Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Three Year Old

Happy Birthday Rae Rae lovey.

You are so precious to me, your daddy, and your sisters.

Your laughter is as big as life.

I have enough stories in just these three short years to fill up an entire lifetime.

Like the time we wiped your hiney a few days ago and there was a rooster feather in your crack. We are constantly thanking the Lord for the reminder to laugh through you.

Our house is quiet when you are sleeping and animated when you awake.

The first moments of your day are spent running.

Thankfulness is constantly echoed in your scratchy, raspy, two year old voice. Except you say,”Thank Em.”

The free spirit the Lord has given you I pray is one day tamed by God alone and used for His glory. The things He will do through you and the stories you will one day tell…. makes this mama very scared to even think about.

You see no boundaries.

“Slow down lovey,” are the words I most frequently speak to you. But, one day I pray that you run full speed right into the arms of Jesus and go about your faith in reckless abandon.

The possibilities are endless, sweet girl, once the Lord gets a hold of your soul.

Oh, how I beg and plead for His mercy, favor, and compassion to fall on you and the life that is ahead of you.

We love you so much and are thankful the Lord has chosen us (and thought we had enough energy) to parent you.


Momma, Daddy, and the sisters

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Final Stretch

In a few short (or maybe long) days, Farmer Jason will be home from Brazil.

He has been gone 8 days thus far. This is by far the longest stretch of time that we’ve been apart.

Are you doing the math here?? 10 full days apart with only words on a computer screen exchanged between us. I’m such a wimp aren’t I??

I’ve sat down a few times to write a post (because I put imaginary pressure on myself to keep up with my silly little blog) since he has been gone. But, the only words I could muster up at the time were, “I miss him. I miss him. I miss him.”

We are finally on the downhill slide.

Things have went relatively smooth since he has been gone- aside from a full day of sickness from all THREE girls.

As I sit here, I feel overwhelmingly blessed by incredible family I am surrounded by and dear friends.

I can’t wait to sit and talk with Jason about what the Lord has done in his heart. Or where his feet took him on this journey. I want to hear about the lives that his hands touched or the words the Lord spoke through him.

I can’t help but- a part of me- feel as if I’ve missed out on this experience with him. But, I’m so thankful that he got to GO. I truly am.

Honestly, the Lord has done amazing things in my heart while he has been gone too. It’s almost as if I’ve had my own little missionary trip right in my home.

I sent Farmer Jason with specific instructions to take lots and lots of good pictures. I will be posting some of those here when he gets back along with a summary of his mission trip. Their mission area was the slums or “favelas” of Sau Paulo, Brazil. The people they went to share the hope of Christ with were the families and children in these areas. There is already an amazing group of Brazilian missionaries established and rooted here that they went to join their efforts.

Please pray as they make their way home and begin to process all that the Lord has done in and through them.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Farm Snapshots

The Spring is our favorite time of year around the farm.

Things begin to come alive. Grasses become greener. Wildflowers sprout forth. You can feel the warmth of the sun pressed up against your face.

Today felt like our first real glimpse of Spring. It was almost poetic around here. The animals seemed a little giddy.

But, then again, so did I.

I snapped the above photo of the chickens meandering through the pastures. You can see the cows in the background (way back there) up on top of the hill.

We follow our cows with our chickens. The chickens go behind the cows and help clean up the pastures and break up the manure.

They also help when the flies get back as it gets warmer because they eat the fly larvae out of the cow manure.

In other news, we recently purchased a small herd of Spanish Goats.

The purpose of these goats will be for natural pasture renovation and parasite control.

Goats won't compete with the cows for grasses since goats are browsers and cows are grazers. The goats eat things that cows won't eat.

It is quite a sight looking out into the pasture seeing the goats romping around.

The goats won't let us get too close to them yet. We aren't use to our animals keeping their distance from us. But, in due time I'm sure the goats will come around as well.

The girls can't hardly stand this though. They've made many trips out to the pasture that the goats are in with many coaxing efforts to end in,"They just aren't ready yet."

They have taken a liking to the dogs though. The ranch that they came from worked them with dogs. We can't wait to see what kind of goat wrangler Max will end up being.

We had a momma sow farrow the sweetest litter of piglets to date. She had some very uniquely colored piglets. Some where speckled and one of them was brown. We don't have one single brown pig on this farm, but little one.

The sow is doing quite well at being a first time momma. She is young and this is her first litter of piglets. But, we've been impressed with her so far. She had a total of 10 and hasn't lost any yet.

Losing piglets tends to be just part of the game sometimes. We've had tremendous success with huge litters of pigs. The average loss is usually 1 to 2 piglets per litter- sometimes none, sometimes more. Most of the time, they are stepped on by the sows or crushed by them when they lay down to nurse.

Today, we were outside playing in the yard. I heard the loudest piglet squeal coming from the barn. Instantly, I rushed over to the barn (common protocol) because I knew the owner of the squeal was in a very precarious position.

When I arrived, I saw the little piglet half under the sow and pinned up against the fence. I made the sow stand up and quit nursing the piglets. I'm just glad that she kindly obliged and didn't give me any resistance.

The little guy was up and running in no time.

And I felt like I had bonded with the piglet over saving his week old life.

Monday, March 8, 2010

the booty at church

There comes a time in every momma's life, I suppose, that you may reach a point to where cute little things your kids do out in public no longer embarrass you. A simple chuckle and a "aren't they so cute" could do wonders in a certain embarrassing sitch, right?


I am NOT to that point.

I am a mommy to Laney Rae, after all.

Just when I think she has no more tricks to pull out of that little bag of hers......

- like the time she painted the whole church green on a volunteer workday (Well, not the whole church. Just the children's wing, sanctuary, and carpet in these areas.)

- or the time she got the whole side of her hair stuck in a fly strip attempting to pilfer candy.

- or the not so distant event in which she gave Ruthie a mohawk with sunscreen and stripped her down naked.

- or the endless moments of sheer nudity around the farm.

Home girl strikes again!

This past Sunday was a typical Sunday in the Kramer home. We went to church as we normally do.

I walked back to our children's area to check in my girls. Ruthie is first because her class is the first one that get to.

So, I checked in Ruthie with Laney Rae standing there by my side.

I took a few moments to pass Ruthie off to the preschool worker and give a few minor instructions- poor dear. She is the third so it's usually,"There are no instructions."

I turned around and Laney Rae was nowhere to be found. I walked down the hall to peak in her class to see if she went in there.


I peaked around the corner in Kaylyn's room to see if she went in there.


About that time I hear,"Mommmmmmmaaaaaa!" in a raspy scratchy two year old girl voice.

I knew it was my girl. Except I didn't know where she was since I had checked the two preschool classes.

Between Ruthie's class and Laney Rae's class are the toilets.

These two bathrooms are single toilet individual bathrooms- girls and boys. There are no stalls in the bathroom itself. Just a sink and toilet. The only thing that separates you from the unsuspecting people in the hallway taking their kids to hear about Jesus are the doors.

After I heard her screech for me I ran to the girls bathroom.

I knew that was a call to wipe. As mom, you can totally tell the difference between the call of your child if they need something or if they need to be wiped.

Except, she wasn't in the girl's potty.


I looked over at the boy's restroom and the door was WIDE OPEN....at church, in a busy hallway full of holy people who I'm sure weren't expecting to see the bum of a 2 year old at church that Sunday.

The light was off, the door wide open, and Laney Rae was sitting sideways on the potty "doing her bidness" with her booty cheeks facing the door for all to see.

The worst part is (if you are the slightest bit grossed out by poo, I suggest you not read this part) she had a "friend" still dangling in her crack in plain sight. Gag!


I immediately looked around in the hallway to see if there were any signs of awkwardness or people scratching their heads or dry heaving.

But, come on.

Who would even want to admit to seeing that?

Wouldn't you pretend you DIDN'T see it and just keep on walking?

I still have no idea if anyone saw her "doing her bidness".

All I know is that I swung the door closed super quickly, cleaned her up, and gave her a good talking to.

Then, I got to look like the moron coming out of a boy's restroom who couldn't tell the difference between a dress and no dress.

Honestly, that was the least of my concern.

Life with this little one sure is fun. There is NEVER a dull moment. And nothing is ever normal. I thought to tell her of the "normal" things to remember that day in regards to public conduct- speak to big people when spoken to, obey your teachers, share, etc.

But, it never occurred to me that I needed to warn her about disappearing to poo in the boy's bathroom AND closing the door.

I guess the "bright" side is that the light was off- although you could still totally see in. If she would have been able to reach that switch, it would have revealed some horrific-ness and would have been a lot more obvious.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

One of my favs...

I recently received this cookbook this passed Christmas (thanks Bubba).

How did I live all of these 29 years without having discovered this gem?

It's almost as if I'm discovering cooking all over again. I'm the type of gal that likes to know the "why" behind everything. This cookbook answers all of that and then some.

Joy of Cooking
is one of the most thorough cookbooks to date.

I love opening it up and reading it just like a book.

I made the most wonderful Chicken and Dumplings the other night thanks to this cookbook.

For some reason, that is a recipe that I always FAIL miserably at. My dumplings either turn out too dense as if you were eating sand. Or dissolve into chunks. Or I've burned them. Yuck! When I came across the dumpling recipe I thought I'd give it another shot. After all, Chicken and Dumplings are one of my favorite meals.

This time around, my dumplings came out perfectly. And I owe it all to this cookbook with its amazingly thorough directions.

This cookbook is officially one of my favorites.

What are some of your favorite cookbooks?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Smile

I can't even really articulate what all is stirring in my heart right now- good things, hard things, truth things.

But, I know that when I look at these pics, I just smile.

I'm so glad that I was able to capture this smile on camera. I heard her doing this while she was playing in her room so I peaked around the corner quickly with my camera to snap it.

Ruthie has this smile that cracks me up. I make a big huge deal and cheer with laughter each time that she does it. She doesn't smile like this all of the time. Just to be silly every once in a while.

Ruthie closes her eyes tightly "squinched" together, pants out of her nose in a repetitious pattern, and opens her mouth to reveal her mouth full of teeth- all of which are at different lengths right now.

Jason and I are hoping she maintains this smile throughout the teen years.

An unsuspecting teenage boy might decide to ask her out on a date (over her daddy's dead body) because he thinks Ruthie is cute.

Ruthie thinks a moment and then flashes this smile back at him.

The boy runs away shocked that this beauty can contort her face to such odd proportions.

Date avoided. Mommy and Daddy are relieved.

See??? Win win.

And this baby head.....sigh.

I wanted to remember what her sweet little head looks like for years to come.

I want to smell that head and press my cheek up against it.

She has a precious head.

I just love this little girl. She is oh so sweet.