Sunday, March 30, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Four years ago this week, our family embarked on quite an adventure as we followed the Lord’s leading from the comforts of all that was familiar to us in the desert southwest, to the great unknown in the pacific northwest. Initially, we felt a bit like Abraham when God said “go to the land I will show you”! We didn’t know exactly where He wanted us to go, and we didn’t know anyone here. But we believed our loving, sovereign God was calling us here for a number of specific good reasons, and in these four years we have already seen many more good things that have come from His perfect plan to relocate us. We are so thankful for each and every one!

So each year at this time, we have started a family tradition where we recognize this special leading of the Lord in our lives with a traditional “Thanksgiving” feast. We prepare all the traditional Thanksgiving foods and invite some family members or friends to join us. Then, each of us write down all the blessings we are thankful for and put them in a container to be passed around and read at the dinner table. It has always been a very precious time of purposing to remember ALL that the Lord has done for us!

So in the next few days we'll. . . .

“ . . . continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.” ~ Hebrews 13:15

Friday, March 28, 2008

A BROWN lamb?

By Lydia

A week ago Tuesday marks the date of the most exciting happening on our farm so far! Mercy, my first ewe lamb, completely surprised us by giving birth to two lambs of her own! I had no idea that she was pregnant! (I had just gotten her and her twin brother back last month after they had been away for five months on another farm. You might remember this story, from our post back on February 17th . . . “And This We Know ”. It is kind of a long story, but a blessed one!)

And that was not the only surprise . . . one of the two lambs is BROWN! Have you ever seen a brown sheep before? I never had! So . . . . we got to wondering . . . . who might be the ram that fathered these lambs? Quickly, we e-mailed the kind man who had adopted Mercy and Justice back in August. We told him about the new lambs, and wondered if he could tell us about his ram. He wrote back and said that he was an American Blackbelly ram. Since I had never heard of this breed before, I did some research!

This breed of sheep originally came from Africa and later to Barbados, which is part of the Caribbean islands off the coast of South America. This led me on a bit of a “sheep trail” in looking at their habitat on the island of Barbados. On an official Barbados site, the Blackbelly sheep are actually listed as their island’s wildlife, known to roam the countryside and even the town streets!

Eventually, they were brought to the United States with most herds found in Texas! And many are found on “game” ranches (more on this later).

Blackbelly’s are known to be quite wild and frisky. And I have noticed this in the lambs. They hop around a lot and jump on things, almost like goats!

The most amazing difference between my sheep and the American Blackbelly breed, is that they are not of the “wooly” variety . . . they are “hair” sheep. The rams also have a mane, almost like a lion’s! (We kids think that looks a little strange! You would never guess that they are sheep!)

Another huge difference is that the rams grow huge curling horns (similar to that of the Bighorn mountain sheep ram). If the horns were uncurled, they would be as tall as the ram, which is 30-32 inches! Some people use this breed specifically for the purpose of “trophies” on game ranches. Thankfully, the ewes are polled (meaning no horns), but may have loose horn “scours” (little stubs) that are not attached to the skull.

But the best thing about the Blackbellies is that they are resistant to parasites, hoof rot and tetanus! That will be such a blessing not to worry about them getting those sicknesses!

I also read that Blackbellies are known to keep their pregnancies a “secret”, and that sometimes the only way to tell that a Blackbelly is pregnant is when you see 4-8 little legs underneath the ewe! Hmmmm . . . I wonder if that could have affected Mercy’s ability to conceal her pregnancy? The ewes can have up to two pregnancies a year, and unlike most sheep, they can be bred at all times of the year.

I am planning to buy another Ridue-Arcott sheep, this time a ram, to breed with Mercy, and when they are ready, Shirley and Goodness. I am very curious to see what those lambs turn out to look like, because when you first cross a hair sheep with a wool sheep, they might not fully shed their wooly undercoat that is under their hair.

I am hoping that the sale of Shirley and Goodness’ lambs will be profitable because of the quality of the American Blackbelly’s meat. Unlike other breeds, it is supposed to be very mild, lean and tender.

I hope you enjoyed learning with me about this unfamiliar sheep breed. And stay tuned to see what this interesting sheep cross will turn out to be like in the future!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Things To Do Today

1. Go sledding
2. Make a snow angel
3. Shovel off bird houses

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Timmy Tip #1

You know when you have a runny nose, and after wiping it several times, it gets very "ouchy"? Remedy . . . . just go to your nearest sister and tell her you have an "ouchy" nose and that you would like a bandaid for it!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Caleb!

By Kyle

Today is a birthday for one special guy,
Who’s turning ten . . . my, oh my!

His life is such a blessing to me,
I’m so thankful we’re in the same “tree”!

Yes, he’s my cousin . . . but better yet,
No greater or loyal friend could I get.

I’m so glad we both know the Lord,
Pleasing Him is our reward.

Caleb, today I just want to let you know,
That our great God loves you so.

And as you follow His perfect plan,
Each year you will grow into a Godly man.

He’ll be with you all your days,
And will lead you in all His ways.

God’s working for your good that is sure,
Through all things His sovereign plan will endure.

I pray God blesses you in every way,
On this extraordinary and wonderful day!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Did You Know . . .

. . . . that you can hear the ocean in a chocolate bunny, too?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

How Deep The Father's Love For Us . . .

lyrics by Stuart Townsend

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure!
That He should give His only Son,
To make a wretch His treasure.

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away.
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory.

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders.
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers.

It was my sin that held Him there,
Until it was accomplished.
His dying breath has brought me life,
I know that it is finished.

I will not boast in anything,
No gifts, no power, no wisdom.
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer.
But this I know with all my heart,
His wounds have paid my ransom.

Friday, March 21, 2008

First Day of Spring . . .

. . . . here in our neck of the woods! This is what we woke up to this morning! And as I sit here typing while I look out the windows, the snow continues to fall. Looks like the weather needs just a bit more time to catch up to the calendar! :) That's okay . . . we still love the Pacific Northwest!

What Does Resurrection Day Mean to You? Part 5

The resurrection of Christ means a lot to me. We were dead in our sins until that day. Jesus bore all our sins on his back and suffered much pain to save us sinners. He bore the pain of being beaten and killed for us when He was innocent. His perfect self died innocently for us. We really deserved to die, and yet by God’s sovereign grace we were saved.

And yet some people still say that the resurrection is a false witness. If Christ was not raised, we are hopeless in our sin and our faith is worthless.

We need to have the courage of Christ and be able to walk right into Jerusalem and be prepared to die for Jesus. For that is what He did for us!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Introducing "Shirley" and "Goodness", Mercy's Lambs!

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me . . ."
Psalm 23:6a - KJV

What Does Resurrection Day Mean to You? Part 4

Without Resurrection Sunday, we would be lost deep down in the depths of our sin.

Jesus died with many burdens. First of all, just his being spat upon, whipped and mocked by the Gentiles was horrendous. Second of all, He was innocent. He was bearing all our sins. And we know that Jesus did not like pain anymore than we do.

Also, we need not forget that our gracious Heavenly Father knew every detail of Jesus’ death. He did not forget about Him.

But now, we can rejoice over our risen King! Oh, sometimes we forget that our precious Savior paid the biggest price for us to even take one breath on His earth. We should be thanking Him every day we live. And in thanks to Jesus and our Father, we need to be a light to those who do not know of this payment that He paid for us!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Once There Were Two, Now There are Four!

Yesterday was a fun day spent enjoying baby farm animals . . . but we had no idea just HOW fun it would be!

During piano lessons, Valerie and Victoria and I went over to the Adams’ house to visit and bottle feed their baby goats.

Soon after, during violin lessons, Lydia, Caroline and I went to visit the Gregory’s surviving ewes and new lambs. (More on this wonderful story later!)

Then, after lessons, we all went over to a farm where Victoria and Caroline wanted to look at a prospective baby goat to purchase for their goat herd.

But the most surprisingly fun thing about this day happened while we were sitting in the van after shopping at Walmart and while eating our McDonald’s dinner. Daddy called and asked to speak to Lydia. We had him on speaker phone as he said, “I have a riddle for you . . . ‘Said Kyle, standing at the door, there once were two, but now there are four!’ ” After a few minutes of great anticipation and suspense of what this meant, he shocked us with the news that Mercy, Lydia’s lamb that she got back a month or so ago, had just given birth to twin girls! My, my, were we surprised! No one had any idea that she was pregnant!!!

You can imagine Lydia’s excitement! After such a sad loss of Grace and her lambs back in February, this was such a sweet blessing from God!

What Does Resurrection Day Mean to You? Part 3

This day means a lot to me! This day is when my Savior, Jesus, died on the cross for me and you. This day is when Jesus walked through suffering for all our sins. He got spat upon, whipped, and mocked for my sin. My sin held him on the cross until it was finished. Our Savior walked a more painful path than we ever will in our whole life. He was buried in a tomb, physically dead. But on the third day He was raised again! And we now serve a risen Savior! If He was not raised again, we would not be saved. With him being raised, we are saved from our sins!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What Does Resurrection Day Mean to You? Part 2

I still cannot believe our wonderful and perfect Savior died and rose again to save us. What an awesome God we serve!

It makes me so sad that some people forget all that the Savior did for us as they celebrate Easter! Jesus was ripped to shreds, mocked, laughed at, spat upon, and then finally nailed to a cross. And yet, three days later He who died for our sins, rose again! Do you know that if Jesus had not risen from the dead, we would all go to hell . . . that horrible burning pit that is full of sorrow? Our faith would have no meaning! The lives of the great followers of Christ such as Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, John Bunyan, and William Tyndale, would have no meaning. And all the people who helped translate the Bible into English would have wasted their lives.

I’m so glad Jesus rose again and gave us who believe in Him the hope of heaven!

Monday, March 17, 2008

What Does Resurrection Day Mean to You?

Resurrection Sunday is one of the most extremely important and joyous occasions to me. For if Jesus died, and never rose again, I would be eternally lost in my sins. I would never be able to live eternally with our Heavenly Father.

It is amazing to me that, Jesus Christ, perfect in every way, would die on a cross 2,000 years ago, and have my name in mind when He did it. Without this wonderful love He showed me, life would be utterly worthless for us, the Gentiles. Our belief and our faith would be in vain, because there would be no way to come to Him. But by the grace, mercy and love of the Savior, I am saved from the eternal suffering that I greatly deserve. We were dead in our sins, but Jesus Christ died and rose to save us!

In the Old Testament, the Jews would present sacrifices to God to cleanse their sins. But when the Lamb of God died and rose again, that was no longer necessary. The sins of every Christian, from that very day, to many, many centuries later were put upon his shoulders as He died. Now, because of what He did for us, we need only to fervently ask His forgiveness. The perfect, holy Lamb of God died and rose again three days later, so that we, the terrible sinners might know Him.

Romans 5:7 says, “For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.”

Jesus Christ died for the ungodly, you and me. He has saved me, though I have sinned against Him. If He died and never rose, what good would my life be? That is why I think that Resurrection Sunday is such a wonderful day to celebrate and rejoice over!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I Am So Thankful . . .

By Lydia

I am so thankful that we still have the freedom,
To worship the Lord, and lift high His kingdom.

But I wish that our country would stay faithful to the Lord,
And would be mindful of the judgment we’re growing closer toward.

Because now we have abandoned our Father’s laws,
And it is causing our great country many flaws.

God is the One who made our country strong,
And as we leave His ways, we are going very wrong.

So let’s pick up our Bibles and fight for God’s word true,
And hopefully, no more freedoms will be lost for me and you!

Don't Worry Daddy . . .

Though I miss you, oh, so much, when you're away, I'm in good hands.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Trusting In God's Plan

By Kyle

For freedom our forefathers fought,
And Godly principles to children taught.

Oh, how I wish we had not deserted,
The Godly and wise principles they concerted.

Yes, we have wandered so far,
From our Godly forefathers, heroes they are!

Indeed, parental rights are slipping away,
As our nation pretends to be “Light” and gay.

As in California where parents are no longer free,
To discipline and home educate their children . . .can it really be?

I fear that they are an example,
Of what our country may be for ALL the people.

We must be faithful, like Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego,
As they followed God’s commands amidst the furnace’s glow.

And like Daniel as he faced the lion’s den,
We must be obedient and courageous men.

Let’s band together to fight the good fight and do all that we can,
Then on our knees we’ll pray fervently, trusting in God’s plan.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Oh, Our Freedom in America We Love!

By Valerie

Oh, our freedom in America we love,
These freedoms are a gift from above!

But, even now in the U.S.A.,
We no longer in public schools can pray.

And now in California they’ve said,
Parents may not follow God’s word as it is read.

Children and parents I do plea,
That you follow God’s word, as that is the key.

May God forgive our sinful ways,
And keep His mercy and grace on all our days.

If only our nation embraced the Ten Commandments,
Indeed, it’s always best to follow God’s assignments.


By Caroline

I am so glad that we can home school,
Though government is using its wrecking tool.

In California parents are not so free,
To teach their own children . . . they may have to flee.

But do not be afraid,
For God is our aid.

Helping us in our every need,
We will always follow God’s lead.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

We Must Remain Steadfast in the Lord!

This week we have written some thoughts down concerning the recent ruling in a California court by a panel of three judges which threatens to change the law of the land regarding their freedom to home school.

By Victoria

Our country was founded on Biblical truth,
As men followed God, even in their youth.

Our forefathers wanted us to be free,
To follow God’s word, you see.

And soon after that we began to share,
God’s good news from here to there.

From sea to sea we teach God’s word,
Until the people from every nation have heard.

But now our country is failing,
In forsaking our Daily Bread we are ailing.

Now it is our own country that is lost,
And it needs to hear God’s laws, no matter what the cost.

As in a big state that is near us,
Taking away parental rights and thus . . .

Is Washington State next to fall?
Or will we stand strong to our call.

We must remain steadfast in the Lord,
And not be afraid to use the Sword!

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Blessing of Spring ~ Part 3

By Victoria

Spring means fishing time is here! Both for us and the birds! I love to watch the osprey and eagles diving and hunting for fish over the blue, sparkling lake below us. (Sometimes they even bring back their dinner to eat it in our big tree!)

I also love seeing the new signs of life, such as the beautiful flowers in our garden that pop-up from the ground and the tall grass which feeds all the grazing animals.

In the bright, warm sunshine, we can also give the farm animals their spring cleaning, as we wash all the muddy marks of winter off their coats.

All this, while robins search for worms in our yard and the little grey birds make their nests for their babies which will be arriving soon!

Thank you, Lord, for spring!

By Timothy

I can be outside more to swing, ride my bike, and blow bubbles!

I love watching my sisters and brother fly their kites.

“Bro” can push me more in my fire truck.

I love hearing the frogs croaking!

I can play at the playground during “Bro’s” baseball practices.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Some Springtime Thoughts from God's Word . . .

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
Sing praises to our God on the lyre,
Who covers the heavens with clouds,
Who provides rain for the earth,
Who makes grass grow on the mountains.
He gives to the beast its food,
And to the young ravens which cry.

Psalm 147:7-9


For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower
And bread to the eater;
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:10-11

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Blessing of Spring ~ Part 2

By Caroline

I love all the little chirping birds announcing spring in the cool mornings. And the mud swallows are fascinating to watch as they fly about looking for mud to make their nests.

Speaking of mud, in the warmth of the spring days, we can finally wash all the dirt off of our farm animals! While we give them a bath, it is fun to watch their offspring frolic with each other in the pastures.

Also in the springtime, there is lush green grass, tulips and daffodils popping up everywhere! Us girls like to collect the flowers and make a pretty bouquet for Mommy!

One of my favorite things to do in the springtime is go outside, lay down in the grass, and watch the clouds go by with the warm sun on my face. It is fun to make things up in my mind out of the clouds!

The spring youth fair is also something I really look forward to every year!

By Valerie

I love when it is springtime and we can play more outside when it is beautifully sunny and warm. As I am outside playing, I love seeing swallows carry grass and other items to make their nest in our birdhouses. I also love waking up to the beautiful sounds the birds make in the morning. God has made each of their chirps different and I absolutely love it.

As I watch the ospreys and hawks carry fish to our big tree outside, I am reminded of God’s abundant provisions as he makes it possible for all His creatures to eat. I also love seeing the colorful butterflies sucking nectar from the delicate daisies and daffodils. Hearing the baby goats call to their mama, I am also reminded of how God turns the brown grass into lush green grass for the animals to eat.

And I really love seeing the gorgeous tulip farms as we drive to town.

These are just a few of my favorite springtime blessings!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Look What Fun I Just Discovered!

And it's as easy as ONE . . . . .

TWO . . . . . . . . .


The Blessing of Spring ~ Part I

by Lydia

Here in Washington State, spring is beginning! The grass and the flowers are starting to grow. (I am so thankful that God made the grass green! Imagine what it would be like to read Psalm 23 “and He makes me lie down in red pastures" : )

I am also thankful that the rain and snow season is almost over. I love the outdoors and playing outside is so much nicer in the sunshine! But as you can see, God made His creation to work together. Without the rain, the trees wouldn’t grow their beautiful leaves which shade us from the sun. And the nourishing grass wouldn’t grow to feed our pasture animals.

I also love to see the cute lambs that are born in the spring. They joyfully frolic around the pastures, jumping on rocks (and their mothers)! What a beautiful picture of new life in the springtime!

What a wonder are the creations of our Lord and Father! How awesome it is to know that He made the seasons for us, His children, to enjoy! Blessed be the Lord!

by Kyle

There are many reasons why I love the springtime. I enjoy God’s wonderful display of the fresh green grasses and white fluffy newborn lambs playing in the pastures. Nearby, the tulip farms and gardens look lovely as they show off their beautiful flowers God has created. It is always so good to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. One of my favorite activities in the spring’s warmth is baseball practice. And soon after that comes our first game of the season!

Yes, the gloomy days of winter are over!

Flowers bloom, red, purple and green,
No more ice storms, slick and mean!

As God works outside displaying His majestic colors to be seen,
We tidy up inside, as spring means it’s time to clean!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Awwww . . . .

We recently enjoyed a wonderful Sunday afternoon of great food and fellowship at the home of the very fun and hospitable Adams Family. It was a delightful time! THANK YOU Jason, Vickie, Willow and Addison!

A highlight of our visit at the Adams' home was the opportunity to see their new sow and her ten piglets! A little bit later in the afternoon, while I was helping Timothy on their potty, his little three-year-old thoughts came tumbling out as he asked:

"Mommy, I was just wondering . . . could we take Wilbur home?"

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Happy Anniversary, My Dear

by Robyn

Happy Anniversary my dear,
It’s time to celebrate our nineteenth year!

These years have been so blessed,
As together we have sought God’s best!

Today my heart is filled to the rim,
And overflowing with gratefulness to Him.

For nineteen years of sweet memories with you,
And they just keep getting better, it’s true!

Thank you for all you have done,
To make life for me and the kids so fun.

But what I am most thankful for,
Is how you lead us to Jesus evermore.

As this is where our blueprints are found,
That make our family’s foundation sound.

So thanks again my dear,
For each and every joyful year.

With you always by my side,
Forever I’ll be, your happy bride!


Now hurry home from Denver,
Because having you there,
Instead of here,
Is not what we like, today, tomorrow. . . or EVER!!!!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Forever Friends We Will Be

By Victoria

Every morning we feed our fury friends,
Laughing and playing until the day ends.

Playing plastic horsey together,
No matter what the weather.

She and I are two peas in a pod,
Loving and thanking our God.

We dream of having horses,
While walking our goats around all sorts of courses.

Forever friends we will be,
Praising God with cheerful glee!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Today's Soul Food . . .

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3:5-6

"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