Our week has been a little bit abnormal (if we even have a normal yet.) Bev and Paul and family arrived on Sunday night to visit. After a good nights' sleep we all awoke to 10 inches of fresh powdery snow on Monday.
After digging out with the snow shovel, we all loaded up and went down the road to Three Springs to do some sledding and tubing.
We had a good time, but after a while we were pretty tired and wet, so we came back for lunch. The Brooks family wanted to get some skiing in the next day at Ski Sawmill which is only about 15 minutes from us so we decided to go over that afternoon to check it out and also to do some tubing on their runs where we got pulled up instead of walking, which was a lot more fun (and not nearly as tiring)! Our visit with Bev and Paul ended on Wednesday morning when they headed for home. We really enjoyed our time with them and appreciated their sacrifice to come a long way for a visit.
While the Brooks family went skiing on Tuesday, I got the opportunity to help start construction of the new chicken house for Three Springs.
This is one facet of the sustainable farming initiative that we are trying to implement at Three Springs. This chicken house will house 150 chickens that will lay eggs as well as be meat chickens once they reach a nice plump age. The chickens will be free range with an enclosed outside area for them to feed. This chicken house is movable, as we have built it on wheels to be able to keep the chickens on fresh ground as they need it. I'm sure the kids will enjoy participating in the egg gathering when everything is completed. The next phase will be constructing a movable greenhouse to help cultivate earlier and later growing seasons for our vegetables and garden varieties that will keep the kitchens serving good home cooked meals throughout the year. Lots to learn on the farm!
On Wednesday afternoon, we quickly changed the bed sheets at the inn, because Kathryn's parents, Robin and Jennings were on their way and would be arriving after lunch. Our visit with "Granna and Pop-pop" was also very enjoyable.
Kathryn and Jennings took Audrey and Duncan on their first skiing trip Thursday. They had a ball and can't wait to go back!
The local ski resort is owned by a family who attends our church. They have graciously provided all Three Springs staff and families with free season passes!!
Friday brought a very eventful day in a number of different ways. We woke up to about 5 more inches of fresh snow and about 2 more throughout the day. (Shovelling snow was fun the first time, but now the newness has worn off and it seems much more like a chore! Regardless of the work, God's snow-covered creation is still beautiful.) About lunch time we noticed out of our den windows, 3 of our neighbor's beef cows meandering down our road. I quickly called the neighbor and proceeded to help him herd them through a gate and back into the fence. It was then that we noticed that all of his maybe 20 other cows were also missing! We called a few of the neighbors, as well as Kathryn's dad Jennings, and started the search and roundup of the cows. This search took us through knee deep snow in the woods and after a few hours of wrangling all of the cows back safely home, Audrey officially labelled us "cowboys"! It really was a lot of fun for us, but not probably for the farmers!
We also had a birthday party Friday night for Clay who is turning one on Sunday. We invited Jeff and Deanne Rush and their boys as well, because their middle son Seth who will be 23, has the same birth date as Clay. Kathryn made their birthday cake, along with chicken bog, baked beans, corn on the cob, green beans, and of course sweet tea. Everyone enjoyed the southern cooking and birthday festivities. What a day!
Jennings and Robin have just left after Saturday lunch and I am preparing to go on a Men's Night Out trip with about 26 men and boys from the church, to a minor league hockey game in Almira, NY, maybe an hour and fifteen minutes away. This ought to be a cultural experience as well! We'll see.
Our transition has been easier, since we have not been busy right away with engagements at Linck Hill Inn. I have along and along been getting acclimated with the inn and doing some general maintenance chores, including changing light bulbs and also putting up Christmas decorations. I believe the next three months we are pretty solidly booked, so we are about to hit the ground running. We would value your continued prayers and thank you for your notes of encouragement and financial support as we strive to serve the Lord here at Three Springs Ministries. We will continue to keep you posted.
- Doug (for the family)