Friday, January 30, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thank Goodness For Tractors

I will admit that I have done most of my snow gazing from indoors. I love to watch it snow, I love to look at the snow, but I don't love to be out in it. :) Today, that had to change. Our county was under a level 2 snow emergency. You would not get in trouble for being on the road, but they did not advise it. I had five packages to mail. When someone places an order from my store and pays for priority mail, then I feel like I need to get it to the post office quickly. Michael said that we could get out of the driveway, so we tried. He went out to clean off the car. It was piled high with snow. He took the broom and went to clean it off. I got ready and went out, but had to wait because cleaning the car off was going to be a real chore.

While I was waiting by the door I looked down. These bird tracks went from under the feeder to over on our front porch.

Here is what is left of one of my snowmen after a day in the 40's, wind, snow and ice. :) He looks like a snow alien.

Here is the car. It was coated in a thick layer of ice, with snow under and over it.

You can see in this picture how thick the ice was on the windows. He had to chip it all off just to open a door.

He finally got it cleaned off and we got the packages and hopped in the car. We headed down the driveway. I wanted to take a picture, but we couldn't stop. We got down and rounded the curve and a small tree on one side of the driveway had fallen over blocking half of the driveway. The ice load on it had caused it to fall. We couldn't stop though or we would be stuck. So, we rounded the curve and headed up the hill toward the road. We slowed down near the tree to go around and that was a mistake. We could go no further. He was able to back down the drive and had to stop at the curve. So, I snapped this picture. I didn't want to let the opportunity go by. We ended up backing all the way to the house.

He went to get the chain saw to cut the little tree down and put it on the side of the driveway. I decided to take a few pictures before going in. This is my other larger snowman. He had bowed down face first on the warm day. Now, he is a large snow blob.

Here is the alien snowman and our snowy play area.

In this picture you can see the snow on top of the picnic table and the bird feeders. You can also see icicles hanging from them both as well.

I went on in and did not realize that Michael decided to try the car again. Pretty soon here he came walking in. The car was stuck at the curve. He had to plug the tractor in and let the motor warm up so we could start it. Then once he got it started, we walked down the driveway to the car. I was trying to stay in the deeper snow because where he had stepped or where the car had gone, it was down to the slippery ice. I got in and steered the car while he pulled it up to the house. We got back in and headed for the post office. We made it out the driveway this time and our road was plowed, but still pretty icy. Then when we got to the state road, it was plowed, but still really bad. Thank goodness the post office is very close. The lady that works there said there had not been too many people in today. We got back home without a problem. The trees were all gorgeous and I had left my camera at the house. :( I was not going to chance going back out to take pictures.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fireproof For FREE!!!!

Save at Least 25%-50% and Receive
‘Fireproof: Special Collector’s Edition’ Free with Purchase

For just four more days, we are offering our valued customers a 25%-50% discount on all in-stock products at Vision Forum. This is an exceptional opportunity to take advantage of excellent prices on home-school materials, character-building tools for boys, heirloom items for girls, as well as books, CDs, and videos for the entire family. This offer is good only while supplies last, so place your order soon!

As a bonus incentive, orders of $100 or more will receive a special collector’s edition of the new Kendrick brothers’ release, Fireproof. Valued at $25, this DVD includes outtakes, a 6-part Bible study, and a behind-the-scenes look at Fireproof — the highest-grossing independent film of 2008 (over $33 million), and the 2009 San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival winner of “Best Feature Film.”

Sale pricing applies to in-stock items only, and the free Fireproof DVD offer applies only to new orders placed between now and midnight (CST) on January 31, 2009. Mail orders do not qualify for this special offer.

Winter Storm... Again!!

We have been experiencing another winter storm. Yesterday was gray and overcast, but the snow did not start until around 4:45PM or so. It snowed quite a bit in the evening hours. Then right before we went to bed, we could hear the freezing rain and sleet hit our windows. We stopped and prayed that we would not lose power. We would be in big trouble without electricity. We have had to use quite a few electric heaters just to keep pipes from freezing. Each time I got up through the night to check on things, I would hear the sleet and freezing rain on the windows.

Michael got up to go to work this morning and found that the county between us and his job was at a level 2 snow emergency and he knew that the roads up here would be even worse, so he called in. It started snowing with huge flakes about 9AM. They said we should get another 3 to 5 inches of snow today. Michael went out to do chores and said there was at least 2 inches of snow on top of the ice we got. It is still snowing hard, but the flakes are finer. My son said the old Indian saying is, "Snow like meal, snow a great deal" . We have found that to be true. We are not sure it is really an old Indian saying, but it sounds good. :)

Here are some pictures from today. These first four are while the big flakes were coming down.

I went to take some pictures out the back door. Here is what the glass on the door looks like. :)

If you click on this picture, you can see the ice on the ferns from the asparagus. The two pictures after this one are close ups of the ferns with their cloak of ice.

These pictures don't even do it justice as to how hard it is snowing.
This is where ice gets us in trouble. Our fences are all electric netting or line. The ice weighs them down and they fall. Then we have to lock the animals in the barns. So far, these have not fallen.

Here is a weed that is showing its shiny coat of ice.

The next two pictures are of trees that are ice covered.

This picture is taken from the chicken coop looking back at the house.
This is another weed. It is bowed down under the weight of the ice.

It is amazing what can become like art. This is one of our garden tepees.

I love how this weed laid over on its side as if to make some sort of picture art.

This is back in the garden area as well.

This is out front. The ice is coating our honeysuckle bush.

Because of the ice and freezing rain, the snow has a crust on it. Michael called the dogs to him to see if you could hear the crunching of the snow as they ran.

These last 2 are of the sheep. They are out eating their hay. Their wool gets so coated with the snow. It does not seem to bother them at all.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Weather & CD of Encouragement

We had a couple of nice days and then it dropped back down. However, the lows have only been in the upper single digits or teens, so I am not complaining. We got about 2.5" of snow on Sunday afternoon. Last night we got another 1". They say tonight we are getting between 6"-10". We shall see. Usually when they actually predict a huge snow amount, it goes north of us. :)

We are so grateful to God. We have had extremely low temperatures for an extended period of time. All of our animals seem to be doing well. We have not had any frozen pipe issues. We are very grateful.

On Sunday, we listened to a CD. It was the second time in about 2 weeks that we listened to it. It is called The Centrality of the Home in Evangelism and Discipleship. It is by Voddie Baucham.

He rightly divides the Word and brings it to life. It is a clear explanation of why we do what we do, why, we are home centered. why it is the right thing to do. I wept when I heard parts of it. Why didn't I get to hear this message 25 years ago before we started our family? However, I still feel it is important for me today. I may not have anymore little ones to raise, but I will have grandchildren and I am an older woman that needs to reach out to these young moms.

I would highly encourage every family to get a copy of this CD and listen to it at least once. Michael was so moved by the importance of the message that he ordered several copies that he intends to pass out to people in our lives that need to hear this message.

If you ever wanted a clear reason on why your 2 year old needs to learn to sit and behave, and have it supported by God's Word, this is the message you need to hear. I know that Sharri wrote about it on her blog.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Count Your Blessings Monday!!

Here is an opportunity for all of us to give thanks unto the Lord for a blessing in our lives. If you would like to take part great. If not that is OK too. If you would like to share your blessing, just leave it in the comments. If you want to use the picture above and list a blessing on your own site, then leave a URL to your site in the comments. There is no pressure here. I just know that I am incredibly blessed and I would like to share that and give thanks to Him who all blessing come from. This is a way that we can encourage one another. I know that I am often encouraged when someone shares a blessing with me. I think that many times we forget that it is a blessing to be able to breath, to get out of bed, to hold a baby... Share your blessings with us. We can share so many other things.... special gifts, recipes, let's take the time to share how God has blessed us!!

Today, I am thankful for good friends who pray faithfully for me and encourage me. I am very blessed to have more than one of these friends.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Winner of the $20 Gift Certificate is...

Before I tell you, I wanted to share with you how the name was chosen. I wrote down everyone's name on a list. If they had more than one entry (by posting the give away on their blog or placing an order in the store) I put their name down again. I assigned each entry a number. I had my husband pick 6 numbers. I had already made a list of 1-6. As he called a number, I looked up the corresponding name and randomly wrote it down beside one of those numbers. Then, the Wonderful Neighbor girl came over to bring me a completed apron (you will love her aprons if you buy one!!!). I asked her to pick 3 numbers between 1 and 6. She did that. Then with both her and my husband as a witness, I layed down 3 dog treats saying out loud as I layed them down which number they went with. Then I called Star over and let her choose.

She chose #2 who happened to be...


Please contact me with your email address and I will send you the gift certificate. Thank you to everyone who entered. Thanks especially to those of you who made a purchase in the store.

The Contest Is Now Closed

The contest is now closed. Hopefully later today, we will post the winner!! Thank you everyone for taking the time to look at the store and for entering!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cabin Fever Cure Give-Away!!

Many of you know that we have an online store. For ten years or more we have been helping people with bread baking, herbs, soap making and different homesteading type things. We get asked a lot of questions and I am told we have lots of resources for people. So, last year, we decided to open up a store and sell some of the items that we really like instead of sending people to someone else.

Business has gone really well so far. We have done very little advertising though and I was trying to think of ways to steer people to our store without spending lots of money. I was also thinking that this is the beginning of what can be a blah time of year for people. In our area of the country it is really cold. The days are very gray and the sun is always a welcome sight, although very rare. People start to get cabin fever.

So, we decided to do a give-away that will help both us and the winner out!!! We are calling it the Cabin Fever Cure Give-Away!! We get people to come and check out our store and the winner gets a bright spot in winter by winning something!

Here is how it will work. We are going to be giving away a $20 gift certificate to our store. Click on the Store banner above and go to The General Store and look around. Come back here and leave a comment on what item or items you would spend your $20 on or towards. If you don't give a specific item or items you will not be entered. Also, if you take one of the 2 logos below and post it on your own blog or web page with a link back to this blog post and tell your readers about the Give-Away, then you will get a second entry. You will have to email me or leave a comment telling me where your post is. My email is on my profile page. The contest will end at midnight EST on January 23rd, 2009.

If you happen to make a purchase between now and then, let me know that and I will put your name in the pot another time. :) Shameless... I know!!! Let the fun begin!!

Information on Hannah Garman

Someone asked me in the comments about how to find Hannah's Caringbridge page. Here is a link to it. There are photos and updates.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Vision Forum 2009 Jubilee Awards

Announcing the 2009 SAICFF Award-Winners Collection

From Alaska to New York, and Cairo to Shanghai, more than 2,400 Christian families, filmmakers, culture-changers, and movie aficionados journeyed to San Antonio for the 2009 Jubilee Awards — a record attendance!

This year’s gathering marked the fifth annual San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival, and, by God’s grace, featured by far the best film lineup we have seen during SAICFF’s brief history. Out of more than 250 submissions to the 2009 SAICFF, 50 finalist and semi-finalist films were selected and screened, each providing inspiration, laughter, and encouragement to the watching crowds. Christ’s name was proclaimed through film, and God was glorified by visionary filmmakers who are daring to infuse both theological and technical excellence into their craft.

Now we invite you, too, to enjoy the best of this year’s SAICFF films, and at a special savings!

From now through January 28, purchase the 2009 SAICFF Award-Winners Collection for only $94 — a 30% discount off the $139 retail price. In this all-star package, not only do you receive six wonderful family films, but you will also enjoy two outstanding audio messages: What Hollywood Teaches About Manhood, by Dr. Voddie Bauchum, and A Biblical Worldview for Film, by Doug Phillips and Geoffrey Botkin.

A fantastic collection for every Christian family!

The Jubilee for Best of Festival: ‘The Widow’s Might’

We never saw this coming! The greatest lesson we have learned at this event over the years is to press on; keep moving forward. Always pursue excellence. The production was very tough; but it brought our families together, and we’re even closer now than ever. I dedicate this award to my father, the most inspiring man I have even known.” —John Moore, Director of The Widow’s Might

The “Best of Festival” Jubilee Award — with its $101,000 cash prize — went to The Widow’s Might, a feature-length comedy adventure detailing the plight of an elderly woman in danger of losing her home to the city. In addition to earning the festival’s top honor in 2009, The Widow’s Might was runner-up for “Best Feature” and came away with the “Audience Choice Award,” receiving more than twice the votes of its closest contender.

The Jubilee for Best Feature: ‘Fireproof’

The top honor in the “Best Feature Film” category was awarded to Fireproof, a film starring Kirk Cameron that explores a firefighter’s struggle to save his failing marriage. Fireproof — which was written, produced, and directed by Alex and Stephen Kendrick of Sherwood Pictures — was the highest-grossing independent film of 2008, earning more than $33 million at the box office. Fireproof also received SAICFF’s runner-up nod for “Best of Festival.”

Stephen Kendrick, who was at this year’s SAICFF and received Fireproof’s award, noted, “Sherwood Pictures is thrilled that Fireproof has won ‘Best Feature’ at a film festival that not only seeks to honor the pursuit of high production values, but also morally responsible filmmaking.”

The Jubilee for Best Documentary: ‘The Terri Schiavo Story

The Terri Schiavo Story, a two-part television series that follows the Schindler family’s long and highly emotional struggle to save their daughter’s life, received the “Best Documentary” Award. Their struggle came under the harsh glare of a worldwide media spotlight, the U.S. Congress and the office of the President of the United States. The final outcome leaves us with difficult questions about critical ethical issues. The film, hosted by Joni Eareckson Tada, was directed and produced by Ken Carpenter of Franklin Films.

The Jubilee for Best Biblical Family Film: ‘Binding Faith

The “Best Biblical Family” Award went to Binding Faith, a documentary that chronicles the persecution that Christian missionary and minister, Dr. Ajai Lall, encountered when he sought to share his faith in northern India. Upon his arrival in Rajpura, Punjab, he is met with violent opposition from local religious extremists. Fearing a pending riot, the police chief forbids Ajai from preaching in the city. Not willing to be deterred, the ruling is challenged. The only way Ajai will be allowed to preach is if he first signs a contract stating if there is any disturbance among the crowd, the police will have the right to shoot him at sight. An inspiring and insightful look into life for our Christian brethren in India.

The Jubilee for Best Creation Film: ‘Noah’s Ark: Thinking Outside the Box

Noah’ s Ark: Thinking Outside the Box — a film featuring Ark specialist Tim Lovett — took top honors in the “Best Creation” category. The film, produced by Answers in Genesis, applies new research to the contours of the Ark while maintaining an unwavering commitment to the Word of God. Dale Mason, publisher of Answers magazine and Vice President of Communications Division for AiG, commented:

On behalf of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum, we are so very thankful for the vote of confidence that this Jubilee Award represents. Even more than that, we are humbled to be part of what God is doing to propagate the truth of Creation, especially to homeschool families.

The Jubilee for Best Dramatic Short: ‘The Prodigal Trilogy

“Best Dramatic Short” was awarded to The Prodigal Trilogy, a cinematic adaptation of acclaimed solo performer Jason Hildebrand’s monologues based on the Luke 15 parables of Jesus. Hildebrand powerfully portrays each of the stories’ characters in this short film in three acts.

Part of the inspiration for these acts came from a song by Christian musician Keith Green called “The Prodigal Son Suite”, a painting by Rembrandt entitled, The Return of the Prodigal Son, and a book inspired by the same painting, also called The Return of the Prodigal Son.

Two Feature Messages from the 2009 SAICFF & CFA

What Hollywood Teaches About Manhood, by Dr. Voddie Baucham, and A Biblical Worldview for Film, by Doug Phillips and Geoffrey Botkin, provide families with helpful worldview context for the 2009 SAICFF Award-Winners Collection. Together, these messages reveal the power that film has for good and for evil in our culture, helping both movie-watchers and filmmakers self-consciously utilize this important art for God’s glory rather than man’s destruction.

Due to limited stock, this special collection price is available only while supplies last. Sale ends at midnight on January 28, 2009 (CST), and is not applicable to phone and mail orders.