"Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain."
~Psalm 127:1

August 27, 2011

Old farmhouse

We have a beautiful, old house to live in, and I am very thankful for that. 

But old farmhouses have their down-sides, especially during hurricanes.  We have some leaky windows on the side of the house that the wind is coming from.  So far, the amount of water coming in hasn't been too bad, but we have not seen a lot of wind or rain yet.  I'm keeping plenty of dry towels on hand, and we're hoping that this storm won't drop as much rain as they have been saying.

"Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things."  ~Ecclesiastes 11:5

August 23, 2011

I felt it

I was sitting in the office of the barn around 1:50, when I thought that the office chair was shaking.  I was confused because I wasn't moving it myself.  And then I heard something rattle behind me, but still had no clue.  Then the thought entered my head that it could have been an earthquake, which it turned out to be.  So that was a pretty scary experience.  I think that is the first earthquake that I have ever felt.

It immediately reminded me of a song sung by the band Delirious:

Did you feel the mountains tremble?
Did you hear the oceans roar?
When the people rose to sing of
Jesus Christ the risen one

Did you feel the people tremble?
Did you hear the singers roar?
When the lost began to sing of
Jesus Christ the risen one

And we can see that God you're moving
A mighty river through the nations
And young and old will turn to Jesus
Fling wide your heavenly gates
Prepare the way of the risen Lord

Open up the doors and let the music play
Let the streets resound with singing
Songs that bring your hope
Songs that bring your joy
Dancers who dance upon injustice

Did you feel the darkness tremble?
When all the saints join in one song
And all the streams flow as one river
To wash away our brokeness

And here we see that God you're moving
A time of Jubilee is coming
When young and old return to Jesus
Fling wide your heavenly gates
Prepare the way of the risen Lord

August 21, 2011

Happy birthdays

Happy 19th birthday to Kristen (Josiah's youngest sister).

And happy actual BIRTHday to Shane Matthew.  My cousin, Duane, and his wife, Vanessa, are the proud new parents of their first child, a cute baby boy.

The happy family

I got to hold him too

He wasn't so happy in this picture, but he soon stopped crying

He's just yawning here

August 19, 2011

Taco salad

I made taco salad last night using some of the veggies from my garden.  My plate was a lot more colorful than Josiah's, he doesn't like onions or peppers very much.  It was delicious and beautiful!  Fresh vegetables are so good!

what puppy loves

A few weeks ago this yellow, really annoying, squeaky ball appeared around the farm.  Duchess loves it!  Either she stole it from the neighbor or it was an anonymous gift from her secret admirer, because we have no idea where it came from.  She will spend so much time chasing after the ball when you throw it, and then you basically have to tackle her to get it back.  The ball is also too big for her mouth, but she will just sit there proudly with it in her mouth, Josiah was sticking his fingers through her mouth and out the other side, and she didn't mind at all, she was just so proud of her yellow ball.  And she loves to jump up for the ball, she can jump pretty high, it's the landing that is trouble for her.

She is so obsessed that she even peas with the ball in her mouth.

August 15, 2011

Trying my hand... again

I used to draw in high school and a little bit in college, but haven't for a long time.  But I thought I would try to get back into it again.  I'm not a pro or anything, I just do it for fun.

It's a beginning at least.

August 12, 2011

Tomato juice

Yesterday I finally made good use of my tomatoes from my garden.  I helped mom and Charise can tomato juice.

We washed the tomatoes.

Cut them into pieces.

I managed to cut something else too, but my finger didn't bleed into the tomatoes or anything.

We cooked the tomatoes.

Then put them through a strainer to get the juice out.

Charise: I'm just so hot.

Then we put the juice into jars and put the jars into a pressure canner thing to make the lids seal.

Beautiful, and tasty too.

August 11, 2011

Time with Duchess

Such a little lady...


Back away from the squeaky ball

August 8, 2011

FFTF meeting

If you have no idea what the letters in the title of this post stand for, that's okay.  It stands for Foundation for the Future (FFTF), a dairy policy change proposal.  There are many components to it, all of which I do not understand.  For more info check out   It was introduced by the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), of which Land O' Lakes is a member.

Josiah and I had the privilege to meet with several Land O' Lakes employees along with Representative Holden from PA this morning at the Central PA Food Bank for a short update meeting on what is happening with dairy policy in DC.  The answer, not much.  It sounds like DC can be a very slow-moving place when it comes to policy change and legislation.

Then we attended a "Grassroots Meeting" about FFTF.  This was about the 3rd time that Josiah and I have been to a meeting about FFTF, so the informational part was nothing new to us, but the Q&A session was very good.  People have a lot of questions and doubts about what this policy means and what it will change.  It certainly isn't a perfect proposal, and we don't agree with every part of it, but it is a step toward some sort of change.  Of course, no one will know how it will turn out until we get there, but isn't trying to improve a broken system better than just sticking with the old way that put a lot of farms out of business and made a way of life so difficult for so many farmers?

This is such a personal issue for many people.  This is what we do, what we love.  But what it really comes down to is not some policy passed down from DC.  We're taking care of the land and the animals that God has given us.  He is the one who has been sustaining us through the hard times, he's been providing, and providing, and providing.  It may not always meet my expectations, but we're still here, and we still love doing what we do. 

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.
The world and all its people belong to him.
For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas
and built it on the ocean depths.
Psalm 24: 1-2

August 6, 2011

Sunny days

My sunflower garden.

"Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days.
The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses.
Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers
and singing and joy!
The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon,
as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon.
There the Lord will display his glory,
the splendor of our God.
With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands,
and encourage those who have weak knees."
Isaiah 35:1-3

August 5, 2011


Here is a poem that Josiah learned in 6th grade, it's so cute!  The author's name is Valerie, but it was not written by me.


The cow
Across the grass
Like a mountain
Toward us;
Her hipbones
Like sharp
Of stone,
Her hoofs
Like dropped
Too late
She stops.

Sitting on the dock of the bay

A few weeks ago Josiah and I took some time off the farm to get some rest, at least we tried to get some rest.  It's tough work relaxing as you can see below.  I took over 300 pictures, but I will try to just pick out my favorites.

The shore-dwellers

Brother and sister trying to spray each other, I wonder who won that one?

Josiah is out there somewhere

My dad backwards on the trick skis


A good jump (she didn't fall)

Can you tell where this one is going, just look at her expression.

My mom can even one-ski


The flying squirrel

Back dive

The handstand
Josiah and Paul decided to play human rock, paper, scissors into the pool.  They did it 5 times and the only time that they chose a different pose was the first time, Paul won with a scissors over Josiah's paper.

Sunrise over smooth water

Charter Hall

You don't see this every day.

Couples' ski:

Josiah and I

Paul and Michelle

Derek and Cassie sharing a romantic sunset ski

Don't try this at home

Josiah tried it...

this time he got it, just long enough for me to snap a photo.

I looks like we're at a water-skiing show

Big Red and Old Blue

Saying goodbye to the sunflowers and Charter Hall


We had a great time, even though we came home more tired than when we began the week.  It is nice to get away from work and responsibilities once in a while.