My Country Quest

Follow along our journey back to the land. This is where we will record our thoughts, musings and dealings with terrible dragons right here for your viewing pleasure.

My Photo
Location: Missouri, United States

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Wicked Words

We have had a not-so-recent outbreak of calling names among my children. I always abhored the practice but when one of the parents was doing it, well... it was impossible to train out of the younger children in the house until now. After a few days of spanking for each offense and praying about it I came up with this idea:

It is a small bottle with a dropper in it full of apple cider vinegar. It tastes absolutely awful but does no harm. I have them swish their mouths out after a few minutes of "thinking" about what they've said in order to gt the acid away from their teeth. The label reads:

Wicked Word Medicine

Treats: lying, talking back, sarcasm, disrespect,

arguing, hateful words, calling someone names, not saying "Yes, Ma'am."

Ingredients: instruction in righteousness (non toxic and benefical to the child's health)

So far it really seems to be working. Luke especially reeeeeally tries to avoid having to have some. lol He tells the older ones, "oh! Oh! Oh! Say yes ma'am or your gonna have the wicked word medicine!!!" :o)

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Have you ever had one of those days where absolutely NOTHING goes right? I'm sure you have. Well, here is my list of mishaps for Sunday, January 21,2007:

Actually it started at about 1am Sunday morning when I awoke to a loud CRASH beside the wood stove. I jumped up. Abby had accidently knocked over the floor lamp. Austin picked it up (he came rushing downstairs too) and we went back to bed. We woke up an hour later to the smell of heavy smoke in the house. Abby's dearest American Girl doll had met her demise. She had inadvertantly landed off of Abby's bed with her forhead leaning against the stove. RIP Dearest Doll. Joshua wishes to add "What a waste. That thing cost us $111 and only lasted a year."

We woke up to about 4 inches of snow on the ground but decided 3 weeks was longer than we were willing to go without fellowship so we ventured out to church. Our favorite radio station was out (who knows why) so we listened to another christian station. Yawn.... ended up listening to Oldies 95 all the way to church instead. :o) We needed the laughs after dealing with death so early that morning. the children didn't know I was old enough to know all the words to those songs. LOL I'm not but I couldn't convince them of that since, afterall I DID know all the words. lol (That was pretty much the extent of my teenage rebellion. Listening to classic rock & roll. lol)

Luke was like trying to hold onto nitroglycerin during church on Sunday. I had to sit down during the song service because he was so rowdy and anxious! Shawn came by Saturday to try to pick them all up for an overnight and it really set him off. Anyhow, after a couple of loud "Ow!!! You hurt me!" 's (from touching his hand) I just sat down and kept his hands on his lap and his legs still for the rest of the service. At least that was my mission for the rest of the service. I didn't succeed but I didn't give up. That counts right?

Joshua and Abby kept asking to go to the bathroom and Abby really needed to because of her kidneys hurting her so badly (we're not sure what is wrong but they are going to do a sonogram on Tuesday morning). Joshua just THOUGHT he needed to.

I left the lights on in the car that had been lent to me for the weekend so they made an announcement from the puplit about that. It was obvious whose car it was. Shuffle, shuffle.... run outside.

The service was wonderful. Translation: convicting sermon. Ouch. This pill never ceases to be bitter. PRIDE. And there was potluck dinner afterwards which, though I remembered there was on Saturday and cooked something for it, the event slipped my mind on the way out the door Sunday morning so we had to mooch.

On the way home we stopped at Wal-Mart. Abby didn't feel well so I sent Austin and Joshua in. I've done this before with no trouble at all. Well, not today. Austin apparently thought it was great fun to hit his little brother in the back of the head with a loaf of bread while standing in line. Joshua then (being shorter by 2 feet or so) resorted to gorilla warfare and tried to trip him for his trouble. Did I mention they were in the middle of WAL-MART on a busy Sunday afternoon?

My debit card was lost (by my 2 sons the day before) so I could not buy gasoline for the car until I got back into town. We didn't make it to town. After walking up the road a bit to a nearby house Austin got ahold of (guess who??) lovely Ms. Cherie Norris and the Norrismobile headed our way for a rescue. We went and bought gas but had no funnel so had to improvise with a 20oz empty pop bottle. (Gordon was impressed.) The car started and I made it to the gas station.

There I let Austin pump the gas while I went inside to write a check. I looked up as the cashier shreaked, "Oh! OH! OH! OH! OH!" to see the car rolling slowly down the parking lot. Austin was giving chase, pulling on the bumper to try to stop it. Joshua bailed out the back door... Austin jumped in in time to stop it from hitting the curb. [Dear Mr. & Mr.s Feltenstein, Your car is still in working order. Do not worry. Well, at least not much. Just pray.]

I then got home and we couldn't find the house key. I only have one so that was a slight problem. Austin climbed in another way (don't ask) and unlocked the door.

When we got inside it was quite obvious to our sense of smell that Reuben (our cute Christmas puppy **NOT**) was left lose in the house all day instead of being put in his kennel. Yuck. Lovely puppy. He left of "gifts" all over the house.

We changed clothes and had started "Project Dog Do-Do" in time to receive a call from the doctors office saying Abby is on the wrong medication for her kidney infection and to go asap to pick up a different med. We packed up into the car only to find it had a flat front tire.

So, of course there was nothing to do about that. The children payed in the snow for the rest of the evening while I creid and prayed, prayed and cried, thinking single life is NOT what it's cracked up to be.

This morning I took another look at the car tire. Hmm.... just maybe.... we found the hole - obviously from a nail - and took a short sheetrock screw. Just right! Austin screwed it in, we put air in from our air tank and drove to town to have it fixed. It was still full of air after the 11 mile trip to town. FYI, this does work in a pinch.

Oh my... I'm tired all over again just from reading through this entry for typos. If I missed any, please be kind... and pray for my brain function to return to normal soon. The children are beginning to worry. :o)
Also, some are wondering why I'm still borrowing a car when one was so graciously given to us a week ago. Well, it is going to cost quite a bit more than I have to license it so it sits until I have the funds to buy the license and pay the title fees. "More than I have" being $3 to get me through the week. lol And I'm out of laundry soap too. lol oh well... we'll see if that marketing line for selling water filtering systems is true. "There's alot of soap residue in your clothes Ma'am since you don't have a water softener." I'll let you know.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Latest, Greatest Moment

It occurred to me that the greatest moment of my life comes each day at dawn when I wake up, make coffee, sit and read my Bible while the children filter downstairs. I get a sleepy good-morning from all of them then I start cooking breakfast.

I have the greatest children on earth. No. Really. I do. I get tired and worn out, and think, "This is exactly why God ordained 2 parents to raise children together. It takes the energy of 2 people!!!" Whew. I could use a break, I get tired, I yell a little then sit down and cry because the weight of everything I'm going through right now bears down awfully hard on me. And do you know what my children do?

Abby makes me a cup of tea. Austin comes and hugs me and says, "You just need to rest Mom. Please go sit down for a minute." Joshua takes Luke by the hand and goes off in the corner to play quietly with him. But first Luke comes up and kisses me and says, "You're my best friend Mom."

And then every morning, God's mercies are new and I wake up to be blessed again by just being "Mom" to the best kids on the planet. Spilled oatmeal, broken glasses, skinned knees, not enough money to go 'round and all. Blessed I am.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Narnian Nights

I have been reading through the Narnia series (again!) each night before bed and prayers. This particular passage from "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" jumped out at me and I thought I would share it here.

Nasty Cousin Eustace has just be de-dragoned by Aslan and he is telling Edmund how it happened. He had been trying to do it himself but layer after layer of dragon skin came off with no change in his appearance.

"The the lion said - but I don't know if it spoke - 'You will have to let me undress you.' I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty near desperate now. SO I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it.

"The very first tear he made was so deep that I thoguht it had done right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I've ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. You know - if you've ever picked the scab of a sore place. It hurts like billy-oh but it is such fun to see it coming away."

"I know exactly what you mean," said Edmund.

"Well, he peeled the beastly stuff off - just as I thought I'd done it myself the other three times, only they hadn't hurt - and there it was lying on the grass: only ever so much thicker and darker, and more knobbly-looking that the others had been. And there was I as smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. ..."
"Smaller than I had been."
What a wonderful result of being "peeled"
by the Master!!!

Sunday, January 14, 2007


No, not the movie. The real things. I have a love/hate rlationship with automobiles. While I think it would be wonderful to have a horse and buggy for driving to town in, I appreciate the warmth on a day like today while I'm driving in for a laundry soap.

I've officially been out of a car for 10 or 11 days I think and I was given one last night. Free. God is so good. I am speechless. When my friend called me to tell me a fmaily from church gave us one all I could do was laugh. God is so good.

Now I know why I never had any anxiety over it - God had it in-route all along and knew it wouldn't be a long wait! He is so good to me...

Eagles Wings

"Giving power to the faint, and to the incapable He giveth strength in abundance. And youths grow faint and weary, and young men suffer and fall. But they who wait for the Lord will gain new strength, they shall mount up on wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary;they shall walk and not faint." ~Isaiah 40:29-31

Not sure where this quote came from, but it was posted on the list I'm on and encourgaed me greatly:

"Eagles are unique in the kingdom of birds because they do not hide during storms... They fly toward the storms because the updrafts of the storm providethem with an opportunity to fly higher than usual. They fly toward thestorm, allowing the powerful updrafts to rocket them ABOVE the storm.Once the eagles top the storm, they soar above the clouds until thestorm is passed. Like those eagles, we should not let those fears paralize our spirits. We can soar above the storms and use their power to our advantage."

This is SO TRUE. There comes a point in every trial that one has to decide to turn upwind. To face it head on and fight... use it... redeem it... let the Lord raise you above it, or give up and give in and let it blow you up against a wall and smash you.

I will soar. The downdrafts might pull me low, the gusts might take me off balance, but I will soar.

I will soar.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Latest Creations

Like a good old lady I have been prefecting my knitting skills lately. lol Here is a hand towel that I made for my kitchen. It's out of 100% cotton like I make my dishclothes out of. I am always looking for a hand towel after drying dishes. This one isn't going anywhere! I started out with a pattern but ended up doing my own thing - glorified ribbing really. At this point in my life I need mindless knitting... that is what appeals so much about it me. It relaxes me. If i'm trying to follow a pattern while teaching, or sitting in an office waiting, or etc. etc. I just end up messing it up. And that is NOT relaxing.

And here is my latest apron. I'm planning on making a ton of aprons to have at the Farmer's Market this year. This is #2. I'm not making much progress towards having a "ton" am I? lol

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Wednesday Musings

I still wake up sometimes and think, "This is just a dream. This can't be happening. AGAIN." But it is. And I have to get up and deal with it as best I can. It's just unreal the amount of pressure there is to be all your children have day in and day out.

I currently have no transportation. My minivan finally died. Good ridance. lol I'm not at all concerned about it. Honestly not being able to run here and there has been good for me. Good for the children. Good for my homekeeping. Our insurance through the state provided transportation to doctor appointments so I really have no reason to have a car. It is just an expense that I can't afford right now. Should God provide one fine - if not fine. I am in His hands, and would rather rest there than anywhere else.

The flooring isn't really that badly damaged after all. There are a couple of seams that have curved up a bit but you can't see them unless I point it out. The house is settling though - quite a bit really. I have got to come up with a plan to remedy that before next winter. As well as how to get the floor insulated and the rest of the perimeter closed in outside. We are cosy here though - nice and cozy.

Schoolwork has taken a bit of a nosedive since Shawn left. We normally take off between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I plan our year accordingly so we can enjoy family, holidays, special events without the stress of "we've got to do schoolwork". Other than a day here and there I can't get myself motivated to really get back into it full time. We are reading ALOT since we aren't watching movies (A prayer answered actually) and they are reading alot themselves too. Luke is even making progress with his wight words, so I guess we are accomplishing somethings? I jsut wish I could do "relationship makeover" with the children and I. I find myself constantly wondering how to deal with the way they communicate with each other. Abby generally cries over everything and doesn't say that osmething is bothering her until she explodes. Austin and Joshua push and tend to bully each other and Abby. Mostly they treat Abby like she is inferior. They are making progress there too but !!! So many changes that need to be made.

The boys have been working out their fristrations and anger about all this by digging postholes for our fence. I am amazed! I haven't even gone out with them and they have 3 posts set. Now, these are 9ft long telephone poles sit and tamped into holes that are 3 feet deep!!!! They will need cut off but as they are they weigh alot! I told them "DIG! Have fun!" not realizing they were actually going to build fence! They are awesome.

Abby is anxiously awaiting spring and the return of bugs to our landscape so she can gather some to study. She is not happy that there are no bugs in winter. She did find a tiny spider but it died. NO, we didn't have a funeral, but there were tears. lol

I keep praying about what to do for income. At present child support is barely enough for fixed expenses, none for gas (for the car I don't have! LOL) . I will have $23 dollars left over each week if the support is granted at what he is paying now. Assuming that is all I am awarded then I should be able to survive. I am looking for something to make to bring to farmer's markets in the summer. I know, I won't get rich, barely make anything doing that, but it's something. And it's something that I can stay home with the children to do. The other option is sewing machine repair. I have the mechanical ability to do something like that and I could do it here. There is no one in my town that I am aware of that does it. Of course, all this until I complete my midwifery training and start that adventure!

So anyhow - that's my musing for today. Will post more pics later hopefully. Here is the bathroom. Unfinished, but that follows the theme of the entire house. ;o)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Beauty From Pain

This was hard day... and I'm sorry for those of you who started off reading this blog hoping to read about our country life and all the things that entails. This is the season I am in right now and though alot of it has to do with living on less, alot of it also entails the pain of divorce. This song ministered to me SO much today I thought I would share it. I also had a friend and her children stop by for a visit. I love that. SO much.... It was SO refreshing to have someone here. It made it feel a little bit more like home to have loved ones here. I'm rambling - sorry. It was a hard day. Lots of crying, praing, doubting, more crying... you get the idea. lol Anyway, here's the song lycris. PLEASE, no flames, I'm not crazy about this group either but this song really ministered to me.

The lights go out all around me
One last candle to keep out the night
And then the darkness surrounds me
I know I'm alive
But I feel like I died
And all that's left is true, except that it's over
My dreams ran like sand through the fists that I made
I try to keep warm but I just grow colder
I feel like I'm slipping away
After all this has passed
I still will remain
After I've cried my last
There'll be beauty from pain
Though it won't be today
Someday I'll hope again
And there'll be beauty from pain
You will bring beauty from my pain
My whole world is the pain inside me
The best I can do is just get through the day
When life before is only a memory
I wonder why God lets me walk through this place
And though I can't understand why this happened
I know that I will when I look back someday
And see how you've brought beauty from ashes
And made me as gold purified through these flames
After all this has passed
I still will remain
After I've cried my last
There'll be beauty from pain
Though it won't be today
Someday I'll hope again
And there'll be beauty from pain
You will bring beauty from my pain
Here I am at the end of me
Trying to hold to what I can't see
I forgot how to hope
This night's been so long
I cling to your promise
There will be a dawn
After all this has passed
I still will remain
After I've cried my last
There'll be beauty from pain
Though it won't be today
Someday I'll hope again
And there'll be beauty from pain
You will bring beauty from my pain