Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Mullet Koop clan!
Another year comes to a close with the celebration of Christmas, a break from school and the chance to reflect on the year that has been. We are grateful for family, wonderful friends and the challenges and joys of life. Here are some of our highlights:
Timothy: age 10 – With the closure of our small Jordan school and becoming a part of a larger school community in Vineland came new opportunities for Timothy, most notably the Lego Robotics Club. He continues to love building and designing with Lego and enjoys figuring out how things work.
Emma: age 12 – Softball and hockey remain two of Emma’s favourite things to do. It was fun to watch her play more competitively on the select softball team this past summer. She continues to be determined and dedicated to everything she does – which is aptly demonstrated in her mastery of the Rubiks Cube! A fun project this fall with Dad was to build a longboard from scratch, something they both excelled at.
Josiah: age 15 – Counting down the days until he is 16 and able to start driving, Josiah is enjoying learning the ins and outs of mechanics in auto shop class. While he is dreaming about buying a fixer-upper he keeps busy building a model railroad and helping on the farm.
Laura: A major shift for me this year has been adjusting to part time work as Spiritual Director for Quest, the church we started in 2007. I love serving our community in this way, and together with the farm bookkeeping, household administration and general family management my weeks and days are full. I have loved watching the kids grow and develop their interests, the holiday times we have had and spending time with my wonderful friends. When I am not working, I love to hike the Bruce Trail around our home.
Chris: It has been a busy two years of major farm projects and finally he has a chance to see the benefits of them. For the first time we have placed laying hens in our barn that we have raised from day-old chicks. It has been a steep learning curve but the results are that we now raise and care for laying hens in an ‘enriched, colony style’ housing system which is designed to encourage their natural behaviours and give them more room. As it is a fairly new system in Canada, Chris has hosted a lot of barn tours from farmers and others in the egg industry. So as not to be completely absorbed in the demands of farming, he continues to take the odd jazz piano lesson and, thanks to his new keyboard and headphones, can practice at all hours of the day or night without disturbing the rest of us.
Family highlights and observations: It seems, these days, that every corner of our house is being used and full of life, enthusiasm and the occasional opportunity for conflict transformation. As our occupations are both very intertwined with family life, it is often difficult to find the boundaries. The children all share in the work of the farm, and all of us relish the relationships and responsibilities in our faith community. A highlight this summer was spending a week on Beausoleil Island, part of Canada’s smallest national park – Georgian Bay Islands. We enjoyed being ‘unplugged’ together in a lovely rustic cabin, playing games, climbing on the marvellous rocks, and slowing down to notice nature unfold around us.
Another major adventure for us was bringing home a springerdoodle puppy. It must be said that Emma has been petitioning for a puppy for several years, and not just any puppy, but one we could have inside. For some in this farm family, the idea took considerable negotiating. We brought Jersey home at the beginning of summer and keep wondering how big he is going to get! It is a lot of work, but a lot of fun too.
As we look forward to the adventures of the year ahead, we give thanks for the friends and family near and far who continue to mean so much to us.