Thursday, December 23, 2010

A new home! We moved into our new home on New Year ’s Day! (Of course, it was snowing like crazy!) We are so thankful for good friends who helped us move. It’s an old cattle farm in a valley called “Shipman’s Hollow” with a good mix of pasture, hay, and timber. The land had been unfarmed for about 12 years, so there is much work to be done. This is the view from our upper field down onto our barn and house.

Isaiah Joseph Anderson ~ March 26, 2010 ~ 6lb 11 oz
We thank the Lord for our baby boy, Isaiah Joseph! Isaiah was born on March 26, 2010 at 10:11 pm. He weighed 6lb 11oz and was19.5” long and is a blonde like his mommy. He started rolling over in August at 4.5 months, cut his first tooth in October at 7 months, and started sitting up in November at 8 months. He is growing so fast, although is a bit little for his age. We call him “peanut”!

James turned 5 just before Isaiah was born. He started first grade this fall and is already writing in cursive! He is learning to read and doing such a great job! He enjoys working with Dad around the farm. It is his job to collect the eggs and check on the goats each day. He is quite the little farmer.

Laura turned 3 in January. It is hard to believe that she will be turning 4 next month. She has grown so much this year and has become quite the little lady. She enjoys playing with her baby dolls and carrying around the cats. June marked the three-year anniversary of Laura's shunt surgery. She has done remarkably well. We continue to pray for continued health for her and that the shunt continues to do its job!

Justin’s Dad In July we got the phone call that you always dread getting. Justin’s dad, Wayne, had a cardiac arrest and was in intensive care 8 hours away. Justin and his brother ,Chris, headed to Maine and spent the next week in the hospital with Mom and Dad. It was a week of miracles to say the least! On Sunday when we got the phone call he was unresponsive and in a coma. By Wednesday he was eating ice cream. The entire event displayed God’s awesome power and how He is in control of everything and we nothing. The dog he is holding is Muffin. He was the one who alerted Mary that something was wrong.

Maple Syrup We tapped a few maple trees this past spring. It was our first harvest and a great learning experience. Unseasonably warm weather in March cut production short, so we are looking forward to what this year has to offer.

Windy Acres Farm We named our farm “Windy Acres” because there isn’t a day goes by that the wind isn’t whipping on our farm! Our lack of farm knowledge prompted us to begin our venture with courses at Cornell University’s local cooperative extension. Justin took classes in chicken basics, raising small ruminants, and poultry processing. We have been busy planning and planting our garden, building chicken coops, repairing the barn, digging ditches for fences, and so much more. There has been so much work to do on our little farm!
This spring we added baby chicks to our farm just after Isaiah was born. We now have 14 hens and 1 rooster. We get about 8 eggs per day or about 4 dozen eggs a week. We have been selling a few and eating the rest. We have found that we need more chickens already to support egg sales. We raised 18 meat chickens this summer and plan to raise hundreds this coming summer. We even butchered a few ourselves (and took the rest to someone else until we get the proper equipment.) They were the best tasting chickens we have ever eaten. They did not last long in our freezer and now we wish we had raised more!
In April we got 4 Nubian Goats. We each named one of them. James named his goat “Glazey” because he knew he wanted a goat that was the color of a glazed donut and that is exactly what his goat looks like! Justin named his goat Brownie, Laura’s is named Oreo, and Jaime’s goat is named Cocoa. We plan on breeding them so that we can have goat milk in the spring, If the breeding goes well, we should have eight or more new “kids” in June and plenty of goat milk! We added a Nubian Buck named Buckwheat to our farm in late November as well as a Nubian whether named Holstein (because he has the coloring of a Holstein cow.) We also got 2 kittens in the spring, Tiger and Titus. One was supposed to be a boy (Titus) and one a girl (Tiger), but they are definitely both girls!

It has been a year of tremendous blessing for us. We are so thankful for all that God has given us. Family, friends, a warm house, a good job, food in abundance, a great church family, and so much more. Most of all at Christmastime and all year through we are thankful for Jesus. We are thankful that He was born so that He could die for us. His death makes our lives worth living, for without Him there is no hope. With Him there is hope of eternal life for all that believe in Him!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Our first death on the farm. :(

One of the little chickens died. :( We had purchased 8 hens about 8 weeks after we purchased our first batch because we didn't think we had got enough the first time. These chickens (the 2nd batch) have been a pain since the get go. They run away from you every time you get near them and they are fast! We have put them in the coop many times and every time they would fly out. One time one of them stayed. She stayed in along with the "free" ornamental chick they sent us. The free one has been able to stand her ground with the older chickens, but the little one has struggled from the beginning. One day she was all bloody, but she managed to stay in there and be fine. Then we added another one of the 5 that were left outside the coop. Both little ones would fly in and out of the coop at will. We thought they were fine, but the day before yesterday I saw the newest little one in there and her comb was all bloody. I said to James that we should take her out and put her with her old friends, but we decided to wait until daddy got home. We told him about the blood, but we didn't end up taking her out of the coop. I thought if she wanted to get out she would, but maybe she was injured enough that she couldn't fly out. Last night when they went out to shut the coop up for the night, they found her out in the chicken yard dead. :( I was so sad. I feel like it is my fault! Stinkin chickens. I am beginning not to really like them. They are fun to watch at times, but the pecking order thing just drives me crazy and makes me sad.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I started Ecclesiastes in my daily Bible reading today. It is a book that I have always loved and hated to read. The main word is vanity. Hmmm, vanity. What exactly is vanity?

Vanity as defined by some online dictionaries: Excessive pride in one's appearance or accomplishments; conceit. Any thing or act that is vain, futile, idle, or worthless. Vanity is similar to pride, but it involves an excessive admiration of oneself because of one's real or imaginary skills, talents, accomplishments, or appearance.

Well, we all might say that doesn't describe me. I am not excessively prideful in my appearance and certainly not my accomplishments and I am not conceited!

But, my Websters 1828 dictionary defines vanity completely differently!

Vanity: Emptiness; want of substance to satisfy desire; uncertainty; inanity. Fruitless desire or endeavor. Trifling labor that produces no good. Emptiness; untruth.

My Scofield reference in my Bible says: "Vanity in Ecclesiastes, and usually in Scripture, means, not foolish pride, but emptiness in final result of all life apart from God. It is to be born, to toil, to suffer, to experience some transitory joy, which is as nothing in view of eternity, to leave it all, and to die." See Rom 8:20-22

Isn't that what most of us live for? We work, we endeavor to have good relationships, we search for happiness...but for what, just so we can say we lived a happy life and die?

I had struggled with this thought for about a decade. As I grew up I started truly searching. Searching for the point of life. How did we magically appear here? Did we really come from a big bang and develop from monkeys like I was taught in school? What for?

The Bible says in Ecclesiastess 1:13 "And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith." I believe that at some point in everyones life they come to a point where they ask these questions. We are supposed to do some exercise to find the answer to these questions! We are supposed to "search out by wisdom." The Bible says in Proverbs 2:6 "For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding." That is where we go wrong! We look for wisdom from others. We search and search for wisdom, without going to the source of wisdom, God Himself!

"I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards: I made me gardens and orchards, and planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees: I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me: I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of provinces...So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me... " Eccl 2:4-8

Sounds good right?

"Then I looked at all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and behold, all was vanity....and there was no profit under the sun." Eccl 2:11

Vanity: Emptiness; want of substance to satisfy desire; uncertainty; inanity (empty of meaning). Fruitless desire or endeavor. Trifling labor that produces no good. Emptiness; untruth.

Emptiness in final result of all life apart from God. It is to be born, to toil, to suffer, to experience some transitory joy, which is as nothing in view of eternity, to leave it all, and to die.

Life is pointless without God! God gives meaning, substance, fulfills desires, makes things certain, makes labor worthwhile, removes emptiness. God gives meaning to birth, work, joy, and the best gift of all....he gives us eternity! He gives us something better than what we have laboured for here on earth. He gives us all the riches of heaven. He gives us eternal life forever with HIM!

There is a point to life on this earth. There is a reason we are here. We are here for Him. Life becomes so much more contented, much more satisfying, much more joyful when one realizes that without Him there really is no point!

"So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17

"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." I John 5:13

You can most certainly know you are on your way to heaven. You can know the peace of God. You can know Him. There are some things we have to understand before we can become a child of God, but they are simple! We are all sinners. We have all transgressed Gods law. There is a penalty for sin. God hates sin and has created a punishment for it. That punishment or penalty is hell. But, Jesus came to earth to be our punishment. He was born of a virgin, lived 33 sinless years, and was nailed to a cross. When he was on that cross he took the punishment for the sin of the world. After He died, he was buried, but then he rose again on the third day and right now sits on the right hand of the Father in heaven. If we believe we are sinners, we deserve punishment for that sin, but we also believe that Jesus died for our sin and rose again on the third day..... then God says "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved...For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:9,13. Saved...Saved from hell...Saved from an eternity without God...Saved and on your way to heaven! It is the greatest promise of the Bible. You can claim that promise right now and be saved!

I love the Bible. It is Gods love story written just for me.....

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I have really enjoyed my sunflower plant that my pastors wife gave me this past spring. I planted 3 of them in front of the chicken coop, but only one survived. I have enjoyed looking out at it every day. Sunflowers are my favorite! This one plant has had so many blooms!

I came home last night and the wind must have knocked it down. It was laying on the ground looking sad. It made me sad. Now the chicken coop just doesn't look the same when I look outside. :(

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Home renovations begin...

When we moved to this house, we had just finished completely renovating the house we were living in. It was a long 5 years of step by step renovation of every nook and cranny of that house. I had a new kitchen, new main floor laundry room, new hardwood floors, etc. Everything was tailored to the way I wanted it. I was spoiled!
Then we decided we wanted to move. What? Hadn't we had our fill of renovations? I guess not. Well, the real reason we wanted to move was because we wanted land and a farm. God gave us our dream farm. The view is stunning, the peacefullness is amazing. We have 53 acres of land, a barn for the animals we want to have, a chicken coop, garage for Justin, maple trees for tapping and a c.1910 farmhouse.

The first few weeks in the house I got rather depressed. I had forgotten the tremendous gift that God had given us and was focusing on things that really are just cosmetic. The previous owners did everything they could to make the house "not" look like a farmhouse. Every room except the kitchen is carpeted and the walls are painted horrible colors. They even painted the beautiful exposed wood beams (pink and white!) The previous owner had a love for using particle board for everything! The front porch is clad in particle board, the garage is sided with particle board, they covered a heat vent in the living room with particle board! YUK!

My husband is such a handy man. I am SO thankful for him. He can do anything he sets his mind to. I slowly learned that room by room in our other house. He did things that I wouldn't even dream of tackling and his work is particular and quite frankly, beautiful. He added lots of little finishing touches to our other house that are little "fingerprints" of his work. But we left that place behind. I am excited to see what the future holds for us in this house. It seems rather daunting though!

So, when we decided to build a hearth in the front room of this house for a wood burning stove(because rebuilding a chimney from our chimney fire is NOT in the budget right now) I was excited at what was to come! Let the renovations begin...

We were just going to cut around the ugly blue carpet and place the hearth there for now, BUT we decided to see what might be under the carpet...plank floor, which I would love to expose and refinish! Needless to say, we ended up ripping the carpet up, tearing the luan out that was underneath to expose the 1910 plank underneath. There are some patches, but I think once it is finished and the furniture is put back in, those patches will add character!

After we ripped up the floor, we thought, "we might as well tear down this wall paper board," so that is what we did. As we did that, my husband starting looking at this little entry way wall and decided to take a look at possibly tearing it down. So he started ripping into sheet rock to expose original studs with evidence of lath and plaster and original square head nails. Hmmm, maybe we should leave this wall up? We decided to leave it, because we think it is supporting the stairs, but we did take the first stud out, which opens the room up nicely!

I am excited to see what the Lord has for us in this house and what kinds of "fingerprints" my handy husband will come up with to give this house "Anderson character!"

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Well that was fun! Yah, right! We were plugging away, but 5 birds was definitely too many for the first time processing. We had to pluck the feathers by hand and that is no fun! We had 3 down and 2 to go and it was getting dark. We decided to turn the spotlight on and just get it done. That was all fine and good until it got dark and we heard the coyotes start howling, real close! Oh my! I was scared! Justin went and got his shot gun just in case. Here I am plucking a chicken and also trying to look around me (in the dark) to see if they were nearby. Of course they probably never would have come near us with all the lights on around us, but I was scared! We just got done and it is 10:45. There were 2 times when the coyotes were howling nearby us and then it was calm for the last hour or so. It is actually peaceful out there now, but it wasn't! I don't want to do that again in the dark! 4 hours and 5 meat birds on ice. Is this worth it???? Not sure yet!

Meat Chickens

We are going to process our first 5 meat birds tonight!! I am NOT excited about this. I have told Justin many times that I am NOT excited about helping. I really wanted to take them somewhere to have them processed, but he went to chicken school and is confident he will have no problem doing it. James and Laura already know what is about to happen. I hope they are as flippant about it when it is actually happening as they are right now talking about it!! Freezer is ready for them. If we do alright with this first batch, the next batch we will do the remaining 13 and be done with it. Yikes!!