Dave and I celebrate the milestones in each of our children’s lives.  Small and big victories, the passing of another year as each of them continues to grow and change right before our eyes.

Our summer is filled with these milestones as five of them joined our family over the years in the summer.  First we celebrated Hannah turning 9 in July, next Taliah turned sweet 16, Moriah will be 1 on the 24th of this month, and then squeaking in just a bit before Fall is Joshua, starting his journey into the teen years turning 13 on the 10th of September.

Today, however, we celebrate Joel, eleven years old.

2016 has and will see my children turn 18, 16, 13, 11, 9, 5, and 1.  As Birthdays go some of those are more momentous than others; 18 marks adulthood, 16 for a girl is her sweet 16 (not to mention you can get your learners driver’s licence), 9 your last year before double digits, 5 you are now a big guy no one will mistake you for a toddler when you are a whole hand old, and 1 you have made it through your 1st year and you now have a number for your age that labels your years not your months.

Eleven, in the grand scheme of birthdays, is not a biggie.  Oh sure, it is a great day because it is your day but eleven is not anticipated the same way that 13, 16, or 18 is.

Yet today eleven seems just as remarkable.  I don’t love Joel MORE than my other children.  Joel has just had a very different journey than my other children.  When his birthday hits I can not help but remember wondering if we would see him blow out 5 candles.  So eleven is a gift just as 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 were.  Joel’s birthday helps me to reflect in a way that the other children’s birthdays don’t seem to.  As I see what an incredible gift of eleven is I am reminded that I have also been blessed with 18, 16, (almost) 13, 9, 5 and (almost) 1 wonderful years with my children.

Joel stands as a Standing Stone in my life that each day is precious and each day is a gift…don’t waste it.

Oh my sweet Joel, eleven already, you are growing up and I am so proud of how hard you fight to make gains in your life.  I won’t paint it all roses you have been given the gift of a strong will which makes you a challenge to parent some days, but you also have a tender and soft heart which melts our hearts.  Both are gifts, but some days I see these gifts wrestle inside you, each trying to come out on top; your strong will or your soft heart.  My prayer for you son, is that these gifts will grow and that they will compliment each other, so that you will always be able to stand strong with a soft and compassionate heart.Joel Castle

Joel often shows that softness when he is with Moriah, he loves to be with her. Here he is with a castle that he built for her.

Moments after that picture there was destruction and this wee conqueror sampled the spoils of her victory, only to have her big brother rebuild so she could yet again topple the kingdom.Moriah blocks

This year the 3 younger boys participated in the Junior Heavyweights at the Glengarry Highland Games.  Highland Boys

(Crazy lighting on this picture but I love it.)

This is a challenge for any child competing, but Joel carries with him physical scars that make participating that much more of a challenge.  His strong will prevailed and he gave each event his best effort!Joel caber toss

Eleven, a milestone for sure.  I am excited to see what things you accomplish in this coming year Joel.  Twelve may not be one of the most anticipated numbers either but I have a feeling that this time next year we will be celebrating some new major accomplishments achieved in the past year.


I have said many times in the last two years that I need to write regularly on here…while I am trying.

I feel the need to squeeze in a few posts before the end of the month.  To write about something the following month seems slightly acceptable but to flip the calendar to yet another month just seems wrong. Before April gets here I need to get these out of the way!

SO… A very belated Happy Birthday to Elijah (Samuel’s post to follow in a day or two)!E 18

It feels impossible to write it, but, to the boy who called me “Momma” first I now call him a man! A MAN!  Yep my firstborn is 18.  I know there is far more to being a man than the number but at 18 he is seen by much of society as a man, and I daresay he is beginning to behave as a man.

Sure Dave and I still see areas that need improvement and we are not cutting all the apron strings just yet but he is manning up in so many areas.

Tomorrow he is headed off for a ‘job interview.’  I think he is a bit nervous but terribly excited too.  It is interesting to have children that depend on you for everything (Moriah), others who are wanting to do things for themselves, and then those who are at the place where in so many ways we just need to release them to go, and if they fall, they are now at the place where they will pick themselves back up and dust themselves off.  I won’t be there to swoop in and pick him back up.  Sure as long as we are alive Dave and I will support our children prayerfully, and physically too if needed, but I think you get where I am going with this.

I am excited for this chapter in his life.  He is definitely our biggest dreamer, which has caused me to lose sleep more nights than I can count.  He always seems to have these grandiose ideas but when you ask him how he is going to accomplish it he is usually missing some steps between step 1 and 10.  Yet the world needs big dreamers too.  I have no clue where God will lead this young man of mine but I know He has a plan and a purpose for him.

Elijah may God richly bless you, may He lead you along the path He has set for you.  Keep your eyes fixed on him and He will plant your feet on firm ground.  I have prayed this for you since you were a babe and I will continue to pray this Psalm for you. “I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” ~Psalm 16:8

Love you Elijah ~Momma

6 Years…

joel 1

It is a beautiful sunny day… not unlike 6 years ago today.  March 26th and 27th stand out on my calendar  as days I remember.  It is no ones Birthday or Wedding Anniversary in our family.  Yet they are 2 days I choose to mark perhaps rather sombrely.  I am not even sure if that is […]

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6 Months Old

Sweet face

On February 24th this sweet one turned 6 months old, hard to believe, the time has flown by.  She fills our days with smiles and our hearts with love.  Can you believe she cut 2 teeth at 3 and 1/2 months old?  She is a big girl already over 18 pounds, both her sisters were […]

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