Monday, December 10, 2007

Grandma Lilly

"Most blessed of women is Jael [Lilly], the wife of Heber the Kenite [Leonard the farmer]; most blessed is she of women in the tent." Judges 5:24
This is Grandma Lilly. She has been a constant in my life as long as I can remember. Born in 1920, she has seen her share of hard work on the farm, as well as in the school cafeteria. And always manages to keep her opinion to herself (why didn't I inherit that trait?).

She and my late-grandfather raised 5 children. Those 5 produced 22 grandchildren. Those 22 have multiplied to 30+ great-grandchildren (and still counting). One of the great-grandchildren even has her name. (Did I mention they also temporarily raised four of Grandpa's cousins?)

Taken during our trip back to KS in October, this photo shows her holding the most-recent great-grandchild, Leila Mae (my brother's daughter).

Grandma, thank you for being such a strong, constant, get-it-done example for me.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Leaving a trail

"Consider the work of God, for who is able to straighten what He has bent?" Ecclesiastes 7:13
How often does one get to see the trail of a slug? The ever-so-slight layer of frost revealed this little guy's swaggering ways. Honestly, I didn't know slugs traveled so randomly.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


The Psalms and Proverbs are my two favorites. Through each psalm, the Spirit beacons to hold my heart while tenderly drawing out that which I do not yet entrust to Him. My head, on the other hand, grabs those Proverbs and slaps them up as rules.

Each one is good. For me, however, a balance of the two is best.

Lately, blogging has started to crowd out my morning study and I could see the effects in many other areas of my life. So, a blogging break needed to happen. Eric leaves around 5 am and I spend the next hour or so in His word. Seeing how He honors my time with Him is quite amazing. I actually enjoy cleaning the house now! And the extra time I have - all of a sudden!! Where were those minutes/hours before? When you feel rushed, stressed, or strung-out, seek Him. You will find Him. I promise.

To where does the Spirit lead when you search His written Word?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

We have a winner!!

"But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance." Romans 8:25

Our winner is allotment lady! Congratulations!! Please give me your mailing information so I can get it mailed. It's all boxed and ready to go. Here is your showcase...
Purchased at Cracker Barrel -
a bottle of 100% pure maple syrup
a package of Glee gum [the way gum used to be - with rainforest chicle]
Bluegrass Highway CD [how could I not include something bluegrass?]

Purchased from my sister in Arkansas -
A Little Bit o' Luck
sample set from Lucky You Personal Spa Collection [moisturizing hand/body soap, exfoliating hand/body soap, tranquil bath tea (3 bags), perfect moisture hydrating lotion, creamy soy body butter, sugar mousse body polish, soothing bath salts]

Thank you for being so patient with me. I do appreciate all the comments even though you had no idea what the prize was. And please forgive me for waiting so long to post the winner. Never again will I post a give-away and then go on vacation. We got home and the next day it was a week later. :-(

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

100th Post Give-Away!!

"And Pharaoh said to Jacob, 'How many years have you lived?' So Jacob said to Pharaoh, 'The years of my sojourning are one hundred and thirty.'" Genesis 47:8-9
Paula's paraphrase:
And her blogging friends said to Paula, "How many days have you been blogging?" So Paula said to her blogging friends, "The days of my blogging are way more than one hundred!"

True. I think my first post was December 31, 2006. It just took awhile to get to my 100th post because I don't blog every day and I've taken off more than a few days in a row.

However, my 100th post has arrived and (following blogging tradition) I am hosting a give-away!! Just leave me a comment and I'll toss your name in the hat!

Usually the hostess will display the items for the give-away; however, I don't have them yet. Tomorrow I leave for vacation back home (KS), and while I'm away I'll find little goodies to pass along to you!!

Thank you for visiting me today. Don't forget to leave me a comment and I'll see you in a week!!

(PS - If you live near Wichita KS, Topeka KS, or St Joe MO, let me know! I may be right around the corner!)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Ready for the rain

"For the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock." Matthew 7:25
Boy, did it rain! But, we got the area filled and leveled before the rains hit!! As you can see, everything leveled out quite nicely. In this case, I was thrilled to have two days of rain.

This photo shows the patio as we come down the driveway. We've added solar lights along the walls that don't serve as steps. Eric now calls the patio the runway because there are four rows of lights running parallel to each other. It's much more noticeable from the front door.

Next thing on the agenda is to get the soil ready for grass! Finally!! After living here for over a year, we're going to have grass in our front yard!!!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Holding it all in

"And I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me, and also about the king's words which he had spoken to me. Then they said, 'Let us arise and build.' So they put their hands to the good work." Nehemiah 2:18
This is the beginning of the final section of wall stemming from the patio. Here's the plan - run it parallel to the house and the trees, wrap around the end of the trees, and taper down to the yard. Then pound in all that rebar, back-fill with dirt, level it, and plant with grass or ground cover. Sounds easy enough, right?
We thought so, too, until we ran into tree roots. In fear of a pine tree crashing through the roof of our house, Eric opted to work around the roots rather than cutting them. Good decision. :)
Tah, dah!! Finished with the wall.
Now, who's going to clean up that mess by the trees?

Friday, October 5, 2007

Show & Tell Friday - It's finished!!!!

Welcome to Kelli's Show and Tell Friday! Do you have something special to share? It could be a trinket from grade school, a piece of jewelry, or a treasured collection. Look around your home for something to share; dig through those boxes in your closet if you have to! Share photos and the story that goes with your special item. If you'd like to participate, visit Kelli at There's No Place Like Home and add your name to the list!

"I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one's lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor - it is a gift of God."
Ecclesiastes 3:12-13
The patio is finished!!! I tell you what - there is no greater reward to physical labor than to see such outstanding results. Yes, I know I'm bragging. But this is exactly how we pictured it in our minds.

The largest section is level with the driveway which turned out to be more beneficial than we realized. Eric wants to place potted citrus trees in the corner along the center wall. Once we get the greenhouse put up, he can move the trees in there for the winter. I like that idea!

Next project: taking the retaining wall around the trees and leveling all the dirt. Stay tuned!!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Back to the patio

"I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean." Romans 12:14

Some may not enjoy yard work in the least; however, Eric and I are quite thrilled to be working outside. We love being unclean!! (You know what I mean.)

We've started work on the last section, but it's been so long since I've posted so I thought you'd like a reminder. Click here to see where we left off.
The walls are built and it's time to remove the soil. Eric had to use the tiller to loosen the soil inside because it had been there so long and was quite compacted. We removed enough dirt to get down to 5" below the surface of the patio.
Guess who had the camera for this photo? Eric is always saying we have too many pictures of him and not enough of me, but he never thinks about taking a picture. Today, he remembered!

PS - Please excuse the quality of the photos. My digital camera decided to take a leave of absence without filing the proper paperwork in advance. The 35 mm graciously stepped in.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Count Your Blessings Monday

Thank you, Marci, for giving us an opportunity every Monday to not only count our blessings, but to share them with others. This is a way that we can encourage one another. Make a post on your blog telling us about your blessing. Please put a link back to Marci's post and add the URL of your blog post on Marci's Mr. Linky. Many of our blessings we will have pictures of and we can share those as well. Many times we forget that it is a blessing to be able to breath, to get out of bed, to hold a baby... Share your blessings with us.

This week I jumped the gun. I posted this yesterday. If no one had commented yet, I was going to change the post date and start over. However, I had comments!! (That's one blessing in itself.) Please check here for my blessing this week.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

I am blessed

"I am my beloved's, and his desire is for me." Song of Solomon 7:10

Since going back to work, Eric has taken over most of the cooking. He gets home earlier, enjoys cooking, and (as you'll see) is more creative with leftovers*. The other day I came home to a four-course meal prepared by my husband.
First course...
Pepper Jack cheese cubes*, olives*, crackers*, glass of wine
(Notice the lit candle?)

Second course...
Salad with mixed greens, strawberries, goat cheese, pecans/walnuts* & macadamia nuts* drizzled with a raspberry oil & vinegar dressing

Third course...
BBQ riblets*, chicken gnocchi*, fried okra, & bread stick*

Fourth course...
S'more Pie
Oreo cookie crust with layers of marshmallow, chocolate syrup, & chocolate chunks then broiled in the oven to burn the top
(everyone burns their marshmallows, right?)

Is there such a thing as being too blessed? Hmmm...nope - don't think so!!

PS - The S'more Pie came straight from the pages of Bon Appetit magazine.

PPS - We have no clue (nor do we care) about the calories, fat grams, preservatives, etc, etc, etc.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

terror in the night (con't)

"Sounds of terror are in his ears, while at peace the destroyer comes upon him." Job 15:21

If you read our post about the killing/slaughter/sacrifice, you're probably wondering what we found the next day. Come with me and I'll show you!
First, let's head down the old driveway. Rather overgrown, isn't it? Perfect place for an attack!

Here we see a well-defined trail.

It appears to be used quite often.

Eric and I trekked up the hill and found nothing.

This is actually the ground underneath the tree where we thought the fought took place.

This is on the other side of the tree - two of many dens we have found on our little plot of land.

And back up the hill to the house - another well-defined trail.

Now you've just seen as much as we saw the day after the attack. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Not even the slightest hint that the battle took place. Now can you understand why we are so ready to develop the land?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Count Your Blessings Monday

Marci at Down at the Farm is giving us an opportunity every Monday to not only count our blessings, but to share them with others. This is a way that we can encourage one another.

Make a post on your blog telling us about your blessing. Please put a link back to Marci's post.

My blessing is time. I will admit that time is more of a curse at times, but it really is a blessing. When I set my mind to it, I can accomplish quite a lot in a short amount of time.

After we moved to the NW, I did not go back to work for almost a year. During that year, I learned that the more time I had on my hands, the less I got done. Going back to work afforded me the schedule and structure I needed to get busy.

However, I will say that if I can be outside working, everything in the house gets knocked down on my "to-do" list. If you visit during this time, you'll see clean laundry on my kitchen table, dust on my furniture, clean dishes in the dishwasher, etc, etc, etc. The long rainy season really motivates us to use our time outside. Besides, at least the clothes are clean!! Right?

Marci, thanks for giving us this opportunity to share.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Show & Tell Friday

Welcome to “Show and Tell Friday” hosted by Kelli at There's No Place Like Home. Do you have something special to share? It could be a trinket from grade school, a piece of jewelry, or a treasured collection. Look around your home for something to share; dig through those boxes in your closet if you have to! Share photos and the story that goes with your special item. Be sure to let Kelli know you've got something to share!!

This clock was a gift from Eric's parents the first year of our marriage. A coo-coo clock? No. A cluck-coo clock!! My maiden name is Cluck. Really. I'm not joking. I didn't realize my name was funny until we moved when I was in high school. Where I grew up, that name was common.

I have since embraced my maiden name by collecting none other than chickens. See my collection here and here. (Notice the name on the plate??)

This is the little guy that pops out at the top of every hour. The reaction of first-time visitors is quite funny. They hear the chicken clucking, but have no idea where it's coming from. They just know it's close by - like in the same room!!

Kelli, thanks for giving us an opportunity to share our favorites!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Happy Birthday Eric!!

"And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in the streets." Zechariah 8:5
Happy birthday, my love.

This verse fits Eric perfectly. As a child, he and his brother organized the best games I've ever heard of. They would get their friends together for bicycle fighter pilots, the adventures of Lewis & Clark along the creek in Mulvane KS, or war with all the little soldiers and rubber bands as ammunition. Mind you, this was not ordinary war. There were definite rules and no one could move their soldiers until it was their turn!!

Thanks Mom & Dad for providing a strong, stable environment for my future husband.

This photo was taken several years ago while on vacation at Biltmore Estate in NC.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

terror in the night

"Sounds of terror are in his ears, while at peace the destroyer comes upon him." Job 15:21

Just barely asleep, Eric and I were awakened last night to the most hideous screams of terror. Before Eric was out of bed, he had the night vision monocle in one hand and protection in the other. It was coming from behind the house, but where exactly?
Gingerly, Eric walked out onto the deck. Somewhere in this tangled mess, the screams of the prey continued as it desperately tried to escape. Each act of defense forced the predator to find a new grip, dragging his victim until he found another stronghold.
Were the goats still in their pen? Neither of us spoke a word. Posed for action, I stood guard at the patio door ready to slam it shut after Eric's dash inside. Still in pursuit of a meal, the predator gave no relief to its prey. Chills of the hunt were right in front of us. But, where?
With one last bolt of energy and every ounce in his spirit, the prey did not go down quietly. Branches crackled, screams intensified, battles enraged. We stood breathless, stiffened to the bone. As Eric wildly scanned the tree with the monocle, protection prepared, the war ended as quickly as it began.

No more screams. No more struggles. No more defense. Just the tired, deliberate steps of a conqueror's victorious parade home after a long battle. It was done.

The goats were fine. Wide awake and just a breathless as we, they knew Eric's voice and were comforted by his presence.

Sleep came once again - finally. Will we ever know what succumbed to the terrors of this night? Probably not. Isn't this reason enough to continue landscaping?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Count Your Blessing Monday

Another great start to a what's going to be a great week - thanks to Marci at Amazing Graze Farm. She started this concerted effort to be conscious of our blessings. Check out her website and see what other people are thankful for. You'll meet some great people!!

These two little ladies have become wonderful source of entertainment.

Bravo (black) loves affection and will usually let you walk right up to her then put her head under your hand and expect you to stop what you're doing to pet her.

On the other hand, Alpha (brown) will let you pet her only when she's good and ready. She's the vocalist of the two, also. If she has something to say, she'll let you hear it - loud & clear & as long as it takes!

Friday, September 7, 2007

colors & textures of His hand

"One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD." Psalm 27:4

Enjoy these treasures we found as we trekked a mountain trail Monday.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The dew of the earth

"Then the remnant of Jacob will be among many peoples like dew from the LORD, like showers on vegetation which do not wait for man or delay for the sons of men." Micah 7:5

In the stillness of the morning,
the air heavy with dew,
the Olympic Peninsula
cries out praises
to His glory.

A few more photos from our trip.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The last section!!

"The enemy has come to an end in perpetual ruins, and Thou hast uprooted the cities; the very memory of them has perished."
Psalm 9:6
The enemy? All the tree roots and gravel from the previous owners' landscaping/circle drive. Thou? It actually means our LORD; however, today it means Eric.

We're getting started on the final level to our front patio!! See this post for the lay-out.
After Eric dug the trench for the timbers, we were able to get the walls built. Everything has been tied in with rebar. Next? Level the inside for layers of gravel and sand, then those enormous pieces of flagstone!

With Michael back in school, we're not sure how to move the flagstone unless we hire someone again. Maybe two someones!

(PS - We know we could break the stones to make them smaller, but both of us really enjoy the statement made by the huge pieces of stone. Too, it makes for a much safer place to put a chair!)

Just had to share this picture of the girls with you.

Aren't they cute?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The beauty of flowers

"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever." Isaiah 40:8

Just a few photos from our recent weekend to the Olympic Peninsula.