Wednesday, June 30, 2010

you. see. me.

When i'm trying to catch your eye to show you that guy walking with his little baby girl in the moby wrap. You're facing the opposite direction, but you're already shaking your head to tell me, "No." & as much as i think baby wearing daddies are cool - i love that you're not one.
i love that you just had to say the first word of that joke & i knew what you were thinking... & no matter how much the kids in the back yelled, "WHAAAT?? WHAT ARE YOU SAYING??!!" to us when we laughed, you just sang a little louder & turned up the radio with that cheeky smirk on your face.
You always tell me that i only write about the best of you - & that i should expose all your faults & flaws so that i don't look so foolish...
Let me look foolish.
i love your wit, your smile, your honesty, your cocky certainty.
i love that i'm sure of the rare value in what we have.
You met my eyes on purpose when you saw my frustration.
You brushed my hand when you saw my worry.
You kissed me when i needed you to.
You see me.
i see you too.

Monday, June 28, 2010


This week, i noticed a character flaw - it's one that i was aware i had - but when it peeked out at me, i was mortified by it.
i felt like i was out in public with something smeared all over my face -
or like i came out of the bathroom with toilet paper clinging to my shoe.
or like i had just cacked on a high note...
& you know what?
i'm glad that i'm humiliated by my character flaws. i think it says something good that i'm embarrassed. It means that God is making me aware of my shortcomings & that i'm one step closer to conquering them.
Better than blissfully walking around with schmutz on my face...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

relating to mary...

You know - as in mother of Jesus.
i've heard different interpretations of what kind of a person she was - how much she understood when she offered, "i am the handmaiden of the Lord - let it be done to me according to Thy word..." (Luke 1:38)
But - in my humble view - she understood full well the implications of the offering she was making. i think she was very likely - an incredible girl...
But there's a different passage i was thinking of today.
It's also found in the book of Luke - (link here)
Twice in that second chapter, we're told that Mary "treasured these things in her heart" - in regards to the miraculous - the extraordinary - the unexplainable.
i like that.
i like how Mary chose to treasure certain words - or events - in her heart. The bible says she "pondered them in her heart"...
That's where i feel like i'm at sometimes.
Pondering - treasuring...
When i'm awed by His blessing -
absolutely humbled by His goodness -
amazed by His faithfulness -

Friday, June 25, 2010

as seen on facebook...

my aspiring maestro... He needs his "bi-lin" all the time.

tiny bubbles... Sweet delicate dolly...i love all those soft tender folds of skin.

Ephraim has been rockin' the wool diaper covers lately. i love my aristocrats cover - but these cuties were made by my mom from an old wool sweater she accidentally shrunk. i have 2 short kind like above & then a sweet lil' pair of longies too.
so. cute.

& i promise that next time i won't be so biased for the little boys & i'll post a more fair representation of the crew...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

right choices

i have been doing a little devotional in the evenings with Charter, Mollen & Gage. i know, i know - why those 3?... But, it's what's working in the moment - so it's what we've been doing. i'm all about grabbing an opportunity when it swings by - not rejecting it, hoping that a better opportunity with *all 7* children will come along. These 3 want some special time with me in the evenings? Great - let's take this chance before it's gone.
Anyway - the book we're using is called Right Choices by Kenneth Taylor. It's pretty cute - starts with a poem, goes into a lesson, followed by questions, a prayer & a bible verse. My emerging readers like taking turns reading - (& whoever doesn't get to read gets to read a different bible story when we're done).
Gagey seems pretty clueless at this point, but one of the questions is always, "Is so & so making a right or a wrong choice in this lesson?"
That question is always Gagey's to answer. If someone answers it before him, he has a little tantrum - (ahem... that would be considered a *wrong* choice).
i find it hilarious though that his answers seem to be totally random & yet he never ever gets them right.
"Gagey, is it right or wrong to lie about stealing the cookie?"
"No, Gagey, it's wrong..."
"Gagey, is it right or wrong to take turns?"
"No, Gagey it's right to take turns..."
You'd think he'd get it right 50% of the time - but so far, he's 0 for 19 lessons.
i hope he gets his wrong choices all used up in this little book that he understands so little of. i hope his life is full of right choices - truth, character, kindness, wisdom.
& i hope that the tiny seeds sown in these lessons with these 3 little ones will bear good fruit in the years to come.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

i surrender

While mollen was eating a snack at the table, i grabbed the opportunity to sit at my piano and sing... My book fell open to that familiar hymn - & i played & sang as i have done so many, many times before....

All to Jesus, i surrender...

i sang those words as i surrendered my ideas for creative outlet in my life.

All to Him i freely give...

i sang those words as i surrendered each one of my little ones to His tender care - those i got to keep for a little while here on earth... and those i didn't.

i will ever love and trust Him...

Because i know just the smallest bit about Him... i can trust him with everything and in everything.

in His presence daily live.

Make me like you, Jesus. Let me be a reflection of your love and grace.

Finally, i awakened to the tiny girl tugging on my sleeve - "Is this for church mama?" she asked sweetly...
"No, honey.... It's not for church."
My song - my surrender - my worship & praise... it's not for a church - for a people - for a cause.
It's not for church... it's for my Father.

i surrender all,
i surrender all -
All to Thee my blessed Saviour -
i surrender all.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

you're gonna have to quit blogging about me...

Neil's tossing around his empty threats again. In honour of my favourite thing telling me to quit blogging about him, i present to you a blogpost about a few of my favourite things:

*i love wool diaper covers i have 2 aristocrat diaper covers & they're amazing... aaaaand super cute. No leaks. Seriously. The only thing better is potty training.

*Which brings me to my next favourite thing, potty training. Potty training is like an oasis in the desert. 1 accident in 4 days *thrills me* - my boy waking up dry every day for over a week? Pure awesomeness. Seeing his cute little butt in hockey underpants? It's no wonder it's on the list...

*The word "antagonize" is totally overused in our house. It's funny to hear mollen lisp it out in her own defense, "But MOOOOM, he was ANTAGONITHING ME!!"

*Seeing my sisters... With 20 (plus the teeny #21 due in August) children between the 3 of us - we don't get to talk as much as we would like to, but it is sweet beautiful comfort to have my sisters walk paths so similar to my own. We had a year end wrap up party at my sister's house - & all i can say about that is it's never enough... i need me some more o' dat.

*But best of all, i like neil - & if he doesn't like me blogging about him, he can paddle home from the floods of Saskatchewan & shut me up :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

i hate miscarriage...

i guess that's like saying, 'i hate death & disease...'
i guess i do.
i hate the pain - & the sorrow & the grief that get drowned in well meaning people who quote statistics, "they say that so many percent of babies are lost to miscarriage & mothers don't even know it..."
So what do i say? i guess i shouldn't care then? i guess my world shouldn't be rocked? i guess i should just pretend my body doesn't moan and weep for the little ones it longed to carry...
i have been watching friends grieve miscarriages again this year...
Like i guess i do every year... friends or acquaintances... who come to mind frequently because i feel a little bit like maybe where they're walking is familiar sacred ground.
& i know i don't get it completely... we've all travelled different paths, delivered our little ones under different circumstances, in different seasons of our lives. Our grief is our own - our reactions unique.
i saw a picture in a community building today. It was a painting of a veteran sitting in a graveyard with a child sitting by his side, compassionately comforting the old man who sat with his face in his hands. i stopped mid step & looked carefully at the picture.
i felt like the old man...
i still miss my babies.
i wish i could show you - right now - on my blog - caleb's perfect feet.
Seriously - so cute.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

their daddy

It's fathers day -
& he spent it driving home from a visit with my family. He's tired 'cause we didn't get much sleep last night, when he put all (minus 1) of our littles to bed by himself so i could go out for a father's day coffee date with *my* dad, mom & sisters.
i know - he's a good man...
but one of my favourite parts of my good man - is watching him be their daddy.
i love how he teases his girls.
Teaches our littles to be considerate of others.
Wrestles his boys.
Makes me a better mama.
Does hard things...
to make us happy.
i love when ephraim looks at him upside down - & he can't help but smile.
Hey, Neil? Fatherhood just looks so dang good on you...

Saturday, June 19, 2010


o my goodness.
It's one of those perfect moments.
Ephraim is lying beside me - his little jammied toes just touching my thigh. He's on his tummy with his little bum in the air... & he's snoring. Just the tiniest little baby snore. uh oh - i think my typing woke him... he just said something - it sounded like, "hi" or maybe "aha!"
I rubbed his so very tiny baby back with my finger tips & he went & drifted away again on me.
i think babies are the most generous beings ever.
Yeah, sure, we give up our sleep, our unwrinkled clothes, our armspace...

but we get the opportunity to keep our hearts soft.

There's just no comparison.
i hope that when my baby days are over - that i meet lots of little ones, needing my arms. i hope that i welcome the drooly shoulder, the wrinkly shirt front that come with the sweetness of a needy little person.
i hope that i have the wisdom to keep my heart soft & my arms open.

Friday, June 18, 2010

something is changing...

Tiny shifts - just a degree or two - can rock your world.
Maybe i'm a little slow catching on to this one, but in the past few weeks, i have been trying to make a small change - & i can see it having the potential to change our lives...
Do i sound a little melodramatic?
It all started with me noticing something... it was like when you notice a little piece of lint on a sweater or something - & you go to pull it off & the whole sweater starts to unravel... y'know?
i noticed that i can't... *can't* put off living till daddy gets home. We can't hold on, white knuckled till he is available... Life is too good, too sweet, too fun, too short - to spend it waiting.
i know there are a lot of mamas out there like me - & many more whose husbands are gone even more than mine (15 days in June...)
At first, i decided i wouldn't miss him when he was gone...
That lasted about 4 seconds. i just *do* miss him. i'm more comfortable when he's around. i have to make less decisions, i can pass off the discipline... mostly i just really, really like him. Huge Crush... i miss him when he's gone.
Then... i decided that we'd forget about surviving... we'd thrive while he was gone. We'd make a little more noise - a little more mess - get a little crazier in the kitchen. We'd stay up a little later, sleep in a little longer, pile the babies in the big bed & admire the view.
i'm not sure, exactly, what this will look like in the next year, but i plan on intentionally *living* daddy's away days...
Cai stayed up late the other night making cinnamon buns. She let them rise in the fridge overnight & the next morning - as i cleaned up the kitchen & smelled the coffee & cinnamon buns baking, i thought to myself, "This is the life..."
Our day spread out like a sandy beach before us - despite the pouring rain & the gaping hole left by our hero.
i kept my stubborn little chin up pretty good this time - i thought - till i had to pack everyone up in the evening for the big girls' violin recital. i had to play for them & i was nervous about the little boys & the delicate balancing act the evening would require. To top it all off, the rain continued to pour. When we got home, it was already 8:45 - past everyone's bedtime. We walked in the door carrying little boys, violins, music, diaper bag, cameras, purses & jackets. i heard a plaintive little voice, "mama? i'm hungry..."
Exhausted, i looked around & saw 7 hopeful little faces... everyone was hungry - & they were all grateful that mollen voiced the request.
i smiled - & made about a million grilled cheese sandwiches. We used almost 2 loaves of bread & a block of cheese - but my babies were happy, fed & tired by the time i cleaned my kitchen & shooed them off to bed.
Contented sigh.
Hey, Neil? i miss you like crazy, but we're thrivin' over here. The grilled cheese is rockin' & now the tiny ones are jammied & teeth brushed & tiny faces cleaned & tucked in their bunks...
When you called me & gave me chills with your, "i'm gonna try to catch an earlier flight if i can tomorrow - otherwise, all the kids'll be in bed by the time i get home..."

i managed to sound nonchalant as i choked out a, "Yeh - that would be awesome."
But for those hours in between... till you come home looking for me - i'm gonna make our days count. Throwing my hands in the air... hollering in the wind.... banging away on my piano - (i've got a song to write) - living - & teaching our littles to live too.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

you're lucky.

i have 3 half written posts in my inbox that are gonna be obsolete by the time i ever get around to finishing them...
But on this gloomy rainy day - i need to post this one.
There were several of us sitting there - in the location for homeschool students writing the provincial achievement exam - mamas & the occasional papa there, waiting with younger or older siblings for their children to finish writing. Our children were writing math, language arts or science in varying grade levels while we waited in a small seating area in the foyer of the community center. i had left my crew at home since it was too rainy to do a park run - so i just had Ephraim snuggled into my chest as we sat & waited for Sloanie to finish her last exam.
"So, how many children do you have?" asked the momma of 4 rambunctious boys whose oldest girl was writing her exams.
"Seven." i replied - kissing sweet Ephraim's downy head as he snoozed in my lap - his blanket loosely wrapped around him making the perfect picture of baby loveliness.
The woman on my right glanced at me & said pointedly - though more sadly than anything, "You're lucky."
It would have been impossible to miss the longing in her voice - & i wanted her to know that i don't take the sweetness of my challenging job for granted - not one little bit - so i turned & found her eyes & said, "Yes. i sure know i am... i'm so very, very blessed..."
"That's what we wanted. We wanted a whole crew of children... but we only got three. Three is lots of fun though..."
"Yeh, three is really great, isn't it?"
But i could tell that mixed in with her gratitude for the ones she had - was a longing for the ones she didn't have. Maybe miscarriage - loss... maybe infertility... The room was too crowded, boisterous & impersonal to delve any deeper...
& so we didn't.
i felt Ephraim's little fingers curl around my index finger - felt the soft motion of his body breathing - & heard the faint clicking sound as he sucked in his sleep. My gratitude lay heavy in my arms as my son slumbered.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

and again

Grandma never got to see me become a mom.
It’s funny that thoughts of her have come often in these busy years as my family has grown just like hers did years ago.
When i lost our second baby 4 months into my pregnancy – it felt – just a little bit – like everyone i knew kind of held their breath. It felt like they looked at me like someone who had just done the biggest face plant, & they were waiting to see if i would recover. Should they pretend they didn’t see? Should they keep on walking - & not add to my shame by acknowledging my fall... my failure... my loss...?
In those dark days – i received note after note – from my sweet aunties & even one from my uncle – my dad’s siblings - acknowledging our little son, recognizing my grief - & sharing in our sorrow. They rescued me in my wounded state as i reeled from my collapse.
Later on, i remember letting my dad read some of what i had written about my longed for son - & him responding, “Gramma never got over losing Carol either...”
Carol was Gramma’s second baby – she died when she was days old, due to a heart defect. & suddenly my Gramma’s influence became clear to me.
In a world that hoped i would get up, brush myself off & continue on with life – Gramma had raised children who knew better. They knew that my loss was a heavy blow... they knew how precious my darling was to me... they knew that there would be no recovery... there would just be a new normal. They revealed to me their own scars from their own losses & let me finger the jagged wounds – in the form of their tenderly written words - when i couldn’t even answer the phone for months. They reminded me that my little one was safely home, & had tied my heart permanently to heaven. They raised my eyes to the King who so gently shepherded me.
i saved each of their letters in the little beatrix potter baby book i had bought for my baby as soon as i found out i was pregnant... & i still go back, every now and again, to read and remember... Wise words about men and women grieving differently, people wanting to comfort – but missing the mark, grief breaking open, healing again and taking time to form a scar, seasons and dates that would bring my little one to mind... words that i have found over the years to be full of truth.
In my time of loss – my gramma’s heritage of love – reached across the generations to meet me in my grief.
Almost a year after losing Caleb, i delivered a second daughter on my Gramma’s birthday.
We gave her Gramma’s name in reverse.
i’m so grateful for family who recognize the fragile gift of life - & the Faithful Father, who gives and takes...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

gramma goose

My dad recently asked me to share a memory of my Grandma Goose (so named by my oldest cousin for her story telling prowess a la "mother goose"). i found it hard to untangle all the memories of my grandma and my grandpa who both passed away while i was still in school... i thought i'd share here in 2 posts some of what i was able to put together into words...

Memories of my Gramma Goose invoke that warm breakfasty feeling – hot coffee, cozy blankets & the smell of home made bread toasting in the oven. We were always the out of towners – travelling many miles to our grandparents house, while it seemed to me as a little child that everyone else had the advantage of grandparents year-round. My grandpa always used to remind me though, that i was the last baby to have come home to the farm, my parents having stayed a couple of weeks stint there around the time i was born. i remember as we’d be making our trek out to Saskatchewan, my dad blaring whatever theme song he had picked for that journey – one Christmas it was “i’ll be home for Christmas” & another trip it was Charlie Pride’s “Down on the Farm”. We’d pull into Gramma & Grandpa’s yard & stumble sleepily into Gramma’s kitchen... & instantly be enveloped in the warmth, smell, sounds & sights of the farm. Children tripping around sleepily, men playing their stringed instruments or crowded around an intense game of scrabble, women snuggling children, bustling around the kitchen, or preparing little sleeping nests for the wee ones... laughter and love.
Gramma would put on the toast - & we’d have a snack before heading off to bed.
i was a little scatterbrained thing. i wasn’t driven or full of ideas like some of the other children, who would organize huge games of kick the can or exploration for all the cousins. i found that i daydreamed a lot & as a result, i’d often feel like i didn’t know what was going on – or what i should be doing. i remember once, absently walking in on Gramma while she was changing & she never skipped a beat in that little crowded house, she said, “Come in!” & told me a story. i knew i was always welcome. There was always a crowd in that tiny little farm house. Her 6 children each bringing home their young families – but there were never “too many”. Gramma joked that she would put the first batch to bed, stack ‘em up against the wall & get the next batch down.
Later on, when they moved into town – into their “big double wide” – i wondered if things would ever feel the same. i remember showing up & smelling the toast & coffee - & even in my pre-adolescent mind, i realized that even through seasons of great change, there will be some small comforts that remain the same.
As a little daydreaming, people watcher – there are some scenes in which my Gramma plays a starring role that are forever etched in my memory... i remember getting into our vehicle to go back home – she was standing alone in the yard now to wave goodbye - & even though it had been a couple of years since my Grandpa had died, it still felt wrong to see her standing so tiny and solitary. My dad so tenderly held her in his arms and said, “Mom, you take care of yourself, ok?” & she responded, “i’ll feel much better once i deliver these twins...” patting her abdomen that was swollen with cancer.
Her humour wasn’t a pretence to hide fear – it was based on an understanding of Who held the future... Even as a young girl, this much was clear to me.
i remember when Gramma died & we made the trip again out to Saskatchewan for her funeral. Unrestrained grief – tiny church overflowing. We knew it was coming – but the loss of that tiny woman who jovially held the world on her capable shoulders seemed too great when we went in that tiny house, in those first sorrowful days.
It seemed appropriate that she had left a message for her children, “i’ll see you at the supper table”...
but i have an inkling...
they’ll be serving coffee... & home made bread – toasted in the oven.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Ephraim turned 4 months old on Sunday.
Will i remember these crazy days?
Will i remember it all wrong - or will there be crystal clear memories burned into my mind of this type of day...
i woke up... tired.
i had been up a few times in the night, but i couldn't for the life of me tell you at what times & who the culprits were.
Neil was one of them..
Up at 4 to get to the airport in time to catch his flight to Toronto. He passed me in the hallway & grabbed me for a quick hug & a kiss as i wandered back to bed.
He smelled so good.
i was grateful for the chance at another couple of hours as he drove off into the night.
i showered - quickly - knowing how many showers needed to happen.
My morning is a rush - balancing the needs of baby boys & adolescent girls. Breastfeeding a tiny wisp of heaven, doing pig-tails, lending T-shirts, making bagels, mediating a squabble, drying tears and listening to a story. Over the rabble, spelling the word, "yesterday", adding to the shopping list, packing a diaper bag and grabbing music. Making sure little ones have eaten, dressed, been loved on and brushed their hair and teeth. Grabbing an extra receiving blanket 'cause he just ate & we all know for every bit that goes down, some of it needs to come back up.
to smooch his drooly little face & being rewarded with a radiant smile.
Someone takes sweet 2 year old potty & i grab shoes for the one i saw leave without them.
Big sigh...
Big van...
Our neighbours are still building their garage, so i gingerly back out of our garage with our silver fox after counting little blond heads.
Smiling as i hear apologies happening...
These days...
These moments.
They're not frustrating. They're just *life*. There's lots of action, lots of words, lots of noise... & lots of love.
Times 7.
That evening - it was almost bedtime... & i happened to glance down at a sheet of paper from the church service we went to... It was dated June 13th...
He's 4 months old.
His little roundy cheeks are filling out - his little head is looking more boyish all the time... his tiny grasping fingers are getting covered with a healthy layer of chubs.
His babyhood is getting picked up like a dry leaf in the fall, whipped from the ground - carried far away to wherever that magical place is that babyhoods go when they get all used up. i plan to enjoy every twist and turn that little leaf makes before it flies out of my life...
i love these days.
i would take a hundred more just like them...

Sunday, June 13, 2010


As i was vacuuming up a half of a hot dog bun that was ground into my carpet upstairs in my bedroom, the though occurred to me...
i'm doing a pretty sloppy, quick job here....
but it's gonna look better than it did before.
& that's good.
Sometimes i think i get so caught up in having it done right that i would leave the hot dog bun there till i could do the vacuuming job justice... but do i really want vacuuming to rule my life? No.
Sometimes "better" is good enough.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

let's hear it for the boys...

These were taken right before Gagey's haircut. (& no, it's not a comb over, mama! hehe) i'll post what it really looks like soon - i have some new pics from today on my camera i have to unload soon...)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

allowances - how we do it

Neil & i couldn't figure out for a long while how to do the whole money thing. If we gave the children money - they would lose it or spend it on candy. Finally, we found out what works best for our family - & i think it's what we'll keep doing 'till this season runs it's course.
Our system begins when a child turns 8. Maybe that seems too old, or too young to some, but it's the age that seemed to make the most sense to us. Right now, we have 3 children who are under 8 - those little people can earn money by losing teeth, doing extra chores, or by having a birthday:) Other than that, we don't really give them any money. BUT, When a child (Charter - last week!) turns 8, part of their birthday present is that they get a bank account. Whoever is youngest gets $20 deposited every month - whenever another child turns 8, everyone gets a $5 raise. So, right now, Charter gets $20, Peyton gets $25, Sloan gets $30 & Cai gets $35. We've talked about a cut off date, but we didn't set one in stone... We did things this way for a couple reasons...
First off, our children do a lot of chores. We homeschool, so there are people in this house pretty much 24/7 - people making messes, creating havoc, laundry and dishes. There are always a lot of chores to do - & thankfully, there are also a lot of little hands making easy work. Their chores include the dishwasher, helping with laundry, diapers, garbages, recycling, getting the mail, cooking, general tidying and babysitting - the specifics of which probably belong in another post. i'm reasonably happy with the job we're doing keeping our little ship running pretty tight & tidy. i don't think it's unreasonable to expect our littles to work hard - & i like the idea that in return for their hard work, they're collecting a little bit in their bank accounts for future wants & needs.
Secondly, having 7 children, we know that it's going to be hard to help everyone in the same ways. We'd love to help with post secondary education, but i'm not sure what that help will look like - or what we'll be able to do. Weddings? Same deal...
Soooooo - they'll finish (home)school with a little nest egg - Neil deposits all the big girls' babysitting money in their accounts too - & the girls are sure proud of how much their accounts have grown. i'm sure over the next few years, they'll find other ways to earn money and to find ways to accomplish their goals - i hope we can help, encourage & cheer.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

i like

slow smiles
justice - in measured portions
extravagant mercy
the movie "my girl"
icy, antiqued blue
_Little Pilgrim's Progress_
gap toothed grins
bug people as drawn by 3 year olds
real mail
aretha franklin
flip flops
brown Young Chang pianos
loose fitting hats
the ocean
being a passenger
warm rain
pretty plates
holding hands
small kindnesses
when words come easily
catching a break
nursing babies
lime juice in water
wool diaper covers
this verse:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

Things i don't think my mama heard...

"Sooooo, falsehood is just a nerdy word for lie?"
"Mom, Gagey has your USB cable up his nose."

Monday, June 7, 2010

more goodbyes

You turn 8 today.
i snuck downstairs last night to say goodbye to my seven year old son & you crept down from your loft bed to snuggle me on the couch. You gave me a goofy grin as you slipped into my arms and said, "Mom, it's so weird how you do this..."
But it's tradition - so you humour me.
You're so excited to grow up - & i feel so lucky that i get to watch.
i told you how one of my favourite qualities about you is your enthusiasm. Whenever we're doing something - you're the first to hop on board & get excited.
i told you about the day you were born... & how the nurses all exclaimed over your giant hands.
We compared our hands - yours are still big beefy things - just like your dad's.
i asked you if i could pray a special birthday prayer for you - & to my surprise you said, "i want to pray for you too mom..."
i prayed for you - a blessing on my sweet son, rocketing through his childhood years, and filling his mama with gratitude...
& you prayed for me too - with your arms wrapped tightly around my neck & your mouth just at my ear... i heard the catch in your voice as you talked to your Father... He has your heart, Charter, He won't ever let you go.
But now - the smell of scrambled eggs is filling the house as your big sisters prepare your birthday breakfast in bed - & anytime now, i'm gonna meet my fresh faced 8 year old.
i sure love you, paxy bear, chew man, charts...
Happy Birthday.

Friday, June 4, 2010

in pursuit of...

sometimes i wonder
if i'm supposed to be pursuing
life more
Reaching for what i could attain...
Reaching down lifting wee
to higher ground.
& it seems to me...
when it's all sifted - and laid bare,
that He's all i need.
fill me, Father.
Strip it all away again.
Humble me -
Master Craftsman.
Claim me.
You are all that is worthy of -

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Recently, Neil took our 3 "middlies" on a business trip with him & left me at home with my 2 big girls & my 2 teeny boys. His business was taking him to BC, where my inlaws live, & had just recently moved into a new condo. My littles were pretty excited to see their Gam & Gamp's new home & to have a little vacation to boot. Neil's parents had decorated their new place, bought a new dining set & settled in nicely. When my crew came home, Neil said he had a funny story for me.
Apparently, after supper one night, my mother in law went to go wipe her new table... & discovered some scratches in it...
Upon careful examination... the scratches revealed a name.
As Neil was telling me this story, my stomach fell... "oooohhhh, noooooooo.... pullllleeeeze no..." i moaned...
"& scratched into the table were the letters, "E-M-M-A"
Bless you, Emma, sweet little niece of ours.
After all, it was our child who pooped on the carpet in their brand new house while we were getting our first tour last time they moved, so i figure we're about even now...
Besides, our children would never deface home & property like that...

In the fort

Can you see this one? "mollen" on the back of the couch... with Cai's deoderant...

Permanent marker on Cai's sheets...

Back deck...

Cai & Moll's wall

Upstairs hallway... i wonder what disrupted the artist - & stopped her from completing this beauty?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

baby brothers

Such sweet lovin'...
i get a kick out of these 2 sweet little brothers.
& i'm lovin' watching them love each other...
Sometimes one more than the other.
But, i feel certain that little lovey won't stay behind too long.
He's just growing so fast...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

what we didn't give you...

Gagey - daddy always joked when i was pregnant with you that the baby inside didn't know what he was getting into. He said you thought you were going to be an only child & that you'd be spoiled rotten.
We giggled as we imagined you thinking you'd have the world by the tail - your own room, vacations and a mom & a dad all to yourself.
That's what we didn't give you...
i hope you will always see the beauty in what we did.


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