Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cousins vs Geckos!

Want to create a life for boys? Ingredients as follows:
Two curious boys
Two willing geckos
One camera
The great outdoors
Loads of time
Abounding freedom
A dose of creativity
Mix together and observe the resulting creation and just eat it up!!
These pictures represent what two cousins do, on a regular basis! Now that the weather is warmer, the geckos can literally come out and play in our own backyard! I love what they do, what they create and just how much fun they have, simple fun yet brilliant. What a blessing to have boys! Cousins are such a precious gift - I am sure that the memories are building just like mine did as a child. So many incredible memories with cousins!! The pictures were taken by the boys!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

A special piano visit

What a day! We started off with the regular routine here at home - reading, bible, math, language arts etc.... and practicing piano for our recital! We were invited to visit my Aunt Marlene at her seniors home while my fav Uncle was in town, Uncle Ron! He is a younger brother to my mom!!
We went into Unionville and joined the Maretzki gang and played and played! I am so proud of all the kids. Truly, they played with confidence, poise and grace. I know that all that joined our party had a great time listening to all the tunes . Even Jude and Sara had their turn banging the keys, and running around. I was reminded that Sara is a mini me (especially in her behaviour!) My dear Uncle remembers well my early days. We had a good laugh! We alson enjoyed cake, icecream and popcorn. Let's just say the kids were well rewarded for all their efforts!
Being at a seniors home is a touching reminder of how simple a visit is to do and the impact it can have on so many. So, here are a few memories of our day! Our day did not end at the seniors home, we ended up back here and the cousins played and we enjoyed a bbq. Can't beat that on a Friday!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My New Purple Room!

Samantha has her purple dream now come true! Just a little paint and Daddy muscle moving around furniture and viola, there ya have it, a new purple room! I was able to purge some and simplify (love to do that!) and make the smaller room now for Samantha. Sara has the big room, with the brown furniture and is just fine! The life of that brown furniture is rich and long! It belonged to Dunc's Dad when he was a boy! We will move it our and replace someday for Sara!
We can wait for awhile for her to ask for a purple room or maybe pink?
It is amazing how truly excited she has been about this experience. We shopped for picture frames, bedding and a curtain rod! Decorating is fun, she knows it...pretty early to like shopping for household items isn't it??!!! So there it is, my new purple room!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


If you are wondering what is above Chris, it is a secret code he made today that we learned abougt from our book on the history of the Canadian flag. Ships used flags to communicate and had an alphabet when radio was not around or working. So, Chris made his own secret code for Daddio so he could see it when he walked in the door! Of course the message was simple and yet profound - I love you! Dunc loved it and Chris was proud. Jack made a magnetic ship as a surprise for me earlier in the day. He was so proud. He had to have extra help from Chris to bring it down the stairs to show me! Had to take a pic and post it just for them!! Being here allows us so do these crazy activities, they love it and so do I!! So, Charm there was more to my day that was good! I need time to reflect on these moments when things are difficult so it all balances out!

Beach and a Bible. Daily spending time with God...

These are moments I will not forget with the family. We were able to spend time together on the beach reading the Bible (short and sweet!) but a time that was meaningful! It means time together for our family and honouring God. I can't recall what we read, something in the Old Testament (Israelites and wandering!) the kids will only remember by looking at a photo, and maybe Chris will remember reading the Bible. What they will know is that we tried to make time for God in our day. I know that is difficult in our days. I don't want to miss out on what He wants to speak to us!
Pastor MacPhail reminded us on Sunday to look at our days and consider the time we are actually spending reading the Bible and developing our relationship with Him. What is taking our time away from our time with God as a family and personally?
Well, I can think of a lot of things and activities that take our time. Slowly, as we take time personally each day and as a family reading the Bible, the day we don't, we miss it and wonder...hmm we need this time! I notice such a huge difference in my own day when I am in constant prayer (even doing the dishes and and small daily tasks) and reading a portion of scripture. I love sharing what I read with the kids. Often in our journal time at the start of our day I will share what I am learning and convicted about specifically. They see the real me and what I am convicted on is usually my reactions to them and I am so often asking for forgiveness. The real me is full of mistakes and sinful attitudes and actions. I am so thankful I am forgiven by the one who loves me unconditionally and gives me grace. I am thankful that God loves, forgives, redeems and restores!
It can be difficult to admit that I am wrong, but what better way for my kids to learn. Well, they have to see me fail and work it out so they will learn. Not easy, but part of my day!
So here I sit, tired, needing another coffee, laundry to do, supper to create and the list goes on! But, we have been together and made it through many valleys and mountain tops today. Love it!

Monday, May 25, 2009


Above is a moment when the kids were ushered inside to be safely away from 'the tree guy'. He was taking down a very sick tree while we were in Florida and had come back to remove the stump with awesome machinery. Unfortunately they had to move inside. I loved how they made room for one another on the bench in the kitchen (no pinching or whining!!?) and watched amazed at how much mulch can be made from one stump!!
The next pic is a moment that Sam and Sara have had over and over again. Filling up the water contain and watering anything at all! Sara wears big sister's shoes and frolics freely throughout the yard, happily (as long as the water container is full!!) I love how she takes care of her so patiently and lovingly! Sara calls her "Nita". Her version of Samantha. Still too much of a mouthful. Sam helps Sara in so many ways. I can see she is attentive to Sara when her needs are imperative and acute. It reminds me in a small way of Matthew 11:28, Jesus said, "Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." That is what Christ does, just because he loves us! Samantha walks with Sara, just because she loves her! Love that girl!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mac Cousins

We have so many wonderful moments with cousins and I had to share this one. Long weekend at the cottage means hanging out with D and M!! What a blast they all had together. Jumping in the freezing cold lake (CRAZY BOYS), bbq's, light sabres (star wars always comes into play!), football games with the Dads, tubing, running and running, frisbee, man hunt and I could go on! We love to spend time with Nana and Papa and all the family together! Having green grass to run on, a lake to look out on and family near by is special! Balsam lake has many more memories for summer 2009!
Psalm 100:3
Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Before I add more about Florida, I have to write about Jack. He is so wonderful with his imagination! Today he announced that there was a play happening at 1:30. Simply it was called, 'Transformers'.
So, he spent time and creatively made invitations for everyone (yes, even Sara) You can see in one of the pics he had a picture of the transformers in the show and what was happening! He had it all, seats prepared, drinks, snacks and the area all completely set up for our enjoyment.
We laughed and cheered at the battle between good and evil. We ate until our fingers were thoroughly orange from Doritos and we were all well watered with the large jug of water ready for consumption. Sara would copy us as we would raise our hands when good triumphed and laugh when one of the transformers went flying across the room. So, the intense math plan went out the window and the writing assignment was cut in half. This was the highlight for the day. Jack, you are such a gift from God and I am so thankful that you caught us all off guard with a great show today!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Wow! What a trip. The weather was truly tropical and inviting. I will never forget the moments we had as a family! It all worked because Dunc and I were a tag team! One at the pool watching three busy swimmers and one in the condo reading while Sara napped!! We loved our times and I will add to this when it is not so late! We are home and have so much to reflrect on....

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

(Pic taken in Chicago a few years back on a sister weekend!!)
What can I say but thank you Lord for the blessing! I am reminded this week of one sister in particular - Charmaine. She turns ....this week (no need to reveal ha ha ha!!) So birthday wishes are due and I also want to take this time to bless her. She is so great! I look up to her in so many ways. She lifts me up on my blue days. I pick up the phone and call and she is there for me. The beautiful thing is, if she is not there, she calls right back or we email and I know that I can tell her what is going on right away. Having an older sister for me means having a mentor. I have two sisters and two mentors built in. Pastor MacPail encouraged us a few weeks ago to be like the apostle Paul and be a mentor and to be mentored. We all need both in our lives to round us out and become who God has called us to be in this life we have been given.
So, back to sisters...yes, I have two mentors and all through my life I have been able to borrow clothes, make-up, shoes and more shoes. More important than that (although at the time having the right shoes at 15 meant a lot back then, so thanks sisters!) is the fact that they have taught me in their own ways how to live my life to glorify God, how to pray, how to parent, how to listen, when to speak. I could go on. There are so many wonderful concepts that they have taught me. A lot of that teaching has been caught. As we all know people watch. Our kids observe and watch closely. That means I have to be aware of all I am doing and saying.
Over the years both sisters have journeyed with me through times that were amazing and times that were just plain difficult. I have watched both my sisters experience many trials and adventures. I have watched them soar. They bless me with their presence and I am so thankful. Proverbs 14: 26 says, "He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge."
Thank you sisters for guiding me through the years as I continue to be in the process of building a secure fortress by God's amazing grace!
Charm, happy birthday and thank you for being you and walking with me through life. I loved having you here. Miss you and love ya!!

Food for thought

I have such fond memories of baking with my mom and eating cookies that my grandma baked (ginger snaps) and the smell of fresh bread from my other grandma's kitchen. I love doing this with Sam (all the kids actually!). Something happens when you bake. Bake on!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

These are precious moments and often we forget the impact on our kids. Simply playing with our kids doing what they love! Sam loves her calico critters and has an entire imaginary world. I have to tell you they are adorable and ignite her imagination daily. The three of us sat and played 'critters' and we ended up laughing and making up a few silly stories and I know she loved every minute of this Daddy and Mommy time.
Then, Jack came barreling around the corner literally and stole a critter (or two) and proceeded to kill and destroy all life in sight. Did I train this boy to be in destruction mode? Who let this animal out??? It was hilarious and was one of those reminders of the subtle (or not so) differences between boys and girls!!

I love watching Daddio play with his girls and his attempts at what should happen with the next dramatic scene of calico critters...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Good morning!! Yes I had a very cool surprise this am.I woke to our oldest with a cute smirk and a big hug. I went into the kitchen still very foggy and looking only for the cupboard that house my mug, the coffee/cream and the gift of a coffee machine (I guess I like my coffee!) Well as I walked in, there it was, the table set and ready for breakfast! Chris just decided to serve the family in his own special way. I asked him why and he just shrugged his shoulders and smiled!!
1 John 4:7, 12 says Let us love one another with the love that comes from you. And as we love each other, live in us, Lord and make your love complete in us.
Thank you for loving us this morning Chris!!
love mom xoxoxo

Sunday, May 3, 2009