Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Christmas Letter

We are in a frenzy as we try to complete preparations for our trip to Indiana. So what am I doing writing my Christmas letter? Sometimes you just have to do it when the desire hits. And the desire just hit me. So what was 2011 like in the Rogers household?  We learned a lot. And I am not even referring to typical school learning. I am more meaning learnings of the heart and soul.  We learned how to be patient with each other, gracious to others even when our flesh was screaming for revenge and the joy of nightly family dinners.  We have much more to learn, I am sure, but at least we have gone through the beginnings of heart changes. Speaking of heart changes, there was a lot of birthing going on here.

Our cat had a litter of 4 kittens and we hatched 4 clutches of chickens for a total of 24 chicks. We had a lovely garden of a variety of tomatoes, sweet onions, basil, jalapenos, arugula, zucchini, and bell peppers.  I have never been so grateful for the end of the summer growing season as I have eaten my weight in arugula and was very ready for cabbage, squash and other fall vegetables.  

Josiah is now 9 years old and Naomi is 7. We continue to homeschool and the kids have joined Cub Scouts and Keepers of the Faith, respectively. They are really enjoying earning their pins and all the activities that go with it.  They are also in AWANAS which is a Bible based club of sorts. Naomi has been steadily learning homemaking skills like canning, baking and quilting. She is my natural-born fashionista.  Josiah really enjoys the camping aspects of the Scouts. He continues to be fascinated with sharks and ocean life; my marine biologist in the making.

Roughly 8 months ago,  Dustin and I became the coordinators of the food share ministry of our church. We provide food bags of non-perishable goods to roughly 70 families every month.  We have noticed a trend and change in this ministry as the economy remains sluggish and ask that you would pray not only for our current families but also for those that will be coming as food and gas prices rise and employment is difficult to attain.

Dustin continues to work at BST (Behavioral Science Technologies). He LOVES his work and he works with the neatest people. We are so blessed to know them and have them be a part of our lives.  

We are really excited to be headed to Indiana to visit with Dustin's folks. This will be our first visit there with both kids. They are going to be shocked when they meet all of their cousins and aunts and uncles.  Which brings me back to the beginning, I should be packing.  

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Life on a Chicken Farm

Friends often make remarks to us about our "chicken farm." They love reading the quirky stories about our fine feathered friends that live in the back lot. Funny thing is, I never really considered it all to be a chicken farm.  That is until I received a culling set from my husband for Christmas and I was thrilled to receive it!  I guess we do have a chicken farm. It has been a slow, steady movement from 2 hens to 24 hens and a rooster.  

At first it was all about fresh eggs.  Then it was about hatching 4 clutches of eggs and experiencing the precious beauty of life bursting forth from a dormant egg. Then there was the realization that we have to do something with all the roosters we hatched. We could give them away, we could let them roam free in the wild... the decision was made and our "chicken farm" came full circle with Culling Day 2011.  

On a sunny, warm October morning I required the ultimate sacrifice from 4 roosters.  The same roosters that we marveled at when they hatched from their eggs, laughed at when they were chicks hopping after their mama and the same chickens that made us cringed when we realized the tufts on their backside were more like rooster feathers than hens, were the same chickens I led to slaughter. 

After butchering and dressing the chickens, I felt the most humane thing to do would be to honor the chickens in every way.  We saved their feathers to make ornaments out of.  We saved other feathers for fly fisherman and hair stylists. The gizzards went to nourish family dogs.  Someday we will get the guts to make broth from the feet but like I said, slow and steady, that time will come.  

The response from our family and friends that received the feather ornaments has been mixed. Most love it. Others are repulsed and others are not quite so sure.  Either way the reactions are intriguing to me.  It reminds me that we are so far removed from death. We find it easy to purchase little packages of meat but we cannot fathom eating that which we raise ourselves.  We forget that in this fallen world, sacrifices of death are required. Even seeds die to produce for us plants and those plants must die to give us herbs and salad and tea. But I digress.  The point is I am happy to acknowledge our chicken farm, honored to better understand God's marvelous creation..... but am not ready to accept the title chicken farmer. I guess that will come soon enough but for now I will file it away in the slow and steady part.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Currently off the shelf...

"Mama often shared wise words from the Bible. As I plopped down on the porch steps to pet General, I tried to remember when Mama did not have her Bible nearby. I couldn't." 
- excerpt from God's Courageous Composer: Francis Scott Key by David Collins

What picture do I create in my children's mind? Is it of a mom staring into a computer screen so I could "socialize" or is it of a mom with her phone nearby always checking for another text? 

I know what it is I desire for my kids to see. I desire for them to see a woman desperately in love with Jesus with worn out knees from praying; a sinner saved by grace. I want them to remember waking up and finding their mama at the table with Bible wide open, cup of tea next to my journal and head bowed in reverence to the One that has given me life.  I want them to see a contented woman that deeply loves her husband and her children. I also want them to see I don't have all the answers but I know where to find them.  But the question remains: What picture do I create? 

Where and at what do I spend my time and energies?  What do I consistently do because those things are the brush strokes of the picture I am creating. It is not the once in a while activities that create the picture. Those are mere pinpoints in a beautiful canvas. I believe it is those consistent activities that truly color my picture. It is the laundry and dinner making, the night time traditions of reading and game playing, the respect and honor shown to my husband, the tending, and caring of little people, and the serving of others in need that make up the grand picture that I am indelibly drawing in the minds of my children.