Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thoughts without words

i phoned my sister jess.
"Do you have a minute?"
"um, yeah... Carrie, pass me that spoon, Robin, i need you to take this upstairs..."
"Cairo, can you go get the laundry folded?"
(ok, i'll type the rest of this without all the extras... but... hehe, you can imagine...)

"So, i'm having these 'thoughts without words'... & i feel like if i just knew the words, i could analyze them & decide if they're constructive, good thoughts, or if i'm just being silly..."
"Paige... Those are called feelings."
"Oh. Well, they're annoying."

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas 2008

Christmas 2008

2008 was a *baby year* so, for me, all else was eclipsed by the arrival of Gage Serenus on February 6th 2008. We’ve all wondered at his sweet demeanor and easy going personality ~ such a joyful addition to our family.
Mollen made the transition beautifully from *youngest child* to *youngest girl*. She loves to tell people that she’s not 4 & she’s not 5, she’s 4 and a half. If her lisp is fading, I’m in denial, but even so I have really noticed her seeming like a ‘biggie’ this year.
Charter finished kindergarten at public school & is now home for grade 1. He’s fun to teach & is *loving* having a baby bro. HE STILL TALKS ALL IN CAPS.
Peyton is the mother hen for the younger set. She’s in grade 3 this year. Full of creativity & humour, constantly entertaining Mollen & Charter ~ I don’t know what I’d do without her.
Sloanie is *still* our little bookworm. Her & Cai are joined at the hip ~ as I write this, they’re at the church babysitting for the ladies bible study, like they do every Tuesday morning.
Cai’s big thing this year has been joining the Bow Valley Fiddlers. She’s had twice weekly practices (for violin and fiddle), sometimes 3 times a week & we’ve seen huge improvements in her playing. I was so grateful that the pieces all fell into place for her musically this year.
Neil just recently started working from home. It’s been so much fun to have him closer during the day. He still travels quite a bit (seems to come & go in spurts) ~ but so nice to be able to sneak out there with a cup of coffee in the morning when he is home.
& me?…. Hmmm… This year has been incredible. I’ve been enjoying schooling the littles, mothering a baby again, & keeping my home (& my blog heehee). In the past few months, I’ve also gotten more involved in the music at our church which has been a great outlet for me.
God has been so good. Through the tough years ~ or the ones that seem to just be full of good things, like this one, He is constant & true. We are grateful.
Hoping this letter finds you well & enjoying the last bits of 2008.
Merry Christmas,
The Beselts.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sar Shalom

sar shalom
prince of peace.
That's what the pastor talked about in church.
Jesus. Prince of Peace.
You can hear the full sermon here, just click on resources and sermons... (i don't know when it will be available or for how long, but it's worth a listen...)
i know... maybe my blog posts have been a little cryptic... no, Neil didn't do anything :) except clean out & organize my pantry... (Isn't that what most husbands do when their wife is hurting & they can't make it better?? *smile*)~ There was a painful family situation, that over the past week became a crisis ~ & i found at the end of it, that there was nothing left to do, but to go to the Prince of Peace... and pray for a miracle.
He delivered one.
i was thinking last night, about how sometimes prayers get answered in the way we want them to ~ & other times, it just seems like He doesn't notice...
For some reason, this past month, God has allowed me to be witness to 2 miracles. i'm so grateful...
i don't think i'll make it back on here before Christmas, but if there's one thing i could leave on here 'till i come back to my real world after holidays, it's this...
My God is Mighty to Save. He is compassionate, gracious, and
But even when it seems like He is not acting on my behalf ~ i will wait & i will trust & i will continue to hope ~ There's a verse in Romans about the fact that Hope will NOT disappoint us... (Romans 5:1-5 ~ Thanks Bible Gateway... :)
1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

and Romans 8:18-27

18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.

So... if you're like me... & you are carrying burdens, worries, hurt... The Prince of Peace wants to bring *peace* ~ and *hope* to your life this Christmas. There's a song, inspired from a Psalm that we sang in church on Sunday... & it's a good starting place for a conversation with God... i'd encourage you to start that conversation...

i cast all my cares upon you...
i lay all of my burdens down at your feet ~
and anytime, i don't know
what to do ~
i will cast all my cares upon you...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Last Date

Was the symphony their last date?
An impulsive night out ~ dressed up for the first time in ages... heading out early enough to pick up the tickets and get a fancy Japanese dinner out?
As the music soared ~ was there hope?
& then... driving home in the dark... and the sigh of contentment...
Only an ice cream from dairy queen could top off *this* evening...
Request Granted.
and home.
If that was their last date...
(Please, let this not be their last date...)
Did they know it then, in the dark, as the music soaked their souls ~ & saturated what had become the distance between them.
Did he hold her hand so she wouldn't slip in her heels?
Did they for one moment... even just for an instant...
remember what it meant to fall in love?
Was there a chip in the hard exterior that revealed a softness... that had not yet been overgrown with weeds of neglect, discontent, apathy & indifference?
Did they remember that they are parents ~ & though their children are grown ~ their lifelong commitment to each other as evidenced by the existence of offspring required heroic measures to weed, tend, water...
To Save This Marriage.
The night ended.
No heroic plans were made.
No olive branch, no white flag, no tender words.
Father, may the choices we make ~ as we tend this fertile garden that is our marriage ~ bring us closer together.
Help us to never lose sight of the intimate picture our union is to be for those around us.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Whispers in the Night

"i'm sad."
"i know. That's why we're snuggling."
It's dark, but even his heartbeat feels familiar to me...
The scar on his finger, the tiny mole on his perfect bellybutton, the scratchy hair at the nape of his neck....
i know that if i tickle his back, even if he's asleep, he'll moan...
& that his feet twitch just as he's falling asleep.
We roll over in unison ~ where he was in my arms, now i lie in his...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Broken Promises

After my post on Promises...
There's the inevitable turn of thought to Broken Promises.
Why inevitable?
Because we're human... because we're broken... because we try & we fail...
Because even more so with marriage, when there are *two* human, broken, failing people involved ~ promises get broken.
Broken promises suck.
Broken promises ripple out in circles of pain & affect many.
& yet, i've seen promises get broken, forgiveness saught, reconciliation achieved...
Seems at this moment there is a little battle going on in my mind...
God is big...
We're hard-hearted...
God can fix things...
We won't humble ourselves to allow Him to...
It's at times like this, that i want God to use the sledgehammer...
He's done that for me before ~ broken my useless, hard heart... snapped my stiff neck...
Father, mold me,
change me....
Fill me....
But, He will do what He will do in others ~ no matter what i *wish* would happen... no matter what i *hope* changes... No matter how much i wish i could see reconciliation and love win the day.
Promises get broken...
Except promises made by God.
So, when we're hurt, broken, bleeding.... suffering from confusion, doubt and the seeming betrayal of a promise broken ~ we can still rest in the knowledge that:
God is Good.
God loves us.

& He will never change His mind.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Do i quit counting now?

If he takes 66 steps in a row... does that mean my tiny, newborn baby is officially a walker? i can imagine myself 4 years from now, still counting...

He took his first steps over a month ago, so it's been slow, steady progress since then... but i might have to resign myself very soon to the fact that walking is nearly mastered...


p.s. lookit his sweet crooked foot!

p.p.s. Jen... i dreamt of Kellan last night. i am so happy, grateful & excited about this little boy! Congrats & can't wait to see pics... (& i hope i spelled his name right!)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


As i was getting dressed this morning, a little white booklet up in the bookshelf in my closet caught my eye. i had no idea what it was, & reached up to check it out... Mixed in with a dental receipt, the directions for our thermometer & selections from books that i had photocopied because i love them, was "Our Marriage Book".
Our pastor gave it to us ~ a keepsake from our wedding day. In it, is the sermon he shared, the music, scribbled notes to remember ~ .
i wonder if i knew then what i know now, if i'd be a little freaked out by all the promises that were made that day?
Our friends and relatives promised to bless & support us with love, prayers & godly friendship in the years ahead. Our parents promised to pray for us & to accept each of us as their very own son & daughter.
Neil & i promised the most intimate, important things to each other.
We promised to Love.
To comfort.
Keep with... in sickness and health...
Forsaking all others...
Keeping only to each other...
To "live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony".

i'm still good with the promises i made that day. *grin*

Over the years, we've watched marriages around us crumble, thrive, struggle, survive, grow, begin and end... & even in our own little paradise, there were days that ended up being... h a r d w o r k.

In Our Wedding Book, there's a paragraph that reads,
"For Christians, a wedding like this is worship. It's not entertainment, it's not a mere formality required by the law. It's a sacrament, in the sense that God himself comes on the scene to do what no human being or human law can do. In making two people one permanently. From our side, it's a participation in the loving plan of a heavenly Father for His children. It's the highest celebration in human love and commitment that we know. It's the expression of an aspiration for togetherness in achieving mutual dreams and goals. It's the pledging of deepest fidelity and devotion till death parts. Marriage is a sacred and permanent relationship, and must not be entered into casually or thoughtlessly, but deliberately, prayerfully, in the fear of God. Today Neil & Paige have come before God and family and friends to affirm the choice they have made, to declare their intention to establish a Christian home, and to make their vows of love to one another."

We need to keep our promises.

The Marriage Prayer:
O God, the Author and Giver of all good things, we bless you for the gifts of love and friendship, and for the joys which gladden our life. May your blessing rest upon and abide with these who have her plighted their mutual love. Crown this day with Your perpetual favour and lead them in the way of love and peace, even into eternal life, through Jesus Christ Our Lord.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Luxury of Grandparents

So, we had a full house this weekend... Cai's big Bow Valley concert was on Saturday & Neil's mom & dad happened to be flying home from Palm Springs in time to make a stop over in Calgary & my parents came out too!
We *miss* being close to grandparents ~ someone else to love your kids, to encourage you, to cheer with you, or to be an example for your little ones. We lived close to Neil's mom & dad for about 1 month after Cai was born, & other than that, it's always been a big hike to make these visits possible.
We've lucked out in that our parents are all *incredible* grandparents ~ They all love Jesus & children :)
So, while Neil's mom & dad were here, they unloaded their camera onto our computer so they could show us all their pictures from Palm Springs. i was looking in my picture folder this morning to check out the pics from Cai's concert... & it was full of pics of Neil's brother's family at my inlaws house... Little ones snuggling grandparents, chocolate fondue on cute little faces, or pics Gampie had taken from soccer practice... All those little things you can do when you live minutes from each other...
& my heart gave a jealous little lurch.
Forgive me.

Friday, December 12, 2008

New Years Resolution ~ Beauty

On a homeschool support list i'm on, last year, they did a resolution in a word ~ (i didn't, but i'm a slacker...)
Some of the words were: organization, clarity, trust...
So i know, it's a little early for resolutions, but i found one when i was reading my bible yesterday.
"Beauty should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."
"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect."
1 Peter 3:4 & 15
i want to be an arrow, constantly pointing to my Father, (or my bff as juanita calls Him in her post that is so worth reading...) i want to keep working on my reflexes ~ & keep giving up my natural selfish tendencies ~ for the beauty of selflessness.
It'll be a challenging year.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

He Loves Me

i knew it on my 19th birthday when he bought me 3 pairs of socks.
He also bought me the sweetest little dress...
But he bought me the socks 'cause my feet were always cold.
The other day, my sock drawer was suspiciously empty... The pro to having tiny feet is that you can wear the children's sizes in shoes... The con is, the children can steal all *your* shoes & socks...
So yesterday, Neil went to the store to pick up a few things & plopped these in front of me:

Cairo walked past & muttered, "keep your eyes on your sock drawer". Neil acted all nonchalant & walked away, but 's True Love... i know it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

An Assignment

When i was in highschool, i took a class called "musicianship" for a couple of years~ There were only about 5 of us in the class & we were in grades 10, 11 or 12 & it totally prepared me for my first year at Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton where i went after i graduated & pursued music.
Anyway, the other day, a conversation brought to mind an assignment we once had in that class. Our teacher, Brian Todd, (an incredible musician) ~ gave us a chord progression.
Nothing else.
He wrote the series of chords up on the board & said, 'write me a song using these chords as your framework'.
That was it.
i wrote a ballad in 4/4 time. i remember that because it's pretty much what i still write... haha. But, other students took that *same* chord progression & put it in a different time signature... There were totally different styles, tempos and melody lines represented ~ that *all* worked in the framework of that chord progression.
i remember after we had finished our project, & each of us had performed it for the class on whatever instrument we wished, he told us it was a song he had written for a *trumpet*... (in my world, it was a piano song... who knew...) & he took out his trumpet & played the most amazing jazz tune... Totally unique & unlike anything anyone else in the class had played.
Anyway, the thought just struck me the other day ~ how *like* life this little assignment is. We're all working in the same chord progression (hey, we're all humans, aren't we?) & yet, the music we make is so completely unique.
May the music i make bring you Glory, Father.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Like Mother Like Daughter

So, every so often, my mom sends cute/funny/interesting forwards to entertain the kiddies. She sent one this week that was video. The text said that it was a "fantastic music machine ~ made from farm equipment"... i watched the video & then went to snopes (as i usually do with forwards) & when i saw it was computer animation, i thought, it's still fun to show the littles, Molls could care less if it's *real* or not, it's just neat bouncy balls making music... so i just left it in my inbox, waiting for a minute to show the littles the fun little movie Granny sent.
Fast forward to about 15 minutes ago, Cairo finds me upstairs with this crushed look on her face...
"Mom!! Granny sent us the coolest video!!"
me, "um, yeah?"
"But, i checked it out on Snopes, & it's just computer animation!!! That's no fun!"
Authenticity in all things. :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

& then it happened...

i remember the first time it happened.
We were at church in Daysland & the little ones had worked on memorizing Away In A Manger for Christmas. i was asked to play for them & i sat at that big ol' upright, ready to do my part. The little ones filed on the stage & among them was my little blondie ~ who generally was too shy to go to Sunday School, but somehow managed to get up with the throng onstage... (if i remember correctly, Sloanie wrangled her way out of Granny's arms & clung to her sister's side onstage too...) The lights were dim, & i started to play & the little voices started to sing....
& suddenly it happened.
Great heaving sobs rose in my chest... It's a good thing it's a simple melody & my hands didn't need my eyes made dim by tears. i was completely taken off guard by my loss of control & wrote it off as *one of those moments*...
But, over the years, it's happened again and again... It happened when my three big girls competed in a triathlon, or when they played their violins in church... It happens at those seemingly small moments & is so completely overwhelming i wondered why my heart can hardly stand the joy of seeing my littles *do*... something... Neil & i just howled when we watched the videos i took of the triathlon... i didn't realize i was so *loud*... cheering till i was almost hoarse... & yet there's that catch in my voice when Peyton comes out of the water.
So, on Saturday, Cai had her first Bow Valley gig. They played at a seniors residence in the north of the city. Neil took the other 4 swimming in Okotoks & i packed up my little book ends (oldest & youngest :) & dropped my little bundle of nerves at the door. Gage had fallen asleep & i had fallen behind in my bible reading, so i read Jeremiah while he snoozed & Cai went in with all the other little fiddlers in plaid. After over an hour had gone by, i'd had enough of Jeremiah... (so terribly horribly sad!) & sweet little boy was starting to stir, i picked him up & went in. We got in as the older group was finishing their set & then, thankfully, they called all the fiddlers up for one last song... i was holding Gage & his little body was swaying to the music & Cai caught my eye & gave me her huge grin... & they started playing...
& then it happened...
The big group of fiddlers became a blur. It was all i could do to hold myself back from sobbing to the nurse in front of me, "That one's mine!!" i pretended to be wrapped up in a conversation with Gage so no one would notice the tears in my eyes as they wrapped up their song.
i got home & wrote a laughing email to my mom & she wrote me back & said, "Great! What a wonderful show for those lucky old folks. I bet they LOVED it. I cried Steph's first orchestra *practice*.....haha......"
i guess it runs in the family.
(*you can stop the music on my blog by scrolling to the bottom & pressing pause... and... you might want your speakers turned down... it was a very exciting moment for me... *blush*)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Remember Manna

Remember Manna
Remember the great seas part
Remember Manna
He hears the cry of our hearts

From slavery led,
the hungry fed,
He's still the same-
He'll hear again-
Remember manna.

He is worthy, worthy, He is worthy, worthy
He hears our cries
He sees our pain
He has compassion - remember manna.

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Gathering

Yesterday was a big day.
Woke at 6, travelled for three and a half hours to arrive at my sister's house to meet my new nephew for the first time. i felt so guilty crashing in at her place with my 6 littles creating chaos, & yet... not guilty enough to stay home.
Neil had work to do in the city, so we were there for the day & then he came & picked us up & we left around 8pm, arriving home close to midnight. In the midst of the tangle of our 12 children, my oldest sister couldn't miss out on the fun & packed up her little brood & drove the 3 hours from Hinton to make it a *full house*. Between the 3 of us, there are 19 children... 3 in diapers, 2 barely out of them, 1 who turned 13 in November & then a whole bunch in between.
Sometimes i wonder what it would be like to live closer... where we could all just go out in an evening, just us 3 girls ~ & carry on a conversation ~ "passing the ball" back & forth without it being hijacked by hurt fingers, or feelings, or markers on window sills, or poopy bums, hungry tummies & eavesdropping pre-teens. ~
But maybe sentences, thoughts, & conversations are supposed to be captured in tiny colourful pieces right now. i don't remember *what* we were talking about when that little husky, curly haired boy cried because he lost his 'bouncy ball'... but i remember how sweet he looked with his lips turned down, till little elfin princess found it for him & restored his *joy*. i remember that Robin, 7, is an artist... & Ellie, 5, can spell & read better than any other 5 year old i know. i remember that Wyatt, 13, is addicted to his baby sister, Mielle, 8mo, & i wished i could put superglue on his shoulders so i wouldn't be afraid of her falling off that high perch (when did his shoulders get so high & broad??) i remember Sadie's grin when i got to rescue her from her too short nap. i remember arms intertwined, cousins pairing off, wrestling matches, cheering for baby's wobbly steps to show off for proud aunties... & most sweetly, inhaling that new little boy who changes our mix yet again with his perfect nose & downy soft hair, nestling closer to escape the noise that he'll add to soon enough.
Welcome to our world, baby Wesley.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Good & The Bad

Have you ever read this story?
This farmer had only one horse, and one day the horse ran away. The neighbors came to condole over his terrible loss. The farmer said, "What makes you think it is so terrible?"
A month later, the horse came home--this time bringing with her two beautiful wild horses. The neighbors became excited at the farmer's good fortune. Such lovely strong horses! The farmer said, "What makes you think this is good fortune?"
The farmer's son was thrown from one of the wild horses and broke his leg. All the neighbors were very distressed. Such bad luck! The farmer said, "What makes you think it is bad?"
A war came, and every able-bodied man was conscripted and sent into battle. Only the farmer's son, because he had a broken leg, remained. The neighbors congratulated the farmer. "What makes you think this is good?" said the farmer.

i know... 's not a bible story :) but it makes me think of how i am with God sometimes. It's like an artist painting a picture with a 4 year old peeking over their shoulder asking, "What's that? Why did you do that? Is that a mistake? Are ya gonna fix that blob of paint? You should add a SUNSHINE... or a FROG!!" ~ Surely we can help God create His masterpiece.
We get so tired... trying to orchestrate... trying to analyze, trying to comprehend, explain, find meaning to the mundane, the painful, the miraculous... but through it all....
God just *is*.
Weaving, creating, remaining constant, compassionate and faithful.
My prayers have become surrender.
Ah, God, i hurt.
i know.
God, i don't see how this will work out.
i'm still in control, Paige.
i trust you, Father.

& i do.
i trust Him now, when life has been so full of blessing, i'm afraid to exhale & disrupt a single thing. i trusted Him then... when i didn't want to wake up in the morning. i'll trust Him come what may ~ when i see His hand, or when i long to see Him take action. When he shows me a miracle, or when i have to choose to believe without seeing. When i think a situation brings only bad, & He turns it for His Glory... or when a situation that i think is good, seems to turn bad.

So, take me, Father. Shape me... Do it Your way. Help me see past the blobs of paint or the seeming tangle of threads to Your masterpiece. Give me wisdom and patience to grow 'till my desires mirror Yours.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

More Moments

In our Honda van that is packed to the gills this summer, all of a sudden a shrill voice (molls) pipes up from the back seat: PEOPLE!!!!! i'm not COMFORTABLE back here!!!
(um, really? 'cause i thought cramming 8 people like sardines into a smallish van for 11 hours sounds exceedingly comfortable...)
And, apparently, they're making cartoons cuter than they did when i was a kid, 'cause this shout was heard from the basement one day: Peyton: CAI, SLOAN!!! You gotta come see this!! Diego's in a BATHING SUIT!!!
And, here's one that isn't even from my kids. Sloan & Cai were babysitting at the church today & Cai asked a little girl, 'does your daddy play the guitar?' & she softly replied, 'yes. And my mommy does the dishes' :) Awwwwww...

Monday, December 1, 2008

An Announcement

While eating lunch on Saturday, i was startled to look up & see my eldest standing on her chair clearing her throat....
Cairo: (ahem) I have an announcement to make.
(all forks stop moving & all eyes turn to her)
Cairo: First of all, i would like to thank Mollen and Charter for being more diligent with brushing their teeth. This is making the world a better place. Now, if you would quit dripping toothpaste all over my bathroom, your efforts would be much appreciated.
Thank you.
(Cairo sits down... forks resume movement... another moment captured from the loony bin).

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Neil: ok, Charter, i'm going to teach you how to talk quietly. Repeat after me. What are you doing?
Charter: What are you doing?
Neil: Good job! Now, try this, Hi, dad.
Charter: HI DAD!!!!!
Neil: Nope, try again. Hi dad.
Charter: (in a stage whisper) HI, Dad!!!!
Neil: better...
Charter: OK, CAN I GO NOW!????

Friday, November 28, 2008


A came out of her coma this morning at 5:30am. Cai just about collapsed in tears when we got the email. Within 10 minutes, Cai's tummy grumbled & she said, 'i think i can eat now'... i haven't seen her eat more than a crumb in 2 days. Still praying for a complete recovery.

Thank you God, for hearing the prayers of so many...

When Cai hurts, she kind of 'turtles'... so to speak... & it's hard to get in there. It was good for me to see her able to reach out to A in emails over the past 2 days... & to reach past her own fear and discomfort to reach one whom she loves. It was also good for me to see that i don't have to (can't) take away her hurt on my own. i saw God provide comfort through A's mom (phoning Cai last night), through Cai's siblings & daddy & through a thoughtful email from our pastor. i am so glad that God isn't hindered by the same limitations we are hindered by. i am so glad to be a witness to others being obedient to that Still Small Voice.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Dates & Blank Stares

Neil came & picked me up for a date this afternoon. He took me to Costco & we picked up coffee beans & snow peas. We didn't even need to talk... Just a comfortable quiet between us as we followed each other.

Three sleepers for my sweet boy who never seems to have pants on...

We ran into some people we know & i put on a smile to tried to fake it as my brain refused to give up their names & identities. i'm sure they think i'm crazy ~ & Neil smiled at me & said, 'what was up with that?' as we walked away & i shrugged...

Distracted, thoughtful, prayerful...

's the stuff dates are made of when there are 6 talkative little ones waiting at home.

His presence soothes me. His teasing takes the edge off me. His easy generosity changes me.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


i wish there was some way to completely shelter my little ones from pain. From real life pain. Not the kind like where Gage bit Mollen on the cheek today & left big red welts, but the bigger deeper kind... The kind of pain that Cai's in right now. Just got news her best friend is in the hospital in Edmonton in very serious condition... The momma said in her email that dr's have told them she might not come out of the coma she's in.
Cai's undone.
Oh, i wish i could stop the pain that Cai's in... & even more so the pain that A & her family are in. i wish sometimes that we lived in heaven... Where sorrow & pain are things of the past & where every tear has been wiped from every eye.
But, we're still here... praying & pleading for grace & healing. Longing for the comfort of the Father... resting in the sufficient knowledge of His Goodness.

Monday, November 24, 2008

AWANA grand prix & racing boys...

The banana-mo-peel above & Charter's cop car below:

Sloanie's racecar...

i love this video... i came upon Charter snuggling Gage all hidden in his room. Charter had his face pressed up against his baby brother's & as i walked in, he said to me, "Don't we just look *exactly* the same?" Sorry, it's a little dark, you gotta watch close for Charter's big cheesy grin.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Remember this one, Paige...

Sometimes, i wish that i remembered every funny thing my kids ever said or did. i wish i could remember *why* Charter made Cai laugh so hard that night at supper, she spat out her water & it came out her nose... i wish i could remember all those little things i try to hold in my head to tell Neil when he gets home from work about who was hurting, happy, triumphant or defeated, funny, smart, or just plain cute. *If* i do remember them long enough to tell my husband, i'll sometimes try to hold them in my head as i'm drifting off... thinking, 'i gotta write that down'... but in the morning, they're gone.
i'm left with a feeling that is like a smell i recognize, but i can't place... Or a taste that is familiar, but impossible to name... a knowledge that these days are precious and *good*... but i can't remember why.
i once read a book called, "Our Lady of the Lost and Found" by Diane Schoemperlen & she said something that i can compare to that feeling. She's talking about 'divine things'... an inkling of who God is... & i'm talking about my little ones' childhoods, but still... Sometimes it helps to compare two things when one of them seems to constantly elude us...
"Day after day, week after week, year after year, I went on with my life in the usual secular way. Making meals, making beds, books, making promises, decisions and mistakes, making my own dogged way in the world, with all of these divine images stowed away somewhere in the intricate folds of my brain. They were like dream images, those ones that are so vivid when you first wake in the morning, and then within minutes they begin to fade until, by the time you get the coffee made, they have disappeared completely and you are left with nothing more than an uneasy sense of having lost something but you cannot say what."
So, in this fleeting season of mothering, i will try to capture more than just an essence of these days ~ even if it's just a tiny, random story on my blog ~ Something to remind myself that i was here & present, even if the details have evaporated. & Even more importantly, i will press in & not allow my relationship with God to be based on dreams, or imaginings. i will do my best to listen for that still small voice & follow where He leads. i will refuse to be left with a feeling of having lost something... but will continue to seek relationship... & i know i will find *truth*.
So, my favourite Sloanie quote. Captured in my little corner of blogland...
Sloanie: Granny, do you know any pompous old fools?
& Mollen's lament as she climbed into bed with Cairo last night,
Mollen: *sigh*
Cairo: What's wrong, Molls?
Mollen: It's just that i'm the worst kid in the world.
Cairo: No, you're not!
Mollen: yes, i am. i messed up the craft cupboard *and* i left my books all over the floor.
*sigh*(big mollen sized dramatic sigh).
(Will this be as funny in a few years when that darling lisp has faded & those little dirty fingernails have a manicure? Will it still make me smile when i forget Cai's 12 year old motherly maturity?... ) So hard to capture...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Too Busy

Neil *hates* posts like the one i did yesterday. It's a good thing he hardly ever reads my blog ('cept when i make him proofread something i write about him). He figures it's sort of like bragging about how busy you are... or maybe a little whiny...
Totally not my intention, but irritates him just the same.
So, to clarify, it's just Wednesdays that are a flurry of outside activity. Most days are like yesterday, when i had my shower, i put back on my pj pants & i didn't so much as start the vehicle. When the kids went sledding, i played peek a boo with Gage in the hallway & listened to Mollen sing in the bathtub.
There was a question asked on a list i'm on about being "too busy" ~ people talk about that all the time. i don't know what that means, or how to measure it. Some things energize me, some zap me of my energy... (staying in, playing with Gagey, energizes me... going out to get groceries takes all i, travelling=no energy... see what i mean?)
i don't know how any mom could say with a straight face, 'i'm not busy'... because it *is* busy... Just the laundry & cooking are busy... Just having one baby is busy... Just missing a husband to share the load makes it busy...
But, we *all* just 'do the next thing'.
i remember remarking to my mom about a mom that i knew that worked, and had a houseful of kids, and homeschooled, "Mom, HOW on earth can she do that? i'm drowning & i don't even have a (paying) job!" & Mom said, "She *isn't* doing everything. You can't be everywhere at once, we all only have 24 hours in a day." That mom was just doing the next thing... Just like i was...
So, we do what we can.
We 'do the next thing'.
Some days are spent putting out fires, some are spent lighting them. Sometimes we do our best, sometimes we wish we had. Sometimes we regroup & sometimes we are ready for more. Sometimes we do a ton of things that revitalize us, sometimes we do just a few things that are hard, plodding work.
Gotta go put out a fire...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

How...(oh how?) do we do the things we do?

Wednesdays are great... but full when Neil's on the road.
8am-3pm ~ schooling, breakfast, schooling, laundry, schooling, baby's bum, nap time, cleaning, sledding, snacks, settling disputes, lunch, pack supper, pack awana bags, pack some school to bring, try to squeeze in one more subject... fail... wake the baby from his too short nap, rush out the door, forget jacket.
3-3:30 ~ negotiate traffic & try to negotiate a truce between an irate 4year old & a belligerent 6 year old. Baby crying 'cause he's still tired. Put on the never fail "Watoto Children's Choir" cd. Louder, louder, louder... Success... happy baby...
3:30 ~ arrive at the college & tell Cai & Sloan to run for Cai's coaching that starts in 15 minutes...
3:30-3:55 ~ pay for parking, find a parking spot, unload stroller, baby, school books, realize i forgot my jacket & i live in Canada... run for the college, find an elevator, get to the conservatory & find Sloanie waiting for us in the hallway.
3:55-4:30 ~ Read Charlotte's Web with Peyton in the hallway. Make googly eyes at Gage who is angelically sitting in his stroller, mediate for the children who gets to play hangman on the electronic dictionary & listen to Sloanie's poem she memorized.
4:30-5:22 ~ find Cai's empty classroom & feed everyone supper. 7 trips to & from the bathroom. Play piano & have them act out what i'm playing. Charter is a rock, rolling to the bottom of a hill. Peyton is a baby growing into an old woman. Mollen is a tree growing up from a seed. Sloanie & Charter are a mom & a dad waking with an alarm clock & going about their day... Cai was a baby growing into an old woman too... Played musical chairs till it was time to go. Felt sick, loading up all the children, our suitcase on rollers that held our food, now empty, & leaving Cai all by herself in her room waiting for her class to start at 6pm. Sloan begs to sit in the front seat.
5:22-5:41 ~ try to corral the troops through the hallways of the college... Sloan begs to sit in the front seat. Through the parking lot... (Man, is it getting cold now...) i notice that none of the children want to wear their jackets... the irony is not lost on me. Wrestle with the stroller... feel like stomping on the stroller... pulling levers with each hand & pushing with my toe on another lever, trying to balance on one foot & make the stroller collapse with my stomach... Sloan begs to sit in the front seat. Remember that all the children are watching me... reign in my temper.... contemplate leaving the blasted stroller there.... finally manage to get it in the truck. Ahhhh....
5:41-6:10 ~ drive back to McKenzie Towne. Baby cries, Watoto sings, Baby happy. Sloan loudly reading the airbag warning on the back of the sun visor..."CHILDREN CAN BE KILLED OR SERIOUSLY INJURED BY AN AIRBAG??!! THE BACKSEAT IS THE SAFEST PLACE FOR CHILDREN??!! i slow down & feel guilty for letting her sit in the front seat.
6:15 ~ Drive home to pick up a cheque i was supposed to deposit... feel guilty dropping the kids off at church early...
6:15-7pm ~ Drive back to the college to get Cai... put Gagey in the mai tai wrap & he looks at me sweetly, like, "what, we're here again?" & grins. My heart melts... Grab Peyton's sweater from the backseat as it's *really really* cold & she refused to wear it into the church & hey, i'm not proud. Run up to Cai's classroom, to hear the last bit of her practice. She looks so happy & confident. i notice her bowing is so much improved. She finishes up & breathlessly tells me how that's the best she's ever done at her practices... She loves her teachers... i feel suddenly like this is all worthwhile.
7pm-7:30 ~ get back to the vehicle, listen to non stop chatter... over the sounds of Watoto... over the sounds of angry baby who is sick of his carseat... Arrive at Superstore... debate leaving Cai in the vehicle with Gage... but then decide to bring them in.
7:30-7:55 deposit cheque, grab oranges, black tights for Cai, baby cookies for Gage, caesar dressing & croutons... no cart... carrying G in the mai tai... rush back out to the vehicle & am in time to pick up the kids by 8.
8-8:20... get into the *chaos* of the church.... Someone says, 'hey, there's chaos...' & i'm not sure if they're talking about me, or to me. Gather 4 sweet, excited, talkative children... meet 1 new friend, who i'm excitedly told is *homeschooled*, feel relief that i don't have to find jackets because nobody will wear them... Get everyone buckled, & head home.
8:20-8:40 ~ beg everyone to help carry something... groceries, awana bags, fiddle, music, schoolbooks, lunch bag, purse, cellphones, sweet sleepy baby.... We all put away shoes, groceries, bags, books... & head to bed.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


This is my two hundredth post... It should be something special...

The Lord is my shepherd,
i shall not be in want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters.

He restores my soul.

He guides me in paths of righteousness, for His name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For you are with me. Your rod & your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies,
You annoint my head with oil.

My cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Psalms 23.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Why do we do what we do?

i can't even give credit for this story 'cause i don't even remember where i read it...
Once there was a family, gathered together for some celebration. The woman pulled her roast out of the oven & it was done to perfection. The daughter in law, very impressed, asked the mother in law for tips & asked her why she cut the end off her roast before cooking it. The mother in law, paused & said, "Good question... i've just always done it that way because that's how my mom did it." Gramma was in attendance at the gathering, so they sought her out & asked her why she always cut the end off her roast before cooking it... Expecting an answer like, it makes the meat more savoury, moist, tender... whatever... Gramma looked at them both blankly & said, "Because my roaster was too small to accommodate the roast. i cut it so it would fit."
i love this story.
i love it because it's so much how we are...
So many things that we do, are a waste of time, or an added step, or even *detrimental*, & we do it because it's how we've seen it done, or it's the way "everybody else does it".
i've often prayed for God to open my eyes to the things that are tradition & cultural influences... & give me the courage to swim against the current.

Monday, November 17, 2008

On Taking Offence

Not that anyone has been offensive to me in recent history, but i'm done with 'taking offence'.
A few years ago, my mom decided she was 'giving up anger'. She didn't see any good reason to keep it in her life, so she decided to give it up... an ongoing process, i'm sure, but still kind of an awe-inspiring goal.
i feel the same way with offence.
Life is too short...
People are too important...
God is too big...
When i hear that phrase, 'i was so offended' ~ it implies "rights" & it's such a cultural thing how we're so conscious of our 'rights' & what is owed to us. The right to have a pleasant childhood, to have food, shelter, good customer service, no betrayal, no gossip or slander, the right to live a life free from pain, telemarketers & the opinions of others...
Who promised us these things? ~ i think giving up on any & all of our rights brings us to a place where we can be so easily used by God.
i see it in my son sometimes. He gets so wrapped up in being 'wronged' that he fails to see how the offending party might have been hurt in the first place. What if our first instinct when we were hurt were to run to God ~ & instead of furiously tattling, we asked Him...
the One who loves us *so*...
'Father, is there truth in this offence that is causing me pain?' ~ i've found most of the time when i'm offended, it's because there's some truth in there... and 'Father, is the one who hurt me, hurting?' ~ so often, the answer is 'yes'.
i know we all have moments of 'righteous indignation' ~ but i'm willing to guess that most of the time when i've been offended, i should've just let it go earlier than i did.
So, way back when, i wrote this song... & i still feel the same way as i did...

Giving Up

Givin' up, i'm givin' up
All my anger, frustration, & every expectation,
i give it up.
Givin' up, i'm givin' up,
All my rights & what i thought was owed to me,
i give it up...

1. i remember when you told me that the hardest part of being a living sacrifice is you wanna keep crawling off the altar,
i remember when you taught me, that i'm not gonna grow, i'm not gonna know His Love until i give it up... so i'm... (cho)

2. He was God, He is God, He will be God.
May my life serve, to bring Glory to God,
God does all things well... (cho)

i expected my dad to be there for me...
i wanted my husband to be God to me
I thought that i could be God to my children, that they'd be healthy,
i expected her loyalty, but she turned her back on me
Don't they owe me an apology?
i have a right to be protected, to be loved and i expected, if i loved them, they'd love me too...
but i'm just gonna... (cho)

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Well, Neil made it home & is out in the garage, putting the door on his office. We bought him a big rug & the movers are moving his stuff on Monday. i need to get out of the house today to get groceries 'cause he's leaving again on Tuesday for the rest of the week.
i told him i feel like i'm in a love triangle with him & his blackberries (yes, he has TWO of them). His poor brain is just full & chuggin'. His work stuff is all in boxes, in a mess & my guy loves *order*.
So, on Thursday, i decided to leave Cai with all the kiddos at home... Yes, even Gage. i nursed him up, changed his dipe & went to the church to practice for Sunday. We live very close to the church, i had my cell... but i was still nervous as i never leave G ~ even when Neil *is* home. Moments before i left, i was rushing around, trying to leave the house tidy... (Why am i like this??) & i stubbed my pinky toe into the couch & i heard a *crack*. i'm pretty sure it's broken as it's all black today & *man* did that hurt!
Anyway, i got to the church & we started playing & singing...
& God met with me there...
In the midst of *it all* ~ husband gone missing, toe throbbing, children at home alone, vacuuming left half done...
We sang old hymns: _Savior Like A Shepherd Lead Us_, and _He Leadeth Me_ & other songs too, but these ones stand out to me... i had been practicing all week, putting together the music... a labour of love...
& as i poured out my heart, my Father met with me... in a real way... in that empty sanctuary.
God is so Good.
i got home, & the lights were dimmed. Cai had put the littles to bed & G was happy, but needing a clean bum & a topped up tummy before bed... it was a good day.

Savior, like a shepherd lead us,
much we need They tender care,
In thy pleasant pastures feed us,
For our use, Thy folds prepare;
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.

We are Thine; do now befriend us,
Be the Guardian of our way,
Keep thy flock from sin defend us,
Seek us when we go astray,
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,Hear o hear us, when we pray,
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,Hear o hear us, when we pray,

Thou hast promised to receive us,
Poor and sinful though we be;
Thou hast mercy to relieve us,
Grace to cleanse and pow'r to free;
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,Early let us turn to Thee;
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,Early let us turn to Thee;

Early let us seek Thy favor;
Early let us do thy will.
blessed Lord and only Savior,
With Thy love our lives come fill;
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,Thou hast loved us, love us still.
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,Thou hast loved us, love us still.

Friday, November 14, 2008


i'm an auntie again.
Precious little J baby was born yesterday at 1:22pm.
On my side, baby Wesley makes 6 nephews & 7 nieces. On Neil's side, we have 1 nephew & 3 nieces. Cairo claims, 'i've been cousin'd again!'
Can't wait to meet this new, sweet, little man.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Questions & The Intruder

~ Molls in the closet.... Doesn't everyone's 4yo sleep in the closet??!! hehe. We have a little bed set up in there with blankets & a pillow ~ Sometimes it's just too hard trying to get her to settle with Cai in their room, so i move her into our closet.
~ My day ~ was great! Jam packed, but full of important stuff, like G's foot appointment, where everything went swimmingly & they don't need to treat his foot (other than continuing his physio & us buying him some rigid shoes). His x-rays were about the cutest thing i've ever seen, i wish i had brought my camera ~ with those little curvey bones. Even the dr. thought they were cute. Then Cai had BVF's & the other kiddies had AWANA & i was bagged by the time we got home at 8:30. Good thing i had packed ham buns for supper... Long day! Talked to Neil on the phone & he confirmed he does have to travel all next week too... *sigh*.
So, The Intruder....
My mom doesn't even believe this story... but she never believes me anyway ~ it's my fault from all the times i tricked her when i was a teenager. BUT, this is a true story.
Neil is the details man in our relationship. He remembers to pay bills, lock doors & pick up the mail. He was constantly reminding me to lock the doors when he would go away & i was constantly forgetting... remembering in the morning, when i'd see the door unbolted all night... & feeling bad that i had forgotten again...
So, about 2 years ago, Neil went away on a business trip. Molls was only about 2 and a half & that night for some reason, i decided to carry her with me to turn out all the lights (this is important later in the story... stay with me...) The lights in our living room are on a dimmer & when she went to turn them off, they just dimmed, they didn't go off, so i remembered reaching over & clicking them off myself... then heading to bed early. Around 9pm, after the kids were all in bed, i heard the doorbell ring. i was in my jammies & it startled me & scared me a little. i went downstairs & peeked through the peephole & saw a man out there with a clipboard. i glanced down at the bolt & realized i had forgotten to bolt the door AGAIN, so stood there, waited for the man to go away (which he did) & bolted the door. Around 11pm, i was upstairs in bed & i heard a noise like the door closing... It totally freaked me out & i suddenly remembered that i hadn't bolted the backdoor that leads to our fenced backyard. i grabbed the TV remote... (i know... why didn't i grab the phone?? ~ i told you, Neil's the details man... What was i gonna do, throw the remote at someone's head??) & cautiously crept downstairs... When i got to the landing, the livingroom lights were on... My heart was beating about a million beats a minute... & then i noticed that the FRONT door was unbolted. If it wouldn't have been for the man coming at 9, i would have second guessed myself even bolting it in the first place, but i knew that it had been bolted when i went to bed. i bolted both doors & then realized that i needed to go check on the girls in the basement to be sure that there wasn't someone in the house. i crept down there, clutching the tv remote (haha... funny now, not funny then...) & explored every inch of the basement.
i went upstairs & my house was silent... i walked all over & there was nothing more to do, but to go to bed.
Later, Neil's cousin, who is a cop, said that often someone will ring the doorbell before they enter a house, *and* that the backdoor ~ even tho it's fenced back there ~ would be a more common entering place.
i'm more careful these days. i have NO idea why someone would come into the house & take nothing... & then leave out the other door... It doesn't seem to make any sense, but that's the story of...
The Intruder.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


A night at our house can be interesting.
Usually my 3 'bigs' go to bed & stay there, but the other 3 tend to be total wild cards. Charter doesn't mean to wake us up, but he has a history of sleepwalking, night terrors, & restless sleep. Mollen mostly needs a warm body... preferrably daddy... & Gage sometimes has a 'rumbly in his tumbly' as the girls like to say, & hasn't been the best sleeper since he was born. Add to that, the fact that Gage had a fever yesterday & was feeling pretty cruddy when he went down, i didn't figure i'd get a ton of sleep.
Around 10pm i decided Neil wasn't likely to call again, so i went to sleep. Around 10:45, G woke up with his saaad little raspy cry ~ he was a little furnace & i had already given him tylenol, so i just nursed him & put him back in his little bed. Around 11:45, little furnace wakes again... & this time, he's a damp little furnace, so i changed him, nursed him & put him back to bed. Around 12:30, i hear banging & thrashing... & think to myself, 'Charter is going to wake Gage if he keeps that up...' so i get up to go tell him to tone it down & he is sleepwalking. He has climbed down his ladder & turned on his light & is trying to get Gage out of his bed. Gage starts screaming & squinting his little feverish eyes, obviously wondering, "WHAT IN THUNDER??" when i walked into the room. i turn off the light & look at Charter who is obviously still asleep & say, "bud, what are you doing? It's the middle of the night.." & he looks at me ~ or sort of over my shoulder like he does when he's still sleeping & says, 'i was getting Gage out. i had a bad dream." He was starting to wake up then & realizing that this is probably not good ~ Gage is screaming, i probably looked like a crazed zombie momma & he says, 'momma, i want to sleep with you'. He's lucky. i have room 'cause Neil's away & Mollen is sleeping in my closet.
i tucked little Gage back into his little nest, went down to double check that i had bolted my doors (i had, but i'm paranoid about it since someone walked through our house when Neil was away one time...) & headed to sleep. No, that wasn't the last time i was up... but it's about all i can remember.
Coffee is smelling good this morning...
Five more days till he's working from home.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Six more days...

Six more days till he moves home! He did his floor with an osb subfloor & then he just clearcoated the top. He's gonna get an area rug anyway, but i like how this looks.
The ceiling ~ he used Newpro board :) He had trouble getting the lights in 'cause his fingers are too big, so that was my offering to this project. Hehe. i helped stain the trim too... & i lifted heavy things & used that noisy air nailer...

Putting the heater back up... i did not help with. Jen's husband Brian did & i'm so glad he was here.

Here is Neil's fancy door... i'm sure he'll use it a lot when the little people are invading his territory.

So, moving day is November 17th. The doors not in & the door & window don't have any trim, but is it ever close to being done. Neil's in the States till Friday, so he's gonna have to boogie to get done in time.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Feast of Tabernacles

Feast of Tabernacles ~ or Sukkot. i forgot to blog about our little celebration this year. It was supposed to be celebrated between sunset October 13, 2008 - nightfall October 20, 2008, so we picked a day during that week & gathered together for our makeshift, 1 afternoon celebration. Above are the blackberry muffins ~ our 'harvesty food' :) & C pouring juice for the littles who are building their sukkoth outside. We had 2 teams, one building inside & one outside.

Little sweetie girl carrying the cloud they used to play "follow the leader" with ~ since the Israelites wouldn't move without the Presence of God going with them, leading them with either a pillar of cloud or of fire. Little sweetie boy carrying the fire in the pic below.

We had a *short* lesson & sang a few songs ~ including one in Hebrew! (That was fun, LD!)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Hookrug Story

K, so here's a little flash from the past... A story from more than 2 years ago, i don't think i ever posted it here ~ must've been during my negligent blogging days :) but i'll post it now, as a little snapshot of life...
From a day in 2006~
SO, When one of our bouts of company were here, and Neil was out of town on a business trip, i sent my littles down for bed. What happened was this: Cairo (almost 10 at the time) had an afghan in her room & had gotten the hook stuck in it, she was reefing on it trying to get it out & it unhooked suddenly & jammed into her eye, hooking into the skin under her eyelid. Her sister thought she was kidding as she was holding this hookrug hook out from her eye. She managed to get down from her ladder (not panicking) and came upstairs crying blood. When i saw her, my heart just stopped. i could not see if the hook was in her eyeball or where it was hooked & i couldn't get it out (it had hooked and latched under her eyelid).
i started praying *loudly* for my daughter's eye.
The husband of the company had to leave the room (queasy) and his wife helped me ease her onto the floor where i managed to flip up her eyelid & unlatch & unhook the hook. If you're picturing this in your head, add sound & me in a high pitch voice... running commentary: "OH GOD, SAVE HER EYE... PLEASE, LET HER KEEP HER EYE. (As i see the hook is in the lid & not her eye), THANK YOU GOD, IT'S NOT IN HER EYE. THANK YOU!! HELP ME GET THE HOOK OUT. PLEASE HELP ME NOT HURT HER!" (If your ears are hurting, my friend's probably were too...) After we got it out, it got pretty swollen, but she was able to go to sleep & i took her to the dr. the next day where he told me he thought it had *bounced off* her eyeball before getting stuck in the lid 'cause her eyeball was really bruised.
After we got the hook out, both my friend & i were just *sweaty* & we had a good laugh at my loud praying during the ordeal & then we were emotionally & physically exhausted, so i took my daughter to bed with me & we snuggled all night.
The next Sunday at church, i was sitting during the singing & i had a 'flashback' of that exact moment where i prayed for her eye & i felt that 'still small voice' say to me,
"i heard you there, Paige"...
*& i really believe He did*... (this still makes me cry, more than 2 years later...)
& then, suddenly, i didn't feel so silly for crying out to my Father ~ who i know loves me.
& i knew then, that He didn't think i was silly for crying out, but He *heard* me & was there with me.
& there's a part of me that believes that He loved being the One i turned to, in a horrible moment of desperation ~ as a reflex, knowing He was there.
So, there's my memory for today ~ & my reminder ~ to keep turning to Jesus.
The One who sees our pain, hears our cries and has compassion on us.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

So, This is the concert the Bow Valley Fiddlers are putting on for Christmas. Cai's selling tickets, so if anyone wants some, let me know! She's getting pretty excited, & i gotta tell you, some of the music is sounding pretty beautiful at her practices on Wednesday nights.
*proud mama*

Friday, November 7, 2008

Meal Planning

My sister made up a 'meal plan' with weekly meals for breakfast, lunch & supper. i thought i wouldn't mind giving it a go (just with suppers & let the other meals come as they come...) This is our first week using it & i think it was a huge success. There are a lot of reasons it helped:
a.) No planning suppers
b.) i could make a detailed shopping list, so i had all my ingredients
c.) meat was always thawed in time
d.) because i know what's coming, it's easy to double & throw one in the freezer for some things.
So, i'll share my little mealplan ~ (my sister's was much more impressive, so if you want to go check hers out, you might get more ideas...)
Monday ~ Pasta night... This week: lasagna (Could be: chicken pasta, spaghetti, etc..)
Tuesday ~ Big Meat... This week: roast beef (Could be: ham, turkey roast chicken etc...)
Weds ~ Stew night... This week: beef stew (hopefully using up leftovers from big meat night)
Thursday ~tacos (make extra meat for pizza night)
Friday ~ pizza (home made ~ so, tonight i'm making crusts for 4 large & i'll be able to freeze 2, i think... so i won't have to make crusts next week).

Thursday, November 6, 2008

1 Timothy 2:1-4

Love this:
All of his posts about pro-life & the election in the United States over the past several months have been so good. i think a lot of what he says in this post, we can carry over when praying for our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.
My sister blogged about Barack Obama in her most recent post ~ & my comment to her is what i'll leave here today:
Steph ~ i'm with you on being a one issue person ~ i think Randy Alcorn? said that *yes*, there are other issues other than abortion, just like during WW2 there were issues other than the Holocaust & during the Civil war, there were issues other than slavery.
i cringe when i think of our grandchildren looking at what this generation deemed acceptable.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


It's amazing to me, how much a person can grow, change, morph, deepen, soften, harden... & yet for some reason people want to be able to keep us in the same box they knew us in.
i remember when i was growing up, my room was always the messiest. It was horrible. i hated that it was messy... i wanted to keep it clean... i was frustrated by my seeming inability to keep my room presentable, & yet, all the way through high school & even into college, it was an area of uncontrolled *disorder*. When i married Neil, he was (is) a pretty tidy guy. He'd tidy up after himself ~ and sometimes me ~ and it embarrassed me. It wasn't very far into our marriage (the first year) that i made the choice to be done with disorder. We had a teeny little brand new (to us) home. We had renovated, painted & loved up our sweet little space & we had moved a couple of times already, so some of the 'stuff' was gone already in various packing purges. i don't know if i saw the light of day for several days. Neil would get home from work & praise me & encourage me & in the morning, i'd bring little Cairo down to our damp, dusty little basement & purge, organize & clean. When my birthday came, my mom bought me a brand new duvet cover & helped me sew little curtains & a bedskirt for our tiny bedroom. Our house became a *home*. i'd bring home sweet peas from his grandpa's garden & put them on a tidy table & during that time, something changed in me.
(*disclaimer* i do have 6 kids & homeschool, so no, my house isn't always clean & tidy... but i know now, that i can do it ~ i know how to do it ~ & i don't feel controlled by the disorder anymore).
i can't imagine now, if someone were to judge me based on the girl i was in those years gone by. i put so much effort into change & Neil was so gracious & kind with his bumbling little wife. The years between this seasoned, weathered mama & the despairing, untidy newlywed have brought *change*... i hope for the better ~ i hope i've grown, matured, become less selfish...
Recently, a sweet friend got a horrible email (anonymous... strange). i know her for the beautiful, compassionate, hard-working, funny, supportive wife & mother that she is. (i have a hard time believing that the person who wrote the email ever knew her at all...) The email seemed to have the intent of grabbing my friend by her hair & dragging her back to where she'd been rescued from ~ (i say rescued, because what else is it when Jesus comes in & takes over?) My friend, being wise, declined the invite of despair & instead has meekly written of her relationship with a forgiving God... who has been faithful to forgive, move past & to change.
You can't shackle someone to a past from which they've been freed.
"Not that i have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. " (Phil 3:12-14)

Monday, November 3, 2008


Neil & i are enjoying church lately. The pastor is a 'real' guy ~ who loves Jesus, we're starting to get to know some of the other families a little better, & recently, i've started to get more involved in the music part of it & it's been fun for me to feel 'a part' of the congregation.
So, yesterday, the pastor was speaking about... here, i'll just post the scripture so you get the gist...
"The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control." (1 Cor. 7:4&5) ~ he spoke about the verses before this a bit & i'm not exactly sure how far he went, but the verses i've typed here are the main ones he focused on.
He spoke about some pretty important stuff ~ it was funny (as his sermons usually are...) & honest. i love how he emphasized the importance of just 'giving in' to our spouses ~ & intimacy as a ministry to our partner & not a tool for control. i love how he emphasized that God gave us a good thing when He designed marriage with physical intimacy in mind... & he did touch on the fact that through physical intimacy, God gives us children ~ & that's a good thing too.
As he was speaking though, i felt like there was a distinct separation between "intimacy" & "sperm". i know... maybe this is a little much for a blog that i know some people actually read... but, typing things out seems to help me process them better.
Is sperm just a messy by-product?
Did God create *the act* accidentally overlooking the detail, that if we're intimate, there'll be a part of this process that we'll have to 'take care of' either before, or during that act of intimacy to prevent what could possibly come of doing that act?
Does there need to be agreement between spouses about this part of intimacy? Does it count as 'depriving each other' ~ if the seed is purposefully withheld?
i know, the pastor said we're just talking about this *one* part of marriage ~ & that there are many many other aspects of marriage that are covered in the bible that we'll talk about at different times, in different sermons... but i'm left wondering, can you have a message about sex & avoid talking about sperm?
Are those 2 topics mutually exclusive? Or are they *intimately* tied to one another...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ta-Daaaaaaa!! Part III is complete ~ he didn't get a chance to start on the floor today, but that's next on the agenda.

Part II Daddy's helpers. i think they're mostly just helping eating that popcorn sitting there... This pic is from last weekend when he got the lights & ceiling insulation done.
and, now Part III... this weekend, the walls are going up!! He's hoping to finish the walls & floor today. He got that slot board for free, so it's cutting cost & looks pretty nice too :)

Maybe i'll take more pictures later when more walls are done. He wants to use finished OSB "tiles" for the floor. i think he's cute to want to use all 'forestry' products to finish his office.

Friday, October 31, 2008

So, the other day, i was looking at some blogs. There's one, it's one of my favourite blogs, 'cause the mama is so sweet (yes, i'm talking about you, lily of the valley) ~ with the long hair & pretty dresses. Anyway, she posted this "classy up-do" very old fashioned pin curls.. ."& then the next day, your hair will be in beautiful cascading curls!" So, i thought, since Neil's not home, i'll try that. i tried to hurriedly scramble it up & got bored half way through, but managed to get it all up... We had a play date later that day & my friend said to me, "wow, your hair looks... funky" ... hmmm... i was going for classic 19th century, but i'll take funky... Fast forward to the next day ~ we had accidentally slept in till 8:30... i go to take down the pin curls & they have turned into DREAD LOCKS!!

i didn't know what to do. i was in my pj's wondering what i should do with my new jamaican 'do & i hear the doorbell ring. i'm sitting there, in my pj's with half my hair up, half down wondering who is so rude as to ring my doorbell at 9am & Peyton runs upstairs, gapes at my hair & says, "mom, it's the facilitator!!" HAHA!! i pulled on some clothes, & tied the dreads back & went downstairs to what looked like a war-zone & put on my best smile. "Welcome to the loony bin". Ah, well... maybe i'll try the pin curls another time. i ended up with crazy Janis Joplin hair ~ not very homeschool mama-ish, but it was fun for one day...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

This is a nice picture too. Nope, 's not toilet paper... i never used disposable diaper liners with my other littles in cloth, but i bought some on a whim with Gage & i *love* them. We call them "poop catchah's" & that's exactly what they are. i always heard that they get bunched up & don't do much good, but we're not having that experience at all... It makes the whole cloth diaper thing a lot easier & i would highly recommend them.

(stoppin' for coffee break on our hike... we can all use things that make life a little easier :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Now, *this* is a beautiful picture....

Maybe not to you...

But this picture is of PART 1 of Neil's new (in the garage) at-home office. i cannot wait till he's working from home. He has 'till Jan. 1st to finish it (when the lease runs out on the office he's in). He just started on Saturday & he's got the new window in, the walls framed & 3 potlights all wired in. He rolls his eyes when i jump up & down squealing about him working from home. He's probably picturing all our little faces crammed up against the window pane grinning at him, (he's probably not too far off...) but i'm no dummy... i know he'll need his space, & frankly, we don't just sit around all day doing nothing... (ahem... most days...) so, we'll need our space too. These days, when he's travelling too much (did he really just tell me yesterday after 3 straight weeks of travelling that he might have to go to Vancouver again next week??!! *sigh*) i picture me sneaking out there when i can grab a moment with 2 cups of coffee, one black & one with cream & sugar... & it's getting me through the day...


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