Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Hike at Ferne Clyffe

On Sunday, November 29th, we traveled to the Shawnee National forest to view the breathtaking sights of Ferne Clyffe.

Several years ago, we hiked through the back side of the park while on the River to River Trail. At that time, we had been walking for mile upon mile during the 175 mile hike, and that portion of Ferne Clyffe seemed long and the scenery not overly striking.
In contrast, this trip appeared quite different.

We quickly decided that Ferne Clyffe was as beautiful as its name is spelled!

Along the trail, we discovered many beautiful vistas.

Long talks, laughing together, making memories. . . that was what this day was about.
Beautiful Ferne Clyffe.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Waiting on God

Beyond a beautifully lighted arbor, the kerosene lanterns lit the distance of the lane. The stars were out in all their glory- that would have been the scene you would have found on our evening of Thanksgiving, November 26th on Providence Prairie.

If you looked closely beneath the arbor, you might have seen a young man down on one knee asking to marry a fair young maiden. You may have caught sight of a twinkle as he eased an elegant ring onto her finger. You might have heard the maiden respond with a, "Yes, I will."

So now it is official! We would like to officially introduce you to Amanda's fiance- Ryan Cox. We all feel that he is a gift from God. They chose to wait on God's timing in their relationship and are so thankful they did, because in His time, all things are beautiful. They will share their first kiss at their wedding which will take place on Sunday, March 28, 2010 at Oil Belt Christian Service Camp in Flora, Illinois. There their friendship blossomed and there they will pledge their lives together before God.
It was definitely a night to remember!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Handy Pin Cushion

Better watch out when Amanda is sewing. She uses whatever she can find for a handy pin cushion! :) Not only will Ryan's beard come in handy for the Lincoln dinner reenactment, it fit the bill quite nicely when Amanda was in a pinch! We often get a good laugh from Amanda and Ryan's antics.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Processing Pumpkin

We spent an afternoon cooking down and processing several of the pumpkins that remained after Prairie Fest. The resultant pie filling would be good for our freezer.

Our Squeezo Strainer came in quite handy for pureeing it, as did Ryan to turn the handle and plunge!
Now to make a few of those award winning pumpkin pies!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

New Neighbors

We have new neighbors moving in on both sides of Providence Prairie. The creatures that moved in to our north are a family of mostly nocturnal mammals.

We stumbled upon Mr. and Mrs. Beaver after seeing their gnawed tree from the road that crosses the creek they are inhabiting.
Each time we cross the bridge, the dam grows more and more.
Slides all along the creek and beaver prints were to be found.

There are many large trees that are chewed upon and one that has been felled and forms a bridge across the creek.

There is much evidence to verify their presence.

As they are mostly nocturnal, we have yet to see one of these shy rodents.

It is said that the loud noise made by their tail slapping against the water can be heard for about a mile.

The neighbor on the south is an Amish family that moved from Arthur, IL to live near like Amish in the community close to Dale.

We welcome them to our corner of the world.

Friday, November 20, 2009

CHEHC Leadership Conference

On the weekend of November 13th, Mark and Rhonda began their journey northward to attend the statewide ICHE Homeschool Leadership Conference. The first day brought them to business in Springfield and so they spent a day there.

They couldn't resist capturing a lovely picture of our state capital building brightly illuminated at night.

After more travelling and wonderful conversations, they arrived in Chicago for the evening of encouragement and networking provided by ICHE. It was great to be able to hear Kevin Swanson speak of generational home education.
They relished in renewing old acquaintances as well as making new ones, and enjoyed an inspiring evening.
Throughout the course of the trip, they were able to watch the DVD series "Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Christian Families" by Vision Forum. It was a very challenging and encouraging set and we are pleased we could afford them the time away to strengthen their relationship and thus our family.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Taking Down Blessings

God provided us with a wonderful blessing that included using a little elbow grease in the process.

We spent several days removing the roof sheathing.
After removing all of the metal roofing, we then proceeded to take down the ceiling and its insulation.

The blown-in insulation that fell below had to be scooped up with a shovel and bagged.

It sure was a dusty job!
But, it made a lot of bags of insulation!
Once that was cleaned up, we proceeded with removing the trusses and walls.

What fun-- cutting down a wall with a chain saw!
We are very thankful for the blessing of a building to utilize as part of our future shop here on Providence Prairie!

Several hard days of work can look so easy in photos. :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Deer Hunting 09

It was another successful year for deer hunting! Mark and Trey both harvested deer from our property. Here is a young buck that will make great eating this winter. God blessed us with plenty of bounty.

Monday, November 16, 2009

For Nostalgia's Sake

It was a fine autumn evening after Prairie-fest when we decided to go on a wood cutting spree while Ryan still had the 1939 John Deere "B" here on Providence Prairie. It was late when we got started, but we had fun nevertheless. After cutting and hauling, carrying and stacking, we had a nice start for this winter's supply of fuel, and memories to last a lifetime.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The "Old" Game of Life

When Mark was from twelve to sixteen years old, he worked at Donovan's Greenhouse in Lynchburg and diligently saved his money. During that time period, when he was around twelve, he saw a game on the shelves of Sheeter's 5 and 10. Boy, did he want to own it for himself! He saved and saved until he had the $16.00 that was so hard to come by for a child in 1975. Proud as could be, he walked into the store, straight to the aisle, straight to the shelf, and took the Game of Life to the front counter. The special trip into town was quite an excitement, but the trip home was even more so. He went right home and played the game for hours with his brothers.
And every time that we pull that game from our shelves and play it, it reminds us. It reminds us to save, it reminds us to hope, it reminds us to work hard. It also reminds us that the economy was quite different in the 1970's than it is today! And it fills our family with good memories as we spend family time together reminiscing and telling the pieces of our history that are important to knitting a family close together.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cinnamon Twists

While perusing through a recipe book, we came upon this inviting looking dish and decided to give it a try with a "twist" of our own. As Rachel baked the Cinnamon Twists, their aroma wafted throughout the house, preparing us for a wonderful breakfast in the morning. If you would like to try your hand, the recipe can be found at Providence Prairie.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Homecoming to Lynchburg Church of Christ

We were pleased to be able to return "home" to sing at Lynchburg Church of Christ on Sunday, November 8th. There, we were greeted by friends and family and a few surprise visitors! After leading morning worship music, we were blessed with a message from the Word by Ryan. Afterward, we enjoyed a good time of fellowship with lots of delicious food! There were lots of familiar faces, a few new ones to make acquaintance, and some that were missing from the crowd. The afternoon saw a concert by our family, before making the journey homeward. It was a good weekend!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Clair's Visit

On October 24th, the Throckmorton family arrived at Providence Prairie decked in pioneer costume for our 2nd annual Family Pioneer Prairie-Fest. We all enjoyed ourselves and after going to Sunday morning worship at Dale Christian church the next morning, the Throckmortons headed home leaving Clair behind for a couple of weeks to visit with our family.
We had loads of fun while she was out. She and Rachel enjoyed a photo session.

The scenery was beautiful and it afforded several pictures as well.

Upon finding a frog, Rachel and Clair decided to try changing it into Prince Charming!
It turned out to be a toad and Rachel and Clair were the ones who were altered!

They were transformed into a couple of cute little bugs!

Crafting was a great enjoyment over the visit as well. They tried their hand at several darling dolls.

Thank you Clair for the wonderful memories made!