Friday, December 28, 2007

Girls Group

Last week for girls group we finally had the opportunity to finish the rolls (see the December 8th entry). Due to the ice and snow, we had had to cancel two weeks, thus the girls were very glad to be able to finally finish their project! While the rolls were baking, we discussed proper table manners as a part of feminine etiquette. Once the rolls were finished there was enough for all the girls to enjoy one and for each family to bring some home. The girls are always so excited to show their families the "fruits of their hands".

Making the rolls

Making a recipe card

Leah fixing one of the girl's cross-stitches

Music Practice at our House . . .

Leah backing up on guitar.

Mom playing her hammered dulcimer

Leah, Dad and Ryan

Ryan experimenting with different types of back-up

Me playing fiddle

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New Blog!

How excited I am to announce Leah and I's new blog!
Both Leah and I have had a desire to work together to share what the Lord has been teaching us through His Word. That desire led to exploring the different outlet options that were available to us and at the encouragement of our Dad, we began this blog, Follow in His Steps. Its purpose is to encourage young ladies in their journey towards godly womanhood. (Don't worry though, the As Lilies journal will also continue as a place for everyday happenings!)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Iced In

Well, we're 'iced in' here in central Missouri and consequently we've been home all day. Dad thinks that we got between 3/4 in. to 1 in. of ice and sleet. Thankfully though, we still have power - others in this storm have not been as fortunate. Another storm, perhaps worse than this one, is forecasted to move through our area Monday afternoon into Tuesday. It will be interesting to see how that develops.

This afternoon, I took a walk and photographed a bit. Amazingly enough our yard is not terribly slick (not like this past January) as much of the rain soaked into the snow that was already on the ground and after the rain, the ground was coated with a thin layer of sleet. It is quite interesting as we can walk right on top of the snow/ice and while we walk the ground makes an eerie creaking and groaning. It is so still out that this noise echoes considerably.







Leah changing the duck pool while Ryan attempts to remove some of the ice from the netting. He was able to get quite a bit off which is good as it looks like we're in for another round of freezing rain tomorrow. The netting most likely would not be able to hold up under a heavy load of ice.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A New Duck Pool

About three weeks ago we had a warm spell during which Dad and Ryan finished the duck pool. It is quite a bit larger than our previous one and this one has a drain. It is SO much easier to change as before we had to bail the pool out. I'm so glad that the first pool was simply temporary!

Ryan digging and hauling dirt to the duck pen. The weather looked quite
a bit different only a few weeks ago!

Dad tamping the dirt

We are using the pool now, though we still need to put some pea gravel around it. The pool is so nice and the ducks have been greatly enjoying it!

Snow!

Thursday we had our first 'real' snow of the year (we had previously had a few flurries) and by Friday morning we had about three inches on the ground. It surely is beautiful!

Yesterday the snow melted a bit, but then today it is in the 20's with freezing drizzle. The forecast all through next Wednesday is freezing rain. Due to the weather Thursday, we canceled girls group which we are glad we did as the roads out where we live became quite slick. Ryan even had to take an alternate route home from work due to how bad one of the roads was. It looks like it could get worse though with all the freezing rain forecasted. Oh, the joys of winter weather!


Leah has been live trapping at our place the past several weeks and so far has caught a great many opossums and one raccoon. We released all of them a ways from our place as Leah doesn't want opossums and the one lone raccoon had a badly scarred face. Previously she had trapped out at Ryan's place and only caught one opossum. It sounds like a great many trappers are not having a very successful season so far, and it will be interesting to see how the fur market responds. Below is a photo from one of our trapping trips out to Ryan's.
Ryan and Leah walking to bait a trap. This was one of our snow flurries that we had and it was absolutely beautiful! The snow flakes were quite large and were falling softly to the ground. I took this photo during one of my many trips back up to the truck. Leah kept remembering things she needed or questions she needed to ask Dad (who was waiting in the warmth of the truck), so in order to help her, I was her 'runner' and ended up making several trips up and down the hill before the traps were finally all rebaited.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Fall Cleaning

Last week I began my fall cleaning of our house. A little late, I know. I love doing this type of cleaning and I've been going room by room and cleaning it top to bottom. So far the living room, dining room, entry way, laundry room, and bathrooms are completed. Still left are our kitchen, two hallways, the office, and all our bedrooms. As I've been cleaning, I've been trying to think of how to make our home more of a haven for my family. A place that is not cluttered, but yet not bare. It has been fun! The room that needed the most help was the laundry room - in order to get to the bathroom you have to walk through our laundry room and thus it is a room that many people see! I pulled out the flowers that Leah and I had dried and made a few arrangements. This was my first time arranging dried flowers and I greatly enjoyed it. Here is the basket that was put in our downstairs bathroom:

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Girls Group

Girls group on the 29th of November went very well. Below is Leah and I's actual plan that we used for the day. Keep in mind that this is just a guideline and not word for word what we did.

November 29th, 2007

-Small Talk

-Pray

-Review godly speech

-Begin making rolls

Study on Countenance
-Proverbs 15:13 “A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, but when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.”
-What is the countenance? (the expression on our face)
-Why is our countenance important? (Our facial expression is a reflection of our heart. Often times the only thing that people will see and remember of us in passing is our countenance – our face must reflect the love and light of Christ)
-What are different types of countenance? (discuss/demonstrate)
How does our countenance affect other people? How does the countenance of other people affect us?
-Matthew 5:16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

-Write in journals

-Cross-stitch

And there you have it, the basic outline for one week.



Measuring the flour

Lots happening - adding shortening, stirring, and measuring flour

Blending

Adding enough of the remaining flour to make a 'soft dough'

My hands were quite busy during the next step: kneading (thus no pictures of this). Only one or two girls had ever kneaded before so it was an interesting experience! After kneading we set the dough to rise. As we only have two hours during girls group, there is not enough time to make rolls from start to finish so this week we brought them to the first rising. And then next time, prior to girls group, Leah and I will get the dough to the same point that the girls had it. Then when the come, they can begin right where they left off. Out of all the cooking we have done, I believe that learning to make rolls has been the girls' favorite.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Wonderful Afternoon

I've been working on this journal entry since the 17th, but have been so busy that I've not gotten it completed. Finally, here it is!

One Friday Leah and I watched three children for their mother. The mother is expecting their fourth little one and we wanted to give her a bit of a break in order to rest and relax. We certainly enjoyed our time with the children. Though, don't we always!?


Leah helping the littlest one wash her hands for lunch.


Walking down the driveway to get a bit of exercise and to check the mail.

The children love my collie, Lassie, and always ask for me to take her out so they can pet her. She in turn loves the attention!

Girls Group

Having godly speech was the topic of our study with the verses we focused on being Ephesians 4:29-32 "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification..." We also made roll-out cookies which was enjoyable!


Leah making a worksheet for our five year old. She cannot read nor write yet, so we make
a 'connect-the-dot' sheet of portions of our lessons each week so that she can trace around
the letters while the other girls write in their journals.

Me and the girls making roll-out cookies.

Leah with the second cutting crew. We rotated the girls between cutting cookies and decorating them so that we would have enough room. Our kitchen is a bit small to fit 15 of us in there at one time! So the kitchen was for cutting and our dining room table for decorating.

Following along as a Scripture verse is read.

Me teaching about having godly speech.

Some of the girls surprised us with juice and
homemade cake and muffins (using girl's group recipes) to share with the
girls. We all enjoyed this special treat! How it blesses my heart to see these
young ladies implementing the skills they have learned and then sharing
the "fruit of [their] hands" with others.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Blessing

As part of my Dad's home based business, we sell wildlife reference videos that he filmed and made back in the early 90's. The videos featuring whitetail deer, waterfowl, and a select few perching birds are designed to aid the wildlife artist. A couple of taxidermy companies carry his videos and we also sell privately. Well, the other night Dad pulled out one of the waterfowl videos to refresh his memory on what color to paint the feet of a Pintail Drake (which he was in the process of mounting). He played the video and we were shocked to see that the colors were almost completely washed out. The video looked more white and black as opposed to in color. We have a company copy the videos for us and Dad had just gotten a new batch and this video was taken from those. We automatically assumed that the master video was ruined thus leading to the degraded copies. But Dad wisely called the company just to make sure. After a few days, the company got back to us and the master is fine! They had made a mistake when copying the videos. What a great blessing that is to us! We were thinking that Dad was going to need to remake/reedit new videos from all the previously shot high 8 tapes - a lengthy and somewhat difficult process. Now that will not be necessary and we are so grateful to the Lord for this!

A few of the video covers

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Happenings

Every year our family, along with many other families, puts together a wheat, grain, etc. order from Wheat Montana. Last week the order arrived on Monday morning, so I canceled my sewing lessons for that morning and Dad, Leah, and I went to help unload. Once the semi arrived, Dad helped direct the driver in backing into the driveway of the home where the wheat was to be unloaded. Then several of the men climbed up into the trailer and carried the bags/pails down to the end of the trailer where they handed them to those waiting below (including Leah and I). We then carried the wheat to the designated areas in the garage. Those who had coordinated the order had hung signs up to let us know where each specific product should be placed which was very helpful. We unloaded the 7500 lbs. off of the semi and then many of us helped to load the vehicles of those who had come to pick up their order. While items were being loaded, I helped keep track of whom should get what, how many of an item they should get, etc. We were only gone for a few hours (though it seemed longer), and we made it back in time for my afternoon sewing lesson. We had such a fun time and it was a blessing to be able to visit with the others that were there.

This past Saturday was opening day for rifle season for deer. Ryan and I went out to his place Sunday evening to hunt. He didn't get any, but we were able to see three does venture into his food plot right at dusk. Deer are such beautiful creatures! We greatly enjoyed our time together and I'd like to be able to go with him again this season. He plans to go out again this weekend and we hope that he'll be able to get a few deer. If I have time, I'll be defrosting our freezer this Friday to make more room in case he does happen to get some.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

An Afternoon at Ryan's Land

A beautiful afternoon with temperatures in the 60's and a gentle breeze simply begs to be enjoyed. That is exactly what my family and I did this past Sunday afternoon. We needed to put up some purple paint (meaning no trespassing) on the roadside frontage of my brother's land before deer hunting season begins this Saturday. (We'll take the signs down afterwards), so what better time to do it! We greatly enjoyed ourselves and I even was able to get a family photo - once again utilizing Ryan's tractor and my camera's self-timer. But I am getting a bit ahead of myself . . .

The first order of business upon arriving was to spray paint some pieces of aluminum sheeting,

and then tack them to the telephone poles that border the front of his property.

While the men took care of this, Mom walked a bit.

Can you see her way in the distance?

Leah and I watched Dad and Ryan work and also took the opportunity to take some photographs of Ryan's land and a few of each other also.
Leah
Me
After all the signs were tacked up, we walked down to look at the pond. Well, at least Dad, Mom and Ryan did. Leah and I ran, which allowed for this photograph. (The land with the hay bales is not Ryan's, but is across the road. I surely do appreciate it though!)

I love this photo of Ryan and Leah - they are standing at the edge of his pond.

Dad and Leah looking at an animal track

On our walk around Ryan's property and in his woods, we kept an eye out for animal sign. The many tracks of raccoon, opossum, coyote, and possibly fox and bobcat made both Dad and Leah quite excited about trapping this year! Ryan too was pleased to see all the many deer tracks, a couple of scrapes and one rub. Dear season starts this Saturday and he hopes to hunt out at his place. Mmm, I can almost taste that fresh venison!


Thus concluded a lovely afternoon together as a family. Doing one of the things we all love, being out in and enjoying God's beautiful creation together.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Girls Group

Gratefulness

"Warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful"

Yesterday during girls group we discussed this quality and how to develop it in our lives. (What follows was taken from my notes though it is written in much more detail here!) We firstly looked at Colossians 3:16 and discussed how first and foremost we are to be grateful to God.


"Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God."

God has done so very much for us, yet often we take His gifts for granted. All that we are, the very air we breath are gifts from Him. Even more importantly, we discussed God's greatest gift to us, His Son Jesus Christ, the Savior through whom we receive salvation and that not of ourselves, but as a gift from God.


How often are we to show gratefulness? When we feel like it? When we get wh
at we want?

"... in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."1 Thessalonians 5:18


"always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;" Ephesians 5:20


We then read the account in Luke 17:11-19 regarding the healing of the ten lepers by Christ. Of the ten, nine continued on their way. They had received what they wanted. They were no longer outcasts from
society. They were cleansed. Those nine had received so much, yet they did not even take the time to give praise and thanks to the One who had healed them. No, it was only one man who after being healed, turned back and went alone to Christ. The attitude of his heart is clearly seen as the Scriptures say that he was "glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him." What was the difference between this one man and the other nine? All were cleansed. All heard the same words from Christ's lips. What was the difference? The one had a heart of gratefulness. A heart of faith. He recognized that he did not 'deserve' to be healed. It was not his 'right' to be cleansed. But Christ had given it to him freely. A gift from the Savior of the world.

Which of the ten men would you have been?

~~~~~~~~~~~


We then went on to make a list of some of the blessings that we have received from God. And then similar lists for our Dad, Mom, brothers and sisters. When we were talking about what our parents have done for us, I mentioned a parent's protection of their children. The thought came to me to ask "Do we show thankfulness to our parents when they say 'no' to certain activities that we want to do because they know it isn't the best thing for us?" One girl raised her hand and shared that this had happened to her just the night before. What an opportunity to share the truth of God's Word in regards to submitting to our parent's authority! To love and honor them even more because of their protection over us. I am so thankful to God that He provided the time to be able to discuss this, and I pray that it will have an impact on all of the girl's lives.

As I mentioned in my last journal entry, we had planned to make 'thank you' cards with the girls which we did. After making our lists earlier, the girls had many ideas of who to make one for.

The sample cards

Tracing around a leaf stencil that we had made

Leah helping one of the girls with her card

Clean-up time!

(Leah and I were so surprised when several of the girls made cards for us. We were not at all expecting that and we were so blessed by their thoughtfulness!)


Thursday, November 1, 2007

This and that

Yesterday afternoon, we spent some time out at Ryan's place and had a great time!

Leah and I

After getting back from his place, Leah and I had some more preparation work to do for girls group (which is today). We had already done a basic planning on Tuesday for the month of November, but we needed to prepare a lesson and get the craft supplies ready for today.

We plan to make 'Thank You' cards with the girls as we will be learning about the quality of gratefulness. Leah and I made a few sample cards (which is what we are doing in the above photo) to give the girls some ideas.
A card in progress . . .
Last evening after dinner and dishes, I set up my sewing machine downstairs so that I could quilt and still be by the rest of the family. Leah found my camera and snapped a few pictures. After sewing for many years you'd think I'd have a bunch of photos of me sewing, but this is the very first one (that I can remember anyway!)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Work in progress

Many of you may be wondering whatever happened to the quilt that I was working on. It has not been forgotten, but I have not had a great deal of time to quilt. I decided to do machine quilting instead of hand quilting like what I had planned, and I've been enjoying it!

A work in progress:



We have had two light frosts so far, but they have not had much effect on our flower plants which are still blooming. My tomato plants are also still doing very well. We're not getting a lot of tomatoes, but enough to slice and enjoy occasionally. I've been keeping an eye on the weather so if it looks like we will have a heavy frost, I will pull the rest of the green tomatoes off of the plants and let them ripen indoors.

Leah and I have been working on arranging a couple more hymns for us to learn on our instruments, and we worked on "Come Thou Fount" yesterday. That is one of my favorite hymns along with "Be Thou My Vision". It is very difficult in today's day and age, to find music that we can sing and play in praise of our God that would be pleasing to Him. We are finding that many songs, including hymns, have lyrics that are contrary to Scripture. Thus we began our search for 'Scripture songs'. Songs in which the words are taken directly from Scripture and then put to music. Of course, then you have to find Scripture songs with good and appropriate melodies. We found one website that had a great many of these, and we printed out several of them and have been quite blessed by them. One of my favorites is taken from Psalm 86:11-12 "Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord"


Teach my Thy way, O Lord
I will walk in Thy truth.

Unite my heart to fear;

my heart to fear Thy name.

(x2)


I will give thanks to Thee, O Lord, my God,

with all my heart,

and will glorify Thy name, O Lord;

Thy name forevermore.


Teach me Thy way, O Lord;

I will walk in Thy truth.

Unite my heart to fear;

My heart to fear Thy name.


That is my hearts cry to truly fear my great and awesome God and walk humbly in His perfect truth!

Another one of my favorites: "On My Bed I Remember You", which is taken from Psalm 63:6-7 (this is from the NIV version - I prefer NASB, but this is still a lovely song):

On my bed I remember You;
I think of You through the watches of the night.

Because You are my help,

I sing in the shadows of Your wings.


My soul clings to You;

Your right hand upholds me.

My soul clings to You;

Your right hand upholds me.


On my bed I remember You;

I think of You through the watches of the night.

Because You are my help,

I sing in the shadows of Your wings.

Because You are my help,

I sing in the shadows of Your wings.


There are many more that I also greatly appreciate such as Colossians 3:1-4, Ephesians 1:18-23 and Psalm 115:1-3. (I was going to post a link to the music to these songs, but the website that we found it on will not load. Sorry!) We sing Scripture songs often in our home church group, and some of the children have been able to memorize a few of them which is wonderful! Singing Scripture makes it much easier to memorize it - at least for me it does.

Not only are we working on learning songs to play on our instruments, but also to sing them. Leah and I have been working a great deal on learning to sing harmony. She generally sings the melody and I sing alto (I have a lower singing voice.) Though on a few songs, I'll sing the melody and she'll sing soprano. One of our favorites to do this way is "Seek Ye First". We sing a lot while we tend to the evening dishes and this has been a great practice time. It also makes dishes more enjoyable!