Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Joy of the Lord is my Strength

Last night I was given the opportunity to dine with many wonderful women, and an amazing missionary from Haiti.  The evening was uplifting and encouraging.  Hearing her story of trials and faith, with a trust in the Lord that is mighty.  Leaving late that night, my heart had been restored with love for God, and a peace that is only from the Lord.
I tell you this because today was a doozy.  I was helping my husband, Dallas, feed cattle this morning.  We had a small ice storm last night, with some lightning in the middle of the night.  Not sure what spooked the cattle, but a group of about 36 head of new cattle had decided to demolish a gate and scatter themselves across the country side.  We followed tracks down the road finding groups of them randomly in hay meadows and fields.  The farthest group being about 7 miles from home.  For anyone that does not know, cattle running  that distance in freezing rain usually ends in sickness.  We spent most of the morning searching for them, and hauling them home.  Needless to say my husband was thrilled and I will call that FUN #1.
FUN #2 came when I needed to go to the bathroom.  I am sorry if this is TMI, but it happened and I'm sharing.  Like I was saying, I needed to go, so Dallas assures me it will be okay to just go at the pasture gate.  No problem, except that as I am, my neighbor (neighbor meaning he lives 4 miles away from us) comes driving down the road and sees me.  Can you say MORTIFIED!!!  I am almost 99% certain I will be avoiding him the rest of my life, due to embarrassment.  
Lets move on to FUN#3.  We have a cow that is sick, and she needs to be roped and doctored.  We need to finish feeding first, but will get to her later.
Poor Dallas continues on with the day, and FUN #4 occurs.  A tree has fallen on a fence and more cattle are out.  He is able to get them all back in, fix the fence and move on to more fun times.
To my surprise FUN #5 comes in the bundle of energy named Cooper.  He is our 2 year old son.  He tells me he is tired this afternoon, so I tell him to go lay down in my bedroom, and take a nap.  I go in to check on him, and  find him asleep in a laundry basket full of clean clothes, that I have chosen not to fold for two days now.  As you all might have already guessed, he peed his pants, and I washed a load a laundry.
FUN #6 and FUN #7 were had by my brother-in-law, Klint, and Dallas.  They had a heifer that was sick, and still needed to doctor the cow from earlier in the day.  The heifer was caught and doctored with ease, but the cow was a slightly different story.  We will say that the cow doctoring was a bit of circus show, and to preserve their pride, we will leave it at that.
Through all the FUN times we had today, I was able to laugh, and have joy in all the frustration.  We are blessed beyond what we deserve.  Our trials, things just simply not going the way we want, are little bumps compared to the mountains of spiritual warfare occurring daily.  God didn't create me so that he could make my life easy and comfortable.  He created me for His glory, so when days are tough and trying, know that the Joy of the Lord is your Strength. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Christmas Advent Calendar

I LOVE Christmas!  I love the lights, the caroling, the giving of gifts, the parties, the birth of our Savoir, basically everything that comes along with that wonderful holiday called Christmas.  My children also love Christmas, but unfortunately they love receiving presents above all things.  They are little, so I know that this is normal, but I don't want to be normal.  I decided that we needed to start some new family traditions, and I wanted to teach my children to have a heart for others. So, this is what I came up with...
It isn't just your normal count down the days until Christmas, Advent calendar, it is twenty five days worth of traditions and giving.  Each day is a different activity, but I will get to that in a minute. 
I need to first let you know that I did not come up with this idea completely by myself.  I had to look for direction from my dear friend Pinterest.
Here is how we, meaning my children and I, put this little beauty together.
We started out by purchasing a large piece of black foam board and a large frame that fit it.  We found ours at hobby lobby, half price frame day because I'm cheap. We also loaded up on Christmas scrapbook items. Buttons, ribbons, stickers, pretty Christmas scrapbook papers, and blank tags were on the list.
I then cut out and made these little pockets.  I just made them big enough to fit my tags. For those of you needing exact measurements, when folded they are 5 inches tall x 3 inches wide.

I used about five different papers for my pockets, and some of the paper was just plain white on one side.  For these papers, I glued a little square of pretty paper over the part that would be sticking up. I just liked it better this way because I have am slightly OCD.  Notice, I said slightly.  
After you have cut out twenty five of these little guys, it is time to glue them into pockets. 

Let the fun begin! Decorate your pockets in your style.  My children are all little, but we had fun decorating our advent pockets.  They did most of the gluing and placing of stickers and I just played the role of general designer, tying most of the knots and bows.
Here is a close up of some of our finished pockets.

When all our pockets were finished we arranged them on our framed foam board, five across and five down, and glued them down.  
The tags are the last, but most important part.  These will be the traditions and services that you and your family will fulfill each day.  I was so excited for this part, and again my dear friend Pinterest saved the day.  I had a list of ideas, but was in need of some inspiration, when I came across two amazing blogs. has the Light'em Up project and has R.A.C.K'ed
Both of these ladies are amazing and have tons of ideas and compassion for encouraging and serving others.
These are just a few of our tags, nothing special, just hand written and a sticker or some ribbon attached. 

My children and I had so much fun with our advent calendar, it amazed me how excited they were to see what the next days activity would be.  I loved seeing their smiling faces after participating in an act of kindness, or watching their happy dance because it felt so good to give.

Sorry, my post is so far from Christmas, but maybe that will give you time to make  an advent calendar of your own.

Monday, October 15, 2012

How often do you have a date night?

I am truly curious about how often couples, with children, have a date night.  Is once a month the norm, or more frequently than that?  What is an average date for you? Are you spontaneous or a planner? 
I don't know about you, but I love date night.  I am fortunate, both my parents and husbands parents live close and watch the children.  This allows date night to happen about once every month.  This past friday was our once a month.
We are in the cattle business and date nights do not tend to be very traditional.  This night was no exception.

Dallas (that's my husband) needed help finding a cow that had gone missing.  Nana Sheila was willing to take on the task of four little crazy grandkids playing at her house why we had a DATE NIGHT.   I was really excited, only one little problem... when we arrived at the pasture it was starting to rain. 

This was not a big problem, but we were not going to be riding around in the comfort of the truck.  We were going to be riding these two handsome fellows.

Dallas is a very smart man, very prepared.  That is why he brought himself a rain slicker. I on the other hand was so excited that we were going on a date night, that I didn't take thought about the rain and just brought a fleece jacket and a hat.  Dallas had gloves for me.
We rode all the creeks, through brushy areas and checked the fence lines.  As the sun set I was wet, had a slight chill  and the cow was still missing, but I enjoyed every minute of it. 
A friend of mine once said "I feel closest to God when I'm out checking cattle."  I understand that feeling.
We loaded up and Dallas took me into town to eat at a little mexican restaurant.  It ended as a great DATE NIGHT