Friday, February 29, 2008
I have thought about this a lot over the last few months and then I read something from Seeking the Old Paths. She said that she started with one cabinet and organized that. It was then her goal to keep it organized. She didn't worry about moving on to the next area until that cabinet had been kept organized for a specific period of time. I thought I might give it a try. I took a junk cabinet in our kitchen and organized it. I did this right after Thanksgiving. Much to my surprise, it has stayed organized. To be honest, it hasn't even been that much trouble to keep it that way. I then moved to my laundry room. This room was a much needed test for my new method. It has remained good for the last 2 weeks. (I have had to threaten several young men that if I ever see sports equipment in there again there would be bodily harm done to the owner of the equipment). I have been pleased at how much more pleasant I feel based on the fact that the laundry room is orderly. I don't get near as grumpy when I need to sort laundry because I am not fighting with a mound of junk. I just walk in and get to the task at hand.
Today I have spent time cleaning our bedroom closet and the hall closet. I should get an award for the most amount of stuff crammed into small spaces. I am queen at this. I don't keep excess stuff. I am very good to pass things along that we no longer need. However, when 7 people live in a home with small closets and little storage space you do what must be done. I am going to town later this weekend to purchase a few under the bed Rubbermaid containers. I don't have any where to properly store pictures. I have them in the bathroom closet because I didn't know what else to do with them. I now have room under my bed to neatly store them. I am making progress.
When this is all said and done, I will conquer this downfall in my life. I wanted the entire house organized in a day, but I realize that is impossible so I am being more realistic. I am giving my hand to organizing, and if all else fails we can just sell the farm and move again!!! (Organizing HAS to be easier than moving)!!!
grace and peace,
Thursday, February 28, 2008
In the craziness of our life, I find that the farm provides a serene peaceful place that facilitates time with the Lord as well as one another. As I throw hay to animals, I am reminded of the fact that God loves and cares for me. Often times as I am standing outside doing mundane farm chores, I come to realize that my Father's fingerprints are everywhere. As I look at the mountains, I see His handiwork. I stand in awe not at what He has created, but at who He is.
I want to express my love for Him, but how? Is it through singing a song or is it through a prayer?I believe it starts with a heart turned towards Him...a heart full of thanksgiving and adoration. A song may be in order, but that isn't the only way to worship the Father. A prayer may need to be vocalized, but that isn't the end. For me it is a lifestyle...a choice....I choose to worship Him while throwing hay to hungry animals or making a pot of beans for my family. I choose to worship him while doing the mundane things of life... the cleaning of bathrooms or the washing of clothes. I don't practice His presence, but I cultivate His presence. Actually I don't cultivate His presence ...He is always there...instead I cultivate myself to be aware of His presence. I am still working on the ground of my heart. Some days I am acutely aware of His presence. Other days I find that my day is half over and I have forgotten to mutter much of anything to Him at all. I am still tilling this ground, but I know that the Holy Spirit is at work in my heart. I may not get it all right every day, but after all I am a work in progress. I am thankful for the grace to grow and the mercy to try again upon each of my failures. Enjoy the journey...
grace and peace,
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
You might be a redneck if you are too busy keeping the farm animals away from the sled that your hat keeps falling off your head!
You might be a redneck if while sledding down the hill you scream watch out for the sheep, cow, horse, or pond!!! (I could also throw in that you might be a redneck if you have to turn off the electric fence in order to sled down the hill)!
Missy loves the snow. She is like a bull in a china shop whenever snow is involved. The kids did play with her for a good while this morning, but then she had to be brought back in the house because she was making sledding nearly impossible.
Of course I don't have any homemade hot chocolate mix. That is a tradition at our house, but I had already moved on into spring. I wonder if a nice cold glass of lemon aide would do??? About the only hot thing to drink around here is a nice cup of coffee... I think I will go and partake!
grace and peace,
Monday, February 25, 2008
I ended up staying in Ky. a day longer due to the ice storm. While I was there, The Unlikely Homesteader (her link is on our sidebar) posted a funny piece about being from Ky. I identified with almost everything...and I do know how to pronounce Cadiz and I have spent some time there many summers. I too love Lake Barkley, but it ain't the ocean by any stretch of the imagination! My husband made me feel so special while I was away because he missed me. He missed being with me, but he also missed all of the things that I take care of on a daily basis. He took the time to share his heart on this matter. It made me feel so special. I was thankful that he was willing to do my portion so I could go be with my mom.
I was also thankful that all of my plants didn't die in my absence. Michael watered them and took care of everything. He also made a sheep pen that the sheep can come into to eat. The other animals were dominating all of the food and the sheep weren't getting enough. Michael used hog panels to construct a pen that had an opening large enough for the sheep, but too small for all the other animals. By the time the lambs are born, the pigs will have been taken to the butcher so we can have a dry place for lambing. The sheep pen will be enlarged by taking out the panel that separates the hog pen from the sheep feeding pen. This will also give our sheep access to the barn. Michael will be working on the hoops for the beds this upcoming weekend. I am setting my plants out everyday for awhile to harden them off so they will be prepared to go in the raised beds with the hoops. I also need to start some more seeds for other plants. When Michael gets the hoops installed, I plan on planting lettuce too. I sure have missed our fresh lettuce!
grace and peace,
Monday, February 18, 2008
Michael started working on hoops to go over our raised beds so we can plant these plants outside soon. Our last frost date is around April 15th so we are trying to get ahead of our usual planting time by using the hoops. I will have him post instructions complete with pictures as he gets farther along into building them. As soon as the hoops are over the beds, I will be planting lettuce and spinach too.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
I am amazed that Michael was able to locate one of these breeders right here in our area. I am amazed that she had the exact rabbit I would have chosen for our daughter in pet quality. (Remember that means cheaper)! I see the hand of the Lord in this. I know it sounds silly for some people, but my faith is built up when "coinicidences" like this just happen. I will post pictures when we have a bunny in hand!!
grace and peace,
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Then comes our 3rd son. The farm is where his heart lies. He is just as enthusiastic about it as his dad. He is always willing to help. He is always asking for more animals to take care of. Just yesterday he told me that we would be planting seeds in our garden soon and he was excited. He appreciates what we grow and enjoys eating it to the fullest. He is always outside every chance he gets, and when the animals see him they all come running.
He enjoys watching the animals and seeing if they need anything else. I can't wait until the lambs are born because I have a feeling Jacob will be right in the mix of it. He is just 11 and he is the one who stops and expresses his amazement at all the things that we have done here in 4 years. I love the time spent with this child outside. His wheels are always turning on different things we can do to improve the farm. I pray that this isn't something this child outgrows. I often wonder if our oldest son had lived on this farm since he was 7 would his heart be different? Would the land and the animals be as near and dear to him as they are to his brother? I am not for sure, but I pray that Jacob's heart stays turned toward the farm lifestyle. I am also wise enough to know (remember I too will be 40 in a few short months) that all of our children have an appreciation for the farm life. They may not all embrace it for themselves, but they will all benefit from the lifestyle that we have led. I also think that when they are all older growing tomatoes will become more enjoyable, but if not I KNOW they will all want to come and watch our tomatoes grow!!
grace and peace,
Friday, February 08, 2008
I have enjoyed watching 2 of our children playing by the pond with the sunshine beaming down on them. I know in a bit the temperature will drop and children will not want to be playing by water, but for today I will enjoy what God has given to me. I am also planning some time in my plants this afternoon. That is always a great cure for Spring Fever. I am amazed at how beautiful these plants have become. I think this is one of the greatest mysteries to me...taking a seed, planting it, and watching what it becomes. Perhaps this is why the Bible is full of parables concerning sowing and reaping.
The time has come to stop day dreaming about the days ahead and intsead get out and make some reality happen. I hear the cows calling for hay. Until spring has really come to our area, I must go and pitch some more hay for animals to eat.
grace and peace,
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
One new Border Collie added to the farm February 2008. One of four pigs growing fat. These little porkers will be ready to slaughter around the end of April. We purchased the 4 pigs in November 2007.
This is our "baby" jersey calf. She was born in June 2007 here on our farm. She is getting big! If she isn't standing side by side with her mother, sometimes I have a hard time telling if she is the calf or the momma cow!
Here is a dark picture of our black angus cow and our 2 jersey cows. The black angus cow calf pair came to our farm in December 2007.
Our farm has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few months. I guess it would be more accurate to say that our animal additions have grown these last few months. I am thrilled about the animals because to me animals are what makes a farm. Somebody recently asked me how long we had been farmers. That question caught me off guard because I don't even think of us as farmers yet. In my mind, you have to at least own a tractor to be a farmer!! However as each month goes by, Michael and I have taken yet another step into developing this land into more of a farm. Perhaps one day I will wake up to discover that we are "real" farmers!
grace and peace,
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
I recently saw a report on the evening news concerning people in their 40s. The premise of the report stated that people in their 40's were the most unhappy people on the face of the earth. Basically it said that by age 44, people realized that they weren't going to become CEO of their work place, and many dreams that they had were never going to come to past. Apparently this is not just common in modern day America, but this is found all over the world. (Great news for 2 people that will be 40 soon. This gives every person in their late 30's something to look forward to)!
I started praying and asking God why I was different. Why wasn't the age 40 and beyond bothering me? I believe that the answer is found in the Lord Himself. I have never spent My life making My plans and My dreams and My wants and My desires. I have always wanted HIS will in my life. I have tried my best not to put MYSELF above everything here on Earth. I find that I am walking in the very purpose of God Himself so I am not worried that I am not on the cover of Good Housekeeping. I am being obedient to the Lord and living a quiet life building a family and a home without worrying about all the cares of the world. My life is deliberate and I choose to live the life because I believe that is what God would have from me. I don't worry about my teachers certificate becoming null and void because I didn't teach in public school for 2 years and complete my masters degree. Oh well, God didn't have me teach in public school. He allowed me to take my love of teaching and pour it into my own children. Truth be told, I was probably out of His will when I went to college. (I don't think college is bad, but I don't believe it is for each and every child. I know at least one of our children will go to college because of what God has gifted him to do. However, I finished college only because of the pressure of the world. Michael spent the next 10 years paying for my college education and guess how much money I earned with that education. NONE)!
I also purpose each day to Enjoy the Journey that God has put me on. Some days it is easier than others. I remember when I would drop Michael off at the pier for him to leave on the submarine. I would cry so hard because I was being left with a 2 1/2 year old and a newborn baby. I had no family in the area so I always felt alone while Michael was away with the Navy. I had to choose to enjoy those days that seemed so very long. I would not cook much while Michael was away so I enjoyed that break. I would take my extra time and develop friendships with other ladies in my situation. We enjoyed each others company and some great friendships were made. Other days are much easier to enjoy. I love the farm life so of course I enjoy the days spent here doing farm things. It isn't about the daily happenings, but a choice that I make to enjoy the life that God has given to me.
I plan on living my life in the next decade as I have lived in the past decade...I plan on seeking the Lord and doing His will every chance that I can. When I get off course, I know He will be faithful to guide me back to His way. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty". I believe that it is the Spirit of the Lord that brings such freedom and peace to live a life without the wordly mile markers that bring frustration. I don't judge my life by what career things I have accomplished or by what our bank account holds. Instead I look at my life and I hold it up to the Word of God as my standard. In the areas that I am lacking, I find scriptures that will help me along the way. I make a choice to make a change in those areas of my life. It may be hard, but it is well worth the effort.
For me, 40 isn't over the hill or on the hill either. I don't even see a hill if I am honest. I just view life one day at a time as a gift from the Lord above, and I am responsible for how I spend the time I am given. I can choose to waste the precious time that God has given me or I can choose to live it to its fullest being in the very center of God's will. So my question to you is the same as the one I ask of my 16 year old..."What do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life"?
grace and peace,
Monday, February 04, 2008
My husband has wanted a Border Collie since he went to pick up his new sheep last week. He found out that his friend had a litter of border collie pups that were just now ready to be sold. The first two pictures are of his new little Border Collie, Baxter. The last picture of our Mastiff shows pretty much how I felt about getting a new dog!!! Remember a picture is worth a thousand words! Let's just say I was less than thrilled, but a 40th birthday only rolls around once in a lifetime. We picked up the pup on Saturday. By Sunday and after a good bath that Michael and our daughter provided the little thing, I was starting to warm up to the new addition. (I still hate his name, but I do like the little guy)! He is so sweet and it is a lot of fun watching our English Mastiff with him. He tried to nurse, and he realized that wasn't very productive. He now wears himself out pulling her lips, ears, and tail. After about 15 minutes of play, he is ready for another puppy nap. I like puppy naps...no messes are happening when he is asleep!
At about a year old, we will be taking him to a local trainer so that he can be trained to do what ever he is suppose to do with sheep. We were reading the breed profile before purchasing the border collie, and the profile was the exact fit for my husband. The border collie was described as a "perfectionist that will settle for nothing less". These dogs want to please their owners and are suppose to be very loyal. The profile also said that these dogs are way to intelligent to be left alone without a job to do. If they are bored, they will find something to do one way or another"!!!
grace and peace,
Saturday, February 02, 2008
Our sheep have come to like us. We still want to be able to "pet" them, but for now they follow us instead of running from us. As we were walking down to the chickens last night, the sheep followed us bleating the whole time. They can sound rather pitiful. I find the sheep to be very peaceful creatures. I think I will truly enjoy their presence here on our farm.
Our last stop last night was in the barn. The stars had already started twinkling and lighting up the night sky, and we still hadn't completed all of the evening chores. As we were working in the pig area, Michael asked me to find a long piece of string. He wanted to measure the pigs using the string to see how much they weighed at this time. I handed him the string and the fun began. The pigs thoroughly enjoyed playing with it. They reminded me of kittens that liked chasing string. Michael spent quite a while trying to "measure" the little porkers, but to no avail.
Finally we finished the work and play then we headed up to the house. As we walked together, the cold night air was heavy in our lungs. I was sad to see the chores come to an end. I was enjoying the crisp air, the night stars, and hearing my husband talk of more plans. For me, this is what dreams are made of.
grace and peace,
Friday, February 01, 2008
This is the view off of our back deck. The mountains are breath taking. This was one part of the equation for drawing Michael to this farm. Last night as I rounded the corner to head up our street I knew it was going to be a long night. The wind was blowing the suburban very hard. At times, it was hard to control the large vehicle. When I pulled into the driveway, I urged Seth to hurry because I hated the feeling of the truck swaying by the force of the wind. We went in the house and I glanced across our field to make sure all was well. The chicken tractor had blown out of the fenced area and there looked to be a white bag up under it. I was concerned that the bag was a chicken so I took Seth downstairs and headed out to the back to check on the chickens. It was a chicken stuck up under the structure so I pulled her out and put her back in the fence with the others. I quickly ran back up to the house praying that our new sheep didn't end up in Kansas.