Sunday, 23 December 2007

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Thought this was funny.....

To all my liberal friends -
Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2008, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make Canada great. Not to imply that Canada is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only great country in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

To all my Conservative friends -
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, 20 December 2007

31 Days of Praying for your Husband

Day 1
Pray that your husband will grow spiritually and consider his accountability before the Lord.
Pray that he will guard his heart by developing spiritual disciplines—Bible reading and study, prayer, meditation, scripture memorization, etc.

2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Day 2
Pray that your husband will use practical skills to build your family and make wise decisions for your welfare. Pray that he will serve unselfishly.
Gal 5:13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
Phil 2:3-4 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Day 3
Pray that your husband will serve God and others with pure motives. Pray that he will obey the Lord from his heart, and glorify Him in everything.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

John 7:17-18 If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.

Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Day 4
Pray that your husband will work hard to provide for your family, to the best of his ability. Pray that the character qualities necessary for a successful career and ministry will be a growing part of his character - persistence, decisiveness, strength, an analytical mind, organizational skills, positive relationships with people, determination, etc.

Romans 12:11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Day 5
Pray that your husband will speak words that build you and your family, and reflect a heart of love.

Proverbs 18:21
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Day 6
Pray that your husband will discover and live his God-given purpose. Pray that he will offer all his dreams to the Lord, and pursue only those goals that will bring God glory and count for eternity.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Day 7
Pray that your husband will handle finances wisely, will have discrenment concerning budgeting and investments, and will be a good steward of his money in regard to giving to the Lord's work. Pray that money will not become a source of discord in your family.

Proverbs 23:4-5
Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

Romans 12:13
Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Hebrews 13:5
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you;never will I forsake you.

Day 8
Pray that your husband will be faithful to his wedding vows. Pray that he will have a desire to cultivate your relationship as a sign of his loyalty and commitment to you, and as a picture of Christ's love for the Church.

Proverbs 20:6
Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?

Genesis 2:24
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

Day 9
Pray that your husband will love righteousness and hate wickedness, especially the evils of the culture. Pray that he will recognize and avoid wickedness in his own life, and if necessary, take a clear, strong stand against evil.

Proverbs 27:12
The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.

John 17:15
My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.

1 Corinthians 10:12-13
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

Day 10
Pray that your husband will understand the importance of taking care of his body - the temple of the Holy Spirit - for the glory of God. Pray that he will practice self-control by making wise food choices, and get sufficient exercise to stay healthy.

Romans 12:1-2
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

1 Corinthians 9:27
No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Day 11
Pray that your husband will grow in leadership skills in your relationship - protecting and providing for you. Pray that he will lead you wisely and love you sacrificially, so that God will be glorified in your marriage.

Ephesians 5:25-29
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church.

Colossians 3:19
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

Day 12
Pray that your husband's relationship with God and His Word will bear fruit in his life. Pray that he will be a man of wisdom and understanding, fearing the Lord.

Proverbs 3:7
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.

Proverbs 9:10
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Psalm 112:1
Praise the Lord. Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands.

Day 13
Pray that your husband will yield his sexual drive to the Lord and practice self control. Pray that
your sexual intimacy together will be fresh, positive, and a reflection of selfless love.

Proverbs 5:15, 18
Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. May your fountain be
blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.

1 Corinthians 7:3
The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.

Song of Solomon 7:10
I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me.

Day 14
Pray that your husband will cultivate strong integrity, and not compromise his convictions. Pray that his testimony will be genuine, that he will be honest in his business dealings, and will never do anything that he needs to hide from others.

Proverbs 20:7
The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him.

1 Timothy 1:5
The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

1 Timothy 3:7
He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.

Ephesians 6:10-12
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Day 15
Pray that your husband will have a humble, teachable spirit and a servant's heart before the lord. Pray that he will listen to God and desire to do Hi will.

Proverbs 15:33
The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.

Ephesians 6:6
Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.

Pray that your husband will safeguard his heart against inappropriate relationships with the opposite sex. Pray that his heart will be pure and undivided in his commitment to you.

Proverbs 6:23-26
For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life, keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life.

Romans 13:14
Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Day 17
Pray that your husband will choose healthy, God-honoring activities. Pray that he will not live in bondage to any questionable habits or hobbies, but that he will experience freedom in holiness as he yields to the Spirit's control.

1 Corinthians 6:12
"Everything is permissible for me"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"—but I will not be mastered by anything.

1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

2 Timothy 2:4
No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer.

Day 18
Pray that your husband will learn how to relax in the Lord and, in his greatest times of stress, find joy and peace in his relationship with God. Pray that he will submit his schedule to the Lord.

Nehemiah 8:10
Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."

Proverbs 17:22
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Psalm 16:11
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Day 19
Pray that your husband will enjoy his manliness as he patterns his life after Christ and strong men in the faith. Pray for his physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual strength.

Ephesians 3:16
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being

1 Peter 2:21
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

1 Corinthians 10:11
These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.

Day 20
Pray that your husband will practice forgiveness in your relationship and with others. Pray that he will recognize any roots of bitterness, and yield any resentment and unforgiving attitudes to the Lord.

Ephesians 4:32
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Hebrews 12:15
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Day 21
Pray that your husband will have an eternal perspective - living in light of eternity. Pray that he will reject materialism and temporal values and put God first in his life.

Matthew 6:33
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Deuteronomy 6:5
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

Ephesians 5:16
making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Psalm 90:12
Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Day 22
Pray that your husband will be humble and quick to agree with God about his sin. Pray that his heart will be tender toward the voice of the Lord.

Psalm 51:2-4
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.

Micah 6:8
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Day 23
Pray that your husband will surrender his time and talents to the Lord. Pray taht his spiritual gifts will be manifest in his career, at church, and in your home.

Ephesians 5:15-16
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

1 Corinthians 12:4,7
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

Day 24
Pray that your husband will be a good father—disciplining his children wisely and loving them unconditionally. If he is not a father, pray that he will find a young man to mentor in the things
of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Colossians 3:21
Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

2 Timothy 2:1-2
You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.

Day 25
Pray that your husband will be patient and a man of peace. Pray that he will not give in to anger, but will allow the Holy Spirit to control his responses.

Romans 14:19
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

Psalm 34:14
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Day 26
Pray that your husband will have a balanced life - that he will balance work and play. Pray that he will fear God, but also gain favor with people he knows at work and church.

Luke 2:52
And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

Proverbs 13:15
Good understanding wins favor, but the way of the unfaithful is hard.

Day 27
Pray that your husband will be courageous in his stand against evil and injustice, and that he will stand for the trust. Pray that he will protect you and your family from Satan's attacks.

Psalm 31:24
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.

Ephesians 6:13
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Psalm 27:14
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Day 28
Pray that your husband will be a man of prayer. Pray that he will seek and pursue God in purposeful quiet times.

1 Thessalonians 5:17
Pray continually

Luke 22:46
"Why are you sleeping?" he asked them. "Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation."

James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Day 29
Pray that your husband yield his mind and thoughts to the Lord. Pray that he will not entertain immoral or impure thoughts, and that he will resist the temptation to indulge in pornography.

Proverbs 27:12
The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.

2 Corinthians 10:5
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Day 30
Pray that your husband will choose his friends wisely. Pray that God will bring him men who will encourage his accountability before God, and will not lead him into sin.

Proverbs 13:20
He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.

Proverbs 27:17
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

Day 31
Pray that your husband will recognize the lies of the Enemy in his life. Pray that his attitudes and actions will be guided by the truth as he brings his thoughts into captivity to the Word of God.

John 8:44
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge

I'm doing a 30 day Husband Encouragement Challenge and I challenge you all to do it with me!

For 30 days you need to only speak positively about your husband and to your husband. If you're happily married, unhappily married, taking a marriage break, reconciling or rekindling your marriage, thinking about getting married, or are engaged - this challenge is for you!

You can start whenever you like, but I'm going to start Jan 1st - what a great way to start the new year!!! Who would like to join me?

Here are the links to the information you need
30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge
Praying for Your Husband

This is similar to the 30 Day Honour your Husband challenge a lot of us did awhile back - but this is a lot more specific. Each day has a challenge as well as a prayer "topic" which I think is just a fabulous idea!

Starting Jan 1st I will try to post the daily challenges and we can "discuss" it together by commenting or linking to each other's blogs. (Considering our 4th baby's due date is Jan 20th this could be a challenge for me time-wise, but I'm sure going to try!)

Are you in?

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Christmas Hoopla

My sister Andrea tagged me to do a Christmas Hoopla - here are the rules.

1. List 12 random things about yourself that has to do with Christmas
2. Please refer to it as a 'hoopla' and not the dreaded 'm'-word
3. You have to specifically tag people when you're done. None of this "if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged" stuff is allowed...then nobody ends up actually doing it. The number of people who you tag is really up to you -- but the more, the merrier to get this 'hoopla' circulating through the blogosphere.
4. Please try and do it as quickly as possible. The Christmas season will be over before we know it and I'd like to get as many people involved as possible.

OK, here we go - hopefully I can come up with 12 things!

1. I played piano for one of Nathan's cousins at Christmastime so I got to play all Christmas songs at the wedding.
2. My favorite Christmas "carol" is O Holy Night.
3. I recently downloaded (it's legal in Canada!) Josh Groban's Christmas CD Noel. It's great!!
4. We went to Mexico to visit relatives for Christmas one year - no snow - it was tragic. (No, not the resort areas of Mexico - 5hrs drive south of Texas - no beach in sight!)
5. We have an artificial tree and will always have an artificial tree, now and forevermore.
6. I'm teaching our oldest 2 girls piano and they are loving playing Christmas songs right now - Emma (6) is learning Jingle Bells and Sophia (4) is learning Away in a Manger.
7. Just like ValleyGirl our entire family got violently ill last Christmas. It started at a family gathering - what great timing! And lasted the whole way home - let's just say we had to stop at the side of the road a few times, and all night long. Oh, let there not be a repeat of that this Christmas!!
8. Favorite Christmas baking, to eat (not necessarily to bake!) - soft white cookies with lots of icing, cinnamon buns and raisin tarts.
9. To help teach our children the real meaning of Christmas we have given more gifts to those who truly need them this year including a larger Family gift for our sponsored child, Jonathan, from Compassion - I can't wait to find out what they used it for!
10. On my side of the family us "kids" take turns deciding what the Christmas meal will be, and what charity we will all sponsor instead of buying each other gifts. This year my brother choose Siloam Mission - an excellent choice!
11. I love to decorate early for Christmas - this year our Christmas tree was up by November 24th! Everything comes down as soon after New Year's as possible though. Once it's over, it's over.
12. I was totally scared the first time I saw The Christmas Story - when Santa pushed the poor kid down the slide with his boot!?! Scarred for life I am.

As far as who else is tagged, hmmmm, how bout my friends at Crosswalk, especially those addicted to the Pregnancy thread. I think Andrea already tagged everyone I know IRL.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Treasure the moment

One thing I really like about being pregnant this time is that I know it's my last one (unless an act of God overrules our plans :), and I am truly trying to treasure every moment. The fact that the Zofran (anti-nausea medication) worked during more than the first half of my pregnancy definitely helped this to be a realistic possibility! :)

Treasuring the moments has also made me realize how much I will miss being pregnant. No, this does not mean I want to have more kids, we are sure on having 4 and that our family will be complete after this child is here. But there are definitely so many things I will miss and never again experience.

Probably the biggest one is the feeling of the baby moving inside me. This is the most amazing feeling in the world. Truly indescribable unless you've felt it yourself. And this baby is giving me numerous opportunities to treasure the kicking - when sitting or lying done it's practically constant it seems! (Right now included.) I love how it feels, and think it looks hilarious from the outside as well - sometimes you can see the baby practicing karate moves in there! The feeling of life is truly awe inspiring.

I also love looking pregnant. I can't stand the "fat" stage of pregnancy and am always happy to move into the "obviously pregnant" stage instead. This happened very quickly this time around - could it have anything to do with the fact that it's my 4th?! And, though I am under no illusions that I haven't gained any ... ahem... unnecessary weight, I do like the "swallowed a basketball" look that I seem to have going on. Though the basketball is getting pretty big.

Also, the amazing fact that I am a part of a miracle. And, truly, pregnancy is a miracle, despite the fact that it's very common. God is in the process of knitting together a unique and precious human being in my womb right now! I just can hardly get my mind around that - I am humbled and in awe at being a part of this amazing process. How God has designed our bodies is simply incredible.

Along with this amazing priviledge of being part of creation comes the awesome responsibility, yet again, of raising this child to become the man/woman God wants him/her to be. What a huge, huge responsibility. I need to be down on my knees more, and truly rely on Him for the wisdom needed for this monumental task.

The moment of birth is, of course, one of the most amazing experiences ever. The emotions of the moment are indescribable and overwhelming. The joy is uncontainable. And I can't wait to experience it one last time.

And, even once this pregnancy is over, there will be so many other "lasts" to treasure. The first smile (ok, I know it's just gas), the first time they grasp your finger in their tiny fists. The feeling of holding your newborn, so tiny & perfect. When you know that they KNOW you, the cooing, the laughing, the way they look at you while nursing, and all the numerous firsts to follow - rolling, sitting, standing, walking, getting teeth, talking, losing teeth, going to school, driving and getting married - ack!!

And so I will continue to treasure each moment.

Though my back may ache and my feet may pinch,
Though my belly may loom larger than life
Though my legs be restless and the nights be sleepless
Though the sight of my toes fades from memory
I will treasure this miracle in my womb, as it is to be my last.

20 Things to Remember

I did not make this up - just found it online. But I liked it so I thought I'd share (aren't I generous?)

1. Faith is the ability to not panic.
2. If you worry, you didn't pray. If you prayed, don't worry.
3. As a child of God, prayer is kinda like calling home every day.
4. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.
5. When we get tangled up in our problems, be still. God wants us to be still so He can untangle the knot.
6. Do the math. Count your blessings.
7. God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.
8. Dear God: I have a problem. It's me.
9. Silence is often misinterpreted, but never misquoted.
10. Laugh every day - it's like inner jogging.
11. The most important things in your home are the people.
12. Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional. (Preach it!)
13. There is no key to happiness. The door is always open. Come on in.
14. A grudge is a heavy thing to carry.
15. He who dies with the most toys is still dead.
16. We do not remember days but moments. Life moves too fast so enjoy your precious moments.
17. Nothing is real to you until you experience it; otherwise it's just hearsay.
18. It's all right to sit on your pity pot every now and again. Just be sure to flush when you are done.
19. Surviving and living your life successfully requires courage. The goals and dreams you're seeking require courage and risk-taking. Learn from the turtle, it only makes progress
when it sticks out its neck.
20. Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. No matter the storm,
when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting. Leave gentle fingerprints on the soul of another for the angels to read. I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.

Friday, 7 December 2007

A real post - the meaning of Christmas

OK, even though today is a total record breaking posting day for me, I haven't really posted anything other than pictures. So, here's a real post.

How do we teach our children the true meaning of Christmas? Truly teach it to them. I think we thoroughly confuse them.

We teach them that the meaning of Christmas is a celebration of Jesus' birth - our Lord and Saviour.

We teach them that He left heaven and exchanged the glories there for a human body here on earth - born in a stable, born to die for the sins of the world, for my sins, for their sins.

We teach them that Santa is not real, he's just pretend - like Cinderella.

We teach them that gifts are not the meaning of Christmas. That gifts are just a fun part of the celebration. That they need to appreciate the gift and the meaning behind it, even if it's not exactly what they wanted to get. That they shouldn't ask for "more". That they shouldn't just tear through the presents and lay them aside after a hurried "thank you" looking for the next one.

And then after we've talked the talk we completely fail to walk it - and they end up opening 100 presents each from us, their aunts & uncles, grandparents and great-grandparents.

What exactly are they supposed to think?

Every year I look at all the "stuff" our kids have gotten and wonder where on earth to put it all.

What is this "stuff" really teaching our kids? How are we supposed to teach them not to be materialistic in the midst of it all?

And yet, it's so fun watching them open their gifts! I love to buy them things and watch them open it. But at what expense? Will the price be higher than we should be willing to pay?

Or is it no big deal? Maybe I'm overreacting/overthinking/overanalizing, I don't know.

We definitely do things to combat the materialism. We always do the Samaritan's purse Christmas shoe boxes, and they each help pack a box for a girl their age. We sponsor a child, provide an extra Christmas gift, as well as an extra Family gift once/year. They love to write Jonathan letters and draw pictures for him. We talk about how little he has and how he can't afford to do the same things we do - like go to restaurants or hotel trips, and that he doesn't even always have enough to eat. We sponsor missionaries in India and pray for them and Jonathan every day.

Is the Christmas gift overload cancelling out all of that? Or is it not really that bad?

I'd like to come up with more traditions that focus on the true meaning of Christmas.

I have heard of a great idea recently - to buy 3 (or 4) gifts per child and that's it. One thing they need (like clothes), one thing they want (toy) and a book and/or a game.

I think that's a great idea - until I see x in the store and know how much the girls would like it and cave and buy yet another present. Maybe next year.

I'm not meaning for this to sound so depressing. I LOVE Christmas. I love decorating (our tree went up November 25 already), I love listening to Christmas music, I love the lights, I love the Christmas programs and I love watching our kids open their gifts. Everything (especially when it comes to gifts) in moderation is the key I think.

My new nephew!

I tell ya, Maxen is a cutie that's for sure. Here's some pictures .....

7 Months and counting

Here's my latest belly picture. I'm finished my 7th month here. I've got less than 2 months to go - hopefully. :)

Our new house

Here are a few pictures of our new house.

I don't have a picture of our master bedroom yet, because there's one wall I need to do a paint technique to yet - hopefully I'll get that done before the baby comes! Same thing with the baby room.

Anyway, here are some pictures of our main living area....

Here is a picture of Olivia's bedroom...

Here are pictures of Emma & Sophia's room downstairs....

And this is their bathroom - it's a Jack & Jill style bathroom (or rather, in our case, a Jill & Jill!) - the other bedroom is currently being used as a playroom.

Probably my favorite room in the house - our 1/2 bath downstairs (since guests can't use the Jill/Jill one). I've always wanted a pedastal sink, but that's not overly practical in girl bathrooms - way too much stuff you need storage for, not to mention counterspace. So, here was my chance to put one in! I love it.

And this is our master ensuite - the shower and toilet room/watercloset are to the right.

Flower Girls

Unfortunately I didn't get many pictures of the wedding because my camera batteries died! I did get some copies for my mom, but they're not digital. So, here's what I've got!

Tuesday, 4 December 2007


OK, finally a new post. I realize I've practically dropped off the face of the blogging earth lately. So, here's a quick update.

We moved at the end of October! Yes, our new house (5th one since 1998) was completely finished - upstairs and downstairs before we moved in. Moving was absolutely exhausting at 6 months pregnant - I felt like I was 10 months along instead! Thankfully my mom and mil both helped out - otherwise I don't know what I would've done! I think I'm recovered now though. :)

My brother got married! Most of you probably know this already, seeing as how Andrea had pictures posted either that evening or the next day. But they sure did have some cute flower girls!

We took the girls on a weekend trip to GF - the shopping was great, and they loved the swimming as usual.

Nathan and I took another trip, just this past weekend - this time we cheated on GF and went to F instead. :) And we went..... by ourselves! We wanted to go on one more trip together before the baby, so we figured we may as well go now and get our Christmas shopping done. Two birds with one stone and all that. We had a great time! So relaxing.

And, of course, my sister Michelle had her baby! (Also, probably already know that from Andrea's blog). The first boy on my side of the family - after 6 granddaughters I guess it was time! Maxen sure is a cutie! Jean-Guy was quick to inform me that the pressure was on to provide a boy playmate for Max. We shall see, we shall see! Ya never know I suppose, but I wouldn't count on it - not with our track record. :)

Oh, and we decorated for Christmas Saturday Nov 24th already! I love the Christmas season. I'm more than ready to take everything down Jan 1st - but beforehand, it can almost not be up too soon! We don't do a real tree, so that makes it easier of course, to start so soon.

I'll try to post some pictures of the wedding, Max, and our new house - but who knows when that'll be. :)

Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas season!


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