Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tree Tradition

 As I wrote about last year, our family tradition of placing each childs photo on our Christmas tree for that past year continues.  Here are the 2010 ornaments and I love looking at our tree and seeing the things that are really important on display.  Words added this year "pray" and "hope" as these have been words that have shown us much of Gods favor and glory through many many answered prayers.  We continue to hold onto Hope as we live everyday...Hope that those who don't know our Lord and Savoir will, Hope that He will come back again and take us to a Heaven that is beyond our comprehension, Hope that He always comes through on His promises.  Our Jesus/manger ornament is important to remind us why we celebrate Christmas at all.  Afterall, it is the birth and coming of our Lord we are chosing to celebrate.  Hand-made ornaments from the kids leave warm tingles on my heart as we see them each year pulled out of the ornament box.  There are a few red sequin heart ornaments on our tree as well symbolizing our greatest commandment - "You shall love the Lord your God with all yur heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."  Matthew 22:37 ESV.  Our next commandment is "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."  Matthew 22:38 ESV .  So a whole lotta lovin' to do!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

She's off!!

video
Our little princess, yes Princess Aurora Abigail took her first independent steps yesterday.  (She was dressed up for a friends costume birthday party this afternoon, but who was I to take her princess dress off?  She may just wear it tomorrow too as far as I am concerned :)  As the day progresses today she is taking more and more steps...I finally caught these one on video just to share with you!  I am feeling mixed emotions about this....part of me is so excited to see her doing such a "big girl" thing...the other part of me is sad as I want her to stay little for much longer.  As many moms say...the time really does go by too quickly. 
Thank you Lord for your amazing gifts to us in our children...we will rejoice and be glad always!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Scrap Queen

 OK...so a weekend away and I labelled myself...of all things "Scrap Queen."  I have always wanted to be cheesy like this.  Some part of me wants to "match" my occassions with my clothing.  I even co-ordinated my holey soles to match my shirt...as well as my glimmery travel coffee mug.  Am I the only one?  I was hardly a queen amongst the 25 or so other scrapbooking ladies - I really just wanted the shirt because it was pink and it was $5 at Michaels.  I did get 20 (1 sided) pages done over the course of the weekend on Ashers scrapbook and I am so happy with it.  It took me a while to get into the swing of things as it has been over a year since I even touched my scrapbook supplies.  But, the hummm of the Crickets, the slicing of photos and the smell of the Cricut mat glue got me motivated in no time!
 I brought out 2 new friends to join in the excitement this year...I just had to share this wonderful working opportunity with some other girlfriends so Jen and Susan joined me this year.  Love the above layout that Jen did...it only took her about 4 hours :)
 The regular scrapbook ladies that I go with were there too....we had to joke from afar this year but still loved seeing them and catching up at meal times.  Jen and Dani "won" by staying up the latest both nights.  (I can't even compete in an all-nighter).  BUT...our van won the race home...remember that for April ladies ;)  (And everyone thought I was the slow driver!!)
One of my favorite layouts from the weekend as it made me think of my bestest friend Ginette who will be at the next scrapbooking retreat in April...because GUESS WHAT?  SHE IS MOVING BACK from New Brunswick...well back to Calgary but that is still much closer and I am so stinkin' excited about that!!  So, next retreat is the first weekend in April 2011 and I am already looking forward to it...

I love capturing, sharing and documenting my memories and our lives.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

First Days of School

Aidan started Grade 6 and transitioned into Middle School fabulously.  He is even taking the CITY BUS to school now.  Seems like he is growing up way too quickly...from wanting to be on Facebook to texting, to the start of school dances....*sigh*  Well we made an agreement on the first day of Grade 5 that I would not take his photo in the front of his school once he moved to Middle School...so Mom still got a few photos in front of our house before he left.  He will be thankful one day.....haha...remember our parents saying that??  I love this big kid and the fact that he still likes to cuddle and that we have a "secret thumb shake."

 
Addison started Pre-school this year at Noah's Ark (same school Aidan went to when he was 4 years old- and the same teachers are still there and remember Aidan 7 years later!!)  He loves going to school and showed Mommy no sign of attachment syndrome...he was off and running as soon as the school doors were open waving "bye."  I slowed him down by taking his photos :)  I am loving this social butterfly and his age of 4!  He is learning and growing all the time!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Miss Abigail Turns 1!

On October 13th our little Abigail Rose turned 1!




Could she be any more precious? In our eyes or in Gods? I am marvelling at the miracle of her life over the past year as I hear Backyardigans blaring from the TV in the living room. Some things I have noticed about having a baby girl in our house:
  • Daddy doesn't toss her up in the air like he did with all the boys

  • Biggest Brother Aidan is one of the first to run upstairs to grab her out of her crib when she cries

  • I snuggle her longer then ever before - our last baby and our little rose - beautiful layers, delicate, growing more and more as the days go by

  • Baby girls aren't always quiet and gentle...our sweet Abigail likes to yell, wrestle and join in any boy play that she can

  • Her first word was "ma ma"...all the boys first word was "da da"...amazing music to my ears, even as she crawls around the floor whining "ma ma, ma ma" when she wants to be picked up I am smiling as I do it, even if I am busy

  • The love and completeness of our family fills my heart with an abundance of joy!

Our sweet Abigail, May the Lord give His angels charge over you, to guide you in all your ways.
- Psalm 91:11

Monday, June 21, 2010

First Movie

Toy Story 3 premiered in theatres this past Friday. On Saturday we ventured out as a family (minus one baby girl) to the theatre. This was Ashers first movie theatre experience.
This expression on Ashers face sums up how he acted the whole time in the theatre....he was pretty much in awe of everything. He sat so well and seemed to love the theatre. I got Asher and Addison some characters from the Disney store in Calgary when we were there last week. We often see Asher kissing Buzz and cuddling him...sometimes he gets Addison's Woody and makes the two of them kiss....I think this is very cute!! We have such loving kids!

Yup, we were the ones with the camera in the theatre. Wes was reassured we weren't the only crazy ones when we saw a flash from somewhere else in the theatre. Yaaah for moms who capture moments on their camera :) (And for dads that cooperate and just smile with our crazy ideas...thanks Big Daddy Gies!)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

8 Months Old

Our sweet Abigail is already 8 months old. At 8 months she is waving "hi" more then "bye". She claps her hands lots. She loves to sleep on her tummy and will almost always roll over in her crib when placed on her back. She loves to roll around on the floor and is starting to go into a "hands and knees" position sometimes pushing her little bum into the air. She is eating solid food a couple times a day. Abigail dislikes "cereal/pablum" and loves vegetables. She is kinda hit and miss with her fruit, sometimes she likes it, sometimes she doesn't. We already see little bits of her personality shining through, and yesterday she stretched her arms straight up and had her hands in little fists with her mouth clenched at Papa P. after she screamed in his arms when he held her. Yikes! She is loving all her brothers and watched them in wonder and starts moving/bouncing up and down when they are running around. We don't think it will be long before she is running around after them! This past week she has been waking only 1 time throughout the night (yaaah!) and has 2 naps throughout the day. She makes an interesting laughing sound that sounds like this...."aahhhh ahhhh ahhhh" and her voice sounds somewhat "husky." She also says "mum mum mum mum" (of course she does...she loves her mama!). When in sight of her mama she wants to be picked up, played with or held. She also loves her soother and a blanket snuggled up to her face when she is going to sleep. We are so stinkin' excited to have a little girl! Praising God for her and our other kiddies every single day!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Inline Hockey

Our Aidan is playing U10 Inline Hockey again this spring. This is his 3rd year playing and he is really enjoying it. Wes is coaching his team (one of the benefits of not working shift work) and Aidan is learning a lot from him regarding positioning and teamwork.


One of the benefits of dad being a coach is that mom can come and hang out on the bench and take photos :) Ya, Aidan loves it!


One of his "post-goal" moves...


My oldest boys in action....keep up the great work Aidan!



Monday, May 10, 2010

April has Come and Gone

April was full of many celebrations and I am so excited that with all the busy-ness of life that we took the time to recognize and celebrate what the Lord has given us. This is just a small glimpse of some of our time in April:
Wes and I were able to go to Banff for 2 nights and stay in our own little cottage (with a REAL wood burning fire place!! One of my favorite things.) We ate out and were able to enjoy our food, we "relaxed" in our cottage and read, we enjoyed the real fire in our fireplace, we shopped around town, we enjoyed the outdoors - God's marvellous creation and we enjoyed our time focusing mostly on each other. We are so thankful to both of our parents for lovin' on our kids.



We celebrated Wes' 32nd birthday with cupcakes from Baby Cakes cupcakery here in Red Deer. Yummy Brown Sugar Mama cupcake...not cake but BROWNIE! Addison was so stinkin' excited to give Dad a "Slap Chop."


On April 29 Asher turned 3 years old :)


This little guy often brings a smile to our face and we can often hearing Dad say "he is so cute." His speech is really coming along well and the other day when we were coming home in the van he said "no Mom, I want to go shopping." A boy after his mom's own heart I tell ya!


Asher was very excited about his Thomas cupcakes and he brings us such delight in the unique person that he is. God's blessing on you our sweet littlest boy!


Friday, March 19, 2010

Addison Turns 4!

On March 10 our dear Addison turned 4 years old. At his request he had a birthday party at McDonalds PlayPlace here in Red Deer. 1.5 hours of noise, laughing, presents, playing, friends, mcnuggets, McQueen birthday cake and lots of fun!


Yup, he dipped into the icing before the official "blow out the candle"...but really...what child can wait when a delicious Cars masterpiece is placed in front of them?


All the friends and family at the party (minus the adults and 3 babies that were either in high chairs or car seats). We had a couple little visitors from the restaurant come by to check out the presents and one little girl was caught even taking a chicken nugget and some fries off of one of the kids plates...too funny!

Gorgeous blue eyes just like his Daddy!




Yup, this is Addison in one of his truest forms. When I asked to take his photo by the "Hamburgular" picture he started hamming it up and this is really him...dancing around waving his hands around in front of his face showing everyone that he is "4". Such a good good boy he is and is loved so dearly.
In your 4th year of life Addison, in Jesus' name I bless your play times that your mind may learn and grow to your full potential. May you be kept safe at all times. I bless your mental development, that nothing would hinder the growth of your mind to its full potential. I bless the development of your will, that you may be shaped in wisdom and love by those in authority in your life. May you learn to make wise choices in every life decision. I bless your spiritual life, that you would understand and experience what it means to walk with God at a young age. I bless your family relationships, that you would be kept safe from accidental emotional injury and feel a sense of belonging and love. I bless your school experiences (come September) that school is a safe place for you to learn and grow and may your teachers recognize and encourage your gifts and talents. And lastly I bless your friendships, that you may be guided to be loving and make wise choices in every relationship outside your family circle. AMEN!




Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bubbles & Bumbo

Our little girl is 4.5 months old now. She is now blowing bubbles (with her sweet little baby spit) and enjoys sitting up in her bumbo chair. (OK well we got the bumbo chair when Asher was a baby...and if I had a say she would have a pink bumbo chair...but really...color vs. $60). She enjoys sitting in her bumbo on the living room floor as the boys play around her, whether it is watching them build a train track or do a puzzle. The little guys are also quick to pick up any of her rattly toys and put them back on her tray for her to play with. Aidan is also stepping it up in the big brother department and will often go and pick her up if she is fussing or pop a soother in her mouth without even a prompt from us. All the boys love their little sister so much!


video

Monday, February 22, 2010

What Do I Do??



As a mom, my most important task is raising our children. I am learning that this parental assignment by God is challenging and complex. With having 4 bundles of joy to parent, and their different personalities and different stages in each of their lives I find myself experiencing extremes of joyfulness to disappointment and hurt.


For months now our Asher has been having an issue with screaming. It used to be more of a communication thing....mainly around meal times. Meal time seems to be under control on the most part now. Now, for the past couple months we have been dealing with screaming, hitting, and pushing from Asher onto other kids. He will also go from extremes when meeting new people or people coming to the door of running to hug them to standing at their feet and screaming at them. I was so frustrated this past weekend when we had people over at our house both days and for hours (seriously) we had to intervene with him screaming at or hitting or pushing the kids that were over. He seems to do this behavior to kids that are younger then him or show intimidation to him after he screams at them. Almost like he is wanting power or control over them? I don't know...does that make sense? What about the screaming to adults that talk to him or come over?


Last night we had people over and one of the adults that was here commented that "he is just mean" and we have had several other parents of children that are over defend their children and attempt to discipline him by firmly saying or even yelling at him. Seeing and hearing other adults respond to him like this is breaking my heart. As a mom maybe I see some of his behavior reflecting on my parenting, but if I honestly knew how I should be handling him I WOULD TRY...I would.


My heart is so heavy for our boy who seems to be feeling so frustrated with other children touching his toys, or sometimes even looking at him will set him off. This behavior has recently caused us to leave the McDonalds play place because he hit a boy with his happy meal toy, and caused us to leave play dates or family visits earlier then anticipated. After last night I don't even want to have friends and their children over to play unless they are older. I do not know how Asher will respond in every situation we go into (and yes I do tell him what to expect before going places and people come over) and it is causing me to feel saddened. I want him to respect others, to be kind and loving. I don't think that is too much to ask. Am I wrong?


If you are thinking of trying time outs...we have tried those. We have taken him to the corner...we have taken him to his bedroom. We have tried spanking and we have tried the other extreme of sitting with him and loving him giving him some one to one attention too. He will apologize but that doesn't always stop the behavior and we seem to be on a vicious cycle. He seems to get like this mainly when people come over to our house or we go to a new place with more kids there. I have heard too many "this is just a stage" to wait it out and have people respond negatively to him in the meantime.


I want Asher to grow up feeling loved and secure. I want him to respect others and be kind. I want to discipline him in a way that is effective to raise a child who is obedient and has the fruit of the Spirit growing and developing within his little body for others to see. I want others to love him as Jesus and I do.


So as Dr. Dobson states "God, in his infinite wisdom, created and ordained the family as the basic unit of procreation and companionship." I ask you to join with me as I seek His divine assistance through the power of prayer to our Heavenly Father.


Jesus, I cry out for your help with my parenting. Please guide me to the tools to effectively handle situations with our kids to promote them to be the best little people they can be. Please come over our Asher and work in him...fill him with peace and remove any kind of anger he feels towards others. You know my heart Jesus and how I long for my actions to be pleasing to you and how I want to do the best job I can in raising these 4 children that you have blessed us with. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.




Celebrate with a Friend!

Go on over and visit a dear friend of mine:

Titus2:3-5: Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

She is having a little party, and you can get in on the fun too! Also add her to your reading list as she has many insightful things to discuss and I have found her writing to be such an encouragement! Thanks Tyler!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Our Family Day

On Monday, February 15 we celebrated Family Day by going to the Calgary Zoo. The weather was beautiful and we were excited about "changing it up a little" in terms of our routine. So, Wes let me sleep in a little in the morning and we decided kind of last minute that is what we would do with our day. It was so much last minute that I ended up forgetting the diaper bag at home by the door. We did not realize this until we got the kids all packed up in the stroller in the Zoo parking lot...so back in the van we went and headed to the nearest Wal-Mart to purchase diapers, pre-made formula, a bottle and baby wipes. There was a time when I might have let this minor set-back throw me right off and destroy my whole day...but then I met Wes. Through him I am able to see that things that once seemed like the end of the world, really aren't and we have the choice to how we are going to let it affect us and the rest of our day. God is also revealing this to me as my Fruit of the Spirit are ripening within me.

So the photo above is once we got into the African exhibit where the giraffes are. I have never been to the Zoo in the winter, but as you can probably imagine, the smell in those buildings without the priviledge of fresh air coming in can get pretty STINKY! Addison was the only one who reacted quite negatively to the smell, holding his nose the entire time and pretty much just wanting to get the heck outta there. He didn't care about seeing the animals indoors, and I found in the 2nd building we went to he reacted even more negatively by throwing a little temper tantrum that he didn't to see the monkeys (and that is all he had been talking about all day!).


Asher looking up like "are you my mommy?" Haha...so cute!

Our little (ok big) family minus one photographer mommy! Do you notice how Asher is closing his eyes here? This is his new thing if he realizes I am taking his photo and he is quite intentional about it...like "if I can't see you, you can't see me...."



My oldest boys acting like the crazy animals they are :) My boys constantly show me the differences between girls and boys and I still have a lot to learn. I thank God for Wes everyday that he can give me a little insight as to how boys think and why they act the way they do....Abigail is going to be easy breezy if you ask me :)
So, overall a very fun day and a much needed little get-away if even for a few hours. Thank you my dear family for all your love!







Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lent

Whenever I have heard of Lent I only heard of people giving certain things up like coffee or chocolate and never did explore what the real meaning of it was....until this year.

After some research online, I learned that Lent is the period of the year leading up to Easter. The traditional purpose is the preparation of the believer through through prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial. (What is penitency and almsgiving you might ask?? It is ok, I didn't know either as I read this definition in Wikipedia. Pentinency-the desire to be forgiven. Almsgiving-involves giving materially to another as an act of religious virtue) Lent runs for 40 days (calculated differently by different religions) to represent the time that Jesus spent in the desert before the beginning of his public ministry where he endured much temptation by satan. Sundays are not calculated in the 40 days as Sundays are already celebrated for the Resurrection of Jesus. So, I am committing my Lent time until April 3, 2010.

There are many sites that give information on Lent, research it for yourself. You will find some people who take it seriously and some people who say they are "would" do something "BUT"....

I am choosing to join the "I WILL" club and look forward to this time as a time of spiritual growth and reflection and am excited to see how God will work in my life during this time. I have decided to give up Facebook. Does that seem silly to you? It seems silly saying it. The reason that I need to deny myself access to Facebook is that it is a major distraction to me. When I am home alone with the kids I go online and check FB at least 5 times throughout the day...this 5 times a day might only require a few minutes to read status updates but moreoften times it includes me joining groups (photography mostly) which leads to looking at photographers websites and then I start reading blogs...and before I know it the kids are pulling at my arms and an hour has gone by. God has been telling me that this is not productive and that I should be spending this time with Him and the Word. He wants my time and why do I want to put my time into such mindless activity...really...

So, there you have it...me....Lent...40 days of giving my FB time to someone that really matters. Look forward to more posts about what I am learning in this time and how God is working! Praise Him with me today would you??

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Gold Medal

That is Aidan in the air with the "red" chest protector. An awesome first match as he was fighting a boy that was his age but a belt higher. The first match seemed to build Aidan's confidence and he came out roarin' at the second match. I have never seen him so aggressive and he definitely intimidated the competitor.

Aidan won both his matches at the taekwondo tournament in Provost last weekend and so he received his first GOLD medal. Well as you can see in the photo below he actually got a "certificate" that states a he is the recipient of a gold medal which was going to be mailed to his taekwondo school. (I was really missing that gold medal shot...I know, I know....all about the pics!)

Way to go Aidan...we are so proud of you and all the hard work you put into taekwondo. Please let mom keep taking your picture :) Haha!


Friday, January 29, 2010

Tinkle Tinkle

Here are the two little guys singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"...or "Tinkle Tinkle" as Asher says...

Enjoy the performance.

video

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ear-Piercing Event




So, yesterday was the BIG day. In longing for a little girl of my own, one of my many dreams was to have my little girl have her ears pierced...why? Because it is girly and I like it :) I had taken her once last month and the lady at Merle Norman wouldn't pierce her ears because she didn't pierce baby's lobes, so this month as she is now a whooping 3 months old, I decided might be a good time to try again. This girl was happy to pierce Abigails ears and said her lobes looked "perfect" to pierce. Well that was music to my ears and with using Emla cream on her lobes she hardly even cried, I think she was more upset that I had to pin her down so she didn't move. Just look at the expression on my face above, I think it hurt me more then it hurt her! I can't stop looking at her ears and smiling...she fills me with such delight.






Monday, January 25, 2010

Afternoon at Inglewood Park

Addison became quite the little "stunt man" on the hill and had an absolute blast! Speed is definitely his thing, much like daddy! He is 3 and he was telling Wes to set him up so he could hit the "jump" on the hill...haha!



Asher was so darn cute on the sled. He kept his arms out to the sides everytime he sat on the sled as there really wasn't anything to hang onto. As they started going down the hill and the speed increased he would cover up his eyes with his hands. Maybe he is more like mommy :)

Aidan brought his skates, hockey and a puck and chose to skate around the rink with one of his friends from the neighbourhood. After we left him and Kyle decided to go back and bring their sleds and try out the hill as well. Got home just in time for some pizza and then he was off to skate-church which is held down at Vertical Edge indoor skateboard park. Very cool idea as a group of men introduce the bible and Jesus to skateboarders in our city. Aidan loves going to this each Sunday night and has even started going by himself (without a friend by his side)...so brave of him to step out like that and show his independence.

A fun afternoon with friends from our small group down at the park here in our neighbourhood. It was our first entire-family outdoor activity as we bundled Abigail up and she slept in the stroller while the boys played and mommy took photos. It was a lot of fun for the kids as they love to be outdoors! Looking forward to doing it again.