Friday, September 27, 2013

Grandpa's Views - Why Did God Make Snakes and Teenagers?!

My grandpa was the kindest most loving man besides my dad that I knew.  He was 1 of 21 kids.  His family was the Duggersof his time, and was even in the Joplin paper because of having the largest family around.  He grew up on a farm, and when he was in 3 rd grade had to quit school to work on said farm.  He couldn’t read or write.  That man could draw you a picture and “read” you his story and captivate you; all while holding you in his lap with his strong arms around you.

I’m pretty sure he knew that he wouldn’t be around my whole life, and every chance I got to be alone with him in his little yellow Chevy Luv pick-up he always imparted his wisdom on me.  He would admit to never being book smart, but that man had more common sense and life knowledge than any school boy could ever have.  

He never would pass a stray dog up wandering on the highway either.  We would always stop; pick up whatever dog needed him at the time and head back to the country. Grandpa said that dogs, like teenagers would fall on hard times because they were being difficult and people wouldn’t know how to love them properly.  He would take them and nourish and doctor them.  I can remember going to help him feed them in the kennels he had out back.  

Grandpa also said that no matter who you are, any boy that reaches the age of 16 is going to try his parents.  Even to the point of a physical confrontation.  He said to know that and be prepared for that, because you might just have to whip them to show them who is in charge.  I wonder if he knew I’d end up having 7 boys later.  He told me he ended up in the barn more than 1 time with each of his boys.

True to his words, every single one of my oldest 3 boys went through that stage. At the time, I would have bet you money I would not come out the other side alive or with any of my brains left.  Oh how those boys tried me in every possible way.  There were not a lot of proud moments to remember from that time.  I lost my cool and let them know they had the upper hand.  Now my 4th son, 1st stepson, is in this stage.  He pushes his dad's buttons, because he knows he can. His dad asked me "why is it when a kid turns 15  they lose their wings turn red and sprout horns out of their heads?" While it’s particularly hard on his dad right now, I sit back and remember how hard my struggle was with my oldest boys and try to encourage him that this too shall pass.  Seventeen will come quicker than he thinks and he will start to get his mind back to him.  Just like grandpa said, we just have to figure out how to love him a little different through this rough patch.

Teenagers, show us as parents what we are made of.  They can either break you or make you stronger and ready for the next 4 to reach this stage.  

My Grandpa never shared with me why snakes were made.  He let me down on that one, I keep seeing more of those than I ever cared to now I’m on the farm full time.  Snakes scare me worse than teenagers.  Why didn’t you prepare me for this one grandpa?  Oh yeah, you left that up to grandma and her shot gun.  Wonder if that’s why my aim is so good when I’m scared or mad. SometimeI might have to tell you about the time grandma chased grandpa around the house with the gun, which I still find hard to believe.

When you have a teenager or snake chasing you, hold steady and aim, with love at the teenager that is; this too shall pass.  

Here’s to 17 coming quickly…

Thursday, September 26, 2013

125 Pound Difference

There's a lot of mention on losing a 125 lbs on this blog. No time like the present to show you the difference eating in moderation and working my butt off makes.  It probably doesn't hurt much I'm happy as I can remember being in a long time. 

 Forgive the no make-up and hair not done. Kendall had bought two dresses for me as a surprise, and I just had to try them on after work no matter what. The dress is from 

My ever so sweet husband gives me sweet surprises all the time, I'm one lucky girl!

Bio kids vs Step kids - a little reflection time

My children I gave birth to, got the raw end of the deal if you ask me. I was such a control freak, expecting perfect creatures at every moment. The thought of them getting dirty and not being able to change immediately terrified me. Most of their growing up years, I was depressed and weighed over 300 lbs. I was too tierd to ever be as good as I needed to be as a mom. My dad would call it being lazy and he's right.

After the end of a 12 year marriage spending the last two years apart, I started working on myself. Happiness started coming back to my life and the weight dropped. The energy levels of losing 125 lbs is unbelievable. You start to realize just how much of life you missed.

Knowing after the failure of 2 marriages, you better be really specific with what you ask for from God. I laid it out, the exact man I wanted in my life. One month after my divorce I first met my now husband. We thought we were too far apart to make it work. So we just went on our way, a month later I emailed him just seeing how his life was going and if he had found anyone yet. Almost a year later now, we are married and have one big blended family.

Back to my point, with my husband I also was blessed with 4 step kids. What my step kids don't realize is how laid back I can be with them. When dad gets uptight I can just sit in reflection and remember how I use to be when my oldest 3 were growing up. My mom said its a lot like being a grandparent. You get to love and spoil them but for the most part you aren't responsible for the upbringing before you.  The only part not like a grandparent is I don't have the option to give them back. Mind you I never would.

Not long ago, we went on a fishing trip. Three of the kids decided they didn't want to fish but wanted to swim. I let them get in the water fully clothed and the youngest in his Spider-Man undies. With my children I gave birth to, I would have fussed about getting everything dirty, because of no towels or change of clothes.  Yes boys, I know it's not fair.

My main point I guess, is live life. Don't be so uptight you miss the truly fun times to just enjoy each other. Kids clean up and so do vehicles. Life is so short, and Karma is real. It doesn't always smack you in a destroy your life kinda way. Sometimes it shows you the mistakes you made in the past, and how much better you could have done things. Those lessons other people can't see but you feel deeply. 

Enjoy life!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Supper Table

For as far back as I can remember, my family has always eaten around the table.  Though we are all grown and have children of our own; you will find the whole clan of 23 (30 if we have traveled home) band forces and eat at moms every Sunday.  Around that table, there have been fights, lectures, support, lifting up, truth, but most of all love.   No matter the differences or who is upset with who, gather around that table and you will feel the love that radiates around you. 

Anyone who has been a part of our tradition always comments about how lucky we are to have that.  When I took my step kids home to meet their new family, of everything, I think being around the 2 large tables it takes to support us all was their favorite memory.  They were welcomed into and initiated into the family with the old “you snooze you lose”, or Brayden’s now favorite saying “move your meat, lose your seat.” Thanks Aunt Shine & Aunt Breezi!

When you are at the table, it’s all laid out.  Everyone has their moment to share what’s going on in their life.  I firmly believe that this is where the foundation of proper communication between family members begins.  You have the audience that most kids crave.  This makes them feel important and loved, and most of all heard. Mind you there are now so many kids; we have an adult table and a kids table.  Even sitting at the adult table, if we sit still and quiet enough at the adult table, you will hear the kids discussing life adventures and problems with each other.  You hear them offer up suggestions on how to deal with it and their willingness to gang up on someone if need be.

There is so much togetherness when you take the time to sit at the table and eat.  You feel more bonded as a family.  When I was in the pre-marriage stages with my husband, I told him how important this very tradition is to me.  So as we watch Duck Dynasty every Wednesday night together as a family, I appreciate the fact that their family sits around the table at the end of every show and prays and discusses life.  It’s a tradition that America needs to take back, to be purposely driven to bond each and every night.  If it just simply won’t work because your husband is in the field, or you have to work the night shift, just chose 1 night a week that you purposely make this tradition happen.  You might just be surprised in the response and the change of attitudes in your house.

Food is a symbol of love, and sitting around a huge table with those you love most eating food that you enjoy, and communicating, that right there is priceless.

What is your favorite family tradition?



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

10 Things A Yuppy Might Want to Know About Marrying A Farmer

1.  You will always be a constant source of entertainment for your Farmer Husband.  There is so much “farm” life stuff you don’t even have a clue about. No use getting hurt feelings over it. Laugh at yourself, it will help you through it.

2.  Your husband will watch weather radar like it’s his favorite team during football season. This includes catching him at 2:30 in the morning in his underwear and boots watching the sky.
 3,  You better learn North from South and East from West real quick.  He will be highly amused when you call him and ask him where the south west field is, and just laugh.  He will probably even holler YUPPY at you.

4.  Suddenly you will realize you know directions by barns and house colors and silos, or you will pretend you are at Bingo and learn roads by Bingo combination. Yes, this is how I know how to get to our West fields.

5.  You are often 25 miles away from a grocery store.  Learn how to buy in bulk and keep a well stocked pantry.  This will often only take one time of forgetting something important.

6.  Your husband does not have regular hours, which means neither do you.  Even if you work outside the house.  He has to work very hard, farming is becoming a lost art.  Your job is not to harass him about how hard he works, but support him in every possible way.

7,  Your calendar of events will be around farm seasons, just like hunting.  If your husband is both farmer and hunter, camo up ladies.  You, in camo, in the woods with your mouth shut turns your husband on quicker than anything. ;)

8.  A farmer knows how to make ends meet.  He is loyal to a fault, and loves like no other.  He understands nourishing a crop for it to thrive and that carries over into your relationship.

9.  A tractor and ¼ section is a good amount of time to solve things together.  Don’t take yelling or anger to the field with you though, you don’t want to pass that on to the crops.

10,  Learn to appreciate every bit of precious time you have with him.  He is a rare gem, as are you if you are woman enough to be his woman.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Life on the farm in pictures

Fake? I don't think so....

Drilled Wheat

Gorgeous Milo

My Chariot

Headed West

God's cool creation

Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Hard Working Farmer....

Seems there was another blog started, same name different spelling after mine. She claims to be the real one because she was raised on a farm didn't just find the name swanky.  This is my real husband who has farmed for 29 years.

I married the farmer, and spent all weekend in the tractor. Pretty sure that makes me the real deal, moving from town to the country to live on an actual farm.  Just keep reading my blog, the yuppy in me strikes all the time! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Yuppy strikes again...

Recently my son’s car broke down.  My husband and I had to go to town with the car hauler so we could bring it out to the farm to fix it.  Let me tell you, we had a time getting that car on the trailer.  First, it wouldn’t even stay started so my husband would reload the ramps, turn around to jump it, turn back around and put the ramps down again only to have it die before getting to the ramps.  We did this a few times.  My husband’s vocabulary remained very peaceful, it was a little surprising.  

When we finally started to get the car on the trailer, my husband said he needed more weight on the pickup.  So I ran to the pickup jumped up on back and stood there waiting for directions. After losing 125 pounds I was noticing the truck didn’t go down as far as it used to, so I wasn’t sure I was going to be much help.  My husband yells, YUPPY! I was confused what I had done wrong this time.  

Apparently needing more weight on the pickup means you need to be far enough up on the trailer that the back of the pickup starts to squat from the weight.  This keeps your trailer for swaying and getting out of control going down the highway.  

There are times I think I’m here merely for my husband’sentertainment value as a yuppy. With much to learn about life still, he should have a lot more laughs coming his way.  All I can do when he tells the story laughing so hard is smile.  I brought a bit of funny happiness to his day that day, and that’s a lot to be thankful for.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Ego get the behind me

 Not long ago, one of my best friends was struggling with her walk with Christ.  She said she didn’t do such and such and therefore was unworthy.  I told her, girl tell your ego to get behind you because that is the only thing standing in your way.

As I sit here and think back to that conversation, I find it fits my stepmom struggles too.  What is the biggest thing that gets in the way?  My ego gets way bigger than my britches some times.  When they say mom does this or makes this better than anybody I know, my ego gets in the way.  What’s wrong with how I do it?  Not a darn tootin’ thing.  If you give me two plates of fried chicken, one my moms and the other the neighbors,I will tell you every time my mom’s is the best hands down.  Nobody can compare to our mothers.  Now granted, I lived with my mom, she wasn’t an occasional every other weekend visitor in my life.   Still though, my ego tells me that because I’m there I should be the one with the praise.  Tell my ego to step aside, and my heart tells me nothing could ever replace certain things my momma makes.  Even with them telling me these two certain things she makes better than anyone, send them away for a week without my cooking and they will tell you they missed my biscuits.  Stepmoms have things they can cook way better than anyone else too. Take your glory when it’s yours, and share it with her when it’s hers.  Now if they ask me to make her specialty, I simply say why don’t you ask mom next time you are with her to make it for you, and then it’s that much more special.  I don’t say it with a twinge of not feeling good enough, because there are things I do better than good enough too.  

As I was telling myself I needed to tell my ego to step aside, an old song we use to sing in church came back to mind. The song where if you want joy, you must ______ (sing, clap, laugh) for it.  That song always makes me happy.  So I sang it to myself in my head.  Which lead to my next conclusion, yes this is getting dangerous.  It’s so easy to harp on the negative, which we all know leads to just more negativity.  So what if I did something that made me happy and reevaluated the situation before commenting on it?  Maybe it’s just as simple as singing that song to myself in my head.  We have to do something for ourselves that makes us happy, when we are happy we share happy.  Happy breeds happy just like negativity breeds negativity.  

Little baby steps, make big changes…so here’s to more baby steps!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Biomom Reflections about both sides of the fence

Biomoms who will wander onto my blog, please understand one thing very clearly.  I was first the Biomom and exwife for 22years.  Only now am I a stepmom so I can tell you how each side of the fence looks in my view.  I will also admit that shortly after being a stepmom for a few months, I publically apologized to all 3 of the stepparents that were in my life.  It’s a lot like after giving birth to your first child, and you call your mom crying and apologizing for all the terror filled ways you filled her life with.  You know, especially at the teenage level.  

My insecurities from life made me think very ugly at times.  I thought each of these people were trying to take my place.  Just go back and read my blog about seeing your son with another woman for the first time.  One of my very first pieces of advice was from a dear friend Janet.  We were in cosmetology school together.  She told me the hardest thing I was ever going to have to do was walk into a grocery store my first time without my kids and see my kids with the other woman.  No matter what under this circumstance was I to go to the cart with my kids, but quietly depart the store and cry.  Let me tell you, this moment catches you off guard.  You had no idea, even though you should, that your child has huge love that can go past you.  Your children are resilient creatures, they get over life crisis quickly especially at younger ages.  Coming from a mom with all boys for 11 years, all who were momma boys, that blow is hard to take.  These creatures that you labored for and pushed out of your body, turn on you.  In hind sight, they don’t turn on you,only expand their world with love.  

Sure, there are some wicked stepmoms out there, and honestly, they give most of us a bad rap.  You know, the ones who stole dad from mom.  Not those of us who came by our husbands honestly, after you guys divorced.  None the less, we are all looked upon the same way.  Even though my first experience of having a step in my boys life was after their dad cheated on me with a stripper, I have a lot to be sorry for.  I acted in a way that was unfair to my boys.  Why couldn’t someone else love and care for them?  No matter what the circumstances were.  I did the whole “don’t you dare ever call another woman mom” How silly was I?  Mom is just a title, we think it entitles us to act like we had a golden uterus, that just because we grew them in our belly and then pushed them out of something the size of a lemon that we are owed something.  People, it takes a village to raise a child.  Guess what?  When you have  a stepmom to share the duties with, you get to look like the angelic angel as mom and sometimes she gets to look like the angelic angel.  It’s not a contest.  It’s a long haul journey to raise our kids up in an all-around loving environment.  

Who are we to think we are God?  I’ll be the first one to admit, I sure thought I should be as a Golden Uterus Mom.  Looking back, my boys didn’t solely survive because of me.  They survived and became who they are today because of my parents, my ex-husbands, their stepmoms, their aunts, all of us, it was a group effort.  Sure I’d love to take all the credit, but it would be a lie.  Each of these people loved them and supported them in a different way than I could.  They are awesome people in spite of how I acted as Biomom.  

So while it may be awkward at times, love your kids enough to start to realize, stepmom isn’t trying to take anything away from you.  She’s struggling herself in her new role of where she fits in.  Her sole purpose in life is not to terrorize you, but figure out how to be an asset in your children’s lives.  You might not understand her position, and she might not yours but I promise you if you both work on your own attitudes, the next chapter of your life can be more amazing than if you go it alone.  

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