Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Friend Needs a Job

A friend of ours needs a job. They live in Virginia. If you hear of an opening, please let me know asap. This family is a Christian homeschooling family with 10 children.


He is titled as a Senior Business Intelligence Developer. Other common titles that he would fall into would be Data Architect, Data Engineer, SQL Database Developer, and also have a background as a Software Developer (.Net, C#).

Seedlings on Rockwool

rockwoollettuceseedlings2
These lettuce seedling germinated faster for me than they have in a peat pellet. This picture was taken four days after planting. These are dicot (aka dicotyledon) seedlings. Monocot would be seedlings with one "seed leaf."

roothairs
Those tiny fibers on the end of the plant are root hairs.
They are very delicate which is helpful to know when transplanting.
I won't be transplanting these until they get a "true set of leaves."
The first "leaves" you see are called cotyledon and are the embryonic leaves aka seed leaves.

Dear Reader, I am always struck awe at God's creation! Our natural world always points us to Him. Maybe that's why so many of us find nature so calming, restorative, and revitalizing! I hope you can manage to find some time outdoors very soon.


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

So, I Found This Today...

kittennest

Little unexpected things like this give me so much joy!

Hannah has a cat who lives outside. Her name is Bean. She is kind of skittish with the rest of us, but she loves our Hannah! As a kitten and young cat, Bean kept getting beat up by all of the other cats, so she started sleeping in a chicken nest box. It was the only way she could get any peace. She would hang out with the peafowl and chickens and eat the table scraps we threw to them. Even in winter, she was nice and cozy, and the birds did not mind her around. I watched her find her place on our farm and thought she was pretty smart for hanging with the birds. Today, Emily and I were putting down fresh litter (ground cover), and I noticed Bean acting weird. The cobby little cat was running back and forth frantically. I asked Emily to check the nestboxes. Emily didn't know why, but she obeyed. Emily's expression told me I was right as soon as she opened the first box! So, I got to not only see the kittens, but I also saw Emily's joy in finding them. Double blessing!

I pulled a 10 hour day of heavy labor outdoors today. I am beat, but I wanted to share the cuteness. Love to all!

More Goslings Coming...

5/26: OK..now we have TWO geese on nests. The second one is on 9 eggs. I counted them while she was taking a break. She saw me and gave me the "stink eye." Then she went to her nest and counted them to make sure I didn't steal any.

5/24: Well, this has never happened before...

We have a goose that is sitting on eggs much later than the rest of our geese. She is on 9-10 eggs, but we do not know how many will hatch yet. So, we DO have four geese which means we have 5 ganders.

Those who are still interested in geese, please let us know. They will be $20 each and can go home after they dry off from hatching. They should arrive in approximately three weeks. Email in the header.

Wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!

Clint took days off so we had an extra long Memorial Day weekend. We worked on the Asbell Project with our group and accomplished a great deal! To God be the glory! Pictures should be up on that site sometime later this week.

Clint and I took advantage of the beautiful weather to have some time alone in Kilmarnock and Mathews visiting with friends, kayaking, and sight seeing. We weren't sure if our annual May trip to that area would work out this year, but it did. It looks like our June trip is going to work out too!

Then, we had a fun time as a family with a delicious and bountiful buffet of grilled foods, fresh vegetables, fruit, and desserts some of which were provided by friends. 

Clint was still helping at the waterman's house, so I grilled for hours while Emily cooked on the stove. Hannah stayed very busy helping both of us. I charcoal grilled hamburgers, beef franks, chicken breasts, chicken legs, ribs, steaks, brats, and much more. Our family feasted, and we shared with neighbors while we gave thanks for those who died in service to our great nation.


It was a very productive, but still relaxing and fun filled family weekend!

"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. 
Rather we should thank God such men lived."
– George S. Patton

"Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, 
but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime." 
– Adlai Stevenson

"Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem."
aka "I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery." 
Thomas Jefferson

Incubator Wafer Thermostat Assembly and Stay at Home Womanhood

incubatorwafer
wafer and button switch

thermostatassembly
wafer removed so you can see the silver button is the switch

When I followed the Lord's convictions on my heart to be a stay at home wife and mother (Titus 2:3-5 and Proverbs 31), I thought my life would be very limited. I thought I'd be bored and not have enough to keep me busy and happy.* I also assumed I might not enjoy being with children all day because of things I heard other mothers say.** 

Those turned out to be one of two of bigger misconceptions I had about the job I've been doing since 1990 when I left the workforce to become a stay at home wife and eventually mother. Ever since I laid down my will and gave up my fears, my life has been one big adventure! There is contentment and joy in my days that I could not have dreamed of being possible! Every where He has led me has been better than what I could have imagined!

I have found ways to increase the income my husband earns by using many cost cutting methods. Earning money on my own from home has been no problem thanks to the internet and a sign hung at the end of my driveway. I have also sold my products in local stores. I have continued my education on my own terms and have gained knowledge and skills that have been such a blessing to have. 

This week, I am repairing our small incubator saving us from having to purchase another or run one of my larger ones (side by side refrigerator) which cost more electricity and are overkill for 75 quail eggs. 

The wafer needed replacing in my Hovabator. The wafer expands when the temperature is reached and makes the switch on the thermostat which is what controls the electric heater. For those interested, the heater coil on the incubator looks a lot like the one you see inside of an oven. 

I do work, and I work very hard. I keep records and track expenses to see what is profitable and what is not. God and my husband are who I answer to each day. Currently, I am experimenting with koi, goldfish, minnows, mushrooms, pond plants, perennial vegetable plants, and more to see if those can add to our income. 

Contrary to the world's view of home centered womanhood, I am not trapped at home. Instead, the doors are many and are flung wide open for me. None of my days are ever the same! My life is an amazing adventure where I am not limited or held back due to traditional employment. I am so thankful this is the life God called me to live. 

*I learned one is as bored or as engaged in life as one chooses to be. A person aware of their own needs combined with a sharp intellect and  creativity will never be bored as long as they look after and apply themselves. 

**I never knew the mother child relationship could be this close! This is one of my greatest joys! Children need their mothers. Mothers benefit by gains in maturity and spiritual growth. One gains so much precious wisdom and insight by shepherding children's hearts. Then, as they become adults, we learn about bearing with one another and grace. Children need mothers, but mothers need them too!


Monday, May 25, 2020

Free Plant Trays

planttrays
cardboard box cut down and lined with grocery bags

IMG_1527
pictures taken in April

Gardening can be just as cheap or just as expensive as you want it to be. Frugal gardeners find ways of obtaining or making things for free. For new gardeners with a budget, money is better spent on better plant genetics, quality grow lights (if using hydroponics), and good indoor seed starting setups instead of labels, pots, and trays. 

Labels can be made from recycled plastic containers like milk jugs and yogurt containers. Trays can quickly be made from boxes lined with plastic. Pots can be recycled containers, buckets, found in thrift stores and yard sales, and so forth. Old boots make great pots too! Net pots can be made from yogurt cups and similarly sized containers. Hydroponic pots and reservoirs can be made from recycled containers. 

Sometimes, you can also take a tray when you purchase garden plants at the stores. I've also received them free just for asking. I like to make it a challenge to see what I can create on my own or find free so I can divert that money to more worthy things. Most gardeners feel a sense of stewardship over the earth, so they are very good at repurposing and recycling.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Have you walked In the Garden with Him today?

Dear Reader, I encourage you to think on these lyrics from "In the Garden." "And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known." That time you spend alone in the presence of the Lord through worship and prayer brings a unique joy that is unknown to anyone else except Him and you. How precious that time becomes when we acknowledge and embrace that! 

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Prayers for Caleb

Caleb has a door opened to him, but he is unsure if he should walk through it at this time or wait. Would you join him and our family in prayer that God will speak to his heart on the right choice? Thank you!

Prayer Answered and Prayers Needed

May 23: Shonda: I am asking the Lord to not let one moment of the time she has left to be wasted on fear but to fill her to overflowing with peace and reassurance of His love. She says hospice is doing a good job seeing to her needs.

May 18: Thank you to those who have been praying. Shonda's family was able to visit with her. She had plenty of rest Saturday and was able to enjoy Sunday. The picture of her face with her grandbaby is one of pure joy! Please keep praying for her and her family. The timing is in the Lord's Hands. It could be any time or weeks or months away. It does appear to be sooner rather than later. I am praying the Lord takes her gently in a way that does not cause pain for her or anguish for her family. I am also asking the Lord to give her time to complete and help her be very successful in the plans she has left for her family to take over her business.

***********
May 23: Katherine's father still has not seen or heard from his daughter and has not been updated about her condition. Legally, there is nothing he can do unless his wife takes Katherine out of state. It is creating mental anguish for him because he knows his daughter is very mentally ill/suicidal and needs better treatment. His lawyer quickly responded to his wife's lawyer's paperwork in an effort to move things along, but her lawyer has not responded to his lawyer's paperwork. His lawyer feels hers is trying to provoke him. Please pray for him and his family, especially Katherine. 

May 18: Katherine's father still has not seen her. His wife is unable to drive due to her mental health issues. He has an idea of where they are, but it can't be confirmed. He has no idea if Katherine is still on her medication or is receiving the treatments his wife was against. He is very concerned for Katherine's safety and mental health. He has tried to get legal access to Katherine, but because of CoVid and the courts being closed, he can not petition the court until the end of June. A spouse denying another spouse access to a child is not considered an emergency. That's what the police and his lawyer are telling him. So, he has no legal recourse at this time. He hired an attorney to answer the divorce paperwork and has listed the family home for sale. His attorney has requested his wife's medical records so they can gain custody to get Katherine in treatment sooner. Our friend is asking for prayer for God's protection over Katherine and for leading through this very unexpected and very troubling turn of events. 

God won't give you more than you can handle...Hogwash

"You see “God won’t give you more than you can handle” is idolatry of self-sufficiency hiding behind some nice spiritual sounding words.  The truth is people are dealing with more than they can handle all over the world.  That’s why we need God and why God has given us each other.   As pastor I see and hear about the burdens many of you are carrying everyday…grief, working long hours in an endless job, loveless marriages, challenges with raising children and grandchildren.  I think of all of our farmers who face burdens I will never experience in my life.  And the temptation for all of us, even myself, is to say “Hang in there…God won’t give you more than you can handle.”  My best response as a street theologian is to simply say: “BS.”  ... 

God won’t give you more than you can handle.  Hogwash.  God gives us each other.  Remember the gift of being part of something greater than yourself.  Come pray, sing, eat, worship, grow.  There’s a reason we now say: Believe It, Live It, Come to It.  The temptation in summer is to skip out on worship.  Don’t.  If you travel, go to a new and different church.  Giving one hour back to God is pretty simple in the grand scheme of things.  And when you come, you might just be surprised by who you find sitting in the pew next to you.  We are church and family together." - source

Friday, May 22, 2020

Seed Starting in Rockwool

startingseeds

I write on the lid when I start them, so I can check germination progress on the correct days.

startingseedsrockwool

These are rockwool cubes. Rockwool cubes are made from melted rock and sand that has been "spun" like cotton candy. They are sterile and can be reusable. These have been seeded and pinched closed. For started seedlings, they can be cut almost all of the way in half with a "hinge" left.

rockwoolinverted

Helpful Hint: Single rockwool cubes are "tippy." To get around that, I turned them over and used the bottom as the top. It worked great to stand up apple tree cuttings. A branch was pruned, so I decided to try to root the tips. I soaked the rockwool cubes in a solution of Mycorrhizal Fungus (root developer).They may not take root. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.


The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail.

Isaiah 58:11

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Something New to the Farm

IMG_1521

The sawdust contains enough to make 5 lbs of morel mushrooms.
The syringe is a liquid containing 30 spores of yellow reishi.
The bag is 100 turkey tail dowel plugs.
I take reishi and turkey tail to boost my immune system to better combat EBV.

Will I be successful in growing mushrooms? I don't know, but if not, I will try again. It will be a long while before we see results. If we don't try, we gain nothing. If we try and we fail, we lost the small investment but at least we tried. If we try and we succeed, then we have gained crops we can grow for food and medicine.

If we can get it going, it can be one more thing we can sell from our little place along with plants/seedlings, honey, organically raised meat, livestock offspring, breeding pairs, eggs for food, eggs for hatching, herbal medicine, goat's milk soap, organically grown vegetables, pressure canned jellies and meals, bait, koi, goldfish, etc.

Dear Reader, I think I have failed more than I have succeeded, but I keep trying until I find things that work. I didn't have anyone to show me the way in the things I am doing on our farm. I grew up around some of it, but the knowledge was not passed down. I had to gather all of that info on my own, apply it, see what happened, and adjust accordingly. The collective wisdom from years of trying this and that has helped me to be more successful in my middle years. It is in analyzing why something didn't succeed the first time that I have solved the issue and gone on to succeed. Sometimes there are three to four things that need to be fine tuned. I hope knowing I fail and keep trying encourages you to keep trying too. I also hope seeing my many failures as a human and the strength and redemption Jesus has given me encourages you to reach for Him.


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Another BIG PRAISE

A friend I have had for over 30 years told me recently she came to know the Lord because of my faith in Jesus! When I first met her, she told me her beliefs were in the earth, animals, and nature, because God had not done much for her. 

She told me recently that knowing me and seeing how I live my life all of these years encouraged her to look harder at Jesus and less at the people in the church who had hurt her. She said how I have handled major hurts and disappointments by looking to the Lord encouraged her to see if He really cared about us. "Your faith brought me to faith." 

This is a dear friend! I have been praying for her salvation since a few days after I met her and shared my faith with her. I always felt like I wasn't doing enough or living my faith loudly enough..and it wasn't about me being enough at all! It was about God being enough and what He was showing her through me being enough. He is great! He is good! He is worthy of our praise!

Dear Reader, I hope this encourages you to never stop praying! I can testify that the road often gets weary and can be very lonely, but never stop praying! God can do things we can't imagine ever happening, if only we ask. Nothing, NOTHING is impossible for God. Pray big! Pray bold! Watch what happens!

With God’s power working in us, 
he can do much, much more 
than anything we can ask or think of. 
Ephesians 3:20

For with God nothing will be impossible.
Luke 1:37

A Life Changing Moment Just Happened...

Emilyisfreed
Excuse her hair. We had been working outside earlier on this windy day.

It got LOUD in this house today!!
God is doing His thing!!
For our brothers and sisters in Christ, please rejoice with us!!

Emily gave her life to Jesus today at exactly 3 p.m.

It happened in the middle of a very busy day with so much to do and so many distractions. One would never have expected the Holy Spirit to move, but He did. My daughter is now my sister in Christ!

I asked her what her favorite song was, and she told me "Sunrise" by Brandon Heath. She said she didn't understand the meaning behind some of the lyrics, so we discussed them. We talked about how life can get very, very hard, but the hope we have through knowing Jesus and our faith in Him makes all of the difference and helps us survive the rough parts. Through tears, she gave her life to Jesus right then and there.

Please join us in prayer that Emily will run her race well, that her faith will grow quickly and strongly, and that she will speak boldly for Jesus working heartily for Him using every opportunity to point others to His love and saving power. Please also join us in asking the Lord to surround her by strong believers who will invest in her as a person and encourage her to grow in the Lord and that He will remove negative influences from her life.

It's waiting for her to find it.

snapper

Amanda and I have a fun relationship!! We are always working to make the other laugh. She bent down to kiss me the other day and LICKED my face..blech...LOL! Last night, I left a surprise for her in her bathtub. She's home from work and has not seen it yet, but she will. 😂 I will get a phone call or a text when she does. 🐢🐢 I also left her a grilled chicken meal in her fridge and candy on her pillow. Pranking a good natured person is fun, but being a mom is a joy! The snapping turtle will be returned to our farm where I found it.

I don't know what will come back my way, but I know it will make me laugh!

Gardening TIps

Originally posted: 3/9/17:

A sweet friend asked for tips for beginners who want to grow a garden to cut grocery costs. Here is what I shared with her.

Clint and I are still learning too. There was a generation gap in passing down learning about growing and preserving food on both sides. As a young wife 22+ years ago, I checked out from the library and purchased books to teach myself. Thankfully, there is much more on the internet now. One of my favorite books from then is Carla Emery's The Encyclopedia of Country Living which has been updated. It looks like a phone book and covers just about everything you can imagine about country life.

A lot of my self taught learning was slowed down by lengthy spells of bed rest caused by each pregnancy and then having little ones to care for, but I kept plodding along in that shuffle most of us do..two steps forward and one step back. 

What to plant and what to avoid is dependent upon your immediate area. Know your growing conditions. I have low acid clay soil with a high water table that is rich in minerals due to flooding from our river. Our weather is affected by our river and the ocean. I've been working on building up our soil in certain areas for 22 years. If Clint brings me home a load of mulch or a bag of leaves, grass clippings, or pine cones from a curb, I'm a happy girl! 

What grows well in the wild where you are? Here it is asparagus, blackberries, persimmons, etc. You know you can't lose with plants that already grow wild where you are. I am hoping to get outdoors and dig up some of our wild blackberries and plant them along fence lines and chicken pens this year. 

High yield garden producers like beans, peas, tomatoes, squash, collards, lettuces, etc make good choices. 

Perennials like berry bushes, grapevines, strawberries, asparagus, rhubarb, garlic, horseradish, many herbs, fruit trees and such allow you to plant once and harvest for many years. I consider these good investments.

I also like the permaculture idea of "food forests." I would like to tour a place that has these established as I am still trying to get a fix on what this looks like and how it is done.

Speaking of tours, did you know you can do a free self guided tour (a lot of walking) Joel Salatin's farm which is just outside of Waynesboro, VA?http://www.polyfacefarms.com/principles/ There are tons of ideas to be gathered from here, and his family is friendly and polite. I really enjoyed our short time there and hope to go back soon. 

Look at what is naturally (wild) on your land that can be used for your needs that you are ignoring. https://www.wildedible.com/ I harvest my own elderberry, plantain, dandelion, chickweed, mint (planted by someone who lived here eons ago), bayberry (aka wax myrtle), persimmons, pine needles (animal bedding/potpourri), clover and grasses (feed for animals), etc. We've been conditioned to run to the store for everything rather than use the resources that are all around us. We cut the trees down as needed for firewood and use the discarded branches as a natural fence, privacy, boundary line in areas. We make use of things that are here that we know will work for our needs. I've lived here for 20 years and am always finding something new like a female (fruiting) persimmon tree that was hiding in a ton of brush. (I KNEW that deer was going into that thorny thicket for a good reason!!) 

What plants/vines/bushes do your neighbors have that you can trade for? You can cut costs and expand what you grow quickly this way. 

You'll notice one year, you'll have one crop coming out of your ears, but something else might not be doing that well. Preserve what you can during bumper crop years, because the next year, it will likely be a different crop that produces abundantly. 

As Clint and I approach our 50's, we are looking for ways to make it easier on ourselves in the future, so we are adding raised beds, containers, and are experimenting with gutter* gardening. While on vacation, I saw an elderly Asian man who had a large container garden all raised on boards and saw horses to his chest height. He had produce on the vines, so it was working for him. We've often talked about trying that. We are still shufflin' onward! I'm heading outside now to see what I can get up to before the cold weather comes before I head to the store to stock up on some "loss leader" sale items.

*Avoid the strawberry gutter planting idea you see online. The one you see that has the big pretty berries trailing down has an irrigation system run through it. I've heard of too many who tried it without the irrigation hoses. The berries die in the summer heat.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

So much to do...

myworkspace

My workspace from earlier in the month.
There is always so much to do here.
I get very tired, but I love a productive day!


Dear Reader, You know that tiredness you feel at the end of the day 
when you know you have accomplished much?

Well, I call that the "good kind of tired."

Monday, May 18, 2020

How to Separate and Plant Those Tiny Seeds

smallseeds
enlarged for easier viewing

There are little seed sower gadgets you can buy to help you plant small seeds, but this works in a pinch. You don't have to spend any more hard earned money, and you won't have to come up with space for it. 

This is the tip of an old butter knife. I have the tiny seed sower, but I couldn't find it. So, I opted for the butter knife to help me separate those itty bitty buttercrunch lettuce seeds. It worked great!


Sunday, May 17, 2020

O do what Jesus says

O do what Jesus says: 
just shut the door, 
and pray to thy Father 
which is in secret. 
It is not wonderful? 
To be able to go alone
 with God, the infinite God.
 And then to look up and say: 
My Father! 
-Andrew Murray 
With Christ in the School of Prayer 
(sometimes you can find the Kindle version of this book for free on Amazon)

Saturday, May 16, 2020

How I Package My Seeds

seedsinmylar
purchased seeds packaged in mylar

lettuceseeds
I write the crop name, variety, date I purchased, where I purchased, 
and the circled H tells me it is a heirloom variety.
The growing details with tips are kept in a folder.

Most people package their seeds in paper envelopes, but that has not worked to keep a higher germination rate for me. I live along the east coast where humidity levels are very high. Seeds in paper will absorb moisture which makes them age faster. 

The seeds I purchased that came packaged in mylar were keeping a very high germination rate for many years. Curious as to why, I did research on how to best package my seeds. I sought out seed banks and seed vendors for information. 

I learned that while it does not look like it, seeds are very active. If the seeds have enough moisture, they will need oxygen because the moisture keeps them in a more active state. The more active they are the shorter the life of the stored seed. If the seeds are very dry, no oxygen is necessary, and they will keep for a much longer period in a cool environment. So, I make sure my seeds are very dry and store them in mylar now to keep them from absorbing moisture in our climate.

A low tech way to check moisture content is to put the sealed package in the sun for a short time. If there is too much moisture, it will condensate on the inside of the package. My pond fish food will condense on the side of the package in the sun, so I used a little of that for comparison. You can put seeds in a dehydrator set on low to remove more moisture.

To reduce the rate of ageing and prolong shelf life of the seeds, it is recommended to store the seeds dry and cool. Most if not all damage is related to oxidation of proteins, membranes, DNA, mRNA and lipids. Although the effect of both low temperatures and low moisture seed moisture content is through a reduction in the rate of oxidation, the role of oxygen in the storage environment is hardly or not considered. The deleterious effects of oxygen during dry seed storage are presented, as well methods to reduce oxygen levels during dry seed storage and prolong the shelf life of seeds. Source

“While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
And cold and heat,
And summer and winter,
And day and night
Shall not cease.”
Genesis 8:22

seedsinmylar2
This is a close up of the list of seeds in the package in top picture. If you click it, it should take you to a larger version for easier reading. I can usually find them selling for $11 to $20. Lately, with concerns over coronavirus and the food supply chain, the prices have fluctuated as high as $55! There are not many seeds of each type, but you get several different types in one package. They are heirloom seeds, so the seeds will produce plants like the mother plant. One needs to lean when and how to harvest each type of seed to be successful. Wet seeds, like tomato, need to be handled a certain way before drying.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Snake Trap

snaketrap2

Last year, I lost some peafowl eggs to a snake. Peafowl eggs can sell for quite a bit, and the chicks can sell for more. The sales I make from the peafowl help support the rest of our livestock.

As a steward of this earth, I am a "live and let live" kind of soul, even with the critters I do not particularly enjoy, ...until it starts taking from my family. Then, I fight back. 

This homemade trap will not kill the snake. It has air holes and is set in the shade. We have permission at two other properties where we can legally release them. I really like the fan guard trap idea you see here

For the trap I made, I cut the top off of the grape juice bottle and inverted the top. Then I stapled it all the way around for a good strong hold. Snakes are stronger than one might imagine. There is an unhatched goose egg and two bantam eggs inside for bait. A rigid minnow trap also works to catch snakes, but I can't find mine atm. Hopefully we will get to keep all of our peafowl eggs and raise more chicks this year.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Prayers Please and a Praise

Update 5/14: Please continue praying for Shonda and her family. There are signs all over her body that things are progressing, and she may have had another small stroke last night. She is asking that her daughter has time to get to see her. Her daughter is due in Sunday.


5/8: Last spring, I asked people to pray for friends who had learned they would not be on this earth much longer. One of those, Frances, left her battered body and ran off with Jesus in December. 

One of the others, Shonda, was evaluated for hospice care, was approved, and will be entering that care shortly. This is a friend who helped me through severe hyperemesis gravidarum. The journey she is on started about ten years ago and has been particularly rough, but she has pointed others to the Lord the entire way. I so admire her unrelenting love of Jesus during her unrelenting suffering. She has never wavered in her faith and never stopped telling others about His goodness despite her own current misery. She had a stroke recently and has been seeing signs in the forms of hives and rashes all over her body that the vascular tumor in the center of her chest is growing very quickly. It can rupture, or she can develop a fatal blood clot at any time. I ask you to pray for her physical comfort, continued peace, and an easy departure both for her and her family, who are giving loving care and watching over her. Please also pray that she can get some extra moments with her children and grandchildren. Thank you for praying!

******
There has been an incredible answer to prayer in our group of friends! Stacey has been battling gastroparesis which is a disease where the stomach cannot empty itself of food normally. It was very distressing and painful for her. She was hospitalized for the condition. There is no known cure. Stacey asked our family to pray with her. She went back to the doctor, and he can not find any evidence of it. He was flummoxed! She told him God healed her! 

Update on Katherine

5/14: The father has not seen either his wife or his daughter. He does not know if his daughter is receiving her medications or treatment and requests prayer for his daughter's mental well being and his marriage. 

May 5: Katherine is with her mother and is still struggling. Just a few days ago, her father came home to find both Katherine and her mother gone with divorce papers on the table. He had no idea his wife was planning to leave him and take Katherine. He called Clint in the middle of the night to talk. 

I didn't think it was necessary to share until now that Katherine's mother suffers from serious mental health issues and has been hospitalized in the facility doctors wanted to put Katherine in for a longer time period. The mother did not want Katherine to go into that program due to how badly she was treated there. Evidently she was very heavily medicated and little therapy was given. The father wants Katherine to have some form of long term in facility treatment since she is still self harming. She has not made any noticeable improvement. When this young girl cuts herself, it isn't a little bit. It has been horrifying to hear the description of what she does and says. It's too gorey to share.


I shared a few more details, with permission, so you can better understand the complexity and severity of the situation and pray with us for the marriage, for Katherine, her mother's mental health, and for her father as he navigates through this new situation. It's a very shocking and heartbreaking turn of events for him, and he is not sure of how he should proceed. Please pray hard with us for our friends. Thank you!

KATHERINE: I should hear an update on her situation this week. UPDATE 3/4: Katherine was admitted, met with counselors, has a treatment plan with supervision established, was home as of yesterday, and is back to attending school. Her father said she's OK for now. To quickly answer emails I have not had time to reply to-this is all I know, MCV is where she went (I THINK), she is 13 or 14, we can not share the last name or her parents' names. Privacy is paramount.

3/14: I misunderstood and apologize for my error. She is working on school but from home. They do not know when she will attend school again at this time. She is doing OK.

3/19: We just received a heartbreaking call from her father. Katherine tried to harm herself again tonight. Please pray hard Katherine and her family.

3/25: Katherine is at home, on medication, and is being supervised. She is cutting herself in secret and at times in front of her mother. It's too graphic to share here. Her father seemed hopeless and discouraged. I think there is just too much on his shoulders right now. 




THANK YOU TIPPY!!!

beeswaxfromTippy
I make my salves and soap with beeswax which contains propolis.
Thank you, Tippy, for the very generous amount!
I can't stop sniffing it! It smells so good!
This will make good medicine!


Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech 
will have the king as a friend. 
Proverbs 22:11

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Prayers Please

Update 5/13/2020: PRAISE the LORD! Mr. Amazing, aka Clint, fixed it on the 8th. 

5/6: Our suburban is stuck in 4WD. It has been since the weekend.

It is a different kind of problem than most encounter which is making it difficult to diagnose and solve. 

My husband has persevered through wind and rain and laid in the mud trying to figure it out. 

We can't use the suburban until the issue is fixed. We have farm purchases we need to make that require that particular vehicle. I also have to cut the grass for someone, and that grass is almost hip high! I have to use the suburban and the trailer to take the mower there and back. I also have things to haul and deliver. Stuff's backing up!

Please lift a prayer that Clint will discover the cause and the fix for it. Thank you!

Quail Eggs

quaileggs
I love all of the shades and patterns of spots.
Fun fact: When raising egg layers, you learn which eggs go to which hen.

These are Jumbo Coturnix Quail eggs. We've raised quail many times on our farm. Caleb raised them on his own for a long time. These eggs were purchased from eBay. I paid for 50 and received 60. They were lost in the mail for three days, and the mail carrier did not heed the "this side up" written all over the package. Because of that, I expect a low hatch rate. Buying hatching eggs through the mail is a gamble so know the risk before you buy. These eggs go into our homemade cabinet incubator later today. In about two and a half weeks, we will see what happens!

One day, I want to buy hatching eggs for pheasants and exotic birds...like an emu! :-)

Coronavirus and Pride

Like most everyone else, I have strong opinions about what is going on, but the reality is that my opinion is worthless. No regular person's opinion is important in this. Is my opinion going to change anything? Is yours? 

Do either of us have enough data, knowledge, experience, and wisdom to make policy decisions or to tell everyone else how to live? 

Pride is the root of very arrogant thinking and words. Pride assumes to know how others should live. Pride makes us angry and ugly. It makes us sin against others making demands for things for which we have no right. Pride divides marriages, families, co-workers, churches, and nations. Pride is sin. 

Dear Reader, The words we say and the actions we take in this coronavirus event reflect our hearts. Let's use this time to weed out what doesn't belong and cultivate godliness. If we are focused on God and His promises while reflecting on and weeding our own hearts, we are too busy to be elevating self assuming that we know better than those in power or those around us. Unity among believers is very important right now. If you have not done a Bible study on unity, I highly recommend it. 

Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. 
For there is no authority except from God, 
and those which exist are established by God. 
Romans 13:1 

Hannah's Choice

hannahssloggers

Hannah's Sloggers arrived! Here's her choice!
Bethany took my Daffodil Chicken boots when I did not like how they fit. They have held up for many years. Emily chose this design.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

"How many children do you have?"

"How many children do you have?" they ask. 

Oh, the dreaded question. "How much time do you have?" I wonder silently to myself. 
Do you really want to know? 
And do you really care? 
Am I up to going through the entire heart rending tale? 
If you have the time, my friend, here's the answer I will give.............

I have children that dance and children that sing,
children that cuddle all kinds of things,
children with freckles and dimples and bows,
children that run through the sprinkler and hose,
children that color (on paper and walls),
ones that love stomping and jumping in puddles,
children that ask, "What is that for?"
and spill glasses and glasses of milk on the floor,
children that laugh and children that cry,
and constantly ask Mommy and Daddy, "Why?"


"But I have nine that are different, set apart from the rest,
Nine I've never known the joy of nursing at my breast.
Nine we cannot cuddle, nine we cannot hold,
though we will in our hearts as we grow old.
These children I cannot rock when stormy is the night,
or tuck snuggly into bed with the fading of day's light.
Though here with me now nine is all that you see.


"I have sixteen children," I would say, with a glance toward the sky,
"Seven that can run and nine that can fly."
~Val Minihan~ 


NOTE: I edited it to make it fit for our family The original has "three" where you see "nine."

Dear Reader, When I share things like this, I am not in a melancholy mood. I am remembering how blessed I am to have seven here and nine there. I get to enjoy the children God gave me on this earth, and I have children I get to look forward to meeting! I don't have to understand the why to know God's plan for me is good. I hope you also have confidence in His goodness!

Monday, May 11, 2020

Laughing All the Way

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mail5 

  mail4
mail3

mail2

They ran 1/4 a mile round trip through pouring rain to get our packages...
and loved every minute of it!

I am so thankful for the daily joys my children bring me.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

THANK YOU

A big 
THANK YOU
to my children and "my other children" 
(the young people in my life) 
who made my Mother's Day so wonderful!

Tomorrow, we are looking forward to 
seeing and visiting with friends 
in our old neighborhoods in our hometown!
It's going to be a fun drive and 
a nice trip down memory lane 
in the place we started together on
this amazing journey!

To My Wife:

Wendy,

Happy Mother’s Day, Sweetheart!

In years past, I have usually tried to surprise you with something, or get you something that I know that you would like to have. 

I along with the children are going to do that as we know that you would like to add another goat to the farm. True to who you are, I know that is not exactly what you want, but it is good for the family which is why you asked for it. I have been looking, and we are pooling our money so that we can do that. Alas, that is something that you will not be able to physically put your hands on come Mother’s Day. 

You also told me that you would like a book on preserving seeds. I would like you to have that as well, and would like to order that Sunday evening with you. I contemplated getting you flowers in addition to this card, but I know that you would probably rather use that money for something more practical like plants, or an additional book, etc. so let’s do that as well, my wonderful, self sacrificing, hardworking, and practical thinking wife.

I wanted to take some time here, and let you know that you are very loved and very valued. You are an awesome mother and wife! Second to your relationship with God, you have always put your family first, and that is a fantastic quality! You are loving, nurturing, and caring as well as fierce when you need to be. I am thinking mama bear here. 

You were made to be a mother, and it has shown through the years as our children have grown. Thank you for educating them, and teaching them more than just academics, but encouraging and facilitating their individual interests as well teaching them the life skills that so many children are lacking in society today. 

It has not always been easy, but you never gave up, and plugged away at issues including the many sleepless nights until you had a solution. Our children are the fine people they are today because you cared enough, and allowed yourself to be led by the Lord in raising them up. Thank you for being the keeper at home.

Through it all I have never had to worry whether or not the children were being taken care of. By you being home with them, it has given me the peace of mind to go off to work each knowing that they are in a safe and loving environment. Our society may portray a stay at home mom negatively, but our lives are filled with proof to the contrary. Thank you so much for being the person you are.

I love you, Wendy, and there is no other person that I would rather share my life with.

Always yours,
Clint

Everybody else, please give my devoted wife a shout out through phone or text today!

Happy Mother's Day 2020

Happy Mother's Day 
to everyone 
with a loving mother's heart 

no matter if you have many children or none. This includes those who conceived and lost, those whose child grew and left for Heaven, teachers and social workers who see the hurting child and respond, and fathers who step up to fill both roles. I hope you know your love and concern matters in a child's life, and you are worth your weight in gold!