Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Names - Video

When you have a big family, it's hard to remember all the people - when you don't get to spend much face time with them, it's even harder! Here we're testing Grey's memory (and we're even missing 5 family members from this picture!!)

My favourite moment is at 4:51. My dad definitely needs to watch that part:-) (and at 2:19 when he references Tuni!)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Reading - Video

A milestone today - so I just had to capture it on video. This is Brooks reading the FINAL reader for the Kindergarten reading program for the first time!...he's moving on to 1st grade reading, probably next week, after some more drills and review. (He is currently 5yrs 4mths old - remember when he started out at 3.5 yrs old? Cutie pie:-)

As goes life with 6 children ages 6 and under in the house...when you sneak away to film a quick book reading - all hell breaks loose in your absence. You will hear in the background all of the following:

May, completely losing it. It was 9:30am, and she was in desperate need of her morning nap. I thought she could wait 2 minutes to go down. She couldn't.

Sonny, shouting out "ARDYN" at one point. A screaming fight ensues a short time later.

Grey was joining in the it was likely over a toy that could not be shared by the toddlers

Kenna, trying to take charge and control the noise. She says something like "I make the rules"...not working:-)

In the midst of it all, sweet little Brooksie trying to concentrate and get through his reader:-) He does a good job. I am kind of surprised they learn any thing at all amidst the chaos, lol:-)

May, at exactly 9:38am. She literally fell asleep in 5 seconds!

He looked too innocent upon my return

So did she...

So did he...

Drawing "on the table", fun for all ages!

I Love...

Grimy toes...{Brooks}

Dirty nails...{Grey}

Tiny Teeth...{Grey}

Tired eyes...{Kenna}
Freckles on noses...{Kenna}

And more freckled faces...{Brooks}
Flawless, kissable, toddler-chub cheeks...{Grey}

Ears that stick out...{Brooks}
And ears that don't...{Grey}

Shiny brown hair...{Kenna}

And hair in your eyes...{Grey}


Halloween is approaching. {Horrors}. Not horrors, as in spooky ghosts and goblins. Horrors, as in stress. What to do, where to stand, where to go, what to explain to the kids...

I have a hard time with this internationally celebrated holiday. Here are my reasons...We live in a world incredibly impacted by spiritual things. We live in the world, and go about our day to day busyness, with almost no thought to the spiritual realm. We pray everyday, and read our Bibles. We eat our food (pray again) and go to work. We eat again and pray again. We talk, we kiss boo-boos, we watch tv. We go to bed. We pray again. We sleep. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

We are at war, and are blissfully unaware of it. To our detriment. I've never been to war, but I've seen movies (which I will assume to be at least semi-accurate portrayals). They aren't boring and regular. They're grueling and full of acute awareness. Of where the enemies are. Of what they might be planning. Of where they might strike next. How can we be protected? How can we stage an attack of our own? How can we thwart the plans of the incoming destruction?

I believe these things truly and whole heartedly. I do. So how do you go about celebrating {or avoiding} a holiday which plays so heavily into the spiritual world?

I heard something by John Piper once, about Halloween, and I really liked his answer for the freedom in it. He was basically expressing that he supported people that thought that Halloween was of the devil, and they should take no part to acknowledge the holiday. And also that he supported people that were seeing the holiday, yes, as "Satan's", but using the evil for good, and trying to have an impact on the world through that. I can see merit in both sides. But where do I choose to make my stand?

I feel that just because we treat something with innocence or as harmless, does not mean that is it. I would not allow my children to innocently play with fire, although they may not believe it could ever harm them, allowing that innocence {or ignorance} to continue would be fool hearty. A wake up call is in order. Fire can ruin your life and everything you love.

So, just because "everyone" watches Harry Potter, and the Wizards of Waverly Place, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch* -

and makes light of the dark side of the spiritual world -

or worse, glorifies it, turning it into something good -

...Just because we treat something as innocent, does not mean that it is

Spiritual warfare is real - whether it is acknowledged or not.

My kids, "protected" as they are in our home, already know what Zombies are, and Mummy's, and Vampires. And they learned a little sing-song game about Mummy Graveyard or something. They did not learn this from me. They learned it from other kids. I'll also let you know, that the time they have alone with other children is not hours a day, or even hours a week. It's extremely minimal, compared to most other children at their age, and yet, somehow in that minimal time, they've still picked it up, and memorized it. Is there any harm in singing an "innocent" little childs poem? I'll give it to you, that its likely fine.

But it is a gateway. The easiest way to prevent having an affair? Don't date other men (or women). It's a gateway. We safeguard our marriages by setting up appropriate boundaries that will help us remain faithful to our spouses, when there are "worldly people" out there who would seek to tear us down.

Playing innocent mummy games on the trampoline, may be innocent enough right now. But familiarity breeds acceptance...and it turns into something bigger, and something not quite so innocent.

Rabbit Trail - About 1.5 years ago, less than a mile from our house, a psychic/tarot card reading place opened. Every time I drove by, I prayed for that place. I prayed - not that it would close or that they wouldn't have any business - but that the people, the property, the area, would just have such an overwhelming sense of the presence of the Lord. I was very faithful about it - every time, coming and going, I would say a prayer of blessing for them, that their eyes would be opened to see the power of the mighty God we serve. Within 8 months they closed up shop. I obviously have zero clue what made them close down their business, but I do believe I had a small part in it. Our prayers are important to God, and in turn, to Satan. So then, I was grateful for its close - and no longer prayed over that area as I passed by. Guess what? It remained closed and up for lease for a good six months or so, and now, very recently - another psychic place has opened in the same spot. Hmmm. Prayer Warrior. Be ever vigilant.

So here we are, Halloween approaching, and I'm still a little unsure of what we'll do. In past years, we've kept it to complete avoidance (when the kids were very little), and that has evolved into church parties and dressing up in friendly costumes we already had in our dress up bin. We're standing on a line that is somewhere in between avoidance and acceptance. I'm not sure that's the place we'll stay. The kids know the historical facts behind the holiday. They know we should not imitate evil, or seek it out. I'm glad about all those things. Maybe this year we'll go out to eat as a family, somewhere fun that we've never been before. The kids have never been to Chuck E Cheese and really want to idea, perhaps:-)

Prayers for all of us parents, as we struggle through the issues of life...

*I have not seen these particular movies or shows or read the books, nor will I, out of personal conviction. I completely understand that this is somewhat abnormal, in this day and age. I do believe in standing for something - even at the risk of looking like an idiot to the rest of you:-) I do believe that life is not as full of God as it ought to be. I do believe that God abhors evil and all the things that represent it. I am not passing judgement on anyone for their choices regarding Halloween, merely expressing my own. We should each do as our conscience and conviction allow.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Falls here...? - Video

Well, it was a little chilly today. Don't kill me people, we had a high of 73 degrees (22C)...but there really was a chill in the breeze, with hot sun. It felt like fall. And the kids were "freezing", lol. Compared to the 90 degree weather we've been having, it did feel cold, even though I knew it wasn't...but we wore sweaters. Even I did. My Canadian self is ashamed :-) With higher temps the rest of the week, I think we'll shelve the sweaters for a bit longer now...
I am dreaming of the day I get a normal smile out of this kid. Sheesh.

gumballs! Ouch. Don't step on these babies, they hurt!
Kenna loves to do the monkey bars now, and awhile ago, Brian taught her "how", but she wasn't able to actually do it. He hasn't seen her do it yet, so we taped her on my phone. She says "hi Daddy" when she starts off:-)

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Saturday was our very first game of the season. Kenna and Brooks are back on the same team this year (Last year, she was in 5&6 group, and he was still in 3&4 group). It makes it sooo nice to have only 1 schedule to deal with instead of two. Next year...I will have 3 kids on 3 different teams. At that point, I will officially say goodbye to the entire day of Saturday, and soccer:-)
Watching soccer

The Road Runners. Half time group huddle and pep talk

Brooks was goalie in the second half, and made some really good stops! He only let one in, and it was a "just barely"

Road Runners won the game, thanks to some pretty great offensive players! (Neither of which were my kids at this point:-)...They still get a little nervous and share-happy when confronted with opposing players up in their face)

Borrowing Grass

Since we don't have a very comfy yard (yet anyway) with lush green grass...we borrow some from the city. The end of our street is a cul de sac and there is a substantial patch of grass there, just begging to be used.

Kenna and Brooks, playing and reading out there while all the babies were still napping in the house
And Daddy, playing soccer and stuff with Brooks - They were wrapping up play and Brian was kicking the ball home - with one big kick, and he almost hit our big window!

Face Painting

Birthday Party face painting!

Pretty Butterfly
There is nothing in the world cuter than this:
It's about as close to those cartoon caterpillars as you will ever get. Beyond adorable.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

1 John 4:14 - Video

I Do Craft

Another Pinterest craft. I saw this:
I thought this was really cute!
 So I copied our vows into a Word doc, with no spacing, and printed it out! Then I "antiqued" the paper using Stampin Up ink and a sponge.

I wrapped the paper around an old wood block that I don't use any more. I put the B towards the back, and attached with sticky strip

Then I attached the scrabble pieces

CUTE! I love how it turned out!!

This one took about 10 minutes. It's small, sweet, and...perfect :-)

Through Their Eyes

I sent the kids outside to pick up some pine cones early this morning. Brooks came in and asked for the camera. So I strapped it to his wrist, and here we go! Life as they see it, I guess:-) I was in the house and didn't see the pics until downloaded...
The newspaper

A collection of things

The sky this morning

She WAS wearing seems like maybe they rode up? I thought I should clarify that she was not pants-less

A stylized shot of shoes. Good job Brooks

Snapping a pic of Sonny & May, arriving in the morning at 7:45am

Too cute. They did a good job getting the aim just so:-)

The dirt


Kid Art

Kenna is very craft-y. She loves to draw, make and create things!
Pirate ship for Grey
She also likes to be a little grown up, and do things properly. Every meal, no matter what the occasion - mac n cheese, or hot dogs - we get serviettes (napkins, for my Americans), knives & spoons:-) She's gonna love table setting this holiday season!
Since I can't draw anything at all, I'm always surprised by how well she does:-)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Met, Married, Live

I've seen a craft idea on Pinterest now for awhile, and yesterday night, during a quick browse (Brian was not home), it came up on my feed again, and I decided to go for it!

The idea is that the maps detail "We Met", "We Married", "We Live". This is perfect for us, since we're all over the place! As my sister in law pointed out...she met, married and lives all in the same location:-) In fact, this really over simplifies our complicated lives, but oh well... some people can fit their story into an 8x10...we'd need a poster board :-)

"We Met" - I choose to go with Illinois (Chicago area), for this. It's actually not true...we met in Indiana (Indianapolis). A mutual friend from back in Ontario, Matt Coleman, supposedly introduced us while I was in town for a short conference. I remember seeing Matt on that trip, and do not remember meeting his friend Brian. Brian however, definitely remembers meeting me, and in specifically vivid detail, so I know it must be true. We met again when we worked in the same dept in Chicago...I'm counting that one I guess, since we worked together there for years and got to know each other. If I had a bigger frame, perhaps I'd do both? Easy alteration someday.

It's IL, NY & VA!
"We Married" - We married in both Ontario and New York for purposes of my immigration and visa (legal hoops to jump through). I thought I would print off both ON & NY and overlap the area where we married and put the heart there, but I could not find a map of the Province that was consistent in size or colouring to the map of the other 3 States. I will keep a looking online and add it, if I can.
Quickest craft ever! I googled printable reference maps and found this site. I printed out 3 states, cut them out, used some glitter paper and a heart punch for the hearts, and a floating frame I already had sitting in a box in my closet, waiting to be used. The whole thing took about 30 minutes (and that was because I was cutting slowly/carefully), and cost me nothing out of pocket, since I had everything in my house already.

I completely adore how it turned out! When Brian came home, even he liked it:-) Yay!
A new home for the map art!