Archive for April, 2012

Fun Day on the Farm-2012

One of our favorite and very special events is “Fun Day on the Farm”. Hundreds of people come and enjoy the the day on the farm. Vendors are invited to sell their wares and special things are planned for the children; hay rides, pony rides and kite flying.

Today was a gorgeous, sunny, spring day until a storm blew through around 1 PM causing everyone to scatter. (We were very blessed as the event was to run until 2).

Hay rides for the children

Ryan Hostetter (our grandson) getting a pony ride.  Towards the end of the day he came to me very emotional.

“Grandma, I don’t have any money and they (his parents) won’t give me any.  I don’t have anything to sell. Mommy and daddy are selling food. Can you share their money with me?”

Grandma: “Well, Ryan, what do you want to buy?”

Ryan: “A tractor and it cost lots of money.” (Ertl toy)

I am loving on an alpaca!

This lion eats 35 lbs of meat a day!  He really lets out a roar when he is getting fed!

I wish I could have included the roar-sounded like the largest motorcyle in the world starting up!

 This tiger was in the store a year ago. The picture below shows him then.   I had to show it so you can see what a beautiful animal he is growing up to be.  The heads on this creatures are so awesome!

Lauren Hertzler selling cookie mix in a jar.

Obe & Jill Hostetter and Emily Hertzler selling food-Hertzler’s hamburgers & brisket (off the farm)!

This little boy thought the rabbits stank!

Local author Nan Bodine selling her books.

Hope Palmore with Tall Tales Consignment & Tack Store.

Bass girls selling bracelets and cookies.

Baseball team “Powhatan Mules” selling Krispie Creme doughnuts as a fundraiser.

Jackie Whitley with Purina Mills.

James and Laura Ball, professional kite fliers, tried to fly their kites but there was not enough wind. Here he is preparing to fly one that can even fly indoors.

Supper off the Farm

Tonight we had a homegrown supper, raised on our farm-you can’t get anymore local than that!  We had grilled flat-iron Angus steaks, asparagus, spring onions, radishes, and strawberries.  Even the roses in the vase are from my rose garden. All the vegetables were picked within 20 minutes of eating.  The only things out of the fridge were the Velveeta cheese and milk on the asparagus.

If you notice, this is a low-starch meal.   Several years ago we changed our eating habits when Gene was diagnosed pre-diabetic (it runs in his family).  He took the situation  serious and started exercising and lost weight.  We eat very little pasta, corn, or potatoes and I almost totally eliminated sugar.  It was difficult at first to cook without potatoes but now we  don’t miss them.  Supper is so much lighter without them.

It is a good feeling to eat off the farm,  fresh out of the garden or from my homegrown stash of canned and frozen vegetables.   Sometimes I wonder why my grocery bill is as much as it is!!!

The Bible

Have you paused to think about how amazing the Bible is?  Do you struggle to believe that it is truly the inspired written Word of God?  Do you believe in its authenticity?  Our pastor (Tim Kennell) preached on this today and I just have to share some thoughts gleamed from his message (now he will know that I was listening!) along with my own pondering.

First let me share some facts:

  • The Bible is a collection of 66 different books.
  • It was written by 40 different authors.  The earliest being Job or Moses and ending with John in Revelation. These were men of many different occupations (shepherds, prophets, kings, fishermen, etc.), backgrounds (educated, uneducated), and nationalities.
  • It was written over a period of 1500 years.
  • It was written in 3 languages:  Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.
  • It was written from 3 different continents:  Africa, Asia and Europe.
  • There is 1 storyline-1 theme: the Story of God’s Redemptive Plan.

Is there any other book written with such amazing facts?  1 theme-1 storyline going from cover to cover with so many authors, so much distance,  3 different languages and such a long period of time.  How can this be unless  it is the amazing, miraculous,  inspired work of God!

Scripture tells us about these words, written so we as broken, sinful people can be reconciled to a loving Heavenly Father.

  1. II Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”     Scripture is the inspired word of God, words that God breathed into being. They are not a haphazard collection of writings.  These words are for our correction so that we can be restored into a right relationship with God.
  2. Hebrews 4:12 “For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”   God’s greatest desire is for us to know Him, to enjoy a relationship with Him, to be His sons and daughters. His Word corrects and restores. It lays bare the hidden thoughts and intents of our sinful hearts. It equips and prepares us for faithful, purposeful living.
  3. Psalms 12:6 “the words of the Lord are pure words…
  4. Psalms 19: 7 “the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”
  5. John 17: 17 “Your word is truth.”  God’s word is the basis for truth-all truth.
  6. John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”   In verse 14 it says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory…” Maybe these are heavy and confusing words. But it shows us Jesus. Jesus is the living Word of God.  He was with God in the beginning of time.  In the beginning God spoke the world into existence. In the gospels (New Testament) God spoke His final word through the living Word, Jesus.

At the very end Revelations (22:18-22), is a final word from God,  a strict warning is given to those who add or subtract from the Words of God.  They will lose their place in the heaven. What a sad day that will be.  It should cause us to stop and ponder.

Do you read your Bible? If not, I encourage, beg, plead with you to begin reading, daily, the  words of a living God.

The pastor’s sermon (“The Bible” on April 22, 2012)  can be listened to at 


Finally I am getting a new shower in the upstairs bathroom! Sometimes you have to “wait” awhile for things you want, need or would like to have. But this project is long past due.  And just for the record,  you just as well plan with remodeling some unexpected inconveniences.

During the week, Gene and I went to town and purchased the shower kit.  We were ready!   Our friends, Lowell and Dwight, who have been our loyal hunters of 40 years, volunteered to do the remodeling for us. But in the midst of buying the shower, we forgot the two 1/2 inch copper cutoff values we were instructed to get to put in the hot and cold water lines to cut off the water to the upstairs. A special run to the local hardware store on Saturday morning solved problem number one.

Problem number two showed up on Saturday afternoon when we went to do the dishes. There was no hot water. The copper line they thought was hot water running to the upstairs was actually the line going into the hot water heater for the whole house. So, now we needed another cutoff valve. The local hardware had closed for the day so Linda and I volunteered to make a quick run to Lowes in Richmond for another valve. The guys showed me the installed valves and gave me a piece of copper tubing to take along just to be sure we got the right thing.

Now, men don’t understand how stressful it is to shop for something so simple! We finally asked for help and the over-enthusiastic salesman tried to over-sell us. The item he thought we needed seemed much bigger than the ones already installed and looked to be overkill for our project. After several quick calls home and Dwight talking to the salesman we paid for our purchase and headed to the car.  Problem number three.

We forgot where we parked the car! As Linda and I are searching for our lost car I am digging in my pockets for the keys. My pockets were empty!  Hummmm.  I looked in my purse-three times!  NO keys!!! Hummmmm. Problem number four!

Where-where-WHERE are my keys? Did I drop them? Did I lay them down in the store? That would not have been like me to keep the keys in hand.  Shall we go back into the store and look?  No, we will go to the car first and see if I left them in the ignition.

We found the car and we found the keys.  The keys were laying on the drivers seat in plain view but problem number five-the CAR WAS LOCKED!   Oh, no!  How did I do that????  When I got out of the car I remembered my “sample” piece of tubing in the console and went back to get it.  Apparently I laid the keys on the seat while I retrieved it.

There was no need to call the men as our spare set of keys have gotten misplaced.  Our car has an entry keypad on the door but the code is on a card in the locked car, in the locked dash-we don’t use it! Linda immediately said, “Do you have AAA?”  No I didn’t but she did!  She got on the phone and lined up our “help”.  AAA=help!  What a wonderful feeling to know help was on the way.  While we waited, we leaned against the car and  enjoyed the beautiful day.  Linda did try all her keys just in case and the key to their safe made the lock move but wouldn’t unlock it.  (She has a story to tell about the time her Subaru car key unlocked a Ford pickup truck).  She called home and let the men know “we would be a little late”.   Within 15 minutes a helpful young man with a blinking orange light drove up behind our car and emerged with rescue bag in hand.  “Hi, I’m Andrew!”  AAA. He quickly opened our door, checked our car’s registration papers (which were 2010!) and our driver’s  licenses to verify our identities.  When he looked at mine he said, “I know you,  my dad used to board our horse on your farm”.  Small world! Not only did we have help, we had familiar AAA help!!!  Isn’t God good!

Traveling home Linda found the keypad code in the dash and it is now safely in my purse.  And the men, they greeted us with those funny men-grins on their faces.  And they had a question…. they wanted to know if we learned any lessons!!!????? Lessons?  Nope, we are just two “smug” women feeling good we solved our own problems!!!

Google Earth

We got a call this evening from our daughter. “Mom, I need you to do something for me. We have been at the Washington Zoo all day and we can’t find our van.  We came out of the zoo at a different place then we went in and we are turned around.  Can you go on Google Earth and tell us where we are at?”

Well… uhmmm…. how do I do that?????

“We are at the intersection (on foot) of  Connecticut  Ave. and Calvert St. and need to know how to get to Columbia.  Our van is  parked in front of a CVS Pharmacy and our cell phone battery is running low so I can’t stay on the phone too long!”

Oh, the wonders of modern technology!    Gene and I each made a mad scramble on our computers, bringing up Google Maps, googling Washington Zoo, zooming in close to the streets surrounding it, searching for Connecticut….found it…oh, and Calvert,  I can’t find it. How do you spell “Calvert”?  Oh there it is.  But where, oh where, is Columbia?  Google search again for CVS Pharmacy+Washington Zoo.  And there it was!  Relayed the information…keep walking  east on Calvert until you come to Columbia and then turn north.   They safely and with ease found their van!

Only Obe, Jill’s husband, who is an Instructional Technology Resource Instructor could have thought of such a crafty way to solve their problem!!!  I am amazed he didn’t have an iPad or smart phone stuck in his back pocket!

I could visualize them on the crowded sidewalks of Washington with two little children and dear friends, John and Brenda, and their two younguns trying to figure out where to go.  They needed a larger, bird’s eye view of their plight.

Sometimes in life we can’t see beyond the next step.  We feel lost, confused, and don’t know which way to go.  We know there is an answer but we need a broader perspective.   We know our destination. We know where we are parked but it is finding our way there.

Jeremiah 29: 11-13  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart”.  When we dial up heaven our broadband connection rate is to die for.  God knows the big picture.   He sees the whole perspective and He knew it even before we called.  He zooms in on us and if we can trust Him he will direct our path.  He will show us the way. We do not need to be wandering aimlessly on planet earth.

Some other verses about God’s loving care for us….

  • Psalms 67:1-2  “God be merciful to us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine on us that His way may be known on earth”.
  • Psalms 56:3  “When I am afraid I will trust in you”.
  • Psalms 119: 105 “Your Word is a light to my path and a lamp to my feet”.
  • Proverbs 3:6  “In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path”.
  • Proverbs 5: 21  “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders all his goings”.
  • Isaiah 46-4 “…who have been upheld by Me from birth, who have been carried from the womb; even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! ” (God knows every detail about us. He created us and will be with us from conception to death.  Our way is known by the God of the universe. and we are enrolled in his life insurance plan).
  • God gives us the assurance of  his divine presence and care in Isaiah 41:10. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand”.

Maybe we need Google earth to help us navigate the maze of streets to help us find our destination or parked van. But only God can navigate us through our journey on earth and help us reach our home in heaven.

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