Friday, March 27, 2009

Raising the Barn - Part 3

With all of the support beams in place...and the ceiling back up where it was time to re-install the feed troughs.  The original rail system was now blocked by the new support beam.  If you remember, the feed troughs  and the rails they ride on were removed before construction of the new beam.  Here is a "slot" that the feed trough slides into.  There are two of these in the milking parlor.

Empty feed trough slot

The plan was to re-install both the rails and the troughs.  The rails would need to be low enough to pass under the new beam.   The feed troughs also needed to be cut down in size so that they would fit under the newly installed beam.

The boys removed the hardware from the troughs that allowed them to slide on the rail system.

Removing the hardware

Then the troughs had to be shortened so that they would fit beneath the beam as they slid in and out on the rail.

Shortening the troughs

Clem Cadiddlehopper showed up during the day to lend a helping hand :)

Howdy Clem!

The rails were re-installed a little lower than before and then the troughs were re-hung.  They aren't as low as they appear - my 6 foot tall son can walk underneath the rail without hitting his head.  In this picture you can see the rails and the trough riding on them underneath the new beam.  The trough is pulled part way out so that you can get the general idea.

The new trough!

They slide so easily now.  We have installed a handle on the side of each trough to make it easy to pull.  You can see Susie appears that she is happy with the results.  I can't tell you how happy this makes me!  To have a milking parlor that is fully functioning after all these years is such a blessing!  And to know that the boys are worries that the ceiling is going to come crashing down.  To know that we can once again put hay on that side of the hayloft this year....John said we could park a tractor-trailer up there now....don't think we'll do that but we do plan to fill it up with hay this summer! To be able to walk up there without cracking our ankles on the protruding posts or tripping over the buckled thankful!'s an exciting'll never believe what happened during the middle of this renovation....something completely unexpected....something quite scary....and something that has NEVER happened on this farm before and we've been here 10 years!  John didn't know what he was getting into.....just wait till I tell you.....


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Raising the Barn - Part 2

When last I left you, John and the boys had just finished nailing up the beam that will support the floor of the hayloft and raise the ceiling of the milking parlor.

Nailing the beam!

Now, it is time to jack up the ceiling and place the support beams.  Easier said than done!  John explained to the boys that they would start at the end of the milking parlor to place the first support post.  The ceiling had dropped the least in that place and it would allow an easier placement of the first support.

The support post was measured (more than once!) and placed on top of two of our buckets.  It was then cut and notched with a circular saw. The red in the background is our Hi-Lift Jack - a very necessary tool around the farm!

The first support post!

Time to place the beam....and then it happened...the glitch.  We needed a sledge hammer to knock the beam into place.  It really wasn't necessary to jack up this end of the ceiling....we just need to pop the bottom of the support post to push it into place.   Unfortunately, we don't have a sledge hammer (another necessary tool).  So...what to do?  IMPROVISE!  John took the end of this post which had been  sawed off earlier and another piece of wood....a couple of screws....a minute or two and VOILA!!

World's largest sledge hammer!

The world's largest sledge hammer.....or at least the biggest one we had ever seen.  One good swing with this thing and the support beam popped right into place....and it was a lot of fun to use!  The boys will be keeping this one around for future use!


This support post was then screwed to the beam just to make sure it couldn't be knocked out from under it.  Now it was time to move on to the middle of the milking parlor where the ceiling was sagging the most.  Once again, the support post was measured and cut.  This time we would need the jack to lift the ceiling enough to slide the post under.

Josiah is giving it his all...literally...

Trying to lift the beam!

Then Jeremy joined in to add his weight...

Joining forces!

But we needed really big muscles!  So...older brother Joshua to the rescue and it wasn't easy for him either!

Brute force & strength!

I could hear the ceiling creaking...Josh had to lift it at least 4 inches so that John could get the support beam under.  It was scary for me to watch....I think I was most concerned that the jack would let fly and Josh might get hurt.  But with one final heave, John was able to slip that beam under and into place!

Bottom of post in place!

The support post was then fastened to the beam.

Top of the support place!

Two other support posts were placed in the milking parlor but the rest were not near as difficult as this one was.  The boys learned so much this day....about Yahweh...about engineering, about safety, about friendship and fellowship....a long, hard, wonderful day!

My boys can look up and look around and will always remember that they had a part in the saving of the milking parlor.  They can treasure in their hearts that there was a godly man who  cared enough about their safety that he was willing to give up two days to help them fix this problem....rare in the world today!  They will always remember to pray for John while they are milking and they will remember the fellowship and fun they had with John and with each other during this day.  What great memories and what wonderful stories they will have to tell their own children as they teach them to milk cows and goats!

Next post, I'll share how they were able to save the feed troughs and put them back in working order the next afternoon.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Raising the Barn - Part 1

We are so blessed to have our church family!  There are many godly men in this group who have reached out to help my boys.  The boys and I spent two days working with a gentleman from church on our "falling sky".   Well, truthfully, I handed people tools, took pictures and cooked the meals....the boys and John worked.  I can't tell you what a wonderful learning experience this was for my boys....and John made it lots of you'll see!

The first thing we needed to do was to build a beam.  John told the boys that Yahweh always provides and all we needed to do was pray and look.  So, they did and began to scout around the farm for the wood needed to fix the problem.  We found almost everything necessary.  We were shy some hardware and two posts which John graciously blessed us with.....thank you John!!!

Here's my crew carrying a board up from the lower barn to the upper barn with John.

First board!

They scouted around some more and found other boards...the put them together and make a huge beam that would support the milking parlor ceiling/hayloft floor filled with bales of hay this summer.

First the milking parlor had to be readied - the feeding troughs had to be removed - they would be in the way.  There are two troughs and they slide in and out on a rail.  Although, technically, ours haven't been able to slide for years...too much weight bearing down on them and clamping them to the floor.

One down and one to go!

Checking the boards to find the crown.......

Will it work?

The really neat thing about John and this project...rather than whip through something I am sure he was capable of doing in less time...he took the time to teach and mentor the boys.  My boys love John....he's a godly man, he's a perfectionist in his work and he also believes in having fun and enjoying fellowship while you work.   You'll see that in some of the pictures!  His conversation was always laced with teaching from the Word and life application.  My boys learned a lot more than construction how-to's from John and they enjoyed every minute!

Then began the building of the beam...measure twice, cut once....John ingrained that into the boys that day.

Measure twice...cut once!

Laying the boards out to build a beam from them.

Beam in progress

Indiana Jones preferred a whip but he's got nothing on John with a hammer!

Indiana Jones?

Or even two!

Double Jeopardy!

Beam is built and now it is time to hoist it into place...

The home made beam!

The boys held the beam while John placed the fasteners.

Holding steady!

Next step...jacking up the beam and placing the support posts....and there we hit a small glitch!

Join me next time to see how they overcame the glitch, find out about the GIANT sledge hammer and how it came into being, and see our finished project!

Please remember John in prayer this week.  He is in Nicaragua on a mission trip.  He will be helping a team of Christian doctors who are building a clinic and orphanage there. They desire to minister to children born with deformities of various kinds.  Normally, these are children who are abandoned or thrown into dumpsters to die.  These doctors are surgically correcting the deformities and then the orphanage is helping to place these children into loving homes.


Monday, March 23, 2009

The Sky is Falling!

Well, at least it seems that way in our milking parlor!

The ceiling in our milking parlor is coming down...literally.  It also happens to be the floor of our hayloft. You can see here where the post from the milking parlor is going through the ceiling and up into the floor of our hayloft.  This leaves it sticking out of the floor above - a killer on your ankles!

Posts going through the ceiling!

The posts are also buckling from the pressure of the ceiling coming down.

Buckling posts

Up in the hayloft you can see where the posts are pushing up the floor....

Floor of the hayloft coming up!

leaving the floor of the hayloft very uneven, and difficult to walk over.

Boards in the hayloft

There are also places where it is buckled from the pressure of the posts underneath it.

Uneven flooring

The appears that when they laid the floor they neglected to place a very needed support beam.  They just laid the floor boards over the posts from the milking parlor.

Another the milking parlor we have two sliding feeding troughs on tracks.  The farm originally had 90 milk cows that were milked.  They cows walked up a ramp.  The first feeding trough was slid out of the way so the first cow made her way to the second feeding trough.  The first trough was slid back into position for the second cow.  When both cows were done, then both feeding troughs were slid out of the way and the cows could pass on through.

When we moved here, ten years ago, the ceiling was just beginning to sag.  We could still move the feeding troughs but it was difficult.  Since this problem was never addressed, it has continued to sag until the posts broke through the floor boards above and the feeding troughs were locked into place.

Recently, a gentleman from church was here to help answer some questions for the boys about different projects.  When he saw this he was very concerned for the boys safety.  Evidently this was something that should have been addressed years ago ....especially since we place about  400 80lb. bales of hay up there each summer.

It was time to take action!

In the next post.... a blow by blow description of what was done!  (Sorry Marci....I know....stinker :) )


A Heads Up for Verizon Customers!

A dear friend just passed this info on to me and I thought I'd do the same for my readers.  Gotta keep on our toes!
Information about a change in Verizon's privacy policy. The change allows Verizon to sell information about location, length of phone conversations, who you call, websites accessed using a smart phone etc. You can opt out by calling    1-800-333-9956.

You can copy and paste if you'd like more information.


Friday, March 20, 2009


Birthday Boy!

My baby is 11.  I can't believe it...and he certainly is a baby no more.  He's turned into such a special young man!

Normally birthdays are a quiet, family oriented party but this year Elijah asked if he could have a BIG party.  I felt he needed this special time, so I agreed.  He had such fun inviting his favorite people and almost everyone said they could make it!

Friends and Family

I cooked several pans of lasagna and made two different types of bread because my boy has big brown eyes, because one of his favorite foods (and mine!) is home made bread, and because he knows if he makes "moo eyes" at me it is hard to refuse! (Although I CAN, Elijah, ....just to remind you :) )

Lasagna and cheese bread!

My Mom made two HUGE salads and she and Pam both brought ice cream...enough to feed an army! The women congregated at the table during dinner while the men took over the living room! We have a very cozy living space and we were filled to the rafters!


I asked that no one bring presents but I allowed Elijah to open his family presents in front of everyone.  Here he is sitting between two of his favorite guys.  These men have become great influences in Elijah's life...his eyes light up each time he sees them!

Two of his favorite people!

Everyone did bring cards....and some of them slipped a little gift into their card...stinkers!  I go to church with stinkers!  Imagine that....  One family took the time to sketch Elijah his favorite bird...the Red Cardinal...ya'll did an awesome job! He loves it and it will be framed and placed on his wall!

His favorite bird!

Another family brought him one of his favorite things...another bird's nest for his collection.  Julie found it months ago and saved it all this time for Elijah!

Here's a group shot of some of the men in his life.....Russel and his family had left by the time I thought to take this picture so we missed someone very important.  I would say that Elijah was  "in his element" that evening.

The men in his life!

We ended the evening playing games....Apples to Apples has become one of our favorite games (please note...we had to edit the cards so play with caution!).


This game always provides lots of laughter!

What a boy!

All in all, we all had a wonderful time, enjoyed our friends who have truly become family, and celebrated the life of a very special young bias on my part you know!

Thanks for joining me for a peek at Elijah's birthday :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Are you a terrorist? You might be surprised!

Excellent article by Chuck it to find out if  YOU are a terrorist....or if your government thinks you are!
Missouri State Police Think You And I Are Terrorists
By Chuck Baldwin
March 17, 2009

This column is archived at

Thanks to a concerned Missouri state policeman, a nationally syndicated
radio talk show host stated that he was alerted last week to a secret
Missouri state police report that categorized supporters of Congressman Ron
Paul, Bob Barr, and myself as "'militia' influenced terrorists."  The
report, he said, "instructs the Missouri police to be on the lookout for
supporters displaying bumper stickers and other paraphernalia associated
with the Constitutional, Campaign for Liberty, and Libertarian parties."

Ignoring the threat of Muslim terrorists, the Missouri Information Analysis
Center (MIAC) report focuses on the so-called "militia movement" and
"conflates it with supporters of Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, Bob Barr, the
so-called patriot movement and other political activist organizations
opposed to the North American Union and the New World Order."

This report is not original, of course. During the Clinton administration, a
Phoenix Federal Bureau of Investigation and Joint Terrorism Task Force
explicitly designated "defenders" of the Constitution as "right-wing
extremists." However, the MIAC report significantly expands on earlier
documents and is the first known document to actually name names.

According to the MIAC, opposition to world government, NAFTA, federalization
of the states, and restrictive gun laws are a potential threat to the
police. The MIAC report also refers to Aaron Russo's film, "America: Freedom
to Fascism."

The story exposing the MIAC report states, "The MIAC report is particularly
pernicious because it indoctrinates Missouri law enforcement in the belief
that people who oppose confiscatory taxation, believe in the well-documented
existence of a New World Order and world government (a Google search of this
phrase will pull up numerous references made by scores of establishment
political leaders), and are opposed to the obvious expansion of the federal
government at the expense of the states as violent extremists who are
gunning for the police. It specifically targets supporters of mainstream
political candidates and encourages police officers to consider them
dangerous terrorists."

See the report here:

The Columbia Daily Tribune also carried the story last Saturday. It quoted
Missouri resident Tim Neal of Miller County. "When Neal read the report, he
couldn't help but think it described him. A military veteran and a delegate
to the 2008 Missouri Republican state convention, he didn't appreciate being
lumped in with groups like the Neo-Nazis.

"'I was going down the list and thinking, "Check, that's me,"' he said. 'I'm
a Ron Paul supporter, check. I talk about the North American union, check.
I've got the "America: Freedom to Fascism" video loaned out to somebody
right now. So that means I'm a domestic terrorist? Because I've got a video
about the Federal Reserve?'"

The Tribune's report also acknowledges, "The [MIAC] report's most
controversial passage states that militia 'most commonly associate with
third-party political groups' and support presidential candidates such as
Ron Paul, former Constitutional [sic] Party candidate Chuck Baldwin and Bob
Barr, the Libertarian candidate last year."

The Tribune report also said, "Neal, who has a Ron Paul bumper sticker on
his car, said the next time he is pulled over by a police officer, he won't
know whether it's because he was speeding or because of his political

See the Columbia Tribune report here:

I realize that there are people who will dismiss this kind of story as
insignificant. They shouldn't. This is very serious and should be treated as
such. Anyone who knows anything at all about history knows that before a
state or national government can persecute--and commit acts of violence
against--a group of people, they must first marginalize the group from
society's mainstream and categorize it as dangerous.

Rome did exactly that to Christians, as did Mao's China; Hitler's Germany
did the same thing to Jews; Stalin's Russia did the same thing to political
dissenters, etc. That a State police agency in America would actually infer
that people who supported Ron Paul, Bob Barr, or myself in a political
campaign are somehow indistinguishable from violence-prone "militias" is
beyond insulting: it is a smear campaign, and might should even be regarded
as a hate crime!

Beyond that, the MIAC report paints with a very broad brush. In addition to
supporting Ron Paul, Bob Barr, or myself, a review of the report reveals
that opposition to any of the following risks someone being classified as a
potential "domestic terrorist":

The New World Order
The United Nations
Gun Control
The violation of Posse Comitatus
The Federal Reserve
The Income Tax
The Ammunition Accountability Act
A possible Constitutional Convention (Con Con)
The North American Union
Universal Service Program
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
Abortion on demand
Illegal Immigration

Again, if you oppose any of the above, or if you supported Ron Paul, Bob
Barr, or myself, you risk being labeled a "domestic terrorist," according to
the MIAC.

Do you not see how dangerous this kind of slanderous labeling can become? It
could affect your flight status when you try to board an airline. It could
affect your application for sensitive jobs. It could affect your
adjudication before a court or judge. It could make you a target for
aggressive law enforcement strategies. It could affect your being able to
obtain a passport. It could affect one's ability to purchase a firearm or
receive a State concealed weapon permit.

This is very serious business! We are not talking about private opinions. We
are talking about law enforcement agencies. And remember, most law
enforcement agencies share these types of reports; therefore, how many other
state police agencies have similar reports floating around? Probably
several. Plus, how do we know that this report was not influenced by federal
police agencies? We don't.

Rest assured, I do not plan to take this lying down. As one who is
personally named in the above report, I demand a public retraction and
apology from the MIAC and Missouri State Police. I can tell you that my
family is extremely distraught that their husband, father, and grandfather
would be labeled in such a manner. I am also not ruling out legal action. In
addition, I am discussing an appropriate response with Ron Paul and Bob
Barr. I will keep readers posted as to what comes of these discussions (as I
am at liberty to do so, of course).

In the meantime, I encourage everyone who believes in the freedom of speech
and who believes that the MIAC report is an egregious miscarriage of justice
to contact the appropriate Missouri police officials. Here is the contact

Email address:

Missouri Information Analysis Center
Division of Drugs & Crime Control
P. O. Box 568
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0568
Phone: 573-751-6422
Toll Free: 866-362-6422
Fax: 573-751-9950

And lest one thinks that none of this concerns him or her, I would like to
remind you of the lament of Martin Niemoeller back in the days of Hitler's
Germany. Niemoeller was a decorated U-Boat Captain and pastor of great
distinction. An avid anti-communist, Niemoeller at first supported Hitler's
rise to power and was hesitant to oppose the violations of civil rights
against various groups he personally found distasteful. It did not take
long, however, before Niemoeller realized that when laws protecting the
rights of all were removed from some, no one was safe--including him.
Unfortunately, he learned his lesson too late, as he, too, was persecuted
and imprisoned by Hitler's State Police. Here is what Niemoeller said about
his indifference:

"They came first for the communists, and I did not speak up-
because I was not a communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak up-
because I was not a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak up-
because I was not a Jew;
And then they came for me-
and there was no one left to speak up."

So, those of you who think you have nothing to fear because you did not vote
for Ron Paul, Bob Barr, or me, or because you do not live in the State of
Missouri need to think again. As I have repeatedly said, we either have
freedom for all, or we have freedom for none. Truly, secret police reports
such as the one above threaten the liberties of us all.

So, will you speak up now or wait until they come for you and no one is left
to speak up?

Let me know what you think!

Monday, March 16, 2009

H.R.875 - We Must Act Quickly!

Well, they are at it again....what kind of people have we placed in public office?  I urge you to read about this bill and contact your representatives to express your thoughts. Strongly.  This is a post from Shepherd on Politics and Policy. The danger is that this bill is so vague, it could even be applied to your family garden, orchard and vineyard...or perhaps those chickens you raise for meat each year.

HR 875, was introduced by Rosa DeLauro whose husband Stanley Greenburg works for Monsanto. (No conflict of interest there, eh?) Big Agribusiness is a greedy group - they want it all.  You can read more about this bill at Ron Paul's site here.

They want to regulate and oversee every aspect of our lives....I for one am tired of this.

Let's fight back!

HR 875 Would Essentially Outlaw Family Farms In The United States

I get a lot of e-mails each day and one today (hi Cheryl!) pointed my attention to HR 875, a bill introduced into the 111th Congress. SO, I went and did something that members of Congress rarely do and actually read the bill.More accurately, I glanced through it which is still more than they ever do. It was introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT 3rd) and, as of this writing, has around 36 co-sponsors including my Congressman, Andre Carson (D-IN 7th). It immediately strikes me as being terribly bad legislation.

Under a heading described as protecting the public health and ensuring the safety of food it creates a "Food Safety Administration" within Health and Human Services. Oddly, it doesn't just add regulations to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) which is also under HHS. And don't we have the USDA as well? The bill applies to all manner of "Food Establishments" and "Food Production Facilities" (note the following excerpt).
(14) FOOD PRODUCTION FACILITY- The term ‘food production facility’ means any farm, ranch, orchard, vineyard, aquaculture facility, or confined animal-feeding operation.

The bill would appear to even cover some fishing boats and potentially your downtown hot dog street vendors. "Transportion" of food also could be covered. In fact, the bill probably would also apply to your family garden since no exemption is apparent.

What it essentially does is place a tremendous regulatory burden on all of these organizations and individuals by requiring them to have "food safety plans", consider all relevant hazards [note: I wish Congress would consider all "relevant hazards" or unintended consequences of everything THEY did], testing, sample keeping and to maintain all kinds of records. The bill also allows the government to dictate all manner of standards related to fertilizer use, nutrients, packaging, temperature controls and other items.

This massive bloat in government regulation (and taxpayer expense to support it) would add additional cost and headache to every farm, some fishing boats, slaughterhouse, processing plant, CO-OP and anyone else associated with growing, storing, transporting or processing food. The bill authorizes fines of up to $1,000,000 (one million) dollars for "each act" and for "each day" of a violation.

We'll skip over the concern over how important food production and distribution, largely recession proof, could be if our economy continues to decline and inflation takes hold and just address this on the apparent lunacy that it is. As those familiar with history know, large dominant corporations often will use government to demand industry regulations that force the small competitor out of business or introduce barriers to entry that prevent new companies from starting up to compete. In the early part of the 20th century a tremendous amount of regulation was written by the industries themselves to be enacted into law.

In this case, I think this bill could do tremendous harm to family farms or independent food operators. Only massive companies have the ability to meet these regulations and imagine the legal expenses that could be incurred to defend oneself? Never forget, the government has near unlimited resources where you might have to cough up $200 to $500 an hour for a good attorney to defend yourself, your farm, boat, truck, restaurant, orchard, vineyard or hot dog stand. And what about the increased cost of food associated with the cost of compliance, it's not unreasonable to think that many places would have to hire staff or outside assistance just to comply with the law.

We have an excellent history in the United States of safe food, but as Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel suggested recently, "You should never want a serious crisis to go to waste." He spoke those words relative to looking for opportunities to do things that people would not otherwise accept without some crisis. We should be very careful not to let the very rare instance of something like the recent peanut problem be used as such a "crisis". There is no impetus to point the bureaucrats of government and the guns they control, their ability to not only deprive someone of life or freedom but to destroy whole families, careers and reputations, at everyone in the country who might be involved in ensuring we have stuff to eat.

We're doing just fine without this legislation.

UPDATE: Friday, March 6 - 10:50 PM EST

This video clip was included in a news update that went out to supporters of Congressman Ron Paul (R - TX) this evening. Also - If you're wanting to keep up on news related to government encroachment of our freedoms or the continued erosion of our economy please consider visiting The Liberty File and subscribing to the RSS Feed there.

Make those calls!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


This has been an amazing week.  I have so much to share...I hope after reading this you'll forgive my absence...

I have many people call me from all across the nation with dreams of farms, wide green fields filled with organic food to feed their families, happy critters grazing in the fields and time to enjoy it all.  There are days like this on our farm but this is a very idealized vision of the agrarian lifestyle.  There is lots of hard work...LOTS OF HARD WORK!  There are times the food in those green fields doesn't come to fruition and there are times that the critters aren't doing so well.

This past Monday we experienced one of those times.  It is kidding season here....a bit earlier than hoped for but easily explained when we noted the date that some of the girls decided to sneak out and play in the buck's pen.  Monday morning, when we went to feed goats, one of them didn't come to the barn.  We found her laying in a field and in very bad condition.  My best guest is that she had been in labor all night.  I think the first kid was transverse. No feet, no nose, just blood.

We worked with her and tried everything we knew to do.  We called our favorite vet and got some excellent advice and a good dose of reality ("don't think she'll make it Cheri - be prepared for that").  We implemented all that he no avail.  She died with all of us around her stroking her, weeping with and for her.  It was a hard day.  There are hard days when you live an agrarian life.  This was especially hard for Elijah...he has pictures of himself as a baby with her as a very young doe.  Elijah says "We were babies together".....well, not quite but I understood his sorrow.  I think he cried for about 3 hours.  This was really hard for me.  She has always been my favorite doe.  She was sweet, beautiful, easy to milk....a pleasure to care for....I was looking forward to her babies this year - I am sure she was carrying three.  We briefly discussed cutting her open in an attempt to save babies but I could detect no movement at all, even though she was still breathing, still trying to birth those babies.  I think they died sometime during the night.

This then presented other problems.  We needed to find a proper place to bury her, and  we needed to dig a hole - a pretty big hole.  We also had an appointment that we absolutely had to keep.  Our friends the Willis family were playing locally for a home school talent show.  They were going to play two of the songs from their CD that Jeremy had accompanied on drums.... and they asked if he would play for the talent show.  We really needed to keep that commitment.

So, we placed her in an unused stall in the barn and covered her with a tarp.  We cleaned up and headed for town.  I was hoping that being around friends would help Elijah stop weeping.  After the show, we helped carry instruments, amps, cables, and soundboards back.  We were asked if we were going to attend a gathering of friends that night.  We explained that we needed to get home and bury our doe and wouldn't make that gathering.  Our friends offered to come and help my boys with that job.  Jeremy says,  friends help you move but real friends help you move (and bury) a dead body.

Many hands making light work

So, Walter and Nate came  by and helped my boys dig a huge hole and bury our doe.  Hard and dirty work for several hours.  But, the boys said they had a great time of encouragement and fellowship as they worked together.  Because of their generous offer, we were all able to clean up and head to a gathering that evening that helped encourage us and lightened our sorrow.  What a wonderful time to be surrounded by friends who love you, can encourage you and even make you smile.  We are so blessed!

I was thankful to hear my boys praying that night...thanking their Father for the life of this doe, for the joy she brought to us, the untold gallons of wonderful milk and then countless pounds of fresh cheese.  She served her purpose well and blessed us....we are grateful for the many years she served our family....

We remember...that ALL that comes to us from our Father is good.  Every bit of it....and we are thankful to Him for our sustenance, for our comfort and for His blessings.

Thank you for your patience this week,

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Tacky Party

I've had several people ask me about our annual tacky party each Christmas.  Words just cannot describe so I guess pictures will have to do.  The idea is to come VERY tacky...think Florida tourist.  Some people got the concept and some we had to "tacky up" a bit.

It is a pot luck so there was lots of good food.  We played Headbands! (*note*cards require careful adult editing/disposal!) We didn't have enough bands so we pinned them to people's backs with clothes pins.  We had a White Elephant gift exchange and we had prizes for the tackiest people. After we eat, we play games until everyone goes home....hopefully it lasts a good long time.

So, here are a few pictures to get  minds rolling!  Nora Desmond made an appearance at our party - she was...uh.... scary "different"!

Nora Desmond?

The Willi came - some of them needed a little "tacky" help.

The Wills Family!

I think there must be a story behind the chef's hat.  Mike has traveled everywhere, and done so many things...perhaps he did a stint at a fine European restaurant!


That classy gentleman in the back is one of our elders from church! I confess that we tackied him up too - he just came dressed too...well...normal!


Josh and Beth evidently interrupted a Christmas in Hawaii just to come to our tacky those are good friends!


This poor, homeless man, heard all the fun and begged to come in.  So...we let him :)  I WAS Christmas know...feed the poor and all that...

Too cute!

And this little girl was so adorable, we didn't have the heart to tacky her up!  Loved the poodle skirt!

One of the guests from our party told her brother about our tacky party and he decided to throw his own tacky party...but...when the guests arrived he took them BOWLING!!  Bowling!

Gives me lots to think about for next year...ya'll have been warned.  So, I am giving the rest of you plenty of notice to dream up tacky parties for yourself next Christmas.  I expect reports people...and pictures!  Perhaps we have started a new, nationwide tradition!  Wonder if I can work this into some sort of paid party plan.....nah!....just have fun....I know that we all did.

I am already looking forward to doing this fact the boys are suggesting a summer harvest tacky party....perhaps we could all come dressed as veggies....or farmer's....hhhmmmm...


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