Friday, September 19, 2014

Seasons changing

We had a 28 degree morning a few nights ago.
It was cold! But we have lots of heaters, electric blankets, and the dehumidifier kicks out a lot of warm air!

Last night it was 60 degrees. We were hot! LOL!
There's even a tornado/storm warning tonight, north of us along the Canadian border.

The kids caught a chipmunk and let him go. We try to catch mice. Over the winter mice invade the 5th wheel. Last year 25 mice in traps from Jan. to May.
One year a chipmunk did get in the 5th wheel and he did do more damage than the mice. :o( He destroyed my favorite down quilt, and several sleeping bags.

After that cold snap the leaves changed quickly. We will only be here 14 more days. Peek color comes and goes fast here. Then the snow flies as early as October. Lots of fog now since the Lakes and wet lands water is still warm and the air is getting so chilly. Tonight in the 60 degree temps it's very humid. My dish rag will still be wet in the morning!

Leaves are falling all around.
M.A. has her very own commode in the bunkhouse so she doesn't have to use the outhouse and get chilly!

We cleaned up all the fallen trees. Burned all the piles of brush.

We had a drought for the last 5-6 years. A lot of brush died.
When we bought the property 24 years ago it was so wet that the kids wore muck boots.
Now the water is coming back. It looks like the drought has ended!
We now have night crawlers and worms coming back that we haven't seen in years.
The frogs are migrating to the swamp to hibernate. Many many frogs this year!
Isaiah caught 32 frogs, 3 tree frogs and 2 toads. He lets them go before bed.

The frogs and turtles travel from the lake through here.

The sun setting in it's "Fall" position in the trees. This is my favorite view. I love to watch the sun circle the earth as it rises and sets here! You can see it much easier here in the woods. In the summer the sun is "high" and sets late. Now it is "lower" and sets earlier quickly. At night the stars are everywhere!

SP and the girls spending time together! SP always has a nice comfy lawn chair to relax in, even though she doesn't relax physically well. :o) That's her sun hat, there's no sun but she likes that hat!
Faith does her own hair and beads now, 100x better than I ever did!

This little brown bat and its family were not well. This one fell near us. We did not touch it. Another went in Snow's dog crate. The family of little brown bats were acting funny. We were concerned. There are several bat diseases affecting them. But we always worry about rabies.

The kids learn more about Science here than school!! We have hundreds of field guides. Many just for MN mammals, reptiles, flowers, trees, and birds. If they don't know a frog, bird, animal or flower they run for a field guide. We even have books on recognizing bird feathers, nests and eggs.
Our Lysa wants to be an Ornithologist!
We always Thank God for the gift of being here!
The memories last forever!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Cherishing our days!

Lysa has an incredible smile that melts my heart! What a happy girl!
They all wear their "outdoor" vests up here over their "camping" clothes.
I bought them about 6 years ago.
Time to buy real ones, because they love them!

We find so many exciting things! Snakes, berries, flowers, a snapping turtle, lots of frog species, toads, squirrels, chipmunks and tonight a brown bat!!

The cabin in the distance is our neighbors. Lysa is rinsing the dinner dishes for washing. This water comes from a Well. We don't drink it or cook with it, we aren't hooked up to it except by a hose. They are "fracking" magnesium a few miles away. The water looks bad and smells like swamp.
We bring city water up in 5 gallon jugs. We use Well water for cleaning.

Usually they get wet with the dishes! LOL! We take the boys Cali bowls, cups and adaptive spoons with us.

 Faith vacuuming the bunkhouse for me!

Kitty cleaning up the table after brothers and sis Mercy eat!
She is precious, with a heart for God!

Then it's time for a fun, delicious outdoor meal made by mom. We use some foam bowls/plates and Isaiah eats out of the dish to save on washing dishes. Mom and Dad wash all dishes.

Kitty comes in the 5th wheel for second helpings!
The tent over Julius' bed (playpen) keeps him from grabbing things off of the table. But we never have to zip it up, he stays in bed.

Kitty enjoying some home made dessert. I don't make desserts at home. But I do make them up here every few days. I make brownies and pumpkin cake and cookie bars.
At home I make muffins, pumpkin bread, and blueberry pancakes. But no cakes or brownies etc.
We eat differently up north. We are on vacation and treats help us celebrate the days God gives us here!

Friday, August 29, 2014

What it is like to be raised by a Grandma Part 2

By Elizabeth Beloved "Lysa" age 12
                                       L to R Isaiah 10, Samson 19, Kitty 11, Lysa 12, Faith 13

My life with my Grandma is so much fun.
She makes delicious food and desserts.
My grandma shows me how to serve God and we attend Church every Sunday.
She gives me crazy nick names.
She has me wear good clothes.
She buys cool Science projects for me and my siblings.
She was so astonished with my piano talent she bought me a bigger piano.
Me and my sisters were excited when my Grandma bought fabric for making super hero costumes.
She does homeschool with me and buys cool art supplies for us.
Whenever she puts in a CD (Newsboys, Petra, Toby Mac, Rich Mullins, Gaithers) she does crazy dance moves.
She says such crazy things that we crack up laughing.
Whenever its her birthday we think hard about what "big" present we should get her.
She takes us camping and after we help with our little brothers and sister, she lets us play outside into the night.
I love my crazy Grandmama. (Lysa says I'm 1/2 Gram 1/2 mamma)

I've raised Lysa since she was born. Her birthmom wanted her to have a stable happy life. With lots of LOVE.
She was named after me. I chose her middle name.
I used to be called "lisa" (short for Elizabeth) so I chose to call her Lysa- pronounced "lissa". :o)
She is my 2nd Grand named after me.
Both of my Grandma's were named Elizabeth!

How it feels to live with my Grandma Part 1

By Katherine Devoted aka Kitty!
                                 L to R Isaiah 10. Samson 19, KITTY!! 11, Lysa 12, Faith 13

Being 11 years old and living with my Grandma is awesome!
I love to live with my Grandma because she is sweet, heart-warming, caring (especially crazy) Grandma.
She is very entertaining, who wouldn't love to listen to her.
She tells me all the things about my birth-mom. (Shirley)
You could probably go everywhere and not find one mom (Grandma) like mine. (Kitty calls me mom) No matter how many moms (Grandmas) you would meet, because mine is the best.
She may not be perfect but I still love her.
Others say they love to live with their moms but I love to live with my Grandma.
I bet other Grandma's can't cook as good, love as good, or be as smart as my Grandma!
God put me here and it is wonderful.
I always thank God for my Grandma and my birth-mom.
And I would not care about God if it wasn't for God and Grandma.
I  pray for others in my family to become Christians.
So I hope you love your Grandma cause I know I do!
The End

I've raised Kitty since she was born. She was 6 months old when her Uncle/Brother Isaiah was born!!Her birthmom wanted her to have a stable happy life. With lots of LOVE.
I got to pick her name, Katherine is her birth mom's middle name. I decided to call her Kitty. :o)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Surrounded by LOVE~

 This is meal time. I've posted about meal time on my other blog with this picture. I wanted to use it here to talk about my helpers. These helpers (L to R Lysa 12, Isaiah 10, Kitty 11, Faith 13) have hearts for God and they LOVE to help their brothers and sister Mercy. They never get angry at their 6 younger siblings. 

They will be my last children to help me. In only 8 short years all 4 will be living their own lives. Time just flies too fast. Julius and Pauly have been home 3 yrs, Noah-Moses-Jacob home 2 yrs, Mercy home 1 1/2 yrs! 

Julius, Mercy, and Pauly will be 15 yrs old in 8 years, so we will have come far enough that we won't still need this kind of hands on help. They thrive on this hands on help now. In 8 years Noah will be 19, and Mosie and Jacob will be 17! 

Isaiah and Faith are hoping to join the Military! Isaiah definitely wants to join the Air Force. I was a little sad, because we are "Go Army!" here. (My Dad & Tom) But we'll adjust- LOL! 
Kitty and Lysa are just excited to dream about having their own family, and sharing with their children how their "crazy" Grandma raised them!

They each hope to have one or two of these 6 younger siblings live with them in their own family, if and when they are able. If not I know they'll always be a big part of their lives. 

Above you can see the results of our de-cluttered dining room. Isaiah was instrumental in hours of being my legs, helping me to get the de-cluttering done! It's so nice to have lots of room with few things for the boys and Mercy to grab!! 

Faith, helping Pauly take a bite!

 Kitty helping Julius take a bite.

Lysa helping Noah take a bite!

 Isaiah helping Mosie!

And then it's time for the 4 of them to take a break!
Faith jumping rope, Kitty and Isaiah blowing super bubbles.
Thank goodness for our 12' x 25' deck while our yard was destroyed by road/alley/water/sewer construction! The street straight ahead in the picture was done and completed first.

 Yup- 4 months of this in the front here, and the side and back (alley) of the house!

 We bought sidewalk chalk- but we had no side walk anywhere! Now the new sidewalk put in last week is too bumpy for a nice chalk picture. :o(
The high chair on the deck was for "practice" independent feeding. But the boys weren't interested! They like one on one assistance with encouragement or they don't eat!!
Mosie liked to sit in it with toys last year. This year he can run! So we use a plastic picnic table for them.

 Moses and Kitty watching the big construction trucks! This year Moses has developed a fascination with vehicles! He loves anything with wheels! He has a big truck he drives/pushes everywhere!

 What's better than one Kitty? How about 3 Kitties!! LOL!

 A hand me down dress worn by most of my girls. Mercy won't be wearing it, Kitty had an accident (rip) with it. ;o)
You can see my new double oven behind her! 5 burners and 2 ovens that can each cook a 28 lb turkey!
The kids love using the top oven. They make pizzas, chicken patties, crescent rolls and even cake!
Wish I could get a new Fridge! :o)

Kitty dressing up Mosie to look like a "cool guy"!! Kind of funny since the clothes are hers/girls! LOL!

I am surrounded by LOVE! God is so Good! He is the my All!

Monday, August 4, 2014

10 years..............and God heard my cry

Angel Ruth my daughter. My first child. All of my parenting, I did with her first. She made me a mom. I'd never been a mom before.

I was an unwed mom. Her birthfather 20 years my senior left us. He was a University Professor. I was 18 and I thought I could live in his very adult world. I could not.
Everyone thought I should have an abortion. But I had been told I'd never have birth children. So I would not kill the gift God gave me. 

Angel and I were very close. Not in the way that we spent so much time together. But in the way that God had united us and we would not break that bond ever.  
This was her 1994 graduation picture.
I have her family picture on the side of my blog.

Ten long, lonely years without her.
God sent my 4th and last birth child 6 months before she died. So every year he's alive, is another year Angel has been gone. So- so very bittersweet. I rejoice his birth and cry in anguish for her loss. I wrestled with God when she died and asked God "Why did you give me a baby, only to take away my 28 year old child?" 
This year, 10 years later it was hard. Very very hard. 
I want time to stand still. I don't like going forward.

I would never want her to come back here. I want to go to her. She is where I want to be. Where we all hope to go. In Heaven with God, with Jesus.

God heard my tears. 
He heard my cries.

This year was Angel's class of 1994, 20th year Reunion.
And these flowers were sent by her graduation class, with a card that said "As we celebrate our Apollo class of '94 Reunion, We also remember and celebrate Angel and know we have an Angel among us."

Don't you LOVE how God uses us to encourage one another? These wonderful young people allowed God to use them to show kindness and mercy to a grieving mother. God Bless them!

We are silly if we don't realize that all LOVE and kindness comes from God. Human nature is just not that way naturally. It is sadly selfish. But when we follow God's promptings, we are able to see and share His LOVE, and learn to give it freely! He blesses us twice that way. And we've done nothing to deserve it.

I am filled with JOY!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Being the dog person I am..............

 I just felt like writing about my dogs. :o)

Me hugging Babe. My most precious Great Pyrenese puppy who died within 24 hours from Von Willenbrand disease. He didn't make it to one year old. He was a gift from a Dear Sister in Christ.
Oh how I loved that boy.
My Pyr girl was put down at 3 yrs for aggression towards the children. :o(

 My Snow with Gabriel. He's a Shiloh Shepherd. My only Shiloh boy out of my 3 Shiloh boys who lived.

 Mylove broke both knees, rendering him crippled for life. I couldn't care for him, lifting him at 120 pounds in and out. He was supposed to care for me. We all drove to the vet. Held him, cried and gave him back to God. The vet seeing the room full of us cried too. He was only 15 months.
 Mylove and Snow. They had this intense bond. They really loved each other, like David and Jonathan, closer than brothers. Snow 2 months younger. When Snow was crated for potty training they slept nose to nose. Mylove laying outside the front of the crate.

 Wulif was 3 when he bloated. Snow and Wulif never had the bond that Snow and Mylove had. Wulif was more alpha, and a playful boy. Snow and Mylove are/were couch potatoes!

Snow the defender of the weak. He's watching out for SP here. He's 6 years old this year. Tom says if I die he will have to put Snow down. He howls a very sad wolf howl when I am gone. And pines for me. He was going to replace Mylove as my Service Dog. But he is too protective of me. Service dogs must never growl- even if they don't bite. So he is my shadow in the house, growling if he hears the kids getting out of bed at night, or sneaking around. If I have an argument with a teen, he growls at them when they come around me. He would never bite, but he has a sense of who upsets me. He allows all of the 6 youngest kids to crawl over him like he's a rug! Moses loves only Snow!
Mylove in training- he was so intuitive to my needs. But here's a funny thing. I thought his size was what mattered to stabilize me from falling. Because Mylove had bad knees he was never "sturdy". And even Snow is not the kind of dog for strong physical work, like supporting body weight. We actually have to be careful with Snow. He over heats easily- he has his own fan. He gets sick quickly. And I can't bear to lose him yet.

BUT! These two British Lab girls are both super strong and sturdy and both girls already stabilize me as I stand slipping my shoes on. Sassy (yellow) is only 60 pounds (1 yr old now) and a power house. I have many friends with Service Dogs who told me size did not matter. I didn't listen. I'm thick skulled that way. They were right. 

What led me to Martha (chocolate, 6 months) and Sassy was their superior people skills. Their very devoted and dedicated breeders invest hours upon hours socializing these puppies. However, Sassy inherited more hunting interest than they had planned with her litter. Her parents were not "gun dogs". They forgot to tell Sassy. Distraction is her middle name! 

Martha however is incredibly in tune to us, while Sassy sniffs everything! We won't know till both girls are about 2 yrs old who will be "my" SD girl.

Both girls are built strong and solid. Even at 3 months, when they sat I could pull the leash to balance against them. We chose girls because they tend to be more dependable. But with British Labs of both sexes are very dependable. The breed is incredibly well bred. 

We have had Shiloh Shepherd boys because in that breed the boys are just huge loves. Females are more serious. 

We owned a very aloof Pembroke Welsh Corgi girl for 14 1/2 years. A few years after she passed, we decided to get a more affectionate boy Corgi! (so we were told) Our boy Squiggy was never ever affectionate!! OY! (He had a horrible skin disease for 7 years, I couldn't watch him chew himself up anymore. We paid way too much money looking for a cure. He's itchy free in Heaven and waiting for me now :o) 

Each dog a gift from the Lord. Each dog teaching us more about love, forgiveness, and how fleeting our time here is. How we are but a vapor. God is the giver of such good gifts! Thank You Lord!