Saturday, May 31, 2014

Memorial Day - Mango Style

The Mango's have a Memorial Day tradition of going to the park to eat breakfast and then watching the parade.  This year we moved away from that town, but Elizabeth was certain that we needed to keep on with the old tradition.  She and Michelle were up early Making GF Raspberry coffee cake muffins, scrambled eggs, bacon and orange juice,  The first time or two we did this we tried to cook our food on the grill at the park.  It just took tooooo long.  Now we cook our food at home and eat it there.  It works much better for us,

Michelle brought the dog.  This is also part of our tradition.  Thomas carried the food. It was strange to only have three children along.

My DH and Thomas posing before breakfast.  They look pretty good for being so hungry!

When you grow up in a town you see friends at these community gatherings.  Here is Mr. D with his little Sweet Pea.  This was her first parade.  This family always comes to the parade as well and we usually meet up with them along the way.

Here are the girls waiting for the parade to come.  Dallas behaved very well.

We also see people we know in the parade.  Here are the twins from the family that JoAn nannied with the last few years.

There were old fire trucks....

and old cars....

Sweet Pea looked so patriotic with her flag and beads.

We always sit through the Memorial Service and once more my Junior High principal, Al Smith, was still there reading out all the names of people in our community who had died in one of the wars.

The flag was lowered to half mast.

Here are some more friends that we met at the parade. The girls are growing up so well.

After that we went home and worked around the farm.  It takes a constant effort to keep the chicks fed and watered and doing well.

Elizabeth and Eli

In the evening we headed over to Mom and Dad's house to have a picnic.

The children had a lot of fun playing in the back yard.  There are swings and room to stretch their legs.

The women sat and visited.

The grandparents enjoyed their grandbabies.

Ian showed off his space where he lost a tooth.

Miss President was all dressed for the holiday, very patriotic!

Elizabeth kept the little children entertained as she pushed them around the yard.  You go Girl!!

My Dad and brother as well as some of the other guys worked on cooking the meat.

The food was yummy as always!

Paul and Michelle enjoyed some time chatting and holding little Liam.

Isaac and Car could hardly wait for the ice cream to come out so they could get their cones!

Is it coming soon?!!!

My youngest sister was looking good.

Our friend Andy, was teaching his boy how to get every last drop out of an ice cream container.
Phillip did a good job and enjoyed the experience!

Some people just want to see everything through rose colored glasses.

Apparently, Thomas is one of them.

Sadie and Miss President couldn't resist the baby.  They even shared their baby with him.  When Liam started to fuss the put the doll's hand in his mouth to suck on.  One of the adult's suggested that it should be washed.  But the girl's assured them that they would be sure to wash it when they got home.  The two cousin's have almost the same color hair now.

Everybody was loving Mr. Liam.

He was a good sport about it and never really fussed.

Truly, almost everybody took a turn with holding the baby.  Babies are such a blessing and so much fun.  They are one of those things that are right with the world!

Took a picture of Thomas and Phillip was the perfect little photo bomber. It was a really nice day and was enjoyed by all! Perfect weather and good friends and family.  What more could you ask for?!!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

"They are precious in His sight...."

 A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows,

Is God in His holy habitation. 

 Psalm 68:5

Last Thursday we went to visit a small orphanage.  

Lots of little feet!
Like most places nearby, there is a lot that happens in a small amount of space.

Play yard and clothes line.
T-Bob & Hannah
We spent the morning loving on babies.  

Kitty and Justin
At home, there are lines of people wanting to hold friend's babies and toddlers.

Here there were babies waiting to be held.

Miss A.
I thoroughly enjoyed a morning of holding little ones, but as I heard the stories, I wanted to stay. One six-month old boy is a victim of Typhoon Yolanda.  His father and siblings were killed in the typhoon.  His mother came to Manila, but she was unable to care for her newborn son and had to surrender him.

Getting acquainted.
Each little one has a sad story.  Yet, in the limited but loving care they receive,
they are content as they wait for their forever family.
Waking up with a smile!
The goal of this orphanage is to find parents for each child before they are toddlers.   They are not able to do this for every child, but they try.

Kitty and Matthew
We spent the morning in the babies' room where there are six babies.  Upstairs is a large group of toddlers, who we only waved at and said hi as they clamored for our attention.  The oldest child in the orphanage is a sweet girl of seven.  She loves to help care for the babies.  

T-Bob and Louis
The people and workers in this small home are the hands and feet of Christ as they care for and love these children.   Pray for strength and joy for them in what can seem to be a thankless service.

Defend the poor and fatherless;

Do justice to the afflicted and needy.  

Psalm 82:3

A couple days after this little visit to the orphanage, we experienced that ministry has a cost.   Poor Fred and Kitty came down with pink eye and fevers for several days.  On Sunday, we learned that Kitty (and the rest of us) had been exposed on Thursday.  A week later no one else has come down with it yet, though some are fighting colds.  Praise the Lord, but keep praying!

A few days ago I was listening to Psalm 41 and found an interesting promise.

Blessed is he who considers the poor;

The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. 
The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive,

And he will be blessed on the earth;
You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies. 
The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness;
You will sustain him on his sickbed. 
Psalm 41:1-3

God promises blessing on those who consider and care for the poor, but He does not promise health! He does promise to strengthen and sustain in time of illness.

A big thank you to those of you who are praying for T-Bob and I, and our family here in the Philippines! Please don't stop!


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Poultry Report

The Chicken tractor was finally finished enough to be used for its intended purpose.
It still needs nesting boxes, but they can be added later when the ladies start laying.  

The first challenge was to get the chicks in the chicken tractor.  They just really didn't think this was a good idea.  We called in the volunteers to assist us.  We set up a fence to funnel them to the ramp up into the coop.

They tried to exit the chicken tractor as fast as we chased them in.  They tried, and some succeeded going under or over our fence.  My sister in law was one of our assistants.  She held down the fence and chased down the escapees.

Paul was busy trying to keep them going the right direction.  It was quite the circus!!

There were plenty of escapees to chase down as we had the fence set up too loosely and the chicks were very determined.  It was in the process of moving them that we realized that we were missing a bunch (20) of chicks.  We were so sad to find them piled up dead in the coop, having been suffocated by a possum.

Elizabeth is a first class chicken catcher!  She runs them down and has no qualms about grabbing them and putting them where they need to go.

Paul caught the last of the chicks and they were loaded into the coop. We kept them in there with food and water so that they could get used to their new home.  They need to learn that this is where they should return too. There are 44 birds in there now.

The chicken tractor is built to be very light and strong.  We are able to pull it easily, fully loaded with chicks, with the ATV.  There are too many chicks in there to let them just free range in the yard.

The day the chicks got relocated on the farm, the next batch of poultry arrived.  We got 20 Bourbon Red turkey poults.  These are a heritage breed.

Turkey poults can be told apart from chicks by the little nob on their head. They are very cute,but VERY feisty.  Much more than our chicks have been.  They feel like they have to peck everything and everyone!

They claim first place at the waterer and at the feeder.  They definitely boss the chicks around!

Here is the chicken tractor out in the field with the electric fence in place.  I think we will have to move it only about once a week.  Not even that often, with the rapid rate grass growth we are experiencing right now.

Americauna chick.

The next day the new batch of chicks arrived.  We got some Americaunas,  Delawares,  and some Cuckoo Marans.  There are distinct differences between the chicks.  The Americaunas are the hardiest and easiest to care for.  All 25 I ordered are still alive.

Delaware and Cuckoo Maran chick

The Deleware chicks are smaller and seem pretty hardy.  They are an old meat bird, but really dual purpose ( good egg layers also)  They have the most issues with pasty butt.  I don't think it is because it is easier to spot on their white feathers.  The Cuckoo Marans are the least hardy.  We had an unfortunate incident where the waterer was allowed to be empty in our rather hot garage.  There were chicks laying in the dry waterer when I found it.  I quickly refilled it and they all drank their fill.  One of the cuckoos was dead already and three more died over the next two days.  We also had one of the turkey poults die in the first 24 hours.  That is still really a good result, but not as good as last time.  The chicks all seem to be thriving now.

I liked this picture of a poult that Elizabeth took.

They are starting to get their wing feathers.

Here are two of the poults jousting to see who is the top bird.  They are a lot of fun.  Keep reading for further updates.