Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Around Here September 2014

Thanks to a local stunt pilot, we are enjoying a private air show right over our farm every few days. He is doing loops, flying upside down, barrel rolls, spirals, etc. It's very thrilling! We've waved reflective things at him, and he has come closer and waddled the wings at us. 

Clint and I enjoyed attending the livestock auction in the Shenandoah Valley in July. The people of all ages interacting with each other was very interesting. We enjoyed our trips to NC and MD as well.

With every one's schedules, the new routine on the farm, company spending the night, and animals birthing, we didn't think we'd be able to get any time away for our 26th anniversary and were content with doing something special locally. Instead, God opened up opportunities literally at the last moment! We got away for 8 days and 7 nights over two trips which was very nice. We are thankful to the Lord for providing those special times. 

We didn't do very much when our children were younger. While I appreciate the things we can do now that our children are older, I look back on those days with a lot of fondness. Those simple times were so special. For parents of many little ones, keep marching forward. It does get easier as they grow, and doors that you never expected will open if you are faithful to the Lord. Keep your marriage strong by making time for each other in whatever way you can. Enjoy where you are and what you have now.

We have added Nubian and Boer goats to the farm. We had not planned to add goats this year, but the opportunity presented itself. If all goes well, we will be welcoming a new doeling or buckling in late winter or early spring.

Thank you, Donald, for the race tickets! Knowing a crew chief is a good thing! We really enjoyed the race and plan to see another soon. We loved going into the pit, meeting the driver and crew, and sitting in the race car! Thank you so much for giving us a fun evening! It was awesome! 

Clint was able to share his faith with a young man who said he felt Clint set a good example for our family. It is awesome to see my husband counseling another man to lead his family in Bible study. I was able to share about God's grace in the midst of child loss and was told it was very helpful. I've been struggling more lately so it was a big blessing to me to see God using what I went through to help someone else. 

I've been planting our fall garden: beets, collards, kale, beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, winter squashes, etc. I added another carrot patch too. We've lined up our hay for winter, but we are still looking for a good deal on straw. Joshua and I've been cutting branches with leaves to give our goats and rabbits a treat this winter. We've also been dehydrating extra produce from the garden for winter feed.

Brandon was given a very favorable review and another raise! Thank you, Eric, for your compliment on Brandon. Thank you, Donald, for your compliment on Brandon's sense of humor!

Amanda was put into a position where she could really help friends of someone who had been very unkind towards her. This person had publicly and frequently mocked Amanda for her stand as a Christian and had tried leading her to do wrong on many occasions. We kept encouraging Amanda to forgive and respond as best she could in Christ. I feel Amanda did a great job of that. She showed maturity in not responding in kind and also had compassion for the person's horrible home life. Please pray for us that Amanda's witness in serving this person's friends helps them realize their need for Christ.

Joshua, Caleb, and Bethany made biweekly trips to Busch Gardens in August. The last week of the month, they went three days. They were so thankful; they showed their appreciation in a way I love...extra help around the house! They know a way to a mother's heart! They have had a blast there this summer.

Emily and Hannah have enjoyed daily "Easter Egg" hunts for the duck, chicken, and guinea eggs and get so excited when they find one! I love hearing them talk to the hens. When the middles were away, we three girls did crafts and cooked together. I am so thankful to have younger children in this stage of life! It has filled my every day with laughter, joy, and thanksgiving. The Lord did this, and it is very good! I would not trade my life with anyone's!

We had a mother duck hatch out ducklings. She hatched 18 which is a large clutch! One of them was mushed by her foot as she tried to take care of the others. We put the 17 in a brooder to keep them safe from predators. We have two more nests due to hatch later this month if all goes well. Two weeks later, the same hen hatched out another duckling! Joshua found it in the nest. We suspect a duck hen laid it in the nest while the mom was off about three weeks after the hen started sitting. Muscovies have a 35-39 day incubation.

Joshua and Bethany had a special request for a birthday present this year. We'll have to travel a bit to make this one happen!

Our Labor Day was great! We enjoyed some rivah time and ended the summer season with 900 water balloons.

Today, we start back to a full homeschool schedule and something new with me happens too! Please say a prayer that I am successful in both ventures.

We are considering the ant as we harvest and prepare for what is being forecasted to be a wetter and colder than normal winter. We are certainly seeing signs indicating it will be as predicted. Spring and fall are our busiest seasons. If we haven't returned a form of communication, please contact us again and again if necessary. We aren't ignoring you, and you won't be bothering us. 

Proverbs 6:6-8 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.