And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:... Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. (2 Corinthians 9: 8 & 11)
New Year's Greetings to all of my blog readers from a chilled Saskatchewan dwelling girl. Actually, it isn't as cold as it could be or was. I don't have as many layers on as I did the last cold snap we had. Hehe. Only two pairs of socks and a hoody/sweatshirt over my regular wear. Did you know how much warmer a person is when they put the hood up on a hoody? Holds the heat in better. It is -33* C (-26* F) today and the sun is shining on the sparkling, crisp snow.
There never is a dull moment around our place. If I'm not reading, watching a video, practicing music, writing, playing with my siblings, baking bread, boiling caramel for corn, cleaning, doing dishes, bossing [smile], correcting school work, giving spelling tests, entertaining company or on the internet, I'm doing something else.
[Question from Jesse's school work:
“Why might a perfume manufacturer give a perfume an esoteric name?”
Their answer: “The manufacturer might want a name that suggests mystery or romance.”
Jesse's answer: “A product with a cool name probably will sell better.”
In light of the fact that both answers are correct, I find the difference between them interesting. The former is full of class; Jesse's: country-fide. :-)]
We have been doing ok. The past week has been a little rougher as we contracted a virus/cold and several of the kids have been coughing a lot. Some nights are worse than others. It's a strange cold in that it seems the cough is not that it is in the chest but because the sinuses are draining down the throat. Bread and water seem to help, thankfully.. it's especially nice at night or early morning (I'm talking 2 am or so). ;-) [January 7th, 2009 update: almost all of us have this cold/cough. Last night, Ellie coughed almost all night... she can't seem to find anything that helps. I'm really looking forward to everyone getting over this. :-P And really hoping that those of us who don't have it will stay healthy.]
Yesterday was Hannah's 22nd birthday (happy birthday, Hannah!!). We had a big birthday meal: chicken strips that were made by cutting off the breast meat of five very dead and delicious chickens, cutting the meat into strips and dipping each strip into a mixture of mayonnaise, dried onion and dried mustard, then rolled in sesame seeds and cracker crumbs. Bake at a moderate temperature for the correct amount of time and you have a feast fit for a king. [mouth waters in remembrance] Thank goodness for leftovers. Hehe.
We also had butterhorns (crescent/bread roll of sorts), homemade jello made from homemade raspberry juice, honey (which we get from our bee-keeper neighbors) and plain gelatin (which we did *not* make from our cow's hooves :-P) (it was rather good... the consistency, color and flavor was lovely but she needed to add another cup of honey) (I'm still puckered up), shrimp (at Superstore a few months back, if a person bought a certain amount of dollars worth of goods, you were given a shrimp ring. We were given three.), punch, veggies and...we were supposed to have potatoes. Cilla, Ellie and myself all worked on them and I put them on to boil (I even boiled a teapot and poured the water into the pot so it would heat up faster) but I made a mistake and didn't turn them on high. By the time it was discovered, it was almost time to eat and by the time they were done, most of us had already stuffed ourselves so full that there was no room for even one small bite. In fact, we were all so full that we had to wait until four pm before we ate pie, ice-cream and caramel corn.
Do you remember the little native girl that spent some of the summer weeks with us this past year? Well she and her 'dad' came and celebrated with us. We had a pretty good time... the kids went snowmobiling and the grownups (mainly my parents, Eugene and my brother Jesse) spent hours discussing all sorts of matters and we read a couple of stories, etc, etc. The most exciting thing was when Eugene and Cilla came down with some sort of stomach bug that we're still not sure about. We're hoping it's not a virus but it seemed strange for stomach poisoning as they weren't very sick at all. I think they each threw up three times. Very strange. Everyone else feels healthy... so far. :-)
[Being as there are four girls of fairly marriageable age at our house, the topic of weddings is a common topic of conversation. A couple days ago, I overheard Uriah say something about my wedding (which is not happening until I find the groom :-P ;-)) and Cilla replied with a sigh that tried to sound harried and distressed but was in all reality very pleased with the prospect: “I'll probably have to be a bridesmaid.” Ruth stood up at that and held a hand in the air announcing, “I want to be the princess!”]
Has anyone watched the documentary “Pioneer Quest”? Eugene brought it over for us to watch and watch we did until 10:30 pm last night. :-) In case you haven't viewed it, this documentary is about two couples who have been chosen by a company to spend a year on the MB prairies, living like the pioneers did back in the 1870's. They were given supplies and clothing just like they would have had in that time period. They lived in a tent for nearly two months before they built their cabins. They had to dig the well(s) by hand, learn how to milk a cow, work with draft horses, build corrals, a barn with wood from trees they harvested with axes and sawed into appropriate lengths, and on and on it went. The first few months were very difficult. The isolation really got to one of the couples, especially the woman. But it was amazing to watch the change in her eyes when she began loving the place. It was like she finally came home. :-)
Now, of course, my family is talking about living just like they did. I'm not sure what will come of it, if anything. If nothing else, we all love our hot showers. :-)
[And while we're on the subject of marriage: Cilla was walking through the kitchen singing, “Holy, holy, holy...” and Zeke picked up, “Holy, holy, matrimony...”]
Speaking of films, I picked up a movie at our store called, “Firehouse Dog”. It's about this boy and his dog. Very funny, very touching. :-) It's almost better than “Beethoven”. Not quite but almost. :-D I love movies with firehouses in them. Lol! It's always nice to find a film that's clean and funny. A pleasure to watch.
Anyone read “Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis? I did recently and found it to be... interesting. There are a lot of truths in it. But some of it I'm not sure about. I'm actually glad it's as short as it is because I don't think I could have finished it had it been any longer. Something else that really helped was what the author wrote in the preface about being careful not take Screwtape literally. He is a demon and his “father below” (that title made me laugh every time I read it) is the father of Lies.
One thing that was mentioned that really rang a bell with me was how Screwtape's nephew was encouraged to try to take the Christian's mind off today... this moment. Placing it instead on tomorrow or yesterday or some time in the future. In fact, putting his gaze on anything but God. It made me realize how often I start worrying or anticipating the future or regretting the past. Doing that is not bad in itself but the fact that it takes my gaze off of my Lord and Savior is the problem. It's an age old concept and one I have heard my entire life. But for some reason it really hit home for me this time.
[A friend of mine from church said, “In college, I'm such a nerd. My friends and I sit around listening to Gaither Vocal Band, read Sherlock Holmes to each other and knit!”]
Because of the that book, I've really thinking about my struggles and how much power God really has and how, if we really want His will, it will become apparent in our lives. It's strange to think of how many times I've listened to that evil voice saying, “You don't really want that. Not truly. Because if you were really living in God's will, you'd be so oppressed. You wouldn't have the freedom you have now. No, you wouldn't! I swear it.” And when I realize that outside of God's will there is nothing worth living for and embrace it, I find that every word the little guy said was a lie. Every word! Because it is true, Jesus' burden is light. There is never so much freedom as there is in God's will. All the guilt and and blindness are gone.
[Martha celebrated her 13th birthday recently (I can't believe we have another teenager in the house ;-)) and a friend called to wish her a happy birthday. After he did so, he chatted with me for a bit and when I got off the phone, my dad asked, “So, how is he?” I replied airily, “Oh, he's just fine! They just put the turkey into the oven.” (It was Christmas day.) I didn't realize what I'd said until it was repeated back to me. Now you know how I really feel about you, K. Lol!]
We're scheduled to sing again on the 9th. It's coming up quickly and I'm not sure if it's going to work out. Since we have been sick, practicing has been not working that well. [January 7th update: Hannah & I are planning on doing music with just the two of us. I had to change the program three times as more people came down with this cold. We have never done more than one song with only two of us so this will be a good experience... at least we hope so! I'm a bit nervous about it but definitely don't want to cancel because I know they must be looking forward to this date for the last two weeks.]
Could you please pray for my mom? She has a gum or tooth that is infected and can't figure out what to do about it. Tried to call a dentist but can't make an appointment until Monday. She's not feeling that great, of course, and it's hard for us to know what to do. She's had trouble with it before but she wouldn't have it checked into for a couple of reasons. I'm really hoping that she will put aside all of the reasons and get it fixed this time.
And now I will end this long but rather brief update on my life and leave you to wipe your face with relief that you actually finished it. :-) :-) :-)
I hope you have the happiest of holidays behind you and a wonderful year ahead of you.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2: 20)