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Saturday, March 28, 2009


Contentment is truly one of God's best blessings. Like many of God's gifts, the hardest part is learning how to open it. It has a lot to do with trusting that God has your best interest in mind, and that your circumstances are exactly perfect. No need to obsess about improving your lot in life, just rest assured God will continue to provide your every need. I am truly thankful that through the Holy Spirit's gentle urging, Joe and I have learned to be content.
All that to say, I have been finding that the more areas of my life that I entrust to God, the more content and peace-filled I become. I will elaborate more on that in a later post.
And now for the point of this post. I had an amazingly peace-filled moment yesterday. God's presence in my life was so tangible and my heart just overflowed with His goodness. What was I doing, you may ask? Walking in the woods, meditating on His mercies? Reading my Bible quietly at my kitchen table? Praying in the quiet sanctuary of my bedroom? Nope. I was walking out to the mailbox with a chubby and sticky little hand in each of mine. I mention the stickiness to make it clear that this was by no means an idyllic scene. Brilyn was wearing dirty red size 3T (too small by about 4 inches) sweat pants with candy canes appliqued on them OVER her PJ's, complete with purple snow boots with no socks. Cade was wearing a mismatched outfit because of a diaper explosion earlier in the day that had obliterated his pants that matched the shirt he was wearing. Both their hands were sticky from eating some fresh sourdough cinnamon buns earlier, and then coated with a fresh layer of dirt (or was it chicken poop on Cade's hands?). And me? I was looking hot in a Winnie the Pooh sweatshirt, jeans, glasses, and workboots. I can't even think of a way to describe the atrocity of my hair.
I think sometimes that when people talk about contentment, they paint a rosy picture of clean kids, clean house, attractive mom, etc. (There is nothing wrong with any of those things, and they are good to work toward.) But I think that gives us the idea that we will only experience contentment when we have our ducks in a row. Paul talks about learning to be content in WHATEVER state he is in. That means in the sitcky hand state. And the weird outfit state. And the too-tired-to-put-my-contacts-in state. I think that is a stumbling block for some moms to feel content and fulfilled in their vocation (root word Latin 'vocare', or "call") as a fulltime wife and mother. If we are not keeing a picturesque home with adorable smart children with size 6 jeans and a cute haircut, we are not 'doing it right.' So we don't feel a sense of accomplishment the way we did when we worked outside of the home. I believe that is why some women "have to go back to work." Not for the money per se, but for the feeling of respectability, productivity, and accomplishment.
I'd like the point of this post to be, find contentment and joy in the small pleasures of holding chubby hands while walking to the mailbox, despite the fact that nobody would want to take your picture for a parenting magazine. God himself thinks that walk to the mailbox is worth joining you. That's right, God thinks your job as mom is so cool, he makes time to walk to the mailbox with you. And wash hands with you. And wipe baby booties with you. Think that is stretching it a bit? Think back to the story of Jesus washing his disciples' feet. That's pretty much grosser than wiping a toddler's heiny. (Stinky dirty man-feet are worse in my opinion.) Anyway. Each of our tasks, no matter how menial, can be done to the glory of God if only we remember that He is right there with us. You can find contentment in those tasks if you take the time invite God to come with you. And then? You find that you are right where God wants you. In your home. With your children. And you will find peace under the couch with the Cheerios. And contentment on your trip to the mailbox.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Who loves chocolate syrup? I do! I do!

Yeah. So I've been wanting me some chocolate milk. And I don't have any Hershey's. Why? Because it's got like 5 different forms of corn syrup in it, that's why. But I still want chocolate milk. And by want, I mean, give it to me now or I'm going to d.i.e.
So, I decided to make my own chocolate syrup. Corn syrup free, special dark syrup.
And? It's super easy. If anyone reading this ever buys Hershey's again, well, then I'll have to consider you s.t.u.p.i.d. Because, this recipe? Is easy. And cheap. And doesn't take very long. And doesn't contain the corn syrup. And is the most wonderfully delicious syrup you'll ever eat by the spoonful taste.
In a deep saucepan (it bubbles and grows while cooking) mix together 1 C cocoa powder 1 1/2 C sugar, and 1/4 t salt. Add 3/4 C water and stir that in till smooth. Then, turn your burner on medium and stir like crazy when it starts to boil. Boil for a while, till it seems like it will be thick when it cools down. (yeah, pretty much guess). Add a tablespoon of vanilla when it cools down.
Store it in the fridge, probably for a long time since it is made of things that don't really spoil.

Yummy yummy.


PS Watch this video.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I got me an Ergo

I spent money today, and since that is so extremely rare, I thought I would share my excitement about my purchase.


And, Hanna, my dear sweet partner in cream, and also my friend, let me borrow her Ergo one day when Cade asked for a ride. Cade is very persuasive.

So, today, I bought one. A NEW one. Because it doesn't pay to buy them used, they are like Corolla's. They don't depreciate much. Because they're good, that's why. And they last a long time. So.

And I got some new diaper inserts. And I asked specifically for two of each: female snaps, male snaps. Because last time, they sent me like 30 male snaps and 6 female snaps. That means I can only make 6 snapped pairs. And I like to snap them. So.

And, I bought vitamins today, but that is not as interesting. But, it does mean that I spent a lot of money in total today. Because, I bought vitamins for the rest of the year (yes, 2009), and diaper inserts and an Ergo, which is not cheap. But COOL AS HECK. Yep.

And, I bought the Ergo and diaper inserts at Cotton Babies. And they are nice there. And the Ergo was cheaper there than at the Ergo official online store.

One more thing- when I ordered, I used my already existing account and my address was my LeRoy address. Which means I haven't spent any money since 2006. That's pretty good, eh?

(And by 'spent money,' I really mean just very much at a time, on something specifically for my use- mostly).



Saturday, March 14, 2009

Do it NOW!

From :


In January, the USDA proposed a rule to require farms and other properties where animals are raised to be registered in the federal NAIS database for existing federal disease control programs. The rule also sets the stage for future mandatory animal identification. If you haven't already submitted comments on this proposed rule, please be sure to do so before March 16! An easy way to comment online is through the Organic Consumers Association's automated system, at

SUBMIT COMMENTS TO THE USDA BEFORE MARCH 16The USDA has proposed a rule to require all farms and ranches where animals are raised to be registered in a federal database under the NAIS for existing disease control programs. The draft rule covers programs for cattle, goats, sheep, and swine. It also sets the stage for mandatory NAIS animal identification in the future. It is CRITICAL that the USDA and Congress hear from the hundreds of thousands of people who will be adversely affected by the NAIS program. This includes not only animal owners, but also consumers who care about local and sustainable foods, taxpayers who object to wasteful government programs, and advocates for a safer food system. TAKE ACTION: Submit comments to USDA online or by mail. The comments must be received by USDA by Monday, March 16, 2009. You can submit comments online at the USDA's official site:

Please be sure to personalize the letter! It can be as easy as a couple of sentences at the beginning stating who you are (for example, a farmer, consumer, property rights proponent) and why you care about NAIS. "

So, here's what I did.
I wrote my letter:

Dear soandso,
I am writing concerning the USDA proposal of a rule to require farms and other properties where animals are raised to be registered in the federal NAIS database for existing federal disease control programs. As the owner of a small farm with 10 chickens and 1 Jersey cow, I am concerned that this law would infringe on my rights. I am also concerned as a consumer. I prefer to buy locally and from small scale, sustainable farms. I am concerned that this type of law would interfere with my ability to do so. Thank you for your consideration of my perspective in this matter.
~Jocelyn Rebisz

Please go to the USDA,!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?edeployment_action=changenav&navid=FEEDBACK_FORM
and email the secretary of agriculture.

Write to Gillibrand,
And to Schumer,


So I made really really easy for you. So do it. Really. If you care about this even a little, do it. For more info:


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A bit of fun on this Wednesday morning

"Take a picture of this, mom."
My practically famous mozzarella.
Hanna tagged me on Facebook to have my kids answer these questions.
Brilyn odds, Cade evens:
1. What is something mom always says to you? Be patient.
2. What makes mom happy? Daddy.
3. What makes mom sad? When you hurt something, you cry.
4. How does your mom make you laugh? Daddy.
5. What was your mom like as a child? A donkey.
6. How old is your mom? Eleven.
7. How tall is your mom? This big (holds hands about 12 inches apart).
8. What is her favorite thing to do? Cheese.
9. What does your mom do when you're not around? Type on the computer.
10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? Daddy.
11. What is your mom really good at? Playing games.
12. What is your mom not very good at? "docky" (Brilyn says that means hockey).
13. What does your mom do for a job? Wash dishes.
14. What is your mom's favorite food? "Beyato, eat eat" Anyone wish to interpret that one?
15. What makes you proud of your mom? When you go out to milk, you have to look both ways to make sure the light's on.
16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? Mousie.
17. What do you and your mom do together? Play games.
18. How are you and your mom the same? "Jour hubby-up." (Brilyn adds, your hair is the same, too. Apparently, she knows what Cade meant by jour hubby-up).
19. How are you and your mom different? Because we don't have the same hair, and I have darker hair and you have lighter hair.
20. How do you know your mom loves you? "Oooh deek shan." (Any takers?)
21. What does your mom like most about your dad? When he goes to work and looks both ways at a red or a green light, and he go left or straight or that way.
22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go? Milk cow.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Happy March.
So Here's a story for ya. And, it's gotta be quick because I want to make ice cream. So.

Ah, let's was 3:30 Wednesday morning. Joe, who was awake from severe abdominal pain, heard a car pull into our driveway. He figured they must be turning around. About 5 minutes later, our phone rings. He runs downstairs to answer it, and there is car sitting in our driveway with the lights on. So Joe runs back upstairs to tell me (really, to put pants on) and then goes back downstairs, where someone is knocking on our door. It's a Genesee County Sheriff guy.

"Do you guys have a cow?" (Shines huge flashlight over near the barn.) "Is that it right there?"

Turns out that this poor deputy sheriff had been tracking our cow all over the county for about four hours. Or, at least, he had gotten a few reports of a cow spotted near our home. Yeah, Clara's Big Adventure. Good times, good times. We keep finding cow pies in the strangest places. "She went over here, too? Really?"
How many times can a cow poop in a few short midnight hours? The answer is a lot a lot.

That's my story. And now, for a commercial I keep hearing about from people who watch TV. They say, hey, there's a little girl on TV who reminds me of Brilyn. So I went to youtube to watch the commercial. And so, now, you can too.


About Me

About Me
I love Jesus, my hubby, my 6 kiddos, my farm, good books and good food.