Monday, May 16, 2011
Thursday, May 12, 2011
I know it is. Early indicators have come and gone. Cool days are fewer. Lawns have come to life. Our gorgeous and lush green pastures are generously sprinkled with beautiful black baby calves.
School is winding down. End of the year events are occuring daily. The Chapter FFA Banquet is history. So is the Prom. The coming week begins class picnics and field trips. Graduation is but a few days away and marks the culmination of the public school career. Goodbyes and tears, but also a celebration of life and its forever changing pattern.
The kids are spending more time in the barn. They are getting to know their summer romance--the show calves. While Summer does mean swimming, fishing, camps, and BBQ; for my family summer means fairs and cattle shows. We don't go on a traditional 'tourist-type' vacation. Instead, we take ours a day or two at a time all summer long. We put together our gypsy caravan--the stock trailer, the calves, lawn chairs, coolers, cookies, watermelon and so much more. I just can't wait.
By the end of most seasons I am always excited to embrace the next one. Winter was long and painful. Spring was sort of non-existent, and definitely short. The pains of winter have slightly dulled, but always present. Certainly realizing that new normal isn't necessarily a great thing. But I know there's someone who is so proud of our crooked rows of veggies in the garden and the black calves that will walk all over our yard daily and love the warm of summer at Hasekamp Farms.......
Two more weeks of school, then we will happily embrace---SUMMER,
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
My Uncle Hank was my dad's youngest sibling and only brother. While he loves his sisters, he and Uncle Hank were very close, so through that relationship, we were all pretty close. Now Dad and Uncle Hank liked hunting together and fishing and about all things outdoors. The love Uncle Hank and I shared was softball. I always looked forward to getting together with him and Aunt K and their boys as they came along, because chances are, a softball game would errupt. While it might be as basic as 'batting practice' which he was always great at helping me per-fect my stance or whatever issue I was having as I evolved as kid in the game. Or it might be an Angle Family Reunion most of which in my growing up years were held at Wilson Park in Granite City IL. There you can be 100% sure a baseball game would happen. Some of my happiest memories of childhood are of softball games and Uncle Hank was there.
Uncle Hank loved sports of every kind. He and Dad would always have to discuss the Missouri Illinois border wars game. They enjoyed MU football games, we all went to several St. Louis Cardinals games when I was a kid, back when you could carry in your picnic basket and cooler. He loved hockey, wrestling, and even played a little golf. Once his boys were born and got old enough to start playing sports, he added soccer to his long list of sports that he loved. I am not sure that there was ever a sport he didn't try if given the opportunity.
We lost him entirely too soon. He passed February of 93 at the age of 35 yrs old. He was playing a hockey game at the time. Loved his sports right up to the end. I think of him when I play ball with my kids. I think of him EVERY time I watch, Field of Dreams, another thing we both loved, that movie. I think of him (and Grandma Angle as well) when I listen to StL Cardinal baseball on the radio. I think of him when Missouri and Illinois play each other. And many other times. When you lose someone you love, normal is never the same, a good friend told me that and she was so right.
His family has progressed through this life in so many ways that he would be proud of I am sure. I think of 7 yrs ago today, when we all found out he would have been a grandpa, to the Angle Tripletts. I remember thinking at the time how Chris and Amy tried so hard to have a family and of all days to find out for sure, they did on his birthday and he sent them triple the blessings. Happy Birthday Uncle Hank, I know you are playing ball or fishing up there, the weather is perfect and someday we will play together again.
This is the Day the Lord has made, let us Rejoice and be Glad in it,
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
The time of renewal.
The time of new life for Christians in the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
But how do we define a job well done? What is a picture of success? Especially on a subject like parenting. One that is held in the highest of regard by some. One that is abused and exploited by others. It's kind of like the Army used to say 'the toughest job you'll ever love'.
What are the rewards of a job well done? What are the drawbacks of not constantly striving to be a success?
Rewards can be as small as a smile or a snuggle with your child. They can be as big as your imagination or that of your child can take you--truly the sky is the limit.
The drawbacks can be as small as maybe not getting the rest you need or eating a meal at the time and temperature you prefer.
Bigger drawbacks come in the form of emotions. Like saying goes, 'to be a parent is to forever know that your heart has the ability to walk outside your body.
Oh I could get nitpicky and list off other things, I suppose. But the thing is most people who are truly striving to be good parents don't generally see any of those things as major drawbacks. In the heat of the moment while arguing with a teenager about curfew or being so sleep deprived you wonder how you will be able to continue to walk the floors with this newborn--we might all momentarily question--but most of us don't see those things as bad things. Just part of it. As we realize there are many people who wish they were in our shoes and soon enough we will trade the 'tennis shoes' necessary for the active life of parenting small and growing children to the more comfortable shoes of a parent of grown children.
I've mentioned the good, the bad and the ugly that is experienced on the personal level. While personal success is important: What are some outward examples of success or a job well done?
We seem to be a results driven society. Raises at work are many times based on the successful accomplishment of goals. Good looks and charm will only get you so far. But with parenting sometimes its hard to see if you are truly doing a job 'well done'.
I read somewhere that taking care of children is like shoveling the snow before the storm is over. And yes the dog days of childhood may seem redundant and boring at times for adults; it seems to me that the happiest and healthiest children are those little 'creatures of habit.' So if as a parent I do the same thing everyday, over and over---where's the success?
I think that success is measured many ways. From potty-training and learning to tie shoes to teaching them to drive and balance a checkbook. I think we can call ourselves a success as parents when you can look at your child and know that you've taught them to not only survive but THRIVE in this world. We as parents can point them toward happiness--when they seek and find it; I think that's a job 'well done'
Just letting the thoughts roll out tonight,
Friday, April 15, 2011
Some things are wrapping up that were what kept us plugging along through the winter. Wrestling concluded, a little before we were ready for it too. Sam ended up qualifying at the Regional Tournament, but his 5th place finish, while considering the competition was good, wasn't high enough to advance him to State. Seth tried wrestling this year, thinking he's maybe a little young, as he wasn't particularly interested in the actual wrestling but loved running during the conditioning part of practice. Everyone has to have their own thing, right?
With Spring the school starts coming to a close with all the hub-bub and activity that entails. Cody is playing golf. Shooting in the mid 40's.........golf ability must skip generations, Dad loves and Cody does, I used to like to play, but this thing called, life and kids have made it a near impossible activity, but I am glad that they have a sport that they can play together and enjoy doing it. The schools are getting ready for MAP testing next week. I have been subbing quite a bit so I have seen firsthand the work the teachers and students put in to prepare for it.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Have you ever noticed that the only consistent thing about life is that is constantly changing? While generally I like the challenge change brings about. Whether its a new improved way of doing something or learning how to program my new cell phone, the education offered in change is a good thing.
As we travel through life, not all changes are welcome. We recently went through a change in our life. Two weeks ago, my dear sweet kind hearted father in law said goodbye to this earthly world in order go onto his reward in paradise. While the brain comprehends the inevitable change and end of the cycle in which cancer had eaten away his earthly body and riddled it unrelentlessly. The heart breaks in sadness, for OUR loss. It's hard to stay focused on the good things that change meant for Bob. The end of his earthly suffering. An eternal life with his Heavenly Father spent enjoying the rewards of paradise.
For us, especially David, the loss is overwhelming. People say, you'll get back to normal. A good friend recently said normal is never the same and she's exactly right. While the day to day quickly enough falls back into a routine, that sense of loss is always there.
Our capacity to love many special people in our lifetimes, is quite extraordinary. While we easily add more people throughout our lives, there are just some people who are irreplaceable, two groups in particular are parents and children. I think part of that are because those are the two most common examples of unconditional love/
If you have been blessed enough to experience that in life, embrace it, it can be fleeting, change is always right around the corner. I feel blessed to experience that love with my parents and certainly feel that with my kids.
I have rambled kind of 'scatteredly' (is that even a word?) between change, love and relationships. I will attempt to tie it up now.
The consistent ever evolving change through the various stages of life does offer us balance. The bad reminds us just how great the good can be. As my family evolves through this painful, 'never the same/new normal' that our recent loss has presented us with; the constant 'turning of a page' is getting ready to once again expand our hearts with a new hope and a new life to be a part of and love. In about a week, our little niece will enter this world, ironically right down the hall from where her Grandpa said good-bye to us. Guess that's balance of life, good changes and bad.
Kind of an odd rambling blog that has made my 3rd graders wonder why there are tears in my eyes,
Rough draft while subbing at CIS,
Blogged at home,
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Bob, the family man to me, means more than just us kids and grandkids. Bob was an only child, with 5 first cousins. So the meaning of family is more extended for him than it is most. His cousins were growing up and are today his siblings. I know that I love my cousins and we are close, but we can’t hold a candle to the relationships that Bob has had with his cousins. Richard and George are the younger brothers, both always ready to share stories and laughs. Mary E, MarySue and Sara, the sisters, of course, who Bob has always loved bragging up their cooking or whatever else came to mind at the time. See Bob was lucky, he had those ‘siblings’ and got to enjoy all the love, but didn’t have to suffer through the day to day sibling spats that the rest of us have had. Because of this relationship he’s held for his whole lifetime with his cousins, we’ve all been blessed to have a closer relationship with their families, one that had Bob had brothers and sisters, we may not have ever known. For me, within my closest circles of my own friendships are three members of that group.
Bob the church and community minded neighbor has been a blessing in many lives as well. When something needs to be done at Tulip, I can say without a doubt for the last several years, my father in law, has been right there ready to go. He’s had a smile on his face and a willingness to serve his fellow man that is unmatched by many. He’s consistently worked in many capacities in our own church, over the years on MFA boards, working at the local and county level with 4H and FFA during fair time or any other time, rain or shine, he’s right there asking what else he can do to help.
Bob, the man of God. I am not sure that I have known to many people who have been as accepting of God’s will in their lives as Bob. As long as I have known him, which was barely a third of his lifetime, he has always been the example I go back to again and again, when I think of living a true Christian life. He’s been God’s servant in so many ways. He’s taught Sunday School, been a role model and advisor to many on their walk through faith. Even when personal times were tough, he’s never blamed God to my knowledge when a lesser person might have. And Bob has endured some pretty rough times and held his head high and kept traveling down lifes journey, all the while amazing us all.
Maybe God made Bob a farmer for all of these reasons. He’s persevered through many things in his life, not all of them easy ones, and we certainly all know the life of a farmer isn’t an easy one. Hard work and dedication are certainly the name of the game. I have always thought that farmers are closer to God than a lot of other professions, he’s kind of our business partner. One that many farmers talk to daily. Thanks for the needed rains, thanks for group of heifers who all calved easily, or the requests for help when the rains came and weren’t needed or we had to pull all the calves that spring. Bob has always been such an accepting person of whatever the outcome was, good harvest or not so good. Twin calves that the cow raised, or pulling them both, maybe losing one and have to bottle feed the other. It’s always been Gods will that ruled Bob’s life. A lesson that we could all take from him, that’s for sure.
Now I come to a part that I knew for me would be hard, so saved it for last and pray that I can get through it. Bob, the grandfather. There are 5 lights in his life, he’d tell you. He’s certainly always been a proud and supportive father, but he has said so many times that being a grandfather has been something that has amazed him beyond words. If you wanted to see his face light up regardless of the situation, just let one of those kids come into his line of vision. He was our helper last fall when Cody started HS and needed lots of extra rides into town. His health had hampered his full bore all day work hard work day of a farmer, so he was able to enjoy driving in to take Cody to school activities, it was a blessing for us as we juggled get the other three kids to their things. I think that it was blessing for Bob and Cody as well. Cody has matured to the point where he and Bob could talk on an adult level about so many aspects of life. I know that over the years, Cody will look back at some of those talks and realize that blessing over and over. Sam has always tickled Bob, with the similar quieter personalities, I think that Bob ‘gets’ Sam, probably in a way, that I know I don’t always understand myself. He was always so proud of the young man he’s becoming. Growing up on a farm, there’s always little helpers who from varying degrees at different ages loved to help Dad or Grandpa, but I think the helper that Bob got the biggest kick out of has been Jenna. Their rides over to Amish country to deliver hay were always educational in his report, to which David and I always wondered just what all she said and were secretly grateful that they didn’t return with a pony. ‘Ram=pa’ and Seth have gotten closer in the last few years, since his older siblings have all been in school. I am sure that ‘educational’ would be one way Bob would describe some of their talks. Then there’s our little nephew Marshall. Lunchtime at Grandma and Grandpa’s and four wheeler rides have been some of the outward highlights of their time spent together. Marshall is definitely an eager and willing worker, just like Pa Pa, especially when it comes to riding on a tractor with him. He’s looking so forward to our niece being born, I hope and pray they get to meet face to face.
I know that I could talk all day about the amazing ways this man has blessed our lives, but part of that blessing is that each of you have so many wonderful memories. His legacy of love, friendship, and service will be felt for beyond his lifetime. I know I count him as one of my many blessings.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
tell you what he weighs down to the ounce. When we go to bed early on Friday nights as we have to get up long before the sun rises and head to a gym somewhere at least an hour away, to spend the better part of our day with hundreds of other devoted wrestling parents. Ten hours of sitting for ten minutes of wrestling. When your son is having a good year, which Sam is this year, its not even ten minutes of wrestling. But that's okay. Like many of the other activities we are in, we have made our wrestling friends. We have our cattle showing friends, State Fair friends, friends of parents in each of the kids classes, so sure we may as well have our wrestling friends too. It's that parent who's child wrestles yours every week, sometimes we win, sometimes they do. They stand in the bullpen laughing and telling jokes, then they step on the mat and its all business. As soon as the match is over, a handshake and hug and on to the next match.
With all sports and many other things in life, we see examples of the best and the worst humanity has to offer. Yes sadly there's that dad hollaring at the kid after the match, but thankfully that is rare. The things that I find most heartwarming is watching two boys leave the mat and the mom of the winner hugging and comforting the young man who just lost. I don't think that kids who only participate in team sports can ever truly get wrestling. It's so personal. When you win, YOU won! And when you lost, yes YOU lost. There's no one else to blame it on. It's glaringly obvious. But thankfully the brotherhood of wrestlers and their families all realize that and win or lose, the whole group is right there supporting those kids in an intensity that I really do not believe exists with other sports. I played basketball and softball growing up and while yes our parents cheered and supported us, we did it as a team, and you never felt alone. I can't imagine how it feels to walk off the mat as the referee holds your opponents arm in the air.
All of that being said, the adrenaline rush of wrestling I have to think is hard to top. I know as a parent and a spectator its pretty intense. Like a friend said, its a fight with rules. It gets under our skin at a basic level, survival. To be successful has to be the greatest feeling in the world. To learn the discipline to also lose like a gentleman is a life skill that will take these young men far as well.
I will admit that I mourned the loss of basketball in my life 5 yrs ago when my boys started wrestling. But I am proudly a 'Mat Momma' now. Sam is having a great season, only two losses. I believe he has around 6 pins for the season. He wrestles again weekend after next at Jefferson City Jays tournament, and possibly one or two more, then its Finals time in March. Here's hoping we have 'plans' the last weekend in March, and we make it to the Hearnes Center for the State tournament.
Sitting in my office, listening to my supposedly sick littlest grappler run up and down the hallway of the 'new part' of the house (is there Crack in a Z-pac?)
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Since the boys were little, we put them into a bedroom together and then they had a playroom as well. We had a huge spacious bedroom.
Fast forward 12 yrs, add 2 more kids and GOBS more STUFF. Our two-three bedroom, ONE BATHROOM house seemed to almost burst at the seams. We had talked for several years about adding onto our house. We finally drew it up, tweaked it and took the plunge. Crowded-ness was factor then, so was 'old house' the south wall of our basement had started cracking and the cracked area had began to bulge, which of course concerned us that some day we would find ourselves in the basement......YIKES!
Last summer, we started the process of adding onto our home. We are adding about 25 feet onto the entire south side of our house and extending the basement, adding 1500 square feet to our home. When done, each child will have their own room. We will go from 1 to 2.5 bathrooms and just generally have some elbow space. :)
Currently we are waiting to get the dry wall taped, mudded, sanded, etc....... then the finish work is about all that is left. I am not a huge fan of painting and I have figured out that basically 2/3 of our house will end up getting painting, something I am not excited about, but am looking forward to as it means the project will be closer to complete. So if you like to paint, LMK, I can put you to work!
Awaiting the 'promised' snow storm and hoping the weatherman is wrong,
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
9/11 happened. Wow. Doesn't that seem like yesterday? I know our parents said the same thing about Kennedy assassination, and Grandparents about Pearl Harbor. Always interesting to me to think about where we were in our own lives when those moments of history occured.
Fast forward 10 yrs. We have added 3 'in laws' almost 4 nephews/nieces (2nd niece will make her appearance in March) My parents are business owners. David parents have declining health. Our immediate family is MUCH bigger. Our home is in the process of 'growing' to accommodate that. It's been a 'year of change' already for me. All of my kids are in school. I am working not one, not two, but THREE part-time jobs. Ten years ago, we were 'barely' involved in activities, now 4H, FFA, football, wrestling and SO much more are a part of our daily lives.
As I enter this new decade, I feel that urgency of 'change' again. I embraced it ten years ago, and happily do so again today. I am glad its gradual and easy to slide right into. I certainly haven't simplified my life, but I am making great strides on the organizing and maintaining aspects of that goal mentioned above and you know I kinda love the chaos.
In this New Year and 'dawn of a new decade' for me (we have till July before its official) I am doing things now that I never thought I had time for in my simpler life of fewer kids, fewer activities that make my heart so happy. I have started exercising again (WOW have I ever NEEDED to do that!?!?!) and doing things for others, just because I want to (that one makes my heart really happy!) I am kinda making a few resolutions, but shhh, don't tell. Some things I have been adding lately are: when I get on facebook, I look at the friends that happen to pop up along the left hand side of my profile page and say a PRAYER for them, no I don't always know what their particular trials are, but that's okay, God knows. The few times I enter a drive-through lane to get something convenient for our day, I buy the person behind me's meal. Have done that about 5 times in the last two months! I have to say, I love that 'honk' I have I gotten! :) On facebook just yesterday, there was a pay it forward post, and I who NEVER participate in those, DID. I have a list of about 6 friends who commented and I am aleady thinking of fun things that I can make them. I picked up two free patterns for a couple of friends at a fabric store yesterday that feature items each have mentioned wanting to make, YAY! Have been very excited thinking of all the 'pay it forward' things I am GOING to do this year. I have already logged 15 miles of exercise this year! and its only 5th!
I am looking forward to this NEW YEAR, and even more excited about the new decade that is coming soon. Heck I have BLOGGED twice this year, yeah its gonna so rock in 2011.
Listening to the contractors climbing around on my roof and smiling thinking of the finished project~