Saturday, July 31, 2010

This is the design of God among his people. He is giving unlikely people his power so it is clear who deserves the glory for the success that takes place.
-David Platt-

Friday, July 30, 2010

Country Livin'

I grew up a country girl, and I remember telling my mom I would NEVER marry a country guy. I lived 20 miles from anywhere so my summer days were spent on the ranch. I had plenty to do with my show cattle and the ordinary chores, and I loved to read. But still. As a teen, I thought there had to be something better. Little did I know!

What did I do? I went and married a country guy (almost 25 years ago!), and we've been country folk ever since...and lovin' it. The kids love it too! Except for the times they ask to go to the park and we say, "We live in a park so go play" :)

We don't have a yard fit for a magazine cover or landscaped flower gardens, but we have plenty of dirt for digging, trails for walking and sledding and lots of space and timber for Osc*r M*yer roasts. And now we have a 'prayer garden.' In their spare time, Kayden and Kenzie blazed a trail to the cross that Kolton 'planted' a while back. Country life - it's the best!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Song in My Heart

Two of my big kids and their pastor sang Warren Barfield's "Love is Not a Fight" this morning.
"Love is not a fight,
but it's something worth fighting for."

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Slipped Through the Cracks...

...but always in the hands of the Father. I'm talking about our son, Kooper. Nine months ago we met him for the first time. In April when we received his referral, we wondered why this 13 year old boy had to wait so long for a family to call his own. Little did we know, the more answers we sought, the more questions would arise.

As in many cases, his referral information was outdated, incomplete and ultimately, inaccurate. To this day we don't know where our son spent the first six years of his life. According to the information, he was at the orphanage, which happens to be a Half the Sky facility, but HTS has no record of his enrollment in their preschool.

As his new language improves, he is able to share more of his past. The biggest obstacle now is the cultural stigma of doing so. He's obviously never been taught or allowed to express his feelings, therefore causing him to be out of touch or unable to identify his emotions.

He's also under the impression if he doesn't talk about it, it will go away or he can pretend the abuse he endured in the estimated nine years with his foster family never occurred. Yes, I said abuse. Our hearts are broken for our son. At this time we don't know the depths of the abuse, but we know it has calloused his heart. Gradually, he is letting down the barriers. It took six months for him to admit he was abused. We don't know how long it will take for him to share the rest. We've begun counseling, and he is surprisingly open with his therapist.

We've explained that his heart is like an open wound (like when he smashed his finger), and it can heal. We've learned to read the signals and recognize when the memories haunt him and disrupt his daily life. It's so hard to be never know experience change countries and cultures as a trust a super-size family who looks, talks and acts different from anyone you've ever known...

I'm so proud of how Kooper is adapting to all the changes. There are more to come once school starts, but he is slowly gaining the confidence to accept challenges and trust that we will always be here, no matter what.

The main struggles now are his inability to fall asleep at night, his fear of failure and his desire to be alone. It seems he is consumed by thoughts that keep him awake and cause him worry. Now that we recognize the signs in the morning, we are able to talk to him about his worries and ease his mind.

He's never been challenged before. In fact, it seems no one had the time to help him learn. Apparently, if he said he couldn't do something, he was brushed aside and given an easier task or assignment. The truth is, he is a very bright kid whose memory is amazing when exercised! He just lacks the confidence to believe he can succeed.

His 'safe place' is to be alone. He doesn't have to think, talk, feel or try or please anyone. We are learning that he needs some alone time, and he is learning when to try harder to interact with the family. He lacks the ability to solve even the simplest problems. Through a series of questions and demonstrations, we are able to instill confidence and skills to do so.

Though it seems this child has simply slipped through every societal crack, and his past is nearly nonexistent as far as documentation, he has always been in the loving care of the Father, who is ever so patiently drawing him closer!

Just a Shout Out... my awesome God! First, we asked Him to bring the crop...and He did!

Then we asked Him to bring the people...and He is!

After all, a harvest isn't very profitable if the farmer has to leave the crop in the field. There have been a couple of times it seemed impossible to move all the corn we picked in a day...and in His perfect timing, the Lord brought the people and we sold out.

Next week we will begin to harvest the most productive stalks and we've been looking for a big market for Thursdays. Today we had a customer drive 90 miles to buy a bag of corn. This customer just happens to own a large lot beside W@l-M@rt and has invited us to set up shop on Thursdays!

That's my God!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Freezing Fresh Sweet Corn

I finally seized had a chance to put up some corn today ~ 2 bags, to be exact! Since I was asked, I will share how I preserve our corn in the freezer.
First, gather supplies:
Quart-size freezer bags
Large boiling pot
Knife or corn scraper
Trays or containers to hold corn
Lots of help if you can find it :)
Next, husk the corn and break off dry tip
Then, wash the corn to remove silk (it's nearly impossible to remove all of it!)
Then, I only blanch the corn for 2 minutes because it's so tender. Be prepared to remove from the pot quickly into the strainer.
Place the blanched corn into a sink full of ice water. (I put it into cold water first, then into ice water.) Only leave in the water long enough to cool the corn or it may become tough.
Then, we cut the corn off the cob with a knife. The scraper takes too long and is hard to get around these large ears!
Once we start cutting, we begin bagging...and bagging...
...and bagging. We made 28 quart size bags from two bushels of corn.
***If you like to freeze the ears for corn on the cob, you need gallon size freezer bags. (How I wish I'd had some of those at this point!)

And suddenly, my help disappeared when it was time to clean up the sticky mess!
***Another freezing method we've tried is to leave the corn in the husk and place a meal portion in a brown paper bag, then freeze. If you have the space, it's a quick way to preserve your fresh corn for grilling later! Just remove from the paper bag and place in cold water till it's thawed...and grill away!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Like Corn...

...corn on the cob,
cut corn,
canned corn,
corn kabobs,
corn chowder,
corn fritters,
corn on the grill,
creamed corn...
:) :) :) :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Difference?

If I had a quarter for every time I've heard, "You can't save them all," ... well, I'd have a LOT of quarters!

So many times we see the need, and it seems so overwhelming that we begin to question how we can really make a difference....and so we don't.

We are petrified by the size of the need and comforted by the reality that we are only one person or one family, ill-equipped at that!

But it's amazing to me that God will use those least likely. Look at Jesus! Of course, there is a distinct difference between Jesus and us because He was fully God and fully human. But He wasn't recognized as who He really was ~ the Savior. Unfortunately, many today still don't recognize Him for who He is.

We also don't recognize ourselves ~ God's greatest creation put here for the purpose of living out His love with our lives. Throughout the ages God has raised up ordinary folks to do extraordinary things for His glory!

So the next time someone says we are too small to make a difference, think about the difference one God-Man made, the difference He has made in us, and the difference He will equip us to make, even if only to one other person.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Corn ~ Family Style

It consumes our days now...but that's a great thing! It's a family business, and it takes the whole family (and then some) to keep it going!
Our corn is hand sorted and fed into an electronic bagger, under the careful supervision of too many bosses :).
It's fed from the trailer to the conveyor belt, onto the sorter.
We use our hands as much as possible to keep from bruising the ears. Oh, hey, Kolton!
Mr. Greenthumb has another trailer load waiting to be sorted!
It gets loaded onto the trailer, by the bushel bag and paper bagged by the dozen.
We take our work very seriously ~ no time for fun here!
This is a bushel (six-dozen) bag. It's all the rage!
And behind those doors are four small children tended to by whichever big kid desires to be a zoo-keeper rather than a corn-sorter for the day - cuz the sortin' starts at 5 a.m., and the monkeys don't usually wake up till 8 :)
Now for the good part! For grilling, soak the ears for at least 10 minutes...
...then throw them on the grill for 10-15 minutes and enjoy!
For a quick snack, you can microwave an ear, husk and all, for 3 minutes! If you husk it for boiling, this golden treat only needs to boil for 2 minutes!
That's the business...and that's the family!
Gotta get back to work ~ we've got 5 weeks to go :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Another One Coming Home!

My friend Lori has announced the adoption of their next Treasure! She's launching a huge giveaway next week. Please check out her blog and spread the word!

No, I Have Not...

...fallen off the face of the Earth! But I am chasing my tail. We are three days into corn harvest ... and evening VBS...and life as a supersized family. Right now I'm not sure when the day ends and a new one begins, but I am praising the Lord for every minute of the Khaos!

Lots on my mind but not a minute to share it. Stay tuned...I hope to catch up soon!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


That's the best word I can think of to describe what's been going on in my heart within the past week and a half. Don't get me wrong; I'm very stubborn, selfish, independent and all those other 'human' things. But the journey of reformation is under way!

For the past three months I've been asking the Lord to do something miraculous in my heart. I've asked for the ability to pour out all the grace that He pours into me. I've asked for the strength to love in unlovely circumstances. I've asked for reminders that He works in all things for the good of those who love Him. I've asked for perspective, focusing on what I've gained rather than what I perceive I have lost. I've asked God to make a radical difference in my heart, one that only He is capable of.

I am so human... but there is reformation...

And it is a journey.
It begins with time spent in the Truth.
Then time spent in prayer.
Asking. Listening. Responding.
It is intentional, purposeful, constant.
And now I see glimpses of a difference, a difference in me, by Him!
As with any great journey, it will not end soon. Because the difference is not complete. I am so human.

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you... Eph 1:18

"But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart..." Matthew 15:18

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jer 29:13

Saturday, July 10, 2010

guilt trip?

My 8 Treasures and I spent the afternoon at the pool ... Even though there are a million things I COULD be doing : laundry; preparing for VBS next week; laundty; cleaning; laundry; returning corn calls; laundry; baking a cake for tomorrow ... And laundry. No guilt here! Our 'lazy' summer ends at 4 a.m. Next Tuesday :). Bring it on!!!

Friday, July 9, 2010


Mr. Greenthumb went to the field to hand pick corn this morning. He typically uses the automated picker behind the John Deere, but this was a special case.

A few months ago, he took a seed... a seed that was dead...
planted it in fertile soil...soil that had been nourished and prepared...
he added water, and the seed took root and sprouted to life. Then came the storms...storms that beat the tender living plants.
Some of the weathered plants wilted and failed to thrive as a result of the storms. Others continued to grow, straight and tall, reaching for the sunlight.
The gardener continued to care for all the plants, despite their varied growth. Despite the same care, some continued to plummet, while others thrived.
But when harvest time came, the gardener had to select the plants which bore good fruit, suitable for the finish.
Even the fruit that was harvested had to be further sorted...hand-selected for the next stage of the journey.
Have I died to my 'self' and allowed the Gardener to take root in the soil of my heart, accepting His loving care, peering toward the Son, despite the storms? Oh, how I want to bear the fruit worthy of the finish!
The Lord will guide you always;
He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
Isa 58:11

Thursday, July 8, 2010

8 Months Home!

Really? 8 months? In some respects it seems like yesterday we stepped off the plane with our two newest Treasures, Kooper and Kinley others it seems a lifetime ago!

"God gives us the vision, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision, and it is in the valley that so many of us faint and give way. Every vision will be made real if we will have patience...
God has to take us into the valley, and put us through fires and floods to batter us into shape, until we get to the place where He can trust us with the veritable reality...
Don't lose heart in the process. If you have ever had the vision of God, you may try as you like to be satisfied on a lower level, but God will never let you."
~Oswald Chambers~

And the parched ground shall become a pool.
Isaiah 35:7

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ridiculously Easy Recipe!

Really ~ this is so easy it's ridiculous! And delicious! And hides the cheese :) Add a salad and a loaf or two of bakery French bread, and it's a hit! (Hint ~ if you're like this country gal and never used Pesto sauce before, it comes in a small jar)

Chicken Pesto

1 pkg (8 oz) Angel Hair pasta

1 jar prepared Pesto sauce

1 tsp olive oil

1 cup cooked, cubed chicken

Salt and pepper to taste

8 oz finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Prepare pasta according to directions. In non-stick skillet, place chicken in heated oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix prepared pasta, chicken, Pesto sauce and cheese and serve.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Two More of These ...

...and Mr. Greenthumb will be in the field every morning at 4 and we will be on the sorter/bagger at 5!
Beautiful sight!

Look at what God has produced! The next six weeks will be very busy, praise Him!
My morning walking trail...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Our Week at the Creek!

Praying before we leave
Chillaxin' on the bus
Modeling our camp tee, designed by Kenzie and Kaylee
Waiting for the shuttle to take us to the volleyball courts
We came, we played...
...and played. It was hot!
We worshiped
We ate ~ a lot!
We learned a new game ~ Ninja Assassin! We played it everywhere...waiting in line at the Tabernacle, waiting at the ropes course, waiting for supper...

April is the Belay Queen! You wanna climb; she will belay!

Thank you, Tracy and Abby, for cooking for us and babysitting during Bible study and devos!
God is so very good! We saw Him do amazing things amongst our group. He called some to salvation, others to rededicate their lives to Him, some to missions, some to ministry, others to share the Message boldly, He reminded us of His sovereignty and the hope that we have, not only for an eternal life spent with Him but in the circumstances of our daily lives!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

on our way home!

Can I just say ... We serve a Mighty God!!! He has spoken to hearts and transformed lives this week! Soon I will post pix of our week at the Creek. We had an amazing group of students and sponsors with servant hearts. We will give our report tomorrow. Then I get to see three of my babies and my extended family - woohoo! Know what's so cool - the same God who spoke to us at camp this week is going home with us...and He is with you too!!!

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