Saturday, September 21, 2013

I Am the Head of Our Home


lily flying

As I open my laptop and sink back with a sigh of ease into the couch, kids are joyously practicing music for Sunday, and my wife is chopping some tasty ingredients for her pasta sauce. Lily is running around with one to five babies in her arms saying “baby… baby” like an alarm clock that just won’t shut off at 5am. She does have such a beautiful sweet little voice though, even if it never stops talking.

Just an hour or so ago we sampled my wife’s latest baking masterpiece, Pumpkin Turtle Cheesecake. Yesterday, she and Charity spent half the afternoon preparing some goodies for us all to try. She wasn’t much of a baker when we married, but I must say, she is spectacular now. Maybe you’ve seen her post about Marshmallow Fondant, which has had nearly 35,000 hits to date. She’s so cool.



I often take great joy from the functionality of our home. I am pleased by how our “army of clean” mobilizes and reconstructs the designed order faster than a Fantasia wizard. I need only give the order and POOF cleanliness happens. And they love it. They love it, and I love it! They love to help. It is our culture now. We now have a culture of helping each other be happy and successful, and making each other more productive in our calling.


Often we get asked how we do “it”. “It” being whatever it is that we do. What do we do that merits such a question? And if you knew how we do what we do would you care anyhow since you don’t want to do what we do? Perhaps the how is only fully experienced in the doing of some things. Truthfully though, this home is an organism that is functional, successful, and thriving for a reason.

It’s nice now to be reaping the fruits of a field planted over a decade ago. We have sowed into the good ground bountifully and reaped tenfold what we poured in. Reading a book or hearing a quote, even sitting through an inspirational conference won’t change your life. You will change your life. Coaching is great, but words don’t raise children or function in marriage, people do. We do choose, for the most part, what direction we will guide each of those relationships and institutions in our lives, and we will one day receive of the direction that we have chosen. If you’re headed the wrong direction in your life, or seeing the fruits of bad decisions starting to come out, make haste to change before you run out of time to see good produce.

When we were younger (like none of your business how young younger) we decided that we were going to make decisions in our home based on what the Bible teaches. It really took place out of necessity more than some miraculous saint-like disposition. We were so young and so green that we just didn’t feel qualified to run our lives without help. We needed knowledge, wisdom, and understanding of outcome that wasn’t simply “natural” or commonly taught for that matter. My wife and I are both planners. We think things through and do them methodically. Planning life, which cannot be “redone”, was a terrifying adventure that we needed advice on. Out of a necessity to succeed in life and parenting we took the counsel of God as our constitution and have made our choices based on that.


The Bible, with its romantic Shakespearean vocabulary and tone can seem a little archaic most times today. Especially in our generation where our one year olds are showing us how to do things on our IPhones, Google has replaced our memory and education, and our cars are telling us when to turn right. We are very far removed from the world in which the Bible was penned. Our culture today is very different from the culture of the first century, let alone 1600 – 400 BC where most of the pages of the Bible come from. Clothing has changed. Time use has changed. Employment has changed. Technology has changed. Travel has changed. Education has changed. Equality has changed. Politics have changed. Affections have changed. So much has changed. Yet, for all that has changed in the world, the Bible has still remained just as relevant and accurate as always. It just takes a little more effort to unearth the diamonds after these years. Don’t believe those who would take your mind and money by swaying you to their voice instead of God’s. His ways are right. Those four words, His ways are right have been the base of all that we do, and may we gently and humbly say, all that we succeed in doing by “how we do what we do” is to God’s credit and the miraculous accuracy of His ways found in His words. His ways are right, every time.


I am the head of our home. I am handed that position. (Yikes) God given, and God designed, because that is what the Bible teaches. I am both responsible to have the final say, and to give account for our home one day to God.

Now before any mother, wife, mother-in-law, aunt, sister, cousin, friend of the family, neighbour, or innocent blog onlooker string me to be tarred and feathered, please hear me out.

I don’t like being in charge. I don’t like the stress, and I don’t like the responsibility. I don’t want to be the boss. I want to be the guy who blames the boss. I am the king of the castle, but I didn’t vote me here nor do I want to sit in any throne. When we sit down to dinner, my wife and I both sit at the head of our table, because I would rather sit beside her than seem to be in charge.

You see, when the leadership race was introduced early in our relationship, there were only 3 voters, and my wife and God voted for me. Year after year, as the occasional election is called, my wife votes me, and threatens the life of anyone who votes against me! I am only as close to my potential as a man as I am because my wife has decided that I can be that close. She has helped me to be me. And just like Adam was not complete or satisfied in this world without his wife, nor can I be. Without her, I would be just a boring balding guy with tendonitis in my thumbs from the decades of videogame addiction and no real purpose to do anything different. But with her encouraging me to thrive as a man, I can do things that only she would have dreamed of. I am writing this post, and have been posting more of late, because she has encouraged me to. She has been, as she often does, leading me to lead by suggesting following my leadership.

It felt odd at first, me being the head of the home. I… and you both know that my wife is smarter, wiser, more qualified, and makes better decisions than I do. She is better with money than me. (Okay, that may be the most understating understatement ever understated) She thinks things through better than me. She is more patient than I am. She keeps her temper better than me… No I take that back. No… I take back taking it back because I fear the repercussions. She is also much better looking than I am. (Timing is everything) Yet she decides, with all of these traits to her name, to let me lead the way the Bible teaches me that I should.

Don’t get me wrong, if I were a jerk about it, and abused my place, I would definitely hear about it. From the time we first understood our roles in the home, I have always told her that I need her companionship in leading. I lead leaders. I am accountable to lead well because they know better than I how to lead.

Keona is a leader. She’s still in need of a lot of maturing, but she understands her role. Everyone copies the basics of her culture. When all the rewards are tallied and the credit is given, I believe that Keona will have had as much of the reward for our successful home as Jaclyn or I may. She is the assistant parent, the motivation from within the crowd, the conscience of the next generation. She knows that if she were to decide to lead them into something destructive, she could. But I have told her, just the same as Jaclyn, or even my three clones, that if they believe that I am doing something wrong, I need to know so I don’t make a mess. We are accountable as followers to help our leaders to lead us.

dad and lily

(Lily had to be forcibly removed from the park)

I am not a fan of homes or anything else being a dictatorship. I believe that we should run our home the way God shows us and tells us to. We won’t turn this into a Bible study, but simply put, a husband has responsibility to lead the home sacrificially, humbly, and in unselfishness, not with a baton. We as husbands need to take up our responsibility at home like Christ took up the cross, and follow Him in how we carry our home. Often, if we didn’t have such capable and determined ladies to lead the home, our homes would be a total disaster, because most men don’t give a rip if it falls apart. It’s time that men started being men who are worth following rather than quoting something legalistically to get their way or ranting in a tantrum like a bratty 3 year old. You wonder where your children learn to treat you like that? Seeing now how my daughters, nearing a difficult age, treat me so much like my wife treats me, I am so so so thankful for a wife that has taught them by example to follow in love. I believe she will reap the fruits of her decision to follow in her daughters as they come to their teenage years. Lead in love, by loving, and love will be the result.

Why is important. Since when does God tell us directly to do something and say “don’t talk back about it… and bake me some brownies.” God, just the opposite, wants us to bring everything we ever have a concern with to Him in prayer and request, so that we can understand why. Most people get bitter with God or never understand why because they don’t ask Him why. In most cases, He will help us to see “why”. (Also, in most cases, we don’t want to know why because we or our dumb decisions are why) I am in a stage of seeing “why” all around me in so many parts of life, including our home. Most people don’t communicate the “why” because they either don’t know, or don’t want you to know. Besides, how can any child ever learn how to make decisions if we never explain our decisions? Communicating the “why” is one of the most important details in communicating to those you lead.

As I write this, my cake baking, dinner making, photo taking, stay at home “domestic engineer”, homeschooling, mother of eight wife is telling me not to make my post too long. Ha. Too late honey, but thanks for the reminder.

I wonder how many men never reach their potential as a husband or father because they were never given a chance to grow into their role and thrive. The truth is, most of us are not qualified or good at it, especially at first. But you can never know how great a marriage and home you can have unless you are willing to trust the hope, and the words that recommended the hope.

I am the head of our home. I don’t own it; it is ours. I don’t even really do all that much compared to others here. But I will take the advice of the leader who follows me and grow into the man that God intends me to be.

“But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” – Jesus Christ (Matthew 23:11-12)

mom and ella

Saturday, September 14, 2013




When I was about 10, while bored out of my mind at my grandparent’s house one day, I asked my Grandpa to teach me to play chess. Set neatly and reverently between two seats in his living room was a metallic chess set. Instead of black and white pieces they were silver and gold coloured. It was shiny like it held value to him personally.

I can’t remember all the details, but I do remember that he cheated. I didn’t know at the time, but he did. Looking back, he stuck his queen right in front of my king and said, if I remember right, “that’s mate.” I had no idea what that meant but the look on his face said that he had beaten me. He warned me that I would have to practice with my Mom to get better so I could beat him. Every once in a while, when we would head just a few streets over to where my grandparents lived, he would take his gentle time beating me at a game of chess.


(Elijah and I played the first game on Grandpa’s old board)

A couple of years later, nearing the end of his time here on earth, when I visited Grandpa in the senior’s home where he and my Grandma lived, we would still get out the chess board and play a game or two. By those days I was one of those distinct losers who represented our elementary school at the county chess tournament every year. But to me, it was a chance to practice to beat Grandpa.


I remember our last game of chess together. I’m pretty sure it was on this board. He had the set out already when we arrived for a visit. His voice was still ever calming, but weaker. The oxygen tank hissed gently as we talked and played. I had learned a few things about playing chess. I learned that you can distract people with conversation, humour, or even temporary insanity, and that distraction works very well. I intended on winning against him for the first time that day.

I remember my Dad stepping out of the room to have a cigarette as we played and my grandpa saying, “Don’t smoke Scott.” The spirit behind the words and the genuine authority in his eyes drove me to say… “I won’t” as I took one of his pieces off the board. It wasn’t long before my Dad heard those same words from Grandpa and took his advice.

It was a long hard fought battle with pawns into queens and random acts of sacrificing. In the end I did win the only game I ever beat him. But looking back, with the obvious frustration that he displayed, I am pretty sure he let me win. He once said to me, “Scott, you never let people win at chess.” I actually take it very personally when I lose a game of chess because to me, that is a sacred place where my Grandpa and I met. Each game is a memory of him and I play as though he is watching over my shoulder.

Today in our home chess has become the great equalizer. All ages, genders, and levels of competitive nature can play and enjoy the time. Once in a while it gets to be about smashing the pride of the other person, but for the most part, it’s about time together.


A couple of years back I was given, what I believe to be, the board that we played on that last time. Unfortunately, I found it too valuable to allow my supernaturally destructive offspring to touch. Shelved out of use for the sake of protection it sat unused and forgotten.

Months back I noticed a bit of work being done around my workplace with some acrylic sheets. I asked my boss if he would mind if I took a small section from an end cut, told him the reason, and he said I could take it. I had decided to make a simple encasement to protect the old cardboard playing board. I set the sheet aside and as often is the case, forgot about it. This past month, as some renovations were going on in our area of the plant, the sheet had to be moved out of the corner it was stored in. I felt almost guilty that I had never actually finished the project. So I did. I finished it. Resurrected from the abyss that is the storage area of my office space has arisen this new/old treasure for our family to enjoy.

As I write this, Charity and Keona are having a cruel game of cut-throat chess on the coffee table beside me. I believe they have both won a game each today. The trash talking is below average, but I sense an elevation coming as this game continues. As our minds meet on this plastic battlefield for the sake of victory over the other, our minds meet. Today we seem to be so detached from our children, and so removed from a constructive inescapable conversation about, well, anything. Perhaps, as I grow older and they become more themselves, it will become a place where we can meet together and have a simple special time that will be remembered forever.


I look forward to the day when Grandpa and I can sit down upon seats of gold and enjoy perhaps a reunion game together as we catch up a little in Heaven. He will ask me how the years have been and how I spent them. I hope he will be proud of me. I hope it will honour him how I’ve invested my life.


But for now, as I wait for that day, I will spend some time with those God has given me to love, and perhaps, with a warm cup of tea and a quiet background song, take out Grandpa’s old board and play a game of chess together.


(Inviting, isn’t it?)

“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”
- 2 Timothy 2:2

Friday, September 13, 2013

“Best Birthday Ever!”


About a month ago, we had a bin dropped off in our driveway to get rid of all the junk taking up our basement. I couldn’t get over the number of toys we either threw out, or put in a pile for Goodwill. Our kids have such an abundance of things. Such an abundance of unnecessary, unused, forgotten-about stuff. Since completing the purge, I decided to take more time, throw away less money, and so something more memorable for birthdays.


I was stuck when Jeddy’s started approaching. It would be so easy to buy him a new toy airplane, or truck, or train. I fought the urge to give-in and prayed that God would help me find something to make his birthday special and memorable. That weekend, we drove by the Buttonville airport and for the first time I noticed a sign advertising “Sight-Seeing Flights”. Thank you, Lord! I knew it was the perfect gift. Jeddy has loved airplanes since he was a toddler. He has wanted to be a pilot for as long as he’s been able to speak. See here and here… So on Monday morning, I called and booked the flight for his birthday. Grandma and great-grandpa pitched in, and we spent less than I would have on toys that would soon be forgotten.

Note: I’m not against toys… He still used his birthday money from us and great-grandpa to buy a new Lego set and Keona bought him a few model airplanes from the prop shop at the airport. I am against buying stuff just because you feel obligated to buy something. My boys play with their Lego every single day. Jeddy also has a collection of airplanes that have come with him to hospital when having an asthma attack and he proudly displays them on his dresser most days.


We told him about two weeks prior, that we had a big surprise for him on his birthday! So the anticipation had been building for some time. The morning of his birthday, he requested “pancakes bigger than his head" for breakfast. I made him three. I think it was the first time I’ve seen him NOT be able to finish a meal. :) Then we headed out for the surprise.

Here was his reaction…

When he looks off to the side, he was looking at his brother and sisters to see if we were tricking him.

Here he is in the plane…


About halfway through the flight Scott texted me that he was sick. Haha. I’m sorry. I mean, poor Scott… :P The boys both had a blast and Scott felt sick for the rest of the day.

photo (18)

Jeddy declared it the “BEST BIRTHDAY EVER” several times and cannot wait until his 14th birthday when he can go get his student pilot license.

Just for memory-sake, I have to mention how much Jeddy adores his big brother. He was so excited that Elijah got to go with him. When I took him out shopping to get his Lego set he kept saying, “I can’t wait to get home and build this with Elijah!” I absolutely love their relationship. Well, except when they’re wrestling in my living room or trying out new karate moves on eachother…

photo (20)

Can’t believe my little monkey is 7!

The other day he came over and hugged me around the waist like he always does, looked up at me and said, “Mom, I just can’t stop lovin’ you. It’s impossible!”

mom and jed

Ella took this picture and I did not pose him in any way. He always asks me, “Mom, can you give me a kiss?”

Jeddy has such a sweet and giving spirit. He is a people person. He loves doing new things, meeting new people, eating new food, and finding unusual bugs and animals. I couldn’t adore him more.

Love you my little man.

Happy 7th Birthday!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

First Week of School


The post with no back to school pictures…

I had so many plans for this “Back to School” post. Sadly, teaching my kids, cooking meals, and keeping a house clean had to come first!

Day one: I had planned to do the kid with a sign stating their grade pictures. I had planned to get up early enough to do everyone’s hair. Instead, I hit snooze three times. All of the kids had dressed up nicely for their first day. The girls had done their hair up nice and put on earrings. Everyone was excited to dive into their clean books and break open the new pencils and white erasers. The first day went better than I had hoped for. Other than a few tears shed after having to sit at the table for more than 10 minutes. We started the day with writing a quick journal entry about their summer. The work was all review, so it was quick and pain-free.

Day two: We all got up on time. Kids had brushed their teeth and gotten dressed. No fancy braids or earrings today!

Day three: Prayer came down in her pyjamas and proclaimed, “It’s the best part about homeschooling! Yes?”


She promptly turned around, walked back up the stairs, and got dressed for the day.

Gotta love her. There are days that I wish it were socially acceptable to live in pyjamas too…

We have added some extra creative writing into our curriculum this year. Keona is a natural writer. She is a thinker and her writing usually reflects that. However, Prayer and Elijah tend to be the most “creative” with it. I’ve decided to give them several prompts to choose from each week and they are required to write a short story. Prayer and Elijah both chose, “If I were a kite I would…” Let’s just say that it involved everything from getting shot in Africa, to dancing on the Eiffel tower, being hit by flying bread, and fleeing librarians with scissors. I never get tired of their stories. My more serious children chose “In 20 years I will be…” Which involved celebrating mom’s 50th birthday, teaching at a school, cooking and baking, visiting my 70 year old grandparents, and booking photo shoots. I love having this insight into their thoughts. As scary as it may be sometimes…

Ella is finishing up kindergarten right now and while she didn’t write any stories, she did write a letter to Rupunzel…

photo (15)

Lily runs around causing a ruckus. She steals Ella’s markers and Eve’s stickers. She asks for “choo choos” and the boys will bring down their trains for her. Then she sits there and says, “Help me! Help me!” when she can’t figure out how to build a track by herself. At least the dog isn’t a constant interruption this year. He just sleeps on the couch all morning!

photo (17)

According to the kids this year, I will have a teacher/missionary, a mom/chef, an artist, a photographer, an unmarried doctor, a pilot, and another pilot when they all grow up. I know I say this every year, but I really am so thankful to be able stay at home with my kids. I spoke to another mom at the park who jokingly (or not) said to me, “Eight kids!? You must be excited about back to school time!” And I was… but not for the reasons she was thinking.

photo (16)

Do my kids ever test my patience?

Yes, everyday.

Am I ever tempted to throw in the homeschooling towel?

Probably monthly.

Do I question my teaching ability and curriculum choices?

Every single year.

Do I ever regret past years spent at home with my kids?


Wouldn’t trade it.


Looking forward to another year of making memories.

One day at a time…

Monday, September 9, 2013

I Have A Lot of Children

(I actually have 9 children now - December 2014)

It occurred to me this week, though I suppose it may have occurred already to you, that I have a lot of children.
Sometimes it takes a while for things to “sink in” or “hit home” with me. Traumatic events and massive changes seem to rattle some a little more climactically than they do with me. The emotional shock is often something left for some time after the circumstance when I have more time to be emotional, if ever.
Yet this weekend, all of the sudden, it hit me. I have 8 children. 8! I know: you knew this. And though we often do several dozen head counts each time we go to the park or to the store, I had never really taken a head count emotionally.
To me, these are my people, and we live life together, loving each other, and “it is what it is”. But “what it is” is something incredibly odd. Perhaps you already knew this. Maybe all the people in my age group looking at me oddly, and asking my odd questions had never really hit home. Politely, I just answer the question, make fun of Jaclyn, and then move on with the conversation. I think, however, all of these odd looks and comments have finally reached the boiling point required to escape my ignorance of the reality of our situation. Nobody does this anymore. By “this” I mean… well I don’t really know what I mean. Is it “have a lot of kids”? Is it “really old fashioned morals”? Is it “believes in a literal person called God”? What is it that makes us so odd that, though I don’t consider Jaclyn and I to be the “loser” type, we are some kind of modern wonder of today’s family social structure world?
(Ironically) Oddly enough, we look at others and think (and say behind their back), “That doesn’t make any sense. Why live that way? Why do that to yourself and your children?” But this week it hit home with me that people have been looking at us in a glazed-eyed wonder for years saying the same thing as we walk away. Perhaps you clicked “follow” on this blog for the hope of an answer to just such a question.
I guess, now, I would, if I were not as I am, be also so curious to understand that which I currently am. I am odd! But how did this happen? How did having lots of kids, old fashioned morals, and investing yourself in “home” become such a second class waste of time life?
Certainly, we do some things that are not newly odd.
We homeschool our children. This week’s epiphany of oddness did not reveal that fact to me. I know homeschooling is socially unacceptable madness. But give it time. As the homeschooling age that currently gains momentum in this part of the world begins to produce the kind of fruit it can, and with social media available, there being no way to hide the talent, I believe people will come around to the madness that is our instant domestic educational reform. Scoff and laugh, but my kids at 9 years old will have already devoured more pages of literature than most university aged publicly educated young people. Let’s just see how oddness may work greatness.
Believing the Bible is not newly odd either. I know that most people don’t think that God knows what He’s talking about. (Advantage me) For a good several generations, the majority, though often religious, look to the Bible for ideas but not principles or truth. What it says God says is kind of like a reference to the mental position prior to modernization and industrialization. But the Bible is not just a revelation of how people used to think, it’s a revelation of how you think, and will think. It is a revelation of potential, both good and bad, of all mankind. It is a revelation of history repeating, and it is a predicting of such events continuing to unfold exactly as they do, both politically, and domestically, within your community, social relationships, and even so acutely, within your soul. Though it be odd, and not unusually odd to believe the Bible, having tasted the accuracy of the revelation, we gladly except this oddness and the oddness of living out that belief. We also accept the odd results. Sadly, people would rather trudge through life in the ditch to prove the Bible wrong than take the easy, well-paved high road of accepting it right.
I understand that conservative morals are not newly odd. For a hundred years “do what seems right in your eyes” has been the policy of our society. Divorce rate is astoundingly high compared to any other society in history. Suicide rate is frighteningly obvious to prove the point. Deaths and high cost medical treatment by-way of alcohol and drug relation, both in traffic and tragic circumstances have gotten to the point where our medical and judicial economy budgets for their existence. Yet even as you read those thoughts your love for the drunken experience drives you to hate the idea of an alcohol-free unselfish lifestyle. I’m not surprised. It’s odd and I knew it was odd when I decided to live this way decades ago.
But what shocked me as I realized this week that I had (in most people’s opinion) too many children was the oddity that is unselfish love. Love is now odd. The love of many has waxed so cold. I came to the realization that the oddity that we have become is an archaic symbol of a time when people spent themselves for anything other than themselves.
Don’t get me wrong, my wife and I have plenty of time for “us”. Having eight children means we have a pretty strict established bedtime for them. Day to day, lots of people in this home are all getting to do lots of things that they enjoy and that others here enjoy. But the overall philosophy of the home is, oddly, not about satisfying one’s self.
People often ask, “How DO you DO it!?” This question, odd as it may be, is asked us more often than I could even rate. Daily? Probably. So how do we do it? That is what is so odd today. It is so removed from the blueprint of life in this age that people have literally no idea how we do it. My wife and I have often said though, “If they were in this situation they would figure out the answer to that question.” But truthfully, what hit me this week is that people today wouldn’t let themselves get into this situation. We have so incorporated the philosophy of being our own god that most would just play God and abort, or abandon, or abolish. We have finally gotten to the place where even the baring of our children is about us. “I want to experience parenting”. “I want to have a boy and a girl”. I.. I… I… want… want… want. If you have such a philosophy governing the actions of your life, you are not fit to be a parent, nor a “contributing” member of society for that matter.
What hit me so directly between the eyes of late is not that I have so many kids and no one else seems to in our day, but why no one else wants to. If I were to promote this lifestyle as a great choice that is very fulfilling to one’s self, I may have some takers that would copy my example. But if I were to tell people that it is work, and it will cost you, and you will miss out on some pleasures for self in order to give the best you can to your children, people would simply say, “That’s not for me.” You’re probably right.
To be fair, we didn’t sit down and by some supernatural paternal instinct evolve into ultra parents who wanted to patriarch a small nation. Technically, we did not choose this lifestyle. God chose it for us. We went for number 2 and got 3 at once. It’s a formula that goes something like 1 + 3 = minivan, 3 bedroom house, overtime and personal debt.
By the way, if you already have four, eight isn’t really that much different. Because once you get to the point that you have to invest yourself to succeed as a home, adding more children just makes it more fun. Though, I must caution about the grocery bill…
I’m not ranting to blame people for not copying our “be fruitful and multiply” accidental efforts. I am shocked, literally shocked, by the inability of parents to sacrifice their own personal enjoyment for the sake of their children. That is what hit me this week. Parents shock me.
I feel bad for their kids. I feel bad for kids that won’t have siblings. I feel bad for kids that don’t have an example in their life of faith. I feel bad for children with no inheritance, not because of necessity, but because of excessiveness. I feel a shocked distain for parents that dump their kids off weekend after weekend while they blow their money on booz and partying. I feel bad for children who never see Mom and Dad together because they are working too much so that they can spend so much. I feel bad for those children as they grow and copy that habit, and waste away their youth and mind, risking themselves for a thrill. I feel bad for kids that never get to spend a Friday night playing a board game with Mom and Dad.
I feel a shocking understanding this week and it finally hit me why you don’t want a big family. It finally sunk in why we are so odd in this age.
I have a lot of children, and they have me. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
- Scott
“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:”
- Psalms 127:3a,5a

Thursday, September 5, 2013

August Photo-a-Day


(click to enlarge)


In August…

We caught bugs

And frogs

We watched our garden bloom

We went to parks

Four different parks to be exact

We baked cookies

Lily ate flour

We painted

The dog took me for a ride

We went to the library

We read more books than I care to count

Kids camped

Parents slept in

We explored back roads

We picked flowers

Ella danced barefoot in the backyard

We made messes

We enjoyed the sunshine

We swung on swings

We ate junk food

Kids got wet

And covered in sand

We made new friends

We played with old friends

We visited family

We blew wish flowers

And bubbles

We had sleepovers

We laughed

A lot

We made memories

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September Tears

It was September of 2003, and I rushed down the stairs at 6 months pregnant ready to run out the door. As I came around the corner into our living room I saw my husband hang up the phone. Before I could ask who it was, or what was wrong, he was walking towards me. I knew from the look on his face, but he hugged me and quietly told me that my grandma had passed away. My aunt was on her way over to pick me up so that we could go see my grandma at the hospital because the doctors had called to say that she didn't have much time left. I have always regretted not going down to see her the night before. The last time that I saw my Grandma before she started having memory problems, I was in trouble. I had snuck out with my boyfriend (who is now my husband) and spent the day in Toronto, without anyone knowing where we were. We walked back to my grandparents’ house to face our parents together and my Grandma met me outside on the sidewalk. She hugged me and said, “Jackie, just tell the truth. Be honest and you’ll be OK.” I kinda of shrugged it off at the time, but that was the last piece of advice she ever gave me. It has been 10 years now and I still miss her.


When her memory had started to fade she would often repeat herself. She would look at me and say, “Jackie, I love you.” I would smile and say, “I love you too, Grandma.” She’d smile even bigger and say, “I really, really love you!” She loved when we’d dance around with her or give her head massages, and she loved her great-grandkids. She became child-like in her last few years and I adored watching her play with Keona. She would let Keona do her hair and play dress up. The triplets were just babies, but she loved to cuddle and kiss them like they were her very own dolls. It makes me sad to think that my kids don’t remember her, but I find myself repeating her words to them. Every time I confront one of my children about something, I hear her voice and I remind them to just tell the truth. It’s no wonder that God wants us to “hide His word in our hearts.”


Tonight has been emotional. I’ll be honest- I am usually completely fine to talk about my dad, but tonight upset me. Ella was sitting at the kitchen table with my mom and I, and she asked, “Who’s your dad, Mom?” and I felt ashamed. I reminded her that my dad died when I was a little girl and she remembered with an, “Oh yeah!”

But it made me think… Maybe I don’t talk about him enough. Maybe I should put up some pictures so that my kids remember who their grandpa is. Maybe selfishly, without even realizing it, I’ve kept his memory to myself…


It has been 25 years since my dad passed away and I cried tonight. My kids like to ask me to tell them stories. Stories about when they were babies, stories about when I was a kid, stories that great-grandpa told me about when he was a kid… I tell them that they’ve heard ALL of my stories and I can’t think of anymore and they say, “Tell them again!” I have a limited number of stories that I remember about my dad, and honestly they aren’t my favourite to tell because they always make me wish that there were more. But I think I’ll tell them anyways. I think I’ll frame a few of my favourite pictures of my dad and hang them throughout the house. I think that I’ll bring my kids to see my Grandma and ask her to tell them some stories about my Dad until they feel like they know him a bit.


One of my favourite songs that I’ve quoted on here before, goes like this:

God's been good in my life
I feel blessed beyond my wildest dreams when I go to sleep each night
And though I've had my share of hard times, I wouldn't change them if I could
'Cause through it all, God's been good

But I always had a hard time with that one phrase, “I wouldn’t change them if I could”-

Because if I’m being honest, there are a lot of things that I would change if I could… but I recently bought a CD of six sisters who had just lost their mother to cancer singing together. The very first song on the CD was “God’s Been Good” and when it came to that line they sang,

And though I’ve had my share of hard times, by my side He always stood

'Cause through it all, God's been good


And I thought, YES.

That I can sing and mean. That is my song, too.

I am so thankful for a God who has a plan for me. For a Father who has always been by my side. My kids know all about Him.

I’ll be working on them getting to know their grandpa better…








P.S. Light-hearted first day of school post coming up! :)


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