Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Joe!

You have brought so much joy to all of us over the last 6 years!  We love you so much!!!!

Riding in style!

I remember the baby-in-the-kitchen-sink days very well! 

Joe age 2!

Monday, October 22, 2012


...A flock of sheep find their new home on Harmony Hill!  I'm so glad to finally have my sheep here on the farm! 


Our meeting with the doctors to talk about Richie’s surgery went very well last Wednesday.  As we expected, it’s going to be a very serious, long surgery.  Richie will have to be on a breathing tube for at least a day, and in the ICU for two.  Then he will have to stay for another 7-8 days in the hospital.  There is a 50/50 chance that they will have to remove his right kidney because there is so much junk wrapped around it.  They will also have to take out part of the inferior vena cava vein (the largest vein in your body that carries deoxygenated blood from your lower parts back to your heart) which will cause some fluid to build up in Richie’s legs.  He may have to wear compression stockings for as long as a year.  They’re also taking out some nerves that will, in all probability, cause us to be unable to conceive naturally. 

But overall, we are just SO thankful for the confidence that the doctors have.  They say they do this all the time, and we know that they are very skilled!  But even more, we know that the Lord is the Greatest Physician, and there will be so many people praying for Him to guide the surgeon’s hands.  There is nothing too big or complicated for God!  But yet, surgery is a scary thing.  I used to wonder why people get so anxious and uptight about it when really; you’re more likely to be killed in a car accident on the way to the hospital than to have any complications from the surgery.  Nevertheless, it’s almost a sickening thought when I think that my very own husband is going to go back there to be cut into, and that he will be unconscious for such a long time.  It’s going to make him better yes, it’s saving his life…but still.  I wish it could be me instead.  God has definitely given me a deeper sympathy for the family members (and especially wives) of surgery patients!    

I was encouraged today by these insights from Charles Spurgeon.  It is when we find ourselves empty and cast down—when we acknowledge our weakness—that the Lord fills us with His strength and perseverance.    

“Those who serve God must serve Him in His own way, and in His strength, or He will never accept their service. That which man doth, unaided by divine strength, God can never own. The mere fruits of the earth He casteth away; He will only reap that corn, the seed of which was sown from heaven, watered by grace, and ripened by the sun of divine love. God will empty out all that thou hast before He will put His own into thee; He will first clean out thy granaries before He will fill them with the finest of the wheat. The river of God is full of water; but not one drop of it flows from earthly springs. God will have no strength used in His battles but the strength which He Himself imparts. Are you mourning over your own weakness? Take courage, for there must be a consciousness of weakness before the Lord will give thee victory. Your emptiness is but the preparation for your being filled, and your casting down is but the making ready for your lifting up.” – Charles Spurgeon

2 Corinthians 4:16-18  “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,  as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are temporary, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

I need to be reminded every day to stay focused on the things that are of eternal value.  Our lives are but a vapor in the wind, here today, gone tomorrow.  I want to live every second of my life with an eternal perspective, making the most of every day that has been allotted to me.  But some days, it’s more difficult than others.  Some things just aren’t going to matter after all is said and done.  My relationship with the Lord is ETERNAL.    I know there will be regrets when I stand before the throne of God…I will wish that I had done more for His Kingdom,  I will wish that I did not pursue and obsess over trivial fears and material things that will not last or make a difference in the end.  Relationships are what matter.  Help me Lord to prioritize and concentrate more fully on my relationship with my hubby, with family, friends, and most importantly, with you!    

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Today has been a resting day.  (That's a nice way of saying "I haven't done a single productive project today.")  Richie decided not to go to work this morning because he hasn't been feeling very well for the last couple days.  We're thinking he may have a cold.  Bummer!  Also, we know it's going to be a long day and an early morning tomorrow to make the appointment in Seattle.  The appointment is to talk with Richie's doctors and the surgeons who will be preforming the surgery on November 15th.  Yes, we found out the date of the surgery yesterday.  The 15th was later than we expected, so Richie was a bit disappointed.  But the doctors know what they are doing, and I really do think it's better that the surgery happens later.  Richie still has some recovering to do from the chemo, and a lot of new red blood cells to make.  For a couple weeks Richie's been having some pain that we think is related to the stent they put between his bladder and kidney...but he's been worried all this time that it may be an infection.  It will be good to talk to the doctors about it tomorrow.  Please pray that the appointment goes well tomorrow, and that everything is good and normal with Richie's body. (As much as it can be right now!)  Also pray that we would continue to rely on the Lord and trust that He is in control.  We both tend to worry about things when we know we shouldn't! 

Yesterday Tyler Janke brought his excavator and dug out a place for our greenhouse!  Yay!  Putting up the greenhouse is going to be a project, but it will be so nice to be able to grow food year-round and extend the season! 

It was raining hard pretty much the entire time Tyler was here.  Tyler had to dig down about 7 feet to get the spot level...and the greenhouse is a 20x48, so the project was a sizable one.  It only took him a few hours! 

Oh, and today is our 4-month anniversary!!!!!! ♥

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Top Ten

Hooray!  It's Friday!

Top ten reasons I am THANKING the LORD today:

1. It's finally raining!
2. The woodstove is burning and smelling wonderful!
3. It's pumpkin-chocolate-chip muffin season!
4. I get to wake up and be married to my best friend every day!
5. Tomorrow morning maybe I can sleep a little longer :-)
6. Our little cabin is now clean and organized!
7. Richie has been recovering well and going to work every day!
8. I get to spend time with wonderful family every day!
9. Lucy greets me and gives me puppy kisses every time I go outside!
10.  We get to live, to work, to play, and to rest on one of the most wonderful and beautiful places on earth!

  What are YOUR top ten today????

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sheep Shearing Today!

I have 6 sheep.  The thing about sheep is...they have to be shorn.  The rain is coming soon, so I decided today would be the day to get all 4 ewes sheared before they all get wet and soggy. 

The sheep are still at my folks place, so my mom has been feeding them.  As you can see from the pictures, they're a bit on the plump side.  Grandma's been spoiling my babies ;-)

Petunia after her shearing (I forgot to get a "before" picture of her :-( 

Elsie before... 

Elsie after 

June before...

June after 

Lilly before... 

Lilly after (Yes, she's drinking my water.)

I only saved fleece from Lilly this time.  The others were so messy it wasn't worth it.   

Victoria and Caroline sheared Romulus for me several weeks ago.  Isn't he a pretty guy?! 

Here's Valerie with her puppy Snowberry.  Such a cute girl! (Both of them actually :-) 

Monday, October 8, 2012


Ahhh.  Another week. 

I think it will be a very good one, too.  Today was such a lovely day.  Janet and I spent the morning cleaning up and harvesting what's left in the garden.  There will be lots of tasty vegetables for several dinners!  The wonderful Italian plums are ripe, so I tried a new recipe for plumb cobbler.  I also dug up some potatoes, but after 30 minutes or so of trying to dig through the weeds and coming up with only a very few golf-ball-cherry sized potatoes, I decided maybe the project is not worth the effort.  At least we will have some seed potatoes for next year.  And if we get very desperate for potatoes, we can always dig them up later (Hopefully we won't be digging though snow ;-)

I also started reading a really good book called "The Winter Harvest Handbook"  So far it has been a very good read, he makes some points that are both helpful and interesting.  I'm very excited about being able to grow some veggies during the winter.  

Beautiful sunflowers this year!!!

The garden doesn't look very impressive this time of year...but it has been a very good season!  Everything is really starting to dry up now.  It hasn't had a drip of water in months!  We're about out of water up here on the hill.  Looks like rain is in the forcast for the end of the week though! 

We harvested lots of tomatoes...I forgot to get a picture of all the beautiful red ones.  These green ones will make great relish or pickles...or something!
A few of the cows
That little calf was born several weeks ago
Plum cobbler!

3 pounds fresh plums, pitted, quartered, about 5 cups
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup butter, melted
Combine plums and brown sugar, stirring well to blend. Pour into a buttered 11 1/2x7 1/2 inch baking dish. Sift together the flour, granulated sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add the beaten egg, stirring lightly with fork until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle mixture evenly over the plums then drizzle with the melted butter. Bake plum crumble at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve warm with whipped topping or ice cream.