Thursday, July 30, 2009

catching up........

I have been a little bit distracted in not writing much or lengthy anyway, only thoughts as like the last two posts is all I could really come up with. Like I mentioned, back in Dec., maybe even before, I had calculated the date when Mercy would be Joel's age when he left us and to be honest I had some fears of "oh, Lord please let her get to this age and go beyond and have a loooong healthy life." It was just another one of those "firsts" that I had to get through. With twins and having one absent, always firsts, things ahead like, Josiah's first tooth to come out, starting school, and all the things he will do without his twin. I saw a site the other day that was called "Twinless Twins." It was a place for the ones left behind to recieve comfort and to grieve with other twinless twins. I did not stay there long, it really made me sick feeling. Josiah, as best as I can tell is and has done fine with this journey. He still talks about Joel, because WE still talk about him. Hosie tells often of things she remembers and it is so sweet to my heart to hear Mercy speak of him. She comes up with all these sceniero's that did not happen of her and Joel and Josiah playing together and I guess is pretending. I enjoy hearing her jabber about Joel anyway.

We had a neat answer to prayer with something Anna has been desiring for a while. She has been saving her $ to get a flash for her camera but very slow progress. On Monday Rita and Jeremy came out to play volleyball and they said they had something for Anna prior to their coming. They blessed Anna with a "hunka munka" flash for her camera!!! She has to figure it all out but this was major provision!! It is so neat to see how God uses his people as "arms and feet" to provide things for the body of Christ. May we all learn to obey His voice as He prompts us to bless others! Thank you Rita and Jeremy for "listening."

Tuesday, since we were having "withdrawls" from not seeing Dave and Kate for 48 hours, so they came over, we cooked hamburgers, played VB and then it started raining so we came in and some of them played Scrabble and we also were looking for the lost camera battery. It was just no where to be found and then you know the rest of the story. Kate is finally showing now, she has started her 6 month. Mercy is so funny as we try to tell her about the baby in Kate's belly. She comes up to me and whispers, "is it going to be our baby?" I say no, but we can play with it and hold it. She says in a whisper," can I put clothes on it?" I tell her yes! Now I catch her putting things under her shirt to make her have a "big belly." Gonna be fun!!

The guys have finally strted doing one of the jobs they have been waiting on. It will only be a three day one. It has been a hard 4 weeks without work. This coming week, they are doing some work in Kansas, not the whole week. Sometimes you have to travel! Caleb and Daniel have done alot of work on their CD, so it has been profitable to be off in that way.

I recieved an e-mail this week that blessed me. A young man in Korea, doing some work there with other believers. He had watched Joel's Journey and contacted us. His name was Joel and he is #6 in a family of 13 as well. He has a little sister that has some health needs. I was encouraged that one more knows of our little Joel and so thankful that our Joel's life can bless others.

Terry has been doing some fall planting. Our fall garden has never done that well, but he is really trying to keep it watered. Our tomatoes were near death with the heat, but they have revived and look reallly good. Somtime in the fall, Elijah will rent a dozer and clear all the stumps of the trees they have recently cut down to expand the garden. Now they have it wrapping around the back of our house :) In thinking about fall, lots of events coming up for our crew. Several trips planned, (Lord willing) in Aug., preparing for the upcoming State Fairs, getting goats in show shape and then towards the end of Aug, the birthday regeme starts again. Six BD's in 4 week time frame!!

Ok, I guess we are caught up. I think I am going to go hit the grocery stores, Sams and some thrifty stores. The guys are here for right now, lots of rain in the night which we so desperately needed, answer to prayers!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

answer to prayer.....

we found the battery!
anna put on her kitchen apron
it was in the pocket
pictures of
3 years 4 months 10 days
thank you
my heart
feels better
I can capture
this day...
it was important

mercy is.....

mercy is 3 years 4 months 10 days today
he was 3 years 4 months 10 days when we had to say
good-by.......for a little while
back in December I calculated this day
it feels odd
I had wanted to take special
pictures of mercy today
but somehow the camera
battery got misplaced
I can not figure that one out
she will only be this age for today
I had wanted to document it
with some photos for her later.....
oh, well
I am disappointed
guess I'll pray we find the battery
before the clock
12 pm

Monday, July 27, 2009


do you see all the details of the pictures?
I do...
we needed the dew of rain this morning
I love these photos of Mercy
every part of her is delicious
so much looks like Joel
her scrunched nose, her small mouth
her teeth
the innocence of childhood is displayed
I love
her hair!
we have many paths around our house
they are narrow, we delight the Lord when we stay on these
lots of determination in those guys
strength, vigor of youth
see the court?....worn down
they play dirt on jeans!
lets not miss all of His details
that each day has...

Friday, July 24, 2009

book of ruth.....

The way I like to read my Bible is to pick out a book of the Bible as I feel impressed of the Lord or sometimes more at random and read it from start to finish like as a story and if its a longer Book, just reading a few chapters a day until finished. Then I like to think in my mind and picture it all happening, events, people how God is interacting with the people. and of course the message of the Book and I love to seek out small phrases, promises that would be applicable to my heart, life and family. I have recently read the Book of Ruth. The first thing that really leaps out is how God is seen working plans, appointments, sorrows, seasons, and times. So many times I feel like God is doing nothing, my prayers are taking soooo long to get answered, days seem to move like a snail. But in this story, a true story, God is working, but it is kinda like behind the scenes. At the beginning of the story it speaks of a man, his wife and their two sons, they have to relocate because of a famine, a need of provision. Naomi's husband dies, a great sorrow for her and then the sons get married to women of Moab. They dwelled there in Moab for 10 years. In my mind I was thinking about the 10 years of life they had together, day in and day out, possibly nothing major happening and then, the two sons die. What sorrow this family has experienced, three deaths. Now come to find out there's food back in the land where they came from, so back the women go. As I sit and think about all the events/famines, deaths, places and times, God is doing something!! He is doing His plan! Don't ever believe in coincidences, there are none!! Its called Providences! They arrive in Bethlehem at a certain season, the beginning of barley harvest. Certain people come on the scene, like Boaz! Its all being orchestrated to perfection! Timing, places, people and the other thing is all these events in the book of Ruth covers about 10 years.It took time. When you read it sometimes we think it all happened quickly. I think about my own life, Terry and I being married, having babies, moving to Ok, meeting different people and not really undergoing anything too major in the 21 years we were maried at the time when our journey with Joel, such a sorrow, as like nothing we've experienced, and now we continue on and now after reading Ruth I see parallels, these folks I have just read about and their lives is all consummating to bring about plans. Big plans, particular, speciliazed, every piece being placed for the appointed time. It was in God's plan to allow the deaths of the two sons at the beginning because one of the women, Ruth was going to marry the man Boaz, a plan! You see, if you get to the end of the story and look at the lineage, you see Jesus coming from the seed of Ruth and Boaz . God was working, orchestrating places, times, years, people, deaths and I know they had to wonder and question, they were human. Its more than I think our minds can conceive as we read the story even after it has all happened. God is really on our scene even if it seems He is behind the scenes. There were deaths at the beginning yet at the end the women proclaimed to Naomi, (4:14) And he shall be a restorer of thy life. They were talking about the baby that Ruth had but really is it not Who was to come through the loins of this new little baby? They named him Obed and Obed beget Jesse and Jesse beget David and soon the Messiah would come from the lineage of David! I read one verse that seems to sum up the Book for me, 3:18, then she said, sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall....That one verse tells me one word......Trust! Its hard sometimes to fling oneself out on this truth. To trust God for everything, to trust Him with deaths, with life, childrens futures, waiting for jobs, for provisions. Over the time span that the Book of Ruth took place, again I say, every detail was providentially positioned to fulfill Christ's coming. I will parallel that with our journey and do it with yours, there is a purpose for every detail in our lives! Trust!!

Actually last night when Kate was here and the guys and Dave all gone, it was probably our most calm time as far as adventure. Nothing major. We ate, played some volley ball, they played some basketball, talked and then decided to get a movie around 9:30 pm, The Boy in Striped Pajamas. Set in the time of World War II. This morning, Sat. Terry and some of them went to Farmers Market. Cooking bugers for lunch and then tonight I think we are going to a rodeo.

Today is the Blog-a thon that I mentioned that Nikki hosts to raise funds for Neuroblastoma research. You can go here and make a donation and even give in honor of some one if you like and go here to read throught out the day as Nikki blogs about each child. Joel will be up from 8-8:30 pm. You can go here and see all the children's pictures that are featured.

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

working on photos.....

Its rare if I procrastinate because I am a do'er!! I have had about 100 pictures of Bethany sitting on the computer desk for at least 2 months that need to go in her Creative Memory book. Today was the day!!! They are in!!! One thing thats hard for me to do is pull out all that picture stuff if the guys are around and since they have been around for the last few weeks, I have not been motivated. Today they went to help the B's put in a wood floor in one of the bedrooms. It gave them something to do anyway and like Terry says, in ALL labor, paid or not, there is profit!! So back to the picture books, keeping up with 22 of them is not an easy task. The children so enjoy looking at them, seeing their past. I am so thankful for all the pictures we have of Joel. Of course his stays the same width as his journey has ended. Nonetheless, I love the pictures and treasure them. On a note that touches my heart, Mercy loves to come and sit or lay beside me and I'll ask her what she wants to talk about and it never fails that she always says "Balley!" So I start from the beginning and tell her he is her brother and he lived here in this house, on this farm and I tell her all the things he liked to do, play outside, on the swing set, drive his dump truck, play with Playmobiles and then I tell her about when she was born and how he loved to hold her when she was a baby and then I tell her he is Siah's twin and they had a party and they turned 3 and he got sick and had to go to the hospital and he had cancer and then he died and he does not live with us anymore, but with Jesus in heaven. Once she hears all that it seems to satisfy her and she hops down and goes about her 3 year old life until the next time she will crawl up and I will ask her the same question and I will tell Joel's story to her again!!

Bethany and Anna made it back from helping out Rita and her family and the new baby as they had the opportunity to clean her house. I hope Rita can "smell" the clean as she returns home:)
Good way to use their skills!!

Terry went to the Farmers Market yesterday, Wed. and they did well! Sold quite a few bars of Goat Soap, some produce and then also the Garden Workshop DVD's. If your interested, see the button on the right!

Caleb and Daniel are really seeing light at the end of the tunnel with their music cd they are making, orchestrating through all their equipment and recording with their own instruments. Get this, they are possibly going to have some vocal on it as well as all the instrumental!!! They have had alot of extra time around here:) If you would like to hear some sample music, you can go to their link on the side, shekinah springs studio.

I have been in touch with a mom whose 2 year old son was diagnosed with neuroblastoma just this past May. His name is Silas. Would you pray for him and his family? There are so many children.......

Tomorrow is Friday, yeah! I guess I like weekends, as I tend to think your more "free" from the routines!! Dave and the guys have some plans with the men of our church fellowship, so Kate is going to come and entertain us !!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

weekend re-cap...

Friday, Terry and Dave were able to get all the fixtures on the bath/shower. The guys did a great job withe the tile around the bathtub. After at least 5 months of plastic on one wall of the tub, it is really nice to have that project done. You know the saying, "if you give a mouse a cookie he will want a glass of milk," well Terry said," if you give the wife a new shower, she wants a new window and if you give her a new window she wants new walls and then paint and then a new floor........its true one thing leads to another. I do not know when the other things will happen but maybe someday!! At least now it "feels' like when you get in the shower, you have entered a little world of what it would feel like to live in an updated house with the new 12x12 tiles :) Friday evening Dave and Kate ate dinner with us, played volley-ball and then we came in and were trying to figure out what to do and it was late, so her and Anna made cookies!! Then the Scrabble game was pulled out and that went into the next morning as I do not think they finished until 1:30 or so. I did not make it that late! Now on to Saturday, some went to a Goat sale. Just checking it out and seeing if Bethany would like to use this opportunity in the future for selling some of her goats. Later we grilled hamburgers and then the guys helped a family move and unload a rental truck. I never thought our avid volley ball playing would give us opportunity for a volley ball road trip for our 6 man team to take on a challenge that the Wilson family and their church gave us:) How could we resist??? The first game was Caleb, Daniel, Elijah, Micah, Terry, Andrew against some of the Wilson family and some of their church members. After that the teams were all scrambled up and there was some very competition. Of course before we left there had to be a last Morris team and the Blanchard team to see if the Blanchard-ites could have a shot of beating the Morris team. It was a very close game and I know the Blanchard folks will have to have a re-match to see if they can whip the Morris crew!! Thanks for having us, great fun!!!

The guys have been around here for several weeks with just the one fence job in between. They have two houses to build but they keep getting post-poned due to the other people that come before them. Of course there is always plenty to do around here but that is without pay:) Hopefully things will get underway soon!! Yesterday the girls helped and we took a meal to Rita and their family with the new baby. They are still working on a name for her.

Tonight, Dave and Terry and whoever else, are going to pick up 75 laying hens some friends are forwarding on to us. These are almost full grown so we'll put them in with the other chickens and hope there is chicken unity! I guess Kate if you read this before I call ya be here for dinner, you know the time and then the guys can head out from here :)

Thought I would give a quick up-date, not much else, normal stuff. A bit of cooler weather the last few days, makes me think of fall, which makes me think of Joel, which makes me think too much, miss too much and its a circle of grief that never ends!

Thanks for keeping up even when its pretty boring on our end!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

baby girl.....

With the exception of Joel and Josiah's, all of our other children's newborn pictures are terrible!! The reason theirs are the exception is because my midwife took some right after with her neat camera!! All of our cameras have been the pits when it comes to taking photos inside!! When Anna got her first, now on her 2nd, Nikon camera two years ago, we both said we could not wait for a new baby so we could get great pictures, but so far nothing has happened :) In the meanwhile I guess she has not had the opportunity to take any newborn pictures. But yesterday Anna and I both had a desire fulfilled in getting to take pictures of a new baby. My friend Rita is the wonderful mother of this precious girl!! This little girl is so beautiful, dark, pudgy and tons of dark hair. She was born Tuesday morning before many of you all got up. A homebirth and all went well and the dad got to deliver her as the midwife barely missed the delivery. She does not have a name as of this afternoon, but I wil call her "Boo-ti-ful Baby Girl!!" Thank you Rita for letting us come over and cuddle, hold, prop and play with your new baby!!

I read a verse yesterday morning and I pondered it briefly as it caught my attention, but I did not know exactly what it was meant for at that moment. Father, glorify thy name. Then came a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. John. 12:28. I recieved an e-mail yesterday from my friend Katie in Bulgaria, they are a missionary family there doing a work for the Lord. There is a paragraph in her e-mail that I want to share because it answers my pondering to the verse that caught my attention;

"We met an English couple many months ago named Lawrence and Rachel. Since we just started English services at our church, they have been coming. The first Sunday Lawrence got saved; Rachel was saved as a child, but had gotten away from the Lord. We've been to their home, and had them over, and every time have wonderful talks about God and the Bible. Last night they came over here for several hours, and we showed them your DVD of Joel. Rachel had to get up half-way through crying, she was just such a wreck, and she came back again near the end. After we were talking about it, and she just can't fathom how God would allow that, mostly because Joel was just a little child. Nick used the opportunity to explain that that is exactly what faith is, unexplainable to the world. We talked about how no unsaved person could ever get through something like that because they have no hope, but your family knew God was in control before and is now, and He is getting you through, because He trusted you with such a trial. He knew that you would keep trusting Him. Rachel agreed that it was unexplainable, the way your children spoke, the peace that you and your husband so obviously have. It was such a wonderful opportunity to show God to them, through little Joel's life. Just another life touched, way over in Bulgaria, by Joel's life and death. Thank you again for the DVD's. We will be using them to help others every chance we get."

After I read this, I could barely finish reading the entire e-mail because I was about to burst with tears of joy that the Lord would grant Joel's story to keep going forth. I believe that every jot and tittle of Joel's life an death was under His control and thatHe really was glorified in it all and then now two years later God is still getting the glory, just like the verse I read!! Most every morning I pray that the Lord would allow Joel's story to go forth and that others would hear truths from God's word, that the message of life would go forth and that others would find hope in their trials as well! I was overcome with gratefulness to the Lord for allowing me to "see" His work as Katie shared this opportunity they had. It will always be a longing of my heart to "see," yet I don't believe I will see and know all the story of this trial until the "One Day", but when the Lord does things like this, it brings such a comfort that God does not loose or waste His plans, even years later!! Glory to God!!

It is amazing to think that our family met Rita (above) and now Katie (above) and her family and also David (and Kate) through Joel's Journey. There are so many more that I fellowship with via this blog and e-mails. Just today I got an e-mail from a mom who said they watched the DVD and they have a two year old little boy diagnosed with Neuroblastom in May. I pray the Lord would allow our family to encourage and pray for them as countless others did for us. His ways are certainly past finding. He works and brings to pass His plans and providences allowing our paths to cross with others according to his will.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cooking with Dave !!

*****Don't can still order the Garden DVD, lower left button on the blog!!!!!!*********

I will have to say we arrived at the "cooking class" with 4 skeptical fellows but after it was all prepared, cooked and et' up we left with full satisfied bellies!!! Dave has topped it off with adventure meals and I can not compete with him, I just serve "plain ole meals!!" It was a delicious meal!! Ok....I will have to tell you what was served but I can not give "hows and measurements" because Dave said there was none. The name of the main course was "Monty Kiev," and Dave served corn on the side. Upon our arrival, Dave gave the guys assignments. At first I did not have any idea what they were cooking up, but as the assembly line progressed, it was beginning to sound yummy!! First Dave told Micah to take the 9 sicks of softened butter and put it in the mixer while Daniel was cutting up green onions and then they mixed these up. Next Daniel and Micah took spoon scoops and splatted them on cookie sheets and put them in the freezer. At this point I was really wondering!!! On to the next step was Caleb and Daniel beating the chicken breast flat. Once that was done, over at the next station you took the breast and put a frozen butter blob and rolled it up and tooth picked it close, Micah and Elijah had this job!! After that you rolled the chicken in flour, whole wheat and then dipped it in beaten eggs, which the guys had already gotten pre-pared, then you rolled it in bread crumbs. Finally after a bit, Daniel then took the breasts and quickly browned them in oil on the stove. The breasts were then placed on a baking sheet and baked until done. Mean while, noodles were cooked and the garlic white sauce was made to put over the chicken and noodles. Finally all was ready and displayed proudly/humbly on the table and soon you could hear all the "wows and ahhh's and this stuff is great and I love this stuff!!!" It was so very good, I'll have to say that Dave suprised me!!! Now to top the evening off Dave (and Kate) even served dessert. It was called Pocky Parfait! Micah whipped up whipping creme and added some sweetener, then it was scooped in bowls and lavished with fresh blackberries they so generously shared with us!! Then the fun part of this dessert consisted of a game, did you see the picture of the Pocky boxes, well I have never seen these but both Dave and Kate had these when they were little, anyway, they are thin little sticks with a coating on them almost to the end. The game was you had to put the non coated end in you mouth and hold it with your teeth until someone said "go" and then a race to see who could eat theirs the fastest without touching it, just bringing it in you mouth as you ate it down. I think Elijah won!! This was a "MAJOR WHOA NELLIE BOZO MEAL!!" Thats just our version of saying it was super-fantastic!!! It did not stop there, Dave and Kate even had entertainment lined up for us, baseball with one of those over sized plastic bats. Now you might think that should have been a piece of cake, you try it, that ball is not easy to deal with and it was a bit windy and as the ball went ever so high it seemed to scoot forward just as you thought you might catch it!!! It finally got so dark we had to retreat to the house and Dave proceeded to bless our little children by looking on-line at Playmoblies (a toy) that he might get for himself!!!! It was a great evening and I hope there not "too bored" when they come back over to our house now!! Thanks Dave and Kate and all the guys for a job well done. They at least know how to cook ONE meal now!!

Its been a very busy day here! This morning more space was cleared for expanding the garden, chain saws humming and trees falling. Lord willing we want to plant maybe 300 tomato plants instead of 100, maybe 36 rows of corn instead of 12!!! Sowing bountifully and Lord willing reaping bountifully! Also Daniel and i went to get materials to finish a project. We had some plumbing problems in one of the baths and it has been functional but with plastic on the walls so today we got the tile to go behind the bath tub!!!!

Kate has been here today, Dave had a business meeting and who likes to stay home alone?? We fixed dinner, Dave is helping the guys with the bathroom project, now some volley ball and then back to the project in hopes of getting it ready to grout soon. So you see a full day!!


Oh, and Elijah has gone to another his shield, Lord!!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

His Names......

There was a fire last night. Elijah had to go. He did not get back home until 2 am, and I didnt hear him come in. As I layed in bed while he was away, I was praying for him. The Lord brought to my mind a "shield." I pictured in my mind how a shield works and that is what Elijah needed at that time. A shield to protect him from the flames, a shield to protect him from smoke inhalation, a shield to be between him and the fire. Seems like it was around 3 am, that I got up, since I had not heard him come in to see if he was back. I looked outside and saw the truck and then I walked back to his room and he was tucked in sleeping soundly. Thank you Lord for being his shield!! While I was praying for Elijah, I thought of how many names in the scriptures that shows us, explains to us, proves to us of who God is. I know we could certainly rest upon the name of God, if it were the only name written in the Bible, but I think the Lord knows our humanness and knows how little our faith can become so He gives us all these different Names and they can become vivid pictures for us to hang on to. Just like He can and will be a very Shield to us. he is our help and our shield. Ps. 33:20. He becomes and has names for our needs. Sure, I have read many of the Names throughout scripture and have a knowledge of them, yet I think we all fall into knowledge more than "knowing or experiencing" the Names first hand. I can read about the Swiss Alps and gain knowledge but unless I have been there, I do not "know." I read a scripture this morning and it seems to speak this thought as well, Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? John 14:9 Before Joel's sickness, I sought, read, prayed and by his grace sought to live for Him and I had knowledge of His Names, but now after everything, I feel like I have come to "know" some of His Names because of experience, because I needed these particular Names to meet me in my most desperate places. Some may say, "I do not want to know those "names" because of what I might have to experience to "know" them. All I can say is, I would not have entered into knowing a little more of the Person that holds these Names if it had not been for the experiences. So here are some specific ones that I feel like I come to "know." He became what I needed through these Names. Creator, I had a need to "know" that He was Joel's Creator, that He fashioned him and put together every cell in his body, His name is Creator!! Comforter, I needed Someone to give something to my heart that no human could give me. Defender, oh how I still need this Name, Someone to "defend" the thoughts of the enemy that can lead me to think despairingly. Eternal, I have come to love this Name more and more, It means to me now that there truly is a place where things, people will last forever and we will never have to say good-by....heaven! Friend, I do have many of these but not many or hardly any "know" what its like, so to "know" Someone who feels exactly what I am feeling is a Friend! Hope, to know that Jesus is our Hope is how I can get up and go everyday, if there was only hope for this life, a most miserable state! I am, this would be one of the top Names that I would fall upon if I had only a few to embrace, these two words, you see are in the present tense, so before all this happened with Joel, he was the I am, and after it has all come to pass, he is still in the present tense, I am!! Life, this would be another one I would pick because when death has come and stolen, I need to know that Joel has Life. Peace, I would take this Name above others if I had only one to have (thankfully we don't) When someone is gone, we want something to be left, Peace I leave with you. John 14:27. If you can have Peace, then you can endure come what may. Redeemer, this Name I hold onto, one day it will all be redeemed!! Refuge, so many times I feel like I have run into every place, corner, hole, I can not run anymore, I must stop running and take Refuge. Resurrection, this very Name means that Joel is living right now!! Rock, sometimes I have pictured this trial, like your falling, falling, sinking but when you think your at the lowest low, there is the Rock that is underneath and forever immovable! Father, this Name means I can crawl upon, lean upon HIS breast and cry and cry and He does more so what any father would do, embrace, comfort and lets us pour it all out!! And then lastly, the Name Faithful and True, I could not fling myself on ANY Name listed above if He were not True to the Persons He is through these Names!! He becomes and is what we need through His very Names......amen!!!!

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection
and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable
to his death

I know him in in new ways now......

Well, tonight, its going to be an "adventure!!" The cooking class with Dave!! We are to arrive at 5 pm, the guys will prepare for an hour and then we all will eat this exquisite meal!!

Super hot here, supposed to be 107* !!