Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pity Party: Table for one

I think we are all friends here
so let me be honest when I say
this week stinks and I am exhausted
It's only Wednesday.

I ran from here to there and everywhere.
I picked up and delivered a shelf from the salon to the farm.
I then drove back to the salon to pick up and deliver all the toy drive toys to the fairgrounds.
I did my general Monday banking and all the errands for the week.
I had planned on wrapping all the kids Christmas gift, but that didn't happen.
My house looked like a level 5 hurricane hit.
Dishes covered the counter-
Laundry was piled high
I picked up Mad from school because she had a dance performance at Clatsop Care.
While she got ready I made dinner, and washed dishes, so that the boys could eat while we were gone
more dishes
raced home so Mad could eat dinner and change for her CHRISTMAS program.
Came home and fell asleep on the sofa

A full day of work
Grocery shopping, washing and slicing veggies for Lewis and Clark's Teacher 
Dairy Queen for dinner
Showers for the kids
House is still at level 5 hurricane
Dishes again cover the counter
Laundry, yep it is still piled high
I fell asleep on the sofa before The Farmer was home from feeding cows.

Get things rolling earlier than normal so that I can go set up teacher lunch
I really do LOVE LOVE LOVE our kids' teachers and all the staff at our schools.
They do a great job!
Work is CRAZY
The phone is ringing off the hook!
For that I am thankful
I mess up my schedule and realize I am not going to make it to get the kids from school like I had planned.
The Farmer came to my rescue and went to get them.
Be the end of work I was crabby and on the verge of TOTAL MELTDOWN
I dislike when things don't go according to plan and I was out of niceness
Guitar practice-which was nice to just sit
House still at level 5 hurricane
Dishes again cover the counter
We use a lot of bowls and cups I've noticed
Laundry, well it is a loss cause
We ate frozen pizza for dinner
I don't even care that it tastes like the box I took it out of.
I will be asleep soon and it will probably be on the sofa.

Thank God my mom will be here
She is a God send and gets all my laundry caught up
She can get more laundry washed, dried, folded and socks matched in 3 hours than I can in 3 weeks.
She also washes dishes, cleans my bathroom
and sometimes she makes us dinner.
I love Thursdays and her.

Work, work, work
Christmas party at my favorite eatery

The first of 5 Christmas celebrations
Another celebration Monday
2 on Tuesday plus Christmas Eve church-which is my fav fav fav
last on Wednesday when we head north to Bow Wa to see our Inman family
This is our VERY FAVORITE place to go.
I can't wait to squeeze Gram. She will be turning 94 early next year.
We cherish the days we get to spend with her.

I'm tired and crabby
I still have all our presents to wrap.
Really, what's the point of wrapping the kids already know 90% of their gifts.
I am out of soy milk and the rest of the family will be out tomorrow.
There is no time for a trip to the grocery store so I will be picking up milk at Landwehrs.
So much to do and so little time
I'll get it done.
or maybe not.

Blessed is me..

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Magic Christmas Jammies

Have you ever been so excited to start your own Christmas traditions that you didn't have the forethought that you might not be able to keep it up? 
I have!

I was SO super excited for Jameson's first Christmas that I started
"Christmas jammies"
When he would fall asleep on Christmas Eve I would change his jammies so that when he woke up he had brand new ones on.
I did it even on his first Christmas even though he was only 6 months old.
I continued this when Madalyn was born.

I'll never forget when he was three and he walked out of his room and said
"we have NEW jammies on! Santa changed our jammies."
He was so excited.
He and Madalyn would talk about it the night before Christmas.
They wondered what their new jammies would look like.
Jameson has a memory like a steel trap and still knows all the jammies he got.

I didn't think ahead that my tiny little kids would someday weigh over 60 lbs and trying to change their jammies while they were sleeping would turn into a chore of epic proportions.
Luckily they are both pretty heavy sleepers, but a few years ago I realized that there was no way I could continue this.

Madalyn was almost 5 and Jameson was 6.
They shared a room and slept in bunkbeds.
I knew it would be near impossible for me to change Jameson's jammies on the top bunk so I convinced them to both sleep in Madalyn's bottom bunk.
I tried to get them to sleep in old jammies that would be easy to take off and I bought new jammies that I thought would be easy to put on.

I had a great plan and it went like this:
The kids had been asleep for awhile so I knew they wouldn't wake up.
I slipped Jameson's jammie bottoms off and then Madalyn's
I thought that if I switched back and forth there would be less chance of them waking up.
I move back to Jameson and put on his new jammie pants.
I have to lift up his lower half to get them up over his bum.
Crap, he is heavy.
I get them on and move to Madalyn.
She doesn't sleep as hard so I have to be extra careful.
She is much easier than Jameson because she doesn't weigh as much.
I move onto the shirts.
I lift Jameson's upper body into the sitting position and his head flops forward eyes wide open.
ABORT ABORT goes through my head.
I lay him back down.
I'm sweating and my heart is pounding.
I move back to Madalyn
Lift her up slip off her shirt and then just slip her new jammies on.
Whew, she is done and snuggled back down in her pillow.
I now have to tackle the sleeping 65lb shirtless giant.
I lift him up and the giggles start.
What in the heck have I started???
I realize then there is no way I can continue this because the kid aren't getting any smaller
His head and arms flop back.
While I hold his back with one arm I try and get the shirt over his head.
All while trying not to laugh and sweating.
I get the shirt over his head and now I have to get his jello arms into the sleeves.
I am sure that all of this took about 5 minutes, but I felt like it was taking hours!
I finally get his shirt on and lay him down, but I couldn't get it pulled down so it is bunched up under his armpits.
It is going to have to just stay there.

I go to the living room and flop myself on the sofa and tell The Farmer
"I can't do that next year they are too big"

So, now I just fold their jammies and put them on the end of their bed and they change themselves before they come out of their rooms.
It only sparked one question
"I wonder why Santa didn't change my jammies"
To which I replied "you are probably just getting too big"
That was the end of the questions.
Thank goodness!

Blessed is me...

Monday, December 9, 2013

When a snow day goes south.

Today we had a snow day.
I thought since we had already spent a few days in the house because of below freezing temps we would head to the pool and burn off some energy.
I loaded up our kids and my nephew and off we went.
The kids swam in a nearly empty pool for two hours and then we stopped by the Pig for some lunch.

When we got home the kids played more outside even though it was super cold.
Sledding down the hill on cardboard, building snowmen and loving all the fun of a no school day.
They came in to get warmed up by the fire and decided to play the board game "Sorry"
This was the second time today that they played it.
The first time ended in an argument over who was getting all the sorry cards played on them.
I also added a lecture in there about not having a fit when games don't go your way.

I told the kids before round 2 started
"I will not listen to any fighting. Not even one. Either play nicely or don't play"
Well, that lasted less than 15 minutes.
I am in the living room adding wood to the fire when I hear Madalyn walking in; crying
I ask what is wrong and she tells me that Jameson bit her on the knee!
The knee? Biting?
My nephew is standing in the dining room probably not sure if he should venture in.
I ask him to come and tell me what happened and he says
"they both just started fighting cause Jameson said Madalyn was cheating"

I march myself to the laundry room and ask both kids to join me.
I ask Jameson what happened and told Madalyn not to talk.
Jameson tells me "Madalyn was cheating. She drew a card and didn't like it so she drew another one and it was a Sorry so I got mad and hit her then she pinched me and I bit her and when I bit her she pulled my hair!"
I glance over at Madalyn and she is clenching her fists and looks pissed.
I tell her she needs to get it together and she bursts
I ask her what happened and told Jameson not to talk
Madalyn tells me almost the same story without the cheating part or the double drawing of the cards.
I am doing my best NOT to flip my lid and tell them that I am disappointed that they would treat each other like that.
I send them into the room to clean up the game together and when they come back I instruct them to sit in the dining room chairs and hold hands.
I've used the hand holding in the past and it had worked pretty well; especially if they thought someone might see them holding hands.

I had been vacuuming before all of this went down so I continued to vacuum and when I look up the kids are holding each others hands; very tightly.
You might call it squeezing.
I turn the vacuum off and ask what is going on and Madalyn tells me Jameson is squeezing her hand so hard that she had to squeeze his back!
I tell them that the longer that they act like jerks (yes, I called my kids jerks to their face) the longer they would sit there holding hands.
I finish vacuuming and walk into the kitchen to see Jameson crying
I ask what happened and he informs me that Madalyn had

This is when they lost their iPods.
For good. Forever. Not getting them back. Not ever.

I decide this isn't working and send them outside to feed their rabbits and inform them that when they get back inside they will be spending the rest of the day in their rooms.
They cleaned their rooms to my specifications only coming out for showers and dinner.
I also made Jameson practice guitar for twice the normal time and Madalyn didn't get to go to dance.
Madalyn not getting to go to dance was her harshest punishment as far as she is concerned. She wailed and threw herself onto her bedroom floor when I told her she wouldn't be going.
Have to get them where it hurts the most.
Had it not been so cold outside they would have been stacking wood, but it is too cold for that today.
They were welcome to read, play whatever, but that is it.

The rest of the night has been smooth sailing, but holy moly the afternoon went downhill real fast.
When I shared with my SIL and The Farmer about the afternoon they both smirked.
I am sure that I will think it is funny too; another day.
Actually, had it happened to anyone else I would have thought it was funny at the time too.
I sure hope there is school tomorrow because these kids need some time apart.

Blessed is me...

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I wear underwear!

Yesterday when I got dressed I slipped on my black Zella Live In leggings, a long thick black tank and a brown boyfriend cut sweatshirt.
Add some super cute boot socks and some brown boots and you have a recipe for a cute outfit!
Oh, I also put on underwear!

I guess this is a topic of conversation between women.
Underwear with leggings?!
Yes, underwear.
I wear underwear with leggings, and pants, and skirts, and jammies.
I know not everyone thinks that you should wear underwear, but I do it anyways.
I'm reckless like that.
I also don't wear string, thong or any other underwear that only has a sliver of fabric and here is why.
They make me feel big, fat and uncomfortable.

There isn't enough fabric on the sides to not dig into my squishy body causing a dent that no legging will hide.
In fact on some there isn't even fabric there is just an elastic type band.
Unless you have a rock hard body or 0% body fat those damn things are going to dig in.
I stand most of the day at work and those stupid things ruin my day.
When my day gets ruined I get crabby and when I get crabby
you wont want to be around me.
No, seriously you don't.

So, I wear  bikini underwear.
You know the type.
Old ladies wear them.
I guess that makes me an old lady.
I don't care because I am comfortable.

What about panty lines?
Who cares!
I could care less if you know I have underwear on.
I wonder if people whisper "oh my word Kallie has undewear on" 
Get over it!
If you don't want to see my panty lines.
Don't look at my behind!
I also always wear a LONG tank when I wear legging and it covers most of my behind.

Besides, whoever thought that the smallest least amount of fabric was a great idea for underwear should be poked in the eye with a hot stick.
If it didn't impede my breathing I would wear a full body spanx everyday to smooth out all my lumps, bumps and squishiness.
Then I wouldn't have to worry about dents from underwear, muffin tops or any of that other stuff that makes women feel bad about how they look.
Breathing is important so I have to forgo the spanx especially if I want to sit down at any point during the day.

 I also don't think The Farmer cares what kind of underwear I have on and he is the only that sees my underwear anyways.
That is unless my kids are in my room when I get dressed.
They also don't seem to care.

This brings up a side point. When I was finishing up Christmas shopping for the kids I was getting them new underwear.
Madalyn is 7 and she wears size 8 clothes.
The styles available in addition of briefs for her size of underwear are:
Bikini, hipster and low rise.
I for one and not ready to even discuss why I would have on barely there undies and she doesn't get to.
She will be wearing briefs well into her 40's.
Oh, and ankle length skirts, high neck shirts and long sleeves.

So there you have it you now know I wear underwear with leggings and my bra can double as a tow strap.
That Farmer is a lucky guy!

Blessed is me...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

She will always be my peanut butter

Today is December 1 which means soon she will slide into my cash box her last lease payment.
It is a day that is filled with sadness, happiness, joy and excitement.
In less than a month she will box up her things.
Shut the lights off.
Close the door and lock it one last time.
She is off on her own.

I have had people leave the salon for their own adventures before and I probably will again.
However, this one is different.
She and I have shared a lot of things.
She has been with me since almost the start.
We became like sisters.
She was my best.
We have shared in highs and lows.
Life and death.
I was privileged to share in the big and small of life.

I was there the day she found out she was pregnant.
At 1310 Duane
It was surreal.
A momma, she was gonna be a momma of twins!
A great one I might add.
I got to hold those precious lives in my arms while they were at their most delicate.
The NICU will punch your right in the gut. 
Little lives so precious some hanging on by a thread.
She tended to those boys like she had done it hundreds of times.
A natural born mother.

She shared Grams love with me.
For the longest time I didn't even know what Grams name was because everyone called her
Her name is Mary.
What a special lady so full of life and love.
I loved hearing stories about how Gram would attend every sporting event supporting her littlest girl.
 She called me when Gram got sick and I held her in her room while she cried.
Life changes in a fleeting moment.
When Gram went to be with Jesus a party was held in her honor.
As my 7 year old put it
"no one is sad at Grams party because we know shes with Jesus"
It was a beautiful day with filled with stories, laughter, tears, messages sent on a balloon string and a sunshine yellow dress.

We have been on many adventures into the big city.
We call them adventures cause we can get lost even with GPS.
It always includes:
Saving the world
Road trip snacks, candy for me and Gardetto's  or Chex Mix for her
laughing; LOTS of laughing.

2 of our most memorable hotel stays are the Shiloh and the Benson
The Shiloh was terrifying in the way of the super loud head banging music all night, kids running up and down the hall and a blood stained pillow-we called for a new one.
We laugh now, but then we woke up exhausted.
The Benson was a real treat until we got into our room.
Our first room shared a wall with the elevator.
It was real loud and the lightbulbs in the lamp were burned out!
When we called and asked to be moved they gladly obliged.
They moved us to a room on the tippy top floor all the way to the end of the hall.
There was a mirror at the end of the hall.
It was like the Exorcist!
I guess that is what you get when you score the Benson for $55.00!
Note: they will know you are small town girls when you have chase the valet because you forgot to tip him.

We have spent mornings texting only to spend the whole day working together and end the day with more texting.
I am sure our husbands thought we needed an intervention, but there is important stuff to talk about.

We have shared in Friendsgiving, early morning family breakfast and Christmas tree hunting.
We have commiserated about how we just want to stay home on holidays instead of going here there and everywhere.
The holiday season can be a busy one!

We have camped and fed each others kids sticky messy delicious
Played chubby bunny around the camp fire
and enjoyed yummy mimosas for breakfast.

When we had the big "November Storm" which would have been called a hurricane in others areas.
We blew across the street leaving work together laughing and making sure each other didn't blow away.

When we moved the salon from Duane to Commercial she spent countless hours painting over the black and white decor.
She bundled up her babies and brought their pack and play so they could hang out while she worked.
It was a big job!
She was a life saver in getting that place move in ready!

When we had the tsunami warning a few years back I woke up to approximately 
2000 texts and calls from her asking if we were awake.
We weren't.
That is until our neighbor banged on our door at 2am waking our entire house so we could watch the news.
More texting.
When the coast was clear we moved into our disaster preparedness.
What we needed to have on hand and how quick we could get to high ground.
How we would get to our kids if they weren't with us.
General information that made us feel ready for anything.
I have turned to her in times of need, stress, celebration and business decisions.
I have bounced ideas, parenting questions and
I have complained about Jer to her.
She in turn has done the same.
Sometimes we share a brain and finish each other sentences.

Things are changing as they always do.
I don't always love change, but I know this is right.
She is going to do great.
Jer told me "it is to be expected that a great hairdresser will eventually open her own salon"

While our friendship is evolving and becoming different as life always does
I hope she knows that
I have treasured every single moment

She will always be the
Busch Light to my Nascar
Year round Christmas lights to my trailer
Beaver fan to my Duck fan
Cheese to my macaroni
Jelly to my peanut butter.

Blessed is me...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Madalyns second favorite day ever.

Last year Madalyn didn't participate in any dance classes; much to her dismay.
During her basketball season, which was dreadful, she made it very clear that she NEVER wanted to play basketball again!
On a drive home from practice one night she looked over at me from her spot in the front seat (stop judging you judgy judgerton) and said
"I don't want to play basketball. I want to dance [as she clutched her hands over her heart] it is in me!"
Ya, ya I know.

This year she is in dance at Encore Studio with the beloved Miss Tia as her teacher.
She is participating in jazz and tap and she loves it.
She always has her dance bag packed and when we are getting ready to head to class she fills up a water bottle and grabs a snack for afterwards.

Encore is always participating in fun adventures from pregame dancing to dancing in the Disneyland Christmas parade.
Well, Friday night Mad had the privilege of dancing at a Blazer basketball game.
Honestly, I was dreading it.
We had to buy a new outfit including new boots, tickets to the game that we wouldn't stay to watch, leave early from work, take the kids out of school early and add two dress rehearsals to our already busy two weeks.
I would do it all again.

When I picked her up early from school she ran to the car.
When we got home she ran inside, grabbed her dance bag and ran to the truck.
She talked the ENTIRE way to Portland and kept asking "are we almost there?" "are we going to be late?"
These questions started before Knappa
When we parked in the parking garage I climbed in the backseat to fix her hair and put her makeup on.
She was so so excited.
I was a little nervous, ok a lot nervous.

As we walked over to the Rose Garden she was calm, cool and collected.
Not a hint of nerves and I think she would have ran to the box office if we would have let her.
We dropped her with her group with a little pep talk told her we loved her and off she went.

She did great and I am so proud of her.
She danced her little heart out.
(Mad is in the center)

When she was finished she ran off the floor with a big smile.
We picked her up at our designated meeting area and as she clutched The Farmers hand and we headed to the truck I thought
"we are in this for the long haul so I better get used to it"
She beamed with pride and she said she had
"so much fun."
After dinner at Red Robin she promptly fell asleep in the truck after what was her
"favorite day next to zip lining"

Blessed is me...

Monday, November 18, 2013

Help us name our farm!

The Farmer and I are having a heck of time coming up with a farm name of our own.
Our farm has always been known as The Kraft Dairy.
While that wasn't the official name of the dairy it is what everyone knows it as.
Oh, the dairy started out as The Kraft Dairy,

but after a cease and desist letter from the Kraft Corp they had to changed the name to
Johnny and Jeans Dairy.

As most of you know we feel very fortunate to live here and we love our home.
We also love the potential of it. 
This place used to be a busy dairy.
Our barn still houses the milking stalls, sinks, tank and bottler.
When we bought the farm Johnnys notes were on the chalkboard in the milk house.
Those have since been scratched over by little hands.

While we aren't sure that we want to milk cows we do know that we want to farm our land and everyone knows you need a farm name for that.
Some think we should go with the obvious "Linder Farms"
Well, that is already taken by a farm in Idaho and when you Google the name a whole slew of things come up because apparently they have a pretty amazing corn maze and all sorts of other attractions.
It looks to be a pretty fun place to go!
We need something different I think, but we haven't found one we love.

So let's have a contest!
 You share your farm name suggestions and if we pick your name we will give you a dozen eggs from our happy little hens and a fresh chicken butchered by yours truly!
Well, The Farmer will be doing the chopping off of the head and I will do the rest.

Here is some info about us and the farm.
Jeremy is The Farmer.
Kallie is the Farmers Wife.
Jameson Rockefeller is The Farmers son.
Madalyn Faith is The Farmers daughter.
Our 4000 sq ft barn was built by a kit you could order from Sears or Montgomery Ward.
It was built in the early to mid 1900's.
The original farm house burned.
The current house was moved to the property from Fort Clatsop and was formerly a munitions bunker.
Johnny's birth name was Ragnavald and he immigrated from Norway.
Jean was raised in Clatsop County and her maiden name is Waterhouse. Her family were loggers.
They milked Jersey cows and had Draft horses
Jean loved the barn kitties and Johnny made moonshine.
My Great Grandparents leased pasture from Johnny and Jean before The Farmers parents did.
Everyone knows how we feel about Jesus! 
Love that guy.
Johnny died in 1994, the year I graduated high school.
Jean currently lives in Seaside.
They had no children.
So, what do you think?
What should we name our farm that we love so much?
I can't wait to hear your suggestions!

Blessed is me...

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I drink Starbucks coffee and own a small business

Yesterday I was heading home from a mini road trip with my AWESOME friend Natalie when we stopped at one of my favorite burger joints.
I enjoyed the deliciousness that is a pepper bacon cheeseburger.
While I was there I inquired where the nearest Starbucks was because I love a road trip coffee.
The young man behind the counter said
"There is a Dutch Bros (gross) that way and such and such (I can't remember the name) coffee shop that way. The such and such shop is locally owned and the DB is a franchise in case you want to shop local"
I replied:
"Dutch Bros are typically locally own franchises" I then leaned closer and said "and you work at a franchise"
He meekly replied "I know" and got back to work.

I am not a fan of the thinking that just because a business isn't perceived as "local" that we shouldn't support it.
Often I get flack when people see me with my giant cup of goodness from Starbucks.
People ask why I would drink coffee from a place as vile as a dirty corporation like Starbucks; especially since I own a small business.
So, here is why.
I like it.
That's it. 
I like Starbucks coffee.

To be honest I like all sorts of coffee and frequent many "local" places
Journeys End and Downtown Coffee (both owned by the same family) has by far the best iced white chocolate americano in Clatsop County and
14th Street Coffee has thick foamy perfectly made caramel lattes.
Coffee Addictions butter beer latte.
Ivy League (now closed) had a concoction called "the squatch"

Here is the bone I have with the shop local crap people try to guilt me with.
I work hard for my money and I get to spend it where I want to.
I also think people let the "shop local" mantra work when it fits for them. 
For instance where do you buy your groceries?
 Fred Meyer? Costco? Safeway?
Where do you buy your clothes?
Online? Maurices? Fred Meyer?
Where do you get your prescriptions?
Walgreens? Costco? Fred Meyer?
Those are NOT what some consider local businesses, but I bet all you "shop local" pushers shop there.

All of these businesses may be "big box" and  "corporations", but they also employ our LOCAL friends, family and the people who spend money in our community.
Yes, I own a small business, but I don't expect people to support me just because I am local.
I strive for great customer service, excellent cuts, colors etc, educated stylists and therapists.
I work my tail off to ensure the best we have to offer.
I support the businesses that support me and that I like.
That. Is. It.

There are also places I will not support and I don't care if they are local or not.
If your business name has a cuss word and I have to explain to my kids why. I will not come in.
If I order lunch from you and you hang the phone up on me because you're "busy". I will not come back in.
Being a "local" business doesn't give you a right to peoples business.
Running a top notch place with great customer service and quality products makes for a place people WANT to go to!

When you see me with my coffee of choice it's ok if you don't agree with where I bought it from because chances are you like something I don't agree with either and that is ok..

Blessed is me...

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Month of Thanks

All the leaves are turning colors and falling from the trees.
Pumpkins adorn our front porch 
Fall is here and it is my very favorite.
Sometimes we get lucky with a dry sunny day like we did today.
Fall also brings the Month of Thanks on Facebook.
I know not everyone likes it because 
"we should always be thankful"
 "you bitch 11 months out of the year so why is November any different"
Personally, I like it.
I find it refreshing and a nice change from peoples dirty laundry and pictures of their dinner plate.
I am a frequent FB poster.
 Some say too much.
Sunrise picture anyone???
I don't care.
I like it and some people tell me they do too.
We have family far away and FB is an easy way to stay connected.

I haven't partaken in the Month of Thanks this year like I have in years past, but I wanted to share some of what I am thankful for.
I am thankful year round, but I think November is when it is at the forefront of peoples thoughts.
I don't think there is anything wrong with that.
So, here it goes..

I am thankful for:

- The smile on The Farmers face when he rumbles up the driveway in his new to us farm truck.
It's old and "stinky" as Mad says, the window crank is missing on the passenger door, it has a fancy CB and he loves it. REALLY loves it and the kids do too.
When The Farmer has an ear to ear grin I can't help but share in his joy.

- Jameson's new found confidence over the last year.
 He is thriving in school, even volunteering to share about his weekend to the class and to answer math problems aloud. He is really branching out and taking guitar lessons and is even excited about them.
We are excited to see what his experience at fair does for him.

-Madalyn's passion for dance.
She loves it more than I want her to. She is dancing all the time especially since she has a Blazer performance coming up. I love that she wears the knee high nylons that we used to try her tap shoes on with to every dance class even though I bought her different socks. She could care less what other people think about her style.

-Friendships that never change regardless of how life gets busy, messy and stressful.
 I love knowing that there is a select few that will always be there just like they always have been. They love me and my family just how we are.

-Trials that make you realize who your real friends really are.
 Sometimes it is surprising who will stand by you in your darkest time.
 I'm beyond thankful that I now know who that is.

-Power in our barn.
 Lights and outlets which mean we will soon have  freezer big enough to hold more than a weeks worth of meat.

-A tough year in marriage.
 It proved to us we can make it through deep valleys and super dark days.

- A husband that can replace the brakes on my car and does so without complaint.
It saves us a ton of money.

-Free range chickens.
I am not sure why it makes me happy to have almost 30 chickens and 1 duck freely roaming our yard, but it does. I love that they nest in my flower beds and let Mad pick them up.
I love that 3 of them roosted on top our house because it got dark before they got put to bed.

-Wind and pounding rain.
especially when I get to be home snuggled in our little house with a fire blazing, hot cup of coffee, blanket and a good book.

-My dad who takes our kids golfing and clam digging.
It is something that they get to do with just him. I think these are the memories they are going to cherish the most.

-My mom who makes sure we are always stocked with home canned tuna.
Jameson would eat a pint a day if we let him. It is the best and she has it down to a science.

-A strong.. sometimes too strong work ethic.
My parents both worked very hard and instilled in me that if you want something you work for it.
There is no free lunch.

-A 4h leader for our kids who truly loves everything 4h stands for.
She works tirelessly for our kids doing projects and making sure they have what they need for fair.

-A sister in law who loves me like a sister.
Even though we got off to a rough start we are sisters who love and cherish each other.

-In loves (you might call them in-laws) who accept me fully as their daughter.
There aren't words to describe how this feels.

- The "boys"
When I met The Farmer he had (and still has) a group of friends who have been together since they were little. These boys, which includes one girl named Rachel, will be friends until they are old old and sitting in Landwehrs having coffee talking about the whippersnappers in their lifted trucks and stories about the "olden days"
I love these boys and their friendship. It seems effortless.

-Our Church family
by that I don't only mean the church we attend.
We have brothers and sisters far and wide who attend various churches.
I loved that we are connected by the One True King.

-Our humble home.
It is old, half rotten, heated by only a woodstove, no dishwasher, my clothes hang over the master bathtub as a makeshift closet, single pane windows that you can feel they wind blow through, one working bathroom and I love it.
I love that Johnny and Jean loved this home and now we get to raise our kids here.

-Farm life
We have hundreds of acres to explore.
 Our backdoor is piled high with barn boots in every size.. (just in case your kids need a pair when you stop by)
 We get to tromp through fields, wake to the sounds of cows mooing, chickens crowing, frogs croaking and so much more. We get to see baby animals born and learn how to care for them when their own mommas can't or wont.
Our kids get to experience things I wish every kid could.  

-The Farmer
I know, I know it's so clique to say your thankful for your husband, but I truly am.
He makes me better in many ways.
When I am I am on an emotional roller coaster he balances me with logic.
When I need to be in constant motion he calms me.
When I am sure I can't do one more thing he assures me that I can.
The depth of my love for him brings me to tears.
I can't explain the power of his hugs or what it feels like when he picks me up and squeezes me 'two times"
I know that I can be difficult and at times I am sure he wants to poke my right eye, but he never does.
He just loves me when I need it, calms me when I'm stressed and hugs me when I cry.
Thankful doesn't even begin to describe it.

Blessed is me...

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Sometimes I need a straightjacket

The following can send me right into a tailspin:
"my tummy hurts"
"I (or my kid) has been vomiting all night"
I hate it. I fear it.
Now I know nobody "likes" vomit, but I have friends who are cool as a cucumber when dealing with it.

If my kids tell me "my tummy hurts" it turns me into a lunatic and I must ask a barrage of questions to get to the bottom of things.
"have you pooped today"
"are you hungry"
"did you eat too much"
"are you going to vomit"
"do you need a bucket"
"do you want to take shower"
"where exactly does your tummy hurt"

I am not sure why it makes me feel like I am going to poop my pants, or why my heart races, or why I start to sweat, or why I feel the sudden urge to either rock myself or totally go into a fit of rage, but it does.
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that everyone around me got the stomach bug days after we brought Madalyn home from the hospital.
Taking care of a newborn while your 20 month old spews vomit all over his bed can really do a number on you especially when your husband and parents and in-laws get that not so good feeling.
Maybe it is because I am a freak who needs very strong meds.
Or a straightjacket.

I also get a little stressed about impending stomach bugs if:
my kids are eating so much you'd think they were starved
my kids aren't eating anything
my kid are more tired than normal
my kids stay up later than normal and aren't tired
Madalyn cries about everything
my kids poop more than one time before school, or after school or at any time.
 Jameson drinks a lot of water

Really I can be sure they will wake up in the middle of the night and fill their bed with what we had for dinner any given night.
The Farmer just shakes his head at me and says "they are fine."
This is where I really lucked out.
When the kids are really sick (which isn't often)The Farmer steps in.
He usually stays home with the kids while I evacuate the scene.
Don't worry though I stay in constant contact via way too many texts
"how are the kids"
"has anyone been sick"
"have they eaten"
"are they dehydrated"
Jer replies
Let me be clear.
 It isn't that I don't know what to do or how to care for the kids because I do.
In fact if this is a middle of the night nightmare I am usually the one to clean up the mess while The Farmer gets whoever is sick in the shower.
Sidenote: when picking out a bed for you child make sure there aren't a million places for all the ick to leak. Our kids have the WORST beds for this.
We get a bed set up on the sofa with a trash can standing by.
If panic does ensue The Farmer sends me to bed where I lay heart pounding tossing and turning.

To ease my stress over impending doom we, ok I but The Farmer humors me, have begun an evening ritual.
I slather essential oils down their spines at bedtime.
ImmuPower is my weapon of choice
Once a week I do a modified Raindrop on them.
For the RD I use
Lavender, Frankincense, Valor, Oregano, Peace and Calming, and Thieves 
Because it can't hurt and it will help at keeping all those pesky germs away.
It makes be feel better
I also clean my house with Thieves Cleaner
It smells delish and can kill black mold so for me it is a win win.

I don't think there is anything that affects me like this.
I hate the feeling that overcomes me and I really wish it didn't happen, but it isn't voluntary.
And here some of you think I have it all together.
I don't.
Not. Even. Close.

Maybe next time we can talk about how:
I can't share a soda, you can't taste my coffee or have a bite of my food
or how I am afraid of slugs.. for real.

Blessed is me...

Monday, October 21, 2013

It's true. I yell at my kids.

After my post about our first week of school and how I yell at my kids I have gotten some comments about yelling. 
Some people are surprised that I yell at my kids, some are glad that they aren't the only ones and some aren't happy about it because "it isn't good for their spirit" Um ok?
I mostly yell because well, they make me yell at them!

Most recently this has happened..

Jameson comes in from the field the cows are in. 
His barn boots covered in fresh poop!
He slides his boots off at the back door leaving them on the door mat.
This reveals his sockless feet-he knows this is a no no- which are disgustingly dirty.
He is also opting out of wearing pants unless they are sweatpants so he had shorts on.
The lower half of his legs had green smears on them. 
Those smears are cow poop!
As I am telling him to jump in the shower to wash off all the poop he runs into Madalyn's room and climbs up on her BED!
Dirty rotten smelling feet and cow poop legs on her bed!
Commence yelling.
I mean really what is another load of laundry???

And then this..
Madalyn opens the fridge to grab the grape juice. While she is grabbing the juice bottle the feta cheese smashes to the floor sending those little precious cheese curds flying.
They spread from one end of the kitchen to the next. 
She comes to tell me the cheese fell out of the fridge tracking the cheese on the bottom of her shoes into the living room.
I tell her she needs to get it cleaned up.
She proceeds to grab broom at the back door tracking more cheese across the house.
She then sweeps the cheese under the fridge, down the stair, under the stairs past the washer and dryer to the door mat where she leaves it.
She then comes back to tell me she cleaned it up best she could but some cheese is still on the floor. I suggest a wet paper towel to get the rest.
I hear the slap of a sopping wet dish towel hit the floor.
When I walk into the kitchen the floor looks like a bucket of water had been poured over the cheese.
A mess of epic proportions.
I then mop up the water and vacuum up every last piece of cheese on the floors that had just been vacuumed the night before.

Or when:
Jameson wears his school shoes in the chicken coop.
Madalyn argues about why she has to wear a long shirt or a skirt over her leggings EVERY time she puts a pair on.
They fight, poke, and bug each other after continuous requests to stop whatever it is they are doing.
Or when I am pmsing and could ram someone when they cut me off in the round about.
Or when I have had a long day at work pleasing person after person and I'm spent by the time I get home only to be greeted by complaints about what I am making for dinner.
or, or, or..

Life gets hard and sometimes my patience wear thin.
Are these my BEST parenting moments? Heck no, but they are normal.
We get frustrated and impatient.

My dear friend Diana tells me
"Parenting isn't for the faint at heart. It takes courage"
I couldn't agree more!

We are just imperfect people trying to do our best job to raise kids who are:
the list goes on and on and on.
It is a LONG HARD list if you are doing it right.

And guess what!?
Despite the occasional sometimes daily yelling my kids are happy!
They laugh from the pits of their bellies.
They run and play
They love and hug and snuggle me.
They both sing in the shower.
At bedtime even on bad days Madalyn wraps her arms around my neck and squeezes me tight and Jameson tries to pull me into his bed.
My kids are loved and they know it.

Blessed is me..

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Walking out to the field to bring The Farmer some dinner while the moon is rising high up into the sky.
A reason to be thankful.

 Two compassionate kids saying goodbye to their first pet.
A reason to be thankful.

The Farmer working hard on our fields so that we can someday raise our own cattle.
A reason to be thankful.
A Buff Orpington chick wandering from the yard to the field and everywhere in between.
A reason to be thankful.
A little girl comforting her wounded friend.
A reason to be thankful.
Our dream come true.
A reason to be thankful.
The Mini Farmer who is most comfortable in undie bucks and barn boots.
A reason to be thankful.

Over 13 years with Bella Jean Linder.
A reason to be thankful.

The day started out in the worst possible way and our kids keep ask things like 
"am I ever going to stop being sad"
We have much to be thankful for
Literally over a hundred people reached out to us.
Every one of the kids' teachers called or emailed.
People stopped their busy day to make sure we were ok.
One of my friends brought me flowers and hugged me tight even though she was having her own bad day.
Thankful, thankful, thankful.

Blessed is me...

Monday, October 14, 2013

Memories of Grandpa and Grandma Beelar

Today I was outside working around the yard and finishing up our landscaping project. 
The sounds and smells around the farm got me thinking about my Great Grandma and Grandpa Beelar.
Our family would gather at their farm in mid summer for what we called "haying season" not far from our farm.
Those days are some of my best memories.

My grandma Beelar would always be in the kitchen wearing an apron.
Her counters would be overflowing with everything from fresh bread and all sorts of dishes to colored pictures that one of her many grand and great-grand kids made for her.
Her hands were small, covered in wrinkles and always soft. 
Her nails filed to a soft curve.
Her kitchen table was long and stretched the length of the dining room.
 I can just picture all her 8 kids gathered around it with their backs up against the windows that faced out towards where her car was always parked. 
Down the center of the plastic tablecloth covered table was always the same.
Fig Newtons, sugar bowl, butter, jam, honey, note cards and bread; fresh of course.
I can still hear the creak of the spring on the wood screened door before it slammed shut against the door frame as we ran inside.
She would tell us "shut the screen you'll let the flies in"
We were always greeted with a smile and a hug, but not before she wiped her hands on her apron.

The old farmhouse always smelled like burning wood from their wall sized open fireplace.
The fireplace was enormous to me and was made of big flat stones.
Grandpa Beelars chair was right next to the fireplace. It is where he read the paper and took short naps. He would hold us on his lap and I'll never forget the day he sat in his chair resting with a tiny Jameson in his lap; his first Great Great Grandson.
He loved sitting there next to the blazing hot fire and did so until his last day in that house.

During hay season my Grandpa Beelar would be down in the fields driving a tractor or a hay truck.
He was a  man of short stature with a pointy nose and a bald head, but his hands were the size of a dinner plate.
His knuckles were gnarled and big; a sign of hard work.
He wore long sleeved collar shirts and Ben Davis pants.
He smelled like diesel.
He was never too busy to give us a ride on the tractor or to let us sit on his lap and "drive" the hay truck.
We spent many days riding on top of the hay loaded high up in the truck. We would head down the dusty driveway and up to the barn where my cousins and I would jump down off the truck and climb to the tippy top of the barn so we could throw the rock salt on the freshly stacked bales.
We of course always had to taste the salt as we were tossing it around.
It never tasted good, but that didn't stop us from tasting it year after year.
Those fields were the same ones he walked out to the day his daughter; my grandma died.
Grandpa Beelar was a man of few words, but that day he uttered the words "you should never have to bury one of your kids". 
I wonder if he found comfort in the fields that so many precious memories were made in.

I don't remember a time when our entire family wasn't there for hay season.
My mom, her brothers and uncles would buck bales way up into the truck.
My brother, cousins and I would run from field to field.
Some cousins would swim in the slough.
 Never a care in the world. We played for hours and hours together.

My Grandma Ethel and her sisters would help their mom, Grandma Beelar, cook up a feast for the hay crew.
We always had so much food.
I remember one time there was a huge pot of corn on the cob.
The pot was bigger than anything I had ever seen.
It was the only thing I ate for dinner.
Bright yellow smothered in butter, salt and pepper.
There was also always fresh bread.
Crusty and brown on the outside with a top so round and perfect.
Soft and white on the inside.

Now that I am older I wish I could go back and spend more time at The Beelar farm.
In a fleeting moment I grew up.
Gone are the days of carefree moments of running from field to field, skipping rocks in the slough, sneaking upstairs in the house because Grandma didn't want us up there, climbing high up in the hay mound, riding around on the tractor with Grandpa.
Gone are the days of the screen door slamming as we turn the corner and greet Grandma Beelar arms  ready for a hug.

These are all things that I haven't thought about in a long long time. Isn't is funny how a smell or a sound can perk up a memory that is tucked safely in your heart?
 I think that Grandpa and Grandma Beelar would be proud of the job we are doing raising our kids on the farm and I hope our kids have as many fond memories of pulling on their barn boots, running in the fields, and all the other fun things we get to do on the farm.

Blessed is me...

Friday, October 11, 2013

Justin Grafton Studios

  As most of you know The Farmer and I just celebrated our 10th anniversary.
I wanted to get him something really special and I thought doing a calendar shoot would be something he would love.
I wanted it to be something classy and sexy, but also something I wouldn't be embarrassed of.
What would the point of doing something like this be if it couldn't be displayed in the shop or the barn?
You've seen calendar shoots done that include trashy pictures, food (which is super weird. Don't do that. EVER), poses where the lady has her business for all to see.

I called Justin Grafton.
 I have know Justin since we both worked at Dairy Queen in high school and I love all of his photographs.
He was on board!
I was a little nervous that it would be weird because I am mom and honestly sexy isn't my comfort. I love to wear jeans and a hoodie.
It wasn't weird and I can feel a little sexy and still be comfortable.
The hardest part was getting The Farmer off the farm because I wanted to do the shoot in the barn.
I tried getting him out of town with his friend Bryan more than once!
Finally, I just had to tell him.
 "you need to be out of the house by 10 and you can't come home all day!"

The day came and I was REAL nervous!
I had all my clothes and shoes ready so while Justin got all his fancy equipment in the barn Sabrina and I decided what my first outfit would be.
Sabrina is Justin's girlfriend and assistant. She is super nice and so helpful.
It was SO FUN and my nerves immediately left!
Justin directed the shoot while Sabrina reminded me to keep my fingers soft and helped to make sure all my business wasn't hanging out.
They both made the experience so wonderful and super comfortable.
The photos are perfect and The Farmer loves them!
The quality of the calendar itself is amazing. It is something you could buy in a store!

Ladies, if you want to get your husband or boyfriend something unique and fun I highly recommend calling Justin and setting up a shoot. You can even come and use our barn. I'm not gonna lie there are some cool places in there for pictures.


Blessed is me!

Friday, September 27, 2013

10 years

I have been Mrs. Linder for 10 years today!
Oh what a year we have had.
Honestly, at times it was really hard.
A couple weeks ago we were on a dinner date and we were talking about the last year and we decided that it was by far the toughest year we have had.
We had trial after trial.

Seeing your husband with a 104 fever so sick and in such pain that he is rocking himself will shake you to the core! Jameson had just gotten over having pneumonia. He was nice and shared it with Daddy. We had three bouts of it in a month.
 Jer is the strength in our family and to see him physically out of commission was so scary and heartbreaking. Hands down worst day ever.

I officially hate money.
It is so stressful when you don't have enough and it causes great strife.
Luckily, we are both hard workers and we just kept plugging along.
We experienced major answered prayers in this department.
We needed $1000.00, so I prayed and that day one of my clients bought a gift certificate for just that amount.
 I know some of you will call that coincidence..that's ok I know it wasn't.
This was a great lesson in communication for us even though at times the talking was a little loud.

We have never ever ever fought or argued as much as we did this year.
There were many nights we laid next to each other in bed without ever saying one word the entire day or night.
Silence is REALLY hard for me, but I know that sometimes less is more.
These were really really hard days.
More than once I thought it would be easier to throw in the towel; out of desperation.

We also had break through after break through.
We are coming out of this stronger in so many ways.
Stronger in marriage.
Stronger in ourselves.
Stronger in faith.
We know that together we can conquer anything.
We are better at communicating even the really hard stuff.

There were days when Jer would come home and all it took was him looking at me to make me burst into tears. He without hesitation would grab me and hug me through it with no words until I could get it back together. For me, I need to work things through with someone even if it is just a hug.
I know that hug to some is just a hug, but to me it is strength comfort and love.

The way I feel when Jer wraps his arms around me is peaceful and safe even on the worst days.

There were days when he would come home and just head outside. I knew this meant he needed space; not a hug. Jer works things through in his head. He recharges by being home and being alone. This is something I am learning even after 10 years of marriage.

I prayed; a lot
and I had a group of warriors praying us through it too.
I am forever grateful to them.
and we did it.

We can't expect that every year is going to be easy or that just because the years stack up that it becomes routine. Every year we grow and change and trials are to be expected.
Jer's Grandma Betty told me
"once you make it to your 20th anniversary the rest is cake"

Not every day has been easy, but every day has had love, love, love.
In every up down and all around Jeremy Ryan has my heart tucked safely inside his where it will stay until the day after forever.

Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.
Mark 10:9

Blessed Is Me...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Pefect timing.

Last year about this time we called Sam Hess to see about doing some logging on our 20 acre parcel. We went through all the proper channels.
Called the Forestry Department to apply for a permit.
They came out with Sam and looked at the maps of our property and decided that we have two "bird circles" and a "fish run"
We do have birds and tons of them. Doves, eagles, owls and loads more.
We don't have a fish anything. We have ditches in our field that haven't always been there.
They are dry in the summer.
The answer from the Forestry Dept. was a kind of a yes if we could get it done in a very small window of time due to the eagle nest and their little eaglets.
 So short in fact that the answer was really a no.
 We decided the window of time wasn't big enough as we were coming up against the rainy season which would bring a giant mess of mud and ruts.
We had planned to use the money from logging to pay some bills etc.. nothing fun, but necessary. I wish that being an adult came with less responsibility!
We were disappointed in the stringent rules, that we can't do what we want to on our own property and frustrated that our plan wasn't going to work, but what can you do?

Fast forward
Two of our neighbors; one on each side logged their property.
Outside of the window we were given to log.
What the?! How can that be? Surely if we have eagles on our property they have eagles on theirs.
I am not talking that we see an eagle now and then we have a swarm of them. Sometimes too many to count. Surely they aren't all born on our land.
The Farmer decided to stop and talk to Sam (who was doing the logging down the road) and see if maybe we could apply again for a logging permit.
Sam called the Forestry Dept. to inquire. 
They remembered our property and didn't need to come out again, but instead gave permission to log!
Um?? OK! 

We were logging within days.
Early on a Wednesday just as day was breaking Sam was here unloading equipment and fired up his saw soon after.
Tree after tree hit the ground.
Logs were stacking up in the field.
Load after load left for the mill.
Contracts came in the mail and then the checks.
There were more trees than we thought and the price was much better than last year.
Then it hit me.
This was the plan all along.
Not our plan; Gods plan.

You see, our financially situation is very different this year. 
We don't have to use the money to pay bills. 
We GET to use the money for our future.

The Farmer was able to buy a tractor. 
It is shiny and brand new.
His dad delivered it a couple weekends ago and it has been working to brush hog and mow ditches.
The tractor and The Farmer have been hard at work getting our property back in farming order.
We have a list of things that need to be done to become a working farm and now we get to check some of those things off the list.
Praise God.

Today The Farmer pull on his Muck boots and headed out  to do chores in the wind and rain.
 When I watched from the window as he drove his tractor out of the stable and down the driveway I can't help but feel thankful that there is a bigger plan for us.
Sometimes it is frustrating when we can't see the plan, but when the plan begins to open and starts to make sense I have renewed hope.

Our plans aren't always His plans.
This proves to me (again) that His plans are bigger and better than ours.
We just need to have patience and trust.
Never early; Never late; always in perfect time.

Blessed is me..