Inexplicable

 

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I’m so weepy today. 

I was sad about Oklahoma last night too, but today my eyes just keep filling with tears.   I think about the families, and I think about the blessed workers, those on the ground making horrific discoveries and trying to hold it together so they can keep working.   And I cry.   

And then there’s this: How God Feels About Storms.

Thank you, Ann.   (again)

Tri-Season Update

Well, it’s no secret that I’ve been absent here for AGES.  I skipped over a good chunk of spring, all of summer and fall and now we are in full on WINTER mode.   I struggle to think back over what has happened these last eight months.   Much of our time has been spent caring for David’s Dad, who has been living with Alzheimer’s.   Aside from that, I rely on my photo folders to tweak my memory of the most special details.

Let’s just call this post a tri-seasonal catch-up, shall we?

  • We enjoyed some cultural performances.   There aren’t a huge number of acts here in Nova Scotia, but we do travel 3 hours to Moncton occasionally to catch someone great.   This was the year we went as a family to see Mercy Me – the kids’ first concert!  What a treat!  David sings a lot of their songs in his Christian band, Sons of Thunder (they play local churches and youth rallies), so seeing Bart and the Gang again was a total delight.  Moriah Peters opened for them.  If you have a chance to see her live, please do.  Wonderful message and the voice of an angel.

Eden, Caleb and Gabe – waiting for Mercy Me to take the stage

A year end performance by the Junior Choir (yes, that’s my girl doing some ninja moves in the front row.)

Gabe participated in his first public performance as a violin student at Lunenburg’s Folk Harbour Festival.

Gabe enjoying his fancy dinner pre-symphony dinner with his Mom (a celebration of turning 12)

Our annual visit to Shakespeare by the Sea – this year a hilarious parody of Alice in Wonderland

We enjoyed a fabulous play by the Chester Playhouse children’s camp – Charlotte’s Web

  • We bought a trailer!   For two years, we narrowed the criteria to what we were looking for and casually kept one eyeball on kijiji for the perfect trailer at the perfect price.   Then we saw it and jumped at the chance.   It was the best thing we could have done for our family.  Like many families, we go.non.stop.   With David’s two jobs and my business and homeschooling and other responsibilities, a lack of DOWN TIME together was our biggest issue.  Put simply, we desperately wanted a way to find more time as a family, away from the non-stop to do list and responsibilities of home.  This trailer was it!

Breakfast Burritos on our first morning in the trailer (affectionately called ‘Cara’ – short for Caravan).

A little reading on a beautiful June afternoon.

Caleb after a night in the hammock at Risser’s Beach Provincial Park. 

This picture epitomizes my love of camping:  sunshine, ocean view, wet towels on the line,

bikes parked after a ride, a child reading a book, and a hammock begging me to nap.

  • We travelled!    I drove to Ontario with the kids for a couple weeks, while David stayed behind and manned the fort.  We visited family, took in museums, soaked up the incredible summer heat.   A fantastic trip!

Lake Muskoka Frolic

An affectionate goodbye kiss bite, for Caleb from my nephew, Wyatt

Yay for Birthday Monkeys and tissue paper

Some steel drum playing at the Toronto Science Centre – Caleb and Eden with Auntie Shiloh and Uncle Damian

A wonderful visit with Great Poppa – just hangin’ out in his apple tree.

A beautiful hike with Gran.

Never a dull moment.  (I love this one!)

  • We said goodbye!    My beloved Nan made it to her final destination this fall, currently reunited with her parents and all her siblings at the feet of Heavenly Father.   It was hard to say goodbye, and terribly difficult to parent through the loss of ‘Great Nan,’ but the greatest emotion is JOY — joy of life, joy of her love of Jesus, joy of what’s to come.

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  • We said ‘hello’!    Hello to Gabe’s new life in Christ!   He was baptized at Long Lake Camp, September 16, 2012.  What a special day!

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  • We adventured!  We tried new things, went new places and spent wonderful family time together.  We laughed a LOT.

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Looking back at this post, I guess it only makes sense that I haven’t been here much.  The decline in posts was in direct proportion to the time spent away from home and busy with other things this year.

Living life.   Loving life.  Trying to make the most of all of it, even when we’re dressed as Pirates.

Piratey Kiss

Up next:  A Christmas Update.  (Hopefully I’ll get around to posting it before Spring!)  🙂

It has been an embarrassingly long time since I posted anything.  So long, in fact, that I am SHOCKED at how much time has actually passed.   I do have a catch-up post in the hopper, at which I have been picking away.   There’s a lot to share!  I promise I will post it sometime soon.

In the meantime, I wanted to share this beautiful post from my friend, Edie.   Though I have yet to meet her in person, I so treasure the beauty and honesty of her words.

Please read about her poverty, and ours.

And thank you, Edie.  xo

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Maturity Seeps In

We work hard as parents and as Christian homeschoolers.

We get up early, we plan, we prepare the nourishment and wash the clothes.

We start our days with snuggles and kisses.

We also assign household tasks to the kids so they learn to participate in the functioning of the family.

We demonstrate how to fold, how to scrub and how to prepare a good omelet.

We open our devotionals and bibles and kick off our morning together.

We read to them.

We give a math lesson.

We encourage.

We wipe tears and explain that it’s more than okay to have mistakes on the page — it’s how we learn.

We crack the history books and read and discuss and discover.

We put aside our ‘me time’ for them.  Constantly.

We try our best to lead by example.

We attempt to develop Godly character through tough lessons.

 

 

But we falter more frequently than we’d like.

We become frustrated.

We marvel at the fact that telling them the same thing 2563 times can still have no impact.

We beg them to stop. fighting. with each other.

To pick up their messes.

To do things for someone else, just because.

We work HARD to keep up with all of this parenting business.

We wonder at times if it’s worthwhile to put in this constant effort into child rearing.

We think about how much easier it would be if we just lived the ‘boys will be boys’ and ‘kids ‘ll be kids’ sentiment, and just accept it all.

We wonder about all of it… Is it really worth such diligence?

There are times we raise our voices LOUD, sounding ugly and mean.

We are surprised by our own anger.

We immediately regret.

We pray.

 

 

And then we close the door on the day.

And try again tomorrow.

 

 

And then, there are little glimpses, moments of His grace.

They turn the frustration into relief.

They really ARE getting it!

One does someone else’s chores without being asked.

Another plays imaginatively and happily with a sibling.

The eldest puts aside his own free time and offers to read a favourite book to his little sister, just because.

The tough work of parenting,

the encouragement, the tough love, the diligence, the persistence, persistence, persistence…

all work as building blocks in the formation of character.

We’re not raising children.  We’re raising the Godly, mature, responsible, respectful adults they will eventually become.

Keep on parenting!

Green Eggs and Ham

I’ve been excited all week about today being Dr. Seuss’ birthday.  We love his books and his movies, and I knew I wanted to make Green Eggs and Ham for breakfast.  But was there a way to do it without nasty food colouring?  I decided to investigate.

What I found really exciting.  Red cabbage can turn eggs green?  What?

It didn’t occur to me until part way through the process that I should be taking pictures, but here’s what I did:

1)  I chopped about 1  1/2 cups of red cabbage, added it to a pot with a tiny bit of water on the bottom and simmered it for about 10 minutes, adding a splash of water when needed to prevent scorching.

2)  I used my immersion blender to puree it, and then pushed it through a fine strainer to squeeze out the beautiful purpleness.

3)  I separated a bunch of eggs…

4)   …and added a couple scoops of the purpleness to the whites.

5)  Then the kids got mixing.

Apparently, the green comes via a chemical reaction relating to the pH levels.  Here’s what I found:

“Naturally, red cabbage has a colour somewhere between red and purple, depending on the pH-value of the soil it is growing in. This colour change occurs due to the pigment flavin, which belongs to a group of water soluble plant pigments called anthocyanins (For those of you, that don’t know what the pH value refers to, it is the measure of the acidity (pH < 7) or basicity (pH > 7) of an aqueous solution). In this Instructable, we are making use of the fact, that flavin is a natural pH indicator and that egg white has a pH value of about 8. These slightly alkaline condition result in a colour change to a blueish-green.”

How cool is THAT?

6)  I then spooned some egg whites egg greens into the pan, and carefully spooned a yolk on top, flipping carefully when the time came.   (They look less green in this photo for some reason, but they were actually quite green in reality.)

7)  I tried to make the ham green, but it only made it purple.  Clearly, the ham didn’t have the right pH to cause the reaction.   Great science lesson!   We talked about pH levels in pools and how our eyes can be red when the pH is off, and perfectly clear when the pH is right.

We all enjoyed our breakfast immensely!

Caleb declared that it smelled like I was cooking chinese food for breakfast, I guess because of the cabbage smell.  But they tasted like …eggs, perhaps a slight bit sweeter.  All five of us ate them up and declared breakfast a great success!

Now this has me thinking about pH levels and experiments we can do with them.  Maybe planting seeds in soils of varying pH levels to see what happens…?    I think it’s all pretty cool.

It’s a snow day here in Nova Scotia (we’re finally getting our winter), and I’ve declared it a Funday Friday — because I can (the homeschoolers among you know what I’m talking about).   My brood is out in the snow now, a bit of shoveling, bringing in some wood and of course, playing!  Later, we’ll do some crafts – maybe draw some Dr. Seuss characters?  We’ll watch ‘Horton Hears a Who’ this afternoon, and probably do a read-aloud of Green Eggs and Ham.   It’s days like this that my kids will look back on with fondness.

And now I’m off to clean up the post-breakfast mess.  A small price to pay for all the smiles.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Wordless Wednesday: For the Love of Murphy

 Murphy and his humans.

When the blurry ones capture the moment, you gotta go with it. 

 

This post has been linked to Wordless Wednesday over at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Day 15: Bringing in Help

It’s good to know your limits. 

Lately, I’ve been chugging along on a path of crazy busyness that leaves me with little time for ‘extras.’   There are things I see that I need to do, but I can’t.  There are only so many hours and remember, my goal of intention means spending time with things that are more important will win out.    Earning an income, providing food and shelter and an education, spending time with my family are all immensely more important than my grimy trim.

Enter Mom.

Yes, Mom.  She’s here to save the day. 

She and my Dad arrived last week and will stay until early November.  My dad is a builder in Muskoka, Ontario and he set aside some time this fall to be my contractor.  I know some good contractors around here, but I’d rather pay my dad (a preferred rate) and get in a visit at the same time.  I’m tricky like that.  🙂   He’s particular and very skilled – a known commodity. 

Anyway, he’s here to tear down my 32′ chimney, install a new one, and get my fancy dancy fireplace up and going.  (Yay to wood heat!)  There will also be some work going on in a few other areas of the home.  I’ll fill you in later. 

But back to mom.  She’s always one to grab a mitt and get in the game.  After a couple of days of puttering around with the usual cooking, dishes, etc., she asked me for my caulking gun and trim paint so she could work at freshening up the trim.  OH MY how that trim needed a coat of paint.  I’ve wanted to do it for years, but trim … you know… takes a considerable amount of time.  Plus, I installed some new trim this spring, and it’s been sitting here since, just starting at me with nail holes and seams.  

Yes, fresh, clean, chip-free, satiny smooth trim makes me very happy.   But it was WAY down on my list of priorities.  “Sorry kids, no board games this week.  Mama has to paint?”  I don’t think so. 

Day 15: 

Sometimes you have to call ‘uncle’ if you want to get things done.  Use your time wisely and bring in help where you can.  FREE help from a Mom who loves to pitch in?  That’s even better. 

 

Yes, I’m behind again.  It’s been a tad hectic ’round these parts, but I’ll catch up.  I promise. 

This post has been linked to the 31 DAYS series.  You can start from the beginning here, and check out the other 31 Dayers here by visiting The Nester.

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