Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Losing my mind (937)

My husband is telling me I have post traumatic harvest syndrome (PSHS). I'm trying to understand why I can't get through the day without taking a nap. My brain doesn't seem to be working properly and I can't complete a project to save my life.

The day before yesterday I got out the winter coats, ski pants, boots and all in anticipation of the colder weather coming. I made sure all my little toes were warm enough and I sorted out all the too small stuff. Unfortunately, the mess is all still sitting there in piles, sorted but not put away, because I came upstairs and simply forgot that I had created a huge mess until I went downstairs again yesterday and there it was.

I've forgotten meat on the counter, books, projects, laundry in the washing machine. I feel like I am slowly losing my mind. I never used to be like this and I don't really have the energy to care. I am thankful for a strong will-power even if I'm not very disciplined. Perhaps I just need to find a few things to be thankful for;

925. small boys who 'fix' the cushion on my chair with tape so that it is all better - done out of love for their mom
926. a boy ready to tell the story of his healing to his peers
927. the wonderful lady who asked him, too
928. the young woman who loves my sons and takes them out for lunch
929. a sister-in-law who gives me her microwave because she doesn't need it when I told her about our microwave's untimely death
930. the play 'The Keeper' done by our old church family - such a nice way to spend an afternoon
931. the hope of a getaway with my husband - just the two of us
932. freshly washed sheets
933. cozy indoors when outdoors is yucky
934. the word of the Lord - retold by so many so it makes sense to me
935. the smell of fresh bread sitting on my counter (almost forgot to bake it today!)
936. home schooling - I really love it, even on the bad days
937. the trickle charger that we slap on every time the kids leave the lights on in the van and kill the battery

That's all for the moment, I have to go pick up the boys from piano lessons = I probably shouldn't forget them!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Harvest Ramblings and Accounting

Most days I have a plan in my head of what's going to happen before I roll out of bed. Sometimes I actually do the plan and sometimes life just gets in the way. I am thankful for my accountability sista (925) who calls every day and helps me decide if that list is too long for that day. I do the same for her. Today neither of us planned to accomplish anything much but we both did!! (926)

Harvest time is so busy with very little downtime. I've been doing fruit and vegetable harvesting for three months straight, with a little break to move my parents. I am looking forward to being all done! Just the carrots left and my gardens are finally finished. We have to finish harvesting honey and of course the crops in the field are not quite finished, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel...finally! (927)

I'd like to try and keep track of what I've harvested this year and I'm not likely to lose the world wide web so this looks like as good a place as any to record this year's bounty.

We started off with fruit:

100 lbs of cherries
- 6 quarts cherry pie filling
- 16 pints of cherry jam
- 49 quarts of preserves (there were more than that but we've eaten some :))
60 lbs of apricots
- 25 pints of jam
- 21 quarts of preserves
40 lbs of peaches
- I have 12 quarts left - we've eaten some of these, too
40 lbs of plums
- okay, some of those cherry quarts must be plums, but I couldn't see in the storage room very well
a LOT of apples
- 44 quarts of applesauce (not accurate, we've eaten alot already)
- 26 pints of applesauce
- 13 quarts of juice
- 11 quarts of salsa
- 52 pints of salsa
- processed and froze about a dozen 4 cup bags of tomatoe sauce
- 44 4 cup bags in the freezer
- 18 large bags of potatoes (not the large in the store - we're talking feed bags)

I'm not done with the carrots yet but I've already processed 31 4cup bags.
I also have some fruit that I froze of the plums and apricots for cobblers and platz.

Then there's the honey, at the moment we have on hand:
- 7 ice cream pails full
- 3 - 3kg pails
- 7 - 3 gal pails
- 2 yogurt containers full
and tons of supers to process that we brought in this morning. We have also used and given away far more honey than that. I bake all my bread with honey and also used about 3 ice cream pails full to process my applesauce - best applesauce we've ever had!

So, that's my harvest ramble for the moment. I am thankful, IMMENSELY thankful for our bountiful harvest I know that many people were not able to harvest much of anything. I give all my gratitude to my maker, He knows how hard it is to continually fill 6 kids' bellies!

Harvest Blessings to one and all!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rough Stones (924)

a fresh flower original
by Lani Wiens, copyright 2010

Here by the water, I'll build an altar to praise you,
Out of the stones that I found here
I'll lay them down here rough as they are
Knowing that you can make them holy

from "Here By the Water" by Steve Bell off the album Romantics and Mystics

The other day my husband and I were listening to this song because it just happens to be our fave Steve Bell tune. It originally aired on the album Romantics and Mystics but has been redone for the Symphony Series which is even more incredible than the original is, you can go listen over here. If you ever get a chance to attend the Symphony concerts - GO!! You will be uplifted and mesmerized by the magnificent musicianship of the orchestra and Steve's band.

In the midst of listening to the song Kelly had a new take on the lyrics saying to me, "Think of those words in terms of our kids." It got me thinking. Our children are rough and sometimes harsh in their edges. They haven't been formed to fit into anything when they arrive in our arms, they are rough stones. We are given the task of softening the edges, polishing them up and getting them useful for whatever the Master has in store for them.

In order for that polishing and softening to occur we have to fully submit them to the Master, offer them back, rough as they are, knowing He can make them holy, set apart, useful to Him. Some days that seems like the most difficult part, particularly when you feel like those stones are coming at your head and you feel bruised and beaten by those stones you so carefully laid down. But where are we located?

We are here by the water, perhaps it was rough, maybe a quiet stream of refreshing, whatever body of water we've just passed through the Master was in the boat with us, guiding us by His strong hand, keeping our stones in the boat, refreshing us.

While our lives with our children are often fraught with trouble and questions we must remember that He is the one making them holy. He is at work in even the most rebellious and stubborn child.

Some thankfulness to end off this little piece:

894. Older brothers loving little sisters.
895. Prayers for peace and joy from a little boy with lots of energy.
896. Neighbors who bring home wandering little girls who go off to visit their grandmas,
897. People you can call to pray when you can't go any further and need some encouragement
898. Quiet songs.
899. Dads who come to dig carrots and potatoes.
900. Blogs that encourage with words.
901. Blogs that bless me with beauty.
902. Beautiful, sunshiny harvest weather.
903. A son working alongside his father and grandfather to bring in the harvest, the 5th generation to farm that land.
904. Extended family.
905. The hands and hearts that prepare for family to come together.
906. Plentiful potatoes
907. Copious corn
908. carrots, carrots and more carrots
909. Strangers who help bring a runaway home
910. Soft landings for hard moments
911. Music that speaks to a wounded soul
912. Youth that step up and minister to the ministers
913. Tea
914. My sewing machine, it's quiet hum soothes my spirit
915. Call display and answering machines
916. Honey from our bees
917. Tons of tomatoes
918. Strangers on the road who help
919. Little girls who dance whenever music comes on
920. Clean lentils
921. my new stove, it makes life so much easier
922. All the rows of canning in my cold room
923. Having my mommy close by
924. Brothers and sisters realizing that they love one another