Posted by: firstfruitsfarmne | April 10, 2010

This and That

Well, here I am TIRED again.  It’s a way of life, I think.

Today was a busy, busy day.  I’m pretty sure I only sat down to eat and nurse my baby… and that’s it.  When I’m tempted to grumble about how much I have to do or how tired I am, I try to be thankful that I’m able-bodied enough to work this hard.  How some people would love to have my health and be able to accomplish what I can.  (Not that I always accomplish all that I can:o) )

So what did I do?  This morning I made all of our cereal for the week.  Yep, lots.  Even if boxed cereal were nutritious, Josh would have to go out and get another job just for us to be able to afford it, the way my children eat.  So I make granola.  In a stock pot.  Then I store it in a bucket.  ‘s great for a quick breakfast with lots of blueberries and cold milk, and I don’t even have to fire up the cookstove several mornings a week.

Then I made five loaves of bread.  So now I have to introduce you to a new, very important addition to our family.  Meet:  the Assitent.  (Yes, that’s the way you spell it.  She’s a Swede.)

(She’s standing shyly over in the left corner.)  We purchased this sweetheart of a mixer so that we would be able to have a bread-making business, and to help us keep up with our own massive carbohydrate appetites.  She’ll hold up to 28 cups of flour, or make about nine regular sized loaves.  I have dreamed of this appliance for years.  Oh, how much easier it makes my life!

Now I know some of you are wondering how this electric appliance fits in to our off-grid ambitions.  That’s an entirely different post that I want to do, so… stay tuned.

Lots of cleaning today.  Putting away winter snow boots and accessories that were cluttering our mud room/pantry floor, cleaning out the refrigerator (well, not all of it, for that will take several days), mopping the kitchen, changing diapers, washing diapers, washing bed sheets, hanging bed sheets, feeding everyone…. you get the point.

I found these two in the yard deeply involved in acting out a very dramatic story, but they managed to pose for me anyway:

If you’re looking for Caleb, he’s with Josh.  All. the. time.

He was really working hard today.

What do you think of the greenhouse?  Oh, have I got a great story!  Josh wasn’t sure how tall he should make it this morning and was contemplating it for a while  before he started putting up the rafters.  He went ahead with the building and had a neighbor stop by and tell him he had a lot of old windows he might be interested in.  Josh agreed to come look at them, but wasn’t too optimistic that we’d be able to use them.  Well, of course they were perfect.  And of course they were six foot tall, just like the front wall of the greenhouse.  And of course there were enough of them.  And of course we were so surprised that we’d been spared the expense of buying the glass, but I don’t know why we were.  Our Heavenly Father does things like this for us ALL THE TIME!  From pianos to vehicles to king-sized beds, and a thousand other ways,  He’s been so kind to provide, often before we ever think to ask!

HalleluYAH!

Have a blessed evening!

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Posted by: firstfruitsfarmne | April 9, 2010

Tuckered out…

I’m sorry I didn’t get to post yesterday, but we had troublwith our internet connection.

It’s been a long, full day and I am longing to sink into bed.

Today was my first day ever to bake bread to sell and I sold 5 loaves!  I was really pleased.  We also sold 5 dozen eggs today, which was nice, too.

Beloved worked on our new green house (pictures to come!), worked the bees, and planted onions with the children.

It’s getting greener by the day outside!  We’re starting to see some leaves, as well.  Exciting!

Well, this post is about as tired as I am.  Just wanted to check in!

Posted by: firstfruitsfarmne | April 7, 2010

Reminders

I have a note at the bottom of my computer screen– a note to myself.  You see, I have little notes here and there throughout my house.  I need lots of reminders.  This note reminds me:

If you haven’t spent some quiet time with your Lord today

If there is something you could do to bless or serve your husband…

If there is a child who could use some special attention…

You really shouldn’t be here!!!

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

James 4:17

I’m hoping it dampens my appetite!

I don’t begrudge the time I spend recording family history, keeping in touch with loved ones, or even journaling my thoughts here.  It’s the time I spend in rapturous wonder at the infinite amount of information there is to be had on the web.  You know, that whole mental stimulation thing.  I have always, always hungered to learn more, to read more.  Why, the thought of having something of particular interest to read somewhere nearby thrills me down to my very toes!  So you can imagine how tempting the internet can be.  Forget chatting or Facebook or twitter (tweeting?), look at what you can read! Look at how much you can learn!

Look at what an idol it can become!

So I need reminding.  Sure, learning is wonderful.  The mind our Creator blessed us with needs to be stretched and grown and used.  But first and foremost, I need to care for the responsibilities He has given me.  He is faithful, He will give me the time I need to learn what I need to know.

Posted by: firstfruitsfarmne | April 6, 2010

How much brain space do we have, anyway?

OK, some of you might think this is over the top.

I have been fervently praying  that God would give me wisdom in training my children.

Seriously, I need, like, much assistance.

I can be so short-sighted, so pathetically stupid sometimes that I simply do NOT trust myself or my own judgments when it comes to raising them.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him has become my lifeline.

I am incompetent.

But He is not.  And His Spirit is not.  And His Spirit now lives in me.

Whew!

So what do you do when these “crazy” notions start popping into your head and you can’t get them out of your mind and you start seeing examples of it everywhere in everything?   Do you say ” Oh, thank you, Father for showing me that!”  Or are you like me and scratch your head and say, “Wow, Lord,  are you really talking to me?

To add to the uncertainty of it all, what if He’s telling you something that’s just out there?  Strange.  Worst of all, hard.

Ok, so you want to know what it is?

I’m reevaluating our entertainment.

(You thought it was going to be something really bad, didn’t you?  I was trying to think of something really weird to throw you for a loop and then I realized that we actually do every “weird” thing I could think of! 😮 )

More specifically, I’m being convicted about what I let into my childrens’ minds.  Don’t get me wrong, we are very strict about movies they watch, books they read, and other various forms of media they might encounter, but there’s something even deeper.

What becomes of all the fluff?  The cartoon, innocent foolishness?  The profits-them-absolutely-nothing time that is spent in being zoned out of the real world while the lust of their flesh is being saturated with entertainment?

Told you you’d think I’m over the top.

No, really.  What else could they be doing?  What could they be filling their minds with instead?

Take myself, for instance.  To my shame, I know every verse to every country song ever recorded in the nineties.  They haunt me to this day!  They pop up at the weirdest times.  THEY NEVER REALLY GO AWAY!!!!!!  What if I took that same volume of memorization and traded it in for scripture, or even something else useful like history dates, speeches, or PROFITABLE music?

I’d be a lot different, don’t you think?

And what of the need for entertainment I’ve developed over the years?  Who wants to sit around and talk with other human beings, or learn how to sew, or color with your little girl when you can pop a movie in, or read your favorite blog?  Do  I really want my children to develop an addiction for constant mental stimulation?

I know, I know.  Children should get to be children and have fun.  Yes, I agree.  But children in our modern culture have a unique disadvantage compared to other children throughout human history:  they have other people play for them.  Why actually do it yourself?  Why not click a button and sit back and enjoy someone else’s life!  The fantasy worlds other people get to be a part of sure are a lot more interesting than real life!  And you don’t even have to deal with real people!  What a deal!— And Mama gets a free baby sitter, to boot!

As a family, we decided long ago to limit movies to Friday night and Saturday night.  I thought this would be more than prudent, until they started discussing and acting out those movies all.week.long.  Ughhh!

I also started cutting back on fiction books that were available to read during the week, because I began to notice a discontent with the real world in some of my children.  (How does picking beans or playing with your baby brother compare to Narnia?)

Hear me clearly:  I am not saying that clean entertainment is somehow sinful.  I am not saying that you should never let your children watch things just for fun.  What I am saying is that I believe the vast, vast majority of us, myself included, are addicted to entertainment that will never profit us spiritually.  We settle for filling our mind with nothingness when we could fill it with so much more.

We’re often so full that we can’t hear His voice.

We hear the televisions and the cell phones and the radios, but we don’t hear a still, small voice.

So……

Our family is working on this.  We’re trying to quiet things down so we can listen more carefully.

We’re on a sort of fast.

With His help, we want to avoid entertaining movies for a long while.  Maybe even for the rest of this year.  Then we will reevaluate what’s worth it and what’s not.  But right now we need a cleanse, a detox.  We also want to put away fantasy-type fiction for a while.  I’d like my children to see the wonder in the world the way God made it for a good, long while.  I want them to get excited about their lives.

And since it’s never wise to take something away from your children without bringing in something even more fun, we’ve decided that movie nights should become music nights.  Josh and I are always lamenting the fact that there never seems to be enough time to teach them to play instruments—- well, looky here, we found some!  We’re even teaching them to sing in harmony!  It’s so fun!

Our ambitions are not to raise normal, ordinary kids.  We desire for them to be conformed to the image of Christ, and let me tell you, that is going to take some serious prayer and consideration.  Our parenting must be purposefully planned out.  We only get one shot at this.  Even if it hurts.  Even if people think we’re nuts.  Our children are not ours.  They belong to Him.  Every issue needs to be laid before Him.

We would very much appreciate your prayers as we shepherd our little flock!

If you would like to read a great article on this subject, I would highly recommend this one.  Click Here.

Posted by: firstfruitsfarmne | April 5, 2010

A family funny:

I am blessed beyond measure to have a husband who faithfully pastors his family.  Morning and evening he opens the Word to us.

On this night it was particularly late, the kids were tired, and so my Beloved thought it might encourage some wakefulness amongst the flock if we had our evening reading time at the table instead of on the soft, cushy couches.

Didn’t work.

Posted by: firstfruitsfarmne | April 4, 2010

Meditating on James 4:3

You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.

I think on this verse a lot.

I have two problems.

  1. I rarely remember to even ask.
  2. I ask for things that would please myself, not Him.

My arrogance causes me to think I need not even ask for His help, grace, or wisdom.  “Got it all under control there, Father!  No help required!”

Verse 2 before this verse says that I do not have because I do not ask.

Well, that’s one reason I do not have.  Here’s another:

I ask with wrong motives.  I don’t know His heart, the things He desires.  How do I start asking with the right motives?

I have to know Him.  Not a casual “Yeah, I know a little about you.  I go to church a couple of times a week and crack open the ole Bible on occasion.”

Really know Him.

Intimately.  Deeply.  Hungering for more knowledge of Him and His Word.  However else will I have the right motives?  How will I long for what He longs for?  How will I know how to pray for His will to be done?  How can His spirit direct me if we’re barely on speaking terms?

So how in the world can I long for Him?  I can’t make myself want to know Him.  I can’t put that desire into my soul.  How do I get it then?  How do I make myself want to know Him?

I have to ask.  Beg.  Plead.  Again and again and again.

Then I can be sure my motives are right.

Wow.  Kind of full circle.  My God is so awesome.  He makes so much sense.

Posted by: firstfruitsfarmne | April 3, 2010

Nate the Great!

Have you ever seen such a cutie IN YOUR WHOLE LIFE?

I know, I know.  I am his mother.  But, STILL!

Nathanael Edward  turned seven months old a few days ago.  He certainly is a multi-talented little chap.  As you can see from the picture above, he has the tongue thing down.

He’s also about to master sitting alone:

Crawling is way up there on his to-do list.  He’s trying really hard, but usually resorts to scooting and rolling when his patience runs out.

He has most definitely mastered the art of the raspberry, as you will see by his wet shirt.

He is a very laid back little boy, but there is sometimes a little bit of mischief in that grin.  What do you think?

Nate also has a little buddy named Joshua.  They’re both members of the BBE club. (Why, Beautiful Blue Eyes, of course!)

(Nate and Josh also have this “havetohave somethinginmymouth” OCD)

Nate loves to snuggle with Daddy.  Daddy likes it, too.

Thanks for letting me show off my littlest love!  I’m gonna go crawl in bed with him now and smell his just out of the tub- still smells like soap-blonde fuzz.  One of the many perks of motherhood!  Good night!

Posted by: firstfruitsfarmne | April 2, 2010

Potato Plantin’

Oh, how beautiful our Father’s world has been this week here in our little corner!  We are encouraging one another lately to not just see and appreciate the gifts, but to love and praise and worship the Giver of them.  Though they reflect a bit of his glorious creativity and amazing wisdom, they cannot begin to compare to our great Yahweh!

Yesterday was potato planting time.  Last year we harvested about a ton, and we learned that we can sure put them down!  IMO, there’s not much more fun than planting and harvesting potatoes!

This is about half of our potato plot.  Beloved has officially named it “Tater Valley.”

When the garden is “new” there is no shortage of helpers.  Later on is when the “Character building” starts to kick in!  Yesterday, however, there was nothing but enjoyment going on!

Great is Thy faithfulness!

Great is thy faithfulness!

Morning by morning new mercies I see.

All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.

Great is Thy faithfulness Lord unto me!

Posted by: firstfruitsfarmne | April 1, 2010

A Post a Day in April and May!

Can it be done?  Am I really making this commitment?

Well, I aim to try!

And no, this is not some kind of April Fool’s joke.  (Seriously, Kim

posting every day!)

There are so many wonderful, exciting things happening around the homestead and they need to be recorded.  Yahweh’s faithful hand has just been so evident in our lives that we want to record it for our family and also share it with you!

So check back every day.  You’re likely to find a wild assortment of posts, depending on my female moods ;o)!  I might not have time for lengthy novels but I’ll try to at least post a picture or two.  This might just be a good chance to get to know us a bit better!

So here is one of the cutest things I spotted today:

Our Harriet is not just a milk cow, folks.  She’s a pet through and through.  Don’t believe me?

Mm-hmm.  See.

A real cow girl!

How moo-ving it is!  And she gives lots of milk, too!

How many cows do you know that get hand fed?

So ya’ll come back tomorrow and see what else we’re up to!

Posted by: firstfruitsfarmne | March 5, 2010

I’ve been holdin’ out on ya

I wanted to put this pic in the sidebar but, as usual, I can’t figure out how to do it yet.  Here is a picture of the family at Christmas.


And I’ve been wanting to title this one: 

At least the little one still has hope:

Sorry, Pop.  And this was the children’s table at Pop and Grannie’s at Christmas, minus a few babies.  Their 15th grandchild is due any minute now.  Way to go Pop and Grannie!  No, wait a minute:  Way to go… us!

This was totally all Beloved’s idea.  I mean, I would never even ponder doing this.  Ever.

Before we get booed, he thought it was hilarious.  Every time Josh took it off, he would say, “Again, Da-da!”

I’ll leave you with another sweet Caleb shot.  He was sitting in his Daddy’s high chair:

Have a blessed evening!

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