Friday, October 31, 2008

The Girls - Dressed Up At Home

Here are the girls dressed up at home. We made pumpkin muffins and Jon carved a pumpkin with the girls in celebration of...pumpkins...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's Been A Year

It's Been An Entire Year!

My baby is now a toddler. It doesn't feel like it's been a year. But, today is the day and she turns a year. This is also her sister's birthday (my step-daughter), she's ten today. Isn't that funny? I don't know anyone else who has two kids with the same birthday. I believe it was a special gift for Mariah - that the two of them would share a special day. Mariah isn't with us today, so we will have a little party for the two of them this weekend.

Here are some pictures from today:

Can you tell that she doesn't sit still for pictures??? She is pretty much on the move all the time, except when I'm holding her! (I hold her a lot.)

Here are some pictures from the last year:

Abigail - Newborn
Abigail's First Bath
One Day Old Abigail With Mariah
Abigail - 2 Weeks Old
Abigail - 3 Months Old
Abigail & Mariah
Abigail & Mariah
Abigail's Dress That Mommy Made
Abigail & Mariah


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Living With No Regrets

If I think about what I might regret at the end of my life, I would wish that I had known the Lord better in my time here on Earth. I wish I had fellowshipped more with the Father. I wish that I had drawn more from His resources, from the Comforter. It is ironic I think, because then I will see Him face to face. Yet, I wish to know Him more in the here and now.

A couple of other thoughts I had center around my family. I would like to, even more than we do, draw close together as a family. I would like to not allow the busyness or worries of the world to come between myself and my family. I would like to take advantage of every sunny day  (or just not a rainy day) and spend it outside with them, as much as is possible.


 I'd also like it if I made it a priority to get more special time with my husband, even if it's just a weekend here and there. Those times we have done that have been so special. It is hard to get away from the girls, and to trust them to others. But, it is my opinion that it is a really special and necessary thing to do. Having had a baby about a year ago, this isn't something my husband and I have done in the last year. If I knew I wouldn't get another chance, I think that is something I would regret, if I didn't figure out a way to do this.


The last thing I thought about when it comes to regrets, is that I would regret beating myself up for being me. I am serious, yet I have a sense of humor. Sometimes my thoughts get cluttered and it's hard to talk with others. Sometimes I am quiet. I like traditional things. I'm not the kind of person to appeal to a person and see an immediate change in their opinion. In terms of sharing the gospel, I would say I am not a "reaper". So, I would like to seek ways for the Lord to use me the way I am and in the circumstance I am in. I think a lot of this, comes down to worshipping the Father in prayer, with song, with my life, and thanking Him for who he created me to be. Then through that time that I spend with him in prayer, He will direct me, and it is my prayer, that I will be obedient to His direction.

Here is my verse for the week:

Matthew 6:6

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How I Hunker Down


This week's Homeschool Blogger Friend School Assignment has to do with how we as homeschool moms hunker down for the cooler weather.

Well, the first thing I must show you is what I affectionately call "Basket Flat Rain". This picture does not do our rain's hard to get a good picture of rain. Sometimes the rain storms are gorgeous (I wish I could capture them the way I see them), but other times the rain gets to be a bit much. I can't tell you how much we get right where we are, but I know the official annual rainfall for the nearest town is 80 inches and I wouldn't be suprised if right where we are we get a little more than that. That's twice as much as Seattle. I'm originally from the Seattle area and I thought it rained a lot there! I guess it rains the same frequency here, it just rains more. We live up a curvy road and then right after our place, there are a bunch of hills leading up to some footfills (small mountains). So often I go just a mile down the road and the rain is much more mild. 


Anyhow, one of the things I do to hunker down in the fall, winter, and usually spring, is I WATCH BIRDS. I sit on my couch and look out my living room window and watch the birds feed at our feeders. I find it quite entertaining. And, I don't have to set foot outside in the rain to see wildlife. Here is a picture. Again, I wish I had a better one to show you. But, I haven't taken any yet this year. This is the best rainy season picture I had of one of the birds.


How I Had A Blissful Fall LAST YEAR

Another thing I really enjoyed doing last year during this time of year was having a new baby. I really looked on the rainy season with more a sense of overwhelming joy. I love having a new baby. I don't get a lot done, but it really cheered me up last year. But, this is not in the realm of possibility this year, however. My little one is now almost a year. She still brings me joy.


Something I like to drink in the cold season, that I don't drink when it's warm, is warm apple cider. Yumm. Yumm. I love to sit on the couch, reading a book, watching my birds, covered with a blanket, drinking some warm apple cider. We got so many apples this year it would be great to make cider out of them. Alas, we don't have a press. So, I will probably buy one of those jugs of apple juice (I call it cider - not the clear kind) from the store.

As for my verse, I offer you a verse from Psalm 37. Actually, the whole Psalm is excellent, please do read it. A friend gave me this Psalm to read in this last week and it really ministered to me.

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Natalie's Drawing Of Her Grandpa

My husband's father died before the girls were born. My step-daughter, Mariah, was born before he died, but she was very little when she last saw him and doesn't remember. Natalie, the oldest of my three that are home with me, was looking at the picture of her Grandpa today and decided she wanted to draw his picture. I thought it was a particulary good drawing, so I'm sharing it with you. Natalie, the artist, is seven years old. For more of Natalie's art, see her blog.



Sunday, October 19, 2008

My Day

OK. Well, today was my birthday and here is my cake.


Yes, I made the cake. No, I didn't have to. My husband would have bought me one from the bakery, but I am I made my own cake. It was very rich.

I made my daughter Rachel her own cake too. No, it wasn't her birthday. But, we have been trying to go gluten free with Rachel. Back when she was a toddler, she tested negative for Celiac disease. So, this isn't an official thing. But, she has some symptoms that are common with gluten intolerance, and I thought I'd give it a shot. You've got to really go gluten free for at least three months to really tell if it is making a difference, I've been told. I've got to give it a shot. It's been about two weeks so far. And, you've got to avoid all sources - even like thickening agents that have wheat or gluten products in them. The funny thing is Rachel really doesn't mind the change in diet. I think that's amazing.

Funny Girls

My girls gave me "cards". Funny, homemade, stamped, folded up, scribbled on cards. Natalie gave me one that said "Rachel". And she laughed hysterically. Rachel had one in her pile that Natalie made and had Natalie's name written all over it. They thought that was funny too. Natalie sang "Happy Birthday" to me this morning and sang, "Happy 83rd birthday...". She still gets the first number of double digits mixed up - at least when doing her numbers orally.

We didn't make it to church today. I have been having the darndest time with anxiety and insomnia. I think it has primarily been because of the election - but also because of a variety of other elements that just brought me to overload. It takes a while to right myself sometimes. However, I've done better lately. Until last night. I didn't go to bed till one. That was self-imposed. I was organizing my desk, which desperately needed to be done. Then, the baby has a cough and was up at 3:00, then up at 7:00. And, at that point, I just couldn't go back to sleep. And, my interuptions to sleep (including tending to the baby - almost a toddler now) interupt my husbands sleep. I know it sounds strange to some people, but both my husband and I can't really function (at all) on less than seven hours of sleep. And, we both deal with insomnia. So, we decided to just celebrate my birthday today and not to go to church.

We went to lunch at a fancy (favorite) restaurant. Well, it turned out to be dinner because we went there and it wasn't open until 5:00. We had all three girls with us. It was a challenge. They aren't used to sitting still and talking quietly. My husband was very patient with them. I was thankful for this. We came home and had cake. Then, I opened my present. My dh surprised me with an ice cream maker. The kind you put the canister in the freezer and then it automatically makes the ice cream. I like to make stuff from scratch, so I am really excited to be able to make ice cream without the hassle of ice and rock salt.

The Cat

Then, on top of that my cat decided to give me a present too. Not too unusual I know. But, I was just sitting at my desk talking to my husband and in came the cat through the front door with a big mouse in her mouth and she drops it right in front of me. I screamed and ran around the house to grab the baby. Jon took the mouse outside. Sorry, no pictures.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Picking Apples

Here are a few pictures from when we went down and picked apples today. We have an old apple tree. It is overgrown and has smallish apples, but lots of them.


I thought this was a neat effect. I set a narrow aperature (a low #, for the blur of the background) and then set the shutter speed so the light was set for the shadows, rather than the sun.


Natalie was real proud of herself picking some apples with the apple picker.


Rachey is always the helper.


The above photo was a fun one with the sun's rays.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sleeping Baby Abigail

Cute Girl

Here is a picture of baby Abigail. She fell asleep in the van on the way home from the grocery store. Usually she wakes up when we stop the car, but today she kept sleeping. I took a picture of her through the back of the van.



Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Two Pics

Here are two pics of my oldest and youngest playing outside today. Today was a beautiful sunny day.


This is a picture of Natalie playing with her dishes outside. I came up to her to take her picture, and she says, "Mom, I'm pretending to grind flour." We have a grain mill which we use frequently. If you haven't been around a grain mill before, the electric kind are very loud. I put my earplugs in and tell the kids to go play in their room when I run it. It's a big production, but it makes very yummy (fresh) flour.


This is Abigail walking around outside. She is a big girl now and goes to join sisters. Yet, sometimes she is a little reluctant to go very far. Here is a very typical blank stare. Then she says, "huh". That's an actual word of hers. She uses it in context and it is new. I think her sister and I say, "huh?" to her too often.


Monday, October 13, 2008

New Glasses For Rachel

My Rachel has new glasses. She is near sighted it turns out (can't see far away). Today she is saying everything is smaller (i.e. not blurry). I'm thinking it will be easier to teach her with her being able to see, so it is a good thing her doctor's office caught her vision problem.

Isn't she cute?



Friday, October 10, 2008

Praise Report - Natalie

My Natalie

Yesterday, my Natalie was sick. She woke up feeling sick and threw up several times after that. I was mentioning to my husband that evening that it was weird, Natalie was sick from like 8:00 to 2:00 and then about 3:00 she was just totally better. Then, I remembered. At about 2:00 Natalie asked me to pray for her and I did. I said to my husband, "it must have been faith like a mustard seed, because I didn't feel that confident." I think that God wanted to encourage me in my prayer life. That it makes a difference, that He hears, that He will grow my faith.

So, don't be discouraged from praying. Pray and believe. God hears your prayers. And He is faithful and good. And, pray for our nation, pray for our world, pray for a generation who needs to come into contact with the Living God.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Our Herd Of Cows

When we moved out here to the country, the first thing my husband wanted to do was to get some cows. The people who lived here before had cows and we couldn't have sheep because we have coyotes and didn't have the kind of protection we'd need for sheep. Well, Jon fell in love with cows. Me, not so much. Well, not at first. The first group of cows (really steers) we had were a mangy looking group a guy sold us who sold hay (we found out later - hay that wasn't the greatest quality) to us here locally.

Nonetheless, I had just read Nourishing Traditions (which I HIGHLY recommend) and I had found out how really red meat wasn't so bad for you as we have been led to believe, it is how red meat is typically fed in this country. So, we decided with that first bunch of cattle (I'm getting my terminology right now) to grass feed them. Well, anyhow, that first batch weren't the most fantastic growers and they CERTAINLY weren't tame, but they made good meat.

Now, I still wasn't so keen on this cow thing. Generally I considered cows ugly and stinky and not very interesting. Plus, my husband was a bit BUSY with those cattle the first year. And I was jealous. Rightfully so. Anyhow, the obsession wore off and my husband, being the faithful husband that he is, wanted to find a way to make me happy with the cows. In comes raising Pinzgauers and having baby calves. This last year was our first year having calves. Unfortuneately, we had some troubles with that. But, we got one adorable Pinzgauer calf out of it and her name is Annabelle.

Pinzgauers are a beautiful breed of cattle. They are known for their beautiful color, resistance to disease, tenderness of meat, low cholesterol of meat, good growth rate, and tameness of breed. Unfortuneately, it turns out the breed has a bit of an Achilles Heal. They are known for problematic births, especially in Heiffers (1st time mommies). So, we lost two of three calves. It was heartbreaking for my husband. We probably would have been able to save at least one of them if we had more experience.

My husband got curious at that point about other breeds. He had previously gotten some Angus steers that were really good growers from a local breeder and liked them. So, he looked into getting some Heiffers (1st time Mommas) with them. Bottom line, this year we have 2 Pinzgauer Cows (2nd time moms), 1 Red Angus Cow, and 2 Black Angus Cows which are suppose to have calves this next spring. We are looking forward to it. In addition to those 5 cows, we have 1 Heiffer (girl) calf, and 14 steers (yes my husband is crazy - this is not his full time job). Oh yeah, we also have a bull on loan which is on our property.

Well, anyhow, here are some pictures. First I show you the calf and her mommy. Annabelle, the calf, is such a sweetheart. She lets me pet her anywhere and especially loves her belly rubbed. She comes over to us and the girls. And she stands still for us. I'm not sure if she is properly halter broke. If anyone could help us with that, that would be great.


Pinzgauer Calf - Annabelle


Annabelle And Mom


Annabelle and The Herd


The Herd