Friday, January 29, 2010

Prayers Please....

Shortly after I posted my last entry, Susanna got dreadfully sick and was pretty ill with tummy problems for a full day as well as aches and pains for another two days.....I was, too, but not as bad with the tummy. Then Tony woke up Monday feeling like he, too, was hit by a truck. I don't think I've ever seen him that bad...for two full days he didn't move very often from the couch. By then, I was feeling better, but I had some major head congestion going on, so bad that my tooth sockets hurt. Yesterday, I was so thankful that finally, FINALLY, it appeared we were all completely healthy again.


Then, around 10:00 p.m., I started feeling, as my mother-in-law describes it, ishy. I went to bed, but had to rush downstairs around 1:30 p.m....and spent most of the night pretty sick. Still so today.

Please pray for us. We're normally a very healthy family, especially considering we have two young children, but this has been a really rough winter for us.

I'm hoping and praying this is the seasonal flu...that we've got it, are done with it, and will be healthy for the rest of the time. We went thru a mild version of Swine Flu back in October/November that hit hopefully, our immune systems have the necessary whatever it is to prevent us from getting the same thing twice.

Being sick isn't fun. Being sick when you're a mom is even worse.

I'm going back to bed.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

April 16

Yes, I know today isn't April 16, but it sure feels like it to me.

Before Tony and I were married, I worked at an accounting firm for almost 8 years (between two different ones). Things were always crazy busy from about mid December through Tax Day, April 15, and we'd often be working to the wee hours of the morning. It was physically and mentally draining, but we always pulled through.

Then.....the morning of April 16..... My body always knew it had gotten through the busy part and had some down time, and I'd always end up sick, usually something along the lines of a cold or sinus infection or something. I'd take off 1-3 days to recoup and rest up....then everything would be fine and dandy again.

Well, today is April 16. My body finally realized all the rushing and stress from the past several months (okay, almost a year since everything has been non-stop since our market season start last may) is least for awhile. I woke up almost unable to move my head it was so congested. I am having a hard time keeping my eyes open. My arms are so tired they can hardly move. It's time to rest and much as I can with two kiddos in the house.

Of course, I may have what Luke had....and what Susi seems to be getting since she's now complaning of her head hurting and being tired (it's hard telling with her since she "imitates" whatever else someone else is feeling...).

So, today is low keyed. Resting. Sleeping whenever I can while taking care of the kids.

April 16.

Friday, January 22, 2010

St Cloud

Wow....finally back home. Anticipating a much slower pace for the next several weeks. Yay! And thank You, God!

We got home from St. Cloud a few hours ago. There is an annual MN Fruit & Vegetable Growers Conference there that we attend most years. Lots of great sessions for growers, technical things for those who do web businesses, agritourism, etc. There is also a trade show that I've been part of for the past three years for a company I represent -- Greenstar Co-op ( -- we get quite a few of our shelf items at our market from them -- gadgets, cook books, private label jams and jellies, pickled items, Amish-made noodles and sauces, snacks, candies, you name it. Tony had been using them for about 25 years and I took over the ordering when we got married. Turned out, the CEO/CFO is a guy whose kids I occasionally babysat in Ohio when I was growing up, who also goes to my parents' small church. Small world! Anyway, I had a Greenstar booth again, and this year, many of the "regulars" commented, "you're still around! I think I'm going to start ordering from you!" Maybe they realize we're not a fly by night company...maybe it's because of all the samples I put out.....but it was exciting because I've been "courting" some of these huge orchards and markets for three years.

This year, however, our farm and market were (was? what's the proper verbiage here? Liz????) also one of the featured growers. We had a presentation to put together -- slide show, commentary, and tri-fold with photos. I'm not a public speaker, but my hubby is even less so, so....I got to do the narration. Although I'm sure Luke is itching to take over in a couple years! He helped pass out brochures and just loved it!

I was amazed at how many of the growers I've gotten to know over the years who told me they were looking forward to seeing our presentation. That they were going to sit in for moral support (yeah, let's add even MORE people in the audience! Just what I need!). Alot of apple growers that I've gotten to know. Some of the sales people in booths around me at the trade show. Businesses who had nothing to do with the session we were speaking in (pumpkins). (there were four other sessions going on at the same time) The presentation went rather well, thank God, although I felt quite nauseous before hand (nerves? something I ate? I don't know....but I felt better after it was over....and I let loose a good belch in private....). We showed the history of how our farm started, with Tony's grandfather and father in southern Michigan before his father moved to our area. The innovations they came up with...and the innovations that Tony is still coming up with. And I opted to put a humorous twist on it, showing towards the beginning several photos of the kids on tractors, showing how we train 'em young and put 'em to work right away...and how there are many different sizes of tractors...and how we are modern farmers.
I did concentrate more than half of our presentation on our pumpkins and pumpkin parties, though, and some of the things that draw people to us. We got lots of laughs....lots of "wow!"s, and some a few good questions towards the end.

But I didn't show this photo....(who ARE those masked men????)
I had a few folks stop me in the hall afterwards and tell me how good our presentation was. I was just glad I'd had that good belch and my tummy was settled down again....and that we were soon headed home, to OUR house where we could once again relax and enjoy a quieter (????) pace.
I was also quite thankful we arrived home safely, with plenty of time for the girls who came to "play" with the kids (read "Babysit") before the icy rain started. And now...we're expecting at least 6 inches of snow before Monday with blizzard-like winds and conditions Sunday evening thru Monday morning.

It was also a bit harrowing because Luke hadn't been feeling well before we left and had been running a fever the two days before we left...and still didn't look quite good. At one point, my little boy hugged me and told me it felt like someone was stabbing him in the heart. Kinda freaked me out. Was my 6 year old having a heart attack??? But it cleared up with stretching, Watkins menthol camphor, and sitting in a very hot and steamy bathroom for about 30 minutes.

Ah.....home sweet home. We were all glad to get here, especially Susanna who informed us during the two hour drive home "I'm car sick." NO!!!!! "No, wait, I mean I'm car TIRED." Of course, she was also the one who wanted to turn around and go back to the hotel within an hour of arriving home.

For me? I'm gonna try and put in a Watkins order (sold lots of stuff, have lots of market owners wanting to sign up, yippee!)....then crawl into bed with my already-sleeping hubby.
PS -- for those of you interested in seeing our slide presentation, when we do our major update on our website in a couple months, I'm going to try to have it posted. Not sure if we can, but I'll let ya all know!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Being Real

There has been so much in the news about Haiti wonder with the earthquake and all. But I've been realizing that my reaction hasn't been the whole shock thing that seems to be coming from everyone else. That bothered me, and I prayed about it, looking inside me to see why it isn't tugging at my heart strings like it is so many others. I realized that it is....but I'm just projecting it in different ways....although, realistically, I may not have let it impacted me as much as others. Why? Aren't we called on to have compassion? To help others? To reach to those in their time of need? What is going on with me???

Maybe these are excuses, I don't know. I prefer to think of them as explanations :)

Life has been extremely hectic here lately. We are getting ready to go to St. Cloud for a convention tomorrow (returning Friday) and I'm wearing several different hats, both there and in preparing for it here -- wife and mother, Red Wagon Farm market manager and presenter (we're the featured grower this year...which involves putting together a HUGE power point presentation and a photo layout), and sales person for Greenstar/Watkins with a booth that needs to be set up, have product in it with things to hand out. To top it off, Luke isn't feeling well today. We had friends over for Food, Fun, and Fellowship Sunday -- thirteen children under age 12 and eight adults. Still have our booth at the coffee shop (although I'm in there only 1 or 2 times a week). Home schooling. Laundry that multiplies by the minute. The list goes on.

I've not had much time to look at the news or news sites outside of headlines (and why wasn't there even mention, or very little mention of the 6.0 earthquake in Guatemala yesterday? I saw it briefly on no story anywhere else -- that I looked for. My brother-in-law lives there.).

But also in all honesty, even if I HAD the time, I don't want to spend it seeing pictures, watching news, reading different stories about it. My heart goes out to the Haitians and others who have been forever affected by this tragedy. My prayers are continually going out, seriously...and especially for spiritual awakening and victory in an area that has had so much spiritual warfare for centuries (that's a whole other issue). But a big part, for me at least, is I don't want to see or face pictures of more tragedy.

Just a few days before I graduated high school, one of the worst tornadoes in US history went through my small town. Thankfully, we sustained very little damage, but I remember my dad and brothers and I trying to drive to the other side of our small town to find my mom who had been at the grocery store. Friends wandering the streets in shock. Homes and buildings demolished. Trees sticking out of roofs. Praise God no one in our community was killed, but the devestation was horrid. A few years before that, in fact, this week marks the anniversary (29 years? 30?), a fire destroyed our house in the middle of the night. Again, that is another full story that maybe I'll share some day. About 12 years after the tornado...which I thought didn't affect me TOO bad, I was smack dab in the middle of Hurricane Andrew when I lived in Florida. Again, God's grace is incredible and the stories I can tell you about that are amazing. Yet...seeing the results of the hurricane brought back everything from the tornado...and the fire. And I thank God the 8.4 earthquake I was in when I lived in California had very little damage (it was centered in the desert, so the sand absorbed most of the tremors...but WOW! That's not something you want to wake up to at 3:30 a.m.! Trust me....).

I don't want to see more. I don't want more images in my mind. This isn't my forever home. I know we're living in a fallen world that has horrid things happening daily...each second....because of the impact of sin. My heart aches for those who are affected by earthquakes, tornadoes, fires, hurricanes -- I've been there. Honestly. I know. My heart cries for those affected by crimes -- the worst I've dealt with was someone robbing and trashing my apartment in California and stealing everything from my car in Florida. There are those who go through worse -- murder, rape, torture. I hurt for them. I pray for them. When I can, I reach out to them.

Am I wrong with my attitude? Am I selfish? Am I trying to stay in a little bubble insulated from everything outside my small sphere? I'm worried now about Luke...his tummy and throat (he has his head inside a bowl right now...please, God, DON'T let him throw up! I can't deal with that!!!! -- see, is that selfish dwelling on that???). I pray for him....but for others, too.

Give it to me, folks. Don't hold back. You're my friends and family, those who I should be able to count on to be real and honest with me.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Wow, I don't always remember to write down what my kids say as they say it...and miss the opportunity to share with the entire world (or at least the dozen or so who read my blog) what got me laughing during the day....but! Here are a few from the past few days.

Luke, immediately upon waking up on his birthday: Wow, Susanna, I'm sure glad I'm not only 4 like you are!

Susanna to Tony, as he walked in the house shortly after she received a "hand spanking" (slap on the wrist) for spraying WD-40 all over: Daddy, YOU left that spray out where I could get it and I got a discipline for spraying it all over! You should be more careful where you leave things. (and the next day, she spraying Watkins all purpose cleaner in her cereal.....)

Luke, during supper: Wow, Mama, you are the most beautifulest woman in the whole world!
Me: Even more beautiful than Vanna White? (they love watching Pat & Vanna)
Luke: No! Of course not! Wait! What does that mean?
(he then quickly assured me that I am really more beautiful than Vanna)

Susanna, trying to get in on the compliments: Mama, Vanna and you have the most beautifulest dresses in the whole world!

Susanna, seeing a double-yolked egg for the first time today: Look, Mama! It's a two-headed egg! Can I eat it?

They crack us up, kids who are growing up entirely too fast. Their imaginations go full blast right now, and it's fun just sitting back and listening to their interactions, especially when playing.

I'm looking forward to a day tomorrow of not much more than enjoying my kids (after I figure out and pay the state and federal quarterly taxes and figure out what I need to pack for our St Cloud trip next week...the rest can wait until Saturday....although I'm convinced the laundry keeps growing....)

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Six years ago I was in alot of pain. Sent to the hospital because the baby inside me decided it wanted OUT even though there were still three weeks to go. Popped my water, the little bugger. Had to be induced. Wouldn't wish that on ANYONE. After 12 hours, they gave me drugs. Made the room spin, couldn't open my eyes without getting motion sick. At least once or twice, Tony thought I was close to dying. Pale, moaning, not able to bear it. Finally got a partial epidural....just in time to give one last push and welcome a squalling baby boy into the world. He made me a mom. Tony became a dad. And our lives have never been the same.
This not-so-little-any-more guy keeps us laughing, makes each day brighter, and constantly challenges us in good ways. He loves God whole-heartedly and always has a song to sing. He's (usually) a wonderful big brother (more on that next month!), and an excellent helper at home, on the farm, at the market, and anywhere else he is.

He loves his food -- from limes to veggies to meat to snacks and cookies -- he loves his hair and doesn't want it buzzed again (sorry, Buddy, it's gonna happen again....I guarantee it!). And for some reason, almost every picture taken of him shows him with glowing red eyes (and I don't have time to fix 'em all right now).

He lives life to the fullest...whether it's at home in the play room; at church for home-school co-op, Sunday School, or Awana; on the farm playing or helping feed the cows, plant, weed, pick, or whatever else needs done; at the market being a bear or being a kid; wherever we are.
The physical pain is gone....but the joy is here to stay.
Happy birthday, Luke. We love you more than you can ever imagine.