Thursday, May 29, 2014


The age spread between my four kids is just over nine years. I have two teenagers, a 10 year old and an almost six year old. Before Sarah was born, my days started early and were full but I always had quiet evenings to myself. This quiet time allowed me to reflect on the day's events, enjoy some alone time and begin to think about what we'd be doing the next day. Of course having a newborn means pretty much giving up all your time, 24 hours a day. Unlike many children who sleep through the night within the first one or two years, Sarah was up at least once a night sometimes more, up until this past February. We gently parented her into learning how to sleep in the same bed as Arianna without needing to come to me in the middle of the night. She has always been a little morning person. She and I spend an hour or two together before the rest of the house wakes up which includes watching a movie and sharing a cup of coffee.

"You have to share wiff me your coffee, right Mum?"

Although I try to enjoy these quiet times with just her, the older kids no longer go to bed at 8:00 which means I am down to very little "me" time. I don't mean to be selfish. I love my kids with all my heart and I absorb the early mornings with Sarah or the late night chats with my teens. But I also am a separate person, outside of being a parent. For a while I was able to enjoy the mornings by getting up before everyone else. That meant setting an alarm for about 5:00am. This would give me time to have a solo cup of coffee, read my Bible and emotionally prepare for the day. For a few weeks now, a certain "someone" has been waking up around 5:15 to 5:30. It's hard not to feel like my time is being taken from me. I value some alone time. It's like it's the fuel for my day, spending time with God and preparing for what the day holds.

I let those negative feelings reside in me for much of the day and it took till mid afternoon before I decided I wouldn't let the weather or busyness of my day keep me inside. I am thankful for the encouragement of a friend and finally a walk in the rain. I took my early riser, plopped her in her Chariot and headed outside this afternoon. I was able to enjoy the sound of rain hitting the ground and the smell of a clean earth that could only be designed and created by my God.

Thankful Thursday - Eagle's Wings

I am thankful for his grace, for his mercy for his redeeming love.

Eagle's Wings

Here I am waiting, abide in me, I pray
Here I am longing for You
Hide me in Your love, bring me to my knees
May I know Jesus more and more

Come live in me all my life, take over
Come breathe in me, I will rise on eagle's wings
Come live in me all my life, take over
Come breathe in me, I will rise on eagle's wings

Here I am waiting, abide in me, I pray
Here I am longing for You
Hide me in Your love, bring me to my knees
May I know Jesus more and more

Come live in me all my life, take over
Come breathe in me, I will rise on eagle's wings
Come live in me all my life, take over
Come breathe in me, I will rise on eagle's wings

Come live in me all my life, take over
Come breathe in me, I will rise on eagle's wings

Come live in me all my life, take over
Come breathe in me, I will rise on eagle's wings

I will rise on eagle's wings, I will rise on eagle's wings
I will rise on eagle's wings, I will rise on eagle's wings

I will rise on eagle's wings, I will rise on eagle's wings
On eagle's wings

Monday, May 26, 2014

Monday's Musings

  • I have been up for two and a half hours. That's given me a lot of time to be in a quiet space, reading God's word and talking to him. It's such a great way to begin my day and I'm thankful for these moments where I can focus on God alone without interruptions or disruptions.
  • The kids and I are down to our final five weeks of school. Or at least Joshua is. The girls will likely be done sooner but that's the benefit and joy of homeschooling!
  • Doug is well into BC for a work trade show which means I'm solo parenting for the week. I'm thankful that my kids are much older than when he first started doing road trips nearly ten years ago. Sarah is the only one that requires full care and the other three are able to do much on their own.
  • Romans 15:13 - "{I} pray that God, the source of hope, will fill {me} completely with joy and peace because {I} trust in him. Then {I} will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. 
  • It's a rainy kind of day today. I'm thinking that once the regular stuff is done, we'll hang out together and watch some movies together. 
  • This week will be busy with our last piano lesson, a speech assessment for Sarah and hopefully some walks and park days. I'm so glad winter is over and that we can be outside again!
Happy Monday - may you be blessed!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday's Song: On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand

Good morning! May your Sunday be filled with His love and blessings!

  1. My hope is built on nothing less
    Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
    But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
    • Refrain:
      On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
      All other ground is sinking sand,
      All other ground is sinking sand.
  2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
    I rest on His unchanging grace;
    In every high and stormy gale,
    My anchor holds within the veil.
  3. His oath, His covenant, His blood
    Support me in the whelming flood;
    When all around my soul gives way,
    He then is all my hope and stay.
  4. When He shall come with trumpet sound,
    Oh, may I then in Him be found;
    Dressed in His righteousness alone,
    Faultless to stand before the throne.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Third Anniversary

May 16th marked the third anniversary of the day that "normal" was redefined for us. I blogged about that day HERE. Now I'm not totally sure why I didn't write this post on Friday, I think I got my dates mixed up.

I can still see so clearly in my mind about how that very first home visit, which consisted of a DISC (Diagnostic Inventory for Screening Children) assessment had gone. I had no idea what to expect of this visit and when I saw how low Sarah scored on the tests, I was devastated. We were told that she was anywhere from 8-18 months behind kids who were her age. It was quite the blow to hear from someone that our daughter wasn't developing typically.

The months and years that followed consisted of biweekly home visits from our Early Intervention Coordinator which were times full of play ideas, tips and encouragement. I think initially I was resistant to Wendy, possibly because I wanted to deny that anything was different with Sarah. As time went on, I found her to be someone who was an encourager, supporter and cheerleader for me. I was learning to be strong for Sarah and to fight for her. I am so thankful for the times Wendy, Sarah and I had together and I believe she was a vital part of our lives for that time. It was sad to say good bye to her when Sarah turned five.

This day marked the beginning of a whole new chapter of life for us. We would quickly learn words like cerebral palsy, severe microcephaly, severe global developmental delays, intervention, special needs and more. Although these words do not define who Sarah is and they are a part of of our lives, she didn't change that day, simply because a label was given.

Sarah continues to be a blessing to Doug, myself, our family and to just about anyone who meets and knows her. Our life took a detour that day. We are on a different journey than we may have thought we would have been and although it hasn't all been easy, we have conquered many mountains and milestones. We celebrate each victory with enthusiasm, no matter how small. The other day, Sarah picked me a dandelion bouquet for the first time and it was such a precious gift to me.

Today, I don't know where she is as far as her developmental stages are. She certainly acts and speaks considerably younger than she is but I have no tools to base that on. If I had to guess, I'd place her around 3.5-4 years old, depending on the skill. And today, that's okay. She is perfect in God's eyes and she is exactly how he wants her to be.

Because of Love

Doug and I have often said that a marriage is 100/100, rather than 50/50. It takes work. A lot of work. It means giving of yourself to the other person and sometimes doing something that you may not necessarily enjoy as much as your spouse.

Such was the case last night. I got on the back of Doug's motorcycle and we went for a ride. Not because I love looking at the back of a helmet or because I love the lack of ability to talk in a normal volume. But I did it because I love Doug and he loves riding his motorcycle. He has been riding on two wheels for as long as he can recall and I've heard how he received a tiny motorcycle on a stand by the time he was two. Personally, I prefer driving in our van so we can glance at each other and carry on a conversation without the wind being louder than our voices. But for an hour or so as I sat behind him, it gave me the opportunity to remember our dating years, when we did a lot of riding and a lot of driving in the '67 Mustang that somehow turned into an engagement ring.

I don't always have the deep desire to ride the motorcycle but I know that it means a lot to Doug and that's what's important.

Happy Monday. May you and your marriages be blessed.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


We all have long tiring days. I find though that they take a greater toll on Sarah and by the time she's been awake for over 12 hours, things go downhill really quickly. Today began with her waiting outside my bathroom door at 5:30 in the morning. The two of us padded downstairs and she began playing with her toys as I managed to get a cup of coffee poured. Most of the day was spent out at our church as we participated in the annual spring clean up. Sarah was outside with the other girls for almost four hours. When we came home, she had an emotional crash. She was teary and sad for most of the evening. I gave in to her pleas and she had pancakes for supper and refused to have a bath. The two of us snuggled on a chair and watched an episode of Little House on the Prairie together and after 30 minutes, she asked to go to bed. She wanted to start off in mine and Doug's bed and rather than fight, I said she could. As I was laying beside her, I was thinking of this:

There is something amazing about watching your child fall asleep.
I mean really sitting beside her, seeing her lashes fall heavily on her cheeks.
Watching as the hair twirling slows down and her tiny hand falls limply on the covers.
As she scratches that itchy spot on her head once more. And her fingers rest in her hair.
The one final deep sigh as slumber takes over.

Every tired muscle that ran up the ramp. And down the stairs.
The tiptoes as she watched the bobcat drive by the windows.
Her little legs keeping up with the big girls and at times just falling down from exhaustion.
Her thin arms as she helped Mr. Bruce rake the grass.
The busyness of keeping track of where everyone was.

My heart melted as I watched her lips relaxed.
The sweet mouth that kissed me good night and affirmed that I'm the "best ever Mommy".
Tonight, I watched my youngest daughter fall asleep. It took up my time.
And it was the sweetest part of my day.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Letter to Me

Even though the Bible was written thousands of years ago, it is still a powerful tool for us to use today. It is full of advice, lessons, promises and letters to God's people. Lately I have been drawn to the book of Ephesians, specifically the first chapter. I paraphrased it and turned it into a personal letter to me from God and when I read it back, I feel so privileged that He is talking to me!

Dear Stephanie,

For it was in me that I chose you, even before I created the world so you could become holy and blameless in my sight. Because I love you, I predestined you to be adopted as my daughter through Jesus Christ which is in accordance with my pleasure and will - to the praise and glorious grace, which I have freely given you in the One I love. In my son Jesus, you have been rescued through his blood, your sins are forgiven in accordance with the riches of my grace, that I lavished on you with all wisdom and understanding. Because you are united with Christ, you were also made an heir and have received an inheritance from me. I chose you in advance because I work everything out to the purpose of my will. This is so that you might be for the praise of my glory. You have been marked with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit who is a deposit guaranteeing your inheritance until the redemption of those who are my possession - I did this so that you would praise and glorify me.


*Paraphrased from Ephesians 1:4-14 (NIV & NLT)

Thankful Thursday

  • I am so glad winter is over. Time to hit the pavement for walks around the city, to parks and enjoy picnics.
  • For the people at my church who have so quickly become like an extended family.
  • Friends
  • I am thankful for the many different ways of communication. Texting, email and blogging allows me to get in touch with people who I need to talk to, encourage or seek encouragement.
  • It's a long weekend. I'm looking forward to an extra day off to just hang out with my family and friends!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sunday's Song: I Can Only Imagine

This song was sung at a Celebration of Life yesterday for a young mom who was only 36 years old. We who are left here on earth can only imagine what she's doing right now but she is living it. So is my mom. Her heart problems are long over and she's been sitting by her Jesus for years now. I can only imagine what it will be like to be reunited with those who have gone before us and oh what a happy day that will be.

I Can Only Imagine

I can only imagine what it will be like
When I walk by your side
I can only imagine what my eyes will see
When your face is before me
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

Surrounded by your glory
What will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you Jesus,
Or in awe of you be still?
Will I stand in your presence,
Or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing Hallelujah,
Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

I can only imagine when that day comes
And I find myself standing in the Son
I can only imagine when all I will do
Is forever, forever worship you
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

Surrounded by your glory,
What will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you Jesus,
Or in awe of you be still?
Will I stand in your presence,
Or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing Hallelujah,
Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine, yeah
I can only imagine
I can only imagine, yeah, yeah, yeah

Surrounded by your glory,
What will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you Jesus,
Or in awe of you be still?
Will I stand in your presence,
Or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing Hallelujah,
Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine, yeah

I can only imagine, yeah, yeah
I can only imagine, Yeah
I can only imagine
I can only imagine, Ohh yeah
I can only imagine

I can only imagine when all I will do
is forever, forever worship you
I can only imagine

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mother's Day 2014

It was Sunday, May 9, 1999. My very first Mother's Day as a mom with my two day old son and the last one I would ever spend with my mom. Just two months and two weeks later, I said good bye as she walked in the waiting arms of Jesus after her heart simply gave up the fight to go on.

This particular Sunday of each year fills me with so many ups and downs. I travel the emotional roller coaster all day, experiencing joyous highs and tearful lows.

In the midst of the day, even though I am a mom and I get to be extra recognized, sometimes it's hard to be cheerful and smiley. The feeling of missing my mom never goes away and a small part of my heart is gone forever. I will always remember her... not a day goes by that she doesn't cross my mind, even if it's just for a fleeting moment. 

When I sat down to write my thoughts on my Mom, just pouring out my heart, this is what I came up with:

If I could have one more day, I would make us a cup of tea so we could talk.
I would ask you to write out all your favorite recipes because it's so precious to see your handwriting.
I would think of all the questions that I wanted to know the answers to and we'd write them out together.
If I knew what I'd be doing today, all those years ago, I would seek your opinion on so many things. 
Raising teenagers, baking secrets, housekeeping tips and home management ideas.
If I knew that I would be saying good bye forever, I would record our conversation so I could hear your voice again.
I'd ask you to write me a letter. With encouragement, support, prayers and guidance. I would treasure that forever.
I would take more pictures of us. Of you. I'd take a video of your laugh, your smile.
I know you weren't perfect. Or maybe you were.
Perhaps I've simply forgotten all the unpleasant memories and pushed them aside for only good thoughts and images.
I hope I've make you proud. That if you were here, I would hear you say "good job Tess."
If I could have one more chance to hug you, see your face, hear your voice.
If on that day, when I waved good bye after our last supper together,  I knew I wouldn't see you again, I would have told you how much I loved you.
That I was so thankful for the precious 23 years and 5 months we shared.
I would tell you that I appreciate everything you've done for me. 
You were a model for me. You lived a strong life and fought such a hard battle in the end. 
I hope I can be as wonderful and lovely as you. A heart full of joy, a face that radiates light and a soul that emits the love of Jesus everywhere I go. 

Happy Mother's Day Mom, you are loved today and always.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

It's Been Three Years

Three years ago from today, I nervously entered the local health unit with an unsettled feeling in my stomach. This is what I wrote when the day was done: BLOG POST FROM MAY 9, 2011

So how has she changed in three years?

  • Her speech development continues to grow at a rate and pace that is suited for her.
  • She is progressing forward, just slower than a typical developing child.
  • Last year she had a speech assessment which placed her at a 3 year old level of speech. We have another assessment booked for June. 
  • She chatters all day long and her pretend play is blossoming nicely. After spending a consistent amount of time with my friend (who does my respite) and her little girl, Sarah is learning how to play and interact with others as well. These times are allowing Sarah to listen, learn new things and share her own ideas and opinions. It's been a great opportunity for her to be with someone her age while still in the comfort of a home, which I appreciate.
How have I changed in three years?
  • Although I have had many discouraging days, for the most part, I am accepting of her delays. I have times of frustration and fear but pushing those negative thoughts away is easier.
  • My faith in God has grown by leaps and bounds. I had so many days and nights of doubts and tears which have brought me to my knees in submission to Christ. He has shown me through his Word and the wisdom of friends that she was created just the way He wanted her to be.
  • I have learned how to become a stronger advocate for Sarah. I have fought for respite hours. I have pushed for answers. I have learned to be strong and keep looking for support.
  • I no longer feel dreadful all the time. I know that Sarah will keep growing at her own rate and that will mean the gap between her and her peers will get bigger. I am still learning to be okay with and accept it as our "normal" and although some days are tougher than others, I'm doing better than I ever have been. 
What now? What's next?
  • Currently, Sarah is registered for "grade one" this fall. I'll use that term loosely because it's only by law that she's enrolled and clearly she is not going to be doing what "typical" grade ones will be. 
  • When I think that she's about 3.5-4 years old developmentally, we may start on some early preschool stuff but that's not a huge concern of mine. She is learning what she needs to at this time and I'm satisfied with that.
  • I will continue to keep her at home. I do not believe that putting her in a room with 20-25 other developmentally average kids will benefit her at this time (even with a full time aid which would be necessary). Also, I've homeschooled all of my other kids successfully, why would Sarah be any different?
  • I'm hoping that once the school year begins this fall, we will find supports and access to other help as we see is needed. It's been sort of a lonely year since we had to stop our early intervention and the support came to a close. We've sort of just let things be for the year with Sarah's only focus is on play. 
I can remember this visit as the beginning of a new stage of life for us. Little did we know what we were in for after that. The date of the initial developmental diagnosis is a bit later in May... I'll blog about it then. 

 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Philippians 4:6-7

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Throughout my childhood, my dream was to be a mom. I wanted a baby to hold and love that was mine alone. On May 7th, that dream came true in the form of an eight pound baby boy. 

Fifteen years later, he is now taller than me, his voice deepening and becoming more like his dad's and even showing signs of needing to shave in the not too far off future. He's been working at Wendy's for almost a year now and enjoys what he does there. Lego is still a huge fascination and the sets in his room show how much he enjoys and appreciates them. There is now talk of buying a car because in a year, he will have his independent driver's license and I will have to let go just a little bit more. This fall he is going to be attending the local high school after spending the last nine school years under my wing. I hope and pray that I have provided all the tools for him to be successful, smart and able to stand up for what he believes in. 

I still am amazed that I am the mom of a 15 year old kid! Where did the years go...?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Ten Years Old!

Happy 10th birthday Arianna!! I can't believe how quickly the past ten years have gone by. As I hugged you this morning, the top of your head no longer sits under my chin. You are getting so tall and carry yourself with maturity and grace. I love how independent you are becoming and how you enjoy having extra responsibilities around the house, especially with Sarah. You ask deep questions and push for answers that satisfy you.

This year I had to begin your birthday morning with some terribly sad and hard news. Even though you were shocked from what I had to tell you, you had your tears and then decided you were still going to have a really fun and special day. Your church family sang to you, we went out for lunch and had pizza for supper. One of your friends spent the night and the two of you talked well into the night! I am so thankful that you had a happy day. I love seeing you grow and change and I know that God has a wonderful plan for your life!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sunday's Song: My Jesus I Love Thee

My Jesus I Love Thee

My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I love Thee because Thou has first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree.
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Daybook {05.01.14}


Outside my window... the sun is trying to break through the overcast sky of clouds. Signs of winter have finally melted away and the sounds of happy birds are now more common. A few little toys scatter in the yard, showing evidence of kids being able to be outside with less hoopla. Boots and hoodie are all that are needed now.

I am thinking... how much I enjoyed going for a walk yesterday and that I should make it a more regular part of my days.

I am thankful... for prayer filled people in my life.

In the kitchen... still clean after last night's supper. Thanks to my husband who tidied it for me while I was out for a couple hours!

I am wearing... black yoga pants and a red hoodie. Pretty comfortable for today.

I am going... to register my first born for high school. How can it be that I am at this stage of life already?! 

I am reading... Bridge To Haven by Francine Rivers. There's others that I'm in the middle of but sometimes when a new book comes in the mail, I just can't wait to get into it!

I am hoping... that the rain that's forecasted for Arianna's birthday on Sunday will change to sun instead. 

I am looking forward to... my last home visit of this school year. It's such a good feeling of knowing that I did it again... I completed another year of educating my kids and I did well!

I am learning... that peace and joy from God are not dependent on my circumstances. This has been quite a learning curve for me and although I'm still working through it, I'm thankful for how God is helping me grow.

Around the house... mostly tidy with the usual evidence of children living here.

I am pondering... which curriculum will be best for the girls next fall. There's so much to choose from and I want to make the best choice for them.

A favorite quote for today... "The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust him." Nahum 1:7

One of my favorite things... coffee and a good book. Or coffee with friends.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Not a whole lot going on for the week but we'll end the weekend celebrating a certain birthday!

A peek into my day... I see another cup of coffee, possibly a walk and a home visit from my facilitator this afternoon. 


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