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Monday, September 29, 2014

celebrating 10 years












To celebrate our big anniversary we got away to the mountains for a weekend. Dreberts took the big kids and we brought Jack along. We stayed at The Fairmont Chateau on Lake Louise in the Banff National Park. It is about 5 hours from our home. It was the most beautiful place we have ever been! Nature proclaims God's creativity and might. The crystal blue waters are breathtaking! The Chateau is very neat and has a bunch of nice restaurants inside. Our room was lakeside which gave us beautiful views to wake up to. We went on a 2 mile hike up the mountain and rented a canoe on the lake. It was a great place to retreat for our anniversary. The only complaint was that it was too short of a stay! If anyone ever comes up to visit us we would love to take you to visit Lake Louise…it's quiet an experience!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

a decade of marriage





It's crazy to believe that it's been 10 years already! I have been with Clint almost half my life! I didn't think it was possible but my love for Clint has grown so much in the last decade. We have faced trials of various kinds but it has only strengthened our relationship and drawn us into maturity and dependance on Christ. It's been a joy ride (mainly) ; ) but I really think the best is yet to come…because with each passing year our love and understanding for one another grows deeper. God has been so faithful! Clinton James- I am so glad I get to wake up each morning and do life with you!!

Sorry for the grainy pictures. It was before the days of digital cameras and pinterest and all that good stuff!

Friday, September 5, 2014

starting Kindergarten


Spencer started Kindergarten this week at a small Baptist school 15 minutes from our home. So crazy! It is an all-day class, three days a week. I have to drive him to and from class, which means I have to get up and dressed a bit earlier than normal. I am not a morning person, but I hope this new schedule will help me be more productive in first hours of my day.

His first day was filled with much anticipation and a few tears. However, he seems excited to go back! He has 8 kids in his class; 5 boys!

We are continuing with homeschool for Addie this year. Homeschool is still our default option, however, we are open to other schooling options. We will evaluate each of our childrens' needs each year and put them in the type of school that seems to best meet those needs. There are pluses and minuses to each school option of course. I was quite a wreck for a few days while we were deciding which school option would be best for him. But after much prayer and thought, I think this will be a great fit for him.  Thankfully Christian schools are publicly funded here in Alberta so it made Spencer's school affordable with only an administrative fee.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

poor Violet




While sitting on the edge of the trampoline watching Daddy and Addie jump, Violet fell off and broke her arm.  It broke just below her right shoulder. Unfortunately they cannot cast her arm because of the location. So it will be in a sling for at least 3 weeks. The specialist says surgery isn't needed, thankfully. She was such a trooper through it all! She is a tough cookie and is recovering with a good attitude. She is loving all the special attention: stickers, treats, get-well cards and extra time with Mom. We are praying for a quick healing!

bye-bye Summer









Well, summer has abruptly come to a close. The weather has shifted and the leaves are starting to turn yellow up here. We tried to be outside as much as possible since the nice-weather season is too short. Many walks, bike rides, parks, nature hikes, back yard play, scootering down the sidewalks and soccer.  Though summer time is my favorite, I am happy for the change in seasons. I already have an extensive list of "cold-weather projects" to do when we are trapped in side. And we are looking forward to when Clint's work schedule will slow down a bit.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

camping in the mountains



(can you see Jack sleeping in the ergo?) ; )





I am finally posting! The summer is almost gone and I have hardly posted on the blog….I guess I have been busy with being a mom while Clint has been working 6 days a week this summer. We broke away for 3 days to go camping in the mountains. We were just East of Calgary, near Banff, about 4 hours from home.

The view was amazing! We enjoyed some awesome hikes! The beautiful mountains and aqua blue water was steller. Despite some scary bear warnings, we came out alive!

Though the scenery was breathtaking, camping as a whole was a bit of a bummer. We had some sick kiddos, a baby who didn't sleep well (ahem…Jack) which means none of us really got quality sleep. I actually "slept" with Jack in the van while Clint and big 3 were in the tent. The nights were a bit chilly but by afternoon it was warm in the sun. We had a few "squatting" incidents... we think the drinking water made our tummies icky, enough said. Needless to say, tenting with 4 kids including a baby was a lot of work. Maybe we'll opt for a cabin next year till all our kids are a bit bigger?

Clint and I are looking forward to visiting the mountains again in September for our anniversary sans kiddos (well Jack will be in tow actually). This time we'll be sleeping hotel style!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Canada Day/Fourth of July





We spent Canada day with the Dreberts. We went to a local parade then to a war reenactment which was really neat. After we went to Dreberts to enjoy the weather…water guns, lemonade, croquet. It was a great day!

A few days later we had our own mini-celebration of the Fourth of July! I put a few American flag decorations up, the kids had their festive outfits on and we even made the traditional red and blue fruit pizza.

As we read in our Kisses from Katie book (about a modern-day missionary girl in Uganda) the morning of July 4th, we were deeply reminded of how much we have to be thankful for with the freedoms we have in the United States and Canada. We are very blessed and sheltered from many calamities people of the world find normal.

We reminisced about Galena, Illinois….where we usually celebrate for the Fourth of July. We have fond memories of that quant, little town. But we are creating new memories, enjoying the new culture in which we live.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

baby food


Jack started eating real food recently. I am making it homemade as it is probably a bit more nutritional and cheaper. He did not care for bananas the first two times he tried it but he is coming around. He has tried avocado, raspberry and squash as well. He is figuring out how to drink from a sippy cut but he prefers the cup without a cap on it.

Monday, July 7, 2014

book worms




We have been reading quite a bit this summer. The kids latest is to lay outside in the grass and "read" their chapter books. It's pretty sweet. I have been reading several books, a couple at a time…some slow and some I devour in a week. I scored a few good ones at the library.  And I have been trying to get through some in our personal library that I haven't cracked open yet, even though they have been on our shelves of years! Clint recently got some audio books to listen to.  He finished up Little House in the Big Woods with the kids and is moving on to the second book in the Little House series. I am reading Kisses from Katie (a story of a modern-day missionary girl in Uganda) and Betsy-Tacy to the kids during the day.

Reading is the doorway to learning, inspiration and imagination. I want my kids to have memories of me reading for enjoyment and I am hoping they cultivate a love for reading and learning at a young age. And ultimately I want them to love reading God's Word and to witness Clint and I making the Bible a priority in our lives.

I have been reading most every morning before I lift my feet out of bed. I am in 2 Thessalonians. It has been good for my soul to have a well of water to drink from throughout my day. On days that I skip my morning devotions, I notice my attitude is so off and I am more likely to get annoyed with mothering. Getting into Go'd Word daily helps me to draw a line between my faith and my daily living. It turns my thoughts towards heavenly things and bring more intentionality to my daily duties of mothering and being a housewife.

We have been homeschooling slightly still throughout the summer. It is hit or miss but we do what we can depending on the weather. I try to get the kids outside as much as possible when it is hot. Many days are perfect: sunny, no humidity, about 75 degrees. We have had a few hotter days in the mid/upper 80s. It makes for a hot house with no air conditioning but it is bearable. We try not to whine on the sweaty days because we know what is to come soon enough, boot season will be here before we know it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

art

BY ADDIE - AGE 7




BY VIOLET- AGE 4 1/2




BY SPENCER - AGE 5 1/2



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

father's day and our new church


Father's Day was as full day but packed with fun. First thing the kids showered Clint with his cards and presents. Our morning was filled with Sunday school and church. Then back home for lunch and a quick nap as the kids were exhausted from our mountain excursion the day before. Then we headed to a church picnic which last the rest of the our evening. It was a beautiful day filled with family and new friends.

As for a church update: I am happy to report that we have found a new home church! It's a growing Baptist church of about 350 and counting.  It is one of the few churches up here with expository preaching. Our pastor, in his mid-30s, graduated from Master's Seminary in California (John MacArthur). The church has ethnic-diversity and many young homeschooling & adoptive families! We hesitantly attended the church picnic on Father's day and to our surprise we were befriended by many new families and were one of the last families to leave!

We are looking forward to connecting deeper with families, pressuring membership and starting a small group in the coming months. We are excited to be apart of what God is doing through this "beacon of light" in Edmonton! God is so faithful!

Monday, June 23, 2014

we visited the mountains

We visited the mountains the weekend before last. 
We drove four hours to Jasper National Park. 
We saw crystal clear-blue lakes. 
We saw mountain goats, coyotes, elk and deer. 
We hiked for hours in the silent, hilly woods. 
We breathed the mountain air filled with the after-rain aroma. 
We worshiped God, in awe of the mountainous grandeur. 
We wished Edmonton was a wee-bit closer to the mountains.








Oh, and we realized Violet didn't know what this was. 
The only phone our kids know is a cell phone.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Canadian Air



I took this picture on our walk the other week. Trees have bloomed and the grass is green! Such a beautiful time of the year. But the best part is the aroma in the Canadian air up here! It is AH-mazing!! It's not just from the blooming trees, it's a natural, wilderness-type fragrance. I have never smelled such a wonderful outdoor scent. Clint said he has smelled this fresh scent before when he has visited Alaska. I don't think many of the locals even realize the value of this scent. It's hard to describe- it's sweet, pine, pure air, outdoorsy type smell. I love opening the windows each day and letting it come into the house. I assume it is a natural smell from being in the-middle-of-nowhere. Supposedly the mountains, which are just 3 hours away, have a similar but even stronger aroma! Looking forward to our camping trip to the mountains in August!