I decided that I would like to give Gloria a break again for a week; I had a couple things I wanted to share — ah sorry, it may be about relationships again. Anyway, here we go!

I may share a couple of my last precious memories that we had, like two weeks ago, as I was ready to do the chores, 1-year-old Joshua was wide awake, and Gloria asked if he could go choring with me while she got school started with the Julia and Austin. I said yes, he could, so off we went to find Daisy, our family milk goat, in the pasture, which is several hundred feet from the barn.

Little Joshua was all eyes as we entered the barn. He knew what was coming; the baby goats were bleating, which he dearly loves. We put some non-GMO grain in the bucket for Daisy while I milked her. Baby Joshua is starting to walk by now. He was toddling around me as I started to milk. He came right up to the where I was milking, the white foamy milk in the stainless steel bucket, and with big eyes he started to do some exclaiming that I could not understand. That moment was one that I just wanted to freeze and save.

There is just something with animals that help children develop, and you could see his little brain spinning as we finished up the chores. Then we headed back to the house, where Mama greeted us with her big smiles. She asked Joshua how the baby goats sounded. He said, "Baa," and how we cheered for him — now he was impressed for sure.

Another little moment was yesterday morning when Hosanna woke up early. The two of us went to do chores together. One thing that we wanted to do this morning was feed the fish, then bring a couple catfish home for breakfast. She was super excited as we stepped outside. Dawn was just breaking. We headed to the barn to do the chores there, then grabbed some floating catfish food and the fishing net, and we were set.

I think I was about as excited as she was. Our half-acre pond is about 500 feet from the barn, but we didn’t mind walking in the early morning. As we entered the pond, I called the fish. Now, get this: When we call them, you can literally see the ripples in the pond when they make their way to the feeding spot. We had about two gallons of food, so we started to throw some in.

“I’d like to catch a big one,” I explained to her. The fish came right to the edge. When I spied a big one, we made our first dip. Sure enough, we caught one that wasn’t that big, but maybe 20 inches long — still a keeper. I told her I would like to wait on a real big one, so there we were: I was squatted down with the net, with Hosanna leaning on my shoulders. I told her we have to be really quiet, which she did well. Finally, the moment was right. Splash!

“Wow, this is a big one!” I told her. It probably weighed about 6 pounds and was 24 inches long, and Hosanna was jumping on the bank of the pond with excitement. When we entered the house, we had to show everyone our big catch. We ended up having fresh fish out of the pond for breakfast.

I often just think about memories and what kind we are making for them. After I pass away, will my children remember me for making lots of money and having a big house to live in? Really, I ask myself: Are we giving that special time for our children that they need to develop emotionally, so they can grow up to someday do the same for their children? Do we look in their eyes everyday and tell them that we love them?

And let's remember what Jesus said: that one soul is worth more than the whole world and everything in it. Are we valuing our children like Jesus did when he took the time to take them on his lap and tell them stories? I’m including myself in this. Am I keeping first things first?

I would like to share the recipe what Gloria made me for my birthday supper, which was a big hit with all!

Chalupas

Flour tortillas

Sour cream

Browned hamburger, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste

Lettuce, chopped

Onions diced

Peppers, diced

Cucumbers, diced

Tomatoes, diced or salsa sauce

Shredded cheese or cheese sauce

Instructions

Deep fry or toast tortillas on both sides until golden brown. (We make one or two tortillas per person.) Each person then layers the toppings of their choice onto their open-face tortilla. Sometimes, we snip or tear the tortillas in small pieces before placing the toppings on top to make it easier for the children to eat — a summer favorite at our house!

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