Monday, August 03, 2020

Hurricane Isaias


See that little dot in the red along Virginia's coast? 

That's where we are located.
We will see sustained tropical force winds.
Other than our corn, I don't expect much damage.

another good day in a very beautiful and abundantly blessed life!

The sweat has been dripping off of us like rain while we storm prep for the hurricane in this oppressive humidity. I've been looking at my corn which about a week or two from harvesting and thinking to myself it's "done for" due to the winds we're going to get.

Then, Clint's car broke down. I couldn't find one of the straps to our tow dolly. Frustrating moments.

I'm going to praise the Lord anyway!

I am healthy and able to work in the heat to prevent storm damage.

The corn will feed our poultry and rabbits if we don't get to enjoy it. I have more planted for fall harvesting, and we have plenty of food to eat without it.

I've been trying to get my hardworking husband to purchase himself a nicer vehicle for years now, but he likes to drive them until they are DONE. That car is done, so I get my way finally :-)!

And, I have the cash from farm sales to pay for his new used vehicle so we don't have to touch our savings account!

We have a tow dolly, so we don't have to pay a tow truck.

Brandon, Caleb, and Bethany took the suburban and tow dolly to Clint so I could continue storm prepping with Emily and Hannah. I love how our family pulls together!

Clint found a way to tie the car down with another strap to replace the missing one.

When you've been through some hard stuff like FEMA disasters, major fire losses, that endurance teaching hyperemesis gravidarum, and those awful, heart wrenching, life changing, faith defining nine stillbirths and miscarriages, it gives you perspective on what bad days really look like.

From my perspective, today is another good day in a very beautiful and abundantly blessed life!

Thank you, Lord!!

Update: 1:05 p.m.

Well, our tow dolly broke. With the car on it. I am still praising the Lord! 

The failure happened in a parking lot instead of on the I64. Caleb, Brandon, and Bethany were there to help Clint get the car off the dolly so a tow truck could come get it.

No accident was caused. 

No one was hurt. 

A tow truck arrived within five minutes of Clint calling. They should still be able to get home before the thunderstorm hits.

We had planned to go back with our trailer to get the tow dolly, but the tow truck driver said he could get it on the truck even with the car and would bring it home for us for free. (He feels bad we've had such a challenging day.)

God is good! He is so good, that I refuse to complain or let my mood slip over the craziness in this day. He is worth to be praised even when things are not going our way. 

Snake Eggs Part 2

While it has not been two weeks since it was shared in the blog, it has been two weeks since Amanda candled the black snake eggs she found outside of her home. Wanting to show good stewardship over God's creation, she decided to hatch them and then release them (with permission) at different locations. They are in a container with latches, and so far, it appears to be going very well. Our entire family has taken an interest in her snake eggs, not because we are huge snake enthusiasts (we're not), but because we love Amanda and it is a part of her life she wants to share with us. Those parents who have ears, let them hear.

The eggs appeared to be larger than last time.
Unlike chicken eggs with their hard shells, snake eggs have leathery shells.

Not only does Amanda take joy in learning new things, 
she also enjoys sharing knowledge with others.

pink = blood = life
We could also see it moving inside.

I am not feeling very positive about this one, but Amanda thought she saw movement. It might just be developing slower which happens with poultry eggs too.

Amanda plans to bring them back in two weeks, and I will do my best to get pictures and update the blog about them for our homeschooling friends.

Sunday, August 02, 2020

Prayer Requests, Katherine, and Isaias

Please pray for a co-worker of Clint's who lost his 17 year old daughter when her Jeep rolled over. 

Another co-worker of Clint's is asking a lot of questions about faith and the end times in the Bible because of current events. This person use to be very hostile to the gospel and now, he is desiring to know more. He asks Clint questions. Clint shares and encourages him to find some answers himself. He comes back again and again sharing what he's learning!

Things with Katherine are not good. She became suicidal again. Please pray for God to reveal the truth about what is going on and for Katherine to get the help she needs soon.

Shonda is still with us, but her pain at times is very great. Please pray for her pain relief and gentle passing.

I've been asked about the hurricane headed our way. Thank you for the concern. It will be weakened when it gets to us. We are expecting 40-60 mph sustained winds with higher gusts and 4-6 inches of rain sometimes on Tuesday. Those are the current predictions as I type this. We are close to the center of the current track and have been told there can be tornadoes and minor flash flooding. Things can change very quickly, and we'd get less or slightly more wind and rain. We're not very concerned at the moment. We've seen much worse come through. I'll update after it passes us.

Thank you to all who are praying. Love to all from all of us!

How Much Does He Want?


Source: Standing Strong: How to Storm Proof Your Life with God's Timeless Truths Written by a man who loves God's people and knows that we can be victorious through life's trials, this is a book filled with the timeless truths of Bible doctrine to help the reader gain stronger convictions for a lasting faith. For the teacher, book provides understandable explanations one can use to answer students' questions and because of that, it is a good book to review before or while teaching others. 

Saturday, August 01, 2020

brought glory to God

Abraham never wavered in believing God's promise. 
In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God.
Romans 4:20

It's Arrived!


My copy of my friend's book Chasing Glory is finally here!

A candles loses nothing by lighting another. -James Keller

Friday, July 31, 2020



Still rejoicing!

Brandon told us his news in person, but I sent him a text to let him know his sister was home so he could come tell her in person too. This was part of the conversation:


How he greets me:


Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Kitten (toxic dog food?)

I can not say for certain, and we did not get an autopsy done. I will just state facts, share my opinion, and let you draw your own conclusions.

My daughter's 7 week old kitten appeared very healthy and active. Kitten ate from bowl filled with a pouch type of dog food sold by a mass merchandiser under one of their well known labels. I had purchased it as a treat for my 9 year old 5 lb toy poodle who is missing some teeth. The kitten was opportunistic and grabbed herself some...effectively offending the poodle into snorting loudly and walking away. Her great disdain of cats may have saved my poodle's life!

Over the next several hours, the kitten gradually slowed down and became lethargic. My 16 year old daughter observed the kitten's extreme weakness and brought the kitten to me. Its limbs were extremely weak...maybe even paralyzed? It had no control over its neck or limbs. She was limp as a dishrag. 

A vitals check showed the kitten's respiration and heart rate were very low. After a few minutes it gasped for breath and died in my hands. The only change in the kitten's routine was the food.

My daughter searched the internet and learned that brand and type of dog food has killed many pets in the past.

I am convinced something was wrong with the dog food. The kitten did not have access to anything else it could have ingested other than its mother's milk. I threw away the rest of the dog food and will never purchase that particular type under any label again. 

I am not a vet. I am a hobby farmer who has done 95% of her own care and has cared for hundreds of animals over 25+ years. I read the Merck vet manual for fun. While my lack of expertise may mean a lot to some, I call it as I see it. And, I strongly suspect botulism due to the paralysis and time frame. I will avoid that very big mass merchandiser's brand of pouched foods for my pets. In fact, after the reading we have done, I won't be buying ANY pouched foods for my pets or my family. 

18 months ago, we asked for prayer for

18 months ago, we asked for prayer for a young lady named Sophie who had a massive stroke due to genetics. She was unable to walk or talk.  

Today, she is fully healed! She is not only walking and talking, but she is dancing and jumping on a trampoline!

God is good!

Please join us in prayer that she can get into a medical trial to try medicine that will drop her very high chance of a stroke to almost nil. Most of her family also has the high risk marker in their blood. I do not recall the details, but it has to do with how their blood clots.
New Blood Test Finds Alzheimer’s 20 Years Before Symptoms Appear

Brandon's Big Blessing

Brandon was growing frustrated in his position because things he had been promised had not come to fruition. Part of that was due to a manager who let the department go downhill. Then CoVid happened and caused more delays. Brandon talked his disappointment over with Clint and I many times, and we could tell he was very discouraged.

We encouraged Brandon to keep praying and looking to the Lord for direction. Our whole family joined him in those prayers. He felt God was telling him to stay put, so that's what he did.

It paid off! He did not get the raises and higher ranking he had been promised and had been looking forward to receiving. No, God had something much better in store for our hard working son.

Brandon is now the Tech Support Supervisor over SIX industrial plants and has five men working under and directly reporting to him! He received a total increase of $25k and will have many extra perks, bonuses, and regular pay increases. He is also given a higher percentage of the company's bonus payouts than he was receiving before. He also has a new boss who was recently hired to correct the issues left by the former.

When the position came open, Brandon was so discouraged by his job that he wasn't going to apply. He did not feel he was qualified. Clint and several others encouraged him to apply anyway. Some of those others included every single man who is now working under him! He has the support of his entire team!

Brandon was told he was given the job because he has the drive and work ethic they want and also is a faithful and responsible person who has shown great integrity. 

This position takes Brandon further along the path he wants to pursue. The next step will likely have him moving to another state. 

Please join our entire family in praising and thanking the Lord for His goodness to Brandon!

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God 

so that at the proper time he may exalt you 

I Peter 5:6

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

When God Speaks to a Heart

A humbled servant's heart will respond even if afraid. (Samuel)
A proud and rebellious heart will balk, delay, and make excuses. (Jonah)

Dear Reader, when the Lord has spoken to your heart in the past, did you respond or make excuses? How can we prepare ourselves to respond readily for the next time God speaks?

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Black Snake Eggs

15 eggs laid in early July

Teacher Amanda
We saw veins and movement in each egg.

While all of the eggs Amanda found  were viable, there were a few with these spots.
In poultry eggs, these spots indicate a break down in the egg barrier. Bacteria can get into the shell this way and weaken or kill the embryo.

Amanda found black snake eggs when she moved a tarp at her place. Wanting to show stewardship over God's creation, she chose to incubate them and release them with permission on properties where they are welcomed due to their beneficial nature. Seizing an educational opportunity, she brought them home to us so her younger siblings could see her candle them. As it turned out, everyone was home and wanted to see except Caleb. He was working and has requested to be included next time.

Dear Reader, Clint and I were raised to fear and kill every snake we saw. We felt God challenging us to change our attitudes to be more in line with His Word. God called His creation, which included slithery things like snakes, GOOD. Snakes, although not my most favorite creature, are very, very valuable to the environment. They do a tremendous service for humanity just by keeping the rodent populations down. We are not showing wisdom, maturity, or good stewardship when we indiscriminately kill God's creatures or encourage others to do the same. 

Monday, July 27, 2020

Hard day

So many friends have died or suffered severe attacks on their health lately. 

I still have friends on hospice.

I have "virtually sat" all day with a sweet friend who waited for what turned out o to be concerning results from her doctor. I am still "virtually sitting" with her as she waits for an interpretation of those results which were promised "in an hour" many hours ago.

My neighbor could not get a health care worker to come to his home today..."none available." He has food and drink, but he has other needs only they can do. I am his only outlet when things like this go wrong. Sometimes he takes his frustrations out on me. I understand he does it because he is at his limit, has few outlets for coping, and knows I will still be here standing as his friend.

A very dear family thought they were finally to a point where they could get some relief from a long and mighty struggle only to be met with strong opposition, dishonest tactics, manipulations, and more as evil people scheme to take that relief from this family. I am so angry I could spit nails over this one. She's had to change her name online to protect her family because the tactics are far reaching and down right dirty. The more money involved, the more people lie, hide the truth, and try to steal. It's even more sickening when they want to take from hurting people and children. Insurance = corruption.

A beautiful young lady who has a life threatening condition can't get the medical care she needs due to CoVid. They keep scheduling it only to set the date back further and further. It's been going on for months. She's passed out and has had to basically lay around most days since early 2020. Her procedure was set back even further today. She's so disappointed and concerned for her well being. 

A very pregnant young friend fell on her belly injuring her legs quite a bit. She was in the hospital all day while they tried to check out her baby. The baby is fine, and she was sent home to rest in bed for a few days while her legs heal.

I am the main or sole support person for a lot of people in my life. I try to give them more of my time and attention because of this. 

And, I held my daughter's tiny kitten in my hands as it died. There was nothing I could do to save it. I could only offer it compassion and comfort. 

Dear Reader, this world is often so harsh and cold, we forget the about the abundance of goodness and grace in our lives. Maybe you are feeling weary too? If so, I encourage you to turn off the many distractions and focus on God's promises and the Truth found right there in His Word. When we are focused on Him, we are better able to encourage others. 

Prayers for Comfort, Please

One of my friends on hospice, for whom I asked prayer for a while back, has passed away. Please lift the Laurie Bluedorn family in prayer for peace and comfort. 

Laurie was a Christian, an author, and a pioneer in the homeschooling movement who challenged the next wave of homeschoolers to excel in teaching children. She lovingly poured so much of herself into others. I was influenced and made a better homeschooling mother and child of God because of her. While I grieve with her family, I take comfort in knowing the severe pain, from the cancer she fought so hard against for years, is no more. She is with the Lord and now knows a peace none of us can even imagine being possible! 

Prayers for a Friend, Please

For a few weeks now, a sweet friend has asked us to pray regarding her health. There is some concern over a spot on her breast mammogram, and the blood test results are also concerning. She sent them to me, and I can see her concerns. Please lift a prayer for her.

Neat Find!

Joshua's friend told him about these drinks. They are less sweet than American soda and they are fun to open. You assemble little tool and then use it to break the seal. When the seal is broken, the glass ball drops from the top. Joshua found them in an ethnic food market. At 99 cents each, I am getting several to give to friends and family at Christmas.



The depressions in the neck of the bottle hold the glass marble back so it doesn't block the hole. We refilled one with water and held it upside down. It held water, so now we are wondering how they can be reused.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Fall Garden Crops

I have been getting a lot of questions about fall garden crops. This article covers NINETEEN high yielding fall crops. You will have to see when to plant for your zone. 

Here are the crops featured:
  1. Kale
  2. Collard Greens
  3. Arugula
  4. Peas
  5. Beets
  6. Kohlrabi
  7. Bunching Onions
  8. Rutabaga
  9. Cauliflower
  10. Carrots
  11. Bok Choy
  12. Broccoli
  13. Spinach
  14. Cabbage
  15. Mustard Greens
  16. Brussels sprouts
  17. Winter Radishes
  18. Parsley
  19. Turnips

That should give you a good place to start. Somethings may need to be started indoors. I recommend picking a few favorites, and then doing the research. Love to all!

Friday, July 24, 2020

Tree Collards Zone 7

If you have grown tree collards in zone 7, successfully or not, I would like to hear your experiences. Email is in the header of this page. Thank you!

A Peek Inside One of Our Grapevines


This was taken a few weeks ago. 
I need to talk a walk and check on them again.

For every tree is known by his own fruit.
For of thorns men do not gather figs,
nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
Luke 6:44

Thursday, July 23, 2020

What a blessing to rest in this verse...

This was shared with our local group of young people: 

The sinfulness in every person's heart, including mine, clouds situations and makes others think they know you when all they really know is their perception of you based on so many different hidden factors that I wonder how we can ever have enough pride to think we can even begin to guess what is going on inside someone else. 

We are all guilty of it. 

We are all also victim of it at one time or another. 

When you find yourself wanting to defend yourself, I encourage you to be still and know God is enough for your situation. Forgive them quickly (Ephesians 4:26) and resolve to love them with kindness (love is an action verb) even when they are unloving towards you. 

Work towards unity with other believers. The old adage is true, "United, we are strong. Divided, we fall." When there is a a division, we are more vulnerable to sinning. Some people may never want unity, but that speaks of their heart just as loudly as the actions do of those seeking it. 

Dear Reader, You pull the weeds in your heart, do the right things, and let God deal with them. It could be your Father, who knows all and sees all, is protecting you from the trouble they would stir up because their hearts are not truly right with Him in that situation.

I know that there is someone to defend me and that he lives!
And in the end, he will stand here on earth and defend me.
Job 19:25

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Around Here July 2020

I have not had an opportunity to do a family update in a while. I apologize for typos and repeats. 

Clint had a good Father's Day and birthday. He received communications gear that he requested. Due to CoVid, he's had to work more hours which at first was OK, but now the family is ready for some normalcy and more time together. Clint was presented with a very challenging project, and it took some time, but he ACED it winning a lot of respect and accolades. He was told the coronavirus Hero Pay he was receiving will end since the state is opening more, but if it shuts down, he will continue to receive the Hero Pay. Then, a couple of days later, he was told the place he works is in a higher risk zone. We are waiting to see if they reinstate the Hero Pay.

Brandon got one of his Beetles running. He sold a second of the three VW Bugs he purchased. He also purchased the Kia which was in the blog. He has a man who offered to purchase his truck for $5k. The man is working to raise the money. He also got his Jeep put back together and running. All of this was possible since he was able to work from home during the coronavirus shutdown. There are other things he accomplished around his home, but I could not keep track of it all. He was back to working out of his office, but now he is back home due to the higher risk of CoVid. Brandon been blessed by the Lord in an unexpected way, but I can not share about it yet. 

Amanda volunteered to help out while a co-worker was called away to help with coronavirus. She has been taking on extra 12 hour night shifts to cover his four month long absence. She's been purchasing new appliances, furniture, and also bought a new pet. The new pet was a very pretty corn snake. Only, the corn snake let itself out of the tank and is now free inside of Amanda's house. We're laughing about it. (For the first time, I am glad she does not live at home anymore. LOL!) She's not been around as much due to the increased hours, but she texts all of us daily. Our group texts keep her informed of happenings in the family, and she can read them once she is awake. She prays over us while she works. She also has an uncanny knack for coming home when food is cooking too! Her OT should end at the end of August when the co-worker comes back from helping out in areas hard hit by CoVid.

Joshua has been in charge of the kitchen at the very fast paced restaurant where he works. For his first day as kitchen manager, they gave him the day where they went back to the full menu and started running all of the equipment again. It was a crazy day! He enjoyed the responsibility and was told he did very well with it. This was part of his training to take a managerial role. It will probably be a good while before he can assume the role since CoVid has slowed so much down, but at least he is seeing progress on this front. Joshua has a very busy social life. He is always headed to this party or out with a girl or hanging around with a friend. He and Caleb are both in high demand! Joshua often brings home meals and treats for his three little sisters. Joshua is very thoughtful and generous!

Caleb still has both of his jobs at the restaurant. He has taken on a third role which is training other employees which increases his pay. Caleb is forever working on the many projects he has which earn him money on the side. He and Joshua regularly play paintball and airsoft with a group of young people. Caleb just repaired the air conditioner in his truck himself with some guidance from Clint. He recently paid for a young man (8 years older than Caleb) to target practice with airsoft with him. He asked the young man to pick up and reset the cans one time. The ungrateful and lazy young man complained about having to do it. Caleb provided the guns, ammo, cans, and had reset the cans all of the other many rounds. When the young man complained, Caleb called him on it and told him the guns were being put up. All of the sudden, the young man was eager to reset the cans, but Caleb put the guns away. "Learn to be grateful for what is given to you." This young man had shown his ungratefulness and laziness many times before. Once was in Amanda's home where she asked for help washing dishes to the meal she purchased, cooked, and served. The young man was very rude to Amanda. Caleb held his tongue because he was angry, but he said something to him later when they were alone. Hopefully Caleb's lessons will take root. Caleb is a brave and bold individual who is quick to stand up for what is right. 

Bethany hitches a ride along with her brothers as often as she can, so she has a busy social life too. They love taking her along. She's slowed down on her college courses. While she really liked the idea of graduating from college at an age much younger than most which was her goal, she told us she wanted to go slower and enjoy just being a young girl hanging with her family for a while longer. She feels rushing through, for her, would be a mistake. This time will pass and not return. That takes a lot of maturity to realize and speak up about, so we are proud of her. I think CoVid shutting down so much has influenced her change of heart. She's still drawing (mushrooms currently) and has been a tremendous help in the garden. The girl loves grilled green tomatoes. Well, she loves any tomato! I've shared with her how much her grandmother, Midge, enjoyed "mater sandwiches." I grow grape tomatoes just for her and love watching her eat them. 

Emily asked for and received Ford Mustang gifts and art supplies for her 13th birthday! Yep, our beloved Yiddee has turned into a teenager! Her character is really shining, and we see great things ahead for her. She has really stepped up to help out around our home, farm, in our ministry, and is a big help with projects for ourselves and friends. I love listening to her as she shares her innermost thoughts because what is blossoming is a beautiful heart for the Lord and others. She loves going anywhere her brothers will take her, and they are taking her to play Airsoft at Swamp Fun Park with their friends very soon. She will be the youngest player in the group, but everyone has assured us they will look out for her. We know the owner, and he is good about safety for the younger players. 

Bobby, my friend from elementary school, owns all six Let's Play Paintball locations. I think highly of him and mention it because I don't want to get in trouble again. :-) Love ya, Bobby! Gave you a little free advertising!

Hannah is a delight to talk with because she is both serious and humorous in a cute package. She still loves her precious Yiddee and does everything she can with her. These girls very rarely argue with one another. The last time they had a serious disagreement was over three years ago, and it was over in less than an hour. They are extremely close! Their relationship is such a joy and blessing to witness. I hope they value, cherish, and protect their relationship always. Hannah is really good at seeking out the ripe vegetables and has been taking on more and more cooking projects. She scarfs down zucchini fritters!

As summer ends, I will be away from home more as I help friends with their homes and doing some hauling back and forth. Clint and I have been getting away to our spots in Kings Creek and along the East River along with some visits to other places. I highly recommend Tides Inn on Carter's Creek as a place to get away and relax. They have redesigned their rooms, and it is really nice. It's a bonus that we know some of the people who work there. That Asbell and I have been taking at least one long weekend away together every month. 

The garden is really producing, so we four ladies at home are keeping exhaustingly busy. Our main garden is 2700 square feet, and it is intensively planted. Our front deck alone has over 150 plants. There are other areas planted all over our acreage. It's a big job, but I get much more out of it than gardening. 

We are behind on a massive amount of yard work, but that might work out for the better. I am going to cut and dry "artisan hay" for my rabbits with my new electric hedge trimmers because what I have been getting in 2020 is horrible. The goats and rabbits will only eat about 1/3 of it. 

After taking a long break from it, I've been raising puppies again. We currently have two litters with three more coming soon. If interested, send me an email (header). I have started hundreds of vegetable plants indoors for our fall garden and will put that "in" as soon as the summer crops come out. I have a huge painting project I am responsible for (a friends interior) and after that, plan to paint several rooms in my own home. Then I have outdoor structure to paint. Sooner or later, I plan to overhaul my kitchen too.

My ministry to women who have had baby losses has evolved over the last couple of years. I now also have a ministry to several young women who are new wives and/or mothers. Some of these young ladies lost babies and found me that way, and it just grew from word of mouth. My heart is very tender towards these precious young women's friendships, especially those who have a heart for the Lord. 

When the heat is extreme like this, it makes extra work on those of us at home because we do routine checks on our pets and livestock and give them fresh cold water which takes about an extra hour each time we go out. Some of the animals get cold treats to help cool down their core longer. The rabbits really suffer during these days. We had a litter of bunnies born, but I do not expect the kits to live due to the extreme temperatures. We also have to water our deck garden twice a day in this heat and the main garden needs watering. Just the main garden takes about an hour to an hour and a half to water.

That's enough to keep everyone reading for a few minutes! :-)

Love to all of you from all of us.

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

We Need Solid Nutrition Over Sweets

If you always enjoy sermons, 
the minister is not a good steward. 
He is not acting wisely 
who deals out nothing but sweets. 
-Charles Spurgeon

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Growing Lettuce in an East Facing Window

Girl, what are you growing here?
Specialty lettuce.
Tell me how to do it!
I tell you what, I'll take pictures and put it in the blog...


I topped off the hydroponics solution and snapped a few pictures. 
One thing about the Kratky method I LOVE...seeing the roots!


Seed price: less than a tenth of one cent. I buy seed in bulk. 

Rockwool (.14), net cup (.30), jar (.50 from thrift store), newspaper (free from Willie), rubberband (free recycled from mail), pea gravel (.10 a plant)-all reusable dozens of times.

Consumable: hydroponic solution (approximately .26 a gallon)
Buttercrunch lettuce is a specialty lettuce and is $3 a head currently. 

Each seed will grow three heads of lettuce, but the last two will be a bit smaller.

You can cut the first and second heads off leaving the base of the plant in the net cup. After the third head of lettuce grows, it gets too bitter and tough. 

I have 15 jars growing lettuce at different stages.

$135 of lettuce for a cost of next to nothing. 
It's a good way to practice stewardship!

This is a very frugal way to feed our family and some of our pets/livestock (tortoises, poultry, goats, rabbits).

Update: I have added more jars because the lettuce is being consumed so quickly. Hannah LOVES it!

Monday, July 20, 2020

Prayer for Timmy Please

June 26: Timmy, our neighbor, just called me. He is asking for prayers for his kidney stone issues. The pain this time around is really bad. He has lost a lot of blood too. He was in the hospital much of this week trying to get the bleeding and pain under control. He goes to see his doctor Tuesday to determine a course of action. Thank you for praying for Timmy!

Update July 19: Clint and I have been trying to reach Timmy since Wednesday with no success. His appointment with the doctor, who was going to decide what to do about his kidney stone(s), was Wednesday morning. We have texted and called several times. Something is up. For him not to let me know what is going on is very unusual. I know he was really hurting and worried about the blood he was passing. Please lift him in prayer. 

Update July 20 6:28am: Timmy is depressed. He's being hit by a lot and being shut in the house due to the heat is hard on him. He has three big kidney stones, and enlarged prostate, shoulder pain, bleeding bed sores, and more. He's very discouraged. Please lift him up. 

Update July 20 5:50pm: I talked with Timmy on the phone today between his aides. He is in better spirits than he was. He's frustrated by the lack of healing on his bed sores. He had x-rays this morning, no results yet, expects surgery. He cut his hand quite deeply while he was alone. The UPS driver came and helped him get the things he needed to bandage it. Duct tape held it together "just as good as anything, I reckon." His cousin built him a ramp so he can go fishing down the road from his house. (Much to my dismay, Timmy rides his motorized wheelchair down his very curvy and very narrow country road where a pedestrian was hit by a car. I'm afraid to walk down that road, but Timmy is his own man!) Another neighbor put a pole in to hold an umbrella to keep him a little cooler. He can't go during this heat wave, so he's not happy. Looks like middle of August before he can go out fishing again.

Family update coming

Family update coming as soon as I am able. I am hoping for later today. There isn't much new news I can share, but there is a little.

Prayers for Hannah, Please

7/15: Please pray for Hannah's finger to heal well.

Update 7/16: Hannah's finger looks good so far. We will assess again soon. We may be able to put comfrey on it in the next day or two.  We shared pictures with a nurse friend, and she agreed with our doctor friend. She gave us a few things to look for too. As requested, we will keep you updated.

Update 7/20: Hannah's finger did what everyone thought it would. The skin died and peeled off in one area. We are expecting the other to follow suit. We can see the comfrey doing its job. The new skin is filling in the area that was cut out very quickly, and it has no open areas any longer. Thank you all for the prayers. She just has to keep it covered to protect it while it finishes healing. 

Our more sensitive friends should skip the rest.

Hannah sliced her finger almost to the bone in a V-shape. We know from a doctor friend, and our experience with Bethany's deep V shaped cut on her toe, that stitches are probably not going to work because the flap of skin will slough off. We assessed her for full range of motion and are giving her both oral and topical herbal antibiotics. This probably freaks our "new parent" friends, but Clint and I have both had some medical training and a lot of experience with minor injuries. We will assess her injury again before bed and daily for a few days. 

Visiting Graves from Far Away (Find a Grave)

While I remember our deceased family members and friends, I don't draw attention to the different ways I try to honor and remember them. Remembering my stillborn and miscarried children, along with our deceased family and friends, are things I keep mostly keep between the Lord and myself. I might mention 10% of it, but the other 90% is kept private. 

Some of our young friends are moving far away for work, and one of them mentioned they will be sad they can't visit a family member's grave. 

After I shared my heart about some things I was struggling with, a friend shared Find a Grave with me. Since then, I leave virtual flowers and thoughts through Find a Grave. The nice thing about it is that the flowers never fade! Because of that, you can take comfort in seeing others have not forgotten a shared loved one either. You also might find a relative through Find a Grave!

Under a few different accounts, I've been volunteering with Find a Grave for a couple of decades now. If your loved one's grave is not on the site yet, you can add it yourself if you have the details. A local volunteer will go out and take pictures of the headstone and add it with the details for you.

My widow neighbor has one of her children drive her to her husband's grave every day. She also has a memorial in her yard for him that she cares for to also ease her grief. Going off of that, maybe a garden planter memorial can be utilized by those who move around a lot? 

Dear Reader, I am so thankful that God judges us by our hearts instead of what is seen. Some people need big outward expressions to help them heal from grief while others do it quietly and privately. However you handle your grief, I hope you know the Lord and hold onto the promise that He will wipe every tear from our eyes. He collects our tears in a bottle because each one will be removed from us. Our God is personal, caring, and loving.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Brandon has big news!

I can't share publicly yet, but I can tell our family and close friends privately. Send me a text, and I'll fill you in. I'll share publicly when it is cleared for me to do so.

and the Lord will reward you

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
    if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
    and the Lord will reward you. 

Proverbs 25:21-22

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Rise Up

Rise up, O LORD, in all your power. 
With music and singing we celebrate your mighty acts.
–Psalms 21:13

A Local Artist Speaks

Chuck is a local artist. His story and contributions to our community have a lot of value. I hope to meet him one day and purchase a painting of his.

"Chuck started painting at the age of 5. At 21, he suffered an accident that resulted in the loss of his arms from the elbows down. After meeting Bob Ross, Dickerson resumed painting as a way to express himself and support his family."

Friday, July 17, 2020

Jims Motorcycle Accident

Jim is the husband/father of our friends who have the three daughters with Lyme Disease and co-infections. Fighting Lyme for one family member is expensive. Fighting Lyme for three is unbelievably hard. They have already paid over $1,000 in medical expenses since he was hit. He tried to go back to work, but was unable. They learned later he has a fractured ankle.

Jennifer was very kind to me when I went through the miscarriages and stillbirths. I'd love to return the favor by helping them raise money for their medical needs. If you'd like to do something nice for our family, please consider helping our friends when they really need it.

Click here to Give now to Jims Motorcycle Accident by Juliann Shafer: On Monday, July 13th, Jim was riding his motorcycle home after work when he was hit on the freeway.  We are thankful for people who stopped to help him. They were able to get him to the side of the road and called 911.There was a lady who stopped to help, she was nice enough and used his phone ...

No Make Up No Filter


Short hair don't care!
No makeup, no filter!

Faith-filled, loving, fearless, an overcomer, strong minded, independent, responsible, highly skilled, creative, amazing, bright, delightful, beautiful, talented, adventurous, dedicated, loyal, dependable...and so much more!

This is the woman in my life who always has my back.
She often brings me breakfast and coffee and always makes me laugh!

The doctor said she had Down's Syndrome and wanted us to abort her. We would have missed out on so much if we had listened to them. 

Over the past few years, after a lot of prayer regarding each, she has turned down FOUR marriage proposals. That's a tough thing to do when everyone you know is getting married. It would be very easy to get caught up in the excitement and rush ahead, but she doesn't feel she has met the right man yet. Young men have even tried to get Clint and I to sway her. Amanda knows God is writing her story and is content to wait on Him. Her father, siblings, and I are very proud of her for not compromising!

May the Lord send her a godly mate in His timing.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Prayers Please (Updates)

I wanted to take a moment to update two prayer needs as a way to thank those praying along for our friends.

Shonda reports that the signs of a major bleeding out event due to the vascular tumor in her chest is likely to be soon. She is seeing more signs in the from of TIAs and microbleeds that confirm this line of thinking. Her pain is excruciating. Please pray for her pain relief and gentle passing into the arms of our Savior. 

Update: She is going to be able to get her pain pump refilled which will help some with the pain. 

Update: The round trip to get her pain pump refilled is 10 hours with good traffic. She was able to get it filled and had lunch with a friend. There was more bruising on her face which spread as the day progressed. She says she is ready when the Lord calls her, but she wants to pass in her own home.

Katherine had a lunch date with her father, and she seemed well. The last I heard, a court date has still not been set yet. 

Update: I learned today the court date has been accepted by the other side. The date is set for this Friday. I believe they will discuss custody of Katherine then, but I am not clear on the specifics.

Timmy was suppose to do to the doctor today. I have not heard back from him which usually means he is not doing well. I might have to head on over there and lay my eyeballs on him. 

Thank you for praying! Love to all of you, from all of us.

Homeschool: How long each day should I teach my child?

A lot of parents do not want their children subjected to the CoVid precautions in the schools, so they are reaching out to us seasoned veterans for help. "How long do I have to spend teaching my child?" is a very common question we are hearing.

One of the hardest things to communicate to most people is how easy it is to be effective as an parent-educator aka homeschooling teacher. This is mostly due to the perceptions of education they have based on the industrialized eight hour a day classroom model. It's all they've known, and many are so limited in their thinking on education. It's challenging to help them to realize anything different can be more effective.

Homeschooling is very efficient one on one instruction. It does not mean you and your child will be tied to a table 8 hours a day.

Preschool (2-4 year olds) can be done in a few 5 to 10 minute sessions a day. Stop when your child seems tired or uninterested. Gradually increase the time and frequency within reason. Also provide them with age appropriate learning activities: building toys, puzzles, art supplies, educational programs to watch, educational placemats, play dough, etc.

Kindergarten 20 minutes to an hour a day or an hour three days a week.

1st to 4th 1-3 hours a day is a good average. The goal in the early years is to teach them the basics of reading and math so they can move into a curriculum that supports self directed learning.

5th to 6th 3 hours is a good average, self directed with daily supervision (make sure they are doing the work correctly and completely, give instruction where necessary)

7th to 8th 4 to 5 hours a day, mostly self directed with biweekly supervision

9th-12th 4 to 6 hours a day, self directed with weekly supervision

Once your child is able to read and write, most of the work can be self-directed by the child.

I started mine with ABeka because of its highly successful and very strong reading program. I was also very familiar with the program because it is how I learned to read. Switched on Schoolhouse is what I use once my children can read and write well. This has prepared all of the first 5 very well for college level work where, so far, all 5 have excelled. ALL of them so far are winning accolades from their instructors for the quality of their work.

If you don't like those programs, there are SCORES of other programs to choose from. If you do not have money for homeschool or feel your program is lacking, you can find free resources online. Find grade level scope and sequence lists from an accredited program and find resources to check those things off. It will add a little extra time to your preparation, but you will save the costs.

I also recommend joining an online homeschooling group specific to your state and local area. You can connect with like minded people in your area and learn so much about state and local laws, field trips, co-op learning opportunities, free online classes, sports opportunities, volunteering activities, and so much more.

Create an educationally rich environment at home. Give them educational toys, books, puzzles, art supplies, and watch educational TV. Fill their free time with quality things.

Take them outside to work with you in the garden/on the car/whatever. Teach them as you work together. (My husband has worked on the car with our two year olds in diapers right beside him. It slowed him down, but they learned so very much. The oldest four are now doing their own maintenance and repairs.)

Homeschooling is a way of life! It's a big attitude shift away from an eight hour classroom model to the whole world is our classroom and seize the moments 24/7 model. It's about acknowledging and accepting the responsibility for your child's academics and life skills.

Homeschooling can be fun for you and your child! It's your attitude that will make the difference. Ask questions right alongside of your children, and then go search for the answers together. Build the model rocket, grow the tadpoles, learn to sew, grow a garden, make jewelry, explore nature, visit museums, view and create famous art, .......................................................................

You are only as limited as your imagination!

I was blessed that I had thousands of books pass through my hands. I bought them for pennies at school auctions and resold them on the internet for income. College level textbooks from teacher's studies were often included. I made use of those books by reading the parts I thought would be helpful to my situation which included time management, managing a multi-level classroom, learning styles, etc.

Learning how your child learns and learning how to choose curriculum and teach according to their learning style* will greatly help things to go smoother. Your child's learning style may change as they grow or depending on what subject they are learning. Assess frequently and adapt as needed. Your job as a parent-teacher is to break down information in a way THEY can understand it. Their job, as they grow and mature, is to understand how they learn new information the best and use that to their advantage.

How do I know homeschooling is working? Keep a checklist of learning goals. Look for progress over the course of a couple of months. You should see progress in some subjects. Some areas there may be leaps and bounds and in other areas there will be miniscule progress. Don't stress if the going seems slow. Some of my friends have reported two or three very slow years and then one year where their children jumped ahead several grade levels in most of their subjects.

*Search learning style inventory. You can add grade level to see what that turns up.

Dear Reader, I am here if you need specific questions answered (based on my experiences of course) or help finding a resource. My email is in the header (keeps down spam).