Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Silas is Seven!

Silas John, what to say about you? I'm not sure my words could do justice to the tender, compassionate, excitable, silly and wise little soul that you are.  You are constantly amazing us with your understanding of God's Word and how it penetrates your heart. We learn so much from you and your heart towards those who are hurting or unsaved is a constant example and inspiration to us. We pray that as you continue to grow, we won't get in the way of who God has designed you to be and will learn how to shelter and protect that sensitive and compassionate spirit of yours. You love your video games and the computer, which is a constant source of grief for this mama, but really and truly it's who you are. So I valiantly try to find and teach a healthy balance for you between the plugged-in world and the real world. I'm glad for your forgiving heart as I often stumble in this. Your favorite game right now is Skylanders Giants and you absolutely love it when Uncle Ken comes over to play Wii with you. Your favorite hymn is still 'Take My Life and Let It Be' and, after going Conestoga Bible Camp this summer,  you'll sing 'Days of Elijah' over and over and over again with Gracie. Silas, we are so blessed to be your parents and love to watch you grow and develop your body, mind and heart. God's got big plans for you, little guy, and we pray you continue to hold fast to Him. We love you so much, Silas John! Happy birthday, to the most stellar seven-year-old we know! xo

Bits + Pieces of July

  //Beautiful nights in the pasture

//Gracie's been pressing flowers. This was one of her favorite petals :)

  //We were tired, hot and sweaty at the end of a busy day but Farmer Husband still slipped out into   
    the canola field with me for our yearly picture.

//This girl LOVES watermelon!

 //The corn's growing like c-r-a-z-y!

 //This picture cracks me up for so many reasons, I don't even know where to begin. Let's just say that
   when Pete's in from the barn before bedtime it's always a special treat :)

 //Second cut was made into dry hay this year. We all breathed a HUGE sigh of relief when the last
   bales were safely out of the field and packed away in the shed just before the rain came.

 //Lots of perfect laundry-on-the-line days.

 //Trevor does a lot of custom work for us and, seriously, he is THE BEST! Our boys LOVE him and can't wait for their turn to ride with 'Mr.Trevor'.  I need to find him and awesome Christmas present this year because who else does top quality custom crop management and babysitting all in one? :)

 //If by 'helps' you mean 'takes things out of the baking drawer and brings them to me so I'll make cookies' then, yes, Katie's a good helper.

 //A little snack time picnic.

 //Angry bird tattoos for 2 book bucks? Another reason everybody loves the summer reading program
   at the library.

//Apparently, this smoothie wasn't Katie's favorite? LOL!

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Garden : End of July

//Lots of beautiful lettuce and swiss chard

 //Pickled radishes - look pretty, taste really good...but smell like farts.
   Don't think I'll make them again because, really, even if it tastes good, who wants to eat
   something that smells like fart?

 //The raspberries never last long. I'm lucky to sneak some in some muffins or a smoothie. Most of  
   them go straight from the bushes to our bellies.

 //Black currants from Uncle Simon, and picked by Gracie Jo, Silas and Grandma, make THE BEST
   'bessen sap' ever. We got this amazing contraption and now we're crazy juicing machines!

 //The tomatoes are commmmminnnnng!!!

 //Lovely echinacea in my wild flowerbeds

 //Pete's mom got me a beautiful yellow climbing rose for the arbor...and I haven't killed it yet! :)

 //Canteloupe - Pete's 'favorite' fruit. He will eat it and he will love it!

 //Oh, lovely cukes. So excited for lots of my favorite cucumber salads!

//The front porch is the perfect spot for drying garlic. Thanks, Mom, for the garlic and the 
  recommendation. Living in the house that was previously your in-laws has many, many perks!

July was such a good month in the garden! Lots enjoyed and so much promise ahead...
 "Then God said, “Let the land sprout with vegetation—every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.” And that is what happened. The land produced vegetation—all sorts of seed-bearing plants, and trees with seed-bearing fruit. Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind. And God saw that it was good." (Gen.1:11-12, NLT)

Lil' Stinker

 These pictures, from the middle of July, are a little peek into the personality that's starting explode out of our Wee One. She LOVES wearing hats (or any kind of object that will stay on her melon) and at 16 months, while she climbs everything in sight and confidently pulls herself to standing, she steadfastly refuses to walk. From the twinkle in her eye I'm guessing she just enjoys being a little queen and having her siblings dote upon her every whim. Why walk or talk when everyone else does it for you, right? Oh, the life of a stinker-ish fifth child. But don't worry, Katie Shalom, I've got my eye on you...except for those 30 seconds when I run to the bathroom and come back to find you on the kitchen table. Sigh.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

July 14th - Happy Birthday, Beautiful Girl!

And just like that, our Gracie Jo is 9. I'll spare you the cliches because we've heard them all and, obviously, they're true (Where does the time go?) but the one thing I was asked several times that always made me smile was "Can you believe she's NINE!?!". Actually, yes, I can totally believe she's nine...mostly because she seems so much older than that most of the time! Whether it's being our first born, her God-given personality, having four younger siblings or, most likely, a combination of all of these, Gracie is an incredibly responsible, servant-hearted, mature, and delightful nine year old. This girl just blesses our socks of from the moment she wakes up until she goes to bed at night. Before we had any kids I always thought I'd like a house full of boys. I was never much of a girly-girl myself and boys just seemed a lot easier and fun than the drama-filled escapades of raising daughters. Man, am I thankful that God had better plans in store for me! "Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge!" (Rom.11:33) Gracie Jo's name means "God's gracious gift", and that is exactly what she has been to our family. Through this beautiful daughter I have been given such a precious blessing - a picture of GRACE as I stumbled through my first years as a mother, making so many mistakes and, yet, fully and completely loved by this little one who bore the brunt of my failures. Being given a daily example of what a SERVANT-HEART looks like as Gracie Jo gladly takes on the tasks of oldest child. Whether it's working with Pete out in the barn, standing at the kitchen sink alongside me with a dishtowel in her hand, or shepherding her siblings (I'm always amazed at the amount of trouble the boys get into when Gracie's not around!!), she is so eager to serve and delights in opportunities to help others. Of course we still have our moments and challenges but, the truth is, most of the time I am humbled to have been given the task of raising this daughter when so often it is she that is teaching me. Gracie Jo, you are such a blessing to each of us and we are so proud of the beautiful, young lady you are becoming. Your heart for the Lord,  your fierce love for your family, and the way that you bring joy to those around you as you consider others before yourself is not only a gift but an example to both your dad and I. We love you so much and are grateful beyond measure to be your parents. Happy birthday, sweet girl! xo