the brothers and the sisters

These kids are my constant companions and I love them with my whole, entire heart. We are celebrating this week because we all are healthy for the first time in 2018! This is an age and stage where toddlers sneeze on babies, babies stick everything in their mouth, and when germs pass easily from one to another. So we hunker down, read lots of books and snuggle. And ice skate on plates on the tile. I found the girls skating like this after we watched the German ice dancers on youtube. (The only five minutes of the Olympics I have seen! Crazy!)

hattie joy for a monday morning

Hattie got this darling little sweater set from her big cousin Madi. It is just on loan, and mostly just for this photo shoot because I don't believe I want to be the one who gets a stain on this super adorable ensemble! So the two of us went out on this glorious afternoon and took some pictures with the assistance of the cat.

Tonight at dinner we did our usual family check-in, "Hey, hey, what do you say? What was your favorite part of the day today, Hattie?" And she answered, "Anah. Mom." Anah means outside so we all knew that her favorite part was this special time together. Me too, Hattie Joy.

hattie at worship

hattie worship from Becca Groves on Vimeo.

I was raised in a church where we did not raise our hands during singing. So it took me a while to get used to being in churches where they do this freely. It felt funny for a season, but now I really appreciate this part of Sunday worship. It feels right to me. That said, I have a lot of friends at this same church who sit quietly during the songs, many who don't raise hands, and others who flat out dance. What I like about this church is that the body is free to worship how they are most comfortable...and that is going to be different for everyone.

So I'm a hand raiser. And Hattie is starting to raise her hands too. Every Sunday she wants to be held like this, with her feet standing on the chair in front of us, swaying from foot to foot to each song. Watch her hands during this quick video. Rory showed this to me after service and I was so grateful he captured it. It is a very sweet and incredible feeling to watch your kids worship the Lord.

Elsie sort of twists her skirt from side to side during each song with her hands held palms up right in front of her. It's cool to watch them come into their own. And then it's so fun to all be singing the same songs at home, all day long, because the same ones are replaying in all of our heads from a great morning of worshiping together.

learning to speak tractor

I am picking up a new language lately. I'm learning to speak Tractor. Except there is no Rosetta Stone for this language. So I'm learning by immersion and dropping myself into the land where others speak this language fluently.

I've been following tractor sales on Craigslist and finally found a few that I thought looked good. They fit the horsepower we need and were in our price range. So I called my Uncle Jake to ask him what he thought of the ones that caught my eye. And lucky for me, he was with his brother out in Colorado, so I got two born and raised farmers on speaker phone as I told them about the tractors I was looking at. It was going well for a while, but then they started asking me questions.

"Becca, does the tractor that you have now have PTO?"
PTO, PTO what could that stand can't be Paid Time Off. Farmers definitely do not get Paid Time Off. "Oh man, I'm sorry you guys, I'm not fluent in the acronyms at all. What is PTO?
"Power Take Off"
"Oh. Right. Yeah... I have no idea."
"That's okay. But do you know what horsepower your kubota tractor is?"
"Hmmmm. No. Not a clue. It's a cute little tractor though..."
"And tell us about the baler you have. What kind did you get."
"Oh man. I am so sorry to sound like such an idiot. I don't know. Oh wait! I have a picture of it on my wall calendar. Here. Well Elsie is blocking the front part of the word and Rory the back part, but I can read CORM. So maybe McCormick or something like that? It's red."
"Sounds about right. I'm so sorry guys. But I will remind you that I was raised in Apple Valley and this is all new to me. But I am trying, and I thank you for trying to help me..."

I hope they found it a little bit hilarious. It is humbling to be learning so many things from the ground up. I would say pride is probably the number one thing you have to rid yourself of while trying on a new lifestyle like this. There's not time. Just be humble, ask questions and be okay with making mistakes. Because it just happens. And sometimes you sound like an idiot. That's okay. I am getting more and more fluent every day. In fact, I just watched six youtube videos on moco's, you know, mower conditioners, the implement that combines cutting and drying in one process? Like a haybine or the new discbine...

Are you impressed our what?!! I'm basically at the fluency equivalent of being able to ask where the bathroom is. And I'm learning more every day. Next I'm heading back to youtube to learn about hay rakes in case we don't want to spend the money on a moco.

one less plant for the plant lady

Well, it was only a matter of time. Or, I should say thyme, because it was actually the pot with the thyme seeds that was used as the weight for the blanket fort. I wouldn't have advised this plan, but I was told excitedly by two little girls, "mom! there is a huge mess of dirt in the living room!" They were strangely thrilled by the whole thing. I wasn't as much. But I did recognize the photo opportunity.
I hope you had a good Valentine's Day! Yesterday I asked Rory if we had any plans for today and he said, "Yes!" And I got a little excited. "We have to bring the other lamb in to the meat locker!" When I asked the question I was thinking more along the lines of of dinner plans or a trip to the cupcake shop. But he was consumed with his plan of backing the trailer out to the barn and separating the sheep so just the one lamb would climb in the trailer. No cupcakes on his mind.

But we did have a great day. We celebrated as a family with dinner and cards. It was low key and simple. And a good day all around.