Monday, April 21, 2008

I love my children, I love my church, I love my horses, I love the wide open sky.

(um, about that title?  Jethro says the meds are working.)

We took a quick 24 hour vacation at Grama's farm over the weekend.  There were horses to be brushed, a barn to be cleaned, and the most fun church service of the whole year...

The grade 6 to 8 kids did the church service!  The whole service, except for the song leading, was kid-run!  They had a slide show of their activities throughout the year, and I felt so good that despite our geographical distance from the church, our kids were included in a couple of those fun times.  This is such a great group of kids -- fun, creative personalities who include everybody.  (No surprise, I dig all their parents too.)

Each kid got a chance to say a little piece behind the pulpit, into the microphone.  I think the recording engineer's kids should have zero fear of a mic.  They each did a scripture reading and they did a great job.  

When I was a kid, my paternal grandfather was our pastor.  I learned early on how to read a scripture to the congregation.  (He was an amazing preacher too.  Really good at waking everybody up!)

I don't go out of my way to bible-thump my kids.  That's not how I was raised.  I think it should be lived, every day, rather than beaten into a kid.  I got dragged to church every Sunday, even if I spent the whole hour drawing pictures of ponies.  Eventually something started sinking in.  Then years later I brought my babies and sat at the back in case I needed to make a quick escape.  Now we sit right at the front.  I have no idea what's sinking in... but I do know that our church values our children.  I love that.  We value our youth and our elderly, and rightly so.  

I valued my daughter on Saturday by insisting that she come out and help me with the horses.  

It is finally spring.  I can tell, if not by the rapid green spreading everywhere, then from the tractor in the field and by the clouds of dirty horse hair.

We like to harrow the pasture once before letting the horses out to graze.  Dad's already fixed the fence, which took a real beating from the snow this winter.  We thought it would be neat to get the kids to drag the harrow with the 4 wheeler.  

...it didn't work.

We'll have to wait until the kids are big enough to drive the tractor.  Okay, that's a bit of a joke.  The Girl is taller than me now.  She was driving my dad's winter-beater van when they spent the long weekend with them!  I think their tractor driving lessons will happen on summer vacation.
But on that day, with no harrowing to do, they could only go goof off and blast around the pasture field for the pure fun of it.

Bucky kind of scares me sometimes.

 Nice brain bucket eh?  It was his 11th birthday gift last year!


I didn't even know what the heck these two were up to while I was busy grooming horses, and lungeing, and hoofpicking. I knew they were bombing around, playing.  I'd see flashes of child and then they were off again.

I remember that life!

They've been told their entire lives that someday we'll move out there, to the general area in which both their parents grew up, and where our relatives and some friends still live.  I don't know when someday will happen.  Honestly, as much as I want to get out of town and live in the wide open sky country, surrounded by tractors and big trucks and silos, the thought of leaving my town friends is heartbreaking.  

I'll invite them out for the weekend...


Olly said...

Your kids are going to have great memories of visiting the Grandparents farm even if they don't ever leave town. That quad looks like too much fun!

Heidi said...

What a great post! I love those photos... the memories will be with them forever. There are good things about living in the suburbs, and good things about country living. It looks like your kids get the best of both.

I'm with you on the church/religion thing. We do go to church every Sunday, but my kids look forward to it so I never see it as dragging them.

I don't rely on church, though, to teach them what it right and good, either. We do that everyday at home, in the dinner time conversations about the news that day, while watching TV, in the car on the way home from school. It's not a church thing: it's a life thing. I think that's the way it sticks the best.

Welcome back to the happy land of the living! It's good to see you cyber-smiling again!

Anita said...

Great pictures! Sounds like a fun time... :)

Heidi the Hick said...

You are all absolutely right- these kids will have such great memories! They do have the best of both worlds. They're so lucky that way, and they know it.

They don't complain about church. They say the hour-long service is boring. Well of course it is. But after that they get sunday school and that can be fun. It's true what you say, Heidi, that it's a life thing. Some of our best discussions on religion come up when we're listening to tunes!

We do have fun at the farm, but it's a lot of work too. Our horses are there, and it's only right that we help keep the place in shape. Personally I think work and fun can be the same thing.

Like, I just can't wait to get on the tractor and move the manure pile! It's one of my favourite jobs! Seriously!

dilling said...

i wanna an invite, too!!!!

billie said...

Glad you had such a great weekend and got to hang out with your horses!

coffeypot said...

Sounds like a great weekend, but that picture of brushing the horse, look at all that hair piled up around the horse. He must have looked like a wooly mammoth before y'all got started. :)