The snow picture was taken 2-18 and the floating pictures on 2-22. Last spring did not have any dramatic melts like this. A friend that grew up here, Kellen, told me that he used to float this during spring melts!
Our son, born May 30th, has a unique name connected to our intentions here at Abundance Endeavors. It has two parts; Dutch and Hebrew. The Dutch part is straight forward. Kyra's beloved Dutch grandma is named Roelofje (feminine form of Roelof), and Shalom was born on her 90th birthday! The Hebrew portion is more nuanced.
Psalms 37 has encouraged us repeatedly, embodied (we hope) in efforts at Abundance Endeavors. The arrival of our Shalom has brought us here once again, especially these verses.
7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.... 11 But the meek (sometimes translated humble) shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant (rob) peace (shalom).
When conjugated as in verse 11, both shalom and rob are nouns forming a compound word like sunflower. They mean completeness/soundness/welfare/peace (shalom) and multitude/abundance/greatness (rob).
Josh's health has been critically challenging, yet breakthrough seems imminent. At this juncture, we are feeling quite meek or humble as abundance swells up in the kiddos, animals, and plants. Shalom Rob is a prayer, a prophecy, a hope, reception of a promise, an end to a painful season and dawn of a new season. He is our 7th child, born 7 years after Josh left industry work (i.e. slavery). It is 7 years after our first attempt at farm life imploded. It is also a week after Josh's 39th birthday, like a beginning of a year of Jubilee. We are not superstitious or numerologists, but these are numbers of completion. Further, we have been devastated by mold toxicity and a host of ancillary hardships reminiscent of Job's rough streak. But the end of Job's story is inspiring with an exact doubling of his wealth. This is not trivial, since in the Mosaic law, the penalty for theft is very often double repayment. Repayment of a debt, as incurred by theft, is a shalom; squaring things up, paying things in full, closing the deal, coming to terms, these are the completeness referred to by the word shalom. For a small theft, this would be a small shalom. In our case it could well be abundance.
Celebrate the birth of Shalom Rob Roelof with us, and pray with us the hopeful prayer memorialized in his name.
After long years of anticipation, Feliz ushered in a new era for our family - dairy self-sufficiency. After her colostrum was done, she shocked us with over 3 gallons in the morning. By April 15th, she gave 4 gallons in one milking, and May 9th, she gave over 9.25 gallons! We thought she would give between 6 and 7 max. Ela went up over 6 in a day - we are awash in the precious white liquor of life. We started separating it immediately to reduce the demand on the fridge, and Kyra figured out several skim milk cheeses. The cream goes primarily to butter, with some sour cream and ice cream too.
We are trying to get 500lbs of cheese and 500 of butter in the 6' dairy freezer by the time the grass is done.
As many know, moving into a house before it is complete produces chaos. Add to that farm chores/mess, and new heights of chaos can be achieved.
In Garfield, a completed building permit with occupancy allowed is an occupancy permit. The building inspector came by today giving the okay to move in, on Adam's birthday no less! We will be moving in after a week or two more finishing work, but we have the official go-ahead.
It all began with a little bike that we took the pedals off 2 months ago, essentially creating a cheap version of a balance bike. Then at a garage sale today we picked up a little bigger bike and headed to the park. Joseph hopped on with a little assistance and was off and pedaling. Joshy was not to be outdone and took his turn with the same outcome. They continued to ride unassisted for the next hour. We are so excited to take some family bike rides (once they learn how to use the brakes!!)
Above is another member of the family meeting, a rather small member...
Josh: Founder, father