Saturday, January 31, 2009


Yesterday seemed to be a day of accidents. Around noon we received a call from a friend who told us that a family we knew had been in a bad accident. They have 7 children 13 and under and they drive a 12 passenger van. The mom was driving and lost control of the van and it rolled. One of the girls said it rolled 3 times. It hit trees, all the windows were broken and it was really banged up. Thankfully they all their seat belts on and other than a few minor injuries they were all fine. The Dad (who was not in the van) said that if you look at the van you would think that a person had to have died. God was surely with them.

Our family also had a few minor injuries. We went to volleyball last night and I started running and the floor was wet and I hit my chin on the floor and got a good split in the chin. My jaw really hurts, but I am so thankful it wasn't worse. I could have had to go to the hospital for stiches (which some people probably would have said I needed stiches, but I didn't think so) or I could have had a concussion landing on my head that way, etc. I am just so thankful. Katelin also ran into the hitch on the van yesterday so she is hurting a bit, but again, it could have been worse.

All this makes me think of how someday we are going to die, never to return to this earth. Our bodies are going to rot in the ground and turn back to dust. Our souls (the real you) is going to go to be with Jesus FOREVER! No pain, no hurt. I look forward to it. I just hope I can do more here on earth for God before He calls me home.

Till next time!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Bakin' Doughnuts

On Wednesday, our homeschool group came to our home for lunch and fellowship. We have this once a month, going to different homes each time. The girls decided to make doughnuts, I made a triple chocolate cake and we all made haystacks together. I ground the beef - all 9 pounds! We have been eating haystacks since then. :) Thankfully, I think they are gone now! I have several pictures of the doughnut making process. By the way, the doughnuts turned out really well. I love 'em when they are really hot yet, just out of the oil and rolled in cinnamon sugar. Um, umm!
The doughnut dough rolled out and rising for the second time.
In the hot oil.
A few of the first ones out. These were deformed, they didn't all turn out like this. Like I say, they don't have to look good, they just have to taste good. :)
After cooling a few seconds, they are dipped in cinnamon sugar.
They end results! DELICIOUS!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Auctioneer

This is a really fun song I just heard on an online radio. It is titled; The Auctioneer Song. I am posting the lyrics too. It is fun to try to read the lyrics and try to keep up with him singing. Hopefully this works, this is the first time I have posted a video. :) Have fun!

The Auctioneer
Leroy Van Dyke

There was a boy in Arkansas who wouldn't listen to his ma
When she told him that he should go to school
He'd sneak away in the afternoon, take a little walk and pretty soon
You'd find him at the local auction barn
Well he'd stand and listen carefully then pretty soon he began to see
How the auctioneer could talk so rapidly
He said, "Oh my it's do or die I've got to learn that auction cry
Gotta make my mark and be an auctioneer"

25 dollar 30 now 30 dollar 30 dollar
30 dollar 30 dollar give me a hollar 30 dollar
who will bid it at a 35 dollar bid?
35 dollar 35 35 make it 35 and a 35 make it 35 and a 35
Who will bid it at a 35 dollar bid?

As time went on he did his best and all could see he didn't jest
He practied on and then some night and day
His pappy'd find him behind the barn just a workin up an awful storm
As he tried to imitate the auctioneer
Said his pappy, "Son we just can't stand a havin' a mediocre man,
You gotta take that auction usin' our good name.
I'll send you off to auction school and then you'll be nobody's fool
You can take your place among the best"

35 dollar 40 now 40 dollar 40 dollar
40 dollar 40 dollar give me a hollar 40 dollar
Who will bid it at at a 40 dollar bid?
40 dollar 45 45 will you make it 45 give me 45 and a 45
Who will bid it at a 45 dollar bid?

So from that morning he went to school there grew a man who played it cool
He came back home a full fledged auctioneer
And people came from miles around just to hear him make that rhythmic sound
That filled their hearts with such a happy cheer
His fame reached out from shore to shore he had all he could do and more
He had to buy a plane to get around
Now he's the tops in all the land so let's all give that man a hand
He's the best of all the auctioneers

45 dollar 50 now 50 dollar 50 dollar
50 dollar 50 dollar give me a hollar 50 dollar
Who will bid it at a 50 dollar bill?
50 dollar 55 55 make it 55 and a 55 make it 55 and
Sold that horse for a 50 dollar bill

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Sisters are a gift from God. When Abigail and I were really little, Dad would say "friends have and end (notice the end in friend) but sisters are forever. That is so true and for that I am so thankful! I don't know what I would do without my sisters. I am not at all saying they are perfect, always doing what I want, etc. but they each have distinct personalities and I don't think I could do without any of them. I am thankful for each one of them.

Just as a few little updates from around here.
1. We had a goat meeting last night. It was my first as president and thankfully everything went well.
2. We haven't had any kidding going on here but it shouldn't be long. I would guess within a week or so. I'll be posting pictures and everything on here.
3. I have been working on a speech that I have to give on the 5th of February for FFA. It is about kidding, so I might post it on here when it is all done.
4. Not much else.

Well, till next time!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Fighting Abortion

You may all know that President Obama lifted the ban on funding for foreign family planning agencies which promote abortion. This is a serious matter. Yesterday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said that birth control will help our economy. Birth control? Murder? Killing innocent babies? How on earth is that supposed to help our economy? And how is paying for abortions (or birth control, or killing children) in other countries going to help our economy? What is going on here? This is something I found on the Drudge Report.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi boldly defended a move to add birth control funding to the new economic "stimulus" package, claiming "contraception will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government."

Pelosi, the mother of 5 children and 6 grandchildren, who once said, "Nothing in my life will ever, ever compare to being a mom," seemed to imply babies are somehow a burden on the treasury.

The revelation came during an exchange Sunday morning on ABC's THIS WEEK.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Hundreds of millions of dollars to expand family planning services. How is that stimulus?

PELOSI: Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So no apologies for that?

PELOSI: No apologies. No. we have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy.

We have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy by killing unborn children? Why not just take food away from everyone? It would probably be better for everyone. I mean, why take it from the innocent? Stop giving prisoners TVs and awesome food. That will cut away a good portion of the bill.

I hope we as believers are not scared to stand up for what's right. Are you?


Sunday, January 25, 2009

New Bloggers

I thought I would welcome two new bloggers to blogworld........DEVIN & KATELIN! They each have a blog:

Devin - Count Your Blessings
Katelin - Katelin's Korner

Stop in at their blogs and welcome them!

Till later,

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Just a few random pics

Myah must have gotten into the Christmas tree lights....or the older girls did. :)

Folks, mom's wedding dress is a temptation and when girls are unsupervised, this is what happens. :) Silly girls. (I wasn't home, which should explain everything, hehe)

When I went out to go do chores yesterday, the sky was beautiful and I snapped a few pictures. This was my favorite.

I also got a picture of Missy and Mandie eating breakfast. :)

Missy and Gypsy fighting......

.....over the water bucket. :)

Hope you all enjoy!

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Measure of a Man - 4Him

I was listening to the radio the other day and heard this song. I was so blessed by it and hope that you will be blessed by the lyrics.

Measure Of A Man

4 Him
Songwriters: N/A

This world can analize and size you up and throw you on the scales
They can I.Q. you and run you through
Their rigorous details
They can do their best to rate you
And they'll place you on the charts
And then back it up with scientific smarts
But there's more to what you're worth
Than their human eyes can see

Oh, I say the measure of a man
Is not how tall you stand
How wealthy or intelligent you are
'Cause I've found out the measure of a man
God knows and understands
For He looks inside to the bottom of your heart
And what's in the heart defines
The measure of a man

Well, you can doubt your worth
And search for who you are
And where you stand
But God made you in His image
When He formed you in His hands
And He looks at you with mercy
And He sees you through His love
You're His child and that will always be enough
For there's more to what you're worth
Than you could ever comprehend

Oh I say the measure of a man
Is not how tall you stand
How wealthy or intelligent you are
'Cause I've found out the measure of a man
God knows and understands
For He looks inside
To the bottom of your heart
And what's in the heart defines
The measure of a man

You can spend your life pursuing physical perfection
There is so much more
More than ever meets the eye
For God looks through the surface
And He defines your worth by what is on the inside
I say the measure of a man
Is not how tall you stand
How wealthy or intelligent you are
'Cause I've found out the measure of a man
God knows and understands
For He looks inside
To the bottom of your heart
And what's in the heart defines

Oh, I say the measure of
The measure of a man
Is not how tall you stand,
How wealthy or intelligent you are
Oh, I've found the measure of a man
God knows and understands it
For He looks to the bottom of your heart
And what's in the heart defines
Yeah, what's in the heart defines
Yeah, what's in the heart defines
The measure of a man
I know, I know

Your sister in Christ,

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fireproof Giveaway at Content in Christ!

There is a Fireproof Giveaway at Content in Christ! If you enter, please comment on her blog and say that I referred you.

Are you Believing?

Our family has a Bible study every Tuesday night here at our house with a few other families and we just finished up going through the book of Galatians. This week my Dad just talked about a short passage in Luke. We were also looking at the parable of the sower in morning devotions the other day.

Luke 14:25
25. And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,.....

Notice something usually passed by in the above verse. "And there went great multitudes". The word multitudes it used, a plural word. This means that there were more than one group of people. What were these people? The first group would have consisted of the Pharisees. These people were trying to find something wrong with Jesus, trying to find something to accuse him of. These men were jealous and selfish. They wanted all the attention that Jesus was getting. The second group of people were people along for the ride. They may have been on their way to town when they saw all the people. Perhaps that day had been a long boring day and they were ready for some adventure. They had heard about this man and were ready to see some miracles, anything to break up the monotony of life. The third group was believers. This group of believers can also be split up into two groups. The first group were people who kinda believed, but weren't believing with their whole heart. They were willing to believe to get insurance that they would get to heaven or they maybe wanted to believe so they could see some miracles. The second group of believers was the believers we think of today. These were the people who believed in God with their whole heart. They were willing to risk their lives for Christ. They truly believed that He was the Son of God.

Luke 8:5-15
5. "A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up.
6. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture.
7. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants.
8. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown."When he said this, he called out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
9. His disciples asked him what this parable meant.
10. He said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.
11. "This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God.
12. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.
13. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.
14. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.
15. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

When we read this passage, I noticed how well it went with what we had been talking about the evening before. Here there are four different groups of people. There is the group that won't belive. They have hardened their hearts to God. There is the group that believes for a little while, but it never takes root in their heart. These may be young believers that are not exhorted and taught in the ways of God. There is the group that believes, but the stuff of life gets in the way. They believe, but throw it away to pick up something else new. Then there is the group that believes and matures. They are the true believers, the ones who truly love God.

The question this poses: Which group are you in? Are you a believer? If so, which kind? Are you halfhearted? Or do you believe with you whole heart?

I pray that you may be encouraged by this and that you can search your heart to see if you are being the person Christ wants you to be.

Your sister in Christ,

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sledding Pictures!

Attention ladies and gents! I have batteries for my again. Ahhh, my life is put back together again. lol, jk! So yesterday we all went sledding and had a blast. It was cold, a bit windy, the sledding hill was excellent, and there were good friends there. Many thanks to the F**** family for letting us sled at your home! We all enjoy it so much!

Jenna taking a spin down the hill.

Katelin and Rebekah taking the long walk back up the hill.

Elizabeth and Jena on their way up!

Rebekah and Katelin going down backwards, totally the best way to down. No snow in the face, no wind threatening to tear your face apart. :)

Rachel and Rebekah ready for the ride down.

Until next time,

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Winter Farm Update

Just thought I would update on farm stuff around here. Yesterday was Martian Luther King Jr.'s birthday, so that gave us the excuse to take a day off of school and get work done around the farm. It was chilly, but we worked hard and stayed warm. Abigail and I went out to the barn and started cleaning the feed room and milk room around 10:30 or so. We had a rag and warm water and wiped off counters that have been dirty for several months, swept, etc. It looks SO much better now! Then we cleaned all the pens which took a few hours, but the barn looks brand spankin' new now. We finished up around 2:30 and still hadn't had lunch so we came in and ate like there was no tomorrow. Now I know what being hungry really means....:) Then Abigail, Dad, Devin and I went with the tractor and hay wagon a few miles away to where we store hay and straw during the winter. We got 40 bales of straw and 40+ bales of hay. I stacked the wagon and it brought back great memories of the summer, baling both hay and straw! My hands hurt from the twine this morning though, terribly wimpy, I know. :) When we got home, we unloaded it all and stacked it in the hay mow in the pole barn. Then I moved some goats from the dairy barn up to the pole barn and moved some from the pole barn down to the dairy barn. Got it? Good. :) Now we only have about 3 or 4 up in the pole barn that are pregnant. The rest are dry. By the time I got inside, I was so tired I almost fell asleep at the table. That is what a good days worth of work feels like. Ummmmmmm. I love working, can't you tell? BTW, that was not sarcastically. :)

I just thought I would post that and let everyone know that we are now ready for kids, have pens ready for mommas and babies and we are all set and ready to go. Now lets see how long I can wait......

In Christ,

Monday, January 19, 2009

Trusting my Father

Yesterday we took the long hour and a half drive (which turned into a three hour drive because of snow and other such back-ups) up to the Grand Rapids area where all of our relatives live, to visit my grandma who was just out of the hospital and a cousin who is currently in. After the visiting, we stopped at my other Grandparents house and had a WONDERFUL supper of vegetable lasagna, chicken, rolls and applesauce. After loading up our family into the van, we took off for the ride home in the dark. We all(minus Mom and Dad, thankfully) fell asleep within a half hour, me sandwiched between Devin and Katelin in the back seat of our 15 passenger van. The weather was horrible and there were vehicles all over in the ditches. Dad later said he counted up to 12. There were times when you could hear the van skidding against the ice on the roads(by the way, this was after I woke up). The whole time, I was never afraid that we would go in the ditch. I trusted that my father would bring us home safe and sound. I have been in vehicles that he drives for years and living in Michigan in the winter calls for some good drivers, which he is. We drove through a huge ice storm once and I was fine. As long as the heat was on in the van, I had a blanket and could fall asleep, I was happy as a lark! There was a man with us however who was not used to traveling in such conditions and he was scared stiff. He later told my Dad that he had never prayed so hard in his life. I don't think he trusted my Dad. :)

Trusting my earthly father is one thing. I want to be able to trust my heavenly Father even more! There are so many verses in the Bible about trusting God.

The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
The Lord is on my side as my helper;
I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in princes.
—Psalm 118:6-9

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
—Proverbs 3:5-6

“Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.”
—Isaiah 12:1

Trust. It is great, small, hard thing to do. Many find it hard to trust anyone, but there is no one more trustworthy than God. He has never broken a promise, always taken care of us, seen us through everything, and has always been there for us. I am sure you have probably had a friend that you were sure you could trust, but didn't keep their promise. God is not at all like that. He will stick by you whatever your trials. He will take care of you. All we need to do is trust Him. Like a child in a vehicle during a storm, you don't need to worry about getting home safely, where you are supposed to be in 20 years from now, etc. Trust God to lead you one step at a time.

I have heard from many people recently "what am I supposed to be doing in life? Where I am supposed to be?" Just trust God to lead you.

The Lord says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you."
-Psalm 32:8

I am not an expert on trusting and I am not pretending to be. I am learning all about this, even as a write this! My prayer is that you can find something out of these random thoughts and hopefully this can be an encouragement you.

May God bless you all!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Normal School Days

Myah playing.

Devin doing school with Sophie. :)

Katelin doing math.

Okay, so it looks like she is looking at nothing, but there really is something on the screen.

Jenna doing school.

Ben is going to become a "fire man" someday, he is beginning with puzzles.

Elizabeth working on math.

I apologize to everyone for not updating earlier. All of our camera's batteries have been dead and we have had a problem getting pictures, and I know posts are boring without pictures. :) We did get a few pictures the other day though of a normal school day, so that is what you all get stuck with. I guess school is pretty much all we have been doing since the temps here in MI are below zero all the time. One morning when I woke up it was -21, felt like -31. Thankfully we are looking at teen temps now. Hopefully it will warm up a little and we can get back out sledding, skating and walking again. The last few mornings have been beautiful. The sun comes up over the trees and makes the snow everywhere sparkle and shine. It is especially pretty if the trees are covered with snow or ice. I wish I could get some pictures of it...can you tell I miss my camera? :)

With everyone locked up in the house, we have been learning to get along with each and thankfully it is going well. I have really been surprised and so thankful that the girls have adjusted so well. We are going to miss all of them I think. Please continue to pray for us, their court date is on the 22nd and they are kinda nervous about it.

Today is Mom's birthday, 39 years old! She was served breakfast in bed by Elizabeth and Jenna, went to get her hair cut, came home and we all had egg salad sandwiches, opened presents and ate cake. We are going to have pizza for supper and watch the second disk of The Gospel of John. Should be a relaxing evening. And just for the record, mom got 2 boxes of chocolates, a robe, a new spatula, a new wisk and a really good kind of shampoo and conditioner (I know that I should know, but I don't so does that say anything about me and knowing about all that kind of girly stuff?). Hopefully she had a good day. :) I am so thankful for her and all she does. She deserves so much!

Well, I'll close here. Have a great day and TRUST IN GOD in whatever you do!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Random News

This is a picture of our farm from the road. I took it several weeks ago.

It has been some time since I last posted and I apologize. However, there hasn't been a whole lot going on here. We have been doing school, ice skating, school, playing in the snow, school, chores, and did I say school? Usually after each day of school is done, we all head out to the frozen swamp behind our house with our neighbors and ice skate. I don't have any pictures right now, but I will try to get some in the near future. Sometimes we play Helpers Tag and once we played Dare Base. There is about a foot of snow on the ice, so we have to shovel and make paths which can be really fun. We got about a foot of snow in a 24 hour period the other day. It is so light and fluffy that you just sink to the ground. It has been snowing every morning since then and we get a light dusting that makes the world look all white and clean. We are supposed to get several more inches today. I guess this is what I love about Michigan.

As for farm news, we only have a few more weeks until kids start hitting the ground. Abigail and I were talking last night about all that needs to be done. We have kidding pens to free up/clean, all of our necessities out to the feed room (such as towels, iodine, gloves, etc), the feed room needs to be cleaned and organized, and the rest of the pens need to be cleaned (again). When our kids are born, we try to be out there, where all the excitement is taking place. The kids are then brought into the feed room which is heated, cleaned, rubbed dry, feet and navel dipped in iodine and fed for the first time. Then they are moved to the kid pen where there is a heat lamp to keep the kids warm. We feed the kids 4x a day for several days, then go down to 2-3. Our first to go is Gypsy. She has given us quads, trips and a single. We are hoping for twins out of this batch.

Well, I'll try to keep everyone update on farm news and get some more pictures up.
Y'all have a wonderful day!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I got this wonderful idea from a fellow Facebooker. I would really like to have people to pray for so if you would like me to pray for you, please just write your name down as a comment and what you would like me to pray for. I will be praying that our Heavenly Father will be guiding you, and giving you strength and hope everyday. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 say " Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." If there are others who comment beside you, pray for them as well. The more prayers the better!

If you would like to pray for me, here a few things I could use a little help on.

1. Patience. I can always use more patience.
2. Showing love. I am not always very good at expressing love to those around me.
3. My future. That God would help show me where He wants me.

I thank all those who are willing to pray for me.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Change

This song, The Change really shows what most "Christians" need to do. I exhort you to listen to it with your heart and change if you find you are failing. Actions (good works) are never going to get you go Heaven. However if we have God's Spirit in us and His saving Grace and you are forgiven, then hold fast to Him during your time here on earth. I'll be looking forward to seeing you in heaven with our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The Change
Steven Curtis Chapman

Well I got myself a T shirt that says what I believe
I got letters on my bracelet to serve as my ID
I got the necklace and the key chain
And almost everything a good Christian needs, Yeah
I got the little Bible magnets on my refrigerator door
And a welcome mat to bless you before you walk across my floor
I got a Jesus bumper sticker
And the outline of a fish stuck on my car
And even though this stuffs all well and good, Yeah
I cannot help but ask myself

What about the change?
What about the difference?
What about the grace?
What about forgiveness?
What about a life that's showing,
I'm undergoing the change? Yeah,
I'm undergoing the change.

Well I've got this way of thinking that comes so naturally
Where I believe the whole world is revolving around me
And I got this way of living that I have to die to every single day
cause if God's Spirit lives inside of me yeah
I'm gonna live life differently

I'm gonna have the change!
I'm gonna have the difference!
I'm gonna have the grace!
I'm gonna have forgiveness!
I'm gonna live a life that's showing!
I'm undergoing the change!

What about the change?
What about the difference?
What about the grace?
What about forgiveness?
I want to live a life that's showing
I'm undergoing the change!

2009 family letter

I have decided the Schreur family Christmas letter. We sent this out after New Years (Yeah, who says the Christmas letter has to be sent out BEFORE Christmas???). Enjoy!

To all who have been a part of our life,

Another year is over and 2008 has proven itself to be one that has given us many memories. You are getting this because you are a part of the memories that make up who we are. We are thankful that God has allowed you to be participate in our lives. This letter is our way of keeping in touch with some of you we rarely see but shows our desire to have you know that you still come to mind as we look back in thankfulness and ahead with anticipation.

Our family has grown in number only because we became licensed by the state of Michigan to be a foster family. I say it that way rather than foster parents because each one of us wanted to do this and all help serve whomever God would send our way. In February, Myah, a little 10 month old girl joined our family. Being half Hispanic, her beautiful big brown eyes and nearly black hair are a stark contrast to our mostly blue eyed blondes. After 10 months of caring for her, we have just invited Myah's mom Devin (15) aunt's Kaitlin (12) and Jena (7) into our home. They moved in Friday, December 19 and the plan is that they will be living with us through January at which point they will be moving to Florida. Myah will be going with them and we ask you to pray that God will protect them wherever they go.

Benjamin (4) is growing up to be more than a handful. God must have given me 5 daughters before him because he knew we would need many hands to keep Ben busy. Busy is an incredible understatement when it comes to describing him. When putting him to bed a while back he kept squirming until I told him to relax and lie still. After 5 seconds his foot started moving and I told him to stop moving. Another five seconds and his hand started to come to life. This time after being told to lie still he gave out a frustrated laugh and said he just can't stop moving. That is life with Ben. I love it, but his estrogen laden siblings aren't quite sure what to make of this beast. Also, mom is more than willing to let me take him to work whenever possible.

Elizabeth (7) is making it harder to be looked at as my little baby girl because she is growing up in so many ways. Her reading ability is amazing and every now and then beats me in Connect Four. She does more than her share of the farm chores and is in charge of a barn with about 10 goats, a 4 month old Jersey heifer, and one dog. Her chores also include gathering the eggs from 50 or so chickens and keeping them with fresh water. She loves showing goats and won showmanship for her age bracket at the MDGS show in May. In spite of all this, thankfully, she is still as huggable and snuggly as ever. She is looking forward to showing a Dog at the fair in addition to her goats.

Rebekah (12 on New Year's Day) is winning praise from Bethany and Abigail with her pen cleaning ability (actually, they are just thankful for any help). She and Rachel have relieved the "old" farm hands from this endless job. Her reading is coming along nicely and her math, is well, math. She loves our puppies and enjoyed going with Sandy to Family Farm and Home in Coldwater with them. She had 5 hours of holding all the puppies she wanted. She also helped with chores and gives Elizabeth the muscles needed to haul water to "their" barn.

Rachel turned 13 in early December which means we are now a family with 3 teenage girls. I wish all the people that say they feel sorry for me could read Psalms 144:12 - "May our daughters be like stately columns that adorn the corners of a palace" and verse 15 - " Blessed are the people who have these blessings! Blessed are the people whose God is the LORD!" Rachel is very sweet and is so willing to help. She has adopted Buster, a 2 year old male Chocolate Lab that was given to us by some friends who had to move to Georgia. He has sired 18 puppies this year which has turned into a nice little side business for us. She took a dog that had no training and is able to literally snap her fingers and he sits for her. She will be showing him at our fair's dog show next August. She has also taken over Angel our Appaloosa mare. Rachel thinks this "blind in one eye, 20 year old gray mare who ain't what she used to be", is the greatest horse since Silver and loves to get out in the pasture to round up the cows. It is quite a sight.

Abigail (still 13 until February) finished up with her braces and has an even more beautiful smile than before. She had a new fair experience this year with Willie her steer and did a great job of learning about raising and showing steers. She is already working on Zeb for next year. She also bought Hoss, a Quarter Horse from Bethany and did a lot of riding with some other girls who have horses. She continued her work at Harvey's farm this spring/summer picking asparagus, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries but took Friday's off to help Sandy bake for the Marshall Farmers Market. She and Sandy spent Saturdays in May and June selling their goodies.

Bethany (15) has become quite the farm girl. She is taking some agriculture classes at the Branch County Career Center and hope to join FFA (Future Farmers of America for you city slickers). She has diligently gotten herself up every morning at 4:30 to milk our goats. We are developing a nice little business selling goat milk with people driving up to 1.5 hours from the suburbs of Detroit for Asher Acres Goat Milk. We are doing it legally using something called Goat shares which makes the people part owners of our herd. They do not buy the milk but rather pay for us to do the work of milking and caring for the animals. It seems a little crazy but it is what we need to do to make it legal. This summer she worked hard at the Harvey's and on our farm. During one 3 week period she helped bale over 1500 bales of straw and hay. She and Abigail are now able to go our baling on their own while I do something else. This same farmers daughter is also doing very well with her piano after moving beyond mom's lessons to a "real" piano teacher.

Sandy has been very busy with children, homeschooling, laundry, setting up at the Marshall Farmers Market, children, canning 600 quarts for the pantry, laundry, helping put hay up in the barn, homeschooling, laundry, 6-10 children, cooking, and laundry. Did I say laundry? One of her biggest challenges is knowing what to do with a 4 year old boy who doesn't like to sit in the same place very long. Sandy's paragraph may be the smallest but it is not because she has no life. No, she is merely experiencing God doing "far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think". The main blessing is when she knows it is "according to the power that works within us."

I have been enjoying my best year as far as work goes since we have moved down here (if you knew what the last 4 years have been like it would keep this in perspective, but we are very thankful). God is proving that he is bigger than an economic crisis. The real economic crisis is when we all have everything we want without thinking about who is in charge. We had a good year making hay with our "new" New Holland 311 baler. It is nice to bale almost 2000 bales with only 2 missed ties. We also were able to help a local farmer clean up a fence row of oak, hickory, and cherry trees. Going into winter as the world economy is teetering with your propane tank, pantry, 4 freezers and wood shed filled is a wonderful feeling. But, that pales in comparison to having our hearts and minds "filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work " (Colossians 1:9-10) It is my prayer that your new year will be filled with "the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord" (Phil. 3:7).

Jim, Sandy, Bethany, Devin, Abigail, Rachel, Katelin, Rebekah, Jena, Elizabeth, Benjamin, and Myah

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Last puppy update!

I never did update on our puppies. We have sold all of them to wonderful homes and have some pictures of them. I am posting a few here. The first two that we sold went to homes that had deaf children in them (they were going to teach the puppies sign language), some went to homes with children and some went to homes with young men that would use them for hunting. My favorite(a huge black male who weighed 20 pounds at 8 weeks) went to one of those homes. I have a picture of a yellow males who went to home of one of our raw milk customers. She is a photographer and took the picture in her studio. This puppies name is Pallo, pronounced Paulo. Pallo means moonbeam in Cherokee. Thank you to everyone who purchased a puppy from us. We hope you are enjoying them!

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Wonderful Weekend!

On Friday afternoon after cleaning the house and packing clothes for a two day vacation, we drove an hour and a half to a growing town near Grand Rapids Michigan. We stayed at our best friend's (the Regans) home where we had supper, watched a movie and some of us stayed at their house overnight while the others went to our Grandparents house about 3-4 miles away. We had an excellent time and were sad to leave. However, we were on our way to a hotel to stay the night, so we couldn't stay sad too long! It was also Jena's birthday, so she was estatic! We were able to get into the hotel early (around noon) so we got a good head start on swimming. They pool wasn't huge, but pretty nice. We had tons of fun! Thanks so much Dad for taking us!
We had a birthday party in one of the 3 hotel rooms that we had for Jena. Thank goodness for Sam's Club! :)
Blow it out and make a wish! Our family loves to take pictures of people blowing out their candle(s).

She got a horse calender, gum and 2 DVDs. Looks like Myah wants some gum. :)
Goofy girls. Ben is displaying the DVD's.....backwards.
Elizabeth, Katelin, Rebekah and I in the pool. You can see Ben in the background.
Elizabeth, Bethany, Rebekah, Jena.
Rebekah hanging out in the pool.
Elizabeth with her death grip on the pool side. She likes the water, but doesn't like deep water.
The birthday girl enjoying a late night swim. Actually it was only about 8:00.

We got home Sunday afternoon after a delightful weekend. We are back to school along with all the rest of the "kids" after Christmas break. Actually, I was looking forward to having a schedule again. Even if it is on a Monday.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

My first blog awards!

I have been given two blog awards from Jenna Thank you so much! It was so kind of you to think of me.

With the Lemonade award, I am supposed to give it to 10 others who show attitude(the good kind!) or gratitude.

I love checking out each and everyone of these blogs! You are all such a blessing to me and I love your enthusiasm for Christ.

1. Josh @
2. Bethany@
3. Lake Family@
4. LKS @
5. Suz Steece @
6. Holter girls @
7. Em @
8. Lauren Ann @
9. Jen @
10. Elliot @

With the Kreativ award, I have to list 6 things that I am Thankful for, and then award the blog to 6 other people.

I am Thankful for:

A wonderful, loving God who died for me so that I may live.

A loving family and parents who have done so much for me.

Friends who are always there for me.

A wonderful home and farm where I can learn to raise animals, have responsibilities and learn to take care of a family.

A country where we are free to worship God as we please.

Freedom in Christ and our country.

Now I am giving this award to:

1. Bethany@
2. Jen @
3. Suz Steece @
4. Lauren Ann @
5. Em @
6. Lake Family@

Thanks to you all for being so Kreativ!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Years Day in Review

Yesterday was a full day so you are all going to get picture bombed. Yesterday was the beginning of a New Year, Rebekah's birthday, the ice was ready, and we had a little family fondue party. We begin with the ice skating. We went out around 2:00 to check the ice. It was a bit cracky, but it was thick enough. It scared the wits out of a few of the girls, but we still pulled them out there. Then we all walked back up to the house to get our skates, rode back in the van and put our skates on. We were out there for over and hour and could have stayed out longer (I mean, I could have :)). It was awesome!All the ice skaters except me. Devin had been out there for a short while, but walked up because her feet were hurting.
Me skating around. This is by far my favorite winter sport.Ben attempting to skate. Actually, for a 4 year old, he does pretty good!
Katelyn didn't really care for the sound of the ice cracking, so she either stayed with the bucket or by the tree.
Elizabeth, Jenna and Sophie on the ice.

We try to have a family fondue party on New Years Day every year. When we came in from ice skating, we began cutting up meat, bread, onions, and getting all the other stuff ready. It is a huge process, but very much enjoyed.

The table all set for a fondue party. All 12 of us sat at one table.
Raw beef and chicken to be cooked in oil.
Shrimp that can be eaten plain, deep fried in oil, or dipped in drakes to deep fry in oil.
A fondue pot full of hot oil and fondue sticks with food on them.
This picture......
.....and this picture describe how we all felt after we were done eating all that grease.

After eating supper, we all gathered in the living room to watch Rebekah open presents. Then we had dessert (pictures below) and dropped in bed. Tiring day.
Rebekah right after opening her new Bible she received from Mom and Dad.
The dessert table. Makes me hungry just to look at it. :)
Happy Birthday Rebekay! Maybe God bless you with many more years to come! Love you!