Saturday, October 31, 2015
It is that time again--time for the annual Tapper family jack-o-lantern guessing contest! Check out the cool designs created by the kids, and try to figure out which made which...
4) Upside down Jack-o-lantern
This is one of our family's favourite traditions, and the kids LOVE to see who guesses what! So, give it your best guess!
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Abby Hope turned 10 today! What a great decade we have shared with this precious gift! Abby is full of creativity, generosity, determination, and style! She catches frogs and makes scarves and stops goals and writes songs and . . . so much more! We consider her to be a very special young woman, and we thank God for her life.
Happy birthday, Abby!
Monday, September 28, 2015
I am so proud of my Dad, who finished a dream trip, riding his bicycle from Northampton, Pennsylvania to my brother's house near Marion, Indiana. That's over 1000 kilometers (650 miles) if you take the highway, but he had to make his own route on the back roads! He left last Sunday and arrived today, just a few weeks before his 68th birthday. What an amazing man!
And what a great example to set before my children! I was so excited when I got the text from Mom that they had made it to their destination (She's been driving their camper from meeting spot to meeting spot each day.), so I was whooping it up a bit with the kids. Andrew's respect for his Pappy was obvious: "He is not afraid to do hard things. And he doesn't take short cuts. And he doesn't care what other people think. He just does it."
Thanks, Dad, for being you.
Sunday, August 16, 2015
We had a blast today celebrating Ethan's birthday. (It was actually Friday!) He is such an amazing kid--he always seems to see things from a unique perspective, leading him to make the most unusual but insightful observations and ask great questions. He knows how to enjoy the simple things in life--LEGO, water guns, climbing trees, and playing Monopoly. This year, he has also begun working as a classroom assistant in our church's preschool program, and he is very sensitive and helpful with the little ones. They all love him! And so do we!!!
Today, we celebrate this AWESOME guy!
Friday, June 12, 2015
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Saturday, April 11, 2015
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Jadon loves his box subscription through Little Passports. Each month, he receives information and special gifts from a different country. He loves geography! (And I think this is such a nice picture of the brothers...)
So far, the kids have had 13 days of school cancellation due to weather, plus 2 Sunday church cancellations. That adds up to a lot of extra time at home! Here are Ethan and Jadon on one such occasion:
Today, Abby got her first-ever shut out as a hockey goalie for Moncton Minor Atom Hockey. 1-0 for the Kings! Great job, Abster!!!
Thursday, February 26, 2015
For our friends and family who do not live in New Brunswick...
Here is the my view from in front of our house (taken from my eye height!):
Here is what we can see of the next door neighbor's house from the end of our driveway:
This is the view across the street:
This is Mike shoveling snow to the banks above his head:
And these are kids who can find ways to enjoy all this snow!!!:
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Eight Jadon Favourites
1) Favourite Supper: Ribs with Potatoes
2) Favourite Song: Power Shuffle (from Everest VBS 2015)
3) Favourite Animal: Penguin
4) Favourite Room in our House: Mini-stick Room
5) Favourite Sport: Basketball or Hockey
6) Favourite Book: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
7) Favourite Colour: Lime Green
8) Favourite Dessert: Fudge Balls
And Jadon is our favourite brand-new eight-year-old! He is charming and smart, entertaining and affectionate. Jadon notices and remembers lots of little details of life (like number patterns in random places or the birthdays of people he met once), even if he cannot remember the ten things he has to do every morning before school. He loves to sing and dance and act and laugh. Although he generally appears to take life lightly, there are things about which he can be very serious. People might not know that he gets nervous about being in front of an unfamiliar crowd or performing under evaluation. He also loves symbolism, from Roman numerals to religious banners.
Bill Watterson, the man behind the "Calvin and Hobbes" comics, once said, “We're so busy watching out for what's just ahead of us that we don't take time to enjoy where we are.” Jadon defies this quote all the time, and, in so doing, he teaches us to find joy
in each moment, too.
Happy eighth birthday, Jadon. We love you!
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
For those of you who are not from New Brunswick and may not know of our current snow situation, let me try to paint the picture. We have snow to the top of our 6 foot fence. We have had snow drifts blocking all the doors out of our house so that we had to open the garage door and kind of just dive into the snowy driveway in order to shovel ourselves out of our house. We have snow walls on either side of our driveway that are enormous. Small trees are almost lost in places around the neighborhood. Sidewalks have completely disappeared, and streets are narrow canyons through snowy cliffs. The kids have had ten days off school this year due to weather. Thankfully, a friend loaned us a time-and-body-saving snowblower a few weeks ago (How blessed are we!!), but I have no idea when we will see the ground again. Fortunately, we have good gear and hardy kids! Here's what they looked like trying to navigate the backyard, sinking down to their waists and more at times...
All these snow days have given us lots of unexpected time together. We've been working on a few things as a family, and, while I won't go into all that, I think it is fair to say that the days together have provided a space for some pretty intentional family focus. In all this, I am reminded that being a parent (or an intentionally relational person, for that matter) can be completely exhausting. However, the exhaustion that comes from pouring oneself out for another whom you are called to love, from training and providing and encouraging and disciplining and nurturing, it is the "right" kind of tiredness. The kind that makes you say, "That was really hard...and I'm so glad I did it." (And although snow shoveling can also provide this sense of exhausted satisfaction--this we know well, too--I generally prefer to exhaust myself in other ways.)
The family work can be fun, as well. On one snowy day, we decided to start redecorating in Andrew's room--a fun family project, as you can see... (AFTER pictures to come later!)
Traditions also help to make our family what it is. I feel like the idea of tradition is generally viewed with suspicion in our culture today. There seems to be a mindset that prefers the new and innovative over the traditional. I, however, see great value in tradition done well, rituals that provide meaning to life. I agree with Thomas Carlyle, a Scottish historian from the 1800's, who said, "What an enormous magnifier is tradition! How a thing grows in the human memory and in the human imagination, when love, worship, and all that lies in the human heart, is there to encourage it." I long to establish family traditions that enliven imaginations and create precious memories with significant meaning. This time of year is packed with opportunities for traditions. Last night, we had some friends over to celebrate Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras or the last day before the season of Lent. I only have pictures from before the gathering, because we were having too much fun during our time together for thinking of cameras! We enjoyed delicious pancakes, waffles, donuts, cinnamon rolls, cookies, and smoothies. But more, we delighted in the company of our friends and the stories of their lives and faith.
Today is Ash Wednesday, and we look forward to a special prayer meeting at church as well as journeying through the next few weeks of Lenten observance. The children have been talking about their own ideas on ways to observe Lent through repentance, self-denial, and acts of service. I am truly thankful for my family and these traditions. I'm still working on being thankful for all this snow...
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Sam keeps growing. The kids adore him. He is trainable, but very full of puppy energy.
Mom and Dad are adapting :)
The Moncton Tapper Arena has been built. The weather has been a bit crazy--extreme cold, then thaws, then too much snow... But we have had a few nice evenings for fun on the rink!
And there's always air hockey in the basement...
Or a little foosball action!
We have had a couple days off school because of the blizzard conditions this week. I enjoy the days with the kids home. Today, (after shoveling for a couple hours and doing some indoor chores, too) they set up the tent in the basement and played together for a long time. I love that.
And just to be clear, it does not always happen that way. We have been having some challenges lately with respect and kindness, etc. I've initiated some mandatory family character-building lessons, including time focussed on gratefulness, attentive listening, working hard, speaking about emotions and such. While these can be frustrating exercises at times, I do see results when I take the time and effort to address the issues in creative and specific ways.
For example, we have been struggling with a lot of interrupting lately. So we talked about it--how interrupting actually shows a selfish motive: "What I have to say is more important than what you or anyone else is saying or doing!" We talked about practicing unselfishness by being considerate of others. And we set up a practical plan for how to communicate that you have something important to say without interrupting a conversation already in progress. We also talked about a silent way to acknowledge that person while continuing a conversation until a natural break when the other person can be directly addressed. I hope to see our plan work in the near future!!
Saturday, January 24, 2015
Today, we celebrate Andrew's 12th birthday! And he did it with style...earning a game MVP medal at this weekend's hockey tournament.
What a joy and privilege it is to be a part of this growing young man's life! Some of Andrew's current favourites include the following:
-big meals with lots of meat
-sporting events (especially the kind that involve lots of body contact)
-joking, teasing, being lighthearted
-Did I mention sports? :)
Andrew, we love you--always and forever, no matter what!!!