Thursday, March 21, 2013

We've MOVED!!!

Hey everyone!

Just wanted to let you all know that we have moved our blog over to a Wordpress blog. Please join me over there!
Joy Light Life

Thanks everyone! Hope you are all having a beautiful Spring!!!
To God be the Glory.
Bethany Joy

Friday, March 15, 2013

My rather comical, unfinished, service dog training story

Hey everyone!

So I would just like to say that I have never claimed to be a dog trainer. I never desired to train dogs. I certainly never thought I would train a service dog. Service dog training takes roughly two YEARS to complete. This training comes from experts not horse training farm girls!
Well love will not only make you blind but it also makes you think you can do rather impossible things.  Daniel 'needs' a service dog, I will train a service dog. Simple right? Find a trainer, get them to help me train the dog, tada! It should be easy. Um, no.

So here is my rather comical, unfinished story of service dog training.
I picked out the perfect pup. Bought her the best dog food, which she refused to eat, a big ol comfy bed, which she used as a chew toy, and bought her a chew toy that she was not in the least bit interested in. This should have been my first sign that I didn't have it all figured out.
I went to California for three months and came back to find a full grow dog! Where was the puppy I left? Well she was right in front of me. This dog I came home to acted exactly like the puppy I left. Run by kissings, knocking people over (not realizing she was to big to jump on people now), impossible to walk on a leash, and just crazy. So I quickly signed up for petsmart obedience classes. Of course I checked to make sure they wouldn't interfere with the service dog training I hoped to have her complete. The trainer assured me it wouldn't. So we started those classes.
First class - Chloe tried to play with every dog in the store (which is quite a few). She slobbered the trainer's supplies while she wasn't looking. The other dog in the class tried to eat her. Oh and when the trainer tried working with her she completely zoned out. The trainer couldn't even lure her with a treat.. It was pitiful. Thankfully the next class was better. We slowly improved but the classes really weren't fit for a service dog. Way to laid back in the sense of training, and way to rushed in the sense of getting the dog to understand. It might be perfect for a pet but not for a working dog. I decided we would finish the class and end at that until I found a trainer (who I had been searching for day and night).
We actually missed her graduation... haha! I felt super bad about that but found it a wee bit funny.

I then started REALLY looking for a trainer. One man was had a bad record for stealing dogs and dog fighting, another was 85 years old and in bad health...really wish he would have been able to help though because he sounded perfect for the job. Everyone else simply told me know. What I was asking was unusual, unheard of, and just not allowed in their training programs. Impossible is what they would say. Impossible to train your own service dog, impossible to train a dog to be a service dog if it were not with the disabled person 100% of the time, impossible to work with a 2 year old boy, impossible.

The word impossible is what people often told me about Miracle. My trained, arabian gelding. Impossible to train your own horse, especially a horse like THAT. Haha, well it turns out this task was possible. Possible by a lot of prayer, God's grace, and amazing friends. If I could train my own horse without ever having a lesson before I could train my own service dog.

I still don't have a trainer but I do see God answering my prayers.
Service dogs wear a vest when they are working right? Well when you take this vest off they are off duty. They get to be almost like a normal dog.
I have been working with Chloe on this. Instead of using a vest I have simply been using her harness. Tonight she was running free, causing havoc, being her usual self when she ran by me. Now usually I would put her leash on, tie it around me as fast as possible, and then be dragged through the mud before putting her in her pen. This has been our routine for some time now.
TONIGHT though she ran up to me, let me put the leash on her and then proceeded to calmly walk with me around the farm. Politely greet my father (who she usually tackles), and then walk to her kennel. She finally got it! It was like our light bulb moment. As soon as I took the leash off she started up like her usual self bouncing around her pen as if to say, "I did it!"
To say I am proud of my pup is an understatement. I think we have just had a breakthrough! A miracle!

My tip to the unknowing person who thinks they should train a service dog.
1. Do not go out on a whim to do this. Study the breed of dog and what exactly you want to train the dog to do before trying to find a dog.
2. Do not buy the cutest dog buy the smartest, the one that matches the requirements for your service dog. As a puppy you kind of have to guess a little. My suggestion - don't get the craziest one of the litter!
3. Don't ever take Impossible for an answer. The word itself says, "I'm possible". With God all things are possible. With God an unsuspecting, horse training, farm girl can train a service dog.

So with that I end my unfinished, somewhat comical, service dog training story.
Have a great weekend!
To God be the Glory.
Bethany Joy

Monday, February 25, 2013

A "Fixer" And The Sovereignty Of God

What happens when you have a Tinker Bell personality and a Sovereign God? Well let me tell you my story, a story that continues today.

...He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ...
Philippians 1:6 
I find this to be so true in my life. I see Him working in me through so many different situations.
There was a time when if even a mouse (I enjoyed saving the little mice from our kitties when I was younger) died I would cry. When our first lamb died I was crushed, then our family milk cow died - crushed, then 4 kid goats died - you got it - crushed. Each time it was a lesson. I had such a hard time when each animal died because I couldn't control the situation. I wasn't in charge. God was NOT obeying me! How unfair, right? Haha..well I learned. Slowly, but I did. I finally learned that all I could do was my best and my best needed to start with God. I learned that each injured chicken and sick goat belonged to God and that He loved them too. I learned I could trust Him with the life of HIS creations.

...Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? 
Luke 12:6

He wasn't done though. Life involves a lot more than sick and injured livestock. As a lot of you know, Daniel Justice Wood came into our lives. You could say Daniel is the apple of my eye. God did some amazing things to bring Daniel into our lives. I am not sure if it is possible to  properly convey to you how much I love him...He is my little brother, he dances with me through the kitchen as I prepare meals, he hugs my neck as he slowly drifts to sleep, he smiles and waits for me to kiss his forehead before nap time, when I call his name his blue eyes light up and sparkle...I know he loves me too. He does this with each of my family members.
Daniel was born with Duchenne's muscular dystrophy though. We knew this when we brought Daniel into our home but I don't think I really understood how DMD would make such an impact. Well, DMD didn't change anything - Daniel changed EVERYTHING. How could God create a child that would change my life so completely and then give that same little boy a deadly thing like DMD? What was I going to do if/when Daniel went back to Jesus? How was I going to react when Daniel could no longer walk? What was I going to do? Questions like this bothered me...haunted me. Each day God has chiseled at my heart, slowly, carefully, lovingly. He was being faithful even when doubt surrounded me.
He reminded me of Joy (our milk cow), the wounded livestock, the goats, and every other little animal that I had ever cared for. He was faithful then, why would I question Him now?
 ...Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. 
Matthew 10:29-31
Is this not true? I found myself looking through the Bible and actually looking for God not for pretty sounding words. Not for what I wanted to hear but for what He wanted to tell me. I started looking for a relationship with Christ. As I did this, I found God showing me that He had a plan for everyone's life. Just because there is a diagnosis doesn't mean He isn't still the same sovereign God he was before the diagnosis. I learned that everyone's life is numbered. He opened my eyes. I was being selfish and prideful.
I am happy to say that nearly 2 years later I can say "thy will be done", and mean it. Daniel hasn't gotten healthier, but God hasn't changed either. God is a sovereign God who we can trust with the simplest and most urgent matters. Nothing is too big for our God.
God doesn't have to heal Daniel. God's plans are better than mine. I may not understand them completely but I can confidently say that I don't have to fix this. This situation doesn't need pixie dust or a fairy tale ending because God already has it under control. I know He will let me know when I need to move.

Thank God we do not have to "fix" things ourselves! Thank God that He is sovereign! Thank God that He is God!

To God be the Glory.
Bethany Joy

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Spring Lambs and Beginnings

We had our first surprise lambs this week! Such cuties..
Elisha, my older brother, is their shepherd. He cares for all our sheep and recently decided to start selling them to the company our family hauls for (Azure Standard). We are excited about this for him! Although this new business adventure is all Elisha's, he has allowed me to work along side him in search for pastures, equipment, and livestock. It is such an honor to help my big brother as he gets started with this work. He is a wonderful caretaker of all our livestock.
When I returned from California last fall he informed me he had found a herd of sheep he was considering purchasing. Because he was going to leave to California that next week I needed to help make sure the sheep were of good breeding quality and that sort of thing. My mother and I went out to visit the farmer who had raised this herd and he shared with us about his livestock and how he raised them. It was very nice getting to know him a little! He was very helpful and after several phone calls we decided to purchase the sheep.
Elisha was pleased with them when he returned home. We both agreed he needed a border collie to help herd the sheep though so we started that search. My sister actually found out about a breeder that had a couple pups for sale. We were excited and after visiting the man we brought home a fluffy fur ball of energy. Cara loves Elisha! It is so sweet to watch the little pup and her master work with the sheep.
Like I said, this week we had our first lambs born. Although they needed a little help at first, momma and ramling are now doing well. We were surprised at how early they were born and are now anxiously awaiting the arrival of the rest of the lambs. If Elisha and I are right we should have 40 lambs this spring! How exciting...I can hardly wait! Cara (Elisha's pup) is watching that momma and lamb like a hawk. She loves he job and I would be surprised if she let those two out of her sight for more than a minute. ;-)

Looking forward to many more happy beginnings this year! 
To God be the Glory.
Bethany Joy

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Horse training, dog training, and everything else...

Chloe has the habit of running off with no thought for the poor human that will have to try and catch her. Or perhaps she has put a lot of thought into this and enjoys the chase? Hm, I don't know. Either way, it takes a lot of work to catch that fluffy pup! A couple nights ago I decided to just open the gate and willingly let her run around like crazy while I fed the horses. She actually stayed. Didn't run off without me. Just STAYED! It was rather nice for a change. I told her "okay let's go" and she took off like I had expected she would. As I fed the horses Chloe would run around to me and see what I was doing. When I finished I called Chloe and she nearly knocked me over! I can be happy she came though. What a good pup! We plan to take our Good Citizen Test later this year. Our trainer thinks we have a good chance of passing! :-)

Miracle is getting to be a "old" horse. 12 or 13 years old now...Where did the time go?! Well, I haven't been able to ride the silly old horse because his bridle broke in the pasture. I'll be getting that fixed soon so that we can start riding again. I sure can't wait for those summer day horse rides and playing in his water trough!
Promise is also doing good. She insist on covering herself in mud or anything else that she finds any chance that she gets. What an odd little thing! It is fun to see how different my horses are. Miracle is rather spooky when it comes to certain things (like his shadow, the dark, anything that resembles cardboard, haha!) while Promise will gladly play with the tarps and conquer anything she sees as a challenge! This is good and bad. Good, because she doesn't bolt at the sight of a trash bag blowing in the wind. Bad because sometimes she thinks I am a challenge! I often wonder what have I gotten myself into but then she comes up and nuzzles me with her soft nose and I think it is all worth it. ;-)

My trips to VA, KY, TN, and Cincinnati Ohio are coming up. What are your traveling tips? I am so excited about these trips! We will be going to the Derby, several other events, and the creation museum. My mother and I will go to VA for a homeschooling/online marketing conference and then do some touring. I am pretty excited. I'll make sure to keep you all updated on my travels! It is bound to be eventful!

Have a great week.
To God be the Glory.
Bethany Joy

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Big Chair

It's been a really great week. It started with the birth of Emily Constance Yohn (my niece). She is just precious! Bekah and Jacob are so proud of their little girl. I don't think she could be any more perfect! She also has the most adorable pouting face. ;-) 

So that's how our week started . The next morning I woke up to the phone ringing. I then realized that Jacob was at home with his wife and baby girl...then I realized that the phone wasn't going to stop ringing until I either unplugged it or answered the call. I figured answering the call would be the best way to go. ;) Jacob will be out of the office for another week or so which means I get the "big chair" all to myself! I don't have to share. YAY! Well actually, I am really just enjoying getting to know our new customers. They are more like friends than customers (the chair is just like a bonus). My mother says "99% of our customers are the best people America has to offer. The other 1% are people that make us better." It is really true! Lucky for me, I haven't ran into any of that 1%! Everyone has been so happy for Jacob (they kind of like talking to him so I had to explain why he was gone) and really friendly to me. I have even been able to set some of our customers up with new drops. It is always a good day when I can call a customer with good news and let them know their drop was approved! 

I am not sure if I will let Jacob back into the office. He might have to fight for his chair back... and his desk. I really like his desk! ;-) 

My work is calling me back
To God be the Glory. 
Bethany Joy

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Dog training, Horse training, and everything else

Since coming home I have gotten back in my routine of training the horses and my playful pup. So, I thought I'd update you on what I've been up to. 
Miracle- Really surprised me and has mellowed out a ton. My feisty Arabian is finally growing up. It is good to see that the work I have put into him has paid off. He does not tolerate my playful pup well so I will be working with him on that but I plan to ride later today! :-)

Promise- ah, where to start... She is a sassy little thing! She has a good heart but that only goes so far. I will be working with her on showing more respect and preparing her for the saddle work I plan to do with her when the spring rolls around. 

Chloe- Still as much a puppy as ever. She is now 65 lbs! The ladies at the vet office love watching her grow but couldn't believe she had grown so much since we were last in there. 
Yesterday, I took her to obedience training. She is totally A.D.D but that's okay.  She knew everything because I had already taught her those basic rules but she was to distracted to actually do what I was asking. So, I will be working on getting her to focus a little more before our class next week. I am super excited to see where this goes! 
Chloe checking out the trainer's supplies while she isn't looking. Smart dog! ;-) 

Yesterday we also found Elisha the border collie he has been looking for! It is so sweet to watch them together. It is a little girl who is currently nameless. He is working on finding her the perfect name. This morning "nameless" helped Elisha do his morning chores and followed him everywhere he went. She is not a fan of Chloe but that is fine because nameless is going to be a working dog and really just needs to bond with Elisha. 
Elisha has started his sheep business and will be selling to Azure. We are all pretty excited for him! I am hoping this dog will be a good help to Elisha as he cares for his flocks. He is a wonderful shepherd!

Elisha and Nameless