Sunday, December 19, 2010

Coon Hunters

Well, there are no crocs in the area just over sized racoons living in our crawl space! We decided to start emptying the junk that was all over the space and while Jack was going in (big space just low!) he investigated the other side and was astonished to see a racoon looking back at him. Needless to say a trap was set, baited and we waited. Today, we caught him!! So off he went to another part of the Hills (not sure where but far enough he will find a new home) We expect there are many ways in and other coons may find his spot of hibernation, but until then we will hope we only have cats and geckos living with us!

Proud of the coon hunters and Paul for his expert hunting skills!!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

pillars in a palace

Psalm 144:11-12

"Deliver me and rescue me from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful. Then our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants, and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace."

From the latest book I finished I took away more than I can blog about! But today I will focus on the chapter, 'Mothers and Daughters.' Thanks Lisa for passing this to Chrisite that has very happily passed it on to me (so God's timing!!).

In 'Building Her House' by Nancy Wilson the chapter that covers mothers and daughters tugged at my heart in a special way. Wilson comments,
  "...the cornerstone (pillar) is a very significant, impressive part of the building, and vital to the foundation. But this psalm is not describing the cornerstone of any old building - it is the polished marble of a palace. When God is blessing His people, covenant daughters are refined, intelligent, beautiful, and noble. Their contribution to culture both supports and adorns - they bear much weight and responsibility with the loveliness that comes of grace, discipline, and dignity. If we desire to see God bless us with such daughters, we must first compare our own view with that of can we nurture our daughers to the stature of polished cornerstones (pillars?)" (p.69).

I love what she details as important to enabling our daughters to be all God has called them. She first mentions that we are to instill an appropriate view of what is really involved in a life of a wife and mother from a biblical perspective one that is deeply rooted in the truth that children are a blessing!
 One of the her key comments is this, " A daughter who is loved will be lovely" (p.70). We need to provide for their needs, protect, and lastly and most important to me is to NOT be critical. I love how Wilson addresses us mothers, "..a loving mother will not nitpick, criticize, attribute motives, take things personally,, or be demanding and hard...daughters need love and security...a critical, unforgiving spirit will alienate a" (p.71)

A lot of info and there is more in her pages that provide details necessary for growth, butt maybe having this book handy is a good thing! I will find out where to get it and purchase extra. This is the kind of book to have on hand and to pass around. As always, there will be things you read that rub you and bug you I like to say, but that is usually when you are being refined by Christ and He is calling you to more, lots more. So while I was up this am (I think I finally got up at 5am even though my hips that were in spasm and the belly itch that awakened was at work far earlier than that!!) I finished reading her biblical advice and instantly felt that this was a week of refining for me as a mother. I have to stop and reflect and do it now...not to wait at all! I also have a sense of urgency with the arrival of the baby! I sense that God has more work to do in me before our baby arrives on the scene. I know I will be in a completely different state for a period of time and I don't want to waste one minute.
So, I have work to do. I am critical, I confess and I do act in ways that will alienate my daughters and my sons. Every word I utter (under my breath or to others) every tone, and expression is received by my children. I want so desperately to be a forgiving repentant mother that will ooze love toward my children, respect to my husband and honour toward our loving God. I seek this and know that it is a daily struggle for me to accomplish, but by God's grace He has given me friends, family and a husband that is helping me to meet this goal. I love that I am not alone. When I take the moment to asses quickly my response it can literally change our day. I have seen how one word, one look, and one moment of silence has taken over and dug in deep and the tone for the day simply negative. I know I have  lots going on right now! I know it looks crazy to people, but this is where God has placed me and there is no way I can be the same. God has me on a path to be more Christ-like and if it takes homeschooling and five children and living a wee bit out of the city to do it, let's go. For me there is no need to be complacent. That would mean I am raising a generation of children to do the same thing.

Samantha takes to the hills and speeds towards the bottom!! Our other pillar!!!

When I go up to Samantha's room and see her clothes all over, the toys under my feet (you know the ones, hard small plastic goodies!!) I am so tempted to just get ticked. As I spoke with my sister today we reminded one another there is another way to say it and get the proper response from my daughter, in love and not in anger. I am teaching her what it is to be a mom, not angry mom! I am so convicted and ready to change the little moments and big ones. Tonight, I cleaned her room and made it look cozy and pink. I did it joyfully, and she went to be with the knowledge that I was happy in her, not in what she did or did not do. I just loved  her. This does not mean I will clean her room all the time, but I wanted her to see what my mom used to do for me (still does all the time!) - selflessly love.

Bless all you mothers and mothers to be!!

Snowing in the hills

new found snow!
soaking in the snow

hard worker

playful adventures

angels came to visit!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Celebrating our Daddio

Babe we love you and the kids adore you! Happy Birthday to you. We would make a million cupcakes and cook a fav dinner for you forever!
all of us

Due Dates and blessings

As I view this shot I took with my BB at Springridge a little while ago, I am reminded of the blessing of having older children that truly know what it means to care for and nuture then younger ones in the home. Here is one example of how Chris takes Sara by the hand whenever we are on a field trip. It almost goes without saying, he just becomes her guardian! He watched her, plays with her, laughs with her and yes tolerates the little moments of frustration she encounters. I was able to sit with the four of them, watch them play, take pictures and embrace the moment of the kids laughing and enjoying life. I remember the days of Chris and Jack and how little they were at this very farm. I loved those moments too, these ones are just a new season and just as wonderful yet in a different way.

I think of my due date and feel at peace when it comes to how the kids can handle themselves here. They walk through life together as one unit here during they day and are learning how to count on one another. I know there will be many tired days, sleepless nights and transition to a new life in the house for all of us within the next week or so or???? No one knows! But I have confidence that God is in control and He has given me such a gift in these children, and that adds to my level of peace!
I know what is coming, labour and delivery.  I also know that I am not alone. I have many praying for me and this baby, the family and the coming home transition. Thank you to all praying for me! I know it, I sense it and I am blessed.

We are so close to a family of six to seven, wow! Look at that belly, I wonder how big the baby is?????

Keep you posted!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Reminders of our Faith

As the baby due date approaches so do my instincts for nesting! Last weekend while Duncan was away a few days we dove into the decorations. Christmas arrives and the celebrations of Christ continue but in a way that only November and December can bring, Although we know that Christ is our hope and our Saviour all year, these months are a gracious gift. Every time I look at the few items that adorn the mantels and the banister, I am instantly reminded of the birth. It also reminds me of the verse in Deuteronomy 6  when we are reminded to love the Lord our God and to teach this diligently to our children. Then in verse 9 we are to,"... write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." Reminders of our faith need to be present for our families all year. Not just Christmas, although I admit I love adding the simple decor of the season! It is one of my ways of celebrating.
In Proverbs it says,"The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down." Hmm, how have I been foolish or how have I been wise in reminding my children of the gospel. I can guarantee that I have done things that tear down rather than build up. My conviction this season is to bring in the reminders (in between Christmas lists and baking cookies) of Christ's birth and what that means to us!!
Walk in faith...

Friday, November 26, 2010

What is next in the hills?

I know this is not exactly a vision of beauty...bear with me as I explain. Back in June we began a process of applications to bring about change in the fourty-five year plus septic system. As of yesterday, the digging began. I am not just talking small digging, it is crazy! The only grass we have (we have so many trees!!) is now many mounds of dirt and very off limits to curious children. Wow, is all I can say. What a process for a system that remains underground to all and hopefully silent and working well!! I will post more of the machinery and process.
In the hills this is what is next. I think that it will be quite strange for Duncan to strke this off his 'list'. Really, this was number one on his list and as it turns out is now the last! Lots of paper work and waiting. Who would have thought a year ago that on November 26th, 2010 we would be adding a new septic system to our front yard? Crazy. I guess that when you get that call to the country anything can happen???

keep you posted!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Moments with my girls!

She is in touch with this little life,

She is embracing the change,

I am leaning on these precious moments,

Waiting, anticipating, soaking in these precious moments with my girls!


Here in the hills we have just a few remaining remnents of fall. Frost has set in and this Japanese Maple is just about to release one of the last stunningly beautiful leaves. It took me back this morning to the seasonal changes that occur naturally here in Canada but also to my own seasons in life. My one remaining constant is Christ. He is not seasonal! He is the same yesterday, today and forever. With that confidence we can truly make it through any season that we have here.

I am thirty five weeks along and writing that is shocking to me! Another season for me and the famil. A new season of mothering. I am trying to savour the moments of carrying a baby and feeling the movements that always bring me joy and expectation.
I am so blessed to have so many praying for me and our family. We are thankful prayer is not seasonal, we pray always, continually and for that I am encouraged and thankful.
Frosty seasons, mothering moments and an ever-present God that does not change.

Psalm 51

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Great Expectations

Do I enjoy my children as much as I expect from them? This convicting quote came from a focus on the family broadcast last week. I have been mulling this over in my mind and wondering if my children feel that I expect a great deal and at times do not enjoy them like I know I do. I think we are all capable of that as parents. I know that during a day of teaching and all that goes with parenting young children, I can become caught up in the seemingly meaningless tasks. These tasks are necessary for a home to run. Laundry, cooking, cleaning, cat litter, gecko food/cleaning, making beds, cleaning the toothpaste out of the sink that sits in globs and gradually hardens and by the time I notice is a just as much a part of the sink as the sink itself!! Trendy I think!
I know that all of these put together are what marks a family as a family! We do these things as part of our journey together. In all of that my expectations become marked with selfishness. I want it done and done now, oh and in my timing and them done really well!! Yes, too many words for the kids to hear sometimes and it can lend to a feeling that I am not enjoying just expecting.
Our heavenly Father delights in us, and I want to delight in meaningful ways in my children. 

I want to leave some lines from a song that we sang at church on Sunday. We had such a wonderful time of community  - church service, fellowship lunch (yum!), short devotional/worship and communion together. This is one we sang and it brought tears to my eyes and heart.

The Look
Lyrics John Newton
Altered by Paul W. Martin
vs 1 and 3 below

 For years my sin was my delight, I felt no shame or fear
Till one day something stole my sight and forced me to draw near
I saw One hanging on a tree, in agony and blood
Who fixed His mournful eyes on me as near His cross I stood...

Alas! I knew not what I did, but now my tears in vain;
Where shall my trembling soul be hid? For I the Lord have slain.
But with a second look He said, " I freely all forgive;
This blood is for your ransom paid, I died, that you might live..." 

Forever etched upon my mind
Is the look of Him who died,
The Lamb I crucified
And now, my life will sing the praise
 Of pure atoning grace
That looked on me and gladly took my place...

I live because He died. I am free by His grace and that is what wakes me every day. I forgive and my children forgive me. We attempt to model what Christ has done for us.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Reading, teaching, reading, teaching!

This is what happens when you leave the camera unattended and become immersed in the book you are reading! Caught in the moment, we were finishing the last portion of the book 'Faith Like Potatoes'. This is a must read for anyone in need of a gentle reminder that we must have faith. We walk by faith and not by sight. Truly, this farmer, evangelist, father, husband and friend to countless was not interested in his own agenda.
Have you ever wondered if you will ever meet someone that is not out for themselves or wonder if you will be like that? I know that when I set out to have my needs met, the result is usually empty. But when God is at the start and finish what a fulfilling result. When it is all about Christ and glorifying him, you can grow potatoes in the worst drought ever. That is what the farmer Angus is all about, trusting God to do what He desires and perform miracles. If we have faith we can move mountains! If I can see past myself I am able to do so much more.
I think of the reading and teaching. When I think of the opportunity to teach my children and use reading as one way to instill God's goodness, I am amazed. It is a simple tool, but leaves lasting (eternal results). But I have to look past myself and realize that despite my agenda in completing tasks in or out of the home or school not getting completed (math texts sitting and waiting to be gently to be loved with pencil and eraser!!) a phone call to make, a coffee to finish or whatever it may be...I commit to reading when I can because it truly is one of their favourite moments in our schooling days.
On this day, we created a poem together (something I so would have done with a classroom of kids, so why not my own!?) we wrote out whatever descriptive words came to mind, created a poem, took pictures and read together. It was chilly but sunny and so magnificent around us. I could not pass up the moment to read together outside. Soon, those days will be filled with runny noses, wet gloves and lost hats! Here is their poem (free verse)

Falling Leaves

Red, orange and yellow
Leaves fall
Dying, gracefully
With the wind
From the trees
Red, orange and green
Shaking, twisting
Turning, floating
The trees showing
God's grace
God's creation
God's glory

By Chris, Jack and Samantha

I will continue to read and teach as long as God wills it here in the hills...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Aah Jack....

Man vs Wild, or in this case boy vs stream and any living creatures in it! There is a show out there about a crazy man that sends himself to remote areas with a video camera and attempts survival on what he finds out there. He is crazy!  It is called Man vs Wild. Jack may not depend on the living creatures for his daily sustenance, but much of who he is revolves around the outdoors and searching for whatever he can find that crawls, spins, swims, wiggles, hops and slimy to the touch. 
If I could send a hidden video to capture all the 'things' that Jack has found we would have many hours of video to record his many accomplishments and wonderful discoveries. He has fallen in the stream, walked up and down with many friends and cousins and broken many nets along the way! He longs to discover what is out there and beyond our home. I love this spirit in him. Reminds me of the book by John Eldgridge, Wild at Heart. This spirit in him is truly a gift that God has given him and I desire to allow this to grow in ways that Jack will truly see the goodness of God's amazing creation.
When we are reading indoors about the outdoors and the weather is so beautiful I often think, put the book down and go and find something! However, reading allows him to dig deeper and gain unique knowledge and insight that makes him more aware of details!

When I look at this photo, I do think, Aaah Jack, the boy who loves to discover, Never give that up my son! Love you!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Our morning began with a somewhat regular routine, but ended up with wonderfully surprising conversation from the heart of my children. I encourage each one (yes, even Sara) to journal first thing and we follow a very simple and small devotional book based on Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, called Jesus Wants All Of Me. I found it at Ontario Christian Books and thought what a simple and meaningful way to introduce Christ every day! So, today was about silence and this is what the entry said today," I prayed. And God heard me. But how do I know? He didn't say anything back. But God knows that I love him. He knows He can trust me. I can trust Him, too. My heart is quiet. The answer will come."

The passage highlighted was from John 11:6. Lazarus was sick and they were calling on Jesus to heal him.  Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." Jesus loved Mary and Martha, yet when He heard the news he stayed where He was.
I am sure this was confusing, there was silence and they wondered where Jesus was? When He did arrive Lazarus had been dead four days and He assured Martha that her brother will rise again. She thought Chris was referring to resurrection day. Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
We also read that Jesus wept (vs 35) and was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. Later in the passage what moves me so is this, " Father (Christ prayed) I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me..."

That is really what today was all about. I asked the question have we trusted God in hard situations? They each came up with a hard time.
"Losing a championship game"
"Changing churches"
"When an insect dies"
"Trusting God"

All of these were the starting point for our day. It made me think all day about my level of trust when I sense a silence. Mary and Martha loved Jesus and knew that He loved Lazarus. The answer did not come how they thought was best, Christ knew because of His intimate relationship with his Father. I know that I need to fully trust and I so desire for my kids to learn trust in Christ early! Sometimes there is silence, but to me He speaks in ways that are indescribable...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wild Turkeys in and out!

Here, captured by Christopher is one of the wild turkeys we see roaming in the early morning. Apparently not early enough for Duncan to see. He thinks he is getting the raw end of the deal because he has not actually seen one yet. So, honey, here is the proof. No we will not be eating this one for dinner (we have conservation status here no guns!! Thankfully!!) But they are huge fun to watch.

These are my indoor turkeys! The leaves continue to pile up and the fun goes on. They love this part of fall, so do I. School is in session, just a recess break to enjoy this beauty!

When I look at our stream I can't help but think of  Psalm 23 : 1-3

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside still waters, he restores my soul.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Psalm 50

The Mighty One, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun
to its setting,

Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth. 

Our God comes; he does not keep silence, before him is a devouring fire,

around him the mighty tempest.

He calls to the heavens above and to the earth, that he may judge his people:

"Gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!"

The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge!

Today, I stood in awe as I looked over the deck and into the rising sun. The sun was just peeking over the tops of the towering maples. The leaves slowly and silenty landed on the dew soaked earth. The stream played a quite song as if to call me toward it and wade toward adventure. Before I had more than a minute and a sip of coffee the little voice behind me beckoned, "Mom, I am cold I need a sweater!" The reality of moments in time to be treasured slipped away, but alas a need was waiting for me to meet, simple yet for her profound. I let her back in the house almost laughing to myself that she at the tender age of three would see what I see and sense what I sense. She felt the chill and I was surrounded by warmth! How vastly unique we all view moments. I am today grateful that I had that time. I love capturing permanently with photographs. So thankful.... 

Monday, September 27, 2010

I love my friends!

This is a day I will not forget, thank you my dear friends for living, laughing and loving with all of your hearts. Remember the book I gave you years ago called Bravehearts, well you all have one and demonstrate that daily. I love you all. More to blog later. This was a window of time....

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dear friends celebrating Fall

Celebrating the beauty of Fall is a gift, relationships are a treasure! love you my friend H!! Your kids are grand!!

O lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty...Psalm 104