We had trouble the last couple of days with our cow getting out. We had her behind a single strand of polywire, and for the past several months hadn’t bothered to electrify it because she behaves so well. Well, the inevitable happened, and she figured out that the electric was off, so she went visiting her son down the road. The third time, our landlord’s son found her and told us. He came over this morning to help the boys figure out the problem (they had tried unsuccessfully, yesterday, to hook up her wire). A stretchy gate had broken just a bit, which made it not able to conduct current. While he was here, he told the boys about an accident that happened just down the road, possibly yesterday. A huge Claas combine rolled in a paddock of barley! The driver had just finished harvesting, unhooked the header, and was going out of the paddock. When the boys were finished fixing the electric fence for the cow, they went to see the combine. Our oldest boy took a camera, and I thought I’d share some of the pictures he took. By the way, the owner, who was driving, reportedly escaped unhurt.
After leaving church late Sunday afternoon, we went to South Bay, intending to stay about an hour. The boys were playing at the edge of the water as the tide was going out, and we were watching them while Esther took pictures, when some acquaintances came along on the boardwalk/bridge above us. We ended up talking to them for a long time, and stayed a total of two hours! The boys, especially the two littlest, enjoyed themselves immensely and didn’t mind staying while we talked.
Yes, I’ve been absent a long time again from here. The owners of our new house had a couple of plum trees that they offered us, so we picked them over the past two weeks. I bottled a lot, froze some, and cooked a lot down for juice and fruit leather. Yum!
A local farmer, cousin to our current landlord, raises peas for seed. He called us a week ago to say that we could pick what we wanted for eating, from the edge of the field. We spent three days doing peas from there, picking a couple of bushel a day, then shelling them all, and blanching and freezing. I just finished blanching and packing the last ones while I got all these blog posts up. I use a large steamer to blanch them, putting them in boiling water for 1.5 minutes, then set the steamer down in cold water. Then, I drain them and put a kilogram of peas in each bag–that’s about what we eat in a meal. During the 2 minutes or so it took for the water to come back to a boil each time, I was able to work on blog posts. We have a total of 44 kilos for the freezer–it is so nice to have them for all winter!
A few Sundays ago, we were filling the van up with diesel in Kaikoura before heading home, and there was a couple there with a tandem bicycle. Apparently, Mr. Inventor studied it closely while we were there, because the next day he started building one of his own! He cut apart two or three junk bicycles and started putting the pieces together. He’s stalled right now, waiting for his daddy to do some welding for him. We’ll see if it goes any further, but I was enjoying the initiative and inventiveness–and he’s learned a lot about fixing bikes from this!
Our third boy was baptised the Saturday after Christmas, after realizing his sinfulness and need of a Saviour. What a joy to see your children taking that step! We gathered near the mouth of the Hurunui River, and after a short meditation on baptism and salvation, Gayle had the joy of baptizing one of his children (the third time he has had this privilege!). A number of our friends gathered for the occasion, and then came to our house for a shared lunch. It was a very special day, and God gave us the gift of a dry hour or so in the middle of several days of rain, just while we were at the river!
One afternoon, the end of December, we had a furious rainstorm blow in suddenly. It only poured for half an hour or an hour, but we got quite a lot of rain in that time. One of the boys was out in it for half a minute, and you can see from the picture how soaked he got! The wind was from a direction that pushed the rain up under part of the porch roof, and we had a waterfall on the porch!
Our children made a couple of movies last week. I enjoyed them so much that I want you to have the opportunity to see them, too. I know some of you already have, but for you others–enjoy!
If you’re interested, here are more pictures from our new house.