Monday, August 30, 2010

Our First Goat!!!

I'm so excited, I just had to stop and write this blog to let you know that we are getting our first goat!

As many of you know, I've always wanted to live out in the country and have some land, animals, etc. and live a more back-to-the-basics lifestyle.  It's been 2 years now since we moved from the busy city of Ontario, CA to slow-paced southern country in Terry, MS.  We love our little 3 1/2 acres. We have wide open space next to us on one side and lots of trees on the other, and wonderful neighbors back behind us a little ways.  Last November we got a flock of chickens from a friend who was moving and needed to get rid of her beautiful, diverse flock (15 of them).  We've really enjoyed getting eggs in the morning and watching all their antics.  We've had our hand at gardening the last 2 years and this year we even have a pumpkin patch growing!! Right now the pumpkins are still tiny, so I'll have to post some pics when they get bigger. I've always wanted a pumpkin patch!!

I've been wanting to get goats ever since we moved out here, but it just hasn't been the right time.  But now we have friends who are giving us a wonderful little milk goat for free! They got it as a buy-1-get-one-free deal when they got a new little doe recently.  So, they thought of us and are giving it to us! This was a real answer to prayer for me.  I've been praying that God would allow me to get a goat, and recently had to pass up a great opportunity because we didn't have the money to invest in it right now.  When I told the lady who was selling them that it wasn't going to work out, she said, "Just wait and see what God has planned!!! Remember, his ways are always best!"  Boy was she right!  God's desire was to GIVE me a goat as a special gift.  He just loves doing things like that for me! He loves to convince me over and over again of His steadfast love for me...and His friendship!  This morning I read Ps. 24 and these verses really spoke to me, "All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies." (vs. 10) and "The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him.." (vs. 14).  My Lord is so sweet to me!

Ok, back to the goat! She is a purebred Alpine, first freshener yearling, registered with a good pedigree.  Now, for all you non-goat people out there (I'm just figuring this all out for myself!) that means she was born last year and had her first babies this spring and is now giving milk. She is registered which means both her parents were registered purebred Alpines (this is good if you want to show them in 4-H or sell her babies).  So, it's a good goat!  Our friends are keeping her at their place for us until we get the little shelter built.  So, we went over there last night for "goat training 101."  They even had goat cheese for us to eat, homemade goat ice cream and goat milk and cookies!  Oh, and lots of varieties of goat milk soap!

Here she is... 

On the milk stand
Here I am trying to figure out how to trim her hair! She was a mess and needed a good haircut. I said, "I guess God was preparing me for this with all the boys heads I buzz every year!"
My first attempt at milking her.  It was fun!!
Jake's turn.  They were fighting over who got to go next!  I think I'm going to have some good helpers (although everything is exciting the first time around...just wait till it's every morning and evening!)
Zack's turn.  They learned really fast!
Yep, Daddy wanted a turn too.  His hands are so big it was a little hard but he figured it out.
We are still deciding on a name.  Her registered name is Bell, but we have a cat named Annabelle, so that may get a little confusing, especially because Hailey now calls all cats "Bell."  We are thinking about adding a name to Bell, like Liberty Bell...and call her Liberty.  What do you think?  Let's hear your vote.  And give us some of your name ideas and we'll have a family vote and let you know!

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Peaceable Peacemaker

James 3:17-18, "But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.  And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."

A friend of mine showed me this verse yesterday, specifically vs 18.  We were looking at it in relation to training our children.  I SO want a harvest of righteousness in my children's hearts.  In this verse we see that it is sown in PEACE by those who make PEACE.  I feel like my whole day is spent trying to make peace in my home- from settling arguments between the kids, teaching them to share, get along, think of others before themselves to trying to create a peaceful environment by keeping the home running smoothly- keeping the food coming, the laundry clean and the place in some sense of order and cleanliness.  I believe that all of this is part of being a peacemaker in my home.  But to go back to the verse: "And a harvest of righteousness is sown IN PEACE by those who make peace." The problem is that I don't always do this "peacemaking" in a peaceful way!  I can get frustrated, impatient and angry when things aren't peaceful.  Kind of ironic, isn't it? This verse has been an encouragement to me to sow in peace.  And what a wonderful promise that God has given that as I sow in peace (by His grace and strength!) I will reap a harvest of righteousness! (not only in my children, but in myself as well). 

Galatians 6:9, "And let us not grown weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."

Philipians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

2 Corinthians 12:9, "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

So be encouraged with me today to be a Peaceable Peacemaker!