Monday, May 29, 2017

Let's get chickens!

Dillon agreed to my latest project... LET'S GET CHICKENS!

He also agreed that it would be a low to no budget project. I gladly accepted that and began to search out ideas, materials, and inspiration for building a chicken coop. One might say that I take after my dad, a man that has "potential" piles all around his house for his projects. I don't have piles, but I have a project so I knew just who to go see.

We went to a local business that gives away their used pallets and got a trailer load. After hours of disassembling them by hand, there was much useable lumber ready to construct the coop. About a week later we had walls, a floor and eventually a roof. A generous uncle gave me some buckets for nesting boxes and a trip or two to my dad's piles provided handles, latches, and tin. A visit to (my newly discovered no budget crafter's store) the hazardous waste facility provided stain, crack filler, and metal paint.

So now that I have bored you with our version of building a chicken coop, let me make my point. When telling people about our undertaking we got mostly negative comments, "they sell them for a couple hundred dollars", "that's going to take forever", "really!?!?!", and so on. To those comments I pose a question, when was the last time you made something with your hands? Yes, we saved money, but there is a certain pride and passion that comes with creating something from nothing that is important too. Another life lesson we hope to pass on to our kids.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't easy. Easy would have been whipping out the credit card at the hardware store and loading one in the truck. So many people go this route, good for them. The memories of Dillon and the kids and I putting the time into this project together are worth more. When your husband goes golfing and all he can talk about is "that silly old coop", you know it has been worth the time and effort.

Be it making Homemade bread, a quilt, or a rickety ol' chicken coop, it still means more when made by hand.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Staying at Home

Many people have asked me why I write and do a blog. I tend to be a socially awkward introvert who has plenty to say, but it just wouldn’t come out right if I spoke it. I stay at home with little kids, so my adult conversation skills are a little weak right now. (I know many can relate).

My best thoughts seem to come to me in the shower, driving, and the moment my body goes into sleep mode for the night. If I remember them, they make great topics. My kids are also great subjects and constantly keep me entertained. The joy and honor of being with them as a stay at home parent is getting to see their character and personality grow and change (pretty much daily). Don’t take it personally if you both work… every family situation is different, I get it. I can only speak from my personal experiences.

With that said, there are ups & downs to the stay at home parent life. You get to participate in the little moments; first words, baby dancing, laughs & giggles, spit up, bumps & bruises that need kissed, etc. Some days it feels that all of these things are great…as long as we stay in our little bubble at home. When we venture to the public, everyone has an opinion and advice. I generally shrug it off and humor the little ol’ ladies who have teething hacks from 1962.

Many people appreciate but don’t realize the amount of work that goes into the job of stay at home parent. The parent part is commonly understood, but the stay at home part is overlooked. Not only is every aspect of parenting in the job, but running a household is also. The term Homemaker is often used and with good reason. Being able to stay at home gives an opportunity to make a house a home. All those special little touches. I have often heard moms say, “If only we could trade jobs for a day, they would understand what it is I do all day long.” I can totally understand.

When we had our first child and I started staying at home, I dove in and immersed myself wholly into our child. In doing this I had a feeling that I had lost myself. Could have been a bit of postpartum depression, but who knows for sure. I had the greatest love and joy for that baby but when she would sleep I wasn’t sure what to do with me…. That was the point when Dillon and I talked and decided that here and there I needed a craft project, book to read, new recipe to try or to go for a walk; something I could do that I enjoyed, to keep me from going bat-crap-crazy.

When doing housework, I tend to think of other countries or the old days. Take doing dishes for example. We have dishwashers. We did not have to haul the water, make a fire to heat it, and then scrub and dry the dishes by hand. Vacuuming is another great example. Be glad to have carpet to clean. Some huts in Africa have dirt floors. Imagine life without a washing machine. Having to use a scrub board down at the river, every once in a while, to wash clothes.

Moral of the story is simply be thankful. Weather it’s the 3rd poopy diaper before noon, the mountain of laundry staring you down, or the first cup of coffee in the morning…be thankful.

Monday, May 1, 2017


I don’t think it is easy to process no matter how it happens. Car wreck, murder, suicide, freak accident….it all happens everyday and has somehow become ‘normal’. Birth, life, death. That’s how it works and all in God’s time and according to His purpose. Some of us are gifted more time on earth than others and that’s hard to accept sometimes. We are emotionally connected humans that have feelings, thoughts and wishes.

I went into my senior year of high school dealing with the loss of my only sister. Many of you know this. I was taking my ASVAB military entrance test the day of her car wreck. Many of you don’t know that. My life has changed since that day. God had a plan for her and it was time to call her home; it has taken many years to understand this. Flip side is that God has a plan for those that are left behind too. I went and retook the test and was offered many positions within the military. I declined. God had other plans for me.

My grandma and I were very close. She was one of my best friends growing up. When she fell ill after back surgery a few years ago, I visited her often. Her illness grew worse and on my last visit she couldn’t talk. I did the talking and held her hand. She kept pushing my hand away and I took it to mean that she didn’t want me to see her like that and she knew the end was near. Family called the next day and asked if I wanted to come say goodbye and I told them I already did. My heart knew she was at peace.

Suicide has touched our family a couple times in recent history also. Please know that there is always someone who will listen. There are anonymous hotlines, local agencies, and good friends that care. It is always a blessing to get a simple text, ‘praying for you today’ or a random delivery of flowers or a 5 minute just stopped in to say Hi and help fold laundry visit.

This is an odd topic to write about but necessary. God has a plan for all of us and He will call us home in His timing. Enjoy the time and gifts you are given. Know that things happen for a reason, even if we never get to know why this side of heaven. Have faith.