farm funnies

Cadrian crawled to the refrigerator, opened the door and helped himself to a carrot. He shut the door behind himself and crawled into me in the other room with a big grin on his face and handed me the carrot to cut up.
He is signing bye-bye, thank you, all done, more…and FINALLY signing nurse appropriately. And frequently. The other morning, it was pitch dark in our bedroom, but I could hear his little hand moving, and felt to be sure. Sure enough, he’s signing “Nurse” in the dark.
The beginning of our national anthem when you’re three:
ohhhhhh satan you see byyyyy the darling light
Out of no where, Aviana gives me a hug and a heart melting grin, and says, “God thinks you’re a good mama.”
A friend asks me how homeschooling is going; did we start yet, what do we do. Aviana comes over and Anne asks her what we do for school.
“Oh, we just read the Encyclopedia”

(which technically, is true, since the Usborne Children’s Encyclopedia is part of our history and science curriculum)
Brielle is wearing her sandals, a shirt and some bundies. “Hey,” says I, “You forgot your pants.”

“I don’t need pants!” she emphatically states.

After much back and forth, she definitively adds, “I don’t need pants because I’m going to exercise.”

“You still need pants to exercise.”

“I don’t need pants betuz the people who exercise on the side of the road don’t need pants!”

A pox on all you scantily clad joggers!

A friend’s facebook status: Who else but the Lord could write such poetry: “He breathed the word, and all the stars were born.” Psalm 33:6

My five year old responds: That’s so much happiness, it just kind of makes me want to cry.

Brielle found her first caterpillar. He lives in Mason jar. She wants to take him Sunday School. I told her we couldn’t take him to church. Later she told me it was ” because they don’t wike tatterpiwwers betuz he’s dunna poo.”

Aviana: I let Brielle have a turn, even though she was pestering. I let her have her way, but that’s ok, because I’m not her mom.

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My Daybook ~24 August


Outside My Window … dark–it’s getting darker earlier and earlier. And it’s chilly. For our afternoon Mandatory Outdoor Fun, we had on jackets!

I am thinking … about my Compassion children. I wish I could see their daily lives.

I am thankful for… chocolate. (I’m not even kidding)

From the learning rooms … James Herriot stories, Psalm 23, William Booth, (the guy who started the Salvation Army)–did you know they used to have steps up the bars in whiskey houses so a small child could be sure to reach and get good and drunk!?

From the kitchen … desserts. from my cozy murder mysteries


I am wearing … magenta tank top, khaki shorts (how about that? It’s Monday and I’m not in sweats!)


I am creating … tediously slow knitting rows that will someday, hopefully, become a lovely bag…or, at least, a bag.

I am reading … Crank


I am hoping …I haven’t overscheduled

I am hearing… Kevin sort of snoring in the recliner…ooops nevemind, he just got up and went to bed.

Around the house … striving for a Sink Reflection


One of my favorite things … doing not much of anything with my besties

A few plans for the rest of the week … lots of planning/work/meetings and greetings for our new MOMS group–which starts next week

Here is a picture thought I am sharing~

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A Case of Mistaken Identity

I see a girl, a young woman really. She tosses her auburn braid over her shoulder as she throws her shapely leg over her ’50’s style bicycle seat. Her knitted newsboy cap nearly blows off as she glides down the hill beneath amber maples. She giggles with glee and her leather boots pedal even faster to take full advantage of the momentum. The girl’s blue eyes sparkle as she lifts a hand to wave at old ladies knitting on their porches and small children playing in the yards. Her smile is contagious, her laugh, infectious.

She pulls her sueded blazer closer to her and buttons it over her turtleneck, daringly riding no-handed, to ward off the first true chill of the season. She pats her messenger style bag, as if to reassure herself of its contents.

Abruptly, she halts her glide in front of a coffee shop. Leaning her bike haphazardly against a lightpole, she stops short of a true skip, her skirt swirls around her as she blows into a seat. After ordering a sweet hot cuppa, flirting a bit with the barista, she pulls out her laptop and sets to work on her novel.

A few cups later, she strolls outside, stretching, to throw some pebbles off the nearby bridge, thinking of her life. Her husband. Successful. Handsome. Funny. Her cat. Fat. Hungry. Meddlesome. Her house. Rambling. Eclectic. Somewhat deranged. Her Jesus. Loving. Forgiving. Perfect.

It was a life that allowed for plenty of creativity. Plenty of friends. Plenty of time. Spontaneous dinners for twelve around an ancient table, leisurely talks in front of a stone fireplace, game nights lasting far into the night.

It was a life that allowed for plenty of reaching out. Plenty of work. Plenty of travel. Mission trips to child centers in Ecuador, shoulder rides for scruffy dark haired wee ones, praying with their mamas and papas long after the babes had drifted off to sleep.

No where in that life is a girl who is still wearing her15 year old college sweatshirt, now stained with diaper cream’s amazing bleaching power, and a comb and go haircut. No where are little people who talk constantly. No where is a day dictated by meal times and nap times and snack times and potty times. No where is there a constant shoveling against the daily blizzard of books and baby dolls, crayons and crafts, tiny shoes and teeny clothes. No where is the stress of making a meal with a toddler demanding to “help”, have a taste, and “axiwentwee spill dat”, a baby clinging to her legs, making moving about the kitchen impossible, a child begging for a morsel or an attentive–non-distacted, responsive– ear to the never ending saga of “How to Build an Oompa Loompa House” or “How I Found My Rock”.

No where is a girl who would rather dress her little ones adorably than herself. No where is a girl would rather buy markers and modeling clay than mascara. No where is a day full of laughter and discoveries and firsts and snuggles. No where are little hands that pull her face down to their level asking for a “Smoocharooni”. No where is a woman who learns how to be closer to her Jesus because of the sacrifices she makes for her family. No where is a place to set aside her selfishness.

No where in that life is a girl who’s heart is so completely full, tears flow freely as a way to make more room. A girl who thanks Jesus long into the night for this life, this life she loves.

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Prayer is a good thing.

My cousin is very ill. His name is Tony. His wife is Samantha. Their son is Matthew. Daughter Lily. Baby in progress: 16 weeks.

He has Valley Fever, which has led to a host of health issues and numerous surgeries and hospital stays. Most recently, he had surgery on a cyst on his spine that went up to his brain stem. Yesterday after surgery, he seemed to be fine. Today, he has taken a turn for the worse; his brain is not working properly at all. Doctors are completely stymied.

Please pray for this family.

Father God, You are the maker of all things the healer of all things. I pray for Tony now, that you would heal him. You are wisdom; you guide our paths. I pray you would give wisdom and guidance to these medical professionals. You are the source of our Peace that passes all understanding. I pray for your peace for Tony and Sam right now. You comfort and love us. I pray that you would be comfort in a tangible way for Tony and Sam. Oh Father. Oh Jesus. Work your wonders in their lives. In your Precious Name, I pray. Amen.

**UPDATE from Sam as of FRIDAY evening, 21 August**

Tony had a pretty bad day yesterday. Couldn’t answer simple questions in the afternoon, and by evening he could barely open his eyes or manage more than a mumble. Had a horrible nurse who wouldn’t listen to my input and didn’t feel it was necessary to alert the doctor.

Went around her by calling the Dr’s office directly and the answering service put me through directly to him. To make a long story short, Tony had a second surgery around 1:30am. His VP shunt had clogged and his brain ventricles were filling up with csf. The Dr removed the shunt.

There is now an external drain from his brain draining excess csf and a second external drain coming from the spinal cyst to keep it drained as well. He is scheduled for another surgery Monday to replace the VP shunt. It will be moved from his right side to his left. The Dr will also do a second complete shunt system from the spinal cyst, and it will now have it’s own drain tunneling down into his gut. It will not hook up with the VP shunt anymore.

He is doing much better today. Tony’s brothers, sister in law, niece, and uncle were here last night and today to help out with the kids and visit Tony. Thanks for all your prayers.

Keep ’em coming. God hears ’em. They need ’em.

***Update from my dad SATURDAY morning 22 August***
I was so glad I went down to Peoria even tho I very tired today! Poor Sam is so much more! Keep them in UR prayers as they are still in the battle. Tony is Tony just in a hospital bed. When I went in on Friday AM and he started talking and I Knew he was better I was thinking man he looks like a Borg from Star trek! I wanted say it and then he commented to me “ Do I look like a Borg?” so then the rest of the day I let him have it. He was Tony! My heart leaped. Later we were talking about night lights and Sarah said his motion night light at Tony’s house almost made her pee right on the spot. He said I may have to rethink that and put some plastic or tile under that light! I then said Georgann was making our light sensitive night light at Cousin camp to come on when she walked in front of it. His comment was she must be like a huge black hole! U have got to love that! So we had a few lol right in ICU!

He’s got a great sense of humor, our Tony, even if he is a bit of smart aleck. 🙂 Must run in the family.

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Abortion advocates insert language into health care reform bill

I don’t usually get too political in this blog, but this is more, much more, than just politics. The public is being misled.

A stealth amendment to the Kennedy-HELP health care reform bill would require insurance companies to cover abortion, says James Lansberry, vice-president of Samaritan Ministries International.

“This amendment is especially deceptive,” Lansberry says. “Christians need to realize that they could be forced into an insurance plan that subsidizes abortion. Your premiums could end up paying for abortions. There is a danger for Christian doctors and health care providers too. They may end up being forced to provide abortions.”

Lansberry continued, “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If Congress is serious about protecting so-called ‘freedom of choice’ then they should not force patients or doctors into medical procedures that violate their personal moral convictions.”

Lansberry reminds President Obama that his own mother opted to choose life during very difficult times and circumstances when it appeared her son might have a bleak future. Instead, today he is sitting in The White House. He needs to allow doctors to give today’s babies the same opportunity for life.

Other Christian leaders such as Tony Perkins of Family Research Council have also spoken out about these provisions in the health care reform bills, saying it would expand taxpayer funding for abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.

Samaritan Ministries (from which I got this article) is a health care needs-sharing organization founded in 1994. It includes 13,500 member households in all 50 states and around the world. For more information about SMI or to contact James Lansberry, call 1-888-726-4276, send e-mail to or, or view

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My Daybook ~17 August


Outside My Window … dark

I am thinking … I BETTER get a full night’s sleep tonight, or someone is going to be CRANKY in the morning (and it probably won’t be the darling little Man)

I am thankful for… learning new things

From the learning rooms … missionaries to China, floods, air, wind

From the kitchen … impromptu (but only because I couldn’t find the proper ingredients) homemade alfredo sauce


I am wearing … grey yoga capris, green MOPS shirt, It’s Greek to Me toenail polish


I am creating … Cards to stock my box

I am reading …Creating The Christian Family You Never Had.


I am hoping … to truly enjoy my week. To revel in the moments.

I am hearing… Kevin messing up my nice clean kitchen–oh yeah, remember that perfectionist post?–my friend was over tonight watching me clean my kitchen. Several times she told me it looked good, but I just. couldn’t. quit. It’s still not “good enough”. Finally, I got the hint, and sat down to really talk with her, and you know what? That was even better.

Around the house … putting away Aviana’s new fall wardrobe. I love shopping for my kids. Even more, I love averaging $4/item.


One of my favorite things … being invited

A few plans for the rest of the week … hopefully a movie with a new friend, a day at my mom’s, Sesame Street LIVE (we won tickets–so excited!!), Grandpa’s 77th birthday.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing~

Iowa Corn Fed
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Messies Anonymous and other steps to freedom

I picked up a book at the library on Friday and God has used it to give me a huge breakthrough to walking closer to him in more freedom than ever.

You see, I thought I was a Messie. According to Mrs. Felton, on a scale of 0-10, on which 0 is disaster and 10 is perfection, Messies are 1-3, Cleanies are 7-10 and average housekeepers–those whose homes fall into disarray on occasion, but not often and not for long, merit a 4-6 rating.

0–No one cares to enter your house.
1–Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
2–If you had to, you could at least find one clean towel.
3–The dishes are clean, but stay out of the upstairs bath!
4–At least once a week, everything’s spotless- for a day.
5–You can read a book without overwhelming guilt.
6–The minister’s wife can drop over unexpectedly without panicking you.
7–You can hold elaborate luncheons twice a week and have everything neat by 3:30 p.m.
8–You gave away the dog and made the kids understand.
9–Your children aren’t allowed downstairs, except to eat (neatly).
10–No one dares to enter your home.

She implores us to strive to be a 4-6–a successful, average housekeeper. Their houses are satisfactory most of the time, varying with the circumstances. They don’t even think a lot about their houses; they just keep them up.

This is what is astounding for me. This is the revelation. Are you ready?

I already AM a successful, AVERAGE housekeeper. If anyone stopped by, any time, I would be pleased to have you. I would love to have you. Please, stop by. (I also really, really like company and someone to talk to)

I just struggle so much with perfectionism. I NEVER feel like what I do is good enough. I have never been able to be ok with good enough. I think, “I must do it right. I must do it perfectly.”

I think I somehow have to earn the privilege of staying home with my children. I have to keep a show home, or I’m not good enough. I have to make healthful nutritious meals from scratch, or I’m not good enough. I have to have well behaved, model children, or I have somehow failed as a mother.

Sometimes, I can recognize those lies, but sometimes, I can’t.

God did give me some wonderful skills and abilities, but right now, while I’m learning to conquer this perfectionistic part of me that takes all the fun out of life, I’m going to strive to be successfully average.

And it will be wonderful.

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Today, I slept in (once I pawned the baby off to Dada at sunrise).

I had cake for breakfast.

And a coffee.

I was awestruck by God’s handiwork above and below the ground. His attention to detail is breathtaking.

Special thanks to Jon Flavel for these photos, since I forgot my camera.

I laughed a lot.

I had some serious heart-to-heart with my parents. And it was a balm to my soul.

I watched a cicada hatching from its nymph case.

Thank you Anita363 for this staggering photo.

I lolled on a porch swing while marveling a dragonfly’s flight engineering. Isn’t the Creator amazing?

I headed off several near tantrums.

I made dinner without a recipe!

I nursed. I snuggled. I read. I kissed. I listened. I loved.

And today, I did it well. Thank you God.

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Happy Birthday Baby B

Aviana is off at “Cousin Camp” (more on that later), and Brielle and I have really enjoyed our two hour block in the morning when Cadrian is napping. Yesterday, we did some shaving cream fun. Some art. Some reading. Some snuggling. Truly appreciating each other.

She made that “B” all by herself!
We also did some facepainting.
Then today, we did birthday stuff. My middlest turned three! We made a pink and purple cake with purple frosting.

Her Aunt Connie came over with some presents, including her favorite: sidewalk chalk that “wooks wike ice tweem! and you tan wite with both ends! the top and the bottom!)

After quiet time, we went to the pool for a while. Luckily, no one went into labor this time. HA!

It was pretty chilly, but we still managed to have a rollicking good time. It was especially frolicsome when some lady came up to me and said, “Can I ask you a question?”


“Do you have a blog?”

As it turns out, she heard Kevin introducing our kids to someone, and her mom is a Farm Fresh Fan! Shout out to Jane’s mom! And how awesome is she, to be a 78 year old blog fan?!

Plus Jane home schools. And is from my area. Double bonus.

Anyway, we thought we were done for when Brielle fell asleep on the ride home, but we managed to prop her eyes open with promises of presents and cake and the birthday song. Grandma and Grandpa got to join in for some Santa Fe chicken and pink and purple cake.

And Cadrian managed to score himself some of that cake. An entire piece in fact. Luckily they were small pieces. But how could any self respecting baby resist fistfuls of cake with my Aunt Twila’s frosting?
Hmmm. All this cake talk is making me hungry. *off to nosh some pink and purple cake*

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