Tuesday, June 28, 2011

the last days of June

As June draws to a close, I feel a bit as though I'm in a desert. I am hungry, thirsty, and tired. My supplies are dwindling, and my eyes search the horizon for a sign of nourishment. Surely things will turn around...soon, soon.

The scene inside our chest freezer is bleak. We've eaten the ten chickens I bought from a friend last summer. Our 3/8 of a side of beef is gone - aside from a few organ meats I haven't been able to cope with just yet.

Outside, our garden is struggling. Some plants are doing well, but others long for sun and warmth, as do I. June has been cool and rainy here, and my tomato plants do not appreciate that fact. By and large, the garden is hanging in there, but there's not much that's ready for picking - yet.

I've spent my grocery budget for the month. Every penny. Last week I was scraping to buy produce. I wanted to buy a head of cauliflower, but couldn't quite manage it. I'd spent that money on strawberries, so I had to settle for something less expensive. Our fresh vegetable purchases last week consisted lettuce and a single cucumber. (We also had a stash of carrots.)

Yes, things are bleak. For the last few weeks, meals have been extra frugal, and often meatless, unfortunately. Thankfully, I still have some shredded, cooked chicken in the freezer, which I pull out for this and that. But all in all, the end of June is fairly stark.

Ah...but July is coming. July, when I will purchase a new batch (ten in all) of fresh, pastured chickens. July, when I'll get the call that our new order of grass-fed beef is ready to pick up. July, when the CSA program we're signed up for will begin. July, when summer will likely begin to feel like summer - for more than one or two days a week.

With any luck, July shall bring berries and vegetables, pastured meat, warmer temperatures, and sunshine.

So for now, we're buckling down and getting by. But July...ah, July. In July, we shall eat like kings.

Monday, June 27, 2011

a croc (or two)

Yes, my daughter now has her very own pair of crocs. Her brothers have them, and she greatly enjoys trying theirs on. So now, she has her own. In pink, lest she become confused as to whose are whose.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

a thankless job

It has been said that motherhood is a "thankless job." In fact, I've been known to say it myself. And in many ways, it clearly is. With the notable exception of Mother's Day, we mothers largely launder clothes (and other assorted items), serve meals, tend scrapes, wipe noses, clean up messes, fix snacks, plan play dates,pack bags, chauffeur, and perform many other tasks for our families, without a single "thank you" from my children.

At least that's the way it often seems in my house. And as a woman whose main love language is "words of affirmation," it does bother me at times. It's not that I need to hear "You are fantastic!" Yet, a simple "I appreciate that" would be nice on occasion. I do hear it every blue moon, but by and large I go about my tasks as a mama apparently unappreciated.

But here's the thing: there's so much more to this motherhood thing than the thank yous. There are the impulsive hugs given with chubby little arms. There are the sticky grins, the healthy doctor visits, the emptied plates. There are the steps toward independence, and the times a child wants nothing more than to snuggle on his mama's lap. There are the successes, and the days when you see them learning to cope with their child-sized failures.

And there's the knowledge that God has willingly chosen you to be this child's mother. Even with all your issues, baggage, weaknesses, and vices. There's the knowing that you're doing your best.

And that even when your best not nearly good enough, you have been given all that you need to make it as a godly mother (2 Peter 1:3). His grace is sufficient!

One day, Lord willing, I'll hear the words "Well done," from the only One whose opinion ultimately matters.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

the dawn of summer

Today is the first official day of summer.

And it even feels like it! High of 83* F, sunny, beautiful.

We had to get outside and soak up the rays for the pure joy of it, and the Vitamin D didn't hurt, either.

Summer, we bid you welcome!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

my dad

My dad is steadfast. He was always there for us growing up, even when he was away from home. He was a constant in our lives, and we knew we could count on him.

My dad is a hard worker. He always worked to support our family, even under stressful circumstances. He went back to school, changed careers, and took on more responsibilities.

My dad is funny. He tells jokes, sees the lighter side of things, and occasionally refers to eggs as "cackleberries," and milk as "moo juice."

My dad can talk to people. He is friendly and kind to waitresses. He can carry on a conversation with anyone, from any walk of life. He's interested, and it shows.

My dad is committed. He's been married to my mama for more than three and a half decades now. I've never known him to be anything other than totally committed to his wife. It's obvious that he still digs her!

My dad took us to church. He pursued a fellowship of believers which would be authentic, and obedient to Jesus Christ. He drove us faithfully, whether we felt like it or not. He taught us what it meant to believe and obey.

I appreciate you, Dad! Thank you for all you've done for your family!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

the 14th

Fourteen years ago I married my best friend. I can't imagine sharing my life with anyone else. I love you, Jeffery!

Monday, June 13, 2011


Out of the mouth of my 3-year-old...

1) Me, casually calling from another room: "Hey Owen, what are you up to?"
Owen, crossly: "I not up to anything!"

2) Me: "Owen, are you ready to clear your place?"
Owen: "Yes."
(Five minutes later)
Me: "Owen I notice that you're not clearing your place."
Owen, standing up indignantly from his seat: "I am! I clearing my place!"
(Five minutes later)
Me: "Owen, your place..."
Owen, standing up again: "I am!"
(He stomps noisily while clearing his place.)
Me: "If you say so..."

3) To his brothers: "I trying to talk! You interrupting me!"

4) Also to his brothers, at random times whether he's being spoken to or not: "HEY! Don't say that to me!"

5) Pointing to anything purple: "This is pink!"

Thursday, June 9, 2011

nourishing summer snacks

I've had a lot of kids in my house lately. Besides my own brood, we have three neighbor girls who are frequently around at afternoon snack-time.

And frankly, I don't buy a lot of pre-made snacks. The stuff do I like costs a bit extra, so it's pretty rare that I buy it. So I'm attempting to keep a full supply of snacks around. With three extra children, though, they go pretty quickly. For example, my awesome new popsicle mold holds six frozen treats, which disappear in a flash. Thankfully, Elise doesn't eat them yet. But there are none left over for my poor husband after the locusts have devoured their sweet treats.

LinkThe thing is, it's important to me to offer good stuff to these kids. So I've been wracking my brain, and I thought I'd share a few things I've come up with.

Nut-Based Power Bars
LinkThese delicious morsels have been a favorite in our household for several years now. Grain free and lightly sweetened, topped with a thin layer of chocolate, they're deliciously satisfying. They're definitely a crowd-pleaser.

Buttery Homemade Crackers
Homemade crackers that are simple and popular with folks of all ages, these crackers go great with cheese, peanut butter, or alone. The only downside is the time they take to roll out, cut, etc....paired with the fact that they're gobbled up so quickly when served to a horde of hungry kids. But definitely something I feel good about serving!

Soaked, Whole Grain Muffins
I use the recipe from The Maker's Diet by Jordan Rubin. These muffins are simple, extremely moist, and satisfying. So far the favorite has been blueberry flavor, though the cinnamon raisin variety is good, too. I love that the recipe calls for soaking the flour, so as to neutralize the phytatic acid found in whole grains.

And last but not least, a quintessential summer treat!

Berry Popsicles

1 c. frozen berries
1 banana
1 c. whole milk yogurt
1/2. raw local honey

Blend together thoroughly (I use my blender), pour into popsicle molds, and freeze. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sunday, June 5, 2011


I know. I've been quiet lately. Evidently I haven't had much to say. I am working on another post for another day, but it's nowhere near ready to roll just yet. So for now, I thought I'd check in and tell you a few inconsequential things about what's going on in our household.

~The kittens are naughty. They climb on the counters, chew papers, wrestle with the children's stuffed animals, and eat food left out on the table. I know. We're working on it. On the upside, they've stopped peeing on the stairs.

~Elise is now an expert walker. Although she does still use her knees at times (mostly outside in the back yard), she is now on her feet a good 95% of the time she's moving. I can't get enough of watching her, though. "Look she's walking! So cute! Yes, I know she's been doing it for months, but...she's so cute!"

~We put in our garden! Jeff and I decided to try the Square Foot Gardening method, and he built and put together our frames over the long weekend. I got my garden starts from Azure Standard a few days later, and now we have tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, melons, and so much more. I so hope to have a successful garden this year! I will be reporting back about all that, you can be sure.

~I am now in the 2nd trimester. As of two days ago, I am a third (roughly speaking!) of the way through my pregnancy. It feels good! And so do I, for the most part. What little nausea I had has dissipated, along with a few other early pregnancy complaints. My energy levels are slowly returning, and I am thankful for it. Surpirisingly, I was not expecting to feel so fat, so soon, however. Still, I'm just trying to swallow my pride and concentrate on the miracle within.

~We're still doing school. Yep. And we'll continue until August or so, when we break for a month or so. However, I'm feeling the push to get as much done as possible before the baby comes, so we'll see how it all pans out. Thankfully, we're almost always finished by lunchtime (I know this won't always be the case but we're loving it for now!), which leaves the afternoon for outside time. Which is terrific, because--

~We often have three extra girls. Or sometimes two, depending. My boys are thick as thieves with the three neighbor girls in the next two houses down from us. To add to their glee, there are no fences in between the yards (yet), so the kids run back and forth, playing baseball here, watching a video there, and garnering snacks wherever and however they can. I've even heard whispers of matrimonial plans afoot (thank goodness the oldest child is my 8-year-old!), of all things. Things could be interesting in ten years' time...

Look how much chitchat I rolled out in a matter of minutes! I should stop by and blog more often! I just might have to do that...