Thursday, August 17, 2017

Friday Funnies

Hannah: "Daddy was chasing me!"
Me: "He was?"
Hannah: "Yeah!"
Me: "Should we give him a spanking?"
Hannah: "Yes, we should."
Me: "Okay. You go do it."
Hannah: "I can't."
Me: "Why?"
Hannah: "Because I just cannot spank hard enough."


Hannah to my friend Becky: "Why did you marry him?"
Becky: "Because he is my husband and I love him."
Hannah: "Hmmm ..."
Becky: "Why? Do you think I made a mistake?"
Hannah: "I do."


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Ryan & Briana: "HE turned our mourning into JOY!! Caleb is OURS!!"

I was counting minutes.
Counting hours.
Until 12:30EST.
When Ryan and Briana's birthmom was supposed to sign the papers.
And make Caleb their son forever.
They have faced SO MUCH disappointment. 
Five years of waiting.
And two second place finishes.
And then the text came in.
And I tried to do a video to send to Ryan and Briana.
And ...
Well ...
I'll let you watch for yourself.
(Excuse my messy self. I had just come in from feeding the animals.)

I have walked alongside my cousin and his wife for close to six years.
And I had no idea what this moment must feel like for them.
But I can sort of imagine.
Because as their Caleb came into their arms ...
My heart remembered so many emotions from our own adoption of Isaac over nine years ago.

I have a lot more to write.
But for now, a few photos:

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

My Heart Runneth Over

In September of 2012, our second Because of Isaac couple "went live" on our website. Today, their little boy was born. They have named him Caleb and they should be leaving the hospital as a family of three sometime tomorrow. Please pray for this family and the birth mom who is placing her son in their arms. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Because of Isaac Update

It is official: induction for Ryan and Briana's son will start at 7pm this evening!

I received word that they are about $2,000 short for their adoption funding. We weren't sure exactly how much they would need so we have been guessing. I put a post on Facebook that we needed $2,000 more. I received a nearly INSTANT message from a previous donator.

Listen to this.

She had written a check for exactly $2,000 and mailed it this past Saturday. It should arrive today or tomorrow. I am not kidding. Can you BELIEVE THIS?

We also got another donation for $1,000 within about 30 minutes.

God is so amazing!!!

Stay tuned for baby news!!!!

We Bought a Farm: Starting to help with chores

The boys are still not quite big enough to do a lot of chores on the farm completely by themselves, but more and more, they are getting tall and strong enough to handle things by themselves. Isaac is now learning to take care of the ducks completely by himself. I'm still helping him some, but he is getting it. Farming is not "his thing" so he doesn't embrace it, but he's working on having a good attitude about it. :) 

Sidge is now just tall enough (with the help of a big log) to let the chickens out of their egg mobile every morning. He walks over there by himself, gives them two scoops of feed, climbs up on his log, opens up the egg mobile, and lets our 67 laying chickens out for the day. He is so proud of himself. And we are so proud of him. This morning he woke up before any of us and left a note to tell us where he went:

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Grama Di

I am not sure why I didn't take more pictures while she was here. Maybe it was because we were so focused on just having fun! But either way, my Mom got to spend FIVE WHOLE DAYS with us here on the farm. This is a picture in front of the place she liked to sit every morning outside and watch the sunrise and read her Bible. I wish my Dad could have joined her but he couldn't get off of work. Either way so blessed to have this lady as my Mom. What fun!!!!!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

We Bought a Farm: Prayer Requests and Joy

Folks, if you think of it could you pray for TWO things for me over the next few days:

1. The adoption of Ryan and Briana's little boy. Induction is scheduled for Monday. They have been waiting FIVE YEARS. Pray that everything goes smoothly.

2. John and I as we process some very difficult news we have received regarding one of our past WWOOFers. The knowledge has left us reeling. We have always known that God has called us to this and that there is a risk involved, but I think finding out this information has really challenged us and made us wonder if we should continue on this path. NOTHING has happened to anyone in our family, but this past WWOOFer has been accused of some terrible crimes. We feel the Lord has called us to bring these young people into our lives. But we just aren't sure if we can go forward. 

And now, some pictures that are bringing me joy:

Abigail with a birthday present from her "Aunt Coffee"

A bracelet from "Aunt Coffee"

We are excited to have a little play area in our garage for when we have a lot of kids here.

My little blondie. I am unable to put into words what this little girl does to my heart.

My boys with their second-cousin (once removed?) Gabe when he was here. This was a selfie they took during their scavenger hunt (more on that in an upcoming post!)

Sidge with Ritter. My little Sidge just LOVES his dogs. Oh how happy it is when I see him with his pups.

When Daddy does your hair

Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday Funnies

Me: "Hannah I love you so much."
Hannah: "I love you too ... I just tooted."


Me: "Hannah can you dunk your head under the bath water so I can wash it?"
Hannah: "I can't."
Me: "Why?"
Hannah: "I am just definitely not old enough for that."


Hannah: Lays her head against my neck. "What's that lumpy stuff in your body?"
Me: "That's my collar bone."


Isaac: "Hannah quit eating that rock."
Hannah: "I'm not eating it. I am just licking it."


Hannah: "Grampa, what was your name before you got married?"


Hannah: "I have to go pee pee so bad. My privates are holding in the pee.
But it isn't coming out because my privates are closed."


Abigail and Hannah walked up to do a little "dance" in their red shoes for Grama Di when she was visiting. When Hannah refused to participate, Abigail put up her hands and said, "And there goes my moody sister, Hannah."

Isaac piano update

Lately, piano has been a bit of a struggle around these parts. The reason is that Isaac's teacher has tightened the reigns. She felt he was moving too fast and needed to slow down and work on his technique. He's getting to where he can play so many things, but he needs to work on his tempo and dynamics and things of that nature.

I've been working on the song you'll see in this video for almost a week. I am terrible at it. I thought about recording it but honestly it would be pointless. I'll just let you take my word for it. You can't even tell what song it is. I don't feel that I am horrible at piano. But every time I start a new song I wonder if I should quit.

I called Isaac into the room and asked him if he would try this song. I thought he had never played it but he told me not to tell his teacher that he has gone into my book and snuck it a few times. (She doesn't want him jumping ahead at all.) He told me I could only post this video if I didn't share it with his teacher because she wouldn't like that he had jumped ahead!

So he sat down and did ... this. Seriously. After just playing it a handful of times. He still has some mistakes but my mom-heart seriously welled up with pride as I heard him knock it out of the park.  (Especially compared to me.)

I write often of Isaac's piano and Abigail's ballet ... but each of my children will have their own talents. Sidge's talent, truly, is in his brain. He loves animals and can just out-think even a grown-up in a room. He wants to be a farmer and a vet -- and I think he will!

And Hannah ... I have no idea. That child leaves me wanting to absolutely pull my hair out but yet her personality leaves me just shaking my head with love!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

We Bought a Farm: Me and the 4-Wheeler

I am proud of myself. I've been driving the 4-wheeler again. I'm being extra-cautious and have set strict rules for myself. I only drive it on paths JB has set, and if a child rides with me, it is only on the back road between Grampa and Grama's house and my own. I am fully aware of the power of this machine now, and I am not getting overly confident. I am going slow. Thinking. And using it as a tool. 

And what a tool it is. I love getting exercise and walking everywhere on the farm, but animal chores have to be done three times a day. The morning run can take about two hours without the 4-wheeler. With it, I can easily do it in 1 hour. Afternoon takes an hour, and I can do it in about 30 minutes. It is truly amazing! And to be honest, if I do chores all day, I am still plum-tuckered-out even using the 4-wheeler. I am getting so much stronger and my body is definitely taking a beating.

We don't have a second WWOOFer right now so Jacob and I are splitting up the animals. I try to take chores when I have another adult here with me -- like my Mom who is here right now!

But seriously. Body. Taking a beating. For example, check out my hands:

Folks that is not dirt that I can wash off. It is stained on my hands. Don't worry, I have since started wearing gloves, but I really don't like gloves. I do so much with feed and water that I like being able to feel things. But never-mind that desire. I'm wearing gloves now. 

And then this picture below. I went out into the pasture to help JB move the sheep and had to run into the house to change for a meeting before I could shower. The one thing I cannot be on the farm is hot. As long as I am not overdressed, I am fine -- which means I only wear shorts in the summer. Scratches are courtesy of blackberry bushes and mud courtesy of who-knows-what:

Okay, I never take "selfies" but I decided to snap this photo of me before my meeting, pretending that I am clean when in fact my legs are incredibly muddy and scratched up -- :)

And below is just a fun photo of me after a shower the next morning, chilling with my hubby and my girls:

 JB actually said to me last night, "Wendi, I think you are no longer a farmer's wife. I think you are a farmer."


Wednesday, August 09, 2017

How to Please God, Not People

How to Please God, Not People

By Wendi Kitsteiner
Let pleasing God become bigger than pleasing people.
Wait. What?
How was it that, mere days after my fortieth birthday, I could be knocked upside the head by one sentence, convicted of something I’d been doing my entire life?
But there it was. Staring back at me on my computer screen. It was random. Just a photo and statement on my Facebook feed. But the words convicted me to my very core.
I’m not sure exactly when I began copiously people-pleasing, but I remember being incredibly worried that people didn’t like me in elementary school. I fretted to the point of being physically ill if I thought someone was mad at me. Then I watched as a bully made all my fears come true. She decided she didn’t like me and that she would try to get other girls to not like me. I spent months on end contemplating how to change people’s opinions of me and get these girls to be my friends again.
I grew. I matured. I married. I had children. Still, I worried about what people thought and what they said. I was a college athlete and always had plenty of friends. I was outgoing, and I appeared confident, but inside I was walking a tightrope.
To read the rest of this post, please jump over The Glorious Table. 

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Review: Goliath Must Fall

I received this book Goliath Must Fall: Winning the Battle Against Your Giants by Louie Giglio in the midst of an attack with anxiety. This book encourages you to fix your eyes on the size of your GOD not the size of your GIANT. 

And it doesn't matter what the threatening giant in your life. It can be depression or anxiety as it is with me. Fear. Rejection. Addiction. Anger. Giglio discusses battling the giant that is stopping you from living a full and free life. 

What I loved most about this book was the little nugget from the story of David and Goliath that I don't feel has ever been preached to me before. It isn't about being able to hit him well with my slingshot. It isn't about focusing on the giant at all. David is NOT us. David is JESUS. He is the giant slayer. He is who we must trust.

This book was simply fantastic, and I encourage anyone with something keeping you from your full life to take the time to read it. IN FACT -- I am giving away a copy of this book to one commenter. Just leave your name and email address and in one week, I will choose a random individual to win a free copy of this book! provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

Review: A Very Thankful Prayer

A Very Thankful Prayer by Bonnie Rickner Jensen and illustrated by Natalia Moore is a hard cover and hard paged book with simply delightful illsutrations -- incredibly bright and comfortable. You just can't read this book and not be happy. 

On each page, different animals discuss what they are thankful for. 

I'm thankful for the colored leaves
Of yellow, orange, and red
Floating through the chilly air
And landing on my head.


I'm thankful for the juicy apples
Ready to be picked.
They're yummy in a pie
Or dipped in candy on a stick.

I just loved this book and so did my two daughters (age 4 and 6). This book would make an incredible gift for any mom-to-be or little one -- especially for Thanksgiving. I just love this sweet book!          

I received a copy of this book from in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday Truth

In honor of my husband.

Monday, August 07, 2017

We Bought a Farm: 1 little, 2 little, 9 little Farmers

My cousin, Eddie and his family, live about 90 minutes from us. While we didn't know each other very well before we moved to the farm, we have really started to get to know them, and it truly appears, that we will be staying really connected to their family. They love the farm, and we are hopeful they can help us with some farm-sitting and other needs. 

Eddie and Hannah have FIVE children which seems like SO many -- and in truth it is just one more than we have. But 5 + 4 = 9 which makes for some hoppin' times here on the farm. Their house with being renovated this summer so they needed to be out of it for almost six weeks. They therefore asked if they could stay at the farm for a little under a week. 

Eddie (and his older kiddos) did ALL the animal chores while they were here, and Hannah handled ALL the meals. Honestly, it was easier with them here for me! It was just an absolutely blessed week.

Here is a picture of the group of nine children last summer:

And here is the same picture this summer:

Gabe (11), Sidge (8), Kari (8), Abigail (6), Anna (10), Isaac (9), Hannah (3), Genevieve (3), Owen (5)

Here are some photos that Hannah took while she is here. She's a great photographer:

Check it out. We are moving the ewes, and Arabelle, who has become an incredible farm dog, is simply waiting for me to be done. She will do this even in POURING rain.

The three littles playing in our yard's clubhouse one morning -- still in pajamas.

Guests often stay in our camper which even works for a family of seven!

These three gals played a lot together. While Abigail is a bit younger, she really likes playing with older girls -- and these two are just the sweetest. I cannot TELL you how mice their kids are!

Checking out the guinea fowl.

Just a few of our thirteen baby ducks.

Gave after collecting duck eggs. Gabe is an amazing young man, and honestly, he is MADE to be a farmer!

A shot of our juvenile ducks in their new mobile tractor. These are the four ducks we incubated and as of right now, the herd is NOT accepting them so we are having to keep them separate. What a pain!

Side and Gabe feeding the ducks.

We did the slip and slide nearly every day!


This $50 sheet of plastic has proved a fantastic investment for our hills!

Everyone was loving it!

Eddie on the 4-wheeler -- man this machine cuts down on chore time big time on the farm.

Our intern Jacob got in on making a magnate tower with the kids. Check out that height!

Magnates are always a hit. But I've been especially impressed with the things Hannah has been coming up with. She is really getting good at building and is just SO creative.

Eddie was "working from home" this week as he does Greek and Latin textbooks. He often occupied the yellow room in our garage during breaks to work. Here he is reading a book to two of the kiddos at bedtime. (We currently have a "door to nowhere" while we wait to get a deck put on.)

I love people getting different perspectives on a land I know so well.

Check out our garden (front right)

Genevieve and Eoin (pronounced "Owen") who are just about 18 months apart.

We have all kinds of flowers blooming.

Sweet girl!

Picture perfect.

We did a scavenger hunt all around the farm. I had all kinds of things on there. We did girls vs. boys and Hannah took the youngest on her team. This is her "selfie" for the contest.

Love this.

Anna riding a bike.

Eoin getting eggs.

Checkin' on the ewes.

Garden goodies

Per a recommendation from a friend's son, I purchased KanJam for the farm. Oh what a fun game it is! I am always looking for fun outside activities that don't require you to be athletic to play!

The cheerleaders during KanJam. These three got along remarkably well for all being such little folks.


Ritter trying to catch the KanJam.

Abigail is still learning but is getting better and better.

Dog pile of nine kids!

I'm not sure I can say it any other way: I LOVE this family. I LOVE Hannah too and really see us becoming good friends. I am excited about living so close to this family and the opportunity to stay connected.