a spoonful of peanut butter with some M&Ms thrown on for good measure, when who should wander in but my Quiet Time escapee, Miss Brielle.

“What are you having, Mama? What are you doing?”
“I’m stress eating, ” I answer, dourly.
Without missing a beat, “Oh,” she says, “May I have some stresseating too?”


My hardworking handsome husband. Oh how I feel for him. He is trying his hardest to provide well for his family, and is hampered on so many levels. Weather. Lack of competent help. Not enough hours in the day. Equipment that breaks down. There are so many negatives, it’s hard to remember God is at the helm. There are so many negatives, it’s hard to remember Kevin is living his dream job. There are so many negatives, it’s hard to remember God created him for this, and me to be his help mate.

There are so many negatives, it’s hard to be nice when town folk whine about the rain. Oh, poor you, you can’t mow your lawn or go golfing. WELL, AT LEAST YOUR LIVLIHOOD DOESN’T DEPEND ON IT!!

He got in the fields for the first time in WEEKS yesterday, and worked until 10:30. He was up early and out there again today, taking advantage of the dry weather. How I love my hardworking handsome husband.
Mama. Mama. Mama.

He’s saying it!

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