Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Hello Again!

A word of clarification:  This is a really long post because it is a compilation of several posts on my farm blog, hence the emphasis on farmy subjects.  Still, I hope it is fun to skim through the pictures and get an idea of what we've been up to.


Hi Everyone!
Sorry I have been away from blogging for so long.  It seems like over the course of the last few months I've been so busy doing things that I haven't had time to write about all I've been doing.  Well, it's good to stay busy, but it is also good to keep up with my blogs, so this week I have tried to focus on sewing and computer work.  So far, this is the first computer work I've done, except for a little writing on my current book, but hopefully I will be able to pile quite a few more languishing computer projects into the next few days.

If you have subscribed to my newsletter, you are already aware of what has been going on in our lives; it's been a lot!  Two siblings have been married, two calves have been born, one goat is due to kid soon, and Cleone is ready to be bred for her first litter of puppies, to name a few!  If you are not subscribed to the newsletter, you can sign up now via the form on the right hand side of this blog.

Below are a few pictures of life on the farm.  Enjoy the update!
Warning:  There are a ton of pictures in this blog post, so if you are not interested in looking at a long pictorial record of our year, then you may want to stop reading here.

If you are game for an update:  Welcome to January!

The sun rises on a new year...

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Evan + Joanna... (extremely belated)

I'll admit it:  I was discouraged about this blog post.  Not because the subject is not wonderful - it is - but because I was silly enough to close down the tab where I had written the wordy part of the original post without saving it.  Yes, I know that is a really bad reason to put off sharing these pictures until three months after the wedding, but - well, I just let other stuff get in my way.  Sorry about that!  Anyway, I don't have time to write a long description now, so I will basically just be sharing the photos.  Enjoy a (very belated) review of a very special day!
(Oh, yes - I will confess right now that these pictures (and some captions) are the same ones Savana used on the family blog, so sorry, only the text is new...)

December 12th, 2016



Thanks to our friend Anna, there are many precious moments captured for us all to enjoy!


Saturday, March 11, 2017

My First Book: A project which most of my readers have probably forgotten...

Have you ever had a project that just sort of lingered on and on, and you could not get it quite right?  Well, my first book has been just such a project...


Perhaps a few of you still remember my first attempts at writing, which were dutifully published here on this blog.  What began as a short story turned into a full-length novel, and and it took me about three years to write it.  In the process, I learned a lot about writing, but I also learned that my skills as a writer have lots and lots of room for improvement.  So...  All of that to say, part of the reason I haven't posted the whole book since I "finished" it several months ago, is because I have been wanting to go back through it and re-write the whole thing.  The reason I'm sharing it now is because I hate unfinished projects, and this one feels unfinished until I actually take the leap and share it.

So, please forgive the mistakes, only laugh at the parts that are supposed to be funny, and then let me know if you liked it, and what you think could be improved!

And may the Lord use this for His glory.  (Truly, it doesn't have any of its own!)  :)

Journeying in the Light (full length PDF)


*Please forgive the footnotes being scattered throughout the pages, instead of just at the bottom of pages.  I tried to fix this problem but just couldn't get it right.  :(

Friday, February 17, 2017

Farrah & Joshua Wedding, Part 2: Ceremony

Sorry it has taken me so long to get to this post...  I've been waiting until I had more pictures, and life has just been busy...

The ceremony and reception for Farrah and Joshua was beautiful and God-honoring.  It was so special to be included in the moment when these two were united as man and wife.

Farrah waiting to go into the sanctuary.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Joshua + Farrah Wedding, Part 1: Behind the Scenes

November 10th, 2016


Farrah and Joshua had been engaged for several months and now the big day when they would begin their new life together was almost here.  We had all been scurrying around the house (and town) assembling decorations, mixing tea, and purchasing food.  We had decided to rent the First Baptist Church in Williston since we were expecting a larger crowd than our church could comfortably handle.  We had made careful plans for how to decorate the church and the gym where the reception would be held, but could not put them into effect until the Thursday before the wedding because the church would probably need the gym Wednesday night.  So we waited and prepared.   Wednesday night we loaded up the chairs and tables from our church fellowship hall and took them over to the gym.  With plenty of hands we were able to work fast and unload all the tables and chairs in just about twenty minutes, stacking them to one side of the gym where they would be ready for us the next day.
Then, two days before the wedding, the setup began...


How do we turn this gym into a beautiful reception hall?  Farrah had done a lot of research (especially on Pinterest) and come up with some good ideas; plus Mama and Mamaw are both excellent decorators, so we had good hopes.


7:30 AM, Thursday, the first detachment arrived at the church.  Joshua, Farrah, Bo, Savana and I picked up food, wedding clothes, and decorating supplies from Evan's house (where the first few guests had already arrived) and our church (Faith Baptist Tabernacle).

Bo carting in a heavy load of supplies on an old dolly (minus a wheel) which he found in the gym.


Savana was a true "Maid" of honor...  She ironed all the wedding party's clothes, from Farrah's dress to Frankie's vest.  It took hours of hot, solitary work in the store-room on the second floor of the church.  Her help was such a blessing!

View of the musicians from the baptistery...

While Savana ironed and Farrah and Joshua directed the placement of tables, LilyAnn and I gave Mrs. E. and Christina a tour of the church, then had some fun pretending to be bridesmaids walking down the aisle while Charity and Haley practiced the music.  (I know, we were kind of goofing off, but there wasn't really any work for us at the moment and a joyful heart does good like a medicine, you know!)

Note the folded up bleachers on the balcony near the top center of this photo...

When we went back to the gym, where we were supposed to be working, we found that they had made good progress:  all the tables were set out (and carefully spaced with a measuring tape), and the young men had somehow managed to lift a heavy set of bleachers to the balcony above.  I heard that it was a dramatic scene, with some pushing and some hanging upside down from the rail above pulling...  I'm just glad everyone (including the bleachers and the railing) survived the ordeal!


There was a wonderful industrial kitchen to work in; it was great!  Sadly though, I was not involved in any cooking.  Joshua and Farrah took a group of young men over to the church on Friday and they did it all.


The food table all set up.
Farrah found this lovely idea on Pinterest and Anna Morgan, who also photographed the wedding, put the tables together, with some helpers.


Just as we were about to break for lunch, as I was taping tablecloths on the tables, word went round that the Siefkas had arrived, several hours before we were expecting them.  Yippee!  We now had more friends to fellowship with, and lots more help with the decorations.

Anna and Glory putting the lights on the high table.


The Wilsons stopped in for a while and the girls helped watch the younger children while Farrah went over the food plans with Mrs. Wilson, who was coordinating everything in the kitchen the day of the wedding.



At one point we thought we were going to hang a curtain of lights from the balcony behind the high table, and several of us were at work untangling them and attaching them to the rail.  But when we turned them on, they were LED lights and clashed badly with the rest of the lights we used, so sadly the light curtain idea had to be discarded.


This is the sanctuary the night of the rehearsal (Friday).  We were doing a little decorating in here after the rehearsal.


Saturday, November 12th!

Finally the big day came!  It was cool and beautiful outside, with a cloudless sky and soft air; perfect for a wedding.  I wanted to go with the first wave of workers to the church at 7 AM, so I headed outside around 6 to do the chores (milking a cow, feeding the horses and goats).  Well, the night before at the rehearsal, a call had come in that my goats were loose.  I had forgotten all about it in the action going on at the church, and just sort of assumed the guy who called had put them away.  Not so...  I found the door of the feed shed open, and panic struck as I envisioned the bucks I had borrowed from a friend croaked over on their backs with bloat from the amount of grain they had stolen.  (When an animal eats too much grain too quickly it can cause bloat (an undue gas buildup in the belly) and can kill them in a matter of hours.)  My Nubian doe, Mabel, was still in the field for a wonder, and I immediately began searching for the three missing goats.


Lo and behold, the goats had chosen that night of all nights to get out of the pasture and get tangled in our soccer net!  And of course the goat which was tangled the worst was a friend's buck which I was borrowing, and he was the favorite goat of his owner's family.  :(  Really though, this was the Lord's protection of them, since it kept them from eating all that grain and dying of bloat.
Thankfully, I was able to untangle them without too much trouble and without having to cut the net.  Then I was able to herd/ drag them back to their pasture (with some help from Cleone and a palmetto switch), milk the cow, and get back inside.  I was in high gear, so gave the milk to Joshua to strain, then dashed into the bedroom where our family was meeting  for a time of prayer and saying goodbye to Farrah.
It was a very short, but special time as we realized more fully what she has been to our family, and the reality that she was leaving began to sink in.  I was especially touched to see how touched my younger brothers were as we said goodbye.  It was good to take a few moments out of the roar and rush of the morning to pray and thank the Lord for the years she had been with us.

Joanna and Charity.

After a hasty (read "gulped as fast as possible") breakfast, I went to the church with Farrah, Joshua, Savana and Stephen (Joshua's youngest brother).  There I ironed the aprons for the servers (which had somehow been lost amongst the rest of the conglomeration of miscellaneous articles in the kitchen until the night before), then got dressed and had my hair done by Glory.  She was kept busy fixing everyone's hair that morning, and it was such a blessing she was able to do it!


All the bridesmaids, flower girls, and bride were supposed to have their pictures taken at 9 AM, but Emaline and Anna Frances (both flower girls) did not arrive until about 9:10.  A couple of us bridesmaids were lying in wait for them when they showed up and whisked them off to the upstairs bathroom/ dressing room at full speed.  I dressed Anna Frances at racing speed, Glory did their hair, and we hurried out to get the pictures, a little late, but with enough time to get them done.

And then, when all the pictures were taken, and everything was in place, we found ourselves lined up in the hallway outside the sanctuary, greeting people as they came into the foyer.  Eventually someone decided that really the wedding party should not also be the welcoming committee and we were hustled into a side room until the ceremony was to start.
And we waited for the clock to reach 11:00, when Farrah's new life would begin...



Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Book/ Radio/ TV Series Review: The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger Rides
By Fran Striker
Rating:  4 out of 10


    Hold onto your hats as you read this rip-roaring tale!  Filled with intrigue, action, and gun-slinging cow punchers who use colorful language and bleed freely, this story will keep you on the edge of your seats!  Look out for the blazing six-guns as you--- but wait:  is this the kind of book Christians should be reading?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

"Over the sandhills and through the swamps, to Mamaw's house we go..."

Sunday afternoon after church, the whole family, including Duncan, loaded up and headed over to Mamaw's and Bompa's.  We stayed overnight, and celebrated my 23rd birthday, and Frank's 1st birthday.  It was a fun time!
Warning:  This is a long post with lots of pictures.  I had lots of fun posting them; partly because the day is still fresh on my mind, and partly because I got to it before Savana!  :)

Frankie started a new workout program.
(Isn't he just as cute as he can be?!)


"If I faithfully lift weights, I will be strong.  This is serious."


"You know, Mama, you should lift weights too!  It's good for everyone."


Snapshots from Our Vacation, 2016

We left for Kentucky and Michigan on June 29th, 2016, at about 1:30 AM.  We don't normally leave that early, but my aunt and her family were leaving the next day (well, really the same day, since it was after midnight) for New Mexico, and we were helping them finish packing and loading their van.
We made it to Kentucky around 3:30, June 29th.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Book Review: Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, by Kate Douglas Wiggin

Just in case you can't tell, I'm trying to catch up on posting about various books I have read or listened to recently. If you want to learn about family life, I think you will have to check our family blog.
Maybe sometime I will find time to post some pictures of us...
:)

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
By Kate Douglas Wiggin
Rating:  6 out of 10 stars

    Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm is a humorous story about a young, imaginative, poetic girl whose lively personality is suddenly superimposed upon her elderly aunts’ strict, sober minded, and extremely practical and thrifty lifestyle.  Similar to Anne of Green Gables in that it is a story about a child with very little in common with her guardians, and focuses more on daily life and small struggles than on any great climax, this book follows Rebecca as she grows, matures, and finally graduates college and inherits her aunts’ home.

Book Review: The Deerslayer, by James Fenimore Cooper

The Deerslayer
By James Fenimore Cooper


Rating:  7 out of 10


    Set in the wilderness of upstate New York just at the beginning of the French and Indian War, this story is the first of James F. Cooper’s famous “Leatherstocking Tales”.  Natty Bumpo, or the Deerslayer is the main character.  His simple honesty and unusual skill with the long rifle, added to his quickness in wilderness warfare, bring him safely through a sudden Indian attack, and a short captivity.

Book Review: The Deerslayer, by James Fenimore Cooper

The Deerslayer
By James Fenimore Cooper


Rating:  7 out of 10

    Set in the wilderness of upstate New York just at the beginning of the French and Indian War, this story is the first of James F. Cooper’s famous “Leatherstocking Tales”.  Natty Bumpo, or the Deerslayer is the main character.  His simple honesty and unusual skill with the long rifle, added to his quickness in wilderness warfare, bring him safely through a sudden Indian attack, and a short captivity.

Book Review: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain

Rating:  3 out of 10 stars


    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (and it’s even more popular sequel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) would certainly be high on a list of the most famous and popular American novels.  These books “capture the spirit of American boyhood in the pre-Civil war era” and are a “nostalgic and humorous look at the naivete and simple eagerness of childhood”.  They are filled with dry humor, and combine the unlikely and adventurous with an unusually keen portrayal of real character and everyday life.  The pranks and attitudes of the boys (and girls) in the story are described in vivid and lifelike language, and the idiosyncrasies of Aunt Polly and the other adult characters provide an excellent foil for the children.  Tom’s creativity and imagination are hilarious; especially his idea of what a pirate’s or robber’s life is like.

    But are these books good reading material for Christians?