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

Hospital Chronicles

This was not how I expected the last weeks to go. Laying in a hospital bed, hooked up to monitors, an IV dripping into my veins. Nurses and Drs. going in and out , questions, more questions, another ultrasound. And a great big weight on my shoulders as the Dr. informed me this would most likely be a 2 week stay. I’d like to say I took it all well. But, I’m pregnant. Very pregnant and hormonal 🙂 So there were tears. And the feeling of how is this going to go down. But most importantly, baby was happy and kicking as usual, so that was a wonderful blessing!

The next few paragraphs will include bits of my journaling I did while in the hospital, along with some photos.

day 2 ~ I’m sitting in my room at the antepartum unit, and writing in this journal that was made by some sweet volunteers, and packaged in a little bag with a pen, and some tissues. My nurse from labor and delivery, Amanda, wheeled me over. She is so sweet! I had to hug her before she left. I’m going to miss her 🙂 The thought of staying in here overwhelms me a bit, but I know it’s best for baby.

Breakfast

Breakfast

Day 3 ~ It looks gorgeous outside, but they tell me it feels cold. Missing my kiddos this morning, but they did come in last night, which was great! And Dale is coming down to see me at lunch, and bringing me food 🙂 He’s been doing such a great job, but I know he misses not having me at home. The Dr. was in again today, and says if there are no changes till Monday, I can probably go home!20160609_142027Poor hubby is exhausted 🙂 Notice the treat he brought me 🙂20160608_194114 20160611_120423These two fought over being in bed with me. Looks like I lost 🙂

Day 4 ~ Today felt a bit long because I had no visitors. Dale was going to come down with the children, but family was coming to mulch for us. It makes me feel humbled, but also blessed!! I heard the lullabies playing at least 4 times today. They play them whenever a baby is born. I’m praying for a good night of sleep. Last night I couldn’t get comfortable between baby moving and restless legs. And there was a sweet baby that cried most of the night. I was wishing I could take a turn with him/her since I couldn’t sleep anyway 🙂20160610_181042I could always hear the helicopter when it came and left. And sometimes I caught a quick glimpse of it.20160611_132409My view from my window. And that’s my family walking down there 🙂20160610_100556My bedside table.. 20160609_221527Strawberry pie from my sis. Oh so yummy! 🙂

Day 5 ~ For some reason, I didn’t journal this day. Dale brought the children down around 10:30, and they ate lunch with me there.  I think this was also the day I was paid a visit from one of my labor and delivery nurses. Jill is so nice, and we visited for close to 1/2 hr. I love how great the nurses here are! I also had a nurse named Jenna, which was funny 🙂 And we talked about our families, and being moms, etc. These nurses work hard, and should be appreciated for all of their hard work!

Day 6 ~ Tuning into the church service, and the tears just come again. The song “Blessed Jesus hold my hand, I need Thee every hour”, speaks into my heart.

And the devotional, whether you are going through a mountain or valley, “We’ve got the Power in the name of Jesus!” I admit this week felt like a bit of a valley for me, even though I have so much to be grateful for! So through my occasional discouragement and tears, I can’t help but think of all the good things I have been blessed with this week.

  1. The wonderful husband God gave me, who supports me and loves me well.
  2. My sweet children and their big smiles when they come in the door to see me.
  3. Family, and the way they pitch in. Food, babysitting, doing laundry, mulching our many flowerbeds, visiting me, and so many more things behind the scenes. Loving and supporting us.
  4. Friends, and the way they care. Text messages, calls, words of encouragement.
  5. Many prayers on our behalf.
  6. The kindest nurses. Their cheery faces, waiting on me like a queen :), doing unpleasant things with a smile. They blessed my heart! I feel like I learned to know some of them, and will miss them when I leave.
  7. The meal delivery people, so sweet and cheerful. One guy sang me a song when he heard my name 🙂 I’m sure most of you heard the song, “Jolene, Jolene” 🙂 He just loved singing 🙂 And he even said he’ll pray for me and baby.20160612_124256
  8. Drs. that care, cleaning ladies keeping my room clean, the security guard that loved the Lord, and encouraged Dale and I as parents as he escorted us through the hospital to the place we needed to be.I know I’m forgetting some things, and the list could go on 🙂 Discouragement may come to us at times, but no matter what we face, God is there! He shoulders our load, and encourages us, even with details that may seem small.20160612_105626This photo was on Sunday, my last full day there. I was able to get a wheelchair ride outside, feel that warm sun on my face, sit by a beautiful garden with a lovely water feature. Our children fought over who was pushing me, ran around sticking their hands in the water, and generally acted like they don’t get out much 🙂 But they enjoyed it, I know that! My inlaws came to visit too, and my mother-in-law must have read my mind, because she brought me a donut 😉 Soo yummy!20160612_11093120160612_11074420160612_110557Now I’m home, and it feels so nice! We have been abundantly blessed with meals for this week of not doing too much! And today my sisters and mom come to help make jelly. Baby is currently behaving, and so we continue to pray and wait 🙂 Thanks again for all of you that blessed our lives! We are grateful, and so very blessed!

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!

Our Love Story

Some of you know our story. Some of you don’t. In honor of Valentines Day, I thought I’ll share it with you 🙂

Back when I was still attending school, our route would take us past a certain farm. We watched that farm, hoping to catch a glimpse of the cute boy we’d seen working there. I say we, as in the silly, young, boy crazy girls in the school van. I was one of those girls. At that point, I didn’t know that the boy was Dale 🙂

Enter the year I turned 16. One morning, we were finishing up chores. Dale chose that morning to stop in at our farm, asking if we needed any help on the farm. He knew my Father had purchased a tractor that he thought would be great to drive 🙂 Anyways, we were done milking, and I was over in the dry cow pen, trying to separate some to move to another pen. I’m not sure why I attempted it on my own. Maybe I thought the cows would cooperate. At any rate, they were giving me a run for my money, and my patience levels with cows is very slim. After repeatedly yelling for some help, with no response, I huffed my way into the cow barn, flung open the door and yelled, ” Is everybody deaf around here??!!” At that moment, I saw Dale coming into the barn.  I wanted to disappear! I slammed the door shut that I had just opened and ran to the knothole in the wall, peeking through it. The boy, the cute boy, was in our barn! And I just yelled very angrily. And I was very unattractively dressed. With some very ugly long stockings 🙂 I was doomed.

If only I had known, he never even saw me or heard me 🙂 The best part was, Dad actually needed some extra help, and he hired him. Thus began our story. I unfortunately, wasn’t the only girl in our family. I had a sister above me that was single, and a sister below me. We all thought Dale was cute. Good he didn’t know that, he may have felt proud 😉

For some reason, he chose me 🙂 Maybe because I was closest to his age. I certainly wasn’t the most attractive 🙂 You would have to ask him why he noticed me.

I know there was concern with our parents, over our growing attraction of each other, and being together almost every day. I didn’t mind 🙂 But we were young, and looking back, I know it wasn’t the ideal situation. On the other hand, we learned to know each other , not just on a dressed up, date night level, but a working together on the hard days. You learn to know someone pretty quickly, when you are working with them. I think I told you in another post, how I said I would never marry a farmer. When Dale came along, that idea went through the roof 🙂 And my poor mother! I remember numerous fights with my sisters over him. Oh my! Now, we can laugh about it 🙂

So we worked together on the farm. Dale became a great help to Dad. He had not grown up on a farm, but worked on his neighbor’s farm, and it was in his blood. Still is 🙂

We got older, started dating. Sometimes, we’d fall asleep on our dates because we were so tired, and had seen each other that day anyhow, so there wasn’t much to talk about 🙂 But farming was just way more exciting with him around 😉 Our first kiss was beside the straw mow 🙂

And we made mistakes, as many young people do. When we look back on those years, there are things we wish we had done differently. But God forgives us of our messups. And while I know we were young, I wouldn’t change a thing about how we met! I love our story!

We married young, both 19 yrs. old, on a hot August day. A little over a year later, we welcomed our first child into our lives. Now, we are headed for our 14th anniversary this summer. And we have 4 children.20150127_085838

It’s been wonderful! And it’s been very hard. If you are married, you know that it is not all roses. It takes hard work, giving up of ourselves. It takes forgiveness, and patience. But it is so worth it!

This Valentines Day, I am so thankful for our marriage! I think it gets better as the years go on 🙂 And I thank God, that we have each other!

Happy Valentines Day, to each of you!