Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Funnies

JB: "You are a monkey!"
Abigail: "Daddy, no. I'm a people."
JB: "You are?"
Abigail: "Well, actually I am a who-man."


Hannah brought me, as she does every morning, a fruit snack, and tried to convince me it was for breakfast. When I said she couldn't have it she replied, "Oh my gosh," and walked away.

Because of Isaac Fundraiser

We are so excited about a new fundraiser we have at Because of Isaac.
ALL you have to do is click on the link below and sign up to receive a Fish Flix newsletter. Fish Flix  is run by my friend Jake and his family, and it is a Christian distributor of Christian Movies. For every single person who signs up for their newsletter, Because of Isaac's couples will receive a $1 donation from Fish Flix . That's it!! There is no catch!
I am asking EVERYONE I know to please share this with their friends. Not only does BOI get a $1 donation, but you get a free $10 coupon to spend in their online store.
Let's see how much money we can bring in to BOI just by signing up for their newsletter!

We Bought a Farm: Losing a Goose

I think we are going to have to put a goose down, and it is tearing me up.

He can't walk. He did something to his leg. JB was hopeful that maybe he dislocated it. He tried to put it back in last night. But this morning he is even worse than he was last night.

I am so sad.

I knew this would happen. I tried to prepare myself for losing an animal, but I just knew it would be so painful when it actually happened.

I am relieved because the boys and I are leaving for Vermont today. We are going to spend a few glorious days with Joan and Roy. I am relieved because I won't be here when JB has to do it.

I have told him in no uncertain terms that I will never be a part of watching any of our animals have their "only bad day."

So sad right now.

And I have no idea how to tell the kids.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Homeschool freebie

These are going int the wall (if I can find one!) in our school room. Enjoy!

Book Review: The Beginner's Bible Wild About Creation Sticker and Activity Book

Oh how my little girl loved this sticker and activity book featuring the classic art from The Beginner's Bible.

Priced at a very appropriate $3.99, this 16-page book is a perfect little "stocking stuffer" or gift for the Easter basket. In its pages, the wonders and joys of nature come to life through age-appropriate puzzles, activity pages, and stickers in The Beginner's Bible Wild About Creation Sticker and Activity Book.

This book could be used by children as young as 3 and old as 8 or 9, but I think it really targets children in the 4-6 category.

The pages are colorful, the activities clear and fun. You will love sending this to a special child in your life!

***Book Look Bloggers sent me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest and fair review. 

We Bought a Farm: Sheep "stuff" & Duck catching

Yesterday our lawn mower broke.

Today, the sheep needed to be moved to a new paddock.

You need to mow a strip where you put the electric fence.

We had no mower to mow that strip.

But the sheep's current paddock had run out of grass for them to graze on.

So JB, on his way to buy a mower, threw his hands up and said, "Let's just let the sheep browse the yard."

So we did.

Only thing is these ten sheep decided to get up on our porch! Sheep poop everywhere.

Oh and did I tell you that yesterday we tried to move the ducks into the geese paddock. We really thought they were large enough that they wouldn't get out of the fence. But upon returning from a trip to town, I discovered that four of the ducks had gotten out.

JB was at work.

Our friend John and the boys caught the four ducks, but after a brief phone call to JB it was quickly decided that the ducks had to go back in their previous paddock with smaller holes in the fence.

That meant we needed to catch 28 ducks and carry them!

And it was like 90+ degrees out.

So I decided to utilize the cheapest labor I had! I threw Isaac and Sidge in the paddock and said "Catch some ducks."

Those little boys caught all 28 ducks and handed each one to Becky and I to put them in their new paddock.

I have a feeling this is only the beginning of BIGTIME animal adventures on our farm. JB really made me feel great when he posted on Facebook: "You think Wendi has embraced our farm life? She looked at our flock of ducks and noticed 4 of the 28 were missing... You have to be pretty observant and pretty familiar with the a flock of almost 30 ducks to notice only four were not there. REALLY impressed!"

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wee-wind Wednesday: Six kids between us!

Today I want to wee-wind to April 5, 2011. That was the last time I saw my dear friend Becky. She came to visit me in Turkey while she tried to patiently wait for her little miracle from Korea to come to live with her forever.

Becky and I became friends while at Eglin AFB. Our husbands worked together, and we bonded over the infertility that was hanging so heavily over both of us. Supporting each other through miscarriage and failed cycles and ultimately through three adoptions and three biological children has been an incredible journey.

Becky has an incredible testimony that I hope you will take the time to read. She shares an incredible story of God's love and forgiveness as she worked through mistakes in her past to become the mom of two wonderful little boys. If you are struggling with forgiving yourself especially, you MUST take a moment to read Becky's story. She has only recently shared this past with the "public" and I am so proud of her for finally feeling forgiven!

Anyways, John and Becky and their two boys are still in the military and making the move from Arizona to North Carolina. How lucky for us that we are sort of on the way. They are spending four days with us here on the farm. We are having an absolute BLAST!

Here are a few pictures to share with you:

Here is a picture of Hannah, Abigail, and John and Becky's younger son: Jonah

Abigail and Jonah reading books on the couch. They are both about the same age.

Becky with her older son, Joshua, and my Isaac. Joshua is a year younger than Sidge.

And here is probably the most important picture of this blog. After one month without a dishwasher, Becky's husband John swept in and SAVED THE DAY! I HAVE A WORKING DISHWASHER!!! I can't express how high John has moved on my friend list!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A $50 error

I hesitated to tell this story on my Blog. I'm not sure why. I guess it was because I didn't want to be judged for the decision we made. I also don't ever want to be seen as a "rich doctor's wife." JB and I were raised in homes where money did not grow on trees. And we definitely plan to instill those same values in our children.

However, after talking to different "honest" friends (who always shoot me straight and don't just tell me what I want to hear), I decided to share it. I strive to make my Blog a place where I don't pretend to be something I'm not. I'm a Mom. I have to make "game-time" decisions. I make mistakes. I'm a real person. We are a real family.

This story should illustrate that in many ways.

So here's how this went down.

We loved throwing birthday parties for our kids overseas. They were very cheap due to the Base providing cheap venues and supplies, and it was an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate. Overseas, without family around, we were always looking for any excuse to have a party.

But upon returning to the United States, I was quickly refreshed as to how the real world worked. We had a birthday party for my three olders, and despite trying to do something very simple, the parties still ended up costing well over $300 per kid. These were simple bowling or Chik-fil-A parties. Nothing special at all.

(I can't help but wonder how much parents are dropping on some of these more extravagant parties I see floating around the Internet. But that's a whole 'nother post altogether.)

So JB and I discussed this and decided that we didn't want to do birthday parties for our kids anymore. At least not on a regular basis. We felt we spent more money and time and stress than the party was worth. We are constantly trying to teach our kids that we want to do things we value and to place an emphasis on quality time not quality things.

But more than that we felt like we could have more FUN with our kids if we just spent that time and money, together, as a family.

So we told our boys that instead of having a party for their 6th (Sidge) and 7th (Isaac) birthdays, we'd let them pick out one gift for $100 and go out together as a family. This would cost about $200 we figured -- nearly half of what we had dropped on their previous birthday.

So that's what we did. The boys each picked out a $100 Lego set, and we did something fun together as a family.

But now it's June. Abigail's birthday is a month away. We didn't plan on giving Abigail $100 to spend. She's not nearly as old as the boys, and she's not nearly as aware. So we thought we'd just get her a little present and go out together as a family and ultimately, spend even less.

But I didn't understand the power of big brothers. Somewhere along the line, the boys told Abigail she could also have $100 to spend. She didn't really know what that meant, but one day we went into Yoder's Market (a little store by our house.) They saw this big alligator up on the shelf, and the boys asked me how much it was.

I glanced at the price tag and said, "$38."

They turned to Abigail and told her that she could afford that for her birthday. Since it was $38, I didn't correct them. That would be a reasonable gift if she ended up picking it.

Two weeks went by. Abigail didn't bring up picking out a present so I found a few small "girl" Lego sets and bought them for her birthday. We went out for dinner for her birthday, and I gave her the lego sets, and I thought we were good to go.

But then, right after we had cake and ice cream with my parents, Abigail informed me that she wanted to go to Yoder's and get the alligator. 

I talked to JB and explained to him the misunderstanding. I thought she had forgotten about the alligator. I had bought her the Legos. She hadn't forgotten about the alligator. JB and I decided to go ahead and get her the alligator too. We were still well below the original $100 price we had set.

So for two days we talked about the alligator. Abigail was so excited. I told her we could get it after ballet class on Tuesday. She was thrilled.

And here is where my mistake took a drastic turn for "worser."

I had misread the price tag.

It wasn't $38 as I had thought. It was $88. 

I walked into Yoder's and asked the lady at the counter to take down the alligator for me. I grabbed a few other things in the store, and went to the front to pay for it.

She told me the grand total, and I immediately started shaking my head.

Abigail was standing next to me jumping up and down, so excited about getting her hands around the neck of this much-bigger-than-I-remembered-it-alligator.

"How much is the alligator?" I asked when the price popped up on her little cash register.

Eighty. Eight. Dollars.

"I'm sorry," I said. "I can't buy that."

I turned to see Abigail, her face aghast, tears already welling up in her eyes. 

I bent down and explained to her that I was not saying no. But I had to talk to her father. I couldn't make this decision by myself. I told her that she needed to be strong while she waited. I told her I understood she was disappointed, but that she was not allowed to throw a fit. (She isn't a fit-thrower anyway, but I wanted her to understand that this decision would not be made based on her emotions.)

Abigail handled it very well. She was teary-eyed and sad, but she did not freak out. I slipped to the side and called JB.

We do Dave Ramsay's envelope system for budgeting in our house. I told him that we had enough in the envelope. He told me that it was not Abigail's fault I misread the price tag and that we should honor our commitment if we could. We have really tried to be "parents of our word" with our kids. We've tried to NOT say something unless we fully plan to fulfill what we are saying. We don't say, "Yes, I'll play that game with you," unless we are going to play that game. Obviously there will be times that we will still have to take back something we said. But we really want our kids to know our "yes" is "yes" and our "no" is "no."

So we bought the alligator. 

I'm not happy about how big it is. I am definitely not happy about how much it cost. But I am happy that we were able to honor our word. Even if the thing barely fits on our king-sized bed!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Parental memories

Scrubs definitely remembered his grandparents! He was so excited to see Papa and Grama Di. When he was a young pup, we spent a lot of time at their house in Florida while my husband was a resident and very busy. I'll never forget my under a year old puppy taking my Dad's glasses out from under the sofa and playing keep-away. Not a good moment for him.

Hannah LOVED snuggling up with my parents for a good book.

So fun to celebrate a child's birthday with my parents. Our life overseas has made this a rarity.

Some pics my dad captured of our farm.

They don't call them the "Great Smokey Mountains" for nothing!

I love how much my Dad plays with my kids. He definitely is a "3 and up" Grampa. He plays games nearly non-stop.

Coloring time!

Abigail is such a great colorer!

Hannah was REALLY snuggly the last few days. Turned out she had a double ear infection! So glad I'm married to a doctor. A quick ear check and a run to the pharmacy, and we were good to go.

Photo bomb!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Humanize your physician: They are real people

I am SOOOO excited. My friend Erica had two articles published on one of the leading medical blogs: (This site receives 1.4 unique visitors a year. It was voted the best medical blog in 2008.) 

I decided to do a little research and was happy to see that the submission process was very simple. (Some places make submitting an article akin to moving a mountain!) I submitted an article, and they decided to publish it!

So without further ado, here is the piece I wrote. Please share it from the page and leave a comment on the article too if you'd like! 

Humanize your physician: They are real people

Post-ballet musings

Abigail had SO much fun at her princess ballet camp. She is completely obsessed with dancing -- primarily ballet. Their teacher was fantastic, and I think we are going to let her continue on with a once-a-week class starting in August.

Here are a few pictures my Dad snapped during their final performance:

They got to pick out a fancy dress to wear for the final dance number.

Here's Abigail before the class started looking out the window for her friends to come.

This was the teacher's granddaughter. She and Abigail really liked each other! The first day, this little gal tried to talk to her and Abigail wouldn't even look at her. By the end, they were giving each other kisses.

Performing for the "Princess"

Everything Abigail wore was actually a hand-me-down from her big cousin Grace. Oh how I love not spending money!

Getting her award.

Here is a video of their closing dance routine. 

This was really my very first sort of "mom" experience. Hanging out with other moms and watching our kids participate in an activity. I realized a few things during this experience:
  1. We are absolutely, completely, and utterly partial to our own child! Even the grandparents that came with me are head over heals for "our" kiddo. We must remember that we are watching a group with a very unfair lean towards the one that belongs to us.
  2. It is hard to not have "big dreams" for your kids. I am continually reminding myself that this for fun, and if she isn't having fun, she shouldn't be doing it. I don't ever want to push them because of something I want. It should be something that is enriching their lives, not causing them stress.
  3. I want my kids, especially my girls, to be participating in things that are bringing glory to God. I love that this is a Christian ballet studio with scriptures and reminders of why we dance written everywhere. 
  4. If your kid is making a scene, acting spoiled, etc. REMOVE them from a situation so that they don't ruin it for other children. Parents don't want their kid to "miss out" so they push onward. If your child isn't ready or is obnoxious, why are they there? Stop the madness!
  5. My little Abigail will probably always be an "easy" kid. A few times during the week, the teacher chose her to start or lead an activity simply because she was the only one not asking. She is incredibly quiet. (If she has a question, she taps the teacher and then, for example, point to her shoe for it to be tied.) She is also a very good listener and copier. 
  6. I am really glad we chose a farm that was close enough to "society" for us to participate in "things like this."
  7. "Things like this" are expensive, and with four kids, costs will really add up!
I am sure I will learn a lot more as my kids get older, but for now, this is all the insight I have to impart.

We Bought a Farm: Pigs are LOUD!

Sunday. JB is working again today. (I really dislike that he was to work on Sundays.) He had to leave at 6am. So I had to do all the animals. Dad and Mom K. are out of town so that leaves only me.

And me has a bad back!

JB and I were talking yesterday as Dad and Mom made plans to leave and he made plans to go to work. What do we do if I am too sick to get the work done as a farmer's wife and a mom?

We did not come up with an answer.

So this morning I have fed and watered our ducks, geese, guinea hens, dog, sheep, and pigs. My back is doing better than it was yesterday -- thank goodness.

Oh! Pigs! Did I mention we now have seven of them? JB picked up five new pigs two days ago, and after being trained to the electric fence, it was time to move them into their new paddock with the sheep.

Take a look at JB, finally wrangling the last of the seven little boogers. I think my favorite part of this video is listening to Sidge laugh -- and cheering against JB so that he could watch his Dad struggle a little bit longer.

(I had to get up in the truck and babysit the other pigs after one of them jumped out of the truck!)

Sunday Sermon

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Ann Voskamp Quote

... when in the last 24 hours you've heard from your 16 year-old daughter in Rwanda & she whispers to you how she never wants to stop worshipping & serving like she has on the red dirt...

and your 18 year-old boy calls home from 20 hrs away at the ocean where he's been a camp counsellor this week on a native Indian reserve & he tells you as he waits for the new campers to arrive he just wants to get away with The Word and God for a few hours... 

and your 20 year-old connects from university, that he's pressing hard on his summer term's final assignments, giving it all he's got, and he'll try to get home real soon... 

and you stand in a quiet kitchen & you realize that all the years of frying up bacon & serving up their plates & reading to them E.B. White & the Gospel of Matthew & Huckleberry Finn, of looking for those darn lost shoes when we were already 10 minutes late & patting down their rooster tails & us all learning over years how to take a deep breath & exhale, learning how to hold on to each other because family is about being a safe place where no one ever pushes you out of the boat... learning how to pause in the midst of our mess & listen for the heartbeat of grace & feel the waterfall of fresh mercy.... 

Who knew that all of this, everyday messy for years... all the mundane moments were adding up into miracles: it was all growing up real people to love a real hurting world. 

Because yeah, that's what we're all trying to do here, right wherever we are, & it's what we're all teaching our kids to do in a crazy, tumultuous world: Learning how to hold on to each other because we all belong to each other & this world needs us all to make safe places where where no one ever pushes you out of the boat.... where we don't pass by anyone without helping them turn their sails to the wind so they can wing their way out into the wide open world, that's just waiting for them to bring only what they can bravely bring. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

We Bought a Farm: Kitchen Improvement

This farm house is ... so ... quirky.

At first glance, when people walk in, they immediately comment on how beautiful our home is. 

And it is.

But as they walk around, I watch as they say, "Why is that there? Why do you think they put that there? Why did they do that? Why don't they have one of those?" 

Honestly, it feels like these people just built room by room and sort of "winged it" as they went -- adding things and making decisions as they went along. There are french doors on my closet. There is a water heater in my closet. There are doorways that are too narrows. There are porches that go to nowhere. My bathroom is massive. My laundry room is tiny. There is not a single closet downstairs for coats or boots. And we live on a muddy farm!

You get the idea.

Another example?

The kitchen.

At first glance, our kitchen seems fine. No major issues. But when you get in it and try to cook in it (of which I am doing a lot more), you are immediately effected by small nuances that can bother you. 

A big one in the kitchen is the island. It is long and seems wonderful. But only when you really try to move within the confines of this room are you aware how much it blocks your path from the stove to the sink. This is sort of a big deal when you are cooking. You are constantly walking around this island. 

Here are a few pictures of the kitchen before we moved in:

Because of the way the kitchen is set up, it is seriously lacking in counter space. We know we want to redo our kitchen sometime in the next few years so I don't want to do anything major to it right now. But we need it to work for us at present, and the lack of counter space was resulting in it not working for us.

The major problem was all our fruits and vegetables. (Especially in this community where people are bringing you extra produce all ... the ... time!) Where do we put them? We ended up putting them on the island. However that meant that we didn't have anywhere to prep meals.

The other day I got so frustrated and started really trying to brainstorm. What I could do ... for free ... to give myself more room? I asked my father-in-law if we could put a shelf up in front of the window. He thought we could. But that would take time and possibly cost money.

But then it came to me. My in-laws had an old table in the garage. Maybe I could use that to hold our fruits and vegetables?

I set it up, and it worked brilliantly!

I am so happy with how much space this created. Yes, I admit, getting into the long cabinet to the right of this table is a little difficult. But my mother and mother-in-law helped me move stuff around so that the things in that cabinet are not of vital significance.

Now, if we can just get our oven fixed, our dishwasher fixed, and make the cabinets not so narrow and deep, we'll really be on the right track!

Friday Funnies

JB was reading a book about pirates to the boys. He read the page pictured above and laughed out loud when Isaac said in response, "Well that isn't really appropriate."


Abigail loves when JB brings home stickers from the hospital. Last night she asked him: "Do you think when you go to work tonight that you can ask your workers who help you fix the broken people where we can get more stickers?"


Grama Di: "Abigail, I think that dress is getting a little too small."
Abigail: "No it's not. My legs are just growing out of it."

We Bought a Farm: A Big Week!

It has been a big week here at Bauernhof Kitsteiner. Not only did we add 10 sheep to our farm (click here to see the latest video featuring these ewes), but my husband and his father and our little Abigail are currently on their way back from a pick-up of five little piglets a few hours from here. 

Here's a picture JB posted to Facebook just a few minutes ago:

I must admit that I have taken to farm life much more than I thought I would. The other day, my brother-in-law sent my husband a message with some information about a possible farm machine for sale in his area. JB was walking out the door for work so I did a little research and sent JB a text, explaining why I didn't think this was the piece for us.

JB texted back: "Who are you and what did you do with my wife?"

Yeah. I can see how he'd say that.

This farming thing has always been his idea. I agreed to it it because (a) I knew he'd be crushed if I didn't, (b) I really thought it would be a great lifestyle for my children, and (c) I didn't really have any reason why it was a bad idea.

I had only a few small requests. 
  1. I wanted to be within about 30 minutes of a Target. (We ended up getting within 30 minutes of a Walmart and 1 hour from a Target, but I made the final call that this request could be lessened a bit.) I didn't want to be in the boonies, and while we are definitely removed from town, I feel like town is within my grasp. 
  2. I wanted to move into a place that was "ready" for us. (In other words, I didn't want to live in a trailer for years while we built a house, etc. This place, having four structures and primarily, a house that was relatively move-in ready fit the bill.)
That's really it. That's all I wanted, and I got it.

But as we made plans for farm life, I secretly asked God to help me find my niche. Help me like it. Help me love it if possible. Help me participate and get on board.

For so many years, I almost had to fake interest in my husband's passion for this life. He'd break into a story about a certain animal, plant, mushroom, landscape, and I'd try to listen but would often end up glazed over or even nodding off. 

(Not a good technique for building your spouse up -- let me tell you what.)

But last night we were sitting in the living room, and we had a conversation in which I ended up asking my husband how we could tell a sheep was in estrus.

"Are you really asking me this?" he said.

"I think so," I replied.

"You mean you really want to know?" he asked.

I thought for a second, and then found myself nodding. "Yeah," I said. "I sort of really do what to know."

I've been asking a ton of questions. I have also, thanks to help from my mother-in-law throughout the day, been able to take over nearly 90% of the chores surrounding the animals. And it's because I want to. I really am loving the animals. (Especially the geese. They are currently my favorite.) And I am really loving having a responsibility outside of taking care of my children and my house.

This life is suiting me.

And I'm really happy it is.

Thursday, July 23, 2015


I originally wrote this post below on March 10, 2009. Six years have gone by, and I felt it important to share how life has changed my outlook. See the bold for updates.

So here's some truths.

JB and I do not share a blanket when we go to sleep at night. We don't share a sheet. We do share a bed. But that's about it. We tried sharing a blanket. We tried sharing a sheet. Neither of them worked. Now, each of us have our own blanket. [UPDATE: We still have our own blankets. Neither of us uses a sheet.]

JB has permanently labeled me a human window shade. Early in our marriage he would find me sleeping so close to him, rolled up so tightly in the sheet and blanket we were sharing, that he'd just give up, walk to the other side of the bed and occupy that side with a blanket from the linen closet. That's the honest truth.

Here's another truth.

We don't make our bed. Like ever. Well, if someone is visiting and hasn't seen our house before and I am going to show them around, then maybe I'll make the bed. I'll fold up our separate blankets, put them in the closet, and take out the real sheet and real bedspread that normal people would share and sleep with and make my bed. If you are a veteran visitor, I won't make the bed. If you are a newbie, maybe you'll get to see our normally stored-in-the-closet bedding. [UPDATE: I have to admit that since moving to our new house, I have started making the bed regularly. The reason is that this house is pretty small, and we are using my bed as a quiet reading/movie place. I don't want the kids swimming in a sea of blankets and pillows. In addition, our bedroom is downstairs and much more 'open' to seeing regularly. Having the bed made DOES make me feel better!]

It wasn't always this way. Once upon a time, we used to make our bed everyday. Then JB started adding things up. He added up how many minutes a day he spent taking decorative pillows off the bed. He added up how many minutes he spent putting decorative pillows back on the bed. He decided that this was way too many minutes of his life. Three minutes a day times 365 days a year times 50 years! That's like twelve books he could have read. What a waste!

He sat me down and told me he was refusing to ever help make or unmake the bed again. If I wanted to continue the practice, I could. But he would play no part in it. It made no sense, he explained, to make a bed that no one would see made only to unmake it again to get back into it a half day later. [UPDATE: I have eliminated extra pillows from our bed. We only have things on our bed we use.  In addition, while JB will help sometimes, I don't expect him to make the bed and lose reading time.]

Another truth. When we go to hotels, we get two double beds. This is JB's choice and is honestly one of his favorite things about going to a hotel. He doesn't have to deal with me kicking him, or rolling too close to him. He doesn't think I am a good bed sharer so when we can avoid it, we do. That's the truth of it. We just booked our hotel for Ajit's wedding in May. Two double beds! [UPDATE: Oh yes! Definitely. We still do this a lot. However, we will get a king sometimes. If we do get the double beds, we each take a kid in with us. We do NOT sleep in a double bed together.]

Speaking of beds, JB told me that sometimes on submarines, men share beds. One person occupies it for eight hours. Then another moves in for occupation. This grossed me out until JB told me that they come and change the sheets in between. Okay. I'm okay with that if the sheets are changed. If they weren't, how gross would that be?

I'm not exactly sure at which point during my day that my head got into thinking about bedding. I think it had to do with the fact that JB is on nights. This means that I occupy the bed for eight hours and then he occupies the bed for eight hours. I actually like JB's side of the bed better so when he is gone, I go ahead and sleep on his side. We are both able to sleep on the same side of the bed because we aren't using the bed at the same time.

Pretty cool, huh?

All right, so there's my honesty for the day. I'm sure some of you out there have some pretty interesting confessions.Is there anyone else who would fess up to never making their bed? Is there anyone else who celebrates two double beds when they go to a hotel? Probably not.

Oh and speaking of beds, now that I have kids, I've been wondering. Am I going to make them make their bed while mine is unmade? How unfair would that be? And yet, they have to learn to make their bed don't they? Or do they? [I do not, at this point, make my kids make their beds. They don't sleep with sheets either. Just a blanket. However, I do sometimes ask them to go up and make their beds look nice, and they will help get the blankets and animals all set up.]

Hmmm . . .

Upcoming Auction

We are trying to put together a SMALL auction for Because of Isaac using a NEW online auction service. This auction will only have 20 items. If you have something you can donate, PLEASE email me at! We are hoping to hold the auction in August.

The world according to Scrubs

Check it out! I've added another video from Scrubs. I received so many comments from readers that they really love appearances by Scrubs. So I decided to add another one!

Our Scrubby has decided that his voice is not being represented adequately on this Blog. He has therefore decided to do a little video appearances. Stay tuned for more from "The world according to Scrubs."

Walgreens: FREE 8×10 Photo Print with free in-store pickup

Get a FREE 8×10 Photo Print from Walgreens when you upload a photo, choose to enlarge it to an 8×10 Print, and use coupon code HOTDEAL61 at checkout. Choose in-store pickup at checkout and shipping will be free, too.

Thanks Money Saving Mom!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

We Bought a Farm: Flying problems

Here is a picture of Isaac. He went mushroom hunting with JB this morning and found this bolete mushroom. (They also found some ripe may apple fruit/mandrakes.) The bad thing is that Isaac got stung by two hornets. These stings the kids are getting are making them sooo jumpy to be outside, and I really hate that. I'm not sure how to help them overcome the fear that develops after they get attacked by insects. But Sidge is still gun-shy after his three bee stings. And now, two hornets and Isaac is saying he never wants to go into the woods again. Hopefully we can overcome this.

Abigail takes ballet!

Abigail has been SO excited to participate in her "Princess Ballet Camp." She has been asking to do ballet for over a year, and we, honestly, would not have put her in in yet had it not been for her adamant requests. We think she's a tad young, and we just really aren't into kids being pushed into activities so young. But we found a Christian ballet studio, and they had this camp for little girls, and we decided to do it for Abigail's birthday.

The whole morning before we left for ballet, Abigail was just giddy. She even asked me to put some ballet youtube videos on so she could "practice." Here she is practicing before we left: Ballet at home

But then we got there, and she slipped into her shy shell. She just could not overcome the intense feelings. I asked her if she wanted to go home. I am not going to push a four year old to do something that is causing her real stress, and she shook her head vehemently. She wanted to do this so badly but just could not get through it.

As I have mentioned on my blog before, my outlook on emotions in children was revolutionized when I read the book: The Highly Sensitive Child. In the past, I might have tried to push her through this, but I knew, from reading this book, that this was simply how she was taking in the world. And I had to acknowledge how intense this world felt to her. These feelings are very real.

I compare it to if I went to a big dance party and was being pushed out on the dance floor. That would seem really overwhelming to me. While another friend might have no issue rushing right out. We all have situations that if pushed into them, we'd start to freak out a bit! Kids are no different, but because their situation seems so mild, we, as adults, don't allow them the space to work through it on their own.

This is how Abigail was taking in the situation. She wanted to be there, but it felt like more then she could handle.

I decided to just let her do this on her own. I sat behind her in the ballet circle for a few minutes and then made sure she knew I was sitting across the room and moved over there. It was SO difficult to watch as a mom. To see your child wanting something that she just could not push through hurt my heart so much.

But my mom and I just sat there, watching, and giving her some thumbs up to let her know she wasn't alone.

What was so great was that ... she worked through it! She did it!

She had a great teacher who paired herself up with Abigail, and to our great delight, Abigail slowly started pulling away from the shyness and started participating! The teacher told me later that she purposefully skipped some of the "ice breaker" activities to help Abigail just start moving instead of talking.

By the start of class two, take a look at my little girl! Ballet class (Abigail is in purple).

And here she is during class two! I really couldn't believe it! Ballet class

It was so amazingly wonderful to watch your child conquer a fear. I'm so proud of my little lady!

Enjoying Papa Coach and Grama Di

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Happy 60th Birthday!

My Dad and Mom just celebrated their 40th anniversary, and today, my mom turns 60. Here is a picture of my mom and Abigail (who just turned 4). What a fun time to have two very special girls have a birthday together.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

We Bought a Farm: They are Here!

My parents are here! Due to their differing work schedules, they often don't get to visit together so I am thrilled to have them both here at the same time!

Here's what they are doing right now. Papa is teaching the boys Uno! I can't believe I haven't taught these little card sharks this game before now.

And the girls are busy coloring the huge Anna and Elsa book my parents brought for Abigail.

Sunday Sermon

Saturday, July 18, 2015

A few fun Hannah photos

Hannah LOVES to put glasses (and work goggles) on. She is constantly walking around looking for her eyewear saying, "Where's my gasses? Where's my goggles?"

I don't even talk on the phone much at all, but if you think kids aren't watching ... think again!

Abigail got some boots for her birthday. Hannah has staked claim on them. (They almost wear the same shoe size!)