Yearly Archives: 2012

Summer Update

   The summer has flown by and while we have been very busy with all sorts of things, our faithful blog readers have been sadly neglected.  I will attempt a quick overview of the highlights from this summer…

   As most years, we have had a garden.  It is doing remarkably well, a fact we attribute to the drier weather.  Under normal circumstances our garden is far too wet which causes a lot of plants to grow mould faster than fruit!

sprouting up weeding

chili peppers tomatoes radishes

unknown compost pile vegetable

We’re looking forward to getting a bountiful harvest, Lord willing!

   Some working has been done on the extension begun three years ago.  The upstairs is finished, but next to nothing had been done on the basement.  Daddy did most of the plastering with an occasional helper.  It is finicky work if one wants it to come out looking nice.  He and his helpers did a wonderful job.

 

sanding after plastering a second coat

   That done, the apartment side of the basement was ready for painting.  The painters made quite a mess, but most of the paint got on the walls. ๐Ÿ™‚

the base coat working in the cupboard the finished bedroom

   The painting session was finished with a massive cleanup in the other half of the basement.  Those who didn’t see it as it was before can’t really appreciate the way it is now.

clean!

   The summer has also held opportunities to minister.  A few things include having people over for a Canada Day meal, music at a camp near the border (and the enjoyment of washing dishes afterwards!), and ministry at the Grace Christian Home.  Evelyn and I have also had opportunity to volunteer at the Home.  It has been a delight to work with these people of so much experience.

Canada Day meal Canada Day

Camp Beebee washing dishes

object lesson at GCH

   Thursday evening meetings continued at least part of the time, along with the, now traditional, celebrating of birthdays.

a birthday It is thrilling to have this special lady join us so often!

   Daddy had a week off work this summer.  While some of that time was taken up with making some progress in the basement, he also made time for some family outings.  A visit to a fish hatchery was very interesting and “fishing” in their stocked ponds proved fun even for those who didn’t really care for fishing.  It went so fast that one didn’t have time to become impatient!

fishing Caught it!

   A visit to the Coaticook dairy was also a highlight.  Nothing can beat Coaticook icecream, and getting it directly from the dairy was extra special as they carry flavours there that cannot be obtained even in the local stores.

icecream Mmm...

   Speaking of dairy, we have also been busy managing a lot of dairy products at home due to Mocha producing far more milk than we orginally anticipated.  Butter and cheese making have become an almost daily activity!

packing butter into moulds

   A previous post featured most of the butter making process, but we have not yet shown any pictures of cheesemaking.  Our favourite cheese is Mozzarella, which is actually fairly simple to make.  It starts out with 16 litres of milk whose ph has been lowered by the adding of citric acid, heated to 90 F.  It doesn’t look like much until the rennet (the coagulating factor) is added.

cutting the cheese heating the cheese stretch!

   After cutting, the cheese needs to be heated to 105 F.  Then the fun begins.  The cheese is carefully squeesed into a ball, removed from the pot, and placed in a microwave safe bowl.  Heating in the microwave oven softens the cheese.  Stretching causes the whey to come out.  Our mozzarella is very stringy.

finished cheese

   Only 10% of the milk actually turns into cheese, the rest is left behind as whey.  We soon learned, however, that the whey can be “reused” by boiling.  Another 1/2 kg of cheese can be taken from it in the form of ricotta.

heating the whey ricotta

   We have actually never bought ricotta that I can remember, but it didn’t take us long to discover that it makes excellent cheese cake!

cheese cake

A few other home cheese products…

Stringy macaroni and cheese! It looks like an advertisement

I can’t miss putting on a picture of the one from whom all this milk comes…

Mocha

And a couple of the calf…

Hamburger

Amy liked him especially when he was small

   We had to get some hay for the cows.  It was a lot of fun working together as a team to get it in the barn.  Many thanks to our good friends who made the hay, hauled it, and helped us stack it!

unloading from the trailer passing it up into the loft

refreshment afterwards

   And while we’re on the subject of livestock, I might as well make a report on the chickens.  Yes, I know, we never got around to mentioning that we even had them and now the first batch of 20 are dead.  (That was their destitny. ๐Ÿ™‚ )  Though we have raised turkeys several times in the past, raising chichens was a new experience.  We learned a lot the hard way (with a 50% mortality rate – not owing to the butchers).  Consequentially, we made some major changes to our setup which now appear to be paying off – we have not yet lost one of our current 14 chickens.  Nevertheless, the ones of our first batch that survived their full 11 weeks turned out quite large.  The biggest was 10.7 lbs!

as chicks big now plucking

big chicken legs! Mmm... roast chicken

   We now also have 6 turkeys, but the computer insists on putting the picture sideways, and my computer expert isn’t in here, so I’ll let it be.

   So, that has been our summer.  Well… some of it!  I guess I’ll finish off with just a few random photos that demonstrate the “little” things we do too.

a bike trip to the Coaticook Dairy from a bike trip around Mt. Orford

 

playing volley ball

feeding a visiting duck Testing the depth of the well with fishing line - we were having water troubles...  Can you guess what day of the week it was? :) Amy's special time with Daddy on Sundays

   In conclusion, what can I say?  In the midst of all the hectic summer schedule, it is sometimes easy to forget why we are doing what we do.  Colossians 3:23 is often a good reminder to me. “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.” (emphasis mine)  May we be constantly reminded that our life is not our own and this world is not our home.

A Baptism

We have had plenty happening around our place in the past few weeks, and there seems not to have been much posted on our blog.  I think the most notable and the most important news is what I chose to write about in this post. This truly is some news worth sharing.

Testimony Baptised in the lake Baptism

Last Sunday, Sarah publicly demonstrated her desire to serve the Lord and be completely dedicated to Him by being baptised.

by the lake listening to the testimony the audience

The baptism took place in a lake at a local Christian camp.  It was really nice weather and a really nice location.  Many thanks to the photographers who graciously allowed us to use their pictures on our blog.

sound technician and assistant the main pianist - well... the photographers the non-official photographer

Romans 6:3-6 “so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death. Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”

Unusual, but very welcome

   I have not much time for writing, but since the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” I’ll put on a few thousand.  When I came up with the idea, I wondered whether it was too crazy even to suggest, yet less than two weeks after my initial conjuring it up, here we were carrying out my plan (with a few ingenious additions by Mommy!).  The following are some pictures of what we were doing this afternoon…

Arriving at the home

Buttermaking! Having fun shaking

And here comes the visitor... Hi, there

He was much loved

posing for a final picture

   We were excited to be able to share with the residents of the Grace Christian Home some of what the Lord has given us.  It was obviously a very enjoyable time for everyone and brought so many smiles!  Many told us that it brought back memories from their childhood.

   “Whatsoever  thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might…”  Ecclesiastes 9:10

Happy Hotdogs!

Summertime!

Time for watermelon, bonfires, hotdogs, marshmallows…  

Hotdog!

good to the last bite

Thank you, Lord, for special times and special blessings!

The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun.
Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter.  Ps. 74:16,17

White Mountains Vacation

   Once again for our anniversary, Robert and I headed  south of the border for a few days in the White Mountains of New Hampshire to enjoy some free time, rest, and hiking in the Presidential Range.  In addition to some strolls along our favourite paths (“The Basin” and “Sabbaday Falls”), we hiked two more 4000+ footers in the Presidential Range – Mount Liberty and Mount Jefferson.  Though Mount Liberty was the longer hike, Mount Jefferson was the more challenging due to the very bouldery path, necessitating a lot of scrambling.  During both hikes, Robert managed to read Scripture while we hiked – the gospel of John on the way up Mt. Liberty, Romans on the way down, and Ephesians on the first part of the path up Mt. Jefferson.  When the path started requiring the undivided attention of our eyes, we turned to Scripture memorisation, sharing previously memorised verses, so that by the time we arrived back at the foot of Mt. Jefferson, physically tired but spiritually refreshed, we both had the first chapter of James memorised and had shared many insights that had come to us as we memorised and thought about those verses!  Overall, this anniversary was one of the best – if not the best -ever!  Thank you, Robert!

  Here are a few photos of our trip:

 

     the easy part of the trail      nearing the summit  

Heading up Mt. Jefferson – The first part of the trail was easier, but it got rockier near the summit and at the very top we found ourselves inside a cloud – very damp!

 

Sabbaday falls   R & C

“Sabbaday Falls” – an easy trail to a very pretty waterfall.

Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. 
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God!  Ps. 90:1-2

A Visit and a Barbecue

Last Saturday we had the opportunity of visiting Grandma and Grandpa at their home.  We were really excited when, after finishing a few things around their house (turning their garden, cutting up branches, weed-eating, etc.), Grandpa went to the old charcoal barbecue and lit it.  Grandpa’s barbecuing is famous among all his grandchildren.

Starting the Barbecue

Once it was running nicely, he put the sausages on.

Sausages going on cooking for an audience

Everyone stood around to watch the barbecue.  Well, I guess it really didn’t take that many people, but we had a great time talking and listening to Grandpa tell stories about when our father was a child.  Meanwhile, Mommy and Grandma were inside doing the other preparations.  

indoor preparations

Before long, the sausages were done and we took them inside to eat.

lots of sausages almost done...

We had a great time around the supper table and afterwards we talked in the living room while a few of us did the cleanup.  It is always a privilege to go to our grandparents’ place and enjoy their company and hear stories from past years.  

a long time ago

Proverbs 16:31 “The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.”

It’s a boy!

   Excitement had been gradually mounting around the Frazer home as our newest addition to the animal “family” neared her calving date. Mocha’s nine months of pregnancy were really showing.

cute cow yum!

   So far she had been an excellent cow – very gentle and laid back. One day, Evelyn took Amy along to do the chores.

feeding the cow taking out the manure

   At the beginning of April, Evelyn and I cleaned out the stall in the barn in preparation for the calf’s arrival.

dumping into the manure pile

   Finally, the big day came. Around noon, I noticed Mocha was acting agitated, but it wasn’t until late in the afternoon that I realised that what I was seeing was the result of her being in labour. When we realised that, we all became excited. A number of us wanted to see the whole procedure. Things didn’t seem to be progressing any too quickly, however, so around 7:00 p.m., we all headed inside for an early family time of listening to John MacArthur so that we could be back out in time to see the action. Well, Mocha had other ideas! Though we were gone not much more than half an hour, our return to the barn revealed that to be plenty of time for Mocha to calve! It had obvious just occurred.

as we found them trying to stand

Mocha didn't mind having us handle her calf.

   Notice the cell phone in the above picture – we immediately got on the phone with some dairy farming friends who walked us through what to do. Thank you T______ family! We would not be doing this without you!

   After helping to dry the calf a little, we carried it off to a prepared stall on the other side of the barn. The next step was to get something for it to eat which of course meant milking Mocha.  Mocha is turning out to be a really excellent cow.  Despite a huge influx of people in the barn on top of just going through the trauma of her first calving, she was amazingly quiet and gentle.

milking milking

   Feeding the calf was both fun and interesting. A number of us tried our hand at it.

still being dried off and rather unsteady on his feet surrounded by observers

   For the moment we seem only to have pictures of the girls with the cow and calf, the boys too have been involved. David helped feed the calf its first meal and he and Stephen did the milking this morning.

nice and comfortable trying to get up again

   There has been some discussion about what to call the calf. A number of suggestions have come up: Beef, Hamburger, Milkshake, Smoked Ham (that was vetoed). As can probably be devined by the edible, mostly meaty, nature of the suggestions, this bull calf is destined either to be turned into food for us or to be sold and turned into food for someone else. So, readers, don’t get too attached to the pictures of the cute guy! The most interesting suggestion came from David who said we should call the calf, Caffeine. Then, since Mocha is now de-calfed, she should be called Cocoa. We have not yet settled on a name for it, though. 

   The calf, though wobbly last night is energetic today – jumping around in the little stall we have for him. Though we left him loose for the first night, he is now learning all about tethers and managing quite well. He doesn’t seem to mind photographers…

I'm comfortable What is he doing over there? Going to check it out

   “Every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.” Psalm 50:10-11

A house sold!

   OK, I know several people are looking for a post on Mocha and her calf. That post should be coming soon, however, there is another event I want to mention that takes precedence. (I love my brother far more than the cow! Smile) As many of you know, David is a real estate broker. One of his first clients was someone selling their house in Sherbrooke. Last week, that house sold! We are all thrilled for him! This morning he and I went out there to put up the “Sold” sign. It really didn’t take two people, but I wanted to get some pictures. Smile

   First we went by his office in Sherbrooke to pick up the sign.

the Sherbrooke office the office is actually in the basement returning to the car

   After that, we went out to the house to put up the sign. The man selling the house was happy to see it, saying that it felt more official with a sold sign up.

the house sold putting up the sign

   Congratulations, David! May the Lord continue to direct you as you walk the path He has laid before you.

Plastering

   Yesterday was a day work in the basement. The step at hand was plastering. With a whole team of us on the job, work progressed quite rapidly. Nevertheless, it took all day to complete almost all of the first coat due to the fact that most of us are not very experienced plasterers. There was some question about whether the walls or the plasterers were more thoroughly covered at the end of the day!

a plasterer another plasterer taping

   With so many of us plastering at once, it took a full-time plaster mixer and another full-time bucket cleaner. Jonathan and Stephen made a good team. Thank you, guys! You did a great job of keeping us supplied.

mixing plaster and cleaning the buckets

   I have only done plastering once before and my efforts then were hardly worth seeing. (It looked all right after Nathanael fixed it!) I was, therefore, a little hesitant to put my “signature” on the apartment walls. So, I requested the task of working in the closets where my work would not be seen. Smile The photographer saw me, though.

hiding in the closet tapping in the closet