Crop of Kids

A Mis­souri fam­ily sows seeds of faith and pur­pose in their adopted chil­dren.

Farm & Ranch Living - - CONTENTS - Story by Faith and Elizabeth Christophel At­lanta, Mis­souri

A Mis­souri cou­ple sows seeds of faith and pur­pose in their adopted chil­dren.

Wel­come to our Whispering Winds Ranch. I’m Faith, and my hus­band, Steve, and our adult daugh­ter, Elizabeth, work to­gether to raise our 16 adopted chil­dren. Our farm is home to a few Quar­ter Horses, a flock of lay­ing hens, two dairy goats, some sheep, and a few geese and ducks.

Much of each day is filled with var­i­ous farm chores, house­work, food preser­va­tion and home­school­ing. It’s hard work, but we have fun do­ing it to­gether as a fam­ily. And there is still plenty of time for sports and other ac­tiv­i­ties.

Ev­ery evening we wind down by study­ing the Bi­ble and singing God’s praises to­gether. This is a re­ward­ing life God has given us. We’re glad to share it with you.

Mon­day Elizabeth: I cooked a huge break­fast while Mama took one of the chil­dren to ther­apy. Then all the kids did oral book re­ports. In the af­ter­noon, we loaded a large wagon with hay to take to auc­tion. We’ll haul it there early to­mor­row. Tues­day Faith: Our load of hay was so big we could only go 20-25 miles an hour. It was so hi­lar­i­ous to plod down the high­way with a wagon of hay and a van­load of kids singing and laugh­ing. To­day made me long for sum­mer days. I vi­su­al­ized the kids whoop­ing and hol­ler­ing as they ran across the meadow to the hay fields, with the dogs leap­ing and bark­ing be­hind them.

Wed­nes­day Elizabeth: Fat snowflakes floated around our heads as we cut and stacked fire­wood. The older boys com­peted to see who could split logs the fastest. Then we had a ri­otous time sled­ding, but it felt good to warm our fin­gers and toes by the fire when we came home. Thurs­day Elizabeth: Af­ter break­fast and chores, it was time for the kids to hit the books. But the af­ter­noon was filled with our fa­vorite game, GaGa Ball. It’s a lit­tle like dodge­ball, but with a bouncy, foam ball.

Fri­day Elizabeth: I watched Grace and Ruth put the poul­try to bed in the barns tonight. While Ruth drove the geese and ducks from one side, our Aus­tralian shep­herd, Sky, herded from the other. Then she was off to help Grace with the chick­ens. Hooray for team­work! Satur­day Faith: To­day we vis­ited Good­will to buy clothes. So many won­der­ful gar­ments at great prices—each per­son came out with a large bag­ful. All the way home the kids chat­tered about what they would wear to church the next day. Sun­day Elizabeth: Three Sun­days a month our church holds a potluck af­ter the ser­vice—and to­day was one of them. I en­joyed the ex­tra time with friends dis­cussing what God has been teach­ing us. Af­ter lunch, we went back home to re­lax. It felt good to let the world roll by on a lazy Sun­day af­ter­noon.

Zach gives Leg­end a good brush­ing (above, left). Grace gath­ers some of the three dozen eggs it takes to feed the Christophel fam­ily each morn­ing (above, right). Luke re­flects by the farm’s fish­ing hole while Sky keeps watch (be­low, left). Zeb, Ruth...

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