Archive for June, 2010

Iced Tea

This is not a picture of what I am up to right now… I am drinking an iced tea, however. The similarities stop there. That day I was on the patio with my feet up watching the kids play. Tonight I am baking bread, in the evening, with a big old fan working hard to pull the cool evening air into my killer hot kitchen.

My man made me a creamy iced cold roobois tea tonight! That sweetness from my man deserves a blog nod! Thank you honey! It is making it easier to get my 8 loaves through!

Bread day doesn’t stop for the summer. I still have to get my weekly batch through… so I mix it before the heat of the day, pound it down the majority of the day and then cook it once the sun goes down in an attempt to not get too hot in this unairconditioned old house of ours.

I am working hard wearing my fav cowgirl hat and thinking about the wonderful summer day that has just fallen asleep. All four of babies are playing down stairs where it is cool… too hot to sleep in their rooms yet and they napped all afternoon (FOUR HOURS) so they deserve a late night. They are on storm watch! Any minute now a storm is going to roll in. The clouds have been coming all day and the thunder is starting to make itself heard. I plan to pop another couple loaves in the oven and sit at the big window with the kids while we watch the lightning.

What is this post about? Love of course:)

P.s. BOY did we get a storm! Wind whipping our pine trees around, rain coming down in sheets and then hail, constant lightening and every now and then a boom of thunder that send shivers down every one’s spine. There was one crack right over our house that made my husband jump back from the window (he loves storms) and sent Baby Boy screaming madly and running blindly across the house… we think he meant to find Daddy who was in the kitchen but he really seemed to just go off like a rocket with no specific target in mind… he was just SCARED! Baby Boy didn’t let Daddy put him down, after that one, till the storm was over. We all stayed up late till it had passed. It was an amazing storm!


Souleio (with friends) !

I have been doing the poker ladies thing for years now and once a year we get together at a nice restaurant. It is always fun to explore fine dining! Souleio was very different and beautiful. It is in an old building in the middle of a forgotten part of down town. You hardly notice it if you don’t know it is there but once you walk in you never forget it. It has market goods too and all sorts of local and organic quality items. Just exploring what they have on their shelves is fun and exciting. I found a jar of apple pickles there last time and chai spiced prunes that I would like to explore by buying and opening the jars. All the preserves get me! They are so unique and inviting!It also has a large menu and offers family meal take out and wine tasting. There is a deli, a selection of cheese and bakery on site.

( I have had this amazing spring salad before, it is a FAVORITE of mine!)
(Mmmmmmm mango pie!)
(We all know what this is! And my sister Mirelle said is was really good!)

The food is as captivating as the building. After looking around you order and sit to eat and then all you can think about is each mouthful!The conversation was also fabulous! I really enjoy getting to go out with such great ladies!


Big Girl Becomes Spring Bean

I feel like it is time to give my four new nicknames. They have changed and grown so much I want my blog pet names to reflect that. I plan to put a little post to each as an introduction to their new pet name.

Spring Bean

She is getting so tall, so slim we can’t help but look at her and call her spring bean.
(All three pictures are of my oldest two playing their invented version of hockey.)

You are strong.
You are determined.
You are unique.
You are artistic.
You have your own style.
You are brave.
You are beautiful.

You are growing up and changing and all for the best.
May you continue to work at patience and embrace being young while you are.
May you be a little girl while you are a little girl.
If you can do this you will grow in grace, joy, peace and true beauty.


Summer Days, Soccer Craze!

The rules of soccer are very simple, basically it is this: if it moves, kick it. If it doesn’t move, kick it until it does.
~Phil Woosnam, 1974

Soccer is a BLESSING!
Because it gets our family together!

Garnet and I where just having a calm cup of tea on the patio together while the kids played when all of a sudden I was on my own because a soccer match broke out! Only on my own long enough to sit and take a few pictures and then join in. It just so happens that we always seem to have a rip roaring good time as a family when we have a good soccer match in the yard.

(The crowd is wild!! Well maybe not… eventually they got involved in the game too and then they got pretty wild. No more side lines for these two babes of mine. Just last year they could only watch!)

(I always love to see my man with the kids. He is very good at playing with them and I appreciate the effort he puts into that!)(Baby Boy is fearless about getting right in there, as you can see… the problem is he often just wants the ball and once he has it he will run off the field with the other players in hot pursuit!)
(Little Woman is yelling out the rules, just like her role model Big Girl would. She makes her sister proud!)

We laugh so hard and play so hard together! Summer days are here! My older two will be home any minute now from their last day of school… school might be officially over today but we have already been intoxicated with the joy of summer for some time!

Summer is the time when one sheds one’s tensions with one’s clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all’s right with the world.
~Ada Louise Huxtable


A Little Elbow Grease!

Can it get any cuter? Both my girls scrubbing away at the tub and with great enthusiasm! I was frustrated with how all of their toiletry habits had slacked off lately and so I decided a good dose of cleaning the bathroom would enlighten them to the necessity of toiletry manners. How was I to know that they would get a kick out of it and actually enjoy it?

The girls took it very seriously and kept checking, by rubbing the tub wall, to see it the ‘gunk’ was gone and then they took turns using the spritzer bottle because it was so fun it had to be shared. By the way, that is my all natural home made cleaning product so I know it will not hurt them to get it on themselves as they work.

Started in the tub but pretty soon they had cleaned up the sink, floor and even the toilet! All was done with a sing song. Little Woman kept saying ‘it is like we are princesses’, I am assuming she means Cinderella (he he he). Big Girl took the opportunity to write more songs and practice them in the bathroom acoustics. The reverb in a bathroom is so handy, who can resist it? Gives you the chance to learn pitch control.

I know, it all sounds like a mother’s fairytale but once they where done they actually asked if it could be there job! They where so proud of themselves! Everything was so shiny and they had done it all by themselves! I am finding more and more you don’t need to punish your kids with chores… put a little faith in them, give them a crack at it and you will find a little confident princess or two at the end.

P.s. I strongly believe in boys learning good house cleaning too and although Big Boy managed to fall asleep and skip the job he got away with nothing. I have three bathrooms and there was plenty of work in the other two waiting for him the next day.


Our Vow Renewal

(Garnet and I are standing in front of the tree we got engaged under… over 11 years age. We sat together, leaning against the tree…I was reading him the first chapter in Galatians and he burst out ‘will you marry me’)

Many years ago I decided I wanted to have a vow renewal when the kids where little still. There where many reasons for it. I knew the girls would really love the experiences, I wanted to wear my wedding dress again, especially once I was done having children, and it is another reason to celebrate life, love and family.

We joke that after Garnet proved himself unable to remember special dates like our anniversary we made a deal. I wouldn’t fuss about the missed dates and he would let me throw a big anniversary party every 10 years. He thought he won but once the ceremony came upon him he knew I won (wink).
We decided to make it special we would amerce our family with special little things because the little things are what is important, and remembered! For example, the girls and I got our hair professionally done and they decided they wanted to have floral crowns instead of bouquets. The guys wore something comfortable instead of super formal. They all looked great in their button up shirts and jeans.

One very special little moment between me and the girls was when we kicked off our shoes as we walked down the isle. I had always wanted to do it bare foot!

Garnet and I going back to our engagement tree and getting pictures done there was very big on the must do list. A good friend, Esther, who is a talented photographer did this for us.

The day was also beautiful because of all the little ways important people in our lives took part.
My sister Mirelle sang a BEAUTIFUL song as we walked down the isle. It was breath taking and I felt so blessed to have her do that for me!

Both sides parents and siblings with their families made it out! Each family had to make an effort to be there, some postponed trips and others traveled far (even though very pregnant) and others still took time off work. I don’t think we have all been together at once since our first ceremony!

(My Mom and Dad)
(Garnet’s Mom and Dad)

Garnet and I wrote our vows and most know already that I found it pretty tough. I was nervous and tried many times to sneak a peek at Garnet’s but he wouldn’t let me. Turned out fabulous. His was about our past and present and mine was about our present and future! I can’t explain how much I appreciated Garnet’s vows… they meant a lot to me… Closed with the very traditional ’till death do us part’ vows and a kiss.

It was adorable how the kids just congregated around, the girls especially where very much into the whole thing. They danced at our feet and watched us, giggling now and then.
Our kiss was much tamer this time round. It felt very different having all our little nieces starring at us.

I played our song on a little stereo after the vows, “Loving A Person” by Sara Groves. We held hands and thought about how hard but rewarding these 10 years together have been.

My Dad then stood and closed in prayer for us, another big moment for me. I held it together till he was done and he and mom hugged me… then I cried. My parents are so precious to me.
A very short ceremony but so special! Right down the cute little church we rented and the leather couches instead of pews that everyone got to sit on.

We finished up with a busy family gathering at our house with boat loads of good food! The girls and I put on less formal dresses so we could have more fun and be more relaxed.The craziness of a big family gathering was actually very comforting to me that day. As it started to slow down and many of us moved to my sitting room up stairs and chatted I felt very thankful for my family. Most everyone left and Garrison and Mirelle stayed well into the night to watch a movie with us.A long day that was amazingly not stressful but fun and so pretty!

Father’s Day!

I really like Father’s Day.
Probably because I really like my Dad and my husband.
Probably because I respect my Father in law as a dad and a super grandpa and my brothers and my brother in law as great dads to their girls.
Basically I like father’s day a lot because Dad’s rock and I have so many good examples of that around me.
(Garnet and his brother kicking back while, as you can see in the below picture, Grandpa does the work. Pop is teaching the kids to play boccie.)

Today heard a preacher’s message, of course, about fathers. I was again not surprised at how it was uncomfortable at points… because there is something lurking in our society, an undercurrent that is unafraid to go nuts on the praise for moms but almost feels guilty if they do the same for dad. It can even leak into church… I think it is distasteful to have this oil slick in our society, spreading into all our ideas about Dads.

My Dad rocks. He sacrificed much for us. We where his best pals growing up and he always put us ahead of friends or at least took us with when he occasionally did stuff with friends. HE LOVED including us and could even wear us out with his enthusiasm FOR US. He showed us how to live life like an adventure! He taught us to value people above stuff, and above all else value Jesus Christ. He so clearly loves his kids!My Husband rocks. He gives so much of himself. He has willingly changed and grown to be a deliberately better dad. Garnet understands it is about TIME with the kids! He also doesn’t listen to dad labels. He is his own version based on what he feels the kids need from him. Not old fashioned to the point of putting work above his kids or not valuing the importance of affection and time that a dad must give to his kids to be truly effective… and not too modern to require respect from them and put consequences in play when needed.

(My man and I at the river today.)

God didn’t call himself our Father because they are not as great as Mom’s. Abba Father isn’t meant to be underrated… He knows dads are important and most are awesome and so as I appreciate and adore my Father in Heaven I hope I can show enough appreciation to the dads I know, doing their best, down here:)Women crave appreciation, I sure do, so why not give it to our men!? I know the beautiful moms around me would totally agree!


A Couch and A Water Heater Spell Romance At Our House

Our tenth anniversary came and went, not quietly for we had a big party and vow renewal. BUT we didn’t really focus on a gift for one another from one another.

I was sitting on my new couch the other day and realized it had been nicely delivered just two days before our big day… so I now call it my anniversary gift. I guess I got Garnet a hot water heater because just days before the ceremony we had to replace our now dead one.

The whole buying gifts thing seems easily confusing once married. Really truth be told I bought myself the couch with what I save of my baby cheques and Garnet bought the water heater. I guess we both enjoy each very much so it doesn’t really matter. I feel like as long as we are providing for one anothers needs we are always gift giving:)

(The other piece of furniture to replace the old blue set that went to the basement family room.)


What I Need is More Kids!

I figured that title would get the attention of some, especially family;)I spent the day trying to shake the blues… it was raining and although I love the rain I have a little storm going on in my house that makes even the fresh spring rains hard to take. Baby Boy has taken to yelling all day. A miserable, angry, discontent, complaining kinda sound is all I get from him lately. A couple days of this and I feel like I have never been so tired.

It is amazing how mental strain and noise can really wipe you out! At the same time I have been so inactive (because all he wants is to be held) I think my body might just take off at a run without me! We sit on the couch so much together I get desperate and start walking him around, while I try to do choirs and HE IS HEAVY! If I have to walk the floors with this big kid for one more hour my feet will retire and look for other work! My back is gonna lock up any time now! It happened with Big Boy at this age! He got SO big and wouldn’t let me put him down until I had no choice. My back locked up half way to bending down towards him and that was that… Mommy had to give him, and herself some tough love and stop the constant pampering.

It is so hard to ignore my Baby Boy, he is my last baby for crying out loud! Seriously, I cry out loud about that some times still! So I figure if I just got me another kid younger then Baby Boy he would have to toughen up like the other three had too… but then I suppose you can’t go with that plan for ever and the needy toddler will be a cycle that just continues to be repeated…

My husbanded showed great sympathy on the phone today… he didn’t try to fix it or question me on what I am doing wrong, he just understood. That is all a tired out Mama needs now and then, some compassion and understanding. Points for Garnet!

Ha ha ha, oh it felt good to complain! Have a great day!

P.s. It doesn’t help that I am going through ‘Chuck’ withdrawal… it is a TV show we bought a season one DVD for and now that we finished the season I am resorting to watching clips of it on the Internet!


A Little Sporty

Big Boy had a great soccer season. We even managed to squeeze in a tournament the weekend of our vow renewal! He played hard this year and we could tell he was really liking it and feeling like it was HIS THING. He gets the soccer bug now. When the snow started to melt and I took him to sign up I remember he talked about it almost daily after that. I heard him telling a neighborhood pal “I am on an actual team. I got a soccer team!” So nice for him to have this to enjoy each spring.

(Check out the below pictures of my oldest messing around on the side lines at her brothers game!)

So I may actually have a sport convert on my hands! Well her style of sport anyhow… Big Girl used to scream at every soccer practice when she was on a team “TAKE ME HOME! I HATE SOCCER!” Pretty clear! Well we don’t have a big extra curricular budget in this family so when the school started a free skipping club I was thrilled she wanted to join. They learned tricks and stunt and I think something clicked in my girl! Sports aren’t just soccer, hockey or basketball! You can do skipping, baton and gymnastics, rock climbing! Well these are the sports she is insisting she needs to get involved in now. Being 8 she is now old enough to really work on her mom and dad, wheeling and dealing. I have no idea if we will put her in any or if we can but I love to see her finding her own place in the SPORTY side of life.

BUT if she does one more cartwheel in the house I will flip my lid! She kicked her brother in the face the other day, causing a bloody lip, when doing one of her flips.TTFN