Archive for July, 2010

Bean in a Bag

Big Girl brought home a little sprout at the end of the school year, a little sprout in a bag. We watched the roots form and watered it daily (just a little). As the vine grew it became clear we had a bean in a bag. Today Big Girl and I both squealed when we found A VEGETABLE! The bean plant that could DID! It had a bean! Yes had, for it only lasted long enough to get a picture then it was popped into Big Girls mouth. “Mmmmm, fresh!” she said. He he he, you can’t get much fresher then that!TTFN

Nothing! The Best Kind of Summer Plans In My Book!

I’ve decided I need to live some where else. I need shorter winters! Longer summers! Not hotter summers, just longer!

Summers are too short here (especially when it turns into a rainy season like this year) and I put to much pressure on myself to live life to the full! I feel like I should get it all done because I can do so little come winter… and I miss the kinda summer days I actually love… lazy days at the lake, lazy park days, lazy days puttering in my yard.

(Our last trip to the lake… ahhhh wish I was there again already!)

Forget the house! That messy house will wait for me and will be all I get to look at and work at all winter! For me, puttering at home, in my yard is the best! I could work on my yard with great joy all day and then play hard with the kids afterwards as a sweet and true reward. Forget big suppers. Come summer I forget that I even kinda like to cook…Eating a lazy supper of raw veggies and yet another sandwich is the perfect conclusion for me.Yesterday my eldest son and I weed whacked part of the back alley lawn BY HAND! We snipped and racked for almost two hours and the monstrous pile was proof of our victory, even thought there is plenty more work back there for another day. He is such great work company. He sets his mind on the task at hand, doesn’t complain or talk my ear off. We just bent our backs and worked side by side till the sweat poured.We went in for a cool drink and then ran through the sprinkler till we where beyond wet. Sitting in the sun I closed my eyes and told myself to remembered this is summer to me…If only I could convince my mind to stop finding things that need to be done and if only being done didn’t mean taking me away from my little house!


Robbie Seay Band – Love Invades

One of my favorite bands right now. I really appreciate their style of worship.

Jesus The Great Listener

You are the great listener.

You know I am not so great at listening.

You speak to me anyways, You find a way, You bring me your way.

You let me come to you in all the times of life.

You wait and call out to me when I am not coming.

I come to you in so many different states.
Today I might come to you calmly with a confident request.
Tomorrow I might return joyfully and thankfully with a blessed burden.
Today I might come to you with crushing emotion and a desperate request.
Tomorrow I might come to you defiantly, struggling with trust and breaking under a burden.

Through it all you always let me come.
No matter how often and how weak or strong I am you let me come.

When I can come, give it and walk away in peace but once, you let me come.
When I have to return over and over and choose to leave it and then walk away choosing to be at peace, you let me come.

Lord Jesus I thank you for the place to come… for you being my place to come no matter what…
I thank you that there is no formula to our relationship, no zone; no person I have to pretend to be or find with in before I can come to you.

You are the great listener.
You are the place I can put my burdens down.
You are the place of answers.
You are.

Thank you my Jesus!


A Week Of Suppers!

I love menu planning! I now have such a folder full I can just pull them out (grocery lists included) and go at it again! As way of showing a regular, repetitious oh so real, big deal part of my world I thought I would show a week of meals that where successful thanks to my menu set up. Please note I find planning only for the work week is best for me, thus 5 meals! Saturday is always left overs and Sunday is always a simple supper like eggs, pancakes or faspa ( a traditional Mennonite light meal between lunch and supper).


Tex Mex Chicken and Rice Casserole

This BIG FILLING meal is only on the list because of the oodles of cheese and veggies mixed in with the rice… otherwise… I am not one who likes to mix rice in with other food.


Sweet and Spicy Mac Chili

A rainy day made it the perfect night for this macaroni chili and some home made bread with butter. We sweetened the chili with coconut sugar so my man could enjoy it as well.


Northern Pickerel and Fresh Tzatziki Sauce.

Normally we would have served up this home made tzatziki with salmon but thanks to my Dad we had fresh pickerel!


Home Fries and Feta Salad

Everyone has a nuts day when the menu doesn’t go according to plan (forgot to take out the meat) well this meal developed on such a day and ended up making everyone happy. Potatoes are a rare treat around here so the kids where tickled to get home made fries with their salad and kippers. My guy was able to handle them by mostly sticking to the sweet potato fries mixed in (less starch).


Mac and Cheese Pizza

This kid friendly meal was so pretty in prep I have to share a few pictures of it. Although not the biggest hit with mom and dad (we weren’t that impressed with a crust of macaroni and cheese sauce) the kids LOVED IT!

When I make it through another weeks menu and look back I always feel relieved and successful:)


Our Summer Project:)

My four and I where looking for a summer adventure,
a project,
to keep us going during the week,
you know,
jumping out of bed with enthusiasm and not wasting a single summer day!

There are over 50 kiddy pools in our city, I believe. So we stuck to spray parks! Our summer project for 2010 is to explore and rate (just for fun) all the spray parks in the city. We have done 6 so far, not counting the large puddle we swam in at a small park near by. It has been a lot of fun!Each day we get up and I tell the kids we are going to explore another new park and they grab our beach bag and are ready to go in no time. We all look forward to the next park and are finding it a great way to familiarize ourselves with more of our city. It is a lovely way to get us talking; working out our likes and dislikes about parks, picking the next one, deciding when to revisit one.
We rate the play grounds as well and feel like we have found some real gems.Here’s to many more days packing the van with towels, drinks, snacks, the camera and four excited kids! Here’s to our summer adventures!


Road Trip (anew an Auntie)

Road trip! South on a two hour drive to meet my nephew. He is my first! It has been raining nieces for some time. Needless to say, my oldest boy is thrilled to have some more guys in the family! My two little men have been the only boy cousins till now.

A brand new little bundle was handed to me right away. Photos where snapped and a big grin came effortlessly to my face. There is an instant joy that envelopes a person every time you meet a new life. I held him and he snuggled so sweetly. Before I knew it I was slumped into the couch with him on my chest and we where both completely at peace with the world. Ahhh, another part about new babies I remember so fondly, the way they can just slow you right down and make you want to stair at them endlessly… it is all so very calming.

I don’t think my heart will ever stop loving, longing for babies. Forever embracing the memories of my own precious four helps…


Hold Lightly

Learning to hold lightly. An image of hands comes to mind.

Picture hands out stretched, slightly reaching up, palms open and held out with ease.
An image of trust, of expectation and of focus beyond ones self. Hands open speak of freedom.Now picture hands clenched, held to ones chest or wrapped around ones body firmly.
An image of lack of trust, fear, and self focus. Hands clutched speak of captivity.We can’t receive from Christ unless we put our hands out there, put our focus on him. With our hands lifted up we WILL receive… at this point we must continue to hold our hands out, not loosing trust or holding tightly to what we are given because once the hands are clenched and drawn near to ones self nothing more can be put in. We might prevent loosing but we also loose great gain, we prevent him putting more into our lives. Yes with them open perhaps he will take out of them as he put in but this is where trust in him comes into play. We must trust his motives. Christ Jesus gives and he takes and he wants us to only cling to him.

Freedom in Christ is found when we are not captive to our self image, our possessions, our people. All that is good has been given and given by Jesus. The call is to hold lightly to every thing and everyone. The call is to cling to Jesus.

P.s. Thanks so much for our talk Sheryl. It really helped sharpen the image that I have been receiving and the gift/lesson that I have been learning.


Long-Distance Grand-parenting: What Works for Us

Marriage Monday!
Long distance Grand-parenting was NEVER my hope or plan. To this day it is NOT my ideal. For the first five years of being parents we had no grandparents close by. One set was 6 hours north and the other 4 hours south. Everyone needs support and naturally grandparents often fill that role but we became very good at finding and building family relationships with friends in our community so we had physical support. That is what is really missing when grand folks aren’t near by, physical support… thanks to phones and prayer they can still be spiritual and emotional support. We watched other families with their parents involved often daily and we wished for it terribly. We saw the benefits and they who had it often just shared the negatives… the risk of being too involved in one anothers lives I guess was the big one.

We are in a different place now and have grand folks very very close by (blocks away). My husbands mom and dad are readily available and we see the difference it makes in our kids (all good) and the security it adds to our families life.

We have both situations… My parents are still long distance grand parents and that can be hard since parents are very important to a daughter who is now a mom. Seeing this as the way it shall be we have worked at finding things that work. Husband and wife have to get on the same page and decide to make LOTS of effort where the distant grandparents are concerned.


We try to always have our doors open for them. We might not have a perfect set up for guests but we try really really hard to make it work when they need us because we wanted to seize every opportunity of time together with them.
Try to find the money to visit them! Going their way is a good idea! The kids find it magical to visit their far off grandparents and so planning trips well in advance to make it happen is important (even if not easy).
Find a regular story telling service. I BLOG! I have a private family newsletter where I try to put lots of pictures up and lots of info on us as we grow and change as a family. It is excellent for my folks. Phone plans help too! This way the kids can talk with their grandparents and build relationship that way!
Find the time to tell your kids stories about the long distant grand folks. Talk about visits past and future and just tell them about their grandparents lots.
Pray. Prayer bridges the gap a lot. When lonely, when impatient… when ever you need you can pray for your folks and knowing mine pray for us regularly too is a big deal.

I still feel that distance with family really does mean everyone misses out but like many non-ideal parts of this life you have to make it work.

First Monday of every month at Chrysalis


July’s Hymn!

I hit a wall this month. Just feeling so much in the Spirit lately and yet not able to find a hymn that is new to me that really felt like this months hymn. I decided to then go with another by last months author. Check the link on the song’s name to get the lyrics and music. Check the link on the authors name to lead you to last months write up that has a link to a mini autobiography about her.

I think I hit the wall this month because I have been so excited about some old hymns that I have rediscovered. Ones I know well but haven’t sang for years are coming to my attention and I am spending all my cleaning time singing them… it was hard to find something new that was capable of moving me as the old belting out ones are right now. I am looking for some more up beat ones but I know most of those and so here is one that I will try to make my own and turn it up beat if I can:)

You Have Longed For Sweet Peace by Elisha Albright Hoffman.

Here’s to summer and joyful song and peace in my heart and changes!