using your words

 

Each of the kids showing off the gifts they picked out just for me. I LOVED THEM!

I celebrated a birthday on Saturday. Everyone has them and mine was no more special than anyone else’s. However, there were a few things that made this one stand out this year.

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a name change but no real difference

So, I thought it would be fun to go back in my blogging archives and see just how many of these “secret santa” blogging events I have been a part of. I was surprised by a couple of things.

#1. This was the 4th year of participation.

#2. The names and blogs of the people who I have had interaction with over the past years started because of this participation.

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few called him bubba

The last picture I took of Wes

(My final blog for 2016 – although it is 2017 – and it’s the very hardest to write. I’ve been mulling this one in my head for a long time. I’ve thought of all the things I’ve wanted to say for over a year and yet the words don’t come easy. I pray that God gives me the story and the words and the healing my heart is needing by writing this letter.)

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birthdays and holidays

The past two months have been busy but not crazy, busy. Wait a minute…who am I kidding? It’s always crazy, busy trying to keep up with the family and all that’s going on.

Not only did we celebrate the big holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas) but also a couple of birthdays, too.

Less than two weeks after Colten and Taylor’s wedding, we celebrated Thanksgiving. Our family gathering was near 100% that day…we were missing Jenna. (She made a trip to Colorado that weekend.)

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when a house becomes a home

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The last posting brought up a question by a reader that made me realize that it’s a bit hard to read my mind. (Just ask Jim about this)

The question was, “Why did Curt and Jamie move into your house?”

The answer – because it worked out perfectly. We couldn’t have prepared and put the plan together any better had we done it. I believe it all happened as it should have – a “God thing”.  Curt and Jamie made the decision to build a home in the country. That started the process. As soon as the purchasers of their home found out they would be moving, they approached Curt and Jamie about possibly purchasing the home in Louisville.

Each step they took came at perfect timing. As did the transition from one house to another. Their house did, in fact, sell – prior to the completion of the new one. The new owners agreed to let them stay throughout most of the summer, hoping the closing date of the new house would happen before the beginning of a new school year (for the new owners).

The idea of moving to our house was proposed. They took us up on it. The craziness is that – once again – it all happened as it should. They were packing at a time that I could help with the kids and/or packing. I moved our items out of our house to the Cottage. This gave Jamie the empty spaces needed to put her family’s items in. Perfect!

After all of the house swapping was complete, I was able to enjoy two days with the kiddos before we had to leave for the summer. I hope the kids enjoy being in the house as much as the house probably enjoys having them in it! I just wish I was home to enjoy the noise.

IMG_0323Jamie examining the hole in the ground that would one day be her home. 

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IMG_1055The hole in the ground changed to this in April.

IMG_1056What will be the kitchen and island – the heart of the house and family. 

Jamie scattered these scripture verses throughout the home. When I realized she had done it, it was fun to look for them. It was sort of like a game.

 

This is what the house looked like the day before we left. The next time we see it, it will be more than a hole in the ground, more than studs and drywall, it’ll be a HOME. This is the area that will be the kitchen looking into the living room.

One day, this picture will be fun to look at because rather than dirt and sand, there will be grass and trees and lots and lots of wonderful memories.

 

or so I thought…

claudias-book-quoteYou know, some days just seem to start out a bit more of a struggle than others. Today was one of those struggle days. Struggle to accept changes that are being thrown at me. Struggle just to get started with what’s on my list of “to do’s”. Just a struggle. I really hate days like this. Mostly because it takes hold of your very soul and seems to try to back you into a corner and not let you out. The tears that have been pushed back for so long seem to flow easily and won’t quit.

Why is it so hard to accept the fact that you’re not quite as tough as you’d like the rest of the world believe you are?

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love in the shape of a red balloon

Throughout my many days of sitting behind the steering wheel of a combine, you see lots of “things” in the field…old machinery parts, oil buckets, seed bags, dead animals, deer antlers, swimming pools and even kids’ outdoor toys. Most of the machinery parts were lost during the working of the ground or planting of the crop. The rest can be attributed to the wind – except for the dead animals, of course.

I’ve seen a number of helium balloons. Some fields and locations within our harvest journey seem to collect more than usual. It’s almost as if those locations are on some sort of helium balloon jet stream. In my mind, I imagine that after balloons have been set free from the hands who have held them, they make their way into this helium balloon jet stream which carries them as far as it will allow. Then, the balloon that had been gracefully floating through the sky, hits some sort of cloud wall or turbulence, tumbles back to earth and lands in a field.

The fields we cut in Eastern Colorado must be in the direct balloons-falling-back-to-earth path. I used to get excited when I first saw a balloon here or there (I don’t know why). Sometimes I would stop to see what sort of celebration might have been happening at the time the balloon was allowed to enter the balloon jet stream. Birthdays and congratulations seem to make the top of the list.

On one particular September afternoon, while rolling through the millet field, a bouquet of red balloons caught my eye. “Interesting!”, I thought. “This is something you don’t see as often as the typical mylar balloon”. I kept going. Something entered my head, though, that made me back up, stop and get out of the Beast. I wanted to see what it was that made this find so different from the others.

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