Why I Missed My Slice

I missed my slice because I thought I would write it the day before, but ran out of time.

I missed my slice because I was going to write as soon as I woke up, but then got started on my taxes and watching Alone and forgot all about my slice.

I missed my slice because I was watching my son play basketball, and the location had no service.

I missed my slice because the team met for pizza as a big group, and I left my phone in the room.

I missed my slice because we stayed and played cards most of the evening. We learned a new game and had lots of laughs.

I missed my slice because when I got back to the room the boys were watching one of the Fast and Furious movies, and I got sucked into the storyline.

I missed my slice because I noticed the time and told the boys we had to get to sleep, as I shut off the tv. Their dad was already snoring.

One of my first thoughts this morning was that I missed my slice yesterday. Oh well! Here’s to the rest of the month and no more missed slices.

The Car Ride

How far is Wichita? (They know better than to ask if we are there yet.)

What’s the name of our hotel?

I’m hungry. Can we eat this candy? The Skittles are mine.

There are skittles for everyone, but we are eating lunch in just a bit so you need to wait on the candy.

I have to go to the bathroom. Can we stop?

We are stopping in just a few minutes. And there is not a place to stop before our lunch stop.

Can we watch a movie? Can you turn up the radio? Can I have my phone? Can you turn on the cool air?

Do we have any movies to watch? Can you turn down the radio? Can you plug in my phone? Can you turn up the heat?

Wichita might as well be Mars as long as this trip feels like it is taking!

Finally we all agree on something. Hope we make it.

I Can’t Make This Up! Worst Nightmare Parent Call

As I go to answer my office phone today, this is the caller ID that comes up on my phone.

As it is almost always parents who are calling this line, I took a deep breath and made sure to smile as I spoke my school name and introduced myself.

Even though I couldn’t help with the request, this mom was no where near MY worst nightmare, but I am going to get a lot of mileage from this photo I snapped just before hanging up. 😉

I didn’t know it was possible to change your caller ID, so I learned something new today! Maybe you did, too!

Bangles & Cuffs

What messages do you give yourself each day?

Maybe you stand on your porch with your coffee in hand and drink in nature to start your day.

Maybe you spend time in God’s word asking Him to light you way.

Maybe its your mirror that speaks to you each morning as you glance at the verses and quotes before you rush out the door.

Maybe it is the music or podcast you listen to on your commute to help you put all you have to do into perspective.

Maybe it is the bald eagle, wishing you luck, as it flies across your path, bringing not only majesty and wonder but also a hope of what the day will be.

Maybe it is what surrrounds your workspace – photos of your lovies, quotes or work from children – your own and those from years in the classroom who claimed you as their own. Or those reminders, the Scrabble board of adjectives, the tissue paper bouquet, and the Yet sign – all from experiences that helped shape you into who you are today.

Maybe it is your screensaver, page-of-the-day calendar, or mousepad, all specifically chosen to help you produce the kind of day you desire.

Maybe it is the bangles and cuffs that remind you to demonstrate patience with others and also yourself, to reaffirm where you come from and of the love that travels with you, and to state your mission, which you strive to live out each day. Maybe they center you each morning, as on your wrist they come to rest. And then throughout the day, they help you see the way through each of life’s tests. And as the day turns to night and you give them a rest, those messages help you know you lived this day best.

And maybe too many bangles & cuffs are noisey and your desk is cluttered and your drive is hurried and your prayer is a quick one for safety and sight.

And maybe, just maybe, you are okay with that because the messages are for you.

It sometimes takes a dog . . .

I found this photo of our dog, Buck, on my 7 year old’s phone. I love the picture, because it is a seriousness I rarely see in him. It makes me wonder what the picture taker was doing to get this reaction.

Did J have Buck’s rock and would not throw it or give it back? That’s right, Buck fetches rocks instead of balls and always knows which rock is his.

Was Buck getting scolded for chasing the calves when it was not time to work? He is still in training and getting better all the time, but sometimes he forgets.

Was this right after the pups were born and his sidekick, Bridgette, had more important things to occupy her time?

Or does J, my 7 year old truly know how to speak to his bestie furball and asked Buck to pose for a serious one? Who knew our rock-fetching cattle dog is also a dog model!

All I know for certain is that I was less than enthused to get him and have rarely considered animals really a part of the family, and yet they are. And it is like they know what is going on and have been here to help with all the heartache whether by herding the cattle or putting his head under my hand – which I know is Buck’s form of a hug. And when Buck gets really serious, he needs to raise up on his back legs so he can be closer to your eyes and look into them, which is his way to tell you it is all going to be ok – never the same, but we will one day be back to ok . . . sometimes it just takes a dog.

And the craziest part is that Buck is on the porch and as I typed those last words, he started howling – not barking – but howling like crazy! I can’t make this up! Better go see . . .

Day 1 SOL: Since last March

So much to tell – will 31 days be enough time? How best to choose? Should they all rhyme?

So much loss and grief and pain, but so much love and life and gain.

I think of my sweet niece born. And one the farm our first litter of puppies. Both so cute in very different ways.

But then the losses, first of work and school and play. And then onto loved ones whose loss is so great I still find it hard to say.

It does my heart good to reflect upon where I have been since last March, even though it has truly been some of the toughest months of my life, I can also see God’s weaving in it all. I hope to explore this and much more in Slices of Life through this challenge.

A Surprise from My Yard

As I walked to my flower bed that sets down by the road, I saw the cutest little four petal flowers covering a large portion of my yard. I don’t remember these being here in the past. I don’t remember seeing this small flower before, which is strange because I know many cool season flowers/weeds, but do not recall this one.

No matter their name, these friendly little flowers made my day and so I thought I would share them with you, too!

This coffee cup always reminds me

On Saturdays, I often use this green coffee cup that was my Grandpa George’s. My mom made it for him and when he passed, I somehow got it. It is not very pretty, but it is one of my treasures.

I would love to have a cup of coffee with my grandpa. I was just in middle school when he passed away. He was a business owner and worked with so many farmers in our community. He raised 10 kids and was a leader in our town. He was a man’s man who loved to fish and hunt and had a great deep laugh.

This coffee cup always reminds me of my grandpa.

The Magic of an Ordinary Afternoon

Today felt more normal than the past couple of weeks. I have been so crazy trying to tie up loose ends as school closed this past week, and at the same time, I was the main organizer of the meal delivery list for our kiddos that started this week. And in the meantime, I was striving/struggling to respond to/reassure my staff. And felt guilty with my own boys getting behind in their lessons here at home. It has been a busy 8 days!

It is days like today when I am so grateful to live where I do and how we do.

I came home to a couple of very excited boys who could not wait to tell me all about Brownie, our new bottle calf. Brownie will be Judd’s 4-H bottle calf to be shown at the fair in July. He was purchased today at the cattle auction.

Judd did a great job with Brownie’s first feeding. It helps that the calf was already bottle trained, but it was still new for Judd.

After the calf got settled in the trailer, (it stays separated for a few days in quarantine as well) we went to check the cows to see if we have any new babies. We seem stuck at 5 spring calves, but the others should calve any day now. We check on a couple of our young mothers – one that did not make much milk and we had to bottle feed her calf last year, and the other that is still just a bit spooky and unpredictable. Both of those mommas and babies look good. With the sunshine today, the grass looks greener and growing – great news for cattle ranchers. Good grass makes healthy calves.

For the entire afternoon, I wasn’t worried about the distance I was from someone or about wearing rubber gloves. I was thinking about toilet paper or milk or egg shortages.

This afternoon, it was just my family, here on our farm, and everything was right with the world again, or at least right in our small world for this moment.

I hope you can get just a few moments of distraction this weekend to just feel right again.