Sunday, October 30, 2011

Nooks and Crannies

We cry too

I recently had a friend tell me that she likes the non-sugarcoated stories I share.
I thought about that. When I post something real it bothers me just a little bit. I am opening up a window into our lives. A dirty little window. I would love it if my family was always happy, smiling, helpful and well, inhuman. A home where we share, have clean floors and engage in learning activities 24/7. Why do we all try to show others just the positive moments? Is it because we are insecure about the bad moments? Are we afraid of being judged? I think that is it for me. I don't want to be judged. I don't want to be judged about the child whining in the grocery store. I don't want to be judged if my children eat at 8pm because we were too busy with life. I don't want to be judged about my messy house at 4 in the afternoon.
Well guess what. We all have these dirty little windows. We all have secrets we wish not to share and we all have insecurities and negative qualities. Do we hide them or share them to help others feel more human. I was just reading Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul and it had me laughing because I could relate. Isn't that a wonderful feeling? When we can relate to someone else? It makes you feel validated. It makes you feel a little less crazy and a little more normal.
So I am opening my window and you can come and take a peek.'s a secret.

1. Sometimes it is 11pm at night and Ron and I look at each other and ask, "Did you feed the
2. When we have company coming we throw the laundry that doesn't fit in the baskets in
garbage bags and hide them in the back washroom. (Laundry is almost all done...GASP)
3. Cohen gets sucked into Lego Star Wars on PS3 and I let him play for hours just to watch him
jump around while he presses the buttons.
4. My kids bathe once a week if they are not gross.
5. At bedtime, I threaten Reagan with not doing the next days activities because I just.can't.
stand one more time out of her bed.
6. Cohen's main food staple is chicken nuggets.

So there you have it. Our home is a normal home with nooks and cranies. It is a home with love, crankiness, laughter, whining, sharing, pushing and just ... family. Family.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Thank you God for this food

Bear with me as I put my thoughts onto this blog.

Growing up I have always known about Teen Missions. They are an organization who helps people in Africa. They help them with a number of things like food, clean water, teaching and bible. We have family friends who work for Teen Missions so I have always been "exposed" to what happens in Africa. But like so many other people in our society we don't really get it. We see their sad little pictures of half dead being eaten by flies children lying in their parents arms. I say so bluntly because that is really what it is. It doesn't need any sugarcoating for our benefit. That is the reality. A little piece of their reality. We see images of these people and think "How sad" and move on or change the channel or turn the page. How easy it is for us to forget. How easy it is for us to get back to regularly scheduled programming, making dinner, going to work, answering the phone or changing a diaper. For many years I have thought about Africa off and on and thought about how I wished I could help. Send $10 here and there. I did my part! Every little bit helps but was I really doing all that I could?

Recently something happened to me. I am suddenly seeing the world in a different light. Before this something happened to me I envied people of their grand homes, nice cars, large properties and fancy decorations. I wanted I wanted I wanted MORE. Always wanting more. After this something happened I am left still wanting MORE but not for me. I am wanting MORE for THEM. With every little moment in my life I am seeing things with more clarity about the reality of our world. The fascination with celebrities, the biggest and newest and the MORE MORE MORE. How could I have been so blind? It all seems so trivial ... all of these things. All of this useless junk. I feel like my world has been turned upside down and inside out. I am finding that there really does have to be a boundary here. I cannot let this consume me.

A few nights ago I was feeling so incredibly overwhelmed with the needs in Africa. I sat and cried thinking about how I can't save everyone. I can't save that tiny child of 2 from clinging to his mother who is dying of AIDS all alone. I can't save that young girl of 10 from being raped on her 3 mile walk to get dirty water to drink for her family. I can't stop malaria. I can't stop the pain. I can't stop the sorrow. I can't stop the loneliness. I can't stop AIDS. I can't stop the rising number of orphans. I can't do it all. And that is ok. God has that child of 2, that little girl of 10, AIDS suffering, lonely people in His hands and in His heart. He's got them. I will keep this in my heart while I help another child of 7 from the same fate of the 10yo girl. I will help a different 3yo than that 2yo. I CAN still help some even if it is just a drop in a bucket. Is that why we don't help? Because we can't save them all? Or is it because it is so painful to face a reality such as that that we turn away? Is it because we are so consumed in our own greedy lives that we don't step up and do what is right? I guess it is different for everyone.

So this is what this one family is going to do.

We are going to start I CAN.

We are going to start doing all that we can to raise money for a well. This will be the start. The well costs $6600 for a village to have safe, clean drinking water. This will stop that 10yo girl from walking half or more of her day to find water. This will help stop disease.

We will be creating another blog about our journey as a homeschooling family to raise enough money to help some people in Africa.

There will be pictures of the things we do and information about what you can do.

You may want to donate to help or you may even want to start a family project of your own to make a difference.

Thank you for reading my late night post about what has been on my mind.

Here is a link to the lists of things we can buy for people in Africa. I assure you, the money goes directly to what you want it to.
Click on Projects with Eternal Purpose at the top to see the list with pictures.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I decided to go through my fabric closet. Of course this was exciting for the kids. I had a pile left for them so I let them pick what they were interested in. They then went off on their own and made up outfits. Amelie has a jeans pant leg on and the rest have cotton. I like how they work together to make each other look stylish. The girls do this often with their dresses. They get all dressed up and come out for a dance show. Will one of them be a fashion designer? Who knows. It doesn't really matter. If I had that thought every time they got into something I would be worn out! lol A couple of days ago Ricky was taking our door knobs off with a screw driver and putting them back on. Locksmith...probably not. Amelie likes to write stories. Writer...probably not. There are hundreds of thousands of jobs that they can have. They will figure it out when the time is right. That is where trust comes in. Trusting them to be able to learn what they need, when they need and how they need. Trusting them to follow their interests. Trusting them to follow their own individual paths. I am their facilitator. I wouldn't want to miss out on these moments for anything. It is who they are and I love it. I love them.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Being yourself

My 2 year old son likes dresses. Pink ones, white ones and orange ones like the one here. He watches his sisters dress up and undress many times a day. Why shouldn't he join in? I don't have to worry about my children being mercilessly teased because they dress how they like. If I am going to be honest I may have an issue with my almost 6yo wearing a dress out. If he insisted I would tell him what reactions he may get and let him decide from there. I want to equip my children in this world but also allow them to self express. Fine line.

Artistic Lunch

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I want to remember this

The boys share a room with us. When Cohen goes to bed at night he puts his most valued toy on his bed post. When I go to bed I see the silhouette of his chosen toy. I never want to forget him placing them gently on top. I may understand the book "I'll love you forever" just a bit more now.

Friday, October 7, 2011




Hadley on the sidelines


We had Homeschool Track and Field Day today. This means heading to the beach in the afternoon with the kids. As I look through the pictures I notice their smiling faces and the freedom they have. You do not see any pictures of me. If you did you would see worry. Anxiety. Serious. I have 6 children. 4 of whom cannot swim yet. 3 of whom who try to. Can you see where this would stem from? I try. I really do. I just don't find the beach relaxing. I remember my grandma (who had 8 children) telling me that whenever they would go to the beach she would be watching like a hawk and counting heads. My grandpa would be laying out in the sun without a care in the world. While I was hovering over my children I looked over at my husband who had the baby in the shade. Here he is relaxed and with a camera. He is taking in all of their smiles. Their silliness. Their exploration. I am only now taking in these images because I did not experience them today. Sometimes I wonder if my grandpa and my husband don't worry because they know that we do. Our children don't worry because they know that we do. After about an hour I did a trade with my husband. I fed Hadley while Ron was with them. Don't get me wrong. My eyes stayed trained on my children but I also got to see them from his point of view. I could see my whole family in the sunshine. I am so thankful that I did switch him because our children got to run. They got to explore without moms worried words. I would like to say that maybe this will change me. It won't. This is my fear. Once they can swim I know I will be able to relax at least a little bit. I will still be counting heads but I do that everywhere. I just have to be sure I have the right balance. I have to believe that every parent has fears. Every parent protects their children with a fierceness no one can match. I just don't want to smother them. I am ok with it at the beach. I tend to be more relaxed elsewhere.

Don't they just look carefree and beautiful? I am happy that I have a husband to capture beautiful moments at the beach.