Sunday, May 31, 2009

Stains, Cookies, and T-Ball

Saturday morning, Prayer came into the living room frantically telling me, "There is an orange stain on the counter! I wiped it off but it keeps coming back!"

I'm sitting on the chair feeding Ella, racking my brain, trying to figure out what could have possibly stained the counter. Scott went in, and then all I heard was him laughing hysterically...

Prayer's "Stain"

It was the light from the window... while she was "wiping" it, her hand was blocking the light. As soon as she finished wiping it and moved her hand- it came back!

She's so smart, and yet so dense... We love you Prayer!

Scott was trying to teach Keona how to hit properly today. I just sat back and watched. (and took pictures!) This is pretty much how it went..

"What Dad!?!?"

"Like this. Move your foot. No, move it here...."

Try to hit...

Move Ella...

Try to hit....

Move Ella...

You get the point.

What were the rest of the kids doing? Well, they were torturing playing with the poor little caterpillar that wouldn't stay up high in the tree where I tried to put him.

Scott made his amazing chocolate chip cookies that night! Mmmm... For some reason though, every time he uses one of my small appliances, he leaves my kitchen looking like this..

Actually, he did clean it up this time. And his cookies were amazing. I ate way too many. In fact, I think I have to go work out now...

Visit Keona's blog to hear about our weekend outing!

Saturday, May 30, 2009


This world craves a hero.

The corner of our eye seems constantly set to the crest of the horizon. It is watching for that one, any one, that might rise above the crowd to disturb the clutching grip of the advancing enemy that surrounds us.

Our tales are weaved with its scent. Our entertainment: competitive, artistic, literary, and such like, centres around the key thought that this product offered will cure that common need to believe in and hope for the success of our hero. The heart of an entire generation lusts for one who can save us all, remove trouble from us all, be that one who gives us our every desire and donates peace round about. We are now seeking a hero in the very fibre of our viewing perspective. Yet one thing common amongst us all is that we seem unable to be that one.

Through all we have been sold, we seem to by nature be able to define exactly what a hero is. Truly we have no idea what a true hero’s character is. We have never seen heroics. The small glimmers of honour scattered throughout our land are doused by the fogging of evil. Until now when it comes to it, and the fog begins to clear, in our minds the one left standing must be the hero. Yet this is not always the case. A hero is not a conqueror. Don’t be so eager to believe the lie. A hero is the one with honour. The true hero is the one worth copying for pattern. Though he may die, another will always arise in his place. Heroes don’t die completely, because what they do, echoes for hundreds or thousands of years, rallying others to the cause.

A hero is selfless. Without gain in view or rest in sight, pressing on tirelessly, until all is spent and the last breath is gasped; until ever droop of blood be spilt to the ground in seeming vanity, only to raise up in glory; as if every thread of existence hung in the balance of a finishing of the course – be a hero!

Give yourself away. Risk yourself for someone else. Die in gift rather than consummation. Be more than you are. Be a hero.

Everyone has someone who needs that person to be what God has made him to be. Parents, mentors, siblings, companions, neighbours, leaders and everyone else need to consider that you, in the power of righteousness may in fact rise above that crowd and do honour in this evil day. If you do right, without reserve, you too will live and die a hero.

Are you a hero?

(Jedidiah with his hero Elijah... learning to throw rocks)

And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands. And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled. And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until thou come to the valley...

- 1 Samuel 17:47-52

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Flashback Friday: Four Kids- Under Two!

I remember this day very well. We had just brought the triplets home, after spending 2 weeks in the NICU. When we walked into the apartment building, the manager looked at us with a worried face, and went on to tell us that BOTH elevators were out of order... We were so excited to have our babies home, that we didn't even flinch at the fact that we'd have to carry 3 car seats, and a 1 year old, up to the ninth floor.

It's so hard to remember them all being so tiny! Probably because there were 4 of them, under the age of two... But God is good, and by His grace, we made it through. I've heard so many people say that parents of multiples have a much higher divorce rate. I can honestly say, that our marriage only got stronger through the baby stage. Not to say that we didn't have fights disagreements. It's just that we needed each other. I'm so thankful that God used these (I don't want to say "difficult") trying? times to draw us closer together.

About a week after the triplets came home from the hospital, Scott went out to a hockey game, and I had to do the whole bedtime routine by myself for the first time. When he walked out the door, all three babies started crying, and I just sat there and cried with them. I could only nurse two at a time! (and I hated having to nurse two at once...) Keona, was a trooper though. She rocked Eve's car seat and stroked her bald little head, while I fed the other two. She was such a huge help, even back then! Needless to say, I've gotten used to doing the whole bedtime routine by myself now. :P

We've come so far... and still have so much farther to go.

I'm seeing God's grace in so many places that I didn't even think about before Stef's session at the Ladies' Retreat.

God is good ALL the time!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rain, Rain....

.... go away, come again another day!

My kids aren't enjoying the rain so much.

On the other hand, my newly seeded grass, my flowers, and I, are pretty thankful for these spring showers.

My garden is happy.

I'm happy.

I love spring.

Mostly, because I love the rain...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Grass Is Always Greener...

Elijah is a sweetheart. He is the type of boy who runs ahead of me to open the door, tells me I look pretty when I have a new outfit, and "protects" his Mom and sisters by killing the bugs. (Yay!)
He is a little gentleman.

Recently, who's gonna marry who, has become common conversation in our house. Tonight at dinner, Elijah said, "I don't think any girl will ever want to marry me. Other than my sisters... "
I didn't know whether to feel sorry for him, or laugh, at this statement coming from a 5 year old. I decided to ask him why he thought that. Apparently, a little girl in his sunday school class, not naming any names... Aimee Vandekemp told him that "he is a boy, and all boys should be thrown in the trash can!"

OK... Now I was laughing. I assured him that he shouldn't be thrown in a trash can, and that he is the handsomest, and sweetest boy I know!

He continued eating as if nothing had happened.

Guess it didn't scar him too badly...

On a more serious note... while we were driving home tonight, Elijah said, "Sometimes, when I see that other people have things that I don't have, it makes me feel a little bit jealous."

So openly honest. If only we could all be so real.

I taught the kids the saying, "The grass is always greener on the other side." And continued to teach them to count their blessings, and to be content with what God has provided. Which is so much more than we deserve. So we started listing all the things that we're thankful for...

We have such an abundance. Our kids have such an abundance. I'm starting to wonder if it is almost too much. If they are just going to start taking things for granted?

Jeddy had one airplane, and he loved that airplane. It went everywhere with him, and he was so careful with it. After its disappearance, Grandma replaced it with another one, which was equally as special to him. Since we all saw that Jed liked airplanes, at Christmas, everyone bought him airplanes. He easily has 30 of them now.

You know the last time he played with an airplane?

Just makes me think...

I don't want my kids to have the attitude that everything can just be replaced. It was a good reminder, a good opprotunity, for me to teach them. To remind them to be thankful. To remind them to be content.

To remind myself...


And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
-Colossians 3:15-17

Wordless Wednesday: Fashion Faux Pas

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Because I Wasn't Tired Enough...

...after the farm, I decided to take them to the park on the way home.

When we got out of the van, I told them, "OK... you can go play on one condition; you let me take a picture of all of you first. If you don't co-operate, we leave."

Don't you love how I bribe encourage my kids?

So we did a fun one.

Jed refused to jump.

Ella was busy playing with my keys. It was the only way that I could keep her from trying to climb off the rock.

While all of the girls were running around playing, Charity spent her time talking to two random boys. That's Charity for ya.

Ella enjoyed the swings for the first time.

The kids were nice enough to let me try and get one more picture before we left.

Unfortunately, Jeddy and Ella were over it.

Always someone... :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Day at the Farm

I had spoken to Mrs. Michel a few weeks ago, about bringing the kids to the farm sometime. So when Mr. Michel told me that one of their cows had twins, and it would be a good time to drop by... we were incredibly excited.
We left early this morning, to go to Value Village's 50% off sale. When we got there at 9:10am, and the parking lot was already jam packed... I decided that it probably wouldn't be a good idea to try and tote 7 kids around the store.Instead, we went by the nearby gas station, filled up the van, cleaned it out, vacuumed up one of my favourite gloves, and went through the car wash.

Ella was a little terrified of the whole car wash thing.

We arrived at the farm a little early, but thankfully they were ready for us! Mrs. Michel took us straight out to the meadow where the kids got to meet "Larissa." She was a beauty.

After hearing a story a few months ago, about a little girl who wasn't expected to live after getting kicked in the head by a horse- I was slightly paranoid. I just kept repeating, "Stay in front of the horse!"

No one got kicked...

Mrs. Michel made them an amazing lunch. (Put my lunches to shame!) The girls loved helping her set the table and then clean up afterwards. Having nine kids herself, I didn't have to worry about her feeling overwhelmed by having all of us there. They're such a sweet couple.

After lunch, Mrs. Michel brought the kids back out to the meadow where we saw a calf that had literally just been born. She said maybe ten minutes before we were out there.

Mommy cow was very protective. As she should be.

There was another adorable little calf that went to hide behind her mommy every time we got near.

It was intimidating, how they all stare at you as you walk by.

But so hilarious, how every time one of the boys ran or moved too quickly- the nearest cow would jump off the ground and trot away. I laughed every time...

My favourite cow of the day...

She was short, fat, and just way too cute!
She makes me want a farm, with a whole herd of cows just like her. And some pigs...And maybe some lambs....and goats...and chickens... and a big dog. Oh, and we can't forget horses. Maybe just one or two.

I may have been raised in the city, but I'm a country girl at heart.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Flashback Friday: Megan

I planned on posting a flashback of my cousin Megan this past Friday, as she was expecting her baby any day.... I would have made this post on Friday, had I not spent the day running back and forth from the hospital to the ladies' retreat. I don't remember the last time that I went an entire night and day without sleep. Probably when I was in labour with Elijah...

When I think of Meg as a child, this is how I remember her...

Sarah and I would tell her to run across the living room as fast as she could, just so that we could trip her as she ran by. We were horrible! Though, she was quite a brat at times... I remember the time she had broken my earphones or something on purpose and laughed about it. We decided to lock her in the closet while my grandparents were out... Or how about when she bit Sarah's leg... or we told her the "duppies" were coming. We did some hilarious extremely mean things to her as a child.

The little Megan I remember, isn't so little anymore. Yesterday, at 6:24am she gave birth to Carson James- a 7lb 10oz. baby boy.

She was still smiling.

We had fun passing the time during the night. Sarah, Polly and I had fun joking around and talking about nonsense. ("He's spicy!" Right Sarah!??) We talked politics ...for about 10 secs. We cuddled up on one end of the cot, to avoid the "hazardous waste" bin... and Ryan ate a bacon and egg sandwich... from a vending machine. I'm feeling nauseous just thinking about it. :P

I think because Megan is such a big mouth outspoken person we expected her to be even more so during labour. She wasn't. After having her epidural, she was almost pleasant. Except for a few times.... like when she yelled at us all for calling her "Izzy." It seemed like she had short-term memory loss cause she would say her throat is so dry and she needs a drink, then she would puke. Five minutes later her throat would be so dry that she'd need a drink. Then she would puke. This went on for about 2 hours. Felt so bad for her! But it was kinda funny...

Not smiling anymore...
This was before she yelled "Don't you dare!!!" about pictures...

We probably shouldn't have been making fun of the lady in labour, who was puking, and about to push out a baby...

Her boyfriend Ryan, in spite of feeling like he was going to pass out, was able to stay in the room for the birth. Polly started crying as soon as she saw the head. I started crying as soon as Polly started crying. Sarah started crying when she saw me crying. And Meg started crying as they placed Carson on her chest. We were all a crying mess.
Ryan was there holding Carson's hand while he got all cleaned up.
I wonder if he's wearing the little Nikes yet?

Polly, was too enamoured with Carson to notice me taking her picture.
You did an amazing job Meg. Carson is gorgeous!

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Doubt is the plague of our age. We are trained from a young age to doubt nearly anything and everything we are told. Yet, in spite of all the efforts of men and trillions of dollars spent in attempt to disprove it, the Bible is worthy of our full trust. Its truth is the standard for everything, and as its words are continually coming to view as exact, may we take a few moments and consider what the Bible teaches about eternal life, forgiveness of sin, and how to have them.

The fact for all mankind is the same. We are all sinners. Though we share different degrees based on our conscience and upbringing, the reality remains, when compared to the word of God, we fall short of God’s standard for perfection.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” – Romans 3:23-28

Man is equal before God in our inadequacy for His presence. The reason is quite simply that for man, sin is natural. There are some that believe man to be good in his nature. The Bible teaches:

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” – 1 Cor 15:22

Therein lies the explanation to man’s depravity toward that which displeases God – sin. We are all of the same Adam’s blood, and therefore, we are all inheritors of a sinful nature. Though man was originally made good, we have become something far from that which we were made to be. And as we look throughout the world today at the events and distresses plaguing 99% of people on the earth, it seems clear, man is not unselfishly good, but selfishly evil.

The problem for us all is how God views and responds to that evil.

It is not a light thing to Him, because He has view of the greater picture. He sees not only the purpose for our malfunction, but also the extended result.

Picture it like a father who sees his child outside taunting the neighbour’s dog, which at this time is securely tied on his leash. The father wouldn’t just warn the child, because he understands the severity of the outcome. I would run out and cry out to my child “STOP TAUNTING THAT DOG!” And once I got him to listen a little I would warn him, “If you keep doing that, eventually that dog will get off his leash and destroy you. Now, DON’T DO IT AGAIN!” What I would do is make that taunting of the neighbour’s dog a sin against me.

This is what God has done with the things that we do in this life against His perfect understanding. And like a little child with a much smaller view of reality, we often don’t understand the purpose or sense behind His command, but that doesn’t change the command.

God also understands the result of sin: and it does very much displease Him. Sin has its roots in the direct murderous attempt of Satan prior to the events of the Garden of Eden. Satan, because of his selfish desires, denied God His rightful place and attempted to dethrone Him. I say all this. to give us an understanding of God’s personal view on your dethroning of Him in your own life. God is heavily displeased when we directly deny Him His rightful place, and behave in a manner resembling Satan.

God has prescribed the destination of the sinner without forgiveness, as the same as Satan’s. Eventually, when we die, if we remain in the state in which we are without Christ, we will face hell in Satan’s presence forever, just as we would face Heaven in God’s presence forever if forgiven. Hell is death for the soul. God has no desire nor does He ever wish for a person to end up in hell. Please understand, legally and to perform justice, if He gives Satan hell for His crimes, we also fit the crime and deserve the same, because of our following in Satan’s pattern.

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9

So then, the rules condemn everyone the same. We are all sinners under the condemnation of God. Now comes the hope. Please understand, you and I are the same before God. We both NEED forgiveness in order to escape the punishment for sin. Let us look at some glimmering gems of the words of God which point us to the hope that we all can be saved from the punishment.

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” – John 3:36

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”
– John 3:16-20

“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” – 1 John 5:11-13

As we are all equal before God in sin, and qualified for judgment, we are all equal before God in capability to be forgiven. Let us look at how to Bible teaches you and I can have forgiveness, among many other amazing things, with God.

Forgiveness is only possible because of the saving work of Jesus Christ.

Jesus never sinned. Jesus was not born with the blood of Adam, because a virgin, Mary, conceived Jesus Christ of the very power of God. Jesus is God’s Son by birth, but the Bible also teaches that He is God in flesh. This is why the Bible calls Him Emmanuel, which means, “God with us.” He demonstrated this through His person, His works, and His love. You see, Christ came the first time for the purpose of saving us from judgment.

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” – Luke 19:10

The words I’ve quoted above came directly from the mouth of Christ, just days before He climbed a hill called Calvary with a cross on His whipped and battered back. He knew why He had come, to die for us.

God’s justice is fulfilled in judging Christ in our place. Because He had no sin to die for, He died to pay our wages, and in taking our place, He made it possible for us to take His place in a state which is pleasing to God. Though we are soaked with sin, we can be washed clean before God by the blood which was spilt, dripping to the ground from the hands of the Saviour, outspread to the world upon that cross. He died our death, He paid our hell, and He rose from the grave three days later to prove it.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” - Romans 6:23

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8

“That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” - Romans 5:21

Though many men seek and strive toward perfection in order to please God, pleasing God is only possible by believing on His Son and His works for us. Our penalty has already been paid by Christ on the cross. Many would try to please God their own way. Yet there is no better way to please God, than the way which He provided for us. Some would say only the best can be with God in eternity, yet God, in His wisdom, made salvation free to all and equal to all; free to receive and equal to receive.

How does one receive that forgiveness then?

When I was younger, I came to it one day: that I was a sinner. I knew I was condemned by God, and rightly so. I also understood that Jesus Christ had already paid my hell and given me hope. But I did not know how to get that forgiveness from God which I was seeking. Funny, it was so simple, and right there all along.

Ask Him.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
- Romans 10:9-10, 13

Having your soul saved today and for all eternity is as simple as this. Ask Jesus Christ for that forgiveness. Right now. This moment. That is what we all must come to. If you are willing enough to ask Him to save you, He will.

Jesus said, “him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

When I asked Christ to save me, it was on my own, with no one else to hear but Jesus Himself. I prayed words like these,

“God I know that I am a sinner on my way to hell. I know you came and died on the cross for my sins. Jesus I know you paid all of my hell, so please take me to heaven when I die and forgive me of all my sins. I’m trusting you for my eternity, please don’t let me down.”

And He won’t. Ask Jesus Christ to save you too… right now.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

You've Got to Try It

Bathroom/kitchen cleaner, floor cleaner, window cleaner, fabric softener, hair conditioner...

A year ago, I would have spent about $30/month on all these products. Probably more.

Now, I spend a measly $2! For ALL of them.
OK maybe $3, if I buy name brand... :)

I have one word ... VINEGAR
As you can see, I opted for the no name brand.

Seriously, it has become my miracle product. I was hesitant to use it on my windows and piano at first, but it leaves them completely streak-free.

I dilute the vinegar half and half with R.O. water, and put it in a dollar store spray bottle.

I use it on my floors, so that little crawling fingers don't get covered in all the chemicals from the floor cleaners, and then stuck into teething mouths.

I use it to clean my bathroom and kitchen, as it kills germs and bacteria. It also whitens and brightens toilets and sinks! The smell only lasts until it dries.

**Don't mix vinegar and bleach **

Thankfully, before I did this I read that it creates a dangerous gas.

I use it as fabric softener in my rinse cycle. It actually makes my towels just as soft and fluffy as the Downy brand. Sure, it doesn't have the perfume smell... but it doesn't smell like vinegar at all either. Who wants all those strong perfumes on precious little baby skin anyhow? I have heard that you can add essential oils to it, to create a nicer scent.

Now, I've saved the best for last. I honestly didn't believe it when my neighbour suggested using vinegar in your hair. I thought "I'm going to walk around smelling all pickley..." But it doesn't smell, at all! My hair has NEVER been as soft, smooth, and light as it is after I use a vinegar rinse. I know it sounds crazy... but you have to try it! Even my curls are tighter. I will never go back to my trusty salon brand $50/bottle conditioners. (Wow, I sound like a cheap infomercial...)

Warning: It does sting if you happen to pour it in your eye.... Real bad.

Even if you were only to replace ONE of these things- it would be worth your money.

Give it a whirl! ;)


Here are "Sixty Uses for Vinegar"


Don't forget to check out "Beloved: The M Family Journal" for other Thrifty Thursday ideas!

These cute guys with dump trucks...

...hand delivered topsoil, right to my garden.
Elijah decided that he had to be the leader.
Yep, not only are my sons cute (I'm totally not biased at all!:) but they are obsessed with their new trucks.
(Thank you Uncle Steve and Papa!)

So, today when I needed some topsoil from behind the townhouses, I took the boys, and their trucks, for a walk.
They were lovin' it!
Though, Jed did gross me out a bit when he licked the dirt off his hand... a true boy!

The girls just can't seem to resist getting their hands dirty. I went from being outside with two kids- to having six of them out there trying to help me seed the grass.
Grass is now seeded- bring on the heat!

I once heard someone say, "Dirty feet are happy feet."
We must have some seriously happy feet...


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