Thursday, March 24, 2016

Our Little Pony Rumble

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He is waiting for her to come down and pet him.

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Every time Joshua walks by, he stops to pet the pony.

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Carrots are disappearing from the fridge at an alarming rate!

Horses become such a big part of the family. When we saw Hot Shot wasn't going to be around much longer, we wanted to soften the blow to the children as much as we could. So, we found this little guy in November. You might have seen him in some of the pictures or remember the Because It Fit? post. Yes, we brought him home in the back of our suburban with lots of tarps and some straw. 

Since Emily and Hannah have loved the My Little Pony toys, we named our miniature pony, Rumble, after one of those characters. Rumble has worked his way into all of our hearts already. He is an affectionate and fun little guy who likes to be a part of whatever we are doing. He is only two years old so he should be here with us for a long time to come.

Amanda is really pushing for us to find a mare for him. Will she get what she wants? Only time will tell.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Goodbye Hot Shot

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After battling illnesses over the winter, we had to say goodbye to our long time farm buddy, Hot Shot. He was very old and had lived a good, long life. We are very thankful God provided Him as a birthday present for Amanda. I can remember her sitting on him backwards getting her homeschool assignments done and keeping him company. This simple pony gave our family a lot of joy. We will miss having his presence on our farm but are so thankful God allowed us to know him.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Praise Report

Clint is almost pain free this morning. This is a reason to rejoice and give thanks! There are more details I can't share just yet. I am hoping I will be free to share openly and in detail eventually. Please continue to pray. 

Feeling Overwhelmed as a Mother?

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Caleb was working outside. He had his thick soled boots on but took them off when he came back inside to measure something. We don't wear shoes inside our house because nine very active people in and out of the house on a farm would make for very unsanitary living conditions. I draw the line at mopping more than twice a week. 

Since he was just going out onto the deck, he felt it was OK to go barefoot. He stepped on this piece of glass someone picked up out of the yard but left on the deck. It was tucked in an out of the way spot which is right where Caleb had to step to get around a board on saw horses! Caleb found it..the hard way! 

In my younger years, I'd internally beat myself up for:
  • not knowing something had been broken
  • not getting it out of the yard before someone else found it
  • not knowing it was on the deck
  • not knowing Caleb was barefoot
  • Caleb having cut his foot
I am a Christian who seeks the Lord for wisdom and guidance daily. I try very hard to keep everyone safe, healthy, and ultimately happy. I say ultimately because discipline and correction make children unhappy temporarily. I want to do the very best job Wendy can do in this wife/mothering calling. I am very competitive with SELF. I want to excel for God's glory and my family's benefit! My expectations of myself are set very high..much higher than I would expect of anyone else.

I am also human who is weak and fallible and so much less than what I desire to be. I am outnumbered. There are eight other people who share our home/farm. They are very active all day long. Like their very human mother/wife, they are all weak and fallible people too. They forget instructions, leave things behind, don't think things through, make messes, etc. No matter how hard I try, I will never be able to keep up with every move they make. 

Setting goals and competing with self is a good thing. It keeps us trying to do better. Limitations and failures are a part of reality. I am not going to catch every ball in this super sized juggling act. Sometimes people are going to have to make a sandwich because a meal wasn't cooked. Sometimes they are going to have to clean up a mess I made so I can work on something important no one else can do. Sometimes children don't listen to instruction. Sometimes a barefoot someone is going to get hurt because someone broke glass I didn't know about and didn't see to pick up. I am going to drop some balls.

Beating myself up isn't going to do anything except weigh me down with guilt. Because of the heavy criticism in my early childhood, it took me a long time to learn this important concept: I wouldn't talk to a friend, much less a stranger, like that, so I shouldn't talk to myself like that either. I want to help my best friend succeed, then why not encourage myself in a manner that helps me succeed? You, tired and worn out mother, should do the same! 

My to do list this spring is very long! Even if I don a cape and tiara, I can't do it all! What I can do is seek the Lord minute by minute in the midst of the constant chaos of busy family life. 

I can seek Him to lead me to the most important tasks of the day while keeping the attitude that I am serving Him first by serving my family second. I can acknowledge my weakness and limitations. Then, and only then, I can seek ways to improve my performance within those limitations. 

Be nice to yourselves, mamas. This calling is a big responsibility, and it isn't for sissies! The more people you have to care for and keep up with and the more activities participated in-the harder it gets! To succeed, we have to face some hard facts about ourselves, seek Help, and work to improve within our limitations. Then, we have to trust the Lord to fill in the many gaps and take care of our family. 

Caleb was cut, but it was shallow and closed up within a day. He learned his mother was right about wearing shoes every time he went outside to protect his feet. He learned his whole family is there to help him when he is hurt. I was blessed to witness my children tenderly care for each other. I forgave myself for not seeing it all and not doing it all. I once again accepted my limitations. I tried to improve the situation by discussing with my family the importance of putting broken glass in the trash immediately and how placing it on the deck does not solve the problem. I thanked the Lord for keeping Caleb from cutting himself deeper and asked Him to please keep helping me in my role as a mother.

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Let Your Light So Shine

We sing the song "This Little Light of Mine" as children. It's based on verses from Scripture.  It's about living so the world can see Jesus in our lives. When the lamp is "under a bowl," its light is incapable of giving light and then it becomes useless. If we hide our lives or only show off the "glittery parts" of them, how can others see the Light that is working within us? If we don't share, how will they know the blessings of having a personal relationship with Jesus? How will they know how much God is offering them? If we act like our lives are perfect and easy, how can we effectively reach someone who is struggling? 

Are you hiding your light under a bush by keeping it hidden where it is useless and ineffective? Fellow Christian, will you share the life you gave Jesus or will you keep silent? Will love for another motivate you to reach out, or will the fear someone will have thoughts you don't like keep you silent? 

Luke 11:33 No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.

Matthew 5:14-16 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

I Love How They Love Each Other

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Caleb cut his foot. It bled quite a bit, so they called for me. He was sitting on the floor in a hallway when I got to him. Since I didn't know how bad it was, I asked them to help him up thinking they'd lift him from his shoulders to a standing position. Amanda and Joshua picked him up and carried him to the den! I was going to take care of his foot, but they kind of pushed me out of the way and took over caring for their brother. I sat there a little hurt at first. Then I realized: THIS is what I've been working for all of these years. This is the fruit of that labor. It is very good to see! They love each other, work together, and have each other's best interest at heart. I pray they never stop having a servant's heart towards each other. Any mother, who is truly close to the Lord, is going to want and actively encourage her children to get along with each other. One of the ways to honor a mother is to show love to your siblings. This also brings honor and glory to the Father.

Philippians 2:3-5 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

New Barn Walls

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The barn is 30x40. We purchased the roof through Clint's brother. The children and I did the first three rows of the walls ourselves. Clint and the children finished the fourth row. Since he is still battling something, Clint paid for it with an increase in pain for a couple of days. Our goal is to get the barn wrapped and vinyl sided before next winter.

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Amanda was just looking and was hanging on to the cross beam.

Shipping pallets that are rained on cannot be used in the food industry. That is how we obtained free, brand new, hardwood pallets to use for the walls. Clint used a variety of methods to add support and strength to the walls. The results are very sturdy walls!

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Our barn sits on railroad ties that are anchored into the ground. On top of that is salt treated lumber. This shed will eventually house goats and more. We intend to add a second level in the future.

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Monday, March 14, 2016


These images are owned and copyrighted by Wendy Asbell.
This post is basically a re-run of one of our most popular posts with new pictures.

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round guinea fowl egg next to a normal guinea egg

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soft duck egg aka Egg Drop Syndrome
This is usually due to a calcium deficiency or an andenovirus.
This duck carries the andenovirus and will be culled which means "to collect" as in "setting aside something inferior."  Culling on a farm can mean: sold, given away, made as a pet, rendered infertile, or killed.

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double yolked chicken egg
I put it in the incubator, but it was infertile.
People have had double yolked eggs hatch. (see Youtube)

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The two pictures above are of a malformed chicken egg also caused by "Egg Drop Syndrome." My poultry gets a free choice calcium supplement, is on a layer formula, and is fed back nearly all of the egg shells from what they produce and what we buy from the store. We aren't where we can produce enough for our needs and the incubator yet. Our shells are thicker than store bought. This only happened once in one very young hen, so I think it was just because of her young age. First eggs can be smaller and unusual. 

Update 7/27/2015:

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Pictured first is a normal egg where the yolk is clearly visible. The second photo shows a small egg without a yolk. This is called a "fairy egg" among other names. It happens when a bird's reproductive system is out of synch and is mostly seen in new layer or older birds.

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Update 3/14/16: egg assembly line
Learn more about how eggs form here, here, and here. Happy Learning!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

A Good Day

We had our first "normal" day in a long while today. Clint was able to help with the outdoor project we have been working on this week. His feet hurt, but he was able to work on the ladder for several hours. He says he feels he has improved more from when he went to the doctor on Friday. The children enjoyed having their Dad back, and I was thankful to be able to watch them interact. I will try to post some pictures in a day or two. Thank you again to those who have been faithfully praying for Clint and our family. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Prayer Needs

As I shared last summer in this post, I can identify who visits the blog. I see a lot of you visiting hoping for news of what is going on with Clint. I haven't been able to share much about this. We are having to handle this situation carefully for a few good reasons. I will share what I can.

Clint is feeling better and has been for about a week now. He only took the Rx meds for nine days although he was given a month's worth. He had immediate relief on the day stopped taking it and started taking something natural. 

Today was his doctor's visit. 

The doctor wants to wait four months and see how things go before he gives a final diagnosis. So, there isn't a quick resolution to this situation as we were hoping. Hopefully, Clint will be fully healed, and we will get good news in July.

Prayer Needs:

  • Healing for Clint's body, he's been through a rough time

  • No more episodes of fever, crippling pain, chills, sweats, headaches, back pain, etc
  • that he receives the good diagnosis and not the other

These kind of situations always give good insight to the hearts of your friends and family. It teaches you who will be there for you. Many people my husband helped by giving them free time and labor while they were healthy did not offer to do the same for him while he was nearly crippled. That sharply contrasted with a disabled neighbor, who is so limited in what he can do, came and did all he could to the point it wore him out. While my children were asking, "Where is Xxxxxxx?," I was able to point out the self sacrifice of this wonderful neighbor who gave us all he had to give. 

Thank you for the cards, texts, emails, phone calls, etc. Thank you for the love and especially for the intercession you have given us. The place we are in has been overwhelming and frightening, but we know Who to seek for help.

Allergy Remedy

After hearing my friends complain about seasonal allergies, I wanted to share this in hopes it helps someone. For the past few years, every spring and fall, I had horrible season allergies that lasted months. I believe my immune system took a big hit with the emotional strain of my pregnancies and subsequent miscarriages/stillbirths and other events. 

Once the allergies started, I'd get sinus and ear infections. Seizing the opportunity, the EBV would flare up giving me swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, daily fevers, headaches, fatigue, etc. I had about six good months of the year and six I just pushed through. Last fall, after exhausting herbal medicine I had to go on antibiotics for the first time in nearly 20 years. I was not happy about it, but it showed how weakened my system had become. Frustrated with the pattern, I decided I needed to slow down and take care of me for a change. I looked for answers and a way to help myself.

I took the following herbal protocol I found on Stephen Buhner's website exactly as stated for one week. Life was chaotic the second week, so I doubled a single dose and took that once a day. I could see changes during the second week. Seven drops of the four herbs filled approximately 1/4 tsp. Ten drops of the set of three filled approximately 1/4 tsp. All except one of the tinctures I purchased were alcohol based. 

When I doubled them, I mixed them in a plastic bottle cap and took them all at once. I think if all of them were glycerin based tinctures, it would cling and coat the cap too much. A spoon would be a better choice in that situation. 

My friends are complaining about allergies this week due to an early spring. I pulled my head up from work long enough to realize...I am allergy free! I am working outside every day with animals or in dusty conditions and have not had the problems I normally have. Through Amazon, it cost me about $70-90 to buy all of the herbs. It will last me at least two seasons if I take it a few weeks for each. This kind of relief was well worth the price! I am very thankful Mr. Buhner has this on his website free for anyone to use for their benefit. It has been a tremendous help to me, and I hope it helps someone else.

I would start with:
• Herbal tincture combination of: Chinese skullcap, licorice, isatis, and lomatium. Equal parts of each tincture mixed together, ¼ tsp 3x daily. AND
• Tincture combination of: rhodiola, reishi, kudzu. Same dosage AND
• Cordyceps 2000 mg 3x daily or tincture: ¼ tsp 3x daily 
And do this for 60 days and see if it helps. From: