I have actually been waxing reflective lately. I’ve also been waxing nostalgic for the days of leisure in which to reflect and to write.  I think of dear Caitlin over at the Coffee Comrade and remember fondly those days of having one little one to tend to. All of the quiet time during naps and early bed times. Ah.

Not that those memories have anything to do with what I’ve been reflecting about – just to have time.

I was hurrying out of Meijer on Monday feeling kind off out-of-body for some reason I haven’t been able to identify. Anyway, I was passing those full shelves and displays of fruit and vegetables and thought, “oh my gosh. I refuse to ever FEEL poor again.”  Maybe it was the scrounging together $5 to buy milk and bananas on a short week, but I was feeling a little empty-pocketed. Just looking at all of those delicious foods made me feel so rich. So blessed.

I was trucking along on my walk this morning still thinking about the full groceries. I started to wonder if I could get my family to go for a “Third World Hunger Challenge”, eating only what’s in the house and not going to the store when we ran out of something.  The first things to run out would be the milk and the bananas, followed by the bottled water (that one would hurt ME the most).  What do you do in a third world country – or a refugee camp – when the milk and the water and the fruit run out? There’s no market. There’s no money.

I think the saddest thing I thought of today is that I probably can’t get my family to go along for just two weeks.  How would we live when the Pepsi and chicken nuggets ran out? What could I feed Kurt when the milk and cheese were gone? How could I survive drinking tap water and putting powdered milk in my coffee? How sadly spoiled we Americans are.


Torpedo at Christmas 2015
Torpedo at Christmas 2015

Happy New Year, Blogosphere!

I have to admit that this is a tough post for me to write..  I’ve had something here in the first 3 days of a brand new year that I think will affect my year going forward in a big way – life changing?  Maybe.  It wasn’t a death or a major tragedy (something I won’t share in detail), but it has kind of given me a kick in the pants to post more, but more specifically to be more intentional with relationships.  I don’t spend enough time with friends IRL and I had already planned to make changes in that area, but this pushes me forward.  How often do we cruise along in our too busy lives and not really notice our own friends?  Everyone approaches relationships differently based on their own needs for community and acceptance (thank you for that insight Bonnie’s Bits &  Pieces).  It’s so easy to assume that everyone else is as busy as you are and they know everyone else is busy and to assume that all is well and just, well, busy.  We don’t stop to think that they hurt.  That our neglect (however unintended) is hurtful to them because their needs for community and acceptance are different than ours.  Y’know the saying, “If you love someone, tell them today.”  As my Pastor says, “Tomorrow is promised to no man.”  So, I have some relationships to work on in 2016.  Making time with dear friends; paying attention to the little details with my online friends; and calling my Mom more often – even though she knows and understands how busy my life is!!

As I’ve reviewed 2015 and gotten my blogging stats, I must say that I regressed in my blogging.  Another sign of a too busy life!  I do tend to turn over a new leaf and then paint it to match the rest so I don’t recognize it!!

I have a couple of DIMS Day projects to post and new barn kittens to write about!   Kristen has qualified for IEA Regionals along with the high school team this year, so there will be exciting posts ahead as we focus in on making it to Nationals in Kentucky.  Karra completed her first semester of college with straight A’s!  And she was worried about this college thing.  Kurt is hitting puberty (though he doesn’t realize it yet) and starting to take responsibility seriously.  His plan for 2016 is to stay on top of things.  Oh, my!  Just what I need – another kid that’s really with it 😀

My own word for 2016 is Responsible.  I’m going to strive to be more responsible in all areas.  I have simple goals for the year and if I’m just responsible in those areas, I know I’ll see some success.

Lose 2 pounds a month – doesn’t that seem doable at the beginning of the year?  Weight train 3 times a week and walk for 30 minutes everyday – of course the weather got cold now!

Re-establish a cleaning routine for my house!  That seems daunting at any time of the year!!

To craft for 1-2 hours a day 4-5 days a week which will shrink my project pile and get me on the way to setting up an etsy shop after my own heart.

These 2 might be TMI, but they are important for my mental/physical well being – to take a soaking bath once a month! And stop sleeping in old t-shirts.  Okay, the last one might be more for my husband lol!  We don’t always realize (until we are on the recovery side of depression) how much we’ve let slip in the care and keeping of us.  Sleeping in old, cast-off clothes and not letting myself soak in the tub at my leisure are ways that I threw myself aside.  I’d like to pick me up and dust myself off and put me back on the important side.

I’m also really working on goals and accomplishing them this year.  I’ve signed up for an online course in goal setting called Make Over Your Year through   I think registration is open through tomorrow or Tuesday.  I’m excited to see if I can stick with the course for all 4 weeks!  I purchased her 1 week Make Over Your Mornings course and only got through 3 days!  Can anyone say too busy?

So there it is for 2016.  Lots of personal goals and some fun things on the hobby farm I’m sure.  I really do want to be here more.  And I want to hear from my handful of readers.  Let’s talk to each other!  I’ll try to be available (especially now that Kurt has his own computer and won’t be swiping my laptop to play Minecraft 24/7!) much more often.  I’m not touching that new leaf about blogging though, uh uh – too many painted leaves in that pile already!

And That’s What’s Reflecting on the Pond on this cold January night.


Summer Days

Well, here I sit.  I have a mountain of things I could be doing, should be doing, really NEED to be doing – and I sit.  It’s summer.  The closest thing to summer I’m going to get.  And I sit.  I’m dreaming of lazy summer days with a good book and a shady porch (I’m staring out the window at the sunshine and a sunny lawn).  I can hear screen doors slamming, the distant sound of a quiet (they really used to be that way) radio, and the sounds of people laughing and splashing in the lake.  Now that was summer.

My summer looks more like this:  graduation; wisdom teeth; Pow Wow; Camp Meeting; Life Group; summer camp; trip to grandparents; swim lessons/school/tomatoes.  Yep.  That is June, July and August on the funny farm, I mean, hobby farm.  And here I sit.  I need to be thinking and planning for next school year.  But, hey, THIS school year hasn’t even wrapped up yet; who wants to think about the next one?  I’ll only have two students – and I’ll have to sit on them night and day to get their work done.  My easiest one will be off to college.  Maybe I procrastinate because I left my shopping list notebook at my BFF’s after the garage sale last weekend.  Or maybe I’m just procrastinating!

Or it could just be sadness in my soul.  The family is taking some hard emotional hits right now.  Joel’s dad has stage-4 cancer and the depleted lung function and pain seem to be getting worse quickly.  That’s not something we want to face this summer, or ever.  So, concern for my mother-in-law and having to find emergency animal and pet care are a small, but weighty, burden added to the summer.  Then I found out yesterday that my cousin’s 32-year old son passed away suddenly on Sunday.  So young, not even married a year, and a bright future in front of him.  Hard to believe.  One of the very few college graduates in my family.

But lows also come with highs and Kristen and her IEA team made the front page of the little local paper yesterday!  A great picture of the girls and their coaches and a really nice article.  We are so SO proud of “The Little Team That Did”!  Can’t wait to get my team t-shirt when they get back.  And one of the girls’ national sponsors gave them each gorgeous hats from their company.  LOVE THEM!  The team members are off to Oklahoma City today and Kristen is stuck here helping in the barn.  It hurts so badly that we couldn’t go with them.  But she has her Daisy at home and her Daisy at the barn and that helps a little.

Time to shake the cobwebs loose and readjust my brain molecules.  Thanks for listening!

That’s What’s Reflecting on the Pond Today.


Not the Update I Wanted

We have been so busy lately.  This past weekend was the first one I’ve spent at home all month – the first weekend without a horse show.  It was fun, but I was ready for being home.  I have pictures and they are awesome and stories and they are amazing!  And I wanted to post them today!

But today didn’t turn out to be a happy blogging kind of day.

We finished lambing season with 7 babies: twins, two singles and triplets.  The twins have been on bottles and of course we got attached to them.  Yesterday Tipsy wasn’t taking his bottles and was getting bloated.  We took him to the vet for an ultrasound that showed some gas, but not intestinal blockage.  He took some half bottles, but still didn’t poop.  Another ultrasound and the gas and build up were very obvious.  Something was blocking his ability to poop.  The choices were surgery or sleep.  We had to put him down.  It was so hard.  It’s been two years since we lost a lamb and we thought we had cleared the hurdles this year.  It’s been tough.  Kristen has shed so many tears today.  Her friends have been the greatest and so encouraging and supportive.  Little Tina is a bit lost without her brother.  I’m hoping that she’ll get into the pen with the other sheep and cuddle up with Daisy’s baby, Misty.

I’ll try to get the horse show pictures together (most of them are on my phone) this week.  Next week is spring break, but I’m booked for half of it with Kurt’s birthday and the Midwest Homeschool Convention.

As I encouraged Kristen this afternoon, she had plenty of ‘whys’ running around inside of her.  It’s so easy to ask why.   Why him?  Why us again?  What did he do, he’s just a baby?  Why would God let this happen?  I honestly had such peace today.  I haven’t cried a single tear.  I had to encourage Kristen to just keep trusting God.  We don’t understand how this could possible work together for good.  We don’t see His big picture.  If it hurt us so much to see an innocent animal suffer and die, how must it break God’s heart when an innocent child is ripped from its mother’s womb – the place He created to knit that child together?

We are fearfully and wonderfully made.  ALL of God’s creation is fearfully and wonderfully made.  We have been given such a privilege to love His creatures, to nurture and care and steward His creation.  I am so blessed to love these animals.  I am so blessed to love my children.

Thanks for listening to our happenings and my reflections.

I CAN Do It All!

As I was scurrying through life yesterday doing laundry, making bread, cutting a pile of old t-shirts into rags (they had cluttered my bedroom and then my laundry room long enough!), and thinking about the school I needed to do with Kurt and things I needed to check for Kristen, and the 1st quarter grades I needed to get together, I realized that I had bought a lie.

The lie that “you can have it all” really is a lie.  And honestly, if we had it all, would we even want it all?  You can’t have it.  Choices have to be made.  Paths diverge in life and you have to take one or the other.  Getting lost in the wilderness between paths only leads to confusion and guilt.  You’re not really sure which path you belong on (or which one is more important) and running between the two leads to neither path being as fulfilling as it could and should have been.  I made my choice of which path to follow and I’ve never regretted it.  I’m doing what I wanted to do.

The opposite of “you can have it all” is the lie that “you can’t DO it all.”  Hmmm.  I’ve listened to that one.  That one has led me down the slow path to depression.  I felt so overwhelmed by everything I couldn’t do.  “You can’t homeschool your kids AND keep your house clean AND cook for your family, too.”  “Something has to give.”  “You have to take time for yourself and just let things go.”  “You can’t garden and raise animals and can and bake . . . . .”  And the list of “you can’ts” goes on and on.

And as the lie built inside of me, it started coming out of my mouth!

“I’m too tired.  I’ll do it later, tomorrow, never.”

“I just don’t have the energy.”

“I’m so tired of this.  I just want to be their Mom.”

“I can do school or I can be Mom . . . I can’t do both.”

Wait a minute!  Who says I can’t?  I’ve been so caught up believing the lie that “I can’t” that I quit even TRYING to do SOMETHING!  I gave in to lazy and undisciplined under the guise of “I can’t do everything.”

But I chose this life.  I desired this life.  I asked for this life.  Granted, I jumped into parenthood, homeschooling and hobby farming completely unprepared for reality, but it’s still what I want to do.  By buying the lie, I totally ignored the Source  of my strength.

“I can do all things through Christ who give me strength.” (Phil. 4:13)

“He who began a good work in you will complete it until the Day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:6)

“My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19)

HE called me to be a Mom.

HE called me to teach my children at home.

HE placed in my selfish heart the desire for the farm and the animals and a garden and orchard.

HE gave me the desire to feed my family well.

And if HE brought me to it, HE will see me through it.  HE will sustain me in my infirmity (tiredness, weakness and lack of energy).

My Source, my Strength, my Energy, my Life.  And He’s not a cosmic force watching from afar.  HE LOVES ME!  He’s right here beside me folding clothes, washing dishes, baking bread, readings books, sweeping floors and cleaning stalls!  I’m free in Him to be me and I can DO IT ALL because HE says I can.  “Whatsoever you do shall prosper.”  (Ps. 1:3b)  I have HIS word on it!

And yesterday I got the school done, the laundry started, the food cooked, the floor swept, the bread made and still had time to paint the chalkboards on the pantry door (DIMS Day!) and the energy for church in the evening!

It’s all in my perspective:  believing the lie or believing the truth.

And That’s What’s Reflecting on the Pond.


Trying to Let Go

I’m sitting here at 11:30pm trying to let go of all of the “stuff” on my mind – not to mention suffering some heartburn from a wonderful pork chop dinner.

We were at our local resale shop today and I overheard that they might need some help which got me thinking that maybe it would help us get some bills paid if I got a part-time job. Maybe two days a week. I emailed my Mom and a couple of trusted friends to pray for me over the next week and as soon as I hit “send” I started looking at all of the reasons I shouldn’t. I’m supposed to be homeschooling my kids! I know that a lot of homeschool families have a Mom that works, so it is doable. The girls immediately freak out about how much other stuff I have to do (um, when’s the last time I actually DID dust the house?) I started looking at dr. appts. & orthodontist appts. and how would I stay on top of things?  Would it overwhelm me now that I’m starting to have more energy and am feeling better?  Would it be more trouble then anticipated – like Lexi?  (Oh, I love that dog, but she is a disobedient handful!  And she barks the world awake in the morning talking to her echo – we have the neighborhood nuisance dog).

So, needless to say, I’ve put myself in some turmoil and I haven’t even turned in an application!

And I’ve really been struggling lately to have my quiet time and have it be of any quality. I sit down and read and try to pray for family and friends that are sick or have a special need. More times than not, my circle of prayer stops there and I don’t spend any time praying for persecuted Christians, our soldiers involved in wars in the Middle East, our government leaders (Lord KNOWS those ding dongs need our prayers), my Pastor and our church leaders. Half the time I don’t even think to pray for my own kids and my husband! It’s not like God seems extremely far off, I just seem to be struggling to maintain our relationship. I know I need Him more than ever and that I can trust Him to see us through. I KNOW He is FAITHFUL – how many, many times He’s shown me that He is.

So, here I sit late at night – desperately in need of some sleep since we’re taking Kristen swimming tomorrow as a pre-birthday afternoon off from school. But I need to make a thorough list and grocery shop in the morning.  The 6 o’clock will come way too soon and the coffee won’t be strong enough, I’m sure.  On the other hand – if I encourage myself in the Lord – I WILL get plenty of restful sleep.  I WILL get all things accomplished tomorrow and I WILL place my cares on Him because He cares for me!

I find my mind returning over and over to Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me for I am meek and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Lord, help me to rest and to trust.

That’s What’s Reflecting on the Pond tonight.

Happy Mother’s Day

I think the biggest thing my Mom taught me is that only God can change an unchangeable situation. My Dad left my Mom for another woman and not even the first other woman. I don’t remember her bitterness. I don’t remember her tears. I know there were both. Five years later my parents remarried. They’ve been remarried for 37 years. I watched my Mom marry the man that had wronged her and left her. I watched her forgive and trust God that my Dad would give his heart to Jesus. I watched her swallow harsh words and allow God to do His work in His time. My parents have a great relationship today. My Dad accepted Christ within 2 years of their remarriage though he didn’t begin going to church until I was in high school and then quit until about 10 years ago.

I came into my marriage knowing that I could never change my husband (hence the dirty socks on the bedroom carpet every day of the world :) ) and so I knew right off that I had to let God do the work in him. Kristen and I talk about her horse, but I don’t push it on him – if that’s in God’s big plans for Kristen then God will change her Daddy. He is an awesome God and has done more in ME than I could have imagined because I didn’t set out to change my husband.

My Mom taught me to let God change the unchangeable especially when that unchangeable was me.