As for me and my house we will serve the Lord....

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Past week

Well the internet still is not great at the farm, which is why you don't get many blog posts, I could hardly load email or facebook this past week. I guess you can look forward to more posts after we fly back to Ukraine on February 10th!

We have been enjoying much warmer weather here in Manitoba, it has been around freezing temperatures for the last week, melting some of the snow outside. Friday evening Garry met with a gentleman in Steinbach about cheesemaking and as I drove there it was foggy and raining.  The gravel road had icy patches, thick slushy melting snow, clear dirt with puddles, all of which made for a slow ride.

The big news of the week for us was the safe arrival of baby Andromeda Jane on Wednesday morning. Micah and Crystal, who have come to help us in Ukraine twice in the last two years are first time parents. She is pretty quiet so far, and everyone is quite excited, including all her cousins, as you can see in the photo.

Monday, January 16, 2017

What we do when we are home in Manitoba

A few people have asked me where we stay when we are home ... the answer is at home! Most Sundays will find us in Steinbach at Emmanuel Free Church, although we sometimes attend our son Matt's church in Piney. We still have our bedroom on the farm in St Labre, some years the boys attempt to store excess items in our room, but often it's just the way I left it when I flew to Ukraine. Sometimes it's a little dusty, but we have been home in the summer in recent years for weddings and babies arriving, so that helps.

The boys are whoever is on the farm and single, it used to be Micah and Noah, but they both are married now and Luke, Seth and Jonah live in the house these days. Most years when I get back I spend some time cleaning and organizing the house, in the summer I sometimes do some painting or repairs to get ready for a wedding and visitors; in winter this cleaning is called getting ready for Christmas, which happens at our house on Christmas Day, most years with all the kids, spouses and girlfriends.  So yes, we go home to our house, where our stuff is, although sometimes I feel like I don't really have a house anymore, in Ukraine we live in Victor's house in the village.

Yesterday we had an actual blizzard warning here- for most of the province, schools were closed and the wind was howling and turning the piles of snow into some bigger drifts. Temperatures were at least -36 C with windchills under -42 C (for Americans, that's where the scale converges at -42 F). It is supposed to warm up next week, maybe even around freezing.

Thanks to a dairy farmer who reads the blog who broke his ankle last year; Garry has a new way to move around. He likes it because he can use his hands, but he still uses the crutches around the house. He went off with Josh to a farm program two days this week, including Thursday in the blizzard. As you can see he walks on a pegleg and it holds his foot off the ground.

Garry will be flying out to see the team in Salmon Arm, BC February 3rd-6th before returning to Ukraine. They are putting a team together to build the cheese plant in the village this March, and may be joined by some of our Steinbach friends, We'd love to have more info on what we may need in this building, the best way to store and age cheeses (we plan to make gouda) if you know or are a cheesemaker.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Snowfall here in Manitoba will still be here in March. It doesn't melt, it doesn't roll into balls for snowmen or women either. On Facebook I found a couple photos of snow at the girls house in the village back in Ukraine.

We had fun tonight playing games with Doug and Marcie, who were on the team from Steinbach this spring. We had a couple more inches of snow yesterday overnight, but they made it out to the farm this evening. Garry even gave them a little barn tour before they drove back home.

It's going to be an interesting week, Noah and Audrey are off for fun in the sun and we have three extra cats for the week, that's five with the two who normally live here.They are having a few tussles settling in.

Monday, January 9, 2017

One month

Garry has not been here for a month, but he was looking at plane tickets this morning so we can be back in Ukraine in a month. He had his two week checkup on Thursday and had his cast and stitches removed, and figures we can leave after his six week checkup on February 2nd, when they will x-ray it to check how it's progressing.

We were all surprised at how small his ankle is now, it's the same size as his left one now, before the surgery it was 3 or 4 times larger, they removed a lot of bone chips (turns out it was about a three inch incision) and even made his foot straight again (it had pointed sideways for the last couple years.) He does have a removable "boot" that he has to wear all the time for two weeks (now) ten days when he is allowed to sleep without it, but it is another five weeks before he can put any weight on his foot, followed by another month walking with it on. This is so the bone can grow around the big screws the doctor put in to fuse his ankle so they don't move. Hopefully next winter he'll be able to run and play basketball with the boys.

We made it to church again on Sunday and were interviewed up front for a few minutes about our mission project, I think our answers were not the same at both services, so it was not boring if you were at both. Garry is looking at plane tickets to go out to Salmon Arm, BC to visit with Jack and his church on the 5th of February, just before we go back. Jack plans to lead a team to work on the cheese plant building at the end of March.

Friday night we had a sleepover with the four girls while their parents had date night and day. It was the end of their two week school vacation, today there were buses going past in the dark. The three year old had just got her first pair of glasses and had them off and back in the case as much as she had them on, so we kept asking where they were.
 Everyone was asleep by ten o'clock except Garry, who was having pains in the back of his leg. However he says it gets better every day, even if he really wants to take it off to sleep.

bubble wrap fun

Saturday evening we had a good time with all the family celebrating Noah's 29th birthday, with the usual fun of singing happy birthday really badly. They got Noah laughing so hard he could only blow out half the candles and fell on the floor, he tried some more and put the last one out with his fingers. Last year he blew them all out for the first time in years, so I was not videoing it unfortunately. but we all have a great memory to add to the Noah and candles stories. Garry made it down and up the stairs on crutches and we watched football and hung out telling stories for a while in Josh's basement.
Those are pokeball cupcakes and cake

Garry is looking forward to getting out a bit and seeing friends in the next couple weeks, going to the the church mens retreat at the end of the month, and we are waiting for the arrival of our new grandchild before then, too.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year!

While New Years Eve was pretty quiet around here... most of the kids dropped by but left before the hour of midnight, Seth and Max were milking cows, Luke was feeding calves and Garry went to bed early because his cast was bothering him... in Ukraine Maria and senior students had a party and welcomed in the new year and milked the cows, too. Looks like Polo helped out too.

Of course it was midnight in Ukraine when it was four in the afternoon here in Manitoba, so Garry had two loud and excited skype calls with Maria and some of the students, one before they milked the cows and one at midnight. The grad students had an all night party at our house between night and morning milkngs. The other students celebrated New Years at their group homes.

Image may contain: one or more people

Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, people sitting, people eating, table and indoor
Yes that is our house in Ukraine

Garry and I did make it to church on New Years Day, next Sunday we will have a few slides and answer a couple questions at Emmanuel during Global Impact Sunday. He is ready to go to the doctors on Thursday and have the cast changed, though, even if he can't walk on it for another six weeks, he wants to rub his foot.

Garry on his birthday, two days after surgery. He was 60! if you are wondering...