Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Blogging Bug

We've officially been bit! It all started over 2 years ago when my sister, Tabitha started her blog. I loved reading all of her updates and seeing gorgeous pictures of my nieces and nephews. It made me feel closer to home and more up to date with what is going on in my family. Then, my other sister Taylin started one also. I wasn't going to get involved. I decided I would just keep sending out pictures via email every so often, but then......I couldn't resist! I just decided I would try it....and I loved it! I was easily able to share tidbits of our day with my family that we feel so far away from. I also loved finally being able to journal like I want to. During deputation I kept up with our family photo albums so well. I had never kept up with them real well in the past like I had wanted to. Now, that's not happening so much. With my blog I feel like I can keep a better pictoral record, like an album.

Shortly after I began my blog a church contacted us and said they would like to somehow have weekly updates of our family. We send out prayer letters every other month, but we're thankful for a church that wants to bring our specific needs before the people on a weekly basis! Wow! What an honor! So, Patrick started our family blog for that purpose.

Then, after we moved to Canada, Josh asked if he could start his own blog. We weren't sure at first. We asked him to look at the pros and cons and present them to us so we can discuss them. He had a fabulous list! He had goals of how often he would post and what he wanted to say. We were very impressed and decided to let him have his blog. He's enjoyed posting and sharing things that pertain to a 13 year old missionary kid in training!

Two weeks ago both of our girls asked us if they could have a blog. Their list was a little different than Josh's. They were excited about the creating know, colors and pictures, and they were excited about writing down thoughts, ideas, and crafts they complete. They wanted to have their own "diary" online. We decided to go ahead and say yes, and now they are loving blogging, too!

So, now I have two new blogs on the sidebar if you would like to visit!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

32 weeks!

We are officially 32 weeks pregnant! Wow! It seeems we were just telling the children that they would be getting a new brother or sister! My appointment at the midwife went very well and my next appt. is with my alternate midwife in three weeks. Then, we'll have an appt. one week later for a home visit. That's when the midwife will come to my home and be familiar with the drive and our home so she'll be prepared for birth time. We're so excited about having a homebirth! We've had homebirths with our two girls...I wonder if this means we're having another girl? :o)

I'm showing all of the normal signs of being 32 weeks along....lots of potty breaks, feeling enormous, and super hungry! I've never been a cereal type of girl. Even growing up, when it was my turn to pick cereal at the store, I would pick the cereal according to the toy, not the taste. I never ate it anyway! Well, now I've been transformed! Everynight around 8 I have a bowl of cereal. My favorites are blueberry mini-wheats, or raisin bran with almonds. So delicious!

My Josh is also showing lots of signs of being a growing teenage boy. He eats ALL THE TIME!! The other night he said he was starving, could he please have a snack. He found leftover banana cinnamon pancakes in the fridge in a ziplock. He heated them all up and ate them all up, too! My boy is growing along with his appetite!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Beth's Family Fun Night

It's been a while since I've posted about our family fun nights. We're still having them, but they've been more about relaxing rather than playing. By Friday nights, I'm pretty worn out! Beth planned last weeks family fun night and It was terrific! She worked and worked on a scavenger hunt for us. There were clues hidden all over the house that we had to take turns reading. I don't know why Silas is upset in the above picture? Maybe it's because he can't read?
Then, at the end we had our prize. Earlier in the day Beth asked if I would take her to the store. she took her own money and bought the prize for us. She bought us Little Debbie Confetti Brownies. You should have seen her in the store. She was looking and looking for the right prize. I told her she could only spend about $3 of her money. She thought about maybe candy, then wanted to look at the snack cakes. She was thrilled when she saw confetti brownies! My mom usually keeps a stash of them for her grandchildren at her house and Beth said that Josh and Brenna would be so excited to have the kind of brownies Grandma has! It was a fun family time! Thanks, Beth.

Next week's family fun night should be so fun....just a hint....there's a holiday, well it's sort of a holiday, coming up next week.....

Friday, March 26, 2010

Our Trip to Jackman, Maine

We've had a few concerns for our Brenna for about 4 months. She gets a good 10 hours of sleep everynight, but she still gets really sleepy during the day. She will fall asleep for about 3 hours. During this time she's not very hungry and she gets pretty pale and gray looking. It's not all the time, probably about 1/3 of the time this happens. But, it still is a concern for our baby girl. We tried to have her seen here in Quebec at the clinic in our neighborhood. This is the same place we took Silas when he was 5 months old and ran a lowgrade fever for 3 weeks. When we took him, the doctor wasn't really sure if she wanted to see him since he didn't have a Canada insurance card. We explained we were paying cash, and she decided to see him. She said if we need to come back it will be up to the individual doctor if they want to see us or not. It's really different because the 2 times we've been to the doctor (once with Silas and once for my ultrasound) we've had to pay the doctors directly and they will make us change out of their own pocket. It's pretty weird, but anyway...We took Brenna to the clinic and the doctor said "No". He said we could go to the Emergency Room, but the average wait for someone without a Canada card is 24 hours and we would have to pay $500 dollars to be put on a waiting list. We decided we would make an appointment in Jackman, Maine and see Doctor Doyle. We've seen Doctor Doyle a couple of times for Silas to have checkups and to keep his shots up to date. It's about a 2 1/2 hours drive to Jackman. Thursday was our appointment in Jackman. We left our house around 10am in the beautiful snow. None was falling but it was on the ground and trees and it was gorgeous! I love the snow right after it's fallen.
When you're pregnant, 2 1/2 hours is a little too long to go for a break, so Patrick stopped for me at A & W and the kids were so excited when he came out with A & W Rootbeers for them! MMMM! We love a good soda! We even put some in Silas's cup for the first time. He smiled and loved it, but he only drank a couple of sips. Then, he was done.

We passed through the border and entered the US. The mountains are so gorgeous on both sides of the border. The above picture is the mountains in Maine.

Welcome to Jackman! Jackman is a very small McDonalds or Walmart. A couple of small Mom and Pop type restaurants. We ate at one the last time we came through and it was delicious. When we came camping here last July we ate at Bishop's gas station. They have a little restaurant in the back and the Philly Cheese Steaks were fabulous! This time we decided to stop at Bishops again for Burgers and Philly Cheese Steaks. Good Greasy American Food!!! We love it!

There are moose and deer all through this area and we could see their prints in the snow. We saw these two deer in Jackman. They were pretty big!

Here is Doctor Doyle's office which is also the Hospital/ ER/ Nursing Home for the area. Josh said he loves small town life and wants to live in a town like this when he is older.

My Brenna did amazing! We prepared her ahead of time that they would probably draw blood from her arm. She's never had this done before, so of course, she was nervous. When the doctor mentioned she had to have blood drawn, she took a deep breath and said "ok". She decided it would help her if she watched. I never watch! She put her arm out, squeezed my hand, and didn't even flinch or cry! I was so proud of my girl!

The lab tech went ahead and tested her for iron-deficiency (we sort of thought this was the problem), diabetes and kidney problems. Praise the Lord all of those tests came out normal! Yay! She is sending out for her blood to be tested for Thyroid problems. We'll get those results back next week. Please be praying for my Brenny and for her to have more energy. I think my sister Tay likes Red Bull, maybe we'll try those! :o) Everything else about my girl is completely healthy, except....she probably needs glasses. Oh boy! What's going on with my girls. She's just like me and Beth, her right eye is worse than her left.

Way to go, Brenna! What a brave girl you are! I'm so proud of you!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

$5 Challenge

Last month I saw a really fun challenge for spring on a cute craft blog called Living with Lindsey.
Here's the link:
Are You Up for the Challenge (Again)?
I decided I would try it and I had so much fun at our Dollarama here in Canada! The idea is to create a new item of decor for your home that will help bring in the Spring season. And we sure need that in Quebec! You can spend up to $5 at a dollar store, then use those items to create a new decoration. (You can also use paint, glue, ribbon, etc....stuff you already have at home) I went with Patrick and we had so much fun coming up with ideas. (He actually made a deco, too, but I'm not so sure he will post it on his blog which is our family's cute, though!)

So, here's what I bought:
~A wooden birdhouse
~Small luncheon napkins
~A bag of butterfinger chocolate Easter Eggs
~A pack of metal butterflies that are usually used in scrapbooking.
And, Voila! Here is my creation! I transformed the birdhouse to be a napkin holder.
Here's how I did it:

First, I made sure my napkins would fit inside the birdhouse. The top pops right off and is only holding on by a piece of rope.

Then, on one side of the top of the birdhouse, I marked an inch from the top and both sides.

(Thanks, Brenna, for taking my picture! :o)

Then, I marked clearly where I would need to cut.

I snipped off the rope so I can remove the top freely.

Then, I enlisted my handy, and incredibly handsome, husband to cut part of the top off.

Don't you just love our basement! :o)

Then, I removed the plastic from the base. It just slid out.

Then, I used Brenna's paints and mixed green with white, yellow and a little bit of teal to create a lime green. I painted the green on, then...

I took a paper towel and tried to rub off a bunch of the paint. I was wanting some of the wood grain to peak through and it did! I love the effect!

Paint the top and base, then wash the clear plastic piece. It was pretty dusty from sitting on the store's shelves! Then, wiggle it back in on the grooves.

I wanted to decorate the top, so I found some ribbon and used my hot glue gun to attach it to the top.

I added white, then orange gingham on top.

Then, I glued the metal butterflies to the top. Aren't they so cute?

I put the top back on and put in the napkins.

Then, I added the the butterfinger eggs to the bottom. Doesn't chocolate make everything better? :o)

The back

And the front! What a fun project....except I noticed my candies disappeared quite quickly. Guess I need to fill it up again? I think I'll try the mini cadbury's. Has anyone tried those yet?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Regarding my last post...

Winter came back!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Is It Really Spring?

Happy Spring, Everybody! We think (I need to stress think) that Spring might actually be here in Quebec! We are seeing more signs of Spring now than when we first arrived in Quebec last May. We definitely have Spring Fever. We've had highs in the 50's two days last week. It still gets below freezing or one or two degrees above at night. (Although they are forecasting snow for Wednesday and Thursday with a high of 22) Patrick and Josh took down our storm windows and put back up the screens. Even though it was 50 degrees we had our windows open and enjoyed the sunshine. It was a beautiful day! Now, I'm definitely in the spring cleaning mode....I have my list!
There is still snow around for sure, but it is quickly melting. A lot of our neighbors are shoveling their snow and putting it in the street. Pretty strange, don't you think? Madame Claire says that is actually prohibited in Quebec. As you can see in the picture, our snow is melting with a few patches left.

Silas loves to be outside. But, he's not all that crazy about touching the grass or the snow. When he does, he looks over his hand very well and doesn't really like it when it's all dirty. That's exactly how my Elisabeth was at this age!

We're seeing signs of spring around our house. The tulips and daffodills are starting to come up! Yay! They are some of my favorite flowers! (Birds of Paradise are actually my very favorite, but I don't think you'll find those here!) Our landlord takes care of all the yard and plants. He came over today and told us he's planting a garden in our yard again this year and it's all for us! Yippee! Last year he planted lots of tomatoes and beans and his blueberry bushes had very sweet blueberries. Patrick and Brenna have always loved to garden, so they will love to be able to pick some fresh stuff for our meals this summer.

Our maple tree is starting to bud! And, it's leaving drops of sap all over our van and porch.

Here is Josh's birdhouse. It's lived through a Florida winter, and a lonely Quebec winter. I don't think it received any visitors this winter :o) Now, we're seeing lots of chickadees in our yard and hearing birds singing. I love it! I love spring. I think it's my favorite season....after autumn, of course!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Joshua~~~The Missionary Kid

My Josh~What a guy! I'm so proud of him! When we began planning to head to language school many missionaries gave us advice. I love getting advice from people that have walked where we've walked, have failed some, and has had some success, too. We can learn from others mistakes and gain a lot from words of wisdom. We received advice like:

~Going through language school will be one of the hardest things you ever do. Yup, that is true!

~Don't stay too busy with other stuff...your mind needs to stay focused on why you are there...for language school. Learning a new language takes all of your effort and mind. Yup, that is true!

~This will be a time when your family will draw closer to one another than ever before. Yup, that is true!

~You will go through some culture shock. Yup, true again. One thing that we weren't really warned about is how language school would effect our children. Let me just go ahead and say, though, Living your life for Christ is the most rewarding and fulfilling way to spend the time that God has given you. We love being missionaries and taking the next step to the mission field God has called us too. There are some obstacles and times of discouragement, but the Lord is so faithful and He's always the best comforter in the World! Living for Christ brings true joy and contentment! Never feel sorry for missionaries, we love doing what we do!

Children are resiliant. Okay, I have absolutely no idea how to spell that word! But, they do go through times where things can be difficult for them, too. Imagine this. You want to raise your children to serve the Lord. You want them to be fruitful christians. So, what do you do? Many things, of course, but one of them is that you faithfully bring your children to church to hear good preaching, right? Of course! If they're going to grow, they need to hear God's word.

Well, now imagine this. Imagine your children not hearing preaching for a year. No hymns and Godly songs for a year. No times at the altar because the Lord has spoken to your heart during the message. No "Just as I am, without one plea"

That's what it's like for my kids. Now, of course, we hear preaching and sing hymns, but when they are all in a language that you can't yet understand, or that you are only understanding 30%, it's just about the same as not hearing or singing. Your ear and your heart can't understand. Scary thought!
Out of all of our children, Joshua has experienced the most culture shock and has had the hardest time in language school. He loves it and loves new adventures, but he misses friends, misses home, misses family, misses our church....He wants to learn French so bad, but he gets really nervous to try to speak what he has learned. At times he feels he'll never really learn french. Last month we somehow "realized" (Praise the Lord for speaking to the hearts of Moms and Dads!) that our children were hurting in a spiritual way. Even though they're reading their Bibles, faithfully praying, and attending church, there was something missing. Since then, we're trying to be a little more aware of our children's spiritual needs. We sing more hymns together around the piano as a family. (The first time we pulled our our hymnbooks and did this Joshua said he was so glad because he was starting to forget some of the words!) We have more Bible studies together and we're memorizing verses together. Joshua has downloaded sermons onto his MP3 player and he listens to about one a day. (He was listening to one tonight while cleaning his birds cage!)

God is so good to show us areas in our life that we need helping our children in the spiritual aspect. God is also good to give us the desires of our heart. Josh is officially now a teenager and he's realizing things are a little different than he thought they would be. He always dreamed of going to camp. Well, he hasn't had that oppurtunity and we're really not sure when he ever will. When we head back to FL between school and going to the field it will be November/December...not exactly camp time. Well, God knew this and has given him the desires of his heart. Last month one of our supporting churches in Nova Scotia contacted us. Joshua loved being at this church and it was hard for him when it was time to leave. They told us they have a youth meeting coming up and they'd like to pay Josh's way to come. At first, I had the "Mommy" response. "No Way! He's my baby! How would he get there? Fly by himself? No way!!"

But, then, Patrick and I realized this is the oppurtunity Josh has been praying for and wanting. It's like going to camp, mini-style! After much praying, we decided we will let him go. This is a big step for me! He will fly out of Quebec, by himself :( on Friday morning, then return on Monday around noon. This will happen the end of April. Talk about making my Joshua excited! Wow! He can't wait. Thank you Lord, for being faithful to my baby and providing this oppurtunity for him!

Please, pray for missionary children. As my pastor puts it, A huge percentage of people surrendering to the mission field are missionary kids. Satan knows this and he attacks and tries to distract missionary kids. What a big distraction it could be for parents on the mission field if their children go astray. Pray for my sweet kiddos. Pray for the children of missionaries that your church supports.

One more thing, I want to put in a little "plug" for Joshua. He's been keeping a great blog He just added two new pages on the left side that give his testimony and our mission field. If you have a chance, swing by and check it out. It will be a blessing, I promise. Also, he loves comments! :o)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"Sweet Dreams" The finished Baby Boy Quilt

I finished the baby boy quilt and I'm very happy with how it turned out! I tried some new things and it was a lot of fun! Since I was trying some new stuff on this quilt, I decided to make the design easy. I did a random patchwork quilt using 3 inch squares. Random meaning that I didn't do a set design.
I wanted to try and use one of my decorative stitches on my machine, so Patrick and I looked at all of them together and picked this one. I think it's so pretty. It did use up a lot of thread and it took a long time, though! I also decided to try and bind the quilt differently. Normally I just sew fold the back around to the front and sew it down. My Mom saw a tutorial on crazy mom quilts
and she now loves to do binding like this and said I had to try it! So, I did and now I don't know if I'll ever go back to the way I did it before. Thanks, Mom! It was fun piecing the different leftover pieces of fabric together. I think it gave it a super cute effect.

Then, I tried to do the name of the quilt appliqued on the back. This did take a lot of time. I saw the idea on
Moda Bake Shop: Baby Life Quilt
I think I'll try this again and make this the front of the quilt. Maybe.
So, baby Gimenez, we are ready for you whether you are a boy or a girl! Now, I need to sew some sheets for the baby bed. While we are at school Madame Claire is letting us use the cradle she used with her boys. How sweet! It's a little bit of an odd ball shape, so I think I'm going to make two sheets for the mattress pillowcase style. What do you think?

The crib in the pictures is actually Silas's crib. Don't you just love it? It was a gift from my parents before we moved to Canada. This crib will stay Silas's. It even converts into a toddler bed, then a day bed, or a twin...neato! I also love the drawer that goes under it.
For the baby...well, we're not sure. There is actually no room in our house for another crib! We'll be moving when the baby is 5 months old. Too old to stay in a cradle for that long. So, we're trying to decide what to do. We're going to start looking at the "Friperie" (thrift store) for a cradle to use the first couple of months. Then, after that, we might have the baby use the pack-n-play for its crib. Mine and Patrick's room is actually the one that's the largest with a little extra room, so we may have a roommate a little longer than our other babys have roomed with us. When we move to St. Barths, I will bring Silas's crib with us and well as one for the baby. So, it will only be cribless for a little while! That just means I'll have to hold my sweetbaby even longer!