Monday, February 27, 2012

winter activities

Winter can be challenging with energetic children especially when there is a lot of mud outside and not much snow to play with.  Loud noises have always bothered me and now our house at times is so loud, I am sure that it is rocking. On top of that we have hardwood floors just to make things echo.We have someone living in our basement so running downstairs and being crazy far away from me is not an option. So, God has been teaching me a lot through this winter. The biggest problem is my inconsistencies. There are times that I can handle the boys running around me in the kitchen and up and under the kitchen table - in fact I even laugh with them. There are other times, however, that I feel my blood pressure jumping and steam coming out of my ears. I cannot handle the craziness and I just wait until I hear one boy run head first into a piece of furniture or even worse, the corner of a wall. This never fails even when I am yelling "beeee carefullll" as they chase and bang into one another. It is a challenge to find the right balance of letting the boys get rid of all of their wiggles and caring too much about my house. I do not want them growing up and only remembering me saying "No."  When I was growing up my mom let us do anything in the house. She even moved the furniture around so that we could get around without ever touching the floor. But then again, she had four girls. There has to be a difference?! I struggle with finding the right balance. Should I have a rule that does not allow chasing eachother? Should I let them run as much as they want to even though they usually end up getting hurt or breaking something? Is is wrong that I base what I allow them to do, on how I am feeling that day? Finally, is it wrong that in the midst of the craziness I sing "I am slowly going crazy, 6,5,4,3,2,1, switch. Slowly crazy am I going, 1,2,3,4,5,6, switch."  Do you know that song?!
When there are quiet moments I savour them and enjoy watching the boys play together. Here are some indoor winter activities that our family loves to do.

My aunt and uncle gave us a fooze ball table. This has been great and we hear many shouts of glee as the winner scores goals. We have also heard many sighs and protests from the looser of the game but it is all good. They are learning how to play together and how to take loosing.
Reading. What would we do without books? It warms my heart when I catch them reading quietly on the couch. So cozy.

The boys have spent hours playing with this wooden board game. This was a Christmas present from their opa and oma and we have all enjoyed it. Last year we also spent a lot of time playing shuffle board but this year Tyler has made it his duty to wreck each game by taking the pucks and throwing them at his brothers. Shuffle board has remained in the closet this winter but we look forward to playing it again next year.

                   While the other boys play or chase eachother, Tyler finds his own things to do!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

devotionals for our family

This is a wonderful family devotional that we use in the evenings. The book is interactive and teaches Biblical truths in a way that relates to all ages. Each Old Testament story points back to Christ and His gift of grace. Many families in our church recommended it and after I read the reviews I knew that this would be a book that our family could grow with. (Right now it is on sale through "Sovereign Grace Ministries" until the end of February. )

We read this book as a family on Sunday evenings for our devotions. We are learning that God has many names throughout Scripture that help us know Him; not just about Him. This is also a well written book that gives us a picture of the bigness of God.

Nate is going through this devotional this year. I have skimmed through it and so far it looks like a really good book for boys in his age group (8).  Each devotional has a contemporary story that gets the lad into the Word. Then there's a "How about you?" section to make personal applications.

Last year Nate read this devotional to Liam and now when Liam goes to bed, he is reading it on his own! Each chapter gives a lesson on an animal or an insect and then it has a section about "In the Bible."  The chapter ends with a "What about you?" section that asks questions that apply these lessons. For example they learn about crocodiles and helping your enemy; ants and doing your work well. What a great book for young boys.

Jerry Bridges has always been one of my favourite authors and now he has his thoughts in a devotional. He has a way of making Biblical truths that are hard to grasp become understandable.

I am part of the ladies weekly bible study in our church. During the months of September through December we study a book of the Bible usually through Kay Arthur. In January until the end of the season we study a topical book and right now we are studying "A Praying Life" by Paul Miller. This book is a well written, easy to read yet deep and life-changing book. Prayer can be a struggle in every Christian's life and this book deals with these struggles head on. I highly recommend this book for group Bible studies or for reading on your own.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

pictures from the past

Just a few pictures from times past. These boys are growing up way too quickly.

Nate and Liam. These two guys are 17 months apart and when they were young they kept me running. I was as busy with those two boys then as I am now with two more little boys. I love this picture because of the bruises. It showed what life was like when they were three and two years old.

                                                           Andrew at ten months.

When Liam was young he didn't look at childrens books but at pictures of food in my recipe books. I have a feeling that he will be my "kitchen help" as the boys get older and have more friends over:)

Monday, February 6, 2012


Some books for your bookshelf....

Written in a loving, and encouraging way, the Duggar parents share how they strive to have a household that is God glorifying. By speaking kindly, softly, and in an encouraging voice they spend more time training their children rather than disciplining. Although I did not agree with everything written, this was a great book. It tells of the story of the birth of their premature baby, and the struggles that they went through. The book gives guidelines and resources for living a Christian life. They have wonderful points and tidbits that they share. This is a book that stresses the importance of a godly family and encourages families to strive for that goal. A book worth reading.

When you have been encouraged, your first impulse is to encourage someone else. Encouragement is infectious. One of the motivations behind the apostle Paul's letters to the New Testament churches was his desire to encourage his friends. This book explains the importance of encouraging and ways to encourage. Hurting people need encouragement, children need encouragement, and the list goes on. Encouraging others brings much joy! This book is a must read.

Wow. Very intense. This book was hard to put down and had me captivated right to the very end. Mosab Yousef, a young Palestinian gets captured by the Israeli army and makes a decision that changes his life. This book shows the complexities of the Middle East and how God is still working through many people to bring His Word.