Hello fellow homestead keepers... I wanted to share my lasted keeper tip with everyone. I have designed a file that allows me to add my kids specific chores each day. For Mikey, I made the letters big enough for him to see and read, simple words he can sound out. Each day the kids seem more cheerful to work because they get to check things off. I am going to try to make my files available for downloading on my blog so you can just replace your kids chores and names. I will upload each of my kids files so you can see what each age is capable of as well. I love these charts. At the end of each day, I will be rewarding each child for fulfilling their responsibilities. Also, I bracket it off in time segments. What times each are to be done, a bracket for before lunch. The checks are a ticket to eat. No checks, no eat. This works well to get the kids motivated. Hope you all have a happy keeping the home day! Remember, keeping their hearts is the most important job of all. I am learning to wake up really early to keep up this site so it does not interfere with my keeping of the home and hearts of my children. Here are the files for you to download! Enjoy!
Blessed be the name of the Lord!!!!!
The Lord has chosen to take our cow during the night last night. We still do not know why, the TB was negative so it wasn't that. If it was the cancer, it sure was aggressive. Mark knew that she was dying last evening, she was laying on her side breathing really deeply. This morning the kids found her dead and said the calf is mooing and nudging its mamma. That is pretty sad, isn't it? We tried to make her as comfortable as we could until the end, but didn't know it would be this fast. God's mercy is divine. He put her out of her misery quickly. Mark did not shoot her because he was unsure if I would agree to it, and he cares so deeply for me that he would not want to make me more grieved. I would have been okay with it if it was needful, but he did not want to tell me last night for fear I would stay up all night worrying about it. He is so loving, and so protective of me, every part of me. He knelt beside the beast and prayed for her to be quickly taken, and I believe God honored that for my husband.
About one year ago the Lord actually gave us this cow, now it is His will to take her away. Even this week, we were given another cow for meat. We are so blessed. We do not question God on this but rest in His grace. We know deep down that our Lord wants to use this for His glory. It may take time to find out how this is used, and that is okay. We have deep faith and trust in His perfect will for our entire life. He has proven that as we remain faithful to Him, he will provide for our every need, even if it comes in the form of a death. We are saddened but we are relieved that she is out of her misery now. Thank you all for your many prayers. God is so merciful to our family and to our cow.
I have some updates for you all. The Amish ladies came to help me can the 350 pounds of meat yesterday. They knew that I could not do this even with my children's help. That is what real love is and how community works. We lay down our own plans, our own desires to help one that is in need. I didn't even have to ask. They just did what they would want done to them, that is real brotherly love. The Amish farmer, Harry came her one frigid evening to gut and skin out this cow for us (not our cow, a cow that was given to us from a neighboring farm-a cow with broken legs). But what I did not realize, it was Harry's birthday that frigid evening. His wife usually always makes homemade pizza and ice cream for him. I didn't know this, I did not know what he was sacrificing. He left his birthday party for gutting out a big, fat cow in the freezing windy night. I send out a plate of food for him, but he would not stop to eat, the work was more demanding. Finally, he felt hungry and grabbed for his cold plate of food. Then after two hours of gutting, he was too tired to spend time with his family. He ate a bowl of ice cream and went to bed. Next day he and his 13 kids started cutting the meat off the bone. This took about 6 more hours. We showed up yesterday, me in my walker, my four little ones, and my mother in law. She is not a morning person, but she sacrificed her resting to take us up to the Amish to help what we could. She wanted our family to be blessed with all this wonderful meat. I was able to make the lunch meal. I wanted to do something, I felt so horrible. So unworthy. I wished I could have been there earlier to cut up meat, but since I can't drive, I have to wait until I have a ride. You have no idea how inconvenient it can be, how frustrating it is when you want to help, but can't. I just prayed for a miracle, a ride. God provided that. He provided every detail. I was able to feel better about making a meal at least. I made my mexican casserole, because it is so delicious and easy to put together.
Then yesterday Harry's wife, daughter, and his mother came for the day to help can all the meat. They didn't even wait for me to ask. That is real love, real community. They have so many other things that they could have done, but they sacrificed everything yesterday to help a sister in need. They fished all my canning supplies out of my basement to start off the day. I can no longer get down there either. My husband gave me strict orders never to try to go down there. It is almost like a ladder to the basement. They washed all the cans, they dug their hands into the ice cold meat for hours on end to stuff each and every jar. I sat at the table and did what I could. I was able to roll some meatballs and layer them into my 9x13 pans. They did all the lifting and walking around. It was so sacrificial for them to be in MY kitchen all day, working so tirelessly. Then I said "I am just so humbled by your great help" Edna May said "When my children were small, I needed much help and the Lord provided that help. It is not always the same people that have helped you that you will one day help. You help when you can and who you can- that is how to love your neighbor as yourself" Talk about crying tears of joy. Our God wishes for the church to be this way. To love this way. In our high tech society, we have lost touch with our real calling. The calling of loving our neighbors the way we should.
Now I will share with you another example of REAL LOVE...
Now that my RSD is getting worse, I have to try to save up to get another stem cell (my own cells) treatment in Mexico. It costs over $3000 but the Lord can make a way again for me to go. I went two other times. I was supposed to go last fall again but did not have the money. If you did not know, I have had severe nerve damage to my sciatic nerve two years ago this week. While having a routine bladder lift surgery and hysterectomy, the doc stitched through my sciatic nerve causing over 600 mm of nerve damage. I was paralyzed from my right knee down (drop foot). I was in a hospital bed taking 35 pills a day for 3 months, wheel chair for 6 months after that. The pain was worse than horrible. The suffering was constant day and night, no sleep, lots of vomiting from the drugs. Depression, anxiety. It was so horrible. I was so lonely and scared and it the kind of pain that you feel like after you dip your finger in burning oil but can't take it out for 9 months. Went to Mexico for the first treatment and I felt almost pain free for about 3 months, which was like a great awakening. I felt so free. I felt alive again. After a few months I started to get pain and problems again so I went in February a year ago. Debi Pearl, with No Greater Joy Ministries, took me that time and took care of me. She wheeled me around or held my arm to walk about. Then I was doing pretty good for another few months after that, until last summer. I ended up getting much worse again. And now I am using a walker again. The disease gets progressively worse as time goes on. It is like MS. It affects lots of nerves, and causes pain, neuropathy, and lots of painful muscle and nerve spasms. This past week was really hard, so my husband said if he has to work all day and all night and never sleep, he will do that to provide the money to pay for my next treatment. If I am his help meet, I am not helpful until I can help.
My husband is so loving. That is real love, when a man is willing to lay his life on the line for his wife. I am so humbled by my husband's sacrifice. It is hard for me to ask for help. I love to be the helper, the giver, and the strong one. In my weakness, God is showing me His mighty strength. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I actually never feel like I deserve anything. I feel my life is not my own, that it is by the grace of God that I am still alive yet to proclaim His glory. He paid the ultimate price, that is REAL LOVE. I hope that by these examples of REAL LOVE, that each of you can find someone out there to minister to, to give the sacrifice of service for, even if it is your own family at home. Love one another as you have been loved. Remember God does not dominate us, He LOVES us. He lovingly leads us into truth, and lovingly keeps us on the right path. To Him be all Glory!!!
For our cow... We ended up getting the vet out for the second time after another jersey farmer and her husband recommended that we get testing done as to our cows underlying illness that caused the cancer. This is important to find out because it could be a virus that spreads to our other animals and you need to be able to fix the problem. We started the range of testings and the second vet that came out gave us so much more to hope for. He was both kind and sensitive to our fears and sentiments toward our cow. He loves and cares for animals deeply. That was a real comfort in this time. He said if there is a chance that she doesn't have cancer or TB (which is suspect) from the enlarged rectal lymph nodes, He will fight to save her. I wheeled out there in 3 inches of snow to talk to the vet. I am using the wheeled walker now and the foot has something wrong I am certain. I can't really put pressure on it at this time. I will be visiting the doctor this morning. These huge nerve attack episodes, I do not even believe they are cramps at all. I think it is deeper than that. Because I get leg cramps and I take magnesium, use the oils, and eat bananas and that helps with those. It is actually really strange. My big toe goes straight to the left and then down very angrily. It is worse than I can even explain. The pains are similar to constant labor contracting. A muscle spasm usually locks up the muscle and then you can stretch it out. Not with this. It just keeps moving and I have no control over it. I even try to flex it with my hand and it is like an arm wrestling match. I am a pathetic arm wrestler, even my kids can beat me on that.
It is an encouragement to see how the kids are developing into good people. Although the last two days they have been extra naughty, I really felt like I was going crazy. Well, normally, when I am feeling okay, I can really wrangle the kid (Miles) and keep him going good. He is usually not acting up, but I think he is acting up because of me being so bad off again. Not sure, but it really started since I have been laid up. Otherwise, I run a tight ship and the kids are so loving and helpful, yes. That is a real blessing. Miles is really upset about his cow. It was his and he cries about that a lot too. Boys sometimes act out pretty bad when they feel the lack of control, but I am at the brunt of it, since Mark is away. Please pray peace over my day. I appreciate that.
I really appreciate getting to know so many lovely people here on the post. It is really a blessing.
I do glory in my infirmities, because I know that they are teaching me so very much. I have peace about God's plan. He is ordering everything out the way it works best. Sometimes it is hard, but it is through those hard times that He creates some of the best character and strength. The one thing that I feel more than anything is LOVE. I know God loves me so much and trusts me because He thinks I can handle so much. I have my moments where I break down and feel like I can't handle another thing, but then that is when he really knocks my socks off with some random blessing.
Praise report... as our cow was given a death sentence we were contacted by a christian family that runs a holstein dairy. One of their good heifers went down, did the splits. They just gave us the meat. I told them that the only way I could take the meat is if God would provide all the help to butcher it for free. I called one of my amish friends who own a farm (Harry), and it was his birthday, which I did not know until late last night, but he got a driver, came down to my home, got directions to the other farm, went in and killed, gutted, and skinned the beast. He brought it home with his driver and they are planning to grind and cut it up for our family. What a huge blessing! That is like $500 worth of meat for us. I am overwhelmed at God's mercy! I want to can it all, so I may wait until Sara Shoemaker (someone from the post), comes to help me. She also approached us that her and her husband felt led to let her and her two little ones journey from Washington to our home for two weeks while her husband will be traveling and gone from them for work. She just wants to help. I am in such need for help, I hate asking for help, too, but the Lord provided someone who would be just as blessed to serve as I will be to be ministered to in my great needs. Praise the Lord!!!!!
God is truly Merciful. I thank each of you for all your prayers. I believe they are helping us right now greatly.
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