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

Thursday, August 25, 2016


The boys found a few birch trees nawed down by some beavers so they dragged them to the house.  Apparently, the yard needed a birch tree smack dab in the middle of it.

On nice days, you take the sewing OUTDOORS.

I particularly love the butcher knife in front of the baby seat in this photograph.

  Ineke inevitably wakes up for a drink of some nice, warm milk while I am in the barn milking.  She has good big sisters though, who snuggle with her until I can get inside.  Even though they are half asleep themselves.  Her brothers on the other hand?  Not even a stir.

Someone (Matt) once said you don't need to squint into the sun, you need only to open your eyes wider.

That is true only if you want searing pain in your eyeballs.  Or to cry.  Just ask Corynn.

I asked the children to help me can tomatoes one day.  I gave Andrew the job of washing jars.  The next time I walked into the kitchen, this is what I found:

And approximately two jars washed.  Needless to say, I did the washing and I sent him out to wash/cut/squish tomatoes with the other children.

I realize those two photos of Ineke are almost identical.  But must I choose one?

Funny conversation overheard between my sister and her daughter at the public pool where we met to swim one day:

Christiana to her Mama, in a voice filled with confusion and surprise: "Mama!  Nobody here knows that Adele' lives on a farm!"

Her Mama to Christiana, trying to understand what she was saying: "What do you mean, honey?"

Christiana to her Mama: "Well- they don't know she lives on a farm because she is wearing a bright bathing suit just like everyone else!"

She was genuinely surprised that no one knew our dirty little secret!

Remind me next year to invest in all brown swimwear for my children.  Apparently it is required for farm kids.  HA!

It was an adorable exchange in real life (words don't really do it justice) and it made me chuckle.

Matt has been travelling in New Mexico/Texas/Colorado for the last two weeks for work.  Which left me flying solo for two weeks.  And particularly excruciating-- he was gone over the weekend as well. His being gone is a nightmare for me.  Chores are maddening when the cow needs to be milked at the same time that the baby wakes up to be fed.  Milk duties seem all the more bothersome when I had to be a part of the entire process- from milking, to cleaning up, to milk-making, to cleaning up, etc. etc.  The garbage, the grass, the everything.  And on top of that, caring for children who miss their father and trying to fill the vast void Matts' absence creates in our lives when all I really feel is the void his absence leaves in mine.   More than chores or children, I hate Matt's being gone mostly because I love him so dearly and, being one, a huge piece of me is gone too.  My confidant, my sanity, my little bit of adult conversation at the end of the day, my comfort when I feel overwhelmed, the laughter when I need it most.  My best friend.  The one whose hugs and kisses make everything alright.  Without them, it doesn't feel right. It isn't.

I can't sleep when Matt is gone either.   I stay up until midnight or 1 in the morning, willing myself to fall asleep, but staring as the bright glowing red digits pass from one to the next on the alarm clock across the room.  My contacts are out and I am blind as a bat so I don't know what time it is- only that another minute passed.  In this case, it is better to be blind.

I did his laundry at the beginning of the week, put the clean clothes on his shelves and then they stayed there.   Gathering round the supper table in the evenings lost its' joy, Saturday seemed off the whole day, singing in church without his voice bellowing beside mine was painful, falling asleep outside of his arms was impossible.   I would drive home in the evenings and, as usual, I would crest the hill and my eyes would search our driveway in the distance to see if his car was there- if he had beat us home only to realize how foolish that was to think, to do.

I knew it would be hard.  I knew those two weeks would drag on.  I didn't know how I would be able to do it.  So I did what any insane person would do.  I scheduled some distraction, some diversion for every.single.day that he was gone.   For two weeks straight.  I should have thought about the fact that this is busy canning season for me and the garden is chucking rotting tomatoes at us like a bad comedy show or that (possibly) I could use some downtime considering, well, I don't sleep when he is away.  But I didn't.  I just scheduled away.

We went swimming, we went to a cheap second-showing movie matinee of The BFG (loved it!!), went to picnics, hosted parties, went visiting, ate ice creams, plenty of swimming.  The children went to the fair.  I have wonderful friends who are very good at helping a girl divert her attentions away from her long-lost husband.

It worked out that these diversions saw me (and the children) through the daytime and I canned well into the night each evening because I wouldn't sleep anyway...with the occasional old movie thrown in for good measure.  The time did pass pretty quickly that way.  So, as insane as it was to do something every single day for two weeks, and as ridiculously UNRESTED and stretched thin as I feel at this moment, I guess it worked out just the way I had hoped.  Two weeks later and in just 3 minutes it will officially be Friday, the very day when my love walks through that door and I get to remember what his kisses taste like.

I survived.  I can't wait to sniff his neck.  And I most assuredly can't wait for that kiss.

** I realize that my whines and struggles are laughable compared to the struggles of separation that some people face~ military families, unwilling separations, hospitalizations or care homes, widows...  I certainly don't mean to elevate my situation to something truly dreadful like one of those situations.  I have a whole new appreciation and empathy for what those individuals must go through though my experience pales in comparison.  Poor souls! They have my deepest respect and admiration.   I can say I have prayed more in these two weeks for the likes of those people than I ever would have thought to before, having just a taste of the bitter pill of separation.**

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Woods Walk


The air has been feeling a bit more crisp than usual these days.  I might have even felt a bit chilled last night.  I *may* have even taken a hot shower.  A hot shower? Yes, I believe it was that.

I had so many summer plans that never quite made it to reality.  So many.  And one of the big ones was going for a walk in our woods once a week.  Because I wanted to enjoy the weather.  I wanted to enjoy the gift that beckons right outside our doorstep.  I wanted to take time to explore and discover and seek and see.  I had big plans to take a nature notebook on our walks and do some art on the hills, maybe some flower pressing.  And we've only gone a handful of times.  As in, one hand.

Two weeks ago we made our way woodwards- foraging for blackberries.  We wound up with about four quarts to freeze and I have a few more quarts to turn into jelly.  It's on the list for tomorrow.

The boys' favorite part?  Frog hunting and deer spotting.
The girls' favorite part?  The building of Fairy houses
My favorite part?  A girl leaning in and laying close.

Monday, August 22, 2016

At it again (the porch project continues)

Matt has been at it again- setting his hands and talents to something and making it beautiful.  

The seemingly never-ending porch project continues after a brief winter hiatus (to rest and to raise money for the next step!) with the addition of railings.  We loved the porch without railings but it wouldn't have passed inspection had we not added railings (one edge is quite high). 

And besides, we have a little mover-and-shaker these days which would make a railing-less porch MUCH less relaxing.

Our porch is massive, wraps around the whole of two sides and is 12 feet wide.  It was going to cost a fortune to add even the cheapest railings using even the cheapest spindles just because there would need to be so many!  So Matt did what he often does- he started from scratch and did the brunt work himself.  He and his dad spent an entire day ripping, cutting, sanding and pre-drilling about a gazillion spindles and boards.  

The whole railing project cost just about $200.00 because of his hard work- which is the cost of just the most-basic spindles alone had we bought them at the store.

(I could do this allll day long.... stare at this handsome guy, hard at work.)

And *still* it isn't done, because probably next spring we will be painting the whole thing (oh.my.word. NIGHTMARE.) but it is 'complete' for a while. 

Here is it in all its' glory, enrobed in fog this morning:

And while we are on the subject of Papa projects:  here is another!

Matt told me he wanted to mulch around the locust trees by the milkhouse and maybe put a piece of old equipment he found down the hill in the woods on display.  He called it the ornamentation project.

He lured me into his plan when he said he would build a stone wall around it.

(Here I go again....)

As you can see, Matt's perpetual jeans are in need of some more attention.  If I made the habit of swearing, it would be these jeans that made me do it.

Oh look!  How tidy!  How crisp!  How clean looking!  Look at that stone wall!  

I love it just.like.this!
 But wait.
Oh yeah.
The equipment.

Which, by the way, went from ONE thing to TWO things.

And both things were WAAAAY bigger than I had envisioned.

Not sure I love the rusty heap o' junk look- but Matt does, so I guess that is that.

And it can't be worse than the rampant burdock that was there.  Right?  And....that stone wall!

That is TOTALLY worth it.

But then again, in the fog, even the heap o' rust looks almost...well, ornamental.