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Friday, October 26, 2012

New Family Members...And Another Family Member Will Be Getting Older

My oldest, Hannah, will be turning 13 in six days. Because of some conflicting church events, we're celebrating with a few friends today (like now). So I'll be short with today's post, because guests are arriving.

Heritage Farm (as we've named our new place) continues to grow. We love it!

We found a Barn Moving Sale on Craigslist - a lady was getting rid of EVERYTHING. We drove to her home yesterday, an hour away, and found these beautiful ladies:
This is Serenity, a Cashmere-Nubian doe.

This is Snickers, a dwarf Nubian doe who is PREGNANT!
We also found my three youngest sons their very own pets:
I know, they're hard to see in this box. I'll put up better pictures next time. These were some rescue rabbits, all about 8 wks. Two are does, and one is a buck.

Our new goat gals love their new place, and warmed up to us VERY quickly! They are so happy!

Here, Serenity and Snickers are meeting our dogs, the beagle Nemo and the lab/collie mix, Coco

We're in absolute Heaven with these girls! They already "b-a-a-a-a" at us every time we walk away. They just love people!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Rabbits and Pigs

I promised some pictures of my kids' new rabbits. The two oldest children want to start their own rabbitries.

Hannah is doing Holland Lop rabbits, and found this adorable buck, Pierre (because of the mustache). He's so handsome!

Problem is, she showed up to pick up Pierre, and he had a buddy that she found to be too cute to leave behind. So she took him home, too. She named him Skittles.

How exactly do you start a rabbitry with two bucks? I'm not sure. She still hasn't found a doe.

My son, Joshua, is specializing in Mini Rexes, which our family has raised before. They are known for their velvety fur. He was smart, and got his buck and doe on the same day, because he wanted to waste no time having babies.

He chose Oreo, a broken black, for his buck.
Oreo prefers to stay hiding in his hiding box.

He picked this beautiful doe, whom he named Brownie, for his doe. He bred them together two days after getting them home. He doesn't mess around!

Our piglets don't arrive until November 10th, but we've cleared their pen and will soon begin building their lean-to. I picked up their feeder and waterer yesterday. Can't wait!


Friday, October 12, 2012

Discovering Your Life Purpose, and a Few Farm Updates


Look how big the chickens have gotten! (Sorry pictures are poor quality - taken with my cell phone - my camera is broken.)

And we started tilling and planting for our fall garden.

I don't have more recent pictures, but we've already got rows and seedlings in the ground, as well as stakes up all around for a fence to keep dogs and predators out of the garden.

Also, for next week, I'll try to grab some pictures of the newest animal addition to our farm, the rabbits. My two oldest are each starting their own rabbitry, as they used to raise rabbits and wanted to do it again.

And, we got the pig pen all cleaned up in preparation for our three little pigs coming November 10th! So fun!

I had the privilege of hanging out with two teens this week who are at that fork in the road - one has already graduated high school, but has no idea how God wants her to use her life and what she's supposed to do now, the other is a senior faced with making decision about college, but not knowing God's purpose for his life yet makes him not confident to make those decisions. I asked them some questions, trying to steer them in identifying what God has created them to do. They replied with, "Geeze! These are hard questions!" But they both agreed the questions caused them to think about some new things.

Each human being was put on this earth on purpose - it wasn't an accident that God chose you to be on this earth at this time. He created you with a purpose, for such a time as this!

It saddens me to see how many high-schoolers and twenty-somethings, and sometimes even thirty-somethings, have no idea what to do with their lives. They flounder, not understanding what God has called them to do on this earth. High-schoolers waste away their days having fun and playing video games. College young people change their major three times before they graduate, and then go out and get a job in something entirely different than their major, because they discover they don't really care for the field they majored in. And they still spend their days unhappy, unfulfilled, empty, and playing video games.

My Pastor-Husband and I believe there is a way to avoid living aimlessly. We believe God has a purpose for each of us, and it's our job to discover what it is. We also believe it's very important, as parents, to help our young people discover their life purpose, from a very young age, so their days aren't wasted and they can live with true joy.

God has provided us many clues to discovering our purpose.

The Bible says we are all given certain gifts, and we need to discover what they are. We suggest you take approximately three spiritual gifts tests (there are many out there), and combine the results to find confirmation about how God has uniquely gifted you. Just search on the internet and you will find numerous tests online to choose from.

Ask yourself, "What is my passion? What weighs heavy on my heart? What do I love?"

What are your talents and skills?

We all have different personalities. Some of us are introverts, some are extroverts. Some of us are people-driven, others are task-driven. Your personality is not a mistake. It plays into your overall purpose.

God has orchestrated many experiences in your life that will lead you into your purpose. Some of your experiences might be awesome opportunities that couldn't have happened by chance. Some might be bad childhood experiences. Whether good or bad, God can use your life experiences in your overall life purpose.

Your God-ordained life purpose will ALWAYS involve helping others. That's just what God is all about. You may think that being a computer programmer does nothing for the Kingdom of God. But if you are being a witness for Jesus in your workplace, than you are helping others. There's always a way God can use your skills and abilities to glorify Him.

Employment may not always be in the area of your purpose. There are seasons when God may provide for you in an area unrelated to your purpose in order to get you to the next step IN your purpose. McDonald's may not be your calling, but he can use McDonald's as provision to propel you forward.

Think about the different parts of the SHAPE acronym for your life. Help your teens evaluate this qualities in their life. It's OK if you don't have all the answers right now. What's important is that you are looking for them - now that you're aware, watch for the signs in your own life. If you pray and seek God, He will begin to show you His unique design and purpose for your life.

And I would also add one more thing:
Don't get side-tracked by the world's definition of a successful life. Don't let society define your purpose for you. God is creative. There's not a mold you have to fit into. Be open to whatever path He leads you on, even if it isn't mainstream. I do not believe EVERYONE needs to go to college. That's our world's standards. We don't live by those standards, but by the standards put forth in God's Word. Some of you can get all the training you need in an apprenticeship or a two-year specialized college. Others of you may find distance education works best for you, such as College Plus or Global University, and some of you may not need college in order to fulfill God's purpose for you. There are many ways to receive education and learn, and we all don't have to fit into the same box.

I pray you enjoy the journey God will take you on as you seek to discover God's unique purpose for you and your children. It's a wild ride that may have a few surprises, but promises to be full of joy, fulfillment, and satisfaction. There's nothing like living out your God-given purpose!!!! Nothing!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fall and Crockpots Go Hand-in-Hand

Fall means back to school, extra-curriculars, including sports, and never enough time to put dinner on the table. For us, we have one son playing winter baseball on Mondays and Fridays, my husband playing softball on Mondays, gymnastics on Tuesdays from 4:30-5:30, music lessons on Wednesdays from 4:30-5:30, and I have worship team rehearsal on Thursday evenings. It's nearly impossible for me to have the time to cook. 

Enter the crockpot! I love my crockpot! Probably one of my favorite kitchen tools!

I will say, though, that it isn't easy finding real, whole food recipes for the crockpot that don't have cream soups and other yucky things in them. That sent me on a quest this month.

And here's what I came up with - my October 2012 menu with lots of crockpot recipes: October 2012 Menu.

Our family loves a hot bowl of chili over Frittos (ok, so they're not real food, just comfort food) with shredded cheese and onions on top (only us adults add the onions).

Last night, I made potato soup with celery, onions, broccoli, cheese, and bacon. It was delicious!!!! And with the crisp, cooler weather, it felt oh, so good!

Our Weekend To-Do List
What will the Seiler family be doing this weekend?
  • Planting some fall seedlings in our new garden
  • Continue work on the future pig pen with anxious anticipation of the three Hampshire/Duroc cross piglets we have on order that will be arriving beginning of November.
  • Cleaning chicken coop
  • Picking up my daughter's new Holland Lop doe rabbit so she can begin her rabbitry. My son already has his two Mini Rexes and has his "business" started.
  • Washing both cars and getting oil changed in one
  • Visiting my husband's grandfather with alzheimers
  • Picking up school supplies for next week's lessons