Thursday, June 30, 2016

The best morning ever, but sad that we will be parting soon...

I had a stroke... well a stroke of thought that I would like to get white Tshirts for everyone and get a group picture on the farm and with the red barn with Family Time is the Best behind them.  Well, I managed to get that and so much more!
Love the different groupings here!
Now with the barn and the sign and the Truth - Family time is the best!
With their wonderful moms, who have said yes to life and are serious about raising lights and sharing their Faith with JOY!  A common love they share is for the Farm life they were given growing up and now love to share that with their children!
By the time grandma got in there LIFE had happened - two were crying and the headband had slipped and two were just plain tired!
I love LIFE and this is truly a picture of it!

My most wonderful Mother in the whole world, Mary the Mother of God, with this grandma and her 5 granddaughters.  4 of them got their hair French braided by me.  With Jo Jo and her new cousin coming - 2 more to French braid their hair for years to years to come!  Like I said - the BEST morning with all these great keepsakes on the farm!
We call them the 3 criminals, but they are very sweet really and love hanging out together.  Rose has reached 4 in May, Patrick will be 4 in October and Berna in November. 

Therese and Big Dave are just 4 months apart - "T"is 8 and Dave will be in just a few weeks!
The Sandbox boys - Gus with his 2 Daves!

Gus is heading back to KC with his dad and family and will miss our family time in Michigan, so the photo shoot was on.  The next time our whole bunch is together might be Christmas, if we are lucky, and then we will welcome granddaughter Librande!  Always room for one more! 
The two big girls love hanging out together.  This afternoon they are quietly reading and stitching - "doing girl stuff together." as Ruth told one of the boys.  They will be able to hang out in Michigan, too! 
Maria's 4 soon to be 5 love to come to the farm and spend a week with cousins.  They missed Michigan last summer and so are really excited to see our sandy beach!
The two Davids... Little David Librande is 6 1/2 and Big David Lanoue is 8 in a few weeks!

It was a gift to read the Gospel today and find the Matthew version of The Paralytic!  How we all need to have our sins forgiven and to pick up our mat and walk down the narrow path following after Jesus!
Finally got the 3 grandsons together - Luke has mulberry lips and Dominic has a flower and they all have bug bites.  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Our Simon and Paul celebrated their feastday with a family project... butchering chickens!

The two youngest grandsons in all their adorableness!  This week has been a wonderful time for our 13 grandchildren to get to know each other better and have some fun and work together.  Work?  Today on the feast day of St Simon Peter and St Paul we got up with the sun and had a family project of butchering the 45 chickens that Ruth and I raised.  I have become the "chicken lady" since the chickens are in a shed at our place so I am the one doing chores each day.
Paul and Ruth with 4 of the 13 learning about where our food comes from.  Two chickens that were alive 5 hours before are now being eaten for lunch - talk about fresh food and fresh in their minds of the process it took to get them in the oven and then on their plates and then into their stomachs!
The girls turned out to be the best workers... Rose had to borrow some clothes grandma had, and her brother's boots.  Grandma keeps a drawer of clothes I wash and keep at my place for the kids - boys on one side and girls on the other.  I need to use them all the time!
Rose in her getup... skirt from a few years ago, sweatshirt from cousin Patrick, and boots that are her big brothers... hair back thanks to grandma.
This is about as close as the boys got...
The girls were right in there helping and touching the chickens and cleaning the chickens and pulling the pin feathers.  The girls worked hard!
Nancy with the tribe of little ones, and we told her that Bernadette watched every head cut off and told Ruth when they stopped kicking.  "No guts no glory" should be her title!
It was so interesting to see the different reaction of the kids toward this family project of putting up our food. 
Maria and her homeschool kids has helped butcher turkeys in the military, so they were not put off by this job.  It was just great to have all the help and to do this as a family!
Nancy would load up the cleaned and packaged chickens and put them away in the freezer.  Yes, that is the my kitchen sink from the remodel now on saw horses and used to wash the chickens before packaging them.  Ruth had it well figured out this year, and all felt that it went off wonderfully.  The weather was perfect and not a fly was in sight!  It was truly a most amazing day - butchering chickens on the Feast of St Peter and St Paul!  There was a special charm and grace felt by all!
How many does it take to put 2 chickens in the freezer?  Nancy with 5 little ones!  Notice the head high corn in the field next to us!
I think that Nancy had the hardest job of all with all those little ones to keep occupied!
The cleaning and packaging stations with lots of barrels on cold water all the way along.  "Keep them cool!" was the key!
David was one boy that helped lift chickens out for grandpa to clean.  Therese shows off one of the big roosters!
2 1/2 year old Luke is helping, too!  He gives those chickens a hug til they are ready to do the final cleaning and packaging!
Luke shows the other 2 grandsons around his age how to hold a chicken, but they think he is doing a good job without their help!

Interesting dynamics and a chicken.

Such a great feast day today for many in our family - Paul, Simon and also Luke Paul... so happy feast day Luke - you are probably having some of that wonderful chicken for lunch right about now to celebrate!  I am here with great-grandma in the peace and quiet... AHHHHHH!!!!

#SaintoftheDay St. Peter and St. Paul (1st c.) were the foremost Apostles of Jesus Christ; St. Peter was the leader of the Twelve, while St. Paul followed Christ after His ascension into heaven. Together the two saints are the founders of the Church in Rome through their apostolic preaching, ministry, and martyrdom in that city. They are the solid rock on which the foundation of the Church is buil...t, and they will forever remain her protectors and guides. To them Rome owes her true greatness, for it was under God's providential guidance that they transformed the capital of the Roman Empire into the center of the Christian world that would radiate the preaching of the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Both saints were martyred in close proximity to one another; Peter first, then Paul, though some traditions claim they were killed on the same day. St. Peter was crucified upside down and buried on the hill of the Vatican where St. Peter's Basilica now stands. St. Paul was beheaded on the via Ostia and buried where the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls now stands. St. Peter and St. Paul are the patron saints of Rome and they share a #feastday on June 29, a tradition going back to the earliest centuries of the Church. #MorningOffering
Simon was a good helper, too, but did not actually touch one.  He filled the freezers for us!
A big family day is the best!  The work seemed almost fun and easy!
Sweet Josephine gave us a chance to have some quiet snuggle time! 
Lush corn, a red head boy and a big black dog!
The two youngest grandsons by the fence.  Now the two youngest will be granddaughters!  So blessed!

Jesus, we thank you and praise you for this glorious day filled with family work, but shared with a cheerful attitude and lots of laughter and visiting and respectful helping each other... it is almost a fun day!  Now to enjoy the fruits of our labors with a feeding our huge and growing family!  It has been such a great week and we feel with the beautiful weather and our new home so large and welcoming all the grandkids and our 3 married daughters to come and enjoy The Farm LIFE!  It is so good and we are so filled with gratitude for this wonderful place to raise a family and now onto the second family on our farm!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
10 of the 13 at supper last night.  Getting a bit of a taste of what our parents went through at every meal - In my house 13 at a meal and in Pat's 12!  Pat's mom baked her own bread, too!
These two boys melt my heart!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
Patrick joins the boys by the fence.
Bernadette with her baby sister, Jo Jo.
Wrapping it up for this year, and it seems that it will be an annual affair.  The help will just be getting bigger and bigger!  Sharing Faith/Family/Farm on a glorious feast day of The Church makes for a great time had by all!
Such a wonderful man!
Another great Saint!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The loving moments fill our time thanks to our newest member, Josephine/Josie/Jo Jo Bean!

Our grandson, Patrick, is so enjoying some snuggle time on the couch with 6 week old Josie.  She is starting to look and smile and try to reach out for things.  Mostly she brings out the LOVE from all of us around her.  Therese is in love with her and never far away, as are the 3 that are around 4 years old.  Rose, Bernadette and Patrick love to sit and kiss and hold her from time to time.  Grandma cherishes the gentle calm and love she brings out of all of us in the midst of my 3 oldest girls along with their 13 kids on the farm all at once!
Big sister, Bernadette, along with her cousin, Patrick, sharing some quiet loving time with new little Jo Jo Bean!  Patrick will have a little sister in a couple months, too!  He is thinking that will be a good thing.

I have missed out on some of the craziness the last couple days.  Yesterday I spent the afternoon and evening with Pat's mom and today I picked up bales while the girls along with the kids went to our old swimming hole - Camden State Park.  Therese asked me if I taught the girls how to swim there.  "No they were taking swimming lessons and then we would go there to practice what they learned." 
Rose and Bernadette sleep together each night, and this morning Nancy laid little Josie by Rose to snuggle.  I must say that I appreciate the quieter times with all these kids.  It is very special each night to sit and pray with the two girls before they go to sleep.  Rose is 4 and Berna will be 4 in November, and they both know The Our Father, The Hail Mary, and the Glory Be, plus the guardian angel prayer.  They also sing with their sweet voices, Jesus loves me, when we are done with our petitions for their families.  Melt a grandma's heart and sends me off to my bed filled with love and joy!
Romeo pondering how much his adoring big sister, Therese, loves this baby girlie.  In a few months, Romeo, you will not be the baby any more and you will have a baby sister to love.

It is exciting to see the Matthew version of Jesus calming the storm today... so close to our anniversary on Father's Day 2009 when the Gospel was the version from Mark 4. 
The 3 oldest, who grew up in this home..."The downstairs is so different and then we go up stairs and see that it is all still the same just with 5 more kids in those rooms!"   I love to see them visiting and sharing.  I especially love how they share the same values and ideas and love for Jesus and His Bride, The Catholic Church!  Pat's wisdom through the Holy Spirit that we are called to be open to LIFE and raise LIGHTS for the world now to the next generation!  So amazing!
Did I mention that until Josie we had twice as many boys than girls?... now with 2 new granddaughters, the girls are trying to catch up!  Tractors are plentiful and popular as you can imagine.

I am loving the calm that comes around our little baby girl.  The kids know that they need to be gentle, loving and careful with her, and she seems to respond to their sweetness towards her.  She looks very hard and long at them and it seems that her mouth is turning into a smile more and more.  How I appreciate that in the midst of this storm called 8 boys and 5 girls and most of them are 8 and under.  Actually there are 7 under 4!  I have been amazed at how the kids are enjoying each other and getting along!
Talk about sweetness and peaceful moments...

Jesus how we love LIFE!  We protect it and cherish LIFE no matter the cost!  How my heart is sick with total disbelief at what happened with the supreme court yesterday and to see the cheering and excitement at the thought of more ease in taking the life of unborn babies!  How can this horrible sin and crime against LIFE come to be and how can all these women think that taking an innocent human life can be any kind of good or right?  Lord!  I am sick about the lies and deceit of Satan causing millions of little lives to be cut short so brutally and casually.  How can this be?  I do not recognize this world and how it has embraced the culture of death wholeheartedly.  Have I died and gone to hell?  I might think so if it weren't for my domestic Church/family and the Truth that The Church shares with the world.  May our small embracing of the Culture of LIFE change the world one person at a time.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
Maria stopped in to spend some time with her grandma Anna.  Life is a gift from conception to natural death.  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
They hadn't seen Great-grandma since Christmas...
It takes a lot of food to feed this bunch.  Watermelon is best eaten outside.  Ruth is awaiting her porch for her house, so she is using the firepit at night for meals much more than I have for years.  She loves her outside eating, and it sure helps with the mess!
Her new door to enter the house rather than the garage when the new porch is there in a few months.  Now you would fall out of the house.
It is really true that a new life is a calming force as she requires lots of holding and caring for her every need.  She responds to that Love for life!
Romeo and Therese watching grandpa working on the rake.
Romeo gets a ride and the clouds are so pretty!
The pot broke, but it sure seems to like being planted in a pail!
picking up bales
Onto the rack...
From one rack to the one behind me.
Rose and Patrick cleaning windows before going to swim.  The homily by Father Carola from the first mass of Garrett on Sunday.  You can read the whole amazing sermon if you would like.  Such a beautiful description of the priesthood!
A picture shared by Nancy - even Jo Jo got into the dress up!
"All the cousins are together on the farm for a week. You might think that at 6 weeks Josie is too young to be part of the fun, but you'd be wrong! She has been dressed up, carried around and loved loved loved! ‪#‎dosmallthingswithlove"
So true!
How our girls and their kids love their time on the farm together!
The Afters - Every good thing
Jeremy Camp - Same Power
Peter Mayer - Holy Now