Monday, December 28, 2015

Try to Remember the Snow of December (2015)

It's somewhat rare here, thankfully, but it snowed overnight here, and this is what we woke up to this morning!

December 2015 Snow

December 2015 Snow 2

December 2015 Snow 3

December 2015 Snow 4

December 2015 Snow 5

December 2015 Snow 6

December 2015 Snow 7

December 2015 Snow 8

December 2015 Snow 9

December 2015 Snow 10

December 2015 Snow 11

On this one, the snow drift formed into a wave extending out from the roof of the barn (you can see it more in the video):

Wave Snow Drift Off the Barn

And, Sue took a video of the area as well:

While very cold, and a reminder of winter, and the time of death out of which life springs (a type or shadow of Christ), the snow is beautiful, white and pure like Christ, and brings always-needed moisture to the ground. We are thankful to the Lord for His mercies in the weather, and for the warmth and shelters He has allowed us to have!

-- David

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A House - Update XXXVIII - Closet Ceiling, Bedroom Windows Internal Siding, Pier Bracket Replacement, & Birdhouse

After some of the great room siding had been done, we've been able to continue on the house, with the assistance of Robert.

Closet/Pantry/Bathroom Ceiling

Next job was the closet/pantry room/bathroom ceiling. Here are the cross blocks:

Closet Ceiling Blocks

And Robert working up there:

Robert Putting Plywood Down on Closet Ceiling

And the ceiling done. We can hopefully even store some things up there now as well:

East-West Closet Ceiling Done

North-South Closet Ceiling Done

Enclosing the Bedroom

We decided to go ahead and try to make the bedroom its own sealed-in room so we could have separate heat in there at some point, and so we needed the siding around the bedroom windows to go up, in preparation for installing the windows:

Bedroom Windows Internal Siding

More Foundation Beam Work

After adding spacers to the south beam to level it some, I didn't like how the end of the beam was torquing still a little, with the pier being very slightly tipped that way, and so I thought I might try replacing the pier bracket with a wider one so I could set the beam a little bit back on the pier and add a side spacer to help keep the beam a little more vertical. And here is that process...

Here the beam is raised:

Raising House Beam

And here, loosening and removing the bracket:

Loosening Pier Bracket

Removing Pier Bracket

This is the bracket removed:

Pier Bracket Removed

And the new one in place:

New Pier Bracket in Place

Again, I used the floor jack to push back the bottom of the beam. I also temporarily removed the hurricane clips from the beam and floor joists to allow it to maybe pivot back a little easier:

Pushing Beam in Place with Floor Jack

And here the beam is set back down with the 2x4 side spacer in place. Hopefully that will help!

Beam Back in Place on New Pier Bracket


And finally, one other nice touch for this update: young Elijah, one of the Stonger boys, built us a birdhouse, which we put up on the south side of the house! Thanks Elijah, and nice job!


As always, we are very thankful to the Lord for providing for continued progress on the house!

-- David

Friday, December 18, 2015

Community Singing - December 2015

This past Lord's Day we were able to meet to record the next set of Psalms from the psalter we use! It is always our prayer God glorify Himself in these things, and through us in whatever way He may!

(If you would like to save any of the files locally to your computer, you can right click on Download and click Save As in the popup menu.)

Psalms 41A-44F

Sue and I sing a Psalm each evening as part of our family worship. Interestingly, William our cat almost every single time if he is around, once we start singing, comes over to us from wherever he is and hops up onto the couch or Sue's lap while we sing and just hangs out with us. It is near 100% that he joins us like this, so we thought we'd show you that fun nightly event!

Previous Psalms singings:

Psalms 1A-12B (minus 4B)

Psalms 4B & 13-18L

Psalms 19A-22E

Psalms 22F-24C

Psalms 25A-27F

Psalms 28A-31G

Psalms 32A-34D

Psalms 35A-37F

Psalms 38B-40F

We are always thankful to the Lord for granting us His word, and the opportunity to learn the Psalms in this manner! May these always be praises and prayers from our hearts, and we ask and thank Him for His condescending ear to hear them!

-- David

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Critter Corner - Texas Redheaded Centipede, Butterflies, Tree Cricket, Roadrunner, Ring-Necked Pheasant

We've had some interesting and sometimes new visitors around the homestead this 2015, so we thought we'd show you some of them...

Texas Redheaded Centipede

Ran into this fellow next to our cattle trailer. A little creepy given its size, but this was a relatively small one as they can get to be 8-9 inches, and has beautiful colors. Apparently, their bite is painful and mostly just causes localized swelling, but some people can have worse reactions:

Texas Redheaded Centipede

More of Texas Redheaded Centipede

Butterflies, Tree Cricket, Roadrunner, Ring Necked Pheasant

Here is a video of a bunch of beautiful butterflies that decided one day to be or fly around the front of the barn, a tree cricket "singing" its song, a roadrunner that had been hanging about quite a bit, and what we identified as a ring necked pheasant—a new visitor we haven't seen before. The tree cricket is a little blurry given the video was taken at night, but it can sure vibrate those wings!

We are thankful to the Lord for allowing us to see His marvelous works in creation!

-- David

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Garden - Spring 2015 - Update III

The Lord has graciously granted our garden to continue through most of the Fall. But, our first freeze came recently, so we took some final pictures...

We kept the beans going through the Summer, even though we had to water with pond water, but they never really did much after the beans we got in the Spring. But, the okra just kept going and going!

Okra & Beans

The tomatoes have kept going too, although about the only thing actually fruiting are the cherry tomatoes:


More Tomatoes

And here's more okra:

More Okra

With the first freeze on the way, about the only thing we could cover were the tomatoes, which we did, with double blankets in some places:

Tomatoes Covered with Blankets for First Freeze

And here they are after the freeze. The double blankets worked really well! The rest of the garden plants basically were killed in the freeze.

Tomatoes After the Freeze

Tomatoes After the Freeze

That was about the last of trying to maintain it, with freezes coming and going, and we have had several light freeze nights, which have pretty much finished off the tomatoes. And so, this is the final garden haul from this year from just a few days ago!

Final Batch of Tomatoes

We are very thankful to God for the garden provisions He granted this 2015! Lots of okra, which Sue lacto-fermented for long-term storage! Again, we are very grateful!

-- David

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Goat Breeding Time 2015!

Mid November means it's time for our goat bucks to go to work and earn their keep! :) Breeding time!

Here are all of the goats tied up for milking. We kept them here while we moved the sheds. Last year, we showed the moving of the sheds, although now I start the shack caddy inside the first goat pen and drag it into the destination pen, all the way to just about where they're going to be set—it's much easier that way. :)

Goat Does Ready for the Move

Shatner's ready!

Shatner Ready for His Does

And Rocky!

Rocky Ready for His Does

And Sue's bringing our first customer!

Sue Moving the First Does

And the full action of the move is in this video:

We are grateful to the Lord for granting the continued health and safety of the herd, and the opportunity once again to try to breed them. We ask He might grant what He might come Spring time, in accordance with His will!

-- David

Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

We gathered once again this Thanksgiving to meet together in fellowship and unity of thanks to the Lord for all of His spiritual and temporal provisions!

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving Gathering

Ready for Thanksgiving Gathering

We started with prayer and a couple of psalms:

Singing a Psalm

Then it was meal time. A big "thank you" to the folks who gave us the turkey and dessert!

Meal Time

The Food

The Desserts

And then the children worked on some coloring crafts!

Sue & Children Working on Crafts

More Sue & Children Working on Crafts

Still More Sue & Children Working on Crafts

David & Children Working on Crafts

Ruth came over and wanted to say hello! :D

David & Ruth

It was a very nice time together!

We pray the Lord shine His light brightly in our hearts, may He grant us the heat of His graces, and may the fire of thankfulness be ever burning in us!

Lit Candle

Psalm 118:1-9:
1 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.

2 Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.

3 Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.

4 Let them now that fear the Lord say, that his mercy endureth for ever.

5 I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place.

6 The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?

7 The Lord taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me.

8 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

9 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.

-- David