Saturday, January 19, 2013

Another Week On Leegacy Farm ~~Picture Review

This week on Leegacy Farm has been both productive and restful, and we continue to have my mom here recuperating with us.
The usual chores and fun activities of milking cows, feeding animals, making cheese and butter, preparing countless meals, visiting with friends, new friends and farm customers, and doing loads of laundry have been done, though the laundry has been a bit of a challenge with all the rain and ice we've had.
Speaking of rain and ice, Abi decided to make batches of apple butter since we still have some apples left and since we've been inside for many many days this week.
And who can bare having homemade apple butter without homemade bread?
Enjoying the warmth of the fire and reading some good-for-the-soul food.
Bethany spent some time rendering fat from one of our pigs.  She tried a crockpot method and was pleased.
She's removing some of  the cracklings.  Dad, if you were here we'd prepare some crackling cornbread for you.:)
We didn't have snow on the ground, but the ice on the trees looked very beautiful.
The fellas have repaired vehicles and changed the oil in our van and in grandmother's car.
The sun came out by the end of the week and temperatures warmed up a bit.  The younger set found a new playhouse across the pasture and in a hollowed out old tree.  They gave me a grand tour after lunch today, and it was so nice being out in the sunshine again.  My mom also enjoyed being out and we all walked a whole mile with her today.
Observing the distance below in the hollowed tree trunk.
Emily had the house smelling delightfully yummy as she made large batches of granola.  For those of you who have only younger children, I must encourage you by telling you how wonderful it is to have children who learned at your side when they were small and who grow up and make you so very thankful for the time you had to invest in their lives. Even though the training time can be more difficult than doing things yourself when they are little, you definitely reap the rewards of your labor later on.
Preparing to make soap with some of the goat's milk.
Cutting out fabric for a barn apron.  The sweetest ladies sent us so many boxes of fabric after the storm and now we are settled and can use it for various projects!  Abi decided on a barn apron since she has a bottle fed calve which she is feeding twice a day.
These children of mine are often seen without shoes and no matter the weather.  What can I say?  I'm not particularly fond of shoes myself.:)
Little Man enjoys slipping and sliding on the ice.
Mom's dog guards her bedside as she sleeps.  We moved the school table, chairs and bench out of the room and added a bed for Mom.  She's the little heap you see in the above picture.  She started out sleeping all day....
then she perked up and started walking circles around the interior of the house.  Before long we won't be able to keep up with her, Lord willing!
As I said before, we've been moving furniture around in preparation for having my mom with us.  We moved the school table made by our Tom into the dining room and the dining room get the idea.  We've been moving lots of stuff.:)
The twinkle lights provide some glow when the sun isn't shining. Love twinkle lights.
The fellas have also been working to fill the woodshed, one has done some farm sitting this week, and three continue to do some off-the-farm work in addition to their regular on-the-farm work.
Thought I'd mention one of our leftover meals we frequently enjoy.  The above picture is of leftover cheese and sausage grits.  My daughters often place the leftover grits in a bread pan and refrigerate them until the next mornings breakfast time.  They slice them as one would slice a cake and then they fry them in a bit of oil.  They are delicious as is or dipped in your favorite condiment.
We always have a read-aloud going and this weeks book has been about earlier Americans who traveled to California by covered wagon. We had this book pre-storm and decided to order a used copy to replace the one we lost.  It was enjoyed many years ago by the older ones.
The fellas also attached our hand grinder to a piece of furniture in the kitchen.  This one is set up with the corn auger and will be used to grind our corn into cornmeal and grits and such.  Funny thing happened as Abi was ordering the auger.  She had been on the computer ordering, gave the computer to me and the phone rang.  It was a dear friend and neighbor from our former state.  He asked me what we were up to and whether or not I happened to be shopping.  I was shocked and wondered for a moment how he could possibly know, at that very moment, that I was indeed shopping online.  He is a computer guy. He then told me that they actually sell the auger and that he had just received the order on his computer.  Funny!  And that has been our week on Leegacy Farm.  Hope you and yours are well and warm.  Blessings,  Sherry

Saturday, January 12, 2013

This Week On Leegacy Farm

It's been a busy week here on Leegacy Farm as half of us have been at home, and half of our family members spent five days in our former state, and oldest daughter is returning today with dear friends and my mom who will be recuperating here in our home.  We spent the time awaiting my mom's surgery, and we were able to visit with family members at the hospital and sweet sweet friends in the area.

I returned to the farm to find milk setting out in preparation for making butter, yogurt making in the cooler, and everyone alive and looking well.  It's SO good to come home. And it's SO good to have almost all of us back and in one place. And we've all noticed that this place really does *feel* like home now.  Whenever we're away, we look forward to our return.
Fresh eggs on the counter - they haven't been washed yet.  Our chickens weren't laying much since the days got shorter and colder, but they were put in the warm hoop house and have started laying again.
And lots of fresh milk.  Emily has made many batches of cheese this week while the rest of us were away.
Right now we're concentrating on making mozzarella since we use so much for our Friday night pizza.
We've had many rainy days, so the weekly bread baking is a bit trickier.  I love seeing the fresh dough rising on the counter top, and who can resist the smell of fresh bread and a hot slice slathered in butter? Such a homey smell and evidence that there's life and living going on in the home.
Breakfast Pizza
We have homemade pizza every Friday night, and we watch a video.  This week we viewed one about economics, and it was really good.
What a difference a couple of weeks can make.  My mom was here to visit in late December and was her usual energetic self (hard to keep up with)!  She went home and had to have an unexpected surgery on some blockages in her legs.  Surgery went really well and we look forward to having her recuperate here with us, and my younger ones have really enjoyed having her little poodle dog, who we brought back with us, here.  We don't have an indoor dog, so they've enjoyed the novelty of having him in the house and sleeping in their bedroom.:)
We've saved lots of goat's milk in the freezer for making soap, but we didn't get to it this week.
Perhaps next week?  Instead, we've been re-arranging our school room in order to have a main floor bedroom for my mom.
Lots of fun has been had while riding the horse and pony.  My younger ones recently saw an old movie which was enjoyed by my older ones when they were little.  I've noticed them as they've pretended to be the characters who traveled across the Great Divide!
There are three crock pots going in the kitchen this wet Saturday morning, and I'm beginning to smell the aroma of the venison.  We received a gift of a very large pan of deer meat, and we are preparing three different recipes today. As I smell the good smells, enjoy the morning with family, and anticipate the arrival of my daughter, my mother, and our friends, I'm about as content as can be.    ~~Blessings~~  Sherry

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Mother's Thoughts For The New Year....

"Human beings are very unbalanced and prone to go off on tangents.  In every area of life - with too great emphasis on one thing, leaving out another important thing altogether.  None of us will ever be perfectly balanced in our spiritual lives, our intellectual lives, our emotional lives, our family lives, in relationships with other human beings, or in our business lives.  BUT WE ARE CHALLENGED TO TRY, WITH THE HELP OF GOD.  We are meant to LIVE IN THE SCRIPTURES." - Edith Schaeffer, What Is a Family?

Oh how I can relate to Mrs. Schaeffer's words of wisdom - taking great care to focus on one area of life, only to realize another has been neglected.

I remember to read to the little one.  I forget to call and check on my parents.  I get to my Bible reading.  I forget Scripture memory. I mail the bills.  I neglect a farm chore.

And here we've begun a brand new year.  Reminds me of the first day of school. Full of hope. No smudged papers.  No broken crayons. Perfectly sharpened pencils.  Unblemished erasers.  Dreams of perfect days spent reading to my rosy cheeked offspring and success in checking everything of importance off the to-do list.

And then...reality sets in.  The first crayon breaks.  Johny gets the flu.  A textbook doesn't arrive. I fail to do the most important thing. Again. Like a driver whose just put a dent in his first new car, a wave of discouragement threatens to steal the joy. Life in a fallen world. Unbalanced.

And what does Mrs. Schaeffer mean when she says "we are meant to live in the Scriptures?"  In the passage quoted, she was specifically speaking of the need to have a Scripture-centered home -- one which relays truth to the next generation. She points out that the Bible is the Word of God, and we are to find out what it says. God's Word is perfectly balanced.  Human beings are not. 

The enemy of my soul seeks to render me ineffective and discouraged. To remind me that I lack balance and should simply give up.  My God seeks to direct my attention upward. Where it belongs.  I am weak.  He is strong.  Every dilemma, big or small, is simply a reminder to look up.  I NEED HIM.  He is the God of hope and new beginnings.  His mercies are new. Not just on the first day of every new year. Every morning. I am to trust Him.  And the Scriptures are  where these truths are learned. To be passed on. To be meditated upon. Living and powerful.

A short time ago, during a sermon at church, a comment was made as to how many chapters would have to be read per day in order to finish the entire Bible by the end of the year.   And as to how, while we want to study scripture carefully, it's also good just to read.  Often.  To be saturated by the Word.

Many in my family wanted to try. Some wanted to finish a reading plan already begun. Personally, I tend to thrive when pursuing short term goals, skipping around a lot is my tendency, and I thought it would be good for me to read straight through. In a short time. It was good for me.

 So the comments made at church, Mrs. Schaeffer's words in regards to seeking balance and living in the scriptures, and the quotes which follow about the making of a saint have been a great source of encouragement.

According to Warren Wiersbe, "A divine dissatisfaction is essential for spiritual progress."  And Paul Bilheimer, in Overcomers Through The Cross, reminds us that God takes a lifetime to make a saint.  "An unripe apple is not fit to eat, but we should not therefore condemn it.  It is not yet ready for eating because God is not done making it.  It is a phase of its career and good in its place.

I don't know about you, but for me, dissatisfaction is necessary for most any sort of progress in my life. Dissatisfaction with the status quo.  Realizing that standing still isn't an option. There's forward, by God's grace.  There's backwards. Whether in the spiritual, intellectual, emotional, family, relational, or business life.  And because I never achieve perfect balance in any area while here on earth, there is always the "challenge to try, with the help of God."

And when I speak of *dissatisfaction*, I do not mean a lack of contentment regarding God's will.  But simply that I must never become *satisfied* with where I am spiritually, intellectually, etc....I must never come to believe that I have arrived.:)

So 2013 is here, and this mother desires to grow spiritually while taking time to "live in the scriptures."  She'd like to grow intellectually, read a few classics and learn more about so many things. She'd like to do a better job of teaching the younger ones their lessons and of relaying truth to the next generation. Entering into their joys and enjoying the moments which so quickly pass. And a better job of encouraging and praying for the older ones. Family life is very high on the priorities list. She'd like to spend more individual time listening to the hopes and prayers and interests of each of her children. And what about the business of the farm and helping with that?  Better add that to the list. And how about reaching out to the community and relationships with other human beings?

 Much to do. Much to pray about. Life is busy. For everyone. Life in a fallen world can be frightening, but  God can be trusted.  Move forward. Hope. Am I taking time to hear?  To hear what God wants?  How am I to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever?  In 2013? Will I live in the Scriptures?

 I pray for balance and desire time to truly listen and look to the One who is Sovereign over and knows all things. The One who isn't done making me yet.

And what stood out to me most while reading through the Scriptures this time is that meditating on them is the best preparation for when trials come, and they will come. Examples and illustrations will come to mind whenever  in a quandary or pondering some decision or action. They contain wisdom and warnings of how we fall when we take our eyes off the Lord and trust in our own might. Or when Pride rears it's very unattractive head.

 In 2013, I'm sure I'll sometimes be frustrated as I realize I've emphasized one thing and neglected another.  Wisdom will be needed. I'll teeter and lose my balance. But the Scriptures are where answers are found.  They will point back in the right direction.  Back to the One who gives balance, directs paths, and will stand this *unripe apple* upright again.

And in these early days of 2013, I thank God for the gift of His word, for those in my life who teach and encourage more prayer, reading and study, for the challenge to seek the help of the Lord, and as a dear friend had written in big letters on his desk, I pray that my family and I will daily remember to ASK HIM!

May God bless your 2013 as you eagerly reach forward to new things ahead, and may you find your balance, help and hope in our Great and Mighty God and Savior, Jesus Christ!

"Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended, but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."             ~~Philippians 3: 12-14~~