Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Difference Between Men & Women

A thin woman will look in the mirror and think she should lose 10 pounds.

A man whose gut is hanging over his belt will look in the mirror and think he's still "got it!"

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Voices from the Past

Yesterday was a big day here at the farm.  My husband's new John Deere combine arrived.  Bright blue sky, white snow, and GREEN machinery - it's a beautiful sight!  While there are some farmers who are blessed enough to be able to trade in for new equipment every year, the last time this farm has purchased a new combine was 1981.  With all the hours put into that machine, it was past time for a new Deere.

While all of us were excited, it was cold and icy outside, so only a couple of the children ventured out.  Little Gloria was thrilled to get a ride in the "buddy seat" next to daddy.  When our 3 year old asked to go out, I told him, "no" because of something his grandmother said a couple of months ago.

My mother-in-law and I had been talking about the arrival of the new combine shortly after the guys had purchased it in December.  A while after we hung up from our conversation, my mother-in-law called me back.  She sounded a bit shaken as she told me to watch Zane extra carefully the day the combine arrived.  She had just had a premonition, and it wasn't good.   For this reason, Zane stayed inside all day yesterday.

Am I superstitious?  No.  The fact is, I probably wouldn't have paid any attention to it had it not been for a premonition my mother-in-law had almost 38 years ago.

July 1, 1973 - It was a Sunday afternoon.  My husband was 3 years old.  He and his parents along with his sister, and two brothers had come home from church.  The oldest brother was across the street fishing and the 5 year old, Michael, wanted to go outside.  He had put on his sneakers and asked his mom to tie them for him.  Something inside her told her, "No.  Don't tie them now.  Wait."  But, wanting to make her little boy happy she ignored the voice and tied the shoes.  A few minutes later, as Michael was crossing the street to see his brother, he was hit by a car.  My father-in-law did CPR until the paramedics arrived, but to no avail.  They lost their little boy that day.

No one was to blame.  It was an accident.  I don't think my mother-in-law blames herself - she knows God has a plan for everyone and everything.  But, she has never forgotten that voice.

So, when she told me to watch Zane when the combine arrived, I listened.  He stayed in the house yesterday.  Today, I had the privilege to put his little boots on him when he finally got to go outside to play.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Damsels in Distress & Big Galoots

So, I have this boy & girl living at my house.

The boy is a teenager.  A young teenager.  With an attitude that is getting old fast.

The girl is not quite a teenager.  But, apparently her emotional hormones don't know that.  She cries.  A lot.

The boy has not yet learned to be a gentleman.  He's what most 13 year old boys are - a big galoot.  (I find it a bit self-satisfying that spell check is not screaming at me over the word "galoot."  Apparently, it is a real word & I have spelled it correctly the first try.)  When a big galoot comes into contact with an extremely sensitive damsel, nothing good comes of it.

The big galoot is basically my husband's problem.  All he is to me is character training.  That's a whole other blog post.

The damsel in constant distress is my problem.  I sat on her bed this evening and explained to her that I understand the fact that she feels ready to cry at the drop of a hat.  I understand that she usually has no idea why she wants to cry.  I told her that I know how frustrating it is.   I also told her that, though her father is a sweet, considerate man now, he was also once a 13 year old galoot.  Only difference was, he didn't have a younger sister to drive to tears.

Just as the girl will learn to control her emotions, the boy will eventually become a gentleman.

How long this will take, I do not know.  I'm not even sure it will happen, but I have to have faith.  During the course of this journey, there will be three more distressed damsels and two more galoots.

I suddenly just got the same feeling I get when slowly climbing the first hill of a roller-coaster.  I'm buckled in, it's too late to get off, and I better pray I live through this.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Counting My Blessings

During the past week, one after the other of us has been knocked down by the flu.  Now we seem to be moving right into a nasty cold.  I was going to spend my blog post talking about sickness, the "blahs" of winter, etc., but decided today would be a good day to just count my blessings.

1)  I am grateful that we have illnesses that we will recover from relatively quickly.  I am so thankful for our family's over-all good health through the years.

2)  I am grateful that my husband has a job to go to every day and that it supplies our needs and our wants.  I see several friends searching for jobs and trying hard not to stress, but leave it in God's hands.  So far, never in our married life has Eric been without a job and I am so very thankful for that tremendous, and rare, blessing.

3)  I am grateful for my children.  Yes, they may drive me crazy at times, but they make life interesting and fun. I love seeing things through their eyes and experiencing new things with them.  If it weren't for them, there is so much in life that I would never have experienced.

4)  I am grateful for young friends who remind me of the difficulties and joys of growing up.  Because of them, I will not soon forget those days and I hope those memories will help me to better help & understand my children as they grow into adulthood.

5)  I am grateful that my husband comes home every night, does not drink, does not gamble, does not do drugs, does not beat me, does not insult me, but loves and cherishes me with his whole heart.

6)  I am grateful for a little 3 year old boy who loves to be snuggled.  And, I'll tell you a secret.  Though he's not supposed to suck his fingers, I love it when he just snuggles in my lap and puts his fingers in his mouth.  I'm not ready to let my baby go.

7)  I am grateful for lots of land for my children to go out and safely play.

8)  I am grateful for 24-hour stores.  Moms don't always get a chance to shop during "normal" hours!

9)  I am grateful for the hope of spring.

10)  I am grateful for friends near and far who encourage me, pray for me, laugh with me, and inspire me.  I hope I do the same for them.

So, my head is still clogged, my nose is still leaking, my eyes are still watering....but my heart is full of thanksgiving today!