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

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!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

It's our favorite time of year!!

 Yes!! We are back in the woods. We will be here off and on until Fall. Last year we stayed 7 weeks straight. That is our favorite way to stay. But SP has her own ideas. :o)

We had to ask SP's approval. (We are thankful every day, now 28 years, to have her live with us.
We have possible new people moving into our home in the Fall.)
Until the new people come, we only need SP's approval for this summers travels. :o)
(The Federal Government Waiver says we must call former Group Home Clients- 245D Persons. OY!)

So here it is week 1 and we have done a ton of settling in in only 3 days! (I am sore ;o) Putting all things we need away. Setting 4 sets of bunk beds up. Tables set up. Every piece of furniture in place. We are only missing kitchen cabinets.
Pictured above is the back bedroom in the large trailer, where the children slept last year. It is now used for sewing, crafting and cooking meals. Crafting/sewing for me and the teens. :o)

 More food buckets. Dried foods stores best up here. Canned foods must return home at the end of the year. These buckets can stay. We have potato flakes, oatmeal, groats, corn meal, oat flour, peppers, tomatoes, powdered tomatoes, split peas, rice, navy beans etc!!! YUM!

 Tom neglected his mowing duties. :o(  The canopy is for dogs to stay dry going potty :o)

You can see the new siding on the Lodge. It was put up over the old cheap weather worn 17 year old siding. We'll paint the new siding barn red next year. Now our general maintenance here starts. We need gutters where a garage door leaks. We need new Electric outlets for a few that mysteriously died?? ugh! Hopefully next year we can afford a new tin roof that will last a life time. (longer than shingles)
The teens will inherit this place. We don't want it high maintenance for them. :o)

Really needs mowing.
Here are the summer flowers on the raspberry bushes that will be yummy raspberries soon! The hummingbirds are loving these.

 Oh my- no sitting around the fire until he mows! (Zay took all outdoor photos)

 New laundry tubs (Left) for my new non-electric hand wringer washer! New "front" french doors with blinds between the glass! Tom needs to get the screen up.

 The wild life here is incredible compared to the lake (only 8 miles away) where we used to be. We have swans flying over us between Lows Lake a mile away and a large pond behind us.
We always (even at the lake) have Phoebes nesting under the trailer. They are fun to watch and nest twice!

                                                    The back side of the Lodge, unmowed.

 So many beautiful Butterflies this time of year. At night lighting bugs everywhere. Last night the Great horned Owl chased the Barred owls away!

 Zay like me loves the "weeds" that grow around here. These stickers will be mowed down soon. It rained so much we couldn't mow right away.

 Lysa's fascination the road! The neighbors across the road flooded their woods for ducks. They run a hunting service. So a lot of his trees died, not so pretty now. On our side of the road it is naturally flooded and full of Tamaracks and pussy willows.

 Left side of the road the neighbors (flooded). The right side is our land, it goes a bit past the sign way down there.
It's 1,100 ft wide and 660' deep. This road direction leads home.

This road direction leads further north. Our land goes a few hundred feet past the electric pole.

I have a new blog
It's not spelled correctly in the link because the correct spelling was taken. :o)
If you click on MA's picture at the top of that blog, it takes you back to The Road Down Home blog.
I've been a frustrated artist for many years. Life is short- time to create!
It helps me Praise Him with the work of my simple hands.

(((HUGS))) and prayers to ALL!