Penny the Traveling Clothespin Doll shares her adventures at home and abroad.
Oregon pinetree farm
Getting ready for a new travels
Learning to make India chapata
 
 

 

Finally the snow and ice have melted and gone, and we find that spring is really here. The sunshine is warm at last. The breezes are gentle and refreshing.

 

 

I always love to get pictures of Penny with the first blooms because I am so eager to see color after the cold harsh winter.  What welcome cheer!

 

 

These mini daffodils are just her size.

 

 

 

Welcoming joyful blooms!

 

 

Now I’ll take you back a few years to some happy hatchings.  I had this incubator set up to hatch some silkie chicks.  Silkies are a favorite bantam chicken of mine.  Their feathers are soft and hairy making them quite a novelty.  They are naturally gentle and friendly.

 

 

After 21 days in a warm, moist environment, the chicks can be heard making little peeping noises inside the shell.  Then cracks begin to appear where they are poking through with their beaks to come out.  Each one has a special “egg tooth” on the end of their beak as a tool to get through the shell.

 

 

These eggs are dirty, but its best not to wash them so that the natural coating will protect them inside.  Below is the chick at last appearing warm and wet, all perfectly formed and very tired! 

 

 

And here is the empty shell left over.  Isn’t it amazing that God makes them so carefully and delicately alive and functioning sealed inside that shell where we cannot see them?

 

 

As hatching day progresses it is a thrill to see shell after shell develop first a little peephole, then a larger crack, and finally open with another live chick emerging.

 

 

In the incubator they flop around a bit to try out their limbs and stretch free, then they take frequent naps to gain the energy to move around some more.  Once their feathers dry and fluff up, we move them to a large cardboard box with a towel and heat lamp to keep them warm.

 

 

Oh, warm and happy, they love to snooze in here.  Cozy.  Cozy.

 

 

The family is growing!

 

 

Penny sings a lullaby as they relax and rest together.

 

 

Each will grow up to become a big white pom-pom.  Here is a picture of the silkie rooster father.

 

 

Therefore if any man be in Christ,

he is a new creature:

old things are passed away;

behold, all things are become new.

II Corinthians 5:17

 

 

 

I have another Doodle post for you today.  Penny and I are illustrating Psalm 23, a favorite Psalm to many of “His sheep”.  To recite this Psalm when you are burdened is a great comfort.  To doodle it was a good exercise for me to try to picture each verse.  I was impressed by the immense love God has for us and the many ways He takes to express it.  If we could but immerse ourselves in all that is said here, we would have much lighter and more thankful hearts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know that the House of the Lord is Heaven itself, where God dwells, but I chose to illustrate it here like a welcoming cozy living room.  There will be no night there, and no need for the heat of a fireplace, of clocks or lights,  (for “the Lamb is the Light”  see Revelation 21).  In our limited human view this is a picture of a warm welcome home at the end of a day, and in Heaven that will be at its best, far beyond our imagination!

 

 

 

 

Welcome Snowdrops, the sure sign that Spring is on its way!

I have a collection of pictures for you of the various February happenings here at our farm.  We moved from big white snowbanks, to oodles of mud, to bits of green hinting of spring.  My Valentines project called for collecting grapevines in the cold sharp wind and shaping some wreaths to decorate with hearts and ribbons.  So pretty, with a curly touch of natural beauty.

 

 

 

Maybe you’d like to see this prickly Valentine I received as a token of smiling friendship.  It tickles me!

 

 

Typically these are called Christmas cactus, so why would this be blooming for Valentines Day?  One more thing on my list of things to be grateful for.

 

 

 

A big project over this winter was beading laces for the Fellowship of Christian Farmer’s ministry.  As you recall, we like to take part in providing these laces for the folks in the ministry to pass out at fairs and farm shows where they are each tied onto a walking stick that gets handed out for free to those interested in hearing the Gospel story that the beads represent.  You can read more about that on my site here:   FCFI  

 

 

We were happy to have completed 3,500 laces.  You can see some of them here tied in bundles of 100.  It is a privilege to be involved in supporting those who work with sharing God’s good news.  Is there anything you can do to help spread the Word?

 

 

Here is a card that is attached to the walking sticks to explain the story of the beads.

 

 

This is the little tray that I use to hold the bead supply as I work.  First a knot, then the 5 beads, then another knot.  Then into piles of 100 to bundle.  Meanwhile praying that God will bless the people who hear as well as the people who share the love of God from their hearts.

 

 

Another exciting part of February is the return of the eagles to the Wildlife Refuge near us.  My Dad took these pictures through the spotting scope he uses.  This shot shows the eagle at the top of the tree where they have built a new nest this year.  Just look at the size of that nest!  Imagine them flying in with sticks that big.

 

 

Below you will see the head of the female as she has now begun setting on eggs.

 

 

This next shot is a real classic.  The eagles are such noble birds.

 

 

And now for some adorableness.  Gracie is growing so quickly!  At 14 weeks old she is loving lots of attention and a good romp with some silly fun thrown in.

 

 

Some longer hair is growing on her tail and belly but she is still so soft and fluffy, a joy to stroke.

 

 

The book I have been reading lately is The Autobiography of George Muller.  He was the one to run the orphanages in Bristol, England in the 1800s totally on faith without expressing his needs to anyone but God alone.  His desire was to show that God can be trusted, that He does care about our daily needs and can be relied upon to supply as the needs arise.  God enjoyed the chance to demonstrate His abilities and did so amazingly.  This book has been hugely inspiring to me.

 

 

Here is a quote from his May 7, 1841, diary entry:

“The primary business I must attend to every day is to fellowship with the Lord.  The first concern is not how much I might serve the Lord, but how my inner man might be nourished.  I may share the truth with the unconverted; I may try to encourage believers; I may relieve the distressed; or I may, in other ways, seek to behave as a child of God; yet, not being happy in the Lord and not being nourished and strengthened in my inner man day by day, may result in this work being done in a wrong spirit.

The most important thing I had to do was to read the Word of God and to meditate on it.  Thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, and instructed…

As the outward man is not fit for work for any length of time unless he eats, so it is with the inner man.  What is the food for the inner man?  Not prayer, but the Word of God – not the simple reading of the Word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe.  No, we must consider what we read, ponder over it, and apply it to our hearts…

Through His Word… our Father speaks to us, encourages us, comforts us, instructs us, humbles us, and reproves us…

Meditation on God’s Word has given me the help and strength to pass peacefully through deep trials.  What a difference there is when the soul is refreshed in fellowship with God early in the morning!  Without spiritual preparation, the service, the trials, and the temptations of the day can be overwhelming.”

~ George Muller

 

 

 

 

Little puppies spell J.O.Y.  Little bundles of lively squirming affection that warm your heart.

 

 

We have added a new puppy to our family circle this January.  She came with a big pink bow tied around her neck and was a delightful surprise to me.  Isn’t she darling?

 

 

I named her Gracie, and she has a sweet and gentle nature.

 

 

Half the time she is bouncing with joy, and the other half she is snoozing adorably.

 

 

Gracie’s favorite snoozing place is in the back entrance curled up against my boots.

 

 

She loves to help with the farm chores, and happily admires the chickens while I collect the eggs.

 

 

Potty training requires constant sudden runs outside no matter how nasty the weather, day or night, but this adorable face makes it all worthwhile.

 

 

A picture of patient affection.

 

 

And one of silly goofiness.  We laugh a lot these days with Gracie around.

 

 

Hello Adorable. ♥  Settling into her new home.

 

 

Last night we got mounds of fluffy snow and that tickled her delightfully all day today, just to toss about and romp in the soft snow.

 

 

So sweet and playful.

 

 

One miniature puppy checking out Gracie’s toy rope.

 

 

One growing puppy checking out her new friend Penny.

 

 

 

Thank you, God for puppies.

 

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”  James 1:17

 

 

A very merry Christmas from our house to yours!  ♥

 

 

Penny and I have been enjoying trying our hand at making gingerbread houses this year.  A new experience for me.  Thanks to Google, we found a good recipe and set to work mixing ingredients, kneading lots of flour into the dough to make it very stiff, and then rolling it out to cut into shapes to create our little houses.

 

 

I am thankful to have found the tip saying to hot glue the house together, rather than relying on just frosting, and it sounded like a good step to make things simpler.  So that’s what I did, with no regrets, though it would not be purely edible.  I wasn’t planning on these getting eaten.

 

 

You can see here that I drew lines on the roof with a pencil for the “shingle” pattern.  Penny and her pets wanted to run in and out to explore the cute little house.

 

 

Another tip I learned was to make the candies available in a muffin tray.  Good idea!  We had red and green M&Ms, white chocolate wafers, gummy candies, little cinnamon drops, pretzels, pecans, and dates.  And of course, candy canes.  Go easy on the sampling here!!

 

 

And now for the little people to begin.  I made royal frosting from egg whites and confectionery sugar that is meant to dry quickly.  I gave the workers each a sandwich bag with the tip cut off so they could pipe it on as they wished.  Here the pencil lines are roughly followed with frosting and M&Ms applied with little fingers.

 

 

This is a busy gingerbread house construction site with kids very intent on their labors.  So cute!

 

 

Someone got carried away with candy cane ridgepoles here, but no fear, there is nothing that a little more frosting can’t fix!  How do you like it now, Penny?

 

 

First we decorated the fronts, then the sides got candy accessories too – bright little Christmas bushes and white chocolate wafers.

 

 

Oh, here is a good idea, a pretzel log sidewalk to the front door.

 

 

I added frosting to the roof edges and some dripping icicles to complete this masterpiece.

 

 

This home belongs to the gummy snowmen who wonder if you won’t step inside and join them for a cup of cocoa?

 

 

After a busy day, here is Penny posing by the finished houses.  A big one for the children to take home, and a littler one for their Grandma.  Merry Christmas one and all!

In the background is the recently made Christmas banner celebrating “God with us”.

“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”    Matthew 1:23

And that’s why we celebrate Christmas!!