Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Three planets visible New Year's Eve

Tonight, there were three planets visible just after sunset. By the time the clouds got out of the way, my camera was complaining that it was too dark. Here's Venus (blurry dot under the moon)
Here's Mercury and Jupiter. Jupiter is the one on the right. Again, it was so dark that the tiny movement I made make the planets look like streaks instead of dots.
Here's the moon and Venus again. Venus is the teeny, weenie dot below and to the left of the moon.

Christmas weekend was full of family and fun. One of my husband's sisters and her family and also husband's mom are the only ones remaining. There were 45 people here on Saturday. I got some writing done last night (started around 10:30 and went to bed after 2am). I'm having to rewrite the ending to a teen magazine article. It's almost there. I'd like to bring in the new year by writing.... and hope that the next year has a lot of writing (and published articles/manuscripts!) Happy New Year to all.

Psalm 8 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


We got to Kansas City and back safely. I delayed our departure by three hours to give the road crews time to clear the roads and they were fine. The worst part was from my driveway and the first two miles. After that, it was clear.

My husband and 3 y.o. went out while I was gone and they scraped the driveway with the tractor and loader bucket. I almost called to see if I should park at the grain bin - but I was pleasantly surprised to see gravel on the driveway instead of sheet ice.

I am blessed.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ice storms

Well, we are scheduled to get up to an inch of freezing rain tonight. I'm supposed to take 16 y.o. to Kansas City tomorrow - where he will continue on with his father to Arkansas. Then, I go back on Sunday to pick him up. I'm also supposed to pick up a local girl who is attending the Job Corps near Kansas City and bring her back to Memphis for the Christmas break.

Husband says he doesn't think I will be going anywhere tomorrow. I hope he's wrong this time.

Several of my family members were without power for 5 days last week with the bad weather in New England. The first year I moved to NE MO, we had no power for 3-4 days. It was miserable. Parts of New England are not supposed to get power back until after Christmas. They definitely need prayer!

Husband and I got our (short) Christmas letter written, printed, addressed, and brought them to the post office -- all BEFORE Christmas! Of course, that's always the goal, but it's not always what happens. Smile.

Praying that you stay warm and that you have food to eat.

Proverbs 30:7-9
"Two things I ask of you, O LORD; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the LORD ?' Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


We have had a range of weather conditions since my last post. Rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow. We even had thunder the other night. Today, the prediction is for 4-6 more inches of snow.

3 y.o. went out with husband and 16 y.o. to feed the bulls and calves this morning. She came back with very rose cheeks and nose! They had hot cocoa when they came in.

Last night, I typed out family recipes for some Christmas gifts. I'm trying to get husband to show 16 y.o. how to make a couple simple recipe boxes. Not sure if that will get done before Christmas - it's COLD out in the shop!

I think we got all our Christmas shopping done this past Saturday. Now, I need to wrap them. I have a Christmas party to go to at the nursing home for my Mom tomorrow - weather permitting! Friday, I will drive 16 y.o. to Kansas City and then I will pick him up on Sunday. I am also the hostess for a Christmas dinner at church on Sunday - so I had to get some helpers for the clean up (I will have to leave right after the food is served - it is buffet style).

I got my writing assignment done at midnight on the deadline day. I need to start on the next assignment so I don't have to ask for an extension again.

We made homemade noodles last night. I made the dough and husband rolled them out and cut them when they were dry. It's his family recipe and he makes them frequently.

Today, between helping with homeschooling, I need to get my Christmas card envelopes addressed and get them in the mail!

"And Mary said: 'My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name'." - Luke 1:46-47, 49

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Beauty beyond description

Yesterday afternoon, I happened to look out the window and saw a beautiful sunset. My picture actually doesn't do it justice. We have had snow on the ground since before Thanksgiving - just and inch or two - but it's COLD here!
Today, I did a bunch of errands in town and then came home and finished updating three accounts in Quicken. Also, worked with 16 y.o. on his homeschooling. He had a test in math that he got an A on and he had a quiz in History that he got a B on. That doesn't show the agony sometimes of him learning something. There are times I feel like hitting my head against the wall - but, 1) it would only give me a headache and 2) it wouldn't help him learn any better!

I have procrastinated far too long on this writing assignment. What happened, the magazine I was going to send it to will no longer be in publication after February, so they aren't taking any submissions. They used to allow up to 2000 word fiction stories. Well, I've found two other possible magazines to "pitch" the story to. However, they only allow 1000-1200 word stories! That means I not only have to finish the story, but cut it in half! Ouch. I better get after it!

Tomorrow afternoon we will be separating the bulls, cows/heifers, and calves. I think tomorrow night we are having a young man over for dinner. He attends Central Christian College. He is from Haiti. He is leaving on Monday to go back to Haiti; then return in mid-January when the new semester starts. Saturday morning, someone will come pick up the calves we are selling at auction. Saturday late morning, we are going to Quincy, IL to finish our Christmas shopping.

Matthew 16:2 'He replied, 'When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red'..."

Monday, December 8, 2008


I accomplished several things today over and above the norm.

I finished my Mom's Christmas cards and they are in the mail. I haven't started ours yet... there was a problem getting the photo cards made. Hopefully, I will be able to pick them up on Saturday. I'm hoping to have my Christmas shopping done that day too. Only a few presents left to get... whooohoooo! Then I can concentrate on the Reason for the Season.

I also updated my mother's and my bank accounts on Quicken. One account left to get updated. Maybe tomorrow. I also got some filing done.

On the writing front, I researched places to send the teen girl fiction story that I almost have finished. I wanted to send it to Brio, but I just found out that the February 2009 issue will be the last one unless someone buys the magazine. It's a good magazine and I hope it gets to continue. It's the same for Breakaway magazine. I found two possible magazines to submit to. My instructor wanted me to find three. Will have to look some more tomorrow.

I have two verses concerning the word "Work"
The first is from 2 Thessalonians 3:10 "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." (I quote this one to 16 y.o. quite often!)

The second is from Colossians 3:23-24 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Holocaust survivor

(I had this post all done but it had an error when I tried to post it - I think this is what I wrote!)

Tonight, 16 y.o. and I went to hear Erika Mandler talk about her experience during the holocaust. There weren't many seats empty in our small-town theater - and she talked for about two hours. I learned some things I didn't know - for instance, I thought all the concentration camps were in Germany. Erika and her family, however were in a work camp in Czechoslovakia. It gave 16 y.o. some things to think about and among other things, it reminded me to be thankful for all the little things in life, like having water and food.

Both my biological father and my adoptive father were in WWII. One was in the Pacific in the Navy and the other was in North Africa and Italy in the Army. My adoptive father received the Silver Star - which relatively few people received. Both fathers are now gone - but definitely not forgotten. I have a long list of family members who proudly served in the military (myself included). Every branch of the military has been represented. I've probably mentioned this before, but my younger brother is currently on a Navy ship off the coast of Somalia. He is a photojournalist in the Navy reserves.

Last night I was able to work on a fiction magazine article. I made some progress but have some more work to do on it before I submit it to my online writing instructor. I hope to submit this article to Brio magazine.

“Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”- John 10:7, 9-10

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Harvest complete

Well, the harvest is finally complete as of the day after Thanksgiving. We celebrated Thanksgiving at my sister-in-law's house in Illinois. Had a fun time visiting and eating. It was a long drive home though - we didn't get home until almost 1:30am. It snowed, but thankfully, it didn't stick to the roads. I drove most of the way - husband was tired from having little sleep for weeks during the harvest.

Tomorrow, I will help my mom with her Christmas cards. I actually have them addressed, I just need to write down what she wants to say in the cards.

I started on a project tonight. It's a Christmas present, so I can't say what it is or who it's for! Maybe I will post a picture after Christmas. :o)

It seems I have way too much to do these days and not enough time to do them. I need to de-stress! I want to update this blog 2-3 times a week - that hasn't been happening. I want to get several magazine articles that I am working on completed - that hasn't happened. Like I said, I need to de-stress and figure out a better system.

I pray all is well with all who read this. I like when people comment on my blog, because then I know someone is actually reading it!

I love the book of James. Chapter three is about taming the tongue and about wisdom. Here's the last verse of the chapter:

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. James 3:17-18