Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Lord is Good!



(Steve and the kids getting ready to plunge into the Pacific Ocean for the cold water challenge for firefighters) 


It has been such a busy summer so far. We have successfully moved to the home we wish to purchase. We have a buyer for our old house and have agreed on a price. They are a large family too, so it will be perfect for them! Things are moving forward! Not without many, many bumps along the way. God is stripping us bare and left us to completely lean on him financially. We didn't see this coming, but it is pretty exciting to watch the Lord provide for us. In one week between a mistake in the check book and two separate checks in the mail, he provided $800 for us! I felt Him telling me, "If I can be trusted in the little things (like gas and food for a small camping trip and some other unexpected expenses from moving), I can be trusted in the bigger things (the sale of your home). It has been such a faith-building experience for both Steve and I! I have gone from sheer panic, to sheer peace in the span of minutes! God is so good!


Taking care of two properties has been very difficult. The purpose of us coming to this new community is to save money on gas. So far, we haven't been able to do that. If anything we have spent more going back and forth trying to keep up with the yard. But when the dust settles we know it will be a blessing.


We were able to have a wonderful time with our family at the beach. So many memories were made! It was wonderful to get away from it all and to beat the heat. We are in a house that has no air conditioning and it has been pretty hard to adjust too. The beach was much cooler. What a blessing!


The kids are loving our new community! They go to the pool sometimes twice a day. They can walk to the library two times a week to check out books and movies. The store is just three blocks away. Church is about four blocks away and the school/library is four blocks. The kids have so much more freedom here!

(Jessica with a couple of her girlfriends at the pool.)


We are also only seven minutes away from my parent's ranch. It is great to be able to see them more and help out. It is going to be really nice when my dad has his hip replacement on the 27th of August.  While my step mom is at work, I can go check on him and help him out. My big strapping boys are now in the thick of helping my dad buck hay. It has been such a blessing to him to have their help. They are making money and Dad is not having to work so hard with his bad hip. This would have never been able to happen if we had not moved closer.

(This is my first rose at my old house)

I can't wait to plant some roses next year at the new place. I have been gardening like crazy at the new house. I am tying to save money on produce. Feeding this large family has become quite challenging since the price of food has gone up so much. I have always done more flower gardening rather than vegetable gardening. I call my sister up a lot and ask for advice. She is more into the vegetables than the flowers. So it works good! I will do a post on my garden soon.

That's all for now. I will show you some before and after pictures soon. We have worked hard on our new place and it is starting to pay off. I love our new house. It is set up perfectly for us!

Great to be back. Hope to post more of our blessings soon!





Saturday, May 31, 2014

Busy Days, Blogging Break

So good news... We are moving!!! We haven't sold our house yet, but God has made a way for us to rent the new place and be able to make our mortgage payment on this house. What an unbelievable story this has been. I can't wait to see what God is going to do next. After crying out to God, "Move us, already!",  ;) He finally did it. We are still praying we can sell quickly since we have to pay some utilities and maintain both properties at the same time. At least we can move forward. I will take it one step at a time and try not to run ahead or get discouraged and bogged down by disappointments. We have had a lot of interest in the house this time around and shown it several times.


We have been busy, busy, busy as we are packing up our large family and cleaning and clearing out stuff. Stuff, ugh! I still don't understand as much as I faithfully purge, how we end up with all of these boxes. I can't believe how blessed we have been. What a great time to evaluate, "Do I really need this? Have I used this in two years?". It feels so good to give load after load to The Salvation Army. I could have had about three yard sales, but I would rather not deal with it and know that it is helping someone else.

We will be painting, moving this next week and then I will be speaking in Idaho on Father's Day weekend. I am excited to be able to see my precious friend Catherine, and speak to anyone in the Church that will listen about the dangers of the technological world and to better equip parents and spouses to deal with this issue in their homes. Can't wait to see what God is going to do. I do have a prayer request. Our car has been acting up and has been repeatedly in the shop. Please pray it will get me to Idaho (a six hour trip) and back. I don't really have any other option, so I am trusting the Lord with this.

The kids are just about out of school! I can't wait to have them home for the summer. I have a few goals in mind. I will be giving each of them a night to cook once a week and I will walk them through it. Shopping, prep, and some kind of a dessert. I really want to give them some life-skills. Josh is 15 1/2 already and he doesn't have a clue other than to make a sandwich, and Top Ramon. Also, they will be helping out in the yard and I am going to teach them how to put in and care for a garden.

That's all for now folks! Hope to be sharing pictures of the new house soon! I will be back when life settles down a bit.

Please continue to pray for our family in this time of adjustment. And pray that God will sell our house in His way and His time (not mine). Oh, that is a hard prayer for me ;)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

One Wild Ride


"If your every plan and calculation has miscarried, if, one by one, human props have been knocked out, and doors have shut in your face, take heart. God is trying to get a message through to you, and the message is: "Stop depending on inadequate human resources. Let me handle the matter." -Catherine Wood Marshall

I can't believe how God is moving in our lives. This is such a wild ride! Our house is on the market. Our seller is willing to wait. God is taking away stress and worry and giving me such peace.

Every day I am able to speak about what God is doing and wondering what he will do next. He can be trusted!

"The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him." -Lamentations 3:25

I was listening to Family Talk Radio and they had a wonderful program on Protecting families from pornography. So exciting to know that there is a coalition out there called "Morality in Media". Their website was fantastic! Pornharms.com had so many resources that I could print off when I go speak at churches. I am getting geared up to speak again in a month in Idaho. I can't wait to see what God is going to do! I called the number on the website and just told the lady who answered the phone how much I appreciated that people are willing to mobilize and fight this scourge in our society! The Lord showed me that I am not alone. I needed that so bad. This fight feels like it is an uphill battle. Knowing that only 5% of Americans choose to protect their families from pornography is so discouraging. I realize much of it is awareness and lack of understanding of the true dangers of pornography addiction, especially in children's whose brains are still developing.

I beg you, please don't wait to get a filter. This website gives lots of reviews and recommendations if you just don't where to start. Don't wait! Be aware and be prepared!

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Lord of Change: Dealing With Spiritual Whiplash




Wow, what a week this has been! After waiting since January for our buyer to buy our house, he couldn't get financing. We were stunned. After waiting for months, 29 days before closing it all fell through. The miraculous thing is I had such peace. I had foolishly entered into a contract without reading the fine print. It gave the buyer way too many cards. I saw my mistake two weeks ago and prayed to God, "Lord, I have been a dumb sheep! I need you to protect us. We need a miracle. I am running to You, my Shepherd. I am seeking You and asking you to rescue us." Boy, did He. I felt instant relief when our neighbor said he couldn't come up with the money. I should have been spitting nails. I should have been so angry. Instead, the knot in my stomach went away and I knew I could trust the Lord. That "peace that passes all understanding" that I had been craving for two weeks finally came. I would rather have peace than a sale! I was even able to tell our buyer "No worries and no hard feelings. It is all good. God has a plan." Oh, how God has changed me!


So now what? This time we did not lose our house that we want to buy. We are so grateful that our seller is willing to wait on the Lord. Before the seller and I prayed together, we agreed we would do absolutely NOTHING to manipulate this situation and try to figure out a way to make this happen. We want the Lord to make it obvious and we want to see His hand in it. This has been such an exciting ride! People are watching and waiting to see what the Lord is going to do. I LOVE working with a Christian. It is so different to have all your cards on the table and to be praying in one accord.


So today we are putting our house up on the market. I was trying to avoid having to show our house. It is no fun trying to keep everything clean with all these precious children. So my goal now is to trust that God is going to sell my house. It won't sell because it is perfectly clean and polished. I want to continue to have peace. I don't want to stress out. I have lived without stress for four months now and I didn't like how my body and mind were feeling for the past two weeks. It really is amazing what stress does to your body.


Please continue to pray for our family. Pray that we do not grow discouraged and we do not run ahead and make foolish mistakes. Pray we quietly trust and keep the faith. Not everyone's faith is strong. My children are really upset and wondering why God isn't answering our prayers. I am praying that God will show Himself to them. I want them to see He is good and there is no darkness in Him.

I read this devotion this morning and I just thought I would share it.

The Lord of Change

"Not all change is by choice. A marriage dissolves. Cherished friendships change in character or another person's choice cuts directly across our own. Bringing us where we never wanted to be. A career change, voluntary or involuntary, may disrupt our lives. Financial losses sweep away our props. Even geographic change can be disorienting.

For the believer, then, the question is vital: Is our God the Lord of change? Will he be with us in change, especially when it strains our trust to its limit? Ironically, while we trust him with our eternal fate, we may find it difficult to trust him for next month's car payment, a new relationship, or an unexpected turn in our lives.

In the kaleidoscopic whirl of our life patterns, it can be enormously reassuring to remind ourselves that God is unchanging; 'I the LORD do not change' -Malachi 3:6"

 -Gini Andrews

Monday, May 5, 2014

Confession

According to my last post, I stated that I didn't have a faith problem, but a waiting problem. The Lord did not allow me to get away with that statement. Faith and waiting go hand and hand. He has shown this to me this weekend and I am so grateful for Him to lovingly point it out to me.

Instead I cry out to God as Job did, "I know you can do all things, your plans cannot be thwarted." Oh Lord, help me believe and wait to see what you will do. 

Pastor Dale O'Shields said something profound that I will never forget. "If God knows about it, you don't have to worry about it." It sums Matthew 6 up in one sentence. I want to live free and the only way I can do that is to get a handle on my fear and worries.

I repent to God and ask your forgiveness for that very prideful statement. Trusting God and not in man IS a faith issue. Because we cannot see God, our flesh will always want to trust in what we can see first. (I have gone back and changed my previous post.)

"I come boldly before you, Lord. Not on my own merit, or by my own righteousness (my own is like filthy rags) but by the saving knowledge of Jesus's sacrifice for my sins. I plead the blood of Jesus over all my difficult circumstances right now and pray that Your will be done and not mine.

Let your unfailing love surround me, because I trust in You. Let me rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous, sing, all you who are upright in heart."

Give me humility and keep me humble, Lord. "

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Lesson from Martha


One of the blessings about having a smart phone is that I can listen to dynamic preachers everyday while I am doing my housework or working out in the garden. One of my favorite apps is called "Oneplace". I listen to at least half a dozen programs on  it, from Focus on the Family, to practical preachers like Chip Ingram.

As I shared in my last post, I have really been struggling. Circumstances I find myself in seem to not be getting better, but actually getting worse. I have been frustrated with God, asking Him all the time, "Do I not have enough faith? If so forgive me for my unbelief.". The trouble is I KNOW my God can do anything. He redeems and forgives and restores. He can take the bleakest of situations and turn them around for His glory. He can drop $2,000 checks from the sky. I KNOW all of this. My theology is sound. So why am I struggling so?

I felt like the Lord was telling me this is a WAITING issue. Waiting on God takes a lot of faith. As I listened to Chip's Easter message about Martha, Mary, Lazarus and Jesus, I saw my story in theirs. They begged Jesus to come when their brother fell ill. They knew Jesus could heal him. What was His response? He seemed uncaring as He waited for two more days before heading back to Judea. In the meantime, their brother DIED. Could you get a worse-case scenario? No wonder when Jesus showed up Martha showed her hurt by questioning the Lord.

"Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.", she said.

She KNEW the Lord was capable of healing the sick. I am sure she had witnessed Him giving sight to the blind and and personally saw limbs being restored to their full use. Even after her brother died, she still had the faith to believe and TELL Jesus,

 " But I know that even now God will give You whatever You ask."

What faith! I know that I know God can do anything. But sometimes Jesus makes us wait because only He knows the glory that comes from waiting. More glory. More glory. More glory. That is why I must wait. Oh, what He will do with my story, if I but wait.

The most exciting thing about this is when Jesus said, "Lazarus, come out!" Someday, the Lord will do the same thing for me. I will stand there stunned as I watch the great masterpiece of His perfect Will come together. What those precious sisters must have felt. How they must have rubbed their eyes as their brother, dead, gone and starting to decay, walked from that tomb into the glorious light of the Life-Giver.

So I must wait. Hurting, yes. Not liking my circumstances, but surrendering them to the One who will allow it all to make sense one day.

Oh, how I love Him. Do you? If you are going through a season where it seems to rain night after night and their seems to be no relief, don't give up. Look to Jesus. That same resurrection power that raised Him from the dead is available to us. Is it your child? Your husband? Your church? Your friend? Your job? Your housing? Keep giving everyone and everything back to the Him. He truly cares. He wept for his friend Lazarus. How must weep for our loved ones too. I pray His Spirit comforts you and brings you hope as He has mine.


Friday, April 25, 2014

April News- 2014 "Attempting to Quietly Wait and Trust"

I can't believe it is almost the end of April. We have been so busy. Steve and I were so blessed to have my sister come and stay with the kids so that we could have a get-a-way. We hadn't been on a vacation without kids for over four years. We went to the beach and God blessed us with amazing summer weather (highly unusual for April, usually it is raining side-ways!). I felt very relaxed during the whole vacation. So easy and much, much cheaper. We really needed to reconnect as a couple and I felt that happened.

We are still in the process of buying a house and selling ours. It has been such a faith-journey. We have been waiting on our buyer to start the loan process since January. I have never waited so patiently for anything in my life. But now that we are getting closer to the closing date, I am starting to feel some anxiety. I keep turning it over to the Lord, sometimes five or six times a day. Our closing date is set for June, so we will see what God does. I know God has this, it is just hard waiting on His timing. He keeps reminding me "It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man." -Psalms 118:8. Every time I lack peace, I say this verse. So thankful for my Rhema Word!

The lady we are buying a house from is just precious. We go to church together and we pray together quite a bit. So neat to be buying a house from another Christian and watch God work everything out in His way and His time. We look forward to being closer to our church, the kid's school and my parent's ranch. Also, my Great-Aunt Esther and her husband live right across the street from us! It will be so nice to have someone keep an eye on the place when we are gone and to have a neighbor I can borrow a cup of sugar from. They have already mentioned that they will start making cookies for the kiddos when they come visit them. So sweet!
(I love holding Little William. He has been the "Balm of Gilead" to my soul when I am sad. He loves to snuggle and smile and he is so mellow. He brings back so many memories of my own babies. See paragraph below)

I am a bit sad leaving our house though. God finally gave me the neighbor I have longed to have for eight years. She is a young mom named Ashli, with two children,( Bethany and William) that my kids and I love and adore. Her husband is working much of the time and he is in the military as well. She is a Believer and we pray together whenever there is a need (quite frequently lately). We borrow stuff, watch each other's kids and trade recipe ideas. It is such a blessing to be able to help a young mom out (like let her mow the lawn, take a shower and go for a run. Oh how I remember those days before I had built in babysitters!) We have become really good friends and I am so thankful for her. She watches Lily for me sometimes when I have unexpected appointments. I am enjoying every minute of having her so close by. It is getting me ready to move into a small community where EVERYONE is close by.We have been pretty isolated here so it will be a huge change. I am looking forward to helping my friends out and loving and encouraging them when we do move. But I will very much miss Ashli and her family so much. They are in the middle of trying to buy a house as well, so at least we will only be about 15 minutes away from each other.


(Miss Bethany)

(Jacob and Lily can't get enough of "Little Willers")

Parenting has been tough lately. My children are growing and straining. It is tough to watch sometimes. I try to faithfully give them back to God and try not to panic when I see bad habits creep in or nasty attitudes take hold. They are doing well in school, and I am thankful, but sometimes they talk very disrespectfully to each other. I know this is normal sibling stuff, but it breaks my heart to hear it. I need to make sure I am talking to them respectfully and be the best example I can be and discipline them consistently and pray, pray, pray.

I have been very emotional as I struggle along here. I feel like I cry at the drop of a hat. I go through periods of sadness as we continue to struggle in our parenting. God uses our testimony so much and I have such empathy for other parents who are discouraged as they deal with mistakes their children make. I pray I can make a difference and speak a word of encouragement to them. Although, some days, I am the one who needs encouragement. God is so faithful and has surrounded me with godly people who speak love and hope into my life. They don't judge my tears, they hold me and let me cry. I am so grateful for all of them. My Community Bible Study group has been such a support to me this year, my friends, my church family and my new neighbor. God uses them all in my life at just the right time.

I have been feeling so frustrated with myself. I want to be this person who never doubts God. I want to believe ALL of His truths and promises. I want to stop forgetting them the moment something goes wrong or a prayer goes unanswered. There are certain prayers that I have been praying over and over and over. Years have gone by and if anything some things have become worse. I have been feeling quite discouraged over this. Yet I know that God is working out some amazing things in my life. He has protected me, spoken clearly to me, and provided for me in ways that are unimaginable. I feel guilty that I would ever doubt my Lord. Oh, and when I feel guilty, Satan has an" in" to the backdoor of my heart. I confessed it to my dear, sweet friend and she prayed with me. I will continue to try to take my thoughts captive in this area. Guilt is not of God.

"Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds delight in His commands. His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed." -Psalm 112:1-2

I have tried to be as real as I can be. I pray that in my weakness, I would be made strong. I pray that by sharing my struggles, you would know that you are not alone. He is with us. Sometimes there needs to be a lament before the rejoicing. There is a time for everything...

"Let them know that it is Your hand, that YOU, O Lord, have done it." -Psalm 110:27

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

More Ranch Memories


Here are a few more pictures of the kids and I at the old Ranch.

Lily and I walking towards the dump. That fence is new. Must be protecting the riparian zone from the cattle.

There is Josh at the dump.

Treasures...

More treasures!!!

The old Ranch house I grew up in. The top window is where Jackie and I's room was.

I took this picture for you, Mom. It shows Grandpa Puffball's maple tree. Many trees were gone, that one remains.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Let Go

I ran into this piece yesterday. It is unfortunate that the author is unknown, because it is quite powerful.

I have been wrestling with God lately. Mostly parenting and marriage stuff have been my challenges. I want what I think I want. I don't want to wait. I don't want to persevere. I just want it NOW!!! I was so encouraged after reading this. I hope it encourages you too.
(Jessica took this picture today)

To "Let Go" Takes Love


To let go does not mean to stop caring; it means that I can't live someone else's life for him.

To let go is not to cut myself off; it is to realize I can't control another.

To let go is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.

To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.

To let go is not to try to change or blame another; it is to be responsible for myself in that situation.

To let go means I want what God wants in the situation, not what I think is is best for me or the other person.

To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.

To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.

To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to effect their own lives.

To let go is not to be protective; it is to permit another to face reality.

To let go is not to deny, but to accept.

To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them.

To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes and to cherish the good in it.

To let go is not to criticize or regulate anyone else's life, but to do my best to become all that I can be.

To let go is not to regret the past, but to grow and to live for the future.

To let go is to fear less and to love more.

To let go is to hug someone, but not hold him so closely he is crushed or smothered.

To let go is give a person or a situation to God, who is the only One who can work everything together for our good and His glory!

***************************************

I couldn't help but highlight the ones that spoke the most to me today. I want so badly to trust the Lord in ALL things and in every situation. He loves me and He loves my loved ones. Thus far the Lord has helped me and I know He will continue. I just have to live today. I can do this, and so can you!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Happy Birthday, Lily!

 I haven't done a birthday post in awhile. I have a tradition of writing my children a letter for their birthdays. I want them to know my love for them, my hopes and my prayers for them. The past two years the pain of life kept me from this. I want my traditions back. So here it goes...
 Dearest Lily,

Words cannot express my love for you. You are the baby of our family and I grieve constantly to know that all of your firsts are all of my lasts. I so want you to grow up, but I also want to go back in time and carry you around with me and have you suckle at my breast. The joy and peace of those days are something to be treasured. I have tried to really cherish this last year we have together before you head off to school next year. You are my little sidekick and you make me do things I don't necessarily want to do (like go to a park, go outside and swing with you, have a million tea parties, read lots and lots of books, dance, sing and act silly). I am an old fuddy-duddy, as your father would say. Much too serious. But your silliness makes me laugh when life hurts.

One of your shining milestones during your fourth year of life was asking Jesus into you heart. I can't tell you how happy that makes me. You constantly are trying to wrap your brain around the omnipotence of God. You always ask me whether we are swinging, or in the car, "Is God sitting by me and holding my hand?". Oh, Darling, yes!!! He is sitting there always beside you and holding your hand. He will never leave you or forsake you. He is always with you. I am so thankful that you seem to have such a heart towards spiritual things. You have so many questions. Keep questioning, keep asking, keep praying those sweet little prayers. He hears you and He loves you so much.
 Your are such a funny girl! You are the most expressive of all my children, and I can tell you have a very BIG personality. You aren't shy and you love to dance. You sing EVERYTHING! You dress up in the funniest outfits and you have a great sense of humor, like your father. I will never forget finding you in my bed dressed up like Bat Girl watching your movie.

I love taking your places. You have such good manners and you truly appreciate it when we do special things. I have probably spoiled you (you are my baby), but I pray I haven't spoiled you rotten. I also pray that I have learned to be a better parent to you then I have to your older siblings. The things I stressed out about when they were little do not seem important now. You are reaping the benefits of all my mistakes, failures, and successes. You get a more relaxed mama, who isn't quite as fearful as she once was.

I know you have been wishing to turn five for almost a year, but I'm going to be doing a little grieving. When your oldest brother was born, I remember looking into his eyes when he was laid in my arms and thinking, "one day this kid is going to be five." Now here we are, the youngest of six, 15 YEARS later, and it is your turn to be five.

"The King is enthralled by your beauty; honor him for he is your lord." -Psalm 45:11

Lily, you are beautiful. God thinks so, and your family thinks so. We love you so much and enjoy you. Thank you for being YOU!

"Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come." Psalm 71:18

I pray that I will continue to live for God by example so that you might know of God's power and that you will eventually teach His ways to your children.

Love your BLESSED Mama,

Stacie

Monday, March 17, 2014

Getting Back to the Things I Love

Life just gets in the way sometimes. Pain stifles creativity. It feels like it wins. Well, I am coming out of a numb fog, and I want to enjoy some of life's simple pleasures again. A couple of those for me are photography (I am VERY much an amateur), reminiscing simpler times, going for long walks in the countryside and hanging out with my six children. I got do all four of those things yesterday and this post is a result of that.

 We went back to the old ranch I grew up on. The people living there are incredibly gracious and we have an open invitation to come back anytime we want. I love people like that! here are the kids in front of the main hay barn.

 Lots of time spent in this barn. Same hook was on the door. I must have opened it a million times growing up.

 My sister can appreciate this! When we crawled up to the rafters on the side of the barn, I found our old play fort. We had hauled this stove up there probably 33 years ago. Lily and Jessica were beside themselves when they found it. They thought it was so cute!

 It is quite vintage looking, isn't it?


 Josh is just getting so big! 

 Our old swimming hole.

 Looking for snails in the midst of the seaweed in the water trough.

 Here is the old bridge where we used to find old, rotten goose-eggs and throw them at the tree in the creek. Fun times! That is what you do when you don't have T.V.

 Couldn't believe I found this still on the fence post! This was the old coffee can that we hung from the tree and would shoot our .22 at. Someone saved it and put it up on the post. Talk about memories!



 This is the road that my mom affectionately dubbed "Lover's Lane". It leads to the lower barn.

 Jess likes to take the camera and get more artistic angles.

 The old farm equipment we used to climb on is still there. Look how far it has sunk into the ground!

I have another post coming up. Don't want to overwhelm you with too many photos ;)



Friday, March 7, 2014

Sharing My Childhood with My Children

 The kids and I were dog-sitting the other day and were kind of feeling the cabin fever creep in. I told everyone to hop in the van. We were going to go for a ride down memory lane. I drove my van to the ranch I grew up on. We parked on the gravel road and jumped out. As we walked up the road, memories just flooded my mind. I told the kids about racing my horse as fast as I could down this road (bareback mind you) and trying to just hang on! We used to play Indiana Jones along the "jungles" of the creek's riparian zone. Now there is a fence along the creek to keep the cows out.
Of course, I had to talk about the dump, too. To the left side of the road was an old dump. As kids, one of our favorite things to was to go to the dump, find every glass bottle and smash them on the biggest rock we could find. I was able to point out the rock, too! The same old stove, box springs and washing machine drum was still sitting there. Crazy!

I told them about the bones of the old cow that used to be scattered under the trees. We used to pick through them and count the vertebrates. I looked over there, there were still some bones there!


Then I saw the big rock we used to climb. I remember my mom taking pictures of my sis and I on that rock. I told the kids to jump up there so I could a picture. I wish I could have got all of them on there. But only three were willing.

I told them about some of the naughty things we did as kids (like spitting on signs as we went by). My seven year old, Jacob, looked up at me and said, "Mom, I wish I had a childhood like yours. Yours was fun!". You are right, son. It was fun. It was free from TV, video games, computers, and phones. We just used our imaginations and played. My kids really can't imagine a world like that. Just like I can't imagine a world that my grandparents grew up in.

I am so thankful that my parents still have a ranch that my kids can grow up going to. We are truly blessed. Even though it is a different ranch, it is still a world away from the town life. Such valuable life lessons are being taught to them.
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