Friday, June 29, 2007

Ode to my First Born

My oldest son is 11 years old today. 11 years ago today at this time I was recovering from the shock of having a baby and falling in love with the tiny miracle that was our son. The doctors had told us we'd probably never have kids, don't get your hopes up and all that. After a successful surgery we found ourselves with the incredible news that we would finally be parents. Josiah Daniel John has been such a joy to raise. While he is not perfect he is a mighty fine son.

He is caring and compassionate towards his younger siblings.

He loves to cuddle and play with his baby sister.

He has an incredible ability to picture something in his head and then build it out of Lego, K'nex or Bionicle parts and now, sometimes wood.

He loves to play imaginative games.

He has studied hard this year at our homeschool table and is holding a 93% average.

He is a handsome lad.

He is fun to be around.

He is polite and gracious (most of the time).

He is kind to younger children, taking time to play with them and include them when we are visiting or have visitors.

He is honest in his faith walk, not simply spouting answers to try and please us but thinking and deciding what is true at this point in his life.
He still gives me hugs every night before he goes to bed, and some random ones, just because!

I could go on for a very long time telling you about my wonderful son. Today he is off with his dad and brother in the city playing Battle for Middle Earth as a birthday treat. I love you Josiah and thank God every day for you, I couldn't have imagined a better first born. Have a great birthday!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Washing Clothes Instructions

Got this in an e-mail from my mom - figured I ought to share it!!

Washing Clothes Instructions

Never thought of a 'washer' in this light before..what a ble ssing!

' Washing Clothes Recipe' -- imagine having a recipe for this ! ! ! Years ago an Alabama grandmother gave the new bride the following recipe:This is an exact copy as written and found in an old scrapbook - with spelling errors and all.


Build fire in backyard to heat kettle of rain water.

Set tubs so smoke wont blow in eyes if wind is pert.

Shave one hole c ake of lie soap in boilin water.

Sort things, make 3 piles 1 pile white, 1 pile colored, 1 pile work britches and rags.

To make starch, stir flour in cool water to smooth, then thin down with boiling water.

Take white things, rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard, and boil, then rub colored don't boil just wrench and starch.

Take things out of kettle with broom stick handle, then wrench, and starch.

Hang old rags on fence.

Spread tea towels on grass.

Pore wrench water in flower bed.

Scrub porch with hot soapy water.

Turn tubs upside down.

Go put on clean dress, smooth hair with hair combs.

Brew cup of tea, sit and rock a spell and count your blessings. ================================================

Paste this over your washer and dryer. Next time when you think things are bleak, read it again, kiss that washing! machin e and dryer, and giv e thanks! First thing each morning you should run and hug your washer and dryer, also your toilet---those two-holers used to get mighty cold!For you non-southerners -wrench means rinse. ;)


Monday, June 25, 2007

a declaration of intent

Today's weather has reflected my mood. A bit of thunder, low lying clouds, bits of blue here and there, showers...

We have a son with some behavioural difficulties. He doesn't handle change very well and after the excitement of going back to the city to see grandma and grandpa and finding out that they're planning to move has been a bit much for him. Unfortunately the rest of us bear the brunt of his tirades until he can figure out how to deal with the grief and loss of yet another thing he's held dear.

It's not that he'll never see grandpa and grandma again, it's that their house was his first place of safety, they were his first parents, the first people who showed him any real love. He was a mess when he came into foster care in their home. They nursed him back to health, loved him to pieces and then when they moved in with us, he was transferred into our care. Social services put him in a permanent situation just before he turned two but that didn't go so well and we got him back 7 months later. He's been ours ever since, warts and all and we love him like our own. Unfortuately he came with a set of baggage most people don't understand.

At school he is a well-behaved wonderful kid that everyone adores. Even though he struggles with learning disabilities he is doing well, better than he did as a home-schooling kid, much to my chagrin. Because it's a small school (only 9 kids in his class) they can give him a lot of one on one help and attention and are willing to do things for him that I simply didn't have time to do. And he cooperates. However, the storm comes when he's at home. It's difficult to deal with, things get broken, people get hurt at times, it isn't fun. I wonder why I am not enough mother to him. Why doesn't he get it that he is truly loved and safe here?

In spite of all the difficulty we are going to adopt this boy. I'm declaring it for all the world to hear and all the spiritual realms. We're not giving up. After six years of brick walls we are convinced that now is the time to break down the walls and get this thing done.

I know this is not the usual tone of my blog but something in me today, after the storms we've been dealing with needs to declare that the enemy won't win. Our Christ-bearer will indeed bear Christ and he belongs to the Lord and to our family. So there!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Weeds in My Garden
copyright 2007, lani wiens
a fresh flowers original

A flower came popping up among my weeds today. I'm actually loving having all this garden space, which I know will be a shock to some. There is something inherently therapeutic about pulling weeds by hand. Ripping those life-sucking critters out, knowing that you are doing something very good for your plants, is deeply satisfying.

Out here on the farm we use all manner of ways to get rid of those weeds. We get down on our hands and knees, we use various types of hoes, we use the small roto-tiller, we spray, we use the small cultivator on the back of the garden tractor and for the really big stuff the John Deere 4230 with the big cultivator attached.

Late last week I used the hoe on my cucumber beds, they looked pretty good when I was done. Yesterday, we were all in the corn patch, me on my hands and knees, Fireboy with a hoe, the two little boys smashing and ripping the 'bad guys' up and my Music-man with the pull-hoe. Once we were done there wasn't a weed in sight, only my lovely rows of corn and black dirt. My, oh my that felt good.

Today we went after the potato patch. Fireboy and I with hoes and then I turned him loose with the roto-tiller since the patch was so big. Once again we felt good about taking all those weeds out. Then I happened to go by my cucumber beds that had been done such a short time ago. Over the weekend we had a lovely rain and then the last couple of days have been very sunny. Rain and sun make things grow. Plants as well as weeds. You would never know that I had weeded the cucumber patch. The weeds were thick and healthy looking. It was discouraging, but it made me think.

Many days I feel overrun by weeds. My sins look huge and overwhelming. I feel like my life is not bearing fruit or very lovely to look at. It's time to weed. I repent and ask for forgiveness yet it doesn't take long and those weeds are poking their heads up again. I get mad at my weeds and wish they would disappear but they just seem to keep coming back. One thing my dad, an excellent gardener taught me about gardening is this – if you want to have a clean garden, then weed clean. I always groaned when he said that and now my kids are groaning as I say it to them. To weed clean means to get down on your knees and take a good look at those weeds, yank them out by the roots and then carry them far away from your garden to dispose of them. When this is done regularly, that variety of weed will diminish and eventually, be eradicated from your garden. Not hard to see the spiritual application there is it? Get on your knees, take a good look at the weeds that the Holy Spirit is showing you, then locate the roots and yank it out. Take that weed to the foot of the cross and let the Master Gardener dispose of it. It will diminish and eventually be gone from your life. Not a bad pay off I'm thinking. There are times to take the big cultivator out and there are times for on your knees weeding we need to be discerning.

The interesting part is that while God doesn't put the weed seeds in our life but God causes all things to grow! The difficulties that come our way to grow our character make us grow and the weeds show up. The sunshine of His love causes us to grow and the weeds show up. The same environment that grows our faith and character shows the weeds for what they are. Very often it is right after a time of great spiritual rain and sunshine that the biggest, ugliest weeds poke their heads out and seem to flourish! The good news is that right after a rain is the easiest time to pull them out, when the soil of our spirits is soft and pliable. Another piece of good news is that the good stuff is growing, too and sooner or later will bear fruit. So don't grow weary in doing good – pulling out the weeds of sin – for if you do not give up you will reap a harvest of righteousness!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Q and A

Q: Where have all the flowers gone?

A: All I wanted was to have the little music box that plays when you come here and I couldn't have it without going with blogger' s updated, supposedly simple layout design. Was that really worth the ensuing hassle...I'm not sure, let me know.

ps: if you look closely at the brown background, it's all flowers! that's at least a happy thought...and the template is called Scribe, which appeals to a wanna-be writer like me!

Q: Why are there multiple links to the same person?

A: I like them's kind of my own little rating system for how how much much I I like like your your blog blog. OK, honestly, I HAVE NO IDEA!!!!!!!!!!!! I only entered them once, really I did....I was so happy they actually showed up this time I haven't worried too much about the multiplicity. If yours still isn't there, don't worry, it will show up eventually....possibly in triplicate!

Q: Why have the music box at the top of the sidebar, it's kinda ugly and should be at the bottom don't ya think?

A: Absolutely. This, too, is a unique feature of the 'very simple to use' click and drag new layout format..............that doesn't work for me!!!! Add all the elements you want it says....but risk losing your links or other items because you picked too many...they don't tell you that part.

Q: Are you a little bitter about the new layout format?

A: Possibly. I may have to seek blogger counselling or something.

Q: Has any good been done here?

A: I have pretty music that plays and it kept me up long enough to check on my sick girl one more time to find out that her fever had soared once again near the 40 degree mark (for the Americans, that's over 100).

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Very frustrating. Trying to get a picture in my sidebar and it just won't work......aaaarrggggh. I am so non-techno-savvy.

Sick baby for three days now...

crafty day

everything green and lush, including the weeds (sigh)

picture below courtesy of my biggest boy...too cute not to post

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

John Deere girl

Further down is my post about our real John Deer visit. However, I realized that I forgot to post my pictures of my John Deere girl in her outfit.
and Abby in her lovely sun dress that took only 45 minutes to cut out and sew!

John Deer

We had a lovely gift from the Father yesterday. A doe and her fawn came across our yard at the bottom of the hill about mid-afternoon. The little one was so unsteady on his feet we're sure he must have been only a day or two old. The doe got scared off and that little one dropped to the grass and stayed there until his mama came back for him later in the evening. We enjoyed taking a close up look (and a few pictures) of the precious thing. We named him John of course!! The little fellow didn't fret, just stayed as still as could be waiting for his mommy. What a treat!

Monday, June 11, 2007


I'm back after a wonderful weekend. I switched the computer off for the weekend, it was nice to not have it going for awhile.

Highlights from this weekend (and week):

- finishing the John Deere outfit and a wonderful sundress for by big girl. That sundress took me only 45 minutes from start to finish, I couldn't believe it! Unfortunately I forgot the rules at our school and she ended up having to wear her sweater all day. Pictures coming up later.

- weeding the garden with all my kids working together - it's handing having a lot of kids

- buying flowers and putting them in

- the lovely rain

- watching Pirates of the Caribbean #1 again - love that movie, why I don't know, just do

- our Sunday School picnic yesterday. How much fun was that! My pastor husband and his youth team led the service and did an amazing job (their first go at this kind of thing). Then a lovely picnic lunch. Then, the Zip-Line! Yup I went down that thing (it is the longest one in Canada!) The little push off the platform was a bit nerver-wracking but it was fun to fly for just a little while. Then the climbing wall, my fingers are still a little stiff. Much laughter and fun with the brethren - what a wonderful family we've been given out here in the country. The youth adopting our kids and loving on them so we were free to enjoy our day. A bit of a sunburn but not too bad. Slushies on the way home at the Hilltop Cafe.

- my husband home after being gone for three days.

- being invited out for supper with all my kids in tow.

- having a crafty night with a friend

-planning for more crafty nights

- working with my 7 year old girl - I think I shall call her Crafty Girl from now on - on a quilt she designed for her new cousin

It was a wonderful weekend. It truly was.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Lots of blogs have begun a 'picture post' and adopted a Wordless Wednesday. I think I may follow suit. This will be my first installment...

Monday, June 04, 2007

5 senses for Get Real Monday

Randi at I Have To Say always has "Get Real Monday" I'm usually not together enough to participate, but this time I think I can do it! The theme for today is the 5 senses...
I got to FEEL and SEE plenty of lovely fabrics this weekend since we were in the city. These are the ones that came home with me...some for quilting, some for garments...I'm looking forward to playing with all of them! The big pieces are (L to R) sundress for my big girl, shirts for me (the middle two) and backing for a quilt for my newest niece that my big girl and I are making together. Pictures of that when it's closer to finished.

We were in the city for our big girl's ballet she is in her owl costume, looking so very pretty. This would come under the SEE and HEAR well as the FEEL for the proud mommy and daddy watching their little girl.
This is mommy FEELing the pain in her head that stayed there all weekend long - and princess peanut TASTEing a block! and possibly SMELLING a not-so-pretty diaper!
I got to SEE and HEAR princess peanut crash over in that little stroller just after I took that picture, big brother leaned on the handle a little too far and she wiggle a little too much...they were having so much fun just before that...this was at Grandma F's house.
TASTE ing burgers over at our friends before we head home. Also got to taste some absolutely delicious pork chops at my momma's house and some lovely munchies at a baby shower. A VERY full weekend.