My Cow, My Cleaning Confessions, and Malachi’s Lego Convention


I never met a cow I didn’t like. What I mean is – I really like eating beef. It is my favorite.

Rejoice with me, won’t you? We picked up one half of a cow last weekend. (I do not know which half. It’s better this way.) The cow came from trusted farmer friends who raise their animals in organic pasture. We also got a pasture-fed lamb (both halves) while we were at it. My grocery budget is completely wiped out for this month and next (though it all averages out in the end). OurĀ freezers are bursting and we are so thankful.


I’ve spent time this week rearranging freezers to organize said cow and friend lamb. I’ve also been cleaning out closets and cabinets and throwing out/giving away anything that isn’t nailed down. Phew, it feels so good! Then I did something I’ve been wanting to do for about five years now:

I hired someone to help me clean my house.

Why have I put this off for so long? For oh so many reasons. It’s been hard to justify spending the money. My pride has been hesitant to admit that I can’t keep up. I’ve felt shy about someone seeing the places in my home that are filthy and disgusting after so much neglect. We still want our boys to take part in cleaning our home regularly so they’ll be prepared to be helpful husbands some day. So many reasons.

God finally made it clear that now is the time to reach out for help. (Or maybe I finally opened myself to listen better.) I feel overwhelmed almost daily while trying to juggle raising a houseful of teenage sons, love on their friends, keep up with their activities, work full time from home, school the boys from home, nurture my marriage, love and serve people from the community and church, put three healthy meals on the table every day, and take care of the house. Also?

I despise cleaning.

I always have. I do it because I love a clean home, but as the years have gone by and my days have become more full – much of the cleaning that needs to be done beyond basic upkeep has gotten pushed aside.

I don’t even know the last time I mopped my kitchen floor beyond spot cleaning.

With Matt’s blessing, I finally called someone. We believe we came away with a win-win after our initial visit. Our cleaning help/friend will come just once each month for a 3-hour time slot (and for a very reasonable price). She’ll do the cleaning jobs we never get around to: kitchen windows and woodwork (cabinet fronts too), the kitchen floor, the master bedroom, stairway woodwork, and she’ll thoroughly clean both bathrooms from top to bottom.

Hallelujah! In the meantime, our boys will continue their regular weekly chores of sweeping/vacuuming/dusting the living room, cleaning the bathrooms, doing the laundry, and all the other daily dishes/trash/compost/recycling/etc. duties we give them.

I can’t tell you how grateful I am that the cleaning tasks will not be constantly looming over my head any more! And when I showed my cleaning lady the areas I needed help with, she didn’t even bat an eye over the grossness. Bless her.

So let’s see…I shared about my cow and my cleaning confessions. Now to tell you about Malachi’s Lego Convention.


Our twelve year old, who loves Legos more than anything in the world, has been dreaming of and planning a Lego Convention for a year and a half. (He’s visionary like his daddy.) Matt has been amazing to help developĀ the idea with him over the past few months. They decided to go for it, and they named their venture NeBricksKa (because it is a convention held here in Nebraska and Legos are bricks – get it?).

They made plans, they made flyers, they called schools, they reserved our church fellowship hall. Matt deserves “Dad of the Year” for helping Malachi with this and truly, Malachi has astounded us with his dedication to take on such a huge project. He worked for months to create his display and promote the event.

It happened last Saturday morning, and it was fantastic. (Don’t even ask how we managed to squeeze in such a convention between Thursday night basketball games, Friday night basketball games, and Saturday afternoon basketball games. Nobody got much sleep last weekend, but boy did we have fun. Our schedules are further confirmation that I need help keeping up with housework – and why I’m declaring this the Year of Simple!)

Just over 40 people came with displays. The kids all walked around from table to table as each child shared what they had built. I couldn’t stop smiling. It was Malachi’s dream come true, and to be sure, he will be hosting this again next year with big hopes that word will spread and that the convention will grow bigger and bigger each year!






That sums up some of our family’s latest ventures in the new year! And now it’s your turn:

What blessings are you celebrating so far this year?


  1. Suz says

    I just want to say, that is so cool Malachi – great job! Also – I have so so much less on my plate than you, Laura, and I can’t remember the last time I mopped my floor either. : )


  2. Natalie says

    I have an 8 year old son who would LOVE a Lego convention, although, I’m not sure if he could keep his hands off :)

    I, too, I have decided to get house cleaning help. I can’t do it all anymore. Admitting I have a problem is the first step, right?


  3. cindy says

    Hi Laura! I am thankful for things both great and small (daughter thru double jaw surgery and MOST of her extensive orthodontic treatment, good health, family even though nobody lives close to us, my hardworking hubby, friends, God, my temperpedic mattress and, thus, a great night’s sleep usually lol, your periodic emails, Christmas cards and letters that arrive each year, that my kids still care about school and work hard at it, etc.

    I have done two things in recent years: got cleaning help once a month like you (because if my home is not in order, my brain is not in order) AND I began doing something for me that I had dreamed about for a long time…taking piano lessons! Sometimes the things that re-charge a mother or contribute to her overall well-being get crowded out with the busyness and emergencies (both big and small) of each day. So, I said, why not now!? I don’t always practice as much as I should or would like to, but after 18 months or so, there is still plenty of progress :) and it makes me feel happy, as I love music.

    God’s best to you and your readers this year and enjoy the house help!!


    Molly Reply:

    Oh, piano lessons! There’s something so homey about listening to piano.


  4. Molly says

    There’s a Catholic hymn (and maybe a psalm, too?) – “Let us rejoice and be glad.”

    Wow, Malachi! Congratulations on hosting a fantastic convention! If I saw something like this advertised in my area, you BET I would go and enjoy!

    I’m enjoying jazz apples, clementines, salad with swiss cheese, and coffee. A clean-ish house with most of the chores caught up. Lots of offline fun things to do once the power goes out (STL ice storm, here we come).


  5. Charlotte Moore says

    CONGRATULATIONS to Malachi and his dad for all the work in doing a convention. How neat!!

    Nothing wrong I’m getting help when young it.

    Thankful to the LORD for good health and all HE has done for us.


  6. Ann says

    Nebricksa….what a GREAT idea! My son would love to come to this next year if it would work out with our schedule! We are over an hour away but really how neat! Nice work Malachi!


  7. Hilary says

    That is really neat. its really cool to see nice things like this happening in America. How proud all those boys must have been for their creations!


  8. Kimberly Toti says

    A lego convention is the coolest thing, my kids would of loved to attend. What a smart boy you have to plan that.????


  9. Kimberly Toti says

    I have no idea why the question marks are at the end of my comment, i actually put a smile emogie. Haha so weird.


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