Thursday, July 29, 2010

Trying something new

I love trying new things! I love new foods, new places, new clothes! :o) Anyway, I've been hearing a lot about couscous, but I've never tried cooking it myself. So, I decided we should give it a try. After everyone in our family trying it, we don't really like all. I know it could just be the recipe I used, but it's not exactly high on our list to try again.
It also makes a terrible mess! I think I'll be finding couscous for days!

Anyone else tried some new things lately, and liked them?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Gone Camping

Thursday morning Patrick, Joshua, Elisabeth, Brenna, and the Hambys (minus Mrs. Amanda) left for a 3 day camping trip in Jackman, Maine. They should arrive home in the next couple of hours and I've missed them so much! They were up early Thursday morning, all packed and ready to go! Tuesday we realized the girls didn't have enough culottes for camping, so I made 2 pairs, really quick!
At first it was going to be a boys only trip. When Patrick decided to have the girls come, too, they were so excited! Brenna brought her camera, so I hope she took lots of pictures! They took the cell phone with them and I was here at home with the homephone. (no long distance :o( It sure is different being without a phone! Patrick and the kids have called me a few times and I love hearing how things are going. There have been a few slight mishaps, Brenna was excited when they swam in the lake and found mussels on the bottom. That's one of her favorites! She said she was having fun picking them off the bottom, then she realized she cut her finger. Poor baby! She said not to worry, they put medicine and a bandaid on it. I'm so glad Patrick brought a first aid kit! Then, Beth was stirring the eggs in the pan, over the fire and she burned her finger. Poor baby! She said it burned for a while, but she was okay. They've had fun swimming, hiking, fishing, and boating. I'm so glad they were able to go, but it's time for them to come home!

So, what have Silas, Callie, and me done at home without a phone or van? We have had a great time together! Silas has enjoyed lots of PBJ's!

With those lots of PBJ's comes lots of Baths!

We've gone on walks, played outside, played inside, and just had lots of fun together. I told Patrick I didn't want to make any plans or have anything to do, just play, play,play. That's what we've done and I think I wore my sweet babies out!

Yes, this is Callie's swing, but Silas has started sitting in it thinking he's so funny. He climbed in yesterday and fell asleep! I didn't want to move him because he was resting so sweetly. He took his entire afternoon nap there!

Callie loved going on our walks. I pushed Silas in his stroller and carried Callie in her pack. She loved it!

I've had fun with my babies these past 3 days, but I sure can't wait until we're all under one roof again. I love my family!
(Now, I better rush and do some cleaning before they get back! When I said "only play for 3 days" I meant it! I always thought it was Patrick and the kids that made the most messes. Maybe I'm wrong:o)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sweet Rest

Callie Grace is now 2 1/2 months old. She began sleeping through the night on a consistent basis this week. I'm so glad! I love sweet rest, and I think she does, too! She usually goes to bed about 9 and wakes when she hears Silas...usually about 6. That's! 6 sure is early! Callie is becoming more and more smiley and coos a lot, too. She's loved very much by Josh, Beth, and Brenna. Silas loves her bunches, too, but it's more of an in your face, smothering love. He's surprisingly pretty gentle. He still kisses her constantly, and he's even begun to make the kissing sound. She usually gets her kisses from him on the head, but now it's on her hand, too. I love it when she smiles back at him.
Callie always smiles with her eyes first. They twinkle! Other than cooing and smiling, she hasn't really hit any milestones, yet. She's not a roller, but she is lifting her head up more often. She reminds me of Beth when she was a baby. Very relaxed, and easy going. Patrick was showing off at lunch the other day and popped a ziplock bag. Callie didn't budge...the same way Beth didn't budge when she was that age. I remember when we thought Beth had hearing problems...but, no, it's just her sweet, meek and quiet spirit, and I think Callie may be just like her. (Although, Callie does have her crying times for sure! We've noticed in the evening she likes to fuss the most)
She's still our tiny baby, but she's starting to get more rolls on her cute thighs, and her cheeks are just as big as ever. I just love her to pieces!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Blueberry Picking Boy

Where is Silas?? Silas has discovered our landlord's blueberry bushes and he loves them! He runs right to the bushes and starts picking and eating!
Josh is trying to teach him to eat the blue ones, but for some reason he always goes for the green ones.

If he's out on the porch, he'll point at the bushes and say "Blue" Such a cutie!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer Study with my Girls 4

The Virtuous Woman. Is it possible to really be like her?
After quoting to one another Proverbs 31: 10-14, my girls and I discussed how to be like the Proverbs 31 woman. In order to follow this pattern, we're going to have to put forth some effort and lots of work. There is no way we can be like her if we do not plan and set some goals. I told the girls that it's important for them to have goals set now for what they want to be in their future. Being a Godly Lady won't just all of a sudden happen once they turn 21. For their assignment this week (and mine too!) they are going to set some goals for their life. Everyday this week they are to look over their list, pray about it, maybe cross some out or write new ones. And ask the Lord to help them write goals of things they want for their life. I'm so excited about this! My mind is already spinning on my goals. Now, this is not a wish list, it's something we should be willing to work for! Next Saturday, before our Bible Study, we're going to rewrite our goals one final time, tape them into our Bible, and them share them with one another. I can't wait for next week!

Monday, July 19, 2010

My Farmer at heart

Just about every place we've lived, Patrick has tried his hand at gardening. Sorry to say, it hasn't always worked...I guess I should be honest...It's never worked! So this year when he said he wants to have a garden. I wasn't all that supportive...I guess I should be honest again :o) I wasn't supportive at all! But, Patrick and the kids worked hard tilling the ground, and planting and watering, and now we have a real, productive, growing garden!! yay!! Doesn't it look fabulous?!
Strange looking tomato! But wow! They taste sooo good! We even had some garden grown tomatos and green onion in our taco salad tonight!!

Patrick planted green onions, regular onions (not sure exactly what kind) tomatoes, green beans, yellow beans, green peppers, yellow peppers, red peppers, purple peppers (he doesn't like peppers, but he knows they're my favorite, what a sweetie!), eggplant (eggplant parmesan is one of my favorites!) and cucumber. And some wild mint growing too! Fabulous garden!! Thanks, sweetie, for planting for us!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Trying to Train

Sometimes days with my little guy can be trying. Silas is the most active child I have ever had. He is so busy, busy, busy. But, I also have to say, he's very intelligent, too! How many 18 month old children can say the sounds of 11 different animals? (He knows more animal sounds than words!) (I guess that's enough bragging for now!)

Silas is incredibly curious. Sometimes it's hard to direct that curiosity in the right way, so that he can learn and understand, but still know boundaries and be safe as well. Do you know what I mean? I don't want to have so many limits that he can't explore and learn, but he's definitely at the age where he understands the word "no". I also feel like our house isn't childproof enough and there are so many things he can get into that could hurt him. (Last week he got out the pots and pans and put them on top of the stove, then tried to put them in the oven!) (Praise the Lord the oven wasn't on!)

When my Mom was here she loved to watch Silas run from room to room, touching everything in sight, giggling, and figuring things out. Silas really likes all of the cabinets in the kitchen and the drawers too. Mom sweetly reminded me about Silas having his own drawer and teaching him to stay out of the others. (It's amazing how much stuff you forget about your little ones when there is a 10 year gap!) So, for a month and a half we've been keeping him out of the other cabinets,and pointing him to "His!" drawer. When he opens the other drawers, I say, "No, Silas, play in your drawer" He's doing very well, and I think it finally clicked with him last week. He's playing in his drawer! Yay! He still looks a little mischievious, though. Doesn't he? What a cutie!
I went in the other room to change Callie and when I came back I was so proud of my little guy. He even cleaned up his mess!! He probably sang the clean up song the whole time, too.
My Silas is growing up! Love you, Bud!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Learning this language!

It's been a while since I've given an update on our language studies. Learning a new language is definitely a roller coaster ride. There are so many ups and downs. Some days go very well, others I can hardly speak. I told someone at church the other night that Silas is 17 years old. (He's 17 months) It's frustrating when you make mistakes on the simplest things that you know! The other day I called Estelle and told her "I need my help" Instead of I need your help. Big difference! I'm so thankful for friends that can laugh with me, about my mistakes, but not at me. You know what I'm talking about? God has put people in our life to encourage us and help us in our language studies and I'm so very thankful.

Speaking of Estelle, she has been coming to our house once a week to teach the kids french. (She lives 45 minutes away! That's one way!) The children are really enjoying their time with her. They laugh and joke with one another during the whole class, yet they are learning. She starts them off with quoting the books of the Bible. Did you know that they are different in French? For instance, James is Jacques and Revelation is Apocolypse. Then they read 2 chapters in the Bible out loud. Then, sing some hymns, then she has worksheets for them and verb studies. They are doing very well. We asked her to stay for dinner after class and we had her use the "Special" plate. She deserves it! Our classes with Madame Claire are also going very well. Last week Patrick needed to finish writing his french message, so I went to class alone. Joshua went too and worked on his model at her table. After class he asked me if we got any studying done. All he could hear was laughing. I have so much fun with Madame Claire. She's such an excellent teacher. I'm starting to be able to converse with her more. Not a planned, let me tell her what I did yesterday type conversation, but REAL TALKING! Yay!!!

Tomorrow is our last class for 2 weeks. Madame Claire is going on a vacation to Cuba. So, we have lots of fun summer plans, too. I see some picnics in our future! :o)And maybe some quilting! ;o) When she returns I'm going to start having my own class once a week. That way we can just talk, talk, talk. That's definitely my next step in learning this language!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

US Consolate Visit

Today was the day for us to visit the US Consolate to file Callie Grace's paperwork for US citizenship. Let me clarify something (this is how the lady at the consolate put it for us) Callie will always and forever be a Canadian. She's a Canadian by birth, and American by Blood. But, for her to have the American status we must fill out all the paperwork (Don't ya just love paperwork?) She will never have an American Birth Certificate. She will have an american passport, and a paper called a Consular Report for Birth Abroad.

It's amazing to think of all the possibilities God may have in store for our Callie Grace. Hopefully within 2 years we will also have her French Citizenship paperwork back. How many people do you know are tri-citizens. Pretty neat, huh?

As Patrick and I drove with Miss Callie to the Consolate (Thank you, Estelle, for watching our oldest 4!) we realized that we aren't quite as homesick as we once were. God is always preparing us for the next step in our lives, isn't He! Our first time to cross back into the states after arriving into Canada, (last October) we were very nostalgic. I cried when I saw the flag, Josh wrote a poem, and Patrick sang the National Anthem. We missed America. And, although we still love the USA and miss it dearly, we're more content with the place God has let us live. Canada has so many gorgeous parks. We have an amazing walking park right by our house. We live in a great neighborhood with a good neighbor and good landlord. We feel very safe. We actually really like the weather here. We've made some really good friends. We have an excellent professor that is a gift from God. We've made Quebec our home. What we didn't realize is that we would experience culture shock here. I mean, this is Canada! America's neighbor!!! Well, we did, and God let us experience it. Now, we pray that it will be slighty easier for us when culture shock hits us in St. Barths. We're one step closer to getting there!

We showed up at the consolate and went through security. It was just like at the airport. Then, the paperwork began. We left 2 hours later with all of the paperwork filled out. We should get a call in 6-8 weeks to be able to pick up the finished documents.

So, for now our Callie Grace is still 100% Canadian. But, not for long...I'm going to have a dual citizen daughter! Pretty neato, huh?

Monday, July 12, 2010

100% Canadian.....for now

When we were in Old Quebec with Patrick's mom, we saw a T-shirt that said "100% Quebecoise". I was tempted to buy it for my Callie. For now, our Callie is still our little Canadian, but that should all change tomorrow. At 2pm we have an appointment with the US Consolate to apply for Callie's US Citizenship paperwork.

We have all of our paperwork all ready to go. All that we needed was Callie's picture for her passport. So, today I took her to Jean Coutu (our drugstore) and I had her picture taken. It was a little bit of an ordeal. I didn't realize you're not supposed to wear white. Guess what Callie was wearing? You guessed it...White!! Ugh! So, they wrapped her pink Winnie the Pooh blanket around her, and layed her down on the white paper on the floor. Then, she started to cry. Well, you're not supposed to be crying in your passport picture, so I tried to comfort her. Finally, I had to pick her up and bounce her and talk to her for a bit to calm her down. Then, lay her down quick and snap the picture. Four times of doing this and we finally got the right picture. (I hope)
Pray for us tomorrow!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Family Fun Night

We had a great night together Friday night! Josh made a frozen Yogurt filled Chocolate Cake. It was wonderful! Then we enjoyed some fierce competition in the game of Skip-Bo. I won't say who won....well, maybe I will. It was me!!

It was so delicious! A perfect cake for a hot day!

Friday, July 9, 2010

What do you do on a hot day?

We've had some pretty hot temps here in Quebec lately. Now, yes, I know it's not as hot as in Florida, but it's definitely unusually warm for here in Canada. The other day my Dad said it was hotter here than in Florida! Wow! Our house has been pretty warm too, since most homes in Quebec don't have A/C. We've spent a lot of time outside, where it's a little cooler. Silas has fallen in love with his blow up pool. (I think Josh, Elisabeth, and Brenna has too!)

The water from our faucet is so wonderfully cold! I love it!
I think Brenna is also loving her role as older sibling. You do know what that means? You get to aggravate the younger one...just a little. I think Silas didn't mind one bit!

Now, it's time for lots of laundry! Why must my kiddos where their socks outside?
Praise the Lord for little ones from God that I get to do laundry for...oh, that's right, Patrick has taken over that chore! I'll be thankful for him! :o)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

4th of July and 2 months old!

Happy 4th of July (I know I'm late!) everyone! We were so excited to invite 2 families over for a 4th of July picnic. The girls experimented with making cookies and decorating them with fondant. I thought they did an excellent job! They are really interested in learning how to decorate cookies and cakes. I've been talking to my extremely talented friend, Britney Harper. She has been such a blessing and has given me some wonderful ideas. Check out her website for some gorgeous sweets!

We're so thankful our friends the Hamby family was able to come to celebrate the 4th with us. They are missionaries to Trois Rivieres, a city about an hour and a half south from us. They're also with Macedonia World Baptist Missions like we are, so we met them when we had our orientation. They have been such a blessing to us! We love to get together with them and just laugh and have a great time. They are such an encouragement and so faithful. Amanda is the type of friend that I might not see for a couple of months, but when I do we just talk like we live next door to one another. Thank you Lord, for great friends!The Burdette's were also able to come. They moved to Quebec in April to learn french also. It's great to have another couple to share your language woes with...I mean to encourage. We've had a great time getting to know them and just found out they play Rook! I can't wait for a good Rook tournament!

Amanda Hamby made a really neat cake of our flag. She even managed to make sure there are 50 stars!

Amanda loved little Callie, but Callie is just like Silas, they're not all that crazy about Bro. Jason Hamby! All he has to do is speak to one of them and they cry!

I'm so thankful the kids got to run around and play and enjoy celebrating the 4th. Happy Birthday America!

Also, my Callie Grace just turned 2 months old. She's starting to "coo" so much now and smile. She smiles with her eyes first. She's slept an average of 7 hours at night for the last 3 nights. Yay! She's such a good baby and get lots of kisses from her 4 siblings. (Especially Silas! Yesterday she had a Peanut Butter kiss on her forehead!)