Baked Jeans

Baked jeans and a bunch of things, that’s what this post is made of.

Back in the olden days when the weather was warmer in March and April we would often take a drive to our family cottage for Good Friday.  (Our church rents so we can’t hold a traditional Good Friday Service.)  It was usually our first view of the cottage after the winter, and we would stop for breakfast on the way up and just have a great day.    So this year we decided to do that again, but thought we would also spend the night  –  for fun.  Ha.   But it wasn’t all fun,  because for some reason although we KNEW there was still snow at the cottage, we didn’t exactly prepare for it.  So the kids played and got soaked playing in the slush without snow-pants and ended up having to spend the rest of the day indoors.  We had packed light since we were only staying for one night which meant the kids had to change into their pj’s and we may have all gotten a little cranky from being stuck inside for the rest of the day.   And then what is a mom supposed to do when faced with a bunch of wet jeans in a cottage with no washer or dryer?  Well she bakes them in a convection oven at 250 degrees for 10-15 minutes.   Who knew baking jeans would be so easy, or so smelly (that’s ditto for the socks, but WAY stinkier).


Backing up now to three weeks ago – I had the opportunity to go to SickKids and share our Ava story with a group of people taking a palliative care course.  It’s such an honour to be asked to go and Jason and I both feel it’s just a small way that we can give back to the hospital who gave so much to Ava.  It’s always a pleasure to be there and meet with some of the wonderful people that we got to know while we lived in Toronto.  It actually really makes me miss my time in Toronto and I look back with a little bit of longing for those days when Ava was alive and we saw our Toronto people regularly.  But now I’m just happy for any opportunity to see them and I also have to thank my dad who comes with me because we had such a great day together and I love the company and I love not having to drive in Toronto in my not-so-small vehicle.

And now backing up all the way to the end of March (backing up seems to be a common theme here) – we had 3 inches of snow early one morning on a day that warmed up pretty quickly.   Will, Sarah and Sophia headed out the door as soon as they could and built these 7 snowmen… one of each of us.



But since it warmed up so quick, the snowmen starting melting and first we saw daddy topple, then I bit the dust, and noses all fell off and it wasn’t pretty.   That afternoon the girls and I went and ran some errands, and when we came back, Sophia got out of the vehicle and ran into the yard yelling, “Is Ava still alive?”   I laughed out loud.  Oh dear sweet Sophia, I wish, I wish Ava was still alive.  But as for your baby snowman, it may have died.  Life can be harsh. 🙂

And staying on the subject of life being harsh, yesterday at church they mentioned a conference coming up next weekend at Harvest Oakville by Paul Tripp called When Suffering enters your door.   He says that we shouldn’t be surprised by suffering, it’s a universal experience for all humanity… and they showed this clip – which I HIGHLY recommend because it quickly explains how Jason and I were able to have the hope that we had in the face of our suffering.

Which brings me back (one more time) to a quote that I found when Ava was sick which I blogged about back then as well, …

In the mid-16th century Francis Xavier (1506–1552), a Catholic missionary, wrote to Father Perez of Malacca (today part of Indonesia) about the perils of his mission to China. He said,

The danger of all dangers would be to lose trust and
confidence in the mercy of God… To distrust him would
be a far more terrible thing than any physical evil which
all the enemies of God put together could inflict on us, for
without God’s permission neither the devils nor their
human ministers could hinder us in the slightest degree

And a great verse from Romans 8:18

 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Suffering if something that we all will  experience at one time or another, but praise God that through Christ, it never has to be without hope.


Spring, where art thou?

So spring is still taunting us here in the cold white North.   Sunday it snowed instead of the rain they promised.  The snow only stayed one night because yesterday was a balmy 14 degrees and kinda rainy, which was just lovely, but then today it’s back down to 4 and it’s snowing… the audacity!    This weather is not motivating me to be produtive, but last week I thought I better do something is case a miracle happens and it actually decides to get warm.   So I sorted through the girls clothes to see what they had and what they needed for summer.   Sophia was in her glory and she wanted to wear ALL the clothes.

In this pic she is sporting 2 dresses, one t-shirt, a pair of shorts and a pair of Sarah’s tights to round-out the outfit.  And she wouldn’t let me take a single thing off until bedtime.  At least she was warm. 

And this little turkey is bored with being inside all the time…

She is desperate for friends to play with and is driving her brother’s crazy just because she can.   She’s also currently going through an ‘I-love-dogs” phase.   Our good friend grandma M has a little dog that  Sarah adores…. and when she’s not asking to go over to her house to see the dog, she’s asking when we are getting a dog of our own.   It’s not going to happen.  Sorry sweetie, it’s just not going to happen.     But everything is not fair right now, so I’m hearing quite a bit of,  “Why do they have a dog and we don’t?  It’s not fair!”.      Just like the other day when she asked about some friends of ours, “Why do they have 2 babies and we don’t?  It’s not fair!”    More babies, a dogs, you can see where we would be if Sarah was in charge. 

My brother Dan and his wife Jenilynn came by on Sunday for a visit and that provided a nice distraction from the snow.   Tyler is just a few months older than Sophia and he’s really cute.   The kids had fun playing together…

He’s a little blondie like our kids and fit right in.  He would take Sophia’s cheeks in his hands and look at her and she just stood perfectly still, wondering what the heck her cousin was up too…  we weren’t quite sure either but it was pretty cute. 

Well I can see the sun has decided to come out today.  Maybe it will be out for more than 5 minutes,  warm up a degree or two and we’ll have spring after-all!

A post for today

So March break is coming to an end tomorrow it’s back to school.   I was trying to figure out this week how we could avoid school without having to home school, but I realized it can’t be done in good conscience and that I should cheer up because it’s not me that has to go to school. 🙂 Sorry boys!   It’s not that I’m not all for education,  I just like having my kids around and being able to do whatever we want to and not having to get dressed until noon.  And I hate packing lunches.   I really do.   And the boys are constantly changing their minds about what they like and dislike so I never seem to get it right.   Sigh, the trials of lunch packing… thankfully I can pick them up for lunch when I really want to avoid it.      

But March break was wonderful even if Sophia did get sick with the stomach flu and stayed sick. I didn’t know that someone could throw-up once a day for 5 days, but I can assure you that  it is possible.   Except that she didn’t exactly throw-up every day, sometimes it came out the other end… sorry, but had to be strictly honest.    It was this weird thing where you thought she was on the mend and then she obviously wouldn’t be.   The most  slow and dragged stomach flu I’ve ever experienced,  I wouldn’t recommend it.   She didn’t share any of her lovely germs with us (yet) but she did pass it on to her little cousin Katie (sorry) and my brother John (extra sorry!) who were so nice to play with us while we were at my mom and dads for a few days.   The kids and I love going to my parents and we spend two nights there and had a blast… apart from the fact that Sophia being sick forced mom and I to cancel a mother and daughter shopping trip that I was looking forward too.   I pouted.  

But now we are home and gearing up for getting back to routine.   And it’s so great that the snow is disappearing so quickly, although when I got home yesterday it was to a yard that was seriously littered with toboggans and shovels.  For some reason these things don’t look so bad scattered all over snow, but on the dingy grass where the snow had receded… let’s just say the mess seriously decreased our property value.  So being the good mother I am,  I spent the 5 minutes it took to tidy them up, I felt I had too.  We had new neighbours moving in across the way and I didn’t want them to get the wrong impression. 

And I would love to share some pictures of what we’ve been up to, but again, I have camera issues, namely that I’ve left my camera at my mother’s who lives an hour away and won’t get it back for a few more days.  I could see in Jason’s eyes when I told him that he’s starting to think I shouldn’t even be allowed near a camera so I need to be extra careful in the future.

So I’ve dragged up some pictures from last March just because this was cute.  Sarah loves tea parties and one day after school Erik decided to put one on for Sarah – in his room.  It was an occasion to get dressed up for, so he and Will put their Sunday best on and convinced Sarah to put a dress on (no mean feat).  Then Erik left a trail for her to follow to her surprise tea party.  It was really cute.  Even if the box wasn’t meant to support a tea-pot and cups and eventually caved it, a wonderful time was had by all.

And no blog post is complete without a picture of Sophy – here she was last year, it give me a little bit of spring baby fever.

Happy back to school!


Erik is many things as I have shared before here – but he is also very sweet.   This was a surprise that he made for me yesterday on the fence…

It makes me just a little teary.  First off – it’s cool to have kids old enough to do things like this for you and secondly, I love the fact that he knows that  Jason and I love each other!   I guess we’re doing something right… something… and that feels good in the times when you feel like you are probably doing most everything wrong.

But now it’s March break and we are SOOOO excited to have this time off of school… and I’m excited about not having to herd four kids out the door at 8:30 in the morning…  insert huge sigh of relief here.   

We were lucky and got a head start on March break this past week when we packed up, dropped Sophia off at Oma’s (thank-you Oma!) and headed to Ohio to the Kalahari Resort with its indoor water part (I have to thank Grandma and Grandpa here too).  We had an absolute blast.  It was so much fun, their indoor water-park rocks, they even had a great indoor playground for the kids and of course they had an arcade.  Oh arcades, kids love them,  but they just suck your money and you don’t really get anything in return.  But they are smart over there at the Kalahari… I mean really thinking because you have to walk smack dab through the arcade to get to the water park…   oh the lights and the sounds that just lure the kids in.  Gee whiz.

We did have a great time that went largely undocumented as we didn’t have a camera with us.  Our new camera is too big and bulky and we haven’t replaced our point and shoot that got sand in it this summer.  We had Jason’s phone so we took a few pics… here are the kids in the lobby, I know it’s terribly exciting.

And Sarah riding the carousel at the arcade… again, so exciting for her at least.   For me it was very slow and went around about 50 hundred million times.  Thankfully she waved at me every time it went around.

So we were back late Thursday night   and Friday was supposed to be a school day, but we woke up to snow, yes lovely lovely snow, and the buses weren’t running, so we had a snow day!  Everyone was happy about that, especially me as I didn’t have to find my way out of the chaos of coming home to properly send the boys to school in an organized fashion.

Yesterday we played in the snow because I was hoping it was the last snow of the season.. yeah right… but we made a family of snowmen in the perfect packing snow…

And here’s Will playing with Sophia and making her laugh like crazy.  He is SO good with Sophia and I have a sneaking suspicion that he is her favourite sibling.  Even when Sophia was ‘lost’ at church this morning we weren’t that worried because we knew that Will – her faithful shadow would be with her.  And he was, he was just following her wherever she wanted to go, even if that was going where she wasn’t supposed to.   She’s one lucky little girl.    Just like I’m lucky with my wonderful family and a whole March break to lounge around in pajamas and hang out with friends, yahoo!

What l’ll miss about winter…

As I gaze outside at beautifully falling March snow, I am reminded that it is still winter, no matter how much I wish it were otherwise.  And so, I’m going to embrace it and  just love it and enjoy it.   And so to really honour it I’m going to make a list of all the things that I will miss about winter.  Yes winter.  Things I’ll miss about winter.  

I wrote a similar list when I was pregnant and over-due with Sophia… things that I will miss about being pregnant.   That list had things on it like, ‘I’ll miss all the attention’ and  “I’ll miss little feet and elbows jabbing me in the ribs’ and things like that.  But then a few days later I gave birth and I haven’t thought about that list again until now almost 2 years later.  So this list is different because I really do love winter.  Really I love it, I do.   So without further ado… my list.

I’ll miss…

  • How cute the kids (especially Sophia) look all bundled up in their snow suits
  • How beautiful everything outside looks with a fresh clean blanket of sparkling snow
  • Playing outside with the kids,  tobogganing, snow-ball fights, making forts, making snow men, all of it
  • Making and eating winter comfort foods like shepherd’s pie, chilli etc
  • Being able to concentrate on just my inside house-work
  • Curling up by the fire with a blanket, a book and some chocolate

There – now I know I only came up with 6 things, but this is winter we’re talking about.    Now just to even things up and show that there are two sides to me,  I’m going to list the things that I won’t miss about winter… so here goes….

  • I won’t miss how cute the kids (especially Sophia) look all bundled up in their snow suits.  They were cute, but not cute enough to want to stuff another kid into another snow ever again.  
  • I won’t miss how beautiful everything outside looks with a fresh clean blanket of sparkling snow… my new favourite outdoor colour is GREEN. 
  • I won’t miss playing outside with the kids,  tobogganing, snow-ball fights, making forts, making snow men, because I still will be playing outside with the kids, we’ll be playing soccer, blowing bubbles and swimming in the pool!
  • I won’t miss making and eating winter comfort foods like shepherd’s pie, chilli because honestly, the next time I see a pound of ground beef it better be in the form of a hamburger on the BBQ.
  • I won’t miss being able to concentrate on just my inside house-work because I’m getting SICK OF MY HOUSE.  Can anyone say CABIN FEVER?  Oh dear, I’m yelling, sorry. 
  • Curling up by the fire with a blanket, a book and some chocolate –  well this shouldn’t be on this list, because I really will miss this one.  You just can’t beat it and I will dream about it all summer, well maybe not, but still.  

So winter, stay as long as you want, or maybe just stay until tomorrow.