Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cats...More Cats...And More Cats

Just to let you know, there are quite a few cats here.
This wasn't planned mind you, but the veterinarian (my husband) didn't quite get things taken care of quick enough with our young female, Ashes.


Honestly, it has been an enjoyable experience having three tiny balls of fur romping on the front porch. The children love playing with them and as my husband says, "Every child should experience a litter of kittens."
Still I watch Ashes with them and feel a bit sorry for her.
There are times when her face says it all.


"Hey, watch it with the teeth back there!"

She has been a good mother, good to keep the kittens away from our backporch cat that is foul-tempered and good to let the kittens nurse whenever the kittens paw at her.
But even though this has been such a wonderful and educational time for the kids, I will be so happy to see the little ruffians go!


Then Ashes, your kitten bearing days are over.
But we will have the memories.


I alluded to the backporch cat.
Her name is Annie.
Annie is El Supremo among the critters at Forty Acre Farm.


Even our Pittbull/Lab mix that runs down rabbits and eats them whole, bows in submission to Annie.
One of the other dogs (we have three,...sigh...), a Collie/Australian Shepherd mix, learned his lesson with Annie the hard way.
One day while the children were jumping on the trampoline, this particular dog sat by the trampoline and commenced to barking excitedly. Annie who was still a frontporch cat at the time, leaped from the porch, ran to the dog, and literally jumped on him, yowling, biting, and clawing him!
As soon as the dog disentangled himself from her he went flying out to the pasture, yelping with his tail between his legs. Annie even followed for a short distance, yowling the whole time.


She's quite a sight when she gets her dander up.
What's a dander?

Then last but not least, there is Bandito.


Bandito is Ashes brother, they were litter mates.
He's huge...which is strange because his sister is a small cat with a slight build.
But Bandito is very large and heavy. When he comes running across our wooden porch to be fed, he sounds like a medium sized dog.
He has the most wonderful meow that I have ever head, too.
Bandito is one cool, calm cucumber and probably one of the more attractive cats I've owned.
With all this being said or typed that is about cats, I have to admit that cats really aren't even close to being my favorite animals.
But I'm thankful for our li'l kitty crew!
Thanks for visiting and have a blessed day!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

My Kind of Phototherapy


I enjoy taking pictures.
And many times when I'm trying not to think about the ridiculous amount of things I need to be doing and should be doing,...I pick up my camera and head outdoors.
It's called denial and sometimes, forgive me, but it keeps me sane.
Living way out in the country like we do and staying at home with my kids to educate them can cause me to seek outlets that help me to express my creativity in my own personal way. Photography happens to be an outlet that I take great satisfaction in.
Admittedly, I have much to learn. The camera I use is up for the challenge, I just don't have the time to invest into it right now. So for now many of my pictures are raw or SOOC (straight out of the camera) if you will.
Within the last two weeks, I've taken some photos around the farm.


This is looking through the oak trees at the back of the house and across the pasture toward the woods, then lake.
After walking through the trees, this is a picture of the pasture, a spring, and the woods and lake on the horizon.


The wildflowers in the pasture always catch my attention and cause me stop and take pictures of their pretty faces.


It's always wonderful to see the wide variety and we have studied about some of them in school as there are many that were used by the Native Americans and pioneering families for food and medicinal purposes.


I'll never tire of these extraordinary beauties that continue to remind me of our Creator's generous use of color, texture, and scent.
Once we're out of the pasture and into the woods, a trip into the ravine is a must. You see, a picture of the Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly is something that I've been anticipating for quite some time.


In case I haven't told you, it's work to get down here. The pasture, woods, and ravine are inhabited with ticks, snakes, and more than our fair share of poison ivy. I literally get "suited up" before making my way down here. On my feet are rubber mud boots that come up to my knees and my jeans are tucked into them. I liberally spray insect repellent on myself.
There are always surprises awaiting me on these nature walks.


They vary from observing a juvenile bobcat closeup without it being privy to my presence, finding a coyote skeleton perfectly cleaned of all flesh and hair, to happening upon tall, scarlet red cardinal flower growing along the banks of the stream that runs through the ravine.


For me, this is all I need for entertainment and it recharges my battery so that I can carry on doing what so many of us homeschooling mothers do. Please don't hear me wrong here. I love being with my kids full-time but I also need moments that I can fill that creative well that exists in me.
Next time I'll share pictures of the yard, garden, and some of our critters.
Thanks for dropping by, Julie

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


My oldest child is currently at church camp. It's her first time to attend. We are going to visit her this evening and I've been looking forward to it all day.
But along with looking forward to seeing her and missing her, memories of long ago have taken me back to my early church camp days.
The first time I went to church camp was at a Nazarene church camp somewhere near Anadarko, Oklahoma. The cabins were crude with wooden bunks that creaked and swayed when you got in and out. The windows had screens, no glass. And the days and nights were filled with the sound of cicadas. It was hot and there were many fans set up strategically around the cabin to catch what little breeze may waft in during the midsummer evenings. Strange, I don't remember the worship services or Bible classes. I think that I was only eight or nine years old.
The times that I went after that were to a large church camp in south central Oklahoma near Davis.
Falls Creek is a popular camp for Southern Baptist churches and is highly attended throughout the summer. Since I've been, they have built a new tabernacle, an indoor one at that. Can it be a tabernacle and be indoor?
Falls Creek was a different experience everytime I went.

I first went when I was in the fifth grade. I can remember watching all the girls and boys pair up. Also the hills were quite memorable...thinking back it seemed every destination was uphill. The tabernacle was open to the elements and the heat was oppressive. Spiritually speaking, I don't remember being convicted of my need for a saviour.
Then I went again when I was eighteen. I had a boyfriend at the time and he was there. Sadly, my sole focus was on him not Him.
Again, I went the next summer without a boyfriend, but with friends. I listened to the Word preached and felt the need to surrender, I was convicted deeply, and knew I needed Jesus to be Lord of my life but wasn't ready to give up the lifestyle I was involved in. Looking back, I realize that had I made the right decision in trusting Jesus, my life would have changed dramatically for the better. Hindsight is 20/20.
The next time I attended camp I was in my late twenties and it was at Siloam Springs, Arkansas. I was a sponsor and a Believer. I remember nights of giggling girls and one girl in particular that had to sleep with me because she was terribly homesick. I remember walking to the tabernacle and smiling at all the adolescent goings ons. I remember great worship services and learning a hilariously funny song called The Gorilla Song.
I remember being young and enjoying the youth around me.
I'm praying my oldest will have only fond memories of her camp experience, no regrets.
Remembering days gone by, Julie

Friday, June 4, 2010

Almost Summer

It's been hot here.
I'm never ready for this kind of heat.
It seems to zap me of all energy, inspiration, and good manners.
Okay, the last description there was a bit of an exaggeration. I'm a manner freak...or some would say. And now that we're on the subject, I would like to know why manners aren't taught to most kids nowadays?! Is it really that hard??? We homeschool and you would think that I would see lots of mannerly kids in the circles that we socialize in, but honestly there are still a few that portray about as much etiquette as a baboon!
Sorry about that...remember, I'm hot right now and when I'm uncomfortable I tend to get real honest.
My kids are no angels, but they are required to speak when spoken to...and look at the person that is speaking to them. I make my kids apologize when they've purposely hurt or even accidentally hurt another child. My children are required to ask nicely using the words "please" or "may I" when they want something.
Sure it takes lots of consistency, but isn't that what parenting is all
We have a puppy.
She wants on the porch and is not allowed on the porch. Therefore we are constantly scolding her when she steps up on the porch. It works when done on a consistent basis.
She has made a wonderful little place for herself now in my front flower garden right in front of the porch. I'm fine with that...I've learned enough after all these years to know how to pick my battles. But my point is that with consistency a child will learn and exercise what we've taught them.
Oh my, I hadn't met to "blog" about manners, it's the heat I tell made me do it.
Stay cool, Julie

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Life at Forty Acre Farm

Forty Acre Farm is a hobby farm.

My husband has a real job thirty miles away.

We have four bottle-fed calves along with four steers out on the pasture.

There are two horses, one a Welsh pony and the other a quarter horse.

Recently, a long desired dream of having chickens was fulfilled and we now are the proud owners of three white rocks and three gold sexlinks.

The critter crew also includes three dogs, all mixed breeds and three cats. Actually there are more than three felines as our mama cat has a litter hidden somewhere and we're still not privy to how large her brood is.

Along with taking care of the animals, I homeschool our three cherubs, and labor in our consistently changing vegetable garden.

We lead rather busy lives most of the time around here. And there are numerous projects that are always begging for attention.

Our family is devoted to living conservatively and living out our faith in Jesus Christ.

Life can be hard here sometimes in more ways than one, but the goal is worth the effort.
Thanks for visiting, Julie