Saturday, July 26, 2008

Preserving Provisions

This is the time of year that God supplies us with bountiful provisions from gardens & orchards etc.

Last week, we were blessed to glean 7 pails of saskatoon berries from roadside bushes - we prefer the intense flavor of wild berries and the additional huge benefit that they are grown naturally without the chemicals necessary in a domestic garden setting.

Even though we are seriously busy with packing and moving, I find it so very difficult to pass up the bounty of the season when I know we will be needing it this coming winter. So we took time today, Saturday, to go out to our honey farmer's yard to pick raspberries. He invites folks to come for $7 per day/ per person. Ken & 5 of the boys picked 4.5 pails. Thanks guys!

While they were out picking raspeberries, Carsyn picked my beans which were also ready today. I stemmed the three pails and packed them into canning jars to make our favorite veggie dish - "Singin' Beans".

Thank You, Jehovah Jireh. Praise the Lord for His provision.

Friday: A Hard-Earned Break

A reward earned by walking a 7.5 km Walk-a-Thon - flights over Saskatoon & our farm ... we just had to take the time out to do this!

Up, Up & Away...

Their smiles & intent scan tell all ...

Professional pilot! This was Timothy's first flight...

Taking it all in...

One last picture of our home in SK. God has blessed us so very richly here. We are so thankful. It will always be filled with memories - good ones, great ones, tough ones, growing ones ... God's grace here has been sufficient in every way.

"That was sure fun!"

The twins, Benjamin & Bronlin, were just three months old the first time this annual Prayer-Walk-a-thon was held to benefit Western Tract Mission. They have been on the walk every year since - twice in their stroller, twice walking along with the rest of the family (and/or riding the shoulders of their Daddy or brothers).
This flight was the second time we've earned this prize at the walk-a-thon, this time the twins were old enough to go up in the plane and "make a memory".

What a reward. I'm so glad for them, as I am glad for the other boys too, they all earned this reward ... they had fun!

We all enjoy this annual Walk-a-thon ... Benjamin put it into great words yesterday after his reward flight over Saskatoon when he said, "I got two treats, walking and flying!"

To God be All Glory!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Farmer's Market One Last Time

Our farm buyers requested a day at the market with us as part of their introductory business "training".

The market was 11:00 AM - 5:30 PM. By the time, the children & I arrived around 2:00 a lot of produce/baking was already sold out ... but there's only so much a person can do!!!!

We've found the market to be "like a job", therefore we deem it not a necessary part of our itinerary. We LIKE living outside of the rat race.

But to humor the buyers ... we picked fresh zuchini, dug new potatoes, baked more zuchini into Zuchini Breads and added the variety of Banana Bread(these breads sell WELL!), baked up that one last tub of cherries from last year into Cherry Tarts and Cherry Coffee Cake, made two pans of our ethnic "Platz" using fresh rhubarb and saskatoon berries (this time I made one panful of each though I have combined the two fruits for a nice variation as well), Sesame Crisps are always a hit, and of course, the staple - Whole Wheat 'n' Flax Bread with its variation made into Focaccia. We always bring along some of our organic eggs, copies of my cookbook and this summer our boys have sold quite a few of their pyrography wood photo frames (good job guys!).

Those things nicely fill a table & line our pockets when we go to market. Some of the boys have found that they rather enjoy the time interacting with people and we've met some really nice, interesting folks as well, I might add. So not only is it an income venture it is also a learning growing experince - one that the boys can do with their Dad (another bonus!)

All that preparation done on Wednesday, our regular egg marketing day - this time, also introducing our egg clients to the new owner who came along with us for another aspect of his "training". We, and they, are working to make this a smooth transition for them - but I'm sure there will be surprises along the way for them anyway. Such is the nature of ... farming!

What a day!

Thank you, Lord, for Your sufficient grace!

Free All About Zebras ebook

Anybody interested in this freebie? We have one twin who thinks zebras are "his" while the other claims all giraffes ... we just couldn't pass this up!

Free All About Zebras ebook--includes research guide and 16 hands-on activities. Perfect for homeschoolers or families looking for some educational projects to do this Summer!

(Thanks Money Saving Mom!)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Packing Made Easier

Packing up the farm & family is going well at this point. Ken & the boys have most of the outside stuff packed up - the detached garage & hayloft cleaned and ready to be left for the new owners ... likewise the household is starting to look packed up as well.

Packing Tip #1:

Most of the outdoor "stuff" along with tools & toys has been packed into Ken's collection of handy dandy barrels.

Over his years of working at Mitchell's Gourmet Foods, he's brought home dozens of these barrels which have proven useful for many things: water/rain barrels, rodent proof feed barrels (not to mention hauling the grain with his pick-up)...

And now, another use for them is for packing. It's perfect because Ken had wanted to take a goodly number along for use on the new farm. The barrels are on duty, not just taking up space in the moving truck.

Lots of barrels went with this farm operation, but there are still a good number left over. So we even have barrels for sale ... Anyone need barrels?

Packing tip #2:

Another "find" that has greatly benefited our packing procedure is this general purpose stretch wrap that I found one day at Dollarama:

I only bought one that first time, but once the guys started using it they asked me to buy 5 more rolls ... and this stuff lasts a lo-o-ong time. Of course, with packing a household it will get used up rather quickly too - and the moving process will hopefully be easier on the "stuff" as well.

Now that we've discovered stretch wrap, it will be a regular item in our supplies drawer. The stretch wrap adheres to itself, so a couple wraps around an item or group of items holds them together securely - better is many cases than sticky packing tape.

So there you have it - tips for packing days!

We count these among our many little blessings that we're experiencing
daily ...

God is good all the time. All the time God is good!

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Picture ...

... is worth a thousand words!

The waiting is over.

The rush begins!

August 1 will be here & we'll be gone before we know it!

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Night Before ...

"All hands on deck ..."

"many hands makes light work ... "

Catching & caging chickens is a job done the evening before butcher day. The chickens are easier to catch & it puts less stress on them if the day is already turning into dusk.

Then the next morning can be a bright and early start too...

Enjoying the chickens one last time.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Great Days

Saturday, we had a great day of play at the lake yesterday - after an incredibly busy successful week of work.

The day started out a bit windy, but we still had a fun busy day that ended with a serene trip out on the lake fishing.

Corbyn caught the big one!

Today was a day to rest. Now we’re tanked up for a full week ahead!- lists are made, appointments set(ie. Chicken butchering/deliveries etc.)and packing planned & ready to put into high gear...

God is going before us each little step of the way – preparing it for us – giving us His easy yoke!

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek
and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For My yoke is easy and my burden is light.
~~ Matthew 11:29,30

Friday, July 11, 2008

An Harbinger of Closure

Do you know what an harbinger is? I recall the day I discovered that word ... and I like to use it whenever I can now ... smile - it's just a word I like!

Harbinger means a forebearer of something:

... like snowbirds flitting around announce the coming of a winter snowstorm

... or horned larks beacon the spring thaw.


Today we received a call from our realtor - an harbinger of closure to the sale of our farm - letting us know that he had word from our buyer's realtor - they have accepted an offer on their house pending ... ONLY a house inspection on their house - all financing is in place for their potential buyer.


Praise the Lord!

I believe, all that awaits now is the final signatures on the "removal of conditions" form.

We'll let you know when that happens.

Thanks for all your prayers and support.
We've experienced peace and rest through this faith building journey. And that ... is amazing!

7-11: Free Slurpees on Friday!

Just sharing with you this little freebie - not sure if it's a good thing. I can't remember ever having one of these slurpees. But here it is - do with the tip what you wish:

Friday, July 11, 2008 participating 7-11 stores will be offering free Slurpees! More information here.

Call your store ahead of time to verify that they are participating!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Week Ahead of Schedule

We consider it a huge benefit to have already butchered, delivered and sold more than half of our "KFC" broiler birds - a week ahead of schedule!

Butcher date was set for July 15th which was actually five days later than we had hoped.

Then Ken called back to the butcher to tell him that our birds are all actually getting much bigger than we'd expected. This variety,the Cobb which is new to us, grows quickly putting much of its weight into the breast meat - bred to do so because of consumer demand.

BUT that has its disadvantages - the birds get so top heavy that if they tip over or get pushed over by their peers they can't get up so they die upside down. Losses were happening every day ...

Then there was the threat that mrs. fox offered ...

Well, we outsmarted mrs. fox and fixed the heavy weights - by calling the butcher. He agreed to butcher some of our birds a week early, then let the rest grow another week till the original butcher date.

This is the blessing - we're now about a week ahead of schedule getting this job finished up in record time partly due to the pre-selling we've done. Next week's deliveries are all scheduled already too - this year sales may well happen in record time ... and we thought we'd have chicken in the freezer to sell through out the winter! Ha! Demand is exceeding supply yet again. PTL!

Then, after next week, we'll be more free to focus on wrapping up operations here in SK, packing and moving on - Lord willing, if all goes as planned.

As you can tell, we're still planning for the August 1 change of ownership, but truthfully that is still not determined for sure.

Once our buyers can remove the conditions (unconditional sale of their house) all will be said & done. Till then? We're still waiting and wondering ... but we're also resting & trusting in our omniscient God who knows the beginning from the end.

Whew! What a relief! What a joy to know Someone like that!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fun on the Farm

Life is never wanting for interest on a farm ...

Currently we're having fox fun.

A mama fox has found easy pickin's at Klassen's Sunview Acres All Natural Farm.

Finger lickin' good KLASSEN'S FABULOUS CHICKEN hits the spot for her crew too.

This happens every year at one time or another it seems, but this year it is a little later in the growing season for our chickens - they're ready & waiting for butchering - the date having been postponed a few days due to availablility at the slaughterhouse.

We're grateful that thus far Mrs. Fox has decided to just clean up the chickens that have died for one reason or another: heat stroke, heart attack, etc.

Tonight though, that was not good enough and she got into the fence and attempted to take an old rooster that has been retired to freedom of the whole run. He let up a lot of squawking, waking our guys and saving his life. The guys managed to scare off the fox, then finding nothing they went to investigate the old rooster - he was lying where Mrs. Fox left him in her rush to escape, but a little nudge with a boot set him upright and running off to safety.

Ha! So there, Mrs. Fox.

We'll keep on alert...

Foxes on a chicken farm are not good news, but that goes without saying right?