Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Home Sweet Home


If you have been around here long, you know that our last move in January was our 4th in about 4 years. Nuts eh? I don't disagree. One thing moving often will teach you, is that this is literally not our home. We have learned to let go of much and not to be too picky. It is easy to think my home needs to be a certain way to be content. I have learned to make any place a home where we can rest, relax, learn and grow as a family.

Each time we move the practical aspects of making a welcoming home looks different. It always takes us time to settle in and create new routines and habits in our new space. For example, this current house has a huge laundry space, where our last house had a tiny one. So my laundry routine completely changed here.

In my last house I washed a load a day in the evening and dried it...then folded it in the morning and put it away. I had to stay on top of that or it was laundry volcano in our house. There wasn't a huge amount of space to pile laundry. Not that piling is good but needed at times :o)

This house has a huge space so I can do things a little different. And for the record, putting laundry away is my least favorite task in my entire household. So you must understand my search for a resolution to this little problem. My two oldest children are very able to put away their own clothes which they did do in the old house but sporadically.

I came across a post by Amy at Raising Arrows and found my solution. Though I tweaked it a bit to fit our space and existing containers.....it turned out great for us.




I already had these stackable colored baskets. Each child has a specific color and then a regular laundry basket for our clothes and linens. I put these on top of our freezer in our laundry mudroom area. I fold through at the day as I can and simply put the clothes in their basket. Each morning after breakfast they check their basket for clothes. If it has anything in it then they put it away. If I haven't gotten to folding laundry they get a free day. I love it because it gives me more flexibility and one less task. I usually have my older son bring the babies basket up and I put it away while the boys get dressed. Other times my daughter will do it for me.

It really works well for us. I am especially enjoying the extra space.

Happy Folding! (because we all know the mound never ends)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sixty Seconds on Tuesday

I have started reading a new blog called Just A Minute.

She is hosting Sixty Seconds on Tuesday as an opportunity to remember those precious little moments in our day.

I love this idea because we build into our children's life one minute at a time.

Each and everyone of them count.




Joining in with learning time.

Eli is fascinated by the abacus.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Peek in My Window


What's Happening Today


Today is pretty ordinary. School, lunch, laundry, books and diapers. In between all the ordinary some really neat things happened.


I watched my son pet the neighbours dog. To most that is no biggy but around here.....we are contemplating a party of some sorts. Isaac has been terrified of dogs since he was charged by a (friendly) dog at three years old. At three, a big furry animal running full force at you looks the same no matter if his tail is wagging or not. Since, my boy has never been the same. This dog he pet today also barks occasionally. My son refuses to go out our back door due to this dog barking. He goes out the front door and around the house to the back. So now do you see why approaching this dog (big rottweiler) was nothing short of a miracle. Let's hope this does the trick and I can stop having muddy shoes come through my front door.


Starting tomorrow morning I have my winter (little late) weekend to think through learning for our family. Due to the move it was postponed till spring. The kids and dad are off to the island for the weekend while I hold down the fort....or rather organize and simplify the fort :o)


On My Mind


Where to start? So thinking on relationships and how little time there is for them. We have so many activities, even in the church, that suck all our time. We then have no time to simply be with people, to be purposeful in our relating. How can we love on purpose when we have to whip out our blackberry to check and see if we have the time for it.


Evaluating so much in my relationships and time giving to others. I am finding if I commit to every thing I could do with my church then there is not time left over. And attending meetings with people isn't the same as real fellowship and building. Our church is particularly good at not doing to many things yet I still find that tension.


Maybe it's me? I like slow. I like beauty that can actually be appreciated and savored....not accomplished or managed. I am finding more and more that much of that beauty is people themselves and their stories. People are the eternal things of this world and that's where I want to invest. There was a time I didn't see this clearly.


I am working fiercely at this in my own home right now.


Also on my mind.....my middle boy and the many things he faces daily. Wondering if we are doing the right things for him.



I'm Reading


Uprooting Anger Robert D. Jones


The NeverEnding Story by Michael Ende


Swiss Family Robinson (with my kids)


Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh Demoss


The Bite of the Mango by Mariatu Kamara




I'm Making


Not a whole lot right now. Still slowly getting settled from our move.




I'm Listening To


My kids play farm Playmobile.


The neighbours dog bark.


The click of the keyboard


My fav CD right now is Come Weary Saints



I'm Grateful For


For the whip, the nails, the crown of thorns....the substitutionary death on my behalf.

He endured so much so I could go free.....there is NOTHING that compares to that.


For Easter..... and the conversations our devotions surrounding it have created. I still don't understand why Christmas is bigger then Easter. I seriously feel like having a big party on Easter.


My family and all that means.


That I don't receive what my sins deserve.




I'm in Faith For


Wisdom for my son and his many struggles.


This road to health I am on




The Gospel In Today


It's everywhere.


The patients of one child to another. The grace extended when justice was easily justified.


The beauty of personality which reflects the creator .


The humble response of a child


The eagerness for truth in the midst of sin


All made possible by The Death that killed death for me and you.




Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday



Doesn't take long for a boy to get the hang
of a Whoopee Cushion.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Simple Things

91. Baby wrestling


92. Big sister love


93. Little baby boy noises


94. Big boy story time before bed


95. Big sloppy goodnight kisses between brothers


96. Infectious laughter from my middle man....who loves to laugh


97. Baby peekaboo


98. Baby snuggles after nap time




99. The many faces of my little man

100. New digital camera to capture it all




holy experience

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Stinky Dilemma

If you remember I did a diaper trial last year. I never really followed up about the diapers we decided to buy.

I bought 15 Fuzzi Bunz One Size and then received two free due to a promotion. They are apple green, periwinkle and the last two free ones are primary yellow. Being the frugal person I am, I wanted them to work for a boy or girl if I needed to resale them.

These diapers were the easiest to use and easiest to clean. Being pockets they separate prior to wash and dry. I hang the outer and then dry the liners in the dryer. Though you can dry the outer cover they will last longer and the elastic will wear slower if they aren't dried. That said, I have dried a few times due to being in a rush.

We have run into a few hiccups with these though. Well, hiccup is a kind word...more like a volcano. My little sweet adorable baby is a pee and poo machine. He has needed both liners from the beginning and he was barely one year old. He wouldn't go longer then 90 minutes without being soaked through with only one liner. So what happens a year from now? They are supposed to go from birth to potty training. I am thinking that they may not be enough if he needed both liners at one year. I tried them through the night and that didn't work either. I have friends who use them through the night and they are fine. I truly think my son is special in the pee department. We tried a size 6 Huggies at night....soaked through. We are now onto size 4 Over Nights and most nights he wakes soaked. They only go up to size 5 so we are in trouble. I am tired of changing sleeper, onsie's and sheets almost everyday.

Then there is the the poo side. This child is like a bowel volcano. Sorry, probably too much
information. FB claims their diapers are practically leak free and that it rolls off into the toilet. Well, not in my house. Nothing rolls anywhere related to a diaper around here. I have trying to decide if I should sell my cloth diapers and just go with disposables. I clothed my older two with fitted cotton diapers and covers. I love cloth diapering but this has gotten a little out of hand.

Does anyone else use Fuzzi Bunz and have similar problems?

I am assuming I would have this problem in any cloth diaper....any suggestions?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Little Boy Named Aaron

My dear friend Cara shared this week about her Aunt and Uncle who are trying to bring home a little boy named Aaron form an orphanage in Eastern Europe.

There story is testimony of God at work in their lives and little Aaron's. Don't all children deserve someone to tuck them in at night?

Please go read their story, this little boy's story and consider helping if you can. Their idea of the 500 piece puzzle is really a creative idea.

Pray the doors are opened and quickly. After these children, who are all special needs, turn 5 yrs old they are moved from the orphanage to a mental institution. Not the place for any young child.



Grab This Button

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Part of Heaven on Earth


I have been thinking much on the blessing of my local church. What our family gains from our involvement is literally life saving. I have also been thinking much on heaven lately. When Jesus returns and ALL things are new. One of the recognizable parts of the old earth I believe we will have is our relationships. Not exactly as we knew them now but still recognizable. As I look around my church on a Sunday I often think about how this room full of people are my little part of heaven on earth. These people, these relationships are eternal, they will not pass away as will all the temporary things that consume our time here on earth.


This week I am grateful for these people, these relationships, this building we do with each other that will never end nor parish.


81. My pastors and their families who give their lives to serve us.

82. For gospel centered truth that is preached every week. The commitment to that is a blessing to our family and marriage.

83. For my individual friends and relationships that in detail love, care and have carried me through some very difficult times. (Hi Ladies)

84. The commitment to grow in real biblical fellowship.

85. For the encouragement and correction

86. For the patience and perspective

87. For the cross centered worship

88. For the great discussions

89. For the joy and laughter

90. For the sorrow and suffering


This is an eternal community and that gives me great joy!


P.S. Realized I have very few pictures of my friends in groups...what's up with that?
Most of them I don't have a picture at all....will have to remedy that.




holy experience

Sunday, March 14, 2010

As you know I been following Kristin's trip to Africa with Compassion. This post speaks so much of what I struggle with at times. Once you return you are never the same. You see life so differently.

She said

"I may be out of Africa but it will never be out of me"

It is well worth reading.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Map Continued

I should first start off by saying that it's not as if I think I have anything to offer Africa. It's just been there for much of my life.....this ache to go. Nor do I think that my neighbour across the street needs the gospel less then those overseas or that the higher calling is that of a missionary.

I do however know that our culture and abundant life style dulls us to how the rest of the world lives. We are the minority when it comes to the standard of living. Even our poor are much more rich then the poor in countries like Haiti, most of Africa and Asia.

I have been thinking about that map and the seed God planted because I feel lulled into passivity at times. I feel abundance sucking me into this chasm of self focus. I know of no plans to go to Africa any time soon (anything is possible). But it is making me think about where I AM right now. Where am I passing someone by who is in need because I'm busy or rushing to the next event. Is my life too crowded with stuff? Not just things like new counter tops or furniture but preoccupation with myself. Thinking of my own pleasure, hobbies and time. Where have I been convinced that my time is mine, my money belongs to me and that I order my steps?

I find my North American culture harder to navigate at times then living in a third world country. The needs are so obvious there and life is simple. You work to survive instead of survive to work. I get so distracted.

Don't see this as a criticism but an opportunity. I have heard time and time again that we shouldn't feel guilty for living in a blessed country. I agree just as long as we also believe we were given this lot by grace alone and what we are given is not our won. Though we can work hard for a good life in North America we certainly didn't have a thing to do with where we were born......and honestly that's half the battle when it comes to earthly means.

I have been following this blog lately and her trip to Africa with Compassion. This particular post impacted me greatly. It is good for us to see these stories and realize we have so much given to us that we did not earn. Also how a little makes such a difference. What these kids overcome is truly amazing. And I am not promoting Compassion for any other reason except that I love them. They are simply doing what needs doing.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Options


Seek to cultivate a buoyant, joyous sense of the crowded kindnesses of God in your daily life.


Alexander Maclaren




71. The choice of where I live


72. The many options to buy nutritious food


73. Clean drinking water


74. Warm clothes to wear


75. A warm and cozy home to lay my head with all the modern conveniences.


76. Safe places for my children to play


77. A doctor whenever my kids are sick.


78. The money to buy what I need and want.


79. My own personal transportation.


80. The freedom to my own opinion without fear of punishment.




holy experience

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Map

I have had a heart for Africa since I can remember. As a child one entire wall of my living room was a wall papered world map. I loved to sit and find my way around the world. I remember as a child wanting to adopt a child from every continent in the world. It was mostly influenced by that map. I also believe that map was a seed God planted in my heart for missions overseas. I wasn't a Christian then but it was the start of something.

In my early twenties I took off to YWAM wanting to serve God and in some ways get away. My dream was to go to Africa. I was turned down for the now African Mercy (Mercy Ships) due to a full school and decided to go to the Caribbean instead. My first failed attempt. There were two other attempts at going to Africa, the last being prior to coming to Canada. My husband and I were on a team to go to Mauritania in North West Africa. It's along story for another time.

This all was recently brought back as I was unpacking. I found pictures of the village I lived and worked in while in the Dominican Republic. The orphanages I worked at in Haiti and the Christmas I spent there. That dream of Africa seems so forgotten.

That me, that wanted to live in a grass hut, give up the comforts of home and reach people who had never heard about Jesus. I wanted to go to people who had nothing and give them basics in Jesus name in order to open doors to the greatest need mankind has....to be rescued.

Where has that person gone?

(to be continued...screaming baby calls)

Monday, March 01, 2010

House and Towers

65. First ever baby block towers.
This is Eli's new thing. Build a little, chew a little.

66. Our new (to us) house.

67. Big yard with space for a garden

68. Seeing a tree out of every window.





69. Massive deck with baby gate for Eli.

70. Tons of space to move, learn and be together.







holy experience