Sunday, August 31, 2014

Hard Heartedness is Not of the Lord

Ezekiel 36:26 KJV A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 36:26 ERV I will also put a new spirit in you to change your way of thinking. I will take out the heart of stone from your body and give you a tender, human heart.

You glorify your pride when you remain hard hearted in any area of or towards anyone in your life. He is compassionate, tender, and loving. To serve Him, he says we must try to be more like Him. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Use Left Over Juice from Canned Fruit

Originally published here on 3/6/07. I am deleting very old posts and reposting some of them.

Natural Syrups

How many times do you drain canned fruit and toss the liquids?Why not make flavored syrup for pancakes, French toast andwaffles? Just add sugar, boil to make a syrup and store ituntil needed in the refrigerator. We also use the liquid from"canned in its own juice" fruit for a refreshing quick pick-me-up. When draining blueberries to make blueberry muffins,save that liquid. Add a little sugar and boil, and you haveblueberry syrup! We like to heat these syrups just beforepouring them on our breakfast.

Dean H. in Illinois

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Can Opener Question

A reader wants to know which can opener I recommend. I am sharing the information here for other moms who are trying to be good stewards. The following are in my kitchen right now, but I may soon phase out the electric can openers for counter space. They are my least favorite.

In addition to the smaller cans, our family uses a great deal of #10 cans. These are the big cans from Sam's Club or other stores that sell the bulk goods. We average about a can a day. They can be a bit rough on normal can openers. The electric one I had last the longest was the Hamilton Beach 76606Z Smooth Touch Can Opener, Black and Chrome. It cut through the can and left a smooth edge safe for my children. With the #10 cans, it lasted a year. When it stopped cutting #10 cans, we were able to still cut the smaller cans for about another year. I purchased another and kept one labeled "Small Cans" and labeled the new "Large Cans." It seemed to be a good system but when I purchased the third, it stopped working rather quickly. The motor seems "sluggish." 

The best can opener for the money I have found is this manual one from New Star Food Service.* It isn't very pretty, but it does the job, does it well, and lasts for years. Then, when it needs a new blade, you can find them online for $6 and up. This one opens cans of all sizes. Everyone who has seen it has told me I found a excellent value because similar can openers are selling for much, much more. 

We had one of these in our kitchen pre-fire for over 10 years. I purchased it from another company about 15 years ago, and it was $60 then. I like this one better. It is made better, sits so the blade is protected from contact, and has a rubber piece that makes it quieter to use. 

It is heavy, but you only lift it enough to slide the can under it. If you are able to lift the #10 can, you can lift the can opener. The metal plate helps protect your counters from the big cans. Mine is mounted on a rolling cart. My 10 year hold has no trouble lifting it or turning the crank. Clint added some food grade grease to the gear mechanism for easier turning. It took less than 30 seconds to install with the provided screws. It's not a portable can opener for on the go families though.

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A few months ago, I purchased this heavy duty, made in America can opener pictured below. It was designed in 1954, and they have reports of some of them lasting over 40 years! When it arrived, it exceeded my expectations in quality. Clint liked it so much, I plan to purchase one for his office as a stocking stuffer. This is not the light, flimsy manual can openers that will barely punch through a can.  There is nothing like this on the shelves at any of my local stores. This can opener has some heft and is very well made. I love that this quality item is made in the USA! It would make a nice, long lasting wedding, housewarming, or off to college gift. It is perfect for the bug out survival bags or storm preparation.

There you have it. That is what is currently in my kitchen and is what I have found that works for my needs. 

*Food Service and restaurant supplies are great ways to find items for your large family kitchen. Those items usually are well worth the money. There are some suppliers that say they won't take small orders, but when I have explained my situation (busy mom of many who cooks nearly all of our meals and frequently cooks in bulk to save time, money, and clean up) they were more than happy to relax that rule for me. It never hurts to politely inquire. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Article: HSLDA's A Line Drawn in the Sand

"What I should not do is claim that my personal views are universal commands of God. Those more conservative or more liberal than I am should not claim that their personal views are universal commands of God. God speaks for Himself, and He does it in the Bible.
People are misled when human ideas are wrapped in false claims of being God’s directives. Different forms of critical analysis are necessary when one is examining God’s words versus man’s words. Innocent people follow teachers in good faith thinking they are following God. And when the directives turn out to be only man’s ideas, the followers often find that someone in their family has been damaged in the process. Only God’s ideas are infallible. Man’s ideas will always fall short.
While people are entitled to personal opinions within a broad range, there are some views within the patriarchy movement that go too far. Women are not to be the de facto slaves of men. Women are created with dignity equal to that of men. Women have direct and unmediated access to God. Daughters should not be taught that their only and ultimate purpose in life is to be the “helpmeet” of a man. While being a godly wife is a worthy ideal, the only statement that is universally true forevery woman is that she should love and serve God as her highest priority. My wife and I raised our own daughters to believe that being a wife and mother was a very high calling but did so in a way that would not crush them if God’s leading had been different.
We have a really easy way to know God’s universal commands. They are written in the Bible."
Read the rest here.
I have said this many times over the years: Go to the Source. Read the Word. Study the Bible. If you are listening to the teachings of men instead of reading your Bible, you are getting it second hand. People are fallible. God is infallible. Test all things people tell you with the Word of God. Knowing the Word can save you a lot of trouble and heartache.

A Little Peacocking

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I moved the peachicks outside and was rewarded with this little one strutting and fanning his tail!
He doesn't have his pretty adult feathers, but it was still neat to see!
They are only a few weeks old. This is the youngest I have ever seen this behavior exhibited.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Rabbit Tractor Chicken Wire Bottom Experiment

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Clint and I were told we couldn't put a chicken wire bottom on the rabbit tractor because the rabbits would not be able to get to the grass through the 1 inch holes. We did it anyway because we know we have foxes and coyotes around. I think you can see from this picture that our rabbits were able to eat through the holes with no problem. They certainly ate down the grass! We are using a 16 x 8 movable pen for 6 rabbits. We move it twice a week with dollies (aka hand trucks). We also feed hay, pellets, fruit off our trees, edible branches we prune, scraps from the house and edible weeds from the garden. Not only can the rabbits eat the grass, but they are secure from predators which might dig under. We are able to put this pen right up to the edge of our woods. If you are going to keep rabbits on the ground to cut down feed costs, you will need to check on them daily and move them frequently. Eating grass exposes them to more parasites than the hay, so we have ours on a strict deworming rotation using herbs, ACV, and some vermicide drugs.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

More Chicks

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The ladies at the post office couldn't resist a peek this time!

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Cackle always adds a little something extra.
We received these packets and an extra Mille Fleu D'Uccles Bantam.

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first peek

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Copper Maran chicks
Hens will lay gorgeous "chocolate" colored eggs.

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Welsummer chicks
This breed lays beautiful dark brown eggs.

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Mille Fleu d' Uccle bantam chick
This is a new breed to our farm!
These grow to be beautiful speckled bantams.

We look forward to offering eggs for eating and hatching, chicks, and eventually breeding trios next spring.

Proverbs 12:10 A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.

Proverbs 27:23 Know well the condition of your flocks, And pay attention to your herds;

Monday, August 25, 2014

Authentic Work of the Holy Spirit

"An authentic work of the Holy Spirit is always ultimately accompanied by:
1. The exaltation of the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. An awareness of sin and a desire for repentance.
3. A burden for lost souls.
4, Reconciliation and unity among believers.
5. The faithful proclamation of, and reverence for, the Word of God.
6. A desire to love and serve others.
7. A maturing growth in holiness and personal sanctification.
If you are not seeing evidence of these earmarks, you may be observing a fleshly, man-made attempt to do something on God's behalf, but it is not the work of God's Spirit." --Israel Wayne

If you see these things missing or signs of the opposite (not glorifying the Lord, no awareness of or repentance of sins, no burden for the lost, no desire for reconciliation/unity, unfaithfulness to the Word of God/lack of knowledge of the Word of God, greed/coveting, focused on self, not others, lack of growth), beware! 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Thank You, Lord for 26 wonderful years!

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dolphins at the "rivah" right in front of our get away

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gull breakfast

Today, Clint and I give thanks for our 29 year relationship and 26 year long marriage!! 

Clint and I believe marriage is a covenant between us and God and is intended to last for a lifetime. It is the Lord who put us together, and it is He who keeps us together. To Him belongs all of the glory and honor!

Hebrews 13:4-7 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.  Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."  So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"  Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Thank You!

I had the right day, but the wrong month when I set the post for the first day of fall. That's what happens when you are multi-tasking with interruptions.

In a large family, the days are long, the work is never ending, the chaos makes it crazy, interruptions can be constant, the messes are huge and happen faster than smaller families can imagine, but the many hands of older children make the work lighter and the good things like LAUGHTER, FUN, JOY, LOVE, CONTENTMENT, PEACE are also multiplied. While the workload and craziness diminish as the children grow, the good things continue to increase over the rest of our days. It is worth every single crazy minute, and I would not trade my life for anyone else's.

For the record, I am glad it isn't quite fall yet. There is too much on the to-do list to rush it, and I don't want to miss a single day of this fantastic summer!

Thank you for catching the mistake and letting me know! :-)








Thursday, August 21, 2014


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Joshua stepped on a piece of glass, and it was fairly deep. 
Hannah was so worried it would hurt to get it out, so she tried to comfort him. 
I love how one of her hands is one his head. 
Sweet little sister!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Article: Why I Cannot Accept Ice Bucket Challenge

If you see "everyone doing it," you should slow down and think it over carefully before following. There are too many professed Christians who blend in with the world instead of stand out as God said we should (read these verses). The "follow the herd mentality" could lead you to places you don't want to go. I am thankful for men like Nathan who encourage the rest of us to walk circumspectly.

Why I Cannot Accept the Ice Bucket Challenge (click link to read full article)

"The problem with embryonic stem cell research is two-fold:  first, it is morally reprehensible to anyone who believes that life begins at conception.  Imagine the outrage that would happen if scientists proposed we grew infants and children for the express purpose of performing lethal experiments on them, no matter how scientifically helpful the results would be.  Secondly, if there is a breakthrough involving embryonic stem cell research, then the resulting treatment would involve mass harvesting of embryonic stem cells, and therefore mass abortions.  In short, embryonic stem cell research involves the destruction of innocent human life.  And therefore, I cannot promote donations to this particular organization when it thinks that infanticide is a legitimate way to save other human beings.

Now, I don't think our response as Christians should be to just throw up our hands, check out, and not do anything.  Instead, we should lead the way in helping those who are suffering with ALS, and work towards finding medical treatments that are ethically researched.  So, I would ask anyone who is making a donation to consider donating to an ethically focused organization, like this one:"

Ephesians 5:15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise

As a Christian who values life and has had several pregnancy losses, I can not support an organization that destroys embryos to help others. Like the author, I can and do support other charities.


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I wish I could go every day, but responsibility gets in the way.

Ecclesiastes 3

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

a time to tear, and a time to sew;

a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Shipment of Peeps

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I pray for our chicks while they are being shipped to us. 
I believe God has blessed us for that with the good mortality rates we have.

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The green gel provides fluids and nutrients to help the chicks while they travel.

We enjoy working with breeds on the Livestock Conservancy List in an effort to save and work with the more rare breeds. In the past, we enjoyed it when people visited and said, "I've never seen one of those before!" 

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turkey poults, 5 each of Royal Palm and Bourbon Red, straight run

To get the best odds of getting a pair with the least amount of investment, buy five. This has never failed me when I am trying to get a male and female pair.

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21 Salmon Colored Faverolles 6 cockerels, 15 pullets
The spots on the heads are a marker to identify the cockerels.

Not only are these on the threatened list, but they are very versatile birds. I've wanted this particular breed for a while. They have some distinct advantages. The chicks are able to be sexed by feathers fairly early with a decent accuracy rate. That is important for sales and for separating the flock. They mature quickly and are a dual purpose bird for meat and eggs. They have five toed, feathered feet, and gorgeous plumage. Most people get hung up on how to pronounce their name.

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6 sexed Toulouse Geese

While Toulouse geese are on the watch list, this wasn't our first choice. We have had Toulouse before and while we like them, we were hoping to work with a different breed. Our choice goose breeds were sold out. However, Toulouse do sell well and are enjoyable birds. Geese are wonderful guardians. They patrol the yard and help to keep predators away.

We only lost one turkey poult out of the entire order, but they sent us five extra birds (42 birds total), so we came out ahead. Hatcheries usually send extra in case of losses. 

Ours came from Cackle Hatchery. We were pleased with the order even though our original hatchery given shipping date was changed which put us in a bit of a bind with our busy schedules and upcoming vacation. This is understandable because you can't possibly know what the birds will lay or what will hatch in the future. We had a little trouble confirming the second shipping date. It was also understandable since it was a hatch day so they were incredibly busy, and they are a growing company. When chicks arrive someone needs to be available to pick them up and watch over them the entire first day to make sure they are all eating and drinking. So you need to know well in advance when the chicks are coming so you can make the time to get them off to the best start.

Monday, August 18, 2014


God’s grace does not come to people who morally outperform others, but to those who admit their failure to perform and who acknowledge their need for a Savior. ~Timothy Keller

James 4:6b God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

Luke 5:31-32 Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Startling Thought

How have we learned Christ? It ought to be a startling thought that we may have learned him wrong. George MacDonald

Go to the Source! We should primarily be learning who Christ is through His Word and the Holy Spirit, not other people or human-based teachings. Search and study the Scriptures, and know the Word so you won't be deceived.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Mathew 7:7

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Hannah Bean

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She is crazy about this guy!
He's crazy about her too!

A dad who can do girly things with his little girl and not care what anyone else thinks is a REAL MAN. ~unknown

Friday, August 15, 2014

Remember My Air Layering Post?

Remember this post where I attempted to air-layer my pear tree? I have concrete evidence it is working! I had to change the container I was using. Three times! First, I needed a more stable container that wouldn't slide down during storms. Then, I needed a larger one that would not dry out so fast. My persistence paid off! As of early June, I had roots!

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Hee is how it looks on the tree. Excuse the weeds.
Things were very hectic on the farm with the additions and all of our travels over the spring and summer. It has been a most terrific spring and summer!

Jeremiah 6:16 This is what the LORD says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Those Big Boxes of Eggs

In a large family, space is a premium. We really feel that most in a refrigerator! It can be hard getting food for a larger than normal sized family in an average sized fridge! As we use down the box of 15 dozen eggs, kept in our second fridge, the air space in the box is wasted. When we cut the box down, it leaves the eggs vulnerable to breakage. Years ago, we found another way to regain unused space and keep the eggs protected. You can use this idea for boxes in other rooms in the house.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

She Needs a Kidney Donor

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Clint and I went to high school with Bunny. She is a very sweet and kind person.
If you feel led, please see if you are a match for her. The info is in the image.
Please, please pray for her to find a match. Thank you for praying for her.

It's is Such a Beautiful, Beautiful Sight!!

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When I was a younger mother, I would cut the all of grass on our place including about half of the weed eating. It varied from 5-7 acres depending on what we decided to keep clear. This isn't the perfectly smooth manicured LAWNS you see in the suburbs either. I live in the rural south. We don't mow lawns; we CUT GRASS here. It is a hot, bumpy ride cutting tough vegetation that might be better called tiny shrubbery. 

Before we go any further, I want to assure you I am not afflicted. I chose to cut the grass as a way to bless my husband and free him up for more time with the children. It was very, very hard cutting all of that grass with very-estrogen-prejudiced equipment while keeping the needs of my active young children met. 

I'd run outside and cut during nap times. I'd keep the slightly older, non-napping children in sight on the deck while I cut a safe distance away in case a mangled GI Joe shot out from the mower blades. If the baby was awake, I'd put them in a swing in the front door so I could see them through the screen. We used hand signals to tell the oldest child to check on the baby every few minutes or for them to tell me they needed me to change a diaper, help them with something, ...or run in, clean up myself, and breastfeed an infant. Of course, my child that needed potty help would have to go every-stinking-five-minutes! 

I'd hop off the mower, put on a load of laundry in the washer, hang the load I just took out on the lines, and hop back on the mower. It wasn't just cutting the grass but picking up the entire yard of things that had been left behind by little hands and feet...and even the husband I was trying to help. When I failed to spot something, I had another 10 minutes added to pick up all of the pieces. Sometimes I'd have to stop cutting the grass and use the mower to herd the goats who decided it was an opportunistic time to escape and enjoy the buffet we call our vegetable garden..or fruit trees..or berry bushes. They didn't really care which as long as it had a high price tag. Goats have expensive taste buds. The more you value it, the more they want it. 

Then there were the May flies, biting gnats, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, tree frogs, and grass spiders that would land on me. Once, I looked over, and there was a very long black snake keeping pace with me. That really creeped me out! I really did want to help Clint out, but I refused to cut that area for the rest of the year. Nope, nada, no sir, no thank you, done, I quit. 

My fair skin still suffered from the sun despite itchy straw hats and sunblock. As my trainer friend informed me, I am an "efficient perspirer" because I often do the heavy kind of work. My body knows how to cool itself quickly. She says it is a good indication of fitness and health. She hasn't seen me when I am dripping wet and completely covered in bits of grass making my already sensitive skin itch like mad. Between the bug bites, sunburn, sweat, and grass bits, I was literally a hot mess! Of course, that was always the time I'd receive the blessing of company. Sigh.

Then I had moments that took a while to get over like when the frightened fledgling robin flew down from a nest straight between the front tires towards the mower deck! There were the scared-silly bunnies which darted back and forth in front of the tires on every single pass!! I tried to "brake" for a turtle and rolled to a stop with the front tire parked right on its shell. Despite their suicide attempts, I never killed anything I saw other than a poor bullfrog. Between the mowing, children, chores, livestock, and wildlife, there were some insane moments! 

With the interruptions, I knew I barely had enough time to get it done, so I put that mower in FIVE and let her ROLL! I didn't slow down for anything except children and critters. Mindful of the weed eating job that followed, I'd cut as close to flowers, herbs, bushes, and trees as I could. Sadly, the vegetation suffered a few minor casualties. I set that deck as low as I could so I didn't have to cut it again so soon. "You'll kill your grass," a friend warned. "Good!" I replied. That is a myth, by the way. I have had the blades eat earth, and the grass still came back!

I'd have to do my day's worth of chores and clean up the mess the children made on the deck. I'd do my best all day and IF the moody mower would cooperate, I'd be nearly done by time Clint got home. Then I'd pray for strength and sometimes an attitude adjustment during a much needed shower while Clint watched the children. Then, we needed a meal, so if I hadn't put one in the crock pot that morning, I had to cook and clean up from that too. Sometimes Clint would take us out to thank me! 

Those were some very hard and very busy years. No matter how challenging the task became, I never thought "I can't." I thought, "I can do this if I can find a way around the obstacles." If something didn't work, I'd analyze the situation, and try to find a way to make it work. While I certainly lost my cool sometimes, I mostly maintained an attitude of joy and thankfulness for the equally hard working man I love, our land and fertile soil, healthy children, milk producing goats, my health and strength, and our "park like yard" as visitors call it. 

Focusing on the blessings kept me appreciating them enough to want to work hard to maintain them in spite of the challenges. Giving my all for my husband and children like that made my husband fall in love with me in a new way. It also showed him I am more than willing to do my fair share of work to reach the goals we set for our family together. Overcoming obstacles and working through challenges built confidence and patience in me. It was hard and nearly drove me crazy sometimes, but it had a lot of value.

There was the time when the mower made this awful noise while blowing chunks of metal all over the yard. Things like that never stop right there. OF COURSE, that was a time the dog had wandered too close, and she was hit by the sharp debris. And OF COURSE, she was scared and ran like crazy from everything, including me. I had to chase her down to check her over. I couldn't reach Clint by phone because that was the same moment things at work became hectic for him. So I put out the word to a brother-like friend who told me it had FINALLY DIED  a blown motor. Killing the thing didn't work. Clint just bought another one...just as ornery as the other.

After reading a little of what it was like maybe now you can imagine how loudly I rejoiced when one of my children's butts was big enough to keep the mower seat compressed so the motor would run! Shortly afterwards, I nearly died from the combined ecstasy when Brandon was taught how to use the weed eater. While I still help when needed, those days of being the main Cutter of the Grass are well behind me. Even so, I STILL get giddy with happiness when I see my children doing it!! 

...because it's NOT ME!!!


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Our Peachick

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production red chick

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black shoulder peachick

We purchased our peachick from our friend Kris. She gave us the Production Red Pullet to keep the peachick company. We won't know what the gender on the chick is until the feathers change in a few months. The pullet grew so much larger, we eventually swapped it out with a guinea.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Happy Kitties

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They sleep on my other plants, but they LOVE their catnip!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Do You Love Him Like This?

Ephesians 6:24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. 
Give and Take

Certain relationships in life require from the parties involved only moderate degrees of devotion. A certain degree of reserve and distance seems to be suitable in such relations as these. But there are other relationships in life where all this is changed when friendship becomes love. Two hearts give themselves to each other to be no longer two, but one. Instead of being separated, their interest and paths are now together. The reserve and the distance suitable to mere friendships is fatal in real love. Love gives all and must have all in return. The wishes of the other party become binding obligations; and the deepest desire of each heart is to know every secret wish and longing of the other, in order that it may do all in its power to gratify those desires. Is that the kind of love, affection, and obedience you have for Christ?

Daily Prayer: Jesus, I say I love You and yet so often it is a selfish, “taking” love. Let me love You in such a way that Your desires will be mine.



"True worship isn't best shown by the comfortable corporate confessions on Sunday, but by your choices of submission Monday through Saturday." Paul David Tripp

Saturday, August 09, 2014

it's clear AS a BELL

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Asbell throws a lot of people. I know it's not just our name. People even managed to mangle Bailey and still try to turn my first name into a weather condition.  On Asbell, people really try hard to work the "sh" sound in there or add an "o".

At 19, as a new bride working in the banking industry, I came up with "clear AS a BELL." It helps 99% of the people I meet. I tell people, if you take those two words and put them together, you will know exactly how to say and spell our name. I don't know what to do for the remaining 1%.  ;-)

Friday, August 08, 2014

Chip! Chip! Chip, Chip!!!

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The Barn Swallows did not use their nest over the front door again this year.

I think that makes the story a bit more special.

They are close by and come frequently to say hi. Chip's parents come in together and sit on the line to talk to me with their clicks and quieter chirps. There is no doubt when Chip is here because of the loud greetings I receive and then the circling over my head! From the way they fly in, I think both Chip and her parents are nesting somewhere on the next road over.

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Recently, I was working in the yard all day moving poultry around, cutting grass, planting plants, converting a hoop house into a multi-rabbit house, and adding a 400 square foot completely enclosed waterfowl pen. Chip came in from behind our farm loudly chirping with a mate flying quietly behind and flew over my head four times. Chip was about to fly over a fifth time when Joshua opened a door and walked out, so Chip flew back the same way she came. I believe she heard me working in the yard and came over just to say hi. (I think Chip is a girl from the coloring but it's been hard to get a good camera shot to check my theory. It's hard to see plumage from the sun's glare.)

The parents even came back and spent a day doing some work to refortify the nest which you can tell from the new, darker mud. They have also put some things in the nest, but I have not looked to see what. As long as the keep the nest in good shape, we will let it stay as a reminder of how God used them to show me His love during my mourning. I Pray He Sends You Swallows and Turtles

They'll be leaving this month. I'll be praying for their protection and provision again and awaiting them next spring.

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Chip's parents sunning on the powerline over our front yard.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

New Figs

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While ornamentals have their place, Clint and I would rather used our acreage to plant something that gives something tangible back. Being business minded, we try to find things that are attractive and will produce something usable like these figs. Once you get figs to grow well, they are considered one of the easiest plants to propagate by cuttings. Not only will you have fruit to eat, but you can also sell off extra fig trees. These are two each of rooted cuttings of three different varieties. We found them through a friend in Oregon.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Some Wildlife at Contentment Acres

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Raccoons are always around.

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This opossum looks quite ferocious!

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While we are well aware of their destructive nature, our new groundhog is staying well away from the house, so it's not a problem. This is the first time we've seen one on our place.

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painted turtle

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turkey vulture

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Black vulture, taken through the screen window
These are smaller and tend to be more aggressive than the turkey vultures.

Emily came to me and said, "Mom, there are two really, really, really BIG black birds in the side yard."

Me: "It sounds like crows, sweetheart. Go back to your school work."

Emily with a serious you-need-to-check-this-out-to-make-me-feel-safe tone: "Mom, (pause) it's a CREEPY kind of bird."

I did a double take at how close to the window it was. Then I went to see what had it breaking our understanding of "you stay over there and I'll stay over here." My middle children had left the hose on (FOR HOURS-UGH!) and a pond of clean water had formed. This guy and a buddy came to drink!

Of course, when I see a vulture, I remember Caleb's hilarious efforts to catch one. I didn't let him stop taking baths, but he did put effort into it.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

I am Happy and Satisfied

Hebrews 13:5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”