My Country Quest

Follow along our journey back to the land. This is where we will record our thoughts, musings and dealings with terrible dragons right here for your viewing pleasure.

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Location: Missouri, United States

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Down a bit...

It would seem that I never get everything done - never. You'd think I would be used to it. But I keep remembering that memory verse from years ago.... "redeem the time for the days are evil" or something like that. My brain is fuzzy these days.

Shawn keeps working on the cook stove. We're not sure if there is something wrong with his wiring or with the stove itself. And the money for an electrician just isn't there so we wait a while, we pray, and Shawn hits on another idea to try to fix the problem. I have learned to cope without a cook stove but with the crisp days we've had lately I do dream of baking again.

I was talking via email with a friend, Cindy... and she mentioned her yard being bare from little feet and a few chickens. She commented that she thought I could probably handle that though if I was to come visit. lol Yeah... around here I call it "landscraping". Little dirt paths going everywhere there is a task to be done. One from the front porch 'round to the clothesline, one through the garden, another to the chicken tractor, one more to the rabbit hutches and milking stand. In my mind I see smooth stones surrounded by sand packed firm leading to our daily chores but until then the "landscraping" will have to do.

We are still waiting to hear from the county about our sewer permit. It's funny, I can dump the kitchen sink water out into my yard or garden, but I can't let it come out of the actual drain legally at the moment... so funny. And infuritating. LOL The guy that does the inspections was here on Friday last and we haven't heard anything yet. He measured and walked the line and such... still nothing. So we wait.

Personally, and I try to keep this just about the "homestead" and not about my personal struggles or victories either for that matter, but personally I have been battling depression lately. The stresses of this year have landed smack-dab on my shoulders and I cannot shake them off. I put on my happy face most of the time but I am not doing well. I've been having migraine headaches for 3 weeks now, about one or 2 a week, with no relief other than waiting them out. The chiropractor says it's stress and that I need to lose weight so my... ummm.... upper body will not pull on my neck and back so much. The medical doctor says it's related to the same but he hands out a bag full of rx's for nerves to "get me through the bad days".

It has been a terribly wonderful year, full of God's workings and close calls. Now that we are on the other side of it though, and this is typical for me, I'm crashing. I have read about the pioneer women going through similar struggles, being alone so much, working so hard, facing difficulties, then when it's all said and done they have nervouse breakdowns and such. LOL Not that I am anywhere near living the life of a true pioneer, but compared to the life we WERE living, it has been quite a change. And I don't think the changes are what has caused the stress but rather my personal timeline being imposed on the project. :-) I feel this should really be done NOW, and that should have honestly been finished a week ago... so that's what needs to change. The move itself has been great. We love it. But I'm going to need to give up my "gotta be done right now" agenda in order to live a "happy" simple life. :-)

So pray for me if you will.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Homeschool Humor

My cousin sent me this comic yesterday... too funny... too funny.... I have HAD that conversation with my children! LOL Not exactly but VERY close! LOL

Thursday, August 17, 2006


God is so good... I mean, He NEVER waits too long to send those provisions does He?
Last evening we had the privilege to meet 2 families who are like-minded in SO many ways! It was a cool drink of water. Much like our visit with Chris & Dawn, we laughed, shared some of our testimonies, snacked, prayed a bit, sang together. Oh my... THIS is what we have been longing for! It is so hard to be on the proverbial "deserted island" when you know or hope there ar other survivors out there somewhere!

We were impressed with their children. Not that they were out to do that. Not at all. We felt So comfortable and at ease in the Norris' home! Their older 2 sons were sitting there in a participatory fashion... Gordon shared his tesimony with us and we were just floored. Non eof the children were in a hurry to get outdoors and play, they didn't sit there and sulk like they were being punished to be asked to sit in on a fellowship. There were no hollow-video-game eyes staring back at us. They set up straight, looked us square in the face and SMILED and talked! Teenagers CAN be great! I was beginning to think we had the only one! LOL
The Norris' have 4 sons and we met all but one of them. Their "eldest" has an awesome testimony and he's just 17! He will do great things for the Lord. The Richardson's live about 11 miles from us and we never knew they were there! They have 4 children and are waiting on a visa (I think!) to bring home their Tabitha from Liberia. Abigail & Hannah (the Richardson's oldest daughter who is 9) hit it off immediately. Hannah came up to Abby and introduced herself. She is a sweety! Shawn commented on her being a good wife for someone someday. She is so pretty too!

Shawn and I are on a high this morning... we didn't leave their house until about 11:30 or so and talked all the way home about all of the good things we see and reiterated the fact that fellowship is so lacking in our lives. Their visions are much the same as ours, their homes are set up similarly and from what we can tell they are looking for just we are in a "church".
It is such a blessing to have met these families. Whatever happens from this point on, we have received BLESSINGS from the Lord to have met them all.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Milk & Honey Part 2

I guess I should explain why I call them "Half-Goats" and why I titled this entry "Milk and HONEY".

Half-Goats: No. They aren't half cow or deer or any other animal. They are 100% goat! They each have only one side that milks so I call them... "Half Goats".

The HONEY part of the title comes from their unexpected arrival. I had a 5 gallon bucket of honey that was almost gone and since I had nothing else to put thier water in I emptied the honey into a quart jar and then rinsed and filled the bucket for water for the Ladies. The water still smells of honey. The children are sure the milk will be sweeter this way. :-)

Milk & Honey

I often think of our sojourn here in this life as being stationed on a remote outpost. The Man in Charge sends the provision needed, though we don't know when or how or what we'll be getting. Sometimes we are granted a request, but more often the provision comes just when we need it, unexpectedly, without prior knowledge of it's status as "in-route". And often it is not what we were looking for at all. If I ever found myself in this position I'd be dreaming of chocolate and coffee. Headquarters would likely send oatmeal and canned meat! :-)
And so it is that we were granted a new ration of provisions last evening. We were hoping and praying for a goat to milk but didn't have much money so we weren't expecting to find anything already milking. When we did find the one "we wanted" the sale fell through because of some unexpected expenses we had come up. Then, out of nowhere it would seem, the Lord sent 2 goats. Or 2 Half-Goats as I call them.
Luke named them, and as of their first milking this morning, it looks like we'll be getting about a gallon a day total from the both of them. Just right. A bit more and we could make cheese but it looks like Headquarters doesn't think we need cheese at the moment. I'm so thankful for any we get - that makes it taste SO GOOD!
Luke named them. Here he is with Snowbell.
Here is Rosie with Abby.

They are both grade LaManchas (our breed of choice too!) meaning they are LaMancha with unknown ancestry and no registration. That's fine. They tested clean for all known illnesses. The only quirk abot them is that they both have only one milking "side" instead of 2. So it takes 2 goats to get what one normal one would give in terms of amount of milk. It works. And did I mention they are free for us to have until spring and if we want them them they are VERY cheap? We hope to have our registered LaMancha's by then but until then the milk is GOOD. Luke couldn't even wait for it to get cold before drinking his first glass, foam and all. :-)

God is good.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Milk & Migraines

I had a terrible migraine headache (I think it was anyway) that started on Thursday night. We have no insurance so I kept it to myself and am still suffering from it somewhat. It's better, but not gone yet by any means.

So I have to tell you all about my weekend. I still have this headache and fuzzy-brain and Shawn is getting really concerned and so he says, "We are going to find you a milk goat this weekend if it's the last thing I do." He has that look on his face you know, that says this and he sets out to do it if he can at all.
You know me, all I ever wanted in the world was to have a milk goat again. So I found on the internet for $200 but she's not milked yet so we'd have to wait until spring for milk and that's really way more than we can afford anyway. He had a friend of his looking and he found one 3 hours drive away. So he loads me and Austin and Luke up in the minivan (he took out the back seat to put the goat in there so we had to leave JOshua and ABby with my mom). We get there, this guy knows we are coming and after 3.5 hours we find the place (typical goat farm) LOL and the goats are not penned up and they are WILD. Think "gazelles". There is no way I could tame one of those things. I could and did when I was 20 but I ain't 20 anymore! Shawn is ticked off because the guy failed to tell him this.. I mean we couldn't get within 50 feet of them!

We drive home, ice on my forhead to help the headache and no goat in the back seat. We get home and go to bed, then yesterday he goes to work and tells me to go see the chiropractor so I took him to work and dropped him off. He also says to find out what it would cost to get me new glasses which we know I need and we're thinking that might be causing the headaches. I got kindof testy with the optometrists office because Shawn bought me new glasses back in February and the rx was never right so, seeing as how you-know-what broke loose here between March and May I never went back to have it fixed. Anyway, they agreed to give me new ones and when I got all said and done, she fixed me up with 2 new pairs (in case I lose one) new frames, everything. Not one red cent!!!!!

I get done at the eye doctor and go to the chiropractor. NO relief and he's concerned I had some sort of mini stroke or something because of my symptoms and makes me promise to go to the ER if anything like that happens again. At this point there isn't anything the could do for me anyway so I'm taking precautions and taking aspirin, garlic, stuff to help thin my blood just in case.

Anyway, headache is still hurting and Shawn is still convinced if he just finds me a goat I will feel better. ROFLOL. Don't ask! I'm a simple girl! We went to talk to this Amish guy last night about working on our house since it's really high and Shawn will not allow me up there again (I and Austin put on half the roof this spring and it's almost 30 feet up). WOuldn't you know it, there is a pen of milk goats righ there by the driveway he is getting ready to bring to the auction! Shawn asks, trying to figure out if he can get the thing in the minivan if he does buy one for me. We go talk to the guy, Shawn makes me get out, etc. etc. and after about an hour, he GIVES ME 2 dairy goats!

He has a goat dairy and these 2 are older and don't give much milk - each only has one side that milks - he GIVES Them to me! 2!!!! So I have free milk, and you know, my headache IS better this morning.

ROFLOL... God is good. Before I fell asleep in Shawn's arms last night I said, "All I need in life is you beside me, my children in the yard playing, a goat to milk, and an occasional trip to the bookstore."

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

One of my Favorite Things

I'm so happy! Yesterday Austin cut the boards and I painted away and by last night we had a new kitchen pantry cabinet for holding... (drumroll please)...

GLASS JARS full of dry goods!!! :-)

This winter I am going to sew jar toppers for the jars, and add crown molding to the top as soon as our ceiling sheetrock is in. I'm a happy "camper".

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Austin's Graduation

Saturday night, August 5th 2006, our oldest son Austin officially graduated from the 8th grade! We are so proud of him. The evening's program was as follows:

Opening song by Kelly's sisters and mother called "That's Just What He Is" sung accapella and beautifully so!Mandy Webster (aunt), Amy Guinn (aunt), Stacey Hedglin (aunt), and Cheryl Hibner (grandma) This is one of Austin's favorite songs. Aunt Amy said a few words about how sweet and tender of a heart the Lord has given Austin and how proud she is of him.

Then Austin and Joshua played "Unclouded Day" and Shawn (Dad) and Kelly (mom) sang.

Shawn then led everyone in prayer and thanked them all for coming.

Abby then played the song "Light of The World" on her violin.

Austin played a song on his guitar by Serene and Pearl (of Above Rubies) called "Child of Mine". Kelly (mom) sang and cried. This song sums up why I (Kelly) homeschool. This is the cry of my heart, the thing that keeps me going day after day.

Oh child of mine, the giver of life has given you to me...
oh child of mine the pages of your life we're yet read
and there's only so much I can do with the tiny gifts in my life
to lead you to the one who loves you like no other

Seek Him and find Him, fall fervently in love with Jesus
trust Him, and serve him, live every breath for what He teaches
Then He'll be close when I'm no longer there. That's your mother's prayer.

Oh child of mine, there are so many beautiful dreams I have for you
but oh child of mine, my greatest desire is that you would know the truth
Whatever you be, maybe a poet or a teacher or a king
will all be in vain, unless you're friends with One who died on the tree

CHORUS repeat

Then Shawn gave a few words about how he is proud of Austin, how at 13 in biblical times a boy was a man at this age. He used the following Scriptures to challenge Austin to "shew himself a man" in the next few years, and to seek wisdom. He also asked for the Lord to help him be a better father and example of a godly man in the next 13 years than he has been the first 13. I cried some more.

1 Kings 2:1 - 4
Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: That the LORD may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying,
If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with
all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he)
a man on the throne of Israel.

So then Shawn asked for me to come up on stage with him and then Austin to come up too and he presented Austin with his diploma. Group hug. :-) Then Shawn introduced Austin's very first public speech which was as follows:
(Austin typed it so he wouldn't forget anything.
He was SO nervous but it didn't show! He did great!)

Hi everybody... I'd like to thank you all for coming to my graduation.

It's been a busy summer for me. We've been working on our house and trying to get it fixed up, get the upstairs insulated, get the sewer and water hooked up and get the bathroom sheetrocked and trying to get our stove fixed. It's been busy. Have you ever had a cold shower? I mean right out of the hose at night? It's so cold that you just want to scream! This has been the most exciting summer of my entire life. Basically, as Dad would say, "Glorified camping." YEAH!

I've basically had a part-time job this summer. Our yard is 3 and a half acres almost and at one point we had to push mow most of it. Josh and I took turns until noon and then we'd stop for the day and start back up the next morning. I love to mow, but thank you Lord we have a rider now!

It's almost time to start my first year of high school and it will probably be the most exciting one so far. Homeschooling, I think, is a privilege. Not many people homeschool and I appreciate my Mom going through all the trouble of 13 years of training me. Homeschooling is 1000 times more fun than public school because whatever I want to learn about in a day, I can just do it! Like I have as long as I want pretty much to practice my guitar. I've learned alot about building, and learned a little bit about repairing bikes and mowers. To tell you the truth I don't know that much about mowers but I do know to let my Mom and Dad look at a mower before I buy it. I haven't had very good luck with lawnmowers this year.
I know just about everything there is know about rabbits. The most important tip I could share with you, is to make sure they are dead before you go to skin them. But they are great grilled!

I've been thinking alot about my future lately and things I want to do eventually. I heard about a Christian bootcamp in Texas. It's a 9 week program and it's basically like military basic training. At the end of the 9 weeks you have a choice to go into the ALERT academy and I'm giving serious thought to that. I 'm not sure what I want to do as a career yet, but I've been thinking about maybe going into landscape architecture and being a conservation volunteer. It's too bad that I can't haeverythinging my way because if I could then I'd be a landscape architect, a framer, and I'd be a conservationist all at once.

In this year through all the trials and difficulties that have come along the way, my faith has been built and I know more now than ever that I have to trust in the Lord to get through each day.

That's it. Shawn asked a prayer over the refreshments, said thank you again for coming and we dismissed to cake and pop with chips and veggie pizza. A wonderful night we will not soon forget. A "time of remembrance" for all of us.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Another Day, Another Blessing

I feel like a toddler just walking back into a room where he has thrown a huge fit... and I guess that is just what I did in my last entry. I do apologize. I would take it down but I won't because I don't want to give them impression to anyone that I'm above feeling "ignored" or "childish". Because boy-howdy, I'm NOT above any of those things and more!!! So I'll leave it... and offer my sincere apologies if it is offensive to anyone.

Now on to the blessings! The Lord has been doing SO much for us lately... we got to meet some wonderful "family" on Sunday afternoon. Our very first "internet meeting" of anyone! It was wo wonderful. Dawn and Chris were so hospitable, sweet, we played music and sang together... it was awesome. A breath of cool spring air for us. We left refreshed and encouraged and we needed both.

Tuesday morning the front tire broke off of our big van (the one I drive). Now that doesn't sound like much of a blessing you're thinking... and you're right. It wasn't. The last thing we needed was another mechanics bill! BUT! We called the man who fixed our min-van for 1/3 the price anyone else wanted to do it and in half the time to boot, and he came to the place it was broken and fixed it. For $30!!!!!

Now, the details are that this breakdown occurred just on the edge of the grocery store parking lot! I told the children to PRAY!!! so I could back it up somehow and get it out of the way and wouldn't you know it? I was able to move it just out of the way before the tire fell completely crooked and wouldn't move anymore! God is good! When the mechanic was finished he said it was a really good thing it didn't go out while I was going down the highway. It could have very well TURNED over the van at a high speed!!! And I laughed and said, "It's not a good thing, it's a GOD-THING!" So not only did He preserve us, He provided the money (and not much of it!) to fix the van with 24 hours of it being broken down, AND He provided an opportunity for us to witness to this man!