Friday, April 30, 2010

Cutting Some Strings

Well, today was the day to cut some (only some!) apron strings for me. (Where did we get that expression from anyway?) Josh left this morning for Nova Scotia for the Youth Conference. Yesterday we spent time packing and buying snacks and preparing Josh for his first time to fly alone. He had such a hard time sleeping last night, he was so excited! (Not to mention Beth filled Silas's cup with Sweet Tea for dinner, so Silas sort of kept all of us up way too late last night!) This morning we got up a little after 5 and I made one of Josh's favorite breakfasts, Chocolate Chip Waffles. This is him at the airport, it was a little bright outside, so you can't really see his face! When we woke up the sun was already shining! Wow! The sun comes up so early in the east! On the way to the airport he asked Patrick to go through the flying process one more time. He covered everything from security to baggage claim....Josh was well prepared! We also bought him a calling card for him to use when needed. He called us when he arrived at his layover in Montreal, then called us when he arrived in Halifax. (Doesn't that just make you think of Anne of Green Gables! Halifax!)
They have services tonight, then they can play Football or Soccer tonight at the fieldhouse. He can't wait to play some football. Tomorrow they have 3 preaching sessions. For Christmas Josh asked if he could get a book on how to disprove Evolution and prove Creation. He really wants to learn his stuff on that topic. God is so good to him! He just did a PACE in ACE on Creation/Evolution, then he wrote a fabulous paper on the subject. (I told him he needs to post it on his blog) Now, we found out that on the Saturday of the YOuth Conference they are having a Creation Seminar! Isn't that so neat! God is so good to give us the desires of our heart!
We've been praying for Joshua to have a great, safe time and for the Lord to work on his heart during the preaching. I can't wait until Monday when he can tell us all about his trip!
(And so I can feel like my heart is back in one piece again!)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

My Josh

Okay, I know this will be a big braggy post, but that's okay. I'm so proud of my son! He's so good to me and he's such a faithful Christian, too. My Josh is so good about tithing faithfully and giving money that he committed to give to missions. He knew his Nova Scotia trip was coming up and he was pretty broke so he started doing odd jobs around the house for me and Patrick and saving every little penny that came in. Then, his Grandpa and Grandma sent him some money for his trip, then his Aunt Keela and Uncle William did, too (Thanks, guys, you made his day!) He now had plenty of money for fun emergencies like Candy Bars and Sodas on his trip! But, the sweetie was thinking of me too. He knew I had my eye on a bench swing that was for sale in our neighborhood. He took Patrick aside a couple of days ago and told him he has given his tithe and missions, and has enough set aside for his trip, could he please spend the rest of his money for me on a bench swing for Mother's Day/Birthday. When he told me what he was going to do, my first reaction was "Thank you, dear, but, no) Sometimes it's hard to accept gifts from your children, especially when they worked hard for the money they have! Well, Josh insisted he wanted to buy this for me and Patrick told me how much of a giving heart he has and that I shouldn't squelch it.

So, we walked to the neighbors and bought our bench swing! Patrick and Josh carried it back for me.
Brenna was extremely excited because her patio project keeps getting better and better. She wanted chairs and the Lord provided them, now we have a swing! And they're all in green, her favorite color!

They had me try it out so they could put it at the exact height I want it to be.

I love it! So very much! I can see myself sitting out here a lot! (As soon as it warms up a little more, we had snow flurries again today!) I can see myself relaxing with some cool limeade watching the kids play, rocking the baby, reading my Bible, many things!

Thanks, Josh, I LOVE my gift! I know you gave it to me sacrificially, but with so much joy, too. I'm so blessed to have you for my son! God is so good to us, I love you!

Also, pray for Joshua, he leaves tomorrow morning for Nova Scotia......pray for me, too.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fresh picked flowers

When Patrick and I first got married he would often bring me home fresh picked flowers. I remember one time in Plattsburgh he brought me home the biggest-ever bouquet of Lilacs. They were so beautiful and our house smelled wonderful! Sunday morning he came in with a gorgeous bouquet of Tulips and Daffodils. They were so gorgeous and so colorful that they almost looked fake. (This picture is for you, Keela!) When we came home from church all of the Tulips had opened and were a beautiful red with a black center. How gorgeous!
Today I also had my 37 week appointment. I also met my back-up midwife (the one that only speaks french) The appointment went very well and the new midwife (Marie-Andree) seemed very kind and smiley. I understood about 50% of the appointment and was able to respond about 50% of the time. Not too terrible, but I am glad that my friend Estelle went with me. She will be our translator if we have to use the french speaking midwife. My midwife's (Monique) day off is Monday, so that is the only day that she will not be the one to attend the birth. Although Marie-Andree would be an excellent midwife, I'm really praying that I will go into labor any day but Monday. It would be nice to be able to communicate one on one with the person delivering my baby. Please pray about this with me.
Other pregnancy notes:
My weight is up :o(
My midwife thinks we won't go early
She also thinks baby will not be a 9 pounder like my others (we'll see about that, my babies always seem to gain lots of weight at the end of pregnancy)
And baby's heartrate has slowed from 140's to 120's (signs of a boy???hhhhmm)
So, praise the Lord things are right on schedule, although Brenna says she can't wait another day! She wants to meet her new baby brother/sister!

Sunday, April 25, 2010


A Mother has many roles that she plays in life. One of those roles that we play is a peacemaker. Our homes can easily and quickly go from a quiet, gentle place, to a raging roaring battle. You know what it's like, we wake up to beautiful sunshine, birds singing, clean home, and coffee wafting through the air, then within seconds, there's milk on the floor, a fight for a certain chair, a messy diaper, and a grumpy parent (which isn't always the Daddy!) :o)
I was reading in James this afternoon and I love how God consistently lays out a clear pattern for me to follow. He knows I need wisdom as I strive to be the Mother I should. Oh how often I fail! God knows my struggles as a mother, the role I play and then He shows me how to have victory! Thank you, Lord!

James 3:16,17
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy, and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Loving the Outdoors

***Warning*** Lots of Springtime pictures that could make you jealous!....well, maybe not. It's still pretty cool here. But, tomorrow our high should be 61 degrees! yay! We've enjoyed getting outside more and more. We've played baseball, football, basketball, done yardwork, sat and relaxed, put clothes on the line.....we're enjoying the outdoors!
Silas loves to be outside and bark at all the dogs that pass and now he meows at cats too.
Of course, you can't get Josh away from any type of sports activity. He's always asking Patrick to throw the football with him or play 21.

My Elisabeth loves to play and crawl around with Silas. She's such an amazing big sister and he adores her, too.

Patrick and Brenna both share a love for gardening. Here they are checking out the spot that our landlord is going to till. They found some carrots that stayed in the ground this winter and Brenna found some earthworms. She loves them! When she was about 4 she would find earthworms and play with them until they died. Yuck! Not me!

Brenna's patio project is also coming along very nicely. After class today, Patrick and I sat outside for a while just enjoying the sunshine. We were talking about future picnics in the patio spot, too! Can't Wait!

Daffodils and Tulips are some of my favorite flowers (after Birds of Paradise, of course!) and we have both in our yard! Isn't God so good!

Happy Spring, Ya'll!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

One of those moments

I know I've posted many times before about the verse in the Bible that talks about life being as a vapor. As my children grow older and older, and as I get older and older :o( I'm shocked at how quickly time passes. Last night, on the way home from church I turned around and I almost didn't recognize my Joshua. When did he get so tall? When did his voice change to be so deep? When did he start looking more like a man, and less like a little boy? Where has the time gone? I was tucking him in lastnight (I love it that he still wants me to tuck him in everynight) and I realized he will be 14 in two short months. 14! My baby! As I sang to him, I thought of the time when I had the joy of carrying him in my womb and I sang to him the same song I sing to him now. I often look back at different times in my life and wonder, "Did I really enoy it?" I know I did, but now that I'm in the older bracket of mothers (I can't believe I'm admitting that! Although, I'm really in the middle bracket!) I want to make sure and enjoy my time and the moments God has given me with my children. Thank you, Lord for these precious moments.

This afternoon, while JEB were outside enoying our 40 degree weather, Patrick was cleaning the lawn chairs and doing other yardwork, Silas fell asleep on my bed. My midwife said I need to be resting a whole lot more than what I am now, so I was going to take a nap, too. But, as I lay there I found myself staring at my baby Silas. Did I have or make time to stare at my other 3 this way? I looked at the orange marker line on his forehead, the leftover chocolate cookie on his cheek and white shirt (Ugh, white and chocolate don't mix!) And I thought about how perfect and peaceful he looked. I enjoyed the moments to just stare at my sweet baby. But, are all moments sweet like this in motherhood? Do baby's stay so sweet and innocent and loving?.....hhhhmmm, after today, I think not. This is how I found my Johsua during my time to get my french homework done. Did I say he was becoming a man? Well, maybe not. There's still a little boy inside there, that acts crazy, and really doesn't think before he jumps into something. Why is he climbing out the bathroom window?....don't know. But, I know why he's stuck there.......
I think Brenna was using this as payback time. She held him in place for quite a while! That's one smart girl, if you ask me! ;o)

So, even though my boy is growing up, I think he'll always be like me and Patrick with plenty of "kid" left in him!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Preparing for Baby

While Patrick and Josh helped the church move on Saturday, Elisabeth, Brenna and I had a full work day. We prepared for baby! I thought it was probably time to get ready! We prepared the baby's diaper basket and the girls were amazed at the size difference between Silas's diapers and the new baby's. Wow! How he has grown.

We got down all of the baby boxes (which are all boy stuff) and found things that are somewhat gender neutral. We washed and sorted and organized the basement, too. Then, the girls went through Silas's toys to prepare the baby its own toy bucket. We cleaned out two drawers for the baby's things.

Then, we washed down the baby tub, swing, and carseat. We were so busy and enjoyed preparing for baby! Today was our home visit with our midwife. We found out that our backup midwife had to be changed and our new one doesn't speak English :o( My midwife said to make sure we have a translator ready because I need to use the language I'm the most comfortable with during labor....I think that would be English :o) Things are moving right along and tomorrow we have 4 weeks until the due date!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bunny Time

Last Summer we found a great Ice Cream place that has fabulous maple ice cream. (Are you jealous, Grandma? :o) Just like all of the other ice cream places here in Quebec, this one closes down in the fall and will reopen in the spring. We were so excited to see it finally open back up!!
We planned a special night to go and get some bunny ice cream. My favorite is the soft-serve maple/vanilla twirl. I don't get the chocolate dip, but the rest of my family does.
There was a bunch of people there eating ice cream, too, even though it was barely 40 degrees with a strong, chilly wind. It's kind of weird eating ice cream while you have the heat on in the van!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

School News

My sweeties are busy trying to wrap up our school year. Our goal to finish is May 6th. It looks like we might make it!...with the exception of Josh's math, it may take one extra week, we'll see! The children are very diligent to use their time at language school, while me and Patrick are in Madame Claire's office, to get as much school done as possible. Now, that Silas doesn't always take his morning nap there, it has become a little more difficult. When we get to Madame Claire's Silas has his pack-n-play time. He enjoys sitting and reading a ton of books that we bring him (did I type read? I guess I mean "look at") and he sometimes plays with the toys we put in there for him. We rotate toys out once a week and seems content for a while to stay in his pack-n-play. But, after a while you can tell he's done. I usually bring him into the office and he has a juice break or may write on some of my school papers for me. Usually he will run to Madame Claire's side of the desk and will sit in her lap and go through her pencil jar. That's when our class ceases for a little bit and we take a break. She gets very distracted by Silas and sort of tunes us out! :o) But, that's okay, the Lord has blessed us with an amazing professor that is a mom of 3 grown boys. She loves having four kids to spoil and be with 4 days a week. She always has cookies and cakes for JEB and always can spare some time to just look at Silas. We are truly blessed.
Then, after a break with Silas in the room, Josh, Beth, and Brenna will each take turns with Silas. They do 10 minute shifts each where they play with him. They are so patient and sweet to play with him while I'm going to school!
Once we get home and have lunch, the children sit around the table and finish up their schoolwork for the day. I knew JEB would love their younger sibling, I just didn't realize how much they would love to be with him! After lunch Josh pulled up Silas's highchair, got out some old paces and a highlighter and pencil. Silas was so excited to do school with the "big kids".
Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with a fantastic family and for the love we have for each other.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

35 weeks and counting!

Yesterday we hit the 35 week mark in our pregnancy. Today, I met my alternate sage-femme (midwife). Her name is also Monique like my other midwife and I thought she was great! She will be attending the birth only if it is my other mid-wife's day off. We look right on schedule, maybe even a little behind, which is good! Actually, it's great because I'm praying that my Mom will be here for the birth!
She said the baby is actually measuring pretty small, but she said I have plenty of "amniotic fluid" She said just think of as instead of my baby swimming in a regular size pool, I'm giving the baby an olympic size one, instead. Wow, Thanks!

We went over my expectations and desires for the birth of our new little one and I'm getting very excited about meeting this precious one growing inside of me. Last night Joshua had nursery duty. Silas is the only baby in our nursery, so really he just has playtime with his brother. Josh said he rocked one of the baby dolls to find out what Silas would do. He stood in front of him and wanted to be held...oh dear, adjustments, here we come!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Twisted Casserole

You may not be able to tell by the look on Silas's face, but tonight we had a good dinner. I came up with a new dish that was so easy and so cheap, that I thought I would share it!

We named it The Twisted Casserole
Cook according to directions 1/2 large bag of Fusili Noodles, drain, then mix with 1 can cream of mushroom soup and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. Put noodles in 9x13 casserole dish. Top with 1 lb. cooked ground beef that has been mixed with 1 jar of spaghetti sauce. Then, top with 2 cups of shredded cheddar. Bake 350 degrees for 25 minutes. It was good and quick and went well with our green salad!

As you can tell my little guy is now learning how to make lots of new fun faces. He's such a cutie and now he can even say "Hallelujah!" The girls have been singing "Praise ye the Lord, Hallelujah" a lot lately! Silas has also become a picky eater. When he had his checkup in Florida in February, Dr. Ritrosky said that most babies become a little picky (My Mom would probably call it "showing his preferences! :o) Love you Mom!) around this age. Well, I hoped my Silas wasn't listening, but I guess he was. He prefers to mostly eat pasta, fruit, anything with maple and cheese. He's a french/italian/canadian little guy!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Another Day, Another List

My husband is so sweet. He's so sweet that he shared his stomach bug with me. Thanks, Babe. After sleeping more the past two days than I have in almost a week, I'm now back and ready to tackle life again. I'm so thankful Patrick, Josh, Beth and Brenna really stepped up to the plate and took care of Everything! This morning when I woke up my list was staring back at me. I'm a lot like my Mom. We have so much in common and have very similar personalities. We also both love to make lists! It's sort of a passion for us. Two weeks ago I created a list from now until May 2nd. It has everything on, french, spring cleaning, things to buy before baby comes, you name it, it's on there! Last Friday Patrick and I had a huge burst of energy! We deep cleaned and organized, he painted, glued, and caulked. We got so much accomplished! As I went to bed Friday night I crossed so many things off of my list. I was so excited for the next day and hoped it would be filled with baking, studying, quilting, and game playing with my family. Well, Saturday morning was when Patrick "shared" his bug with me. I went to bed and stayed there!

Today, I was able to accomplish a lot, without overdoing it. I'm still worn out! I'm so thankful for a family that helps out so much! We're so excited about our new baby coming-just 5 1/2 weeks until the due date! There's so much we want to accomplish, and fun "spring" things to do too! So, hopefully tomorrow will be a day of fun...and a day to cross out some of my list!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Trying to be "saturated" with French!

This is one of those weeks where my brain isn't functioning properly. I talked to my professor, Madame Claire, about it this morning. While my comprehension of french has really increased in the past couple of weeks, my speaking ability has decreased drastically (and it wasn't too good to begin with!) Madame Claire reminded me that in learning a language you often take two steps forward, then one step back, then two forward, then one back.....I think I'm in the process of taking a giant leap back! She also reminded me that the during the last months of pregnancy often times your memory just isn't there and thoughts don't seem to come together as well. I'm still trying to figure out if she was just being an encouragement, or if that is really true. What do you think? Old Wives Tale? Even through my foggy brain, I had a terrific class today. Unfortunately Patrick couldn't go to class today, yesterday at lunchtime a terrible stomach bug hit him. It's not all that pretty either! I'm praying he'll feel better soon. As I type, he's on the couch contemplating a nap and praying his first meal will stay down. class went well. I guess I needed the individual time and things are really starting to click for me with speaking in the past! The different verb tenses in french can be very confusing. Today, I learned another verb tense, it's called Plus-que-parfait. It's sort of like in English when we say...I had eaten, or is it ate?....Now, I'm totally confused on the English side! I was able to talk more with Madame Claire and give a summary of a news article I had to read in french.

The children are really improving in their French studies. They still take classes once a week with Madame Roy and are really enjoying those classes. We've also started them on Rosetta Stone again. This time with a better plan and hopefully more faithfully. I'm also letting them choose a book from the library. The first day they read it (they're beginner reader books) and translate it. The next day they read it to Silas, the third day they read it once more to themselves and make sure they understand it, then the fourth day they read it to our family and explain in English what happened. We did this last week and then tonight will be time to explain the 2nd book they picked. So far this is going very well and they are learning new words. I've been told by several people that my children don't have an accent at all, they speak very well! What a blessing!

We had a big treat last week and were able to get hamburgers from McDo (that's what they call McDonalds here) In the past people will hear me stumble and try to speak in french, figure I'm an anglophone, then speak to me in English. Very Frustrating! I'm trying to use my french!!!
Well, I wanted this time to be different. No English for me! So, I started off very well, I said, "Je voudrais ( I want, or would like) cinq McDoubles (5 McDoubles, that one was easy!) et deux grands cocas (2 large cokes, they don't add ice here, and if they do it's only two cubes, so we split sodas a lot and divide them into seperate cups at home) pour emporter (to go) (big smile, I did it!) Then, the man said the words I feared.....Fries (In English! Of all the nerve, I'm trying to speak in french, thank you!) I said, non (no) he looked at me funny and said it again...Fries. I thought, now I know I'm saying the word no correctly, so I just said it again. Non. (no) I looked over at Brenna trying to figure out what was going on. She was in the process of hitting her forehead and rolling her eyes like she's just been incredibly humiliated. I looked back at the man and he was pointing at the register total... and he said again Fries. Then, it hit me, he wasn't speaking English to me, he was giving me my total!!!! He was actually saying Treize!! (13) But, he wasn't exactly pronouncing it correctly himself! (It's supposed to be traaaas) Oh well, not the first time I was embarrassed in french, and probably not the last. All I could do was laugh and pay the poor man!

Please keep praying for us and our french learning, it's coming along, but we still have much work ahead of us!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Thanks for the flowers!

My husband is very attentive and is very good about remembering holidays and special occasions (I'm sure my reminding him quite often of dates to come has nothing to do with it!) But, Easter is one holiday he sort of forgets to buy me something for my basket. It doesn't really bother me because he really is attentive so much throughout the year. But, still every year I set out a basket for everyone the night before Easter with their colored eggs in it. I fill them with candy, chocolate, and a small gift, and usually mine is empty. I love his reaction Easter morning when he's forgotten to fill my basket. Well, this year instead of enjoying his feeling guilty, I decided I would fill my own basket. I bought myself an Aero Bar. I'm not sure if they have those in the States, but it's made by Nestle and I love the one with mint! Oh Wow! And I went to Dollarama and bought 6 plastic cups that are a nice size, not too big or small, perfect for mealtime! (I thought it would be nice since my Mom is coming we should have some cups with some uniformity!) Well, my dear Patrick thought ahead this year and went out and bought me these beautiful flowers for Easter. I love flowers! And I love pink! That was so sweet of him! So, I received double gifts this Easter, some from me and some from my love!

Monday, April 5, 2010

My Take on Football

*WARNING IN ADVANCE!* This post is the result of a rambling, emotional, 8 month pregnant woman. So, if you're not in the mood for that kind of reading, you might want to skip this post! :o)

When I first met Patrick it didn't take very long for me to realize that he LOVES football. He invited me over one Monday night to watch his favorite team, The Philadelphia Eagles, play. He loved watching Randall Cunningham. To be honest, I didnt have much of an idea of what was going on. I knew we were cheering for the green team! In High School my favorite sport was basketball. I loved it and loved watching a good game (especially when my sister was playing). So, football was a little foreign to me.
When we got married I realized that during football season I could find a hobby of my own and not see my hubby on Monday nights, Sunday afternoons, sometimes Thursdays, or other times he could get updates on football, or I could join in on the fun! I decided I wanted me and Patrick to do as much together as possible. I wanted to be his best friend and football buddy! So, I prepared the coolest Football Food I could think of (although all my work on stuff like football subs where I made all the meatballs look like footballs with the help of mayo was actually not noticed during an exciting football game!), wore lots of green, sometimes even made posters, and sat down and watched games with my hubby. I quickly realized I had no clue the rules of football. Patrick began to teach me and I asked lots of questions (and I learned never to ask "What's that guy doing? at a critical time in the game!) and soon I began to understand and love football. I even bought the book Football for Dummies and tried to understand all of the rules.
We've been able to go to 2 games, one in New Orleans and one in Dallas. We loved it!

Usually for Christmas or birthdays, someone will end up with football or Eagles stuff.

So, not only is my dear husband an Eagles and Football fan, now I am too. I've been watching with him for over 15 years. We've seen our team do amazing and make it to the Super Bowl and we've also seen our team do horrible, too. I thought I was a real football fan like Patrick and that we enjoyed this sport together.....until last night.....

For many years there have been 3 "anchors" on our team. Dawkins, Westbrook, and McNabb. Last year we traded Dawkins. I couldn't understand it and to be honest I was a little heartbroken. Then, during the off season this year we released Westbrook. I know he's been hurt, but the poor guy! Then, last night Patrick wanted to get an update on his Eagles, so we checked the Philadelphia Eagles. com and the lead story is that we traded Donovan McNabb. He's playing for the Redskins now! Oh boy, the emotions started to flow and I began to cry. How silly is that! For 11 years we've had Donovan McNabb play quarterback for us!
Then, I realized, I don't like football for the hard hits, the scores, the GAME! I like this game for other reasons....girly reasons. I like the stories of the players and their families(like when Dawkins and his wife had twins, then McNabb and his wife had twins, too!) I like the controversies, (like when Terrell Owens was so mouthy and I wanted him off our team!) I like the excitement of decorating and cheering for my team. But, most of all, I like sharing football with my husband. Anything that brings me closer to him is what I like.
So, for now, I'm disappointed my Eagles team is changing. I'll miss the old players, but I'll still keep liking the Eagles and be ready with Football/Meatball subs, green decos and lots of posters when the season kicks off!