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October 30, 2009

Beating the Winter Chills and Contest Reminder

Have you put your guess in for this contest? Better hurry because your comment has to be in by Nov. 1st (tomorrow). And for the ones who guessed it right we will put your name in a draw to pick the winner on Nov. 2nd. We will not publish your comments until the contest is closed. Lots of great guesses have come in.....so happy guessing! And make sure you check back on the 2nd to see who won :)

And with the winter chill in the air comes the realization that we need to get some more wood for the year to heat our house.

So on Wednesday it was off to the bush we went.

It's at times like this that it's especially nice to have little boys with lots of energy :)

These were definitely not logs for wimps!

Some of them were so big the boys had to roll them.

The ladies loaded the trucks.

2 chain saws + 2 hard working guys makes for a lot of wood in a hurry!

It started raining when we were just done the first 2 loads. So then the decision had to be made.....do we wait until it stopped.....or keep going?

The forcast didn't look much better so the unanimous decision was made to stick it out until we were done. A little rain never hurt anyone :)

And by lunch we had 4 truck loads.

For the first time ever we unanimously (definitely unanimous) we decided to rent a log splitter. And so the fun continued!

We were all pretty happy someone invented this machine :)

Into the tractor bucket and then off to the wood shed.

And by 7:30 or so we were all done! Now we are enjoying the warmth of the wood stove in this chilly fall.

Thanks to our family for all your hard work. It was a long day....but together we got it done :)

And a super duper, big thank you to Josh and Rebecca for helping us. We really, REALLY appreciate you and all the ways you pitch in around here!

October 27, 2009

Another Birthday

Well as most of you know October is our 'party hardy' month as we have 4 birthdays to celebrate. And today is the last one....the last in fact, until January.....

Every year I find myself feeling kind of feel bad for Caleb because by the time his birthday comes around I kind of feel all partied out! Tired of buying gifts (or being creative with gifts), tired of making birthday cake, tired....But this year is different...I am all up for another birthday. Maybe it's because I am excited about the gifts we found him or maybe because he picked this as his birthday cake :) Whatever the reason...this year I am ready....

So today we celebrate the birth of our amazing son, Caleb Andrew who turns 11.

And you already know the theme of the month so here we go....

11 things about Caleb

1. He's quite reserved. You don't always know what he is thinking.

2. He's very good with little ones and his baby brother Josiah has taken a special liking to him.

3. He likes animals, especially dogs and cats.

4. His appendix ruptured and had to be removed when he was 7 yrs. old. He had to have another surgery a week later to remove adhesions from his bowel and remove infection from his abdomen. He ended up being in the hospital for 2 weeks.

5. He is very creative and likes to draw and make things from wood, lego and k'nex

6. He likes to learn and knows a lot about sea life and things that live in the ocean.

7. This year he was the one who deheaded the chickens that we butchered.

8. He is a very good singer and stays right on key even when those around him may go off :)

9. Pizza is one of his favorite meals.

10. He likes to play all sports and is a really good goalie.

11. He has a huge pain tolerance. If he says it hurts......you know that IT HURTS!

Caleb we love you so much. You have a tender heart toward the things of the Lord and we know that you will love and follow Him all the days of your life. Thank you for being such a special son and brother. We hope you have a great year and that you grow closer and closer to the One that loves you even more than we do :)

You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. Deuteronomy 13:4

October 26, 2009

Grandbaby Update

Don't you think she will make a good mommy?

And He will make a good Daddy?

Only 10 weeks and 3 days until this precious little one is due!

We are all so excited!!

And this little dude is pretty excited to be an UNCLE!!

October 23, 2009

Another Project and a Give Away!

The last of the field work was finished up yesterday so it was on to another project.
We are building a garge where the old house once stood.
So today was the day to pour the cement.
Here are some pictures of what happened first thing this morning.
The working crew is ready to work!

No shortage of work now :)

Teddy wondering what she's going to do.

Josh and Jen leveling.

The little foreman

Kerri working hard !?!?!?

Joshua doing what he does best...the finishing touch!

Sisters making sure the job is done well!

Getting to the end.

Just a little more.

There's even some left over to make a sidewalk.

All smooth and ready to dry.

But we have a problem. How are we going to get Jen out?

So here's where the give away comes in. We thought it was about time for a little contest.

Jennifer has a book that she wants to give away, and all you have to do is tell us how you think Jennifer got out of the middle of all that cement without making ANY tracks.

Leave a comment....if you guess it right you will be entered into a draw for this book.

You have until Nov. 1st/09. So get your comments in :)

October 19, 2009

Birthday x 2

Over the weekend we had two more birthdays in our family.

Zachary turned 9 on the 16th and Jesse turned 7 on the 18th.

To keep with the October theme here are some things you may not know about the birthday boys:

9 things about Zachary:

1. At a young age Zachary had already broken 2 bones and knocked out 3 teeth.

2. We nickname him Tigger because he bounces a lot.

3. He has a smile that would melt anyone's heart....especially his mother's :)

4. He has always been tiny for his age but that hasn't stopped him from being very fast.

5. He wants to get a lamb.

6. You will often find him holding and playing with his baby brother, Josiah.

7. He has a very sensitive heart and is quick to apologize when in the wrong.

8. He really, really, really likes hamburgers.

9. He is a natural leader.

Here are 7 things about Jesse:

1. He is a little farmer.

2. Pop drinks are not a treat for him because he doesn't like them.

3. He really likes to push things around in the mud.

4. He can tell who has been on the yard by studying the tire tracks.

5. He likes to do work in his school books and will sometimes bring them along in the tractor.

6. He asks a lot of questions.....like about 100 a day (okay well maybe sometimes it just feels like 100 :)

7. He is very attentive to details. When I swathed this year for the first time in a different swather I took Jesse along because I knew he would be able to answer a lot of the questions I would have!

We love you Zachary and Jesse and are so glad that God gave you both to our family.

We pray that you will draw closer to God this year and know that love that He has for you.

October 14, 2009

An Important Question......

As another school year is under way I find myself asking the question that I do every year.

"What's really important?"

Really that's a question that I ask myself all the time....but when it comes to home schooling our children, it holds great weight.

When we decided to home school our children, back in 1995....I would say our #1 goal was to be the primary influence in our childrens lives. We couldn't imagine that God would have given us the gift of children just to send them away for 8 hours a day...5 days a week....10 months of the year. Instead we took the verse from Deuteronomy 11:19 "You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." When we looked at this verse and the context surrounding we realized that raising children was a full time ministry of teaching our children to learn the heart of God and to train them to walk in His ways.

So in 1995 we started schooling Joshua and Jennifer at home in the best way we knew how. We were blessed to have a couple of families in the area who homeschooled as well and were able to learn from them. But still every family is different and every family has to figure out what works best for them. So we bought the books....and dove right in.

I think it took a few years of plowing before we asked the question once again...what is really important. Because as the years went on ....homeschooling became more popular.....so there was more of a market for curriculum......so there were many, many choices. And I will admit I got caught up in the 'the more you spend the better the education' lie.

But when we began to re-evaluate we realized that we had gotten stuck in the 'education trap'. You know...the one that says your children need to sit at a desk doing school 9-3....that you measure their success on the scores of their tests...and that textbooks were the only way to teach school.

Then we were introduced to 'unit studies'. This was a refreshing way to bring all our children learning together as a family. We had a lot of fun with these and they were a great way to learn. We did this for a few years and really enjoyed it. But even with these our focus seemed to get off track really quickly and knowledge became more important than wisdom.

Again.....re-evaluate the question again. "What is really important?" The last few years as we have asked this question over and over our perspective has changed. Maybe it is because we have adult children that we are seeing things in a different light. Maybe it is because we are getting older and uh um....slowing down? But the things that seemed so important to us before just don't seem so important anymore.

So what was the reason God gave us children? What was His desire of the way we spend our time with them? How much time does He want us to spend with them? How much time does He want them to spend away from us? What does He want us to teach them when we are with them? What does He want them to be taught if they are away from us? What will He ask us concerning the education of our children when we stand before Him one day?

Which brings me back to the question again. What's really important? Really this question has nothing to do with education but everything to do with every day life. Book work is such a small part and has become a smaller and smaller part as we are becoming to understand what is really important.

Our goal...our aim is to please our Heavenly Father above all. Our desire is to raise every single 'gift' that He has given us to bring glory to His name. That they might be a reflection of Him and a light to the world around them. (Matthew 5:14) That they would love Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. (Mark 12:30) That they would always live for an audience of One. That they would honor and repect who and what God has created. That whatever they would do they would do it with all their heart for the Lord. (Colossians 3:17)That they would have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22). That they would learn when at all possible to live peaceably with all men (Romans 12:18). That the joy of the Lord would be their strength.(Nehemiah 8:10) That they would do everything without complaining and arguing.(Phil. 2:14) That they would have a heart fully commited to God.(2 Chronicles 16:9). Of course the things we want to teach our children is this and so much more....but these are some of the things that are priority.

What's your goal......in your home.....in your homeschooling......in your family......in your marriage....in your life? It's always good to stand back and re-evaluate and ask "WHAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT?" Have you done this lately? If not I encourage you to do it today.

ps Read today's verse on the sidebar :)

October 13, 2009

Taters and Rabbit Food

Last week we dug out all the carrot and potatoes from the garden.
This was the last of things that needed to be done in the garden for the year.
It's always a bittersweet time. We were grateful for all the produce to last us for the winter but yet it meant that summer was officially over.
And it's a good thing we got it done when we did because since then it has been wet and sometimes looking like the view that we have this morning.

There is still lots to do around the farm so we are hoping the snow goes away and stays away a little longer. There are also some farmers in the area who still have crops in the field so we hope for their sake the weather dries up.

Anyway...here are some photos of the treasures we found in the dirt.