Friday, February 25, 2011

New background?

Hello readers!! 

First off, thank you for reading my blog.  I am always pleased to receive new followers and make new friends!  Secondly, thank you for your comments.  They make me very happy.  It is nice to have followers, but getting comments is even better, so thank you so much!

Ok, now, how do you like my new background??  I got it off a great site, Simply Blog it backgrounds.  I particularly like that I was able to get a header and post dividers that matched the background.  Do you think it is cute?  Too busy?? I want to know your thoughts.  I will be getting a customized background soon thanks to a dear friend of mine, but until then I wanted a bit of change.. :-)  I liked my other previous background, but thought it was a little dark for up-coming Spring weather! =D lol!

Any way, let me know your thoughts on it!

In Christ's Service,

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Job

This is from a piece of paper my Mom has sitting on her desk.  I think it is really neat, so I thought I would share with you all.  It kind of goes with my last post.

The job has been given to me to do.
Therefore it is a gift.
Therefore it is a privilege.
Therefore it is an offering I may make to God.
Therefore it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him.
Therefore it is the route to sanctity.

Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God's way.  In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.  The discipline of this job is, in fact, the chisel God has chosen to shape me with... into the image of Christ.

Thank you, Lord, for the work You have assigned me.  I take it as your gift; I offer it back to You.  With Your help I will do it gladly, faithfully, and I will trust You to make me holy.

I don't know where she got it... Mom?? ;-)  Any way, I just thought it was rather neat and encouraging.

In Christ's Service,

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Serve Me... that is all that matters

How many of us, when we hear that a missionary who has been in Africa, or China, is coming to speak at our church, go 'Ahhh! What a wonderful, amazing person!  He is serving God in desolate lands' etc, etc?  I am sure many of us do (I am NOT excluding myself..).  
   So, when we hear, "Megan has been improving so much on having humble servitude towards her family.", why don't we go, "Ahh! How wonderful!  What an amazing person! She is striving to serve God with her heart!"? 
   I think that so often we tend to forget that the little things matter as much as the big things.  Sure, it is neat if someone is a missionary, or runs a ministry program.  However, why don't we look around at those are running their own private ministry programs?  They are sitting right beside you, perhaps, in church.  Standing at the other end of the isle in Walmart.  They are all around us, yet we don't give them praise.  They aren't asking for it, they don't need or want it.   They are just serving God with all their heart.
   Washing the dishes for you Mom may not seem like a big deal.  It is such a blessing to her, though.  Getting your brother a cup of water when he has been working hard may not seem like much, but it is.
   Mathew 25: 35-40. "Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink;  I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;  Naked, and you clothed me; I was sick, and you visited Me;  I was in prison and you came to Me.' 
   "Then the Righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?  And when did we see You a stranger and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?  When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'  
    "The King will answer and say to them,  'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did to Me.'"

Those verses will remind us that even small things are big things in God's eyes.  We can never 'partially' serve Him.  We either do, or don't.  We can never 'serve Him well, or serve Him fairly well.'  We either Serve Him with our all, or not at all.  He doesn't look at the 'human size' of our deeds (the way we humans 'size up' the deed that we do).  He looks at our hearts to see the size of that.  Are our hearts intent on serving Him, no matter where He places us?  Are we willing to listen to His voice and be ready to rise up and go if He needs us?  And when He has told us what we must do, even if it is small in our eyes, are we going to be content and serve Him still?
   Remember His words in Mathew 5: 14-16.  "You are the light of the world.  a city set on a hill cannot be hidden;  nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand so it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father Who is in Heaven."
    The Holy Spirit will shine through us no matter where we go, if we are willing.  God will use us, if we are willing.  We must be content with where He has placed us, with what He is having us do, no matter what!  His plans are PERFECT!  He knows Everything.  There is no need to doubt Him in His plans. 
    Often times when I am praying, asking God if such and such is something He wants me to do, and I get a clear 'Yes', I sometimes say, "Are You sure?  I mean, are you positive this is where You want me?"  Oh, Ye of little faith! (Yes, I am talking to myself..).  Did God not just tell me that THIS is where He wants me?  Yet I doubted Him and His perfect plan. 
    There is a story about a certain family.   They loved the Lord and led a simple life.  They weren't missionaries in some far away country.  They didn't run a church, or run a ministry.  Still, they served the Lord with all their hearts. 
    They had a library that they visited fairly often, getting books for there school, or book discussion groups, etc.  They befriended a librarian.  She was sweet and kind and enjoyed them when they came in.  One day, whilst the children were looking for books, the librarian came up to the Mother and said, "What is different about your family?  What is it that you do?  Every time your family comes in here, I feel this peace and joy that seems to surround you."   The Mother simply replied that it was the Holy Spirit that shone through them.
   I tell you this story because I want to really point out that what we do matters.  How we behave around others matters.  Believe it or not, you are being a missionary as you walk through Walmart and talk cheerily to the grumpy cashier.  You are a missionary by going into a library, like that family, and just acting so different from the world, that they notice the difference.   Walking through Walmart

May we always be Lights for our Lord!

In Christ's Service,

***All verses taken out of a NISB Bible

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Keeping it Classy, Modest fashion show- Day 7

Well, it is the last day of the Modest Fashion show.  I had a really good time participating in it.  Thank you to all the other girls who also participated!! It was so encouraging to see all of your outfits!  Thank you, also, to those who have been so kind and commented throughout this whole ordeal. :-)  It has been so nice receiving them!

Ok, I would like to introduce a new character to this post. *wink*

Introducing..........  Silly Sally!!!  (for lack of better creativity!!)  For today I got dressed up in 'western duds'.  Why?  I don't know.. I think maybe I just got this 'country' nudge, so maybe?? Any how, I really had fun with it... ;-)

Joshua was my wonderful photographer today.  Thanks, Bud!!   It was definitely fun coming up with poses and whatnot.....  I guess when you are being goofy, you can have more fun!! lol!  Yes, I do NOT like getting pictures taken of me.. unless I can have fun and pose silly.. lol!! Otherwise people always get me with my mouth open, or closed eyes, etc.. yeah.

What I am wearing:

~Brown and black skirt- hand me down

~Black long sleeved shirt- hand me down

~Brown vest- Borrowed from my brother

~Holster- Have no idea....

~Boots- hand me down (though, these really don't fit me.. I just got them on for the pictures...)

~Hat-  Borrowed from my brother... lol!

~Necklace- given to me by a friend.  He makes amazing jewelry!! You should check out his shop HERE.  He makes everything just weaving small rings together.. just like chainmaille!  Pretty neat!

 Loungin' 'round on the haybales

Gettin' ready for a showdown

I wonder where my enemy, Jokin' Jed is right now??

 Peek-a-boo!! (this was my favorite photo...)

Goin' on a carriage ride through the town...

Aha!!! My enemy, Jokin' Jed!!!  He looks ready for a show down!  Who do you think will win? lol!! (This was his idea to be my rival.. ;-) )

Also, Bramblewood Fashion is having another giveaway HERE!!  It is really cute, so go check it out!!

In Christ's Service,
Silly Sally

Friday, February 18, 2011

Keeping it Classy, Modest fashion show- Day 6

Howdy!!  Here's my outfit for today.

What I wore:

~Brown 'dress' skirt- Thrift store

~New Purple sweater- (just guess where I got this.... lol!)

~Shoes (yes, I AM wearing shoes today!)- clogs from Maryland Square

~Heart earrings and necklace- Christmas gift

~Hair- French braid 'roll'

Today we were doing some serious cleaning on the porch... Look at all the dirt that was under the front door rug!!!

It was disgusting..  Time to pull out the big guns!!

Needless to say, we actually got it all cleaned up.  ;-)  I guess today just really felt like a good cleaning day. Why? Because it was LOVELY outside!! The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and fluffy white clouds were floating lazily by.  The wind was blowing, but that is a typical spring around here.  Windy, windy, windy. Any how, it felt good to just clean and purge. =D

Have a great day!!

In Christ's Service,

PS  I just got my costume together for a party I am headed to this evening.. We are making a movie based on Anne of Green Gables (though we can't call it that, so it is called "Anne of Green Gables Revisited") Any how, I am Mathew... YUP!! ;-)  I was kind of hoping for that part, though.  So, I will have to post pictures of my rather makeshift (but super cute) outfit!! lol!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Keeping it Classy, Modest fashion show- Day 5


Today is the 5th day of Bramblewood Fashion's "Keeping it Classy" Modest Fashion show.  Wow! Only two more days.  It has gone by so quickly!!  I have really enjoyed it, though, and I hope that those who have also participated have enjoyed it, too!  :-)

My outfit for today is probably one of my very favorite outfits ever.  Anne of Green Gables is kind of my inspiration behind it.. lol!

What I wore:

Blue skirt- Handmade by me

White 3/4 length blouse- hand-me-down

Vest- Hand-me-down

Black heels- Walmart (lol!)

Hair- the front parts clipped back with a ribbon underneath.

Earrings-  A Christmas gift from my dear Sis

Haha, Josh was making funny faces to make me give a 'real' smile.. Guess it worked!! ;-) What a good brother. :-) Love you, bro!

I hope all of you are having a lovely day!!  My youngest brother and I have been spending our day preparing for our Valentine's dinner.   Yes, it is way late, but since we were busy working cattle on Monday, we post-poned it until today.  :-)  I will be sure to share pictures!!

In Christ's Service,

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Keeping it Classy, Modest fashion show- Day 4

Hello!!  Well, day 4 of Bramblewood Fashion's "Keeping it Classy" Modest fashion show.  An online fashion show to encourage young ladies to dress modestly, but not frumpi-ly (if that is a word!), during the winter months.  I apologize for getting this up so late.  I am hoping to do better the rest of the week!!

(Sorry for my rather tired look.. I just snapped these pictures a little while ago.) 
So, my outfit today. 
~Blue 3/4 length shirt- Walmart

~Denim 'twirl' skirt- Blair (each denim 'panel' is more like a swirl than a straight piece, if that makes sense..)

~Hair- non-twisted bun (hehe, sounds contradictory, doesn't it??)

~Earrings- a gift from a very dear friend.  Yes, they are snowmen, and even though the weather is really warm, I just felt like actually wearing something winter-ish today. ;-) Besides, they are SOOOO cute!!

~Heart necklace- a gift

(No shoes.. hehehe!!!)

Today was relatively relaxed.  I did some school, cut my brother's hair, and read a book (or part of it).  What did today look like for you?  Was it busy? Relaxed?

I want to thank all of my new followers to following me!! I nearly choked when I saw how many I had gained since just yesterday!  Thank you so much!  (Thank you for entering the giveaway, too!)

I hope you are all having a blessed day!

In Christ's Service,

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Keeping it Classy, Modest fashion show- Day 3

Today is Tuesday.  Tuesday means that it is the day for Drama.. Not literal drama, but drama club.  So, I wore something a little more relaxed today.  :-)

What I wore:

~Pink 'layered look' shirt- Christmas Gift

Taking pics by the woodstack was fun! Kind of gives it some country charm

~Denim skirt- thrift store (let me tell you, I absolutely LOVE this skirt!!)

~Sweater- hand-me-down.. I think it was my Bampas before he passed away...

I like how Caleb tilted the camera.. kind of looks cool, don't ya think?

~Hat- Handmade by me... I am thinking of selling them in my shop, what do you think?

~Tennis shoes (told I was going comfy)

Sorry for my dorky look....
~Earrings-  Also a Christmas gift

~Hair- done in a french braid 'roll' (I just flip the braid back onto my head and clip it up there)

Drama went really well today.  It is always fun. :-)  Mom alerted us that we had to have our lines memorized in four weeks!! YIPES!  I can do it, I can do it, I can do it!!!! Well, maybe not, but I will certainly try!! :-)  The actual play is nine weeks away, but we have to have stuff memorized before then so we can really work on how to deliver lines and whatnot without focusing on reading them. (if that makes any sense...)

Before Drama, we had fiddle lessons.  I am teaching fiddle to the lovely Goff ladies.  They are my first, and only, 3 students. :-)  They are the best students I have! lol!  Actually, they are extremely fun to work with.  I think we have way too much fun during lessons.. lol!  Any way, I thought I would share a few pictures my brother snapped during lessons today.. unfortunately he only got me with one of the girls...

Pointing out some things in the music

Giving her the 'look' because she won't listen.. just kidding!! I don't know where that look came from.  I would NEVER glare at my students!! lol!

I hope you all are having a lovely week so far!!

In Christ's Service,

Monday, February 14, 2011

Keeping it Classy, Modest fashion show- Day 2 + a giveaway!

Happy Valentines Day everyone!!  I hope y'all have been having a wonderful day so far.  Our day started out with Mama bring us coffee in some cute valentines mugs that she had gotten.  It was quite the fun surprise. :-) 

Here is my outfit for today.  I will admit that I didn't wear this all day.. I started out in jeans because I thought I would have to help work the bulls (we were doing some tests on them today), but Dad ended up staying home, so I didn't need to go out.. lol! 

Going with the theme of Valentines day, I chose the only thing I had that had red in it. 

What I wore:
~White and Red Plaid skirt- JCPenny

~Black Tee- Walmart, crocheted collar done by me

~Pumps-  Walmart (hehe, seems we do a lot of shopping at walmart!! lol!)

~Heart Earrings-  Christmas gift from my sweet brothers

~Hair- Thrown up in a 'messy bun' with a red ribbon tied around the base.

Thank you to Mama for the pictures!
I hope all of you are having a lovely Valentines.  Our family usually does a special dinner (closing off the kitchen with curtains so everything is a surprise), but because of cattle work going on, we ended up canceling it and rescheduling for Thursday. So, I will have to post pictures later! :-)

Also, Bramblewood Fashion is having a giveaway from Marie Madeline Studio.  Go check it out HERE

In Christ's Service,

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Keeping it Classy, modest fashion show- Day 1 and a prayer request

Hello!  Today is the first day of Bramblewood Fashion's "Keeping it Classy" modest fashion show!  I am really excited.  There are several other girls who are participating and it was fun to see their outfits for today. 

(Sorry this pic was bad...  It was muddy outside, not to mention that since we took the pictures this evening, it was too dark to take them outside anyway! I hope to get better ones for the rest of the week.)
What I wore today:

~Dark Purple 'blouse' with 3/4 length sleeves- Walmart

~Brown 'dress' skirt- thrift store  (I call it a 'dress' skirt because it used to be one of those dresses with that scrunchy elastic stuff for the bodice-they are strapless.  Well, I bought it for a few bucks, cut off the excess elastic stuff and made a skirt! ;-) )

~Shoes, Sketchers- Foot Smart??? (I don't actually have them on in the picture.. I am not one to wear shoes for very long if I don't have to... lol!)

~Hair is just pulled back into a clip

~Earrings- my original 'diamond' studs

Thank you to my dear sister, Rebecca, for taking the pictures!!!

I would like to ask prayers for my Dad's Aunt Joy.  She was taken to the hospital yesterday because of some stomach pains.  When they did an X-ray, they saw a mass on her stomach.  She will be doing some more tests to see whether the mass is cancerous or not.  Any way, please pray for her that if it is cancer that it will not be painful any more, and that the family will be at peace and draw closer to God during this time. 

On another side note:
We had church today at our friend's house.  After the teaching and lunch, the dad's and us kids headed outside to enjoy the warmer weather.  Someone decided that since there was snow on the ground, we should have a snowball fight.  We got behind the decorative walls in their yard (after dividing into teams- boys against the girl's and two dads) and soon the air was filled with smoke from the canons (or in our case, snow was in the air as people launched balls at each other), screams and shouting, and lots of laughter.  One of the dad's threw a snowball at the same time one of the boys did and they both collided in the air!! It was SO cool. You couldn't have done that if you wanted to.  Needless to say, I suppose a few of us might have bruises tomorrow.. Which tells you why you NEVER have a snowball fight unless you have the proper snow gear on. ;-)  Oh, and never catch a zipping snowball with your hand.  Let me tell you, it HURTS!  Well, if you hand is bare and FREEZING, then it hurts.. lol! (this is also part of why I am not wearing shoes.. they got mud all over them during the snowball fight...)

After we got home, Becca called my attention to my little (or not so little) filly, Freckle, who was running around outside.  She wasn't with the other horses, so I headed out to investigate.  Looked like she had gotten separated from the rest of the herd and was going frantic.  As soon as I stepped outside and called to her, she started nickering to me- it was so sweet!  Then she just followed me like a little lamb as I lead her through some gates and back to her friends.  Poor thing was extremely glad to be with them again. :-)  So, I slipped and slid in mud some more doing that.. But hey, I am really glad for the mud.  Means this snow was worth something! :-) 

How's the weather at your place?  Is it warming up, cooling down, snowing, raining?   I think we will have warm weather the rest of this week (HURRAY!).  The calves will actually be able to arrive in this strange world in decent weather.. lol!

I would love to hear what y'all did today, so leave and comment! :-)

In Christ's Service,

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Happy to announce....

That Bramblewood Fashion is hosting a Modest Fashion Week starting tomorrow and running through 19th.   Not only are these events fun to participate in, but they are SO encouraging!  I don't know how many times I have gone grocery shopping, or gone on a trip into town and saw so many young ladies dressing immodestly.  I truly used to think, is there ANY ONE else out there in the world that DOES care about dressing modestly???!?!?  Of course, we had our circles of friends that did, but still... When you are surrounded with the bad stuff all the time, it is easy to lose sight of the good stuff.  So, I am always encouraged while participating in these sorts of events and I hope you will join!!  All the info is below (taken from Bramblewood Fashion):

What You Need to Know -

When is this wonderful event?
February 13th through the 19th. (Sunday - Saturday)

What is it all about?
Showcasing how we can dress modestly and fashionable {meaning non-frumpy} during the winter months. I'll be taking my inspiration from classy ladies like Audrey Hepburn & Grace Kelly.

How can I participate?
By posting photos of your outfits on your blog and linking them {your blog post} up on Bramblewood Fashion daily via Mr. Linky.

What should I wear?
Besides keeping modesty and Winter weather in mind {plus, Valentines Day!!!}, the choices are endless and completely up to you. Be yourself and have fun!

Are there any rules?
I only have one rule. Keep it classic. Make sure your outfits are modest and pleasing in God's eyes. If I find your outfit entry to be objective or suggestive I have the right to remove your link.

Is there a prize?
Yes, there is. When the event is over either, my sisters & I will pick three ladies, or I'll post all the ladies up in post and you all pick your favorite in a poll. Well, the top three girls {if they want that is} will be interviewed on Bramblewood Fashion! :)
I hope to see some of you linking up!  It should definitely be fun. :-)
In Christ's Service,

Thursday, February 10, 2011

He is in love with me!

The title really says it all, but I think I better explain a little bit so you don't think I have gone crazy and started posting random titles. lol!

Last month, Mom set a challenge for us.  We were to read our Bible everyday (which we do, for the most part-maybe skipping on a few days when we get wrapped up in other things).   Some of us need a little encouragement to read our Bibles, though.   Sure, we enjoyed reading the Bible, but sometimes having a little extra something to reward our efforts helped some little persons. ;-)  So, the goal.  Read 4 chapters a day and you got a 'fancy' coffee (the flavored/iced/whatever kind).  Read 6 chapters a day and you get the coffee PLUS a cinnamon roll, or some other little treat.   This was kind of a fun challenge.  I already had my little reading list that I had been following- which, on a side note, has been extremely neat to go through.  It was done by Answers in Genesis, I believe.  They basically went through and labeled 'days' then for each day they gave you a reading assignment.  They give you your assignment based on when each chapter was written (in other words, in chronological order)  It has been really good so far.  Definitely helps!  Ever been reading through Psalms where David is praising the Lord one minute, then groaning and crying out to Him the next?  Well, reading it in chronological order has definitely helped me understand David's mood changes.. ;-)

Any way, back to my original story.  Often times I will forget to read my Bible in the morning because I sleep in, or don't do it right away, then I have to get to work on chores, breakfast, etc, and Bible reading goes out the window.  I have learned, the hard way-and several times-, that if I don't start my day with God, it just goes downhill from there.  I have more temptations throughout the day, do not maintain as good a peaceful spirit as I should, etc, etc, etc.  You get the picture. 
   So, with this challenge, it was kind of neat to really get focused on reading the Bible daily.  Of course, I was looking forward to the challenge of doing it, regardless of whether I got coffee at the end or not, but it was a nice reminder.
   Well, our time drew to an end, two of us made the 6 chapters a day, while the rest of us only made 4.  So, we drove out, got our coffees, and came home.  Then, we sat in the living room and Mom asked each of us what we had learned, or experienced, etc, through this challenge.

The one thing that kept sticking out in my mind about what I learned- God loved me.  Ok, so you think, of course He does!  But, I guess that I sometimes forget HOW much He loves me.  He is deeply in love with ME!  He loves me for WHO I am, not WHAT I am, or how I do things.  I can't say exactly what I read that made me realize this, but I just did.  It was an amazing experience.  I guess I tend to put this 'stern' face on God and forget that He loves me.  He is a gentle shepherd who guides this wandering sheep back to Him in a loving, kind way.  Sure, He can get angry, but I forget that He isn't upset all the time.  Just when we sin. 
    So, it just made me realize how much God cares for me, and how deeply in love He is with me.  Sarah. Goofy, silly, clumsy, Sarah. 
    One of the things that used to bother me, and really made me extremely self conscious, was that I was not 'stunningly beautiful' and that I didn't have the trim and fit body that I wanted.  I hated to think what people thought of me as I went walking down the store isles.  It got so bad, I hated going into the groof cery store, or going and seeing anyone really, even my friends. 
    I wished I could have dimples in my cheeks when I smiled. I wished I could have perfect teeth.  I wished I could be slender and fit.  I wished I could get my hair to look 'just right' every time I did it. 

You know what?  I don't have those things!  I don't have dimples, I don't have perfect teeth, I am not slender and 'fit', I have crazy hair days..... but, I have learned to realize that I am special for WHO I am because I have one particular person Who loves me this way because He made me the way I am.  God doesn't look at our imperfections and frown, He looks are our potential and SMILES.  He will gently refine us into pure gold, but He isn't going to down trod us because we aren't perfect.
    I have also learned that He is the only one I need to worry about what He thinks.  It doesn't matter what those people in the grocery store think of me.  So long as my King, my Father, my Abba, thinks of me as His princess, then that is all that matters.

Yet..... I would (and still do, sometimes) forget these things.  I would forget how much He loves me.  I would forget how much He cares about me.  I would worry more about what people around me thought of me, then what my Heavenly Father thought of me.  
   I am so glad Mom did this challenge.  It somehow really made me realize, once again, how much God loves me.   Sure, there will be days when I make mistakes, or forget, but He will always love me.  It makes me fall in love with Him all over again.

To God be the praise!!!

In Christ's Service,

P.S.  (I think this song kind of fits...)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Sunshine Award!

Lady Rose recently awarded me the Sunshine award!  Thank you so much!  :-)  Isn't it pretty?  Sunshine is definitely a wonderful thing to receive when it is cold and dreary outside.

I award:

Martha Joy
May Amelia

And anyone else who feels that they need a little sunshine today. :-)

In Christ's Service,

Friday, February 4, 2011

A beautiful giveaway, ladies!

Click on the beautiful button to see a wonderful giveaway being held!!  I don't think you want to miss this one! :-)

In Christ's Service,

{No title}

I am extremely sorry to report that the little calf I asked for prayers on is now dead.  Unfortunately, Josh and I found him this morning.  This is just one of the reasons that I hate ranching...  Everything has it's pros and cons, but this one thing has got to be the worst thing in all of the ranching business- having your stock die.  I think it is harder, though, when it is a little calf.  First of all, they are our business, our livelihood.  We are able to sell the bull calves to other ranchers, and keep the heifers to expand our own herd. 
   However, when you have found a calf half frozen, taken it in, given it hours of time to try to heal it and get it back on it's feet, then set it back out to pasture only to have it die the next day.... well, it is really hard.  Feelings of regret start seeping in.  Why didn't we just leave him inside?  Why did we take him back out?  Why didn't we bring in the mama and fix them up here in the barn???  Why, why, why??   I know that in this situation it wasn't exactly our faults.  The mama cow wouldn't let the baby nurse, and baby just wouldn't nurse (didn't even try).  In this kind of situation, there isn't a whole lot you can do.  Still, we are the caretakers of these animals, and it is tough to see them die.
   I love ranching, but when this sort of thing happens, I feel like I hate it....  I just want to cry and wish that it didn't have to happen like this.  Still, life moves on, and I suppose that ranching is a great way to teach a person how to move with it.  When you have 60 other cows relying on you to take care of them, you can't take too long mourning over one calf.  Still, it is awfully hard........
   However, God is so good to show us the wonderful things in life, as well as the bad.  Just take a look around and you can see what He has done for you.  I sometimes think "Snow is fascinating!".  Have you ever wondered out how perfectly the crystals are formed so that they aren't ice, but aren't water droplets??   God is so good to us.  He reminds me, daily, of His love for me.  Even with one calf dying, I can look at the other four we have that are alive, healthy, and beautiful.  Thank You, Lord.

I said "no title" to this post because I couldn't really come up with anything.

In Christ's Amazing Love,

Thursday, February 3, 2011

One of the longest days in my life...

Today was an especially long day.   After not sleeping too well last night,  the morning went off with a bang.  We all began to get up (usually one at a time), read our Bibles, then hopped up to get breakfast.  While Josh and I fixed egg burritos, everyone else picked up out "cots" in the living room.  After breakfast, Josh and I bundled up to face the freezing cold weather to feed cows.  As we got to the feed truck (with some difficulty.. I am sure a lot of you know that being bundled up makes walking extremely difficult and that when the snow drifts are high.. well, you know what that adds up to).  Any how, we got to the truck and tried opening the door.  No such luck.  The door was frozen shut.  Josh soon had it figured out and we got it opened.  I hopped in to start it.  No such luck. The key would NOT turn..  I will skip this part of the story and jump ahead..  We are now driving our Excursion with hay bales piled on top (let's just say the feed truck broke).  We got to the pasture and headed out to search for cows.  As I had said in an earlier post, the cows like to head out by themselves to calve..  Rather frustrating when you have a large pasture to search and hills and valleys are the best "hide-and-go-seek" places.  Any how, as we were driving along, I saw a cow heading in the general direction of the water tank.  Turning the vehicle off the road and heading towards her, I saw a calf- but it didn't look too good.  It seemed to be having trouble following it's mama and was walking with it's head down (usually meaning they are sick).  We hurried over and sure enough the little baby, which was a few days old, was looking pretty awful. (Oxymoron there..).  The cow decided that this vehicle was unfamiliar to her, so she took off running, the poor calf trailing behind as best it could.  We let them go, deciding to catch them at a later time when they got to the place they were going (when a cow has it's mind set on going somewhere, a person can be hard put to changing her ideas).  We headed back to the rest of the herd and fed them the hay from the top of the Excursion.   Deciding to give the first cow some time to get to the herd, Josh and I headed back for another load of hay.  With 4 bales fitting on top and 20 bales to feed, we had a long haul in front of us.  We came back with the second load and fed the cows again.  After looking around for another baby calf who had been having trouble nursing the day before, I glanced up and saw a cow standing on a hill a ways off.   We headed up and sure enough if it wasn't that cow and her sick calf.  I was still at a distance, seeing that the mama got ancy when we came close, so I couldn't really tell if the calf was sick, or just cold. 
    When they got in with the bunch, I walked around and got a closer view of the calf.  Poor thing was definitely sick.  She was shivering visibly and bleeding on her ear.  I caught her really easily (which could also mean they aren't feeling good if they aren't somewhat skeptical of you) and put her in the back of the vehicle with Josh.  We arrived at the house and soon had our little package bundled up in front of the fire place to warm up.  She wasn't frozen, so we didn't need to use the tub. *whew*.
    While I stayed and worked on this little heifer, Mom took Josh out to finish feeding.  Pretty soon the little girl had warmed up enough and we were ready to take her back to her mama.  Once again, I set her in the back with Josh and headed out, Mom with us this time.  We got this heifer settled and she was finally nursing.  While we waited for her to hopefully settle in, Josh and I commenced to breaking ice.  I swung the ax while he had the not so fun job of pulling the heavy chunks out of the water.  WHEW! Have you ever swung a heavy ax while dressed like a penguin???  I will tell you that it will give you the workout of your life.  My arms felt like jello afterwards...
   The little heifer was settling in and getting some milk down her throat when we got a phone call from Daddy.  That other calf that was having trouble nursing on account of the mama not holding still, was out there somewhere and we hadn't seen him.  We drove out to where Josh and Dad has last seen them (having tried to get the little thing to nurse the day before) and soon found mama... but no baby.  Oh, great.  The first dead calf of the season!  Josh soon located it's little body in a patch of snow (thankfully, black cows do stand out in this weather!).  As we drove up to see if it was dead, I saw it's ear twitch.  We were out in seconds, grabbing it up, and putting it in the Excursion to take it back to the house.  This poor little fellow was freezing cold. 
    We settled him in, just like the other calf.  Once again, while I stayed to warm him up, Mom and Josh went to finish the task that had already taken us all day to accomplish.  The little guy soon warmed up and was trying to explore the house when they took him back out.  I ended up staying at the house this time to help with some things.  Unfortunately, this little guy was still having a hard time convincing his mama that he needed to nurse.  So, I ask for prayers the he will stay warm and mama will let him eat.
   By the time Mom and Josh got back, it was close to supper time.  So, this definitely felt like one of the longest days of my life... all spent out in the pasture! ;-)
  Still, it was neat to spend the time out in God's beautiful nature, taking care of His miracles, and praising Him through it all.

In Christ's Service,


YEAH!  We had a slumber party!  The guests to this fun thing??  Becca, Joshua, Caleb, and myself! :-)  Can't beat a slumber party with your own siblings...  we have way too much fun. lol!  

So, why a slumber party?  Well, remember me saying it was FREEZING cold and how we needed to bury our heads under the covers to prevent icicles from forming on our noses?  Well, last was even colder than the night before last (and that night we suffered...).   To explain a little better...   We do not use central heating in our house.  We have one lone wood stove that gives us our heat.  Our house is long, rectangular shaped.  The fireplace is on the South side...  while our bedroom (we four kids share one room) is on the FAR North side... Yeah.  So, you can imagine that it gets cold just from the layout.  Not add a few drafty windows, a large room- too large to heat with a small plug-in heater-, and only four bodies.  All that equals FREEZING! ;-)   So, Mom decided that maybe it would be a good idea if we kids slept in the living room.  Their bedroom is small enough that a little plug-in heater will really warm up the room.  Any how, we girls drug our mattresses out to the living room while the boys were quite happy to get to sleep on the furniture.

So, how did it work out?  Well, it was certainly warmer than in the bedroom!  When I ran back to the room to grab something this morning, I almost went into shock- it was SO cold back there.. ;-)
   We only had a few minor incidents (someone accidentally spilling cold water on my head at 2 am, and the dog deciding she wanted to join us.. on the beds!), but otherwise, it was fun.   We didn't stay up too late.. ;-) 

Update on weather:
FREEZING, still tons of snow outside, inside is tolerable.. lol!   We have had more calves (Praise the LORD!), though we really feel sorry for the poor things.  Being out in this weather is bad enough.. arriving in it wet is even worse.  So, please pray we don't lose any to freezing.  We have been able, on several occasions in the past, to get there in time before the calf dies.  We take it back to our house and warm it up.  How?  Stick it in the bathtub with warm water, then lay it in front of the fire until it is on it's feet.  We only have one bathtub, so instead of the normal decisions about who goes first, we are all fighting for the last place!  No one really wants to take a bath after that messy baby has been in there, as you can imagine. ;-)  I may have to dig up some older pictures and post them on here, just so y'all know I am telling the truth.  Or, just for those who are curious about how a calf looks like in a bathtub.. (I'll tell ya... very out of place.)

Hope y'all enjoy your day!!

In Christ's Service,

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ya-hoo?? (As in, the excited yell...)

Maybe "Whoopie"  would have been better.... still, the reason I don't say it with lots of enthusiasm is because I don't really know if I am excited yet or not... ;-)

We have snow.. and it's freezing... and the poor cows are freezing... and the fireplace just ain't crankin' enough heat to warm up the whole house... and the door has a major crack that is letting snow inside....  yeah.   I can't really complain, really.  I mean, this snow is wonderful- in the ranching business.  I know some of you in the East are probably begging for it to stop.  However, we ranchers like a good snow right about now, and then another good snow in March.  That is when the grass needs the moisture to grow.  Still, did we have to have snow TODAY?!?!   Today we had drama.. something I really looked forward to.  Today my fiddle students were coming over for a lesson.   Today, poor Becca has to send in her college assignment via Internet and we have been suffering little glitches.  

Yup.. would've been nice if it could have waited, but I am still praising God.  Why?  Well, let's look at the bright side...  Dad got to come home early!  Having snow outside makes everyone want to snuggle up and play games or something.  This snow will be good moisture for the grass to 'store up' for spring.   It also gives a good excuse to have some cocoa and sip it leisurely by the fire place.  Yes, it really is a good thing...  ;-)  Just gotta keep telling myself that.

So, forecast??  More snow....  add another quilt to your bed and be sure to bury your head under them so your nose doesn't have icicles growing on it in the morning. ;-)

What's the weather looking like at your place??

In Christ's Service,