June 27, 2012

taking notes.

i love lily's notes during scripture time.
and her blue nails.
and her barbie jammies 
that used to be anna's, then ellie's, then leah's, and now hers.
sweet mommy moments.

June 26, 2012

first harvest- radishes!!

in the tale of Laura Ingles Wilder, we just read about the crickets coming and destroying pa's prized wheat field.
it was gross... and reminded me of when the cicadas came.
do you remember cicadas?
i think i was in 3rd grade.  yuck.
too bad i didn't have a wheat field and a pa who wouldn't get new boots that year...
i could have written a great story about the cicada plagues.
can you see jakob doing his daily "week the garden" job?
i'm loving our little garden here at home, and wishing we had more time to spend at our bigger garden down the street.
this morning we picked our FIRST harvest.
cute, red radishes.
dare i call radishes beautiful?
i love the color-- that bright pinky-red.
and how they grow all clustered together.
(even though i thinned them out when they got their second set of leaves- i read about that in a children's "my first garden" book.)

{want to see some flowers from my backyard?  they're beautiful too...
and glistening because it was raining when i took the shots.
this is Oregon.
Mother Nature often waters her plants in Oregon.
it is LOVELY here!!!!!!!}
i've already told you that i think seeds are AMAZING and lovely.
radish seeds look like a poppy seeds... (i think.  maybe that was carrots and radishes look like sesame seeds.) 
they GROW to be beautiful, bright colored plants.
isn't it fun to see the RED peeking under all that green??!!!

gardens intrigue me.
there are so many things in life that i wish i could just learn about.
herbs, for one thing.
don't you wish you really understood herbs better and could use them to keep your family healthy and avoid some of the stronger, major prescriptions out there?
{i get so frustrated trying to learn about alternative medicine because it is hard to discern.  it is easy to get fixated on certain aspects on health that you loose your power to enjoy life and loose the importance of life BALANCE.  I think this is an area where i feel like i have to really trust the person giving me advice or spend too much time trying to figure things out for myself.  And, it bugs me that everything is SO EXPENSIVE.  if garlic is healthy for me, i should be able to eat garlic and get the benefits from it.  Why do i have to buy a bottle of specialized garlic that costs $48??  blah.}
maybe you already know about herbs...  i have learned a little, but i wish i knew more.
hmm.  maybe i need to study up on that?!

gardening is another one of these areas that intrigues me.
i see a whole dimension of learning that i am just scratching the surface on.
ha!  i should say... um, i have learned how to plant a seed-- and to pull a weed.
baby steps people.

WHY are my zucchini plants HUGE and my cucumber plants still small?
What the heck to i do with a celery plant?  It looks big... is it done yet?

Why are my tomatoes flourishing and my peppers, weak and yellowish?
can you see my big, green tomato plants behind my small, yellowish pepper plants?
Why is my spinach sickly... and my romaine lettuce happy and healthy?

Now that i've grown some food herbs-- how the heck do i use them?

Why do real-live herbs look so different from the ones i buy in little spice containers?
i'm scared to cut them... i don't really know what they are?!!
yup, not really sure i was meant to be a farmer's wife after all.

Just like life, sometimes i spend all my time pulling weeds and not enough time LEARNING how to make my plants FLOURISH.
the sugar baby watermelon that died.
And, sometimes i spend too much time mourning the passing of my beloved "sugar baby watermelon' plant and not enough time enjoying my FIRST harvest.

We've got RADISHES people!!
Time to make a salad!!  
good thing my kids like to eat radishes?  well, at least the ones in the grocery store.
we haven't actually tasted real-live home grown radishes before...
ope you have a great day too!!

June 25, 2012

Choosing our life's calling.

I believe that we can live our lives in the pursuit of wealth, vacation and luxury.
We can seek after fine clothes and a life of ease.
I also believe that we can CHOOSE to sacrifice some of life’s ease and devote ourselves to a higher calling.
My favorite people in life are those I know with lives worn out in the service of great things.

I love this quote from a humble, prophet's wife.  Sister Marjorie Pay Hinckley-
"I don’t want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. I want to be there with grass stains on my shoes from mowing Sister Schenk’s lawn. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor’s children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone’s garden. I want to be there with children’s sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived."

Surprisingly, I have found that we do not have to look very hard to find our life’s calling.
It usually finds us.  We will just recognize it and know it when we find it.
I remember when I took my first family science class.  I did NOT want to major in family studies... I was much smarter than that!!
But, as I sat in that class the words that the professor spoke were the words of my mind.
He talked like I thought.
I understood and I knew this was what I was... what my life would be... what I would major in and what I would think about the rest of my life.
I am still sometimes embarrassed by my college degree... there are so many more glamorous and useful degrees.
But, I just knew it then and I still know it.
My work is in this field.
The hard part about finding our callings in life is NOT finding them, it is WAITING for them to unfold.

I have ALWAYS felt that my family was central to my purpose here on this earth.
I come from a long line of child-loving women.
I have ALWAYS wanted and hoped for a large family.
It is my calling in life.
I don’t believe large families are for everybody.  Trust me!!  I understand that.
I remember sitting with my aunts and asking them if they felt that their families were complete.
I remember two separate aunts telling me that they felt like they “missed one.”
Like they would have had another child, but their husband had a surgery right after the birth of their third child and so they didn’t have that option.
It is interesting to me that my aunts do not remember having that conversation with me... but it is burned into my soul.
(along with the afternoon I sat in my cousin’s bedroom with her while she tried on her first bikini.  Her mother bought it for her and she was so embarrassed to wear it.  Not that I think wearing a bikini is evil, but I remember thinking even though she was being taught by her mother that this bikini was a cute, good thing to wear, she FELT uncomfortable in it.  I’m certain that she doesn’t remember that afternoon, but I will never forget it.)

When i was younger i used to wish God would just give me a picture of what my future family would look like with the names and ages of the kids on the back.
Now i understand that if he would have said to me, "You will have ten children someday" while i was struggling with three-- i would have died!
i have come to love the song, Lead Kindly Light...
where it talks of Christ lighting our path ahead.
i used to hate this line-- "One step enough for me."
Now, i totally get it.  And it's true... just get me through the day, Lord.
We can worry about tomorrow, tomorrow!

It is not always easy to live the life you are called to live.
It is a sacrifice.  Sometimes you look around you and think “Why would I ever choose this life?”
It is easy to feel sorry for yourself or feel victim to your circumstances.
I have spoken to many faithful women who live lives of sacrifice.
I can honestly say that while it is hard to sacrifice for others—whatever your calling in life is, everybody has a hard life.
Even spending your life in the pursuit of wealth and ease is hard.
So, don’t be deceived.

Sometimes other people don’t understand this life of sacrifice.
They don't get the sacrifice and they certainly don't understand the JOY and STRENGTH that comes from living a life of service.
They make comments like, “well, if you don’t want to home school, don’t.”
Or, “if it’s hard for you to serve in that calling, ask to be released.”
Or, “why would you CHOOSE to have another child when you are already exhausted raising the kids you have?”
Or, “why would you adopt a child with special needs?”
Or, “why would you stay with your cranky husband—there is a better life out there.”
Or, “why would you devote your life to this cause when there are so many other more prosperous things you could be doing with your time?”

Sometimes women of faith can choose to live lives as a martyr.
I have done this before.
Whaaaa, Whaaaa, my life is so hard.  I keep getting pregnant and I’m so tired...
i have no money.  life is soooooooo hard.
During those martyr moments it was really helpful for me to hear—
“If you don’t want to get pregnant--- DON’T.  There are ways to prevent this.”
Go get a haircut.  Change professions.  DO what you CHOOSE to do.
Living life as a martyr takes away our POWER.
God values CHOICE above perfection.
Above ALL else, we must take responsibility for each and every choice we make.
I love the story I heard about an exchange between our current prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and Heidi Swinton, the woman he asked to write his biography.
After an especially grueling few months or years of work he called her into his office and she just cried saying how hard it was.
He asked, “Heidi, why don’t we just stop.  Why do we have to write this book?”
She went on to testify of all the good that would come from the book she was writing... she insisted that it was worth the hard.
I have a feeling that a wise man was helping a tired woman remember her purpose.
That this was her CHOICE.
That her sacrifice would yield great rewards.

There is power in living the life you are called to live.
And, there is power in realizing that you have CHOOSEN to live it.
You can CHOOSE to magnify your calling in life or you can choose to ignore your calling.
But, you don’t always choose what your calling is.
I believe that was determined long ago.
Today, our work is to learn and to happily do!

We each have our own life’s journey.
We don’t always choose the exact path our life will take but we can always choose our attitude as we travel.

Don’t you love this quote from C.S. Lewis?
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” 
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Sometimes the path of our life requires us to CLIMB and reach and become.
In our church the young men and women fill out paperwork to be called on a mission.
They can say where they would like to go (I think) but they don’t get to choose.
Each prospective missionary is prayed about by name and “called” to a certain mission.
By divine inspiration.
When they receive their mission call, they have ONE choice.
To accept it, or to reject it.
Each mission call begins with this charge—
(I have it written in the front of my journal)

“You will also be expected to devote all your time and attention to serving the Lord, leaving behind all other personal affairs.  As you do these things the Lord will bless you and you will become an effective advocate and messenger of truth.  We place in you our confidence and pray that the Lord will help you meet your responsibilities in fulfilling this sacred assignment.”

I didn’t serve a mission.
But, I can imagine opening up my envelope and reading, “You are called to serve in the Salt Lake City, Utah mission.”
Or, the Soelle, Korea mission.  Or, the Santa Fe, New Mexico mission.  Or the Ukraine mission.
I can imagine some people looking at their papers thinking “I don’t want THIS mission, I want to go somewhere cool... I want that other mission.”
But, no matter how much they want too... they CAN NOT choose WHERE they go...
They can only choose IF they will go where they are called.
Can you imagine spending two years in Korea wishing you were in France?
You would miss out on all the great things about Korea.
Missionaries must learn quickly to trust that their call WAS inspired of God.
That for some reason He wants them to serve in the place He has sent them.
Only after they accept their mission call can they truly serve and begin to become the missionary God needs them to be.

God has a mission for me too.
I can choose to GO or not go.
I can choose to be a great missionary or to grumble and whine and hide my talents in the ground.
I have been foreordained to THIS mission, this path in life.
And, God will help me as I travel.
When I’m finished with my mission, I believe that I will say I LOVED MY MISSION.
I don’t think I will trade Korea for any place in the world.
But there will be days for ALL of us where we wish we were called to serve another’s mission.

Here is my personal whining...  having a large family is HARD and embarrassing sometimes.
i'm not asking you to validate my life's choices or trying to say that my life is more noble than your life.
when we are living the life we are meant to live it will not be easy--
but it is WORTH IT!!!
I KNOW IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know that I need to have another baby (or three).
(I’m not laughing or joking.)
I feel like this is my calling in life and it terrifies me.
I love children, but I know exactly what having a large family entails.
It is a lot of work.
It is a lot of sacrifice.
It is a lot of months being pregnant and tired and fighting cranky.
It is a lifetime of selflessly serving and giving and never, ever finishing.
It is humbling and embarrassing and also ennobling.
Being a mother is a beautiful, amazing gift.
Everyday I am grateful for this blessing in my life.
I have CHOSEN this life.
(but honestly, some days i would choose ANYTHING but this life.)
Being a mother to many surrounds you with such an outpouring of love and beauty and joy that it is hard even to describe.
I know that people look at my life and think “glad that’s not me.”
(sometimes I wish I could return some of my stinks...)
Maybe there are those that look at my large happy family and wish it WAS their life.

Sometimes, when I look at people who choose to run a marathon I think they are crazy.
And sometimes, I really want to run a marathon.

Having a large family is my marathon.
I choose it with my eyes wide open, it is my thing.
This is what I was born to do.
I know it with every fiber of my being.
I know it like I know there is a God.
There is another baby waiting to come to my family.
I do pray about it often.
But, I don’t have to pray about it, I just know it.
I can choose NOT to have another child.
But, I can’t deny that this is what I am called to do.

I am blessed with a great husband.
A man who is full of faith.
He is a rock of faith.
He also feels these promptings.  He knows, like I do, that our family is not complete.
BOTH of us sometimes try to pretend that we are finished having children.
We are overwhelmed with our current life.
When we are barely keeping our head above water in our beginning swimming class, why do we choose to enroll in intermediate swimming?
Well, because we know that even though we might look a bit bedraggled and water-drenched sometimes, we CAN do it.
We’ve got a great instructor.
And, at the end of the day—even while our muscles are soar, we ARE doing a great job.
We are SO blessed.
We have great kids and a great family.
Life is GOOD when we do what we are prompted to do.
Good... even when it is hard.

And, what about our kids?
Do we just choose kids so that we are more patient, glowing parents?
Are our children sacrificed so that we can learn?

I really struggled with this when Anna fell into the campfire.
I learned SO MUCH at her expense.
The more I learned, the more I wondered if there was an malicious God out there just smiling at her suffering because as she suffered I was becoming better.
My counselor said to me one day, “Jen, you have to trust that God is going to give ANNA everything that ANNA needs to become her best self.  This isn’t just about you, this is about her.  This is HER path... and it is a path that is PERFECTLY designed for her.”
I really believe this.
I believe that the children God sends into my family are children that NEED the lessons they will learn in a family with many children.

I have OFTEN, OFTEN, OFTEN seen kids that are born or adopted into families as only children.
These kids are DIFFERENT from mine.
These kids NEED more... well, not more, but they need different.

God knows just what they need and He sends them to families where they will get what they need.
Your children were sent to YOU because a loving, all knowing, all wise Father in Heaven knew that that is just where they needed to be.
They needed to learn something from you that only you could teach.
I know this is true.
I am not even God and I choose specific teachers for specific children.
OF COURSE He chooses which children go to which families.
The older I get, and the more children I have, the more I am tipped towards NATURE in the nature and nurture debate.
I think kids come pre-wired.
They are little seeds that we have to water and bring to the sun and watch grow...
I see smart little kids in homes with smart parents—that is not a coincidence.
I see musical kids in homes with musical parents—yes, some of that is taught, but much of that was the awesome planning of a loving, omniscient Father in Heaven.

My kids piano teacher told her own children, God sent you to this home because He knew I was musical and I would teach you music.
I LOVE that.

My kids are brave and strong and feisty and fiercely independent.
They learn that, and they come that way.
God knew I would have a large family and He sent me children that would excel under those circumstances.
My children are blessed to be raised in my home.
Maybe they miss out on things that they would have been given in a different home.
Certainly they miss out on things that any mother with less children would be able to give them.
But, they receive MANY, MANY compensatory blessings.
I know it.
My youngest children are pure gifts to my oldest children.
My kids might not have a dog... but they have little sisters who ADORE them.
My kids learn to work hard.
My kids learn patience.
My kids learn to share and to love imperfect people.
They learn to lead and to teach and to wait their turn and to quickly forgive...
They are blessed as they sacrifice.
Kids are resilient.
Sometimes I feel just as sorry for children that never cry as I am for children who are never comforted.
Trials are good.
Hard things are good.

I believe that each of us has a journey on this earth.
We each have a purpose and a mission.
If we ASK God He will tell us.
Even if we don’t believe in God, or have never specifically asked, we KNOW what our journey will be.

We each have AGENCY and we each have DESTINY.
I’m not certain that we all choose the exact path our life will take.
But, we can each choose how we handle the road before us.
We can choose to embrace our life’s journey or to complain about it.

Early on in the Book of Mormon there was a family called to leave Jerusalem.  While traveling in the wilderness, God told the Father Lehi to send his sons back to Jerusalem to get the holy records for them to bring with them on their journey.  Two of Lehi’s sons, Lamen and Lemual, murmured saying it was a HARD THING that their father asked of them.  Lehi’s son, Nephi, was faithful.  He said, “I will go and do the things with the Lord has commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men save He shall prepare a way for them that they might accomplish the thing which He hath commandeth them.”  
I want to be like Nephi.

I once asked my aunt nancy if she thought I was weird to have so many children.
She said, “Anyone but you, Jen.  You were born a mother.”
And, it is true.  This is who I am.
Sometimes I see another person’s life and I wish that was my path.
Sometimes I shout to the Heavens, I DIDN’T KNOW what I was agreeing to.
I want a vacation.  I want a maid.  I want to be ALONE.
I want to travel the world or sew quilts or lay and the couch with NOTHING on my to do list.
I don’t want to get pregnant again!!!
(Is that horrible for me to admit to you?)

And then, I hold my youngest baby in my arms and my soul overflows with joy.
YOU, I think, I GET YOU!!!
I have a really difficult, feisty five year old.
I ADORE HER.  She is beautiful and fun and SOOOO good.
Sometimes I am too strict with her.  Sometimes I am not strict enough with her.
She makes my days exhausting and constant.
And I would pick her.
If there was a little class of five year olds and God told me I could pick any one I wanted... I would pick her.
Even though I wouldn’t trade her for a quiet, sweet, obedient child... I might pick a quiet, sweet, obedient child to follow her in our family order.
And, guess what?
God did that too!!
He knew our family and he sent us just who we needed when we needed them.

I remember talking with one of my favorite people ever, Sister Jane Covey, mother of ten.
She said, "Nobody ever WANTS ten children.  But, if i would have gotten to heaven and met my last six daughters and had known that they could have been a part of my family and i choose not to have them, nobody would be able to quench my regret."
This quote is so interesting to me.
I have always remembered it, and i FEEL it.
i often look at my baby and ADORE her.
i think-- if i didn't have seven i wouldn't have HER.
she is worth the sacrifice!!!

Today I have a feisty number 7.
I am not pregnant... but I do know that God has a perfect number 8 waiting for us.
I am SO excited to get to know her.
(yup, I think I have another girl... obviously, I could be wrong on that though.)
I know one more.
Maybe I will get pregnant again and just feel complete.
I won't be surprised if i feel one more after this one more.
10 wouldn't surprise me.
I believe that someday I will feel the feeling that I am finished and complete.
I believe that it is real feeling.
I am waiting for Him to say to me, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
He does say that to me... in small ways every day.
Even as women, I don’t believe our life’s callings are always solely the children in our family.
(although I think that is always a big part of our life’s destiny.)
I believe that we each have a work to do on this earth.
My work is my family and my blog and so much more...
I can’t wait to see the cute family I end up with.
I can’t wait to see the journey that is ahead of me and you!
Our hard things refine us.
And someday we will get together in our heavenly mansions and bask in the joy of many SHINY people.
You’re invited to the party.
My mansion, a thousand years from today, shiny people only.

And, I guess the whole point of this blog is to say—
I’m not necessarily CHOOSING to have more children because I think this life is FUN.
I’m choosing it, because I feel it is my calling in life.
I can choose to walk this path and follow my God or not.
But, I don’t always get to choose where that path leads.
I don’t get to choose the steepness of the climb.
But, I can ALWAYS choose my attitude about the journey.
I will go and do the things that the Lord has commanded.
For I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of women,
Save He shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which He hath commanded.
I am never alone.
There are many who have walked this path before me.
I am blessed with friends and family and a Savior that completely understands my journey.
He is my guide.
I can totally do this.
And, so can you.
You can ROCK your path!
It is what you were created for.

Even without another child, my life is FULL and busy.
Today I am going to choose to DRIVE my busy life.
I am going to CHOOSE to enjoy it.
I ALWAYS have that choice.
To CHOOSE to be the best dang mother of seven that I can be.
And, if I get pregnant again someday, I’m going to choose to be the best pregnant mother of seven that I can be.
I’m going to choose to write the best blog that I can write.
I’m going to choose to keep my house as clean as I can keep it.
I’m going to choose to LOVE and SERVE and speak kindly to my family.
I’m going to choose to reach out to others in my community and my church and my nation and the world.
I’m going to choose to teach the best way I know how.
I’m going to be the best sister and daughter and friend that I can be.
I’m going to try to stay healthy and eat well and sleep and exercise so I am strong for my journey.
I am going to pray every day and recognize the miracles around me on my journey.
The miracles are there whether or not I give God credit.
I am going to give thanks for all that is good in my life.
I am going to be cheerful if it KILLS me.
I’m going to read my scriptures every morning and keep an eternal perspective when my road gets bumpy.
I am going to read up!!
Let me know if you have read about any amazing families of MANY—I’m going to figure out HOW they do it and I’m going to DO it too!
Yes, I am choosing to have a large family.
But, more than that, I am CHOOSING to LIVE my destiny.  To be who I feel I should be.
AND, amidst my journey... I am CHOOSING my attitude about it.
I am CHOOSING to enjoy this journey... even when I don’t think I can take one more step.

“Most of our lives are not a string of dramatic moments that call for immediate heroism and courage. Most of our lives, rather, consist of daily routines, even monotonous tasks, that wear us down and leave us vulnerable to discouragement. Sure, we know where we’re going, and if it were possible we would choose to jump out of bed, work like crazy, and be there by nightfall. But our goal, our journey’s end, our Zion is life in the presence of our Heavenly Father. And to get there we are expected to walk and walk and walk.
“President Howard W. Hunter said, “True greatness … always requires regular, consistent, small, and sometimes ordinary and mundane steps over a long period of time.” 3
“How easy it is to want quick and dramatic results in exchange for a day’s labor! And yet how happy people are who have learned to bend to the rhythm of paced and steady progress—even to celebrate and delight in the ordinariness of life.
“Don’t be discouraged!!”
Virginia Hinckley Pearce (Keep Walking and Give Time a Chance, April 1997)

Life is good.
I am so grateful this great plan of happiness!!

please forgive any typos.
and the length of this post.
i actually cut PAGES from my original drafts.
i have a degree in family science-- not English.  (wink.)
and, my time is up-- so i can't put any cute pictures with this text.
Enjoy your day!
Thank you for reading!!!

June 21, 2012

11 kids, 84 crabs, and one glass buoy.

We had a fun day at the ocean with our visiting cousins.
As we were trying to rent some little motor boats to go crabbing in the bay, we heard about an opportunity to go crabbing in the ocean on a bigger ship.
1 captain, 1 first mate, 4 adults, and 11 kids (from 1 to 16)... headed out to sea.
i was certain that one of my children would end up overboard.
We returned four hours later with 84 of the most gigantic crabs we had ever seen and all of the children that we set out with.
The night before we were looking at a fish market just off the coast and the crabs were being sold for $20 a piece.
do you love crab as much as i do?

We had a chance to talk with our kids about our experience.
They all loved the boat, the crabs, the cleaning up, and the eating.
They are convinced we should buy a boat and go every weekend.

Drew thought it was funny that when we came back from our 4 hour cruise, we saw a few other families that had rented motor boats.  They would all say something like, “Oh, we had a really fun EXPERIENCE.  We caught 12 crabs but had to throw back 11 because they were female or too small.”  Drew recognized how blessed we had been.  He said, “I just know Heavenly Father was looking out for us that day.  It could have been us with the 'good experience'.  Instead, our boat was overflowing with crab.”

Anna mentioned that while we were on the boat she took the time to look around her at how beautiful everything was.  She said that the waves were so big and the earth was so beautiful she just felt grateful for a God that created such an amazing world for us to enjoy.

Ellie said she liked holding the crabs the best.  She said, “At first I was scared to hold them.  But, fisherman Shawn showed me how to do it and it wasn’t scary at all.”  She thought about how many things in life seem hard.  She thought that her experienced life fisherman were Heavenly Father, her parents, her church leaders, her teachers.  When she listens to them and watches how they do things, hard things can become easy.  She is less likely to get hurt.  Isn’t that a cool lesson?  {We laughed as we related this to dating... when you date the way our church leaders encourage you to date, you will not get hurt.  Then we laughed and told Jakob he needed to be sure to throw back the girls that are too young.}

The captain of our ship found a glass buoy floating on the waves, from Japan.
talking with the captain right before he spotted the glass buoy.
It was so neat and worth some money.  He hadn’t found one of those for four years.
He is always looking.
His son said, “Yeah, my dad has eagle eyes.”
I assured him that I was good luck!
As I thought about his excitement and the many, many trips he has gone out to sea, the hours he has spent looking in the waves without finding anything, I thought of my life (of course, isn’t everything in this world a lesson on mothering?).
So much of our life is just monotonous every day doing.
Seeking.  Hoping.  Teaching.
And then, there is the glass ball—shining proof that we are loved, that we have “eagle eyes”, that we are doing something good.
Our captain drove by other marinas holding up his buoy with pride as other captains hooted and hollered.  We all have those moments—every four years.
But it is the every day looking that creates the captain.
I was looking into the same ocean that the captain was looking at... and all I saw was water.
He was trained.
And, in my own way, I am in training too.
I am becoming a captain of my own.
I have a baby who has blisters all over her mouth (it’s a virus).  She was sad most of the day.
I also have a five year old who is busy and hard.
I juggled my life a bit shabbily.
Let’s just say it was a birth control kind of day... where I felt everyone looking at me was thinking “you do know how to prevent that don’t you.”  nice.
This day made me so grateful and so tired.
This day I came home without a glass buoy.
I came home with a spirit heavy with all I still need to teach and a spirit a bit beaten by the wind and the waves of my life.
I live a deep sea fisherman life... not a motorboat in the bay life.
But, I am hopeful and determined.
I have found treasures from another land before and I will find them again, maybe tomorrow.
I will have my moment of applause, and I am not alone.
There is an army of fisherman surrounding me.
We are all on our own ship trying to do the best we can.  We are SO blessed.
No one who goes out to sea can doubt the existence of a divine creator.
This earth is not an accident.  It is spectacular.
Life is beautiful.
And crab is SOO good.
Come on over and we’ll share some... 

 Sometimes i feel more like the Master Chris than the Perseverance...  you too?

we're friends now, seeing as i'm the captain's new good luck charm.

i couldn't help but think that 84 crabs means 84 guts...
just like having a large family means more sweat with more messy...
yes, mine is a life of abundance... in many areas.
God grant me patience to deal with my blessings.

life is good.
and crab is DE-LICIOUS!
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