Monday, 31 December 2012

I have been loving watching the children with their Christmas presents. Everything they got seemed to work together with the theme that I chose in my own presents for them: something to help each of them learn and grow in some way. For Gabe, it was spiritually. For James, it was motor skills. For Grace and Jane, it was learning to help and take care of things. Of course, they got several 'just for fun' gifts, too. 
Gabe has been voluntarily reading his new Bible that we got him. It is a neat kids Bible, with big words and pictures. The pictures match the Bible storybook that he reads aloud for Language Arts in school, so he really enjoys finding those stories in the Bible. He also loves listening to the Patch the Pirate music and his Adventures in Odyssey cds while he is going to sleep. His theme for his whole year, it seems, is learning manliness through godly heroes and character building. It is posted all over our school wall. And his Christmas presents go right along. The Odyssey series is "Heroes", his Jesus coloring book is about Good Manners; his Jesus pencil says, "Jesus is my Hero!"....get the picture? :) Since turning 8, he has started becoming more responsible. He has gotten his own room, started doing his own laundry, has had to learn to be responsible for remembering his own personal property through trial and error. He is very proud of his new Bible; it has seemed to spark a new interest in growing with God.
James is fun to watch with his  new toys. He picks a costume for Larry the Cucumber (Veggie Tales), and then sets Larry somewhere. Yesterday he was a cowboy and he set him by the barn for the horses. He plays in his imaginary world with his road building set, or with his big diesel car -loader, or has conversations between his tiny animals. :) His new favorite movie is Free Willy, which he watches over and over. He also meticulously keeps his new toys in his new room and keeps the girls OUT. And when they come in, that's how he says it to them..OUT! While teaching him to 'walk in love'(Ephesians 5:2)LOL, we are trying to teach the girls to respect his space, which he keeps so neat. :)
And those girls!-what fun they are to watch with all of their new 'housekeeping' items....a Minnie Mouse vacuum that 'turns on' when they 'help' vacuum, dolly strollers, dolly beds&blankets, new dollies, 'groceries' for their little kitchen, etc. I walked around the corner last week and found Gracie vacuuming with her little vacuum right next to Daddy with his:it was too sweet. And Janie and  I put her groceries away in her fridge. They rock their babies and put them to bed and take them on walks. I hung up their little clothesline this morning and they 'did laundry'. It is hilarious to watch them put their purses over their arms, step into their princess high heels, and clomp around the kitchen pushing their baby strollers!
Well, I've got to help Gabe with the rest of his schoolwork, get the venison roast out of the oven for dinner, and get everyone ready for a special church service this evening. Have a Happy New Year one and all!

Friday, 28 December 2012

James, imparting spiritual wisdom to his little sister while decorating cookies: "What does Dod(God) say?"...speaking very slowly, as to a small child "Obey your pawents in the Woird cause dis is RIGHT! Otay?"

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Wow, where to start? Lots of different things to share...maybe I should do my random thought list. 
~To finish up  my description of our Christmas day, I'll finish up that thought first. You know how with small children there is the initial craziness of Christmas morning and everyone's opening presents all at once, mixing paper with gifts, and you can't keep track of who got what from whom? Well, I was hoping to avoid that this year. Also, as the Mommy, I felt this invisible pressure to be everywhere at once: keeping track of presents so we could write thank you notes, getting the big crepe breakfast ready, getting Christmas dinner ready, somewhere in there getting myself ready! Like I was responsible for making sure 'Christmas' went smoothly. Sound familiar, moms? :) Then my husband had a wonderful idea! Why rush? Why not spread  Christmas out all day instead of getting the fever pitch excitement over with and then sitting around twiddling our thumbs all day? So that's what we did. We took the time to ENJOY the opening of the stockings. And that's it. The kids spent the next hour playing with those small items instead of rushing on to the next thing. While I made our lovely Christmas tradition of breakfast berry crepes with whipped cream. We waited until after breakfast to open presents. But before presents, we 'did' the story of Baby Jesus. It's so important to us to make sure HE comes first on HIS birthday. The children gathered around our Little People Nativity set. I gave them each a 'character' in the story to hold. As I told the story, our characters helped act out the story, with the kids' doing the acting and helping tell it. Then we sang 'Away in the Manger' and 'Happy Birthday' to Jesus. And then each of the kids prayed to tell God thank you for His present to us, Jesus, Who will wash our sins away and show us how to be good like Him. Then, they sat quietly and listened as Daddy read the Christmas story straight from the Bible, Luke Chapter 2. The kids' version brings it down to their level, but God's version from His Word is the best of all.  THEN....the presents! You can imagine the hubbub and excitement of that. Somehow, amid it all, we managed to save our living room. Four big bags of garbage were thrown out the back door to the garbage bin, lol. :) The rest of the day was quiet and lovely while we rested (after all, Mommies and Daddies put a lot of work into Christmas Day, sometimes even staying up late finishing last minute projects!) and the kids played with their new toys. And you know what? We were too tired to do Christmas Dinner that day. So we did it the next day. And today we cut out and decorated those gingerbread cookies that we mixed up in those pictures from a recent post. And tomorrow, I'll finally get around to making the lemon meringue pie that was supposed to go with Christmas dinner, but we were all too full and I was too tired to make. So, we have successfully spread "Christmas" out over four days! 
Well, now that I got my first random thought written out, I've decided to postpone the rest of my random thoughts until later. Like Christmas, I'm spreading this post out...:D

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

It has been a beautiful Christmas! Though, really, ours is not over yet. For one thing, this whole week feels like Christmas because Richard is off. This is by far the most relaxed Christmas we've had since we got married. We were more prepared. Also, we are out of the baby stage, so the kids are all more aware of what Christmas is. Their level of excitement made it that much more fun planning Christmas for them. Another reason the holiday is not over yet is because we haven't had our Christmas dinner yet. :) We were simply too busy and too tired. 
I have inadvertently established a sort of tradition of making a big Christmas breakfast of berry crepes with whipped cream, simply because that is what my husband requests every year. He was looking forward to that more this morning than any present opening. He remarked, "Every year I find myself looking forward more to the food than to the presents!"  Well, by the time I got the breakfast made and we opened presents, I was tired. Done. I went to bed. And, though everyone was hungry by late afternoon, we just didn't feel like the big ordeal of a huge meal all over again. I was running out of time to lay everything out, so we just postponed it. We ate box noodles for dinner! :D It will be so much nicer tomorrow, though.  
We will have time to enjoy it at a decent time of day when we have big appetites. 
I will post more tomorrow about our fun day with the kids, because Richard is waiting on me to go watch a movie. 

Monday, 24 December 2012

Yay! I figured out how to put pictures on my blog! These are of the kids and I making gingerbread last on Friday. I let them do as much of it as possible, because I remember being little and wanting so badly to 'help'. The only thing I reserved for myself was the mixing of the spices, or else we would have nasty gingerbread. You don't want to mess up those proportions!  But I even let James crack the eggs. We had a hard time getting started because the bowl kept walking away...on Jane's head! I gave each child a whisk and let them stir often. Of course the three youngest immediately tried to eat the shortening/sugar mixture...yuk. Jane began to cry when she got her tongue stuck in her whisk. I laughed and took a's the one where she's showing me her owie tongue. The second picture above was just too precious...Daddy reading his Bible while rocking Baby Jane. She looks so happy to be snuggled in with Daddy. :)I'm blessed to have a husband who leads our family with God's Word. 
Well, we're off to the Christmas Eve service at church with caroling afterwards. Looking forward to spending Christmas Eve with our church family, who truly do feel like family. But until the time to go, I'm going to sit here a few minutes longer and put the final stitches on Grace and Jane's layette for their baby dolls. :)Merry Christmas Eve!

Friday, 21 December 2012

"Deck the Halls with boughs of holly, Fa la la la la la la la la!"
Yeah! It's finally Christmastime! This is going to be a fun year; I can feel it. All the babies are bigger this year. In fact, really, they're not babies at all anymore.  I have a preschooler and two toddlers. And, boy, are all four of the kids excited for Christmas! Gracie has already unwrapped one of her presents, which I rewrapped behind her back and stuck back under the tree. She didn't know who it was from or that it was for her. And the girls have raided the stockings once when Richard and I accidentally left them all sitting in the rocking chair waiting to be hung up. Each girl is now minus a piece of candy that they stole and ate! And, of course I knew when I hung the candy canes on the tree a couple days ago that the babies would have a heyday with that. And they did. There are a couple broken ones that I repossessed and hid in a Christmas tin for later.  And one still hanging on the tree with a shorter hook than normal. It's our handicapped candy cane, lol. 
Due to our late start in the school  year, we had to continue school all the way up to today and, depending on what Daddy decrees next week, we may have to resume the day after Christmas. Or, he may say 'forget it' and we'll start when he returns to work the following week. At any rate, we eagerly finished up the week's work this afternoon. One very excited little boy busted out of here the  minute I said "Dismissed", much to my amusement. But I was as excited as he was. :) 
I am making sure to get my house shining clean this evening so I can have it nice for Christmas week. I want to start out right. I just finished the kitchen. The rest will come after the kids go to bed, because you know, as they say, trying to clean house with kids is like shoveling snow while it is still snowing! :)  Thankfully, the house didn't get too bad this week and will require minimal straightening. 
I am enjoying a few moments of quiet right now, as the kids are all upstairs hanging out with Daddy, my dishwasher is quietly humming, and it is not quite bedtime. I'm gonna let them stay up a bit longer tonight to enjoy time with their daddy.  But, after they're in bed--THEN I am going to have FUN! 
1. Set out supplies & ingredients for making gingerbread men with the kids tomorrow morning. 
2. Finish sewing Gabriel's sailor bedroom curtains.
3. Cut out and hem up the pink and white fleece dolly blankets for the girls, as well as the pillows and little quilts. It is finish up work for them tonight. I can't wait to lay it all out to see! I feel like I'm playing with my "dollies", making nice, tiny things for Grace and Jane. :)
4. Have a ball finishing up Christmas card making at my desk. 
5. Finish coloring the Disney Princess posters I'm having laminated for the girls' room.
6. Finally getting the chance to paint my Christmas ornaments for my tree. I hope to have them on the tree tomorrow evening. 
OH! and,
7. I better practice my song for Sunday! :) "Mary, Did You Know?" is what I'm going to attempt to sing. My voice is still suffering a tad from the larygitis I had awhile back. It takes me forever to completely recover. 
Well, I am not sure what else to write at this moment and the kids are wanting a bedtime snack. They ran off all their dinner playing out in the garage after supper. :) I will try to update over the next week. I'm not sure how busy it will be. Richard has the entire week off-hallelujah! :) So if I don't get back here till after New Year---"Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!" from Richard, Rachel, Gabriel, James, Grace, and Jane "Peace on earth, goodwill to men!"

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Ahhh! Exhilaration, a breath of fresh air! We went to Gabriel's Calgary Children's Choir Christmas Program this evening. I am SO impressed! (I am squealing with excitement here) That is what a Christmas program should be like. I left relaxed, with a smile on my face. A couple of times it even brought me to tears. Those children can SING! They are learning to sing properly and classically. We were able to see the entire group of choristers, from itty bitty age four all the way up to high school graduates. I could see firsthand what Gabriel has to look forward to, and I was pleased. They never wavered from tasteful, classic music. And, what I loved most of all about the program--they left Jesus in Christmas! They weren't trying to be all politically correct. These innocent voices were allowed to sing out, "Jesus, born to live, born to die!" It was so beautiful to go to a Christmas concert with Christ included and to leave praising Him in my heart. It was not even a Christian function.
That said, Gabriel, in his formal choir uniform with a black vest and red bow tie, was adorable! I just wanted to eat him up. He's 8 years old, but he looked so small up there! Watching his face, I could see which songs he really knew well and liked a lot, because his face would light up and his body came alive with the music. He seems to genuinely enjoy his friends and music at choir. It is worth every penny.
So, that was Gabriel's big event this week. James and I had a day together this week as well. His Christmas program is not until next week, but this Thursday was his day to bring snack. His snack day is also my volunteer day, and his day to be Teacher's Helper and bring something for Show and Tell. It's like, "Feature James" day. I love how they give each child this opportunity to be special. And going along with him gave me a chance to watch how he learns and is behaving. I kept in the background; they gave me the fun job of putting up a new bulletin board-right up my alley. :) But I watched as James moved from station to station in his preschool room....corraling tiny horses inside a fence in the sand table.....donning a smock to paint a picture at the easel.....joining the girls to comb all the dolls hair, too funny and cute......interacting with his teacher as she helped him make a Christmas card. As a hands-on Mommy, I like to see firsthand the activities of my children.....though in this instance I'm handing the 'hands-on' part over to his preschool teacher. But I got to see how he's doing for myself, which made me feel good. :) James took his 'duties' very seriously. He got to be the head of the line and pick the colors for their game. He got to help pass out the snack he brought. At storytime, he got to sit up in a special chair right by his teacher(the one he has a crush on, lol!). She let him do the counting for the calendar and put the next day up on the board. And then he got to Show and Tell. He was so cute. One guess what he brought---um, yes, his Calgary Flames hockey stick and Daddy's special puck! :D That is James for you. Of course he had to show all his friends how he can play hockey. I could see his teacher suck in her breath anxiously as she cautioned him, "Be careful not to hit anybody!"....but even I was surprised how controlled his stick handling was, never even coming close to the kids in the front row. I had to laugh when she asked him whose team that was on the stick. He didn't say "Calgary Flames"-he said, "That's my daddy's team!-mine and my daddy's and my brudda's!"
Well, it is an early Sunday morning and I have oatmeal to make, clothes to iron, and a family to get ready. Have a blessed Lord's Day!

Monday, 3 December 2012

James announced joyfully this morning, "It's TODAY today!" which made me laugh and set a nice tone for the day. He's a hoot. :)
Yeah! Gabriel and I finally finished our first reading book for school. I thought we'd never get through it, due to time and circumstances. It was a mystery/adventure about the famous Blue Grotto on the Island of Capri. To celebrate the discovery of the mysterious cove and the completion of the book, we did an art project. We made posters illustrating the book. They turned out nicely, if I do say so myself. 
We are all waiting for the hot dogs to get done. We are all waiting for Richard to get home. I am waiting for the kids to go to bed so I can clean up my house. It was our first day back to a normal week of school today. I'm afraid I was not as organized as I should have been. Not to mention I stayed up too late preparing for today, only to be so tired today that I was out of energy. So the babies got ahead of me and now I have much to clean up. This was one of those days where all the hair pretties got dumped in the sink, clogging it up. The sugar jar was raided; hence the babies are in need of baths. Toys were dumped. Crayons were spilled. Baby powder squeezed all over(I'm afraid to go look in my room where the crime was committed!). That kind of a day. 
On a lighter note, there's eggnog. And the sun came out today. And the kids had fun playing outside this morning. And I made 13 boiled eggs with colorful happy faces for a fun lunch. Is boiled eggs and eggnog for lunch bad for cholesterol when the recipients are 8 and under? :) It was just what we felt like eating. 
Richard is tinting his new baby, his brand new Orlando, which he bought last Friday. Our poor friend, the Alero, gave up the ghost at long last. It's crippled remains are parked in the deserted lot behind CMP, where it faithfully transported Richard for 7 long years. Goodbye-you were a good little car!
Well, I need to go get those babies into the bath. The hot dogs got done and eaten and the babies are ready for bed now. Tootaloo! 

Saturday, 1 December 2012

So I haven't posted in awhile because I have had a lovely week enjoying my mother's visit. We had mom/daughter time with a girls day out for lunch, pedicures, and a bit of shopping. We had grandma time, reading stories, setting up the Christmas tree, and some early presents. We had a Thanksgiving dinner Monday night and ate ourselves silly. I was so sad to see her go back home on Wednesday. Come again, soon, Mom! 
So Richard and I have given up. When someone tells us we should 'come to this thing' or 'come see this great show!', if that person is not a Christian, then the event is almost always going to be uncomfortable to us as Christians. Even work banquets end up being uncomfy and we leave early; we're not even going this year. Last night, we got a babysitter and were going to have a date to see what WE 
thought was a nice little concert at the high school featuring two pianists playing duets. Um, not so. They had the place set up like a Las Vegas showroom and the pianists were playing and singing raunchy songs with such distasteful jokes that we were incredibly uncomfortable. We literally walked in, sat down for five minutes, got back up and walked back out. It wasn't worth ruining our testimony to sit there uncomfortably; there's no reason for us to endure the world's junk. So we went and found a cozy coffee shop. Sitting there snuggled next to my husband on the couch drinking a chai tea eggnog latte was WAY more relaxing. And then I got to go watch him play hockey; he scored two goals for me-way to go, Richard! Then we found an empty parking lot and I got my first lesson in driving a stick-shift. I think I made him nervous, lol! Goodness, I made MYSELF nervous! :D

Janie made me laugh with a new word-I was trying to get her dressed from her bath, but she kept clinging to me like a baby orangutan, shivering, & saying, "I colding! I colding!"---as opposed to 'freezing', she's 'colding'. :) On that funny note, I'd better go get these babies ready for the church banquet this afternoon. Do I dress them up, or dress them in practical bibs from head to toe in light of the mess they are about to go make eating that big dinner...hmmm, there's a thought. :)

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Mom's here!!! Three of my kids have never seen her that they remember, so they looked her over for awhile. But within an hour, they were holding her hand and showing off to "Dawma". :) We had a nice dinner out this evening. With Richard gone, I didn't feel like starting dinner at 7pm, making a big mess, and having to clean it up that late. So we let someone else cook, wait on us, and clean it up-good plan! Well, I'm tuckered and have a huge day tomorrow, so I best get some sleep myself.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Thursday was Thanksgiving for my American family and friends. I did not celebrate Thursday in the traditional way as they did, since it was just another day in Canada. However, many things throughout that day caused me to be very grateful to God. They are as follows.
I am thankful that:

Thursday went smoothly on four hours of sleep,
I found my way to my downtown destination with no problem,
I found a parking spot right away,
God supplied the three toonies I needed for the parking meter's minimum requirement,
My kids behaved in the government building,
The elevator was not see-through up to the 11th floor, but securely closed in for my fear of heights,
I made it to every appointment that day in enough time,
I accomplished even the difficult errands with children,
God provided me with a patient spirit, even during the trying moments,
God supplied the necessary funds for the day's needs and activities,
I have a husband who listens to God, Who is listening to my prayers, Who tells my husband to leave those two toonies on the dresser for me, because He knows I will need them later that day for that parking meter mentioned above. Going downtown in a big city with one way streets, accompanied by four small children, hoping to find the destination, a parking spot, and enough change for the meter....that is a big undertaking on four hours of sleep! Thank you, God, for caring about those little things for me so I don't fall apart in exhaustion!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Come peek into my window and see some scenes from my house: here are some blips from the last couple of days.
Mommy Octopus: 2 tentacles-washing dishes; 2 tentacles-dressing babies; 2 tentacles-straightening floor; 2 tentacles-giving a spelling test and a math drill. You know what? Tentacles sounds ominous...I shall change it to "arms". Mommy "arms" sounds much more loving than Mommy "tentacles", lol! But, seriously, I wonder why octupi were bestowed with 8 arms and not Mommies. Look at that, I made a dangling looks like I said, Why were octupi given 8 arms and not 8 mommies? :D But you know what I meant to say.

 I did not realize until I went how much I needed a Ladies Night Out! Dinner, then Bible study, then coffeetime after...I came home feeling refreshed! Thank you, Lord, for Christian ladies-friends!-to fellowship with!
Being home with my children is a privilege I don't take lightly. On a lighter note, however, :) when I was leaving Tim Hortons at 11:00 last night, I was thinking with relief that I had the option of sleeping in this morning. One lady had babysitting kids arriving early. Two others had to be up bright and early for work (I do NOT miss those days!). I was relieved that I didn't have to be up for anything
 this morning or go anywhere today. Fast-forward to 2 a.m.: two little girls who think it is morning, wide awake for 30 minutes. Fast-forward again to 6:40 a.m.: two little girls who realize it IS morning, hooray for them! Breakfast time! Playtime! Um, girls? There is this little thing called SLEEP that Mommy is not quite ready to relinquish.....snore...
 Baby Jane's all snuggled up in her beddie-bye. Big boy James who voluntarily did six whole pages of preschool worksheets is all tuckered out on his big orange pillow on the couch covered up with my coat. Gabriel is impressively coloring a frameable picture of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Gracie is coloring Hello Kitty at her little table with the new colored pencils. My house is clean and quiet
. The teakettle is on. Dinner is in the oven. There's a clean, fresh snow blanketing the world. And Beethoven is creating a calm, mellow atmosphere. Just right for storytime, which is the next thing in my plans. So, to take my cup of tea and settle in my rocking chair for a good hour of reading the mystery Gabriel and I are making our way through.
 Brrrr! Boy am I glad Richard told us to stay home tonight! He said I shouldn't be bringing the kids out in this cold. I hadn't stepped foot outside this evening until a few minutes ago when the cooped up kids were begging to go outside. Against my first(and better) judgment, I agreed for only long enough to take a tiny walk 1/2 block to check our mailbox. Seriously, only about six houses long. By
the time we got to the mailbox, I realized it is frostbite freezing out there! Painfully cold. The trip back up our alley was miserable and the kids are now in a warm bath. I thought I had them bundled up well enough, but that air gets in all the nooks and's freezing out there! They asked to go out, but they were all crying by the time we got back home. You'd have thought we were at the north pole the way they carried on. But with good reason. Definitely a wise choice to stay indoors with little ones this evening. Thank you, Richard!
And, last but most definitely not least....
With four children, it is sometimes a balancing act to find individual time with each one. Sometimes, a moment is handed to you and you grasp it by its fleeting tail. Such as this morning, when the older three chose to go upstairs and watch cartoons. Which left Baby Jane happily downstairs with Mama all to herself. It blessed my heart when she grabbed my little white Bible and said, "Bible?" I asked her, "Do you want me to read it to you?" She nodded happily. We climbed onto the couch and with a great show of an exciting discovery I pointed out "her" verses....little repetitive snatches that I am trying to imprint on her heart: "Be ye kind one to another" "Walk in love" "Be ye thankful" and "Children, obey your parents" I talked to her for her two minute attention span, then prayed a tiny prayer with her. Then, while I finished my own devotions, she occupied herself quietly on the floor by pulling the papers off all her crayons. She was happy, I was happy. :)

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

1. I have a zoingy little feeling in my elbow that is making two of my fingers numb, so let's hope I can type properly. :)
2. It is amazing how extremely fast I can work under pressure-WHY I'm not able to replicate this at all times is beyond me. At any rate, I'm glad to have accomplished what I did today when I knew that company was going to be here in less than half an hour. 
 3. It is not the ideal situation to have the pizza man arrive ten minutes before schedule when you've just stepped out of the shower and he walks in the front door and yells up the stairs, "Pizza man!" It leaves you feeling rather disconcerted. Thank goodness for an 8 year old son who can cover for me. Gabe took the pizza & pop, paid the pizza man, and answered the phone all at the same time. What would I do without him?
4.  I greatly enjoyed observing my two tiny girls playing together, a game of "pretend" in the grown-up world. They can both talk now, imitating snatches of phrases they hear big people use. Both girls are wonderful little mommies, taking the greatest care of their baby dolls. They were playing in their little kitchen, which is in my big kitchen. I had made them each a hot chocolate, but put Gracie's in my Mommy-sized Tim Hortons mocha cup. She felt very mature with her "coffee", as she parented her dolly with such responsibility. Grace and Jane were having adult conversation over their drinks as I cleaned the kitchen around them. Then I needed to mop. I asked them with the greatest of respect if I could set their little chairs against the wall. "It can be Tim Hortons! Would you and Jane-Jane like to take your daughters for coffee?" Enthusiastic about this new game, they eagerly, and seriously, brought their daughters to "Timmy's". And they sat there for the next 20 minutes while I mopped-I couldn't believe it! They bring such joy to my heart. I love teaching them how to be good girls, housekeepers, mommies, women(it's all playacting now, but they are adopting ideals without knowing it) on their level with their miniature versions of real life. 
5. I had a wonderful Ladies Nite Out! I did not know how badly I needed one until I went. L. and I went for dinner before heading to Ladies Bible Study. The chicken nuggets at Chicken Cottage are to die for! The Bible Study was encouraging, refreshing, thought-provoking....Thank you, God, for godly ladies to fellowship with. But it didn't stop there. Four of us just didn't want it to end, so we went to Tim Horton's (see why my little girls find it so easy to imitate Mommy in this? lol) for further fellowship. Another two hours of 'lady talk'. Our children, funny experiences, our husbands(in a good way! :D), the Bible as applies to raising our children and encouraging each other in this aspect, encouragement in our relationships with God, grocery shopping experiences, Christmas shopping.....It was nice to relax, enjoy coffee, visit, laugh, and refresh for jumping back into the daily grind--which will come all too soon, as we didn't leave Tim Horton's till 11:00!
6. Certain things imprint themselves on my mind as classic representations of my children's personalities. A painted rock, a special picture, tiny cars all in a row that you know were left there by a meticulous little James, a dolly left precariously on a couch pillow covered by a scarf "sleeping" after the dolly's mommy has been put to bed herself. Such was the case when I pulled my van up to the house tonight. Two tiny chairs, a pink and a blue, sat atop my hilly front lawn, arranged in a conversational manner. It produced the distinct memory of yesterday afternoon when four ecstatic children were bundled up and released into the fresh snow to play. Then Grace and James got cold. James arranged both of those chairs and called, "Here, Gracie! A chair for you-pink for you and blue for me." And a grateful Gracie answering sweetly, "T'ank you, Jamesie!" as they both settled prettily down in their chairs to get warm. I could still see them there as clearly as they were yesterday. It made me smile and I purposed to leave those chairs arranged just so at the top of my hill. 
6. I think I need to go remind my husband that I am home and tempt him back inside with some hot pizza!  

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Gabriel had his 8th birthday this weekend. I can't believe he's closer to 10 than 5! I say this weekend, because yesterday was technically his birthday but he had continued celebrations today. He had a nice birthday dinner with one friend and Aunt K. last night. We all went down to his new room first thing yesterday morning with a balloon and a bag full of presents to sing "Happy Birthday" and wake him up. The babies gave him their little presents that they picked out. He was very happy with the playdough I directed Gracie to, as opposed to the princess puzzles she originally picked out, lol! Today, he had three more friends come over to play games. Richard took over duty for this one, taking everybody to the park. I was done, having spent all night up with two little girls who ate too much cake and ice cream and had upset tummies. Fantastik was our friend, cleaning beds, carpets, and our room from their explosions. To go to sleep and wake up every 15 minutes for an 8 hour period is worse than not sleeping all night, in my opinion. Richard and I took turns with them, so he got as little sleep as I did. But I took morning shift and he slept till 12 or 1pm. But I was done as soon as the first kid arrived. I couldn't even think straight, so I handed it off to him and he took afternoon shift. I went to bed and didn't see the world again until 5:00. When I woke up, Richard was ready to crash again, so I took the evening shift while he went back to bed. Now I'm ready to crawl back up to my room and we both might get a decent night's sleep. I am assuming Gabe had a great time this afternoon with his friends. I heard about play sword fights with Daddy and a great trip to the park. I feel bad for missing, but really no one would have wanted a grouchy zombie mommy around all afternoon. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. There's no predicting life(or nights!) with toddlers. Well, I'm gonna run upstairs and make sure everyone's got something to wear to church tomorrow, then I'm off to beddie-bye!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Train tracks, school zones, stop signs, curbs....When all of these things become barely noticeable, insignificant incidentals--it's time to get a large iced coffee and WAKE UP! So I did.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Taking a little morning schoolbreak...Gabe is resting his eyes on the couch, the sun is shining, Beethoven is gracing our home, the babies are happily playing with their toys, I'm enjoying a cup of tea. It is nice to be home with nowhere to go during the day. Aw! I just looked over and Gracie is waltzing to Beethoven with her baby doll. :)
It was sweet to see Richard taking part in homeschooling last night. Gabe was struggling with his math page and I was going to just let it go until the next day. But Richard said, "Hop up here and let me see it." So for the next half hour, Gabe snuggled up next to Daddy and got math help. Richard was actually a natural, helping him in that aspect better than I could. They got to spend time together and accomplish something at the same time. After we sent him to bed, Richard mentioned, "I bet I could help you more with school. I could help with hard math pages, things like that." I told him that he was actually better at that than me; he was able to make math fun in a way I can't sometimes. It was like he realized he could be part of our homeschool, not just on the outside. Which is wonderful to me, because homeschooling should be a family endeavor. :)
 I think James has a crush on his preschool teacher. When I dropped him off yesterday, he took her a little picture he had made. With a shy smile back over his shoulder at me, he said, "Here, Miss Aleassa, I made this for you!" His pretty, blonde-haired, blue-eyed teacher gave him a bright smile, "You made that for me! Thank you so much, James! Here, I'll put it right here on my drawer, so every time I open it I will think of you!" James flashed her the biggest smile and looked so honored. It was adorable.
Well, I began this post two hours ago. At this point, we finished up morning school, I did some shapes and numbers with James, Grace, and Jane, we had lunch, and the babies are having their rest time now. Gabriel is working on his creative writing, learning how to express his own thoughts from his head onto a piece of paper into a sentence. This is a struggle for him but he is starting to get the hang of it. He says Second Grade is harder than First, lol. Working independently, thinking for yourself....gotta learn these skills, buddy!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Oh, what a nice birthday I've had! Just returned from dinner out with my husband. We tried a new, quiet little Italian restaurant with amazing food. Then we got a banana split to share from Peter's and a little coffee from Timmies. I had birthday fun with the kids throughout the day. They made the sweetest cards for me and Gabe 'gave' me some of my own potholders :) and a picture of himself(one of
my favorites). And they all gave me some new music--hours and hours of my favorite classical composers! I'm so excited! I miss my composers. I got four cds of Mozart, 4 of Beethoven, 4 of Strauss(my happy music!), and 4 of Gershwin(he's actually new to me, so it'll be fun to hear some new stuff). I used to have classical music playing most of my waking hours and now I can again. I'm so happy. I get a little tired of preschool music, lol!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Happy Veterans Day to the States and Happy Remembrance Day to Canada! And Happy Birthday to me tomorrow, tee hee hee! :)

Saturday, 10 November 2012

"Have you been watching infomercials again?" was my amused question when Gabe came rushing down exclaiming about "this cool thing where you don't even need a spatula for eggs or pancakes or anything!You just....":D He cracks me up, taking these products he sees on tv SO seriously! At one trip to the grocery store, it was "you gotta buy Hellman's(mayo), 'cause I'm telling you, it'll make your chick
en so juicy! They said so..." And of course, there was the self-esteem dasher when he told me about "this stuff(Proactive) that will make your face look just like his!(up popped Justin Bieber) But you gotta call NOW, while the number's on the tv!" (I've never had acne in my life, and I have no desire to look like Justin Bieber.) Gabe's a character! I think we will have plenty of discussions about the snares of propaganda as he gets older, lol. :D

Friday, 9 November 2012

I think sleep is vital to performing mom jobs. I had a big day yesterday and a bad sleep last night. When I woke up this morning, I did not even feel like being the mom. I just wanted to be left alone and not be talked to, not talk to anyone, not listen to anyone, and I especially did not want to be called 'MOM!' at the top of anyone's lungs(i.e.Mommy!I need wiped!Mommy!I need out of my highchair!
Mommy!Me too!Mommy!What's for breakfast?Mommy!I'm hungry!). I did not feel like listening to ANY two/three year old tantrums; if they started, I just cringed and wanted to crawl under a chair. While stumbling around trying to figure out what to make for breakfast, the babies kept going behind me to get into chocolate, sugar, and then a whole pitcher of orange juice dumped on Jane's head & all over the kitchen. I managed to get them all fed. Then I put up the gate and stretched out on the couch. My mommy radar that never sleeps supervised them and I rested for two hours while they played. And it's amazing what that bit did for me. I feel like Mommy again! I still have much to do, but now I feel capable of trying. I actually feel human and able to communicate with other humans instead of wanting to crawl into a cave somewhere. :) Here's hoping the rest of the day follows this positive note!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Dress one and all
Load up van(10:30am)
Doctor for Gracie
Pick up new computer at post office
Home for forgotten item
Preschool drop-off for James
Chiropractor down south
Preschool pick-up for James
Home for forgotten item
Choir drop-off for Gabe
Meet Richard at work to give him supplies
Choir pick-up for Gabe-late, thanks to snow & traffic
Home at last (7pm)
Bed for Babies
School Reading for Gabriel
Daddy home
Babies get back up to swarm Daddy
Family time
Babies back in bed
Finish reading to Gabe
Send him off to bed
Post on blog
Unglue dead husband from comfy chair and drag his 6' frame upstairs to our bed
Sleep! (or possibly, walk on treadmill and watch tv---but most likely, SLEEP, lol)
This, my friends, was a long Thursday.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

I love the randomness of a 3 yr old!  As I was snuggling with James putting him to bed this evening, I said to him, "You seem really happy to have your own room now: does that make you happy?" His face lit up with a big grin and he replied, "I brought crackers home with me from church!" Okay! From way out in left field, that must have been weighing on his mind.....LOL
(I went on to make sure he had permission to bring crackers home, which he did.)
Recently I have been reading a series of articles concerning not getting too busy to 'embrace the moments' with my children. I thought of this this morning. Last night, I stayed up until 2am folding a mountain of laundry, so this morning when the baby girls woke up early, I was very weary when I pulled myself out of bed to go change their diapers. I wanted to just set them up with a princess movie & their bucket of toys and go back across the hall to get a little more sleep. But then Gracie crawled up with her blanket and said, "Wanna sit in you lap, Mommy." Physically, my body just wanted to collapse in bed. But of course I would be heartless to refuse my baby girl wanting to sit in my lap. :) So I decided to just crawl up in her bed with her. She flopped her whole little self up over my tummy with the biggest, squeeziest hug, snuggled her little head up in  my neck, and exclaimed, "I love you too, Mommy!"--before I even had a chance to say 'I love you' first. :) It was worth embracing the moment for that memory. It definitely encouraged me to keep doing what I do best-being Mommy. :)

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

I was all pumped up about several things...until I heard the U.S.election results. Then I felt a little sick, with a nagging foreboding feeling. But truly God is in control. He knows what His plan is and is more than capable of keeping His people in His everlasting arms of protection. This is the time to live 'wise as serpents and harmless as doves'. That said, I might as well get back to my business of being happy with my day because there's nothing I can do to change the state of affairs in my home country.
I am SO excited about Christmas preparations. I have a million ideas buzzing around in my head to make Christmas special for my family and start some new traditions for years ahead. The kids are big enough now to join in and much fun! 
I just got back from helping Auntie shop for my kids. She asks me to go with her every year because she likes the company and because she likes to be sure that she's getting just what the kids would like/mom approved, etc. It's always a fun thing to go with her. Plus, it gives me a chance to sort of "preview" shop to find out what's out there, where, and what price. Just a great time all around.
So many ideas and projects......The special trip with Richard to choose the angel for our tree that will last for years & to hand choose personalized stockings for each of our kids, also to last for years....The project of making a front door Christmas wreath with the kids....Picking out paint and potpourri to make a new set of Christmas tree balls for our tree-my special project, two different kinds of color-coordinated balls....a dolly bed to make for Grace....a package of preemie diapers to buy, so the girls can use them for their baby dolls(much cheaper than buying dolly diapers!) photos to distribute with Christmas cards.....Where am I going to find the time to do all of these things? I have no idea, but I'm sure going to try! This is our 'family year', to start establishing holiday things for our family. So exciting!
Well, in order to begin these projects, my housework must be swept out of the way. So, while Richard is in the basement cleaning up junk, I'm going to go tackle the mountain of laundry on my bed--so we can SLEEP sometime tonight! :)

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Tomorrow is the day after Labor Day, right? Because the settled routine that was supposed to start then is finally beginning tomorrow. No more sickness. Crazy traveling is under control. House is finally rearranged.We are starting fresh tomorrow as if it was September. June and July are going to be killers, but we'll make do. School has taken quite a few punches trying to get going this year, my goodness!
I have my whole school week and errands all outlined; sat down and did that this afternoon. Made my copies for the week of math. Have a general loose schedule to follow to establish a routine during the day. I'm praying that it will work! I NEED life to settle down now. Well, I have to run off to finish the last bit of preparations for tomorrow.

Friday, 2 November 2012

You know you're getting through to your kids when you overhear things like this from the other room: James, stopping in the middle of playing to lead Grace in this prayer, "Dear Jesus, He'p us be dood for Mommy today. In Jesus' name," and they both shout, "AMEN!" Completely random and voluntary, this shows he gets the idea that praying is just talking to Jesus. :)
That was a happy little happening from earlier today that warmed my heart. 
On a different note, I have conglomerated in my brain several thoughts/principles that stand true: 
1) "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God."
2)Some people really don't care what God, their Creator, thinks. They just want to live like they want to without ever having consequences. 
3)A wise person(which we all as Christians should strive to be), whether he rage or laugh, whether he answers or doesn't answer, will not get through to a fool(see point one). You just can't win for losing. Your logical answers gently showing God's wisdom are flouted back in your face with foolish, illogical arguments.
4)At some point, after you have gently stated your point, you have to graciously bow out because there is simply no point in continuing a discussion with a foolish person. 
5)You just have to pray that some of God's truths, not your own opinions, will stick and ring true in their ears at a later date when they need something to grasp. Because, seriously, God will hold them accountable for that one time someone presented the truth. I've been there, I've been the one not listening. But the truth was always there, in the back of my brain, and helped later. However, about today, it isn't a nice feeling, it's discouraging, to be put down for standing up for what's right! :{ It's like stating your piece and then being attacked like you're in the midst of a bunch of vicious hyenas. You just have to hope you pleased God with how you told someone about Him; hoping you had the right attitude and spirit and words. 
I say all that because I got in a discussion with some people about the issue of abortion today. When it comes to innocent lives of babies, I don't sugar coat or pull any punches. I state it like it is-respectfully-but I don't beat around the bush about it. Those babies need someone to stand up for them! I actually had an uncaring person encourage an abortion with one of my pregnancies. Of course, there was no question whatsoever in my mind--I met that person with a shocked look and a resounding "NO!Never!" Whatever decisions I had made in my life to get me to that point in time, it was my job to own those decisions and face up to the responsibilities. It was not the fault of that innocent, unborn child inside of me that life was not looking too convenient for me at that moment! God is the giver of all life, planned or unplanned. When I finally handed Him back the control of my decision making and placed my hand in His, He was able to lead me along a brighter path. HE is the One Who blessed me with that beautiful boy, and He has taken care of us every step of the way, even when we were all alone. Eventually, God put all the pieces together and blessed me with a wonderful husband and three more beautiful blessings. So when the subject of abortion comes up, I feel like shouting out for the babies, "NO! Whatever else you've done, abortion is not the answer! Value life, respect that baby's rights!"

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Ah! I can feel it-we are getting better. Sigh of relief. I am so sick of being sick. Yesterday, I pulled a classic "Hey, I'm better" and jumped in full swing trying to clean and do school and, and, and. Only to land myself back in bed most of the day. But with lots of rest, I'm actually much better today. I took the kids out this morning for a couple hours to do some unavoidable errands. The kids behaved  beautifully. And it didn't wear us out. We came home and completed a full day of school. Richard is bringing dinner home and we are going to move furniture around in the basement to make room for his NEW PLOTTER! Yes, he finally got it, a nice big one that will greatly cut down on his time for completing side jobs so he can spend that much more time with the family-and not wear himself out from working such long, hard hours.
 So last night was Halloween, and we usually hang out in the downstairs den watching movies or make plans to be elsewhere so we can avoid the trick-or-treaters. (We don't celebrate Halloween) We would have normally been at Wednesday night prayer meeting. But we're all sick, and we were very much home, upstairs, with the lights all on. In fact, my cabin feverish wild children, who didn't LOOK sick o
n the outside :D were climbing all over the couch looking out the big window to see what they could see. I knew that the trick-or-treaters would definitely be coming by, and I didn't want to seem like the bad guy with no candy and risk any teenagers' nasty tricks as a result. So I posted a sign on my front door"No candy here, Sickness in the house, One recovering from pneumonia, We won't open the door, Don't want to get you sick" Which was all very true. I mean, who wants to reach their hands into a candy bowl from a house that has been coughing, nose-blowing, sneezing, & just returned from the hospital?--And then, the doorbell rang! Huh? I looked over and my neighbor was motioning wildly through the window. I opened my door a crack and rasped out(because I can still barely talk) apologetically, "My kids are all sick..." But he held up a bag of candy and said in his broken Romanian accent, "For YOUR kids, because they can't come out!" Aaw! What a sweet gesture. I accepted it graciously for the kids and told the kids later they'd have to make him & his wife, a nice little Romanian couple from across the street, a big thank you card.
I have done it-bought my first Christmas present and first Christmas 'supply'! Bows were the first thing out for Christmas for $1 a bag, so I bought two bags. We are starting from scratch for almost everything Christmas this year, as most of our cheap old Christmas stuff wore out and died last year. Of course we still have the beautiful family decorations from both sides. But, the cheap stuff-bows, wrapping paper, garland, balls, that sort of thing-is all starting fresh. And it is a momentous year--the year to carefully choose a lasting angel for the top of the tree. I think we used a makeshift light thingy that was about to expire last year. But we both want a beautiful angel this year. 
Well, the honored individuals who will be the recipients of the First Present Bought are: my baby girls. :) Gracie enjoyed her baby doll stroller so much last year, she literally used it to death. It died last week. It bore baby dolls, stuffed animals,and....brothers and sisters. Yes, I think the brothers and sisters did the poor contraption in. In fact, the girls, being almost the same age and interests, had many, um, "discussions"-"differences of opinion"-"disagreements"--oh, bother, forget what adults call their arguments!---they had many plain, ole fights over that stroller! :D So, Richard and I decided the most peaceful plan was to get them EACH a stroller this year, especially since they're both such good little mommies and will truly love them. And, today, for some reason, I found them extremely inexpensively priced at WalMart---the exact same quality, as far as I could tell, as the one we got last year. $7.94 apiece! I had Gabriel distract the babies in the toy aisle while I hid them amongst the groceries. The first Christmas presents will be wrapped and topped with new bows by tonight! Merry Christmas, everyone!---Oh, wait, half of you haven't even had Thanksgiving yet, Lol! :D

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Let's see, what interesting things? 
-Me and Gracie are home.
-The other three were very glad to have me home. 
-Snuggling up in my own bed next to my husband is so much nicer than a sweaty latex pillow on a cot in the pediatric ward any day. 
-Hooray! I managed to survive Day One alone, still sick, with the kids, AND I maintained my house till Richard got off work. 
-If you want a laugh, set your four children in front of America's Funniest Home Videos and get a laugh out of the babies laughing simply because their big brothers are laughing and soon you will be laughing too!
-Old, big tvs are extremely durable. One of the children accidentally knocked one off its 3' tv stand onto its face(thankfully there were  no babies underneath!)....and when we picked it up, it resumed the movie as if nothing ever happened-wow!
-Richard is home now and he has taken over duty to play with the kids and give them baths; I get to go to bed and rest. Yay!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

My baby Gracie and I have had an unexpected, prolonged "Mommy date" this weekend--for unfortunate circumstances, as we had to take her to the Children's Hospital on Saturday evening. We checked off a whole list of symptoms that matched bacterial pneumonia. She was x-rayed and tested. They decided to treat it as pneumonia based on the symptoms and her rapid difficult breathing. She was put on oxygen, fluids, and antibiotics and is now doing much better. It was never life threatening, and the verdict of it being actual pneumonia is still out, but she was definitely a sick girl.
So Mommy and Gracie made the best of our 'camping out' in the pediatric ward. They really have taken wonderful care of both of us here. I was blessed to be able to spend this time with her. As she has improved, we have passed the time making pretty pictures, laughing, tickling, watching CareBears and Dora, and reading together. I told her it was a "Mommy date" because I got to spend all this time with just her. And it makes this mommy's heart happy to see her come off the oxygen successfully, begin eating & drinking again, and gradually perk up and come back to life. She had stopped smiling for a whole day, and her first smile today melted my heart. I don't ever want to stop seeing that adorable smile again! Richard, too: when he had to leave the hospital last night, during our bedtime prayer, you could tears in his voice, he was so sad to see her like that, so sick.
Daddy and the other kids came by to spend the afternoon. They came in with a bouquet of balloons ('baboons', as James calls them-"I dropped my baboon!" :D) and a great big blue teddy bear for Gracie from all of us. And I got a romantic heart "I love you" balloon from Richard. Aaw! :)
Richard and I have called a week-long 'sabbatical' from all activities to rest and get better, except he has no option but to continue going to work, of course. No preschool, no choir, no church Wednesday night for the kids, no chiropractor.....just stay home, rest, and get better. And disinfect! And, maybe, tie garlic onto our mom was quite serious when she told me to do this! I laughed and said it sounded like "Ooh! I should tie garlic around my neck to keep evil spirits away!" But I knew there was proven validity in putting garlic on the insoles of the feet to get that natural antibiotic into the body and up to the lungs to clear everybody up. If I can stand the smell....I might do it! :D
Well, as I am almost as sick as Gracie at this point, I need to go to bed. Especially since I feel a sneeze coming on....Bless me!

Friday, 26 October 2012

I kissed too many babies and turned into a frog. I woke up this morning with their groggy cold. I heard the babies so I dragged myself out of bed. Coming downstairs, I was prepared for anything. But I found the cutest scene-all three babies seated nicely at their little table neatly eating yogurt in bowls. Pleasantly surprised and a little confused, I asked James, "How did youguys get yogurt? Did Gabe get it for you?" Beaming, he announced, "No, I did! I was a BIG,BIG BRUDDA!" He was so cute he got a big kiss and "Good job!" How he managed to pour them yogurt without making a mess, I'll never know. Later I found the yogurt in the bottom produce drawer of the fridge, lol. 
I am always on the lookout for indoor playplaces to let my children run off their energy when the weather turns bad. I have so far found: 4 McDonalds PlayPlaces, Eau Claire Market's free indoor playground, Coffee N'Scream playplace for under age 6(and a fee), and now the Community Centre free gym time on Wednesdays and Fridays. I took them for the first time this morning to the gym. What a great hour and a half of balls, gymnastics, tunnels, slides, little cars, and games. Just to let off energy and be active. Just whhat I wanted. They let Gabe play too, since he followed the rules, even though he was technically a year too old. I know why these daytime have activities aimed at small children--because most older ones are in school with their own gym time. Because I homeschool, he goes wherever we go. So I try to find things he's able to be included in. He had fun today, too. 
After an afternoon of errands, we are back home. We got snowboots for the girls today and stocked up on 'supplies' for a sick day. Now we're back home in our cozy house, while the snow gently falls on a winter world outside. The girls and boys are each in their respective rooms for the evening playing quietly. Here's an overview of our agenda: Chicken soup, OJ, water, Children's Tylenol, Cough syrup, throat lozenges, hand sanitizer, Kleenex, blankets, movies, hot tea.....snuggling, sneezing, sleeeeeeping!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

It's coming, I can feel it coming, it's inevitable....that scratchy throat....I've kissed too many babies...aahhh! We stayed home tonight because they were not quite well enough to go out to church. Giving rounds of homeopathic Cold and Cough, passing out water, lots of snuggles.
We got a new (well, newER) Kirby vacuum with all the attachments, plus a little powerful Eureka hand vacuum for cars and stairs today. We can use the Kirby for stairs too, but it's really heavy for me. The vacuum cleaner store guy gave us a really good deal for all of that. After my husband had to hockey tape the cord back onto our very old Kirby we already had, we knew it was time to find a new one. The old one will be relegated to the basement, and the newer, lighter one for up here.
I don't know what else to say for now. So I'm just gonna call it quits and go to bed. I don't even feel like staying up late.
Wow! I could not have told you at any given point whether today was a good day or a bad day. (Read the next sentence slowly so it's not confusing, lol.) What I thought was starting as a good day weakened into a rough day then it started to get good again but then not quite and all of a sudden it turned really good and then I wasn't sure but in the end it was wonderful. Do I sound fickle yet? :D All that matters is: 1)I'm incredibly happy right now; 2) My desk is cleaned off; 3) My house is straightened up; 4) I feel revved up for tomorrow; and, 5) I got to spend time with God, my husband, my kids, and my friend today. 
Much more ended up being accomplished than I thought would happen today, praise the Lord. My school day did not go as planned, even in a general, random, loose schedule sense. It was one of those days where things begin whirling too fast around you and you are helpless to control anything. We were supposed to have ladies meeting at church tonight. In fact, I was supposed to go to the chiropractor and take James to preschool. None of that happened. We got a bunch of snow last night. It took Richard (and all the rest of CMP apparently) two hours to get to work this morning. James, Grace, and Jane were all sick with colds, coughs, and fevers today. So snow and sickness cancelled out our dayplans. Then Ladies Meeting was cancelled for the weather. With my house and kids and school spinning overwhelmingly around me, I was really disappointed not to be able to go. But in the end, Richard took the boys to watch him play hockey with a couple from church. And I got to take T to coffee. She seemed to need encouragement and I needed to get out of the house. I loaded the girls up and put a cartoon in on the van's dvd player. They were happy with a muffin to munch on while T and I sat up front with hot drinks and visited. We did a little devotion too. I set out to encourage her, but I think God knew I needed the same verses I was reading. We both left encouraged. :) When I got home I was able to zoom around the house and clean it up before Richard and the boys arrived. Then we got ourselves a little date after the kids went to  bed. We may not be able to go out much for dates, but we try to make dates out of everything as often as we can. We relish our alone time, snatching it up when it chances our way! :) 
One positive happening of my busy boxes I made for the kids yesterday? They worked! They were disappointed that they couldn't use them since we didn't go to the chiropractor after all. But I didn't want to just let them be a free-for-all, or they wouldn't be special anymore. About halfway through the morning, I realized that I had not read my Bible and I really felt the need to stop and regroup. So I called "Blanket time!" I gave each of them their boxes and told them they absolutely could not touch each other's boxes, but to just play quietly. I sat on the couch, read a nice, long chapter, & had my regrouping time. And they sat there and played for about 45 minutes! They loved the boxes: I was so happy. Gabe had fun with his slinky especially-all of them liked the slinkies. Jane was enthralled with her stickers, decorating her foot. Grace, of course, liked her colors and memo pad. James tried out the kaleidoscopes on both eyes at once and then set up army guys in his box. I was impressed with this busy bag/box idea when I read about it; but I'm even more impressed that it works! 
Well, I came down here to get a drink but was so wide awake that I told Richard I was just gonna post on my blog till I was sleepy. NOW I'm sleepy....good night!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Hmmm...let's see, what to post about today? It was a very full day, to be sure. But when it is that full, I get sleepy faster and my brain won't function when I finally get a chance to sit down.  So let's do this in the format of random thoughts. It might all come back to me....
~It looks like December outside, a beautiful, misty snow has been gently falling all evening. MomsClub planned an outdoor hike at Nose Hill park for tomorrow morning, but I have a feeling that most will opt to stay indoors. I don't mind getting my kids out in the fresh air, even in snow. But poor James has developed a nasty cough; he was stuffy and feverish all day yesterday and today. I don't think it would bode well for him to get too much 'fresh air' at this point. If he's not decidedly better when he wakes up, afternoon preschool will be out as well. Poor James!
~Due to my house rearranging and the late arrival of curriculum, we had our first full day of Sonlight school today. I have been doing school since Labor Day, except for the last couple weeks of craziness. But today was the first 'on-track' day with curriculum. I know some homeschoolers who do their own thing and are fine with their own guidelines. That's fine for them. But I myself need a curriculum to keep me focused and straight. I need to be able to rely on it to feel secure that my children will make it through without gaps in their education unwittingly left by their mother who was feather-brainedly trying to "wing it". I am educated and bright enough to teach my kids, but I am admittedly feather-brained and occasionally disorganized....well, no, I hate to say actually disorganized: I have the ability to be quite organized. I guess I'm more random & whimsical in my approach. So I personally NEED a curriculum to keep me flying straight and a homeschool facilitator to keep me accountable. Like today, it didn't bother me at all to spend all morning doing craft projects with all the kids and then start 'actual' school around 2:00 and not finish till 6:00. I didn't plan to do it that way. That's just what came into my head to do; it seemed like a good idea. And we had a lot of fun! Everybody got attention, everybody had something to do. I think over the next week we will of course get a feel for what kind of loose schedule we will keep around here. Kids do need some sort of general routine. But I don't think I can be a tight schedule kind of person. We need a loose schedule, that let's us generally do things in the same order every day, but not always be done by the exact same time. Boy, when I'm tired I ramble. Sorry!
~Jane has a love affair with the toilet. That's all I can say. Bathroom locks, here we come!
~Gracie LOVES to color. Mommy is happy to finally find something to keep her happy for more than five minutes.
~Gabe and I are very excited about the new books we get to read in school this year. Gabe's reading has improved tremendously-yay! finally! He said, "You mean I don't read like a robot anymore?" and was thrilled when I said an exuberant "No, you don't!" :D
~We spent a nice evening with Grandpa B. tonight, his final visit before heading to Prince Edward Island for good. Too bad Grandma B. couldn't come with him, but she is enjoying a nice rest there on the Island waiting for him. 
~Richard just went to bed, and I'm going to follow. We have to see which girl was booted off Over the Rainbow tonight, to relinquish her dreams of becoming the next Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz theatre musical. Great show!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Mission accomplished! New family photo and individual ones of each child have all been taken, chosen, ordered, and paid for. November 2 is the estimated due date of return. It was a looooooooooong week. I lived at WalMart. I was literally there every day except Tuesday. But it was good; I got wonderful pictures of each of the kids and I think a good family picture. 
We got a lot done on the house today for rearranging our kids' bedrooms. We were so thankful that God revealed to us a fire hazard in the girls' room that we didn't realize. Jane's bed was right on the heater floor vent. Being a particle board captain's bed, it gets hot quickly. And it was very hot. We haven't noticed before because the weather only recently turned cold, so we haven't had the heater on in months. Without further ado, we moved their room around so nothing was on the vent. It actually turned out to be much more cozy this way with more walking space. We've decided to leave the girls where they are, as it was so much work decorating their room. I have no desire to do all the work of moving James in their and putting them in the bigger room across the hall. They are little; they'll live. Especially with their beds all cozy like a couch now and their dollies and the rocking chair and the movieplayer. They'll be good for a few years. James and Gabe on the other hand are going to really enjoy having separate rooms I think. Gabe is going downstairs and James will stay where he is, but by himself. We got Gabe an alarm clock & lamp & glow in the dark celestial ceiling stickers today. It is a surprise for his birthday, to have his room moved downstairs like he's been wanting for awhile. He will have added responsibilities of course, to keep it clean, and no excuses about the babies messing it up. :) And James is such a big boy now, going to preschool; I think he will like having his own space and learning how to keep his room tidy. He is meticulous by nature like his dad. He's like the boy on Freaky Friday, the neat little brother. :) Gabe and I are more haphazard, while Richard and James are the neat ones. Personality clash! Lol. We are focusing this fall on respecting each others spaces and consideration for each other. Cleaning up after ourselves(especially teaching this to James, Grace, and Jane!), staying out of each other's rooms, not messing with each others things, going out of our way to make things nice for others, keeping peace and walking in love toward brothers and sisters.
Well, it's Sunday tomorrow, gotta get some sleep. I'm singing tomorrow and my voice protests with not enough sleep. After the last two times of singing mishaps I don't want to add another mishap a third time. The first time, I lost my words and had to wing it. Well, I winged it alright...:} The second time, I didn't have enough time to thoroughly learn my soundtrack and, well, there were some interesting stumbles. So let's hope tomorrow goes well. I know the song; I have the words; and I've practiced with the pianist already. Crossing my fingers for the voice, I now just have to focus on my spirit. "I will sing of mercy and judgment; unto thee, O LORD, will I sing." "O sing unto the LORD a new song..." "I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever..." "Come before his presence with singing..." "...with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the LORD." " soul doth magnify the LORD..." "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD."

Friday, 19 October 2012

Points of my day: At this moment, poor sick hubby in bed. While he & kiddos sleep, I'm going to pretend I'm an angel(no, I've not completely grown out of pretending!). I will walk around my house making it beautiful, one thing at a time, so when they wake up all will be bright and shining.~Jane did NOT get her princess pictures taken today because WalMart hired a big, scary man to take photos and she cried. :( I rescheduled her for tomorrow when the nice lady is there.~Trying to teach Gabriel how to play P-I-G basketball, I told him, "If I make a basket, you have to stand just where I was & try to make it. If you don't, then you get a P, and the first person to spell PIG loses." So when this scenario came to pass, my literal son ran to where I'd been standing and spelled really fast, "PIG!You lose!" LOL-I didn't mean the first person to SPELL PIG; it's not a race!~Not only is Gabe literal, he's also extremely self-confident, as evidenced by this speel: "I would like hockey wall stickers in my new room. I LOVE hockey! I'm really good at it. I actually play hockey and skate like Wayne Gretzky!" His boldness made me laugh out loud, even as I made a mental note to add "humility" and "not bragging" to our list of character traits we need to work on....:D (For those of you who are not into hockey, Wayne Gretzky is like the best hockey player in Canada's history, to hear my husband tell about it. At least Gabe is aiming high! :D

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Our day of events is done. It went relatively smoothly. A few minor hitches like getting stuck in traffic a couple times and getting a few minutes behind schedule. But no damage was done to any appointments, praise the Lord! It is not a nice feeling to be stuck on the Deerfoot(hwy) in 3:30 traffic, knowing you're supposed to BE at the preschool at that time to pick up your son and you have no cell phone to call them. Thankfully I made it in the nick of time where they weren't going to charge me for being late.I will have to get and download pictures of James in his lion costume for the Noah's Ark party. He was adorable!!!! I just wanted to stay in his preschool room and kiss his fat little face all two hours. :) And Grace was a princess for her photo session. She was sweet and well-behaved, posing so primly exactly as she was told. I had a MUCH harder time narrowing the pictures down with her; I wanted them all. I think I chose well, capturing her "princess act" nicely. I took the kids to a coffee shop that had a huge adjoining room full of play looked like several daycares all in one room. They loved it! In my dream home, I will have a  room just like this.....with those big puzzle foam mats covering the entire floor, several Little Tykes playground/slides(some quite big!), tunnels, playhouses, kitchens w/ dishes, of all....a whole corral of Little Tykes cars with a road to drive them on! There was an adjoining bathroom/change station, a little kitchenette(for moms who need to warm bottles), several Little Tykes picnic tables for the kids to eat at and little round patio tables for the moms. Our food was served through a diner window right into the room so we didn't have to leave our kids to get our food. I love this place! There is a fee for each small child to play, which, multiplied by three(Gabe was too big; he was sad), kind of added up, plus the food we bought. But today God gave me a wonderful blessing and enabled me to be able to treat them to this fun place. I would not make a regular habit of it. But it would be a fun place to take the little ones for a "Mommy date"! I try to take each of them on Mommy dates every so often, to spend individual time with them and let them know they are special. I love how the tiny ones get it into their heads that whatever we did on the first date is what we "do" on every other date after that. If you look at how the rest of their lives go....they want to wear their favorite outfit or pajamas every day for the rest of their lives, they want to read the same book repetitively, they watch the same movie over and over....why not go on the same Mommy date every time? I think it creates a special memory for them-though if they chose a new place I would totally be up for that as well; it's up to them. James thinks of his 'date' as going to Tim Hortons and sitting down and getting his own juice and a sprinkle donut and looking at hockey pictures on the walls, and that's what he wants to do every time. Gabe and I went to Starbucks and Chapters(his favorite bookstore) and saw a movie together. I think the girls would each like to go play at this coffee shop/playplace. Gracie practically moved herself  and her belongings into the little playhouse tonight. I had to bodily remove her from the premises when the place closed. :)
Well, I came downstairs to relax at the computer while the kiddos were getting to sleep. I think they've finally drifted off, minus James who has come down three times trying different tactics to stay up. Unfortunately I still have much to do this evening before I get to go to bed. So off I go to tackle, what else? the laundry! In the words of Tigger, "TTFN! Ta Ta For Now! Hoo hoo hoo hoo!"