Sunday, August 31, 2014

My Eyes Are On You

Sometimes life gets heavy.
Really heavy.
We aren't sure how we can carry one more thing.
Well intended people share
"God wont give you more than you can handle"
I don't believe that.
He will.
He will stack it on
Higher and higher
Heavier and heavier
You have no choice
To bend
To break
To come to your knees
To hand all your troubles over

If you're like me you'll try to take back most of what is handed over throughout the day
As nightfall comes
I try again
I hand it over
When day breaks
I take it back again
I guess I like to try and prove how
Strong I am
I don't want to take it back
I want to leave it sitting at the feet of Jesus
never look back and wonder if I should grab just one thing back

I don't want to carry it anymore
None of it,
but I can't help myself
I try anyways
The Lord is faithful to
Carry our burdens Psalm 55:22
Hear our prayers Psalm 39:12
To heal Psalm 103:3
To fresh starts Lamentations 3:23
To make all things new 2 Corinthian 5:17

And even though we like to prove how strong we are
We can stand on the promise
That He will carry us through 
Our darkest of days

Blessed is me...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Blackberry Memories

We are super close to being ready for the families that have chose our farm for the beginning of their new chapter(s), so I took a break from wedding prep.
After I met with a bride, made some delish breakfast, grocery shopped and cleaned up our tiny little house I headed down our driveway and across the road to pick some blackberries.

The berries out there are prime for picking.
Big, plump and juice.
Those are our Fancy Farm Girls favorite.
She said she likes when the "pop" in her mouth.

My dad taught me a trick because everyone knows the biggest bestest berries are way in the back.

Bring along some pruning shears and clip away the sticker bushes as your pick.
Then you can reach all the way into the back without risking blood loss!
I found these rusty old gems in the barn!

When I got back to the house I was greeted by four little hands ready to dig in.
The Fancy Farm Girl and The Farm Manager both enjoyed a bowl full.
I got busy making this blackberry cobbler.
I prefer a crisp with an oatmeal topping, but The Farmer likes cobbler.
I also LOVE The Pioneer Woman and I think we would make great friends.

The only changes I made to the recipe were using Pamela's GF flour and I added a duck egg.
GF baking can be flat and duck eggs add a little fluff and richness.
Don't skimp on the milk either!
(Side note: There are a lot of health benefits to duck eggs. You can read about that here)
Plus, since it has an egg in it that makes it breakfast food!

While I was picking away I couldn't help but think about my
She had a berry patch out her front door and we used to go out and pick to our little hearts content.
I'm sure more berries ended up in our bellies than in the butter tubs she gave us.
Sometimes she would pick with us and sometimes we would hear the screen door spring creak open then slam shut only to find her standing on the flat rock porch
wiping her soft wrinkly hands on her apron.
She was a gentle lady who always let her grandkids and great-grandkids (I'm a great) help her.
She never made me feel as though I was in the way or a bother and she always had fig newtons on the table for snacking. 
If you were ever lucky enough to share in some of her fresh baked bread or one of her pies then you were lucky enough.

She was a hard working farmers wife.
What I wouldn't give for another tender moment with her soft hand touching mine.
Thankfully memories come back to us when we least expect them.
They flood our minds, overflow our hearts and sometimes fill our eyes with tears.
Not of sadness, but of overwhelming gladness.
I know that not everybody gets to have a great grandma well into their 20's and 
I'm thankful that today I got to spend an hour remembering a lady who always made me feel cherished, who taught me how to make bread and was never too busy to let me help.

I need to spend more time remembering to slow down and less time being too busy to let the little hands in our home help.
They create the best memories.

Blessed is me...

Friday, August 22, 2014

Fun Friday Is Coming To An End

Fun Friday is awesome. Today we went on a bikeride on the riverwalk. When we on the boards it was very narrow and my bike almost slipped in the trolley tracks. There was a little beach behind a hotel and we played on it. There was a looking tower and we say trash in the water and thought that people should not throw trash in the water. We had a hard time putting the bikes in the car. Then we drove to pig'n'pancake. I couldn't decide to have pancakes or a hamburger. I chose to have pancakes they were delishous. After that we did good deeds, First we delivered coffe to my mom. Then we gave agbag workers milikshakes. They loved them.   By: Ryan Stenblom

This is the second to last Fun Friday. The fun fridays are fort stevens, pool, geochace ,bruces, martime, movies, bike ride, love notes, 50 dollar suprise, astor colum, cathedril trail, buoy beer.  
by: Jameson

Dear Fun Fridayers,
We had so much fun on all the Fun Friday's that we just couldn't stop laughing after they were done. Me, Ryan, Jameson and my mom went on a bike ride on the Riverwalk. I fell a few times, but then I got right back up. I am really gonna miss having Fun Friday's.  We had so much fun together and I hope next summer we can do it again. Next year I hope my Auntie and my dad can do it too. My favorite one was going to the movies. We saw Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It was my first time watching a PG13 movie. By Madalyn Linder

Next week is our last Fun Friday adventure. 
It has been really fun for the kids and for me too.
They have already begun talking about what they want to do next year.
They all agreed picking up trash would be a good one!
Next Friday we are going to end summer vacation with a bang and treat the kids to something extra special.
Momma Kallie

Blessed is me...

Sunday, August 17, 2014

I'm Just A Mom

The other day at the salon we had a client/friend come in and I was at the front desk.
I greeted her and we started chatting.
I am not sure how we got on the subject, but she said
"people I know are doing exciting things in their lives and I'm just a mom"
I'm paraphrasing, but you get the gist.
I replied,
"You are more than a mom you are a great mom that has raise three really great kids"
At the time it made me feel sad, but I just can't get that statement out of my head.

At what point in our lives did being "just a mom"
become something not exciting.
As a mom we have lots and lots of jobs.
Doctor, nurse, housekeeper, banker, counselor, grocery shopper, playmate, chef Wonder Woman, taxi, chef, confidant, someone our kids can count on, trust and come to with every need.
Moms have the power to kiss owies better and to hug away the days worries.
As moms we are love in human form.

We rise early and drop into bed exhausted.
We put our needs aside and our kids first.
We work hard to give our kids what we didn't have.
We work hard at making sure our kids know they are loved and cherished.

And let me tell you about the mom I stated above.
She isn't just a mom.
She is a woman that has reached out to probably hundreds of kids.
She has been a sounding board, a confidence builder, a safe place, an encourager and she has loved.
Her impact reaches far and wide.
Because as moms we are never just our kids moms we are everybody's mom.

For me, she told me when I got out of beauty school how proud she was of me and that she knew I was going to do great.
She always had time to talk to me and give me an encouraging word.
She never made me feel like she was too busy to chat.
She probably doesn't even know the impact she had with the words she shared with me.

I'm just a mom too.
I don't do exciting things by the worlds standards, but my hope is that when my kids grow up that they will say
"My mom,
loved me,
cared for me,
provided a safe environment to grow,
showed me I could be and do anything I wanted,
encouraged me,
took me on adventures in our own backyard,
was my biggest cheerleader,
kept me in check,
made me responsible,
held me accountable and
supported me in good and bad days"

Being a mom is the most important job I have right not.
Above all else it is the job with the highest stakes and the biggest reward.
I'm not always good at it.
 At times I serve frozen pizza and cereal for dinner and sometimes I even yell at my kids, but when I tuck those little critters snug in their nest and they wrap their arms around my neck and whisper "I love you"  there is no better feeling.
I know that no matter where this life brings me I want people to remember me as a
 Mama Kallie is my favorite thing to be.

Blessed is me...

Friday, August 15, 2014

"How Do You Know When People Do Crossfit?"

"They tell you"
So jokes The Farmer and it's true.
You can't help yourself.
You have to tell people.

I just finished my second crossfit On Ramp class at Vahvuus Crossfit.
Five weeks of getting my butt whipped!
I missed one week because of fair.
I initially was terrified.
Carol, who works with me, has been doing it over a year and has ask and encouraged everyone at work come join her.
I have clients who are passionate about it.
It is all they talked about and they want you to join in too.
I was terrified because I didn't know what to expect.
I mean, lets be honest walking into a gym full of people who have been doing crazy things you've seen on Facebook for a long time is intimidating.

It also sounds a little crazy with their terminology.
The Box
Toe To Bar
Burpee (or hell as I like to call it)
Double Under
Sumo Deadlift High Pull
Uh, what?!

Enter On Ramp
A class full of beginners.
Learning proper technique, form and what all those crazy terms mean with a coach.
I was invited by my friend, Kate, who is a coach at the gym
Class would be at 5 am.
I signed up and invited my longest friend Char.
We did On Ramp and On Ramp 2.0 together.

The warm up before class includes:
400 meter run which is 2 laps around the building
6 different stretches
some work with a pvc bar to stretch out arms.

Now, the warm up could be a workout for some (me) and when I started I couldn't even run an entire lap around the building.
By the 3rd class I could run farther than the 1st class.
By the 2nd week I could go even farther.
Now I can run both laps without stopping.

After the warm up we get into technique.
This takes 30-40 minutes.
Then the last 20+ minutes is the workout.
The workouts are HARD and when you meet Fran you will think she is a snatch even modified
They aren't long workouts and sometimes you will think you can't do it.
You will breathe hard-if you can breathe, feel death knocking at your door, need water, cry and maybe even throw up, but you will finish and when you do
You will feel like a warrior!
Not. Kidding.
It is a serious accomplishment especially when you do better than you have before.

I hate it while I'm doing it
I love it when I finish.
I want to tell everyone about it
I want you to come too!

One of the biggest reasons I have come to love it is 
EVERYONE can do it.
It doesn't matter your size, your age, your skill level or if you've ever worked out before.
Every single thing we do can be modified to fit your own needs.
If you can't do a push up there is 4 ways to do it until you can do one that fits the crossfit standard.
You don't have to lift heavy weights, but can use a pvc bar, then one filled with sand until you can move onto an empty bar, then onto 5lb plates and up from there.
EVERYTHING can be modified.
Except burpees.
Those you just have to do your best to not look like a fish flopping on the ground.
This isn't about who in the room is the best or about who finishes first.
It is about doing YOUR best.
Being strong and successful.

Another thing I love is that as people finish no one leaves.
They stay and cheer you on.
They come along side you and run with you.
They sit at your feet and count down how many sit ups you have left telling you "you can do it"
In one hour they become your family.

I now understand why people who crossfit tell everyone, talk about it constantly and post every workout on Facebook.
It is like a cult (not in the creepy way) and you want every person you see to join.

The days I go to the gym I feel invigorated and have more energy.
I feel like I can climb a mountain!
You will also want to show everyone your new muscle tone.
I think The Farmer is tired of seeing my new biceps.
Too bad! He has to humor me.

If you are ready for a change, want to get healthy, but most importantly want to be strong not only in body, but in mind I would encourage you to contact one of the Vahvuus coaches or someone who works out in "the box"
You'll be glad you did!

Oh, and as the sign states on the door
"Check your ego at the door. It doesn't matter where you finish, only that you finish with integrity and give it a solid effort.
Leave the gym better than when you walked in.
Head high and be proud,
this stuff is hard."

Blessed is me...

Friday, August 8, 2014

5 months After I Cut Out Gluten

It's been 5 months since I gave up gluten.
It has wrecked my life and changed my life.

Wrecked it because
I miss toast. 
I love toast and gf bread just doesn't quite cut it like a piece of delicious potato bread slathered in butter and topped with jam my mom made.
Sometimes I want a cookie from Peter Pan!
The big soft snickerdoodles or the molasses ones.
Who am I kidding I want one of each!
GF pasta sucks in a major way.
 I've tried them all and it just doesn't cut it.
It falls apart and it super unappetizing when reheated.
There is also a fine line between not cooked enough and mush.
I like spaghetti squash, but who has time to cook that when you don't have a microwave.
Not. Me.

 Changed my life because
I feel better than I have in years.
No more pain, sore muscles or joints.
All the symptoms I had previously are gone.
That is unless I eat gluten.
I have more energy 
I just finished my 5th week of CrossFit this morning.
I would NEVER had been able to do this 5 months ago.
There will be more on this in a future post. 
I'm sure you'll be waiting with bated breath.
I feel light and not bloated.
You never know how bloated you feel until you don't anymore.
 Sometimes I cheat and knowingly eat gluten and I regret it everytime!
Last week at fair I ate hamburgers and red licorice.
Both were delicious.
Both made me feel like crap!
I knew it would and I did it anyways.
Within hours I feel awful.
Not. Kidding. HOURS!
My joints get hot.
My shoulders get tight.
My elbows feel like they have tripled in size
My back gets tight
I feel exhausted and bloated. 
The symptoms last for days.
I am beginning to learn it just isn't worth it.

I've just had to learn how to substitute foods.
I've been baking GF desserts for years because The Farmers mom and our nephew haven't eaten gluten for a long time.
I have a drawer full of different flours because when you bake GF it takes more than one kind of flour to get the correct texture.
came along.
It really is cup for cup in the recipes I have used it in and you can't even tell a difference.
The bread is even light and fluffy in comparison to most gf bricks I mean breads.
I made zucchini bread with it a couple weeks ago and two loaves were gone in one day.
It also doesn't have a beany after taste that a lot of GF flour does.
 I'm going to try a yeast bread today.

This chocolate cake is my most requested dessert.
There is NEVER any left.
It is rich and delicious and has no flour at all.
You will need a good blender or food processor to get all the quinoa smooth.
If you make it DO NOT use Bob's Red Mill baking mix for the frosting or you will have bean flavored frosting.
Coconut flour is a great option for the frosting.

As far as breaded foods like fish etc.
I just haven't found the right thing yet.
If I am making the family steak fingers I will either skip and add an avocado or I will cheat and eat some.
Then feel like garbage for a few days.

I also eat more eggs than I ever have.
It's just an easy thing to grab and go.
There aren't a lot of tasty grab and go foods that are gf.
Everything has to be prepared and I'm kind of lazy.

If you're feeling crappy, have Fibromyalgia, joint or muscle pain I would recommend cutting out gluten and seeing how you feel.
You have to try it for at least 21 days.
I wouldn't have never believed it if I hadn't tried it.
I have been rootin for gluten along with The Farmer.
It could change the way you feel for the better.
Someday I might even get smart and stop eating it all together. 

If you think it is a bunch of malarky like I did feel free to ask
The Farmer
All the girls I work with
They will tell you how much pain I was in and how good I feel now.

Now if I can just get a handle on my sugar addiction! 

Blessed is me...

Sunday, August 3, 2014

We Survived Fair 2014

We did it!
We survived fair week.
Sometimes I wasn't sure I would.
It was a busy week!


We woke up at the fair

And went to bed at the fair

The kids ate super healthy breakfasts of Italian Soda and fresh donut holes even though we had plenty of camping cereal in the trailer.
They each got an allowance everyday to spend how they saw fit.
It was all spent on fair food.

Jameson was up early everyday to muck his pen and feed his animals.
He did such a good job and never had to be told to get it done.
He even helped out other kids when they needed it.

Jameson didn't show until Thursday, but he still had to be at the fair everyday.
I tried many times to get both kids to come home and rest, but neither one would have anything to do with that! 
Why take a break when you can have free run of the fairgrounds!?
The barn closed at 9pm and I don't think there was a night he left before the barn super made him.
Tuckered out every night


Mad, our fancy farm girl, spent much of her time hanging with her friends watching the stage entertainment and acting like she was much older than 8.
 She, of course, had many outfit changes during the week.

She also entered a flower arrangement into the exhibit hall.
She was NOT impressed with the "participation" ribbon she received as did all Cloverbuds that entered projects.
She has plans for some exhibit hall projects for next year and I'll be sure to help her get them entered as open class rather than Cloverbud because she wants a PURPLE ribbon!
 Thank goodness my mom can mentor her in her sewing and canning projects because I have very limited sewing capabilities and only tired my hand at canning once.
I think it will be fun for both of them to work together on some projects.

She also got to be a ribbon girl during the sheep showmanship.
Everyone is so quick to let all the kids be helpers.
 It's just one of the many things I love about 4H and fair.
Notice her fancy fair belt she bought with her own money a few months ago.

You can bet when this girl hits 4th grade she is going to have so much sparkle on during show that you will need sunglasses to watch. 

For Jameson, The Farm Manager, it was a week of
growth, uncomfortableness, and confidence building. 

He learned that when you wash your animals that you do the best job the first time and you wont have to redo it

He got pep talks from The Farmer and Papa Moo
both 4H Alumni

He learned that fellow 4H kids are always willing to lend a hand.
This fellow 4Her has been showing goats for a few years and won her fair share of ribbons.
She spent time with Jameson going over what he could expect even taking him and his goat in the show ring to practice.
I appreciate so much how the older kiddos always mentor the little kids.

Ruby garnered a lot of attention from the goat fans and even has some offers to buy her.
He declined those offers.
Ruby won
Champion and blue ribbons for the beeder novice class
Grand Champion overall
Jameson plans to bring her back next year.

Kody, while he didn't make weight as a market animal, did great in the wether class.
He won
Reserve Champion Novice and a blue.
Jameson chose Kody to show for showmanship and won another blue.

 Jameson also learned what it means to support your friends.
Jameson watched his friend and fellow Melville Livestock member, Jack, show his pigs and Jack in return watched Jameson.
You could also find them paling around together.
There has been talk of their plans for next years fair.
These boys have know each other since they were wee little babes and I foresee them having a great friendship through the years.

There were times of tears.
Before he showed the first time because he was unsure of what to expect.
 This was the hardest for me and I refrained from going over to talk to him.
I would have just made it worse.

When he won his first purple ribbon with Ruby his breeding goat.
He headed straight for The Farmer tears welling up in his eyes.
Jameson has long wanted to win a trophy since seeing them at the Astoria Aquatic Center, but never thought he would have the chance since he isn't a sports guy.
When his Grandma Moo, The Farmers mom, showed him all the purple ribbons and belt buckles that The Farmer had earned over his years in fair he decided 
purple ribbons are what he wanted.
He did it!
I would have been proud with any ribbon, but to see him overflowing with pride made me teary.

He proudly tucked those ribbons in his back pocket and carried them around the rest of the night.

He wanted to bring home 6 this year and I think he is pretty proud of himself with the 4 he earned.
When we came home he strung some baling twine, in true farmer fashion, to hang his ribbons by his bed.

The last tears came last night before the auction started when Mr. Autio approached him and asked if he would be interested in selling Kody to him.
They settled on a price and gave a handshake.
When Kody gets a little bigger we will deliver him to the Autio family.
 Auction night is a tough time for the kids.
They have spent countless hours with their animals and they get pretty attached.

I learned a few things this week too:
1. Fair and work don't mix!
Next year I will be taking the week off work
2. Let it roll!
I was more bummed that Kody didn't make weight than Jameson was, but as the week went on I realized that for his first year a private buyer was probably better.
Boom DOWN momma!
3. You can tell the difference between kids that are in fair and kids at the fair.
Kids IN fair wear sweatpants tucked in cowboy boots and poop covered shirts and kids (girls) AT fair wear booty shorts and cowboy boots.
4. By Thursday I felt like I was a child on the verge of meltdown. Tears were on the rim of my eyes and a lump was in my throat.
Take a break and GO HOME!
5. There is ALWAYS another fair mom or dad willing to help you with anything.
I hope next year I can be more of a helper instead of the helped.
6. I can't wait until next year!

One thing I already knew, but was reconfirmed this week is that our kids have OODLES
of people who support and love them.
Both sets of grandparents
Great Grandma Betty and Papa Dick
Auntie and Ryan
Uncle Jim, cousins Kelly and Sam
and some of our friends came to watch.
I received numerous texts asking how he was doing and if we needed anything.
My cup runneth over..
 Thank you for loving us so fully.

It's been a whirlwind week and all I've done today is mow the yard, shower, buy groceries and rest.
The only other plans I have are to eat dinner and sit by the fire with a bowl of popcorn tonight.
I'm exhausted and proud.
I am a 4H mom and I survived my first Clastop County Fair!

Blessed is me...