Thursday, December 27, 2018

My "Word" for 2019 is . . . . .

It has become popular for people to pick a word that represents a goal or a desire for the coming year.  But before I tell you my word for 2019, let me go back and remind you of my "words" from prior years.
 

My "Word" for 2015 was MORE.  I wanted MORE of Jesus.  You can read that post HERE.  Little did I know when I wrote that post that in 2015 my children would get married 49 days apart and our daughter would move 1,800 miles away to the state of California.  I truly needed MORE of Jesus as our daughter moving away was very hard on me.  Don't get me wrong, I was so happy for her.  But I MISSED HER!!  Our family is very close and we're used to spending a lot of time together.  That can't happen when one of the family lives so far away.  So I went to visit her two months after she got married and we talked on the phone every single day and I trusted Jesus that He could take care of her and He did.  They are now back home in Missouri safe and sound and live about 10 minutes away from me. Thank you Jesus for giving me MORE.

My "Word" for 2016 was PRAYER.  Specifically the power of prayer. You can read that post HERE.
Again, I could not have known how desperately I would need the power of prayer when I wrote that post.  My beautiful mother was diagnosed with colon cancer on July 29, 2016 and I needed more prayers than I had ever needed before.  There aren't words to describe how much I appreciated all the prayers that were lifted for my mother, and for me.  And while our prayers were not answered the way we wanted, I KNOW that I KNOW that I KNOW that my mother is healed and whole today, walking the streets of heaven and praising Jesus.  Her faith has truly become sight.  I can only imagine what she has seen and I look forward to the day when she meets me at those heavenly gates beside my Savior. What a day that will be.  Thank you Jesus for the power of PRAYER.



Based on the last two "Words" I chose you might be thinking "be careful what word you use!"  And I would say that's very true.  But how could I have known how important those two words would be in my life?  In January of both 2017 and 2018 I didn't pick a word.  I was consumed and overwhelmed with my mom's illness and taking care of her.  But I feel like for 2019 it's time for me to choose another word.

My "Word" for 2019 is SCATTER.  

My husband and I were watching television the other night and they were interviewing a famous man and he said something that has really stuck with me:

"You will be remembered, not for what you gather,
but for what you SCATTER."

The evening of my mom's visitation this past July over 400 people stood in line to pay their respects and to speak to me and my sisters and my dad.  They all shared a common theme of what a wonderful person she was, and what a difference she had made in their lives.  They talked about what a strong faith she had and how she had shared Jesus with them in life changing ways.  My mom SCATTERED her faith throughout her entire life and people remembered it and it changed them.  My mom made a difference because she SCATTERED the love of Jesus everywhere she went.

So for 2019 and beyond I want to be intentional about doing that same thing . . . . scattering the love of Jesus.  Asking people if they know Him, and sharing my faith with them boldly.  The loss of my mother has reminded me that this life is only temporary.  Only what we do for Jesus matters.  And above all else I want my life to have mattered for the kingdom of God.  I want to scatter blessings and generosity and encouragement and faith and hope and love.  People are desperate for something real, and Jesus is as real as it gets.

2019 IS MY YEAR TO SCATTER JESUS!!!




Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Giving Tuesday - Three Angels Haiti

If you're looking for a place to donate for "Giving Tuesday" may I suggest Three Angels Haiti?

Three Angels

Three Angels is a Christian orphanage and school and they're trying to raise money to give Christmas dinners to 300 families. 

I have never gone hungry for even one meal in my life.  I can't imagine the struggles these families face.

PLEASE join me in making a donation to Three Angels Haiti.

For $25 you can provide an entire Christmas meal for a family (a chicken, beans and rice, garlic, bouillon, oil, tomato sauce and spices). 

So click HERE to go to their website and donate.

What are you waiting for??

Not everyone can adopt, but everyone can support a student or an orphan or a family in Haiti.

And while you're at it, check out their website and consider sponsoring an orphan for just $49 a month or sponsoring a student for just $25 a month.  I have sponsored an orphan for several years, and the little girl I sponsored was just adopted by her forever family.  How exciting!!!!  I have continued my monthly donation of $49 and am now sponsoring a different child.

The need is great.  But a small amount per month from you and me can literally change the life of a child in Haiti.

James 1:27 - "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress."

So click on the link above, get out your credit card and GIVE!

 

Monday, November 19, 2018

My Grandson

My grandson arrived EARLY in the morning on Thursday, November 8th.  He and his mama and daddy are doing WONDERFULLY and we, his grandparents, are smitten for sure.

Yes, I can tell already, I'm going to be "that" grandma.  He is absolutely perfect and we are so blessed and so thankful for him.


This is a sneak peak of a newborn photo our son and daughter in law had taken last week.  

He is absolutely the cutest thing I've ever seen.  When I held him for the first time my heart just overflowed with love and happiness imagining all the wonderful memories we will make with him as he grows.

I was very blessed to have two absolutely wonderful Godly grandmothers.  They were both different, and I did different things when I was with them, but my memories of them absolutely bring a smile to my face and warm my heart. I intend to do all I can to make certain my grandchildren have those same wonderful grandma memories that I have.  I'm already thinking of things we can do together!!!

Thank you all for praying.  Our daughter in law had 30 hours of labor and then a c-section, but both are doing great.

Everything I ever heard about how wonderful it is to be a grandma . . . . . every word is true.

Grandchildren are a blessing.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

November

My mother passed away 16 weeks and one day ago and my heart literally aches for her. I miss her with a weight of grief that only those who have experienced true loss know and understand. I KNOW that my mother is in heaven, rejoicing with the angels around the throne, praising the Savior. My mother was a faithful follower of Jesus all the days of her life and I know her reward is great. That brings me great comfort. My feet are bound to the same straight and narrow path my mom's were so that one day I can be reunited with her and meet my Jesus face to face. Oh what a day. Until then, I “press on.” When people ask how I’m doing I smile and say “I’m doing OK.” But some days I’m not OK. Some days I just want to go out to her grave and bawl my eyes out. I want her back. I would never have let her go if God had asked my permission, but He didn’t, and I trust Him. Life goes on and I try hard to focus on the going forward because I believe that is part of that pressing on that the Lord requires of all of us. We know that all of us are born to die, and death is a part of life. 

 But oh it is a painful part. 

There are good parts of life and I’m about to experience the best of life, or so those who have done this before me say . . . I’m going to be a grandma in just a few hours!! Our wonderful daughter in law is just past 40 weeks pregnant and will be induced tonight, so by this time tomorrow morning our first grandchild (a precious baby boy named after my husband) will be here and your prayers for an uneventful, perfectly normal delivery and a healthy baby boy will be greatly appreciated. The thought of that sweet little baby fills my heart with true joy. I like to believe that my little grandson is at this very moment sitting on my mother’s lap in heaven, and she is telling him all about the wonderful family he is about to join. Holding him will be bittersweet for me as I desperately wanted her to be here as I become a grandma.  My mom wanted so desperately to get to see him, and when I hold him for the first time my heart will be full, believing that he has been with my mom since I have. And if that’s not how heaven works then I’m OK with it. But it makes me smile thinking of my mom holding her great-grandson in heaven before I hold him on this earth. Maybe that’s why he’s taking his own sweet time arriving . . . great-grandma’s lap is a wonderful place to be.

My mom's headstone has been delivered to the monument company, and should be engraved this week or next, and set by the end of this month.  We are anxious to get that done.  It looks so bare and empty out there.  I think maybe once the stone is set it will feel more real?  I don't know.  Because there are days the thought of my mom being gone doesn't feel real at all.  Like it must all be a dream.

Speaking of dreams, I dreamed about my mom last week for the first time.  It was a wonderful dream . . . for just a few seconds she was here with me and it was wonderful.

I've fallen off the exercise and healthy eating wagon HARD.  I went on vacation last month . . . . a trip to Florida that got cut short by the hurricane and it took me awhile to get refocused.  But I'm back to exercising and trying to make better food choices.  One day at a time.

Thanks so much for sticking with me here at Down On The Farm.  And thank you for praying for my daughter-in-law, Megan, and my grandson, Ira Paul.  Blessings to you all!! 

Stay tuned for lots of pictures of a very cute baby boy!!!

AND IF YOU HAVEN'T VOTED ALREADY, GO VOTE!!!!!!!






Monday, October 1, 2018

Ten Days In

Wow!!! I can't believe today is the tenth day of my healthy lifestyle journey !!
I'm happy to report I'm down 3.4 pounds.  I can't say I can tell that I've lost weight, but I can really tell I am getting stronger with my workouts.  

I still can't do the entire Level One of the 30 Day Shred without taking a quick breather once in awhile, but I can do MORE than I could before.  I can do more pushups than I could and pushups have always been hard for me.  I have worked out every day for the past 10 days, except yesterday. I have read that the body needs one day of rest per week, so I didn't do the workout on Sunday.  But I was up early this morning and exercised before work.  I still don't like it when that alarm goes off, and probably never will, but morning works are the hardest to skip because there just isn't an excuse to NOT work out.  And oh it feels SOOOO GOOD when I'm finished!!! 

I did have a couple Diet Cokes over the weekend, and they sure tasted good.  But I have had FAR FEWER Diet Cokes the last 10 days than I would normally would have so I'm considering that a win.

I'm trying to eat healthy foods, smaller portions, and trying to eat fewer carbs.  


My mom has been gone 11 weeks this morning.  I still can't believe it.  I know she is in heaven, healed and whole and that makes me smile.  And yet I go out to the cemetery and look down at the grave and my heart breaks all over again.  I still cry every day.  I miss her terribly.  I just want the old mom back.  The mom before she got sick.  I'm going on with life, but man, oh man, this hurts.

Our daughter-in-law is feeling great and our grandson is due one month from today!We're beyond excited.  Please keep the prayers coming for a healthy baby and an easy, uneventful delivery.  Those last 4 or 5 weeks of pregnancy are just no fun, so please keep the prayers coming.

Please pray for our country.  Pray for our leaders.  Pray for your church and your pastor. I'm praying today for you.  Asking God to show you specifically the path He has for the rest of your life. His way is always best.

Blessings from Missouri!! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Day Five

Today is my fifth day of working out every day.  I started doing the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD on Day Three and I love it!! You can check out the details of the 30 Day Shred HERE!




I snapped this picture from my front porch this morning just after I finished working out!!  What a beautiful morning here in Missouri!!!


I'm doing Level One and I use 5 pound weights.  The workout is 28 minutes from warm up to cool down.  The movements aren't complicated.  Just physically challenging since I'm out of shape.  I still can't keep up the entire time and I do have to modify the pushups (think girl pushups on my knees!).  I still have to stop sometimes and catch my breath, but I only stop for a few seconds then pick right back up.  I know I won't see any results standing there watching her exercise, so I keep going!!!

My muscles are sore, but a good kind of sore.  I can tell I'm getting a little bit stronger each day.  I've done a little research and it seems like most people spend 10 days on Level One then move to Level Two.  Right now Level One is plenty for me.  I'll let you know when I move up to Level Two.

I'm doing pretty well on my goal of eating less and eating healthier food. This morning I had a protein shake for breakfast, and I have baked chicken with broccoli for lunch.  For my evening meal I try hard to eat no carbs.  My body just can't handle carbs very well so I don't eat them often.  That's tough for me cause I love potatoes!!!  But potatoes attach themselves to my hips so I rarely indulge.

I am not swearing off Diet Coke forever, but I want it to be a treat, not just something I drink when I'm thirsty.  Focusing on drinking lots more water.  I haven't had a Diet Coke since last week!!

I'm five days into this journey and I'm excited.  Do I love setting my alarm 45 minutes early so I can exercise before work?  Honestly, no.  I am NOT a morning person.  But for my life, exercising in the mornings just works better.  If I wait until after work it's easier to make an excuse to NOT work out . . . and believe me I speak from experience.  In the mornings I have NO excuse but my own laziness.  I don't inconvenience anybody but ME in the mornings.  So I'm committing to setting my alarm and getting up early and working out in the mornings.

As I said in the beginning, I promise to be honest.  If I skip a workout I will let you know.  If I totally blow my healthy eating for a day I will share it.  And I will share my progress on losing weight.  I weighed myself this morning and I'm down 2.2 pounds since Day One.  

FIVE DAYS IN AND A LIFETIME OF BETTER HEALTH TO GO!!!!!

 **Disclaimer - This is NOT a paid advertisement for Jillian Michaels or 30 Day Shred.  She has never heard of me.  I purchased this DVD on Amazon and paid for it myself.  Just giving you my honest opinion.
 


Monday, September 24, 2018

Day Three

Today is Day Three of my healthy lifestyle journey.  Here's an update.

On Saturday morning I did a 30 minute workout at home.  I didn't think I'd really done much until I tried to go down the steps from our porch late morning. My legs were shaky!!  I'm really trying to make good food choices but it isn't easy for me.  I love food.   For breakfast I had overnight oats made with unsweetened almond milk.  I also attended a baby shower for my beautiful daughter-in-law Saturday afternoon.  I had already eaten lunch so I skipped the sandwiches and dessert.  Instead I opted for a small salad and some grapes.  I drank water.  For supper I fixed pork steak and a salad.  I ate a small portion of the pork steak and a big lettuce salad. 

On Sunday I again had the overnight oats for breakfast.  They really are tasty.  For lunch I ate a small piece of the leftover pork steak and a salad.  For supper I fixed 2 small beef steaks and I ate one small steak and a salad with ranch dressing.  I had a banana for my snack, and some cashews.   I walked 1 mile Sunday afternoon and did a 25 minute workout Sunday evening.  I'm still making up my workout as I go along.  I'm doing lots of arm lifts to the front and side and over my head with the 5 pound weights.  And I hold the weights while I do squats. Ouch.  My legs are SORE!!  I have an exercise DVD I bought months ago.  I've never even opened it.  Tonight I'm going to open it and try to work my way through it. 

I did some meal planning over the weekend so I have 5 portions of chicken tenders and brown rice, enough for every day for lunch this week.  I brushed the tenders with a little bit of olive oil and sprinkled everything bagel seasoning on them.  The brown rice is just plain, made with water.  

Speaking of water, I read that a great weight loss tool is drinking half your body weight in ounces of water each day.  This is tough for me.  I'm not a huge water drinker.  I love Diet Coke and tea with artificial sweetener.  But I'm trying to make better choices so my GOAL is to try to drink NO DIET COKE this week, and to drink very little tea with sweetener.

I promise to be honest with you all.  If I skip a workout I'll tell you.  If I blow it and make a horrible food choice (like pepperoni pizza or a bowl of ice cream) I'll tell you.  I'm very serious about these next 97 days, but I'm also human.  I won't be perfect. I'm not vegan or vegetarian and my idea of "clean eating" will probably look different than yours.  But I'm really hoping that the accountability of making this very public on my blog and on Instagram will KEEP ME FOCUSED ON MAKING BETTER CHOICES!!!

Had a great sermon yesterday at church!!  We studied Rahab and how courageous she was.  Courageous faith.  That's what I want to have.  Courage to stand for Jesus no matter what.  



Snapped this picture Saturday evening.  Psalm 19:1  "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands!!"


Have a blessed day!!!!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Day One

Just being honest, I have not taken very good care of my body these past few years. I have not exercised.  I have eaten too much of the wrong foods and not nearly enough fruits and vegetables.  I have not made my health a priority. Ten years ago I lost 30 pounds. I have gained it all back.  I’ve tried everything in the book. Weight Watchers. Atkins. Starvation. Beach Body.  Low fat. No fat. High fat no carb. I have literally tried it all. And it all works ... for a short time. Then the diet stops and the weight comes back on. A vicious cycle. So today I find myself overweight and out of shape AGAIN. It’s so frustrating. Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you’re there now.

I have found a young lady who has inspired me to quit dieting and get healthy the old fashioned way. Moving more and eating healthier. Her name is Marga Banaga and she lives in the Philippines. You can find her on YouTube and other social media.  She has a 20 minute video on her initial 100 day journey to eat clean and work out daily. She lost 30 pounds. She looks so healthy !!  So strong!! So amazing !!! So I’ve decided if she can do it, so can I.  Now her clean eating looks different from mine. She eats shrimp and salmon. No other meat. Hello, I live on a cattle farm in Missouri so my clean eating definitely includes meat. But she eats lots of fruits and vegetables and healthy carbs. She drinks a ton of water. And she works out every single day. Nothing fancy. Just moving her body in good old fashioned exercise.

So today is my Day One. I’ve done a 30 minute workout on my own this morning. In my living room. I tried to remember some basics from every exercise class I’ve taken. I have a mat and a set of 5 pound weights and my floor. That’s it. No gym membership. My muscles are sore already. But I’m committed. Today starts my journey toward eating clean and working out. A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE. Nothing extreme. Nothing difficult. Just CONSISTENCY!!!  I can do this. And by making this public I’m holding myself accountable.

I promise to be brutally honest. I’ll share my successes and my failures. What worked. What didn’t. What I’m eating. What my workout consists of. Some meal preparing. And I’ll share my progress. This morning was hard. I’m out of shape. But I did it. And you can too.

ONE DAY AT A TIME.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Three Angels Haiti Needs Your Help

I have mentioned before that I sponsor at child at Three Angels Children's Relief in Haiti.  If you follow Layla Palmer over at The Lettered Cottage you know that their precious son, Steevenson, was adopted through Three Angels.  I have sponsored a child at Three Angels for many years now and it is a wonderful organization.  They are a Christian orphanage and also a Christian school, totally legit, so all the money really goes to help these kids and all donations are tax deductible.

I recently received an e-mail from them asking for help.  It's back to school time in Haiti, and the kids need some new books.  I never thought about it until I read the e-mail, but schools in Haiti aren't air conditioned, so the oppressive heat and humidity takes a toll on books.  You can read all about the need on their website.  

Three Angels 

Please prayerfully consider either sponsoring an orphan, sponsoring a student, or making a one time donation to Three Angels.  I have no affiliation with Three Angels, other than being a sponsor.  If you can skip a few trips to Starbucks or one meal out per month, you can sponsor a student.  If sponsorship won't work for you, then please consider making a one-time gift.  All of the details can be found on their website . . . THREE ANGELS HAITI. 

They are 100% funded by donations and these kids need our help.  And James 1:27 is pretty black and white about our responsibility as Christians . . .  "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."  I can't go to Haiti, but I can send money to help.

So click on the website and make a difference in the lives of some really awesome kids.  I did.  

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Where Do I Go From Here ? ? ?

It's been two weeks since my mom gained heaven.  Two weeks since her faith became sight.  To say I miss her is an understatement.  I have shed many, many tears.  I tell her I love her and miss her every single day (no, she doesn't answer me, but it makes me feel like she's still here).  I've gone to the cemetery a few times and it makes me sad.  She's not there.  She is in heaven healed and whole and more alive than she ever was here on this earth.  I believe that with all my heart.  I feel selfish missing her because she was so sick and I'm so very thankful her suffering is over.  She fought hard to try to stay here with us.  But there is a hole in my heart that will always be there.  I will always miss her because she was such a huge part of my life.  I know there are people who aren't close to their moms and that makes me very sad for those people.  My mom and I were very close.  I cherish the memories I have of her.  She was wonderful and I am so very proud to be her daughter. 

So where do I go from here?  Frankly I had considered not blogging anymore.  Mainly because for the last two years the only thing I have blogged about is my mom.  I don't know that there are very many people who even read this blog anymore, and that's OK.  I blog for myself anyway and I still have things to share and stories to tell so I've decided I'm going to keep Down On The Farm going if for no other reason than I enjoy it.

I'm in the process of simplifying my life and I'm starting with my house.  We've lived here for over 20 years and we've accumulated a lot of stuff.  I'm not a spender.  I don't get up on Saturday mornings and feel like I have to go shopping and buy myself something.  But in the last 20 years our house has gotten really "full."  So I'm purging and donating and organizing.  I've cleaned out a small closet that had become the equivalent of a junk drawer and I'll be blogging about that soon and posting before and after pictures.  It's amazing what purging, and a few bins from Marshalls can do for a small closet!!  I cleaned out just one drawer in my bathroom but OH THE JOY of that one empty drawer!!!  It's the little things people!!!



Our daughter came by this weekend and took the final load of items from her old room.  So I'm going to do some switch-a-roos with closets and bedroom furniture and I'll be blogging about that as well.  Our interior walls need painted and everything just needs to be REFRESHED!  Nothing major.  Not knocking out any walls.  But we've really done very little to our house in the last 20 years and it's time for an update.  I'm looking forward to doing that and sharing the process with you.

My sweet grandson will be here in late fall and my goal is to be able to spend as much time with him, and our kids, as possible.  And NOT to be stressing about all the closets I need to clean out or all the drawers I need to empty.  I'm on a mission to get everything cleaned and organized by the end of the year.  And hopefully it won't take me that long!!!  My house isn't that big and I'm not a hoarder so there really isn't THAT much to do.  But I do have several drawers and closets that need to be emptied out and organized.  My theme is -- if I don't need it, use it or love it IT'S GONE!!!!  

I really do want to say thank you for sticking with me through the two most difficult years of my life.  Your prayers for me and my family and my beautiful mother have been appreciated so much.  It made a difference.  No, the outcome was not what I prayed for my mom, but I trust that God knows what He's doing. Knowing that my mother is in heaven waiting for me makes me smile through my tears.

So if you've come this far with me and you're ready to go a little farther please  keep visiting Down On The Farm.  There will be LOTS OF PICTURES of my new grandson (YES, I'M GOING TO BE ONE OF THOSE GRANDMAS!!!).  Pictures of "before" and "after" of drawers and closets and walls.  Stories about my mom and my husband and my kids.  Stories about my life surrounded by cows and turkeys and dust and mud and flies and manure.  Posts about my faith in Jesus and a few sermons cause I can't keep silent about His love for me!  Maybe some recipes and some funny stories and the day to day life of a 54 year old wife and mom and soon to be grandma trying to make the REST of my life the BEST of my life.  I want to be a better servant of Jesus, a better daughter, sister, aunt, friend, mom and wife.  I want to be the very best ME that God created me to be. 

Blessings from Down On The Farm!!!!
 





Monday, July 23, 2018

My Mom . . . . .

My mom passed away a week ago today . . . July 16, 2018.  I was holding her hand.



Donna Henley, 80, of Eldon, Missouri passed away Monday, July 16, 2018 at her residence in Eldon, Missouri.  She was born January 3, 1938 in Capps, Missouri the daughter of the late James Howard and Flossie (Barton) Hall.  On March 30, 1963 in St. Elizabeth, Missouri she was united in marriage to Robert Henley who survives of the home. 

Other survivors include,
Daughters, Robbin Griffith & husband Billy Paul; Rhonda Bottoms & husband Danny; Renda Fisher & husband Greg.  Grandchildren, Charity Lawmaster & husband Sheldon; Cole Griffith & wife Megan; Case Bottoms; Alex Wyrick & husband Cole; Caragan Fisher & Cade Fisher.  Great Grandchildren, one month old Great Granddaughter, Andersyn Rae Lawmaster &  Great Grandson, Ira Paul Griffith due November 2018.

Siblings, Wanda Chandler; Ronnie Hall; Alicia Atwell; Glenna Gardner; Jimmy Hall & wife Donna; Diane Blankenship & husband Fred; Kathy Willey & husband Dennis
Sisters in law, Rayma Jean Elrod & husband Gene; Ruby Dean Binkley
And many, many nieces & nephews.

Donna was a 1956 graduate of St. Elizabeth High School.  She and her sister, Glenna Gardner were the first female entertainers to perform on Lee Mace’s Ozark Opry.  She owned the Longhorn CafĂ© from 1971-1975, and the Burger Castle both located in Eldon, MO.  Donna was a very talented singer and musician, playing the mandolin, bass fiddle and guitar.  Her other hobbies included enjoying time with her children and grandchildren and spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ as a licensed minister. 

Visitation will be Wednesday, July 18, 2018 from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM at Phillips Funeral Home of Eldon, MO.  Funeral Service will be Thursday, July 19, 2018 at 10:00 AM also at Phillips Funeral Home with Pastor Chris Reynolds & Pastor Ron Boyer officiating.  Interment will follow at the Eldon City Cemetery.

Memorials in her name are suggested to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Our Grandbaby Is A . . . . . . . .



BOY!!!!!!!

 Our daughter planned the sweetest 
gender reveal for our son and
daughter-in-law this past weekend.

It was a great evening filled with food and family and the big moment finding out it's a BOY!

We are in love and can't WAIT to 
hold our first grandson.

Due date November 1, 2018.

Your prayers for a healthy baby and pregnancy are much appreciated!

 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Updating You All

My mom needs your prayers.  She was running a pretty high fever yesterday.  Not exactly sure what is causing it but they put her on a broad spectrum antibiotic and she hasn't had any fever today.  Praise the Lord.

She continues to struggle with eating and drinking.  She is very frail and weak.

I'm so thankful that my mom knows Jesus, and that no matter what His plan is, I will see her again.  But oh my goodness, this is hard.
Harder than anything I have ever experienced in my life.

Our family needs your prayers.  We continue to ask for healing, and we know she will be healed . . . if not on earth, then in heaven.

We are celebrating the birth of my great-niece last week.  She is beautiful and we are all in love.

And this weekend we find out if our new grandbaby (due in November) is a boy or girl.  So watch for that announcement next week.  We honestly don't care which it is.  Your prayers for a healthy baby and an uneventful delivery are greatly appreciated.

So much to be thankful for.  We are blessed, and we sometimes have to remind ourselves of that, even in the midst of the struggle.

As I have said more times than I can count . . .

God is good, even when I don't understand.

Your prayers are much appreciated.

 


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Could Sure Use Some Prayers

My mom has had a tough couple of weeks, and a really rough weekend.  She was nauseous most of the time and her appetite had decreased even further.

We changed up her anti-nausea medicine Sunday and that seemed to help.  She hasn't been sick at her stomach since Sunday and for that we are so thankful!!

She desperately needs your prayers.
 Her need is big, but our God is bigger.

He is the Healer and my mom needs His touch.

Please pray for my mom.  Her name is Donna.

Thank you and God bless you.




Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Laundry Quandry - Time

So, last night I decided to time myself putting away a load of laundry.  I did not rush.  I did not hurry.  I did just like I always do.  I walked to the dryer, opened the door and turned around to check the clock in the kitchen. . . 7:01 p.m.  I folded the bath towels, hand towels, kitchen towels and wash cloths and placed them on top of the dryer.  Then I put them away (towels, hand towels and wash cloths in the 2 bathrooms, kitchen towels in the kitchen).  And just saying, my house is average size, all on one level, so I didn't have to walk too far, and I didn't have to go up and down stairs.  I then took the rest of the items out of the dryer and walked to our bedroom (again, average size house, just walked down the hall).  I matched up the socks and put them in the drawers, underclothing, night gowns, all put in the dresser drawers.  I walked back to my kitchen and looked at the clock 7:06 p.m.

It took me five minutes to put away a load of whites.  So, again, not criticizing anyone else.  Just encouraging you to only touch your laundry one time!  Makes things a whole lot easier!!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Laundry Quandry

Hey friends!!  Spring has sprung here in Central Missouri!  The temperatures have finally warmed up and we've had lots of sunshine.  We're still behind on rainfall, and hoping the rain in the forecast for tomorrow night actually falls in neck of the woods.  The pastures are way behind on growth, so in order for our cows to have plenty of hay to eat next winter, we need rain and sunshine and GRASS GROWING!! 




I see a lot of blog posts and Instagram squares about women (sorry guys but it is ladies doing most of the laundry) and all their issues with laundry.  They talk about having 10 loads of laundry to do and they're trying to figure out how to get it done (I'm not exaggerating, I've actually read these posts).  They talk about spending the entire weekend doing laundry.  And having laundry baskets full of clean clothes and living out of laundry baskets.  Having loads and loads of laundry folded but not put away and never being caught up with laundry.

Now, before I go on, I want to say that I believe blogs and Instagram and other forms of social media should be used to encourage one another.  I read comments where folks are downright mean and hateful criticizing someone else.  I'm not criticizing anyone, just telling you how I did it. I have never owned a laundry basket in my life.  Never.  I throw a load of laundry in the washer, I put it in the dryer, and I put it away . . . as soon as I take it out of the dryer.   

Never touch clean laundry twice is my best advice for anybody out there struggling with laundry!! 


My husband is a full-time farmer and his clothes are FILTHY, and our two kids were constantly involved in one or more sports.  I work full time so I was gone all day 5 days per week.  I got off work at 5 o'clock every night then drove 30 minutes home.  I did laundry nearly every night.  Never "saved" laundry until the weekend.  And I never struggled with laundry either so I really don't understand why so many people have issues with laundry?  I mean it was just part of my life.  I threw a load in while I was fixing supper.  Then put the clothes in the dryer as soon as the wash cycle was finished.  Then I put it away, most of the time right before I went to bed.  Even a large capacity dryer (which I had) only holds so many clothes.  So open the door and put that laundry away!!  Save yourself moving it to a laundry basket, then wherever you would put clean laundry that you don't put away??  I just don't understand why the laundry quandry for so many people.  Don't touch it twice.  I washed our bed sheets once a week and then put them right back on the beds.  Only had one set of sheets for each bed so no choice but to put them right back on.

Right now I have a load of "whites" in the dryer.  As soon as I get home tonight I'll throw a load of "work" clothes in the washer.  And when I say work clothes they are our farming clothes so believe me, they're really, really dirty.  Once I get the washer going I'll take the towels and such out of the dryer, fold everything then carry it to where it belongs and put it away.  No laundry basket needed.  I mean, really, it doesn't take 5 minutes to fold and put away one load of whites??  The work clothes . . . . when the cycle is done I'll throw those in the dryer and then put them away.  I carry all those jeans and work shirts into our bedroom and put them on the bed.  I fold the jeans in half and put them in the drawer and I take the work shirts and hang them in the closet.  Again, realistically, five minutes maybe?  And it's done. 

One question I do have . . . how can you have 10 loads of clothes??  My husband and I do not have a lot of clothing.  I own 3 pairs of jeans, and he owns maybe 6 pair.  He has maybe 6 or 8 work shirts and a couple of "dress" shirts.  I work full time and will wear the same pair of pants more than once per week.  And that's my choice.  We just don't spend much money on clothing.  But I wonder how many clothes do these people have to have in order to have 10 loads of  dirty clothes???  How many clothes do you need ? ? ?

So what about you?  Did you struggle to keep your laundry caught up?  Are you like me . . . laundry is not a big deal?  Inquiring minds want to hear your laundry story!!

Friday, April 27, 2018

First Ask Why by Shelly Wildman - Review

My blogging buddy, Shelly Wildman (www.shellywildman.com), has written an amazing book called "First Ask Why:  Raising Kids to Love God Through Intentional Discipleship."  Her book is great because it isn't a 1-2-3 "here's how you do it."  Because that's not real life.  Real life parenting is rushing around getting everybody everywhere they are supposed to be all the while getting laundry done and figuring out what you're going to eat for supper.  And, that said, everyone's real life looks different.  That's why Shelly's book works so well for everyone, because you don't have to do it her way.  There is no one way.  But there are examples she gives that everyone can use in their own family's real life to encourage your kids to fully live their lives God's way.  

And even though my kids are grown and married, I don't think my responsibility to encourage my kids in their Christian life is over.  In fact, I think it's even more important to encourage them to KEEP THE FAITH in adulthood.  If you are a parent, or a grandparent (or a soon to be grandma to be like me!) I really challenge you to get this book and read it and let it help guide you in modeling this Christian life in front of your children and grandchildren.  This book would make an awesome baby shower gift as well!  

Parents spend so much time on things that, while important at the time, aren't eternal.  One thing matters in life . . . . raising our kids to love Jesus and serve Him forever.  So pick up a copy of this book today!  It is available at Amazon.com and your other favorite retailers.  

And if you'd like to follow along with Shelly, CLICK HERE  to sign up for her monthly newsletter.  Shelly is a wife, mother, blogger, world traveler and occasional recipe poster!!  I really hope to meet  Shelly in person one day!!  So visit her blog and sign up for her newsletter.  You will enjoy meeting her!!!


 I was furnished a copy of this book in exchange for my review, but all opinions are my own.

Monday, April 23, 2018

A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!!

Hey friends!!

I know the last couple of years have been full of updates on my mother and not much else here at Down On The Farm.


And since I know you're wondering, I can say that my mom is about the same.  Eating is a struggle for her as she continues to have no appetite at all.  She has lost some weight and told the hospice nurse last week that she no longer wanted to be weighed each week.  We still believe that God is on the throne and we still believe that He is the Healer.  I still pray every day for a miracle.  And I still trust God, no matter what.  He is faithful and He is in control.

I thank you to all who have stuck around and still read Down On The Farm, cause there hasn't been much joy in my posts, and I'm so sorry.

  But that is about to change.

I am so excited to announce that
I'M GONNA BE A GRANDMA!!!

Our son and daughter-in-law will welcome our first grandchild this fall and we could not be happier!!  We are in love already.

I really do hope to post more often, and to share more pictures of farming, and maybe even some home improvement projects.  Heaven knows my home needs LOTS of improvement!!

So there you have it!!  Finally a
GOOD NEWS POST FROM ME!!

We can't wait for our little blessing to arrive!
THANK YOU JESUS!!!!!



 

Friday, March 30, 2018

Thankful For A Savior

So many people are posting Easter messages.  Instagram, Facebook, blog posts, I've seen absolutely wonderful Scripture and pictures and stories posted and they are a precious reminder of that day, over 2,000 years ago.

I am thankful for my Savior.

I am thankful that the grave could not hold Him.

I am thankful that at this very moment He
sits at the right hand of God interceding for Me.

I am thankful that He forgives my sins.

I am thankful that one day He will 
make all things new. 

Above all I am thankful that I will spend eternity
in heaven with Him.  Not because of anything
I've done, but because of what He did.

I AM THANKFUL THAT THE 
TOMB IS EMPTY!!


 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Where Oh Where Is Spring??

It's raining here in Central Missouri.  AGAIN!!!  We have had a very cold and wet last few weeks.  I know getting rain this time of year is a good thing but man I'm tired of the cold damp days.  We had one really nice day last week.  It was sunny and 70 degrees.  I loved it!!!  But sadly, we're back to cold and wet.  I know spring is coming . . . but it's sure taking its own sweet time!!

I'm asking for prayers for my sweet mama.  She is struggling to eat again.  Just no appetite.  Struggles to get down just a few bites.  She's lost weight the last couple of weeks.  Just a few ounces each week, but they add up.  And mom can't afford to lose any weight at all.  We know that God is in control, and we are trying hard to trust Him.  Your prayers for my mom would be much appreciated.  She needs a touch from the Healer.

We are still having lots of new baby calves here on the farm.  They are so darned cute!!

And just in case you're curious . . . Weight Watchers is working!  I'm down 11 pounds!!!  Nineteen more to go!!!!

Thank you all for praying for my mother.  I believe that God is still on the throne and I know He hears our prayers!!

GOD IS GOOD.  ALL THE TIME.


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Marching Into MARCH

We've had some rainy, rainy weather here in Central Missouri!!  And we're expecting more rain today.  The temperatures have been pretty mild for this time of year.  The grass is just starting to have a hint of green.  In Missouri we still have some winter left.  We won't be mowing the yard for several more weeks, and the trees won't have leaves for another couple of months.  But we are seeing lots of baby calves in the fields and there is definitely the "feel" of spring in the air . . . or at least in my heart!!



I hate to admit it, but over the last year or so I've gotten away from exercise and healthy eating, and I've put on weight.  I decided to do something about it so I joined Weight Watchers and I've gotten back to walking 3 miles each day!  So far I'm down 5 pounds (25 more to go!) and on Monday I started setting my alarm for 5 a.m. and going to the gym to walk.  I had been trying to walk in the evenings, but it seems like there was always some reason I couldn't make it.  I am DETERMINED to make my health a priority, so I'm setting that alarm and going to the gym each morning!!!  This isn't easy for me as I am NOT a morning person!!!  But I know if I want to lose the weight I have to make some changes.  I just have to start going to bed a little earlier.

Thanks to everyone who continues to pray for my mom.  She is doing well.  She continues to gain a little bit of weight each week and she does feel better.  We continue to call upon the Lord and trust Him for her complete healing.  We are praying for her strength to be renewed and health to be restored, and I will pray that prayer until Jesus heals her or calls her home. 
 He never changes and He never fails.

This morning on my way to the gym I heard a new song -- at least it was new to me.  Turn up your speakers and take a listen -  WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS!!!!!


Friday, February 2, 2018

February Has Arrived

If you are you like me, you're very disappointed that Tom Brady and the Patriots are in yet ANOTHER Super Bowl??  I am a huge football fan, but not a Brady/Patriots fan.  Is Tom Brady probably the greatest quarterback to ever play the game?  Yes.  He is extremely talented.  But Brady is, in my opinion, not a very nice guy.  So GO EAGLES!!!!!

I'm happy to say that my mom has had a fairly good week of being home.  She is eating better than we would have anticipated.  At least the scale isn't going backward which is a very good thing.  She's had some back pain, but after spending a few hours in the ER Wednesday evening the x-ray showed no new compression fractures (thank you Lord) so they sent her home with some pain meds and told her to take it easy.

I thank you for your continued prayers for her.  She so desperately wants to get better.  She wants to have her energy back and her strength back.  She wants to be able to clean her house and work out in the yard once spring comes. She wants to be able to cook her own meals and go to the grocery store.  We continue to trust the Lord for her healing.  He is our Hope.




Thursday, January 25, 2018

January Is Nearly Over

I just realized it has been over a month since I've updated Down On The Farm.  I hate to admit this, but part of the problem was figuring out how to sign in to this Google account (I have two and used to be able to switch back and forth easily but lately???).  This surely makes me sound old, but technology is both a blessing and a curse.  I have a love/hate relationship with it.  It is wonderful, and yet frustrating all at the same time.  Surely I'm not the only one who feels this way !!!  Come on admit it, you sometimes long for the days when a cordless phone in your house was cool and only huge corporations had computers!!!

Missouri has had some harsh weather already this year and spring is still a long time off.  Sub-zero temperatures and sub-zero wind chills and long stretches of days and days where it never got above freezing.  Man that type of weather is hard on animals and equipment and those of you who live this farm life North of the Mason-Dixon Line know what I mean.  My husband has been busy feeding hay, and warming up baby calves born in the "teeth" of the storm as the old timers would say.  Today, well today it's supposed to be 62 degrees and sunny.  Now that's my kind of January day.  If you've been here awhile you know I'm a spring and fall kind of girl.  You can keep your hot and muggy summertime days and your brutally cold snowy winter days.  Just give me 70 degrees and sunshine I'll take that all day every day!!!  But alas it's still winter and there is more snow in the forecast for next week. 

Now to the elephant in the room . . . my mom.  She continues to struggle.  We took mom to the doctor for fluids 2 days after Christmas, and had another compression fracture fixed 3 days after Christmas.  Frankly the doctor was not encouraging.  Mom's inability to nourish herself has become critical.  She continues to lose weight that she does not have to lose.  And it's not her fault.  She is not intentionally starving herself.  It is her mind and her body working against her.  Mom has spent the last 4 weeks at my sister's house where she can get 24/7 care since my sister works from home.  And the first week or so that she was there mom did rally.  She actually put on a couple of pounds.  She can get herself in and out of her chair by herself, and in and out of bed by herself.  Prior to that she couldn't even do that.  But her eating has plateaued.  She hasn't gained an ounce in the last 2 weeks and the home health nurse comes back today so I'm waiting to hear her weight later this afternoon.  Am I hopeful that mom has gained a little bit of weight?  Yes, of course I am.  Am I expecting it?  Frankly, no.  I spent 2 days at my sister's last week taking care of mom and giving my sister and brother-in-law a little bit of a break, and mom eats very little.  She thinks she eats constantly.  But there are more calories in one meal my husband would eat at McDonalds than my mom gets in an entire day.  We are bringing mom back home this weekend.  She is very homesick as my mom is a real "home body."  She just wants to be in her own home.

I really don't know what will happen over the next few weeks.  Mom isn't able to cook for herself, and my dad, well, as you can imagine he can microwave a little but he is no short order cook.  And mom is very picky.  She looks for any excuse NOT to eat something (too hot, too cold, too spicy, too tough, too thick, too thin, etc.) so it's HARD to have something she will eat.  I work full time.  So I can cook ahead and have things in small containers that my dad can heat up for her, but I can't quit my job and stay home and care for her.  And I carry a lot of guilt making that statement.  I'm not sure how long mom can stay at her own home.  But she doesn't want to stay at my house or my other sister's house.  She's tired and just wants to be at her own home and I get that.  But mom needs more care than my dad can give her.

So we struggle.  Do we give mom what she wants, or what she needs?  Left to her own decisions, mom is a couple weeks away from another hospital stay, and there isn't much they can do for her, as we all agree a feeding tube isn't the answer for her.  We've considered hiring someone to stay with her, but mom doesn't do well around someone she doesn't know.  We are a family at the end of our rope.  I am thankful that Jesus is our Hope.