Christmas reminds me of all I have to be thankful for, especially the birth of Jesus!
This year, at the Nelson Farm, excitement seems to be higher than usual.
It’s been a crazy year with some serious losses, like my father passing away in May. We also lost a dear friend and another family member. While it’s tough, sometimes overwhelming, I’m trying to remember the good times we shared and not let the shadow of grief rule the season.
There were some less serious losses too. My appendix is off to wherever thrown out organs end up. I can no longer say I have all my original parts, but after that pain, I’m okay with the goodbye.
I did not lose any pounds, so, oh well.
There were also some gains. I’m not really talking about my weight here, but yes, it does fit, unlike some of my clothes.
Two sweet kiddos joined the Nelson Clan. While this addition was unexpected, it has been a surprise blessing. For now, we don’t know how long we’ll have this honor, but we’re thanking God day by day.
With kids come goats? We’d been talking about getting a goat for a year or so, but when a sweet seven-year old gets so excited about the possibility, suddenly you can find yourself with three goats. They’re cute little Pygmy goats who are impossible to keep contained. Their favorite hobby seems to be escaping their pen and eating the steer’s food. He doesn’t act as though he minds.
And, of course, I was blessed to add a new book in 2018! Swimming in the Deep End released in September and has been given wonderful reviews. Thank you so much to all my readers and reviewers. You have been a wonderful encouragement this year.
As usual, the Nelson Farm is full of craziness and fun. I don’t imagine we’ll see a lot of boring this coming year either, and that’s just fine with me. We’re looking forward to the adventures 2019 will bring.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
When my four kids were little, I loved making their rooms special. I spent hours painting clouds, Pooh Bear and Piglet, and stars. There was never time or energy to make my own space mine. Seriously, our bedroom still has a fifteen-year old swirly mural near the bed, courtesy of our oldest daughter.
My younger son is engaged! Not only do we have a wonderful new daughter-to-be, but the downstairs room is officially mine. With the kid committed to independence, I took on the task of making his room my office.
Here’s a little look at the before:
The walls and ceiling are covered in glow-in-the-dark stars, but I’m not dedicated enough to try and document that.
It’s been a little sad to strip off the wall paper, another reminders that my boys are now grown men. And the process hasn’t been without some hiccups, but it’s coming together, and I hope to be showing you the after pictures very soon.
Here are a couple pictures of what went wrong. I didn’t mean for the wall to look like it had tar oozing out of it.
This was the first attempt with the chalkboard paint. I have no idea what happened here. I came back about an hour after applying the first coat, and it seemed to have melted off the wall. UGH!
I applied texture to a couple walls. This was the first one. It doesn’t look anything like the example on the can. Turns out, it’s very important to warm the can before spraying the wall. Now I know!
There was also a try with magnetic paint primer. It’s supposed to make the wall attractive to magnets. Turns out, my magnets were only slightly interested in the wall even after multiple coats. I guess they’re committed to the refrigerator.
Bonus material because I’m a bit addicted to SnapChat filters:
My husband loved his little aluminum boat. I couldn’t stand the thing. He thought the three times we used it each year were worth the countless hours of motor-repair and the licensing struggles. For me, it was a headache.
A few years ago we had ice. It hung from the branches and froze the pipes. And it went on for many days. A couple years later we saw the long-term consequences. Trees started splitting and falling over. Let me just say, we are in no need of extra firewood.
In front of our house stands the most majestic oak tree. The thing is huge! I walked by the trunk one day and noticed a split going straight down. This is the tree that shades our home. It’s where our kids reluctantly took turns with the swing. I love this tree.
My husband did the only thing he could do to try and save it…and our cars. He cut away many of the heavy branches and moved anything that was important, aka his boat, to the safe side. The split seemed to close up, and we thought all was well.
Then one night, around ten, we heard pops and snaps followed by a crash. We rushed out of the house to find a giant limb, one we thought was fine, had broken free of the tree and landed on the boat.
Now, I could tell you that I was a good wife that night. I could say that I patted my husband on the back and told him we’d get another boat. But I’m not here to mislead you about who I am. I laughed. Not a little hidden giggle; I really busted up.
It’s not that I didn’t feel bad. I really did. It’s just that we were in one of those seasons of life where everything seemed to go wrong. You know what I’m talking about. If it could break, it did. Everywhere we turned there was more bad news. At the moment the tree hit the boat, I think my frustration broke too. Here we were, standing in the dark, shining a flashlight beam onto a smashed boat. A boat that was moved to a “safe” location, and still, this happened. It was utterly ridiculous.
That boat still makes me laugh. I didn’t let the disaster go to waste. With a few holes knocked into the bottom, a layer of rock, and a bunch of soil, the boat became a garden. For the first time in years, we are able to grow carrots without the moles eating them before we could harvest.
Now, I love the boat. My husband, he’s not a huge fan, but he loves me, so he helped with the project.
When I look out my window and see the boat brimming with produce, I’m reminded how great things can be born out of trials.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. ~ 1Peter 5:10
It’s a time of change here on the Nelson farm. Not only are the leaves beginning to turn shades of yellow, the fruit ripening, the tomatoes bright red in the garden, but our lives are twisting and contorting into the next phase too.
I’m not that kind of gal who ends August with the longing for pumpkin lattes and winter sweaters. I like summer. All the time…Summer. Spring is good too, but fall, that means change. I’m not a fan.
This is the year we’ve known would arrive, but kind of pushed aside as a someday occurrence. Our oldest child is preparing to move out. He’s taking on the world and forming his own identity and life.
And he’s ready.
I have no doubt that this is a good and positive thing for him. It’s a necessary step in becoming the man God designed him to be. This is the time where he takes responsibility for the choices that will shape his future.
We’re proud…and a bit reluctant.
Reluctant to let go of the little boy we love so dearly. And reluctant to share the young man we’ve come to really enjoy. What a cruel twist. You raise your kids through all the spills and scrape of childhood and the crazy mood swings of adolescence, then they leave right when you see the fruits of all your parenting.
But that’s how it’s designed. And I trust that this too is good. I’m so thankful for all the years we’ve had under the same roof. There will be more family memories to treasure. More trips. More adventures. And of course, there will always be a room waiting if he wants to come home.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;”