Sunday, December 29, 2013

Special Memories

Trying for a family picture on a nicer day.

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Caleb showing off his custom made pillow from Uncle Preston!

Elyssia posing in front of the doll house that Daddy and her brothers built for the girls.

Caleb painting his box.

Kiersten and Elyssia painting their boxes.

Other fun activities this week included family devotions, singing Christmas hymns, reading books, enjoying delicious food, building Legos, Preston baking with Kiersten, learning how to knit, marshmallow gun fights that got quite crazy:), naps(a must have for this mama), learning how to play new board games, enjoying some old favorites and so much more. It was a wonderful week. All of the family headed out on Saturday.

The funeral on Saturday went pretty well. I went with my father in law and our two oldest children. There were quite a few people that we knew and many that we didn't. Scott was able to share how Russ got saved and we're praying that others will want to do the same. It's amazing how a person's testimony can have an impact long after they're gone. We pray the Lord would use it in a wonderful way.

Today was spent trying to get back into our normal routine, without all the extra adults. It's always a bit of a challenge for the kids to go from having so many to talk to and do stuff with, to just having mom and dad again. It wasn't too bad. There were a couple little people melt downs, but they're starting to settle down and it will soon be time for our devotions and bedtime. I'll admit that I'm looking forward to getting some sleep tonight. Hopefully everyone will sleep well and we can start back with school tomorrow. So many things to thank the Lord for as we say goodbye to 2013. We look forward to seeing what the Lord has for us in the New Year!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Not sorrowing as those that have no hope...

This morning Scott got a phone call that our friend with Lou Gehrig's disease passed away last night. We'd spent the Saturday before last at the Manor with him, since he'd requested our family come for their Christmas party. He was definitely looking like it was hard to hold his head up and eating was even more of an effort for him than usual. He'd already lost the ability to lift up his arm to feed himself, but the swallowing was painfully slow. He smiled a couple times at the kids and if he'd been able to talk I'm sure he'd have loved to interact with them. We really don't realize how blessed we are to have the gift of speech and full use of our bodies until those abilities are lost. Many of us don't experience that, but I've had it in small doses during pregnancy, unexpected numbness, tendonitis, ears plugging, but it's nothing compared to the losses of our friend. The remarkable thing is that he told Scott he was actually thankful for getting the disease because he truly believed he wouldn't have gotten saved otherwise. In light of this last truth, I was praying that God wouldn't leave him to suffer too much longer. I was thinking this would be his last Christmas with us, but was a bit surprised that it happened before Christmas. The kids expressed thankfulness that Mr. "R" wouldn't have to suffer anymore, that he'd be able to walk and talk again. Caleb said, "and he gets to wear a white robe too!" So, amidst this Christmas season, we experience the loss of a friend, but don't sorrow as those that have no hope. We rejoice in the truth that he's with the Lord and look forward to seeing him again in Heaven. Please be in prayer for his funeral. We're quite sure that there will be a lot of people there and the majority of them are not saved. PLEASE pray that souls will be saved and lives will be changed because of "R's" testimony. He didn't live a life for the Lord, but the Lord can use his death to reach those that we'd never come in contact with otherwise. Please pray for his family as they have all the responsibilities of the funeral to go through during this Christmas season. The funeral will be after Christmas, but it's still going to take up much of their time and thoughts. Please pray for Scott and I that we will have wisdom in knowing how to help them and that God will give them the comfort that only He can give. That the Lord would give Scott wisdom and boldness at the funeral and that God's Word would not return void.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Back into the deep freeze we go...

It was nice to have the temperature up for a couple days, but it looks like we're dropping back down. Today was -19 and I was told that it's supposed to be -24 or colder by the weekend. So, lots of warm quilts, snuggling the kids and staying inside:).

Today I had one of my last dr. Appts. for this baby. I'm thankful to have the unpleasant Strep B test done. I was so relieved to have it done that I forgot to ask the Dr. to see if he thought the baby was head down. I'll have one more appt. after at the beginning of the New Year and I'm pretty sure baby will be down by then. It's always nice to have a confirmation that the baby isn't breech though.

After the Dr. Appt. I had some groceries to pick up from Extra Foods. They recently started a rewards card program that sounded like it would be a really good thing. Unfortunately it has some big glitches and has been more of a frustration to the store and its' customers. I'm really hoping they get it figured out soon so that we can start saving money again instead of unexpectedly paying full price. I found out today that they were planning to do away with their family sale day, but thankfully there were a lot of people that vocalized their displeasure and it will be brought back next month. It makes a huge difference to our family food budget, so I'm thankful that others who found out about it spoke up. I'm really not one for confrontation and it was hard for me to ask to talk to a manager, but it was the only option I had left. I'd tried going through the website and also calling a rep for the card issues. I truly thought it was resolved, but found out today that more was needed. So, we have the groceries needed for our company, but I'll have to leave the next big shopping day up to Scott. Hopefully they have things worked out by then...

It might get a bit quiet on my blog for the next couple weeks. We'll be having family here and getting ready for the new baby. Busy, but fun times!

Merry Christmas to all our family and friends around the world that read the blog!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A touch of the flu?

I'm really hoping it's just me. Last night I wasn't feeling so good when I went to bed. I tossed and turned for a couple hours and finally got up to run a bath around 1 am. I thought it might be relaxing and help me to sleep. I've been having these late(or early) hour baths ever since my knee was hurt and they usually help. About 10 minutes later I was grabbing a bucket to empty my stomach contents. I was hoping that was it and got out to see about going to sleep. About an hour later I lost the last of my stomach's contents and was finally able to fall asleep. I'm a bit slower this morning, but not feeling like last night. It reminded me how thankful I am not to have been doing this from the beginning of the pregnancy. I'm also thankful that today marks the one month point to my due date. It could be sooner or later, but it's nice to have arrived at that point. The end is in sight and we're really looking forward to meeting this little one!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Addie's Vocabulary

Is finally growing! She will try to say whatever we do, but there are some pretty funny ones that she's picked up from her siblings. When something unexpected happens she says, "awww man!". She loves fruit-nanas, apps, owanges, etc... It's hard to keep any in the house once she finds out they're on the counter. She will point at pictures in a book and say, "appy!". Yes, anyone that is smiling must be happy:). She can say eyes, nose, ears, mouth, chin, knee, and my favorite, "eBow" She had her elbow and wrist confused for a little while, but it's super cute to listen to her figure out this talking thing. She can identify animals and sounds and loves to play with the ones we have. She asks daily for "snow" and loves to eat it. She has favorite songs during family devotions and loves to go "boom" like Goliath and fall down. She usually does it halfway through the song, but it really does speed things up:) She's indicating that she's ready to potty train because she will take off her own diaper and sit on the toilet or say stinky and pull at her diaper. She really doesn't have the timing of it down though, so we're not rushing her. We take her when she wants to go and we'll see how it goes once the baby is born. I didn't want to put all the effort into it only to have her go backwards once the baby was born and have to start all over. She loves books and can identify most things when asked. I understand the biblical advice of not comparing ourselves because she did take longer than a couple siblings, but we're enjoying her version of the English language as the Lord gives her the ability to use it:).

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


I'm quite sure that word describes perfectly what we're trying to do this week. Last week we were out almost every day of the week for different things we'd volunteered for, but it was really way too cold. This week has warmed up slightly, but we're staying warm at home. Cleaning up areas we've neglected, washing laundry, trying to get ahead with the schoolwork and trying not to let the kids extra energy drive us crazy:).

Sunday was really cold and we looked forward to getting inside the nice warm church. We noticed upon entering that it "wasn't" much warmer than outside... Thus began the investigation of the furnace. We found no obvious reason for it's lack of warmth and called the furnace guys. They were at another "winter emergency" and said they'd come around 12. We had a cozy service downstairs, hoping to keep a bit warmer and it worked as long as we kept our hats, coats, gloves and boots on:). Overall it ended up being quite a nice day. We had wonderful food and fellowship and everyone went home cheerful:). That evening we were scheduled for the Caleb Village Hymn Sing. I was thinking that I might be too tired, but the two younger girls and I took a wonderfully long nap in the afternoon and felt refreshed enough to go as a family one last time before the baby's birth. I'm very thankful that we did. The kids were exceptionally well behaved and everyone enjoyed visiting with them. I give all the credit to the Lord. We have lots of normal days with the kids not getting along, etc.., but this was not one of those days and we thank the Lord for it. We're thankful for the opportunity to have a ministry to the older generation and pray that they're blessed as much as we are by our monthly visits.

Other than that we've not had a lot of excitement. Scott found the chickens picking on one with a bit of blood and brought it inside. Thankfully it was not let down to wander or anything. The kids thought it was really neat and Scott kept it inside while deciding where to put it to keep it separate from the others. He found a solution and will be checking on it this morning to see how it fared all by itself. The animals are all doing quite well with the cold weather, which makes me think we're quite "soft" as the caretakers for keeping things so warm wherever we go:).

I can hardly believe that it's just 2 weeks til Christmas. We're really looking forward to spending time with the family!

Friday, December 6, 2013


It was -33 out today and I think they said it was close to -50 with the windchill. It was super cold last night when we took our van in to the dealership because the defrost quit working. We volunteered last month to help out at the Salvation Army Table and today was the big day. Elyssia and I had a 4 hour slot and Scott had a 3 hour slot. Thankfully Scott called in the middle to say that they found the problem with the van and I could pick it up when I was done. It all came down to our number one arch enemy on the farm. A MOUSE! It had built a nest in the air filter, which blocked it from defrosting. There are still things to be thankful for, in spite of paying the unexpected diagnosis cost. It could have been much worse and cost a lot more, if new parts were needed, which would require extra labor costs. So, Elyssia and I finished up, switched vehicles, went to the farm, picked up Scott and the other kids, headed back to town and dropped him off so that he could take the car over to Walmart. We then headed to get some hamburgers for supper, back to drop some off for Scott, then back to the gas station to fill up the van before heading home. I'm EXTREMELY thankful to be at home in our nice warm house now! It was quite cold at Walmart. Each time the doors opened it would let in the cold. We wore our coats the whole time and our gloves off and on throughout the 4 hours. Once again, I have something to be thankful for. The Salvation Army bell ringers in some places have to stand outside with the bells and pot. We at least got to be on the inside of the store and sit down:). I'm not sure how I would have stood for 4 hours in the freezing cold. Frostbite would have been bad:(. So, I'm off to put some little ones to bed and get under the quilts. Scott gets to come home in another hour and I'm sure he'll be more than happy to steal all the quilts:). Off to have a great rest of the weekend!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Yes, you read that right. It got down to -24 today. I think it's going to get even colder tonight, but we'll be warm under our quilts:). Today we finished up our Christmas baking. There were snickerdoodles, shortbread, lemon crinkles, peanut butter cookies with Hershey's kisses, blueberry muffins and mint brownies. Don't worry about us eating it all though. We'll be making up plates soon and delivering them to neighbors, etc... I wasn't sure how much longer I'd have this much energy, so we also built a snow"man"? The snow was powdery and we weren't able to get 2 extra balls for stacking, so we named him our snow"humpty".

Scott was able to finish up the basement job in town, but had a Christmas gathering tonight. He came home to change, read Sugar Creek Gang and head back out. It was still quite early, so I got to be the "fun" parent tonight:). I let the kids watch a couple Chilly Willie episodes. Not sure what the kids see in them, but they sure think it's funny:). There are a couple little girls having trouble falling asleep, but it should be quiet pretty soon. All in all, a very good day!

Better late than never...

Here are a couple pics from Garrison and Addie's birthdays last month.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

On the third day...

We received the gift of lots of snow! Scott and Caleb shoveled the driveway and it really wasn't all that bad. We really enjoy the first couple months of snow because it covers the ground like a wonderful quilt. I know that we'll tire of it eventually, but it's nice as long as it doesn't hamper travel for church and work. Scott was able to get out to work and had a fairly productive day. Hopefully just one more day of sanding before he can declare this job complete.

The kids and I had another fairly good day. There were crazy moments and not everyone got along, but overall I have much to be thankful for. We were able to finish the last load of laundry and head onto more enjoyable things:). Today we made rice krispie treats, samoa bars, grasshopper bark and russian tea cakes! The nice thing about baking is that when I do a lot of it I'm not really tempted to eat that much. I'm too busy making and cleaning up and too tired to think about it once I'm done for the day. The kids are getting to be more helpful each year and it was especially nice to let them unwrap all the caramels for the baking instead of sitting there doing it myself.

Garrison had a late spelling test. I was supposed to give it to him last Friday, but it got put off with all the busyness. He brought me the book and before I started we realized that he had looked at the wrong list last week. I told him to look over list 12 and we'd see how it went. I'm truly convinced that when it comes to reading-He has a photographic memory. He doesn't seem to have it with Math, but the other subjects come easily. He aced the spelling test after looking through it only one time! Amazing! That wouldn't have been me at his age. He also surprised us this morning in devotions. Scott was asking who Solomon's son was and whether the kids thought that he'd followed his father's instruction. Both the older two knew his name and history. He even brought out his picture Bible and was telling me about how he had lost a son too! I pray that we can guide this gift for the Lord's glory and not just Garrison's sake. It's a wonderful thing and we don't want to see him waste it.

Tonight I made pork fried rice for the first time. Only Caleb and Kiersten didn't think it was so good. The others all ate it and a couple took seconds. Caleb and Kiersten were more focused on the fact that it had peas in it and they truly consider that a crime! It's nice to have finally made it and to realize that it's not that much work after all. I think I'll try to do it with chicken next time. That's our favorite and I think we've only ordered Chinese about once each year that we've lived here. The nice thing about making it at home is that I don't have the same tired feeling that I get after eating the restaurant version. It may hit later on, but I think it's the MSG or something. Anyway, we ate early, the dishes are done and I'm off to enjoy the happy chaos that the kids like to manufacture each evening. Perhaps we'll even get to throw a couple of them in the tub tonight:))).

Monday, December 2, 2013

Making December Memories-Day 2

This morning the weather forecast was calling for bitter wind chill and blowing snow. It's our big grocery day, or so we thought... I got all the groceries and when I got to checkout they said that they hadn't received the sale coupons. I wasn't about to take it all back and put it away, so I just prayed that it wouldn't be too much over budget. It ended up being okay and it was a blessing to have the big grocery day complete. The weather was a bit icy, but it really never got as bad as they were predicting. We were home by lunch and had all the groceries put away fairly fast, since all the kids were helping. Laundry day is a bit delayed, but there are several loads complete, which is a blessing!

We tried to have a bit of a nap time, but only Kiersten fell asleep. I got up and felt in the mood to do some Christmas baking. We now have a double batch of Choc Crinkles, A double batch of sugar cookies, Pumpkin spice muffins and bread, and some Christmas roll wreaths that should be ready to go into the freezer tonight. They are a big part of our gift giving to those around us, so I'm thankful to be ahead of schedule for now. I think my mom used to start her baking in November, but we had a lot more neighbors and people at church to give plates to. There were lots of get togethers at our house and there never seemed to be a shortage of delicious desserts. I make some of the same recipes as my mom, but have also added quite a few new ones over the years. I really wasn't sure that I was feeling up to it this year, but the Lord gave me the desire and the energy, so I didn't want to waste it:).

Only one spelling test left to give Garrison tonight, then our school day comes to an end. It's such a blessing to have the flexibility that homeschooling gives on busy days like today. The kids experimented in cutting paper for snowflakes too, which was extracurricular art:))). I'll admit that we need a new selection of Christmas music put into the cd player. The kids have been playing the same one over and over and I'm thinking I'll make the switch after they go to bed tonight. I have some nice instrumental ones and then one of my brothers quartet that they put out at Christmas. I just need to locate them...

The kids had a lot of fun helping Scott to make a gift that we're mailing out pretty soon. They're learning more about carpentry with each passing year and it's neat to see their excitement(until it's time to sand-none of them seem to enjoy that). Several of the kids have a very hard time keeping things a surprise, so it's probably a good thing that the family is coming closer to Christmas Eve. Less chance of them spilling the beans before then.

An unexpected blessing is discovering that our 2nd son actually has a gift for remembering where things are. I have 4 who seem to lose everything or can't see things I send them for. This son, however, is quick to run out of the room and return with the item I'm needing! Hopefully more of them will improve in this area as they get older.

That about wraps things up for Day 2. I think the kids had a lot of fun helping with the cookies and I know they're looking forward to eating them later on. Hopefully I can keep Scott from eating them all straight from the freezer...

Making December Memories-Day 1

Sunday, Dec 1st was one to remember. It was the first day of switching to our winter schedule and the first potluck of the season. I made sure to have extra in case we had visitors. We had a relaxing drive to church and arrived to receive texts that at least two of the families were staying home because of fog and road conditions. It made for a very quiet Sunday, but we managed to make the best of it anyway. We really enjoyed the extra visiting time and the kids did really well at the Manor service afterwards. It really seems to cheer up the older people to see all the little ones and a couple people mentioned about how nice it was to hear the kids singing the hymns. Elyssia and Garrison are actually able to sing more on key and Elyssia can sometimes follow the alto part with me. Quite a difference from a year ago:). One of the nurses was very sweet and offered the kids a candy bar after we finished. I think that was the first time they'd ever had one all to themselves. They really didn't seem to have any trouble polishing them off though:))).

We arrived home around 3:30 and had a fairly relaxing evening. The kids didn't seem to need a nap, but we did some reading, Elyssia made some hot cocoa and the kids helped decorate the Christmas tree. I need to charge the batteries for the camera before posting pics, but I think it turned out quite nice. I was thinking that I might need to pick up a few more ornaments, but we did some homemade ones last week and I think it looks nice. We didn't put a lot of decorations on the back of the tree, but that's mostly because I didn't want the kids to have the temptation to go behind to look at them.

We had family devotions and read the next chapter of the Sugar Creek Gang. The kids are all enjoying this series and it's neat to see how the boys in the gang are looking for ways to witness to others and help out their families, even when they'd rather be playing something else. Lots of life lessons to pick up from them anyway.

I think we were in bed by 9 and it was a fairly good night, considering that I haven't gotten much sleep with the knee aching. I haven't been taking any Tylenol the past couple days and it's still a bit sore, but WAY better than it was. Praising the Lord for all the healing that He's done the past couple weeks.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Still Thankful...

Today is a celebration in the country of my birth. I'll admit that I do find it a bit odd not to be making the big meal and visiting with family over the holidays, but I'm still choosing to be thankful:). We've celebrated both Thanksgivings(Canadian in October) and American in November, but this year is an off year. Scott is working and we have Bible Institute tonight. The kids were satisfied with one celebration, so I settled for calling to talk to my mom and wishing her a Happy Thanksgiving. Here are a list of some of the things I'm thankful for this year:

-My salvation-I don't know where I'd be if it wasn't for the Lord. I'm quite sure I wouldn't be living in Saskatchewan:).

-My wonderful family and the anticipation of a new little one quite soon!

-My church family-They are a wonderful blessing to us!

-The freedom to worship the Lord and Homeschool our children without the threat of persecution.

-A warm house amidst the snow covered surroundings!

-Plenty to eat...

-Gas in our vehicles

-The farm animals that have already taught us a lot of valuable lessons.

-Books to read and the people that invested the time in teaching me to read(primarily my mom:).

-A cancer free diagnosis for my father in law yesterday!!! We're especially thankful for this one!

-A cancer free diagnosis for the Houston's daughter-We've been praying for her:)

-Safe delivery of the Houston's 12th baby! Very excited for them:).

-Safe delivery of a boy for another friend last week.

-Garrison losing his wibbly, wobbly tooth:)

-Indoor plumbing(I really wouldn't enjoy running to the outhouse numerous times each day and night:)

-Chickens that are laying fresh eggs for us each day!

-A friend willing to take me to Saskatoon for my Dr. Appt.

-A sewing machine and the blessing of free scrap fabrics to make things with!

-Lots of warm quilts(we hardly notice that it gets to -15 or so most nights).

-Not having to keep a fire going all winter(although they're nice and cozy sometimes).

-Being able to get around without my knee being so painful now.

-The anticipation of all the family visiting at the end of the month!

-The Joy of Looking Forward To The Return Of My Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!

And so much more...

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I know WHO holds the future...

and I 'm thankful! Yesterday I had a "baby" appointment. The Dr. was pleased that my knee wasn't as bad and said that the baby was measuring a week and a half ahead of schedule. The heartbeat sounded great... Then the news I was hoping I wouldn't have to hear. We have to send you to Saskatoon for delivery... Hmmm... 2 hours in an ambulance to do a normal delivery in the city. They're allowed to do scheduled c-sections, but not normal deliveries. There aren't any nursing staff qualified to work in the delivery room. Then he said, "if you were my sister I would just wait as long as possible to come in. If you are dilated to 5 we will have to deliver here". He's done lots of deliveries in S. Africa, but the regulations are different here in Canada. So, after the initial feeling of wanting to panic and try to plan it all out, I realized that I could just leave it with the Lord. If HE wants me to be in Saskatoon for some reason, perhaps to be a witness to someone, then who am I to get upset about it and try to work around His desires. I'm NOT a city girl, but if I ride in an ambulance then that means we're not trying to drive there ourselves while I'm in labor. If God wants me to deliver in Kindersley then He will help me to go in when I'm past 5. I was at 7 with Kiersten when I went in and that was also a time when they were supposed to be sending me to the city. She was born right where she was supposed to be born. I didn't know that there weren't any delivery nurses on duty for that night, but the Lord did and He made a way for me to deliver close to home. Yes, we do have more children than we did back then, but God also knows that and can make sure that people are in place to help as needed. So, it really seems that it will be another area that we grow in as we trust the Lord. There have been different challenges with each pregnancy, delivery, etc, but God has been with us through them all. He's seen us through extreme nausea, unemployment, moving, church planting, bed rest, one overnight hospital stay for fluids with Addie, doctor shortages, blizzard weather for Addie's birth, etc... We serve a wonderful God and trust that He will work all things together for good:).

So, on to the rest of the day! The kids are already mostly finished with school, which is wonderful! The sun is shining! My knee is feeling quite a bit better, although it aches a lot at night. We're nice and warm and there's plenty to eat in the house:).

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, November 25, 2013

My first time...

This was my first year to follow more than one Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Game. Scott usually kept track of how they were doing, but I actually watched almost 1 full game in Alberta:). Last night was The Gray Cup game. We went in for our evening service and the game was just getting started. A couple hours later we were heading home and there was only about 20 minutes left of the game. The Roughriders were leading 31 to 6 and there was a lot of screaming in that stadium. I'm personally glad that I wasn't there since it was a Sunday and also about -20 or colder with the windchill. We let the kids stay up a bit later in order to hear the end of the game and I think Elyssia was the most excited:). Caleb kept asking who won every couple minutes. I'll admit that we were happy the Roughriders won The Gray Cup, but I think most real fans would have been disgusted by our lack of celebration:). We were like, "Yay, it's time for bed now:)." For my American friends and Family reading this-The Gray Cup is the equivalant of the Super Bowl in the States.

I was thinking it over this morning and got to thinking about how so many people say that they're too "reserved" to get excited about the Lord enough to express it. There is just the sitting back and taking it all in at church aspect, but not so much after that. Why are there so many screaming fans at sports events, but so few raising their voices to tell people what the Lord has done for them. Why are we so shy when it comes to the things of the Lord, but not when it comes to talking about the latest sports results? Something for contemplation and prayer. May we get on fire for the Lord and share Him with others before it's too late!

We were truly blessed by the young missionaries at our church yesterday. Their burden for Liberia is strong and we pray that the Lord enables many churches to have the support to give them in order to get them on the field while the harvest is ready. A couple years from now things might not be so open because they'll have the hydro-electric dam working again and with it comes all the modern conveniences and distractions that are found in most other parts of the world too busy for the things of the Lord. Praying for an easy delivery for Jackie and a short deputation...

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Trial and Error

Sewing is something I can do that helps me to feel productive, while staying off my feet. So, it seems I've become a bit of a short order seamstress:). Can you make this mom? I like this material and it can be a bandana, pillow, doll outfit, etc... I'm actually enjoying it, although a lot of it is free hand sewing and not following any set pattern. I really should start taking pictures to post, but haven't thus far. I've been making different things and putting them away for gifts or surprises on a "snowy" day. There are doll clothes(skirts, pajamas), pillow cases, gift bags, headbands, doll sleeping bags and purses. There are pillows that we stuffed with "ugly scraps of material:)", washcloths, hot pads, etc... So, I'm pretty sure that I've gone overboard, but it's all been free so far. A lady in our church gave me a dufflebag full of fabric last year and I really didn't have much time to use it before now. I'd done a couple of small projects, but I've been on a mission to use as much of it as possible. I've found that doll skirts and pajamas are quite easy to make, but I'm a complete failure with the dresses and shirts. Mostly because it's so hard to do the arm and neck hole stuff:(. My mother in law gave me some nice flannel material and I have several pairs of pajamas for the kids almost completed. I just need to get to the store to buy some more elastic. I used up my supply and I'm slowly working through my velcro supply to close the doll skirts and things.

We've not been neglecting school, since it's something I can also help the kids with, while off my feet. They're looking forward to me being back to normal for baking day, but we're postponing that for another week or two. Then we'll start making the Christmas cookies to deliver to the Police and Fire Station. I try to do theirs a bit earlier so that it doesn't get forgotten in the busyness when the company comes. This year our community supper is going to be more of a ministry to shut ins and we're praying that there is a good response. We've got several people that really want to be a blessing with this outreach, but we've found that there's not a lot of willingness,from those that could use it, to call and let us know about the need. I think part of it is that they do have Meals on Wheels available in town, but maybe we'll have more of a response with our early ad in the paper. It should help that it's free:). We're also looking forward to our turn at the Salvation Army table next month. Our favorite year was when Addie was a baby. Lots of people came over just to look at her and ended up giving quite a bit of money. I think they were able to buy over 60 turkeys for families in the area last year, which is quite good for our size of community. We've tried quite a few different outreach ideas in the "almost" five years we've been here and find that people are hesitant to come out for anything, unless it's a holiday or they are invited by a friend. I'm not sure if that's the norm for these days, but we're just praying that the Lord will use us to be a blessing all year round to all those we come in contact with.

I'm quite excited about tomorrow. Number one-I get to go to church! Number 2- We have missionaries to Liberia this weekend! Number 3- I'm just excited to get to go to church again:). The past two weeks have seemed extremely long and I look forward to the preaching and fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ. It's a blessing to be able to watch or listen to services online, but it's just not the same thing as being in the House of the Lord.

Have A Blessed Sunday!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Who Are We Following?

Who Are We Following?

Most of us, as Christians, would answer, "Jesus". However, there are generally other people in the ministry that we start looking up to and following the advice of because they seem to "have it together" spiritually. This has been the case a couple of times over the years and sadly, it's ended up with disappointment when "moral failures" or "wonky doctrine" end their ministries. This seems to be the case more and more these days. There are many who have already analyzed these situations and come to different conclusions. Sadly I think that many of us take the attitude that it will never happen to us, but it really makes me stop and think "why not me?" What stands between us and "going astray". These people outwardly seem to love the Lord and desire to serve Him with everything that they have. Is it becoming rather famous or a prominent Christian? Is it being looked up to by so many people? We look at most men in the Bible and see how they messed up in one way or the other. I know that none of us will be free of temptation until we get to Heaven, but wonder if much of it is because we feel the need to have a certain image that we present to other people(lost and saved alike), but let our guards down when we're in private? Do we treat our spouse and children the same at home as we do at church? Do we listen to or watch things that we would be ashamed to have others know about in the privacy of our homes? I've heard this is one of the number one reasons many Christian families lose their children when they're teenagers. Little ones don't seem to pick up on these things so much as older ones looking for a reason to rebel. Are we giving them the excuse that they need?

Most recently the very public fall of a certain man caused Scott and I to question his whole ministry. There are times that God uses a certain person to be an encouragement in our lives, but when they start to take God's place of leadership in our eyes, that's idolatry and He's going to need to remove that from our lives. It's enough to cause me to pray that no one ever starts to idolize Scott as a leader! I know one important and powerful tool that we have to protect us is prayer and we don't utilize it near as often as we should. Begging the Lord on behalf of ourselves, our spouse, our children and those we love that He would protect us from temptation and help us to be REAL CHRISTIANS at home and in the world.

One thing I'm extremely thankful for is that my parents and others in my life had me memorize a lot of Scripture growing up. It has helped to raise the warning flags with spiritual teaching that I might have followed otherwise. Scott reminds me often that there can be truth hidden among a lot of false teaching and we're drawn to it because we hear the truth in it, but after searching the Scriptures the Lord can show us quite quickly where they've tried to deceive. In the case of the one who brought about this line of thinking, we were thankful not to have followed him doctrinally. He, and many of the "men" associated with him are being accused of misconduct in leadership(and other areas) over the past 10 years and only time will tell which is truth and which is created to bring shame to the very things they were trying to promote in families. We've been trying to teach the kids about doing all to the glory of God in all areas of their lives. This is still our goal, whether at home, town or church. We shouldn't let others failure keep us from teaching our kids what the Lord wants them to do or from striving to do it ourselves, with the Lord's help. The temptation is to throw out everything we've heard or bought from this group, but through everything the Lord seems to keep reminding us to be thankful for the areas that we were encouraged in and not let the rest get us side tracked from what He's called us to do. To pray more for pastors and missionaries around us. That they would be protected from giving in to the same temptations. To keep our eyes and our adoration for the only one that truly deserves it-The Lord Jesus Christ.

I don't mind comments or discussion on this, but purposely left out the name of who I was talking about because I don't want this post to turn up on the public feed. There are TONS of articles about this ministry right now and a lot of people just using the comments section to bash those involved. I'm not trying to start trouble with this article. Just trying to write it out and make sense of it in my own mind. I find that writing things out helps me to process it and be able to move on better. I also hope it's an encouragement to be "on guard", lest we also fall into temptation and be sidelined in the Christian race that we're called to run.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Dealing with a wrinkle...

I suppose life wasn't exciting enough with all the birthdays. This week turned out to be the most unexpected of all. It started last Sunday morning when Scott told me his parents were coming that day and would be visiting til Tuesday morning. I always laugh when the brother in laws say there is a lack of communication in the family and I have to say this was a prime example. At first I panicked a little because I didn't have a menu planned, but then just decided to go with the flow and wing it:). Everything did turn out quite well and the kids were super excited to have the Grandparents AND Uncle Preston visiting.

The day that Scott had been preparing for was finally upon us. He is the coordinator for the Remembrance Day Services in our town and it is a BIG job. It takes weeks to prepare, lots of phone calls and lots of extra meetings in town. Thankfully he was able to take off the week before in order to not be overworked like previous years. I think it was still quite exhausting for him, but not quite as stressful. It all came off without too many glitches and the Legion was VERY thankful to have him in charge once again. An unexpected blessing was 5 loaves of bread and 2 boxes of Tim Bits sent home after the visitors were fed:). Our kids made the connection between the 5 loaves and 2 fishes story in the Bible:). There was also a platter of dessert bars, which were enjoyed by all. I'm always amazed at the ways that the Lord sends these blessings unexpectedly. I wasn't really looking forward to baking bread once everyone left and found that I was given a bit more time, due to the generosity of the Legion folks:).

Little did I know that it would be needed even more so in the days ahead than I thought. Wednesday started out as a normal day. Chores, Schoolwork, then time to clean up before supper. It all seemed a bit overwhelming that morning and the kids weren't as cooperative. I had a bit of a "Martha complex" and was running around in a whirlwind of activity. Last items on the schedule=pick up toys off living room floor. Bend down, clean up, stand up=Ouch! What was that! I can't put pressure on my leg and it hurts to walk. Yes, it's very bad timing for an injury, but I'm thinking that this was the Lord's way of telling me to slow down again. I spent a very painful, restless night wondering just what kind of injury I'd done to myself. Thankfully I was able to get a morning appt. with my Dr. when I called on Thursday morning! This is such a blessing after the long dr. shortage that we had for the past couple years. We finally have 5 full time drs., which make it easier to get in on the day that you call. Unfortunately the diagnosis was not what I was hoping for. I was thinking that maybe I'd just popped something out of place and he could pop it back in. Voila!:) Not so easy, I'm afraid. I have tendonitis in my knee, possibly caused by a stretching of the tendon in my ankle when I was a teenager. Who knew that playing tether ball was so dangerous? It is when you have someone jump up at the same time as you and land on your ankle instead of the ground. Anyway... The orders are to stay off my feet as much as possible for at least the next week. The dr. said it takes 1-6 weeks for full healing, depending on how fast my body is at healing. Pregnancy is probably the worst time to have this, but I'm thankful that I wasn't a week or two away from delivery when it happened. Having this pain in my leg and labor pains at the same time would be a lot harder to deal with. Scott and the kids have been trying to help as much as possible. A brace on my knee and some Tylenol have made the times I need to be up a lot more bearable and the pain has definitely subsided from Wednesday. Praising the Lord for each little bit of progress. Trying to eat as healthy as possible to aid the healing and not gain a lot of weight during the last bit of pregnancy. I'm used to be active and don't worry too much about the food. Resting more means not using up as much of the food, so lots more fruit, veggies and protein and less carbs for a little while.

Garrison really enjoyed turning 7. His favorite gifts were Hex bugs from Grandma Prisk(little electronic bugs that go around a track:) and the Lone Ranger Lego set from Uncle Kirk. He was actually super excited about all his gifts, which included a sleeping bag, books and clothes, but these are the ones he mentions the most right now. He's worked his way through several birthday books already and I think will be enjoying a few more to get us through our recent snowstorm. It's really the first one of the season. I think we have at least an inch of snow, with 4-6 more inches expected before tomorrow!

It's also giving Scott extra time for Science and History Lessons and Quizzes. The older two took their first quizzes and did pretty good. They both got an A in History and a B in Science. I have to say that they did really well in Science considering that I couldn't have answered most of the questions on their Science quiz. Scott has been teaching them Physics(gears, fulcrums, loads, cam shafts, etc... I didn't take Physics or Chemistry in school, so most of this is new to me. I'm not around when he's teaching most days, so I was quite surprised by the difficulty of the questions. I don't have any concerns that our kids will have trouble passing any tests that the public schools might give them. So far there aren't any required, but if they were, I'm quite sure the kids will do great:).

Only one more birthday left for our family this year! Adelaide turns 2 on Sunday. Many have commented that she looks different than all the other kids with her super blonde hair and coloring. They didn't see Garrison at this age though and we think she bears a strong resemblance to him. She also resembles one of her Great Grandmas and we look forward to seeing her change in the years ahead. She's got a cute, feisty little personality. She has to have a bit of spunk to get along with all her siblings:). Her vocabulary is improving and we can understand quite a bit more than we did 2 months ago. She's close to 3 feet tall, which means she will definitely be taller than me! If the rule of doubling their height at age 2 is correct for their final height, then she will be close to 6 feet:). We shall see...

On another note... We lost a laying hen yesterday. There was a bit of blood on one of the eggs and we didn't think too much of it. However, the rest of the vicious hens did! They pecked the poor thing to death because of the blood. We'll try to be on our guard from now on and isolate a hen if this happens again. Scott says the hens are anxious to peck anyone that comes in, which is quite surprising. The kids are usually the ones that gather the eggs and I haven't heard any complaints from them. Maybe they just like to attack Scott... They have been laying closer to 6 eggs a day though, so we're thankful to have more for eating and baking.

We're now over the halfway point in November. I'm quite happy about this because it means the time to delivery is that much closer. We still have quite a few Christmas preparations to take care of before all the family arrives next month, which hopefully means the time should go faster. However, the time off my feet will mean it slows down a bit til I'm healed. So... I'll try to behave myself and enjoy watching the snow fall:).

Monday, October 28, 2013

Just another monday...

I suppose so, if a person weren't looking at the day to see all the ways that the Lord was working and blessing! Today was another one of those cold, don't want to get out of bed, kind of days. However, our children are of the mind that morning starts as early as possible. Our chickens haven't been laying that many eggs and we had a bit of a dilemma. We had only one egg and today was "pancake day". Scott needed 3 eggs because he does a batch and a half to feed the hungry crew. Thankfully I looked up egg substitutes and it said to mash half a banana for each egg needed. We usually have bananas in the house, so that was another thing to be thankful for! These pancakes turned out to be some of the best ones we've ever had. They were light, fluffy, filling and very flavorful.

I did succumb to laying back down for awhile after breakfast, but thankfully the kids didn't get into too much while I drifted off for a bit:). Elyssia and Garrison even managed to get a fair amount of schoolwork done on their own! I love it when they're motivated to do things like that:). The Lord provided me with more energy in the afternoon and the motivation to bake a few things to go with the supper. We have a fair amount of rhubarb in the freezers, so it was an easy decision to make Rhubarb crumble for dessert and then some rhubarb muffins for breakfast tomorrow. This is one of those months where the sale day is coming about a week later than normal, so we're working to stretch the food to last til the next sale day. It's kind of a fun adventure, but sometimes the kids are less than thrilled at some of the meals or snacks that we end up eating:). I always try to remind them of the children who have far less and how thankful we can be that we get to eat foods that we really enjoy most of the time and have more than enough to fill us up every day!

Tonight Scott got in around supper time and then headed off with the boys to pick up a straw bale from a neighbor. We now have two hay bales, which should last the goats all winter and after this week we'll have two large straw bales too! We're thankful that things are just about ready to move the goats into the barn. It's been a slow process getting the inside of the barn ready because life has been so busy, but it's almost there and after the Remembrance Day service we should be able to relax til Christmas. Scott will have some inside carpentry jobs, but they're independent work, so there's more flexibility.

We had our first little "skiff" of snow yesterday. The kids were so excited and wanted to wear their snowsuits to church. It was cold, but not really enough to warrant that. However, we let them, so as not to dampen their excitement. It's mostly melted today and wasn't quite as cold. It's actually supposed to be fairly nice for a couple days this week.

I think that overall it's been a very good day and I look forward to seeing what the Lord has for us to do during the rest of the week!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Addictions and Praises

Hmmm, not sure that sounds so good, but might as well tell the truth:). You know you're addicted to something when you think about it at least 4 times a day. This has definitely been my experience with facebook. I really have a love/hate relationship with it. A big part of why I'm drawn to it is because I like feeling connected to friends and family that are too far away for me to visit on a regular or even once a year basis. To feel like we're still a part of each other's lives somehow. To share the excitement of engagements,weddings, babies, and sometimes just the everyday. However, when you find that your mind starts thinking of things in terms of "I should remember to post that" or I'll check real quick, but end up on for 30 minutes to an hour, it really starts to be more of a harmful addiction than a harmless one. Being addicted to the ministry and soul-winning is probably the only "good one" that I can think of:). I'm not saying that everyone using facebook is doing wrong or addicted, just that I've realized how easily it happens. Feeling like you can't turn it off completely because then it would seem like you were all alone and missing out on what friends and family are doing. However, after adding restrictions on usage, I've found that it's not so bad after all. I did go on to post some pics on Thursday, but I've been sticking to my Friday only rule for awhile now. Yes, I may find out a couple days after something important happens, but if someone really wants me to know they can call or e-mail me, right? I've found that I can catch up on everything in an hour or less on one day, rather than getting sucked into it and losing at least an hour out of each day. That's one more hour to spend with the family that the Lord has blessed me with! Yes, there is still quite a few times that my mind wonders what I'm missing, but the Lord is gradually taking away more of the desire to give in to my curiosity. There is also the side of me that argues, "You're wasting opportunities to witness to others or encourage them through posts", but I think there's more chance of doing that if I'm focused on raising the little ones that the Lord has given me so that we can go out together and encourage or witness to others in the community around us. We live in a small town and it's amazing how many people come up to us on a regular basis asking where one of the kids is, etc... If I don't know them, chances are that Scott has worked with or for those people. It's amazing how many positive things they say about the kids and I'm usually the one that walks away encouraged. So, maybe this doesn't make a lot of sense to many people that might end up reading it, but I'm thankful for the waning desire to use facebook. I pray that I don't get sucked back into it, but instead keep focused on "the race that is set before me".

On the list of praises-4 visitors at church today! Yes, 3 of them were visiting family and all of them were from out of town, but it was a wonderful encouragement after the last couple "quiet" Sundays. We've had a lot of people traveling over the summer and early Fall. Sometimes I'm tempted to be discouraged when numbers are down, but the Lord continues to show us that "He is building and we are His workmen". We need to be faithful in our own attendance and prayers for spiritual and numerical growth. Praying that the Lord will soften and convict hearts that need to be saved. Praying that He will open up opportunities to witness and be a blessing to all those He brings into our lives. But, one of the greatest areas of ministry that He's given us is our own children! Training them and cultivating in them a love for the things of the Lord. Encouraging them in the day to day getting along and working together. Giving them our full attention in the "slower times" so that we can be a light in the "busy times". This is not something that I do well at every day. I often feel like I've completely failed at the end of the day. Like I've been impatient, inattentive, said the wrong things at the wrong moment, etc..., but I think what's important is that we don't let that discouragement lead to quitting, which equals long term failure. I'm thankful that the Lord gives us so many examples and verses in the Bible about those who messed up, but repented, got up and continued on for the Lord. When the complete story of our lives has been written, I truly hope that our lives are a reflection of what the Lord can do with a life fully surrendered to Him and His will.

To God Be The Glory Great Things He Hath Done!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Too early?

According to some friends-It's never too early to start with Christmas decorations, music, etc... So, that's my excuse for posting our Christmas smilebox early:). It was a cold, frosty morning and perfect for pictures! Here is a sample one that I'm trying out:

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Apologies to all my American Friends and Family. I know that the usual tradition is to start after American Thanksgiving, but that's over a month away and we already had our Canadian Thanksgiving. That's what I keep telling myself, anyway;). It's a much longer countdown when you start after the Canadian October Thanksgiving. Our growing season is shorter here and there's snow in the forecast for the weekend. So, I hope that some of my family and friends will enjoy this "early" Christmas smilebox.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Lest I Forget...

Kiersten has been saying "that's Fantastic" a lot lately, although sometimes it sounds like "fancastic". It makes me laugh and was something I wanted to write down for future.

The other thing came from Caleb. He told me today that he really liked the lemon cake I made last night. "It made my heart happy", he said:). Then he walked off saying something about Jesus. Wonder if he thought Jesus enjoyed it too, since it made his heart happy and not just his tummy:).

Monday, October 21, 2013


It was one of those cold Monday mornings. The kind where I just didn't want to crawl out from under the warm blankets and start the day. But! The smell of applesauce oatmeal pancakes cooking on the griddle was enough to motivate me to brave the cold and start the day:). So thankful for Scott's tradition of fixing us pancakes on Monday. It turns an ordinary Monday into something extra special. Yes, I still get to wash the dishes, but it's a break that I really appreciate.

Once Scott headed out I was definitely tempted to climb back under the covers:). The reality that we were out of bread for sandwiches prompted me to get a batch of dough rising on the counter and before I knew it, we were ready to start school! So much for going back to bed... The day passed quite quickly. We started "church practice" again today. The oldest 3 are generally well behaved, but haven't been participating in the standing and singing like they should, so we started with a few hymns and it was nice to hear their little voices again:). Adelaide is the main one needing help with church behavior. She feels the need to chatter quite loudly as soon as Scott starts preaching, so we end up downstairs quite a bit. I think it's better to have her get her wiggles and noise out during our "home practice", rather than trying to teach her on Sundays, where it's more of a distraction to those around us. The older ones weren't that thrilled, but ended up having a bit of fun, in spite of themselves:)

That brought us to lunch, which included bread fresh from the oven! Hard to beat that. Add some butter and homemade jam and life seems brighter somehow:). The sun actually came out and warmed things up quite a bit, which was an unexpected blessings. It was quite cold when the kids did the morning chores-water and food for the goats and chickens. The chickens must be settling in again because there were 2 eggs this morning. They haven't been laying until later in the day, so this was an unexpected blessing. More motivation to bake too...

After the two oldest were finished with their schoolwork we were able to have a much anticipated(for the mama anyway;) quiet time. Kiersten went right to sleep, but unfortunately Addie never did fall asleep. I think Sundays throw her schedule off a bit because she sleeps for the car ride home, but then not til bedtime. So, it was nice while it lasted. Back to getting remotivated to finish off the day.

Send the kids outside to jump on the trampoline while I search Pinterest recipes for inspiration! Yes, it started with a recipe for molasses cake. It's currently on the counter cooling and smells wonderful! I think Scott will enjoy the surprise. I had a harder time deciding the main menu and changed my mind a couple times. I'm currently starting to smell the turkey lasagna and waiting patiently for the "Olive Garden Breadsticks" to finish rising. The kids are anxiously awaiting their chance to be taste testers. They did get a bit of the extra lasagna noodles, but I'll admit that I decided to type this post to help the waiting time go faster:). The smells are enticing and waiting is the hard part...

Other fun activities in our day included reading books with Kiersten, playing Schleich animals with Addie(her favorite are the mama and baby pigs). Garrison very generously allows her to play with them and they keep her entertained quite well. The older two alternate between reading, creating and Lego. Caleb has been trying out his hand at whittling, but also dress up, etc. I'm thinking the boys room might look a bit like a tornado when they're done, but it's all in a day's work, eh? I think that they earned the privilege of (messy)playing after all the help they give with chores, etc...

Just waiting on the last load of laundry in the dryer. Supper dishes will be the end of our work and hopefully we can have a relaxing evening with Scott. I think we've reached the halfway point in our R.M. Ballantyne book-"Pirate City". The end of each chapter usually leaves us in suspense and we're hoping that Mariano will escape from the Turks! We're also currently reading through the Gospels in devotions and we look forward to seeing what kind of questions the kids come up with throughout the reading. They really do have some interesting observations and questions. It's good to get us, as parents, seeking to help them understand things more fully.

Guess I should go check on the progress of the supper! This Monday is definitely one to remember. Til next time...

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Can It Be?

Do I really have a 9 year old daughter? Why, yes, I do:). Amazing how time has flown. I remember, amidst the nausea, feeling her kick and being amazed by the little life growing inside. We were so excited to meet her for the first time, although I was quite sure that we were having a boy. We lived in B.C. at the time and they weren't allowed to tell at the ultrasound whether it was a boy or a girl. I remember being in awe when I heard that we had a girl. It seemed like a miracle because I had 3 older brothers and only one girl cousin on my mom's side and Scott had 2 older brothers and a myriad of boy cousins. There seemed very little possibility of us having a girl first, but God knew exactly what we needed. We loved her from the start and she challenged us as individuals and as parents to give more of ourselves to others. We thought that we had it figured out. We "knew" what to do and we were going to have a well behaved child;). Well, God had something different in mind. He has taught us more through this little one and the 4 to follow more than we ever imagined. More about our own shortcomings and weaknesses. More about how our behavior looks like when seen through the parent child perspective. How many areas that we need the Lord's help in. How wonderful it is to love, invest your life, money, time and energy into taking care of others. How wonderful it is to have those little arms around you and hear them say, "I love you". How painful it can be to have to correct those you love and also to admit when you've wronged them and ask their forgiveness. The amazing and numerous times and ways that they keep us humble. The joy of seeing her repent of her sin and accept the Lord's forgiveness and salvation. The love that compels her to share the Lord with her siblings and friends. The outgoing personality that causes her to reach out and befriend all those she meets. The incredible help that she has been as each baby joined our family. The heartache watching her struggle to overcome weaknesses in her life. Wanting to take those burdens from her, but knowing that we can't. Knowing that some of her struggles come from our past sin and weak areas. Knowing there is so much left to teach her and how quickly the time that we have can disappear. We thank the Lord for our firstborn, Elyssia, and pray the Lord continues to guide and protect her through the years and temptations in the years ahead. Elyssia was born 5 days after her due date. but extremely early on a Sunday Morning. She was just on time and has encouraged us to greet the morning early and cheerfully(whether we liked it or not:) ever since:

This was the time on the clock when she came out to see her "birthday spread". She said that she was awake at 5:30 and was going to read, but decided to wait so that she didn't wake up the others. Considering that she used to wake us up at 4 and be ready to go, it's quite the improvement and was very thoughtful of her!

She requested blueberry muffins as her "cake" for this year:). She received books, Lego Clickits, hand lotion, a library card and deodorant for her birthday. Can you believe that she was super excited about getting her own deodorant! She's been borrowing mine, claiming that she "needs" it:). We went to the library yesterday and requested a card for her. She's been asking for awhile, but I wanted to make sure that she would take care of it and the books that she checked out. She's a bit more organized now and likes to put things in a certain place. Kinda reminds me of myself at that age. She will "loan" books from her personal collection to Garrison, although she has "very limited hours" that it's open:). Her other gifts were a toolbox, sleeping bag, skirts, tights and fabric for sewing projects. Nana already helped her to make a blanket and bib for the new baby.

Caleb waiting to see what's inside the gift bags!

This one's not sure she wants to be awake yet, but is looking forward to the hot cocoa with marshmallows!

Big brother is keeping little sister warm on this very chilly October Morning. These two get to have their birthdays next month and Garrison is hoping the waiting time will go quickly!

Elyssia is currently enjoying putting together the Lego Clickits and singing the hymn, "Praise The Lord" in her bedroom:). Her newest skill is whistling. She does it as she goes through her day and is getting quite good at it. She's trying to figure out how to do songs and Garrison is trying to learn from watching her. Caleb decided that he was missing out and gave it a try the other day. He gave up after awhile and just decided that making sounds like an ambulance or police car was just as good:))). Thank you Lord for the blessing of children and the joy that they bring. Still lots of challenges and crazy times, but we wouldn't trade it for all the money in the world!

Happy 9th Birthday Elyssia Anne Holloway! We Love you to the moon and back!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

This is one of the few Canadian Thanksgivings that we've gotten to spend at home. We've spent the majority of them at the in-laws, but having animals this year necessitated us being at home. Quite nice and relaxing though, for which we're very thankful. Earlier in the year we were given a ham by a man in our church. He passed away shortly after that, so it was quite special to eat this the ham and think of what a blessing Bro. Tom was. Many of the other things were from our garden or the in-laws. It was wonderful to have the pumpkin pies turn out, especially since I was using fresh pureed pumpkin instead of pie filling. The flavor still wasn't as good as my mom's, but I didn't dread having to finish the rest of my piece:).

The kids were busy with a history and science lesson this morning, so that freed me up to make a lot of the side dishes. I just realized that the green beans didn't make it onto the table, but they'll make a great side dish for supper! We also have a jello salad that we get to eat this evening. I'm thankful that we didn't try to eat it all at mid-day. I've never really liked that overly full feeling after eating and I seem to feel it even more with baby inside.

Here are some pictures of our decorations and Thanksgiving feast:

It felt good to declutter the mantle and set out the simple decorations that we have. There are times when we've had too much and really didn't know where to put it up without it looking cluttered. The lady in the middle and the squirrel pot were gifts from friends that moved away earlier this year.

Two little (gentle)men that I'm very thankful for!

Three little ladies that we love very much! Unfortunately one of them was feeling too sad to smile:(.

Miniature oatmeal pies!

The first pumpkin pie that we cut into:).

Starting to cheer up a little bit...

Trying to be creative and displaying some of our homegrown carrots!

I asked the kids to get some pinecones for decorating this morning. I didn't take a picture, but instead of bringing me a handful they brought at least 50! Guess I'll learn to be a bit more specific with my requests:). Overall it's a wonderful Thanksgiving. The two little girls are taking a nap and the 3 older ones are helping Scott harvest the last of the potatoes in the garden. The dishes are done, the family has been Skyped and I'm going to try to take a quick nap while I have the chance:).

Happy Thanksgiving to all our Canadian Family, Friends and Faithful Readers!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Mission Accomplished!

My mother in law came for a visit this week and brought us LOTS of tomatoes! Scott LOVES tomatoes, but I think that expecting him to eat two half filled crates would be a little too much:). I'd asked her to bring extra so that I could experiment with making homemade ketchup and salsa. The ketchup is made, but we haven't tried to get the kids to eat it yet. We'll save that experiment for later on... The remaining corn is in the dehydrator today, which should bring an end to our preserving for this year. God has blessed and we're very thankful for the bounty preserved for winter.

Nana also brought birthday presents for the girls. Kiersten and Elyssia were excited about all the gifts, even the leggings! Kiersten was really happy to have such a variety of presents in pink(sleeping bag, tool box, tights, socks, barrettes, skirts, napkins and a water bottle, all pink). Elyssia has a bit more variety in colors and is enjoying each gift as she uses it.

We had a wonderful time with Nana here and it takes awhile for the kids to stop looking for her when they wake up in the morning or from their naps. She always seems to make life seem more fun and exciting around here:).

Trudy, our milk goat, has been delivered to the farm that she came from. She will stay there for about 3 months til they're sure that she's pregnant, then Scott will go back and get her. He said that she seemed quite sad to see him to. She was going along the fence, watching him and trying to figure out how she could get to him. We know they'll take great care of her though, so we'll enjoy the break from milking and extra chores for a couple months. It'll be interesting to see how the little goats take her being gone. They might need a little extra attention.

The chickens are doing well. They're quite contented in the barn. They've been laying between 4-6 eggs a day now, which is quite nice. We're hoping that we'll eventually get at least a dozen a day so that we can share some, but we're very thankful for the ones that we have to use right now. The kids love gathering the eggs and no one has been pecked yet:).

We've had a quiet start to our weekend, with Scott being gone, but we did our best to keep busy. Most of the house is company clean, we baked lemon muffins, steamed and pureed the big pumpkin(hoping to make a pie for Monday), put a meatloaf in the oven and cut the potatoes up for supper. Now to keep the kids occupied and out of the snacks til Scott gets home:). It's a beautiful, sunny day and we thank the Lord for His wonderful care and love in our lives. I don't know where we'd be without Him and really don't want to even consider it!

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend to all our Canadian Family and Friends!!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Another Monthly Appointment

We've passed one more month off the calendar for waiting to meet this new little one. I'm looking forward to seeing the countdown in the last month, but will do my best to be patient:). The Doctor said that baby measured in the 78th percentile for height and weight in the last ultrasound! Not sure whether to be concerned about a 10 lb baby or what... Healthy is what we're praying for. One prayer request is concerning delivery. There are some nurses training to work in the delivery room, but apparently there are none qualified at this time. The Doctor said to plan on delivering here, but they'll let me know as the time gets closer. I really don't want to be taken to Rosetown or Saskatoon, so please pray that we have what we need to deliver here when the time comes.

Other than that, we're awaiting the arrival of Nana. She's coming to visit for a couple days and the weather for driving is beautiful! Praying she has a safe trip and looking forward to the extra visiting time.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

One week from today...

we will be done milking Trudy! It's been an adventure and we've mostly enjoyed drinking it and (Scott) making different cheeses. We've all learned a lot and that will help it to be easier next year once she's had her babies. This year we were a bit scared of hurting her at first, but she's shown us that she's pretty easy going and given us a lot of milk to work with. It'll be interesting to see what the little goats do without her around. They've grown a lot over the summer and they all have horns. They're quite playful and enjoy butting each other, running and jumping. Thankfully they just butt each other and leave us alone:). I think we'll have to do a batch of goat's milk soap next week to keep us through the winter and that will complete our milking adventure and experiment for this year. I don't look forward to the price of milk in the grocery store, but I'm thankful that we have that option for the months Trudy isn't producing. The kids have been asking if we'll buy a milk cow, now that we have the barn, but I think we might wait another full year with the goats before making that decision. The cow is a LOT bigger and more responsibility. Plus there would probably be more milk than we would know what to do with. One goat has kept us quite well, for which we're very thankful.

It froze hard last night, which is another reason to be thankful that we're almost done. Milking in the winter months would be REALLY cold! Scott and the kids brought in a big bucket of carrots from our garden, some leeks and also some parsnips. I think that just leaves us with the potatoes to pick sometime in the next week or so. It wasn't a bumper crop year, but we thank the Lord for His provision and look forward to trying again next year! Praying that it's a milder winter, but deciding to be thankful either way. We'll have the new baby to keep us occupied after Christmas, so we'll enjoy all the extra snuggle time:).

That about wraps it up for this week. We got a lot accomplished and look forward to seeing what the Lord has for us this weekend. Til next time...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Who Told The Kids...

The Party Started At 6:30am? I guess it's an internal thing. The older 4 were all awake close to 6 and I guess it was okay. Scott had to leave for work at 7 and was able to see Kiersten open her presents and eat a "breakfast" cupcake:). She was quite happy with her gifts and I just wanted to share a couple pictures before we officially start our day.

Birthday Girl In Pink Pajamas!

Birthday Dress From Mommy and Birthday Necklace Elyssia Made For Her! A Beautiful Birthday Girl:).

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ready for a birthday?

Yes, we are!

Tomorrow Kiersten turns 4 and this is what she gets to wake up to:

I think she will be quite excited about the pink"ish" cupcakes, the pink swimming trunks( I finally found some longer ones:), and the lamp. She told me several times that she REALLY wanted her own lamp! I found this really cute one at the Salvation Army last week and thought it would work really well clipped to her bottom shelf above her bed. I've heard from reliable sources that she also has a pink sleeping bag and pink toolbox, etc on the way:). Are you sensing a theme here? Yes, Kiersten loves everything pink! She definitely likes girl things, but also has a rough and tumble side to her. Over the past year we've watched her change quite a bit. She's eager to learn and help in the kitchen. She doesn't like to be left out of anything the other kids are doing. She's learning to be a bit more gentle with animals. Still a work in progress as far as the cats are concerned.

We pray that this is a year of continued growth and look forward to seeing the Lord work in her life. She talks often about getting saved and Jesus dying on the cross without us bringing it up and we pray that the Lord continues to convict her little heart and bring her to true repentance and salvation. Our first prairie baby is growing quickly and we thank the Lord for each day that He allows us to spend together. There won't be a three year old in the house again until November of next year when Addie moves into that position. Overall I think it's been quite a good one! Til next time...

Farm Life in The Fall!

All kinds of jam to see us through the colder months!

Baking Fresh Bread To Warm Up the House!

Fresh Eggs From The Chickens! The one all the way to the right in the back is from today and it's like twice the size of all the other ones:).

The Canning Shelves Include Jams, Syrups, Pears, Peaches, Dried Corn, Apple Cider, Apple Pie Filling, Preston's Enchilada Sauce and Apple Twirls. I'm hoping to add homemade Ketchup and Salsa, but we'll see if we have time for that.

The school room is nice and cozy, but hard to get a good picture because of the lighting downstairs.

Off to change my blog background, milk the goat and enjoy more Fall Cooking!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Busy Canning Season!

I have to admit that in between homeschooling the kids I've been canning everything possible. I haven't taken a picture of our canning shelves yet. It's wonderful to see the variety of colors and foods that the Lord has allowed us to preserve. I don't think that I have any green ones, which is kind of unfortunate:). Maybe one of these years we'll have enough cucumbers to make a batch of dill pickles. We had plenty of peas, but the kids only like to eat them fresh, so we didn't think it was worth the extra work. I'm contemplating canning corn in the future too. This year I just dried it and we'll grind it for cornbread this winter. I love when the weather is cool enough in the mornings to motivate me to bake in order to warm the house without succumbing to turning on the furnace. I think it's been around freezing a couple times already, but thanks to all our wonderful quilts we're nice and warm without the furnace yet. Holding out as long as possible:). We have hot cocoa on the really cold mornings and do our chores as fast as possible, which is usually enough to keep us warm til the sun comes out in full force.

School days seem to make the weeks go by even faster than usual. It's hard to believe that we're in our 5th week already! It's October, so we'll probably have some birthday posts coming up. Kiersten, our first prairie born girl, will be turning 4 on Thursday. Amazing how much has happened in those 4 years. January will be our 5th anniversary of moving to Saskatchewan and bring the birth of our 3rd born prairie child:). I find it interesting that our 3 B.C. born children have all gotten car sick while driving through the mountains over the past couple years. Wonder if there's something hardier about the prairie babies:). They definitely had a much colder winter to live through their first 5 months of so. I love the mountains, lakes and rivers, but over time I've found that I like driving through the prairie better. It's more relaxing and the other cars don't seem to be driving so close:).

I hear the timer for supper, so I'm thinking this is a good time to sign off.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Back to Baking...

Baking Day has officially come back! School definitely helps us to be more scheduled and I think everyone is pleased to see containers of baking on the counter again. We've had a couple cooler days this week, which we've definitely taken advantage of. The first one we made 56 jars of jam and syrup. I think this is a personal record for one day and it's nice to see our canning cupboard downstairs filling up in preparation for winter. I know I shouldn't say that word, especially since we haven't had Fall yet, but it's inevitable. Fall is probably the shortest season around here because winter likes to take over before it's official calendar date. We've been enjoying fresh English Muffin Bread, Snickerdoodles and a bit of fruit leather that we made in the dehydrator. It makes me wish we'd had a lot more apples and things, but we're definitely thankful for all the things that the Lord did bless us with. There are still several more batches of jam to be made, but we'll save those for another day.

On another note: We started working up a spot for our new garden. We're really just scratching the surface and will go for more of a deep cultivation in the Spring, but still quite excited about it! Our first garden spot had a frost pocket and the second area seems to be an area that ends up flooding each spring. The new one is close to the house and shouldn't have issues either way. We'll be downsizing for this one, but gradually expanding as the kids get older. Scott loves growing things in his greenhouse and will probably expand that a bit next year instead of a bigger garden. We had an abundance of homegrown watermelon, some cantaloupe, some peppers, ground cherries, lettuce and lemon cucumbers that did well in the greenhouse this year.

4 months or less until we meet this new little one!!!!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Hidden Hollow Highlights

I'm so far behind with blogging that I just figured I'd just give the highlights of our activities over the past month or so.

We had a fantastic time with the family all here for the barn raising!

We started the 2013/2014 School Year!

Scott completed several independent jobs and started working more regularly for Kindersley Glass.

We had our first Ladies Bible Study and had quite a good turnout of ladies.

The road reconstruction by the church is almost complete. We thought it was done, but then they started putting on another layer.

Scott and the kids slept up in the barn fortress for the first time!

Garrison came down and showed me that he lost his second tooth:).

I had the second ultrasound and everything looks great! Now the name game begins...

Lots and lots of yard work going on around here...

We started Bible Institute Classes at the church on Thursday nights. Pretty good turnout so far:).

Adelaide has a butter addiction and tries to sneak off with it as often as possible...

Elyssia and Garrison had their first spelling tests. 100% for both of them!!!

The hollyhocks are cut down and the rose bushes have been pruned.

My oldest brother went to Nepal and back safely:).

A friend's husband made chief and we rejoiced that she had the opportunity to join him in Japan for the ceremony!

Joanna Seay gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. So excited for them!

We super deep cleaned the house!!! Can you tell I'm excited about that one:)?

We canned peaches and pears for the winter.

The weather has been between 90 and 100 degrees for most of the past 3 weeks. Very unusual to have it hot for so long in this area.

We had our first blackberries ripen. Not sure whether I'd say they taste great. They're definitely not the quality and sweetness of the wild ones back where I grew up.

I made scones this afternoon and I'm off to try one before it's milking time and back to church for the evening service...

Friday, August 16, 2013

Life Changes Quickly

When I wrote the last post I was expecting too be too busy to write another one before our trip, but instead our computer quite working. Then my cell phone wouldn't turn on. A trip to the electronic store revealed that it had moisture damage. It wasn't dropped in the wash water this time, but praise the Lord it was time for us to renew the contract and picking a free phone replacement was very nice. It was actually quite a nice break, not feeling the draw to check the e-mail or facebook, but then came the downside. While talking to a friend we found out that another friend, missionary to Holland, had been killed in a car accident the day before. It's been heavy on our hearts ever since. We're extremely thankful that there's no doubt that He's with the Lord and try to stay focused on that blessing, but it's hard not to think about his little family left behind. All the thoughts that come about what we would do were we in that situation. I know that it doesn't help anybody to dwell on it, but it has helped us to talk through somewhat of a plan, were it to happen to one of us. When you're young, you don't spend a lot of time thinking about it, thus the shock when it happens to friends. Much of our thoughts and prayers go out to Collette and the 3 little ones. We praise the Lord for those helping to get her packed up and ready to move back to Canada. We praise the Lord for their dedication and willingness to leave all to go and serve the Lord over in Holland. We praise the Lord for the opportunities that He gave them to witness to those they came in contact during the time He gave them over there and pray that those people would be saved as a result of Joel and Collette's testimonies. Especially the neighbors that they were so burdened for. We pray that they would come to know the Lord and to be a fruit left to spread the Gospel further across Holland in Joel and Collette's place. We pray for the Kamps(fellow missionaries in Holland), who were so excited to finally have helpers in the ministry. We pray that the Lord would sustain them, encourage them and draw another family to help in place of the Michels. We pray for Collette as she seeks the Lord's wisdom on a place to live and getting through all the daily needs of the children as they all grieve. We pray that the Lord would keep them in our hearts and minds, not forgetting them in this time of need, though the busyness of life overtake us. There was a video of Joel singing his last special at church posted today. It was such an amazing blessing to hear him singing, "Lord send me anywhere, only go with me". The Lord was truly with Joel and Joel with be with the Lord for eternity. What a blessed thought! It's amazing how many tears the Lord has given us in times like these. I just pray that He uses what is so painful to many of us right now to bring much rejoicing in the future. All else seems so inconsequential lately. We would normally be more upset about the loss of all the info and pictures from our computer, but we both truly feel that it is nothing in comparison with the loss of a loved one. We can't take the pictures with us to Heaven, but praise the Lord we have the assurance of knowing that we'll see Joel there again when the Lord calls us home:). I'll close off this post with a poem by C.T. Studd that we have up in our bedroom.

"Only One Life, Twill Soon Be Past"

C.T. Studd

"Two little lines I heard one day, Traveling along life's busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart, And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in 'that day' my Lord to meet, And stand before His Judgement seat;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice, Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave, And to God's holy will to cleave;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years, Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill, living for self or in His will;
Only one life 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore, When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way, Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep, In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e'er the strife, Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

O let my love with fervor burn, And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone, Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, Now let me say, "Thy will be done";
And when at last I'll hear the call, I know I'll say "twas worth it all";
Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.
And when I am dying, how happy I'll be, If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee."