| Home | Our Family |  

December 28, 2007

Created To Be His Help Meet Chpt.6

Fear-Fear has become such a negative word in our culture. But the fear of the Lord is a beautiful and awesome thing. As I read this chapter I had to ask myself, “Do I have the fear of God in me.” Sadly too many times I have more of the fear of people than the fear of God in me. And the reason I believe I think this way is because I don’t see things as for eternity but rather I see things only the here and now. Many times I would rather see God as a loving, forgiving God who will excuse my ‘ungodly ways’ and forget them. While this is true, my God is a forgiving loving God, there are also consequences for my behaviour. I cannot go through life with a ‘God will forgive me’ attitude and think that there will not be consequences for my sin. I will reap what I sow. Whether good or bad. So in my daily walk, being my husbands help meet is no different. This is what God has commanded me to be. If I am not that, I am being disobedient, and am in sin. So simple yet so hard when in the middle of it. Everyday all day I make choices. I make choices to submit or not to submit to my husband. And for me to see the big picture, to see it God’s way is often hard. And it’s usually such silly little things that get me going. I have a phrase that I often think about and say to our children, “Is it going to matter when you get to heaven?” For me this really puts things into perspective. Is it going to matter in heaven the very thing that is making me so upset right now. What really matters is my heart, my obedience. I cannot change my husbands heart, but I can change mine. I will not be judged according to my husbands deeds, but I will be judged according to mine. (Romans 14:12) So today I choose.

December 26, 2007

Christmas With the Rowley Family



We had a great Christmas with Rosalie's family all coming over for a couple of days.
Here are some highlights in photos
Top Row: My beautiful pregnant sister Amanda, Nathan arranging the manger scene, Grama and Josh,
Mark & Jennifer cuddling, Grama and her christmas gift that Mark made.
Left side: Cousin Isaiah and Brooke, Grama looking at her scrapbooking calender that Rosalie made for her, Uncle Jeremy and Brooke
Right side: Grama enjoying quality time with grandchildren, Grampa playing hockey (he still has great reflexes!), Brooke and Isaiah playing some christmas tunes
Bottom Row: Cousins with the goats, playing hockey (we spent many hours doing this), traditional fondue
Middle: Family Photo
Back Row: Mark, my brother Jeremy, Amanda's husband Josh, my brother Travis, my dad, Joshua
2nd Row: Me and Mikaya. Caleb, Jeremy's wife Laura, my sister Amanda, my mom
3rd Row: Zachary, Megan, Jesse, Kerri, Jennifer
Front Row: Isaiah, Brooke, Nathan

December 22, 2007

Family is Forever


Life has been full and fun lately.

We were able to finish our skating rink complete with outside boards, a shack warmed with a wood stove and lots of light.
Every afternoon we try to finish our work quickly so we can get out there and have a good ol' game of hockey. It's great excercise, great fun and a great way to make memories.

Making family memories is important. It's important to take the time together that will build your family identity. Doing things that you all have a common bond together. Letting you children know that you love to spend time together with the family. Now a days it is so easy to all go separate ways, with different activities and forget to make family togetherness a priority. If you build a strong family identity, this relationship will be a priority in your lives for years to come.

We always tell our children that the relationship with their family is most important. Friends are all great and fun, but when it all comes down to it, family is who you will always have relationship with. So why spend all of your time cultivating relationship with friends that you will rarely, if ever see when you leave home. Family is forever.

Christmas is a great time to make family memories. A time to do those things that when everyone is grown and comes back together again will say, "Remember when...." Life is too short to spend on stuff that will fade away.
So go on......make some memories!

December 14, 2007

The Gift of Wisdom Chpt. 5 in Created to Be His Help Meet

This chapter started off with the question: Do you have enough fear of God not to question His Word? Well....that's a loaded question and one that I think about often. In this chapter though, it is referring to the command by God for woman to be submissive and obedient to their husbands. It can be hard to trust God when our circumstances are less than perfect. And that is when we need to ask God for wisdom. James 1:5 says: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. Of course the next verse says: But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. I believe to have faith we have to trust. We have to trust that God knows what He is doing. We often say to our children that their responsibility isn't to understand all the things we as parents tell them to do, but to trust that God has put us in authority. When they can really understand this in their hearts then responding to our authority will come a lot easier for them. And I think it is also this way with us as wives. If we trust that God is God and that what He says in His word is for our good, then we will find submitting to our husband much easier. So if we believe in God and His word we will understand that when we believe in Him and ask Him for wisdom in our situation, He will give it to us. Wisdom helps me to see things in God's light, to see my husband in God's light. God's wisdom tells me that His command for me to submit to my husband does not hinge on who my husband is or what he does. It takes God's wisdom for me to keep from striking back when I feel I have been mistreated. It takes God's wisdom to serve my husband even when I think I should be served. All of this does not come naturally for me, I have to really trust God in my heart and know that I know His word is absolute, that it does not depend on my feelings or circumstances. As Debi put it, "You can decide to be in a constant state of anger or bitterness, or you can ask God for the wisdom to live each day in a state of honoring your man for God's sake." So what will you choose to do? I would love to hear your comments on this post or this chapter.

December 13, 2007

YOUR CHILD'S CONSCIENCE


There are 2 parts to our conscience.

One is our primary conscience.
This is the conscience that is common to all men and women.
Even without the law, God gave man a basic sense of right and wrong.
It is not instinct, but a preknowledge given by God.

There is also a trainable portion of the conscience called the moral conscience.
It is the learned standards of right and wrong.
While the primary conscience is prestamped by God, the moral conscience needs training.

So let's focus on the trainable portion of man's conscience, the moral conscience.
As I talked about in a previous post, telling your child what is right and wrong without giving the moral reason from God's Word will be inadequate in training your child's heart.

We place principles of moral conduct in our heart. Our heart receives, stores and governs instruction. (Psalm 119:11)
The heart is a type of warehouse. In it you deposit moral knowledge to be used at a later time.
Think of a warehouse that is stacked up high on each aisle. Things are labeled well to make it easily identifiable when it is needed. Same as our heart, we place moral values there to have something to draw from when a situation occurs.

So as parents, in the years when we train our children, we are the ones who stock those moral shelves. We teach our children about God and His ways (Deut. 6:6-9), which includes telling them what He requires of them morally (Micah 6:8). When you help place virtues such as honesty, respect, fairness, wisdom, kindness, self-control, gentleness and patience in his heart, the conscience can begin to do it's work.

But just because the knowledge of morals is there, this does not automatically mean that they will act morally. We have churches filled with 'knowledgeable' children who are going wayward. Instructing your child to what is morally acceptable is the easy part, it's training a child to control his behaviour to conform to these morals that's the harder part. Many children know what is expected of them but will not always do what is right. Once again, if we train the head and not the heart we will have a child that will grow up moral on the outside but not on the inside.

Man's conscience will warn and accuse him if he is about to do wrong and if he doesn't heed this, he will be plagued by guilt. As parents we have to guard against hardening our child's conscience by not addressing sin or not putting values in their heart so they have nothing to draw from.
The conscience also has a positive side that can prompt a man to do right and when he does it confirms him. This is God's pat on the back and there is great satisfaction knowing you have pleased Him.

So our conscience becomes a type of radar that guides us morallly. It encourages us in the right direction or warns us when we are about to do wrong. So when you come up to a new situation your conscience goes to your moral warehouse and searches for a corresponding value. If it finds one, it either prompts or warns. If there is nothing there, the search ends and nothing happens.

Here's an example that happened to me lately. I was at a store. I had bought 4 mats for our entrance. 2 were big and 2 were small. When I got to the checkout the guy counted the mats each mat and came up with 6. So he charged me for 6 small mats. Doing a quick calculation
I soon realized that I was getting a deal. My conscience was alerted and it quickly went to work scanning the shelves for a value. It came up with the value 'You shall not steal'. The prompting mechanism said 'It would be wrong to take advantage of the mistake of this person, someone will lose out', the warning mechanism said, 'It would be stealing if you did not say anything.' If I would not have had this value in my heart the search would have come up empty. But it found and presented this value to me although I still had a choice to make. Was I going to act on this value. I have to be honest and say I was tempted to not mention anything, but after a moment I thought better and told the clerk that he had miscalculated. He then rescanned the mats and I payed the proper amount.

The conscience develops both positively and prohibitively. Positive training includes instruction, encouragement, and reinforcement and takes place mostly in the middle and upper years. Prohibitive training includes warnings, restrictions, punishment, and consequences and is used more commonly in the early years. An overemphasis on either one in unhealthy.

Young children learn to avoid wrongdoing out of fear of punishment, but as they grow older and learn moral values, they should learn to avoid wrongdoing out of love of virtue. It is very important to make this transition from prohibitive training to positive training. It can be tempting to stay with the method that you used to get your children's behavior to reflect God's Word. But it is wrong to stay there. By the age of 3 or 4 years you should be well on your way to providing the moral reasons to your instruction. If you don't move from prohibitive to positive training you will limit your child's capacity to reason morally.

A positive conscience says 'I ought to because it is right' or 'I ought not do it because it is wrong' where the prohibitive conscience says,'I better do it or else I'll be punished.'

A healthy conscience will develop when parents encourage their child to do right rather than always discouraging him from doing wrong. On the contrary an unhealthy conscience is in an ongoing state of guilt. Every thought is centered around disappointing someone, being misunderstood or being rejected. He may do many virtuous acts, not out of love for right, but from fear of potential error.

Be careful not to cultivate a prohibitive conscience in your child by creating a fear of them losing your love or making them feel guilty. This can sometimes be an easy way to get control but it is a wrong way and will backfire later on.

Think about yourself, your upbringing, did you grow up with a healthy or unhealthy conscience. Knowing this will help you understand how and why you approach things in your own life the way you do and also will help you in training your children.

REMEMBER: The properly trained conscience knows wrong even when there is no signpost saying it is wrong.

The ideas expressed here were taken from the parenting course
"ALONG THE VIRTUOUS WAY' by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo





December 7, 2007

Created To Be His Help Meet Chpt. 4

Let me ask you a question. When your kids are all grown up and have left home will you still know you husband? I don't just mean know his name, what he likes for supper, or how he likes his socks folded, but really know him. Will you still know what ignites that spark between the two of you that was so bright when you first met each other. Will you still want to spend time together? I think I have mentioned this before, but as wives we sometimes get so caught up in our kids that we forget the effort needed to keep our relationship with our husband strong and healthy. And we have seen situations where couples pour everything into their kids and then when they are grown up and left home, they are left with a spouse who is practically a stranger. So what can I do to make sure this does not happen? Here are some of the ideas I have gleaned from this book and some of our own experiences. - Take time to laugh and enjoy each others company. Sometimes I get so caught up in the endless tasks I have as a mom that I forget to laugh with my husband. But when we laugh together it bonds us and is also a great example for our kids of a healthy relationship. They love it when we joke around together or have a 'tickle fight'. Plus it's lots of fun! - When you have something to share (new idea, event in your day, a new joke) share it first with your husband instead of your mom or your other friends. Who you share these things with is who your soul will be tied to. Make sure it's tied to your husband. Remember when you were courting and you just couldn't wait to tell him the latest news? I remember making a list of things to tell him when he would call. This was important to me then and it should be important now. - Don't go out with 'your' friends. It seems to be a interpreted as a weakness these days to actually want to spend free time with your spouse. I think the theory that we tell our kids often, applies here as well. My husband will always be here (as long as we both shall live). Why would I concentrate on spending my time with friends instead of my best friend. Now I can hear some of you saying, "What, you mean we should never spend time with our friends?" Sure you can spend time with friends, but why not spend time together with mutual friends. I rarely go out with just my friends. We concentrate on spending the little time we have to visit, to visit together as a couple or as a family. That way we have experienced what each other has experienced and it builds unity and a common bond between us. - Don't get into the 'your time, my time' way of thinking. I believe that when I chose to marry Mark I chose to have 'our time'. We have witnessed other couples have 'their time' and will fight for their time not matter what the price. I think this cultivates a self-centeredness and causes an unhealthy competition (eg. You did this, now I get to do that) - Find out what really makes your husband feel loved. A very good book about this topic is "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. In this book Gary describes the different ways that people want to be loved. The five different love languages are; quality time, physical touch and closeness, encouraging words, gift giving, and acts of service. Every one has a primary love language. And each of us has our own way that we feel the most loved. I strongly recommend this book as it is a tool to figure out what makes your husband (and children) feel loved. - Surprise your husband with a get away, special supper or an evening with just the two of you. A while ago (too long ago now that I think about it) I 'kidnapped' Mark. I arranged things at home so that we could go away for a couple of days, packed our things, hid them in the trunk of the car and made it seem like we were just going for our routine errand running. When we got to our usual destination and Mark went into the store I put a 'ransom' not on his seat in thh car. It was only then that he was clued in to what was happening. We had a great time and it was extra special because it was a way for me to say to him 'you mean a lot to me and you are worth all this'. The older kids also had a fun time trying to keep the secret from dad! When we had little ones and I was still nursing a baby we would send the kids downstairs or wait until they were in bed and I would turn our living room into a 'romantic restaurant'. I would prepare a special supper and then we would spend some one on one time. Now that we have older kids who can babysit we can get away more often, but this was a way that got us through those earlier years with little ones in keeping our relationship a priority. - Make love fun. As I read this chapter I realized that I have become quite a Sour Mrs. many times. I forget to have the little 'love fights' that were so frequent wehn we were first married. I have to work hard at not becoming a hands off type of wife. - Live with thanksgiving, forgiveness and joy. Live every moment as if it were your last because someday........it will be!

December 6, 2007

Cows, Shopping and Other Things!


Well. what a week we have been having!
Went to a cattle grazing school, learned about stuff like grazing your cattle!!
The government payed; free hotel, free meals, free babysitter, free hired labor...need I say more!

Are all my Manitoba readers enjoying the snow?
The song "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" was on in Superstore.
Aa a lady and I were picking through the bananas, we turned to each other and kind of smirked, I guess we can stop dreaming about it, cause, IT"S HERE!
Our white Christmas is here, and I have the overwhelming urge to go somewhere tropical! Warm weather, beaches, fresh fruit....
but then I think of the $10,000 spent on plane tickets,
thousands spent on hotels, who know how much on food.....
and I am content to be here in crisp Manitoba, where your nose hairs freeze together as you walk out the door.
So I will focus on the fun things of winter:
hot chocolate with snowman poop (or marshmellows for all you technical people),
cozying up by the wood stove,
skating on our rink (we got it done!),
little boys who ask for carrots and buttons for their latest snowman buddy,
tobogganing,
the crunch of snow under your feet,
bundled up little bumkins who get super frustrated because they can't move,
just to name a few!
SOOO...happy winter day.

November 30, 2007

Created to be His Help Meet Chapter 3

This chapter was perfect timing for me! Right now we have a cold/fever thing in our house that has been going around for over a month. I of course have been lamenting this fact, seeing having sick kids is not fun. Then I read the verses in this chapter about a thankful spirit. Ya, not always easy, but the best way. As I reflected this chapter I thought of my dear mom. She has always been one who has had a thankful spirit no matter what her circumstances have been. Growing up we did not always have a lot of money or the nicest houses, but my mom always had a thankful spirit. Even though her friends and family around her told her she should demand better, she honoured my dad by choosing to be thankful no matter what her circumstances. This has spoken volumes to me over the years. And I wish I could say that I have followed in her footsteps in this area, but too many times I have fallen into the trap of complaining about my less than perfect circumstance and in many case guilting my husband into ‘making things better’. I will never forget going to visit a friend who had just moved into a new home. I asked her if she was happy with the way things turned out. She answered “Yes, until I go and see someone else’s home that I like better.” This statement was one that I have replayed over and over again in my mind. I always thought “if only we could build our own home, then everything would be perfect.” But what isn’t perfect is the fact that I am a sinner and that I struggle with having a thankful spirit and being content in all circumstances.
So today was the day to say “Never again.” And with God’s strength I pray that I will learn to be content in every circumstance that I am placed in day to day.
Thanksgiving is good; thanks-living is better What did you learn from this chapter?

November 29, 2007

Children's Security

What do you think makes your child(ren) feel secure? Is it being fed great food everyday, is it getting nice clothes, is it getting the neatest toys, is it having friends? Actually your child’s security is in knowing that you love your spouse. Knowing that Dad and Mom love each other makes a child feel secure. Because having children keeps us busy we often times can forget as a couple to make sure we make time for each other. It can be so easy to make our children, instead of our marriage, the center in our home. Yet what our children want to know is if Dad and Mom love each other. So what can can a couple do? Well, make sure you take time for each other. Try sitting down for a few minutes every day while your children are still awake, just to chat with each other. Now if you have little ones this may prove to be a little challenging. If your children are used to being the center of attention, they may not take to this very kindly at first. But as time goes by, they will come to appreciate that fact that Dad and Mom love each other enough to take time to sit together and enjoy each other’s company. We have heard testimony and seen first hand how this simple practice can even help to cure sleeping problems in children. Parents who have had their children wake up often in the night have said that if they purpose to spend time together every day, in front of their children, that it has cut out the night time problems. Why does this work? Because this is a child’s security, seeing Dad and Mom together. If they are unsure of your relationship they will do anything to make sure that you are ‘okay’. Even to the point of risking being punished if it means that you will work together to solve the problem. You may say, “We do spend time together every night after we put the kids to bed.” This is great, the only problem is, your kids don’t see you doing this. They need to see that Dad and Mom love each other. This can be done throughout the day through other means as well, but like I said before, we often get so busy with our kids, that we forget to spend one on one time together. That is why the tool of purposing to sit down every day for a few minutes can be helpful in demonstrating to our kids that we love each others company. Taking time out for a date with our spouse can also say a lot to your kids. It seems strange, but we have seen in our family how our kids benefit from us going out together just as a couple. Be it only for an hour or two, if our kids see that their Dad and Mom want to be together, it makes them feel secure. We go as far as even telling our kids when they ask if they can come along, “No, Dad and Mom are going alone. This is for your good.” And we are not apologetic about it, because we know this will help them understand how much we love each other. Our older kids will often remind us to go out together. Even for them it helps to know that we are commited to our marriage. So today, show your spouse (and your kids) that your marriage is important to you, spend some time together!

November 23, 2007

Created To Be His Help Meet

I will be continuing the study 'Created To Be His Help Meet' by Debi Pearl. We will be discussing chapter 3 on Friday, November 30th. Hope you can join me!

Book Report by Jennifer



Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends By: Sarah, Stephen and Grace Mally


This book is all about (as you would guess at seeing the title) how to become best friends with your brothers and sisters. It covers how we need to love and serve them, how to make peace in the midst of arguments and a whole bunch of other means of becoming best friends with your siblings.


What Sarah, Stephen and Grace are trying to get across in this book is that you don’t have to feel tension, bitterness and annoyance towards your brothers and sisters, you can totally and indefinitely become best friends. You can want to spend time with them more than any other friend and you can help each other out in their walk with God.
In thinking of how to apply this principal to my life I have found that there are many ways to become best friends with your siblings. Here are a couple of ways.


I think one of the most important things is to be humble. When you are humble you don’t think of yourself first, you think of others or in this case your siblings.


Another important thing to be is a servant. This is a really hard one for me to do, I always want to do my own thing instead of thinking of others and doing things for them when I am busy. But when you don’t be a servant, and think of others interests before your own it shows your heart and it ain’t very pretty!


Not becoming annoyed and flat out yelling at them when they are, is also a hard one. But I need to pay attention to what they might be trying to say to me instead of telling them to go away.


Also being a peacemaker is very important. Stephens definition to an argument is “ When two people are trying to get in the last word first.” (pg. 139) And I think that is so true! I find myself always wanting to put the last nasty comment in, when I should say something to try to stop the argument, and remember it takes two people to argue.


Asking forgiveness when you have done something to hurt or damage your relationship is extremely important, this is also an aspect that for me is really hard to do, because I have to totally humble myself before that person and confess that I have done wrong whatever it may be. But it is all worth it to restore your relationship and clear your conscience.


Lastly I have to be sensitive to my siblings feelings. I love teasing, and while it sometimes may be okay, I have to be really sensitive that (especially if I am in public) I don’t embarrass them or hurt their feelings.


We as a family have always believed that our brothers and sisters are our best friends because (as they mention in this book) that when you are with your friends you are running a sprint race. Simple words, you aren’t going to know them forever. While with your siblings you are running a marathon. You are going to know and have relationship with them for as long as you live. This book has helped me to try harder to enhance those relationships.


The authors were extremely convincing in getting their point across, they did an excellent job of putting everything plainly and making sure that they got their point across. They also added a lot of real life stories and humour to the book which was great!


This book was swamped with scripture and there was a biblical explanation at the end of each chapter. It was very scripturally accurate.
The thing that impacted me the most was probably not the book itself but rather the way they set an example by writing the book together so well. That must have taken quite a lot of work to work together like that. It was a terrific example to me.


The authors were definitely people that I would like to get to know. If there was a rating for the book I would give it the highest number. I would recommend this book to every person who has a brother or sister.


I think the best verse that summarizes this book is……
Matthew 5:44
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Ha, Ha, Ha, just kidding!
There were many verses to be used to summarize this book but I will pick one.
Col. 3:23
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.

November 17, 2007

How To Raise a Moral Child

Since we are going through our parenting course again this year, I thought I might try to give little tid-bits throughout the course. This week we discussed our goal as parents should not be to have our kids morally 'looking good' on the outside, but that we would train them also to be moral on the inside. The question often is asked, 'So and so had Christian parents, was brought up in the church, went to Sunday School, Youth and attended all the church activities, why did they rebel when they left home?' Well this course teaches, and we believe also, that these children were taught how to act moral on the outside but were not taught to process why they believe what they believe. They are not taught to think outside themselves and to the preciousness of others. They know moral action, but they do not know moral principle. They became moral robots. Moral training begins with us as parents. If we don't know why we believe what we believe, why we do what we do, how can we teach our children? If the principles of moral conduct are not in our heart as parents, we will not be able to train our children in them. Too many times we give our children parental instruction without giving them the moral reason why. eg. Little Timmy is in the store and he is moving the price tags around on the shelves. His mom tells him to stop doing that OR ELSE! Next time they go to the store Timmy does the same thing again. She tells him to stop OR ELSE again. Next time, same thing. What has happened? Timmy's mother has trained his outward behavior, he stops because he know the "OR ELSE" will not be a pleasant experience. But what his mother has failed to do was provide him with the moral reason why. She should have said something like this, "Timmy, when you move the price tags around, the people who come behind us will not know what the price of the groceries are, because you have mixed them all up." Right away she attatched a moral to her command. At home he was taught the preciousness of others. Next time Timmy comes to the store, he has a deeper reason not to move the price tags, and if his mother happens not to be arouind one time, he will know what to do, because it is not just his outward behaviour that was trained, he will have a moral reason in his heart. When you train your children to be moral on the inside you give them a tool with which to decide what is right and wrong. You move them beyond just 'yes' and 'no' and they begin to understand the 'whys'. But too often parents are more concerned about suppressing evil in their children than elevating good. This is not saying that there is a moral reason for everything we tell our children to do. There is nothing moral about brushing your teeth, it is practical. As a general rule, situations concerning people require a moral reason where as situations concerning things requires a practical reason why. But with this comes a warning, that parents do not need to provide an explanation on demand, there are also times the reason will be just because "I said so". This is especiallly true in the toddler years. So as parents we need to study and know God's morals that He teaches us in the Bible. His word is absolute and teaches us the why's. eg. Phil. 2:14-15 says, "Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe." Here is given the command and the why, so that we may be a light shining. In order to teach our children God's morals, we need to know them ourselves. But we need to be careful not to become legalistic, remembering to put things into context. Not to be black and white. eg. Your children may not be allowed to run after church in respect to the people that are there, but what about when people are not? We need to see the context of the moment. If no one is around, maybe it is okay to run in church? Context will help you to avoid becoming a legalistic parent. So my challenge to you is, when you read the Bible, read it thinking about God's moral laws and the reason why. To train your child how to think morally you must think in accordance with biblical values. This thinking is crucial in the process of raising a morallly responsible child.

Email Addresses Please


We got a new computer.

We lost ALL our email addresses.

Need I say more except

"YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS PLEASE!"

November 9, 2007

Caleb is 9


Well I finally have a few minutes to shout a belated blog birthday wish to Caleb.
He is now 9 and I can hardly believe it!
Our episode a little over a year ago, made us realize that we don't know how much time we have with our kids, and in a moment things can change so quickly. So we are so glad to once again be able to send a birthday wish to a special son 'Caleb'!

We are so blessed to have Caleb in our family.
He is the artistic type and many times gets us to stop and see things in a 'different' light.

He enjoys to study how things are made. He likes to draw, make things out of wood. lego or anything else he can get his hands on to build with.

He has a soft spot for little kids and we often find him playing with Mikaya or Brooke.

We have many fond memories so far of the years we have had Caleb in our lives.
One of the things that stand out in our minds are his 'toilet' episode. You know how most little kids will take it upon themselves to play in the toilet. Well for Caleb that wasn't good enough, he rather liked to climb right inside the toilet. We wondered how he could enjoy that since we thought it might be kind of cold and uncomfortable, but it must have been an exciting thing for him because he did it over and over again!
So that's our Caleb. Happy Birthday big boy! We love you!

November 5, 2007

Who's Who


Here are pictures of Mikaya and Brooke when they were about the same age.

Can you tell who is who?



November 1, 2007

Happenings Of Late

Wow, life has been full and fun.
We've had another birthday which I hope to post about soon.

Some of the things we have been up to:

Getting potatoes and carrots out of the garden.
Have you ever heard that if you play constant music to your vegetables they will grow bigger?
Well I had a radio out there to scare off the raccoons from my corn in the night. And I am not sure if this is a coincidence or not, but the carrots that were beside the music are HUGE. I mean 10 inches long and 2 1/2 inches in diameter. And the carrots on the other side of the garden were normal and some even small. Hmmmmm. What do you think?

We also helped Mark's parents move and mudded and painted their garage. It amazes me what a work force we have here. Many hands make light work. I think we should go and build a house in Mexico or something :)

Getting ouy our winter clothes, snow suits, togues, mitts, boots. Ugggghhhh.....something I have to force myself to have a good attitude about every year. S0 I am now on the boots. Only mitts left to go, yeah!

Yard clean up, still not done, doing a little every day. Hoping for some sunshine today!

Getting some cows home from the pasture. I think Jen is going to blog about that so I will save the details for her.

Organizing this years parenting class "Along the Virtuous Way".
We hope to start in a couple of weeks. We are looking forward to getting together with other parents and supporting each other in the most important ministry we have: Raising our families.

So have a great day, and remember to:

SMILE!



October 23, 2007

OUR WOOD CUTTING DAY



It started with a "lets go get wood!" After much sawing wood, pulling wood, pushing wood, throwing wood, loading wood, dumping wood, tripping over wood, unloading wood, throwing wood some more, passing wood and stacking wood, we've got nearly enough wood to last us the lovely manitoba winter!
The Pauls family has once again pulled together and finished a daunting task. Hip, Hip Hooray! Special thanks to Dad who drove the tractor, to Mom who pushed down all of those trees, to Josh who ran the chain saw, to Meg who was the main wood organizer, to Kerri who did a lovely job of chucking wood, to Caleb, Zachary, Jesse and Nathan who were faithful links in the wood chain, to Brooke who kept her Daddy company, and especially to Mikaya who supplied us with her lovely smiles.

This is Jen reporting live from the Pauls household, where things are always happening, trust me, always!

October 19, 2007

Happy BIrthday Jesse Boy!















Wow, did we have a party on the 18th!

As I have mentioned before on this blog, we don't do much for Christmas gifts, we do more for birthdays. So 2 birthdays x 10 gifts (one from each sibling and dad and mom) makes for a lot of wrapping, a lot of unwrapping, a lot of hugs, a lot of thank you's, a lot of smiles, a lot of pictures, a lot of learning about sharing, and a lot of plain fun!

So anyway, this post is dedicated to Jesse who turned 5, Oct. 18th.

I remember it like it were yesterday. Waiting for you to come, couldn't wait to meet you, see what you would look like, cuddle with you, show you to your dad and siblings. And when the day came, we took one look at you and thanked God once again for our little blessing. Our 7th blessing.

Since then you have grown so much. You were always our blond haired, sturdy made boy. A farmer from almost the start, a well organized little fellow, and a smile that could make anyone's heart melt!
You were and still are a talker. When you were 1 1/2 years old you would look at us and tell this big long story sincerely. The only problem is it was in baby lingo, which we couldn't quite understand, but that didn't stop you, you had many a stories to tell! And to this day you can talk non-stop for quite a while.

You loved (and still do) to be playing with tractors, looking at tractors in a book, or riding in a tractor. You remind us a lot of you oldest brother Joshua. His love for farming and tractors is much the same as his. Even to the point of you watching the wheels of a tractor to see how fast it is going. You can tell if you are speeding up just by looking at the wheels. You are very alert of all that is going on and ask dad umpteen questions all day long as you are riding with him. That's okay, because we know that this is the way you are learning all the ropes of being a farmer if God should will it.

Usually in the morning the first question you ask your dad is if he is going in the tractor today. You spent almost everyday this spring and fall in the field with the 'farming' crew. We are very suprised at your endurance at being out there day after day!
Your love for babies makes us smile. You have a special place in your heart for your baby sister Mikaya, and she loves to watch you as you entertain her.

We are so glad that God knew that our family needed a Jesse. We love you and pray that as you grow physically, you will also grow spiritually and learn day by day what it is that pleases your heavenly Father and that you will desire to grow closer to Him and that your one passion would be to love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

October 18, 2007

Created To Be His Help Meet Study

Because of circumstances that I didn't expect, I will have to delay this study. I apologize and hope to be able to explain later. Have a great day!

October 17, 2007

Happy Birthday To Zachary!


Well the second October birthday has come and gone in our household.

Yesterday was Zachary's 7th birthday.

There wasn't a whole lot of celebrating going on as the big party will be tomorrow when we celebrate Jesse and Zachary's birthdays together. We were going to celebrate yesterday but it ended up that Mark had to get field work done before the rainy weather hit, so we asked Zachary if he would mind if we would move his birthday to tomorrow so Dad could be around to celebrate with us. I told him that we could have the cake in the field but we wouldn't be able to have decorations. He thought for a minute and said, "Who needs decorations when I have so many friends!" (I later found out this was a quote from Winnie the Pooh.) But after thinking for a few minutes and remembering how much fun it is to have Dad around on birthday parties, he made a very grown up choice and decided to have the party tomorrow. You know your little boy is growing up when he thinks past the moment and makes decisions based on the whole picture.

Talking about that....that has been the theme of Zachary' past year. Actually it was THINK BEFORE YOU ACT. If I had a dime for every time I told Zachary this in the past year, I would have a lot of money!

For those of you who know Zachary, you know why we knick name him Zippy Z.

He is a very zippy boy, full of energy, full of new ideas, and once and a while gets himself in a little bit of trouble. You know how stuff just happens to some people? Well that's Zachary. Stuff just happens to him. Broken bones, stitches, mud, knocked out teeth....stuff. We have said ever since he was little, if we can train all this energy to do good godly things, then an amazing godly boy/man he will be. Well I think this year was the pivitol year in which we got over the hump and got into him thinking that his actions have consequences and he needed to think before he acted. Many times now I hear him ready to do something and he stops himself and says, "No, I shouldn't do that". We are proud of him and how far he has come.

Full of life, Full of smiles, Full of fun, Full of forgiveness, Full of zip....that's our Zachary!
We love you Zachary and know that as you learn more about God, His Word and following Him, you will touch many people for Him. We are glad that God sent you here 7 years ago. You are an important part of our family.

October 12, 2007

CREATED TO BE HIS HELP MEET Chapter 2


Joy!
I loved this chapter because of it's emphasis on joy.
Joy is such an important thing to have as a part of our everyday life.
Without joy we feel hopelessness and despair.
Without joy little hinderances seem like huge obstacles.
Without joy little disappointments seem depressing.
Without joy offenses turn into bitterness.
Without joy aches seem like unbearable pain.
Joy is so much more than a feeling.
So many people think that if they just had a bigger house, more material possessions, better behaved kids, nicer car, better clothes, new appliances, new electronics.....they would be happy.
But the problem is, these things are so temporal, and they only produce a want for more, bigger and better.

But joy isn't that way, joy is joy all the time, despite our circumstances and possessions.
It is a deep inner peace that sustains through the tough times, the ugly times, the sad times, the provoking times, the annoying times. Joy is ETERNAL.
How to be a joyful wife? WOW!
This is not an easy one for me.
It is so easy to focus on being happy. Happiness needs to be recognized, happiness needs to be paid back, happiness needs to be served, happiness needs to be pampered. But joy doesn't need these things. Because it's deep, it's deeper than circumstances.


In this chapter Debi asked if our husbands were still married to that 'sweet little thing' that he first married. I have to honestly say that most of the time 'no'! I could make excuses that life is so much more stressful and hectic now, but that shouldn't affect my joy.
When I read this chapter it was a conformation for me of what the Lord has already been speaking to me about. I have been learning not to let the happenings of the day negatively affect my attitude. This is not joy, this is not life for my husband and our children.

The old saying goes, "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy". This is a true statement, maybe not in the way it was written to be. But I believe that as a wife and a mom, I can positively or negatively affect the atmosphere of our home. This doesn't mean that you will never be disappointed or sad but it means that those things will not bring you to the depths of despair, they will not take your joy.

Debi said to do a research on the word joy.
(By the way, a research tool online is Bible Gateway).
What verse is your favorite?

Mine is Habakkuk 3:17-18 17
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign LORD is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
He enables me to go on the heights.

That sums it all up for me!

October 5, 2007

Created To Be His Help Meet Chpt.1

Well, chapter one of this book was a good refresher for me. I can't believe how many times I fail to be a help meet to my husband. How many times I view what he wants as insignifiicant or less important than my stuff. On the farm I have ample opportunity to be a help meet. And I will do it when asked, sometimes with the right attitude. But my goal is to be that help meet without being asked. "So that I have a readiness to please and that it would motivate me to look around and see the things I know Mark would like to see done. And not to use lame excuses to avoid these jobs." (pg 23) I struggle with this. As a mom, it is so easy to see the needs of my kids before my husband because they are so 'in my face', but my calling is to first be a help meet to my husband. then to my children, and others last. God created me to be this, I was created to be his help meet. I love those words, help meet. To be a helper, a proper, perfect, good and well equiped helper. God wants me to see the potential in my husband and do what I can to help him be more productive and efficient.(pg 23) This whole thinking goes so against the rules of society today. Look out for #1, we deserve to be equal to man. Feminism is everywhere. Look for it next time you watch a movie or are around people. Even 'family' movies are full of it. It's sad, because so many couples are functioning contrary to God's design. It amazes me how even in the church feminism creeps in. So subtle yet so there. Yet God's perfect will is that women are help meets for their husbands. And how important it is to teach our young unmarried ladies this as well. When I got married I had never even thought of this concept. A lot of it was common sense to me, but I messed up in so many areas, and it took me years to get back on track, and I am still reaping some of the consequenses of my decisions. But if someone had mentored me to be a godly wife, a help meet to my husband, and told me that marriage is about serving my husband, I would have had a much different perspective. So if you have daughters, teach this to them. You know they are watching you, you know they are learning from the things you say and do. I grieve after I have a moment of being 'less than a help meet' to my husband and I realize my girls were right there, taking everything in, 'learning from me'. So, if you're like me and you know that there is room for improvement, start today. Think of ways you can be a help meet to your husband. (pg 25) So those are my thoughts. I will see you on the commments page to hear yours!

October 4, 2007

My Little Lady




6 months Mikaya!

Where has time gone. It seems like just yesterday that you were born and yet when I think of all we have been through together, it's been so much. When I look at you sometimes I wonder what you will grow up to be like, what will be your personality and other times I look at you and see some of your little personality already! You are a very determined little girl, you have a twinkle in your eyes that melts your families heart. You love the many hugs and kisses you get each day and love to make your brothers laugh. It is so special to watch you with all your siblings and how they protect and love you so much. You are so blessed to have a family that loves you and will be your best friends someday. Your sister Brooke and you will have a special bond I'm sure and I can already see the little looks you give each other that seems to say 'I know what you are thinking'! Tea parties, playing house, dressing dolls, baking is all what you have to look forward to together and so much more. And your big sisters Jen, Meg and Kerri will be able to teach you so many things, doing your hair, matching your clothes and even doing dishes (watch out, they are already counting the days before you can take over in the kitchen!) And you have a special place in your big brothers hearts. When I see you give them 'that smile' I just see there hearts melt. You are a special gift to all of us. I never dreamed that we would have 10 children, but I can't imagine our family without you. I am so glad God chose to send you to us to compliment our family. I pray that as you grow you will learn the love of God through us, your family and that you will desire that love for yourself and personally get to know Him.

October 2, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MEGAN!

If I knew what I knew now I would do it all over again.
When I found out I was pregnant with you I was excited that God was going to entrust another to our care.
Then the day arrived. I told Dad at supper time that today was ‘the day’
He told me to be sure to come to the field and tell him when things progressed.
I was sure we had a lot of time, as that was the case for Josh and Jen.
I went home, put your brother and sister to bed and waited for your dad to come home.
It was damp weather outside and I was sure he wouldn’t be able to combine too much longer,
but the time dragged on.
As thing started rapidly progressing, I figured I should go and get your dad.
So I woke up Josh and Jen, packed our things and drove to the field.
When I got there I flashed my lights and your dad came roaring across the field with the tractor.
We went to your grandparents, where dad changed and showered.
We left Josh and Jen there and headed to the hospital.
It was around 11:00 pm
We got to the hospital at 12:00 and there were times where I thought we might not make it.
Things were moving along very quickly.
We got all settled in the hospital and by 1:00 am you had made your grand entrance.
It was love at first sight. You looked like a little Eskimo with your dark fuzzy head
and perfectly round face.
We were excited to have you join our life and our family.
Your brother and sister were very excited to meet you to and it didn’t take long for you to fit right in!
You were a perfect baby, hardly cried at all.
As you grew up we laughed over your cute little ways and the things you would say.
By then your little sister Kerri was born and you loved to sing to her.
You had the cutest expressions and said things in such a unique way.
You still had that perfect little round face and dark brown curly hair.
The years flew by, full of growing, learning, discipline.
And here you are today, 14 already.
I can’t believe how time has flown, yet we have so many good memories.
You and I are a lot alike, so much so that we annoy each other sometimes:) You have heard so many times that you even look like me,
I hope that hasn’t given you a complex :-)
You have become such a responsible young girl.
You are a joy to have in our family.
We all appreciate that you usually know where everything is.
We are glad you like to take pictures (except maybe Josh)
and that you keep such good records of our family growing and changing.
I am so thankful that I don’t have to organize the change of season clothes
by myself, that you are always there to help.
I am especially thankful for your soft heart.
They way you are sensitive to the things of the Holy Spirit.
I pray that you will never lose that, and that your
desire will always be to serve God and put Him first in your life.
I look so forward to the time we have left together.
I am excited to see what God has in store for you.
Remember
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life
Proverbs 4:23
We love you Megan!

September 21, 2007

New Recipes

Check out the new recipes on our recipe blog.

Reminder

Hi, it's good to be back. You probably didn't even know I was gone! Mark took me away for a couple of days to celebrate my birthday. He felt bad we couldn't get away on my birthday, as he was a little under the weather! We brought Kerri along to be our nanny, and had a great time, relaxing and shopping. We got home last night and now today life is back into "full swing". I have had so many 'blog inspirations' over the last few days, but those are going to have to wait as today I need to get caught up.

So just wanted to remind those who are interested in joining me in studying the book 'Created to be His Help Meet' that we will be having our first blog 'discussion' Oct. 5th. I am really excited about this. As a mom of young children it isn't possible for me at this stage to go out to bible studies and share with other ladies my joys, struggles & journeys of being a godly woman. I hope that we can do this here and have some good discussions, have open hearts and let the Lord teach us how we can become more like Him. So if you are interested, get your book (from the link above or at your Bible Book Store), read the first chapter and I look forward to hear what you think on Oct. 5th.

September 20, 2007

CONTEST!

Stacey is having a contest for a nursing bracelet from Amy May's Etsy store. Although I have never owned one of these bracelets, I have thought many times of getting one. It seems hard to believe, but when you are tired beyond tired it is hard to remember sometimes which side was last! I love the way this bracelet not only tells you what side you last fed from but also what time and it's even PRETTY! So hats (or bracelets) off to Stacey for offering this contest.

September 13, 2007

Goodbye Summer

Where did summer go? I think for us it went super fast because harvest started at the beginning of August. So I went out into the garden after supper and picked what will probably be the last boquet of flowers for the year. As I was picking I was again amazed at the different flowers, the uniqueness of each one, the beauty, the intricate details. What an awesome God, to make so many different kinds for us to enjoy. He could have made just one kind, but He didn't, He made many shapes, sizes and colors for us. It makes me excited to see what heaven will be like, the beauty, the colors, the smells. More than we can even imagine. So with this in mind I say goodbye to summer, nice weather, flowers, campfires, camping...and hello to the slower pace of winter, snow, skating, sitting around the wood stove, reading, care groups, school.....I will enjoy a different pace, even though I will miss summer, I enjoy Mark & Josh being around more, and more family time. I am glad to live in Manitoba.



Life has been full lately. Mark and I celebrated our
19th anniversary this week. We even got away for a night, it was nice. We plan on going away again as soon as Mark is feeling better. He got his stitches out on Tuesday but still has to stay quite still or he finds himself in a lot of pain. The doc said he will have to take it easy for 6 months. A little longer than we thought, but we are praying that things will get better quickly so that he can get around a little more.
We have sort of started the 'text book' part of school. The kids just kind of took initiative to start on their own. This year we will have 6 in school and 4 toddling around! I am sure Jesse and Nathan will want to be involved as well. And Brooke will probably repeat everything everyone says. She's a little parrot these days!


Our little 'baby' Mikaya is growing up fast.

Yesterday she started moving herself around on the floor. If she sees something she wants she pulls herself forward with her arms. She is only 5 months! She is so interested in what everyone is doing
and doesn't want to get left behind!

We have been getting a lot of laughs from the funny things Brooke says. She tries to be so grown up about everything. But there is one thing she just cannot get right! The older girls names. She gets them mixed up all the time. I think we have figured out it is according to what she wants. If she wants food she calls on a certain girl, if she wants to go potty she calls on a certain girl, if she wants to go outside she calls on a certain girl ect... Well the other day she said to Kerri, "Megan, where's Megan?" I am sure someday she will get it right, for now it is kind of funny!

September 8, 2007

A Cut Above The Rest

Well Mark definitely has a cut! We changed his dressing yesterday to find a nice sized incision under there with 26 staples, plus quite a black and blue spot. If he moves around too much he seems to pay for it so he is trying to stay as still as possible. If you are queasy I apologize for the photo but I thought some might be curious of the boo boo!

September 4, 2007

MANY THANKS!

Well, Mark had surgery today at 12:30 pm and we just brought him home a little while ago to recover. Everything went really well. We got there at 7:45 am because they told us the surgeon might see us before his first surgery. But that was wishful thinking. He finally saw Mark around 10:00 am and then they brought him to his room to wait. At 12:30 pm they took him in and the surgery was finished around 2:00. They screwed in a plate to piece the bones back together since it was in 3 pieces. (we got to see it on the xrays, pretty amazing!) After all his faculties started working they decided to send him home around 7:30. So he was glad to be able to sleep in his own bed. He is not in too much pain and we are pretty sure it is because of all the prayers of so many of you who said you would be praying. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Please continue to pray that his recovery would be quick and painless. I hope this made sense because I am very tired and don't feel like I am communicating real well :) Anyway, I need to go to bed and get my beauty sleep because tomorrow is MY BIRTHDAY! So until next time.

September 3, 2007

Fun, Food, Fellowship and FOOTBALL!!


Yesterday our church had a family day at Christian Enrichment Family Camp. In the morning we had a worship service. Some of us did praise and worship. Then we had a food, food and more food! After that we had a photo hunt, relays and stuff and....more food!! Some guys were playing a 'gentle' game of football and convinced my hubby to join them. They were having a grand ol' time until Mark tackled someone, then got tackled by someone. The other guys ended up unscathed, but....not Mark. So we made our well trodden trail to the ER at Boundry Trails to find out that Mark's collar bone is in 3 peices. So they put a sling on him, drugged him up and sent him home to wait for an appointment with a surgeon on Tuesday morning (Today is a holiday). So it looks like he will probably have to have surgery to fix the damage. Oh well! I don't think he plans on playing football anytime soon! So if you think of him in the next couple of days please pray for
- the pain
- wisdom for the surgeon to know what to do
- a quick recovery
- strength for Joshua as he holds the fort (we finished harvest on Friday, so the 'timing' is not too bad) (there's a positive side to everything!)
We will keep you posted on the ever exciting happenings in 'our quiver'

*on a side note:
You may have heard on the news about the couple at Snowflake that died last week. Sadly they were so low they found life hopeless and decided it wasn't worth living anymore. We have known their family for a long time and their parents and one brother and his wife attend our church. Please pray for the family as I can't imagine how incredibly hard this must be.

September 1, 2007

Created to be His Help Meet


This is a call to all you wives who are wanting to learn more about being a godly wife. I have heard great reviews on the book "Created to be His Help Meet" by Debi Pearl. So I would like to go through it with all of you who are interested in joining me.

I want to start the first week in October and plan to post on each chapter weekly (hopefully Fridays).

I would love to be able to do this together with you through this blog by discussing each chapter through the comments page.

If you are interested you can order your book at Amazon with the above link or pick it up from your Bible Book Store. I look forward to taking this journey together with you.

August 29, 2007

More Than a Job!

As I was putting our folded clothes away today, I was getting rather frustrated at the unwanted creases, far from neat folding, inside out clothes and was wondering "How can I get across to my girls that this is not the 'proper' way to do laundry. I went through all the lectures in my head, all the ways to tell them how to 'do it right' and then the words came to me, "You need to get them to see this as a ministry" "That's it" I said to myself. And so I called for them and proceeded to tell them something like this: From now on, when you fold the clothes I want you to think of it not as a job, but as a ministry. When you fold something, think of how important that person is to you, so important that you will honor them in the way you treat their clothes. Because you see the people in your family as valuable you will not give them wrinkled, inside out clothes. But you will fold their clothes in respect to who they are as a person. Do you understand? From now on, I don't want you to see this as as job, but instead as a ministry. And as I said this, I spoke to myself as well. How many times do I look at my 'daily grind' as just another job, when it is in fact a way to minister to my family, friends and neighbors. I think if I would view my daily activities as this way, my perspective would change. For I was hungry, and you gave me meat: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you clothed me: I was sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you? or thirsty, and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger, and take you in? or naked, and clothe you? Or when did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, As much as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me. Matthew 25:35-40 Well I need to go and 'minister' to my family!

August 28, 2007

Pictures as Promised


Here you have it folks, our new kids!
(Did I mention they were goats?)
On the left is Sophie, right is Spike

August 27, 2007

New Additions

Just a quick note to let everyone know how excited
we are that 2 kids have joined our family.
I will try to post pictures tomorrow.
Ta ta for now!

August 20, 2007

A PUKEY DAY

The stomach flu has been hanging around our house for the past 2 weeks and yesterday it decided to hitn full force. Kerri, Caleb, Zachary, Nathan & Brooke were all sick. It has always been interesting to me how kids all have different personalities. It even shows up when they are sick. Zachary can hardly sit still, and if he does you know he is very sick. Kerri & Caleb just lay around all day, Brook just eats, throws up, eats, throws up. Not a clue to how her tummy is feeling! And Nathan is a lot like Zach, he plays in between his 'episodes' We have a house full of laminate flooring.
The boys have a car mat that they play on.
And where do you think Brooke decides to
spew her lunch? You've got it, on the mat:)
So we spent the day at home (really?) just lying around. Mark & Josh got some much needed rest. They have been going hard at combining all week. I think at least 3 days they went until 2 am. The girls and I played the farming game. We watched videos. I hope today everyone is feeling better! The stomach flu is one of my most unfavorite things! And it is the most inconvenient during harvest. So if you think of us today, please pray for good health.
But I just have to say:
Hats off to the one
who invented ice cream pails.
They come in really handy
at a time like this!

August 16, 2007

Memories


Just so you don't think from my last post
that I think life is all about work, work, work,
here are some more thoughts.
A wise friend once said, "Summer is too short for dusting."
And that little comment has really made me re-evaluate
about life and the time that we have
with our spouses, children, family and friends.
I am a very 'goal oriented' person and when I start a project,
you better not get in my way until I am finished!
And sometimes my list of 'to do's' gets so long that I forget.
I forget that relationships and the memories
we make are the things that will last forever.
So my advice to myself today is take time for the little things
because it is so easy to pass those moments by!
Take Monday night for example.
It was supposed to be a perfect night
to see shooting stars for some reason.
I went outside around 11:00 pm
and soon Jen, Megan and Kerri had joined me.
They begged to stay out and watch the stars for awhile.
My tired bones just wanted to go to bed,
but after much persuasion we laid on the lawn
and looked to the heavens.
And it was amazing.
We were out there less than an hour
and we counted at least 25 shooting stars.
But that won't be the only thing we will remember.
Ask us and we will say:
-giggling
-ice cubes
-dog breath
-screams
-strange noises
-frogs
-flashlight
-truck
These are the memories we have.
It was a lot of fun, a bonding moment
that I am sure we will not forget.
And guess what?
It didn't cost us a dime.
Just a little less sleep for a tired mama!
So today remember to take time for the little things.
There are somethings that can wait.
but the memories you build today will last forever!

August 12, 2007

MOTHERHOOD IS NOT FOR WIMPS!


BE ADVISED: THE FOLLOWING CONTENT MAY OFFEND SOME!
BUT I PRAY THAT YOU WILL READ IT WITH AN OPEN HEART.

I have been saddened, shocked and yes even occasionally appalled by the self serving attitude of some moms now a days. I have been amazed how many times I have heard complaining lately about how tired, bored, lonely, and frazzled moms are.

I have been thinking about this a lot and wondering why this attitude seems to be so prevalant. What drives a mom to think that she should have her time and her space whenenver she wants it. Honestly I just don't get it?!?!?!

So of course as with everything I look at this and say, "Is this a training thing? Is it just personality or is it something more. As a mom, can I make or break (for lack of a better word) this attitude in our daughters?" And I came to the conclusion that the answer is yes. A lot of the training and ideas we give our daughters now, will affect their attitude as a mother
later on.

I thought back on my growing up years. What affected me and helped prepare me to be a mom? And I came to the conclusion that a lot of it had to do with good old fashioned work! Don't get me wrong, I know that the example of my mom had a lot to do with it, but I don't think that was the only thing that formed who I became as a mom. I think that the reason that our young moms find it so 'hard' being moms is because they are not taught to work at home. They are allowed to have their space and their time to do their thing whenever they want it. And therefore teaching them to become self centered.

I always think of the training of our children as preparing them for what they will do when they are grown. As I look back on my teen years, I worked hard, and I didn't like it at all! I am actually ashamed when I think of my attitude and how I treated my mom when she asked me to do chores around the house. But I am so grateful that she didn't let that discourage her from putting me to some good ol' fashioned work! I didn't have a lot of 'me' time. I remember comparing myself to my friends and seeing that they didn't have to work as hard as me and I didn't think that was fair. I had to babysit my younger siblings a lot, do laundry, house cleaning, gardening, feed animals, and the list went on and on. Every day when I came home from school, there was stuff to do. And you know what, now I really appreciate my mom for putting me to work! Because I believe she instilled in me the value that 'motherhood is not for wimps'. I knew what hard work was, I knew what self denial was, and it wasn't such a huge shock for me when I got married and became a mom and had to be on call 24/7. I wasn't used to having 'my time' and getting frustrated when I didn't. Please understand, I am not saying I was or am this perfect mom and I never got tired or frustrated when I was sleep deprived or had a sick child. I still had and have character issues to work on, but I don't remember having such huge issues with it as some moms today.

So now...I tell my girls, being a mom is hard work. I don't want to discourage them from having children (I want so many grandchildren that we will need a mansion to have family gatherings in :) but instead I want to instill in them a knowing that they will have to give of themselves 24/7, their time 24/7. So my girls don't have 'their time'. Yes, they get breaks, but they also know what hard work is. They know what it means to put aside their 'selfish ambitions', and do the task that is set before them.

Philippians 2:3-5 "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus."

So I guess the reason for this posting? To encourage you to train your daughters that 'Motherhood is not for Wimps' Teach them what hard work is, don't allow them to have the attitude that they can have their time, their space whenever they want it. Talk about being a mom to them, the challenges, the rewards, how the rewards outweigh the challenges if we have a Christ-like attitude.

And if you're a mom, and you have found yourself bemoaning the fact that you don't have the time or space to yourself that you would like, memorize Philippians 2:3-5. Get it in your heart, think of Jesus, the person who was the ultimate example of giving of Himself. Tell yourself that "Motherhood is not for Wimps" that it is and will be hard work, but look at the bigger picture, the amazing privelage you have to raise another 'plant grown up' or a 'polished corner stone' (see Psalm 144:12)

And remember:
What you do today will affect the future of your children
and their children and their children............

August 9, 2007

Ever Had a Day Like This?


Favorite Quick Supper
Measure 3 cups flour into a large bowl.
Answer telephone.
Take large bowl off small son's head.
Sweep up floor.
Measure 3 cups flour into large bowl.
Measure 1/4 cup shortening.
Answer door bell.
Wash shortening from son's hands and face.
Add 1/4 cup shortening to flour.
Mix well.
Rock crying baby for 10 minutes.
Answer the telephone.
Put son in tub and scrub well.
Scrape flour and shortening mixture from floor.
Add enough tears to relieve tension.
Open one can of beans and serve with remaining strength!

Whew, all for a meal!

August 7, 2007

New Recipe

Got cucumbers? Make pickles. Check out our recipe blog for 'Cafe Pickles'

August 6, 2007

Belated Birthday Blog

Posted by Picasa
In all the business of summer and our travels I forgot to post a birthday blog for Brooke. We can't have that, because she is an important part of our family. So here's a belated birthday blog for Brooke.
Brooke turned 2 on July 7.
And no, it is not terrible two's. I refuse to view the amazing 2 year old stage as such. It is a year of lots of training as they learn so many new things, but definitely I LOVE the 2 year old stage. We have had this age stage in our home for many years now
and I can't imagine how less exciting things would be without it!
Brooke is a 'cutie' in our biast opinion.
She is an amazing singer and you will often find her
singing songs to her dolls, little sister or just as she is playing.
She doesn't just sing little kids songs, she sings worship songs and if you listen carefully she sings nearly every word.
And there are so many different ones she sings. It baffles my mind!
When she was just born and we were working at Rock Lake for the summer she had a few prophecies over her that she would be a worshipper. Well at the time I just shelved that as we don't believe in taking prophecies instantly as God's Word as we didn't know any of the people who gave the prophecies, but now as time goes on I can see that she is a worshipper already. That's exciting when you can see God's work already in her,
even when she is just two!
Brooke is the life of the party and usually the centre of all attention. As people come in from outside she usually greets them by name and used to say 'Hi _____, how are you!' Now she just starts a conversation!
Mark and I work hard that she doesn't get too spoiled, but every once in awhile we get caught up in her cuteness and she gets away with things she shouldn't:) And we will pay for it later, so we make a concious effort to not let these cute moment take away from her overall character training!
She likes to play with her brothers and is especially enamoured with her brother Zachary. She loves all her brothers dearly
but when he is missing she walks around saying
'Where's Zachary?'
And does she talk. It's hard for me to believe she is only 2 because of her vocabulary. She can easily communicate what she wants and how she wants it and when she wants it.....get the point!
We celebrated her birthday in a campground on our trip.
And our amazing friends knew it was her birthday so when we visited them
they had went through the trouble of making her a cake. Very special!
A funny story about her gift opening:
She had a gift from everyone as usual.
So she would open a gift, look at it, play with it
and then put it aside when the next gift came.
Then she opened 'THE GIFT'!
It was a wooden puzzle, you know the kind with little animals
or whatever that fit in each special spot.
Well something you need to know about Brooke, she loves puzzles!
When she came to this gift she was obviously elated and could not stop playing with it. From every gift there on she would open it, toss it aside and continue to play with her puzzle. It was quite hilarious.
The moral of the story is: If you give Brooke a puzzle for a gift, give it last!!
We love you Brookie. Have a fun year being 2!
And keep worshipping with music,
we all need a Gideon worshipper around here!

August 2, 2007

Submission


This is submission:

Complete confidence that God's will for me
is the very best thing that could happen to me.
It means accepting my present situation.
Submission says first of all,
"O God, if by being here in this situatin I can glorify You more,
then I am happy to be here.
If you choose to keep me in this situation for the rest of my life,
because to do so will better bring your purpose to pass
and will better manifest Your power and your love to lost men and women,
then let me be here for the rest of my life."
It is not often that He requires this of you,
but you must come to that place of submission and be willing.

taken from Shirley Rice's book, 'The Christian Home' pg. 31