Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our Thanksgiving!!

We had a great trip to Dickinson TX for our Thanksgiving get together at Nana and Pop's house. We left early Wednesday morning and arrived at about 1:00, actually made the trip in 8 hours, with only 1 stop, quite the record! :) And OF COURSE Duffy came along with us, he's a good traveler and just slept the whole way pretty much in my lap. :)

Nana and Pop, and Uncle Jerry, Aunt Tami, and cousins Hannah and Garret were there at the house. After getting settled in we headed over to Uncle Todd's house (Dad's brother) to see some amazing landscaping he has done in his back yard. It was really neat, and SO pretty! And then that evening we went to some indoor batting cages that Todd owns, it was a lot of fun hitting soft balls. Except for the fact that I KEPT hitting the things on the handle....and man did it ever hurt. My hands were like swollen afterwards, but it was worth it. :)

Thursday was cooking and eating lots of food! As well as some more of the cousins arriving. AND the traditional Football game...which HAD to be played despite having to almost drag some people off the couch. I just watched of course (I do know better than to play tackle football with my brothers) but it a lot of fun just seeing them play, it was a pretty serious game to say the least! We stayed up until 2:00 or so that evening playing Canasta, it's the big game at our family get togethers. :)

Friday was our beach was SO much fun! We were planning on taking family pictures so we all wore white tops and jean bottoms..actually everybody that came with us wore white too so they could fit in. :) Duffy had an absolute BLAST! As soon as I set him down on that sand he just took off running and playing and played the whole time we were there. :) He wouldn't come in the water though, much as I soon as the tide came up he'd dash to higher ground. :)

Friday night being the last night we stayed up til 3:30 in the morning! Needless to say, everybody was rather things were a bit crazy! :P :D OH I forgot to say that evening we order 21 pizza's to feed everybody there!! WOW! That's a record!

Hannah loves Duffy just about as much as I do...and he quickly figured that out. :) She has a dog too, a Yorkie mix named "Annie Boogers." :D Duffy still has yet to meet his Doggy cousin though...hopefully sometime soon. :)

It was such a fun trip and we all greatly enjoyed it, we are so blessed to have such wonderful extended family!

Monday, November 17, 2008

A bit Random....

Well little Duffy is doing much better! He had another vet visit this morning, and the fever is gone now, so he just has a few more days on the antibiotic and then hopefully he'll be good to go. I'm just so thankful he's still here with me, and back to acting pretty much like his normal self. :) We've been staying pretty close...he couldn't even let me play Daniel's guitar by myself.... :P

And even Dad is glad he's you can see by them taking a Sunday afternoon nap together. :)

Saturday afternoon Dad and I made a batch of Goat's Milk Soap. I've got quite a few orders for Christmas, so I need to make sure I'm stocked up! :) We're planning on making some more tonight too, Dad mixes the Lye solution for me, and then I do the rest, as I don't like that part and he's glad to help me out. I'm planning on having it where you can order it directly off our farm website soon, hopefully that will make it more convenient for everybody.

I'm also really excited about reserving a Nubian doe kid from Lakeshore Farms in CA again! :) I'm just getting one this time but hopefully I'll be having some nice kids of my own too. :) Shardae is bred for April kids, I can't wait! :) She's the doe that I got from CA this past spring. I'm going to hold off on breeding the two I got from MN until next fall, as one is still young, and the other from slower maturing lines.

I SO can't wait for spring....LOL I know, we've not even got to winter yet.... :( :D Baby goats are just so much fun despite all the work that comes with them....and despite the fact that I got trampled by hungry Mama's the other day leaving a nice bruise and knot on my shin. :D


Friday, November 14, 2008

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. Eccl. 3:11

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Duffy...the Miracle Dog

For those of you that don't know a whole lot about my dog Duffy, let me introduce him to you. :) My parents got him for my 18th birthday, after dreaming for years about having a little inside dog of my own. So of course he quickly became very special to me, he sleeps with me every night in my bed, follows me around everywhere, and whenever I sit down anywhere whether at the computer or in a chair he's sure to be in my lap. :) And even recently he's started sitting with me AT the table...which Mom doesn't appreciate too much... :D So he's pretty much just TOTALLY like my child, we even have jokes that he's going to be the ring bearer in my wedding whenever I get married. :P

So on Saturday morning on the way to the Duggar's home we dropped him off at our neighbors house so they could watch him for the weekend. I'd never actually left him anywhere without me, but I thought he would be fine. Well, about 1 1/2 hours later we got a call that he had slipped out of his collar and escaped into the woods. I was shocked hearing that, but really thought they would probably find him pretty quick. We arrived at the Duggar's at about 10:30, and Duffy was still not found. I was pretty worried at this point and decided to go ahead and drive back to search for him, two of the Duggar girls Jana and Jessa, graciously drove back with me, we actually ended up talking the whole way here, it was a lot of fun and kept my mind off things. It was about 2:30 when we arrived at the house and we started searching right away...but to no avail. So after about an hour we headed back, I drove all the way back and actually made it in about 2 hours and 50 minutes instead of the 3 and a half hours that it took us going. :)

All of us girls stayed up pretty late Saturday night talking and playing some much fun!!

Sunday after church we headed home and arrived just a little before dark and we went on another search until it got dark but still couldn't find him. Needless to say I was totally devastated that was so hard doing all the normal things with out my little guy following close at my heels. Mercy just couldn't understand that Duffy was gone, and kept asking to go "see" him. :( Probably the hardest though, was going to bed without Duffy, the first time I've slept in my bed without him in a LONG time. Took me hours to finally go to sleep and I ended up sleeping until 11:00 Monday morning. Anna, Micah, Andrew, and Joshua and already been out looking before I got up. And then Mom and I went to town to get stuff to make more signs. We got home at around 3:00 in the afternoon after getting them all put up, and decided to just try to walk kind of through the square mile in the woods instead of staying on the roads. So off we went, through fences, woods, and past "No Trespassing" signs. :) We did try to stay away from the houses because I didn't want to have to explain to anybody why we were walking through their property. :) It took us close to an hour to walk all the way across, because it was so hard to get through, there were lots of thorns and underbrush. After making it across, I decided we would go back up a bit and then make another strip the opposite direction. So we did, and were probably about halfway back and still no signs of Duffy. I had been praying all along that we would find him, but at that point I really just started asking the Lord to direct our steps and lead us right to Duffy. Well just about 10 minutes later after tons of zig zagging and trying to avoid houses I looked off to the left and there under a cedar tree all hunkered down was DUFFY!!! There was a barb wire fence in between but I was over that in an instant and had him in my arms, crying like a baby. :) It was just amazing!! We started back as fast as we could, but it took us at least 30 minutes to get back to where we had parked the van.

Soon as we came in the house and Duffy saw everybody he started barking, and of course all the little ones were SO excited that he was home. :) He has some pretty bad cuts on both his front legs, so Elijah and I ran him by the vet to get them looked at. We got some antibiotics as he was running a bit of a fever, and he's just been taking it easy. :) He's laying in my lap right now as I'm typing this, if he was spoiled before, he's going to be doubly spoiled now getting carried everywhere, as he is supposed to stay off his feet until he gets healed up. :) I'm SO incredibly thankful to the Lord for leading us right to Duffy!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Thinking Back....

November brings back a lot of memories for me, I've been thinking about things a lot, and then singing the song "Like a River Glorious" in church yesterday really brought back memories about Joel. That song was very close to my heart during all we went through 2 years ago.

I know this isn't really a "normal" blog post for me to write, I generally don't talk about Joel a whole lot, not necessarily because I don't like to...I guess I'm just the type of person that keeps things like that to myself unless I'm specifically asked. But not talking about him, certainly doesn't mean I'm not thinking about and missing him often. So why am I writing this? Well, a year ago I wrote out something in my journal entitled "Thinking Back." I wrote it with the intent that I might possibly share it somewhere, sometime on my blog. :) Well, seeing as it's sat in my journal for almost a year I thought I'd post it today. Perhaps it may be an encouragement to someone, or if nothing else it's just to remember Joel.

"Thinking Back" Nov. 28, 2007

As I think back over the last year and a half or so of my life, it's hard to believe all the things that have happened. So much has changed. It is truly the mercy of God that we do not know what a day may bring forth. was a very difficult month for me. It was a month of questions but we didn't have answers. It was a month of much heartache, just seeing little Joel so sick, but not know what was wrong. There would be days that he would feel better, and our hopes would rise, only to be cast down the next day. Why these fevers? What was going on in his little body? But God's grace was always there, carrying us through the valley.

December came, finally the answers we were seeking but not answers we wanted to hear. Cancer was such a foreign word to me. Something that old people got, it never had a lot of meaning to me, I guess I just never thought about it much. It was always something that happened to others, never something that would happen to us. But yet that was the answer we received, Joel had cancer, a very aggressive kind of cancer, at stage 4. When Dad came home and told us the news I just felt like I couldn't bear it. How could life go on like this? How were we going to get through this? I just wanted everything to be "normal" again...but no, nothing would be "normal" anymore, that was a thing of the past. I remember so clearly spending time with Joel in the hospital. Reading books to him, coloring pictures, even one day taking a little stroll down the hallways with him. Memories that I cherish but yet are so painful.

Then Christmas came, I don't think I really even imagined that it would be the last Christmas we would ever celebrate with Joel on this side of heaven. We were hoping and praying that Joel would get well, I never really thought that it would be otherwise. But God's ways are not always our ways. January 3rd...that day was extremly difficult. The phone call late in the night saying that Joel had had a seizure, oh the memories of it are so painful. But still even through this the darkest valley of our life God's grace was still there carrying us through. And then on January 23rd, 2007 when God chose to take Joel home to Him in glory, the wonderful grace of Jesus was manifested to us.

Yes, it's hard, really hard, we miss him terribly, but I can just imagine him waking up in heaven as a dear friend shared with us, saying "I'm all done?" Yes Joel you are all done, no more pain, no more pokey things, and no more cancer. Joel experienced the ultimate healing, and though it was not the healing we were praying for, God has used his precious life to impact people around the world.

As I ask myself would I take him back if it were possible? No I would not, he is alive with Christ and free from all sorrow and pain. But yet I wish that I could hold him in my arms once more...see his eyes looking into mine and hear his little voice. But praise the Lord, someday I will, soon and very soon. What a wonderful day that will be!

I love you forever Joel, can't wait to see you in heaven!

Your sister,