Honey isn’t always sweet

But often he is…..

This last month I have been foster mom to a little lamb. Georgie, as he came to be named by my granddaughter, was born a preemie and could not walk. The sheep farmer and his wife were going away on a business trip and would be gone a week, back a few days and then gone another week. Georgie would not survive without special care. Knowing me and knowing I would give him the care he needed they asked if I would foster him with the option to keep him. Anyone who knows me knew I jumped at the chance to save his life.

Within a day Georgie could stand some and in a week was moving around really well. Feeding him was a bit of problem in that he did not know how to grab the bottle and would not open his mouth but bop it with his nose and think that should work.

Scout, my granddaughter, and Georgie quickly became pals. Georgie was diapered and ran around the house following Makita (my dog), Scout or myself. When hungry he was bopping my ankle and yelling loudly “maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa”.

The owners returned and I hung on to Georgie until this last Sunday when I knew he was too big for staying in the house, and it was not good for him to be outside by himself. Georgie would stay in the pack n play even though he could easily clear it and jump out, but he was obedient when I said “no” and would just stay there. However, he thought he was a cat or dog, to his convenience., Cats curl up on the couch, he tried it and got booted. Dogs have a dog bed, he tried it and Makita was not really thrilled about sharing but let him. Goats would have nothing to do with him except push him around and send him flying so he (and we) knew they were not an option.

Sunday I took Georgie back to the farm. He cried, I cried.

Monday my husband went to work as usual. I did not have Scout that day and it was a bit quiet with no Georgie to feed either.

Rick had a Dr. appointment and I knew he was coming home from work in the AM to get ready for that, but was rather surprised when he came home at 8:30 and not 10 like we planned. He pulled in, came in the door and said “I need your help, come out the the car”.

Obedient wife that I am , sometimes, most times,  I got up and went out with him. He opened the back door and said “Happy Valentines day”. There was Georgie, and two friends!  Blondie and Dagwood are now sharing the outside with Georgie. We have a small shed on the porch so I can get to them easily for bottle feeding.

All my life, since a kid, I wanted a sheep. I used to ask my dad and he would say “What good is a sheep, can’t milk it, why have them?” . Well, now I know what good they are. They eat weeds and manicure a large not mowable yard and eat what the goats don’t in the pasture. Found it out, but did not expect to have any.

Georgie is a black and white Dorper, handsome fellow. Blondie is a Barbado and Dagwood a Mouflon, so all different in looks. I will put up a picture when I get one taken, we spent all yesterday building a shed on the porch!

Yup, sometimes my honey is extra sweet!

Invisible Mom

This came to me in my email this morning and I thought I would share it with all of us “invisible moms”.

Invisible Mother……

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store.

Inside I’m thinking, ‘Can’t you see I’m on the phone?’

Obviously, not

No one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I’m invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m a clock to ask, ‘What time is it?’ I’m a satellite guide to answer, ‘What number is the Disney Channel?’ I’m a car to order, ‘Right around 5:30, please.’ at these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated sum a cum laude – but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She’s going;
she’s going; she is gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England .

Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in.

I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, ‘I brought you this.’

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe .

I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription:

‘To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.’

In the days ahead I would read – no, devour – the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their names.

These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, ‘Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.’ And the workman replied, ‘Because God sees.’

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place.

It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, ‘I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.’

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life.

It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, ‘My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.’ That would mean I’d built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, ‘you’re gonna love it there.’

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right.

And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Great Job, MOM!

This little email Worked for Me for an encouragement and pick up. Maybe it will Work for you too!

That Explains It!

It is Works for me Wednesday over at Rocks in My Dryer and I am going to share something that works for me with kids. People kids that is since anyone following this or Ain’t No Place To Put A Sticker knows I have goats now.

My granddaughter Scout is allergic to cows milk, at least to the kind you buy in the store. As a result, she needs goats milk.

I am a great fan of teaching your children in their terms, their understanding. A one year old understands different than a two year old or a ten year old. We have talked to Scout (17 months old) about her milk and it comes from the goats. Since I am not milking my goat yet I knew she did not fully understand.

Today I went to the farm where I get the goats milk. We happened to show up at milking time and what a blessing it was for us. They people were gracious enough to not only let us come back and Scout see the milk coming out as the goat was getting milked, but also let Scout give milking a try.

You never saw such a bug eyed girl when the milk came out of that funny bag, nor such a proud girl when she got to make the milk come out!

Whatever it is you are saying to your children, say it in words and pictures they understand. Let them see hows and whys of things that they can’t understand yet when it is at all possible. Demonstrate. Act like a kid if you need to for them to understand what you are saying.

So many times I have heard parents say something to a child too young to understand what is being said and then react because they did not understand and did what they were not supposed to.

Actually, same goes for us as adults. Too often, when we are new at something, we do not understand either. Remember how you reacted and felt then and make sure you explain well to your children.

Works for me!

King of the Castle

Is your husband king of the castle? Today something came across my desk that I want to talk about. We women have a problem sometimes. Unfortunately we do not always realize it either.

Your husband is a provider. He needs to feel like a provider. Many times we women, unknowingly, make him feel like less of a man. Maybe he is struggling to make ends meet and they are not meeting.  Maybe he has health problems and can’t work, or laid off or fired. How do we treat him consciously as well as unconsciously?

My husband is a hard worker. He is thoughtful, does his best and goes the extra mile. He works long hours, comes home tired and often there is much to do around here and he is tired. The temptation is to not want to let him sit down, but cut the grass, fix this or that etc.

Our ends also do not meet. Sometimes we get behind. Sometimes we do without things we should not do with out. We also do without needs.

Life is a struggle and with all the prices going up, gas getting out of the world and our health insurance making another big jump it is going to make things even harder.

How about you?

Now, how do we make our husbands feel? Many of us are stay at home moms and care for our children. I, personally, think this is the highest calling any woman can have and am all for it. Many find things to do at home for extra money as well as the ability to make the money we do have go farther. I babysit and clean offices one night a week and on weekends to help. But, how do we deal with our husbands when things are tight? Or when things need to be done at home?

I hear more and more women complain. Complain to their husbands, to others and in general about not making ends meet, about him not fixing stuff etc. Men have needs emotionally. They need to feel they are providing and appreciated even if ends aren’t meeting. They need to know you appreciate and respect them for their hard work, inability to work or trying to get a job.

How do you talk to him? Is it negative or positive (or positively negative)? Our words and actions communicate so much to him. If he knows that his efforts are appreciated and you are fully supporting him emotionally and physically then he can feel like King of His Castle.

I have learned that I need to give my husband the pleasure of resting when he gets home, even if there are things to be done. If I offer him the drink, be positive and give him time to rest, then tell him kindly that something needs to be fixed etc it works much better.

If I am positive and making sure he knows how much his efforts mean and how much I know he is trying things work much better.

I am not saying manipulate, I am saying doing it in love and care for him and his needs. Let him be king and he will make you queen. My husband responds to the positive. We may not be meeting the ends or just meeting them, but there is peace and happiness in our home because this works for me and will work for you also.

Husband Appreciation

Today is Frugal Friday at Biblical Womanhood.  I was going to do this post as my post today and then realized it would fit in to the frugal idea as what I am going to say costs nothing but some of our time.

Does your husband know he is appreciated? How often do you let him know? Do you find little ways to tell him?

Some husbands have a hard time learning to show love and do things that really make their wife happy. If we are honest, we do too at times. Women are naturally, usually, able and think to show love but when we do not get what we want in return (love reciprocated, or him respond to our hinting) we can get pretty rotten!

Men need encouragement and they need to know that their efforts are noticed. If we can encourage them, then they will respond by realizing what, how and when to do more for us as well.

Think of things your husband does and find things to thank him for. It may be something as simple as he puts his clothes in the hamper (do you know how many men do not!). My husband thanks me for every meal and tells me it is good.  Do we find things to thank them for daily?

Tomorrow is Husband Appreciation Day according to 123 Greetings.  They have ecards for the occasion, why not send one to your husband? They are free.

Another place that I would recommend for helping us get into the habit of praising and encouraging our husbands is a site called The Generous Wife.  You can sign up for a daily tip for being a generous wife.

This is a frugal (downright cheap) way to better your marriage, make it more exciting and in the end better your husband and your relationship.

For more frugal ideas check out Biblical Womanhood!