Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Stay Close To Home

Today is a day to stay close to home. I went out to do my chores this morning and nearly froze in the goat shed. I checked the temperature when I came back in. The wind chill was 4 degrees. No wonder, I was cold. I took my camera with me this morning. I have so many pictures of my animals and my farm that you would think I would not take anymore. I guess I just get carried away.

In the first picture, Cookies-N-Cream (or Cooks for short) and Grace (the brown lamb in the back) were coming into the shed to greet me. They love this cold weather. I was watching Cooks and Ashley Wilkes (the ram) playing king of the mountain this morning. Instead of knocking one another off, they would go onto the pile of frozen compost and leap high into the air trying to out do one another. In this picture the white you see on Cooks nose is snow. He must have been going down under the snow to eat some grass. We give them extra hay when it is this cold out.

The next picture is of Sunshine and Grace. I was trying take a picture of the chickens sticking right by the coop door. You can see them behind the sheep. The sheep heard me out there and came out to see what I was doing. =)

The last picture is taken during one of the snow squalls we have had today. You can see a little bird sitting on the buggy wheel. The birds have been really hungry. I am trying to get a good picture of one of the cardinals that have been hanging around. They are such a beautiful splash of color against the snow. I had left sunflower heads to dry on a bench on my front porch. I was going to try and rig up a pole to put them on for the birds. Well, the birds have found them on the bench. I looked out the window on my door earlier and there were 2 titmice and a beautiful male cardinal stealing seeds.

With it being so cold and having lots of little snows for over a week now, it is nice to sit inside and enjoy the fire. God has been so good to us. Besides giving us a way to live in heaven with Him which is an awesome thing when you think about it, He gave us beautiful things in His nature to watch and see.

When I want to cuddle up in a chair with some knitting or something because it is too cold to be outside, it reminds me to stay cuddled up to the Lord each day to find true peace and contentment when the world likes a cold place. I hate to read the news. There are so many vile and evil things going on in our world and it is only getting worse. There are heartaches as well. We just heard about children in an orphanage in Columbia. There are so many hurting people in the world. Praise the Lord, we have Him to run to. If we stay close to Him, we will also hear of ways to reach out and help those around us. Sometimes it is with prayer, other times it is money or food or clothing. Be aware of needs around you. God may be asking you to be His hands to help someone.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Two Beggars

Our dogs have never learned their manners when it comes to begging. Most of the time while we are eating, they are not in the house. My son was having a sandwich and well.... He is open game to them because he is quick to send a nibble their way!!!

Even though we now live in Ohio, Joshua was basically raised in Florida. We moved there shortly after he turned 3 and he was 15 when we moved back to Ohio. I am not a sports fan (especially football), but my two guys are. They are Notre Dame fans first of all, but then Joshua likes the Gators. He bought this hat when OSU was playing the Gators. He was looking everywhere this morning for his hat before he left the house. He did not find it. When we left to go to our fellowship, it was light out and the picture above shows what we saw. We have no idea who put it on our snowman.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

What Do Others Think Of You?

I had a conversation with my husband and son about things that I say. I should say, they were having a conversation with me. =) I was tending to use words like never, always, every time, etc. You ALWAYS leave your shoes laying there. You NEVER shut the door all the way. EVERY TIME you walk through here you leave a trail of things you layed down. Even though I did not mean them to be, those were lies. I was trying to make my point. Do you know anyone who over exaggerates a lot of what they say? When someone stopped in front of them 3 car lengths up, you hear how they had to slam on their brakes and narrowly missed the car that was inches away from them. I know some of these people. I take what they say with a grain of salt because of it. If they tell me they have a horrible gash on their leg, I assume they have a normal scrape, etc. As I thought about the conversation with my men, I wondered what people thought of me with my always, never, etc.

Why do we try to sensationalize things? Is it for attention? It is because of the way we grew up and our families did that? It is to make our point of how put out we are by other's behavior? One day we are going to give an account for EVERY idle word out of our mouths.

Mt 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

OUCH!!! Let us be careful what we say and how we say it. What do others think of you and what you say? Do you portray a very honest truthful speaking Christian whose words can be trusted? Oh Lord, guard my lips and tongue.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Today, the weather can not make up its mind. I saw it snowing and just ran out and took the pictures you see above. On the last one, you can see the sun trying to peek through the clowds and the snow flakes. I came in, downloaded the pictures and then cropped them. I sat down here to post them to my blog. I looked outside as I was uploading the pictures and what did I see... bright sunshine and not a sign of a snowflake. =)

The wind was really blowing earlier. I was having lots of snow tornados between the house and the shed barn. They would swirl down off the roof blowing the snow around and when they came down between the house and barn, they would turn into little tornados. It was really fascinating to watch.

The ground is frozen solid. It is supposed to get down into the single digits tonight. As I was walking out to do my chores today, I stepped on a raised area that was frozen (probably a frozen manure ball from when we spread it on the garden). My foot slid down the side of it and down I went. I ended up laying on my stomach in the snow. Now, I LOVE snow, but do not like laying in it. I was not hurt really, just had sore knees. My dress, and coat and mittens were covered in snow. I was glad that no one was here to see my gracefulness!!

Today again, the weather reminds me of life. We have no idea when the cold winds of trials will blow. The sun is shining and everything is rosy and then there is a blizzard. However, the blizzard always ends and we have sunshine again. I am reminded of a plaque that I gave my Dad when he was recovering from a head-on collision. It said, "Sometimes God calms the storm. Other times He holds the child and lets the storm rage." As long as we are connected to The Rock and He is our anchor, we do not need to fear the bad times or the trials. I was just reading this morning in a devotional by Elizabeth Elliot. It said, "I will remind them, too, that the Bible does not speak of problems. As Corrie ten Boom says, "God has no problems, only plans." We ought to think not of problems but of purpose. We encounter the obstacle, we make a choice--always with the goal in mind." I really liked that. So, when your blizzard starts (it will as we are not promised a life without trials) remember to look to The One who is holding you. He is accomplishing His plan in your life.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Cold Even With The Sun

The sun came out this afternoon. It was dazzling on the white of the snow. However, it was very cold out there and it is going to get even colder. I believe the low for tomorrow night is 9 degrees.

We can be like that. We can smile and act like we are OK or that we like certain persons, but on the inside we can be cold and lonely or mad. We let the smile go before us. However, too often that smile tells the story. Very few people if any can smile with genuine warmth radiating from it and have it be fake. Some people's entire countenance changes when they smile. It makes you want to think of things that will cause them to smile again. We need to try to let the real SON shine through us to others. To let His warmth flow from us to them.

Matt. 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven

Monday, January 22, 2007

Snow Much Fun!!

One of my sister bloggers lives near us. When our dog had puppies they got one of them. They have a darling video of Shad on their blog. Lady Snow Video

When I went out to do my chores this morning, I had to smile at the snow that we got. There is an icy layer on top that crunches down in when you walk. I could also hear something falling like a light rain, but I could not feel it on my skin. It was really quite loud.

I guess my neighbor reads my blog. She saw that I told about her dog making my snowman fall over. I assured her it was just to use the funny that he was beside himself. Anyway, her children came over this afternoon and built me a bigger snowman. =)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Our Friends Are Gone =(

Our friends left this morning for Florida. The house is empty and quiet. No little bodies to hug, snuggle and read to. No fat little cheeks to kiss. No little voices saying the cutest things. It is almost tomb like. I am so grateful for the visit, but it was way too short. I think it is a rare thing in life to get friends that you bond with like we have with these friends. I don't know if it was just the time in life that we met and what we went through together or if our hearts were meant to be linked like they are. Most times when people come to see us, it is sad to see them go, but we are sort of relieved to get back into the swing of things and have a normal schedule. It has never been that way with this family. We would have loved to have them another week or two or three. It is like another tearing away from each other when they leave. It needs a little time to heal up. Anyway, we had a WONDERFUL visit.

We did get some snow as you can see from the pictures. We did not get very much, but the children were thrilled. They even built a little snowman to leave in the yard for me. He is still there, but the neighbor's dog knocked him over, so he is beside himself. =)

Our friends brought one of their dogs as he is old and they were not sure how he would do with out them. Rusty had a great time. Our one dog, Star was a bit jealous, but she will get over it. When Rusty was outside, he would get all frisky and roll over onto his back and just wiggle. Our other dog, Belle, let him know not to come near her when she was eating, or at least she thought she did. She would growl at him, but since he is deaf, she didn't bother him a bit. =) Two different mornings when we came down, Belle was in front of the stove on Rusty's bed and he was over in the living room area where it is colder. I will have to teach the dogs about hospitality.

Monday, January 15, 2007

We are all PRAYING hard!!! =)

We are having a wonderful time with our friends. I am really enjoying the children. They range in age from 20 years old to 7 months old. Lots of snuggling, book reading and wonderful conversation. These are friends that let down their hair right along with you and just relax. We are all truly enjoying ourselves.

Today it was 50 degrees and raining. Tonight it is supposed to go down to 25 with a high of 27 tomorrow. There is a "chance of snow" according to weather people, but we are still asking "THE Weatherman" for a big snow. The little ones are really praying, so I am sure we will get some.

I will have to play catch up with my reading next week.

Friday, January 12, 2007

It Will Be Hit or Miss This Week

I just want to let you all know that I will not be on the computer much this coming week. We have good friends from Florida coming for a week's visit. They have 8 children and we have not met the baby yet. They are really good friends and we are really looking forward to the time together. If I can't sleep, I may get on at night and post. =) We are still praying for LOTS of snow. I have heard 2 people recently say this weather pattern is just like it was back in 1978 when we had the huge blizzard. So, maybe they will get to experience a blizzard while they are here.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

In The Meadow...

One of the things I say a LOT in the winter (just ask my son... it drives him nuts) is "In the meadow..." Sometimes I finish the line from that famous song (we can build a snowman), but more often than not, I just say those three words. Well this morning I got to say them several times!!

Monday night they said we may get up to one inch of snow. We did not get any. It did spit snow on and off yesterday, but nothing to speak of. Last night they did not predict any snow at all. However, there are 8 children in Florida and many here praying for snow. Our friends arrive from Florida on Saturday to spend a week with us. They have been talking to "The Weatherman". He has heard their prayers and this is what we woke up to today!!!!

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Lord Keeps Us Guessing!! =)

It rained all day yesterday. The ground here is totally saturated. You mush down into the mud under the grass as you walk. There are little puddles sitting everywhere. Last night it got down to around 30 degrees (at least that was predicted), yet there was still a cold wet rain this morning. My husband left here for work and it was still raining a bit, but it was letting up. He called me when he got near his work. He said it was snowing hard and that it was swirling all around down on the ground. Then while we were talking it quit snowing where he was. It was just a little pocket of snow. =)

They are calling for snow tonight and tomorrow, but at the very most they say we will get an inch. Sometimes when they say that we get a whole bunch (I will hope for that), and other times we don't even get any.

Right now it is 34 degrees and the sun keeps playing hide and seek. It is one of those days of winter contrasts. The sky is blue in spots and has whiter clouds in others. In some places there are big dark clouds that look pregnant with snow. The wind is blowing and the clouds go scurrying across the sky. When they do that, you see sunlight dancing across the field outside. Oh, I never tire of watching God's beautiful nature He created for us.

Today is my God's World group. We are going to be talking about bluebirds. Two of the children are scheduled to do a demonstration of some sort. We are going to be making pinecone birdfeeders. My niece in Florida sent me some beautiful large pinecones to use. I will post a picture when it is over.

What is your weather doing?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Where is Winter?

It is truly amazing. It is 10PM here in Ohio in January. The wind is blowing outside. Sounds cold, doesn't it? Well, it is 60 degrees. That is undheard of. Where is winter?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year To You!!!

I have been so busy, that I have not been on the computer much. I wish each of you a Happy New Year, one that draws you closer to the Lord and closer to your family and friends. We did not really make resolutions, but we always look at the beginning of the year as a time of new beginnings. We talked a lot about the things that we want to accomplish with the house this year. There are so many projects that need done both in the house and around the farm. We desperately need to get the barns painted. We got an estimate for the big barn (in the first 2 pictures above). It was over $10,000. It would be a lot of work to try and do it ourselves though. So, at this point, the barn stays in need of paint. =) We put down a realistic list of things we would like to do. We are having company for a week starting the 13th, so we will not start any of the bigger projects. The family that is coming to visit are very good friends from Florida. They are praying for lots of snow the week they are here. We are praying with them. They have 8 children. We have never met the baby and are looking forward to seeing them all and hugging their necks.

On Sunday afternoon we were over at the neighbor's house. Someone looked out the window and asked if the animal over by our pond was a coyote. The men decided that it was a coyote and they all ran out of the house grabbing jackets on the way. It must have seen them coming and was gone by the time they got there. We don't think it got anything that time. However, on Monday afternoon, I heard the chickens making a racket. I hollered out to my husband in the shop barn and he quickly went out there. He did not see a coyote, but he did see some feathers on the ground. Last night we counted and one chicken is missing. This animal is coming in broad daylight. The windows and doors are closed, so it is hard to hear unless you are sitting by a back window. I kept checking on the animals today. Both times that it was around, you could see the sheep all huddled together looking in the direction it would have been. They are behind an electric fence, so I am not as worried about them or the goats. However, their behavior today was a good indicator that all was OK. They were all spread out grazing away. The chicken run is open on the pond end since we let our chickens free range. I will have to keep a sharp eye out. I know it will be back.

The pictures above were taken this evening. The vivid colors in the sunsets never show up. The moon looked so neat coming up through the trees. You can see a bit of pink on the clouds around it. If you look closely, you can see the sheep in the second picture.