What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Growing Up

I took this picture but wasn't prepared for what I found when I retrieved it from the camera. I took it because the girls had their arms around each other; at that moment, that is all I saw. Buw when I looked closer into this photo, and particularly at my Little Miss, I realized I had gotten a glimpse of what my dear girl is going to look like all growed up as a young lady. The truth is, she is well on her way.

One evening two weeks ago, I was fluttering about the kitchen trying to get dinner on the table when Adele' decided it was her dinnertime too. Too much was happening to stop and nurse her so I asked Corynn to hold her in the kitchen and sway with her, standing up. Standing UP holding the baby is a feat that had not been allowed up until that point. My, how she swelled with pride at being "big enough". The idea was that drastic times call for drastic measures, but in Corynn's mind, if she could do it once and she did it well, she ought to be able to do it again.

I s'pose she's on to something.

Thus the start of her standing up while holding the baby. Still, I feared her walking around with Adele' in case she tripped or something. But eventually, walking happened. At first it was just walking about the living room but slowly THAT evolved into everywhere, even on walks outside. She takes tremendous pride in holding her sister and now asks (incessantly, ugh) to hold her. All the time. Every moment. (Did I mention always?) At some point, I WOULD like to hold my own baby, you know!

She is a perfectly good little Mama, and as inconvenient as her constant requests can be, I wouldn't want it any other way. She shushes, bounces and soothes babies like even the most loving Mama, but now she gets a REAL doll to do it to.

And you know what? The REAL doll will shush for her, laugh at her, and appreciates her love. Adele' has even fallen fast asleep in her arms before!

Now. If only Adele' would do that for ME! ;-)
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This here perfectly fits my children...

Photo Flipbook Slideshow Maker
Glitterfy.com - Photo Flipbooks

Monday, March 30, 2009


I *COULD* wait until tomorrow to post this picture...

But I won't.

Because if I don't share the sweetness this very minute, I fear I might explode.

OR, get a cavity.
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Fickle March

March was generous this past weekend, with its warmth and sunshine. So much so, bare toesies made their way out of muck boots and footies for a roadside picnic lunch. And snack time, come to think of it.

As you can see, Bitty baby still has that funny little curled toe. Oh my, I do love baby feet. I can't wait to see more of these little piggies about.

I *tried* to get caught up on laundry over the weekend. A broken washing machine for TWO weeks wrecks a bit more havoc than I first realized. I still am not caught up, but close. And besides, being able to hang laundry up outside soothes my temper. Those of you who guessed clothesline the other day...ya'll are smartypants. Matt built me a new clothesline for this home of ours, and built my own design again this time--with an added child line, but with a few alterations. This time I get FOUR lines, and the children have TWO. We are, after all, a growing family! ;-)

Saturday night we had our first patio dinner of the year.

This morning, though, we woke up to falling flakes.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

The Strategy

Yesterday I told you the joys and sorrows we faced when we got out of debt, only to get back in it. I told you the hows and whys of all. And then I told you about the turning point.

The moment eventually came but only after many MORE moments pouring over books, listening to the wisdom of biblical advisers and nights laying in bed talking to Matt about what I had been reading. Dave Ramsey was the guy behind all the books and he really made sense! What I especially liked about one of his books entitled The Total Money Makeover, he shared tons of success stories. People who had royally screwed up and not only had rebuilt their lives (albeit the hard way) but were now thriving with money AND happiness. These poor people had such incredible debt I can not EVEN fathom it. Double and triple the amount of money Matt EARNS in a year. Our one measly credit card balance didn't seem all that terrible compared to THEM, and THEY did it! SURELY, we could get out of debt too!

But I realized, I don't just want to get out of debt. Been there, done that.

I wanted more. I want our family to THRIVE. I didn't ever want to NEED to use a credit card again. I want to think less of the here and now, and more of the future. Can something so radical be done? Can something so radical be done with a family who has what most would consider a very modest single-income? Could something so radical happen to a family who would love nothing more than to have a whole passel of children running about? It certainly could, CAN and WILL--but only with the RIGHT tools and the RIGHT plan.

That plan requires a whole new mindset of us. It takes us out of the defense and puts us in the offense. We are no longer reactionary, but PROACTIVE.

Anyone familiar with Dave Ramsey knows his Seven Steps to Financial Freedom, so I am writing nothing new.

The very first step for ME that was necessary was to recognize the part I played and repent. At the time this all transpired, Matt was making more money than he ever has. We came to that job from years of working jobs that barely paid the rent and years of me struggling to make money stretch in ways it just can't. I remember my sister loaning me money for groceries one day, we were that poor.

When he got that new higher-paying job, we let loose! Oh MAN it felt good! We bought pizza, we went out to eat, we spent money. We earned more than we ever had, and despite getting out of debt, there was nothing to show for it. We had no savings, we weren't PLANNING for the future. Well sure enough--the future comes. I say this because, credit card debt was not the only issue that needed to be worked through. Maybe the credit card was in Matt's wallet and I never touched the thing. That didn't negate me from the situation. That was just the apple on the tree. I needed to get to the root of the problem-to cut down the TRUNK of the tree-which was me. I was the trunk of the tree by foolishly allowing hard earned resources to fly like a brittle fall leaf on the wind.

Letting so much money fly out of our fingertips on foolish things without planning for the future made the meeting not so pleasant when those necessary costs met us head on. There was no fall back, no money set aside because we had used it on pizza or REALLY cheap clothes (but they were only $2.00!!!) I remember working it all out and had I budgeted and dealt with our finances responsibly, we could have saved an unsightly amount of money each year~like LOTS (Matt asked me not to write specific numbers but in this case, I wish I could because. oh my goodness). Realizing that number and seeing what we actually had literally made me sick to my stomach. It took a long time, but I knew I had to actually FORGIVE myself too. The numbers haunted my dreams and I saw very clearly my shortcomings and I beat myself up about it to within an inch of my life. Even now at times, I cringe and what could have been. I try to quickly squash those feelings though, because they are not at all productive.

We established our emergency money right away and began our debt payoff.

I had a lot of trepidation about starting a zero-based budget though, and really did drag my feet in that area. It seemed too hard, too foreign to me. I had never ever done a budget before. I had never ever (even in our poorer than dirt days) accounted for every dollar spent and/or allotted money for different areas. This was all new and terrifying to me and I DID NOT WANT TO DO IT.

But I did do it, knowing that change needed to be made.

I sat sweating, fingers computing and recomputing calculator numbers many a night until I finally figured out just where our money was going and where it NEEDED to go. I filed my debit card away and created envelopes instead, labeled 'em, planned what money needed to stay in the account and what needed to be divvied out. I made revision after revision and note after note.

Now, almost four months later, I realize this is the single most important change in our financial gameplan. Here is why.

A zero-based budget means every single dollar spent is accounted for and divvied out and "spent" (in theory). This means I was IMMEDIATELY required to have self-control, I was FORCED to pay attention to how much I was spending and it was absolutely NECESSARY not to spend more than was allowed. Unless of course, I wanted to pay late and over-drawn fees. Trust me, I don't. I have stories about those, too.

In my zero-based budget, I not only accounted for monthly expenses (rent, utilities, debt reduction, car, etc.) but FUTURE expenses. (See?! PROACTIVE!) I created envelopes (LOTS of 'em!) that would ensure that when the need arose (and it inevitably will) I can have it covered, ELIMINATING the need for any plastic credit card buffer!!! Isn't it a BEAUTIFUL thing?!

Some people make categories and work out the details without using envelopes and that is something that would be wonderful for me to do someday (using envelopes can illicit the most horrifying stares!) but right now, for me, I need the TANGIBLE reminder to stay on target and the touchable proof of improvement as the amount of bills add up. I still need to force myself into financial submission. ;-)

The only money that stays in our account is for tithe, rent, utilities, life insurance, Netflix and debt pay off. Everything else is divvied up into envelopes. These are my cash categories.

Preparedness (food supply, grain mill, garden seeds, etc.)
Homestead (animals, animal feed, tractor equiptment)

There are several categories I would like to add, but am waiting until the credit card is paid off and that cash is freed up. One is a homeschooling envelope for curriculum and supplies. Any envelope system fans out there? I'd love to know what's in YOUR wallet?! That is, what categories you have created.

What isn't SPENT in a category simply rolls over until the money is needed. Again, self-control is necessary not to raid envelopes simply because the cash is there. (I am practicing!)

What I love about this system is that I don't FEEL limited in my spending (It's like those diets that promise you can eat all the food you normally do while still losing weight. Only this works! hehe) and I don't feel GUILTY when I go to buy needed shoes for the children. Because the money is already there and had been planned for! I also love the recreational envelope...because that is a really fun one! ;-)

My husband has changed jobs twice since the time of the higher paying (for us) job, and with each move he has taken a drastic pay cut. We are now working with almost half the salary that he had been getting before but you know what? I have never been more EXCITED or at EASE about our finances before.

I am writing all this here in as transparent a way that I am allowed and admitting my own mistakes in PUBLIC (man, I AM insane!), in order to encourage us all to be better stewards with our money and to debunk a few myths even I fell for up until recently.

Myth #1) "If only we made more money, we wouldn't be in this mess..." DEBUNKED. It isn't about the amount of money you make-it's about your mindset.

Myth #2) "If you have are debt-free, who cares about a budget?" DEBUNKED. You still need to know where your money is going.

Myth #3) "If only I were debt-free it would be okay". Being debt-free is NOT enough...you also need to be PREPARING for the future!

Myth #4) "It's all the credit cards fault!" DEBUNKED. We need to stand up and give accountability for our own shortcomings. Nothing can change unless we are honest with ourselves.

Myth #5) "It's impossible to live a happy, luxurious life on a modest single-income with lots of children."

You just keep visiting this blog from time to time and I hope you'll see how untrue that is.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Good thing I'm Limber

I've shared many of my 2009 resolutions with you up until this point, and knowing that money/financial issues are ALWAYS a constant goal of mine, it seems curious that I haven't mentioned anything up until this point. Here it is MARCH, and not a word has been spoken on the subject.

But it has certainly been on my mind, as is evidenced by my Book List readings for January.

During this time, I've come to a certain conclusion.

I can't trust anything that I say!!

As sure as the sun sets, I end up putting my foot in my mouth and feasting on my own words.

So it is this year.

Here is our story...

Nearly two years ago, I addressed, licked and piled up envelopes containing the very last of our debts; piled them in the mailbox and said good riddance (with a smile) to the last of our debt payments. NO more school loans. No more credit card bill. Oh, it was a joyful time! Four years of hard work on Matt's part and mine, and we were free as birds. Unfortunately, it was short-lived.

What was our mistake? I didn't cut that dumb credit card up right then and there.

It wasn't long before gas prices went up, Matt bought an "investment" tractor to rebuild and resell (before, naturally, we moved to a farm and actually NEEDED the thing), and we had to move~creating moving expenses AND requiring obtaining a fridge and a cookstove. In a nutshell, LIFE happened and we were "in the hole". ONCE AGAIN.

Writing this really stinks. Like mind-numbing, heart dropping stinks. But FEELING the disappointment of the situation is far more painful.

Now some people are adamantly opposed to credit cards. "They are from the DEVIL!" they cry. I vividly recall a time during this blogs lifetime that I responded to the battle cry, being all-wise and all-knowing, stating in turn: "Silly people. Credit cards are not of the devil! They are tools that are misused, just as the internet or television can be. They are neither good nor bad, it is how we use them that determines their effect. The weakness of those poor souls who have no control are the ones that give credit cards a bad name."

My views on that haven't changed too awful much....credit cards are still just a tool. Between the time of that writing and now, those handy plastic squares haven't turned into living, breathing, BUYING beings. They are still just little bits of plastic. Nothing there has changed, because blame can not be placed on inanimate objects. We are to accept praise or blame for our actions and no others. The sooner we get our heads around THAT, the better. I will not place blame on something that cannot be blamed. Our weakness is our own. Where my foot chomping has taken place is with the realization that our family doesn't HAVE power over the plastic. Obviously.

(*Please note I did not say credit cards are from the devil. I am speaking not of EVERYONE, but of MY family. If there actually ARE people who can cohabitate with credit and use it wisely, then by all means~ triple cheers for you! You are a stronger person than I! I don't want nasty grams saying I said something I didn't say. Capeesh? winky wink)

Qualifications written: check.

Now~back to the story.

Matt and I are simplistic people. We aren't consumer-driven. We rarely buy new clothes, and only then if they are on deep discount. We don't buy each other expensive anniversary gifts, or Christmas gifts or birthday gifts or anytime gifts. We don't give our children lots of toys, expensive toys, or even TOYS actually. (Slight exaggeration added for humor. Yes, our children have toys.) We don't eat out all the time (waaaahhhh!), have expensive hobbies, pay for 5,000 channels on the tele. I cut coupons, shop CVS and discount stores and make homemade from-scratch dishes from homecanned and gardened goods. We do not feel entitled, in fact, we try to AVOID buying excess in order to declutter our lives. SO how is it, then, that we built debt up again?

I pondered this for quite a while. I had envisioned debt-laden people being clothed in discontent with sores of oozing consumerism all over their body, and only just realized that 'good' people can struggle with it too. I realized too, our game plan just didn't cut it. We needed a new strategy. There simply MUST be a better way.

At Christmastime, I knew something had to change. So I started reading and borrowing books from the library and listening to youtube videos on Dave Ramsey and all that jazz. By January 15th (our first payday of the new year) I had a budget organized and envelopes labeled.

Where our old gameplan had been use the credit card for NECESSARY purchases only and pay off ASAP, we decided our new game plan HAD to be: get an emergency fund and budget the expenses so when they happened, we wouldn't be scrounging for money....or plastic.

How's it working out for us?

I'll tell you...

tomorrow. :-)

Free Entertainment

...is never lacking when you have an adoring older brother and sister.
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ways to use oldish/stale bread

Recently my trips to Aldi have coincided *perfectly* with their bread sales of prices 50% off. That is, 50% off loaves of 12 grain bread that only cost a little over a dollar anyway. The same bread would be over $3.00 at the "regular" grocery store. Included in these sales were wheat bread, 12 grain, english muffins, bagels, etc. To get English muffins and bagels for .40 cents a PIECE? I loaded my cart up with them, fearing the deals would be gone at my next visit.

I stocked my freezer. FULL.

Then on Sunday, a gluten-free family brought in a BOX of breads that their family happened upon but could not use and another family brought more bread than was necessary at the potluck. It was divvied out and I was a large recipient. Who can say no to Rye and Pumperknickel and Marble bread, I ask?!? Surely not I!

But when I got home--I could not squeeze another loaf into the freezer if it would save my life. On the counter it all sat, until something could be done to it because I refuse to waste even a crumb of such delicious bread.

We've had plenty of elegant sandwiches using elegant breads we don't often get (BLTs on marble loaf were my most favorite in college and I ate them every single day---ahhhh, those were the days!), made a nice celebratory batch of rye dip, and took plenty of snitches just to nibble...but even then-it is a race to use it all before it goes bad. After all, these breads were already day-old when THEY first received them!

I've compiled a list of things to do with stale bread; things I have done in the past and things I plan to do in the future.

Make HASTE, not WASTE!

~ Make a strata

~Sliced day-old bread actually does better than fresh in making French toast

~ Smother it with Sausage Gravy (or any kind of gravy really) and you'll never notice!

~Bagels can be made into bagel chips

~English muffins (or bagels) can be turned into pizzas

~ Homemade stuffing will make you never open those sacreligious boxes ever again.


~Bread crumbs

~ Bread pudding. (I've never done this one before, but it would do the trick. I just don't know if it would TASTE good while doing it! hehe)

Make French Onion Soup and let it swim!

~ Make crispy Garlic bread

~Milk Toast
is something (I just learned) Matt grew up with on his SICK days. I had never heard of it before but apparently it does very well for tummy troubles. Make toast and then soak it with warm milk. Eat it with a spoon. Has anyone else heard of this or tried it? I'd love to know more about it...


If you find yourself with just an end piece of bread here and there, don't despair but don't waste it! You can pop it into a freezer bag and continue to do so until the bag is full, then use the frozen bits all at once.


To revive not too-far-gone bread, I often will microwave it for 30 seconds with a wet paper towel overtop of the bread. It warms and softens it, but you need to eat it relatively soon afterward.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

GOOD things

It's been an eventful week. So much has been accomplished this past week, which is incredibly remarkable considering that half of the week was spent away from home attending funerals and services. One noteworthy thing that was NOT accomplished was...


That is the up side.

The downside is this: the bathroom door will no longer open because of the Mount Everest pile of clothing. I can hardly walk into my bedroom, too.
And this: My children had to wear the same church clothes to TWO funerals on TWO different days last week. While my sisters' children wore pristine, newly bought MATCHING outfits (*swoon*). Oh my. I am the embarassment of the family, I know. The runt and the reject, that's me.
And this: Adele has no more onesies, long sleeve shirts and only one pair of pants left clean. She has plenty of short sleeve dresses-if only the weather would warm up! Poor girl is soon going to have to be wrapped in swaddling clothes. AGAIN.

On to the actual ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

Matt finally got the stubborn tractor running. He bought it last year. Not running. And fixed it. And fixed it. And fixed it. But the stubborn thing never did start. Until this past weekend. A nice new spiffy coat of paint and Matt will be living it large with a real diesel powered tractor!


Hm. Matt (again...what?! Wasn't I productive this past week?!?!) also began another project for me this week: any guesses on what project THAT might be? (If anyone guesses right, it will be you Paula!)

But by far, the MOST noteworthy of all accomplishments is this:


It's actually a funny story. We fixed up our chicken house and were then asked by a family at church who had recently moved to be "chicken sitters" until they built a chicken coop at their NEW home.

SO, we get the beneficial task of starting our poultry raising with actual LAYING hens (instant gratification) and get some eggs WITHOUT buying the grain! We have some chicks coming in May-and then we will have our own herd? Gaggle? Family?

The children are SO loving it. In fact...do I still even HAVE children? The newest game is to gather the WARMEST egg. They practically PULL the things out of the chickens! hehe

It's a good life.

The Henhouse MANSION

This henhouse is approximately the same size as our first two homes.

Maybe bigger.

This is a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL sight to me. Not just because it is dream turned reality, but because of the drastic change it required to GET this way. If you could have seen how it looked before, you'd understand the pride we take in it now. Oh wait. You CAN-just scroll down.

That is, if you dare.

Matt chisled about 5 inches of compact chicken mess out of here before laying fresh sawdust and hay. I wish I would have taken a picture of it before the sawdust and hay. The concrete looked so amazing.

Yes-I just said concrete looked amazing.

He created roosts for the chicken out of some tree branches and limbs. The short one in the corner is for the chicken breed "silkie" who can't fly. wha ha ha ha

He also moved the nesting boxes to the screen so we can see when the chickens have laid eggs on the OTHER side of the pen. See how pristine the wire looks? That was all me, baby!

Our abundant blessings are made so evident with this chickenhouse. Not only did we have an existing structure to work with, it was a large, FANCY tin walled structure. Not only were there workable supplied like nesting boxes-but WOAH! A TEN boxer! Fancy schmancy. We could not have afforded to buy even a FIVE boxer at this point, so I would have been pleased with an awful rusty single box!

We are able to have chickens now, and at only the cost of our sweat!

Matt also used scrapwood from the house projects to build a chicken door and to make them a little runway...which they hate. The finnicky girls, in true girl fashion, like to strut their stuff right out the big PERSON door to make sure EVERYBODY notices them!

This is a view inside the door to the chicken house. Isn't that floor just wonderful!

An amazing difference.

You will be seeing this room more often because this is going to be turned into MY outdoor space. A GARDEN Room! A Potting Shed! An outdoor workroom! (I can't decide which is more romantic to call it...)

More to come on that soon!
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Brace Yourselves People

The BEFORE pictures

Just glancing in the window says it all...

What a DUMP!

Layers upon layers of JUNK. Beer cans. Feed sacks. Junk Junk JUNK.

I cannot fathom the sort of person who would live like this. I don't care if it is "just" a chicken house or not...this mess is a picture of ungratefulness and lack of pride. It is like throwing God's gifts right back in His face. A person ought to take pride in what they have-whether it be their mansion, tent, car OR chicken house. Thankyouverymuch.

Oh-but I am not through yet. Whenever I think of it, my feathers get all ruffled....and I find myself appauled anew.

In the actual coop was about 5 inches of compacted guano and the fully intact skeletons of over a dozen chickens! One poor thing was clawing its way out of the door! We assume the person just let them starve to death. That is, if you could CALL him a person. My niece called it a chicken graveyard. For the record: that was not fun.

Of course, Matt did most of the work (HALLELUJAH!!!)

My only contribution was cleaning the screening:

Feel free to scroll back up to see the end results again. And AGAIN. In order to protect yourselves from nightmares for the next month. Go ahead--scroll back up to the happy place and NEVER return to this post again!
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Friday, March 20, 2009

Bits of Life

It's been a particularly sorrowful two weeks, with the passing of two dear ladies we loved and my blog has been reflective of that. So much so, that I didn't even want to come ONTO my blog (that is, if I had had TIME to do so) because I'd feel more depressed. I knew I wanted to change that, but I just didn't feel like doing much photographing, writing or even thinking. I was in a stink.

I told Matt so and his advice was:

"Sometimes what we don't feel like doing is the very best thing for us.
Go out. Take your camera and go for a walk and see where it gets you."

The man knows what makes me tick.

Lilac buds. They don't think I know what surprises they are hiding inside those little green shells but I do! Lilacs are my most favorite spring-time flower. I've always longed for lilac bushes around my someday home~the dream being white, lilac, and deep purple all intermingling. I don't know quite what colors to expect, but I do know there are quite a few bushes here and there around this property. I can't wait to bring them in and drink in their scent whether I am indoors or out.

I also discovered a few irises poking their heads from a neglected white plastic bag. When we first moved here days were 100 degrees, dusty, with no water available and nothing unpacked. I planted much of my transported plants, but by the last bag of Iris bulbs, I had lost my gumption. I kept the bag right where I had intended to plant them, intending to come back another day. But then, the unpacking and cleaning rush began and I forgot about it until it was too late. Before I knew it leaves buried the bag, and then snow. Out of sight, out of mind.

I don't deserve to see these graceful beauties but I am tremendously thankful for little mercies.

A creek that keeps babbling.

Matt was right, when I forced myself to look around, I found happiness once again.
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Sunday, March 15, 2009

In loving memory

in loving memory, originally uploaded by sgrbear724.

Elisabeth van der Jagt

December 2, 1920 - March 15, 2009

Oh, the joy I imagine she has at this time, seeing and living in a place she has only pined for these nearly 90 years. The comfort of her Father's love and His nearness of presence.

This is a sad time, but incredibly joy-filled too.

We will meet again.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

In transit

Last Sunday found me, as it often does, sitting at my oversized desk with piles of stationary roundabout and pen in hand, scribbling on paper and cardstock; spilling thoughts and news, opening heart and making love known.

I love to write letters (you'd think blogging would fill my writing void enough) and have taken to not only writing letters to friends and family, but taking special care to send weekly lovegrams to those widowed and/or sick.

Lately, there are many.

These are the people who need love notes the most, and get them the least. A dying person, a lonely person, a person in pain~ I like to think that well wishes written and mailed, with an occasional drawing of love from children tucked within, might make a day brighten even for just a moment. Even a brief moment of pain subsided is worth any time at all I can give to that cause.

And so, Sunday was filled with pen to paper, sharing of our plans and news to divert attention from the bad and the hopeless, written promises of "Always praying" and declarations of love. Love is not a thing to keep secret.

Evening came and crisp, white pile sat tidy on the corner of the desk, awaiting Monday's mail. I went to bed, happy in the thought that I took the time to send love, and dreaming of the joy on the pained faces when they saw a note in the mail. For THEM. One of those licked and stamped envelopes held the name Oma van der Jagt.

But yesterday, just two days after Mailman took them away, news came. Terrible news. There was an accident. A fall. A day of lying on the floor, helpless, unable to get help, unable to stand the pain. A day of confused husband not knowing the phone numbers of his children or of the on-call nurses...Alzheimer's stealing his only means of getting help and old age stealing his ability to help lift her to safety~ but love, love enduring enough to push pillows round his Beloved to make her comfortable.

No one expected her to live through the night. Every hour that her frail heart pounds within her is one that was not expected. Every moment, every phone call...we wait.

Choking sadness overwhelms me. Matt isn't here to wrap me in his arms and comfort my heaving body. When my head hurts from pain, I have to find comfort in clutched, heartless pillows. He can't stroke my head, he can't soothe me with quiet words.

The sadness I feel doesn't come from death. I am not afraid for Oma to die. Many times I prayed that the Lord would ease her suffering, bring her home to Him and wrap His arms around her. That she be let go of the burdens of this life, that she be COMFORTED. I remember those prayers. They have just barely left my lips, so recent have they been uttered.

No, the deep sadness that I feel is heart-wrenching pain of knowing that her last hours on earth may have been spent utterly helpless and in pain, without means of getting help. I see her frail pajama-clad body suffering on the cold, hard floor... It grieves me to think of what she had to endure these last two days.

And it pains me that somewhere, a crisp white envelope addressed to Oma van der Jagt may arrive too late.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Glimpse

You've had glimpses into the Living Room, Kitchen, Craft room(which is actually the second bedroom), Bunkin Nook, even the Pantry. Of course, all the glimpses had us living in them too, but that is how they are ALL of the time. I guess it wouldn't really convey what the room looks like if it weren't being lived in.

Honestly, I'm running out of rooms to show you!!!

Today you get a glimpse

into the School Room/Family Room

This is where we LIVE

Spring Cleaning has been on my agenda the past week or so; organizing, my middle name.

It seems the children all outgrew their clothes at the same time-and while I haven't really "outgrown" my maternity clothes, three months later~ I REFUSE to wear them anymore....so I had a LOT of sorting to do.

All closets are weeded through, clothing no longer suitable has been packed away, armoire and dressers made tidy again (with a five year old and a two year old putting their own clothes away they need overhauls every now and again.), all floors swept and mopped, all spiders thwarted in their plans, the pantry is organized and inventoried, the furniture dusted, school shelves cleaned and organized, messes cleaned up, paperwork organized, dust bunnies blown out from under furniture, and just-well. NICE.

It's been a big job.

But it feels REALLY good. I can welcome spring with much more open arms.

Don't worry~another one of my tasks was taking down the snowflakes and snowman paraphernalia.

None too soon, if you ask me.

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