Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Apple Time

Apple picking has become a family autumn tradition since moving to Canada. There's a great farm nearby that has a petting area, a corn maze, a huge play area for the younger set and, of course, row after row of glorious apple trees.

Here is a glimpse of our latest trip to the apple orchard with dear friends...

This cracked me up...

Poor Ben has almost no front teeth so eating an apple proves quite challenging these days...

I didn't get many 'big kid' pictures because they spent most of their time here (corn maze)...

Three cold but happy apple pickers...

But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.

He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.

Jeremiah 17:7-8


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Maya Turns Three!

We celebrated Maya's third birthday yesterday!

What a sweetheart and ray of sunshine she is to us!

Love you, sweet girl!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Autumn!

One of my favourite things about living here (do I say that about numerous things? Oh well! So much to enjoy!) is that we get to experience each season in all of its God-given glory! And the fall season is just like you see in picture books. As the days cool off, the leaves start turning and the results are spectacular!

There will be more pictures to come as the season progresses, but for today, here's how we celebrated this change in seasons.

Autumn bingo with candy corn bingo "chips"!

We also read some autumn poetry and went on a nature walk to find some items to finish up one of our fair entries, which are due tomorrow.

Hope you're enjoying this day (which has been warm and humid here...kind of ironic after such a cool summer.)!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

7 Years Old Already?

Time flies. I know it's cliche. It's still true.

I can't believe baby Benjamin is now this tall, lanky, energetic seven year old. Wow!

Benjamin's birth was different. The small hospital maternity ward was full. They had to put me in the last room, one that they didn't usually use because it was smaller than the rest. Then my doctor came in to check my progress after I was admitted. An unusual practice, but all the nurses were busy. I jokingly asked if we should call my labour and delivery nurse friend, Patti. The doctor just looked at me in all seriousness and said "could you?". Oh yikes.

In God's providence, Bob had seen Patti in his office earlier that day. She had told him that she'd love to be there for our delivery and to feel free to call her, even if it was her day off.

It was her day off. But Bob called her. She graciously came. It was God's goodness. Patti did everything for us. She was like our own personal nurse. She almost delivered the baby, but the doctor came in the room just in the nick of time.

Then everything was silent. The doctor was busy working on me and Patti had taken Benjamin over to the side of the room. I knew immediately that something was not right. The head nurse was also at Patti's side. I looked at Bob and asked what was wrong. It felt like an eternity. I'm sure it was only a couple of minutes. The cord had been wrapped around Benjamin's neck and he was not breathing. Dear God. We were all praying.

The Father heard our prayers. And answered. In His Goodness. He breathed life into Benjamin.

Here is an excerpt from the card Patti gave us later..."I can't help but think that God has a special task for him - I guess because I was so grateful when God caused him to finally breathe. Praise God for a new life!".

Praise God, indeed!

Here is Patti with two-week old Benji...

And here is our celebration from today...

A new restaurant...are we still in Canada?

The serving staff made him wear a big foam hat while they sang to him...

And check out the cowboy hat he was given to take home...

Another yummy confection lovingly made by big sis...

Love this smile!

Father, thank You for breathing Your life into this child. We are thankful for his big, passionate, shining life! May his life bring honour and glory to You!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Mom wanted to take a little trip to the lovely town of Niagara-on-the-Lake before she heads home later this week and I actually felt up to it today! Woohoo!!! We took the older three children with us and had a fun time. The weather was perfect!

Fort Niagara in Youngstown, NY, just across the Niagara River...

The vineyards were lush and green...

And we got stuck in a line of traffic waiting for this big guy (a barge)...
Here is the bridge with the barge just about to make the pass...

We stopped at one of the many fruit stands for some yummy peaches...

and apples...

Bob graciously stayed home with the little girls today since I cannot lift anything (or more importantly, anyone) for a few more weeks. They had a big day, too. They went to the park, the bank, Subway, the bookstore (for Ava to spend a gift certificate she had won last weekend at our local street festival), the cupcake shop, and the library. Whew! What an amazing husband and daddy!!!

And here is Emma reading one of Ava's new books to her after we returned home...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Recovery Must-Haves

Love notes and wildflowers from a thoughtful four year old...

My Bible-my lifeline, my phone, my laptop, my journal, whatever book I was reading (and I read quite a few)...

My very constant companion for the first two weeks-Emma's cat Elliott (it always amazes me how animals know when something is wrong or someone is ill/hurt/etc.)...

And one very giving mom who is always willing to serve and work and clean and cook and love us. Thanks so very much, Mom! You know we could not have survived without you.


Surgery Update

I just wanted to give an update on how things are progressing from my surgery on August 24.

It has been a longer and slower and much more painful recovery than I ever expected. I ended up staying in the hospital and extra night and an extra day. And I had to have pain killers every four hours for the first ten days of being home. I tried doing the over-the-counter meds, but that did not even last twenty-four hours. I had to have the heavier stuff. It was frustrating. I am not a pill-popper.

But God is so good. No matter what I am facing, He is good. And faithful. And He speaks to me.

I asked Him about two weeks into it if He would just give me a word. I needed some encouragement from Him. Anything.

He told me WAIT and HEAL. Sweet words. Ahhh.

It's hard for me to relinquish all duties and just rest. Really hard. Especially when I love what I do...loving and serving my wonderful husband and hanging out with and mothering my amazing children. But there were capable hands caring for my children and taking care of the household chores and things of necessity. And sweet friends brought meals and muffins and took the children to the park to give my mom a break, too (thank you, precious friends, for all your love and thoughtfulness!!!).

And because of the words from the Father, I was able to rest and meditate on Him and His Word.

Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Psalm 37:7a Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him.

Psalm 5:3 In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.

Psalm 27:14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

Psalm 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.

Lamentations 3:24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."

I am up from my bed now and not on as many pain meds.

And I am thankful.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Songs in the Night

There is so much on my heart right now and I am still recovery from surgery.

Just wanted to share this song that I had on my mind last night, which was actually EARLY this morning, while trying to get back to sleep after a very drunk girl woke us at 2:30 by banging on our door and screaming to let her in....Jesus help us! I just had to focus on Him and the big picture.

Update to come tomorrow...