Monday, August 31, 2015

{Counting Gifts} August thankful

Storing away sunshine for a rainy day...
Taking time to note times God's work in my life especially with the very little things as well as the big. I'm thankful for all the gifts in life. 
Helping me to keep perspective to thank God for all blessings especially during a bad month. 
Bye August! I'm glad to see you go.

Our Guardian Angels to the rescue again!

So forever grateful Euly remember Lilly had fallen asleep in car. I can't even let my mind go there. Praise God for mercy!

Dorm life. I didn't experience myself and it is fun to see through my kids' eyes.

Dancing on a country road with a sheep.
Trying to understand why she is growing up so fast as the older siblings are speeding toward adulthood. Time can be cruel.

Trying desperately to not anyone steal my peace.

Steps toward humility.

Priestly wisdom...
Even when it is so infuriating to hear.

Sweet Saint Philomena

GoCart that Ceci can start by herself.
Blue skies.

Realizing I was focusing on the wrong thing to worry about.

Earning forgiveness from my kids.

Visiting DD


Attitude adjustments.

He (God) isn't going to ask us what we know he is going to ask us how we loved.

Fighting for time to spend with the kids, not worried about what others think, following my gut and listening to my sister's advice.
Realizing when I'm up at 3 am 4 am 5 am stressed, crying, full of regret with a high BP ringing in my ear. Something has to change.

Lilly's song:
Sometimes my mother bees crazy,
Sometimes my mother is good,
Sometimes my mother bees lazy,
Sometimes my mother is mean, yes mean.
Sometimes my mother loves texting.
Sometimes my mother is very nice.

Silly sheep whose whole world is us:

Sheila's devotion to Hope

Variety of chicken feathers on Americaunas. 
Silly sisters

Sneaking in a date night while in Austin on stress filled errands. 
Cicadas

Nick reading to his sisters

Ceci reading bedtime stories to Lilly

Twenty eight years of marriage, recommitting to each other, reminding each other how much we mean and how we love our life we've built together.

 A good shepardess 
Could always be worse...
Like the wrecker driver couldn't find my keys...
Or that the tire store didn't understand my English the third time...
Or the blow out caused a wreck..

Goodnight to the end of the worst day I've had in a long while on top in three bad days before it.

Being reminded that I am ok (from blow out) because I was doing errand for church. Times three. Someone trying to get my attention?

A good ole Bbq chopped beef stuffed baked potato. Waller County Bbq - love!

Something I would not have considered with my own babies 😂 but with this little lamb...!... I may test it out so we can get some sleep. #DogBabySitters #SheThinksSheIsHuman

Self closing spring hinged for the most used door in the house.

Progress with photo display.

Nick's job and sticking through the rough patches.

From my grandmother-in-law

Exercise farm style.

 Exercise indoor farm style.

 Their first day out. And they all survived.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Daybook: A Change in the Air

Outside my window...a slight detectable change in the air early in the morning. We had a cool-er breeze when working outside today. I'm hoping summer peeked.

I am thinking...About how sad this whole # lives matter things has gone crazy. RIP Officer GoForth. I don't have TV channels so I'm not sure what has gone national or not, but it's a sad and tense time in the countries around Houston right now. Another life lost and a bold move toward anarchy.
I didn't realize where the gas station was that Officer GoForth had been gun downed until I passed it on our way to mass this morning. A nice neighborhood and a part of town that is family friendly. There was a make shift memorial at the gas pumps. Returning after mass there was a large group gathered to show respects and people around to raise money for the wife and two children he left behind. Senseless violence.

I am praying for..college kids and their families that miss them. And healing for some I love dearly. And for hope and faith for those who fight older years problems. Marriages, and for finding good spouses.

I am thankful...the ones who were hit with a stomach bug are starting to feeling better.

In the kitchen...quiche today.
Some around here caught a stomach bug, so tomorrow they are ready for a good Sunday dinner: steaks, mashed potatoes, green beans cucumber and tomato green salad with chocolate sheet cake for dessert. All by request.

am creating...
The kids created a new fun Hide and Seek game played in the the woods.

I am going...to kick off our Ccd program with a teachers' meeting and call for more volunteers to help sub. Our program has grown large but our volunteer base has shrunk- for good reasons- many new babies- to only make the program grow! 

I am watching...and listening to...
the buzzing of hummingbirds fly by and battle for a spot on the feeder.

Around the house...missing Molly.
This B&W makes her dorm look bleak, but it isn't bad, especially once she and her roommate moved in. We prayed for a good roommate and they seemed to hit it off immediately! Prayer answered: from a big Catholic family too. They plan to go to mass together today. 
For a homeschooled girl this is a big deal, and a big deal for the transition for mom.
I've been through it before, and I am holding up better this time. She isn't far away, which helps. 
We had a nice day moving in, having lunch, buying  supplies.
I'm so excited for all the on campus college experiences she will have.
Now to focus on the four still at home.

 Euly rearranged their room immediately. 

Renovation projects...The foundation guy came by and found and fixed some of the problems. A beam is missing under the girls' room wall that he will come back to repair. Some pressure points failed which caused the cracks. Fortunately Craig was here to hear all the problems and solutions. 

I am reading...Little Britches:Father and I were Ranchers  by Ralph Moody as read aloud and we love it! 

A favorite quote/verse/prayer for today... From Little Britches
"A man's character is like his house. If he tears boards off his house and burns them to keep himself warm and comfortable, his house soon becomes a ruin. If he tells lies to be able to do the things he shouldn't do but wants to, his character will soon become a ruin. A man with a ruined character is a shame on the face of the earth."

"Always remember, Son, the best boss is the one who bosses the least. Whether it's cattle, or horses, or men; the least government is the best government."

"The lessons you remember longest are the ones that hurt you the most when you learn 'em."

One of my favorite things... Sounds around this place, especially evening or early morning. Train whistle from many miles off echoing through the trees. And owl calling to its mate signally morning isn't far off. Evening insects and frogs singing their songs, trying to out do each other across the echo-y pond. Barks of the dogs signally something they find important to alert me about, which something that annoyed me in the suburbs, I truly appreciate here in the woods. 
Another change from suburban me to country girl me: this scene would have me thinking oh we need to mow! Now I'm so thankful to have much green at the end of August, when usually everything is so parched by now!

In case you're wondering...Hope is still our constant companion. I'm trying to wean her from the bottle and encourage her to eat grass and forage whatever she wants, even my basil.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
School, slow schedule to build routines, look to get pianos lessons started, visit a few nursing home/assisted living homes for my mother in law for options. 

School progress...Nick is buzzing through Geometry. We are enjoying the Teaching Company courses. Nick started a high school speech class at a local coop. The girls are planning their outfits for a masquerade dance coming up.
 We are making school progress. I still have trouble balancing levels of kids. Some I have to help in waves while other times they are idle. That's my biggest challenge is getting everyone continuously productive at the same time. Big goal!

A peek into my day...Lilly has been wanting to ride her bike on the road since it's easier than on the gravel road. We met a couple of our neighbors who were out for a walk. The next evening we did our same routine and so did they. Lilly makes friends quickly and had us exchanging numbers and making plans. 
The husband got a kick out of Lilly telling him, "I would have texted you if I had your number."
Every introverted mom needs a charismatic extroverted daughter to push the envelopes to meet er'body!







Have a great week!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Early morning walks

I will call today's walk: Spiderweb encounter
(Carol, thinking of you guys.)

This little gal has to be by my side anytime I am outside. She is a great walking/ running partner, I can never outrun or out tire her. She does occasionally want to switch sides without warning.
I spent some time trying to teach and encourage her to eat grass. I am trying to wean her from the bottle, she has to learn to eat.

We're producing lots of eggs. 
Let me know if you need any. 
Pick up only. :)

We are thinking two more weeks for guineas until they can be trusted free ranging. Fingers crossed. The pea chicks will have this place all to themselves for a long time to come. From past experience, I do not want to let them out until they are mostly grown. We had a white peacock in Georgia that the raccoons got a hold of while it was in its teenage phase. Devastating.

 Mushrooms!  I think this one looks like a  pancake.

Aren't these little dainty mushrooms so sweet? ( to look at, I never touch for fear of ...death).

I wanted to see what the herd was up to. It's interesting to catch them unawares. They feed in a line,  relaxed when no one is around.

They bunch up when they realize Hope, Sheila and I are nearby.

Hope and they look at each other as if they are strangers. Can't you see the resemblance, silly sheep!?!
It's all about the smells for Hope.

Morning dew - it is so humid. Can you feel the humidity?

An early sign of a season change a' coming...


Ceci thinks the rooster and I will be friends, and I am so happy he does not charge at the girls, but I do not see any truce in our future. Can you see the evil menacing glare? Oh, he's a plotting fellow, just waiting for me to turn away...

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Day book: Cruising through a rough patch


Outside my window...a breezy, peaceful evening with a great view of the stars. We had a pretty heavy rain today, very welcomed. 
I love the night sky in the country. Without light pollution, the vast stars of God's creation are brilliant. 

A friend at church commented to me...wow with car hassles, family health problems, house set backs, you're really going through a rough patch. 
Bullseye. 
We are not alone, not powerless, not without hope. Praying. Life moves along and the years are bound to take a toll. Trying to keep perspective as we see reminders that this earth is just a journey. It's a little out of body, Jesus take the wheel freaky kind of time. But we'll get our footing again as the days go on.

I am thinking...about care for my mother in law. She has MS and recently fell and broke her ankle in a skilled care nursing home under the watch of the most uncaring and incompetent nursing staff. I pray there aren't worse out there.  She had surgery and we moved her to a different nursing home that promises five day a week physical therapy to work toward getting her up and walking. She remains positive as she has these 46 years of battling MS against immobility. A broken bone is a huge set back to someone fighting a disease that wants all muscles to just stop moving. Thankfully, she has a very determined spirit.

I am praying for..decisions for her care. Is she better where she is, or a place closer to us or with us? She'd need nursing care here. I'm looking into all options. Opinions and experiences welcome, please! I'm praying for her improvement to regain some level of independence she craves. I don't know the answer.
Lord hear our prayer. 
Also for healing for my dad who had a woodworking accident that did a lot of damage to his right arm.
For Molly and her college experience moving into a dorm. For this semester to be great for her.
For thanksgiving for God's loving protection.

I am thankful...a weekend getaway last week to visit and plan for my MIL. My husband came out of the back and out of the way from a business trip to pick me up so we could walk/drive the journey together. It's hard. But I'm happy I can offer whatever help I can.
Also thankful Molly's arthritis treatment is working. Chiropractors have some strange techniques but she says she feels great, so I am very thankful.
Trying to count the other small gifts and signal Graces every day. 
Especially chocolate:


In the kitchen...my personal chef, Molly, is starting to pack up to move to her dorm.
I'm sad. But I've been picking up cooking more. I made several quiches with our abundance of eggs. The ladies lay such small eggs, some are getting bigger. So when a recipe calls for one large egg I substitute three little ones.
We have been sharing them since they are outpacing our diet for the time being. Good thing we love quiche, migas and fried eggs.  
For my gluten free daughters, crust less quiche works fine.


I am creating...school plans. I'm still working on a few class arrangement and need to get signed up for music lessons. I'm sad to put some social activities lower down on the list, but we have so much to accomplish this year. With MIL trips to Austin and some Church commitments, I just want to slow down in any free time and just be with my kids.

I am watching...The Office on Netflix. Needing a good laugh! 

I am listening to...my printer copy 100 sheets of the blank page for states and capital workbook Ceci and Euly are creating. I enjoyed this project with my older kids years ago. 

Renovation progress ...is just the opposite of progress lately. 
After the great foundation repair of 2014, and Sheetrock house takeover repair of spring 2015, I wasn't surprised to see a few hair line cracks here and there. We were told to to expect some. But when the cracks started growing, so did the nausea in my gut. And then suddenly two very troublesome cracks located in pre-repair problem areas showed up,
Just so disconcerting. 
I want to move on to new repair areas and not have a plan to fix sheet rock and repair again. Hoping the foundation man can fix the problem for good.

It doesn't look like it would cause gut wrenching panic?

I am looking forward to...squeezing in one last Shakespeare performance in before school. 

I am learning...proofs with Nicholas as we plug along with Geometry together. I think I'm starting to get it. We are using a Teaching Company course. We have two math books to get through this year, and we are off to a great start.

On a nature walk...Euly and I walked around after the rain and came across  and spooked the herd. Sheila decided to chase them home, but we noticed her hanging out by the creek crossing on the drive. "Forever Baby" (not new baby Hope) was spooked down into the deep side of the crossing, thick with thorny brambles, an area we have not ventured before.

Not our new baby - Forever. She's about 6 month old.


Three times we pulled her out and Sheila spooked her back in, so Euly decided to carry her home.

Sweet shepherdess.

Euly guarded the food from the males so Forever Baby could be sure to eat some grains.

This guy is flirting with his life lately. I walk around with an eye on him and a stick in my hand and he still manages to perform his terrorist sneak attacks which leave me with chills.

 Around the homestead...Hope is growing. The girls took over her care and enjoy it. 


I am pondering...cleaning, scraping and repainting these old windows and using for picture frames down the hall. Craig is encouraging me, it's a big job, but it might be really nice to get deep into a creative project that involves both hard work and displaying my favorite hobby: photography.


One of my favorite things...fall colors around the property.
Most trees are still very green.

A peek into my day...
The sheep and deer's favorite weed - American beauty
I am hoping...my next day book post is more upbeat.

I hope your week is going smoothly.