Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve 2012

Well here it is.  Another December 31st.  Another year gone by.

2012 was a good year.  Oh, it had its moments.  But all in all I think every year is good.

I'm another year older, my children are another year old, but all is well.

It is snowing here now, and has been snowing since this morning.  The roads are just wet, and we need the moisture so badly I am not complaining.

In this, my last post of 2012, I want to encourage each one of you to move forward in your life.  Each day brings a new opportunity to do good.  A new opportunity to be more healthy.  A new opportunity to be an encourager to those around you.  So many people let the past consume them and drag them down.  If that is you, STOP IT TODAY.  The past is the past, and yes, it can hurt.  But you can't change it.  Learn from it, and MOVE ON.  (I really don't know why I am saying this, but maybe there is one person who needs to read this today, so if its you, then, yes, I am talking to YOU!)

Each day gives us another chance to become closer to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  My wish for you is that if you already know Him, that you desire a deeper walk with Him.  And if you don't know Him, that you won't let the sun set tonight without making that most important of all decisions, accepting Jesus as your Savior.

I wish you and your family peace, and joy and love.  Make 2013 the best year of your life.  No matter what 2012 brought, it is behind you, so leave it there.

I'm not much for resolutions, they seem to fade quickly.  But today, take stock of your life.  Try to look at yourself objectively and see what you need to keep on doing, and what you need to let go of. 

I'm not where I need to be, but I'm better than I was.

Thanks to each one of you who read this little blog.  You all mean the world to me, and I pray for you and your families.

May God bless you and yours.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Favorite Christmas Song

Please, take 4 minutes and click on the link above.  You will hear Brandon Heath singing "That Was The Night Before Christmas."

As our nation mourns, and my mother's heart breaks for those mothers who will never hold their child again, I am reminded that our God reigns.  He sits on the throne of heaven.

And for those who put their trust in Him, there is peace, even in the midst of an unimaginable storm.

Close your eyes, and listen to this song.  And ask God to heal the broken hearts in Connecticut, and across our nation today.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Grayson . . . . .

Since I started this little blog o' mine a few years ago, I have been so blessed to "meet" some amazing friends.  Friends that, although we have never met in person, I feel like I KNOW.

And I am blessed to be able to share a tiny portion of their lives through their blog, just like I share my life, with you.

Well, today, I wanna share a little bit about my blogging buddy Elizabeth, and her precious son, Grayson.

Isn't he HANDSOME????

I mean, just look at that face, and those eyes.  Wow!

Grayson, just turned two, and he lives in Texas with his mom and dad, and his soon to be born baby brother or sister.  Yes, Grayson's parents are expecting baby number two soon!

Now this is where the story of Grayson gets a little tough.  Because, you see, Grayson, is a very ill little boy.  He has Mitochondrial Disease.  I have to admit, before I came across Elizabeth's blog, Snips, Snails and Puppy Dog Tales, I had never heard of Mitochondrial Disease.  And I won't try to give you all the details of this disease, because I don't want to tell you something incorrect.  But I can tell you that at two years old Grayson doesn't sit up on his own, he doesn't walk, he doesn't take food by mouth.

In September of this year, Grayson's parents were told that Grayson has Leigh's Disease, which is a rare form of Mitochondrial Disease.

Leigh's Disease is fatal.

There is no cure.

Most children with Leigh's Disease don't survive childhood.

Can you even imagine hearing those words from a physician about your child??

I can't. 

But Elizabeth did.

This child, this family needs our prayers, yours and mine. 

I want to ask you, right now, to stop what you are doing and pray for Grayson.  And I would further ask you to somehow, someway, remind yourself to pray for Grayson and his parents DAILY.

Pray for Grayson like you would want someone to pray if he were YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER OR GRANDCHILD.

The Bible assures us that God is a healer.  Can God heal Grayson?  Yes, I believe that with all my heart.  Will he heal Grayson?  I can't answer that, because God's ways are higher than ours.  And I trust that He has a plan for Grayson and his family.

But I can tell you that the Bible says this in James 5:13-18:

Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

These verses tell me that our prayers make a difference.  So today, tomorrow, every single day PRAY FOR GRAYSON.  And pray with FAITH!!

I know Elizabeth would love to hear from you.  So please, "follow" her blog.  Put in on your "blogroll" so that every time you check your blog, you will see her posts and it will remind you to PRAY FOR GRAYSON.  Visit her BLOG right now, and hear all about this amazing little boy.  Write Grayson's name on a post-it note and stick it on your refrigerator, on your Bible, on your bathroom mirror.

I am praying for Grayson, right now, and every single day.  Because I know I would want someone praying for him if he was mine.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Cards

After my last post, I'm sure you all think I'm a total SCROOGE.

I promise you I am not. 


I love Christmas music, and Christmas trees, and Christmas gifts and Christmas cookies!

I just wanted to remind everyone that it's not ABOUT the music, and the trees and the gifts and the cookies.  It's about Jesus!!!

However, lest you think I am not celebrating Christmas this year . . . feast your eyes on THESE:

Yep, I ordered my Christmas cards today!!  If you'll remember, the last two years I've received FREE Christmas cards from SHUTTERFLY.  And I've raved about them.

To tell you how much I loved their cards, this year I was NOT offered free Christmas cards.  But I ordered from Shutterfly anyway.  They are SO MUCH NICER than the Christmas cards I had ordered from Wal-Mart in years past.  Not knocking Wal-Mart, but I like Shutterfly Christmas cards better.  I think they are "nicer."  (Disclaimer:  I paid for my Shutterfly Christmas cards.  I just like 'em, so I'm tellin' ya I like 'em).

Now, maybe I can get my handsome hubby to drag up that Christmas tree box from the basement :).

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

'Tis the Season To Feel Inadequate?

WOW!  Can you be-lieve it is December 4th??  I sure can't.  Especially since we are having unseasonably warm weather here in Missouri.

It was in the 70s this past weekend.  Still in the 60s today and supposed to be warm through the end of the week.  We've had no snow.  No ice.

Now don't get me wrong, I am NOT complaining.  But really, for Missouri, this weather is weird.  Then again, we've had weird weather all year long.

It kind of makes it hard for me to get into the Christmas decorating mood.  But, other folks don't seem to have any trouble.

I follow several blogs.  Or maybe I should say I "subscribe" to a lot of blogs.  I get an e-mail when they post.  Well can I just say that these folks aren't have any trouble getting into the decorating mood, because their houses look like MAGAZINES!!!!  Feast your eyes on THIS!!!

Now let me give credit where credit is due.  These are NOT my pictures (not that you would EVER see anything like this at my house)!  I believe each of the pictures has the name of the blog on it.  The pictures are from Thistlewood Farms and At The Picket Fence

Some of these houses have 4 or 5 OR MORE Christmas trees in them and they are all lit up like the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center.  They have some kind of wreath on every door, interior and exterior.  Their mantles are decorated to the hilt.  Every flat surface has some type of ornament or decoration on it.  And lots of the decorations are, get this, HOMEMADE.  And I don't mean homemade in a NEGATIVE way.  I mean in a BEAUTIFUL CUSTOM MADE WAY.  Even the bathrooms were decorated for the holidays!!!

And this time of year, that old green-eyed monster can creep up so easily.  It is hard sometimes to look at these beautiful blogs and not feel just a tiny bit inadequate.  My house, at its best, looks absolutely NOTHING like these blogs.  I don't have that many decorations.  I don't spend that much time or money on decorating.  And when I look at those blogs, it sometimes makes me feel like I should.  It sure makes me WANT my house to look beautiful.

Now listen.  DO NOT get me wrong.  I LOVE LOOKING AT ALL OF THOSE BEAUTIFUL HOMES ALL DECKED OUT FOR CHRISTMAS!  I admire the ladies (and gentlemen) who took the time and effort and money to make their homes so beautiful.  I'm not knocking them one little bit.  Frankly, there are times I wish I put a little bit more effort into that kind of stuff because it is just gorgeous.

I'm just reassuring you, that if your house doesn't look like that, you are not alone.

Guys, I'm here to tell you I don't have my Christmas tree up.  I haven't even drug the box up from the basement.  One year, just a couple of years ago, I didn't even put up a Christmas tree (gasp!).  Yes, I do think I will get the tree up sometime in the next couple of weeks.  But I can assure you I have VERY LITTLE in the way of Christmas decorations at my house.  I don't do any decorating in our bedrooms, or the bathrooms for that matter.  I will put the tree up in front of the front door, and I have a little sleigh my mother-in-law made for me years ago.  I do have a few decorations I put on my fireplace mantle, but I can assure you it looks NOTHING like the mantels I've been seeing on blogs. 

I haven't sent out Christmas cards yet.  To tell the truth, I haven't even ORDERED them yet. Plenty of time (hehehe!!!)  I have done some shopping, but I haven't wrapped a present.

But I can assure you today that Christmas is about one thing, and one thing only.  The birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  As Luke wrote centuries ago: "Behind, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people.  For unto you is BORN THIS DAY, in the City of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord!"

Again, I'm not saying that putting up a tree or decorating your house is wrong.  I really LOVE looking at beautifully decorated homes.  I wish I lived in one.  But don't let yourself feel bad if your reality doesn't live up to someone else's highlight reel.  Because its not about the tree, it's not about the decorations, its not about gifts.  It's about the Reason for the season.  The birth of a baby, in a stable.  A baby born to be a King.  Born to be crucified for your sins and mine.  To pay my debt and your debt.

So this year, if your house is beautifully decorated, then GREAT.  Good for you!! Please post some pictures so I can admire it.  And if your house isn't beautifully decorated, then GREAT.  Welcome to my world!!

Just don't let yourself feel inadequate.  Enjoy the fruits of other people labors and RELAX.  And if you START feeling inadequate, then just come over here to Down On The Farm . . . and you'll feel better!  You are probably MORE ready for Christmas than I am!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Good Old Days

Facebook.  This one little word evokes very strong feelings.  Folks either LOVE IT, or they HATE IT.
Me, I have mixed feelings.  There are times I really don't like it.  People making comments with WAYYYYYY too much information.  People using profanity.  People posting pictures that I don't think are appropiate (so I block them).
And then, there are moments where I really like Facebook.  I can keep in touch with people that frankly I wouldn't any other way.  I am up to date on the latest news.  I get to see pictures of kids and grandkids of friends and family that I wouldn't ordinarily get to see.
And then, then there are days where I get on Facebook and I see pictures that I have never seen before posted by one of my Aunts.

This is a picture of my sweet mother on the left.  She must have been about two years old.  In the middle is my mom's older brother, Ronnie, and her eldest sister, Wanda.  I have never seen this picture before.  And oh, how sweet it is.  Just a glimpse into life as it was years ago.  I can't really make out the background.  I don't know where this picture was taken.Is that a doll my mom is holding??

This is another picture of my mother when she was a teenager.  My mom is again on the left, and on the right is my mom's sister, Alicia.  Hard to imagine my mom on a date, and no, that guy is NOT my DAD!!  Just a boy she went to a dance with many, many years ago.

Now this picture, this picture brings back MEMORIES.  You see, my parents owned the Longhorn Restaurant in Eldon.  They bought it, oh, I'm guessing early 1970s, and owned it for a few years.  Honestly, I would have to ask my mom when they sold it.  I have spent HOURS in this restaurant.  When we were very little, we played in the back corner booth of the restaurant, underneath the gas furnace.  Back by the restrooms.  As we got older we worked.  I ran the cash register, bussed tables, and washed dishes (it was an automatic restaurant style dishwasher) after school and on weekends.  I wasn't very old.  We sold it when I was probably 12 or 13.  We played out back of the restaurant for hours and hours and hours while my mom ran the restaurant inside.  My dad worked for the railroad and he was gone a lot.  We weren't all old enough to be left at home alone, so we practically lived there.

I haven't thought of this place in years.  You know what's there now???  This:

Yep, McDonalds. 

A great big THANK YOU to my Aunt for posting these pictures.  I've enjoyed a few minutes of the Good Old Days this morning, and it brought back some GREAT MEMORIES.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I have no trouble sleeping.  I hardly ever wake up at night, and if I do wake up, I go right back to sleep.  And I can go to sleep anywhere. I am NOT one of those people who have to have the room totally black, and a ceiling fan blowing on them, and 27 pillows piled up behind them.  If I can close my eyes, I can fall asleep and stay asleep.

But not last night.  For some reason, sleep just would not come.

I went to bed at my normal time.  I read for a little while like I usually do.  And then turned off the light to go to sleep. 

And I waited. 

And I waited.

And I waited.


And I could not go to sleep.  This never happens to me.

So I got up.  I put a load of laundry in the washer.  I paid some bills.  I cleaned my Keurig.

Wait a minute?   I did what??

Yes, it's true.  I had just seen a blog about cleaning your Keurig, and getting all of the hard water out of it.  So that's what I did.

I poured a cup of vinegar in the machine and started it up and OH MY GOODNESS.  You cannot BE-LIEVE the FILTH that came out of that machine. It was horrible.  Brown, gross-looking water with chunks of hard water floating in it.  So I ran about 4 cups of clean water through it to get that vinegar-smell out of it.

I will say that the machine is much more QUIET now that all of that hard water is out of it, and it brews my tea faster.

So that's what I was doing at about 12:30 this morning.  Cleaning my Keurig coffee maker.  What an exciting life I lead.

But still I was wide awake. 

So I took the clothes out of the washer, threw them in the dryer, and started another load.

I got on the computer.

And finally, at 1:30 a.m., though still wide awake, I made myself go back to bed.  I don't know how much time went by before I went to sleep, but when my alarm went off this morning . . . 

Well, let's just say by this afternoon I may be propping my eyes open with toothpicks!!

Really, this happens to me SO RARELY!  Maybe once a year I have a night like this where I just can't sleep.

But my Keurig sure is clean!!

Monday, November 26, 2012


I do not have an Iphone.  I do not have a "smart" phone.  I have just a plain old cell phone.  I can talk, I can text, and I can take pictures.

One day I will break down and get an Iphone.  I am not anti-I-phone.  I am anti pay-$25-per-month for a "data plan."  But I digress.

I lost my cell phone Friday evening.  I mean, it wasn't really "lost."  I just couldn't find it.  But I wasn't too worried about it.  I knew it was in the house because my dad had called me that evening and I hadn't been outside since then.

So Saturday morning I started looking for my phone.  I looked everywhere.  I looked all of the usual places, and all of the not so usual places.  I looked under the bed, under the couch, in drawers, everywhere.  I had my husband "calling" my phone with his.  Unfortunately, I had my phone set on "vibrate" so no way to hear it ring.  (Note to self . . . do NOT set phone to vibrate).

I had my daughter walking around the house with her phone "calling" my phone.  Finally, I thought I heard a little "buzz" from the vibration.  I turned the washer and dryer off to make the house as quiet as possible and said "call me again." 

And there, just faintly, in the laundry room, I could "hear" the vibration of the phone.

Do you know where my phone was?  AT THE BOTTOM OF THE TRASH BAG!!!

Over the Thanksgiving weekend I did a lot of house cleaning to get ready for company on Sunday.  I went through the house asking myself "why-did-you-ever-keep-this" and I threw away a LOT of stuff.  Somehow, I must have picked up the phone with a handful of papers and tossed it.  And I couldn't "hear" the vibration until I had taken the trash bag out of the trash can and set it on the floor for my husband to take outside and burn (yes, we live in the country, yes we burn our trash). 

I would really hate to lose that phone.  Not that it is an expensive phone, but, I have LOTS and LOTS of phone numbers in the phone. Numbers I don't have anywhere else.

So today, in addition to all of the MANY WONDERFUL THINGS in my life, I am so thankful that I found my phone!

Have you ever "lost" your cell phone?  Isn't it unreal that something I couldn't have even imagined as a child, is now such a big part of our lives?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Workin' Cattle

Just a few weekends ago we worked some of our cattle.  Now for those of you who don't know what "workin' cattle" means, I'm going to show you.

Working cattle means giving shots to the mama cows and their calves, pouring on de-wormer, and castrating the bulls.

It was an absolutely gorgeous fall day.  And I really enjoy it when we are all working together.

Here is a calf in the head gate. 

You see the white plastic container with the yellow label hanging upside down?  That's pour on de-wormer.

Cole bringing a calf down the chute to the head gate.  See the short sleeves?  It was a gorgeous fall day.

All the mama cows are outside the pen (the had already been worked), and all the babies are inside the pen, and the mamas want to get to those babies.  They think we are hurting them.  If they could just understand the shots help them!

 Another baby calf in the head gate.

Hang on baby calves.  We'll turn you back out with your mamas in just a few minutes!!

It may sound crazy, but we really do enjoy working together.  And while it is WORK, at least the kids are working with us. It was a great day to be outside enjoying the beautiful fall weather.

Yesterday fall turned to winter here at Down On The Farm.  It was 70 degrees when we left church.  By the time we got home (about 25 minutes later) it was 57 and raining and the temperature just kept going down, reaching the 20s by early this morning.

I think old man winter is trying to make an appearance here in Missouri.  But I am so thankful we had a gorgeous day to work cattle a couple of weekends ago.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Remodel "Before"

As faithful followers know, I live in a 1968 ranch style home.  While our house is warm and dry and I am very thankful for that, 1968 ranch style homes are pretty plain jane. 

We moved here in February of 1998, just a couple of weeks after our baby's second birthday.  Wow!  She really doesn't remember living anywhere but here.  Our son was just getting ready to turn 5 when we moved here.  He doesn't really remember much about life before Down On The Farm either!

If you recall, last year we remodeled our bathroom.  Click HERE for the details. We have two bathrooms, but we don't have a "master bathroom."  The bathroom we remodeled last year is the bathroom next to our master bedroom, but it doesn't adjoin our bedroom.  Really, what that means is the door to the bathroom is in the hallway, not inside our bedroom.  I am VERY HAPPY with how the remodel turned out.  We didn't spent a lot, and truly got a lot of BANG FOR THE BUCK.  Two sinks are MUCH better than one, especially when I share that bathroom with a 16 year old daughter! 

I'm really into "bang for the buck."  I don't want to spend a lot of money remodeling our house.  Our house is in the middle of our farm and we will never sell it.  Eventually, we I would like to build a new house over on another farm to get away from the turkey barns, get away from driving through cow manure on the road, and get  away from living on a gravel road and my car being always dusty or muddy.  But that's another post for another time.  So when I say I'm "remodeling" it really means I'm trying to spend as little as I can, and use what I have, only make it BETTER.

I hear people talk about remodeling and spending $10,000 on their bathroom, or $30,000 on their kitchen.  WHAT??? 

So if you are interested in what remodeling on a BUDGET looks like, keep reading.  Here is a picture of our other bathroom, the bathroom we are remodeling now.  This is the bathroom just off the laundry room.  And really, I don't have a "laundry room."  The washer and dryer are behind the door when you open the back door to our house.  So far the ugly wallpaper border has been removed (see the white at the top).  That mirror is going to get a frame, and the light fixture will be replaced. 

Sorry this is so dark!  Backlit!!

This is looking toward the shower.  That shower curtain is GOING!  The sink is to my left as you are looking at the shower.

The big problem with this area is the floor.  The toilet has been leaking for awhile, and the floor between the toilet and the shower is very "soft."  Which means the underlayment is rotten and will have to be removed.  So we have hired someone to tear out the two layers of old vinyl, replace the underlayment, and install a new vinyl floor.

Yes, I would like to have a tile floor instead of vinyl.  However, my handsome husband walks into our house several times a day to use this bathroom, and he doesn't always take off his boots.  And his boots aren't just covered in grass clippings.  They are caked in cow manure, turkey manure, mud, all sorts of lovely things that are then transferred to this floor.  I need a floor I can BLEACH, so for us, for now, vinyl is the practical choice.  When we build a new house, I will have a separate area the farmer can use so he isn't tracking up my pretty floor.  But again, that's years down the road.

So far we have purchased a bag of floor patch for $15.00.  We purchased 6 sheets of underlayment at $20 each ($120.00).  We purchased a new exhaust fan for the bathroom ($115).  The new fan has much more suction power and is MUCH QUIETER than the old fan that is 44 years old.  The old fan SQUEALS when it runs, and makes a lot of noise.  It also doesn't have much suction power.  And, the new fan has a light!  Woo hoo!!!  We also purchased a new light fixture for the wall ($59).  The old light has 3 lights on it, but only 2 work.  So now we will have a light in the ceiling and three working lights above the sink. Hallelujah!!!

I have tentatively picked some vinyl, but want to look one more place before I decide for sure.  I will go with something fairly neutral.  This is a relatively small area, so nothing too crazy. Nothing too expensive. 

While we're at it, I'm doing a little updating to our master bedroom.  We painted last summer, and got new carpet.  We also had an electrician install a wire so we could have a light in the middle of the room.

For some strange reason, the folks who built our house in 1968 installed THESE beauties in the master bedroom.

And as you can see, they hang about two feet from the wall??  Really?  I mean why would you do this??  This makes no sense to me. 

So we are going to be taking these babies down from the side of the room, and installing THIS BEAUTY in the middle of the room!  You may be wondering why we have waited a year to get a new light fixture.  Well, so am I.  I have no excuse.  But now that I've decided to do it, I can't WAIT!!!

I love it!, $109 and FREE SHIPPING!!!!  I can't WAIT to see that light hanging from the ceiling.  I have also purchased some new pillows to go on our bed.  I will do a post just on the changes to the bedroom, but wanted to give you a sneak peek!

I am so excited to get the new floor, and the plan is to have everything done before Thanksgiving.  So stay tuned and I'll keep you updated!  I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Be The Church

This has been on my heart lately.  BEING the church.  Don't get me wrong, I love going to church.  I love my church and our pastors and our worship team and all my church friends.  But going to church is pretty much all about me and my relationship with God.  I am singing, I am praising, I am worshipping, and building myself up.  But for what?

I believe we are blessed to be a blessing to others.  And I believe we go to church and build ourselves up in Christ so we can GO AND BE THE CHURCH TO OTHERS IN OUR DAILY LIVES!

Many people don't attend church.  So they don't sing and praise and worship and get built up in Christ.  They don't even know who Jesus is.  They need to see ME (AND YOU!) as a living example of Jesus.  They need to see us living a life of obedience, and that means NOT SINNING!!!  We can't be a shining example of Jesus if we are leading a sinful life.  And I know, I know, we all sin every day.  But we need to walk the walk if we're going to talk the talk.  Nothing turns people off to Jesus faster than not being authentic, not being real.  People can spot a phony a mile away. 

So go and be the hands and feet and mouth of Jesus today.  At school, in your work place, at the grocery store.  Wherever you are today, take Jesus with you and show Him off.

Speak words of kindness.  Compliment someone.  Being the church doesn't have to mean standing in the back of a pickup truck and reading the Bible (although it certainly can be)!!   Being the church is as simple as holding a door for a mother with her hands full of groceries and babies.  Being the church is as simple as smiling at someone who looks like they are having a bad day.  Being the church is sending a cheery card for no reason at all to someone who could use some cheering up.  Being the church means loving your family no matter what.  Let the love of Christ flow through you.  Let the JOY of the Lord just ooze out of your soul in all you do.  Don't worry, others WILL NOTICE!!!

HAVE SOMETHING THAT SOMEBODY WANTS IN THEIR OWN LIFE!!!  Be the kind of person others want to be around.  Because if they see in you a life lived with peace and joy, no matter what your circumstances, pretty soon they are gonna be asking YOU what is so different.  And that opens the door to sharing the GOOD NEWS.  You don't have to begin in Genesis and preach through Revelation.  Just be honest, tell them that Jesus loves you, and loves them too.  Tell them that they can have what you have by just believing that Jesus is the Son of God, believing that He can forgive them of their sins.  All they have to do is invite Him into their heart.  And that's it.  Plenty of time for all the "details" later. 

So today, as you go about your daily life, BE THE CHURCH.  Let your light so shine among men (and women) that people know there's something different about you.  Different in a good way.  Different in a way that brings GLORY AND HONOR TO OUR LORD!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Repent and Be Baptized

Acts 2:38 says "Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

On Sunday, October 31, 1976, as the piano played "The Way of the Cross Leads Home," I walked down the center aisle of a little country church and shook the preacher's hand and told him I loved Jesus and I wanted to be baptized.  My younger sister took that walk with me.  Our church didn't have a baptismal, so we went to a church in town that afternoon (the same church I was married in) and I was baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

I remember that day like it was yesterday.  I remember the song that was playing, I remember the preacher talking to me and making certain I understood what I was doing.  I remember walking into the water and going under and coming up feeling on top of the world.  And I knew from that day forward I belonged to Jesus.

Please don't misunderstand.  I do NOT believe that baptism is salvation.  I believe that baptism is an outward symbol of an inward change of heart, of a new beginning.  I believe we are to be baptized because Jesus was baptized.

I still think of that day so many years ago.  I wish I could tell you that I've lived a perfect life since that day thirty-six years ago, but I haven't.  I have failed my Savior so many times.  I have disappointed Him.  I have broken His heart.  But thank God He loves me anyway.  In spite of all my failures, He still loves me.  He still hears my prayers.  He still walks beside me and strengthens me and encourages me.  I love Him so!!

As the words of that old hymn that played on the day of my baptism say, the way of the cross does lead home.  In fact, it is the only way to get to heaven.  Jesus died on the cross for you, and for me.  His blood that was shed offers righteousness to all who ask.  Not our righteousness, we can't be righteous on our own.  We fail miserably.  But Jesus offers us HIS righteousness when we accept Him and ask Him to come into our hearts and change us. 


I know that a lot of my posts are about my kids, or about our farm, or cooking, or gas prices, or other day to day things.  But my prayer is that everyone who reads my blog knows that the most imporant thing in my life is Jesus.  All other things are secondary.  The Bible tells us to seek God FIRST!  Seek HIS kingdom, seek HIS righteousness.  Everything else is temporary.

So please, if you don't know Jesus, ask Him, right now, to come into your heart.  Believe that He is the Son of God, and that He died on the cross for you.  Ask Him to forgive you of your sins.  Find a good Bible believing church and attend faithfully.  Read your Bible and pray, pray, PRAY!!!  God loves you so much.  It is His desire that none should perish.  But the only way to heaven is through Jesus.  There is no other way.  Jesus said so. 

I am so thankful that I gave my heart to Jesus on that cold Sunday afternoon thirty-six years ago today.  It was the best decision I ever made, and it will be the best decision you ever make, too

What can wash away my sin?  NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS!!  Amen and amen!!

Monday, October 29, 2012


Had an awesome church service yesterday.  Our Pastor reminded us that God wants us to be "ALL IN" for Him. 

If Noah hadn't been "all in" he wouldn't have built the ark.

Are you ALL IN for God??  Or are you straddling the fence?

If you aren't all in, make a decision TODAY to give everything to Him.

We don't have to do it on our own.  I mean, seriously, there's NO WAY we can do it on our own. But if we want God's best for us, then we have to give OUR ALL to Him!!!

I want everything God has for me.  I know He has an awesome plan for my life.  So today, I ask Him to show me the areas of my life that I am holding onto, and to help me let go.  I know He wants me to put Him first in every area of my life!

Thank you God!  You are so awesome!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Green Beans

Central Missouri experienced a drought in 2012 the likes of which I've never seen in my lifetime.  The drought not only affected our pastures, but it affected our garden. 

We usually have a very large garden and we do lots of canning and freezing.  We can homemade salsa, we can green beans, we freeze corn, and I make apple butter and several different kinds of jams and jellies.

But this year our garden just burnt up. We didn't freeze any corn, we didn't make any salsa, and we had no summertime green beans.  However, my husband did plant some fall green beans and they turned out GREAT!

Frankly I would rather can fall beans than summertime beans.  The main reason is a very selfish one.  IT IS SO HOT IN THE SUMMERTIME THAT IT IS MISERABLE TO PICK THE BEANS!
The second (and much less selfish) reason is that fall beans turn out better (in my opinion).  You don't have as many bugs in the fall, so the beans have fewer bug bites. 
Unfortunately, our fall beans fell victim to an early October frost (one of the big drawbacks of depending on fall green beans for canning) so we were only able to can 52 quarts.  We usually can around 150 quarts, so 52 quarts won't last very long here at Down On The Farm.
I have to admit, I am holding onto those 52 quarts of canned green beans like they are GOLD and I've been feeding my family store bought canned green beans.  I know that may seem silly to you, but the home canned green beans are so much better, I hate to run out!  Don't worry, I think I only have 2 or 3 more cans of "store bought" green beans left in the pantry, and then I'll start using my home canned green beans.
Praying that next summer our garden does much better and that next summer isn't nearly as hot and dry as what we had last year.
So tell me, do you ever hesitate to eat the fruits of your labor like me?  Do you "hoard" your homecanned items?  Do you save them back or just go ahead and eat them like they will last forever?  I would love to hear your thoughts!
Blessings to you!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Apple Butter

Nothing says "fall" to me more than making up a batch of homemade apple butter.  I love apple butter.  It has such a rich, sweet flavor to it.  And I love the color too!! All those shiny jars of apple butter just make me feel good inside.  And those of you who do any home canning know exactly what I mean.

Making apple buttter is not difficult, but it takes TIME!!!  This isn't something you can hurry through.  You really need the better part of a day from start to finish.  But oh, my is it ever worth it!!

I started with just over 13 pounds of Jonathan apples. 

Then I washed and peeled the apples, and sliced them using my Pampered Chef slicer.  I tried using the Pampered Chef slicer first and then peeling . . . but I didn't think it worked as well.  But you can do whatever works best for you.  Just peel all of the apples, take out the core, slice them up and throw them in a large pan on about medium heat. 

This is the apples when they first started cooking. 

And here, they've started to cook down a little bit.

This pictures was after about 45 minutes of cooking.  You want the apples to be very soft. 

Because, you're going to run them through this colander.

You can use whatever method you prefer.  I have a food mill, but frankly couldn't find it. (Hey, I gotta be honest!) So I used this old colander.  If you have an electric food grinder, I think that would work too.  You want the apples to be about the consistency of apple sauce once you run it through the food mill, or colander or grinder.  This is the most time consuming part of the process to me.  So I think I will probably look into some faster (i.e. electric) method of processing the apples next time I make apple butter.

Here are the apples after running them through the colander. 

To this you add 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (regular vinegar will work just fine) and 5 pounds of sugar.  Yes, I said 5 pounds of sugar.  This is NOT a low calorie recipe!!  But the sugar acts as the "preservative" for the apple buttter.  And definitely is a big part of the flavor!

Stir the vinegar and sugar into the apples and put it in the oven at 325 degrees for 5 hours.  You will need to stir the mixture about once an hour. 

Here is the apple butter after an hour or so.

And here it is a couple of hours later.  Look at that beautiful color.  The apple butter will get darker, and thicker, the longer it cooks.  Which just makes it taste better!!

This is after 5 hours of cooking.  See how beautiful that looks.  And oh my you can't IMAGINE how my kitchen smelled!!!

Now, add 1/4 cup of "red hots" or as the store calls them now "cinnamon imperials."  Frankly I just used the whole package, which was nearly 1/2 cup.

After you add the red hots, stir everything again, and put it back in the oven for one more hour
 See that delicious apple butter and the little pieces of red hots?  Those will completely melt into the apple butter over the next hour. 

Now doesn't that just look DELICIOUS????  Seriously, if you have never made homemade apple butter I would encourage you to give it a whirl.  As I said, it is NOT difficult, but it does take some time.  But when you spread that apple butter over a piece of toast, or onto an English muffin, YUM YUM YUM.  You will KNOW it was worth every single second of your time!!! 
Again, being totally honest, it was very late when I finished putting the apple butter into the jars (it made 17 half-pints), and I completely forgot to take pictures.  I processed my jars in a water bath
for 10 minutes and then let them cool. The jars just look beautiful on the shelf, and I've already sampled the apple butter.  Delicious!!!  So go buy yourself some apples and give homemade apple butter a try.  I think you will be glad you did!!!