Monday, January 30, 2012

Parties Are A Way Of Life Here

It seems that we can come up with a party for anything. Yes, this is Emily's birthday, but we're always looking for a way to celebrate life. Where there's a party, there are good friends. Where there's a party, there is cake. Where there's a party, there is laughter and joy. Next party: Valentines. See you there :)

1096. party friends
1097. little girl shyness when giving gifts, then joy when it's received well
1098. pin the tail on the donkey
1099. The Mission Of Motherhood book by Sally Clarkson
1100. The Heavens Declare CD from
1101. Sara Groves--Invisible Empires
1102. an unforgettable weekend with 22 friends
1103. hearing the unmistakable voice of God
1104. inspirations found, realizations received and decisions made on the retreat
1105. sobbing from my two youngest over my cell when I called from the drive home ("I mmmisssss you, Moooommmmy, sooo, sniff, muuuuch")
1106. a husband who listened to me chatter on about my weekend
1107. the many emails from friends who messaged just to say what a great time they had
1108. the potential of more sweet times and retreats ahead
1109. soaking in the presence of the Maker of the universe

Friday, January 20, 2012

Beauty In The Mundane

Two giggling in the tub, one constructing instruments with rubber bands and recyclables, one preparing to leave for ballet. Happy noise fills my home. I am blessed beyond measure. Life is not perfect in this household but I am learning to focus on the charm in every little thing, the beauty in the mundane. Gratitude results in joy. I am filled to overflowing with joy these days. I'm getting it.

Catching up on Monday's Gratitude:
1081. remote-controlled jeeps and helicopters that keep my husband and son thrilled
1082. :)
1083. friends who show up for Coffee Break at church
1084. homeschool group at Coffee Break for our kids
1085. Kay Arthur/Beth Moore/Priscilla Shrier study at Coffee Break
1086. almost 100% sugar free (week 2!)
1087. kamut bread--mmmmm!
1088. filling all 22 spaces for our upcoming retreat and more women still asking about it
1089. snow, finally! it just shouldn't be freezing cold without snow :)
1090. Clean Cinnamon Cookies--my new thing to keep me from chocolate
1091. that a third just joined the other two in the tub, with a whole basket of toys
1092. our wonderfully amazing French teacher (thanks, Anna!)
1093. Lincoln Logs
1094. flannel graph story figures
1095. how my mom-in-law and I always look at each other and laugh when she begins playing, "Thank You, Lord For This Fine Day" on the piano at Friendship Club

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Wig Fitting Party

It was an appointment for my sister-in-law; she's the one who really needs the wig... but when you get a group of women in a wig shop, there's going to be some experimentation. Linda did find a great piece that was treated to suit her colouring and style and she also bought a couple of pretty hats to keep her little head warm this winter. The rest of us, on the other hand, well, we might be heading back for some other items that are of lesser necessity. For not being a colour-my-hair-much-girl, I'm now considering becoming a redhead :)
So glad Linda is spunky enough to turn her wig fitting into a party by including all of us--a memory we'll keep close for a long time.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


There she stood at my bedside, the morning before her birthday, just as her brother had done.

"I'm so excited to be seven tomorrow!" Emily whispered.

"So, I suppose you're happy that seven is in the numbers?" I replied, remembering Oliver's dismay about turning five.

"Well, yes," she began, "but eight actually suits me better."

I laughed out loud and wondered how I'm going to feel about becoming forty this year. Seems there's a need to contemplate numbers in this family :)

When light dawned this morning, my newly-turned seven year-old girl bounded into my room once more, this time without whispering. She had found a loonie where she had laid her tooth under her pillow the night before and she was grinning ear to ear and hopping like a bunny. She slowed to a stop and became serious.
"But Mommy," my girl mourned, "It was my most helpfulest tooth."

"That's okay," I encouraged, "you'll have a new one to replace it in just a few weeks."

And out she bounded with more vigor than she had coming in.
Emily, your spunky and dramatic personality keeps us in stitches. You are a confident and giving girl. We love you so much! Happy Birthday, Big Girl!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Of Meniscus And Mischief

The meniscus bubble sat close to overflow and my two older girls' eyes were like saucers as they crouched low to see. Unless we investigate life and God's laws of science, we can miss so much. They felt as if they had just become privy to a miracle--and it is--all of His creation, physical and biological and spiritual. As most children do, these two gobble up all things "hands-on" but when their little siblings arrived in the kitchen, begging to be a part of the fun, well, things took a different turn. Suddenly, my kitchen floor was a small flood and soap was everywhere... but, that was part of their investigation :)

So, even if things get a little mischievous, and my response may seem as though the Caledonia dam has burst through, I know my mind's file is storing up these memories as positive ones. May we, as parents, always view our children through future eyes that look back and miss these growing up and experimental days.

Monday, January 9, 2012


We curled up with tea in the living room anticipating Mom's arrival. It was a late birthday surprise--a brunch with the sisters (and in-laws) and we were especially thankful our sister, who is fighting cancer, was well enough to join us. Our personalities are all so very different and yet we love one another fiercely.
We talked and laughed and ate more than we do in our own homes. Linda light-heartedly talked of needing a wig soon and she made us all stronger with her own strength. I silently prayed as I sat next to her at the table, thanking God for her life and the way she keeps us all laughing, no matter what the topic or where she is on her journey. One woman can walk through a fire and actually pass God's peace and hope onto others by her attitude. I learn from her heart whenever I'm in her presence.


1071. Linda's life and God's strength in her
1072. in-laws and the richness they bring my life
1073. coming out of the fog of family "sickies" (a month of colds and flu)
1074. kids who care about the homeless
1075. beginning school again
1076. life without sugar (I think :)
1077. snow... but the lack thereof so far :)
1078. fun in helping prepare for a women's retreat
1079. a bride and groom who cried during their ceremony
1080. how they rally around and pray when times get tough

Saturday, January 7, 2012

If You Give A Mom A Cookie

It was the smell that had me at the door. I knew in a moment my New Year's Resolution to avoid sugar as much as possible was going to be checked at the door with my jacket.

We were a motley crew struggling to push arms into lab coats buttoning each other up, piling winter coats in the office and snapping on elasticized hair nets. We laughed at the sight of ourselves and followed our tour guides
into Voortman cookie factory... the largest around (shipping all over the world and the first in North America to make trans-fat free cookies--just sayin'). Since the Voortmans attend my in-laws' church, we had the privilege of treading where tours no longer tread.
Thanks, Lisa, Rob, and Mr. Voortman for your hospitality and patience with our large family. And thanks for the big box of sample cookies that we've been able to share with many friends... not to mention, I've eaten more than my share. Sadly, if you give a mom a cookie, she's going to want a whole lot more.