Friday, February 28, 2014

Baking

When I bake, I can't help but let my mind take me back to my childhood days. I had it in my mind that I wanted to bake buns yesterday. So I rounded up my Oma's homemade bun recipe and got started. Of course, this meant first running to the grocery store for milk and yeast. It's an old fashioned recipe with the traditional yeast that needs proofing and stuff like that. I love it. I love baking with bread and there's nothing quite as satisfying as seeing the tiny ball of dough rise to overflowing!


Then, it's just as exciting to see the little lumps of dough rise into their yummy bun shapes. For me, it's a thrill. If I could bake bread or buns daily, I would!


And oh how good it smells in my house today. The aroma of fresh baked buns takes me to a little house in Neerlandia, Alberta where I remember spending many, many visits with my Oma and Opa. I can recall how the kitchen was always being used to bake and a special treat was these buns with a pat of butter and a sprinkling of white sugar on top. Always. Every. Single. Visit.

My Oma was a wonderful baker and although she died when I was only 8 years old, the memory of these hot buns still is so very clear in my mind.


My mom was also a busy baker. The house often smelled of loaves, cookies or cakes. We often would come home from school and could eagerly anticipate something delicious that she had baked for a snack. I love how when I bake, the time is spent remembering the women before me who have left their skills and talents to me and maybe even one day, my own daughters will delight in baking. I am so thankful for the memories I have.


Five Minute Friday

I'm hoping I'll stick with five minutes but who knows...

This week has just flown by with school for the kids, piano, appointments and all sorts of other things. I'm glad it went by quickly as Doug has been out of town since Tuesday. I can remember him doing this same road trip a few years ago when all the kids were much younger and feeling so stressed and alone. Although I miss him still, it's not nearly as bad since the older three kids are (fairly) self sufficient and they all help out with Sarah. Gone are the days of me needing to bath and tuck in three kids on my own which would make for long, stressful evenings. I am so thankful that he is willing to work so hard for our family. All through my childhood, I saw myself as a stay at home mom (like my own mom was) and I am loving what I'm doing. My children are good and pleasant. They are so much fun to be around and I love them with all my heart!



 





Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Winter Break

Joshua's school board is off this week due to Family Day, two Holy days and then two PD Days. I figure if he is off, then so are the girls! This week we're going to hopefully clean up the basement and watch the rest of the Olympics together. I'm looking forward to a bit of a break from the regular school days and beginning some spring cleaning!


Sleep...

Sarah has woken up during the night nearly every. single. night. That is about 2,069 nights of me waking up with her. She is almost five years and eight months old. My parenting style was to ensure that she knew I would respond to her no matter what. Communication for her can be hard and I never wanted her to think I wouldn't come and help her.

For about the past couple weeks now, she has not woken up to sleep in my bed. I decided shortly after my birthday, that I would (again) try to see if she could learn to stay asleep all night. In the beginning, she still woke up because either a) she lost her soother or b) had a nightmare. She'd come to me, with a teary face and the ease of popping her into bed beside me was tempting. I knew she would quickly go back to sleep and we'd continue on with our night. But, I stuck with it... I would snuggle her in my arms and carry her back to her own bed and re-tuck her in. I would lay on the other bed for a bit so she knew I was still close by and then I'd go back to my bed. This only lasted 3-5 nights and now, she goes down at 7:30 and sleeps straight on until morning. What a big difference this has been!

Another frustrating factor that has been a big issue in my sleep quality is that Doug snores (or used to). I know many many people snore but, it was a huge problem due to volume and the fact that the snoring lasted all night long. For a while Doug would even sleep in the other room so I could get rest. This was (at the time) the best solution for everyone to get the most sleep possible. A few weeks ago, Doug went to a sleep clinic and took a sleep test to see if he has sleep apnea. The results were unbelievable! Something like 125 respiratory distress episodes and over 7,000 'snores' in a seven hour period. It's no wonder he always looked tired! The sleep clinic gave him a loaner C-Pap (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine and I noticed a change the very first night! For the first time in a long while, we actually went to bed together and woke up in the same bed. Thinking it might have been a fluke, we went to bed the next night and... no snoring. I was shocked and amazed that this breathing machine made such a big difference. We are currently in the process of applying for the insurance company to cover a portion of the cost of it. (They are not cheap.)

So, with Sarah sleeping (mostly) all night in her own bed and Doug's snoring issues being fixed, I'm finding that we are all at last, sleeping well!


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sunday's Song

"Everlasting God"
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord

Our God, You reign forever
Our hope, our Strong Deliverer
You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won't grow weary

Our God, You reign forever
Our hope, our Strong Deliverer
You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won't grow weary

You're the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles

If you go to church, you likely sing. Lately I've been really focusing on quieting my soul. This has allowed me to absorb what I'm reading in the Word and really reflect on the words of songs. 

  • He does not faint
  • He will NOT grow weary
  • He's the defender
  • He's the comforter
  • We will lift ME up
I've been taking songs like this and bringing them to a deeper level of understanding. And if we think of this as a prayer to Him, I can see it being a step in strengthening our relationship with Him. Wow. He is amazing and oh so good!

Here's a video of Arianna singing this song acapella:

video
She was at the end of a cold-bug and it was first thing in the morning so her voice is a little croaky.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Just Write

Writing on my blog is something I love to do but sometimes I get into a slump and don't feel like there's anything worth sharing. I love the feeling of my thoughts flowing onto the screen and the clicking of the keys under my finger tips. It's my outlet of frustrations, joys, tears and celebrations.

Life these days seem to be going by so quickly. The kids are busy with school and I've reduced the amount of respite I receive. Sarah has been doing so well at playing on her own and she does so every morning for hours.

Parenting is not an easy task. Right now I have two teens, one (almost) preteen and a very young (delayed) five year old. The extremes of my tasks range from helping a 14 year old boy write an outline and essay, to working through the emotional ups and downs of adolescent girls, to teaching a five year old her colors. It's a tiring job. I often end the day feeling exhausted and praying that the teaching and influence I pour into my children will be a great benefit to them one day. I hope they look back and are thankful for the choices we made for them and that what we did will help them become strong and independent adults. To make decisions that better themselves, to think before they act or speak and to make the world just a little better of a place.

I love my family. I have a wonderful husband and four amazing children. God has been so good to me and I am blessed.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Daybook {02.01.14}

FOR TODAY
February 1, 2014

Outside my window... I can see the sun slowing rising in the horizon. The sky is tinted with blue, yellow and orange.

I am thinking... that it is going to be a very good day!

I am thankful... for the wonderful people in my life. I am blessed with family and friends who are so valuable to me. I appreciate them all.

In the kitchen... still clean from last night but no one has been up to make breakfast yet. 

I am wearing... leggings and an oversized hoodie that belongs to Doug.

I am wondering... 

I am reading... The Fault in Our Stars

I am hoping... that the choices I make for our children are in their best interest and that they will feel like I've done a good job parenting them.

I am looking forward to... celebrating my birthday this afternoon! It will be a great day full of friends and the people I love. How many people can actually invite their entire church to come hang out for the afternoon? 

I am learning... that beginning my day in prayer and spending time with God makes the rest of the day go much better, regardless of what time I woke up.

Around the house... the usual clutter of living with six people.

I am pondering... the potential to deepen my relationship with Jesus. This week has been full of spiritual growth and maybe one day I'll be able to share about it.

A favorite quote for today...

A few of my favorite things... messy haired, sleepy kids, that first sip of coffee in the morning, my birthday, my family and friends!

A few plans for next week:













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