Sunday, January 31, 2010

Giving Thanks

What a great weekend!  I got to cash in on my mother's day present from last year on Saturday and it was awesome!  Phil gave me a gift card to spend the day at a spa, so I left him with all three kids and just spent the day relaxing.  Ladies, tell your husband you want that for mother's day and guys, get your wife a gift card for a massage, facial, manicure, pedicure, or any combination of those....she will love you forever if you do!  As for me, my husband got me ALL four of them and it came with lunch!  I could not have asked for a better way to relax and I felt refreshed and ready to handle anything motherhood could throw my way when I was done.  That was until I got home and the baby had several DVD's out and was scratching them all over the living room floor!  Ah well...back to reality =)  And, as Phil was quick to remind me, "you just went to the spa...why are you aggravated?"  He was right, of course, and I feel very thankful that he reminded me to be thankful and joyful instead of letting little things get to me.  I have a bad habit of doing that...it's a project I work on constantly.  And I really do have so much to be thankful for - like a husband who makes sure that I get some time to my self because he knows I won't do it on my own, for example.  So, I try to spend Sundays thinking about those things that I am most thankful for.  I think Sunday is the perfect day to reflect on the good things God has put in my life because throughout the rest of the week, I just get busy and hurried and caught up in all of life's duties and responsibilities.  So, Since Sunday is God's day, I've decided a good way to offer that day back to Him is by spending it thanking Him for what He has done for my life - including giving me a little one who likes to ruin DVD's :) 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Small Successes


FaithButton


Over at the Faith and Family Live Blog, Danielle Bean is doing this project for the mom's at the site. It's called Small Successes, and this is what they do:


"It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that."

I thought I might try and participate because I think it will be fun to see what other moms are doing so that I can learn from them.  Plus, it's a fun way for us all to share our blogs, and since I'm new to the blogging world, I'm really curious about the whole thing.  So, even though I feel awkward about sharing my own successes, here goes:

1. I helped my husband tear down boards from the barn and build 3 raised garden beds for planting vegetables.  Since then, the kids and I have tilled up one bed and filled it with top soil.  I'm actually quite proud of this one...I've never been one who did a lot of manual labor like this, so it's good for me both spiritually and physically!


2.  I started this blog a few days ago!  I'm excited to be able to share and document my days so that my family will have a fun scrapbook to look through when we get older.  And, I hope that I can get some great tips and advice from other Catholic women struggling to balance their faith, home, and work as wives & mothers =)  Hopefully I can add to this small success by making my blog nice and pretty soon - it's pretty basic so far.



3.  We have actually been consistent about praying the family Rosary a few times per week!  I am probably most excited about this one because it is such a great thing for our family.  I hope we actually stick with it through the years.  We have 3 very young ones right now, so it's not always easy, but I'm glad to be able to do it 2 or 3 times a week.  Ave Maria!!

What are your small successes this week?





Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dug me a hole!

Well, not really a hole, but....I did haul dirt from one very far side of the yard to the other using only my bare hands and a shovel....and a pick-up truck, a 5 year old, a 3 year old, a 1 year old, and a tarp...up-hill, both ways, in the snow!  I got about 1/3 of one of my garden beds filled with nice, dark, crumbly soil.  God is teaching me a lot about patience, and even more about the peacefulness and serenity of working outside doing manual labor.  While I am really anxious and ready to have my garden ready for seeds, I've really been enjoying the time spent prepping it and putting in the elbow grease to get it where it needs to be.  There's just something really simple, fun, and satisfying about working like that...and I feel alot cooler than really I am when I'm driving my husband's big 'ole pick-up around the yard with kids hanging all over it and a baby sitting in my lap =)  Here's what we accomplished today...and we even got in a picnic lunch when we were through!  Life is good!


Monkeying around:



I love that my kids can help around the house now =)

The little crumb culprit (see that little peanut butter cracker in her hand - crumbs all over!):
  

Before we loaded the truck with soil:



We found this guy while shoveling:
 

They were supposed to be helping me....
 

But they made mud cakes instead:
 

Rachel and Andrew:
 

The first load: 
 

=)
 

And I've got a long way to go:
 

Picnic time!:
 

Tha Parable of the Sower

Today's Gospel about the sower is so appropriate for my day as I'll be working on getting the soil into my garden today.  I love how Christ's parables are so timeless and applicable to every person in each generation, but at the same time were so specific to His time and day.  He always used parables that met people where they were.  With the Apostles, He spoke about fishing, to families about baking bread, and to the particular group at the lakeside in today's Gospel about planting seeds.  Now, I'm no Biblical scholar, but I'd be willing to bet that a fair amount of these people by the lake were gardeners.  And not the recreational gardeners of today either!  I mean serious gardeners who grew crops or didn't eat.  So, when Christ was talking about seeds falling on rocky ground or on the side of the path, I can imagine these people nodding their heads and relating to the process of good planting.  Now for me, if Christ hadn't gone on to explain the parable and what it meant, I probably would have never really gotten it, and Christ would not have been quite so accessible for me.  But, luckily, He knows what I need so He elaborates more.  And I can't help but wonder what kind of parables He would give had the Word Incarnate been born into our generation.  Perhaps the 'parable of the blogger', or the 'parable of the podcaster', or the 'parable of the internet user'.  Not that these things are bad or wrong (lots of good can be accomplished through different media forms if used well), but we seem to have gotten away from the simplest kind of living - things like fishing, farming, and gardening and just enjoying the world that God created for us.  So, I am hoping that in trying to live as simple a life as possible in today's modern world - with a good balance of technology - I can learn to know Christ better, and thus serve Him better.  

Ok...onto the daunting task of filling my raised bed with lots of rich soil so that I can produce an abundant harvest for my family!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Meet our cows

What is it about having children that completely ruins my ability to remember even the simplest things???  The termite guy is coming this morning and Phil told me on several occasions what time he would be here, and yet I could not, for the life of me, recall what time he'll be here!!  I was frantically rushing around the house trying to get all of us decent and at least half-way presentable because I was sure that the termite guy would be here at 8 o'clock until I just decided to swallow my pride and text Phil to ask him one more time exactly what time they'll be here.  Of course, I was wrong about the time.  But, I was glad because now I have time to get everyone ready peacefully instead of barking out orders to hurry up and stop running naked around the house!

On another note, Phil gave me a great idea for a new post.  One of our cows will be having her calf in a couple of weeks, so I'm going to try and do a few posts on that.  We have 2 cows, one steer, and a heifer calf.  Now, I have a friend who has the cutest names for her farm animals.  Stuff like Ginger, Hersey, Gloria, Honey....why can't we think of cute stuff like that?!  We use names like T-bone and Bacon.  I think we have Bella and Ellie now for the 2 grown cows, but Natalie changes their names so much I can't really keep up.  But, for the sake of this post, we'll stick with Ellie for the pregnant cow, Bella for the other mama cow, T-bone for the steer, and I'll get back with you on the name for the heifer calf - I can't think of something cute right now.  I've already been peed and vomited on and it's not even 9 a.m. (so much for getting ready peacefully!).  As for the one on the way, I really want another female so I can turn her into a milk cow!  I think that would be the coolest, and it would be awesome for the kids to learn how to bring her up, train her, and then milk her when she's ready =)  Phil says it's not as easy as I make it sound - that whole idealist vs. realist thing is killing me!
  
Anyway, here she is all pregnant!:


  
This is T-bone:



Bella:



the heifer calf in front (who Natalie has since named Stacy), then T-bone, then Ellie:




Bella (mama to Stacy):




Pregnant Ellie again:




 Hopefully we have a calf on the ground by the end of February!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Gardening 101

So, yesterday my totally awesome husband built me THREE 4' x 12' foot raised garden beds. I am beyond excited! Now, I know not many people would be excited by something like this, but I am. We all pitched in and spent a really great day as a family working on these beds, so I'm really proud of them. And the kids are super excited too. After school today, the kids and I are going to dig in (sorry...I just had to ;) and start prepping the ground for my spring vegetable garden!!! yay! Being the idealist that I am, I have really high hopes for this garden. I have this vision in my mind of a beautifully manicured garden with perfect little rows and sprouts of lovely green. Luckily, my husband is a realist and he keeps me grounded. He knows a decent amount about growing vegetables, so he will be an excellent resource and hopefully he can keep me motivated come weeding time! I'll post some pictures of the beds and our work in progress later today.
UPDATE:
Alright! An hour and a half later and I have one of my three beds tilled! Of course, there were snack breaks, water breaks, and nursing breaks during that time (for the kids, of course;), but I got at least one of them done. Two more to go, then to add the top soil and compost, then I can plant! This is going to take way longer than I had in mind (idealist). Phil told me it would be hard work and take a fair amount of time (realist)...when will I learn to trust the man?! That's ok...I'm still really excited despite the sore shoulders and back. Besides, some lucky soul hopefully made it into Heaven today with the amount of sacrifice I just used out there =) Here is the progress I've made so far:
The wood for the beds:
He really did most of the work:
Putting the beds together:
The first one finished: All three beds laid out: We may just use them as outdoor playpens for the baby: My helpers!:
Having fun:
There it is all ready for the topsoil!:
The kids really had fun working on this project with us. Although, they tired out alot quicker than I did today =) Before I was even half-way through, they were using the beds as their own personal balance beams. Which is fine...we got some nice outdoor time and they kept me company. All in all, it was a great morning! Now time for some lunch...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I have a Blog!

So I'm going to give the whole blogging thing a try. I'm not sure where it's headed or anything, but I just thought it would be cool to have a virtual scrapbook, if you will, for my kids to read and look at when they get older. I'm terrible at the whole baby book thing and even worse at keeping up with cool childhood memory things (like real scrapbooks, for example). So, this may be a great opportunity to share what is going on with my life, post some pics, and just have a fun online story of what goes on in my home from day-to-day. One day my kids will thank me for this, right?? Whether or not other people want to read it doesn't really matter....it's my blog and I'll write if I want to!
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