Monday, December 15, 2008

The cast of characters

Since I'm going to be talking about my family in many of my blog posts, I thought it would be expedient to introduce everyone that lives here.

My wife, Anne, and I have been married for over eighteen years. She's a great blessing in my life for which I am very thankful. God has blessed us with four wonderful children. They have all been born at home, the last two here on the homestead. Jessica will be 12 in January. She loves horses and has a great interest in drawing. She has quite a few drawing books she spends time with working on her drawing skills. She also loves to read. She does a lot to help with the jobs and chores around the house and in the garden. I hope to acquire a horse for her benefit sometime within the next two years. I think it would be good for her. She has ridden Josey, our cow, but only when I was leading Josey. Besides, that's not quite the same.

Our middle children are our boys. The older is Ramiah. He's 7-1/2 years old. He has a lot of creative ideas and loves machinery and tools. He loves to build things when he has the opportunity. Malchiah is our third child. He just turned five in November. He is energetic, generous, and loves to have fun. He's been my helper since he was just a little guy, and he still loves to be with me doing chores or when I'm out working. If the work involves using a tractor or other machinery, Ramiah also clamors to be with me. It's really something watching these boys grow into young men. I pray that I can guide them as they need.

Our youngest is Naomi Shalom. She'll be three in March. She's a curly-headed little darling, cute as can be and knows it. She's almost always happy and spoils me rotten. She too wants to go do chores with daddy. If she doesn't get to go she is mightily disappointed. She loves to help around the house.

Anne, my beautiful wife, does so much to keep us going. She takes good care of me and our children. She oversees most of the food preservation. In fact, she canned nearly a thousand quarts of food this last summer and fall. In previous years we froze a lot of the food we harvested, but this year we tried canning most of it. Next year we intend to dry as much as possible. She's also the one who does the bulk of the homeschooling of our children. She does so much, and I appreciate her greatly. She has quite a knack at finding good deals at thrift shops and on Ebay.

I'm Darryl. I do a lot of different things around here. I take care of the animals, which right now consists of a cow and her calf and half a dozen turkeys. We have had goats and chickens until this last summer, and we'll probably have more again in another year or so. I'm building our house, a timber frame with strawbale walls. You can read about that project in my other blog, Cedar Ridge Farm. I mow, rake, and bale our own hay and cut firewood among other things. My income generating job is teaching an online class for Illinois State University. It doesn't produce much income, but it is enough to pay bills and allow me to be at home to do my real job. I'm blessed with this opportunity because of the 26 years I spent in school from Kindergarten through my Ph.D.
My parents, Garry and Connie, live about 200 feet from our house on the farm. When we bought the property, there was an unfinished, one-bedroom cabin the previous own had started. It was enclosed and had electricity, but that was about it. We mentioned to my parents that this was for them, and dad grabbed ahold of that idea like a bulldog on a bone. They moved down here from Illinois the spring after we moved, rented a house in town, and remodeled and finished their house. It's a blessing having them here. Dad helps me with many different jobs that I need help with with, like baling hay and working on our house. You can probably read about some of them on his blog. I help him as I can, too. Mom does her best to spoil our children, and they encourage her in that endeavor, I'm afraid.

A friend of mine from college, Danny D. Smith, also lives here. Danny and I met and became friends in 1987 when we both worked in the kitchen at Ambassador College in Pasadena, California. We kept in contact after we both graduated. After we moved here, he sold his home in the Raleigh, NC, area and moved her in the spring of 2004. He bought a small double-wide mobile home and put it across the driveway from our home. He takes care of his mom who lives with him. Our children love Uncle Danny. You'll often find one of the boys or Naomi (or all three) with him, using his tools or trying to "help" him. He enjoys our children and is very generous with them.



Yay! Kid pictures!

You've got quite a nice looking crew there.

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