Friday, June 29, 2012

And the Search Begins Once Again

Some of you may know that we are (again!) searching for a place to live.  This time it wasn't actually our choice; the owners of the place we are currently in decided they want to move back in.  Unfortunately, that means we have to move for the third time in two and a half years.  Can you tell that I'm not exactly excited?  :)  Really though, I should be excited.  It is obviously God's will that we move on to another place, so I ought to be expectant and excited to see where God is going to move us and what He is going to do in our lives.  That's what my attitude should be, but although I know it, I don't always feel that way.  You can pray for me!

We would also appreciate your prayers concerning finding a house and feeling clear direction from God.  We are trying to find a place where we can keep our farm animals, but so far it's been rough.  It is so good to know that God is in control!  For now, we are continuing to look and (trying to!) wait patiently on the Lord to provide.  Again, we would appreciate your prayers as we enter another transition time in our lives.

Sorry for the rather low-toned post.  Here, I'll leave you with some pictures that my cousin Mariah recently took on the farm.

We sure have enjoyed this house and property for the time that God allowed us to live here.  Job 1:21b "The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."

Yes, those are our ducks.  They grow fast.  :)

Just in case you are wondering, this picture was taken on the property.  There are a whole bunch of these lilies blooming in the backyard.  They are so beautiful that I can't help but feel glad whenever I walk by them.  Praise God for the wonder of His creation!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

My Graduation

What an original title, right?  Sorry; I really didn't feel like being creative so I figured I'd name this post the most obvious thing possible.

My graduation--it seems so strange to refer to this event as a thing in the past when all my life I've been looking forward to it as a thing in the future.  It is, however, in the past, and that's why I'm here to tell you about it.  So, without further ado, prepare yourself for one very long post...

I was so blessed to be a part of a very special graduation ceremony sponsored by our homeschool group and also to graduate with my precious cousin and best friend Mariah.  (By the way, you may notice me using the word "blessed" a lot during this post.  You may, in fact, think that I greatly over-use the word.  I probably will.  For just this once, I'm going to set aside all composition etiquette and use that word as much as I want because it is the best way to describe how I feel about everything that this graduation involved.)  

The ceremony took place at the offices or second building of my cousin's church.  We went early to set up and decorate.

(Most of the following photos courtesy of Kristen Bowers and Gabby C.)

 Our sound man and my cousin Matthew.  He did a really awesome job for us!

 A picture of the Moms of the graduates.  Besides Mariah and myself, there was one other graduate in our homeschool group's Class of 2012.

God has given me such wonderful parents! I am so thankful that they chose to homeschool me (and stuck with it!), but even more importantly that they chose to train me in Godliness, to teach me the Gospel, and to give me a foundation in the Word of God. Also, they have both been amazing teachers and Godly examples to me over the years. I am so thankful for my Mommy and Daddy!

We asked my cousin Josh to give an alumni speech, and he did an amazing job!  I was so blessed by his encouragement, especially that which was directly from scripture.

Mariah and I sang the hymn "Take My Life and Let it Be" together as a part of the ceremony.  Sorry about my funny singing faces.  I inherited them from my Daddy I think.  :)

When the parents presented the diploma to the graduates, they had an opportunity to speak.  My precious Daddy said many things which blessed me so much and caused us to share many laughs and a few tears.  I'm not sure why we all have such somber faces in this picture.  I was probably fighting back tears.  :)

Me and one of my best friends, Hannah

We were laughing hysterically here, and can you guess why?  My friends are so good to me that they try to make up for my extreme shortness by squatting down in pictures.  I was on my tippy toes.

Reality check.  That's how short I really am.  :)

Hannah's sister Gabby (also one of my closest friends) joined us.

More friends.

When we arrived home that night I walked in the door and almost tripped over my graduation present--a hope chest.  I had absolutely no idea ahead of time, so Mom and Dad surprised me good!  I've always wanted a hope chest as long as I can remember.  I was thankful and blessed to receive this special gift from my parents on the night of my graduation.

 I went to bed that night feeling so thankful and blessed.  (Told you I'd use that word a lot!) God has been so, so good to me!

 Eph 3:20-21

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. 


Friday, June 15, 2012


I can't imagine that anyone has ever drunk a glass of milk with as much relish as I did last Monday evening.  Just FYI: That's relish as in "enjoyment, pleasure..."  Don't worry; I don't put pickle relish in my milk. Ugh.  Just the thought of that makes me feel a little sick.  But to return.  Last Monday's glass of milk was the happiest glass of milk of my life.  Why?  Because it was our fresh, raw goat milk.  And for the very first time, it tasted wonderful.

Over the past few months we have been battling with the taste of the milk our Alpine goats have been producing.  We researched "how to make goat milk taste good" on the internet, we got advice from friends, we switched to organic feed, and tried almost everything we could think of.  Still the milk didn't taste right.  Things began to get frustrating.  We were milking two goats every day twice a day and accumulating gallons upon gallons of milk that was good for nothing.  Eventually we started dumping the milk out onto the ground every day just to get rid of it.  We began to wonder why we even had milk goats.  Then, as a last resort, we tried two different things at once.  1) We started both our does on Molly's Herbal Worm Formula (we thought that our goats might be showing some signs of worms). 2) We started feeding our does yogurt twice a day.  This was a recommendation of our good friends from Dallas Tyler Ranch.  About five days after we made these changes, I decided to taste the milk.  I tasted it.  I tasted it again.  Could it really be?  Then I took it to each member of the family and we unanimously decided that the milk did indeed taste delicious (aka, exactly like cows milk)!  We still don't know which of our changes made the milk taste better.  To be honest, I don't much care!  I was inexpressibly happy that night.  Those who have not been in our situation may find it hard to understand, but when you have poured a tremendous amount of effort into the goats and into making their milk taste good and have been utterly unsuccessful for months, victory is a very sweet thing.  And so, incidentally, is our goat milk now.  That fact makes me a very happy camper.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Another Driver in the House!

I have some fantabulous news to share!  Isaac got his permit on Thursday! 

Already he is becoming a great driver. Whereas it took me months just to build up the courage to drive on a real road, Isaac drove us (on the very day he got his permit) to Pizza Hut to celebrate--and in our humongous truck nonetheless!

Congrats, little bro!  I'm so proud of you!


Thursday, June 7, 2012

My Daddy Turns...64?

Okay, so absence from blogging has made my mental to-post-list quite large (for me, that is).  However, I have to start somewhere, so here goes.

Recently we got to celebrate my Daddy's birthday!  His special day was on a Saturday, and we spent the day hanging out and enjoying our time at home.

One of Daddy's favorite hobbies is RC airplanes.  He loves to fly them, but since it is  very windy here most of the time, the only times he can fly are in the early mornings and evenings.  On his birthday morning he ran outside to get a few minutes of flight in before breakfast.

The breakfast table.

 Present Time!

We got Daddy some new t-shirts and a Matt Redman CD, which we've all been enjoying immensely.

During the course of the day we had a really fun time shooting balloons with our longbows!  Unfortunately, we didn't get any pictures of that, but we sure had a blast!

It's tradition in our family that the birthday boy (or girl, whatever the case may be) gets to choose what we will have for dinner.  Daddy chose pizza!  Our family's favorite pizza to make is our green pizza (made with pesto, spinach, chicken, onions, artichoke hearts, and bell peppers, oh, and of course cheese!).  YUM!

And finally, cheesecake for dessert with a movie!  And no, my Daddy didn't turn 64 this year.  We decided to play a little trick on him, and it worked!  I laughed so hard when he finally realized that we had switched the numbers around and aged him 18 years!

 Ah, now those numbers are in their correct places!  :)

Happy Birthday my precious Daddy!