Sunday, November 30, 2008

More Frugality

Another great frugal post.
~ sigh~
So much to read, so little time....
You'll be encouraged @ Seeking Faithfulness

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Just in case you happen to need a reminder of those things for which to be thankful, pop over and read Angie's Thanksgiving post. There's over 100 comments (and counting..) of people all over the world who are offering thanks to the Lord as a form of healing.
Abundant Blessings to you ~

*ed. note: this blog post has since been removed.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


"Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,

For wisdom and might are His.

And He changes the times and the seasons;

He removes Kings and raises up Kings;

He gives wisdom to the wise

And knowledge to those who have understanding."

Daniel 2: 20-21

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thoughts Held Captive

One of my all-time favorite books is Attitudes of a Transformed Heart, by Martha Peace. In the introduction of the book, Martha talks honestly about her faulty world view and thoughts about God before she became a Christian. It's simple, but we all need reminders of the right way to think about God.


*God is good. He is always good.

*I am to obey Him whether I feel like it or not.

*Excessive sensitivity and dwelling on hurt feelings is a manifestation of sinful pride.

*The feminist agenda is unbiblical.

*We are not to worship the earth.

*There are not multiple ways to God, only one.

*A person can say he is a Christian, yet not really be one.

*The Lord Jesus really will return but no one knows when.

*God's ways and thoughts are higher than ours.

*God is in charge whether we like it or not.


"I am the LORD, and there is no other;

Besides Me there is no God.

I will gird you, though you have not known Me;

Then men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun

That there is no one besides Me;

I am the LORD, and there is no other."

Isaiah 45:5-6

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Peaceful Sunday

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path~

Proverbs 3: 5-6

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Divided House

Rick Saenz over at Dry Creek Chronicles has an interesting post up that I think every serious Christian should read.

In many ways, we tear each other down;
And all the world watches....

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I've been over at my other blog moving old posts over here and found this one today. This post was written on October 20th, 2006 when we spent Christmas in California. We stopped by the Grand Canyon on the way out.


I love this picture of the Grand Canyon. There is a tiny view of the Colorado River that runs through the canyon in this picture. You'll have to write me if you see it. It's a teensy dark green speck about an inch and a half from the right edge of the picture.

We decorated a tiny "hotel" Christmas tree this evening. I think we're getting into the Christmas spirit. Tomorrow, we'll put together a gingerbread house and Lord willing, we hope to start some Christmas shopping soon. The latest Christmas CD by Jim Brickman was on sale at Target so I bought myself an early birthday gift. I was so disappointed when I discovered I'd forgotten our Christmas music~ we were too far down the road to go back, but then I realized that I'd have a great opportunity to add to my collection. I haven't done that in quite a while.

As is our tradition most all year 'round, Phillip is telling the kids a deer hunting story. I don't believe he'll ever run out of stories; he's got over 30 years of memories tucked away in his heart. Deer hunting and the ranch is such a blessed memory for him. I hear the joy (and sadness) in his stories. I'm amazed at all he remembers, even as far back as 5 years old. He remembers being too young to go hunting with his older brothers and uncle. Left with the women, he'd play in the yard by himself watching down the road waiting for the guys to show up with a deer. He remembers his uncle's smell, his voice, his words. One of his fondest memories is of Uncle Doc putting logs on the fire in the middle of the night. That man made such an impression on Phillip. It brings tears to my eyes.

My heart is sad for him. The ranch~ it's such a part of him. I pray the Lord will someday give him what he so longs for......

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fear & Faith

Have Faith in God  (maroon, blue and red)

A few years back, I delivered a short devotion on fear at our ladies brunch at church. I was up praying, reading and studying each morning. I have such a "Moses syndrome" when it comes to those things. "Lord, I am not an eloquent speaker! Is there anyone else you could use?" But...He gently reminds me of who HE is ....and who I am ~ His vessel, an instument, His servant &....His Beloved. I want nothing more than for Him to use me. And, if he happens to use me in ways that cause discomfort, then so be it. I prayed for His strength ~ and He is always incredibly faithful.

In my reading, one specific theme kept coming to the surface. When faced with fear or a daunting task, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David (and others) moved forward in faith. I truly feel like they were afraid because they were human, like us. But I also see where they went forth in faith because they knew their God.

Oh friends....Do we know our God? Do we know Him well? That's only something we can each answer for ourselves. I know I want to know Him well.......but does my faith reflect that relationship? Something to ponder.

...Without faith, it is impossible to please God,

for he who comes to God must believe that He is

and that He is rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Hebrews 11: 6

Trusting (daily) in the only One who is able ~ Angela

Believe a Lie?

This is a bit of an excerpt from Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

The Lie: "If I feel something, it must be true."
The Enemy wants us to believe that if we feel unloved, we are unloved. If we feel we can't cope with pressure, it must be true that we can't handle it. If we feel God has deserted us or that He has acted unjustly in a matter that concerns us, then perhaps He has let us down. If we feel our situation is hopeless, then there must be no hope. If we don't feel saved, then maybe we aren't. If we don't feel forgiven then we must not be.

The Truth: "The truth is that, due to our fallen condition, our feelings often have very little to do with reality. In many instances, feelings are simply not a reliable gauge of what is actually true. We have to constantly bring our minds and thoughts back to the Truth. The Truth is, God is good, whether I feel like He is good or not. The Truth is, God loves me, whether I feel loved or not. The Truth is, I am forgiven, whether I feel forgiven or not. The Truth is, God will never leave me or forsake me: He is with me all the time, even when I feel alone or forsaken."
"If we want to walk in freedom, we must realize that our emotions are not necessarily trustworthy and be willing to reject any feelings that are not consistent with the Truth."
I just love this book. It has ministered to me greatly during specific times in my life. The Lord God has proved faithful.
Blessing to you today ~ Angela

Saturday, November 15, 2008

More on Frugality

I'm still thinking on all things frugal this morning. I loaded the washer early and thought about all the transformations that have taken place in my heart just in this one area. A long time ago, someone said fabric softener really wasn't needed and mostly a marketing ploy. I had my doubts so I tested it. Sure enough, it worked. Our clothes didn't cling together and they smelled good enough using detergent alone. I stopped using it and have never looked back. Incidentally, the smell of fabric softener is so strong to me these days, it could easily replace perfume, in my opinion. So think about that next time you're headed out to a dinner party. Do you smell like Chanel or Downy?

Then I was encouraged to hang my clothes out on the line. Honestly, I hated the idea. Sure the idealistic, dreamy thought of clothes wisping in the wind and that fresh-air smell of cozy sheets sounded appealing but none of that could persuade me to fall into what I considered an unsightly trailer park world. I soon realized this was a pride issue for me. If I wanted to continue to be home with my children, sticking with our conviction to homeschool, I'd have to make sacrifices even if it hurt my pride. We still live in that trailer park world, by the way. And, in SEVEN short years [if not before] these 24 acres where upon I reside will belong to U-S! Times have changed my friends. With age does come a bit of wisdom. Not much, but some.

It's cold outside now. And we do live in Humidville most of the year. So I've come to the conclusion that our jeans and other heavy things will have to dry inside unless we get a stellar day. Jeans are hung over the doors, upside down. Shirts are hung on a hanger and dried on the shower curtain rod and/or any other place I can find. I can't wait to get our wood stove installed because the dry time will decrease if I hang things in the living room. Now, hear me when I say this....I know most folks don't want to deal with this and it does seem hard. But it's frugal and as Amy pointed out it takes more than one pearl to make a pearl necklace.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Debt Free & Frugality

Amy is writing a series titled "How We Did It" explaining how they became debt free. I think it's facinating to read how others achieve what sometimes seems like an impossibility. I don't talk much about this type of thing here but frugality is something that we live out in our every day life around here.... most of the time. We do splurge and we don't always make the best decisions, but overall we live with a frugal mindset. I feel like there's all sorts of places on the internet to read about being frugal. Everything I've done and read about is already being said on several good frugal/debt free sites.

Being debt free is an interesting place to be. I remember when we first reached that goal, which we happen to not be in at the present - there was such freedom. We found ourselves realizing that we had stepped out of "the system". It's indescribable.

We're working feverishly to get back to that state. In the midst of it all, God's grace is sufficient. Instances happen out of nowhere; rebates, refunds, salary increases, bonuses, unexpected gifts, and discounts are just a few times I can remember when the Lord paved the way for me to pay off over $10,000 back when our income for one year was only $16,000. I might add that this was also when we had two babies under the age of two. The math doesn't compute on paper, but I'll tell you this, with prayer, a contrite spirit, and the Lord's help, all things are possible. All things.

I'll keep reading along. I hope you do too. It's every bit worth it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I've lost my ever-lovin' mind...

Kevin Leman describes me as one who "sweats the details, organized, perfectionistic, rebellious"....Well, in keeping with my innate rebellion, I've defied all matter of reason (not to mention all things Firstbornish) and allowed, not one, but three furry kitties to live IN-MY-HOME. Now folks, this goes against every fiber of my being but being a great Mom comes with great sacrifice. My children love cats. Why, I'll never know. I happened to mention to a fellow farm friend that we were in need of A cat. She called from the local livestock auction asking if we wanted a free one. In a moment of weakness, I accepted three. Three kids, three kitties. See? All nice, neat, and tidy - just how a firstborn operates, you see.

Yesterday, I tried to put them outside. They're pictured here in a box-bed up high on the freezer away from our cat-eating dogs. They willingly stayed in the box; as you can see they posed for a photograph. I thought all was well. - Truthfully, I did - I love my kids and wouldn't want anything to happen to their kitties, so we headed off to piano lessons and AWANA for the evening. We got home, friends, and those kitties were NOWHERE in sight. My heart sank as we searched high and low. Do any of you actually know and/or live with cat lovers? It's really kinda sick if you ask me (sorry Kelli; you know I love you, sister), but nevertheless the love runs deep. I can honestly say I cannot muster up that much love for any animal on the planet but this post is not about me.

Where was I? Oh...we found them. All three were hanging in a bundle at the very tip top of a tree next to the back porch. The kids coaxed them down and they slept all safe and sound on Douglas' head and Sarah's feet. Who knows what else they do while we sleep; sneaky little creatures.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Thursday Weather

Good Thursday morning!
Since the Midwest plains area is getting hit with a blizzard today I thought I'd share what that might look like afterwards. This was taken on our way home from Montana last year. Some of you may remember that we drove south out of Billings on an ice/snow covered interstate. Pictured below isn't the interstate, but just a pretty spot I happened to capture along the way.

It's spitting rain here due to a cold front that's headed our way. I'm so excited! I love Autumn and the winter months and this year is going to be extra cozy. Some friends we've known for years bought us a wood stove off Craig's List! Phillip is going to be working on getting it in this evening and throughout the weekend. There's nothing like the warmth from a fire. We are so grateful.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Silly, I know....

I saw this little quiz on Karen's blog this morning. Occasionally, I'm in the mood for these things. How can they know all these things about me in just two questions? At any rate, it's pretty accurate.

You Are a Bette!


You are a Bette -- "I must be strong"

Bettes are direct, self-reliant, self-confident, and protective.

How to Get Along with Me
  • * Stand up for yourself... and me.
  • * Be confident, strong, and direct.
  • * Don't gossip about me or betray my trust.
  • * Be vulnerable and share your feelings. See and acknowledge my tender, vulnerable side.
  • * Give me space to be alone.
  • * Acknowledge the contributions I make, but don't flatter me.
  • * I often speak in an assertive way. Don't automatically assume it's a personal attack.
  • * When I scream, curse, and stomp around, try to remember that's just the way I am.

What I Like About Being a Bette
  • * being independent and self-reliant
  • * being able to take charge and meet challenges head on
  • * being courageous, straightforward, and honest
  • * getting all the enjoyment I can out of life
  • * supporting, empowering, and protecting those close to me
  • * upholding just causes

What's Hard About Being a Bette
  • * overwhelming people with my bluntness; scaring them away when I don't intend to
  • * being restless and impatient with others' incompetence
  • * sticking my neck out for people and receiving no appreciation for it
  • * never forgetting injuries or injustices
  • * putting too much pressure on myself
  • * high blood pressure when people don't obey the rules or when things don't go right

  • Bettes as Children Often

  • * are independent; have an inner strength and a fighting spirit
  • * are sometimes loners
  • * seize control so they won't be controlled
  • * figure out others' weaknesses
  • * attack verbally or physically when provoked
  • * take charge in the family because they perceive themselves as the strongest, or grow up in difficult or abusive surroundings
  • Bettes as Parents

  • * are often loyal, caring, involved, and devoted
  • * are sometimes overprotective
  • * can be demanding, controlling, and rigid

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at HelloQuizzy

Monday, November 03, 2008

A New Day

You know I love Mondays. Since I've had children and our homeschool has evolved over the years, Mondays have served as a marker for me. It's a fresh start. A time to begin again, to do things better or different, to implement changes, or even a time to take a deep breath and charge on in the same pattern.

We had the most delightful time with some friends from church Friday evening. We extended our visit the following morning by shopping together at various discount/thrift places. After lunch we parted ways and eventually made it home late in the afternoon. Phillip went out to check the animals, as we always do, and found our calf, Bucky, dead. Dakota, one of our goats was barely hanging on so Phillip had to shoot it. It was all very emotional. The surprising thing about it is that Douglas took it all really well. Remember this post? The calf was actually his. He said something like, "Well, it's behind me now, and I've got to think ahead." I find myself wondering where all this maturity is coming from. Maybe we have/are preparing them for life. Sometimes that goofball makes me wonder. ~ But little Laura, our animal lover and future veterinarian cried her little eyes out. She said Bucky was just beginning to love her. How in the world we would've ever slaughtered this calf is beyond me. We need to raise beef on somebody else's pasture where cows don't fall into the pet category.

The irony of it all is that later in the day we had to slaughter some of our Cornish Rocks. They're seven weeks old now and it's time for them to find their new home in the freezer. I talked to Laura about helping and explained that she and I would stay inside until she gets a little older. I had visions of rocking her for hours as she mourned the death of those stinky things. But apparently chickens fall somewhere near the fish category in her little mind. She explained that she's seen "millions" of dead fish and it was simply no big deal. [she and Douglas are bound to be in sales someday] After the initial throat cutting, Phillip allowed her to come out. All three said..."Cool"....."This is neat".... Go figure.

In the words of my son, it's behind us now. It's M-o-n-d-a-y! Our co-op doesn't meet this morning so our morning is more relaxed. I'll be making chicken enchiladas in a few minutes to fill some orders for my cooking venture. Let me tell you, it's been the most encouraging and rewarding experience. The Lord has been so faithful to encourage me. I'm completely humbled. Phillip and I are seriously considering making it into something bigger. We've always dreamed of having a business together.

Can you believe it's November? My-O-My, where is all the time going? I'm gonna have to stop saying, "well we've traveled for the last 2.5 years" when people ask what's going on with us. I've been h-o-m-e almost an entire year!
I have no catchy end. I must get going.

Happy Monday ~

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Life & Death

We were out most of the day today and came back to find our calf dead and one goat on it's way out. Phillip had to shoot it. Apparently, they were attacked by dogs or some other wild animal. This comes after a difficult week as our other goat, Savannah, is recovering from being attacked Wednesday night while we were at church. She is separated and safe in a recovery pen; now she's the only survivor. Our hearts are heavy this evening. A few of us are taking it hard. I am praying for the Lord's peace for my family....