Apr 18, 2015

Spring Sinking In


It's officially been Spring for almost a month now but the weather here has been far from Spring-like!  That is, until the last week or so.  Finally the weather has caught up with the calendar and I couldn't be happier!


It was a long winter!!  Not nearly as cold as last year, at least in our opinions, but it certainly was long...and gloomy!  But the last few days have been warm and SUNNY!



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I never realize how much I love the sunshine until it's gone for a time and then comes back!  I do love a rainy day, especially where there is nothing pressing and creative juices are flowing, but these days of late basked in the sun's golden rays, have warmed my soul!


I find it so rejuvenating when the sun shines and the wind is warm bringing with it smells of mud mixed with the newness of Spring!  I love to open the windows and shake off the stuffiness of winter and bring in the fresh!




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This winter has seem particularly stuffy and I am in no way sorry to see it go...mind you, with it went my hubby's employment, but we pray that as new growth springs forth so will the opportunities for him...for us!  So if anyone is wondering, no he hasn't found employment yet.  We are still searching and praying and in the mean time God is continually teaching us and is providing for us! And we are keeping busy!  Busy with enjoying these wonderful Spring days, when optimism runs high and the days long!



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Even with high optimism and glorious, sunshiny days, there is sadness.  A loss of an Aunt for my hubby and my dear friend Grace is in need of prayers, as her battle with cancer is hard right now.  It's hard to watch someone you care about hurt and struggle and to be completely helpless - so I petition your prayers for her and for all of those in challenging times right now!


Grace means so much to me...to us, and she has been an amazing example of God's goodness in our lives and she lives our her name so well....so much so that we gave Alice her name for a middle name.  I am thankful for the friendship I have with Grace and I treasure it immensely - so please, pray!




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Spring always brings a sense of hope to me.  Hope in trials faced, in possibilities and in the unknown of the future....and hope gives me much strength.  There are so many wonderful verses that come to mind when I put my focus on His hope!



It is a crazy world we are living in and it's growing crazier all the time - but there is comfort!  Comfort in our God, in knowing Him and having His helper in our lives!  It is taking time to reflect on His truths and to search out His ways.  There is great comfort in finding joy.  Searching it out each day, to see joy in the big ways and the little ways.  It isn't always easy but it is possible!





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And so as the ground dries, the puddles disappear, the buds burst forth and while there are moments of doubt, of worry and bouts of sadness - I will try to choose joy!  To give focus to what is good, what is God, in the moments around me.  I pray for His strength and I am thankful He has already promised it!


Spring is filled with opportunities to see God at work, to see His glory and to witness His hope and comfort!  So as the warmth of the season comes upon you, let it sink in, deep down, and bring new life to your weary and winter worn soul!







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Apr 12, 2015

A Silver Lined Time


Well, it's been over a week now.  A week since they came and almost a week since they left.  Yes, for five wonderful days and five fantastic nights we hosted the Silver family!


It was better then I could have ever anticipated!  Meeting Bevy (and her family) from Treasured Up and Pondered.




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You can read her post here about our mad capped, coffee filled adventures! And in the mean time you can stick around here for my version of events!


First off - I'm clarifying that on day two - the first morning they awoke here - the kids were not up at 6:00/6:30am but in fact were up before 5:30am!!! Just saying...someone was sleeping in....and it wasn't me!

LOL!


So when they arrived and it was all I could do to keep from crying, for JOY!  Bevy and I had talked so much about this moment and it had finally come!  They were at my door for real!!  And people, her kids; EVEN CUTER in person!!!!




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I had somewhat planned out their time with us but still left room for spontaneity and so, on the Friday, we let the weather and a gut feeling take us to a local sugar bush.  Time to take in real Canadian maple syrup!




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After trompping through mud and woods and then more mud we got to go watch them boil the sap and venture through the self guided museum.  OH and they even had a few free samples to fuel us along!




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It was the perfect day to hit up the maple syrup farm and much fun was had by all!! And by the end of our outing, the kiddos were fast friends and you'd never have known that they had only known each other for about twenty-four hours!





All six of the kids got along so well and they all doted on the baby, so everyone was happy...most of the time!  They played, watched movies, muddled in mud, read stories, giggled, told jokes and all around were one happy gang of kiddlets!


And it didn't take long for us adults to get comfy with each other and that feeling of "old friends coming together again" was just so evident!  There were lots and lots and then more, pots of coffee! I believe Dave made about 60 cups of coffee in one day!  And yes, SOME of that might have been poured out and not allowed to be re-heated in the microwave - (Sorry Scott...but not really sorry! hehehe!)  We had grand chats!  Talks of family, faith, struggles, dreams, past stories, puns and anything else good friends like to chat about.  There were board games and goodies and new treats to try - like pretzels and ice cream!! Bevy how dare you hold that one out on me...and yet, how dare you share it with me...I'll never eat ice cream the same again! Hahah!


Scott and Bev got so homey in our home...err, their Canadian home, that they made us breakfast one morning!!



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Our Besties came out a couple of times to join in the shenanigans and the fellowship and fun was just that much more!  So on the Saturday, with eight kids under eight, us ladies got away and left the good men minding the gaggle of kids, while we took in some shopping and yes, more coffee!




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Another glorious day and just a nice time to be out, take in the country side and some sweet shops.  And speaking of sweet, after all the lovely and generous gifts Bevy and her family brought us we at least got to surprise them with a few Canadian only treats!  Such as Kinder Eggs for the kids! Chocolate and a toy all in one - I can't believe you can't get these in the U.S.!  But the kids sure enjoyed them!!




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And one of the greatest things about the whole time was being able to spend Easter with them all!!  And I hate to admit it, and I'll regret that I did but that morning we bathed six kids, had a big breakfast, took a few family photos, I even got a shower and we were still early for church! HAHAhaha!  I'll never live it down when we are late again! ;)


But it was another lovely, be it cooler day and it was a pleasure to bring Bevy and her family to our little church!  My three little ladies looked so sweet in their coordinating skirts that Bevy made herself!   And that evening, with our Besties joining us again, we all celebrated our risen King with much fellowship, laughs, encouragement and hearts connecting!




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Well, that certainly does not cover all the happenings of our wonderful time together but it is the highlights...in a nut shell!  I still can't believe our sweet time together is over!  That they are home again and life continues on...


I learned a word from Bevy a few years ago, and it's one that Dave and I use with our Besties but after this meeting with these new friends and with how God has blessed this time and this coming together, it was the perfect word to end our time with....





For how can two families come together, not ever meeting prior, one travelling to another country, one opening their home and thus their lives, and it all just mesh so beautifully?!  It is friendship and it is family, His family!  Fremily!


It was such a blessing to share that time with Bevy, I honestly cannot put it all into words.  I feel that we are some of the dearest friends now...people have asked me, since the Silver's have left, if Bevy was all that I thought she would be...


...and my answer is always, "Yes, yes she was! Exactly who I knew she would be!"  And in my heart it's because I know we are sisters, sister in Christ!





Fremily!






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Apr 1, 2015

Welcoming Treasured Friends


Well, it's happening, for real, real REAL!  I've read it on other blogs, dreamt it might actually be and sometime tomorrow morning it will come to fruition!


I am meeting a blog friend!!

Bevy, from Treasured Up and Pondered, is coming, with her family, to my house!!!!

Excited doesn't even cut it!

So I shall be a bit absent as we have plans for them to stay five nights and five fun filled days!! It's going to be great, I just know it - as even though we have never met in person, I feel as if they are all old pals coming to stay with us!

The "weekend" should be a wonderful mix of coffee, food, chats, activities, coffee, chats, late nights, visits, coffee, corralling children, coffee and what ever else may be!

So a blessed and Happy Easter to all!  Celebrate our risen Lord!!

HALLELUJAH!!

Praise the KING!!!


I'm ecstatic to share this extremely special weekend with Bevy and her family! What a blessing!!


I just pray that our Canadian weather behaves decently!





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Mar 28, 2015

March Break Madness - Part 2 - Our Second is Six!!!


The other only 'event' of our gals' March break was our Catherine turning.....



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Six, can I believe it!?!  Yes, our second sweet Little is six years old!




As per usual for Birthday's, after their first one, we keep it simple.  Some decorations, a few gifts, cake and what ever family that can make it in that day. (With the rest popping in close to the day)  Outside it was cold, but indoors there was pizza, fizzy drinks, cake, gifts and a very happy and excited Birthday girl!


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I had asked Catherine what kind of cake she wanted and she requested, "A vanilla and strawberry one.  I also want a Barbie on the cake and the Barbie's clothes could be made of icing and her real clothes could be the gift!" (insert crazy child laugh after that last sentence! She's a nut sometimes!)


So I obliged....well...mostly....after forgetting she wanted vanilla and baked a chocolate cake instead...but she's a good sport and said that was okay.  Thanks Catherine, you're a doll!  Also using creative license, I switched out icing for my trusty old marshmallow fondant for the "clothes"!





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Love.That.Stuff!  If you want the recipe just search "fondant" in the search bar in the upper left hand corner of my blog.  It will pull up a number of the posts where I have used it and one that contains the recipe I use.  

Needless to say, I think, my little gal was happy with her fairy princess cake!





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Actually, I'm pretty sure she had forgotten she had even asked for the Barbie cake and so was wonderfully surprised when she saw it!!  I think this was my most fun cake to make!  I'm glad I've tried to keep up my mother-in-law's tradition of fun cakes, not every year has been this elaborate but at least something a little special for the birthday person.  I enjoy putting my own spin on it though, the fun cake, with new ideas and 3D cakes!


So a fun day was had by all...except for the baby who desperately wanted a balloon and every time she got her hands on one we whisked it away from her!  Pooor baby!  But yes, other then that, fun was certainly had!  






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Happy Birthday Catherine! 
Our sweet, smiley, snuggly, silly, six year old!!!
We love you!! 





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Mar 25, 2015

March Break Madness - Part 1 - Museum Fun!


Our oldest two gals just finished their two week March break and what fun we had!  Okay...fun AFTER the first week...well, they had fun on week one but hubby and I, we were sick! UGH!  That nasty chest cold and cough had us drained and down and out! 


But after some R&R we stayed true to our plans and got away for the day to the Nation's Capital and to the Canadian Museum of History which also houses the Children's Museum. 



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And so starting later then anticipated, with being sick, our March break madness was off to a grand start!  Starting with the ride up to Ottawa, where as we were driving along we spotted this great storage unit sitting on the side of the road.  Both Dave and I were all, "Turn around!!!"  And we went back to pick it up.  We have been looking for one of these things to use in our entry way to house mittens, hats and whatever but they usually run upwards of $70-$80 and when we saw it just sitting there, calling to us, we had to pick it up....even IF it meant we considered leaving the stroller on the side of the road to fit it in the van!  But no, hubby worked some packing 'magic' and fit both the stroller and storage bin thingy in!  

So the girls miiight have been a tad..squished...ish....just a tad...  but packed away everything was and off we were again!


When we arrived the museum was busy! They had an around the world exhibit where the kids got "passports" that they could stamp at each location.  There were activities, hands on learning materials, videos, costumes, and a bunch of other things for them to enjoy!  


Even the baby was thrilled with all the action!





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We took it all in!  ALL.OF.IT!  We got a free library pass and 'brown bagged' our lunch, so other then gas and parking it was a relatively inexpensive day - and we made the most of it!  We were there over two hours and the older three kiddos never stopped go, go, going...



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They loved it all!  Olivia and Joe were a bit overwhelmed by the crowds, at first, but our Catherine, she just 'dove' right in!  They ran from one thing to the next, playing, exploring and just having a grand ol' time...except for the baby, who eventually grew quite tired of it all....



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Poor bean!  She did eventually fall asleep, which was good because the other three were not done having fun!  There were more stamps to collect in passports, a mural that Olivia thought we should paint in our house, a 'rock wall' that needed re-building and an entire room of Bob the Builder things and activities!




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And when Dave and I were tired and hungry we dragged them out to eat lunch and then pack them back into the car for the long ride home!  They yammered away while we ventured through construction, detours and arguing with our GPS, talking about all the fun they had.  But by the time we hit the open highway there was silence in the back seats....





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Other then the baby....she was ready to go again!





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