Monday, November 30, 2009

Road Trip

When you live in the country, such as the overisel area, every time you get in the veen, it is bound to be a road trip. every destination just takes a little time to arrive. thankfully, we are perfecting the joy in the journey.

i usually pass the time by trying to use the trip as an educational opportunity, i ask provocative questions such as " wow, why is it all hazy over here?"; to which brad responds "smoke, honey".
Brad typically is in charge of the running commentary regarding local farming insights. Bear provides additional entertainment by showcasing his dance moves. Maxwell utilizes the time we are all strapped in close by to tell us stories, describe surrounding landscape, and request shows for the vhs our trusty veen is equipped with. we are currently delighted to have the addition of hunter scenarios and christmas lights to watch.

when i first started my life as a farmer's wife, i really resented having to plan for a full 30 minutes of commuting to get anywhere. now it has become clear that instead of just getting through the journey so we can get on with our objective, choosing to enjoy where we are and what we are doing in that moment brings much more satisfaction.

how true this is with my life! instead of living for the next big stage on the horizon, the fun vacation or event ahead, or just until 4 pm when brad gets home from work, it is so advantageous to see what i have here and now and love it up before the moment is gone.

ecclesiastes 3:1

there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the sun.

may we live with purpose, Lord. i praise you for placing me here, now and ask that I may fully grasp, enjoy and take advantage of your blessings.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A thankful heart

when you have been down and out for a couple days (or an entire week), due to the flu, or life, or whatever, things are especially beautiful once you come out of that time. friday was a day of renewed appreciation for feeling well. my sissa's and austin came over for some thanksgiving and some max celebrating. auntie beans gave maxer an awesome racetrack and such fun was had setting it up and watching it run.

thankfully, austin had some previous boy experience to assist us in the assembly.

the afternoon brought some good eating together and some good bonding. the food tasted just delish after a strict diet of toast and bananas. the company was just beautiful. i adore my sisters!

after a week of not feeling our best, it is good to feel good. we are all especially thankful for good food, an entire night's sleep, rambunctious boys, and enjoying one another's company without the presence of a puke bucket.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving is not what i envisioned for my fam. the stomach flu has ravaged through our entire family and has lasted a whole week. each one of us getting our turn a day and a half after the one before. bradley is still recovering, currently at work, yes on thankgiving day, but not 100% healed just yet. therefore we will be spending this day like we have spent the last 7. at home, just the four of us, trying not to puke.

despite the circumstances, i find myself filled to overflowing with thankfulness for god's faithfulness in our lives.
i am SO grateful for the healing that has taken place, thank you jesus.
thank you jesus for allowing me to wake up to the kisses of baby bear.
thank you jesus for all my boys so we could bond over monster trucks and tractor pulls already this thanksgiving morn.
thank you jesus for max's amazing potty training and for wes' adorable dance moves.
thank you jesus for goldfish for breakfast and popsicles for lunch.
thank you for blessing my family with plenty.

while our extended families and friends gather together for turkey, we will be continuing to regain strength, replenish fluids, and relax our sore tummies, all the while reveling in god's graciousness in our lives.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Maxer's Turn

Just when bear was feeling better...

maxer got the flu.

lots of recovery and laundry at our house this weekend!! i hate seeing my boys sick. during max's bout of vomiting, i would often stroke his hair and ask him questions about how i could make him more comfortable. at one point, in between "are you warm enough" and "would you like a little sip of water" max looked up at me with his precious pained eyes and said, "mom, just leave me alone".

got it

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Big 3, Yippee!

As of today, only the baby got ill!! praise the lord. look at this precious sick one:

We were still able to do a tiny bit of celebrating for the big brother yesterday. i am flooded with mom-guilt for not giving him the party i had wanted, but maxer is gracious and forgiving of the lack of real good times yesterday. Gradma made an adorable choo-choo train cake that maxer ate all by himself, daddy ran out to get max his supper of choice: french fries, and maxwell got to open up some presents!! he opened an adorable mini semi and was so enamoured he offered to give the other present to weston!! here i was, saddened by the fact we only got him 2 presents and maxman goes and gives one to his bro because one was enough. love that little man!!

maxwell alan,

you are such a big boy!! 3 years old! in your short three years you have brought such joy to daddy and my lives. you are such a sweet boy, thoughtfully ensuring your brother bear is well cared for and happy. you absolutely love your daddy, you always tell me he is your best friend. what a beautiful relationship to watch maxer. know your daddy and i will do anything and everything for our buddy. we want the very best for you Maximilian.

we are super proud of your potty training achievements in the last week. you are even trying all on your own and are deservedly proud of your accomplishments!
you are the best at listening for tractors and then running to find them as they go down the road. you are so content to ride along with daddy as he combines, chisel plows, and does pretty much anything else involving farm equipment.

you are still captivated by movies and are currently enjoying ratatouille. you find a select few foods delish, and i aim to please that tiny little palette! so we eat lots of pop tarts, mac and cheese, spaghettios, chicken nuggets, and grilled cheese. your fave toys are farm or construction related.
you fill each and every day with absolute joy. we cherish each moment god gives us with our firstborn baby boy!!

love daddy and mommy

thank you jesus for granting us this child. we pray our family glorifies you lord.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Max is 3!!! Wes is Throwing up..

Happy Happy Birthday to my firstborn son maxwell! my heart is breaking that so far this birthday has consisted of a lot of puke from wes.

please join me in praying for healing and protection over my fam.

bear is still vomiting. max's tummy is hurting. be near jesus!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Come and Gone

After many, many days of this:

waiting anxiously for brad's arrival home from his big hunt, i am ecstatic to announce he is:


safe and sound. good times were had and he is home!!! also, i am saddened/frustrated/upset to announce that he is gone again. this time in the fields. while i am very privy to the knowledge that this is his chosen career, it does not lessen the blow that the boys and i have been in brad's presence for approximately 13 minutes since friday. errrr. trying my best to remain a gracious wife, but not really succeeding that well. while i do so adore each and every moment with my sweet boys, the moments are even better when brad is here too. Brad's jovial and strong demeanour is the perfect counter to my currently overwhelmed and overworked spirit.
rather than throw myself a mini pity party, i will rejoice in the following:
1. max peed in the potty for the first time after three days of peeing in undies
2. and most importantly,
"it is the Lord who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure" 2 sam 22:33
thank you jesus for bringing my man home, for strengthening me in motherhood and wifehood, for giving maxer his opportunity for success as a reward for all his time spent involving pee, and for loving us with a mighty love.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Feels Like Home

As brad is STILL hunting... we are trying to make this time special for us too. Thankfully, my sistas were on board with a little trip to the zoo...

After spending the evening at my house, beans (aka megan) and kels loaded the boys and themselves into the veen and away we went to john ball park zoo. an amazing time was had by all. tho the girls battled their way through much nose holding against the zoo-like smells, i was able to take it all in through the joy of my boys. both were totally psyched to be there.

baby bear could even locate some of the animals and then shriek excitedly and point. so cute.

when we first arrived, maxwell shouted to us, look, there's a squirrel! so glad we paid to see all the animals when a squirrel elicited such a response. for real tho, maxer was on a mission. he would zoom from one exhibit to the next. find the animal, and move right along. he just told me his fave were the penguins. they were especially noisy this visit.

all in all, i still despise animals of all kinds. somehow i can love the time i spend at the zoo for the simple fact that my boys so enjoy themselves. plus, all the smells and craziness remind me of my life on the farm...

bear did develop another cold, but after consulting beans on the matter, we are quite sure it is the lion flu and not h1n1, so give those pigs a break from taking so much heat people!! pork chops do sound delish for dinner... hint hint

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bouncing Baby Boys

We have been busy. These boys just don't stop, though they do pause frequently to ask where daddy is. Our first day on our own was spent with some of our best girls. We ate, we played, we visited, we giggled, and just bonded. maxer suggested the time had come to go home, so then we left.

upon our return home, my well-behaved (ish), overall chill (ish) children let loose.

the couch was transformed into a launch pad and the "nest" became a landing zone. Clothes were disregarded and skin was in. in the background, mike rowe of dirty jobs kept up his commentary on grossness and the boys went wild.

Maxer taught wes a thing or two about bravery and form. Wes cheered max on and practised all his bro showed him. Among giggles galore, i comforted the occasional wounded daredevil, rearranged pillows to more advantageous locations, and mostly just delighted in my adorable sons.

though i am sorry that my hubby missed out, i sure am grateful i got to be a part of this boyfest.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Happy Birthday to Brad!

My husband is an incredible man. he is the man i most admire, respect, esteem, appreciate, adore, enjoy and love.

God has abundantly blessed me with this studley man to be my husband. you are all a man should be brad. thanks for being the hero of my heart, head of our household, father to our boys, provider, and king of my love.

i love love love you so brad.

we had a family celebration last night including brats, fruit pizza, cupcakes, and french fries. all per brad's request, though most were second choice as i did not know what he meant by referencing his amber's (sis-in-law) chicken dish that allegedly involves a sauce and maybe dried beef... oh well, he did seem to enjoy his george foremaned brat. and let's be real, nothing says "happy birthday my love" like a johnsonville brat.
brad is spending this day of days with his hunting buddies up in evart, mi. they are "preparing" for the opening day of firearm season by lots of male bonding. from what i gather, this involves several unhealthy and somewhat dangerous activities with some of your closest friends. card playing, story telling, and much fun having are taking place right this very moment.

so far, he has left twice, come back already once due to truck problems, and arrived safely at his destination: a woods. oh the adventures...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pyro Problems

Scented Candles are one of my fave things. Since i live on a pig farm, they have become even more of a delight in my life. i often have them throughout the house to counteract the aromas of chicken poop, pig poop, and baby poop.

Max also enjoys having candles lit for a very different reason. he loves to blow them out. since this brings him such joy, i facilitate a candle blowing adventure once in awhile under close parental supervision. after he successfully extinguished the candle i congratulated him and re-lit it for its initial purpose of providing ambiance and scent. and then i turned my back


max says, "look mommy, another candle". well, there was another FIRE, but it was not a candle. he lit a plastic game piece on fire and was holding it in his hand.

then i became drama mama and threw it into the sink and turned the water on all while acting like he did not just risk being a burn victim to play with fire. that is such a boy thing.

max is a mischievous fellow. however, there is a happy ending, all is well, and all the candles are hidden.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Missing Mommy

My life has made me distracted lately. lots going on, requiring lots of conversations on the phone with various family members. Despite his age, maxer is a wise boy who is quite aware of the goings on in this household. On monday, max went to great lengths to remind me that he needs me too.

While i was on the phone, maxwell took the memory card from our camera and put it in the mug of coffee i was holding. i yelled and tried to salvage the card while he climbed onto the counter and started dumping sugar from my canister onto the floor. while cleaning that up he proceeded to pour out water from a bowl onto the carpet. grrrr. in response i was short with him, gave him glares, and grabbed him a little harshly to emphasize my displeasure.

when he was at last no longer struggling against me, he just began to cry.

more like weep.

finally i recognized that the poor thing does not understand what is happening, just that something is. he reminded me that i am the thermostat for his days. he looks to me for mood, behaviour, and guidance. he needs my attention and love.

i took action and left the house for a park. we played hard. with action and word, i assured maxwell he is the most important.

once home again, i bathed and cuddled the boys, then sent them off for a nap. not a complaint was uttered as max obediently walked upstairs.

how this day reminded me of my own need to look to Jesus for guidance, attention and love. unlike any imperfect human being, his love is never failing and his guidance is perfect. may we look to him and depend on him to supply our needs. when we are focused on our Father his presence will provide for us all we are seeking.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


On Saturday, i was reminded again of the urgency and demanding nature of the harvest. I dropped maxer off to ride with brad for awhile and in the short time i was there i was overwhelmed at all the different tasks that were pulling for brad's attention. he had to moniter the path of the combine, the terrain of the field, the moisture content of the corn, the amount of corn, the whereabouts of his fellow farmers, and many other things that my ignorance prevented mefrom being aware. brad was not alone, all the area farms are doing this same thing. there is much going on these days.
Sunday, however, had a very different feel to it. i had to run to meijer for a few forgotten gorceries and i passed the same fields and the same combines. but everything was still. no one was harvesting. all the combines were abandoned and the farmers were not in their fields.
the scene was somehow reverent. i recognized the contrast from living in this wild and demanding world and glorying in the stillness of the Lord.
even the farmers take a sabbath. a day to rest, to know God, to recharge for the week ahead.
thank you lord for your goodness and truth present even in the cornfields of overisel, mi.
here are some pics of our sabbath, spent in the company of some awesome friends, the schoonvelds.

wes spent some time getting loved on by sweet kenedy.

max and teagan bonded over cookies. when maxer woke up from his nap his first words were "where my friends go?" cute!

Saturday, November 7, 2009


There is a point in my life where multitasking ceases to be an effective tool for getting several things done at once; and instead becomes a direct path to absolute chaos. the following pictures are what happens when mom and dad leave the boys to themselves for mere moments while i have my back turned tackling 15 different jobs at once.

wes literally plays himself pantless

in max's words, he is "riding the pony"

we actually refer to that pony as a cupboard door. due to the illness factor in our home, we have not left the house in a few days, so what can i expect. the child was using his imagination. this pony ride is only a problem if that cupboard door breaks off. those cupboards store toys, and i utilize the shove and then close really fast before stuff falls out method.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Being a Mom

This morning i woke extra early to get a start on my online work for Teermans. While i was taking a shower (let's be honest, i do some of my best thinking while in the restroom, one of the rare times i am actually alone), i found myself contemplating how different life is as a mommy. here are some of my astute observations:

* My gratitude and joy at being a mom translates into tears of joy when a cow gives birth on tv. i am not a fan of animals, ever, but that did not stop the tears from flowing at the miracle the cow just experienced. then i gagged due to the grossness of cowbirthing.

* I include caramels that have already been in little weston's mouth in my recipe of caramel bars because i do not have enough otherwise. this seems like a great idea and i figure the heat of the oven will kill any germs. right?!

* i immediately become anyone's best friend if they compliment my child in any way. and i usually thank that person by telling them my history of mothering. it goes something like this " oh thanks! i think maxer is adorable too. i actually got pregnant with him while on the pill after just being married for 8 months. at first i was just so shocked" on and on for as long as the complimentor is standing still.

* i consider my body a multifunctional tool (used as a jungle gym, a milking parlor, a pillow, etc) and nothing that i have any control over any more.

* i pray more fervently than ever before because i now am praying for my boys.

* i love my baby daddy (awesome husband bradley) a zillion times more because of his part in creating and raising my precious gifts max and wes.

* i no longer have deep sleep, but am ready to awaken at the slightest noise in case it is a precious boy with nighttime troubles

the best of all: i am overwhelmed with thankfulness each and every day for the blessings god has given me through maxwell and weston.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

On the Road to Recovery

Baby Bear has been battling an illness since Monday. things began with a fever, and now has progressed into more cold like symptoms. Certainly nothing has been confirmed in the way of h1n1, but lets be honest, if it is out there, my boys will get it... twice. my anxiety level about quadruples when my boys are sick. i immediately think worst case scenario and begin packing for the hospital. not the packing part really, but the stess part for sure. i mean it when i say i want 7 kids, but when one is sick i am overwhelmed with two. every time, god proves his faithfulness and my boys' immune systems fight it off. hallelujah.

the best part of illness is the cuddles. bear is already cuddley, but when he is not feeling 100%, my arms are his fave place to be. so sweet, and it gives me a chance to catch up on all the terrible reality shows because i can rock and watch. yesterday was brooke knows best.

even though wes is sick, he still gets into plenty of trouble. last night he helped me make supper...

by throwing my recipes all over the table. awesome. and naughty.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Harvet Time

oh, the life of a farmer... filled with awesome expressions of God's faithfulness in the bounty of the harvest, and filled with long hours of tireless combining.

living as the WIFE of a farmer suits me much better: still i am witnessing all the blessings, but i can do so from the comfort of my own home, or the veen (our functional and adventurous chevy venture), or the park as we did this week.

the crisp fall air and darling boys made the day an experience of goodness. i am so grateful to my farmin man who works so hard so i can do this fun work of boy raising and playing. my days are not without challenge. as i type, maxer is upstairs throwing his clothes around his room instead of napping. instead of intervening, i merely pretend i am unaware of this current state of affairs and reflect instead on the good times:

now if that face doesn't make you forgive and forget, for real. cute. writing about cute, i gotta get creative with a portable dinner option for my cute hubby who will be eating and combining. harvest time is here, and i am already looking forward to the day when all the corn is combined and brad is back home with me and the boys. Until then,I will deliver supper, make some cookies, watch the shows that i want without any thought to brad's hunting show preferences, and wear the same clothes for 24 hours at a time without the concern of having brad seeing me in this state as we are only face to face for minutes a day. do consider yourself warned if you plan on stopping by for any reason. yes, harvest time is a difficult time of year, but it does have its good aspects :) gotta look for the positive and live it up.