Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pollo is chicken in Spanish


So you know two of our three chickens turned out to be roosters.  Which totally explains the lack of fresh laid eggs going on around here.  And still makes me giggle to think we trudged through the snow all winter and strung heating lamps in sub zero temps (where my nose hairs froze just walking water to them several times a day) for absolutely nothing. 
Two roosters and one hen is a recipe for disaster.  They really do fight to try and be the top dog.....or rooster in this situation.  So we found a home for one- and not a 'home' where he would be baked, broiled or fried.  An actual coop with a dozen chickens to tend.  The kids picked Pollo to leave our coop and that we would keep Kevin Spike.

One rainy morning, because only weiners capture chickens on beautiful sunshiny days, we chased pollo around for an hour with a stick and a plastic tub until we finally cornered him and trapped him inside.
Trust me when I say this is how all of the big time chicken farmers transport their chickens. 

Because we were concerned about air, we left the lid cracked.  And then the kids and I drove 20 very long minutes worried an angry rooster was going to emerge from behind the seat and peck our eyes out- which didn't thankfully happen.

So long Pollo, I already miss you!!!  But I'm sure you are loving your new digs!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Happiness is blurry iPhone pictures

Words can not even begin to describe how these children make me happy......

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Chickens- a documentary


So because chickens have entered our lives I feel the need to catch you up to speed.  

Last march we got 8 baby chicks.  
We put them in a guinea pig cage because we had no idea what we were doing.
Then they got bigger and we moved them into an official chicken tub.  The kind you get for free from family because their deck cushion holding box is cracked.

I would formally introduce you to them but the only one I can identify is Walmart.  She's the white one.  Or the not brown one.  

She was picked out by ally.
Because I am a good chicken momma I would take the ladies outside to learn how to be not in a chicken box.
And then we would take turns seeing who could hold all 8 at one time, because it just seemed like the right thing to do.
Then we built a chicken coop and painted the inside purple!!!  And the kids took turns putting custom paintings on the walls for our girls!

And then kind of like children they were huge and ready to move to their new accommodations.  Far far away from their momma and their chicken tub.  Sniff.
My flowers never had a chance.  We ended up renaming that hen flower box sitter.........because she was always sitting in the am flower box.  You can call her flower for short.
Walmart grew into a beautiful fluffy silkie!

The ladies have always made me so happy!!!  I love watching them out there in their run!
Here is Walmart the day ally painted her finger nails. The other chickens wouldn't quit pecking at her feet.  So she and her friend decided to paint all their nails so they only pecked at their own feet.  Future problem solver of the world.
And then one glorious day it happened.  Late summer we got our first eggs.  And the ladies were on fire- egg producing machines!
Here is Dan eating the most expensive egg sandwich in the history of egg sandwiches.  I'm pretty sure it was the best he'd ever tasted.

I can't remember exactly all of the next details but one chicken flew over into the yard and Rosie shook it to death.  And then a hawk got into the coop and killed two- one of which was Walmart. 
 We all cried. 
One play date of SAMs ended with them seeing Rosie kill a hen that got too close to the gap in the gate.
I say none of this lightly- it was all horrifying.  Apparently you can't train a dog not to want to catch birds.

Dan surprised us with two adult silkies.  Ugliest things I've ever seen and my girls hated them and wouldn't let them in the coop.

 Then a hole developed in the gate and six hens hopped through into the yard and met their fate- Rosie was probably super excited that day.  But we were all devastated.  One of the new silkies survived only to die a day later in our garage.

And Dan surprised us with a few more baby chicks from a friend.  But that left squatter, out last surviving hen who was lucky enough to be laying an egg during the chicken massacre, all alone in the coop because the babies were too small to go yet.

Enters Red- a mature past her egg laying time hen.  They get along just fine.  Till squatter hopped the fence, dang.

The babies were just teenagers.  A little too small to move to the coop but we couldn't leave Red all alone.

So we ran netting over the chain link and moved the four babies in.  And two slid through the fence into the field and were never seen again.


But then the sweetest thing happened.  Red decided to mother the two remaining teenager babies- and each night she would tuck one under each wing.  Until eventually they got to big to fit.

What is hysterical (to the rest of the world, not so much to me) is that the two babies both grew into roosters.  We wondered when they started fighting all the time- but now it is obvious.  Kevin Spike and Pollo are not hens.  And although they fight over who gets to eat what and when and where.....neither one messes with Red.  She can do whatever she wants.

Scene ends, curtain closes.  Lights dim to black.

And this past week we added six more baby chicks to our journey.  We are learning and modifying and changing, and we are hopeful that we can keep these guys safe.  And that they are girls.  Because dang we sure don't need another rooster around here!



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving..............

It has been 13 years today since my dad left this earth.  I was 26 when he died.

I think back over just this last year and all the changes that have enveloped my family.  To even begin to comprehend how different my life looks now as opposed to 13 years ago is incomprehensible.  But I'm sure if my dad could be here, he wouldn't hardly recognize us. 

I have a home he never touched with his physical hands.  We attend a different church than the one he would visit us at.  I have children he never held and made duck noises at.  And the baby he would save his cookies for?  She's a young woman now.

Even though I sit here with tears streaming down my cheeks, I am thankful.  So thankful for our God who keeps His promises and who heals and mends.  The grieve, although still present, is such a small sparkle comparted to the giant ball of fire it began as.  I can laugh and feel no guilt.  I can go to my moms house and not instantly be overwhelmed by his absence.  I can talk to my kids about the grandpa they never met without feeling anger and pain.

It is good.  Well, it's okay anyway.  Because with life comes death, and with love comes grief.  Without love, there would be no pain in the passing.  So it is with thanksgiving that I still grieve the absence of my father- because he was loved.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Strong Tower

I struggle.

That should come as no surprise.

Us women, we are built this way I'm afraid.  But instead of holding each other up, we tend to do more tearing down.  Out of our own insecurities.

And I realize this.  But it makes no difference when it is happening to me.  I fail to be able to step back and see the wounding on the other womans heart.  Instead, I directly look inside and wonder what is wrong with me.  I have this strange NEED to please them and to 'fix' whatever it is that is 'wrong' with me so that they will like me.  How sick is that?

I have stepped out of what was once my world into a whole new world.  And the problem is that I keep trying to straddle both worlds.  The truth is that I don't believe that is possible.  I am now a homeschool mom.  I don't fit with the school moms anymore. 

Recently at a youth ministry event the moms were supposed to stay with their daughters.  It was a powerful evening talking about protecting our daughters hearts and preparing them for marriage one day.  Before we 'met', moms were mingling.  And I didn't 'fit'.  I used to have a few moms I knew and felt like I could chat with.  But there seemed to be an invisible line.  One that separated me from them- the school moms.

Instantly I felt what Ally has been talking about.  How she doesn't feel like she fits in with her friends anymore.  I keep thinking that is just a feeling inside of her, one that she needs to cross over and lay aside.  Probably that is true for me too- I should have just walked across that stupid room and joined in.  But I couldn't- that giant invisible line was too apparent.

And now that I sit to write this, I get it. But I don't think this feeling is from God.  I think this is how the enemy works against us.  And I have to admit he is messing with me right now.  I have this huge overwhelming desire to run to the school and put her back.......just so she can be happy.  But God has other plans for us.  So we must be obedient. 

I know all of this.

Ultimately, Ally's happiness can't be the factor that determines the path for our home.  God has to do that.  We must be obedient to Him.  But it is hard and it hurts.  Even just typing this out here feels vulnerable.

What we think we need to be happy is not what God knows we need.  So we have to trust Him.  That is faith.  My faith is being tested.  It's being grown.  It's being developed.

I see happiness on her face.  I hear her laugh during the day.  I see her making new relationships- good relationships with good people.  I can see her flourishing.  But her mouth only ever speaks of her unhappiness.  So that makes it hard.

But I understand.  I don't 'fit' anywhere right now either.  Not socially.  And that is okay.  I just have to have faith to perservere this storm.  Because God promises He knows the path He has chosen for us and He will use all things for our good.

But really moms?  Really wives?  Really women?  Can't we use our powers for good?  Why not hold each other up instead of tearing us down with our own insecurites?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Stop and smell the awesome

Sunday morning.  Time change weekend. Husband working overtime.  Smallest child has been puking.  Oldest child is behind on schoolwork.  Lights dim, curtain rises..................

I decided that I would leave Sam home with Ally and Emily and I would go to church.  I needed/wanted/had to be in church that morning.  Desperately.  So Emily and I wake up and although we aren't sure what time it officially is because of the stupid time change, we are pretty certain it's time to go.

The drive was quiet and also included me making a phone call and wasting my alone time with Emily.  But once at church we both walk in and go our separate ways- Emily to her childrens worship and me to my station as a greeter.  Then on to worship.

I was confronted by a fellow mom who is also a homeschooler and she asked about how things are REALLY going.  And before I know it I'm a soppy crying mess dumping all the past weeks frustrations right at her feet..............and we both miss the first part of worship.  She didn't seem to mind.  And her encouragement was spot on and MUCH needed for the moment.

After worship I get Emily from her worship an we deliver boyscout popcorn to fellow friends.  Then we are out the door and I call Ally to see if I can run a quick errand before coming home.

Emily wants to know where we are going out to lunch at.  Because as a family we always go out for lunch after church.  Except this week.  We are not because I have unattended children at home and no husband.  But she is starving, and I have an errand.  So I decide to buy her a happy meal,and she is happy with that.  She eats in the car on our way to the fabric store.

I am teaching sewing at co-op, don't you dare laugh.  It's hand sewing for 1st-4th graders and I think I can do this as it's only for 9 weeks.  So that being said I have supplies to buy.

The store is chaos, and I can't find anything I want and the lady that is supposed to be helping me is having a month long conversation about wooden boxes with another customer and I can't find anything and WILL YOU JUST HELP ME PLEASE!!!

Emily is pointing out this and that, over and over, lots of stuff to look at.

We puruse the clearance Fall stuff- pick out a couple things we don't need but want.  They end up not ringing up the right price so we put them back, and I get super frustrated because REALLY?!?  It's either on sale and with the sign or you screwed up and you should fix it.

Once we get to the check out there are at least 10 people ahead of us and they each have 43 items and the lady ringing up is s  l  o  w  e  r than slow.    And everyone is having some coupon or price issue and we wait and wait and wait.  Until after like 20 minutes another lady finally comes to help check out and we still wait like another 15 minutes. 

We get to the car, Emily had her partially eaten now cold lunch to finish and I am worrying about my other two kids and just really exhausted.  I need to get home and help Ally finish her school work before we leave for church again that evening and I've yet to eat and I'm still needing to prep for co-op tomorrow.

I start the car and head out of the lot and I hear Emily whisper under her breath "Today is AWESOME".

Awesome?  I stopped the car and looked at her and asked her why?  She said getting to go to church with just me, getting to be in joy jammers (our childrens worship team), then lunch, and spending all that time with me in the check out line while we waited- it was all so awesome.

Wow.  Slow down Mynde and take a breath.  I totally was missing out on all the awesome.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

We were not meant to be left in the ashes

Almost a year.  Wow.

There was a time when I could hardly imagine a day without writing an entry here.  This blog kept what was left of my sanity pulled together when I had little kids pulling me in every direction.  Somedays I would even write twice.  Writing had a way of helping me to focus on the light, the funny, the humorous.........it made me feel free.

Until it no longer did.

God silenced me.  He took any desire and all willingness to share here away.  Or maybe it was just my heart was in a darkness that I couldn't really find much funny.  If I had to pick a season of my life that had the most significant changes, it would be the last 2 years.  And change is hard ya'll.  Especially for people like me who still have boxes of cassette tapes and 35mm film.

So, in the past 12 months here is the short update:

Ally turned 13.  13- wow!
We prayed and prayed and decided to transfer Ally to an entirely different school system to give her a fresh start.
The enemy attacked our family from every angle.
God continued to love us and guide us.
Counseling.
Tears.
More pain than I ever thought was imagionable.
God worked some more.
Grace and mercy, wow.
Lots of new family friends and abounding love through our new church- thank you Jesus.
We got baby chickens and built the worlds best chicken coop.
Rosie has since killed all but one of the chickens.
We have a new box of baby chicks in the garage right now, round 2.
Vacation to Lexington Kentucky just to take some time to BREATHE.
Air Show was cancelled for 2013- I helped to close down the office.  Bitter Sweet.
Summer of wonderful peace.
Emily and I were baptized together.
And now we homeschool.  Yes- you read that right, HOME SCHOOL!
Ally turned 14.

I would not choose to relive the past 12 months for my life, but I would never trade them because the work that God has done in my home has been AMAZING!  And I have heard the voice of God speak life into me and I will never never never be the same.  I started the year on a fast praying that I could die to myself.  I didn't know why God asked me to pray for that, only that He did.  And now I see why.  So much change, so much spiritual warfare, so many challenges.

Hear me.  We withdrew our children from public school and now we home school.  I never ever even considered that we would do that.  Ever.  But God said do it- so here we are.

It's been a year of growth for us.  A year of developement.  A year of birth. 

Thank you God for not leaving us in the ashes.