Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012

Well, i can't believe that another year has already come and gone.  I swear i was just saying to Jeromy "I can't believe its already July 1st!" And now here we sit entering January.  Wow.  My new phrase will work perfectly here, "Time flys when you're old!"  Am i right or am i right? Yeesh.  Its like as a child we wait and wait and wait for the clock to tick slowly from morning to night on Christmas Eve and now here i am at 30 looking at the clock at 10am and thinking i barely have time to get things done before dinner!  Its amazing what we learn as we age.

On the bright side, today is the last day in December and i get to celebrate New Years Eve at home with my hubby and brother. One of my favorite nights.  I LOVE sitting together and talking and wondering and hoping for the future. I love it.  I am a New Year resolution freak.  Forget all the stuff that we are going to give up on or fail...think of all the stuff we can accomplish!  I love it.  Its a great time to look at your life and evaluate your past and plan for the future. Its so great.

Of course we can do this any time of the year.  And that's great too, but on any other day i would probably (most definitely) not stay up until midnight to do it. (That is, unless i was watching Jimmy Fallon and the time just flew by as I laugh and smile at him (which it normally does...winkity, wink, wink)).

I say we should say our resolutions loud and proud.  Don't think of your glass as half empty, think of it as half full.  We can share so we can have encouragement and accountability along the way. And if nothing else, its just nice to let others know your hopes and dreams.  I mean, sure we all want to have a smokin body and to stop eating sweets, but come one....like, as if!  Hahahaa, i don't even go there any more.  I am not going to be that lame person you go out to eat with that is counting calories and commenting on how many "points" your meal is worth.  Eeew, no one likes that person, but everyone like the big happy one who is ordering dessert...right....ri-ght?? ;)  Hahaa, okay, whatever. To each his own.

I don't have all my resolutions ready, but i am thinking about them with excitement.  Its a new year, guys. Thats so exciting.  So much can be accomplished. So much.  We have so much love to give. So much kindness to share. So much generosity to show.  Our resolutions can be anything under the sun. And that's what makes them so great. We can not only better ourselves but better others in the process. 

Ahhh, obviously i am super chipper chicken about this, but why not?  Lets do this people. Lets all change the world one resolution at a time.  Give, love, smile, laugh, care, share, appreciate, show gratitude, be faithful, have mercy, extend grace, persevere with joy, and make someones elses life better because they came into contact with you.

Theres oodles of great things we can do every day, and to have the opportunity to make a list of them and hold true. That is super exciting to me!  Soooo, i am going to get to making my list and maybe i'll even share a few...

Happy New Year to all and to all a good year!  (insert celebratory music and fireworks here)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Give more

More and more, as i get older, i realize the importance of giving.  I feel like it has always been something that i have deemed important, but even more now than ever.

What better time to give than Christmas?   I have heard many sermons about giving and even more about how we "over give" on Christmas and how the true meaning of it gets lost in all the hubbub.

But, ya know what?  I don't agree with that. We should be celebrating each other and showing Christ's love all year long. And if giving gets especially emphasized during Christmas, well, that's even better. 

One very generous gift that we all have received, one of the very first acts of giving, was from God.  He sent his son to this earth to be born in a manger and to give his life so that, through him, we could spend eternity in heaven.

That's a pretty big deal. Definitely one worth celebrating!  I love this time of year. I love the feeling of joy. I love the smiles on peoples faces. I love the special moments spent together.  And i love to give.

Yes, black Friday is craziness.  But if we look deeper into that, its crazy because people are tyring to get the right gift for someone that they love, to show them they care. I know there is a hand full of people that are only out there for the steal of a deal on a flatscreen tv for their home to add to their overabundance of
"stuff".  But that is a small amount.  And not one i am going to get hung up on "hating" for their greediness.

For me its not about the perfect present for each and every one that i know. But it is about giving something, to show them that i love them and that they are valuable in my life.  A "thank you" for being a friend, sister, brother, mother, or father. A "thank you" just for being you. A small token or gesture to remind someone that they are important to me.  Its my way of showing Christ's love through a smile or a thought or a gift.

I love this time of year.  Yes its hard.. Especially for me, i just am NOT organized enough. But i don't want that to hinder me.  Its not about expensive gifts, because we don't have the funds.  Its about a cookie cooked with care. A present wrapped with joy.  A gift given with a smile. And a life lived in love.

Don't go against the grain and buy less for others this year.  Giving is exactly what we need to do. Now more than ever. To show people we still care.  We don't just remember Christmas because facebook reminded us in the morning.  We remember because we were given the ultimate gift.  We received life through a beautiful baby born in a manger.

Isaiah 9:6 "For to us a child is born, to us a son is give, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

Merry Christmas, dear friends.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

This is hard.


I have realized that my life has begun to emulate the "i'll diet tomorrow" sentence that we all say.  I swear to you, everyday of my life for the past 6 years i have said, Tomorrow, i will totally tackle Rubys room. Tomorrow, i will clean out my fridge amazingly.  Tomorrow, i will eat less treats. (who am i kidding, less DQ) Tomorrow, i will get a hold of my life and be on top of everything like a perfect mother and wife.  Tomorrow, i will be better at life. 

I am sick of feeling like i have to be better tomorrow. I want to be better now. I want to clean my kitchen fluidly and effortlessly. I want to teach my kids manners with out yelling at them. I want to have a bedtime/teeth brushing session that didn't make me want to pull my hair out.  I want to do better. i just want to do better.

I feel like i have been in the weeds for most of my married life.  Of course, i blame this on my birth order. I mean, people always picked up my dishes for me. i was the baby.  The baby.  And i think i am naturally unorganized and lazy.  Lazy.  I feel like i spin my wheels( and feel exhausted by it) all day and get nothing done. Everything that i start gets interrupted.  Every time i have good intentions to tackle something that i don't want to...i don't.  

I start the day with dishes. I let my kids eat breakfast at the coffee table while they watchCurious George, just so i could have a minute alone at the kitchen table to think, breath, anything. Just be alone. For one sweet second, be alone.

I am realistic enough to just say to myself, when i am feeling overwhelmed and down, "just do it."  Just deep clean your room for pete's sake.  "Just do it.  Do it. Do it!"

And yet, as i sort my magazines, i see something that captures my attention, and i just have to sit down and read that article or copy that recipe. I mean, if i don't i might miss my opportunity, right? ... Right?

I dream to be like Bre Vandicamp (Hodge) For those of you who don't know what i am talking about, You're the lucky few. Probably the better few.  Bre is Marcia Cross' character on Desperate Hosewives. She is type A (i wish) organized (not likely) tall and beautiful (hey, i am tall) the perfect housewife. And i love/hate her.

Sometimes i feel like i am just wasting away here. Doing dishes. Folding laundry. Answering questions. I mean, i know i wouldn't have it any other way.  I am doing all of this to be here with my kids and raise them and care for them with my own hands.  I am blessed (honestly) to be home every day.  I'm just not very good at it. 

Sometimes i feel like my brain is just turning to mush. I can't remember the things that i used to. I talk like a crazy person on speed. (lets just face it) and i can go from subject to subject like nobody's business.  I just may forget a few of the things that i'm talking about or get tongue tied and frustrated. And i always have to spell check just about every word i type. Seriously, is it motherhood, or my thirties?

Or both.

I realize that i set the bar high for mothers.  I mean in my head. I have a standard that i am trying to meet that i simply can't seem to do.  Its my mother. She was the perfect housewife. How do I do that?  She always tells me that as a child whenever she was cooking or doing something of value that i should have learned, I was always at a practice or game.  I was an athlete.  Just a high school one, but it runs deep.  I want to sweat. I need to compete.  But I don't. Because the sensible side of me always wins and reasons that i don't need to spend money (that we don't have) on a membership to a gym. I can just work out at home. Have you ever tried doing that with three busy kids?  Its not easy, and its definitely not relaxing.  And yet, the Hitler Mother inside of me reminds me that I am the Mom. I should basically always be here for my family. Physically here. At my house. Looking at the same four walls for 24 hours of my day. Again, i am truly blessed to be able to do this. But i think i take motherhood to the extreme where i hurt myself in the process. Now, not the Oprah kind of way. I don't need to care for myself and take care of me before i can take care of someone else. I just mean, i need to loosen my own reigns.  I can go out of the house sometime without my kids, right? Its not selfish, is it?  Ugh. I can't do it. One, we live too far away from anything to make it worth my time and two its takes money and gas to travel and that is so limited that its unbearable. I can't justify wasting any of it on my silly selfish things.

But that leaves me feeling trapped.  But then feeling guilty.  Its maybe not about leaving, but feeling like i am accomplishing something. Anything. I just want to be the best dish do-er in East Bethel. I want to have the answers for something instead of always asking for them. I want to be valuable too.

I almost wanted to type that i will do better tomorrow, but i have said that so many times that it frustrates me. Will i even try? Or am i too tired?

Too lazy.

Too unorganized.

Too crabby.

I don't know. I don't have my own answers. I know the things that are of value. I love God. I love my family. I am healthy and so are they. I am truly blessed, but sometimes i just feel like i want a little break from the pressure.

I want to do great things...i just can't figure out how.



Monday, November 7, 2011

Hell

A few things have been on my mind today and as i sat and folded laundry, they came together and bugged me enough to want to write about it.  First, we are so selfish in this world.  I say this not because anything was done to me, but because of what i see happening around me.  As i was driving and thinking today (apparently i do alot of that, eh?) I was thinking (more like dreaming) about Twilight. I am so stinking excited for it to come out in theatres that i am basically putting my head in the sand an refusing to even think about it.  I love it.  I am not saying its appropriate for others or something everyone should see, i just feel like i will be a lovestruck teen all my life!!  I mean, the though of sitting next to some 13 year old and hearing her say "I love Edward!" makes me want to scream. I honestly think i would lean over and argue that she doesn't actually love him, but that i do, in fact actually love him...i love him."

As i drove i thought about how the movies, and books and even our thoughts can make something out to be much more spectacular and amazing than it truly is.  The fact is, if Edward just happened to show up right now and wisk me away on a fairy tale adventure...it would hurt others.  We are obsessed with making ourselves feel good.  Its one thing to dream about a man (or vampire) but its another to up and leave your family for him.  And to be a mother and to leave...it infuriates me. I have no tolerance for it. None. There isn't an excuse big enough.

Another thing that started to irk me today was people's big opinions. The ones that don't really have anything to do with eternity.  I mean, to sit and have all these big opinions about animal rights??  Seriously, its laughable.  How can we worry about the "souls" of animals when we neglect the fact that we are not even on the path to righteousness?!?!  How?  I get angry when i see people waisting their time and energy on things that have no value when it comes to eternity. 

I am not saying that i think everyone should be perfect, or that i am even close to it. (obviously) And i am not saying that we shouldn't care for animals. (i mean, you know my crazy love for my chickens) I am saying focus on things from above.  

This life is passing. Fast.  And i cling to the verses in the Bible that teach about God's promises and God's commands.  How can we not?  I can not imagine my life with out Him.  If I had zero problems and millions of dollars i would be less full than i am now.  How can people focus on such petty things, such selfish things.   Affairs? Unfair treatment? Animal advocacy? Misspoken words?  Those are just the few that got me going today.  But obviously there are many more.

You know the old saying "life is short and then you die" Ya...thats the buggar of the truth...we die. But as christians, we take comfort in this.  Christ has promised us eternity in heaven.  But he makes it very clear that the road is long and narrow.  Its not this big ol road that we all are going to get to go down. We're not all just gonna make it into heaven.  Do people realize that??  I read my bible every day, i trust God 100%, i have a personal relationship with Christ, and i still feel fearful sometimes. Its not okay that i let myself do it, but i am human and i try to fight it.  I don't want to be afraid, but its the unknown and i am afraid of it. My tiny little human mind can't grasp heaven.  But i know i am going there.  If the Bible is true, which i believe it is. Then i will be in heaven someday. 

But the fear and the frustration that i feel is that not everyone else will.  People can call that judging, people can get defensive, people can say only God knows their hearts.  And i agree. Only God does, but thats the point.  If we look to the scriptures God makes it very clear in Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me , 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and preform many miracles?'  Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers."  That is HUGE.  Even the people who are proclaiming to know him are doing it in vain and do not have a relationship with Christ. That scares me. That means just because people are nice they aren't guaranteed heaven. Its not about being "nice" or "good".  Not all people go to heaven.  And yet i have never sat at a funeral and heard the preacher talk about the possibility of that particular person going to hell. People would freak if they heard that. Freak.  I suppose the pastor would be blamed. Now obviously i am not saying that i think anyone should do that, i am just thinking about the facts. Where are we going to spend eternity?  Just because we (or someone that we love) dies, doesn't necessarily mean they are going to heaven!  That is hugly scary.

I believe that if any one of us was faced with eternity tomorrow we would be living life differently.  Why?  Why aren't we doing it now?  Luke 16:19-31 basically talks about a rich man who had a beautiful life and a poor man named Lazarus, who was full of sores and a beggar. Both died on the same day except the rich man went to hell.  He begged the Lord, who he saw in heaven, to send Lazarus to give him a drop of cool water to his lips. He was in torment and agony.But he wouldn't.  He begged him to allow Lazarus to go back to earth, to the rich man's friends house where the rich man had 5 brothers. He wanted to warn them so that they would not come to that place of torment. Hell.  The Lord said No because they had Moses and the prophets to listen to. The rich man begged and pleaded that if someone were to come back from the dead, then they would surly listen.  God answered that if they wouldn't listen to Moses and the Prophets then they wouldn't be convinced, even if someone rose from the dead. 

That is huge.  Hell is real and alot of people will go there. It is sad. It is a consequence of sin.  Our job, as Christians, is to love others and teach them about the good news of Christ.  There is nothing on this earth worthy of our attentionmore than the Bible.  I know i sound extreme, but i am.  I take it really seriously.  I would rather have a buggar of a life on this earth and be a "beggar" (but get to spend eternity next to Jesus) than live a life full of riches and basically experience heaven on earth...cause thats all i'd get.  Earthly heaven. Not eternity in it.

So the people that bug me the most and the ones i have the least tolerance for?  Those are the ones that i need to love because even if it were my enemy, i would never wish hell on anyone. I need to press on and show them love even when they show none in return. 

I guess i want to encourage all of us.  This life isn't a joke. Its not about how much fun we can have or what makes us "feel" good. Its about eternity.  Today, tomorrow and always. Lets not lose sight of that. And lets set ourselves straight... if we need a little straightening  "For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Matthew 7:13-14)

Lets get on that long narrow road together...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Betrayed by nature


As a few of you know, yesterday morning was quite chaotic at this house.  My day started like usual.  I got my boots on and went to check on my chickey-doos.  I saw Jessie was up in the coop laying an egg, and i got food for the others and opened the door to let them out.  Like usual.  So there i was cleaning out the poo in the coop with my little toy yellow shovel (actually the kids shovel that they are no longer allowed to touch) I heard some squawking and and ruffling. 

Now let me just explain how our coop is set up first. Originally my brother made me a coop for the chickens. Its awesome and i painted it red and i am proud of it.  But with winter coming, Jeromy and i were trying to hatch (pun intended) an idea about how to keep them warm and protected and yet give them enough room to be out in the winter with out being in the snow.  It was a long thought process.  Jeromy's work was throwing out a bunch of garage door sections that were used at a bar in St. Paul, they were insulated and full glass...i know, crazy.  So he thought up an idea in his head, ran it by me (barely) and brought the sections home.  I was a little shocked about how ghetto this was going to look. Being married to a "garage door guy" but growing up as a carpenters daughter (literally) was weird to me.  Everything my Dad made used 2 x 4's and nails and now everything that my husband builds includes thrown out garage door parts and and self tappers.  Very weird to me. 

Sometimes i just say to Jeromy  "Can't ya ever just use wood and a nail!!"  (just a sidenote)

Anywhooo, back to the coop. Jeromy ended up building (and working very hard on) this amazing glass coop that connects to the garage door so i can walk right out and collect the eggs with out having to shovel or go through and snow.  I LOVE it.  I didn't think i would...but honestly, every time i go out there, i just think "i love this."  Okay, so i have a huge glass coop with a screened window that i can open and close depending on the weather and inside that coop, is the smaller wood coop where my girls lay their eggs and sleep.  

Okay, so...i am cleaning out the little coop when i hear ruffling and squawking...and then more squawking...and then a deathly scream coming from my chickens!!  (Apparently i threw the shovel or something because i have yet to find it)  I ran out of the coop to look for my birds.  I hear the sound coming from just beyond the barbed wire fence next to my the neighbors shed.  Its weird that they even went over there so early in the morning.  I walked a little closer and fear totally overtook me.  I mean, i was a freaked out. I hear the ear piercing ruckus and start to say to myself quietly "Something has my chicken.....my chicken....no, not lucy....not my chicken...something has MY CHICKENS!!"  My words intensified as i felt overwhelmed and helpless.  I couldn't quite see what had them.  I quickly thought about my neighbors cat and then thought that couldn't be. My chickens follow her around and think she is one of them.  If i weren't such a baby, i may have hoped over the barbed wire fence (as if) and checked it out.  But with the ruffling and the screaming, i thought a bobcat had my girls.  "Oh Nooooo, not my chickens!"  i kept saying as my mind reeled about what to do next.  Suddenly i saw Buzz (my rooster) come flying like a crazy man out of the woods and straight through the fence. Never looking back.  Then i say another chicken run from the other direction squawking and flapping her winds as fast as chickenly possibly.  I knew Jessie was safe in the coop. So i quickly turned to shut the door and thought about my next step.  Then i turned back to the fence.  The overwhelming feeling of fear almost consumed me.  What if i see my chickens tore up? What if they are just clinging to life? I can not DO this! No my little lucy! Lord, please, not my Lucy. I CAN'T do this...

It felt like an eternity before the attack stopped.  The chicken screams, oh the chicken screams. And suddenly like a miracle, i saw Lucy come flying out of the woods, feathers falling off her as she crossed over into my yard.  She didn't stop running and she disappeared out of sight.  I turned back to the neighbors shed. By this time i had two large sticks, one in each hand.  And sitting majestically on top of the shed staring down at me was a huge hawk. 

Let me take you back to my childhood for a second.  I used to go outside and listen for the two hawks that lived in our back woods. I loved them.  I named them "Uh oh" and "Crash" (ya, don't ask me why)  But i always loved hawks. I loved their beauty and i loved their sound. I could pick out the distinct sound of a hawk anywhere. So ya get me, i loved them.  Well, 5 months ago, i got chickens and i came to realize that the hawk is one of the chickens biggest predators. My love for the hawk was trumped.  It was over.  Now i feared their sound and hoped never to see them around my house.

Flash forward to yesterday.  There was that hawk, my old love.(my ex, if you will)  Sitting looking at me, laughing. (i swear it was laughing at me)

Now if any of you know me well enough, you know i am sometimes a big talker, but when push comes to shove, i am a "flighter"  You know, when our body kicks into defense mode we either choose to "fight or flight"...turns out this big ol girl is a flighter.

Back to the hawk.  It looked at me and i looked at it and i had a choice to make.  I naturally felt like running inside and hiding and wishing this day never happened, but something changed. I was in charge of this farm (i like to think its a farm, okay) These were my birds you attacked. And now i'm after you. I ran at the shed smashing my sticks together and yelling at that dumb bird.  "Get outta here!" I crashed my sticks together so hard that they broke and the bird finally flew off.  "That's right, fly...and never come back, ya here...never come back!!" (i may have added that part to sound cool, i don't think i really said it)

Well, as i was running under the bird and slamming sticks i realized that he didn't go far and i still had my chickey doos to protect.  I changed direction and ran to find Buzz. He was at the back corner of the house standing as close to it as possible.  I realized i had to find these birds and get them to safety before that hawk came back. I shooed Buzz to the front and realized that my yard was a ghost town. My birds where gone and i had to accept it and protect who i had left.  (All the while my mind wondered where Lucy ran off too...did she ever stop. Or did she just lay down and die?)  I walked with Buzz and my stick around the house.  I got to the front porch and what did I see?? Lucy cowered down in between the shrubs hiding.  Or was she dying?  Buzz went to her and she stood up and walked with him. My heart broke. She could walk. Was it just the adrenaline or was she actually going to live?!  I felt a sting of the possibility of joy. Ands also the sting of the fact that i was still in my pajamas and my big ol boots. Freezing.  I tried to get the birds to enter into the small little hole in our lattice around our front porch and when i got down on my hands and knees to out them in there...i saw my two Wynadottes hiding under the porch too.  That made 4...plus Jessie in the coop.  5...i found 5 chickens. 5 of my babies were at least here. I didn't know what the damage was, but at least i found them.  I got the 4 birds together and safe under the porch.  I walked around the house looking for more, but avoiding the area of the attack. I just couldn't look. I didn't want to know.  Laying half on her side behind a chair that was leaning against the garage was my Americana, Tootsie.  She didn't look right. Her feathers were ruffled around her back and she didn't get up to move when i came close to her. Her lids were heavy and she just watched me.  My heart was sad.  The fact that my chickens had to take cover at their own house was sad. The fact that the hawk and the chicken will never be in harmony made me mad. The fact that sin was so obvious and in front of me today angered me.  The lion and the lamb won't lay together, at least not this side of the vail.  Sin. 

I turned around and ran into the house and told the kids in a little hysterics that a hawk got out chickens and that i had to find them but to prepare to have lost some.  I got my gloves and sweatshirt on and marched straight across the street to my wonderful neighbor and friend's house, Nicole.  Nicole has and loves her own chickens and we have spend many hours this past Summer just sitting in chairs talking and admiring our birds.  I needed her. She could do this.  When she came to the door I just said "A hawk got my chickens!"  And all she said was "I'll get my jeans on."  That sentence was music to my soul.  Nicole could do this. She could make it better. I walked ahead of her and waited. Within a moment she was by my side. She asked what happened and where it happened and explained the morning to her but told her that i didn't want to go the the scene of the crime. I didn't want to see who that hawk got.  I knew i was missing my Americana, Bear.  I just wanted to focus on getting my chicks together and safe again.  As we walked back to the hiding chicken behind the chair, it seemed to be trying to stand...oh, please, be okay.  And as Buzz crowed under the porch, Tootsie slowly got up and we walked her to him.  This couldn't be possible. Could it? 

All the while Gus was barking and barking in the garage. He knew something was going on, and i wanted to let him out but couldn't stomach the thought that he might come back with one of my birds in his mouth.  With 5 birds at the porch, Nicole and i decided to walk them to the coop together and survey the damage there.  It took a little coaxing with sunflower seeds, but i had 6 chickens in the coop. They were all walking and seemingly healthy.  I was just missing Bear.  Nicole said she would check the area of attack and that i didn't have to go with her.  As i stood there and she started to walk...what would happen?  Bear, waked out of the opposite side of our woods peeping softly. SHE WAS ALIVE!!  All 7 chickens were alive.  I know this sounds lame, and if i weren't in my shoes i would say "they're just chickens, for petes sake." But they aren't just chickens. These are my chickens.

The day finished with a blur and Nicole was over a few times and we hung out in the coop and we both just kept repeating "I can't believe they are all okay!"  There was no way they should have been okay. No way.

As i looked out the window and as i layed in bed last night. I felt fear. I felt uneasy. I felt unsafe. I felt betrayed by nature.

But today i conclude with this, God protected my chickens yesterday.  He loves the little sparrow, and he loves those little chickies too!










This is our Lucy




This is a picture i took this morning.  My beautiful little flock.  They weren't meant for slaughter, they were meant to provide companionship to the kids and healthy eggs for us.  I love these birds.




Thursday, October 6, 2011

I am Christina Boone, Ruby's Mom.


I just got finished with the most special day ever!! I have had a great day with my kids and i am just overwhelmed with total love and admiration for the little humans that they are. 

Ruby was the STAR of the day at school today. And that entailed my getting alot of stuff ready (and you all know how great i am at that...) So i ordered pictures to put on her STAR board and i set aside time for her to color it and arrange the pics with me, i thought about the book that we were going to read aloud to the class (a little nervous, i gotta say) and filled out the form about why Ruby was a star to us.   I was actually a little concerned about it last night and anticipated it like it was my first day of school. (even though i have been there with her before)

Like every day of her lolly gagging life, Ruby missed the bus. She is the slowest poke when it comes to getting ready.  About every 5 minutes she breaks from what she is doing in the morning (ya know, the important stuff like getting dressed and eating breakfast) and goes to find (and snuggle) with her kitty. I tell ya, not a morning goes by fluidly...always a little hectic rush.  But, hey, that's who we are.  Poky, unorganized snugglers.

I dropped Ruby off at school and hurried to get the little ones (one who is forever in his PJ's) to Walmart in time to get some groceries, deposit a check (thank you, Lord) and get home to get my makeup on before Ruby's 11:10 lunch hour.

Like the Christina way, we managed to get it done quickly and got home with about 12 minutes to spare...

...which meant i had to mess with the chickens for about7 of those minutes....anyhow...

I threw on my makeup and some fancy earrings (Ruby always likes that) and headed with the kids to school to spend time with Ruby at lunch, then recess, and then her STAR book reading and commentary from yours truly.

I got to lunch a few minutes late with two little kids in tow and found Ruby.  My shining star, Ruby.  She was sitting at the table like a perfect angel surrounded by her friends and smiling and waving towards us.  My heart skipped a beat.  My baby girl had grown up. Right there before my eyes, she was a school girl now.  But even with the group of kids vying for her attention she got up and hugged us and showered all her beautiful and caring attention to her mom and siblings.  She is amazing.  That child is so kind that it blows me away . (Unless its in the middle of the night and her sister is trying to cuddle her...but thats rare.)

I ate lunch with the kids. I love those kids. They are each precious in their own special way. Of course i talked to Ruby's (and apparently Laney's) best friend, Samantha.  I have come to love that little angel like my own child. 

My Mom surprised us by showing up too.  She had come from a hair appointment and Ruby was over the moon. She didn't know Grandma would be here.  It was fantastic.

After lunch we went to recess where i watched Laney pretend she didn't know any of us and she clung to Samantha . That's going to be the one i have to reign in, I think. Oy. 

As i stood there talking to my Mom in the sunshine and watching my three amazingly perfect kids play, something happened.  My heart was soaring and breaking all at the same time.  This is a big deal, this school. And Ruby is perfect at it.  She is so content on her own, but people seem to love her. Its the perfect balance of wonderful.  I watched her go from the monkey bars to the swing, stopping to help her brother get his shoes on the right feet.  She came over and gave me and Grandma a hug randomly to assure us of her love.  And i felt so overwhelmed with pride in my child that i didn't know what to do.  She is growing up.  She's becoming this beautiful caring and loving and giving and generous little lady. All the fear and anxiety that i had watching Ruby in kindergarten melted away as i saw her fit so well into the groove of school.  School.  She is on her way to 12th grade and i want to stop her and freeze time just for a moment.  I want to hold her and never let go. I am so proud of her.  It wasn't nervousness anymore, she was having fun with her firends.  I couldn't ask for anything more.  My heart is full today.

As we got back into the classroom i read "Breaking out of the Bungle Bird," one of our favorite books.  Ruby sat on my lap and it was indescribable.  I got to read my little 5 lined page about why Ruby is a star to us and i ended it by telling the class that "my favorite thing about Ruby is that when she was born i became a Momma."  And honestly even though it was just me and 20 little souls, i had to hold it together. I could feel the lump rising in my throat and i had to swallow hard to finish. I felt so full of love when i talked about her and I meant every word that i said about her.  Sometimes saying all the things that you think about your baby aloud is harder than we imagine but such a powerful reminder of our intense love for them.

I love my Ruby girl, and i am so proud and honored to be her mother.  She truly gave me the greatest gift that i could ever receive.

I am Christina Boone, Ruby's Mom.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

So long facebook

Well, its official...i de-activated my facebook account one week ago!  Its been refreshing and liberating.  And a little difficult.  The moment i cancelled my account, i felt great.  I say it so often "Facebook is raising a generation of losers."  Well, maybe not losers...but.....

My opinion of facebook is this.  I am a stay at home mom and its a fun break in the day to see what my friends are doing and to feel like i am connecting with other grown ups.  Just a peaceful break.  Ya, that was about the first week of facebook and then came a few snags. A couple offenses.  Too much spoken, or too much taken away.  People are being offended and offending ever day!  I know a few people who personally think facebook is there soapbox and if you post something they don't agree with, they think it is totally cool to attack.  But since it is a public forum, people see and hear and are affected by other peoples opinions. And the worst part about it is we got ourselves into this predicament!!  We can't complain because we are feeding into it.   Plus, some posts are just dumb. Am i right?  Come on, i don't care to hear your whole days schedule EVERY day.  But to each their own. Thats the beauty and ugliness about facebook. We can all do and say what we feel like doing.  Its "our" page or "our"opinion. 

If ya talk to anyone, i don't care who, they will tell you that they have had  a bad experience or a friend loss or a fractured relationship because of facebook.  Its sad.  Its life.  The era of technology. I want it now and i'm gonna get it.

I didn't have any specific bad thing happen to me (this time) that prompted me to delete my account.  I just think, here i sit saying over and over my fear for the next generation because of facebook and texting and cell phones and DS and Wii.  There is no more face to face conversations happening.  No more phone calls. We text because we just have one piece of info to share and heaven forbid we ever take a moment to chit chat with a friend or family member.  I mean, when the last time you've asked or heard someone ask "How's your day going?"  Its not as frequent as it used to or should be.  Of course it still does happen. I have beautifully kind friends and we talk intimately and in depth. I love it.  I have a super great group of people in my life.  But i also have a super not great group of people in my life too.  Thats life, huh?

If i boast of my dislike for facebook and my intentions to keep my kids away from technology forever (or close to that) what does it say about me that i come downstairs and quick (it never ends up quick) log onto facebook.  And don't even get me offended or my day will be wasted with my kids. I'll be so conscious in my frustration in my head that i'll miss the present with my actual, palpable, right in front of me, kids. My beautiful loving and wanting babies. They just want time and i am not going to waste one minute of it thinking about anything other than what they are telling me.  NO conversations are going to slip into my head. NO great comebacks. No great fact to prove someone wrong.  Just love. Relationships are what matter the most. 

But with that said, i also have so many dear friends on facbook that i only keep in contact with that way. I have developed great relationships, rekindled friendships and laughed at some of my amazing facebook friends.  So, i miss them.  I do miss it.  I'm not saying i won't be back.  I just won't yet.

We made it though life perfectly fine 15 years ago with out facebook and i am determined to remind my self of how to do that.  And my kids, i can't be a hypocrite. So i guess i have to stay off here for awhile.  Plus, you wouldn't believe all the deep cleaning and housework that I've gotten done since i haven't taken any "facebook breaks" that interrupted my groove in the laundry room.

So, to all 5 of you who will read this.  There ya go.  I am happy with my choice and i am determined to stick it out.  I miss reading all of your posts, but i'll find you...don't you worry about that:)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

cock-a-doodle-what?

Just when i think the tides-a-changin i find myself knee deep in another sleepless night!  As most of my friends know, i am a rocker. Not just to music (the cool way) but also with my babies.  I am an advocate of it and love snuggling so much.  I mean, i better,  i have been doing it for SIX YEARS NOW!  :)

When Ruby was a baby i would rock her to the smooth sounds of Neil Diamond's Essentials while i stood. Then it was Laney's turn with a rocker and Juniors turn (when i got smart) with a recliner. (Remember Jeromy's offer to help if we "just got a better chair?" )  So after 6 years of rocking someone, i thought i was done with the middle of the night rocks.  It has been about a month or so since someone has woken up in the middle of the night screaming my name, fighting, coughing, or crying and i was kind of loving it. Sleep, this beautiful thing that i have never known.

But last night, as Jeromy headed off to church i rocked my sweet angel, Junior, to sleep as he coughed a little. I knew what was in store for me last night. I felt it . Call it rockers instincts :)  About a half hour after i got him to bed and the girls were settled in their bed. Laney was sawing logs and Ruby (who has proclaimed herself "not a sleeper")  was laying in bed, but only waiting for a reason to come out.  Junior started coughing and coughing and coughing....i knew it was only time before he called out for me.  Ugh, and Law and order was just about to start!  Wouldn't ya know, at about 8:30 he was coughing so hard that it turned into gagging (typical dramatic boy) and then crying out for him Momma.  I went in there and hoped to rock him back to sleep with ease...hoped.  He was coughing so hard that it wasn't working. Just as i though he might finally slip back into sleep filled bliss...i hear this huge scratching sound!! June startled and i saw the shadow of those two dumb cats in his room(they snuck in behind me)...trying to get into a closed box!! Ugh. Those cats will be the death of me.  Junior started to cry/cough and i got up to see if i could give him a little something to make him feel better and brought him into the kitchen.  Well, even with the lights off he started to get a second wind. Suddenly that little cat nap was just enough to take the edge off and we could get this party started...(his thought, NOT mine)   Seeing he was in play mode, i sat in front of the TV and thought i will wait for Jeromy to get home and he can rock him and it will be great.  I asked J why he was awake? (With the quiet Momma voice) and he looked at me and said "Because you waked my up!  You carried me out here..."  Looking at me like i was the dummy who had forgotten.  Right, i woke you up.

                                    

Well Jeromy got home and we sat for a bit together and junior gave me the "its okay to watch big kid shows" speach so i put on some old Jimmy Fallon DVR. (hey if i was going to do this, at least i would do it with Jimmy by my side:)  Finally about 10 o'clock Jeromy rocked him to sleep and came back out to the living room, grabbed a blanket and layed down on the couch and fell right asleep.  I've gotta say, sometimes when my husband slips off into wonderland as i anxiously anticipate the length of night i am going to have, i kind of want to take a pillow and knock him over the head with it and say "could you just be as concerned about this cough as i am!!??"  But alas, i hear my Mothers voice in my head telling me that "he works so hard and he has to get up early every morning and go to work." (read that with dripping sympathy in your voice) 

Sooo, i double check all the windows, turn the lights down and watch SVU and try to enjoy as much "alone" time as possible. 

1:20 AM...Laney is next to me in bed. Coughing like a crazy person about 1 millimeter from my face.  After about 2minutes of that i lug my butt out of my disgusting marshmallow like bed and slide down to the end (cause i am next to the wall, and i can't wake the sleeping King)  I uncoordinatedly grab Laney and bring her back to her bed, where she tells me she has to go potty. So i bring her the the bathroom by the light of the moon and wait, then i pick her up and carry her back to her bed, where she tells me she needs her sippy cup of water that she dropped (and emptied). Okay.  So i am on the floor on my hands and knees looking all over as silently as possible in hopes not to wake her any further or i knew she would be up all night.  I eventually had to turn on the stinkin bathroom light and still can't find it!! I tip toe into the kitchen and fill another cup for her and deliver it and sneak back to my room.
 
If you know anything about my house, its that no one wakes up just once. About 20 minutes later Laney wakes up howling for me and that startles Jeromy (i know, crazy) and he's all confused (see, he's never been up in the middle of the night) and he says in a daze "who is it? what is it?"  Ugh. Immediately i am annoyed and say "its LANEY! She had a bad dream."  See, after 4 years of interpreting her cries, i know this is the bad dream one.  Jeromy goes in there and talks to her and comes back to bed.  That was fast, i think. I always get roped in to snuggling and prying them off me and then eventually getting mad while they cry and get their way.  So, this is good. She's going to sleep.  Well, about 10 minutes later the girls are fighting...FIGHTING, in the middle of the night because Laney is trying to snuggle up to Ruby and she is NOT having it, which then leads to a little yelling between them and Laney breaking into hysterics.  That's about the time my brain slips into the red zone and i start hearing the crazy sound for the movie Kill Bill. (if you don't know what it is, watch the movie...because i hear it alot)  Wweeeee, wuuuuu, weeeeee, wuuuuuu...

I scoot my big ol' butt down the bed (don't want to wake the King after all he did got up once and he is going to need a serious nap today to recooperate) Right about now, i forget its  2 o'clock in the morning and i quietly/aggressively whisper to Laney that she is fine and that Ruby needs to protect her because Uncle Sam used to take care of me when i was little and darn it, that's what family does!!!! (the volume increased with every word i spoke) For the next hour this seriously happened about 4 times.  They argue, big Momma goes in there and lays down the lay! ( and not the sweet i love you. let me rock you to sleep kind)

I stomp back to my room feeling like an angry crazy Momma.  I am so ticked that i can't sleep...and just when i finally fall into blissful slumber...Laney screams (the bad dream kind) and i get stomp in there just about trip on those darn cats, because they walk about an inch from my foot every step i take and that meowing...meowing...always meowing...(you or me cats, you or me)  When i fnially get to the bed, I just climb into it and grab Laney, snuggle her up and hope for just a moment of sleep, please.  I am laying like, sideways across the bed because one of those cats are at the foot of the bed and i don't want to disturb it (i KNOW, i don't know why either) so my feet are on Ruby's side and my face is an inch from Laney and i am so hot that i want to scream. But not just hot, its like the cover didn't even cover me all the way up, so my behind is sticking out (i know, shocker) and that is cold and my feet are under about 27 gazillion blankets  and they are on fire and i want to scream...

Ruby suddenly wakes up and thinks this is like, our special talk time and i can tell she is trying to be sweet and she keeps scooting to get her feet to touch mine and Laney is hacking her germs into my mouth and the cats and the blankets and the heat and the cold and the sleeping hubby and the.........i felt crazy.  I think ya get the drift.  The last time i remember seeing the clock was 4:55AM

I feel myself drift off. The temperature is comfortable. The kids are quiet. The cat is...who cares. And i am happy. About to sleep, and happy.  But whats that quiet noise that i hear in the back of my head?  It started like a muffle and keeps getting louder and louder?  COCK-A-DOODLE-DOOOOOOOOOOO, COCK-A-DOODLE-DOOOOOOO...

In my sleepy stuper i start to panic (in an unmoving way) i am confused and suprised that they can hear the rooster this loudly. Why is the room so loud with rooster...why? How can they hear him this loud? COCK-A-DOODLE-DOOOOOOO...COCK-A-DOODLE-DOOOOOOO...

When i finally find my bearings i realize that i am not even in the girls room at all, i am in my room, Jeromy has left for work and my window is open and Buzz is crowing right out side it...What the what?  What is this life i live? 

Its like i had three kids and though this is too easy, i am going to rock them individually, allow my husband to sleep at will, get a ton of chickens, get two annoying cats and own a dog...heck, lets just throw in a rooster for good measure.

Oy. That was my night.  It never gets old.  I even let the kids sleep in until 9:30 today.  Ruby was tardy to school, i was late for a play date but how could i wake these sleeping angels when they had so little sleep?  They will never kick this cold if they can't rest peacefully, right?  As i think about it, i wonder sometimes, who is running this ship? WHO. IS. RUNNING. THIS. SHIP?


I think it may just be the rooster...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

One of those days

Oh my goodness, do you ever just have one of those weeks?  I swear that this week has been full of failures (mine) and frustrations (also mine).  Nothing makes me more annoyed than messing things up. Times, dates, places, information, anything!...and yet i find myself doing it all the time.

It started beautifully with the first day of school for my pretty Ruby girl.  She did great and we made it through perfectly.  I am a little anxious about when she is going to have a melt down, but not going to plan for it.

That night i was so anxious for Laney's preschool open house at Oak Haven.  Jeromy cut it close (like always) with work, but we got dinner and raced out of the house to make it to school. Laney was so excited and had waited ALL day to get into her new shirt for school. Literally ALL day she asked me when Dad was coming home so she could change...


As we pulled up to Oak Haven that night, i said "Geez, (laughing nervously) I sure hope its tonight!"  And wouldn't you know it, we got to the church and the sign said Open house September 7th.  "Its the seventh, riiiight Jeromy?"  Ummm, nope it was the 6th!  I immediately remembered back two years ago when Ruby attended her open house for preschool at Oak Haven.I  was so excited that i invited my Mom and everything.  We pulled into the church parking lot only to find that the open house was the next day!! Ugh. To some this is just a funny coincidence, but not to me.  I just felt like such a loser parent.  I thought, great another year of getting things screwed up...(wha, wha, whaaaaa)  I should really be used to it by now don't ya think? Yeeesh.

That week ended with out any more real problems and we were on to this week.  Laney's official 1st day of Preschool and Juniors 3 rd birthday.  I was so excited. We couldn't go wrong.  Jeromy was at work but was able to get away to meet us at the school. He headed there a little earlier than i was going to go, but since he was enroute so iwas I.  We left the house at 11:10 for our class that started at noon and was about 10 minutes away.  Leaving tons of room for pictures and time with Dad.  We met him there and were excitedly taking pictures and talking.  I ran into Ruby's friends Mom on the way out with her kids that were now in preschool again.  We chatted and she said she wanted to talk to the teacher to have her girls moved to the afternoon class with Laney since I had told her it was the "kindergarten preperation" class.  (Hey, that is what it said on the application and why i choose this dumb time of noon to three)  Well after talking with the teacher she came back to me and said its the exact same curriculum and same teacher so there is no difference and wasn't going to change classes.  Hmmmm, well then i was going to talk to the teacher and see if i could switch Laney to the morning one.  As i talked to her (feeling like a fumbling and irresponsible fool) she said that would be no problem and an easy switch. Yes. 

She asked me if i wanted her to attend the afternoon class the first day just so she didn't miss it.  Yepper. I did. But then i got to thinking that its so nerve racking to go to school alone for the first time and i was essentially making her have two painful first days.  Great parenting.  Like usual.  Then as we stood there the teacher was cleaning up a bit and said if we would just wait about 10  more minutes then Laney could come into the class. Well, ya of course, class didn't start for fifteen minutes.  As we all sat there talking on the steps i look at Jeromy and say "it does start at noon, riiiight?"  I totally casually and cooley walked to the information board to scan a few things and found out that class actually started at 12:30...12 stinking thirty.  I had 40 minutes to kill and Jeromy had to get back to work.  Insert dejected face and slumped shoulders.  Come on, seriously? How do I mess these things up? This is really hard stuff, this school. 

Well, like perfect Boones, i say to Laney, "Wanna go get a DQ cone?"  (it always works)  She said ya and we killed about 10 minutes there.  Returned to school waited forever for class to start and sent her on her way.  By the way, even though Ruby is in first grade now and has gone through all of this and made it out alive...i feel like sending your baby into the classroom to sit on the little alphabet mat is like total torture. I do not like it one bit.  She was nervous and i was too...but she did great.


Cut to that night as i rocked Junior to bed and asked him if he had a great birthday and he replies "i didn't have a birthday, i didn't get any cake!"  Oh my goodness. We had a long day (not to mention our first 4H meeting) and i tried to make it special, but we have zero extra money and i am having a little party on Thursday so we gave him his one present and had a great day.  But no cake...no cake. I forgot cake since i was so busy with this school stuff. What a great mom. I felt terrible but he didn't think more about it after he matter of factly broke my heart in two...


Today i brought Laney to the dentist after finding out she had a cavity last visit. (six months ago)   I hesitated to bring her in because she is my baby girl and i just didn't want to have her under laughing gas, or whatever.  No way. What if something happened or there was complications?  Not my girl.  Not gonna do it.  Flash forward to now and the tooth is obviously decaying and i had to face the music.  The doctor got in there and Laney wasn't havin that gas. She started to cry and freak out and i started to firmly tell she had to do this. After some coaxing he managed to do about 5 minutes of work and tell me that the tooth had gotten so bad that it broke and was cutting her little tongue and needed to be put to sleep (Novocaine, which we were trying to avoid in the first place) and possible something else for a nerve thing.  Seriously???  If i had only taken her in right away and got it filled this wouldn't be happening.  But, wouldn't ya know...i didn't.

Ugh, after feeling like a loser in the office i left to make my next appointment and talked to the receptionists and explained that i had lost my cash card and used my last check (like a responsible parent) and that i could pay for it next time. They didn't seem to mind.  Fhewwww.  But one crabby lady who apparently didn't like me and remembered me felt the need to point out (as i was lamenting about this new tooth issue and my worry and fear) that "Didn't i have another daughter with alot of cavities to be filled too??"


Blink....blink....(envisioning giving that lady the hardest upper cut of her life)...blink...swallow...blink.

"Why yes. that was me. " (smile)

Ugh. I just had hit my bottom for the day at around 9:45 am. I called Jeromy and unloaded all my troubles and worries and fears and anger...and then told him i didn't want to talk about it. (he didn't really know what to say anyway)  It didn't matter, i was ready to blow and shouldn't be talking to him or he was going to be the one getting it.  And boy did i want to unload heavy...

That's is. No moral to his story or happy ending.  Just a big ol complaining blog.  That's my day. And now i have to go wash pee sheets and get dinner ready...

...blink....blink....sigh....blink....

Tomorrows a new day.





Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11th, 2001

When i remember back to September 11 th, 2001 alot of things come to my mind in crystal clear clarity.  I remember, like everyone else, exactly where i was when i heard the news.  I was exiting onto hwy 36 off of Rice street on my way to NWC to take a Spanish exam.  As i turned on the radio, they were talking about the tower that had gotten hit by a plane and as they were talking i heard them exclaim in disbelief as they watched a second plane hit the World Trade Tower. I remember feeling shock and then nothing.  It felt so unreal to be hearing this news and trying to weigh the gravity of it all. What just happened? I specifically remember still having to take that stupid Spanish test and our fire alarm was going off at school for some odd reason and we just kept on like nothing was happening in the world!  I remember being so annoyed and confused that we were not even talking about this humongous thing that was happening, we were just silently taking our test like little lab rats!!  I raced back to my apartment and turned on the news and called my Mom.  Her first comment was that she either had or someone had talked to my cousin Ryan in NY and that he was safe. I couldn't believe what was happening...couldn't believe it...

I was glued to the news for the next couple of days, like everyone else. I fell in complete love with Rudy Giuliani, like everyone else. And i was in shock....like everyone else. 

A handful of specific memories flood my brain as i think back.  First, i remember that they completely shut down any air transportation.  There was NO ONE in the sky.  And though we barely pay attention to planes  overhead normally,  i suddenly felt the overwhelmingly loud silence in the skies now.  I remember so very specifically the first time i saw a plane fly over my head again.  I was outside on a stoop at a friends house when i heard it.  4 planes flew overhead in perfect unison, stirring a feeling in my heart that i couldn't even describe.  They were so close. They were so loud.  And they were so beautiful.  It felt like they were flying in slow motion. My heart was literally pounding. It was amazingly surreal to watch them.  My extreme imagination was sure it was someone very important like President George W. Bush himself flying above me that night in Blaine ...

Those feelings are ones we should never have had to feel.  The silence of war preparation. The unbelievable anticipation. It was all we could take as we processed it all and clung to what was next.

I remember thinking that in a heart beat i would sign up to serve our country. I would have left in a second.  I felt overwhelmed with patriotism. Overwhelmed.  Like everyone.

The memory that sticks out the clearest to me is driving down Highway 10 in my black Dodge Intreped with my flag, tattered and torn flapping in the breeze, on my antenna. I was merging into the right lane to prepare to exit onto HWY 65 N.   There was a truck that was just ahead of me and it immediately caught my eye because it had a huge flag which they had rigged perfectly to stand erect in the bed of its truck and it was blowing beautifully in the wind.  As i got closer to him i felt connected to him.  We were in this together and we felt it, together. We were Americans and we were one.  (I know it sounds silly, but i can still remember that moment) As i got up next to him he looked over at me and i looked at him and there was a silent exchange between us. And then a slow nod of our heads that spoke more than we could ever say. It still gives me chills to this day.  Time stood still alot that September.  And for a moment it didn't matter if we were Democrat or Republican left or right. We were Americans. We would bleed red, white and blue had we been cut.

I remember feeling overwhelming pride when i would listen to Bush speak.  I clung to his every word and felt safer just hearing him.  Like a Father figure to the Americans, Bush was in charge. And I liked that.

I think (i know) life changed for every American that day.  We all remember it.  Even though the dramatics of our patriotism has lessened in the public eye, it changed so much for me.  I can hardly get through the National Anthem anymore with out being overwhelmed with pride, i can barely even listen to Lee Greenwood, and i feel consumed with gratitude and a quiet admiration when i see anyone in uniform, its feels like "thank you" just doesn't express the enormity of gratitude and pride that i have for them.

We lived through a monumental time in the history of the United States and i am looking back on those memories with pride and pain today.  We have pledged our allegiance to the flag of the United States of America all of our life and i am really proud of that.




Oh, and you bet your butt I'm gonna be hooting and hollering when Lee Greenwood says "From the lakes of Minnesota..." Every time i hear it for the rest of my life!! :)  Go Red, white and blue!

Monday, August 15, 2011

He is faithful




As many of you know, i turned 30 in July.  Let me tell you, leading up to it was hard.  And not just the "oh i just don't want to get old" (there was that too) but a whole lot more.  This past year was a crucial one for me.  I can honestly say that the last 8 months have been mentally hard. At the realization of another year come and gone, i kind of took everything I knew, know and think and totally overhauled it and re-evaluated ALOT of things.   I went into total panic mode.  Many of my close friends already know this, and of course my poor small group girls had no choice but to hear me go on and on about my fears and life questions. 

I don't know the exact day it happened, but i do remember it occurred shortly after i read the book 'Radical' and then got sick and was in bed throwing up and wanting to die (come on, we all want to when we are puking our guts out) i had finished that very heavy book and started reading a book by a Missionary from our church that had lost his daughter and that was the day my mind took a turn for the worst and didn't look back for almost a year.  I contemplated and questioned the how's and the why's of life and so many things. Let me clarify this though. i was not floundering in my faith, just needing to get a deeper understanding for a few questions i had. Never floundering, just very fearful.  For months i contemplated my life here on earth and in heaven. And that confused me. I got alot of  pat answers but i really wanted to know, truly know what was to come. But who would have those answers, but God?  Everyone tried to comfort, but i couldn't really put my fears in to words, i just felt this deep confusing, frustrating heaviness inside. Deep inside.  My dear friend Karee, got alot of my questions unloaded onto her.  I was sinking and i didn't even know how to describe it. Its not like it effected my daily routine of love for anybody, but my mind. Oh, it effected my mind.  The moment we talked about spiritual things(which i love doing) i would just feel fear grip me.  I don't know if the thought of turning 30  made me think of all the other mile stones in life that i would one day achieve. But that put me on a one way ticket to death and i didn't want to think about it, and yet i couldn't stop.  Not just death, but how it would happen and how my kids and husband and family would survive with out me and would i know them in heaven. That was my biggest fear. Was this going to be the end of my 'family' here on earth? Because if that is so, my human mind couldn' dream up anything enticing enough to make me want to leave them.  Nothing, not even streets of gold.

I am embarrassed to admit this.  But again, i was not floundering in faith, just digging deeper.  I talked to Jeromy about it alot and to friends.  But it wasn't until May (i think May) when Osama Bin Laden was killed that i really felt panic. I never felt at ease, i mean, i was picturing life like 'I am legend' and 'The Road' and if you haven't seen these movies just picture a lot of grey and solitude and protecting/preserving your own life.  It was NOT a great thought, but one i couldn't kick.

Jeromy (my freakishly tough and strong and unshakable husband) came home after work one day and just seemed distraught. I was doing laundry (shocker) and saw immediately that something was bugging him.  I asked what was wrong and he said he just couldn't shake this feeling.  We sat on the couches down stairs and talked.  He told me the fear he was feeling and just the concern for the possibility of end times and fear for us and being separated during it all.  Of course this hit me like a ton of bricks because i had been overwhelmed with the same thought for the past 8 months.  I have never experienced a moment like that.  It was a cloudy overcast day and we just sat talking and looking out the window and picturing this battle that we had created in our heads.  He said he could tolerate fighting alone and wouldn't be scared as long as he knew we (me and the kids) were all safe in heaven together.  It may sound like silly talk to some. And I obviously can not even put it into words, but its was a day that was overwhelmingly heavy.  We sat there talking, and praying and planning together. Planning, it was craziness.  I am not kidding, its like we walked through a battle field that day and survived. I played him a song that i had heard and to this day, it is a reminder of the presence of God and Gods hand on my journey.  I feel emotional and thankful every time i hear that it because, to me, it was a day that kept me from a very dark place. After that day, I was determined to dig so deep into revelations that i would find the truth. I wanted to know everything and i didn't want it to be fed to me, i wanted to discover and interpret it all alone.  So night after nights, Jeromy and i would be sitting across from each other in the silence reading Revelations.  I would say, "Have you read this chapter yet? You're NOT gonna want to!" We dissected and talked about and thought and prayed.  It was scary, but i felt like it was getting better.

It wasn't until we had dinner one night with my parents and two brothers at Chili's that, through all the arguing and disagreeing (that's just what happens when we all get together sometimes) that i quietly asked across to my Dad what he thought the end times were going to be like.  The only other person who had heard and was listening was Jeromy.  Everyone else was talking about other things across the table.  My Dad just answered for me, so beautifully and calmly and confidently what he interpreted Revelations to mean and mapped out the end times for us.  Though that night is probably remembered to everyone else as a night where we all left a little annoyed at each other.  I remember it for being the night that started my journey out of great fear and despair.  Now i mentioned earlier that i had talked to everyone about my fears, but the ones who didn't know about them were my parents.  So my Dad didn't even have the slightest clue as to what a monumental moment that was for me.  The tide had changed. And i was going to be alright. I clung tightly to what i believed and continued on my quest to learn and follow all that was laid out for me.  Over and over in Revelations it talks about God pouring out his judgement through plagues and again and again it says "but they refused to repent and glorify him." (Rev. 16:9) As i read that over and over i found it strikingly clear that as Christians living on this earth, that is what we are called to do. Its sounded so easy and yet so many of us want to chose otherwise. Repent and glorify him.  I loved it.  i mean, i knew it, but if i only had Revelations to go by, it is so clear as to what our calling is. That's all God asks of us. Glorify his name.



I was nervous to post this. First its really personal, but secondly I want to encourage, and in no way discourage anyone.  I went through a battle. As a (what i felt like) pretty strong Christian I had such a time of trial and searching. But when i finally did come through it (and believe me, there was times i thought this was never going to end)  It was life altering and so powerful.  I know God had his hand on me the whole way through it. Through tears, through sorrow, i now look back and see how He was making me stronger.  I have to believe it, because i feel it.

There are a handful of verses that were very pivotal in helping me turn the tide.  1 John 2:16 "God is love" That is beautiful and comforting and easy enough, but when paired with this, it was like God absolutely reminded me of my disobedient feelings that i had allowed to take over. 1 John 2:18 "There is no fear in Love"  I read that over and over. If God is love and there is no fear in love then what was i so darn afraid of?   I put my hope in him and i needed to believe this. 1 Peter 1:4 says "In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade-kept in heaven for you..."  I knew this, but when i read this verse after it, it had a profound impact on me. Not that i didn't already know this, but when you are in the water sinking and someone throws you a life preserver, you remember. And you are thankful.  I don't even know if i had ever read this verse, but when i read it that day, my heart healed and soul sored. This is the verse that is applicable in every situation and every day that we are blessed enough to go through. Hebrews 10:23 "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope that we profess, for HE WHO PROMISED IS FAITHFUL"   He is faithful! Over and over we read God's promises and i trusted and believed them, but to see and feel the depths of these words, has forever changed my life. He who promised is faithful.  That is so beautiful.  So comforting.

As much as we don't ever want to admit it, sometimes it feels like the words we read are so distant and for "other people". Like God is up there just taking care of everyone else and not really "real", palpable if you will.  But its time like that were i remind myself of the depths of that valley and i remember what it felt like to walk through it.  But i do know this, I wasn't doing it alone. God was with me.  It is palpable.

I wanted to share that.  Maybe just to get it out and finally acknowledge it to myself. Who knows.

I am 30, and its going to be a great year.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Embrace a slower pace

This past weekend was such a fun one.  I had the pleasure of watching my niece and nephew show a pig at the Kanabec County fair in Mora.. It has been a tradition I've had for years and its one that i truly LOVE and look forward to every July.  We get up early and hit the road so we can get there by 8:00am for the judging.  Now when you're at the Fair this early there aren't any rides, or games, or fried food stands to distract you. Theres just a special group of people.  Fair people. (not to be confused with carnival people;)  Moms and Dads, farmers and more farmers.




I can't quite put my finger on it, but its like time stands still where i am there.  Its the most beautiful and healthy place to be.  As i sit there beaming at my beautiful niece as she struts her stuff and guides her pig, I think to myself, these are MY kind of people.  Now i know they may have fancy iphones in their pockets or might text when no one is looking, but i like to imagine that they don't.  These kids are up early and working hard.  My niece and nephew and sister work so hard to prepare for this even each year and i am just in awe of it. 

,m

People don't put as much emphasis on hard work as they used to (i like to think hard is synonymous with healthy). Especially for kids. In case any of you don't know, i am a HUGE advocate of 4-H because i like what it teaches kids. And that is a lost art.  Kids get their hands dirty in 4-H, they contribute as part of the community.  Community.  That word is so foreign to so many people.  We are all so busy in our own little lives with our own little agendas, that we forget about our neighbor.  We just don't have time to stop and help a friend anymore.

Every year at the 4th of July i get a little extra patriotic and start to re-evaluate life and our choices and our priorities.  In fact it was this year around that time that i started listening to country music again.  I know alot of people don't like it, but i think that the roots of our country are in that music.  I love hearing about hard work, strong love, loyalty, and community.  Its what i think we are losing as a nation.  I know its a big statement, but when did i ever say i didn't make those? :) 


I can feel life pulling me into the grips of "busy" this Summer and i refuse to give in to it.  I will not be that Mom who is defined by her schedule.  In fact, i want to be defined by my lack of schedule. That doesn't mean that we'll watch tv and lay around all day. It means that we busy our hands outside and learn about taking care of animals and a garden and our yard.  But i want to emphasize this...i want to take care of my things, but by no means do i love them.  They are, after all, still just things.  I want to teach my kids to work hard and do their best, but not let those things that they are caring about define them.  I have said it before and i will say it until i die, life is about relationships.  I believe that 110% and i will never think otherwise.  If we don't have strong roots in our faith, our families, our friendships or our communities and churches, then what do we have?


I want my kids to be faithful, obedient, servants. That's why i get so passionate around the 4th. Its a time spent with my family. Its about building relationships without any distractions.  Its about slowing down. For Pete's sake people, slow down. If we would just embrace a slower pace, we might build a lasting foundation that can withstand any storm.  That's what i want. I want roots that run deep.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

So, I got animals.


I know many of you have heard bits and pieces about the little hobby farm that is starting at the Boone house. I also know that many of you have been giving me a hard time about it...(you know who you are;)

So, i thought i would share in our new little adventures.

In April I had decided that I wanted chickens.  My neighbor had some and we talked about it and i decided that was a great thing for us to have too.  Jeromy wasn't so much on board, so i didn't push it.  Every week i would mention it and Jeromy would always say he didn't want any. He never quite told me "No", but he definitely made it clear that this was something that I wanted, and not him :)  When Mothers Day rolled around i said i just wanted chicks for Mothers Day!  I was visiting at my parents and my brother, Tim had this great book about raising animals on a quarter acre, or something like that. Well, i had two acres, i could definitely do this, right?   He was on board and volunteered to build me a coop if I wanted one. (that in itself is amazing. Brother and sister on the same page?  It was a miracle! ;) 

Well, Mothers day came and went and I didn't get any chicks.  Which was fine, because even though i wanted them verbally, i was kind of mentally thinking...maybe, maybe not? 

Finally Jeromy had a day off of work and i said, lets just go and get some chicks. The kids had been excited and i was ready to do this. My wonderful neighbor game me her hamster cage to borrow and i felt set.  Off we went. Down the road and towards the Anoka/Ramsey area. 

Finally, chicks!  We got into the garden/farm center and took a big whiff of...stinky butt! Yuck.  Okay, i can do this, i can do this.  We looked at all the chicks running around in little bins and it was fun.  That was until Jeromy pulled me into another room where the chicks were a little bigger. And scary!  A bunch of the chicks were pecking at the hurt ones and feathers were gone and there was a rooster jumping from bin to bin cock-a-doodle-do'ing....Oh, boy!  That was it, after a few minutes of looking and attempting to act excited i said  "We're out of here. No way, no how am i gonna have one of those disgusting and scary things!"  Jeromy smiled on the inside, i just know it. And off we went. The kids were super crabby at me and that was fine. I felt traumatized by what I saw. Those poor chickens that were getting picked on, I just couldn't deal with that. Couldn't.

After getting told over and over again that the kids were "So mad at me!"  They seemed to get over it and we went on with our night.  Perfect. Dodged a bullet there.

The next day at the bus stop, Ruby ran out  before me and I heard Sydney (my sweet little neighbor) say "Who's afraid  of the chickens?"   That stinker Ruby was calling me out and making me look like a big ol baby (which i totally am)  Well, i couldn't have that. I marched right out there and explained my side...to a 3rd grader.

It was that moment where i had a little talk with myself. I am the leader. I am in charge of these chickens, and I can do this. I had to be intentional about tyring to embrace this. I was going to like and care for these animals. For my kids. I wanted them to have a great experience. Like i always say, this is their childhood that i am creating. It may be hard for me, but its going to be awesome for them. I can do it.

That was it, when Ruby got home, we were packing up the van and we were getting chicks!  They didn't even have a choice. Off we went. I got there, swallowed my fear and asked the guy to pick out the best ones for me.  He said if you want 4, buy 6...that did NOT make me feel any better about this decision.

Home we came with 6 chicks and a totally freaked out mom.  What was I doing? 

Thankfully me neighbor is the best ever and she stood right by me and helped me when i needed it and actually came over to clean one of my chicks "goopy butt"  (i know gross, sorry)  I just coudlnt' do it, ugggg, i am gagging in my mouth just thinking about it.  She told me that she gave her chickens hard boiled egg yolks as a treat and oatmeal and other things. She showed me the ropes.  Though, secretly , i knew it would be OVER MY DEAD BODY that i ever cook for my pets! 

I took special care of my chicks and started to love them. And then one died. Traumatic! We were all there outside with it when it just flipped over and died...it was awful and sad. Ruby took it the hardest. Laney, on the other hand, couldn't figure out why Ruby was crying AS we were burying little Aerial!

Well, wouldn't ya know it. I was back at the feed store buying two more chicks a few days later and i was boiling the heck out of every egg in this house. Treats for my flock? Absolutely :) Anything to make them happy! (and live) :)







                                               




Well, how 'bout that, just about the time we get used to our 7 chicks we are at my nephews birthday party and my Mom mentioned to us that she saw a sign for free kittens.  I didn't think twice about it, but Jeromy was intrigued.  They chatted about it and enjoyed the party. That was that.

As we were driving home, i (for reasons unknown to me) asked Jeromy where my Mom saw that sign?  He told me on 10 and we decided to just take that way home instead. You know, just to "look".  We saw the sign, stopped and went inside. The parents had three little kids just like ours and they brought out the first kitty . (there were only 2 left) Honestly, when i saw the cat i though it would be the last one i would ever pick. I like a gray tabby, maybe an orange and white, but blackish? Never. Definetly never.

 Two minutes later we were walking to the car holding that darn blackish kitten. The kids were so excited and Jeromy seemed to be reverting to a child like love for that kitty too.
                 

One trip to Walmart and a few meows later, i told Jeromy "I can't do this!" Its a lifelong commitment and its so in my face. At least the chickens are outside (or will be soon) But this cat, this cat will be around me forever!  And what if, heaven forbid, it jumps on the counter!!??! Uck. Never. I can't do this. In the morning just bring it back, please...

Morning came and Jeromy was up a few times with the kitty at night. Actually more then he was ever up with our new born children! :)  In the same sentence i started to say "just bring her home", i ended with  "Maybe we should get her sister too?" Jeromy jumped at the chance to have another and off he and Laney went. And he came home with a crazy loudly meowing kitty.   What had we done?

That was three days ago, and the kids are in total heaven loving on their cats.  And i am happy about the choice too. They are kind of cute. Laney needed something to snuggle. She needed it!  That poor kitty. Laney got the crazy one who freaks out when you pick her up, but if anyone can break it, its Laney:)

So, some may say hobby farm and that's okay with me. Hey, if I could have a cow and a goat too, i would enjoy it!

So, here's to crazy houses with animals...as long as they don't smell like them, i am okay with it.  Now, if i could just keep my dog from wanting to eat my cats and my cats from wanting to eat my birds...





I suppose i can't leave out the one who started this all...Gus, our loyal dog.