Yearly Archives: 2010

A Talking Tree

I recently learned that we are going to have a talking tree this Christmas.  I really like the idea.  No, this is not some kind of electronic device, it is just a Christmas tree.  Not some kind of plastic fake, nor one of those legendary aluminium Christmas trees.  I know I have heard tell that talking trees are not quite what most people have in their living rooms at Christmas, but why would anyone want to be average?  Besides, this is a normal-looking tree. 

Sort of.  

This is one of those old-fashioned wooden Christmas trees, but not the kind that has been trained in big tree schools, where they all learn to grow big, fluffy branches and sit quietly in someone’s living room once they have been sold.  No!  This is a tree that will be picked from our own forest where there is some competition, and where atheistic ideas are not taught.  I realise that even we didn’t have a talking tree last year, but this year we are going to have a real live talking tree right in our own living room, and it’s going to be a biblically-minded, doctrinally-sound, non-denominational tree, and it is going to be ten feet tall!

How about you?  Wouldn’t you like to have a real, live, ten-foot-tall, biblical-theology-teaching, non-denominational, sound-minded, quick-witted, non-evolutionary, highly-competitive, naturally-green-and-growing, old-fashioned, extra-ordinary, non-electronic, plastic-and-aluminum-free, genuine, no-nonsense, talking Christmas tree in your living room this year too?  Maybe you don’t know what you are missing out on.

Chalk Talk Creation

Each chalk talk takes a lot of preparation.  First, a basic plan is made.  

The basic plan and rough draft being created

Then a rough drawing is made.  This is the rough drawing for … a new one!

The Shepherds' Story (rough draft)

Finally, we get to the easel and draw it out.  It generally gets a few minor changes after that.  This is the new chalk talk we created.  It is called… well, we don’t exactly have an official name for it yet.  Its main theme is shepherds, starting with the Christmas shepherds (Luke 2).

The Shepherds' Story (first edition)

 Whenever we have some presentations coming up, preparation time comes.  We have to start by finding a day that works for everyone, and when we can have the basement all to ourselves for a few days.  Preparation makes a lot of dust, so we have to evacuate everything and everyone from the basement and cover what cannot be evacuated.  Generally, we do about four to six backgrounds at the same time.  Once the backgrounds are complete, the blacklight image is drawn in.  This has to be done after dark so that we can see what we are doing.  (That’s not hard to achieve at this time of year: the sun sets at 4 PM.)  When all that is complete (generally about two days after the initial setup), everything gets hair-sprayed to keep the picture from rubbing off or smearing during transport. 

Drawing in the background hairspraying - notice the rolled-up pictures on the right.

 Oh, and then there is one more step. Laughing

The job's not done 'till the cleanup's done!

The cleanup!

 When it actually comes time to do the presentation, we try to arrive about an hour or two earlier than the official beginning time.  This is to leave time to set up when there aren’t too many people around.  It also leaves time for us to deal with technical difficulties, such as light bulbs breaking or simply not working, wire nuts falling off, outlets that don’t seem to work, bolts missing, easel legs being mixed up, and dimmers breaking in the “off” position.  I’ve probably missed a few, but these have all really happened to us.  In case you are wondering, the dimmer wasn’t too hard to fix: all we had to do was open up our control box, undo half a dozen wire nuts, crack the dimmer casing to open it, unscrew the nut holding it together, find the switch, flip it to the “on” position, and then put it all back together!  This is partly why we always try to have someone praying for each presentation we do.  Of course, the main thing for which to pray is that souls would respond to the message of salvation and turn to the Saviour.

Setup more setup Slight technical difficulties

Another important part of our team is Nathanael, our sound technician.  He takes care of all the preparation of background music and sees that the speaker can be appropriately amplified so that all can hear the message, even those who may be somewhat hard of hearing.

Our sound technician
Drawing lighting effects

After dozens (or even hundreds) of hours of preparation, the final presentation may take only 15 to 30 minutes.  We have found, however, that people remember these presentations for years afterwards, and our prayer is that the message may be received and impact lives for eternity.

Recent construction

It has been some time since we did an update on the construction that has taken place around here.  As normal, that is not because nothing has been happening.Smile It seems that joining the extension to the existing house is the longest part of building an extension.

Once the floor was finished, we still had to put the sill in that makes the join between the old house floor and the extension floor.  Daddy did most of this touchy work.  He started by taking a circular saw to the floor (not something I would have like to do!) to make the hole the right size.  He was also the one who had all the patience to plane down the rough-cut boards until they were smooth – by hand, not with an electric planer!  He then cut them to size, sanded them, and made a rabbet on the bottom and a chamfer along both sides on the top.   Finally, he inserted the glue and lowered the sill into place.

Cutting the floor to size Glueing the sill in place Placing the sill

We have also finally finished the window sills.  We realised that with sills that wide someone was sure to sit on them some day, so we decided to make them fairly sturdy.  They still aren’t specifically designed as seats, but if someone does sit on the window sill, they should stand up to it.  (And they should stand up too. Laughing)

Glueing Nailing

You may notice in the above pictures that the baseboards are yet to be installed.  Once these are installed, as well as the door frames, mouldings and bathroom door, I think the big room will be complete!  Today, the baseboards, door frames, and mouldings are being stained and varnished.

varnishing baseboards

The bathroom is looking better and better.  The wall switches have been installed.  Now the wall tiles are being installed.  It is not as easy to keep tiles on the wall as on the floor, but they are smaller tiles, so that helps.

Bathroom wall tiles


Psalm 95:3 “For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.”


Thanksgiving Cake

The best day of the year to give thanks to the Lord has always been today.  However, we have a tendency to forget that, and so I am grateful for a day set apart to remind us of what God has done and to remind us to give Him thanks. 

For those of you who don’t know, Thanksgiving Day in Canada was proclaimed by the Canadian Parliament “For general thanksgiving to Almighty God for the blessings with which the people of Canada have been favoured.”1  It is celebrated on the second Monday in October, and has been since 1932 (with only one exception).  The official Canadian Heritage government website gives additional insights into the history of Thanksgiving in Canada that could be very interesting for further exploration.

One thing for which I am thankful is the beauty we see around us in fall in this part of the world.  Here are a few pictures we have taken recently.

A Fall Farm Psalm 16:11 "Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." Fantastic Fall Foliage

Elizabeth decided to make a unique use of some fallen maple leaves this fall.  This cake was great, and the chocolate leaves made it simply amazing!  If you want to know how she made them, visit our recipes page.  (Sorry, that page doesn’t exist.  Maybe some day Laughing we will make such a page.)

Maple leaf cake

Psalm 95:2 “Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.”

Piano Moving

Now that the floor is finished, the piano decided that it liked the looks of the new room and has made itself at home at the far end, near the future stairwell opening. 

You will notice in the picture that we were rolling the piano on some old cardboard boxes.  This is because one of the piano coasters does not roll very well, and we didn’t want to scratch the newly installed floor.  This move took place partly so that we could play music for the local Gideons.  A banquet is planned for Thanksgiving day (Monday October 11).  You may also notice that there is some basil drying on a blanket in the background.  We had a hard frost recently, so all the garden produce has been moved in.

The most noticeable change was not the absence of the piano in the living room.  Rather, the most noticeable change was the great improvement in sound incurred by the move.  I suppose this may have something to do with the fact that all the books were taken off the top, too.  Smile  It needs a little tuning now, but in spite of that, we all appreciate hearing the piano from all over the house when it is played.

Piano moving The piano enjoying it new location

Psalm 95:1 “O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.”

The big news of today:

The floor is going in!

   Excitement mounts as we near the completion of the upstairs.  Putting down hardwood flooring on concrete isn’t easy, but progress is being made.  Since the boards cannot be nailed, we are glueing it with a special glue that requires working very quickly.  It is also VERY sticky!

Glueing Putting on the boards Cleaning up

   First we spread on the glue with a specially designed trowel.  Then the boards are put down and hammered snuggly together.  The boys are doing a great job!  Finally, the cleanup needs to be done.  Evelyn has been employed almost full time just wiping up spots of glue that have landed on the varnished surface of the boards.

Looking nice!

The floor is certainly starting to look nice!

   In all the busyness of construction, we do not, however, want to loose sight of why we are working – for the glory and honour of Christ.  “We have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.”  Ephesians 1:11-12 (emphasis added)

Ministry updates

Well, this post is coming out a little later than I initially expected.  A work experience opportunity came up and I had to leave rather suddenly.  But here I am back…

I think it would be appropriate to begin our updates with ministry opportunities we have had over the past month.Embarassed  I am probably forgetting some, but I will tell about the three that I remember.

On the 15th of August, we had our monthly day of edification and encouragement for the residents of Grace Christian Home.  I am sure I have probably said this before, but I will repeat, if you have never been involved in some sort of a ministry toward the elderly (the “widows and orphans”), you do not know the blessings you are missing out on.

Well, this week our theme was “a mirror”.  In several ways, the Word of God is like a mirror.  First, it is designed to show forth our faults.  That means our faults, not others’ faults.  I know people do use the Bible to bash each other over the head, but such is not the intent.  However, just like a mirror, even when we use it correctly, it will do us no good to notice what we have wrong in our lives if we go away unchanged.  We must be doers of the Word, and not just hearers.

A mirror does no good unless you use it.

Another ministry opportunity some of us had was to help out at the home of a widowed friend.

"Come again soon"

Last Sunday afternoon, the nursing home at which we have been giving concerts the longest, Connaught Home, celebrated their 40th year.  Everyone was encouraged to dress in turn-of-the-century costumes, thus the bonnets.  We were honoured to be allowed to play for this occasion.  At the same time, we learned a lot about the history of this home.  I won’t go into much detail now, but I will mention that the lady whom you see cutting the cake was the first nurse for the home and as been actively involved ever since the first day.  We praise the Lord for people such as her who give their lives to serve the Lord.

Playing together The "old fashioned" audience Cutting the cake

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”  Colossians 3:23-24


Apologies must be made to all our readers, especially those who have been faithfully checking back week after week only to find that the Frazer family hasn’t been posting as often as they should have been.  Of course, excuses could be given, and indeed we have been busy, but still, this should come to an end.  I mean the long delays between the posts should come to and end, not the posts. Smile

A post is on its way, I will assure you, and should be appearing shortly. Laughing

Busy Days

    What a busy couple of weeks!  After a brief lull in activity around here, the construction has progressed by leaps and bounds.  The shelter over the north basement doors is now completed.  With the exception of gutter installation, there remains little to do outdoors at this point, so most of the work has been indoors: the finishing!  The wainscotting (wood half-way up the walls) went up very rapidly – it was all up and varnished by Wednesday last week.  Thursday and Saturday were days of work on window frames and mouldings.  One of the young men from our Bible study came over to help us out.  Thank you, Ryan, for your excellent work.  We express much gratitude also to Ryan’s family for sharing your skilled worker!

wainscotting varnishing the wainscot

   The whole look of the place has been drastically altered – it is looking more and more like a room instead of a construction zone.  The bathroom at the back of the room is also progressing.  The walls are plastered, the exterior wall on the side of the original house is also dry walled and plastered, and the wooden ceiling is in place.  The pictures speak for themselves…

plastering mouldings a finished window

Some things require extreme precision…

planing measuring adjustments

   The question in many minds now is, “How soon will it be all done so that we can move in?!”  A lot still remains to do, however.  The mouldings around the doors as well as the openings into the original house have yet to be finished.  The flooring will be a massive endeavour, and even after that there are the baseboards, etc.  We continue to dream of the day it will all be finished…

   While all this was taking place in the extension, another project was also underway: fixing up the front door.  Though a beautiful wooden door, it is sorely inadequate at keeping out the cold during the winter.  Nathanael took it all apart, put insulating into it, and put it back up.  We shouldn’t have the problem of frost covered screws next winter!

reinstalling the door

   Construction/renovation was not the only thing going on this past week.  Mommy, Evelyn, Stephen, Sarah, and William worked on cleaning out the 28-year-old chest freezer in the basement.  It was a formidable task to take everything out, sort it all, clean the freezer all out, and put everything back!

cleaning out the freezer

   We have not only been busy at home either.  Friday afternoon was spent at our grandparents’ home helping them with clearing out weeds and repainting the balcony.  It was a wonderful team project – even Amy helped!  We loved doing this for them.

scraping off the old paint painting trimming weeds

   Sunday was a day of ministering to others at the Grace Christian Home for a service with the Godfreys.  Singing hymns, playing a few pieces on our instruments, listening to Mr. Godfrey present many creative ways of sharing the Gospel, and talking with the residents afterwards was such a delight!

at the home Mr. Godfrey with "Fat Albert"

   In all this busyness, I pause to consider a thought: What is the purpose in it all?  We can be busy about many things without knowing where we are heading, or precisely on what we are focused.  Is our focus simply to get something done?  The apostle Paul stated in I Corinthians 10:31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (emphasis added)  This is to be our focus: the glory of God, seeking to make Him known in all we say or do.

   “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”  Colossians 3:17