Friday, February 29, 2008


Below is a picture of some tired farmhands . . . ooops, did I say TIRED farmhands? I meant to say HIRED farmhands! We are sheep sitting this week for some friends. But that's not what's making them tired . . . they LOVE doing that work! It is all the extra chores back here on our "farm" in preparation for what could be our very first home showing in two years . . . this Sunday! And no matter what happens . . . at least we will have gotten a jump start on our spring cleaning :) !!!!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Friends for Sure We Will Always Be

By Valerie

Much love does she show,
In Jesus I see her grow.

I often like to call her a nut,
Because she always has a cut!

Crash ‘n bang is her nick-name,
For her, the ambulance often came.

Her sunshine you can always see.
Can you guess who this might be?

Her dream is to have a mare,
We know she would give it good care.

But for now, her goats are quite fun,
She sure loves them a ton!

She is such a wonderful blessing to me,
Friends for sure we will always be.

I’m so glad that God chose her to be in our “clan”,
It was all part of God’s great plan!

Thank You Lord, for My Dog Anna

by Valerie

I would never be able to thank God enough for the blessing of my wonderful dog, “Anna”. And I’d like to share with you, my family and friends, the special way He brought her into my life!

Going back about a year . . . I used to have a black ewe named “Hope”. Last spring, when it was time for her to have her lambs, she had them pretty early. But God protected my two lambs, S.C. (short for Self Control), and Love. He gave me the joy of having lambs! Although one of them died of bloat, and I sold the other one, I had a lot of fun with them. I especially enjoyed getting to bottle feed them. All this time my ewe, Hope, was very skinny and she was very sick too. Hope never became healthy again, so we had to put her out of her misery. Though it was a very sad time, God let Hope die because He knew that my real heart’s desire was to have a herding dog!

So we began looking on Craig’s List for border collies. But, we soon found out that the border collies’ instinct to herd is so strong that they have the potential to nip at little kids. And since we have two “littles”, we decided we shouldn’t take that chance. So God closed the door on getting a border collie. We then started looking into Australian shepherds. We saw an older male Australian shepherd on Craig’s List. We called the owner and he said that they did not have him anymore.

I’m pretty sure it was that same day that Mommy went to the grocery store and happened to see an ad for a mini Australian shepherd posted on the bulletin board in front of the store. It was a hand-written note with no picture on it. So Mommy ripped off one of the slips with their phone number, and we called the owners as soon as she got home! Since their home was nearby, we ended up going to see her that night. And I fell in love with her! She was the sweetest and most gentle dog I had ever met. Also, during our brief visit with her owners, we learned that they are Christians and that they needed to find a new home for Anna because they were planning to move to California to attend a Bible school there.

But Daddy was away on a business trip, and we knew we should talk with him about her. We also needed some time to pray about it! So that next morning, we called the owners back and told them we would love to have her. We asked when would be a good time to come and get her. They said probably the sooner-the-better as the mom was especially sad to see her go. The mom had rescued her from a breeder where she was being neglected and mishandled in her first few months of life. So she was very attached to her and loved her very much.

When we went to get her, the mom said that she had been praying for six months for just the right family to adopt her. And the Lord brought us along at just the right time and allowed us to be the ones to have her! It was truly a “match made in heaven”!

So my sheep dying, not being able to get that male Australian shepherd, not finding anything else on Craig’s List, and leading us away from a border collie, was all a part of God’s great plan and purpose for me and Anna. What a tremendous blessing it is to have a God that cares this much for all of His people! I could not ask for a more loving God and better dog!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Special Treasure

By Kyle

Roses are red, though they’re not her color,
She does, however, dearly love her mother.

She’s always been there when you need a band-aid,
Yes, she’d make a great nurse or maid.

She loves listening to Spirit one-o-five point three,
But occasionally she will watch a movie with me!

In a wrestling match she’s a bit more strong,
But don’t worry, it won’t be this way for long.

Her sheep she has quite a love for,
Yes, no one could love a sheep more!

She also has Sugar the chicken,
But I guess I should call her a hen.

But for a long time she has not laid any eggs . . .
Hmmm . . . suddenly I’m dreaming of some fried chicken legs!

Oh, from the point of this poem I digress,
So back to my sister in the purple dress.

She loves God at any measure,
Yes, she is quite a special treasure.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Day In the Life . . .

on the Bowes farm!

Here Daddy is giving Angel a shot of penicillin to treat a sore foot.
And no, she hasn't grown arms! That headless body is actually Victoria trying to hold Angel steady, while I, the innocent photographer, wipe llama spit from my camera lens :(

This is what our resident "shepherdess" does everyday with her "flock". She enjoys leading them to "greener pastures" and having them follow her wherever she goes!

This is Timothy's favorite thing to do on the farm. He chases after Sugar the chicken, picks her up, then puts her down, makes her run, then chases after her, picks her up, puts her down . . . .well, you get the idea :)

Watch out everyone! This is the goat feeding frenzy! Aren't the kids adorable? And how about those baby goats . . . they're pretty cute too, huh? : )

What? You didn't know we have a cow? : )

I Have a Wonderful Brother

By Lydia

I have a wonderful brother,
So very much we love each other.

In the Lord he firmly stands,
And tries hard to follow His commands.

My brother is a very dear friend to me,
How uneventful without him life would be.

He helps me, and I help him,
With the Lord in our life, the future is not dim.

My brother is there for me when I’m sad,
He carefully protects his sisters from the bad.

We may have a disagreement here and there,
Then I tickle him, and it’s me he soon will scare.

We love each other so very much,
Because of our Heavenly Father’s touch.

Forever and ever best buddies we’ll stay,
Strengthening each other as we walk the narrow way.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Great Are the Works of the Lord. . . .

They are pondered by all who delight in them.
Psalm 111:2

After watching the awesome lunar eclipse on Wednesday night, we got to thinking more this week about God’s magnificent handiwork in His creation all around us. We decided to write some of our observations down. Here are just a few of the excerpts!

Valerie Sees God’s Handiwork In . . .

The nursing baby goats, as only God could give them the instinct to know where the milk is. No one had to teach them where to find it!

The little spider making a web to catch its food.

Seeing my little brothers grow, and how God made every part of their body to work together to make one healthy body.

Kyle Sees God’s Handiwork In . . .

How big trees start from a tiny seed as small as a lima bean or smaller.

The wispy clouds that He uses to create beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

Maple seeds, and how God made them spred like helicopters!

Lydia Sees God’s Handiwork . . .

When I hear the unique voices of each different person.

When I see the huge blue ocean carved out by His might!

When I think of our amazing solar system and know that only He could have put us close enough to the sun that we would not freeze, but far enough away that we would not fry!

(When you look at all of nature, you can see the wonderful work of the Lord in everything! I believe that millions of years alone couldn't create such an awesome, beautiful world!)

Sea lions we saw last week on our trip to the ocean!

Caroline Sees God’s Handiwork In . . .

The white wooly fleece of the lambs, as I think about how God created this wool to help keep us warm.

How the cold, wet winter turns into spring, as I feel the warm rays of the sun peering through the white fluffy clouds.

The shade trees and the lush green grass which keep me cool in the heat of the summer.

Victoria Sees God’s Handiwork In . . .

The soft white little baby goats frolicking in the field.

My little brother Joseph’s cute little face.

Anna’s soft colorful coat and her two different colored eyes.

Mommy Sees God’s Handiwork In . . .

The uniqueness of each of our children in appearance, strengths, personality, gifts, abilities, and interests.

A most brilliant rainbow I saw stretched across the sky before me as I drove home this evening.

The itty-bitty blood vessels throughout baby Joseph’s little body.

Ice "stalagmite" we saw yesterday under our pasture's water hoses!

Where do you see God's handiwork?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Our "Sunshine" . . .

By Caroline

My sister is the best,
God has put her to the test.

Her “nine lives” are a silly family joke,
We tease her . . . one life left, then you’ll croak!

I love her sweet smile,
And how she makes us laugh 'till we’re all in a pile.

Our goats are a fun thing we share,
Yes, we have quite a cute pair!

She is always willing to go out and play,
And comforts me when I’m in dismay.

We are like two peas in a pod,
Following Jesus, the Son of God.

She is our bright sunshine,
I am so glad that she is mine.

Sisters and friends we’ll always be,
She is such a blessing to me!

Friday, February 22, 2008

It Was a Sunny February Day in the Pacific NW . . . .

AND a holiday! What is the Bowes family to do? Go to the beach, of course!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bro's Forever We'll Be

by Kyle

My bro’s name is Timothy “Whale”,
Although he’s actually as thin as a nail!
I love his smirky smile,
And when he calls me “Bro”, instead of Kyle!
Oatmeal and yogurt are his favorite foods,
Sometimes he shows many different moods.
With his light saber aglow,
He fights gallantly with his Bro.
We like to play a lot together,
Inside or outside, no matter what the weather.
When I push him in his fire truck or tractor,
How tired I get is not a factor.
Sometimes he likes to play a game,
Trying not to make a mess is a hopeless aim.
Speaking of making a mess,
Play-doh wins by far, I guess.
But that’s okay, because he’ll grow so fast,
And we won’t believe his littleness has passed.
So for now, whatever he wants to do is fine,
And I’ll look forward to when he turns nine.
Hunting, fishing, playing any sport,
Hiking, biking, games of any sort.
Oh, there’s so many fun things to do,
But being together is the clue.
I’ll love it when he sleeps in my room one day,
Then together our bedtime prayers we’ll pray.
Bro’s forever we’ll be,
I love him and he loves me.

What a Deal!

Four for the price of one? We'll take 'em!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

His Great Mercy

by Lydia
His great mercy has set me free,
It is His own pleasure that I can see.
He has heard my every cry,
So very grateful for His love am I.
He cast my cares away,
And brightened up my every day.
The Lord is a shelter for me,
A tower of strength against the enemy.
By His pleasure I live another minute,
His creation is beautiful . . . I am blessed to be in it.
I am lost, deep in His love,
So many wonderful things He sent me from above.
I can’t believe He died for me,
I have done nothing to deserve Him, you see.
The Glorious One holds my life by a thread,
I owe Him everything, for He rose from the dead.
So many people in this world, and yet He cares for me,
So many still, I feel as though I’m tiny as a flea.
But what God sees is not me, but my problems small,
For He made the plan and can conquer all.
The problems of the world I will never fear,
Because I know that God Almighty is near!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

And This We Know . . .

“ . . . . that God causes all things to work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

The day after tomorrow will mark two weeks from the sudden and unexpected loss of Lydia’s beloved ewe, Grace. Though it has been an emotional two weeks, it has been a blessed time, as we have seen God’s providential provisions for our every need. We want to share with you, our family and friends, the good things God has worked together for our good!

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:20b

On Tuesday, February 5th, Lydia went out to feed and enjoy Grace before the start of her school day. Strangely, Grace did not want to eat her grain, and she was making an unusual baahing noise. Knowing something was seriously wrong with her, Lydia came running in the front door, crying for help. In the following hours, we talked on the phone with our veterinarian several times. Though none of us could really figure out what went wrong, we made many speculations and tried everything we could to save her. It was a cold, wet day, and Lydia stayed out in our make-shift barn with her, loving and nursing her as best she could, until her last breath. She passed away at 6pm that evening. And we all cried a bucket of tears in the days to follow.

You see, Grace was a very special pet. She was a dream come true for Lydia. Since her first days at home in the nursery, Lydia has been surrounded by pictures of lambs, stuffed animal lambs, lamb bedding, and lamb d├ęcor. As she grew older, she began reading many books about sheep, and particularly enjoys reading about the special relationship God has ordained between a shepherd and his sheep, such as in A Shepherd’s Look at the 23rd Psalm. She had always dreamed of one day owning a real lamb she could call her own. So three years ago, soon after moving to Washington State and after much research, Lydia purchased her first little three-month-old lamb from our friends, the Gregory’s. All her young years she had been patiently waiting and saving her money up for this very special day. And what a blessed day it was!

“ . . . . hope in God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.”
1 Timothy 6:17b

In the years to follow, Lydia and Grace formed a very special bond, as shepherds and sheep do. Lydia talked to her everyday, and Grace knew her voice and responded back to her. Grace followed Lydia everywhere she went, and would come in the house if we let her! We have many pictures of her peering into the front door, wondering why we were all inside and she was not. She was not afraid of anyone or anything, thanks to Lydia’s sweet nurturing love and care for her.

Not only did Lydia lose Grace that day, she also lost the lambs within her. She was so looking forward to the birth of new lambs, just a few weeks away. This was even more heartbreaking to think about.

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted . . . . ” Psalm 34:18a

“This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore,I have hope in Him.’ The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.” Lamentations 3:22-25

However, all this to say, after crying out to the Lord in our time of sorrow, we were able to see our loving Father at work. Of course, Lydia began thinking right away of wanting another sheep to love. We knew that we couldn’t purchase a lamb from the Gregory’s this year, as they are rebuilding their flock after the devastating December flood swallowed 75% of their herd. So her thoughts immediately turned to her first two lambs that she sold to a family back in August of last year. She loved those two lambs very much, and especially because they were Grace’s first and only offspring.

“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above . . . ”
James 1:17a

Lydia asked if we could contact the family, and humbly inquire about the possibility of their consideration of selling the lambs back to us! She was even willing to cover all of the expenses they had incurred in taking care of them all the months they had them. We e-mailed the family on Wednesday afternoon, and heard back from them within just a couple hours that evening. They said they would be happy to sell them back! They had purchased them for a potential “petting zoo” for his business, and this had not yet come to fruition. So the lambs had been out to pasture on his farm for the past five and a half months. They were still together and healthy, but longing for more attention.

So he said he would be in Chehalis on Friday and could meet us there. It just so happened that we were planning on being in Chehalis on Friday as well! And our dear friends, the Wagoner’s, graciously loaned us their trailer, and on very short notice I might add! So by Friday afternoon, Lydia, Justice and Mercy were reunited! With a smile back on her face again, she began this new chapter in her life.

Though the loss of Grace and her lambs is still very fresh and painful at times, the Lord has surely brought comfort and joy “in the morning” as He has showered His love on her. It has been one of those milestones in the life of our family, and particularly for Lydia, of God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness to His children that will be etched on our hearts forever. In His goodness and sovereignty this event did not “slip by Him”. We had just studied as a family Romans 8:28, where it says we can KNOW that He causes ALL things to work together for our good!

“Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both good and ill go forth?”
Lamentations 3:38

We pray that this indelible mark of her loving Creator’s work in her life will continue to bring comfort to her soul long after the grass has grown thick over Grace’s grave. May He use it for His glory and Lydia’s good all the days of her life!

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

Three Peas in a Pod!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Recipes for a Happy Home

By Lydia

7 c. of God's love

2 c. of patience

1/2 c. of fogiveness

3 c. of kindness

3/4 c. of happiness

3 c. gentleness

2 TB. generosity

4 c. sweetness

3 c. honesty

5 TB obedience

Blend first 4 ingredients to make a smooth family friendship. (Over mixing is NOT a problem!) Wisk together last 6 ingredients and stir together. Then, work hard to knead in memories. Bake for a lifetime. Then, generously spread the love of Jesus on top!

By Kyle

20 c. of loving siblings

9 c. of patience

10 1/2 c. of joy

4 3/4 c. of kindness and sharing

7 TB. of peace

90 c. of God fearing parents

2 c. of sisters that like to cook

3 1/2 c. Daddy who likes sports

WARNING: Please never try hatred, disobeying parents, or arguments. These products will ruin recipe!

By Caroline

4 c. love

2 c. joy

2 c. peace

5 c. patience

6 c. kindness

4 c. goodness

4 c. gentleness

5 c. self-control

10 c. encouragement

20 c. building each other up

Mix love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness in a mixer until it is fluffy:) Then, stir in goodness, gentleness, self-cotnrol, and encouragment. Build each other up by hand until all is ready! Stir everything together and bake in the light of Christ! :)

By Valerie

4 c. of love

2 c. of patience

1/4 c. of laughter

5 c. of joy

1/3 c. of giving

1/2 c. of self-control

1 c. of gentleness

3 c. of faithfulness

11 c. of obedient children

In an electric mixer, (ouch:) mix love, patience and laughter. (Reserve 2 cups of love for later.) After the love, patience and laughter are mixed well, gradually add joy. Now take your mixing bowl off the electric base, and fold in giving, self control and gentleness. Now if this does not turn out this far, add some faithfulness! That should get it back on track and for the last ingredient, add your eleven cups of obedient children!

By Victoria

1 c. fun-loving Daddy

1 c. loving Mommy

7 c. cheerful children

1 3/4 c. of joy

2 Tb. of love

2 tsp. of peace

5 c. patience

6 Tb. of kindness

3 c. of gentleness

1 c. hope

3 c. of dogs :)

Mix all ingredients together in a house to make a happy home.

Friday, February 15, 2008

And Now . . . . . a Few Thoughts From the Mind of a Three-Year-Old!

Timothy: "When I grow up, I want to be a fireman so I can make fires."

Daddy: "But Timmy, firemen do not make fires, they put them out."

Timothy: "Well, that's okay. I'll make the fires, and the other man can put them out!"

Hmmmm . . . . should we be worried?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Will you be my Valentine?
I'll share my blueberries!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mommy Bowes Attempts Some Poetry . . .

For a Valentine's Day scavenger hunt!

I love you all oodles,
Way more than poodles,
Even more than my favorite treat,
My love for you just can’t be beat!

Do you know how much I love you?
More than chocolate? Yes, it’s true!
You make each day so grand,
A better life I couldn’t have planned.
God has been so good to me,
To fill my heart and home with glee.
Now come my dears with a kiss,
Because your next clue you won’t want to miss.

I am so blessed,
Here in my nest.
With seven cutie-pies,
Oh, what a prize!

How do I love you?
Let me count the ways.
And while I do,
You could mix up a glaze.

When you’re in the dark,
And can’t make a spark,
My love for you will shine,
But maybe not in time.
Before you stub your toe,
You may want to know,
If it’s where it should be,
It will help you see.

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Your Daddy’s name is Ted,
And He has quite a view.
From above his keyboard spred,
Where he is stuck like glue.
Though with that being said,
He’d much rather be with you!

It’s here where lovely notes are played,
And beautiful things are made.
So if you find a wooden seat,
Be sure to look for something sweet.

You might want to look,
In a Book storing nook.
This is where you’ll find,
God’s love for you signed.

I love you more than Nestle,
And even more than Hershey.
Sent from heaven to me,
In my heart you’ll always be.
But where is your clue in this rhyme?
May you get it in time before the chime!

I love you my dear ones.
You make me so happy.
You’re the best daughters and sons.
Oh, I need a tissue ‘cuz I’m feeling quite sappy.

A good place to search,
Before bed Timmy does lurch.
While giggling he tries to peer,
At his “victims”, oh so near!

I love you,
Oh, yes I do,
More than Little Boy Blue,
Loves His choo-choo.

She’s Mommy’s you know,
Though Lydia doesn’t think so.
She’s so cuddly and cute,
In her white wooly suit.
But when I want to cuddle,
I love a Bowes Bunch huddle.

How do I love you?
Let me count the ways.
And while I do,
Can you start a blaze?

If you were a guest,
And needed a place to rest,
After putting down your gear,
You might lay your head here.

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Look for Fred,
And a little “Pooh”.

I love you,
Oh, yes I do.
More than you love this last clue,
That leads you to be through!
So please come back two by two,
Where you can put your feet up too.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Good Shepherd

Written by Lydia

The sheep always know His voice,
He calls them by name, it is His choice.
Everyday he waters and feeds them,

Gently, He leads the flock from mayhem.
Over and over He searches for the one lost,
Only He cares for the sheep, no matter what the cost.
Deny the sheep protection? No, not Him because . . .

Staying nearby, He would never leave His “balls of fuzz”!
He knows His sheep, and His sheep follow near,
Even though they may stray, each one to Him is dear.
Pen wall climbing means only a thief,
How the bandit causes such grief.
Everyday the Shepherd leads them from danger,
Recognize not, do the sheep a stranger.
Do only they know, the One born in a manger.

I Love Jesus

Written by Kyle

In His word I have a sword,

Loving me always . . .that is my Lord.
Oh, my Lord and me are peas in a pod,
Vainly Satan tries to separate me from God.
Eternally I will love Him,

Jesus loves me while I write this acronym.
Excellent and almighty is the great I AM,
Standing, the Good Shepherd watches His lamb.
Unfathomable is His grace,
So it is He, I gratefully embrace.

King of Kings

Written by Kyle

The Lord is my comfort,
He stands strong as a fort.
Eternal is He,

Kindness and patience my God shows to me.
In God I will trust,
Not falling into wordly lust.
God is so powerful,

Oh, in God I’m so thankful.
For dying on the cross,

Killed, yet rising again, giving Satan the loss.
In the cross I’ll boast,
Never ending, His love stretches from coast to coast.
God made His word,
Strong as a sword.

He First Loved Me

Written by Caroline

He loves me more than the wide open sea,
Ever faithful He will always be.

For He is my friend,
In Him I’ll forever depend.
Run to the Lord in exultation,
Shine His light beyond our nation.
Trust in the Lord,

Love God’s armor and the sword.
Oh, tell of His love,
Very majestic above.
Endless grace,
Does my heart embrace.

My Shepherd is He,
Everyday He loves me!

God’s Lovingkindness

Written by Valerie

God has been so very good,
Over my whole childhood.
Day and night He loves me,
So sovereign is He.

Lost in sin without the Lord,
Overwhelmed by His love He hath poured.
Very humbly I do pray,
In Him I want to stay.
Nothing can separate me from my Lord,
Government, nor any power, can keep me from using my sword.
Kind, He always is,
I am so grateful to be His.
No one could be so majestic as He,
Do not stray from Jesus I plea.
New mercies and compassions flow,
Everyday His love He does show.
Saving me was His choice,
Sheep that are His, follow His voice.

He First Loved Me

Written by Victoria

His love is never ending.
Every time He will forgive.

For God so loved the world.
In God I have put by trust.
Run to the Lord for refuge.
Set your life in the hands of the Lord.
Tell of His mercy and grace.

Love the Lord with all your heart.
Open your eyes to see His goodness.
Vainly we try to live our own lives.
Every day He hears our prayers.
Do unto the Lord good things.

My rock and my refuge is He.
Entrusted my life in His unfailing love.

I love Jesus

Written by Victoria

In my heart He will stay.

Love in Him will never change.
On the cross our sins were laid.
Very loving is His every word.
Everyday I pray to Him.

Just like Him I want to be.
Even in the hard times I still love Him!
Saved us on the cross He did.
Uncountable are His miracles!
Jesus is my Shepherd and I am His lamb.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Praising Him

"But as for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.
My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
of your salvation all day long,
though I know not its measure.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord;
I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone."
Psalm 71:14-16