The beauty of work

Hard work.  We were made for it.  Though a quick look at our overweight, sedentary culture may say otherwise, I’d beg to differ.  Our bodies function best when they have to do things, not sit around on couches all day.  I’ll try to stay off my video-game soapbox but really, we were created to do hard stuff.  From an early age, it has amazed me how much our kids delight in being challenged to do meaningful work.

Of course some are more bent to work than others.  And for sure at certain stages of our life, its been more difficult to actually come up with projects for all of them.  It would be so much easier in the short term to put a movie on!  Believe me, I’ve been in the “put a movie on” stage, there is always grace for the seasons that a mama just can’t function enough to do much more than that.  However, long term if I want to see diligence and a strong work ethic in my children, there isn’t much better way to grow that than to expect  hard work from them.

And even for me, if I want to keep chinking away (even at a snail’s pace!) at the I’ve-had-six-children baby weight, I have to force myself to work!  Not just dishes and teaching grammar and changing diapers and driving to co-op but things that make me sweat and breathe hard.  It feels good to go to bed a little bit sore.  Even just a brisk walk to the stop sign pushes the limits on my tired legs.

Phineas loves to work.  He spent the morning trying to behave at his sisters’ play and then we came home to find one of our does had delivered triplets in the pasture while we were away.  He “helped” get the babies safely into the barn and then we all watched them in wonder.  Then he got a big stick and whacked weeds in the forest for a couple of hours with his brothers.  Come dinner time, he was desperate for a snack, so I made him a big plate and set him at the table.  He ate every bite quickly and then it was quiet in the dining nook.  This is how we found him when we came to check:

sleeping farmer finn

It’s the essence of Finn in every way.  Plum worn out wearing his farm suit and covered with dirt.

Liberty works hard too.  Besides being insanely cute and completely delightful, she falls asleep on a whim with her snuggly big brother while the fam gets ready to go to church…

kyler and sleeping sis

And having dairy goats is work too, for sure, this girl has done the bulk of the care for these animals and we are continually impressed with her willingness to work hard:

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rylee with delight
baby goats day 2

I’m pretty sure it’s hard to be that cute….don’t you think?!  Their names are Cedar, Daisy and Lily.  Two doelings and a buckling.  The doe Rylee is milking isn’t their mama, she is another goat that we got this week from a friend.  Rylee is determined to get her back to producing milk despite the fact that her babies weaned 2 weeks ago….if anyone can do it, Rylee can!

I killed all the gorgeous cucumber starts I had worked so hard to grow in the kitchen “greenhouse”.  Put them out just a couple days too early and they froze into oblivion in one cold night.  Part of hard work is certainly failing, sometimes a lot!  But every failure is a chance to learn and try again.  Easy to type that.  Not easy to do it!

My one-of-a-kind mother

She is 64 years beautiful, my one and only, not-like-any-other-mother in all the world.  I haven’t ever met anyone quite like her, and I don’t guess I ever will.

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When asked by her friend how she’d like to spend her birthday (today), she answered “a picnic in the Arboretum with my daughters and granddaughters”.  So that’s just what we did, a girl day in all of Spring’s blooming, pink glory.  And we even had an extra bonus, my mom’s younger sister was here unexpectedly and got to join in the fun!

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She’s the one who can step up, step in when there is a mess of any sort…be it the heart kind or the laundry kind.  She has listened and loved for so many hundreds of hours over the past 35 years of my life and I’m just now beginning to understand the greatness of that gift.  She has offered wisdom and grace and encouragement when my need has been paramount.  She has stepped out in faith, taken risks, been brave and continued to pursue Jesus with all her heart.  She has modeled a faithful, unwavering commitment to the vows of marriage, which in this era is a fading thing of beauty.  That we’ve been blessed to live within 30 minutes drive of her and my dad for these past 15 years is such a treasure.

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What a perfect day we had to celebrate!  Warm spring days aren’t any given around these parts and we couldn’t have asked for a better one.  Nor could any of us girls have asked for a better mom.  Each of our lives holds all sorts of bits and pieces of her life and love all wrapped up into the women we are still becoming.

Thank you mom for letting each of us be “us”
and loving us
better with every passing year.

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I read these verses this morning and they so describe my parents, we may be more familiar with the cherry tree instead of the cedars of Lebanon but certainly they are planted and rooted in God’s house, still bearing fruit in their “old” age, full of “green” life and declaring still the faithfulness of God…

The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.  They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God.  They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, there is no unrighteousness in him. (Psalm 92:12-15)

Spring snapshots

Busy days here…keeping up with school work and farm work is filling the days right up.  Here are some glimpses into what we’re up to:

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The boys and daddy headed to the local Mountain Man show – by next year I vow to have a proper outfit for the hubby to wear, if he dares!

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It was sunny one day, so they donned swimsuits and went down the creek…turns out it wasn’t warm enough for a swim…but it was fun.

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worlds’ cutest little garden helper

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“the kind of thing brothers like to do”

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our friend Tom doing a (fantastic) barn add-on so we’ve got room for babies due end of April

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this farm girl has been working overtime helping with animals and work these days – her goat Blanchette is due May 1 with her first set of kids – we can feel them moving inside her belly every day

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the 54 meat chicks have graduated outdoors to their chicken tractor – thank goodness, smelly little buggers overstayed their welcome in the garage

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how this chicken could NOT make you laugh out loud, I don’t know, her name is Benny and she was the “free bonus chick” with our hatchery order – she or he is a riot – she resides in a pen with 25 brown Rhode Island Red pullets (below)

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remember those strawberries I wrote about?  here they are, putting down roots and setting new leaves!

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bare root raspberries, just getting their first leaves, seems weird to plant a stick looking thing in the ground and expect it to do something, but it is!

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trying out a bite of dandelion next to the cucumber bed

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daddy’s super cool mason bee home that we put three tubes of dormant mason bees into with hopes they will come out soon and pollinate all over our yard!

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Audrey taking Nana for an ATV ride!