Friday, July 29, 2016


A conversation Dan overheard Micah mumbling to himself one night in bed...
"Heaven is really far away. Its up really high. How will I get there? I think I will have to take an airplane. Yep. That's how I will get up into heaven."

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


We had corn on the cob for dinner the other night. After finishing his cob of corn, Joel pips up that we should make sure we save the cobs. We question Joel about why we would need empty corn cobs.  He says, "So we can make corn stock!"

After a few giggles, we explain that you cannot make stock from corn cobs (like you can with chicken bones). Then he suggests that we should try to make corn starch.

I think he might have taken our hippie ways a bit too far! Love the thought process...if only it was that easy.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Adventures in Parenting

One morning, a certain little boy, whom shall remain nameless, came up to me asking for some help to remove a sticker from a very special place on his body.

Dan was on his way out the door to go to work, laughing about this being another one of those things that you never thought you would do as a parent. 

As I was assisting in the removal of the sticker, I yelled back at Dan, "It gets better! The sticker says, 'Hello. I'm Perfect!'"

Friday, June 3, 2016

Nature and Happiness

"I'm so happy I went outside today"

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

You know you`ve done good when....

at the end of a nice walk, the kids are lying down for a nap.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Sunday Sacrifice

Dan and I have made it a priority to attend church every Sunday. We don't often skip church, except for illness or an occasional family recovery day. When we started having kids five years ago, going to church became harder. As almost any parent of a young child knows, church quite often coincides with morning nap time. This means that we have to either rearrange our day to accommodate a different nap time ( that's possible!) or our child doesn't nap. The ripple affect of this is an overtired and cranky child on Sunday and in our case, often a cranky child for 3-4 days afterwords.  This means that we have finally fully recovered by Thursday. We then have three days of pleasant interactions (baring any sickness, teething or any other factors), until we start the process all over again.

Now that most of our kids are older and have dropped the morning nap, we have a different problem. Our children wake up early (as in 6am is sleeping in)! On Sundays, we choose to have a bigger breakfast and shower the kids. This means that by the time Dan and I have dragged our butts out of bed, fed and dressed the kids, its often too late to do anything, like a quick walk, before Sunday School starts at 9:30am. This messes up our whole day.  Normally we eat lunch at 10:30, which coincidentally is the same time the church service starts. An hour later and church is over, and we are already half an hour later for our normal nap/quiet time and we still haven't eaten lunch! So our day is messed up and our kids are quite often antsy, overtired and hungry. Then, we go home, shove lunch down our throats and head straight to bed for a nap. By the time everyone is awake, its 3pm.  That gives us an hour or so before we need to start dinner before moving onto bedtime routines. The entire day is gone (except for that one precious hour between 3-4pm). No wait! We still need a snack before dinner, since lunch may or may not have been eaten and we cannot handle hungry children! Therefore, the day is gone. Breakfast, church, naps, snack, dinner, bed.  

Dan and I call this phenomenon the Sunday sacrifice. Our entire day has been sacrificed for two hours of church. This means that one of Dan's two days off is spent in church or awaiting the end of nap time. 

There are definitely days that we would rather stay home or go out on an adventure somewhere. But instead, we keep heading to church. Those two hours are worth it.  The Sunday Sacrifice is hard.

We realized early on in our parenting career, we needed to go to church every week, even if it was hard. Because for us, its too tempting to skip every week for another hour in bed, or a walk in the woods. (ohhh how we miss Bedside Baptist, with Reverend Pillow talking about the Great Comforter). Attending church became a top priority for us.

We have friends that are quite involved in church and ministry. They have designated one week a month as family time. Dan and I love this idea. Since hearing it, we have desperately tried to institute it. But there is always something dragging us to church instead. (...but Angelika is preaching, the kids are singing this morning, Dan teaching Sunday School, its raining, we could really use a nap later...)

So needless to say, we go to church.  Our Sunday sacrifice continues whether we want it to or not.

But I guess as I reflect about it, we know that sacrificing our Sundays is worth it. We've talked often about how much we love our church. We love the multi-generational community we have. We love the messages we may or may not hear. And even on those days that we spend the entire service in the Mother's room or half asleep in the pew, we know that we are instilling an important habit in our boys lives. Its important to us that our boys see the importance of church. Its important that church attendance becomes a healthy habit.  Its important for us to continue to build those relationships with others that we may not have outside of church. We have made friends with people who are our parents and grandparents age. They are our cheerleaders, people who challenge us and people who understand and have gone before us, ready to encourage us during our run through the gauntlet. Our children have built relationships with people who have different skills and interests than us. They nurture our children. Encourage our children. Pray for our children. Teach our children.  We know that sacrificing our Sundays is worth it in the long run.

So whether we take a week off from church attendance or not, we know that both are good. We know we need a balance of attendance. A balance of sacrifice and relationship building. So we soldier on, waking up each Sunday making a choice. A choice to go to church and/or grow together as a family. Both are sacrifices. Both are worth it. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

9 years

9 years. That's how long we have been married.

I find it too trite to say that our love for one another has grown each day. I'm pretty sure there was a long span of time that this statement wasn't true.  Our love for one another has changed. Our appreciation for each other has grown deeper. We laugh differently than we did as newlyweds. Our roles within the marriage continue to develop and mature with age.

I often fail to vocalize my appreciate to Dan for the little things he does, those small every day things that I take for granted.

I love that he warms the face cloth every night and always lets me have it first.

I love that when he's first to the toothbrushes, he'll put toothpaste on mine as well.

I love that when he fills his water cup, he almost always fills mine at the same time.

I find it funny that when he does something annoying or silly and I call him on it, he'll turn around and say in a long drawn out, "You're stuck with me....FOREVVVVVVVVVER!" while holding out his hand and pointing at his wedding ring.

I love that Dan washes dishes by hand. Anything that doesn't fit in the dishwasher, or that is labeled hand-wash only, he washes. Every Single Day. I especially love that he washes the muffin tins.

I love that he will call, "Not it" to changing a dirty diaper, but end up changing it anyway.

I love that Dan will choose to navigate our journeys, rather than drive. Plus, having my own personal Dan-Dan (as opposed to TomTom) is amazing, especially when he tells me he's "recalculating route."

I love that Dan makes breakfast on weekends.

I love that Dan and I share night duty with the kids. He'll get up and bring the baby to bed, I'll feed the baby and pass the baby back to Dan so he can return it to bed.

I love that Dan appreciates the little things in life, like a homemade dessert or a virgin bed (the first night on clean sheets).

I remember when in pre-martial counseling, we were asked why we loved each other. I distinctly remember saying that I love Dan's servant heart. I see it every day in the little things he does. He's made these little things habits, to serve, to value and cherish me.

We've had rough times in our marriage, mostly due to sleep deprivation. I distinctly remember during those three and a half months that we didn't sleep for more than forty-five minutes at a time, I would wake up every morning angry at Dan. Now don't get me wrong, he didn't do anything wrong. But I was mad. I was mad that we weren't sleeping. I was sleep deprived. But I made wrong choices and chose to nitpick everything he did. I remember lying in bed, thinking about how much I didn't like the way things were. So, I devised a plan to leave. I'd take the kids to my moms and live with her. Somehow it dawned on me that if I left and took the kids, that I would be waking up every night with the kids ON MY OWN. And I couldn't do it. I literally stayed in our marriage because there was no strength to get up every 45 minutes on my own to take care of the kids. So instead of leaving, I did the hard thing and changed my behaviour. I stopped nitpicking. I worked hard at not being mad at Dan, but mad at the situation. We worked hard at getting the baby to sleep longer stretches so we could be better people. We joke about that time in our lives now. We know that it wasn't really our marriage that needed work. We just needed to sleep and things improved exponentially.

I like that we realize when our marriage needs work. We both enjoy spending time together and when life gets busy, we will often take some time to rebuild our marriage and connect with one another.

If I had to give one piece of marriage advice to newlyweds, it would be this: Find out what works for your marriage and do it. Then, be willing to change and evolve as time goes on. What works for one couple may not work for another.  What worked in year one, may not work well in year nine. But you need to find what works for both of you at that time period in life.

The couple we were when we got married has changed, grown, and developed into a different couple.  But one thing remains the same. We still love each other and we will be together, FOREVVVVVER!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


"Nature does not hurry. Yet everything is accomplished."

I saw this quote back in January. I've been pondering it ever since. There is a rhythm to life. New life blooms, grows and blossoms. Then it shrivels, dies and decays producing new life.

I think sometimes in life we wish that we were in the next stage. I can't wait to get married. I can't wait to have children. I can't wait for the kids to get bigger and go to school, to graduate, to get married and produce grand kids.

Often times, I've been trying to rush life. The joy, for me, of having three kids is perspective. The first child, I rushed. I couldn't wait for him to get bigger and grow up and do new things. The second one came quickly behind and I think I felt the same way. But this third little one. Oh nelly! Slow down little grasshopper. Slow down! I already miss the baby snuggles. The attempts to roll and crawl and walk. But at the same time, don't slow down. Keep moving forward. The beauty of this third baby is that I'm not rushing him along into the next stage. Perhaps, even, wisdom has grown deeper. As much as I'm not rushing him,  I'm not urging him to slow down either. But rather, allowing him to develop in his own time. He will do things when he is ready.

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

3 Boys

All three boys wearing the same outfit, at about the same age.
Definitely brothers!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Ordinary Time

I was reading some one's blog the other day about how they were ready for ordinary time. They just felt weary from celebrating Lent and Easter and were awaiting Pentecost and the beginning of ordinary time. As I read that, I sighed in concurrence. I, too am awaiting ordinary time and am weary of celebrating Easter. Then I thought to myself, since when did I start following the liturgical calendar?

I guess it started with Lent...or was it Advent? As a family, we have started to be purposeful in our actions around Christian holidays. Christmas feels too short without the anticipation that Advent brings. The lament of Lents helps season the richness of Easter. As time has gone on, we've added Thanksgiving and Pentecost. It seems as though from October through till May this year, we have rolled one liturgical season into another, with nary a break in between.

How do we celebrate the liturgical season? We've moved beyond crafts (because I can't be bothered), to a deeper, richer time as a family. We spend each season in prayer. We pray for our friends, family and Church members. Each day, we choose a name and pray that family and display their name in a seasonal artistic way.

During thanksgiving this year, we put names on leaves.
Advent and Christmas, we used stars.
Lent, we used flowers on a cross.
And during the time between Easter and Pentecost, we put fire on the cross.

It allows us to focus on prayer and on people that we don't always remember to pray for otherwise.
One of our Lent goals was for the boys to learn a standard prayer for our food (God is Great and God is Good and we thank him for this food, Amen), which went well. This Pentecost season, we wanted to do something a little different. We wanted a standardized prayer that we could all say together for the chosen family. I scoured the Internet to find a Pentecost prayer that we could pray on behalf of someone that was short enough and easy enough for our family to learn (this was NOT an easy task). Eventually, I happened to find one that suited our needs and at least had something to do with Pentecost and the Holy Spirit.

Come Holy Spirit,
Bring us today,
Love, joy and Peace,
In all that we say.

Come Holy Spirit,
Help us be like you,
Showing kindness and goodness,
in all that we do.

Come Holy Spirit,
Please bless ___________, in all that they do.
and bless the many people,
That might not know and love you.

While we have really enjoyed the richness of Lent, Easter and Pentecost, I am ready for a break. I'm ready to have my walls free of art and the fighting over who chooses a name to end. I've thoroughly enjoyed this season, but I am ready to move onto ordinary time. I'm weary from the celebration. As much as I have enjoyed this time, I am ready for it to end. I guess that is the beauty of liturgy. Everything has a time. A time for mourning, a time for lament, a time for celebration, a time for preparation and a time for the ordinary.