A Heart Full of Compassion

We have had two days of torrential rains here. The rain has come down so hard at times it sounded like hail hitting our roof and windows. It blew in from the south and fell in sheets, unexpectedly. That’s how it does here in Texas. The old saying goes, “Don’t like the weather? Stick around…it’s sure to change”.

Earlier this week, my eldest daughter discovered that one of our many outside cats had given birth a few weeks ago. She was delighted to have finally found the “hiding spot” of the kittens. Unlike her father and myself, she has not been raised on a farm, but she does know and understand that she’s not supposed to touch babies of any sort without permission from us. (That’s to protect the babies.) She has watched those kittens over the last week like a new momma – keeping a watchful eye on them so dogs don’t get them (the momma kitty hid them very well…in the briars), and making sure their “birth mom” feeds them, etc. She’s going to make a great HUMAN mom one of these days, as she has a very nurturing and compassionate nature.

Then the rains came. Unexpectedly. And all Katie could think about was “her kittens”. She keep looking out the window and down where they were hidden by the side of the house. She could hear them screaming out for their momma, who was trapped on the other side of the field under the shed (we verified this by looking out the window on the OTHER side of the house). The rain kept coming. It fell harder. Just about the time it was falling the hardest, she decided she couldn’t take it any more. “Momma…I HAVE to get those kittens. They are going to DROWN where she put them!” She was right.

The momma had unknowingly put the kittens right where the downspout is on our house. It was falling right into the flowerbed (hence the briars, or rosebushes thriving right there) and the kittens were literally floating in the water, about to die. So we did what any mom and daughter would do in gale force winds and torrential rains. We donned some raincoats, grabbed some dry towels and went out to get them. Yeah, we got soaked. But we did it! We got all five and brought them into the house.

My husband had taken a cardboard box and filled it with towels and brought out the heat lamp, which unfortunately wasn’t big enough for Katie and I to fit under too. Katie sat and watched over those kittens for two hours until they were dry and warm enough. Then the rains stopped and the skies turned blue again (I told you, just stick around). You’d have never known we had just had a monsoon of sorts, except for all of the standing water in our yard. We took the box outside and set it by the flowerbed and left it so the momma kitty could get her babies. They were gone within about 3 hours.

I don’t know if that momma knows that Katie saved her babies, but I have noticed that she’s been friendlier toward us the last day or two. She even went so far as to leave a crawdad on our doorstep this morning (they live underground near our “gulch” in the front yard)…and I know it was her, because I looked out just in time to see her deposit it there. I guess that was her way of thanking Katie. I hope Kate never loses that. I want her to ALWAYS have a heart full of compassion for others. I want her to be concerned with what is happening around her and I want to encourage her to get involved. I am pleased that she is growing into a fine young lady. I am truly blessed.

90 Day Madman Cycle

Recently, I was introduced to a new concept, “The 90-day Madman Cycle”. I know it sounds a little, well….mad. But I honestly think it’s terrific! What is it, you ask? Well, it’s the thought that you can do anything for 90 days and go at it like a madman. You can give something your all if you know it’s only for 90 days! What’s 90 days out of your entire life? Then, of course, when the 90 days are up, you are supposed to do it again. Basically, it’s breaking things down into smaller bites so you don’t get overwhelmed by the magnitude of it all. I have also learned that there’s a HUGE difference in “shall” and “will”. Shall merely means that you “may” do something, while using “I will” states intent. I need to have more intent in my life! I don’t want to be a lukewarm anything. I want to be known for being a person who DOES WHAT THEY SAY THEY ARE GOING TO DO. A person of integrity. So this is what I’m doing. I’ve set some goals for myself and I’m going to go at them like a mad man for the next 90 days. I need to post them so I will feel like I am being held accountable by someone other than myself. (Sometimes it’s so easy to just say you don’t feel like doing that today when it’s just you that knows what your goals are!)

During the next 90 days:

1. I will lose 20 pounds.
2. I will finish reading my Bible through for the year.
3. I will stop raising my voice when I am stressed, angry, frustrated, etc.
4. I will pass my licensing exam and get licensed with Primerica.
5. I will clear the clutter from my bedroom.

I recently ordered new checks from checks in the mail. There is a place on the checks where you can put your own sentiment. I inserted “I can do anything for 90 days”. It goes right above the signature line on my checks. It will be a constant reminder for me that I have goals….everytime I write a check for bills, groceries, tithes…whatever. I’ll see that. And remember my goals.

There. It’s done. Those are my goals for the next 90 days. Simple really.

I can do anything for 90 days.

Mister Fix It

No way, I said. Yes way, he said. No…there’s NO way you’re going to be able to replace BOTH of the bathroom faucets in under a half hour. Yes, I can, he said. Watch me.
My husband has never been known to be “handy” with plumbing. He’s great with a myriad of other things – ask him to overhaul a tractor – you got it. Ask him to do floor repairs – he’s there. But he has always been lacking in the area of plumbing. He tried replacing his mom’s toilet flush valve – that was a disaster. She had to have a professional come in behind him. He’s in the process of repairing our tub in the master bath – (he’s been “studying it for over a year now, meanwhile, we use the kid’s shower)…see what I mean?
Which is odd, since he’s the plumbing manager at Lowe’s! (Hey…contrary to what you may believe, they do NOT hire experts!)
But today, he did it. He really did. I was shocked. He turned off the water and next thing I know he’s done. I didn’t even have time to finish reading my email.
I have the best hubby in the world! I no longer have to share a sink with him in my bathroom! No more wiping up his facial hair and toothpaste out of my sink…(now, I can do it out of his…but at least I don’t have to look at it while I’m getting ready).
From now on, he’ll be known as “Mister Fix it” around here…of course, with that title comes added responsibility. Now that I know he’s able, he’ll be asked to do more of it!

How To Prepare for breastfeeding

Day 1: Gently rub your nipples with sandpaper.
Day 2: At bedtime, sat your alarm clock to go off every 2 hours. Each time it rings, spend 20 minutes sitting in a rocking chair with your nipples clamped in a pair of chip clips.
Day 3: Draw branching lines all over your chest with a blue-green marker, then stand in front of your bathroom mirror and sing “I feel pretty”
Day 4: Open your already-crowded freezer and make room for 5 dozen plastic milk bags.
Day 5: Fit the hose of a vacuum cleaner over one breast and set on “medium pile.” Turn off vacuum when nipple is three inches long. Switch breasts.
Day 6: Obtain “DO NOT CROSS” tape from your local police station, then wrap firmly around your chest. When your spouse asks about it, say “get used to it.”
Day 7: Tape a water balloon to each breast and squeeze into a maternity bra. Repeatedly hook and unhook t he nursing flaps with one hand while using the other to balance a sack of squirming puppies.
Day 8: Dine in the fanciest, snootiest restaurant you can afford, making sure to arrive with a big wet spot directly over each nipple.
Day 9: Record your mother proclaiming, “just give the baby some cereal like God intended, and she’ll sleep right through the night.” Play in an endless loop at 1am and 5 am.
Day 10: Slather your breasts with peanut butter, top with birdseed, and stand very still in your back yard.
Day 11: Go someplace public-a museum, courthouse, the steps of your office building-and stuff a lifelike baby doll under your shirt. use the doll’s arm to suddenly hike the shirt up past your collar bone. Feign nonchalant smile.
Day 12: Suckle a wolverine
CONGRATULATIONS!!! You are now ready to nurse a baby…..MAYBE!!

100 Things About Our Family

1. We are a family of 5 and we are DONE! 🙂
2. We love serving the Lord.
3. My husband is a Creation Science Speaker.
4. We homeschool.
5. I make a lot of the kids clothes.
6. We limit tv to less than 2 hrs a day (working on getting that down even more) 7. We do not listen to music that isn’t edifying to God.
8. We love our local library.
9. We spend a LOT of time reading.
10. We used to own an eBay store
11. We love garage sales.
12. We shop for our clothes at second hand stores.
13. We are saving for our retirement (our goal is to be millionaires at retirement) 14. We live in a double wide mobile home on 1 acre…is that redneck or what?
15. We are going to build a house on our 83 acre farm (can’t wait!)
16. We are in process of renovating a farm house together. (sadly, renovation has stopped for now – we are building a business)
17. We drive old cars – paid for!
18. Goodwill is our favorite second hand store.
19. We love the Wal Marts and Targets of the world.
20. Our kids love Veggie Tales.
21. Our kids own lots of Veggie Tales movies.
22. We are thinking about adopting another child one day.
23. We don’t like snakes.
24. We own two basset hounds, Homer Lovin Texan, and Sargeant Floppy Joe (Homer & Sarge)
25. We own one outside cat (who has mated with another over the last 5 yrs to produce about 18 offspring! – which are all ours too…sigh) (she died last month)
26. We spend too much money on cat food. (without her leadership, the other cats have left)
27. We’d like to have one good cat back.
28. We love going to the Friends of the Library Book sale every month.
29. We have hundreds and hundreds of books and not enough bookshelves.
30. We have a whiteboard in our dining room.
31. We have a bulletin board in our dining room.
32. Our dining room is also our school room.
33. This is harder than I thought it would be.
34. We believe in breastfeeding until self-weaned.
35. We eat whole-wheat bread only (and sometimes we make our own)
35. We eat a LOT of peanut butter.
36. We buy most of our groceries from Save-A-Lot.
37. We can’t wait for the Farmer’s Market to open up!
38. We have a friend we want to marry off – he’s available girls!
39. We LOVE to eat beef.
40. We are almost always on time for things.
41. We usually get to Church 15 minutes before it starts.
42. There is a lot of stress getting 3 kids ready for Church on Sunday am.
43. My hubby is over the Jr. Church – he’s the Children’s Pastor.
44. I am over the Church Nursery.
45. Our family is embarking on a new adventure – owning a federally regulated business!
46. My husband passed all of his Securities exams the first try!
47. I have yet to take my Securities exams…studying now.
48. We love to read to each other as a family.
49. We have a devotion time two-three times a week as a family.
50. Our favorite musical group is “The Cathedrals”
51. We love southern gospel quartets.
52. Our kids love “The Hinkle Family”
53. We are involved in the music ministry at our church.
54. We all love to drink milk.
55. We all have a strong dislike for spiders and creepy crawlies.
56. We look to Dad to kill spiders, Mom if he’s not there.
57. Our yard stays in a constant state of needing to be mowed.
58. We love flowers and flowerbeds, but we don’t like weeding.
59. We love John Deere.
60. We do yardwork as a family. (But it’s rare that we do it)
61. We do our grocery shopping as a family.
62. We all have chores at home.
63. It is a family ritual to decorate the Christmas tree (we use certain colors that tell the story of when Jesus was born, about his life and ministry, his death, and resurrection – dad tells the story every year as we are putting up the decorations) 64. We love to take family naps and do so often.
65. We are working on manners and try to use them in our home as well as in public.
66. We all love to go on family drives.
67. We all enjoy nature walks.
68. We own a business and work from home.
69. We use antibacterial hand lotion.
70. We should own stock in Bath & Bodyworks.
71. We love June Sale at Bath & Bodyworks.
72. All the girls in our family (3) have handbags from BBW.
73. Our favorite homeschooling catalog is Timberdoodles.
74. Our favorite science catalog is by Nasco.
75. We love to do science experiments.
76. We are planning on purchasing a mini-van in the next year. (done)
77. We all love it when it snows in the winter.
78. We do not like it when the temperature goes over 100 degrees.
79. We eat a lot of homemade popsicles in the summer.
80. We cook together as a family on Saturdays.
81. We collect rocks.
82. We collect books.
83. We collect toy trains.
84. Maybe we should stop collecting some of these things.
85. We like to help people who are less fortunate than we are.
86. We enjoy going to nursing homes and talking to the residents.
87. Sometimes we sing for the residents of nursing homes.
88. We love each other.
89. We are a team.
90. My kids are best friends.
91. Mom and Dad are best friends.
92. We do not believe in being best friends with our children.
93. We strive for consistency in our parenting.
94. We show respect for others in our home.
95. We are working on showing respect for others outside the home.
96. We like to play family games and do so often.
97. We own a lot of craft supplies.
98. We do way more craft projects than we have room for.
99. We all want to have a craft room someday so we don’t have to pick up everything if it’s not done.
100. We are a happy family.

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