Complicated Cuddling…

Who knew that cuddling could be such a chore?  Sophy woke up early from her nap today and when I have time I like to cuddle her on my bed for a while.  She likes to snuggle when she first wakes up but today I think I almost regretting it.  She had to have her ‘lovey’ (a bunny blanket that she sucks her thumb with) a blanket from her crib and this little pillow with us while we were trying to cuddle and we just couldn’t get everything in right place to her satisfaction…  she kept wiggling and wanting things to be moved until I just gave up.  It is apparent we are going to have to work on stream-lining cuddling again.  Who knew?

So Sarah just had her birthday and every time someone here has a birthday I make a cake from scratch.  Since my mother-in-law Mudite gave me America’s Test Kitchen Baking cook-book,  every cake I bake comes out of there and they are AMAZING cakes.  Complicated I think, but really really good.   So for Sarah’s birthday I made the chocolate sheet cake recipe rather than the layer cake recipe because I thought it would be fun to decorate it.   I know I’ve never done a nice job decorating cakes in the past, but you can’t get past this crazy thing called hope.   Anyway, I thought I would decorate the top like a big candy because Sarah loves candy… so I went and bought all this candy, decorated the cake and this is how it turned out…

Utterly ghastly.    Really awful.   And it’s not just because it’s sitting next to the professionally decorated cake.  It looks just that bad or worse on it’s own.  When Jason’s cousin saw it she asked, “Oh, did Sarah decorate it herself?”  I should have answered ‘yes’, but I owned it.  I’m awful at cake decorating, I really am.   This is going to be added to the list of things I should never really attempt untill I have professional training.    It can join ‘never pick out my own paint colours’ somewhere at the top of the list.    The only saving grace was that it was yummy… it really was.

Happy Birthday Sarah!

My Sarah is four today!   So I thought  little trip down memory lane was in order…  here she is, brand spankin’ new!

6 months later with her big brothers…

The next summer at 18 mths, I love this picture!

Then at 2 1/2 looking so grown up, but she’s a big sister now…

Then last year when she turned 3…

And then today – looking at her new lego with dad and Erik…

She is growing up so fast, but it’s wonderful watching her grow!  Mommy and Daddy love you Sarah!

Crazy dreams and arctic blasts…

So last night I dreamt I had triplets… yes triplets.   And then in my dream I was having a hard time doing the math, I couldn’t figure out if I now had 7 or 8 children. .. and really, when you have that many, does it really matter?   I do remember that one of the babies was a boy, but the babies didn’t really seem like newborns, more like a few months old but I was just glad that the weight I had gained was baby weight… ha!     I’ve always been a terrific dreamer, and most of the time I just find them very entertaining in their odd way. 

And talking about entertained,  it’s getting hard to entertain these children when you can’t kick them outside because it’s too cold outside!  Yesterday the kids had indoor recess at school because they deemed it too cold for kids to play outside and looking at the forecast and seeing -25 C with the wind chill does make one think twice about going outdoors.    So yesterday  I just had to do what anyone would do in this kind of weather, I made chocolate chip cookies and then curled up on the couch with a coffee and book.  And I didn’t make just any chocolate chip cookies, I pulled out the big guns,  in fact, this is what  the recipe says on it…

Ok – it’s a little blurry, it says, “these are why Sophy was 10 lbs”  My sister-in-law Shelly made me a batch before Sophia was born and then I got the recipe from her and kept making them and eating them and that’s what I blame Sophy’s birth weight on… that and the fact that she was a week overdue.  But they are so worth it… in fact I think there is only one left, I better go hide it.

Tea with Leopards

Oh my – has it really been over a week since I’ve posted?  I’m so bad!  How can January be so busy?   Oh well, at least it’s flying by quickly for me!

So Since Christmas I’ve noticed that Sarah has started to play with stuffed animals, which is great because we have a zillion of them and I was hoping that someone would play with them someday.   She carts around one or two for a day and then moves on.    This leopard is the flavour of the week right now so he came to our tea party yesterday, it kinda makes me think of Hobbes having tea with Susie…except Hobbes was a tiger as we all know.

I’m still so tickled with the china cups and tea-things that I got for Sarah at this wonderful junk store and paid peanuts for.  And maybe I did get them somewhat for my benefit, I just really don’t like drinking real tea out of tiny plastic tea cups.   William like the blueberry tea at our party (it was earl grey – again for my benefit) and who cares that the kids drink more sugar than tea, part of the fun of the tea party is scooping 5 tsp of sugar into your cup and then pouring your tea-cup full of milk until it’s almost over-flowing.  Just living the dream.  

So it’s become apparent that our children do NOT like  hanging around home Sunday afternoons… are we that boring?   Two weeks ago when we were driving to church they asked what we were doing that day…..  going to our cousins?   Oma and Opa’s?  Grandma and Grandpas?   But going home was NOT an option.   Since we had nothing planned we whipped out the phone and called my parents, and they were happy to have us come, so after church we headed there, an hour away… in the snow, and not really prepared.  I like to make sure I have hats and mitts and warm coats and blankets and the whole 10 yards when I travel in the winter, but we were in Jason’s truck and had nothing.     Jason on the other hand is a risk taker and he said we would be fine and we were.  But still.

So this past weekend – again to avoid boring home – we took advantage of Grandpa and Grandma being out and went to hang at their house.  They have a hot tub and Wii and they live out in the country and it was like our pseudo winter get-away.  And it’s a bit of work packing for just one night, but if you don’t do it, you just miss out.  

There is just something about other people’s toys…


And then we all took a great walk in the woods behind their house.  Well, Sophy was carried, she would have liked to walk but the snow was too deep.

I’ve also realized that I have a thing for landscapes – as in taking pictures of them.  Jason thinks they are boring, but I like them!   So here is one from the weekend..

It doesn’t really rival the one I took last year when we were out there.  I really wish I had had my good camera at the time!

Anyway, this is what happens when you don’t post for a while,  you end up with long rambling posts!  I really think it’s time to move the computer up from the basement so I can be more productive!

My conversation with Sophia…

Oh the toddler years and the terrible twos.  Take Sophy, she is such a sweet happy child and hasn’t really given me a moment’s trouble.  She loves to cuddle and read books and play…   but since Christmas I seem to have a different child on my hands.  One who is sweet in happy one minute and then the next is yelling in utter frustration because YOU have to put her coat on her, when she wants to do it HERSELF.  And even though you had been patient for 10 minute watching her try to put it on,  you  eventually have to put it on for her because she keeps putting it on upside down and the clock is ticking and the bus is coming and the rest of the kids are waiting and you have the leave the house NOW.   Phew… it’s just Sophy and the terrible twos.  Where she is transformed daily from sweet cooing baby to screaming banshee… where she wants to do everything herself and doesn’t want any help and can yell louder than all three other kids put together.  She currently has to put her socks on herself and try to put her pants on herself.   Has to peel her clementine oranges by herself and put her yogurt on her granola by herself (and yes, she will dump her granola out if you try to do it for her.)  And here she is sitting on the potty all by herself… fully clothed…

And no, I’m not trying to train her, but after she was trying to climb up to sit on the big potty, I thought I would oblige her by getting out the potty for her to play with.  She loves it.   It’s in her room and she calls me up there to show me that she’s sitting on it just the big 19 month old girl that she is.   Now, I don’t hold out any hope that she’ll be able to do the zipper up on her coat for 2 more years even though she tries daily, but if she potty trains herself within the next year or so, I would be one happy mother.

Anyway, the other day this conversation that Sophy and I used resurfaced.  We used to have this conversation daily, where she would ask me the same question up to 20 times and I would always give her the same answer.   Toddlers love repetition and I just couldn’t resist sharing.  

Oh the comfort…

After spending this morning  morning with a wonderful friend,  and talking about alot of things,  this quote came to mind that  I had on a plaque in my room as a child.  I could only remember the context, so I tracked it down and here it is..

Oh, the comfort –
The inexpressible comfort of feeling
safe with a person,
Having neither to weight thoughts,
Nor measure words – but pouring them
All right out – just as they are –
Certain that a faithful hand will
Take and sift them –
Keep was is worth keeping –
and with the breath of kindness
Blow the rest away
Dinah Maria Craik (1826-1887) 

 (Taken from her novel, A Life for a Life, published in 1859)

It certainly is a comfort to have friends you can pour out your soul too – and not have to ‘worry’ about things that you probably shouldn’t have said, or maybe how you said something.   So thank-you my wonderful friend for a great chat this morning and those yummy muffins!

A new year

Happy New Year!   I’m always pleasantly excited by the New Year as the year seems like a clean slate before me just waiting to be filled.  I wonder what will fill the days of this year?   Maybe this will be the year the Lord will come back, hallelujah!  Or maybe this year I won’t have another baby (I’ve had them every odd year since 2003) and maybe this year I’ll finally learn how to keep my house tidy-  even though my 4 children don’t seem to be on the same page as me on that one. 

I don’t have any resolutions this year, which I normally do, but I have a few simple goals.  They are to try to keep my kitchen tidy as I go,  to not cave in to my children, when I make a decision, I need to stick to it!   I want to try to do devotions with my kids every day and have them work on some scripture memory.    I also have some things I want to work on with each child this year…   I want to keep up Erik’s blog with him.  I want to work on William’s reading and teach Sarah her letters and I want to cuddle and play with Sophia more.   

But I think my biggest hope for this year is that I can learn to put God first in everything – like Norm our pastor preached about on Sunday.   God isn’t just pleased with whatever I give him, he wants my best and so often that’s just not the case.   It’s learning to say ‘no’ to self and ‘yes’ to God.      Here it is in a nutshell – one of my favourite verses…

He has told you oh man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.  Micah 6:8

I’m excited to see what this New Year holds for us!