Friday, February 29, 2008

My Downfall in Life

I am a pretty good homemaker. I love to cook and I enjoy keeping our home looking nice and clean. That all sounds pretty good, but like many things in life there is a catch. I don't organize. My husband once said as he was trying to find something in the closet, "to be such a neat freak you sure do have horrible closets!" What can I say? It is true. I have lived my whole life with the attitude that as long as everything looked nice I was happy. With Michael serving in the Navy for almost 12 years, I could get away with messy closets. Every 3 years we moved out of our home and onto a new state with clean closets. Three years later it was time to move again so at least closets got dealt with about every 3 years. Since we have lived in Tennessee and the Navy life is behind us, we have still managed to move enough to more than keep our closets clean. However, we have been on this farm for 4 years and our closets are in a major state of dismay. What is one to do? (I looked up some real estate information). Then it dawned on me it was time to get organized. I mean really organized...the kind that comes when you don't move every little whip stitch.

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

Enjoying the Lord and the Farm

While I was away in Kentucky visiting my mother, I really missed the farm. I missed hearing the cows soft mooing reminding the owners that grain is in order. I missed hearing the rooster sing his song early in the morning. I missed the soft bleating sounds of the sheep when they see one of us carry a bucket. I love this life that the Lord has so graciously blessed me with, and I am so thankful for the days spent here.

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 sled in the same field that all of the animals are in... you might be a redneck!
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)!

Recently I found all 5 of our children playing Old Maid in the living room. It was fun to secretly watch and listen to them play Old Maid. The 3 year old was delighted!!!
By the way, in our home the term redneck is used affectionately. I know in other places that may not be the case, but here we love our rednecks!!!
grace and peace,

Did Somebody Think Spring????

We have waited all year for snow. Much to our dismay, we have received precious little of the white stuff. I decided to make the best of it by just forgetting about winter and moving on to spring. I took all of the winter decorations down and stored them until next year. I then placed the spring decorations up throughout the house. I was beginning to get into the spring idea, after all it was almost 60 degrees just 2 days ago! I was ready to plant my plants in the raised beds under the hoops. Yes, I had made the best of a bad situation. Then I woke up this morning to about 6 inches of SNOW!!! Yikes...I wasn't prepared for that. (Remember I had packed up the winter decorations and SNOW clothes). Children were quick to unpack them this morning. They are delighted as it is the first time the get to try out the new sleds that we purchased. Seth doesn't remember being in snow before. He was confused when I wanted him to put his foot pajamas on UNDER his snow bibs. He was sure I was secretly trying to tuck him back into the bed. As you can see from the picture above, we did manage to get him dressed and out to play.

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

Mission Accomplished...Almost

I returned home from celebrating my mom's 70th birthday. We had a great time and I had a chance to relax a bit. I had a surprise luncheon scheduled for my mom on her birthday. There were going to be 17 friends that my mom went to high school with meeting us in Indiana. However due to an ice storm, we had to cancel the trip. The ice storm also caused my brother and his family to remain in their town instead of joining us for her birthday. Had I not gone to Ky, my mom would have been by herself on her birthday. I am so thankful that I was there. I ran to the store (that is one advantage of living in town), and I grabbed some items to cook her a nice dinner and birthday cake. Michael's mom had our children so my mom and I ate dinner and played games all day long. It wasn't a bad day after all. I enjoyed the down time playing games, looking through cookbooks, and going through my dad's pictures. It was a great day. I picked up the kids later in the evening so I still got to spend plenty of time with them too. My brother and his family came the next day and brought the birthday gifts. (All of us kids went in together to get a specific gift that she had wanted). We had cake and ice cream, coffee, and a great game of Dominoes. I was able to end my brother's 6 game winning streak at Dominoes. (YES!!!)

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

Broccoli Plants, Cabbage Plants, and Bunnies

It has been a few days since I have posted. Lots going on around here, but nothing out of the ordinary. I did manage to snap a few pictures of our new plants growing in the basement. Here is a picture of our broccoli plants and cabbage plants. I can't believe how much they have grown.
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.

Our 4 legged friends discovered that there was a rabbit living in our daughter's room. (I know I was suppose to post pictures of the bunny, but I haven't had much success in getting a picture outside of its cage. I'll hop right on to that in a few days)! Anyway, this rabbit has been living in there for 4 days before the two "watch" dogs discovered it. The rabbit has been a huge hit at our home. Hope is very much attatched to it and she as already become fast friends with the little darling. (I pray the latch on the bunny cage holds)!!!
I am getting our home put together so that I can travel to celebrate my mom's 70th birthday with her in a few days. I will be taking several of the children with me, and the rest will be left in their father's care. I am sure that all will be well. I did over hear the kids talk about the last time dad was in charge of meals. He can cook chili and enchiladas pretty well so that is what they ate for about a week. I am looking forward to spending a few days with my mom. My sister in law and I will be taking her out to lunch in a town about an hour and a half away from her home. I called one of her high school classmates to invite her to join us for lunch. I told her to call around and see if any of the other gals would be available. As of now, there will be 17 joining us for a surprise birthday lunch. I think she will be thrilled because she doesn't get to see these ladies very often at all.
Well, it is time to go water the plants and tie up a few loose strings around here before bed. Have a great evening and I'll post again when I return from my trip.
grace and peace,

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My Husband Pulled a Rabbit Out of His Hat

I have been teasing my husband for the last two days because all of the sudden he has been on a Bunny hunt for our daughter's Valentine Day gift. I have asked him several times when was he going to pull this rabbit out of his hat. I have even sent an email or two poking fun at him about this rabbit. I figured it would be hard to find a rabbit this time of year. After all, it isn't Easter or anything. He called me from work yesterday with an email address. He asked me to send an email to this woman in our local area who breeds rabbits. Her rabbits are show quality and they come with pedigrees and papers. (I had NO idea that people even showed rabbits). Who knew there were so many different types of rabbits in the world??? She takes the rabbits that aren't perfect for showing and sells them as pets at a much cheaper price. She emailed back and said she had 2 doe jr rabbits and sent us pictures of both. The one was exactly what I had hoped we could get our daughter. It is called Jr. Doe Blue. (It's not really blue, more like a smoky color). We will be meeting this woman and her rabbit either today or tomorrow.

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

5 Love Languages

I remember reading a book once discussing the 5 different love languages that we as people exhibit. I don't remember the author, but I do remember most of the premise of the book. A quick summary is that we each possess a dominant love language and usually most of us have a secondary love language as well. The love languages are 1. quality time 2. touch 3. acts of service 4. kind words 5. gifts.
Here is how it works: I am a quality time person. Please do not buy me a gift without planning on spending some time with me. I look at that as trying to buy my love. It becomes offensive to me because I appreciate being with the giver more than the gift. One Mother's Day my kids wanted to buy me something nice. They had put their money together and were trying to come up with a gift. I intervened and told them I knew exactly what I wanted for Mother' s Day and it didn't cost a dime. I wanted them to spend the day planting the garden with Michael and I COMPLETE with smiles on their faces. I had more fun that day being together as a family spending time accomplishing something productive than any gift could have provided me.
My other love language is acts of service. If one of my children or husband wants to show me they really care, then do something to help me. Our oldest son has figured this out. He knows to show me he really cares about me all he has to do is clean the kitchen WITHOUT being asked. Wow, clean counter tops really grab my heart!
My husband is different from me. His primary love language is touch. I am not just talking about husband and wife relations, but really taking the time to touch him. I try to remember to rub his shoulders when I walk by him sitting at the kitchen table. I know he loves it when I give him a hug out of the blue. This is what speaks love to him. I also see him as needing quality time to show him that I love him. This is great because we both value that one!
Often times we run into trouble as a married couple when we push our love langauge on our spouse. Let me explain. I dragged our children to Michael's shop one day and told them that we were going to bless their dad by cleaning his shop from top to bottom. We spent a lot of time cleaning and we did a fine job if I do say so myself. When he came home, I was very excited for him to go to his shop and see what we did for him. (Remember I like acts of service). He was not near as excited as I expected. He was thankful, but fireworks of love didn't gush from him. At first I was a bit irritated. After all I could have spent my day doing something much better. I realized that although he appreciated it I wanted him to feel the same way I would have felt had he cleaned my house.
I am not big into gifts, but upon occassion I do come up with a great idea and I act upon that. One year for Michael's birthday I took our son and we picked out the exact deer stand that Michael had been wanting. This was a huge surprise for him. This was out of the ordinary in our home. I expected him to be thrilled beyond measure. He appreciated the gift, but he didn't make that big of deal of it. I could have been hurt by his response, but I know that for him gifts are not that big of a deal so he doesn't just jump up and down about a gift.
Our children also have their love language as well. For instance, I have two boys that have the primary love language of touch. Both of these boys will curl up on the couch with me any chance they get. Our 16 year old has no problem laying his head on my shoulder even in public! He loves me to come and scratch his back without asking me. Our second son is not that way. He is much more of a quality time type person. He will seek us out to spend time doing something meaningful with him. This is the way we show him we really value him and care about him.
Our daughter is a gift giver and receiver. (I use to think that this love language was a bit on the selfish side, but Hope has totally changed my perception of this). She will start at least one month in advance when she wants to give a gift. For Michael's birthday, she was telling me the day AFTER Christmas that we needed to start thinking about her Daddy's birthday. That was well over 2 months away, and it wasn't even in my thoughts. She spent 2 weeks before his birthday cutting out decorations and making plans. She even got her brother involved in her plans. She spent a long time making her dad a picture scrapbook of farm animals and pictures of her and him. She had it made and wrapped a week before the day. She put much of herself into making his birthday a special day. She also sees gifts that she receives as acts of love. I didn't understand that way of thinking at first. She has helped me grow in this area so much.
A few years past, Michael grabbed something for Hope for Valentine's Day. It was a small gift and very out of the ordinary because he and I don't celebrate this holiday at all. That gift touched her heart so much. She felt such a love for her dadddy because he took a few extra minutes to do something special just for her. He quickly realized that this was something that they would enjoy for years to come. Hope and her Dad still make valentine's day special. This year he is looking for her a bunny. She has wanted a rabbit for sometime, and he has told her for well over a year that he would get one for her. I purchased a used cage, and now all he has to do is to come up with a rabbit. (Too bad he can't just pull one out of his hat)!
I know this post has gotten a bit long. However, I truly believe that book has saved Michael and I a lot of frustration throughout the years. I try to take into consideration what speaks love to him and do that for him instead of just what I would want somebody to do for me. When I speak HIS love language to him, he always exhibits the reaction that I am expecting and I feel like the queen of his heart.
grace and peace,

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sunday Scripture

"In His hands are the deep places of the earth, the heights of the hills are His also."
Psalm 95:4

Saturday, February 09, 2008

A Boy and His Farm

Children are funny creatures. The Lord gives you one child and you feel like I am pretty good at this parenting thing, and then wham bam He gives you another child that is totally different from the first! As the scenerio goes on and on, you realize that this parenting thing is harder than it looked at first. (I personally believe that God does this to grow us in Him and to keep us humble. But that is just my opinion). We moved to Tennessee about the time our oldest son turned 10. He loves all the beauty that living in the country brings, but he can do without all the work. He will work on the farm if asked, but he doesn't have a happy heart about it all. He is now 16 preparing himself for college. He learned at the ripe old age of 10 that garden work just wasn't for him. It was more work than he cared to encounter so he decided that he would be doing something with his brain instead of his hands. (Just for the record, I think God has something for him that will require college so I am not disappointed in his decision). He is not lazy, but farm work isn't appealing to him. Our second son is a bit different. He doesn't mind the farm work. He does it for the most part willingly, but he would be just as happy doing something else. Usually after helping his Dad on the farm for a day, this 14 year old will come in feeling content and satisfied. However, he has to be strongly encouraged to work on the farm. This is the son that can fix just about anything, and he is good at it. He will often times see things that need fixing and just do it without being asked.
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

Longing for Spring

The last few days have given us some beautiful weather. There has been a hint of spring like feeling in the air, and I am looking forward to what spring has to offer. I know it is still early in February so I am trying to hold back my thoughts in this area. However, I already see little sprigs of green grass making its way through the ground. I find myself wanting to take all of our winter home decorations down and store them away to be replaced with lighter spring things. I WILL wait because I know that winter is far from finished. I love winter, but this winter hasn't been much in our area. We haven't had any good snow for sledding. To be honest, we haven't had any snow much to speak of at all. In my mind the snow months should be behind us, but that isn't always the case here in our corner of the world. Often times late February and early March bring ground covered in snow. I even find I am ready for a change of menu. I am looking forward to fresh from the garden salad sitting next to a garden stir fry. Lemon Bars sound much more appetizing than Carrot Cake right now.

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

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

10 sheep added to the farm in the month of January .

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

40...Over the Hill, On the Hill, or What???

I mentioned in yesterday's post that my husband is celebrating his 40th birthday this week. I too will celebrate my 40th birthday in just a few short months. I do not think about birthdays a lot, except those of my children. I don't fret about age. When I was in my 20's I used to get irritated by people who treated me like a child even though I had two children of my own. They acted as if I barely had sense enough to get in out of the rain. When I hit my 30's, I was looking forward to being treated as a respected adult. My 3o's were the most enjoyable years of my whole life thus far. Part of that was because many of my dreams had become realities in my life. For instance, I always wanted several children and a wonderful marriage. By the time I was 30, I had 4 children and my marriage was great. Michael and I started seeing many of our plans and dreams come into being such as getting out of the military and making a home on a farm. I loved the settled feeling that my 30's brought to me. While I still had to budget, I could go the grocery store without having to take a calculator with me. If I over spent a bit, I could adjust some other areas of our budget to make up for it. (In our 20's if I over spent, it would have meant over drawing at the bank)! My 30's have brought some sad times in my life... I spent a year watching my father live life to its fullest while his body was being slowly starved away by cancer. I spent those last few months of his life caring for him in a way that I never thought I would care for the man that had always cared for me. I grew by leaps and bounds in those months, and the Lord met me every step of the way. The Lord gave me unbelievable treasures during that hard time in my life.

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

Guess What My Husband Got for His Birthday??

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 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

A Night to Remember

Yesterday evening I went outside with Michael to help unload the feed that he had purchased for the animals. First, we unloaded about a half a bale of hay into the hay ring. It was comical to see all the animals gathering around the feeder. They were very excited to see the hay and we couldn't throw it out of the trailer fast enough for them. By the time we were done, each of their noses and even their heads were covered with bits of hay.

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

And the Wind Blew and Blew and Blew Some More

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.
It was a long night. I have never felt the wind so strong in our home before. While we were sitting in the barstools, we could feel the counter top of the bar shake. When I sat at the kitchen table, my hair was being blown from the wind outside. We went to bed and I woke up off and on all night wondering what damage was being caused by the force of the wind.
Upon inspection this morning, I found that an extra bee hive had been blown away, but this one did not contain any bees. (In times past we have lost our bee hives several times due to the wind). Our yard gate had been blown off its hinges. (Easily fixed). There are shingles from our roof scattered to infinity and beyond! Our gate to our pasture that holds all of our animals had blown open. (Thank God for electric fence)! Then I noticed the stock trailer that Michael uses to haul our animals. It was moved a good ways into our building and our fence. He had concrete blocks up under the tires to keep it from rolling, but the wind blew it anyway. Thank the Lord it didn't break the fence, but it did stretch it out a bit.
Our perfect little farm has a bit of a glitch which we can't do anything about for now. Michael asked me this moring if I wanted to move. Ummm...I thought about it. I even looked at some property for sale in our area on the internet. I decided that we have everything we ever dreamed of wanting...except for the wind part...and we should just be thankful for what we have. Michael took the day off from his day job to repair the damage done to the farm. I know he has enjoyed his day. He is off to buy hay and feed. I am thankful our trailer is not damaged and our animals are all safe and not blown to Kansas with Dorthy and ToTo!!!!
grace and peace,