Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Driving Permit.....

   Believe it or not, we have another teen behind the wheel in this family; keeps my prayer life active. Yesterday simplyjen, our little goat mama, took the written portion of her driver's exam. She passed and now has  a learner's permit..oh, my!
   As with most things in life, this means the teaching is not over..it has just changed direction. We now move from just "book learning" to applying the learning to the situation. Doesn't this apply in most areas of our lives?
    To me, our educating or teaching, must grow with the child and with the situations. We lay foundations for them with "textbook teaching" or with boundaries, but at some point we must graduate from the book to the application. Teaching addition and subtraction eventually leads to record keeping and accounting; spelling and grammar give way to  writing and speaking. The driver's classroom training graduates to behind the wheel training.
   What about our spiritual education? Do we graduate to application? Do we dig deeper, or are we content to just "book learn"? Devotionals are nice..studies are better...line-upon-line is a little deeper..expository study...then what? Live it out! Put the Book learning to life...take it beyond the "classroom". God wants you to grow in Him; in His Word. He wants you to "drive".
   Join me in accountability..let's start deepening our personal spiritual education, shall we? Grab your Bibles...let's commit to study a verse a day..a chapter a day..a Psalm or Proverb a day. Then, graduate with me and apply it to life. Life out the Scriptures...be like our Lord. Seek the Book and earn your "driver's permit".


Monday, August 30, 2010

Let Them Lead...we can learn from them, too.

It is our job, God given, to teach the children. Whether in our homes, our churches or our schools we must take up the reigns and lead them. Yet, there are times when it is beneficial to let them lead. Mentoring is another important part of learning and teaching. Guide the children in mentoring (leading) the younger ones. No, this should not be the primary source of teaching, but it should aide in it.
Here we have an example of letting them lead. The farmkids and I attended a course at Texas A&M on Poultry care. Our farmboy spent some time with the instructors learning about processing poultry without scalding and plucking. He also learned how to harvest the breast, tenderloin and legs without first eviscerating the bird. Having some extra roosters on hand (who needed a purpose- namely dinner) it seemed a good time to allow him to teach us.
That said, here is the farmboy set up for teaching a new butchering technique:

Gather supplies: a pan of cool water to rinse the meat, ice water to cool the meat quickly, and storage bags to place meat in...you may want tongs for this person so there is a clean pair of hand on deck
Place a trash bag nearby, the carcases will need to be disposed of by either burning or feeding wildlife in the woods. We hung ours on the tractor near our work table.

 To begin, break the neck, drain the blood (not pictured) and, using a very sharp fillet knife, proceed to cut the skin neck to vent. Using your hands pull the skin (feather and all) away from the breast meat. Cut off the feet (we dispose of them) and then the skin will slide over the leg. Remove the legs and thigh if desired; rinse the meat in the water and place it in the ice to cool.
Run the knife along the breast bone gently slicing the meat away from the bone. Under the breast will be a section of meat that seems to "come away" from the breast meat--this is the tenderloin. Cut it away from the breast. Rinse them in the water and then place them in the ice.
If you accidentally cut the craw (as you can see farm dad did) this is what you get- undigested grain. Be sure to clean this away from the work area before you proceed..this is unsanitary for your meat.
Once finished, dispose of the carcase and move on to the next bird. I packaged each bird's meat in a separate bag, labeled it with date of butcher, and froze it in our deep freeze.
If you want the carcases for broth, simply continue pulling the skin from the body, remove the internal organs, and rinse it well with running water (I hose it out) before placing in the ice. Bag, freeze, and label until needed.

My hats off to our farmboy. He did a great job remembering the steps, the layout, supplies and the little tricks that made it easier. Just recently, he attended a class on identifying cuts of meat, their grade and the best cooking methods for the cut. I don't know about you, but I hope he leads us in a class on that, too!

If you have children or work with children in any area, please consider allowing for them, from time to time, to demonstrate some of their strengths. This develops their ability to speak, teach, prepare and retain what they have learned. You may even learn something, too!

simplychele and the farmboy

Sunday, August 29, 2010

It's Sunday....

Baptist Faith and Message (2000)

IV. Salvation

      Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who, by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer, In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord,
      A. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God's grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.
     Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.
     B, Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believes in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a relationship of peace and favor with God.
     C. Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person's life.
     D. Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.

Genesis 3:15; Exodus 3: 14-17; 6:2-8; Matthew 1:21; 4:17; 16:21-26; 27:2-28:6; Luke 1:68-69; 2:28-32; John 1:11-14, 29, 3:3-21, 36; 5:24; 10:9,28-29; 15:1-16; 17:17; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31; 17:30-31; 20:32; Romans 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 4:3; 5:8-10; 6:1-23; 8:1-18, 29-39; 10:9-10,13: 13:11-14; I Corinthians 1:18, 30: 6:19-20; 15:10; II Corinthians 5:17-20; Galatians 1:9-22; 3:1; I Thessalonians 5:23-24; II Timothy 1:12; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1-12: 8,14; James 2:14-26; I peter 1:2-23; I John 1:6-2:11; Revelation 3:20; 21:1-22:5.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fall Farm Focus

farm dad and the tractor

   It's that time again; time to focus on our farm happenings. Cooler, dryer air came our way today causing our minds to race..giving us renewed energy..guiding our hearts toward the next season on our little farm; fall.
   When the seasons change so does our pattern of living, our focus. Today we spent some time planning the layout for our garden, our grazing pastures and our meat pens. This is not a major overhaul, just a redirection of existing patterns. Time to shift our focus off surviving the extreme heat of summer and instead focus on fall work before the winter.
   One plan is the garden.We layed out the plan for our many garden areas, including our greenhouse beds. Soon the land will once again thrive with yummy growing things for our family and our barn animals. Peas, beans, carrots and Cole crops... seed packets were strewn about..sorted and grouped according to season and bed. Soil was tilled and amended then raked free of clumps and sticks. The herb beds will expand in front of our home to include roses, hibiscus and wildflowers..providing beauty and practicality- cottage style.
   Second, our grazing areas need some repair and redirect. Another area of our property will serve as a supplemental pasture with a shelter. We also intend to build outer runs for the hens and goats that will allow them to graze in the wooded areas along our fence line (this is a maybe dependent upon supplies). Either way, additional grazing areas are always handy.
   Third, meat pens need some work. We intend to raise broilers again (as we did last year), however, we are also including turkeys to the pen. The pen layout needs expansion and division to aid in sanitation and safety. After much discussion, plans were drawn up. Our pens need to allow for brooder space and growth, hanging feeders and water, ventilation and separation...and fit a budget.
   Lastly, we have always wanted a front porch. The kids and I drew up a possible plan for an awning style porch with stone paths. This would be a luxury and is the least important item in our plans. Yet, a porch would help cool our home by shading the front windows from the intense afternoon sun. We'll see about the porch.
   This is our list of amendments and alterations..some will get done..some we will ponder for another time.  Things that pull at our attention and energy...school work must be done, work schedules must be considered and finances are to be considered. But if we plan carefully, pool our resources and work together it's amazing what can be accomplished.
   So now it's time to put on our garden hats, slide on our work boots and enjoy the gentle breeze, the blue sky and the break in humidity with a fall farm focus. Thank you, Lord!


Friday, August 27, 2010

Tech Trouble....

we are having trouble with our server...no post today

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday...Ponderings from the Accidental Pastor's Wife

    The Almost Awful Lord's Supper Service..aka..My Own Feeble Attempts

  We are a small church..I've said that. To prepare for the Lord's Supper service, I generally make a trip to the local grocery to purchase Matzo and grape juice (baptist, remember). There are a few things about grocery shopping you should know.

  I strongly dislike shopping.. there, said it. Now, wouldn't you know they have not only rearranged "my" store- they remodeled it, and I needed to zip in to purchase items for Sunday's service.

  Upon finally finding the Matzo, I wandered and roamed in an attempt to find the juice (who designed the layout of this store?). Things are no where near the place they were, and not grouped like they use to be. Finding the juice, I grabbed it and moved on. Halting in an unoccupied isle, attempting to think- was there anything else we needed? Looking down at the bottle in my arms I burst out laughing...here's why:

  Picture if you will- the congregation sitting, little communion cups in hands, the pastor says, "Do this in remembrance of Me." Everyone quietly, reverently drinks of the cup----and in unison- spits! You see, I had juice in my hands....prune juice! Can you imagine? Yuck-the words vile, awful come to mind! Talk about spiritual cleansing..whoa.

   When I finally stopped laughing hysterically I did find the grape juice- on the shelf right next to the prune juice. Oddly enough, they are in the same style bottle..same color...similar labels. Any one could make this mistake, right?

  The Lord is good. He showed me the error of my way..allowed me to laugh at my attempts..and guided me to the right path (or shelf). Here is a lesson for us all...slow down, pay attention to details. No task is so small it is not important to God.

  And...you might want to check the cup before you partake of the communion :).


**I view Communion as a serious and solemn ordinance of the church..no disrespect want intended in this writing...only the awareness of my own fallibility even in the service of our mighty God.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

W.I.P. Wednesday...or not..

   The battle is on..it has been on for several weeks. This quilt is just not quilting. I have started machine quilting this several times over the past several weeks and ripped it out every time. Ugh. I generally hand quilt my work, especially if the quilting is decorative in nature. For me, machine work is usually a simple repetitive pattern (i.e stippling, bubbles, cross-hatch).
   Originally I designed floral motif to start in the center of the Dresden, like the center of a flower, and then larger loops for a petal effect. I planned swirling leaves to fill the spaces and bleed over the sashing. I started this design, by machine, and hated it! The design just didn't lay right. So, I ripped it out.
   Second design was simple in the ditch and around the applique. On the machine, with a walking foot, I started in the Dresden, however, the fabric kept bunching and puckering. Frustration..started this over several times; never worked right. So, I ripped it out.
   I revisited both designs again with a free motion set up; still had too much bunch, pucker or just a wrong look to it. Part of my trouble might be that I do not machine quilt very often- and almost never in a decorative design. For time's sake, I did not intend to hand quilt this one. The thought of just setting it aside until a later time is nagging at me- I hate to do that..but...I have another quilt waiting for my attention- not mine and only in need of quilting and binding.
   Today I am pondering just stippling the whole thing..all over..and being done with it! Yet...I don't know. What started out as my work in progress ended up with no progress at all.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Learning and Teaching

         If a child does not learn the way you teach,
             teach the way your child learns.

   Oh, how I wish people could grasp this! Individuals, each one of us. We can accept the obvious differences within our children; the way they look, their preferences, their friends. Why do we often fail to accept (or even recognize) the learning differences in our children. I have to tell you, once I grasped this concept..life got a whole lot easier.

  I have three very different children who are rather close in age. Not one of them is the same; not in personality, not in preferences, not in appearance. They are also very different in the way they learn. For example, one is very visual. She needs to see it; to grasp the concept in her creative mind. Kids may be visual, or logical, or tactile...this has a deep effect on their learning. If you spend your time teaching in a lecture style to a visual or tactile learner- you have lost them, for the most part. Can they learn that way? Yes, but not as well.

  Now, I taught in a school before I home schooled. In my classroom I tried to adjust my teaching style to blend the learning styles found in most people. During lecture sessions, I added in visual stimulation and tactile activities. We discussed the logical base (why are we doing this?). Coming home to teach was no different..except that I could directly determine the style of the child I was teaching and address it.

  Some say, "Lecture is found in all college classrooms, therefore you must use it." Okay. As my kids aged up...I have altered my methods to lean more toward lecture-style, thinning out extras. The kids have discovered how to study..to research..to set up for themselves the "extras" they need to succeed. It works. One of our kids has been taking courses through the local community college for several semesters now. She is excelling quite well.

  How do we discover their learning style? I wrote a thesis paper on this in my college years. The resource that has stuck with me all this time is The Way They Learn by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias. Her book is exceptional. Easy to understand, clear in its information. I encourage every parent to read it.

  What if you don't home school? Well, I didn't use to. It still helps...with homework, with life skills, with daily routine...with life. If you know your child is visual...charts are great for chores and accountability. If tactile...a checklist helps...etc. Anything that aides in the understanding and training of our children is a valuable investment.

  Now consider...does my child learn the way I teach (classes, homework help, or life skills)? Do I adjust the way I teach to help them learn?

  Have a blessed day!


You can purchase The Way They Learn from: http://www.christianbook.com/the-way-they-learn/cynthia-tobias

Monday, August 23, 2010

Back To Class.....

It is that time again..time to break out the books, pencils, protractors..school is in session. We did start some classes last week just to dip our toes into the routine, however, today starts full swing. I spent my weekend in fervent and direct prayer for each and every teacher, staff and student whose name has been shared with me directly or whose name God spoke to my heart. I also prayed openly for those of you I have never met; who are facing the same issues or different issues as the rest of us..who are "in the trenches" parenting and teaching the future generation. God will be with us all; He will guide our paths. Our path He has directed already..to were we are today.

We did not always home school. My children attended a Christian private school when they were younger. This routine served us for a time; I even taught kindergarten there for several years. The Lord directed our path to homeschooling when my oldest was in fifth grade and we have been at it every since.
It has not all been roses. My husband says I use to quit every Friday. Getting your "ducks in a row" is not easy...finding your schooling rhythm is not any easier. We struggled to set a pace that worked for us..sometimes that same challenge rises up even now.

With experience comes wisdom. Let me share a few nuggets of wisdom:

1. You do not have to do it all.
2. You do have to do it.
3. Breathe, do the next thing...it will work out.
4. Things should be done in a timely manner, but take the needed time to get the lesson across.
5. Read aloud to your family- every age- it's worth it.
6. Know your kids..what makes them tick..it will help.
7. Learn with them...yes..it's okay to admit it..kids will take it in stride.
8. Take a break occasionally...field trips will save your life!
9. Reward/recognize hard work...celebrate those goals..they will remember/so will you.
10. Pray! Pray! Pray! God will always make a way.

Honestly, without the Lord and the support of my husband, we would never have made it this far. I have a senior this year; a sophomore; an eight grader. It amazes me how far we have come.
Please remember that we are not just teaching for education..just working through a curriculum, we are training future adults, employees, husbands and wives. Take the time to train them in life, in morals, in manners. They need more that just knowledge..give them wisdom!
Praying a peaceful start to your school year!


Sunday, August 22, 2010

It's Sunday.....

It's Sunday.....

Taken from the Baptist Faith & Message (2000)

III. Man

   Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God's creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christan love.

Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5,7, 18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalms 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isaiah 6:5 Jeremiah 17:5; Matthew 16:26; acts 17:26-31; Romans I:19-32; 3:10-18, 23; 5:6, 12, 19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18, 23; 5:6, 12, 19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18, 29; I Corinthians 1:21-31; 15:19, 21-22; Ephesians 2:1-22; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Farmhouse Foods....Farmboy's Cookin'

As the farmboy gets older he seems to be branching out in his endeavors. In the past his cooking has focus primarily on grilling dishes (still his favorite method), however, he is stretching his cooking skills and dipping into kitchen work. As mentioned yesterday, he is doing new and different things now, with his sisters occupied elsewhere. He has asked to share his latest recipe here with you.
Today, farmboy's cooking Spanish Rice...his way. Now, there are many variations and methods to making this particular dish..and our boy has his own. Being of the male persuasion, he likes to use as few dishes as possible..so this is a one dish meal. He also prefers the dish to be complete...combining all components in one place...starches, veggies, meats, and such. So, without further introduction....

Farmboy's Spanish Rice

1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 16oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups broth (chicken or beef)
2 cups whole brown rice (not instant)
olive oil
roast beef, already cooked and chopped
creole seasoning to taste

Drizzle some oil in the bottom of a pan and warm it. Saute your pepper, onion and garlic till tender. Add the dry rice and "toast" it until it is translucent. Add your diced tomatoes (juice and all) and your broth (I used beef). Add the roast, season with creole seasoning to your taste, and stir well to incorporate all the ingredients. Cover your stockpot and cook until the rice has absorbed the liquid (approximately 20 minutes). Serve.

Our rice was served with a side of sauteed summer squash, however, a green beans or a fresh salad would also go well. For dessert we had fresh peaches with a drizzle of yogurt and honey.

Note. You could use any meat or leave it out completely. We used roast because it was already cooked and ready. Typically ground beef is seen in this dish, however, chopped chicken would be nice. If you want to add fire to your dish, chop some jalapeno into the veggies before you saute them, or add Tabasco sauce when served.

Hope you enjoy this tasty dish with your family!

simplychele and the farmboy

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Day with Farmboy.....Things I learned


   Yesterday's plan flew out the window rather quickly and the farmboy ended up home with just me. It didn't take him long to decide how he wanted to spend this time. A trip to the skate park is a rare treat since he is the only skater in the house. He had the car loaded with gear, snacks and drinks before my shoes were even tied! I grabbed some handwork and headed out for an unusual day with just my boy.

   Boys are different..let me tell you. More and more, we are starting to find ourselves home together- just the two of us. This is foreign to us both; usually there are girls to fill the empty space..the quiet. When my husband is home, our farmboy is usually in his shadow working right alongside him. However, work comes and it's just us two. Now we must start to learn a bit about each other; how we work together. We have had days where we mended farm things, worked the garden, mowed..but not really a fun day to just....be. So, today was to be that day.

   Things I learned about my farmboy today:

1. Not to gasp or cringe when he makes the big jumps.
2. He can talk...really.
3. He is a planner, a thinker, a dreamer
4. He does have a sense of humor- that does not always involve terrifying me.
5. He has good manners (opens doors, carries things, is compassionate)
6. Sonic ice cream - yes!
7. He does pay attention.
8. He is listening- even when it doesn't look like it.
9. That boy can cook!
10. He is just like his father....oh, my!

  Time together is going to be interesting, yes, even different. With his sisters growing and driving (oh, pray for me) we will find ourselves together more often. I wonder what things we will discover next. Spend some time today with someone you don't often get the chance to. It is amazing what you will learn.

simplychele and farmboy

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday..Ponderings from the Accidental Pastor's Wife

  Today A Book Review......

       Come to the Lord's Table

   Baptist churches hold two ordinances; believer's baptism and the Lord's Supper (also known as Communion, or Eucharist). These ordinances fall at various times in a church calendar according to the individual church.
   Believer's baptism is often held soon after a person's profession of faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour. However, the Lord's supper is a bit more varied. Our church holds this ordinance of the fifth Sunday of any month containing five Sundays. Though the timing may vary, the purpose and intent should not.
   I have posted here the cover of the book Come to the Lord's Table by Claude King (with meditations by Andrew Murray). This book has been on my shelves for some time now (purchased at Lifeway Christian Bookstore), studied once before in a large church in preparation for the Lord's supper service. Being rather new to our current church family, and desiring to ensure we are holding to the Biblical ordinance correctly, I pulled this book down for my family to study again.
   Come to the Lord's Table is intended to be a three week study guide directing the individual to search and prepare their heart before participating in the ordinance with their body of believers. Each day the reader is given Scripture, explanations and sometimes a "parable" type lesson with heart searching questions to guide them. A meditation or prayer is given after the day's lesson in order to guide your thoughts throughout the day.
    The book is well written and easy to follow. It can be done as a group, a whole church, a family or as an individual. Our home is studying through it individually, yet with occasional discussion as needed. With our children being teens (17, 15, and 13), this approach seems to be going well. They were younger the last time we studied this book, and as I recall, I studied it and adjusted the lessons to their understanding and attention span.
    Do I recommend it? Yes. If you are seeking to better understand the purpose of the Lord's supper, the invitation the Lord has made to you, and to understand how to partake of it in a worthy manner then I encourage you to study Come to the Lord's Table.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Above The Influence...

 In His Hands We are Healed
   Simplynic's art web page has been hosting an art challenge called "Above the Influence." The purpose of this challenge was to get young people to recognize the influences around them (both positive and negative), and illustrate the positive influences that gives them the courage/strength to rise above the negative influences. She met this challenge head on, pencil in hand, and here you see the original depiction of her positive influence.

   Let's consider. Do we take the time to discuss (introduce/point out) the influences daily facing young people today? Not just youth/teens, but young people....early adult, thirties? Influence is everywhere and it enters our homes in many ways. Media is one of the most obvious tools of influences: book/magazine, phone, TV, movie, computer, music...games. Personal associations: friends, family, neighbors, fellow students, idols/superstars. Let's not forget parents, for we have the potential to be the greatest influence if we put the time and work into it.

   Are all of these influences negative...not necessarily, but they can be. If left unchecked, they often will be. Do we discuss? Are we even aware? Some believe that if left to themselves, young people/youth will eventually see the truth and make the right choices. Do you agree? I know that my personal experience would not support that statement.

   I challenge you to pose the question to yourself, your spouse, children, family, social group...whom ever you have contact with this week....how do you rise above the influence? As for simplynic, I was pleasantly surprised by her response...her insight. She has been through her share of teen influence..she is growing through it..she knows where to draw her strength. Do you? Do others around you?

   This youth is equipped; does she always use the equipment; can she say she never falls to the influence? Well, can you? We all stumble. We all make mistakes. The key is having the equipment available to draw from, recognizing the negative influence when it is pressing us and turning from it.

   Let us know your thoughts...what gives you the strength to rise above the influence?

simplychele and simplynic

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Precious Little Gift...Restoring

1914 Singer Child's Sewing Machine

   This precious treasure has come home to live with me here on the farm. So small and pretty, I almost burst when I saw it. My heart has a soft place for beautiful old treasures that seem to have lost their place. Once upon a page in history, this little thing had a purpose..a place. It knew its purpose..others who saw it knew its purpose. It was put into use; allowed to have a place and serve its purpose well. This little thing knew its usefulness as did anyone who saw it. What great futures were stared here..at its place..in its purpose?

  Many of us treasure beautiful antiques; I do. Today I begin to restore this little sewing treasure. Cleaning the obvious places; what we see first, then digging deep inside to clean the dust and debris that is hindering it's function. Some parts will need replaced, if I am able- yet, this little sewing machine will never be what it was before.

  As much as we treasure antiques- we ought to treasure people more.  All around us we are tearing each other down- with hurtful words, destructive deeds, misused information; misunderstanding. We are destroying each other's place; our purpose.

   Just as I have begun to restore this little gift, so we should begin to restore each other. Forgive one another, the obvious parts. Then mend hurts; look deep into the hidden parts and clean out the dust and dirt that are disrupting our functions. Replace what is broken where you are able. Just like the little sewing machine, we may never be as we were before, still, look to each other and seek to restore.  Each of needs our place and our purpose. Now, let's begin restoring each other---just like my precious little gift.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Ten Random Things About Me...

  Yesterday was my birthday. In honor of it, I will share ten random things about myself:

1. I have hair longer than most people's shirts.

2. I have the smallest feet in my family.

3. I have a degree in doctrine and in education.

4. Oh, how I love to cook!

5. I use to hate sewing- especially with a sewing machine.

6. I'd rather be in the barn.

7. If I can't be in the barn, I'd rather be in the garden.

8. If I'm in the greenhouse, leave me alone!

9. Yes, I own guns; Yes I know how to use them- I was in the Army.

10. My husband is my favorite person to spend time with!

Ah, laugh with me...it's good medicine!


Sunday, August 15, 2010

It's Sunday.....

It's Sunday...

Taken from the Baptist Faith and Message (2000) version:

II. God

     C. God the Holy Spirit

          The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy mend of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Saviour, and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christan character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gift by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.

Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalm 51:11; 139:7; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 1:18; 3:16;4:1;12:28-32;8:19; Mark 1:10,12; Luke 1:35;4:1,18-19;11:13; 12:12;24:49; John 4:24; 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4, 38; 4:31; 5:13; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17,39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6; Romans 8:9-11, 14-16, 26-27; I Corinthians 2:10-14; 3:16; 12:3-11, 13; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; I Thessalonians 5:19; I Timothy 3:16; 4:1; II Timothy 1:14; 3:16; Hebrews 9:8, 14; II Peter 1:21; I John 4:13; 5:6-7; Revelation 1:10: 22:17.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Photo Friday...Arkansas 2010

Looking up through Thorncrown Chapel- such interesting architecture
Everyday is a winding road- every road was winding
early morning blossoms with dew and a view of the mountain sky
getting acquainted with a shovel and pick ax and gazing at the rocky cliffs above us
sunset over the water as we pass by at end of day

These pictures were taken during our stay in Arkansas for our mission trip with Team Effort. Each turn in the road brought a new view, a new horizon, a new challenge. We grew, we learned, we prayed and we worked harder than we thought possible. Thanks to everyone who made this trip possible and prayed us through.

simplychele and the farmgirls

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday..Ponderings from the Accidental Pastor's Wife

         His Worst Enemy..Me?

Returning from a trip is always hard. Exhaustion and a long to-do list often over take us. Sound reason gives way to irrational emotions. In the midst of the chaos, I stepped out to the green bench near my chicken coop to ponder..to pray.

I recall doing this very thing several times during our stay in Arkansas..sitting on the bench outside our cabin just to breath..to ponder..to pray. Sometimes I would find a moment to connect with my husband (who was many miles away and usually eating lunch at work).
One afternoon it came to me..a thought so frightening it literally made me sick. This thought returned to me this morning as I sat on my bench praying. I have the potential to be my husband's worst enemy. Shocking, don't you think. Brace yourself..it not only applies to the wife of a pastor, but to us all.
As I sit quietly, "Lord, what do You mean?" He answers me with bold and bracing reality. There are many ways. Here I share some of my list with you:

1. When my actions are ruled by emotions, not wisdom
2. When my home is not in order; I am not were I should be doing what I should do
3. When idols take hold of my heart; if I am idle, not active to serve
4. When my words are critical or harsh instead of loving and edifying
5. When bitterness takes root or pride swells where humility should reside
6. When disputes reach my ears and I engage where I should have stopped it
7. When gossip poisons my mind instead of pure thoughts
8. When God is not first; when my husband is not second to God in my heart
9. When I allow my weakness to hinder me; when I am impaired by my shortcomings
10. When others influence me more than he does
When my attitude is out of order!

Only a few listed, some to personal to share..some yet undiscovered. If I am his worst enemy..I am also being the enemy of God and His people. Taking my grief and fear first to my Heavenly Father, then to my earthly husband..I will seek forgiveness for times when...the enemy I may have been..and may potentially be. They both love me..they know I am a mere human..a sinner..and often seeing something in myself they are not.
My husband, he often laughs..he thinks, "only she could think such a thing"..maybe. In my heart I must seek to beware..for I have heard the warning in my heart...a gentle whisper from my Lord. So this verse He gives me..this Word I will cling to:

"Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, Brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things re of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you."
Philippians 4: 6-9

If I keep watch carefully over my heart, my Lord will keep me from being his worst enemy.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

W.I.P. Wednesday...School Plans

making gack at EKWIP

   Summer is winding down for us here at the farm. Our volunteer summer outreach programs: Preteen Camp, Mission Trip, and EKWIP have all come the a close. Leap of Faith is preparing to shift to fall session schedules leaving us to face a new school year.
   As many of you know, we are a home school family and have been for many years. We desire to give our children a quality education with a Christian worldview. Abeka is our primary curriculum source, however, we mix in Apologia sciences and some Saxon math. Most of our school books are already in our possession, it is just a matter of coordinating them and setting a plan.
   This year two of our teens will be attending dual credit classes at our local college; this affects how our schedule must be planned and how our records are kept. Today is our day to pull the books, line up the curriculum. and map a schedule that works for everyone.
   Many people have questions about homeschooling: why we do it, what is it, records, the law..please feel free to leave a question in the comment box and I would be happy to answer them for you (to the best of my ability). May God bless and guild your school preparations. :)


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mission Trip Team Effort 2010

   Our group did not end up with the assignment we were originally given; God had a different plan. The assignment was changed from a recently widowed woman to a man unable to work due to back injuries. He lived down the mountain with his family. They needed help building a coop for chickens, building garden beds with soil from their cave, and digging irrigation ditches to run water from a natural spring on their property.
   The work was hard and the sun was hot. Yet, God revealed what we were made of. Through much prayer, sweat and tears we completed every task we were sent to do....a trench was dug, a coop was built, garden beds were amended (I faced and worked in a cave).
   Mission trips are not only about work, they are also about relationships; both with each other and with God. Each of us had to face frustrations and limitations within our relationships. Being home now, I will reflect back on this long week; I will learn from this experience.For now, work awaits me. I must leave the mission work behind and plod forward to the missions ahead.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Back Home Now...

Our family is now home from our mission trip. We are very tired; it was a long week. Today our focus will be on laundry and getting our home back in running order. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to get my posts in working order- and maybe some pictures of our trip.
I truely hope you enjoyed our farmboy's photos this week. He did a great job of keeping the blog and the farm running. Farmdad has been working hard and praying harder while we were away. Let's just say- it's good to be home.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

It's Sunday...

Taken from The Baptist Faith and Message (2000 version)

II. God

    B. God the Son

         Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and id the will of God, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right and of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the works and to consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord.

Genesis 18:1; Psalms 2:7; 110:1; Isaiah 7:14; 53; Matthew 1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29; 11:27; 14:33; 16:16,27; 17:5; John 1:1-18, 29; 10:30,38; 11:25-27; 12:44-50;14:7-11; 16:15-16,28; 17:1-5,21-22; 20:1-20, 28; Acts 1:9; 2:22-24; 7:55-56; 9:4-5,20; Romans 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 5:6-21; 8:1-3,24; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; 8:9; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:20; 3:1; 4:7-10; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-22; 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Hebrews 1:1-3; 4:14-15; 7:14-28; 9:12-15,24-28; 12:213:8; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 3:;22; 1 John 1:7-9; 3:2; 4:14-15; 5:9; 2 John 7-9; Revelation 1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 13:8; 19:6.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Farmboy Photos...Take VI

              Play it loud, play it proud. This is how I spend my free time. Strumming my twelve string.