| Home | Our Family |  

June 22, 2015


I chose this picture for several reasons:

1) Children and joy go hand in hand. 
They enjoy the simple things in life and laugh, giggle and have fun!

2) They enjoy life to the fullest and are not worried if they have a little 'dirt' on them! 

3) They take time to relax....even if it seems like there isn't time :)


JOY....a short little word with so much purpose! A word, that if practiced in everyday living, can change your attitude about everything!

It's so much more than just being happy. Happy is that good feeling when my circumstances are going according to my liking. But joy? Joy is deeper, more real and more fulfilling.

I have learned a lot about joy over the years. I think my joy learning journey really started about when we had our 1st child, Josh. If you have ever had a baby you know that having a new baby is such an exciting time of life, but with it comes challenges that have never been faced. Sleepless nights, juggling time to get the simplest of tasks done, the responsibility of a little human being and so many other new things! And through it all I realized that my circumstances were not always going the way I wanted. And instead of being upset and discouraged when this happened, I learned I needed to choose joy.

Now choose joy. Easy right??? Well maybe not! In fact in the circumstances where I have to choose joy, it not usually easy at all. It's just plain hard! And usually goes against how my flesh wants to react.

And since then I have been learning about this tiny little word with so much power. It's not something that is learned overnight, and I don't think it's something that once learned just comes automatically. It's a daily choice, and hourly choice, a minute by minute choice.

I have days where I am victorious and my day is filled with joy. And then I have days where I go to bed and realize that when faced with the choice, I chose things other than joy....discouragement, discontentment, bad attitude are sometimes the things that steal my joy.

So what have I learned on my journey? Like I already said, joy is a choice. I have never met anyone who is naturally a joyful person all the time. I have met joyful people, but I know that they still have to choose joy. Every day I have many, many, MANY opportunities to choose joy. As a mom of lots of kiddos my day begins and ends with giving all day long. Giving my time, my energy, my love, my guidance, my prayers, my encouragement, my grace, my.....all day long. And through these times, if I don't have joy, I really become quite miserable. Because without joy, I would not naturally function in a manner that would be pleasing to the Lord. Instead I quickly become selfish, lazy, angry, proud and discouraged.

So how do you choose joy? Let me give you some examples that have happened in my life.

It was a Sunday morning (can you say chaotic?) and I had few extra things to do that I really should have done the night before. Funny thing is that as I sat there Saturday night, not wanting to get up, I convinced myself that I would have lots of time in the morning to complete these tasks. And so I left them undone. I got up in the morning in plenty of time to get accomplished all I needed to before we left for church. I HAD THIS!!!! And all was going well...it was just the normal Sunday morning chaos. And then I heard these words, "Mom there is water all over the floor in the back part of the basement." WATER, ON THE FLOOD, ON SUNDAY MORNING!!!! And so going downstairs I came to the realization that not only was this water....but it was coming from the sewer that had backed up!!!! Let's just say that from that moment my Sunday morning got even more chaotic, panicky actually!!! We have a lot of things stored in the basement where the water was. Clothes, freezers, boots, shoes, sports stuff, books.....and more! Well at this point there was nothing to do but clean up!!!! So everyone got to work and within a short time we had basically cleaned up what needed to be and left the sanitizing until we got home.

Now I'm not sure how I actually did in the area of joy while all this was going on. I know that my words were not all joyful, but I was able to find good things in the situation. Like I was actually amazed at how many things were in waterproof containers and off the floor just enough not to get wet! I haven't consciously thought of doing this since this has never happened to us. So I chose joy in thanking God that it only a few things that got soaked, rather than most things! Joy.  When Mark went out to check what was going on with the sewer he came in with the news that it was working again. So there was some sort of glitch that caused the pump to fail, and then it started up again. I call it grace! And I gave thanks to God for it. Sunday morning we have showers....therefore we use LOTS of water. Had it kept not working, we would have had to deal with way more water on the floor...thank you God....joy. After everything was under control I continued to get ready for church and even though my hair wasn't perfect and I just threw on what clothes I first found, and I gobbled down my breakfast....we made it to church....and only a couple of minutes late!!!! And we enjoyed fellowship with our church family! JOY!

But then there are days that I don't choose joy. They happen more often then I care to admit. It's the days that I let life's circumstances get me down. When I look at life in a negative light rather than look at the blessings I enjoy moment by moment. Our pastor often says on Sunday morning, "You woke up this morning and took a breath, that's a reason to praise God! JOY! It's not looking at things according to what we don't have, but instead choosing to look at what we do have!

A couple months ago when I was in the hospital being induced with our son Michael, I was kind of frustrated with the way things were going. I was praying so hard that I would go into labor naturally and not have to have all the medical intervention, but God had other plans. And as I walked the halls trying to get things "going" I walked past people who were struggling with their health. And I chose that moment, instead of feeding on my own disappointments, I would pray for the people who were actually struggling for their life, or people who didn't know if their loved ones would make it until tomorrow. Yes, things weren't turning out the way I wanted them to, but I had to trust in the bigger plan and the One Who holds my future in his hands. And in that moment I chose joy. And it was amazing how quickly my attitude changed from "woe is me" to "I am so blessed!!!"

So every day I wake up and determine that I will live this day with joy in my heart. Not a fake happiness, but a true, deep, lasting joy. A joy that no matter what my circumstances I will look at the blessings that are all around me. They are everywhere, I just have to open my eyes....and chose JOY!

May the God of hope 
fill you with all joy and peace 
as you trust in him, 
so that you may overflow with hope 
by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

April 28, 2015

Michael Gideon

It's a boy!!!!

Michael Gideon
April 15/15
6lbs. 15oz.

Brother Love

 Nephew Silas getting to know his Uncle!

For more photographs check out Megan's Blog.

March 10, 2015

Spring is Springing!

Spring is finally springing!!!! It's been a LONG cold winter and so we are quite excited about this! The weather was still very cold last week and then in a BANG spring weather was here! But we are Canadian enough to know that in this season of the year we could very well still have some more cold weather....and yes, even snow. In fact we would probably be quite surprised if spring actually decided to stay! So for now we will enjoy these melting days and soak up all the warm sunshine we can!

Today I went for a walk and was pleasantly surprised to see how much snow has already melted! I was so excited to see dirt!!! There is still a lot of snow on the yard so it's hard to tell how much it's actually melting until you go down our lane out into the open. Here is a picture I took on my walk today. I am hoping that the weather will stay half decently warm so I can say good-bye to the treadmill and have my daily walk outdoors. It is so much more enjoyable and I feel so refreshed afterwards. Nothing can compare to fresh air and sunshine!!!

Just down the road from our farm

And because spring is springing so quickly, this means our ice hockey season ended abruptly because our rink is quickly melting. This is always a happy/sad time of year as the daily fun of ice hockey will be missed! But already the gap has been filled by bringing hockey into the machine shop! As I write most everyone is out there playing a good ol' game of floor hockey. Not the same, but something to fill the time. It will be quite awhile before our yard is void of muck and mud and we will be able to play soccer, football, baseball and other sports outside. So for now this will do just fine!

This past Sunday we celebrated the life of our sweet little Elijah! It's hard to believe that it is already 3 yrs. since he joined our family. And we are so happy he did. Life would not be the same without our Eli!!! He is a little talker so it's a good thing he always has plenty of people to talk to. He is very opinionated and keeps us on our toes with his verbal freedoms in check. He likes to play with tractors and trains in particular. He doesn't like to be left out so when his older siblings are playing a game that he is too young for, his nose gets easily pushed out of joint. We are working on that! Eli loves to be outside (even when it is really cold!) and I expect that we will hardly see him once the yard is dry. Plus he is itching to go with his daddy in the tractor already! Another little farm boy :)

On Eli's birthday we had to bring Mark's parents into the city to catch a flight so we took him along and stayed in a hotel overnight (because their flight was early a.m.) It was very different to have just one child along. This rarely happens! Funny thing is....we were staying right beside the hotel we stayed in after we left the hospital the night Eli was born. We didn't want to stay in the hospital overnight, but it was too late to drive the 2 hours home (after being up all night and day!) so we opted to stay in a hotel. We told Eli this story but I don't think he understood :)

A funny story. We were checking out of our room and waiting for the elevator to go down to the lobby. One opened up and we told the other 4 people who were waiting that we were sure we could all fit in. The woman said, "Are you sure, we have a lot of stuff!"We assured them that we would be fine and piled in. On the way down she said, "Good thing our oldest son isn't here or we for sure wouldn't have fit!" She then proceeded to tell us what a lot of work it was to pack for all 5 of them when their oldest son came too!!! Mark and I gave each other an amused look as we listened to her go on! We decided against giving her the shock of telling her that if we brought all of 11 of our children living at home we surely would have never fit in the elevator! And packing for our family....well that's a whole different story!!!! This time we decided to just give each other "the look" and let her go on thinking that 3 children was a huge family :) It's times like this that we realize how different our life is than other families....and how much we like it that way!!!

Elijah Hudson
(1 day old)

Elijah on his 3rd birthday

We are still working strong on the school books but everyone is counting down the days until we are DONE!!! This year we did something a little different. We divided the years school work (for the oldest 5) into quarters. There was a goal incentive at the end of every quarter. If you got your work done, you received the reward, if not...you didn't :) I am happy to say that so far everyone has earned their quarterly reward. Some by the skin of their teeth...but they made it none the less!! We did this mostly to motivate some who were having trouble believing they could get a certain amount of work done. Our 4th quarter ends the 30th of March so everyone is seeing the end and some are putting it into an even higher gear and have gotten some subjects done already! We are all excited to have the bookwork part of school done for the year!

Josiah is our newest student. And what an eager learner he is! He really, really, REALLY likes math and is often found writing numbers or adding things in his head (out loud:). He is also having a lot of fun learning to read. I don't think we have ever had one catch on quite so quick! It's a very nice treat!

Josiah doing one of his favourite school things...
math drills

Over the years I have learned that in order to keep my sanity teaching school while having toddlers/pre-schoolers under foot, it is in my best interest to have a schedule of activities for them too. I have made up a 5 day schedule with 1/2 hr. time slots of activities for them. If they are playing well and still quite entertained by the time the 1/2 hr. is done, I will keep them at it a little longer. Some of our activities are lego, building blocks, play do, coloring, magnetic books, cars/car mat, playmobile, puzzles and looking at books, just to name a few. This has been a great help in teaching them to focus on one activity for more than a few minutes, to play together and also to clean up after themselves. There are moments when I feel that it is maybe more work than help, but in the end it keeps order in our day while teaching them some great character qualities!

 Building Blocks


And of course with the soon arrival of spring comes something we have been looking forward to for months. Baby time!!!! Time is flying by and it won't be long before we will meet our sweet little one face to face. Things are continuing to go well in this pregnancy and I am hoping, because everything is looking good, that my Dr. will let me go at least until my due date. And hopefully I will go into labor on my own!!! 

5 weeks until due date!
Baby's growing!!!

And that is a quick update of what's going on around here! 

February 9, 2015


I had to actually look to see when the last time was that I posted! Sad to say it was a few months ago! A lot has happened in the last few months. The most exciting news to share is that we are expecting a new little blessing in April!!! (You may have read this on our daughter, Jennnifer's blog but I never really made it official here:) After our 2 recent miscarriages we kept the news to ourselves until November. It almost seemed to good to be true! I think we had all resigned ourselves to thinking that Eli was going to be our last. But God had other plans....and we are thrilled! And now after being out of baby mode for so long (long to us anyway!) we are preparing our hearts and our home to meet this precious little one! For the first time ever we found out the gender of our baby on a routine ultra sound back in November. Our children know what the gender is so we will see if they can keep it a secret until baby is born! We revealed it to them through the color of Josiah's birthday cake in January. He is our baby lover and is super excited about having a new baby around and comes often to hug my growing belly and caress it :) It's so fun to see the excitement of all the kiddos, big and little, while eagerly awaiting the arrival of their new brother/sister.

And so now it's on to picking out a name!!! Oy....this gets harder and harder the more children and grandchildren we have! It makes it a little easier knowing the gender, but still :) I think we have nailed one down, but that could all change once we see this precious little face!

I have had a pretty easy pregnancy so far except for high blood pressure issues which I am now on medication for. I have always been border line with my blood pressure readings during my pregnancies and have suffered with the "white coat syndrome" ever since our first. But now my Dr. thinks because of my age, it has been pushed into the "higher" range. Usually when I would take my readings at home they would be very normal...but not this time. We are just thankful it doesn't seem to be pre-eclampsia. My numbers have been very stable since I have been on the meds. And as much as I hate being on this medication, the other option was way to dangerous for me and the baby. I am still praying that after baby is born I can get off the meds. I am so thankful for my Dr. She is the best and is willing to work together with my midwife through this pregnancy and delivery. God has been so good to direct us to her!

I am now at the stage of my pregnancy where I am getting a little energy back. I think sometimes.....or always....my family grimaces when I get to this stage because the cleaning bug hits me. I don't know what happens exactly, except I see dirt in place that I never saw it before!!! My current project so far it washing all the white (or should be white) blinds in our house. And after that is done who knows where this cleaning bug will bring me! As long as I don't start painting we should be fine!!!

Many people make the comment that I must love being pregnant to have so many children. To this I smile and say.....I love to be in the will of God. And this is His will for us right now. To read more about our beliefs about embracing the all the children God will give us, you can read a blog post I wrote a few years ago when I was expecting child #11.

So for now I enjoy the wiggles and kicks within. I will dream about what this baby bumpkin will look like. I will take advantage of my cleaning bug :) I will look forward to the birth day of this baby and the sweet newborn cuddles I will have.  I will rejoice at the miracle that is living inside of me!