December 26, 2009
January came and so did our expectations of adding the newest blessing to our family. But he was a little slower in coming than we were thinking and we were made aware that God`s timing is perfect. He also came in a little different manner than we were thinking but as always God knew exactly what was best. Josiah James Daniel joined our family on January 8th via an emergency C-section. To make a long story short, after being 10 days overdue I had an ultrasound which showed the amniotic fluid to be very low, so I went to the hospital to be induced. While I was on the fetal monitor they lost Josiah`s heartbeat and after turning me every position to try to find it, they were unsuccessful. I was immediately prepped for surgery and a few minutes later our son was born. We were so thankful that he was safely in our arms and totally healthy. Children are a gift from God and we feel honoured that God chose to bless us, once again, with a precious son. And this was a double blessing, as Josiah was born on Mark`s birthday.
February was a busy month. Besides adjusting to a beautiful new baby it was time to plan our son, Joshua`s and his wife, Rebecca`s wedding. It was such a joy to plan this special day with Joshua, Rebecca and Rebecca`s family . On Feb. 28th Joshua and Rebecca made a commitment to spend the rest of their lives together. This was the first wedding on both sides, so everything was new to all of us, but after all was celebrated we agreed that it was the perfect day. After a honeymoon to Israel, Josh and Rebecca have settled on the home farm. Being on the same yard has given us the special privelage of getting to know Rebecca better. We feel very blessed that she has joined our family. She has been an amazing wife to our son, and a special daughter and sister-in-law.
March started out with a visit from the Muncks, a family of 12, from Tennessee. Up until this point we had only visited by email so it was great fun to finally meet face to face. And after a couple of days it was plain to see that this would be a friendship that would continue on. Even though they were only here for a few days it felt like we had known them forever. It made it easier to say goodbye when we decided, Lord willing, we would make a trip to Tennessee to visit them in summer.
April was a month busy with calving and getting ready for seeding. After a few years of early seeding it was evident, come the end of the month, that this year would be different. And we patiently waited for the weather to warm up and the fields to dry. But we were going to have to wait until May to scratch the soil this year. Once again, we knew God`s timing was perfect.
On May 8th we were happy to be able to get out on the fields and start planting the crops. But our patience was tested as the rains kept coming and it seemed like we would never get seeding done. Thankfully on May 30th we were able to finish up. We were very thankful that God was merciful and gave us a window of suitable weather to seed. Also on Mother`s day we were told the exciting news that we would be welcoming a new member to our family. But this time it would be a grandchild, due in January. We were overjoyed!
Late June and early July included a trip down south with our destination being the Muncks home in Tennessee. Some of the sights we took in along the way were the Mall of America in Minnesota, the Creation Museum near Petersburg, Kentucky, an Amish village in Arcola, Illinois and then it was on to Cleveland, Tennessee to see our dear friends. And after a visit that went way to fast, we slowly made our way home again. In total we were gone 18 days. It was great time together as a family and we will forever cherish the dear memories from it.
August was another month of resting in the Lord`s timing as cool weather and rains stalled both the crops and the gardens growth. As the days went by and the temperatures stayed cool we petitioned to our Heavenly Father to help things ripen so we could get our crops in the bins. On Aug. 26th we finally brought the combines in the fields and harvest began. But it was not without its struggles as the weather continued to be cool and wet.
Once again patience was needed as we waited for favourable combining weather. We ended up having to dry a lot of grain which made the harvest season a little more hectic. But on September 25th we parked the combines for another year and rejoiced that God had answered our prayers, another crop was safely in the bins. The neatest thing was, a year that looked so bleak to our human eyes, ended up being one of the best crops we have ever had. So all the struggles were worth it and we were, and still are, humbled by God`s loving provision.
October was a very busy month finishing off the field work and starting some fix-up and building projects around the yard. We are always thankful for the many willing hands that we have in our family that make the
projects a little quicker and lighter. What a sense of accomplishment, ownership and closeness when we work hard together as a family to get things done. Sometimes in the midst of it, it is hard to perservere, but when we see our finished project, it is all worth it!
November started in a very unexpected way when Rebecca went into premature labour and God chose to bring Andrew Joshua into the world and our hearts. Once again we rested in the fact that God`s timing is perfect. Andrew was born at a tiny 3lbs. 2 ½ oz. Being 10 weeks early, he had many hurdles to overcome. But we were so thankful that God chose to preserve his little life and even though this meant a long hospital stay we felt blessed beyond measure that we had another precious little one to love on. Andrew is the first grandchild on both sides of the family and also the first nephew to 17 aunts and uncles. He will be very loved :D To read more about Andrew's preemie journey you can visit Josh and Rebecca's Blog,
And that brings us to December. This month has brought many trips to Winnipeg to see our sweet little grandson. We are happy to report that Andrew is doing great and is showing improvement everyday. It is truly a miracle to be able to watch this little man mature and grow. We are all hoping that he will continue to improve so that he can go home soon with his daddy and mommy. The 17 aunts and uncles have never met him in person, so they are quite excited about his homecoming too. With siblings that have such a close relationship, it has been very hard for the brothers and sisters not to be able to see or hold little Andrew and share in person the joy of his life here on earth. They too have been able to instill in their hearts the truth that God's timing is perfect and He knows what's best. And maybe, Lord willing, our Christmas gift this year will be to have Andrew join our celebrations.
So as you can see this indeed was a very eventful year, a year of ups and downs, a year of triumphs and trials, but no matter what the outcome we are still able to say that it was a year where God was God and God was good. Every year there seems to be a theme of what God is teaching us and this year was no exception. As I`m sure you gathered, it was a year where God confirmed in our hearts the truth that His timing is perfect. So many times we see things from our human perspective and think we know what is best for us and those around us, while God is saying, “ Actually, no, this is My best for you.” We can make a choice to reject His ways and try to get things happening in our own timing, or we can choose to rest in Him and know in our hearts that He is God, He is in control and He knows best. We have found that when we choose to rest in Him, we can find true peace, deep inner peace, peace that passes all understanding, peace that lasts!
Our prayer for you is that you will experience the peace of God this Christmas season and throughout the coming year. And that whatever comes your way this year, you will be able to trust in God and know that “His Timing Is Perfect” and "He Knows What is Best For YOU!"
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
December 24, 2009
The peace that Christ brought into our lives.
The peace that passes all understanding.
It is only because of this peace that we can rest in Him.
It is only because of this peace that no matter what our circumstances, we can trust in Him.
It is only because of this peace that we can look forward to the certainty of eternal life.
It is only because of this peace that we can count it all joy in our trials and tribuations
It is only because of his peace that we can live each day with assurance that God is good all the time.
Our family prays that you will experience the peace of God this Christmas. The peace that came when He sent His Son for us.
December 16, 2009
As I mentioned before, self-control is a very valuable character trait and is used throughout a life time. And God must have thought it was pretty important too because it is listed in the Bible as one of the fruits of the Spirit.
So how to teach your child self-control.
Let's start with when to start teaching it. Really you can start teaching it as early as they begin to explore. I don't mean get on the ground crawling, exploring, but rather with their hands. Have you ever had a baby pull your hair? This is something that I have never seen as cute and never allowed to go on without correction. Now of course I am not talking about the little tiny baby getting his hand stuck in your hair and hanging on just because they always like to grasp whatever is in their hand. I am talking about the deliberate pulling of hair. All some babies need is a pushing away of the hand and saying something like, "Be gentle". But some babies are a little more determined and need a firm squeeze of their hand or a little flick on the hand. You will be able to tell if this had any effect by their response. If there is no response then it didn't phase them and you need to move on to something that does. This method is beneficial for the many things that a baby will explore but that is not appropriate to touch or if it hurts others. Remember, if baby is allowed to pull hair, bite, pinch.....what is to stop them from doing it when they are older. That pattern will have already been set. So why would you be surprised if they do it to their siblings or other children. If you deal with things when they first come up, you won't have to deal with them as often later, and in some cases, not at all.
So let's move on to the high chair. You have your baby in the chair and you keep everything out of reach right? WRONG! This is a perfect opportunity to teach self-control. And really the same methods apply. If they touch the bowl or spoon, just a little firm grasp or flick will usually deter them from touching. Not that they will never try it again, kids like to test their boundaries, and some over and over again. Just to see if you are still on top of your game plan :) And what about throwing food on the floor? Well babies are babies, so it's ok, right? WRONG. Why do you want them to do something now that you will have to retrain later? Nip this thing in the bud BEFORE it gets to be a problem. You will thank yourself someday. Same deal. Baby throws food on the floor, squeeze, flick or slap their hand. And firmly but lovingly say, "No throwing food on the floor." or something like that.
Staying in the theme of the high chair and moving to when baby is a little older. What if for some reason they are being loud, not just happy loud, but upset or angry about something? If we find they will just not settle down, we will either remove them from their high chair and put them in their bed or playpen until they settle down, or we will turn their high chair around, away from the family until they stop crying. We will use the latter more often as we find it is the most effective because you can immediately turn them around when they settle down. This has worked for us really well and we have used it many times. Simple, don't you think? And if they begin to cry again, turn it around again. They willl get the point after awhile. And you will have a much more peaceful meal.
Let's now move on to when baby is crawling around or walking. Now that he is mobile he is exploring his world....and boy does he have LOTS to explore. But in his exploring, he still needs to have boundaries. There will be boundaries all through his life, why not start to teach them now. Don't get into the habit of moving the things that you don't want your baby to touch out of his reach. Use this as a training tool. Take time to watch him as he crawls around and train him. Same deal, he touches, you say 'don't touch'. he gives you that look and touches. Probably by this time he will need more than a squeeze, it might move up to a little more. And you might even have to swat his little bottom (gasp.....yes, we do use this method :) But in doing this, you are again teaching your precious little one self-control. Think about how nice it will be to go to family or a friend's house and know that they don't have to rearrange their things for your little one. Because he is trained not to touch. And you won't have to anxiously follow him all around concerned that he is going to break something. But it starts in your home. Don't try to do this training at someone else's house. It will be exhausting for you and awkward for your family or friends.
So another question that we have been asked many times and I might as well address here is how to get your baby to sit still in church. This is another issue that, the more babies we have the more we found out how young they are capable of sitting for long periods of time. But once again, it begins at home. How can you train a child in church when you and him have to be quiet? Hard, right. So instead practice at home. Have your baby sit on your lap for 15 min. or so every day. No toys, no entertainment, just sitting. What do you do when he wiggles and cries? Well, for sure don't let him down! And if he wiggles so much that he is almost escaping, a firm squeeze on the leg and say, "It's time to sit now." After you find your baby is able to sit 15 min. quietly, up it to 20, 25, 30 minutes. We find that usually after they learn to sit about 30 minutes that they can sit for an hour or more with no issues. Again, train them young, and then when they are older, they will know how to sit. Of course once they are on their own chair it seems a little further training is sometimes needed.We have chosen not to bring snacks, coloring or toys to church. We found they caused more problems and hassle than they solved and it just wasn't worth it. And we also found that when children have nothing else to occupy them they will actually pay attention to whatever they are sitting through :)
Well this has become an incredibly LONG post, but I hope in sharing some of our experiences it will be helpful to you. We don't at all claim to be experts at this, as parenting is a journey and we are still learning daily and daily relying on God's wisdom in raising our children. But I want to encourage you to think about what your goal is in raising your children and with God's help work towards it. Our personal goal is to raise Godly children that honor Him in their actions and that love Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, children that are pleasant to be around and who show God's light to the world. And please let's pray for each other as we know too well that our adversary definitely does not want us to raise Godly children and so we are in a battle. But be encouraged to press on, for one day you will reap the rewards.
December 10, 2009
But everytime, I struggle with the 'how much does he really understand' conflict. And when I test the waters I realize it's always way more than I give them credit for.
December 6, 2009
I needn't have been concerned. He is a big deal to me. He is very special to me. He is my grandson. And I love him immensely.
Being a mom is the greatest
And being a Grammy is AMAZING!
How could it get any better than this?
December 2, 2009
To practice their printing and cursive writing I have the kids write out scripture verses. With these
worksheets you can put in your own sentences and print them out...tracing....printing...writing....
big....small..... basically whatever you want. So when I want to print up a verse, I go to Bible Gateway and copy the verses I want them to write out and then paste them on the WorkSheet Works site and then print them out. Simple....fast. I like it. Here's a sample.
November 27, 2009
November 21, 2009
November 19, 2009
November 18, 2009
*Syrup spilled in the fridge makes for a sticky mess.
*If you would combine jars containing the same ingredients, there would be more room for other things
*Labelling doesn't always work
*I would not be a good scientist, mold does not intrigue me
*When you have too many left overs, make soup
*Some of our kids must have no depth perception, they can't tell when a container is empty
*I wonder if you push the little button that turns off the light while the door is still open, does the food think you can't see it?
*Celery that's not wrapped gets really gimpy
*10 month old babies like to crawl in a fridge while its open
* I wonder how a humidity controlled crisper works.....maybe I should be a scientist!
*Some things are entirely too tall for the shelf they are labeled to be on
*A clean fridge makes me feel like I have accomplished something :-O
How about you? Any random cleaning thoughts?!?
November 16, 2009
November 6, 2009
Thought it was about time for an update on little Andrew.
First off thank you for all your congratulations and prayers. It means so much to hear that people all over the world are praying for little Andrew.
He seems to be doing well. He was taken off the ventilator yesterday morning which was great news. He had to have blood given to him almost right away as his hemoglobbin was quite low. He has to have a couple of tests and app'ts, some routine, some things they are a little concerned about. We should know the results of those some time today.
We were able to see him when he was just a few hours old so that was exciting. He is a little sweetie. But so tiny. It's hard to believe they grow so much in the last 10 weeks.
Rebecca is doing well. She is hoping to be discharged today. I think she likes hospitals just about as much as I do :-) Joshua is a little sleep deprived but doing well too.
Grammy and Gramps are enjoying this new roll even though it didn't turn out quite like we expected it to! But we are so thankful that God loves our little grandchild so much more than we do and He has a perfect plan for him.
Thanks for tunning in to the GRAMMY AND GRAMPS REPORT. Oh ya, and by the way, I think I am getting a gray hair....YEAH!
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11
November 4, 2009
November 3, 2009
Hi again....still from the big city.
We had another day of sticking around the hospital and having good visits with Joshua and Rebecca.
Just to update you......Rebecca's contractions are still quieted right down. The baby will get his/her last shot of steroids tonight and then it's wait and see.
So really....not sure what to say except thanks again for your prayers (have I mentioned that already :) and please continue to pray for Josh, Rebecca and their baby (our sweet little grandbaby)
GRANDPA'S IN WAITING:)
Oh and please pray for our families back at home.,..for the girls decided to make donuts at 9:45 at night :) But seriously...they have been doing a great job at holding down the fort and allowing us to be here with their brother, sister and neice/nephew. Bless them Lord :)
THE AUNTS AND UNCLES IN WAITING
I hope to update you again tomorrow so check in again if you would like :)