Yes He does!!! When we first visited our little farm over 17 years ago, when we decided to purchase it, I envisioned children running around with chickens, farm animals of all kinds, and of course, a pony! Well, it only took 17 years, but the pony is finally here! What an answer to prayer!
We have been learning so much. Never owning a horse before, we didn't have a lot of experience, so jumped into this endeavor a little blind. Miranda has taken two seasons of pony classes, so she does have some experience. There is always so much to learn though, and you have to get to know your pony, as your pony gets to know you. We have been learning how to deal with the added element of the foal, which brings a lot more to the table. The other night, we learned that our cute little filly is starting to become a bit behavioral. Each evening when we go to put them in the barn stall, she usually follows her mama right in. Well, she has now decided that she is NOT going to be going in, and she walks up to the barn, but a moment before she steps in-she darts off back out into the pasture! Now, we are handling her and trying to get her used to us, however, she is still hard to catch. We have had to be very proactive in problem solving different scenarios, and for the most part our ideas have worked. One night we weren't having a lot of luck, and I realized I had not prayed. I stopped for a moment, said a little prayer, and I swear, the baby turned and walked right into the stall! Yes, God does answer pony prayers! And I am sure there will be many more prayers we will be sending up as we work with these two! We are loving them. The mare is very sweet, and Miranda is loving all she is learning as a pony owner.
We had a fun party for baby L last summer when she turned a year old. She enjoyed her cake and covered herself in it-from head to toe! It's hard to believe in just a few more weeks we will be celebrating again, when she turns TWO!!!
Isn't she precious??? It's amazing that these days have already come and gone, and she is now a toddler, and a little smarty pants at that!
Always smiling, that's my baby L! Just today when I got her up from her nap, I went to finish working on something at the table, and I look over, and she is just giggling away, it could be anything, the cat, a book, a toy, looking outside, etc. Whatever it is, she laughs! She has brought us so much joy. Who would have ever thought a trip to the feed store would end up in me bringing this little bundle of joy home? (If you're not sure what I am refering to, read this post)
Here's another photo of baby L right after she came to stay with us. As you can see, we all fell in love immediately.
The SW was finally back in her office today since last fridays attempted "good bye" visit with bio mom. She said that her mom doesn't get another chance at this visit, that was it, and she blew it. So, we just continue to move forward with the adoption, and hope that her mom will be healthy enough to come to the open adoption visits in the future.
Well, we sent baby L off to her good-bye visit, but it didn't end up happening. The person transporting had some not so good conversations with her bio mom over the phone, and it sounds terrible. I am not sure what is going on, and, of course, the sw is out today and her voice mailbox is full.
Today is baby L's good-bye visit with her biological mom. She confirmed it yesterday, so she is going to have it. We were initially told we needed to be there, but now the sw is saying that they don't do it that way, and the dept. will be supervising. Due to the fact that her mom has not followed through with one visit in the last 4 months, they are only allowing her one hour with baby L. I can't even imagine what she will be going through today. I am praying it goes well, and also praying her mom will hold up her end of the open adoption. According to the sw, there are very few that actually follow through.
Baby L is now completely legally free, as the relinquishment was finalized in court yesterday! The sw just left and said that we will be switched over to the adoption unit in the next few weeks, and the process to adopt her will begin! Also, she said I can show pictures!!! So, stay close, soon you will see our adorable little baby L!!!!
Meet Diamond Dee (Dee Dee), and her filly, Blackberry Spring! We brought them home monday, on Dee Dee's 9th birthday! The filly turns one month old today, as she was born on the first day of spring! This is right after we unloaded them from the horse trailer, and they were checking out their new pasture.
Molly, Cocoa, and Buttercup were literally frozen in their tracks! They just stood there, across the pasture staring at these two who were now entering their territory.
Miranda made herself comfortable, as she watched them the rest of the evening, allowing them to get comfortable with their new home. Her and Lilyann are so excited. Caring for ponies takes a lot of work but is also a lot of fun! We will share more soon, as we get to know our ponies better. Thanks for sharing in our excitement!
I am starting a new feature on my blog called "Ministry Mondays". I will be sharing information on ministries/and organizations I am familiar with that I can't help but share with the world! I will also be sharing some that are new to me, that deserve recognition as well. I am not compensated in any way, this is just something I wanted to do to increase awareness of these amazing ministries, so that you too, can be blessed and amazed by them as well! Let's start with one of my favorites:
Above Rubies is a ministry I first became aquainted with in 2006, although it has been around much longer than that. It has truly changed my outlook on life, motherhood, and what it means to be a christian. Nancy Campbell, the founder, is an anointed, gifted, amazing woman of God who shares truth in a way you won't even hear in your church's these days. It is refreshing to have this ministry available, and I faithfully read her magazines-which by the way are available to anyone who requests them, she only asks for donations. I recently got to attend another one of her women's retreats (which are available across the U.S. and internationally), and next year I have vowed to invite everyone I know! I highly recommend checking out this ministry/website, and taking full of advantage of the wonderful resources there. You won't be disappointed, and you will be blessed beyond measure!
There are some wonderful community activities this weekend I wanted to take the girls to, but, unfortunately this is going to have to be a working saturday.
Saturday to do list:
Clean out girls room, fill boxes for upcoming yardsale and charity
Clean the living room
Clean the kitchen
Do the dishes
Watch the babies
Paint the trim in the entry way
Paint the trim in master bedroom
Start attacking the mess in the basement
Watch the babies
Rake and haul muck from pasture and barn
Empty new bags of animal feed into containers/secure with lids
Call about picking up more hay
Add new straw to the stalls
Watch the babies
Make a healthy dinner
Watch the babies
If I get three of these things done today, I will be happy! Dh will be outside all day securing fences and gates, adding latches, and general barn maintenance. We are getting ready for a new critter to come join the farm!
On July 23rd, 2009 I was pulling into the parking lot of a local farm supply store, when my cell phone rang. It was dh, saying there was a call from dcfs, about a baby girl, 7 wks. old. After numerous other calls, and saying no to placements of so many, were we finally ready to take this little one into our hearts and home? I quickly called the sw back for more info. She said they had the baby at their office. Her mother was young, this was her first child. They had no idea what direction this case would go. The sw called us even though we were only supposed to get calls for "foster adopt" situations, but this was clearly not that. I called dh back, and we had to make a fast decision, as this baby needed someone. At that moment, we both agreed, that yes, we would take her. I remember driving over to the dcfs office, wondering what this experience would be like. I waited in the waiting room, and two women came out carrying this little one in her car seat. I looked down at her, and immediately fell in love with her angelic face. I brought her home to dh, and we both looked at her and couldn't believe how beautiful she was. I remember one of the first times I held her in my arms, she looked up at me and smiled!! She was so aware, and so social, for such a young age. She hasn't stopped smiling since! She has brought so much joy. She is so loved by us all.
Today was another part of the roller coaster ride I've been on, but I think I stepped off today. Although, I still feel like I'm riding. As I was getting ready to head out to the relinquishment hearing, I got a call from the GAL. She had just heard from baby L's attorney who said that the relinquishment may not happen today, because baby L's mom had to go to another court hearing in another city on some criminal charges. She said she was supposed to meet with her at 1pm, but didn't think she would make it. I was advised not to go, as nothing would happen, but I decided to go anyway. When I drove up, I saw baby L's great grandmother, so I knew her bio mom must be there. Then I found out that the attorney presented her with the open adoption agreement and relinquishment right then and there and she signed it! Talk about waiting til the last minute, because the hearing was at 1:30. She has 48 hrs. to change her mind, but because the attorney is out this week, she has until next wed. to let someone know if she changes her mind. The sw said not to worry, because noone ever changes their mind, and if she did, it would mean termination trial, which would be worse for her anyway. I also just found out that baby L's mom requested one last good-bye visit. She has made no effort to see her since before Christmas, but wants a good-bye visit, and she wants us to facilitate it. She doesn't want a social worker or transportation person like they usually have. When I told dh this, we both felt a sense of sadness. Although we are so glad things are finally moving in a positive direction toward permanancy for baby L and us, the thought of her mom having us bring her for a good-bye visit with us there is very bittersweet. I can't imagine it. I think partly because I cannot comprehend what her mom's life must be like. I cannot comprehend relinquishing a child. My heart would break into peices. And, my heart breaks for her. The good-bye visit seems like what so many that adopt an infant domestically might experience. There are so many emotions there, both happy, and sad. I really wish I had some sort of idea of what she is thinking, or going through right now.
On the flip side, I am so thankful, and grateful to God for this day! Baby L is such an amazing blessing to us. She walks around the house saying "hi momma" all the time now, and she loves hugs and kisses and snuggling up on my lap with her blankie. I can't imagine if things had gone the other way what we would all be going through. God is so good and so gracious. He has carried us through, and I have grown so much along this path. It's feels like a miracle.
In just a few hours I will be sitting in a court room waiting to hear the fate of sweet baby L.
Lord, I know you go before us, and you have it all in your hands. We thank you for this precious child, and all the time we have had with her. We pray that if it is your will, Lord, she will be become legally free today, and be able to be adopted by us. We ask that today's hearing goes smoothly, and that nothing hinders the proceedings. We thank you for placing her in our home and blessing us with this sweet child of yours. We thank you for the awesome God that you are, who knows everything we need. In Jesus' name, Amen!
The image above resembles the little ones in my house, both in diapers, both drinking their bottles, often tumbling around, giggling at each other, or pulling each other's hair, and this mommy has to break it up. Never thought I'd see the day I'd be breaking up fights between a 13 month old and 22 month old!
So, wednesday, April 13th is the day!!! I talked to baby L's social worker today, and although she continues to sound vague, she said that this wednesday, in court, there will be a hearing, establishing relinqishment. She said that this means the relinquishment will be final at the end of the hearing. So, unless I hear something tomorrow, the next day we will be attending this hearing. There is no way I would miss it. I need to hear for myself that it is actually happening, because it still doesn't seem real.
The baby girls are a handful! They are into everything, needing constant re-direction. We are exhausted! But, we are still so very thankful for them both, and I am in awe of God's hand in this entire process!
Hopefully wednesday I will have a positive update to share after the hearing! And...I believe my big girls are VERY overdue for an update of their own soon as well!
Last night at our monthly homeschool moms support group, we continued our discussion of a book I read a few years ago, when choosing a method of homeschooling. It was all about the Charlotte Mason method, and I loved it, and I believe it played a huge part in my falling in love with homeschooling. Yes! I am in love with homeschooling...and one reason is that when using the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling, you realize that you are not engaging in just the role of "teacher" to your children, but you are embracing an entire lifestyle, with your family, and I am head over heels in love with my family!
I think when I first read the book, I was mostly inspired, and my eyes were open to what "educating" your children really could look like and be. It's not anything like the box I was educated in, in public school. It was more about finding out what drives our individual children, how to inspire them, and how to facilitate a passion for learning in our children. Not just a passion for learning the basics, but a passion for life, nature, and God .
I cannot wait to read this blog. We discussed Mother Culture last night at our meeting, and I shared this quote from the book :
"Mother's should cultivate their souls, that in turn, they may cultivate the souls of their children", Billy Graham. I love that! And, to see it on this blog, got my heart skipping a beat just a bit.
This author has so many nuggets of wisdom to share. I highly recommend the book, "A Charlotte Mason companion", which you will see on this blog. It is where my homeschooling journey began, and it is something that I hope will continue to carry us through.
Go check out this blog, read about "mother culture, be inspired, and be blessed!
THIS blog will no doubt become a favorite of mine, and a regular place to visit!
"The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the Lord delight in us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey" Numbers 14:7.
Although I live in the great country of USA, I actually dwell on a parcel of land in the woods of Tennessee. But the land where I really live every day and night is in the "land" of my family life. This is the real down-to-earth land where each one of us lives our lives. What is our "land" like?
We get a glimpse of what God wants it to be like when we read about the land He promised to His people, Israel. Although these promises are literally for Israel, for God gave the land to them for an everlasting covenant,* they are also a type of how He wants us to live. Let's see how God describes His land.
IT IS A GOOD LAND (Exodus 3:8)
It is a "good" land. In fact, Numbers 14:7 tells us that it is "an exceeding good land." Tov is a common Hebrew word but it has a big meaning. The Lexicon in my Bible says it means, "pleasant, beautiful, excellent, bountiful, lovely, delightful, joyful, fruitful, precious, sound, cheerful, kind, sweet, correct and righteous." ** Read these words over again and say them out loud. Do they describe the good land of your home?
God intends your home to be a good land. He intends your marriage to be a good land. Motherhood is an exceeding good land. It is where you are meant to dwell, enjoying the blessings of God--your husband, children and the security of your home.
God instructs the older women to teach the younger women "good" things--how to love their husbands, love their children and to be keepers and home etc. These are the "good" things of the land (Titus 2:3-5).
IT IS A DELIGHTFUL LAND (Psalm 106:24)
Not only is it a good land, but a delightful land. God uses many descriptions to describe the land He chose for His people. .
"The most beautiful inheritance of the nations" (Jeremiah 3:19).
"The glory of all lands" (Ezekiel 20:6, 15). Did you know that motherhood is the glory of the nation? When God judged Ephraim He took away their glory. What was their glory? Conception, pregnancy and birth. Hosea 9:11 says, "As for Ephraim, their glory will fly away like a bird--no birth, no pregnancy and no conception!" The Hebrew word is tsvi and means "beautiful, prominence, splendor, pleasant." It is translated "the beautiful land" in Daniel 8:9 and 11:16 41.
"The pleasant land" (Psalm 106:24; Jeremiah 3:19 and Zechariah 7:14). The Hebrew word for "pleasant" is chemdah and means "delightful, precious."
"A delightful land" (Malachi 3:12). Chephets is a different Hebrew word and means "pleasure or delight." God gave marriage and motherhood for our pleasure. Of course we all experience many challenges and heartaches along the way, but as we embrace them as our Promised Land, our attitude changes and we begin to experience pleasures and delights galore.
The first home was called a delight. This is the meaning of "the garden of Eden." It was the prototype of all future homes. This is one of your great priorities--to make your home a delight for your children, for your husband when he comes home each evening, for folk who come into your home, and even for yourself. Make your home a place where you delight to be--your favorite place in the world.
Psalm 106:24-25 tells us that even though God gave this delightful land to His people, they didn't believe in its goodness. In fact, "they despised the pleasant land, they believed not His word. But murmured in their tents, and harkened not unto the voice of the Lord."
There are many women who despise motherhood, often because they have been indoctrinated by society to despise it. They are told that it is demeaning and they can do a lot better with their lives. They despise God's way for marriage. They are taught that they must keep their independence and live their own life. They groan and complain about motherhood in their home. They criticize and whine about their husbands. Consequently they don't enjoy their marriage, or motherhood. It's not a good land to them! All because of their attitude. All because they have been indoctrinated with deceitful lies from the enemy. If only they would open their eyes to behold God's plan, they would see all the good things. Motherhood would become pleasant to them. Their marriage relationship would become delightful.
May the "land" where you live become a delightful land to you.
Next week we will talk about how it is a land that flows with milk and honey.
Love from Nancy Campbell
"Dear Father, please save me from despising the good land you have given to me. Thank you for choosing this land for me. Unfold your truth to me so that I can walk in all the blessings you have planned. Amen."
I'm embracing the good land of motherhood. It's my Promised Land.
* Read all the promises where God promised the land of Israel to His people for an EVERLASTING POSSESION. It belongs to them by God's divine order:
We have some new critters coming to the farm, and some have, sadly left. One we thought was gone, but alas, has shown back up minus one body part. Oh, farm life!
In the next few days we will know if the rabbit Miranda decided to breed did, in fact end up pregnant on her wedding day. If no babies appear, back to her husband she will go!
We also have a long road trip to make to bring home our newest farmyard member. We are very excited.
It is also time to start thinking about breeding and milking our goats, which is the reason we decided to get goats in the first place. Then, the foster babies came, and there was just no room for milking goats. I am slowly getting mentally prepared to get that started now!
Stay tuned...soon I will show you a peek around our farm, with pictures of all these cute critters, and hopefully our newest ones as well! Yeah for spring!
As I was out doing my monthly grocery shopping today, my cell phone rang. It was my husband. He had something to tell me about a baby boy. Here's how the conversation went:
Me: Hello? DH: Hi. Well, I wanted to let you know that "they" called and wanted to know if we'd take a newborn baby boy. Me: What? DH: Yeah, and at first they said it would just be for the weekend, but then they said it would be a little longer, but it is temporary, oh, and I told them yes, I hope that's okay. Me: What?!?! Are you kidding...you said yes!!?? I never say yes to a foster care call without calling you first. DH: Well, you love kids, so I thought it was okay. Me: And where are we going to put this baby? We don't even have an extra crib right now. DH: We'll make room. Me: I can't believe this, I really don't know how we'll handle three babies at once... DH: April fools...!! Me: Thank God! I really was not looking foreward to that, and oh, yeah, you got me good! DH: Laughing...
We are a christian adoptive family! God has pieced together our family in a way that is more beautiful than anything I could have imagined! We have adopted internationally, as well as through the US foster care system, but most importantly we have all been adopted by God! Ephesians 1:5 says "God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ".
We live on a small hobby farm, and homeschool our six children. Life is full!
My first miracle born in 2001. After giving birth to her, I realized that being a mother was the best job out there, and children are a miracle and precious gift from God. She is a true country girl at heart. Horses are her passion. She is an amazing big sister to her 5 little siblings!
Adopted from China in 2007.
Her sweet spirit fills our home with beauty and love. She is our little dancer, and introduced me to the world of recitals, dance practices, tutu's and ballet! Most of all, her love for Jesus shines bright, and even at her young age, she has a passion for orphan care and missions. These are subjects she talks and prays about on a daily basis! Can't wait to see where the Lord takes this girl!
Adopted from U.S. foster care, July 2013.
God's surprises never cease to amaze me. He is Laney's full sibling who came to live with us in Nov. 2011. Our son since the day he arrived. This is the sweetest boy you will ever meet.
Adopted from U.S. foster care November 2011.
Words cannot describe the joy this precious pumpkin brings to our lives! Another sweet miracle fromt the Lord. She was our first foster baby, arriving at the age of 7 weeks. We were blessed to adopt her in November of 2011. She refers to herself as a princess, and is also a lover of kittens, books, and dancing. I guess many more dance practices and recitals are in our future, lol!
Adopted from U.S. foster care, July 2013.
She was our second foster child who came home from the hospital at one week old. She livens up our days with her endless energy and strong will! It has been such a joy to see her and Austin have the chance to be together as brother and sister, and they definately have a bond that makes my heart smile!
Adopted from U.S. foster care July 2013. What a surprise it was to see that the little boy I pictured in my mind, who only the Lord would know, was actually in need of a forever family! Another miraculous gift from the Lord. He arrived at 4 mos. of age in Oct. 2011. Cute as can be with a contagious laugh and smile.