Archive: February 2011

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Rule #6.3

by Charlotte

I am not the perfect mother.  That is not a news flash.  Sometimes I lose my mind and yell and scream.  It is not pretty.  If I get really out of control, I feel like such a lop when I calm down.  I am broken and that is good – to be broken.  It doesn’t feel good, but it is good.

However, I had a day last week that was good.  I was able to laugh and not yell; to take it in stride and not scream.  I was cleaning up the book room (a.k.a. the guest room) and I returned to the kitchen to find this:

My usual response would be to have my blood pressure go straight through the roof and then tell my two little culprits what naughty little children they are.  As you can see, the culprits had left the room.  I suspect they knew it would not be safe when mother returned.  But my usual response didn’t come.  Nope.  I laughed.  Then I grabbed my camera and emailed the above picture to Chelsea with the caption “guess what I am doing today”.  As I was cleaning up I noticed this:

My oldest daughter wrote it yesterday.  It says, “save the house rule # 6.3 – Faith draws on herself walls with markers.  Do not let her use them.”

I guess I should have followed rule #6.3.

A Little Ice

posted by Chelsea

We have icicles growing on the side of our house. I think I’ve mentioned before that my Dad has informed me this is a sure sign of roof problems.   At any rate, there is one icicle that has caught the attention of the three girls in this household. 

It’s the long one right smack dab in the middle of this picture: 

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Well, this is how it looked a couple of days ago… drip, drip, dripping away right over this little tree…

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And now, well, hang on to your seats because this icicle has grown and here it is now…

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Iced right into the tree it’s been growing over…

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Cool, huh? 

The ice means it’s been extra cold.  The dripping ice means it’s warmed up enough during the day to actually melt a bit.  Let’s just say that we’re hoping for lots of dripping this week.


posted by Chelsea

After much anguish over the snow that fell last week, yesterday the sun was shining in utter gorgeousness.  The girls and I decided to bake some cookies… THE Chocolate Chip Cookies, to be exact…

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and bring them out to these guys…

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Quite frankly, on a day like yesterday, it’s hard to resist taking my camera along.  When I look up at our mountains, I just can’t help but want to share the majesty! 

Quick  commercial break… because I’m afraid someone out there in blogland will think I altered these pictures– all of these shots are straight out of camera.  The sky and mountains were that blue, the snow that white, the cows that black, and the fence that grey. All God’s doing, not mine.  Promise. 

Now about that majesty….

First up close…

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Now from a distance…

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Even the ol’ fence looks majestic when the sun is shining…


And again, first up close…

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Now from a distance…

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And the creek that looked cold and nasty this weekend, well, it was sparkling in glory yesterday…

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Nothing like a sunny day to make the snow look not nearly as bad as it felt last week.

Sweet Shot Day

Checking in with Emily

posted by EmilySo where have I been?

What have I been up to?

Glad you asked.

I’m getting ready to perform.

Life has been a little more hectic than normal lately.

I’ve been hard at work memorizing and practicing.

Sunday night at my church,  I will be performing “The Story of Gomer”.

It’s an hourlong dramatic monologue about the story of Gomer and Hosea from the Bible.



A beautiful love story adapted from the Book of Hosea

The Old Testament book of Hosea is a picture of God’s redeeming love for His people.

The Lord speaks to the prophet Hosea and tells him to marry a prostitute named Gomer, knowing that she will wound his heart by being unfaithful to him. After several years of marriage, Gomer leaves her husband and children and returns to her life of sin. God then instructs Hosea to go and find her and bring her home. After searching for Gomer, Hosea finds his wife being sold in a slave auction, and although she is dirty and broken by sin, Hosea purchases her back with his own money and takes her into his home again.


The script of Gomer was specifically written so that we are able to allow the Lord to speak to us on two levels. Not only are we viewing a true story taken from the Word of God about Gomer and Hosea, but also, we are able to imagine ourselves in place of Gomer, and see Jesus in the place of Hosea.

For the story of Gomer is our story. The Bible says, “We all like sheep have gone astray” Isaiah 53:6a. Because of the slavery of sin, we each have stood on our auction block.  Thank God for a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who searched for us, and bought us back by His own precious blood. I Corinthians 6:20 says, “You are bought with a price”, and that price is Jesus’ own life, given willingly on the cross for our sins.

The purpose of this drama is that mankind will know and understand the incredible and unrelenting love that the Lord God has for His people. For those who have yet to know Him, and for those who have fallen away, the story of Gomer will bring this message of love and redemption to an intensely personal level.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

This drama (as well as the above synopsis) was written by Geri Campbell of InStep Ministries. A very talented actress who also works with/at  the Creation Museum.


All my “spare” minutes have been devoted to memorizing and practicing and sewing costumes.

I think I’m ready.

I would appreciate prayer that the story would be told powerfully and that God would use it to touch the hearts of those who watch it.

Thank you so much.  Exiting stage right….

Actual CowKids

posted by Chelsea

I wanted to share a couple of “Cow-Kids” with you this morning. 

My favorite calves(and kids!) are the ones who look just like their mamas.

Example A:

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Example B:

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Example C (my favorite!):



by Charlotte

In church on Wednesday nights, our pastor is going through the book of Ezekiel.  If you’ve read my story about Faith’s first year, you know that I love Zeke.  The book, I never knew the man.  :)  God used Ezekiel to speak to me and pull me out of the mire of self pity.  Well, funny thing, God is using Zeke yet again to talk to me and pull me out of the mire.  The mire of being the victim.

I like to be the victim.  Being the victim means that I can respond however I want, because I’m the victim.  Being the victim means that I don’t have to take responsibility for my actions.  I can whine about my circumstance all I want because I’m the victim.  Being the victim means that people should feel sorry for me.  And I like to have people feel sorry for me.  (It’s a sin of mine.)

I am a victim of my parents.  They didn’t teach me all I needed to know or they taught me the wrong things.  I am a victim of my husband.  It is his fault for everything because he is the head of the house.  I am a victim of my children.  If they weren’t so needy, I could could be a nicer mother.  I am a victim of the circumstances I find myself in.  If things were easier, I could be a better person.  I am a victim of society.  Society taught me all the wrong things.  If things aren’t going the way I think they should, then I am sure I am a victim of something or someone.

In chapter 18 of Ezekiel, the Israelites were claiming they were victims of their parents’ sins.  (In verse 2 God says, “What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children’s teeth are set on edge’?”)  The Israelites thought they were getting punished for what their parents had done.  God told the Israelites, through Ezekiel, that they were responsible for their own actions.  That he punished and consider righteous each man for his own actions.  If a man lived righteously, then God would consider him righteous (verses 4-28).  God told the Israelites that they were in the place they were because God Himself had put them there.  They were being punished for their own sins and they needed to repent and seek God (verses 29-32).

Please, please don’t think that all uncomfortable situations are because of punishment for sin in our lives.  I just don’t see where the Bible supports this.  It says the opposite (John 1:33).  Sometimes uncomfortable circumstances are from obedience.  But in this passage the Israelites are claiming to be victims and God is responding with a resounding, “No”.  And that’s what I heard, too.  “No.”  I am not a victim.  I am not a victim of anything.  I am an adult.  I am not a victim of my parents.  I am responsible to learn whatever it is God is trying to teach me.  I am not a victim of my husband.  He is not to blame for all my problems.  He and I are one; he is not the cause of my problems.  I am not a victim of my children.  I am responsible for my responses to them regardless of how they act.  I am not a victim of circumstances.  God has allowed everything that has(is) happened(happening) in my life to happen.  He has allowed it and good will come out of it (Romans 8:28).  Good does not always mean comfortable (unfortunately).  I am not a victim of society.  God calls me to be in the world, but not of the world (John 17:16).  It is my responsibility to follow God regardless of what my culture is doing.

Since I am not a victim, I need to stop acting like a victim.  I need to stop blaming everyone else for what is going “wrong” in my life.  I need to accept responsibility for my own actions (the things I can change).  I need to accept the place God has put me (the things I cannot change).  And I need to ask God to search my heart and find any uncleanness in me (Psalm 139:23-24).  If by my actions, I have sinned, then I need to repent (go the other direction).  And that is what I am doing.  I am repenting of being the victim.  I am not going to act like a victim any more.

So here’s to Zeke and one more lesson that went straight to my heart!

Ebb & Flow

posted by Chelsea

Ebb & Flow by definition (found via Google)= a decrease followed by an increase, as with tides.

Ebb & Flow by definition as it relates to the heating mechanisms of our woodstove= freezin’ cold. smokin’ hot. freezin’ cold. smokin’ hot. freezin’ cold. smokin’ hot.  freezin’ cold. smokin’ hot………….

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As “fate” would have it, when we moved into this house, the only logical spot for our woodstove– one large enough for a house triple the size of ours– was in the mud room.  This being the case for a few reasons:

1. It’s where the chimney is.
2. We didn’t want to “plumb” it in anywhere else.
3. We were afraid to “plumb” it into a more typical spot (ie: the living room) because we were afraid it would be smokin’ hot in the living room and we would have to spend our quality family time in the mud room.
4. We have remodeling plans in the next few years which made 1-3 seem logical and practical… for now.

So…. because of the nature of our house- small and compartmental  (compartmental being a descriptive word rather than a term for a syndrome in the medical world) we felt we had no choice in the matter.  Basically our house is 7 small rooms, all with a door or two out of each of them.  We do not have an “open” floor plan, as is typical in more modern building styles.  So… when we heat up the only room with a heat source in it, you can guess where the heat goes– nowhere.  If left to its own accord, the stove would heat the mudroom to its boiling point and leave the rest of the house icey.   

So… we’re practical folks and we decided to set up a unique and sophisticated system for getting the heat out of the mudroom and into the rest of the house:

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The fan, if left on the floor, blows nothing but cold air into the house.   A couple of screws drilled into the top of the door frame keeps the fan in a high enough position to blow air into the kitchen and then out into the remainder of our little abode.  Watch your noggin-this fan has been known to do some damage.

IF, on a chilly night you’re walking in our house from room to room, you can imagine yourself (swimming) going from the hot pool (mudroom), to the warm pool (kitchen), to the kiddie pool (living room & bedrooms), to the ice bath (bathroom).  You can either be STINKIN’ HOT and worried about catching some item of clothing on fire or you can be FREEZING cold…. unless of course, you’re in the kitchen and it happens to be just the right timing, and the fire is just hot enough to warm the kitchen up without overheating, THEN you’re in a great place.  AND if the fire isn’t going at all… well, then, bundle up if you plan on being anywhere in the house except… yep, in the mudroom.

To conclude… since our home was built in 1936-ish, I now understand why people invented a more open floor plan and a modern back-up heating system with temperature regulation….  all in an effort to reduce the Ebb & Flow of wood heat in a compartmental house.  And now you know…if you didn’t already.   That’s all.



posted by Chelsea

If you were to ask her how old she is, she’d proudly hold up one finger and say “free”.  BUT as of this morning she…

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 is actually two.

In honor of her special day, I thought I’d share a silly little poem of words and pictures about our baby girl with you. 

Baby Kate…

… has the cute factor…

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…and likes to ride with her dad, in the tractor…

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…she makes us laugh with her silly words…

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…and she doesn’t mind having her tea full of milk curds…

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…she loves her blankie and her “min”…

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…and with a piece of chocolate, her heart you will win…


…she is a laid back sort of gal…

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…and is her big sister’s bestest pal…

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…she thinks water is pretty great…


…and to get through dinner before a tubby, well, she can hardly wait…

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Feeding baby lambs gives her quite a thrill…

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… and she’s rarely, if ever, much of a pill…

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… there’s hardly a thing she can’t do…

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afterall, she’s going on two…

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when it comes to Baby Kate, she makes our heart sing…

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because about her, we just wouldn’t change a darn thing!


Happy Birthday Baby Girl.

Gettin’ Their Boots Dirty

posted by Chelsea

This weekend, we had some friends come for a visit.  They like to come every year during calving season to feed cows, see some newborn calves, and otherwise get their boots hay-y poopy muddy dirty…

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You’ve met Ella-Mae before in…

*a GARDENING POST last spring.  Go take a look, it’ll make spring seem…. nearer?? 
*a BED MAKING post.  Go take a look, it’ll make your house feel…. cleaner??
*a post about her ENGLISH GARDEN.  Go take a look, it’ll make you… miss summer??
*a recipe for MY FAVORITE MARINADE and a PANCAKE post.  Go check them out, they’ll make you… HUNGRY.

At any rate, we love when she and her two girls come to visit.  Unfortunately, only one of her girls could make it this year.  Fortunately, we had a blast with the one who came. 

Together, these two-cowgirls-for-the-weekend helped feed…

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Not even minding when they got lost in the hay a few times…

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Ella-Mae? You OK? You breathing in there?!

Minus the hugging, posing, and photographing, they looked like naturals on the back of the flat bed…

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They played with my children…

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And loved on a few calves…

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They threw hay to the heifers in the feed lot…

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And despite my promises to feed them real food, they decided to try being “one” with the cows…

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…something, well, I just haven’t seen done before. 

And to top it all off, they brought me us me usEXTRA CREAMY Lindt chocolate straight from the big city.  That, in and of itself, deserves a whole post…another time.  For today, we’re just so glad they came and helped spice up a very snowy end to February.



by Charlotte

I have some sad news. 

Our dear cat, Bazil, has not been seen by any of us for about a week.

She was our main mouser.

Although, contrary to popular opinion, I am not a cat person, I have missed her.

I have missed the hope that she would catch this pest.

So I would like to say, that although I will probably not shed a tear if she were to stay gone for good, I would be very tickled if she came back.

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