There are days I really wish I had an instruction manual for life. There are days that I think I should write an instruction manual for how to NOT live. There are days that I am pretty sure I am not smart enough to follow an instruction manual (if I had one) to save my life.
We all feel this way sometime.
The best part of our imperfection is that we all suffer from it.
Our mistakes are part of the human condition and they are tools for personal growth.
The three steps to surviving imperfection are as follows:
(Unofficial Instruction Guide for Life)
- Be able to laugh at your mistakes
- Be able to learn from your mistakes
- Forgive yourself for making mistakes
Continue reading “Lacking Instruction – Wise Words Wednesday”
As we visited one of Missouri’s fine state parks, we stumbled upon what we believed was a wishing well. My children ran ahead to check it out and plan their wishing strategies. After arriving at the “well,” we discovered it was a clever cover-up for a water hose hydrant used by the state park.
When they discovered no wishes were to be made, I had three bummed babies. As we made our way past the “well,” I asked my daughter what she would wish for. I already knew the answer but thought being able to tell her wish would cheer her up.
“I’d wish for a horse, and a barn, and a saddle,” she said wistfully. I smiled and hugged her. “I would wish for that too,” I told her. Then she asked, “Mama, why did they close the wishing well?” I had to think for a moment and then I told her, “The well wasn’t closed; it was out of order. They just have to find the right way to get the wishes to come out again. Just keep wishing and maybe they will get it fixed.”
I don’t know if that was the right advice to give my girl, but hopefully she will hold onto her dreams and remember just because something doesn’t work at the moment, it might work in the future. Continue reading “Out of Order Wishing Well”
Last week I had the pleasure of taking my niece and nephew fishing with us. They had not been fishing much and were VERY excited to go to Grandpa’s pond and reel in their first big catch.
My sister had lovingly chosen fishing poles for each of them. An Avengers pole for my nephew and a Moana pole for my niece. As I carried them to the kitchen table with my tackle box, my nephew looked suspicious.
“What are you going to do to my fishing pole?” he asked in his little voice.
“I’m putting a hook, weight, and floater on it so you can go fishing,” I replied.
His eyes got the size of saucers and he said, “A real hook? Yippee!”
My niece was equally excited about her “real hook,” but at nine years old she was too cool to say, “Yippee!”
The “Yippees” kept coming until it was time to put bait on those “real hooks.” Both of my guest anglers were appalled to tears that I would expect them to touch a worm. They wanted to used the fake bait my daughter had in her tackle box. I said, “Okay, but the fish don’t bite as well on them and those fake baits stink way worse than worms.”
“Worms are gross,” my niece informed me.
“They may be gross, but the fish sure love them,” I said. Continue reading “A Hook Out of Water – Wise Words Wednesday”
This Mama’s Heart via Daily Prompt: Nervous
When you become a mother you give away your heart.You love stronger and harder than you ever imagined possible. That love grows with your child. The pains that come with it grow too.
This mama’s heart has grown and loved in so many ways since the births of my three kiddos. My heart has calmed and smiled at their peaceful sleep and joyful discoveries. It has hurt and beat to rocky rhythms when they have scared me with their recklessness and angered me with their antics.
With each doctor visit or ER escapade, my heart has really taken a beating. Sprains, stitches, and broken bones leave their scars. However, the ache isn’t truly felt until after the whole ordeal is over.
In the last two years I have made six trips to the emergency room. Not all of the trips were for my kiddos, but the impacts on my heart were no different whether I was taking in hubby, my own mama, or one of my babies.
This spring my daughter broke her arm. Like all of our other trips to the hospital, I was able to stay calm and put together all of the information and documents needed to ensure beneficial care be provided. Similarly, my heart ached as I watched someone I loved lying in that hospital bed. Later that night I woke suddenly. My heart was racing. I could not catch my breath. I was shaking. Continue reading “This Mama’s Heart”
Ravyn showing in the ring.
It’s county fair season and the 4-H kiddos are showing us the future leaders and providers for our communities. My husband grew up showing hogs and cattle in the 4-H livestock shows and selling them at the auction to raise money for his future farming endeavors. It has clearly worked out, as we now have over 200 head of cattle and raise thousands of turkeys every year.
We are proud and excited to support the 4-H tradition. Our county fair is held the weekend after 4th of July each year. It is always HOT and it always rains at least once. The 4-H Livestock show and other competitions are held on the first day of the fair. Starting at 7:00 a.m. members put a year’s worth of hard work on display.
Kila showing her hog.
4-H members show steers, hogs, sheep, and poultry. Some show their workmanship in competitions for sewing, arts and crafts, photography, painting, pottery, woodworking, metal working, gardening, and other trades. Ribbons are awarded based on the successfulness of their projects and showmanship. Blue ribbons continue to be the coveted prize of choice. In the livestock show, presenters hope to be crowned Grand Champion. The Grand Champion is the choicest animal in the competition and usually brings the highest price.
Those that earn blue ribbons in the non-livestock competitions have the opportunity to move on to competition at the State fair. It is quite an honor.
Showing a fair animal starts a year in advance. The animals are selected when they are young so that the presenter has plenty of time to feed, care, and train the animal for showing. These fair animals become a part of the 4-H member’s family (almost), as they are a daily part of the presenter’s life. This is a powerful practice for developing future farmers and a strong understanding of dedication and hard work. After feeding, grooming, and practicing showing, the presenters often send out or deliver invitations to people in the community inviting them to bid on their animal. It is a terrific lesson in marketing and confidence for these young people. As the animals are judged, the livestock judges explain to the exhibitors and audience the qualities of a champion animal. (It’s a livestock learning experience for everyone.) Continue reading “4-H – Showing Us the Future”
via Daily Prompt: Bitter
Often when I mention my blog, people tune me out. That’s okay. Many times when I invite people to read my blog, they smile and say, “That sounds cool, but I don’t have time to read,” and then they tell me about something else they read on Facebook. It’s okay.
If you don’t read my posts, it doesn’t hurt my feelings.
I write for myself and for those who do need the messages I compose.
I write for the opportunity to share my experiences and the lessons learned in daily events.
I write for other educators and farmers. We have the toughest careers there are. Someone has to get our message out there.
I write for the moms and dads who find joy and frustration in the role of parent and hopefully provide comfort in knowing that we’re not alone in our parenting struggles.
I write for those who suffer from self-doubt, worry, and guilt. We need to let that stuff go and hopefully my posts help others (as well as me) move on from that negativity. Continue reading “If You Don’t Read My Work, It Doesn’t Hurt My Feelings”
Miniature golf is an activity that is love by millions. The whimsical landscapes and creative challenges posed by the colorful pastime provide families with fun and memories that are anything but mini.
To beat the heat, I took my boys and one of their buddies early last Monday morning to play some put put. They were enthralled. From choosing their ball color to which putter they were going to use, just getting started was a thrill.
My son’s discarded ball and putter found a few holes away from where we were playing. He was too busy with the water hazards.
Each hole of the course offered fun distractions and attractions. While the two six year-olds were eager to compete at getting their balls in the hole first, the four year-old was way more interested in the features surrounding each putting area. I didn’t feel any need to rush. There wasn’t anyone behind us to let play on or anyone in front of us to distract. It was an ideal adventure.
As we made our way around the course, the boys wanted to understand the rules of the game and were fascinated by the aspects of how each hole was designed. They loved trying different techniques for success at each green and were really excited when one or the other made their shot. It was a wonderful experiment in sportsmanship. Continue reading “Miniature Golf Moments – Not so Mini”
Moms are the ones who need capes.
Recently I rescued a little boy from the top of a climbing wall at the local park. His cape was hung up on the back side of the wall and he couldn’t get it over. His arms were draped over the wall behind him at odd angles. It was a frightening moment.
The incident was not, however, unexpected. I had witnessed the boy and his mother arguing about the need to take off the cape while he played. She said, “Take it off.” He said, “No.” It was obvious that she wanted to enjoy their time at the park so she let him have his way.
When I heard his cry for help, I was only about 20 feet away. Without hesitation I ran to him and said, “Don’t be scared. I am a mommy and I am going to get you down.” I lifted him high enough for the snag of the cape to release and his arms to fall down to me. Gently, I set him down so as to not scare him or invade his space too much. His poor mother was coming our way. She thanked me and said, “Wow, you were fast.” I told her it was no problem.
The boy still would not take off the cape. He ran and climbed up to the top of the playground. His cape caught on the slide as he slid downward. Another scary moment. His mama took the cape this time. He cried on the side of the playground until he decided it was better to play than pout.
As I packed up my own little villains, I walked past that poor mom. She thanked me again. I replied, “Moms are the ones who need capes.” She said, “You got that right.” Continue reading “Why Moms Need Capes – Wise Words Wednesday”
via Daily Prompt: Hesitate
Water that is deep or murky enough to prevent me from seeing too far from the surface is water that makes me hesitate.
I guess fear of the unknown or getting in over my head creates my fear.
Life is 150% like those waters.
Life presents us with many unknown factors and it is way too easy to get in over our heads. The only difference is that in life we can’t always hesitate.
My daughter has recently developed an obsession for gymnastics. She is constantly flipping and cartwheeling around the house. It is maddening. I just know she is going to round right off our porch or tumble right onto her neck. Seriously, it is maddening. The crazy thing about her gymnastics fixation is her lack of hesitation. Without any doubt she hurls herself forward or backward to work on her aerial or back hand spring. I am leery of signing her up for gymnastics lessons for a number of reasons: financial commitment, time commitment, potential for injury, and that she will lose interest as quickly as she fell into it. When my husband and I discussed signing her up, he said, “She could break her neck walking down the stairs. We can’t keep her from doing things because she might get hurt.” Then I told him how much it cost. (He was way more afraid of the price.) Continue reading “What Lies Beneath…”