Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What a lovely week it's been so far!! I do believe fall is here or at least the fall temperatures are here! We've been able to have the windows open and the breeze fluttering the curtains all day long; it becomes necessary to close most of them at night as it gets so chilly! Bundling up is almost a must in the mornings!

I think my favorite aspect of fall is the slant of the sun... and the beautiful weather! I don't know what it is about the sun at this time of year, but I always feel invigorated, energized, and refreshed when I'm outdoors. The sun gives everything crisp-fresh look- it's almost like giving one a fresh perspective, if that makes sense.

Digging Holes
Sawyer and I have been spending part of our days outdoors, usually after he gets up from his nap. We saunter out into the different gardens and while I deadhead and weed away in my garden, he's out digging holes, smoothing dirt, and driving trucks in the big garden. He doesn't stay engrossed for very long, as he's soon walking over to tell me about what he's busy doing!

Out in the Big Garden...
My fall garden is doing well so far! The broccoli and onion plants are doing wonderfully and growing to their hearts content. The cabbage, however, seems to be struggling but I can't tell you why I think that. They just doesn't look 'right'- almost like their a little stressed and I know that one plant has died. Since I've just noticed their stressed look, I'll keep an eye on them for another day or two just to make sure I'm not imagining anything! :o)

My Mums...
It's almost time for me to begin the fall clean-up in my garden. I can tell things have just about reached the end of their life and are beginning to die back. However, these mums are bringing such life and color into the garden with their profuse blooms! The orange/red mum has been blooming for about three weeks now while the purple mum, in the back, is on the verge of blooming! I'm hoping that by removing the spent blooms, I can lengthen their bloom time!

Out in the chicken yard
I love going out and watching the chickens! This afternoon I walked out there and found several birds 'splayed out' under the Rose of Sharon bushes taking dust baths and having a grand ol' time...

In action...
They never fail to amuse me especially if the decide to run someplace!
Isn't it amazing that these birds, which were sent to us as day old chicks, instinctively know to take dust baths or to run for cover when a hawk or vulture comes gliding over?! They didn't have the opportunity to learn from their mother, yet our Lord created them with these instincts. What a wise, creative, and loving God we serve!

Late last night...
Trevor and Thelma invited 'us kids' over for supper last night! We had a blast with them.... I especially did as Thelma let me peek into her stash of fabric and corresponding patterns (she had just made a trip to the fabric store... now I'm inspired!!!). Around 9:45 ALL OF US wound up here at home partaking of the ice cream and cookies that Collin had so willingly donated for our consumption!!

Spur of the moment parties are best!
We watched several Andy Griffith episodes and then spent some time talking before Trevor and Thelma headed back home. All of the boys were in rare form last night... Trevor especially... oh my goodness, it was a b.l.a.s.t.! Tristan was the main conversationalist as he always has interesting 'dairy type news' to share!
I have some wonderful brothers! Can you see what time the clock on the kitchen wall says?

What I found this morning... I walked into my room!!! Sayre had so kindly shown Sawyer the art of jumping off of Ashley's bed, and he, Sawyer, was more than willing to demonstrate this 'art' to me!!! ***Sigh*** The day definitely been just as interesting as this morning start out as! :o) Sofa cushions, blankets, stuffed animals, and a wooden sword have been just few of the 'tools' that Hammie has had in his 'tool belt' today!

Life is NOT dull with an active three year old in the house!!! When it gets quiet, you know that they are up to something!!! And when there is screaming and pattering feet, you know that there is excess energy that needs to be run off!!! :o) MmmmHmmm... Life is good!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Life of Late

*Warning: Sawyer is the only photogenic person in the house at the moment, so each photo in this post contains him!!*

The past little while has found me occupied in holding down the fort. From cooking to cleaning, laundry to dishes, playing referee to wiping a runny nose, life has not been dull!!! It has been a hum of activity here!

Makin' Pizza
Sawyer has been my pal in the kitchen as I've attempted to find things that he can do to help. He has a fascination with making things and loves to work the mixer AND crack eggs!
It has been rainy or overcast quite a bit, so this has kept him indoors near the kitchen and ready at hand to help.

Waitin' for his story...
Each afternoon and each evening, we read the same story about a fire engine. I've mentioned reading something different but no, he likes the fire engine story so that's what we're going to read! I do believe that I'm well on my way to having it memorized!
One thing about Sawyer is that he has a mind like a sponge. He has whole books or stories memorized and he will either re-enact them in his play, or will recite the whole story for us. It isn't uncommon for him to burst out "You need to be gentled, Cracker!" which is a line from story about a horse who wouldn't let his heart be tamed/gentled. It is quite the reminder to me that what we are reading to him or talking about while around him will make an impression on him. It might not be seen right away, but it will show itself later.

One way to occupy himself :o)
While I was busy cooking Sawyer used his imagination to occupy himself. The microwave is the firehouse and he had 'guys' climbing all over it (although they eventually wound up floating in the sink with him 'helping' them to swim); I'm not sure what he was playing, but it sure kept him occupied for quite some time!

These past few days have been almost a whirlwind and at times almost overwhelming, but the Lord is our help and will give us wisdom and guidance as we need it!

Today is a new day.... a day full of possibilities. It's fresh and clean, the sun is shining and the sky is blue! I think that we will be outdoors working in the garden, spend a bit fishing, and just enjoying the beautiful weather!
Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Hymn for Sunday

Footsteps of Jesus

Words by: Mary B.C. Slade, 1826-1882
Music by: Asa B. Everett, 1828-1875

Sweetly, Lord have we heard Thee calling,
"Come, follow Me!"

And we see where Thy footprints falling,
Lead us to Thee.

Footprints of Jesus

That make the path way glow;

We will follow the steps of Jesus

Where-e'er they go.

Though they lead o'er the cold dark mountains,
Seeking His sheep,
Or along by Siloam's fountains,
Helping the weak.

Footprints of Jesus
That make the pathway glow;
We will follow the steps of Jesus
Where-e'er they go

If the lead thru the temple holy,
Preaching the Word,
Of in homes of the poor and lowly,
Serving the Lord.

Footprints of Jesus
That make the pathway glow;
We will follow the steps of Jesus,
Were-e'er they go.

Then at last, when on high He sees us,
Our journey done,
We will rest where the steps of Jesus
End at His throne.

Footprints of Jesus
That make the pathway glow;
We will follow the steps of Jesus
Where-e'er the go.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Truly Fantastic Day!

This past Saturday was a f.a.n.t.a.s.t.i.c. day in so many different ways!!! I could sit here and type out each and every thing that contributed to it being wonderful, but I think it best to just highlight a few events.

Event #1

Putting in my fall garden
I was not planning on having a fall garden this year, but when I found plants at a 'can't pass them up' price, well I decided to have a fall garden! :o) I came home with cauliflower, onions, and cabbage- six of each plants.

Just finished
Since all of the plants need a large amount of room, I planted them out in the big garden where the would have room to grow nice and large. We've been blessed with quite a bit of rain in the past several days, so Saturday was the perfect time to plant!
Do you see Sawyer playing behind me? By the time he was all through playing, he was a nice muddy brown color! :o) Water and dirt are a huge draw for him... combine those two items and it's like a magnet!! He will definitely find it!!

Event #2

Out with Tristan
Towards the end of the day Tristan (who is putting up more fence at Bull Run) called and told me that I needed to come over and see my heifers as they were very close. I headed over there and spent the next twenty or so minutes talking with him about all the heifers amongst other cow related things.
This particular heifer (who happens to belong to Tristan) was hilarious to watch!!! She was playing in the water swishing her head and neck back and forth over the top of it! She would only do it when we weren't looking, and would immediately stop when we commented on it! I was quite amusing... there is apparently another heifers that stands in the stock tank; now that I would LOVE to see!!!

I realize this picture isn't the best out there, but I really like it! Let me explain... B-Moo came up to Tristan and I looking for anything that we might have to offer; alfalfa cubes or petting, he wasn't too particular. We spent time rubbing him and observing how much weight he was putting on before he became interested in tasting my skirt and trying to get a hold of my camera!! I took this picture as he was trying to extend his head far enough to lick the camera. I somehow managed to get Tristan in there which was an added bonus- I really like the smile on his face! You know, he's a good guy!

Event #3

All encompassing excitement
But the event that made my day, was the arrival of my new sewing machine!!! I've been looking into different machines/brands several weeks and finally decided to purchase one like my Mommas, as I know her machine and have sewn on it many a time. I found this one online and it's practically BRAND NEW!!! I'm so pleased and am really looking forward to put something together on it!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Hymn for Sunday

Will Jesus Find Us Watching

Words by: Fanny J. Crosby, 1820-1915
Music by: William H. Doane, 1832-1915

When Jesus comes to reward His servants,
Whether it be noon or night,

Faithful to Him will He find us watching,

With our lamps all trimmed and bright?

O can we say we are ready, brother?
Ready for the soul’s bright home?

Say, will He find you and me still watching,

Waiting, waiting when the Lord shall come?

If, at the dawn of the early morning,
He shall call us one by one,
When to the Lord we restore our talents,
Will He answer thee—“Well done”?

O can we say we are ready, brother?
Ready for the soul’s bright home?
Say, will He find you and me still watching,
Waiting, waiting when the Lord shall come?

Have we been true to the trust He left us?
Do we seek to do our best?
If in our hearts there is naught condemns us,
We shall have a glorious rest.

O can we say we are ready, brother?
Ready for the soul’s bright home?
Say, will He find you and me still watching,
Waiting, waiting when the Lord shall come?

Blessèd are those whom the Lord finds watching,
In His glory they shall share;
If He shall come at the dawn or midnight,
Will He find us watching there?

O can we say we are ready, brother?
Ready for the soul’s bright home?
Say, will He find you and me still watching,
Waiting, waiting when the Lord shall come?

You can hear the tune to this hymn, here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

An Afternoon Jaunt Outdoors Yeilds....

Late yesterday afternoon the sun began to peek out from between the rain clouds that had been low in the sky all day, and I decided to head outdoors for the remaining little while before dinner preparations began. As I sauntered through my garden I was struck with how colorful and bright the flowers were after the rain; they were simply begging to be picked! So I ran inside for a bottle of water and began to cut flowers to bring indoors.

Gracing the bookshelf...
After arranging them in vases, some of this 'flowery sunshine' found themselves gracing my bookshelf...

Perking up the desk...
And brightening an otherwise lacking corner of my room.

I love it!!!
I started Dahlias from seed this past April and I've been amazed at how well they have done! The flowers are so striking against the blue bottle that Sayre scrounged from the local dirt road/creek (he knows I love blue bottles and brings them to me when he finds one I might like :o). It was the perfect size for them!

A fun, yet simple, twist
I found this 'vase' at a local store and love to place cosmos and daisies in it. It's a sure fire way to spruce up my bookshelf!

An old bottle
Some of my favorite 'vases' to use are old bottles that we have collected. This one says "Alton Illinois" on it, so it could have possibly been something that my Dad found when he was younger. The old bottles are so interesting and the ones that have writing on them have a special draw to me.

All in all, it was a wonderful way to spend the remainder of the afternoon! It was the first time in a very long time that I had taken the time to do this. It's almost therapy... although, gardening is more like therapy! :o)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

We have been having some beautiful weather here in South Carolina! I'm loving every moment of it as I cannot remember a September that has been this cool! The past two weeks have definitely been exciting weeks!!! We had an out of town guest, organized and held a yard sale, worked in the gardens, and welcomed new additions to our animal family!!!
A few pictures are most definitely in order!

Sprucing my garden up
I agonize over what to plant in my garden; there are so many plants out there that I find it hard to make a decision on what to plant! My favorite way to shop for plants is to find a store that is having a plant sale and to purchase the items that I really like. However, the past several weeks have found me with the strong desire to have some mums. My next trip to Walmart found me out in the garden section agonizing over which color of mums to purchase.... I came home with a purple, a yellow, and a deep red. I'm thrilled with them and am eagerly waiting for them to grow!

Making a sign...
Last Friday evening found me making signs for our yard sale the next day. Sayre attached the foam board to the stake and I added 'wordage'.

All set up
Our neighbor, Mrs. Ashley, joined us for last Saturday's yard sale! We had such a wonderful time as well as having several interesting experiences! The picture doesn't do a good job of showing how much stuff we did have out.

Would anybody be interested in....
Sayre had a rabbit AND a cage that he was trying to sell and although he had many 'lookers' he didn't have any 'takers'!
The thing I really liked about this yard sale was that when we were done, we carted all of the unsold and unwanted items to the local thrift store for them to sell!! We did keep several things (such as the rabbit and the cookies!) that we will try to sell through different avenues; one must simply love thrift stores!!! :o)

New additions...
Probably the most exciting thing, aside from our recent guest, has been the addition of three heifers out at Bull Run! They are very skittish and it will take a bit for them to get used to us; but with the help of alfalfa cubes and Tristan's heifers, I have a feeling that they will eventually come around! One very exciting thing about these girls is that they are due to calve in December and January! It's going to be fun to see calves alongside these monstrous girls!!! (they are quite a bit larger than Tristan's heifers)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Hymn for Sunday

We'll Understand it Better By and By

Words and Music by: Charles A. Tindley

We are tossed and driv’n on the restless sea of time;
Somber skies and howling tempests oft succeed a bright sunshine;

In that land of perfect day, when the mists have rolled away,

We will understand it better by and by.

By and by, when the morning comes
When the saints of God are gathered home,

We’ll tell the story how we’ve overcome,
For we’ll understand it better by and by.

We are often destitute of the things that life demands,
Want of food and want of shelter, thirsty hills and barren lands;
We are trusting in the Lord, and according to God’s Word,
We will understand it better by and by.

By and by, when the morning comes,

When the saints of God are gathered home,

We’ll tell the story how we’ve overcome,

For we’ll understand it better by and by.

Trials dark on every hand, and we cannot understand
All the ways that God could lead us to that blessèd promised land;

But He guides us with His eye, and we’ll follow till we die,
For we’ll understand it better by and by.

By and by, when the morning comes,
When the saints of God are gathered home,

We’ll tell the story how we’ve overcome,

For we’ll understand it better by and by.

Temptations, hidden snares often take us unawares,
And our hearts are made to bleed for a thoughtless word or deed;
And we wonder why the test when we try to do our best,
But we’ll understand it better by and by.

By and by, when the morning comes,

When the saints of God are gathered home,

We’ll tell the story how we’ve overcome,

For we’ll understand it better by and by.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Early Morning Chores

Early mornings are my most favorite time of day. Getting up early while it's still dark outside and curling up on my bed with a blanket, a cup of coffee, and my Bible is something that I look forward to with relish! There's nothing quite like spending time with the Lord first thing...
When the sun begins to touch a certain spot on the trees, usually around seven thirty, it is then time for me to head outside and take care of the critters.

Patiently waiting
While I fill water bowls (one inside and one on the back porch), talk with my family, or start a load of laundry Jasper hangs around at the back of the house waiting for breakfast. Often times he'll wind up on the porch and watch my progress through the windows of the door!

It's that time of day
After doing those few indoor things, I head out to the shop where I dish up Jasper's, Lila's, and the chickens food. Jasper continues to wait so patiently on me! :o)

Thing 1, Thing 2, and Thing 3
Out to the dog pen I head where I am greeted by (left to right) Lila, Rueger, and Buck who are all in a high state of excitement! Muddy paws, barking, wagging tails, and general excitement erupt when they see me coming!

Time for some attention
They all thoroughly enjoy getting pet and scratched! Thankfully they have calmed down enough by this time for me to do this without getting to muddy!

Across the field
All to soon it's time for me to head out to feed, water, and check on the chick-y-doos. I already have the feed bucket with me so it's a nice jaunt across the dew covered field as I listen to the crowing and other chicken noises.

Chicken greetings
They all eagerly meet me at the gate and flock around my feet as I walk over to the feeders! If I walk fast enough I can look back and see quite the string of birds following in my footsteps, but I can't look back for to long as a bird will walk right in front of me, and I don't want to step on it!

After my chores are finished I head indoors to get the day started. The early morning and all it entails is definitely my favorite part of the day. It's new and fresh just bursting with excitement and promise of a wonderful new day that is ahead of us!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day...

A fun filled weekend...

...and I'm highly distracted! :o)

Visit here for a few more photos.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Hymn for Sunday

Savior, More than Life

Words by: Fanny Crosby
Music by: W.H. Doane

You can hear the music to this hymn Here

Savior, more than life to me,
I am clinging, clinging, close to Thee;

Let Thy precious blood applied,

Keep me ever, ever near Thy side.

Every day, every hour,

Let me feel Thy cleansing pow’r;

May Thy tender love to me

Bind me closer, closer, Lord to Thee.

Through this changing world below,
Lead me gently, gently as I go;

Trusting Thee, I cannot stray,

I can never, never lose my way.

Every day, every hour,

Let me feel Thy cleansing pow’r;

May Thy tender love to me
Bind me closer, closer, Lord to Thee.

Let me love Thee more and more,
Till this fleeting, fleeting life is o’er;
Till my soul is lost in love,
In a brighter, brighter world above.

Every day, every hour,

Let me feel Thy cleansing pow’r;

May Thy tender love to me

Bind me closer, closer, Lord to Thee.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Chickens that Reside Here

The chicks that we received via that United States Postal Service in May, are now almost fourteen weeks old! Some days it seems like such a looong time since they were little peepers, and yet at the same time it seems like it was just yesterday that they were so very tiny. We've been fortunate in only loosing four chickens so far and at last 'head count' we have a grand total of forty-one chickens residing in our former dog pen! Oh yes, our flock is comprised of twenty-six hens and fifteen roosters! It appears the the hatchery sent us mostly barred rock roosters as we only have four hens from that batch!! :o)

When the gate opens....
Most every time someone walks into the pen this is what they will quickly encounter. The chickens have learned that a human beings entrance into the pen usually means that they come bearing treats or food! They love any and all scraps that we send their way, but watermelon is a definite favorite.

We prefer to drink out of the mud puddle...
The Barred Rock roosters are by far the most friendly of all the chickens. The roosters are usually the first to arrive at the gate and are always first in line during feeding time. There does seem to be one particular rooster that follows me around from time to time, but I have yet to confirm that it is the same one each and every time (they all look alike at first glance and I have investigated deeply enough)

Speckled Sussex
We have three or four really pretty Sussex roosters that are something else to watch strut around. The hens don't even begin to have the color contrast the the roosters do. One of these guys has been working on his crow a TON and is sounding quite good! I think he's most likely the top dog out there as no one really seems to mess with him.

We prefer to stay here for the night...
Every evening we have to get these Sussex hens out of a tree/tall bush and it can be quite the event! They are loathe to let go of the limb so some wing flapping and squawking always accompany this 'ritual'. They are having an influence on the rest of the flock as the numbers in the 'tree' have grown to five of late. It's only the Sussex hens, though.

Eating a tasty treat
I am really enjoying our chickens!! There is personality and antics that make tending to them so much fun! They are not very keen on being held but they sure do enjoy gathering around your ankles, pecking at shiny stuff (like camera's), investigating your feet, and if you stand still for long enough some of them will take a cat nap nearby! Tending to the 'chick-y-doos' is one of the highlights of my day!