Archive for the ‘just for the [family] record’ Category

The sweet little bo-peep has made her arrival.  Our sixth child, our second daughter, first fixed her eyes on God’s beautiful world—a winter wonderland here at our new home in Fenwick, Ontario—on February 4, 2013 and was baptized Havilah Noëlle Horton Sunday, February 17th.

Havilah’s name which means “circular” comes from Edenic geography in Genesis 2:11 where the Pishon River encompassed this land known for its good gold.  We pray that Havilah likewise would be planted by rivers of water (Psalm 1), bearing fruit in season, and being endowed richly by the Lord, in turn, bless His kingdom, the world with her gifts.  Her middle name comes from the French/Latin meaning birth and this name celebrates our joy at Christ’s birth and incarnation and the joy of the rebirth in which we participate being bound up in Him.

Thank you to all those who have prayed for us throughout this pregnancy and our move to Canada. We are so thankful to the Lord for a sustained pregnancy and safe delivery.  I’m especially thankful for a family-full of enthusiastic helpers who have spoiled me silly with some ‘honeymoon’ postpartum days with my new girl, tons of amazing meal contributions from my sister-in-law and mother-in-law, great midwives from La Sages Femmes Rennaissance (Welland), and for my favorite fellow-labourer in Christ’s kingdom (and my beloved water-birth labourer and coach, baby catcher, and cord-cutter to boot), my husband Chris.

Here are some pictures from Havilah’s birth, baptism feast, the house, iceskating, and our Ball’s Falls outing.

Havilah Noelle… you are loved in all these arms, and arms bigger than these you cannot see:

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r e e l i n g   i n   t h e    y e a r
We’ve been reeling figuratively and, well, literally too.
 Hold my hand and swirl through time,
Jigging and blogging in my reeling rhyme…
Consider this poetry in motion:  a crude word-and-picture dance—
(words first, 99 (!) photo gallery at the bottom) to make grandmas giddy—
My poor excuse for not keeping up with all  the happenings around here.
Suffice it to say: Good times have been had by all.
I’m not sure where to pick up…April? May?
Bike rides and fractures in the leg (Matthias),
Lightning and Falling trees,
Hail storms (golf ball size), Tornados,
Huddling under beds and mattresses, and blankets, fervent prayers,
Ruined gardens, Massive cleanup of leaf debris that rivals all autumns together,
Boys go backstage at the opera, Puritani, where our neighbor performs,
Weddings and Picnics,
A field trip to Koetter Woodworking in Indiana (very cool),
Visits from the Canadian grandparents…
Picnics and hiking.
June–our 12th year wedding anniversary,
Eden turns two,
A new roof, compliments of hail storms,
A John Belden visit and a tutorial for making slick bows at the wood shop,
Painting and miscellaneous home projects (to minister to the gritty old woman).
Summer–excursions by boys, two-by-two, with Grandma Gail and Papa Ken:
Davy Crocket Homeplace & Museum, Museum of Aviation,
Fort Loudon, &  Tellico Lake,
Unto These Hills, an outdoor drama about the Trail of Tears in Cherokee, NC
Hike to Clingman’s Dome, Tellico Lakehouse…
July–Chris preaches at CREC, Greenville, SC, a great excuse to visit friends,
Shakespeare on Market Square, Knoxville,  Othello and Comedy of Errors,
Sparklers and swings,
Family Hike up, up, up House Mountain, watercolor painting at the top,
Blackberries and huckleberry treats all along the way,
Diverging trails, some people go the way less traveled by,
Trails, lush with poison ivy.
Swimming, Swimming, Swimming,
Beginning Piano Lessons, Beginning Karate…
August–Six Flags, Georgia. Eden rides the crazy ferris wheel!
Bubbles, Tea, and Silly Times with Aunty Deb and Grandma
Spur of the moment visit from the Pitt Family
who broke down in Knoxville (along with their lizard),
—Splashing in Creeks and Hiking Railroad Tracks at Ijams Nature Center,
Making Renaissance Outfits with Grandma Gail
Holding Strangely Tame Butterflies,
Park visits with friends, Racing Earthworms, Botany studies together,
Chris gone for another long stint, eleven days, (Austin, TX),
We fill days here with adventures (but still miss him),
Wedding of college friend, Mamie Hite, Tybee Island, GA,
New times with good old college friends and their kids.
1st exposure to the Atlantic Ocean and Crab Shack culture for the boys,
Seashells in our pockets, dolphins and ocean, lighthouses,
Shrimpers and crabbers, seaweed and salt and sand,
Very uneventful hermit crab races,
Fort Pulaski and cannon fire, beautiful brick arches, spiraling steps,
Hide-in-go-seek earthworks, watch the moat!
Travelling—flat roads without curves, alligators,
Cacti (ouch), and jellyfish (ouch, Josiah!) everywhere.
Medical Treatments for Nathanael in St. Augustine, Florida
A vitamin and homeopathic regime to follow. Results quickly (We praise God!),
Visit to Vero Beach, Florida to visit van Eyk friends, Two birthday boys,
Home again, home again, unpacking, laundry, laundry.
October–Local Camping trip to Big Ridge with supersized local Christian Families
          (that make our family look like a happy-meal (:.)
The Mackeys from Greenville, SC—gardening in the dark,
Sharing life—plants that nourish, heal, and soothe in teacups,
(Did they survive our hasty night uprooting?)…
Camping in the Barn Loft, Camping in the Front Yard,
Camping on the Backporch, Under Stars…Campfires,
Reformation Party, Bonfires, feasting, games, and dancing—really reeling—
Fall Festival more bonfires, tractor rides, games, and swinging and reeling,—literally again—
Elijah adventures to Utah with Grandma and Papa Ken to visit Uncle Rusty and Aunt Deborah
         ( biking, batting, putt-putting, shooting, laser tag, traveling in airplanes…)
Bible studies and community group gatherings, psalm sings,
And the ordinary swirls of ordinary life:
Cleaning, food prep, chores, home schooling, reading, singing, praying, snuggling,
Algebra, Atoms, Molecules, and Science Experiments,
Phonics (Eden starts her short vowels), Scales & Chords.
Latin, Greek, Drama, Poetry, Music, Art,
Catechisms, Memorizing James together ( & Eden’s revised versions),
Literature & History: God’s Story From Creation to Now,
Reverberations of His Glory in Creation—
The Pulsing of Psalm 19 all about us—
Today—Sledding on Leaves, Hiding in Piles of Leaves
                            (to startle Dad when he comes home),
Reeling, reeling, reeling together in leaves, in life, in laughter, in love.

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botany on the back porch…

                        and other delightful subjects we stumbled upon this past spring & summer…

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st. francis, our rabbit, enjoying a walk and a snuggle with angel, our new friend

It’s Sunday afternoon and I am five minutes away from a much anticipated nap.  Here’s our table full of Sunday afternoon friends who are now joining us for church and lunch and singing and fun.

(See previous post) I wish I had video camera mode turned on while the kids were singing Jamie Soles’ Psalm 8—maybe next week.  They were amazing and kept requesting to sing it again, but we limited it to twice.  The plan is that Katelyn, a Redeemer college student, and we, in our Great White Ark (van), will pick the kids up from their apartments to worship together at church weekly; cooperative kids are invited to our house afterwards for food, fellowship, and teaching through the Bible starting at Genesis.


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nth drilling tap holes in the maple tree

I’m not sure that it’s going to be successful this year.  But now that we know that it can be done, we are thoroughly excited.  Some Canadian friends shared some maple taps with us last year, and a friend in Knoxville successfully tapped a maple tree this year and boiled the 5 gallons of sap down to a quart of maple syrup.  We put in our taps and so far, we think we’ve collected mainly a rain shower with a slight hint of maple sap.  But we’re anticipating… He said there are three weeks left in the season.  Maybe…

ekh snitching a sap snack

jdh securing buckets on taps

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elijah about to descend

josiah with mr. matt












We loaded the Great White Ark to full capacity with gear, kids, and picnic goodies

and went up to the mountains for some rappelling with friends.


matthias' first time


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Who’d’ve thought…  little boys’ dreams do come true.  A wood crawling with raccoon, a trap, and a .22 rifle now mean more than defending our chickens—now it means extra pocket money to our little guys.  We met a fur trader this week who bought Josiah’s raccoon from him.  He told us that whereas 90% of fur sales used to be to the United States and Canada, that the booming economies of China and Russia now take 80% of the fur market. The raccoon pelts are prepared and sold, most of them becoming the warm interior lining of heavy winter coats.  Though it depends on the quality and size of the animal fur, our little trappers can get $2.00-$5.00 per unskinned raccoon (merely bagged and frozen) and over twice that for those properly skinned and tanned. Raccoon can be trapped and killed all year long, but only from mid-November through the end of February can they be sold to fur traders.  Besides that, during the summer the raccoon furs tend to be shaggier and less desirable, particularly those of the reproducing females.

While I am entirely meeting the stereotypes of a Tennessean,  I may as well mention the following: those interested in free venison can request that Parks and Services put them on a contact list to be notified when deer are run over.  Yes.  Laugh.  It’s the outworking of our infamous Road Kill Law that now makes it legal to eat road kill. It’s not as completely archaic as it sounds.  Previously, if you ran into a deer and you wanted the venison, it was tough luck for both you and the deer.  Now, you can fill your freezer with venison, a consolation prize for a dented vehicle.  The unclaimed kills are distributed to those on the road kill contact list via Parks and Services (not in meat packaging, mind you, so be prepared).   While we have eaten venison before (and it was delicious), we haven’t tried road kill yet.  But how nice, though, that if we wanted to, we could.


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once lost, now found---scooter, neighbor kitty

this morning's justice for raccoon, chicken predator

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e g g s  f r o m   s h e o l

“There’s nothing worse than cold eggs.”   I read that in a Martha Stewart magazine once and we frequently repeat that  to announce that it’s eggs for breakfast and they’re hot and ready.  I wish I lived in that world with nothing worse than cold eggs.  Unfortunately, there are many things far worse than cold eggs.  Even in the limited  sphere of eggs there are worse things.  I know.  I ate a helping this morning.  They were hot and ready. And they were eggs.  And I’d have taken heaping casserole dish of cold eggs in their place.  So would Josiah, this Saturday morning’s cook.  We have a play kitchen full of wooden play food and pretend kitchen equipment for toddlers.  But as we graduate in life, we use the real kitchen; we use real ingredients and tools; we learn real skills and make real mistakes with real consequences that we have to eat.  Like most of the mistakes we eat in life, they are usually the result of sin:  being wise in our own eyes, lacking self-control/moderation, not seeking or carefully heeding the wisdom of authority.

Here’s a recipe that you won’t want to repeat.  We decided to call it: “Eggs from Sheol” but Josiah wisely declined to include this recipe in his personal treasury of tried and true, worthy-of-repeating recipes.

(1) one young budding cook with skills for cooking eggs quite deliciously in various forms (quiche, easy-over, scrambled, omelette-style, or hard/soft-boiled).

(2) a dozen eggs (yes, clearly too many for the only three people who had not left early to work with dad at the shop)

(3) the zeal of culinary spices, without the knowledge of ratios or the wisdom to ask:  1 heaping tsp of oregano, 1 heaping tsp of thyme, 1 heaping tsp of basil

Serving Size:  It makes more than you’ll need or want and there’ll be plenty of leftovers for the wiser and repentant cook to finish up for lunch. Garnished with repentance for our sins, forgiveness, laughter at our foolishness, and more wisdom for the next time.

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g a r d e n   s u p r i s e s

A winter garden is possible and a nice concept that I may warm up to eventually, but I’ve been generally dodging the cold and staying indoors most of the winter.  The other day it warmed up enough for me to leave my den and check on the garden where we found some leftover surprises and hints of future surprises:  First, the stalks of Brussel sprouts that I had harvested and left for dead had sprouted more.  And our favorite surprise was our first and  only carrot.  But it’s rather an odd-looking one it is.  I think that it may be the union of several carrot starts.

Along with daffodils, the perennial onions and lemon balm are making their fresh green entrance, trumpeters of spring. (btw, there are always some to share)

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