Wednesday, April 30, 2014

the three little piggies

Our little "farm" is starting to expand! A few weeks ago we brought home some piglets to raise.
The two older boys bought their own piglets as an investment and our family bought the third pig for our own freezer.
It is hard to say "three piggies" without inserting "little" in the front. It is a good thing that they start off little because these three little piggies are so cute!

These piglets are a heritage breed called "Berkshire" and are prized for their tasty, tender, and juicy meat. Their meat has lower levels of saturated fat and higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and Omega 3. Berkshires roam out in pastures and are mostly grass fed.

While the hog pen was being built, the piglets boarded in the chicken coop. I had done a fair amount of research before we bought the pigs and I was almost certain that they would make their way out of the chicken coop so the rush was on to finish the hog pen.
Sure enough, the day after we got them, we were eating our Sunday lunch and happened to notice some unusual activity in the back yard. Liam was the first to clue in, "The pigs are out!!!" And out we rushed, including me in my Sunday clothes and rubber boots. I grabbed a nearby broom and the boys started charging. Pigs were darting here and there and the boys were right behind them. Adam calmed everyone down and eventually the piglets calmed down too, enough so that Adam could grab their twisting and turning hind legs. Finally all three piglets were caught and brought back to the coop and we double latched the doorways. As we were walking back into the house, I said to Adam "This better not happen to me while you are gone. That would not be good."
Fastforward three days.
I was on the phone ordering our laying hens when I spotted movement in the back yard. I took a big gulp and blinked a few times. Sure enough, those little rascals had escaped again. I hurriedly finished placing my chicken order and then grabbed my rubber boots. "Here goes nothing!" I thought as I raced out of the door.
I checked next door to see if my neighbour was home but his driveway was empty. I looked down the road to see if my mom was home but her car was gone too. "Just as well," I thought.
The last time I had called my mom for help because the chickens had gotten loose, she hurried over and just stood there and laughed. I was certain that she would be in pure hysterics if she saw me chasing piglets.
Three piglets on the loose was no laughing matter and it was up to me and Tyler to catch them.
This time I grabbed a bucket of food and with much perseverance and patience I finally had them rounded up and herded them into the coop.
Strangely enough, I did not panic. The feeling of rounding them up felt oddly familiar.
 That is when it sunk in. I have this with the boys. There are times when they seem to be moving in different directions all at once and it happens to be when I have food in my hand that I get their undivided attention and their ears suddenly perk up. When they see or smell food there is great cooperation and our instructions are followed precisely. And so it is with piglets:)

The beginnings of the hog pen. Adam used pallets to frame the pig shelter.

Doesn't it look like this piglet is grinning?!

We had left over barn board from house renovations to finish the pig shelter off. 

The boys have affectionately named their piglets and made signs for them.

                                                                Ready to move in.
Now its time to fatten up!
To all of our stop-over guests, please keep on coming but bring scraps of food with you!

Saturday, April 26, 2014


I will always be indebted to Dr. Dobson for writing "Bringing Up Boys." Coming from a family of all girls, and now raising five fiery boys, has forced me to read his chapters over and over again.
However, one chapter was excluded from his book. That was the chapter on MUD.
Mud pies, mud cakes, mud balls, muddy boots, muddy fingers, muddy toes, muddy faces ,muddy hair, muddy doors, muddy clothes, and even muddy carpets at times...

Dr. Dobson did not warn about the frustrations that MUD causes a mother.
He did not write that it is not worth building a bridge, because boys will just walk through the stream anyways.
Dr. Dobson did not give necessary laundry suggestions on how to get mud stains out of white school socks. He failed to give different mop product reviews. (Right now I have three different mops on the go.)

During this particularly wet, cold April, our boys have loved roaming through the back fields and up and down the streams. This has been great for the boys- especially after a long winter. I would be fine with it too IF they would just leave the same muddy clothes on all day. But instead, the boys get wet and chilled and then they take their clothes off; leave their clothes scattered here and there, and find more outdoor play clothes. This happens all day long. By evening, the mountains of muddy clothes and boots are exploding.

                                 These are the small piles of muddy clothes!
Who else has washed a caterpillar?
In my rush to get the laundry done, I forgot to check boys' pockets for their "treasures."

And now on to more beautiful things. Like Ducks. I can hardly get the laundry done, because I am busy watching these stunning bufflehead ducks in our pond. The male has especially captured my attention with his dives and graceful swimming patterns. I am not sure how rare bufflehead ducks are, but I hope that they make a nest and stay for the summer.
  I am not sure what this bird is but it keeps busy along the shore eating up bugs.

Caleb is also fond of the outdoors and if his brothers are all playing outside he is desperate to be with them, BUT he is quick on his feet (surprise, surprise) so he has to wait until I can go outside with him to watch him.

      And this picture says it all. Dirt, frogs, lifejacket...his constant companions.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April Fools Day

April Fools Day has come and gone but I think our boys will remember that day for a long time!
 Playing a joke involves strategy and careful planning and for me the anticipation of the joke is just as fun as the joke itself.
 On the evening before April Fools, after the boys had gone to bed, Adam and I set the house and van clocks an hour behind. The next morning we woke up in a sudden panic! We had "slept in" and now we needed to do some serious rushing if we were going to make it to school on time.
 The boys flew into action mode grabbing their lunches, dressing, and patting down their hair. I told them that there wouldn't be time to eat breakfast but to grab a hand full of cereal.
During this mad scramble the boys had a few interesting comments about it still being dark outside and that they still felt tired.
 The three older boys ran into the van and we took off trying to get to school before the bell rang. Along the way I asked them if they had a chance to eat something. I heard a hearty "No" and bemoaning the fact that snack time would take "forever" to come. 
At that moment I turned the van into a parking lot of a breakfast restaurant and yelled "April Fools!"
The boys broke out into a grin and told me they thought something was up. Poor Andrew was just relieved after the bustling morning that he could eat breakfast. Within minutes, Adam arrived with the two youngest boys and we had an enjoyable breakfast together celebrating one of the best days of the year!

Friday, April 11, 2014


It was a brisk autumn Monday morning.  I sat with the boys at the bus stop spending a few moments in conversation before the big yellow bus made its appearance.

"Boys, last night when the college and career group was over, all of you went to bed without complaining and that was really helpful. It was also great that you stayed in bed. With your great attitude, it helped daddy and I lead the bible study group without any distractions.
Did you know that by your attitude, you were serving God?

As these words left my mouth, God nudged my heart and mind.

How was my attitude when Adam went on family visits or to church meetings?  I knew the answer. Not good. Often as Adam left in the evening I would look at him with "tired eyes." Homework, dishes, baths, bottles, and diapers - I wanted him to notice that this would be the evening in front of me and he would not be around to help. I was not serving God with my attitude.

When God nudged my heard and mind- I finally got it. When I serve my family, I am serving Him! When Adam leaves for meetings and my attitude is showing that it will be alright here at home (with much reliance on God), I am serving God!
How great God is that He gives us these opportunities to serve Him during this season of life.


*Smile (At home, in the office, at the store; even on the phone, a smile changes the sound of your voice and     sends a message of warmth and friendliness)

*Explore and Empathize (Observe others, ask questions, and show-interest and compassion)

*Reconcile (Be a peacemaker, always ready to confess, forgive, and reconcile others to one another and to   God through Christ)

*Value (Express appreciation and admiration for what others do)

*Encourage (Give courage and inspire, always leaving others with more "wind under their wings")

"As you reflect on how God has loved and served you, and pray for His redeeming grace to fill your heart, you can do one or more of these things to every person you meet throughout your day."

***The S.E.R.V.E. acronym was shared at our ladies Bible Study. It was taken from Ken Sande's blog.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Resource BOOKS

Our Church Library Committee put together a list of resource books for our elders and deacons to help them minister in special cases. 
I wanted to pass this list along, to help equip you if you are struggling, or if you are walking along someone who is.

*the books are in no particular order

Ordinary Marriage by Justin & Trish Davis
Red Like Blood by Joe Coffey & Bob Bevington
Unfaithful by Gary & Mona Shriver
To Walk or Stay: Trusting God Through Shattered Hope and Suffocating Fears by Lara Williams

Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave by Ed Welch
Waiting for His Heart by Joy McClain

Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave by Ed Welch
Waiting for His Heart by Joy McClain
Sexual Detox by Tim Challies
Sexual Sanity for Men: Re-Creating Your Mind in a Crazy Culture by David White
Sexual Sanity For Women: Healing From Sexual and Relational Brokeness by Ellen Dykas

Love Into Light: The Gospel, The Homosexual and the Church by Peter Hubbard
Washed and Waiting by Wesley Hill

MARRIAGE (Sexuality):
This Momentary Marriage by John Piper
When Sinners Say "I Do" by Dave Harvey
Ordinary Marriage by Justin & Trish Davis
Unfaithful by Gary & Mona Shriver
Marriage Matters by Winston Smith
What Did You Expect? by Paul David Tripp
Sex & Money by Paul David Tripp
Sex, Romance and the Glory of God by CJ Mahaney
What is the Meaning of Sex? by Denny Burk
Sex in Not the Problem (Lust is) by Josh Harris
Marriage by Design by Dr. Voddie Baucham  (DVD)

This Stubborn Darkness by Ed Welch
Broken Minds by Steve & Robyn Bloem
Christians Get Depressed Too by David Murray
When the Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper

A Hope Deferred by J.Stephen Yuille

Unconverted Sons and Daughters by Carl Muller
Engaging Today's Prodigal by Carol Barner

The Next Story by Tim challies
You, Your Family and the Internet by David Clark
God's Technology by David Murray (DVD)

Finally Free by Lambert Heath  (Recommended to read for ALL elders)
When Your Husband is Addicted To Pornography by Vickie Tiede
Sexual Detox by Tim Challies
At the Altar of Sexual Idolatry by Steve Gallagher (also study guide)

Sexual Abuse - Beauty for Ashes  by Robert W. Kellemen
The Emotionally Destructive Relationship by Leslie Vernick
Shame Interrupted by Edward T Welch
Sexual Sanity For Women: Healing From Sexual and Relational Brokeness by Ellen Dykas

Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn
Make your Church's Money Work by John Temple
Money Before Marriage (A Financial Workbook for Engaged Couples) by Larry Burkett
Victory Over Debt by Larry Burkett

Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons by Thabiti M Anyabwile
The Elder and His Work by  David Dickson
Called to Lead by John MacArther
Am I Called? by Dave Harvey
The Shepherd Leader by Timothy Z. Witmer
With a Shepherd's Heart by John R. Sittema

Thriving at College by Alex Chediak
How to Stay Christian in College by J. Budziszewski
Stand Strong in College by Alex McFarland

Comfort those Who Grieve:  Ministering God's Grace in Times of Loss by Paul Tautges
From Grief to Glory  by James W. Bruce III
Treasures in Darkness by Sharon Better
When God Weeps by Joni Eareckson Tada
Holding on to Hope by Nancy Guthrie
Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow by Nancy Guthrie

The Freedom and Power of Forgiveness by John MacArthur
Choosing Forgiveness:  Your Journey to Freedom by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

We are also able to offer suggestions on a variety of other topics, ie: parenting, pre-marriage relationships, devotionals, prayer, family worship.

 The Library Committtee