Last post of the year! :)

I missed posting this at Christmas, so here is our family,lovely self timer shot and all 🙂 Really, it involved a lot of exercise for the mom, as I ran back and forth so many times, the children were done, and finally said “Ok, that’s a wrap!”, and we get what we get 🙂 So maybe next year I should hire someone 🙂img_6651_edited-1As I shared before, this year was tough, and yet full of blessings, and we grow more when we have to struggle, do we not? I am looking to the new year, new goals, and I’m excited for what God has in store!! One of my goals is to do something nice for somebody every day. Whether it involves something big or little. I can tell you that God has been working on me, to nudge me to do more, because I have so much. To be honest, some days I feel like I don’t have much. But that is the devil’s tactics. And how can I learn contentment if I always look at those that seem to have it better?  I’m a work in progress, and still fail miserably some days! 🙂

Our oldest is 14! She enjoys school, her friends, holding her baby brother, and time with her horse. Cleaning and barn chores are not her favorite thing, but she is a big help to me!!

Our oldest son is 11, and he has been such a great helper lately! He loves to get up at 3:30 a.m. to help his dad milk, and we have to limit that to 3 or 4 times a week, because he does need sleep to handle school and it’s challenges! I also love how he has been making his bed very neatly each morning without me telling him to 🙂 Of course he is a normal child, thinking he knows pretty much, and fighting his siblings, but we definitely are seeing some positive changes 🙂

Next in line is our “farm boy”. He is 8, 9 next month, and still loves his cows, playing farm, and getting dirty 🙂 He is a strong willed child, and hard to handle sometimes, yet he has a soft heart. We have seen huge improvements in him with school, and he almost made honor roll! We are so grateful for the supplements that we are certain are helping him, and I love listening to him read, and hearing him talk about school!

Next in line is our spitfire 🙂 She turned 5 in Nov., and is full of energy and creativity. She was “the baby” for so long, that she is still a bit jealous of her baby brother, but she sure does love him! Her will is strong, and she is so independent that it drives her momma crazy sometimes, but who likes boredom anyways?? 🙂

And then our newest blessing. He is 6 mo. already! The children still fight over him multiple times a day 🙂 He is chubby, and full of smiles, and recently started rolling. He has a cheering crew for everything he does 🙂

We are blessed! My prayer for you all is that 2017 is a year of new growth, stronger relationships, and full of blessings from our heavenly Father!!

Thanks to all my followers who check in on my little space here! I appreciate it!

Bring on 2017!! 🙂

Remembering

It’s Sunday morning. Normally I would be at church. Instead I’m at home with a child who isn’t feeling the best. The wind is blowing away outside, there is a load of bedding in the washer because Sick Child :), Darian is snoozing, and to be honest, it feels quite cozy 😉 I’m sad that I’ll miss the Christmas dinner we had today. In fact, I was definitely feeling some self pity this morning. But this is life. So I will do things today that I have not taken the time for lately 🙂 Writing this post, putting some pictures into an album, designing our Christmas card (which by the way I do not like, because we did it in 10 minutes with a self timer 🙂 ), and maybe some reading, a nap, and some extra baby cuddles. And that’s what today’s post is about. My babe.

On a Sunday 5 short months ago, I woke up to use the bathroom, and thought my water broke. It didn’t take long till I knew it did 🙂 I had been home from the hospital 6 days, after a week was spent there to hold off labor, in hopes that baby would have more time to develop those lungs. A week that really tested me, and grew my faith. I was 36 weeks, and baby was coming, ready or not. A call to my midwife, and advice to head for the hospital, even though I wasn’t contracting, because this whole pregnancy had its issues 🙂 Waking up hubby (who got bug eyed :)), scrambling to find someone to help do the morning milking. And a rush trying to pack my bag, call Mom, and get myself together. I had only 2 hrs. of sleep, and I remember feeling like I couldn’t even think what to pack. Realizing that I did not even have a newborn boys sleeper. It was my 1st time birthing at a hospital. It was my 5th child, and yet in a way it all felt new and scary.

We headed to the hospital around 4 and arrived at approximately 4:30. Still not contracting. The decision was made to put me on a drip, and get contractions going. And thus it began. I was hoping to have him in a few hours. 🙂 But my body said different. I would contract, and they would slowly start going away, then my dosage would go up, and they would start again, and die off again, and on and on it went 🙂 We walked the halls, chatted with my midwife, who by the way, got her sleep disturbed, and still came in to the hospital to be with us. All day. And we tried to snooze a bit. And up, up went the dosage. And contractions started getting worse. I like to say that this baby wanted to come before he was supposed to, but then he changed his mind, haha 🙂 My labor was not horrible. Just long. The last hour or so was hard. It is all a blur, as many of you know. That bit where all your focus is on that end goal. Trying to get through the pain. And I remember the back massages from my midwife, the squeezes to my hand from hubby, the praying , “God get me through”.  There was such a neat moment, when a favorite nurse I had when I came in in premature labor at 34 weeks, came in to start her shift right as I was nearing delivery. I don’t even think I acknowledged her much because I was in too much pain, but I remember thinking how God worked. She told me she had heard I was in, but was sure she would miss the birth, because they all knew how far along I was already. She was so surprised to make the delivery 🙂

A few pushes later, with the Dr. barely in the room, and he was here! Crying. “It’s a boy!”. More crying, from baby and the mom and dad 🙂 And our world was changed again. Darian Kent, 6lbs., 13 oz. Beautiful baby boy.

There was still pain to bear, some concern, and me thinking please let it be done. I remember clinging to him, trying to shut out the pain from what I knew was necessary. As I look back, I marvel at how God works, and sustains us . I can say every bit of it was worth it! Every bit! It is why we as mothers choose to go through it all again. 🙂

I still get emotional as I remember. And as I look at how big my boy is getting. I remember how he slept so much during the day. How I woke him to feed him because he had high bilirubin levels. How I had to take him again and again to get his little heel pricked. The wonderful meals that came. That baby smell. A new normal.

Thank you for taking this little trip down memory lane with me 🙂 I would love to hear stories from you, my readers 🙂 So interesting how each child is different! And here are a few pictures of my baby now. He no longer resembles that skinny little dark haired baby boy 🙂img_20161115_145715img_20161020_13351320161120_093938I snapped this one as he snoozed this morning. Can you tell I love sleeping pictures? 🙂

Enjoy your Sunday, friends!!

 

Accepting with humbleness

Friends! Hello!! It’s been over a month since I posted. What!! In that month I’ve been swimming through laundry, diaper changes, sibling rivalry, a husband that is often working away with a custom crew, paying bills, growing my business, some canning, and trying to play catch up with farm records. I know I’m not alone 🙂 A lady at the park asked me how I do it with 5. I said “with God’s grace”. And I meant every word! Whether you have none, one or two, or 11, relying on God is key to living life!

Some photos…img_6052 Building a pen for chickens. img_6122 Preparing “Ole Reddy” for the fair. There was lots of interesting sprints and strength training exercise she gave the men around here 🙂img_6135My sweet girl has really been testing me lately! I think it may have to do with a certain new someone 🙂 img_6143I can’t believe how Darian looks here! Just a few short weeks ago, and now he is so chunky!! img_6156The cats stayed around, which speaks greatly about their resilience 😉 Their 9 lives may have been reduced to a lower number. Hahaha!img_6163In his Daddy’s arms. img_6166Would you look at him!? Honestly, I already forget how tiny he was!! And the days of running him to get his bilirubin checked seem like a lifetime away. He doesn’t sleep nearly as much, and loves to be held, but he is, and I say this quietly lest I change things :), my best nighttime sleeper!!img_6167Sweet babes of mine ❤img_6168She loves him dearly, just not always in the nicest of ways 🙂img_6192These 2! Cute like their daddy 😉

Back again, after writing the above part weeks ago.It’s high time to finish it! 🙂

img_6251 img_6256A few pictures from one of our corn days. And crazy Jenna 🙂

So are you wondering about my title? Accepting with humbleness.. It’s something I’ve had good practice doing lately. And it’s not always the easiest thing for me either.

I post this not for pity, for we all have our struggles. But this summer was not the easiest. After my hospital stay and Darian’s birth, the bills started rolling in. Rather large ones. And we had previously dropped our insurance, and we were soon expecting , so even if we had signed up with someone, because I was already pregnant, I wasn’t able to get coverage.

We accepted responsibility for this, but it did not make it any easier, when you see those big bills. I will be completely transparent, and tell you that sometimes I’d sit down to pay bills, see the balance in the checkbook, and end up in tears. Added to the stress was the very low milk price, that every dairy farmer will understand. When you are working hard, and can barely cover the feed bills, etc., sometimes you wonder why you do what you do?

God was teaching me something through it all. For when we are weak, He is strong! I realized that I relied entirely too much on the money in the bank. On being at a comfortable place in life. And just when I’d think, How is this going to work,God showed up. He showed up in the blessing of  meals, babysitting, etc. He showed up in monetary gifts from family and friends, so much more than we deserved!! He showed up when I went to the mailbox, and discovered an envelope with a $100 bill and no name. I still don’t know who gave it, but if they only knew how it touched our hearts!! He showed up when I started sharing about some amazing supplements we are taking, and I was able to earn some money on the side. Sometimes just when I felt so discouraged, He sent someone my way. They helped me, and I could help them. How wonderful is that?! I am so grateful for answered prayers! I write this in tears, because in a matter of a few months, we were able to pay off all our hospital bills, because of God’s grace, and the help of those who cared about us. Friends, God cares! I can not emphasize that enough! If you are walking through a valley, give it to Him! And do your best, the best you can do, and wait on Him! I know so many that have been in the valley, and still are, and I can’t begin to understand. But if I can say one thing, it is that if you ask Him, He will walk through it with you!

I was at a seminar last Saturday, and the speaker encouraged us to wake up each day with a question. “Who can I add value to today?” Friends, that is powerful and amazing!! Do it! Even when you don’t want to! Because when we look outside of ourself, outside of our struggles, God can use us in amazing ways!!

BE blessed, Be humble, Be kind, Be amazing!img_6246

Memories

It’s another dreary day. After days of this rainy, cloudy weather, my mood can head towards melancholy. Pregnancy hormones have my emotions all over the place. Today, after reading a Caring Bridge post about a young mother whose cancer seems to be winning it’s battle in her, I couldn’t help but cry. And wonder why? Why is it her, and her family that must go through this? Why a young mother? It doesn’t seem fair that I’m debating what to make for supper, while someone else is going through so much pain.

Right now I know of at least 3 people with cancer in advanced stages. And I wonder, what if it was me? What if it was someone in my family?

Life can be put into perspective so quickly when we think of how quickly life can change.

It made my mind wander as to how  I will be remembered when I’m gone? Will others say I took time for them? Did I lend a listening ear? Did I have a servant heart? Could they see Jesus in me?

But it’s my family who I think of most. My husband and children. Will they say I was good to them? Or will they remember me as grouchy, complaining, and discontent?

I am one whose patience level needs a lot of work. Being pregnant lowers my tolerance level, unfortunately 😦 I’ve lost count of the times I’ve lost my temper lately. Bedtime is especially trying. Everyone is tired, but the children seem to get a second wind, and it always feels like a 3 ring circus. Last night I lost my patience with one of them, and spoke very impatiently and unkindly, and caused the tears to come. As I look back at that moment, I think why couldn’t I have been more loving? I do not want my children to remember me losing my cool, and lashing out at them with my words. Each and every moment with them is a memory in the making. Am I making those memories good?

It’s funny the things you remember from childhood. Snippets here and there. A smell, a tone of voice, the way someone spoke to you. I pray that when my children get older, and look back, that the good memories are more than any bad ones they may have.

I’ll close with some pictures. Little tidbits of everyday life that we are blessed to have.

Our dog can sit so hilarious :)

Our dog can sit so hilarious 🙂

Our gentle pony..

Our gentle pony..

IMG_5816 IMG_5832IMG_5829Sisters ❤

I love seeing baby ducks around again!

I love seeing baby ducks around again!

IMG_5809Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” NIV

Keep the faith, friends! And make good memories along the way.

God sees you

I write this from one woman to another. We are all different. And yet we are somewhat the same.

Dear mom at the supermarket, with a baby on your hip, and a toddler throwing a tantrum. Your cart is full, and you struggle to maintain your composure, wandering what everyone thinks of you. He sees you. He cares!

Her friends get married, one by one, and she wonders if the right guy will ever come along for her. She tries to be content in being single, yet she still wonders if maybe someday… God knows her heart’s desire. And He cares!

She shops absentmindedly. Her eyes see all the babies, and her heart yearns for one of her own. When she sees a child being treated roughly, she wanders why God allows someone who doesn’t seem to love their child, have children, while her womb remains empty. But God knows her aching heart’s cry. And He cares!

The sink is overflowing with dishes, and laundry is piled in baskets and tabletops, waiting to be folded. She hustles around, trying to put things in order, and steps on a stray lego that her son has scattered across the floor. Pain, and a sharp word slips from her tongue. He cares!

She runs into the store, hair a mess and clothing rumpled, to grab some medicine for her feverish baby. She sees the judgemental looks, and wishes she could tell them she was up most of the night, and she’s just too tired to care. Why are people so uncaring? But He sees, and He cares!

She sits in her wheelchair, the pain her constant companion. She wonders what good she is to anyone. Why did God let this happen? But her faith keeps her strong.  And while she sits, she prays for needs around her. She is a prayer warrior!  God sees her. He hears each prayer, and He cares!

The children are fighting again. Loud, obnoxious words being flung back and forth. She wants to pretend she is somewhere all alone where it is peace and quiet. But she rallies. Discipline is given, and she squares her shoulders for the next task. God sees her weariness. He cares!

Her to do list feels long. Clothes to wash, food to make, house to clean, bills to pay, and on it goes. But she says a prayer for strength. He hears her pleas, and He cares!

Sometimes she wishes they didn’t live on a farm. Other people are always going on vacation. They aren’t tied down to the daily chores that a farm brings. But she thinks of all the times her family gets to share together. The blessing of working together, of seeing new life come into the world, and she tries to be content and thankful. He cares!

She walks the hospital hall. She takes care of her patients, tenderly seeing to their needs. Her legs feel like they’ve walked miles, and they have. God sees her servant heart. He cares!

The cancer left her with a bald head, nausea, and a frame that’s much too thin. She longs to be at home with her Heavenly Father. She’s tired of the battle. God sees each tear she cries, and He cares!

She wonders if anyone sees her sadness. She longs for a hug, a word of comfort, but everyone seems so busy with themselves, they don’t even notice. Her heart aches for a listening ear. God knows, and he cares!

The list could go on. I don’t know where you are at this point in your life. But I know the One who holds each of us in His hands. And His hands are more than capable, and so strong. God will never leave us or forsake us. Trust Him 🙂

Be blessed!

Parenting a hormonal adolescent

It’s late on a Saturday night. Dale and the boys are having a father/son night with some friends, and I’ve put the girls to bed, but they are still talking. Or should I say, the little one is 🙂 Our night went well, till I gave them a few minutes of “reading time”. Our oldest loves to read! Meanwhile, the younger girlie played, and did what she does, make a bit of a mess. Not a big mess, just things scattered here and there. And I could hear her older sister talking to her, scolding her. And it went on till I’d had enough. I decided it was bedtime.

And that’s when the arguing with my 13 yr. old began. She said she is NOT picking up her sister’s mess. I thought it must be bad, but there was maybe 8 toys scattered around the room 🙂 And I told her I did not like how she spoke to her sister, that she is little, and little children play and make messes. And I raised my voice, and she raised hers. I told her I would never have talked to my mom how she talked to me.

I came downstairs feeling so defeated! Like a mom that had no clue. What happened to my little girl? The one I rocked, and fed, and cuddled. She used to think I was the greatest. Now I get accused of favoritism, and unfairness.  And I wonder, should she have a room of her own? I know how little sister’s can annoy you, but it seems to be escalating here. Are we short changing her by making her share a room with her sister? Right now it’s our only option, unless we remodel, and I don’t see that happening yet. I remember sleeping in a full size bed with not just 1 sister, but 2. And I really don’t remember much fighting. Perhaps my mom would tell you differently 🙂 It seems like as the oldest, she wants to control all her siblings, and they have other ideas 🙂 I get so frustrated at this. Is this maybe a thing with being the oldest? To be in control.

This battling of wills, is just not something I feel qualified to deal with. How much do you chalk up to hormones, and how much is blatant disrespect? I truly think we are alike in some ways, and that is why we can really clash 🙂 I love when she talks to me, and we discuss things, and she listens! I just wish there weren’t so many flareups. I wonder sometimes if I am too harsh? Or too picky about things? I never remember my mom raising her voice to me. And I don’t want my children to say that’s what I did. I get my quick temper from the Brubaker side, I think 🙂

Any words of advice from some of you who are more experienced? 🙂

On a good note, she came downstairs and apologized, and I apologized too. As we shared a hug, I told her I love her no matter what. Because that’s what we do isn’t it? No matter what they throw at us, how they may hurt us, we love them unconditionally. I thought of how often God must feel like that with me. And how He forgives and loves me no matter what. Grace upon grace.

I may be new at this stage of my children’s life, but I do know if a child is loved, and they know it, they are not going to remember all your flaws so much.

I hope you are blessed with a good week, and that you don’t get to discouraged in your parenting. A verse that was shared at church that I love…  Psalm 127:3 ” Lo, children are an heritage from the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” Our children, our rewards. May we not take them for granted!

Being a Mom

I’m still learning how to do this mom thing. If another more experienced mom would have told me at 20 yrs. old what all I was getting into, I probably would have thought they were exaggerating 🙂

Last evening we were home, and I was out of lunch meat, eggs, or anything else that I often have for a Sunday supper, so I decided on soft pretzels. The kiddos all wanted to help make them. I wanted them to be able to help, but the neat freak in me was cringing inside. “Please keep the flour on the island”, “are your hands clean?”, ” roll up your sleeves, they are covered in flour”. And then the fighting began, and I forgot to grease the wax paper I put them on, and they looked they were all made my 4 yr. olds. Sigh. And then they were coming out of the oven, and Dale came in, and as fast as 1 pan came out, they were soon devoured. I didn’t count, but I would say it made 20-25 small pretzels. I got 2. Which is reasonable, but the pregnant mommy wanted another, and they fought over the last one! Needless to say, I was perturbed. Being a mom means servanthood, and I really struggle with that sometimes.

Being a mom means sometimes we let the messes go to do something more important. Like write a blog post. Ok, kidding a little, but right now my house is messy, and I chose to write instead. And this morning I felt a bit lousy, and Jenna wanted me to play a game with her. I so often choose the wrong thing, but this morning I played with her for 10 min., and she was so happy. Taking time for our children is always a good thing. It’s just not always what we feel like doing. Again, being a mom requires serving.

Being a mom means you are a walking wet wipe/tissue/burp rag. Got a booger, give that to mom. Snot nose, her clothing will clean that. Sticky mouth, wipe that good on mom’s outfit. It works great 🙂

Being a mom means that we clean, and wash, and bake, and cook, and discipline over and over and over again. Because we love them. And sometimes we do it while feeling very unloving. At least I do. But love should override feelings. Sometimes that selfish nature comes out, and apologies need to be made. And sometimes we need to give ourselves a pep talk, and change our attitudes. But love serves, even when it’s hard.

Being a mom means you make a great pillow, and your bed sleeps better than your children’s beds. And there’s always room for one more 🙂

You are the boo boo kisser, the dishwasher, the cook, the nurse, the story reader, the referee, the taxi driver, the cleaning lady, and so much more.

And guess what? Sometimes being a mom means we can do what we feel like doing. Within reason 🙂 And tonight I felt like making these, because baby wanted some chocolate 😉20160208_194810These are so easy! I may have shared these before, but since I don’t remember, and I feel too lazy to look back, I’ll share again.

I make 1 brownie mix (9×13), bake at required temp, throw on marshmallows to cover and put back in oven for another minute. Cool a bit. Mix 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup peanut butter, and melt together. Add 2 cups rice Krispies to chocolate and peanut butter mixture, and spread on top. And eat with a glass of cold milk 🙂

To all the moms out there, hang in there, take a deep breath, and keep serving your families. It is a high calling for sure. And if you’re not a mom, I hope I didn’t scare you from it 🙂 Because it’s so worth it, every bit!

And now I have to take a breath myself, a very deep one, and referee a big fight happening here 🙂