Sunday, June 24, 2018

John Kenney

John Kenney died today.

I happened to be driving up to Toni's house to deliver a present to Cali at the exact moment the call came in that he had gone home to Jesus. Someday maybe I will write and share all I feel about this tragedy and my role in it. I will talk through the emotions I have had: guilt, questioning, selfishness, anger, frustration, not understanding ...

But today I simply grieve with Toni for the loss of her husband of over 40 years. I cannot comprehend. I cannot comprehend for Toni. I cannot comprehend for little Cali whose life has already been such a hard one. Why him? Why today? Why? Why? Why?

I know he is celebrating with Jesus and his body is working exactly like it should. But I am sad. I am not sad for me as I truly didn't know John much at all before this tragedy. But I am sad for my friend and the loss of someone she loved so dearly.

If you are reading this, please consider supporting this family through their gofundme or just through prayer.

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. 

6-21-18 Looks like the little "Disney Princess" will have two different color eyes.

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