April Showers bring more May Showers: Is that how it goes? :-) It really hasn't been THAT bad here, but it certainly has been something we have had to "work around". We have had some severe storms (as have many of you!), I am very thankful that no harm has come to our family, property or livestock. We have had tornadoes touch down and take houses in our zip code and actually caused severe damage demolishing homes and property and tree lines. Our next door neighbor expressed great concern to us, as he said he was "positive a tornado went right over our house in the night". We know this is happening in many places and our prayers go out to the people who have lost loved ones and property during these storms. We had some friends from Alabama join us for a few days, since they were out of power for several days. It was a real eye opener to them, how dependant they were at this time and how quickly the roads would get backed up and even chaos would start in local stores for supplies in a crisis situation. They witnessed this first-hand where they were in Alabama. I am so thankful that YHVH has put it on our hearts to try to be prepared for such things ahead of time. He is starting to do the same in this family's life as well as so many of His people!
Friends: After much ado and several attempts...The Meyers finally made it here! They had hoped to stay here the week before Family Week, but their car broke down, and they ended up staying at the mechanics house! (Thankfully, that mechanic is a dear and mutual friend to us who lives about an hour and half north of here! BTW - this my dear friend whom I was away helping during her first week of postpartum and circ and she did the same for me when Chazaq was born.) Anyway, then they endured a very stormy week and half of camping with many other mutual friends at Ken Lake in KY, and finally dipped down to see us for a few days as they had to rush home to find their new Golden Retriever puppies homes back up in PA. Our visit was short, but sweet as usual. :-) It was a precious time of catching up about the year that had come between us and resting together after such a busy time. They have had another baby and been back and forth to Israel in that year we have been apart, among many other adventures. Oh...to be young..... :-) They were here Thur to Saturday night. I mess with Heather, because we always forget to take pictures when we are together. we have been wanting her to do a family picture for years...but we just do other things or NOTHING instead. :-) We knew the Meyers when they were just starting out as a family (before they became 'famous') and spent many weekends together in at our old house in PA. We even made them a "suite" out of our old office that all the kids came to call "Jake's Room" (Of course they always came together - but some reason - Jake got the title.) They are the ones responsible for raising the roof on this house and adding our 2nd floor last year. If it weren't for them, we would still be crammed in a VERY small 2br house without storage. As my dad said when He met them one time, "That Jake is a real good guy. You got yourself a good friend in him." We agreed - they are precious to us. We have an unspoken agreement that we will not try to make them feel too young if they do not try to make us feel too old. (We ARE 15 years older than them - almost to the dates!) So that works for us all! :-)
More Friends: At the same time the Meyers were here, so also were our new friends - The Stones. (They were mentioned above - they were out of electric from the storms.) We are so blessed that YHVH puts His people in our path and connects us to encourage one another! This precious family are becoming fast friends! I am looking forward to you meeting them in the future. YHVH, is bringing our families together in a special way, which will unfold through out this year. They are finishing up their time in the military as they feel YHVH is calling them into a simpler life of preparation and accountability to His Word. This is their first year keeping the Feasts. They were our guests here at Passover that I also mentioned before. We are so excited about what YHVH is doing in their lives and ours! They were here Thur to Sunday. I can't believe, I STILL didn't take pictures of them! I am sure we will have lots of opportunities in the future..so stay tuned. :-)
Three Little Pigs: We were so bad at taking pictures during our visits, but one thing we did get, was a few shots of our little boys "piggin' out" on my 'top secret' seasoned popcorn. As many of you know, I like to fiddle with herbs and seasonings and someday may put it in our business plan. This is my "flagship" creation, which may launch the whole series...well we think we came up with the name of it on this day...Three Little Pigs Popcorn Seasoning! :-) As you can see we make it in a 5 gallon bucket! (Because we have too!) It was so comical watching our little boys learn how to share and take turns and work some stuff out 'round the popcorn tub'. See...there are advantages to being "little", the "big kids" were all outside playing on the swingset, unawares as to the major snacking going on inside by their little brothers.
Hailey's Birthday- We celebrated Hailey's 13th Birthday on Sunday. It didn't go quite as we had planned. We had planned to go to a big flea market, but that part didn't work out. We gave her a "raincheck" which she so graciously accepted without a sigh, complaint, or a grumble. We were able to all the other things we had planned for that day. She also received some loving cash gifts to go shopping with that she was so thankful for. Her special gift from Mamma and Pappa was a hope chest. It was a medium sized cedar chest, made by our local Amish. She also has a large cedar chest that was her great great Grandma's that is waiting for her at her Granny's House in PA, but we are not sure when we will get it..so we thought we would give her this one..in the mean time..so we can start slowly adding things into it. She is reading the book called The Hope Chest: A Legacy of Love that I have had on my bookshelf for years waiting for this time!
Removing Trees: One of our spring chores is to remove some trees. The first four that had to come down were in the location we plan to put our root cellar/shed. They were mature (some starting to hollow) walnut trees. They will make good firewood if they are seasoned in time for next winter. We still have yet to figure our where/how to store our wood well (suggestions welcome!). We don't want to put it near the the house (because of our recent termite discovery!), or any of our buildings for that matter. Ben did this himself, although Jake and John helped him clear and load a lot of it onto our truck on Friday when they were here (which was appreciated). These was the first time he has done this process from start to finish, and He was a little nervous because 2-3 of these trees were close enough to the house to cause damage had he not done it right. Here are some photos. Of course he couldn't resist the chance to be a joker in one of them. How about that mid-timber shot?!! Look out Heather Meyers...I'm about to take over in the world of photography! (HA - HA .....NOT!)
Root Cellar Progress: We just got word today from our Amish contractor who will be doing the block work for our root cellar that he is running behind. They are building a house for someone out of town and is not planning to be back until the 16th...so the project is bumped back a little. We are neither surprised nor disappointed. It seems that the excavation would have to wait with all this rain anyway...and figured that would slow things down for the folks who are doing the work for us. However, we are relieved that our preparation (moving the trailer and trees) was completed. Well, almost anyway. When we were putting out stakes in the ground to "mark the spot', we realized that we might need to move the existing wood shed before the excavation starts...so there is one more thing. We really must decide where and how to store our wood! :-)
Tick Time: It is that time of year! The ticks and chiggers have arrived. We search ourselves daily as we pick off the little critters and start itching. I am back to pursuing the perfect herbal mix to help sooth this little side effect to country living! I'll let you know when I "perfect" it. :-) It will be a most happy day!
P.S. What do you think of the new blog look??? I wanted something new for Spring to show more of our farm. The pictures are from our front porch. I plan to make some new "buttons" to choose from too as I am doing a little rearranging when I get the chance.