This is just going to be a montage of many things that don't really connect with each other, other than they are going on in my life right now...
I'm not sure where he got it, but lately before I leave somewhere (Watkins party, working at the market, Bible study) without the kids, Luke always reminds me to take his "power" with me in my heart. Susi is now doing the same. Just now as Daddy was leaving for the farm, she yelled out to him, "Don't forget to take my power with you, and keep it with you in your heart!"
She is getting to be quite the cutie (okay, she always was, she just continues to do so!). There are more and more times I have to hide my face from her so she can't see my grin before I speak in a firm, motherly tone to her. As she was dawdling on her way back in to bed last night ("I have to go potty!" only to pick up a stuffed animal then turn right back around upstairs), she admonished Tony, who was headed back out to the farm, "Don't forget to put on your boots, Daddy! You must wear your boots so you don't get all that farm mud all over your feet! And then take them off outside so that farm mud doesn't come into the house!" She then continued, "Mama, if you need a helper, you just call me and I will come back down to help!" Meanwhile, I'm telling her to stop talking and get into bed (it was almost 10:00). Finally, with the threat of a potentially sore tushie, she scurried upstairs, continuing "But I will not come back downstairs tonight to be your helper; I will come down only after the sun wakes up!"
One of the best things about summer and all it's busy-ness is that things slow down for me on Tuesday nights; this is my fourth year of partaking in a ladies' Bible study with between 5-8 great sisters of faith. It seems like even during winter when things are slower, we usually have time to just tell each other a very rushed, "hi, how are you?" but in the hectic pace of summer, we have the time to connect with each other and discover more of God's Word and Truth. Last year we had an awesome study of Search for Significance; this year we are doing a Harmony of the Gospels...it is tremendous!
An update on my washing machine: After doing the research, looking at prices, and seeing what is available, we (Tony) elected to not go with a high efficiency washing machine right now...just a bit out of our budget. However, we found a GREAT used washer that someone had just traded in. It's even bigger than our old one, looks to be only a year or two old, and I am very pleased with it! I don't know all the ins and outs of washing machines, but I am convinced this one cleans even better than our old one. I know it wrings out even more water, because instead of two or more dryer cycles to get an average load of clothes dry, a large load of mainly towels and blue jeans now takes less than one full cycle to dry. (does anyone even care about this part of my update?)
Our irrigator at the farm has not been working for over a week now. It's the pump, and we're hoping they've finally figured out what is going on and have fixed it. Tony has been hooking up all the hoses he could find to get water out to the fields, especially the strawberries (which are FINALLY just starting!). God sent some well-timed rain showers during the past week, but it will be a relief to us all once that irrigator is up and running again...hopefully today!
We are finally getting very busy at the market, doing quite good business, especially considering that our strawberries have been really slow in starting. Part of that is due to this being a holiday "week" with tourists coming through out the week; Park Rapids also hosts the Professional Bull Riders Tour each year over the fourth of July (July 3, 4, 5) and that's located just about a mile down the road from us. I am again very thankful we have great help at the Market!
My parents were here for a few days and have been gone now for over a week....I do have some photos I'll post at a later time since I've not had a chance to download them yet. The kids keep talking about how Papa and Precious Grandma must come back to our house very soon!
For those of you who used to get my "email updates," you may remember about four years ago when I wrote about our neighbor boy, Cypren. The bus used to drop him off here after kindergarten since his mom didn't get home until about ten minutes after the bus left. Luke would crawl all over him and just get so excited every time he saw him coming! We haven't had much time to spend with our neighbors since (I know, terrible thing!); mainly because it gets so cold in the winter, so busy in the summer, and we've both had babies during that time, too. Their daughter, Athena, is six weeks older than Susanna. Well, Cypren came over to pick up some Watkins for his mom earlier this week, then later came over to bring some cookies. Luke decided he must come over more often! The next day, they stopped at the market, and Cypren and Athena played with Luke and Susi in their playhouse. Later, when we came home, Cypren came over and rode bikes with Luke, racing up and down the driveway. My Mama's heart was touched when Cypren told Luke that he would ride his bike slower so that Luke could "win" their races! That night, Luke just cried and cried at bed time because he missed Cypren so much. Even Susi woke at 3:00 in the morning upset because "I miss Cwypwen, Mama!" Yeah, we will be making more of an effort whenever possible to reach out to our neighbors!
After lots of prayer, I've also stepped down as AWANA secretary for now. It was a hard decision; I LOVE the kids and working in the administration side of AWANA, but with so much going on and new things being added to my plate, God showed me I wasn't irreplaceable in AWANA but needed more to focus my attention on other things. So Tony will be working with AWANA again, taking the kids in each week, while I'll have a full evening to catch up on things and plan for the week in between...cleaning, paperwork, accounting, preparing school work, or just relaxing!
And one last note: I've been having some health problems that I'd like to have you all pray about. Until test results come back and my doctor figures out what's going on for sure, I won't go into detail other than to say that I get fatigued at the weirdest times and that if I do very much physical work, even going up and down the steps a few times or being on my feet all day at the market, I get really worn out and have some bad physical repercussions. No, I am NOT pregnant! I've also lost 14 pounds in five days without changing my diet. It's a bit scary and even more annoying, especially for this to be happening at such a busy time of year for us when I need to be going full swing, but it's also a lesson in faith and trust in God....and my husband has been wonderful through it all! He asked me to stay in bed all day Sunday (even brought me lunch on a tray, artfully decorated with pieces of pineapple!) after a particularly grueling day and evening Saturday and told me to please take it easy all day yesterday since I overdid things Monday by hauling water in buckets to water our small garden and flowers (remember, all the hoses are down at the farm!). It's a lesson in patience for me and in learning and enforcing physical limits, especially until we know for sure what is going on. We covet and appreciate your prayers!