Friday, October 24, 2014

Buddies

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Tyson loves his boy. His boy loves him back.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Cooking a Big Meal? Thanksgiving? Lots of Leftovers to Heat?

This three tiered oven rack is a large family idea I love!! It can also be used for holiday baking or family get togethers. I so need this and plan to buy it. I will be able to use it several times a week!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How to Understand Introverts Chart

I can relate to a lot of this article. Introversion isn't an aversion to people. It's needing time alone to recharge before you have more meaningful interaction. I tend to give a lot to others and because of that, interaction can be very draining. I actually enjoy people very much but prefer to know them in a one on one setting than a party or big outing. Getting to really know a person is more important to me than "just spending time" with them. I like deeper conversations instead of small talk. Introverts also tend to be very creative and enjoy self expression through writing, music, and art.

I can go to a party with extroverted friends of mine and come away with a totally different perspective of the event. My extroverted friends are like butterflies. They flit from one person to another and the interaction of all of the beautiful flowers recharges them. I am more like a honey bee. I work to gather details and understanding and then try to leave something useful behind with the person.

Just because a person recharges in solitude does not mean they do not get out there and meet people and do things. I have worked natural disasters and found it very fulfilling. However, I also had to take time to recharge to keep doing it long term. The pain and anguish of the people stayed with me and was hard to shake. I needed time alone with the Lord to reflect on the stories and release the burdens I felt for the hurting because they go a bit deeper within me. 

One of my closest friends is very extroverted. When we work together we make an awesome team. She reaches many people in small non time consuming ways. I reach fewer people but make a deeper connection with them. We say she spreads the seeds, and I cover them with soil and add fertilizer. She realized she needed to slow down and connect better with people while I needed to limit the depth of the interactions to reach more.

Introverts find it easier to meditate on Scripture and connect with the Lord in prayer because it requires a stillness of the soul extroverts find more difficult to achieve. We thrive with time alone to do an in depth Bible study. Extroverts can find it easier to organize their friends to come together and help others, but they can struggle with self absorption and needing attention. They often like to learn through interacting with others. That can be very beneficial or detrimental depending on the knowledge and wisdom of those they are seeking out for godly counsel. Introverts would do well to couple the Bible study with godly counsel while the extroverts would be better able to judge the counsel they receive if they spent more time meditation Scripture. 

We shouldn't envy or reject each other but understand and encourage. Both personalities have a lot to offer and can learn a lot from each other. God has a plan and purpose for each type just as He has a plan and purpose for individual temperaments. We can use our strengths and learn to overcome our weaknesses for His glory.

God's Bounty

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We found not one, but two groves of persimmon trees as we cleared land one weekend. I strongly suspect there will be more as we clear futher back. Once the grove matures the trees should provide food for our family and friends. Since we did not know about the trees, the goats have enjoyed the fruit this year!

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For folklore sake we cut the seeds open. We found spoons.

Psalm 65:11 You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.




Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Contemplating

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our field for a new challenge and opportunity.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Carrots for the Pony

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I had a long list of things I needed to do but took time out to ride the girls in the mower cart though the woods. We had to stop to see Hot Shot with some treats.
Maggie likes to ride too.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Life is Not Fair

"You and I both know that life is not fair and that our human logic is a shallow substitute for God’s sovereignty. We are broken people living in a broken world. Bad things do happen to good people while those who mock God seem to prosper, and it’s been that way for a long time. Take Job for example.
The LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.’ ‘Does Job fear God for nothing?’ Satan replied. ‘Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.’ The LORD said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger’ (Job 1:8-12).
Don’t miss the important fact that God not only allowed Satan to test Job, but dictated how Satan could test him. Job went from having vast wealth to great poverty, losing everything he and his wife had, including their ten children. Job’s wife urged her husband to turn away from God, curse Him, and forsake the very faith that had blessed her and Job for so long.
Job stood firm. And so can you!"
Go here to read the rest and find the link to find out how to stand firm. You can also follow them on Facebook.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Miscarriage and Baby Loss Awareness Month

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I was asked to light a candle today for infant loss awareness. I light eight candles: Sarah, Rebecca, Josiah, Angel Noel, Abigail, Benjamin, Mary, and Isaac. Losing each of them crushed my heart and changed me forever, but it also drew me closer to the Lord, gave me understanding to know how to minister to other's broken hearts, made me treasure the beauty of life, cherish things most take for granted, have a rich appreciation for good days, ...and so very much more. It has also taught me about hope, patience, rediscovering joy, and finding the endurance to keep going even when I wanted to give up. While I would rather have them in my arms, I am also thankful for the valuable lessons the Lord taught me through their short lives.

If you have experienced this kind of loss, I am praying for you today. If you need a friend who has been there to listen, contentment acres at yahoo . com (remove spaces) If yahoo gets the mail to me, I respond. Please understand I don't always respond every day or even every week, but I do respond.

I Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thank you to everyone who has shared this post and to those who have said it was helpful to them. My condolences to those who lost babies through miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death. I have greatly appreciated the male perspective as they have tried to find healing for themselves and help their wives through it. May the Lord Himself sustain and comfort you. 

Article: When the Barista Asked What My Son with Special Needs Has

I have friends with children of medically complicated children who don't fit into any one box. The diagnosis is as complex as their needs are. The parents of these children are often the sweetest, genuine people you will ever meet, because they have walked down a difficult road and learned many of life's lessons quickly. I treasure the special needs children and their parents in my life. Here is the mom of Caden, a special needs child, and the voice she gave him. I haven't met either, but I would certainly enjoy talking to her and Caden. 

"After I listed a bunch of medical terms I’m sure she didn’t understand, I thanked her for asking me. I appreciated the fact that she wanted to know what was wrong with my son. All too often people avoid the topic of Caden or just look at me with those “I feel sorry for you” eyes, or they possibly even turn away." Read more: When the Barista Asked What My Son with Special Needs Has


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

To the Weary Stay at Home Homeschooling Moms of Many

This is what I wish someone had told me:

In a large homeschooling family, there is so much going on in every day.  

The days are long, 
the work is never ending; 
the chaos makes it crazy;
interruptions can be constant; 
the messes are huge, and happen faster than smaller families can imagine; 

but 

the many hands of older children make the work lighter, and 
the good things like LAUGHTER, FUN, JOY, LOVE, CONTENTMENT, PEACE are also multiplied. 

While the workload and craziness diminish as the children grow, the good things continue to increase over the rest of our days. 

My youngest two now are seven and five. My workload is changing. The house doesn't get as messy. Others give me a hand cooking, doing laundry, and running errands too. Most of the time the children can do their school work independently. I have a little time each day to do something I enjoy like gardening. I have survived the hardest years and stand here to tell you: it is worth every single crazy minute. I would not trade my life for anyone else's! I am so thankful God called me to this unique path and rejoice in all He has done through it. 

Hang in their, tired mamas. I know everyone tells you it will pass by faster than you imagine, but you can't see that from where you stand now. It really does go by quickly. It gets easier, if you teach your children to help. Yes, your workload right now is enormous, but you will survive. What you are doing has great value. God is using this journey to mold you and shape you for His purpose. Keep following His Word in your life because He does keep His promises to us. Put Him and His way first in every area because there is wonderful fruit to be harvested in due time.

Father, please give strength to the weary mothers. Please help them renew their commitment to raise children for your glory. Help them to see your perfect plan right in the middle of the chaos of a busy home. Let them hear the Holy Spirit's leading in each interruption. Help them to remain focused on what is important, and help them let go of what isn't. Let them see that your way is good and help them to follow you even when it seems everything and everyone is trying to lead them away. Send them encouragers and cheerleaders when they feel overwhelmed. Make clear your way for their lives, and let them rejoice in what you have done. In Jesus' name, amen. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

I Wonder if He Kept Eating Them After Being Told

Here's a chuckle for those in the know: A friend enjoys providing eggs as a ministry to their external family. His father refused the last dozen saying he didn't want any more eggs from their farm because they came out of chickens' butts. He'd "rather get the ones at the grocery store made at the factory" because he just couldn't "stomach eating anything" that came out of something's butt.

I imagine that was a rude awakening!


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Are You Shallow?

From evangelist, local weatherman, and author Jon Cash: "I was reading from Mark chapter four this morning about the parable of the soils. Something really caught my attention. One of the seeds sown was placed in shallow soil. This was a very thin sheet of soil that initially supported the seed as it grew but once the roots tried to take hold, it was all rock and hard ground. The plant could not survive this environment and it quickly died. What does this mean? It stands for a person who hears the Bible, appears to embrace God, but as they "appear" to grow, their worries, fears, and cares of this world take them over and they die. Is this real salvation, real Christianity? I do not think so. So here's the question. Are you shallow? You know what it means and how it feels if somebody calls you shallow! It means you have little substance, maybe even a fake, willing to change and do wrong if the circumstances warrant. Our churches are filled with shallow people who have never taken root in God because their hearts are simply not in it. They only have a thin veneer of humility and desire for the things of God but the core of their foundation and spirit is hardened for the things of God. If you still have breath and still have a heart beating, thank God you still have the chance to change and repent. God is the God of second chances...but He will not be mocked by shallow religious people who do not think they need help."

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Quick, Cheap, Effective Outdoor Sink

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It needs to be painted and the sink needs to be scrubbed, but you get the idea. We just pull a water hose over to it.

Clint and I have been recycling pallets to build things from them for over twenty years. One year, we recycled over a ton of pallets...in one year! Clint has a goal of building a shed from pallets.

While not our fanciest or best looking project, this is a perfect minimum input for maximum output solution for our outdoor sink needs. I don't wash animal things in the house, so this sink will receive a lot of use. We added a shelf on the bottom rungs of the pallets since I took the picture. I can catch the water with a 5 gallon bucket to carry to the garden to water plants. One pallet plus two boards off of a pallet from the "grow through" frames plus 15 minutes equals a very useful tool for the farm. The salt treated plywood shelf we added was leftover from another project. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Happy Birthday, Amanda!

Amanda, you are an incredible young woman with amazing strengths and talents! I often stand in awe of who you are and what you are able to do! You have excelled at nearly everything you have tried. From academics to sports to cooking to sewing to food preservation to construction to horsemanship to cosmetology to business management to auto mechanics to wrangling livestock to pet grooming to art...to whatever you do, you do well. 

You are fearless and adventurous! You tackle whatever is in your path boldly and confidently. If you know something is the right thing to do, even if it is very difficult, you do not run from doing it. You have a backbone and a voice. You have boldness. Proverbs 28:1b ...the righteous are bold as a lion. God uses bold people in great ways. Once you are certain of the direction God is leading, don't let anything or anyone hold you back. 

God gave you two extraordinary testimonies of how He answers prayer and looks after His people very early in your life through sleepwalking. He wants you to use that in whatever way you can whenever you can for His glory. Your story is unique, and you have something to say for Him.

You have been a comfort to me through my miscarriages and still births. When the facts were hard and the pain of the losses swept over me, you didn't run. You stood beside me and offered your love and companionship. You have great compassion and strength.

I was so afraid to have a daughter thinking the past would repeat itself. Your father will tell you of how I ran with that fear to the Lord and begged Him to show me how to do things differently. I did not deceive myself by thinking I could do better; I knew I was too weak. I knew where to go for Help. God took ashes and brought beauty. He took an old story and a willing heart and made something new! I am so thankful to have you and your sisters! I am no longer afraid of the past repeating itself but rejoice gladly and thankfully in what God has done! It is stunning and far better than I imagined! I would not have wanted to miss out on knowing you or having this wonderful relationship!

This world has a strong pull, offers many distractions, and makes many empty promises wrapped in pretty packages. I am asking you to ignore all of those, and go after God's best for you. The way to His best for Amanda is found in His Word. Run to Him when this world tosses you around, when others let you down, or when you disappoint yourself. Find your safety and rest under His wing. Seek His leading, and don't compromise. When the battle is fierce and you are weary, remember the Ephesians warrior..."when you have done all you can do, stand, stand therefore." Where there is nothing more you can do, stand waiting. He will fight the battle for you. 


Use every bit of the unique story He is writing in your life for His glory. He has amazing plans for you!

Dad and I love you very, very much! Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!


Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.")  No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39

Thursday, October 09, 2014

I'll Go with that Analysis

I am not a fan of starlings because they are an invasive species that has caused a lot of damage to our native songbirds and agriculture. This is one reason we are adding more bluebird nest boxes on our farm every year. 

I spotted a flock of starlings feeding in our yard one rainy day in September and said, "We have been invaded by starlings. Those are enemies to our bluebirds."

Emily asked if she can leave her school work to look at them. One of her new words is eruption, and I think that was the word she trying to work into her sentence. 

When she saw the size of the flock, she exclaimed, "OH! That's a corruption!"

For the sake of our bluebirds, I'll go with corruption!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Quote on Suffering

“The best people often have terrible lives. Job is one example, and Jesus—the ultimate ‘Job,’ the only truly, fully innocent sufferer — is another.”  Tim Keller Walking with God through Pain and Suffering

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

"Grow Through" for Chickens and other Poultry

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This is a recycled pallet that we removed boards from to create a frame for the recycled chicken wire to go on. Two of us pulled the wire tight so it will support the weight of the birds.

Most of my poultry is free ranged, but some of the more expensive birds are in pens to give them more protection from predators. There are certain birds I can't afford to lose. Some, like the peafowl, would pose a problem with neighbors with their wide range. Because they wear down their pens so fast, I build frames and put poultry wire or hardware cloth over them. Then, I plant seeds under. The grass "grows through," and the birds can eat it without pulling out all of the roots. This allows them to get fresh greens daily for a long time. When it looks sparse, I add more seed. I just planted this one with winter rye in my peafowl pen. I am growing a tray of oats and will stick that under it soon. 

Monday, October 06, 2014

More Than You Want to Know about Egg-nomolies

These images are owned and copyrighted by Wendy Asbell.

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round guinea fowl egg next to a normal guinea egg

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soft duck egg aka Egg Drop Syndrome
This is usually due to a calcium deficiency or an andenovirus.
This duck carries the andenovirus and will be culled which means "to collect" as in "setting aside something inferior."  Culling on a farm can mean: sold, given away, made as a pet, rendered infertile, or killed.

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double yolked chicken egg
I put it in the incubator, but it was infertile.
People have had double yolked eggs hatch. (see Youtube)


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The two pictures above are of a malformed chicken egg also caused by "Egg Drop Syndrome." My poultry gets a free choice calcium supplement, is on a layer formula, and is fed back nearly all of the egg shells from what they produce and what we buy from the store. We aren't where we can produce enough for our needs and the incubator yet. Our shells are thicker than store bought. This only happened once in one very young hen, so I think it was just because of her young age. First eggs can be smaller and unusual. If it happens again, I will reassess.


Sunday, October 05, 2014

Where You Win or Lose Battles

The decision... 

to do the right thing for God's glory or 

just do the minimal to please yourself 

...is made in your heart.

Most of the time before we act, we have already given thought to what we plan to do. Act or delay. Love or hate. Rebuke or allow. Influence or be influenced. Share your faith or hold back. Give or keep. Honesty or dishonesty. Forgive or grudge. Repent or rebel. Join or oppose. Diligence or laziness. 
The victory or loss is almost always made in the mind/heart. I believe this is why the Bible has strong words for our thought life.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

Romans 7:21-25 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Brothers and sisters in Christ, I appeal to you to engage in the battle. Our lives are short. We have a limited number of days and opportunities, and they pass us by in a blur if we do not jump for each one and grab ahold. 

I fall so very short of the mark, but yet I long to stand before my Savior and hear Him say, "Well done." I tell my children (and myself) to do the "heart work." It sounds a lot like "hard work," and it is hard work that requires effort and diligence. That mind battle is key because it is where changes are made and actions are determined. 

The same thoughts followed by the same actions equal the same results. God's way of thinking followed by God's way of acting equals God given victories and growth. The Bible has so much to say on this big battle. I encourage you, workman, to study the Word, so you will rightly divide truth and know how to control those thoughts to bring glory to the Lord.

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.


Saturday, October 04, 2014

I Try to Remind Myself of This Every Day

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies,
but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world,
against mighty powers in this dark world,
and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6:12

For the Tired Stay At Home Mothers

The woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything her hands could find to do beneath the skies. ~ J. R. Miller Homemaking


Galation 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Friday, October 03, 2014

What I Have Taught My Children about Stealing and Coveting

It is disturbing when your child's friend gets busted for stealing. A foolish mother takes a one time incident and cuts her children off from seeing the friend. A wise mother turns it into an opportunity to teach her child about temptation, friendships, honoring the Lord over pleasing man, lust of the eye, pride, forgiveness, grace, restoration, bearing with one another in love (which means we take our thoughts and opinions (pride) out of the equation and simply start demonstrating love), etc. 

When teaching our children about stealing, it can be beneficial to pull stories from the media of people who have stolen and have experienced loss as a result. The purpose is to show how people fall for sin and reap negative consequences. It is not used to disgrace or condemn the person. This is a very powerful teaching tool if used correctly.

It becomes very impacting when you can show how the sin wasn't even necessary and makes the person's choice look pathetic. "The story says she already possessed two vacation homes, her residence, and had a huge bankroll, but she was trying to take the one small home her daughter had as well. Sadly, greed made her look bad and destroyed her relationship with her daughter. How would you feel if you were her daughter? Do you think her daughter will ever forgive her? What do you feel had more lasting value: the home or the relationship? Let's pray for her to change and for their family to be truly healed and functioning for God's glory." 


****

I printed this and posted it in our home for a while to remind us of our family discussions. Temptation doesn't happen only to the young. Adults need reminders too!


Thou shalt not steal. -God 
It's His law, not a parent's, the court's, or the church's.

It's contradictory to trust God with your tithe and then go steal from a store or another person! Do you truly trust Him to provide or not? It shows through your actions.

While you are stealing from someone else or worrying about what they have, you are experiencing a loss of greater value!

What God has for you is far better than the thing that is not yours. He did not give that to you for a reason. Trust Him!! Be thankful and rejoice in what you have! 

Resist temptation. Honor the Lord with the right choices and reap blessings for your trust and obedience. Not only will God bless you and others respect you, but you will have respect for yourself for making the right choices.

Ask yourself: 

Why dishonor God over something that means so little? Bringing honor to God has lasting value. Owning something has only a temporary value. 

Spiritual check: What does it say about my level of pride that I think I deserve it more than the person God gave it to? Who of the two knows better? (see Proverbs 3:5-6)

Who would I be serving in this? What was the sin that had Satan thrown out of Heaven? (see Ezekiel 28:17)

What does it say about how I value the person I am considering stealing from? Is this "esteeming others better than myself?" (see Philippians 2:3)

Is gaining xxx worth dishonoring the Lord? or losing your integrity and good name over? (see Proverbs 22:1)

How would I feel if God allowed this sin to be exposed and everyone knew? Is it worth that? Did you know Christians are called to expose/reprove unfruitful deeds of darkness? (see Ephesians 5:11, greed mentioned in v3, coveting in v5)

A good Bible study on stealing and what happens or should happen to thieves and liars (often hand in hand) is also very helpful. The Bible has quite a bit to say about both. Maybe it's because we all fall prey to these sins so easily.

John 3:20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.


Thursday, October 02, 2014

Around Here October 2014

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new grow out pen for baby goats currently being cleared out by our pig, Wesson

Clint and I are working together to winterize the farm. It's made for some late evenings, but we have really enjoyed it. We have a lot to do still, but the list is steadily getting smaller. Another door was opened and we have already accomplished two of next year's goals! 

I am storing away all I can to supplement the winter feed bill. I already use fermented feed and a fodder system for the incredible nutritional benefits. I am cutting edible branches for the rabbits and goats and drying hay and other plant materials. Having worked at it a little at a time all summer, I have quite a bit put away.

Brandon had another review at work. He received high praises from three of his bosses and was given another nice raise! He is currently shopping for a car. He told us he is considering one day working as a Linux developer for space technology. He's working on certifications that head in that direction. 

Amanda is maintaining her 4.0 average in college. We are very proud of her! She is a tremendous help around the house and farm. She has insulated the attic space in her art studio. She is working on figuring out what she wants to do for heat. She colors my hair with three different layers of color. I am getting quite a lot of compliments on her work! 

Our youngest five children are thriving in our rural setting. They have loved the addition of animals this year. Quite often, I see them toting their favorite duck or chicken or turkey or rabbit around the farm while doing chores one handed. I am often asked, "Can I have a scoop of corn so I can feed them from my hand?" Their laughter and smiles are a nice reward!

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She calls him "Leader Duck." They are buddies.
They mustn't mind because when she lets the critters go, they stay right at her feet and follow her around!

If we have not heard from you in a while, please drop us a line (see addy in page header). If you come here to read frequently but rarely write, it's a one sided relationship where we share and you read. Give a little back and tell us how you are doing or what's new in your life. Know that if you don't, we will keep right on loving you and praying for you anyway. We enjoy making new friends, love all of our family close and far, and always respond to email if we receive it. If we haven't seen you in a while, please call us so we can plan a visit.

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Not a great picture, but I am loving my fall sunflower varieties!

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Pear Tree Update-It Worked!

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root ball

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new tree!

It worked!!  Read here and here to find the back story.

“Good farmers, who take seriously their duties as stewards of Creation and of their land's inheritors, contribute to the welfare of society in more ways than society usually acknowledges, or even knows. These farmers produce valuable goods, of course; but they also conserve soil, they conserve water, they conserve wildlife, they conserve open space, they conserve scenery.” 
― Wendell BerryBringing it to the Table: Writings on Farming and Food

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fig Update

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picture taken late June

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picture taken mid-August

I lost three, but the other three are doing great! I am going to overwinter them in the house. All I need is one to survive, and then I can propagate from that one. Figs do well indoors and are suppose to be very easy to grow from a cutting.

Zechariah 3:10 In that day, declares the Lord of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree.

Monday, September 29, 2014

My New Incubator

Five years ago, we kept a freezer from being tossed into the landfill. Clint repurposed it into an incubator. We had an 80-90% hatch rate (of fertile eggs) which, for those who don't know. is very good. We stored it in the barn during one winter and lost it in the barn fire.

This year, Clint built me a new one. He's actually building me three. Two of them will be in the side by side fridge/freezer below.


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This is a fridge we bought in great used condition for $150 and used as a second fridge for our large family for a good while. We repurposed it to keep it out of the landfill.
We are using a ceramic heater from an old reptile tank and computer fan for forced air circulation.

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type J thermocouple
phased out, so also headed for the landfill
The wood was in our wood shed which we fill with any scraps we feel we can reuse.
The wire was from another project too.

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lever raises and lowers the front of the racks for egg rotation
scrap wire

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pulling this lever up and down shifts the egg racks
no need to open the door

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The brain is a process controller.
It was destined for the landfill too.

This one side of the fridge turned incubator will hold 600 chicken eggs.
If you click that link, you will see Clint's awesome skills have saved us a pretty penny!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Hope Does Not Put Us to Shame!

"Just a quick morning word to anyone who feels stuck and hopeless. I keep thinking about this phrase in Romans 5: 

"...hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly." 

A couple of things: Do not be ashamed to hope. Th
ere is no shame in banking on God's love to prevail, His Spirit to win the day. That doesn't make you naive or foolish; this has been poured into your heart. Hope is the believer's response and gift. So go on and hope for that relationship to heal, that child to come home, that goodness to rise up in the midst of some horrible darkness. The Holy Spirit is pouring that very love into your thoughts, your feelings, your heart. Hope is our anthem and we can sing it in the dark before even a glimmer of light arises.

Two, "at just the right time." When all seemed lost, when we had no power, no recourse, no way out, Jesus saved the day. The timing mattered. We had nothing. We couldn't fix what was broken, bridge the divide, or engineer a Plan B. And that was the right time for salvation. So if you feel absolutely powerless, hoping for something you cannot control or heal, trust that Jesus always moves at just the right time. He is never late, even though it may seem way too late to you. It is NEVER too late for Jesus. Never. No relationship is too far gone, no loved one is too lost, no addiction is too deep, no heart is too shattered. If you are still in the dark, be still. Listen. Breathe. Learn. What is there to gain from this season? Because there is something. If you are powerless, pay attention because this is Jesus' favorite timing. This is when he saved humanity, so it is certainly when He can save you.

Let hope rise, dear ones. It is never too late."
Jen Hatmaker

Friday, September 26, 2014

Meet My Friend Debbie

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If you are in a relationship with an abusive person, you need to get away from them. Domestic violence is real, and the worst can happen. Don't wait until they put you in the hospital or worse.

She Asked

Receptionist: "Who is the doctor you normally see?"

Me: "I don't normally see doctors. I try to stay away from them as much as possible."

She laughed! Mission accomplished! ;-)


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Proud Mama

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Our muscovy hen hatched out 18 ducklings on the 39th day of sitting on them. I have heard of muscovies hatching up to 20, but most nests are 12-15. She crushed one duckling because there were so many. Because we have had issues with predators in the past, I put the ducklings in a brooder. Our other ducks had laid a pile of eggs, so we divided them and stuck them under this duck hen and another broody duck hen. Both of them accepted the eggs and started sitting on them, so if all goes well, we will have more ducklings at the end of Sept. Sitting is very hard on a broody duck. They rarely get off the nest to eat or drink or poo, so they lose weight. We put food and water close to the nest to help the mother. I have put it in the box they are nesting in, but they just throw it out. They don't mind me checking on them or talking to them, but other than that, they want to be left alone to do their job.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Do Your Children Swim in Fresh Water? You Need to Know About This

In mid-August, a friend of a friend lost a child to Electric Shock Drowning. I had never heard of it. It frightened me that I had never heard of it because swimming near a dock in fresh water is something I would allow my children to do. While I live and vacation on salt water rivers, I have many friends who vacation on fresh water lakes. It makes me sick to think of something happening to them or their childen.

Please read this article. Then, however you can, share this story. This is an easy thing to correct and prevent, but we have to get the word out there. I want to be a part of making that change happen so no more parents lose a child this way.

""As Lucas approached the ladder to get out of the water, he let out a loud gasp, immediately rolling onto his back in his life jacket, apparently unconscious. Sheryl (Lucas' mother) yelled to the other kids to help him and jumped into the water herself. As the kids approached Lucas, they felt a slight tingly sensation in the water and immediately backed off. Upon hitting the water downstream from Lucas, Sheryl's extremities went numb, and she experienced extreme difficulty moving her limbs, which, at the time, she attributed to fear," wrote Ritz in a detailed account of Lucas' preventable tragedy in Seaworthy magazine last year.
Although his mother managed to pull Lucas to the dock where others helped get him onto the dock, they couldn't revive him and CPR was unsuccessful. Lucas Ritz was 8-years-old, and his death could have been prevented:
  • If an Equipment Leakage Circuit Interrupter (ELCI) had been installed on the power boat that leaked voltage into the water where Lucas was swimming. It would have interrupted the circuit kept any electricity from leaking into the water; or
  • If the marina ahead of the boat's shore power had been equipped with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) breaker. Even 10 mA of current would have tripped the GFCI and stopped any electricity from entering the water."
FOXNEWS, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, other news agencies and networks, please do stories on this. I know from my husband, who has worked with electricity his entire life, that this is inexpensive and easy to fix, but it often takes some NOISE from people to bring awareness before change happens.

Thank you to my friend, Shonda, who brought this to my attention. My sincerest condolences to anyone who has lost a loved one to EDS.