Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

Our Lord is the only one who can make all things new...that is the whole message of the make all things new.

In light of "making things new" I thought I'd share what the Lord has been doing in our lives.

As most of you know we have been living in a "box", but what most of you don't know is what the "box" really was. It was not a little RV as most of you have thought, it was a remodeled storage container - the kind you see stacked at shipyards. There were no windows, only a front door. It had windows, but that was it. My husband did put in carpet and flooring, walls, a propane stove for cooking, counter with sink for a kitchen and a shower and toilet. There was a wood stove for warmth. He also built fold-up bunk beds for the children. It was not comfortable, but it was warm and dry and feed....needless to say it has been a very tough year! Someday I will write a book about our experience - bet it will be a best seller!

After many hopeless days there began to be a light at the end of the tunnel....the Lord provided a miracle for us and filled a need for another couple through us.

A few months ago we heard of a couple who needed renters and someone to work as an Ad Rep as well as cover phones and do office work for their paper, The Huckleberry Press. We meet with them several times and worked out some details and received some training all the while the light getting brighter as we proceeded.

Dave is working on commission only and I cover the phones on Monday's only. The process of us replacing unemployment for Dave will take a while but at least we have a chance to get back on our own feet again.

The best part of all is that we were able to move into the rental over Christmas weekend. We moved in the snow and ice - crazy but we did it. We don't have all of our things as the roads around here are terrible, you know "country roads". We will get the other things when things began to thaw.

We are now living on 10 acres, 3bd/2bath and large shop, corral fencing, garden spot, fruit trees, and surrounded by the mountains and forest....our view is spectacular.

So not only did the Lord give us a way to get off of unemployment, he provided a home as well. We are ever grateful and praising the Lord for his goodness to our family.

I think we have learned a tremendous amount over the past year, we have experienced the bottom of depression when we thought all hope was lost, it has been very difficult. We look at this experience as "refiners fire".

To all of you who walked with us, prayed for us, held us close to your hearts we hope you see your prayer for our family has been answered in an amazing way - thank you for your faithfulness when ours was wavering, thank you for loving us when we were unlovable, thank you for standing and holding us when we could no longer stand and really needed to be held! We cherish you and appreciate all you have done for us.

The journey is not over, and there are more hurdles to overcome but at least we will be more comfortable and live life again...instead of "camping".


For some reason I can't upload pictures of our "box", our Christmas, and our gift from the Lord...our new start and new place!

Pictures to come soon!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Stockings Hung With Care....

Here is our newest member of the family...haven't thought of a name and he will probably melt by the time we think of one anyway....snow gets heavy and it took two of us to lift his middle!

Stockings Hung With Care is the title of this blog...but you are wondering why since there is not one picture of a stocking being hung. Well, since all of my Christmas stuff is still packed and I can't get to it, and last year was so sad without "stockings", I decided to do something different! I went to Walmart and purchased these cute bags with matching colors and have dubbed them our official stockings for this year. I brought them in and put them on the table and the children's faces were so full of delight - I was so glad I did this. The two little packages are Christmas Eve and Christmas Day family gifts...they are movies and will be a welcome treat for all of us.
I'm hoping you find ways to bring joy to your family this holiday season. I've learned that things aren't always going to be what you expect and I can choose to dwell on the things we have lost, like I did last year, or I can purpose in my heart to "count it all joy". I don't think this stocking idea would have come to me if I was dwelling on the loss, and I know our Christmas season would not be as bright - I'm so thankful for the Lord who tells us what to do in adversity..."count it all joy"!
Merry Christmas to all of you!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Snowing Fun

I thought you might like some more glorious pictures of our marvelous snow fall. The road is an old logging road, just minutes from where we are. The dogs and I have claimed this road and walk it almost daily. I actually walked back to the "cabin" and got the camera just so I could capture the beauty - and so glad I did as right now as I type all this beautiful snow is melting away. We are not discouraged by any means as you can see this "melting" makes for great snowmen snow - I'm sure by tomorrow we will have our own little community of snow people. I think making snowmen has got to be my favorite thing about the snow - what fun!
Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the pictures.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Let It Snow....

Well, we've had quite the introduction to winter...and we are loving it! I'm sure that we have well over a foot of snow...and as I type this it is snowing.
We have been sledding and will probably try to build a snowman family this weekend.
I may not have a home to decorate for Christmas but the Lord has truly blessed us. We are surrounded by mountains, beauty and feel His peace. It is quiet and still here. It is a place of peace and refuge for our weary minds. We are thankful for this beautiful blanket of snow.
The senery pictures are just right outside our little "box" - yep, we are living in a post-card!
By the way my older son is responsible for the gorgeous scenery pictures. He did a wonderful job and I think he has an eye for will be interresting to see where this interrests leads.
Thanks for stopping by...may your Christmas season be bright!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm Thankful For....

I'm thankful for the beautiful view just outside our little "box"....I'm thankful for snow angels, silly girls who loose their hats and have the most ridiculous hat "hair" I've ever seen, boots for mom's toes - just because my husband loves me and wants me to have nice things, for children who are not worried about having the latest "snow gear" and are happy to just be sledding, for a son who laughs at himself when he looks really funny in his too-huge snow suit, for the beautiful snow that the Lord gave us on the first day of our Thanksgiving school break...we are a blessed family and are so thankful for so much! We are most thankful for a Saviour who sees us, and friends that care - we love you all so much - Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fabulous Four

Today is a great day...a great day to turn Four! So our little guy woke up this morning and said...."TA-Da I'm four now"

Birthday's are magical for children. In our current situation I've tried to make them extra special as I don't want them to feel the stress of our living arrangements...and from the comment above I think I'm doing a good job...only by the grace of the Lord can this be possible..."count it all joy" is the scripture that comes to mind. I do feel the Lord cleaning my heart and giving me joy when life has dealt harshly with us.

Enough about me...let me share with you about my four year old. If I could choose one word to describe him I would choose "JOY". He is always happy, joyful and full of smiles to give for anyone who might be looking in his direction - and if you are close enough to him you might be granted with an extra special "Blanchard" style hug. (a Blanchard hug is the best hug in the world...makes you feel really special...the mother of the Blanchards has the best hugs. You know the make your day...carry you through kind!) Anyway, Our little guy is so full of life and he just loves people - We all love this about him. He is very smart and loves to learn. His favorite time of the day is "tot-school", where he learns about colors, shapes, letters, and numbers. At this moment in his life blue would be his choice of crayon, dogs are a favorite animal and to dress up like a cowboy and pack around his long rifle is his favorite thing to play.

So our hats off to you, our very favorite four year old - we love you so much - we love watching you grow - we are so thankful that the Lord blessed us with a little guy who brings everyone around him much joy!

P.S. - We are having a time finding a battery that would work for our camera - hopefully today we will find one as we venture into town for lunch, to pick-up the mail and the much anticipated birthday cake...pray we find a battery or this memory will be only logged into minds...I'd much rather capture the day on film so I can share with all of you a picture story...

Thanks for stopping by and may the Lord richly bless you and shower you with His surpassing JOY!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Getting Wood For The Winter

In the years past getting wood was something we did because we liked to have an occasional fire in our antique, for decoration mostly, wood stove. This year is a different story...we actually need the wood because that is how we heat our home - wood only! I really enjoy the deep heat of a wood stove and the toasty feeling that comes from having a fire. We all enjoy falling asleep to the crackling sound and watching the flames dance as they lull us to sleep in the evening....almost as enjoyable as sitting around watching the Christmas lights on the tree!

So here we are way up in the mountains, behind where we live gathering wood - and can you believe this blessing...the log company stacked the logs on the side of the road, decked them out and only charged us $5.00 per truck load...what a deal!

While the "men" were getting the logs the little people and I went exploring. We found this nifty old log cabin. It must be at least 100 years old. There was even a little creek down below it. Come to find out this place we were at used to be a mining town so this was probably a prospectors house at one time and they used the stream to clean the pans...fascinating!

It looks short from the pictures but the roof is caved in and the door is covered half way up with debris. There is still a window in tact and I can't tell if we are looking at the loft area and the rest of the cabin is covered in debris or if this was just a strange built cabin...I really wanted to explore more but the thought of falling down into a pit got the better of me...I'm not into creepy crawly things and old places usually are crawling with our little adventure ended. My daughter, miss adventure herself, was gladly offering to do the inside exploring...but I still thought better of it!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Welcome To China

This year I choose to combine my two middle children for their geography class. I decided to go with the curriculum, Galloping the Globe, and am so glad I did. The children have learned and retained so much with this curriculum's approach. I do have to plan ahead a bit and order books from the library, make copies, etc.., but it is all worth it just to see my children grasp and enjoy geography.
For the past few weeks we have been learning about China. The children keep a notebook for the activities, vocabulary words, drawings, creative stories or mini-books. I also like to read aloud stories to them and for China I choose to read about Hudson Taylor. He was a missionary to inland China, if you ever get the gumption(is this a word?), anyway if you ever get the itch to read about a missionary I highly recommend reading about Mr. Taylor. I promise you will need tissue and feel as though your struggles are so small in comparison to his...but you will learn a lot and probably pray for strength like his...amazing story!
We also did a mini-book on Panda Bears. Don't you just relish the fact that you can find anything you need on the web...great help for us home school moms. I found Mandarin Chinese characters. Because they use only characters and not letters we had to dig up the meaning of the children's names to write them in Chinese.
For the grand finale I saved up and we went out to a Chinese restaurant. It was great fun and we even tried to use chop sticks....notice I wrote tried!
It just so happened that we needed a few items at Lowe's and so I turned a usually boring trip into something fun...a scavenger hunt! I told the middle two that they had to find things made in China. YES, GASP...I really broke my steadfast rule of "hold your hands and don't touch anything" rule and let them pick things up and look for the "made in China" words...needless to say time flew and they enjoyed looking.
A great lesson occurred in Lowe's as we only found one thing that was made in the U.S.A. Not lights, fixtures, screws or nails, scissors, tool kits, measuring tapes, eye protection, none of those! We only found mailboxes that were made in our country. We were able to talk about how much we purchase from and are very reliant on foreign countries instead of standing on our was a real eye opener to me just how much we have in our home from China...what would America look like of we only purchased things made in the U.S.A.? I doubt very much that China is filled with things "made in the U.S.A." - it is a shame but I won't keep rambling on and on about it!
On the way home, as we came across the pass, this is what greeted us! The picture doesn't do it justice but it looked like fire spread across the sky - glorious!
Thanks for stopping by...see you next time as we travel across the globe!

Dear Husband actually let his hair down and relaxed and was being so silly...I really love this picture of us and if you know the heart of what we are going through you will love it just as much as I do...we really had a joyful time!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Bright RED.....

Okay, so I'm so embarrassed! I apologize for the weird choice of music on my blog...I honestly didn't choose it and am going to take the music thing off of my blog...I only wanted the classical music and some how there is this strange stuff...I'm Bright Red in my face from total embarrassment...eeeek!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cowgirl, A Peek Into Tot-School, A Horse to Ride....

Well this has been a very busy month with school starting and many other things so I haven't been diligent to capture moments...but this week I did and so here they are for you to enjoy! Living in the country is so rough on the jeans and all of our daughters jeans had holes in the knee...darn! We went to "wally-world" and found these darling jeans, and shirt - she is delighted as she loves everything to do with "cowgirl" style...

Here is a peek into our "tot-school". I ordered these three items from Lauri Products and I am so happy that I did. There is nothing better than hands-on learning. Our little "tot" loves his school, he learns and retains so much. Just look at that grin!

Some dear friends of ours that moved to the same area as we are have horses...and a delightfully patient young lady who willingly took the time to teach Jireh a few things about riding a horse. Thank you to "Oliver Stables" for the experience!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Waking Up The Sun....

Meet Donut...who woke up the sun at around 2:00 this morning! We can not believe that the Lord has blessed us with a heifer...another we have four girls in our herd of milk cows...what will the Lord have us do with all this milk?
Our second boy is responsible for the name Donut and has been praying that his calf would be a girl...oh, joy it is! It is wonderful to me that the Lord cares so much about a little seven year old boy...way up in the mountains...He cared enough to hear a plea and granted the request!
Even though this arrival was a bit of a surprise and really messed up our plans of a mini-visit with some dear friends whom we long to see, we have to believe it is all in the Lord's timing and it was his will for Donut to arrive last what now Lord? Oh, I hope the next exciting thing is a ranch of our own...that would be so wonderful - but I am learning through reading His word, prayer and supportive friends that I need to be content in all things...all things that the Lord grants.
Thanks for stopping by...Enjoy the pictures.

Pslams 144:12 -

That our sons may be as plants
and our daughters may be pillars sculptured in palace style.

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