Our Blessed Chaos

My hubby + a 1st grader + twins in kindergarten + 4 critters..... Yeah it is chaos, but we are blessed!

Today's Verse

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I have been watching nearly every moment of the coverage of the Olympics since it started. I simply love watching Olympics!!! However, there is one big disadvantage. I am Canadian and living in the States, and therefore stuck with only NBC coverage. I sure do miss the Canadian coverage of the Olympics in Canada!! Oh well, the advantage to this year's Olympics is sharing it with the kids.  I am grateful to have the opportunity to show our kids that it is fun to cheer on athletes from all countries.  And that someday they will understand that not only are they American but that because I am Canadian they are too!

They really liked watching speed skating and quickly started to pretend they were speed skating.  Here they are in their helmets and "skates". I am not sure how cowboy boots became skates!!  Looks like they both had them on the wrong feet hahaha!
Ben even found some "glasses".  I think we were watching cross country skiing by then.

Then hockey came on and they all had helmets and were throwing a ball into the holes of the cat house. I think they are confusing some sports! But they did have fun.  Here is Carlee watching hockey with her helmet.

Then they came up with their own sport - spinning!  Sorry about the bump with the camera - I couldn't help but laugh!

The sport of spinning evolved throughout the day and I really think it will be an Olympic sport someday!  And in case you can't quite hear her, Carlee said "On your marks, get set, GO!"

Yep, definately a future Olympic sport and Ben will win Gold!  He is our champion spinner!!

Oh and in case you happen to be observant - no, we did not spend the entire day in our jammies.  Those happen to be our official Olympics watching uniforms!  Just so you know!

Ok so we got through the last storm over the weekend and we were snowed in until a very kind neighbor came with his tractor and plowed us out.  That was Wednesday afternoon.  As soon as we were able to get out we "escaped" and went to the McDonald's that has a playground!  After the kids ran themselves silly we stopped for a few groceries and were on our way home.

It was already starting to storm and the roads were already nasty.  We thought we would be smart and park our vehicles down by the road, then at least we would be able to get them out.  Smart right?  Sort of, I'll get to that in a minute.

The next day it stormed all day...remember that you should be able to see a tree line in the distance!

Then the day after that we worked our way back outside...literally having to push our way out the door.  My best guess is that we got close to another two feet of snow on top of the two feet we had a few days earlier.

Here the kids are playing on top of the piles from when our lane was plowed out...

Yes the lane had been plowed out, but was now completely snowed in again! If you look a little above and to the right of Carlee's head you can just barely make out the lump that is the van.

Yeah smart idea to park the vehicles down by the road.  Only two problems with that: 1) when the highway snowplow went by he left a huge drift in front of the vehicles  2) we had to walk all that way through 2 feet of snow just to get to the vehicles!  About half way there I turned around and took this picture.  At least the kids were light enough to walk on top of the snow, me - not so much!

Hubby was able to get out fairly easy with his 4x4 truck.  I had to do some digging... I tried to get some help but was concerned with someone getting a shovel or hoe to the head!  I think that everyone should have a snow shovel - even if they live in a state that "never needs a snow shovel" HAHA

We don't have a sled or a toboggan - who needs one in Maryland HAHA!  So I improvised and gave them a lid to a Rubbermaid container. Worked fantastic!

Here is a short video,sorry about the wind noise!

And finally, a note to winter:

Dear Winter, I am breaking up with you. It's not me, it's you, you make me miserable. I think it's time I start seeing other seasons.

Mama - Carlee it is your turn to get your fingernails clipped
Carlee - No Mama, I am too scared of dat
Mama  - Since when!  Get over here!
Carlee  - No Mama, I am too scared (looking pitiful at this point)
Mama  - Why are you scared?
Carlee  - Do my fingernails grow because I am growing?
Mama  - Yes
Carlee  - and I am growing bigger and bigger?
Mama  - Yes
Carlee  - Then if you cut my fingernails I will stop growing!

We were having a chat in the kitchen and Carlee started to describe how Daddy makes pancakes.  There really is nothing funny about how Daddy makes pancakes, he makes pretty good pancakes! But the way she told it cracked me up.  So I grabbed the camera and told her to tell me again.  It wasn't quite as funny, but this is still a riot.  I also love how when Sam has something to whisper in Carlee's ear he moves all her hair out of the way.

Certainly the storm over the weekend was epic - even from my Canadian standards! It began to snow Friday afternoon, about the time this video was taken. You can see that there was still a bit of snow on the ground, but not much.  This was the left over from the 6 inches last weekend!  And we believed all the people who said this area hardly gets any snow at all HA!

It snowed all evening and then late at night the wind started to blow.  About 2:30am we lost power so of course no heat!  It was a little chilly in the house, as it had dropped down to about 65 degrees.  Not too bad. Then I tried to look out the bedroom window and this is what I saw.  The wind had blown snow so hard it had covered the windows.  By the way, this is a second story window!
Later in the day I decided to take some more photos.  I had to push the door pretty hard to move all the snow away and get the door to open, but when I did I took these photos.  It was snowing and blowing so I didn't want to go out any farther!
This was through our patio door, which is our view from the living room.  At times during the day it was snowing so hard that we could not see the trees across the field!

One of the first things we did after we got up Saturday morning and discovered we had no heat was to hang a sheet across the living room opening so that we could keep as much heat as possible from the gas fireplace.  However, with 10 foot ceilings I wasn't sure that any heat would stay in there.  But some did and the living room stayed slightly warmer than the rest of the house.

As soon as the kids saw the snow and that it was still snowing they wanted to go out to play.  Carlee dressed herself and said "I'm Ready to go outside now!"  haha I don't think so!
Instead I convinced them to have a campout in the living room, hoping that with all the blankets they would stay warm. They thought this was so much fun, and they played campout most of the day.  They didn't even mind that there was no TV.  The best part of the day for them was the candlelight dinner and then after supper Daddy gave them each a flashlight.  I laughed and told him that if anyone was going by they would think we were having a disco with strobe lights! 

The temperature in the house was dropping slowly, but it was still dropping. It was down to 60 degrees by noon and 55 degrees when we went to bed. We had a couple other inconveniences during the day.  With no power we also had no running water which also means no flushing toilets.  Thankfully we could light the gas stove so we had hot meals and could melt snow to do dishes and flush the toilet.  We had plenty of food and drinking water so that was not a concern, but of course we did not know how long the power would be out.

The next morning, Sunday morning we woke up and it was cold in the house.  The thermostat only goes down to 50 degrees and it was definately colder than that, I would guess closer to 40 degrees. We could even see our breath!  BBBRRRR  Well by now the whole campout routine had lost all appeal and we had three cranky, crying and cold kids.  I quickly got them to finish their oatmeal that did not stay hot for more than a minute and we all got on the couch under a bunch of blankets.  I grabbed a big heap of books and figured I would read as long as they would sit there.  But it wasn't long and thankfully the power was back on. 

We lost power for a total of about 32 hours and seeing that our house was down to about 40 degrees it took most of the day for it to warm back up.  We are so very grateful that the power came back on when it dod and we are praying for all those families that still do not have power!

Sunday afternoon we went out to play in all the snow.  There are places that it is at least 3 feet deep!  Here are some of the photos I took.

Remember in the video above there was the little red tricycle.  Well I had noticed on Saturday morning that it was still in the middle of the driveway and thought that if someone came in to plow us out they may not see it.  Sometime on Saturday in the middle of the storm hubby was going out to get something from the shed and while out there he walked out to where the tricycle was.  He said he picked it up and tossed it close to the tree. When it landed it was on its side it would have been on top of a bunch of snow that had already fallen.  And it is still covered!!!  Just gives you and idea of how much snow we did get!  Oh, and the fence does have two rungs on it which you can see in the video as well!  The drifting gets deeper farther down the lane, all the way to the top of the fence!
I had to rescue Matty a couple of times!

umm, we are gonna need a bigger shovel!

Here is a little video of the kids and their slide.  The way the wind was blowing there was not much snow that stayed right behind the van, well not much compared to the drift!  It made a perfect slide!  Keep an eye on Carlee, this is not a girl who gives up easily when it is something that she really wants! At the end she says "this is Awesome!" then she says "A Big Slidey Mountain!!!" 

This afternoon Hubby decided that he was going to try to get his truck out.  Umm what should I say about that, other than I am just going to keep my big mouth shut so I don't get into trouble.  Here are the photos, they will show that even a 4x4 can get stuck - oops I am supposed to keep my mouth shut ;-)

Yeah honey, you got half way my a**! oops, there I go again! I need to zip it and throw away the key!

So there you have it, our experience of the Epic storm of 2010.  Right now it is Monday night and we are still snowed in with a very stuck truck, but at least we have power.  Now they say another storm is on the way and should hit tomorrow with maybe another foot of snow!  And on top of that the winds are supposed to be much worse so we may lose power again.  Isn't all of that simply fantastic!  Anyone want to move to Maryland, they don't get much snow and have real mild winters! HAHAHA

Seriously though we are praying for those who do not have power and those who may be out on the roads.  We are managing just fine, but there are those we are not as prepared as we are.  Please pray for them as this next storm makes an already bad situation much worse for many people.

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God’s Wisdom for Mothers
Notes by Bobbie Wolgemuth

This Bible is written in the NCV (New Century Version) translation. Throughout the Bible are many notes written to provide encouragement, insight and commentary on various verses and topics.

The NCV translation is based on an earlier version called the International Children’s Bible. Therefore, I found this NCV to be easy to read and understand. My concern though is that much of meaning and context of the original Hebrew & Greek languages may be lost in the translation to such easy English. That being said, I think this would be an excellent translation for new believers or students. I have decided that I will keep this Bible in my kitchen, to use when I only have a moment to read a couple verses. I will continue to use my other translations such as NKJV and NLT for my more in depth Bible Study.

Many of the notes in this Bible I found to be quite neutral and would be applicable to anyone. Labeled as a “Mom’s Bible” I guess I was expecting more that would provide daily application specifically for moms. However, the notes that are provided are certainly valuable. One of the most useful tools will be to use the Topical Index to guide me to a section that I want to read. For example, I may want to read one of these sections and then pick a topic (in brackets) from that section.

• Questions Kids Ask…(Why Can’t we see God?)

• Our God is…(Worthy of Gratitude)

• Walking In…(Grace: An Example of Parenting)

• Passing It On…(A Parent’s Faith, a Family’s Joy)

• Godly Character…(Seeking Humility)

• Insights…(Passionate Prayer)

• Wonderful Counselor…(Keeping Your Marriage Strong)

• Moms in the Bible…(The Good Wife)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

I review for BookSneeze

Now that we are moving back to our house in North Carolina, I decided that I wanted to paint the kitchen cabinets to try to brighten it up. I also wanted to do something fairly neutral because we still want to sell at some point.  We decided on simply painting it white.  We still have some work to do including

-attaching the knobs
-painting the window frame, I have to open it to paint and it was too cold to do in January!
-painting the walls
-new countertops and backsplash
-new flooring
-change the fridge with our white one
But for now, here is what we accomplished...


Tonight I had a babysitter come to stay with the kids while I went to church.  This is a conversation she had with Sam, I hope she doesn't mind that I copied it off her Facebook status LOL

Sam        Give us water right now, & make sure to give us video games every night, & you have to come here every night..okay? I've just got a bad feeling that we're gonna have to go to bed..& you're going to leave

Babysitter   you're so sweet

Sam      i know, i love you

LOL kinda demanding!  Then when her mom picked her up Ben cried and cried saying "I don't want them to leave, go get them back RIGHT NOW!"

Sam asked if she could come to Maryland with us tomorrow, because "I miss her sooooooo much already" hehehe this was only about 5 minutes after she left.

Carlee was so excited as she told me "she is a girl just like me and she has a sister and she is a girl too, a girl just like me. And their Mama is a girl and Mama you are a girl and we are all girls...but not my bruvers they are boys".

I guess having a fantastic babysitter was very exciting!  I hope that we will be able to have her over more often, the kids adore her!

The kids wanted desperately to help with the painting, but I was using oil paint and didn't think it was a good idea to let them help.  So we had them washing down cabinets, inside and out haha

Later I had the cabinet doors lined up on the counters and the table so I could paint them.  As I finished the ones on the table I turned to do some others, I turned back to see this!

It was pretty easy to figure out who did it, all I had to do was check the bottom of paws! I didn't think it was Boots, with only three legs it is pretty tough for him to jump from the floor onto the table.  He prefers to jump on a chair first and I had all those moved out of the way.  Of course it was Tigger, little brat had white paws!

A few days ago the boys & I met some friends at a nearby church playground.  Very close to the playground is part of the church's cemetary, so as we were waiting for the others to arrive I started to wander near the headstones and reading the names and dates.  Soon the boys were following me, this is the conversation we had...

Sam  What are all these?
Me    This is a cemetary, and these are graves.
Sam  What are they for?
Me    Well, when people die this is where their bodies are buried.
Sam  Oh...(thinking) When I die will you bury me in the ground?
Me    ummmm

In this moment many thoughts pass quickly through my mind, the prominent thought is a 4 year old waking up in the middle of the night having a nightmare about being buried in the ground.  Nope, I did not want to go there! So I said...

Me   Oh, you don't have to think about that right now.
Sam Why?  (of course he would have to say that!)
Me  Because you are not going to die for a long long time
Sam Oh, okay

Meanwhile, Ben had been listening to all this and at this moment he said..

Ben  So they plant people in the ground when they die.

All I could do was laugh!

For awhile I have been away from blogging and away from even reading other blogs.  But last night I had some time (well not exactly, I should have been painting but was procrastinating), so I thought I would check in on some of my favorite blogs.  I was brought to tears with excitement and joy and am in awe of our God and how He answers prayers...

Since I have started reading other people's blogs I am often touched by stories, but there are two families that have so deeply touched my heart that I think of them and pray for them often.

I learned of Ali's blog http://feldmancrew.blogspot.com/ when another blogger posted about their terrible loss.  Ali was carrying twins that were born much too soon at 21 weeks. But not only did they suffer this loss, less than a year before they also had a baby girl who was with them for only a few days.  I still cannot comprehend the terrible loss and grief they have endured through, but what has kept me so interested is Ali's incredible faith and how God has guided her through her grief.  Recently they entered into the journey of adoption, so my prayers changed and I started to pray for a baby for them!  God is so good!! They now have a baby girl and her excitement simply leaps off the screen!!! 

I also learned of Jodi's blog http://martinomadness.blogspot.com/ from another blogger's post.  Just before their twins turned 18 months old, one of them suddenly died in his sleep.  For the last 6 months Jodi's writing has captivated me.  She has a gift of writing that has brought the readers into how her heart has been ripped out and how she is coping, somedays just barely.  But even though they have experienced every parents' worst nightmare she goes on because of her baby's twin brother and their older sister.  And, through all of it she has been pregnant!  When I checked in on her blog last night I saw that their baby girl had arrived.  But I seriously love how God works - through this baby He has brought this family even more joy and peace because she was born on the same day as her twin brothers.   She will always share her birthday with her brother that she will never meet! How amazing is that!!!

How amazing is it that I learned of both babies on the same day, literally one blog right after the other!Following these blogs has made me more grateful of how blessed I am.  There have been many moments in the last few months that I have simply stopped what I was doing to have a group hug with my three beautiful children, knowing that Ali would give anything to be able to do the same.  I have stopped in the middle of many rants over everyday kids driving me crazy stuff thinking of how Jodi would give anything to be driven crazy by her little guy.  I have been so touched by these women and their stories.  I have cried for them and I have prayed and prayed and prayed for them. 

I know that I have many lessons to learn through these women, and one of the lessons is to trust in the power of prayer! 

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