You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Psalm 23: 5-6 NKJV

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Lodge is finished........ (phew!)

It has taken 2 1/2 years to get everything moved to the Lodge from the Lake and home. And then to sort through it. We donated once after leaving the Lake. After getting here we could see we needed to donate more. Some things wouldn't work here. Like knick knack shelves.

We have no cupboards. So I had Tom put these 2 shelves up for me. All plates, bowls, cups organized! The Teens love it. No more digging through the huge wire shelf they were on before.

We kept the bare minimum of decorations, some from the old 5th wheel, the bunk house, and big garage at the Lake.  It took forever to decide where they should go! The Lodge has no "rooms" only 4 walls. It really limits decorating! You need every inch for daily things first.

I'm the only one taking pictures. And I take so few. The kids have all scattered in 50 directions! By the time I can get a photo they are in bed! LOL! And the Teens are always busy!

This little bug hates her picture taken, but she was following me everywhere. So I told her great! I'm taking your picture! ;o) (Yeah............she didn't care! I took 4!)
This was after I stood on the couch to pound a nail and she plopped next to me on the couch with such force I nearly bounced off!! LOL!!
(Her leotard stops undressing when we are too busy to keep an eye on her! (she's fast) She uses every opportunity! ;o)

This is the big wire "kitchen" shelf. It is wire shelving, 30" x 48" wide. I was going to put this shelving in front of the window. And then adjust the shelves around the window using one middle shelf as counter space. But it blocks the window too much. Bottom/floor of the shelving has 25 pound buckets of oat flour, rice, oatmeal etc. The top shelf has large 18 qt cookers, crockpots, griddles. The two middle shelves have baking things, a few pans, trays, extra kiddo bowls, ice cream maker.

The moose table in front is to set things on, underneath in the crate are the boys AFOs.

This was the best shot I could get of the whole kitchen. :o) A mish mash of furniture that just WORKS!! LOL!! (a white folding sewing table for the counter, 2 kitchen carts, a night stand, wire shelving, entry table)

This is my Paternal Grandma's Curio from the early 70s. It is PLASTIC!! LOL!! Yes they had plastic furniture that looked like wood back then! Little did I know! It has sat in my living room, in my house for 40 years. But my living room is quite small. So, knowing we would not have a knick knack shelf anywhere up here, I sent this up. At home we needed more space for growing boys in the living room!
(the white door on the left goes into the garage)

The night stand is now used for kitchen linens. The crate (I painted) underneath holds kitchen towels.
 On top is our ice maker. :o) We are addicted to crushed ice.

 My collection of about 12, Moose Creek Crossing figurines are now in the Curio. (from the 90s) They have been quite chipped and broken by the last group of kids since I had no nice spot like this for them. But I still love them! Moose Creek Crossing made a Camp Uffda sign for the collection. So I knew when we bought these 19.25 acres in 1998, I'd call it Camp Uffda. Because it needed so much work. (house, chicken coop, garage, horse stansion, pig stall, garbage piles with appliances and half a car)
Tom called it "the Ranch" because he mowed it. Now with everything cleaned up and completed we call it the Lodge. (we say "the Large Lodge", using a British accent of not pronouncing the "r" in large- LOL!)

 My Maternal Grandfather's wood carvings. He was my Mom's step Dad, but he was the only Grandpa I had. I loved him, and in his silly cold Norwegian way he loved me too. When my Mom's sister died (and when my mom dies) they did/do not include him in their obituary. Its like he was never a part of us. Instead they include their abusive alcoholic father who my Grandma left after losing her 3rd baby, fearing for her life. They even put Grandma's last name as from their birth father, when she died after being married to my step Grandpa almost 50 years.

My obituary will list this man as my Grandfather. He parented my mom 10 years and my Paternal Grandfather was not alive. He was all I had for a Grandpa. God truly gifted me with him in my life.
(sorry, I'm an adoptive mom, "real" family members are an issue with me. I am real)

I saved a box of Grandpa's wood carvings. (He died in 1990) There was not one that reminded me of him! LOL! He carved gnomes and a few Norwegian folk lore figures of men. But that's not "him". He also carved a lot of beautiful things, jewelry etc and sold it. I mostly got his cast offs. (My cousins and Aunt took some too.)
In the box today I was delighted to find - ME!!! and my best friend the Barred Owl I hoot to just about every night up here!
Oh I was over-joyed! It was a last gift from Grandpa! Don't I look lovely? I'm an old Norwegian woman ;o) (And I really am 1/4 Norwegian/Finnish) These are priceless!

These things truly are God's Gifts. As He created us, and planned even the minutest bits of our lives. I weep with UNCONTAINABLE JOY!! God used Grandpa to brighten my day. Grandpa had no idea! Well he does now!

Thank You for stopping by and sharing our JOY! (((HUGS))) and prayers!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Man down

We are back in the woods.
The week before we got here I had been sick.
Eight years ago I had surgery to help a problem. Eight years later its back. To top it off I'm now allergic to the 2 super-biotics I took for years to stop the infections. 
I was hoping here in the woods I'd feel better and I did a few days.
Until it stopped me in my tracks. I nearly ended up in the hospital. By the Grace of God alone and my 4 super heroes I made it through.
I just don't want another surgery, I had a code blue after the last one. I hate surgery.

                                                     Kitty working on her Etymology.

 Lysa loves her sleeping arrangement here. The kids can bring more things up without worry about where are we going to put it!
All 4 are doing Etymology up here and switch off to Math at home. Sweet Lysa helped correct books for her siblings while I was sick.

Faith, always ready to help with the animals when I'm sick. Those are butterfly lights on the ceiling, from their sister Molly who passed away.

This year they are 15 and 16. So grown up!

 No pictures of sweet Isaiah. He took the pictures I'm posting. He wanted to show his burning "barrel". We don't have campfires in the woods like we did at the lake. We do burn every other evening papers from the trash. That's his job. A campfire in the woods is more dangerous. We don't have the time to maintain it. We have our small "kettle" we throw a bit of wood in once in a while.

                                   Lysa has started mowing. She loves it. She's very good at it too!

We had rain for 3 days. One day Lysa started mowing and the skies opened and just poured on her!
This day it didn't rain!

They need to learn the upkeep for when this property is theirs. :o) Lysa said if she inherits the house she'll never sell it. :o) I think she should sell it. But I don't think they should sell the Lodge. :o)

((((HUGS))) to all, thanx for visiting! God Bless!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Two weeks in the woods

Tom had neglected his mowing duties when we arrived and did not tell me until 3 days before we came!!! :o(

The oldest (now adult) children (now 41, 41, 38, 36) told me that going up north was a labor camp. They did not like all the up keep/work. They thought it would be all fun.

                               Above is my newest teenager making his mamma happy! Mowing!
                         The 4 teens at home now are very hard workers and they never complain.

When I was three my dad purchased a Lot on a Lake ten miles from here. First he built a very small bunk house. Then we worked the land and he built a cabin. All 15 years I was up there as a child I worked hard. I was the oldest. I helped with everything- putting the dock in, hauling things, clean up, building. Every weekend we went up, Dad's and my feet hit the ground running. We even went up in the Winter. As hard as it was, it was good hard.

So when Tom and I bought a lake lot 27 years ago, I knew what it involved. Tom not so much and the oldest teens had no idea. I loved it! I loved all the work. Tom doesn't build so I became our contractor. :o) I did as much as I knew how. We never had a cabin, only a bunk house. But it was more than enough.

                                                                  What a guy! :o)
                                                 Now Lysa wants to help Zay and Tom mow too!
All these years later, we are no longer on the lake, but in the woods.
This June Isaiah arrived here 13 years old. He was super excited about finally having teen age chores! Like mowing.
He's very responsible with tools. He asks multiple questions before starting a job if its new to him. He thinks of things to help that I'd never ask Tom because Tom would say no. Right now he is using the shop vac to vacuum the garage. I didn't even ask him because I was so busy myself I hadn't thought of it yet. :o)
So Zay and I now hit the ground running when we arrive here. I see so much of myself in him.
                                                                   (above) Much better!
Of course the teen girls are huge helps too. Just not as excited about it, and need more breaks! ;o)

                    I used to help mow with a push mower. This was too long for my push mower.

                           We had a lot of rain while here. But not the monsoons like we had last Fall. :o)
     We still get a lot done in the rain and between rain showers. We save inside work for rainy days.

                                                       Isaiah caught a double rainbow!

Isaiah mowing again.  Its about 3 acres that we mow. 
I was in the trailer at the table sewing when I took this.

                                      Faith checking everything out after the mowing.
                           Isaiah also used the new small battery powered chain saw to trim branches.

                                                                Rain clouds coming.

                                                    The sky is extra beautiful up here.

A Red squirrel. We have seen 2 this year. They are staying well away from us after we killed the ones living in the 5th wheel.

                               Isaiah loves photographing interesting things in the landscape.

                            A caterpillar that they found. Only problem was it bites!!

                                         We couldn't find what kind it was. Does anyone know?

                                                   Kitty eating the natural produce. (clover)

                                          Rays of sunlight coming through rain clouds.
I love how thick the forest is up here. You can clear land, here but leave it jut one summer and it begins growing back quickly. Its amazing how it thrives!
To the left the bare trees are the neighbors on his newly "flooded" for ducks land.


I told Isaiah to take a few pictures of the Phoebe nesting under the trailer. He couldn't find them so he took a picture of the Robin nesting in the pines!

We had a HUGE Tom Turkey in the yard one afternoon. I sent Faith to sneak behind and follow it. she said he was with a female Turkey. Maybe they were going to nest? We hear them every morning. In the evening we see the white Swans and Loons flying over. They go from Lake to pond to river. So much wild life here. I told Zay to write down what we'd seen. He forgot. ;o)

One afternoon I saw a turtle running through the yard. Isaiah studied her for the day. Then let her go where we found her. When we let her go she sat under the trailers a few days and left. We'll watch for maybe? babies!

This is our "living" room in the Lodge.
SP says that she is not going home! ;o) We'll be back before she knows it! Since this picture I shaved the boys heads. I usually do that in May, we were late this year. I trim their hair as long as possible because they won't sit for hair cuts. Only Moses fights having his hair touched by anyone. The other 4 don't mind the hair shaving, and tolerate the trims. This year Julius actually sat so nice I may be able to give him a hair cut instead of shaving his head.

Tonight we put things away. In the morning after breakfast we go home.

Thank You for stopping by to share our JOY! (((HUG))) :o)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Our Lord takes care of EVERYTHING!

                                                   (above this half of the kitchen- done!)

There are days when I am in complete AWE! of EVERYTHING God does for me! Every single thing He does for me..............for us..........for every living breathing person. ALWAYS, CONSTANT! CONTINUAL care of us! Never ceasing nor forsaking!

He even GIFTS us the things we didn't even know we needed!

When we sorted through our 25 years of accumulations at the Lake. Things that were given to me from my mom, old things from home. We had to donate a lot of things in order to be able to move to the woods. We were moving to a bigger space, but we needed less.

We weren't even sure what we needed. Silly us, God knew.

(above behind the screen the commode- our bathroom for SP so she doesn't have to walk to the outhouse)

I trusted God would guide us. But He did more than guide us. He delighted our hearts by answering prayers, and showing us we are not doing this alone. He answered prayers not even prayed yet.

I was over thinking things hoping for the best. Forgetting to turn to Him at every concern. Even though I know that He is always here. My human heart is fickle. When difficulties come, how easily I forget.

Now I REJOICE ALL DAY LONG. Shake my head with AWE and wonder. Lord, really? You never cease taking time for my little needs? You took time for my little tiny needs? When my mind is in tune with Him as it should be, I can see where God was thinking of and caring for so many of my needs years before they were needed! OH! To be so LOVED by Him!
And He LOVES us ALL this deeply.

(to the left commode "room", ahead 2 very old falling apart dressers (one was my sisters as a kid, she's 57!) hold odds and ends. TV from 5th wheel on an old microwave cart. Two TVs and a DVD player died this week! SP must have TV. ;o) We will need to get her a back up TV when we get home.)

So often I find it's not big things He shows me I need. He is so often answering my constant little prayers in BIG ways!!

Truthfully these last 5 years we've waited on so many big prayers to be answered the way we expected or hoped. But He answered them in ways we do not understand. We accept His Wisdom is Greater than ours. We know He is answering His way and doing exactly what is best.

Its the hundreds of little things He does for me every day; that leaves me breathless with AWE at the end of the day. As my faith grows stronger, I can "see" Him moving in our lives more clearly. It's fascinating and it's a GIFT. I have been a Christian for 38 years.

 (My newly made by me curtains. :o) The sun was so bright even with the shade down- hard to see them. Samson in front of my Grandma's curio from the 70's made of plastic- cool huh! It was in my living room 40 years. Kitchen prep area a work in progress!)

We have had 2 amazing weeks of JOY up here. Two weeks worshiping Him and forgetting about the joy stealers that plagued us as we drove up here two weeks ago . We will go home and return to these challenges refreshed in His LOVE. I know it's still a battle, as satan never rests. And for whatever reason we suffer, I am holding on to His Hand with renewed HOPE and JOY. GOD IS ALWAYS WITH ME! ;o) PRAISE God!

                                           These little faces say it all. JOY!! OUR JOY!!
                                           UNCONTAINABLE JOY IN THE LORD!!

I wrote this to encourage anyone needing strength/faith. One thing I have learned well over the years is that we ALL need encouragement to build our faith/strength. I have received the gift of encouragement from so many. I feel the need to pass it on. (((HUGS))) God is Good!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Beyond busy!

 The little boys and Mercy eat at the table in front of the french doors. As we make dinner several boys jump on the couch to watch and wait! :o)
This was taken after dinner. So boys were headed outside.
We are putting shelves over the couch for dishes.

 I took pictures of our sorting progress half way through. I should have taken them after! duh!

Above Violet is contained at night so she can't get into trouble. She keeps everyone awake leaping from bed to bed. She makes a mess of her litter boxes no matter where they are. ugh! How can one 8 lb cat make so much mess?

 Last night I cut out the curtain fabric. It got so hot cooking in the trailer today that I couldn't sew. I'll do it tomorrow. I found the Barred Owl picture super cheap at Ho*me D*e*pot. The other 2 pictures are "little boy" drawings by an artist I liked. Everything must be hung high enough that little hands don't knock them down!

Tomorrow the teens will wash the appliances. They are filthy on the outside from construction.
The big brown box holds super sized building blocks for the boys.

 My kitchen area has a long way to go. I need a counter, and a few cupboards under the counter top.
SP is sitting to the left waiting for coffee!

 The craft/teen table with the purple tablecloth. The teens can sit there as the boys eat. We love how we can always see where they are. And they love running around!

A new table tent. Its supposed to be a "camper". It was from o*rie*ntal trdng. I'm not thrilled with it. Julius and Moses like it. I guess that's what matters.

 My kitchen window view- including the big blue well outside. :o(

This picture hangs over Isaiah's bunk. It reminds me of him. I loved the artists drawings of little boys.

More sorting, sewing and cleaning tomorrow. We thank God for all the room we have here to get it done! Last year with the construction we were so squished into certain areas and it was hard for us all.
What a difference a year makes.

Next year Isaiah and I are going to set up a wood shop area in the garage! Tom doesn't like working with wood. I've always wanted to- and Isaiah wants to learn too!
Lysa has decided she wants to work on the lawn- mowing and weed whacking!
They are so much help! And they get along amazingly. We have so many fun memories!
Praise God!