Monday, July 22, 2013

Month One Of The Train Up A Child Challenge

I have been absent for awhile, sorry about that.  It has been a crazy, awesome summer here in big sky country.  The sun is out, the fields are green, the rivers are roaring and the cowboys/cowgirls/farmers are working non stop.  Just last week I watched my best friends daughter show her pig at the fair (she totally rocked). Around here we work hard around here and play even harder.  All the more reason why I adore my morning runs and rides when I can chase the sunrise and talk to all the baby moo cows, horses, deer and even elk that I saw a couple weeks ago.  

Today, I want to share my girlfriend Carly with you.  She blogs over at Africa to America.  Her and her husband have a gorgeous little lady and a darling little man.  They brought him home from Congo this year and I am pretty much in love.

Carly, quite transparently, admitted what the rest of us fail to.  She is awful at following through with ideas and wants to change that.  I can share that testimony completely.  We all have killer ideas that end up going wayside to "more important things".

SO, she has created the Train Up A Child Challenge.  I think it is quite brilliant, personally.

Hebrews 13:16 tells us

"Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God."

We all have a little extra don't we?  Sharing, what an amazing concept to follow through with and do with your children.  It is amazing how we teach this in kindergarten and then it tends to go wayside.

One act of service each month, with your kids.

Carly's first act was sharing her garden bounty with her neighbors.  Here in Montana, we get rockin' gardens of lettuce, herbs, radishes and um, I am not sure what else, by June. I will openly admit that I am quite envious of Carly's basil harvest this year.  

As for us, July is the month of hay around the wannabe Fry Family Farm.  We live in a hay field and it is unreal this time of year.  Josh and I will drive two tractors and it will take the good part of a week to get done and we are only cut 15 acres.  There is a big hay operation across the street that makes ours look like childs play!  Yes, I drive a tractor and buck bales.  What do you think I am, some sort of sissy girl?  Well, Josh is incredibly allergic to it so, he combo mealed a respirator, a vintage pair of ski goggles and his Grandfather's hat.  He looked like an alien but is totally dedicated to the cause so we love him!

This year, was an abundant crop for us and we were blessed to have God place a family in our lives that needed hay to feed their livestock but were having a rough year.  I tried to think of a great act of kindness we could do and was coming up blank.  Then I realized, we have hay...TONS of it!  We decided to gift them 2.5 tons of hay.  It was so much fun to chat with them, email back and forth, share with them and allow our kids to help make the decision.  You know what is even more fun?  The hay we gifted ended up being almost exactly 10% of our crop.  Yes, that is a God thing right there.  They shared their amazing goats milk soaps and lotions with us which you should totally check out!  We are already thinking of ideas for next month.  Hmmm, maybe the chokecherries will be ripe by then...

So, what can you and your littles share this month? Maybe it is your garden, maybe it is some muffins that you make together, maybe it is just your time, we all have a little something to give to someone else.  

If you feel moved to, take the challenge and share your acts with me here or over on Carly's blog.  I promise to keep you updated on ours.  They will most likely not be as extreme as hay but should be fun all the less.  If you share them with me, I will share them with Carly.  She will be tickled pink to hear about them.

Enjoy the sun!


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Living The Mini Van Dream

There is no better family rig than a minivan.  

No, seriously don't even argue with me.   My kids have not opened a door into a brand new, very expensive truck since I got the minivan.  One push of a button and in and out everyone goes.   I can put BOTH my race bikes and wheels in my van without taking the wheels off. I can change clothes comfortably in the back.  Fold the seats down and the kids could sleep back there, like a camping trip, all the way home from Seattle.  That was hypothetical of course.  I would never let my kids do that.  Ummmm, yep thats a lie.  Hey, don't judge, we did it when we were little and lived just fine!  PLUS, my baby sister married my minivan salesman and they have given me seriously cute nieces.

All that said, I am "that one mom" who will not let her kids eat in the car.  No offense to y'all but have you looked in some of your vehicles lately?  Oh my word!  So, my minivan is clean as a rental car right?  Um, not so much!  My kids do not eat in there but they seem to shed and fling clothes around in there like a couple of exotic dancers.  I could seriously do a load of laundry just out of the car. 

 "Kids, bring your laundry baskets downstairs and grab the load out of the car too!"  

Well, a couple weeks ago my baby sister was headed to a convention with other medical care nurse people who have jobs that get to go to cool places for conventions. (I am petitioning for a stay-at-home mom convention in Fiji, who is with me?) She posted on Facebook about her "nanny car" needing the carpets shampooed.  Side note, I am a sucker for all things that have to do with my baby sister.  I began to ponder the idea and this is what came into my highly ADD, channel surfing head. No editing and no joke...

* clean cars rock
* I should clean her car for her while she is gone
* If I detail my van then I won't want a new one, that doesn't rattle for quite awhile
* I wonder how bad her "nanny car" is with those two little girls in it?
* I'm thirsty
* My kids are both gone when she needs this done.
* I forgot to change out the laundry, crap (yep, sure did get side tracked on the way to do that)
* If I rent a carpet shampooer then I can do her car AND mine, sweet!
* Josh is going to tell me I am crazy to clean out "the nanny car" on my one day without kids
* I should call Dad and go cycle for awhile, wait, Dad is with my daughter at the lake.
* I love a clean mini van.
* I love my mini van. period. 

I turn on my phone and find the green text message sign.
"I'll clean your nanny car for you, what do you want done?"
"Can you just make it not smell so bad?"
"Um, sure, that car is tiny, how bad can it be?"

Yep, it was stinky and full of goldfish, I shampooed that car interior 3 times!

Then, I did mine, 3 times!  How does that happen?  There is no food allowed in the car.  For the 4th time around, I took out all the seats, all the seat panel thingies on the floor and the step thingie where you get in.  
Quote from Josh, "wow you are really getting serious now."
"Yes, yes I am"

My friends, when I was done, it was the most beautiful grey with a hint of 4 years of dirty that you have ever seen.  I decided then and there, there will not be any seats returning to this vehicle.  If we need one, I will unfold one of the ones folded down under that plastic thing in the back.  Then, I figure if we are going to have ALL THAT SPACE, the least I can do is move the center console back for the kids to have.  Yes, this is lovely, I will call it...clean mom car!  Can I get an amen to this?

Josh came home to the seats still folded up in the garage and asks: 

"Looks great hun, but are you going to leave it like that?" 
"YES!!! Look how clean it is!!!"
He is a good man.

Our daughter arrived home the next day and asked if we could go somewhere and I told her, quite matter of factly, "sure, just take your shoes off before you get in the car." Well, not sure how many of you have a ten-year-old girl but she gave me that stare with the eye scrunch that creates creases between your eyes  and said "what?"  The my-mom-has-lost-her-mind look continued as I nonchalantly placed myself in the drivers seat and put on my sunglasses.  I looked over and she is still standing next to the door!  SO, I hit the "open sliding door" button and said "well, get in?"  Oh the looks that come from a tween girl.

Emma: "Why are we taking off our shoes in the car?"
Me: "Duh, because the carpets are clean. Cleanliness is next to Godliness love bug"
Emma: "Maaaauuuuummmmmmm I need shoes?"
Me: "You don't need shoes, your Papa J didn't wear shoes, in Texas, when he was little, kids in Africa don't have shoes, plus you stock pile shoes in here anyway so you don't need shoes, plus end of story."
Emma: "So, we just aren't going to get out of the car?"

Hmmm, she had a point there.  

It has been two weeks now and the seats are still not in the van and it is still clean.  What? What?  Who is the cool mom with the clean mini van parked in the garage here?  Yep, thats me!  Hey, it is summer, lets savor clean before the snow hits again.  We even had a bible study meeting in there when it was too windy at the park. I didn't make them take off their shoes since they already think I am crazy! 

Now, with both kids back home, the question tends to arise of if we can go to town.  Well, the answer to that is simple.

Sure, just call one of the Grandmas and see if she will drive us in her car, mine is clean for at least one more day!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The End And The Beginning

It has been a crazy roller coaster of a year.  

When they say that adoption is not for the faint of heart, they are not even remotely kidding.  However, as a family, you need both adult hearts to be in the journey together.  One being at 110% and one being, not so much, makes an average of what would be considered a non passing grade and that is not a path of righteousness.

Luckily, somewhere at the top of the roller coaster I became part of an amazing group of Christian women who are diving into the word with me and learning how to love God more clearly and listen to intently.  Thank you Jen Hatmaker for encouraging me to stretch my wings.

In all that listening time, I have realized that, what has become my adoption, not our adoption is not what is best for our family.  God put me on His Earth to be the best daughter to Him, wife to Josh and mother I am capable of being.

I want to change the world and I want to actively work with children in poverty.  I want to love the orphaned and widowed and I want to make a difference.  However, I need to do that by being a missionary, not an adoptive mother.

Being a strong role model and having an amazing family unit, that is where my focus needs to be.  I want to raise strong children who know Love and are filled with the Holy Spirit, children who see love, kindness, honor and respect in their home and radiate that to those around them.

After a year of heart ache and struggle, we have made the incredibly difficult decision that adoption is not the Godly choice for our family right now.

There are so many of you who have given us your time, your social media, your prayers and your financial help.  I wish I could give you your time back but I cannot.  All I can do is thank you for it.  From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate all the time and prayers you have given us.  As far as finances, I am working on getting that back to you as well.  Please give me a week.

This prayer came to me on my FCA Team Endurance feed today.  Perfect for the occasion.

"Lord, help me see how You are growing me now, in the middle of every circumstance. Thank You for guaranteeing victory over death. Thank You for walking hand in hand with me. Amen."

I love you all and hope that you will continue to follow along with us on the crazy journey we call LIFE!