Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Woodland Friends. . .

I really love where we live.  We are surrounded by acres of woods and there is never a shortage of wildlife to enjoy.  Yesterday, I felt like I was literally surrounded by deer all morning.  It was so wonderful.  They are such sweet, graceful and beautiful animals.  I was literally standing 10 feet away while I took this picture.  Just look at his beautiful face. . .

He was looking directly at me as I stood motionless with my camera to my eye in front of my window.  Even though he could see me, my lack of movement likely made him view me as an inanimate object.  Soon he'll be regrowing the antlers he shed this winter.  I so badly wanted to pet his beautiful face and scratch him between the ears.

I never get tired of seeing the beautiful deer. . .

Even Caspian got in on the wildlife watching.  She poses no threat to them.

Aren't they pretty?  I especially love when I see our precious Henny Penny's free ranging with them.

Today, I saw some turkeys.  They are very cool as well.

And the Henny Penny's have even been known to hang out with them!
It's so fun living in the country!!

You know, I couldn't help but think that if I had quietly stepped outside with the deer or the turkeys, they would have fled in a heartbeat at the moment they saw me, but our pets will mingle harmoniously with them.  And then I remembered what God said said to Noah after the ark had settled and God made his Covenant with Noah.  Genesis 9:2 says "The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. "  I love when I can see God's word in my everyday life.  Don't you?

I just had to add these photos that I took today 3/28/13.  She's so pretty!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sheltered By Gods Loving Arms. . .

People who live on a farm, or simply raise backyard chickens like us, know that danger is always lurking.  When a threat does actually strike, a mother hen spreads her wings and covers her little chicks with her feathers. Then she pulls her chicks in close - right underneath her wings where she hides them from danger and protects them until it has passed.

I love this psalm because it reminds me that God is my Shelter in stormy times. I can rest beneath His wings until the storm has passed knowing that He is close and unwavering.  He is with me through every moment of every trial.  It assures me that when we go through trials, not if, but when we go through them, those who know the Lord, not those who just know "of" Him, but those who have a personal relationship with Him, will receive His comfort.  Even in the worst of circumstances, God will use every situation for my good. . .

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

What's in an eggshell??

Well apparently a LOT!  While making breakfast for Tara and Madeline earlier this week, something, well, different caught my eye.  One of our Henny Penny's lays very light colored eggs.  I never really thought much about it, that was until this week.  Here is what her "cracked" shell looks like next to one of her sisters eggs.

See how pale her egg is?  It has little brown speckles on the bottom as you can see.  Sometimes they aren't speckled, but this one was.   Now look here at the inside of her sister egg. . .

See how it's white in there?  Well, all brown egg laying chickens have white eggs, and the color is applied in the very last stage of egg travel before it's laid.  Which means that all brown eggs have white insides.  This is not true however for blue egg layers which lay eggs blue inside and out.  There is an actual science behind this, which is clearly explained here.  The article says " It takes about 26 hours for an egg to go from the ovary until it is laid. First the yolk is encircled with whites and membranes. Then this jelly-like mass goes into the shell gland, where it will spend about 20 hours while the shell is formed.

The shell is made up almost entirely of calcium carbonate, which is a white mineral. White eggs are white, through and through. But, during the last four to six hours in the shell gland, a brown egg-laying hen adds pigment to the mix. This is why the insides of brown eggs are white – the egg starts out white, and gradually becomes more colorful. In the last 90 minutes, the rate of shell formation slows, and the cuticle, a viscous, protein-rich fluid (also called the bloom) is added. (The cuticle is the first line of protection against bacterial infection in the egg.) This is also when the hen secretes most of the pigments into the shell."

So what do you think happened here??

How on earth did she get the color on the INSIDE??!!

And which of you girls is the amazing magician who performed this magic trick??!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tara's Amazing Gift. . .

. . .is the ability to learn easily.  She is an academically gifted child.  She is very humble about this and knows that it is truly a gift from God.

I need to give the back story here.  Back in December, we received a letter from Tara's school stating that she had been invited into an accelerated math program.  In this program, she would leave her school campus  to be instructed in math by Professors from Michigan State University.  We went to an informational meeting, and found out more about it.  It's called CHAMP (The Cooperative Highly Accelerated Mathematics Program). It's designed to allow mathematically gifted students to master the standard high school mathematics curriculum within a two year period--consisting of 2 years of algebra, a year of geometry and a 4th course including trigonometry and college algebra as major components (all while in middle school). CHAMP covers the equivalent of one year of high school mathematics in one semester: the 2 algebra courses are covered during the first year and the geometry and trigonometry/college algebra are covered in the second year of the program. Students who successfully complete the two years of CHAMP are ready to begin calculus. This program will replace her schools math curriculum and she will be taught by MSU professors. Only a few children in her school were invited into this program.  What an honor!!!

In order to qualify for the program, the students needed to take the ACT and she needed to score at least a 21 in the mathematics section and have a composite score of at least 23. There were approximately 40 children vying for one of 21 openings into this amazing program and life opportunity.

I immediately hired a tutor who could help her prepare for the test which was given February 9th, as I knew there was no way that I could effectively prepare her!   Tara met with her tutor 2 times per week.  She did very well on her practice tests, but in math, lack of speed was catching her up.  Tara is very thorough with her work and at the tender age of 11, she just wasn't fast enough.  When testing day came, I tried to calm her nerves as we drove there.  Along with praying together, one of the things I told her, was to do all of the easy math problems first, and then go back and do the difficult ones.  When she came out of the test, she said "I did terrible!  I forgot to do the easy problems first and I ran out of time.  I had to randomly guess on like 20 of them!!".  I asked her how she felt she did on the math problems which she completed, and she said she felt like she did well on those.  I asked her how she did on the rest of the test (English, Reading, and Science) and all she said was "It was hard".  I told Tara that I was so proud of her for even getting invited into the program, and for working so hard with her tutor.  I said "If it is God's will, you will be in it.  If not, then He has another plan for you at the moment."  Hearing that gave her a sense of peace.  I told her that just having the opportunity to take the test was a great experience and not many little girls get to experience that.  Knowing that ultimately it was in God's hands made the waiting period for the test results very easy for Tara.  On Friday, we got the results.  She was at school and was not coming home that night.  She and Madeline were having a sleep over at a friends house.  Alone in the house, I opened the envelop and started reading her results, and I began shaking.  I could not believe what I was seeing.  Here are her results.  Notice where she ranked against all of the other testers in the entire U.S., and remember, eleven years old!!

I contacted the coordinator of the CHAMP program, because I wanted to explain to her that Tara's math score did not effectively rate her ability.  I wanted to explain that her score (which is VERY, VERY good!!!) would have been better if she had more time.  I wanted her to know that I felt strongly that Tara would be a great candidate for the program and that her school was rallying behind her and the teachers were going to support and help her with the math.  When I told her what her scores were, she was floored.  She said that they will be making the decision in May, and that she sits on the panel who decides.  She told me that she is almost positive that Tara is in.  YAY!!!!!!  God is truly blessing this child and I love her so very much!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Pink Eye. . .

Madeline woke up this morning with both of her eyes crusted shut from pink eye.  It took several trips back and forth to the sink to warm a washcloth and gently soften the gunk before she was able to open them.  It is so expensive to go to the Doctor.  We have a $3,500 out of pocket max that we must meet before we have any coverage.  So in a nut shell, we pay "in full" for all doctor visits and prescriptions every year.  If something catastrophic were to happen, we'd pay the $3,500 and then the rest would be covered in full.  Suffice it to say, I have been using natural remedies for just about everything, and we RARELY visit the doctor.  So what to do for pink eye?

Head on over to a health/vitamin store and buy this for $14.99.  Be sure to ask for an eye dropper for it.

Put one drop in each eye 3 times a day.  It will clear up over night!  Once the symptoms are gone, it's gone.   It's an amazing treatment and works WAY better than the over the counter drug store drops or the Vigamox Rx (which costs $45!).

I first tried it this earlier in the winter with Madeline.  I gave her one does before bed, and by morning, her eye had completely cleared up.  I promise you that this treatment WORKS.  It does sting however when you put it in the eyes while the infection is present.  Once the symptoms are gone however, it does not hurt.  Today, she has pink eye in both of her eyes.  Even if you only have symptoms in one eye, you must treat both eyes because of the highly contagious nature of the bacteria.  Also, lots of hand washing is necessary and don't forget to wash the bedding!  This is way better than going to the doctor and far less expensive!!  The great thing is, Silver Sol has so MANY other great uses!  Click here to see what else it can be utilized for. 

Happy healing!!


Because Madeline's eyes were SO bad when I began this treatment, It took a little longer to see results.  She stayed home the first and 2nd day of the infection.  By the third day, she was symptom free.  It really does work.  Even on a bad case of pink eye.
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