Sunday, April 12, 2015

Our week past

It's another beautiful (!) Lord's Day. I am sitting on the deck listening to the songs of birds, the hum of insects, the mooing of cattle, the pecking of a woodpecker and -oh dear!- the roar of four-wheelers. The scent from the tulip magnolia is heavenly. 
This is the one that was budding in my last post
We had some really gray days this week. Some rain and thunderstorms. We needed moisture so I wouldn't want to complain. Gray days make sunshine so much more appreciated.

The log pile got cleaned up this week. It was a project that was started in February. We had a load of logs delivered this winter and had hoped to get it all cut up and stacked before the Faith Builders project. It didn't happen then but this week it was finished. It is such a good feeling to see it completed.

Completed stacks

Thursday evening we helped with the Kid's Club in Romney. There were 50 children there that evening. I had an interesting little girl that stuck with me all evening. Izzy seemed like the type who might need to fend for herself a lot. She has very decided opinions about life. She received a bracelet as a reward for being at Kid's Club four times. We were discussing the word on her bracelet- Courage. She said, "I know what courage is." I wondered, "What is it?" "You punch 'em good," she responded with clenched fists.

We also baby-sat a 5 yr old boy Thursday for several hours. The boys took him along to school when they went for music class so he could meet his parents there.

Friday we had the great privilege of having Thomas' aunt and husband come to visit. Christ and Lizzie Esh from Juniata County PA. Lizzie is Thomas' father's youngest sister. There were 11 in that family. (Interestingly, my mother came from a family of 12.) 

We were discussing how it is to keep hungry mouths fed. Lizzie said her oldest sister had 16 children and we were imagining how it would be to feed that many. She said she visited her sister once and was helping her butcher chickens. Lizzie thought they were butchering in preparation for preserving the meat. But no, it was just for the next meal(s). 

Christ & Lizzie spent most of the day with Thomas' mother and then all three came to our house for supper. 

Here are some more photos, shot today, of scenery on the place here. Spring is such a gorgeous time.
Another tulip magnolia



Weeping cherry

Forsythia


Weeping peach

I am so excited to see these plants poking up once again. Our family really likes rhubarb.




We also got some flowerbed cleanup done and bushes pruned this week. Ornamental grasses were cut down and hauled off. (That should have been done in the fall.) The compost heap got turned. Old hay was picked up off the pasture. We are getting somewhere! Yea!!
This patch wasn't cleaned up- it's just another photo

Sheep shearing was the event in focus last evening. Our friends who have sheep graciously allowed us to come watch the procedure. They also invited us to dine with them. They furnished grilled burgers and all the fixin's. I took a potato salad. She made a pea salad and some apple pies.

We had the rare privilege of meeting an Olympic skater at our friends' house. She is from Moscow. She showed me some of her performances on You Tube. Wow! She skates as one of a pair. Her male partner and she synchronize very well. Some of the maneuvers they do could be really dangerous if they went wrong. But unfortunately, she is very undressed for the shows. 

What did you enjoy this past week?

What is your favorite spring food?

A verse that came to mind while watching the shearing-


He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.  (Isaiah 53:7)



Sunday, April 5, 2015

Springtime and HOME!

Oh, it is good to be home! To be welcomed by warm spring weather, flowers, green grass and spring peepers. Yummy. 
Notice a blue "shine" on the ground


The little blue anemones that cause the blue "shine" in the photo above.


Rows of daffodils with forsythia in the background


The tulip magnolia about to bloom

Ahh! Cattle lying in green pasture. That's the barn where they milk the cow.

I told my sister that I'm sure people around here don't appreciate what they have. (Not like we do anyway.) 
This was the scene from our apartment window last week one morning

I was completed astounded when I woke to this sight. It snowed maybe 4" that day.

The first night we were here I was awake enough to hear wind and I thought, "Wow! That must be some wind to be heard in this building like that." In my half asleep/half awake state I thought I was still in the apartment on campus at Faith Builders. Then I awoke enough to realize I was in my own bed in a double wide with thin walls.

Someone at Faith Builders asked me what will be the first thing I do when I get home. After thinking a bit I said I would probably walk around and see what all is growing in the flower beds, garden and orchard. It didn't turn out that way. 

When we arrived home Friday afternoon the older boys were wanting the truck for a work night with the young folks. So we immediately unloaded and I put things away and did laundry. The house was filthy. At least where people came in and out to chore for 5 weeks. It was appallingly dirty. I spent a good bit of time cleaning and making order out of everything.

Mom Lapp graciously offered to make a meal for us that evening. I accepted as I didn't know what I was going to cook. 

Then yesterday I transplanted the tomatoes that we had started in PA. The boys filled the cells with soil, helped with transplanting and hauled the finished product away. We have over 200 plants. Enough to share -that's certain.

 Now they line every available window space.


The boys are enjoying lots of outdoor time. Of course, it's back to milking cows and tending the animals, cooking, doing dishes and cleaning house too. They got spoiled for the last several weeks. I told them they need to remember that they are needed with housework once again!
Matthew prepares to serve the volleyball. Christopher sits; whittling something.

This morning our church had a different kind of service. There was a a sunrise service at 6:30 for whosoever wanted; at Ken & Heidi Eash's place. Thomas & I would have liked to be there but were too worn out plus someone needed to milk the cow. We opted to stay home. Stephen & Austin planned to go but then Stephen overslept. End of that story.

After that service there was a breakfast at church beginning between 8 & 8:30. We went for that and I took a plate of fresh fruit. Following the breakfast we had a shorter-than-normal service with singing, a share time and a sermon. Austin had instruction class afterwards. We came home for lunch. 

A '"hospitality evening'' is planned. Something new for me. I don't recall ever doing it before but it sounds interesting. Four families are hosting and the rest of the families picked slips of paper from a basket. The papers had the host families' names on them. Whatever name was on your paper is where you are to go for the evening. Each of the hosts have two households coming to their place. We plan to go to Allen & Joanna Stoltzfus' place. The boys are quite happy about that as Allens' boys are their friends.

I walked around the garden a bit yesterday and I think this coming week we will spend a lot of time outdoors. The garden was sadly neglected for a year and needs a lot of attention. I also want to move perennial flowers while they are small. It may not be the right time of year to do it but if I don't do it now it won't get done!

Has spring sprung for you? Or are you still waiting?

What new thing have you recently experienced?

What was Easter like for you? Do you serve a risen Lord?

If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.  (1 Corinthians 15:19)