So much has happened in the past few weeks, it will be hard to catch you up on it, but I will give a few highlights:
A little over three weeks ago, I miscarried our baby at 12 weeks into the pregnancy. This is what "interrupted" the family updates for last few weeks. I just didn't know what to say or how to say it. I shared the news with our closest family and friends - but didn't know how to share it on the blog. The couple weeks after was spent healing and having quiet time with family. I was blessed by friends and family in this time. Their love and support poured out. They offered to bring meals, sit with kiddos, prayed, sent encouragement - you name it. It was a reminder of all the beautiful people Yah has put in my life and how blessed we truly are!
Just before the miscarriage, we had a lovely visit with my dad and his fiance. This was the first chance to meet Bernie. She is very nice lady, we like her. They both came bearing gifts for the kids and us, including a very nice quilt Bernie made and warm hats for the kiddos - which was very nice and birthday goodies. He brought a couple guns to shoot. We got a small window with out rain to go out and shoot, even though the group was soggy and the air was misty..we had fun! It was so good to put my arms around my Pappa...I do love him so!
The shot of Hailey with Dad and the smoking gun is my favorite!
We got a dusting of snow...just enough to tease the kids. They got some flakes on their tongue and romped around in it, but it was gone before the day was over. It is a rare treat in TN if we get enough snow to really play in, but it is still pretty to get a sprinkle. It came when I was still in my bed after the miscarriage, so it was nice to look out my bedroom window and hear the children squealing for joy...good medicine from "Heaven" for a momma.
Elijah shot his first squirrel this month. We wouldn't normally hunt squirrel, since it is not something we eat. However, this particular fox squirrel had declared war with us this summer when he ate many of our melons form the garden. Elijah had witnessed this and tried to trap him...but he was too cunning for that. He measured 23 inches, and even though he wanted to weigh him, mom got a little "grosed-out" by putting him on her kitchen scale...so that didn't come to pass. :-) We an all testify he was a BIG one...apparently melons will fatten up a squirrel. :-) After he shot him, he skinned, fleshed and tailored the skin (in his bedroom closet!). :-) (Oh what us homestead momma's endure for precious sons!!!)
Elijah also wanted me to include this photo of our "mammoth" egg we collected this month. He was very excited when collecting them to find this XL egg (second from the right) in the nest. We normally collect large eggs from our Road Island Reds...but this one was quite large. It was a tasty double yoker.
Experimenting with Big Boy pants...While we still aren't "there" yet...our potty training has begun and Chazaq is excited about it. He kept getting into his sister's underpants and putting them on...so we got out his "big boy unders" and he enjoyed wearing them very much!
Here I Elijah's version of an "off-grid vacuum packer". When asking him to pack a 4lb block of cheese, I reminded him to get as much of the air out of the bag as possible. I looked over and this is what he method was of doing that!
In that time also, we have had two birthdays in our home of our two smallest children. Eliana turned 5 and Chazaq turned 2. It was a nice family time of fun games, food and celebrating our precious children/siblings. I do not have pictures of Chazaq's party - because we took video for that.
There has been lots of winter planning for Spring plans on the farm. Sometimes it is overwhelming, other times it is invigorating and exciting...
In this last week, we're still pluggin' away at canning the last of the Turkey and putting the last of the apples up that we go this fall. We have been dehydrating them mostly, but will also can some apples today and maybe another bath of apple pie filling.
We have ordered worms again (red wigglers)...of course nothing close to the scale of our worm farming project of days by...but 2 pounds to process kitchen scraps on our back porch and get some castings to put in the soil this spring/summer. We do intend to grow them out to a pretty large scale to use for food for our fowl next winter. In the mean time, we will train Naomi how to care for them on a small scale on the porch. She is very excited about becoming a worm rancher. :-) Elijah is eager to make the bins for her to get her started.
We have been enjoying memorizing Psalm 119 as a family, and hope to get more video of that posted, as well as pictures that have been taken. We hope to come up with a tune for Dalet today as we prepare apple for canning. :-)
We are very close (it seems) to purchasing a tractor for the farm...this is a big and scary move for us (for a bunch of reasons) but an exciting one as well! Please pray for us in this area!
This past Shabbat we had a lovely family whom we hadn't yet met previously, stay the weekend with us. They are from Virginia and seeking fellowship and community within the Body of Torah Keeping Believers in Messiah. Also we got to visit with dear established friends whom we had been missing for months. It was a precious Shabbat. The week before, we spent the weekend at a lake house with friends (3 hours away - Cookville) and had a wonderful visit. Both of our family's met with 2 other families at their new Cafe and Juice Bar and enjoyed fresh green juices and a healthy lunch and fellowship all afternoon. The place was closed but we they opened it up for our "private" gathering. (How Special!) It too, was a sweet time of fellowship.
Until next week... May your walk intimately with YHVH!
In Him, The Tribe of Ben
Welcome to Home Shalom!
Welcome to Home Shalom and Shalom Farm. We pray your visit here be blessed. We are learning to walk in the Ways (Torah) of our Father YHWH and follow Y'shua, His Messiah until He returns to "set things straight". We call it a "Messi-Life". Our walk is neither tidy nor perfect, but it is filled with passion, devotion and desire to serve our King. We are learning to be humble servants, and to be good stewards of the things that He has entrusted to us: His Word, our marriage, our children, our family, our community, our health, and our farm. Hitch your horse and stay a while--our door is always open!