Thursday, December 27, 2007

short update

I know it's been forever since I posted and I'm really sorry about that. We have really been busy! All summer long it was working in the garden and the bees and schooling, and then in the fall we were trying to get ready for the winter months and we had to move the bees (boy is that a story!). Plus our family was working a lot doing rehab work on rental properties.

All of that and my brothers and I were trying to get our chicken business going with 52 day old chicks, but then nearly all of them were killed a few weeks ago by our neighbors dogs in two separate attacks. The man who owns the dogs is breaking so many laws it's not funny and he still won't pen up the dogs! I guess we'll end up shooting them even though I hate to do it. I have to protect my own animals though and if the owner won't keep his dogs away we'll have to do what we have to do.

I guess all the ruckus from the dogs attacking the chickens scared the bunnies too because my doe that was pregnant delivered a few days early and then the babies froze to death. I've bred some of the other does now so hopefully we'll have a few litters soon. We may try to sell some of these kits instead of keeping all of them this time.

Our church had revival meetings the first week of December. I love revival meetings! We had some great preaching and I really enjoyed those meetings. Now we are getting ready for our watch night services to see the old year out and the new year in in prayer. I like those meetings too!

Right now we are a little bit behind in schooling because we took off for the revival and then Christmas but we should be caught up just fine in no time. We're also trying to re-stock Thompson's Talents. I didn't think we were going to be able to keep it going because we had really underpriced a lot of our stuff and then just gave a lot of it away and then a few folks forgot to send us their payments but the Lord has blessed us again and made it possible to start working on stocking it up and starting again. We will probably be moving it to a new site soon though that will take care of part of the problems we had. We are working on some new salve recipes and soaps too. I am studying some more about herbs and hope to have teas and some other new things available this spring.

Life is very busy for us with all of this and all of the stuff I didn't bother to write about. I'm thankful that there is always time to spend with God in our days though. He has been with us through so much chaos and given us times of refreshing and peace in the middle of it all and always when we needed it. Out of our minor little trials He has given us great joy and blessings and increased our faith. I have more blessings to count than I have time to count them and the Lord is faithfully adding to them every day! My mom is counting blessings over at her blog, I know she would love to hear yours too if you can make the time to pop over.

I have to go now, we have hawks trying to get the chickens and guineas going crazy and chores that need to be done. I hope the Lord blesses each and every one of you today in a special way!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Just Bragging

I just want to brag on the Lord and how HE takes care of me and loves me. You most likely already know that I'm a certified beekeeper and I thank the Lord for helping me to study and to pass all of the tests. The Lord has been so good to me with my bees, my hive is still strong even though they had to requeen and we have harvested honey from my hive too. I got an extra special blessing in my honey harvest though.... the Lord allowed me to have PURPLE HONEY!!! Purple honey is (according to the state bee inspector) a phenomenon that occurs only in the very tiny little part of the world where I live and NOWHERE ELSE!My purple honey tastes so good that I almost think of it like candy instead of food that is actually good for you. We've had lots of people who know my mom try to get us to sell them some but we haven't decided yet what to do with it. Our purple honey is so rare and to us it's extra precious because it's our first honey harvest. We are giving a little bit to everyone at our church to remind them of the sweetness of salvation and the goodness of the Lord to HIS children. Maybe if there is any left over we will see if we want to sell some.

The Lord is also helping me in my schooling. I'm in high school now! Wait... maybe I shouldn't be excited about that. So far I like my classes and my mom has helped me to find classes and books for classes that she is creating for me that suit my needs exactly. I'm so blessed to have parents who pray and seek God's will for my education and then sacrifice so much so that I can have what I need. I'm studying natural medicine and healing, and business in addition to the regular stuff like math and history and science. I get to make cough syrup for one of my labs in natural healing, and well the business class is kind of like the cart following the horse but I know it will help us alot besides this class is designed for young Christian women to help us earn money without having to compromise our convictions.

The Lord has been blessing our business too and we are getting ready to add more products and update our page very soon! We are developing lotions, perfumes, gift sets, and soon we'll have laundry and cleaning products too. The best blessing of it all though has been seeing my family come together and work together so well to create the products from scratch. We'll be researching new markets for our stuff soon too. Our soaps have sold very well, we're out of bath salts completely, and boo boo balm too! It's definitely time to start restocking.

The Lord has surely been blessing my family. He has allowed me the privilege of learning these things and enjoying it all along. He's given us so many useful plants and things that grow near our home, He's given us our home and all that we have in it. Not just those things but if we will let Him, He walks with us and speaks to our hearts every day! My God is just too great for words, there truly is none like HIM!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

How I "bee"came a beekeeper

Well here is the first post in a long while. I have lots and lots to say but so little time to actually sit here and get it all typed out. (I am a horribly slow typist) I am really wanting to put up some pictures too but again I have serious time issues. There are lots of things going on at our house lately but I'm backtracking a little for the benefit of those friends of mine back in Missouri who haven't had a chance to get all caught up with the goings on at our place.

I've always wanted to have bees as pets as long as I can remember. As soon as I learned that bees made honey and that some people actually kept them in their yards I wanted to have my own bees. My earliest memory of a bee was when I was very little. A bee landed on my arm and began to groom itself, then it started just walking around on my arm and would stop every so often and roll around like a puppy does on the floor. This bee acted like it had known me all of my life and was one of my best friends! At first when it landed on me I was afraid of it but then I remembered my daddy saying that bees can smell the fear on you and it will make them more likely to sting so I sat really really still and tried my very hardest not to be scared. By the time the bee flew away I was having a really hard time not cracking up laughing..... partly because the bee was tickling me and partly because I realized how silly I was to be so scared of such a tiny little creature in the first place. After that I fell in love with bees and of course I wanted to have my own bees as pets.

I pestered mom and daddy for years wanting to get my own bees but we either lived somewhere where it would not have been a good idea or mom was afraid she might get stung thought I was too young to be a good beekeeper. Well since the Lord has given us the place to live that we are in now and we have plenty of space and I'm finally old enough to be a fairly decent beekeeper Mom started checking around last winter to get all the details about how to keep bees. She found a class in Greensboro that the state university puts out to help teach people to keep bees and she talked to one of her online friends who she had known on a message board for years about how to get us started in beekeeping.

By this time I had almost totally forgotten that I wanted to have bees in the first place!! I had also learned alot more about things like allergic reactions that some people have to bee stings (like my momma) and was about to chicken out a little bit hesitant about getting bees now. But my sweet and patient momma just encouraged me and helped us research the field of beekeeping and then enrolled us in the classes in Greensboro. I think she knew that we would all regret it if we passed up the opportunity to do something we wanted to do because of fear. (my momma is a very brave lady)

So in February we started the classes. Thank the Lord for a momma who is willing to drive 2 hours each way with not only her own 3 young 'uns but a friend of ours too every single Thursday night for weeks on end!! I know it was really a lot of stress and strain on my momma and she didn't even want bees or get bees of her own! But faithfully and dutifully she took us all to those classes and helped us study and encouraged us to keep on when the mile long words and complicated bee biology felt like it was too much to cram into our heads. We graduated the classes and tried hard to get ready for the written and practical tests. Momma also took us several times to another town that was just as far away as the classes to learn about beekeeping from her online friend Mr. Wally who has kept bees for over 50 years. We learned from him how to actually handle the bees and the equipment that we will need to be good beekeepers, and a few tricks that only the old timers like him would know to teach us.

So after the months of studying and training beside our new friend Mr. Wally we had to take the written test first. Thankfully with the Lord's help and momma and Mr. Wally's training and teaching I passed!!! I was only one step away from being a state certified beekeeper and all that was left was to take the practical test.... that meant that I had to actually prove to the state examiner that I could work a beehive and know what I was doing ALL BY MYSELF! But again the Lord blessed me and helped me to do all that I had to do and remember all the things that I had to know and I passed the test.

I don't think any of my family will ever forget the day I took the practical test. There were so many people watching and I was soooo nervous! Because I wanted to guard my testimony I only wore my veil (a special kind of veil that protects the face from stings) during the test. There I was in front of dozens of people wearing a dress and short sleeves carefully manipulating a hive full of furious bees who were slightly agitated just from being handled all day long by so many people taking the test. There was another hive right beside the one I was working in and a very large older man was there taking his test wearing a professional style beesuit that totally covers every inch of him so he won't get stung..... and right in the middle of his test as I'm trying to find the queen for my test he stops and quite loudly tells everyone that he feels like a total idiot for being so afraid of the bees when a "little girl" like me was out there in a dress and veil. My momma was really beaming when she told some of those folks that the Lord had blessed us in doing this and she didn't think we had any reason to be so afraid that day..... after all God can take care of us even in the middle of about 90,000 bees wearing a dress.

The Lord has given me so much to thankful for in this! He has shown me yet again that my momma loves me more than I can put into words (probably more than she can put into words too).... she hung in there with us in the classes and the tests (she passed too and is state certified). Momma drove us all over the place even when she felt bad (momma has some health problems that she doesn't talk about much but she feels really bad a lot of the time) and she sacrificed her time and energy, she covered us in prayer all the time and she encouraged us when we were ready to give up, and she arranged and re-arranged her budget a zillion times to make sure that we could get the equipment we needed to get started. My momma did all of that knowing that there was nothing in it for her to gain but that it was a dream of mine. Thank God for my momma!

I'm also thankful for my new friend Mr. Wally! He taught us so much to get us ready to keep bees. He gave us some equipment to help us get started and helped us get our first hives. Mr. Wally also sacrificed some of his own bees and equipment to give to my friend who went to the classes with us so she could have her own bees too! I've become very close to Mr. Wally and my brothers and I call him "Grandpa" now. He's been so kind and generous to my family, he's been a great teacher and friend to us and it is one of my most heartfelt prayers that Mr. Wally will surrender his life to Jesus before it is too late. Please pray for my dear friend Mr. Wally, he has heart problems and even during our classes he suffered a major heart attack. My family and I have made several trips up to his house to witness to him, he knows what he needs to do to get heaven now and all we can do is pray and wait what needs done in his heart now must be done by the Holy Spirit of God.

I'm also thankful to the Lord for our very first hives of bees!! My brothers and I each have our own hive and though there have been a few troubled times we are almost ready to take our first honey harvest!! The Lord has also allowed me and my brothers to start our own business which is already shown a profit! I'm so very excited about what the Lord is doing with our family! So there you have it straight from the horses mouth, the story of how I bee-came a beekeeper. Now y'all bee good til next time!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The story of the Spread Called Dip

Today mom and I were making some shrimp dip. You did notice its called dip,right? Well, as mom was throwing stuff in the bowl mixing everything together I remembered we didn't have any big shrimp to dip in it. So, while I was thinking this and mom was mixing, I was also opening the can of "tiny shrimp". (Also known to me as midget shrimp) I asked mom "How are you supposed to dip these in there?"(while waving the tiny shrimp around to make my point) and, of course, with one quick crazy look at me she started laughing! As soon as I found out you don't dip shrimp in shrimp dip but, rather, you spread it on crackers or something.

Still, I think it ought to be called shrimp spread since you spread it you don't dip it. It just makes sense to me that way I guess.

Of Whom The World Was Not Worthy

This is a really neat poem I found in a magazine (The Heartbeat of the Remnant). I thought y'all might enjoy the poem so I decided to share it here. .It was written by Rebecca Hansen and is quite a wonderful poem. I hope everyone likes it!

Of Whom the World Was Not Worthy

There are men alive on earth today
Abhorred and despised by the world;
They live their lives in a quiet way-
No banners for them are unfurled
They are not gifted in intellect,
Nor brilliant in pen or word;
But their faces the light of the Lord reflect
And their souls with His love are stirred.
There are men who walk on the earth today
Who bear no distinguishing sign;
They work for their money the bills to pay;
Their houses are not fine;
They have no letters behind their name,
No metals upon their walls,
A they do not appear in earth's halls of fame,
But their mentioned in Heaven's halls.
In a million years, when the world has passed,
And with its pomp and its pride,
Man's fame and wealth will have been cast
In the graves with the men who died.
The lofty thoughts of the very wise,
With their medals, will ashes be;
But the men with eternity in their eyes
Will live for eternity!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

My testimony

I thought since this was my first blog post that as good a place to start as any would be with my testimony.

Since my family moved to North Carolina my life has drastically changed. When I look back at the past and what a huge difference there is between then and now I don't know how to explain it. Really the only way is to say IT WAS GOD!!

I was saved when I was 6 years old around the end of the year, close to time for me to turn 7. Mom and some of her friends were watching a movie about the life and death of Jesus Christ. I sat down to watch it with them. At the end of the movie was a thing telling you how and why to be saved. The Lord convicted me of my many sins, showed me that I was lost and on my way to hell. He told me in my heart that HE loved me and then He saved me that night when I begged Him to forgive me and to be my Saviour. After I got saved I grew a little in the Lord, we went to church and I learned about the Bible but I didn't fully understand how God wanted me to live the life He had given me.

We ended up moving, which started a long series of moves and every time we moved we only got further away from God. I was a "good" kid, my friends liked me, my enemies respected me, and I was a fairly popular sort of gal. Mom and I had gotten deeply involved in the feminist movement (complete with protest marches and speeches). I was very much a tomboy. I thought that when I grew up I wanted to be either the President or a farmer. I had a foul mouth, nasty attitude, and was quite rebellious at heart.

Well, we moved again....this time to North Carolina. We came here with our lives in shambles. The only reason Mom and Dad hadn't divorced was for our sakes and neither one had the money for a lawyer. My brothers were my worst enemies and I felt like God had forgotten me. I had given up on things getting better.....I had lost hope.

My Mom, (who had gotten saved back in Missouri when she was pregnant with my younger brother) had cried out to God for help for our family though. HE heard her cries and sent us help......actually 2 of them!! Pastor Hoyle and Brother David Dougherty were out on visitation and knocked on our apartment door on a Saturday afternoon. With a hearty Hello and great big smiles they invited us to Little River Baptist Church. We went in during the missions conference wearing our tight jeans and sleeveless shirts and not once got turned away or told to change or looked down on by anyone there. For the 1st time in a LONG time we really felt welcomed and loved.

Soooo....we kept coming back. No matter how mad Mom got at the preaching, no matter what the Lord was convicting Ma about (or Dad) we kept coming. Slowly the shorts and pants and tight shirts and all the other unmodest clothes were thrown out. It all got replaced by nice dresses and skirts and the KING JAMES BIBLE. Along the bumpy road up hill my Daddy got assurance of his salvation, my little brother got saved, my other younger brother got rededicated to the Lord and was called to preach! We all got baptized and got right with God.

We've been here now for almost 2 years. During that time, my older brother got saved, we've all grown closer to the Lord and I feel the Lord calling me into missions. My every ambition in life has changed! I have no idea where God will send me or what He will ask of me. All I know is that I will go where ever and do whatever He tells me to do.

Needless to say.....I'm not gonna be President, and I'll likely never own a farm. Now I enjoy going out soul winning, learning how to sing for Jesus and play music and just spending time with God. I am in training to be a good homemaker, wife and mother. Hopefully this spring I'm going to apprentice a beekeeper and learn to keep my own honey bees. My Mom and I are going to start an online store where we can sell modest clothing and some homemade items (Lord willing). Our family all works hard to keep our garden alive and we share the responsibility of our chickens, dog, cat and parakeets. Soon we'll have Rabbits and maybe eventually goats too. We're seeking the Lord's will for what He wants us to do now......and I don't know what the future may hold, but I sure do know for sure who holds the future!


Hi everybody.......this is Fred's momma. I am here to tell ya that my sweet little Fred is fixing to make her first blog post!!!! Everyone be nice and sweet to my little Fred.

Loves ya Fredaweeeenaaaaa.