Another picture-based post

~~By Pearl~~                                                                                                    ~~April 6th, 2019~~

I guess I’ll begin where I left off on my last post.

1. Sunrise, Heather’s kitty, with her firstborn right after it was born-March 28th.

2. Sunrise had 6 kittens. 3 white-with-light-gray splotches on them; 1 orange tabby; 1 black-and-white and 1 calico!

3. The view from a branch on the mulberry tree.

4. We saw 3 of these butterflies!

5. A snapping turtle resting at the edge of the pond.

6. A bullfrog (just chillin’) in the pond.

7. Some tiny little ferns peeking out!

8. Looking over a mossy rock.

9. The grass is growing up nicely in the big pasture. A dandelion decided to peek up in this particular spot!

10. Some little flowers are blooming…

11. This picture was taken in our front yard.

12. Another flowery spot in the front yard.

13. & 14. We have lots of hyacinths right now. Blue, purple, pink…

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15. Here’s the last picture. The daffodils around my young peach tree are about to burst into bloom! I just planted the tree last year and it has 3 or 4 little pink flowers on it….

~~~

Psalm 107 NKJV

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,
And gathered out of the lands,
From the east and from the west,
From the north and from the south.
They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way;
They found no city to dwell in.
Hungry and thirsty,
Their soul fainted in them.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He delivered them out of their distresses.
And He led them forth by the right way,
That they might go to a city for a dwelling place.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
For He satisfies the longing soul,
And fills the hungry soul with goodness.
Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
Bound in affliction and irons—
Because they rebelled against the words of God,
And despised the counsel of the Most High,
Therefore He brought down their heart with labor;
They fell down, and there was none to help.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
And broke their chains in pieces.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
For He has broken the gates of bronze,
And cut the bars of iron in two.
Fools, because of their transgression,
And because of their iniquities, were afflicted.
Their soul abhorred all manner of food,
And they drew near to the gates of death.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses.
He sent His word and healed them,
And delivered them from their destructions.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving,
And declare His works with rejoicing.
Those who go down to the sea in ships,
Who do business on great waters,
They see the works of the Lord,
And His wonders in the deep.
For He commands and raises the stormy wind,
Which lifts up the waves of the sea.
They mount up to the heavens,
They go down again to the depths;
Their soul melts because of trouble.
They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man,
And are at their wits’ end.
Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He brings them out of their distresses.
He calms the storm,
So that its waves are still.
Then they are glad because they are quiet;
So He guides them to their desired haven.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people,
And praise Him in the company of the elders.
He turns rivers into a wilderness,
And the watersprings into dry ground;
A fruitful land into barrenness,
For the wickedness of those who dwell in it.
He turns a wilderness into pools of water,
And dry land into watersprings.
There He makes the hungry dwell,
That they may establish a city for a dwelling place,
And sow fields and plant vineyards,
That they may yield a fruitful harvest.
He also blesses them, and they multiply greatly;
And He does not let their cattle decrease.
When they are diminished and brought low
Through oppression, affliction, and sorrow,
He pours contempt on princes,
And causes them to wander in the wilderness where there is no way;
Yet He sets the poor on high, far from affliction,
And makes their families like a flock.
The righteous see it and rejoice,
And all iniquity stops its mouth.
Whoever is wise will observe these things, And they will understand the lovingkindness of the Lord.

~~~

Post-script: I took all the photos on here except the first one of Sunrise. I’m (trying to) teach myself some good photography techniques. My favorite is probably the 6th. You can give me some tips on getting better pictures.

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Some notes on things of late…

By Pearl

I guess I’ll do this post with the oldest pics first so that it’s in the ‘proper’ order.

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For a starter, the washing machine broke in early/mid November, so we did our laundry in the big bathtub for a few days!

It wasn’t long until the new switch mechanism that Daddy had ordered arrived! Then we replaced the old, broken one with the new one. That was pretty easy.

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In late December, we butchered our Red Angus/Jersey steer. Let’s just say that bottle-raised steers are generally not very respectful of people! He was pretty tasty, though.

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Jumping for joy??? (Look out the window at the nice sunset!)

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We even ate our New Years’ house… Yum! Not gingerbread, it’s graham crackers, candy, peanuts and homemade chocolate.

Mommy got me a beautiful bouquet of roses and baby’s breath for my birthday.

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Daddy and Ezra fell asleep together on the couch!

Daddy attempting to  ‘play’ the piano. Lots of laughter ensued…

Some good photos of the sky this winter. The last photo is- You guessed it! Baby Violet.

Last week we went to the  Branson area and our first stop was the Creation Experience Museum.

Ruby and Ezra rode Mr. Dinosaur, but Laurel just stood next to him.

The picture of the fossil: A human foot and a dinosaur foot together.

Heather held a Giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. Ruby pet it… gingerly, of course! I pet it, too.

 

Then we went to the College of the Ozarks, ate lunch and toured the place.

Checking out the waterwheel at the College of the Ozarks.

And the waterfowl, too! That particular swan (the cob) gave us quite a show-just to make sure everyone knew that he was THE king!

Looking at the flowers in the hothouse at the College of the Ozarks.

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These Holstein calves were siamese twins. They were preserved. The glass case is very clean and shiny, so the picture was kind of whited out. This is in the Tractor/Farm Implement museum, also at the College of the Ozarks.

Ezra looking at the neat tractors in the museum.

Ruby and Ezra… at the tractor museum!

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At the college grounds.

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I don’t think I mentioned it yet, but this college has its own dairy. They milk 40-60 cows daily, generally.

Ruby is checking out the calves in the barn. There were 6 or 7 calves; Holstein, Jersey and an Ayrshire. The Ayrshire had just been born 2 hours before we viewed the calf barn.

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Lookout point, overlooking the White River. It’s a LONG way down!

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Don’t jump of the cliff!

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Towards evening, we went to Table Rock Lake, ate a delicious dinner (homemade pizza) and waded in the water. We discovered some neat fossils, too.

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There was mostly pebbles on the ‘beach,’ but we (more precisely, Ruby and I) found lots of tiny shells

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Yesterday we did yard work and I made some ‘bath bombs’ among other things.

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Rose’s cat had some kittens on Tuesday; there are 2 or 3 muted calicos, 1 bright calico and 1 muted tabby with a light orange-ish splotch on its head.

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Someone left their coat outside on the porch, so Daddy’s cat possessed himself a bed!

A sneak peek note: Heather’s kitty, Sunrise, is having her kittens right now!

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Psalm 5

Give ear to my words, O Lord,
Consider my meditation.
Give heed to the voice of my cry,
My King and my God,
For to You I will pray.
My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.

For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness,
Nor shall evil dwell with You.
The boastful shall not stand in Your sight;
You hate all workers of iniquity.
You shall destroy those who speak falsehood;
The Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;
In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.
Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies;
Make Your way straight before my face.

For there is no faithfulness in their mouth;
Their inward part is destruction;
Their throat is an open tomb;
They flatter with their tongue.
Pronounce them guilty, O God!
Let them fall by their own counsels;
Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions,
For they have rebelled against You.

But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name
Be joyful in You.
For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

 

Pointers on Life Preparation

I wanted to write out some thoughts I have for young women preparing for life. Really, I probably need to hear these things more than anyone else. But, I could use the practice communicating, and I do pray that what is shared will be a blessing to some of my sisters in Christ. Young adulthood is an exciting time of our life, but it is so easy to get distracted and lose our focus on what is most important. I do it all the time, and must constantly be brought back to reality by God’s Truth. Here are a few important reminders from Scripture.

1. Seek God

This is to be done with sincerity; with all your heart. I notice in Scripture that seeking God is often paralleled with righteousness and obedience to His laws. In order to rightly do this, we have to be in the Word.

“”Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” – John 15:4-6

“Blessed are those who keep His testimonies,
Who seek Him with the whole heart!” – Psalm 119:2

When young King Josiah began to seek God, it is noted how he purged the land of idols (2 Chronicles 34:3-7). In the same way, it is important to purge our hearts of idols and the desire to seek our own life or fame – anything that gets in the way of seeking the One True God and His Kingdom and righteousness.

2. Honor your Father and Mother

The disobedience of this command must be one of our nation’s greatest sins. Yet the promise accompanying it is “that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12). I have found that asking my parents’ advice has been invaluable as I get older and need to make decisions with what I will and will not pursue. None of us have perfect parents, but the command to honor is still as important as ever. And we know that God does not make mistakes with who He gives as our parents. We would do well to heed our Lord’s words in Matthew 15:3-9:

“Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”—  then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:

‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

3. Look to the Needs Around You

Humility is a must. Often, in our sub-consciously selfish desire to ‘do great things’, we miss out on opportunities right in front of us. Yet, in Jesus’ words, “…whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.” (Mark 10:43). Luke 16:10 is another passage to keep in mind:

“He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much…”

In the classic example of the Proverbs 31 woman, we see a capable wife who “watches over the ways of her household, “does not eat the bread of idleness”, “reaches out her hands to the needy“, and is also busy with productive economic efforts.

I am instructed by Romans 12, as well.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

4. Arm Yourself

 

Are you filling your mind with things that will equip you to stand against evil? Do you know where to get Truth? Are you ready to defend the faith? To share the Good News? It is imperative we get serious about the spiritual battle we live in in our culture.

 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— “  (Ephesians 6:10-18)

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

 

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