Sunday, October 31, 2010

HE did it again!

  Yesterday as I was praying for the services today I wondered who the Lord could bring in as visitors.  When I saw how few came for Sunday School I wondered how many would come for main service.  Today was also potluck.  We thought that it would be a farewell for the Goffs(heading to Arizona for the winter), but it turned out that they had to be in Saskatoon today.  Lorraine was flying to see her daughter and grandkids. She will be gone a week, home 2 days and then they leave.  It doesn't seem like we'll get much of a chance to say goodbye, but that happens sometimes. When the main service started there were only 18.  About 5 minutes after services they all started walking in. 12 more people, 2 of whom were first time visitors!  They came to visit their daughter from Korea.  A long way for visitors to come, but we're certainly thankful that  they did.  They even said they'd come back for the services tonight.   
 Potluck was a blessing, although our food didn't end up on the table.  We figure that our crockpot has stopped working properly, resulting in the potatoes and meat not ending up cooked after almost 5 hours.  Thankfully there was plenty of food, as usual.  Most people stayed and it was a good time of fellowship.
  It also looks like we'll be having another lady join us for the next Ladies Bible study.  That's a huge blessing, considering that there are only two ladies absent from our regular services. It's a reminder not to take God's power to move in the hearts of our community for granted. I think that we have about 5 more lessons in this series before finding a new area to study.  If any of you have been particularly blessed by a certain topic, I'd definitely be interested in hearing about it. 
  Something I didn't mention was the business meeting on Friday night.  It's been something that I never really felt comfortable attending, although the women are welcome.  Our church in Trail required us to all be there because there just weren't enough men in the church and a certain number of members had to be present to vote.  I went to the first couple because I thought Scott might need me there, but the last two I've abstained from.  I find that I get too emotionally involved with some of the things that the people say and I don't want to cause offense if I can avoid it.  Some of you know the history of the meetings from Oak Harbor, but for those that don't I'll share a brief synopsis.  Originally men and women were welcome to attend the meetings and they all had a vote.  However, after several heated meetings, where the women were upset over carpet colors, paint colors, etc, it was brought up that it might be better to have it be a men's business meeting.  The wives were in agreement and it went really well over the years, with only a few women being offended by the fact that they weren't welcome at the meeting.  They were allowed to know what went on and if they had issues they could bring them to their husbands or the pastor, but it just worked better and faster without them in attendance.  Some may think this is old-fashioned, but I'm really starting to see the wisdom in it.  In order to avoid conflict and further frustration I've opted out of going.  It's much more fun to stay at home with the kids anyway;). One of the big decisions I was really happy about is the decision to purchase a sound system.  When I have to be downstairs with the kids or making sure someone's casserole doesn't burn on potluck day, I really miss hearing the sermon.  Sometimes it's my sympathy for visitors or those hard of hearing to have to try to hear over child noises.  All in all, I think it's going to be a really good thing.  The second decision was to help our missionaries to the Philippines with their plane tickets.  Very thankful for that!
  Well, I'd better sign off for now.  We have a missionary preaching tonight.  He's headed to the Philippines and we're looking forward to seeing him present his ministry. Praying that the kids will continue their well behaved phase:).  J.K. I know that it's the Lord keeping them quiet, thus the comment that I'm "praying".  It's the best way to get results.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Time off for good behavior?

  Not sure if that's what you call getting a couple of hours without the kids, but I'm having a hard time thinking of a title.  Today felt like a bit of a holiday.  Mostly because Scott's had to work or study for several Saturdays in a row.  This morning I got to lay in bed with Kiersten til 7:). While I was being "lazy" Scott made bannock with the boys.  He had a couple things on his to do list, but told me that I could go "child-free" to town for the morning.  I had a few groceries to purchase, but mostly just had the opportunity to do it slowly, browsing the kids section for Garrison's birthday, without being asked for a toy, snack, or having to make sure that all hands stayed in the cart:)  Mind you, the kids are generally super good at the store.  They know that if they whine, they definitely don't get anything and if they cry(when they're not hurt) that we leave the store immediately and no one gets anything.  We've only had to do that once with each of the 3 older ones so far.  A huge blessing for sure! 
  When I got home he'd made no-bake cookies with the kids, fed them lunch and had a batch of beets ready to be canned(for him, of course:).  The house may or may not have been messy, but the fact that the kids were happy and ready to help carry in some groceries was a blessing.  The weather today has also been a huge blessing.  Sunny and slightly warm made an afternoon walk very desirable.  Kiersten went in the stroller and the others had fun seeing who could run the fastest.  I would post pictures, but I've been too busy spending time with the kids and didn't have the camera handy.Gotta go finish supper prep.
  P.S. Driving the Vibe was an added bonus!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mission Accomplished

  This morning started early.  Around 6am, to be exact.  I had to get up to take a shower and Scott wanted us all in the car by 7:30.  Well, by 7:37 we were all in the car.  It was -14, but we couldn't very well cancel our appointment.  After an hour and a half at the dealership we went to sign the paperwork at the insurance office, then back to the dealership to pick up the car.  I should have brought a camera to entertain the kids.  If I'd thought about it more I would have brought books to read.  All they had were car and truck brochures and a bit of water.  I did remember snacks, but after that it got to just be a lot of sitting.  The lady that was supposed to be there failed to tell Scott that although the office opened at 8, she wouldn't be in til noon.  She'd asked another girl to handle things, but the girl didn't come out of her office for about 45 minutes.  Anyway, we're thankful that the process is complete. We walked out without buying the extended warranty, which was another $2,400.  The Matrix didn't have any warranty left on it, so we figured that we'd be okay without it. My experience is that you purchase it and then a couple months after it wears off you start to experience car trouble.  Why not just save that money and keep it in a repair account:)?  That's just my thoughts on the subject.
  Next on the list was dropping off some items at the Thrift shop.  We also needed a couple of winter items and God provided almost every single one of them.  Instead of paying $24 for new winter boots for Elyssia the Lord provided them almost brand new for $2.  The waterproof gloves were .75 instead of $10-15 and the boys winter underwear was only .50.  All in all I spent less than a 1/4 of what I would have paid for each of the things new, even finding a couple winter vests and pants for the boys.  God is so good to provide what we need and often what we just desire.  The next stop was for passport pictures.  Our 3rd attempt...  The first two times it was closed.  5 minutes and $30 later we had our passport pics and headed into get Scott a bit more for work clothes.  He's just about worn his to shreds and he's been wearing this one sweatshirt for at least 10 years, if not 15:)  Today, the Lord provided almost everything on sale and 3 pairs of dress pants for around $5-$10 each.  I don't know what most people's clothing budget looks like, but to get Scott's wardrobe for a year for under $100 is pretty amazing.  We budget around $40 a month for clothing needs, but usually I try to just shop for them once every couple months.  We probably spend around $200 total over the course of the year.  I think it's pretty good, but I don't have much to compare it with.  The Lord is so good to provide through the Thrift shops, that we don't seem to need all that's budgeted, although it seems to get spent elsewhere:)
  It took about an hour to get the kids down for naps once we got home, but I think they were just getting out some of the repressed energy from the car dealership:)  They're now playing horsie, mixed with bike helmets and shooting.  The joys of childhood imagination!
 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

We sign tomorrow!

Here's a pic of the new(to us) car we're getting tomorrow to replace the Toyota Matrix.  It's pretty much the same car since Toyota designed it for Pontiac and put their engine in it. http://autocatch.com/used-cars/2004~pontiac~vibe~414092.htm . 

  It is the same year as our Toyota was, same storage capacity, which is great til Scott gets a truck to use for carpentry.  It has great gas mileage, which is awesome because it's used a lot for ministry and work.  It can seat 6 in an emergency.  It has less miles on it than our Toyota had and it's cleaner too:).  All in all, it's a real answer to prayer because we shouldn't have to pay more than a $1,000 over the insurance check.  The Toyota already had a big crack in the windshield that probably would have cost about $400, so I figure that overall it's totally worth it.  Sorry for so many posts today.  I was having fun with the picnik app and then remembered that Kirk had put videos on our computer. Looking forward to a busy and productive day tomorrow.  Thrift shop run, passport picture appt, signing papers, pickup a few groceries, fix a couple meals, do a little homeschooling and baking, then head back to town for Prayer Meeting. By the way, we still have snow covering the ground.  Looks like winter has come to stay!   

Video of the kids...


Video that Kirk took of the kids on the porch at Thanksgiving...  Our camera won't record sound, so I'm enjoying the fact that he put these on our computer!


video


video


Picasa fun...

I've been wanting to try this out for awhile, but didn't have or "make" the time to do it.  Well, right now the kids are supposed to be doing their chores, so I took a bit of time to figure it out. Here are some of the results:






Irresistible

Pants on her head and a remote control, what will she think of next?

Here I come!

Playing tractors with Farmer Caleb.



Do you like my hat, mama?

YAY!



All done!

Why so serious?


Next lesson: Presentation:)
I simply can't help taking pictures of the kids these days.  Yes, they still have their cranky, contentious days, but their giggles and grins are hard to resist.  Elyssia even made banana muffins for us this morning.  Maybe she can make me breakfast in bed for my next birthday:).     

Monday, October 25, 2010

First Snow and Cute Kids!

Caleb found an old tire on the property.(I so strong mama!)

Caleb taking his tire back outside.

Before he donned the proper snow attire:).

The kids "collecting" snow.

Kiersten doesn't know what to think of snow...  
  We got a quick reply back from the insurance company.  They'll pay out $8,400 plus pay GST and PST on the vehicle we purchase. Better than we thought.  It was a 2004 Toyota Matrix, so I think it held it's value a bit better than some.  Scott was thinking they'd probably give us around $6,000.  I think the price they're giving us is probably just a little bit less than we could have sold it for, considering the mileage, etc...  Praise the Lord for looking out for us!  So much to thank HIM for!

I will praise the Lord!

  I've heard many people say, I will praise the Lord in the good times and in the bad.  Well, today, I got to feel some of that.  Finding something to be thankful for when some may have looked at the situation and turned their back on God for what they might call desertion.  I call it protection and wonder how many angels HE has assigned to just OUR family.  This month has been a loooong month for our family.  Many good things, but also some hard times.  My mom was rear-ended and Preston's car broke down in the States.  Then while my mom was having her house repaired after the flooding, they discovered that the people who built the house did a whack job on the plumbing and had actually put a nail through the water line.  When the new baseboards were about to go up, the carpenter pulled an old nail and ended up filling the room with water again.  Mom didn't sound angry about, a bit discouraged maybe, but continuing to trust that God would work it all out.  Today it was our turn. Scott left for work, but walked back in twice because he forgot his water and then his cell phone.  The 3rd time he walked in I was teasing him, "what did you forget this time?"  The look on his face told me something was wrong though. He said, "I went off the road and the car rolled."  Now, that is something you don't expect to hear that early on a Monday morning.  However the Lord showed me that it was my turn to be an encouragement.  After all, I still have my husband.  Cars don't last forever and apparently the Lord allowed it to happen for a reason. I'm just thankful that Scott was okay.  He will probably be extremely sore tomorrow( I remember that from our experience sliding off the road last year) but I hope he doesn't have to feel it too much. It's really a small price to pay when all the damage is on the vehicle though.  God is good and I can truly praise HIM in this time. 


1st damage you see, with two flat tires on the other side.

I was surprised the windshield class didn't shatter into the car.
 
   With so many blessings this month, it's expected that Satan will fight back.  The Lord answered my prayers for visitors 4 weeks in a row.  This week it was a mother and daughter.  We'd been praying for her and never met her.  A lady in the church met her and requested prayer for her cancer, but then figured she wasn't interested after several invitations.  They just showed up this week and said that they'll sit with her next week and the daughter would like to help out with the kids.  Two blessings and answers to prayer.  All 4 kids sat quiet and relatively still yesterday too. Morning AND evening service, which is a miracle in my book.  We can usually get one good service with Caleb, but it's rare to have two and Kiersten going along with the program just makes me smile:) Thank you Lord!!!
  Saturday I was able to talk to family and friends on Skype.  Something that is totally amazing to me.  Talking to people all the way across the world like they're across the room from me.  Many blessings and many more to come!  Through it all I just want to Praise the Lord!
 

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's out!

(The first missing tooth)
  To me this is kind of a funny thing.  Kids long for their first tooth to fall out because it's a sign to them that they are growing up.  Soon there will be another lost tooth and she'll be singing, "All I want for Christmas Are My Two Front Teeth."  Soon there will be 4 missing and for many years there will be different sizes of teeth in this little mouth.  As exciting as it is for her I think that my favorite stages completed were crawling, first words, walking, potty-training and learning to read.  Where some mourn moving on to the next stage, I have much to be thankful for.  We've had so many good memories with this little girl.  She is turning into my biggest helper and I've come to depend on her a bit more with each passing year.  The battles are many, but the victories are great!  We're so thankful for our young lady and pray the Lord continues to use her for HIS glory today and every day.  Til next time, here's a picture to brighten your day!

The 3 musketeers!(Kiersten is napping)
                                                           

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

So Blessed...

  I had that life is so busy feeling yesterday and honestly wasn't feeling as prepared as I like to be for the Ladies Meeting.  The Lord was merciful and gave me more time before the meeting that I'd anticipated.  He gave me the strength not to need the afternoon nap, although I could sure use a long one to make up for the late night:).  Scott was supposed to go to a meeting, but thankfully it was canceled! He has a meeting tonight and tomorrow night, which meant that the kids wouldn't really spend time with him until Friday night.  Praise the Lord for giving them this extra time.  About 2 hours before the meeting I thought, " I should call up Sharon and see if she would like to come".  She wasn't home, but I left a message.  Lo, and behold, she was the 3rd person to arrive.  Even with 3 of the ladies missing we still had 8 in attendance. It was another one of those nights where I just prayed and it kinda felt like God was the one teaching, rather than me. Sometimes I'm not sure what to say or share, aside from the lesson, but God brought illustrations and extra thoughts to mind and when the Ladies shared it was evident that God is working in their lives too.  One lady confirmed that it was the right lesson for the night because she felt God had been speaking to her, but wasn't sure, then a part of the lesson confirmed it really was God working on her:)  I give all the glory and credit to the Lord for last night.  I'm truly amazed at what He's doing here and I'm very excited to see what He has in store for the days ahead.
  On Sunday, maybe it was Saturday night, I was praying that the Lord would bring some visitors to church.  I didn't know what would cause them to come, but knew that God could work in someone's heart.  Well, on Sunday we had the 1st time visitor return and another 1st time visitor.  I found out last night that her husband went to a football game and she'd invited a lady from our church to go to lunch.  This lady said, "Sure, but would you like to come to church with me first?"  So, 35 was our total on Sunday morning, but all the praise goes to the Lord for that too.  Many times we have close to 40 when Scott's family is here, but to have that when they're not here and some of the regulars aren't at church is amazing.  It's a testimony that God is still working and desires to show Himself strong.  I know it's encouraging to our people.  There are huge church buildings in town, but many of them have dwindling numbers.  I think we have the smallest building, but as the Lord works it's filling up and maybe someday we'll have people up in the balcony:)  That'll be an awesome day! I'm thankful for the way that He's growing the church though.  It's nice to get to know the people a couple at a time, rather than in large groups.  More of the personal feeling, but we won't protest if God suddenly gives us a huge growth spurt.  We are praying that there will be a man or 2 or 3 that will be called of the Lord to preach, thus opening up the opportunity to start churches in several of the towns around us.  Closing that 2 hour gap between churches would be wonderful.  There are a lot of abandoned church buildings that could probably be purchased cheaply and used for God's glory.
  On Sunday night we had Caleb Village hymn sing.  The older people really enjoy seeing the kids and feeding them lots of juice and cookies. It's a good thing the kids are tired from the long day, otherwise it would wind them up and then we'd be in for a loooong night.  They usually fall asleep on the drive home and Sunday night was no exception. Elyssia was asleep, but then Nana and Grandad called to wish her a Happy Birthday, so she woke up.  She is a very blessed little girl.  The people at church love the kids and try to remember them on their birthdays.  There's a tradition of giving them $2.  Some did that and others gave a gift.  One lady made her a bag, which holds her doll perfectly.  She was also given a Max Lucado book and a bracelet, made by one of her little friends.  It was a day full of blessings and our little girl has entered her 6th year.
  Today has started off very loud:)  We were hoping to have a friend over for tea this afternoon, but unless Kiersten perks up we'll have to postpone it.  She threw up a bit this morning, so we're just watching her and praying it's not the flu cycle starting over.  If it is, I know the Lord will see us through it.  It just might be our "sick" year.  We were so blessed to keep well while everyone else was sick last year, so I have no complaints. It's not easy watching my little ones feel so bad, but I'm thankful that the Lord has blessed us with these little ones. This is the day that the LORD hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tomorrow is the big day...

  Six years ago, tomorrow, God gave us the first of many special gifts.  She was the answer to our prayers and was so amazing!  It wasn't an easy pregnancy.  We discovered early on that I didn't have normal morning sickness, instead it was a condition we later discovered was called Hypermesis Gravidarum.  We were in it for the long haul and Scott was wonderful, considering that we'd only been married about 6 months when he ended up taking care of me.  It was more the fact that he had to fix his meals again.  I wasn't eating much and when I think of how God kept Elyssia safe inside of me and helped her to get all her nutrients when I wasn't able to eat more than oranges and crackers every once in a while, I stand amazed.  She is and was so brilliantly smart from such a young age, that I just marvel at how God created her and helped her to get grow healthy, in spite of what I was going through. She looked at books with interest from 2 months of age and pushed buttons on her lighted aquarium around the same time. She started rolling over and crawling at 4 months of age, when those around her were content to stay put.  By 7 months she was walking and said Dada.  It was only the beginning... By a year she had between 20 and 50 words in her vocabulary and by a year and a half she had potty-trained herself and was talking sentences, carrying on conversations like a miniature adult.  She spoiled us with her advanced skills and by the time we had Garrison she had turned 2 and assumed that he was her baby too.  A mini mommy.  Not always a good thing, but many times a blessing, as she is very helpful when things get busy.  The best day in her life was the day she realized she was a sinner and asked Jesus to forgive her and be her personal Saviour. There was a change that happened that day.  She gave her first testimony in church that night and it was something I'll never forget.  There are still "those" kind of days in her life, but they aren't so frequent.  We know better, from our own lives, that we won't see perfection, but with the Holy Spirit inside of her we can talk to God and ask HIM to work in her life on those days:).  Such a blessing to know that we'll be taking our 1st blessing with us up to Heaven! Another great moment in Elyssia's life was the day she realized that she could read pretty much anything:).  A whole new world was opened up to her and she has since exclaimed with excitement, "now I can read my Bible myself!"  Other things I thank the Lord for, include her burden for souls, wanting all her little friends to be saved.  I pray the Lord opens up opportunities for her and that their hearts(and their parents) would be open to hearing the Gospel and receiving God's gift of salvation.  So, although there may be regrets on my part that we haven't done everything right in the past 6 years as parents, I don't regret her being 6.  It's been a very busy and productive 6 years.  I'm thankful that the Lord spared her life during the pregnancy.  There were times where I wondered how she would be okay when I was losing so much weight and having trouble keeping down water, but God took care of everything.  I believe HE has a purpose and a plan for her life and pray that WE will do our part to help her SEE and DO HIS will. I thought of posting a pic from each year, but we switched computers and haven't transferred all the pics.  Yet another sign of her growth is 2 bottom teeth that are loose and ready to fall out any day now.  Now it's off to treasure the moments with the almost Birthday girl and her 3 siblings:)  Til next time...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Where to start???

Waiting...

Waiting with a smile...

Taking the oath of citizenship!

Getting my citizenship certificate and card!

We did it!!!

Cool pics with the judge and mountie afterwards:)

Not sure what Elyssia's message is here:)

I added this one because it was cute.  Scott was taking apart the piano, but they thought it was a great place to sit.
  I'm not sure where to start... So much has happened in the last couple days.  I would post a video of my taking the citizenship oath, but our video is kinda grainy and doesn't have sound.  I might take the disc to Walmart and see if they can put in on a disc if it's better quality.
  So, getting ready to go to Saskatoon was a process in and of itself!  It seemed like there were a lot of things to remember, even though we were only going away for one night. I was thankful that the CIC said I would be okay without the permanent resident card.  Such a relief!  We drove into town, put gas in the car, got some books from the library and bought some snacks for the trip.  Then we stopped by McDonalds before heading to meet Scott.  He worked a full day and left his car at the Goff's house.  The drive to Saskatoon was actually pretty quiet.  We were excited, but a bit tired after the long day.  I forgot to mention that we did school and I gave the kids a bath before we left.  We found the motel, checked in without too much trouble and actually stayed in for the rest of the evening. We watched the miners rescue, which was an amazing process!  So thankful that they were all okay.  Then we let the kids watch a couple episodes of Franklin before going to sleep...  Sleeping the night before a big test was another thing.  I fell asleep and slept soundly til around 2:30 am.  Kiersten woke up to eat and then she went back to sleep.  I, on the other hand, had too many fact running through my mind to fall asleep. I got up and took a shower.  Amazingly enough no one else woke up. I then sat up thinking through things and praying for the Lord to give me a calmer spirit:).  Around 5:30 Scott woke up, by then I'd done my hair and he went out to get something for breakfast.  We relaxed until a bit before 8.  We had a couple hours, so we stopped at a store to get some bread , cheese and fruit in case the kids got hungry while I was taking the test.  We got to the CIC building and when I checked through my papers I discovered that my expired passport was not with the other papers!!!  I'l admit that we panicked a bit.  We went in, sat in the waiting area, filled out the paperwork for the missing PR card and asked the lady about the passport.  She said that I HAD TO HAVE IT to get my citizenship.  I had a newer passport, but the older one had some significance.  Scott kept looking while I nursed Kiersten to sleep.  He dumped out the diaper bag and Praise the Lord, the passport fell out!  I was so excited and thankful. By this time I was even more shook up inside.  Nervous about the test, but trusting that the Lord would help me.  When we were all called in to the testing room, Scott took the kids into the waiting room. The test was NOT what I expected.  It didn't have many questions that I thought it would.  Much of it was worded differently than in the study book.  I'm not bragging when I say this, but it was much easier than I thought it would be.  I prayed before I started and had the 20 questions answered in about 5 minutes. I double checked it to make sure they were all circled correctly, signaled the lady and handed it in before leaving the room.  I waited about 10-15 minutes before the people started coming in.  To be honest though, I was probably the only one taking the test that spoke English as my 1st language.  Many of them said that they had problems understanding it because of the way it was worded. I got to know a lady from Ukraine and a family from China while we were waiting on the results.  They were all very nervous about the outcome.  There was one family of 4 called into an office, but the rest of us were left standing there.  A couple minutes later the moderator came back in and said, "Congratulation! You all passed and are welcome to attend the citizenship ceremony this afternoon!"  Yay!!! We were all so relieved:)  I was sad for the family that didn't pass though.  I thought that maybe they would be questioned and passed if their understanding of the questions was verified, but they were not part of the ceremony, so I have to assume that they will be retaking the test.  I'm just praising the Lord for the way that HE took care of everything and it's just such a HUGE blessing to have it all taken care of!
  After the test we went to get some lunch and find the library.  The ceremony was in the basement auditorium of the Saskatoon Library. I have NEVER been in such a big library.  The kids section was almost the same size as the entire O.H. Library:)  We had about an hour before check in, so Scott took the boys upstairs to look at books.  Our library system just merged with all the libraries in Saskatchewan, so I could now check out books in Saskatoon and return them to our local library:)  It was amazing!  I probably could have stayed there all day!  The three older ones loved it too.  There were toys and cool chairs and a HUGE assortment of books to amuse them.  I did end up checking out about 10 books.  I would probably never buy books if we had that big of a library.  The good thing is that I can order them all online now too.  I left Scott with the older 3 with Scott while I went down to check in.  It took about 30 minutes, then we sat down and read several kids books while waiting for the ceremony to begin.  It took less than an hour once they did start.  There were 67 people getting their citizenship that day.  Very exciting.  The kids did really well, in fact Garrison was so good he went to sleep:)  I was a little disappointed that he didn't get to sing O Canada with us and get a picture with the Mountie, but overall it was a good experience.  He even had us take the oath in French. Now THAT was amusing:)  If we'd had it on a paper in front of us it would be a lot easier, but it was hard to repeat it after the judge. Caleb sang his little heart out, which had me laughing instead of being emotional at the meaning of the ceremony.  I was surprised by how well he knew and pronounced the words too.
  After the ceremony  we headed to the Christian bookstore.  I was given a gift certificate for my Birthday this summer, but this is the first time I've been to Saskatoon since then.  It was fund to look around and the kids were able to pick out their Bible covers as a Birthday present from my mom.  I'll have to take pictures and post them later.
  We went to Denny's for supper before leaving the city.  Caleb succeeded in knocking over his water 3 times.  The first two times the lid stayed on, but the third time it got Scott wet and the floor was quite wet. Thankfully it was just water, but it still wasn't a pleasant experience.  We managed to still enjoy ourselves, but were quite relieved to head home after such a long day.
  So, today it's back to normal, with a few things to look forward to in the immediate future.  First we must do our school for the day, then it's on to the weekend activities.  Elyssia has requested cupcakes for her birthday and since we're planning to celebrate tomorrow instead of Sunday, I will be trying to bake them sometime today.  We're praying for Scott as he has a deadline with the job he's working on.  They want it finished TODAY!  They neglected to tell him that they were having their wedding in the backyard tomorrow.  He found out from the siding guys on Wednesday! Way to put the pressure on, eh?  Other than that I'll be filling out my Canadian passport form and renewing Garrison's which means a trip to to pictures done and sent out on Monday.  Scott is super busy next week and has meetings each night on top of that.  It will make things interesting, since I have a ladies bible study on Monday night, but we'll get through it and enjoy it for the most part:)  So, it's off to the real world I go, leaving this virtual one behind, hoping to accomplish everything that God has for me on the beautiful, sunny Friday Morning!  Hoping to take our little, soon to be 6 year old girl to the http://www.nilgiristeahouse.com/Tea House sometime in the near future...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Some good news!

  For those who were praying about my card trouble, it's going to be okay.  I called immigration today and they said I can take the test without it.  Just let them know when I get there that it was lost.  They have all my info in the computer, so it's not like all of that was lost.  Praise the Lord!  So, there's only 2 more sleeps til the test.  Maybe only 1 depending on how I sleep at the hotel.  I was able to get a room booked today, so we're looking forward to getting there and spending a bit of time in Saskatoon too!  Continued prayers for a smooth test time and ceremony are still appreciated.  Til next time...

Monday, October 11, 2010

A praise and a prayer request!

  This weekend was full of many things.  There was a lot of reading, laughing, being silly, and the making of memories...  Saturday we made another ice cream cake, which we put away for the Sunday Birthday celebrations.  Scott's mom brought a springform pan, so I was able to make it more like a cake and less like a casserole:)  To go back a little, I have to tell you about something that happened on Friday.  There was a lot of drama involved as I tried to kill a mouse that I spied in my cupboard.  It was under a spinning shelf and it was like playing Russian Roulette.  I would try to stab it when I saw it in the opening.  Caleb was behind me cheering me on.  Well, at a certain point it darted out of the cupboard and went close to my foot.  I proceeded to scream, lost my balance and fell over:)  I was in a crouched position with Caleb behind me.  It was quite comical, only it scared Caleb and he cried a bit, especially when he found out that there was still a mouse in our house!  I was telling the story to Preston that night and he said, "you mean that mouse!"  One ran close to him.  So I shoved a glue trap next to the piano and Preston swept under it with a broom, the mouse tried to escape and got stuck on the glue trap.  Yeah, for us.  He heard another one on Sunday night, but couldn't find it. As soon as they went to bed I turned out the lights, but stayed up a couple minutes to check e-mail.  I saw the mouse peek his head out and he looked like he was going for a bite of bread Kiersten had dropped.  I stood up, which scared him. put another glue trap in the path he would have to take to get the bread, turned the light out and waited less than a minute before he took the bait and got caught!  Yeah!  So happy the Lord helped it to work:)
  Sunday was a good day.  A lady in our church did some harvest decorating and it turned out really nice.  I'll try to post some pics that Kirk took. Kiersten was drawn to the little gourds and things. She loves to carry the vegetables from our garden around the house,especially the smaller ones that she can hold onto really well.  The kids did really well sitting with the Grandparents again.  I had to hold Caleb near the end, but it worked out because Kiersten had fallen asleep and I was able to let someone else hold her.  I'm so thankful that she fell asleep because she has turned into the biggest chatterbox!  It's okay at home, but too much of a disturbance.  I'm really looking forward to the business meeting this week.  We're going to discuss getting the sound system that we tried out this summer and putting a speaker downstairs.  I won't feel so bad being down there if I can still hear the sermons:).  In the afternoon we had ham, potatoes, carrots and ice cream cake.  Everyone seemed to think that the ice cream cake was as good as the Dairy queen ones.  It cost less to make it too:)  Elyssia opened up some of her presents.  Her nana made her a quilt and Kirk gave her band-aids and a stethoscope set to further encourage her nursing interest.  The rest of the afternoon we played soccer(Garrison got soccer cleats for his birthday) and took turns taking naps:).
  This morning Preston left around 7.  He had to get back and finish some last minute things before getting on a plane and flying to England.  He's going over to get a gold medal for a paper that he wrote and then he will spend a bit of time exploring England and Scotland.  We'll enjoy looking at the hundreds of pictures he takes later on.  The men made a chicken and some potatoes for lunch and I warmed two pies that I'd made ahead of time.  Overall it was a very delicious Thanksgiving meal.  When the ice cream was brought up to eat with the pie, I opened it up and discovered that it was more like Ice cream soup!  The men ran down and discovered that the freezer had quit sometime on Sunday most likely.  Thank the Lord it was discovered today and not later in the week. We would have lost all the meat we just bought and a lot of other things. Thankfully we have an upright freezer and the Lord helped Scott to fit everything into it.  A pretty amazing accomplishment considering how much applesauce and baked goods I'd stored up in the past month or so. 
Kiersten playing with the harvest display.

The October birthday people.

Elyssia playing with the paddle ball from uncle Preston.

Kiersten  distracted by everything going on around her.

Garrison being Kung Fu Superman

We were looking at Lego structures on the mantle, but noticed Kirk taking pics. We HAD to smile!

The favorite toy for over 2 years now!
  On another note, we could use a lot of prayer.  My citizenship test is on Thursday.  I've had my permanent resident card for 5 and a half years and mostly kept it in the lock box.  We have all the other documents, but somehow the card has disappeared.  We REALLY need to find it.  I've looked everywhere in the office and our bedroom, but after the kids go to bed tonight we'll have to search again.  We're praying that we'll find it today, that way tomorrow can be somewhat relaxing:)  Scott is going to take the kids for me around 3 so that I can take the van in for an oil change and get ready for the Ladies Bible Study.  I was going to have playgroup in the afternoon too, but one of the ladies is one bed rest with her pregnancy and with everything else being so busy we decided to cancel this week.  Wednesday we'll be packing a few things and heading to Saskatoon.  My test is in the morning and we don't want to be rushing on Wednesday to get there in time and all tired because we left at 4:30 in the morning.  So, that's the weekend and today in a nutshell.  Okay, so maybe it wasn't so simple, but so much to be thankful for and look forward to.  I KNOW the Lord is able to help us find the card and to help me pass the test. Looking forward to posting the results and pictures:))).

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Another find!

Last night I was downstairs putting the final touches on the guest bedrooms for family, when what do you think I found in the bathroom?  Another.....FROG!  So, now we have a froggie couple:)  We have no clue whether we have a boy and girl or two boys,we haven't taken the time to look it up either.  Anyway, we decided on a name this morning after the kids woke up.  So, the new frog has a girl's name-"Rosie the Ribbeter".  I thought we needed a name at least as clever as Hopper Jack, so that was my entry and it was a bit hit:).  So far, so good, this morning. The kids were super excited to see the uncles when they woke up and the Grandparents arrive a bit later this morning. It will probably be within the next hour or so, so I'm off to relax and enjoy having someone else to entertain the kids this fine Saturday morning!

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Day Approacheth!

You  might be wondering which day I'm talking about.  There are actually several special ones coming up in the next couple days.  The first starts with the arrival of Scott's brothers tonight!  Tomorrow the grandparents arrive and Monday we have Canadian Thanksgiving, followed by Ladies Meeting, Playgroup and THE TRIP to Saskatoon for my Citizenship test!!!!! 
  For those of you who are wondering, I DO NOT have to give up my American Citizenship when I get my Canadian Citizenship.  Yay for me!  You may be asking, "why get Canadian citizenship then?"  Well, I'm married to one, have 4 little ones and this is my home forever, unless the Lord decides to move us elsewhere.  Elyssia has dual citizenship and it's something we'll be working on for the other 3 in the next year or so. It's much easier to get theirs.  A trip to the U.S. consulate in Calgary, $75 and we're good to go.  We meant to get the boys taken care of before now, but with the move, morning sickness and another baby, plus starting a church, it just hasn't happened yet.  Although I still miss family and friends in the States and get frustrated with certain politics and sometime Anti-American sentiment, I really do love living in Canada:)  It has definitely helped to move farther in, where there is not the easy accessibility to the States.  When we lived in B.C., just 15 minutes from the border.  It was easy to cross and I had the desire to go often.  Living in Saskatchewan, where the nearest border is about 5 hours away has lessened my longing to go.  The Lord has given me a contentment with where I'm at, but still a Thankfulness for where I came from.
  We'd really like to take the kids on a missions trip one of these days.  To show them how blessed we are and how much they take it for granted.  We tell them about kids in other countries that don't have much food, clothing, etc., but it's hard to fathom for these kids who are surrounded by material wealth.      
  Today is the major cleaning day . Seems like these come around every 3 days or so now.  Getting ready for the company that will make our kids ecstatically happy and leave our house looking like a tornado when they leave.  This is my life and I CHOOSE to be thankful for it.    I'll post my Thankful List now, since I will probably be avoiding the computer while the family is here.

                        ~My salvation~
                        ~My family(American, Canadian and Church one too)~
                        ~The Blessing of Children~
                        ~The many means of communication that the Lord has blessed us with~
                        ~A warm house, in spite of my earlier comments about the clutter:)~
                        ~The opportunity to serve the Lord with my family~
                        ~A loving, patient and forgiving Heavenly Father~
                        ~The promise of Heaven to look forward to!~
                        ~Friends to share this life with(many of you are included in the 2nd list as church family:)~
                        ~The freedom to homeschool our children, so that I don't have to miss out on any of the
                           cute things they say and do:)))
                        ~That two of our 4 children have asked Jesus to be their personal Saviour.~
         
            Looking forward to spending an eternity with the Lord and all the friends He's blessed me with!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A new tradition and other happenings...

Little Miss Smiley enjoying her rocking chair for the 1st time.

Elyssia's room after the cleanup.

The girl's reading and tea time table.

Another shot of that cute grin.  This mama can't resist her baby sweetness!

The boys room after the cleanup(watching an episode of hoarders is scary!)

Kiersten's tea(her cup and saucer came from Holland).

Yummy honey toast(sorry, no crumpets:()

Garrison enjoying his "spot of tea" and honey toast.

Caleb loved his tea and had seconds!(why am I not surprised:)

Elyssia is loving our tea time.

The little dutch sugar girl.
  Most of the above pictures have a story to tell, but I'll try not to make this an epic post.  The ones of Kiersten are posted simply because I find her irresistable and want to capture as much of that cuteness as possible!  The clean room pictures are not just because of the hoarders episode, because all who know me know that I love to have a clean and organized house. Recently we watched Hoarders and it gave me the creeps, plus the urge to clean and re-organize the kids rooms again.  I half jokingly told Elyssia that she'd have to pay me money to clean hers.  She payed me $1.30!  Do you think I earned my wages?:)  To her credit, she did help clean quite a bit, it was just a little overwhelming in knowing where to start at first.  I should have taken before pics.  The main reason for her was because her bookcase was in the closet and she wanted it out like the boys. That required some furniture shifting, which happens to be my specialty:)
  The last set of pictures are from our new 2:00 tea time.  We're going through a health and manners course with Elyssia and I thought it was a good time to start something like this.  The first one was with just Elyssia, but then the boys wanted to join in.  I told them that they would have to clean up, comb their hair and put on a nice shirt.  Elyssia put on one of her fanciest dresses even helped Kiersten get dressed.  They all enjoyed the tea and toast more than I thought they would.  Caleb had seconds!  A new friend kinda inspired some of it and the desire to make more memories with the kids did the rest:) Our new friend, Karyn Ironside has a tea house in Alberta and it looks like everyone that comes has a great time and makes many wonderful memories. Our goal has been to help our girl and boys become the young ladies and men that God wants them to be and manners do play a part in the way that we conduct ourselves.  Today, Elyssia was helping to stir sugar into Garrison's tea and is practicing pouring too.  In the coming days we'll be trying to teach the boys to pull out the girl's chairs and stay standing til the ladies are seated, etc.  Garrison loves to remind us not to put our elbows on the table and not to talk with food in our mouth.  He is usually guilty of the second far more often than any of the rest of us though:)  So, a quick story behind the tea cups and sugar girl. The young gentlemen are using tea cups and saucers that my Grandma gave me.  They are from England and aren't the cheap assembly line ones either.  In case you're wondering, I was a bit hesitant to give them to the boys, but I will be on the look out for some special ones that would be uniquely theirs.  Elyssia's set was given to me by my mom and I have to say that I'm not sure where she acquired it.  It's also a nice one from England.  Kiersten's set is a collectible from Holland.  My parents purchased it for me when I was about 8 and they went to England.  The little Dutch sugar girl was given to me by Mrs. Hanks.  She and I shared the same birthday, although she was at least 60 years older than I was.  She used to give me $20 every birthday, but one year it got lost in the mail.  The next time we went to her house she offered to let me pick something from her china cabinet.  There is a little boy creamer and I also have a tea pot to match the boys tea cups.  Today we used Elyssia's tea pot.  I found one for both of the girls at a yard sale and I think that we'll rotate between the 4 that we have each day. Who knows? Maybe the girls will start collecting those someday:)  Overall, it was really neat to see each of the children sitting up straight, doing their best not to spill.  We'll have to see what interesting conversations we can get started in the days to come.  Maybe have Garrison do some poetry recitations.  See if we can teach them to talk like those in the Victorian era.  Does anyone know a good book for children that highlights the Victorian way of doing things?  As many may have noticed, we're not exactly the normal, put 'em in front of the tv kind of family.  We do enjoy a good movie now that then, but find that it's nicer to read together and focus on other things.  I have to say that Homeschooling is turning out to be far more enjoyable than I ever imagined it would be!