Note from the Editor:
I am uncomfortably aware that this post is late. To be fair, my computer was broken and we have had a steady stream of much-anticipated visitors. Also, it was summer…
Maybe you can also relate to this – at the end of each school year, I think to myself that we will be having all the slow-paced, relaxing days now that summer has arrived. I picture myself abandoning a bit of housework to read a novel, maybe two. Suddenly, two months later – a mere few weeks until school starts again – and only a prologue read, comes to me the realization that the school year is actually the slower-paced season. I remember the same thing happening last year. And the year before, and the year before that.
Why do I hang on to this delusion? I think it makes summer even more difficult because I am always looking for that ever-loving button that shuts off the excessive busyness and allows me to slow everything down. Well, in any case, we’ve already started school, life has slowed down and the issue is being finished. It’s nice. Someone remind me of this next May, okay?
On the Homestead
With a series of visitors, expecting Iron Heart mamas, various changes, and the heat, activity on the ol’ homestead has slowed down considerably. A generous friend gifted us a few more turkeys and that was the extent of our growth. However, there was certainly still a good bit of excitement.
A large count of non-venomous snakes found themselves in the chicken house this year. One night, two snakes were lurking in a nest box, and that was quite the spectacle. We are currently trying out new methods to keep them out – for our safety and theirs.
This summer brought lower temperatures and an abundance of rain and due to this we seldom had to water the garden. The okra may not prefer this milder, wet weather as only a few came up of the hundreds that we planted. For those of us that love okra (not like – LOVE) this was quite disappointing. Our tomatoes were afflicted by an infestation of leaf footed bugs and stink bugs and possibly a disease – the remains will soon be making their way to the burn pile and the rotation plan is already in effect. Hoping for a better crop next year because we love the salsa and guacamole.
Though the hay worked marvelously for much of the garden, the sand burrs still made their way in in places that the hay was sparse, cowardly hiding in fire ant hills. Our goal is to keep our practices organic, but with one of the men having a more than minor allergy to fire ants and the children helping so much, we will probably resort to a well-known fire ant killer. To rid ourselves of burrs, we will be rolling down more hay to continue to smother those beastly things out.
After all of these things are considered, we then step back to look also at all the things that did go well. It becomes clear to see how the Lord has blessed us with the opportunity to have a hand at growing things and all the wonderful things that come from that. Like watermelon.
There were many birthdays celebrated this summer, on and off the Compound. We had the first of many young Iron Hearts to move into her teen years. For that celebration, we invited to the Compound hoards of other teens with their families to a bon fire – a delightful evening complete with s’mores and fireworks. Other parties for our younger Iron Hearts were at a nearby pool that Grandma reserved for us and they were simple but so fun.
Ever changing is life here! Our Iron Heart Mechanic confidently took on employment with another brother in Christ that had been praying for good employees to allow him to grow his business. And, if you recall, two of the men (still working on Iron Heart names) were venturing in the tiny home business right here at the Compound… The latest finished home, The Jane, turned out beautifully and we are all so proud of the hard work and vision that created this little home.
Though they will continue to build tiny homes at a slow pace, the difficult but wise decision was made that one of the men would seek full-time employment while the other continued his ministry pursuits as a full-time student.
We are so thankful for men, being the head of their homes, that make tough choices, work hard and provide well for their families doing whatever the Lord is leading them to.
In the wee hours of a mid-August day a handsome little fellow was born at home right here on the Compound!!! Such a wonderful little gift, and, oh! he is incredibly loved…
On the sadder side of announcements, earlier this summer a precious grandmother – dear to all of us here for her great influence on a family that we love so much – left this world. Her passing was not just a mournful loss, but a quiet celebration of her faithful life, beautiful legacy, and as even the young Iron Hearts know that she is now “walkin’ wit Jesus.”
“That they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments…” Psalm 78:5-7 (ASV)