| Home | Our Family |  

March 24, 2011


Through the years as we were raising our oldest children I often wondered if I would someday have a baby and a grandchild around the same age. I often thought about how fun that would be! Well, here I am, with a baby and a grandchild the same age and guess what????? I was right, it is a lot of fun!

Andy was over here for a bit today and Jaden and him were playing with some new toys (thanks Helen :). I just couldn't resist taking a picture of them, it was too cute! They would throw it to each other and then Andy would "sign" please to Jaden asking him to give it back! It was adorable.

Can life get any better than this????

March 21, 2011

Home Schooling Series - Part 2 Am I Qualified?

When people find out we homeschool many times the question comes, " Are you a teacher?" Meaning, have I had formal training that has qualified me to teach our children.

When our children were born we knew that they were gifts from God to us. It didn't take long for us to realize that this parenting thing was a 24/7, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. They were ours to care for, to love, to nurture and to teach the ways of God.

A verse that has been very important to us in our homeschooling journey is taken from
Deuteronomy 11:18-19 "Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." 

We know our children are gifts from God. But when our children were young we started to ask the question, "Why did God give these children to us?" Was it for our joy? Was it to build character in us? Was it to keep us from being idle? Was it to feel the heart of God as we experience the deep love a parent has for their child? Was it to teach them to love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength? We believe yes, it was for these reasons and more.

We believe that God gave our children to us to be a parent to them. One who will nurture and teach them the ways of God. One who will train them to love others. One who will be there to discipline them when necessary. One who will teach them life skills.

We believe that we are best able to do this when we spend our days with our children rather than sending them to school every day.  And this is the reason we homeschool.

Even though we believe our children are receiving a very fine education at home and are developing a love for learning plus the life skills they will need in life, this is not our primary reason for homeschooling our children. A good education is not our priority in teaching our children at home. This is a by product. Our reason for homeschooling them is so that we can be the primary influence in their lives. So that we can, day in and day out, teach them to walk with God, love His Word and be a light to the world.

So to answer the question, am I qualified to be a teacher to my children? In the world's eyes.....maybe not? In God's eyes, I am their parent, thus I am qualified.

March 15, 2011

A Morning With Mama by Joey

 Well since my sister Megan hacks my Mama's blog from time to time, I figured it would be okay if I did too!
So here is an official post from yours truly, Josiah James Daniel Pauls.

This morning a very rare thing happened. My Dad and all of my siblings, except for Jaden, went out to play hockey and left my dear Mama in charge of us. I don't very often get my Mama almost to myself, so I thought it would be a good topic for a post.

Please excuse the pictures. I am still rather spotted from those dreaded chicken pox!

Mama always says that she needs a couple more hands, so I decided that this was my morning to make that dream a reality!

First off it was time to correct some of the boys schoolwork. So naturally, being the helpful little man that I am, I got busy!

I think Mama was pretty pleased with me.
As you can see, I was quite proud of myself.

Ya know how a boy's just gotta be clean? Well it had been a little while since I  had a bath, and so I figured since I had Mama's undivided attention now would be the time to ask for one. The only problem being that I don't have those words in my vocabulary yet and so using words wasn't an option. It was time to let my actions speak. So I did what any 2 year old potty trainee would do....I messed my pants. And guess what....it worked great! Mama got me in that tub in record time! 

 Here you can see me having a scrub-a-dub time with my froggy. Yup, now I am squeaky clean. I think I might have to learn how to say "May I have a bath please" though, because Mama wasn't too impressed about the way I asked this time round! Sorry Mama :(

Well of course after having a bath I had to get dressed. Everything went fine until it was time to put on those crazy socks. Who invented socks anyway? Don't they know it would be a lot easier to put on if they actually made them the same size as your feet? Why do they make you squish into them? Just how's a two year old supposed to master this task anyway?

I figured Mama didn't have time for breakfast since she was so busy with us, so I kindly brought her a container of nuts. She seemed happy. It was a great breakfast, don't you think?

And of course Mama and I had to feed Jaden breakfast! Wow, I never knew there was so much work involved in feeding a baby! You have to keep him from touching the food, from blowing the food out of his mouth, from grabbing the spoon.....wow, babies keep you busy!!! I am glad I am 2 now so I am not so much work for my Mama!

Once Jaden had gobbled all that food up, it was time to wash him. Of course I volunteered for this one, after all, how often does one get to give his little brother a face wash?!?!?! I don't think he liked it too much, but hey, you make a mess, it's gotta be cleaned :)

After breakfast was all done with and all cleaned up I begged Mama to take us outside. I don't know these words either, so again I used actions. Mama didn't seem to mind these actions as much as my plea to have a bath though. It was simple, I just started to bring her my outside clothes, piece by piece, and she got the hint. You can't let a great sunny Manitoba day like this go to waste! Mama worked up a sweat getting us ready to go outside. I think she may be out of practice! She had to lay Jaden on the floor while she got her coat on and then we were ready to go explore the big outdoors!

First stop was the skating rink to help the boys beat the girls.
It didn't take me long to find my stick and get into the game

Now just to figure out how to hold the thing.
Before long I was shooting like an pro!

He shoots.....he scores!!!
Well, I didn't exactly get a goal, but I had fun, and I think I was a great help to my team.
Go boys Go!!!!

In my opinion you just can't go outside without visiting the barn! So off we went. We saw the cats, goat, chickens, turkey, cows and calves. I had a great time spending quality time with each one, petting them and talking to them! We went into the chicken pen to pick the eggs. I liked to look at the chickens from a distance, but when they started picking the snow off my boots, I wasn't too fond of them anymore. So we picked those eggs and got right out of there. Those things can be scary!!!

I really wanted to walk into the cow pen all by myself but Mama didn't think that was such a great idea. I thought since I am 2 and all I was plenty capable enough to walk in among the cattle. Mama said she thought  it was pretty funny that I wanted to walk right up to a big, huge cow, but was rather terrified of the little chickens. But she didn't understand that chicken pick you, cows don't!! It makes total sense to me.

Anyway, that is pretty much how our morning went.
I had lots of fun with Mama. I hope I didn't give her too hard of a time :)
Did I Mama????

March 14, 2011

Homeschooling Series Part 1 Socialization

I haven’t talked a lot about our home schooling journey on this blog but anyone who has met me knows that I am passionate about it. We started home schooling right from the get go. I don’t remember a specific day or our decision to home school. Mark and I both just knew that this is what God was calling our family to. Then I look back at our home schooling start I realize that our thinking of what ‘homeschool’ is has changed a lot since then. Homeschooling to us then was more like bringing school into our home. But now our main priority for homeschooling is equipping our children to love God, follow Him and in doing so being a light to the world. We also see the need of teaching our children the education they need to be able to function in our society. And we also know that God has called us to honor those in authority over us as long as it doesn’t go against how God would have us live. For us that means making an education plan each year and sending in reports twice a year as our government asks us. Not that hard actually.

I would like to break this homeschooling subject into a few posts over the next little while because of the enormity of it. I will try to go through and answer some of the questions that people have asked us over the last few years. And if you have any, leave a comment and I will try to answer them as well.

Question #1 What about socialization?
This is a biggy.
Well let’s start with the definition of socialization: Learning to interact well with others, to be sociable. Guaranteed if someone is going to talk to me about home schooling the question of socialization is going to come up. How are your children going to learn social skills if they aren’t going to a public school? Honestly I guess this question kind of makes me wonder what people think socialization really is. To me learning to socialize would be to learn how to communicate with every age, in every walk of life. So my first question would be, how does public school teach you this? You have 20-30 kids the same age in the same room spending day after day with each other. What do they learn about socialization? They learn how to relate to their peers and their teachers. But what about all the other ages? How does this set up teach public school children how to socialize so much better than home schooled children, as they claim?

From what I have seen, the majority of home schooled kids are well rounded in their socialization. They learn how to relate to many different ages from the toddlers, to children, to adolescents, to teens, to adults, to the elderly. And I don’t think this is because of something that they have been taught to do. I think it is a by-product of the morals that have been instilled in them. The value that is placed on a person no matter what their age, race or religion. The value that it doesn’t matter if you ‘fit in’ but rather loving your neighbor as yourself.

And these are the social skills that I want to teach my children. Social skills that say each person is important to God. Social skills that makes others feel like they matter and that they are worth talking to. From what I have observed our children don’t have a problem socializing. Yes, some of them are shy (we are working on that.) As our children are getting older I am seeing their ability to relate to all ages. And not just to have a polite “Hello, how are you?” conversation, but an engaging conversation. This is important to us as we want people of all ages to enjoy being around our children.

Another part of being social is also being able to listen. How many times have you met someone, a child or otherwise who does nothing but talk about themselves and their life not giving you a chance to get a word in edgewise? Really, is the skill of listening not another part of learning to be social? Do they learn that skill in public school better than home school?

So this is why I really I think that the meaning of socialization is misunderstood. Because the fruit that I have witnessed from many home schooled children (of course there are always exceptions) is that they have no problem interacting or being social with others. In fact, they are usually quite enjoyable to have a conversation with.

And to us, this is a valuable thing. Not because they can fit into society, but rather because they can be a light to the world. After all, that should be is our goal, shouldn’t it?

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt,
so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6

March 12, 2011

Mr. Cool Dude

Hi! It's Me Megan again! :)
Can you guess why I am posting again? Ya, you guessed it....I have pictures to share! :)
This morning Jaden was drinking his bottle and Zach decided to put his sunglasses on him! I was surprised Jaden did not try to take them off or anything...
I think He must have liked them! :)

March 10, 2011

In Response

Well as you could tell by Megan's last post, my girls can hardly stand it when I leave my blog neglected. I am glad they keep me on my toes! Lately time has been hours turned into minutes turned into hours turned into days and before I know it a whole week is over! How time flies!

Let's start with the chicken pox. Wow, where do I start? Really, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I felt bad for the youngins' and there was really not much I could do besides smother them in anti-itch stuff.  It hurt them even to be touched, so looks of sympathy were about all I could give. They really were troopers through it all! I am so proud of them. Even Joey, though he was a very miserable boy for a few days, did really well. I have never seen a child so covered in anything! Literally from the top of his head to the soles of his feet. Finally the spots are starting to disappear. And the noisy household is back! I like quiet sometimes, but if it means my kids have to be sick to get it, I would rather not!!!

Ok, now onto life on the farm. The guys have been working at getting lots and lots of grain hauled into the elevators. The drive is about an hour one way. Three loads a day x 2 hours a load = lots and lots of driving in a week. But the prices we are getting for the grain make it all worth it! Joshua has been doing most of the hauling while Mark keeps things organized here at home. What a blessing to have such a capable and hard working son!

On another farm note, calving has begun on a sad note. We have had one calf so far, and that calf didn't survive. We think it was probably premature. There should be more calves to follow real soon. I love this time of year. There is just something so beautiful about new life.

Talking about new life, we are not seeing anything new in the weather. We are still living in a deep freeze and I think that most Manitobans would agree with me when I say, I WANT SPRING!!!!! There, I said it, I want spring, I really do!!!! There is one thing I can be thankful for when it comes to the freezing cold.....NO MUD!!!! On kind of another note, since it has been so cold for so long we have almost run out of wood to keep our house warm, so we get to have some more bonding time soon and will be going to the bush and getting more wood! Should be fun! Memories.

Because it has still been cold we have still been playing lots of hockey. I wish we would have counted the hours we spent on the ice this winter....for it was many many! What a great motivation to get some fresh air and exercise! So thankful for a husband who has put so much time and effort into doing something like this for our family to enjoy together!

We hauled in 2 loads of cattle this week. Another long drive, 2 hours one way. Every year around this time we sell our 2 year old fattened cattle. Soon someone will be enjoying some really yummy beef! We also filled our freezers right full with hamburger, steak, roasts, and farmer sausage a week ago. I am so thankful to be able to grow and enjoy our own beef! The kiddos take turns coming with us. They come in pairs. It is a highlight of the year for them. When we came home the other night Mikaya knew it was Brooke's and her turn next so she came to me right after supper and asked when we were leaving. I clearly explained that we wouldn't be going again for a lot of sleeps. She seemed to understand and went running off to play. Then a few minutes later she came back and asked if we were going right now!!!! Silly girl :)

The other day I was holding Jaden and he was gnawing on my hand and all of a sudden I felt something sharp! Sure enough I felt his little gums and he has a tooth on the bottom! Not sure why I am so surprised? He is over 7 months old! He just seems so much bigger now! Of course the way he pulls himself all over the floor helps him seem bigger too!

I always have to chuckle at how I teach and teach and teach our toddlers to share and then they share half of their potty treat with their 7 month old sibling and I freak out!!! That's what Joey did to Jaden the other day, just popped it right in his mouth. Thankfully Brooke was there watching the whole thing, so we took it away quickly. Then I had to go on to explain to Joey, who was so proud of himself, that he must not share his food with Jaden! I guess we'll find out if he got the picture. It is so sweet to see the special bond that these two brothers have. They communicate in their own little way. For all I know they could be making plans of mischief to be carried out a year from now. Maybe I should learn their language! ;)

Since Megan wanted me to update the blog I must tell you a couple of things about her. She got braces. This is something that dentists have been wanting to give her for years but we never felt it was the right time. Then a few weeks ago, a very sweet dentist friend offered them to her at no cost! We were so blown away by this couple's generosity! What a blessing they have been. Her mouth was very sore for a few days, but now she can eat well again! Oh, I should tell you why she has braces. She has a tooth on the top that is way up in her gum, so the top braces are to pull that tooth down into place.  Also I need to tell you that Megan got a different camera plus a lense she has been wanting. She found a great deal on a used one and after lots of research and pondering she decided to get it. I was very proud of her and the way she didn't just jump at the first camera she saw and liked. Instead she looked carefully at her options and made a great choice. She is looking forward to doing  a photo shoot of 2 adorable twin girls soon. And of course she has already done a photo shoot with Jaden. Apparently he really did not co-operate though. I guess he thinks it's his job to challenge her on her baby taking skills!!!!

Jen cut all the boys hair this week. They really needed it a couple of weeks ago but they got the chicken pox and it has taken until now for enough of them to be scabbed over so it wouldn't be painful. They look like different boys!!! It's amazing what a simple haircut can do!

Kerri took over my recipe blog since I wasn't doing much with that either. She likes to cook and bake so I am sure she will keep it up much better than me. She is also working on organizing all of our recipes! Mark got me this Demy for my birthday last year so we have been working at getting all of our recipes in there. Slow process, but it will be great when it is finished!

I have been working really hard this school year on getting the boys to memorize more scripture verses. Lately I have given them a little extra incentive. After we are finished our devotions I ask them to recite a verse and the reference from the list that we have been learning. For each verse they say they get a animal cookie and if they can say the verse and reference they get 2 animal crackers. They each take turns and each verse can only be recited once each morning! So far it's worked really well. I am so excited to have them hide these verses in their hearts for the times when they need to draw from them. We have covered topics like obedience, truth, wholesome talk, diligence, Godly thoughts....and more that I can't think of right now. Megan laminated them all and we hung them on the wall. It was great until Joey figured out that sticky tac has the consistency of gum and proceeded to take them down and remove the sticky tac and chew on it!!!! So now over half of them are down, waiting for me to buy more sticky tac!!! I wonder, with all the people we have in this house, how he can get away with this and not be caught! I think he is sneaky!!!

If you have read Jen's blog you know that Mark and I are on a little get-away. We usually go away for a couple of get-aways in a year. Nowhere far, just time away to focus on our relationship. We go for Mark's birthday and then again for my birthday/our anniversary which are 5 days apart. But this one here is a bonus, a calm before the busy. When we get home calving will be in full swing and before we know it, it will be seeding and then things stay busy until fall. So I am thankful for this time away, I am thankful for wonderful, responsible (don't let Jen's posts fool you :) children at home, who are taking good care of things! What a blessing they all are!

Well, by now I am sure that you are sorry I even attempted to update this blog!!!! Talk about random, ramblings!!!! I'm scared to even scroll to the top and see how long this is!!!! And unlike Megan, I did all words and NO PICTURES....sorry Meg!!!  So until next time...whenever that may be :)

March 8, 2011

When Megan Posts....

Hey all, It's Megan (oh please don't roll your eyes...I am not that bad am I? ).

Mom has been to busy to do any blogging the last few days
 so me being the kind daughter I am
 I thought I would help her out a bit and do a post for her! :)

Now I am not going to do anything glamorous or anything.
I can't
All I am going to do is post pictures, cause I love pictures! In fact when I look at blogs I usually just skip all the writing and look at the pictures :)
So here are some pictures of.....
Joey eating breakfast this morning (I know real exciting eh?! )

Oh, dear 
Maybe I should have just let this blog go silent until Mom had time to post.
I think that would have been a good idea eh?

March 2, 2011

Belated Birthday Wishes

On the 19th of February our most favorite daughter-in-law (she will carry that title for a few years:) Rebecca had a birthday.Now many may think that I forgot to post about her birthday, but quite the contrary, I have just been waiting for that perfect opportunity!!! And it has come :) A few uninterupted minutes (ya right!) to write down a few of  my thoughts of this sweet young lady.

My first real memory of getting to know who Rebecca is on the inside was when her and some of her siblings came over to visit our older children. We all had supper together and right after Rebecca hopped up and started cleaning off the table. Later I was commenting to Mark what a servant's heart she has.

And now that I have gotten to know Rebecca better over and over I have found this to be true of her. She has a true servants heart. If you ever ask her to do anything, she responds with a "sure". And she doesn't just do it, she is joyful about doing it! So refreshing :)

Another great quality about Rebecca is her passion to be a Godly wife and mother. She takes this role very seriously and devotes her time and energy to her family. She stands beside her husband and is an amazing helpmeet to him. She takes excellent care of her son and her love for him is very evident. It is so encouraging in this day and age to watch a young lady, like Rebecca, who actually enjoys being a wife and mother and finds it rewarding.

She is also very teachable and is often asking advice. She doesn't just want to get things done, she wants to do it right. I admire that about her.

Rebecca is an amazingly creative person. She likes to scrapbook and her work is beautiful. She also loves flowers. Last summer the first thing people saw when they came on our yard was her beautiful gardens filled with flowers. This yard really needed her!!!!

I have enjoyed getting to know Rebecca more and more as we spend more time together. And I hope tp enjoy many more years of doing so. Rebecca and I are going to have to stick together. One day her and I may be the only adult ladies on the yard!

We love you Rebecca. You are truly a sweet person and a joy to have around. Hope you have a great year!