When we were little

I enjoy looking at photos of our family growing up. It brings back many memories; some sweet, and some sad. Today Ruby and I decided to find old pictures of us children when we were babies. It seems like each time a new sibling is added, the similarities between our looks increase! 🙂

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Baby Skye

 

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Baby Lily

 

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Baby Heather

 

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Baby Pearl

 

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Baby Rose

 

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Baby Bethany

 

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Baby Laurel

 

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Baby Ruby

 

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Baby Ezra

 

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Baby Violet

 

“Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
Or ever You had formed the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”

Psalm 90:1-2

 

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Homemade Fruit Juice Gelatin

I enjoy making homemade gelatin, especially if my younger sisters help me.

~It’s a great activity for  busy children who want something to do

~It’s healthier than the store-bought commercial Jell-O mixes

~It has lots of protein in it

Homemade gelatin is fun and easy to make-and easy to devour! Ruby and Laurel always eat their gelatin faster than their pizza, even though pizza is one of their top 10 favorite foods. Laurel especially enjoys ladling the gelatin mixture into the jello mold or pan.

Here’s the recipe: (this fruit juice jello recipe makes a 9×13 cassorole pan about half full. I am using apple juice for this).

~2 cups fruit juice or lemonade (you can use any juice except for pineapple juice, as pineapple has an enzyme in it that prevents it from gelling unless boiled for a certain amount of time.)

~2 cups water

~2 Tablespoons dry, unsweetened beef gelatin powder (add 3-4 Tablespoons if you are using a gelatin mold. The less gelatin powder, the floppier the gelatin).

~INSTRUCTIONS~

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1. Pour the cool fruit juice into a bowl, and  then sprinkle the beef gelatin powder over the juice. Let soften for 3-5 minutes. Even if the package says that you don’t need to, you should. I have found it very helpful in keeping the gelatin smooth.

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2. Pour the water into a pot. Put the pot on the stovetop and bring the water to a boil.

3. When gelatin has softened, mix it into the juice thoroughly-so that it dissolves.

4. After the water has cooled for 1-2 minutes, mix the hot water and gelatin-juice together, and ladle the mixture into a 9×13 cassorole pan. img_1491

For fun variations, you can put it into a jello mold (or two), or clear glass cups, or, you can even put fruit into the gelatin if you’d like!

5. Let cool to room temperature (approx. 1 hour).

You may want to partially cover, if there is any danger of things falling into it.img_1498

(If you do it this way, you can’t shake it-or move it-because the cloth may fall in and soak up some of your jello.)

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6. When gelatin is cooled to room temperature, put it into the refrigerator until it’s ‘jelly’ (about 8 hours or overnight). Enjoy!

Be creative! Add fresh fruit! Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes! Think of unique ways of setting the jello!

Types of jello that we’ve made include: Peppermint tea flavor (what an interesting and yummy way to use tea!) Apple juice flavor, Apple juice flavor with banana slices set into it (It tasted like apple juice flavored jello with a hint of banana.) Orange juice flavor (It tastes best without pulp), and Lemonade flavor (that might sound a bit odd, but it did taste like lemonade! A good treat for hard workers on hot summer days.)

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22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Galatians 5:22-24

The Newest News

By Pearl

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Another sister was born last week! (Now there are eight sisters).

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She was Mom’s biggest at birth, weighing 8 pounds 5 ounces… but not the tallest. She was 19.5 inches long.

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If you were wondering, her name is Violet Abigail.

 

 

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Ooh! Daddy is talking to me!

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Ezra loves his little sister.

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Ruby, Ezra and Violet Abigail

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Laurel is taking a turn holding baby Violet Abigail.

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Big sisters and little sister.

 

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.

~Psalm 139:14 NKJV

 

…Then I made some baklava. Not quite birthday cake! But baklava is delicious. And probably more NUTritious.

 

Speaking of Good Gifts…

If you haven’t heard yet… we have another brother or sister on the way, due February!!!

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“For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.” Psalm 139:13-16

God’s Plans are Best

Our family was planning to go to Washington DC last month for the Bible Conference… we didn’t, though; God had other plans for us.

We’d already found someone to milk for us while we were away (that was huge!), but other arrangements weren’t being put in place so easily. The last straw was Grandma getting an infection; it seemed like the Lord was closing the doors for us to go to DC.

Yet… we had someone to milk, Mom had no clients due, and Dad had taken time off work.

So, after Grandma got over the infection (praise the Lord!), we decided to take her to the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum. On the way, we camped at a nice, quiet, privately-owned campground. God worked out the details, and we had very good trip… with Grandma!

Yes, God’s plans are best. It is easy to say that, but sometimes I struggle with the reality that things don’t always go my way. I have to remember that my Heavenly Father is in control, He knows what I need, He is enough for me – He is my portion. And He delights in giving His children good gifts!

Of course, this doesn’t mean that we will always understand why something is happening right now. I am comforted by these words from the hymn Be Still My Soul:

“Be still, my soul: the hour is hast’ning on
when we shall be forever with the Lord,
when disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past,
all now mysterious shall be bright at last.”

I don’t know why two young men in the prime of life drowned earlier this year, leaving their families grieving.

I don’t know why a much-anticipated baby – whose parents are eager to serve the Lord in a foreign country – was born with many complications.

I don’t know why God moved us here to this strange land. I don’t know why he allowed the pain and heartaches it has brought me.

There is so much I don’t understand, but I know that God knows what He is doing. And I hope in Him!

~~~

(Here are some pictures from our trip and recent life. The Scriptures don’t exactly go with the pics, but I included them because I love them)

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“Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” Psalm 56:8 KJV

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“Return, O my soul, to your rest;
    for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.” Psalm 116:7

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The campground we stayed at had some pretty cool play sets!

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“Oh that my ways may be steadfast
    in keeping your statutes!” Psalm 119:5 ESV

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“Incline my heart to your testimonies,
    and not to selfish gain!” Psalm 119:36 ESV

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Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.” Psalm 57:1 KJV

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“It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in man.” Psalm 118:8 ESV

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“Lord, you have been our dwelling place
    in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
    or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Psalm 90:1-2 ESV

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Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my salvation and my God.” Psalm 42:11

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“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
    for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
    my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
    pour out your heart before him;
    God is a refuge for us. Selah” Psalm 62:5-8

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This watermelon was 36 lbs… the biggest of the season here!

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Heather made cheddar 🙂

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Skye and I doing a lab on pH and Homeostasis (hands-on experience for my Anatomy & Physiology class)

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“Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
    the wormwood and the gall!
 My soul continually remembers it
    and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
    and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
    “therefore I will hope in him.”” Lamentations 3:19-24

 

 

Happy Summer!

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Finishing our milking parlor, with lots of hands to help! 🙂

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Skye’s heifer, Fern, had a darling little calf at the end of May…

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It was a heifer (yay!), and Skye named her Matilda – which means “mighty in battle”; a fitting name for her since she can be stubborn while being halter-trained. You should have seen Ruby tugging on the lead rope and saying, “Come on, Matiladuh! Come on!” 🙂

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The almost-finished interior of our milking parlor. It is so much easier to keep clean – we are so thankful!

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The garden has grown quite well; we are overflowing with lettuce. Yesterday, though, a storm blew in and knocked over the corn and sunflowers.