Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Milk At Hidden Hollows!

We have plenty of milk here at Hidden Hollows. Here's our latest batch of milk, buttermilk, goat butter, goat cream cheese and riccota. We ate all the mozzarrella, so it didn't get included in the picture.

Next time it's Cheddar Cheese and Homemade Yogurt! Looking forward to the yogurt and anticipating how the "aged cheddar" will taste in the fall:).

Look who's 33!

My mom's looking pretty good for 33, eh? Just kidding! I'm so thankful for each of the 33 years that the Lord has allowed me to be here and to be surrounded by such an amazing family!

Epic Edmonton Vacation

We had a great trip to Edmonton. Preston went all out to make sure that we had a great time. I can honestly say that I never heard the kids say, "I'm bored", while we were there:). I will post 2 links from Scott's facebook page, since it would take way too long to post all my favorites on here!



Now, we're back in a somewhat normal routine, and looking forward to our next adventure at Nana and Grandad's.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

A Wonderful Visit!

Last week we were really blessed to have my mom here with us. It was fun to see the kids reconnecting with her and listening to her reading to them in different character voices. It brought back childhood memories of bedtime stories:). We enjoyed taking her to most of our special places-Caleb Village, the library, the grocery store, the Hutterite Colony, the Colliseum Restaurant. I made Strawberry Rhubarb Custard Pie with some of our fresh rhubarb. She did the girls hair, colored pictures, played the piano and sang with Elyssia and I at church and Caleb Village. We had the big Trade Show while she was here and we met lots of new people. Here are some of the pictures from our time together:

Look Who We Found At The Airport!!!

Someone's Happy To See Grandma!

The kids enjoying storytime and gifts from Grandma. Addie even slept with her coloring book and hair clips:).

An Awesome Dollar Store Find. Mom beat me, as usual:).

Relaxing after Grandma's "Diving Lessons" in the plastic kiddie pool:).

The Seagulls found us!

Ready For Church...

Coloring in the lines takes lots of concentration:).

Samuel "helping" Daddy install the new toilet. (This was just before Grandma arrived:).

Hair Fixing Time...

Teaching Grandma to play Ticket To Ride.

Reading Jack and Annie Adventures!

Tea Party!!!

A beautiful day at Cutbank Lake!

It's been over 9 years...

since I celebrated Father's Day with my Dad. I'm so incredibly thankful for the 24 that I was blessed to have with my dad. Several of my birthdays ended up on Father's Day and we had fun celebrating together. So many times I wish that I could call him and hear his "smiling" voice on the other end. He was the only one that could get away with calling me by my "nickname". There are many days that I wish he was here to see his grandkids. To hear him share God's Word with them. They would have loved his family and "Alec" stories:). The boys are just starting to go fishing and really enjoying it. He loved fishing and would have gotten great enjoyment out of seeing them trying to catch their first fish. This past year Garrison started writing "Gary" on all his school papers. It's interesting how God puts little pieces of our parents and siblings into our children. For those of us who are separated by great distances, it's a blessing to have reminders of those we love. I apologize to my brothers if there are parts of me in your children:).

An Early Happy Father's Day to my Amazing Husband, Brothers and my Father In Law!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A different perspective on life...

This past week has been full of blessings, challenges, encouragement, and hopefully some spiritual growth:).

Our week started out with a visit from my in-laws. The kids had a hard time waiting for them to arrive. There was lots of talking, giggling, bedtime snacks and bedtime kisses before they finally closed their tired little eyes. Scott had taken off a couple of days so that he could visit, try to get over his bronchitis and start building his extra greenhouse. What we did not anticipate was some of the goats having health issues. Scott sent me into town for some medicine they needed and thankfully they both responded quite quickly. The upstairs toilet only ran over once, so the towels all got another turn in the washer and dryer. I think the rest of the visit went quite well. They headed out on Thursday morning...

Then began our second adventure! The Walleys, long time friends and missionaries to the Philippines, arrived. Elyssia remembered them coming to our house in Montrose, B.C., when she was 3. That girl has a great memory:). The first night went well. It was great catching up with them. Scott went to work on Friday and the kids enjoyed showing Mr. Walley around the farm. He even scaled the climbing wall! Pretty good for a man who already has his first great grandchild:). That night something unusual happened. One of the goats, Cinnamon tipped over after being butted by another goat. They butt each other frequently, but have never fallen over. She continued to act strange the next day, with bloating, etc... Scott got the bloating taken care of, but took her to the vet to see about the other issues. The vet really could not say what the cause was. She gave her some medicine for a couple things that she thought might be the issue, but none of them made a difference. We now had to make a decision that would bring a great deal of sadness to our little ones. Meanwhile, the toilet overflowed again... The towels enjoyed a second trip through the washer and dryer. Thankfully the water did not get past the bathroom door, thus no water dripping downstairs. We visited a bit on Saturday night after putting the kids to bed, but tried to get a bit more sleep. We did not anticipate how much we would need it on Sunday!

I was sleeping on the couch, since the Walleys were in our room and Adelaide tends to spread herself out on the cot, leaving little room for a mommy sized person to sleep comfortably:). I was awakened to what I thought was rain. We have been praying for rain for a couple weeks now. What I found though was that it was on the inside of the house. I ran over to the basement door, which was open, to see it pouring down water on Scott, who was trying to push the beds out of the way and place buckets as fast as possible. It was 4 times as much water as we had had the other time it made it past the bathroom door. I ran to the back of the house, only to see that the water had come out as far as the stove! Well, not quite knowing what to say, I found my rain boots, pulled them on and ran down to give Scott extra containers to catch water and then went upstairs to throw any towel-like item I could find in the linen closet onto the floor upstairs in order to soak up the water and try to stop the torrential downpour going on in the basement. As I was downstairs, the song, There Shall Be Showers Of Blessing, came to mind. I did NOT share that with Scott at the time, only a bit later when could both sought to use a humorous spirit to overcome the discouraged spirits that we did not want to succumb too. Thankfully the Walleys were of the same mind and helped us to keep looking on the bright and funny side of things:). We checked on the goat after breakfast, but there was still no change. We headed off to church, still working through all the swirling thoughts and emotions.

Sunday School was a blessing! Brother Walley was given a message from the Lord that was a second blessing, thus confirming my thought that Satan was fighting hard in order to prevent us from going to church at all. There was NO WAY we wanted him to win! On the way home we made the decision that if there was no change with the goat, we would need to put her down. Elyssia and Garrison had an especially hard time with it, but came to understand that we were helping her because her body would not heal. The coyotes were loud and closing in on the farm the night before, which I believe is a sign that they know something is sick or dying and they want to be there to get it. Thankfully Jade kept them away and that was not the way Cinnamon had to die. The kids helped to bury her and then we spent the afternoon doing our best to get a bit of rest and get through the rest of the day. We had one more toilet overflow, but it was stopped in the beginning stages. PRAISE THE LORD!!! I did not have all the towels washed from the last incident, so would have just had to leave the water on the floor if it had gotten any worse.

Sunday evening we had a college singing group from Manitoba coming. God used them to be the 3rd blessing of our day. There was such joy in their singing and love for the Lord. The man and wife that travel with them were an encouragement and his sermon coordinated with what Brother Walley preached in the morning message. Only God can bring that about:). We were challenged, convicted and encouraged all night long. We were unable to house them, since our bedrooms downstairs were not dried out yet. Thankfully 2 families in our church offered to let them sleep at their houses and that issue was solved. We all enjoyed getting to know the girls and hearing their testimonies, stories about their families, etc...

After church, Scott and I stayed up quite late visiting with the Walleys. We knew that they had to leave in the morning and wanted to make the most of it. The kids played chess with Mrs. Walley and I even knew how to play by the time she was done explaining things:). They shared many stories of ministry and life challenges in order to allow us to see how God has worked in their lives over the years. If we never go through difficult situations then how will we be able to sympathize and help others when they are facing them. We thank God for the Walleys and the timing of their visit. I wish that it had been more relaxing, but realize that our life is rarely relaxing as far as circumstances. We can, however, choose to trust God through each situation, and find rest in Him!

Monday morning we were able to linger over breakfast, talking til Scott needed to leave for work. I will admit that I cried when they left. It was very difficult to say goodbye. Their visit brought back so many memories of time spent with them and my parents. Bro. Walley has many things about him that remind me of my dad. Even the smell of the coffee that he liked to drink throughout the day. I fixed coffee for my dad sometimes and it was a good memory:). We pray that they have a wonderful time visiting their other supporting churches and hope that we have a chance to see them again, this side of Heaven. Here, there or in the air, as many fellow Christians like to say:). I called my mom, which turned out to be another great blessing. Moms have a way of doing that:). She prayed with me and I was reminded of how blessed we are to be loved by our parents and siblings. Knowing that we can call them and they will be a listening ear.

After they left, life somehow returned to the normal routine. We had to finish dishes, laundry, etc. It was also the 1st Monday of the month, which meant GROCERY DAY! I really felt too tired to go, but knew it was best to get it out of the way. The kids were big helpers, as usual, with a bit of extra excitement in the produce aisle:). They love Fruit! One lady stopped me because she did not think they could all possibly be mine:). She did leave with an encouraging word though, which is much appreciated.

So, that brings us up to the present day. We are settling down, with no more major toilet trouble so far. We plan to try to take things easy this week and look forward to the excitement of my mom arriving next week! She has not been here in 2 years. Elyssia, Samuel and I were blessed to see her a little over a year ago when we flew to Georgia, but the rest of the kids were not able to have that blessing. That means we had better catch up on our sleep from this night forward:).

I pray that this post does not come across as a list of complaints. I pray it is an encouragement to others who may read it and be going through their own struggles and difficulties. Christians are not exempt from these things, but having a personal relationship with the Lord and brothers and sisters in Christ to go through them with us definitely makes this life more enjoyable and the troubles easier to go through. The Lord is my Rock, My Fortress, My Strength and My Redeemer. Blessed Be The Name Of The Lord!