Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Rainy Days Were Made For....

Rainy days were made for.....

Sitting on the porch.


Rainy days were made for sleeping.  The ducks seem to be loving this rainy weather.

The chickens enjoy a break in the rain.

I'm glad to see that the chickens and ducks get along so well!

 What a difference just 27 days make!  Look at how the ducks have grown!


My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:
--Deuteronomy 32:2







Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Day With My Grandson


 My grandson came to see my ducks and chickens today.  I'm glad that the ducks had a safe first night out in the pond.


 Wanna hear a little biddy secret?

Great picture even with his blue sucker lips.

Too precious!

Hello Ducks!


Don't fret...it isn't real!

No reality show for this Gator Boy! 

A cozy spot


Sitting with his friends and the Alligator. 

I love that little boy!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Author Unknown?


Last night I was looking up poems online, and I came across many beautiful poems.  Although I have seen the words "Author Unknown" many times before, for some reason those words stood out to me.  What a shame that we will never know who penned such beautiful poems.  It made me think about people.  How many people do not know who the supreme Author is.  Hebrews 5:9 says, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.  


The term author, in the Greek language, is aitios which means that which causes something It can also be translated from the Greek word archego  which means chief leader, prince, or captain.

Considering authors, let's look at a few elements all good stories have alike.

  • Inciting Action - The opening of a story with some event that sets the characters and action in motion.  If we look at God's story of all mankind, God's inciting action is "In the beginning God created..." Wow, that got my attention!  However, the Author begins my personal story with Once upon a hill (Calvary)! 
  • Conflict - There needs to be some challenge to overcome or some quest or mystery. The character or characters need to have some type of struggle.  Wow, isn't that just like this fallen world! Since the Garden of Eden, we have all the conflict our stories need!  
  •  Protagonist - One who is on some sort of quest.  Yes, that would be us! Like The Pilgrims' Progress, we are on our way to the Celestial City!
  • Antagonist - One who is bent on stopping the hero. Any ideas?  That would be Satan himself trying to hurt God's beloved.
  • Resolution - Make sure the conflict gets resolved by the end of the book. Praise the Lord, we know that our Author has all issues resolved!  One thing I have noticed about other authors’ books is that the resolution to their story doesn't make sense. They set up the conflict, make the characters interesting and then resolve it with something that comes out of the blue. In their efforts to be creative, they end up making the ending implausible and that hurts the story. Isn't that just like the world today!  People think they are writing their own story, and they think they can end it however they want.  How pitiful they are.  In reality, Satan is writing their story. Wow, can you see how dangerous that is?  I can see Satan trying to write a way of no escape for one of his characters.  Perhaps his character will commit suicide, die of an overdose, abuse his or her own child, hijack a plane and fly it into a skyscraper.  Don't get me wrong, we have been created with a will of our own. We are not fictional characters!   This is just an analogy! Proverbs 16:9 says, "A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps." We can choose to let God be the Author and finisher of our faith, or we can live like the devil. Whatever our decision, it can only be one of these two choices.  Oh, what an evil author Satan is! His "books" will feed the fires of hell.   However, our Lord and Savior is the supreme, ever loving Author! He knew the resolution before he even began our story.  He makes a way of escape through every twist and turn.  He is all powerful and able to take a character from under Satan's quill, and make him or her a new character for the glory of His story!   He comforts through the sad chapters of life. Here again, we need to understand that we were created with a free will  and a choice.  Sin entered the world because Adam and Eve chose to disobey God. Therefore, God is not deliberately placing us in conflict, grief , or painful story plots. Everything God created was good!  Man's free will opened the door to the painful chapters of life.  But God so loves us that He authors a resolution to every difficulty.  He is on every story page.  In fact, His story is interactive!  We are expected to have a close relationship with the Author of our life! He already knows what's in the chapters ahead. He loves His characters.  He gave His life for His characters. Our story books are in the palm of His hand.  He knows us from cover to cover.  Although we are still in rough draft format here on earth, our final draft is being published in Heaven. There, He  will mend all our ripped pages and His words will never fade, Hallelujah! He is the Author, Editor (He does chastise us), and Publisher of LOVE Stories! May the library of Heaven be full!
What a marvelous, supreme Author! Never has there been nor could there ever be an equal or greater Author!

 "Author Unknown" are two of the saddest words to me now.

I am so thankful that I know the Author of my life!  

Like a Duck to Water

Today I let our ducks out to swim freely in the pond.  They took to it like ducks to water. Haha!
They are still enjoying it.  I can see them out of my window as I type.
Here are a few pictures.  You can tell by looking that they are having a wonderful time!

This picture turned out neat!






I hope they are easy to pen up this evening, because I haven't built their floating house yet.

















Our family's newest addition!
We can't wait to meet you!

I loved you from the very start, 
You stole my breath, embraced my heart. 
Our life together has just begun, 
You're part of me my precious son. 

As mother with child, each day I grew, 
My mind was filled with thoughts of you. 

I'd daydream of the things we'd share, 
Like late-night bottles and teddy bears. 
Like first steps and skinned knees, 
Like bedtime stories and ABC's. 

I thought of things you'd want to know, 
Like how birds fly and flowers grow. 
I thought of lessons I'd need to share, 
Like standing tall and playing fair. 

When I first saw your precious face, 
I prayed your life be touched with grace. 
I thanked the angels from above, 
And promised you unending love. 

Each night I lay you down to sleep, 
I gently kiss your head and cheek. 
I count your little fingers and toes, 
I memorize you eyes and nose. 

I linger at your nursery door, 
Awed each day I love you more. 
Through misty eyes, I dim the light, 
I whisper "I Love You" every night. 

I loved you from the very start, 
You stole my breath, embraced my heart. 
As mother and child our journey's begun, 
My heart's yours forever my precious son.
--Author Unknown


Friday, April 25, 2014

Contentment



Why, as women, are we always drawn into discontentment? Always desiring the bigger home, newer car, the nicer clothes?

I believe it's something of an 'Eve-syndrome', having the entire lovely lush garden at her disposal and she still could not say no to the forbidden fruit.

Contentment is vitally important to the Christian woman in so many ways. She is not out destroying the budget, she lives simply minding her own business, she is at peace because she is happy with what she has and not stirring up strife with her husband to get him to purchase things they cannot afford.

Contentment makes for a happy heart and home. Contentment can be seen in the eyes of the soul of a woman. It is so sad to see on the faces of woman the dissatisfied and restless look of discontentment. It is the joyous woman who is contented where the Lord has placed her as a mother raising children and delighted with the husband he appointed for her . If we are not careful the world can easily deceive us into thinking that we are not content. The world bombards us with ads, tv shows, magazines, ideas and agendas about why we need more and how we need to put ourselves first. If that is not a lie from the pit of hell, I don't know what is. But will we be so naive as to believe it?

Discontentment comes in so many areas we must be wise to it's sly, subtle attacks. You might be at a friends house and admire it and go home utterly discontented. You might be overwhelmed with your children and always think 'I need to get out of here.' You look into your closet and see nothing to wear. You look at your church and wish that the people were different. You look into your purse and wish you had more money. You look at your husband and wish he were different....when will the madness end?

It ends here.

We will no longer entertain silly and foolish thoughts that hinder us and those we love. Instead, we choose to be sober-minded women who take up our cross and lay down our lives (and minds) for Christ for their is true beauty in that. We cannot influence the world for God's glory if we are caught up in the ugliness of covetousness and discontentment. So we throw off that hinders and we trust in God and His provision over our lives and we train ourselves for godliness and contentment. --A Wise Woman

"But godliness with contentment is great gain." 1 Timothy 6:6

Yummy Snacks For Ducks


 After a day of swimming in the pond, our ducks enjoyed a special snack of strawberries.

 I gave them the end pieces and steams of some strawberries that I had cut up.  They loved it!

Here is a bit of information about treats for ducks from Fresh Eggs Daily.

Treats for ducks should be limited to no more than 10% of a duck's daily diet, although greens, such as weeds, cut grass, kale, chards, etc. can be fed in unlimited amounts. Chopped grass and weeds simply added to a tub of water will make your ducks very happy. 

All kinds of weeds and grasses will make healthy treats for ducks that they will love.
Ducklings can also eat anything on this list as long as the treat can be cut into very small pieces or is soft or mushy to prevent choking. The sooner you introduce baby ducks to a variety of foods, the more accepting they will be and the more apt to try new treats. I find that ducks in general will be more likely to eat foods that are cut up.

Of course when feeding anything to a duckling or grown duck, be sure they have access to plenty of fresh drinking water and they need grit (coarse dirt, pebbles or stones) to help them digest their food. 

Here are some of our ducks' favorite treats to give you some ideas:

FRUITS

Ducks enjoy many different types of fruits, but our ducks' three favorites are strawberries, blueberries and watermelon.
Ducks will eat strawberries whole or sliced, tops and all.
Watermelon can be served cut in half, sliced or in cubes. 

VEGETABLES
I know tomatoes are technically a fruit, but I put them here with our ducks' favorite veggies, along with cucumbers, peas, broccoli and corn.
Cucumbers can be fed sliced, halved or diced, skins and all.
Fresh, frozen or canned (rinse the salt off) peas are fine, however dried peas or beans are toxic.
Corn can be fed raw, cooked or on the cob.
Ducks love broccoli raw or cooked and will eat the florets, leaves and stalks.

GRAINS
Whole grains are better than other grains for ducks. 
Brown rice is more nutritious than white rice and should be cooked first.
Ducks love raw or cooked old-fashioned oats.

PROTEIN
Favorite proteins include dried or live meal worms, earthworms, slugs, minnows or feeder fish and shrimp shells.
                          

TOXIC TREATS

The foods listed below can be hazardous or toxic to your ducks in large enough amounts. They can cause severe health problems or death. If you have given your ducks any of these treats and did not have a bad reaction, then you were lucky. Remember that ducks are prey animals and therefore instinctively hide symptoms of illness and you may not see any problems until a duck dies for no apparent reason, so best to steer clear of anything potentially dangerous. 

Some of these foods are only toxic in large amounts, others might not be toxic to all ducks, or only sometimes kill a duck, others can kill or cause health problems after repeated feedings. Bottom line, none are healthy for ducks and therefore should be avoided.

The following foods can be dangerous for ducks:

Crackers or any other salty, sugar-laden or fatty foods are bad for ducks, who gain weight easily. Added weight puts too much strain on their legs and can lead to problems walking. Ducks can also easily die of salt overdoses.

Citrus fruits (lemons, limes, grapefruit, oranges) are thought to interfere with calcium absorption and contribute to thin-shelled eggs. Citrus fruits can also cause acid reflux and stomach pain in ducks.

Bread can not only make your duck overweight if fed in large quantities, but can also lead to impacted crops which can be fatal. In limited amounts, whole grain breads are okay.

Mangoes can make ducks' throats itchy, as it does in some humans. If you do feed your ducks mango, watch them for any reaction. If they seem fine and enjoy it, then it's okay to feed to them.

Spinach interferes with calcium absorption and can reduce the amount absorbed by a duck's body, thereby causing egg binding in females, or soft-shelled eggs. Spinach is extremely nutritious but should be fed in limited amounts only.

Also limit the iceberg lettuce you feed your ducks since it has very little nutritional value and can cause diarrhea in large amounts. Far better choices are leafy greens such as cabbage, kale and collards.

Nuts and large seeds don't digest well and can cause choking or get stuck in the crop since ducks swallow their food whole. If you do feed nuts or seeds to your ducks, they should be ground first. Apple and cherry seeds are toxic so avoid those all together, as are peach and apricot pits.
For more about ducks, visit Fresh Eggs Daily.



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