Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tuesday Nights

I love Tuesday nights. Tuesday night is bath night, as is Saturday night (which I also love). After supper, Daddy takes over. I get to spend the time cleaning up, reading, catching up on emails or other work, or publishing a new post for my blog. Daddy gets splashed, ends up close to soaken wet, and gets two very loud and happy children ready for bed.

Tonight my in-laws came over for supper along with our nephew Clinton. Pork chops, potatoes, corn bread, Carter's yellow beans, Carter's beets, and fresh-made applesauce (the latter courtesy of my MIL) were on the menu. Left-over goodies from our last pumpkin party (sugar cookies, cupcakes, and rice crispy squares) made up dessert. There are lots of full bellies and not many left overs.

After supper, Luke introduced Grandpa Carter to the Rescue Heroes while Susanna almost continuously said, "Grandfather, are you listening?" No, she usually doesn't call him "Grandfather." I'm almost wondering if someone substituted children on me today when we were out and about town. Grandma asked her if she was going to be three on her next birthday, to which Susanna replied, "No, Grandma, I am not. I am a, a, a GENIUS!" Luke piped in that since he is three, he will be two on his next birthday....and he is a genius, too. (Okay, maybe he needs to work more on that math thing) We're honestly not sure where they got that idea, or where they even heard the word "genuius"!

You know, since becoming a parent, I've come to understand the Father/child relationship we have with God even better. I am thankful even more at His patience towards me when I pull my "spoiled child" routine, or pretend that I can't hear Him. And while I'm not always successful in applying His patience towards me to my own children in similar circumstances, I often stop and think about how He handles the same situation with me....the times when my children are defiant or ignore me or are just too busy doing "fun" stuff to do what they should and am able to control the situation (okay, my reaction) better than I feel like doing. And I'm even more thankful that Tony and I are not in this parenting thing by ourselves.

Thank You, God, for bringing me into Your family, for giving me my family, and for providing a husband who takes over on bath night!

Monday, October 29, 2007

All About Luke

I have a boy. For those of you who have at least one, I probably don't need to go any further with this post (unless you want to laugh at what another mother goes through). For those of you with more than one, God has given you great blessings....and I will pray that He will match that with great patience. For those of you who don't have even one, you are missing out on a world of wonder, hilarity, frustration, and perpetual confusion as to why a boy does what a boy does (as well as a wonderful chance for God to build patience in you).

Luke is three (or, as he says, "free" -- we're working on the "th" sound...tongue between the teeth, and no, you won't bite it off.). He will show you three fingers when you ask him how old he is, but the three fingers are never the same ones. If you ask him what his name is, you may be told Luke, but more often than not, you'll be told "David," "Shepherd Boy," "Billy Blazes," or "Laura" (great fascination with Little House on the Prairie).

He amazes me and scares me, usually at the same time. Right now he is laying down on my bed, after claiming he had a good nap (which he didn't, as I heard him jabbering away the entire time....before he finally woke up his sister who fell back asleep after sobbing because she didn't WANT to wake up yet. He continues to repeat "I just can't sleep, Mama, I just can't" -- I fear regular nap time for him is near or at an end.). I love him completely and totally, even when he puts half a roll of toilet paper into the toilet. I love him completely and totally, even when he walks by his sister and smacks her as hard as he can....just because she is there. I love him completely and totally, even when he dumps everything out of every drawer he comes in contact with, just because "I wanted to." (and yes, when that happens, he also puts everything back...although sometimes he is motivated by fear of consequences...) I love him completely and totally, especially when he accomplishes a new goal he has set for himself (even if it is just jumping over a box he's placed on the floor before launching himself off the couch). I love him completely and totally, especially when he hooks a rope up between his trike and a wagon so he can give his sister a ride. I love him completely and totally, especially when he wants to be my "big helper" and sets the table, puts away the silverware, unloads the grocery cart at the checkout counter, and asks "may I be excused, please?" every time he finishes a meal (then promptly puts his tableware into the sink).

Luke has always rushed through life, doing everything earlier than usual, starting with birth. My due date was moved up two weeks toward the middle of my pregnancy with him, but that still wasn't early enough for him. Three weeks before the new due date, I called Tony to let him know my water broke. My doctor told me to get to the hospital quick, but once there, the little guy decided to take his time. About 15 hours after I was admitted, they finally induced me...and he still was having none of it. It was another nine hours and a few different drugs later before Luke finally made his entrance...although he was kind enough to put me into hard labor for only about five minutes. He was jaundiced, and even though we were able to leave the hospital a day after his birth, we had to turn around and go back the following day -- I stayed with him for four days while he was in an incubator under UV rays, clad in a diaper and eye guards while they worked on getting his billiruben down. A very scary thing for a first-time mom...although there was little to no danger at all.

Like most little boys, Luke embraces life full steam ahead. He is fascinated with most everything, although he has a very healthy sense of fear. This is the first year he finally isn't afraid of the scarecrow at our pumpkin parties, although he still isn't too fond of the gorilla. We went to see our friend, Miss Brittany, at the bank today -- the president of that bank is an avid hunter and has his trophies stuffed and mounted throughout the bank. Luke was terrified of the polar bear, the brown bear, and I'm not sure what kind the other bear was. He did, however, like the deer and moose and giraffe (okay, so we still get giraffes and zebras confused....go figure!). He also shows his tender side by always needing his "softening blanket" when he goes to bed.

He loves to talk and sing...and if he can't think of a song (or I ask him to sing something besides his two favorites...."Mary had a little lamb" and "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"), he'll make a song up. If he can't think of a word he wants to use, again, he'll just make one up. I've learned to ask him if something is good or bad before jumping to conclusions. I mentioned in a previous blog about being "lizardy." I think I may have even mentioned the "farkles" (freckles). He just comes up with the funniest thing.

Luke also absorbs everything around him. We were listening to some stories on tape the other day. One of the characters gets stuck in a tree and yells, "I need assistance!" "You need a sister?" "No, I need assistance! Assistance means help!" Sure enough, the next morning before any of us were out of bed, Tony and I were half awake listening to Luke and Susanna over the monitor when we heard, "Mother! We need assistance!" Startled, Tony asked, "What did he just say?" and Luke obliged him, repeating, "Mother! We need assistance!" The "mother" was enough to make me wonder what was going on. I've always been "Mama," so I wasn't sure WHAT was happening! I went upstairs and asked him, "what do you need assistance with?" "Mother, Susanna is NOT playing fair!" Turns out, she wouldn't give him one of her toys that she was already playing with.

I've also had many moments where I really wished I had a video camera with me. One such moment happened at our county fair this summer. I had a booth there selling Watkins products, and by the last day, I'd gotten to know most everyone around me pretty well. Across the aisle from me was a plumber named Denny who sold toilets and such, and had a brand new toilet in his booth (anyone guess already where this is going?). Sunday, Tony dropped me off at the fair after our church service, then returned to go to Sunday School. After Sunday School was over, my three most favorite people in the world returned to the fair. I asked Luke, who had been completely potty trained for about two months, if he needed to use the bathroom. He assured me that he didn't, so my attention turned to Susanna and Tony (again, if you've not figured out already, do you know now where this is going?). Suddenly, Tony asked where Luke was. I quickly looked around...and went back and forth between horror and hilarity. Luke was across the aisle, pants around the ankles, filling that brand new toilet in Denny's booth. Granted, Denny wasn't there to stop him....but neither were we. Denny was, however, coming up the aisle from visiting another booth....so we couldn't even rush Luke back over and pretend nothing had happened (okay, we wouldn't have done that anyway). After apologizing between fits of laughter and with a bright red face, Denny assured me it wasn't the first time and wouldn't be the last....but he did wish he'd had a camera....as did I.

Luke loves going to church, and whenever we drive to town, he is quite excited just to see our church. He loves Jesus, he loves God, and he loves learning whatever he can about the Bible. One of the highlights of his week is Sunday School (yesterday, he informed me they learned how to play with play dough (although his paper was about Jacob's dream). Often, as he is laying in bed, he will recite Bible verses (his newest is "I am wonderfully made") or sing songs (he also loves to sing "Praise Him, praise Him, all ye little children" -- a favorite of mine, too). And when something is wrong or if he isn't feeling well, already the first thing he wants to do is pray about it.

Luke already is fascinated with the fairer sex, especially older women, like those that are age six and older. He loves playing "dollies" with Susanna, but loves even more playing with all the Rescue Heroes Papa and Precious Grandma brought him on their last visit. His favorite is Billy Blazes, although he will take Susanna's Little Mermaid doll and get a goofy grin on his face as he besottedly tells her "I love you, Ariel, haha, I really, really love you." What am I in for when he hits his teen years?????? He does make sure that everyone is nice and kind to one another, but he's the first one who wants to wrestle with others (sometimes even if they are not planning on wrestling).

Luke, like most children, is already trying to decide what he wants to be when he grows up. It goes between "Bob the Builder," a fireman, a farmer, a train driver, but on the way home from AWANA last week he informed me he finally decided what he wants to do. "I want to be a Cubbies Leader, Mama," he stated, "They're the best."

I laugh sometimes...Luke is so much a reflection of his Uncle Tim (my youngest brother) in actions and deeds -- he even likes to walk on his tippy toes

He amazes me already at what he figures out. There have been several times lately that we'll be doing different counting things, and some of the things he says makes me realize he already has a grasp on basic math. I'll have some snack items out and tell them they can take four almonds, or three crackers, etc. Last week, I told him he could have six apple slices. He took three, looked at me, and informed me he needed three more. Last night, I told Susanna she could have five M&Ms (okay, not all our snacks are healthy). She took three and he told her she still needed to pick two more so then she would have five. No, we've not started formally working on math and such, but we will start doing some in the near future. Uncle Dwight started it when he would walk with Luke, holding his hand and counting the steps they would take.

I can go on and on, telling you more about my boy, but I won't. At least, not today. I will...but you'll have to keep reading future blogs! For now I'll close with one more statement.

Thank you, God, for Luke!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I was checking out my cousin Martha's blog and reminiscing about photos she just posted of my grandparents' farm and house. It made me go through some photos, and I'd like to share them with you all. (her link is on this site....also check out her newest endeavor, www.watkinsonline.com/mjweinhardt)
Included are my two favorite farmers (2002), my grandparents (mom's parents at my dad's mom's home 2003), a typical meal at their house (lots of people around the table -- this time it was Toths, Carters, and Pavkovs 2005), four generations (my grandparents, my mom, me, and my son 2004), and a photo from my last trip to Ohio (2007), mainly to see and spend time with them. It was a blessing being able to go, especially since Grandma passed away two months afterwards, with grandpa following her three months later. I sure do miss them but really treasure the legacy and memories they left.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pumpkin Parties!

So I wanted to tell you all about our pumpkin parties and show you a bit of the action before they're done for this year. I think this is about the 13th or 14th year that we've been having "official" pumpkin parties at our Market in Park Rapids.

For those of you who aren't familiar, my husband's family has been farming and selling wonderful produce in this area for over 50 years now. We start off in May each year, opening somewhere around Mother's Day, and sell bedding and garden plants along with tart rhubarb and tender asparagus. From there, we move on to selling cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, strawberries (including u-pick), raspberries, peas (snap and shell), green beans, muskmelons, watermelons (red and yellow), sweet and hot peppers, egg plant, spinach, cabbage, dill, green onions, sweet onions (usually, but not this year), kohlrabi (sometimes), radishes (again, somtimes), beets, beet greens, carrots (occasionally), sweet corn, field corn, and at this time of year we finish up with decorative corn, gourds (big and small, including this year an African wine kettle gourd that weighs upwards of 50 pounds!), squash (at least 8-10 varieties), and pumpkins galore! And when I mean pumpkins galore, I mean pumpkins of all shapes, sizes, and colors -- this year we had pumpkins weighing a few ounces to over 500 pounds; all shades of orange, green, white, etc.; "warty" pumpkins; Cinderella pumpkins, and "Long Island Cheese" pumpkins. (We also raise cattle for beef -- tender, hormone-free, and no worries of e-coli or mad cow's disease!) It makes for a very busy time for us, from about February when Tony and his father start planting seeds in the greenhouses to get seedlings ready until the end of December when Tony is reviewing sales and production and ordering seed for the following year.

However, things start getting less hectic by mid-September, so we like to celebrate fall and all its bounty. And if you've never celebrated with the Carter's, you're missing out! (Remind me to tell you sometimes about past weddings and receptions...I'm kinda thankful I joined the family at the end, but at the same time, it would've been hilarious to see the pigs roped on top of David and Rita's wedding car; Dwight, Tony, and Mark Mag doing the bottle dance; and many other things of which I've only heard about and/or seen photos -- for us, we had a dancing gorilla crash our wedding reception and try to take off with me before Tony could get in the car after our wedding). So you can probably figure that Tony goes all out for these pumpkin parties, too!

I laugh; each year he moans about the work involved and declares "next year we're cutting down! It's too much work!" And yet each year more things get added, things become more elaborate, and we get more and more comments about how "the Carter's continue to out-do themselves."

You'll note the photos I'm going to be posting (not sure where in the blog they'll turn up -- at the top? bottom? Right where I want them to?) -- most of these were taken by my wonderful sister-in-law Lori, the first "outsider" to join the Russ Carter family by marrying Tony's oldest brother Paul(since then, another 6 have willingly joined the family, including the first grandson-in-law, and another 18 have been born into it, and we've had one other donate a body part to the Carter family -- thanks, Jean! More on that in another blog...), and are posted with her permission since I still haven't taken my camera to the store to get the photos transferred to disk.

Tony starts planning, oftentimes even the same year, a new and more complex maze that is made of snow fence, straw bales, and corn stalks. Last year he stuck a huge teepee in the middle of the maze, and a few years back he built a bridge in the maze which he incorporates each year now. Many people have the mistaken thought that they can try and find their way through by climbing up and seeing how to get out from there....but please note I said they have the "mistaken thought"! This year's maze is pretty difficult, at least for adults. I've had more adults come in telling me they had to exit from the entrance....while kids continue to zip their way through with little or no problems! I am including a photo of my lovely niece Carrie (Paul and Lori's daughter) and her friend trying to find their way out. You can see a sign in the background, although you may not be able to read it. Tony made up some wooden signs this past year, and this particular one is a Mark Twain quote "It is easier to stay out than get out!" We also hide plastic coins throughout the maze for people to try and find -- if they do find one and turn it in, they get treats. Some kids come just to find the coins, not the way out (even though they get credit for only one coin, regardless of how many they find). Tony's thinking of hiding real coins next year possibly...what do you all think? He also has a quiz that is divided among five stations within the maze with questions about our farm and such. For those who are patient enough to find all the questions and smart enough to answer them all correctly (no, scarecrows are not filled with baloney or with money), again...treats are rewarded.

We have the teepee up again this year -- a couple dear family friends spend time telling "Tales in the Teepee" -- stories the two of them pick, mainly African or Indian fables about animals and safety and other such things often with a scriptural bent. Appropriate and fascinating for all ages.
Last year Tony made up a carpetball table. Now, I've never heard of carpetball until I moved here, but it seems to be a pretty popular game, especially with kids. Similar to bocci ball but on a long rectangular table, each person has five balls (usually billiard balls) which they place anywhere within a certain area on their side of the table. A cue ball is then rolled back and forth, seeing who can knock the other person's balls off first. I should go back and clarify. Tony made a GOURDball table. Yep, we use gourds instead of billiard balls! Another huge hit.

We have a big wooden crow that soaker balls are launched at with a giant sling shot; we have a wooden cut-out cow complete with fake udders for cow milking contests (you'll notice my cutie Luke "milking" the cow); last year Tony also hollowed out a small pond and we give rides in giant pumpkin boats (yes, real giant pumpkins...I think they could probably hold up to about 200 - 250 pounds, but we try to limit it to about 150 pounds); he also made up a really fun, very fast slide this year that is in almost constant use (again, I'm posting a photo of Tony's sister Rita with two of her girls at the bottom of the slide). And last year we started selling concessions -- locally made all-beef hot dogs, two varieties of soup (different each week, from mixes we sell at the Market), chips, pop, coffee, hot cider, and "sweet treats" -- sugar cookies shaped like pumpkins, cupcakes, brownies, rice crispy squares, and whatever else I have time to bake. But my favorite is a new treat this year -- an apple sundae which, if you've not tried yet, you have GOT to stop in a get one!

However, two of the biggest hits for our pumpkin parties are the pumpkin propeller and the wagon ride. The wagon ride starts out as a fun, restful ride on a wagon pulled by a tractor (the oxen that used to pull the wagon died a few years back after living about 20 years)....but then you start to notice scarecrows....that aren't doing their job as a giant crow gets into the corn field, and at some point a gorilla enters the picture. There is usually a huge musical number or two (remember, this is the Carters!) complete with banjos, guitars, ukeleles, and a wash tub, and sometimes bananas and/or silly string enter the picture. I've included a photo of the scarecrow band as well.

Tony thought up the pumpkin propeller years back and improved on it each year until it reached perfection. Complete with bells, wagons, signs, pulleys, etc., it launches pumpkins (although I did see a watermelon fly one time this year) quite a distance while Tony or Rocky the Scarecrow try to catch them. They're usually successful. It amazes me what Tony thinks up and makes, and it scares me because I already see our son doing the same thing....and he's only 3!!

All in all, it's a lot of work, but it's a blast, and we get a great response...we also have people coming from all over the state and some from North Dakota each year. I love that we can offer an alternative this time of year to families who don't celebrate Halloween (like us) while still featuring fall's bounty of pumpkins, gourds, decorative corn, and squash. (We also have apples, but we don't grow them). So if you're in this area, or you want to take a drive this weekend, come on and visit us at the Market! Pumpkin parties are from 10:30 to 5:00 every Saturday in October and often the last Saturday in September. Last chance you have this year!
Love and blessings,

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Small print (and solutions)

Okay, so I'm still trying to figure out what is going to work best, and based on my last posting (even BEFORE the comments), I realized the font was waaaaay too small. Sorry about that! But it did inspire the content of this posting (the small font, that is) -- well, that and how people are actually voting on my poll that they want me to post about Watkins! Okay, two of you did, but still!

So for the very few of you that don't know, I signed up with Watkins over a year ago, mainly to fill a void in our town after our local Watkins lady remarried and stopped selling. I was pleasantly surprised at how well business took off...and even more satisfied with how much I love the products! And I'm honestly not saying that because I sell Watkins.... I'll write more about other Watkins products and stuff in the future, but going back to the first paragraph, about the small print and the comments and all...

My cousin Liz is a bit older than me, not that much older than me, but enough to realize that when I got engaged, she is actually older than my now-husband (okay, that's a reminder of an email she sent me telling how she was surprised I was getting married to a guy who was so old...then realized she was actually two weeks older than he was, so he really wasn't that old). ANYWAY! Liz commented something about her eye sight as she gets older (I don't remember precisely at this time what the comment was, but it was along those lines, and bear with me, cuz I have another comment about memory, but I'm already off on too many tangents!). See, at the beginning of this year, I realized that I was starting to have to hold things with smaller print at arms length so I could read it easier. I was horrified! Was I getting old? Well, yes, I turned 40 in June, but that's beside the point. Who really wants to admit they're getting old? On a lark, and because I like to try the different things Watkins makes so I can give personal testimonials, I decided to try their Eye Care Plus supplement for a month, see if it really did make a difference. I honestly didn't notice anything, but then again, I honestly wasn't paying attention (reminder...follow up on above tangent on memory).

So I was hosting a party in May, and as I was talking about the supplements and how much my kids love the Children's Chewable vitamins, as usual, I started reading off some of the fruits and vegetables contained in them (all kinds of things most kids won't touch, but my kids really love, like asparagus, beets, and a bunch of other stuff), I realized I wasn't holding the bottle away from me AND I was seeing everything quite clearly! That, of course, segued into an "oh my goodness, guess what I just realized and what I have to talk about next!" I sold six bottles of Eye Care Plus that night (and three of the Children's Chewables...). The Eye Care Plus really has made a difference in replacing my potential need for bifocals (at least for now) and once again, I don't feel too old (except when I try to keep up with my kids!). Some of the testimonials I've read about the product also talks about helping astigmatism as well as near and far sightedness. I just know I'm really sold on it.

Watkins' supplements are really great. Another one of my favorites (and one I use ALOT) is Linimax. Linimax is a musculo-skeletal supplement that contains, among other things, glucosamine. And where glucosamine usually takes one to two months to kick in and start relieving pain for arthritis sufferers, Linimax starts working (at least for me and several others I recommended it for) within a day or two. I love seeing friends of mine who have started taking Linimax stop walking with that painful limp when you first get up and start walking again (another personal testimonial -- I have bone-on-bone arthritis in both knees, and going back to that age thing, I noticed late last year that when I stand up after playing on the floor with my kids or sitting in one position for quite awhile, my hips are pretty stiff and awkward moving for the first few minutes. However, I don't have any problems since I've started taking Linimax...well, except for when I'm working at the Market for nine hours walking constantly on the cement floor without gettting a chance to sit down, like at the pumpkin parties....and by the following morning, stiffness and soreness is gone). Again, some of the testimonials I've read on Linimax talks about improvement and in some cases completely pain free for individuals with "achy" problems (including degenerative disks, torn tendons, fibromyalgia, and arthritis).

Okay, the memory thing! Watkins also has a supplement called Brain Plus that is supposed to help with memory; it has ginkgo biloba and other stuff in it that is great for "bringing back your memory while preventing against age-related mental decline" -- so, since I tend to forget stuff sometimes, I thought I'd get some and try that, too! Maybe add another personal testimonial to my collection...but (and don't laugh at me!) I keep forgetting to take it. Seriously.

So anyway, check out my Watkins website http://www.watkinsonline.com/lindasuecarter and look at some of the supplements and other great things for yourself. (Supplement information can be found under "home remedies" then "supplements for all lifestyles" -- supplement names may vary slightly in Canada.) I'll write more in the future about some of the other great products, like their chemical-free cleaning line, their awesome 2007 holiday gift line, and their other long-time favorites!

And while I'll keep the font at a more reasonable size, do consider giving Eye Care Plus a try (you can order anything right one line)...and I promise I'll remember to take my Brain Plus!

Love and blessings,

PS - I hope I remember to tell you about our fun adventure after church today! Well, not TELLING you today, but maybe tomorrow or Tuesday....

Friday, October 19, 2007

I can't think of a catchy title....

....so I won't. Okay, I think I've gotten things all set up for my blog, including posting a picture and getting a poll question on there. Of course, being the author, I reserve the right to ignore what the majority request I write about and still write about whatever I want -- but I will try to get in what you're interested in from time to time :)

So here's the thing; I'd add more photos to my blog, but our new digital camera (kindly passed on to us when my brother upgraded) doesn't download to our computer, or at least I haven't figured out how to do it yet. I'm sure there HAS to be some way! Right now, I have to take the disk in every once in awhile to the local drug store which has the do-it-yourself digital photo processing and have them transfer everything to a CD. Since there are a few hundred photos on our camera right now (due, largely in part, to my parents taking lots of grandchildren photos when they were here...and because they forgot their camera -- and also from my beloved's recent birthday party as well as lots of photos from our pumpkin parties), I'll probably be getting a disk made soon. In the mean time, I'll post a few photos from earlier this year. The one of Susanna is one of my favorites. And as much as she loves the farm, tractors, digging in the dirt, and keeping up with her big brother, she also loves her "helping" in the kitchen, being a "pincess" (especially "Cinereyya"), and hating to have dirty hands (or maybe it's just that she loves washing her hands...). The second photo is of Susanna and me with my grandparents who passed away within months of our visit. I am so thankful and blessed that we had time to spend with them one last time. And the last one is of my two boys, the big handsome one and the little "sharp" one (boys are sharp, girls are beautiful).

I probably won't post photos that often. With our very slow dial-up, it takes a pretty long time. But I will promise to write more interesting things in the future (although doing this blog right now really is pretty interesting...at least to me!).

Okay, a few last things before I close. My kids have finally fallen asleep at nap time. It only took an hour and a half, several warnings, and three spankings (one had two, the other had one). See, our rule for bed time and nap time is that you cannot get out of bed before you fall asleep -- they're in the same room, and without that rule, which is usually followed very well, they would never get to sleep. The second time I went up to give them a warning, Luke quickly ran across the room and dove into bed...but not until the door opened. I left after letting them know that if I had to come up again, they would probably both get a spanking. Fifteen minutes later, I went back up to find Susanna out of bed...although she quickly ran back to hers and informed me she WAS in bed, Mama! And how in the world do you not laugh when given 2-year-old logic? "Don't spank me, Mama, it will be a big ouchie!" But two spankings, lots of hugs and kisses, and tucking both back into bed did get the desired results. And no, they are NOT ready to give up naps yet (nor am I) -- the few times we went "napless," the whole house was miserable by 6:30.....

I have also learned to ask my children what they mean before jumping to conclusions. Of course, "Mama, Luke hit me!" doesn't usually need translation (although it often comes without the precursor "I hit Luke and he hit me back" although sometimes his reasoning is "well, Mama, I hit her just because she was there"), but "Mama, you are very lizardy" did cause me to ask if that was good or bad. "Oh, Mama," was the answer, "it is VERY good. It means you are very lovely and loving and kind and good and you have farkles." "Farkles," in 3-year-old speak, translates to "freckles."

Gotta go. Still have those four dozen cookies to bake, rice crispie squares to make, and cupcakes to whip up before tomorrow's pumpkin party. I'm forgoing the pies this week, and I'll cook up the soups at the market when I get there (the beauty of selling soup mixes where you just add water -- quick and easy, plus a way to sample and sell product!). I'll post some pumpkin party photos people have forwarded when I get a few minutes....or when I finally get mine on disk!
Smiles and blessings,

The Start of My Blog

Okay, so I can't believe I'm actually doing this...I don't have time to be doing this...but I am gonna try. Bear with me (or is it "bare" with me? No, don't take anything off!), and share your thoughts. I'll post and reply when I can.

Let's see....Liz suggested I blog and when I emailed her telling her why I don't have time, she said it could easily be pasted into a blog...so I will!

oh, Liz, I'd LOVE to do a blog, but life is way to crazy to even think about it now. Full responsibility for farm and market is pretty much on Tony and me now...I do all the accounting (bookkeeping, payroll, a/c, a/p, tax payments...still have to do the 3rd qtr MN one tonight before bed), scheduling employees, training employees, covering when they call in sick at the last minute (after scrambling to find a babysitter), planning promotional things for the market, updating the website (which it hasn't been in several months because I forget the password, and when I email to get a temporary password sent, the email never arrives...but I don't have time during the day to call the web host about it), baking for our October pumpkin parties (4 dozen cookies, a tray of brownies, a sheet of rice crispies, two different soups, and two pies every Saturday....only two more weeks to go!), ordering products, and doing inventory -- then there is working with AWANA at church (I've been praying about dropping that responsibility....club secretary for four different groups (each with their own secretary), 85 leaders, and about 225 kids from age 3 thru 6th grade), Christmas program practice just started (I direct, and I love it!), Watkins stuff (which doesn't take up too much time and helps our income which we really need), regular housework (what IS a clean kitchen floor? And when raising a boy, when does the bathroom stop smelling like a port-a-potty regardless of how often it is cleaned? I'm thankful when my four to five loads of laundry from one week is folded before the next round is started...put away? What's that???), raising a 2- and a 3-year old (one of who likes to sit on the toilet grasping body parts while singing "my ***** is a fire hose!," one who is extremely strong-willed, and both who were sick this past week...Susanna is finally well, Luke is part way through -- terrible headaches, very high fever, listlessness, no appetite, stinky toots), and being a wife (to a husband who is also fighting the same sickness and is drugged with Nyquil which is why I can type to you tonight...he doesn't like when I type when he's trying to sleep (computer is in the bedroom...and this is the only time I have to try to catch up on the over 150 emails in our inbox which are NOT spam/forwards/etc.). I was really sick this past week, too, but do moms ever get to take time off, even when battling high fevers, aches and pains, and terrible congestion? Then there's the stress of family....dad and mom just left (they were great helps ....well, not counting the van full of toys they brought -- literally. The upstairs room they stayed in was a total disaster, barely any walking room, due to all the toys they brought on their LAST trip here -- I asked them if they could clean and organize it while they were here, which they did...while adding even MORE stuff to the piles!), almost losing my father-in-law a few times this summer only to find the artery to his new kidney was almost completely blocked preventing it from functioning, and all the other regular family things. Oh, and the farm dog died, too. I haven't really had any time to process Gram and Gramps passing, although I am sad in missing them but happy that Gram's suffering is done and Gramp is finally with her again...and Jesus!

Your blog, as well as Mar's and Kar's, are a highlight of my life....I get such joy when I check them each night after Tony falls asleep (usually around 10:30 or so) and find something new. Mar's reassures me that I'm not the only mother going through the ups and downs of preschoolers/toddlers and yours shows me hope for the future when they get older...but shows me life still doesn't slow down.

Maybe some day...but for now, just thinking of doing a blog gives me a headache.

Okay, so I'm tackling the blog, but after reading the above, be patient with me! Hopefully I'll be able to post during nap times or like now, when Tony is downstairs after having just come home from helping butcher and process the three deer his brother and a friend got last week (venison, anyone?).

By the way, some updates from the above....Liz did tell me that her bathroom STILL stinks (her son is a teenager...same smells? different ones? new ones mixed in with the old? She didn't clarify, and I'm pretty certain it's the last). I've got my answer to prayer about giving up my AWANA responsibilities...same as the last four times I prayed about it. God put me in that position for a reason, and I'll continue to joyfully serve Him there (even if there are times when I have to remind myself that I am joyfully serving!).

And some clarification: This past April, my 83-year-old (now 84) father-in-law had a kidney transplant. He is doing well now, and I'll blog more about that at another time. In June, my Grandma Pavkov (Mom's mom) went home to be with Jesus after going through declining years of Alzheimers and other things that happen when one gets to be 95 years old. I think after her passing, Grandpa survived day to day but had a very hard time living without her. I could imagine he probably asked God to take him home, too, each day...and God answered his prayer on September 23. Grampa was 94...they both lived lives that were wonderful examples to everyone who came in contact with them in any way. I miss them dearly, but I know one day we'll be worshipping with Jesus together, praising God! I also mentioned Liz, Mar, and Kar -- they are three of my most favorite people in the world and I've been blessed to have them as cousins. They're sisters, also having one other sister and a brother, as well. I'm sure I'll blog some about them, too (like how Mar and I are the same age --usually-- she just had her birthday so I'm a "year younger" until June! and we both went through later-in-life pregnancies at the same time...twice...along with her youngest sister who we agreed had it so much easier than us, maybe because she's almost ten years younger! And how growing up they filled a void in my life by being like the sisters I didn't have.) At some other time, when I'm not rambling as much, I'll tell you about our pumpkin parties, post pictures of us, and give you links to Liz, Mar, and Kar's blogs.

Okay, can you tell I'm really tired and not making much sense? We'll see how things go in the future.....and if I can figure all this stuff out (blogging, that is).

Abundant blessings!
and good night....or actually, morning