Instagram Feed

Since most of my updating is done via Instagram these days I thought I'd add a section that links to my feed. Click on any of the pictures to get an enlarged version. I hope you enjoy the pics:

Monday, December 31, 2012

My New Old Pickup

When I was in high school we lived out in the country about 7 miles from school. In the winter, the roads weren't the best and I would often drive my dad's pick up to school loaded with a hay bale or cattle rack (often with manure from the calves plastered to the side as well). With the frequency in which I drove it, it soon became known to my friends as 'The Orange Hay Beast'.

The Orange Hay Beast is actually a "red" 1968 Chevy C10 with original wood box flooring and a camper bracket to beef up the weight bearing back end.

With my memories and my Dad's hope of restoration, the Farmer and I brought the pick up to Kansas in hopes of some day having a parade pickup.

Funny thing is, my cousin Isaac brought us the pick up...towing it behind a restored FORD! Lol. Also, it was snowing like crazy the day he arrived. But we got it off the trailer and into the shed for now.

I'll keep you posted as we make progress with the truck.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2012 Christmas Letter

2012 – A year not easily forgotten. A year of tragedy. A year of drawing closer to God.

As many of you may already know, this year was full with the expectation of Sarah Grace’s arrival in late August.  Abigail was thrilled to be having a little sister and Marion and I felt extremely blessed to be expecting another baby.  Unfortunately, it was not in the Lord’s will for Sarah Grace to come home from the hospital with us.  Sarah was born on September 8th (two weeks past her due date) and went to be with Jesus on September 12th.  A few weeks later, Marion’s Aunt Barbara (and our closest neighbor) suddenly passed away as well.  And on November 20th, Marion’s grandmother Ruth also died at the age of 102! Though these tragedies shook us deeply, our God was faithful in carrying us through and never letting us go.  We have been so very blessed by the support and love we feel from family and friends.  Even in tragedy, our God is good.

Earlier in the year (April 16th to be exact), we had our first broken bone in the family.  Jonathan was in Abigail’s room and fell out of her second story window.  He broke his left femur in half and was taken to Salina to have surgery.  He was in a wheelchair for 6 weeks and had titanium rods in his leg for 6 months.  We were so very thankful that this accident wasn’t far worse; Jonny was a bit scraped up but he had no other serious injuries. Even in the unexpected, our God is good.

This year was also a tough year on the farm.  We had drought conditions and the summer crops did not do very well.  The corn crop was especially hit hard.  But even in the poor crop conditions, God provided for our family and we were able to get some new to us equipment that was needed.  Even in times of trial, our God is good.

The rest of the year was filled with fairly normal activities.  Abigail continues to play the piano and is doing well in her schooling.  She is in Third Grade this year.  She got glasses toward the beginning of the year and she entered several things in the County Fair which earned her $17.00!  Nathan also got glasses this year, but he only needs them when reading or doing school work.  He is in First Grade this year and enjoys Art the most.  He took his first calf to the fair and thrived at taking care of it and breaking it to lead.  He still enjoys being outdoors the most and especially playing in the dirt. Other than his broken leg, Jonny has had a great year.  He has excelled in his learning and will be starting Kindergarten in 2013.  Ethan is running around, getting into everything, and talking constantly.  We have attempted potty training, but it hasn’t seemed to fully click yet. Both Ethan and Jonny love to go with Daddy on the farm.  Even in the everyday, our God is good.

We truly cannot express how grateful we are to all who have been with us and helped us through this last year.  We had several young ladies help throughout the year (Faith Karg, my cousin Elizabeth, and the Shamburg girls).  These young ladies stepped in to help care for the kids, clean the house and just be a great support and help.  And we could not have made it through without our family!  Everyone stepped up to go beyond the call of duty to take the kids and provide the support we needed both during and after Sarah’s birth. In the blessings, our God is good.

We pray that you can also look over the past year and despite what has happened say OUR GOD IS GOOD!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! The M&M Schlatter Family

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day 2012

For the first time that anyone can remember since the Farmer and I moved to Kansas, we had Christmas Dinner at our house. If we remember correctly, there was a Thanksgiving Dinner back around 2003 just after we arrived, but other than that, all the dinners have been at my sister's or at Mom & Dad's. (There might have been one other time we had a big dinner, but we weren't sure when it was.)

Anyway, this year it didn't work for everyone in the Schlatter family to come for the actual Christmas Day, so we invited Grandma & Grandpa Schlatter over for dinner and games. While we were decorating the table, Abi said, "Mom, I think you are maybe going overboard!" When I asked her why she felt that way she said, "Well, you never decorate like this for when we eat." I then went to explain that since it was Christmas Dinner you go out a bit more than normal meals times. Then she thought it was fun and helped me dig out some snow men to decorate with and we had a lot of fun.

After much discussion, we finally decided to go with remote control cars for everyone this year. Abi especially had been wanting one. I really wanted to get the kids a Gouldian Finch, but the Farmer finally vetoed my idea and settled on the remotes. I think the kids had a great Christmas even without the bird!

Monday, December 24, 2012

On the Fifth Day of Christmas...

My parents gave to me....

Because we were off a day...the Fifth day of our celebration of Christmas fell on Christmas Eve.

The kids waited all day to open their presents...I think I answered the question "When do we get to open presents?" at least once an hour all day...LOL!

Finally it was time to go to the Oak Creek Christmas Eve Service. When it was over, we came home to open our presents. The Farmer got a new watch and I got a battery operated mini water fountain.

Here is what the kids got:

Sunday, December 23, 2012

On the Fourth Day of Christmas....

My parents gave to me....

Some Thomas the train.....

And serval watches!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

On the Third Day of Christmas...

My parents gave to me....

A bunch of flash lights!

Friday, December 21, 2012

On the Second Day of Christmas....

My parents gave to me....

a Thomas the Train...

some more farm stuff...

and some baby doll shoes!

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Thursday, December 20, 2012

On the First Day of Christmas....

My parents gave to me...

a toy phone...

some farm tractors....

and a baby doll dress!

**The Farmer and I did not participate in the early days of Christmas...only Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Monday, December 17, 2012

Jesus is Calling - He speaks if only we'd listen

Have you ever had a devotional series that just constantly hit head on?

A few years ago, I was introduced to Sarah Young's Jesus Calling Devotionals through Joanne Heim's sister's blog.  As Joanne and her family went through so much, Kristen's blog would often reflect that day's devotional and how it just hit straight on the nail!

I grew an interest in that devotional through watching what happened with them over the course of that year. And then, my own tragedy hit.  And I have been found many times pointed in the direction once again of Sarah Young's reflections.  A few months ago, my sister called me to share one and I stood weeping and amazed at how well it fit.  And then this morning, I opened my e-mail to receive this from my mom:

Come to Me with your gaping emptiness, knowing that in Me you are complete.  As you rest quietly in My Presence, My Light within you grows brighter and brighter.  Facing the emptiness inside you is simply the prelude to being filled with My fullness.  Therefore, rejoice on those days when you drag yourself out of bed, feeling sluggish and inadequate.  Tell yourself that this is a perfect day to depend on Me in childlike trust.  If you persevere in this dependence as you go through the day, you will discover at bedtime that Joy and Peace have become your companions.  You may not realize at what point they joined you on your journey, but you will feel the beneficial effects of their presence.  The perfect end to such a day is a doxology of gratitude.  I am He from whom all blessings flow!

2 Corinthians 4:6;   Matthew 5:3, 6;   Colossians 2:9-10;   Psalm 150:6

I stand stunned!

Emptiness...resting quietly in HIS presence...each sentence was written directly for me!  Even the mention of Joy and Peace is significant as I have been reflecting and reading the book Hinds Feet in High Places - an allegory.  MuchAfraid's companions on her journey from the valley were known to her as Sorrow and Suffering, but in the High Places, their true names were Joy and Peace.  

How awesome is our God - our Father - our Shepherd - that He speak to us in so many ways.   He knows each one of us and if we are willing to listen and accept His truth, He speaks very clearly to our need.

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Thursday, December 06, 2012

We are still here....

My dear friend Kim lovingly reprimanded me the other day for not keeping the blog updated...she wasn't serious of course, but she did mention she checks the blog frequently to see how we are doing and there hasn't been much activity lately.

It's not that there hasn't been anything going on... actually it is quite the opposite.  We just got back from a trip to Scottsbluff to see my father and a few of the Converse side of the family.  This trip was what I hope will be the conclusion of some very busy weeks.

We still have the Christmas program (of which I am helping) to keep us busy but hopefully other than Christmas preparations things will start to slow down.

I've got a long list of things to update on here, but between trying to keep up with school, the farm, and the house the blog has been put on the back burner.  Not only do I have several posts to update you on, I've had several 'ideas' for writing posts.  I've even worked a bit on my story, but haven't gotten far enough to actually post anything.

I guess I just wanted all of you to know that you are on my heart and mind and I will try to get some updates coming soon.  Not to torture you or anything, but I've got some great pictures to share with you as our family went and had professional pictures taken this keep checking and when I get them all together I'll post them.


Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Decorating the tree

The Farmer and I debated for a little bit as to what all we wanted to do for Christmas this year.  But really, there was no question.  We have four beautiful children here with us who would be very disappointed if we did nothing for Christmas.  And truly, it wasn't a question because we needed to move forward in our healing.  Sarah is with Jesus...what better place is there to celebrate His birth and salvation!  Though we miss her, there is no question that we'd not want her to sacrifice her time with Jesus just to be here with us.

So, we hauled up the tree (making sure it didn't house any snakes this time) and set to decorating it with music blaring in the background:

Had to switch to the iPad for pictures because the camera
battery died...not the best sorry!

Each of our kids has their own First Christmas ornament.  Though Sarah is not here with us, I felt she still needed her own ornament.  So we got here these precious little pink slippers.  On the bottom of them, it says her name and her birth date.  The NICU doctors also sent us an ornament with her name and dates.  You can barely see it above the slippers on the top picture. We also had the open heart ornament to hang that was given to us from the Hospital.  The smaller center heart was buried with Sarah...and we kept the open heart to remember our love for her.

Abi wanted to help hang Sarah's ornaments!
 One might think that this night was a sad time, but actually we had a wonderful time and it was so much fun to see the joy in the children as they went about decorating the tree. Our God is so gracious and good to us.

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter