Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks !

Dear friends,

We've moved back to the valley since our last blog post, it's been far to long since we last gave an update, we've been super busy and on the road a lot, and we are very thankful to have slowed down a bit now and settled in for the winter!

This weekend will be a blessed time of gathering with family and friends and giving thanks to God for His many blessings, and we want you to know that one of the blessings for which we are grateful is the outpouring of concern and the prayers you all have lifted up on behalf of our family following the tornado that hit our community and the loss of our dear husband and father, Tom.

We hope to post again soon with a longer update, but today we wanted to take the time to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving.

Our plan today is to linger long at the table with loved ones and dear friends, to recall the many blessings poured out upon us this year, to share wonderful memories of those who've gone before us, and to thank our God for His goodness and mercy.

Happy Thanksgiving, and God bless you!

Sherry for the family

George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly implore His protection and favor; and whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint comittee, requested me to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, jto be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness. Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be dovoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.

----George Washington

Psalm 95:1-6

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lord is the great God,And the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land
Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Happy Birthday Sweet Emily !

Dear Emily,

A new morning has arrived and with it new opportunities. I sit curled on the sofa, coffee in hand, and watch as the bright orange sun sends it's rays through the tall trees in the front yard. I reminisce and remember another August 3rd of many years past.

This August morning begins much like the day of your birth with bright sunshine, clear skies, and a mom deep in thought and busily making a list before sleeping children awake anticipating a new day of adventure.

On the day of your birth I woke up, had devotions, made a long grocery and errands list, and prepared for what I THOUGHT the day would be like. I was, once again, well past my due date, but that was normal. I dressed myself, your sister, and your brother. My plan was to go to my regularly scheduled o.b. appointment, run a few errands, and then stop by the grocery store before returning home. I wanted the pantry and fridge well stocked before your arrival and although I knew the big day had to arrive sometime soon, I didn't expect it to be THAT day. I wanted everything to be prepared and perfect for your arrival, and I'd convinced myself I'd have to wait a little longer to meet you. Also, we were low on perishables, and I expected this to be my last opportunity to shop before your birth.

Well, during my o.b. visit I was asked why I hadn't come in earlier. I was puzzled. The doctor ordered a wheelchair, told someone to take me over to the hospital, and informed me I'd be having a baby in my arms that very day! I told the doctor of my plans to grocery shop, run errands, and of my need to make arrangements for my four year old and two year old. I asked if this could wait until the next day since I felt so good, was so unprepared, and really didn't believe I could possibly be about to give birth. I thought surely I'd have time for a quick trip to the grocery store and time to get the other children situated. The doctor said that my shopping could wait and wondered if my children would be bothered by the site of an I.V. being administered. I told the doctor that they would not be bothered and would actually be fascinated since the I.V. would be going into my arm and not theirs. So...there I was with a four year old and a two year old, and I'd told your dad that morning that I felt fine enough for him to go to a business meeting an hour or more away. Tiffiny and Jordan labored with me until your dad arrived and then Miss Dottie arrived to pick them up for an afternoon of play at her house. Having children in the room wasn't common at the time, but the staff didn't seem to mind. The time passed rather quickly and I mentioned to your dad that I thought I was in transition. He received a phone call at about the same time from your concerned Papa and told him he thought we'd have a birth in a very short time. The doctor overheard and chuckled. He told your dad that if I delivered within an hour he'd buy him a pizza. I delivered with plenty of time to spare:) Pizza! Relief! Joy! And what a beautiful sweetheart you were and are. Your dad prayed, gave thanks, and we cried. What a miraculous and awe inspiring event it is to witness as God ushers new life into this world.

Emily, you are such a steady, kind, conscientious, consistent, and diligent young lady. How I thank God for your life and pray His richest blessings on you today and always. You are a blessing, and we all love you dearly. Happy Birthday!!



P.S. We received the SWEETEST surprise today. During the early morning hours while writing this post, it occurred to me that I might not have any newborn pictures or pictures of Emily as a child. Emily gave me the mail sometime before lunch, and can you guess what my sister-in-law from Florida sent? An envelope addressed to her and my Tom's mother in my handwriting, a card, and a NEWBORN hospital picture of EMILY:) It was the EXACT one I sent to my mother-in-law shortly after Emily's birth!!! And it arrived exactly on her birthday!!! Thank you Lord, and thank you sweet sister-in-law!

P.S.S. Emily and I spent a happy afternoon lingering over lunch at a favorite Mexican restaurant. We also did a little shopping, and we had plenty of time for reminiscing and for long conversations.

P.S.S. I'd hoped to scan the newborn picture of Emi and post it today, but I do NOT know how. Anyway, I'm so happy to have it!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Very Tardy Update !

Greetings! Just wanted to give you all a quick update this morning. We've been quite busy these past weeks with the usual trips to physical therapy, doctor's offices, and the like. The above picture was taken of the little ones in the van. Music c.d.'s and Bible story tapes are fast becoming familiar friends as we still spend lots of time on the road.
Libby is taking advantage of an opportunity to read to Judson while standing in the front yard of our lovely temporary home.
Baby boy learned to ride a borrowed bike since moving here. The sweet family who own the home left a few in the barn, and Hannah Joy taught Judson to ride. We forgot the small but important detail of teaching him about brakes until someone realized he was coming to a stop by running into a tree:( No injuries:)
Jeremiah found his father's hat and wears it all the time. He also discovered his old navy uniform in a bag returned to us by some of the dear friends and even sweet strangers who collected clothing and other items found amongst the rubble. He treasures these items, and we're very grateful to have these memento's.
Oldest son spends much of his time at work these days and tries to catch up on auto repairs, work in the valley, and other things on his days off. Much to do and so little time.
In the vehicle again...I lovingly refer to it as my "rolling office". Much work is accomplished here and many phone calls are made and returned while parked and waiting. A large bag of folders and work projects are kept at hand.
I'm hearing sweet music again, and we're trying to get back to some semblance of a schedule.

Miss Emily is standing on her own now! She first used a wheelchair, then a walker, a cane, and recently she passed the cane to Tiffiny!
We've had quite a bit of rain lately, and we've been out in a vehicle during stormy weather on at least three occasions since the tornadoes. On one occasion, trees fell on side roads and limbs hit our vehicle and fell around us. Power was out in all the stores. One of the younger children requested that we listen to James Spann, a local weatherman. The National Weatherman came on and suggested people in the area take cover because of potentially high winds and lightning. Everyone became very quiet. I had to concentrate on prayer and maneuvering around fallen tree limbs and traffic. Audible prayers went up. Emily opened her bible and read scripture, another started singing a hymn, and all eventually went well. We finally made it off the tree-lined streets and arrived home safely. We're definitely more aware of impending bad weather, and I believe there is a dread of having something fall from above our heads. But God is our ever-present help in time of need, and we are thankful for the comfort that brings.
We've shared lovely meals with sweet friends. Our Bible Study recently resumed in the home of our teacher and his lovely family. They made the beautiful salad above and have been so gracious to open their home and delay their own work projects for the sake of helping with the work going on in the valley. Actually, many families have delayed their own projects. Thank you, thank you!!!

Miss Tiffiny still applies ice to her leg frequently and continues to experience swelling. She especially swells after traveling in a vehicle, but she has improved greatly, and we are thankful:) She will be on the blood thinner until Christmas, but she no longer has to go to the hospital lab for a weekly blood test. She now goes every six weeks:) She and Emily still go to physical therapy twice a week. What a blessing:)
As you can see, she now stands on her own and is walking with a cane. She can walk without it and prefers doing so, but her wonderful therapist has other ideas, and she must obey!
More beautiful salads prepared by Mr. and Mrs. T and family:) Yum!
Josh, Jacob, and Johnathon spend most of their days out in the valley working on the railroad house. Jacob is seen here putting away some tools. He saw the neurologist recently and received a very good report. The only noticeable thing left to clear up is one eye blinking more rapidly than the other:) Tiffiny and Emily also received a good report. Tiffiny will go back in December.
Our temporary home has a great driveway for riding bikes. It makes a circle all around the house.

There's a very nice playground for the children, and they made a ramp for the girls to get into the house more easily.
Judson caught as he awakens from a nap in the van.
Some of the family talking to a sweet friend about "Old Blue". We have a 51 Ford truck which was bought new by Tom's father. The children hope to someday repair it, and Mr. W is just the person to know about such things.

Abi planted some flowers. She's longed to work in the garden or in the flower beds. Since those are gone, she decided to plant some flowers and a few fruit bushes in large pots.

Please know how very much we appreciate your prayers and acts of kindness. We're busy writing thank you notes, but we have a long way to go. Many addresses we do not have. Please accept our sincerest thanks for all you've done and for every prayer and sweet note and lovely gift sent. God bless you all!



Sunday, July 3, 2011

Happy 4th of July !

The following are some quotes from George Washington, often referred to as the Father of our Country:

"I am sure that never was a people, who had more reason to acknowledge a Divine interposition in their affairs, than those of the United States; and I should be pained to believe that they have forgotten that agency, which was so often manifested during our Revolution, or that they failed to consider the Omnipotence of that God who is alone able to protect them."

"I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an "Honest Man."

"A government is like fire, a handy servant, but a dangerous master."

"Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected."

"I earnestly pray that the Omnipotent Being who has not deserted the cause of America in the hour of its extremest hazard, will never yield so fair a heritage of freedom a prey to "Anarchy" or "Despotism."

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."

"It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible."

"The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained."
The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

Have a blessed and happy 4th of July!



If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. II Chronicles 7:14

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sunday Hymn: It Is Well With My Soul

It Is Well With My Soul

Horatio Gates Spafford
Born: October 20, 1828, North Troy, New York.
Died: October 16, 1888, Jerusulem, Israel, of malaria.

Written by Horatio Spafford, a Chicago lawyer, in 1873 after hearing news from his wife of the tragic death of their four daughters.

Horatio and his wife, Anna, were close friends of D.L. Moody and well known in the Chicago area.

Their troubles began in 1870 with the death of their only son who died of scarlet fever at age four. Then the Chicago Fire of 1871 occurred and fire destroyed his vast holdings in real estate on Lake Michigan.

Mr. Spafford decided to take his wife and four daughters on a much needed holiday to England where they would rest and also meet the famous preacher, D.L. Moody, on one of his evangelistic campaigns. A last minute business development delayed Horatio and it was decided that the rest of his family would go on as planned. He would join them later on. Nine days later, he received these words from Anna, his wife: "Saved alone."

The 'Ville de Havre' collided with 'The Lochearn' and sank in twelve minutes. Anna and her daughters stood clinging to one another and then felt the force of the waters upon them. Only Anna survived and at first she felt utter despair. She then recalled the words of a friend, "It's easy to be grateful and good when you have so much, but take care that you are not a fair-weather friend to God."

Horatio joined his wife. During his voyage, the captain told him that he believed they were now passing the place where the ship wrecked. Horatio Spafford went to his cabin and penned the now familiar words of "It Is Well With My Soul."

His family's tragic loss has given hope to countless numbers of people who have sung the words to his hymn for more than a hundred years.

The words are as follows:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.


God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. Psalm 46:1-3



Music was written by composer Philip Bliss.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Birthday Remembrances !

Birthday remembrances of our beloved husband and father, Tom. A follower of Christ and devoted husband and father.

Happy birthday, Tom! We miss you so much but we are grateful for the years we had together and for the legacy you left behind.

A trip to Charleston, S.C.
Shooting skeet:)
Always a hard worker:)
Collecting wood for a future house or barn:)
Trip to Polyface Farm in Virginia to learn more about farming techniques.
Your love of working with wood and building things blessed so many:)
So often seen with a little one at your side or sitting on your lap.
May the lessons you taught - reverence for and devotion to God, hard work, respect for others, and sacrificial love - remain and be lived out, by God's grace, in our lives and in the lives of all future generations.

"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." Psalm 90:1

"For we know that if our earthly house, after this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." II Corinthians 5:1

A Puritan Prayer

Fill the garden of my soul with the wind of love,
that the scents of the Christian life may be
wafted to others;
then come and gather fruits to thy glory.
So shall I fulfil the great end of my being -
to glorify thee and be a blessing to men.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

June 2, 2011...Happy Birthday to Johnathon !

Dear Johnathon,

I vividly remember the morning of your birth and the joy and relief that came when the labor of love was complete.

Our week had been very busy, and the days leading up to your birth included helping out with a rehearsal dinner by feeding and hosting approximately fifty children belonging to those who were members of the wedding party. We prayed that your birth would come either well in advance of the scheduled evening, or after the happy event. I was very late, as usual, and you didn't make your grand entrance until after the wedding. We helped host on Friday night, attended the wedding on Saturday, and we attended church on Sunday. I hardly had time to think of my *lateness*... you were born early on Monday morning:)

You were another home birthed baby, and I was a bit puzzled as to why I labored longer than was usual for me...I was very eager to finally meet and hold in my arms this little blessing for whom I had long awaited.

Our wonderful midwife and your father decided not to tell me when they saw what was delaying your birth... you had one hand resting on your cheek. They guessed that you were trying to get your thumb to your mouth, and they also realized that your entry into the world might take a bit longer because of it! You were, of course, finally ushered into the world, and you weighed close to ten pounds. Needless to say, you didn't wear the newborn clothes:)

We rejoiced, your brothers and sisters rejoiced, and your father offered up a prayer of thanks.

We love you very much, Johnathon. I thank God for your life, and I'm blessed to be your mother. May God bless you all the days of your life, and may you serve Him with gladness.



Tuesday, May 31, 2011

In Celebration


( This is actually not Sherry writing, but one of her daughters ~ I hope it's not confusing )

Mom doesn't know about this post, but . . . . I just wanted y'all to know what a wonderful couple my parents were, and what a wonderful marriage they had. Today would've been their 31st wedding anniversary. And even though dad is no longer on earth to celebrate it with mom, it seemed like this day was still one to be remembered. It is still the anniversary of the day that God began a new family, through the marriage of a man named Tom and a girl named Sherry; none of my siblings or I would be here except for that day and that wedding. So today's still an important date for us to remember.

I am so grateful for the years God gave me to witness my parent's marriage. What a privilage to grow up watching such a godly couple in action! To see their steadfastness, their faithfulness, their commitment to one another -- their love and honor for one another. Quietly, contentedly, steadily they walked through life together. I couldn't ask for better parents.

And so this post is meant to honor my dad and mom for the last 30 -plus years of love and devotion to one another. To celebrate what God has done through them. Praise the Lord for this marriage, this couple, these parents.

Because of Him,
for all of the Lee children

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Birthday !

God Bless Jordan and Joshua !

Today we celebrated the birth of Jordan and Joshua. They were born on the same date, but Josh was born eight years later and was Jordan's first brother.

We stuck Jordan with three names because we thought he would be our last child and our only son...hehehe! There's definitely a story behind that statement, but we'll save it for another time:)

Joshua was born eight years later on Jordan's eighth birthday, and Jordan was absolutely thrilled to have his first brother, and he considered him to be his very own special birthday present. Also, Joshua was born at home, and I remember seeing a picture of Jordan trying to look through the key hole to see whether he had a new brother or sister. My dear friend who helped us when we birthed at home caught on camera his look of excitement after hearing the good news. His expression was priceless.

We went out for lunch today and then did a little shopping at the bookstore and at Academy. They wanted to replace their exercise equipment, and they did. Tom always met us for lunch on each child's birthday, and we're going to try and continue family traditions as much as possible. Later in the evening, we had a special meal with the family. The birthday person chooses the meal on his/her special day.

They are definitely their father's sons and are such a blessing to me and to the rest of the family.

Jordan and Joshua, God bless you today and always. I'm a very blessed woman, and I am grateful to the Lord for giving me such fine sons. May you walk with Him all the days of your lives, by His grace, and for His glory. Amen.



Sunday, May 29, 2011

"On mine arm shall they trust." ~ Isaiah 51:5

It's early morning here, and the blanket of dew still rests on the freshly mowed field in front of our temporary home. And dear friends, we want you to know that just as God sends the dew to refresh the earth, He gives peace and rest to his children during seasons of uncertainty and difficulty. Though we cannot explain His peace that is beyond our understanding, we have truly experienced it.

How can we fear or have doubts when underneath us are the everlasting arms? Our full confidence is in Him, and we give glory to Him. "On mine arm shall they trust." Isaiah 51:5. When the world as we know it crumbles about us, we truly find that our God is worth tens of thousands of worlds to us, and our souls are driven to Him and Him alone! I'm paraphrasing some of what I read in a devotional by Charles Spurgeon.

"Be strong and very courageous, and the Lord thy God shall certainly, as surely as He built the heavens and the earth, glorify Himself in thy weakness, and magnify His might in the midst of thy distress." by Charles Spurgeon.
The above was written in the early morning hours, and we just wanted to share some of our thoughts, and we wanted to give you an update. It's now Sunday evening, and this is really the first opportunity we've had, alone as a family, to share our thoughts and memories of the evening of the storm and its aftermath. We hope to record our perspectives of that evening and write a post very soon. I know that many of you might not wish to hear it, but I hope you will be patient with us. This blog will be sort of like a journal for us by the end of the year, and we thought it might be a good thing to put our memories of this time in writing. We do hope to eventually get back to farming, but this is also a part of our past, present, and it influences our future.

Tears were shed tonight, but the tears were not bitter tears. Our memories were of happy times, and we all felt keenly aware of how blessed we are to have had such a faithful and loving husband/father who pointed us to the Savior he loved so dearly. I think the suddenness of it all does leave us wishing we could have said our goodbyes, but someday goodbyes will not be necessary at all! And I'd love to be able to tell him again how much I loved and respected him, but I can't. I guess that's why I'm telling you...maybe you can tell your husband, your child, your parent, your father or mother-in-law, or your friend...again...and again...and again. And he wouldn't want me to portray him as a perfect man; he was very aware of his need of a Savior, of His grace, and of His mercies which are new every morning. And lastly, I realize his life wasn't *cut short*. I believe he lived the exact number of days appointed him, and I rejoice in that. It doesn't make me/us miss him less, but I/we do rejoice for him. "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21

On a different note, Tiffiny, Emily, and Jacob are improving! Emily is walking some without her walker:) She mainly needs it in case her knees buckle. They are working on strengthening the muscles above her knees. Tiffiny went back to physical therapy on Thursday, and they had her walk around the room twice. Her blood work has also been good each week. Jacob can now lift his eye brows, completely close one eye, and half way close the other eye!

Thank you for your continued prayers, acts of kindness, and concern. We appreciate each and every one of you, and many of you we've never even met!

Good night, and God bless you all:)

"On mine arm shall they trust." Isaiah 51:5 --- May it be so. Amen.


for the family

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Prayer Request

Dear Friends,

The phone company provided internet service for us today, and I wanted to post a quick update. I haven't had time or access in recent days, but I have a few minutes to post before doing the next thing!

Tiffiny was admitted to the hospital again this past Tuesday. I took her to her physical therapy session that afternoon, and they immediately suspected that things weren't as they should be. Her leg was very swollen. They contacted her doctor at the hospital, and he ordered an x-ray. A broken bone or blood clot was suspected, and they were right. She has a very large blood clot and is still in the hospital. She might come home tomorrow, and she will be on medication for six months. She is receiving excellent care, is in very good spirits, and wishes to thank everyone for their prayers.

Emily is also receiving physical therapy, and she's progressing VERY nicely. She uses a walker now instead of the wheelchair! She also thanks you for your prayers.

A friend who is a doctor and his family brought us a meal the other night, and God used him to provide me with some very important information concerning my son Jacob. Jacob was pinned face down between the piano and a large beam for hours after the storm. He was carried to the triage center and the hospital that night and received excellent care, but we noticed days after his release that he only smiles with one half of his mouth. I asked our doctor friend what he thought and he asked if Jacob could close his eyes. I never would have even thought of that. He checked Jacob and found that he could not close both eyes completely. He recommended that I take him back to see the neurologist, and I am so grateful. My step brother is also a medical professional and recommended the same thing. The neurologist saw him immediately and gave him a prescription and eye drops. My prayer request is that Jacob's nerve damage will heal nicely and that his eyes will be protected. Because he can't completely close them, his eyes might be very dry as he sleeps, and dust particles or whatever might scratch and damage the cornea. He will also need to wear protective glasses while working because the natural reflexive response to particles approaching his eyes will not work to completely shut the eye lids. We appreciate your prayers for him, and we thank God for all the caring people, friends, and professionals who are ministering to them and to our entire family!

Again, we truly thank you all for the outpouring of love and prayers directed our way. The Lord is meeting our needs and blessing us in ways we never imagined. People are SO creative in how they show love and concern. His grace and peace is sufficient AND amazing.

Psalm 46
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling.
There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God.
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, just at the break of dawn.
The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge.
Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has made desolations in the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in the fire.
Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge.

We enjoyed reading from the book of Psalms this morning. His mercies are new every morning....



Saturday, May 7, 2011

Thank You Dear Friends !

Dear Friends,

Words simply cannot express how full of gratitude our hearts are right now. We have been sustained by our loving Heavenly Father's mighty hand and overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, prayers, and acts of kindness directed our way.

Yes, I have lost my dear husband and best friend of over thirty years, but I know where he is, and I thank God for the wonderful life we had together. I miss him terribly, but I know I will see him again.

Yes, my children have lost their father, but he died as he lived....putting the needs of his wife and children ahead of those of his own and interceding for us.

I want you all to know that we feel our loss, and we grieve, but not as those who have no hope. Tom reminded us often that we all eventually meet our Maker and not at the time of our own choosing. We are at peace, and we trust in God's sovereign and merciful plan for our lives. Our lips shall praise HIM!

Our son and daughters are out of the hospital now and are healing nicely. Two daughters require physical therapy and are using a wheelchair and a walker, but full recovery is expected.

If you are one of the many who have helped us, left a kind comment, or prayed for us....we THANK YOU. We've never in our entire lives seen so many expressions of love and concern for those in our community, our state, and other states affected by the storm. Your continued prayers for our family and the many others affected by the storm are deeply appreciated.

Our lives are forever changed , but our Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Our trust is in Him. May His name be glorified.


for the entire Tom Lee family

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Barnhouse Farm Tour !

From our house to your house...blessings to you and yours. Today's post is about a little of what's been going on at the barnhouse this past weekend and this spring. We had a glorious long weekend with my husband home for an extra day, and we also celebrated the resurrection of our Savior! The weather couldn't have been more beautiful, and we really enjoyed making special memories together. Aren't weekends a great time for making memories? That special meal, extra time for reading books while sipping tea, morning coffee or tea and devotions on the front porch, productive projects that leave you with a good feeling at the end of the day when you look back and see the fruit of your labor....and shared experiences. I'm so thankful for the opportunities to make home the most special place on earth; a cozy nest where we all can be nurtured, accepted and spite of our blemishes:)
We had planned on having a family picture snapped this weekend, but it didn't happen:( One of our daughters did snap this picture just before we left for church Sunday morning. It's a picture of me and my sweetheart/hubby of thirty years.
The poor little muskrat in the picture above had a run-in with our dog, Tank. Tank won. The little ones will want to place him in their little animal cemetery. Funny thing happened while I was posting these pictures. I didn't intend to post this one...I was trying to retrieve the one of me and hubby, but I pulled the number from the wrong picture file. Imagine my surprise when the picture downloaded...I'm expecting a picture of the happy couple and instead I see the above little fella! I decided to leave it anyway.
The farrier came this weekend to trim the Percheron horses' hooves. They are very gentle and good dependable workers. This weekend was a good time for plowing. The earth was damp in some areas, but we got a good bit done. We have five garden areas this year, and the boys used the horses for plowing where the corn and beans will be planted.

One son found a store last week that sells Lodge cast iron cookware at a very good price, and we love cooking with cast iron. The pieces didn't pass inspection because of a little nick or some sort of imperfection, but they look GREAT to us. No holes or anything. He brought home all that you see on the table, the books you see there, and several others. One of the books he gave to me because I love eighteenth century history and such. I can't wait until I have little snippets of time for reading.
Weekends around here definitely include special treats. These were made recently by Bethany. I think she got the recipe from a MaryJanesFarm magazine?? They were yummy and beautiful. Emily made a delicious whole wheat Mandarin Orange cake for our Sunday dinner. It disappeared before I could get a picture:(
Our new bull calf was born this spring. He's growing very nicely, and we enjoy watching his playful antics in the pasture.
A gift from my little ones. They bring frequent *offerings* each least until the flowers are all gone. Speaking of flowers being all gone... I've had thirteen two year olds in my lifetime and they've all enjoyed bringing me flowers. I'd always ooh and ah and make a happy fuss over their gifts, so they'd bring me more...and more... and.....pretty soon I had NO flowers left. They weren't picking just the wildflowers but the ones I had bought and planted as well. I purchased several bouquets of silk flowers and made a special garden for whomever the two year old happened to be. They'd *pick* their flowers and bring them to me almost every hour. When they were napping I'd go out and *re-plant* their flowers to be picked again the next day!

Two daughters doing the dishes together and sharing a laugh. Children are SUCH a blessing!
Johnathon and Hannah Joy are painting the new window boxes. These are the ones made from the free pallets of wood we get from the mattress company. Our old ones were rotting, so they made new ones for all the windows! We have a cat who thinks one of the boxes is her home, and we've also had a hen lay eggs in the one on the right. I really enjoyed watching her through my kitchen window.
The strawberries are looking really good. I know we'll need a lot more boxes for our family, but we wanted to practice before planting to many! We'll have to mix up some of our raw milk and strawberries very soon and make homemade ice cream:)

Sorry for the fuzzy picture. We have new chicks and some others coming along in the incubator. They should be hatching in a few more days.
The cows and bull are very happy to have the new spring grass. Certainly helps with their milk production:)
Saturdays are big baking days around here. The bread above ended up strangely shaped, but that sometimes happens around here when the humidity is bad.
More bread rising.

Melanie has a seat with a view:)
Love the springtime beauty. God THE Artist!

Our chocolate peppermint tea is looking very nice. We'll be sipping some very soon.
Painting of the window boxes is done.
Parsley...we love making parsley pesto to be served with vegetable sticks, pasta, or pita chips. We mix 1 cup olive oil, 1 or 2 garlic cloves, 3 bunches of parsley, and 2 cups parmesan cheese together and blend until smooth. Very addictive.
Sage has flowered.
Lemon Balm.

The kiwi bushes are loaded this year!

We have some raised beds just outside the kitchen door for easy access. Most of our gardening is done using traditional rows and away from the house. We're trying to learn a little bit more each year, and we're so thankful to live in a community and among friends who are so encouraging and willing to share their knowledge.
More free wood just waiting to be taken apart and re-purposed!!
Jacob completing the last of the window boxes.
Jordan working at the bee hives.

Finished up some plowing on the hill. Emily is taking some tasty vegetable scraps to *The Chicken Concern*!
A good days work is done.



This post is linked to Barn Hop #10. Hosted by Amy at Homestead Revival, Jill at The Prairie Homestead, Kendra at New Life on a Homestead, and Megan at A Blossoming Homestead.