Monthly Archives: December 2005

Hmmm…time for some honesty…

Well as much as I love country livin and my neighbors, it's not always picture perfect.  Some of you all may remember a post a month or so ago about hard lessons on the farm.  Well we tried finding Hank another home and couldn't.  We decided to just start keeping him inside the house or putting him in the garage at night.  We just couldn't take him to the animal shelter.  The neighbor said something that we *thought* meant that he no longer wanted us to get rid of Hank.


Well today we found out differently.  Today was my birthday and we spent the morning in Nashville where Joe's football team was recognized before the Music City Football game.  Now, you have to know that both Tony's & my dads have passed away.  Our neighbor across the street (who detests Hank) has kind of taken Joe under his wing and is a kind of grandfatherly figure.  They shoot trap, duck hunt, fish and work around the yard together.  But, our neighbor can also be very gruff and self centered at times too unfortunately.


Anyway, we get home this evening and Joe is so excited that he wants to ask Danny if he watched the game and taped it for us.  Danny explained that he couldn't get the channel, but then went on to say that he was either going to shoot Hank or call the sheriff because he was barking and keeping him up at night.  Poor Joe was in shock.  He hated to upset me since it was my birthday, but had to tell his dad.  Then Tony had to tell me so that we could talk about how to handle the situation.


It is just SO difficult.  Here we go and buy 44 acres and only have 1 neighbor in sight… and while they can be wonderful neighbors sometimes, they seem to just have it out for this dog.  They blame him for anything that goes on.  We've kept the dog inside since that last issue.  We only left him out on Christmas Eve when we had company.  Unfortunately our neighbor also had company and supposedly our dog barked and kept them up all night.  They never called to tell us.  We didn't notice the barking.  They just sprung it on my son unexpectedly tonight. 


Scripture says “Love your neighbor as yourself” and “as much as it is in your power, live in peace with all men”.  so I gues Hank has to go.  As much as we love him, we can't deal with all of this discord.  It has broken Joe's heart because our neighbor seems to not care about our feelings and really seems to want control in this issue.  It worries him that he will always try to “control” whatever animals we have.  The  2 younger boys are gone to my mom's house right now so we may try to get rid of Hank before they get home.  It's just so difficult. 


So, lest I make country life sound idealic, I just had to be honest about the issues that we still have to handle.  Please pray that God will provide a good home for Hank and help us to love our neighbor even when he doesn't deserve it!

My weird dream!

I don't know if I ate something weird too late at night or had some weird scenes stuck in my head from TV, but I had the MOST bizarre dream the other night.


In the beginning of my dream, I go outside and there is a strange donkey/miniature horse (something like that…. you know how things get fuzzy once you wake up from a dream) there.  He is just kind of wandering around and I notice that he's wearing a halter like one of ours.  I'm trying to decide if I should approach him or not.  He looks sooo nice.


Then I look out into another field of ours that's closer to the road and there is a trailer unloading something there.  Sure enough, they are unloading a reindeer pulling a cart (probably some Santa commercials or something)  I'm thinking that they are coming to get their donkey type thing, but instead they take off really quickly leaving that reindeer and cart. 


So then the reindeer comes charging up our driveway which is gravel so the cart is bouncing around everywhere.  He's running at the donkey!  The donkey is running around the house in circles trying to get away from him and I'm trying to figure out how to help the donkey without getting impaled by the reindeer antlers. 


And then I wake up.  So whatcha think?  Are we supposed to get reindeer and donkeys on the farm, is there some type of significance to my very weird dream OR is it just a weird dream? 


Enjoying the horses

Well it was about 60 degrees and sunny here in our neck of the woods today.  First thing this morning, the horses came over to the fence to greet us.  They are such sweet old guys.  Our pasture is close to the house so the horses can literally see in our side door and they seem to watch for us.


Anyway, when I realized how beautiful the weather was today, I got my oldest to saddle up the horses and the 9 year old and I took off for a ride.  It was so pretty.  We could hear the chickens clucking as we went past.  Noticed deer poop and some spots where they lay.  We even took the horses through the creek for a while.  It was so quiet.  You could hear the water trickling over the rocks and the horses slurping up the water.


Then low and behold, here came Faith our Jack Russell Terrier and Hank the long legged galoot.  They were having the best time running and playing in the water.  Hank is some kind of shepherd mix and he would crouch down in the water and then pop up to jump on Faith as she ran by.  They were having so much fun.


It was really good for me to get outside for awhile today.  Sometimes I get bogged down in all of the “to do” things and miss out on the best parts of living out here in the country. 


I thought of Psalms 23 when we were enjoying a break with the horses by the creek. 


He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.  Psalms 23:2-3


I'm thankful for the beautiful weather today and for the gentle nudge from the Holy Spirit to get out there and enjoy it.  It truly was good for my soul. 



We’ve been b.dazzled

We got the Frog  Scramble Squares puzzle from b.dazzle just before Christmas as one of our free gifts for subscribing to The Old Schoolhouse.  It was a hit with the whole family.  My mother was here and worked with Tony, the boys (13, 9 & 4) and me on it. 


We could not believe how hard it was!  It looked SO easy.  Ahhh, but looks are deceiving.  There are 9 squares and I can't tell you how many times we got 8 of them lining up correctly only to have the last one not work. 


I was actually at the computer checking to see if they had clues for solutions on their website (they don't) when my mother solved it!  She is officially the Puzzle Queen now!  It was kind of funny.  They have a note on their website explaining that they sponsor the Character Counts program.  I think they do a pretty good job of teaching perseverance with these puzzles. 


Each puzzle is only $9.95 and worth every penny!  They are colorful, come with fun facts and are very challenging.  I'm so glad that I got one as a free gift.  They have a wide variety of puzzles to choose from and they all look like fun, fun, fun!



It wasn’t so bad after all…

Well I just about had a pre-holiday stress breakdown last week, but Christmas was actually pretty ok.  If you had talked to me on Tuesday, I was pretty sure that things were going to be rotten.  We had NO presents wrapped, had NOT figured out who we were seeing when for Christmas, didn't have our oldest son's present, had not gotten the house tidy (in case someone came to visit), and we had NOT gotten to just relax and enjoy being together.  Everything was just feeling so rushed. 


Thankfully Tony pretty much “saved” Christmas.  He wrapped the presents while I finished up some work.  He talked to his mom and my mom and got our Christmas visits all worked out.  He figured out our Christmas menu, made the grocery list and even grocery shopped on Christmas Eve! 


We ended up enjoying a visit with his family on Friday night.  Tony's brother has 3 children – 20, 6 & 3  Jake and Jon had so much fun playing with Sophie and Will.  Tim & Heather gave Jon a Flying Human Torch that hangs by a string and flies around in circles.  It is WAY cool, but we have learned that it is definitely the fastest battery draining toy that we've ever had!  We've already been through 3 sets of triple A's. 


Then Saturday my mom came and spent Christmas Eve and Christmas with us.  It means so much to me to have her here.  Having lost my dad 3 years ago, I treasure our relationship even more.  I really enjoy being at home for Christmas and I really appreciate her willingness to come spend Christmas here with us. 


We actually went out to eat Chinese on Christmas Eve and then opened presents that night.  The owner of the restaurant was really into the holiday spirit and was going around entertaining the kids and giving them bouncy balls.  Nice idea, but I was a little worried that one of ours was going to end up in someone's wonton soup. 


The boys were so happy to open their presents.  Joe is now the proud owner of his very own weight bench.  And that was a God thing.  The one we had ordered didn't come in, but the store gave us an even better one for the price.  Woo hoo!  Jake was thrilled with his bow & arrow and Jon can now load his toy shotgun just like big brother Joe and call “Pull” like he's trap shooting.  My mom likes to remind me of how I outlawed any toy guns when Joe was a little guy.  I felt very strongly that children should never treat guns as toys so that they would take them seriously when they were old enough.  Now I look at toy guns as good role playing fun.  My gang will do a lot of hunting and needs to be prepared to defend the house if they're ever needed so might as let 'em start young!


After our Christmas nap, we had a candlelight service at home together.  Jake got our emergency candles and put them on styrofoam plates so we could each hold a candle.  We turned out all the lights and Tony read the Christmas story from the Bible.  Then we sang a few Christmas carols.  It was a really sweet time.  Jake's love language is definitely “quality time”; he loves it when we do special things like that together.  And I do too. 


I am amazed at how complicated feeling Christmas can be.  I get so tangled up in all of the places to go and things to do that I forget how wonderful Christmas will be no matter what.  Because of Jesus.  Because He's my Redeemer.  He has redeemed me from all of that craziness and blessed me with a wonderful family.  A family that sits by candlelight spending time to worship and brings me back to the simple joy of celebrating our Saviour's birth. 


What a sweet memory.  Christmas 2005 wasn't so bad after all….. not bad at all.