Saturday, December 03, 2016

Please pray...

Route 58 Tractor Trailer Accident

I know this family from way back when I was a little girl. They are well loved and respected. One of their daughters has gone through some very tragic times recently. Please pray for their children and loved ones.

As a side note, I had friends spewing venom because their plans were interrupted by the traffic while I knew this mother of a friend was dead, her husband was struggling to live, and other friends were devastated by the news. It's a good thing to keep in mind that on the other side of the traffic problem, someone else is having a bad day or worse and needs our prayers. It is a time to guard our thoughts and words and not let frustration (pride) rule. It's an opportunity to minister to strangers through prayer.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Temporary Scripture Tattoos

I am putting this here to remind myself of them later.

"We set out to make a way to get scripture into your memory bank by allowing you to take advantage of all the micro moments in life. If you don't have a lot of time (like us), spending 25-30 minutes to memorize scripture isn't something most people can maintain. We wanted to create a way people to take all their wasted micro moments in life (standing in line, at a stop light, in a drive through, in an elevator, riding a bike and even taking a shower) and make them opportunities to memorize scripture.

Armed With Truth was born to give you a ultra convenient (yet dashingly fashionable) way memorize scripture for a few seconds a day --everyday. The temporary tattoos are made for your inner wrists and will last anywhere from 2-5 days and are ready at all times for you to be encouraged and empowered. Each pack contains 10 verses centered around a transformational theme -- from knowing your Identity in Christ to becoming a Change Maker. Over 100 verses in all to transform your mind and equip you with the Word of God."

Health Risks of Unforgiveness (repost)

“Stress exacerbates pain, tightens muscles and interferes with the smooth running of the immune system – all things that have an effect on arthritis,” says Fred Luskin, PhD, director of the Forgiveness Project at Stanford University, Stanford, Calif. “People think they have this unlimited storage of anger, judgment and hostility that will never come home to roost, but it comes home immediately.” (source)

“When you don’t forgive, you release all the chemicals of the stress response,” Luskin says. “Each time you react, adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine enter the body. When it’s a chronic grudge, you could think about it 20 times a day, and those chemicals limit creativity; they limit problem solving. Cortisol and norepinephrine cause your brain to enter what we call ‘the no-thinking zone,’ and over time, they lead you to feel helpless and like a victim. When you forgive, you wipe all of that clean.” (source)

What are the benefits of forgiving someone? (source)

Letting go of grudges and bitterness can make way for compassion, kindness and peace. Forgiveness can lead to:
  • Healthier relationships
  • Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
  • Less anxiety, stress and hostility
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fewer symptoms of depression
  • Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse

There is a great deal written about the connection between unforgiveness and health. I encourage you to do your own search and learn more as a motivation to extend forgiveness. 

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1

A man's pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit. Proverbs 29:23

Friday, November 18, 2016

Don't Worry About Them; Do Your Part (repost)

I originally set this to post last summer after sharing this with a friend who was going through some hard times. Someone just shared how this verse also applies to the battles going on between evil and good in our society today.

Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.  Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm. Psalms 37:1-9

I love this verse. 

It basically states: Don't worry about the evil people or be envious of what they have because they won't last. 

Then God gives us a list of what we, His people, should do, and it's enough to keep us so busy we don't have time to worry or be envious!

Trust in the Lord

Do good
Dwell in the land
Feed on his faithfulness
Delight yourself in the Lord
Commit your way to the Lord
and again...Trust also in Him
Rest in the Lord
Wait patiently for Him
and for a 2nd time...Do not fret
Cease from anger
Forsake wrath
and a 3rd time...Do not fret

We need to do what we are suppose to do and trust God to take care of the rest in every situation in our lives.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A Third Camping Trip

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campsite early in the morning

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beautiful trail to the camping area

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We love our 4WD that takes us where there are no roads.

We squeezed in another camping trip before the weather became too cold. We camped on a mountain top in a remote setting. It was very pretty and peaceful!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Maturity in Difficult Relationships (repost)

I've taught my children this. Now my adult children are seeing it firsthand in the people around them.

Hurt people hurt people.
That's how pain patterns get passed on, 
generation after generation after generation.
Break the chain today. 
Meet anger with sympathy, contempt 
with compassion, cruelty with kindness.
Greet grimaces with smiles.
Forgive and forget about finding fault.
Love is the weapon of the future.
-Yehuda Berg

The speed at which we forgive and show willingness to work towards a healed relationship shows how mature we are in Christ. As we become more like Him, we realize how much He has done for us and are ready to example His love and forgiveness to others. This is how maturity in Christ looks in the midst of difficult relationships.

“The willingness to forgive is a sign of spiritual and emotional maturity. It is one of the great virtues to which we all should aspire. Imagine a world filled with individuals willing both to apologize and to accept an apology. Is there any problem that could not be solved among people who possessed the humility and largeness of spirit and soul to do either -- or both -- when needed?” Henri J.M. Nouwen 

“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.”  Marvin J. Ashton

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr.

You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.  – Genesis 50:20

It's on the Line

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I spray paint my clothespins after purchasing them. This $1.45 extra cost makes 
them last a lot longer. Because unpainted ones darken with use, 
it also makes them very easy to find in the grass if I drop one.

I can remember both of my grandmothers hanging clothes on the line to dry. I have been hanging out since I was a child. I have never had a dryer hooked up in my current home where I have lived for 21 years. I chose to put a second washer in that space, and it has been such a time saving blessing to me! While it isn't for everyone, there are many advantages to drying laundry outside.

First and most important to me, the natural UV light kills germs that the dryer doesn't. Twenty four years ago, I read that in a parenting magazine which was giving tips on how to avoid diaper rash for babies who wore cloth diapers. The UV light also kills bacteria that cause other skin rashes and infections.

Clothes naturally smell better after being outside. No need to use chemicals.

Stains fade naturally thanks to the sunlight. That also saves on chemical usage.

Machines increase wear and tear. Clothing and linens last longer when hung on the line to dry.

It is good stewardship. It saves a pile of money in not only electricity but also clothing and linen costs. That makes it a great choice for those of us who have large families.

It gives me time outdoors where I can hear the birds, feel the sunshine, and enjoy nature. It slows me down and is soothing to my soul.

It can be a time set aside to talk with one or more of my children while we hang the clothes together. It often becomes a time of laughter!

Air drying helps prevent wrinkles. If I snap the clothes before hanging them to dry, they are almost completely wrinkle free.

Clothes hung on the line do not develop static cling.

Line drying is a mini-work out. The lifting, bending, and reaching contribute to fitness levels.

There is no risk of fire when using the sun to dry your clothes. Dryers have to be maintained both at the lint screen inside the dryer and at the duct that vents to the outside. To reduce the risk of fire, the duct should be made of metal, cleaned every six months at the least, and replaced every five years according to home safety organizations. The lint screen should be cleaned between every load. The standard advice is to never run your dryer when you aren't home.

In the winter, I will hang out clothes in the house to dry which helps raise the humidity levels. That's a nice benefit.

I know it's not for everyone, but line drying works very well for my family. It has saved us quite a bit of money in electricity, chemicals, clothing, and linens.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Wintergreen Visit

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a howling little coy-wolf we "found" and brought home

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Emily and Hannah enjoyed our visit to Wintergreen. 

On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. Psalm 145:5

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Rich Mullins on Christianity

Christianity is about learning to love like Jesus loved. Jesus loved the poor, and Jesus loved the broken. -Rich Mullins

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Unforgiveness and the Havoc It Can Cause (repost)

This is a repost of one of the most searched for pages of our blog and is from April 14, 2013:

Unforgiveness is the willful choice to refuse to give up negative feelings and the right to get even demanding that someone has to pay for the offense you feel was committed against you or someone else. It is a very serious sin and has some very serious consequences.

Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

At first glance, these verses look like you can lose your salvation if you are hold grudges in your heart. An overview of Scripture would prove nothing can separate us from God's love. When we dig deeper, we learn these verses are regarding our fellowship with God. When we hold onto those bad feelings about someone else, we suffer in our relationship -that closeness- with God. Psalm 66:18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;

"Well, I forgive them, but they will know I am not happy about it."Stop lying to yourself! You are still seeking a form of retribution so it's unforgiveness. You might be trying to punish the with your silence or absence knowing full well that is not what God wants. There are all kinds of lies we tell ourselves to let the harsh feelings stay. We need to be honest with ourselves about what is in our hearts. Lamentations 3:40 Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.

"It takes me time to forgive. It will take me a while to get over it. I'll avoid them until then." What this speaker is saying is that they are slow to obey, are not in touch with their own failings and God's redemptive work in their lives, and they will punish them with silence and absence. This is not our example. God doesn't treat us like that. I am thankful for the people who have exampled Him in my life by forgiving me quickly and eagerly. 

The other person is not affected much by our unforgiveness. I know that disappoints you, but it's true. They don't get up each morning and wail "Oh no, so and so won't forgive me! They are still mad at me, and I just can't go on!" You are the one who will be wallowing in the filth of your rebellion to God's way of doing things! We can blame others for our misery, but doing that reaps us more frustration and hostility.

If they are a godly person who stumbled, they are going to probably forgive you and move on with it. You are the one who will be suffering loss while they are trying to learn and gain all of the spiritual growth out of the situation. You look like a weak Christian, but they are growing stronger in the Lord. Their testimony increases while yours decreases. 

If what is going on in your heart is not right, you can attend church, sing in the choir, be a deacon or Sunday School teacher, help the needy, serve on committees, run a ministry, go on mission trips, etc...and you will still lack in faith and fellowship with the Almighty. He cares more about what is IN YOUR HEART. Unforgiveness is the opposite of godly love. It is not Christ-like. In fact, unforgiveness goes against the very thing Jesus exampled: forgiveness. When we see it, we need to rid ourselves of it immediately.

Here are a few ways unforgiveness negatively affects us:

·     Bitterness in our attitudes, actions, and words affects those around us which in turn affects us. (Luke 6:45Ephesians 4:29) 
·         Blocks our spiritual growth (James 1:22)
·         Hinders us in our witness (I Timothy 4:16)
·         Affects the acceptance of our offering (Matthew 5:24)
·         Hinders us in our prayer life (Isaiah 59:2Psalm 66:18)
·         Hinders us in our worship (How can we demonstrate our love of God if we             are not obeying Him? John 14:15)
·         Affects us physically  (Proverbs 3:7-8)
·         Affects the counsel we give. We can't give godly counsel if our hearts are harboring ungodly feelings. (Proverbs 28:26Proverbs 14:12)
·    We lose part of our harvest. (James 3:17)

Hebrews 12:14-15 says that we are to make every effort to live in peace and not miss extending grace because bitterness reaps us trouble and affects many people. This command requires our action and our communication with the other person. We are to forgive and extend peace. Just because we do our part does not mean they will do theirs. They may not know Christ as well as you do, so it's a good thing you exampled Him with your forgiveness. They may have other issues going on in their life. Their reaction doesn't matter! Forgiveness isn't about them; it's all about you and your relationship with Christ! That's why it is such a big deal in a Christian life. 

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Another Camping Trip!

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We haven't been too long returned from taking Emily and Hannah camping in the "deep dark woods" as Emily use to call it. We had a blast! The area we stayed in is in the mountains near Stuart's Draft! We had a lot of fun, made new friends, met a 28 year old horse named Cody, and spent a lot of quality time together.

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; 
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. 
Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? 
In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:7

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis REVERSED! My time is very short for this, so please excuse errors. We are so happy and wanted to tell everyone who has been waiting with us...and share with others who wondered what was going on.
Last year, our family came down with a virus that hit us pretty hard. Clint was the last one to get it. During a rough work week, he also became very dehydrated. I could see the dehydration in the skin on his face. Less than 24 hours after that, he had extreme swelling of his ankles. Within two days, he was having severe pain. He went to an urgent care, but the doctor literally told him, "I have no idea why your legs are swelling like that."
Then he went to his usual doctor and had two tests that showed some inflammation in his body. He was told the markers indicated it was autoimmune in nature but could be where the dehydration forced the virus into his joints. We didn't even know this could happen but learned through research it does! I think I posted a couple of articles about it when we were going through this.
While he was waiting for the appointment with the next doctor, the pain became excruciating! He ran a low grade temp that would suddenly shoot up to 102-103 and then would go away two hours later with shivering and drenching sweats. He had symptoms all over the place. The swelling and pain went to other joints and would migrate around his body-different from one day to the next. The pain was so bad, he would moan in his sleep. Clint worked by sheer will, but he could do nothing, and I mean NOTHING, once he came home. We had to put his feet up to help the swelling go down. My night owl husband often went to bed at 8 or 9 just exhausted from the pain.
Then he saw the rheumatologist. This doctor did not listen to us about the virus and dehydration. He is a young doctor and online reviews for him say he does not listen to his patients. We found that to be accurate. He acted like the other doctor was an idiot for thinking it could possibly be viral arthritis. From the moment he laid eyes on Clint, before we had even given details or the any further tests were run, he was convinced it was RA. LOTS of tests were done.
All of the tests for any autoimmune diseases and even Lyme came back negative..even the RA, but there were markers for inflammation which was expected due to the swelling. Because we knew from the rheumatology website it can take 6 weeks for viral arthritis to resolve itself in some cases, we asked the doctor about it again. He was a bit rude and said it resolves itself in under three in all cases. Clint was 3 weeks and 2 days into it when he saw that doctor.
When the tests came back, the doctor diagnosed him with seronegative RA. He tried to give Clint Rxs and told him he'd have to take drugs the rest of his life. Clint had already researched the main two and knew the side effects could be very bad. Clint refused them telling the doctor he felt his diagnosis was wrong. The Dr insisted he take the RXs. Clint refused again. The doctor then told him that he would not be able to see Clint and give Rxs in a timely manner and Clint would suffer in pain because of his refusal. (I feel this was a threat..It is easy for Rxs to be called into a pharmacy.) Clint told him, "Doc, I've done it so far, and if need be, I can do it again. I am not taking those drugs until I am certain I know what this is."
Clint came home and ordered an herbal protocol we had researched heavily, but before it got here, he started with heavy doses of a very inexpensive, relatively safe, and readily available herb that has helped people with similar symptoms. Since he did not have any contraindications, the first night he took two VERY large doses.
The next morning, his pain was 80% less!!! He never had the fever or night sweats after that. He very excitedly called me and told me he was going to pick some up for work and keep taking it. By the end of that week, his pain and swelling was 90% less. It was AMAZING! Within two weeks, all pain and swelling was gone. He continued taking it until he saw some mild side effects from the large does and stopped.
We had to wait until now because the doctor was convinced Clint would start showing symptoms again and refused to change the diagnosis until now.
Just an hour ago after Clint once again proved he was pain free without the Rxs, Clint was told the diagnosis is being reversed to viral.
Lesson: Trust YOUR instincts!
THANK YOU to our friends who kept our confidence and warrior-ed with us in prayer. THANK YOU to everyone who helped our family during that very difficult season. We are still paying for the many office visits and expensive testing and trying hard to catch up on the work that fell behind, but we THANK GOD Clint is healthy!

...and what was that very inexpensive, relatively safe, and readily available herb?

After that, he took Buhner's Lyme herbal protocol because research showed it helped others with similar symptoms. He also took some low dose medication for a few months. Clint's pain was so severe he wanted to do everything he reasonably could to make sure it did not return.

We are not doctors, but I am a certified herbalist. This is not medical advice and should not be taken as such. It is our story of what happened and what helped Clint. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


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We just returned from camping and are planning another trip to enjoy more of the fall foliage which is very soon going to be at peak.

If you like camping and love the wilderness, I encourage you to check out the national forests where you can camp for free. Some have designated campsites, but you are allowed to camp outside of those campsites. 

If you like rustic camping with comfort, I advise a quick set tent (same as ours), raised bed frame, and inexpensive mattress. We use a cheap spring mattress in our tent on a raised wood frame we built with new lumber very inexpensively. We can slide storage totes underneath. It eliminates a lot of soreness and increases what you can store inside the tent.

The area we are frequenting lately is called Big Levels and is near Waynesboro, Virginia. There is a rugged 4x4 mountain climbing trail we enjoy and the scenery is very beautiful. We hike a lot and enjoy the wildlife. I know information about that area can be hard to find on the internet, so if you need info, please don't hesitate to email us. (see blog header)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Hillary or Trump: No election worries when you believe this

I have a prediction. I know exactly what November 9 will bring. Another day of God's perfect sovereignty. He will still be in charge. His throne will still be occupied. He will still manage the affairs of the world. Never before has His providence depended on a king, president, or ruler. And it won't on November 9, 2016. "The LORD can control a king's mind as he controls a river; he can direct it as he pleases" (Proverbs 21:1 NCV).
On one occasion the Lord turned the heart of the King of Assyria so that he aided them in the construction of the Temple. On another occasion, he stirred the heart of Cyrus to release the Jews to return to Jerusalem.
Nebuchadnezzar was considered to be the mightiest king of his generation. But God humbled and put him in "detention" for seven years. "The kingdom is the Lord's, and He rules over the nations" (Psalms 22:28).


"I have a prediction. I know exactly what November 9 will bring. Another day of God's perfect sovereignty. He will still be in charge. His throne will still be occupied. He will still manage the affairs of the world. Never before has His providence depended on a king, president, or ruler. And it won't on November 9, 2016. "The LORD can control a king's mind as he controls a river; he can direct it as he pleases" (Proverbs 21:1 NCV).
On one occasion the Lord turned the heart of the King of Assyria so that he aided them in the construction of the Temple. On another occasion, he stirred the heart of Cyrus to release the Jews to return to Jerusalem.

Nebuchadnezzar was considered to be the mightiest king of his generation. But God humbled and put him in "detention" for seven years. "The kingdom is the Lord's, and He rules over the nations" (Psalms 22:28)." -Max Lucado, read the rest here
I have a prediction. I know exactly what November 9 will bring. Another day of God's perfect sovereignty. He will still be in charge. His throne will still be occupied. He will still manage the affairs of the world. Never before has His providence depended on a king, president, or ruler. And it won't on November 9, 2016. "The LORD can control a king's mind as he controls a river; he can direct it as he pleases" (Proverbs 21:1 NCV).
On one occasion the Lord turned the heart of the King of Assyria so that he aided them in the construction of the Temple. On another occasion, he stirred the heart of Cyrus to release the Jews to return to Jerusalem.
Nebuchadnezzar was considered to be the mightiest king of his generation. But God humbled and put him in "detention" for seven years. "The kingdom is the Lord's, and He rules over the nations" (Psalms 22:28).



Monday, October 17, 2016

...but instead expose them.

"Our Christian responsibility goes beyond abstaining from the “deeds of darkness.” We are also called to expose them. To ignore evil is to encourage it, and to keep quiet about it is to help promote it. The verb translated as “expose” (from elegchō) can also carry the idea of reproof, correction, punishment, or discipline. We are to confront sin with intolerance. ...  Failure to speak out against and oppose evil is a failure to obey God. Believers are to expose the works of darkness with whatever legitimate, biblical means necessary. Love that does not openly expose and oppose sin is not biblical love. Love not only “does not act unbecomingly” but it “does not rejoice in unrighteousness” wherever it might be found (1 Corinthians 13:5–6). Our Lord said, “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private. . . . If he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you. . . . If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church” (Matthew 18:15–17). This is the responsibility of every Christian (cf. 1 Timothy 5:1, 20; 2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:13; 2:15)" John MacArthur 

I Timothy 5:20 As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear

Ephesians 5:11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

Psalm 94:16 Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?

Our family has been going through something very tough the last few years due to a man named Brad who chooses to do wrong while using God's name and staying just above the limits of the law. 

As a family, we have been talking about how when good men stay silent, evil prospers in our society. Clint and I feel convicted that the fear of gossip and our embarrassment is the wrong motivation for staying quiet. In fact, we feel we must share to expose what this man is doing. Being quiet so far has only enabled him to continue and be bolder. So, we have been seeking wisdom on how to do expose him in a way that pleases the Lord.

We have peace knowing God will contend with this man and those who have quietly enabled him for what he has done in our lives. While we can rest there, we certainly do not want to share in the blame if this situation happens again and causes destruction in the lives of others because we had failed expose the danger to other families. James 4:17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

It would be very easy to go around trying to destroy this man by telling every little thing to everyone who will listen, but that is not our motivation. We are taking the vast amount of proof we have and are letting prayer warriors, close friends, law enforcement officers, pastors, realtors, and other community leaders know what has happened to us so they can keep an eye on him. Maybe God will use this to spare someone else the pain Amanda and our family has been through at the hands of a self proclaimed "Christian" business man in our community who has used God's name to do wrong and hurt so many others. The path of destruction so far extends to at least 20 people, that we know of, who have been affected in one way or another. Maybe his knowing that local leaders know what he is doing will be what makes him stop.

We are also asking leaders to share the story without names to warn others that people like this do exist and cause great destruction. We are helping them identify and learn how these kinds of men operate and the lengths they go to to manipulate and conceal their sin.

Copies of the full story, along with the pictures and proof, are in our safe and with close family and friends. Please pray for our wisdom and safety as we walk circumspectly to bring these deeds to Light. Thank you very much! Please tell us how we can pray for you and yours.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Prayer Please

Thank you to all who bow their heads and pray for our family. May God bless you for it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Around Here September 2016

Clint and I have been fairly ill the past several days. We are on antibiotics, but they are not helping. The assumption is that it is something viral. Whatever it is, it is mean. It's already been through the rest of the family but seems to be hitting us harder.

Brandon has been buying furniture and settling more into his home.

Amanda has asked to move back home and made some wiser choices. Since making those changes, she's found a full time job and has her sights set on purchasing a house within the next year. She's been taking care of us and running the household the last few days which has been a tremendous blessing.

Joshua and Bethany had their 17th and 13th birthdays on the 17th. Since Clint and I were sick, we are planning a "do over" for their birthday celebration.

Joshua got his braces put on. Four brackets fell off within the first half an hour. He went back to get them put on and the orthodontist did not "have the stuff to do it with."

Caleb has announced he wants to start an apprenticeship with a carpenter. We are looking for an opportunity near us.

Emily has been cooking for our turtles and tortoises. The turtles will be hibernating soon so their appetites and nutrition needs have gone up quite a bit. Hannah has learned that pigtails keep her hair from being a knotted mess every morning. That's saving us both some time every day.

I had something fun and profitable dropped in my lap a few months ago. I wasn't looking for it, but it found me. It's been a big blessing to our family and many others. It's keeping me busy and has really helped with the Christmas gift list.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Up and Down

Everything God allows serves a purpose in the lives of those who love Him. This has been a roller coaster ride, and we've had to hold on tight with the ups and downs. We know God is using it to refine every member of our family into more His image. It's been a very painful process. 

We learned things that had been hidden from us...things that broke our heart and other things that scared us. Stories had been told about others that we believed, so we helped them get out of the situation. Only we find out there were lies upon lies as the poison on the inside ate its way out. The situation became bad, and then it got better shortly. Then the situation grew worse again. Then it became much worse. We kept praying. 

Specifically, we asked God to scare them but not to hurt them. We asked God to send them walking down the driveway when it was OK to invite them home again. Both of those very specific prayers were answered. For now, they are home and "committed to being good." It's not perfect but better.

God has been very gracious with His peace. The calmness in my heart I know came from Him. The songs I'd wake up with in my mind, I know were put there by Him. The friends who ministered, the stories that came my way, the verses in my daily devotional were all given to me by a God who loves me as an individual. All His ways are good!

We think we know what the root event is to this bad thinking, but we can't get them to talk. We know the struggles with very low self esteem and PTSD aren't helping. We know they are headed for trouble again if they don't get help to learn ways to protect themselves. We've tried all we know how to do and more. We've offered every available resource. The pain is very visible. 

Where we can't make inroads, we know God can. Please keep praying. 

I apologize for not answering mail. I started a new activity in May, and it has been affected by this. However, it has also been a great way to occupy the mind during this season.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

United States Air Force Heritage of America Band October 1 Performance

This was emailed to me, so I am sharing it here:

The United States Air Force Heritage of America Band, stationed at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia will celebrate its 75th anniversary with a special concert, “A Legacy of Excellence,” on Saturday, 1 October, 7:30pm, at The Ferguson Center for the Arts, in Newport News, VA.  The concert will feature the concert band, and will welcome to the conducting podium several former commanders of the USAF Heritage of America Band, including:   Colonel Lowell E. Graham (USAF, ret.), Colonel Larry H. Lang, Lieutenant Colonel Richard A. Shelton (USAF, ret.), and Captain Rafael F. Toro-Quinones.
The USAF Heritage of America Band, established by the Army Air Forces on Oct 1, 1941, provides musical support to a 15-state region reaching from Maine to South Carolina.  The band has been featured on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” NBC’s "The Today Show," the DESERT STORM National Victory Parade, The World Series, NFL games, and NASCAR. The Heritage of America Band has performed ceremonies for U.S presidents and foreign heads of state, including the Queen of England and the President of France.
This performance is FREE and open to the public! Doors Open at 6:30 P.M. Only the first 1700 ticket holders will be seated. Ticket holders must be seated by 7:15 P.M. Unclaimed seats will be available for non-ticketed patrons at 7:20 P.M.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Please Keep Praying

We heard from them.

Clint and I are standing on God's promises and are battling in prayer. Thank you to those who are standing in prayer with us. Please tell us how we can pray for you and yours.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

What a Blessing He Is to Our Family!

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If you are working, Caleb will be the member of our family to ask you how he can help. He is so giving and works so hard! He saw I had a need for bookshelves, so he made me two matching bookshelves to fit in the spaces on either side of our entertainment center. I have not had time to stain them yet, but they are filled with books already!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

My Granddog likes to be Cradled

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Girly, Brandon's dog, doesn't understand "too big for my lap." She loves to be held and rocked like a baby and will ask me to let her into my lap which is where she is in this picture. She snuggled right up to my breast like a baby! She'll take all the love I can give her. She still suffers from anxiety from losing her first owner to cancer, so our family tries to work it out to make sure she is never alone. She is a sweetheart! She's also been helpful in running dogs off our farm during the daytime. She goes home with Brandon every evening and keeps watch over him.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

An idea to help if someone you love works in the heat...

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When Clint works his second job on the weekends, it can get very, very hot. Recently, he had to pull two twelve hour days in over 100°F conditions. The workload was unusually physically demanding and very fast paced. He came home exhausted. I had his chair ready with his shorts, his big cup of ice water, two cold peaches, and two cloths with ice cold water. I had a fan blowing on him and an ice bath for his feet. After asking the children to leave so Clint could change his clothes where he was, I helped him out of his sweat drenched clothes. Then I wiped him down with the cold cloths. He was so appreciative and felt better very quickly.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Little Brother

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He's not so little any more!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

He's Handy to Have Around

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I told Caleb I needed a bookshelf to store the girl's school books.
He came back in an hour with this!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Quit Playing with My Food

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Sorry it is blurry. Cell phone picture
I went with a cheaper phone and plan to save on costs since so many of us have phones now.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

This Isn't a Pretty Story

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If you are easily upset by the harsher realities of life...
If you believe guns have no place whatsoever in society, ...

you need to stop reading.

We live in the country on a farm with livestock surrounded by approximately 60-75 acres of forest. Two weeks ago, we had a fox having seizures, convulsions, and the inability to walk more than a few steps at a time in our yard right where six of our children walk to the feed storage. Our livestock had been fed earlier that morning. Joshua was going to take the hogs fruit peelings from breakfast and saw the fox in the yard. He told me right away with a "It's sick and acting like it has seizures or something." I knew before I got outside what I'd have to do*, so I told Joshua to get me the gun while I headed out to make sure we didn't lose it and to observe it.

The fox was showing several symptoms of rabies. Our dogs and cats are vaccinated, but there was still a threat to the people, stray pets, and the wildlife in our neighborhood. So, to be responsible, I had to kill the rabies, which had already "killed" the fox. My shot was off. Ugh!! I got its hip. 

As a strong nurturer, I hate to cause anything suffering. When I've had to put something down, I've always done the job efficiently. That didn't happen this time. However, the fox was so far gone, its brain could not register any pain. It literally did not know it was shot. I was glad, but now I had a crazy situation on my hands.

It crawled under a very heavy wooden crate. One or both of us would have to lift the crate which would put our legs very close to an animal with what I strongly suspected was rabies. I couldn't just fire through the crate because there was metal in it which could cause a ricochet. Also, I'd still have to lift the crate to see if had finished the job. I had no vehicle at home in that moment, and my neighbor wasn't well. I knew if anything went amiss we'd have to wait for an ambulance to drive to the house and then drive us to the best hospital for treatment. It took just seconds to think this through and realize I didn't like any of those options.

I called Clint at work and asked his advice on how to best handle the situation. He told me to watch to make sure it did not escape to the brush about 20' away and wait for him to get home. With his thick tent canvas pants protecting his legs, he lifted the crate. In that split second, the fox turned towards Clint which was alarming! Clint quickly finished the job. We burned the fox and the crate.

This is the second time in twenty years we've seen what we suspect was a rabid animal in our neighborhood. *Animal control told us on previous calls that they don't come out unless an animal has bitten someone or is fully contained. They tell us if wildlife is sick or a threatening to shoot it ourselves. I'm OK with that; it's country life! They don't test for rabies unless an animal has bitten someone because testing is expensive. What this tells me is that the reports for rabies in any area that follows this practice can be very misleading. 

We gave all of our dogs and cats a rabies booster per our vet's advice. Since we already have vet given rabies for their county licenses, we had the vaccine shipped overnight and administered it ourselves. It wasn't cheap, but it's worth the peace of mind.

The scariest thing about this is that I am convinced by the timing, that the fox was under the feed storage shed that morning while my children were walking all around. I'm thanking God it stayed hidden. 

Clint gave the oldest of us our bi-annual gun safety/target practice course again. Brandon came home for it.

I encourage you to learn what "dumb" or paralytic rabies looks like. Most people I talk to think "Cujo" behavior when they think rabies. The animal can appear friendly or injured. Please teach your children to get you any time they see a wild or strange animal. Teach them not to pet or approach any animal, even someone else's pet, without your permission. 

Please excuse the errors. It's another full-plate morning.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

This Happened on the 4th....

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My fun loving daughter used pet safe dye to "Smurf" my poodle..
Me laughing: "Amanda! Oh my word! How long until it washes out?"
Amanda laughing harder: "It doesn't wash out. It has to grow out."
I will have a blue dog until I can shave her again.
Maggie liked the extra attention she received at the gas station though.
"It's a Bloodle!"

This is NOT Scriptural Love

"Here is another very common delusion! Thousands pride themselves on never condemning others, or saying they are wrong, whatever they may do. They convert the precept of our Lord, “Do not judge,” into an excuse for having no unfavorable opinion at all of anybody. They pervert His prohibition of rash and censorious judgments into a prohibition of all judgment whatsoever. Your neighbor may be a drunkard, a liar, a violent man. Never mind! “It is not love,” they tell you, “to pronounce him, wrong.” You are to believe that he has a good heart at the bottom! This idea of love is, unhappily, a very common one. It is full of mischief. To throw a veil over sin, and to refuse to call things by their right names–to talk of “hearts” being good, when “lives” are flatly wrong–to shut our eyes against wickedness, and excuse their immorality–this is NOT Scriptural love."  ~ J.C. Ryle

Saturday, July 09, 2016

When Fearful, Remember...

"Every time God says, “Don’t be afraid,” it’s only the first part of his sentence." -read more here.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

A Fun Long Weekend

Miss Em had a great birthday on the 3rd!

Even though we didn't get to set off the fireworks we purchased, we had a fun filled celebration of our nation's independence. Fyi, non-aerial fireworks are legal in our county.

We live right across the river from the very place our country won her independence in Yorktown where Cornwallis surrendered to Washington. They have a big fireworks display which we can see a bit of over the tree tops. This year's was cancelled.

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two of our stars, The Rapping Duo

We were blessed with a huge buffet of food mostly cooked on the grill by Clint. The children filled 700 water balloons for a massive water balloon fight. There was good fellowship with neighbors and surprisingly talented impromptu entertainment! We later settled in for a couple of movies as a family.

We also managed to get some work done. We took apart, repaired, and reinstalled our bathroom shower doors, installed a new side door, and established our RV for use as our farm sales office.

We'll set of the fireworks during our annual bonfire gathering this fall.