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September 28, 2009

Memories Monday

Here are some cute story's and pictures about Kerri.... Enjoy!
Journaling from
Sept. 30 1999.....
Something Cute! Today Kerri closed the bathroom door and it banged quite loud. She said "Ooh, that made my ears jump!!"
April 21st 2000......
A few days ago Kerri poked Mommy in the tummy. Then she said, "Oh, did I poke the babies eyes!" Kerri, Sweet Kerri!
May 2001....
Mom wrote the scripture verse "The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer" on our rock. After Kerri was telling someone what the verse was that mom wrote on the rock. She said "The Lord is my shepherd Ishall not rock!" (a little misinterpretation)
Aug 10th, 2002...
A few days after Jennifer's birthday, Dad and Mom took her out for supper and a movie. Later when she was explaining to her siblings about how it was so dark in the movie theatre and it seemed like it should be dark outside but it wasn't. Kerri always a thinker said, "Did they have lights that made it dark?" Thanks again for the laugh Kerri!

Kerri May 2009

We love you Ker!

Love, Your Sisters:)

September 26, 2009

Nothing Else Will Matter

On Thursday evening we got the sad news that Mark's cousin had passed away in a farming accident. He was a husband, father to 4 children, brother and friend to many in this community and beyond and he will be missed.

We were combining when we heard the news so there was lots of time to think, mourn and reflect.

As sad as this is and as much as we don't always understand, we know that this is God's perfect plan. We do not see the big picture, but He does.

All of our days are numbered. We never know the day that will be our last.

So this has made me think about my life. My every day life, my life with family, friends, aquaintances and especially with God. If I were to die today, how would I be remembered? What impression would I have made on my children? What impact will I have made for God? What will He say to me when I meet Him face to face? Will it be "Well done"?

It's in these times that I am reminded once again that all the 'stuff' on earth is not going to make one bit of difference when I die. So many of the things that I see as so important and valuable now I will not be able to take with me. Makes me wonder why I strive so much sometimes to get these things?

What will make the difference though is the heart issues. Did I love and honor God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. Did I have a submissive heart and a good relationship with my husband? Did I teach our children to love and honor God when they sat and walked and lie down and got up? Did I reflect Jesus to those around me, was I a light to a lost and hurting world? Did I give of myself and my possessions? Because when all is said and done, when my life on earth is through it will be these things that will truly matter...these are the things that will last.

Please join me in praying for the families who are mourning their loss.

When visiting with family today this is the verse that they read to us from Habakkuk 3:17-18

Though the fig tree does not bud

and there are no grapes on the vines,

though the olive crop fails

and the fields produce no food,

though there are no sheep in the pen

and no cattle in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the LORD,

I will be joyful in God my Savior.

September 25, 2009

Lil' sis

Megan took these AMAZING pictures of herself the other day.
For some reason she didn't want to post them on her blog.......
I thought they were to good to pass up :)

September 24, 2009

When You Rise Up

I am once again reading through this book by R.C. Sproul Jr. If you want to read a book that will encourage you in your homeschooling journey I highly recommend this one.

Here is a peak into the book.

Chapter 1; pg.28-31

"Several years ago I took three of my children to the grocery store: Campbell, then six, Shannon, four, and Delaney, three. Not only do I have a pattern of taking our children with me, but we also have pattern of how we go through the store. We begin with fruits and vegetables, and then finish at the bakery section. At our local store, the good folks behind the bakery counter give away cookies to little children. This too is a part of our pattern. Delaney, with a year's experience of going shopping with Daddy, hadn't quite learned all the habits. So every week she had to ask, "Can we get a cookie, Daddy?" She worries unduly, because her Daddy is so cheap that it doesn't matter if we have stopped at the grocery on the way home from a tour of the candy factory. The cookies are free, so the answer is always "Yes."

The lady behind the counter gave Campbell his cookies and Delaney hers. I did not get one for Shannon, for though she likes cookies, she isn't yet adept at eating them. (My daughter Shannon is mentally retarded, with the mental ability of an 18-month old.) I realized at this point that I had forgotten pie crusts for my wife, so I left the children and the buggy to fetch some. As I headed back I caught my son. He did not know I was watching. As far as he knew, no one was watching him. But I saw him do it. He broke off a piece of his cookie and fed it to his little sister Shannon. He didn't do this so I would one day write about him. He didn't do this because Shannon would praise him. He did it because God has worked in his heart, because his mother is an outstanding homeschooling mom, teaching him well. That is the heart of the matter; that is what we ought to be celebrating.

I'm not arguing that it's a bad thing for children to be smart. Rather, I am suggesting that the issue of education is always the heart. Changed hearts is the goal, the function, the very purpose of education. Our goal is not multi-generational personal peace and affluence, neither are we simply trying to raise clean-cut children. Homeschoolers are adept at doing that. And there certainly may be a parallel between being nice and having the gentle and quiet spirit the Bible tells us to. But what we want is the changed heart.

What is your goal? What are you shooting for? Even if you answer, "Building the kingdom of God," you might still have it wrong. Be careful here. We are not training our children so one day they might build the kingdom. We must remember, as we continue to grow in grace and become more effective in our calling, to ditch this notion that school is something you do for a time, and then you work. We continue to learn, while we work. And our children continue to work while they learn. Your children are not simply in training, but are even now about the business of building the kingdom of God. What is the kingdom of God? Is that the place where the least of these, Jesus' brethren, my daughter Shannon, gets a piece of cookie, because it was given to her.

If the heart is the heart of the matter, if our children not only are learning to be kingdom builders, but are also being kingdom builders right now, if we are to train our children to train their children, then this is something we need to remind ourselves of daily. The devil, you understand, is craftier than the beasts of the field. He doesn't simply whisper in our ears, "Betray your children. Raise them in the nurture and admonition of the state." Instead he distracts us, pulls us off target, makes us forget our calling, piece by piece.

Our calling is to keep our eyes on the prize-not to be at ease in Babylon, but to long for the city whose builder and maker is God. We will not get education right until we get life right. Just as so many peasants of the thirteenth century sacrificed to build the great cathedrals of Europe (which they would not see finished in their own lives), so we must look to the future, seeing the fulfillment of the promise, the consummation of the kingdom. Praise God that in his grace we get a taste each week, as we enter the worship experience in our weekly rest, of our eternal rest.

May we remember as parents that we are his children, and that he is about the business of changing hearts, of repairing our ruins, of remaking us. And though he has not finished with us, he has placed in our care his children. May he in his grace keep our hearts aflame for these children. May he give us minds like steel traps that we would never be distracted, that we would not forsake our calling. May he, the great Steward, make us faithful stewards of children, the most precious gifts, of which is the kingdom of God."

September 22, 2009

Our Saturday by Jen

As some of you might have guessed, mom has been somewhat absent for the last week.... busy with harvest (we are so thankful for amazing weather that we have had this week. We were able to get a lot of harvesting done). It is this time of year that every able bodied person is kept busy as we work to get the crops and the gardens harvested.

So we (Jen, Meg and Kerri) decided that we would take pictures of our day and let you peek into "Jen, Megan & Kerri's" Day"

WARNING: This is a really long post.

We didn't mean for it to happen this way but it turned out to be the busiest day of the week!

Our day started at around 8:00 a.m. Usually we ride at 6:00 but this morning we gave the horses a break didn't wake up on time.

Milking comes first, two of us girls milk while the other stays inside and feeds the kids.

We like to do our work while listening and singing to music. Makes the day go by much faster

Here are the girls..... singing

We like to have brunch on Saturday mornings. But when everyone is in the field it's hard to do that. So if they couldn't come to brunch, we decided to bring brunch to them!

For brunch this morning we decided to make cinnamon buns!

Let the yummy kitchen mess begin :)

We worked on the cinnamon buns (and other morning chores) till 12:00
Mikaya enjoying her "lunch"

And then it was off to deliver the sticky yummies and also some passengers to the field.
Caleb, Zachary and Brooke went along with Dad for a while.
Here is Dad in the combine.

On our way to Mom

This is what Mom has been doing for the last couple of days.
Here she is swathing our last field of wheat.

Mom had Jesse and Nathan with her.

Meanwhile the guys had moved to another field and needed a bin to be cleaned out.
We arrived there at.....

Inside the bin.

Yes, it really is this dusty!

I think we made a record cleaning out a bin we were done in 13 minutes :)

Next on the list was to take the garbage to the dump.

We finally arrived home....

Meanwhile Megan was at home making relish. Through some miscommunication she ended up making 4 batches instead of 2.... anyone need some relish?!? Or maybe you have some ideas of creative ways to use relish.....PLEASE?
Here's Megan working hard making sweet relish x4

this is NOT even all of it :)

Mikaya was lost with all her siblings (except Josiah) in the field. She didn't quite know what to do with herself. When your in a large family there is always someone to play with!
Josiah and Mikaya watching a video

On coming home we started finishing up some apple juice that had been sitting in water overnight. The relish was supposed to sit for the day.
Here are the apples boiling.

And the mess gets bigger!

Sometime after making the apple juice I fed the horses, Meg made supper. Then Mom finished the field so she came home and I gave her a ride to Dad. I then brought Brooke, Caleb and Nathan home.


And no matter how busy we are here the crew in the field still gets hungry :) So.......
We brought supper to the field.

To Josh and Rebecca.....


And Mom and Dad......

The boys ate on the truck while Mom and Dad ate while on the move.

Here is Josiah and Kerri waiting for Mom and Dad to finish eating. Then it would be Josiah's turn.

And then Joey got his first combine ride! (outside of mom :)

Again arriving home....

Mikaya decided that today would be a good day to style her hair.....

By this time the apple juice was ready to be put into jars.

As well as the relish...... but we ran into a problem...... When it came time to add the peppers we found that...

we didn't have a pot big enough to fit it all (and believe me, we have a really big pot!)

As you can see the mess was still growing!

We finally found something big enough to fit ALL the relish in.

But we didn't find enough cupboard space....

As I was canning I found that the fridge needed immediate attention.... so I did that

We were thankful that Caleb came home from the field....
he entertained Josiah while we were busy.

We FINALLY had the time to do the dishes! It took a long time to get them all finished. ps though by appearances it may seem like we have a dishwasher and dishes are no big deal.....it's not working right now, so it's all by hand:)

Josiah thought it was about time!

We got all the kids bathed, did the evening milking, cleaned the house, washed the kitchen floor, did some wash and then we were done! Whew, all in a day's work....
We never were able to get a picture of the clean kitchen but here is the result of some of our work....
Friday and Saturday together we have made 39 jars of apple juice.

And 33 jars of relish

It was a full day and there is a couple of things we learned
1. Never make relish and apple juice the same day. The smells of the two mixed together is HORRIBLE.
2. Communication is VERY important :)
3. Never quadruple a relish recipe. You will end up with 33 jars of relish....
4. We love our life and wouldn't have it any other way!!

Time for bed after a long day.