Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Experimenting with homemade ink!

Garrison showing off his Raspberry Gelato and Elyssia was so excited that she photobombed it:).

Outlining and shading... It looks like Samuel is our 3rd left handed child!

Homemade Mozzarella Goat Cheese, Homemade Bread and Samuel after enjoying the homemade chocolate pudding that we made with goats milk!

Another sunny day filled with school, baking together, baseball practice, playing with goats and reading together = Priceless!

Monday, April 27, 2015

A "Mostly" Fantastic Weekend

I really need to start taking more pictures, but I'm honestly just enjoying all the family time before Scott gets busy again.

Saturday we had a baby shower at the church for a friend. We had a great time of fellowship and just enjoyed catching up on what everyone has been up to lately. The weather had been quite nice, but then there was a bit of a drizzle on Friday. We drove back home after the baby shower with snowflakes falling! Thankfully the snow didn't last past Sunday afternoon.

Saturday night Scott had an awards banquet. Shortly after he left we had a miniature flood. The upstairs toilet didn't stop running after someone flushed it and we were in the other part of the house when it started. Thankfully Elyssia went back to her room for something and saw the water before it entered the kitchen. I turned off the water, but we used all the towels in our house and still had water dripping into the middle area downstairs. We put some buckets down there and used the blowdrier to make sure the mattress didn't stay wet. Scott says it didn't look too bad when he got home, so we're thankful that there wasn't more damage. We don't have ceiling tiles in the middle area, so no stains there.

Sunday was quite good. The kids were a bit tired from our busy week, but excited to see the new family with 5 kids. That made 20 children who were 11 and under in the service. It went well though. Elyssia especially enjoyed helping with the twins. They're 5 months old and pretty easy going. It didn't take Garrison and Caleb long before they were inseparable from the two boys closer to their ages. Even the 2 year old took a liking to Caleb and was following him around. They asked us to come out to their place for lunch along with another family, so we made a quick trip back to our place to feed the baby goat and then drove out to their place. It's about an hour from our place, but it was a blessing to visit and see all the kids playing together. OUr boys took their walkie talkies and found when we got there that the other boys had some too! They used one set for the cops and the other set for the robbers. We came back with barely enough energy to do the chores, family devotions and fall into bed. Thankfully Scott didn't have to start seeding today and was able to have a more relaxed start to the day.

The kids asked if we could play baseball after doing school and we ended up playing twice:). Caleb likes to try to sneak to the next base while I'm pitching, which makes for some humorous situations. He also likes to slide into the base. Samuel is content to just meander around the field, listening to the birds and exploring some the toys that are "new to him". He's already starting to look a bit brown. The boys were having trouble hitting the ball and got a bit goofy. They switched the bat upside down and ended up hitting with the other end! It made for lots of laughs, which probably just encouraged their goofiness. I was surprised that they hit it more than once like that, but we told them they really can't keep playing that way. They're catching on pretty fast and will probably go into the rotation of family activities over the summer.

Garrison has started a routine with the other kids. They're always asking for tea before bed. I'm usually busy trying to put Samuel to sleep. So, Garrison volunteered to make it for them and now they've come to expect it every night. Garrison told me that he has a "tea habit". We also had extra milk tonight. Scott was teaching me how to make mozzarella cheese, but had to go out to put the goats in for the night in the middle of it. Samuel hadn't fallen asleep yet and I asked Garrison to sing to him while I was stirring the milk. It was the cutest "off key" lullaby I've ever heard:) and he wasn't even embarrassed when Caleb came to see what he was doing. I checked on them when I was able to step away from stirring and found Samuel just sitting calmly in his bed looking at Garrison as he sang. It wasn't long before Samuel's eyes closed and he's been sleeping ever since. It's amazing how much love these kids have for Samuel. He's one blessed little guy. I pray they don't lose that as he gets older and possibly wrecks some of their things, as toddlers are prone to do.

Heading to bed now and thanking the Lord for the blessing of another day with this family that He's shared with me.

Friday, April 24, 2015

How much can you?

fit into one week? Hmmm... After this week, I'd have to say, "A LOT". We started out slower with Scott and the kids trying to get over colds. We were still getting through the school assignments and Scott was replacing the last 3 sections on the church roof.

We had 7 loads of laundry instead of 4, which made Monday extra busy.

I usually bake on Thursday, but realized we had more eggs than usual and spontaneously decided that it was time to attempt another angel food cake, or two! They turned out really well and I made a jelly roll with some of the leftover yolks and raspberry gelato with the rest. Yum-O! It was a lot of work, but Caleb said it was the best thing ever:). I love how easy it is to please my boys with homemade baking. They usually like to be involved, which make it more enjoyable.

The weather was gorgeous and allowed for a lot more time outside, which we L-O-V-E.

Scott was able to work up the ground for the trees that are coming next week. He will be seeding, so the kids and I will get to plant them:).

We played a board game as a family each night this week before family devotions and the evening milking. Lots of fun when we get into teams:) The kids are getting really good at this strategy thing.

Kiersten surprised me this week by reading 4 books, mostly on her own! We read a lot and somewhere along the way all the letters she recognized started turning into words for her:). So excited!

We've been getting ready for a baby shower this Saturday, calling and planning what foods to prepare. Looking forward to sitting down and visiting with the ladies and watching the girls play with their friends too!

We had a neighbor drop by unexpectedly. So thankful we'd already done a lot of the Spring yard cleanup:).

Today we went in to get a baby gift and some of the fresh fruit for the baby shower. We saw a friend, made a new one and managed to get our groceries in fairly good time.

Scott was replacing windows at the Legion and I said I'd have the kids pick up shingles while I set up for tomorrow. When I saw the amount of shingles, I knew the kids wouldn't be able to do it on their own. We all worked for over 2 hours picking up shingles and putting them into the trailer to be hauled to the dump. There were still some remnants to rake up tomorrow, but we were so happy to see the last of the big piles gone:). The older 3 were awesome helpers! We were lifting tarps full of shingles and I think we'll have some sore muscles tomorrow:). So thankful for the kids being such great workers though. We celebrated with raspberry pie tonight! Caleb requested it and thankfully the Lord gave me the foresight to make them this morning before we went to town.

I was finishing the dishes tonight when Addie walked in holding Admiral. She somehow managed to get him out of his pen, out of the barn, past the dog and all the way to the house, opening the front door and brought him inside to show us:). She LOVES the little goats! We had a good laugh over it after we got over our astonishment about how she managed to bring him all that way.

All in all, it's been a great week and we're looking forward to meeting a new family tomorrow and visiting with friends twice this weekend.

Happy Friday!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A day of rest...

Other than school, we actually had a week of "rest". There were kids with sniffles, some with coughs and many who ended up sleeping during the day. That's quite unusual for the older ones. We have been kept busy with more farm chores than usual and the warmer weather does tend to make us feel a bit drowsy, but these were definitely needed. We've enjoyed some wonderful weather this week and tried to do different school outside, whenever possible:). The 2 oldest kids are doing Math, French and Piano lessons on the computer, so once those were done we tried to head outside. We were able to finish history and science for the year, which was really nice! The boys took their Semester II test and they both got an A. That test came with the course, but I still need to type up the Big Science Test. We should be able to get that done this week. We'll enjoy extracurricular reading on these two subjects for the rest of the year, but no more tests. The kids will continue with the Math, French and Piano through the summer. We'll have breaks when we take family vacations, but try to get at least 2 or 3 of these done each week. The kids are really enjoying all 3, so I don't think it will be a hardship.

Scott took Caleb to church this morning, but I kept the rest of the kids home. We read the Bible, a character building story, a Biblically based Zoo study-getting them ready for the visit this summer:), and learned about the life of Zvi, a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust. Overall, a day to reflect on the Lord, His Word and His will for our lives.

This afternoon we did some experimental cooking. I made hasty pudding, ham, beans and canned peaches and pears. Scott made goat cheese and also ricotta cheese(from the whey). All of it was quite good. We're getting more milk from the goats now, so I'm looking forward to making mozzarella cheese soon:).

Overall, another day to thank the Lord for. We had beautiful weather and the kids are getting closer to the end of their colds. There's another week to look forward to and an evening of family fellowship to enjoy.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Milk Maid

It's been awhile and I was out of practice yesterday morning. Blackie was lowering her horns at me:). I obviously need to spend more time with them, now that the weather is nicer. Scott got her onto the stand and she's harmless with her head in the stocks. It went a lot easier(and Faster) this morning and Blackie follows quite nicely when she's done. Sometimes she gets a bit distracted by weeds, but she went into the bigger field without making a break for it:))). She's still quite large, so I don't think she can run too fast. She's producing a good amount of milk and Admiral is quite happy to drink it all.

The last couple days have been wonderfully sunny. It's a bit windy, but nothing too strong. We've enjoyed being out together in the morning before Scott heads to work. Doing chores and watching the goats frisk about. They hop and bop each other and are super happy to explore the hill and little shed.

Last night we received the last attachment for "Stoik the Vast", our Kubota Tractor. It was the snowblower attachment. The guy said, "sorry you don't have any snow to try it out on." Funny guy... I'm not sad about the lack of snow. It was nice having less snow this winter. We didn't have to dig any vehicles out and not too much shoveling of the lane. Next year will probably bring quite a bit more snow, so we're thankful to be prepared, thanks to an amazing gift!

Well, we're pretty much finished with our Friday school assignments! The kids always seem more motivated to finish quickly on the weekend and just received notices for a bunch of library books we ordered. We're planning to feed Admiral and then head in to pick them up. The kids haven't been for awhile, so it will be a nice adventure!

Happy Sunny Friday!!!

Hiding Scripture

We've been working with the kids on memorizing more Scripture as a family.
Favorite memory would be Caleb saying, "Keep thy tongue in thy mouth", instead of "Keep thy tongue from evil." I would say that his version is a good way to avoid evil too:).

This last challenge was 26 verses and the prize was the game Ticket To Ride. It took a little over a month, but the kids were pleasantly surprised when I brought out the reward the other night. We've played it 3 nights in a row, with a different person winning each night. The first night it was Scott and Caleb. The second night was my turn and last night was Elyssia. It was a close one last night and Garrison's first time playing on his own. He did awesome and came really close to winning. It neat to see all the different strategies and it's amazing to see how many destination cards the younger two pick up and accomplish. I'm not usually up to taking the risk and Scott usually takes a lot more risk, sometimes resulting in the win or loss. I think it probably says a lot about our personalities, but overall it's a great family game. It's also a great way for the kids to be learning where all the cities are in Canada and the U.S. We played the Europe version in March and it's more challenging because a lot of the countries are different than we're used to. Another good challenge though.

So, our next challenge, along with Scripture verses, will be having all the kids memorize the books of the Bible in order. Then we can have sword drills during family devotions:). The oldest two pretty much know all the Old Testament, but need some work on the New Testament order. It'll be more of a challenge with the younger ones, but well worth it. We'll take everyone for a Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cone when it's completed. A good SUMMER treat:).

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Letting the goats out...

Into their fenced yard, of course:)

Elyssia's Admiral has his racing stripes blanket on for extra warmth, since he has no goats to lay next to. The little goats like him, but none of the mamas want him anywhere close to them.

Here's our youngest farmboy:

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

One of life's harder lessons...

Garrison cried when he found out Callie had died the other day. He seemed to form a quick bond with her. I wish that I'd taken more pictures of each of them together. I just wasn't anticipating losing her and missed the opportunity. He came in from chores this morning and there were more tears as he talked about missing her and how cute she was. How she would sit in his lap. Blackie's babies were supposed to be his responsibility, but neither of them lived very long. It was sweet to see Kiersten offering to let him have one of hers. Tonight he had another hard task. He and Scott went out together to bury Callie. It's one of those lessons that you don't necessarily put into your schedule to teach them, but see God working in their hearts through the experience and sad times. Thankful that he has brothers and sisters to gather round and cheer him up:).

I could get used to this...

Addie and Kiersten made a fruit salad with yogurt for lunch this afternoon. They also gave us cheese and crackers, with a miniature cadbury egg for dessert. Scott had surprised us by coming home right before lunch. There was a delay on his current job and he was able to come home and work on his to do list. It was a delicious lunch and there wasn't even a drop of leftovers:).

Elyssia made a cornbread casserole with ham and baked beans for supper. Garrison made a strawberry crisp for dessert. There was one serving of the casserole and no helpings of dessert left. Must've been yummy:).

Caleb washed the dishes and Kiersten was the fisher. I told her to throw them back into his side if they weren't clean. He must be a good washer because there weren't any returns.

I still come up with the ideas and supervise, but it's nice to see them maturing and making meals that everyone enjoys.

Monday, April 6, 2015


Admiral's new mother!

Admiral's real mom didn't have enough milk for two babies and she chose to reject him. Elyssia brought him in last night to protect him and slept on the floor next to him. Scott built him his own little pen this morning in order to protect him from the mama goats that don't want him to come near them. He's drinking the milk that we get from Blackie and is quite happy to have Elyssia feeding him. The other 3 goats are doing just fine with their mamas and we'll leave them to nurse until they're around 3 months.

Today was probably the busiest day of this month. It was grocery day, laundry day, pick up Scott's suit day, get an oil change day, stop by the vet clinic day, contact people day, still feed the kids day, try to help the kids with schoolwork day, plus the barn/animal chores. I told Elyssia it was her "Cinderella" day because she had several of these things to do, plus preparing dessert for the evening meal. I helped her make the "lazy wife cake". We all decided that it should really be called the "busy day cake" because none of us were being lazy, just lacking in time. It turned out to be really yummy and I'm quite sure we'll be making it again:).

The last load of laundry will be switched over to the dryer in the morning, thanks to the kids pulling together to keep it going when I was in town. The groceries were all put away in good time, thanks to some great helpers! The house is mostly back in order after Samuel's 1/2 day without mommy:). He had Garrison and Kiersten taking turns watching him and they had their hands full! He's mischief and a half some days and I think he kept them on their toes today. Kiersten did a great job preparing burritos tonight. Each of the kids loves their turn in the kitchen and it's nice to see how they volunteer to help when they see another sibling is extra busy.

Elyssia has been doing an online math practice program. She's loving it! We thought it would be great to reinforce the 5th grade math skills before she started 6th grade. Some of the concepts were a bit overwhelming this year and this seems to be helping her to become more confident with her ability to do each problem on her own. She asks for confirmation sometimes, but I'm trying to encourage her to just do her best, answer the questions and learn from her mistakes. It's hard for her to get some wrong, but it's good for her to figure out from their examples where she went wrong. It's an inexpensive family plan, so Garrison and Caleb can also do math practice for their current grade levels.

Well, it's been a long day and it's time for me to head to bed. Looking forward to a slightly more relaxing day tomorrow:).

Resurrection Sunday

We had much to be thankful for this Resurrection Sunday. We're so thankful for the sacrifice that Jesus made in giving His life to pay the penalty for our sins. To think that HE loved US so much that He would suffer so much to die in our place. He took the penalty so that we could be saved and tell others of His desire to save the whole world. Sadly many have CHOSEN to reject Jesus, deny His existence and mock those who follow HIM. HIS love is so amazing! HE continues to love those who deny and reject Him and desires that they be saved before it's too late. We were blessed to worship HIM as a family yesterday and fellowship with others at Caleb Village last night. In between we were blessed with the birth of the last two baby goats. They were quite large, but their mama had the most milk.

Before we left Scott noticed that Cinnamon was still butting Admiral. When we got home he decided that we'd need to take Admiral inside to protect him. He plans to section off a place for him today, unless he can convince Blackie to adopt him. She was crying for Jack, the baby that she lost. We're not sure if it will work, but we'll try.

On a sad note: Scott went out early this morning and found Callie had passed away. We tried everything we could to take care of her, but she might've had the same deficiency as Jack. He'll be talking with the vet today to see if there's an extra booster that the other babies might need in order to get the best start possible. The other 4 are very active and Blackie is producing 2 cups each milking, so that will keep Admiral going, even if we have to bottle feed him for awhile.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Auction Day = Kinda Free Entertainment

I really should have taken some pictures. Guess you'll have to use your imagination, like in the olden days:). We got up early, completed all our morning chores, ate breakfast and loaded everyone into Big Red. We arrived right around 8:30 this morning and they started the bidding by 9. There weren't quite as many interesting things as other years, but enough to keep our attention. They had some beautiful saddles and we were sure they would fetch a high price. We were pleasantly surprised when they sold for $125.00. We briefly considered buying the second one, but the auctioneer let the same person buy the second one for the same price. So, somehow Scott ended up buying some tack, brushes and a bridle stand for about $30. He figured that we could use some of it for the goats and it's there in the future if Elyssia ever has enough to afford a horse and its feed. There was a man that approached us when Scott went outside and asked if we had a horse. We said no and he asked if we wanted one:). He's from Oyen, Alberta and has 20. He just bought 6 more colts at an auction. He's another "grandpa type" that thinks every kids should have a horse. One of these days I have a feeling I'm going to look outside and see one dropped off in the yard, simply because of those "Grandpa types".

Scott also picked up a ladder for a great price. It's one that'll reach the ridge of the barn and also be handy in changing the yard light. I had my eye on a "butter churn", which actually turned out to be an antique "washing barrel" that they'd mislabeled. An antique dealer bought it for $450.00 and others figured he'd resell it for at least $1,0000. The kids had fun playing with it before it sold though:). There were lots of antique irons, coal scuttles, tools, etc... I bid on an old milk jug, that should still be useful. I got it for under $50, which I'd already decided was the most I'd spend. So, happy with winning my bid and not bringing home a pallet full of junk with it. Many times they lump the whole lot together and it increases the size of the junk pile on the back of the property.

Caleb treated the other kids to hot dogs. He used his birthday money and each of the kids shared part of theirs with Samuel. They were $2 each, so they each ate the snacks that I brought, plus the hotdog, which seemed to keep them full until we got home at 1. Scott headed back to bid on the small plastic grain bin and auger. We visited with some of our neighbors and I think he will probably enjoy visiting with even more people, now that I'm home with the kids. They did really well, but staying til 5 on a cold day would have been a bit much.

The goats are all doing well. Clover is still waiting for her babies and we're hoping that they don't decide to come when we're in church. They'd be fine, but it's nice to be around in case they need help latching on and also to get them cleaned up.

Thinking of all our family and friends celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour this weekend!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Cinnamon has twins!

Scott and most of the kids got to see Cinnamon deliver her twins about 3:30 this afternoon. Introducing A & W - Admiral(boy) and Winter(girl). They both weighed 3 kg and they're doing really good. Cinnamon was on her feet and letting them nurse shortly after she delivered. With their coloring they reminded us of ice cream and root beer, thus the reference to A & W .

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Suprise Visitor

This morning Elyssia answered the phone and then handed it to me. It was my friend from the Hutterite Colony. She said that her husband was bringing her out to visit me! Scott was in town and busy with Blackie and "Callie". The kids were a HUGE help in making sure the house/property was cleaned up in time for her arrival this afternoon. Miriam has talked about visiting for the past couple years. Each time she's wanted to come, something else has come up and she hasn't had a driver to bring her. We cleaned, keeping it in the back of our minds, that she might call and tell us that she couldn't make it after all. Well, right around 1pm she arrived:). I think that it was a nice visit. We served her tea and some of Garrison's applesauce drop cookies that he baked yesterday. She brought us buns from the colony and we sent her home with Raspberry Jam. We talked about all sorts of things and then she wanted a tour of the house:). Good thing we cleaned ALL the rooms(upstairs and downstairs). I'd anticipated this, considering how curious they all are about how people outside the colony live. It's rare that they're allowed to visit non-Hutterites, so we just tried to be a good testimony. She seemed to enjoy seeing the goats, especially the new baby. Overall, the kids were on their best behaviour and even remembered not to interrupt when they were excited to tell her something.

I have to say that "Callie" seems like she might be one of those "screaming" goats that people have posted videos of online. Calico Jack would scream to get the girls attention, so maybe it's an inherited trait. She's super cute, but very vocal, especially if anyone picks her up:). Scott made matching red striped towel blankets for Blackie and Callie and they seem to like them. I haven't had to think up extra activities for the kids today. Between visiting with Miriam and going out to see the goats, the day is passing quickly. We've also had different people asking if they can bring their kids by to see them. We might end up being the local petting zoo:))).

The wind has picked up this afternoon. It's gusing to around 65 mph or so and there are shingles flying off the roof again. Never a dull moment...


In spite of taking all the extra measures to get "sleepyhead" warmed up and nursing from his mama, he didn't make it. It was sometime between midnight and 3:30. Scott confirmed that Blackie's kids were a boy and a girl. The one that Addie called Sleepyhead was the weaker of the two. He had trouble holding up his head and was slower to stand up. His legs were much longer than the girl's legs and he only stood up with help, about 3 times. Once the girl was out and standing, she stayed that way til we left the barn. I think our kids will be a bit sad this morning, but thankfully it's not like when Sam dug under the house a couple years ago and killed 2 babies. We still have the one and Scott says she's very "vocal". Kiersten had fallen asleep last night before we found the babies, so Scott took her out first thing this morning, while the other children are still sleeping:). She's excited for her goat, Clover, to have her babies. Hopefully that will happen sometime today, since Scott is staying home.