Friday, November 20, 2009

Dates and Goats and Flu - Oh, my!

Anna in her winter hat - isn't she beautiful!

Jeremy, Rob and Josh with one of our roosters. The boys' job was to pull out the feathers.

I tried to take a picture of Anna waving, but either she wouldn't wave for the camera, or it was blurry.

Rob helping serve at the community spaghetti dinner that the Pioneer Club kids held.

Whew! Where have the last few weeks gone? I think they passed without my knowing it!

Last month, for Pastor's Appreciation Month, our church gifted us with a night out. Not only did they give us a $75 gift certificate for a nice restaurant in town, but they also provided us with gas money and two women whose husband's are on the board to watch our kids! We had it all planned to go last Friday night, but one of the women ended up getting sick, so we weren't able to go. She told us that we could go Monday instead. But Sunday, the other woman got sick, so we knew we wouldn't be going anytime soon. Monday morning, we got a call from the first woman asking if we were going out that night. I told her that the other person was sick and wouldn't be able to help with the kids. She told us that she could watch all of our kids with her hands tied behind her back! Apparently she used to run a daycare in her home. So we figured why not? We left at 5, and went to dinner. It was a nice restaurant. It was on the second floor, and had a nice view of the town (although it was dark!). Since we don't usually get to go on dates because we have so many children, Jeremy decided he wanted to use all of the gift certificate - assuming it would be a while before we would be able to go back and use the rest of it. I will refer you now to the amount at the top of the paragraph, and the fact that we have never spent that much on dinner! But it was fun. We ordered 3 appetizers, two entrees and one dessert to split, and still had enough left for the tip! We took over half of what we ordered home for the boys to enjoy as well. After that, we headed to Costco to pick up a few items and our Christmas cards with our family pictures from the photo center. When we got home, everyone was asleep, and the house was quiet. So we snuggled on the couch and watched Up (a gift that we got the boys while at Costco). The next night, the boys got to watch it. They were so excited!!

However...Tuesday night, Josh started complaining about his stomach hurting. In the middle of the night, we were awakened to him throwing up. Ugh! I dislike sicknesses, simply for the fact that they usually rampage through everyone! Sure enough, by Wednesday night, Silas was throwing up, and by Thursday, it was Anna and Micah. Jeremy drove into town on Thursday to purchase a much-needed carpet cleaner, and then proceeded to clean the living room floor that afternoon. By that time, Rob was laying on the couch, not feeling well. As I write this post, Jeremy is sacked out on the bed. So much for his sermon prep time! It's a good thing he's preached through Genesis before. He might have to preach his sermon as it is from the last time he preached it up in Galena. I suppose that would mean I'm next...I hate getting sick. I am so thankful, though, that this sickness has been a fast moving one. The kids have only been feeling sick for about 12 hours each. I am also thankful that I have not gotten sick in the middle of the whole thing. At least I am feeling good to be able to take care of everyone else.

We have 8 chickens from our flock in our freezer. Jeremy and the boys learned from a field trip how to butcher and package them for the freezer. They did a very good job! We are all excited to try them. The plan was to have some of our chickens for Thanksgiving, but we will be going to the community Thanksgiving dinner at our church. So we will have to have them later. I guess they have been doing this dinner for several years. People from the church sign up to bring the items for the dinner, and then they open the doors to the community to come as well. I think it sounds like a great outreach opportunity.

We have been planning on getting goats for a couple of months now. There is a man in our church that we were going to partner with. The plan was for us to house them, and do the milking, and he built the milking station and the goat pen. Everything was finished last week, and we got the goats. The first night (we didn't get them until it was dark), the mama screamed so loud that we got a phone call asking if we had goats in our backyard. Later that same evening, as Jeremy and I were putting the kids to bed, and the guy from our church was working on finishing something in our shop....the police stopped by for a visit! I guess they had gotten a couple of phone calls that someone was being tortured. So we told them it was just some goats, and they couldn't believe it. But after seeing them for themselves, they drove off. We had them and milked the mama for 6 days. But after talking about it and praying about it, we decided that it probably was not the best thing to have them here. The church board had told us it was okay with them, but we were concerned about annoying the neighbors with how loud they were. And we figured that having neighbors annoyed with the church was not the best way to share the Gospel! So we are back to just our chickens. And now, they should all be hens! We are looking forward to getting some more in the spring time, to be able to get more eggs.
The boys have been having lots of fun with home ec for school this year. They have been helping me with baking bread and muffins for several months. But a few times, I have asked them to make muffins for breakfast by themselves - and usually I have them double or triple the recipe just to get enough for everyone! They really enjoy doing it, too! For Wednesday night prayer, we have turned it into a small group at our house, and have now started serving dinner for the few that come - it's usually not more than 3 or 4. But this last Wednesday, I had Rob bake our corn bread and our carob brownies (both sugar free, of course!). I also made some sugar free vanilla ice cream. One of the men that was there Wednesday night is diabetic, and I think he really enjoyed our dessert! Besides the benefit for our family, being able to cook for someone who has allergies makes it worth it for me.
I think, dear reader, that you are now up-to-date on the happenings in the Hayek household. Two of my little ones are awake from their nap, and so my time to write is over anyways. Thank you for taking the time to read of our happenings. I enjoy all of the responses I get from you that read and comment. Thanks!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Oh, and by the way

Boys playing in the freshly raked leaves - what fun!

Ever notice how life has a way of getting away from you? Things don't always seem to happen the way I think they will - or should. Last time I blogged, I mentioned that we were going to pick apples for a field trip the next day. That's not what actually happened. We got up early the next morning, with every intention of making it there (the field trip was 2 hours away from our house). But by the time we got into Eureka, we only had 20 minutes to get there, and were still an hour away. So we decided not to go, and took the kids to the Sequoia Park Zoo in Eureka instead. We had a really good time, even though it wasn't what we had planned. The weekend after that, we went to another field trip with our homeschool group. It was a butchering field trip (which was at the same place as the apple trip had been - so while we were there, we also got to pick some apples to bring home!). The kids got to watch a turkey and goat being butchered. Josh didn't want to see the animals being killed, but once that was over with, he helped pluck out feathers, and enjoyed the anatomy lesson. It was a great experience for us, because it taught us how to prepare our chickens for the freezer as well. Jeremy and the boys butchered 3 of our roosters on Saturday, and now they are in the freezer. Rob told me after they finished with the chickens that he really enjoys our lifestyle. He told the kids in Sunday school about what they did with the chickens. One boy said, "Why'd you do that?" Rob told him that it was because we had too many roosters.

Last week, our Pioneer Club hosted a community spaghetti dinner. I don't know if anyone got a real count to know how many people they served, but it was a lot. And they all did such a great job. They were courteous, helpful, and happy to be serving. Most of the kids in Pioneer Club don't go to church anywhere, but did such a good job serving dinner - I wonder if we should do it again! Our church does a similar thing for Thanksgiving - the church members sign up for the Thanksgiving dinner (potluck style) and then open the doors to the community to come and eat as well. I think my boys will enjoy serving at that dinner as well. I know they really enjoyed serving at the spaghetti dinner.

I made sweet potato pie without sugar last week. And it was a hit! Jeremy and Rob fought over it. Between the two of them, they ate at least half of it. And Anna thought it was yummy as well. I didn't even realize my family liked sweet potatoes, and have never served them before! Everyone loved it, but Silas. He doesn't seem to like potatoes at all - except for French fries, but I'm not sure they count as potatoes.

We got another puppy two weeks ago. Her name is Peach. She is now 7 weeks old, and is a Daschund/Jack Russell terrier mix. Most people think I am a glutton for punishment, but we actually wanted her to be a companion for Daisy. We thought they would keep each other company and be good playmates. They are doing really well together. They do enjoy playing with each other, and Daisy doesn't bite at the boys' toes so much! ;-)
We are blessed to have wood for the winter. A man in our church had wood on his property that he told us we could have. And another family had a splitter that they let us borrow. So Jeremy, Rob and Josh spent 5 hours splitting wood with this man one day, and they ended up getting about a cord and a half. The man still has more wood at his property for us whenever we need it. The Lord is providing for our needs!

I don't know if I mentioned that Jeremy is back into preaching in Genesis. He really enjoys studying the Law. He fills his sermons with so much information that it's hard to take it all in. So he has started using Sunday evenings as a question and answer forum. So far, we have had a good response. Those that come enjoy being able to ask questions about the morning's sermon that they obviously can't ask during church. And Jeremy enjoys being able to share more of what he has learned that week. He learns more than he can possibly put into a 45 minute sermon. Before Jeremy went into the ministry, I don't think I ever really appreciated how much work pastors put into their sermon and how much I took their knowledge for granted. I, like so many others, expected the sermon to only last 30 minutes. And if it was much more than that, I would keep checking my watch with disdain, and start thinking about everything on my to-do list for that afternoon. I have such a different perspective now, being the wife of a pastor. Watching Jeremy come home every day with exciting new tidbits about what he is uncovering in his studies is so much fun. But he does get disheartened with not having time to share it all. And he even stretches his sermons out to 45-55 minutes. I heard of another pastor telling a visitor of his church what a shame it was that we expect our pastors to spend 15-20 hours a week on sermon prep, and expecting him to present all of the information in 15 minutes. Sigh...I will now climb down from my soap box. I'm so sorry - that just took off without me! ;-) But I really do think we should appreciate our pastors more. They work so hard to share God's Word with us, not to mention all the behind the scenes work that we will never see (unless we happen to be married to one!). And this coming right after Pastor Appreciation Month (No, I didn't plan this). If you appreciate the work your pastor does, and you didn't get a chance to thank him last month, send him a card and let him know how much you appreciate him! And on that note, I will close...