Wednesday, February 17, 2010

One of these things didn't used to belong...

This is February which means that we get an annual visit from my beloved brother Darin and my niece Alex! She brought a new friend this year named Kristi who believe it or not is as nice as she is... didn't think there were any more out there to be honest! So we spent an afternoon at Best Buy checking out the new apple line... but something happened none of us could have anticipated! See if you can figure out which one of these things didn't used to belong...
Two girls sipping on Starbucks?... no, that's pretty normal in Best buy land.
Two teenagers and a 4 year old bonding over some online episodes of Sponge Bob Squarepants?... no, I think that happens a lot.

My mother falling for and purchasing the first computer she has like ever touched... What? What did you just say? My mother using a computer, let alone taking it home and getting herself an email account and asking me to teach her to use Facebook?! This definitely did not used to belong but I am so glad that's not the case anymore! I am so proud of my mom! Hey Miss Linda... I think she got tired of you knowing everything first! LOL! Here's to peer pressure!

Karen is now available at !!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

NKOB County Style!

We have two new kids on the block! They came to live with us on Feb. 3ed (Jedi's birthday) but were actually born on Feb. 1st. They are Lamancha goats and so they have no ears.... but they are known for their high quality milk and that is why we go them. The kids are starting 4H this year and Raven and BJ will be showing their goats while Trinity shows her bunny.
Pictured above is Joy (BJ's goat) and below is Hope (Raven's goat). We have to bottle feed them three times a day and the kids have been great about doing it. In a couple weeks we can start them on hay and weening them off the bottles. In the fall we will take them to be kidded out "knocked up" and after the babies are a few days old they will be ready to be milked every day. Since Raven has a dairy allergy this will be an awesome provision for us as the milk and cheese will be usable for the whole family!
We built a simple pen for them by reusing some old barn doors from a building we had to tear down on the property awhile back.
Pictured above is Trinity's bunny Cadbury. Ready set... County Fair!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What is strength?

I was teased pretty mercilessly as a child. It didn't take very long to figure out that if people didn't get an emotional response from you that they didn't tend to pick on you as much. I learned not to cry, not to show emotion of any kind in large quantities and this not only gave me the power of control but denied them the power of controlling me. This is a quality that I began to look at as a strength. I have worked to teach my children this same "quality". I reward them for times when they stuff their emotions and don't allow others see their pain and banish them to their room if they are crying until they can pull it together. It has come to my attention that this is actually not strength. It is a lonely road that leads to a broken person.

My youngest daughter is the happiest, sweetest little ray of sunshine on the planet and because of that I have never respected her. As I fervently tried to teach her to be as unfeeling as I am she has repeatedly looked me in the eye and told me she loves me and continued on in her loving way to reach out and connect with anyone and everyone without hesitation. I was wrong. Not showing my feelings didn't actually stop me from feeling them. The pain was not decreased by denying it... only deepened by my suffering alone. I pray it is not too late. I want to turn it around. She has been so strong to stand up in the face of all my opposition (bullying... if I'm being honest) and continue to care. True strength is being willing to be vulnerable. The ability to walk away unchanged, uncaring with only your control to keep you warm at night is weakness. I will have to learn strength from my little girl. I am confident it is not the only thing she can teach me... just the beginning.


Oh, ya'll are in for a deep one today... one year ago, I was in the darkest depression of my life. I honestly felt that God had let me go. Having grown up in a Christian home and with a relationship with God very early I have never really been able to understand the haunting questions that non believers struggle with... until this. Looking back at the road I have traveled this last year I can honestly say I am so grateful for every minute. Yup, you read that right. I am so thankful that God let me go through a season where as much as I adore my husband and love my children, the fact that I could no longer feel God in my life left me hopeless. I could only see my flaws. Nothing seemed to have purpose. What was I here for? What is the point of all this? Is this really all there is? I considered ending my life. It seemed to me that I was only bringing people down. My children needed a better mother. Ben deserved a better wife.

God didn't let me go. He allowed me to go through this to realize that I had it all backwards. I saw Him as the icing on the cake of life. Something to sweeten the wonderful life I was busy living with family and friends. The truth is that without Him nothing else was sweet, it was exhausting. If this was all there is... they weren't enough to make me want to do it. He is what makes my life sweet. He is my hope. Without Jesus... my life was empty, unfulfilled and without hope. Without hope... I never would have known what that simple, complicated phrase meant if he had not allowed me to really feel it. I needed to know what it felt like to not feel Him there with me to know how much of a difference He makes in my life every day. It makes me want to scream from the mountain tops to all my friends that don't know what hope, true hope feels like! It doesn't have to be this way! There is so much more! He is not a joy stealer... He is a joy giver!

This experience as revived my faith. I still struggle. There are still good days and very hard days. The laundry still piles up. The toilet still needs scrubbing. Some friends stay and some leave. At the end of the day I am still emotionally and physically exhausted but I know what I am here for. I know this is not all there is. I have hope. Sweet, precious, priceless hope for tomorrow.