For Everything There Is A Season…

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.”

~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, ESV


How true I am finding this! As I look over this past year, I am amazed by how I’ve seen God work in my life. There have been ups and downs, tears and laughter, joys and sorrows, hurt and healing. And all through it, I watched as He shaped and molded me. So amazing!

Josh Proposing

Anyways, this blog post is to address my current season in life ~ Love. On February 14th, 2015, a handsome, talented, intelligent young man asked me to become his wife. And I said yes!

There have been so many emotions that I have felt since. Excitement for the life I’ll get to share with him. Sorrow over the “loss” of my family, yet joy at the “gaining” of a new father & mother, brothers, and sisters. Apprehension at the enormity of the decision I made – “I’m going to spend the rest of my life with him..” I don’t have any regrets, and I most certainly am not second guessing my choice, but all the same, this is going to change my life SO much.

Josh with Ring

Over the last 9 months (we started courting in July 2014) I have learned so much about this guy. We are so similar, it really is fun to find out where we are different. Our core beliefs, hopes, dreams, and long term goals are identical. Our communication skills have improved greatly. Our vocabulary and knowledge bank has expanded. He has started learning how to lead; I have started learning how to be his helpmeet. He has been there for me on my worst days, gently encouraging me and providing support. I already know that we can go through anything together. He is my best friend, my truest confidant, my modern day knight, my soul mate. I truly believe with all my heart that we are a “match made in heaven”!

Holding Hands

So it is with great excitement that I look forward to the future! We’ve been on so many adventures, I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us next. Stay tuned for updates! We hope to have our wedding website up and running soon, where you’ll be able to find our wedding info, love story (which I’ll probably also post on here), and other pertinent infomation 🙂

Until next time!

~ Caitlin (aka, the future Mrs. Anderson!)

Us :-)

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Hello Again, World!

No, I haven’t died. I’m still here, just very busy with life!

So much has happened this since I last posted – some good, some bad, as typical for life – and I’m now faced with the task of trying to catch you all up. How do I possibly fit almost a year’s worth of events into one post?

I’ll start by catching y’all up with the farm. Here is the total head count currently:
– 2 Full sized horses. One is a registered Paint, the other a draft/quarter horse mix.
– 2 Miniature horses
– 1 Murray Grey bull
– 3 Jersey milking cows
– 1 steer
– 1 heifer
– 2 bull calves (that’s 8 total cows, if you’ve been keeping count)
– 5 St. Croix sheep
– 4 pigs
– 7 piglets
– 3 geese
– 6 ducks
– 75 or so chickens of varying breeds
– 50 meat birds
– 2 turkeys
– 5 dogs. A golden retriever, a livestock guardian dog, a border collie, and two lab/golden mixes.
– 10 puppies (no, we’re not keeping them all!!!)
– 5 cats
– 5 kittens
– 6 rabbits
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Grand Total: 195 different animals

Wow. I didn’t realize how many animals there are until I counted it up for you all! That sure is a lot of mouths to feed; thank goodness most of them in turn feed us!

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As for the humans here on the homestead, we’re all doing well.

Dad is still working for Boeing, but he is looking forward to the day when he can retire and just work here. He definitely enjoys all the different farm “toys” we’ve picked up these last couple months! He finally got his farm truck that he’s always wanted.

Mom could be labeled “Super Mom”! Besides homeschooling us kids and keeping the farm running, she is also currently studying to be a Master Herbalist. And she still manages to find new things to study and research, and is most certainly the one to ask if you have any health questions. She also has been enjoying learning about essential oils with me. Photography has fallen to the back burner unfortunately, but she still enjoys taking pictures whenever she can.

Brianna is now seventeen, YIKES! It doesn’t seem possible that she can be that old. And she’s also taller than me now! She is working on finishing up high school, and enjoys crafting various objects in her free time, such as jewelry, wood burning, and knitting. Willie, our registered Paint, is her horse, and when he isn’t misbehaving, she enjoys riding him around our pasture. She’s also catching up to me when it comes to reading!

Gabrielle is also taller than me now, which gives her an unfair advantage when we argue. Do you know how hard it is to maintain the “tough big sister” attitude when you have to look up to see your sister’s face? Yeah, it doesn’t work. She turned fifteen this spring, which makes me feel really old. She is still a horse lover, and enjoys riding with Brianna when she can. She’s also has a knack when it comes to the animals -I swear she could be a Disney princess, the way she can sing and the cows will come to her, or the horse will calm down.

Caleb is rapidly growing up. At ten years old, we’re having a hard time finding the balance between chores and play. He is responsible for the rabbits and chickens on our farm, and enjoys the income he makes off of selling the eggs, but he often gets distracted with the newest fort idea, leaving chores half down most mornings 🙂 He’s very interested in wood working, and enjoys the few chances he gets with Dad to work on something together.

Joshua is my spoiled rotten 5 year old brother. He not only has all us girls wrapped around his finger, but can smile his way out of almost any circumstance. It’s darn near impossible to stay mad at him for long! He’s all boy like his older brother, and most mornings you’ll find him building an impressive house out of Legos, or role playing Marvel heros, flying around in an Iron Man suit blasting everything in sight.

As for myself, I’m keeping busy. I’m still working on becoming a midwife, but due to my location I’m finding it harder to complete my training than I thought. I am also a doTERRA Wellness Advocate now, and I host essential oil classes once a month here at our house. I enjoy reading and taking pictures in my spare time, and Winnie is keeping me busy with these unexpected bundles of fur!

Well that catches you all up! Hopefully it won’t take me 9 months to write again 😉

You Might Be A Homesteader If….

  • All of your coats have hay in the pockets, including your church coat.
  • You’ve ever been late to church because the cows got out.
  • There are muck boots in the back of your truck. You never know when you’ll need them!
  • Your friends and neighbors are on speed dial, and have been known to come over at a moment’s notice.
  • You get really, really excited when the cow’s milk production goes up. Like really excited.
  • When RSVPing to an event, you add on the condition “Lord willing and the creek don’t rise!”
  • You know where the term “cowlicks” came from.
  • Entire meals can be made off of produce and meat from your land.
  • When you have visitors, they ask to ride your COW. And the cow will actually let you.
  • You’ve ever had a horse, lamb, dog, piglet, baby rabbit, or cat in your house. At least we have. Thank goodness we haven’t had a cow in the house! Yet.
  • Your friend calls you when he’s in the neighborhood to see if there are any animals that need wrangling.
  • You actually do cry over spilt milk.
  • All your animals have food names, like Pork Chop, Bacon, Milkshake, Omelet, Steak, Hamburger, etc.
  • Your brothers go on an Easter egg hunt every day.
  • The four year old thinks hunting produce in the garden is a treasure hunt.
  • You know where the saying “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” came from.
  • There are 500 trees from the conservation department sitting on your front porch waiting to be planted.
  • All your vacation days are spent acquiring new livestock.
  • Your floor is never clean for more than 5 minutes.
  • If you’ve ever chopped wood in -30 degree weather.
  • There is any kind of animal poop in your vehicle.
  • You use your 12 passenger van as a makeshift pickup truck when all the seats are taken out.
  • EVERYTHING is bought in bulk.
  • You’ve milked the cow at midnight because you lost track of time at a party.
  • Reuse and Make Do are now your life’s motto.
  • You’ve gotten used to people identifying you by your adventures, i.e. “Your the one who had that turkey in the back of your car, aren’t you?!”
  • The mailman’s got nothing on you. You work through wind, sleet, snow, ice, rain, lightning, sun, heat, cold, and any other kind of weird weather phenomenon with no pay.
  • Packages that come in the mail don’t hold quite the same joy to your kids as they all are most likely just farm books and stuff. However you are ecstatic!
  • You can identify all your neighbors by their pick up truck and/or the speed their vehicle is traveling.
  • You’ve ever been called to come help your friends find their lost sheep.
  • One of your pigs had piglets unexpectedly, and then promptly rejects them, leaving it to you to bottle feed piglets every 2 hours. And of course you can’t leave them at home because they need to eat so often, so you take them to church with you.
  • After said church visit is over, you realize that you forgot the nipple for the bottle. So you stop at Tractor Supply and buy a new one. While you are feeding them with the back of your van open, you have people walking up asking to pet your pigs. I am not kidding!
  • Butchering parties happen quite often, and you trade off help with your friends. Chickens on Wednesday at the Smiths, a cow on Friday at the Jones.
  • You homestead is named something like “Udder Chaos Farm”

2012 in review

I thought this was kind of fun:

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,400 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Book Review ~ Surprised By Laughter by Terry Lindvall

For C.S. Lewis, merriment was serious business, and like no book before it, Surprised by Laughter explains why. Author Terry Lindvall takes readers on a highly amusing and deeply meaningful journey through the life and letters of one of the most beloved Christian thinkers and writers. As Lindvall shows, the unique magic of Lewis’s approach was his belief that explosive and infectious joy dwells deep in the heart of Christian faith. Readers can never fully understand Lewis, his life, or his legacy until they learn to laugh with him.

My Review –

I am a big fan of C.S. Lewis and humor, so when I noticed this book, I decided to read it.

And I have to say I was severely disappointed. As another reviewer had commented, the first chapter read like a dissertation. Not at all what thought it would be. Still another reviewer said that if you got past the first part, that it was better. I didn’t see that until I started posting this review though, so I might have to give it another try – and just skip the first part.

The cover was well designed though. The saying “Never judge a book by it’s cover” certainly applies to this book!

I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone, unless I knew they liked dense books. And I’d give it 3 stars (mainly just for the cover and idea though).

I am required to state that I got this book for free in exchange for a review. I am not required to give a positive review.

In Defense of CHRISTmas

Oh boy. How do I start? I’ll start by saying WHY I wanted to post this. I’ve lately noticed anti-Christmas articles, basically arguing that all of the Christmas “traditions” have pagan roots, and therefore we shouldn’t celebrate Christmas. As you can probably guess, I disagree. I believe that like everything else in this world, Christmas has been tainted by sin. But I do think it’s a good sign that the devil is trying so hard to get Christ out of CHRISTmas. If he’s working so hard on that, don’t you think that we must be doing something right? Who can avoid the fact that our Savior’s name is in one of the most celebrated holidays in the world!?

I’d like to go over a couple of the major points that is debated.

First, one of the major arguments is over when was the first Christmas celebration. I saw this on Facebook today – “Did you know that Christmas was not celebrated in the first centuries of the Christian Church? According to Encyclopedia Americana, a feast in memory of the birth of the Saviour wasn’t established until the Fourth Century, and then it wasn’t until the Fifth Century when the Western Church ordered it to be celebrated forever on the day of the old Roman Feast of the birth of Sol.” Again, I disagree. Who knows if they celebrated Christ’s birth or not? At that time, they were still being persecuted. To openly celebrate anything new under the Romans would have been dangerous. Anytime the Christians worshiped someone other than the Roman lord, they would have been thrown in jail or worse.

I came across this quote in researching the origins of Christmas:  “Augustine (354-430) of Hippo, On the Psalms, Psalm 133 “For from Christ comes the dew. No light is set on a high place, save Christ. How is He set on high? First on the cross, afterwards in heaven. Set on high on the cross when He was humbled; humbled, but His humiliation could not but be high. The ministry of man grew less and less, as was signified in John; the ministry of God in our Lord Jesus Christ increased, as was shown at their birth. The former was born, as the tradition of the Church shows, on the 24th of June, when the days begin to shorten. The Lord was born on the 25th of December, when the days begin to lengthen.”

So to say that the early Christians didn’t celebrate Christmas might not be accurate.  (for the full article go to http://christian-civilization.org/articles/rethinking-the-pagan-origins-of-christmas/ )

As for the date that it was celebrated on, there is a whole host of different arguments on that! Was it a pagan tradition that got carried over? Was it chosen to combat the pagan festival (aka, the Christian version)? Was it simply what date the Early Christians believed to be Jesus’ birth (there is that whole Roman calender thing)? The short answer – who knows?! I liked this young lady’s post – http://melodys-notes.blogspot.com/2008/11/apology-for-christmas-by-melody-seppi.html. Her view – that Christmas was started after the pagan festivals were gone – was interesting. And again, who knows? Everyone says something different, and no one really has solid evidence to suggest one or the other. Here is another quote: “Augustine also specifically titled one of his points of Sermon 22, “The Festival Has Nothing to Do with Sun-worship, as Some Maintain.” Thus in the fourth century, Augustine both refuted that Christmas had its origins in Saturnalia while also clearly attributing the Lord’s birth to December 25th as the “tradition of the church.”

I really suggest reading the book The Case for Christmas by Les Strobel,  by the way. His view is interesting, as he is a former atheist.

Third – Christmas Trees. Again, a link – http://forchristskingdom.blogspot.com/2011/12/christmas-tree-idol.html. Peter did a good job answering that one, and that is what my family believes.

Fourth – Santa Claus. Father Christmas. Pere Noel. Weihnachtsmann. What ever you call him, here I agree with the naysayers. Santa Claus is one “tradition” that has been so secularized. As mentioned in my last post, my siblings and I never believed in Santa. My parents taught us that there was a man named Nicholas who secretly delivered gifts to needy children, but as any human does, he died. I’ve also read that Nicholas never existed and that Santa Claus is based off of a pagan god. Wherever he comes from, I agree that Santa has no place in the celebration of Christmas..that’s not to say that we don’t watch anything with Santa in it, or listen to music that mentions Santa – it just means that we don’t focus on him. My family enjoys the Santa Clause movies, and I personally like how it portrays him – not as a perfect man, but as a sinner with a family that he is learning to care for. But we don’t leave milk and cookies out for Santa (maybe for mom and dad though 🙂 Besides, he is just creepy (he sees you when your sleeping, he knows when you’re awake?)

And I can go on. Mistletoe, advent candles, presents, etc. But I won’t. There is always going to be someone who doesn’t celebrate it. And my goal isn’t to try and make everyone celebrate Christmas. No! My goal is to try and share my view.

Please read this in conclusion. The author wrote it in a way that I cannot in this short post. It is long, but it explains everything so well.

My family has chosen to do the traditions we do for specific reasons. We do set up a Christmas tree. But we don’t worship it. We do give presents to each other, but my parents are the ones who give them – not Santa. We feel that celebrating Jesus’ birth is important, and we don’t mind doing it on the wrong date. I love Christmas. It’s my favorite season for many reasons. Besides celebrating my Lord’s birth, I love singing Christmas/Advent hymns. I love the lights, the trees, the foods, and the snow. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like presents too!

I hope I have explained this in a way that is easy to understand, and please also note that these are just my personal views. I don’t mean to offend anyone, and if your personal beliefs are different, I will respect them. I just hope to point out that Christmas can be taken so many ways!

My next post  I hope will be on the history behind a well known Christmas song (again, one with a lot of controversy)!

Until next time!

The Versatile Blogger Award

A couple weeks ago (Sorry, Allison!), I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by A Window Into My World. Thank you!!!

Now there are a few rules that come with the award:

1.  Thank the person who gave you the Award.

2.  Include a link to their blog.

3.  Select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.

4.  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.

5.  Tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

My nominees: 

Leviticus 26 Homestead

Seven Sisters

Feelin Feminine

Nickle LAB Designs

Life Through a Living Imagination

Rapunzel’s Resource

For Christ’s Kingdom

Like Mother, Like Daughter

These are just a couple that I’ve bookmarked. I read lots of others though!

Seven things about me:

1. I have two things that I am crazy about – Music and Books. Anything and everything else is secondary.

2.  Like my friend who nominated me, I am also very into herbs, alternative healthcare, living naturally, etc. Unlike her, I do not keep myself up at night thinking about cutting up chickens 🙂 Just playing with you, Allison. I’m hoping to start a midwifery course very soon.

3.  I love reading mysteries. Any mystery written by Agatha Christie, Nancy Drew, and the Farmhouse Mysteries series by The Castleberrys are some of my favorites.

4.  I’m not usually a very outdoorsy girl, but lately I’ve been enjoying getting my hands dirty. We’re currently planting a very big garden, so I kind of have to though.

5.  My favorite color is blue. And brown.

6.  My mom has lately started calling me the “Queen of Freebies”. Yes, I like getting free stuff. I especially like getting free books and music 😉

7.  I have several favorite movies. Some great ones that I’ve seen lately are “The Adventures of TinTin”, “We Bought A Zoo”, “Jeremy Fink and The Meaning of Life”, and “Courageous”. I’m looking forward to the release of The Avengers and Mirror, Mirror.

Book Review ~ Money Secrets of The Amish

Money Secrets of the Amish: Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing and Saving
In Money Secrets of the Amish, readers go on an “Amish money makeover,” learning the choices, secrets, and disciplines that safeguarded the contentment and the coffers of America’s favorite plain folk by spending less, saving more, and getting happier doing it.
MY REVIEW:
Some ideas mentioned in this book I had either already read about somewhere else, or I already am doing. BUT, the suggestions I haven’t read were awesome! Like did you know there is a coupe websites where you can swap items for talents, or items for items, etc.? I didn’t, and it was valuable information (I haven’t swapped yet, but I plan on doing it very shortly). Swapping can save you a lot of money, especially if you swap something you no longer want for something you really need. I’m not going to be kind though and tell you what the website is, though. You’ll have to pick up the book and read it for yourself to find out 🙂
I really enjoyed reading this to learn more, and I hope that others thing the same.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com&gt; book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html&gt; : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”