Friday, June 22, 2018

The lift

I think Moms are allowed to be proud sometimes .... aren't we? I am proud today because I have begun to master parenting an extreme introvert, and what I need to do to help her conquer her fears. I'm sure I'll have a miss in the future, but yesterday, I nailed it!

Check out this video below and then I'll tell you the story behind it. Abigail is in the center in a blue leotard with Carter in all black behind her:

Abigail has absolutely loved the ballet intensive she's been doing this week. It is six hours of ballet, and she really hasn't blinked once about how long she's been there. In fact, she is mostly asking me if we can do another one this summer and if I could be wrong about the time because she isn't ready to come.

That being said, new things remain hard for her. On day one, she did a lift with her teacher, but yesterday she was informed that they would be performing a lift with the guys for the final performance they will do for parents on Saturday. You could tell that Abigail immediately felt swamped with emotion. During a break she came running over to me with tears in her eyes and shaking her head that she couldn't do it.

I have learned that if Abigail truly doesn't want to do something she will say, "No" when I ask her, "Do you want to do this?" If she doesn't say "No" then the truth is, she wants to do it but just feels to intimidated. So when I said, "Do you want to do this?" she gave her traditional shrug instead of her "No" and I knew she was asking me to help her accomplish this.

I began by asking Abigail which "guy" she thought she could pair with. She thought she could go with Carter as she knows him from church and co-op and ballet. He is such a great young man and was totally up for the challenge. Then I went and spoke with the professional teaching the class: Nanako Yamamoto. She was Uhhh-mazingggg. She took Abigail's hand, promised to stay with her the whole time, led her through, and totally got her to do the lift.

And once Abigail did it the first time, you could see the confidence just build up in her. I am so very proud of her!! She's doing such an amazing job. I'm so proud to see her overcome her fears.

Mr. Tyman is Back!!!!

We are so excited around these parts -- one of our very favorite wwoofers (who has now become family and is no longer just a wwoofer) has returned to the farm to spend the summer with us. He will be here until late August. We are so excited to have Mr. Tyman back. He's from the Netherlands and this will now be his fourth visit to his farm. He is truly so special to our family (especially Hannah who just adores him) and we are so happy to have him back around again!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Leave It

The puppies have left us. Which means the dogs are playing together again. It is as if Arabelle is like "The kids are gone! Time to be young again!" Here are a few videos I captured on their first day with an empty nest.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Tribe Life Tuesday: Hosted by the Nigh

A weekly post from my childhood to grown-up friend Carrie ~ 
sharing her awesome life and her desire to have community while doing it!

“Her shining light will not be extinguished no matter how dark the night.” - King Solomon

The night season has a tendency to come quickly and overstay the welcome it was never given. There is so much of me that hates the night season, yet each time it has come it has left me profoundly better.

So, pull up a chair and let’s dine on the feast that the night season offers.

Let’s start with the fundamentals.

What is a “night season”? It’s a moment of time that is fraught with darkness. Everyone’s dark is different so I will withdrawal any examples that come to mind and let you determine your dark. It’s a season we all experience when the light fades and the depth of grey appears.

You never know how long a season is going to last until it’s over. Seasons don’t show up on your door with a detailed itinerary and a breakdown of their arrival and departure information. Their parameters are fluid and trying to gauge the mystery of start and finish is an impossible feat.

Night is a metaphor for this seemingly lightless moment in time. And I say, “moment" because most of the time, on the other side of night, when you’re standing in light sunbathing your face you realize how momentary it was. Even if it felt like an eternity when you were in it.

How delightful the feast!

The table is set, the meal laid out. Our host, the night, has much to offer. There is the cup of contentment, the carefully sliced tender pieces of identity, the bottomless side of patience, the layered sweetness of relinquishment, and the covering of rest that wipes away every imperfection, mess, and spill.

Why feast with the night? Why accept its offering? Why come to the table?

When you come to the table in your night season you get perspective. While this feels as if you are all alone, in the shadows, around the solid oak table, are others. The tribe is at the table. Your place is set and always there for you. And the thing about the feast is that your tribe partakes with you.

There are revelation treasures that will only be found in the darkness; things that daylight has not had the depth to share.

The “feels" of night.

Night seasons are the times when it feels the darkest, and to be frank, it probably is the darkest. It’s in these times where you feel the most alone, when you feel the least equipped, where you are the most vulnerable, and when your perspective is the muddiest. But remember, these are just feels. Lean into the brilliance of your spirit and the vastness of your soul. Breathe deep and rest when you want to run. Remember what you are made of and for.

You are layered with goodness.
You are a treasure to be mined for.
You are the chasm between light and dark.
Wield your light with grace and navigate the darkness with unrelenting passion.

Cheers to the you! 


Wee-wind Wednesday

I found this video in an old email from my friend Joia. This was me raising "twin" boys. Oh my ... precious memories.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Puppy Update: "Disney Princess"

Here is Abigail with the currently unnamed "Owl" or "Meadow". Her new family will be naming her after a Disney princess, but they are going to wait until they meet her to choose the name. She is the last pup and she spent quite a few days as a solo puppy here. 

"Disney Princess'" new family is a family I knew in the Azores that now has a goat farm near Tampa, Florida. They are devoted animal people who have recently said good bye to their furry friends and are finally ready for another. 

I plan to keep one Blog page going for each of our seven pups so that we can see what they are up to and doing. We are excited these are ALL going to families we know so that we can stay in touch with them through photos and maybe even in person. New pictures will go under these words with a date below each picture so that our family can watch these little beauties grow.

I must tell you that doing these puppies has been one of the funnest and finest things we have done on our farm. Not only has it been a financial help to the farm, but it has brought us immeasurable joy. We DO plan to do another litter in the spring and are already compiling a list of people interested. 

Ballet Intensive

This week, Abigail is attending a ballet intensive at Central Ballet in Greenville. She is one of only two six-year-olds in the class, and we really had our concerns that this might be a bit much for her at her age. However, she has a gift for ballet, she loves it, and she wanted to do it. So we decided to go for it.

I am calling it my ballet-cation week. I brought a comfy chair and three good books and lots of food and hydration materials. I was the only mom of the 40 or so girls there who stayed for the entirety, and I will for the whole week being as Abigail is so young and not quite ready to do this on her own yet.

However, during the hour lunch break, Abigail was eating with her friends (she has two very good friends who are fourth graders which worked out perfectly!) and she was okay with me walking to the library and the coffee shop. That's huge for her.

Having to be at ballet with her for five days is no small task. I had to do a lot of finagling to get people to watch kids and the farm. But I worked it out, and in the end, it will be a break for me. 

She had a couple of moments that overwhelmed her -- like when they did their "partner" class and the teenage boys were doing the lifts. She opted to do her lifts with her teacher, Ms. Lori Ann as you'll see in the video below.

I tell you what, there is nothing like seeing your children excel in their gifts -- especially when it is something that you have no experience with and know nothing about and is totally out of your comfort league. Ha!

Here are two quick videos I took today. There are three main "sessions" in the camp. The first is a two-hour window where they work with a visiting professional ballet dancer on choreography for a dance they will perform at the weeks' end. Then there is an hour class where they do partner work. And then there is a barre class. 

Tuesday Truth

Monday, June 18, 2018

A Little Bit of Encouragement (from Ann Voskamp)

... years of just putting one foot in front of the other, you turn around and see:
  • That every day that you do the hard things that you don't want to do --- you're building the family you always wanted to have. 
  • And that's what family means: people love you & keep on holding on to you especially when you're not loveable. 
  • And family is a verb: it's not just what we are, it's something that we actively keep on making. 
  • With every phone call.... every time we make time for each other. Every way we make our life say: I love you. 
  • As many I love you's, as many times as we can, because maybe that is all there is: Love is only real when it's shared. 

Hannah's Happenings

June 2018
I just love her laugh, her smile, and the clothes she puts together.

June 2018
This is Mom pulling off an awesome "do"

June 2018
Sometimes she puts an outfit together that just melts my heart. 

June 2018
Always coming up with something.

June 2018
Anytime someone gives Hannah stickers, she finds creative places to put them.

March 2018
Hannah loves her Ritter.

March 2018
Always making me smile

February 2018
Thirsty in the middle of sledding.

January 2018
I love how she puts outfits together herself. They juts crack me up. I have no idea where she gets this from because it certainly is NOT me or JB.

December 2017
Yes, that is three skirts. Did you even know this was possible? Who THINKS of this stuff?

December 2017
Enough said.

September 2017
I love this picture of Hannah. It is so her.

September 2017
I'm not sure what is funnier -- her wearing Joni's glasses or the deadpan expression on her face.

September 2017
Seriously. All her idea.

July 2017
JC Penney's is going out of sale by our house. I scored $543 worth of kids' clothes for $124!! The girls loved having the same clothes!

July 2017
While unloading our new guineas, Hannah showed up outside in a blue sparkly shirt and a blanket because she didn't want to go upstairs and get pants.

July 2017
Photo courtesy of my niece Grace -- Hannah wearing Grampa's duds.

May 2017
Photo courtesy of Linda!

May 2017
Photo courtesy of Linda!

May 2017
Photo courtesy of Linda!

May, 2017
We rent to "run" to the garbage dump and discovered it didn't open for another hour. So we stopped at a park. Hannah had just thrown something together, but we still had fun!

May, 2017
This green bow caused quite a stir. I put it in her hair and just thought it looked adorable. It's a little big for me, but I still just loved it. She did not want to wear it, and I decided to go to war for the bow. I won.

May, 2017
Sunday church attire. A pretty dress and crocks. Why not.

May, 2017
On the way back from church, she got one of my play necklaces stuck between her teeth. We had to pull over and have Daddy work it out. This came just a few days after she got a drapery cord wedged in her gums.

May, 2017
A necklace on her head makes her a princess!

May, 2017
Playing (and breaking) our friend Linda's red nose from Walmart.

May, 2017
Camping injury.

April 18, 2017
This picture is such a great snap of Hannah. She picked this outfit on herself (now that pants are her style again). She rolls the pants herself too and gets it just right. This picture just SCREAMS who she is -- such a little girl and a grown up all in one. 

April 18, 2017
Playing hide and seek with Auntie Rita and Grama Joni.

I just absolutely LOVE this picture.

April 18, 2017
She did this herself before bed. She then pretended to be asleep but fell asleep like this all night.

April 18, 2017
I told Hannah to go inside and put on some summer clothes. (She was wearing pajamas.) This is what she came up with.

April 2017

April 2017
I promise. She came up with this all on her own.

April 2017
A new friend brought some dresses to pass on to Hannah at school. She had to change immediately!

March 2017
This is so her.

March 2017
An applesauce spill.

March 2017
Joni asks Hannah why she doesn't wear pants.

March 11, 2017
A very cold day. Time to get warmed up.

March 4, 2017
She is crying because I have told her we can't wear the Cinderella dress and Dora the Explorer cape (held on with clothespin) to the grocery store. Here's a video of us discussing this costume. She wears this nearly every day for at least a portion of the day.

March 5, 2017
She refuses to wear pants. So when I told her she MUST put something on her bottom half, she opted for a pajama dress worn like a skirt. She wore it like this most of the day. 

February 2017
I'm just not sure I can accurately convey how these two pictures made me feel. These were taken over the course of just twelve hours. These are so my girl. She is truly one of the funnest, most challenging, most incredibly smart and sweet and sassy kiddo. She has been asking me to "talk like a queen" lately. So I have to talk in a very "royal" voice and address her as my princess. Ooodles. That's how much I love my children -- and my Hannah.

February 2017
When you ask your daughter to please change out of her Batgirl costume so that we can go run some errands. And she comes back downstairs dressed like this. Yeah. Pajamas. What's worse? Batgirl or PJ's for errands?

January 2017

December 2016
Getting warmed up to go see the piggies on the farm

September 20, 2016
 Swimming at our friend Michelle's house

September 13, 2016
In her new bed. Sleeping Hannah style.

August 31, 2016
Hannah has started coming downstairs, in the middle of the night, and sleeping on the couch. We don't hear her come down and don't know when she does this. We just find her the next morning sleeping on the couch. Not sure what to do about this.

August 2016
Hannah uses socks to decorate herself. That is ONE sock she is wearing on her feet.

August 2016
Finding Hannah has painted on her own.

July 2016
Hannah manages to get her seatbelt undone, shirt off, and then seatbelt redone while I am driving.

July 12, 2016
Hannah is always inventing something new that she is that day!

July 15, 2016
Helping us move pallets. Well, getting int he way mostly.

July 15, 2016
Every time I ask her to smile, this is what I get.

July 4, 2016
Yes she put her bike on the table!

July 3, 2016
At long last, Hannah has found something she likes to do (other than just wander around and get into things.) She still won't read many books (although when she does she likes Fancy Nancy) but she is doing puzzles! So wonderful to have something she loves!

July 3, 2016
Hannah came down the stairs like this and when we all acted scared, she said, "I'm sorry I scared you. It was just me."

June 26, 2016
Quick bike ride before bed.

 June 25, 2016
Stay calm ... and fingerpaint

June 6, 2016
The kids did an art project, and Hannah wanted to join them!

May 15, 2016
Going shopping with Daddy.

May 2, 2016

May 1, 2016

April 22, 2016

April 17, 2016
Randomly wearing her sister's church name tag on her forehead and spitting out two Connect Four pieces she had in her mouth.

April 2016
Hannah is off to work (this is a game she loves to play with me!)

April 2016
Hannah returns from work

April 12, 2016
Daddy was taking her out to run errands. Hard to believe but she put this ensemble together totally by herself. Ha!

April 12, 2016
Morning play time!

 April 11, 2016
Cake at the park. This was moments before she tried to put a piece in her mouth that had been in the grass and ended up with a mouthful of ... grass!

 April 5, 2016
Wearing her brothers shoes randomly.

February 20, 2016

February 9, 2016
Hannah has been VERY into reading ... and VERY into "Fancy Nancy." She always picks out girly books to read -- princesses and pink books (and sometimes Mickey Mouse)

February 8, 2016
Showing off her new rings (a present from Grama Di)

January 11, 2015
She created her own dance to the ABC Mouse intro tune. (Her brothers have been teaching her how to play!)

January 9, 2015
Those are mittens on her feet.

January 4, 2016
Don't ask.

January 3, 2016
Yes that is her having climbed up on the dryer to find her own bows for her hair. (Which she removes promptly after putting them in so I am not sure the point is.)

January 2, 2015
Unloading this dishwasher in her choice of attire.

December 25, 2015
With a bunch of her Christmas presents on at one time!

December 21, 2015

December 18, 2015
In preparation for Star Wars, she is wearing her Princess Leia headband from Ms. Patty!

December 16, 2015

December 15, 2016

December 14, 2016
Taking a break after all that getting dressed nonsense!

December 12, 2015
What you do with your stickers from Trader Joe's!

December 11, 2015
Decorating Christmas tree in safari hat and flowery tutu

December 10, 2015
Out of the bath tub clothes including skirt under her dress and two different shoes

December 9, 2015
For some reason she likes to show her belly lately whenever I try to take her picture

October, 2015
Hannah wearing my socks -- which she put on all by herself.

I have decided, as best I can, to include a photo of what Hannah is wearing on any given day. I can't possibly take a picture of everything since she changes clothes dozens of times a day, but I want to remember these pieces she puts together. (Why she lifts her shirt every time I ask her to take a photo is still confusing me.) These may also just include silly predicaments I find her in.