Wednesday, December 30, 2015


It was Eli's day to pick an activity. He originally wanted to play a game, but when we got to the game cupboard the only ones that he was willing to play were way over his head. So we came to a compromise, he and the little kiddoes played with play-doe while the rest of us played a "big kids" game. In the end I believe that was what he would have rather done anyway.

Jesse's name was the one drawn out of the hat to open his gift. He was very happy with his new watch, "Just what I was hoping for!" I believe were his words.
I forgot to mention that my name was drawn yesterday. I am currently sporting my new nail polish colors, and the hair product... mama, you know me!

The boys played hockey twice today, and the little kids also were able to get some fresh air as the weather here has warmed up a bit.
Mikey stayed inside and played the piano. He is still been very happy and I chased him all over the house today just trying to keep an eye on him.
He has now mastered climbing up the stairs, little stinker, and I was busy carrying him back to his toys from there countless times.

I hope you were able to play in the ocean today. We miss you already, but hope that you are having a great time.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Dear Mom and Dad...

Tonight as I walked along the snow covered road and looked up at the cloud covered sky, I thought about you. I thought about how neat it was that, though you are basking in the warmth of the south and I am chilled in the cold-th of the north, we can still see the same sky. The same moon, the same stars.
I stood there in the stillness for half a second until I realized just how quiet it was and had a mini panic attack because I thought the cows had broke through their pens and were back with their calves. It seemed like they all got together and had a meeting, deciding to be quiet for a few moments to scare the wits out of me, because soon the chorus of moo resumed. What a beautiful sound. Especially at night when you really don't feeling like chasing cows in your pjs.

I hope Mexico is as wonderful as it always is. It was so foggy here this morning that I had to wait until the afternoon to run my errands. The trees are once again weighed down with hoar frost. I was going to take pictures of the beautiful sight, but somehow did not get to it.

We are still taking full advantage of the holidays, keeping the time we spend working to a minimum. The kids like this plan.

We had pancakes for supper today. Because pancakes are yummy and because I want to win best sister of the year award, and because Kerri said that I should make them (and... you know, I always listen to Kerri! :).

*Notice Joey's "funny face"*

Mikey has been a good little baby. He is happy. 
Yesterday he tried to crawl up the porch stairs. I put an end to that really quickly.

Since we didn't have any activities lined up for today, Ker and I had a nail painting party with the girls.

Mikey supervised. And tried to grab the nail polish when we least expected it.

All in all. First day went great!
Hope you are having fun... cause we are!! :)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Awakening my heart

I have started a new blog! 

Incredible blog design by sis Megan!

Now don't fret, this one will not be replaced by it.

I will still blog here. In fact I hope to do it more often, capturing more of the moments of the life I call mine, placing it on here to remember better. To breathe deep.

Why have I started another blog you ask? Why don't I just write more often on here instead of (Jen, are you a crazy person!?!) trying to keep up with two blogs?
Well this new venture is more of an online journal, less pictures and life happenings; more thoughts and words. It is going to be a place where I will write daily scribblings from my heart. Quotes, life lessons, struggles, words coming from a deep place in my soul.

Awakening My Heart will not be shared to any social media. Writing everyday is going to make it very personal and I will need to be vulnerable. I want people to read it because they want to, not because it was a link they clicked on due to curiosity.
I don't want to worry about feedback. Whether I am saying the right thing to make people "like" me. I just want to share my heart.

So, with that being said, you are welcome to come visit Awakening My Heart. If you wish to follow me there, you can subscribe via email or you can just pop in every now and then. Feel free to comment if you wish, I would love to hear from you all!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The reason I stay

I am sitting here in blissful silence. Actually... it was blissful silence two seconds ago. Now I am listening to one of my sisters (who will not be named) burping like a million times at the top of the stairs.
There. Now it is... oh wait. Never mind.  
* Leaves to go see why little brother is crying.
Well, I can always hope for a little bit of silence right!? Apparently there will be none of it right now though as the little kiddoes are "going to bed" in the next room. :)
Such is the life of living in a large family.

It may have occurred to all of you that I never write posts about why I stay at home. Why I choose to live with my family instead of venturing out and finding myself, by myself in this wild wonderful world.

I know that it is the unspoken question that burns in some people's minds when they see me, twenty-four years old with no college education, no career, seemingly no calling.
I guess I have not written about it because it is difficult to explain without the label of "stay at home daughter". I dislike that title because it has become so misrepresented, and so distasteful.

When I come across someone new that asks me what I do for a living and I tell them about the way that I live, the reactions I get are often disturbing. Though most try to hide it, they act like they are disgusted with the idea that I, as a single collage/career age woman, am still living with my family.
I guess this has caused a bit of insecurity for me over the years and I did at a point in my life question whether I was doing the right thing by remaining at home.
I started to freak out when I looked back at my life and saw a lot of nothing, and felt like I wasn't doing my part in God's kingdom.

It took a lot of soul searching for me to come to peace with this season that I am called to live. It took a lot of prayers and tears to reach the place that I feel like I can write about this with firm conviction.

Now let me begin by saying this.
This is MY calling.
This is not something that I preach, because I want everyone to live in a way that God has called them to live. And the reason I am writing this post is because I want everyone to see beyond the surface and into the heart of why I do what I do and why I am who I am.

Family values. They are so important. My dad is the head of our home, he is the one that answers to God for our big crazy family. It is important to him that his daughters remain under his protection until they can be placed under the headship of another man through the covenant of marriage.
Now, before you all start throwing the rotten tomatoes and make accusations about brain washings and equality and such, let me say my piece.

To me, this home is not a prison. It is not a place that I am held against my will. I was not forced to accept the fact that I was to remain at home.
This is something that I want.
This is a season in which I am called to stand still.

I used to be afraid that maybe I was taking the easy way out. But you know, this is hard. It is not easy to stand strong and stay even though the world and all it's expectations of young woman these days are flowing past me in a rush to live fast and loud.
It takes courage to go against every thing that the world is screaming I must do.

I have been learning so much this past little while. And one of those things is to grab hold of every season that I am in and live it to the very fullest.
Some may feel sorry for me, and hope for better things for me. But I am learning that each season is a gift, and it will always be what I make of it.

I am very aware that one day I will wake up and find that this season is over and it is time to move on. I realize that this is a very unique time in which I have an opportunity to give my heart and soul completely to knowing Christ and building a foundation in Him which I will rely upon to stand strong, to build upon for the rest of my life.

I see God's wisdom in His calling. There are things that I needed (and still need) to work on in my life that demanded my full attention.
A quiet heart.
A still mind.

My biggest revelation of late is that living for God does not necessarily always mean that I should be doing something physical for Him that has visible results, something that has a big impact on this world. Sometimes living for Him requires quiet obedience and full surrender. Living in faith until I can see that next step.
My life right now may seem like it is on hold to those outside looking in. But what they can't see is the growth that is taking place in my heart. The spiritual preparation for the journey that He will take me on in the next season of my life.

And so I am happily here. Where I firmly believe God has called me to be at this time.
Now the house is truly quiet as the entire family has gone to snuggle with their blankets and pillows in their warm, cozy beds.
Which, now that I mentioned it, sounds quite amazing.
Oh, hear that?
It is my bed calling my name.

Friday, November 6, 2015

New blog on the block

This sweet girl. I just love her.

Photo credit: Phraze Photography

She has just started up a cooking blog called "Singing in the Kitchen".
I am telling you, she is an AMAZING cook.

*It is kind of frustrating sometimes because I will make the exact same recipe as her, but hers will always turn out ten times better! (I'll get over it... Eventually :)*

She also is great at creating original recipes and tweaking other recipes to make them brand new.
I am so excited to see the things she comes up with for y'all!
Anyway, go check out her blog for all things yummy!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Shingling at the Theissens

Ready for another picture post?? Good, because I am on a roll here! :)

Right before heading out on our trip to Arizona we went to our good friends, the Theissen's, place to help them shingle their roof.
We parked our RV on their yard, and spent a couple of days working, playing and visiting hard. These dear friends are so special to us, we were so happy to be able to help them out!

This is Shayla. She is all that is awesome. Such a sweet, sweet friend!

Ker and I love hanging out with her!!

This is Shayla's Grandma. 
She is one of those people that you can't help but love. 
And... she can play "Apples to Apples" like nobody's business! :)

We were fed such yummy food!!

The little girls had so much fun playing with all of the puppies and kittens.

And here are the boys/men, hard at work! They had quite the crew going!

Mr. Thiessen had a birthday while we were there. 
We made him a cake of doughnuts, and sang to him on the roof.

Kerri makes the best doughnuts evvvvver!! 
(in my completely unbiased opinion ;)

Have I mentioned that we love these people?! 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Christmas Past

Christmas eve is always such a blast. Scrumptious Christmas fixings, the nearness of family, the joy that the season brings, the shameless stuffing of faces during our fondue tradition... it is all so amazing. :)

Once again, these pictures I uploaded a long time ago. Please humour me again as we take one last trip down the memory lane of Christmas past.