An attempt to declare the Glory of God for what He has chosen to do with our lives. A legacy to leave to my children in the telling of it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Books

Bear with me~ Blogger is being a bugger and won't let me into the template to change this crazy background of books. It can't be me and my technically challenged computer savvy-ness, I'm sure:)) I registered my complaint/request to the required parties and hope to be able to figure it out soon, after I tackle the laundry pile, make a few meals, and finish a couple of projects that are high on the list before the sunshine is gone.

While I'm working on that, check out this beautiful blog that so eloquently states what I only wish I could have said:

Follow up~ the book background is gone, the fancy header I stayed up way too late to create only comes up blurry, still can't get into the template changing thingy to even make the font bigger, and the laundry isn't caught up either.... eventually I'll get back to finish up here.

The Worth of Enduring

“It is worth it to endure all things for the sake of hearing the gospel.”

When I heard the words spoken out loud my soul resonated them as truth. And not only hearing the gospel, but knowing the gospel: The good news of a Savior who died for His elect, an atoning sacrifice before a Holy God, Jesus' precious blood poured out to cover disgusting sins that He never committed, all to reveal greater the glory of our Creator.

A few days later, after grappling continually with grief, those words came back to my tired mind again as I lay in bed wafting between living victoriously in the promises of Christ, or wallowing in pitiful sorrow for another day.

There are times when the rising of strength can almost be measured when the Word of God is remembered. Twenty months after Trent's accident, I have easily assigned heaven and being in the presence of God's glory as second choice to having my son here. It has become harder to conjure up the excitement of what he must be experiencing due to my own pain in what I am experiencing. I have forgotten the worth of the gospel. I have allowed my thoughts, like Eve did (Genesis 3), to rule.

But, if “it is worth it to endure all things for the sake of {knowing} the gospel,” then what a privilege it is to wake up every single day to knowing that my son will not be opening my bedroom door to come in and snuggle. What a privilege to cry every tear. What a privilege to want to battle with my heart for God's truth. Every day, every moment nearly, deciding who will reign.

I sometimes tend to think that I deserve better from my King. I have been spoon fed the same lie that most of us have been told: that the children of God won't/shouldn't suffer, that only what is seen should be considered, that eternity may not be such a long time, that God's glory may not be so glorious or His holy standards so holy. But had I read without my own version of interpreting the Scripture, I would hold unswervingly to embracing and enduring pain, knowing that every infinitesimal detail was from the hand of a Sovereign God; all for His glory, and somehow my joy (Romans 5:1-5). My heart would wholly be as the Samaritan woman's heart, who took even insult from her Savior, and saw the worth of begging for the crumbs, as a dog, in order to know Him (Matthew 15:22-28).

Jesus didn't tend to plead with people to know Him, He actually seemed to do the opposite (John 6:53-38). He warned people to count the cost before even considering following Him (Luke 14:25-35). He warned about the crosses to come; the crosses that would prove our allegiance (Luke 9:23-24). The Kingdom is not free for the taking, it is a Kingdom to be conquered, and it starts in our hearts. Our wicked, deceitful hearts that long for their own way rather than those of God (Jeremiah 17:9). Our hearts that demand our own comfort rather than discipline and submission, our hearts that trade truth as found in God's Word for pride, for ease, for what's on sale at WalMart.

So I sell my fields, as it were, for the greater treasure (Matthew 13:44). I lay aside my longings for my son, for God's Son. As Paul says, I count everything as loss for the sake of knowing Jesus (Philippians 3:7-11). If pain reveals my heart, and pride shows that sin really hasn't been done away with no matter how hard I try to cover it up, and shame puts me back on my knees, and my short temper causes regrets, and my un-gracefilled life finds me begging again for salvation as found only through Jesus, then it is worth it to endure all things for the sake of knowing the gospel. I continue to put myself where the gospel can be heard, enduring the temporal cost, for the eternal value.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


What started out as a curious experiment has morphed into a small business which could easily reign more of my limited time if I could decide if I really want to be in the soapin' business or not. Three years ago, in an attempt to prove to Rob that those goats really could do more for the farm bank account than just sucking it dry by eating so much hay, I attempted to make my first batch of goat's milk soap.

Although the bars were far inferior to the current ones I've been creating, I was still ecstatic when I saw my creation. When a friend saw the soaps, he became ecstatic for me and foresaw a future to fulfill dreams that I never knew I always had. And after using the goat's milk soap during that first cold, Wisconsin winter the whole family was convinced that we would be goat farmers from here on out.

I continued to play around with different recipes, different additives, scents and colors all the while trying to find new guinea pigs to try them out on. As I am better at giving things away than selling them, many friends and family politely accepted these gifts and humoured me with their appreciation.

Since sales are not my forte, the brilliant idea came one day to attempt teaching a soap making class. As hard as it is to exchange four dollar bills for a bar of sudsy gold, I can easily lead close to a dozen individuals in mixing potential lye volcanoes. The response from our little community overwhelmed me! Alexis became my right hand assistant, and then people actually started asking me if they could buy soap. And then Trent died. And grief has taken over every facet of life for twenty months.

But people still kept asking about soap. So in an attempt to keep living while I'm here, I continued the soaping. Requests came in to host another class through the local community education program at the high school last fall, and private requests have kept me busy throughout this previous summer and fall again, so much so that I have had to turn some people down until spring because *someone* didn't freeze enough milk. Many of the ladies who have taken classes have thrilled my soul by telling  me of their continued soap making.

And then we were asked to host a booth at a local Women's Expo, and nearly sold out of our soaps and laundry detergent, which has us excited about some Christmas craft sales that we hope to be able to attend as well this winter. So, until I decide if I am going to have a soap business or not, I guess I have a soap business.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Playing at the Pond

The kids went out to play at the pond the other day, only to discover that there was no pond.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Copycat Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

Yum! Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum! When Cole's turn came to bring treats to confirmation the only thing he wanted me to make was Copycat Krispy Kreme doughnuts. A few hungry boys, a few dozen doughnuts, and requests for the recipe have proven again that these are delicious.

Copycat Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
4 1/2 tsp. of yeast
1/4 cup water (105-115 degrees)
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk (scalded then cooled)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup shortening
5 cups all purpose flour
canola oil for frying
1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in 2 1/2 quart bowl.
2. Add milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening and 2 cups flour.
3. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly.
4. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
5. Stir in remaining flour until smooth.
6. Cover and let rise until double, 50-60 minutes.

7. Dough is ready when indentation remains when touched. Turn dough onto floured surface; roll around lightly to coat with flour.

8. Gently roll dough 1/2" thick with floured rolling pin.
9. Cut with floured doughnut cutter.
10. Cover and let rise until double, 30-40 minutes.

11. Heat oil in deep fryer to 350 degrees.
12. Slide doughnuts into hot oil with wide spatula.
13. Turn doughnuts as they rise to the surface.
14. Fry until golden brown, about 1 minute on each side.
15. Remove carefully from oil (do not prick surface); drain.

16. Dip the doughnuts into creamy glaze and set on a rack, then when slightly cooled, spread chocolate frosting on top (if desired).
17. Dip in sprinkles or other toppings after chocolate (if desired).
Creamy Glaze:
1/3 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4-6 Tablespoons hot water

Heat butter until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Stir in water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency.
Chocolate frosting:
1/3 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4-6 Tablespoons hot water
4 ounces milk chocolate chip or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat butter and chocolate over low heat until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Stir in water 1 Tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency.

This just might become an addicting habit.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

This Old House

Six years ago we had a dream: a dream to live off the land on a sustainable farm. So we bought an old, rundown farmstead and forged ahead, rose colored glasses and all. When the furnace started shooting out flames and the sewer, then the water pump amongst other major necessities, went out in the first year it was rather exciting to fix up the old place. Umpteen projects later, and the list only seems to be getting longer. We now have another dream: a dream to make the mortgage payments before something else breaks or all those sustainable farm animals run out of feed.
The latest project to rise to the top of the list was the girls' bedroom. We have successfully transformed most of the interior of the house into more modern accommodations, replacing the cool shag carpeting and deer paneling theme that the previous owners had worked so hard to achieve, by painting and wallpapering. But over the past couple of years the old lathe and plaster started to crack in one corner of the bedroom and then, soon after, it began falling onto unsuspecting victims in the middle of the night as they slept peacefully. The bed was eventually moved in an attempt to put off having to start yet another project until we could finish some of the current ones.
The plan was to remove the one section of lathe and plaster that was cracking with a piece of sheet rock and then texture it to match the rest of the room. But then there were complaints about the rough texture of the old walls, so Rob consented to scraping them all if the girls helped. Which led to exposing more cracks, which led to tearing off all of the old lathe and plaster, which led to an infestation of bees and multiple stings as two huge hives were discovered inside the walls, which led to discovering next-to-no insulation, and the need for new wiring, new insulation, and new sheet rock, which led to finishing the needed sheet rock work in the hallway and stairwell as long as we were going to have a big mess, which led to me working all the extra hours I got called in for to help pay for it.
The poor girls are still sleeping in the spare room, patiently waiting for a permanent place to hang their clothes rather than stacking them on the school shelves. Those images of vintage farmhouse bedrooms are still floating through their dreams as they wait for Rob to have the time to get back to working on their walls, but at least they're not interrupted by falling plaster.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Never Ending Post

The privelege of sitting down to actually finish a blog post just doesn't seem to make the top of the priority list these days. I have been trying to complete this one for a week now, besides the umpteen posts that I have swirling around in my brain. Life has consumed us with school, soap stuff, farm stuff and kid stuff.

The weather has been nice enough to sit out on the covered porch of the chicken coop and enjoy my coffee and Bible in the mornings this week. I can't say that it's a very serene place, as the goats refuse to be quiet once they see any living soul and insist on being fed, the poor starving critters. The chickens, too, won't leave you alone as they wander around scratching for goodies. And then there are the barn cats who think my only purpose in life is to pet them. But I know the days are limited before it will require three layers of clothing to stay outside for any given time, so I battle the critters. There are few other places that convey so much peace.

As the song goes, "These are the days to remember."

I want to remember Micah trying to convince us all that he can do his math problems with his eyes shut; Cole finishing the fort that he started with his big brother two summers ago; the constant weekly running with children to guitar lessons, choir practice, horse events, and three different church activities on one night, besides the shuffling of friends back and forth for visits; puppies being born at midnight and kittens sleeping on a heated blanket in the living room as Rob shakes his head at these animal-loving people that he gets to live with.
Seven tiny bundles of puppy sweetness were born in the middle of the night last week. Cole, Grace and I were able to witness three of the births, two had already arrived before we realized the excitement had begun, and Lady surprised us with two new babies after we gave up on any more and had gone to bed. One little black girl, with a white splash on her chest, affirmed, again, God's continued answers to our prayers. After five tan babies, Grace confessed that she wanted "a black girl with a white splash," so we prayed. I awoke on Tuesday morning to a smiling girl carrying her special-order puppy as she crawled into my bed to snuggle. 
I have decided that I don't like Trent being dead anymore. Maybe we could start a petition and see if God would send him back. But I can't find any doctrine to support the idea, and I can't imagine that Trent would be too happy about it. So I go on. I keep getting out of bed in the morning and wait for eternity to begin. Keep trying to process it all and live in the meantime. Grappling with the thoughts of living and believing the Promises, trying to figure out where heaven actually is so I can try to explain it to an inquisitive kiddo, realizing that it is not by my power or might that the battle will be won, but by the power that God gives me to struggle, and being broken beyond what I thought was capable as I read of others who are just beginning to walk a similar walk to know Jesus and be counted worthy of this Kingdom to come. (Shannon, Beth, Lara and Allie)

 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
 Psalm 51:12