Month: June 2013

When God gave me a new best friend

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I can say without a shadow of a doubt that Mom was my best friend.  We didn’t have much of a relationship when I was growing up. She was battling her own issues and I was a pretty laid back whatever happens is fine as long as there isn’t drama type kid.  Any issues we did have were pretty minor so as we got older we grew closer and then we became spiritual sisters in April 1999.

She was my mom – I went to her for any and all types of advise.

She was my own personal cheerleader – encouraging me and telling me that with God in my life I could do anything.

She was my counselor – when I felt like jumping off a cliff because I was a sucky mom and I had no idea how to raise two hyperactive toddlers – she was the one to bring calm and peace and patience and sense into it all.

She was my sister in Christ – we shared scriptures and songs and often talked about how God was working in our life. At least weekly, if not more often, we’d share prayer requests for family members, friends and just about anything.

On June 9th, 2012, God took my best friend.

No one will ever fill the void of not having her in my life.

But on September 9th, 2012, God gave me a new best friend.

My sister Danelle got her 5th DUI on the morning of September 9th. She had gotten her 4th DUI a few weeks prior and as the 3-month anniversary of Mom and Dad passing faced her, she told herself she could have just one drink. One turned in to two which turned in to alot, and when she woke up on the morning of the 9th she  knew that she would fail her breathalyzer.  Whether it was a cry for help, or just not thinking, she drove herself to take her breathalyzer – thus getting her 5th DUI.

I remember when I got the call that she had gotten another DUI. Pat, the kids and I were in a gas station getting ice cream cones. I was so overwhelmed with grief. I felt like I had not only lost my parents, but that I had now lost my sister. She would surely get 5-10 years in the State Prison.

I don’t remember if it was after the 4th or 5th DUI, but going through it all, Danelle surrendered to the Lord. And I knew that she was sincere and that she had truly had a heart change. I knew this because she started to talk like my mom.

She would talk about how God was working in her life. She would talk about different scriptures or Christian music. She talked about Jesus all the time.

To be honest at first I was scared to believe that my sister was truly healed. There had been alot of pain in the years past. Alot of hoping and praying. Alot of promises not kept and fears of what would happen if.

But within a short amount of time, I knew that Jesus had touched my sister. She was a new person, totally and completely surrendered to Him.

She didn’t get 5-10 years in the State Prison.  One of the many miracles that God performed for her.  There is no explanation. Except that God had work for her to do outside of those prison walls.  She did get 60 days in prison. And she was also accepted into the DUI Court program, which is currently only offered in her county and one other county in the state. {Coincidence? Ha! We don’t think so!}

The DUI Court program is a new program (thus why it’s only offered in two counties in the state – but it will be expanded to more counties!) that offers DUI offenders a different option to find healing. Instead of spending 5-10 years in prison, they do get some prison time and then they spend one year in an intense program of counseling and monitoring.  Danelle is now half way through Phase Two. Which basically means she’s a rock star! (And serves an awesome God!)

Today she called to tell me that on Thursday July 11th there will be a celebration for her at DUI Court (she meets weekly with the DUI Court team to evaluate how she’s doing).  She will be 300+ days sober and so they have a celebration and family is invited. We were planning to go up to see her anyway because July 10th is her birthday. So we are excited to stay an extra day and celebrate her 300+ days sober.

As she was telling me this I started bawling. Not only because I’ve been off my antidepressants for a while (long awesome story that I’ll share later) and I cry at anything and everything, but also because as we were talking about her three upcoming dates to celebrate…

July 9th:
10 months sober

July 10th:
her first birthday sober
(ok obviously she was sober when she was little, but she started drinking pretty early so it’s been a long time)

July 11th:
party at DUI Court for 300+ days sober

…the Lord whispered to me…

Yes my child, in My perfect timing I took your best friend. But I also gave you a new one.

Isaiah 61:1-7

God sent me to announce the year of his grace
A celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies
And to comfort all who mourn
To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,
Give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes

Messages of joy instead of news of doom,
A praising heart instead of a languid spirit.

Rename them “Oaks of Righteousness”
Planted by God to display his glory.
They’ll rebuild the old ruins,
Raise a new city out of the wreckage.
They’ll start over on the ruined cities,
Take the rubble left behind and make it new.


A new conflict resolution technique

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Patrick and I attended a marriage mentoring training last week. I know it’s a tad bit scary to think about us being marriage mentors, right?

Don’t answer that.

Anyway, we were shown a video and it has literally transformed how I handle conflict with the kids.

HAHAHAHA! That’s horrible, right?! But also so funny.

I decided I’d try it with the kids because they are CONSTANTLY bickering and complaining and whining. And I’m tired of ALWAYS bickering and complaining and whining at them to stop the bickering and complaining and whining.

Angel has the most amazing personality – she is very black and white. And she has a four-year old brother who likes to make up stories and is very imaginative and such. So this causes them to argue about everything.

I, of course, wasn’t as harsh as Bob was in the video. But now when they start arguing or bickering and it goes on and on and on (because despite the fact that I HATE the conflict I need to help them learn how to communicate and disagree in a good way), I have started the “STOP IT technique”.

Angel: MOM! …….

Me: Stop it!

Caleb: MOM! …….

Me: Stop it!

Angel: But….. Caleb….. he always….. I can’t…..

Me: Stop it!

Caleb: But….. Angel….. she never….. why can’t I…..

Me: Stop it!

And on and on and on. Until we are laughing so hard that they’ve stopped bickering and have forgotten about whatever tiny little thing they were even arguing about.

It’s awesome. And for a very small moment in time, I don’t feel like a complete mom failure! Woo hoo!

What’s even more awesome about this is that Angel actually invented the “STOP IT technique” when she was just a toddler.

I wonder how our marriage mentoring will go if we use the “STOP IT” technique!?


What happens in the barn stays in the barn

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I found the most amazing shirt at Tractor Supply the other day.


That’s right. We shop at Tractor Supply now.

And even though you are probably getting extremely bored with farm news, here is a little overview of our week, which of course includes farm news.


I have alot of rhubarb. This picture doesn’t really do justice the humongous pile that I picked last night. I already have three bags in the freezer, plus this, plus a whole bunch more to pick. Yeah for lots of strawberry/rhubarb jam through the fall and winter! And yeah for Grama Barb who’s offered to show me how to make it!


The kids are loving have kids their age as neighbors. We got out the slip-n-slide the other day. Which turned into slip-n-slide-cover-ourselves-in-mud. I have a picture of me and my siblings covered in mud when we were little. Except we were in our underwear.


Don’t you love Angel’s pose.


 The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, huh?

Speaking of apples, we have apples!


Little bitty baby ones. I guess last year all the apples in the area were wiped out by a late freeze, so we are so excited that we’ll be getting some this year!


Holly, Timothy and one of their friends came over last night. We made kabobs on the grill and corn on the cob. The kids had fun helping Hols assemble the kabobs.


Life is too short to not let the kids ride their scooters in the house.


I had found this on Craigslist last year. It was actually a bench. The kids and I painted it white but I still wasn’t sure what to do with it.  Then when I was looking for something to put my herbs in, I thought I’d put it to good use.  I ripped the lid off and drilled a few holes in the bottom. So far, so good!


Well hello Buck. You stay in your pen, you little stinker.


Hello Mrs Chicken.

Our poor chickens look horrible. I think we might have gotten scammed by Craigslist man in the Hibachi grill parking lot. Alot of the missing feathers is because they fight all the time. So there’s some stinky purple creme stuff we’ve started putting on them. And hopefully once we get their coop all nice and cozy with a level roosting bar, they’ll stop fighting. But this morning I also saw some suspicious looking poop…

yes. yes I did just say that.

…and so we’ll have to figure out what’s going on.


This week the kids got to spend some time with Uncle Tracy. As you can see from this picture, they didn’t have any fun.

We were pretty impressed with him. He took them to Hu Hot for supper, to the arcade, to a movie and then to Falls Park. Uncle of the year, I’m thinking!


Angel had dance camp all week. She was so excited. As you might remember, we took a break last year from all our activities. She’s definitely ready to get back in to it. Today was her mini recital. Seriously how is she growing up so fast?!


The sunsets never get old.

Today we had some time after Angel’s dance until I had to go to work. So we decided to try out one of the pools in town.


The kids had fun, but honestly not $10 worth of fun. From now on we’ll stick with the free pools.

But hanging with my kiddos is priceless!



Just another day on the farm

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As you know if you read this post, Patrick allowed the children to bring home some baby chicks last weekend.  We got them all settled and then I had to hightail it into town because I worked Saturday night.

I texted Pat on my lunch break to see how things were going and asked what they were doing.
He texted back:

“Just burying a chick.”

Um, what?

I quickly called and heard Angel sobbing in the background. They were right in the middle of all the baby chick dying drama.

No one is really sure what happened but we think the kids were holding the baby chicks and Angel accidentally dropped one.  And then accidentally stepped on one.

{Please Lord, I emphasize the word accidentally.}

Based on the extent of her trauma, we are pretty sure it was all an accident.

So we’re down to 7 baby chicks. I wonder how many will actually make it through the summer.

In other news, we have two goats for sale.


Just kidding. Kinda.

See what Buck is doing in the above picture? He’s not scratching his back. He’s trying to find a way out of that fence. Because you see our goats have separation anxiety.  Anytime they see us and we are not moving in a direction closer to them, they FREAK OUT!


Caleb is going over to the neighbors and you can see the goats over at the fence. They are crying which I’m sure can be translated,  “CALEB DON’T GO! WE NEED YOU TO STAND RIGHT NEXT TO US OTHERWISE WE WILL BE FORCED TO JUMP THIS FENCE!”

Sunday night I also had to work and when I called home on my supper break I learned that the goats had gotten out of the fence. Pat and the kids were in the house at the time and so didn’t know they got out.  Pat hears a knock on the door and there are some people standing there and ask if we are missing two goats.

You have no idea what a flashback that would have been for me.  I remember hundreds of times people calling or coming to our house when we were growing up, telling us the sheep had gotten out of the fence.

Why was I wanting to get all these animals again?

Well anyway, I had the bigger vehicle at work and so Pat and the kids loaded up into the car and drove the 1/2 mile down the road to pick up the goats.   We have leashes for them and so Pat puts the leashes on them, holds on through the window, and drives the goats back home.

How funny is that! He said he got passed like three times. HAHAHA. I can imagine what those folks were thinking.

Just another day out on the farm, huh!

Well the goats are running out of chances on this farm. Since they kept jumping the fence, I spent about three hours on Monday making a little pen for them in the barn. I was pretty proud of myself, I was sure there was no way they could get out.  And they didn’t.

Until today.

This morning we were of course running late and everyone was having a meltdown. I was trying to hurry doing chores…

We do chores every morning now.

Sorry.. anyway, I was in a hurry and so I put the goats’ feeder trough along the wrong side of their pen. Because Buck found a weak spot in the chicken wire I had put up on Monday. And by standing on the trough he was able to use his stupid head to break through the chicken wire and jump through a teenie tiny space to get out of the pen.

Thankfully our neighbors are awesome and saw they had gotten out. They put them in the barn and shut the door, which we discovered when we got back home about 1:00 today.

You have no idea how close I was to making goat stew for supper. UG!

After awhile I cooled down, and I realized it was sorta my fault they got out, and so spent another couple hours in the blazing heat fixing the pen, making for sure for sure they couldn’t get out.  I’m still on the fence though. We have to come up with a solution so I’m not having to deal with two escape artists every single day.  And if we can’t come up with something we’ll have to go with plan B.

Mmmm, stew.

: )