January 30, 2008

Max is on the Radio!

After speaking at the Fresno Rescue Mission on Saturday, Max found out that he would be aired on 1130 AM Christian Radio! Unknowingly, he's been a 'radio preacher' three or four times already. :-) He should be on sometime this week between 11:15-11:30.

The night before

A few "pre-wedding' shots

Thanks to Kendra's creativity, Jenny had a bouquet to hold during the reception!

The Littles practicing their walk

"And whose are the eyes that inspire these reflections?" "Miss Jenny McCracken's."

Who can guess the drama going on in this picture? :-)

Family enjoying a delightful reception dinner. A HUGE thank-you to the Telian, Maricle, and Butler families, as well as everyone else who contributed to the reception dinner. The dinner was delicious and you were such a blessing to us in preparing it. Thank-you.

Our longtime friend, Mom's homeschooling mentor, and dear sister in Christ, Donna Butler was able to fly last minute to the before the wedding. Thank-you for your graciousness and love Donna. We love you!

Daddies and little ones. :-)

The final touch-ups.

January 28, 2008

Just a quick apology for the enormous delay on a post about the biggest event of our year. Max's wedding! Honestly, it was such an emotional, 'walking in a dream' type day for me I barely know where to begin a post. With that said, I promise a post. Soon. :-)

In the meantime, McCracken's have done a superb job recording this amazing day on their blog. Another friend and groomsman, Aaron Telian, put emotions into words (something I need to learn!) with a beautiful tribute on his blog, Sojourners Song. Check them out, and I'll add to the wedding blog roll soon!

January 19, 2008

Common Days on the Ranch

Wednesday night we had dinner with Max and Jenny. It was the first time that Sandy and I had seen their little abode and it is a compact romantic little house, perfect for them. Jenny cooked us some good spaghetti.

After dinner we sang hymns and read God's Word. I really enjoyed seeing Max lead his home. It fills me with joy to see his love for his new wife.

Thursday, Sandy, Sally, and Mom had a tea party with the "littles". Mom left for Alaska on Friday morning.

Friday afternoon, I spent some time on watch on the north hill with my .22. Coyotes had come in close to the chickens 4 times that day.

Sitting there with Ranger and Shiloh, I saw Simon, who had been sitting on the porch of the "dog house" watching with binoculars, get up and run off to the south with his .22. I saw him carefully creep up the hill south of the creek and peeked over the "military crest". I could see a coyote jumping on mice out in the field beyond him to the south. Simon did get a shot off, but missed.

Here is a picture taken from my vantage point. You can see the "dog house" just behind the front of our camp trailer. The hill I'm referring to is the rise that starts at the base of the mountain on the left of the picture and which extends out to the right, ending just above the shop. You can see the creek winding around at is base.

This morning, we saw our cows on the wrong side of the fence. So Simon and I herded them back inside the fence before breakfast and saw that the fence at the northeast corner was completely down. Simon fixed that while I fixed the water (see below). After I was done, I went up the mountain to see how Simon was doing and I came on him breaking up a rock that the tractor had slid down and wrapped itself around. Fortunately, it was very soft granite. I don't know how many thousands of years that rock had been there, but it is now gone.

In the picture below, you can see our north fence at the bottom right, extending to the east up over the hill. Simon and I climbed up around the left side of the hill. Our northeast property corner is beyond the hill.

Of course, in going back through the fence, 4 of the cows followed "bossy" through the hole they had escaped through. For some reason, the bull didn't to do that and ended up jumping the fence further down, breaking the top strand. This just goes to show that if a cow wants to jump a fence it can and will.

If you look carefully in the picture, you can see our 5 cows bunched up on the fence right where the fence from the right middle edge of the picture intersects with the north property line fence.

This morning a visitor backed into a water spigot at the west lawn and broke it. So, it was run to turn off the water, dig out the break, and head to Orange Cove...twice for parts. Isn't that how plumbing works? At least 2 trips to town? I did eventually get it fixed.

Jeremy spent the day cleaning out weeds in the pool area and washing cars.

Today, Simon got one shot off with the 30-30 at a coyote, but missed.

In the picture below, you can see the road winding up the mountain that Simon built for building fence on the south property line. If you look carefully, you can see his fence going up the hill, just in front of the first tree on the right hand side. The fence extends to the left up over the hill, down into the ravine, and then back up the hill again on the left side of the pictures.

His uncle spent some time after the wedding helping us take dominion over a rock that was in the way. I'm glad for Uncle Scott's practical ingenuity.


January 13, 2008

Happy New Year!

Simon welcomes 2008 the proper way. :-)

Wow . . . there has been much activity here in the Parish home since the last post on our blog! Max and Jenny's wedding, the long awaited, much prepared for event, is now over, and the happy couple are even home from their honeymoon! We had the pleasure of picking them up last night, with much joy all around. Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures to post of the actual wedding yet, ( Max and Jenny borrowed our camera with all the pictures on it for their honeymoon) but we do of the events leading up to the EVENT. :-) If you'd like to enjoy a beautiful post on the wedding composed by Kaylee, it's now available for all to see! Yay Kaylee! :-)

Here we go~

Let's start it off with Jacob's birthday! Five years old and growing bigger by the day, Jacob is a ray of sunshine in our home. It's rare to see Jacob without a smile, and his tender heart is a joy to see. We love you Jacob!

We enjoyed some special times of fellowship with the Werzinski family in December. Their new children are precious gifts from the Lord and it's a blessing to share in that joy with them. Here's Mom snuggling with Audra.

Christmas Day! Christmas Eve was special with games, honey popcorn, and family time. Our Grandma's all arrived for lunch the next afternoon, which was delicious! After dinner, we headed into Sanger, where Great-Grandma Lucille lives, to sing some Christmas Carols at a rest home. McCracken's met us there, and we all enjoyed the time with the older ones; those who are so full of life's experiences and tales. Riding along with the McCracken's into Fresno, we stopped at another home to sing. I personally was so blessed by this experience. We met many new friends, laughed at jokes, and were able to look into the eyes and hold the hands of the one's who have gone before us. I can't really explain it, but it fed my heart in a way nothing else could.

That next week held a special visit from my Uncle Craig (My Dad's brother) and Aunt Rene'. Living in the land of the armadillo's, we don't see them very often, so it was special for the children to meet them and for us all to enjoy their company. Grandma fixed us her specialty, homemade chicken and noodles for dinner that night. Scrumptious!

What would we have done without Grandma these past few weeks? She was a lifesaver! Always full of love, always helping; doing dishes, cooking supper, reading stories, giving advice and wisdom, cleaning the fridge, drawers, and cupboards, sharing family history, shopping with me, helping me learn to stretch meals and sharpen my cooking skills. She's been there to pour out my heart to during the stressful times. She's been there to laugh with. Even taking care of the little ones so Mom and I could have a day out. She inspires me with her energy and zeal for Christ. Grandma is a lovely woman. An inspiration. We love you Grandma!

Uncle Craig and Jacob

Jayni and Aunt Rene'

Since Uncle Craig and Aunt Rene' weren't able to make it to the wedding, we were able to invite the McCracken clan out for some fun, fellowship, and homemade noodles that evening. This was just a little while before the wedding . . . when Jenny was still a 'Crackin'. (To use Lilly's words. :-)

No evening is complete without music!

My wonderful parents. I love you!

I'll close this post with some smiles from our Lilly. :-) Who is ever wanting to be a ballerina in her pretty dress.

January 01, 2008

December festivities

Early December was marked by the bridal shower Kaylee and I threw for Jenny. Kendra was here the week before, and it was wonderful to have her creative idea's and help! We transformed the church into a beautiful winter 'tea' atmosphere, complete with fresh greenery, candles, and white lights. We celebrated Jenny's upcoming 'wifehood' with games and gifts, finishing up with a time of sharing and blessing among the ladies. Tears flowed as love was poured out among the blessings, memories, and encouragement. Mrs. Clark ended with prayer, completing this special time of joy.

Decorating Darlings

Connor's contribution

How well do you really know Max, Jenny?

The journal holds all the secrets. :-)

After the shower, a few of us headed over to Max and Jenny's new home to start the 'settling' in process. What a cozy little cottage! I felt like a little girl again playing in my playhouse as I helped Jenny organize her kitchen. :-)

Unpackin' the books! (Now that is the beginning of quite a process!)

Jenny in her new domain!

Finishing up this post is a photo representing the cleaning we've been up to with all the festivities in the past month. Simon is a champion carpet cleaner! (Especially with his magic shoes!)