Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Moving Update

Happy Lord's Day everyone!  This is just a quick update on our move.
My mom is here helping us pack and we are hoping to sleep in the new house tomorrow! The new owners take possession of our house on Wednesday.
We are just praising the Lord because He is showing us daily that He is in control of this whole move.
I might not have internet hooked up for a few weeks, so I will try to post pictures as soon as I can.
Have a blessed Sunday.

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Big Change Coming - We're Moving

Some posts are harder to write than others and this happens to be one of those posts.  Now it's not because I'm sad, because I am over that, it is because the Lord has been teaching us something that I really want to be able to explain properly.

I'll go back to the beginning of July when Larry and I tried to refinance our mortgage to pay off some of our bills. We realized we were getting nowhere fast and had to do something.  Well, our broker told us there was no way we could do as we wanted and maybe we should look into selling our farm and look for something less expensive. When Larry said that out loud, I just went to bed and cried, and cried and cried some more. We have been here for over 6 years, almost the longest I've lived anywhere in my life. But Larry said he wouldn't make us move because he saw how upset it made me. THEN, it struck me that the idea actually made sense and would be best thing for us. Larry has to work SO hard just to make minimum payments, it just didn't seem fair to him to stay on.

But this is when we both just started to look to the Lord. I guess we got in this situation partly from the year Larry had been seriously injured by his semi truck and couldn't work and maybe mostly because we hadn't been waiting for guidance from the Lord in our finances and even though I have been very careful with our money the last 4 years, we just really needed to FULLY trust in God.

If we would just have remembered these verses that most Christians know off by heart we might not have gotten in such a situation.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths."
Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV

So, I started looking for something we could afford, but still in the country in our area. And I found only one property on Kijiji (like Craig's List).  It was a duplex, made into a single dwelling, moved onto 7.6 acres on a basement. We went and looked at it on July 14th and knew that this would be the only house that really would be an option for us. But, praying all along that God would completely close the door if it wasn't where He wanted us.

We put our house for sale on the same website about a week later. We couldn't afford a realtor.  We just prayed about what amount of money we needed and trusted God to send buyers or not send buyers if that was His will. Well, within 2 weeks we had 2 offers! One couple had to sell their house first, so we gave them 2 weeks, but they didn't sell it. So, we let the second couple have a go at it. It took about 2 weeks but they have everything settled to take possession September 26th. 

While we were waiting, I started to worry that the house we wanted to buy would be sold and we would have to rent something. That wouldn't be so bad, but we have animals and I wanted to bring most of my apple orchard with me!  But Larry said, if God wants us there, nothing will stop that from happening. So, we just prayed that if God wanted us there that it would still be available.  Larry phoned the man who was selling the  house and told him that we were just waiting to hear back from the couple's bank to see if they could buy our house and I can't believe what he said! Well, I should believe it because God is so awesome. He said that other people were interested, but he told them he was just waiting to see if we could buy it first. Larry didn't even ask him to do that, even though I wanted him to. God was making a way and showing us that He is in control.

But God really wanted us rely on Him. So, it was almost as if He was holding up a candle so that we could take one little step at a time and not see anything ahead in the darkness. Like Psalm 119:105 says, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path"  We really didn't know where God would lead us, but we kept going on the path of open doors. If He closed a door, we would wait and pray for the direction of the next step.

So, we stayed the course and went to a lawyer, had offers written up, sent everything off to our broker and waited. We had to wait about a week to hear, because some things had to still be done, but we finally heard the news that we were all approved and could buy the house.

This is not what we want to do, but it makes sense. We have so much stuff and the new property doesn't have the outbuildings that we have here to store stuff in. So, we have to use an old wooden garage for a barn and we bought a 53' trailer to move everything and then to use as storage there.

But, I feel completely at peace about it. I really feel this is where God wants us and somehow He will bless us there.

I will write more about the move and share pictures soon. The only reason I even wrote this post is because we ran out of boxes to pack in and I wanted to share how good God is and praise His name. He is mighty and powerful.  And to share that the only reason I didn't completely lose my marbles during this whole process, IS because of my trust in the Lord and knowing that no matter what happens, God is here with us and I can find joy it that.

" not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Nehemiah 8:10

I felt like I was on a roller coaster ride with my emotions during this whole process. If it looked like we would move, I'd be sad about leaving our farm. But, if it looked like we could stay, I would wonder how we could ever get ahead. So I had to keep this verse close in my mind;

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Philippians 4:6-7

God is good!

This post is linked up to - Raising Homemakers Link Up & Thankful Homemaker Link Up

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

In The Kitchen

Wow! This time of year can be hectic. With the harvest, preserving and school starting. But it is so rewarding to pick what you have grown and preserve it into something yummy that you can enjoy in the months to come. And it is such a joy to see my children learn and be excited about learning. Well, I have been busy in the kitchen the last week and school has been SLOWLY starting. Here are some of the foods I've been able to put up.

I was only able to can 10 quarts of Dill Pickled Beets this year. Usually I can 49 quarts as I am able to sell quite a few. Oh well, we will enjoy them this year.

My friend traded me some cucumbers for some of my zucchini. So I was able to make 5 pints of Bread and Butter Pickles. My mom always made THE BEST bread and butter pickles and she lost her recipe of course. I tried once a few years ago and they were horrible! So I tried again and they turned out very well.  I also made the most fabulous, simple Apple Juice.  This apple juice tastes just like from the store, with no weird after taste or anything. This is how I made it:

Cut apples in half and fill a big pot. (I used hard, sour, bigger green apples)
Sprinkle 1-2 Tbsp cream of tartar over the apples.
Now fill the pot with boiling water
Put the lid on it and let it sit for 24 hours
Strain juice (I used a colander with a paper towel in it)
Now you can freeze this juice or can it.
I brought the juice to a boil with about 1 cup of sugar
Sterilized my quart jars in the canner for 10 mins
I processed the quarts for 30 mins.

My son is so picky and he loved it. I also thought it tasted very good, although I do not like apple juice.

This is what the apples looked like after they sat in the pot for 24 hours.

I also made fruit leather. I basically made apple sauce, then I added 1/2 a pint of super hard apricot jam I made a few years back. It set way to firm to use, so I use it for cooking with. Then I lined my cookie sheets with parchment paper. I really try not to use parchment paper too much, because it is so expensive here, but I have tried everything else and parchment paper really works the best. Besides, it doesn't take that much to make these. I spread out the apple sauce fairly thick and even. Then I put 2 cookie sheets in the oven at 200 degrees. for about 6 hours. I had to do this a number of times for all the batches. So eventually, I just put them in the oven after I had baked supper, with the oven off. After letting them sit in there for about 2 hours, I turned the oven on to 200 for about 1 hour, then I turned it off again and  let them sit in the oven over night. These ones had such a nice texture. Then I cut them into strips lengthwise and rolled them up and put them in a bag in the fridge.

When I was looking on a link up somewhere, I can across this recipe for homemade pizza sauce from Foy Update. A neighbour had just given me a bunch of tomatoes, so I thought I would try it. We have been using Ragu as pizza sauce and it isn't that good, but cheap. When I was finished canning up 3 pints, there was still about 1/2 a pint left. So, I made a greek pizza with a precooked, homemade pizza crust I had in the freezer. This sauce is really good. It has a fresh taste, not like Ragu. For a greek pizza, I spread the sauce on the crust. Then spread mozzarella cheese all over. On top, I added, thinly sliced onions and green peppers. I baked this until cooked. After it is cooked, I add fresh chopped tomatoes and feta cheese on top. In the background in this picture, you can see the apple juice I made from small red, sweet apples. I used the same technique as mentioned above, but these apples made a different tasting juice. I am going to use it for Hot Apple Cider in the fall and winter. I will pour a quart or 2 (depending on how many friends are over) into my crock pot with some whole cloves and cinnamon sticks. This will be a very nice on our cold winter days.

Well, now I am just waiting for my tomatoes to ripen, which will probably have to happen inside. I estimate that I will have about 40 pounds. And I still need to pick our yellow crooked neck squash. It will be very nice to be done with all of this and just start to enjoy fall, as it seems to have set in around these parts.

God bless you all.

 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

New King James Version (NKJV)

This post was liked up to Homestead Revival Barn Hop

Sunday, September 2, 2012

My Little One is 6

On Friday we celebrated Jacob's 6th birthday. He was so very excited! All he wants is to grow up big like his Daddy and get a job and boy can that kid work! But it was nice just to have a fun day, really thanking God for giving us such a huge blessing in Jacob. He is our baby and there will be no more for us, so I have to savor every moment of his childhood.

Rebekah gave Jacob his favorite thing - Marshmallows! and big ones at that.
Jacob and Ben roasting some marshmallows
Silly faces

Later, we had friends over for hot dogs and cake. Grandparents phoned throughout the day with birthday wishes. Jacob absolutely enjoyed his day and I really enjoyed watching my little one grow up just a little bit more.