Sunday, March 31, 2013

I think spring will actually come! It was so exciting to have a warmer day yesterday. Thomas and I went to the "big"blueberry patch on Jersey Mountain and pruned all the bushes. What fun! Thomas and I are both quiet people - at least sometimes. :-)Anyway, I had a lot of time to think as I cut away branches.

The words Jesus spoke came to me over and over- "every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away and every branch that beareth fruit he purgeth it that it may bring forth more fruit." (Now I just pulled that out of my memory so if it's a bit off, forgive me.) As I cut out branches I wondered if it's hard for God to cut them off. And what does he mean? If it works for people just like it does for the bushes, wow!

That means if I am just looking like I won't be doing any better than I am now, He'll just cut me off and throw me away? That was hard for me to do but I knew the fruit would be much better if I took those unfruitful branches out.

Or does the verse mean something different? Is it something in my life that gets cut out so more fruit can come forth? Well, then I won't complain when He wants me to give something up. I hope. I would love your comments on the subject.

Stephen and Austin went with Mom Lapp to southern WV on Thurs to help her paint her old house down there. They had fun surprising Grandpa Schwartzes. They didn't get a whole lot of sleep down there. :-) They came back late last evening.

Matthew, Melvin & Christopher went with Joe & Mervin yesterday afternoon to Grantsville, MD. They took a couple steer up to a slaughter house and got another milk cow and her calf. They didn't get back until late.

Now we're milking two cows. The boys enjoy milking and I got my first turn at it last evening. Thomas on one side of the cow and me on the other. That was fun again.

This Easter Day began early. The 4 older males of the family went to milk the two cows and I got up to fix breakfast and lunch. We went to church early to get set up for the Fellowship dinner. There was no watching the sunrise this morning. It's been a rainy day.

Thomas' sister Yvonne came this evening and is staying overnight. She was also helping with the paint project.

That ends my news and views tonight.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Donut making

Austin will ask me sometimes if he may make donuts. He has helped at my parents' bakery. He found a recipe and this is the third time that he has made some. He makes them from start to finish with no help from me but Matthew likes to help him. We did a field day for the church school and homeschoolers today. They came to our neighbor John's shop where he makes concrete ornaments. He let them make some for themselves. Then we served donuts and hot chocolate. Allen & Joanna Stoltzfus were planning it with us and she furnished cinnamon rolls. Afterward the children played volleyball, rode bike and played whatever around here. Following is a chronology of donut making.

Austin has the dough mixing
Patting and rolling it

Matthew helps cut them out
Melvin watches

Matthew mixing glaze
Cut out donuts
Getting ready to fry them - Christopher commenting
A batch in the oil

Donuts half fried
Flipping process continues
All about ready
Taking them from the pan
Frying "holes"

Matthew does the glazing - he remarks about how messy his hands are

Putting a glazed donut on the rod to drip
A hanger full of donuts

The donut boys at work

Finished product - Want some? They don't last long!

I still don't know exactly how to work this whole blog thing. If anyone has any comments on things I should add, bring it on. I am mostly just playing around in the little time I have and am not being very "professional". Ha. Enjoy.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

On a Sunday Morning

It is so beautiful this morning. I am feeling a bit blue because I didn't get to go to church. Melvin ended up being sick. I wasn't paying close attention. I did notice he didn't eat breakfast very well. When it was time to leave he was in tears and didn't feel up to going. He changed back into his pajamas and is taking it easy. Says his tummy hurts off and on. He's also been fighting a cold. Seems all the sicknesses end up here. Time to air out this house!

It is warming up nicely outdoors and I hear spring bird songs all around. In the hay field, I see robins galore, running hither and thither in search of worms. Melvin came and we were talking about how they find their worms. We did a Google search on the question and found some interesting info. Main method of search appears to be sight, according to studies done.Although all senses work together. 

This past week we got over a foot of snow. It was so beautiful but I am thankful to see it leave and have the warm weather pour in. Yes, Wednesday was the snow day and by today, the ground is pretty much bare.You can still see snow where it was piled up.
Table & Chairs on Patio
Bikes & van - snow piled on every ledge!
Under the big tree on the left sits a bench. In the final photo here you see a close-up of that bench.
Snow on the roof and tree
Piled on the poor evergreens. Notice the fence.
The log pile (work for boys)
The bench

Today is Fellowship dinner at church. We are on the food committee so someone will need to replace me in the kitchen. It's hard to sit here at home and think of all that good food over there. And fellowship. And preaching. And visitors I wanted to see. And Sun school I wanted to enjoy. We're studying in Acts. One community lady who comes to church says, "My dad says, 'It doesn't get interesting until you get in the book of Acts'".

I was up early to fix a dish of cheesy creamed potatoes, peas, and cheddar wurst and  a pan of chocolate pudding delight. Maybe they'll bring some home. :-)

Of course, 'early' this morning felt extra early with time change. Back to getting up in the dark. Not fun. Just when I had resolved to make getting up early a habit. Ha.

I read a book to Melvin after the others left and then cleaned up the kitchen. After which I resorted to the computer to read my devotionals from the past 3 days. I guess that was my Sun sermon. It was encouraging. Especially the one I  get called Standing Strong Through the Storm. I also get one with Spurgeon's sermons. The SSTTS encourages me to be bold for Jesus in this culture where so much is against Christ and Christianity.

This past week was a vacation week for us as homeschoolers. We are schooling year round this year. So far I am liking it. The basic schedule is 3 weeks on; one week off. Sometimes we do more than 3 weeks and then take off for more than one week. I like to save vacations for when we really need them. 

Hopefully soon we'll need some vacation time to plant garden. I am looking forward to that! Recently we've been working on the pruning that needs to be done in the orchard. Oh my! That is so much fun. I did the blackberry patch and am looking forward to bigger better fruit this summer. 

Last year we moved here in May so pruning time was behind us and the orchard was a neglected mess. Thomas has been working on the fruit trees with the boys' help. He also got the grape vine out of the apple trees. I still need to do the raspberries and blueberries. Also, the large blueberry patch on Jersey Mtn. 

There are a lot of ornamentals on the place in need of pruning and perennials in need of divisions. I want to move the asparagus out of the garden, replant the strawberries, and make an herb garden somewhere, too. The herbs are scattered here and there. I would like to pull them together.

Anything to get out in the fresh air and sunshine!

I stuck the pictures in under my paragraph about the snow. Then they suddenly got all rearranged once I added captions. Whatever. I might get this thing figured out one day.