Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Strong Stock

A complete stranger referenced to me by a cattle term.  It's as simple as that.

Ernest was ten days old and our sweet little family of four decided to go on a walk.  A new neighbor in our area was outside taking care of the lawn and started up a conversation with Kendall.  I remember the lawn had tremendous potential but had been denied any love due to the property being in foreclosure.  It was a gorgeous June evening, warm and just right for being outside.

The man then noticed that Ernest wasn't just an infant but a brand spankin' new newborn to the world.

"Oh, you have quite the little one there.  How old?"

"He's ten days today!"
He looks at Ernest, looks up at me in bewilderment, then looks over at Kendall.

"Strong stock."

These are the words he says while nodding his head in my direction.

Can I just say it is the only time a reference to cattle can be made in which I'll take it as a compliment?

Between the three kids, I've not had a real problem bouncing back.  Being able to birth these babies without any type of medical intervention is gift from God. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Very Blessed Garage Sale Ladies

Audra is having her first ever garage sale this week and invited us to partake in the garage sale festivities.  Ever the garage sale-oholics, we said yes and stopped on by. She lives off of a particularly busy road connecting many teeny tiny backwoods communities.  On our way to her home I counted four sales, tis the season for many yard sales!

Kendall has not been called in to work lately because both the distyllery and the plastics factory have been slow, so he was our "muscles" for all of the heavier items.  Let's face it, it's nice to play the part of a girl and let the man carry the heaviest tote of garage sale junk.

On our way out to Audra's today we stopped at a few sales to see if there was any 'meat left on the bones' of their junk.  By Friday afternoon, the people who want to be done say "make me an offer" and you can get the best of deals.  Since it's the eve of Memorial weekend we figured there had to be someone who was going to be traveling this weekend and wanted to be done with their sale, so sure enough we found a great sale along the busiest road in town!

Three sweet women and their elderly mother were clearing out the house of priceless momentos because the mother's house was for sale.  I stayed in the car with the kids while Kendall jumped out to see what was new.  Ethan and I took the quiet time together while the two little ones napped to do some school work out of a workbook while daddy did the diggin'.  After a few minutes, Kendall waved me over to come in the garage.  Sounded like he scored a big one so I hussled in on the double.  Sure enough, the ladies said everything was half priced (their prices were fifty cents to two dollars to begin with so half of it was almost in the free-zone!).  Kendall was able to pick up some Tupperware containers (because our plastics from the dollar store are sorely missing lids and most are so warped they don't stay locked), a fan ("It's hardly been used!  FOR A DOLLAR!" he was really excited), and some other items for around the house. 

I eyed the vintage (aka: things that were around when I was a kid) toys and picked up a Vikings helmet with a twenty-five cent sticker on it.  I do my kids birthday present shopping at garage sales.  It's how this family rolls.  Ernest's 2nd birthday is next month, so I was thinking of gifts for him.  One of the ladies asked if I work outside of the home and I said no, day care would cost more than what Kendall and I could bring home, plus I want to raise my kids myself.  She then asked where Kendall worked, well that opened a can of worms!  "Kendall, where do you work?"  I let her know he went to school to be an electrician but for know he works at the two factories in town when they need him. 

Next comes my favorite question: "How do you do it?"

I smile when asked this question simply because I can share my faith with others.   What a great opportunity to tell others of God's provisions!  How do we do it?  We don't, GOD DOES!  We're just along for the ride! 

I do, however, believe that the biggest learning tool has been contention.  Be content!  I've learned to discipline myself mentally and rework out the kinks in my upbringing and worldly ways.  The word "no" is a great tool for grownups as wells as children.  NO you don't need bigger and better.  NO your shoes are just fine stop comparing yourself to others!  NO our family car is paid off, be content! 

Seriously, how do I do it?  I enjoy it.  These children won't be children forever, Eleanor is already feeding herself!  Wasn't I just feeling her kicks and leaps in the womb just last month?  Ethan is learning simple addition, wasn't I rocking him to sleep in the recliner while reading "Brown Bear Brown Bear" just last summer? And I can't believe Ernest will be two soon, I remember walking around Joann fabrics trying to 'walk the baby out' while walking up and down every aisle at 41 weeks.

My husband is my truest friend.  Shouldn't I enjoy his company while the Lord allows me to?  I love this man, I want my focus to be towards him and enriching our marriage.  Too many times negativity and doubt wants to fill my brain on what tomorrow brings but nobody is garunteed tomorrow.  Today is the present.  If I can be in his presence, then I'm going to enjoy it!  Soak it up while it lasts! 

In a nutshell:

Since my husband's been layed off we've paid off our minivan, traveled to Texas and back, birthed two babies, and cut over half of our debt.  God is good and has never left us without the most basic of necessities.  My children see that garage sales and thrift stores have treasures waiting to be found and are content with what we bring home to them.  They appreciate the smallest toys and broken guns because it doesn't need to work in order for it to be an amazing laser gun in their imaginations.  Our family lives in a one bedroom apartment and we would like to some day own property, but it's all in God's timing.  I feel that living in such close quarters has brought my children closer together friendship wise because there aren't too many places to go with an enemy in the house, so you better get along

Our life isn't ideal, but by golly it's good.  Living simple means we are able to simply live and enjoy life!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Not tired

Go.  To.  Bed!

This is the apparent party going on in the toddler bed.  I hear the sounds of a motorcycle, a cow mooing, and someone (presumable Ernest) humming the ABC Song.

Good night.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Joyful praises on a park swing

He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips
with shouts of joy.

Job 8:21

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again--rejoice!

Phililppians 4:4

Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy! Let the
trees of the forest rustle with praise

Psalm 96:12

Shout to the LORD, all the earth; break out in praise and
sing for joy!

Psalm 98:4

Let the godly sing for joy to the LORD; it is fitting for the
pure to praise him.

Psalm 33:1