Saturday, March 30, 2013

Introducing … Chloe

Well, it’s been about 2 weeks since we introduced Patches to our farm/family.  So it seems time to introduce the next member : Chloe!


She is a heifer calf, who is destined for great things….t-bones, brisket, fajitas, and many more! 

AG bottle feeding chloe

But seriously, we acquired a new calf that we are currently bottle feeding in our back yard, and hoping to get her big by grazing her out on the pasture! We were thrilled to learn she is a limousine breed – which is a good beef breed. The auction was so quick that Robert did not have any idea what she was, or that she was a she and not a he. Fun times!!kate feeding chloe

Of course everyone wants a turn, and even friends want to get in on the action – here is Kate feeding Chloe too!  Kate was less than thrilled that we will eventually eat Chloe, but that is okay too.

me feeding calf

We think she is pretty cute, and right now we are trying to get her to warm up to us.  Eventually she will come running when we call her, since she will expect treats and food, but for now, she is penned in the backyard so we can get her settled and used to us.

chloe with bottle

Life is never slow or dull around here!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Right Here {Gratitude}

This is where I want to delight to be.  Right Here.  Right Now. 

I sit here, early this morning, just thinking of all there is to be thankful for.  Thinking how if I slept in a bit more, I might miss, THIS.  This moment to stop and think.  To look across and see two boys – 12 and 10.  One reading his Bible under a blanket while the last fire of the year burns in the stove.  The other, eyes closed, praying for his day.

If I were still snuggled under the covers trying to hold to the night, and not grabbing my day, I would miss the quiet of the wood burning next to me.  I would miss my sweet cats waking up too, and lounging around the room.

Right here.  Thinking about what today is going to offer me.  The temps are turning here, tomatoes and peppers will go.  I have been waiting to get these in for weeks, and now patience will pay off.  If I had given in to my desire two weeks ago, we may have lost them all with these recent freezing temps!

Right here, still enjoying little Patches in the yard – starting to warm to us and come up for some snuggles.  And now a new member – a sweet little bull calf that arrived last night.  (Not sure about his name yet).  Enjoying our sweet little chicks too, who will soon be our new egg laying hens!  I love welcoming new life into this Hobby Farm of ours!

Rejoicing that God opened up a home for Polly!  So, so, so happy to have found a family to love her like she wanted to be loved, a home where she IS the loved pet and not one of many.  No chickens to chase, no goats to bother – just people to love her!  God was so good to find the perfect home with some great kids to love her all day long!!  I just know she must feel like a Rock Star now!!

Right here.  I don’t want to be anywhere else.  I want to grab these early moments and the ones that will trickle in all day and enjoy every last bit of them. 

If you do not see how GOOD God is, you have not been looking around much have you?  Man, He is GOOD!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Raising Meat Birds

It was a (seemingly) eternal 6 weeks! 

fat chicken

Yes, those were 6 long weeks that we raised these meat birds, this year.  The boys stirred more than they have before.  They checked feeders and waterers until they could almost do it in their sleep, which at the end they did!

We listened to many friends this year, took lots of notes, requested recipes, and made some choices of our own. 

more new chicks

We got our birds about 6 weeks ago.  Not just 25 chickens.  We were so excited to get an extra pen, which then became 2 extra pens!  So after bringing home 75 baby chicks, we made a few calls and shared our bounty with a friend!

new chicks


So, down to 50 – the process began!

Monday, March 25, 2013


We were so excited on St. Patrick’s day – not our favorite holiday as a family, but when you wake up and find a baby goat in the goat pen – it is reason to celebrate!!

sweet baby boy


Meet our newest “family” member : Patrick “Patches”


We had no idea that Petunia, one of our Nigerian Dairy Goats, was pregnant.  So, imagine our surprise, at 6:30am when we find a baby in the goat pen!!  We were thrilled and panicked!  I had not planned for this, we were 9 months from having a baby goat here!

After I got a bit hysterical, searched for our books to no avail, – I called a friend and asked what to do.  She calmed me down and assured me it was all going to be just fine.

It was.

Patches is doing great, growing super fast, and playing with his mom and aunt in the backyard daily!!  He is a great nurser, and I cannot wait to start sharing milk with him!

patches head


We have all fallen helplessly in love with this little guy!!  How adorable is he!?!? 


AG and patches

His momma is pretty crazy about him too and she is a fantastic momma to him!!

baby and momma 1

Just a great reminder that God is in control – I was impatiently waiting to breed my girls, and little did I know at least one was already bred!  I am sure God was laughing at my impatience!

So thankful for all the good gifts that God blesses our family with!!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Those Days

I bet you don’t have them.  But you know people who do.  You know.  Your friend who calls because it is one of those days.  Maybe your neighbor.  But not you…..



Yes, one of those days.

I love that as I am reading Desperate, (and quite honestly feeling like I don’t need it, ha ha) and also the devotion for Unglued – I had one of those days.

All my tomato plants that I have been nurturing for, oh maybe 10 weeks, yes those.  They started dying.  Ugh.  Depression descended upon me.

Then, my kids were not being the angelic beings that I expect them to be – right, silly me.  Math was taking my youngest boy about 9 hours, give or take an hour.  Math U See.  2 pages – 40 problems.  9 HOURS people!!  Oh my.

So.  When Robert finally woke up (he was sleeping from working nights the night before) I informed him I quit.  I was resigning immediately.  Sign the kids up at Malakoff ISD.  I was done with it all.  No yelling.  No screaming.  No slamming doors.  Just a simple clear resignation.

He laughed.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I’m signed up–ARE YOU?

I am so excited to share something with you!!


Whether you are making baby steps living in the city, or you are living off the grid homesteading, you will will love listening to some amazing speakers talk about healthier living!!


This FREE online virtual conference is happening March 24-30, 2013. Listen to 35 of your favorite health experts, authors, doctors, bloggers, farmers and activists from the comfort of your own couch!
Click here to sign up now -- it's FREE!
When you sign up, you'll get an email with log in information. Then go back on Sunday, March 24th and listen all week for free.
If you are unable to join them online the week of March 24th, you can order the entire Healthy Life Summit to listen anytime, anywhere. Click here to pre-order now and save 75%!



On each day during the Summit, 5 presentations (1 from each track) will be posted on the Healthy Life Summit website. These presentations will be available for FREE, streaming for 24 hours (from midnight to midnight Pacific Time).

Click here to sign up now -- it's FREE!

At the end of the 24hour free viewing period, that day’s interviews will be taken down from their site and will be replaced by the next day’s interviews.  If you are unable to listen online the week of March 24th, you can order the entire Healthy Life Summit to listen anytime, anywhere.

Click here to pre-order now and save 75%!

I cannot wait to listen in as some experts in the field share their knowledge!  The best part?  I get to sit at home and let my kids join me and learn too!!  But I also know that the chances of listening to all 5 sessions each day is not that high, so make sure you sign up to have permanent access to the sessions to listen to later!!

Click here to sign up now -- it's FREE!

These are the sessions I am most excited about!!  There are others I will be tuning in to, but these are the ones I am making a priority!!

Day 1
Joel Salatin, Polyface Farms

Joel discusses the industrial agriculture system and how far removed we are from the simple, sustainable joy that comes from living close to the land and the people we love. Joel explains why kids need chores, how backyard chickens and edible landscapes are the future, and discusses the folly of  the synthetic-fertilizer-fueled Green Revolution.

Day 2

Jeffrey Smith, author of Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette

Jeffrey covers the health and environmental hazards of GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. Learn how you can avoid being a lab rat in this frightening science experiment.

Day 3

Julia_RossJulia Ross, author of The Mood Cure
andThe Diet Cure

Julia reveals how nutrition can cure depression, anxiety, & other mood disorders & how to overcome addiction to junk foods and dependence on drugs.

……Okay, that was a glimpse – there are more: healthy cleaning products, feeding kids better, switching from junk food to real food.  This is the place to start if you are in baby-step mode, and the place to find encouragement if you are already waist deep in this healthy living journey!

So, what are you waiting for?  Check it out NOW!!  See the other speakers HERE.

Click here to sign up now -- it's FREE!

{There are affiliate links in this post}

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Interview with Mesu Andrews

I am so excited to share my interview with Mesu Andrews with you!!  mesu picIf you have not read my reviews of Love in a Broken Vessel or Love’s Sacred Song please check them out!  They were two books I loved.  I finished Love in a Broken Vessel about a week ago and I still miss the characters.  I passed it on to a friend to read and I almost want to ask her what they are up to – I know weird!  But I loved them and connected with them more than I usually do!

Anyway, I was able to send a few questions through email to Mesu and she was so dear to reply.  Hope you enjoy all the great answers, I certainly did!! 

First a bit about Mesu Andrews:

Mesu Andrews and her husband, Roy, enjoyed fourteen years of pastoral ministry before moving to the Pacific Northwest to pursue the next step in God’s calling. They have two married daughters and live in Washington, where Mesu writes full time. The Andrews’ have a Rottweiler-pitbull named Bouzer, who keeps Mesu company while she enjoys her fireplace and hot coffee on rainy Northwest days. She loves movies, waterfalls, and travel.

Biblical fiction is her favorite genre to read and write. Her first novel, Love Amid the Ashes (Revell, 2011), won the 2012 ECPA Book of the Year in the Debut Author Category. Love’s Sacred Song (Revell, 2012), the Song of Solomon story, received a 4 ½ star rating from RT Reviews. And Love in a Broken Vessel (Revell), the story of Hosea and Gomer, is available now and received a 4 ½ star TOP PICK rating from RT Reviews. The Shadow of Jezebel is scheduled for release in March 2014.

And now, some words from her!  Hope you enjoy!!

What made you decide to write Biblical Fiction verses Christian romance?

This always sounds a little silly, but I never really planned to be a writer. I was a pastor’s wife and active Bible teacher, when I felt the Lord calling me to begin speaking at women’s retreats and conferences in 1998. In 2001, I attended a writer’s conference, but it was simply to get my speaking topic published into Bible study form. My idealistic bubble was worse that burst—more like blasted with an atomic editor-critique-bomb. So, I planned to keep speaking and never write again! But in 2002, an unexplained health crash landed me in bed for six months, and God’s Word nearly burned a hole inside me. Writing became my voice. I started writing Bible studies, but no one was lining up to publish work from a pastor’s wife without formal training or degrees. One especially helpful editor—and a nagging best friend—suggested I write my Bible studies as novels. Teach through story—like a parable—they said. My passion for God’s Word is what drives me. Even for my leisure reading, I read mostly biblical novels. What can I say? I’m smitten with the Eternal Bridegroom!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Book Review : Love in a Broken Vessel

I am so excited to tell you about a book I recently finished, and quite honestly I am missing!!  I find myself thinking about the characters as I work around the house.  Really.  It was that good that I still am thinking about what they are doing “in their world” today.  I loved it.


Love in a Broken Vessel is a story about a man and a woman.  You may know a bit about them.  You may have even read another amazing book about this man and woman.  Don’t let any of that influence you when it comes to reading this book.  Read it whether you know them or now, whether you have read other books about them or not.

{if you are reading this in email, you need to click over to watch the video of Mesu Andrews talk about her book}

Hosea and Gomer.  Many of us know their terrible story, or was it a great story?  Well, really, it is both.  It is terrible heart break and betrayal, and complete and utter forgiveness and love – all wrapped up together.  I have read both Redeeming Love, another novel based on the Bible story, and I have read the Bible story – but this story is still stuck in my head.  I have found myself asking, how am I like the Israelites?  How have I rejected God’s complete love for me?

This story of Gomer and Hosea was amazing, it gave me a real look into what Gomer could have been feeling many years ago as Hosea pursued her.  To see how she felt herself so unworthy despite his love for her. 

Mesu Andrews wrote this beautiful story, she also wrote one of my mesu picother favorite books Love’s Sacred Song – another biblical fiction novel.  I love the depth she brings to a story through her research.  You can almost smell the fragrances as Gomer walks through the markets, you can just imagine her asherah idol hidden among the dishes collecting the grime of the air, you can feel the love that Hosea pours out on Gomer time and again.  I really felt connected to these characters, seeing their lives as real and not just the books in the Bible.  {check out her blog to learn more about her!!}

I love to read Mesu Andrews and hope you will pick up a copy of this amazing book and check her out for yourself!!

NOTE : I was offered a copy of Love in a Broken Vessel at no cost, in exchange for a n honest review, by Revell Publishers.

Friday, March 1, 2013


That was the word to assigned to 2013.  I wanted more – not more stuff, or more things, or more to do – I wanted more of Jesus.  Really.  I wanted him to be enough.  I wanted him to be first, not left overs.

The past several weeks I have heard the second part of my word for the year – worship.  I have heard an amazing preacher talk about worship in ways I have never heard before.  He talked about us being worship leaders, all of us.  He talked about the only excuse to not worship : ______ oh wait – there is no excuse.  Job worshipped when he lost it all.  Mary worshipped when she was confused and scared.  Many others worshipped despite the  fill-in-the-blank

Then Sally (I think, it could have been Sarah Mae or Kat) talked about how we can worship God by raising our kids, by discipling them, by loving them.

Then the light went off!  I realized, it is not just about wanting more Jesus – it is about more of me worshipping him in the day to day, minute to minute, parts of life.  It’s about stopping from yelling and praising him for the kids that drive me a bit crazy.  It’s about not letting the day to day wear me out because I serve a crazy, amazing loving God!!

It’s about offering thanks, because that is worship too, for everything : the broken washing machine, the sassy 12 year old, the squeaky car, the…. the list goes on and on – amidst all the good stuff too, you know!?  But really, being thankful and worshipping how God he is in our lives.  About taking the time in the morning to offer HIM my first fruits in the morning, not offering that same time to facebook or email.  Ugh.  That is a whole other bag of worms…

Okay – so my motto for 2013 is firmly : MORE WORSHIP.  And, if I can do that I am pretty sure I can do everything else.  If I worship him all day long while I am discipling, disciplining, working, schooling, cleaning, cooking, etc – I think I may just draw even closer to this Jesus who I love more than life.  If I can just manage to make him my focus.  If.

But guess what?  I trust that even by trying, He will honor my efforts and bless my attempts and it will be better than before.  I have hope!  I hope for what I cannot see, me becoming a bit more like him in the day to day.  We’ll see how it goes.  I will keep you posted!


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