Monday, November 24, 2014

Hoop House Greenhouse

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These post was made in October on a day it got to 69F. 
Friends told me to expect a 20F raise, but I checked it frequently throughout the day.
The temp in the greenhouse was 37F higher. I didn't see how much higher it would go after that.
I have rabbits, bantams, and quail in the greenhouse, so I had to open the sides.

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In the back is my fodder and fermenting station made from a recycled pallet and grocery store display rack. I recycle water jugs to carry water to the greenhouse. I will be thankful when Clint gets the plumbing to that area of our place because I need 10 gallons a day just for the greenhouse.

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I added a shade (the fabric part of an old trampoline) to help regulate the temps.

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I enjoy taking 5-10 minutes and watching the animals each day.
It settles and recharges me.
You can see the new chunk of fodder I left for the bunnies to disover.

This was covered with a tarp. We took that off and added 6 mil clear plastic sheeting so we could grwo some salad greens over the winter.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

It's What He does!

I saw this quote through Girlfriends in God which I learned about years ago through a sweet friend who is a local pastor's wife:

“Healing…it’s what God does. Telling others about His healing power in our lives…it’s what He longs for us to do.” Sharon Jaynes 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Do You Have a Prayer Need?

We receive emails asking us to pray for a person or situation. We take prayer very seriously. If you have a prayer need, please email us at the address at the top of the page to submit your request, and we will bow our heads as a family and pray for you.


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Friday, November 21, 2014

Chicken Babies

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With as much as they are carried around, I am truly surprised the chickens haven't forgotten how to walk!

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Hannah was trying to smile with the sun shining in her face.

"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another." Romans 14:19

Thursday, November 20, 2014

For Sale Kirby G5 Parts Hampton Roads, VA

We are starting our clean out early as we make room for some exciting changes:

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I have two full vacuums (1 together/1 apart) that might be repaired or used for parts plus several accessories for both. The vacuums stopped working. Working two jobs and having a large family, I do not have time to repair. I do not want to send these to the landfill, but we don't have room to hold them for long. One part we purchased for ours was $20, so you can easily make a profit on the parts. Also included, but not pictured are 5 new vacuum cleaner bags. You can meet me at my work/home in either in Newport News, VA or Gloucester, VA for pick up. I will be home all this weekend. ~Clint

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Interspecies Naptime

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The rabbit (inside the hoop house) and the hens take a nap together like this every day.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It Makes My Heart Sing!

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I can not think of any God fearing parent who would not take delight in seeing their children enjoy each other's company.

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Prayer Request

My sweet friend Martha lost her baby today. She is relying on the Lord and trusts in His promises but is still grieving. Please pray for her and her family.

New Fodder Containers

When I made my fodder containers, I used a tiny drill bit. Some of the trays cracked. Clint wanted me to have a nicer system, so he brought home a soldering iron. I told him I could handle doing it myself, but he wanted to do it for me.

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Here are the new containers, and they work very well!

Why fodder?

Monday, November 17, 2014

For Sale in Hampton Roads, Virginia

I took this down over the weekend because we became too busy to take calls. We're ready to go again:

Muscovy Ducklings (under lights): $3
Muscovy Ducklings (near adult size/in yard): $10
Muscovy Ducks (breeding adult pair): $30

Khaki Campbell Ducklings (under lights): $3

Chicks (under lights): $3 (Leghorn hens to Australorp rooster=good egg layers)

Chickens (adult trio: one Faverolle rooster, two hens, pictured below): $40

Quail chicks: $3
Quail: (fully feathered) $5

Pot belly pigs: $75 each (all female or neutered male)

We are taking deposits on Yorkshire Terriers (all spoken for except one, a male) and our newborn Chihuahuas (only one left of this litter too, also male).

We have collards and a few beets that are ready too.

Farm sales support our current feed and future garden seed purchases. 

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Thank you to my children for making and placing the sign even though Amanda says it is "red neck-y." LOL!
(The picture, rather than typed digits, helps protect our info.)

Stop and Smell the Flowers

We had been hustling for four days straight to do some winter prep on our farm. 
I am thankful for our younger children who remind us to slow down and savor the sweet moments we have as a family!

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Emily: "Sigh! I sure wish I could build like that!"

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So Clint put the drill in her hand!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

More on Competition and Comparisons

I was asked how I deal with people who are competitive. I shared that on Nov 10. 

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4

Here is an article which was shared with me: 

"Paul says something that has a bearing on the matter of competition and comparing people and results.  He wrote, “We are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding” (2 Corinthians 10:12).  As Paul says, we should avoid comparing and measuring ourselves to others.  Pride, arrogance, and boasting are too often the result of winning.  Self-rejection, self-loathing, inferior feelings, envy, jealousy, and anger are too often the result of losing.  We should not want either—regardless of the high value that the world places on competition in all spheres of life.

In competition and in comparing our appearance, our grades, our achievements, and our skills, we seem to be saying, “Look at me. Look at what I’ve done!  Look at what I’ve accomplished!”  This self-focus is the very opposite of the way of God, that is to regard the other as “more important than” ourselves, and looks for the “interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).  Paul asks, “Who regards you as superior?  What do you have that you did not receive?  And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” (1 Corinthians 4:7).  We are not to exalt over others because of our assumed “superiority.”  We are to realize that any achievement we have has only been given to us; we are not personally responsible.  We are to walk in humility and not the pride that competition often brings (James 4:6, 10; 1 Peter 5:5-6).

Competition and comparing bring with them many different sins (mentioned in this book), such as envy, jealousy, self-rejection, pride, arrogance, boasting, selfishness, lack of love, seeking first place, lack of compassion, and others.  Let’s run from all of this while pursuing genuine love that seeks the welfare of others."

Read the rest of the article here

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Future Crazy Chicken Lady

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Hannah baby, what are you doing?

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I'm making a chicken house! 
This is a chicken bed, and this is chicken furniture.

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showing our Chicken Jane her handiwork

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Brandon asked Hannah what she was doing and then told her to keep up the good work.
He understands the value of talking and taking an interest in someone's life.
I love her smile here!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Odds n Ends of The Shire

We named our new cozy coop "THE SHIRE." 

It is almost finished except for the paint which will go on next spring. With thick tree branch perches placed 18" apart, it can easily house 60 birds. The ducks and geese will be housed elsewhere since they sleep on the ground. Considering that chickens defecate while perched, I think they will appreciate that.

When I needed nest boxes for my laying hens, I decided to look and see what we had in our scrap pile I could recycle. I love the challenge of putting something that was laid aside back into service in a new way. I made six chicken nest boxes in about 15 minutes with a few screws. I am sharing here to give others ideas on how to save money while raising a flock.

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I used a top of a blue barrel we cut to use as a trash can. We used this top for a feeder for a while. The bottom is a child's toy box I found at a resale shop for $1.98. Joshua put a board in it to separate it into two nesting areas.

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Eventually, I am going to fix the board on the top of the flipped over potato bin.
I think eight long screws is a bit much to hold the board in place when a few staples will do the job better. 
One of my children came up with the idea, and I did not want to discourage their helpful heart.

On top of the far end of the toy box is an onion and potato bin I used for years before putting it in the wood shed to be taken apart and used for something else. We made an additional nest on top by flipping it over and stuffing straw on the top. Between the wall of the coop and onion bin made for another nice nesting area where we added a board to keep the chickens from pulling the straw and eggs out as they jump in and out.

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No sooner than we finished, we had an occupant!

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She left us a present!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Prayer Requests

Yesterday, I was asked by a friend to post a request for a 10 year old child. My friend is burdened for the family and asks you to storm Heaven with intercession. The boy had a cold he could not shake. While at the doctors, he was tested with pneumonia. They saw cysts on every lymph node. Yesterday, he was diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin's lymphoma and will be starting chemo Friday. This is going to be a frightening battle for him and his family. He is active and seemed very healthy. The family is still taking it in and has not made it public yet. Please pray for this child and his family.

I have a friend whose mother's Alzheimer's is growing worse. There are some other issues going along with it (spacing out for long periods of time and rectal bleeding-both requiring hospital stays). Her mother is also having behavioral episodes which are hard for her to manage. My friend is single and is the main caregiver. She also works full time and cares for her father too. My friend has a very heavy burden and gets little time for herself. Please pray for her and her mother.

James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Escorted by the Poodle

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Maggie weighs 3 lbs but still keeps a careful watch over all of us.
She is so tired in the evenings!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How to Find Free Kindle Books

Clint was gifted a Kindle Fire this week. He already has one, so he gave it to me. 

I have a library containing well over 1,000 books for my KF. I have been adding free books to my Amazon Kindle account for years. Whenever I'd see them offered, I'd grab them.

Many Amazon's Kindle books are offered free for a time to get them read and reviewed. After a certain period of time, the price comes back. 

Some books I have in my account are now selling for $30 and $40, but I didn't pay anything for them. I have homeschooling, gardening, mystery novels, science, math, history, foreign language, medical textbooks, recipes, animal husbandry, tourism, children's books, religion, etc. I just kept an eye out for them and would download them while waiting. It literally takes me a few seconds to add them to my account. 

If the title seems like something I can use later, I right click it to open the page, verify it is free, and download it. Click, click, click. I don't worry about it if it is well written or informative, because I can easily remove it from my device later.

1. Go to
2. Using the tab that says All with a down arrow next to it, select: Kindle Store
3. Search for topic of your choice.

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4. Sort results by Low to High

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5. If any free books are available on that topic, they will be at the top.

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6. Click book title to open page. 

7. Verify price before purchasing. This is very important. I have had some books come up in the search as free which had a price on the book's page. 

The book can go from free to charging a price at any time, so verify and grab them while you can. If you put it off, you might miss out on a good title.

Whomever you are, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, may the Lord bless you..right where you are, just as you are in this moment!

Lots of Love

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Clint is taking a rest from cutting trees.

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The girls hear the chainsaw is off and come to spend some time with their favorite guy.

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Hannah is behind them in the picture.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014

Competitive People

And I saw that all labor and achievement spring from man's envy of his neighbor.  This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Ecclesiastes 4:4

A friend has been dealing with a competitive peer and asked me how I deal with competitive people. 

I think we all have people in our lives who feel this life is a competition. They are constantly comparing where they are to where we are. They don't show a genuine desire in knowing us or being a part of what is going on in our life. They are checking in just long enough to see what we have but don't share any joy in our successes. They don't realize possessions and talents are to be used for God's glory and not self-elevation. 
The fact they get under our skin is really a reason to rejoice! God is using them to dig up things hidden in our spirit that need to be dealt with so we can be more like Him. 

If they feel very inadequate in their own lives, they will try to compare where there is no comparison. Your lives can be vastly different, and they will emphasize their strengths and your weaknesses. We are tempted to compensate by trying to find areas we are better than them. It can lead you into anger, frustration, boasting, pride, or discouragement. It will drain you and weaken the relationship.  

Here is how God lead me as a young mother to find rest and peace from competitive people: 

Disengage from the battle they are trying to draw you into by giving glory to the Lord for the object they are competing over. It takes humility to disengage because your flesh wants to jump to salvage your bruised pride. Don't allow yourself to be distracted. We can't obey the Lord's Word to encourage others when we are in competition against them. We certainly are not outdoing one another in honor or considering them better than ourselves. Romans 12:10, Philippians 2:3

Instead of competeing, point them to the Lord as the source. Celebrate what God has done for them and redirect their thoughts. Trying to "one up" them will serve to elevate your pride, fuel their fire to be better than you, and may trigger the sin of envy. We aren't suppose to lead each other into sin. "One upping" each other isn't important. Honoring the Lord is. 

Daily cultivate an attitude of thankfulness and joy in the place God has you. If you are struggling with envy, ask Him to help you.  If we are truly grateful for what we have, envy has no foothold and we can break free from the spirit of competition.

Do you honestly think God is going to care who had the nicer car? or better brand of clothes? or has more popularity? or took more vacations? or amassed more knowledge? or experienced more adventures? had a better retirement? paid more or less? busier schedule? who works out the longest or has the hardest fitness routine? Do you think He wants you looking at what someone else is doing or obeying Him in ridding every defilement from the body and spirit to be a vessel for honorable use ready for every good work? (see: 2 Cor 7:1, 2 Tim 2:21) We get hung up on such trivial things when we are called for something much bigger! 

Dying to self is not easy. It feels like it costs us something, but in reality we make gains in our walk with the Lord. If you want a deep, personal relationship with the Lord, you have to cast off everything that gets in the way of that. Envy is a form of pride and leads to our downfall. Proverbs 29:23 One's pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.  

Once we grasp that all we have comes from the Lord and is to be used for His glory, we start boasting about what HE has done! We want to work joyfully with everyone we can to bring HIM the glory. Dying to self: life becomes more about Him and less about us!

That is how God led me when I was a young mother struggling with envy. I hope it blesses and encourages you. 

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 2 Corinthians 11:30 

You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?  I Corinthians 3:3

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. James 3:14-15

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. Proverbs 14:30

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. I Timothy 6:10

He said to them, You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God's sight. Luke 16:15

All a person's ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD. Proverbs 16:2

I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve. Jeremiah 17:10

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant. I Corinthians  13:4

Sunday, November 09, 2014

God Says: Love So Deep the Hurt is Buried in It!

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Update: 11/17: I was asked if Clint bought me these flowers. They are my favorite flowers from friends who ministered to me when I lost Isaac in May 2013. I took several pictures of the lovely arrangement and made several predated posts using them. These were my favorite so they were featured more, but I appreciated all of the gifts and efforts made on my behalf. This was my way of showing appreciation and reminding to myself of ALL of my loved ones' kindness, deep love, and concern. I did this also to encourage myself as I healed from the loss. I predated the posts to times I thought I might struggle. When I'd see them pop up, they became markers for times of self-assessment. I can testify with joy that God has brought me much further along than I imagined I'd be at this point. His love is healing! Thank You, Father, for loving me as you do.

lilac roses with white calla lilies

I Peter 4:8 
Above all, love each other deeply, 
because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

What a Difference a Year Makes

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Caleb, on right, after his appendectomy at 68 lbs.

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Caleb, on left, not only kept up with a still growing Joshua but made gains on him! They both put on a lot of muscle this year! PTL!!! 
Don't worry about the lack of a smile on Caleb. He doesn't like to smile for pictures.

For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. I Timothy 4:8

Friday, November 07, 2014

Cooking for Large Families: Skip the Crockpot, This Works Better

One of the best cooking tips I have ever received was to stop using my slow cooker. What?! Stop using that wonderful time saving crock pot that keeps meals on track in the evenings when my energy is lagging?! Yes!

I now use an 18 quart roaster on the slow cook setting. It allows me to double or even TRIPLE recipes without worrying about liquids overflowing. I easily can cook enough for my family and company, or I can cook enough for now and have some to freeze for a quick meal later. 
I love that I can move it to a spare room in summer to keep the heat out of the house. When we camp, I will take it with us since I know I can set it outside on a table to save room in our RV. I still use my slow cookers sometimes, but these days it is usually for side dishes or smaller meals. 

My man Clint says it is a fine way to cook spicy Italian sausage, onions, and bell peppers!

Thursday, November 06, 2014


"Jered rarely fumbled the ball, explaining his success in a way I remember to this day: “Most players who carry the ball either make the mistake of trying to create their own route or end up following the wrong guy. I have blockers assigned to me on every play. Their job is to make a path for me. The minute I get the ball, I put my head down, look for my blockers, watch their feet and follow them – right across the goal line.”
God has already been where He wants us to go. All we have to do is look for Him, watch His steps and follow them – right across the finish line. Discipline your steps, making sure that they match His."

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Good Medicine

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Clint said, "With all of the comedians in this family, our future family reunions are going to be something else!"

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Around Here November 2014

Clint and I are closing in our tractor "drive through" shed section of our old barn. We challenged ourselves to use all free recycled building materials or leftovers from our own building projects. It has turned into a fun and rewarding project for the entire family! To make the outside look like the rest of the shed, we will likely have to purchase a few pieces of T-1-11 siding and paint. Seeing how much and how quickly we can do something as a family is very satisfying. Everyone brings something new and valuable to the table. Team Asbell rocks!

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Nirmal 2, our new mouser

We have enjoyed our trips around but are ready to slow down and enjoy time with our family over the holidays. Clint and I have enjoyed some nights away in our little spot which was nice. We have recently been walking together in our woods, identifying trees, and spotting signs of wildlife together. 

Brandon found himself the car he wanted, and he seems very happy with it. He is building himself a custom desk to help him with his next certification. Brandon is a hands on learner, so he buys equipment and works with it to learn the concepts. As a result, he really knows his stuff and receives compliments on how advanced his skills are for his age. He recently helped a company stop a phishing attack from a competitor. Brandon took ethical hacking classes and taught me a couple of years ago how easy it is to bypass a firewall, and retrieve documents off a business or personal computer. Technology is both amazing and frightening!

Amanda bottomed out in a parking lot and cracked her exhaust. She had to pay $283 for repairs. She has been working more on her art studio by insulating and putting in the ceiling in the loft area. She has insulated the floor too. She has found free furnishings and building materials. She also found some things she could use through work. She is enjoying her college classes and has been helping me with farm sales. We are hoping she can make a run to pick up livestock for us next month to save us the trip. 

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Red, a boer mix buck

Joshua is making great strides in his high school course. He is very bright and learns very easily. He has been doing Biology dissections and has performed his first minor surgeries here on the farm. He has a natural curiosity for how the human body works and has a very strong stomach. He is continually asking me questions about first aid, organs, systems of the body, nutrition, and allopathic and herbal medicines. It is drawing my interest to herbal medicine again, so I am learning more too. I love how homeschooling strengthens the parent-child bond in so many different ways!

Caleb has been a tremendous help with the building we've been doing. He will often look at something we are working on and offer suggestions for improvement. Many times lately, his suggestions have been improvements we could implement. When they aren't, he has a teachable spirit and will listen as to why. Not bad for a 13 year old! The president of our hometown's bluebird society has befriended him, sent him gifts, and is encouraging him in building bird houses and creating habitats for all native species. 
Bethany can plan, purchase, prepare, and serve an entire meal from appetizer to dessert. She is a big help to Clint under a car and on the roof. It is hard to believe she is 11 already! She is a cheerful helper. I enjoy listening to her sing while she works. She is learning how to give me valuable feedback which helps me make better decisions as I manage our household and homeschool. She is starting to learn some of the harder aspects of animal husbandry too. 

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Maggie thinks the goats are a threat to me so she kept herself between them and me. The doeling stood on her back legs and went in for a head butt, but didn't follow through..thank Goodness!

If I tell Emily and Hannah to give the chickens a break from being carried, the chickens just follow them anyway. Emily gets SO excited when she finds an egg! She has enjoyed climbing all over the trees Clint has brought down for our winter heat. 

Hey Rich, I think Rosie, Em's Holland Mini Lop, is going to be a mama! Emily says "Thank you!" again.

Hannah has become the crazy chicken girl. She even asked for chickens for her birthday. She asks first thing every morning if she can go outside and see them! My grandma Ada, who kept many breeds of chickens, would have loved seeing her interact with the hens.

Thank you to Dave for the tickets!

We had a good friend tell us she can't imagine having all of the joy and happiness in her life as we have ours. She said she has never seen any other family take as much delight in each other as we do. She told us we are tremendously blessed and that she wishes she had what we have found. We are grateful for her perspective and are counting our blessings! Thank you, Mary!

If we have not heard from you in a while, please drop us a line (see email address in page header). If you come here to read frequently but rarely write, it's a one sided relationship where we share and you read. Give a little back and tell us how you are doing or what's new in your life. Struggling? We will pray for you! Seeing blessings? We will rejoice with you! Know that if you don't write, we will keep right on loving you and praying for you anyway. We enjoy making new friends, love all of our family close and far, and always respond to email. While we share our victories and struggles freely to shine a light on our great God, we care about what is happening in your life too! 

Thank you to those who have taken the time to write. We were greatly blessed by it! :-) 

Diana, we are praying for you and baby and look forward to the pictures!!

Psalms 35:28 And my tongue shall speak of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Mama Asbell's Waffle Recipe

They started calling me Mama Asbell in 1988 shortly after I got married because they said I was a natural with children. So Mama Asbell, I became just a couple of months after marriage and a few years before actually becoming a mother. After she heard someone use the name for me, my mother in law told me Mama Asbell is what they called Clint's grandmother, Eloise Privott Asbell, decades earlier. I thought that was cool and still do!

Mama Asbell's Waffle Recipe
serves 30

10 cups flour
30 teaspoons baking powder
3 3/4 teaspoons salt
15 teaspoons sugar
15 eggs, separated
3 3/4 cups butter, melted
13 1/8 cups milk


In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. Separate eggs, adding the yolks to the dry ingredients, and placing the whites in a small mixing bowl. Beat whites until moderately stiff. 
Add milk and melted butter to dry ingredients and blend well. Fold in the stiff egg whites. Pour mixture into hot waffle iron and bake until golden brown.

I have a very large waffle iron, so serving sizes are graded to that. 

The air in the egg whites help these to be light and fluffy on the inside.

You add vanilla or other flavoring to the batter for a twist. Hazelnut is good with a sprinkling of confectioner's sugar and some fruit.

I have a large household of very active, hard working people with big appetites, so I bulk cook to keep meals on hand. Bulk cooking saves time because you pull out the ingredients, make the messes, and clean up once for many meals. 

If you don't want to use all of the batter at once, you can keep it in the refrigerator for about a week. Do not freeze the batter. You can freeze the cooked waffles for quick homemade breakfasts. I flash freeze them on cookie sheets and then move them to freezer bags.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Is Your Faith about Your Happiness or Holiness?

"The selfishness of the human heart looks at salvation only as the escape from hell, with only as much holiness as we need to make our happiness secure. Christ meant us to be restored to the state from which we had fallen -the whole heart, the whole will, the whole life given up to the glory and service of God."  Andrew Murray

What are you pursuing? Happiness or Holiness? Is your faith costing you something? or do you only do what "feels right" for you? Are you relying on God's word in making decisions or doing what you think is best? Are you holding back from God on doing that one thing He is asking of you, that you know is the right thing to do, but you just don't want to do it due to pride or fear? Look at each area of your life: finances, career, possessions, relationships, marriage, child rearing, etc and ask yourself: Am I pursuing happiness or holiness here? Am I applying God's wisdom or my own? What is it God would want me to do?

He demands more of you than "just do what makes you happy." Our worship and walk of faith isn't about making us happy. 

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” I Peter 1:14-16

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; Hebrews 12:14-15

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

But as the One Who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all your conduct and manner of living. 1 Peter 1: 15

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Correcting My Children

I was asked how I handled it when my children needed correction. 

It's always the choice they made that gets the adjective. I believe that is a very important distinction. If you call them unwise, there is no room for them to do better. Ex: "You are wrong." If you give that label to the decision and build their person up at the same time, they understand it is in their control to make wiser choices. "You made the wrong choice, and it has consequences. I know you can make smarter choices." A wise woman builds!

Scripture is clear there are times to rebuke and expose sin. In ministry and our personal lives, I have seen where it has been beneficial when dealing with very hardened hearts that have a pattern of causing harm to themselves and others. However, I do not believe rebuking is needed in a repentant person who feels ashamed and is making an effort to make amends. God resists and rebukes the proud, BUT He shows grace to the humble person. Grace in parenting is a beautiful thing!

I tell my repentant child something like this: "What you chose to do was wrong. It has affected you and others in ..this.. manner. You have lost in ways. Others see you as You will lose through these corrective measures (if applicable). Now listen carefully to me, you are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God who loves you more than words can describe. You are a new creation, righteous and holy, co-heir with Christ, chosen and called by God to produce fruit and into the ministry of reconciliation now that you are born again by the Holy Spirit! He made you for a purpose, and this isn't fulfilling that purpose. He also gave you an incredible family who is counting on you to do the right things. We need you to help us draw closer to the Lord too. You are also too intelligent and have too much going for you to keep making bad decisions. I know you will make better decisions in the future because you are at your core, a person who loves the Lord and wants better than this situation. 

Take some time right now to think about what steps you can take to keep yourself from landing in this position again. What would you do differently if you had the chance? Do you regret the shame you put on God's name? the pain you caused others? What is in your power to make this situation better? 

God can restore the situation, but you have to act. Ask the Lord to forgive you and to help the person forgive you as you go to them. Being sorry is good; it shows your heart is moldable. Instead of beating yourself up for days or weeks or years, take that time and energy and use it to improve yourself and this situation. Taking action on what the Lord is leading you to do shows your faith and will bring you blessings. I need you to help me the same way I am helping you because I sin too. Now give me a hug because I love you so, so, so much!" 

I may say some or all of that. While it isn't perfect, it is much better than ripping them apart and stealing all hope from them. Correction and encouragement are my goals, not condemnation. 

If it fits, I will share a time I sinned in the same way, how it affected me, and how I overcame it, or what I do when I struggle with it. Doing this has made my relationship with my children so very close. They respect and trust me for being REAL. I don't want my children or anyone else thinking I am perfect. I want them to see me as I really am... a heavily flawed, but genuinely in love with the Lord woman, who is trying to honor Him and know Him as best she can, and is trusting Him to work a lasting beauty through her many imperfections!

I am very thankful to the Lord for answering my desperate pleas to show me a better way of parenting. He answered when He sent the right people who came into my life right before my first child was born. Being constantly torn down as a child leaves internal scars and insecurities that can last a lifetime, but it can also be a very powerful motivator to seek the Lord to give your child better. 

May the Lord richly bless you in your parenting!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Notes on Praying Persistently

These are my notes from an independent Bible study I did to get encouragement to keep praying. I apologize in advance for any errors in grammar or spelling. Life is very full at the moment. I'd rather everything was just right before sharing, but then with my limited time and very flawed self I'd never get to share! 

Persistencefirm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition

Persistent prayer: continual petitioning the Most High to interceded in a situation


Luke 11:5-8 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose one of you went to your friend’s house very late at night and said to him, ‘A friend of mine has come into town to visit me. But I have nothing for him to eat. Please give me three loaves of bread.’ Your friend inside the house answers, ‘Go away! Don’t bother me! The door is already locked. My children and I are in bed. I cannot get up and give you the bread now.’  I tell you, maybe friendship is not enough to make him get up to give you the bread. But he will surely get up to give you what you need if you continue to ask.

Luke 11:9-10 So I tell you, continue to ask, and God will give to you. Continue to search, and you will find. Continue to knock, and the door will open for you.  Yes, whoever continues to ask will receive. Whoever continues to look will find. And whoever continues to knock will have the door opened for them.

Luke 18:1-8 Then Jesus taught the followers that they should always pray and never lose hope. He used this story to teach them: “Once there was a judge in a town. He did not care about God. He also did not care what people thought about him. In that same town there was a woman whose husband had died. She came many times to this judge and said, ‘There is a man who is doing bad things to me. Give me my rights!’ But the judge did not want to help the woman. After a long time, the judge thought to himself, ‘I don’t care about God. And I don’t care about what people think. But this woman is bothering me. If I give her what she wants, then she will leave me alone. But if I don’t give her what she wants, she will bother me until I am sick.’” The Lord said, “Listen, there is meaning in what the bad judge said.  God’s people shout to him night and day, and he will always give them what is right. He will not be slow to answer them. I tell you, God will help his people quickly. But when the Son of Man comes again, will he find people on earth who believe in him?


John Wesley, the great Methodist preacher, encountered many time of refusal, and denial, during his early years in the ministry. He logged a few of these instances in his diary:

Sunday A.M., May 5:Preached in St. Anne’s. Asked not to come back. 
Sunday P.M., May 5:Preached in St. John’s. Deacons said, "Get out, and stay out!"
Sunday A.M., May 12:Preached in St. Jude’s. Can’t go back there either.
Sunday P.M., May 19:Preached in St. Somebody Else’s. Deacons called special meeting, and said I couldn’t return.
    Sunday A.M., May 26:Preached on street. Kicked off street.
Sunday A.M., June 2:Preached at the edge of town. Kicked off highway. 
Sunday P.M., June 2:Preached in a pasture. Ten thousand came.

If you and I are to get an answer, it may take some action. Consistent, and persistent action! I believe that George Mueller, the great prayer warrior said it well, when he said, "The great fault of the children of God is, they do not continue in prayer; they do not go on praying; they do not persevere!" read more here


Being persistent in prayer has taught me:
  • The word widow conveys to the reader that she was poor, helpless, without power or influence, and had a burden of need. We are the widow. 
  • God is the One with power but is so much better and kinder than the king in the parable. Our petitions will not be ignored.
  • When we have done all we can do and made many efforts on our own, we have to leave it in God's Hands. This teaches us about our weakness and complete dependence upon Him. We have to surrender our will to God's will and timing. 
  • Persistence in prayer teaches us the situation isn't about us. God has authority over the situation and will be the one who gets the victory.
  • Real, earnest prayer is hard work. It will take effort and leave you tired.  Luke 22:44
  • Prayer warriors are always on duty with no vacations. I Thessalonians 5:17
  • Keep an attitude of thankfulness while waiting. I Thessalonians 5:18
  • Persistent teaches us patience. 
  • Persistence in prayer brings us into alignment with God's will. 
  • Dependence upon God allows Him to work through our weakness.
  • Persistence in prayer makes us more aware of the spiritual warfare. It's not flesh and blood we are battling. Ephesians 6:12
  • There are things going on in the spiritual realm. Daniel 10:10-14
Ephesians 6:18 Pray in the Spirit at all times. Pray with all kinds of prayers, and ask for everything you need. To do this you must always be ready. Never give up. Always pray for all of God’s people.


When to quit praying:
  • If there is an answer that changes the situation whether it is the one you wanted or not. (Person is clearly not going to be healed. The man you desired for a husband marries another woman. Item is sold before your money is saved. The job is offered to another person.)
  • Change of heart. God lifts the burden. You have peace and will stop thinking so much about the situation. There is a difference between a burden from the Lord and anxiety. A burden will be relieved for a while during and after prayer.
  • You realize you are not praying for God's will but your own selfish desires. Change how you are praying about the situation.
  • God has answered you by leading you to take action. Then start praying for courage to follow through and head immediately in the direction He sends you. Obedience to Him (or lack thereof) demonstrates our level of faith (I John 2:3-6). Obedience brings reward (James 1:22–25). If growing faith doesn't get you motivated to follow through, then God's blessings and favor certainly should.