Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Abba, Father!

Abba, Father!  That is the cry of our hearts every day as God leads us on this adventure of faith.   We are terrified, we are excited, we are expectantly hopeful.  We are learning to walk in the knowledge that God has our every footstep measured.  He has filled our cup with blessings, pressed them down and caused them to overflow, leaving us in awe of His mercy, His grace and His everlasting faithfulness.

For years, our family grew and learned and toiled in the classroom of Little Shouse on the Prairie.  While hauling water and lighting lanterns and coaxing generators to life, we were learning life's true survival skills, falling on our knees in dependence on God.  We prayed and cried and praised.  And we trusted.  And now, in the blink of an eye, our lives have changed - our prayers have been answered and our tears have been turned into dancing.  And all we can cry is Abba, Father!

Getting ready to pour concrete

Sir Knight working on the pad

Guys from our local lumber mill using their forklift to hang our sign!

Getting it done

The first sheet of FRP goes up

Sir Knight and Miss Serenity working on the wall


10 x 4 foot sliding door

Plumbing going up

One of our grinders

The office (the beginnings anyway!)

Painting done - still awaiting the final metal touches
Although we are not open, every day we are getting closer.  We have installed FRP (an FDA required wall covering for food processing facilities) on the walls, removed garage doors and scrubbed every square inch of our building.  We have poured concrete, built doors and painted inside and out.  We have rebuilt equipment, acquired equipment and cleaned equipment.  We have pulled wire, plumbed sinks and cleared drains.   We have hung signs, off-loaded a HUGE cooler door and are expectantly awaiting our cooler and freezer delivery.  And every step of the way, we have watched God do the impossible, paving the way before us and causing us to sing His praises - Abba, Father!

And so, we wake up every morning in anticipation - with the cry of Abba, Father, on our lips!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Work in Progress...

As I mentioned in my last post, Sir Knight and I and Master Hand Grenade are starting a butcher shop.  I know - I can't believe it either!  And never ones to do anything the easy way, we bought an old, derelict former service station in the small town I grew up in to turn into the "Boar's Head Butchery".  Let the fun begin!

Our goal is to have the shop remodeled and have everything up an running by September, just in time for hunting season.  We are planning on cutting and wrapping wild game along with slaughtering and butchering domestic animals.

We are up to our elbows in remodeling, so please bear with me....  I will keep you posted!!

Every day we thank God for His faithfulness.  This adventure that He has orchestrated is an adventure indeed!

The office - before

The office

The office - a work in progress

The whole west side had been damaged and was sagging

We have 8 city lots - over an acre of land!

The wall was in rough shape

Sir Knight - the demolition man!

Our pastor - a man of many talents - jacking up the roof!

Jacking up the middle section - you should have heard the glass creak!

Jesus was holding up the roof - nothing else was!!

The space above the window was how much we raised the roof!

Removing a piece of glass intact!!

The new wall going up!


It is beginning to take shape!!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

As the Dust Begins to Settle

Has it really been only a month since I shared the news that we were leaving Little Shouse on the Prairie?  It seems like it has been an eternity - an eternity of moving, that is!

In the past four weeks, Sir Knight and I (along with help from our children and parents), have packed up 17 years of off-grid Shouse living.  We have cried and laughed and worked until we thought we'd drop.  We've made endless trips to our new home and shed buckets of tears.  We've questioned our sanity and witnessed God's great provision.  And finally, we have landed.

One of two trailers loaded with the story of our lives

Building racking in the new container

Making the living room feel like home

Looking into the kitchen

Looking into the new addition that will be the "Butler's Pantry"

I brought my culverts to plant my herbs

My new back yard
Along with our move, we have made other, life changing decisions.  Sir Knight left his job of over 30 years and he, along with Master Hand Grenade, is opening a butcher shop.  We've purchased an old service station in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere and begin the work next week of remodeling it to meet our needs.  Our goal is to be ready to open by hunting season (in September).  We have our work cut out for us!  The building needs to be completely reconfigured and we need to install coolers and freezers, rails and scales.  In his spare time,  Sir Knight has been apprenticing with the butcher Master Hand Grenade apprenticed with and is soaking up as much information as he can.  We've been buying equipment and making plans.  We are on our way!

This move has been rather like jumping off a cliff.  We've left everything we've known and are embarking on the adventure of a lifetime.  As the dust begins to settle, we see a new future.  And we are truly thankful.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Goodbye Little Shouse on the Prairie......

We've done it.  After praying and dreaming and hoping for years, God has moved mountains and we're moving house.  And this, dear friends, is not easy.

Sir Knight and I have known for many years, that although we thought we would raise our children and grow old here on our little prairie, our hearts weren't truly here.  Our hearts were in the mountains.  We have prayed for years that we would be able to move, however, until now, that has been but a dim and distant hope.  Now, in the blink of an eye, it has happened - we are moving!

The emotion of the move has taken me completely by surprise!  I somehow thought I would skip out of here with a spring in my step and a smile on my face, but the reality is that I am preparing to leave the only home my children have known, and therein lies the rub.

As I go through shelves and cupboards, clean out under beds and in little used nooks and crannies, I find remnants of the bygone days of my children's childhood.  I've undressed the garage door for the last time.  I've taken my last tray-full of ashes out of my trusty wood cook stove.  I've sold the farm table that caught fire when a gasket cracked on the Petromax lantern I was lighting the first year we lived here, when we were well and truly "off-grid".  We've sorted and packed and discarded.  And cried.  Just a bit.

Our annual Highland Hunt

The children's skating rink

Sir Knight reloading

Little Shouse providing the backdrop of our lives
Sir Knight and I are excited and terrified and overwhelmed, all at the same time.  The children are giddy one moment and in the depths of despair the next.  They are excited about their new life in the mountains, near their grandparents, and sad to say goodbye to the friends they've known since birth.  They are soaking up the last few moments of their childhood home, listening to the sounds of the lid rattling on the wood cook stove as I stoke it and the sounds of the garage door being opened to let the spring air permeate Little Shouse one last time.

The kitchen shelves

The fabric of our life

Miss Serenity in the only backyard she's ever know

The Shouse that Built Her
Soon, we'll begin another adventure.  We'll make new memories and learn new lessons.  We'll turn the pages of our lives, anticipating each new paragraph, page and chapter.  But Little Shouse on the Prairie will always be our prelude.  We'll always have the joys and the sorrows, the feasts and the famines.  And we'll always have the lessons.  Little Shouse has taught us more about life than any education possibly could have.  We have learned to love each other and to encourage each other.  We have learned to suffer together and to mourn together.  We have learned to do without and to find a way when there is no way.  We have learned what we can live without.  Most importantly, we've learned to lean in to God.  We have learned that He is trustworthy, that He is faithful and that His timing is PERFECT!

And so Little Shouse, goodbye....and THANK YOU.