Friday, March 31, 2017

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Above and Beyond

The last couple days were ones where the blessings definitely outweighed any of the things that might have gone wrong during the day. It started out with Squash Bread

because we currently had no bread in the house. Thanks to my mother in law, I had the pureed squash to make this bread, that has quickly become everyone's favourite! I had been thinking about making apple pies with the abundance that one of my brother in laws provided on their last visit. The kids were eating them quickly and I wanted to make some before they disappeared:). So, it seemed like a good time to have Elyssia make her first batch of pie dough and follow through on the recipe from start to finish, with minimal help from me.

She did awesome and they tasted better than mine:). I just realized that I didn't take the final pictures. The one with the crumb topping and then the pies fresh out of the oven.

Kiersten didn't want to be left out and Elyssia offered to let her use some of her dough. Kiersten's miniature Raspberry Pie was also delicious!

Then I realized that I hadn't used the cherries that I took out and thawed in the fridge a couple days ago. Those were made into Cherry squares.

I was thankful that the eggs had been washed the night before because there just wouldn't have been enough time to do that and have them delivered by 11.

The little girls were washing dishes and setting up for a luncheon tea party

The boys asked if they could put together the new "rock hauling" cart.

The young men actually followed the directions and needed only one dilemma solved during the assembly. Pretty good for a 9 and 10 year old:).

Thankfully Scott came home for lunch, since I had a luncheon scheduled with a friend from church. We had a lovely time and came back to find that Elyssia had taken care of baking the Canadian Harvest Bread and they were cooling on the counter.

I had a few things to pick up before heading home and found an especially good sale on little boy's suits. Sam got 2 new suits for $7. They are normally $25 each. Praise the Lord! He loves wearing suits/ties and they are not something that we usually find at the Thrift Shop.

The afternoon was spent cleaning up and washing dishes, which is to be expected after such an epic day! We were thankful that supper was already in the crockpot and didn't require any extra time or work to complete.

The days of thankfulness continue with another beautiful sunny day! Yesterday was an unusual school day. Today our regular school schedule has resumed and I'm wrapping this post up so that I can call the kids in from their lunch break. Only 3 more subjects to go through and they can enjoy playing outside til supper.

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Loss Amidst The Blessings

The loss of a couple animals wouldn't be too big of a deal to many farmers. However, it matters quite a lot here at Hidden Hollows. We don't have all the answers for why the Lord would allow this right now, but we trust that He knows best. That His ways are better than our ways. That His plan for the year ahead is much better than our own. As we look back, we thank the Lord for the many wonderful memories we have with Blackie and Clover. We thank the Lord that we were able bottle feed them when they were young. That we were able to see them give birth and take them through the milking experience. We thank the Lord that Blackie was able to give the milk that Admiral needed, when his mama didn't have enough. We thank the Lord for the life lessons that the kids have learned through taking care of them. We thank the Lord that we still have 2 does left and look forward to meeting their babies. We are trusting the Lord to watch over them and their deliveries in the next week or so. Whatever comes, we choose joy! We choose to praise the Lord! We choose to be a thankful people!

the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. Job 1:21b

Another blessing amidst the loss was seeing the compassion of the children. Concerning the animals and concerning the sibling to whom the animal belonged. To see them trying to comfort one another. Crying with one another and seeking to encourage one another. Reminding each other of great memories and things they had to be thankful for. Growing up is often hard to do, but it is a beautiful thing when the Lord is invited to walk beside us.

Count Your Blessings!

It's amazing how quickly the last 8 years have gone by. We were counting our blessings as we celebrated the 8th Anniversary of Redemption Baptist Church. Praising the Lord for His faithfulness and provision through the years.

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

It was a blessing to have a potluck with church family. One of the greatest blessings was going to Caleb Village for hymn sing on Sunday night. Singing many of our favourite hymns and visiting with people afterwards. Looking back on how faithful God has been over the years. Looking forward to seeing what He has for us in the years ahead. Seeking to serve Him with everything we have. Not exactly knowing what will come in the future, but knowing He will be with us.

Addie's Birthday Flower In Bloom!

Random pictures from Samuel, Lillian's and Caleb's Birthday celebrations/gift openings

The last picture is Samuel "pretending" to be asleep in his Cozy Coupe Police Car:). He's taking cozy to a whole new level!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Spring Is On It's Way

It may be another month and a half before it's official, but we're enjoying watching the snow melt. Working and playing outside on the sunny days!

Heavenly Sunlight

Walking in sunlight all of my journey;
Over the mountains, through the deep vale;
Jesus has said, “I’ll never forsake thee,”
Promise divine that never can fail.

Heavenly sunlight, heavenly sunlight,
Flooding my soul with glory divine:
Hallelujah, I am rejoicing,
Singing His praises, Jesus is mine.

Shadows around me, shadows above me,
Never conceal my Savior and Guide;
He is the Light, in Him is no darkness;
Ever I’m walking close to His side.

In the bright sunlight, ever rejoicing,
Pressing my way to mansions above;
Singing His praises gladly I’m walking,
Walking in sunlight, sunlight of love.

Addicted To The Word Of The Lord?

This is one addiction that is a good one to have:)> Waking up every morning and looking forward to spending time with the Lord in HIS Word and in prayer. Looking forward to preaching and asking Him to speak to my heart and show me areas that I need to work on. Praying not just for our church, but for others around the world. Seeking to share the truth about Jesus' Death, Burial and Resurrection! It's exciting to read verses I've heard or read before, but having the Lord show me a new way to apply it to life today. Finally understanding many verses that I had trouble with in the past, or never even noticed as I read through. It's a blessing to talk some of them through with Scott and the children. Most of the time Scott already knows what I've read, but it's nice to share it with others.

I'm excited to share what God has been doing and is continuing to do in our lives. He is SO good to us and we're so undeserving of HIS great love and mercy. As spring starts to melt the snow around us, so we long to see Him wash away the icy indifference or lukewarm state that so many have to the things of the Lord. May He shine brightly through our lives and make a difference in the world around us. Never hiding our lights under a bushel, but putting them on a candlestick. Praying for His help to be a bolder witness this year.

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise.

Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.

-Frances R. Havergal

Thankful for Prayer Card Tracts

God was able to use a Pastor and his wife, that we met in Yakima, to be a great encouragement to us this year. They offered to make us prayer card tracts. our kids really enjoy giving them out with the following explanation. This is our family. This is our church. This side tells you how to get to our church and the other side tells you how to get to Heaven! We're praying the Lord uses each of them to touch hearts, reach the lost and encourage all those who read them. We're praying and trusting that the Lord will help HIS WORD to go out and bear spiritual fruit for eternity.

Lessons On The Farm

The Lord allowed us to experience another "difficult farm lesson" last week. We were looking forward to the birth of the first baby goats. However, Blackie, started showing signs of "pregnancy toxemia". She had it 2 years ago and survived, but her babies weren't healthy enough to survive very long after the birth. Garrison was devastated to lost Calico Kate and Jack. This year he was excited to meet her new babies. Scott had medicine for her "just in case". He gave it to her as soon as she started showing symptoms. She seemed like she would pull through, but when he went in one morning he found that she had passed away in the middle of the night. It was sad on so many different levels. Even the other goats looked sad. The children took it hard, but it was a blessing to see the other children as they sought to comfort Garrison. Kiersten offered to give Garrison one or both of her goat's kids. Once again, it was the Lord working in and through the children. Bringing out the best in them. He helped them to think of many things to be thankful for, in spite of the loss. We had a fun time just thinking back on Monica's kindness in giving us the three bottle babies and how much fun we had feeding them every day. Watching them grow and become mothers for the first time. Memories of the milk Blackie blessed us with and the yummy cheese it made! We are also thankful for the other three goats and look forward to seeing their babies born. Praying that the Lord will watch over their deliveries and give us wisdom as we seek to care for them as well as we can.

Exciting Projects

We are so thankful to be a part of the Lord's Work. Uruguay, Mexico, the Philippines, Sierra Leone and all across Canada. These John and Romans can go 1000's of places we are able to go to. God commands us in Mark 16:15 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." This is one of the ways we can be a part of reaching the lost here and abroad. We are thankful for the children's help with this ministry as well. Please keep us in your prayers. We are desiring to attempt great things for God and asking that HE would do great things. Our prayer is that the Lord would enable us to assemble 20,000 John and Romans this year. Little by little, one book as a time.

1. To God be the glory, great things he hath done!
So loved he the world that he gave us his Son,
who yielded his life an atonement for sin,
and opened the lifegate that all may go in.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the earth hear his voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father thru Jesus the Son,
and give him the glory, great things he hath done!

2. O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
to every believer the promise of God;
the vilest offender who truly believes,
that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

3. Great things he hath taught us, great things he hath done,
and great our rejoicing thru Jesus the Son;
but purer, and higher, and greater will be
our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.

No Greater Joy

3 John 1:4

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”

This is true today, even more so than when our children were little. To hear them singing psalms and hymns and praising the Lord is priceless. Samuel goes around singing, "He gives me living water and I thirst no more" or "growing in Christ takes work every day, reading your Bible and Learning to Pray" and he's only 3. When we were in California Scott and the kids came up with names to represent places they often go in life because of moods and choices. The place they want to be at is Happy Hollows. A place of joy, happiness and thankfulness. Quite often they end up in the Miserable Mountains. How did they end up there. They went through the Selfish Slough or down Temper Tantrum Falls, etc. I think you can get the picture. Well, they talked about how to help the younger ones find their way back to Happy Hollows. They send out the "Caring Collies", a group of siblings meant to encourage and love their younger sibling back to a place of happiness, joy and contentment. We're finding that it's a good reminder and Samuel often tells me, "I'm at Happy Hollows". It's accompanied by one of his biggest smiles. That brings a priceless joy to our hearts. He and the others will say, "praise the Lord" when they find something they had lost or they see it's sunny day. Quite often one of them will pull me aside to show me "the beautiful sunrise that God made". God is using them to encourage our hearts each week and we're thankful for his working in all of our hearts. They are still regular, active kids that have their squabbles and struggles through the week, but it's a blessing to see the fruits of the Spirit developing in their lives as they spend more time with the Lord. He's doing a work from within that only HE can do.

Edmonton Church Plant

We're excited about a new church plant in Alberta! We haven't met the family yet, but thank the Lord for families that are willing to follow the Lord's leading, even when it means leaving the country of your birth. This family is moving to Alberta from Lubbock, Texas! 9 years ago I'd never heard of Lubbock, Texas. Then a friend that i grew up moved there. Her husband was called to pastor an Independent Baptist Church there. It would be neat if it was my friend and her family moving closer:). Seriously, though, we are looking forward to meeting this family and pray the Lord gives us that opportunity in the not so distant future.

Where's My Tooth?

The question above was asked one night by Garrison. We'd finished supper and had started family devotions. He had moved his tongue to wiggle his loose tooth and realized that he now had a hole and A MYSTERY! So, thinking back he quickly realized that...gasp! That hard thing in his fajita had been his tooth!!! After much laughter and joking about him not getting any money for it. We told him that we were thankful that the tooth hadn't gotten stuck in his throat. He now has another funny story to share with his kids in the future...

Priceless Discovery

Caleb was loading old wood into the back of Scott's truck the other day. As he moved wood, Jade, our dog, started catching mice that had made their home underneath it. Apparently it was an apartment for mice and ll the spaces were full. The final count was Jade 25 Mice 0. The children think Jade should come inside and take the place of Garrison's trapline. Deinitely no to Jade inside. Possible yes to Lemon or Lizzie, the barn cats. Thankful for 25 less mice on the property!!!

Baking and Bible College

Elyssia is a month shy of 12 and a half. The past 5 months, especially, have been an amazing time of growth and transformation for her. She is maturing so quickly and turning into a young lady. Dolls have been set aside. Care is taken in getting ready for the day. Baking and cooking have suddenly become more interesting. Praise the Lord! I'm always thankful for extra helpers:). Yesterday I took Caleb in for an early Birthday lunch. I came home to find that she had freshly baked Blueberry Muffins waiting for us as a surprise. It was a wonderful blessing!

She also started talking about going to Bible College when she's old enough. She will start 8th grade in September, but it hardly seems possible that so much time has gone by. We thank the Lord for each and every year that He has allowed us to epend with her. Never wanting to take those years for granted. Many are not given so many years with their child and we want to thank the Lord for them, realizing that He is the one that makes our every breath possible. Acknowledging that he has created her, loves her and has a specific plan and purpose for her.

Just last week she said she felt like the Lord wanted her to surrender her life to Him. This is definitely the Lord working in her life. She has been committing more time to prayer and Bible reading and it's a blessing to thee the work that the Lord is doing in her heart. Yes, she still has the same girlish desires and thoughts as many others her age and we encourage her to enjoy her "youthful years". This path that she is walking with the Lord is one that she is seeking after as He leads her through preaching and reading her Bible. It's amazing to see her personal relationship with Jesus growing day by day.

Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
Gives unto each day what He deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Every day the Lord Himself is near me,
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,
He whose name is Counsellor and Pow’r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.

Help me then, in every tribulation,
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation,
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till with Christ the Lord I stand.

Eager To Invite

Praise the Lord for children who are excited to knock doors and pray that people will get saved. We pray they never lost that excitement or desire. It can be discouraging when no one responds, but following God's ways are ALWAYS worth it. We honestly don't force them to go. They are all eagerly volunteering and happy to hand out tracts. Some people can't help but smile back at them, because their joy is so contagious. We pray God is able to use those tracts to reach our area and make a difference for eternity.

We caught...


Garrison runs a trapline to try to take care of the mice who believe our house has an open door, no reservation or invitation necessary kind of policy. He currently has about 20 traps out and moves them daily to keep the mice confused as to their location. Occasionally he can't find one in the morning, but they usually "show up" after awhile. We were reading book in the back of the house and Caleb ran in. He was telling us about something when we noticed that he had a black sticky trap stuck to his backside. He didn't believe us when we told him about it. We had to convince him to look in the mirror:). We all had a good laugh, but it honestly took two people to pull the sticky trap off of him and several hand washings to get the "glue" off Caleb's hands. At least we know they live up to their name:))).

Lillian is 1

How did that happen? This past year went by so quickly. Many thanks to our Father Above for sending this little one to our home. We enjoyed a simple celebration. The kids helped to make and decorate a cake. I think Lillian's favourite part was hearing us sing Happy Birthday. She LOVES music!

Answered Prayers At The Dentist

Kiersten's 2nd Dentist Appt. took place on the 10th. The memory of her first visit-a tooth pulling experience-almost did her in. She still did very well, in spite of the tears falling while they worked. We prayed beforehand that they wouldn't need to pull the 2nd tooth. Praise the Lord, they were able to put in a filing and it looks like new. Kiersten took her stuffie, Josephine, to help her be brave and it did kind of take her mind off the work sometimes. The dentist and her assistant were amazing and I would highly recommend Dr. Muzzina to anyone needing to take a child to the dentist.

I thought that I had a tooth break a week prior to this. They were able to get me in and they didn't need to do an x-ray because they checked and it was just a hard piece of build up that had come off. They scheduled me for my first teeth cleaning in 10 years. Yes, it is a long time. However, all the pregnancies, etc, have to be taken into consideration. I prayed that the Lord would be merciful and HE truly was. They cleaned my teeth and said that there was only 1 small cavity that was starting up in between 2 teeth. They said that if I brushed and flossed really well it might stay small and not be an issue. They will check it in 6 months, but that's a miracle of the Lord in my book. All the throwing up during pregnancy has probably taken it's toll on the whiteness factor, but it was a blessing not to have a bunch of cavities to deal with.

We are also thankful that we were approved this month for a dental plan. It doesn't take effect until Spetember, but it should help in the future with the expense of braces for a couple of the kids.

Another blessing is that the other kids have become more diligent about brushing several times a day, instead of just once or allowing themselves to "forget" sometimes. Finding things to be thankful for in EVERY situation.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

10 Things or People We Praise The Lord For

10 Things or People We Praise The Lord for through Scott's accident and recovery time:

1. A lady from church picking up the children from the hospital, feeding the supper and keeping them until Scott could pick them up that night.

2. It was 2 fingers on his left hand instead of his right hand.

3. Scott's parents coming to help until I got back from California.

4. The dr. who performed the surgery.

5. Scott only lost the end of one finger and nicked the second. *it could have been far worse!

6. God's provision while Scott was off work for the month.

7. The children taking over most of the chores.

8. Extra FAMILY TIME while he was recuperating

9. The concern and prayers of family and friends.

10. A good assessment by the surgeon yesterday, March 21st.

Text Me

Those were the two words I saw on my phone right about the time I answered a call from Scott. I had been in California for 5 days so far. Caleb, Lillian and I had flown to California to visit one of my brothers and his family. I hadn't seen him for 3 years and my sister in law and nephews for 6. Each day we were able to call and things were going great! I answered the phone that day only to find out that Scott was at the hospital. He had the five children with him, but he was the one being looked at. He quickly told me that he had an accident in the barn and cut two of his fingers. They thought they could save the one he almost cut through completely and the other one was mostly "nicked" as he would describe it. He later found that he had cut a tendon in that finger and it's the one that requires some physical therapy.

Two phone calls from my end sent 3 people to help. We're so thankful for those who gave of their time(and a few years off their life) to go and help Scott and the children. We really appreciate the sacrifices they made in order to be there for our family when we needed them.

We were able to get home, as planned, by Wednesday. The surgeon did an amazing job with Scott's fingers and he's doing really well. We've all learned to give more of ourselves in order to help get things done.

Since then Scott has met other who have shared their "accident" stories. We don't know how God is going to use this experience in the future, but we pray that we can be a blessing and encouragement to others who may be going through similar circumstances.

Philippians 4:19

“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Los Angeles, California

A long awaited trip and Caleb's 1st plane ride. I believe it was all he was anticipating and then some. On the first flight one of the flight attendants took him to meet the pilots before the other passengers boarded. One of the pilot's let him wear their hat and showed him the cockpit. Pretty neat, eh/ Lillian did quite well on the flights, but was definitely happy to get off the 2nd plane. Caleb really enjoyed "meeting" his Uncle Luke, Auntie Jessie and cousins. He has not memory of our trip that we took to Georgia the month he turned 3.
Unfortunately Lillian decided to be clingy. It took several days before she let me out of her sight without crying. She learned how to climb stairs there, loved playing at the beach and enjoyed following the dog, guinea pig and bunny that they had in their house. We are thankful for safe travel, great memories, awesome food, and so much more. We enjoyed going to the beach, meeting their church family, playing games with the family, seeing a lighthouse and so much more. We're thankful that God was looking out for Scott and the other kids while we were gone. There was an accident on the Monday before we returned. You can read more about it in my next post, entitled, "Text Me".