G.F. Ranch

The beginning of His vision

Mornings 

This is what many mornings look like here….


We recently changed his days off to feed and he forgot this was his day off. He often brings Ruby up to the house. She sits on his lap while he does school, reads or watches a movie.  The first rabbits we got have never been very friendly. But this last batch we got are very friendly and entertaining. We kept two out of the batch to keep as breeders and the rest will feed our family. 

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Morning Chores

Most mornings it is Bug’s responsibility to feed the animals, but I give him two mornings off. Many times we help each other in the evenings.  Today was one of my days and then had to go back up to the house to turn on the water. I enjoyed filling the waters today and talking to the animals.  Yes, I talk to my animals and some of them talk to me. 

We need to come up with a better watering system for the red wattles. They constantly knock their water over or play in it. It was so adorable to watch them drink from the hose and also stick their head into the big green bucket and hear them blow bubbles.  Water is precious here in West Texas, so we need to conserve it. (Yes, it is precious everywhere). When we put them in their permanent area and build the new shelter, we will add a gutter and some rain barrels to use for their mud hole that they enjoy so much.  But their is a need for a better system for their drinking water. It’s hard to keep them with clean water as they stick their muddy heads deep into their buckets.

For the pot belly pigs they have a large drinking water bowl as well as a large feed mixing bowl that they use as a pool.  It’s to cute to watch them in it. They’ve been helping us by rooting up the baling twine where the previous owners kept the hay for their cattle and would just put the next bale on top without picking up the twine. So we have to go and cut it out often so the pigs don’t get hurt.  Talk about team work!!!

It’s always nice when we get rain because we put gutters up on the front of the barn with a spill off going to a rain barrel and another going directly into the horse trough. Nothing puts it into prospective how much rain comes from the sky until you see how quickly a 55 gallon barrel can fill up.  But today I had to fill the trough and enjoyed watching Lilly & Gypsy (horses) and Joey (cow) take their naps. Joey did lift his head when I called him;followed by a look that said ‘I’m not getting up).  

It’s a beautiful day today! The wind is blowing, but not too hard (we get some seriously strong winds here).  The temperature is perfect and sun is enjoyable! I just wanted to share a couple pictures from two years ago. This time of year we get gorgeous sunsets! Wish I could have taken a picture of last nights sky as we were feeding animas when we got home.

Don’t forget to take time to enjoy the beauty around you when doing your chores!

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New Chapter

I know I’ve been quiet. I promise I haven’t abandoned you for another few months, it’s just been a bit busy.  I think I said before that Bug is on the Homeschooler’s robotics team. So we have to go into town three times a week for that. Well, we figured since the theme this year is #betthefarm2016, the team decided to visit a farm.  Guess who has animals? Yes, G. F. Ranch will be hosting a group this weekend for a tour. So Bug & I are busy mowing and cleaning. They also decided we should open it up to any kids in the community that would want to come.  Isn’t that great!!! Of course we are excited to show off our robotic kids!!!

I’ve had a couple other things keeping us busy this week too. We helped a sweet lady who just had a baby pack her stuff up for a last minute move. She is always such a blessing to others that it was an honor to be able to bless her and her family. I felt bad that we always arrived later than planned because it took longer to take of something else.

This is where the title comes into play.  I love to craft! I need to craft! But I need something to do with it once it’s done.  The original idea was to do some weekend craft shows but seriously, we don’t have the free time for that. Then I thought about some of the shops in town where you can rent booth space. We have a lot of great shops in town, but there was only one that I could really picture fitting in.  I bit the bullet and contacted the owner. I am officially a vendor at 23 Junk Street in Abilene, Texas.

I took over 50 items into the store already but need to get making some more.  I just finished a creation tonight that I LOVE!

I’m looking forward to Hubby getting home because I have some ideas for things to make for Christmas and I could use his help with the woodworking.  I love that Bug enjoys helping me to craft too, so it can be a family affair.  I am so very excited about this new chapter!

My plans are to start Farm Funnies Friday and the above things are why it didn’t get started yesterday.  So be looking forward to it.

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Sunday Notes

As I was driving into town heading to church, I already had a joy and peace I knew was not mine alone.  Jesus was already with me.  It just feels so different when I’m in His presence. And church was amazing today!  It is always a blessed event when we share in the Lord’s Supper together as the body of Christ.  It’s often a reminder to ask God to check my heart and reveal what shouldn’t be there, in case I hadn’t done that lately.

27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood[c] of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  I Corinthians 11:27-28

These are the verses that always come to mind before receiving the Lord’s Supper. We followed this by long, deep worship.  Let me explain, I HATE crying in public.  There are numerous reasons we cry…physical or emotional pain, extreme happiness, and another for me is the presence of the Holy Spirit.  I’ve learned to not even try to control those tears, because I can’t.  And I’ve even learned to enjoy those tears, even when they are pouring out my eyes and down my cheeks in public.

I love that we are part of a church that seeks the Holy Spirit to lead our services.  And if that means worship lasting longer than ‘it’s scheduled for’, then so be it.  Worship seems to be the time I feel I can most connect with God.  When I am able to focus on Him, sing to Him and praise Him…that’s when I most hear Him.

We humans do so much to fill the empty hole in ourselves; wether it be shopping, drugs, alcohol, gossiping, crafting, sex, etc.  I too have used a few of those, but I’ve realized that peace I feel when in His presence is that exact relief I have searched so hard for in the wrong places.

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I have been going through a spiritual struggle this past year.  I think it’s been a combination of the enemy attacking and partly me fighting my growth process.  Even though I KNOW it does no good to fight against God.  It’s soooo much easier when we just listen and do as He leads from the beginning.  Seriously, He is for us, not against us!

The sermon was on the three phases of baptisms.  The first baptismal is Salvation in which we admit we are in a sinner and receive Jesus as our Savior (1 Corinthians 12:13).  God never intended for us to stop at attaining salvation.  He has so much more for us.

Then there comes the Water Baptism; which is our public declaration that symbolizes being buried and raised in Christ.  This is the one most people think of when speaking of baptisms.  Although, this is done in numerous ways depending on religion and beliefs.  I was raised that being baptized meant being submerged in water.  And as more mature (comparing myself to then, not comparing to other people) christian I believe that to be the correct way for a couple of reasons. 1) the word baptism comes from the Greek word baptizo, meaning “to immerse”. 2) All examples of baptisms in the New Testament (including Christ himself) were all done by submersion.

The water baptism represents us dying to ourselves and becoming a new creation in Christ.  I may not yet be who I am called to be, but I am NOT who I use to be!  I need to remind myself of that often because otherwise I beat myself up tremendously because I am not who I feel I should be in Christ.

The third baptism is the Holy Spirit Baptism.

11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  Matthew 3:11

Let me share with you that I was raised Southern Baptist.  I have never been one to believe something (usually) just because I was told it.  For example, my church believed dancing was a sin.  I was just never comfortable with that belief and took some slack because I did not believe the same.  Yes, you can dance in a sinful nature, but just don’t believe ALL type of dancing in sinful.  Dancing, and let me just insert musical instruments, are in the Bible as uses of worship.

Let them praise His name with the dance;
Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp.  Psalm 149:3

I can also say not much (at least of what I remember) was taught about the Holy Spirit beyond the God Head – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Ghost).  We are taught there are Fruits of the Spirit and Gifts of the Holy Spirit, but the gifts were assumed to be only for biblical times.

4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same[b] Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.   I Corinthians 12:4-11

I say this because I don’t think I was directly taught against, we use speaking in tongues as an example, but it was something freaks did.  So as an adult when I was first around those speaking in tongues and laying hands on others, it was extremely uncomfortable!  But there was always an inner conflict I felt, so I began to read in the Bible to learn more here and there.  In 2009 we began attending a non-denominational church that did not hide the fact they believed in the gifts of the Holy Spirit; although you did not see or hear it in-your-face at all times.

One thing I could never find in the Bible was where it said those gifts were only for Biblical-time days and were no longer relevant.  And our Father is wonderful!  He does not push us to learn everything at once.  He takes us at the perfect pace.  After about 5 years of going deeper in the Word and learning more, I was finally at a point where I decided if this is from God, then I wanted it!  But it HAD TO come natural in a way I knew it was Him and not me.  It wasn’t until this year, that I received my prayer language and spoke in tongues.

The first thing I noticed was I had NO CLUE what I was saying!  I assumed if it was my prayer language that I would have some sense of what I was saying.  That has not been the case for me at least.  But I remember that night I tried to stop and speak normal and could not.  Time after time of trying to speak, I was unable to.  I thanked God for that because to me it was a sign.  That this was from Him and not me!  And I was more than okay with that.

I won’t say that speaking in tongues feels natural to me yet. I had even stopped doing it for a while because it just made me feel odd.  I’ve been assured it takes practice.  But I try to relax when it comes because I know it is the Holy Spirit praying through me to agree with God’s perfect will. Or something like that….I’m still learning.

I know I am jumping around a lot.  But these post have two purposes: 1) for me to review and meditate on what I learned and 2) not so much to teach you, but maybe give you something to think about.  God has a way of connecting us together in a way to learn and grow.

There are times I feel as if I am in stand-still in my Christian walk.  It may be God’s way of saying I’m having foundation issues.  That will cause Him to stop us from proceeding onward.

6 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits.  Hebrews 6:1-3

Just as with buildings, we need strong foundations.  And the taller the building, it is that much more important to have the proper foundation.  Maybe we only prepared our foundation for a 4-story building when God wants to make a skyscraper out of us? Reflect on that!

You recall after Jesus was baptized, he went into the wilderness where Satan tempted him. In what aspect did Satan attack Jesus?  In his identity!  “If you are the Son of God…”  And he does the same to us; which is why we need a strong foundation of who we are in Christ!

I think I recognized one issue I need to learn to deal with….it’s a DAILY thing!  I tend to like to do a bunch of something at once that will last for a while.  But it’s not that way with God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit.  God provides all our needs for this day only!  Jesus gives us the strength we need for this day only!  We are cracked pots and need daily refilling from the Holy Spirit EACH day!

I apologize for the delay in getting this post to you.  I began it when we got home from church on Sunday, but then I realized my son needed a day with me.  And I’m sure you would agree that was more important.  We snuggled, played, watched a couple movies, I made him dinner and then we had ice cream that he so sweetly scooped into waffle cones for us.

One more thing to share…..

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This is one of the movies we watched.  I would not recommend it for small children because there is some inappropriate language and references; mainly in the beginning.  Bug gave me a few choices of movies and I chose this one because I enjoy Morgan Freeman.  His character begins out-of-character for what I expected from Freeman, but the movie did not dissappoint!  I don’t think Bug enjoyed it as much as me, so maybe it’s more of a Momma Movie?  Although there were good lessons for him to learn in it as well.

 

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Very Verde

We live in West Texas which is not synonymous with green.  We moved here at the end of a decade long drought.  When we lived in South Mississippi, 63″ of rain was our annual average and was looking forward to the average of 24″ here.  Last year we received 40″ (which our church was among many to be praying for as it was out of the norm) and included all the rain that literally flooded my first attempt at a garden.  When I say flooded, I mean completely under water and also had a small river running from the garden near the house clear down to and through the barn.  This year has not been quite as wet, but we did have a few times with heavy amounts of rain that did flood many areas you heard about throughout the State of Texas.

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See that blurry building?  That’s our barn.  It’s made from multi colors of metal and I love that.  Have had a couple of people ask me if we planned on painting it. Nope!  I love that it’s unique! Do you see how green everything looks?  It’s normally more shades of brown than green. Here’s a close-up of the pretty purple flowers.  They may be more of a weed, but I enjoy their color no less.

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I took these on the way home from going a couple of towns over to get diesel for the tractor. We have to go about 13 miles to get gas and about 25 to get diesel.  Country living!  Love it!

So I have some exciting news!!!!  I finally got Hubby to set up his account so he can log onto our blog and hopefully write a post from time to time.  He is a very gifted writer! He did it right before my son asked him to take him to church for youth and Hubby asked, “what can I do while waiting for him?” I didn’t hesitate to respond, “write a blog post!”  I crack myself up!

 

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Putting It In Order

Finally finished the bookcase Hubby & I made to use for homeschooling.  We actually have a classroom.  As a matter of fact, that was the first room I painted when we moved in.  One wall was PINK! Solid pink.  I may be a girl, but loathe the color pink!  But after 2 years of homeschooling in this house, we hardly EVER used the classroom to actually do school work in and figured why force it? So in the past few months I have pretty much taken the room over and am converting it to Momma’s craft room!

Last week in the 1st ‘Official’ Day of School post I showed you the inspiration for the bookcase I wanted to build. The width ended up being a bit smaller than I had originally planned due to our issues of not getting the pieces for the shelves not lining up evenly.  It’s all good though, I still love how it turned out.  And with the new table saw I found last night, in the future, this won’t be a problem.

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I first stained it a dark brown (Kona) and then made chalk paint with some gray paint I had and did a quick, sloppy paint job.  I knew I was going to distress it so it made for a stress-free paint job.  When I sanded it, it took it down to the wood and didn’t see much of the stain, so I put a little stain on bare wood and edges, then sanded agin.  When I reached the look I was pleased with I finished it off with a wax paste.

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Now I am working on repurposing and decorating some cans to use for organization.  Will keep you updated!

 

 

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Crunch Time

So happy Hubby comes home today!!!  Although his flight from Miami to Dallas has already been delayed and that could possibly delay him coming home, but at least he is coming home! So Bug & myself have spent much of yesterday and today cleaning.  I just got a text from Hubby he is finally boarding the plane, that was supposed to depart an hour ago. Better late than never!

Yesterday I had to take care of 3 loads of laundry that had been sitting in the clothes basket.  I would put a load back in the dryer to get the wrinkles out and fold and put away.  I tried to ignore the wasteful thoughts (as wasting electricity by running it in the dryer again) and just focus on getting it taken care of.

I like the house to be in good order when Hubby gets home. I know he needs a few days to decompress  and I want him to be able to relax.  It’s hard when your spouse is gone for long periods of time.  On them and on the family still at home.  It’s like everyone has to live 2 totally different lives and the first few days of being back together can be difficult.  For example, Hubby just finished working 5 straight weeks.  7 days a week, 12-14 hour days.  He needs to decompress and rest: physically and mentally.  Whereas we are excited to share with him happenings and be a family again.  Sometimes it’s hard to hold off a couple of days.  We’ve already waited 37 days.

There are some time periods when it’s worse than others.  And sometimes by trying to not focus on the negative, I instead to tend to.  And that can lead to bitterness, emptiness and hopelessness.  When I get to that place, I know I am not in a good place with God because Jesus IS hope, in all times!  Thankfully I’m not there at this time.  But I was there not to long ago.

When on the phone with Hubby when he called from Miami, I told him I want to show him dining room table plans.  It did my heart good to hear him reply in an agreeing tone.  I want a farmhouse style table made from real wood.  Made by us!  I LOVE building things with my Hubby!  (Just the thought of it invokes romantic feelings…real warm & fuzzy!)

So these are the tables I have it narrowed down to and will let Hubby pick which one.  And I love the ideas of benches! Although I’m sure Hubby will still want chairs at the ends.  I’m okay with that too.  What I haven’t told him is all the other furniture I want us to build.  Hehehe!  Although it will take time, so one piece at a time.  With the focus being in the living room/dining room area to start with.  And the walls need to be painted, as well as the fireplace.  I’ve said that a million times already and Hubby just nods.  But I think I finally found the style I want in the house.  Definitely farmhouse.  So S2C was the perfect site to find.  By the way, all of these table plans I found there!

Well, I need to clean up the garage still.  Bug & I have had a very productive day, but it’s not over.  I’m letting him take a break.  He has a new love for watching I Love Lucy!  He is finding the older shows, even if in B&W are, as he says, HILARIOUS!!!

 

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Time Flies

I can’t even tell you where half of today has gone!?!?!?!  I remember beginning to think about having lunch at about 11:57 this morning and actually eating at 4:22 this afternoon.  No, I wasn’t abducted, but do you have those moments when you feel like you lost a big chunk of time?  I guess that’s what I get for jumping around between different projects today.

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Here’s one that I completed today.  I made the flower.  Although I think I am going to try to put a middle layer on the flower somehow.  Just seems too much blank space?  I don’t know?  I am my worst critic.  I’m not a huge fan of purple, but I think it’s cute.  I have a very girly side to me, but it does not include pink or purple.  Not sure why I hate pink, but I burnt myself out on purple when I was about 9 or 10.

It was almost time for school to start and my cousin had sent me a letter telling me about her new purple school wardrobe.  I told my mom I wanted all purple clothes when we go school shopping, but she said no.  Ha!  I won, I guess you could say.  Or purple just happened to be the biggest craze for fashion that year.  I had everything purple, including my sneakers.  I swear to you, I did not were anything purple again until I was in my late 20’s.  And even since that point, purple clothes are few and far between.b36590ab422fffbf03cc9df66adcd0ed

Christmas 2011, Bug was 7, he wanted to buy this shirt for me for Christmas.  He said, “mom, I know you don’t like purple but this saying fits you perfectly.  Will you wear it?  For me! Please!”  I couldn’t say no to that and I wore it proudly for many years!  People would stop me so they could read it.  I would just smile because those are the reasons my Hubby is a rich man!

i wish I could hang out here and catch y’all up on so much, but the house won’t clean itself (trust me!  I have been waiting for it to happen!) and crafts won’t finish themselves.

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Blessed Boy

On most Wednesdays, we volunteer at a Soup Kitchen in town.  It’s a blessing we truly enjoy.  We headed home after cleaning up and decided to stop at the Farm & Ranch Expo on our way.  I enjoy learning new things and finding great equipment; Bug enjoys loading up on free hats, calendars, fly swatters, key chains, pens and candy.

Many of the vendors have their own giveaways for sprayers, coolers or cash, but the Chamber of Commerce also has the major event giveaways.  You get the entry and have to get it stamped by numerous vendors before turning it in.  Bug ran around to the vendors to get it stamped (and hats, calendars, fly swatters, key chains, pens and candy) then returned it to me to fill out my information.

He was so excited to turn it in and there’s the mommy part of me that wants to protect him from getting his hopes up to high by saying “Now you realize there’s only like a 1 in 3,000 odds chance we would win this.”  Didn’t phase him one bit.  I didn’t even know exactly what the prize was or where to turn in the entry.  No fear there because Bug always figures these things out!

He was so desperate to wait tip the end of the expo for them to draw the winner.  Momma was tired and ready to head home, while reassuring him that if by some chance we won, they would call us.

As we approached the ranch, he said it was perfect weather to go bike riding.  Told him that was fine as long as he was back in time to feed the animals before we left for church.  While he was gone, the phone rang.  The rep from the Chamber of Commerce told me that I had won the grand prize.  There is just an excitement that comes with winning something, even if I still didn’t know what the prize was.  That excitement exploded when she said it was a Glock 17 pistol!  No wayyyyy!!!!!!

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I was so anxious for Bug to return to share the news and couldn’t even reach Hubby on the phone.  Bug was ECSTATIC to say the least when he heard the news.  So we will go tomorrow to do my background check and start the transfer.

Thank You Father for the blessing!!!  And to my sweet boy who wouldn’t let my pessimism stop him!

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Found The Secret!

I actually am working on another post, but life on the ranch had me saving it as a draft to finish at a later date.  But I thought I would share a quickie on homeschooling.  Bug is a 6th grader now and we started homeschooling 3 months into his 4th grade year.  There was a surge of parents pulling their kids from public school due primarily to the Magnolia state adopting the Common Core standards (which I affectionately refer to as #CommonCoreCrap).  Bug was in the gifted program and I remember the woman I turned the paperwork into saying he had the best grades on any that were being withdrawn. (I guess I’m bragging on him :-).

Homeschooling isn’t always easy. Even though this has been the best year so far for us, the last 2 1/2 months have felt like we have been trying to run through knee deep mud! We have fallen behind.  I don’t worry too much about it because we can quickly get caught up.

Bug helped me out on the ranch today, as well as art class with M.  So I didn’t stress to hard about school.  We spent time this evening reviewing some math that I wanted to be sure that he truly understood.  We use CTC math online and I LOVE it! (This is not an affiliate link).  

Since it was evening, it was also ice cream time.

We SURVIVED the Blue Bell Famine!!!!!!

 

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I found the secret to happy school time.  Like, the BEST incentive for correct answers, EVER!!!  Every time he got an answer right, he got a bite of ice cream.  He was so happy and eager to go onto the next question.  He was so happy, or perhaps on a sugar rush, that when we finished his assignment, he wanted to go onto Pre-Calculus.  This was even after the ice cream had been put back in the freezer, lol.

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Yes, he still wears much of what he eats.

 

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So exponent rules aren’t terribly difficult, but it was an absolute moral booster for him that he scored a 100% in Pre-Calculus!!!!!

And he made 100% on his first assignment!!!  I love my nerd!  I was blessed with 2 amazing nerds!!!  I remember when First Born was in high school.  One of his years in math, his regular teacher was out for an extended period of time and the substitutes often had First Born teaching the class. And whatever you do, do not get First Born talking about science or coffee!  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  But if you do, be ready to learn a lot!

Not that homeschooling him was ever an option, I try not to regret he didn’t have that option. I never thought homeschooling Bug would be option either, but God gave me the heart and ability to do it.  Is homeschooling for everyone?  No, probably not, but I do feel more people discredit themselves from being able to than should.

I will leave you here, for now.  And I will do my best to finish the other post up soon.

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