"We have never been called to define God, we have been called to behold Him." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

Moment in Time Photography - Blog

January 28, 2010

Momma said there'd be days like this

There are days, and often times they look like this:where I need, for my sanity, to do everything possible to keep the kids busy. And of course, by busy, I mean interacting with me, and not left to their own devices.
Because if they were left on their own, it would look, and sound, very much like world war 3. There would be fighting and screaming and toys being strewn from floor to ceiling and tears and tantrums and biting and hair pulling and the slaming of doors...just not a pretty picture. And on days when my patience is non-existant (at best), it is easier for me to keep them busy then it is for me to referee. Because when I am keeping them busy, I can hear that still small voice whispering about patience and kindness and gentleness and the words I use and the tone in my voice. And when I am interacting with them, it is easier to listen to that, to do the *right* thing, to bite my tounge.To laugh at the flour flung from floor to ceiling and the icing spread across their clothes, to giggle at the craziness that comes out of their mouths if you just stop and listen, without an agenda.
My friends seem to think I'm crazy, or motivated, or inspiring. I'm not. Honestly? It is how I survive the day to day with 5 (4 of whom are under 5).I need to be busy. Generally out of the house is better than in the house (the walls have a tendancy to feel like they are closing in), but when out doesn't work, there are wonderful ways to keep kids busy inside. Provided, of course, I have the right attitude and it's not all about me.
But that being said, those are the same days, days that have been filled with activites, where I flop on the couch at 7:10pm, look around and wonder exactly what it was I managed to accomplish.Because there are crumbs on the carpet, dirt in the sinks, dishes piled to the sky, sticky spots on the floor and a half dozen launrdy baskets in varying states of cleanliness scattered around the main floor and basement.
It's the days where I know that the kids have made memories, and had fun and maybe, hopefully, even learned something in the process.But I still wonder what tangible thing was accomplished, because when you spend 8 hours with 5 kids and all that you can *show* for it is a plate of cookies and an egg carton caterpillar, it doesn't seem like much, but it is, just not in a way that most people would recognize.These are the days that I want there to be more of in our life. Some days are great, truly wonderful but, sadly, that doesn't always happen, the kids are sent to the rec room to occupy their time while I deal with that mountain of clothes or the sticky places, or I just need to be out of ear shoot (like locked in the bathroom with a cup of coffee).
And my interaction consists of calling down the stairs at them to "PLEASE STOP SLAMMING THE DOORS AND USE YOUR INSIDE VOICES". (yes, I realize the irony in that, as I'm yelling down at them!)
But, I learn something on these days, days filled with giggles and flour and blocks and paint. Something that is easy to forget when *life* is happening around you, when the *noise* is too much.It truly is better to give. To serve, to love, to laugh, to shine with our actions rather than the words we use. Because at the end of *these* days, we are happier, things have gone smoother, there is a peace. I long to be the type of person that doesn't need (in a perfectionist sort of way)to be concerned about the laundry piles or the dishes or the whatever, but to take the time, to make the memories, to teach my kids about the servant heart of God by my actions. It's not easy, it requires me being intentional about it, because if I'm not intentional, it doesn't happen.

January 26, 2010

Stir Crazy

After being confined to the house yesterday, a combination of rainy/slushy weather,no snowpants for two kids, and no nap for Owen, I told Troy when he got home that we NEEDED to get out. Becuase I was going to lose. my. mind. if we didn't (clingy crabby babies and mommas with lack of sleep are NOT a good combination in this house).
SO off we go to the mall at the end of our street (because the roads were a mess and my sanity wasn't worth slip-sliding into something). We were in Metro getting a few groceries so we could make sugar cookies today, and the kids? Oh my goodness! Seriously? It's like they hadn't been out of the house in a year. They are all excited and bubbly and "look at this mom" and "can we get this mom?" and "babble babble babble".... You know it's crazy when the cashier (who is a regular) looks at you and says, "wow, they're really strung tonight eh? They're normally so quiet and calm" (and I'm thinking "my kids? I think you might be confusing us with someone else" but I smile and say "yup. they are, I'm blaming the weather"!)
I must admit, their excitment was contagious and by the end I found myself laughing and giggling right along with them but the term "it's like herding cats" came to mind fairly often as we roamed Zellars looking at all the toys that they "want to get one day mom."
* * * *
We are in the process of transitioning Owen into a big boy bed, last night, I stumbled down the stairs around midnight to his screams and I couldn't find him. My sleep induced brain was too foggy to figure out what was going on. He wasn't in the bed, he hadn't climbed into the playpen, but he was definately in his room, because I could hear him. Where did I find him? Under the bed, curled up right against the wall. He was freaking out because he couldn't lift his head as the bed was in his way! What a goofball! I'm still trying to figure out how he got there in the first place because the playpen had been pusehd close against the bed to stop him from trying to climb out!
* * * *
This morning we are making sugar cookies and birdfeeders. My theory behind this? If I keep them crazy busy they can't get into trouble and bother eachother and send their momy over the edge right?? Well, we shall see about that!
The dough is made and sitting in the fridge for another 10 minutes before we can roll it out ans start cutting out the cookies. And already, in the 30 minutes of time that they have had to play, there is been the slaming of doors and the biting of legs...biting seriously?? I'm not sure WHAT he was thinking because he KNOWS better sigh.....it could be a long day.
But....Alexandra's new bed comes via delivery man today, so that is exciting (her bed was the top bunk for the boy's room so once Owen needed a bed, she is without one, thankfully she's content to sleep on a crib matteress for two nights!)
Time to go and herd some *cats* to the kitchen table for the cutting out of cookies, while I attepmt to focus my eyes on God and look to the laughter and blessings in the day, rather then the annoying and difficult (because sometimes those moments seems to overwhelm, and I know it is just a matter of perspective). . . maybe letting go of my crazy perfectionism would be a good start!

'Nuff Said

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January 24, 2010

At the Rink

Anthony and Alexandra had their first skating lessons on Saturday. Troy was just going to take them, but I firgured Owen and I would tag along and get some pictures! They had a fanastic time.

Alexandra was a little hesitant and there were a few tears (but nothing like the screaming tha has been happening at swim lessons), but the man who organizes it is amazing with kids and scooped her up, took her to her class and stayed with her almost the whole time. She was actually participating by the end!

Anthony, he's a clown! The drama of that boy, it was SO funny!! He would skate a little then f.l.o.p on ice and lay there for a mintue. This continued for almost the entire lesson. I was nearly crying I was laughign so hard. Becuase Anthony knows how to skate!!
Owen? Well, he just really really wanted to be on the ice and was a little ticked about the fact that he wasn't allowed! I think I might just have to find a public skate time for him.....but we shall see! (the outdoor rinks here are toast with the rain and mild temperatures we have been having)
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January 23, 2010

Alexandra (and a little Anthony too)

Oh my!

How did I end up with a girly girl?

For those of you that know me (in real life) you know I'm not really all that *girly*.

I own 3 pairs of shoes, one *purse* (let's use that term loosely here), I wear mascara maybe twice a year, I don't wear nail polish, and spending an afternoon (or morning) at a mall, is just about torture!

My daughter on the other hand....?

She LOVES to shop. You ask her what she wants to do and it is either play dolls or go to the mall. We were at the mall this morning and we walked past Claire's (a store that sells necklaces and nail polish etc.) As we were passing it Alexandra exclaims:

"A girlie store!!! Can I go in and see the girly stuff??"

So, in we went, with her in the lead longingly caressing necklaces and drapping purses over her shoulder all the while chattering.

"Oh, mommy, this one is beautiful."

"Can you buy this one for me one day?"

"So cutie, look!"

I think the sales lady was trying really really hard NOT to laugh!

Alexandra would run from rack to rack, taking her time going through each item to see if there was something that she deemed pretty. It was SO cute. . . incredibly foreign, but cute.

I promised her I would go back and buy a few things (like the BRIGHT pastel coloured nail polish or the sparkly lip gloss or one of the many purses she was drooling over) for her, for her birthday.

It baffles me, I always thought it was a learned behaviour, that desire to shop,...apparently I was wrong! Because she certainly hasn't learned it from me!!

* * * * * *

Anthony's school does something pretty neat. Every month, they have a different character trait as their focus. So, things like compassion and respect. This month it has been responsibility.

On Friday, Anthony came home with a specail picture, that had been signed by the torch-bearer who had spoken at an assembly earlier in the week.

Anthony was awarded this photo because, in his class, he had shown the character of responsibility over the week.

I am SO incredibly proud of him!!

January 21, 2010

Good to know I'm the only one....

"Mom, you're the best mom ever. I've never had a better mom, or grandma, than you!"

Said by Anthony when I told him he could listen to his Magic Treehouse cd's.

January 19, 2010


Shouldn't we just obey because He is a Holy God?

Does there need to be more reason than that?

Yes He delights in blessings (every good and perfect gift is from above)

but shouldn't it be enough that He's called us to it and He's Holy so it's got to be good...?

* * * *

It's something I've been thinking about lately. Yes, the bible speaks about rewards in heavan for being faithful on earth, but should that be our motivation for becoming Christ-like, for striving to be obedient to what God has called us to do?

I don't know.

And it's something I am struggling with right now.

I love the fact that there are rewards in heavan, but if that's my only reason for doing what I know God has called me to do on earth, is that right? Shouldn't I be o.k doing what He has asked of me, regardless, simply because it is a command from God?

I need to think on it and pray about it...anyone have any thougths?

January 17, 2010

Sweet, Silly Girl

She makes me smile, this little girl. So full of personality "C" is. She was d.o.n.e by this point but I figure it made for some great pictures anyway. They just seem to capture who she is completely!

January 16, 2010

Happiness Runs

There are certain things that just make me happy,
fill me with gratitude.

I've found a few things this week, there were days when I have had to look long and hard to find them, but they have been there.

*finding a way to go for a walk with 5 kids
(all being pulled or pushed. . . it involved a sled, some fabric and my double stroller...)
(I was a little desperate to get O.U.T of the house come Wednesday!)

*plus 3 celcius in the middle of January
(that's vest weather!)

*melting snow and the smell of spring
(in the middle of January!! in Northern Ontario!!)

*friends that ask how you're doing, truly mean it and wait for the answer

*my new oven that bakes banana bread
*Owen's LOVE of baking, "Mommy dup"
("Mommy, dump" it means he wants to help)

*a husband that puts away laundry and watches the kids for 4 hours so I can get *out*

*the smell of fresh baked banana bread
(or blueberry muffins, or brownie, or white chocolate macadamia nut cookies)


This list could go on, I am so grateful for these blessings. They have all, at one point or another this week, put a smile on my face and caused me to stop and be truly thankful for what I have been given.

January 13, 2010


The sunrise breaks through the last lingering bits of night, lighting the morning in soft pink clouds, just waiting. Waiting for someone to take notice of the beauty at the start of this day.
Am I going to notice in this rush of morning? Is there time for the stillness in the midst of breakfast and winter clothes and the rushing out to the school bus?
That stillness comes in the form of a little boy hand reaching for mine at the edge of the road as we wait.
"Mommy, look at all the colours, pink and purple and blue."
"It looks a bit like cotton candy doesn't it sweet boy?"
"Mommy? Can you lift me up to eat some?"
"It's to high bud, God put the clouds there this morning to remind us of His glory and the works of His hands."
"But why do they look so close then?"
I have no answer for this, so stumble out something along the lines of "because of the way the sun is reflecting off them." In an attempt not to brush off his question.
Grace abounds this morning, in the form of sun-kissed clouds and quiet, stolen moments with a little-big boy.

January 12, 2010

In a mood

I'm in a mood today.

The excuses are endless, up to early, kids whinning before they were even out of bed, the messy house is driving me nuts.

But really, that's all they are, excuses.

I can't drag my eyes off myself today, can't see past the thoughts rushing through my head.

Trying, failing, and trying again.

I know I need to refocus, take the time to kneel before the One Who can change that focus for me.

Why is it so hard?

All it takes is time, time to sit and be still.

Time to find the words for the thoughts that tumble, the feelings that invade.

And I have that time, but am I willing to use it for what matters?

Today, I haven't been.

And I can tell, I'm sure if you interacted with me today, you could tell too.

Praying for focus, praying to live my life for Him, in view of Him constantly.

It's not easy, that surrendering completely, but it's worth it.

I'm going to make the time today, to shift that perspective, to focus on Him and to not let my thoughts influence my feelings. I want what He wants for my life.

Just needed reminding of that.

January 11, 2010

i heart faces: Best Face Photo

i heart faces is turning 1 this week!

There are all sorts of things going on over at their website so head on over and see what's going on!
This week's theme is "Best Face" and your picture had to be taken in December '09 or early January '10.
Here is my entry, I babysit and this is a picture of one of the little girls, she is MUCH more co-operative then my kids when the camera comes out! We spent last Thursday (Jan 6) playing dress-up while I took pictures of her.

Check out their new logo!

January 10, 2010


"Mommy, but if you give me medicine then I will feel better and I can go to church."

Said by Alexandra this morning after realizing I was going to have her stay home today. She has a fever and cough and I just didn't want it getting worse (that and she really doesn't need to share it with every kid in her Sunday School class!)

I love that she enjoys church so much that fits are thrown when she can't go. She is my child who will make up songs about Jesus and God and just sing them randomly throughout the day.

I smile at that, for there are moments in my day, when hearing her brings my focus back to where it should be.

We registar this sweet girl for J.K on February 2nd.

Owen has almost hit the 20 month mark.

First off, I am not even sure how that is possible, in 4 short months, months I am sure are going to fly by, he will turn 2.

The baby of the family.

The little guy who keeps us on our toes and learns from his brother and sister all the tricks that they didn't learn until MUCH older!

It got me thinking the other night about when Anthony and Alexandra were 20 months old.

When Anthony was 20 months, we were in the process of moving towns (from Atikokan back to Thunder Bay), I was single parenting 5 days a week because Troy would drive back to Atikokan on Sunday night and teach until Friday and then drive back to us for the weekend,we were getting Anthony ready for surgery and I was 6 months pregnant with Alexandra.

When Alexandra was 20 months I was babysitting another little girl, planning a Mother's Market and I was VERY pregnant with Owen (he was born 4 weeks later!)

This time, I am thankful that I am not pregnant (and sick and exhausted and everything else that goes along with that!).

I am enjoying this age, the curiousity and wonder and excitement that marks it.

I love the *extra* energy that I have from not having a life growing inside me, and the fact that I can enjoy the wonder and curiousity (oh and did I mention LOVE of books?) that Owen is experiencing.

I am a *little* sad that our baby is growing up but SO very excited for all that means for our family. Things we can start to do and the changes that not having a baby will bring for us.

Life moves forward and the kids grow, I think this time around, I am realizing just how fast that happens, that infant turns to baby turns to little boy.

I love being a mom to my three kids. And I admit, that looking back, I am a little sentimental at all that has happened, but looking forward, I am excited for everything that has yet to come, the firsts that the kids, and our family, are still waiting to experience.

January 05, 2010

You know it's cold when. . .

...at 9:45am your windows (on the inside) still look like this: the big kids are buried under blankets and neckwarmers and various other layers:

the babies are contained under plastic in the stroller with blankets of their own:and there is MUCH screaming and crying and whinning at the state of *cold*!! (oh yeah, and some lady walking past turns to me and says "Excuse me, you know they're crying right?" LOL!! Cuz you know, I might have missed it!)I on the other hand, spent the time running and chasing and swinging kids around (really, looking like a big moron) in attempts to keep them warm! So I was toasty.

For the record though. 1.5 hours outside in temperatures of -30 are not really recommended (but they did enjoy the hot chocolate and cookies and handful of marshmellows they got when we got back home!)

January 04, 2010

i heart faces

This week, the theme is I Heart Faces, seeing as it is their 1st birthday and all! We are allowed to have up to 5 images this time...I have two. Why? Well, because my creative jucies have run dry (and after standing outside in the cold for 2 hours listening to 4 kids scream, I really didn't have the patience for editing!)
SO....here are my enteries for this week's contest:
(you might want to click on the first pic to see the logo better)

There are MUCH better/interesting ones over on their website, so head on over and check out all the really cool, talented people and the amazing images they have come up with!!

Oh ya....the fine print!!
“I am submitting this photo into the I Heart Faces logo photo contest. By entering, I am granting I Heart Faces LLC permission to consider my photo for use in the marketing and promotion of their website.”

January 03, 2010

Carry the Flame

The Olympic Flame came to town today.
I took the two older kids to see it tonight, seeing as Anthony will be at school tomorrow and this is probably a once in a lifetime opportuinty for them.
I plan on taking the kids I babysit, along with Alexandra and Owen, tomorrow to see it too. I know Owen is still too little to remember any of it, but I want him to have the chance (that and I just want to see it again!)

January 01, 2010

Nothing deep, just some *helpful* advice...

...when you slip on the metal threshold of your doorway, don't grab the key that's sticking out of the doorknob to stop yourself

....the key WILL break and you will be forced to ask your husband to remove it with pliars and a screwdriver, all the while feeling very silly but thankful that you don't need to replace the doorknob and locks