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August 28, 2008

Going Strong!

We were able to combine again yesterday after some showers. It is supposed to rain again beginning of next week. The guys got in at 2:00am this morning and were back out there getting ready bright and early. Today looks like another long day. Gotta run! p.s. here are some pics of our little farmers.

Ever feel like you need more space?

What do you get when you mix together:
Four Ambitious Females
Little Helpers
Meals to Make
Lots of Dirty Dishes?
Besides harvest this week has been very busy with
canning peaches, pickles, apple juice, and jam,
freezing apples, peaches, and raspberries
plus the regular activity of everyday life.
But after the day was said and done it was back to THIS Ahhhh.... It's clean again :) Until NEXT TIME!!!

August 25, 2008

Young'ins Need To Work

Having 6 kids under the age of 10 makes for a real lively household. There is lots of laughter, playing, creating & fun.
But with this many young ones, there is also disagreements, spats, crying, and mischief and most of all TONS of energy
Sometimes I just sit back, watch and wish I could have just a speck of their energy.
But instead I have to know how to deal with it.
Energy is good, it's great if steered in the right direction.
Kids with lots of energy + Nothing constructive to do = Mischief
There are days when I am ready to pull my hair out & I wonder why our children are not getting
along, or seem to be getting into an unusual amount of trouble.
Usually those are the days that I have neglected to give them enough work to do.
Over the years I have learned kids need to work.
Too much free time is not healthy for them.
And I have also learned you can teach them to work at a very young age.
For instance:
Today our 3 yr old tidied up the entrance for me, wiped up messes on the floor
and then was with her daddy helping him part of the day,
Today our 4 year old helped me can peaches, pick corn & cucumbers from the garden,
cleaned off the table cart & helped his brothers in the barn.
Today our 5 year old cleaned off the table, swept off the deck
and went working with his dad (he's our little farmer, he does that most every day)
Today our 7 & 9 year old fed and watered the chickens, picked eggs,
cleaned out the chicken barn, cleaned off the table, and many other odd jobs I had for them.
And my girls help me all day long.
They don't get a lot of free time and I don't feel guilty about that.
When I was growing up I had to do more work in our home than most of my friends.
That kind of frustrated me.
That was until I got married.
Do you know why? Because I didn't have to learn on the fly how to care for a household,
I already knew.
It was then (too bad only then) that I realized the wisdom my parents had in making me do some good old fashioned hard work.

Our goal for our children is that they know how to work, and that at the end of a day they feel a great sense of accomplishment from what they did do.

Too many kids now a days sit around and play Nintendo or watch TV all day. We are raising a lazy, self-centered generation when we let that happen.

Kids need to work, and they are never too young to start.
And when they do you will see the pride in a job well done, in a task completed.

August 23, 2008

A New Phase

A few posts ago I shared how we need to savor the moments we have with our children. Because our time with them although some days can seem very long :) is actually very short. Well in the past few weeks there has been a new dynamic come into our family. One that again has made me realize how quickly time goes by, and how quickly our children grow up. We have now entered a new phase in our parenting. One that we are very excited about! After a period of courting, our oldest son Joshua asked a beautiful young lady, Rebecca Penner, to be his wife. We have been friends with the Penner family for a few years. They have been such an encouragement and blessing to us. We are so thankful that they raised the beautiful young lady that Rebecca is today and that we now get to enjoy her as our daughter too. Since our children were young I have been praying (and still am) for their future spouses. I have prayed over and over
  • That they would be brought up in the ways of God.
  • That their parents would be teaching them to love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.
  • That they would be brought up with values that were similiar to our families.
  • For the wives that their mother would model a godly submissive wife and for the husbands that their father would model what a godly leader of the home looks like.
  • That they would be taught that children are a blessing and being a parent is one of the biggest privelages.
  • That their parents would take responsibility to teach their children of God's laws diligently and talk of them when they sat in their house, and when they walked by the way, and when they lie down, and when they got up. (Deut. 6:7)
  • That their focus wouldn't be on earthly possessions, but on heavenly gain.
I feel so blessed to say that my prayers have been answered in a wife for Joshua. Rebecca is an amazing young lady and will be a welcome blessing to our family. I just can't stop thanking God for the wonderful gift that she is. So...... we are now in the mode of planning a wedding for the end of March. My heart is just so full :) I have always known this day would be coming and yet it is so somewhat unbelievable it is actually here! So here's to Joshua & Rebecca. Congratulations and we love you both!
1 Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him. 2 The LORD has made his salvation known
and revealed his righteousness to the nations. 3 He has remembered his love
and his faithfulness to the house of Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God. 4 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music; 5 make music to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of singing, 6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram's horn—
shout for joy before the LORD, the King. 7 Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it. 8 Let the rivers clap their hands,
Let the mountains sing together for joy

August 21, 2008

August 20, 2008

Words From the Innocent

We work very hard at teaching our kids to be modest at a very young age.
They are taught to keep doors closed when changing and respect other people's privacy.
We also teach them to dress modestly in a manner that would bring glory to God.
This is why Brooke was so distraught one day while we were shopping.
Brooke and I were in Wal-Mart.
I was looking through a rack of clothes close to the fitting rooms.
Brooke: (gasping & pointing towards the fitting rooms) Mommy, he's not wearing a shirt.
So naturally I looked around to see what she was talking about.
Looking in the aisle of the fitting room I saw who she was talking about.
The 'he' was actually a 'she' trying on a bikini swim suit and 'not very discreetly' admiring herself in the mirror.
Me: That's not good, is it?
Brooke: No, he's not even in the bathroom.
Me: She should be in the bathroom.
Brooke: (turning away) I shouldn't be looking, I should be looking at the clothes.
Me: Yes, you look over here at the clothes!
As cute as this is, it is also very sad.
We live in an age where the standard of modesty is declining.
We went to the beach the other day and I felt like putting blind folds on our boys.
It is now the acception to wear a full bathing suit rather than the norm.
Bikinis are everywhere!
When we go shopping for clothes we find there are actually very few modest items that are even worth considering. And modest bathing suits are next to impossible to find.
Being in style is not worth compromising modesty.
When we get to heaven and stand before God, He is not going to ask us if we were in style with the latest trends. He is going to ask us about our inward beauty. How much time & effort did we spend on keeping that looking beautiful.
What are you teaching your children about modesty?
How are you dressing?
Ask your husband if your dress is modest. As women we do not see things the way men do. If your husband thinks it is 'immodest' chances are it will draw other men's attention as well.
Teach your daughters to ask their Dad if he approves of their clothing. If our girls have bought something new, even though I have given the okay, before they take the tags off, they need to model it for their Dad. And if he does not approve, we take it back. Even their hair style or their accesories can give a wrong message.
I once read in a book once that the way you should judge if you are dressing modestly is to look in the mirror and instead of asking yourself if you look good, ask yourself if what you are wearing would please your Heavenly Father. Would He give you his nod of approval?
Are you teaching your children that it's the beauty on the inside that is the most important?
You can start even when they are young.
I don't let our little girls wear mini skirts or bikinis.
Why let them do something today that you will discourage tomorrow?
Sometimes it feels like an uphill battle.
Like swimming against the stream.
But it is possible to live modestly in an immodest society.
I have to tell you one more story about Nathan in regards to this topic.
Megan was trying on a pair of shorts to wear to the beach as a swim suit bottom.
Nathan came in the house when she had them on.
He said passionately, "Megan, it's not your property to wear shorts like that!"
As a child he was sensitive to this, it bothered him.
It's naturally there, don't desensitize your children, keep your standard high.
Don't measure yourself against the world.
Measure yourself according to God and His Word.
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel,
with shamefacedness and sobriety;
not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
1 Timothy 2:9 & 10

August 18, 2008

New Critters

There are two new critters on the Pauls' farm. One is a turtle named 'Sieney' The other is a huge bunny named 'Thumper'. Here are a few pics. I think Thumper must be part giant Flemish because he is indeed giant. He is a really good pet and likes to be babied.
As you can tell Thumper gets lots of lovin'
And Nate has taken a real likin' to Sieney and felt it was his responsibility to name him.

August 17, 2008

Baby Update

First of all, just so you all know..... NO , I am not going to do photo shoots of my growing belly :) Not that I am not proud of it, or glad it is there, it's just that......it's just not my thing. But I will try to let you know how things are going. So far everything is going great. I have had a couple of midwife appointments and we are all happy with the way things are going. And except for tiring a little easier my daily routine continues on. So after being through the 1st trimester 11 times, and the 2nd & 3rd trimesters 10 times, I think I can safely say I enjoy the second trimester the most. Why? Well let me tell you :) 1. I can feel the baby move, but I don't get my ribs kicked. Although sometimes when I get a little kick it startles me as I am not quite used to it:) You'd think being the 11th time..... 2. The baby seems more real as my belly starts to fill out, but I am not huge....yet! 3. I can still eat what I want and I don't have any heart burn. 4. I still sleep relatively well at night despite a couple of bathroom breaks. 5. My hands and feet are not swollen. 6. Unlike the first trimester, I don't get as many headaches. 7. Food is appealing but, not "revolting" or "I need food nowish!" 8. My face is not puffy. 9. I can still fit multiple children on my lap. 10. When people meet me and look at my belly (they always do! I guess they think I don't notice!?!?!?) they still are guessing if I am pregnant or not. Can't start the rumors yet!!! So there you have it. Time is flying by.....and I know baby will be here (Lord willing) before we know it. It is so different from the first couple of pregnancies where you wait and wait and the due date seems to take forever. Now the weeks seem to go by so quickly. I guess I have lots to keep my mind busy. Actually, that is quite an understatement!!!!! My mind is 'always' busy. So my lady readers, tell me about you. What was/is your favorite trimester? And why? I'd love to hear from you.

August 16, 2008

Let the Combining Begin!

Well the dust is flying today on the Pauls' homestead.
We are thankful for some sunshine and wind to dry things up
enough to start our combining season.
The forcast looks great for the next few days.
Of course when is the forcast right?!?!
I'm glad God is in control instead of me!?!?!
Or what a mess we would all be in :)
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August 14, 2008

Tomatoe: Plant or Bush?

I kind of had to chuckle today when I saw my tomatoes. I started my own tomatoe seeds for the first time this spring. I was a little apprehensive because I have heard they can be difficult to grow and sometimes turn out spindly. But I grew them, nurtured them, fertilized them, watered them and then compared them to greenhouse tomatoe plants. They did look rather spindly to me. But I transplanted them to my garden any way. After a week or so, I lost faith in my 'less than perfect' tomatoes and went off to the greenhouse to buy a pack of their 'perfect' tomatoes, 'just in case'. Well over time my tomatoes took off and today they are no longer a plant, they are a bush. One continuous bush. And my greenhouse plants? Well they are considerably smaller and not near as healthy looking. So Jennifer and I started the task of giving these bushes a major haircut. Otherwise I suspect those nice green tomaotoes under there will never see a speck of sunlight and will not ripen. Sometimes I think I am this way with my children. I see these spindly little tomatoes, with so much to learn. So many values to take as their own. And I wonder 'how they will turn out?' Will all the years of training, teaching, loving, nurturing bring them up to be big and strong with lots of spiritual growth? Or will they grow tall and spindly without any strength? Now as I look at our older ones and see their love for God, the growth in Him, the character, I know it is possible. It is possible to grow strong, healthy adults. Ones who will be able to stand the pressures of life and stay focused on God. It is possible to see them make choices and know that they are seeking God first and His will for their lives. Glory to God, it is possible! How about you? Have you been fretting about your kids getting older? Have you been dreading the day when they turn a TEENAGER!!!?? Have you lost hope, not daring to even wish that your children will grow up spriritually strong? God promises in His word that if we train up our children in the way they should go, when they are old they will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 I have heard people use that verse saying it is referring to when children go astray, that they will come back when they are old, after they have sown 'their wild oats' and are finished just 'acting like a teenager'. I don't see that in this verse. I see that when he is old, he will not depart. It doesn't say he will came back, it says he will not depart. I don't buy into the myth of society and even the Church today that it is normal that our children rebel. This thinking has made parents lose hope that there is even a chance that their children will not rebel. The world can make things seem so perfectly natural (kind of like the green house plants) but really it is far from perfect and far from the way God designed it to be. If we are faithful to train our children in the ways of God, they will not depart. They will grow into strong plants, that will bear fruit for God There will be some pruning, and bumps in their road, but if they have been taught of God and His ways, to love Him with all their hearts, soul, mind and strength, and they have been taught to trust in Him no matter what life may bring, they will be the strong plants you have trained them to be. Is it hard work? You bet it is! Does it take lots of prayer for wisdom? Oh ya! Is it worth it. Absolutley :)

So I guess today I want to encourage you to keep on keepin' on. Even though today may have its challenges......it will be worth it in the end :)

Let's join together and build up a generation

that are strong heathly plants for God!

August 12, 2008

From Fence to Freezer

NOTE: If you are squeamish about seeing chickens made freezer ready,
you might want to skip this post :)
Today was the day, the task we planned for many weeks ago.
As Zachary said, we served our chickens and now they are going to serve us. It was butchering day on the Pauls' homestead.
Yesterday morning started bright at 9:00, when our friends showed up to guide us along a journey that we had never been before. Thanks again Esther, Recbecca, Rachelle, Rita & Ruth. Your help was so much appreciated.
So without further ado, here are some photos of our very adventurous day!
Joshua & Rebecca were designated as the 'chop squad'

With the chickens in tow
it was off to the......

"Scalding Bucket "
Next we have our more than enthusiastic defeatherers (is that actually a word?) Rita, Jennifer, Kerri, Rachelle & Megan
When the chicken was looking more freezer ready it was time
to give them a bath.

Then came the fun part!
Reach inside, feel all those warm......
Well, I will save you the details.
Let's just say it was very :{

After the chickens had another soak, they were ready to dry off and be bagged for the freezer. Here we have them so 'daintily' saying their farewells.

All in all it was a very educational day with lots of fun and laughter. We look forward to having 28 roasted chicken suppers in the coming days.

And I think we may even do it again next year ?!?

August 8, 2008

Table Conversations

Tonight Mark and our oldest 4 kids went with some friends to watch the Winnipeg Blue Bombers play.
The conversation around our table is always busy and everyone has to wait their turn.
But when the older ones are not home,
the younger ones seem to feel it's their chance to have mega conversations.
Well this supper was no exception.
Here is a peek into some of the conversation at the Pauls' household tonight.
Zachary: How old am I going to be when Mikaya is my age?
Me: How old are you? (seriously:)
Zachary: 7
Me: 13
Zachary: How old will I be when Mikaya is 13?
Me: (thinking hard) 19.
Caleb: How old will I be?
Me: (I didn't have to ask his age because I know he is 2 years older than Zach!) 21.
Zachary: When I am a dad are you going to be a grama?
Me: Yes
Zachary: Will you still be my mom?
Me: Yes, I will always be your mom.
Zachary: Yup, I will always call you mom.
When my kids have babies then will you be a great grama?
Me: Yes.
Caleb: Will I be a great uncle?
Me: Yes
Zachary: And when my kids kids have kids, I will be a great grampa!
Nathan: I will be a great dad.
Caleb: Abraham for sure would have been a great-great grandpa.
Jesse: Are Grampa & Grampa married?
Everyone: YES!
Jesse: Who is all married?
Brooke: Horses (pause) horses (pause) horses eat!
Me: People get married when they say they will love each other and live together forever.
Jesse: Oh.
Zachary: How old is Dad?
Me: 40
Zachary: Is Dad older than you?
Me: Yes.
Zachary: How old are you?
Me: 37
Zachary: That's funny. You are older than Joshua, but he is bigger than you!
Brooke: I'm bigger than Josh.
Zachary: That's neat, we all go in order. Dad, Mom, Joshua, Jennnifer, Megan, Kerri, Caleb,Zachary, Jesse, Nathan, Brooke, Mikaya (rattled them all off just like that!)
Brooke: Joshua, Nathan, Caleb, Jennifer (or something like that:)
And then the conversation switched to cookies.
So there you have it, a peek at our lovely supper conversation.
Come to think of it, seems like Zach ruled that conversation!
Don't you feel enlightened?!

August 6, 2008

Savor the Moments

Life circumstances and conversations with friends has had me thinking a lot lately about 'savoring the moments'.
The time we have with our children is so special.
I know I have expressed this before, but I think it needs to be said again.
As parents we can get so busy with the busyness of life, that we forget to savor the moments.
I must admit, I am a really bad one for that.
I have a one track mind, usually it's something I need to get accomplished yesterday!
I forget to take the time to sit, listen, play and enjoy my children.
Life can get so busy, too busy.
For us it's especially hard this time of year, with harvest nearing and the garden needing to be canned.
But having an adult child has made me realize once again how time flies.
You will never have these years back.
The next ones are exciting as well and ones I look greatly forward too, but be careful not to wish these busy moments with your little ones away.
I know there are some people who have went to the other extreme, and sit around and play or talk with their children all day while their house is a disaster and they are eating fast food. This is not what I am talking about. I am talking about the little moments, looking at a butterfly, listening to a (sometimes seemingly very long) story, reading together......This only usually takes a few minutes, but the memories last a life time for you and your children. And about working, sometimes the best discussions can happen during those times when you work or do a project together.
So today, tomorrow, and beyond, Savor the Moment. Cuddle, tickle, laugh, share...savor the moment because, take it from a mom who has been there.....they will be an adult before you know it :)