Saturday, May 30, 2009

A beautiful gift...

Gracie Jo and Peter were driving home from chores last night and the rain had slowed down to a light drizzle. As they headed towards our farm, the sun started to break through. Peter told Gracie Jo that it was good 'rainbow weather' and that she should ask God for a rainbow. "You pray daddy!" she replied. Together they asked God if he could send them a rainbow, and a few seconds later the most brilliant, double-ended rainbow Peter had ever seen appeared right in front of them! Pete said it was like they were 'chasing' it the whole way home, where it stopped and rested right over our farm. Our camera card was broken, and I had to dig around to find an old one, so by the time I took this picture I was only able to catch the tail end of it, but it really was something. Gracie Jo was so excited when she told me and Silas how "God sent her and daddy a real rainbow!" It's funny how in teaching our children about God, even in the simple things, that we are encouraged and strengthened in our own faith. God is so good!

Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. (Ezekiel 1:28)

On a side note, about a month or two ago Peter got a little dose of ringworm from our beloved calves. For the first month he was self-treating using remedies other farmers suggested and that he read off the it started getting worse, he finally broke down and got some proper treatment from the drugstore (clotrimazole). This started clearing it up and once it 'looked better' he promptly stopped using it (even though it said to treat for minimum 2 weeks even if symptoms had disappeared). This past week, the area suddenly got all red,inflamed and oozy. At first it was just kind of annoying and gross, but then it started to become painful. The whole side of his face, his jaw, ear and eye was starting to hurt a lot and the area where the ringworm was got hot and really hard. He went to the clinic yesterday afternoon, but the doctor had never seen anything like it. She put him on ibuprophen, to take the swelling down and an antibiotic (cephalexin) to fight what she thought may be an internal infection. He has to go back to the doctor's first thing Monday morning. The ibuprophen definitely helped with the swelling, but it's a still bit unsettling when the doctor says to you "I have no idea what this is." I know several of you who read this are practising or have a background in medicine. Have you ever seen or heard of anything like this? I'll keep you posted as to his next appointment on Monday. Until then, please keep Peter in your prayers. Apparently ringworm can work its way into your bones? We greatly appreciate your prayers! Well, we have a wedding this afternoon and are headed to Grimsby tomorrow afternoon to visit Forestview and lots of special friends and family! Hope you have a wonderful weekend too!! Blessings! xoxo

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fun at dusk...

That tiller is pretty amazing...
I saw the kids standing all in a row watching Peter, totally
mesmerized, and was able to run into the house, grab the camera
and get this picture. Before I could get off a second shot,
they were all on the move again. I'm so glad I caught this moment!

Our little farmer, checking the fields.

We got the beans in on Tuesday night. A row of green and a row
of yellow and purple heirloom ones. MmmMmm, I can hardly
wait! Yesterday we were blessed with a beautiful, heavy
rain which the gardens have been soaking up. The timing
couldn't have been more perfect! And now, we wait...

'And the seeds that fell on good soil represent honest,
good-hearted people who hear God's word, cling to it,
and patiently produce a huge harvest.' Luke 8:15 (NLT)
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A good day for a haircut...

Gracie Jo's hair was getting long and tangly. She doesn't like having
it tied back, so at the end of the day we were dealing with lots of
knots and snarls.

A few snips and...

Voila!! Hair that's ready for some summertime fun!
(I know it looks kinda uneven in the picture, but it's not. Now
that it's short, we're seeing the return of her curls again!)

Our home church has been reading through the gospel of Matthew, and
while I was cutting Gracie's hair, I couldn't help but think of Jesus'
teaching in chapter 5, "So if your eye - even your good eye - causes
you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose
one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
And if your hand - even your stronger hand- causes you to sin,
cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your
body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell." (vs.29,30)

Gracie Jo's hair had gotten to the point where every day was a stuggle to
work through the mass of knots and tangles. She loved her 'beautiful, long
hair' but she did not love it when I would have to comb out all the knots
every morning and night. At firstshe was a bit hesitant to cut of her long
locks, but after talking about how much cooler it would be this summer
and how there would be no more big rat's nests to untangle every night,
she decided she would like to have it cut.

Now, obviously, long hair is not sinful. It just struck me as I was cutting
away all the dead ends how God wants us to cut those things out of
our lives that are causing us to sin, bringing daily struggle and
heartache into our lives. Not only do those things hurt us,
but they hurt our Father too. He longs for us to live a life of freedom
from the sin that is weighing us down. Cutting out the 'dead ends'
in our life may be painful (just as Gracie Jo was initially reluctant
to sacrifice the 'beauty' of her long hair), but when we experience the
joy and delight of living in obedience to Christ, not only will we find
new freedom but we will experience the blessings that come from
walking in His way.

Now, as I watch Gracie Jo shake her new short mane around her
shoulders and watch it blow around in the wind without getting all
caught up in her face, I'm reminded of the freedom and delight
that God desires for each of us as His dearly loved children.

"So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free,
and don't get tied up again..."
(Galatians 5:1, NLT)
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Monday, May 25, 2009

We're growing...

Gracie Jo will turn 5 in July. She's already such a little lady.

Silas, two and a half : Shoe size, 9
Levi, sixteen months : Shoe size 5/6

Baby @ 20 weeks (half way there!)

The arrival of this sweet little parcel brought the arrival of this new unit...

Since baby would've been riding on the roof rack of the 4-Runner, we were in the market for
a new vehicle. God brought us to this lovely number : seating for 8, space in the back for two
weeks of groceries, a stroller and a couple feed bags and four-wheel drive so we can get around
up here in the winter. More than we could've ever asked for or imagined! Plus it has two
extra seats that still need to be filled... :)

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus, throughout all generations, for ever and ever. Amen!"
Ephesians 3:20-21
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Friday, May 22, 2009

Creation calls...

Our winter pear tree is in full bloom.

The snow white blooms are beautiful. There must be thousands of them!

Gracie Jo and I found this bird's nest under one of our pine trees. The strong winds we've had lately must have blown it down.

I long, yes, I faint with longing
to enter the courts of the Lord.
With my whole being, body and soul,
I will shout joyfully to the living God.

Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young
at a place near your altar,
O Lord of Heaven's armies, my King and my God!
What joy for those who can live in your house,
always singing your praises.

~Psalm 84:2-4~

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Getting the gardens ready...

We finally got a good start on the gardens. It was hard waiting so long, but they say once the May Long Weekend is past it's safe, so away we go!! This is the lower garden where we'll plant our beans, peppers and tomatoes. We scalped the grass right down and after it dies off Peter will get it all worked up. We'll still wait another week or so until we put the seeds and plants in - it's still pretty cold at night for the more delicate veggies.

Here's the top garden. Peter's adding some nice composted manure - there's definitely benefits to being on the farm! Abundant access to great fertilizer and not having to add it by the wheelbarrow full! This garden doesn't get as much sun so we'll use it for lettuce, swiss chard, spinach, onions, garlic, carrots and beets.

This picture reminds me of my Opa. I always think of him when I'm working in the garden.
I sure do miss him.

I think October must be the perfect month to have a baby. The 'bump' doesn't really get in the way yet, so planting wasn't difficult, and we'll hopefully have most of the harvest in by the time our own little sprout arrives :)

Making the perfect little bed for the seeds.

"Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness." (2 Corinthians 9:10) Amen!!
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Monday, May 18, 2009

A first attempt...

We made cinnamon rolls from scratch for the first time. Our neighbours had just had a baby and I wanted to send something special along with their meal. Once they came out of the oven, I decided that we should probably give them a taste test, since we'd never made them before, just to make sure they were alright...Well, we had friends over that night, and again in for coffee the next morning after chores, and a few more of our own samplings, and before I knew it the whole pan was gone. Oops! I guess we'll be making another batch this week. Maybe I should make it a double batch :)

One thing that really surprised me was how small they were when we started. I thought that maybe I had done something wrong when I was rolling them up, or followed a recipe for some mini-cinnamon rolls. I was pretty disappointed because I had visions of giant, chewy sweet buns in my mind and the puny little rolls didn't even fill have the pan. I knew they would get bigger after I set them to rise, but I was so surprised at how much they actually grew. And once they were baked they were marvelous! It reminded me about Jesus' teaching in Luke 12:

"By this time the crowd, unwieldy and stepping on each other's toes, numbered into the thousands. But Jesus' primary concern was his disciples. He said to them, "Watch yourselves carefully so you don't get contaminated with Pharisee yeast, Pharisee phoniness. You can't keep your true self hidden forever; before long you'll be exposed. You can't hide behind a religious mask forever; sooner or later the mask will slip and your true face will be known. You can't whisper one thing in private and preach the opposite in public; the day's coming when those whispers will be repeated all over town."

It can be easy to follow Jesus when things are going your way. When things are working out the way you want it to, when you're surrounded by other believers and the circumstances are easy. But what about when you're struggling, when you're going through something difficult and all of a sudden the answers don't seem so simple. What about when your with unbelieving friends and the conversation and activities turn down an ungodly path? What about when your foundations are shaken - you lose a loved one, your relationship/marriage is falling apart, you're faced with a serious illness. What about then? Jesus tells us that our religious masks and the pat answers that we've grown up hearing won't be enough if we don't have a deep, trusting, and REAL relationship with Him. Just as the yeast caused our cinnamon buns to grow and triple in size, a faith that is based on religious tradition and doing the 'right' thing we'll leave our lives puffed up and empty, unable to stand when trials come. And while they were certainly lovely looking and filled with sticky, sweet deliciousness, if they were the staple of our diet the cinnamon buns would quickly cause us to become a doughy, sickly bunch with no strength or energy for the day-to-day activities of our lives.

Who would have ever thought that God could use a little baking to teach our family such an important lesson!

"But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:7,8

The Koobs Klan

Saturday, May 16, 2009

It's spring fever...

...That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark Twain

Spring fever has officially come to the Koobs family. We are bunch of busy, moving, digging, discovering, running, playing, working bodies. All ready half of the sandbox has been dragged into the house and left in the couch cushions and the bottom of the bathtub. But I can't complain. Mere weeks ago the view out of our window looked like this -

So we are more than ready for the springtime! Peter has been working triple time, putting in extra hours at the dairy barn so his dad and uncle can keep things going out in the field, and even hopping up onto the tractor himself when duty calls (tractor driving is his least favorite job around the farm - he's got too much energy to sit in the cab for more than a few hours at a time.) We're also sending calves out again from our farm, which means extra time weighing, sorting and shipping each week. During a four month break, while our new calves were busy putting on some weight, I seem to have lost some of my agility...perhaps my own expanding waistline has something to do with that :) Cutting out the calves this week was more difficult than I remember! Hopefully between chasing the calves, and our own little crew, around my sleek and agile movements will return...Now if only they made maternity coveralls, I'd be all set!

As soon as the snow melted, Peter set to work building us this wonderful contraption -

If you click on the picture, you can see the starts of some of the seeds coming up. We'd never had a coldframe before, but up here we're about 2 weeks behind those of you living in the 'Banana Belt' of the Niagara Peninsula. So to get us going on our spinach, lettuce and swiss chard Peter built the coldframe and it looks like we'll be enjoying our first salad from the 'garden' next week! We've laid out the rest of our beds, but it may be another week or two before we can put anything into the ground. I can't wait!! Pete and I love puttering around together getting the garden in and the upkeep works good between us as well. I'm the appointed 'Destroyer of the Weeds', while Pete makes sure everything gets the moisture it needs to thrive. He's also quite handy when it comes to keeping it pest free. He's just like my Opa used to be, setting up his pie plates around the tender shoots to scare off the rabbits and adding a sprinkling of lime here and there to keep the slugs off. Gracie Jo was already a big help last year pulling weeds and picking beans, and I know she'll be working along right there beside me this summer. Silas will be happy to dig in the dirt and mud and Levi...well, we'll probably have to tether him to the clothesline while we get our work done! He is one busy little fella :) Vegetable gardening is something that holds so many special memories for me, and I love that I can share it with my own family now. I look forward to keeping you posted on the happenings from our little plot this summer :)

Well, this post is much longer than I intended, and yet there's still so much more to share. I'm hoping I can keep this up on a fairly regular basis, but we'll see how it goes. I do hope this helps us to stay connected with our friends and family who are far away. And if you're reading this and you see us on a regular basis, well, I'm excited to have you here too! I'm going to leave you with some pictures from the kiddies. The fresh air and sunshine seems to be working it's wonders on them as well, they're all sprouting up like you wouldn't believe. And now, just as we are preparing for a season of new growth and beauty "may you live a life worthy of the Lord and may you please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God." (Colossians 1:10) God's richest blessings xoxoxo The Koobs Klan