My sister, Sunny, is a biology teacher at Coppel High School. As part of their study, the classes are learning about genetics. To give the kids a “living” example, Sunny took eggs from our farm to the kids to research the breeds I have and predict what the chicks would look like and which hen laid the egg. She has been giving me updates on the class and how excited they are about the chicks. I am delighted to be able to participate in bringing kids into conact with farm life. What is more- Sunny has a live feed so that we can watch the chicks hatch in 10 days. What a mix, the most modern technology allows us to watch the chicks hatch from 80 miles away, and yet we are watching a most unmodern event. Hens have been hatching eggs since the beginning of time. It strikes me that with all our advancements, there is still so little that we can control. If you would like to watch I have posted a link in the far left widget, Mrs. Rich’s chick watch. I have also posted a picture of Jonathan holding a chick we hatched. One of hers may look like this one.
Last night Sierra and Jonathan started bringing in the Christmas bins. Of course, we had to bring in the empty bins and pack up the fall decorations first. It looked like hobby lobby had exploded in my house for a few hours, but finally packed bins moved out and decorating began. I have been reluctant to put up Christmas things before Thanksgiving, but the rest of the bunch won out. I must say that to have decorations already up have relieved part of the time crunch that begins as soon as the turkey leftovers are stuffed in the fridge. Since the decorations are up I can now focus on the gift making, ornament making, baking, and memory making. I am so looking forward to this Christmas. Of course the decorating is part of the memory making as well. We are having such a good time. The tree won’t come for 2 weeks or so. Because we use a live one, we can’t rush that part! Seirra and Jonathan are hanging the “planets” as they call them.
Last night we brought home a new heifer. She was orphaned when her mother died. The kids were very excited- any new addition is cause for celebration. Penelope is her given name and she is snuggling down in the barn. While the kids and Tony got the calf settled in, I got dinner ready. I then headed to the barn to check on progress. As I am nearing the barn I see the flashlights shinning out of the loft and the sound of laughter fills the air. Those are the moments that make me so glad to have a farm. The happiness that is shared by the whole family is priceless. I did wonder why they were in the loft. Once I got in the barn I saw all the Christmas bins stacked in the stall. It seems we can no longer resist the urge to pull out the decorations and lights. I love this time of year. To me it is just one long, fun, run of memory making time. That is why the phrase “Happy Holidays” does not bother me. I use it refering to the time from November 1 until January ?- whenever the tree finally comes down and the house is stripped bare. I unabashedly say “Merry Christmas” but also wish you “Happy Holidays”
A goal we set for the farm this year was to have income each month, regardless of the amount. Today was a profitable day. A couple of weeks ago, a really sweet lady, Susan, came to look at two goats we had posted on Craigslist. She bought Trixie and Delilah and in the process ordered 100 bales of hay. So, today we delivered hay. While we were unloading hay she asked about 2 doelings I had just posted. Skittles and Peaches were born here last March. Now they have a wonderful new home with Susan and her 2 llamas. All in all, we have me the nicest people through craigslist. So far, we are tracking very well to meet that goal for our farm. One thing about working that hard all day- I have NO trouble getting the kids in bed!
This week begins a two week fast for your family. The term “fast” brings with it a lot of images of starving yourself for a lot of people. It once did for me. However, now I understand it to simply mean that you are depriving your flesh of something it likes. Not just food. Tony and I have found that one of the best ways to keep our family on track is to fasst together as a family. It has been awhile since we had a family fast. Due to that, we have seen a lot of fruit we are not really liking. Such as ungratefulness, unthankfulness, pride, and the list goes on. Of course it is not just the kids. None of us have “arrived.” So, we like to just cut right to the heart of the matter. When we fast and deny the flesh what it likes- like NCIS, XBOX, caffine, sweets, etc.- it curcifies the flesh. In just a matter of days, all the ugly fruit can be removed ande replaced with good fruit. Without the fast, it would take many moons to get rid of the bad fruit otherwise. All though I do not relish the idea of what the fast will require, I do look forward to the results. It won’t be pretty. The mess made crucifing the flesh can be something. Mouths will engage, pride will rear its ugly head but in the end the Spirit will win. God is very good to give us such tools to stay close to Him. I wish more people understood what it is to fast and would do it.
Today was a lot of fun. Starting early at 7:30 am, we set up pony rides for a fundraiser for the East Texas Stampede, which is a 4H equestrian drill team. Sierra rode with them in the parade at the Peanut Butter Festival in Grand Saline. That is correct, the Peanut Butter Festival. It seems that a world record peanut butter sandwhich was being built in Grand Saline today. It really was a lot of fun, a little cold but that didn’t stop the fun. This was Sierra’s first parade. She did great. Of course I thought she looked like Miss Rodeo America- smiling and waving to the crowd. Cheyenne and Savannaha carried the banner and walked in front of the team. Of course they were beautiful too! Tony and Jonathan were at the 4H sharpshooters meeting. We met them there when the parade was over. All the member brought their guns and ammo and did a lot of target practice. Jonathan has been counting down the days until this free shoot. We also had a community lunch. The friends we have made and the experiences we have had though 4H have been so rewarding.
Today is the first day of my first blog. I had been thinking about this for awhile, but a trip to the library made the decision final. It odd, but it was the fact that my 17 year old daughter did not know how to use a card catalog (which is now on computer) that made me see that I needed to start a blog. I was amazed at the fact that this kid can zoom all over the internet, tweet, facebook, etc. but had no idea how to look up a book on a specific subject and find it on the shelves. So, I taught her. We homeschool now, but for most of her school years she was in public school. I am guessing the library was just a place to work on homework. Anyway, as I thought about our lesson on the way home it occured to me- she probably thinks the same thoughts about me as she watches me limp around the cyberworld. So, it was settled I must enter fully into this era of communication. What an interesting journey I am sure this will be. It only took me 30 minutes to figure how to post a message on by blog. I must say I felt a bit smug that Cheyenne did not know how to help me. I often think as I am teaching my children at home’ “Who is the teacher around here?” There is much I learn from them.