Lukewarm and Loving it…

I was sick last night, which wasn’t nice, but it meant I couldn’t go to church this morning which I was sad about because I haven’t been in ages because we’ve had our fair share of sickness this month.  But when Jason was at church with the boys and the girls were occupied I listened to this sermon by Francis Chan, “Lukewarm and Loving it!”   which was recommended by my friend Sarah..

Wow, talk about a shake-up!   It was very convicting…  one of the verses he uses is from the book of Revelation, where God says to the church of Laodicea, “I know your works, you are neither cold nor hot! So because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.”   Rev 3:15-17 

Francis compares that church to today’s North American church.  Don’t think of yourself as rich?  Well think again, because compared to most of the world that subsists on $2 a day, we are very rich!   But we are so attached to our wealth, we don’t see how it’s replaced God in our lives.  We don’t rely on Him for our daily bread, for our health, we’ve got it all covered.  Sure we want a piece of God to feel better, but would we be willing to give up everything we have for the sake of following Christ and the eternal joy that would be ours with Him? 

It’s an amazing message that will shake you up, I highly recommend it.

What do you do with a kid…

–  Who is so smart, but will do almost anything to NOT to have to go to school

–  Who thinks that taking apart an old tape-player is the best way to spend a Saturday morning (ME – “Erik, can you think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning?”  ERIK “Mom, there is no better way.) 

–  Who after missing the bus home for the second time in a row and facing my wrath says, “Mom, I’m just as upset about this as you are.”

– Who thinks the worst part about school is recess (yes, I know, it’s bewildering)

–  Who when he is home sick, plays school and teaches his siblings about ‘matter‘ (By the way, I wouldn’t know the first thing about describing matter to someone else – unless I googled it first)

– Who is so concerned about the kid in his class with a peanut allergy that I can barely convince him to take a granola bar to school for his own snack that ‘might contain nuts’.

–  Who when he does go back to school on Tuesday after being sick on the weekend tries to talk the school secretary into calling me so he can come home because he might be ‘contagious’

–  Who thinks it’s a travesty if I throw away a cardboard box before he can make something with it. 

– Who was just a little digusted with Western’s Engineering camp that he attended last summer because they took time away from making things to play.  I mean good grief, he didn’t go there to PLAY!

– Who when Jason even mentions a project that he wants to do in the house, Erik has his tools ready and badgers Jason until he starts and then is in there like a dirty shirt 

–  Who still loves to be cuddled before bed (Thank-goodness!)

–  Who when I bring him to the bus stop in the morning will come back for just another kiss 10 times if he can

–  Whose freckles on his nose look just like brown sugar and are twice as sweet

Any ideas?    Well after some careful thought and consideration I’ve decided to just keep on loving him to bits, and teaching him and caring for him, this precious gift from God,  even though I do have this uncomfortable vague feeling that at 7 he’s already smarter than I am.   I love you Erik!

Crayon Candy Cushions

A few weeks ago when Will was home sick he wanted to do a craft.  A CRAFT… this is William who does crafts at school but rarely wants to do them at home because he’s too busy running around and playing, so when he asks I try to comply.  This is the craft that he chose…

It was making a cushion that you actually decorate by drawing crayon on fabric… it’s from this book which we’ve gotten alot of use from for years…

So we got to work… coloring on fabric.   It is a little tricky because you really have to keep the fabric taunt, but the kids did a great job… on the first side…

But apparently it was too time consuming, so both Erik and William had me colour the other side of their cushions, with firm  instructions on how I was to do it… just in case I couldn’t quite figure it out.    As you can see, both boys coloured their cushions as close to the cushions in the picture as they could.  When I tried to tell them they could decorate their own cushions however they wanted, they just looked at me like I was crazy.   They were making the cushions FROM THE BOOK,  what was wrong with me? 

So after they coloured them,  (as you can see Sarah wasn’t bound by any such notions – although I did add the green diamonds for her at her request) I ironed them, on newspaper, crayon side down with wax paper between the iron and the cloth.    it was really cool because you could see the crayon melt, and then it soaked right in to the fabric, so you couldn’t even tell they were coloured with crayon… it just dyed the material.   How cool is that?

Then I sewed and stuffed them and voila – candy cushions coloured by crayons.   The kids love them – which I know because I find them all over the house – but best of all, I made my William happy! 

Fun with forts…

Yesterday afternoon the kids begged me to make them some forts, so I agreed.   I still think there is an un-tapped market for some kind of ‘fort-fastener’ – a way to easily attach blankets to furniture, but we just did it the old-fashioned method of drapping and the kids had a riot.

This little turkey…

 doesn’t quite have the fine motor skills to successfully navigate a fragile fort, and I was constantly being called in for damage control to the cries of “Sophy! You wrecked our fort!”   But that was just minor and they had fun for hours, until they decided they would like to sleep in their forts.   I hate being the bad guy, but the family room just isn’t the place for over-night sleep overs for children, because it’s the location of our only TV and I wanted to watch a movie that night.    So I got off the hook by promising to build them a new fort in the living room that they could sleep in that night, but I really was secretly hoping that they would forget about it.   They didn’t forget…

And everything was going really well until William’s glow bracelet starting leaking.  Erik just couldn’t handle the potential poisonous toxins that were probably being emitted, and so choose to go to his room and sleep in his own bed out of harm’s way.  William and Sarah stayed and were quiet, fell asleep at once and didn’t get up until the morning.  Maybe there was something in that bracelet?    

I’m so glad that they get so much enjoyment out such a simple thing but if anyone ever figures out a better way to attach a blanket to a couch, I’d be all over it!

I made myself cry…

For the past while I’ve been trying to find my old journals from after I was married, but before kids.  I want to find them because for the life of me, I can’t remember what being married was like with no kids around.   And I even had five years like that so I’m surprised I can’t remember.   Anyhow, all my journals are together in a box, but I didn’t believe in labelling them by year,  so keep picking up the wrong journals, but then once I start reading I can’t put them down.   Like yesterday I found a journal of the years right before I met Jason and they are – how shall I say dramatic to the 100th degree?    I would have been better off using the pen and ink to write about the weather and what I wore and what I ate rather than to commit to paper every excruciating thought that I had about the other sex.    “Do I like him?   Does he like me… he did look at me like that for 1/2 a minute and he told a friend who told another friend who told another friend that he thinks there might be potential for us”   It’s like reading a really bad romance novel and it’s kinda embarrassing too.  So then I think, what do I do with these journals?  Do I destroy them?  Do I wait until I die and have my kids read them and realize how crazy their mother was ?  I honestly don’t know, but let me continue…

What made me shed a few tears was my journal entries from when I found out I was pregnant the first time and my subsequent miscarriage (jumping ahead a few years of course.)    If I probe the memory of that episode now in my mind I have no bad feelings about it – praise the Lord – but obviously at the time I was in quite a bit of pain.   The only blessing to that experience was that it happened on the way home from a trip to Florida and we stopped a hospital in Horse Cave Kentucky and the staff were very kind – and Jason’s grandfather provided some distraction as he was having some dementia and chased Jason’s mother around the hospital.  Oh yes – it was quite the trip.

But what I did find that actually encouraged me (after I dried my tears) was a quote that I had written into my journal from John Piper – it goes like this…

“the suffering of sickness and the suffering of persecution have this in common: they are both intended by Satan for the destruction of our faith, and governed by God for the purification of our faith.”

It really puts a new perspective on the things we go though – and as I read back in my journal, I was encouraged by the faith that I had during that time in God, knowing that He would get me through and provide for me in whatever way that was… and now from where I am today, I know He was VERY faithful and look how He’s blessed me!    I kept using this quote – but I don’t know who it’s from, sorry!

“Faith is not about the absence of trouble, but the presence of grace.”    Fabulous.

So I still can’t remember what life was like before kids, and until I find that journal I probably won’t, but it was neat to take a trip down memory lane and find some encouragement in Christ instead.

Goodwill Bookstore

I adore reading, I read read read read.  My favourite thing to read is novels, but I can read most anything as long as it’s interesting.   So a month or so ago, a friend told me how much she loved the Goodwill Bookstore here it town I decided to check it out.   

It went beyond my expectations. Now, I went without kids as my mom had come down for the day and that probably helped right there, but I found it clean and bright and all the books were amazingly well-organized.  The novels were alphabetical, the reference books were all in their own sections and it was easy to find what I was looking for.   In preparation for going I had written down the names of authors whose books I would love to add to my library, and I found these gems… 

Two Farley Mowat books , ‘the Dog who wouldn’t be’ and ‘The Boat who wouldn’t Float’ and two James Herriot books – ‘It shouldn’t happen to a vet’ and ‘The Lord God made them all”.    I was SO excited because not only were they in great shape, I didn’t have to spend hours looking through shelves and shelves of musty books.   I know that I can go on EBAY or amazon and find these books, but then I’ll be paying shipping and I would much rather support a local charity!

I grew up reading these books and I’m always attracted to people who’s writing is humorous and these guys fit the bill.  I LOVED James Harriot’s humorous books about veterinarian life back in the day in England…  and I actually can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of ‘Owls in the Family’ by Farley – which was one of my favourite books as a kid.  

So I’m looking forward to more book buying expeditions.   Jason might not be however because my bookshelves are already over-flowing and I still have to find homes for these finds!

Fevers and flowers

I definitely prefer flowers over fevers, but I accepted both yesterday…   Sophy’s fever I didn’t accept graciously, it came back with a vengeance after being gone on Sunday, which made me think someone else must be brewing.   She’s on antibiotics now and it’s nice how quickly they work because she’s back to her old self today.  Hopefully we are all on the mend now!  

However, I happily accepted these from Jason last night,

with my messy hair, sweatpants and a shirt that was far from clean as he walked in the house after worked and handed them to me.   I was pretty thrilled and told him he was sweet and he said, “Well when you look like that!”     That’s when you know it’s true love.

We’re sick

There are currently four of us home with fevers today.  William has strep throat, Sarah has a low-grade fever from who knows what and Sophia has a fairly high fever and I have a low-grade fever.  I think I have the typical flu – influenza that is –  with a sore throat, runny nose, cough and swollen glands and fever.  Yuck.  I haven’t had the flu in years!  I’m afraid Sophy might have it too and I feel the worst for her.  The poor little monkey has been sleeping most of the day and when she’s awake wants to be cuddled and she just doesn’t seem comfortable.   William is fine on Advil and as soon as I can get some antibiotics in him he will be great I’m sure.  And Sarah is acting fairly normally so I’m grateful for that.

On the bright side, its cold, it’s February, we have nowhere to go and so we’re just hunkered down, watching TV and cuddling.  I’ve been giving everyone extra doses of vitamin D and hopefully we get through this quickly!  Erik is perfectly healthy and mad as a hopper that he’s not sick… all he wants to do is stay home from school and in his mind it’s just not fair that everyone else is sick and not him.  And I feel for him because he probably will get sick this weekend and then he will miss Valentine’s Day at school and his skating field trip on Tuesday.  I hope not poor kid!

Here’s another silver lining in my sickness cloud…

My geranium is blooming again!  I brought this plant in in the fall from my summer pots and it bloomed until after Christmas, then stopped.  I fertilized it and have been watching it closely as I saw new blooms developing and finally, they popped!   It’s so cheerful and it makes me happy when I look at it, and I just envision it on the pool deck again soon.     Spring will come, HAS to come and we’ll all get better soon, I just know it.

Ice chipping and other stories

Believe it or not I’m not quite sick of winter yet.   Ask me next week maybe, but for right now it’s still OK.  It has seemed awfully long, and we even got a few more inches on Saturday, but part of me knows that as soon as the weather warms up then we’re back outside and that means more work for me,  keeping the outside maintained as well as the inside.  Phew… it makes me tired just thinking of it!   So let it snow let it snow let it snow!  Well for a few more days at least.    There  are some down-sides to this weather, such as the ice that’s building up on our roof – it’s not well insulated in front of our sky-lights, and it was getting rather big, so when Jason started chipping away at it last night, the boys just had to help.

And yes, they are standing on our front porch on about a 5 foot pile of snow.  Jason keeps sweeping the snow off the roof and this pile keeps getting bigger and bigger and the kids love it.   Soon it will be so big they will be walking unto our roof, well I hope not, I can’t see that going well.

Friday both boys were off school as they were getting colds and they had stuffy noses and Erik had a sore throat and I’m a push-over.  It actually worked out well though because my mom “Oma” came down and spent the day with us.  It was so nice to have her here and she gave me the chance to get out and do some shopping for a few hours, hurrah!!!    

And mom brought Sarah her birthday presents – twin dolls.  Mom has a set at her house and Sarah just loves them so she was pretty excited to get her own ‘twins’.   Sophy loves them too so there has been a few tug-of-wars already, but Sarah can’t stand to see Sophy sad so she eventually gives in and lets her have one.    I think Jason’s a little disgusted at how many dolls we have now.  I think he figures that one doll each should be enough, but that’s just not the case…  every little mother needs at least a dozen!   Being the only girl growing up, I think I had a about 9 or 10 dolls and I loved them all.

 So how did my children entertain themselves on this day away from school?   It was the funniest thing when mom and I realized that up in the boy’s room Erik was explaining molecules and matter to his ‘students’…  they were playing school! 

William was the teacher and librarian,  but Erik taught science and gym.   And Sarah was the student… probably not a grade ‘A’ one.    Here are Erik and Sarah checking books out from the librarian.  As you can see Erik isn’t dressed, I have no idea what he has against getting dressed, but if he has an excuse to stay in his house-coat all day, he’s all over it.

Oh – and one more thing.  You know how you sometimes hear yourself if your kids?  Well Sophy’s latest addition to her vocabulary is ‘right now’  said with exclamation.   I think she must think that’s how it’s supposed to be said, because she’s just copying me… oh yes,  I have been guilty of say thing things like, “It’s time to go, get your coat on RIGHT NOW!” and “Come put the cushions back on the couch RIGHT NOW!”.   So now when she’s calling from her crib, it’s “Mama, right now!” – just what you want to be hearing from your baby.

Groundhog Day…

I feel like I don’t have much to write about because since Sunday I’ve had my nose in a book.. it’s a long one and I probably won’t be done for a few more days, but I thought I would come up for air and post. 

Today was Groundhog day and I’ve always loved Groundhog’s day for whatever reason… perhaps it’s because I love the movie Groundhog day starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell or maybe there is just something about little furry rodents predicting the weather that appeals to me.   And who wouldn’t love today’s prediction of an early spring.  But I’ve realized that when spring does arrive in March or April, I never think back to what the Groundhogs predicted so maybe that’s why I’m so ready to believe every 2nd day of February.

Well whatever the weather – snowstorms or snowstorms that never really materialize, this little monkey is always ready to put her boots on when anyone else goes outside.   She likes the snow within reason, when she falls in it she tries to wipe it off while saying, “Yuck, yuck”… but she went tobogganing on Sunday and did great!

And pants, they are optional apparel right now.  If she can’t put them on herself, she doesn’t want them.  So thankfully she was wearing a onesie, a shirt and that dress (she wanted it on) in this picture today so she was warm enough… silly monkey.    

And  didn’t care,  I just wanted to get back to reading my novel… like right now.    I’ll be back when I’m done!