A life of love

A life of love
Everyone should have a Great Pyrenees

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Rainy, lovely fall day!!!!

Today has been one of those inside days on the farm.  We actually haven't had too many of them, and after the off kilter way our week went, it was welcome.

Wednesday night, Steve's car died.  Or rather the repairs needed are too costly for the age and mileage of the vehicle, at least for the amount of driving he does for work.  The best option is likely a used, rebuilt engine to replace the one in there.  Ugh. And he puts on about 1000 miles a week.  Not a reliable option for the breadwinner in our family.

We worked really hard to stay calm, have faith and see what God allowed to pan out.

Easier said than done, obviously.

He was able to work from home for Thursday and Friday, which was a huge blessing as Friday was Ben's birthday.  We ended up looking at used cars at a dealership - hooked up by an adoptive dad who works there to a salesman who is himself adopted!  It is the same place we bought Steve's last car, which we definitely got our money's worth from.  And we had very few problems, nothing beyond what you might expect given the amount of work the car did!  So, it seemed reasonable to go back.  

We hate the thought of a car payment, but we know that it will be for a very limited time, likely just until March.  I would say that the only benefit we will see from the health care bill is the part about the adoption tax credit.  But, to know that we will only make a couple payments and then pay off the car really makes the thought much easier to handle.  

So, we now glance out in to our driveway and think that someone is here, until we realize that it is Steve's new car!  A 2009 Nissan Versa.  Nice little car, very low miles, great gas mileage, and new enough that we can rest easy knowing that he is not likely to have troubles getting to and from his job, which is very important to our family!

The kids are thrilled, love the "cool" car that Dad now drives.  I just refuse to think about how much it cost!  Ugh.  But it is priceless for Steve to get to work!  

So, yesterday, prior to picking up the "new" car, I took the kids to a ceramics shop.  We have been meaning to go for ages, the kids want to learn how and then have another item to show for 4H at the county fair.  But we have never gotten around to it, sadly.  So, I decided to make an appointment, put it on the calendar and get us there this year.  We need some new things to do during cold weather when we get cooped up a bit more.  

Anyway, we make up a class ourselves, so I called and explained that we wanted to learn it from the ground up, so we really knew all about the process and how things are done.  Not to mention that on freecycle last year we acquired ceramic molds (still am not sure how we can use those, but I intend to learn!) and some greenware for ceramics!  

Well, we had a blast!  The very nice lady there took us around, explained that we should select something simpler to start with, but she would help us find the right pieces as well as something we liked.  She showed us the difference between greenware and bisque, and then helped us choose pieces that weren't too difficult for our experience.  Then once all of us (eight kids and me) had picked a piece, she got out the tools and showed us how to clean the seams off, and get it well done.  We really had fun.  Now our items are being fired, and on Monday we get to go back and start the glazing processes.  We haven't learned too much about that yet, I know that there are many, many options.  Everyone is very excited to get that part going!  Faith has told me about ten times that she is so excited for Monday!

Well, with the rain, we pulled out the greenware that we had gotten from freecycle and I and various of the kids throughout the day have worked on that.  Our piano bench is still a bit dusty from our work, but will be all wiped down soon.  We completed a complete nativity set, plus extra pieces - a bunch of sheep - the kids thought a full herd was appropriate.  There was even an R2 D2, a couple cute mice, a couple smurfs (hee, hee!), a vase and a bunch of balls for Christmas ornaments.  Now we have an entire box carefully boxed up to come with us on Monday, where it will get fired so we can do the glazing another time.  The kids already have other items that they saw that they want to do, so it appears we have a new hobby going at our house!

It is nostalgic to me for several reasons.  My grandmother did lots of ceramics when I was growing up and I have pieces throughout my house that she did for me over the years.  She passed away more than a year ago, and I miss her.  I bet she is just giggling at watching her granddaughter and her great-grandkids enjoying the same hobby she loved for so long.  And I had done a little when I was in middle school (a billion years ago) and really loved.  So, it means a bit more to me, maybe.

And to follow up on our last post, thank you everyone who ordered for our fundraiser!  We raised $225 towards our fees at Bethany Christian Services for another adoption.  I love the pendants so much, and friends have showed me some that they bought and they are so happy with them!  That is such a great thing - a win for everyone all around.  

With the colder weather (and sitting through more play practices) I am working on more knitting projects - some for Christmas if I can get them figured out, and finishing up the granny square afghan that I started when we were expecting our little guy last spring.  I still cannot take down the crib we put up for him, and still have his photo in the crib in a really nice frame that says "family".  Some days it seems surreal, and some days it just is something that has happened.  I find myself wondering what he might be doing now had he lived.  He would have been about seven months old now.  I just cannot imagine.

And now it is just hard to wait to be needed again.  But, I have decided to finish up the blanket, and see what God wants to do with it.  If it will wrap around a baby of ours, or if it will wrap around some other baby.  I am sure that God will make it clear.  
"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, October 15, 2010

Today is the DAY!!!!

Today is our Etsy fundraiser for our special needs adoption!!!

What we are finding is that we have to have the entire funds put away for when the call comes, as often these babies are placed at birth when it is found that they have special needs.  We got an email today about a baby born earlier this week, but would need to be on a plane TODAY!!!  Um, yep, this isn't our baby. 

So, our funds go to first our adoption agency, when their bill is done, then it goes into a fund at the bank to wait for THE CALL so we can be ready on literally a moment's notice. 

Oswald Adoption Fundraiser

You MUST note in the notes section at the checkout that this is for the Oswald Adoption, and it MUST be a purchase of a necklace (or more than one????).  We receive $5 for each necklace sold today only.  Please consider shopping for Christmas.  Her prices on necklaces are $10.75, so they are really affordable and are just beautiful!  Please feel free to pass this on to anyone who may be interested in this!  Whether for shopping or adoption or whatever!!!!

Thanks so much, praying for provision!

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A farming post....

Did you ever run into one of those days where you really wanted to do more than you were able to?

This time I don't mean adoption - we are still working on that, in fact, I have another Etsy fundraiser sale going on Friday, I will post a link if you want to do your Christmas shopping!  Sara's Treasure Box sells the most beautiful jewelry and it is really inexpensive.  We benefit from sales of necklaces on Friday, October 15th, if Oswald Adoption Fundraiser is listed in the notes section.  Her necklaces generally run $10.75 and $5 will go towards our special needs adoption!  So, it is really affordable, I have ordered several (for other people's adoption fundraisers) that I have stashed away for Christmas presents!  Here is the address: 


So, go shopping on Friday, October 15th and mention the Oswald family!  You will love Sarah's stuff, and support her efforts to help special needs children get to loving homes!

Anyway, today I have two sick kiddos, so we are at home.  I am not sure if I will be able to get the other kids to church or not, given hubby is working far away and has a late meeting.  Oh, well.  God must have known that we needed a day of gathering ourselves.

Of course that means that Kiley (one of the sick ones) is snuggled down in my bed, surfing craigslist. 


Given the economy, there are so many horses for sale, many at what is typically considered fabulous prices (if not free or nearly so!).  And, in the last two months we have bought two that way (oh, yeah, kids joined together to save two yearling arab fillies that needed a new home), and then were involved in a huge rescue effort to get five abused animals out of a bad situation.  So, there are three donkeys, a mule and some sort of small draft gelding added to our herd - to bring it to a grand total of : SEVENTEEN!!!!!!

Yeah, seventeen.

More than we planned, more than certainly we need, but they needed a place. 

We are working on training and gentling them and it is rewarding for everyone. 

So, if we were independently wealthy, had a big barn and an unending supply of hay, we could be really busy!  All the "green" horses are up for sale now as people tighten their belts.  I totally get it, you have to face priorities.  If the market ever turns around, whoever has gotten these animals trained to good saddle horses could make a mint (that always appeals to my husband's thoughts).  But, we aren't.  Thank goodness!!!!

So, we are out loving on animals and teaching them that we are trustworthy!  To watch an animal that large gentle and begin to trust you reminds you of how important trust is, how easily it is lost, and how hard it is to win back.  In human relationships that is just as important.  If we can trust someone, we can do anything. 

Kiley's now three year old mule Polly is a good example of that.  Polly came to us as a six month old filly.  She was skittish at first, but then became just like a large puppy dog, and grew and grew.  She is now fifteen hands high, and built big - her daddy was a Mammoth Jack, her mama a Haflinger mare.  So, Polly is a big girl as you would expect.  But she thinks she is a big snuggly thing.  Kiley has gotten her trust so completely that in one day she was able to introduce her to a saddle blanket, a saddle, a girth and stirrups, and get her all saddled up with the girth tightened with nary a flick of her huge ears.  And then the next day, she put a bridle on her for the first time!  Complete with a bit!  And went on to mount and take a few steps on this huge animal that had never carried anything on her back!  That is trust.  And it was rewarded and not disappointed. 

That is the way it should work in all areas, shouldn't it.

Which does make it a little odd when we butcher our chickens.  Hmmmm....  

But we are really humane about it anyway. 

Okay, so I am still in a bit of a quandry about that one, but they are really there for food, right?

Okay, so that is my struggle as a city-girl turned farmer.....  LOL.  I think.

But, boy, they taste really good, and they enjoy their free ranging lives while they live it!  Doing what chickens are meant to do - chasing bugs, each other, eating, enjoying dust baths and sunshine. 

So, now I have rationalized myself back into it.  Plus the practicalities of our health and my children's always hungry bellies!  LOL! 

Isn't life funny?

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I hate cancer!

Today, the world lost a great man of faith - Clint Hungerford.  Most people in the world will never know his name, but I remember him.  I haven't seen him since I was 13 - and I am WAY older than that now.  But he lived out his life in faith, raised his family as best he could, and left memories in my mind of a steadfast faith.

I know that my Dad met him at the gates of heaven today to welcome him home.  Those two were such great friends, raising kids at the same time, in the same church, helping to build onto it - that is the kind of memories I have from before my sixth year of life.  We moved away but never lost touch, and I saw Clint again after my dad's death.  And our families have kept in touch one way or the other since.

So, here is my rant!  Cancer stinks - the lung cancer (and no, he didn't smoke) may not have taken him, but the toll on him from the treatment did.  Another family is grieving, a wonderful man taken from this world too soon.  But, we all have hope - and the knowledge that we do not grieve in vain - we will see our loved ones again.  We can be thankful and secure that Clint (as my dad) were steadfast in their salvation in Christ, whatever their human failings.  For in Christ, we can rest secure in our hope and our love.  Christ loves us, no matter our flaws, and though we try to be perfect, Christ loves us as the striving people we are.  I am so very far from perfect, but I know that Christ accepts me as I am, and for him, I will forever strive to do better.  Thank you Lord, for welcoming home a dear friend today.  I am rejoicing that his pain is over, that his body is healed, healthy and disease and pain free.  I am rejoicing that he is finally where he was created to be, home with God.  I am grief stricken for his family who now is going to live without this wonderful man.  God will hold them up, and we will keep praying for them. 

So, for all the small heroes out there - know that you are not forgotten - you may think your life is normal and small, but it has far reaching consequences, including a person you knew as a child, who still remembers you as a great man of faith. 

Clint, I want to tell you that your life showed Christ's love.  That I saw it, even as a child, in the little things you did.  I remember, and you might think that I might not. 

The Hungerford family (and all the married names of Clint's daughters - I don't know them all) our prayers are with you, I am shedding tears with you, nothing compared to the tears you are shedding.  You will be in our prayers and thoughts for quite some time.  You stood alongside our family when my dad died and have always been there for us.  We can and do understand what you are going through.  Cancer is a terrible thing - it took first my dad and now Clint.  But both are home in heaven with our Lord - there is no greater joy.  We will be praying for you all!  Hugs and love,

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11