Farm fun!

We love animals! We are so excited that so many people at our new church live on farms. Spring is a wonderous time on the farm especially farms who have kids who do 4H.

We took Reagan the other day to visit our friends The Rogers. They have lots of animals on their farm and we even got to watch them shear some lambs. Plus they give me the raw wool!

I love how intrigued and curious Reagan is… she wasn’t scared at all. She was trying really hard to get down so she can do some exploring on her own but since she has to also taste to explore (what is with putting everything in the mouth?!?!) we thought it best to keep her contained.

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I serious love old tractors! Seriously

We met bacon I mean pigs.

And baby chicks! I had to check Michael before we left to make sure he didn’t try to chick-nap any…he LOVES baby chicks…and chickens.

I suspect Reagan was a little confused as to why she can pet this bird but not the bird at home. Although I must say that petting this bird has renewed her interested in a certain feathered sibling…

GOATS!!!!

If you have read my blog for any amount of time you will know how I feel about goats!

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The sheep weren’t very pleased about getting a haircut and thus uncooperative with my desire to take their pictures.

We had a great time. It was so neat to introduce our sweet baby to this part of God’s creation!

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Michael’s final installment

  Sunday, January 2, 2011 @ approximately 11:04 

This morning I came into the bedroom to minister to Dad—perhaps around 10:30. (I had also come in at 8:30 this morning in order to bathe Dad and give him some medicine.) I saw that his eyes were more open than they had been in the last 24 hours. He was breathing so fast—around 43 breaths a minute. He was alert, though, and understood all that I said. 

I began by reading a couple of Psalms, and then I read from the fourth chapter of Revelation, talking about the throne room of God, and how Christ “was slain and has redeemed us to God by his blood, out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” I explained to my dad that his sins were gone. A death had occurred on his behalf. At this point, even though my Dad was too weak to move, I could tell that the physical pain was beginning to come back. And so I prepared his medicine for him. 

I was reading from the book of Ephesians. I read from Ephesians 1:1 to Ephesians 2:10—I spoke to him about being sealed by the Holy Spirit. I pointed to the evidence of the changed life within him, and how he had taught us a life of faith. I even mentioned the rude awakening I had when I began to meet more worldly people.  

I further explained that God had chosen Dad—even knowing his every flaw, and every sin that he would ever commit. The evidence of being chosen is the strong belief that my father always had. We also talked about all of the spiritual blessings that God has given us through Christ. 

As I got in to the second letter of Ephesians, I began to explain to Dad that his spirit was already “seated with Christ in the heavenly realm.” I was telling him that when he closes his eyes here, he will open them in the presence of Christ.

Now, let me share my last word on this subject. I have always known in my heart that I would be there for my Dad as he died. I even prayed with him, commending him to God, and thanking God that He had given me such a good father. I asked God, on behalf of Dad, to take my Dad’s spirit–gently. And it was gentle. There was no drama. He simply looked peaceful and quit breathing. Good Bye, my earthly Father!

More words from Michael

New year Purposes?

What would I want in a new year? Do I want it to be different than the last year? Last year was honestly wonderful, adventurous, filled with highs and lows, and a time of wonderful growth. If I were to desire something in the coming year, it would simply be a greater ability to yield to the Spirit of God.

Now, to some, it might seem like that means a person gives up themselves and their desires. Perhaps in a way it does. I prefer to see it as allowing God to manifest greater wonders through me. I wish to yield to His greater insight, His greater power, His greater qualities.

Some of the things that God may do with a person seem more “flashy” than others. However, the ability to love in greater degrees or have a greater compassion is just as deep and profound–not to mention useful. As a person stays more focused in the “now,” they become more able to be used by the Lord in greater ways. So I want to focus on the “now,” and not yield to things like self-pity, selfish wants, materialism, or even unhealthy grief.

As a person focuses on the present, they are also much more likely to “catch God’s cues,” giving them the abiltiy to see God’s purposes and how we might play a part in them–regardless of how small or how large our role is. “Chance encounters” suddenly become doorways to moments of beauty and power. Finding our role in any given moment is like a planet finding its orbit. We are given greater “order” and “security.” And we see ourselves more as part of a vast system–all planned in the mind of an almighty God.

Yes, I wish to come into His chosen “orbit” for my life.

I close with a favorite verse: Hosea 14:8

“O Israel, stay away from idols. I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green. All your fruit comes from me.”

I could just as easily put it this way: Attention God’s people! Stay away from distractions. See God as the one who makes everything possible for you as you seek Him in the most powerful avenue of prayer. Realize that He is always the same when we approach Him. (In Him is ‘yes’). This is the key to our “bearing fruit.”

In his own words

Michael has been journaling through this entire experience. I thought I would share some of what he has written:

Today was the first time that my dad has been able to hold Reagan. I placed her against his belly, being careful to not put to much pressure on his legs (he lies in somewhat of a fetal position, favoring to be on the right side, and keeping his head toward the railing of the bed.) I saw such a smile on his face. He came alive in a way that was fun to watch. I have long wanted this day for him, not originally knowing for sure that he would make it to the time that she would be born. She is now four months old.

I let my dad know that I enjoyed the moments that we can be together at this time. Each minute is a gift. We have worked to make sure that he is as comfortable as he can possibly be.

At 2:00 in the morning (Thursday night), Mark and I started to go to bed, but Dad asked us not to leave, because he was afraid that he would die that very night. In fact, when I told him that I really thought that he would be around the next day (even though I acknowledged that he would know better than I), he shook his head, “no.” But Mark and I were content to stay with him longer—until we made sure that he was comfortable, in a relaxed state of mind, and able to sleep. I went to bed tonight not entirely sure that I would wake up with a dad, for most people seem to to know when they are passing.

There were moments of intense clarity with my dad today as well as hours of rest and ease, produced by a combination of the pain medicine and the (little bit extra) Lorazepam that I have been giving him. Though, to be certain, I have not overdone it.

This morning was a wonderful and joyous time for the second time since I hurriedly arrived here. I placed my Dad’s grand-daughter, Reagan, into his side, so that she could reach up and touch dad’s neck just under his chin. This is the second time that he has been able to hold on to my baby, and I am glad for the smile that comes to his face when Reagan is in the room. In fact, he lights up in a way that does not occur at any other time.

When I was here over Thanksgiving, he only got the chance to see her once, but did not get the opportunity to hold her. I am so glad that I have seen him hold her, for she is the next generation of our family—his and mine.

Would I want to be anywhere else during this time? Absolutely not. I have loved and valued each and every single “extra” minute that he has. I am ready for him to go only if he is ready. I am ready for him to stay as long as he wishes. This is between God and his soul, and you never know what beautiful purposes are being worked out in the heavenly realm.

I regret that I have been a little reluctant the last day and previous night to do this, but I finally took a while to read the Bible to him today—passages that talk about the love of Christ for His people. I spoke of the gentleness that our Lord has toward us—the gentleness that I have only caught glimpses of in the power of the Spirit.

This is now his third day of no eating and no drinking. Do I think he wants to be here? Yes, I do. And—even more—he wants his family with him. Last night, he did not want Mark and I to leave, because he thought that it might be his last night. But I believed that he would have another day. And I believe that he is likely to have yet another day. How long? Only God knows. 

The greatest pain for him comes from his legs, particularly his left leg that seems to have continual muscle spasms. Mark and I have rubbed his leg many times, in an attempt to give peace and comfort to these final days. How I cherish each additional moment. It is the nature of “life” to “wish to live.”

I now begin to write again at 6:00 in the evening. At this moment, Dad is more relaxed than I have seen him since I have been here. He is not moving around. I haven’t given him pain medicine in a while. He is a comfortable sleep, having reached a kind of “sweet equilibrium” today. He is bearing this well, and I believe that the power of the Spirit of God is present with him.

If you wonder why I share something so personal, it is because I cherish this process. Celebrate with me. Celebrate love. Let us not hide from ourselves the fact that each of us will face death. “It is appointed for man to die once, and after that, the judgment.” Living in light of our coming death is the wisest possible course that we can take. What would you do if you were in my place right now…staring death in the face! Celebrate with me, and live in light of eternity. How we live now affects the entire universe, and our final state

Starting early

Michael has always had a thing for flash cards. Even when he was little he would have his mom or grandmom do flash cards with him all the time. When we first found out we were expecting he wanted to go to the local learning store and select some flash cards so he can educate the young mind we have been entrusted with….

and he started immediately. They do this everyday.

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of course Sami is never too far away. Heaven forbid he miss out on any of the action… who knows, perhaps he will learn his ABCs also

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hopefully it will expand his vocabulary beyond stop it, mommy, soda and love you…oh and NO

We also have story time a couple of times a day. This is my typical view

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Sunbeam the parakeet prefers story time on top of my head hence she is not in the pictures.

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Look who has started to smile! She finds everything hilarious….ahhhh that adorable fuzzy head. Bliss

Let the sexy bedroom made over begin!

Our super awesome new mattress was delivered today…..that means I must completely rearrange all bedrooms in my house….even though I still have swine flu and only have about 30 minutes of energy before I require a 2 hour nap.

 My exceptionally frugal husband finally caved in and agreed to by a decent mattress, Our last one most likely fell off the back of a truck in Detroit and was purchased at a cash only warehouse in the ghetto. We have discovered that our bodies are no longer 22 and can’t bounce back from crappy sleep as well….one of the many reasons I no longer go to the club (others include the fact that I no longer drink, I would rather spend my money on other things and I do not enjoy watching drunk people)

So our Serta Beauty Rest was delivered today. We had discussed upgrading to a king but decided to stick with a queen and spend more money on the mattress as opposed to buying a new bed and all new linens also. In reality we aren’t very tall people and a queen is sufficient.

 So now the fun begins! I am going to have Michael paint the new bedroom dark tealish blue (Stunning by Benjamin Moore) he is grumbling just a bit about this since technically he just painted this room WAY back in May… remember this room makeover?

Well technically that is the largest bedroom but not the master bedroom. Weird right….gotta love old houses. When we first moved in we used that bedroom as our room but then decided to actually try using the master bedroom since I was just using it as a huge closet. I have made an executive decision that we are moving back to the other room so it will have to be repainted. (yes this will be the 3rd time I moved our room in 3 years)  Also the blue room is moving to the little room next door so yes, I asked my sweet husband to repaint a room he just painted in May and to paint the room next to it the color he is painting over. Evil, I know….but no complaining will be accepted from him as Christin did most of the painting last time….Hey, Christin whatcha doing on Wednesday?

This all makes brilliant sense to me but as I am hopped up on cold medicine right now I am fairly certain it is coming across as a jumbled mess. Sorry. You will just have to wait for the pictures….

Someone found a new play thing

and I am not so sure I like sharing….

Just Kidding

Michael has discovered the joy of tinkering with the vintage machines.

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of course the task was over seen by our constant companion Sami. He was very curious and made sure Michael was doing it correctly.

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As you can see the sewing room is a pit! I have no excuse other then to say….it’s Stash Game, I don’t get points for cleaning. Only sewing.

 

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isn’t he precious! Sami the Sewing Parrot