Friday, March 31, 2023
Thursday, March 30, 2023
Monday, March 27, 2023
Eating "what we got"
Today, tired of food complaining and pickiness, John and I decided that for one week, we would buy NO food and the kids would have to make their own meals and "make due" with what we have.
Today is day 1. We have no milk. We are out of bread. No fresh fruit. But tons of items from around our farm and in our freezers. They can figure out whatever they like.
May the force be with them.
Sunday, March 26, 2023
Growing up as sisters/friends
Saturday, March 25, 2023
Seven Islands State Birding Park & My Aunt Sue
Friday, March 24, 2023
When we knew he was becoming "Sidge"
I stumbled upon this video of Sidge being John's "Shoe Chef." This video demonstrated how Elijah started requesting that we call him "Sidge." He would simply tell us that was his name. That's what he wanted to be called. In this video, he does just that!
Thursday, March 23, 2023
Happy Birthday to AD
Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Smiles and Babies
Hannah came into snuggle with me this morning. She was feeling much better than she was before she went to bed the night before so I said, "Man, last night you were crying soooo much."
Hannah replied: "I am about to cry again right now with how bad your breath is."
Speaking of Hannah, she and I went over to my friend Cara's house for a quick "visit" the other day while Abigail was at ballet and the boys were at karate.
Cara has four children under 7 years old. The oldest is in first grade and this little cutie above is the youngest (six months). Man, can I remember how hard those years are. Cara and I started trying to visit but quite honestly, it was dinner hour, and she needed help. So Hannah and I just spent some time doing laundry and helping her clean up.
We really need community in our life. We need people. I have learned that I have to accept help from people as readily as I give it. I need help too. We all do. Cara needed another set of hands for a few minutes. Four little kids. Geezie, who does that.
Crazy people that's who!
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
What is the PURPOSE of life?
I've been really contemplating the existence of the universe over here on the hills of the Bauernhof.
Don't misinterpret. There is no part of me that will ever contemplate my faith.
Learn? Grow? Think?
Moreso now than ever before.
I never used to really give the details of my life and existence much thought. I think that was due to 4 main reasons:
- John did the thinking for me.
- I didn't have children.
- I wasn't old enough to care.
- I hadn't faced any really big losses.
I've lost people in my life. But they've mostly been people I expected to lose. I've had "second tier" losses, but I haven't loss that right-up-close-to-me-person-that-wasn't-supposed-to-die.
I still really, haven't. But I tell you what. My Uncle's death ... my cousin-in-law's death ... my grandmother going into a home for the end of her life. All of that sort of happening in one fell swoop. It will make you think.
I'm in my 40's! That seems impossible. Closer to 50 than 40? WHAT?! My children are aging. My boys will be in high school. Life is just flying by. They will soon have families of their own and not need me much at all.
How is it that my dear Scrubs has been gone nearly 7 years and our "replacement" dogs are nearing 7 themselves? How can time just fly by while we are standing there watching?
How do I embrace every minute and yet take breaks that I need? How do I make sure I have all the memories but not worry about capturing every moment? How do I enjoy where I am at when I know there will be a new obstacle waiting right around the corner for me that I need to prepare for?
In the next ten years, I will most likely say good bye to some amazing people in my life who have simply reached the end of their lifespan. That feels HARD. I don't WANT to do this. Every one tells you that you will have to, but it truly seems so far away.
Until it's right up in front of you, hitting you smack in the face.
My Dad and his five siblings have always been incredibly close. They are "the Huismans." How can one of them die? How can it be that my Grama has been gone for over a decade? The matriarch of this clan? A decade? It truly feels like yesterday. What happens in one more generation? Is she never remembered? How do I make sure things are remembered? How do I not put value on my things even though I want to have the memories around me.
Mannnn, I am sorry. This is sort of a downer.
And yet it isn't.
WHAT in the WORLD do people do WITHOUT Jesus!? How do they live without him? How do they see purpose? How do they NOT simply want to quit?
This life is but a vapor. I am aging. My body is no longer able to shoot the lay-ups that paid for it to go to college. My kids have no idea that I used to be able to hit a volleyball pretty hard. They haven't seen me go out on my first date with their dad. I'm just an "old Mom" to them.
But I'm a Mom who is determined to raise these human souls for Jesus. Truly that is my whole focus. Every single day. Every thing we do. I want them to love Jesus. It truly all circles around this. If what we are doing isn't for the glory and edification of their lives and God's kingdom: what is the point?
Of course, not every single thing we do can be about Jesus. But it can be done with Jesus in mind. With our souls in mind. Every tree we plant is to make this land healthier for the generation. It is to plant shade trees for the next generation to sit under.
Jesus may come back. But if he doesn't come back any time soon, there will be some beautiful trees on our farm to sit under.
To nurture their souls. And their bodies.
Man, I need to not be so deep. I need to go back into my "willy welaxed wendi" body.
Where is that?
I suppose she grew up.
Monday, March 20, 2023
My co-op get-up
Saturday, March 18, 2023
We Bought a Farm: The story of the rat
Friday, March 17, 2023
Me as the ESFJ
For Consuls, life is sweetest when it’s shared with others. People with this personality type form the bedrock of many communities, opening their homes – and their hearts – to friends, loved ones, and neighbors.
This doesn’t mean that Consuls like everyone, or that they’re saints. But Consuls do believe in the power of hospitality and good manners, and they tend to feel a sense of duty to those around them. Generous and reliable, people with this personality type often take it upon themselves – in ways both large and small – to hold their families and their communities together.
The Beauty of a Responsible Life
Consuls are altruists. They take seriously their responsibilities to give back, serve others, and do the right thing.
And Consuls believe that there is a clear right thing to do in nearly every situation. While some personality types adopt a more lenient, live-and-let-live attitude, Consuls may find it difficult not to judge when someone takes a path that strikes them as misguided. As a result, Consuls often struggle to accept it when someone – particularly someone they care about – disagrees with them.
With their definite views on right and wrong, Consuls tend to be on the opinionated side. But these opinions aren’t arbitrary – they’re often based on a deep respect for tradition. Consuls know that everything they do affects someone else, and they trust that established laws, protocols, and social norms will help them navigate their everyday lives in a way that is considerate and responsible toward others.
Building Relationships That Last
Supportive and outgoing, Consuls can always be spotted at a party – they’re the ones fluttering around making sure that everyone else is having a good time! But make no mistake: Consuls don’t just breeze through other people’s lives. Loyal to the core, they build lasting relationships, and they can be counted on to show up whenever a helping hand – or a listening ear – is needed.
With their love of order and structure, Consuls prefer planned events to open-ended activities or spontaneous get-togethers – and they’re happy to host in order to ensure that everything goes smoothly. People with this personality type put a great deal of energy into making other people feel special and celebrated, and they may take it personally when someone doesn’t seem to appreciate their efforts.
For many people with the Consul personality type, one of life’s greatest challenges is accepting that they can’t control anyone else’s thoughts or behavior – not even those who are nearest and dearest to them. Fortunately, Consuls can find peace and fulfillment by focusing on what they do best: setting an example of care, consideration, and responsibility – and bringing people together in the process.
- Strong Practical Skills – Consuls are excellent managers of day-to-day tasks and routine maintenance, enjoying making sure that those who are close to them are well cared for.
- Strong Sense of Duty – People with the Consul personality type have a strong sense of responsibility and strive to meet their obligations, though this may sometimes be more from a sense of social expectations than intrinsic drive.
- Very Loyal – Valuing stability and security very highly, Consuls are eager to preserve the status quo, which makes them extremely loyal and trustworthy partners and employees. Consuls are true pillars of any groups they belong to – whether it is their family or a community club, people with this personality type can always be relied upon.
- Sensitive and Warm – Helping to ensure that stability, Consul personalities seek harmony and care deeply about other people’s feelings, being careful not to offend or hurt anybody. Consuls are strong team players, and win-win situations are the stuff smiles are made of.
- Good at Connecting with Others – These qualities come together to make Consuls social, comfortable and well-liked. Consul personalities have a strong need to “belong”, and have no problem with small talk or following social cues in order to help them take an active role in their communities.
- Worried about Their Social Status – These Strengths are related to a chief Weakness: Consuls’ preoccupation with social status and influence, which affects many decisions they make, potentially limiting their creativity and open-mindedness.
- Inflexible – Consuls place a lot of importance on what is socially acceptable, and can be very cautious, even critical of anything unconventional or outside the mainstream. People with this personality type may also sometimes push their own beliefs too hard in an effort to establish them as mainstream.
- Reluctant to Innovate or Improvise – Just as they can be critical of others’ “unusual” behavior, Consuls may also be unwilling to step out of their own comfort zones, usually for fear of being (or just appearing) different.
- Vulnerable to Criticism – It can be especially challenging to change these tendencies because Consuls are so conflict-averse. Consul personalities can become very defensive and hurt if someone, especially a person close to them, criticizes their habits, beliefs or traditions.
- Often Too Needy – Consuls need to hear and see a great deal of appreciation. If their efforts go unnoticed, people with the Consul personality type may start fishing for compliments, in an attempt to get reassurance of how much they are valued.
- Too Selfless – The other side of this is that Consuls sometimes try to establish their value with doting attention, something that can quickly overwhelm those who don’t need it, making it ultimately unwelcome. Furthermore, Consuls often neglect their own needs in the process.
Prizing social validation and a sense of belonging so highly, romantic relationships hold a special level of importance for Consuls. No other kind of relationship provides people with the Consul personality type with the same level of support and devotion, and the feelings of security and stability that come with strong romantic relationships are extremely warming.
With such a goal in mind, Consul personalities take each stage, from dating to everything thereafter, very seriously. Everything about Consuls’ relationships is based on satisfying mutual needs, from creating understanding early on to building mutual respect and support for each other’s opinions and goals. Knowing that they are loved and appreciated has a huge effect on Consuls’ mood and self-esteem.
A Tender Heart
If they feel like this support isn’t there, such as when their partners deliver criticism, Consuls can feel extremely hurt. People with the Consul personality type dislike conflict and criticism, which can make it challenging to address any problems that come up. Nothing is more hurtful or depressing to Consuls than to realize that their partners don’t respect their dreams or opinions. Consuls can be surprisingly tough and tireless in the face of hardship, but they need to know without a doubt that their partners are behind them 100%.
Unfortunately, less mature Consuls may lack the inner strength and wisdom to attract this in healthy ways. They can be very needy, compromising their own principles and values in exchange for their partners’ approval. This is a terrible trap – not only is it unattractive, it can too easily lead to emotionally abusive relationships, which reduce Consuls’ self-esteem further. Another snare is their fixation on social status and approval – it’s not uncommon for Consuls’ social circles and relatives to play a bigger part in their choice of dating partners than even their own values.
Consuls are warm, loyal people who want to feel trusted and valued. They are great with practical matters like money management and administrative tasks, and are happy to take on such responsibilities in the name of taking care of the people they care about, a wonderful quality. Consuls just need to make sure they take the time to ensure that they build relationships that allow them to satisfy their own needs and dreams, with partners who appreciate their care and generosity fully, and who reciprocate as well.
Consuls are often very organized in how their relationships develop, following established dating rules and traditions (don’t call first, third date, etc.). As their relationships enter more sexual stages, Consuls’ emphasis on process and tradition continue with established gender roles and socially acceptable activities.
However, since Consuls are so centered on the physical world and are quite emotional, they tend to be very affectionate and sensual, and overall great sexual partners. People with this personality type love to find ways to make their partners happy, and this sort of intimacy is a great way to do so. As the two partners become more comfortable with each other, Consuls are often open to experimenting and trying new things, so long as their partners are willing to reciprocate.
Consuls have specific needs for their relationships, and certain personality types are best able to meet those needs. In general, partners should share Consuls’ Observant (S) trait, but it can also be useful to develop a sense of introspection that Introverted (I) partners can provide, with maybe one more opposing trait to help Consuls focus on logical decisions when appropriate, or to be more open-minded in new situations.
Consuls are a very social personality type, seeking large circles of friends and proving themselves more than willing to spend the time and energy necessary to maintain these relationships. Loyal and warm, Consuls are known for standing by their friends no matter what, and providing a constant source of emotional support and encouragement.
Doing everything they can to make sure their friends are happy, and being so comfortable with introductions and small talk, Consuls are naturally very popular in pretty much any environment. This is a dynamic that Consuls genuinely enjoy, but they also expect their efforts and support to be reciprocated. There’s nothing quite as hurtful to people with the Consul personality type as finding out that a trusted friend is critical of their beliefs or habits, except maybe being told so in a direct confrontation.
Consuls have a tendency to believe that their friends can do no wrong, always stepping up to defend them regardless of circumstances, and they expect the same benefit of the doubt in return. Consuls can greatly expand their circle of friends if they learn to be more receptive to other perspectives, rather than making snap judgments and conclusions. It’s important for Consuls, as with anyone, to avoid being insulated from other viewpoints and opinions, to relate to and understand ever more people.
We’re All in This Together
On the other hand, Consuls are great at using their sensitivity to stay in tune with what motivates and drives their friends. While in their weaker moments, Consul personalities can sometimes use these observations to manipulate others, they are far more interested in maintaining strong relationships, and this is a great tool for doing so. Altruists that they are, Consuls almost always use their powers for good, encouraging and inspiring others.
By and large, the Consul personality type is a pleasant and sincere one. Their energy and social intelligence win them many acquaintances and friends, and their support and dedication keep those friendships close and strong. With so much zest for life and company, dull moments are sure to be few and far between.
As parents, Consuls have an excellent opportunity to display their warmth, affection and dedication in ways that have a real and positive impact. Sensitive yet firm, Consul parents are able to establish rules and authority without being entirely overbearing, using their compassion and support to smooth over the occasional miscommunication or difference of opinion.
From the start, Consuls try to ensure that their children feel safe and happy. People with the Consul personality type enjoy the support they are able to give their infants, who are utterly dependent on their care. Family being as important as it is to Consuls, this is an incredibly rewarding start to the relationship.
Protective or Over-Protective?
As their children grow and begin to explore more, Consuls’ love and care grows with them, but often becomes overprotective. Consuls may not just keep their children safe physically, but also socially, by arranging play dates, camps and other activities so much that their children aren’t free to make the blunders that lead to emotional growth and social independence.
Consuls value harmony and stability highly, and it’s often the case that they try to use indirect pressure to try to teach life’s lessons. When they are forced into a confrontation by their children’s blatant wrong-doing though, Consul parents step in firmly, and expect their words to be respected. Believers in traditional roles, Consul parents view the parent-child relationship in black and white terms, with their authority as final.
The Gift of Independence
As their children grow into adolescence and begin to push away from their parents, Consuls can take this transition personally. Feeling like they are losing their children, Consul personalities sometimes try to prolong their dependence as long as possible. It’s important to remember that when grown children leave the home, it’s because their parents were successful in preparing them for the next phase of their lives, an accomplishment Consuls can be proud of.
Consuls’ children will always appreciate the sensitivity and warmth that they were raised with, and as time goes on and they have their own children, they will cherish the fact that those children have the benefit of grandparents who love and care for them unconditionally.
Because Consuls’ traits are so strongly expressed, leading with practical sense and social vigor, the careers they find most satisfying usually revolve around making the best use of these qualities. Consuls are well-organized, enjoying bringing order and structure to their workplaces, and often work best in environments with clear, predictable hierarchies and tasks. Monotony and routine work are not a challenge for the Consul personality type, as they are happy to do what needs to be done.
Careers as administrators are a natural fit, allowing Consuls to organize not just an environment, but the people in it. Their practical skills combine well with their dependability, making Consul personalities surprisingly good accountants – though they often prefer to be personal accountants, helping people and interacting with them directly, instead of corporate accountants crunching numbers in some back room.
Purely analytical careers are often too dull for Consuls though – they need human interaction and emotional feedback to be truly satisfied in their line of work. Good listeners and enthusiastic team members, people with the Consul personality type are excellent providers of medical care and social work. Teaching is another great option, as Consuls are comfortable with authority, but are supportive and friendly enough to keep that authority from feeling overbearing.
Being as altruistic as they are, Consuls find it hard to be satisfied unless they know they’ve done something valuable for another person. This is often the driving force behind Consuls’ careers and career advancement, and makes religious work and counseling particularly rewarding.
Whatever they choose to do, Consul personalities’ comfort with busy social situations and practical knowledge and skills come together to create people who are not just able to be productive and helpful, but people who genuinely enjoy it.
When it comes to the workplace, Consuls have clear tendencies that show through regardless of their position. People with the Consul personality type thrive on social order and harmony, and use their warmth and social intelligence to make sure that each person knows their responsibilities and is able to get done what needs to get done. Consuls are comfortable, even dependent on clear hierarchies and roles, and whether subordinates, colleagues or managers, Consul personalities expect authority to be respected and backed up by rules and standards.
With clearly defined responsibilities and a sense of purpose, Consuls are patient, efficient, hard-working people who respect the authority of their managers. While Consuls may struggle with too much freedom and improvisation, they thrive in workplaces with structure, safety and guidelines. Routine tasks are not a problem for Consuls, and their dedication and loyalty earn them the respect of their managers.
Teamwork is a concept that Consuls have no trouble putting into practice. Often seeking friends at work, people with this personality type are almost always willing to lend a hand when and where it’s needed. Excellent networkers, Consuls always seem to “know just the guy” to bring a project together on time. On the other hand, Consuls often need to work on a team – being stuck alone chipping away at paperwork for days on end just leaves them tired and unfulfilled.
Consuls take pride in these qualities, which has the side effect of making them particularly sensitive when they come under criticism. When their suggestions and help are turned down, Consul personalities can take it personally. Already somewhat vulnerable to stress, rejections like these can be pretty demoralizing, and Consuls may need their coworkers to make an effort to express their appreciation from time to time.
Consuls enjoy the responsibility that comes with organizing social situations, and the enjoyment they feel in managing other people translates well into management positions. As team leaders, Consuls find ways to make everyone feel involved, uniting people and smoothing relations in order to get things done.
At the same time, Consuls have a strong respect for traditional power structures, and if after all their efforts convincing their subordinates to work together someone ends up challenging their authority, they can stress out, lose their temper, and just generally react badly. People with the Consul personality type are sensitive about their status and dislike conflict, and prefer situations where everyone knows their role. So long as expectations are clearly outlined, Consuls are effective and enjoyable managers.
Few personality types are as practical and caring as Consuls. Known for their social and administrative skills, Consuls are good at creating and maintaining a secure, stable and friendly environment for themselves and their loved ones. Consuls’ dedication is invaluable in many areas, including their own personal growth.
Yet Consuls can be easily tripped up in areas where their kindness and practical approach are more of a liability than an asset. Whether it is finding (or keeping) a partner, learning to relax or improvise, reaching dazzling heights on the career ladder, or managing their workload, Consuls need to put in a conscious effort to develop their weaker traits and additional skills.
What you have read so far is just an introduction into the complex concept that is the Consul personality type. You may have muttered to yourself, “wow, this is so accurate it’s a little creepy” or “finally, someone understands me!” You may have even asked “how do they know more about me than the people I’m closest to?”
This is not a trick. You felt understood because you were. We’ve studied how Consuls think and what they need to reach their full potential. And no, we did not spy on you – many of the challenges you’ve faced and will face in the future have been overcome by other Consuls. You simply need to learn how they succeeded.
But in order to do that, you need to have a plan, a personal roadmap. The best car in the world will not take you to the right place if you do not know where you want to go. We have told you how Consuls tend to behave in certain circumstances and what their key strengths and weaknesses are. Now we need to go much deeper into your personality type and answer “why?”, “how?” and “what if?”
This knowledge is only the beginning of a lifelong journey. Are you ready to learn why Consuls act in the way they do? What motivates and inspires you? What you are afraid of and what you secretly dream about? How you can unlock your true, exceptional potential?