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The Best Laid Plans of Mice & Men

Wednesday nights are fun for us. We run errands and then head to church for fellowship dinner, Celebration Station (kid's choir), prayer meeting and Bible Study. After choir and Bible study the kids enjoy playing with their friends and I look forward to visiting with mine as well. The disadvantage of this is that we now live 45 minutes away and when we stay after, it makes for a late night. The kids are cranky when we get home and I don't get to bed until late. This then translates to difficult Thursday mornings. I am trying to find balance between staying late to have hang out time and still keeping some sort of order with our family schedule and routines. Like many Thursdays, yesterday started off a bit sleepily but after some Jesus time, I was reminded of my task of wife, mother and homemaker and felt very motivated. The sunshine was helpful too. :-)

I decided to get the kids involved in our Home Blessing Hour this week. I have been doing this (or attempting to, anyway) on my own. I introduced this to the kids and it was a VERY effective group effort. We rocked! It was fun! The kids enjoyed it and I felt excited about having it done. By 11:25 am, we had had breakfast, snack, floors swept, mopped, vacuumed, house dusted, floor picked up, counters and dressers cleared off, kitchen clean, and laundry going. It was great. The "plan" for the rest of the day was to mow (a LOT) before the storms came, then sit on a blanket on the front field and do school and have a snack picnic. Sounds blessed, huh?! Well, BEST LAID PLANS OF MICE AND MEN......that is where the day stopped running smoothly.

I tried to get Chandler down for a nap and since he wasn't interested the girls graciously agreed to play with him and stay inside until he fell asleep so that I could get started outside. I went to start the John Deere mower and it started right up, but a tire was completely flat and off the rim. I pulled out the air compressor to air up the tire. The nozzle is on the inside (the two front tires are on backwards) so it was difficult to see. Well, after a few minutes I realized that the cap was actually still on this tire hose. (No worries, with everything that happened later, that cap is now missing!) I unscrewed the cap and tried again to air the tire. It wasn't cooperating so I surrendered and used the jack to raise the mower in order to air the tire. Tire fully inflated, jack put away, compressor moved out of the way, I am ready to mow, except there is a problem......the blades won't turn on. GRRRRRRRRRR!!! I sit there a bit trying different tricks (it is a 20+ year old Deere with idiosyncrasies) and decide to try the craftsman mower that is only 5+ years old but more moody than the Deere. I start to pull it out and there is plastic, wire, fencing stuff all tangled around the front left tire. I finally get that cut and freed, pull out the mower, check it out and start mowing. After making my way to the other side of the yard the mower was struggling to move. I look down and my left rear tire is flat and off the rim. GRRRRRRRRR!!! I put it in neutral and push the mower back across the yard, go get the jack, air the tire, start mowing again and after two passes the blade belt breaks! I am finished with the Craftsman for the day. Oh man, seriously!? The storms are coming, it has been over a week since we were able to mow because of rain and I am trying to get this done. I say a prayer, "God, you know the weather. You know what man is predicting and I am trying to take care of this stuff. If I need to mow, let the Deere start." I put the craftsman away and go back to the Deere. The tire is flat again, this doesn't look good, so I used bubble solution to help the seal so it will hold air, air the tire again, and start the engine. Quick reminder prayer to God......flip the toggle switch to turn on the blades, hold my breath and VOILA! the blades rev up!! We are in business!!! Mowing, mowing, mowing.........making some progress (however, it is almost 2 pm now.

Meanwhile, my friend Sarah comes to visit and take pictures of the farm. The kids are playing, we are talking, it was great. We walk the pastures and she takes some amazing pictures (I will post some when I get them). We had a great couple of hours.

Jared gets home, replaces the craftsman's belt with the intent thathe and I are both going to tackle the mowing. Problem.......Deere's tire is flat again and we need a new tire. There is nowhere less than 20 minutes away to get a new one.....the Deere is done for the day. The belt is replaced on the craftsman but then there is a clasp (there is a name for it that I forget, but it kinda looks like a bobby pin) that is missing. It was RIGHT there and now.....nowhere! Another 15 minutes pass as we look for it and Jared is able to dig one out of his various tool stash. AHHHHHH, now back to mowing, it is now almost 6 pm. I get on the mower while Jared heads in to shower and hang with the kids. By 8 pm I finish almost all of what I had intended to mow, we eat spaghetti and by 9:45 send the kids to bed. :-)

I am BEAT! So much for the picnic, so much for the glorious time on a blanket in the grass finishing school work, so much for having dinner ready at a decent time, and so much for the "perfect" productive farm day.......But, does that REALLY exist? I tend to think NOT! We are all safe, the grass is mowed (well, not all of it but some....) and we can hunker down for the storms.

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