Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Recap

We are slowing returning to our regular scheduled program.  This Christmas was less stressed than previous ones as we chose to spend Christmas Eve at home,  On Christmas morning, the kids eagerly opened their gifts and once that was done, we enjoyed our traditional cinnamon bun breakfast.  The same one that we've been eating since I was a little girl.  While I was cleaning up, the kids hurried off to enjoy their new treasures.  After Sarah had a much needed nap, we headed out to Doug's parent's place for a turkey dinner.  Although I'm not a real fan of large groups (you can read about that HERE), I managed to enjoy the afternoon nicely.  We made sure we were home on time to watch one of the new movies received and spend the last part of the day together as a family.  On Boxing Day, we headed back to Doug's parent's to exchange gifts with them in a more quiet setting.  Their guests were mostly gone and it was nice to be able to talk to them one on one and really visit.  Again, we headed home in time for Sarah to have a good nap in order to be good for our evening.  A long standing tradition is that my siblings and I get together on the 26th for a quieter get together and exchange presents.  Because there are 7 of us adults, we draw names and that way each couple only needs to buy two gifts.  It's easier on the pay cheque that way.  Our meal consisted of delicious appetizers and yummy baking treats.  My kids (including Sarah), didn't settle down until we left at 11:00.  It was a very quiet ride home though! 

This might very well be the first time that I didn't get to the end of the festivities with thoughts of how to simplify for the following year.  As the kids get older, they are becoming much more well behaved which truly helped in the enjoyment of the holidays.  I wasn't behind the camera much.  I wanted to be there to help take the dolls or Barbies out of their packaging, to inspect the newest Lego set or get excited at the money in hand as my children's faces glowed in the excitement. 

I hope you and your family had a blessed Christmas and we pray for a happy and wonderful New Year for all of you!  God bless.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

This is the night that our family has been eagerly anticipating for a year.  Tonight is different from many.  We went to church at 4:00 and then delivered cookies to the firefighters who have to work tonight.  We were treated to an all out tour of the firehall, trucks and some equipment.  After ordering pizza in for supper, we opened one present (jammies of course) and snuggled on the couch for some movie time.  What a wonderful and blessed Christmas Eve this has been.  I am sure this is the first *annual* Christmas Eve tradition for our family and I look forward to many more like it.
Tomorrow we will enjoy our traditional Cinnamon Sticky Buns... the very same buns we ate growing up at home. We will take a few minutes to read the Christmas story and remember why we truly celebrate Christmas.  While the buns bake, Doug and I will watch the kids open their presents which is a highlight of the day.
I hope this Christmas is as wonderful and special for you and your family as it is for ours.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dear Sarah

You have reached a milestone today... you are exactly two and a half years old.  I am so excited to see what the second half of this next year brings us.  Here are things about you that we love and make you who you are:
  • You do not sleep through the night (this isn't a good thing)
  • You are still nursing.  I love the connection you and I have this way.
  • Your vocabulary is increasing and you try to repeat us as best you can.  My favorite words are: Joshie, 'Nana (Arianna), cupie, downie, movie, all donie, bah-bee (baby- think Martin Short from Father of the Bride), need you mom, daddy, mine, Mama (grandma)... Everything you say ends in *ie* sounds.
  • Your favorite foods are cold cereal like cheerios or rice crispies, Ritz Crackers, cheese in any form, sandwiches with peanut butter, bananas, yogurt and oatmeal.  Notice the lack of veggies and meat in that list?
  • Your face lights up anytime one of your siblings walks into the room.
  • Bolt is your favorite movie... especially on Daddy's iPhone while sitting on his lap.
  • You look for trouble and get into EVERYTHING.
  • You are the sunshine that greets me in the morning.
  • You hate your carseat {still}.
  •  Everything is yours in your opinion.
  • You love to help bake with me.
  • You have not been blessed with much hair yet, much to my dismay.
  • You are not potty trained.
  • You are pretty much the center of attention in this home.
  • You are still really small.  About 22.5 pounds.
I love you sweet girl.  Happy 2.5 years!

From a 6 pound little doll...

To a 22.5 pounds fun, talking toddler

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas 2010



I made a decision for my family this year.  That the entire day of Christmas Eve would be spent together.  We wouldn't go visiting anyone this year and that the day would be full of *us* and things to do with just the six of us.  For the first time in many years, I don't feel the crazied rush and hub-bub of the Christmas season.  I have all the presents wrapped and under the tree, baking is done and in the freezer, the cards were mailed out in the last week of November... I was on the ball.  Being this organized has really helped me relax and take in some of the beauty and magic of Christmas.  One of my favorite passages in the Bible is Luke 2: 1-20... the written account of how the birth of our Saviour came to be.

1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
   and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Camera Strap Giveaway

Ok, I LOVE these straps from CITY STRAPS.  They are giving away one of these super cool and cute camera straps and oh, I'd love to put one around my neck!  Check out the giveaway here:

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mr. Chairman


And I'm the chairman's wife.  That means I have to share him when we go to church.  I don't like sharing too much and I don't do it well.  It makes me sad when he has to leave in the middle of the service to take care of something that only the chairman can do.  Communion is lonely since he has to be one of the men who serves.  He has spent full days (weekend days) doing chairman duties.  People call him at {almost} any hour of the day.  Maybe I'm selfish. 



Saturday, December 11, 2010

I'm happy

Since Sarah was born, we never had a full set of stockings.  There were only five because Sarah came four years after Arianna.  Of course, I would never have found a match, and yes, it was crucial that they match.  (Call me crazy) When I was getting groceries yesterday, I saw these and fell in love!  The color, the size, the style... so lovely.  
We don't have a nice fire place to mount them on and I didn't want to hang them on the railings where the kids' hands would always be touching them.  So, until Christmas morning, they are pinned to the window valence in the living room.  Oh but they are so pretty!

Last night

When Sarah woke up, I slipped into her room and held her close.  She nursed for a few minutes and then with the rocking of the chair, fell asleep.  I had mixed thoughts of how big she's getting while at the same time, thinking how little she still is.  It was precious and sweet to hear her steady breathing, knowing she was about to slip into a deep sleep while held in my arms.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I like it when

  • all of my *babies* are home for the night
  • Sarah says to me "I need you"
  • Doug is home on time for supper and has no plans to go out
  • the house is quiet and peacefull
  • the coffee is ready for me in the morning
  • I clean the kitchen the night before
  • the snow starts to melt and signs of spring are coming
  • the only lights on are those that are sparkling from my Christmas tree
  • my kids sleepily greet me in the morning all soft and warm
  • I know what I'm having for supper early in the day
  • I have time to myself in my huge bathtub
  • people remember my birthday
  • my kids are home from school
  • we take family trips together
  • friends pop in for coffee
  • I get together with my sister
  • my two year old sleeps in my arms
  • the house is clean
  • I hear my kids playing together happily
  • I have a visit with my mother in law
  • the furnace kicks in and I'm reminded of how blessed I am
  • I get into my van which is in the garage
  • I hear the older kids teaching the younger ones
  • Arianna reads to me
  • Andrea tells me how much she appreciates talking to me
  • Joshua confides in me
  • we have an entire day of no TV
  • I remember to trust God and lean to Him
  • He shows me I should have trusted in the first place

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I have two of the BEST

kid watchers in the world! 

*Disclaimer: they are not a "babysitter" because my pre-teen children don't like that word*


As my children get older, childcare becomes more of a gray area.  They aren't really old enough to stay home on their own at night and yet, it isn't right for me to hire someone who is only a couple years older than them to "watch" them.  That means I need to have someone quite a bit older to come over. 

I consider myself extremely blessed that I am usually able to get one of my two cousins to come and watch the kids.  Both of them are willing to come to my house and hang out with my four.  My kids love it when they come over and I can go out, knowing that they are in very good care.  Also, not having to drive someone home late at night is nice!

 Ashley is on the left, Megan on the right and their lovely mom is in the middle.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Just who I am

Last night we attended the first of a few Christmas functions that we need to this season.  It was a gathering of 35+ people including one pre-teen helper and a new baby.  Being totally honest, I don't like large functions of many people.  I am not the type of person who can just start up a conversation with anyone so I often feel on the outskirts of the little groups.  I listen to scraps of chatter here and there and intercede my thoughts when a moment comes available.  Even as the day of a large function approaches, I wonder if anyone will talk to me, who will I sit by and will that person be someone I know well enough to make a conversation flow. My dear husband on the other hand is quite successful at moving around the crowd and visiting with anyone.  He even makes small with the cashier at the grocery store whereas I'm not so much a talker.

Now, if I'm in a living room with two or three friends and a pot of coffee, I am much more in my element and can relax in my comfort zone.  I can hear every one who is talking, I generally know the people quite well, and know that I will be *safe*.

Only a few more gatherings of this Christmas season to go to.  *Phew*

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Some feelings

are just so hard to put into words.  I have a heart ache that no one can really fix.  *sigh*

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tagged!

1. What time did you get up this morning?  6:30... that's when  Sarah got me up

2. How do you like your steak?  well done 

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Um... not a clue, it's been that long.

4. What is your favorite TV show?  I like Grey's Anatomy and Survivor

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?  somewhere that it never snowed

6. What did you have for breakfast?  Slice of toast and coffee

7. What is your favorite cuisine?  Canadian/American... I like burgers, chicken and pizza

8. What foods do you dislike?  I don't eat eggs or onions

9. Favorite Place to Eat?  Boston Pizza or Red Robins

10. Favorite dressing?  Citrus Honey Poppyseed... goes great with spinach

11.What kind of vehicle do you drive?  Pontiac Montana

 12. What are your favorite clothes?  Yoga Pants and long sleeved shirts
  
13. Where would you visit if you had the chance?  Somewhere warm 
,  
14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full?    1/2 empty... Good thing Doug says 1/2 full... we are good for each other

15. Where would you want to retire?  Again... somewhere warm

16. Favorite time of day?  first thing in the morning if I'm up before the kids

17. Where were you born?  Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

18. What is your favorite sport to watch? Figure skating, gymnastics

19. Who do you think will not tag you back?  Not sure but I hope I get lots of replies

 20. Person you expect to tag you back first?  

21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this? I am looking forward to hearing from everyone

22. Bird watcher? Occasionally when I'm at my in-laws' 

23. Are you a morning person or a night person? Definatly morning

 24. Pets? a little lap dog, named Sadie

25. Any new and exciting news that you'd like to share?  Mmmm... nope

26. What did you want to be when you were little? a mom and a nurse... I'd have been a terrible nurse though

27. What is your best childhood memory?   Christmas mornings... cinnamon sticky buns and oranges for breakfast

28. Are you a cat or dog person? Dog

29. Are you married?  Yes, for 13 years now.

30. Always wear your seat belt?  Absolutely... even if I'm moving the van from the garage to street

31. Been in a car accident?   Yes

32. Any pet peeves? people getting used to driving winter roads, mean and obnoxious drivers, waking up to a messy kitchen, too much noise and chaos

33. Favorite pizza topping? chicken, spinach and feta cheese

34. Favorite Flower? roses

35. Favorite ice cream?  I don't like ice cream really... maybe Jack's mixed soft serve

36. Favorite fast food restaurant?  Wendy's... spicy chicken 

37. How many times did you fail your driver's test?  I didn't fail 

38. From whom did you get your last email?   Carolyn

39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Superstore... clothes and food all in one place... I'm so practical. 

40. Do anything spontaneous lately? Nope 

41. Like your job?  I'm a homeschooling, stay at home mom... yes, I love my job 

42. Broccoli? Cauliflower?  both are good

 43. What was your favorite vacation?  I still remember going to Disney World with my family the year I graduated... you are never too old for Disney! 

44. Last person you went out to dinner with?  Myself!

45. What are you listening to right now?  Sarah talking to me and the Wii playing upstairs 

46. What is your favorite color?  purple

47. How many tattoos do you have?  No.  Never will

48. Coffee drinker?   Oh yes!  White Mocha from Starbucks, French Vanilla Cappaccino from Tim Hortons or creamed coffee at home

49. How many children do you have?    Four.  One boy and three girls

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Change of plans

It's a good thing we've determined our family is flexible.  For a couple years now, we've been going to church on Saturday nights.  It's nice because it leaves Sundays to just stay at home and relax as a family.  As we were eating our early supper (need to leave home at 5:45), Sarah had a major coughing fit and promptly threw up.  Not just a little bit but a huge amount of puke spewed forth from her.  Poor babe.  Shortly after, Andrea began to complain of a headache.  I'm sure it was from staying up until 11:00 last night and getting up early with her friend during their sleep over.  Then, while we were eating, Arianna was goofing off and banged her head on the table which brought out more tears.  Joshua had been at a friends' the night before and was up late as well.  So after all that commotion, we decided that staying home was in the best interest of our family.
We then signed up for Netflix and had a family night full of popcorn, chips, chocolate and warm milk to drink.
We can always go to church in the morning....

Friday, November 12, 2010

Time out

for my sister and I.  We found out that both our husbands had today off and so we jumped at the opportunity to hang out at the mall.  No strollers, no babies, no toddlers, no diapers bags... just two moms enjoying a morning to themselves.  We checked out some stores that are simply not child friendly and enjoyed a leisurely cup of coffee at Starbucks.  What a time of refreshment for both of us!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

School Pictures... Take two





... take that Life Touch!

November 11

My previous post said that I had nothing left to give. 
How selfish of me when thousands of men and women gave *everything* for my freedom in this country. 
I am so thankful for all those who selflessly fought and died for the people of Canada. 
Freedom to vote.  Freedom to pray.  Freedom to worship our God.  Thank you.


Let us not forget


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Can anything else go wrong...?

One week ago today, I realized my keys were missing.  The one van key and a house key.  Plus the automatic unlock/lock remote.  I don't really enjoy unlocking the door manually and it's a pain when I have a toddler on my hip and a bag or two of groceries.  After calling up a dealership, I was told it would be $135 for a new remote, $30 for a new key and at least $60 to program the remote and key to the van.  A total of $225.00.

Last weekend as I was sewing up a bib, my sewing machine stopped working right.  Something with the bobbin thread not cooperating.  I have to take it in to the store and probably expect a $100 charge to get it fixed.

The past few weeks our main TV has been acting up by taking a long time to turn on.  Well, it finally gave up this weekend.  The part that Doug thinks it needs is about $125 US, not including charges that may incur if we need to hire a repairman. 

*sigh*

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween

I don't like the idea of Halloween. Perhaps it is because my siblings and I were raised that way... I don't know.  We usually just attend the function at our church and then head home for some family time.  This year, being the first year on this kid filled street, allowed the kids to go trick or treating.  Something about it still feels odd to me and I really don't know what we'll do next year.  Even though the kids had a great time, I'm undecided.  I love dressing the kids up though...

Arianna & Delaney

Sarah my ladybug

Andrea in her personally designed Maid Marion costume

Joshua the construction worker

Friday, October 29, 2010

I heard on the radio *Update*

a live Amber Alert announcement for the abduction of a 12 year old boy.  My own *little* boy is 11.5 years old and so this hit close to home.  I had tears in my eyes as I listened to the description of this child.  I pray that the authorities find him and bring him safely home.

Check out the story HERE!

Young Jacob was found and his father is on his way to pick him up.  I'm so thankful he was taken care of!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Been too long

since I last blogged.  I have been so very busy with other things that posting here has taken a back burner position.  I've thought of it often and have missed updating it.  Looking back, my last post was almost 2 weeks ago so I have a lot to catch up on.  
The kids' school keeps me busy, especially the home part.  I need to spend a good 3-4 hours focusing on their education needs and helping them in areas that they need.  
I tried potty training.  I say tried because I wasn't successful.  She'd have days where I would catch her and she would have no messes and then other days where I missed her cues all the time and I spent so much of my day cleaning the floor.  It was getting to be a stress point for both of us and I felt that letting it go was for the best.  I figure, she won't go to grade one in diapers.
I've been sewing.  Lots.  I made a quilted advent calendar first and then I bought the materials to make Sarah a new quilt.  She needed a bigger one anyhow.  I actually really enjoying making it and decided to pursue my sewing abilities as a small business.  I have made three school bags, two for my girls and one is for sale and once I put the word out that I was making quilts to sell, I had lots of interest.  That really excites me.  We'll see how much success I have with that.  
The weather has taken a turn for the cold.  I don't particularly care for the nippy mornings and cool evenings but I suppose that by living in Alberta, there's no way around it... winter is coming eventually.  This was also a great time (not) to realize that not one of the older three kids have winter gear.  I lucked out by ordering jackets from Old Navy online... they were 35% off!  Now for boots, mitts and hats.  *sigh*
Well, I think that about sums up the past couple weeks.  Here's a few pictures of our recent adventures at home!

 Arianna having her first sleep over!
 Sarah learning to eat on her own!
 A small glimpse of my nativity calendar
 Andrea... costume was designed and created on her own.
 Sarah showing off her new skirt
 Andrea's school bag
 Arianna's school bag
The bag I made to sell

Friday, October 15, 2010

October 15...

Today is October 15th, WORLDWIDE, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day - Miscarriage, Stillbirth, SIDS...
Today I remember my three little ones who I never got to meet. ♥  Three tiny souls who were unable to face our world.  When I lost the third one, I had really thought it would have been a girl so I named her Hope.  I needed hope that I would have another baby and that I would continue to be held in Jesus' loving arms.  My heart was breaking for the child I wouldn't get to meet.

BUT...

As sad as I am about their loss, a very close and dear friend, who has now gone to be with the Lord, reminded me each time... had I not lost each baby that I did, I would not have Arianna and Sarah to hold and love in my arms.  And Hope did come. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Potty Training

Looking back, I think that either my first two girls trained abnormally quick OR I have simply forgotten how time consuming this stage in a child's life can be. 
Sarah is smart and I know she can (and will) figure it out. 
I just need to remind myself that it is not a quick or immediate process. 
I need to remind myself that it may take weeks of cleaning messes off the floor.
I need to remind myself that this is just a short phase of our life.
I need to remind myself that she won't be in diapers forever.
Ah... potty training.

Blog Post #200

I have done quite well at keeping this up.  I'm very pleased with myself!

Happy 200th post!

Been waiting

for a book to arrive in the mail.  Not just any book but an autographed novel by my absolute favorite Christian author KAREN KINGSBURY
I was elated when it showed up yesterday afternoon and it took great restraint to wait until the kids were in bed before I cracked it open.  It's like a satisfying chocolate for my eyes and mind and well worth the wait.

See that little white marking at the bottom of the book?  That is her autograph!  I am SO lucky!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pettiskirts

 I recently bought the first pettiskirt for Sarah at a Farmer's Market and she looks so cute in it!




I have stumbled upon a new site and have fallen in love with many of the products from RUFFLEBUTTS  and decided that I really wanted one more so I ordered THIS skirt from the site.  It shipped out last week and I'm so excited to get it!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Money well spent

About five years ago, Doug and I were debating whether or not we should spend almost $17.00 on a huge box of plastic wrap.  I mean it was a lot of money and the time and was a tough choice.  In the end we did it.  Hoping it would be worth our while, I wrote the date on the box once I opened it.  It lasted five years, four months and one week to be exact.  That is 1,954 days, working out to $0.008 per day that it cost us to use the plastic wrap.  Yes, I think it was money well spent.


And now that it is gone, I will be heading off to Costco this week to buy another one to last another 5 years.

Thanksgiving Dinner

This year was very different than previous ones.  My in-laws generally have a large dinner that includes most of the family.  Usually there are at least 30 people mulling about... quite the big deal!  Anyhow, since my mother in law is still on the recovering end of a serious bout of pneumonia, she had decided that a large function wouldn't be conducive to her health.  So yesterday we still had a complete dinner with Doug's parents, Doug, myself and the kids as well as Mike and Carson.  I think overall, we all enjoyed the quieter afternoon. 

Grandma had crafts for the kids

 Joshua's hands working hard

My nephew Carson

All the kids working hard!

Grandma helping Arianna out

Four of the five grandkids (Sarah was in the house!)

The sky as we headed home

Rags

So Andrea needed her hair really curly for a skit she performed at church this weekend so I just put it in hot rollers and it was fine.  My cousin suggested putting it in rags.  I didn't have time to do Andrea's hair but I did a trial on Arianna's!

The freshly cut *rags*

Long straight hair

The rags in the hair

The finished product
The back was a little straighter but I think I took the rags out a little too early and her hair was still damp.  Next time, I'll put them in at night and have her sleep in them!  I think it looks so cute and it was super easy!

Monday, October 4, 2010

FACEBOOK FAN GIVEAWAY

I would love to win an Ergo from HERE!!  I have one in pink but could totally go for a new color!  I hope I win! 
Thank you to Breastfeed. Babywear. Clothdiaper. Naturally.  for the chance to win!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mmmm... baking

I love to bake.  I love the aromas that are produced from the scientific combination of butter, sugars, eggs, flour, spices and other ingredients.  I also love hearing my kids tell me how good the house smells.  A few years ago, Joshua told me that Aunty Heidi made the BEST chocolate chip cookies.  So, being the good mom I am, I got the recipe from her and have now perfected them.  Today I doubled the recipe and came out with 7 dozen splendid chocolate chip cookies! 

First mix the butter

Add the white sugar

And the brown

Keep mixing until creamy, scrape once in a while

Add the eggs and vanilla

Keep mixing until smooth

Add the flour and... mix some more

Add the chocolate chips (you can't have too much of those)

Mix until well blended

Drop by the spoonful onto a cookie sheet

Bake... to perfection

Yes, they do taste as good as they look

My trick to the perfect shaped cookie-
the Pampered Chef scoop-
yup, it's that easy!

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