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November 29, 2008

How Much Wood?

One by one our projects are getting crossed off the list. Yesterday was wood cutting day.
This year we had 2 chain saws going so that made things go a lot faster.
Of course with 2 chain saws going, the carriers had to work twice as hard. Trudging through snow made things a little more challenging. You always need someone to stack those logs so that you can get the biggest load in.
And sometimes you just need someone to smile :)
Always time to pose for a picture. How is it Rebecca that you always show up on the days that hard manual labor is involved? We sure appreciate all your help.
And of course there's always the disappearing act. Jesse, where did you go?
There is a beautiful red fox hanging around our area. When Mark and Joshua were bringing bales home the other day, he was busy pouncing on the mice hiding under the bales. Just like our dog would do. Our family named him "Cheeko". I just hope he doesn't find our chickens next spring :)
Hopefully we got enough wood to last us until spring. And for now we will enjoy cozying up to the wood stove. Another job completed by the Pauls' family team.

November 28, 2008

What More Could a Mama Want?

Nathan: Mom, can we clean the floor for you.
Mom: Yes, I would like that.
Brooke: Thank you Mom!
Not every day a mom gets thanked for giving her child permission to do work. I kind of like it. But from experience I am thinking that this won't last through to their teenage years. Well, a Mama can always dream can't she?

November 26, 2008

Baby # 11 Update

Well, I've realized it's been awhile since I have done a baby update.
So.......here it is.
Every pregnancy around this time I marvel at how soon I will meet this little one that has been growing inside of me for so many months, kicking, hiccupping, doing somersaults. And around this time I really fall in love with our baby. A deep longing love. A love that consumes me all day long. I wonder what he/she will look like, what will be the color of his/her hair, will he/she have hair (not too likely around here:), will it be a sleeper or an awaker, what size will it be, will it be a boy or a girl........and the list goes on. And it seems almost unbelievable that Lord willing in a few weeks we will have another baby to hold and love. Another little one to raise for the glory of God's Kingdom, another little heart to train.
The mystery, the beauty, the miracle of birth is all so amazing. No matter how many times I've been pregnant I go through the same feelings. Anticipation, apprehention, excitement and fear. The apprehension and fear are mostly about labor. I have to give this over to God and know that this is in His hands. Some people think because I have been through it 10 times that it will be a cinch :) Not so for me. It is still labor. I think I have learned to deal with it better, but it is still pain. So I focus on the end result, not the means of getting there. I have to do that or I would be a basket case! John 16:21 talks about how when a baby is born the mother quickly forgets about the pain of labor because of the baby she now has. While this is quite true it seems that every time I go through labor it is a little harder to forget the pain. But I also easier remember the first little cry, the first little nuzzle for milk, the pure joy of meeting them face to face for the first time, the relief that labor is over.
I know these last few weeks are going to go by very quickly as we are approaching the Christmas season. Part of me doesn't even want to plan for Christmas because I don't know when the Due Day will be, and the other part of me feels for my family and wants to make things special for them even though I have 'other' things on my mind.
So the days go by. The days go by very quickly. There is still lots to be done before this little one arrives. Everyone here is excited to meet him/her. Zachary kisses him/her every time he goes to bed or I go away somewhere. This baby will be so loved. Lots of hugs and kisses. Lots of attention. After all, it's not every year you get a new baby for Christmas :)

Two Tone Egg

We have brown hens that give us plenty of eggs a day.
It's quite amusing how different the eggs come out.
Some are too big too fit into a carton, some are tiny, some are oval, some are almost round, some are dark brown, some are brown and some are beige, some are speckled, some are plain. But the egg we got yesterday was one like I haven't seen yet.
Do you think it came from a two-tone chicken?

November 25, 2008

Popping Wonder

We eat popcorn often, like almost every night. But it is always after the younger ones go to bed. Here's a video of Mikaya watching a popcorn maker "POP" for the first time:)

November 24, 2008

Husband Napping

Well, you may wonder what I have been up to for the last week.
Or maybe you didn't even think about it?
Either way, I will fill you in.
I napped my husband on Saturday.
What does this mean exactly?
Well, kind of like kidnapped, except it was my husband I napped.
Of course there was no ransome involved and so it was totally legal.
It all started last week when he suggested we go to Grand Forks, ND for a few days and take in a concert in Fargo, ND.
Looking at the week I felt a little overwhelmed and busy, and so discouraged it (silly me).
After I came to my senses and realized how blessed I was to have a husband who suggested that we go away, just the two of us, I decided to plan a little surprise for him. So I booked a hotel, got tickets for the concert and filled in the rest of the family of my plan. They were all very co-operative and assured me everything would be taken care of at home.
On Wednesday we had a income tax app't in Morden, so Mark just thought we were doing our routine shopping run. What he didn't know is that I had put all of our luggage in garbage bags and stuck them in the back of the truck. He thought they were bags for MCC and so didn't give it a second thought. When we went into the accountant's office, I threw a 'husband napper' note on his seat so that he would see it when we came out. It went something like this:
Consider yourself 'Husband-napped'
You have appox. 1 hour to get your house in order and then you are all mine until Saturday at 12:00pm.
I did give him an out because I wasn't totally sure what his plans were for the next few days.
But he accepted and so off we went.
We had a great time just hanging out. Of course we went out for some fabulous meals at our favorite restaurants there (Paradiso and Golden Corral). We also went to see the movie "Fireproof" one evening and of course to the concert another (Phillips, Craig and Dean). It was a lot of fun.
By Saturday we were ready to come home though and see our family again. At breakfast on Saturday morning there were a couple little kids with their parents and we were both guawking at them, longing to cuddle our own! It's nice to be away, but also very nice to come home:)
So this week it is back into the normal routine. And because this post is about us, I will do a memories Monday about us:)
Mark, cute as a button :)

Me and my dog Cheeko. This poor dog was so old that I am suprised I didn't give him a heart attack. I would put him in my doll carriage and roll him around and the carriage just shook because he was so scared. He eventually went to a nice older lady. I'm sure he was probably glad to be around someone who lived more at his pace!

November 17, 2008

Memories Monday

We called Megan our little eskimo.
She had pudgy little cheeks and black fuzzy hair.
We have not had one like her since :)

November 15, 2008

Children and Play

Over the years we have realized that you can learn many things about your children just by watching them play. And you can deal with many, many character issues in doing so.
We used to have great 'peace' when we would send our children down to the basement to play when the noise got too loud to bear. But the last couple of years we have realized that we were missing out on much training and so decided that we would send them down very rarely.
I must say at first this took great patience on my part because there was always someone playing under my feet. But I realized that it was only because of my inconvenience that I wanted to send them away to play. Now I enjoy having them play around me for a couple of reasons. The greatest one being all the character issues that I can deal with just in listening to them.
Not to mention the hilarious things they say when they are playing!
We have a standard in our home. You don't do anything in 'play' that you would not do in real life.
If you are playing with people, you say kind things to each other, you treat each other with respect, you don't hurt each other ect. And therefore we don't buy toys that promote characters contrary to this.
We don't let our children play things that are against the law in real life, ie: cops and robbers, outrunning a cop car, speeding ect.
We don't watch videos that promote ungodly character traits. Even some videos that deal with the issues can cause some bad habits in your children (eg unkind language, unkind actions).
When our girls play 'house' they learn to nurture their babies and serve others with love.
In setting these standards, we have been able to have many discussions on being kind, treating others with respect, loving as Jesus loves ect. Playing time can be great training time!
So here's a challenge to you today. Listen to how your children are playing. Pay attention to what they are watching. Is it carrying on the training and godly character qualites that you are trying to instill in them.
1 Peter 5:8 says: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
I believe the devil has found his way into many homes through toys, movies, video games ect. all in the name of fun and play. Be alert, keep your heads up parents. It's your job to line your children's play up to God's Word and in the end it will help you re-enforce the values you are trying to instill in them.

November 14, 2008

Quote for Today

I just started reading a book by David Ravenhill called "The Jesus Letters".
In there he has a quote by AW Tozer that I thought was well worth sharing.
"The Christian life can be reduced down to this basic teaching. Learn to love what God loves and hate what God hates."

November 13, 2008

For the Record

Concerning this post of What do you think. When I saw the picture I immediately saw Caleb. Especially in the expression on his face. I think every one mentioned Caleb, and around here that was the vote, so I think Caleb it is. Even the color of Caleb's hair is the same. Thanks for your participation :)

November 12, 2008

They're Home!

One thing we like to do before it snows is get our cows home from the pasture.
Well this year that didn't happen because of all the rain and the wet corral conditions.
But yesterday and today we were finally able to work at getting them home.
Here is a photo journal of the great time had by all :)
Here are some of our cows penned up and ready to be loaded.
We went to a low stress cattle handling clinic in October and were quite impressed with the techniques we learned and how they actually worked! It was quite different than the way we are used to chasing cows and it really was less stressful.
Nathan and Jesse and the black calf checking each other out.
Here they are all wondering what 'the humans' are going to do next.
Jennifer ready to round up the troops.
Mark and Joshua doing a fine job loading some cows on the trailer.
This black cow is Joshua's and she is known to need some pushing to get her motivated to go anywhere. But with a little persuasion she decided forward was the best way to go.
"Where do you think they're taking us?"
"I'm back, I'm back. Did you miss me?"
These two bulls were in a different pasture all year so now they need to establish once againg who is boss. It's looking like the old guy is finally going to have to give up his title.
And there you have it. They are all home safe and sound. Thanks for reading another event of our life on the farm.

November 10, 2008

Memories Monday

This is Mark when he was a young boy (not sure how old).
Some of us can't decide which of our boys looks the most like him. What do you think?

November 8, 2008

Back To Civilization

We've had an interesting couple of days around here.
We spent the first part of the week cleaning up the yard and garden
because they were forecasting our first snow fall.
And then on Thursday, snow it did!
And it continued to snow all day, all night and most of the day on Friday.
This together with the wind left some nice sized snow banks around the yard.
We also got a fair bit of freezing rain so things are pretty iced up.
This is the door handle of our skating shack.
The kids had a blast playing in the snow, the rest of us, well we were not quite as thrilled:)
Usually winter comes a little more gently, not this year!
Then Jesse woke me up Thursday night crying of an ear ache.
During the day he had complained that it hurt to chew and talk.
I noticed then that his gland behind his ear was a little swollen.
So I prayed for him and brushed it off as just another part of this weird virus that has been going around here. Sticky eyes, runny noses, coughing, etc.
Well by Thursday during the night his gland was quite swollen and by morning he looked like this so we brought him into the doctor. When we got there the receptionist asked for our medical number. When I pulled out two she was kind of surprised that we had 2 medical cards. Then I explained that we had 10 kids, too many to fit on one card. Then she was really surprised and said we were amazing people. To this I told her what was amazing is that we hardly ever have to go to the doctor. For this I am very thankful.
It ended up that he has a swollen lymph gland and was put on antibiotics
He is much better already.
Then to make things more interesting we lost all electricity on Friday night around 9:00.
It came on again around midnight and then went out again around 3 or 4 this morning.
And we were out of hydro all day today until around 3:00 pm.
So last night we played cards by candle light and today we cooked on top of the wood stove and warmed up snow for water. I am sure grateful that we have a wood stove to keep us cozy warm. It was an adventure and now we are thankful that we have power once again. It is amazing how much we rely on electricity. The kids kept asking to do things forgetting that it wouldn't work :)
So we will see what tomorrow will bring. The weather is supposed to stay very wintry, so I think it might be here to stay!

November 5, 2008

Do You Have Your Child's Soul in Mind Today?

I have been reading the book "Don't Make Me Count to Three!" by Ginger Plowman. So far I have really enjoyed it. Yesterday I read a quote in it by J. C. Ryle that I thought I would share. "Train with this thought continually before your eyes: The soul of your child is the first thing to be considered. In every step that you take about them, in every plan and scheme and arrangement that concerns them, do not leave out that mighty question, 'How will this affect their souls?' " For me I find it is so easy to get caught up in the happiness of my child. But I know there is a bigger picture. That of their souls. So even though it may mean getting off the couch when I really don't feel like it making a 'hard' decision and following through with it, even though I know it won't be popular, addressing an issue even though it would be more convenient at the moment to let it slide, dealing with the same issue over and over...... And the list goes on. More times than not, it is because of my laziness or my selfishness that I do not parent the way that I know I should. But in the end, what is going to matter? It will be my child's soul, my child's eternity. Not their happiness, not my fleshly desires, THEIR SOULS.

And the Sweet Little Lady is.........

Jennifer Rose Pauls
9 Months Old
Congratulations to Denyse, Elizabeth and Nettie for guessing it right!

November 1, 2008

Stocking up on Beta Carotene

Our garden work isn't completed every year until we get those yummy carrots in.
This year we waited and waited hoping to get some dryer weather, but seeing that doesn't seem to be coming, we decided to play in the mud :) Here is a photo journal of our carrot pickin time!
Here's Nate with the biggest carrot of the year!
It's hard to know every year
how much too plant.
It doesn't look like much when you are seeding them,
but this year we have WAY too many!
So if you are in need of some yummy orange flavor,
give us a shout!

Here's Nathan, busy picking

Kerri and Megan were in charge
of digging them out of the ground.
Brooke was in charge of being cute,
dirty face and all!
After bringing them from the garden
we gave them a good washing.
Normally we just brush them off
but this year they were too muddy.
The boys were my official
picker uppers seeing I am
finding bending over
more and more challenging
these days :)
Then we laid them on the
garage floor to dry. We layer the carrots with sand, but this year the sand was also very saturated so we dried it out first. Then the boys gathered it all up to put into pails. When the carrots were dry we put them down in the root cellar. And if all goes well, we should have fresh tasting carrots until our new crop next spring!

Way to go family!

Another task finished before the cold wind blows!