Friday, April 24, 2015

First United Methodist Church

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There is something special about church bells. I love hearing them!
When we moved in 1995, we were blessed to live nearby a church that was started in 1775 and still rings the bells every Sunday.
This is one church who blessed us with its bells while we were visiting nearby.
It was a bit hard getting the church in from the sidewalk, but it was a simple but pretty building.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Urban Agroecoloy: 6,000 lbs of food on 1/10th acre

In a year they produce around 4,300 pounds of veggies, 900 chicken eggs, 1000 duck eggs, 25 lbs honey, and pounds of seasonal fruit. There are over 400 species of plants. What?! They have everything they need to ‘live off the land.’ From beets to bees. Chickens to chickpeas.
What the family doesn’t eat they sell from their porch, making around $20,000 a year. Local organic food is so popular that they don’t have any problems finding customs. Even chefs from restaurants seek them out.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Why is Obedience So Important?

Obedience is better than sacrifice for rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft and stubbornness as sinful as worshiping idols. I Samuel 15:22-23

THIS is why when the Lord puts something on your heart to do, you run to do it! Hesitating, making excuses, or hoping someone else will do it is rebellion. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Measure Your Garden or Other Land Size

Find Lot Size FindLotSize.com provides a map measurement tool as well as a street view (if available) of the property. All services provided by FindLotSize.com are free and registration is not needed.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Video: 10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)

Who Runs the Show?

"We don't like relinquishing the power we never had anyway, even though running the show ourselves never works." Jan Karon "Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good"

Romans 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.



Saturday, April 18, 2015

Do Not Judge the Bereaved Mother

Do not judge the bereaved mother. She comes in many forms. She is breathing, but she is dying. She may look young, but inside she has become ancient. She smiles, but her heart sobs. She walks, she talks, she cooks, she cleans, she works, she is, but she is not all at once. She is here, but she is elsewhere for eternity. Author Unknown

Friday, April 17, 2015

Incubation Process

One of the most exciting science lessons for students is egg incubation. Here are a few links for those interested in the experience:

Hatching Eggs 101 

Troubleshooting Failed Hatches

How to Incubate and Hatch Eggs

Assisted Hatching 

Hatchabatch free, track multiple batches, get reminders to candle, turn on the brooder, or watch for hatching, does chicken, duck, quail, or custom make your own. 

iHatch-Chickens small fee, track only one batch, nice pictures and educational info of incubation process




Thursday, April 16, 2015

And, so it begins...

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Psalms 34:10 
The young lions suffer want and hunger; 
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Prayer Request/Updates

I am using the side bar for prayer requests to see how I like it.

Chris, who is on hospice for cancer, is faring better at Mary Anne's house. He is much happier there than in the nursing home. They have had some outings, and he has been able to spend time with his children. His ex has custody and is giving them time to be with him. Chris and Mary Anne are getting married before the Lord on the 25th! 

I am finally seeing real progress! I still have to go a bit slower than I like, but things are much better! Thank you, Lord!

My friend's father's biopsy went well on Monday. Results are due tomorrow. I will post here when I know. She is at peace and is patiently waiting the results. Update 4/16 4:15 p.m.: It's Stage 4 cancer. We are very familiar with this diagnosis. This is very, very serious. Please pray for Mr. W's salvation and healing and for his family. Please pray for strength, comfort, and peace for our friend M.

Please pray for my estranged SIL, Linda, and her family. Her father died after a long battle with Alzheimer's on the 8th. The celebration of life and burial is on the 18th. Her mother, Mrs. Lyman, has dementia and needs to be reminded of what happened which I am certain is hard for Linda. Some of her family needs prayer for easy and safe travels. Condolences for the family can be left here.

Clint's and my friend Donny's 16 year old daughter has been treated Langerhans cell hystocytosis for a while. (We were originally told nonHodgkins Lymphoma.) She has developed five blood clots with two in her jugular and is in ICU at CHKD. At the time I am writing this, I am waiting to hear how surgery went. UPDATE 4/16/2015 3:12 a.m: The family is only sharing at this time that doctors had to sedate her and put her on a ventilator. They have asked for more prayer for her. I am asking that you pray for all of them: Donny, Kayla's mother Donna, her sister Tali, and her grandparents Jean and Wayne.

Thank you for the prayers! How can our family pray for you?

It's That Time of Year

The local bar was so sure that its bartender was the strongest man around that they offered a standing $1000 bet. The bartender would squeeze a lemon until all the juice ran into a glass, and hand the lemon to a patron. Anyone who could squeeze one more drop of juice out would win the money. Many people had tried over time: weight lifters, longshoremen, etc., but nobody could do it. One day, this scrawny little fellow came into the bar, wearing thick glasses and a polyester suit, and said in a small voice, "I'd like to try the bet." After the laughter had died down, the bartender grabbed the lemon and squeezed away. Then he handed the wrinkled remains of the rind to the little fellow. But the crowd's laughter turned to total silence ... as the man clenched his little fist around the lemon ... and six drops fell into the glass. As the crowd cheered, the bartender paid the $1000, and asked the little man, "What do you do for a living? Are you a lumberjack, a weight-lifter, or what?" The little fellow quietly replied, "I work for the IRS."

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Just a Little Thing

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It took me a while to figure out what triggered the camera in this series.
I found it though! You should be able to see it if you click the pictures to enlarge them. If you get stuck, there are three hints under the picture of the deer.

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Hint 1: Look for the glow of the eye. 

Hint 2: It is in the lower right quadrant. 

Hint 3: It squeaks and has a long tail.

Monday, April 13, 2015

First Swap Meet-SUCCESS!!

We went to the swap meet with the attitude that "nothing ventured, nothing gained" and "let's try it and see what happens." We hoped to make enough money to cover our gas. 

We were in for a surprise!! Glory to God, our first swap meet was a huge success!!

We sold nearly every thing we had! Not only that, but we were able to bless another family who has been struggling due to an accident. Helping them was such a blessing to us!

After paying our helpers, we rolled over the money we made into the farm by ordering some hard to find livestock for which we have had many requests. We also developed a lot of interest in our farm and family. We learned our prices are very competitive and the market for what we have is strong. We met many wonderful people, heard some interesting stories, and found a few sources for things we need. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Opportunities

Them: The strip club closed! What happened?
Me: I think you have the wrong number. Who is this?
Them: Stevie.
Me: I do not know you. You have the wrong number.
Them: Will the bar be opened again?
Me: I don't know you, but we traced your number to a house in Yorktown. I know no one at that address. I got this phone a few months ago, so your friend has a new number.
Them: It's me, Stevie. I'm here. Where are you?
Me: I don't know you.
Them: Is this Tracie?
Me: I've been trying to tell you I'm not who you think I am. I do not know you.
Them: Is this Tracie?
Me: (At this point, I suspect one of my prankster friends.) I am going to break it down slowly...
Me: N
Me: O
Them: Well, you could have said I had the wrong person!!
Me: I did.
Them: You said (They repeated the entire dialog above. I reasses and assume reading comprehension isn't a strong point.)
Me: Exactly!
Them: Oh. OK. It's all good.

Then, I witnessed to them. 

They told me their god was their boyfriend, and he provided all their needs.
Will you take just a minute right now and pray for them?

As a young, busy at home mother of several young children, I believed I'd have little opportunities to witness. This disturbed me, so I asked God to increase my ability to reach others for Him. He did! People just came my way..broke down vehicles, young girls out of gas, lost travelers, neighbors, wrong numbers, mail to the wrong address, etc. The Sunday school lessons I wrote have been used in many churches. I have witnessed to women all around the world! I have learned we are not limited by location or chosen profession. God will give you opportunities to share Him. Seize them, and make the most of them!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Gracious Words

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sky over our home
© free to share or use as long as unaltered

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Never Fails to Soothe the Soul

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private boat ramp Cape Charles, VA

Psalm 116:7 Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Remembering Baby

Note: This post was scheduled before I lost Jonathan. I decided to let it run as it is. We now have nine of the memorial ornaments.

This is one of the questions I very frequently hear. I was asked again by a dear friend after she was going through her own loss. Here is my answer to her.

How did you memorialize your babies?

We buried our babies' ashes in a capsule in our flower garden with pictures our children drew for them. I have eight memorial ornaments from The Comfort Company that hang over my bedroom doorway. I have two figurines of babies wrapped in wings in different locations in the house. I also have a portrait of an erethal Jesus holding a baby behind a woman crying over an empty cradle entitled "The God of All Comfort." Jesus' hand is on the heartbroken woman's shoulder. At the bottom is 2 Corinthians 1:3-5. I have a big farm bell on my deck which we purchased for another reason. I go out there alone and ring it 8 times when my heart is really aching. The best thing I have done though is to have shared my story which has been sent to women all over the world and parts of it have been published. Seeing the ministry God has given me to reach out to others has been the thing that has given me the most peace. It is through our deepest hurts that God brings about the most beautiful things. He gives us great peace and beauty for ashes when we rest in Him instead of resist Him!

“Women themselves will say, ‘How can a loss at 20-plus weeks be the same as a loss at six weeks?'” said Emma Robertson Blackmore, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center who has studied moods during pregnancy, post-partum depression and the effects of miscarrying. “But research says the level of symptoms and impairment is the same.” - See more at: Miscarriages and Stillbirths 


"It is right to grieve the loss...All humans are made in God's image, made to reflect Him and His character and glory. That four week old embryo has dignity, value, and worth because it reflects God (Gen. 2:26-27). 

That isn't how God created us, to grieve alone, and frankly, our culture needs to see that we love and value our children, and that they are more than tissue (Ps. 139:13-16). ... Job, a wealthy, dignified, widely respected man, was not silent when his children died, rather, he made a very public show of genuine grief, and that was not sin (Job 1:20-21)." see more at Theology in Miscarriage 

Monday, April 06, 2015

End of a Story

One of the most abused and frightened dogs I have ever worked with died over night. My son came to me, and I could tell he was upset. "She didn't come out to say hi to me. I found her in the dog house." She came from an abuse case in another state. We never shared the location or her registered name with anyone outside of our immediate family to protect her and ourselves. 

Day one on the farm, she bit me and drew blood. Once we saw how very afraid of everything she was and took her age into consideration, we knew we could not put her through the stress of another adoption, so we committed ourselves, for better or worse, to give her a home here for as long as she needed it. 

Sometimes it was the "worse." I think she bit all of us, except Emily and Hannah, at one time or another! She wasn't mean or aggressive, just very, very afraid of any changes, sudden movements, and large spaces. 

We thought we were getting a dog who needed us, but we got so much more. She was a daily example to our family that hurting hearts hurt others. We need to try to understand and always forgive. We need to keep loving people (and frightened dogs) that hurt us but to do so without allowing their behavior to damage us. She also taught us about patience and changing our pace to accomodate the needs of others. 

She has been here for years and became a part of our family. We are sad this morning but are also thankful she is not afraid any more. We're going to miss those brown eyes seeking ours for assurance that all is OK. 

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I was right; that was the best picture I ever managed to get.


Living It Up!

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author unknown

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Rewards or Battle Scars

“God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas but for scars.” ― Elbert Hubbard*

Medals and degrees puff us up with pride if we think it makes us better or more knowledgeable than others. Scars are what Jesus left this earth with, and it is what we will leave with if we are truly following Him. What God calls us to is nitty gritty work, and we get pretty banged up doing it.

*I do not agree with Elbert's other writings where he compared modern day writers with prophets, but I do believe this statement is accurate.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Passover Sermon

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This is a screenshot of the sermon which is found here.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Wisteria House c1789

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This was considered a mansion for a family then. 
It is much smaller than my home.

Wisteria House (101 S. Loudoun St.) Originally built circa 1789, this house was expanded. Issac Parkins, who owned Out‐lot #49 on which most of Fort Loudoun was built, also owned a mill and seemed to deal in real estate. He consequently sold this Loudoun St. in‐lot to William Russell who enlarged it. His son, a veteran of the War of 1812, later occupied the home. It is a beautifully picturesque building when the wisteria is in bloom!  source here.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

White Crested Polish Chicks

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1 week old white crested black polish bantam

If all goes as well as it did last year, we will have these for sale next year.

"Polish chickens have many interesting characteristics. They are excellent layers of medium-sized white eggs, tending to begin a bit late in the season but persistently laying once they commence. Polish chickens are non-sitters and rarely will go broody. Their crests tend to obscure their vision, which makes them more prone to aerial predators. Polish chickens are easily surprised and a bit nervous, so care should be taken not to startle them. They are similar to Leghorns in both size and type. And Polish chickens come with or without beards on their faces." read more here

Monday, March 30, 2015

What Have We Been Up To?

Correspondence has become backlogged as we have taken advantage of breaks in the weather. We are really crunched for time as we try to meet a deadline to start a big project this year.


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We have a few trees he cut down last fall but never had a chance to cut up.



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throwing pine cones into the fire



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snuggly sisters



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brazen brother




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sunset through fire

Sunday, March 29, 2015

He is Holy

"When we preach the love of God there is a danger of forgetting that the Bible reveals not first the love of God but the intense, blazing holiness of God, with His love as the centre of that holiness." --Oswald Chambers, in The Philosophy of Sin from the Quotable Oswald Chambers.


Article: When Your Rooster Crows

However, the accuser continues to crow—reminding us of our past sins and failures. He tries to drown out the song of grace with the caw of shame. He crows. We remember. Perhaps even weep with Peter behind the wall.
You know what I’ve decided? Rooster makes a fine meal. Let’s wring the rooster’s neck and cook him up once and for all. Don’t let the enemy accuse you of what God has already forgiven you of? Don’t let him fool you into thinking that the cross wasn’t enough.
I wonder what went through Peter’s mind the next time he heard the rooster crow. I think he smiled and thought of God’s amazing grace. That’s what I’m going to do tomorrow when I hear that rooster crow.
What about you? The next time the devil reminds you of all the times you’ve failed, will you stand with me and answer the caw of shame with the song of grace? -When Your Rooster Crows

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Virginia Spring Festivals

I apologize for the goofs on the blog lately. While I was pregnant/miscarrying, I fell behind on scheduling posts. We are also in a very "busy season" of life.

Virginia Spring Festivals festival dates and locations for all regions of Virginia

Friday, March 27, 2015

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wildlife Cam

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Our wildlife cam caught our middle children's play!
Bethany was going after her older brothers, and it looks like she meant business!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Having the Wrong Rightness

Sitting in judgment of anyone can lead us to have the "wrong rightness," as my friend Shonda calls it. I don't feel harshly towards the rude woman in the story because I have been both judgmental and wrongly judged. Both have taught me valuable lessons! If we let it, experiences with the meanest people we meet can make us the sweetest people others will ever meet. I believe the author demonstrates that well.


"Standing on the corner waiting for the light to change, I became so lost in thought pondering what could be wrong with my precious boy that I almost didn’t hear her. My husband’s abrupt “Excuse me!?” snapped me out of it. ... She had aggressive body language, matched only by the angry look on my husband’s face. “I said he’s old enough to walk,” she said gesturing to my child sleeping soundly against my husband’s chest. I stood looking at her my mouth literally gaping. Did she really just say that?"  read more here

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

All Your Works Praise You

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York River, Virginia, © Wendy Asbell

Psalm 145:10
All your works praise you, LORD; your faithful people extol you.