Sunday, October 30, 2011

Long Ago They Walked Here

History fascinates me. I hope it's contagious to my children.
We entered the world of the people who lived here long ago and I had to catch my breath for a moment. The foundations of five longhouses were unearthed in this place and reconstructed so we could learn more about the clans that inhabited the very ground we toured.  
The little bit that has been revealed to us through archeological discoveries gives us a hint of their way of life but what we know for sure is that they were people God created, just like us. They lived, built, hunted, rocked babies, and shared stories here. With that knowledge in mind, the history of our Canadian Natives becomes a mystery to be unraveled, learned from and enjoyed.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Party Of Six

It's a wonderful number. It gets us the big table in a restaurant, two kids each when we drive separately, perfectly suited to half a dozen of anything. But then... there's that squishing into a hotel room, who gets to go with Daddy here or with Mommy there. Then there's the comments from people in the grocery store, with just a hint of judgment: "My, my, you've got your hands full!" or "Is this your daycare?"

Well, yes, but I don't get paid :)

More often than not, though, passersby marvel at our small crew and respond with amusement. Not that it matters. You see, the more children you have and the more you are together, the easier it all seems. Not that our days go by without a hitch, quite the contrary! We're still sorting out whether our latest disciplinary action took effect, or if we should have allowed that movie, or when is the "right" time to talk about how babies are made. It's a journey and sometimes a tough one, but the ride is so worth it! I praise God for each of our little people who teach us daily about who God is, about who we could be if we trusted enough to let Him handle things, about the fact that these small individuals are on loan to us and we'd better take it all seriously. 

Tonight I was repairing one of my children's toys and she was begging me to watch her dance. Without turning toward her, I impatiently retorted, "Can't you see I'm fixing something for you?", like she needed to be thanking me and not be selfish enough to ask anything more of me. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit gave me that little tug, as He often does, and I swung around to catch my girl in a beautifully awkward somersault... and I cheered for her... just in time to not close down a small piece of her heart. I'm learning. 

So, even though we fail, we're pretty thankful that God, in His mercy, allows us to keep these kiddos. He never condemns, only corrects. When I feel guilt over my parenting, I know it's not from Him. It's a miracle that we get to wake up and do it all over again... perhaps even a little better today, with His strength.

 And as for me and this party of six, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15--paraphrased :)

Monday, October 24, 2011


We laughed and talked as quickly as we could, in between hugs. Her husband sat in the truck, pulled over to the side with their four children, stuff packed around them to the roof. Meg took pictures but with all the rushed goodbyes, this was the best she could get. I love it. This is how we were. If we weren't crying, we were laughing. This woman of God with a powerful love for people, a deep respect for her husband, an adoration for her kids like you've never experienced,  a half-full glass view of life, and a brain tumor.
They left for another province last week. I'll miss my friend and neighbour dearly.
Jill, your smile lit up our street, lovely woman. Godspeed to your new home and thank you for all you taught me about life and hope and Jesus' love. Until we fly to meet someday... xo

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Carry Your Candle

They risk their health, comfort, family security, and sometimes, their lives to carry food and God's love to the people of this world. On this Missions Sunday, we celebrated all of our missionaries in various countries, and right here in our own city. The children of our church sang about carrying the candle of Jesus' light to those who have no hope. 

These little guys thrust their candles out and sing with gusto! They don't fully understand yet, how important the lyrics are but one day, they too will share the love and joy of a great God who has cared for them their whole lives.
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation."
Mark 16:15

Friday, October 21, 2011

Autumn Traditions

Ooey-gooey, dripping caramel sweetness. Sometimes in Autumn, we'd pass by a fairground and my husband and I would pull in just so I could buy a caramel apple. Now that I've found this recipe, making my favourite treat will become a tradition. 

 I'm concentrating here to be sure my apple is becoming evenly coated with the caramel sauce. That makes all the difference, you know :)
 The reactions were hilarious.
 The excitement was building.
The final outcome was delicious and I like to think that underneath all of that sweet-once-in-awhile-treat lies a very good fruity excuse for keeping this Autumn tradition :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Money Management For Kids

It was the first week of school and instead of cracking open the math books, we learned about money through games and recognition practice, counting and ultimately, purchasing at our "store".
 During our school time, Oliver is quite into his learning but often wanders over to more important matters :)
 money cans 
 Everyone had a turn being cashier.
 They could not purchase an item unless they counted the correct amount (and the older ones had to know what change they'd get back).
1025. ways of doing math that I wish I had been taught!
1026. visiting with extended family at my cousin's bridal shower (Hi Karen!)
1027. Missions Sunday and how he was brave enough to stay on stage this time
1028. how she dances and lights up the stage
1029. two silly and excited girls giggling with their friends before the performance
1030. for all of our missionaries, particularly CityKidz and all they're doing right here
1031. medical staff who fly to other countries to give of themselves for those in need (You know who you are! God bless you!)
1032. sampling flavours from around the world after our service in celebration of the many countries represented at our church
1033. a brand new week ahead
1034. our fabulous neighbours/friends who are currently preparing to move to another province this morning... we love you and will miss you tremendously XO

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Boy's Prayer

"Dear Lord, Thanks for us... and here's our names: Meghan, Molly, Emily and Oliver and Mommy and Daddy." 

It's simple and it's sweet but I know that I should tell him that God already knows his name. I should probably let this precious boy know that his name is actually written on God's hand and that He knows how many hairs are on my son's head. But he snuggles under the sheets and he closes his eyes. He's my child who is asleep in a minute after the light is out. And so I kiss his soft forehead and remind myself to teach him tomorrow that our great God is thinking about a little boy, all cuddled up in bed, toy cars lined up along his room, Finnegan (his stuffed dog) tucked tightly between his arms, with his Mommy beside him (Psalm 139:17).

I slip into the living room and ponder such profound thoughts. 
Perhaps the Lord wanted me to remember these promises tonight.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Endless Gifts

1011. how he ran from his room announcing, "Mommy, I'm so blessed! I have 24 (toy) cars!"
1012. gathering around two Thanksgiving tables with two families that make our lives full and rich
1013. her thankfulness for Aunt Linda, who was diagnosed with stage four cancer this summer
1014. how my husband's sister was feeling strong this weekend and how that strength helps the rest of us deal with her illness
1015. how my father-in-law always reads the Bible after dinner... to all 34 of us
1016. dirt bike entertainment at both gatherings
1017. how my nephew squeezed his little self in between his two aunts during tea time
1018. sun-splashed fields of soybeans
1019. warm October weather
1020. how my sister has taken up hand-quilting (you go, Girl!)
1021. pumpkin pie that tastes just like Mama's
1022. braided buns on little girls
1023. how she cried when I told her how the Lord had given me a dream about encouraging her
1024. how our country still celebrates a holiday set aside just for gratitude :)