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!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Our Family Jots and Tittles

Welcome to our weekly family visit. Get a cup a tea and we'll catch up. Sunday - Today was a wonderful day packed full of adventure - what a full day! Everyone woke up really early because Daddy (and Elijah) were going to a friend's house (Dave) to learn how to butcher some deer that he (Dave) had hanging. We are serious about processing our own meat on the farm whether we raise it or hunt it. We are as "green" as they come....but willing...so with the help of gracious friends we are learning a lot this season! Anyway, Ben wanted to be there by 8:30 and would be there all morning. Today was the day we were planning on celebrating Eliana's birthday...everyone was so excited about the (family) birthday party and company we had sleeping in our den that they were all up and raring to go about about 6 AM , dressed, brushed and ready to get the party started! I tried to entertain the littles and manage preparations in different directions, by decorating, making the cake and wrapping presents. Poor Grama Carol got a glimpse of what it must have been like to be one of The Beatles back in the 60's because my kids just buzzed around her like bees around a hive demanding constant attention. She was such a good sport about it! Since it was her first day here and the birthday day...I let it go on a little while...but I plan to tone it down a bit for the rest of the week...because I know it can be exhausting.
Eliana helped me make her cake and got to make the choices that lead the events all day. She was in heaven. (The kids don't normally run the show...that is mommy and daddy's job...but on "birthdays" the birthday kid gets to call the shots. I let them choose the menu for the meals, the cake, and often the order of things (within reason) throughout the day. They didn't get naps and just went non stop. We blew up balloons and played games with them, had races, puzzles, read stories, watched a Grizzly Adams episode, played play dough, danced, unwrapped presents, had cake, played house, and did a couple of chores. It is just after 8 pm and the it feels like midnight. :-) It was a good day.

Monday - Pappa got his first deer today!!! To hear him tell it, "He became a man today." He field dressed it and got it hanging. He will process it too. It was a spike...he was somewhat disappointed that it wasn't a "big one", but I am tickled and thankful!

Gideon (4) : "Daddy, can I play the Hanukkah?" Daddy: "What?"
Gideon: " Can I play the Hanukkah?"
Daddy: "Gideon, I don't know what your are talking about."
Mommy overhears from the other room: " Do you mean Harmonica? "
Gideon: "Yeah, That's what I said, Harmonica."
Gideon: "Has any one seen my mezuzah?"
Sibling: "You don't have a mezuzah."
Gideon: "Yeah I do, I just got at Eliana's party, I can't find it."
Mommy: "Do you mean kazoo?"
Gideon: "Yeah, I just had it. Now I can't find it"

Tuesday- There is a reader of this blog with whom I have become friends "behind the scenes" and she read on a previous Jots and Tittles how I had gotten coats for the kids at Goodwill for the cold season... but still had to find one for the baby. Her son has just grown out of my boy's size and she emailed me to tell me she had some winter gear if I wanted it! I was so thankful! 2 boxes came in the mail today, a coat, 2 hats and a snow suit (all of which fit perfectly!) and clothes as well! What a blessing! Postage is not cheap these days either! So I just wanted to thank her publicly! (Even though I already did privately.) I get so encouraged when The Body of Messiah helps one another!

Wednesday- We took a little road trip today. We had something to deliver to a family in mourning who lived about an about an hour south near the Alabama border. We have never been to their house or met them before. We got the address from a friend who was going to be way on the day of delivery. Long story short...the house number didn't exist. The location
was very rural. Here we were, in an unfamiliar place with something we needed to deliver. So the detective work began. We started going to "nearby houses" (which weren't), asking around. I think we stopped about 6 places, but either no one was home or they couldn't help us. We knew the recipients last name and that was it. We called information. There were two numbers that had that same last name so we called them in the hopes to get their house or maybe a relative. We talked to one lady (with the same last name) who said she was not related but that she had read about the death in the paper and she directed us where she thought it was. She was very nice...but wrong. The other number was to a fax machine, but we learned later was the right house...they just weren't home. The address was not listed. We had our GPS so Ben checked to see if there was a road by the same name in town, but was called "lane" or something like that, maybe our friend confused it. There was! So we drove 6 miles away to see if the house number was there. When we got there (according to the GPS) we found that there was no such road. We tried to ask people on that road, but no answer. We stopped at a house on this mystery road to ask questions, and found out that this road used to be called by "that name" but it had changed in the last couple years. It was not updated, by GPS. She was very kind. We sat in her driveway as Ben looked up the newspaper's website with the Obit with his Blackberry to see what we could learn. This sweet lady came back out with her phone book at the same moment and we got the name of the funeral home. We called the and talked with a lady a who gave us the proper house number (which wasn't marked on the mailbox - nor was there a name, and it was down a very long dirt drive - that wasn't clearly a drive). She gave us very detailed clues, because she had been to the person's house before. So finally we knew were in the right place! So after all that....we were able to deliver this package. No one was home and there was a dog on the front porch. This package was the kind that a dog might be happy to get into! My friend had said they usually keep their door open...but since we didn't know them, we were very uncomfortable going in...even though we had knocked a lot...but big dog on the front porch was getting us concerned for the safety for the package. We called the number we had gotten from information that had the fax number. It rang inside....Ben entered slowly and loudly announcing himself all the while. We hope that wasn't too weird. :-) Mission accomplished! Persistence beats resistance!

As we were driving away...i realized how very calm and "peaceful" I was through the whole thing...actually how all of us were. There were plenty of opportunities for us to get upset and if it were 10 years prior in my "walk" I'd have been complaining, which probably would have lead to an argument with Ben and grumpy kids in the back and all kinds of stuff....but that didn't happen. Halleluyah! So I found myself praising YHVH for the work he has done in me and His precious shalom! I also found myself being thankful for Ben's mom who was with us too. I have heard such stories of "mother-in-laws" really taking the joy out of situations (if ya know what I mean!). There was plenty of "opportunity" for grumbling, complaining, and bossing here, but she was quite and calm and helpful too! We are so blessed! I was also thankful for my children, it was past lunch time, they were hungry, and all waiting very expectantly for the next event to happen. We were going to a children's museum for a "fun day" and they knew that!!!! This mishap just took two hours out of that day (and they knew that too)! Not once did they complain, bicker or whine! I have so much to be thankful for!

We drove another 30 miles to Florence, Alabama to go to a hands-on Children's Museum there. We decided to eat our picnic lunch in the car because our time at the museum had been cut short. When we arrived - the REAL fun began! It was a real joy to watch the kids explore together and touch everything in sight (and to not have to tell them no!) :-) The museum was an old house that had a hands-on exploration theme in every room. We have been to several like it (we always search them out - they are always a wonderful place to take the children. If you have never gone to one, I HIGHLY recommend it.) This was Chazaq's first opportunity to really enjoy something like this, now that He is walking and exploring! We finished up the day by playing on the very nice outside playground when the museum closed. It was quite brisk...but the kids had a blast, especially when daddy played tag with them. We packed them up and headed home, it was about an hour drive back. We returned home to dinner in the crock pot and a warm house....

I stayed up late and chatted with Mom, Hailey and Elijah. (Ben crashed early, all that driving and playing tag in the cold with 5 very active kids can take it out of ya!) As I layed my head down to sleep, I started to reflect on the fact that on this night last year, I was about to have a baby and it was the last night I slept pregnant. The memories of my pregnancy and my day of labor flashed through my mind as I slipped off to sleep. It was a good day!

Thursday- Today was Chazaq's 1st birthday, which like most birthday parties, started with butchering a deer on the kitchen table. Ben was happy to know that all that he had learned earlier in the week "stuck" and the butchering went quickly and easily. Once the cleaning and cubing and grinding was over, we kicked into canning mode. All said and done, we had 7 full cans of venison cubes, and 4 pounds of ground meat frozen. We'll just call this whole deer event a highly successful practice run.

The actual birthday celebration didn't really begin till Chazaq was almost ready for bed. Funny. He didn't even notice. He had a great time tearing things open and playing with the paper, the boxes, and even the actual gifts!

Friday- Another early start, as Grandma Carol had to get to the airport early, while cramming all of our normal preparation day activities into one hour or so. Even though we left really late, we managed to get our 15-passenger behemoth to the gate on time. We all had such a good time, and were all sad to see her off. The rest of this day we spent grocery shopping in and around Nashville, restocking our fridge and pantry. The kids were all very good. It seems like a good sign that our kids are best in public, and only push the edge of "naughtiness" when they are cooped-up at home and stir crazy. Idle hands... Can't wait for Spring.

Shabbat - We did practically nothing today. A perfect Shabbat to end a busy, busy, week.


Andi said...

Oh Pamela and Ben! What a wonderful week, and congrats to you Ben on your deer. It's great to be able to shoot it, gut it and eat it...all by your self! Well - Praise Yah for His provision! Blessings to you my dear friends....much love!

Michelle said...

:-) You have such a neat family, Pamela. Sounds like you had a wonderful week. Happy birthday to Eliana and Chazaq ~sounds like you had a fun time. And congrats on the deer and processing. I am quite sure that Luke would relate to Ben ~ this was his second season and he still feels green. So cool that you were able to can the meat ~ I so need a pressure canner! We will have to invest in one this year. I love that you are able to live on your homestead while learning all the skills you need!

That is neat about the provision on the winter gear, too. :-) Isn't Father so, so good! You have such a giving heart and it comes right back to you!

Anonymous said...

I loved being able to read what happened with the "food incident". Hehe. Glad it went so well even though you had much detective work to do! :). Happy birthday to your kiddos! Have another blessed week. :).

Millie said...

Congrats on the deer! I'd love to learn to can meat but like Michelle do not have a pressure canner (and they scare me a little bit).
Great pictures again this week too:-)