Visiting with Family

It was great to have Uncle Donnie, Aunt Lisa and our cousins Liam and Logan down to Virginia for a visit!  It was the first time some of them had visited the farm, so we were pretty excited that we had an afternoon to show them around the property and do farm chores.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

After catching up for a few minutes, we took advantage of the sunshine to play some soccer.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

After soccer, traisping through the woods, and climbing trees, we were all hot and thristy.  Of course, water did not quite cut it . . . . so we voted for an impromptu run to the store for ice cream.  {We are soooo spoiled :) }

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

photo 3

photo 1

Other fun moments included . . . when we took Liam and Logan down to the swing in the woods.  We had so much fun!

photo 2

photo 4

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Can’t wait to see you all again!
~Olivia

Tagged , ,

Independence for All! // Part 2 of 2

….. More photos from the 4th! …..
~ We loved hosting the party {it had been way too long!} and owe a huge thank you to all who came out and made it a memorable day! ~

IMG_6414 - Copy

IMG_6015     IMG_6093     IMG_6053

IMG_6050

IMG_5999     IMG_6206     IMG_6020

IMG_6002

IMG_6006     IMG_6022     IMG_6023

IMG_6095

IMG_6102     IMG_6105     IMG_6145

IMG_6224

IMG_6243     IMG_6316     IMG_6378

IMG_6263

IMG_6269     IMG_6312     IMG_6362

IMG_6358

IMG_6373     IMG_6374     IMG_6391

IMG_6382

IMG_6386     IMG_6392     IMG_6402 - Copy

IMG_6446

IMG_6419 - Copy     IMG_6212    IMG_6421 - Copy

IMG_6440

IMG_6435 - Copy     IMG_6428 - Copy     IMG_6430 - Copy

IMG_6447

IMG_6458     IMG_6466     IMG_6491

IMG_6558

IMG_6552

 ~ Olivia

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lessons on servanthood

Recently, Elijah and I were given the opportunity to farm-sit for Dr. Black.  He asked me to clean both his house, Bradford Hall, and a rental house, Maple Ridge, which also sat on his property.  Elijah’s jobs included spraying the garden, taking care of the animals and tidying up the hay barns.  I prepared myself for a week of silence, many projects,  simple cooking, and time to relax on the 123 acre farm.  I prepared myself for time to catch up on Bible reading, Science tests, and books I started but never finished.  I prepared myself for no internet, no phone calls and no fellowship with friends.  I prepared myself . . . No, wait – I thought I had prepared myself excellently but, in reality, I was in for a huge surprise.

I am used to cooking for a dozen people// Cooking for two people? Check.  I am used to cleaning and helping maintain a large household// Cleaning another house? Check.  I am used to having my siblings go out for a day and being by myself, taking opportunity of the quiet to read, study or blog // Having a week of silence can’t be too different! Check.

I had not been there 24 hours before I knew that this was going to be quite different from what I had imagined.  As you probably know, I am a little more of the outgoing-gotta-talk-to-people-don’t-like-solitude-wanna-be-in-the-middle-of-the-party kind of girl.   The first thing that “ticked me off” was the absence of my friends {i.e. my sisters} and my friends {i.e. my non-biological friends}.  I used to be a chatterbox - wait, I think I still am :( – and I thrive on any kind of communication, be it late night chats, mid day conversations, morning serenades, long phone conversations, lengthy emails or frequent letters.  I have the most fun when I am fellowshipping with other believers and I don’t handle long periods of solitude very well.  *laughs*  I sure got a dose of it!   I mean, don’t get me wrong – spending a week with Elijah was amazing.  It made me feel so responsible to know that I had instructions to clean the house and set it to rights, as well as the duties of providing three, healthy meals a day and all on time, then clean up the kitchen afterwards.  I felt like I was in PreperationForRunningAHousehold#101 Boot Camp.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We had such chummy talks over dinner and we would chat of tomorrow’s plans and then he would help me with the dishes —  it was all really sweet.  But I was missing girls company.  I guess you could say I have been spoiled with five sisters who are always there to talk and spend time with me!   One evening when Elijah was busy and I was left to entertain myself, I started rehearsing the past few days events in my mind and I imagined how I would tell them to my sisters and how we would laugh and talk over them.  I was suddenly overwhelmed with an incredible loneliness.  The house was so quiet — the silence almost seemed oppressive.  So I began to pray that God would help me see the adventure in everything.  That He would give me a teachable spirit and humble heart, hands ready to serve and a joyful spirit that is not easily quenched.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It became a treasure hunt!  I sang while I worked, I gave myself schedules and strived to serve supper on time, I helped Elijah with his work, I journaled often and I set aside time to bask in His Word and remind myself of His promises.  It awakened a desire to praise my Creator for what He has done, what He is doing and what He will do!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If I thought that helping care for a family of 12 would prepare me above and beyond for keeping house with two, I was mistaken.  There is a whole new level of responsibility involved.   It made me appreciate mom and all she does to serve us SO much more!  Normally, I follow her instructions; now, I had to give the instructions . . .  to myself!  {which is wayyyy harder because you can “disregard” and “disobey” yourself much easier than you can your mom}  I had to learn how to make wise and efficient choices.  If I chose to put it off, it didn’t get done — at home, one of my sisters was always there to fill in.  It certainly brings out my selfish human nature in its brutal entirety!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After folding the laundry and stacking it neatly, making up the beds with new sheets, turning off the lights and packing the car yesterday, we left to come home.  During the two-hour ride, I reflected on the week and I found that my perspective was different from when we had first arrived.  Somehow, the parties and times of fellowship we had missed while we were gone were not as important anymore.  {If you know me, you will read that and think that I went insane:)}  Instead, I was thankful that God had given me an opportunity to grow and undergo more sanctification.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
I was thankful for the opportunity to make memories with Elijah and for the opportunity to learn how to better serve him.
I was thankful for the opportunity to learn how to handle more responsibility.
I was thankful for the opportunity to grow closer to my Savior and to become more like Him.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The lessons of servanthood that I learned this week are but a drop in the bucket compared to what I have yet to learn in the upcoming years.  But Praise the Lord that a bucket is filled one drop at a time and not by placing it under the hose!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Often, the Lord will disguise your Boot Camp packages and you won’t know that He was helping you grow until it is over.  Take a moment to thank Him for His compassion and His desire to conform you to His image.   Stop for a minute and praise Him for His hand of loving correction and the compassion which He lavishes upon us.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I commanded you today for your good?”   ~ Dueteronomy 10:12-13

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

~ Olivia

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

The Beauty of God’s creation

These are Lilies that bloomed around our tree this year! I look forward to them every year : )

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

{Below: As well as a marigold}

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Posted by Elise

Tagged , , ,

Independence for ALL! // Part 1 of 2

We celebrated Independence Day by having our church family as well as other friends over for an afternoon and evening of  organized games and activities, as well as a  potluck meal. Thank you to everyone who brought wonderful side dishes for the BBQ! We had an obstacle course race, a water balloon fight, three-legged-races,  a D. of I. competition (which I will explain in a moment), several rounds of volleyball, fireworks, a potluck meal, and a time of playing instruments and singing!  Also, Elijah read the Declaration of Independence before we ate.
It is good to know what our statement of Independence says!
As for the D. of I. competition – everyone who wanted to take part was divided into two groups. Then they were given a bag full of phrases from the Declaration of Independence. Whatever team could get the D. of I. glued in order to a sheet of paper first, was the winner!

It was a great day for all and we are so glad everyone could make it! The weather was absolutely beautiful! The humidity was low and the temperature was in the mid 80’s! Thank you Lord for our independence and the wonderful day!

Team 1 on the D. of I. competition

Team 1 on the D. of I. competition

Team 2 absorbed in the D. of I. competition

Team 2 absorbed in the D. of I. competition

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Setting out dinner

Setting out dinner

Setting out dinner

Setting out dinner

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dinner and Fellowship

Dinner and Fellowship

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dinner and Fellowship

Dinner and Fellowship

STAY TUNED . . . MORE PICTURES TO FOLLOW!
Posted by Elise

 

 

Tagged , , , , , ,

Beets…anyone?

Most of our family enjoys pickled beets, so we planted lots of ‘em in the garden this spring. We have now harvested all of them and we pickled them as well. I must confess, this is my first time pickling beets by myself! We got about 10 jars worth and lots of beet greens. We ate some of the greens and fed the rest to the goats.  (The greens were not as popular around here : ) )
I will share some pictures below.  Thank you God for blessing our efforts!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

photo 1

photo 2

photo 4

Posted by Elise

Tagged , ,