To Everything There Is A Season

A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

A blog about raising a young family and keeping Christ at the center of it.

The Cyrs

The Cyrs
Photo Credit: Rachel Dewhurst

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Time to Have Some Friends Day 4

It was a Star Wars kind of day. When my dad arrived yesterday, he brought along a gift my sister had for Noah for his birthday, this Star Wars mask you see Will wearing. One great thing about having an older cousin is you get all his hand-me-downs and they're always in brand new condition! My dad also had a gift for Noah...Star Wars coloring pages. I love that my kids still get excited about little things! You would think that with all this Star Wars stuff that our kids must really be into them and I guess they are but I don't know how since we've never let them watch it. Anything they know about it comes from kids at school talking about it and so with that comes some poor facts about Star Wars. For example: as they are coloring Owen says, "look mom I colored this guy green. Noah told me his name is Toyota". I laughed and said, "No, I'm pretty sure his name is Yodi". I'm pretty sure we're both wrong as I've never seen it either. I was glad they all were enjoying coloring these pages because I hadn't prepared a craft for today. We were supposed to go to a play date at my friends house but the weather did not cooperate. We got A TON of snow today. :( I'm ready for spring!

Everyone was pretty cranky today. I think being in the house together for this many days had all the kids on each other's nerves. Today was the first day that I had to deal with fighting amongst the natives. After the coloring and after trying to get them to play well in the playroom I decided I'd give in and let them watch a movie since it's all they really wanted to do. Toy Story it was and I didn't hear a sound out of them till it was over! I also had everyone go down for a nap today too. I figured they all just needed to be in their own quiet space for a couple hours. When they woke up everyone was getting along much better and we had a good evening. Emily was especially happy since we had her favorite for supper...spaghetti! I also gave all 7 baths tonight...I will never complain about having to do 5 baths again! :) The girls really miss mommy tonight but I think that's because I've been telling them all day that she'll be here tonight and when they wake up they'll see her. They went to bed very well. No tears just excitement for the morning! We say goodbye to our friends tomorrow but we'll see them again in July when we're in Madawaska for our family vacation!

* I also want to thank everyone for their prayers not just for me and my busy week but also for Jena. She is doing so much better and back to the happy little Jena Bean we're used to!

A Time to Have Some Friends Day 3

The kids continued to do very well on Thursday. It was a more hectic day then the other days were and I'm not really sure why. It was harder to get everyone focused but once I did they appeared to be enjoying themselves. The craft for today was making bookmarks with "foamies". I was able to get a package of them for under $3 and everyone got to make 3. I bought the special "foamies" paint, some glitter glue sticks and let the little ones use markers and stickers to decorate them. This craft they really enjoyed and still after making 3, wanted to make more. The markers worked very well on the foam and I think next time would consider only having markers to use if I have little ones. Less mess to clean up afterwards. 

I knew that Ben was wanting to take the kids outside to play when he got home so to release some of their energy in the afternoon I had them go ride scooters and roller skate in the addition. They LOVED this and have continued to be out there playing. Abby & Emily are great on skates!

When Ben got home, he and my Dad took the kids out sledding and they played out there for a good hour and a half while I took care of things inside. My sister sent the kids a Rescue Hero's movie with my dad so in the evening they watched that then it was time for bed. They have been so great going to bed without any trouble and no tears! We know lots of people must be praying for us because what could easily be a very chaotic, unpleasant time is going incredibly smoothly! 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Time to Have Some Friends Day 2

After a good nights rest everyone was in good spirits all day and FULL of energy! I'm wiped, but so happy to see all the kids playing so well together. Right now Ben is at prayer meeting with the 4 older ones. I had to stay home since Jena is sick and kept the younger boys home as well. I would be lying if I said I wasn't happy to have a few minutes of quiet right now!
Our craft for today was making bead necklaces and bracelet's. This, thankfully, took up the majority of our morning and when they all got tired of making them out of beads it was suggested we try Fruit Loops. I didn't have any but they were satisfied with Cheerios so craft time turned into snack time, which was fine with me.

I was really happy that today all the food I made for everyone got eaten. Yesterday we didn't do so well so I was concerned that today would yield the same results. We had sloppy joes for supper. Not the kind from a can but homemade. Abby informed me that she eats these at the school cafeteria and that mine aren't as good but they're pretty good....I'm not sure how I feel about that, haha! In my day cafeteria food was pretty bad so......
It was another beautiful day for playing outside so again, the older ones went out while the younger ones napped. I looked out to check on them at one point and saw Noah sliding off our "spare" car in the backyard and plow into Abby. I went out to tell him that wasn't a good idea, he could hurt her and he says, "no it's ok. I'm a bowling ball and she's the pin, I'm supposed to hit her". Oh...ok. Shortly after I had them all come in and take a nap too, since I knew tonight would be a late night for them. All 4 slept soundly for 2 hours...wish I could say the same for my younger ones!
Everyone is getting a kick out of Jena's nebulizer treatments. She makes all the kids laugh, it's so cute. Emily also has really warmed up to Ben. This evening after supper they sat at the piano together singing songs. It was very sweet. Tomorrow Ben is home with us all evening(poor guy has had a really busy week with late nights) and he's really looking forward to spending some time with all the kids. My dad will also be here visiting so that should add to the excitement! The girls talk a lot about mommy on vacation in North Carolina! It's evident they miss her but they are such troopers and have been a real joy to have around.

A Time to Have Some Friends Day 1

We are very lucky to have some special friends with us this week. They are from "where Oma & Pepere live", otherwise known as Madawaska! So we don't get to see them as often as we'd like to. Their mom is on a much needed vacation in North Carolina while we take care of them. Part of my survival kit for this week is having lots of activities for them. I thought I'd blog about each day so their mom can come and take a look at what they're up to and see the fun they're having.

Yesterday we did a mask craft. I found these wooden masks at Joann's for $1.00 so I got one for each of the kids and they painted them. You could easily use markers to color these also, which was my original plan. Once I got home and inspected the markers (whose caps were left off for several days) I realized they were no longer any good. So plan b...paint. For obvious reason paint is never my first choice but they actually did a great job.

Later in the afternoon after I put the younger 3 down for their naps I let the older 4 go outside and play. It was such a beautiful day yesterday with the sun out. Our neighbors grandson also came over and joined the fun. About 2 hours later he and Noah bumped heads leaving Noah with a bloody nose. It seemed like the perfect time to bring them all back in!

All in all it was a very good first day. Minus Jena needing to go to the Dr. and finding out she is one sick little lady, it was a very successful day. Everyone agreed that the best way to end the day was in PJ's watching The Backyardigans!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Time to be Proud

A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is 
the heaviness of his mother. ~Prov. 10:1

Some of you might remember the last time I wrote a blog about Noah and used a verse that referred to him as a foolish son. It was in this BLOG POST and it was when he put a rock in his ear. Well I am so happy to say that today when I write about Noah it is because he is a wise son who makes his mom and dad glad! I was emptying out school bags and lunch bags and taking the papers out of their folders as I do each night and in Noah's folder was this paper he did at school. 

Let me translate. It says, "If I had $100 I would give it to someone else. For poor people. Because I want to learn how to be kind to other people."

Ben was so proud (and me too) that he told Noah he would give him $100 so he could give it to someone in need. When Ben asked Noah who he wanted to give it to he wasn't sure yet. Owen seized the opportunity to say, "You could give it to me!". When Ben asked Owen what he needed $100 for Owen quickly replied, "chocolate milk!". Noah is still praying about who he'd like to give the money to and we are two very proud parents this evening. To God and God only can the glory be given!

On a side note the kids school celebrated it's 100th day of school on Friday. The 1st graders were asked to make a hat for the hat parade. Each hat had to have 100 things attached to it related to the theme of the hat. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Time for Pomanders!

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests 
through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place
~ 2 Cor. 2:14

Last week a friend of mine approached me wanting to know if I'd like to get together to make pomanders. I had never heard of these before, let alone made one but I'm up for anything so we set a date to make them. 

All you need for these are cloves, oranges (or limes, lemons, apples) and maybe have a nail handy in case the skin of the fruit is too tough for the clove to pierce through on it's own. 

Once you have all your supplies together start poking the cloves through the fruit and fill it up as much as you'd like. We covered the entire orange but I saw online where some people create designs on theirs. The smell is amazing and I've heard that as they dry they become even nicer to look at. 

The finished product
This is such an easy don't have to be crafty at all to do this. You do need time, however. This took me about 3-4 hours to complete. They are very pretty to decorate with. We will be making some of these to use as decorations at our upcoming "Fruits of the Spirit" ladies event. How fitting!

A Time for Ramen Egg Foo Yong

I love to share a good recipe when I find one! This is one that I have made for a few years now. It's not as "quick" as the cookbook says it is but it's definitely easy and very good! This recipe is out of one of my favorite cookbooks Southern Living: Easy Weeknight Favorites

You will need the following:
2 (3-ounce) packages chicken ramen noodle soup mix
6 large eggs
2 cups finely chopped, cooked chicken
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 tsp salt & pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (8oz) can sliced water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
Cooking spray or oil
2 tbs. vegetable oil
2 tbs. all-purpose flour
2 tbs. soy sauce

Cook soup according to package directions; drain noodles, reserving broth. Set aside.
Beat eggs in a large bowl until blended. Stir in noodles, chicken, and next 5 ingredients.
Coat a large skillet with cooking spray or oil; place over med-high heat until hot. For each patty, carefully pour about 1/2 cup noodle mix into skillet. Cook until eggs are set and patties are lightly browned. Remove to a hot oven-proof platter; keep warm. Repeat process with remaining noodle mixture.
Whisk together oil, flour, and soy sauce in skillet; gradually whisk in reserved broth. Cook, stirring constantly, 2-3 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Serve over patties. 

This recipe makes about 8 patties, give or take. 

For me what makes a great recipe is whether or not it is versatile and I think this one is. You can play around with the ingredients to make it your own. If you want it to be more of a breakfast food then replace the chicken with sausage and nix the gravy. If you're a vegetarian then throw in some tofu!

A Time for Love

"I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine..." 
~Song of Solomon 6:3

I think it's safe to say that most of us have had love on our minds considering yesterday was Valentine's Day. I can't say that I'm a huge fan of Valentine's Day...I really hate that society needed to set aside a day where you show someone you love them. It really is something we should be doing 24/7. On the other hand it is fun to go out of your way for those you love and make the day special for them. And we all have someone to love or someone who loves us. Valentine's Day doesn't need to be about having a husband or wife or significant other. It is about showing those around you that you love them. Ben and I have never really celebrated the day...not consistently anyway. We don't exchange expensive gifts. I might get some chocolates or some flowers but not necessarily and I might make a special dinner but that depends on the year too. I much prefer when he comes home and surprises me with something then when it's done on a day he thinks he Valentine's Day. This year though I had a little extra time so decided I'd make the day special for my family and it was time well spent. 

It got me thinking of a book I read a few years back called The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. If you've never read it I highly recommend you do. It's a quick read as it's not real deep and it's fun learning what you and your significant other's love language is. What I really love about the book is that it helps you understand how your mate feels loved. Sometimes we get caught up in what WE want. I WANT to show you love this way and you need to accept it. While I do believe that it's important we see love for what it is and understand that people aren't always going to make us feel loved the way we want, it is also important to know how the other person WANTS to feel love. Our main desire and goal should be to please God first then others and then yourself. (Remember the acronym J-O-Y...Jesus, Others, You...this will truly bring you JOY!) If you do not know what the people (our kids/parents/friends need to feel our love as well) around you need to feel loved then how can you be a blessing to them? I know for me my love language is "Acts of Service" and so because of that I tend to show love to others that way because it's how I feel loved. What I had to learn is that for some, acts of service, while appreciated, don't necessarily make them feel loved. If you really want to be a blessing to someone and have them feel they are loved by you then I suggest learning what their love language is. There's no better feeling than knowing what you've done for a person made them feel loved! 
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love"~ I Corinthians 13:13

My Special Valentine's!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Time for Winter Fun Day at CGN!

Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD
Psalm 34:11

CEF is an organization that is near and dear to our hearts. My husband grew up going to Good News Club, 5-Day Club, and attending Camp Good News in the summers. I can remember the first time I ever heard what a missionary was. It was at a 5-Day Club in the home of one of my neighbors when I was about 7. They were Christians and I was friend's with their daughter. She invited me to come and I loved it. I would not get saved till many years later but those were seeds that got planted in my heart at a young age. We have several friends who are involved with CEF in full-time ministry and currently Ben is teaching a Good News Club here in Lebanon in the public school.

Jena in Kick-A-Poo Trailer
 We recently had the opportunity to take our kids up to Camp Good News this past weekend. The camp hosted a winter fun day for the Good News Clubbers of southern and western Maine. There were 150 kids and about 50 adults, plenty of snow and a great time sledding, snow-shoeing, ice skating and other winter games. They ended the day with Fireside Chats and s'mores. My older kids left saying Camp Good News is the funnest place they've ever been...and I'm sure hundreds more kids have said the same thing over the years. We are looking forward to when all our kids are a little older and having the opportunity to send them to camp and help minister there ourselves. 

The sledding hill
Noah & Owen Ice Skating

With our friends the Labbe's. We had such a great
weekend catching up with them.
* Ben has been asked to serve as a board member for CEF Southern
Maine. If you would keep him in prayer as he ministers this way, we'd 
appreciate it. Also keep our Good News Club at the Hanson school in your 
prayers. Our desire is to teach kids about the awesome gift of salvation!