Saturday, October 28, 2006

Who are you?

You lurk around on the internet, hitting here and there, looking at all sorts of who knows what. Every now and then you hit my blog. Maybe you did a google search. Maybe you linked from another site. Maybe you heard about me from a friend or family member.

I have a program that lets me see where in the world you might be--Malaysia, the Philippines, the UK, Holland, Germany, Japan, Korea, China, South Africa, the United States (I can tell which state), Canada (I can tell which province), to name some off the top of my memory.

I can also tell, if you did a search, what your key words were. My all-time favourite key words used so far by you, the lurker, are: "best time to do laundry in Ontario"!

Now, this is entirely voluntary, but if you'd like to, please say hi.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

God controls our whims

I just had to share this little tidbit. I am a spur-of-the-moment kind of person, doing things on a whim, just for fun. Sometimes we get to laugh at how God uses my whims to work His blessings in our lives. For instance, we are in Canada as a direct result of my trying to run over a beer can in a Wal-Mart parking lot one day. But that's not the story I wanted to share today.

A couple of weeks ago, I was cruising the internet while nursing Timothy. I got on a site that has all sorts of interesting, useful (but expensive) gardening, kitchen and woodworking things to sell. Just for fun, because I knew my children would enjoy this, I ordered all three of their free catalogs. The package of catalogs was too big to fit in our little mailbox, so we got a package notice. Tom came out to the garden one day last week and asked me what package I was expecting. By that time I had forgotten all about my whim, and had no idea what package I could be getting. He drove over to the post office to pick it up.

On the way out there, he saw a van for sale, a nice blue Chevrolet mini-van. A QUIET mini-van. One that works without needing a lot of repair. Cheap. With good gas mileage. It even looks nice. We bought it. Not on a whim (Tom doesn't do things on a whim), but because we needed it.

We have another mini-van given to us by a friend in Maryland seven years ago. It is sitting in our driveway, waiting to be repaired. Tom is going to fix it before winter. Meanwhile, we have been driving around in this big, ugly, noisy, gas-guzzling monster of a full-size van. We have to shout in it, to be heard by the children in the back seat. It needs more repairs on it than Tom wants to do, to make it ready for winter. He thinks he can sell it for what he paid for the blue van we just got.

We have been talking about getting another mini-van, and driving our big family around in two vans. This would give the children more leg room, and also give us more seating for giving people rides to church and for having the children's friends over.

Here's how God used my whim: this mini-van was on a road we never travel unless we are going to the post office to pick up a package.

"And now you know. . .the rest of the story."

Digging, digging, digging

She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms (Proverbs 31:16-17).

I just realized it has been almost a month since my last post. Sorry about that. I have been digging the garden to have it ready for spring planting, and I go to bed incredibly tired. I am gradually getting used to the work, but at first I just ached all over from using muscles I didn't know I had. I have been digging by hand (meaning with a shovel, not a tiller), paying three of my younger children a quarter a bucket (5-gallon size) to pull rocks out. We are almost done, then we will get a load or two of horse manure from the horse farm behind us, dig that in, and let it rot over winter. I am in a hurry to get this done before the ground freezes. We've been blessed with warmer than usual weather lately, but we've also had a lot of rain. (On rainy days there's enough to do inside to keep a person busy for the next 30 years.)

I never saw such a rocky piece of ground in my life. When we get finished, I'll take a picture of the rock pile we're making and post it. Every day that we are able to dig, we haul an average of six wheelbarrow loads out of the garden. Anybody have any ideas on what useful things can be done with rocks? They are mostly round, so if I was going to build anything (like a fence or a fireplace) I'd have to use cement.