Friday, March 30, 2012

A Medieval Success!

This week has been full of activity with the family around. We still have 3 of them until Sunday afternoon, but the parents had to head home this afternoon. The weather, if you don't mind wind, is gorgeous today and we'd hoped to take family pictures, but we're going to have to wait until tomorrow. My Awesome Brother-In-Law, Preston, figured out how to help me upload pictures again. It did include switching to Google Chrome Browser, but it's nice to have the picture option again;). Now I shall do my best to flood this blog with endless pictures for who knows how much longer:)))). Last night was our Medieval Feast. The night we'd been looking forward to for close to a month. Darlene has TONS of awesome pictures, but you'll have to make do with my mediocre ones. Still learning... Without further ado, I shall leave this present time and take you to a time long ago, where Kings and Queens were entertained by the lower classes while indulging in LARGE amounts of food. Scene One Opens to find Scott, the Herald, introducing King Charles and Queen Patricia of the Kingdom of Fleet. Followed by Lord Kirk and Lady Darlene of Arbor Stone Crescent and Duke Preston of Fraser. King Charles raised a toast of Apple Cider to Open up the Feast. The first course included Beef Stew on Trenchers, Stewed Apples and Figs and Plenty of Tart Cider. Scene 2: Enter the tumblers who were FANTASTIC. Kiersten had to have Elyssia's help to completely flip over, but it made us laugh even harder at her antics. The second course included Ham, Carrots, Beans and Rye Bread with Butter. Scene 3: Enter the Sword Swinging Knights! The fought valiantly and providing so much laughter that I had tears streaming down my face! They each won one round and the third was a tie, which made everyone happy. We also had Lady Elyssia perform a Ribbon Twirling Dance, which was followed by a juggling act from Lady Darlene. The third course was mincemeat pie, apple pie and Homemade Wafers(Compliments of the Queen)! The final act was the dwarf show. The Herald(Scott) and the kids dressed up and put shoes on their hands. They went behind the couch and then proceeded to entertain us til they almost fell from exhaustion. The King and Queen declared that the entire night was a magnificent success and we all proceeded to leave the banquet hall when the festivities were over. The entertainment was given by the Terrific Tumbling Trio(G, C and K), The Sword Fighting Knights(G and C), the Ribbon Twirling by Lady Elyssia(who apparently took lessons at the Indiana Jones School of Ribbon Twirlers. The way she was whipping it around we thought for sure she could snap it and eliminate the flame of the candles. It was so much fun that we'd love to do it again sometime. It will probably be 4 years from now when the kids are doing more in depth study of the different periods of history Here are a couple pictures to give you a glimpse into our VERY memorable night:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I think I've gone a record number of days without blogging recently. Maybe not, but it kinda feels like it. Part of it is that I love to include pictures and although I paid for the extra picture space, it won't bring up our pictures when I hit the browse button. Anybody have any suggestions about this??? Caleb's 4th Birthday was a really good day. We had some friends over to play and share the cake with. It was kind of noisy, but what do you expect when there are 5 boys 5 and under in the house:). He LOVED his monster truck cake and was very excited to receive a pop gun, Thomas book and ball for his birthday. The party hats and balloons have also seen a lot of use. This is the first time we've bought party hats and I think everyone enjoyed wearing them and being silly. It's amazing how quickly he's growing and changing. Thanking the Lord for blessing us with this crazy, fun little bundle of noise and dirt:). Sunday was another busy day for us. We had church, potluck, Cake to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of our church, and the rest home after the 2nd service. The kids did amazingly well for being out so long without naps. The older ladies LOVED seeing the little ones. They kept exclaiming how cute and smiley Adelaide was and somehow managed to avoid pinching any cheeks:). They gave the older ones some candy, which made their day even "sweeter". I think they definitely had the most sugar filled weekend ever! Thankfully it didn't make them overly crazy. Kiersten fell asleep on the drive home, but she was the only one that napped. The early bedtime was a blessing for all of us that night. Monday was pretty relaxed. We had school and some cleaning to do, but took it easy, since the family wasn't coming until Tuesday afternoon. Plus the fact that we're kinda celebrating Spring Break this week. It's Spring Break in Alberta where my mother in law teaches, so we tend to go along with their holiday schedule, in order to spend more time with them when they have time off. It was a beautiful day and the kids enjoyed splashing in the puddles outside. Thankfully I hadn't finished the last load of laundry yet:). We finished off the day by trying out a new recipe. It's a Caramel Ring. It's kind of like monkey bread, but you make it with Buttermilk Biscuits. I made those from scratch and it was beyond delicious. I'm thankful that I only made a single batch, because I'm not sure I would've been able to resist over eating this:). Another thing I wish I could post a pic of... Before bed we had some practicing to do for the medieval feast. There was tumbling practice, ribbon twirling, and some very entertaining sword fighting. Caleb and Garrison are really getting into it with their foam swords and I have to say that I haven't laughed that hard in a very long time. I had tears rolling down my face. Garrison tends to run around in circles landing quite a few blows on the top of Caleb's head, while Caleb chops wildly, landing quite a few blows against Garrison. All of this, while holding his pants up with his other hand. At one point he had his stick horse, a foam shield and his sword in his hand, all while holding up his pants and whacking Garrison:). We also tried a couple other activities, but we're not sure we're going to include them in the schedule. All in all, it was great entertainment and we look forward to seeing what happens on the night of the feast. Today was a bit more cleaning and a bit more school. Kiersten was the only one to take a nap and I can see a pattern emerging. The boys usually take a nap at least every other day, but I think they were too excited to sleep. There was a lot of excitement when Nana and Grandad arrived. The kids read books with Nana for close to an hour before moving on to something else. Caleb worked on his birthday puzzle and with a little bit of help it was finished in less than 20 minutes. This was a 100 piece puzzle. I'm amazed by this kid and it's not just because he's our son. I've not seen any other kids his age that love puzzles and work them quite like Caleb. He's crazy, but when it comes to puzzles, he's really good! The boys fell asleep shortly after 7. That's definitely one of the benefits of them not having a nap. The house gets pretty quiet once they fall asleep. It's getting close to 10 and things are super quiet now. I'm thinking it's time I was off to sleep too. There will be more family arriving in the next couple days, maybe some late nights and lots of cooking. I'll need extra energy for that and I might as well start now:)... Til next time...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Change of mind???

Tonight we had a friend from church over. The kids love to talk with Paul about horses, dogs, coyotes, etc... We had steak, mashed potatoes, cheddar scones, corn and I tried a new carrot cake recipe. I'm totally throwing the old one in the trash:). It was past 8 before we put the kids to bed, but they were enjoying everything too much, to end it any earlier. We were talking about Caleb's birthday and I asked him if he wanted to tell Paul what kind of cake he wanted. Caleb then told me that he had changed his mind and that he wants a monster truck cake! Not sure if that's going to happen. The other ones decided ahead of time and I already had ingredients, etc, for his first request. So, maybe I can squeeze a little monster truck on to his cake, but I don't think I'm going to try to do one in the shape of a monster truck.

Today I'm thankful for:

-A nice sunny day
-Healthy and mostly happy kids
-Plenty to eat
-Loving children
-Creative children that love to read and play Lego:)
-A Loving, Helpful Husband that loves me and our children!
-Hot water for our showers
-Our washer and dryer
-A clean house(for now:)
-The freedom to homeschool
-The safe delivery of a friend's 1st baby-Welcome Ainsley Wicks, we're in love with you, even though we don't get to hold you yet:).

Last, but not least, our nice warm bed. It's been a looooong day and I'm ready to sleep. It's hard to believe that half the week is gone already. A couple more days and, as a friend recently said, "Our house will be fresh out of 3 year olds". Til October anyway;).

~Sweet Dreams~

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A World of Opposites





These have all been a part of our life the past couple days. The weather changes from one day to the next. Kiersten throwing up out of the blue, but healthy again after less than a day. Adelaide rolling over twice, after just laying there every other day:). Kiersten's hair seems to be getting curlier as she gets older. So many changes in this life, yet Jesus is the same-Yesterday, Today and Forever! Thanking the Lord for his many blessings...

Here are a couple:
-A loving husband
-Loving Children
-A Warm House
-"Whispers of I Love You Mommy"
-Our church family
-Telephones and Skype
-Reading Books
-Taking Walks
-Building Snow"people"(Garrison wants to make Snow"babies":)
-The Fresh from the Bath smell
-Afternoon naps
-Soup and Scones on a cold day
-Fresh haircuts for the boys
-A clean house(even if it doesn't last:)
-Getting to the end of the Laundry pile(even if it only lasts for about 12 seconds;)
-my e-reader
-my camera(even if I can't seem to post any pics on here or facebook right now).

~ Welcome Spring, even if you did blow in with all the fresh snow!~

Monday, March 19, 2012

No more pictures:(.

Apparently I've reached my quota of pictures that you're allowed to upload. I tried deleting some older posts, but it still won't let me. Any suggestions, other than starting a whole new blog page??? They did say that I could pay money to buy more space, but I really don't want to do that.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

HE Amazes me...

The Lord never ceases to amaze me. We had a LOT to get ready for the missionaries visit. Rooms to clean, laundry to wash, beds to make, floors to mop or vac, food to prepare, and the kids needed a bath, all before the missionaries came. Scott wanted me to make Lumpia, as a surprise for the missionaries headed to the Philippines. Elyssia stayed up on Thursday night helping to get the wrappers wet before I rolled them. We had 109 before we ran out of the filling. We didn't need that many for the visit, but I figured that we might as well put a bunch in the freezer for later. We figured that the missionaries could arrive anytime from noon on. We kept plugging away at the things on our to do list. The kids did really well and I was thankful to have extra little hands to make the workload a bit lighter. God blessed and seemed to make the day stretch out somehow. We had things done by around 2:30 and actually got to relax a little before they arrived. Mr. Malazzo walked in and after he saw what I was making he said, "I knew that smelled familiar:)". We were happy to take care of them after their long ordeal over the past couple weeks. Pneumonia and hospital visits, etc... Deputation isn't easy when you're healthy, so it's hard to imagine doing it when everyone is sick. Just wanting to stay in one bed long term, but knowing that you have a schedule to maintain. They did cancel at least one meeting, but the Lord told them it was time to move forward.

The biggest blessing is that their family proved to be a bigger encouragement to us than we ever imagined. First they asked if they could teach Sunday School for me. I quickly agreed! This is the first time that I've gotten to sit in on Scott's Sunday School Lesson since we started the church! The kids loved their songs, missionary story and lessons about the Philippines. They LOVED playing with the Malazzo's 4 children that are very close in age to ours. While I was talking to a new couple in our church, Mrs. Malazzo walked up and started playing the piano. It was SOOOO nice to hear a piano playing again! The Goffs will be back next month, but they've been gone since November and we've really missed hearing the piano! The time that we had to just sit around and talk while the kids played was so encouraging. Mothering-wise, church-wise, Christian growth-wise! We were sad to see them go, but Elyssia has another pen pal now.

Here are a couple pictures from yesterday and today. I tried to take more, but just got a blur for most of them because they were always moving!

Okay, scratch that idea. The pictures aren't loading right now. I'll have to try later...

Friday, March 16, 2012

A day off!

Today was a special one for me. Scott gave me the day off to go and sew with a friend. I ended up taking Adelaide and Elyssia with me though, so it wasn't a complete day off;). It was a very productive day that ended with a haircut. Here are the pics:

It made for a long day, but I came home to a nice supper that Scott fixed on the BBQ. You'd think it was my birthday or something:). It isn't, but I definitely felt spoiled. Yes, there were dishes covering almost every spare inch of the counter, but I have to say that it was worth it to have a bit of a day off.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hope for mothers!

A friend posted a link for this today and I thought it was really encouraging! I'm still digesting some of it and thinking that I have 2 children in particular that kind of fit this category:). They keep us humble and help to keep us closer to the Lord. Asking for His help to guide them and keep them safe. To draw them closer to Himself and thus do an amazing work in their lives as only He can do. I know that I see a bit of myself in this story. I don't have any dancing in the fountain stories, but I was one to say embarrassing things when I was little. It wasn't a lack of training on my parents part, it was just me, being the unique individual that God created me to be. Thinking of how far God has brought me from what I was like as a child gives me hope and I pray this article helps other young mothers that may be feeling a bit of discouragement. Don't lose hope! Be consistent and pray a LOT! God will see us through:) Note: She used NIV and I changed it to KJV. I hope that's not illegal. She had it on the post that it was okay to share it with others:).

March 15, 2012

I Don’t Want to Raise a Good Child
Lysa TerKeurst

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

My daughter, Hope, is a senior this year. And she decided her senior year should be adventurous and a little out of the “normal” box. A lot out of the box actually.

She withdrew from traditional school. Applied with the state to homeschool. Enrolled in online college courses that would allow her to get both high school and college credit simultaneously. And planned to spend the month of January serving in Nicaragua doing missions.

This didn’t surprise me really. Hope has always liked charting her own course. This thrills me now. But it didn’t thrill me so much in the early years of raising this strong-spirited child.

When she was really little I was scared to death I was the world’s worst mom, because Hope was never one to be contained. And I honestly thought all her extra tenacity was a sign of my poor mothering.

One day I took her to the mall to meet several of my friends with toddlers to grab lunch. All of their kids sat quietly eating cheerios in their strollers. They shined their halos and quoted Bible verses and used tissues to wipe their notes.

Not Hope.

She was infuriated by my insistence she stay in her stroller. So, when I turned away for a split second to place our lunch order, she wiggled free. She stripped off all her clothes. She ran across the food court. And jumped in the fountain in the center of the mall.

Really, nothing makes the mother of a toddler feel more incapable than seeing her naked child splashing in the mall fountain. Except maybe that toddler refusing to get out and said mother having to also get into the fountain.

I cried all the way home.

Not because of what she’d done that day. But rather because of how she was everyday. So determined. So independent. So insistent.

I would beg God to show me how to raise a good child. One that stayed in her stroller. One that other people would comment about how wonderfully behaved she was. One that made me look good.

But God seemed so slow to answer those prayers. So, over the years, I changed my prayer. “God help me to raise Hope to be who You want her to be.” Emphasis on, “God HELP ME!”

I think I changed my prayers for her because God started to change my heart. I sensed He had a different plan in mind for my mothering of Hope.

Maybe God’s goal wasn’t for me to raise a good rule-following child. God’s goal was for me to raise a God-following adult. An adult just determined and independent and insistent enough to fulfill a purpose He had in mind all along.

Today’s key verse reminds us we are training children so that when they are old they will not turn away from Biblical principles, but rather implement them in their life-long pursuit of God. Remember, the things that might aggravate you about your child today, might be the very things when matured that make them great for God’s kingdom tomorrow.

I’ve certainly seen this in raising Hope.

I don’t know what mama needs to hear this today. But let me encourage you from the bottom of my heart with three simple mothering perspectives you must hang on to:

1. Don’t take too much credit for their good.
2. Don’t take too much credit for their bad.
3. Don’t try to raise a good child. Raise a God-following adult.

And all the mamas of fountain dancing children said, “Amen!”

Dear Lord, I know You desire for me to raise a God-following adult. Please give me Your wisdom as I seek to become the parent You called to this high honor. Redirect my perspectives and equip me for this task today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Handwashing Neglect

So, I've obviously neglected something lately. After today I'm thinking I need to teach the kids some in depth lessons on why we need to wash our hands, etc... Today I was reminding Caleb to wash his hands and Garrison told me, "My fingernails are really filthy, but I put these gloves on so you won't see them!" Can anyone say, "Gross!!!" Totally a boy thing, I'm sure;). So, stay tuned for more exciting updates in the "Saga of Cleanliness". Guess we should put a request in for more "Moose Spit" soap, eh Preston:). Not really. It's a cute idea, but I don't really think it's effective if I'm not on top of them about washing their hands more often.

Daddies are Pancakes?

I find conversations with my 2 year old to be very interesting these days. This morning it went something like this:

Kiersten: You not a pancake.
Me: No, I'm not a pancake.
K: You a woman
Me: Yes, I'm a woman
K: You a teacher
Me: Yes, I'm a teacher
K: You Mrs. Holloway
Me: Yes, I'm Mrs. Holloway
K: You not a pancake!

What I take away from this conversation is that she has established that I'm a woman, teacher, Mrs. Holloway and not a pancake:) In other conversations she has established that I'm her mommy and I'm daddy's wife. So, that leaves me with the the conclusion that Daddy must be the pancake:). Kidding, of course. I just wonder what goes through Kiersten's head when she's quiet(which is rare:) and then there are these times that she shares it with me and I have to laugh and share it with others.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


The campout was a big success. The kids loved it! We started by just playing in the tent, then we roasted hot dogs and made s'mores. Next we headed out for a nature walk, but after the kids got completely soaked we decided that hot cocoa was next on the menu:). Scott wanted us to go look at the stars after dark, so it was my job to keep the kids awake until close to 9. This helped me to get through reading the 30 books, another item on my 30 x 30 list. Scott tried to teach Kiersten how to play UNO. It was quite funny. She did really well to start, but then started to put the cards in her mouth and throw them at the other players. We finished off the night by looking at stars and then heading in to sleep. I heard Garrison whispering to Scott for at least 20 minutes before falling asleep. I think it went really well, other than the fact that Elyssia flails a lot in her sleep:( I was the recipient of several kicks and whacks. Some bears stopped by to see about extra food, but Scott was wise enough to put the food up high:) Copy and paste this link to see pics from all our adventures:

Tonight we had a different adventure. We're practicing for the medieval feast and I took some pictures to whet your appetites for the real thing. There was a big battle between the knights and the dragon(Scott) to prevent him from kidnapping the fair maidens(E, K, and A). Too fun:)

Thank you Kerry for the cute pillowcase dresses!

Happy Tuesday!!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

A practice run...

This summer we're hoping to do a bit of camping. The older 3 have slept in the tent on the porch with Daddy several times, but the younger two weren't included. I decided to give them a new experience before the real thing and also check off another thing on my 30 x 30 list. We've got the tent set up in the living room and we're going to use the coleman stove to do hotdogs and smores for supper. Maybe even try to do scrambled eggs and toast in the morning, if we're really chipper:). The 3 girls are playing in it right now while the boys are napping elsewhere. I'm looking forward to seeing the boys expressions when they come out and see the tent in the living room. It's almost warm enough today to camp on the porch, but the evenings still get quite cold, so we'll have our adventure indoors. I might even get to check off the reading of 30 books to the kids as well. We're bringing a big box of books with us to enjoy while eating snacks and enjoying our end of winter adventure.

Off to enjoy some "girl" time!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Crazy hair & New Nursery

Here are some pics I took of the boys after bath last night and also at the church before during and after Sunday School. Elyssia wanted me to take some of her with her friends too. They turned out okay, but I'd definitely like to get some outdoor pics sometime.

Reminder for the next time. Get down on their level when I take the picture. I just took it after church ended because they didn't get to stay for potluck. Not taking the time to do it right results in a below average picture. Elyssia's happy with it for now though:).
Fun times!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Update and another project completed...

Thank you for praying for Carter, please don't stop. The blood test have come back and it's not bone marrow cancer-Praise the Lord!!! He has to stay in the hospital because his blood isn't clotting and those who know Carter, realize that he's very accident prone. Right now they're thinking it's a very bad virus that managed to destroy so many platelets, but there's a lot we don't understand right now. Please pray that the Doctors would have wisdom to discover exactly what this is and how to prevent it in the future.

A lot of things change so quickly around here that it's hard to keep up with it all. I got to Skype with my sister in law and brother today. It's been a long time and it was fun to catch up a bit on things. We had a walk down memory lane when I finished our scrapbook from the trip and it (almost) makes me want to do it again;). Notice the (almost) part. Not quite ready:))). I also made lumpia for the first time by myself. It was so good that there weren't any leftovers!

Here are the pictures of the 30 cards I made this week:

and a picture of the kids dressed up for Purim:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Changes, Again...

Sometimes changes in our plans are hard to accept. This year has been full of surprises. Many people going through difficult circumstances and the loss of loved ones. To me, being required to change our plans seems minor, in comparison to losing a loved one. Due to unforseen circumstances, we will be postponing our vacation. That means that I get to choose two new things to complete before I turn 30. I'm really hoping there's not a rulebook out there for 30 x 30 lists. I'm pretty sure I've broken the rules, if there is one:). So, I'm going to change the "visit O.H." to "sleep in a tent with the kids". Totally not the same thing, but we all have to adjust, right? The second one, "visit my Grandpa" is a hard one to give up, but needs one to replace it. Maybe I could find someone that could do a video of us, that we could send to him to watch. He doesn't want to have anything to do with the computer, which rules out Skype:(. I'd like there to be some way of him seeing all of us as a family, other than pictures. Will have to think on that one a bit more.

Other than that, it was a fairly good day. I have a bit of a sore throat. Adelaide had her first cold, but it only lasted from Mon-Wednesday. Today she was all better. We had a playdate with a friend from church and I took Garrison, Kiersten and Adelaide with me. They did really well, until the little boy declared that he was keeping Addie. He said that he loved her and that she was his baby now. Kiersten got into an argument with him and they went back and forth until I told them that it was time to go and I needed to put Addie in her car seat. She was smiling for most of it:). This little boy is only 3, so I don't blame him for feeling the way he does:) Addie is very cute and lovable and we're thankful we have the opportunity to hug and kiss her all day long:).

The weather was warmer today and tomorrow it's supposed to be around +10. Scott will be finishing up the painting at the church in the nursery and I look forward to taking pictures. Hopefully the door will come in soon and we won't have to use the baby gate anymore. Just a couple more potlucks and afternoon services until we switch off our winter schedule. That also means that the Goffs will be coming back from Arizona soon. Yeah!!! Looking forward to seeing them AND singing with a piano again.

It's almost 10 here, I'd better get to bed. I could use the extra rest and hopefully I'll be back to normal before Sunday. Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Two more Complete!

First off was our late night walk:

And then on to making the lemon meringue pie together!

The shell

The filling and the finished product!

We ate 1/2 of it for breakfast this morning and it was delicious:)!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A few changes...

I've decided to change a couple of things on my 30 x 30 list, due to the fact that I would be adding extra stress to Scott's life in order to complete them. I will replace them with challenges for myself that will probably take about the same amount of time to complete. I'm not sure if that's breaking the 30 x 30 list rules, if there are any, but I figure it's probably okay because I was only giving myself 6 months to complete it instead of a year:). Scott and I were wondering what happens if you don't complete your list. Do you feel like a failure for the rest of your life;). I don't think that I will, I just thought that it's a good way to get a lot accomplished in a short amount of time. The following are the items I'm changing:

Tile entry with Scott to: Make 30 cards

Do floor in SW room to : Read 30 books to the kids

Watch Solomon Bunch(I'm changing this because I'm not sure it will be on DVD before my birthday... To: Have a Medieval Feast with the family. It will include LOTS of cooking, baking, etc...

I think that each of these is a fair exchange and I can include the kids on 2 of them, whereas the 1st ones I chose would have to be done after they were in bed. We still might try to get the floors done, but I don't think Scott needs me adding to his to do list right now.

Interesting Update: Scott was measuring the kids growth today and these are the results:

Elyssia and Garrison are both 46 lbs and 46 inches tall

Caleb is 36 lbs and 36 inches tall

Kiersten is 26 lbs and 34 inches tall

I think that Caleb has experienced the most growth height-wise and I'm surprised by how much each of the kids has gained in the past couple months. Probably all the extra baking:). They'll need it this summer when they're burning off all their extra energy outside though, so it's actually a really good thing at this age.

Well, it's time to do devotions. We made it through to Revelation and started over this year. Right now we're interrupting the regular schedule to do Esther. Purim is this week and the kids wanted to act out the story.

2 more things to check off!

The first one completed was to paint a picture:

It's sitting on our mantle right now, but I'm thinking it's headed down to the nautical room.

The second one completed this week was "finish scrapbooking our trip to Georgia". How do I post a pic of that though. I don't think I'll go through and show each one. Maybe I'll post a couple pics later on. So thankful it's done though. I have a couple more pages to finish in the kid's books, then I can start the one for this year:).

God decided to bless us with lots of snow and I've decided that it's definitely a good thing because we get to have Scott home ALL day! It also makes the farmers happy because it means they'll have moisture in the fields for planting. I'm also thankful because we haven't had the long winter like last year:).

Off to enjoy the rest of the day...