All in a days work…

I have grown up knowing what hard work is.  While I hated working on the farm when I was younger; I learned the reward of working hard.  The pride that comes from seeing a job completed.  The sweat that comes from working on hot summer days.  The feeling of accomplishment seeing something evolve from nothing.

The beginning of the hard work.  All these trusses have to be lifted onto the framed walls.  Lots of help is needed with this...

The beginning of the hard work. All these trusses have to be lifted onto the framed walls. Lots of help is needed with this…

My children were able to experience this same reward over a weekend of adding onto our tiny lake house.  We had outgrown our small lake house years ago.  When we built the lake house over 10 years ago, our intention was to add on while the children were still small.  That never happened.  Life seemed to get in the way and finances didn’t seem to allow that luxury.  So we continued to cram into the small 750 square foot house.  It didn’t seem so hard when the children were small, but with preteen/teenage kids and 2 dogs, and often guests, it seemed more challenging over the years.

Monkeying around after a hard days work.

Monkeying around after a hard days work.

It was exciting to see the involvement of my children in the building phase.  They were able to learn new skills, to use new tools, to work hard and sweat on a hot summer day.  They were able to take instruction and help build things with their own hands.  To take piles of lumber and watch it being transformed into a building.

Watch out!  He's learning how to use the nail gun!

Watch out! He’s learning how to use the nail gun!

I loved watching my father-in-law teach my daughter how to measure the correct spacing for the studs to go into the walls.  It was neat to see my sons use the nail gun and feel the power it brings.

One generation of knowledge being passed to another...

One generation of knowledge being passed to another…

I enjoyed watching our family work together to accomplish our goal.  And most importantly, I loved watching the ownership they have of the new space.  They helped make it and it has become more important to them because they were a part of it.

 

Getting closer to being finished for the day!

Getting closer to being finished for the day!

They were able to experience the splinters, the sweat rolling down their faces and the sawdust sticking to their arms.  The unity that they experienced working with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins on a shared project. They knew what it felt like at the end of the day to be tired and exhausted but also to look out and see the building take shape. To feel the pride that comes with working hard.

 

 

Taking a much needed break...

Taking a much needed break…

The thing that most importantly stands out to me is that when you work together, you are building more than just the project that you are working on;  You are building character, strength and integrity along with it.  The building is just a representation of those character strengths that are being formed during the process.  And that,my friend, is all in a days work.

 

Climbing is so much fun for them!

This little baby came in sooo handy!  I could write an advertisement on how much I liked this saw & stand!

This little baby came in sooo handy! I could write an advertisement on how much I liked this saw & stand!

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Farm Girl at heart…

Farm girl at heart…

 

 

I was raised as a farm girl and there will always be a bit of a farm girl that lives in me.  I love what the farm life taught me.  It was a simpler time; life was easier and the pace was slower.  We worked hard on the farm and with a dad that had 4 daughters and no sons, we were expected to help at an early age.

 

Here are a few reflections of the simpler life that I miss:

  • Eating each meal around the family table.  This is where life happened and where we connected each day
  • Hanging clothes on the line and the clean fresh smell they had (except when the wind was from the west, than it was not so good… we lived on a hog farm.  You can imagine the alternative smell.  😦
  • Riding your bicycle on country roads and being gone for hours.  Yes, hours!!!  And we were safe!!
  • Growing and canning/freezing ALL your fruits and vegetables.  I appreciate this much more as an adult; not so much as a kid that had to help.
  • Saving plastic bags.  ALL plastic bags.  Why buy Ziplock when you can recycle bread and hamburger bags?
  • Washing your hair every Saturday night before you went to church on Sunday morning.
  • Making homemade cookies and cakes.  To this day, my mother has never bought store bought cookies or cakes.  I never had a store bought birthday cake until I got married.
  • Homemade pizza.  Again, it was ALWAYS homemade.
  • Knowing without a doubt that on Sunday morning and night you would always be in church.
  • Life revolving around the parents and not us children.
  • Only 5 channels on the TV and it was only reserved for a few shows.  Instead of watching TV, we were so creative and adventurous in our play.
  • Clothes that my  mother made by hand; I don’t know how she found the time!
  • Dressing up when we went out to eat; it was considered a “special” occasion.
  • Fresh eggs that we gathered every day
  • Feeling safe and secure each day knowing that all was well in my little world.

I have such good memories of my childhood.  Memories of being loved and being a part of something bigger than me.  Sadly, many of these memories have not been passed down to my children.  I buy store bought pizza more often than home made, hanging up laundry on the line is much more time consuming than what I want to spend doing it, and  I would never let my children be gone for hours at a time without knowing where they were or what they were doing.  While the times may have changed and not all the things may be the same, the one thing that remains is the the love and security that our home provides.  And out of all those memories, that is the one that seems to be the most important.

So take a moment and enjoy the simpler things of life!

 

By the way…

The above necklace is a favorite of mine and can be purchased from Beki at The Rusted Chain which you can find at http://www.therustedchain.com