To the lady ahead of me in Target checkout line

Thursday, March 24, 2016

I wanted to apologize for my daughters extremely loud, ear piercing screams. The first time we made eye contact I just wanted to say "so sorry, she is super tired and it has been a long day and she happens to be a very loud little girl." But I didn't, my momma heart didn't need the feeling of "embarrassment" that day. 

Why would I be embarrassed?? I don't know! But when you have a shopping cart full of groceries and Easter basket goodies and your infant is screaming so loud it makes your head hurt while your walking up to the checkout and everybody just stares at you, not even one little smile, just staring, it makes you want to tell them all "sorry". Even though I'm not doing anything wrong...and neither is my baby. I still feel the urge to apologize. 

You, my friend, you were different. We had such a brief moment of eye contact, but you were able to see all the anxiety and exhaustion. I heard you say tell the cashier that you would leave your cart right by the register and noticed that you still had almost an entire cart full of things and only about three or four bags of merchandise you paid for. I wondered what had happened but tried to not pay attention because it was none of my business and...screaming infant. As I shushed and bounced and rubbed my precious, tired, and loud baby's back, you looked me straight in the eyes and told me that you, precious woman that you are, were going to finish your transaction later and help me get my stuff on the belt... "wow" I thought! 

Not only were you being kind enough to let me hurry up and get my stuff paid for, but you helped unload my shopping cart and while I still bounced and calmed my baby girl, you continued by loading all my bags back into my cart. 

My mind was racing, trying to think of ways to thank you. I kept thinking that I could give you some cash...but that seemed so shallow compared to how made my heart feel! And since I was in the Target checkout line, I didn't have many options! 

I mustered up a couple "thank you's" as you unloaded and loaded my cart, and told me how you used to have to take multiple children grocery shopping and knew the feeling, and that you were thankful that they were old enough now to stay home and so you get to shop on your own. I knew you really did understand how thankful I was, and I knew that a little extra cash would mean nothing to you. 

As I walked away, and you got back in line, behind the ladies that were already forming a line behind me, I looked back at you one last time to say "thanks" and hopefully convey to you through my eyes how truly, truly thankful I was. 

I promise I'll pay it forward. I don't know when or how, because I want to be the same blessing to somebody else that you were to me. Completely overwhelmed, and filling with anxiety and unsuspecting.. That's the blessing I want to be. I want to truly help in time of need, to somebody completely unsuspecting. 

Again, thank you. And my God bless you sweet lady. 

Blessings, XOXO

What's been happening around here

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The hens have been laying consistently so we are trying out a "regular delivery schedule" for egg customers. Our list filled up fast though and we have some on a wait list so we can't wait to add a few more hens this spring! 

The boys got to play with their cousin Lane a few hours this week and it was just barely nice enough to play outside without jackets! 

This silky edged blanket is Aspen Graces favorite!! She likes to snuggle it up on her face. 

Snow the day before spring...we must be in Nebraska!

Egg dying with our cousin Piper! 

It really is so much fun watching my kiddos grow up with their cousins. I pray that they all develop truly loving and lasting relationships with each other for the rest of their lives. 

Blessings, XOXO

Why we haven't been at Sunday morning worship...

Friday, March 18, 2016

It's all excuses... Really it is. And I know it is, but darn is still rough, and I'm only human.

I absolutely love Sunday morning worship! Parker does too, and my hubby! Even with our strong admiration for that 2 hour block of time, only once a week, we haven't been there for probably a month, or more, now. I miss it, I really do. I know that if I could just get the energy, nerve, and strong desire to go that I would be so glad that we did. But it's so stinking hard for me! :( 

With my hubby working such a ridiculous schedule he is only actually able to go about once a month... Give or take! And by that time, there are usually a lot of things at the farm pulling for his attention. Or dang it, I just want ten minutes of his time even! 
And getting three little babes ready for church, bellies fed and myself put together takes not only time but SO MUCH energy... So so much energy. By the time we pull up, I'm exhausted. We are late. The boys are loud. Aspen is hungry. 

We get in the pew and it's rough... I'm trying to keep Aspen happy, keep Noah sitting down and not expose my breast to those sitting around us. Parker has learned to be some-what quiet and tries to help with Noah. Parker gets dismissed to Junior Worship and I wonder if it will be easier now that it's just two kiddos or worse because I don't have backup to grab Noah when he tries to dodge under the pew in front of us. 
I have given up all three times that I've attempted church with three kids and taken Noah to the nursery, even though it pains me. 
I can't fully explain my reasoning but I believe my kiddos should sit with me durning church... I don't think any different of mothers who take their littles to the nursery. I just feel like mine should be in the pew beside me. 

After church I have to wrangle all three kiddos together again. Parker never listens (can't figure out the point in parenting that we screwed that up, but we are trying to work on it!) so I'm hollering at him, while holding Aspens car seat and Noah on my opposite hip, and somebody who most likely doesn't talk to me outside of church (no offense meant by this)  is trying to make convo with me... 

Ugh! By the time we get in the vehicle and head down the street for home I am crabby, and irritable and not Christ like... AT ALL! :( 

Now that I've given all of my excuses, I wish that I could just get over myself and get my but in the pew... Until then, at least you know why I'm not there.... In case anybody has missed us 

P.S. I know these photos have nothing to do with church... But those boys are stinkin' cute! 

Blessings, XOXO

Mornings are not my thing

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

I wish society wasn't soooo obsessed with early mornings. I truly understand that getting up earlier and before my kids will help me set the tone for my morning. Any morning I am able to accomplish getting up before our children wake, I do get more done and it feels great! But why does everybody think that I always need to do this to be productive before anybody else in my home decides to peek an eyelid open? I enjoy slowly waking my body up and getting ready for my day. The perfect time to "start" my day is usually around 10a.m. By then I have enough coffee in me, have enjoyed some snuggles with babies and got breakfast off the dining room table.

It is just so hard for me to wake earlier since I am usually up for nighttime nursing sessions, rocking toddlers back to sleep and am always the last to bed. I feel like I get more done in the late night hours, after I get all three kiddos to sleep, than I do in the mornings where I feel rushed and like I have to tiptoe around more, in fear of waking somebody before I have five tasks checked off my to-do list. My to-do list seems much more "do-able" after in the morning or nine in the evening.

 I enjoy tackling my day fully fueled with a warm and nourishing breakfast, a cup of coffee or two down, and after I get a good conversation/snuggle in with the kiddos. Maybe this is why I enjoy being able to be a stay at home mom so much... I don't have to run out of the house after a frazzled morning of yelling, wrangling boys, and without breakfast...because we usually were doing this when we would have to leave before 8 a.m. to get anywhere at a decent time. I get to slowly start my day, at my own pace and with (usually) fewer arguments. 

If I only I could get to bed sooner to get more sleep though :)

What's the deal with eggs?

Monday, March 14, 2016

We love eggs around here. I haven't figured out if we love them so much just because we have an abundance of them, or if we have an abundance of them just because we love them so much. I'll say it again, WE LOVE EGGS...boiled, over-easy, fried, scrambled... YUM.

I know that some people have mentioned that "farm fresh" or "brown" eggs are too rich for them. They can be, if your not used to them! I highly suggest to our families that purchase eggs from  us take it slowly if our pasture raised, free range eggs are new to their diets.

Buying local, pasture raised and free range eggs can come with all sorts of questions. I want to clear some of that up here. First, some definitions.

Pasture raised: The animals have access to outdoors year-round. Usually only going indoors over                                night to sleep and be safe from predators. Chickens are able to forage for bugs,                                      worms, weeds, flowers, grasses... a natural chicken diet. They may also get some                                  grain, sometimes organic, sometimes GMO free, but not always.

Free range: Kept in natural conditions, with freedom of movement. (However, the USDA definition                       is "producers must demonstrate to the Agency that the poultry has been allowed access                        to the outside." This definition does not say how long or what kind of matter at all.)

Farm fresh: When I say this I mean, straight from my farm to your home. In the commercial industry,                     this term is not regulated and means nothing.

Cage free: This isn't too much better than being kept in a cage as most birds have about one square                       foot of space in a crowded barn and don't get much exercise, or get to move much at all.

Organic: To meet the USDA Organic label standard, the farmer must feed organic (no synthetic                           pesticides) and chickens must be cage-free and free range.

Vegetarian fed: Chickens are only fed a grain based diet. This chickens are obviously not pasture                                 raised, as you cannot be vegetarian fed if you are eating bugs :)

What is the best quality you can buy for your family? Pasture raised, plus organic if possible. Non-GMO would be good too if you can't get organic. But pasture raised is the most nutritious you can serve on your family table.

So, how does the pasture raised chicken egg stack up compared to a commercial egg? According to this excerpt from Mother Earth News, there isn't much to compare... ;)
"RESULTS FROM OUR PREVIOUS STUDY: Eggs from hens allowed to peck on pasture are a heck of a lot better than those from chickens raised in cages! Most of the eggs currently sold in supermarkets are nutritionally inferior to eggs produced by hens raised on pasture. That’s the conclusion we have reached following completion of the 2007 Mother Earth News egg testing project. Our testing has found that, compared to official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture may contain:
• 1⁄3 less cholesterol• 1⁄4 less saturated fat• 2⁄3 more vitamin A• 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids• 3 times more vitamin E• 7 times more beta carotene "

Now, why are most local eggs brown and most commercial brand eggs white? EASY, different breeds of chicken... that's it! We have a couple hens that lay a light blue/green egg :) Just because an egg has a brown shell, does not mean it is from a pasture raised hen. 

Why are the yolks of pasture raised hens so much darker than commercial eggs? The darker the yolk is, the more nutrient dense that egg is going to be. It will also taste so so so so much better. This is why some people say they can't handle them. All those nutrients that you aren't used to, can make you feel like you have a "heavy" stomach. If this happened to you before and so you don't eat pasture raised chickens, I encourage you to give them another try. Take it slow. Maybe one egg at a time, or even a half of an egg :)

What's been happening around here

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Thought I would stop in here to the blog and make a fun Sunday review post, for our family to see what we have been up to around our house lately... And I guess if anybody else is interested :) as I know that I love seeing how other people go about their days!

Most people have seen this little peach, but Buttercup is getting lots of attention from us lately! She greets you as soon as you come to feed her. So precious. 

She is waiting patiently.

Parker has gotten used to feeding her now and can get a good enough grip on the bottle that she isn't pulling it right out of his hands. 

We started one tray of plants a couple weeks ago! So far, we started tomatoes, thyme, and peppers. This escalated to huge mess on the kitchen floor very fast. I will be getting some more plants started this week, just hoping to do that during nap time ;)

We like to share our left over produce with the chickens. I throw the scraps into a bucket in the fridge. If any thing starts to get too ripe for us or, like this kale, start to wilt a little too much for our likening, I add it in and take to the girls once it's full! They love any greens, berries, and carrot scraps the best.

Blessings, XOXO

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