Monday, October 26, 2009

T minus 8 hours!

It didn't ever seem like this day would really come! We're getting on the plane and heading home overnight tonight! I don't think Harrison has any idea that we're going on the "big plane" as I've tried to explain, but I pray he does well. We get to the airport in Calgary at 10:30 pm, fly to Toronto (3.5 hrs) deboard the plane, go through customs and depart for Dallas at 8:45 am. I sure hope he sleeps on this big flight. Once we are boarded for Dallas the flight is only 1.5 hours. My good friend Kristen is picking us up and then we'll have a 2.5 hour drive to Brownwood. This is going to be a big travel day for us and plenty of prayer has covered this trip. We can't wait to see everybody but especially Daddy!

Mike has been working SO hard to get everything moved from our various storage places into the house in Brownwood. He worked so hard that he actually fell asleep in the bathtub for 1.5 hour the other night! Yeesh! I can't wait to get into the new house and make it our home. At this point only the Lord knows how long we'll be there, but we are determined to make the best of it. The carpet has been replaced, and the house has been cleaned, now all it needs is a little paint to make it feel like our "own" place. Thank goodness paint is relatively cheap and goes really far when making a change.

We won't have internet until December 8th since that was the soonest service appointment they could give us. I will try to blog as often as I can but you can always reach me on facebook or on my cell phone in the meantime.

I have a doctors appointment when I get back to Texas too, so I am excited to get checked out and see how little Audrey is doing! We'll try our best to keep y'all posted! Much love!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thoughts on leaving and coming home

It has been 50 days since I have seen my husband and since Harrison has seen his Daddy in person. Of course we have web chatted when the time has allowed but it definitely is not the same. We are ready to go home. I am ready to go HOME. It is funny how I have spent 26 years of my life in Alberta and 2.5 years in Texas but now I feel like Texas is my home. Home really is where your heart is, and my heart is with my husband Michael, no matter where in Texas we are.

I am ready to go back and to get ready for the arrival of our baby girl. She is getting bigger and bigger and so am I. It seems like this pregnancy has taken forever, but that's probably because we knew about it almost from day 1. I am ready to paint her room, buy a crib and dresser (looking for a white set if you know anyone selling one!), and to get her clothes washed and put away. Although we have spent so much time with my parents I am glad that they have decided to come down to Texas for Christmas anyways so that they can be present for the birth of Audrey. That is very special since they live 1800+ miles away.

We have moved yet again. I think the Lord is trying to change my mind about moving because I really don't like it. I grew up in the same house I was born in for 18 years until I went to university so moving was never part of my life; it feels like we haven't stopped moving since I came to Texas. I know this isn't our last move, but I hope that it is our second to last move. I have always sentimental about having our "forever" home, and I truly pray that the Lord will answer that desire one day.

As for leaving the farm... *SIGH*... We have had a really great time here outside of missing Daddy. Grandpa and Grandma have both been so awesome helping out with Harrison, teaching him new things, and exploring everything around the farm with him. I know it has been a joy for them seeing Harrison in his everyday life and nothing else will replace the squeal and huge smile he gives them everyday when they get home from work. They have helped us out so much there is no way that we could ever repay them and I know that they don't expect us to. It is my hope that we have taken enough videos and pictures that Harrison will remember his time here even though he is so young. It has been so nice to just call up my brother and sister-in-law to go to a movie, or invite them over for dinner. Those are things that simply can't be replaced in Texas.

We have made some good memories while we've been in Alberta but I know that more are yet to come. It is not the end, just the end of this "visit". Bitter sweet but worth every minute. We can't wait to see you on Tuesday Daddy!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


God is SO good and faithful even when I falter and want to give up hope; He is there waiting to catch me when I fall! This week has been an amazing breakthrough for our life situation and I just want to share and praise with you!

I have been "panicking" so to speak. Call it pregnancy hormones, the need to nest, I don't know what it is, but I have been so worried lately that I wasn't going to make it back to Texas before the pregnancy DO NOT FLY deadline, which is rapidly approaching. I am 30 weeks this week, only 8 more to go and we will be welcoming our daughter! Every way we looked at our "situation" which we having loving come to call our train wreck, there seemed to be no end in sight, no hope that things were going to change, even though in my heart I knew better. The reality of it all just wasn't very pretty.

Well praise God that he is bigger than all things, especially the ones that seem impossible!! This week several HUGE events occured that have opened the door wide open for Harrison and I to return to Texas. The biggest stumbling block was that Mike still didn't have a job. I want to clarify this - my husband is NOT a lazy man, in fact he is the furthest thing from it. Mike can take pride in whatever he's doing and he has always worked as if he is working for the Lord, no matter what the task. This is something I really admire and love about him. I am so proud to be his wife! He has looked high and low for work, all kinds of jobs from wind turbine careers to Wal-Mart and NOTHING has fallen into place - until now. This week Mike went to Abilene for an interview with a communications company that is opening a store in Brownwood, which is where we will now call home. After the interview the good news came... "the job is yours if you want it!" Music to our ears and sweet blessings to our family!! He attended a orientation directly after his interview and was able to start work immediately, in fact, he is out working in Brownwood today!

Not only did the job fall into place, but after WEEKS of trying to figure out how we could afford new carpet for the house we are moving into, friends of ours from Alberta incredibly blessed us by paying for part of the cost! Mike's Memaw also recognized our need for healthy, clean carpet for our babies and paid the remainder of the cost. We have been so blessed!! The carpet was installed yesterday and looks amazing! Please understand that it's not that we wanted new carpet. The old stuff (30 years+) was worn paper thin and severely stained to a point nobody should be living on it. This was another HUGE barrier for us to come home because we needed to know we had a safe place for Harrison and Audrey to play and live. Thank you Father!

After 7 months of hoping and praying for work, watching our savings dwindling down to nearly nothing we are so excited that the Lord has seen our need and answered our prayers! His timing is perfect. There are so many situations where we would have gone wrong, or chose a different path if a job had come sooner etc. but He knew and delivered us exactly when we needed it!

One more item of praise is that Harrison and I were able to get a flight home immediately instead of having to wait until November 10th. The prices just seemed to be excalating every day that I looked and low and behold yesterday they dropped from $600+ to $202!! So we are able to fly home sooner for much less money. Amazing!!

I want to personally thank all our friends and family for being there for us during this trying and challenging time. I wish I could say that we handled every step of the way with faith and perseverance but I know that we had our moments where we stumbled. Mike and I have however grown more in love through the distance, we have a new appreciation for Gods timing and His blessings. We know that God has used our friends and family to work miracles through. Thank you for being His vessels!! Thank you for your prayers and encouraging words. This would have been a VERY dark road to travel without being surrounded by such awesome people. We love you!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Can You Hear Me?

This is actually the title of a book/bible study I am working through right now by Brad Jersak (a Canadian author). I stumbled across the book on a friends book shelf and asked if I could borrow it because just by the title it seemed like a book I needed in my life at this exact moment. After contemplating the title I began to wonder is this the question I am asking God or is it what He's asking me???

Once into the first chapter I realized that this is what God is asking me... Can you hear me? So many times I am guilty of falling into a repetitive prayer life, instead of having a conversation with a living God. I used to be very diligent about seeking what the Lord actually had to say to me - not in an audible voice, but in that soft, inner whisper that He often uses when we take the time to truly listen. Lately, it's like the circumstances in our life have been spinning so wildly out of control that I have not taken the time to stop and listen. That doesn't mean that God still isn't trying to get through to me.

The major scripture in the first chapter really, REALLY encouraged me so I want to share it with everyone:

The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. (John 10:2-5,14-15)

The author goes on to say "The Lord is making a point here about his voice: he has one. He uses it. He speaks. His sheep - those who have ears to listen-hear it, know it, and follow it.

God does speak. He is speaking all the time. He speaks in many ways. The problem is not with God's voice. The trouble is with our ears. We do not hear or perceive what he is saying. We might even go one step further to say that we do hear him - we are just not aware that we hear him. Or, perhaps we're not ready or willing to listen."

In my personal walk (before reading this) I have often wondered "why is God being silent now, when I need Him the most?" I am so grateful for this simple teaching that God is always here, He's just waiting for us to listen. I am also very grateful for such a patient Father!!

I am excited to share more of this journey with you as I read further and explore further with God into the Scripture of His heart. If one thing is certain, He does not want this train wreck that we've been on to continue! He wants the very best for his children, all of us, and I am ready to claim back what has been stolen from us over the last 7 months. My prayer is that as you read this you will grow a desire to go deeper with the Father whose love for you is never silent!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Time with 2 Great Friends!

This week Harrison and I were blessed to visit with good friends of ours, The Janzen Family in Cochrane, Alberta from Tuesday to Saturday. Not only was it great to see them but it was also wonderful to be back in Cochrane; there is so much I miss there from all the individual, unique shops, to the beautiful Bow River and the majestic Rocky Mountains right in your back yard.

Getting there on Tuesday was another story. There just so happened to be a snow storm the night before that continued into the morning we were leaving. After checking the road reports (which actually said "poor conditions") we decided to still head up to Cochrane but to take our time and go slow. I wish I could say the same for the other drivers on the road! There were spots that were a little scary but we made it safe and sound.

I had such a great time catching up with my matron of honor Cindy. Sometimes it is hard when we can't connect on the phone when I am in Texas, just with the difference in time and family schedules, but give us a cup of coffee or tea and we pick up right where we left off. It is such a blessing to have a friend like that!

While I was in Cochrane I was also able to visit with my friend Jill as well. I have known Jill for 11 years and no matter where she is in the world (she used to work on a cruise ship) we have always kept in touch. Unfortunately Jill was diagnosed Hodgkin's lymphoma about a year and a half ago. She has tried various treatments outside of Western medicine and has not had much success. I really wanted to see Jill before she headed off to Mexico for a new treatment option, and thankfully she was able to stop by Cindy's on Friday night. I continue to pray for her complete healing and I can't wait for the day she can share the testimony of her journey. She is such a beautiful person inside and out!

We were sad that our visit seemed so short but at the same time we were happy to get back to the farm, back to our regular sleeping arrangements etc. Harrison sure missed Grandma and Grandpa. Not sure how he will do as we transition back to Texas. He has been so resilient through all our ups and downs, I have no doubt he will love being back home with his Daddy!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Christmas Wish List

A few weeks after arriving here at the farm Grandma & Grandpa received the all wonderful SEARS WISH BOOK in the mail. I'm sure I am not the only one as a child that used to go through the book until it's pages were well worn and familiar, circling my Christmas wish items or sometimes for the really, really important items, even tearing out a page or two.

Well Christmas time is just around the corner, as Wal-Mart has wonderfully reminded me by putting out their wrapping paper before the Halloween costumes are even off the racks yet. This Christmas is going to be very different for our family though. We are already receiveing one of the most beautiful gifts imaginable, our daughter Audrey Grace. Who knows, we may even still be in the hospital for Christmas this year, if necessary. I guess it goes without saying that my wish list for this Christmas is a little different than usual...

1. My very first wish is for a job for my husband. Not just for the obvious reasons like food & shelter, but for his well being too. I want him to know that he is doing his very best, but I know for most men that means providing in some way for their family. This is what I wish for the most.

2. My second wish is to be settled in a place we can call HOME before our daughter arrives. Wherever that is geographically doesn't even matter. I just want to be under the same roof as my husband, son and daughter, especially for Christmas.

3. Thirdly, I wish for a safe delivery for Audrey Grace. We have no reason to suspect or anticipate any problems, so we are just believing that everything will go smoothly. We can't wait to meet our little girl!

4. Some much needed baby items; this is the longer list.

A double baby stroller,
A white baby crib and dresser/change table,
Some much needed girls winter clothes for a newborn,
And a variety of general baby items (you can look up our registry at

If all these wishes/prayers are answered then nothing else would make me happier. I must say that I am looking forward to the passing of Halloween so that the Christmas spirit can arrive in full glory!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Snow Day!

Last night Harrison and Mommy had a date night at home while Grandma and Grandpa went out with Uncle Bob & Aunty Dianna to celebrate Grandma and Bob's birthdays. Grandma's birthday is actually this Wednesday, so we are going to have to think of something special we can do to surprise her.

For our "date" last night I made banana bran muffins with Harrison. He stood very nicely on a big chair next to the mixer while I poured all the ingredients in. He loved watching everything get blended together, and was particularly thrilled when we started pouring the mixture into the muffin tin. I think his most favorite part was watching them grow and bake in the oven! Wish I had a picture of his little face pressed up against the oven window.

After a yummy breakfast of fresh muffins this morning we jumped in the truck with Grandpa and drove up to the mountains to help Uncle Blair and Aunty Danielle collect their firewood for the winter. As we got closer to the mountains it started to rain a little bit and as we climbed higher it started to snow! Along the way to their campsite we had to stop for some ranchers that were moving their cattle in for the winter. Harrison was pointing and squealing because the cows were all over the road. Very fun!

As the snow started to fall

Cattle round up

Once we arrived Grandpa, Uncle Blair and his friend John went with quads and the truck/trailer to go cut down the dead trees while Harrison, & I, Aunty Danielle and John's wife Marla stayed in the camping trailer and kept warm as we watched the snow come down faster and faster. The snow flakes were getting bigger and bigger and soon the trailer was full of wood and it was time to head home, AFTER we put on Harrison's snowsuit and played in the fresh snow!!

With the first flakes of snow falling on his face Harrison let out a huge squeal! He kept looking up trying to figure out what was this snow and where it was coming from. It was perfect sticky snow for snowballs and snowmen. Here is Harrison's first snowman! We had such a fun day in the mountains.

First time in snow!

First snowman

Mmmmm! You can eat this stuff?

At the trailer with Uncle and Aunty

On the quad ride with Uncle Blair

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Big Boots to Fill

So, the play group went ok yesterday morning. It is held in a classroom at a local elementary school in a good size room with lots of stations. There is a mini kitchen, a large table for crafts, a reading area, a water station, a foamie block area for smaller babies and another area for miscellaneous toys. I don't know if yesterday was a "regular" sized turn out but I found it very crowded. There were 12 mothers and several had 2 kids with them, so I think there were close to 20 toddlers.

I didn't end up getting any pictures this time because I was kept very busy making sure Harrison was playing nicely. He was great with the other kids, it was more the toys I had to keep an eye on. If he wasn't trying to "borrow" a toy from someone else (always a tractor, imagine that!), then he was putting the non-water toys in the water station or in his mouth.

Harrison loves water any way he can get it. In a sippy cup, from the garden hose, in the tub, in the sink or pool. If he can play with it or drink it (or both!) he is a happy camper. So, of course, the first station he spotted was the water station. It is a big tub with cups and water toys and a gravity drain that spins its wheels as water is poured in it. This thoroughly fascinated Harrison except when the other kids poured the water in he would grab it and tip it towards him to try to watch where all the water was going! This was really fun for him but the other children didn't think so, so I gently tried to coax him away from the water for a bit. It's always a good time to learn about sharing and moderation.

For the most part I just let him explore the room and only interjected when he wasn't being a little gentleman. Oh, and when he tried to eat a big glob of play dough! I really wish I could have had my camera out for that. We had some other ups and downs, like snack time. They made the kids crackers, cheese and sausage for snack with a glass of milk and since Harrison is allergic to dairy, I said no thank you to the milk and took the cheese off the plate right away. This did not go over well and everyone had the beautiful opportunity to listen to Harrison cry while they had their snack. Oh well. Hopefully tomorrow goes better. We'll give it one more shot and hopefully get some pictures too.

Other than that I just spent some time taking pictures of Harrison inside for the last couple of days since it has been too cold to really go outside. This morning when we came upstairs it ws -2C/28F. The first ones are a couple of him in his new snowsuit. He wasn't quite sure what to think of it!

I love this second set of photos! Here is Harrison trying on Grandpa's cowboy boots and hat. He REALLY wasn't sure about the hat, but I finally managed to grab some cute shots! Can't wait to scrapbook theses.

big boots

very big hat

no more pictures please

And last but not any less cute, here are some pics of Harrison driving his "big truck" around the living room. Well kind of. Every time I went to take the picture he would stop and step off, so here he is posing for me. Hope y'all had a good week and are ready for the weekend! Blessings!

Belly Laughs!

Oops! I fully intended to use this for yesterday's post but I guess I didn't get around to it in time. Being nearly 7 months pregnant I find this very humorous! Enjoy some belly laughs today!