Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A birthday and a Name day.

Five years ago today I was cozy in bed just barely starting my ninth month of pregnancy when I was a awakened by a warmth that shouldn't be there. I quickly realized that my water broke, but it was 4 weeks too early. That didn't matter little boy Ferrenberg was wanting out. He originally was due on August 24th with a c-section scheduled (won't get into that) for August 20th the feast of Prophet Samual...he was to be Samuel.
I drove myself to the hospital as we weren't expecting this and needed child care for the other children. James joined me just in time, I was already in the OR numb. He walked in and whispered "Today is the Feast of St. Joseph of Arimathea." Joseph Mark was born 10 minutes later! There was no question about the new choice, it fit perfect. Just about 3 or so months earlier I had signed up to read at the tomb on Holy Friday night for one hour. The folks that signed up after me never showed up, but I didn't realize it until someone did show up and it was not them. I ended up reading at the tomb of Christ for 2 hours that night, just as I'm sure Joseph of Arimathea spent many hours at the tomb of Christ. So "Joseph" was meant to be.
Today my baby boy is FIVE years old! He has grown so quickly into a handsome little boy full of energy, curiosity and sweetness.
Oh most Holy St. Joseph please pray unto God for Joseph.
The Noble Joseph,
When he had taken down Your most pure Body from the tree,
Wrapped it in fine linen and anointed it with spices,
And placed it in a new tomb.
But You did rise on the third day, O Lord,
Granting the world great mercy.
May God grant you many years my sweet boy.

Friday, July 27, 2007

A week at the farm!

What a busy week we have had here on St. Brigid Farm.
On Sunday, July 20th, my sister and her family arrived by train. She is married with 3 children, ages are 7dd, 9ds, and 13dd. On Tuesday morning James left for Uganda. He's had quite a week already and has some amazing thoughts he's shared on this blog, about on his experiences so far. Also on Tuesday morning my mom arrived on the train (just 3 1/2 hours late) to spend the weeks with me while James is away. She felt blessed to have her 7 grandchildren together. These 7 haven't seen each other in 4 years. Here are some pictures of our week together.

Me, my mom and my sister, Shari.

We went to Point No Point Lighthouse Beach park at the very tip of Kitsap Peninsula yesterday. The weather was gorgeous and the kids had a blast digging in the sand and splashing about.

Joseph would at times go off and dig alone. He was concentrating so on his creation.

This was taken at the Dungeness Recreation Area in Sequim. Shortly after we ate lunch in the SUN this funky fog rolled in and covered the sky. But it was only out over the beach area. It was weird. It didn't stop the kids. From left we have Nicholas, Remington, Joseph, Aubrey, Kelsey, Charissa and Denae.

This is a city boy milking a goat for the first time. He said, "It feels like a balloon filled with air."

Things will now settle down for a bit. Having a house full of 7 children for 6 days sure makes having JUST 4 a very mellow thing. Funny how that works.
Oh, yeah...they were able to stay in our guest house!!! The first family to overnight in the cabin. It has windows, doors, a roof and is caulked and sealed. Kind of like a glorified wooden tent. It worked out great!
Who's next?

One more thing....I took this picture yesterday specifically to send to James in Uganda. It turned out nice. I like the b&w.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My dear hubby is on his way half-way around the world.
I will miss him.

Please keep him in your prayers for safety in travel and health.
Please pray for me as I won't have him here to be my rock and partner as a parent.
(I won't be completely alone. My mom arrives today to be with us for a month. Yeah!)

My prayer is that our family will grow to love each other more during his absence.

Lord Jesus, You traveled with the two disciples after the resurrection and set their hearts on fire with Your grace. Travel also with James and gladden his heart with Your presence. I know, Lord, that he is a pilgrim on this earth, seeking the citizenship which is in heaven. During his journey surround him with Your holy angels and keep him safe from seen and unseen dangers. Grant that he may carry out his plans and fulfill his expectations according to Your will. Help him to see the beauty of creation and to comprehend the wonder of Your truth in all things. For You are the way, the truth and the life, and to You I give thanks, praise and glory forever. Amen

Farm life will not be put on hold. We continue to get over 1/2 gallon of milk a day and 16+ eggs a day.
The sun is FINALLY shining and the garden is going to go crazy growing after all that rain.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Feast of St. Elizabeth the New Martyr
Hierarchal Divine Liturgy on our Patronal Feast day and the tonsuring of the new
Reader James.


James with Subdeacon Gideon(on left) and Subdeacon Elias (right).
Subdeacon Elias is from Uganda! How appropriate is that?


The newly tonsured Reader James debuts with a special reading. It's really neat actually. After the prayers the Bishop sets the book on his head for a brief second. Then opens it up to a page and points out a scripture to read.

Reader James with Bishop BENJAMIN

It was a really beautiful service with many clergy present and many visitors.
Hieromonk Tryphon from All-Merciful Savior Monastary on Vashon Island was present. This is really neat because it's the first time the Bishop has ever served with him and it's just now they can. (The Bishop mentioned they've known each other for 18 years.) Also, Fr. John from Holy Resurrection, and Fr. Nicholas from St. Herman. There were a couple other clergy behind the altar but I didn't recognize them and they didn't serve.
It was wonderful!

Oh, Most Holy St. Elizabeth please pray to God for us.

Emulating the Lord's self-abasement on the earth,
You gave up royal mansions to serve the poor and disdained,
Overflowing with compassion for the suffering.
And taking up a martyr's cross,
In your meekness
You perfected the Saviour's image within yourself,
Therefore, with Barbara, entreat Him to save us all, O wise Elizabeth.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Record Breaker

This morning I milked and got a record breaking amount of milk...for me. I also broke a record yesterday, so 3 days in a row her milk has increased.
This morning I got just a hair over 5 pounds!!! ( I really would love a scale with ounces between the pounds.) Just to give you some perspective, there are approximately 8 pounds per gallon.
I think she may be starting to wean Butter which might be the reason for the increase. Maybe Butter isn't suckling much in the evenings which would make Firefly fuller. I've noticed that Butter actually goes into her stall all by herself each evening, 3 nights in a row, to eat her grain. I used to have to chase her around and dart after her until I caught her to drag her to her stall to separate them at night. Now she just goes.
My free evenings might be gone soon. I stopped milking in the evenings because I wasn't getting anything because of Butter. I'll start watching her for engorgement in the evenings now.
I better get busy and get my cheese making skills working on a regular basis. I also have been reading a lot about goat milk soap making.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Happy Birthday to my Sweet, Sweet Charissa!

Today Charissa Joyce turns 8! To my sweetest redhead!
May God Grant You Many Years!!!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Dangerour Boys Day

This afternoon the girls (the 2 little ones) left the farm to spend the night at a cousins for a birthday party. Daddy announced it was a boys night. So they took out the Dangerous Book For Boys and chose a project. Nicholas really wanted to make a catapult but the book didn't give instructions for that so they settled on a bow and arrow set. Dad went hunting for the perfect stick for a bow and Nicholas and I hunted for arrows. After some wood shaving and tying string we got a pretty good set made. Nicholas loved it. He spent quite awhile practicing and at one point I walked outside and dad said, "He's scary good." A longer arrow was needed so he could stretch further. He was awesome! And loved it!


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Happenings at St. Brigid Farm

I canNOT believe that it has been over 2 weeks since my last update! Crazy!

Today, for many days now, we've been dealing with hot temps. My thermometer on the northside of the house in the shade says 90. Unfortunately, the rest of the house and property are in the sun and it is not 90. Yes, many of you may being saying "wimp" but what you don't know is that in Western WA no one has AC. It's unheard of unless you run down to Home Depot to grab something to stick in your window, which I am sure many do. When I moved out here from Minnesota 13 years ago I couldn't believe none of the apartments had wall AC's. The one thing I am thankful for is very low humidity. I'm also thankful for plenty of water and a big pool the kids bought with their own money.
The garden really loves it and is growing well. This afternoon a put out a soaker hose on the beans, peas and tomatoes. They'll be thankful. I wish I had more.
The animals are tolerating. Until the afternoon the chickens huddle under a very small section of shade and as it grows they slowly move out. The pasture seed I'm trying to grow in the other half of there run isn't doing well. I water it daily(or more) but it's just too hot. The goats have it the easiest. There barn is the coolest place on the property. It's on the south part of the property and behind it are LOTS of trees. It gets no sun, only their pasture areas gets sun first thing in the morning and later in the day.
I'm down to milking just once a day as Butter is drinking too much during the day to have any for me. That's just fine! I've been reading a lot about once-a-day milking. It's really possible and makes it easier. I'm getting 1/2 gallon a day and it's too much for our family so I'm learning to make cheese. I really need to make it right now if it wasn't soo warm in the house. When it says to hang at room temperature I wonder if that means 90+ degree room temperature?

Not farm related but exciting non-the-less, James will be tonsured a reader next Wednesday, a week from today. His cassock arrived in the mail yesterday from Holy Nativity Convent! They are so wonderful! I called many places and no one could have it done for me in time and many were 8+ weeks out. They had it done in less than 4! And it is lovely! Some of you may be joining us for the festivities, if you are, note that the service starts at 9:30AM and NOT 10:00AM. We are not sure where in there the tonsuring will take place it depends on His Grace Bishop BENJAMIN. It WILL be before the actual Divine Liturgy takes place, but it's either between the 3rd & 6th hours or immediately before any of the hours. Please pray for cool weather!!! In the OCA the Reader vests for reading the epistle so James will have his clothes, his cassock AND altar vestments(just for the reading though).

Not quite a week after his tonsuring James will board a plane for Uganda, Africa. He's talked about it here and here. Please pray for safe travels. Also, that the entire Ferrenberg clan will grow during our separation, the longest we've ever had. And that I can be a successful, loving single mother for 3 weeks. It will be hard. In the last few weeks I've gained a much deeper appreciation for those who leave their families behind for months on end to serve in the military. I can't imagine. So I'm trying really hard not to be a big baby!

Back to trying to cool down, clean for company and serve cold drinks to the kids(who just got out of the pool).

Friday, July 06, 2007


To my dear friend, Dawn!
May God grant you many more!!
We love you!

(go say happy birthday to Dawn)