"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

December 23, 2012

Be still and know.

“Be still, and know that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world.”
Psalm 46: 10


"For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace
will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice 
from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
will make this happen!"
Isaiah 9: 6-7

December 21, 2012

Joy comes in the morning

Today seemed like a pretty gray day, unless of course, you saw the sunrise.  

What a beautiful sunrise it was!!  Amazing!  It was so much more beautiful in person, but I did happen to have my camera with me.

This is my favorite part of the day!  Each sunrise is so beautiful in it's uniqueness.  Thank You God!

Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us.
Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
You have no equal.
If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,
I would never come to the end of them.
~Psalm 40: 5

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
~Lamentations 3: 22-23

October 22, 2012


Dear God,

I don't have words.  Just music that keeps running through my mind describing how I feel, how I want to feel.

"In the chaos, in confusion 
I know You're sovereign still.
In the moment of my weakness
You give me grace to do Your will.
When You call I won't delay
This my song through all my days.

There is no one else for me
None but Jesus.
Crucified to set me free.
Now I live to bring You praise.

All my delight is in You Lord.
All of my hope, all of my strength.
All my delight is in You Lord, forevermore."
**None But Jesus ~Hillsong

"Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we've come
Knowing that for ev'ry step You were with us

Kneeling on this battleground
Seeing just how much You've done
Knowing ev'ry victory was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
(Yes our hearts can say)

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful
God You are faithful
You are faithful
God You are faithful"
**Never Once~ Matt Redman

You are in control God.  You are sovereign, even through all our messes.  You've done so much for us already.  We really don't deserve anything from You because You are so great and holy.  You are faithful, even when we fall short.  You carry us when we are too weak, tired, and broken.  

Help us to remain joyful through struggle.  Help us to keep soft hearts, seeing people for who they are, not who/what they represent or what they do to us.  May everything that we say and do bring glory to Your Name.  Whatever happens God, I want my hope always to be in You!

September 9, 2012

Fun fact

Did you know that cows don't have teeth on the upper half of their jaw (as demonstrated by this lovely young cow below), just on the lower half of their jaw?  I wonder why it still hurts when they bite?

August 18, 2012

Wash. U. for Charise

After a lot of studying, test-taking, decisions, and prayer, I am happy and excited to say that my sister-in-law is now starting medical school at Washington University in St. Louis.  Although it will be a long journey, I know that it will be worthwhile and such a great time of learning and growing.

Charise (in her new white coat) and parents getting photo in front of Wash U screen.

Congratulations Charise!!  I hope it goes really well and also really fast!  Remember you will always have a lot of people back in PA praying for you and supporting you!

July 31, 2012

3 years

Today I get to celebrate 3 wonderful years of marriage to my best friend and favorite coworker! Happy anniversary Josiah!

July 23, 2012


It's funny how the weather can change so much from day to day.

God is the one true constant in our lives.

June 11, 2012

Big God, little problem

I haven't written very frequently lately, mainly because I haven't felt like I've had time to sit down and put my thoughts into words, but also because I haven't known what to write about.

First Grandpa is doing exceptionally well 6+ weeks after his fall from the manure tank truck.  He is back to mowing the yard and hoeing in the garden and taking long walks to get his fitness and strength levels back.  But he is still not really allowed to help out with all his old tasks, so that has kept us busy with a little more work load.  Which has also contributed to why I haven't written much.

Since Grandpa's fall, life has seemed pretty tough.  Last week was especially hard.  We have been working through some cow health issues on top of the continuing tough financial situation.  Last Monday was a pretty discouraging day.  It felt like we were at the end of the rope.  I feel like I never stopped praying that day (it should be that way all the time) and yet I had no words to pray just feelings, hopes, desires, and dreams.

That evening and the next day I was reading from 2 Kings.  There are a lot of cool stories about Elisha at the beginning of 2 Kings!  The part that specifically caught my attention this time was 2 Kings 6: 8-23.

Elisha's servant is concerned about the problem that appears to be pretty big right in front of him.  But Elisha is seeing the much bigger God that he trusts in and the forces that God has at his command.

Verse 16- “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet [Elisha] answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

I've heard it said that we shouldn't tell our God how big our problems are, but instead we should tell our problems how big our God is.  Instead of living life with big problems and a little God, we need to change our viewpoint to little problems, BIG God!

Different verses kept coming to my head about how great God is and how insignificant the problems that we are facing really are.  

"If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31  
“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” 2Cor. 12:9

I know who I believe in.  I know that the problems that we face here don't even come close to the hope that we have for the future with God.  I know that I am weak and that God is faithful and that his grace really is enough!

May 26, 2012

I love strawberries!

Yum!!  I love fresh fruit!  This morning I cut up these tiny, but tasty strawberries to put over the super easy shortcake that I made.

1.5 t salt
4 t baking powder
3 c all-purpose flour
2 T sugar

Gradually add:
3/4 c milk

Pat the dough into greased 9"x9" baking dish.  Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Cool and serve with fresh fruit (like strawberries) and milk, yogurt, or ice cream!

It doesn't look very good, but I'm sure it will taste great!

May 24, 2012

A Senator's visit

On Monday, we were privileged to be visited by Senator Casey, one of our PA senators.  He was here to promote the Farm Bill and tour our facilities.  We had a very good time, and Duchess enjoyed being spoiled by all the people who were here.

An interesting tidbit: 20 years ago, Senator Casey's father, who was then the Governor of PA visited the farm to tour the farm and see the field terraces along with the Governor of MD.

Scrapbook page from Josiah's photo album

Josiah was on TV!

The entourage

Josiah and the Senator just chillin in the robot room

Some one else wanted some attention

She slept well all afternoon!
It was a great time and we felt very privileged to have the Senator with us!

May 11, 2012

My lime song

This morning as we were putting more bedding in the cows' stalls, I was inspired by my task to make up a song.  Of course I used the tune of another song that I am familiar with, but I changed the words to reflect the task that I was doing.

This is my lime (like the white powdery stuff, not the green fruit) song, sung to the tune of "I've Got A River of Life Flowing Out Of Me" (which is a great song, my version is not as good)

I've got a cloud of lime coming over me
Makes my nose to run
And my eyes can't see
Open up the doors
Set the lime clouds free
I've got a cloud of lime coming over me

Spring up oh breeze
And come to me
Spring up oh breeze
So I can see
Spring up oh breeze
And come to me
I'm sneezing abundantly

The end.

I love being spontaneously creative!

May 3, 2012

Extra busy

I feel like I haven't posted in a long time.  Things have been pretty busy around the farm with all the post-harvest, pre-planting activities.  I think all the manure hauling is complete and corn is ready to be put into the ground as soon as the fields dry out from the storm last night.

And we've been doing everything since one week ago today, without the help of Grandpa Garber.  Since then he has been at the hospital, and now at home recovering from a fractured bone in his back.  It was a miracle really that no other bone was broken and there wasn't more damage!  He fell off the top of the manure tank truck (it would actually be more correct to say that he was thrown off).  The lid was not opening, so he climbed up to see if he could fix that problem.  He fixed whatever was wrong, but then the lid came flying open and knocked him off the truck to fall around 11 feet to the ground.

Thankfully, Josiah and his uncle saw the whole thing happen and were able to attend to Grandpa immediately.  He was able to walk a little but had some pain in his back.  So they decided to call the ambulance to take him to the hospital to have him checked out, because you don't want to mess around too much with back injuries.  After tests and x-rays and other stuff, they found that he had a fractured Lumbar 1 (which is midway up your back).  And another miracle, possibly from scoliosis, he has a large spinal canal (I don't really know what that is, just what I heard) that let the bone fragments pass through without causing any nerve damage that could have led to paralysis.  We are so thankful that he wasn't paralyzed!

He had surgery Saturday evening to put a metal rod in his back and was home Sunday afternoon!  Since then he has been resting at home.  Thanks to everyone for their prayers!  Keep praying for a speedy full recovery so that Grandpa can get back out the farm and do the things that he loves doing!!

Praise the Lord for his wonderful miracles!!

April 23, 2012

Harvest adventure

The harvest is over, but there is a lot more work to be done once the rain stops and the fields dry out enough to drive equipment on them.

I haven't lived on the farm all that long, but I felt like this harvest was turning into something very stressful before everything came together.  We hadn't had rain for a long time and were worried that the rye would not grow to the maturity that we would like.

Then toward the middle of last week, the 7-day forecast seemed to hold nothing but rain!  Some decisions had to be made in what felt like a hurry.  I wasn't really in on those decisions, but I was praying that whatever decision was made would be made in unity and that God would bring everything about in his perfect timing.  And really that's what happened!

The guys started chopping on Thursday evening, and around midnight something broke down on the harvester, so they had to quit for the night, so they got a little sleep.  Then they started chopping again mid-morning Friday and ran all day and through the night until Saturday around noon when everything was in the silos.

And what a miracle!  I don't think that we expected to get as much or as good quality rye as we did.  It was awesome!

Plus I got to help out in the field for a little bit.  I got to drive a tractor pulling the tedder (which spreads the rye out to help it dry more) for the first time ever!  It was pretty fun, but a little stressful because it was the first time I had ever driven that tractor and I was pulling a 25 ft wide piece of equipment behind me.  It was difficult for me to see where I had already tedded because I'm not very experienced at that, I was just hoping that I didn't miss any huge chunks.  Josiah was watching me from on top of one of the silos, he said that I went over a section twice at one point, but I don't think that really hurt any thing.

This is what the tedder looks like when it is folded up:

So it was a great, busy, and tiring harvest (when is it not like that?).  And now I am thankful for the rain because it gives us a little chance to rest up until the next busy time of hauling manure and planting corn.

April 18, 2012

Rye harvest

It has begun...

Unfortunately, so has my sneezing, coughing, and runny nose.  I think I like corn harvest better.  But I am glad that we can have this crop to feed the cows also!

April 16, 2012

Evening walk

Evening walks are one of my favorite activities to do with Josiah and Duchess.  These past few evenings have been perfect, warm, and so beautiful!!

A man and his dog

This is my birthday buddy (we share the same birth date, I'm just a few years older)

Another one named Swimmer


"Praise the Lord from the earth,
you creatures of the ocean depths,
fire and hail, snow and clouds,
wind and weather that obey him,
mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,
wild animals and all livestock,
small scurrying animals and birds,
kings of the earth and all people,
rulers and judges of the earth,
young men and young women,
old men and children.

Let them all praise the name of the Lord.
For his name is very great;
his glory towers over the earth and heaven!
He has made his people strong,
honoring his faithful ones—
the people of Israel who are close to him.
Praise the Lord!"
Psalm 148: 7-14

April 12, 2012

Somewhere over the rainbow...

This beautiful, bright rainbow appeared for a few minutes yesterday evening!

The symbol of the rainbow has been distorted since the time that God placed it in the sky over Noah and his family as a sign of his covenant, his promise.

12 Then God said, “I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come. 13 I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth. 14 When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds, 15 and I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures. Never again will the floodwaters destroy all life. 16 When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth.”  
Genesis 9: 12-16

God's promises:  unlike humans, God is 100% faithful, full of grace and mercy.  He doesn't forget his promises or covenants.  We're the ones that change and distort things.

"God's way is perfect.
All the Lord’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
For who is God except the Lord?
Who but our God is a solid rock?
God arms me with strength,
and he makes my way perfect."
Psalm 18: 30-32

I don't usually (or hardly ever) understand what God is doing in my life at the time something difficult is happening.  But in hindsight, I can clearly see that God is working and I am probably struggling against that work because I had my own ideas of what I want.  Giving up control to God's promises is difficult, but so much more freeing!

April 11, 2012

Longwood in Spring

I visited Longwood Gardens a few weeks ago with my mom and sisters.  It was a chilly day with the threat of rain, but it turned out beautifully!  We didn't get rained on and we didn't freeze.  Longwood is so beautiful with all the spring flowers blooming!

Psalm 96
"Sing a new song to the Lord!
Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
Sing to the Lord; praise his name.
Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.

Portrait time!




My mom (I like this photo)

Angry Fern
I love all the different colors of spring and how God mixes them so creatively!

"Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
He is to be feared above all gods.
The gods of other nations are mere idols,
but the Lord made the heavens!
Honor and majesty surround him;
strength and beauty fill his sanctuary.

Beautiful flower!!

One of my favorite flowers!

The Orchids:

"O nations of the world, recognize the Lord;
recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong.
Give to the Lord the glory he deserves!
Bring your offering and come into his courts.
Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor.
Let all the earth tremble before him.
Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.
He will judge all peoples fairly.

A group of very proud Birds-of-Paradise

A really large, cool palm tree

"Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice!
Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!
Let the trees of the forest rustle with praise
before the Lord, for he is coming!
He is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with justice,
and the nations with his truth."