Thursday, September 30, 2010

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

   The farm kids and I are studying Pure Joy God's Formula for Passionate Living. This weeks session has been heavy on our hearts; a Psalm of David that challenges us to take inventory of the impurities we have been confronted with in the past. We contemplate the danger zones that undermine our purity; rob our joy and steal our testimony.  Purity is not limited to sexuality, but includes our mind, our actions, the motives of our hearts. Purity encompasses all of the parts of us.  This week I ponder:

   Judge me, O Lord; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have rusted also in the Lord; therefor I shall not slide.
   Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.
 For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.
   I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers.
 I have hated the congregation of evildoers; and will not sit with the wicked.
   I will wash mine hands in innocency; so will I compass thine altar, O Lord: 
That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works. 
  Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.
Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men:
  In whose hand is mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes. 
But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me. 
 My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the Lord.   
                                                                                                           Psalm 26


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Farmyard Photos From Our Day

Patch not being playful

Mittens being indignant

teens in trees

Mathias the mighty rooster

using our time wisely - reading while traveling

a visitor from afar

Scout looking for some love
 Hope you have a beautiful day, too!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Beautiful Weather

   I just can't believe how beautiful the weather has been these past few days. Cool breezes and low humidity are so rare here we have to soak it up when it comes. Yesterday we carried books and supplies outside for studies under the trees. This wonderful weather gave me the push I needed to work some more garden rows and scrub some showers. Even the farm animals were frisking about in the sunshine.
   Knowing my area the way we do, we know this won't last for we're off to enjoy it! Make the most of your day---spend some time in the sun!


Monday, September 27, 2010

New In the Shop This Week....

Little Floral Motif Doilies

Warm Coffee Dresden Table Runner

Lace bookmarks

warm and cozy fingerless gloves
    We've been busy! Please take the time to stop by our online Etsy shop. Beautiful handwork is available and custom orders are always welcome. Also, feedback---take the time to drop us a line in our comment box or by email at ; we would love your input!


Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's Sunday... and Our Anniversary!

Baptist Faith & Message (2000)

VIII. The Lord's Day

         The first day of the week is the Lord's Day. It is a Christian institution for regular observance. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should include exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private. Activities on the Lord's Day should be commensurate with the Christian's conscience under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Exodus 20:8-11; Matthew 12:1-12; 28:1; Mark 2:27-28; 16:1-7; Luke 24:1-3, 33-36; John 4:21-24; 20:1, 19-28; Acts 20:7; Romans 14:5-10; I Corinthians 16:1-2; Colossians 2:16; 3:16; Revelation 1:10.

***It is also our anniversary; Happy Anniversary!!

Friday, September 24, 2010


green beans
   The garden; a wonder and a marvel. You till the soil, plant the seed and wait. With warmth and water that seed will start to grow eventually developing into a plant. Somewhere along here things can go arye. You see, weeds come into the picture. Weeds: plants that have not found a purpose. Plants that leech nutrients from the good plant; crowding, stealing, choking. The tender plant is left week and unable to produce fruit or, in some cases, dies altogether. We have to deal with the weeds.
   As I work in the garden soil. I ponder: weeds/sin. Weeds in life are sometimes obvious like the weeds inbetween the garden rows; easily seen- quick to get to. Obvious weeds in life are open and often seen by others... they may be addictions (food, alchohol, shopping, unhealthy relationsips, etc.) or actions (body manipulation, obsession with appearance, unhealthy relationships, wreckless habits, etc).   What about the hard to see weeds? When you look at this picture closely there are tiny weeds in between the plants- popping up, sneaky, almost hidden. Secret weeds in life are private...matters of the heart (bitterness, envy, attitude, anorexia, entertainment, depression, etc.)
  The first step in dealing with our weeds is: identification, recognize it as a weed- unproductive and intrusive. Once we recognize, we must take action to remove the weed. Some are easily uprooted and discarded- do so and do it quickly. Weeds are much easier to remove when they are small (just like our sin). When weeds have been allowed to grow, they can often require additional assistance to remove them (large garden weeds need a hoe or shovel- sin weeds may need a counselor or confidant). Either way, the longer the weed is ignored, the more damage it will do.
   Whether we are in the identification process, the removing process, or are weed-free for the moment, we must pray. Laying our weakness at the Lord's feet is the only way. He is our Master Gardener; our Vine dresser. In the Master's wisdom, a tender and weak plant can be tended, nourished, and restored. Unlike my garden, we are never so far gone in sin that our Lord cannot restore us.
   As I work today to rid the garden of nasty weeds, I will pray for wisdom concerning the weeds in my heart..the things in my life that choke out my testimony...the things that hinder my growth..the weeds.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Accidental Pastor's Wife....

                 Lest I Forget....

  Many women married to men in ministry seem to wrap themselves in the identity of minister's wife to the neglect of so many areas of their lives. I am determined not to be one of them!

  So today...lest I forget, I am:

the keeper of the home, teacher, tutor, cook, maid, cab driver, driver's ed teacher, goat wrangler, coop queen, barn mucker, mower of the grass, raker of the leaves, puller of the weeds...

Lest I forget, I am...

a caregiver, a servant, a student, a child.....

I am..

still learning, still growing, still human, still prone to wickedness...still in need of forgiveness, of love, of grace...still, humbly, a child of the King.

Lest I forget, I am HIS; saved by grace, washed by the blood.

I am


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Farmboy!

pondering in the quiet
   Today we celebrate our farmboy's thirteenth how the years have flown. Every passing year I see him change from a tiny blue-eyed boy to a handsome youth. Today I remember:  seeing your blue eyes looking at me with such serious contemplation-now seeing them full of such mischief; thinking you'd never talk- now realizing you can; worrying over scraped knees- surviving casts and a burn incident; not knowing what to do with a boy- now, not knowing what to do without one; waiting way past your due date- realizing now, you were "justin" time.

   Happy birthday, farmboy!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Photo From the Files

summer 2008
   Today we take a photo from the files; a step back in time. Here our family sits on a fallen tree; the third tree that summer. You see, this particular summer three separate storms dropped three separate trees onto our home. Each time, the damage was more extensive. Each time, we were not at home. Each time, our adjuster was less interested. It was quite a summer.

   Has it really been two years? Did my children really look this small? Has it really been that long since.....
                   we spent more time sleeping in the camper than in the house...
                   we washed clothes on a washboard and wrung them out by hand...
                   every meal was cooked outside....
                   the sound of a generator didn't phase us...
                   we held classes under a tree.....
                   we worked so hard as a family..painting, tearing, scraping, sanding, .....
         ...since I found the garden still growing and producing under the tree tops that were covering them..
                        we actually used all the food in the freezer and the pantry ...
                        we found what really matters is each other..working together...making due...
                        we found God in the midst of the mess....we found happy...we found each other....

   Maybe this should be a regular thing; looking back at where life has taken us.. where God has taken us. Reflection seems good for the soul. The summer remembered in this picture is often brought up in our family Bible discussions; we all learned so many different lessons here...we are still learning lessons the photo from the files.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Introducing Peppy

   Well, it happened. There's a new baby in the house: "Peppy". Simplynrae purchased him and is preparing him for use in equine assisted therapy and future youth riding lessons. Energetic, ornery, eager for affection, starving for attention and not overly enthusiastic about education; Peppy.
   A double registered American Quarter Horse and National Foundation Quarter Horse, OXBO JUSTAPOCO PEPPY is three years old, chestnut colored and getting into mischief. He loves to play catch with orange cones and if you run in the pasture he will chase after you. What's not to love?

moving Peppy
working Peppy
tacking Peppy
preparing to mount Peppy
   Our first real afternoon working with him shows good attention and cooperation. He takes the saddle well, gives you "two eyes", and can be mounted. The only snag we had was after you mounted, he wasn't moving. Yes, this is a problem, but for his age we feel he is doing very well. After a nice rub down, Peppy went in for the night. You can bet we will be seeing alot more of little Peppy. As he grows we hope he will be a precious memeber of the family for years to come..see ya later little guy!

simplychele and simplynrae

Sunday, September 19, 2010

It's Sunday....

"Flowers" by simplyjen

Baptist Faith & Message (2000)

   VII. Baptism and the Lord's Supper

          Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord's Supper.
          The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.

Matthew 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26; Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-21; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; 20:7; Romans 6:3-5; I Corinthians 10:16, 21; 11:23-29; Colossians 2:12.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Spending Time with Peppy

 a girl and a horse
    This weekend we are spending time getting to know Peppy, a new member of the farm family.

Friday, September 17, 2010

In The Fall Garden

   The task of planting fall garden crops is at hand. Afternoons are spent amending soil, casting seeds, and hoeing weeds. It is a busy time, yet we look forward to the baskets of fresh veggies that will come. The early garden provided for us well; we are still enjoying some of the remaining goodness. As of today, the pasture garden holds:

new green bean plants

rows and rows of goodness
broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage they all look pretty similar
hot peppers still producing
licorice scented agastachi
and a little peeper
   There are three garden plots on our little farm: the pasture side, the greenhouse plot, and the front herb and greens garden. Each one holds different crops at different times allowing for adequate crop rotation and expansion. While the pasture plot is underway and already filling up with plants, the herb and greens garden is about to undergo some renovation while the greenhouse plot is preparing for cover crops as a resting period. (The greenhouse itself is under maintenance right now).
   I dont' know about you, but this looks like enough to keep the family busy. What plans do you have for a fall garden? Veggies? Herbs? Flowers? Fruit? Are you growing in containers? A plot of soil? Your windowsill? Send us some photos and tidbits from your fall gardens...we can't wait to see them!


* Thank you ladies for your recent comments. It's so sweet to read your notes. Yes, we are looking into farm you mentioned; and the quilt is underway..thank you Lord for Your guiding Hand.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Well, I give up....

Willow and Levi
   Breeding season is upon us in the dairy goat world and we don't have a buck. Through a series of events outside of our control we have been unable to pair up with a farm to breed lines with. After that realization, we attempted  to purchase bucks to raise here and breed to...yet the only farm with interest in selling to us backed out with out explanation.
   It's frustrating...period. Willow has been in milk long enough and needs breed and our new doe should have had her first kidding this fall...yet it will not be. Things go this happens..we can't change get the picture. I give up.
   Where does it go from here? Don't know. Those who have had their hand in this will have there day and so be it. Do we sell them if we can't breed? Do they go out of milk and just become an expense? Don't know, but, as of today, I give up.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

WIP Wednesday...What's On the Table

my cousin's beautiful quilt
   Gentle fields of lavender, a tranquil garden path. bold sunflower; all the qualities of beauty and nature that bring joy, awe and comfort to the soul. This quilt was pieced by my cousin and, let me say, she did an amazing job! Excellent sizing, shape and seam allowance; neatly squared up and pressed just right. Way to go!
   The sad thing is, it has been waiting for me...poor neglected thing. A few other quilts were already on the frame (or the table) and needed to be completed before this pretty thing could take center stage. The other quilts are now ready for me to hand stitch the binding before they hit the shop, so this one has moved into place on the table.
   You may recognize this quilt from the basting tutorial we did only last week. With the layers now securely basted in place and other quilts out of the way, it is time to get serious about design. Before I start quilting, much prayer and pondering must happen (for me anyway). You may see me doodling quilting motifs on every piece of scrap paper I can find. This serves two purposes for me: a pattern to quilt onto the quilt, and practice in the stitching path I will take.
   I have spent the past few days looking at the web sight this pattern came from. It seems all the sample quilts from this company (meaning the ones pictured on the pattern covers) are machine stitched. With this in mind, I have been running some test strips through the machine to plot a pattern and a path- and to practice. Now I am down to just sitting down and stitching it!
   The desire I have is to do this quilt the beauty it is truly beautiful. May the Lord guide my hands and my mind to do the job He would love!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Beauty All Around Us....

fluffy clouds
morning call
lantana in bloom

Smoky Joe

the orb weaver at the door

Sunday, September 12, 2010

It's Sunday...Happy Grandparent's Day!!

Baptist Faith & Message (2000)

VI. The Church

       A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are pastor and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.
      The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.

Matthew 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42, 47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23,27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Romans 1:7; I Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22-32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; I Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39-40; I Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2-3; 21:2-3.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The New Brood

I love chickens..its true. Six little ladies and their rooster needed a new home and, you guessed it, we adopted them. We had several of this breed before, but lost them to raccoon attacks. Aracaunda breed poultry are usually rather large birds with multi-color feathering. Originally from Africa, these birds are known for the fact their eggs have a beautiful green shell and their "bearded ladies". You see, the hens have a tuft of feathers under their beaks that looks like a beard. When we pieced them up it seems these birds are rather small and in need of some TLC. They will definitely get it here.
When a new animal is introduced here on the farm, we quarantine them for several days. This protects the animals already living here and to allow the current animals to get use to seeing them, but not be allowed to "compete" with them. The holding pen will be dusted with diotenatious earth, have clean bedding, food and water. The other animals can see them, but do not have access to them.
All animals have a "pecking order" they work withing- a dominant leader of the pack. This new brood is in a poultry pen where they can get plenty of sunlight, exercise and food set apart from the other flock. The others can walk near the holding pen, and interact through the fence. After several days, the flock will start to accept the brood with out competing for food and territory. I won't release new animals until they pass my stamp on health and habits. These may be separate for longer than usual..they need to fill out some.
We can't wait to see that first green egg in the nest. Isn't it unique, more way God shows His creative hand. To think, in the beginning, He knew the joy and awe that colored eggs would bring His children. He knew the fascination some of us would have over the various breeds, diversities, and quirks these funny birds would have. I must say, He amazes me!


Farmboy took the photo and says the new rooster is quite a model. He ran out of the shelter to "pose" for the picture. Flairing his wings and standing tall, he was quite the "camera hog" making sure he was the focal point in every shot! Gotta love 'em.
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Friday, September 10, 2010

Farm Focus...the Little Things

 Muzzy's Chocolate Chip Cookies

   Its Friday. After our classes are finished for the day, our homework is all caught up, and our kitchen sink is free of dishes we spend the rest of the day focusing on the farm. Today has a lot on the list. Farm dad and I are picking up some americauna hens from a little homestead not far away, the barn must be cleaned and scrubbed, and most important (to some at least) is the making of some chocolate chip cookies. We like to keep these on hand, in the freezer, to pop out anytime they're needed- or desired.
   Raising a family, caring for a husband require the "little things." For example, having his favorite cookies on hand (in the freezer) is a connection to his childhood and a way to show I love him...a "little thing". Keeping the home in order is another "little thing". Going to the park or the stables with one of the kids is a "little thing". Taking that walk, working that garden bed, watching that movie, cooking that dish....small but simple acts of kindness that touch our families' hearts. These are the memories they will carry with work, to college, to their own homes someday. They will pass them on to others in their lives, their families someday.
   Today I challenge you..what are some "little things" you do or can do for your family? Do they have a favorite dish? A hobby? When have you just gone for a walk and chatted with your husband? Rode a bike with your kid? Played ball? Search out the "little things" for you will find, in the end, they were big things all along.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

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

      Why I Knock on Every Door

   Our family has been involved in nursing home/assisted living center ministry for many years. Each Sunday brings a new story, a new event, a new experience;  you never know what is going to happen. For the most part, the residents are happy to see you. Many have few visitors and welcome the company and interaction. Some are unhappy to be there and can be quite difficult to make contact with. Of all the stories I could tell you, some funny, some emotional, I am going to share a lesson from a woman named Cecilia.
  We had been holding services in this center for several years when Miss Cecilia moved in. She was not particularly happy to be there nor was she very social. My first Sunday to knock on her door, she firmly told me I was the wrong church. You see, Miss Cecile is a Catholic; she was concerned that I would try to change her Catholic beliefs. I reassured her that she was still welcome to come but she firmly declined.
   Every week I knocked on her door; her response to me was the same firm reply. I asked if it was okay to simply check in for a visit when we were there..she accepted. At my knock, our conversation changed, "Good afternoon, Miss Cecile...Yes ma'am I know you are Catholic I just wanted to stop by and say hello..Is there any thing I can pray about for you?" We would have a brief conversation and I would be on my way. After introducing my husband to her once, he occasionally came by with me to "say hello" to her.
   As it goes, Miss Cecile's health began to fail her. She was beginning to live with pain and often had an attendant with her. When I knocked, she would call me to her bed and ask for prayer or for "the pastor" to come pray for her. We always did. On her better days, her attendant would wheel Miss Cecile down to hear the singing or the piano played..and occasionally sit for a bit of the service until she felt the need to rest.
   This was our relationship for several months. One Sunday she seemed particularly distressed. We visited her for a time, prayed with her and went home with her on our hearts. She passed away that week. What a  blessing it is to know that we got to know, to care about, to pray with this unique woman.
   I know not every knock on the door will end this way; not every difficult visit becomes a friendly relationship, but why not try. Some times the most difficult resident is just a person who needs to be given a moment of respect or personal care, a listening ear or a sounding board. Not every door will be opened, but when I am there, every door will be knocked on.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

W.I.P. Wednesday Tutorial...Let's Baste a Quilt

    As a quilter, I have several projects on the table at one time. With rainy weather this week I decided to get some quilts "sandwiched" and ready for quilting. Thanks to my creative girls (who are always thinking) we have put together a little tutorial for you. Let's gather our supplies and get stitchin'.

quilt backing material
quilt batting
quilt top
iron and ironing board
tape or pins
quilt adhesive spray (optional)
pins or needle and thread
a surface large enough for your quilt
a table or the floor works very well

ironing the backing
   After gathering my supplies, I iron the backing material. If the material is to be machine quilted and the material is limp or lacking body I may starch it for weight; this would aide me in guiding the quilt as I maneuver around the machine.

ironing the top
    Equalling important is ironing the top. I iron my tops' underside to ensure the seem allowances are laying correctly (one direction/to the dark side); this will aide the needle any time I quilt in the ditch.

quilt back, tape, pins
   Now I lay the quilt back (right side down) on the table (floor if the quilt is too large). Using tape I tape the edges of the material in place. Be sure to smooth the material out but do not stretch the material out of shape. If I were using a carpeted surface or such, I could use pins to secure the material.

batting laying over the quilt back
   Here we lay the quilt's batting over the backing fabric. I often use spray adhesive to temporarily secure the batting while I baste; this is optional. To use adhesive, fold one half of the batting back, spray the backing fabric and place the batting back on the backing. Smooth and press down with your hands being sure to remove any lumps or wrinkles. Repeat with the other side.

quilt top laying over the batting and backing
   Once the wrinkles are smoothed out of the batting, lay the quilt top (right side up) on the batting. You may use spray adhesive here to temporarily secure the top as you baste..I do, using the same method as mentioned above.  Again, be sure to smooth out any wrinkles or creases before you move on..if it is creased or wrinkled will be creased or wrinkled in the quilting process.

decide the basting method, stitch or pin
  Decision time...for me, the method of quilting determines the method of basting I will use. Example, hand quilting in a hoop or small frame works best with thread basting because the pins do not allow the hoop to hold the fabric. If I am machine quilting then small safety pins are what I use. This quilt is planned to be machine quilted with some possible hand I am pinning. Note: I always like to stitch baste the very edges of every quilt to help hold.

pins every 2-3", basting along edge
   Here you see the pins placed every 2-3" along the entire quilt. I simply remove the pins in the area I am working on. There is thread basting along the outer edge..I snip this as I go when quilting the edge.

ready to quilt
   One all your pins or stitches are in and you feel the material is secure enough not to shift when quilting, remove the tape holding it to the work area (or pins if that is the case). I trim my quilts about an inch or two from the edge of the top..this gives me room if I need it..and it is always better to have extra and square it up later.

   This quilt is ready to go to the machine or the frame. I do not mark my quilts before quilting unless the design is intense. If you were to use a detailed pattern or if you prefer a line to follow, be sure to mark your quilt top before you start basting it.

   We hope you find this tutorial helpful and informative. I welcome any questions you may have..please leave them in the comment box and I will reply as soon as possible. Have a blessed day!

simplychele and the farmgirl photographers

* a simple quilt can be made using a few yards of your favorite material for a top and back, layer as above, and quilt by stitching in lines, loops or a cute design of your own