Announcing……

Baby #9 is due to arrive in the middle of July!

We are all thrilled and excited for this new life that is being formed in secret at the moment.  At the end of the month, we hope to find out the gender at our 20 weeks ultrasound.

The vote here is for a girl, but only God knows what precious gift He is sending us and His ways are perfect and He knows best.

The timing of this baby was very surreal…  We found out on the weekend that my mother in law was very sick with cancer and it was also then that I bought a pregnancy test and it showed up positive right away.  So we were facing death and new life all at the same time.  This baby’s coming has been like a bright ray of sunshine during the difficult months that followed.  God’s timing is always perfect.  My mother in law’s birthday is also in July, but at the end, so this baby won’t share the same day, but will be in the same month.  Our firstborn also has a birthday in July, so she is excited to have a sibling share her birthday month as well.   Wow….  never dreamed that I’d be having a baby when my daughter turned 19!  😀

Pregnancy has been going well.  Second trimester has been filled with more energy and hardly any sickness, so that is always wonderful.

 

A bit of an update from our life here on our “homestead”.

 

 

 

 

My Mother in Law

I know I mentioned in one of my Mongolian posts about how my mother in law was staying with us and we were caring for her because she was unable to because of lung cancer.  She spent about 1 & 1/2 months here in our home, during that time she had two hospital visits.  For the most part her time here was beautiful and she thoroughly enjoyed our noisy household.  We turned our office into a room for her and even though she couldn’t leave her bed much, she enjoyed hearing the noise and being that the office was on the main floor, our children could pop in and out.

We enjoyed a lovely Christmas together, but just a couple days after Christmas, we could see that she was declining in health.  On Dec. 30, we had to make the difficult decision of moving her into palliative care.  She was just too weak for us to help and her breathing was getting worse.  We stayed night and day with her there and on Wednesday, Jan 4/17 at 11:30am, she breathed her last with my husband and mother by her side holding her hands.  I had spent the night with my husband and her and had come home to make sure the children were ok and get a shower.  I was just heading back when my husband texted me to let me know she was dying and I so wanted to be there with my husband, but it wasn’t in God’s plan.

Even though the past couple months have been difficult and filled with tears, we have beautiful memories and  God faithfully lead us each step of the way.  I’d have fears and questions pop up and I’d wonder how we would handle such and such, but every time those questions were answered and a way I never imagined.  God is good even in the difficult and sad times.

Tomorrow is going to be a difficult day. 😢 A beautiful service is planned to honour my dear mother in law. The burial will take place in the spring so it won’t be completely over tomorrow…..

Pray for comfort and peace as we go through the afternoon tomorrow.

Rest in peace, dear mother of my husband, I promise to take loving care of your dear son. ❤️❤️ I know he meant the world to you as he does to me and I’m thankful for him and for you for raising a wonderful son who became my own dear husband.

You will not be forgotten and we will treasure you always in our hearts and your memories will be shared with our children so that they will remember you too.

Helen Mary Haas

July 29/47 – Jan. 4/17

 

Mongolia Part 3

Like I mentioned in my previous post, after the few days of harvesting, we took the afternoon off and headed to a nearby hot springs.  It was about a 45 minute drive over the countryside on a path like the picture below.  Sometimes it was smooth and other times it was not so smooth!  With all of us in the mini van plus an extra couple, it was a very full van and we kept each other from hitting the sides of the van too hard.  😀

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Now this was taken through the van window, so it’s not the best picture.  😉  This was a smooth part of the ride and you can see it’s just a path and not even like the gravel roads we have here in North America.  I told hubby that I’d never complain about our gravel road that we live on.  LOL 

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One of the deeper rivers we had to drive through…  Reminded me of Little House on The Prairie!  😀

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A body was water we passed on route to the hot springs

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Many Mongolians live in Gers/Yurts, you can see a couple here in the picture. 

When we left home it was sunny and warm, but as we drove towards the hot springs, I could see that the sky was darkening and it looked like a storm was coming.  Sure enough we just get parked and the wind picks up, the sky is dark and it starts to snow!  We were all afraid, that we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the hot springs, but after a few minutes we saw that blue sky was coming our way and by the time we found an open spring and changed, the sun came out.  The air was still cool, but the water was lovely.  Joel at first wasn’t sure what to think, but when he realized he could stand, he relaxed and enjoyed playing with our friends children.  One pool was a bit cooler then the others so the children claimed that one, while we adults enjoyed the hot pool.  That one you could sit in for a while, but then you had to stand up and cool off a bit before returning back to the water.  It was so relaxing for our tired muscles.

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You may have noticed the cows just roaming free in the pictures.  In Mongolia, all the farm animals roam free, when driving you often have to stop for cows, sheep, goats or horses as the cross the path.   Such a different experience and when I saw the flocks of goats and sheep, I thought back to how this is what it must have looked in Bible times.

 

Part 4 will be about our trip back to UB and the sight seeing were did there in the days remaining until our return trip home.  We were gone a total of two weeks and they just flew by!

Mongolia – Part 2

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He loved this kitten so much.  Her name was Ellie 😀

It was so good to arrive at our friend’s home and have the long flights behind us.  We had traveled over 16 hours in a plane and then 7 hours by van. So unloading the suitcases and making ourselves at home was nice.  We had brought over many things for our friends, so it was almost like Christmas with all the goodies.  LOL   Our first day was spent visiting, napping and more visiting.  During that whole week we spent at our friends house, we helped harvest their carrots, potatoes, cabbages, beets and turnips.   Plus I helped the children do school and of course, we enjoyed lots of visiting.

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Such a precious smile!  He was such a perfect traveler, it was amazing. 

 

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The days were packed full, but it was so good to be there helping and  we made such special memories.  I was expecting the days to be colder, but a few afternoons, it was warm enough to be outside without a jacket.  Once the sun disappeared behind the hills, or the wind picked up, it cooled down quickly.  So you kept your jacket close.  We worked hard each day and on Thursday, or actually it may have been Friday, that we took a trip across the countryside to some hot springs.  More on that in Part 3 🙂

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I just wanted to add a short side note here…

My hubby’s mom was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer  last month.  She has come to stay with us when not in the hospital, because she is unable to take care of herself.  We are taking it one day at a time here as we don’t know how she will be feeling from one day to the next.  Thankfully she is not in pain, but she is very short of breath and has to be on oxygen all the time.  We are trying many natural treatments and she may start chemo next week depending on how she is feeling.   She is very weak and the doctor is concerned to try chemo because of that.  Prayers appreciated for her and that she would feel God’s peace surrounding her.  It’s hard, but God’s grace has been sustaining us all through this.

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Mongolia – Part 1

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Happy faces before our flight to Beijing 🙂

This past September, our second oldest daughter, our youngest son and I took a trip the far way land of Mongolia.   Why Mongolia you may ask??  The reason was we really wanted to visit some friends there as our daughter’s best friend lives there with her family.   We left on a Wednesday evening and arrived in Beijing Thursday evening and that is when the “fun” began. We had just a 2 hour layover and since we arrived late, had to collect our luggage and catch the 20 or so minute shuttle bus to another terminal, we arrived at that check in just 10 minutes before our next plane was to leave.  We were told the check in was already closed and we had to wait until the next flight the next evening.  Talk about disappointing and scary!   After a numerous times, I was able to finally get on wifi and let my hubby know back home that we missed our flight and ask him to let our friends know.  I was in tears, but felt peace that God was going to take care of us.    We found some benches and tried to slept.  That was one long night…..  The next morning at 9am I called the airline we were taking and told them my story and they told me that seats were available on the evening flight, but they  could not hold any for me.  They told me to come to the check in at 6pm.  So I spent the day praying that we would get on that flight.  Thankfully our youngest was such a great traveler and we nap and just walked around the terminal.  6pm comes and I go to check in and hear the dreaded news, “I’m sorry, but there are no seats available.”  I was in tears, I could not imagine another night and day in the airport.  I told them that and they said come back at 8pm.  So that whole time I’m pleading with God to please get on us that plane.  Finally it’s 8pm, I go to check in and they call me over and start filling out forms and check in our luggage  and the next thing I know I have real tickets in my hand!  Thank you Lord!!  (I should mention that they said maybe we could go on standby) But here we had real tickets with seat numbers and the girl told us to hurry to your gate.  So off we ran! My poor daughter was feeling a bit sick and struggled to keep up with her mom, but I was not going to miss that plane!  LOL  We were one of the last people on the plane, but I was just so happy to be on the plane!!

Landing in Mongolia and picking up our luggage was uneventful and quick and the next thing we knew we were with familiar faces.  Such joy!!

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We had a 7 hour drive to our friend’s home.  Most was at night, so we didn’t see the landscape on route until our way back to the airport just a week later.

I’ll share more about our trip and try to update on what’s going on here at our homestead too.  Much to share.

More coming!

Meet Isabelle

Last Sunday was an exciting day on our homestead as our heifer,  Maybelle gave birth to her first calf.

Meet Isabelle ( Izzy for short)
We were at church and just finished going through our prayer and praise time in adult Sunday School when my mom sent me a text saying our heifer was in labor. My parents were heading out soon for the day, so I went home to see how she was doing.  I got home around 10:30am and went to see how she was doing.  You could see just a bit of front hooves. I went in and changed and went back out. Maybelle seemed to like me there with her and was mooing softly when I came near. My dad and I were out there with her until about 11am and then I went in to get a snack and my parents had to go.  I came back out to her and she was lying down and having regular contractions.  More of the calf was showing and I could see the calf’s nose. She pushed for while, but couldn’t seem to get the head out. I then noticed the calf’s head was turned so I gently pulled the calf’s legs during a contraction and out came the head and the rest of her body followed. I was so surprised!  I was curious to know to find out whether we had a bull or heifer and was happy to see she had heifer!  I helped clear the calf’s nose and mama was soon up and cleaning up her baby while the whole time mooing softly to her. Izzy was born at 11:18am.   Izzy was up on her feet in about 15 minutes. I saw that all was good, so I headed back to church.

It was a full morning, but good! When we arrived home, Izzy was nursing and she has been doing very well so far.

Brand new!

I’m hoping to milk Maybelle so that’s coming up in the next few days. For now I’m letting mama and baby bond and Izzy needs all the colostrum she can get.

Update: This has been in my draft box all week, but I’ve been training Maybelle for milking and it’s getting better.  I couldn’t expect no kicks, that would be just too easy.  LOL   Tonight’s milking was the best we had yet, so I’m encouraged!  I wasn’t going to give up!   Izzy has been with her mama the whole time and so far Maybelle is letting me have her milk.  So nice having our own milk again.  🙂

So that’s a bit of a update on our little homestead.

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Beginnings of Summer

Where should I begin!? It shows here that it has been 5 months since my last post! Not good!!  I should have lots to write about as there is never a dull moment around here.  I am kept busy with my beautiful life here with our 8 children.  🙂

We have been busy and enjoying summer here.  Our summer began with a camping trip for 3 days.  The campground was right by Lake Huron and we enjoyed the beach, biking around the campground and just relaxing at our campsite and enjoying the meals, fires, chipmunks and most of all family.

One view of our campsite…  I don’t think breakfast had been cleaned up just yet. 🙂

Even while camping one of my sweet little boys wanted me to have flowers  🙂


There were a number of chipmunks on our last evening there and they loved the peanuts!

 This is just a breif sampling and I’ll have to get the pictures off of hubby’s camera soon and share!
When we came home and we set right to work.  Hubby wanted to fence in more pasture and I wanted to get the main garden weeded.  Hubby had a couple weeks off work, so between the camping and working here on our acreage, those two weeks flew by.  After the second week, the fence was done, the garden was mostly weeded and we even did a bunch of organizing and rearranging in the basement on a rainy day we had.  Well, it was really hot one afternoon, so the basement was a cooler option.

In other news, our oldest graduated in June from high school and is heading off to a local collage this fall.  My babies are growing up!

I’m going to try and post more often, because like I already have said over and over again, I love reading the memories from years gone by when and our older ones were small.

More again soon!