Monday, June 25, 2012

Homeschool Family Camp

I must say that when I was looking into changing school boards (for the 4th time) last year, it was because of this family camp that I choose Wisdom Homeschooling.  I was really wanting to bring our family together, instead of dividing. Which is what alot of school boards do. They have so many activities for this age, or that age, or just girls or boys or whatever. Our school board's activities are all family orientated.  So, needless to say we were really looking forward to this camp and it didn't disappoint.  We had our own 2 bedroom cabin, right across from the washrooms and kitchen and right on the lake.  It was located at Moose Lake Bible Camp in Alberta and it was beautiful.  We canoed, kayaked, peddle boated (is this a verb?), tried to catch minnows, swam, enjoyed nightly campfires, played mini golf and just enjoyed the beauty of it all.

This is Jacob on the kayak and Rebekah and Larry in the peddle boat
Jacob watching the minnows
Jacob trying to catch minnows
Ben and Jacob playing mini golf
Our cabin
The kitchen in our cabin
The view from our cabin
We were very blessed to have a survivor from the Japanese war against Indonesia in the 40's staying at the camp. She was so kind to share with us the last night around campfire. I'm afraid I don't know much about that war, but Rebekah and I will be looking into it.  Anyway, Indonesia was a dutch settlement back then, she said, and her father worked in the bank. When the Japanese came, they took her and her baby brother and mother to a concentration camp and took her father to build a famous bridge, that I can't remember the name of. Well, her mother had such strong faith in God, that it really got her and her 2 children through that awful time. They saw women getting kicked to death because they didn't show enough respect to the Japanese commandant. Every time something bad was happening, her mother told her, "Just pray". God was there with them. Even when her father died while in captivity with the Japanese, her mother never lost her faith and knew God was in control and was with them. She said the bible verses her father had left with them the day before the Japanese invaded were these;

"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!  Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God."
Philippians 4:4-6

They took great solace in these verses and lived them out, even while living through a nightmare. She was so encouraging and I really am so happy that we could listen to this piece of history first hand from someone who was there before it is too late.
This weekend was definitely great and we are grateful to the Lord for his blessings.
God bless you.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chicken Potpie with Cheesy Biscuit Topping

It has been so long since I posted a recipe and I love to read other people's meal ideas, so I would like to share this with you.
I made this for our potluck at Field Day a couple of weeks ago. I was inspired by this recipe on Taste of Home, only it used way too many processed foods for my liking, so I improvised. (I used a quart jar of home butchered chicken in broth to make this.)

Chicken Potpie with Cheesy Biscuit Topping

Photo from Taste of Home

1/2 cup  margarine
1 small onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 cup  flour
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken broth
1 can mushroom soup
1/2 sour cream
3 cups cooked, chopped chicken
2 cups frozen peas with carrots (or whatever veggies you want)
Salt and pepper

Cook margarine in skillet, add onions and celery.  Cook until tender. Add flour and stir and cook for 2 mins. Whisk in milk and keeping stirring until thick. Add chicken broth and stir. Stir in mushroom soup and sour cream and chicken. Add vegetables and salt & pepper.

Pour this into a greased 9x13 pan.

Biscuit Topping

3 cups flour
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp shortening
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 3/4 cup milk

In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Cut in shortening until it resembles oatmeal. Stir in milk, then knead until just sticking together.

Drop by spoonfuls over top of chicken mixture, then top all of this with 1 cup grated cheddar cheese.

Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 35 - 40 mins


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Our Last Week and a Half

Oh, how time flys in the summer. Our summers are so short here in Alberta, so we really purpose to enjoy them.  We have been busy in the garden and with all our various activities. Here is an update of our past week and a half.

Jemima and Polly are growing, but you can see that Polly is so much smaller. She really is so cute.

We have been enjoying garage sales and God have been blessing us with some amazing deals.  In the last couple of weeks I have bought; 42 dozen unused snap lids for $5, a bike for Jacob for $12, a huge tomato plant for $1 and this skirt Rebekah is wearing in the picture for $0.50.

Soccer is winding down for the year this week (yay!). I had to be a fill in coach for Jacob's soccer tournament yesterday. I had so much fun with all those U6's.

This is a picture Larry took of Ben during soccer practice. Pretty cool shot.

We ran into a friend at the garbage dump a while back and he was throwing away the cabinet in the picture below. Larry had the brilliant idea to put it in the barn for additional laying spots for the chickens and it is working great.

We have decided as a family to attend the church service our church does once a month at the elderly care home where we serve on other occasions in town and today was our first time going.  We kind of just wanted to see the way it goes and be of service and now next time we know exactly what we can do to be of more help.  The kids can pass out and collect the song books, we can put out chairs, we can greet the people and just really try to be a blessing with God's help to all the elderly occupants there. 
This picture is of our Pastor and his wife leading the singing. Only them and the musicians were there from our church and I am so excited to be a part of it.

This morning was also a very sad morning for me. Our Little Joe left for Vernon, BC in a horse trailer. We had him for sale in Alberta, but a lady from Vernon called and said she really wanted Little Joe and would have a person pick him up in about a week. She has lots of jennies for him to breed and she has goats and sheep, which donkeys also like. I think he will have a great home, but we have had him since he was born here on our farm 3 years ago and I will truly miss him. 

On a happier note, we had fun honouring Larry today for Fathers' Day.  The kids all got him something; Jacob gave him a John Deere golf shirt, Ben gave him bridge mix and Rebekah made him chokecherry jelly and a card and also gave him some slowpokes. I gave him some cologne, t-shirts and socks.

Well, there you have it. I had so much I wanted to chronicle on here, but I hope to get around to it in the near future.
God bless.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Field Day 2012

We had the pleasure of hosting the Ponoka Homeschooler's 4th Annual Field Day for the 4th time today.  It is a day when local homeschoolers get together and play fun games, like; the egg and spoon race, water balloon toss, scavenger hunt and tons of wacky games. The kids look forward to it all year and have a blast. After the games we have pot luck lunch. 

Here in the picture below, Nola is explaining a game to the children.

In this picture Jacob is hopping with a big beach ball between his legs.

Rebekah and Jacob

This game was fun. The teams formed a circle, holding hands, and they had to get the hula hoop all the way around the circle twice without touching it.

Today started out really nice and sunny, but so quickly the clouds came in and then, almost without warning, it started to pour. This has never happened before. We had to stop the games - I think we still had 4 or 5 more to go and I told everyone to get in the house. This year 28 kids were able to participate in field day and 3 left with their families once the rain came . So we had 25 children plus toddlers and parents squished in our small farm house, eating a meal.

Here are some of the kids in the living room

The other side of the living room

The kitchen

This will definitely be a memorable field day.  We all had such a great time, even with the adverse weather conditions. It was just a great time of fellowship and fun.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

An Update on Jemima

I just want to thank you all for your prayers for Jemima.  She is still alive and running and kicking. Although Molly is not a very nice mother, she still must be letting Jemima get what she needs to survive.  Molly is just too young to understand her full role as a mother and is being a little too selfish. 
But, for now, all is well in the barn yard.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Prayer for Jemima

Hello all. I have a favor to ask of all you wonderful people who follow my blog. Could you say a prayer for Jemima? I think Molly has rejected her, but I won't know until tomorrow for sure. From what I could see this evening, every time Jemima wanted to nurse, Molly would get aggressive with her. I tried feeding her some 2% cows milk, but she fought and didn't want to drink it. So that gave me hope that she has had enough to eat, but really I was watching for hours and didn't see her eat anything.
I really appreciate your prayers and I'll keep you updated.

Announcing... Jennie's New Baby Girl, Polly!

I can't believe Jennie has had her baby so close to Molly. On Monday night, Rebekah and I were doing yet another chore, bringing in the new bags of chicken feed and feeding the chickens, when Rebekah calmly said, "There is a baby".  Right next to where I was, Jennie was giving birth! We hadn't even noticed and we had been in the barn walking back and forth past that stall for about 10 mins. I am so happy Rebekah saw them because she was still giving birth at that point. So here are some pictures of Polly making her entrance into our barn yard.

This is a video of the very last part of the birth. It had taken about half an hour altogether. And we did not know that donkeys give birth laying down. We have always found our baby donkeys just after they were born. So this was such a treat to see.

This is Polly the next day. The reason she is laying down like that is, Rebekah was in their stall scratching and petting Polly and I guess Polly just layed down and was completely enjoying herself. Rebekah layed with her for a while too. I am so happy Jennie is letting us near her baby. She has been so shy since we got her 3 years ago.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Jemima is One Week Old

OK, so I'm a day late with Jemima's one week update. We were invited to a friends' house, spur of the moment, last night for a bon fire. We had a blast, but I didn't get around to posting pictures of Jemima. So, here are a few that were taken yesterday.

Larry and I were putting the chicken wire up around the barn yard yesterday, but Jemima kept coming over to the fence where we were working and just loving all the attention she was getting. I spent more time petting Jemima than helping Larry I think.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Our Weekly Review

Welcome to our farm.  Although it has been a constant struggle trying to keep the chickens out of our garden and pumpkin patches, we have been able to accomplish some things. I am slowly going to put chicken wire around our farm yard so that the chickens can't get through the farm wire fence. I have 200 feet to put up today if the rain we are expecting holds off. (I hope it comes soon to water all the seeds we have planted though). And if we sell some more eggs, I will have more money to go buy another 200 feet!Here are some things we've been up to this last week of May. 

Rebekah helped me plant our pumpkin patch. It is so nice to have all the seeds in the ground. I went out today to check on them and the chickens had scratched up a few hills of seeds, but they don't eat them, so I just replanted them.  I will be starting on the pumpkin patch side of the fence with the chicken wire to help deter them from going there.  We were putting strips of card stock around the seeds to keep the cut worms out (I lost 1/2 of my plants last year to cut worms), but because they are colourful, the chickens go straight to them and start scratching! So, I must say, I was feeling VERY defeated this week. If the chickens don't get them, the cutworms will. But I just have to remember to, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus". 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 God is so good! I feel better now. 

So we were able to plant the following pumpkins this year;
  • Neon - 123 seeds
  • Jack-b-Quik - 51 seeds
  • Gourds -   42 seeds
  • Casper - 78 seeds
  • Gold Medal - 72 seeds
  • Jamboree - 36 seeds
  • Pik-a-Pie - 87 seeds
  • Bus Stop - 87 seeds
  • Jack-o-Lantern - 69 seeds
We have also seen something on this farm that we have not seen before.  Apple blossoms! We planted our first patch of 50 trees 5 years ago and another patch of 100 trees 4 years ago.  Every year we have had frost that has killed all the blossoms because the trees are so small. But this year the first patch is doing really good and the second patch has a few trees with blossoms. Almost all the trees in the second patch died over the winter the year we planted them. It was a record cold winter and the little seedlings could not handle it.

This picture was taken 4 days ago. It is now in full bloom.

I realized that I wouldn't have the barn yard fenced off in time to keep the chickens out of our garden, so we bought some plastic fence posts and put chicken wire around the garden. I did such a bad job. The chickens can go right under neath the wire and if I'm in there working, they do. I hope it keeps them out for the most part though.  Anyway, I am basically done planting the garden. I just have to transplant my Pumpkin on a Stick's. They are too small yet to put out. I even let Ben and Jacob each have a row to plant in.  I bought a bunch of "Kiddie Pack"s of seeds from T&T seeds for 5/$1.00. They are just full of different seeds. Lot's of them I can identify, but most of them I can't. They could be flowers or vegetables. So the boys planted a row of who know what, but it is exciting waiting to see what comes up!

Our garden.

I just couldn't wait until tomorrow to post pictures of Jemima. These are Jemima at 2 days old. We just love her so much.

All of us go for our daily Jemima snuggles. Here is Ben getting his.

So, that is what was happening here. God bless you.