Thursday, March 31, 2011

How Beautiful Heaven Must Be

That's the title of a great old hymn.  If you were raised up in church, like me, you can hear that tune running through your mind right now.  "How Beautiful Heaven Must Be."  And it's true.  The Biblical descriptions of heaven are amazing.  They are breathtaking.  But sometimes heaven seems so far away, and we forget what we have waiting for us.

I told you that a few weekends ago I went to Las Vegas.  One of the most beautiful places in Las Vegas, to me, is the Bellagio.  And, in particular, the conservatory at the Bellagio.  Really, isn't this just stunning?

Trust me, the pictures don't do it justice.  It is magically beautiful.  Everywhere you look it is just amazing.  Beyond description.

Don't you think that if God gave someone the vision to create the conservatory at the Bellagio, and all of the other beautiful places on Earth, that He has something even BETTER in store for His children?  The Scriptures say in I Corinthians 2:9 "But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."

John tells us in 14:2:  "In my Father's house are many mansions."  And in Revelation, John describes a heaven that is beyond anything we can even comprehend.  A throne surrounded by a rainbow.  A sea of glass, like crystal. 

So the next time you are feeling overwhelmed by your everyday life, remember what a promise we have waiting for us.  Remember what a reward awaits those who do not grow weary.  A lifetime spent with Jesus.  No more death, no more tears, no more sickness.  He will make everything new.  How Beautiful Heaven Must Be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Family Weekend

A couple of weekends ago, I made a quick trip with my parents and one of my beautiful sisters to, wait for it, Las Vegas.  I know, I know, you're thinking "Vegas isn't a family trip."  But, when you have a big part of your family that LIVES in Vegas, then Vegas becomes a family destination.

We celebrated my dad's 69th birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!) and my beautiful cousin Linda's 64th birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY LINDA!!!) and I can tell you that we had an absolutely WONDERFUL TIME.  Linda was so gracious to let us stay with her and her sweetie pie of a husband, Jimmie.  And to top it all off she hosted a huge family dinner on Sunday afternoon.  Don't I have a great family???

This is my beautiful mother, my beautiful sister, Renda, and my beautiful cousin, Linda.  Beauty obviously runs in our family.

Here is my dad, my sister Renda, and my mom!  The weather was absolutely GORGEOUS!  It was springtime in Vegas.  

If our family is involved, you know there's going to be food.  Lots and lots of delicious food.  The lady front and center is my beautiful cousin Loretta!  She came in for the weekend all the way from Alameda, California to be with us!  Thank you Loretta!!! 

This is my mom, and my Great Aunt Leda!  She's 88 years old.  My Aunt Leda, NOT MY MOM!  Sorry mom, just wanted to clarify that! 

More family and more food.  Told you we had a great time!!  And isn't Linda's house just GORGEOUS???!!

What a neat trip we had.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to get to go and I thank my parents, and my sister Renda, for including me on the trip.  I wouldn't have missed it for the world!!!  Families are such a blessing.  I know mine is a blessing to me!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Enough Already!!!!!

Here in Missouri, we have had the worst winter I can remember in years.  Decades.  We have had bitterly cold temperatures.  We have had snow and I mean TONS of snow  (remember our February 1st blizzard?)

I, for one, was HOPING that we had the worst of winter behind us.  I mean, I know that it's not really spring yet.  But surely we've suffered enough????

I guess old man winter disagreed with me -- take a look at this!!!

This was Monday afternoon here at Down On The Farm.  We probably have 5 inches of snow.  A heavy, wet snow.  It is melting like crazy today, which is fine with me and just about everybody else.

Spring.  I love you.  I need you to show up DESPERATELY!  And please, NO MORE SNOW!!!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

You Loved Me Anyway

Earlier this week I was running errands on my lunch hour.  And when I'm in my car I have my radio dial (well there's really not a dial anymore, but you know what I mean) set to SpiritFM, our local Christian radio station.  As I was driving, a song came on by Sidewalk Prophets called "You Loved Me Anyway."  As I listened to the words of this song, tears began streaming down my face.  The words broke my heart for all the times I've disappointed my Savior.  For all the times I've not been obedient.  But thank God He loves me anyway.  In spite of all my failures.  In spite of all my sins.  He loves me.  And He loves you. 

Have you ever really thought about that?  The God of the universe loves me and you.  He loves us so much, that HE sent HIS SON to die so that we might live.  So that we can be forgiven, and one day spend eternity with Him in a place He has created for us called heaven.  And as Jesus hung on that cross, He knew every sin I would ever commit but His love for me was so strong that He endured the cross for my sins.  For your sins.

Here is the video for "You Loved Me Anyway."  Please take just a few minutes, turn up your speakers, and let yourself be reminded how very much Jesus loves you.  And let this song challenge you, as it has challenged me, to daily live my life in a way that pleases Him.  That makes Him proud.  A life that honors Him and all He has done for me.

Romans 5:8  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Catching Up

If you are a regular follower of Down On The Farm, you've probably noticed that I haven't been blogging much lately.  Not to worry, we are all FINE.  And it's not for lack of "want to."  I love blogging.  Even if not one person ever reads anything I type, I enjoy it.  I enjoy the thought I put into what I write about.  I enjoy the pictures I post.  But it seems I have just been so busy!  My days and weeks just absolutely fly by.  I know you all know the feeling.

So, today, you're gonna get a random post, and I'm gonna update you on a little bit of what has gone on the last month or so. 

Both of my kids have had birthdays in the last month.  Alex turned 15, and now has her Learner's Permit to drive.  In Missouri, kids can drive, with a parent or legal guardian, when they turn 15 if they pass a written exam.  So Alex has been doing some driving.  I must admit she's been driving tractors and trucks around the farm for quite a long time.  But, as she is learning, driving a car, on a road, surrounded by other cars is different.  She has been doing great, and I'm really, really proud of her driving ability. 

Cole turned 18 this weekend.  Un-believable.  No way can my baby boy be 18.  He is now registered to vote, and sometime in the next few weeks will have to register with Selective Service.  He is just a little over two months away from graduating from high school.  He is filling out scholarship applications like crazy.  My little boy, is a young man and again, I am so very proud of him.  I am a blessed mama!!!
We took the kids out to dinner last night to celebrate their birthdays.  We went to one of their favorite restaurants . . . Red Lobster.  It was so nice to be together, just the four of us.

National FFA Week was in February, and our kids both drove tractors to school one day.  Isn't small-town America wonderful ? ? ? ?

 This is Cole in front of our New Holland TS115A.

And here is Alex and one of her friends on our John Deere 2555.

DriveYour Tractor To School Day is one of the most POPULAR days at our high school.  The kids love it.  And I think my husband enjoys helping the kids get the tractors cleaned up and ready to go.  We USE our tractors, and most of the time they are either muddy or dusty!  Lately they've been very muddy!  But its nice to have them all spiffed up that one day per year.

The snow from the blizzard is all gone, and we've had quite a bit of rain so it really is still pretty damp around here.  And while it's not spring yet, the grass is TRYING to turn green.  I took these pictures of our farm this past weekend.  If you look closely you can see the grass is beginning to turn green.

We are trying some new cattle feed here at Down On The Farm.   Actually, it isn't anything new, but it's new to us ... wet distillers grain.  From what I'm told, this is the leftover corn by-product from ethanol plants.  It has a funky smell, and is the consistency of mealy peanut butter.  I can tell you that the cows really like it.

With the price of gasoline and diesel skyrocketing ($3.24 for regular and $3.64 for diesel), my husband is going to try his hand at making his own diesel fuel.  I'll post more on this later, but here is the used vegetable oil he will be mixing with some other chemicals in order to turn it into fuel he can burn in his diesel pickup and in other diesel trucks and tractors on the farm.  We are all about saving money any way we can.  And recycling doesn't hurt either.

Sorry for the randomness of this post today.  I told you there would be a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  But hey, that's how my life goes!!!