Granny’s Lullaby

Their eyes are locked in love’s eternal gaze,
As they gently sway to the words of phrase.
Her voice is scratchy due to age,
The meaning is an eternal truth.

Simple words, simple tune
Locked in time past now brought to the present.
Many years have past since she sang the tune,
As she gently swayed her little ones to sleep.

Once again, the memories flow of time past,
And of the love that lasts.
The love of mother to child sealed,
with the love of Jesus within a tune.

Now a new little one hears the words of love,
Sung from her heart like in ages past.
The words roll forth and then repeat;

Beautiful, Beautiful.
Jesus is beautiful.
Jesus makes beautiful things of my life.
Carefully touching me
Causing my eyes to see.
Jesus makes beautiful things of my life.

The gently sway of motion in time with words sung,
The baby falls asleep listening to Granny’s lullaby.



Progress – First Month

April 10, I went and picked up my three grandchildren: Mr. A. a three year old, Mr. M a two year old, and Ms. L a ten month old infant. All three wear diapers, are very vocal, but not verbal. They were upset, unsure, afraid and angry. They did not know what was happening to their world, and a strange person was taking them to someplace they were not sure they knew.

I was not ready for three small children. The spare room was full of items we were storing while working on remodeling the master bedroom and bath. The morning we arrived to Granny’s Farm, we all slept in my bed, crowded but everyone slept, but Granny. The crib was in the storage shed. The house was not childproofed, there were dangerous things at ground level little hands could reach. No high chair for an infant, or safe play area for her to play while taking care of brothers or cooking a meal.

The two oldest children were angry, especially Mr. M. My son told me that they were having problems with Mr. M being angry all the time. Well, considering the mental state of their mother, and what the children must have been experiencing before she tried to commit suicide with them in the car. I could understand the anger.

Mr. M would get angry, lay on the floor screaming and kicking his feet. Or he might run to a room, close the door and start hitting himself with a toy or biting himself on the arm or hand. How does a person handle such anger? I simply picked him up and hugged him close. Not saying a word, just snuggling with him until his screams stopped and he snuggled down quietly.

Mr. A was the opposite. I would call his name, and he would hide under tables, chairs and behind curtains. He wanted to disappear and not be found.

The baby, Ms. L, seamed to enjoy the time she was with me and family. Her play area was made in the center of the living room, the place where we gathered to talk, play and watch television.

Everyone ate at the dinning room table. Meals times are on a set schedule, with everyone at the table including Ms. L in her highchair. Snack times are the same, everyone goes to the table and we eat together.

There is outdoor time of playing in the yards. One in front, after I removed all the things that could hurt a child. And one in the back after I hired some help, and they put up sheep panels around to prevent them from going to the pens of the horses and sheep and getting hurt. Two safe areas of play to explore outside everyday.

Twice a day they go out for chores. Yes, doing chores takes twice as long as little legs do not make large steps as I do. But they enjoy the animals. Running with the puppies when they are let out each morning for all day. And petting the adult dogs when they are let out each evening. Seeing the sheep and petting the muzzles of the horses. Ms. L goes along to as I purchased a stroller wagon. She is able to sit, strapped in, and be pushed along the way to meet the animals and watch the excitement of puppies, with a short visit from them.

The anger has gone away. Mr. M loves the animals and has learned that even though things are different, and he is told “No”, this is not a bad place to be. His waking screaming in the night has stopped, he sleeps through the night, resting from a busy day.

Mr. A is no longer hiding under the table or behind a curtain, he is on the couch to watch the movie, a constant shadow and helper when it is chore time. Laughing hard as he runs with the puppies. He smiles as he loves on our large male Livestock Guard Dog, Bruno. Bruno and Mr. A see each other eye to eye. Bruno and Mr. A, walk around with Mr. A’s hand on Bruno’s shoulder checking out the yard to make sure it is safe for the sheep before the sheep are turned out to graze.

They have learned not to enter the pens unless an adult is with them. There are places and equipment they can not climb on. Not because we do not want them there, but because they understand we do not want them hurt.

Mealtimes are fun times. Each meal starts with pray. The food was very different from what they were used to as Granny cooks differently than their mom. They understand the rule of one bite of everything is required. And there are always seconds and thirds of the things you like. A few times each week, there is dessert that Granny has made, “Yum Yum” as they say. Learning to say words and laughing at Papaw’s words. We take our time to eat, there is no rush. We eat, talk and laugh.

There is more smiles than sadness or tears. We have learned fighting is not allowed, as Granny takes the toys away and they have to sit in chairs. Instead we learn the words “share” and “take turns” to get along during the day.

No more fighting to not go to bed. The run to the bedroom, sometimes they just walk as they are too tired to run. Granny places their toy, special blanket from home, give hugs and kisses, then tucks them into bed with the words, “I love you, sleep well”. Papaw takes his turn with hugs and kisses and “I love you.” They know in the morning Granny will be there to hug them, kiss them, get them breakfast and have a fun day of laughs and giggles. Learning new things, new words and exploring what is around them.

We are family.


Mother’s Day 2023 Musings

Yesterday we went to visit my daughter with the triplets and six year old daughter and husband’s home for a Mother’s Day dinner. There is a lot of planning in taking three small children to a different place for a few hours. Diapers, bottles, baby food, change of clothes as the oldest is working on toilet training. Loading them into the vehicle with three car seats. Stopping half way for the older one who is toilet training to visit the restroom.

After arriving, the boys, Mr. M and Mr. A, were shy and very clinging. I am thinking they were afraid they were going to be left there. Also, seeing three little babies in high chairs being fed their meal, and another child about their age running around, was a shock. The boys acted like typical toddlers going into a strange place. Ms. L, who is eleven months old, was excited to have babies to socialize with. She enjoyed babbling to and spending time on the floor with the triplets who are three months younger.

The adult conversation revolved around children. Diaper sizes – who is wearing what size of diaper. The different thermometers and which works best, diaper rash ointments, lotions, shampoo, and soaps. How the children – Mr. A, Mr. M and Ms. L are adapting. The different methods of discipline, or dealing with anger among small children. Teaching to talk, share and take turns. Age milestones and methods to help the small ones achieve their milestones or catch up. Fun time in the yard climbing up slides or swinging on swings, trying to the older children from accidently hurting the other.

When dinner time arrived, after feeding the four infants, it was what do they eat, how much and food allergies. Mr. M is lactose intolerant. The discussion was not about recipes or how our looking for a place to purchase closer to where my daughter and family live.

The conversations between my daughters and myself have changed since I started caring for and raising my three grandchildren. The conversations are me asking questions on what products are available today for the care of children. Safe sleeping for children based on age. Their opinions on toys for early learning.

Finally today, on driving back from the grocery store, I realized I am once again a “Mom”. Not just their Granny, but the one who feeds them, bathes them, makes a home safe for them to live in, and meets their daily needs emotionally, mentally and physically and well as spiritually. I am being a full-time “Mom” to three of my grandchildren.

When will my daughter-in-law be mentally well to care for her children? Years down the road. How many years? Considering she has panic attacks cleaning the house, overwhelmed by what needs to be done. Or is so depressed she is unable to do anything. Unable to go to a store by herself. A lot of years will pass before if ever she is able to handle caring for her children.

Meanwhile, I will do the work, give the love and support to my grandchildren as if they were my children.


Stormy Night

The rain steadily drops to the ground. Thunder roars in the darkness of a black night, only lit by the answering lightening. A storm raging outside, just like the storm within. Trying hard to love, yet there is anger due to the sin of another. To take the life of self is forbidden, yet forgiveness is to be given. The life craves grace and kindness, the sin of another brings anger from within. Angry words desire to roar as thunder across a midnight sky. Flashes of light brings glimpse of truth, shows the struggle is not in vain.
What right, what purpose to take the life of self in front of the life that was brought forth as a blessing. Just as the thunder roars, the anger roars within. The light is short and bright to show the effects of the rain and the storm. The light brings forth the sadness of tears flowing for what might have been a loss of several lives.
As this midnight storm will pass, the thunder quiet in the darkness and lightening cease to be seen so will the storm within subside, giving way to quiet peace. The morning sun will show the blessings of the storm. The grass will reach upward. Majestic trees will stretch with the coming of the light of day. Storms bring the rain, the water from above to wash the grime of daily struggle bringing a breeze of freshness to the air.
Struggle weighs down a heart, brings weariness to all parts. The storm stirs all things, bringing life to the surface and focus to the Son. Fear not the storm or the roaring thunder, look sharp for the brilliant truth light. Flow with the life-giving streams and soak in the lesson to be learned. For storms are needed to spur the growth within.
So, the storm within will subside to the quiet peace that is striven towards. The blessings brought will give life as the struggle to reach upwards towards the Son. Stretching like the majestic trees praise will be heard. The grime of sin will be washed away bringing breath of life and promise to a new day.


Still a Sheep Farmer.

Some may wonder why my husband and I went to the sheep show and sale when a few days before we received three small grandchildren to care for. The stress of trying to get things done between diaper changes (all three are in diapers), feeding and caring for the children was enormous. Yet, it all had to be done.

Being a sheep farmer or in an agriculture business is not like other occupations. There is no emergency time off, as the sheep need fed. The sheep show and sale is a major influx of cash flow to the sheep farm. To miss the sheep show and sale is to cut 1/3 of our income from the sheep.

As a sheep farmer, I am doing something I enjoy, and raising sheep for an income. I had spent a year sorting through and selecting the sheep I would sale. Feeding and conditioning the rams for this show and sale. I had two rams I was feeding and working with for this show. When I clipped both of them, I noticed one ram was not ready for the show. The ram was a little light weight for this show date. The ram stayed home.

In order to show two rams, I had to show three ewes. I carefully selected three ewes. One ewe I had purchased at this same show/sale last year. One of the requirements is the sheep have to be guaranteed to produce lambs. This ewe had already produced a lamb and was pregnant again. The other two ewes were less than a year old, and I was going to keep them, but we needed the income we hoped to obtain from the show/sale. The ewe lambed on Easter morning, the Sunday before the show on Friday, and sale on Saturday.

Showing sheep is work. Work in prepping them for the show, clipping and bathing. Work in teaching them to lead and stand for judging months before the show date. Exercising the sheep daily to get muscle definition and condition on the sheep.

The Monday before the show, I was driving down the highway, wondering how I was going to care for three small children and show the sheep. I had to have a system or plan to get everything done. Driving for ten hours, gives a person time to think about a plan.

We did the sheep show, not all according to my plan. I had to make a decision, have my husband take care of and show the sheep and I care for three small children. I walked a lot of miles in a small area, hoping to see some of my sheep show while trying to keep children busy and not screaming. I was unable to see any of my sheep show. I only saw one sheep sale. We came home after the sale, very exhausted. On the drive home, I was thinking how am I going to care for my sheep and the children. I had to come up with a plan and schedule.

Along with a plan and schedule for the children and sheep, I had to figure out where to put children, their clothes and other items they needed. My house was no way “child proof”.

The schedule was made and over a week adjusted to get the care of children and sheep done each day. With little bits of time between caring for children, I have been “child proofing” my home, goal is to have all the “child proofing” done before the baby starts walking. I am close to reaching this goal, and the baby is close to walking on her own.

In the evenings, when my husband is home to help keep an eye on two very active toddlers, I spend time working on the projects I need completed for the sheep farm. The toddlers help do chores, although their help is more following us where we are going and not straying too far. Evening chores take longer as their little legs do not take the big steps we do while walking. Our pace is slow and steady to get the job done.

They take turns riding with me on the small tractor cleaning out sheds and moving dirt. There are times I have to remind them not to move the lever or push on a pedal. They do enjoy steering, while I keep a firm hand on the wheel. As they grow and learn, they will be able to do more, and be a real help.

I am still a sheep farmer. I can not turn off a light and have all the sheep stay where they are until I have time to turn the light back on and continue where I left off. I will work slow and steady to get the jobs done. As they get bigger and understand about the farm, they will be able to help more. Perhaps one day, one of them will be a sheep farmer as well.