Monday, May 22, 2017

Splitting wood - A family affair

Thanks, as always, to the Mains, and their continual tolerance of ... generosity to us - We managed to split the majority of the wood we need for the next two winters. The bugs were HORRIBLE and it was hateful work at times, but it was also a blessing to be able to work at something together.  There is not much a family ranging from age 6 to 39 can productively do together, but splitting and stacking wood is one of them.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Cor 15:58

End of Year Recital 2017

Friday, May 12, 2017

March for Life in The Land of the Glorious and Free.... except if you disagree?

Well, it rhymes?  Maybe we really do need to look at a re-write of the anthem.  Along with removing the words, "God keep our land" we can reassess whether or not we are a free nation.

This is screen shot of what CBC reported as victory against the pro-life movement's "March for Life" flag.  The sad thing is that I voted for Jim Watson.  I thought he was a good, moderate candidate.  I thought he would defend liberty for citizens.  

No one is saying that we must all be pro-life supporters.  If you are pro-abortion, you can have a protest right under the flag and you can throw tomatoes, eggs or gender neutral pronouns at the flag.  G'ahead.  It's your right.  But it is other Ottawa Citizens' right to follow due process, apply for a permit, as Mr Barrett did, and have the flag raised to celebrate a nation-wide cause.

It was up for less than 4 hours.

Unbelievable.  Has anyone got an extra copy of 1984? 


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Rainy May

It has been a crazy wet and rainy May.  Poor Ottawa is really hurting.  Bridges closed.  People forced out of their homes.  Every time I wanted to complain about another wet day,  Jason would remind me of families living in temporary housing while their homes are inundated with water.  

So we are patiently waiting for the nice weather and being thankful.  

Essy letting Jane win at Candyland.

Esther's first extended chapter book was, The End of the Beginning by AVI.
I remember Cole reading the same book.  Full circle

Window tangrams.  Math, sort of....

I have no idea what this is.
The boys have been preparing for their IEEE competition next month.
The house is full of USB cables and weird bots and the computer is always taken....

Friday, April 28, 2017

Beckta and Chopin

We got mom tickets to see Jan Lisiecki play Chopin at the NAC.  Actually, Gabe and I really wanted to see Jan, so we used her birthday as an awesome excuse and we invited mom...

He was incredible.  We especially like his hair.

We went to Beckta's for dinner and Gabe has mussels for the first time and the fanciest non-alcoholic drink possible.  We had to hustle to make it back to the NAC for 7pm and the construction at the NAC was really prohibitive, but the concert was incredible.  This young man is 22 years old and he has such a humble presence, just a normal kid.  Totally worth it.

Friday, April 21, 2017


I forgot I liked this game.  Math, spelling.... words like "nog" which apparently means: a small block or peg of wood.  

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Braden Clan

Easter at the Hart's

This is the Braden Clan!!  Here is my best attempt at names - please forgive spelling...

As always, thanks to Tiffany Hart.  Tiff has hosted this crowd joyfully and with her ever-present humour for many years and she is the long-suffering and lovely wife of Eric and mom to the Hart kids.  Thanks for taking the pictures, making the food, cleaning up after all our chaos and loving this crazy clan of kids.

God Bless you, Harts.  We are so very blessed to have you in the family.  

Top Row: Cheryl Braden, Patrick Braden, Robert J. (Grandpa) Braden,
Jason Braden, Eric Hart (Braden), Cole R.J. Braden
Middle Row: Nora Hart, Jackson Burchill, Tara Braden
Front row: Brooklyn and Cody Braden with their sweet new baby Elijah held by:
Anne-Marie Trayner, Jade Hart, David Trayner holding Zoe
Adam Hart, Jacob (Patrick and Debbie's Grandson), Gabriel Braden, Esther Braden, Owen Hart. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Five years later....

The weather has just been hateful around here and it was getting a bit depressing watching it rain/slush all week.  The drudgery of the weekday-routine was getting to everybody.

But today, my sweet friend sent me these pictures from about 5 years ago and it was so nice to see and remember Essy as a smiling toddler and the boys as little guys.  Sometimes my memories are painted with regrets about all the things I wish we had done or the (many) times I've yelled at the kids .... and all those other accusations that satan sends my way.  Pictures like this remind me that God has granted my family a very blessed, very joyful life.  All these first world problems are pretty pathetic in light of the shortness of our earthly lives. 

2 Samuel 14:14 "We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God will not take away life, and he devises means so that the banished one will not remain an outcast."

God, in his kindness, has surely "devised a means" in Jesus Christ so that we will not be outcasts for ever.  This earthy melancholy and longing for "something greater" will be satiated.  We can just taste it occasionally.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017


This month has been a bit chaotic with sap and new chicks and getting ready for the gauntlet of events coming up in May and June - IEEE and recitals and math contests, Judo grading ....BASEBALL!  The kids have some catching up to do with their school work, but Cole's egg business is booming and we have had a hard time keeping up.  Gabe had his first bulk order of syrup 16 L for a good friend and her crew of four little guys.  The rest is in 500mL and 1L jars.  I was more careful to save some for us this year!   The floor is notably stickier this month and I have gone through serval cans of Ajax for our kitchen sinks to remedy the grossness that is egg washing, an ordeal that happens every afternoon ....  I am trying to remember to enjoy the mess.

Col 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, 
since as members of one body you were called to peace. 
And be thankful.

Little Providence is doing very well, despite a rough start.

New Brooder

Team Steam Punk - Sumobot model 2.0

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Happy 70th Grandma Bonnie

Grandma Bonnie turned 70 this week and we celebrated it with high tea at Auntie Lexis' house.  

We had taken turns to say what we liked best about Grandma and there was a general consensus that we liked her so much because she always encouraged everyone and got behind everybody in whatever they were doing.  Everyone found it hard to nail down exactly what we liked best about Grandma because her best quality is pushing everybody else ahead of her.  We like her because she makes us feel good about ourselves.  She is a selfless promoter and facilitator of whatever we're doing.  Piano playing, raising chickens, raising kids.... She is never happier than when she is in the background watching everybody thrive.    

Mom - you are a relentless source of love and encouragement.  I can not recall the last time I heard you complain about anything.  I pray I can be as faithful, forgiving, and long-suffering a mother as you have been for Alexis and I.   You really are quite a lady.  You are the gatherer of our family and you keep us knitted together.  I love you so much and am so very thankful for you.  May God bless and keep you, mom.  He is faithful to "present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy."  Jude 1:24

Love from your girls, Kathleena and Alexis

Granda's sweet new bling earnings form her lovely husband!  Diamonds are a girls best friend...