Thursday, December 13, 2012

"How are the chicks?" Someone asked...

I invite you to see for yourself!
 
Mama Hen is ever vigilant

 
These chicks will be 3 weeks old on Friday and Saturday.

 
When we open the door to get into their run, the chicks stand back, while mama hen, who I had to reach around to get this picture, is right there watching us.

This picture shows their run inside the coop...and it includes their nest box.  I was very surprised to see a teeny, tiny egg in their box today.  It wasn't there this morning even.  I am guessing that Miss Muffet (AKA mama hen) is starting to lay again.

 
It was so cute, that I put it in another next box to take a picture of it with the other eggs...then I left it there for the girls to find later, just so I don't forget to tell them about it!  (I know they will come tell me about this tiny little egg, lol!)

When you open the hatch for collecting eggs, Mama Hen is right there to make sure we won't hurt her chicks.

 
I let her get a little fresh air...she has been in the coop now for WEEKS.  She just stood there and looked around.

 
Then she seemed to notice the rest of the flock outside.  She seemed to want to check out what they were doing.

 
It won't be that much longer now before she will want to get away from her chicks.  Another 2-3 weeks or so.  Then we will let her out of what will be a pretty cramped space by then.  The chicks will stay in this little area until they are almost completely full grown so the rest of the flock won't pick on them too much.  If we let them out too early, they will be killed by everyone else...so we will definitely be waiting for awhile!
 
Just like everything else we have experienced, living on 5 acres, this has had quite a learning curve for us!  Starting with being so unprepared that we lost that first chick, to finding a way to give mama hen the space she needs to raise these other 3, learning how to candle the eggs, and seeing the different sized shadows of the chick inside, watching to see when she leaves the next, and when to discard the rest of the eggs...but the most profound thing I have learned is a deeper meaning of a Bible verse.
 
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing."
 
As we have watching Mama Hen, gather these little chicks under her.  Making sure they are warm.  Watching to see that they had enough to eat, drink, and then back to the nest where she could keep them warm, or as close to the heat lamp as she could get them.  It has been amazing to watch her sternly, but gently bring her chicks where she wanted them.
 
On the other side of things, we have seen when a chick was just not ready to settle down and take a nap...the chick will dodge, and dart around the comfort of its mother's wings.  It will run from her, until the mother hen decides to settle in with the others, who are there with her, and let that 'wayward chick' run itself out.  Then when that chick is willing, it will come back, and the mama hen, will ruffle out her feathers and wings and bring that chick back to the safety, warmth, and comfort that she is only able to provide when the chick is willing.
 
My children and I have watched this unfold and have talked about this significance of what we are seeing in respect to the verse I posted above.  What an incredible blessing it is that God has provided such a beautiful picture for us to help us to better understand His Word!
 
God is good, all the time!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My talented Anna

 
Anna drew this horse w/twin foal picture freehand, then used oil pastels to color it.  I am always amazed at how talented my children are!  Way to go Anna!  I am so proud of you, and can't wait to get a frame for this beautiful piece of artwork!
 
I look forward to seeing how God uses your talents and gifts for His glory.

SURPRISE!

Thank you so much to the Anderbergs, Codys, Foltzs, Nittas and Stetsons for making this surprise party a success!
 
For their birthday, they twins were given a day out with Grandma and Grandpa...little did they know that it was to allow us to get ready for their surprise party!
 
 
The Cody's came and helped set up decoration...but I don't have any good pictures of all the beautiful decorations!
 


 
We had pizza


 
And cake

 
The party was so much fun, that Judah couldn't take any more fun.

 
In total, they had about 50 people waiting for them to say surprise...and even more amazingly, they were actually surprised!
 
A surprise party was something on their birthday lists...but to actually pull it off is pretty amazing to me.  The twins are pretty smart, and figure out a lot of what is going on around here.  In order to do it, we didn't even tell the middles that we were having a surprise party until after the twins left that day, lol!

Specian *international* delivery!

One of my very faithful blog readers sent us such a sweet package in the mail!
 



 
There was a beautiful card, too, but apparently, I didn't get a picture of it before Serenity ran off with it saying, 'It's my favorite book!' and hugging it to her body, lol!
 
Then the next day, we got another, smaller package from her and her family.

 
This was so amazing to me.  I was thinking that I really wanted another 'family' ornament this year.  We have a couple from year's past, when we had just the twins, and then with the older 4.
 
 
Since we had one with TWO children, then FOUR children, it just seemed like we 'needed' one with EIGHT children...this means our next family ornament is when we have SIXTEEN, right?
 
I had not told anyone that I had wanted this, and I knew that this year, finances didn't look good for it to happen.  But God provided this through a very special friend, who I have never even met!
 
Thank you so much, from this side of the pond!


Birthday Blessings (and Excitement) Abound

Twin excitement and silliness.
 
Modeling new clothes






 
 
 
Happy Birthday to my 12 year old twins!
 
I hope you had a fabulous day - but as you now know, that was not all...stay tuned for the next post!

A moment in time



Getting ready to go out the door for a date with my amazing husband, this is what I saw...
 

 
God has truly blessed me beyond measure!

My smiley little guy

 
Judah is such a laid back, easy going baby!  He is content to be pretty much anywhere.  Is ok with with waiting to eat at times (like when we got him up, dressed and changed, and put him in the car to go to Callie's pt session yesterday.).  He loves to interact with people.  He actually will make quite a bit of noise and motion in order to get people to look at him. 

(I love this picture of Brianna!)
Judah is becoming very vocal these days, too!  He loves to talk with anyone who will listen. 
 
It is hard to believe that he has just turned 5 months old!  Times goes by so fast!  I sometimes wish that I could slow it down, but I know that I just need to take advantage of this time when my children are at home, altogether, and enjoy it while it is here!

Apparently, they were NOT done with breakfast!

After they asked to be excused, they went to the counter, where Justice said he was 'feeding his puppy.'
 


"Woof!" Serenity said.

Callie is getting so big!

Callie is learning so many things!  Things that many of us take for granted...like brushing her hair, all by herself!
 


Uh-Oh Littles!

Paint.  Left on the back counter to finish a product the next day + littles getting up early = one big mess!
 




Monday, December 3, 2012

Twins

Tomorrow, we will celebrate my sweet, amazing, wonderful, caring, creative, God-fearing, beautiful, helpful, musical, admirable, brilliant, talented twins.  They are becoming such awe-inspiring young ladies, who are teaching me more and more of what it means to die to self, and live for others in their example each day.  I know I am supposed to be the parent, but really, they are teaching me so much!

When I think of them, several verses come to mind:
Proverbs 27:17
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

Proverbs 31:10-31 I can see developing in them.  Good work ethics, helping others, getting up and getting to work most days, helping with housework, siblings, and the animals.

Proverbs 27:23
Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds;

Proverbs 17:17a A friend loves at all times.

(I could go on and on with proverbs that I feel describe them well!)

Ephesians 6:1 Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

Colossians 3:20 Children obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord.

Just to name a few...there are many, many others.  I am so proud of my girls and the young ladies that they are becoming - more on that tomorrow, their actual birthday.

For now, I will end with kind of a funny story.  They came to me and asked why they no longer having matching clothes.  I explained to them that I enjoyed dressing them alike for almost 4 years.  Then they took over picking clothes out, and dressed alike for another 3 years.  But after almost 7 years of dressing alike every day, they wanted to be their own individual people.  Over the years since then, they choose to dress alike less and less, so we didn't both making sure that they could...

But now, they WANT to be able to dress alike.  I think it is very sweet!  I look forward to getting them a couple of matching outfits for their birthday...and hopefully they do not see this before tomorrow! :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

What a wonderful revelation!

I read a sad, sad story this week.  Of a 10 year old girl, who has cp.  She was getting off the school bus, her neighbors were making fun of her.  It was a 9 year old school mate, and his father.  They were walking with a limp, calling her such things as 'retard' and 'gimp.'

The girls' mother was there, and asked them to please stop, but they just continued more.  Apparently, according to the article, this man and his son make fun of this girl frequently.

Years ago, I may have just shaken my head and thought it was terrible.  But now, after seeing this girls face, with her long blond hair, her very typical cp gait, and her smile that lit up her entire face the way someone else I know...it was a bit too close to home to simply shake my head, think it was terrible and forget about it.

A couple of days after I kept thinking about it, knowing that it could one day be Callie in this type of situation.  I asked Callie, "Callie, do you know that you are special and loved just the way you are?"

"Yes!  You love me and God loves me and my whole family loves me." She answered.

"And do you know that we admire your strength and determination to be able to do things that others can do easily."

"Yes, that is my therapy that helps me walk and jump and run."

"That's right.  It is your therapy.  But not everyone would work as hard as you to overcome your disability...Callie, do you know what your disability is?"

Without hesitation, this precious little 5 year old, who has worked and continues to work so hard to overcome the effect of cp on her little often frail seeming body, said, "Sin."

Wow!  What a revelation!  This life is so short.  The ultimate disability, and one that we all suffer from is sin.  It is eternity that matters.  And how we live this life, determines where we spend the next.  This little girl, who has worked so hard to overcome so much, has such an amazing insight sometimes!  Whether she fully understands or knows it or not, I am not sure.  But she has so many lessons to teach!  I thank and praise God for this amazing little girl!