Thee Farm Wife

Thee Farm Wife

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Screaming and Starbucks

Oh my sweet little space on the interweb...how I long to escape and let words pour out from my fingertips. To get rid of anger and frustration and share with the whole wide world that my kids are screaming the f word at each other and not even pretend that life is perfect anymore. Everyone is hurting in our family and withdrawing into their own little shells. There is no community. Everyone is tattle tailing now. And i just want to scream. Get in my van and drive to the nearest Starbucks. 



But deep inside I KNOW that God doesn't have THIS planned for us. I've lost my voice. Can't even get the words to come out of my mouth. Begging them to STOP and listen to me. To hear me and be heard. No strength to take a deep breath and get up and deal with the fighting. I don't even yell anymore because every time I do? My soul hurts...right down to my marrow.

When did my ideal (made up in my head) family life go? Is it really true that everyone lives this way? Or the opposite...is it really true that everyone else's life is perfect and that their children have NEVER said the f word?

Now they are telling each other they are sorry...hugging it out and I haven't said a word. Only poured my heart out to God...here in this space. And so our day continues. The sun shines it's face upon us. God breathes new life into our darkness. 

Do I dare hit "publish" and let you know? Of course, because there is hope for all of us. And His name is Jesus. 


Saturday, October 8, 2016

When things don't go as planned

This series was supposed to begin on October 1, as I was ready to post this, my laptop crashed. At first, I was angry, OK out of control enraged throwing tantrums and maybe swearing a little, but then, I waited. Because it was a lesson that things DO NOT go as we plan them. So here I am, on Day 8, starting my new series. Enjoy and be blessed.

WRITE 31 DAYS 2016

"Planning with purpose and praise" that's the theme of this blog. Helping you create a life that is under control and full of praise for Thee One who sets the stars in motion and knows the plans He has for you. (Jeremiah 29:11)

But what about those things that come out of nowhere? The unexpected? The unwanted?

All around our county last week towns were flooding. Fields under water. Cows and hay bales floated in the muddy waters. 

How in the world does one plan for that? And what possible purpose can God have with this?
God is not a God of chaos. And chaos is all around us. 

I can tell you all about making emergency preparedness. But you wouldn't listen to me until the actual disaster threatened or was imminent. 

A week after the floods I received a message from a very dear friend. Our friend has passed away. She was only 43. You can't prepare for that either. The flooding of emotions and memories and regrets hits you like wave that weeps you under and you've got to remind yourself to breathe and live in the present and not get stuck in the past. Only you can't because you're getting pulled under by the grief. 
 
Some things just can't be planned
But there is still this life. Life has to be lived as long as God gives you the breath to breathe. He took my Laurie's breath away and now she gets to be with Him. That I accept. And until my dying breath I've got to live. Whether things are going the way I think they should be planned or not.

It's time to write for 31 days. Thirty one days of living the life God has lain out before us. The plans He makes surely are much better than our own. Join me?

Planning and praying and breathing with love,

Thee Farm Wife


Sunday, September 18, 2016

More Sunday night musings...a Sunday night routine

 I can tell the end of summer is near. The windows are so dirty that everything outside looks dingy. I can't clean them in the summer because we have to spray the house for flies. Farm livin.

The kids are in the tree house with blankets and pillows. Someone just yelled, "GO TAKE THAT JAR OF PEANUT BUTTER INSIDE!" I don't even want to know. 

Jaima, 14, went to the Homecoming dance last night. I didn't want to let her go. I know without a doubt that she is nothing like I was at 14, But I do know that boys are still the same. Her innocence makes me proud...and regretful at the same time. But the past is the past and I am who I am and praise God for that. He walked me right on up and out.

Now, here's another great planning tip for you as we work on our Homespun Faith and planning life together:

If you don't have a Sunday night plan, I have to tell you that if you would just take a few minutes tonight, your week will be amazingly better.


  • Check the calendar.
  • Check the forecast.
  • Check the fridge.
  • Get a basic menu plan and grocery list started.
  • If you are behind on laundry, grab one outfit for each person and wash one load for tomorrow.
  • Find everyone's shoes and backpacks. Notes, fees and library books.
  • Throw the kids in the tub. While they are bathing...
  • Pack lunches.
  • Find your purse, keys, work things, water bottle.
  • Pick your outfit for tomorrow.
  • Everyone go to bed early. This one night sleep is the most important to jump starting your week. Don't forget kisses and prayers and stories. 
This really doesn't take as long as you think. And really works for every night of the week. You just have to want to get control of the chaos.


Do you enjoy the craziness of Monday morning?

Love and sweet beginnings to your week,
Thee Farm Wife

Friday, September 16, 2016

Football Friday - Recipe #2

Ahhh...finally Friday! Homecoming for many schools. The weather is slowly changing. And I just spent an hour on Pinterest gaining weight just looking at all of the yummy recipes for tailgating!
Seriously, there is a dip and a thingie on a stick for everything.

I have made Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls for Thee Farmer and his friends several times for fight night. That's when they get together and act all manly and watch grown men beat the crap out of each other.



You will need:

Egg roll wrappers
One bag cole slaw mix
Canned chicken or cooked and shredded chicken breast
Cookies Wings and Things Sauce
Bleu cheese crumbles or bleu cheese salad dressing

I like these ingredients better than the ones suggested on the recipe I found. These are baked and are very easy. Just make sure you have plenty of sauce because the chicken absorbs A LOT!

For directions and how to fold and bake head on over to this link.

Be sure to listen to KWAY 99.3 FM and the Breakfast Club Friday mornings for Football Friday. We interview Rick Willis,Wartburg Head Football Coach, Mark Farley, UNI Head Football Coach and tomorrow W-SR's Homecoming King and Queen! You can tune in online at www.kwayradio.com

Much love and appetizer happiness,
Thee Farm Wife




Saturday, September 10, 2016

Book Review AND a Giveaway? What the What?!?

  • DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale Momentum Publishers in exchange for writing an honest review on my blog.


I love everything about this journal. 
From the hardbound cardboard cover to the amazing illustrations and journaling prompts.
 This book is a fresh new way to reconnect with God.
You can purchase your own copy online or in local bookstores. OR better yet:
Enter to win your very own copy!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


P.S. Make sure you subscribe to Thee Blog by entering your email in the subscription box. No spam guarantee. More giveaways to come!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Puke Dip - Friday Football Recipe of the Week!

Terrible name...great for tailgating!

1 block Velveeta Cheese
1 pkg. Cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can Rotel
Put all in crock pot on high.

Brown 1-2 lbs. ground beef, seasoned with Lawry's, onion powder, black pepper and onion flakes. Add to crock pot. Cook until all melted. Stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.  Turn temp to Low or Keep Warm while serving.



Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sundays

Closing out the day and starting the week. It's hard to shift gears.

There is still one more load of laundry to dry and put away. The kids are all in bed. I ate way too much for supper and am now reminding myself why we should have popcorn for dinner on Sunday nights.

Lunches are made. Outfits laid out. Shoes found. Backpacks packed. Check.

It wasn't always this easy to end our week this way. Usually it was a mad screaming dash to the finish line. And I hated every minute of it.

It took over 7 years (probably more) to get these routines established. We really try not to break them. People - well friends really - think we are crazy. But when you have four children, a farm and a marriage that is top priority you have to tend to all the things.

Bedtime. Quiet time. Loving time. Cooking and eating and dish washing and bathing and cleaning all.the.time.

This post was inspired by something I saw on a a Fakebook post. A younger friends said she hated Sundays because she had to clean all day.

Sundays are for church and family and resting. Sunday nights are time to prep for the week. Clean a little each day. Teach your kiddos to pick up after themselves. Rinse their dishes. Whatever it takes to have a peaceful Sunday. You will not believe the difference it makes when you climb into bed on Sunday evening and have this great sense of accomplishment and peace.

"For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy. Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe."  Proverbs 3:10-11

P.S. Does this happen every week? NO WAY! But it is my goal for our family. Try it, and let me know if you have any questions.

Love and peace,
Thee Farm Wife

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

My Review of the Illustrator's Notetaking Bible

*DISCLAIMER*
I received a free copy of this Bible in exchange for an honest review. 
All opinions are my own and I was not compensated monetarily in any way.

I love me some Bible journaling. I have always written in my Bible. Drawn in it. Underlined. Even glued notes I love into the margins. (I'll tell you how to do that in another post.) My Bible is my legacy to future generations, "hold on to the faith."

The HCSB Illustrator's Notetaking Bible is a beautiful edition. The cover is high quality. The pages have gilded edges. The paper...sumptuous. And it has MAPS people.



What I love about it is that the illustrations are a lighter gray so that one can outline and color without worrying about bold black lines. You can truly make these your own.

What I don't like? The small type. The whole purpose of owning a Bible is to read it. I can't see 7-point type. Sigh.

Yes, Bible journaling is amazing.

But it's more than coloring.

 It's drawing deeper in the Word. Getting to know the One who made us. And I just couldn't with this edition. Probably because the last time I went to the optometrist he told me I needed bi-focals.

Much love,
Carolyn

Product Description

The Illustrator’s Notetaking Bible combines two hot trends: Bible journaling and adult coloring. Each two-page Bible spread contains a line-drawn illustration that you can fill in with whatever colors you choose. It includes three varieties of illustrations: (1) filigree, (2) Scripture quotes, and (3) drawings that illustrate the topic of the corresponding Bible text. It's ideal for Bible study, homeschool moms, coloring book enthusiasts, and the scrapbooking community.
Features
  • One-column interior design allowing your notes to be next to the applicable Scripture
  • Over 600 beautifully integrated illustrations facilitating your creative side, yet ample white space to create your own as well
  • 2-inch ruled margins ideal for recording observations, lessons, reflections, prayers or notes
  • Exceptional way to express yourself and your spiritual journey right alongside the Bible passages you read and study
  • It's a perfect gift and lifelong keepsake
  • Durable LeatherTouch hardcover binding will travel well and keep for years
  • Eight pages of full-color maps
  • Ribbon marker
  • Gold page edges
  • Presentation page
  • 7-point text size
  • 8.75" x 6.75"

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Failing as a Parent

Dear God,

Today I am failing as a parent. You have opened my eyes to see that I have let our children take control of our house and family. That is not your way. You want us to train them up in the way they should go. To be respectful, and most of all to love.

HELP!

At 11:30 last night, Jaima, our 14-year-old, woke me up to tell me that the boys were in the bathroom, in the shower. Spraying water all over the place. In the cabinets. On the floor. Major flood warning. What would possess (I use that term literally and Biblically because it was certainly the devil who made them do it.) two of God's little creatures to even think of doing such a thing?!?!?!

We (she) cleaned up. Somehow they got to bed. I fell back asleep. I came out to the kitchen this morning to get my coffee. My purse was opened and contents spilled out all over the floor.

That's when it hit me. I was failing. You see, when I was growing up, we were taught that a man or child never touches a woman's purse. Basic respect. Rules laid out.

How did these things become ingrained in me and why hasn't it happened with our kids?

The answer? Demonstration and communication.

The first time they got in my purse I should have gotten down on their level and said, "This is mommy's. Purses are not to be gotten in to." Repeated as necessary until it was part of their thinking and belief system. Training them up in the way they should go.

Nope. I yelled. "Leave MY stuff alone! Don't you ever touch that again! Why don't you ever listen?"

That is failing. No one wins when yelling begins. 

And that is why I found my purse emptied out on the floor this morning at 6am.

So, what's a Mom to do?

First of all: Be strong and courageous! Deuteronomy 31:6

Then acknowledge that you need patient endurance:

Psalm 130:5-6New Living Translation (NLT)

I am counting on the Lord;
    yes, I am counting on him.
    I have put my hope in his word.
I long for the Lord
    more than sentries long for the dawn,
    yes, more than sentries long for the dawn. 

Wait for the dawn. 

The sun is rising now here on Thee Farm. Soon, they will awaken and we will begin a new day. Yesterday was an epic fail. Today? Full of hope as I run this race set before me. We are raising Kingdom Kids We shall not fail. And you won't either. Put your trust in Him. Listen to His Word. And take the time to teach them. 

AMEN.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Taking time for a moment of peace

I didn't know I hadn't been here with you since Memorial Day.

I have been putting pen to paper to write my thoughts.

A whole ninety nine days of summer survival tip for parents thing that could have drawn traffic and generated revenue...but I didn't want to. Instead, I use it on our radio show. If you really want to, you can find the ideas here.

Going to work at 4:30 am makes me miss the view from my writing window. The early ground fog rising from the river bottom. The sun peaking up over the hill. The neighbors cows lined up meandering the cattle path going to get a drink from the pond.

And the dew. The dew glistening.The mama birds chirping. Come, baby, it's time to spread your wings and fly.

I cling to the peace of this moment. Draw deep breaths of clean morning air. Stare at our beautiful old maple tree, that I know might just outlive me.

Will my children discover the peace of this place? Will they live lives so busy that they forget to stop and drink in the morning?

Would they see the three birds evenly spaced on the power line...perfectly spaced...and two fly away...leaving just the one...and miss the Father, Son and Holy Spirit...three in One...always here...waiting for these quiet moments for us to discover Them?

Monday, May 30, 2016

Searching for good news

I wake up this Memorial Day full of hope and celebration. I love our great country. 

My job each morning as a news reporter is to gather the news. 

I log on to my PC and the darkness pours over me...vandals spray paint veterans memorial rock...retired police officer kills children, then self...police injured trying to help man who set himself on fire...

All I see is the evil in this world. At least that is what the major media sources want me to see and report. I go back to the websites looking for anything that is positive, uplifting.

A teen walks across the stage to graduate after having suffered a stroke. 

That's it. The only positive story. That and "bow hunting deer considered a success this season".

I haven't been living under a rock. I am fully aware that there has been evil in our world since the beginning of time. 

But what if I had never gone online this morning? The only news I would know is that is currently raining here on Thee Farm. It's Memorial Day. The last Monday in May. The songbirds in my yard are singing praise. My children are all sleeping soundly because summer is here and they can sleep all they want because they are growing. Growing.


What lens will they see the world through someday?


One of hope? or one which the media wants them to use?

I cannot shelter them, and I don't want to. But I will teach them and encourage them to look for the one good news story amongst all of the terrible ones.

And as long as they know Thee Good News, they will have hope. Even on the darkest of days.


Friday, May 27, 2016

Using My Voice

I have never been afraid to speak my mind...sometimes to my detriment, sometimes to my advantage.

I have been quick to spread gossip and yet slow to share my faith.

Sharp words fly out of my mouth - words of praise for a job well done?  not so much.

Why? What others struggle with - the whole "using your words" thing...I excel at. I get paid to talk on the radio for Pete's sake.

Today, I choose to use words that build souls up. To speak truth. To pour words of healing praise into my relationships.

Summer vacation has begun. It's time to practice patience with my children. It's time to stop nagging Thee Farmer and instead thank him with words full of gratitude for all he does for our family.

God has given you a voice. How will you use yours?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Watching movies in the van

It's almost 8 on a Monday night. The boys are hanging in the van with me while Jaima is at dance class. A good mommy would have taken them to a park or something. Not this girl. We are watching a movie. I'm showing them history. Yeah. That's it. I'm teaching them about drive-in movies. I sure hope root beer doesn't have caffeine in it. Sigh. #keepingitreal

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Ugly Cake



It ain't pretty but it sure is tasty!

We take this cake to potlucks and have to convince people it really is good.

Thee Farmer often pins recipes for me to make for him. Some fail. This one is a success.

The original recipe calls for two ingredients:
A box of yellow cake mix
A 16 oz can of pumpkin.

Mix (the batter will be ugly and thick) and bake in a a greased 9 x 13 pan at 350 degrees for about twenty minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick.

You can shake it up a little, too!

You can add egg or two to make it fluffier.
Add a tesapoon of pumpkin spice.
A splash of vanilla.
A little vegetable oil or water. Or a snack size cup of applesauce.

You really can't mess this one up!

After you make it, leave a comment and a picture. Can't  wait to seee your ugly cakes!




Thursday, March 31, 2016

Back to adulting...When a SAHM decides to return to the working world...just for fun!

I have been a stay-at-home mama since I started this blog way back in 2007. 

Just writing that brings mixed emotions. I LOVE being a mommy. I haven't missed a single event in our kids' lives. And let's face it, I love staying home and getting dressed when and if I want to. 

I LOVED my career. I wanted to be on radio or TV since I was old enough to talk and perform. I would make commercials and record them on my Daddy's old tape recorder. I would pretend to tell the weather forecast and make up news stories, holding a hair brush for my microphone.

I wasn't looking to go back to work at all. Nothing could compare to what I love doing best. I didn't want just any job. It was going back to radio or nothing.Talking and sharing stories. Writing a blog is kind of the same, but I talk waaaaaay better than I write!

I received a phone call a few days ago from an old friend and former boss. Would I like to return to radio? Let's see:

Would I like to get up at four a.m.? Not really. NO.

Would I like to talk to the people of my community, who are like family to me, every day? Yep.

Would I enjoy having big-girl conversations and not have to watch Daniel Tiger every morning? YESSSSSS!

So I get up at 4am, drive to town, tell folks the news, laugh a lot, listen to music and drink coffee. I am home by 9:30. Easy peasy.

We shall see.

P.S. Please pray for Thee Farmer. He is getting the children up and ready for school each morning. I mean, I lay out their clothes and make their lunches...but he has the hard part, getting them out of bed!




Monday, March 28, 2016

Life in words, not pictures

If I had taken my camera outside this morning I would have missed the beauty. When we are busy snapping shots we miss the moment. It felt so right to be lost in the minutes.

I was making coffee and looked out at the west pasture. There lay a newborn calf, mama licking her clean. Steam rising from her warm little body. Welcome, new life. Welcome.

Welcome to a world where the news is full of bombers. Women and children being murdered during a celebration of our Risen Savior. Welcome to a world of violence. But here, here on Thee Farm, you are safe. All is well.

I feel this way about our own babies. Here on Thee Farm, they are safe. Mama is here. Daddy to protect and teach. I trust God here.

In the "real" world?
The one full of violence and hate? I try not to live in fear. I try not to think about the dying. But aren't we all dying anyway?

So I will paint my world to you in words, not pictures. Let you imagine the steam rising from my coffee as I follow Thee Farmer outside. Walking in his frosty footsteps. As he lifts the fence line and climbs through. As excited as a child on Christmas morning. The little black spot I saw from the window? She rises up and turns around and her face is white. White and beautiful. And Thee Farmer tells her so. I giggle like a little girl. It is so amazing. I whisper, "Thank you, Jesus."

We spot another "surprise" baby and Thee Farmer says, "That's a twin. Gotta be. Looks like the one over there." And sure enough, they are identical. Two little black heifers. So innocent. He walks her to her Mama. Only Mama? She only wants the one right by her side. She shooed that little baby away. The baby that marched behind him like a puppy right up to her Mama? Rejected.

He carries her to the calf warmer in the shop. Cradles her as best as he can. It's gonna be all right little one. We will get you warmed up. Make you a bottle. Welcome to life.

My coffee has gone cold. My own babies lay safe and warm. They will rise and we will go about the rhythm of our day. And I will try to keep the peace. Teach them to love and not hate. Lead them to their Savior, not just by words and deeds and recitations, but by example.

Shelter them from the world for just a little while.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A book review


*NOTE*
I am a B&H/Lifeway Blogger. I was given a complimentary copy of this book to review. 
I was not reimbursed in any matter.
 All opinions are my own.


Urban Legends of the New Testament: 40 Common Misconceptions by David A. Croteau

The nerd in me picked this book to review. 

First of all, I had to keep returning to the preface to be reminded that the title of each chapter was the myth/legend itself, and he writes the opening of each chapter as if he believes it to be true. CONFUSING. If you just picked up this book and started reading and skipped over that tiny paragraph in the preface you would be so lost.

With that in mind, on to my review.

The book contains 40 "Urban Legends". "Paul was a tent maker" and  "Jesus died when he was 33" are two examples. Most of the chapter titles are things you have surely heard over the years in church and accepted to be true.

When we dive in and study the original languages and the context some surprising answers are found, and myths are busted.

My favorite chapter/legend? "We can do anything through Christ who gives us strength." One of the most popular verses in the Bible, Philippians 4:13. Taken out of context, surely you will believe "all" to be "ALL". Does the Bible really mean "all things"?

Check it out and see for yourself.

A good read. A little tedious at times. And yes, there's that little bit of confusion on what is the Legend and what is the Truth. But worth checking out at your local bookstore or library. 

Just promise me not to scream, "Blasphemer!" at your Pastor when he preaches on these!

Keep reading!

Carolyn
Thee Farm Wife

Bible journaling...distractions

When Thee Farmer went out to do chores this morning he told me to "get to writing." It's 2:30pm now and I'm finally getting to it!

I got a little sidetracked, naturally.

My office/creative space was a little uninspiring. Too much stuff that I no longer use
and not much space for desktop work.
I

I sorted everything into boxes. Kind of using the Konmari method of sorting.


I also have my Ikea cart that was just stuffed full of fluff.
The aftermath:
I focused by using a podcast from FlyLady called "Focus Makes Me Fabulous." 
(You can find it on iTunes.)

I found some chocolate from Disney World. Did not find my missing hearing aid. Drank a Pepsi. 

Note the added decor of permanent marker on my desk front. Thanks, little man, thanks.

Man, is this Disney World chocolate ever incredible!

Oh yes, Bible journaling, that is what I am writing about. Tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow.

Be Blessed,

Carolyn
Thee Farm Wife







Monday, March 14, 2016

Books on my shelf...

Not including the couple million books on my Kindle, here are a few of the "real" books on my bookshelf:

Click here for virtual bookshelf.

Just purchased this gem last week. I love Time Warp Wife and her blog. It was a good price and I love the accountability of filling all of these pages up with what I am learning from the Word.


Be looking for some reviews and giveaways soon!

Happy Monday!

Love,

Carolyn White
Thee Farm Wife

P.S. Never miss a post...sign up for my email list on the top right side of my page. Spam-free guarantee. I will never sell or trade your address.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

It's Time...

It’s actually a beautiful day. In my corner of the house all is well. Beyond this little spot? Chaos ensues. Dishes overflow the sink…cover the counter…and being totally honest, the stove. Laundry? A whole mountain.
My biggest problem? I have not enlisted my children. It’s time to issue a draft. “All children that are old enough to walk must help mom.”
WWW.THEEFARMWIFE.BLOGSPOT.COM
Sounds perfect. Only here’s the trick: you’ve got to teach them how to do things. WHAT?
It takes time to teach little ones how to clean. How to pick up. You can’t just yell, “Pick.up.your.toys.” through clenched teeth. Inside their little brains this is what happens…Toys? which ones? where do they go? ooh lookie, my monster machine! And next thing you know they are clobbering each other and running around like little whacked out ninjas.
Solution: Walk up to the children. Bend down to their level. (Insert deep breath here.) “Let’s put five trucks in the basket.” You’ve got to take the time to stay with them and demonstrate.
After all, if I took you outside to the calf pen and told you to put the heifer calves on one side and bulls on the other, would you know what to do? “ooooh, lookie, a fluffy one!”
Try it. Come back and tell me how it worked. Give me some advice of your own.
It’s time to take back our families…one toy at a time.

Mondays

I’m going to let you in on another secret: Sunday night is the most important night of your week. You can’t be a slacker on Sunday evening. Give yourself just one hour and I promise your Monday mornings will be better!
I am going to be totally honest, by Sunday night our house is trashed. Like, “We should be on an episode of Clean House” trashed. But I am totally at peace with this. Why? Because I have a plan.
It’s one of those things, that no matter what, I know there is a way out of the mess. Kind of like how God picks me up out of the messes I make in my life and sets me on firm ground.
Psalm 40: 1-2 NIV
I waited patiently for the LORD. He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
And because my soul finds rest I can face this:
    





You won’t find any Pinterest perfect pics here. 
See, if you just focus on the mess you will miss the beauty.
The dirty dishes? We had some very good friends over for lunch after church yesterday. And small group last night. A half hour is all it will take to clean it up.
The clothes? Well at least they are clean. It takes less than five minutes to sort and put away.
The pretzels? I’m going to have the dog eat them up. Problem solved.
I stand on firm ground.
Before bed last night Thee Farmer and I laid out the kids clothes. Got their backpacks ready. Rounded up shoes and boots and hats and coats. Made sure their Thermoses were clean and planned what I would put in their lunches. Checked the calendar. Checked the weather forecast and had everyone in bed by 8:00. That’s the plan we stick to. And it works, because it gives us hope and peace for Monday morning.
What’s your biggest challenge to kicking off the week?

My most pinned pin

I love me some Pinterest. I love Bible journaling even more. Taking a verse and making it meaningful to me. I originally found this on etsy, but the link is gone.
There’s just something about laying on the floor and coloring that helps a person forget the troubles of this world. A timeout for adults. Try it sometime. You’ll like it.

What am I good at?

When I asked our kids this question, I got a shocking answer.

"Yelling." 
"Doing our laundry."
"Teaching us the Bible."
"Making snacks."

It didn't matter what the good responses were. It was the first one that stopped me. For over a year, I have been working really hard on not yelling at the kids. To pause. To consider my words. To try and teach them to obey the first time. And I have to admit, although I have made great progress, I still have miles to go.

I am a firm believer that it is never, ever too late to change. Satan will whisper in your ear: "You have already done the damage. You can't change. They will never listen."

LIES.

I am a fan of Google. I look up everything. I used to love encyclopedias as a child. To me, Google is and awesome, huge, unending encyclopedia just waiting for me to dive in.

Last week I googled "help me stop yelling".

And up popped this. What I was desperate for. Someone who had done the homework for me. Someone who has been there. Gentle Biblical responses.

Oh. I had my doubts. Like how would a "normal" parent react to a three-year-old using permanent marker on the computer screen? Me: "Why did you do that?!?! You are so naughty!!!! What the heck were you thinking?" Explosive Reactive.Dud. 

There is this amazing invention called a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. All I had to do was take the marker away. Walk him to the sink. Ask him to get the Magic and clean it up. "We color on paper not computers." Asked for a sorry hug. Problem solved.

I know what to do!

But I need to make a conscious choice to do the right thing. To not scar or scare. To not listen to the voices of the past that tell me I am in charge. I am to be obeyed. I am Thee Boss.

My methods have failed. It's time to do it God's way. 

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 
The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." 2 Corinthians 5:17

I don't know about you, but it's time to change. Join me?

Have you overcome your anger and learned to respond in a better way? What advice would you give a mom who needs hope? Comment below or email me at kennedy993@yahoo.com.



Saturday, February 20, 2016

Just make memories.

Here I am on a Saturday morning just trying to catch up on life.

Yes, dear friend, life. Apparently it goes on all around and continues making messes and things to be remembered even when I've fallen and can't get up.

I'm eating leftover chicken bites from Pizza Hut that I ordered on purpose because I wanted to eat them cold for breakfast this morning. The whole ten pack. All by myself.

Laundry is piled up on the couch (sofa? davenport?) and I need to fold it and put it away. Or make the kids do it. Which means I have to let go of my perfectionism and let them fold the towels their way and not mine. Which makes me anxious. But I have to Let. It. Go. because come on, there's like a half ton of clean undies and towels laying there.

Jaiden and AJ just came in from jumping on the trampoline. Cheeks rosy. She says "rosy red." Jaiden just read the above out loud to me and I love how she gets me.

Off to make her tea, let her fold the laundry with me. Use this moment to just be. Clean up the little messes and not sweat the big stuff. Because, this right here, is my life. Our lives. Meant to be lived. And I am sure you totally understand. That these children are so important. Scrolling (trolling) Facebook is not. Tweeting. Blogging. Snapping. Nope.

Not a moment to waste. Teach them how to fold. Let them fold their way. Who cares!

Just make memories.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Brain fog

There's something about this foggy, dreary, waiting for the snow storm to hit, Eeyore kind of day...my fingers missing every key it seems and red lines scream at me to correct my terrible typing. 

I hate when I can't see the barns from the house. They are not that far away. Don't ask me how many feet. Only Thee Farmer can estimate that stuff - only sometimes he uses a measurement called "rods" which he learned from his daddy. (And "snittles" that's another farmer phrase that makes me giggle. Those are bits of paper and debris in the yard that have to be picked up before we mow.)

The fog swirls around like the scattered thoughts and lists in my brain. It settles in frost on the willow tree branches. Making an ice palace in our front yard that never ceases to take my breath away when I look out of the kitchen window and discover it. Like it was created just for me.

A thousand bazillion Legos litter the living room carpet. Alexander is intently staring at the table looking for just the right tiny piece. If he picks one up that isn't to his liking, onto the floor it goes. Sigh. I will forget about them and eventually step on one or two and shriek like a banshee.

So, here I am on this foggy Monday morning. At a crossroads of sorts, only in the fog, you can't see what's coming. You have to trust God to take your hand and lead you out of the darkness to the light. Trust that the sun still shines beneath the heaviness of the day. Trust and wait for the fog to lift so you can see and think and feel again. 

https://armed4war.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/frothedit.jpg?w=775
 Photo Credit: https://armed4war.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/frothedit.jpg?w=775

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Right now, you may not feel like feeling. You might be stuck in this fog. But look up. Kneel down before Him and receive all that He promises for you, my friend. Receive. Be filled. 


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tuesday Menu Ideas: Rule Number Two

I have another rule for you today:

PLAN YOUR MEALS FOR THE WEEK!

Seriously, take fifteen minutes one night this week. Look in your freezer. What kind of meat do you have? Frozen veggies? Tater tots or fries?

Look in the fridge. Do you have shredded cheese, milk, eggs and butter?

Next head to your pantry. Canned veggies? Fruits? Rice? Noodles? Sauce? Pizza crusts or tortillas?

Now, write the days of the week on a piece of paper. Nothing fancy. Just write. Even an envelope will do for now.

Monday: Spaghetti. You have ground beef and noodles. But you need parmesan and sauce - write them on your list. 

Tuesday: Tacos. You have ground beef, lettuce, onion and cheese. You need tomato, sour cream, taco sauce and whatever else ya'all like on your tacos. 

Wednesday: You have church tonight. So Crockpot it is. Chili? Roast with veggies? Soup? What ingredients do you need for what you pick?


(Are you starting to get the idea?)

Thursday: You have chicken and frozen broccoli. You need fettuccine, parmesan and garlic bread.


Friday: Pizza night. But some ready made crusts. Pizza sauce (or use pasta sauce), cheese, and your favorite toppings.

Do you have cereal for breakfast? Meat and bread for lunches? Or make enough each night for everyone to have leftovers in a thermos.

The point is, if you sit down and PLAN, and then make a list, you will be able to go to the grocery store with confidence. You will know what meat to get out to thaw the night before. You won't be missing any ingredients and you certainly will not be ordering pizza or driving through Mac and Don's supper club again.

This is what I did this morning:

Meatballs! I ground up some of my homemade bread to make the breadcrumbs. These things taste so amazing!

Thatsa lotta meatballs!

You can make them as big as you want, but make sure they are all about the same size so they bake evenly.

I substituted French Onion soup mix because it was what I had on hand. If you haven't been to The Oak Tree in Plainfield you are missing out! Renee had every spice and mix imaginable. Organic and gluten free choices, too.


Head over to The Holy Mess for the recipe!


Sara has an awesome recipe for mixing up ground beef to prepare several tasty options. I made all meatballs with mine and will freeze them. Then I can use them in spaghetti, subs, barbecued or to take to a needy family. Seriously, it took me less than five minutes to mix and form the meatballs. Then twenty minutes to bake each batch.

You'll find all sorts of awesome and inspiring goodness on her blog. She brings sanity to my crazy-mixed-up life.

Any questions? Need any meal ideas? Recipes? Help planning a shopping list? Or a buddy to take you to Aldi's for the first time? Leave a comment or email me at kennedy993@yahoo.com

Don't forget to sign up in the box at the top of the page so you never miss a post!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Rule number one: QUIT BEING A NAG.

I haven't wanted to write...because I didn't want to just put something on here just for the sake of posting. Even though blog rules say you have to post often to keep your readers - I needed to keep my sanity and take a much needed break from THINKING.

Honestly, my brains were all discombobulated. (Whew, I spelled that without spellcheck. Winning the spelling bee pays off again.) I kept going off on tangents. Thee Farmhouse was a mess. Thee Farm Kids were super hyper and Thee Farmer started a town job.

I pulled up my boot straps and started a schedule. Some routines to help me dance through my days. Because I was juggling and dropping a lot.

I asked some trusted friends what they needed help with. They confided that they wanted to know how I do it all. Well, our "it alls" are all different. But I will try and help as much as I can.

See, if I'm being honest, which I believe is the number one rule, I'm not perfect. I yell too much. Swear sometimes. Eat junk and drink Pepsi like it's liquid cocaine. I kicked a 20+ year cigarette habit more than four years ago, but Pepsi? A girl has got to have SOMETHING to be addicted to. Right?

I also make homemade bread...in a bread machine...that takes one hour and thirty minutes. I cook from scratch...but I plan most of my meals out ahead of time. I work outside with Thee Farmer...but I watch a couple of episodes of  Downtown Abbey most days.

B-A-L-A-N-C-E.

You can make up a little sing-song if you like. But it's the honest truth. Stop trying to juggle because you don't know how. Seriously, try and juggle a couple of oranges...you look stupid, have no coordination, and you are wasting time. (My apologies if you really do know how to juggle. You don't look stupid. You're amazing. I bow down before you.)

In the next couple of posts, I will walk you through a few steps to help you balance motherhood, work, wifery, and even being a farm wife, or a wife whose husband may be married to his job.

Rule number one: QUIT BEING A NAG. Just do what you gotta do without complaining and check back for the next post.

(Points finger at self.)