Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways
acknowledge him,and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Aloe Vera Adventure

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We have a place near the garage that has a cluster of aloe vera plants.  The area has been riddled with weeds and it really has been a bone of contention for Johnny.  He decided to tackle the area over the weekend.  He pulled aloe vera plants out of a very small section of dirt.  You can see here, the "circle" in front of my feet.  It's not really a large area.  But, you just have to take a look at how many plants came out of that tiny space.  What did I tell ya?  Look at all that aloe vera.....

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And don't forget the 5 large plants here......
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And this one....
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We just couldn't believe how they were all growing on top of each other.
I need to point out the pretty new mulch also.  A trip to Parker Lumber for potting soil and we came home with a load of mulch.  It was on sale for an incredibly good price.  Less than $2.50 a bag.  We just could not pass it up.  It looks nice in all the beds, doesn't it?
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Here Caleb and Johnny are working on planting the aloe vera plants.  I think Caleb has a goal to get them to take to their new pots and growing well, and then sell them.  Not a bad goal for a 9 yr old.  We have them in all sizes.  He's going to work on a price list and I think it will be fun to see what he can make of it.
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I truly enjoyed watching him work so hard to get them all planted, (with a little of dad's help.)
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We will keep you updated on how the sale of aloe vera goes.

In Christ,
Papalote Mom

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

In The Wind

IMG_5489I heard the sound of jingling outside.....the house is so quiet (no TV allowed).  So I heard things that normally would disappear into the world. Today I heard jingling.....I looked outside and watched the sweet wind chime Caleb gave me, moving in the wind.....God Bless Our Home, it says at the top.   The swaying caused the metal pieces to bump each other, and jingle. What a reminder that God is in everything.....He is in the wind. He drew me to Him today. Yes He did.

Where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. Psalm 65:8

Lord, how great you are!!! I give you all the glory today for being the awesome God you are.....I praise you for the beauty of Your creation and reminding me that I am in your constant care. In Jesus Name. Amen

 (Prayer credit Homeschool Mom's bible)

Living for Christ,
Papalote Mom

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

This Week on the Ranch

Lots's of things happened on the ranch this week.  I thought I would combine them all into one post in order to save a little time and actually get a blog post written.  :)

Of course, it's that time of year again, and I have been in school planning mode.  So that means, looking over the teacher manual, cutting, laminating, cutting again, copying, printing, and basically getting ready for our first day of school.  As of right now we will probably have a little bit of school this week and then slide right into our first day next week when all the Sinton kids go back to school.  I have a few items on order and library books to pick up and a few school supplies to buy.  I figure we ought to be good to go come Monday.
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I was excited to find this geography terms poster.  We'll be talking about these land formations as we go throughout the school year.  And cursive.  We never got around to it last year.  But, we're going to start this year.  And I found these wall decorations showing the cursive letters.  I thought it would be great to hang them up in the rafters of the ceiling for Caleb to look at and reference.
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I had a few extra kids on Monday and Tuesday.  It's still summer time and dad's have to work!  So, Adi, Hudson, and Sami spent a couple of days with Caleb.  The girls had fun helping Grandma Pam/Aunt Pam take care of the chickens twice a day.  I was pretty proud of Adi.  She went from being quite fearful, to letting them eat off of her boot.
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Unfortunately, the two days went by and I realized I didn't take one picture of the boys together.  Just imagine, two boys, with either a DS or a Wii U controller in their hands.  Yup, that's what they looked like for two days.

It was an incredibly hot week.  I mean incredibly hot.  Thus, it involved hauling frozen water bottles and ice packs out to the rabbits every afternoon.  Some of them were quite smart and utilized the coolness.  Other's?  Not so much.  But, all we could was try to make things better for them.

With LOTS of frozen water bottles!!
What I've come to learn is that life on a ranch involves many of life's experiences to happen, all in one place.  Each day is a new day and you never know what you might have to deal with on any given day.  Most days, things are pretty normal.  And some days, situations happen that we have to deal with whether we want to or not.  While feeding one morning (Sun Aug 10th), I realized how cute this little bunny was.  It was so different than the others.  We either had all white rabbits, with bits of grey on the ears and feet,  or a couple all black rabbits.  This little fella had the darkest ears and the darkest nose.  I had decided this one would be a keeper.  It was 1/2 the size of the rest of its litter, so obviously it was the runt.   I took this picture so I could show John and say, "this one we need to keep for an adult."  Well, hot weather is very troublesome for rabbits (as I mentioned above regarding the frozen water bottles) and so, on this Sunday where we had a full day and didn't get home to put ice packs in the cages, this cutie succumbed to the heat.  I was so sad because literally the day I noticed how cute it was is the day it was gone.  God bless this little cutie for the short time it was around.
A part of our week that is still a little hard for me is the very reason we had all these rabbits.  My husband is a fan of rabbit meat.  So, we raise rabbits to fill our freezer.  This was the first time we had a big haul to go through.  My brother Rick came over and helped John process 21 rabbits on a Saturday morning.  I, of course, took the Sami out for the day as that just isn't something we thought she was ready to deal with or comprehend.  Caleb has seen it before but he came with us as he needed some new jeans and I needed him to try them on.  

So, they processed them and bagged them into ziplocs.  And Sunday, we used the Foodsaver (a product I love by the way), and froze 32 lbs of meat.  I've only tried a bite or two of rabbit meat before, and it was okay.  I will keep you posted on what I think the first time I prepare it for myself.
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There were a lot going on this week and that included me ending up with a sinus infection and John getting one right after me.  It was a long week feeling so bad, but hoping things will be better this week.  :)

Here's me with a couple of our hens.  We took some selfies.  You can tell I'm a bit flushed and icky looking.  I said I didn't feel good, right?  Meet Frizzle our Black Cochin and Muffin our Buff Orpington.  Both are sweet hens.  We're getting from 9-11 eggs a day.  One day I had a dozen, but I'm still not convinced that one 1 wasn't from the day before.  LOL  I'm holding out hope that my twins, part Ameraucauna, are going to bring me blue or green eggs.  We shall see.  :)
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Well, God is good.  Let me close with wishing you all a blessed week.

In Christ,

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Swim Time


When you take kids to the pool, what do you expect?  Naptime?  Not usually.  But, sweet Chevy fell asleep in the car literally five minutes before we went into the Odem Pool.  So today, nap time was at the pool.

As always, the lily pads are their favorite place to play first.
And Mr. Chev finally woke up and cooled off in the pool.  He was all about the  steps.  Here he is trying to convince momma to take him over to them.
Sweet Sami showing off for the camera....

It was hot outside today and the cool water refreshed them!  I have a feeling we'll be going back soon!

Til next time,
Papalote Mom

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Big "9"

It was birthday time again.  It seems they just keep coming faster and faster.  His first celebration choice was to go to Pizza Hut.  I can't tell you the last time we went there for a sit down meal.  But, it was birthday boy's choice after all.  The waitress even gave him a serving of apple pie pockets and the whole restaurant sang Happy Birthday to him.  He was embarrassed ha!

The apple pie things were quite good.  Of course, Caleb looked at them like they were poison, but John and I had one since they went to all the trouble to give them to us.  I wouldn't want to have them around every day.....warm apple, cinnamon and sugar....ummm, yeah, pretty good stuff.
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The day after his birthday he took a few church friends to the movies.  We fully intended to do a  second group of kids that were the family bunch as soon as we had them with us, but by the time they came to be at our house, they had all already seen the movie.  So, that idea didn't work.  He ended up having a 2 night sleepover with Hudson, Adi, & I'm guessing that more than made up for not being able to do the movies.
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After the movie we were off to Popeyes.  Caleb's favorite restaurant.  One of the workers walked up and gave all the kids the small kid's meal prize, even though they didn't order kids meals. (In hind sight, that would have been the way to go.....but everyone seemed so hungry.  LOL)  They made all these cute things with the wacky sticks they received.
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We didn't even ask this year, we just took our own cupcakes in there.  Last year, DQ wouldn't let me bring our own baked goods.  So, we chose a different place this year.  No one said a word and they were all quite nice about us invading the two middle tables of the restaurant.
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All in all I think he had a really good birthday!
Can't believe my youngest is 9!  God is so good!

Living with Christ,
Papalote Mom

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

In Loving Memory

Today seems like the perfect day to write this tribute to Steph.  It has been six months today already, since we lost her.  I say lost because that's how it feels.  To lose something is to no longer have it in your possession and we don't have her with us anymore.  She is in a better place.  Those words are so contrite, but they are real and true.  She is in heaven.  What better place could there be?  She received eternal life, because she first believed in Him.  As in 1 Timothy 1:16, where the Lord is extending grace to Paul, But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life.
Before she found the Lord and had the best Savior any of us could every hope for, she first found my brother, Rick.  He was her savior.  He believed in her.  He did his best to show her that she was worth loving.  Much in the same way the David speaks of in Psalm 139:14, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."  Everything you've made God is good, and that must include me, her, everyone....

Steph loved animals, of all kinds.  But, especially dogs, cats, their pet guinea pig, Lil' Fella, and the wild bunnies that would make nests and visit in her yard.  A memory that makes me laugh is one of her visiting our donkeys.  She and I were so into our conversation that neither of us noticed that Lulu had the whole bottom corner of Steph's shirt in her mouth, attempting to eat it.  She didn't get mad, she laughed, that sweet, infectious laugh that none of us will ever forget because it lit up the room in that special way.

She was a do-er.  If there was a task needing to be done, she was there.  If it was to give an ear and listen she was there.  No matter how easy or hard of a task, she was there.  And she was there for me during one of the darkest times of my life.   She was there to put an arm around me when I cried and to laugh and encourage me when I felt at the end of my rope.  Hebrews 10:25;  "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another -- and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

It is interesting to think back and remember some of the other times she was a do-er.  Like when I needed to paint a new-to-me-house.   She went every step of the way with me to pick out colors, buy paint, and then get the job done.  She followed that with helping us move all our belongings and then clean out the old place for the new tenant coming in.  Steph never hesitated when the hard jobs needed to be done.

One of her biggest undertakings was in Sept 2010.  My parents were flooded out of their home.  It was a scary situation to say the least.  In the after-math, the bottom 2-3 feet of their home was destroyed.  It took days of ripping and tearing to get all the yuck out.  She was there for every bit of it, even to the extent of having to borrow a car to get there when her own car broke down.  She went home every day, back aching, but it didn't stop her from going back the next day.

In 2011 she stepped up to the plate and created beautiful flower arrangements for all the tables at my daughter's wedding.

As I sit here writing and looking around my house.  I see signs of her everywhere.  She's tucked in my heart, but she's also present via all the little things she gave me.  Gifts that she picked out because they reminded her of me.  I will treasure each one of them forever.  They mean so much more to me now that she's gone.  Not that I didn't appreciate them before.  It's what I have left of her besides my memories so, they are extra special to me.
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My wall plaques with scripture and sweet sayings.
My butterfly jar....tap it and the butterfly flutters.
My country charm sign...which she gave to me long before we had chickens.
And the precious to me shadow box with items from my wedding day.....
We nearly shared a birthday, she and I.  May 31st was her day, June 1st was my day.  Every year from the get-go we shared a birthday party.  2014 will be the first year we won't be doing that.  What I will be doing this year is thanking the Good Lord for another year of life.  And while she is no longer here to live hers, I am going to do my best to live mine in a way that I know would make her proud.

Stephanie was one of the strongest, most determined people I've ever known.  I am proud to have known her and proud to have been able to call her my sister.   My sister in Christ, and my sister by choice....

In Loving Memory.....

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Little Bit of Hope

Heart Shaped Rock
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.  Psalm 31:24

What is Hope?

According to, "hope" is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.

As Christians, we are to put our hope in our Lord.  It is something that develops over time as we grow in our Christian walk.   It is nurtured as we read the Word and grow closer to our Lord.  It builds inside us as we learn to trust Him for all our needs.   I think without even realizing it we are soaking up bits of hope into our heart with every scripture we read, sermon we hear, and blessing we receive.  Then, when the difficult times do come, we are able to draw on the deposits that have already been made.

Having hope in some situations is easy.  "I hope the weather is good tomorrow for our picnic."  Or, "I hope the traffic isn't bad while we travel."  And then there are other times when having hope is more of a challenge.   Many refer to these difficult times in life as 
seasons or valleys.

As I was flipping through my bible today, I came across a scripture that I had boxed in a few months back....October 19th 2013 to be exact.


A flood of memories took me back to what was happening in my life at that time.   It was a time when I found myself grabbing onto every bit of hope I could find.  I had to dig deep, as I was in a very difficult season in my life.

On that day, the 19th of October 2013, I had sat in a cold hospital room, alone, with someone who I loved very much.  My sweet sister-in-law, Steph.   I remember feeling completely helpless.  And maybe, if I am honest, a bit hopeless.  We were told she couldn't hear us and certainly didn't know what was happening around her and that it was only a matter of time.  The only thing I could think to do was read my bible.  And I did.  I read it out loud to her.  And as I read, I marked those passages in my bible.  And as I marked those passages, I clung to the little bit of hope I had left.  I had only enough hope to know that no matter what, even in the direst of circumstances, He was there, He had a plan, and He was a good and loving God.  And even though Steph wasn't coming back to us, she was going where we all wanted to go when our time here on earth was done, and that was to Him.

It wasn't easy.  Figuring out how to hold onto hope and let her go at the same time.  As much as I found myself not wanting to read my bible, I made myself to do it.  In some of those moments I remember feeling pretty sulky.  But, as time went on and the last of the tears were shed, I realized just how much I needed my God in order to get through the valley.
It was hard.  It wasn't fair.  And, I would not have gotten through it without Him.  He wants us to have hope in Him.  And even in those times when we only have a little bit left, it's okay.  Sometimes that's all we need -- just a little bit to get us through.  From there, let Him take care of the rest.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Romans 12:12

With Hope,
Papalote Mom