Thursday, July 24, 2014


God showed himself to us in a simple but really real way last week. We had to go to the dentist. Cal needed a cavity filled and a cleaning, and Jack just needed a cleaning. Calvin was so anxious! For days leading up to the appointment, he would just be soberly staring off into space. When we asked what he was thinking about, it would be something about going to the dentist. We prayed that God would give him courage, and Calvin would tell us about how he was praying on his own about it.

The day of the appointment could not have been more perfect. The dentist was amazing and Jack was so brave! Those were two things that were just gifts! Jack was called back first and he went with the hygienist all by himself, sat on the chair, and did not care a bit that I wasn't with him! What a trooper!

Cal was more tentative at first. I could see his hesitation when was told to sit down. I could almost see him thinking through Daddy's encouragement God will make you brave, but sometimes you have to go even before you start feeling brave. Calvin sat in the chair and didn't look back. Even with little tears in his eyes during the first couple minutes, he cooperated. It really was God making him brave because he has such a hard time in those situations!! 

Dr. Sonshine commented about how amazing the boys were. I just had to say that we prayed a lot as a family for courage. This was so not our "normal" family response to a totally new situation! I'm so thankful! Oh, and Luke just sat in one spot on the floor in Cal's exam room and played for a while hour. I mean......

We have since gotten a little card in the mail from the dentist welcoming us to the practice. Calvin says that Dr. Sonshine sent that to us, and only us, because he is the best patient he has ever had.

Jack didn't view the whole thing as much of a big deal at all. He does love the fact that you get to watch tv, eat treats, pick a toy from a treasure box, and get a light-up tooth brush, though!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Jack is 4!

John David is such a precious little guy!  He was so excited for his birthday this year! When he woke up yesterday morning for his birthday, he said he could tell his feet and even eyes were bigger. I love his sincerity and enthusiasm!  At breakfast Calvin asked him if he felt like he was 4, he said, "No, but I am still 4." I love how he thinks!

We had planned our first little play date to a new park for yesterday, so we used it as our birthday "party." I brought along some congo squares to share with our new friends.  We put a candle (that we couldn't light because of the wind) in Jack's piece and sang. Jack gave his characteristic tongue-out smile as all his new friends sang. So sweet.  He had no problems just pretending to blow out his candle since there was no flame. Love that little guy!

As an added gift for the day, all three boys LOVED their new friends. Our play date was with another family with 3 boys (similar ages). I was happy that Jack could play like that on his special day. I am so thankful for all that God has given us here….

Here are some sweet videos from our little family celebration!  These videos are a true glimpse into Jack and the whole family dynamic. Love it!

Thursday, July 17, 2014


I can't believe I did this!!! Some times I just sit back and cringe at the terrible situations I get myself (and my family) into! Going up an off ramp, turning on the wrong burner on the stove, and now this...

Dan and the boys love playing doctor together! The boys get all suited up with stethoscope, white coat, surgical mask, and their doctoring tools to work on ther patient Dan.

The other night they were having a blast when the action suddenly stopped. Dan says, "I think I just gave myself the real epi-pen." WHAT?! That means instant sweating, crazy fast heartrate, potential throwing fun! 

Yes, yes, he did! There was the blood spot from the needle right on his leg! We kept waiting for the response, but thankfully none came.  You have to hold the shot in your leg for 10 seconds, and Dan reflexively pulled it out immediately. It appears he got no epinephrine. Whew! 

Dan claims he saw me putting the pen in our play doctor bin and asked me if it was the real one instead of the trainer that we do use as a toy. Apparently I scoffed that he would even suggest I might be putting the real pen in the toys. Well, I guess I did. I'm so glad that it wasn't one of the boys getting the shot! I'm also thankful that Dan was a good sport and didn't have to suffer too many consequences! Yikes!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Just Us

The park across the street from our house is amazing! A great play structure, splash park, biking trails that go on for way longer than the boys can handle, a pier out to Lake Ontario, a beach, and a lot of field space. There are always a ton of people there, and on the weekends huge groups gather together to spend the day together. Yesterday we saw a couple hundred people together in one part of the field eating, hanging out and playing games. It was pretty fun to watch their tug of war. 

Looking around at all these huge groups of people makes me realize how sweet and small our little family is here in Toronto together. It is just us.  I met a precious older couple in the grocery store the other day (Leo and Leanne). Leo told me about how he is one of 14 children. His parents had 70 grandchildren, and now the family numbers more than 400. Kind of blows my mind thinking that our little family could someday grow and grow like that. That must be what Abraham thought when God told him his children would number more than all the stars in the sky. He probably looked at all the huge families around him. Then he looked at his elderly wife Sarah and thought, really God? I know God has not promised me the same as Abraham, but I trust that He has brought our whole family here to Toronto to fulfill His purposes. I know he will use us if we walk with him in obedience. But right now I feel so small compared to all the other families and communities. I'm looking forward to seeing how God shows himself to us. 

Right now we are just having sweet time together when Dan is home. I love being isolated together in some ways.  Here are some highlights from this weekend.

Dan telling the guys a story before bed. They LOVE this, and I am always so impressed by how Dan conjures up a story out of nowhere each time. He has a series going right now with three butterfly characters: Boopy-Boopy, Doopy, and Loopy. They are exact replicas of Calvin, Jack, and Luke, but the boys don't always realize it =).

An ice cream truck camps out at the park each evening, so we finally got a treat last night! So fun!

Walking home from the park….Luke is starting to fight the stroller each time. "I walk? I walk?" he says with such sweet pleading little eyes. Pretty hard to resist!

This is at our picnic spot last night. We rode our bikes to this other park that is a bit of a peninsula into the lake. It was so pretty to watch the sail boats out there!

More picnic...

And a spot we stopped to climb around on rocks on the way home from our picnic.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Rocke Training Club

We like to do workouts on the app Nike Training Club. Dan, Calvin, and I will get through the whole thing. Jack plays at it for about 5 minutes, and Luke does the exercises when he knows we are noticing how cute he is.  The app has little demo videos for each exercise, but I think they should consider updating them with these....they sure motivate me, anyway!

Running (extra credit if you use a weight like Luke….and Dan).

High Knee Runs

Slide and Glide
Kick Downs



Dead Lifts

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Such Encouragement

Tonight was such an encouraging night! I have been trying to trust God for providing all that we need here in Toronto. It has been hard to stay focused on the truth. Today Calvin was writing this verse in his handwriting book, and man was it good.

All day long I will praise and honor you, O God, for all that you have done for me.  Psalm 71:8

It speaks to the whole family right now...we are memorizing it, and were playing with it at dinner tonight. We'd say "All day long (except when --------), I will praise and honor you..." The boys then emphatically said NO! That's not what it says! They thought it was hilarious, but it was such a good exercise for me to remember that there are no qualifiers in that verse. Here were some of highlights:

Dan: Except when I get home late
Kelly: Except when M&m's are too expensive to buy at te grocery store.
Calvin: Except when I don't get to go in the splash park because it's too cold
Jack: Except when Luke takes my toys (Jack didn't actually say that, but he should have!)
Luke: Except when Jack takes my toys (those 2 have sure been at each other!)

In the end, we need to change the word except to especially. That is the encouragement we really need. 

Also, I met a couple girls at the park that actually wanted my number an invited me to "get grilled cheese" with them! And they are both teachers and speak English! Seems so little, but I really count it as a little gift after the odds I've seen. So thankful!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Train and Ferry rides

We have been watching "Daddy's green and white train" for a couple weeks now. The station is right across the street, but I haven't mustered up the courage to take the boys until today. Dan had to go in a round, so we met him later in the morning downtown. The boys were in heaven! Here they are at the station. Jack was very concerned about the yellow line. He wanted to police the people who were stepping on it since it is Sooooo dangerous. Calvin just decided that we should all stand in the middle of the sidewalk, far from the yellow line to be super safe. Sounds about right.
To get to this point we had to go up and down many stairs. I took Luke out of the stroller to carry both, and before I knew it, Luke was tumbling down the concrete stairs! Thankfully he was more shaken up than hurt, but man, that was scary.

The ride was worth every dollar for these guys. Luke was a little more tentative...not sure he likes the motion from his sweet whimpers.

Calvin listened to every word from the loud speaker, informing Jack all about it. "Jack, after Mimico is Long Branch." "Next is Exhibition." Jack just liked determining if the train was going faster or slowing down.

We then took an impromptu ferry ride from downtown to an island in the Lake. 

The view from the ferry was amazing. 
Here was the view from the island! I couldn't believe how many people came for the day....ferry after packed ferry....thousands of people! 

Later tonight we had a picnic near the lake and went on a walk/bike ride. We passed this little park along the way.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Hello Canada

We are settled in Toronto and adjusting to being Canadian now. It sure is different from North Carolina...though is it is about as familiar as you can get for being outside the US, it still feels foreign.  I wasn't really expecting that. The money is different, the temperature is in Celsius, and I have to try to convert my recipes to the metric system.  Not to mention, foods that have become staples for us cost an arm and a leg here. So, I'm learning to live apart from lots of cheese, chocolate, and dried fruit. On the other hand, Oreos and ice cream and potato chips are super cheap. Not quite a fair nutritional trade! The hardest thing so far is that so many people speak languages I don't know....makes it hard to meet new people at the park. Now they need to have kids my kids ages and speak English!! It is shaping up to be a tall order!

The boys have been so patient with the move and have been mostly happy. However, I can tell they are ready for some good sleep (all 3 in one room makes for later nights and earlier mornings) and friends. They have bee pretty whiny and bickering the last few days. Dan got the boys some new Duke gear and gave it to the when we got here....they are loving it!
As for our days, they have have been pretty similiar to life in the states...lots of walks/bikes rides and finding construction wherever we can watch. There is a park right across the street with an amazing play structure and spash thankful!

We rode our bikes to this little beach the other day before Dan started work. Lake Ontario is so beautiful!

My favorite part of being here so far is this view from our apartment. I kind of feel like we are getting away with something, it is so good! Jack especially loves looking out at all the sailboats,  motorboats, and barges in the water.

I think Calvin would say that driving this tractor with Doctor Irish (Dan's new boss) is his favorite. I am so thankful that Dan gets to work with such a great man! He was a great teacher to the boys. He let the steer their way in and out of tree branches as they learned to drive. I loved watching him laugh while ducking out of the way of branches and smile as Jack went around and around in the same little circle.

In honor of Canada Day we went to a Rib festival yesterday and had some Kentucky ribs. Man were they good! At night everyone sets off fireworks, and from our balcony we could see 4 or 5 professional displays in the distance as well as lots of people setting off fireworks in the park across the street. Amazing!!! Like our own private display!