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His Indescribable Gift ~ It’s a Wrap

~posted by Donna

A series entitled “His Indescribable Gift” was first published a year and a half ago, just before Easter. There were at least 4 of them and one heretofore unpublished was subtitled “Born to Buried.” I used a “compare and contrast” method of reviewing both the Christmas and Easter stories. As I spent time reading and enjoying the Christmas story
yet again last week,

CC CE9some new (for me and perhaps new for you as well) details jumped out at me. So here goes…. I noticed that Jesus, following His birth, was wrapped in swaddling clothes. Only Luke describes this for us: “Then she (Mary) gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth” and he reported what the angels told the shepherds this way: “This will be the sign for you: you will find the baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying in a manger.” And it wasn’t long before I then noticed that Jesus, at His burial, was also wrapped, only this time, in burial linens. “Then they took Jesus’ body and wrapped it in linen cloths with the aromatic spices, according to the burial custom of the Jews.” Luke called it “fine linen.” Mark reported, “After he (Joseph of Arimathea) bought some fine linen, he took Him down and wrapped Him in the linen.” Matthew called it “clean, fine linen.” God saw to it that His only begotten Son, in spite of His pitiable circumstances, had what He needed. I do think it’s worth noting at this time that Mary and Joseph were, of course, there when Jesus was born AND Mary and Joseph, different Joseph, were there when He died. And what also jumped out at me is that Joseph was warned in a dream by an angel and Mary was spoken to in person by an angel. Both methods seemed to have been very effective for each of these two individuals. We’re told from way back in the beginning (Genesis 3:15) that God, speaking to satan, CC CE4

would put hostility between him and the woman (Jesus’ mother, Mary) and between his seed

CC CE6and HER seed. That term is only used ONCE in the whole Bible. Every other time the term is used, it always means the male sperm or seed. Well, the virgin birth and the empty tomb, Christmas and Easter, are at the heart of our faith. They prove His deity. They substantiate His claims to be the Son of God. Let’s celebrate right on through Sunday, March 27, 2106! CC CE8


His Indescribable Gift ~ Born to Buried

~posted by Donna

Ah, tis the season.
Comfort and joy.
Merry and bright.
Feliz y prospero.

But does all that merry come from this?

CC Tis 5

or this?

CC Tis 6

or this?

CC Tis 9

or this?

CC Tis 10

or even this?

CC Tis6

Let’s investigate the deeper reasons for the season using one of my favorite formats. We’ll compare and contrast Jesus’ coming with His going, His birth with His death, His entry with His exit. It came upon a midnight clear to me and I couldn’t wait to share it with you. So let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us (Luke 2:15).

{All Photos from this point forward taken at Trinity UM Church Christmas Play, 2013}

Perhaps it was commonplace back then to be born in unusual places. No hospitals, no birthing rooms. Even in present times, what do poor people do who can’t afford a doctor or get to a doctor? They give birth wherever they are. If they’re fortunate, at least they’ll have a mid-wife and a clean room with adequate supplies. That’s more than Mary and Joseph had.

CC Mary n Joseph

They were traveling to a strange town at a busy time. There were no rooms for rent. The young couple were desperate. Birth was imminent for Mary. So they took what they could get from an innkeeper who took pity on them and Jesus was born and they laid His tiny head down in a feeding trough in a manger.

CC Tis

Fast forward 33 years. That baby, as a full grown man, completed His earthly life far different from the quiet, spontaneous way He began it. Instead of a handful of shepherds

CC 2 shepherds

in the little town of Bethlehem, the whole, huge, impersonal city of Jerusalem watched as He hung, bloodied and bruised, on a rough, thick Roman cross.

CC Cross

Instead of swaddling clothes tucked lovingly around Him, His garments had all been gambled off Him and He drew His last breath with very little covering Him.

Because of the generosity of a rich, religious man who got permission to bury the body, Jesus was wrapped in fine linen and His head was once again laid down, only this time in a tomb cut into a rock. Kind of a surprise ending, don’t you think? But who would’ve guessed His humble beginnings? God had it all planned out, from birth to burial. And take heart, He has yours planned out too.


posted by Chelsea

We’ve been getting snow!


MUCH snow! (this picture was the first day it started snowing- we have twice this much now!) And it’s been so fantastic! Last year I was dreading snow… this year, after the fire and such a hot dry summer I am delighted to see it.  It feels like a big healing blanket of moisture. (I just made that up… and I like it!)

 Yesterday the kids headed outside in the morning and they stayed outside sledding, building an igloo, and otherwise frolicking in the snow until the sun was on its way down.  I sent snacks out periodically and even “to-go” cups of hot chocolate, but they wanted to be out all the live long day.  So… in my spare time, I cleaned the house!  Kind of. I mean, I got distracted reading and exercising and cooking and stuff, but otherwise totally cleaned.  Kind of. ANYWAY, this is what it looked like on Lucy’s 9th birthday… just a few short days ago…


(We think she likes the new bike! Hey! She’s wearing my Bogs!) And now we are loaded with snow! Yippee!

Speaking of her birthday.  Here she is having a “happy birthday talk” with her great-grandparents while she snuggled the puppy we are keeping (out of our litter of 10)….


His name is Roy. Roy is a chunk- all belly!

And finally, for your viewing pleasure… here’s one of the attempts at our Christmas card picture. It didn’t work out so well… Untitled

I wish you could see Cooper’s face better. We were in auto-shoot mode with a tri-pod and in order to increase the “FUN FACTOR” of taking pics, the kids would run ahead, I’d push the button to take the picture then I’d run and get in the picture. This picture was ruined for Cooper because one of his sisters tried to help him by touching him on the back while running to get in the picture. The audacity of such a move by an older sister nearly ruined the entire shoot. You know what I really love about the picture? Tom, the big dog in the picture- came over when Cooper started crying. He loves our kids. And I love him so much for that. Which is good because he “ain’t” no cow dog!

Happy Thanksgiving

posted by Chelsea



We worked cows this weekend and I made everyone get on the fence for a family picture.  Have a  Happy Thanksgiving– so much to be thankful for!!

Back At It

posted by Chelsea

I’m back :-)



… are the best biscuits ever.  With the holidays approaching, you might just need a biscuit recipe… and it would be handy if you had the very best recipe, wouldn’t it?!  At the bottom, I will share. But first some other stuff.

I recently posted on Facebook my sincere appreciation for the logging truck drivers who frequent our road.  They are so kind to us- making room on our crazy road to make sure we feel safe.   That said, not only do logging trucks drive down the grade…

… but so do mobile homes…


(look close, that’s a triple wide on that trailer!) They did close the road for that little adventure… there wasn’t extra room for traffic!

A couple weeks ago we were in town with some time to spare, so we went to the lake… DSC_0537

And I took this picture of the kids…


And I just downloaded it off my camera… And I like it!  It depicts several things:

1. their personalities
2. their relationships
3. the stages they’re each at right now.

OK. Recipe. Named “Linda’s Biscuits” after guess who?! Linda!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

First, mix:
1 pkg (2 1/4 tsps) active dry yeast with
1/2 cup warm water
Let yeast and water sit until foamy about 10 minutes then add:
2 cups buttermilk (I use sour’d milk because I never have buttermilk!)

In a separate bowl, mix together:
5-6 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
3 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
mix together.  mix in:
3/4 cup shortening (I use butter and it works well)

Add yeast mixture to flour mixture.  Roll out dough, cut out biscuits, bake 12-15 minutes.
serves: 24


Jr Rodeo, Superhero Sightings & Such

posted by Chelsea

Hi again!  I was so delighted and encouraged to keep writing when you showed up last week. Hi Grandpa! Hi Grandma!:-) Thanks for not giving up on me! ;-)

Lets see…. A couple weekends ago, Jessie & Collin put on the annual kids rodeo in town.  The girls have waited all summer for the big event. It was a really fun day. Katelyn and Lucy competed in barrels, pole bending, goat tail untying, and team sorting. Cooper was led through barrels and poles, and while he had fun, he was mostly upset that he had to be led…

12184013_10207111306253056_6875948665823232890_oMaybe next year he can ride by himself ;-) Here’s Kate, rockin’ the pole pattern… UntitledAnd Lucy, flyin’ thru the barrels… UntitledYou can see in the pictures, the girls have developed a habit of not using their stirrups. Katelyn has never really liked putting her feet in and Lucy’s make her knees sore. It’s worked out quite well, in my opinion. They both are having to learn to have a good seat and not rely on those stirrups. I like the habit :) On the way home from the rodeo we came across some cows that were out. The girls and I jumped out and got our horses out of the trailer… UntitledAnd put the cows away. Which, in my opinion, was the icing on the cake of a great day. On another note, we were riding last week… Untitledwhen we came across a superhero who wanted to ride… DSC_0429  Cooper loves costumes- particularly superheros. He shows up to various events in his costumes including an evening in the saddle. The fall evenings… Untitled

have been pretty pleasant around here. We did get some much needed rain this last weekend, but we’ve had a lot of ride-able afternoon and evenings!

Until next time~

Cow-camp, Once A Week, And Other Matters

Well, hi there!

I’ve missed you! Ironically, I’m writing more than ever, but not here :( Because of that, I’ve been doing some thinking and decided to start keeping one day a week as my “blog deadline day”.  That way I’ll keep up, at least with a few pictures, once a week.  So… Monday is the day. Blog day.  I have LOVED keeping this blog, documenting our life, and I would be awfully sad if I let it go. Unfortunately, at the rate I’ve been blogging, it’s being let go. So… here I am.  Every Monday I’ll show up here.  I’d be delighted if you would, too.  I realize we might have some trust issues to work out.  I haven’t followed through in the past and you might not want to trust again.  But I’ll do my best! I’ll give it the ol’ college try (And I tried hard in college! Except the semester Buck and I were dating and got engaged. Then my friends had to drag me through some tough classes! But other than that, I tried really hard! :) So lets get this show on the road. Cowcamp.  Cow-camp.  CowCamp.  Cow camp.  Cow Camp.  (Pick your spelling!)


The kids and I spent a long weekend at camp… always fun to come home with coolers, bags, laundry, sleeping bags, and gear…all needing to be unpacked.  I pick someone else to do that job!  Any takers?!   The girls went to school today. Cooper is cutting up small pieces of paper.  And taping them to the floor.  He’s working on his fine motor skills!  (I’ll be working on mine later when I peel the small, taped, pieces of paper off the floor!) Anyway.  Cowcamp.  The kids and I held down the fort- we kept the fires going and played at camp.  Lucy rode one day with the crew and boy did that get me excited about the day we’ll all be able to go!  But I enjoy camp time, too, and am glad for the down time.  I got to drink coffee, read, and write a few letters.  See… Untitled

I even took a picture ;-)  Note the yarn in the background… Katelyn worked on a project at camp.  The girls have a “Loop De Loom” and she was able to get most of a scarf done.  It was white.  At cow camp.  But never mind that! Here’s the kids, out on an adventure walk… Untitled

Whoa! Hey look! Here they were a-couple-a-years-ago… 1383529_10201213750079806_808805413_n It appears that we have all moved out of stretchy pants (at least in the picture!)   Back to this year.  Here’s Cooper looking quite grown up and man-like…

Untitled Here’s Lucy looking quite amused at her little brother taking her picture by the campfire…

Untitled And the girls, looking like sweet sisters…

 Caitlin & Beau having a moment…

Untitled Buck & Mo having a moment….

Untitled Caitlin, Beau and Scooby-Do having a moment…

Untitled And Katelyn Claire, waiting in the tent…

Untitled There it is.  A picture recap of cow-camp.  And I’m already excited about writing for next week! So much to say!  See you soon! -Chels                  

Sunset & News

posted by Chelsea



was the sunset on the ranch last night. Straight out of the camera. No filter. It’s been smokey and made the sun really bright orange/red.  I’m in love with this picture.

That was the “Sunset” part of the title of this post.  Now for the “News” part.

Buck’s Grandma Janie has been writing a column, “Janie’s Journal” for a Northwest newspaper, “Agritimes” for the last 30 years or so.  Recently she decided to downsize her schedule and asked if I’d fill in for her, possibly indefinately.  I wrote for the month of July and yesterday I got a call from the newspaper asking if I’d write permanently because Janie has decided to be done with her twice a month column.  So… I’m doing it!  These are large boots to fill as Janie has a huge following and fan base.  She has been writing about their ranch life for a Very. Long. Time.  

I’m excited. And nervous. And excited. I’ll try not to let things completely fall apart here at CC! Maybe HAVING to write more will make me write more here, too!  And maybe since I can’t include our entire life in the newspaper I’ll fill in the gaps here.

OK. And here’s our Cooper, with our new puppy, Clyde. (Buck didn’t get a chance to use the name on a child, so he decided to use it on his new pup :) DSC_3708

Saddle Up!

posted by Chelsea

A few days ago I had my iPod with me while we were riding and caught this series of Lucy getting on.  I thought it was “share worthy”.  Kids get creative when they can’t reach the saddle horn to mount up.  Lucy is no exception- she’s found the right strings to grab onto to pull herself right up.


Getting on!


Getting on!


Getting on!

I’ll tell you one of the things I appreciate most about these pictures…

The big grey horse…Dish.

He just stands there, waiting patiently for her to do her thing. Getting on!

Getting on!

He doesn’t move away. He doesn’t walk away.

Getting on!

Getting on!

or otherwise misbehave in any way!

Getting on!

Love them!

5 Smooth Stones

Posted by Donna ~

Does everyone know the story of David and Goliath? It’s my 9 year old grandson’s favorite. Not just because he heard it in Sunday School more than once but because he read it for himself. Snuggling with me on an early summer morning. And as he read, I began to see the story with new eyes. Those of a young boy intent on a mission, equipped more in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel’s army, than with battle array.

Most scholars estimate David’s age at about 15. All males 20 and up had to fight in Israel’s army. Of the 8 sons of Jesse, only David tended the family sheep so probably  his 7 brothers were all there the day he killed the giant, a 9 foot 9 inch behemoth of a man wearing a bronze helmet and bronze scale armor that weighed 125 pounds (I wonder if David even weighed that much.). Goliath had bronze shin guards, a bronze sword slung between his shoulders, and the iron point of his spear weighed 15 pounds. Ridiculously, the giant had a shield-bearer walking in front of him. What a sight they must’ve been.

Yet the Israelites were all shaking in their sandals.

David probably had on a loin cloth or small cloth covering, perhaps a tunic of some sort. King Saul tried to dress David in his own military clothes, a bronze helmet and full armor but the young lad would have none of it. And for weaponry, he carried his staff to a nearby brook


and chose 5 smooth stones which he placed in his shepherd’s bag,


and his sling was in his hand.


He declared to his enemy, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you.” This infuriated Goliath and as he came toward the youthful boy, David reached into his bag and drew out one of those small river rocks.


In spite of the profound results, the process was simple. David took the stone and slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead so that the stone sank into his forehead, and the giant fell on his face to the earth. One smooth stone….


So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David. Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. What a story!

What a victory, for David AND God.

So the next time you see a pile of rocks,


look for the smooth ones and thank God for the small shepherd boy who became a king.

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