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June 26, 2017

In All Things

We are gearing up for a month of camping so my posts may be short and sweet for the next few days! Today I wanted to share a few pictures of my favorite flower garden.

June 24, 2017

Sleep Deprived but Oh So Thankful

Mikey caught a virus. A virus that has  made him feeling absolutely miserable the last 2 days. Basically needing him to be held day and night.
Of course being a mom of 14 I have had many sleepless nights because of sickness, I have cuddled many ailing  babies, I have nursed many fevers, I have wiped many runny noses, I have prayed and prayed through many nasty viruses. Yet, every time one of our kiddos are so sick, it breaks my heart and I feel so helpless to comfort them. It's something I don't think you can ever get used to!
As I was awake during the night with Mikey and was counting the hours of sleep I was missing, I was leaning towards a bad attitude. I am not one who functions well on lack of sleep. I like my sleep. I always have. That's why it's only a miracle that I have made it sanely through 14 newborns!
But last night as our little guy was in such pain and I wasn't easily able to comfort him, I had to think of parents who have went through or are going through major illness or terminal illness with their children. I felt so helpless with just virus, how would it be to deal after this day in and day out. How many sleepless nights have they had. How many tear- filled prayers have they prayed. How many times have they heard that first cough or sneeze and feared the worst. How many runny noses have they wiped all the while begging God that it would not turn into something life threatening. Or what about the parents whose empty arms are aching to hold their children one last time. Or who are exhausted from sleepless nights due to mourning their dear little one who was noon longer with them. Or the parents who are feeling torn inside because they are  running back and forth from visiting their sick child at the hospital to caring for their children still left at home.
And then in the midst of my tiredness, my frustration, my feeling of helplessness, I was thankful. Thankful that even though my night was rough, I was able to cuddle, comfort, pamper and pray for this little guy. It was all a matter of my attitude and the way I looked at things. Nothing had changed on the outside. I was still sleep deprived, I was still at a loss for how to comfort. But inside I had changed. I realized how very blessed I was. And just like that, things didn't seem so bleak or overwhelming. Then I said a heartfelt prayer for those parents. The ones who were not able to experience all I was experiencing right now. I prayed for peace and joy and strength and grace.
As the saying goes, "There is always someone worse off than you" What does this really mean? It means that no matter how bad your life is, there's always someone who is in a worse situation.
"I cried because I had no shoes. Then I met a man who had no feet."

AHA

Today I had an AHA moment with one of our kiddos. We were watching a video about being kind. In the video they gave examples of kindness to others. Like when you only have one candy left and you have a friend over, instead of eating it in front of him you should be kind and give him the candy. When the video was over our son turned to me and said, "NOW  I know how to be kind. You always tell me to be kind but you don't tell me how."
I love these moments in parenting. The moment where your kids say something that spurs you on to become a better parent.
We learned a long time ago in our parenting to give the moral reason why to our kiddos. For example, rather than say, "Don't say that. That was mean." Say "You need to use kind words. God says in the Bible to only use words that encourage each other and build others up." But today I realized that we need to also give more examples of how to actually practice these situations. Like, "Now instead of saying 'you're mean'  you could have said, 'Please stop doing that. I don't like it when you do that.' I have done this in the past, and I know it's helpful, but it takes time. And confession time here, I am not real good with things that take time. And so I have let it slide.  But my goal from now on is to do more of this. After all, tomorrow's a new day right?


What's been your latest parenting AHA moment?

Thanks to my mom
 for this sweet photo of Jaden and Eli

June 22, 2017

Gardening Vlog

Thanks to Kerri working so hard on it, I am excited to share with you my first vlog post! And I am so grateful for it because I had zero ideas for a blog post today!!! (any ideas for future blog posts would be greatly appreciated :) So without further ado here is my Gardening Vlog


June 21, 2017

Time Well Spent

Probably 9 out of 10 of our getaways are spontaneous. And by spontaneous I mean we have 1 or 2 hours to get ready. As wives,  Rebecca and I have gotten quite used to this. You just always have to be ready to do whatever because you never know when!! This was the case last week when our neighbours called us up and said they had some vacation time left at a resort and asked if we wanted to take it. At first we said no because there was so much going on but then we thought... Hey, this just doesn't happen every day. So why not! And here comes in the 1 to 2 hours to get ready (I can't remember how fast it was... It's all a blur :) Josh, Rebecca and Mark and I decided to make it a double date. Our amazing babysitters assured us they would be fine and off we went!
We always enjoy times like this together with these two. Even though we see each other pretty much every day, it's nice just to get out and relax together.
Here's some pictures of our time.

Time for tennis! 

I tried golfing for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it!  I think I might add this to my "do it again" list! 

My sweet! 

Josh was the only seasoned golfer amongst us. 

I'm pretty sure fishing isnt allowed on a golf course :) 

While we were driving to get lunch we saw a bear! 

I love him! 

"two-lips" 

June 19, 2017

Sometimes...

Sometimes when you plant seeds in the garden, weeds grow too. 
Sometimes life gets so busy or the weather is so whacky that you don't get out to weed the garden as often as you'd like. 
Sometimes there is rain in the forecast for a few days so you have to get the whole crew out there to get 'er done. 
Sometimes your kids are eager helpers. 
Sometimes your kids are building character....in you and them. 
Sometimes even the grandkids join in on the work. 
Sometimes your kids tell the grandkids that they should help. 
Sometimes you say, "I said that you have to help. They don't have to if they don't want to."
Sometimes the grandkids help out anyway just because they are that sweet. 
Sometimes you work so hard together that a job that would have taken you all day, gets done before lunch. 
Sometimes you go in the house dirty and exhausted. 
Sometimes you are sore. 
Sometimes there is no better feeling than some good 'ol fashioned hard work. 
Sometimes.... (tell me about your day). 





June 18, 2017

My Dad

I am so proud to call my dad, DAD. My earliest memories of my dad are going along with him on his milk truck runs. I remember him giving me the little milk sample bags to play with. I remember feeling so special that he would take me along. As the years went by, his job changed to driving a gravel truck but what didn't change was my love for him and how I wanted to spend time with him. I would go with him as often as I could. I only remember him being patient with me and I never felt like he didn't want me around. When he started working for a farmer I didn't see him as much and didn't go along. But I made up for it when he came home by sitting beside him and watching football (which I  had no clue what was going on). It didn't matter what we were doing, I just wanted to be beside him. While we were watching football or other sports I would even comb his hair (did I say patient?) I wasn't much of a girly girl growing up, so you would often find me beside dad changing oil or talking about our dream vehicles. I would learn about vehicles just so we could have these talks. Sometimes I got frustrated with him and his rules, that I thought were a little too strict. But I tried my best to honor him, I wanted to because I loved him. And as I grew older, and started to understand how valuable his protection of me was, I started to welcome those "boundaries" because I knew that it meant he loved me. Just after I was 18 he gave my hand in marriage to Mark. I remember his look of admiration that day. Even though he never said much, I knew he was proud of me. Proud of the woman I had become. And I wanted to make him proud. Our relationship changed over the years as we saw each other often, just not as often. But every time he was there with a hug, a look of approval and  word of encouragement. Even though I know we made plenty of mistakes in our first years of marriage, I never felt disapproval from him. He truly understood the "leave and cleave" part of giving a daughter in marriage. I know he was thrilled for us when we first started farming our own land a few years after we were married. And I felt his pride for me when I started driving machinery. He would look at me with a smile and say, "it looks like you've been driving this all your life". He showed his love in action when he would come to the farm to switch me off so I could go home and get some much needed rest (I was 8 months pregnant through 4 harvests). We spent quite a bit of time in the fields riding together and chatting. I treasure those times. Today our relationship remains much the same. I respect the man he is. I know he is proud of me and the wife and mother I have become. He doesn't often say it, he doesn't have to, I just know he is. He still has a heart of gold and is always interested about what is going on at the farm. I also know he has prayed lots of prayers for our family over the years. I can never thank him enough for those. So this Fathers Day I want to give a shout out to one of the best Fathers out there... MY DAD. Dad, I love you more than words can say. Thank you for all your love and support over the years. You have helped me be the woman I am today and for that I will forever be grateful. I will never be able to repay you and I know you don't want me to... Because you are cool like that. Happy Fathers Day!!!



This is my dad. One thing about him is he is kind of camera shy. I know I have a picture of him without a ketchup bottle somewhere! He's not even that crazy about ketchup :) 

June 17, 2017

Great Invention

Every once in awhile, amongst all  gimmicks in toys, someone comes up with something brilliant! That's what I want to tell you about today. Something that has made playing with Lego a lot more pleasant, on my feet, and everyone else's in the house! This simple little playmat is one of the best purchases I have made. With lots of little boys the Lego comes out often. And with that comes Lego all over the floor, as it tends to migrate! And if you've ever stepped on Lego, you know that means OUCH! But with this playmat, they are able to easily dig through the Lego and it (mostly) stays on the mat. And then when it's clean up time, just pull on the rope and place it back into the container. Easy!!

June 16, 2017

Uncle Mikey

Mikey has had the privelage of being an uncle since he was born (Jaden, and Eli have also had this privelage)! Not everyone gets to say that. He loves all his nieces and nephews. These two are the closest in age to him so naturally they play together a lot. He sees Taylor almost every day and they always get so excited when they see each other. Today he was so disappointed when he found Taylor's headband on the floor but he couldn't find Taylor. He walked around in a very sad voice saying, "Taylor, where are you?" He doesn't get to see Lincoln as often but it's not hard to see he loves him a lot too. It will be fun to see these 3 grow up together.

Mikey (2), Taylor (1 1/2), Lincoln (15 mths) 

June 14, 2017

Farmers in Training

On thing we love about farming is the lifestyle. (Anybody who farms sure knows it's not about the money! :)  There are not many occupations where a family can work together like we do. I love how excited our little guys get when they can tag along with Daddy. It doesn't matter how long they have to sit in a vehicle. It doesn't matter where they go. It doesn't matter how long it takes. They just want to spend some time with their Daddy. It's even more special when they get to take along a lunch. 

Although the boys love to tag along with Dad there are some who do get tired of the hours of sitting and staring out the window. They eat their lunch and then are ready to go home. But the rule has always been, if you go with Daddy, you stay until supper or until Dad comes home (or someone makes a mess in their pants:). But there are some boys who don't get bored, they are the die hard farmers. You can actually tell which ones they are right from when they are young. They play differently, they watch differently and they are entertained differently.  They can sit for hours and can play contentedly with 2 wrenches or nuts and bolts. They watch how machinery works with such intensity and fascination. They love to listen to farm conversations. Everytime they see a tractor they can hardly contain themselves. If Daddy leaves the yard and doesn't take them along it seems like the worst thing in the world. 

We have 8 boys. Out of those 8 only half of them are the die hard farmer type. The other boys still help on the farm, but it just isn't something they are passionate about. And that's good news for us because they wouldn't all be able to farm! So the farm boys? Joshua and his family are farming with us. We could tell by a very young age that Josh had the farmer gene. He spent every waking moment that he could in the field. He would ride along with me in the combine day after day in anticipation of being able to steer! Seems like just yesterday.  Jesse (14) is out there all day,  every day helping out when he can.  He really, really enjoys farming. If I ever have to drive a piece of equipment for the first time I will always call on Jesse to ride with me. Not that he has necessarily driven the machinery, but he has watched every move his dad has made and so he knows!   And then there is Eli and Mikey. They are two peas in a pod. They would go with Mark all day every day if they could. But we have found out lately that potty training really puts a kink into hanging out with daddy, and Mikey's not to happy about that! 

I am so thankful for a husband who takes the time to take his kiddos along with him. It takes a little more patience and putting up with a lot of noise in a small space sometimes but he always does it with a smile! He is a gem! 

Here are some pictures of a day earlier in spring when we were checking the crops.  

Jaden observing how you move a rock that's too big to pick by hand! 

Best way to walk the field. 

My sweet boys! 

Look mom, the seed is growing! 

Amazing! 

Little brother, big brother


Digging to see if the seeds are growing. 

Where are you little seed? 

Mikey's cheese face. 

Daddy showing Jaden how to do it.

Eli the little farmer

Mark, Josh, Jesse and Mikey playing in the dirt (farmers do that a lot!) 

Walking in their Daddy's footsteps.

June 13, 2017

There's a First Time for Everything

Every once in awhile I come across a situation as a mom where I think, "Well in all my years of parenting, I have never experienced this!!" You'd think after being a mom to 14 children over 27 yrs. I'd have seen pretty much everything. But once in awhile....
Today I had one of those moments. A 'something I have never experienced' moment. We were just nicely finished lunch and I noticed some black globs on our floor. Our new, light gray floor. Upon further investigation I discovered it was black ink. A pen had exploded! But not only had a pen exploded, the little boys had driven through it with their big combine and truck. So there were "tracks" of ink all across the floor. After removing the truck, combine and boys we proceeded to figure out how in the world we were going to clean all of this up! My first thought was to try a magic eraser. It was great for the little marks, but just spread the bigger spots. Then I thought of trying acetone only to realize that it was going to wreck the finish. So we googled our predicament and found quite a few suggestions. Rubbing alcohol, hair spray, men's body spray, household cleaner, goo gone, nail polish remover. And I am here to report that we tried them all but nothing was strong enough to completely remove it. Then something caught my eye, and since we are farmers, we even  had it in the shop. Good 'ol WD 40. We sprayed that on and with an SOS pad scrubbed and scrubbed and finally we were making progress! And with an hour or so of elbow grease mixed with all the other grease we had done all we could. The floor isn't perfect, but if you didn't know where we scrubbed I don't think you would notice.
So as the saying goes, "You learn something new every day". Today I learned that after 27 yrs. of being a mom, my kiddos are still capable of giving me new experiences and WD40 really does have a use in the house (Mark's Dad has been saying this for years!!)
And that is my wisdom nugget for today!!



The floor

Culprit #1


Culprit #2


The boy behind the culprit


The other boy behind the culprit

The floor saver! 

June 12, 2017

Jack and Jill

I like animals. I always have. When I was growing up we always had animals around. Cows, a horse, pigs, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, cats, dogs, goats, chickens. But when Mark and I got married I realized not everyone has the same fondness for animals as I do! Over the years I have come to the realization that I don't have much time for animals anymore. But we do have a few kiddos who have inherited my like for animals. Nathan likes rabbits in particular. This spring he was pretty thrilled to get two rabbits, Jack and Jill. They were both very young when he got them so they were easy to tame. Nathan has even trained them to be on a leash. When they are playing outside he will often tie up Jack close to them. Jack loves the break from his cage. He is just starting Jill on a leash. She is doing good too! I have decided rabbits are one of the best pets. They are quiet and affectionate. They dont take much space and are easy to feed. So without further ado, meet Jack and Jill!

This is Jack. He's not too thrilled about the dog being close by and keeps a close eye on her. 

The kiddos all love playing with Jack. Tonight Jaden and him were spending some quality time together hopping, sniffing and stuff. 

Joe being the leash holder.

Jack is a Giant Flemish cross so he's a big boy. 

Time for kisses.  

Sweet Jack, looks so innocent in the picture! But sometimes he does naughty things like eat my flowers. 

Jaden and Jill

Jaden trying to figure out what it's like to be a bunny. 

Joey, Jaden and Jill

Isn't she so pretty? Jill is a Mini Rex cross so she is much smaller than Jack. 

More kisses