Thursday, October 27, 2011

Confusion and Hard Questions

We tentatively picked the name Alex for our future son from China.  ( We have no news.  It's been a long and frustrating process.)  Meanwhile Kenton's sister Janelle is expecting a baby in January.  They plan to name her Abigail. 

Janelle and co. were here recently and so there has been lots of talk about Baby Abigail.  I've been talking about how excited we are that Abigail is coming and we're putting some hand-me-downs away for her. 


I started to suspect that Kaitlyn was confused.  She started talking about when Abigail gets here.  I tried to explain that Abigail is growing under Aunt Janelle's heart in her belly and that after she was born she was going to live with her mama and daddy and not with us. 

It has been a day of tears and questions for her. 

Is Abigail going to live here?  Why not?
Is Abigail from China?  Why not?
Is Alex coming soon?  I want him now. 

And finally...

Is Alex growing in your belly?  Why not?

How do you answer that?

I'm not good with these questions.  And I really didn't expect to get hit with the hard ones from a three-year-old.   I thought I had lots of time to think these through.   

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Catchup Pics

My little girl in her big sister's roller skates.

My parents installed wainscoting while they were here.

Washing corn - don't ask me why.

We had some tall corn this year. Some of it was twelve feet tall.

Happy "Merry"land.

Fall color wasn't much to brag about this year. I guess that's what I get for chortling at Miss Courtney K.'s fall pics. (Sorry, Courtney! AZ might have its beauty spots but I wouldn't vote for fall color being one of them. :-P)

The effects of gravity on too big pants. Of course this does NOT explain the missing shirt.

The mighty pigeon hunters with their "hunting" dog and a dead "white beauty" in the bucket.

Don't you just love when dad sets the boys such a great example of not wrestling in the house?

Sleeping Beauty

The morning look

Oh...the big excitement in our house this week has been the arrival of the ants for the ant farm. Jamison has been wanting this for a long time. He was supposed to get it last Christmas. Did you know they won't ship ants at Christmas...or during the summer? I finally just wrote it down on the calendar - October 1-ORDER ANTS!
They actually had the timer out so that nobody hogged the prime seat for watching ants work for too long. Pathetic, isn't it?

Monday, October 24, 2011

A few more construction (destruction?) pics

The barn yard this morning was full of dump trucks and pickups and tractors, oh my!

Davis' favorite: the articulated dump truck.

The BIG excavator at work in the future manure pit where much of the fill is coming from. This picture doesn't do the depth justice.

Farm style King on the Mountain.

Fun stuff, eh?

Sunday, October 23, 2011


We prayed for Jim Brenneman. Jim had been fighting a battle with cancer for a long time. Davis heard Kenton praying for Jim and he started to pray for Jim every night. Davis had not met Jim.

One Sunday when Jim was feeling well enough to be in church I had the privilege of introducing them. Jim thanked Davis for his prayers and mentioned that he had another friend named Davis who was praying for him so now he had a big Davis and a young Davis praying for him and that he would pray for Davis too. Davis was all smiles.

We got a call one day that Jim had been taken to the hospital. Davis prayed for Jim and drew him a picture and sent him a note that said something along the lines of...I'm praying for you and helping my dad a lot. I like you. I hope you feel better soon.

Davis' prayers were answered but not in the way we had hoped. God called him to his eternal home.

I dreaded having to tell Davis. I wondered how he would feel when he heard the answer to his months of prayer.

"Davis, I have some hard news for you, buddy. Jim Brenneman went home to be with Jesus today."

He stunned me silent when he smiled an enormous smile and asked, "Should I still pray for him?"


For those few seconds he had a better grasp of Jim's new reality than I did. Heaven, a place with no tears, no pain, and a new body. Eternity with Jesus.


About 10 minutes later the loss hit him. He sobbed for a long time and that night he prayed a new prayer. He prayed for Jim's family.

Jim's family shared a few of Jim's things with Davis: a cap, a picture of a fire truck, and a prayer bear. Jim's wife hopes that Davis will use the bear to remind him of other people to pray for. If you'd like, you can join Davis in praying for Christine, Jacquetta, Tara and Bennett, Mallory, Tybie, and Ian and Jim's extended family.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Time Has Come

These pics and info are a little dated. (Sorry, Dennis) Our farm is expanding.

We've contracted a milking parlor, holding area, and walkway. Kenton is also planning a special needs barn that will be like our calf barn. He'll probably buy a kit and build it himself. In his free time. Hmm...Dennis, it should be about time for another furlough next spring, right?

This is the chosen site. The walkway is about 90 some feet angled down from the freestall barn. Part of the fence had to come out and the calf hutches were all moved.

My parents dropped everything and came out to help us start with excavation. Even though we've been talking about this for almost ten years, the decision to begin was sudden.

Here are Kenton's mom, my mom, and Kenton's dad watching the ground breaking.

My dad moved topsoil so that Kenton and Carl were free to chop corn, etc.

A lot of dirt needed to be moved to level the site out. A bunch of dirt is coming from our future manure pit spot. We hope to buy an acre or two from a neighbor and give us a bigger working area and give her a bit of distance from our manure pit. Right now we unload manure every day.

Drains going in

"Barney" at work

Kenton's hope is to get the frame up this fall and be able to work on the interior this winter himself during his slow time. I believe he is hoping to have everything up and running by next summer.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Crud! Bread dough will only "rise" to the occasion so far.


Kaitlyn has been really into two things lately: Her dad and taking pictures. She asks almost every day if she can go to the farm with him.

Some days I know he'd prefer she stick to opening envelopes for him.

Kaitlyn's second passion is photography. I should just mention that she's really much more into button pushing than aim. I have many, many photos of my knees. One day she exclaimed with great surprise, "Hey, I got your head." Yeah, that was a first...and only. One day she took a picture of Kenton and I. It was from the back, waist down. Not pretty.

Although she did get this one of my dad. Of course, he helped her hit her target. I'm not that obliging.

This is my favorite Kaitlyn-work. It's a picture of me.

Sorry, folks, that's not a goof. It was actually a picture of me...possibly the best one ever taken. ;-P

Better stick to photography as a hobby, kid. I don't think you're destined for a career in photo journalism.

Growing, Growing, Gone...

Jamison has started doing a little tractor driving.

Too bad he had to be dragged out to the tractor kicking and screaming, eh?

I wasn't too sure about it, but Kenton assured me it was the perfect situation to learn. It was on fairly level land (not tons of that here) the tractor goes slow (ever been behind one on a public road?), and Kenton and his dad were working just ahead of him.

I don't want to see him rushed out of childhood by being "needed" in the fields. I am, however, so happy to see him cheerfully stepping into responsibility. I do enjoy seeing his maturity and independence.
Most of all I enjoy seeing him grow in his relationship with God. I look forward to seeing how God will use him in the future.

Farm Kid Graffiti

You don't need a degree in rocket science to figure out the guilty party.

Graffiti Rule #1 Always use a nom de plume.

Late Bloomer

This lovely azalea waited until now to bloom. Motto: Never lose hope?


You have to wonder if Browning had reached the age of ills, pills, and bills before he wrote this romanticized statement.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It used to be...

Kenton's quote for the day: The idea of growing old together used to be it's reality.