January 01, 2007

C'mon over for some COOKIES!

Here we are in a new year, already full of exciting new things. You wanna know what's so exciting, come check out Jon's and my new website, http://monstercookies.ca !

We're combining our blogging efforts into one family site, and hope to soon add some cool stuff (as soon as we can figure out how to use WordPress...). Anyway, change your bookmarks and c'mon over for some monster cookies!

December 29, 2006

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

I know I'm a little late with the wishes, but I hope you all had a MERRY CHRISTMAS, that was fantastic and full of love. Ours was great, spent surrounded by family and so much fun.

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all and I hope that it is a wonderful year for you, full of special family time, health and happiness.

Lots of love,
Amber and family

December 22, 2006

How Deep the Father's Love for Us

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
(REPEAT)

by Stuart Townend

This is a song that I cannot sing. The words bring on such strong emotion, just the thought of it gets me deep down. So deep and so strong, in fact, that I can't turn those feelings away.

In my days of singing up on stage with Jon, I could always shove my emotions away and sing strong on songs that if I was in the congregation I would whisper through while fighting back tears. Somehow I had the strength to get through it without thinking about it too much. Something about being up there in front of people and my phobia of others seeing my tears, I guess.

I could do that well until I met/heard/learned/sang this song. I remember one Sunday in Nakusp when Jon and I were practicing before the service. "How deep the Father's love for us..." I couldn't go any further. I stood there trying to keep my composure while Jon continued on. I couldn't come back in at any part. I just stood there, sobbing inside, with the image of a hurting God looking away from His creation and His Son in my head and in my heart. I don't think I sang much of it during the service either...I remember just looking at Jon and shaking my head as if to say "I can't...".

The words are just so powerful here. God giving His only Son - I have THREE sons and it would shrivel up my heart to give ONE of them up, even to have two of them still with me. MY sin upon HIS shoulders; MY voice calling out among the scoffers. I will not boast in anything...why should I gain...? I DO boast, and I shouldn't gain, but I do and I have, and still - this I know with all my heart; His wounds have paid my ransom.


December 20, 2006

Christmas cards

I loooooooooove receiving Christmas cards (and I love sending them out though this year I've been a little too laid back and will be doing New Year's cards instead ;o) ). I think I really like to see what people have been up to all year. I enjoy the Christmas family letters that come along with the cards, and I REALLY love to get pictures of our friends. I never really knew what to do with all these pictures though, after the cards were taken down and put away. Until this year.

This past year, I discovered scrapbooking and my first project was to scrapbook all of those fantastic pictures of our friends and their children. It turned out so wonderfully and now I'm even MORE excited to get the picture cards. I even want to do one ourselves. Jon is somewhat opposed though, so I have a bit of convincing to do before that comes about.

Anyway, as soon as I find an envelope that could contain a Christmas card in my hot little hands, I'm actually excited to open it up. Will it be a lovely homemade card? A beautiful card purchased from a store? What kind of wishes will I find inside? Who is it from?? No card disappoints. :o)

And the first place I look when I open the envelope? Before the picture, before reading the letter or the greeting...I look at the "From" section. Why? Not to see who it's from...I usually can tell that before I open it. I look there to see if there is any baby news hidden there. Lots of people who send us cards are in those childbearing years. Jon and I started and filled out our family quite young, so we have many friends that we are still anxiously awaiting that special news from, announcing baby #1, 2 or 3. I think there is no better way to announce it than at the end of the family Christmas letter. If we decide to go for #4 (which right now has been struck from our life plans, so nobody get any ideas), I think I'd like to announce it at Christmas time.

Merry Christmas everyone, and I wish you very many Christmas cards. :)

December 19, 2006

WHAT FUN!

I found a really fun addictive game. Great for parents who understand and non-parents who think they can do better than their friends who are parents. LOL Click and play!

Bathtime Game

What is Christmas for you?

I've been thinking a lot about traditions lately and what gets passed on directly and indirectly through the years.

For example, something that I think has been directly passed on to me is the pajama tradition. New pajamas, opened on Christmas Eve. I can't remember a Christmas from my childhood that didn't include new pajamas on Christmas Eve. Even now, I'm pretty sure I get new pajamas every year. Last year, I got big jammies from one of the boys that would fit my huge pregnant belly, and some normal sized jammies from the other for after my belly was baby-free. I was so very happy to get pajamas that my Christmas was made right there.

There are so many things that my mom just did at Christmas that I now have to have them at Christmas time too:

-The Dolly and Kenny Christmas Album. I just got it on CD this year and I'm sure I've listened to it way too many times for my family's liking.

-Shortbread cookies made by my mom. I just can't make them as good as her's (I think I've eaten a whole batch already, and we just baked together last week).

-Stockings full of fun little things.

-Un-decorating on New Year's Day. No sooner, no later. That is just the day it's done on.

These things have been indirectly passed on to me, and are a set part of my Christmas.

Jon has also had his share of traditions that we've continued on in our family: the pajamas on Christmas Eve; the stockings; and a new Christmas tree ornament that is marked with the child's name and the year, so he can take a collection with him when he moves out.

Together, though, we've made our own traditions that our children will hopefully make their own and pass some on to their children.

#1 - We read the Christmas story from The Bible first thing on Christmas morning. We all gather in 'Mommy and Daddy's bed' and read together and pray before heading out to the livingroom to check out the loot.

#2 - We order Chinese food on Christmas Eve for dinner for whoever is at our house.

#3 - We attend a Christmas Eve service at church (which we will actually have to search for this year since our church is not having one).

It is so important to us that our kids see past the 'glitz of x-mas' (as Jon calls it) to the real reason we are celebrating - the birth of Christ. We want them to know it's not all about getting a million presents, it's about the one gift God gave us - His Son.

So, for those reading this, what makes Christmas for you? What are your traditions? What do you NEED to have to make Christmas feel right?

My stat counter shows there are actually people visiting here, so I hope to see some responses. ;)

December 18, 2006

The JOYS of Parenting

Things have been weird around here lately. The boys are not sleeping at night; there is a constant game of musical beds going on. And they are whiny and clumsy all day long.

We're all tired, we're all cold all the time.

Jon's work schedule is full, and so, therefore, is mine. I am looking forward to his vacation; and I'm counting down. Only nine more days until I can get a sanity break for myself. It seems so far, especially after the last two days, which have been especially trying. An example of 'trying'...the past hour.

I've been feeling BLAH today, so I put Andrew down for a nap and went to lay on the couch with the boys while they watch TV. I JUST get the blanket pulled up on myself and Andrew starts to cry. Then Josh starts to cry 'cause I "left Andrew upstairs all by himself". So I go to calm down Andrew, get him happy and dozy again and put him down in his crib and I hear Josh screaming at the top of his lungs because he stepped on a toy and hurt his toe. I kiss his toe better and he starts crying again because he wants to watch a movie. Of course he won't tell me WHICH movie right away, I have to guess what "awahyabyabaaaaaaaaa" means. Finally got it, found the movie, put the movie in and Daniel starts playing with the remote and plays the features instead of the movie. I told him 'no' and went back to start the movie. So now Daniel is having a temper tantrum because he isn't getting what he wants. And I've had enough of the whining. I put down the remote and tell him to watch the features then, and I'm now in a self assigned time out before I start cleaning our messy messy upstairs.

*sigh* Only five more hours until bedtime...


~~~~~
Edited to add:

Not even one minute after I posted this, Daniel came upstairs, with Josh behind him. I told them to go watch their movie and they whined they didn't want to. Josh cried until I carried him back down the stairs. And he cried as I put him on the couch with a pillow and blanket and turned the movie on. And he was rubbing his eyes and crying as I came back up here.

I need Andrew to take his nap. And I need the other boys to play on their own sometimes. And to not fight over every. little. thing. Maybe I need a nanny a couple days a week. And to win the lottery to afford said nanny. LOL

Okay, HAVE to get to the cleaning...cleaning always makes me feel better.

December 17, 2006

Parental Etiquitte

Every week or so I get a newsletter from Babyzone with info on Andrew's stage of life. I got one today that contained an article entitled Parental Etiquitte. It's a great article that I couldn't agree with more. Find it here.

There is a good section on bullying, thoughts on birthdays and gifts, and even what to do when you're visiting someone in a non-childproofed home. I love the bullying notes - I've seen kids in shopping malls and public play areas that are not being watched by their parents while they are whaling on another kid. It totally gets to me when parents are not watching their children in public places.

Anyway, check it out. :)