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June 29, 2007

God is Amazing!

Well life here has been very interesting as it has in many areas of the province in the last week.
Last weekend started with really hot humid weather which resulted in thunderstorms Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday. Tornados were spotted and hit some people's homes. Gratitude to God that we are safe, feeling for those who came out of the storms with loss.

Every night we sat up in the wee hours of the morning watching the rain pound down, hail (2 nights) and wind blow.

As farmers we sit there in awe and a realization hits that what you have worked on all spring and part of summer could just be wiped out in a matter of minutes. Thunderstorms for me show me the majesty of God. The constant thunder and lightning one night was just amazing. WOW!

Our crops were okay, a couple got mildly hit, but nothing as serious as some of our neighbors. So again, we are thankful that God spared our crops and yet feel for the ones whose crops were destroyed.

Our phone was down until later on Wednesday. It was interesting not having contact via phone and internet. We had our cell phone on, but not many people know that number. Guess what was one of the first phone calls we got when we were back on the line? A credit card company trying to sign us up. Didn't miss that part!

And to top everything off....I left our camera out in the rain. We had some family fun on Sunday playing outside and I was taking some great pictures and put it down, we went to have our campfire, and I didn't bring the camera with me. We cleaned up, went in, went to bed. In the morning Megan asked me, "Mom, did you bring the camera in?" Oh man! So the camera is in the fix it shop! Thankfully they can fix it but it will be a couple of weeks before we get it back. Just in time for us to go on holidays! Oh well at least we have a video camera!!

We have been planning to go on holidays. We wanted to get our first cut of alfalfa done. We got about half of it baled but when we were just about ready to bale the second half we got rain and rain and rain. So today, the weather and the forcast looked nice, the sun was shining so Mark and Josh went out there to get what hay wasn't drenched with puddles, and guess what??? It started raining!!!

So as you can see the last few days have been a test, ups and downs. But in the end it is all just stuff. We have God's love and enduring promises, we have our loved ones. Life is amazing! God is amazing!
Here are some family pictures 'before' I left the camera in the rain!

Go Nate Go!

You're never too cool to play croquet!

Pausing for a photo

There's always time to pet a kitty!

Who can resist those eyes!?!

June 20, 2007

It Doesn't Make Sense

Okay, so here's the deal.

I planted a perennial last year (can't remember the name)

I planted it because it is supposed to attract butterflies.

So the other day we were admiring the flower garden and then we saw them!

Caterpillars all over this plant.

Chowing down on this plant!

Then Jennifer piped up and said she thought they were monarch caterpillars.

Mark looked it up and sure enough, they are monarch caterpillars!

Okay.......So I planted a plant to attract butterflies, it attracted them in a pre-butterfly state, and they are eating the plant that is supposed to attract them!

To me this defeats the purpose! Does anyone else have this 'problem'?

It will be interesting to see what happens from here. A real live science lesson!

June 18, 2007

Such a Time as This

Well in respect to Father's Day yesterday I thought I would say a few words.

I don't know how many times Mark or I have heard from parents whose children are grown up and have left home (especially dad's) saying how they have regretted not spending more time with their children in their younger years. It's so easy to let life pass us by being busy with 'things' and before we know it those 'moments' with our children are lost forever. Don't get me wrong, there are still moments, even when children are grown, but I'm talking about those moments that will forever shape and be etched in our children's memories. The times spent together talking, training, teaching, mentoring, playing, reading, helping and so on.

I was reflecting on my childhood and what I remembered of my dad. And I came to the conclusion that it wasn't the long hard hours he worked for us or the things that he bought for me, but it was those special moments that him and I spent together.

I remember sitting on the couch beside him and watching football. I had no interest whatsoever in football at first, but I would sit there for hours just to be close to him. We wouldn't say much except for the occasional explanation of a play.

Another thing I loved to do was go trucking with him. When I was around 4 years old he drove milk truck and later on a gravel truck. I remember the fun I had going with him. My dad is a man of few words, so we didn't 'talk' a lot, but he showed me his love by taking the time to have a child tag along.

I remember his patience in me 'styling' his hair!! I would spend hours wetting, combing, wetting, styling, combing out knots.... Now it seems like a dumb thing, but to me then, it was big stuff and he let me do it!

I remember hanging around him when he was fixing a vehicle. This is when I was older, probably 14 or so. He would take the time to tell me the names of the tools and the parts of a vehicle. He taught me how to drive a standard, patiently as I stalled it a few times. We laughed!!!

I rolled 2 cars (yes, count them, I did say 2) before I was 18. He never got mad at me (even though I am sure he was quite frustrated) but instead he told me, "I don't care about the car, as long as you are alright". I remember feeling really loved at that moment because he had every right to get upset at me. And you know, he has never mentioned it since, the only time we have talked about it is when I bring it up.

He has an amazing heart for worship and I still love to watch him in a church service worshipping the Lord. We have often laughed about how 'off tune' he is but it doesn't matter, because his heart is worshipping.

So as I was thinking of all these things I realized they didn't cost him a dime (except maybe the wrecked cars), it was time, patience, love, training, teaching, these are the fond memories I have and they are the things that have formed me into part of who I am today.

So I guess I want to encourage all of us as parents. Time goes so fast, take advantage of every moment you have with your children to be who God has called you to be to them.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible comes from Deut. 6:5-7 "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you this day, shall be in your heart. And you shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk about them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way and when you lie down, and when you rise up."

Many times we 'teach' our children by our actions more than our words. What they see in you, they will usually adopt as part of who they are. What do your children see in you, what message are you sending to them. Do they know that they are more important to you than your work and all the 'stuff' that you have? What kind of memories will your children have of you when they are grown and have left home. What kind of memories will you have of the time spent with them. I hope we can see in things in hindsight and not regret the time lost with our children but instead feel satisfied in the time we invested into their little lives.

Be encouraged Dads. God has chosen you for this amazing opportunity to mentor one on one the little ones he has lent you for
'such a time as this'.
Me and My Dad

June 15, 2007

Consider This

Ponder This: Campolo on Consumerism "Consider this," author and speaker Tony Campolo says. "The typical size of an American house has increased 40 percent in the last 25 years. It's not because we're having more children; we're having fewer children! We need bigger and bigger houses simply to hold all the stuff we don't need. What's even worse is that we're renting out space in storage bins because we can't contain all the stuff we have in the huge houses we have at our dispoal. It has become an insane society as far as surplus is concerned." Hmmmm......What's wrong with that picture?

June 12, 2007

We Sold Our Van

Well actually, God sold our van!

We had done our own thing, tried the Auto Trader, put up ads all to no avail, in fact only one phone call. I was praying that we would be able to bless a large family with a good deal because I know how hard it is to find these vans. And it just so happened that a friend of ours knew of someone who has 7 children and needed a large van and it was a match! I am glad it is not sitting here anymore collecting dust (not that I regularly dusted it or anything). So good-bye to our faithful Ford Club Wagon that gave us many good rides. I hope it does as good for the next family!

June 9, 2007

Do they look alike?

Here we have Megan & Brooke.
They are the two in our family that I think look most alike.
What do you think?

June 6, 2007


With all the rain we have had lately it has packed the dirt in our garden so that it is just a hard crust on top. Yesterday I was checking if everything was growing. I was amazed as I looked at some of the plants and how they have pushed their way through the hard crust. Seeds like carrots that are so tiny, have made it through and are growing nicely. It must have been much harder for them to push through this hard crust rather than nice soft soil, but I have to think the plants are stronger for it.
This reminds me of my life as a Christian. God sometimes puts ‘hard’ things in my path to make me grow strong. I have two choices. I can sit there under the surface and become bitter and angry or complain to God, or I can allow these things to make me grow and make me stronger in Him. He doesn’t put these things in my path because He loves to see me hurting, but instead because He loves to see me grow, He wants my roots in Him deep and strong so that when the winds and rains of life come, I will be strong in Him and be able to handle less than ideal conditions. It is so easy to bemoan and groan in my afflictions, but God says in the Bible to rejoice in these things.
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; But rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy. If you be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are you; for the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” 1 Peter 4:12-14a
How many times do I think of my ‘fiery trial’ as an inconvenience and ‘unfair’ and yet God uses these things to bring glory to Him as we grow and mature and encourage others. So I want to encourage you today as Corrie ten Boom said, “There is no pit deeper that God’s love is not deeper still.” So whatever pit you are in today remember, God’s love for you is deeper and allow Him to ‘grow’ you as a strong, deeply rooted plant that will produce much fruit for Him and bring glory to His name!

June 4, 2007

Two Month Milestone

Dear Mikaya,

Another milestone, 2 months old.
You are such a little sweetie! You love to smile and just wait for someone to come into your view so you can smile at them! You even occasionaly laugh! And as quickly as you can be happy and smiling, you can get very upset!! You make us laugh sometimes with your quick mood swings.
Already we can see your little personality forming. You are one very determined little girl. You rolled over from your tummy to your back when you were 8 weeks old! Over night you went from screaming every moment you were in your car seat and swing to almost liking it. I don’t understand this except someone must have been praying for you (I haven’t asked her yet, but I think it was Grama). So now after you are done eating and everyone is done cuddling you we put you in your swing and you are contented, you even fall asleep occasionally! And when we go for a car ride you are quite happy in your car seat! Yeah, this should make our summer holidays a little easier.
Your brothers and sisters still absolutely think you are a little bundle of joy. Caleb likes to cuddle you often and is very good with you! Nathan comes by often and gives you many kisses (he’s a kissy guy!) Zachary asks often if he can hold you and Jesse is still awed by your little hands and feet. And of course big brother Joshua loves it when you give him ‘that smile’ and likes to talk to you. Your sisters do a lot to help mommy take care of you, they change you, feed you, entertain you and put you to sleep. Brooke thinks you need many blankets and is always bringing them to you. When you cry she comes to you and says ‘Oh, what’s the matter?’ I can see already that Brooke and you are going to be close friends. You are very blessed to have so many brothers and sisters to love on you.
You sleep much better now. You can fall asleep in your crib all by yourself and sometimes even nap your whole nap in there. At night you have given mommy lots of rest as you usually sleep for 7 hours straight. Thank you!
Your firsts this month:
first time to McDonalds
first smile and ‘coo’
your first garage sale
your first garden planting
your first trip to Forte Whyte Center
first trip hauling cattle
first time to cry yourself to sleep
first trip to the zoo
first time rolling over
first wedding banquet
Wow that’s a lot of firsts in one month!
Praise reports this month
The angels held you when Jennifer fainted while you were in her arms! You are alright and so is she.
You fall asleep on your own and like your car seat and swing much better.
We love you Mikaya and look forward to getting to know you better as we spend more time together.