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September 30, 2010


Yesterday I had to make a trip into town to run a few errands.
Having a large family means that I am never short of someone to accompany me to town!
As soon as I start to put on "nice" clothes or brush my hair the question comes...."Are you going somewhere?" And not just once, or twice, but many, many times :) And then guess what the next question is???? CAN I COME????

I love it that I always have someone that wants to come with me. But what I don't love is the fact that I have to choose WHO comes along! Because our truck only seats 5 to 6 people. So they can't all come. So I have to weigh out all the variables. What will I be doing, who will be able to stay in the vehicle alone if I have to run in somewhere quickly.....and a host of other things.

Well this was the case yesterday. I had 5 children who verbally expressed the desire to come with me to town. And I'm sure there were others who couldn't/didn't express their desire!!!  So picture this. Five dark brown eyes pleading.....CAN I COME????? Who to choose??? I don't like choosing!  It was at that moment that I realized that I don't often take the boys with me. Not sure why...I just don't. Maybe it is because when I look at them and see their dirty faces, dirty clothes, and dirty almost every other visible place....I think it will be too much work to clean them up???? Or maybe it's because I have some job that I think is soooo pressing.....Pathetic, I know. It's amazing how much more pathetic some excuses seem when you write them down :(

But yesterday was different. When I looked at those boys brown eyes....I couldn't refuse them. So they came with me. But first I laid down the law.....I AM TAKING NO DIRTY BOYS TO TOWN. CLEAN UP!!! It's been a long time since I have seen them clean up so fast :) Obviously they were excited!!

Once they were squeaky clean it was off to town we went. We didn't do anything exciting. Got some stuff for the farm, the mail, some groceries, thrift shop.....They came in with me everywhere. And you know what???? I had a great time with them! Their boyish energy made me energized, their "intellectual" conversation made me giggle, their deep questions made me think, their God honouring actions made me proud.

And so yesterday I was reminded once again. It's often not the big things that make an impression in our children's hearts. It's often the little things. The things that we can decide in an instant to do or not to do. Those little things often involve time or a little extra energy.....but once again I am reminded it is worth it. Because one day these boys will be living on their own and Lord willing have a family of their own, and the opportunity to make these daily memories will be gone.

Having children can make life very, very busy. So busy that many times I let the day go by without taking the time and energy to "make a memory". It doesn't take much. How do I know? Because I listen to our oldest children talk about their memories of when they were younger. And it always amazes me that it is usually something that I did not think was a big deal at the time....but to them it is a special memory! Sometimes our children will talk about a special memory and Mark and I will look at each other and think, "REALLY?" Because it's never something big or expensive.....it's usually just something that took a few minutes of extra time or effort. Simple really.

We live in a society today that says everything needs to be bigger and better. Well I'm here to tell you that is just not true! Often it's the little seemingly insignificant things that are better. Better for you as a parent and better for your children!

So next time I go to town or do something else seemingly insignificant....I will try not to think of my inconveniences...but rather think of the memories that can be made in that moment.  And I will look forward to the day they are grown and come home to visit and say.....REMEMBER WHEN? To which I will answer, "Yes, I remember"and will have the satisfaction of knowing our days together were not wasted but part of a very special time that we will never be able to live again.....MEMORIES!

September 29, 2010

Menu Plan Week 2

Well our first week of the menu plan is done.
It was pretty successful as we had 4 yes's and only 1 "I think this is a little drabby and needs something!"
The Quick Shepherd's pie was the one that needs something more. We are thinking some corn or something?????  Does anyone out there make a yummy shepherd's pie? If so, what do you put in it?

We posted the recipes we liked on our recipe blog. You can check out them out here.

So now we are well on our way to a new week.
Here's the plan.

No Fuss Stroganoff, Carrots, Coleslaw
Chinese Chicken, Fried Rice Dish, Broccoli Salad
Hamburger Soup, English Muffin Melts
Sausage Veggie Casserole, Cooked Peas
Hamburgers, Raw Veggies, Potato Salad

Our breakfasts and lunches will stay the same.
We'll let you know how it went!

September 23, 2010

He's Getting Big!

Here is our little man Jaden.
He is talking and smiling at us now.
Jen is good at getting him to do this.
Here's a video to prove it!

September 20, 2010

And the Answer is....

We asked you what you thought we were doing in this post.

For the last few years we have had a menu plan for breakfast and supper. Last year we decided to make the plan one week at a time. This worked for awhile. The one who was in charge of meals for the week would write down a menu (usually the week before), make a grocery list and all was good. Well....a few weeks ago this system really fell apart. We were eating a lot more quick hamburger dishes and the other meat was being neglected. Because we butcher our own beef, I like to use it ALL up before we butcher another. One of the things that seem to be used up the slowest is the steak (I know, I know....pathetic :) But steak takes a little more time to prepare. It is much faster to thaw out some ground beef and make a casserole or something. Or throw a roast or chicken in the oven. But then we end up with a bunch of steak when our ground beef is used up.

So this week we  I decided that we should make up a menu plan once again. So on Saturday we poured over cookbook after cookbook and picked out some new recipes. By the time we were done it wouldn't have bothered us one bit if we didn't see another cookbook for awhile! What we came up with? A ton of  new recipes (6 weeks worth). So the agenda for the next 6 weeks is to try these recipes, weed out the rejects, mix in our old tried and true favorites and make our new menu plan! It took quite awhile to balance everything out. I like to use ground beef a couple times a week, chicken once a week (or every other week if we cook up 2 one week), farmer sausage every week or every other week, and steak OFTEN :) And so we don't have the same vegetable all the time (like corn:) we rotate between corn, carrots and peas. And to get our fresh veggies in we rotate between cabbage dishes, lettuce salad and raw veggies (carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, celery.....) We also have soup once a week with some kind of bread. For lunch everyday we have sandwiches.

So this weeks plan?
Supper-Beef Nacho Casserole, Bean Special & Lettuce Salad

Supper-Barbecue Chicken Texas Style, Mashed Potatoes, Corn, Coleslaw

Breakfast- Egg Dish or Yogurt
Supper- Quick Shepherds Pie, Coleslaw

Breakfast- Cereal
Supper- Beef Barley Soup, Bannock

Breakfast- Baked Oatmeal or Porridge
Supper- Fettucini Alfredo, Barbecued Farmer Sausage, Raw Veggies

Brunch-Waffles, Pancakes or Biscuits
Supper- Left Overs

Guess what you don't see this week? STEAK?!?!? That's because we had way too many chicken recipes to try. Don't worry ( I know you were!)....they will be often in the final menu plan :)

September 17, 2010

Pray for the Lockwoods

This beautiful family needs your prayers. 
Daniel and Jaynee Lockwood and their 12 children are missionaries in Mexico.
Jaynee is recovering from serious complications following a miscarriage.
Let's flood heaven with prayers for her!

For where two or three are gathered together in My name, 
I am there in the midst of them.
Matthew 18:20

 The effective, fervent prayer 
of a righteous man avails much.
James 5:16

Here is Jaynee with their children.

September 15, 2010

Babies and Lemons

We came across this video today.
It reminded me of Nathan when he was little. 

He loved lemons. 
If fact when we would go to a restaurant 
he would take a bite of lemon and then a bite of pickle. 
And he barely pulled a face :)
Anyway...this made me smile

Gotta love these sweet baby faces.

September 13, 2010

Response to My Birthday Post

I was very blessed when I read my birthday post from Jennifer. When our children were little I hoped that one day they would rise up and call me blessed, as scripture says.  But when I read Jen's post, I was moved to tears.  Tears of gratitude, tears of love, tears of appreciation.....what sweet words.

Yet as grateful I was to hear these words from my amazing daughter, I also felt very unworthy. Unworthy because I could hardly believe this was me she was talking about. There are many days I finish my day and feel like I have failed. Failed my husband, failed my kids, and most disappointing, failed God. Because there are days when I am not submissive, I am not patient with my children, I am short-tempered....failed. It is on these days that I am so grateful for a husband who loves me unconditionally, kids who forgive readily, and especially a God Who's mercies are new every morning. Where would I be without God's mercy? I would be hopelessly lost, a failure.

It's only by God's grace that I am where I am today....in my walk with Him, in my covenant with my husband & as a Mom to my wonderful children. Today when I look at where God has brought us, I am so overwhelmed by His grace and mercy. It is only in Him and through Him that I have the strength to face each new day. And what a privilege and honor it is to serve Him, in my roles as wife and mother. I am not perfect.....I am a work in progress!

It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 
They are new every morning: 
great is thy faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

September 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom (Rosalie)!

Mom is amazing and I think I have a right to say so.
Being a mother of twelve, she has SO many roles to fill, and she does an AWESOME job fulfilling them all.
She can be a submissive wife, take care of a newborn, train a toddler, keep 4 young boys and 2 little girls busy and doing their jobs properly, tend to the needs of 3 teenage girls and be a grandma all at the same time.
As I've been getting older and closer and closer to the time that (Lord willing) I will have a family of my own, I've been watching and learning.
And I can't think of anyone that I would rather have as a role model.      
I seriously NEVER hear mom complaining, or bemoaning the fact that she never has "time to herself". Mom has taught me selflessness. She has taught me that "me" time is overrated and very selfish.
She has taught me that the little bodies that run around and cause work left and right are a GIFT. A precious gift that God has placed into our family for us to take care of.
Mom has taught and shown me that motherhood is the most precious and rewarding career that a woman could ever have.
Mom has taught me to go about my day cheerfully, doing everything unto the Lord and not unto man.
Mom has taught me that next to the Lord, family is the most important thing in this world. 
And the list could go on....

So here is to Mom.....
Happy, Happy birthday!
Your the best mom that I could ever dream of having!
❤ Love Jen

September 4, 2010

Three Peas in a Pod

The other day when I went shopping I saw these little sleepers and couldn't resist buying them for these sweet little men!
Don't they look so handsome :)
I love the way Joey suits the role of big brother and uncle so well.
He is continually kissing and patting their little heads.
Can you imagine the fun these little guys are going to have together :)