Wednesday, July 06, 2022


My laptop is working again. Clint brought home his computer repair tool kit and worked wonders on it. 

However when I got up to use it this morning, the touchpad was misbehaving. Clint is going to look at that later. If it does not work, I will just get a mouse. 

I am not home. I am helping a friend install the kitchen that I designed for them. I am also helping organize and paint. There is barely enough time to do the job.  So I am not responding to texts or returning calls until we are finished. My love to all!

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Highland Park Fourth of July Parade Shooting

There has been great concern over Bethany. Yes, she was in the vicinity, but she did not attend the parade. She is safe. Thank you very much for the concern and prayers. Please join us in prayer for the loved ones who did not get good news yesterday. 

When I read the news about the parade, I was immediately concerned for my daughter and her roommate. I knocked my computer off of a small folding table. Coffee spilled on it. The computer is not working today. Clint is going to take a look at it later. I may have lost my hard drive. My love to all!


Canaan Rim Road was washed out. It is crossable and was the most challenging part of the trail by far. However, we were alone and had not seen another truck in well over 24 hours. For a while, Clint and I argued with Captain America* who said the responsible thing two parents of seven would do is turn around so they could make their phone check-in on time. Fearing our children would unleash the state troopers and park rangers if we were out of touch too long, we did the smart thing. We're going back to do the crazy thing later...with friends with trucks. *I'll tell you about Captain America soon. He rolls with us now! 😎

Monday, July 04, 2022

HAPPY 4th of July!

 HAPPY 4th of July!

to our family and friends
near and far, 
old and new,
close and estranged

from The Asbell Family!

Our family will be celebrating the 4th surrounded by the beauty of the East River.
We will be celebrating with grateful hearts!

Thank You Father for making us American citizens and giving us 
the freedom, privileges, and responsibility you have blessed upon us!
May we conduct ourselves as worthy servants and bring YOU glory!

Friday, July 01, 2022

A Simple and Effective Way to Pray for Difficult People

This post goes with: Some of the Ways Our Family Prays for Our Enemies

This was included in a series of talks I gave to a group in the last few weeks: 

Enemy comes from the Latin word inimicus which comes from in meaning not and amicus meaning friend. Friend means someone with whom you have a mutual affection. The basic definition of enemy is "not a friend." The opposite of affection is indifference, disinterest, dislike, hatred, animosity, etc. A person who exhibits these qualities or works against your good is not a friend. That means they are an inimicus or enemy. 

God commands us to pray for our enemies which is hard enough. He also commands us to love them. I want to have integrity in my Christian walk and honor God as I try to fulfill this command to love and to pray. When I was a young wife, I did a study on enemies and asked the Lord how could I pray for my enemies with real godly love? As I attempted to reign in the feelings in that flesh vs spirit battle, how could I be certain that I was genuinely praying with love?

The answer was very simple... Whenever I pray for myself or my family, I include them and their family too. I pray for them the very same things I ask God to give me and my family because if I want it for myself/my family, then I know I am asking it out of love for them. It's genuine, easy, and after a while almost effortless. It becomes second nature to include them as I pray my way through my day.

If I ask the Lord to help me get through a difficult day, I pray the same for them. "Father, this day has gone from bad to worse. I am asking for your help in giving me strength and a renewed spirit as I move forward. I ask you to bless XXXXXX with the same on their hard days, because even though we don't get along right now, I don't want them to have to struggle this hard." Any prayer I lift up for myself, I lift up at the same time for them too. When I am doing this for them, I am covering them in prayer, like I would someone close to me, all day long with a right attitude. 

I've been doing this for many years, and it really helps me make that heart change from offended by them to forgiving and caring for them quicker and easier. Granted, at first, I am often praying out of obedience rather than feelings, but as I obey in this, my heart softens and changes. I submit to God's authority over my life with obedience, then He does a work in my heart.

If someone shares news of them, I feel like God is gifting me knowledge of another way I can obey by praying for them. If it is something good, I praise the Lord for it. It it is something sad or bad, I pray for their well-being through the storm. If I know of something they struggle with like a health issue, I add that to my prayer list also. 

Here's an invigorating truth:

If the other person is a sincere, dedicated Christian, they are probably praying for you just as hard as you are praying for them. Maybe they are praying harder! If two Christians are at odds but both are being obedient to pray for and show love to each other on that deeper level, it becomes 

a beautiful work of mutual grace and love 

that leads to restoration and unity. Both hearts are changed, and both lives are blessed by the other person's sincere prayers. It's another example of beauty from ashes.

Life is full of speed bumps, detours, and obstacles. It's hard to navigate through some situations. We often react with emotion and pride rather than looking at the situation factually with understanding from the other person's viewpoint. We are selfish and want our way even if that isn't what God wants from us. We also have an enemy who is working hard against us in our families and the church. God made us a diverse people and gave us different life experiences and temperaments. When you weigh these factors, it is natural that we will have challenges in relating to one another. 

Sometimes it is simply a dislike of the person that needs to be addressed in our hearts since we are called to love and esteem each other higher than ourselves. When that happens, we can ask God to help us learn things about that person that we can admire, appreciate, and respect. Other times, the situation is created by sinful ways of relating to each other. Sometimes, it is a misunderstanding or misconception. Many times, it is because we call our half hearted attempts at forgiving as successful when they are not. If we can not be polite and welcoming to each other, we have not honored God by truly forgiving in a way that changes us or our heart towards the person. We are also rebellious and make a lot of excuses.

That we have problems getting along with each other comes as no surprise to our all knowing Father. He even uses our disputes and our reconciliations for our good and His glory. He tells us to love the people who are showing us animosity and pray for them. While I believe we should look for other ways as well, we can obey God's commands to love and pray with very sincere prayers. All of His ways are good!

But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 
Luke 6:27 

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. 
Matthew 5:44-48 

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 
I John 4:7

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Forgiveness is almost an act of the imagination

Forgiveness is almost an act of the imagination. It dares you to imagine a better future, one that is based on the blessed possibility that your hurt will not be the final word on the matter. It challenges you to give up your destructive thoughts about the situation and to believe in the possibility of a better future. It builds confidence that you can survive the pain and grow from it. -from the article "Forgiveness: What's it for?"

Repurposed Pool Pond Koi Goldfish Minnows Chicken Feed

This is drawing a lot of interest and I have been asked for more details. Here is my expanded answer on the pool pond:

We have another large above-ground pool with no filter/pumps on it that we grow minnows in for winter feed for our chickens. We also have a 250-gallon stock tank and a small metal boat where we raise minnows. There are also a few koi and goldfish in the pool pond. They mostly live off of bugs and algae. I put food in it off and on, but, I really do very, very little.

The minnows multiply rapidly in great numbers with my hands-off approach. The amazing thing is that we have had fewer mosquitoes. I think the "ponds" attract the mosquitoes to lay their eggs, and the minnows eat the larvae when they hatch.

The pond is not a pretty thing. My goal when I experimented was to not raise expenses or my workload. I don't mind the natural pond-like water. There is no strong smell coming from it. I don't do any tests on the water either. Basically, it is a 99% hands-off minnow factory.

We have looked into raising tilapia in the "pond pool," but to keep those going, we would need to bring breeders indoors in an aquarium in the winter. They can not handle our Zone 7 cold temps. We were told trout might survive outdoors year-round, but we have not looked further into it due to time constraints.

If one has chickens, the minnows are very worth doing. We set up our old pool, added water, put them in there, and they did the rest. It did not increase my power bill or my workload. I wondered if it would work, so I gave it a try. The minnows were scooped out of the river I live near. I started with fewer than 20 and now have so many I can dip from the "minnow ponds" all winter and not run out.

When I was thinking about trying, people told me it wouldn't work and that I'd need chemicals, pump, filter, heater, etc, etc. Most of the naysayers haven't even tried what they are naysaying. Nor do they have firsthand knowledge of anyone else who had tried. Much of the time, the naysayers are parroting what they read/heard somewhere. My advice is to do some research to learn the basics of whatever you want to do, think it through, and give it a try. If you talk it over with someone, discuss it with someone who helps you see potential problems and overcome them.

Dear Reader, Whatever project you are considering undertaking, don't be afraid to try. If it doesn't work, don't give up. Adjust something. Try another method. But, don't let naysayers with no personal experience keep you from trying. I'm doing all sorts of things I was told I couldn't do...including growing goldenseal on my farm. You won't know until you try, so just give it a try.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Press Onward!

Philippians 3:12, ESV: Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.

Paul does not want his readers to think he saw himself as perfect and sinless. He is clear that his life is a work in progress (Romans 7). Paul has not yet been made like Christ, in a resurrected body, and has not yet reached the point of being without sin. This accomplishment is something which only happens when we are perfected in heaven.

Instead of claiming to be perfect now, Paul continues to pursue becoming more like Christ. A Christ-like life is not a moment to achieve, but a goal to pursue. Paul knows he would never be perfect in this world, but instead made it his ambition to become increasingly like Christ in this life.

Congratulations Bethany!!


Congratulations to Bethany for her move to Chicago to share an apartment with her best friend! We are calling Winter our 5th daughter!

She has already found a job and loves the L!
She has only been there two weeks, and we have sent care packages galore!

We are very proud of Bethany and can't wait to see what the Lord does through her life!

Of course, she took her beloved Grey with her! Grey is not enjoying his new feline roommate named Maize.

Bethany, we love you very, very much and cannot wait for you to come home to visit! Please bring Winter!

Monday, June 27, 2022

Update on the first Tim...

Remember the first Tim I told you about who was burned all over his body? Well, he has been making strides in the rehab facility and should be back to work sometime in the fall if all goes well. This is a different Tim than the one who has cancer. 

I don't often share what we do for those we ask prayer for because I don't want people to think we are boasting, but for those who were wondering, yes, we witnessed to both of these men. 

"Israel is God's sundial. If anyone desires to know our place in God's chronology, our position in the great march of events, look at Israel." William E. Blackstone Jesus is Coming God's Hope for a Restless World 1908

Note the date and history of Israel when he made this statement. 

Sunday, June 26, 2022

US Air Force Heritage Band

Clint and I have lost count of how many times we have seen this band perform. We stumbled across them when they were playing in Yorktown when Brandon was a toddler and took off running into the middle of the band members who were tuning their instruments. I was so embarrassed he interrupted them. Thankfully, they were a humble and kind bunch and not only treated us graciously, but they took the time to talk to Brandon and show him different things. They were all smiles, and we left smiling as well. We started following their performances not too long after that. We even made a special night for Bethany when she was able to meet one of the vocalists. 

Dear Reader, If you are able to make the Fort Monroe concert, let us know and we will look for you. 

You can check out their other appearances here. 

Thursday, June 30

 FREE Band Concert - Fort Monroe, VA
WhenThu, June 30, 7pm – 8pm
Where20 Ingalls Rd, Hampton, VA 23651, USA

cost you more than you want to pay

“Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay. " R Zaccharias

Saturday, June 25, 2022

This is Why You Never Mess With a Daughter of God

Cure Cancer Naturally

If you are interested in finding a doctor who has had good success with curing cancer naturally, I am hearing very good things about Dr. Saiman Ehimen. I have his email address if you can not figure out how to contact him through internet searches. I know a lady who was treated over the phone/computer because she did not have funds to travel to Mexico. She had stage 4 breast cancer with mets to the femur. She is cancer-free today. 

I know of others who have had success treating themselves using turkey tail mushroom.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Back up water source for large family

I need ideas on how to store water for a large family. 

I have a family of nine. Our family has had to go without running water for two months after a hurricane/flooding damaged our well. Many in our county needed well work, so most of us had to wait. We now store water treated with bleach in several 55-gallon food-grade barrels on the north side of our house to prevent algae growth. The instructions for treating the water with bleach to kill bacteria and how to evaporate it off before drinking are on the internet. The barrels were "waste" from the food industry, and we got them from a company called Brock Drum for $11 each many years ago. I think they are $15 today. 

We also have a 33,000-gallon pool we use for swimming and another we use as a pond which both double as backup water sources. We can get water manually from our well. We are also set up to catch rainwater from one roof. 

I did not have a backup water source and was not set up to collect rainwater before the hurricane, but I made do by setting whatever containers I had under our roofline. It was more than adequate for our family and our animals. We bathed and cleaned with it, but it could have been boiled and used for drinking water. You will be amazed at how much water you can collect very quickly off of a roof! 

We obtained drinking water from a historic church that still has a well they used to water horses hundreds of years ago.

DIY passive solar distillers are very easy to make out of various common items and will give you clean water to drink with very little effort. I like that option better than boiling because it requires no fuel. My plan is to use barrels for that use. Solar distillation is a good thing to research and have in your knowledge bank just in case. Blessings to you and yours!

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Please pray for Tim.

6/22: Tim is still in the process of determining what is the subset of the type of non-small cell lung cancer he has. He is very upbeat and positive. Please keep praying for him.

6/4: Tim has stage four non-small cell lung cancer. They are going to look to see if it is in his brain next.

5/28: Update: Tim has not been back to work since. 

Update: Tim called Clint to let him know he was not well enough to work. Tim has started coughing up blood. 

5/20: Tim works under Clint. This is not the Tim who was severely injured and is in rehab. That person works with Clint but was under another boss. It is a different person. Tim has had cancer in the past. It has returned and is "all over" his body. His awaiting testing so they can find out what type and what course of action they are going to take. 

Please also pray for Tim's salvation.

Thank you!

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Today, I give thanks that six years ago, a friend failed.

Today, I give thanks that six years ago, a friend failed.

That's right. She failed.

She failed, and I am happy about it.

Six years ago, our friend felt so hopeless and lost that she tried to take her own life. She failed. Today, she is happy and doing very well. 

Today, I give thanks that my friend failed at suicide and is succeeding in life!

800-273-8255 is the National Suicide Hotline

Monday, June 20, 2022

Watch and take advantage of it when it comes

Clint and I have been hearing about this for months, and it looks like it is nearly here. We have been holding off on some purchases waiting to take advantage of the opportunity.

Four Wheel Driving in an Old Suburban


What Clint and I do is more like overlanding. We pack all we need in our truck and stay where it fancies us as we adventure along these places. According to park rangers, who have been very kind, accomodating, and informative towards us, we often find places that have not been traveled much, if at all, in years. We've actually helped clear old paths. Hunters have been very generous in sharing information on old trails also.

Off-roading in an old suburban: On one trip we took, two over-dressed, high maintenance women looked at us with great disdain because we were in an old, stock suburban. They let us know they were not happy we were doing the very same thing they were just as easily with less monetary investment. They had new vehicles and had spent a lot of money on a long list of things they were told were "must haves" for off-roading. When we informed them that we had none of those things, they were quite upset. They were moving slowly along while frantically stopping every few feet. They were fussing a lot over very simple things. They were most upset when they realized they had to move over to make room for us and the people behind us.* We came to the conclusion those grumpy women, who had some very stressed-out men with them, would have enjoyed sitting in their trucks on the concrete outside of their garage more than the off-roading they were doing. They were unpleasant to be around (Grumble City), and we were thankful when we parted ways.

Many people have the wrong notion that one has to spend thousands of dollars on a truck and equipment to travel these roads. We have not and have been doing it for years without getting stuck or damaging our stock suburbans. We have done all of the roads in Virginia. The vehicle is a very small part of it. The driver's skill  and tire placement are the key factors. 

On one of our recent trips, we saw a guy with a very small lightweight truck without 4wd that was not lifted at all going right up Bald Mountain's Jeep Trail off of Coal Road which is a "4WD only" road. His truck had lower clearance than our sub, but he was a great driver. He used his truck's advantages as he made his own way up the mountain.

If you are going in a suburban, remember it has a longer body, so the turn ratio is a lot different than with shorter vehicles. It's wide, and it's long. That adds to the challenge on narrow turns, but the challenge is what makes it fun.

Clint and I have traveled with a group, but most of the time, we are alone. We like to go in the off-season so we can have the mountain roads to ourselves. We like to find a pretty spot and stay the night miles from anyone. 

On another recent trip, we were traveling with another person behind us when three came in front of us. At first, everyone was flummoxed about how we'd all proceed. There were five vehicles that needed to pass far from any spots where one could get over to make room. Clint took to the lead and got it all worked out. 

That was fun because we had to drive some of the trucks, including our sub, partially onto steep embankments to make room. People didn't believe their trucks could do what Clint told the drivers to do until they saw our big ole suburban do it. Our two old suburbans have given a lot of people the confidence to ask more of their truck.

We always carry at least two cell phones, a HAM radio, a first aid kit, a small trauma kit (with the knowledge and practice in using it), food, water, water purification, multiple ways to make fire, and forms of shelter (clothes, blankets, tarps, small instant tent), a jump box, a multitude of vehicle repair items that fit conveniently in a 5-gallon bucket, tools, traction boards, different forms of self-protection, etc. We also enable GPS sharing with our closest friends and family and keep them informed as much as we can. GPS often stops working or gets spotty in the majority of these areas we go, but as we have personally witnessed, the authorities have access to things we do not.  If something does happen, we will be as prepared as we can be to handle it.  #amazonaffiliate "As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”

One of the most fun things for us is to meet someone who tells us "You can't do this road in that." Then, we tell them not only have we done it, but we have done it several times, and we are going back for more! :-)

If you have only a car, take heart! There are a lot of roads in the state and national forests where you can go. If one of the roads starts getting too rocky for you, simply turn around! Don't let what other people say can't be done keep you from exploring and enjoying life. Most of the time naysayers are not speaking from experience but are just parroting what someone else has said. Many years ago, we ignored the people who said "You can't do that."  and went to find out for ourselves if we could. In the process, we found an activity we very much enjoy!  

*The unspoken general rule is that whichever group of trucks is smallest moves out of the way of the larger group. On that trip, there were six in our group and two in theirs. They were also closest to the spots where one could pull over. 

Friday, June 17, 2022

She said, "MOVE!"

So, I have been having a big and long-term problem with a rat snake. I finally caught a big fat 6-footer in action today. (It's longer than I am tall. I'm 5'7".) I let them live when I can, but this one has been too costly for too long. I could not dispatch it quickly on the soft ground, so I told my two youngest "Girls, move out of the way. I am going pick it up and throw it." Only, Hannah didn't hear me. I wish I could have recorded her face as it landed at her feet. I am still laughing at her pale face, big eyes, and the quiet mumbling to herself "Oh, she said "MOVE." She said MOVE!" 

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

medical emergency please pray for my family

Update: Thank you for the prayer and concern. Joshua received three long electrical shocks and had some scary symptoms that followed. His erratic heartbeat is what had me call the ambulance. He has been examined and was told to rest and skip work tonight. We have to observe him for the next 24 hours. His body should be recovered enough for him to work on Friday. Brandon, Amanda, and Caleb arrived here very quickly which helped me a lot. Clint is home and is correcting the electrical issue. 

Your Instructions

Your instructions are more valuable to me than millions in gold and silver.
Psalm 119:72

Sunday, June 12, 2022

let not one go unwarned and unprayed for

“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. 

And if they perish, 

let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. 

If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, 

and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.” 

-Charles Spurgeon

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Mustache Paul

Oh, Mustache Paul!

How our family has discussed you and prayed for you! Thank you for opening the door to showing us how to better pray for you.

Firstly, if you wanted to conceal your identity from us, you should have picked other phrases instead of ones we and others only ever heard from you. Ah, boy, you gave yourself away!

Secondly, I'd say it is your delivery that needs work. Your attempts to conceal your identity never once fooled us. Utter failure on your part!

Thirdly, your language choices! We also didn't expect you to be offended by someone witnessing to you either. 

Fourthly, we noticed the things you did not "say" more than the ones you did. 

Fifthly, I can share every thing I wrote to you openly and attach my real name to it. I am not ashamed of anything I shared with you. Can you say the same? Why not? What does that say about your level of integrity? What does that say about your walk with Christ?

If you were living for Christ*, you would not continue to do the things you do towards us. We forgive you for everything, and we will continue to pray for you and yours. 

I know you do not believe it is true, but we truly do care for you and are praying for you and yours. We rejoice when people share that things are going well for you. We are sorry when we hear bad news about you, but we get to work interceding on your behalf asking God all of the same kinds of things   we would pray for ourselves. We even give your first names and general needs to prayer groups outside of our shared circle of friends. 

I have deleted your number from my phone. Remember, you opened that door wide when you contacted me first. 

I do apologize for the typos. I hate that I make them, but it is what it is, homeboy. I use voice to text because my hands are usually busy. I was cooking several meals at one time, quickly washing one side of a car, visiting with my oldest, and transporting newly cut to fit vinyl siding to the helpers putting it on a building when we were texting this last time. I do not do it all perfectly, but the Lord knows I try to perform well and get a lot of ground covered. I tell people to expect typos if they start to text with me because it's going to happen. 

Now, you can take this to the bank: If you contact me again, I will resume witnessing to you. I promise you that. No matter what kind of language or side issues you try to bring up, I am going to tell you in my own words the story of "Jesus crucified!" If you can't handle that, then please don't text me again. 

For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2 

With the love that can only be because of the work God has done in me,


*Notice the phrase says "living for Christ." As I responded to you, I am not to judge if you are a Christian or not. My job is to fulfill the great commission and witness to you. Spiritually speaking, there are three kinds of people. Unsaved, Christians, and Carnal Christians. A carnal Christian can out sin a sinner, but they are still covered under the blood of Jesus. When you witness to a carnal Christian, you can help pull them out of sin. A spirit-filled Christian is never offended by someone witnessing to them because they understand the great importance and the love it takes to do so. I rejoice when strangers witness to me..and then I call them my brother or sister in Christ!! If the one you are witnessing to is a sinner, they could come to eternal salvation. The way I see it, we can't lose sharing the Good News!! Even if they are ugly towards you when you do it! Even if they murder you for it!! I have done a bit of Bible study on the three different spiritual states and highly recommend others do one also. Text me if you would like to discuss it. :-)

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21

How do I recan Number 10 cans of vegetables into smaller jars?

How do I recan Number 10 cans of vegetables into smaller jars?

I would leave them as they are and use the canning jars to preserve other things like meats. Canning jars are too valuable. My time is also valuable. I don't do unnecessary things that add to my electric bill either. You can always figure out how to use all of the beans once you open them. 

I am the mom of seven. I mostly buy #10 cans and can tell you from first-hand experience they will still be good many years after the "use by" date. I use my ears (vacuum seal), eyes, and nose to tell me if something is good or not. 

After you open them, you can eat some fresh for a few days and also make and freeze a soup or casserole that uses them. You can dehydrate them or dehydrate and powder them (to bulk up sauces and add nutrition), etc. You could also can some after you used half the can, if you were so inclined.

To answer your question though: You would process them for the same times as stated on the USDA canning guidelines. To do less time could allow bacteria to grow. Since they have already been processed once, the texture may be affected. To have a copy of the guidelines in print at your disposal in these uncertain times, this book is only $14 (at the time I published this) and contains what you need to know: (#amazonaffiliate "As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”)

USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning Revised: Principles of Home Canning, Selecting, Preparing, and Canning Fruits, Tomatoes, Vegetables, Pickled ... Seafood, Fermented Food, Jams and Jellies 2021 printing

Friday, June 10, 2022

Read the center column and bottom row


I was asked if this was possible. Not only is it possible, but here are the time tables from a book. 

European friends still water bath can everything. Pressure cookers are very rare there. 

Pioneer women water bath canned everything over open fires.

You can also can in half-gallon jars. I do. Just call me a rebel! ;-)

I encourage you to do your own research. Then make up your own mind. 

Any agency that is funded by the gov that says it has not been able to afford to do testing on any additional foods since the 80s is just full of it. There is a reason they have not invested in that area.

I am so very proud of you, Clint!!!

I had to wait until everyone was told in the order they had to be told...

Clint got the job!! Clint was given a big promotion and a huge raise. He now runs the entire maintenance department. He will work fewer hours but will get more pay. He can also receive five-figure bonuses according to how well the company performs. Brandon was getting similar bonuses in his former job at the same company, and they were very nice. 

While Clint can move laterally, there is only one position above him, and that is plant manager. 

He officially starts in his new role on Monday. 

Thank you to all who rejoice with us on the blessing God has bestowed upon my dedicated and hardworking husband!

Thursday, June 09, 2022

More big news...

 More big family news coming tomorrow. (I think.)

Forgotten Places


Clint has a knack for finding these places that time has forgotten.
We found this with Emily and Hannah in April down an overgrown, unmarked road that doesn't show up on most maps. Forest Rangers have been really kind about helping us find and explore these places.

In that day their strong cities will be like forsaken places in the forest,
Or like branches which they abandoned before the sons of Israel;
And the land will be a desolation. Isaiah 17:9

Wednesday, June 08, 2022

Heads Up: Walmart orders canceled

Heads up: Walmart canceled another order I had already placed. I went to see why and to try to reorder. The price increased by 43 cents per can. This is about the fourth or fifth time they have canceled fulfilling an order I have already placed when the price went up at the same time. I can reorder at the higher price, so they should have fulfilled the order I had already placed at the price I paid.

Things will not change until we band together and force them to change.

Heads up: Nasty Perdue Chicken

Three different times over a couple of months now we have purchased the blue labeled Perdue Fresh chicken breasts from two different stores has been BAD! I just opened another package of it, and it is disgusting!

One package smelled like it had been washed in something. I am not saying it was, but it appeared that way to my nose. Be a smart consumer!

I also personally know of a restaurant in the area that is having issues with Perdue chicken quality. 

I highly recommend you sniff test the package of ANY MEAT OF ANY BRAND you plan to buy before you put it in your cart. I am going to poke a small hole in the package so I can smell it before purchase. If it is fresh, I will slip two of the bags provided for free in the meat department over it. If it is bad, I will report it to the meat department manager. The issues won't change unless all of us work together to demand they change.

I am not game to buy more rotten chicken so I will check it before it goes in my cart. 

Fluid filled blisters on the hands

 Wendy, how do I get rid of this? (Picture was of hands with many tiny fluid-filled blisters.)

There is a type of eczema that produces fluid-filled blisters and can be triggered by stress on the body or an allergic reaction. It usually lasts a few weeks. I've had a small case of it between my fingers before. I believe it was an allergic reaction. 

Cold compresses help relieve the pain. 

Internally, I would use herbs that cleanse the blood, liver, etc. 

Externally, I would use oatmeal, honey, or coconut oil. I'd also treat it with a comfrey salve to speed healing. I'd include an antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral herb in the salve because her skin is broken. She can put a thick coat of salve on her hands and then have someone help her put on gloves. This will allow her to keep the salve on longer and still do things. (I do this when my hands need it. I like to stay productive.) 

I had a friend who would get horrible eczema on her hands, and they looked a lot like extreme examples of the red patches pictured. She said colloidal silver is what helped hers clear up quickly.

*I am not a medical doctor and cannot diagnose or treat. I encourage everyone to see one for an expert opinion. For entertainment purposes only, I share from my life experiences. 

one or the other

 “The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.” Dwight L. Moody

Thankful for the bountiful blessings!!!

As mentioned in a previous post, Brandon started his first day at his new job yesterday.

Congratulations to Amanda on her raise and her brand new car!!

Congratulations to Joshua on his new job!!

Congratulations to Caleb on his big raise!! He is supposed to travel to Indiana for certification which will allow him another promotion and raise.

Congratulations to Bethany on her big raise!!

We have one more door that may be opening soon. 

We are thankful to the Lord for the bountiful blessings!

Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all His benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.  PSALM 103:1-4

Tuesday, June 07, 2022

How do you battle tiredness due to workload?

How do you battle tiredness due to workload? I am raising four children, homeschool, work part-time, and run a small hobby farm. I am beyond tired!

I understand. I truly do. Different boat, but same waters. Decades of experience. 

A teacher from my high school told me about a year ago that I have always been a high achieving and highly productive person with a very strong drive to perform well. I had never considered myself that way at all, probably because my job has been mostly "at home." There is no corporate ladder within these walls to climb, so I guess I had underrated myself and my roles. She even used the word phenomenal in her description of me which I found shocking!! I kind of pushed what she said aside, so God sent another friend who shared her observations of my life to reinforce the point. These ladies helped me to see myself, my family, and my role in Christ differently.  I think most of us tend to belittle what we do and reproach ourselves for not doing more or doing it better. Seeing ourselves through someone else's lens can be very uplifting and encouraging. 

A few quick tips to try to see if they work for you: 

Evaluate and assess your situation often.  When I started earning money from home, I tried three different things at one time which were in addition to running our hobby farm, kennel, homeschooling our seven children, raising a big garden, cooking from scratch, pressure canning, etc. Much of the time, it ran well, but there were times I'd get very run down. I'd have to reassess and see what was working and what wasn't. Where were the points things became backed up? Once I had an accurate assessment, I'd implement changes and see how those worked. When something just wasn't working no matter what I tried, I tossed it and looked for something that did work to help me reach my goals. 

I think having goals is also key. Why are you doing what you are doing? Define that as simply as you can. Use that as an assessment tool and a compass. 

If you have children, delegate the easiest tasks to the youngest. It keeps the oldest from having too much to do as you get them to help. 

Take breaks when you need them because you will be much more productive when you are well-rested and refocused. 

Look for ways to cut the workload. (A recent example from my life: I was composting in piles I had to flip. Now, I throw everything into the chicken coop. They turn it for me! I pull aside the fresh on top and get the soil from below when I need it. It's one less thing I have to worry about and cut around in the yard...and, the chickens are doing it better and much faster!!) 

I also automated some things on our place. Other jobs, I combined. 

For certain projects I wanted to take on, I have put off until next year simply because I can't handle it right now. 

Don't expect more from yourself than you would your best friend with the same workload...iow, be your own best friend. 

From time to time, I would downsize my life because I was struggling to do it well. 

From the details of your life you have shared, it sounds like you also have a high drive to be highly productive. You don't have to do it all, mama. And, you don't have to do it all RIGHT NOW. 

My love to you and yours! Happy homeschooling, homesteading, and homemaking! I have other tips in the blog, but you will have to search for them. 

Monday, June 06, 2022

Prayer for Carol K.

Update: I apologize for not updating sooner. Our family had a very hard week last week. Carol has been moved to a rehab facility. She was there on a conditional basis. There was a bit of a battle to keep her there due to the way insurance companies are. She is making progress and has a long way to go still. This is a very dear, very gentle Christian. Please keep praying for her.

6/6: Please pray for Carol K. She is a long-time family friend and use to be, a long time ago, my neighbor. She was not acting normal, so her grown children took her to the hospital. She can't have an MRI due to an implant, so the doctors are going off clinical symptoms. The CT did not show anything, but they believe she has had a ministroke. She will need physical therapy. She can't walk or get dressed on her own. She can only take small sips from a straw. She is eating, but it is very hard. 

Saturday, June 04, 2022

Take a seldom-used trail and find a ...

Take a seldom-used trail and find a...


Friday, June 03, 2022

Congratulations Chris and Mary!!

 Congratulations Chris and Mary!!

May the Lord abundantly bless your marriage.

The Asbell Family is very happy for you!

I wish Brandon could have been present in Poland to represent our family
and be a part of the event.

Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.
Proverbs 18:22

Clint's Birthday


Clint's birthday came to him early this year. We all chipped in and purchased him a very nice recliner with all kinds of electronic bells and whistles. (It came with its own remote control.) It is now the second most expensive piece of furniture we have. Clint has been enjoying it.

Thursday, June 02, 2022

Be Nice to Park Rangers



Be nice to park rangers! They just may give you private access to trails no one else gets to drive down. We've had this privilege many times and are so thankful for it!

Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Repost: Judging Texts, Emails, Statuses, and Internet Posts

Originally posted July 2014:

Friend A was reading a Facebook status out loud on her phone. After she read it, she commented on how self-righteous and condemning the person sounded to her ears. It happened to be a mutual friend who had gone through something very difficult that went along with what she was sharing.

I knew the friend who posted the message was anything but self-righteous or condemning and shared a few things about the nature of the person's heart, some of the things she had helped me with over the years, and a little public knowledge of what had been going on in their life that had probably triggered what she wrote. 

Friend A, who has a humble and teachable spirit, said to me, "You know what, I was putting my voice to the written words. It wasn't them who I was judging self-righteous and was the voice in my head and the emotions in my heart. YIKES, I was really revealing ME!! I am the self-righteous and condemning one!" 

I am so thankful for friends like Friend A. Iron sharpening iron! She brought to light a valuable lesson we can all take home today. I've done it too! I've read something and interjected my own tone and thoughts and made assumptions about the person's meaning, motives, and frame of mind. I've let it color my opinion of someone and affect how I have treated them.

There is so much lost in written communication so we tend to fill in the blanks with our own thoughts and emotions. The danger in doing that is not realizing we may be way off base in how we perceive the meaning and intentions. We can do a lot of damage to each other directly or indirectly this way. Let's tread gently and hold ourselves more accountable while we show others more grace.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Who do you order chicks from?

I've been ordering from Murray McMurray for about 25 years now. I only had one really bad experience and that was due to the post office taking them to the wrong address. Then they shipped them back to me...ugh! It was horrible on the heart, eyes, and nose, but Murray McMurray made it right. Other than that, we might have one and sometimes two dead, but they usually throw in an extra one or two. When I call within the first 48 hours as they specify, they always give me a credit. This past order of 61 chicks had an extra four chicks in the boxes. I felt that was generous.



So, on our way home from one of our camping trips, we decided to do the Bald Mountain Jeep Trail off of Cole Road going down. It was at the halfway point of our journey home so it gave us a good break. We had always come up the mountain before, and we wanted to see how a descent would change the experience.

After we got a little way into it, a Toyota truck came up behind us. When we stopped to let them pass, a polite young man named Jerrod asked Clint if it was OK to follow us down the mountain so he could learn from us. He had just done a lot of work to his truck so he could start off-roading and this was his first off-roading trip! He was with three buddies of his Tristan, Bill from Tucson, and Hunter with a puppy named Chuck.

All of us had a blast!! Emily and Hannah loved having them around and were cheering for them. The soldiers were very patient in answering the girls' questions about their truck and their dog. Clint gave them some good off-roading pointers, and I made them a list of other off-roading places to explore.

The soldiers asked Clint if he was a Marine. Clint replied, "Almost!" and explained how he was disqualified from service just a couple of moments before swearing-in due to a tube in his ear. Jerrod looked Clint in the eye and said, "That is their great loss, sir."

Sunday, May 29, 2022

from them that...

“The Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11

Are you an Alexander the Coppersmith or an Apostle Paul?


Special Force soldiers discovered an ancient letter in a sealed pottery jar while looking for Ali Saed Bin. It was in a cave system in Northern Syria. A translated transcript of the letter follows:
Dear Apostle Paul;
I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know about all those letters that you wrote. Well, they got sent to me in one large packet, probably by mistake.
First of all, Paul, I want to let you know that the moment I realized they were not addressed to me, I forwarded them directly to the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, and Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, as well.
I didn't mean to pry. I didn't even realize they weren't addressed to me until I started reading them. While I was skimming over the letters, I realized I have several concerns regarding what you wrote:
The letter you wrote to the Romans was really, really hard to understand and it sounded like you were really hard on them right off the bat. Now, I can say this: If I didn't understand it, well, I certainly doubt they will! It was like really out there! They probably didn't get what you were trying to say.
It also seemed like you were really down on the Corinthians and Galatians. You certainly could have salted your letters with a little more grace and love, if you ask me. Speaking of which, calling out individuals and saying to beware of them, or have nothing to do with them, or don't eat with them... that seems pretty harsh. We need to love them to the truth! We need to be in their sphere as an influence.
It also appears, in some of your letters, that you picked out favorites to remember by name. That is a bit embarrassing, if you ask me. Think of all the people you, like, left out! That's just crass!
Since we are on the subject, I wanted to take the opportunity to tell you that your letters were just full of do's and don'ts. There was not enough love and grace. Isn't that that the problem that Jesus had with the Pharisees, dumb rules? I mean, like, Jesus talked about love, mercy, and grace all the time!
Really, when you think about it, especially the Romans, Corinthians, and Galatians, they weren't raised like us. They didn't have the same type of religious bakground. They aren't even familiar with the basic rules More love and grace should be showed to them than anybody. We should understand that it is a lot for them to bite off, this new life in Christ. I don't think we should raise our expectations too high. On the one hand, you berate them for their divisions, then on the other hand, you say we need to have sound doctrine! Like duh! That's why there are divisions... so we know who has sound doctrine!
By the way, that little short letter you wrote to Philemon: Why didn't you tell him how immoral it is to have a slave? You should have used your apostolic power to tell him to let his slaves go! Didn't we do enough time in Egypt 1,500 years ago? That's like, just wrong!
I appreciate that little blurb you put in one of the letters saying you are human, like the rest of us, and always doing the wrong thing when you wish you could do the right thing. Yes! That's why we have grace! None of us can do the right thing and that's why you should be a little less judgemental! To quote you, "There is therefore now no condemnation..." Those are very beautiful words, Paul, you should just stick with them, but instead, generally speaking, the tenor of your letters was largely negative. Not good! It almost sounds like you are trying to make the perfect church. Don’t you know you cannot make the perfect church? We are just flawed people. I don't even think Jesus ever expected the perfect church. That's why we have grace!
BTW, say, "hi," to Gaius, the jailer for me. I met him one of the times Peter put his foot in his mouth. Me and Gaius are buddies. He can really cut your time down if you give him a little information.
I really feel God wanted me to tell you these things, brother. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I forwarded your letters on.
Alexander the Coppersmith

--Author Unknown

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Work from your RV copy and paste

I know a man, with a wife and three children, who has been forced out of his home. This was a suggestion from a friend of his.