Dear Family and Friends,
Thanks again this year for all the end of the year letters, pictures and blessings. It’s so nice to see how families grow and hear about what has changed. This past couple of years has also brought its change to life in our family. Here is the story…..or at least of the highlights of it……
Around 4 years ago we felt our time in retail business may be coming to an end sometime in the next few years. There were various factors involved and all pointed to selling our ice-cream and candy business. We made the decision to put the shop up for sale in the spring of 2014. After a year and a half the right buyer came along and the shop sold in July of 2015. It all went very quickly and within 2 weeks the new owner was trained and on her own.
By this time we had some inklings of what we would like to do for the next season of life. Scott began to return to his interest in tree work. Both Scott and I desired a “restart” so to say……life choices, retail business and other stresses had taken their toll on our family. We wanted to provide our family with a place more suitable to our interests, where we could be together more and extend hospitality more easily to others.
Our desire was to live near the mountains and a buy a place in the country. Anywhere in Montana now days that typically means a high expense and we really didn’t know how that would work out. After spending week upon week on Craigslist, visiting various realtor’s web-sites in addition to taking a few trips around the state, things were narrowed down a bit and we made a connection with a wonderful realtor in southern Montana. We had some pretty specific needs and so the field of what was available to us was limited.
We kept in touch with the realtor through the month of September 2015 and met with the owner of our place at the end of September. Again things moved very fast and within two weeks we were moving. The relationship we have gained with the former owner of our property is very special and we can only hope to bless her as much as she blesses us. She quickly became a very dear friend and great encouragement to our family.
In addition to the move we have started two new businesses. Ruby Valley Tree Service had a successful first year. Scott is enjoying his new line of work that allows him to spend more time with the family and be outside every day. I enjoy spending more time with him also, helping him with jobs and watching him climb around on ropes in the trees and seeing his work that always looks so great when it is finished.
The second business is Ancient Paths Farm. The first part of Jeremiah 6:16 has been a verse that we have really hung onto since our move to Montana 11 years ago. Although we didn’t fully understand its meaning then, as the years have gone by it has proven its truth.
A part of the farm is the Ancient Paths Cozy Cabin. Renting the cabin was just plain fun. We were blessed to host people from all over the United States and the World. We listed the cabin on Airbnb and could not have been happier with the experience. The guests from Airbnb were all so unique and most often adventurous. Next summer we hope to be able to offer dinner for our guests so if they would like they can sit around our table, have a good meal and we can hear a little more of their stories instead of just having talks out in the yard or around our campfire.
We love living someplace that we can hear quiet. Eventually we hope to build the garden enough to grow vegetables to sell to the community in addition to the chickens and eggs that we sell now. That will all be a work in progress but we are excited to try all the ideas we’ve been reading about for 10 years but up to this point haven’t had the time or land to try it out on.
I (Lisa) continue to enjoy researching biblical health and healing, essential oils and herbs and making my own teas, medicines and skin care salves. If I get the opportunity to do something artsy or crafty that is always a bonus but a bit rare at this stage in life.
Scott has been focused on building the tree business and making repairs to our place. He was able to get out hunting more with the boys this year and harvested a 1 x 2 mule deer buck that had been with the one Isaac shot.
We enjoy providing a place for fellowship every so often on Sabbaths and Feasts and providing a place for people to stay who get to or have to travel for fellowship. It is the best when you get to spend a couple of days with a couple or family. We love hearing about where people are in their journey with Yahweh and how He is working in their lives. We have also really enjoyed having neighbors over for supper or taking supper in to share with Maudena -the lady we purchased our place from….everybody has a story and people here seem to love to visit about where they have come from and what they are doing now.
We also love exploring the local hiking trails and National Forest access roads. Hiking is a family favorite activity and amidst all the projects we had over the spring and summer we had a lot of opportunities to hike as a family and when friends came to visit.
And the kids…..I’ll let them tell you what they have been up to…
Ben (4 years) I like to do coloring pictures, I like to play with cars and pet the kitties and go outside and look at cool books. I like it when Ike helps me build electronic snap circuits and I like sitting by the campfire stove (the wood stove) and uummm I like taking the ashes out with Dad and I like jumping on the couch and I like flying over the pillows and I like falling on my pillow….O.k. I guess you get the idea…he’s still talking but you can see his imagination is getting bigger…..let’s go onto Sam and leave Ben to his adventures……
Sam (6 years) I like to play with my chickens and I like playing with our dog and going to the fair and parades and ice skating, and I think that’s all.
Sarah (8 years) I like to make smoothies and bake things. I like to help Bekah and Rachel braid the Challah bread for Sabbath. I really like ice skating and doing artwork. I bought a fiddle and I like learning how to play it. I take care of our 3 cats Buster, Moses and Noah.
Jacob (11 years) I’ve been mainly just doing stuff around our place. I like catching my lamb and playing with it. I do chicken chores everyday with Isaac and I like making pancakes. I like going and exploring around the creek and I like fishing and playing with our dog Suzie. I like sledding, sitting by the wood stove, hunting, climbing trees, reading my bible and drawing and I just started learning how to do computer animation.
Isaac (14 years) Well I do chickens with Jacob every morning and every night. I catch my lamb, I tie flies and sell them. On thanksgiving I shot my first buck, a five by five. I like to build things in the shop and help dad fix things, in the summer time I mow lawns for people, I go on tree jobs with dad. I make movies with Jacob, Sam and Ben.
Rachel (15 years) Some of the things I enjoy doing are, baking and cooking, drawing, working with the horses and llamas, getting together with friends, memorizing scripture, ice skating and sledding, line dancing, and playing music. I play the fiddle, guitar, harp, and some piano. I love anything that includes animals and I take care of the horses and rabbits. I also really like sitting around the wood stove in the evenings with my family.
Rebekah (17 years) I enjoy various activities such as drawing, writing, and dancing. I enjoy painting with watercolor: the brighter the colors, the better! I’m all into music (particularly the fast and crazy type of music :), and finding fun songs to dance to. I also play 2 instruments, the hammered dulcimer and the piano, and enjoy writing my own songs. I love hanging out with my family and studying Yahweh’s Word together, and learning how to live a life that shows that I love my Heavenly Father. I have an interest in science and I love learning about what God had made, as well as learning about herbs and natural home remedies. I have also enjoyed working in the kitchen a little more by finding different and unique foods to cook, and celebrating Yahweh’s feasts and Sabbath together with my family.
Many blessing to all of you, may Yahweh bless you and keep you and may He always be at the heart of yours!
Love, Scott & Lisa, Bekah, Rachel, Ike, Jake, Sarah, Sam and Ben