Snow, a museum and a birthday…

Caleb and I!

As I write this I am sitting in front of a fire, watching Caleb and Grandpa pull Lachie around outside on his little sled. He has come off a few times, but is still going – so I assume loving it!

Grandpa and Lachie playing...

Not sure what he is doing here!

This week we have been staying at Calabogie  – a ski resort near Ottawa. Unfortunately, while we have had snow each day, it has not been enough for the mountains to be open for skiing. This has not really bothered us – we have pottered around, swimming in the pool, and going on day trips to Ottawa (visiting the Museum of Nature), and into Renfrew for some shopping and lunch. It is a beautiful place, surrounded by huge snow covered mountains  – our lodge is right at the bottom of the ski slopes, so I can imagine, when in its busy peaks, seeing huge amounts of skiers outside! When we arrived, there were skido races happening on the mountain – great entertainment for a 3 year old!

Our lodge, with ski fields in the background...

Lachie and I in the Dinosaur exhibition at the Natural Museum

One very happy Hamish at the Museum

Lachie and Caleb in the 'Bird' gallery...

Jer and I, somewhere in the Museum

Cathie and Hamish - riding in the kiddie transport!

Today we had a birthday celebration for Caleb’s grandma and Lachie (another one!) and tomorrow we are off to Brockville (Caleb’s town where he worked and lived after leaving bible college). We are both (Caleb overly!) looking forward to seeing good friends there and sharing some special times with them.

Lachie and Grandma Jean

'Happy Birthday'...

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# 1 Lesson from Canada

So today I learnt a simple lesson…never leave wipes in the car whilst in Canada!

Why you ask? Today, it was -12, and that was at midday! I went to change Hamish’s nappy, whilst out at lunch. I took the nappies and wipes in from the car (they were in over night), and to my delight (!), they were frozen solid! Oh dear! Lucky (although not as nice for the little one) there was paper towel on hand!

So, lesson learnt – take everything in from the car!

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Oh Canada…

Well, we have arrived! It is wonderful to finally be here…a long flight and 4 very tired people later, we made it!

Things always seem worse in your head – and this journey was no exception (or maybe, subconciously we build them up to be worse in our head, so that when they are good, it is like a bonus!). The dreaded 14 hour plane flight to Vancouver, with two little gorgeous, but active boys was relatively painless. There were so many kids on this flight – many sympathetic smiles! Both boys slept for a good part of this leg of the journey (although with a child asleep on each of us, it is safe to say Caleb and I didn’t!), and were easily entertained for the other! The lay-over in Vancouver, was simply enough time for us to walk through customs, grab our luggage, re-load it, and walk to the gate and hop on the plane. On this flight, Lachie charmed the pants off everyone, by being terribly excited about having a window seat, and exclaiming loudly things like…”look daddy, a wing”, or “woah!” on take off, to “look a car” (even though we were way too high for that!). Hamish, was simply Hamish and smiled and cooed at every flight attendant at just the right time! All, in all, the flights went well (thank you for your prayers!). It was a long time, and I was desperately tired by the end, but having done this journey twice now with kids, I know that the flights always end, and that if I simply realise I will get no sleep, nor watch a whole movie through easily, then it is a lot easier!

Lachie was amazing throughout the whole process. He wheeled his little bag through every check point, and every airport. He never wanted us to help him, but felt so grown up wheeling it himself. His only real melt down happened in Vancouver, after the 14 hour flight, when he had to put his bag through the scanner. He didn’t want it to be taken from him and was so tired, he could just not logically understand that it would come back to us!

Me and the boys, before the plane rides! (at the amazing Macca's inside the International Airport!)

 

Lachie, loving his window seat!

It was so lovely to see Doug, Cathy, and Jer, and after stopping for dinner on the way home, we arrived! We all had a great sleep and woke this morning about 9am to a waffle breakfast! Yum!

Lachie, who developed a ‘hero’ like love of Doug when they were here in July, stepped straight back into this at the airport, wanting him to be in the car with him, and sitting next to him all dinner! Today, he has not left his side. So far, they have walked in the woods, jumped on the tractor and bulldozer, looked at the ride on mower, ‘fished’ using a reel (down the stairs into the basement), visited Great-Grandma Jean’s new place and watched the many squirrels in the snow (well, the little bit of snow that they have!).

Lachie and Grandpa...(love the drill press!)

The weather is cold – very chilly wind, with snow storms meant to hit overnight..hopefully we will wake up to some! Lachie has loved getting dressed up in his ‘snow’ boots, jacket, scarf, beanie and mittens! While the boys went to town this afternoon, Cathy, Jean and I walked round to the cottage with Hamish. We rugged him up, looking very cute in his snow suit, and in a pram with a special baby snuggle section! He was so good too, never complaining about the cold, he simply laughed the whole way at Lola (their Golden Retriever). Hamish has already discovered the joy of feeding Lola over the side of the high chair and having her lick his fingers in delight!

So, so far…it has been like returning to another home! It is nice this time to remember the people, and places and different ways to things! Feels more and more comfortable each time I come!

Tomorrow we are off to Calabogie (a ski resort) – hopefully with some snow! We are there for a week and then off to Brockville for the weekend, so will post some more when we are home next week!

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The sanctity of marriage…

Lately, Caleb has been hearing of some of his bible college friends who were married then, and have since divorced or separated. Not just one or two, but a good number. I know of a few here too, that have married and separated within a couple of years of being married. Caleb, who has already been through this himself and realises the pain that is caused, and the long process of healing needed, was deeply saddened to hear of these couples. I too, was saddened…but for me – as I listened to him chat about these people; when they were married, and how he knew them – I silently thanked God for our marriage and prayed for strength and wisdom, so that, God willing, may never happen to us.

Caleb and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary a couple of months ago. I constantly marvel at the fact that it has been 5 years since that day, and really only 6 since we met. But it has been a great 5 years, and really I feel like I have know Caleb forever and can’t remember what it was like wihtout him!

I still remember meeting Caleb at church…we were introduced, maybe somewhat ‘set up’ by a mutual friend of ours (I’m looking at you Chris!), who was very well behaved (and I think under close watch by his lovely wife!) and left us alone without too much
hassling or matchmaking! Caleb and I went for coffee one day, the Hunter Valley after Christmas, and the Blue Mountains the next week before we knew that it was all on! In fact, I think I can pretty much say that by this time, almost a month after meeting, I knew that I would marry him. There was something different about him – a passion and zeal for life, a love of Jesus and his people, different ideas and ways of thinking, and a desire to serve Jesus with his whole life (often not conventionally at all!). The Canadian accent and spunky exterior, was a bonus!

5 years on, I love being married to him. I love waking up next to him, laughing with him (and usually at me!), I love seeing him interact with our children, and discussing our future together. For sure, some days he can drive me nuts…but then so can I to him!
What makes us work, is that these moments and subsequent chats, make us stronger and keep the desire to serve each other strong.

I have realised lately that marriage is something to be honoured, to be worked on and cared for. Like all good things, it needs to be looked after and the sanctity of it remembered constantly. I look at the marriage and model of my parents and can see over and over again how they do this, and how their love for one another, 35 years on continues to strengthen!

Caleb is my best friend. He is my love. And as his wife, each day I pray that our marriage will be strong enough to face whatever comes our way. That we can rely, not only on ourselves, but on the strength and grace of Jesus. I pray that our marriage will be long, influential  to those around us and vibrant for our children – a testament and witness to God’s love.

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Lachie turns 3….


It is hard to know what to do in terms of celebrating my little man’s birthday. Born on Christmas Eve, he was my most amazing Christmas present – a true miracle from God! Last year we celebrated his birthday on his actual day, which meant that the poor child was not only confused about his birthday and Christmas, he was also then  inundated with presents on one day, which were easily tossed aside on the next day to make room for the new ones. And so the dilemma as to when we should celebrate his special day was discussed long and hard this year.

I love birthdays. To me they are a special day that mean family, friends, eating, celebrating (me!) and pressies! Well, the pressies are just an added bonus, but who doesn’t love a day where special things can happen, a day that is just a bit out of the ordinary! So, as a mum I want to make sure my children know they are special and that their birthday is a special event. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, in fact it never will be, but just a day they can have their friends over and enjoy their own day how they would like.

So, this year for Lachie we decided to have a little party for him, before we leave for Canada (this Friday!). It was fun, full of firetrucks and firemen and just enough for a 3 year old! It was great to celebrate with his friends..and to seperate it a little from Christmas Day. It is hard to try to get the meaning of Christmas across to a 3 year old…our conversations have been going a little like this…

“Whose birthday do we celebrate at Christmas?’

“ME!”..

“well, yes….but also Jesus!”

So, this year, his actual birthday will be very small, so that we can focus on the next day and all that that means for us!

 

 

 

 

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Farewells…

Almost a week ago (where has that week gone already!), we farewelled our friends Sarah and Gus back to London. They were here for a very short time after being overseas for almost 3 years (they originally said 1!).

It was so good to see them and to spend whatever time together that we could. After so many years it was fabulous to know that our friendship had not changed, and if anything I felt closer to Sarah than ever before! I’ve mentioned this in an earlier post, but our friendship, which started when we were in year 8, really is one of those that are rare and I think hard to find. A friendship full of memories, and intimate details. The older I get the more I treasure this, it is easy  – we know each other so well that most things can be said with a look, with a quick word – and this is harder to find as life changes. Going to new places, and meeting new friends is no longer as easy as when one spent days and days with others at school. Building new relationships takes time, and with family, work and so forth it is often hard to develop those lasting relationships that have been formed from our youth.

This is not to say that I won’t try nor that I don’t love meeting new people. I just know now, in my 31 years of experience (!), that those friendships of trust, fun, love and life are to be treasured and nurtured.

I miss you already my friend. Come home one day!

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It’s been a while

So..it’s been a while. I am terrible at keeping up to date at these things, and I get so caught up in whatever else is going on that I just forget to write things and put them up. Having said that, I was just reading some old posts then and realised how much I actually enjoy having somewhere to journal about the everyday…

I guess alot has happened since I last posted and I really can’t bring you up to date on everything, so I figure I’m just going to go from here!

This week, although with its own challenges, I have really been amazed at the awe and wander of Lachie as he discovers new things. The other day we had dinner with my mum and dad and as we were getting in the car, my mum pointed out the moon to Lachie. Of course, he has seen it before and we have often talked about it, but this night it was full, bright and well, just brililant. He looked at it out the car window, tilting his head to see it wherever he could. He was just amazed by it and loved that it seemed to follow him home. As we pulled into the drive he commented, ‘Nanny’s moon is here too!’. I tired to explain to him that it was the same moon, and that even Grandma and Grandpa (in Canada!) have the same one – he just looked at me with those big brown eyes taking it all in. Love it!

Lachie is also getting to the age now where stories just seem to come alive! We have been borrowing a lot of books lately from our local library and his favourite at the moment is called, Go back to sleep, by Sylvie Jones. It is cute and is about a little boy who puts all his animals to bed, only to be woken up by them as they dance and play around the room late at night. The boy ends up putting them all in bed with him and they all go to sleep. When the animals wake up the little boy, he sits up in bed and yells, “Go back to sleep, it’s the middle of the night” and every time I read this to Lachie he looks at me, again with those big eyes, and covers his ears, as if he too can hear the commotion of the toys and feels the boys agnst at being woken! It is very cute! Since we have started reading this book he has slept each night with his Woof-Woof, Bear (really a Gorilla), and Mr Teddy all tucked in next to him – something I know I did as a kid!

After my day today, it is just nice to reflect on the sweet and wonderful moments of being a mum!

 

Photo courtesy of Sheerimage Photography...

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Treasured friends…

The other day Lachie looked at my gold bracelet and asked me about it. I told him that I was given it for my 21st birthday from my mum and dad -not that he really understood what I was talking about! But it got me thinking about that day – my mum came into my room to wake me up, and then my two friends, Sarah and Lucy, followed her in for a birthday surprise! I reflected to myself, and also to Lachie (who looked up at me adoringly, but really just nodded!), that my birthday was almost 10 years ago this year – a long time really! I started thinking about how amazing it was that those two friendships still remain, and can confidently say, are closer today than that day then.

I think it a real testament to our friendship, that we have survived uni, work, marriage, distance (and still survive this!), children and maintain real and treasured relationships. I know these two women are there for me every step of the way, I know I would do anything for them and I love that our friendships continue to strengthen as the years pass. I truly believe that the foundation of all great things, our Lord Jesus, is the link to these friendships, that He is the key that has built our friendships and formed them to be unique and lasting.

I love knowing that for years to come, whatever may happen, these two women will be there. Sarah, it is hard having you there. It is hard not being able to pick up the phone and talk to you on my way home, not to just pop to the shops with you, and not to have you here knowing my children. And yet, technology is a wonderful thing, as I feel closer to you today than ever before. Lachie calls you ‘Sarah computer’, and I love that! I pray that one day you can come back to us, and our families can ‘be’ and grow together!

Lucy, I love building our families together. I enjoy knowing that you have been through what I am going through, and that our lives are in a similar place. Even in the business, I love having our coffees, and though constantly instructing our children how to interact together (!), we can share our experiences  with each other. I pray too that Millie, Lachie, Josiah and Hamish (and whoever else is to come!) will be life long friends!

As I think about this I realise again how blessed I am to know these two, to have them in my life, and to know that whatever happens in this world and the next, they will be with me.

Thank you Jesus.

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Project #3

Each year the ladies from my craft group at church organise a ‘Quilt in a day’ project. We all get together and quilt for the whole day. We are given a pattern but use different materials – it is always amazing how different the quilts are just with different fabrics.

This year I made one for Hamish using cute blues, yellows, greens and browns. The pattern was simple squares and so it really only took me a couple of hours to put it all together. Again, I got it quilted by Donna, and this time to make it warmer I got a wool batting and used flannel to back it.

I am really happy with the it! It looks lovely and am excited to have made a really useful quilt!

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Project #2

This next project I made for my sister for her birthday. The pattern is an Amy Butler design (I am a big fan of her designs and materials!), and I used materials I found on sale at Craft Depot when I went on a Craft Tour (sounds crazy but was actually a lot of fun!).

It was realativley easy, a little fiddly in parts, but once all the pieces were in place it was simple to put together and pull into place! I am pretty happy with the result – although next time might add some buttons to keep it nice and togther!


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