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Showing posts from April, 2014

Thoughts I shared...

...on Facebook and Instagram this morning:

...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God...
Hebrews 12:2 
And THAT is why I was supposed to put the lists aside. Fixing my eyes on Him.

The JOY set before us is all because of that Friday on the cross and that Resurrection Sunday.

Can't forget that, even though Easter is past.

It lives on all year long.

Life and Peace

People have always said that I am such a patient person. Every time those words are uttered, I shutter.

It's just not true. I have often thought, If only you were in my mind. Quiet does not always mean patient. What goes on in my mind is not patience. Not at all. At times it would put me to deep shame, should the thoughts in my mind be broadcast for all to hear.

This character flaw is proving to be quite the challenge as a parent. I have to work on it every. single. day. Every. single. hour. Sometimes every. single. minute.

I do find comfort and challenge in the following words:

The mind governed by the flesh is death,  but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6
When my mind is filled with impatience and negativity, I am speaking death. Through the Spirit I am able to have speak positive words and patience. Love and grace. Joy and thanksgiving. Those are the things I want to encourage in my children. Those are the things I want to govern my life.
This, however i…
“Don’t be alarmed,” he said.  “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified.  He has risen." Mark 16:6a

It's not too late for Paska

Every year at Easter we have made the traditional Easter Paska Bread or Buns. This year we didn't really have any Easter gatherings to go to and are in the middle of a big bathroom renovation project, so we aren't entertaining this year. So, I decided that I wasn't going to make the four dozen Paska Buns that I usually make. That's just a whole lot of too many carbs for one little family that is already cutting back on wheat.

Then, this Thursday I regretted my decision and decided to try a Breadmaker Paska recipe that I used when we had a breadmaker. I haven't tried it since the breadmaker went to the happy hunting grounds, but thought I would try making it without the breadmaker. Boy am I glad I did. We are enjoying our one and a half dozen Paska Buns so much and it is so easy that even if you think you don't have the time to make these this Easter, you actually do. It's worth it. Really.

Bread Maker Paska Bread
1 cup milk (room temp)
1 egg (beaten)
2 Tbsp…

On a hill far away...

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,  The emblem of suff’ring and shame;
Forever I am grateful.


Sundays have been a challenge for us for a few years now. The past two years have been especially challenging. We believe it is important for us to go to Church with our children, but Oh Lord, how difficult this can be.

Mikail is fine. He has his anxieties about being left at Sunday School while we are upstairs, but he braves through it and has a blast most of the time.

Olivia, on the other hand. Oy. She is a Mama's girl. She does not want me to leave her anywhere. If I do, you will hear her and it's not a sweet little cry. It is a paint peeling scream. This is tough. Attachment is healthy, but there is a time where your child has to be okay with not being by Mama's side all the time.

We have tried leaving Olivia in the toddler room and it always turns into a screaming, hyperventilating fiasco. For a long time, if we took her to the toddler room, and it didn't matter if we stayed with her or left her there, she would not sleep that next night. What a nightmare. Let…

Surprised by Motherhood

Sometimes motherhood leaves you exhausted and longing for days of old. It doesn't mean you don't love your children. It doesn't mean you hate your life. It just means you're tired and you need a break.

And sometimes on one of those ueber exhausted days, you stop at the mail and find a surprise package there.

You open it.

And you find that a dear friend who 'gets this' has sent you a just released book written by one of your favourite bloggers. And you're reminded that it's okay to be Surprised by Motherhood.

(Thanks, my friend. You blessed my socks off)

Potty Training: Days 5-7

When you stop thinking about getting your child to the potty in time, it's pretty safe to say that you are on your way to having potty trained that child. I am honestly shocked that Olivia has been dry since Day 2 of Potty Training. It was not this easy with Mikail.

We've done a lot of celebrating. There have been lots of stickers and treats and she is now allowed to be on the couch again for wrestle matches with Daddy. Before this we were afraid of accidents. I think she can be trusted on the couch without a pull up.

Yes, we still have our challenges. For example, she went two days without pooping because she was 'scared' (her word). Then she made it to the toilet once to poop and since then we've gotten her to the toilet 'mid-action'. Eww! But she's telling us. Now the challenge is getting her to tell us BEFORE she starts.

Another challenge is to go to the bathroom in public. We went to church and Olivia stayed dry the whole time. She did tell us sh…

Potty Training: Day Four

Wow! What a night. We decided that I would take Olivia for a sleep pee around 10:30 p.m. just before I went to bed. Worked great. She went right to sleep. For an hour. It must have disturbed her enough not to get back to sleep deeply again because we were up until 3:30 a.m. Sigh. Not fun! We are re-thinking the sleep pee with her. It was a terrible night. Which makes for a terrible day.

She woke up dry. The first pee after the wake-up pee started with damp underwear and a panicked, Mommy, ME GO PEE!!! HURRY, HURRY!! as she ran to the bathroom trying to hold her pee in. After that she was completely dry, even after her nap.

Tonight we will try not giving her any liquids before bed (a bit tricky since she has to have her puffer just before bed and is supposed to rinse her mouth/drink water right after). She is already a horrible little sleeper, so we don't need anymore rough nights, that's for sure.

The poop front is still a challenge.

Potty Training: Day Three

At the end of Day Two, I reminded Olivia to call us at night if she needed to go pee. She didn't call us until 7 a.m. I rushed into her room and whisked her off to the bathroom. She was DRY!! WOOT!! We did a happy dance, got her sticker, and she got her 3 M&Ms (yes, at 7 a.m.).

The rest of the day shocked me. There was one time in the morning where she told me she had to go pee and when we went, her underwear was slightly damp. We talked about how that was okay, that she was learning to hold it and this just meant that she started to pee, but knew how to stop and wait until she got to the toilet. THAT is what BIG girls do. She soaked it in and the rest of the day she came to tell me when she needed to pee and she did every single time. She was dry after her nap as well.

She was doing so well that I thought we would venture out for an hour. She had a pull-up on and I told her to tell me when she had to go pee. Well, on the drive home, she had to go. Bum hurts, Mommy!! I was su…

Potty Training: Day Two

Day two of Potty Training arrived and we started off with a very, very heavy pull-up and tears from Olivia because her bum hurt, she said. I rushed her to the bathroom and set her on the toilet. After a bit of coaxing she peed.

The rest of the morning was confusing to me. She never fully peed to leave a puddle, but her underwear was always wet when I took her to the bathroom and she wouldn't pee. By 11 a.m. she was crying and saying her bum hurt. Finally it hit me. She is holding it and her bladder is so full that it hurts.

I took her to the toilet, sat her down and we talked about that hurt feeling and how that means there is lots of pee that needs to come out. That it is okay to let the pee go into the toilet. And she did. Peed like a racehorse. Woot!!

For her nap I put a pull-up on and she woke up saying her bum hurt. We went to the bathroom and she peed to 'get rid of the hurt'. Her pull-up was dry! Double Woot!!

The rest of the day she told me when she had to go to t…

Potty Training: Day One

Monday came along. Day One. I hid all the diapers and showed her the pull-ups (we used cloth training pants with Mikail but are not this time around. We loved them for Mikail, but they are way too big on Olivia and we aren't investing in more at this point. Mikail was 10 lbs heavier than Olivia is at the same age). We talked about how the pull ups are for big girls for night time and for when we go in the car or truck. I got all of her underwear together, a package of wipes, all of her socks, and a see through container of treats and I made a sticker chart. I made a pee station in the dining room. Books, potty, the box of underwear, wipes, socks, treats, etc. I used the timer on the microwave and took her to the potty every 20 minutes. No success. Always a puddle somewhere in the house. Mikail and I were chasing puddles all morning as though it was a game. At around 11 a.m. she informs me that she won't pee on the potty. She wants to use the toilet. Potty away, she tells me. …

Potty Training: How we Tackle it

I think Potty Training is just one of those things parents dread. Just like getting rid of a soother or a security blanket or object. It's tough. It's not for the faint of heart. The following is what we did with Mikail (who will be 4 in one month) and what we are now doing with Olivia (who will be 2 in one month). It is not some amazing method that will work for everyone. It is simply what we gleaned from others, taking what worked for our family situation and the little characters we were/are trying to potty train.

We started Potty Training Mikail when he was 22 months old. Olivia is just about 23 months old and she has been showing readiness for a while. I've been the one reluctant ~ I remember how hard it is to take on this challenge. And perhaps part of it is that this is just another little bit of letting go of one of the last baby stages (not that diaper changing is fun or anything). It's different when your last little one goes through her lasts. Don't get…

Our Easter Tree

I have never done the 'Easter Tree' thing before, but this year I was really struck with how much we celebrate Christmas and how much goes into the celebration of Christmas. We don't put that much effort into Easter. Why not?

To me it seems we should treat these two times of the year equally. We celebrate Christmas...the arrival of Jesus into the world, yet it is what happens at Easter ~ that completely selfless act of giving up life so that we have the opportunity for eternal life. This is the celebration of grace beyond our understanding.

Shouldn't Easter be as big as Christmas? It does make me wonder.

So, this year I trudged through the deep snow to the pussywillow tree and Mikail and I cut off a few branches, sticking them in a vase of water in the hopes that the very tightly closed buds would eventually open up.

I headed to Michaels and purchase two little packages of Easter decorations and we were set.

Along with the Easter egg (representing new life) decoration…

Hope Springs Eternal

ThisTrail to the Tree. What a journey.

So much shame and sin in the story~ the lineage.

Sorrow. Pain. Sin. And more sin.

All covered in undeserved grace.



Renewed joy.

Renewed HOPE.

I am learning so much and am honoured to be able to share all of this with my little ones.

All of this in Spring when new life is abundant.

New beginnings.

When hope springs eternal.

The Trail to the Tree

It's no secret, really, I love the writing of Ann Voskamp. I find it refreshing to read quality writing that has truth, joy, hurt, and healing all mixed together. I have found much inner healing about this thing we call Christianity, in her words (or perhaps the Truth God is showing me through her?).

Starting today I am going through her 17 day Easter Devotional called Trail to the Tree. You can find more information about it HERE. The e-book is free when you subscribe to her blog and you can print it off or just read it on your device.

In addition to lingering on scripture, prayer and applying these things to life, she uses classical art from the great masters to create ornaments for a simple Easter Tree. I love this. I love tying the great truths of old together with art and music.

So, today as I sit down, candle lit, music playing softly, I mull over the story of the great fall. I am left so thankful for God's crush of satan. Because of this great act I have no reason to h…

War and Peace: When WWIII Breaks out in Your Home

Lord, Your goodness is all around me.
 Help me to experience You in and through all my senses today. 
There I will find peace. 
Calm my fears.
Clear my mind. 
Speak peace into my soul.

Not twenty minutes later World War III breaks out between siblings. How can two so young know how to fight so well.
So loud.
So physically?
I feel nothing remotely close to the peace I begged for just minutes before.
Then it hits me like the force of warfare.
Peace amidst the war.
Peace. My should-be-reaction to the sibling war broken out.
I search for it.
Dig for it.
Beg for it to reveal itself.

I peel the enemies apart.
I whisper in his ear.
He reluctantly, but obediently, walks to his room.
Head down.
Shoulders slumped.
I can't see the pout curled around his lips, but I know it's there.

She is still fighting.
She balks.
Throws her body in rigid protest at my touch and we make our way to her room.
Perhaps the rungs of her crib feel like prison bars.
I don't blame her.
I tell her that when…