Monday, June 02, 2014

Around Here June 2014

Clint and I had some of the vinyl siding for the house in the barn when it burned down. When insurance replaced it, we purchased grey because it was readily available, and we had to choose quickly. Since then, we've considered going with a colonial blue. Clint wants to paint part of the house with a similar shade of paint before we commit to it. That will allow us to change our minds easier if it turns out too bright for our tastes. If we do that, we will put the grey on another structure we have here or maybe donate it to Habitat for Humanity. So, we are close to putting on the vinyl siding, but slowing down a little to make sure we like what we do. 

Clint and I had a nice day to remember our miscarried/stillborn babies on May 7th. It was a cooler day, so we didn't catch many fish, but we had a nice time alone on the water. After I knew he was OK, I laughed at seeing my husband break dance when a snake fell from an overhanging tree onto his feet. That was also the first trip out where we have been stopped and checked by the Marine Police. Everything was in order so we traded fishing tips and news with the two officers.

I had a WONDERFUL, FANTASTIC Mother's Day. Besides having everyone with me, I was showered with many thoughtful gifts, flowers, and fine chocolates (which I shared). The most touching part was when Clint thanked me during worship for being a Proverbs 31 wife/mother. I do not like being the focus in a crowd, but it was very nice. I was treated to all of the day's meals and dessert. Clint, Amanda, and I went on a fishing trip where we had a blast pulling in fish left and right while people around us stared in amazement because they weren't catching anything. When we returned home and put away our catch, I was pampered with a long, relaxing massage. 

We have had many wonderful outings and day trips and are looking forward to our week long family vacation at our little hideaway. We'll be fishing, crabbing, beach fire pit cooking, boating, canoeing, swimming, biking, trail hiking, etc. We have a huge crab boil planned and some sightseeing on our list as well. We are thankful for the help we are receiving to keep the incubator running and the livestock fed.

If I had to sum up the first half of the year with one word, it would be "abundance." This spring has been a time of tremendous blessing, fellowship, God's provision, and joy. Every where I look, there is an abundance of blessings. We have accomplished so much, and our plans are falling together. God has been pouring out His love in abundance in so many tangible ways that I feel His close presence often. 

Clint purchased three Flemish Giant, one New Zealand, two Silver Fox/New Zealand crosses, Two New Zealand/Chinchilla crosses. Caleb, Joshua, and I are currently building rabbit "tractors."  Our first three movable pens, we made from recycled materials on the farm. Clint has plans to build a certain type to sell. We have raised rabbits in the past, but are hoping to do a larger scale this time along with a different housing plan. Krzysztof, Brandon told me your family has raised rabbits for years. 

In the last several months, we have added over 100 critters on the farm, two large, movable structures that will serve as large brooders and double as greenhouses in the winter, animal housing, a large garden, several new trees, berry bushes, a new incubator, and will soon be adding more livestock. It's been a time of a great deal of work and long days but also of family bonding and a lot of laughter. We feel very humbled, blessed, and thankful by the Lord's provision.

Our buddy (aka "Da Man") came through with the race tickets (THANK YOU, cookies are en route as requested), but Clint's work schedule changed so he wasn't able to go. Amanda ended up having to work to fill in for a sick co-worker, and Brandon wasn't keen on going. I didn't want to go into a crowd that large with my Fab 5 alone so Clint gave the tickets to some relatives who were very thankful for them and had a wonderful time at the vendor's pre-race tents. They even won prizes in the giveaway. They said the race had some good action. One of our dogs had twice as many puppies (again, an abundance of blessings!!) as normal that day and needed my assistance, so God things worked things out all the way around.

Brandon is salaried so he is able to have more flexibility with his hours. That has been nice because we are able to meet for lunch now and then. He is making friends and fitting in nicely in his new position. I told him I missed our weekly outings together. He said he'll take half a day off soon, and we'll hit the stores together.

Amanda spent nearly all of her savings on her new building, the wiring, and insulation. She is having to do the rest as inexpensively as she can and needs to save for her heating system. She has shown amazing stewardship with her income. She recently tithed $300 to build an access ramp for a family friend who is battling a terminal condition. She has stopped taking orders until she can fulfill what she has now.

Joshua, Caleb, and Bethany are enjoying their trips to Busch Gardens. The boys just dug a trench for Clint and earned $50 each for doing it. My boys are putting on height and muscle quickly! They recently took over cutting down the Black Locust saplings I use for clematis trellises, tomato cages, building poles, and replacement tool handles. These were under where the ospreys are raising chicks. I chuckled at Caleb's concerned, "Hey Mom, do osprey ever swoop down at people?" I am not ready for him to turn 13 this month.

Bethany has frequently taken over the kitchen lately. I enjoy secretly observing her because she has her mama's love of dancing while she works. The stereo is Boomin when Bethany is cooking! She tells me she has a "handful of dreams and a heart full of God." She is a delight and is enjoying the new bedroom Clint added for her! 

A few weeks ago, I looked up from gardening and saw Emily and Hannah had put on their princess costumes and were playing in the tower of their play set. It was too adorable! I had my phone and camera in the house, so I sat there and enjoyed the sight of my littlest playing innocently in their carefree, imaginary world. 

These are precious, joyful days. I am enjoying them immensely and am so thankful to the Lord for them.