Erik’s Birthday

Erik turned 7 yesterday!     And it was a fun-filled pretty busy day.   And because the school year was so long this year, he got to have his birthday at school, which meant that he got to hear his name on the announcements (he liked that) and then we brought cupcakes for his class too, something he’s never been able to do before! 

Here he is in the morning, ready to open his first present…

And then here he is really getting into the unwrapping of another present later in the day…

And here he is, pretty excited about his present,

His grandma and grandpa took him out for lunch, which he really enjoyed too.  It’s such a great tradition and so nice for him to feel like a special kid and get some one-on-one attention.

Here are the boys and their cousins flexing some muscles playing tug-of-war, before going out to play some mini-golf. 

And here he is blowing out the candles on his cake with some help from his brother…

So it was a fabulous day and there is still more birthday to come when we get together with Jason’s side of the family and we’ll see Oma and Opa sometime soon too!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERIK!

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Cottage Weekend…

We just had such a relaxing time at the cottage this weekend.   However, on Friday our camera was dropped and is no longer working, I’m so bummed!   I couldn’t find the power cord for our old one so no camera at the cottage, so bear with me.

[Here] is where I would have put the picture of Sophia sampling the kids crayons… I’m not sure what colour she liked best, but this morning I found a bit in her diaper…. silly Sophy!

[Here] is where I would have posted the picture of the huge sea-wall the kids constructed down by the beach.  The best thing was, it was just on the verge of being too close to the lake so that the larger waves would erode it.  This meant the kids had to keep building it up, which they did for quite a few hours.    Note to self – a GREAT way to keep kids occupied for hours! 

[Here] is where I would have posted a picture of the kids and their friends.  Erik played with the little girl next door who was visiting her grandma… it was so cute because they are both the same age, and spent quite a bit of time just TALKING…  which her mom and  I found surprising and amusing.     Our good friends were up from Michigan at their cottage nd so William had a playmate in Brendan who is the same age as him and they had a riot, definitly partners in crime.   Sarah had Dana who is also just a bit younger than her.   We realized early on that both girls were cut from the same cloth, so there was a teeny bit of competition on Saturday and a few tears, but by Sunday things were sorted out and they played really well together.

And [Here] is where I would have put pictures of the flooding that was happening just before we left.  Apparently that area has been saturated with rain for the past while, so the downpoor that we got Sunday afternoon just created a massive amount of water that came down the hill behind the cottage and was severely erroding the road and creating mini rivers.  It was crazy and just a little bit worrying when Jason said that water was getting into the upstairs cottage.  I really hope that’s the last bit of rain that area gets for a while!

So now we are back and ready to celebrate Erik’s birthday and finish school this week, YEAH!

William’s Field Trip

Yesterday was William’s all day end-of-year field trip.  The kids love this trip which starts out the morning with going to a movie – then a trip to park and a picnic, then they go to a cooking class in the afternoon, it’s so much fun!    I have never gone on this field trip, but I meet the kids at the park for lunch, which is a great way for me to participate.  And I brought the girls with me and they loved it too!

Here’s Will with his good friend playing on the playground…

And our student teacher who has been AMAZING!  She is also great with babies and Sophy loves her!

And here is William’s class picture – plus the morning JK and SK class.   

 We are so terribly sad that Mrs. Tobin is retiring this year, which means that she won’t be teaching Sarah and Sophia.   She has been such an amazing teacher and Erik and William have learned so much for her.   We love you Mrs. Tobin!

Busy busy busy

We have been one busy family!   It all started Friday, with the fun day at Northdale Public School for the boys, they had a blast!

Then Saturday morning we had a garage sale!  It was fun, but lots of hard work.  I don’t think it’s worth the money for the time you have to invest, but getting rid of junk was a great feeling!

Then Father’s Day, which I kinda dropped the ball on here, I feel bad because I would have liked to do more for Jason.  We did get down to visit my dad which was nice.

Then my mom came yesterday so I could help Erik’s teacher clean her classroom in the afternoon.  After that I took Erik strawberry picking and after the kids were in bed, mom and I made jam!  Thanks for your help mom!

Then today I went with Erik’s class to the Wings of Paradise butterfly conservatory.    We had a great time and the butterflies were beautiful!

 

So I guess it’s no surprise that I’m exhausted!   But it’s been a blast!

Work Makes Life Sweet

This is actually a saying from the Hutterite community, which I found in the book I just read “I am Hutterite” (see below).  I like this saying, although I’m still not  sure why, because it’s not the easiest thing to understand… work?…. making life sweet?   Shouldn’t that read,  ‘Free time makes life sweet’… or me time, or time off, or doing what I want to do makes life sweet?   

 It really does say work and work is something that I have a lot of.   In this busy household there is always more work than can be done in a day and sometimes it overwhelms me.    This past winter I can see how my attitude toward all my work was taking a downward spiral and dragging me down.  I was feeling resentful towards my family (for making all this work!) and I was feeling pretty darn sorry for myself.   This was showing up in being short-tempered with the kids and not really enjoying my life because I felt so used.  

So enter in “Work makes life sweet” and it’s made me think.    As I was talking this over with my friend Christa, she pointed out that our culture does have this sense of entitlement that we should have time for ourselves and we deserve it.  We have to work to make money,  but the working conditions had better be ideal, I shouldn’t have to work too much and I better get paid a good wage.  It’s all about ME!   

And I guess that’s where I’ve been at, focusing on me and trying to get through this work so that I can have some coveted ‘time to myself’.   But even if I did get some time, it just was never enough, and so I’d begrudge the work even more.   But this saying is turning my perspective around.  Maybe sweetness can be found IN the work, not necessarily when it’s done.  Granted,  there is a great feeling when you can see a task accomplished, it’s a great sense of satisfaction, but how about enjoying the process?  

Ecclesiastes  2:24&25 says …

“There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil.  This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?”

So there you have it, there is nothing better than actually enjoying your WORK, and realizing that work is actually from God.  Wow!    I think I have myself a new perspective.  I’m giving it a try, and finding that in my work, there are many things I can be thankful for.  For beautiful healthy children to cook for and clean for and do their laundry, for a house that keeps us sheltered.  And all this housework is great excercise!

Yes, I think that work can make life sweet.

I am Hutterite – Book Review

This is a book I just picked up at the library – but really enjoyed it.  First off, I didn’t even know that there was a group of people called Hutterites – and then I found out there are over 45,000 of them in Canada!

This is a facinating book with a real insight into this culture.    I felt like I was living in the colony along with Mary-Ann and her parents and really enjoyed sharing her life.   The Hutterite colony reminded me in way of what it would be like to live at a church camp,  eating together as a group and going to church every night, and being with the same people all the time, as well as helping one another with everything.  And there were some key things that I loved about how the community works, like when a woman has  baby, they bring her special foods for 6 weeks (how wonderful!) and then she is able to choose a younger girl from the community to help her with the children and housework (better yet!).

When Mary-Ann’s parents left the community, they endured many hardships, and Mary-Ann and her siblings found it a challenge to understand and fit into their new world.  But through it all her mother’s faith in God really shines through and I’m sure that in many ways that was what kept them going and was the key to their success.   The book did leave me wondering where Mary-Ann’s own faith is at, I might have to contact her and ask. 

I would definitly recommend this book!

Beach babies…

 

Here are three sweet little beach babies, who had so much fun digging their sweet little toes in the sand and eating sand and rocks yesterday.  Tyler, Katie and Sophia are all cousins born within 7 months of each other, it’s amazing to see their different stages, even though they are so close.   And they get a kick out of each other already, although to be honest that just translates mostly into alot of poking and prodding.  I’m sure things will improve with time, but for now it’s nice to have lots of babies to go around!

Oma and Opa’s

When Jay’s away, or he has a project to do at home, we love to come and stay with Oma and Opa.  The boys don’t mind playing hooky from school and I don’t mind the break from everyday life.  So here we are today on a gorgous June day, just hanging out and enjoying being outside with my parents.

My dad was working on their front walk-way, so Erik was glad to pitch in, after  negotiating his hourly rate of course…

Sarah woke up from a nap and started out like this…

But ended up like this…

We couldn’t contain Sophia today she had to check everything out and would be gone in a flash.  What a day for her to be wearing white jeans!

   

And Will just did his thing today which is just to play and play and play!   Oma got him to stop for a minute so she could take this…

It was a wondeful day… thank you Oma and Opa!   And Jay, aren’t you glad that Erik could help someone else out for a change?

This is where it all began…

on a boat, at the conservation area, and me getting my first taste of waterskiing, slaloming and at the time, knee-boarding.  Jason and I met working with the Junior High at our church… but this is how we first started spending time together when he would invite me along with his friends on the boat.   

Before I met Jason I think I had been on a motor-boat just a handfull of times, but since Jason loved it, I loved it, and I’m glad I did love it for real because it’s still part of our life, just a WAY smaller part of it now that we have four kids.    

So fast-forward 14 years and here we are with the kids (minus Sophia) who were happy to go for a quick spin yesterday to make sure the boat was running well for the 2010 summer season.  There were a few tears when we thought that maybe it wasn’t going to work out, but they soon turned to smiles as we were off, although Sarah was still unsure for a bit, but knowing her, she’ll change her mind and won’t be able to get enough.

So hopefully Jason gets to use his boat more than the once or twice he did last year,  I know the kids would love it!