Saturday, April 21, 2012

a mouse in the house

A few nights ago, all was quiet. Adam was at a meeting, the boys were tucked in bed and it was finally time for me to sit down and read. With my book in my hand, a bowl of ice cream on the table, and a cozy blanket wrapped around me, I looked around and felt a smile spread over my face.
All of a sudden...SNAP. I tell you, I jumped. The book went flying and my heart did a few somersaults of it's own. A rotten mouse. They have been invading my kitchen all winter long. I do not need to write about  the mess that they make and what they manage to chew apart. They are my enemies. I picture myself opening the cupboard and the mouse jumping out at me with mighty mouse strength and it  plastering itself to my face.This has been the worse year yet for mice in our house. I could not understand their invasion because we had a cat, but it all began to make sense when I was at our neighbours house- my parents.
Our cat was also visiting there when my mom spotted our cat looking at her through the patio doors and said " That cat needs some food." "Oh, no it doesn't. It needs to catch mice." I replied. My mom whipped open the fridge and out came a chunk of cheese. "Mom - that cat does not need $5.00 worth of cheese." I insisted. But the cheese wasn't enough for the cat. My mom poured a bowl full of cream and then microwaved it to make it nice and warm for our cat. We have not seen our cat since.
Anyways, back to last night. After I heard the mouse trap snap I waited a second and then horror of horrors, I could hear the mouse whimper in the cupboard. Instantly it started to thrash around dragging the big mouse trap with it. The mouse was going bazerko. I did what any normal adult woman would do. I called my dad in a panic.
The conversation went like this: " Dad you need to come over right now. I got this live mouse thrashing around in my kitchen and it is just terrible. I cannot handle this at all dad. Adam's not home and I really need you to come over right now. I will wait outside for you. " A few moments later my super dad is over and the mouse is taken out to the back field. It had one paw stuck in the trap.
After all of the excitement I settle back down on the couch with my book on my lap and I stared at my melted ice cream.
Sin lures us just like the mouse is lured to the trap. We convince ourselves that holding that little grudge, or speaking an unkind word, unthankfulness, or that "at least I don't do this" thought is just a quick small area of our lives. We dismiss these sins because we are working really hard in other areas of our lives. (Let's be honest; the things that we think we are working hard on tend to come more easily to us. Are we really working hard at all of the "small" things?) And just as a mouse thinks that it will quickly grab some of the peanut butter, we allow ourselves to be lured into these sins because it is just a quick passing thought. We deceive ourselves when we believe that God doesn't care about the "small stuff." And then snap - God reveals His holiness to us and that quick thought that we had stares at us with big blackness. What a Holy God.
But unlike my dad who dropped off the wounded mouse in the back field left to fend to itself, God takes our hurts and our guilt and tenderly points us to His Son. What a Gracious God.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

lego land, florida

We wanted to surprise the boys. We planned a whole trip to Florida without them figuring it out. I had them trying on bathing suits, shorts, sandals and they had no idea. Our bedroom was packed full of suitcases and we were busy but the boys had not an inkling as to what was going on. I picked them up from their classrooms one afternoon and we headed off to the van where Adam was waiting. That is when they saw the suitcases. We told them that we were going to a hotel for a night. A hotel in Florida! When we told them that we would be flying there, then they really got excited. It was all great besides the fact that Tyler cried for most of the plane ride except for about four minutes and 29 seconds. He also decided that he did not like hotel rooms and managed to keep us awake for most of it. That was one long night...
But the next day we woke up to beautiful sunny weather and headed to Lego Land. What a great spot to take four boys!

The displays were overwhelmingly impressive. The amount of work that must of gone into it was mind boggling. There were so many details in the displays and the cars, boats, trains, and buses actually moved.

The boys went to driving school and drove their own little cars.

Andrew was scared stiff on the roller coasters but he always made himself go on. I love their faces in this picture.

The only girly thing around Lego Land

The Famous Banyan Tree

This is all one tree with the different shoots everywhere. It was so impressive to stand under it.

Trading Lego Men
Every employee there had a name tag with a little lego guy on it. The boys brought their own lego guys and you could trade yours with what they had. All day long the boys would run up to an employee and see what they had. If they liked it better than what they had, they would trade it. They had a blast doing the trading and it was a good experience for them to make split second decisions and talk politely to the workers.

Review of Lego Land - For our boys it was a perfect place because it was geared to their ages. We enjoyed Lego Land and it inspired the boys immagination with their own lego sets. Normally it would be very expensive to go as a family of six but we got in for free through our air miles plan:) That made it even more enjoyable.

Monday, April 2, 2012

a trip to the cookie factory

Way back in February the boys had a day off from school so we visited Grandpa at work. There is no better place to work than at a cookie factory!
When we parked the van at the factory we were greeted with the most delicious smells and we could hardly wait to munch on some freshly baked cookies. But first we headed up to Grandpa's office.

All of the office people were diligently working away until we stepped off of the elevators. I think that we must of been loud because all of a sudden office doors opened and all kinds of faces peeked out to see what was going on. (Even Mr. Voortman himself came to see what the excitement was all about.)
Of course Tyler had no idea what was going on and when my dad walked out of his office, Tyler had the most surprised and delighted look on his face. There was grandpa. My dad has worked at Voortman Cookies for thirty-five years, and his father also worked there until he retired. Sometimes I run into my grandparents at the grocery store and you can be sure that my grandma is doing all of the grocery shopping and my grandpa has stopped right in front the Voortman Cookie Hut admiring all of the packages.

On a wall there is a huge world map of where the cookies are presently being shipped to.

Grandpa gave us a detailed tour of the factory. We had to put on hair nets, coats and stay close together. The robots and mechanical devices are unbelievable. Close to one million cookies are made every day and it is mostly automated.

Here the jam is being pumped into the turn-over cookies.

The cookies are headed into the big, long oven.

By the wafer machine.

Grandpa gave us a fantastic tour and we were all impressed by the efficiency of the factory. (Excuse the two boys who could not resist making faces.)
We headed into the factory store and everyone picked out a package of their favourite cookies.
What a great way to spend a day off of school!