Friday, December 30, 2011

What is the meaning of life?

It is truly a question that has been pondered for ages.  I am certain that if you asked 3 people what they feel the meaning of life is, you will get 3 different answers.  For me, it starts here:

The Bible is a collection of 66 books written by about 40 authors from every walk of life including kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, poets, statesmen, scholars, etc., in three different languages, on three different continents, over the course of approximately 1,600 years.  The bible is inspired and inerrant, which means that the Bible is from God and is without error in everything it addresses.

The bible is the most amazing love letter ever written and has been given to us by God.

In it, we see God's Holiness, wisdom, truthfulness, love, goodness, faithfulness, mercy, kindness, patience, justice, righteousness, wrath, jealously and grace.  He is All-knowing, All-powerful, and unchanging.  

In the Bible, God explains why I am here, and what the meaning of life is.  God tells us through His word who He is, so we can come to know Him and have a relationship with Him.   The bible teaches me how to please God and do what is right.  We can't love something that we know nothing about.  That is why God tells us about Himself in the bible.  He made me understand that I am a sinner and that I will never be good enough to go to heaven.  Even when I compare myself to the most heinous people in history, and justify in my mind "surely God will forgive me of my sins, because I'm not nearly as bad as they are.  I'm human after all and there are a lot of people who have done way worse than me.  I'm a good person.  A loving God will certainly be understanding and allow me in".  God has made clear through His word that Heaven is a sinless place.  Not one single sinner (and we all are sinners) will enter into His kingdom.  Only one man in history was without sin. . .Jesus.  Paul says; (Romans 6:23) "For the wages of sin is death".  Death meaning an eternal separation from God in Hell.  Paul goes on to say "But the gift of God is eternal LIFE through Jesus".  Many people think "God's just going to forgive me", but it is an evil wicked judge that would turn a blind eye to justice.  Because He is a good and just judge, He must punish sin.  To satisfy justice, Jesus, God in flesh, took God's wrath and paid for all of our sins on the cross. What an amazing act of pure love.  Through that act, He demonstrated His justice through punishing sin, and His mercy by forgiving the sinner.  God has shown me that through His mercy and grace, I can indeed enter into His Kingdom.  Me. . .an unworthy, filthy sinner has been given a way.  

John 3:16

When Tara was a year old, I gave my life to Christ.  I asked God to forgive me of all my sins and told Him that I knew I was not worthy, but that I believed.  I believed that He took the punishment for my sin and God raised Him from the dead 3 days later.  Now, I talk to God all the time.  I thank Him, I share silly things, and I confide in Him.  I let Him know when I'm hurting, scared, and angry.  I question His answers to my prayers when the outcome is not what I wanted.  In fact, I find myself asking "why" quite often.  But I love Him.  No matter what life throws at me, I know He is there.  I love my children so much.  I can not imagine how it would make me feel, if some day, my children turned away from me and no longer wanted to have a relationship with me.  For most of my life, I did not know God, have a relationship, or want to have a relationship with Him.  I can only imagine how much that must have hurt Him.  I am so grateful that Jesus died on the cross for me.  I am so grateful that my punishment has been paid.  I'm so grateful that God, through his word, has shown me the way to heaven.  I tell you that I was deceived through my own ignorance and was headed down the path of destruction and eternal damnation.  I was never good enough, nor could I ever be good enough to enter God's Kingdom on my own good works, suffering, or otherwise.  Jesus says: (Matthew 7:13-14) "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."

The meaning of life for me is that I have found God, and I have indeed found the narrow gate which will lead to eternal life.  Now we all just need to spread the good news!

Think about what "The Meaning Of Life" is to you.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Did you know?

If not, you need to.

I just wanted to share some important information with you.  Have you heard about the new “Smart Meters” which are rapidly replacing the current analog electric meters on homes across America?  Some of you may have, but I’m betting most you have not. This is due to a 3.4 BILLION dollar Government grant initiative.

To learn about smart meters, I encourage you to simply Google “Smart Meter Controversy”.  You will be astonished at what you find.  But for starters, watch the video below.  It tells all about the smart meters and why we DON’T want them on our homes. 

At the bottom of this page, I am going to supply you with 2 links to go to.  They are petitions to send to our congressmen and senators.  Be sure that you sign those.

After viewing the video, go HERE to copy and paste this "denial of consent" letter into a word document (making the necessary changes and additions pertaining to your electric company and your home address), and have it sent certified mail.   Copy that same letter, laminate it, and duct tape it to your meter.  Also, put a strong padlock on your meter!  Now you need to photograph it with something indicating a date such as a newspaper next to it.  This way, you will have all of your evidence (posted denial of consent, and certified letter to the power company), and you can call the police with if they still install it.  Chances are though, they won't.

Next, you can go HERE to monitor all the “happenings on” with the smart meter protests and successes in the state of Michigan and elsewhere.  If you don't live in Michigan, I'm certain that whatever state you live in will have a similar site, just do a little Google reasearch and you'll find it.

Be sure to pass this vital information on to all your friends and family.  Initally, I was under the impression that if they put one on your house, you could NEVER get it off.  I was just notified by a friend that all hope is not lost if you have already been victim to the power company forcing a smart meter on your home.  Go HERE to learn more about re-installing an analog meter.  Next, go HERE for a company that sells them CHEAP!  You can also utilize the link HERE, which is mentioned in the video at the bottom of the post.  I want to reiterate with you that if you only send a certified letter, the contractors that install the actual meters will not know about it, and will install it anyway unless you have a posting on the meter directly, indicating a “denial of consent to install”.

Here is an image of my analog electric meter with the laminated letter attached:

And here is an image of the padlock that I put on my electric meter:

I used plenty of “Duct Tape”, and it has held fast during some extremely windy, rainy and snowy conditions. I don’t know when they will be coming to my area, but I can rest easily knowing that I am ready for them!

My meter reader actually thanked me for doing this. She told me that the further north the meter readers go in Michigan, the more “denial of consent to install” letter’s she is seeing on peoples analog meters. She said she knows that once all the smart meters are installed (if the power companies get their way, and citizens don’t utilize their right to refuse), that she’ll be out of a job.

This is petition number 1: It goes to your appropriate legislatures.
This is petition number 2: This will be sent to sent to the U.S. House of Representatives.

If you already have a Smart Meter on your home, all hope, as mentioned above, is not lost.  Watch this:

But for those of you who don’t have one yet, don’t put off protecting yourself.  If you don’t have a denial of consent posted, they WILL consider that a consent to install a smart meter.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Okay, I'm bad. . .

. . .I'm definitely really very bad!  It has been far too long since my last post.  So long in fact that we've already transitioned into winter!!!  Although I'm not a fan of winter, I do love seeing my kids all bundled up in cozy warm winter clothes.  Here is Madeline waiting for her ride to school when we got our first snow.  It was on November 30th.  Isn't she just the most adorable snow owl you've ever seen?  Tara is MIA because she was in the house sick with her SECOND bout of strep throat.  Another wonderful thing about winter, kids that get sick often (which mine do!).

And here's the first snowman of the season.  See the "snow bunny" Tara's holding?

And of course there are the chickens.  This is their first winter after all.  And they really don't know quite what to think of it.  Tara video taped their first experience.

On this day, after we let them out, we left them alone outside to forage.  I came out about 30 minutes later to give them a treat.  I called for the girls and Dixie and Daisy came run/flying to me.  Jasmine did not.  I looked around and found her frozen in the middle of the lawn in the snow.  Not literally frozen, but frozen (shocked) frozen.  I called for her to come and she did not move a muscle.  Not even her head.  I called to her again and nothing.  So I walked over, picked her up and carried her over to the treats.  She really did NOT know what to think of the snow.

At this point, I have decided to keep the Henny Penny's locked in their chicken run. Since there aren't really any bugs for them to eat, I have found that they have been going further and further from home to forage which only puts them at risk for a predator to get them.  So until spring, their free range days are going to be extremely limited.  I feel bad about it, but I don't want to lose anyone either.  I'm also going to put clear tarp around the run so it doesn't get buried in snow all winter.

On another note, the house is beginning to look a lot like Christmas.  The girls and I made little elf ornaments and they keep showing up in all of my Christmas displays.

Here's mine:

Yes, those are eggs my little elf is sitting on.  Wonderful healthy farm fresh chicken eggs.  Our girls have been giving us 14 eggs a week, and I have not added any artificial light.  They are laying wonderfully!  Their eggs shells are smooth, very strong and silky.  I think it's because of the organic feed that I spoil them with.

Here is Madeline's 

And finally, here is Tara's:

Madeline (while she was home sick with strep) also made one for her Teacher and Teacher assistant.  With a little Mod Podge and glitter, she added some bling to the pine cone bodies.  They will sparkle so pretty when hung on the tree.

What perfect little Christmas gifts.  Tara is going to make some for her teachers as well.  Cute little elves made with love which will be treasured for years to come.  All we have left to do is string some pretty embroidery floss in the top of the hats so they can be hung on the tree.  I just love these little guys.  I got the idea for making them HERE.  I saw these after Christmas last year, and made certain that the girls and I made them for ourselves this year.  We'll be busy making more as Christmas draws near.

Now just one more picture while I wrap up this post.  Let me introduce you to Rudolph the Red Nose "White Tail".

It's the only time of year that I like seeing this thing hanging on my wall.  

I promise that I will be a better blogger!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank you does not even come close.

Please come home safe!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tara's Been Practicing the Saxophone. . .

And she's not bad either!!  She really likes her Music/Band teacher.  Madeline likes him as well.  Tara told me today on the way home from school that she really likes the way he teaches.  I hope he stays at our school.  It seems we get a new music teacher every year.  Last night, I taped this.

Check out her progress!

That last note gives me a warm chuckle from the heart.  Truly, I think she's doing pretty darned good!  You can go HERE to see her first attempt when she was playing to her hens.

Good job Tara.  Keep practicing and you'll get better and better.  I'm so proud of you baby.  

Monday, November 7, 2011

My Mom. . .

. . .is always looking out for me.  Recently, she was in Good Will and saw this:

A Toastmaster Bread Machine.  She called me and asked if I was interested in it.  Of course I said YES!  So she picked it up for me.  I picked it up from her on Saturday, and on Sunday early morning (Tara and I were up at 5:45 due to the time change!), we made our first loaf.  It was so much easier than doing it the old fashioned way!!  I can't believe how easy it was.  I looked through the recipes and decided that my first choice would be "Egg Bread".  What better way to use some beautiful eggs from my girl Dixie.

And here was the wonderful result:

Now Madeline is my bread girl.  The moment the bread machine dinged with it's "I'm finished signal", out the bread came.

Madeline:  "Can I have the first slice?"  Me:  "Well, they're kind of large so we can split one."  Madeline: "Then can I  be the first one to take a bite?"  Me: "Of course you can.  I want to take pictures of you doing it!"

So here's how it went:

Egg Bread from the new bread machine is good!  
Using eggs from our own chicken is gooder!  
The price of the bread machine at only $4.99 is GOODEST!

Thanks Mom!  I ℒ☮Ṽℰ my new bread machine!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It's All About Color Coordination. . .

. . .or lack there of.  Tonight is Mix Matched Night at AWANA.  Do you think they sufficiently clash?

While I was outside taking pictures, a UPS truck started to lumber up our driveway.  Tara and Madeline screamed and ran into the woods so he wouldn't see how hideous they looked.  Silly girls!!

Although. . .it does take me back to a time this past summer when I wanted to scream and run into the woods.  You can read about that HERE.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!

From a beautiful princess and an adorable chicken!

And isn't this just the CUTEST thing you've ever seen??

But wait!  It gets better. . .
Check out her candy bucket!!!

I have to tell you, this costume got Soooooooooo many compliments!!  I wish I were so creative to have made this.  The hat and feather boa shirt was from my girlfriend Carolyn.  She made this for her son several years ago.  The pants were fleece and warm, and made for Madeline by my niece Shannon.  Really, the only thing I can take credit for are the rubber glove feet, the flower on the chicken head (she wanted everyone to be sure she was a "hen"), and the KFC bucket.  But I do so love this costume.  It is my favorite all time.  We even had several people stop to take a picture of her!!  It was great.  Thanks Shannon and Carolyn!

Madeline really got in tune with her inner chicken as she bawk-bawked often to the people who gave her treats, to which she got many smiles and laughs.  Isn't that just like a chicken??!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dixie. . .Where Are You??!!

Today the Henny Penny's were out in the yard free ranging as usual.  I check on them often throughout the day to make sure they are all there and I also bring them treats.  I went outside today, and there were only 2 hens.  Dixie was gone!  I was so incredibly panicked.  She comes running whenever I call out "Henny Penny's", but today she didn't.  Only Jasmine and Daisy came.  I walked around the enitre house to see if she was under a bush.  Nothing.  I looked in the tree line to see if I could see a splay of feathers which would indicate a predator had gotten her.  No feathers.  My mind was racing as I realized that we lost her to "something" and I would have to tell the girls the horrible news when they got home from school.  I kept calling her name and there was still no Dixie.  I opened the big door to the inside of the coop, and. . .

. . .there she was.  Cooing at me as I stood and stared at her in total relief and on the verge of tears.  I ran in to grab the camera because there was something very special about this.  Listen here:

After I took the picture and video clip, I left her alone and put her sisters in the run.  A little while later, I came back outside to see if she did indeed lay her very first egg.  And. . .

Isn't it just beautiful??!!

Our precious Henny Penny's turned 28 weeks old today, and this is our very first egg.  We couldn't be more overjoyed!

When I picked up the girlies from school, I told them what had happened, but I didn't tell them that she laid the egg.  I told them that I didn't have time to go back and check and that they could do it when they got home.  They were VERY excited to investigate.
What a wonderful first for us.  We are all so happy!!

Stay tuned, because my next blog post is going to be about Disney!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

She's in Band

Tara is in 5th grade.  This year, she is able to take band.  She is playing the Alto Sax.  She is borrowing her instrument from her cousin Amy.  This Saxophone used to be her uncle's, grandfathers.  Her teacher told her that it is in excellent condition.

When she got home from school, she could hardly wait to assemble it and show Madeline and I how she plays.

Of course, the Henny's were curious about the. . .ummm. . .very loud "noises" coming from Tara.

So without further adieu, here is Tara with her first Alto Sax solo. . . 

Even Caspian liked the way she played.
Don't ya just love Madeline's style?  Gotta love the socks!  
It'll be so fun watching Tara learn to play this awesome instrument!! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Trained Chickens

I've said many times that our hens are so incredibly friendly.  They are like little puppy dogs.  They follow us when we are in the yard, and like to be held and petted as well.  When I call them, they come.  Check out this video I shot this afternoon:

Madeline has been training them to jump for treats

If you have never owned chickens, let me tell you. . .they are such a source of entertainment.  We have so much fun with our girls Jasmine, Daisy and Dixie.

They love to perch in trees.
Don't they just look so happy and content?  Truly they are.  These hens are treated very well.  They get to forage and free range every day (almost all day).  They get lots of treats, and even dinner scraps from the table.

The only thing better than a good chicken shake. . .
. . .is catching it with my camera!

Sometimes they get so excited over table scraps that they lose all manners and just start flinging food everywhere.  Then they'll chase each other around trying to steal each others pieces thinking that it must be better than the identical stuff on the plate.

And what do you think has got them so excited this time?  It's leftover chicken and corn.  What!  It's a good source of protein.  Ask any chicken owner who gives their chickens table scraps for treats.  Almost all of them do it.  You know who you are!

Okay fine!  Let's change the subject.  This is Oreo our neighbors tail-less cat.  He comes over our house all the time to visit with Caspain & Faline, and to watch the chickens.  They are entertaining to him as well.

Tara and Madeline call this a "Kitty Kiss".

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