Yes, you have read it correct. Rebecca is pregnant and we are expecting the new baby to join us around January 19th. We are so excited to add another little life to our clan.
Please pray for a healthy baby and safe delivery.
Sharbel and Rebecca
We have been praying and planning our next step forward. Definitely, looking outside of Gunnison in all directions. We've had a lot going on in the last couple of weeks. We moved out of our little one bedroom lower living level of our house into the 5th wheel. Packed everything else into the garage and gave ourselves a couple of weeks to continue researching and charting our next course. We had plans to park at mom's until Tabor's school got out on the 28th and then at that time be ready to relocate according to what we'd procured by phone and web or research by going to places and checking them out.
We've been researching and contacting many farms throughout the country about internships and WWOOF possibilities (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). We feel a need to go learn with others who are and have been doing small local farming. Also it would give us a very good taste as to wether or not we really love the farming life or not. We hadn't had much luck because most of the intern positions had already been filled as it is getting late in the season.
We also spoke briefly about our plans to the local couple (Bill and Kelly Parker) who run a small farm on the edge of town here in Gunnison. They recently moved their operation to the Van Tyle Ranch which is over 500 acres at the base of the Palisade cliffs along the Gunnison river. We have helped them out on numerous occasions when they lived 17 miles east of town and have traded a couple of WeatherPORTs for their products. They do raw milk, yogurt, butter, eggs, chickens, cows, pigs, goats and lambs. Their small operation is growing by leaps and bounds because of how close they are to town and the overall demand for local foods. We have become closer friends as they are Catholic and have 3 kids, one of which goes to school with Tabor. We mentioned to them in passing that we were packing up and heading out to go find some full time experience. They encouraged us and wished us well.
Then last Monday morning we got a call from Bill and Kelly with an invitation to come be full time interns for the summer. Wow! We didn't really expect that at all. We told them we would talk about it and get back to them in a day or two. Then we joined them for dinner Wednesday night and talked with them about their plans and how they thought we would be a great fit and addition to the farm. Not only do they need our help but they offered us the opportunity to start our own enterprise at the same time for the duration of the summer. This could include a goat dairy for milk and cheese, garden, bees, chickens and other possibilities. We get to use their land, equipment and everything in exchange for our daily commitment and help. We felt it was on opportunity we couldn't pass up. It couldn't have been better timing and to have them welcome the whole family to participate was exactly what we were looking for. We told them we would be there the next morning to start.
Thursday morning was our first day. Most days we will be working about 2.5 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the late afternoon. The rest of the day is open for us to work on our own enterprise, do other work, help mom with her projects or whatever else. We have really jumped right in. We are already taking care of of over 250 meat chicks, 45 turkey chicks, 40 piglets, a few hundred egg laying hens, a dozen sheep, 3 goats and also helping with the bottling of milk and cleaning and collecting of eggs. In addition we are in charge of moving the electrical fences around to form small paddocks and the creation of animal shelters. There is also a heard of 100 cattle that we will occasionally be helping out with. Oh and did I mention haying possibly! It will be a great learning experience!
We are committed through the summer to helping them. We will continue our searching and praying about moving out of Gunnison and taking our experience with us to start our own operation on leased land or purchased land.
Our days have been filled with some change and new routines. We have started an internship at Parker Pastures for the summer. We are working with the chickens, pigs, sheep, goats and cows. Always lots to do.
Stay tuned for more.
By Rebecca Dussault
One of the greatest symbols of sport is beheld within the Catholic Church itself and it’s the late, (Great!) Holy Father John Paul II. Through the many years of his episcopate and papacy he made a lasting impression on the minds and hearts of athletes and sports enthusiasts everywhere as to what is the proper place and function of sports for humankind.
Himself a very devoted athlete, he is able to speak from the side of truth and integrate it so wondrously with the practice of being an athlete. We find in his writings a great testament to the fusion of both faithfulness and fitness.
The Pope himself loved athletics like they were his breath. He was know to frequently summit mountains, alpine ski, bike, swim, play soccer or volleyball and he even found time to enter an international kayaking competition in 1955 just five years before being ordained a bishop! He was known since the beginning of his papacy as the “athlete Pope.”
His words are of great encouragement to those who desire to combine the discipline and motivation of athletics with the spiritual practices of prayer and meditation. The whole purpose of athletics is in fact to aid the mind in the search and communication of Truth.
The pope had this to say in 2004, “St. Paul the Apostle proposed the image of the athlete to the Christians of Corinth in order to illustrate Christian life and as an example of effort and constancy (1 Cor. 9:24-25). Indeed the correct practice of sport must be accompanied by moderation and training in self-discipline. The Christian can find sports helpful for developing the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance in the race for the wreath that is “imperishable,” as St. Paul writes.”
He encouraged a sporting mindset and culture that will promote “doing sport” which will help people rediscover the full truth about the human person. He put for the notion that sports played within a Christian outlook will become a generative principle of profound human relations and the building of a more serene and supportive world.
Do not be fooled by the commercialization of sport which can stifle its real value, but instead see it as a language understood by all, which expresses man’s physical abilities and spiritual capacity.
Let us remember Our Holy Father’s great example of sanctifying sport and practice it in a way which brings us closer to Christ.
“If you are what you are meant to be then you will set the world on fire.” St. Catherine of Siena
We made an amazing pilgrimage to California for the culmination of lent and celebration of the Risen Lord. It was a total immersion in faith and prayer. This is something we’ve done annually for almost the whole last decade.
It was an endurance week of spiritual training. It went like this:
The Last Supper and washing of the feet on Holy Thursday starts at 5:30p.m. and goes till 7:30 followed by a small meal. Then again for the Vigil of the Passion starting at 8: and lasting 2.5 hours. On Friday the Royal Hours of prayer were at 7, 9, 12, 3, 4:30 and then 7 to 11pm. There are readings of scripture, psalms and hymns reflecting on the passion and crucifixion and on to. Amazing liturgies! We were also invited to contemplate our whole life and pray for everyone we’d ever met along this great journey we call Life. Then on Holy Saturday much of the day is spent in silence preparing food for Easter Sunday and reflecting on Jesus descended to the dead and resting in the dark of the Tomb. Saturday evening began the joyful celebration of the Pascha (or Easter) Vigil starting at 7 and went until 11:00 with the lighting of the Easter Candle, reading of the scriptures from Genesis and Israel's release of bondage from Egypt, a reading from Job and then the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then into the new testament readings and on to the Gospel proclaiming the Risen Lord. During this liturgy the church is completely darkened and very solemn and by the end the chandelier of candles is swinging, people are chanting with utmost joy and Fr. David is dousing the whole chapel in fresh bay leaves and red rose petals. A few hours of sleep and then we all gathered before the break of dawn at 5:30 am Easter morning for a procession around the outside of the church and another beautiful liturgy that lasted 3 hours!
The parish is made up of about 70 people. All very devout families. The entire parish fast from all meat, dairy, oil, wine, fish for all of Lent and then do a total fast starting Thursday after dinner until Saturday late at night when the fast is started to be broken with bread, fruit, nuts and wine. The real feast is Sunday morning after liturgy where everyone brings amazing dishes of meat, eggs and cheese, for a big potluck! It is always a deep, beautiful and spiritual time to celebrate with this community. Feels kind of like we were participating back in the early church. Most of the traditions, hymns and chants are taken from the early church fathers St Basil, St. John Chrysostom and others.
After our days in Ukiah we headed out to the coast for Bright Week for a couple days and then stayed a couple nights in Napa Valley. We ate a ton and didn't get in any exercise except games of tag on the beach, but visited instead with a lot of friends and family.
Now it is back to decision time. We have to decide by Friday if we are going to move on our top prospective for the next phase of our life. Things are looking positive but nothing is for sure yet. If that doesn't happen we are looking at other options. Exciting times!
Christ is Risen!
After a mediocre start to the season on the National SuperTour Cross Country Ski Circuit Rebecca ratcheted up her performance to finish with a win against the best US Skiers including three of the five 2010 Olympians.
By Sharbel Dussault
March 29th, 2010
Yesterday, Rebecca put the hammer down to take the victory in the 5.3k hill climb at the final SuperTour races in Fort Kent, Maine. The victory in the hill climb made her the only woman to beat 2010 Olympian (3x) Kikkan Randall in 8 races on US soil! The best US Skiers as well as strong skiers from Sweden, Canada and Japan were out in force and all were fighting to finish the season with strong results. Vancouver Olympians Kikkan Randall, Holly Brooks and Caitlin Compton were a few of the top women present. Rebecca was excited to have a post-Olympic chance to race them.
Four races were contested in just five days. Early in the week she took second in the 30k Skate National Championship only 1.3 seconds behind Kikkan with two other 2010 Olympians on her heels. The last three races of the week made up a mini Tour de Ski where the times from each race were combined to tally overall results and crown a champion.
She began with a strong start and took 3rd in the 7.6k Classic mass start, coming across the line a little more than a second behind Ida Sargents and 30 seconds behind Kikkan. Next, was the Classic sprint race where she finished out of the final for the first time this year. After changing into marathon gear and having been sick for a couple weeks in February she had lost her really high end cardiovascular capacity and some strength. The Classic sprint is not her favorite and is the polar opposite of her strongest technique and distance so 8th was okay but a little disappointing.
The hill climb was the last of the three mini-tour races and Rebecca came into the day trailing Kikkan by 1 min. 30 sec. in the overall standings. Kikkan was on fire and was expected to win every race, even the final hill climb. At the hilltop finish in the Fort Kent stadium Rebecca came across the line with the fastest hill climb time of the day, 7 seconds faster than Kikkan. However In the overall picture Kikkan secured her sizable lead in the overall standings to take 1st overall in the mini-tour by 1min. 23. Rebecca fought hard to hold off the hard charging 2010 Olympian Holly Brooks to finish 2nd overall.
This wraps up yet another amazing season of racing, travels, ups, downs, disappointments and jubilations. Rebecca has traveled far and wide to compete. She doesn't do this for her own glory but rather for the glory of God and to support her family. She would not be doing this if it did not have a significant purpose.
Once again we thank you for being a part of the journey. We hope that through our lives and adventures you have been able to experience what it takes to be a champion in sport and in the spirit. The perseverance, hard work and sacrifice that go into Rebecca's training and racing is only part of her success. Her faith, values and ability to keep things in balance is the other side of her that makes her the great champion she is.
Our goals are not only for ourselves but hopefully through us you have been inspired to continue your lives with a vigor for hard work, discipline, joy, patience and love. We hope you have been educated a little more about cross country skiing, winter triathlon and endurance training but most all we hope that through our lives you are able to witness the love of Christ.
As St. Paul reminds us in 1st Corinthians 13.
"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
We look forward to sharing more of our lives in the coming months. You can always check in regularly to our website for updates and happenings.
P.S. Be sure to check out a new book that is turning heads and hearts.
Gimpy's Secret... It's what's missing!
“To live without faith, without a patrimony to defend, without a steady struggle for truth, that is not living, but merely existing; we must never just "exist".
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati
2010 Winter Results
9th 2010 West Yellowstone Classic Sprint SuperTour
4th 2010 Bozeman Skate Sprint SuperTour
3rd 2010 Bozeman 10k Classic SuperTour
3rd 2010 Silver Star 10k Skate NorAm
5th 2010 Silver Star Skate Sprint NorAm
2nd 2010 US National Championships Skate Sprint
6th 2010 US National Championships 10k Skate
4th 2010 US National Championships 20k Classic
5th 2010 US National Championships Classic Sprint
1st 2010 US National Winter Triathlon Championships
1st 2010 Minneapolis SuperTour 5k Skate
1st 2010 Minneapolis SuperTour 10k Classic
1st 2010 Telemark SuperTour 5k Classic
1st 2010 Telemark SuperTour 10k Skate
1st 2010 ITU Winter Triathlon World Championships
1st 2010 Madison SuperTour 6k Skate
1st 2010 Madison SuperTour Classic Sprint
1st 2010 American Birkebeiner 50k Skate
2nd 2010 30k Skate National Championship
3rd 2010 7.6k Classic Madawaska SuperTour
8th 2010 Classic Sprint Madawaska SuperTour
1st 2010 Skate Hill Climb Fort Kent SuperTour
2nd 2010 Overall SuperTour de Ski
1st 2010 Overall SuperTour
Today Rebecca put the hammer down to take the victory in the 5.3k hill climb in Fort Kent, Maine. It was the last race of the mini-tour in which she placed 2nd overall. It was also the last SuperTour race of the season. She beat 2010 Olympians Kikkan Randall, Holly Brooks and Caitlin Compton. The victory also made her the only women to beat Kikkan all season here in the USA! Way to go honey! We love you! You had an amazing season!
This morning Rebecca dug deep and fought hard to stay ahead of the chasing Holly Brooks (2010 Olympian) who started 12 seconds behind and Kristina Strandberg (Sweden) in the 5.3k Hill Climb. She also gained on the 1:30 lead that Kikkan started with. Waiting to see the final results to see if Rebecca is the Hill Climb winner! Couldn’t ask for a better way to finish out the season!