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January 28, 2011

Too Many Kisses?

As you know, a stomach flu bug just swept through our home.
It started with 5 kids getting it during the night, all within a couple of hours.
Because the 2 little boys (Josiah & Jaden) were still healthy and I really hoped they did not get this awful bug, I asked all those who were sick to keep their distance from them. No hugging, no sharing cups and especially...NO KISSES!

Well a couple of days later everyone was in the family room and Josiah suddenly came down with dreaded bug and threw up all over the floor. I was quite amazed with Mikaya and how being around the mess didn't seem to affect her at all. She was right there, taking it all in. I could tell her little wheels inside that head were turning. Then she said so softly and sweetly, "Did we give him too many kisses?"

January 25, 2011

A Day of Homeschool by Jaden

Hi, this is Jaden.
I know I haven't posted on here yet 
I kept wanting to but my Mama said that I need to go to school to learn how to write first.
SO.....today was the day. I decided to wake up early from my nap and dig right in.
Of course I needed some help from my sweet big brother Zachary. 

First off I tried to get his pencil so I could write. But he kept taking it away and telling me it is too sharp!!

But because I know one of the virtues I need to work on is DILIGENCE, I kept right on trying.

After I tried and tried I came to the conclusion that I was not going to win this war with Zachary.....so I turned to my big sister Megan for help. But all she did was get out that camera. What's with that girl?

Well just because I didn't have a pencil, that didn't mean I couldn't still give Zachary my opinion on things. Who ever knew a few numbers could be so confusing. Even Zachary was having a hard time. Think, Think, Think!

And then I got it.....I finally figured out the answer. I couldn't believe I hadn't figured it out sooner. Now I just had to convince Zach of a couple of things. First, that I knew the answer....second that you can smudge the numbers a lot easier if you add a little drool. I couldn't believe he hadn't learned that yet! What has he been going to school all this time for?

Of course he was so excited that I had taught him so much that he gave me a tight squeeze. I'm thinking he squeezed a little longer than he needed. Sometimes those huggy ones don't know when to stop!

After working real hard for a few minutes, my short nap started to catch up with me and I began to get a little sleepy. Have you ever tried to stare at a writing pencil? Kind of makes you want to nod off. I don't know how these kids do it!

Boy, that sure was an exciting morning. I think I might try it again sometime. Please don't tell my mama though. For some reason she thinks school goes a lot better when I am napping.  Something about me being distracting!!!

So this is Jaden signing out until next time.....

Have a GREAT day!

January 21, 2011

All in the Family

I know I have talked before about children helping out in the home...but a question that someone asked me recently sparked another blog post :)

We teach our children from very young to help out around our home. Why? Because they live here! And because our job as parents is to equip our children for whatever the future may hold for them.

We start chores from the time that our children can follow through on simple instructions. For a toddler it would be to help pick up the toys. When they get a little older their next chore is usually to help set or clean off the dining room table. As they get older it might be sweeping the floor, washing a vehicle, or dusting.

Not only do chores use up some of our children's energy, it also give them a sense of purpose and belonging in our family. When they help out around our home they feel a sense of accomplishment. When they contribute to our family's chores they learn that there is more to life than just playing.

One motto around here is "Work before play." Another one is "If you don't work, you don't eat!" We teach our children that work is a necessary part of life. Nothing gets done if someone doesn't do it! We feel it is very harmful to your child to hand everything to him on a golden platter and not make him work for anything. That usually makes for an ungrateful child who thinks that the world owes him everything. We don't want our children to have this mindset.

Do our children ever have a bad attitude about working? Oh yes!!!! Some of our children can be very outspoken and have huge negative body language when asked to do their jobs, while others can be more inwardly defiant. Both attitudes need to be watched and dealt with. What do we do about bad attitudes while working? We have taught all of our children scriptures about work and will remind them what God says in His word about this important topic. And we hand out consequences for bad attitudes towards work. Often the consequence is......more work. I will tell the one with a bad attitude, "By the attitude you had while doing that job you showed me that you need practice on working with a good attitude. So now I am going to give you another job to do. And if you don't have a good attitude while doing that job, I will keep giving you jobs until your attitude improves." It doesn't usually take more than 1 or 2 jobs before they are "all practiced up"!!!

In teaching your children to work hard and with a good attitude you are not only benefitting yourself, but you are benefitting (Lord willing) a future wife, husband or employer of your child. I will often tell my children that if I do not correct their bad attitudes and work habits, then I have failed to train them to be a good spouse or employee someday. Now that's a goal to work towards :-)

January 19, 2011


Hey, just wanted to let you know that our daughter, Megan, over at Megoo Photography, is hosting a few giveaways. Anyone can enter. Even if you don't have a blog, just comment as anonymous and sign your name. So go on over there and enter....you'll make her day!

January 18, 2011

Did you Know......

That old people have crunchy faces?

At least that's what Brooke told Mark the other night.
She was taking off his sock and he said,
"Don't take off my sock....
Old people don't like to put their socks back on."
And Brooke said to him,
"You're not old....
you don't have a crunchy face!"
So there you have it.
If you wake up one day and your face feels crunchy....
it's because you are old!!!!

January 17, 2011

You Know You Are A Large Family When...

I have a couple of new ones add to the large family list....

- 5 of your kids have the stomach flu....and that's not even half of them.

- When the stomach flu visit your home you can hardly walk in your laundry room because of the pile of    "soiled" blankets, sheets, pillow cases and PJ's.

- During a bout of the stomach flu, the floor is littered with buckets, blankets and moaning bodies.

- When your family has the stomach flu, you could buy a new appliance with the money you saved on food.

_-And last but definitely not least....when many family members have the stomach flu your house smells.....well......it smells.......kind of.......disgusting :-)

I guess that gives you a clue of what's going on around here?

January 14, 2011

Snowy Days

Since everyone seems to be talking about snow these days, I thought I would join in.
It's snowing here again today, big beautiful flakes.
Actually, we have had quite a bit of snow this winter.
It comes in little dumps here and there.....and it stays.
All winter long...it stays.
We won't see grass until around April or so.

Do I ever get tired of snow?
Truthfully, there are some days where I would like to sit out on the deck and hear the birds sing,
or be able to go outside without having to dress like a big marshmellow,
or having the kids be able to play outside for hours at a time without worrying about frost-bite,
or not having my nose hairs stick together when I step outside,
or being able to take off your gloves for more that 5 seconds and have your fingers feel like they are ready to fall off,
or being able to go for a walk without having to walk with big boots that make me feel clumsy,
or not losing "who knows what" that the kids leave around the yard, which we won't find until spring.

Do I enjoy snow and winter?

Truthfully, I DO!!!
I love the way the snowflakes fall so peacefully. Seriously, if you want to know what peaceful looks and sounds like, watch snowflakes fall on a calm day. Millions of snowflakes fall, and not a sound! It really is amazing! Reminds me of our Amazing Creator.

I love the time we get to spend playing hockey as a family every day on our rink. Couldn't do that without cold weather. Of course our little guys might think they could do with a rink without the snow that they have had to shovel and shovel and shovel off this year. Hey, it's a great way to get rid of some boyish energy :-)

I love the way snow is so pure and white. There is not much more beautiful than a fresh blanket of snow that sparkles in the sunlight.

I love the way the winter makes a fire feel so warm and cozy.

So ya, I guess it's a mix. I wouldn't want to have winter all the time, but a season of it is okay.
But once warmer weather comes, you can be sure I will be one of the first to be enjoying it.

No just to figure out how to skip all the mud 
that comes once the snow melts :-)

Here are the evergreens behind our house heavy with snow.

This is looking out our front window

Looking out the south window.

The deck I like to sit on in the summer and hear the birds sing.

The birds should really come and clean off their roof
before it caves in.....
Oh by the way, if we get too much heavy snow, we really have to do that.....clean the snow off the roof of our house. That's always a fun job. Most often we get a nice big wind that blows the snow off instead.

This is what the pond looked like in the summer.....

And this is what it looks like now.....
So glad we decided to take the fish inside for the winter :-)

So to all of our southern friends who are enjoying their recent snowfall......
hope you have a great time with it.
And when your snow is melted and gone and you are sitting on your deck listening to the birds,
please remember your Canadian friends who are still buried :-)

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January 12, 2011

One of These Days

Do you ever have one of these days.....

One of these days that everywhere you turn there's stuff to be done.
And you look around and realize that there is no human way that you could get it all done today.

One of these days that everytime you look up, someone else wants your attention.
And you are followed around with appeals of praise, pity, justice, knowledge, wisdom, and help.
(Even as I am writing this I have been interrupted by 5 different ones requesting my attention)

It's on one of these days that my head spins (literally) and I wonder how, when and if I will have the strength, physically and emotionally to get it all done and how I can possibly have enough left to be there for the ones that need me.

It's on one of these days that if I focus on the list that needs to be accomplished I could sink into the pit of the overwhelmed.

It's one of these days that if I focus on how little me time I am getting for "ME" I could sink into the pit of self-pity.

It's one of these days that if I focus on the mound of work that needs to be accomplished I might be tempted to just ignore it all and sink into the pit of laziness.

It's one of these days that I NEED to choose life for my soul. I need to let the praise of God continually be on my lips. (Ps. 341)

It's one of these days that I NEED to rely on the joy of the Lord to be my strength (Nehemiah 8:9-12)

It's one of these days that I NEED to regard others needs above my own. (Phil. 2:3)

It's one of these days that I NEED to realize that laziness gets me nowhere fast!
(Prov. 10: 4-5)

It's on one of these days that I NEED to remember that the reason I am experiencing all this is because of the blessings God has placed in my life.  And if it were not for all of them my heart would not be near as FULL!

It's one of these days that I will CHOOSE to keep on keep'n on because one day, when my children are grown and gone....

I will look back and remember the times when.....I cuddled a baby whenever I wanted, received hugs all day long, was asked for words of advice throughout the day, answered the inquisitiveness of a 3 year old, heard the giggle of a toddler, witnessed first hand the joy of learning, listened to the songs of praise on our daughter's lips, taught phonics to a 5 year old, encouraged boys to work out their problems, nursed a sick one back to health, kissed a boo boo.......

I will look back and long to re-live


January 8, 2011

A New Year for 2 Of My Favorite Men

Today we have 2 birthdays in our family. So.....we are still celebrating :-)

First I want to wish a Happy Birthday to the love of my life, Mark.
I am so thankful that you were born and that you are now such an important part of me.

You are everything I dreamed about in a husband and more.....
You make me smile when I feel crummy.
You make me look at things practically when I feel like dreaming.
You show me there is hope when I feel hopeless.
You show me love when I don't deserve it.
You encourage me in my faith if  waiver.
You work hard to support our family......and give me paint (hee, hee, inside joke :-)

You are an amazing father to our children.

and most importantly...You love God and stand firm in Him.

Happy Birthday Babe. I love you more than words can say!

And the second Happy Birthday goes out to our sweet Josiah.

2 years ago we met Josiah James Daniel.
After a bit of a rocky start we welcomed you into our daily life at home.
How could we help but fall in love with you....so cute and cuddly!
And now here we are, 2 years later....already! How time flies.

Here are some of the things I love about you.....

- Your smile. You have this contagious smile. One that melts people's heart. And you know just when to shine it, often when you know you are ready to get into trouble. When you smile not only does your face light up, but your eyes too! I love it!

- The way you love on your nephew Andy and little brother Jaden. When you look out the window and see Rebecca and Andy coming down the road to our house you run to the door and shout, "Andy, Andy, Andy." So priceless! And when they come in the door you just have to hug and kiss him. And you love to give Jaden hugs and kisses too. You are so gentle.

- I love the way you are so excited to go to bed. I like to think you just want to go to sleep, but I know rather it is because your soother and Fozzie Bear reside there! But my favorite part is when you come for your hug, say "Nite" in your sweet little voice and then repeat after me when I say, "I......LOVE.....YOU!"
So precious! You used to do the sign language, but now you are getting so big and you use words! Way to go :-)

- And then of couse the way you love music. The Gaither's in particular. If you find a Gaither DVD you will sit and look at it and chatter about it. I have no idea what you are saying.....but I imagine it is something about your favorite singer or song. You beg your sisters all day long to put a Gaither DVD on for you. When they do you pull up your stool and listen intently to your favorite songs. We can easily tell who your favorite singers and what your favorite songs are because when a singer or song comes on that isn't your favorite....you go play. And then you come running back when your next favorite comes! You often sing to the songs as well. Usually very quietly, but I hear you! 

-You love to play hockey and to throw around a football. In fact one of your first words was 'football'. Often you come up to me mumbling something and want me to follow you and I know what you are looking for....your hockey stick and tennis ball of course! And if we can't find it.....you get rather upset!  We are still working on that one! Once you find your little stick you try to get one of your siblings to play with you....and they usually do. And when you start to throw around your little football I have learned to pay attention....cause if I don't I might get hit in the head :-) You have quite an arm, you just need to work on your aim! And you will play catch until the person you are playing with gets tired.....because you just don't!

There is so much more I love about you Joey and I look forward to what you will accomplish and learn this year! You are a blessing to our family.

We love you!  

January 1, 2011

Who Would Have Ever Thought?

Who would have ever thought when we welcomed our son, our first child, Joshua, into our family 21 years ago today........

-That we would love our son more today than the day that we first laid our eyes on him. Who would have thought that would even be possible?
-That he would have almost 2 years of marriage under his belt. And that through his marriage he would teach us many things.....how to love, respect, have fun, stay strong through trials.....
-That he would have a child of his own to love. And that he would be such an amazing father to his son, our grandson.
-That he would have made it through the biggest storm in his life and come out a much stronger person, still trusting that God knows what's best and knowing that He holds everything in his hands. That he would never once curse God, but rather praise Him through the storm.....being an example of strength to his family and many others.
- That he and Rebecca would be farming with us.....and what a privelage and honor that would be. That the parent/child relationship that we had with him would slowly evolve into a strong friendship.
-That in watching our son grow we would understand more and more the breadth and length and depth and height of God's love. Eph. 3:18-19
-That our hearts could be so full!!!


We are very blessed to have you as our son.
Thank you for being you!