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August 28, 2012

Time to Pick Eggs!

WARNING: If you are offended by the words pooting, fluffing, tooting or blowing smoke....you may want to skip this post :)

Yesterday a few of us were busy husking corn. We were having a nice time talking about stuff when one of our sons ( surprise, surprise....it was a SON...not a daughter!!) piped up, "Who pooted?" (for those of you who are not familiar with this action it could also be called fluffing, tooting or blowing smoke!) Anyway, I think you get the picture!

So of course everyone looks at everyone else and nobody admits to anything and then Nathan says, "I guess that means its time to pick eggs!" Now understand, I have heard many a strange thing come out of my kids mouths over the years, but this particular reasoning I had never heard! So of course I asked the question that was burning on my lips, "What in the world does pooting have to do with picking eggs?" Well Zachary was happy to enlighten me and he said, "We made a rule that whenever someone poots we have to go pick eggs!" At this point Jen and I looked at each other and burst out laughing!!!

So here's the thing. We have all these laying hens, but I am not happy with the amount of eggs we have been getting from them. I have been after the boys to pick them more often just in case the hens are eating them or some rodent is stealing them. But still...not many eggs!

BUT...now after this conversation....I have been enlightened!!!! I now know the trick!!! I know how to remedy the situation!


August 27, 2012

Tied To Being Fit

Being pregnant and giving birth 13 times means I have went through the gain weight, lose weight cycle......LOTS!!!! One of the most important things I have learned through this journey is FOCUS and BALANCE.

I am always amazed after Christmas how all the "weight loss and fitness" kicks start. Like clockwork....every year! But this year I've paid attention to something different....the attitude behind most of it. And what I have noticed is the meism....and to be even bolder....the worship of self-image.

Don't get me wrong. I am all for staying fit and eating healthy. I believe that is the way God intended it to be. I don't necessarily agree with the way people "get fit and eat healthy" though. Mark and I always joke and say..."imagine if you would take all those people who go work out at the gym and bring them to a farm to do manual labor instead...WOW!!! How much work we could get accomplished!!!!" Such wasted energy....don't send me hate mail....just sayin' :)

In my life I have learned that if my focus is in the wrong place, staying fit and eating healthy can quickly become an idol in my life. I have also learned that I need to be real careful anytime I decide to "get back on track". Careful to not let it consume me.

God should be the center of my life....always and in every area. This includes the area of health and fitness. But I have found this is so much easier said than done. For God to be the center in this area means I need do it His way.

What is His way????? A focus and a desire to please and honor God. I find that the times I am most dissatisfied with my weight and eating is the times when I loose focus....focus on the One Who created me. When my focus in not on Him my motives become prideful and selfish.

It doesn't take me long to realize when my focus has gotten in the wrong place because weight gain and fitness becomes the center of my thoughts and they dictate my actions.  Rather than dealing with the issues behind my weight gain, I try to put a band-aid on it by some quick fixin healthy eating and exercise.  And guess what? I do well for awhile and then inevitably....I FAIL...and fall back into the same pattern as before.

What are some of the underlying issues? Lack of Self-control would be a big one!!! Being able to say no to a cookie when I am not hungry...and yes to exercise when my flesh is weak. DisContentment would be another one. Contentment for the way God made me. Contentment for the "baby fat".  Not Trusting is right up there to. When I am in a stressful situation...I tend to eat more and exercise less...and this just adds to my stress. Rather I need to be able to deal with stress...by trusting. If my heart is truly trusting God...I will be able to handle stress...I will be able to give it over to Him. Of course there are many more underlying issues, but these are probably the ones I struggle with most.

But when I keep God as the centre of my weight loss journey, that's when the weight comes off the easiest and stays off!!! If I am losing weight for my own selfish desires....I loose focus and my balance becomes all out of whack....I am more apt to try the next diet fad...or weight loss gimick....or the perfect exercise program. But when I do it because I want to be the person God created me to be...the results are amazing!!! In these times I am NOT consumed by foods and excercise...rather I AM consumed with pleasing HIM!!!! And it really becomes a heart thing rather than a physical thing. And this is where I'd rather be. The results are longer lasting and much more gratifying. And my focus is where it should be....on the ONE who gave me this body in the first place!!!

And then I am no longer tied to being fit....but rather tied to honoring and pleasing my Creator...God Himself!

So I challenge you. If you are on a journey of weight loss...or weight maintaining....where is your FOCUS? Are you BALANCED? Is your desire to please and honor God CONSUMING you?

August 24, 2012

Testing of Our Faith

This summer has been a bit of a challenging one for us. Farming is never predictable and it's never for sure how much of a crop you'll get. But this year it wasn't just a matter of how much of a crop we would get, but if we would get a crop at all!

Things were looking really good in spring/early summer. We were able to sow all of our fields, we sprayed everything for disease and bugs, we had timely rains and then it was time to sit back and watch it grow.

We had just left for a camping trip that week and had enjoyed a couple of days together as a family when we got the news....it had hailed at home and a lot of our crops had been damaged. Not the kind of news you want to get when you are on holidays! But we figured there was nothing we could do to help the situation, so we decided to enjoy the rest of our time away, the best we could.

A few days later we headed home. The crops on the way home looked beautiful. The canola fields were yellow with blooms. It was hard to imagine that at home our crops didn't look quite so lovely. We drove in the yard, parked the camper and Mark went out to check the damage. A few minutes later he called me to report that things didn't look good at all. A couple of our fields looked really bad. And most of the others were damaged as well.

TRUST....FAITH. These were the things that were going through our minds. We said it thousands of times....God is in control. He will take care of us. But when something like this happens it can either bring you to your knees or you can choose to shake your fist at God and say WHY??? We chose to fall to our knees....for us, this was the only option.

Even though seeing your fields combined, by the "big white combine" as we call it, is very discouraging, most farmers will still get a pretty good payout from insurance. But things are a little different for us. We started farming 19 years ago. After a few years of farming we felt that God was telling us to cancel our crop insurance and not to get hail insurance. We felt God was saying that by buying insurance we were not fully putting our trust in Him and having faith that He would provide our needs and that we were trying to protect ourselves from His hand. So the decision was made...no more hail insurance, no more crop insurance...and we have had none to this day.

With this decision has come opposition. Many have said that we are being irresponsible by not getting insurance. Others said we were just plain crazy!!!! But we knew (and still know today) that we would be irresponsible and crazy if we weren't obedient to do what God has asked us to do.

There have been years where we have gotten hail on one or two of our fields....and those years we didn't get much of a crop. A lesson in FAITH.... a lesson in TRUST.

One year stands out in our minds....the year that a couple of our fields got major hail. We thought for sure the crop would be horrible. And one of them was. But the amazing testimony was that one of our fields that got hit badly actually did very well...more than we ever thought it would. It was nothing short of a miracle! This was the year that we really saw first hand that God was truly in control. If He wanted us to have a crop, we would have a crop. And this experience solidified in our hearts the fact that God is good and we could trust Him and that He would take care of us.

This year things are turning out a little differently. All but 2 of our fields had pretty serious hail damage. And this is from at least 3 different hail storms. Some of our fields got hit all 3 times! Understand that our fields are spread out over about a six mile radius. It's not like they are all side by side. So every time a field would get hit again we would almost be in disbelief! Is this seriously happening???? But it didn't take us long to realize that yes indeed, it was happening, and it was happening to us!

I won't lie to you. We struggled within....fear, self-pity, and anxiety really wanted to take over. But God had not changed.....only our circumstances had. He was still faithful, He was still in control. He was still taking care of us.....just maybe not the way WE thought it should be! There's nothing like a good trial to make you cling to God like you never have before, to remember His promises and to make you grow spiritually.

We haven't combined all of our fields yet but what we have combined so far hasn't turned out too good. One of our fields was particularily poor and only gave us a quarter of what we would normally get. And the others were better, but still not great.

We still have a few crops to harvest and right now we have no idea what they will produce. As my hubby has been saying since the hail, "It'll be interesting!!!"

We are incredibly aware that our happiness and fulfillment does not come from possessions or stuff!!!! It comes in having a personal relationship with a personal God. And knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is faithful, that He will take care of us and that we CAN trust Him with everything! And that no matter how our fields turn out, God is still good!!! We will take what He chooses to give us with a thankful and content heart! WHAT A MIGHTY GOD WE SERVE!!!!!

“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?. Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is it's own trouble. Matthew 6:28-33

August 22, 2012

Bringing in the Produce

This time of year is always so rewarding. After all the long days of planting, weeding and caring for the garden the produce comes pouring in.

The last month or so we've been busy with peas, raspberries, apples and cucumbers. The cucumbers especially seem never ending this year and today we made our last batch of relish. We have decided that we have put up enough pickles and relish and now it's time to just eat the cucumbers!

Today was another busy gardening day as we blanched and froze our first picking of corn. As far as I can tell we will have at least 2 more pickings. For more photos of our happenings today you can visit Jen's blog.

What's left besides corn? Apples and tomatoes. We will make apple pie filling, apple sauce, salsa, pasta sauce and pizza sauce. That will be all for the canning part and the rest of the garden (potatoes and carrots) will stay in the ground as long as it can in the fall when we will dig them up and store them in the root cellar.

Of course all this has to be done in between/during the harvest of our crops, making life very very busy! But it's worth it to know that we will be able to enjoy it all this winter!!! I will have a harvest update coming soon :)

August 14, 2012

They were 2, and then they became 1, 
and now they'll be 2 again :)

That's right folks....Henry and Megan are going to have a baby, Lord willing, in March :)
So we are going to be grandparents.....again :)
We are so excited for Henry and Megan.....and we are so excited for us!!!!

August 7, 2012

Summer Family Fun

A couple of weeks ago my sister, Amanda and her family (husband, Josh & daughter Cadence) came to visit us. They live in Edmonton so we don't get to see them that often. 
So it was real nice to connect again. 

Mikaya and her cousin, Cadence (Amanda's daughter). It didn't take long for them to get re-aquainted!

Cadence had fun with the monarch caterpillars that were eating my plant (yet again!!!!)

After supper we had a game of volleyball.


Cadence showing her lil cousin the caterpillar 

Did he get it????

My lil sis, Amanda

Josh (Amanda's husband) showing them how it's done!

My bro Jeremy 

Nice moves Caleb!!!!

That's my babe :)


Nice move Henry! 

Laura (Jeremy's wife)
Not sure who won....but I do know everyone had a lot of fun :)

That was yours....No, that was yours!!!!

The 2 finger pacifier

Brooke, Elyana (my brother Jeremy's little girl) and Mikaya

Elyana and Makayla having some quality time!!!

Mikaya entertaining the little ones

Trampoline Fun

Cadence, Brooke, Isaiah (Jeremy & Laura's son) & Nathan

I'm sorry now that we didn't get a group shot but we were too busy visiting!!
We ended the evening by having smores and popcorn and singing around the campfire.
Thanks guys for the great visit!