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Showing posts from 2012

The Air We Breathe

Events from her past keep seventeen year old Molly a prisoner inside her home, hiding from what happened. She longs to escape from everything holding her back and begin life anew in this tiny tourist town she and her mother call home. Will the chance meeting of a friend from her past give her the courage to step outside?
When Hanna was twelve years old, she was a victim of some horrible events that lead to the death of her father and being separated from her mother for several weeks. When she is finally reunited with her mother, she is a very different girl. She no longer speaks, and doesn’t want to leave the house. One day Hanna sees Claire Rodriguez in the park and is drawn to her because of the cross necklace Claire wears. A strange relationship develops as Claire is the only person Molly will talk too. Claire is struggling as well. She is still grieving over the loss of her own children in a car accident years back and her marriage falling apart in the wake of her grief. Claire fee…

Animals

Joash received many lovely presents for Christmas. We have enjoyed playing with all of them. One things Joash received was a nice collection of jungle and farm animals, which he has really enjoyed playing with.
Here are the animals helping with a puzzle.
 Today, Joash and I made a zoo. It is certainly not up current zoo animal welfare standards, but our building supplies were limited. Plus Joash has never actually been to a zoo yet, so he doesn't have a lot to go on. Joash placed all of the animals in each enclosure. And the little man on the side is looking at the animals and he also going to give them water from the sink.
It is certainly fun to have a few new things to add to our playtime.

Joash Quotes

As Joash continues to talk more and more clearly, some of the things he says are really funny. Here are a few of our recent favorite quotes.
The other day, Joash had a new treat at snack time, marshmallows. When Wilbert asked what he had for a snack after nap time, Joash said, "Mushrooms."

We took Joash swimming yesterday. The pool has a few different toys and things for kids to play with while swimming. One item is a whale that flat and sinks to the bottom of the pool. We showed it to Joash, who said it was a dolphin. Then while inspecting it, he flipped it over the back side, which is a black speckly pattern and declared, "Dirty dolphin." We then asked him what colour the other side was. Joash looked at it, saying, "hmm.." Then he touched it with his hand, closed his eyes and said, "red" with a confident nod of his head. It was red and we both thought his process was a bit funny.

After swimming, Wilbert was drying Joash off, and Joash kept sa…

When You Find the Right Branch...

After the Christmas tree went up, Joash spent the next couple of days rearranging the ornaments. Now, he pretty much leaves it alone. This branch must be really special. It has five ornaments on it and I had to be pretty persuasive to keep Joash from putting anything else on it. If he had his way, all 12 of the ornaments that look like this would be on this same branch.

The Respect Dare by Nina Roesner

The Respect Dare by Nina Roesner was an interesting in challenging book. It is broken up into 40 “dares” and it is intended that the reader will do one dare per day until finished. Each dare has a verse, often a little story as an example and then a set of questions that lead to the dare for the day. While I did not use this book as intended, the book still had an impact on me and my relationship with God and my husband. I know there are things that I can do better and things that I can change to deepen my relationship with both God and my husband. It also did edify a few things that I am doing right, so that was nice as well.
My biggest critique of the book is the stories that many of the chapters have in them. While the author says they are true stories from women she has worked with, I found them a little too perfect and simplistic. Maybe that is the result of keeping them short for the book, but I found it difficult to place myself in many of the little stories that were shared.  B…

Fun in the Snow

We had a decent snow fall over the weekend and today turned out to be a lovely day. After morning coffee time, Wilbert decided it was time for Joash to make his first snowman. And Joash was really excited it about it! He got all bundled up... And headed outside with Dad. Joash understood the basic snowman building concept and after making one snowman that eventually fell over, he decided it was much more fun to have Dad make big snow balls and roll them all over the yard to where Joash wanted to place them. This one needs to go right by this tree...  We eventually decided to make Joash a little chair, which he thought was really nice. He spent quite a while pulling out all of the "sticks" from his chair (they were actually the stems of the leaves from the snowball picked up while it was being rolled around.
Joash liked all of the snow fun quite a bit, so we hope for a bit more snow this winter to do other fun things like sledding.

Christmas Tree

We got our Christmas tree this week and Joash was so excited! He loved putting on all of the decorations and lights. He helped by putting on some ornaments that I chose specifically for him to put on the tree. We decorated the tree yesterday and he has moved a few of the ornaments around this morning. I guess he is trying to get it just right. It is quite fun to see how excited he is about all of it. We will be keeping the presents hidden though. After his birthday, he thinks every present is for him.

Still Lolo by Lauren Scruggs

The story was shocking. A young girl walked into the moving propeller of a plane and lost her left eye and hand. Yet, so many things were left out of the news story the media told. Now, a year after the accident, Lauren Scruggs and her family tell the entire story and share how their faith has held them through it all in Still Lolo.
On December 3rd, 2011, Lauren Scruggs experienced a life changing accident that not only challenged her ability to do normal every day things, but also her faith. But, this accident not only impacted her, it also had a profound impact on her family.  Lauren, her parents and her twin sister are all narrators in this book. Her parents tell the story of how they met, their marriage and how their twin daughters are miracle babies. They also share the story of how their marriage fell apart and then how, through God’s grace, it was restored. The family’s whole lives are a testament to God’s grace and faithfulness. After the accident, Lauren has a long road of rec…

Christmas Baking

I don't know what it is this year, but I have gone into a Christmas treat making frenzy. I think it is a combination of wanting to start some fun traditions with Joash and coming to grip with the fact that if I want my favorite Christmas treats, I am going to have to make them myself. So, we have made Peanut Butter balls and Christmas Cut Out Cookies so far. I am keeping a few out for right now and freezing the rest to spread out over the rest of the month.
Today was Christmas cut out cookie day. We just did a half batch. Joash's favorite shape to use is the star, followed closely by the angel. So you guess which shapes dominate our cookies. I really had to be sneaky to get a few snowflakes out of the deal. Joash certainly liked the cookies, as I know he took at least one cookie off the table while they were cooling after I had already given him two.
After nap time, it was time to decorate. Joash decided we would use white and green frosting. I gave him the job of putting spr…

Playing Games

Joash is increasingly interested in doing things like games and puzzles. While waiting for your turn and other important parts to actually playing a game are a ways off, it surprises me how well he does. One of the first puzzles he learned to do was a matching puzzle. Each puzzle has two pieces that fit together. So you have to find the two pieces with raindrops on them and then slide the pieces together. We started small with me giving him the two pieces that went together, but he was quickly able to pick out the matching pieces on his own.
So I decided to try a simpler version of "Memory." We lay out all of the cards on the coffee table and Joash picks out the matching pairs (most of the time). It is also a great time to practice identifying animals. Of course, one quickly develops a certain routine. This game goes like this: Joash picks up a piece, says the name of the animal on it and looks for the match. Once the match has been spotted, he says, "found it," a…

New to Us Chair

Joash would like to show you the "new to us" chair.  He loves to climb on it, sit in it and, since it is a recliner, put the foot rest up. Joash went along with Daddy to get the chair and helped move it into place at our house.
We are pretty excited about this chair for two reasons. We have wanted a recliner for a long time, like probably for as long as we have been married. And we got this recliner for free. Wilbert spotted an ad on Kijiji that said "I will give you this chair if you move a treadmill from point A to point B in Charlottetown." So, after a bit of negotiation to find a time that worked. Wilbert and Joash hopped in our truck, picked up a friend in town to help and came home with a chair. What a deal!

Soul's Gate by James L. Rubart

What if we could physically see the spiritual warfare around us? And in us? What if you were able to help others battle for their freedom in Christ?
The characters in Soul’s Gate by James L. Rubart can do just that. Following a prophecy from long ago, Reece has come out of the shadows and formed a team of warriors that he trains to go into other people’s souls and battle for them in the name of Christ. As their eyes open to the spiritual realm around them, amazing things happen. People experience a freedom they never thought possible. But, the enemy starts to notice and wants it to end, now.
I was a bit skeptical of Soul’s Gate at first. The premise seemed too far fetched  But I was surprisingly drawn in and engaged in the story. The writing is clear, engaging and fast paced. The characters, while a bit stereotypical, are realistic and honest. I was challenged a bit too. Do I have my eyes open to all that is happening spiritually around me? Is there more that I am missing? I would recom…

Silly Joash

It is certainly fun to see Joash's personality come out. I already see many similarities between him and myself and his dad. He is quite funny and often will say something funny and then follow it up with, "Silly Joash." Here are a few examples.
We have been having a few issues with getting Joash to sit in his own chair for meals. One day, he did not want to leave his cardboard box house that he has in the toy room. So this was our solution.  He ate quite well and was very happy that day.

On Tuesday, we came back from being out and about for the morning. It was a nice and sunny day. Joash spotted his sunglasses when we came back into the house and decided it was "bright" inside the house. He played in the house with his sunglasses on for the next hour.
"Silly Joash!"

Practicing

Joash has really taken to playing with dolls. He is also really taken with any baby he sees while we are out and about. And all of this is so good, since we are excited to say that we will be welcoming a new baby into our home in May!

When we talk to Joash about the new baby, he usually gets really excited. Sometimes he even says he would like two babies. We hope he is wrong about that one for the time being. And this week, if you ask him if he would like a girl or a boy baby, he quickly answers, "Boy!" We will have to wait and see if he is right.

More From Grandma and Grandpa's Visit

A few more pictures from Grandma and Grandpa's visit and Joash's birthday.  Joash really liked his birthday balloons  By the end of the present opening, he was pro!  He really liked his tractor cake!  We had a few nice days, which was great for playing in the leaves.   Thanks for coming Grandpa and Grandma!

24 Months

Note: Sorry for the lack of pictures in this interview. Whenever the camera comes out, Joash just wants to look at the pictures and videos that are on it. I have to get better at "catching" him. Also, this is the last monthly interview. If I remember, I am going to try and do them every six months from now on.

M(om): Joash, it is time for an interview.

J(oash): What? My birthday was over a week ago. Why are you so late, Mom?

M: I have my reasons and we had visitors, so now is the time! What are your favorite things to do right now?

J: I really like birthdays, because I like to eat cake. I like to play with my tractors and load things up like always. I really like it when you and dad build towers and then I knock it over. I also like to sing.

M: What songs are you favorites?

J: "Baa Baa Black Sheep" "Itsy Bitsy Spider" "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and my most favorite is "Wheels on the Bus." I like to pick out different things that I …

Reading Time

As you know, Joash loves to read. What always amazes me is how much and quickly he memorizes things we read. Here is a little video of him reading with Grandma and Grandpa. They are reading a book that Grandpa and Grandma got for Joash while they were in Alaska. The text of the book is below. 1 brown moose munching on a lily
2 black ravens looking pretty silly
3 gray wolves howling in the night
4 purple caribou under the northern lights
5 pink salmon splashing in a creek
6 green minnows in a puffin's beak
7 yellow warblers in the evening sky
8 white bears waving goodbye
9 golden grizzlies having lots of fun
10 red walrus sleeping in the sun
11 orange octopi on the ocean floor
12 ripe blueberries, are there anymore?

My favorite part is when Joash assures Grandma that she pronounced "Octopi" right. Too cute!

2 Years Old

Joash turned 2 last week and it was quite an event. It was full of grandparents, cake and tractors. Joash was pretty excited about the presents, especially since he spotted some in Grandma and Grandpa's room a bit earlier and he really wanted to hold it. By the end of it, his paper tearing skills were quite good.  He got lots of tractors, implements and other things with four wheels. He is enjoying all of them so much!
He even liked getting socks because they had a small hook on the top for when they were hung on a rack and he wanted to "hook it up" to his tractor right away.  And the cake, a joint effort between my mom and me. If you ask Joash about his birthday, he might tell you he is two, but he will definitely tell you he had cake! It was his favourite part!

Joash was a bit unsure about why there was fire on his cake. I think he was worried about the tractor. But, no problems eating it this time. He thought it was very good!

Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson

Searching for a killer. Searching for love. Can the characters in Full Disclosure find both?
Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson follows FBI top murder cop, Paul Falcon on the hunt for hired shooter who killed 30 people. When Midwest Homicide Investigator Ann Silver passes a case off to Paul, it offers the first break in Paul’s case for several years. While working on the case, Paul and Ann get to know each other quite well. Yet the more Paul learns about Ann, the more he understands he has hardly begun to comprehend her. As the hired shooter case comes to light, more and more top ranking officials are pulled into the case and the more complicated it becomes. All the while, Paul is struggling to understand and Ann and see if she could be the love of his life.
Dee Henderson has done it again. Creating a fantastic story that I could not put down once I began. I enjoy all of her plot twists. The minute you think you have the story figured out, something new comes out of the word work, complet…

Rudy, My Story by Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger

The movie is famous. And now the main character is telling the “real” story. The story of Rudy.
Most people are familiar with the movie Rudy based on Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger’s life. And in Rudy, My Story, Ruettiger tells the true story. Ruettiger grew up in a large Catholic family in Joliet, Illinois. From an early age, he was labeled as “not smart” and struggled through school. Sport and especially football were his saving grace. After a stint in the Navy, Ruettiger worked hard to fulfill his dream of playing football for Notre Dame. He has to overcome many obstacles, the least of which being actually accepted into Notre Dame. Through hard work and faith, he does and he fulfills every dream he has from playing football to having a movie made of his life story. Ruettiger certainly is an inspiration to what hard work can do.
This was an interesting book to read and it was clear to see how God was working in Ruettiger’s life. God placed so many people in the right place at the right time …

What's Been Going On

We have been very busy here the last week. I have been busy with Usborne book stuff and getting ready for our visitors next week.  And Joash has been working on getting ready to turn two. He is learning a few new skills like... playing the guitar  and becoming a bit more daring and silly. He likes to climb into this doll cradle and say things like, "sleep with baby" (or cow, or monkey, or whatever happens to be on top of the pile in the cradle at that time).
As you can see, he is also working quite hard at perfecting the cheesy two year-old smile.

The Giant Pumpkin Weigh Off

On Saturday, we thought we would check out the PEI Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off. It was a nice day and it takes place pretty close to our house. It was quite nice and I think it will be something we will enjoy as Joash gets older. They had food, some little games for the kids, a place to decorate a pumpkin, guessing games, a scavenger hunt, and a hay ride. 
Joash was quite fond of the large squash.   There are three categories: field pumpkins, squash and giant pumpkins. Here is the weigh-off in action.
 Joash's favourite part was watching the forklift drive around moving the pallets with the giant pumpkins on them. The winning pumpkin weighted 1082 lbs!

Joash also really liked sitting on all of the lawn mowers that were out and about. The weigh-off takes place at a seed and garden equipment company and Joash made sure we checked out all of the lawn mowers. This particular mower had a lot of "hydraulics!"
 Joash also got this pumpkin tattoo on his hand.
He liked it quite a bi…

Adventures with Eating

So, you now know of of Joash's love of pineapple. However at one point last night, I didn't know if that love would continue.

Joash pointed to me and said, "Help," and then pointed to his mouth where his tounge was pushing up a little piece of pineapple. I checked it out and discovered this little piece of pineapple was wedge between two of his teeth. Well, now what do we do? I went to get some floss and his tooth brush. Have you ever tried to floss a not quite two year-olds teeth? It does not work. He kept wanting to feel what was going on with his tounge, which made it rather impossible to see the teeth, let alone get the piece of floss where it needed to go. Wilbert tried to get Joash to say "Ahh" and we wished we had something to use as a tounge depressor. I think we worked on it for over 15 minutes. Finally, I mangaed to grab that slobbery peice of pineapple and pull it out. Phew...that was a lot of work, but Joash continued to happily eat after that.

Pineapple

Wilbert and I enjoy pineapple on our pizza. I know, some people find that really gross, but we both find it really yummy. And we have passed on our love of pineapple on pizza to Joash.

We are also a family who as a Saturday pizza tradition. I know, some people will say this is not healthy, yada, yada. I love it because it is one day where I don't have to think about supper. We have pizza on Saturday's and that is that. Plus, it is one supper that Joash actually eats. I make homemade pizza with dough that I make in the bread maker and fresh yummy toppings. I make a half for Wilbert (with bacon) and a half for me (without bacon) with a slice from my half for Joash (right now just cheese, pineapple ande sometimes little bits of meat.

Joash is starting to like helping make the pizza. He likes to help shake the seasonings on the edge of the crust. He likes to poke the dough and push the sauce a bit with his finger. But his favourite part is helpingwith eating the pineapple.

When yo…

23 Months

M(om): Joash, can you believe it? In one month, you will be two years old!

J(oash): I don't know why you make such a big deal of it, Mom. It seems like it has taken forever for me to be almost two. But, it is good, I guess.

M: So what is new in your life?

J: Well, I have two new teeth!
M: That is pretty exciting. Anything else?

J: I like to do what you and Dad are doing. Like cleaning, or cooking or working in the garden. I try to use tools sometime too, but I am not very good at it yet.

M: How is your talking going?

J: Really well, I think. You seem to understand me most of the time.
M: I do, though you get "on" and "off" and "up" and "down" mixed up a lot. And you refer to yourself as "you" rather than "me."

J: Is that why you look at me funny when I say, "Carry you?"

M: Yes.

J: I also always want to wear my tractor shirt. Mom, can I please wear my tractor shirt today?

M: No, Joash. It is too cold to wear you…

Cement Truck

So, there is bit of renovation going on in the barn. Some walls have come out and new stalls for cows are being added. This all meant that cement needed to be poured.  So, we went to go and check out the cement truck. Joash was pretty excited for several reason. First of all it is a big truck, so that is fun. Second of all, it looks like a cow.
 And thirdly, Joash even got to go for a short ride in the driveway before the cement truck let. You can see his head peaking over the top of the window.
It was a fun day to see a cement truck!

The River by Michael Neale

“You were made for the River.” That is what everyone tells Gabriel Clark as he is growing up. But after witnessing a terrible event on the river as a child, Gabriel finds it hard to take the plunge. Will he be able to take the step of faith and find what he was created to be?
The River by Michael Neale follows the life of Gabriel as he grows from a frightened and withdrawn boy in to a confident young man. Growing up in single parent home in Kansas, Gabriel always feels the call of the river, but it too afraid to go. But, with the encouragement of his friends, and the words his father left behind in a journal, Gabriel begins to see who he really is meant to be.
This was a pretty good book. My biggest complaint would be that it left me wanting more. Not because the writing was so captivating, but because there were questions I wanted answered about what happened in Gabriel’s life. I could assume things, but I would have liked the satisfaction of knowing for sure what happened with the res…

Clean Up

Sometimes Joash doesn't like to have dirty hands. He will play in the sand in his sandbox and on the beach without a problem, but the dirt from the garden must feel different. So often while we are in the garden, he will hold out his hand to me and say, "Dirt, hand." So, I have been telling him to wipe his hands off in the grass in an effort to show him that he can clean his own hands.

Well, today I told him that once and he went and wiped his hands in the grass. Then, little while later I heard him say, "Dirt, mouth." I turned to look at him and there he was almost doing a head stand trying to wipe his mouth in the grass.

I guess it proves he does listen to me sometimes.

What's Been Going On

The truth is, not  a lot. We have been getting back into our fall routine with Coffee Break for the first time this week, so that was fun. We have also been harvesting stuff from the garden, including this whopper of a potato.  I am pretty sure this is enough potato to feed us all for one meal, so that is fun. Joash likes to dig watch me dig potatoes. He has has yet to touch one straight from the ground yet, but he is good moral support.

We have also been looking at a lot of tractor magazines. Wilbert went through a whole stack he had and found a few old ones for Joash to enjoy. I will admit, I am getting sick of looking at the same magazines all the time, so new for the stash where a welcomed break.
It would be one thing if I could actually read the articles, but Joash insists on turning the pages so quickly, repeated pointing at the same ,"Tractor, tractor, tractor," that I don't even get a chance to get started. Oh, well. So far most of his phases like this have bee…

Band of Sisters by Cathy Gohlke

Starting over. A new life. Better than before. Those were and are the hopes and dreams of so many immigrants throughout the history of the United States. But, so often, these dreams were not realized. And in some cases, the new world brought even more horror. And the worst horror of all is that it is still happening today.
Band of  Sisters  by Cathy Gohlke is the powerful and riveting tale of Maureen O’Reilly and her sister Katie Rose. Running from a shameful and difficult life in Ireland, with both of her parents dead, Maureen is looking to start a new life in America. All she wants is to find a respectable job and take care of herself and her sister. Another young man from her home town, Joshua Keeton sails to America on the same ship as Maureen and her sister. He offers to help and watch out for the girls, but Maureen wants nothing to do with him. She soon regrets that decision as she and Katie Rose struggle to make it through Ellis Island. Maureen falls into a trap of lies as she w…