Friday, August 26, 2011

Fingerprint Friday...

There is a song by Steven Curtis Chapman that says:
I can see the fingerprints of god
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of god
And I know its true
You're a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you're covered with the fingerprints of god

So look around you and see where YOU can see God's fingerprints. Is it in nature? Kids? Animals? Where do you see them?  Visit Beki at The Rusted Chain to join in!

My Fingerprint happened this morning.  In the busy of getting Josie off to school and setting up Sarah's big girl toddler bed for her birthday Luke was putting the crib back together.  Taking off the rail making it a toddler bed and putting on the rail making it a baby bed.  He raised the mattress and stepped back calling me to come and see the finished work.

As I waddled down the hallway to him big with what is most likely our last baby the look on his face was my gift.  The smile and the look in his eyes as he watched me walking to him carrying his baby that he'd just put the crib together for is one I want to remember forever.  Because I know by that look how much I am loved even if my farmer struggles with the words.  His eyes tell me....  and God's fingerprint is all over that.

Seven years, four little girls, joy and sorrow, a life built together and so much still ahead of us.  Everyday in my prayers I thank God for Luke...


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Another week....

School started and another week has flown by.  Luke has been in the tractor spraying weeds, getting fields ready to sow wheat in September.  The millet is ready to cut, we went to Nebraska to the big county fair.  I am 34 weeks and getting baby clothes ready.  Sarah will be two, Marie will be gone two years...

Life is weird.

This summer I have felt like I've walked this path before.  Being pregnant again, my due date only just about a month later.  Only Little Mama is not here with me.  And I remember falling asleep in the afternoons with her talking herself to sleep.  Rubbing the back of her neck behind the curls because she'd calm down then.  And chocolate kisses in the afternoon, snuggling her to sleep at night when she'd hold on to my hair or hold my necklace in her fist.  And today I bought her new flowers for her tombstone, for her anniversary.

That is something no mother should ever buy.  I should still be holding her here.  I should still be kissing her goodnight and washing her clothes and painting her nails.  Life is weird.  Two years and this life, while blessed, is not as full without Marie in it.  Everything is different now.  I have changed.

I am now a compulsive list maker.  It helps me to keep my anxiety in check.  I never had anxiety before and I loved thinking I was this free spirit who could just roll with it all.  Not so much.  Now I make a note, I cross it off, I have to.

I check over and over again at night that doors are locked, babies are breathing, lights are off.  I always turn around before I leave the house, I double check before I close the garage door.  I cannot shake the feeling that I have forgotten something.

I question myself more.  Am I doing a good enough job, am I good enough in prayer, am I leading my daughters the right way?  Am I a good example to them?  Somehow Marie gave me confidence in those things, I struggle to find that now.

I keep to myself in ways I never did before.  I am closed off with my emotions when asked how we are doing.  The same as we were, we still hurt.  But that's the hard answer and I don't want the conversation so I say fine.

And again I am getting ready for a baby and praying it will be healthy.  I am snuggling a two year old (almost!) again.  I am getting used to Josie being back in school... and life cycles back to where it was before.  And I should be used to that, the wife of a farmer.  Every year we cycle through the same work in the same seasons again...  And I suppose it will be this way until I go Home...

I cannot believe another year has come and gone... how have I gone without kissing that freckle on her forehead so long?  Though we are better at coping now the pain is still the same.  And this weekend we will celebrate and mourn.  The Bittersweet...  And life cycles on. 


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Random... and pickles.

Tonight is back to school night.  Josie will take her school supplies in, meet her teacher, then we're coming home and having tacos.  I cannot believe the time has come.

Tomorrow I will be 33 weeks.  It has flown but it is dragging all the same.  I am looking forward to meeting this new little girl.

I am struggling with feeling guilty about that excitement.  With Sarah I was so grateful for just the day, and how Marie was doing, and I really never daydreamed much about the little life within me.  I was grateful for hearing she was growing well, I was praying like crazy that the baby thrive, but I never felt that giddy excitement.  I feel so bad that I didn't do that for Sarah, and guilty for feeling it now.  Mama guilt is complicated.  Extra kisses now make up for it.

Tonight we are having Carne Asada Tacos using the recipe Clarissa turned me on to.  I never make salsa to go with them and cook the meat in the crock pot.  My family doesn't seem to mind.

I am pretty sure the terrible two's have arrived.  My sweetheart has been a handful lately.

I made eighteen jars of pickles yesterday and tonight I am pulling the cucumber plants.  That is a total of 30 jars of dill pickles.  That is insane.  For Katie, and anyone else who might care, this is my recipe for pickles.  It is a compilation of a recipe found on and Luke's cousin's wife Kendra's spicy dill pickles that are awesome.  I just altered it enough to make a ton!

SPICY DILL PICKLES (this recipe is to make 7 quart jars at a time, for more than that you just keep making another batch of brine because you want it hot)  Beg, borrow, or steal to get a large water bath canner with the rack.  It's just too hard otherwise.

for the jars
fresh dill
jalapeno peppers, enough to do at least one pepper per jar
minced garlic (I just by the jar at the grocery store)
dried dill (because it should be dilly, otherwise what's the point?)
for the brine
8 1/2 cups water (distilled)
2 1/4 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup pickling salt


1.  Fill water bath roughly 2/3 full with tap water.  Start it boiling, it takes forever.

2.  Fill a small pot with some water and start warming your lids.  I do mine until they just boil and pull it off the heat.

3. Get the brine going.  Mix water, vinegar, and salt and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat.

4.  Get your jars hot.  Do this either by running them through the dishwasher and using them just as they dry or by putting them in a large pot of boiling water.

5.  Slice, dice, get your cucumbers ready.  And dice up the peppers.

All of this will take hours.  It is a slow start.

6.  To prepare jars add to the bottom of each 1 diced jalapeno, 1/2 of a spoon of minced garlic (I just use a spoon from the silverware drawer), a dash of dried dill, and a nice piece of fresh dill.  Don't be skimpy.

7.  Fill jar with sliced cucumbers, try to get it nice an evenly filled, no huge gaps anywhere.  Don't stuff it so much there's no room for the brine.

8.  Pour in the brine (use a funnel).  Add a hot lid and your mason jar ring and set aside.  

Once you have 6-8 jars you are ready to put them in the boiling water bath.  Add jars to boiling water, add water as needed so that when the rack is fully lowered your jars are covered by an inch to two inches of water.  Bring heat back up.  Once it begins to boil I process my quart jars for 20 minuets (if you live over 6000 feet you have to adjust that time).  Pints would process for 15 minuets.  

Once done remove jars and set on a towel to cool for 24 hours.  If the seal hooray, if they don't put them in the fridge and eat them in the next week or so.  

Josie and I are going to work on the baby's blanket (I have made one for each of the girls) and then I have to do her back-to-school mani/pedi.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summer winding down...

We have been racing and I have not made the time to write down our lives.  It is hard to believe that it is already August.  In no particular order, this is how we have been spending our summer days.

Today we have been finished with wheat harvest for exactly a week and a half.

Today I am 32 weeks.  I cannot believe in two months time we will be meeting our little girl.

Today marks one week and one day before school starts.

Yesterday I drove 303 miles round trip to take Josie to her ear specialist.  We thought she had lost her ear tubes as she has been fighting ear infections for a month.  Turns out she just has a really horrible infection, the tubes are still in place though.  The specialist thinks it may have begun as swimmers ear and then moved into the inner ear.  The infection is so bad that her right ear was literally bleeding.  Three weeks of antibiotic drops and we're going back for a re-check.

Sarah was awesome in the car though.

Last night we had some big thunderstorms move through.  The millet up north and at the farm was hailed.  It has been a summer for terrible storms.

Sarah will be two soon...

Marie will be gone two years soon... that is hard to wrap my mind around and breaks my heart every time I think of it. 

Josie is nervous about starting second grade.  She worries and struggles with change...

We went to the lake with Luke's cousins.  It was good.  We relaxed and had fun and played in the water. 

I have been canning pickles and will do peaches soon.  I actually got myself a present and bought a big water bath canner.  It was embarrassing how excited I was about a canner.  A big pot.  That actually means more work for me.  I am insane.

This weekend is the last real weekend of summer.  School starts on the 18th.