Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thankful for blessings!

 ~ Be Thankful ~
 
Be thankful that you don't already have
everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be
to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don't know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
 
Be thankful for your limitations,
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes,
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you're tired and weary,
Because it means you've made an effort.

It's easy to be thankful for the good things.

A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they will become your blessings.

Author Unknown
 


 
You can listen to a beautiful song about finding the blessings in troubles here:

 

Friday, November 29, 2013

When life gives you lemons...

 
...REJOICE!
 
Those of you who've read this blog for a while may recall that I started growing some dwarf fruit trees 2 springs ago (yes, here in North Dakota).  Well, as of yesterday, I now have a lemon from one of those trees!  I'm not sure if I want to save it to look at until it's all shrivelled to nothingness, or slice it open and smell and taste it?  I think I'll do the latter.  :)


I took a picture of some of our (happy-to-be-alive-today?) turkeys this morning.  We're planning to sell a few of the Bronze toms (maybe one of the Black Spanish toms too), as we really don't need so many.   (They're not ideal for butchering, as they're 2 years old already.)

My family and I had a very busy Friday.  My dad hauled grain again.  My brothers pulled up the well pump, only to discover they did not have the right part, so closed it all back up again.  They also worked in the shop.   Mom and I cleaned, and cooked, and cleaned, and cooked, and....   

I hope and pray that you all have an enjoyable, refreshing weekend!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

~Thanks giving~

 
I hope that you all had a wonderful day spent with those you love!  I sure did have just such a day...
 
I spent the first half of the day with my second family (where I babysit) ;)
and the rest of the afternoon playing ping-pong with my family,
then ended the day with a delicious (mostly) traditional Thanksgiving feast. 
 
 
The Lord is INDEED good.
His love endures forever!
 
I feel truly blessed!!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The house smells like pumpkin pie!

....And for good reason too, as there are 4 of them sitting on the kitchen counter tonight.  I may be babysitting tomorrow, so I made the rice stuffing today as well so mom won't have to do that in preparation for the feast tomorrow evening!

My dad loaded and hauled sunflowers to Enderlin for a farmer.   Andrew went to Bismarck for business purposes and also picked up some cranberry sauce and other things for tomorrow.   Jacob fed the cows this morning, then changed the oil in the one tractor and worked on some schoolwork.  My brothers worked on other vehicle/snowmobile projects in the afternoon. 

Mom and I did dishes throughout the day when we had the water to do so...  Now that the cows are home again, they drink water all day long and we have little to no water-pressure in the house once again.  We do laundry/dishes/showers early in the morning or late at night.  It's worse this year than last (ever since the new pump was put in), so Andrew also bought a part (a pressure valve?) today that should make the pump have more gusto.  The guys hope to get the pump pulled up and that part changed tomorrow so we will have at least a little water in the house at all times!  We'll be SO thankful!  We've been filling bottles and pails with water to use through the day, but just having water at the faucet would be so much nicer.

Yesterday, my dad figured out what was wrong with the furnace and put that new part in.  It had been out for 2 days already, (and there was still propane in the tank) so we were using electric heaters to stay warm.   Andrew picked up another spare part (no, I really don't know what it was called!) in town today as well for the future----just in case.  

Well, here's wishing you all a WONDERFUL day of giving thanks for the blessings God has showered down on you in your lives!!!  May we all be truly thankful each and every day of the year. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

The cows are home, off the range...

It was a blustery day and the cows were very ready to come home!  Thankfully, all went well.
 
 That's Jacob on his dirt-bike...
 Mom in the black pickup (we ladies got to drive pickups and stay warm! :) )...
 "Yippy ti yi yo, get along little doggies..."
 My dad...
 Once we got them all rounded up in the pastures, moving the whole herd down the road went pretty well.  I got my usual job of swerving side to side in front of the herd, trying to hold them back a little bit so they didn't string out for miles.  This cow (mine) was very stubborn and kept sneaking by in the ditch, where I couldn't really drive without loosing the rest of the herd.  Andrew came up front and helped me when he wasn't needed on the sidelines.  :)
 My "Followers"...
 You can see Andrew on his dirt-bike in this picture, if you look closely...
 Home again, home again!   Andrew helped my dad feed the cows some hay (they used both loader tractors), then played with Millie and Lady for a while until my dad was done...

 It was late in the afternoon already by this time, so Dad decided to wait with the sorting and just let the cows settle down after their approx. 4 mile walk.
All is surprisingly still now, so the cattle must be content.  :)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Gettin' ready...

Tomorrow, the plan is to bring the cows home.  Depending on how well that all goes, we'll probably be doing some sorting too (we need to sell some and keep others separate for other reasons).  Prayers for safety for all would be greatly appreciated!

The guys got some fences fixed and things ready for tomorrow.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Very cold!



That's what it was this morning when I went out to do my part of the barn chores...  Andrew said it got down to -12F degrees.  I know that, come February, that won't seem so cold, but for today, it seemed very cold!  My fingers were so cold by the time I was done.  It was very nice to get back in the house where it's cozy warm!! 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Egg bread?

As I mentioned before, we're trying to figure out ways to make good use of the blessing of the abundance of farm-fresh eggs we have right now.   My mom searched for a regular (not sweet)bread recipe that uses eggs and found one.  I baked bread and a pizza crust following that recipe this morning and it rose well and seemed to be nice and soft, so if the bread passes the taste-test, perhaps we'll make this recipe more often.  I also found a helpful site today about freezing eggs (http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2011/10/how-to-freeze-eggs.html).

My mom and I made 2 kinds of homemade ice cream this morning (strawberry and mint chocolate chip).  Then we gave my dad and Andrew hair-cuts, as they were needing a trim again!

Shortly after the noon meal, my parents headed for Bismarck to run some errands and then to have a special date-night at an agricultural meeting/supper.  They won't be back for a while yet, I'm guessing.

My brothers helped me a bit with cleaning the house and making supper and worked on some odd-job projects around the house (things like switching the outlet back to a regular outlet now that we won't be using the air conditioner for a while)! 

This evening, I played on my piano for a couple of hours....  :)  It's been a while since I did that.

May the Lord bless your weekend with joy and peace!!! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thanksgiving music!

A couple of weeks ago, my mom and I were talking about Christmas music and then we wondered if there was such a thing as Thanksgiving music albums---you know, like the hundreds of Christmas albums for sale EVERYWHERE.  After doing a quick search on-line, I was surprised to find several CDs of music about being thankful.  I ordered one that looked like it had a nice selection of songs and we have been enjoying it immensely!  It is highly recommended.  :) 

I bought this one: (http://www.amazon.com/We-Gather-Together-Thanksgiving-Hymns/dp/B005JLN8TU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385084554&sr=8-1&keywords=thanksgiving+music)
 
I spent the day babysitting 2 cute little girls and I'm not even sure what my family did today, but I'm sure they were all busy as usual.
 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Window repair!

Jacob and I spent a couple of hours in the chicken part of the east barn this afternoon, repairing the windows that the panes had broken out of.   We could not find the spare windows that the guys know they have around here "Someplace", so we made do with a 2-paned window we found (used it to fix 2 windows) and moved some windows around so the front side of the barn at least looks nice and the back side is closed up as well, but doesn't look so pretty.  :)  My dad said it's supposed to be getting colder here very soon, so it's time to get these things done!   The little sparrows are not very happy with us now, as we closed up their doorway, but there are other buildings they can get in for shelter.

(The window in this picture is very similar to the kind we were working with...)



My dad combined the food plots that our hunter friend wished to have cut.  That same friend also gave Andrew his old green pickup today, as there are some things wrong with it and he knows Andrew will be able to fix it and just wanted him to have it, so that was really nice! 

The guys unloaded the corn trucks onto our corn-pile this afternoon.  My mom finished raking the sorghum field and Andrew finished baling one of the fields.   Dad and Jacob got the combine cleaned up and stored away in the Quonset.

My mom and I are trying to find creative ways to use eggs.  Have any suggestions?   For supper, we had a "Crustless Egg Quiche" that used a dozen eggs (about a third of what we're getting every day now).  We've been freezing eggs in ice-cube trays for use later.  Home-made ice cream uses lots of eggs.  Chef salads taste great with hard-boiled eggs.   Deviled eggs taste good with eggs...  ;)

I love days like this----when the day ends and there was so much work accomplished.  I thank God for good health and safety for us all as we work (and so that we can work). 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Corn harvest completed!

Hooray!  My dad just pulled in the yard with the semi, which means that our corn is all harvested!  PTL!  Dad has a few food plots to combine for our hunter friend yet, but our corn is off.

I was gone all day babysitting (Lauretta stopped in there on her way home from work and we had a good catching-up talk!).  I hear that my mom raked more sorghum all afternoon; Andrew baled sorghum; and Dad and Jacob did the combining and truck driving.  We're still praying for the snow to hold off so our other farming friends get their crops in too!!

Now we can sing the hymn, "Come ye thankful people, come"!  :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIPzyy6asPM

"Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home..."

Monday, November 18, 2013

De-screening...

Yes, it was time to put the window-screens away for the cold spell.  The good part of this is that the bugs (flies especially) have mostly all died and won't be invading our space again for the next half year!    Hooray!!

My dad was finished combining the corn at the farm here, so there is just one wet field left.  The topic for discussion tonight was on if "we" should combine that field now, or hope for it to dry down before a lot of snow comes....  Hmmmmm. 

My mom went to Bismarck to see clients.

Andrew raked the sorghum and said that it was in better shape than he thought it would be after all it's been through, so that was good news.

Jacob emptied trucks for my dad all afternoon/evening.

I worked outside a lot on projects that I've been wanting to get done before winter (window washing, fly-trap-throwing, pulling old ugly weeds, pulling out dead flower plants, putting pots away for the winter, cutting trees off that were growing in the wrong places...).

It was a good day and tomorrow, I get to go spend the day with "my" little girls again!  :)

I read this poem today in "Streams in the Desert" and wished to share it with you all....

When the frosts are in the valley,
   And the mountaintops are gray,
And the choicest blooms are blighted,
  And the blossoms die away,
A loving Father whispers,
"This all came from my hand";
Blessed are you if you trust
When you cannot understand.

If, after years of toiling,
  Your wealth should fly away
And leave your hands all empty,
  And you hair is turning gray,
Remember then your Father
  Owns all the sea and land;
Blessed are you if you trust
  When you cannot understand.
     ~Author unknown   

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Grandma's party...

I got up early this morning to bake and decorate this cake for my grandma Marly's birthday party which was this afternoon.  Her actual birthday isn't for a few days yet. 
 
 I made this quickly for my family with the "Extras"....
 At the party...   Several more people came later in the afternoon.
 Somebody brought out the dominoes...  (Thanks for taking pictures, Mom, as I remembered the camera, but forgot to use it!)

 Visiting...  (My dad is on the right in this picture and his dad is in the wheelchair.  The ladies in light blue and yellow are two of Grandpa's sisters.)
 We played "Chicken foot" and "Matador"....
 
 Grandma opening her presents...

We just got home a little while ago and my brothers went out to do the barn chores.
 
It was a nice time spent with family and my grandparent's friends/neighbors.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Rook!

This afternoon, we dug out the old Rook deck and played a couple of games. 

It is a wonderful thing to just spend time enjoying your family, isn't it?

Friday, November 15, 2013

I rode a round...

It was a busy day here!
 
This morning, a guy came to buy the small spray-coupe we didn't need.  Andrew stayed at the farm to help him load it, so I rode with Dad and Jacob over to the Hazelton land to bring the pickup home while Jacob drove the combine to Gaylins' land and my dad took a load of corn to town.  Jacob's been doing some of the combining this year and I was impressed with how he drove that green monstrosity!
 
Later, the guys decided to drive the combine home and work on these fields, as they are drier than the field on Gaylins'.  I took a break from house-cleaning to go snap some pictures, as I realized that I didn't have ANY from our harvest yet this year and the crops are nearly all in!

 My dad hauled several loads to town today...
 It was a GORGEOUS day---very sunny and still!

 CORN!
 I was getting ready to head back to the house when Andrew motioned me to come over and asked if I wanted a ride, which I did.  :)
 I can't decide which of these pictures of Andrew I like best, so I'll post both...

 This header is amazing!
 We saw 4 deer during the one round that I was with Andrew in the combine.  (See the doe?)
 Meanwhile, my dad and Jacob were setting up some air-ventilation-tubes where the corn pile will be. 

Here my dad is bringing the white truck for Andrew to fill while he took the semi to town again.
 If you look closely, you can see my dad in this picture.  (That's how he gets his exercise by the way---walking along side of the combine up and down the field.    Just kidding...)
We're so grateful that there has not been snow this far into the year!  Thank you, Lord!!


Please pray for some friends of ours (the Balyeat family-- http://www.balyeats.com ) who lost their oldest son, Jonathan in a car accident yesterday.  He was a husband, and father of two teenage children.  Here's a link to the newspaper article: http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20131114/NEWS01/311140023?fb_comment_id=fbc_545020875586994_3363523_545393478883067 .  How sad!!

Here's wishing you all a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The blessing of buttons...

Our menfolk go through a TON (they may weigh that much after they're all oily too?) of rags in their shop every winter while fixing greasy things.  Rather than paying a lot of money for those boxes of shop rags, my mom and I (sometimes a brother helps) will cut up old worn out clothes for them to use.  Well, we had not done this in a while and winter is a comin', so we spent a good portion of the afternoon in cutting up 5 garbage-bags full of shop rags from old clothes we've been saving for that purpose.  That should last the guys at least until I spring, I hope.

As we talked and chopped, my mom and I commented on what a blessing buttons are!  Just try and imagine what life would be like without them.  (I suppose the zipper and velcro industries would be richer?)  


...Just thanking God for one of the small things in life that we usually take for granted!


Harvest report:

  Andrew finished up combining for farmer Stan today!  :)
  My dad finished up the corn fields by Hazelton and now has just 3 fields left that are closer to home.  He had 3 little friends along for the ride yesterday.  The cab was pretty full I hear!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

God is good---all the time!

 
This has been God's very clear message to me today!  I've read it several places and the song
 (linked to below)  keeps coming to mind, so I wanted to share it with you all as well...
 
 
Even when you've recently had a tooth-pulled; or the combining isn't going the best; or the cow steps on your foot; or your wife or father recently passed away; or you've just had a surgery;
 or your little girls have pink eye; or you just don't feel well....
even then,
 God is GOOD---all the time!
 

YES!
 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Where have the years gone?

 
My brothers really used to be "little" brothers...  How time changes things!






Now look who turned 23 years old today:


Happy birthday, brother!  I hope the combining went well all day!!!
              See you soon...
                      ~ Your "Big" sister
(Your birthday pumpkin-bars are waiting, just as you requested...)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thank you!!!

 
I wish to sincerely thank all of those who have fought, and who continue to fight today for the freedoms we've found and enjoyed in our great Country!
 
(And a very happy 3rd birthday to my Johanna girl!!!)

Prayers and praise...

I'd like to ask you all to pray for my mom this afternoon (@ 1:45pm), as she's having some dental surgery done and I can imagine it will be far from pleasant!  Thank you!!

Also, I wanted to update you all a little on my uncle Russell...  He's called and talked to my folks several times since they were with him for his wife's funeral.  He told them the exciting news that he was going to go to church (yesterday) with his neighbors.  I have no idea when the last time was that he was in a church, so this was such wonderful news!!!