Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Surpise for 'Our' Girls

A year ago today our girl's group began and what a journey it has been. I have learned and grown so much through teaching and spending time with the girls. While Leah and I were working on building a duck pen this morning, we were discussing how thankful we are to God for providing the opportunity for us to teach these young girls. It is a ministry we love and one in which we have grown much in our relationship with our Lord.

We are so blessed to see the growth each one of the girls has made this past year. From their cooking and house-cleaning skills to their deepening knowledge and implementation of the attributes that God instructs women and young ladies to have in their lives. I am looking forward to, Lord willing, another year with these girls. In view of the occasion, Leah and I wanted to do something special for them and something that would also be useful to them. After much thinking, we decided to make each of the girls a bag designed specifically for them in which to hold their craft projects that we have been working on in girl's group (so far it has been mainly cross-stitch and crochet). We pulled out our scrap boxes and began.

The bags in progress


During our girl's group today we gave the girls the bags and they had fun filling them with their cross-stitches, cross-stitch patterns, yarn and crochet hooks. We spent most of our time together this afternoon playing review games which was very fun and yet also helped reinforce what we have learned and studied.

A Recent Sewing Project

Here is one of my recent sewing projects - a jumper (#T-J1) for a little girl. It was made with a soft denim:

Monday, August 20, 2007

Happy Birthday!

My dear sister turned 19 years old on Saturday the 18th. What a blessing she is to me! We have such a close relationship and thus can mutually encourage each other in our walk with the Lord. Many times she will very sweetly bring to my attention an area where I have fallen short in, or an area that I struggle with and vice versa - she has made herself open to the same. She is also one who will come to me and encourage me when I am able to overcome my faults in certain areas. We were talking yesterday about each of our weaknesses and how we can cast these off and instead be obedient to our Lord in these areas. One area I struggle with is having a gentle and quiet spirit, I tend to get too passionate. Leah has developed a 'signal' to make me aware of when I am doing this. Her gentle reminders are such a blessing to me as then I can notice what I am doing and can change the course of my speech. This is just one of the many ways that she helps me to grow into a more godly young woman.

One of the most special things for me is doing girl's group together with Leah. What a joy it is to be laboring side by side in this ministry. We have learned and grown so much together as we minister to each of the special girls.

I love you so much, Leah!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Daily Life

Hot and dry. That is how the past couple of weeks have been. In fact today's high was 104 degrees. Three of our dogs have difficulty in that warm of temperatures so they've been inside for the majority of the hot days. The other three dogs that remain outside, need to be sprayed off with cool water several times a day. Combine this with having 67 baby ducks inside and our animals keep us quite busy! Leah has been doing the majority of care for the baby ducks which is such a blessing! She changes their trays twice a day - morning and evening and I help mainly with the feeding and watering throughout the day. It is amazing how much those little guys can eat and drink!

Above photo: One of the dogs that stays inside during the day. This is Leah's golden retriever, Mandy.

Some of the baby ducks

Our plants and trees are suffering quite a bit due to the heat and dryness. We try to keep the gardens watered, but it doesn't seem to be helping much. Several times over the last two weeks there would be a storm cell heading towards us, but then it would either dissolve or stay just north and east of us. But it looks like rain is in the forecast for next week which would be wonderful!

The other night when a storm came through we had high winds (not a drop of rain though) that blew down a partially dead tree that was in our backyard which barely missed our duck pen. Due to the storm we also lost our power for about 4 to 5 hours. Losing power meant that the brooders where the baby ducks are would not be able to heat nor did the ducklings have the light that they needed. We put a candle near the brooders to provide light and then hoped that they would stay warm enough which they did thankfully.

The fallen willow tree

The vegetable garden has done very well up until this hot spell and I've been able to put up zucchini (grated), peppers (chopped), and LOTS of green beans for the freezer. I've also tried my hand at canning which was so fun! Several years ago I helped Mama with canning tomatoes (our first time ever canning!), but had never done it by myself. This year, with the abundance of tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden, I canned tomatoes and Cucumber Relish. I also made about 10 jars of refrigerator cucumber pickles (which, of course, aren't canned). I'm already planning what to grow next year so I'll be able to can more. Cilantro is definitely on the list so I can try making salsa.

For all of you who can, this won't look like much, but at least it's something! I am going to be planning next year's garden with canning in mind . . .

Our family has begun learning biblical Greek (koine) together and what a great experience that has been so far! Dad has been learning and using Greek for quite some time and I had begun learning Greek awhile back by using information on the internet, but after learning the alphabet and a few words, was unsure how to proceed. Now we have a book, workbook and a computer program which is such a blessing. What a help it is to me to be able to actually hear the letters and words pronounced. The book/program that we are using is by William D. Mounce and it is called Basics of Biblical Greek. (We found out about this author through a family that we know). Our goal with learning Greek is to be able to better understand the New Testament. To be able to understand why words were translated as they are and to be able to better recognize words that were not translated correctly. Basically to be able to develop a deeper knowledge of our Lord and His Word. It will be an exciting journey and one that I am excited to be pursuing!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Chopping Sorghum(?)

I finally managed to take some pictures of our sorghum (? - we are not quite sure what it is!) chopping days. Usually I'm so busy working that I forget completely about taking some photos.

Dad and Ryan weed-eating away. Areas that were very thick with sorghum Dad used the tractor and a roller to knock the plants down. That worked very well!

Leah taking a break

The rewards of our labors!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Girls Group

One week during our girl's group, we picked, washed, snapped, and blanched green beans. (In order to have enough for the girls to take home a bag of beans for their families, Mama, Leah and I had prepared a bunch of beans before girl's group). The girls loved this project! They were especially thrilled because they had planted the row that they picked from.


Washing (what joyful smiles!)

Snapping. The girls got the beans snapped in record time.

(Because blanching was a very involved process, I did not have the opportunity to take pictures as I was quite busy helping the girls.)