Sunday, May 25, 2008

Our Dogs Are Here At Home Now!!

Yesterday we were able to bring our breeding dogs home after two very long months of waiting. We are all so happy to have them here! We have missed seeing them and playing with them so much! Long story short, after our son-in-law's mother tried to cause us much grief in several areas when the kids first talked divorce (which is no longer their plan), his mother was then determined to close down my new dog breeding business before I even got my feet wet (she didn't like the idea of "our" grandson being raised around dogs, especially ones for dog breeding, though she has never stepped foot on any of our properties in the 5 years time we have known them to even know what she is talking about), we decided to send the dogs to stay with a friend of ours, and started applying for everything we could to make it safe for the dogs to be here and not be doing anything that she could use against us. We got a Kennel License, even though the man who came out from the Dept. Of Agriculture didn't see our need to have one yet. And, even though we are already zoned for farmland, cows, horses and pigs where we live, we even went before the Board of the Zoning and Planning Commission and requested that my dog breeding business be added to the zoning area. PTL the board voted a unanimous yes to it, even though, as one member put it, "It is silly to have to do this." It has been a very costly endeavour for all of this as each individual application costs between $40.00 - $260.00, it will be well worth it to know that we are covered 100% in any way that we can think of. Our dogs had all been licensed (even dual licensed in the same county), had their vaccinations all up-to-date, etc., but none of that mattered to our SIL's mother as she considers "dogs to be dirty animals." His family will not like knowing that I have chosen to still pursue this business, but there is nothing else that can say about it that will change my mind. The Lord blessed us with Sheeba, our pet Yorki-Poo, having a litter of two pups ready to sell just at the time we needed the money to do all of this. He is so good!! I am blessed that He has granted us his favor in all of this, and that things have gone well for us. I am wanting a small hobby business, and to breed tiny little dogs around 6 lbs. in size when full grown, not to build a whole new building and have several hundred large breed dogs!! BUT, PTL, God knows the desires of our hearts, and has blessed us!

So, welcome all to my 'official' dog breeding business,

"Heaven's Tiny Petals."
(The Chihuahuas pictured are not mine, but our daughter's dogs.)


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Our 16th Year of Home Schooling is Almost Upon Us!!!

Wow!!!! Where do I begin?! I have been contemplating school for next year. It has been such a long three months since our baby Samuel died, and I am just finally getting back in to the groove of things, somewhat anyway. What has been a huge blessing to me was the Homeschool Expo sponsored and put on by Cindy Rushton. I love Cindy!! I have always enjoyed her website, blogs, ezines, etc., but was especially blessed when she helped encourage me through her emails (being able to relate with me after losing a baby/babies) herself. She blessed me with a special opportunity to join the Expo a couple of weeks ago. I needed that burst of excitement and encouragement again! It was like a breath of fresh air for me! I had a great time visiting with all the other moms there, sometimes there were as many as 200 of us at a time for one class! That was awesome!!! At any rate, I enjoyed the Expo very much!!!! If you happen to read this, thank you again Cindy!

This is what brings me to my thinking here. God continually keeps bringing me back to this one path over and over again. I have been reading (as often as time allows me to) anything I could find and devour on the subject. You could say that it is a philosophy...a way of raising children...the Charlotte Mason way!! :+)

Charlotte Mason was a British Educator who was born in the 18oos. Her Victorian style of writing often throws people for a loop in today's world, but her ideas deserve a second and third look. First, she begins by reminding mothers that there is no higher calling, no greater responsibility, than raising a child. She believes that, "Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life." She uses a literature-based approach to education and believes in using few textbooks or workbooks (though we will be using them for math at least for this coming year), there are oodles of interesting books to read and/or have read to our children. Every day there are art projects, nature walks, music or some sort of activity to do. She believes that children of all ages should have plenty of play time outdoors whenever absolutely possible. She believed that fresh air and sunshine are so important for our children. Freedom to run, play and go where their imagination takes them. She truly believed that wholeheartedly. So do we. That's one reason we moved out to the country in the first place 7 years ago , and why we moved back out to the country a year ago, this time to stay, after a short period of five months in town again. Our hearts belong in the country!!! Ask any of our children and I think they would all agree (except for maybe our oldest son Zach right now). (grin)

So, as far as our 4 youngest children, and God willing, will be using the Charlotte Mason ideas and principles of schooling this upcoming school year. There are several curriculum websites geared toward helping someone who wants to school this way, to set parents on the right path, and we are checking into which ones we want to use. Right now we are vacillating between AO (Ambleside Online), or OFE (Old Fashion Education). I am praying for God's guidance on which to use. There are a couple of others as well, so time will tell where God will lead.

Two Special Little Girls

These two beautiful little girls are twins, Anja and Alara. We have done foster care for several years now, and when these two little girls came to live with us, they were an immediate hit with our whole family, tiny as they were! They have now been home with their parents for quite some time, but we still consider ourselves blessed to be a part of their lives, and to get to see them and spend time with them. They are here this weekend visiting us for four days. Their parents are taking a much deserved mini vacation for a few days. Between working, school, and also their two other children, they are continually busy people. They are wonderful parents and are doing a wonderful job raising their children. It is amazing how much the girls have grown, and how much they can now talk, talk, talk. They are such sweet little girls!! Many times, when you have little ones in foster care, and the time comes to say good-bye, it is one of the hardest things you will ever have to do. That is why we are so blessed that we get to see and spend time with the girls, and keep in touch with their family. Aren't they just beautiful?!?! :+)

Friday, May 16, 2008

My How Spring Has Changed Them!

On April 1st, Doug brought home two baby geese. They have really grown the last six weeks and are almost completely white now! They will still come up to us to pet them, but have decided that chasing the little girls is quite fun!!

Who Says He's Not a Couch Puppy?

Well he's not really a "puppy," that's for sure! And he does weigh 200 lbs. now, but he thinks he's still a "baby." He's actually almost 6 years old now. You'd think he was a baby when a thunderstorm hits though. He'll tear down a door to get in the house if it even looks like rain (and I mean literally as he tore a huge hole in the garage door to get in to the house one night!). He loves to play with our kids though, and makes such a great pet and watch dog!
(Bo is pictured here with John, one of our oldest son's best friends.)
*Heaven's Tiny Petals does NOT sell to Puppy Mills or Pet Shops!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Duggers Expecting Baby # 18!

Duggars Expecting #18
Posted in Quiverfull
The Duggar family just keeps on growing! Michelle and Jim Bob announced live on The TODAY Show that Michelle is pregnant with baby #18, and they’re very excited for the new addition to their family. The new baby is due on New Year's Day, Jan. 1, 2009.....

They are so inspiring to me!! I love to keep up on what's going on in their lives and their home school!! See them here!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A True Definition of a Woman

"Now this is the true definition of a Woman!"

One Flaw In Women
By the time the Lord made woman,
He was into his sixth day of working overtime.
An angel appeared and said,
Why are you spending so much time on this one?'
And the Lord answered, 'Have you seen my spec sheet on her?
She has to be completely washable -- but not plastic, have over 200
movable parts -- all replaceable, be able to run on diet coke and
leftovers, have a lap that can hold four children at one time, have a
kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart --
and she will do everything with only two hands.'
The angel was astounded at the requirements.
Only two hands!? No way!
And that's just on the standard model?
That's too much work for one day.
Wait until tomorrow to finish.'
'But I won't,' the Lord protested.
'I am so close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart..
She already heals herself when she is sick AND can work 18 hour days.'
The angel moved closer and touched the woman.
'But you have made her so soft, Lord.'
'She is soft,' the Lord agreed
'but I have also made her tough.
You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish.'
'Will she be able to think?', asked the angel.
The Lord replied,
'Not only will she be able to think,
she will be able to reason and negotiate.'
The angel then noticed something,
and reaching out, touched the woman's cheek.
'Oops, it looks like you have a leak in this model.
I told you that you were trying to put too much into this one.'
'That's not a leak,'
the Lord corrected,
'that's a tear!'
'What's the tear for?' the angel asked.
The Lord said, 'The tear is her way of expressing her joy, her sorrow,
her pain, her disappointment, her love, her loneliness, her grief and
her pride.'
The angel was impressed.
'You are a genius, Lord.
You thought of everything!
Woman is truly amazing.'
And she is!
Women have strengths that amaze men.
They bear hardships and they carry burdens, but they hold happiness,
love and joy.
They smile when they want to scream.

They cry when they are happy
and laugh when they are nervous.
They fight for what they believe in.
They stand up to injustice.
They don't take 'no' for an answer
when they believe there is a better solution.
They go without so their family can have.
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.
They love unconditionally.
They cry when their children excel
and cheer when their friends get awards.
They are happy when they hear about
a birth or a wedding.
Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They grieve at the loss of a family member, yet they are strong when
they think there is no strength left.
They know that a hug and a kiss
can heal a broken heart.
Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
They'll drive, fly, walk, run, or e-mail you to show how much they
care about you.
The heart of a woman is what makes the world keep turning.
They bring joy, hope and love.
They have compassion and ideals.
They give moral support to their family and friends.
Women have vital things to say and everything to give.



Dining Room/Living Room - During & After

Here is a picture of some of the work that we have done on the house. It's hard to explain the extent of all that we have had to do without just showing pictures. This is the same room, a little different angle, but it is mostly done except for the trim around the windows. Someday, maybe someday, it will all be done. :+)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Even More Current Renovations Under Way

This is the girl's room. Right now Ashley pretty much has the room to herself unless we have company, or for Saph and Kaden. Eventually both girls who still live at home (Ashley and Sheyenne) will share this room. Sheyenne is a neat person like Ashley, and they both love animals, so they should make good roommates. ~~~ This is a before picture and now two after pictures.

Continually Working on Renovations

We have just today gotten closer to finishing the remodeling of the bedroom for our boys. Yes, they will all four be sharing one bedroom, but they have plenty of space as they have the biggest bedroom in the house. We still have little things like trim around the windows to put up, and the ceiling vents still need to be put up, but it's slowly coming along.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Update on the Benedict Bunch

Well I haven't written since Samuel's burial almost two weeks ago now. It's been a little crazy around here since then. I guess the first big news is that our daughter and son-in-law are back together and their divorce has been stopped. They are now going to marriage counseling and are looking for a house together, hopefully to buy. They have found a 3-bedroom house in Onawa that they really like, and are praying that they will be able to get the financing to get it. They should know by next week. At the moment, Sapphire and the baby are still both here with us, and Andrew is at his parent's home. We have all been through too much with everything that has happened to allow him to move back in here, and his parents will only allow Sapphire over there on the weekends, but not during the week to stay. I think this is best anyway, as we will never trust his family, or Andrew, ever again like we used to. His mother herself has caused us so much grief over the last few months, and it will be very hard to ever even want to be in the same room with her ever again. I do think that it will be good for the kids to have a house of their own again. I will miss seeing them every day, as Onawa is about 1 1/2 hours away from us, but it is where Andrew's new job is now, so it makes more sense to live close to the job with gas prices as high as they are. PTL for Verizon to Verizon family plans so we can call or text each other whenever we want to. One good thing too, is that they will be living closer to our oldest daughter, Niki, and her family, and there will only be about 20 minutes driving time to each other's houses. Of course that may only be for a time as Niki, her fiance' and kids want to move closer to us here in the country as soon as they are able.
This week Niki started her new job at a company called Energique (which makes health foods, herbal products, etc.). It is only temporary until she can go back and finish her last 2 semesters of college, but right now with the economy like it is, she has to be able to support their two children. It is not her over-all goal, and though she has wanted to a social worker for a several years now, she has come to love being a homemaker and mother, and now leaving her children in daycare each day will be ever so very hard for her to do. Right now she has her 18-year-old sister, Ashley, at their house and she is caring for the kids during the days, but Ashley also has her own job and can only watch the kids for two weeks right now. Then Sapphire will watch them for another week for Niki, and then they should be able to start at the daycare that Niki has found for them. There is a waiting list at this daycare, so we are all trying to help out when we can right now. Sapphire is planning to start doing daycare herself once they have moved so that they can supplement their income and she can still be home with Kaden. She loves being a stay-at-home mother as well, and wants to hopefully homeschool her children as well one day when the time comes.
Ashley has one more year of high school left, and then wants to go to college to learn dog grooming. Our friends, Jean and Brian, have been wonderful to Ashley. Ashley lives at their house on the weeks that she works at Jean's grooming shop, and then she helps them out at home with their dog breeding business, and bird breeding business. They live 2 hours from us, so it makes more sense for Ashley to stay there with them during the week. They spoil her to pieces when she's there, and have purchased Ashley her very first set of dog grooming clippers, scissors, attachments, etc. (which I have found to be costly, but necessary, if you want to go into this business professionally). Jean even gave Ashley a very nice digital camera. Ashley has been taught to groom several kinds of dogs now, and Jean is continaully training her in all aspects of grooming.
Zach, our oldest son, is almost 17. Where has the time gone? I can't imamgine what life would be like if my husband hadn't had his vasectomy reversed years ago, and we hadn't had our last group of children. Zach would be our "baby." That would be so sad for us. He is the only one of our children who is not being homeschooled at present. He will finish out the year on the 21st of this month at the school he is going to. We have many qualms about what to do with him next year school wise. I believe that either he will be homeschooled again, or go to the small town school close to us. The hard part is that he doesn't like school at all, except for his friends and girlfriend. So many things changed with him when we gave in and put him in the public school system after much begging, arguing, pleading and refusing to do any of his school work for me. We have dealt with rebellion, disrespect, anger, smoking, etc., etc. Not that we blame the public school system for all of this, but it is a large share of the problems we are dealing with where he is concerned. Ironically his teachers tell us how respectful he is, polite, hard working, helpful, etc., and then he comes home and we get the opposite of this most days. That part is very frustrating to us! And to be honest, I am not certain that he is saved. This is my constant prayer for him. We are praying for him in many areas right now, but to us, the utmost important one would be him truly accepting Christ into his life.
Our youngest group of children are finishing up home school for the year and are loving spending every minute outside that they can. PTL it's been in the 60s to 80s most days now finally! They have turned the loft in the barn into a clubhouse and are in the process of painting it. They have even attached a rope at the top to climb up in through the window and swing down from when they are in a hurry. We have gotten to meet our neighbors who also happen to have 10 children (though they do not home school and both of the parents have to work outside the home), and 4 of their kids are the same ages of our 4 youngest children. Their children are also making an underground clubhouse at their house, so the 6 boys (3 of ours and 3 of theirs) go back and forth between both houses in the afternoons helping each other out. All our three youngest boys excel at math right now, but struggle with reading. So, we will be working on that this summer. However, the only two that we are certain have dyslexia are Ashley and Cory. Sheyenne loves to "do school" (at age 4)and picks up anything she is taught very quickly. She is always an easy, pleasant child who has oodles of love to give. And our youngest boys are all so affectionate and loving too, especially with their mommy! That is a blessing to me/us!!!
Well I have more I could go on about, but I haven't had much opportunity to email anyone lately and so I thought that I would just update my blog real quickly here. More to come...