Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
the presents are ready – we hope they are fair.
The fillings from Santa, some practical, some fun.
Start off the day right, one by one.
Our goal is to give three gifts to each of the kids for Christmas (like the gifts from the wise men). They come from us, not from Santa. Santa gives some things in their stockings and also before Christmas, but aren't actually labelled "from Santa". If we go over our gift quota, the stockings usually get whatever else we wanted to buy or saw at the last minute. Not truly keeping to our 3 gift rule but it does make it fun none-the-less. I don’t think there will be much room for candies and fruit this year…
We also give family gifts when they apply and this helps eliminate the "That's mine" problem. It's not that we don't believe in Santa, we just don't stress Santa. Christmas is about receiving the ultimate gift from Jesus and trying to live out the spirit of giving as He demonstrates and as Saint Nicholas also tried to promote. We hope they get the message.
On a side note - it's funny about the stockings. That is the one thing that Cierra has been preoccupied with this month. We don't usually put them up until a week before Christmas but she has been asking about them regularly. To her that must mean Christmas.
We decided to go a different route for gifts this year. Last year we did the book exchange which was okay although I think Matt felt a little jipped. We, and other family members still gave him gifts but he didn't really see it as getting anything from his friends. This year we went with another friends idea and had a toonie party. Each friend was to bring 2 toonies - one for Matt and one for a charity of his choice (He chose World Vision). We would then match the contributions and take him to get a toy of his choice (we knew it would be Indiana Jones Lego).
Either way, it worked out well. A few friends donated more but the amount was quite nice. Nothing too overloading - especially around Christmas. We just really don't need more toys in the house and are trying to promote the idea that celebrations are for family and friends and togetherness. It isn't all about the "things". We'll see how it goes over. And yes, we will be doing the same for Marlee in August too. We haven't had a traditional friend party for Cierra so it wouldn't be the same for her.
I sometimes struggle with this idea. Both kids go to LOTS of birthday parties over the year and they naturally bring gifts for each of the children. Sometimes it doesn't seem fair that you spend the money and then don't get the "return" when your own kids have a party. After contemplation though, having that many new gifts at one time is simply overwhelming for us. It is just too much. And as I mentioned, when we keep the cost down , we can have more friends. I don't know how long we can keep this up but I hope that the next few years will really help with this mindset. The people we have talked to have liked the idea. Whether they do it themselves will remain to be seen. For us, it helps focus on a few true wants and not a lot of extra things we don't need. At least I hope it does!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Of course I always have an ongoing wish list for "things" but really - these would be better to receive.
Friday, December 18, 2009
-who does the shopping - both Drew adn I depending on how organized we are or who is already out and about
-what's on the shopping list - the turkey comes from an organic farm family contact; veggies, bread, desserts - the usual
-who does the cooking - whoever is hosting does the turkey and the potatoes; everyone else contributes the "accessories"
-how long it takes - depending on the size of the turkey of course - usually it is big because we all like leftovers! dinner is usually mid to late afternoon (depending on who is hosting)
-what recipes are used - I'll have to ask about this one - I don't think we have any family recipes handed down; every year the veggies are different. We do always have pumpkin pie adn applie crisp. My sister has requested plum pudding and hard sauce as well as mince meat pies. I think they may be a fmaily recipe.
-where those recipes came from
-who comes to Christmas dinner - the usual brood - both sides of the family, any relations who can make it - the more the merrier!
-where you eat (whose house? What room? What table?!) This varies from year to year between the 3 houses; always the dining room at the dining table with an additional fold out table to allow room for all of us.
-how long it takes you to eat dinner - reading of scripture, crackers, eating, break and then back for dessert - it probably takes us a good few hours! What a great time!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
- that I am feeling the baby fluttering tonnes!
- I have great families to work with
- for the Jesse tree interest by kids
- for the Advent focus on family activities
- that we got snow!
- for the smells of candles and baking
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
wrapping paper, advent calendars and decorations, lists, shopping bags, receipts, ads, cards, artwork, play bulletin, scrapbooking, muffin liners, tissue paper - I'm sure that's not all!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
I'm sure there are going to be some that we will have to forego for this year due to time constraints. At this point I"m not sure if we'll do the books and pj's on Christmas Eve again - although both Cierra and Matt could use new ones. I'll have to think about that one.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
So far still not much snow; everyday baking; hopefully some baking for the play; decorations pretty much done; beginning to get cards; made our family photo card; need to write letter and look at numbers; lots of crafts by kids; read a Christmas book; candles; advent;
I did put up our little “Paula tree” which holds all of the ornaments we have received from Paula and now Charlotte through the church at the Christmas Eve service. This has become a particularly favourite holiday decor item for me. Each ornament was made with such love and care to share the gospel of Christ with those at Christmas. So much thought was put into each one. Now that Paula has passed on, they mean all that much more. I felt they were deserving of their own special tree and I love to see them all there together.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Some things to do – figure out how to print my card(s); turkey; gifts for family
My favourite holiday food would have to be pumpkin pie. I know it is available all throughout the year but my mom doesn’t make it except at Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is the best. It has to be served cold and preferably with whipped cream. I also enjoy all of the cookie recipes that come out at this time of year – the shortbread, the walnut crescents, the chocolate haystacks and toffee bars. We certainly enjoy the whole turkey and trimmings meal and are blessed to have it a few times a year. We try to get a turkey big enough that there will be leftovers. I love leftovers. Especially cold pumpkin pie. Yum-yum!
Sunday, December 6, 2009
The true symbol of the holidays for me would have to be crèche. Or in certain cases of the nativity scene – just baby Jesus as He is often in Mary’s arms. I particularly like this version as it was [another] gift from my sister. It is fairly simple in nature and was brought back by a friend of hers from Guatemala. Simple. Meaningful.
For as long as I can remember, one of my favourite holiday songs has been Amy Grant’s song Oh Little Town of Bethlehem. It is a great little melody and pulls in the song Emmanuel as well. I love those songs that incorporate a few all in one and this one does a great job of putting me in the Christmas spirit. It is one of the first Christmas albums I ever owned ( I still have the original cassette tape), and Amy Grant was one of the first Christian artists that I started to listen to. Her Christmas albums continue to be amongst my favourites.
I was introduced to the idea of the Jesse Tree through a blog (Simple Mom) that I frequently read. The whole concept is to “think of a Jesse Tree as a sort of advent calendar, except that in addition to a countdown to Christmas, you go through a family devotion in the Bible, starting with creation and ending with Jesus’ birthday. It’s geared towards the kids, so the devotional times are short, easy, and visual.” (http://simplemom.net/jesse-tree/) Soooo, this year we are going ultra simple – the kids get a paper ornament which they can colour if they want to, as well as the suggestion of a family activity to do together. Some days I may throw in an extra candy or something – or make them search for the activity but that depends on the time available each night. They each have their own chocolate countdown calendar that they may have in the morning before school (yikes – chocolate before school I know- I know). We are only day 8 but the kids are eager to read what comes next and to light the candle each evening. So far it’s been a great way to get away from the candy focus. We may plan on getting real ornaments some year but to be honest – right now I am happy with this arrangement!
Friday, December 4, 2009
I don't know that i have a particular piece of holiday decor that I am really sentimental about. I think that I have several that I would be extremely upset if something happened to them. This would include our advent calendar. My mom made it a few years back for us to use with the kids - and they are really beginning to enjoy it. I also have the Willow Tree nativity scene that my sister has purchased for us. I love the simplicity of it and the way they all look together. I have a number of items from the craft program at the association that I have collected over the years which to me are cute and "just part of Christmas". I'm also enjoying the various things we can do with all of the Christmas balls - the glass jars, hangnign in the archways, hanging on the trees. It's been fun to discover new ways to use them!
If I was to reflect on my childhood there are definitely a few pieces that I would love to inherit. My aunt made a really cool nativity scene out of bean bag type people. I love the way they look - and they are durable enough to handle. I haven't even seen it for a few years as mom and dad have been away and haven't set everything up, but I do remember it clearly from our childhood. I also love the homemade tree ornaments my parents have on their tree that we made as kids - with pictures of all of us in our early elementary age. Again, I haven't seen them for a few years but those are what I would call sentimental. I think that as our kids get older and begin to recognize certain items returning year after year I will get more sentimental about them. For now, it is really the meaning behind the few items we do use.
I need to get some photos of those ornaments!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Basic stats about cards?
I forgot to buy stamps today - I think they are about 52 cents now. It's been along time since I've actually mailed a letter!Last year we sent out 60? cards - I plan on about the same this year. We usually receive a tonne from people at church and around 20 or so mail ins.
We usually sign and give a quick hello along with a typed letter explaining all that has gone on in the year. I figure i love to receive them so I hope they do too!
I do keep a list of who we receive from and who we give to. We generally don't give to everyone at church - there are just too many!
Joy is my middle name so it is a special word. The dictionary definition says this:
The passion or emotion excited by the acquisition or expectation of good; pleasurable feelings or emotions caused by success, good fortune, and the like, or by a rational prospect of possessing what we love or desire; gladness; exhilaration of spirits; delight.
That which causes joy or happiness.
The sign or exhibition of joy; gayety; mirth; merriment; festivity.
To rejoice; to be glad; to delight; to exult.
To give joy to; to congratulate.
To gladden; to make joyful; to exhilarate.
For me it essentially means things that make us happy, things that help us be content I guess. What brings me Joy? Today both younger kids spontaneously showed their love. Matt has been doing this a lot lately! Marlee is so huggy right now too. Cierra - she even asked for a hug! Drew brings me joy - he bought me flowers out of the blue today! I got lots of things crossed off my to do list and the kids to do list (like their icky cupcakes - but it made them happy!) - that brings me joy; It brings me great joy that the kids are excited about and ask for the advent story and lighting of the candle; The smell of the new Creme brule candles today brought me joy as well s the smell of freshly baked muffins. Getting out for dinner with just Drew brought me joy. Heading off to bed a wee bit early now is going to bring me joy - very soon! Feeling this life inside me brings me joy! Isn't joy awesome???
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
A toasty fire, my slippers and comfy pyjamas. All cozy and warm. Ahhhh.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Matt had a great time "prepping" us all for some photos to usher in the month. Definitely some of our prouder moments!
My earliest holiday memory would have to be having my brother come into our room (I shared with my sister growing up), and waking us telling us that Santa had come. He was so excited and it seemed like such an early hour. I know there were years when my parents told us it was too early and we had to go back to bed.
I'll also never forget when both Sean and I got our Raggedy Ann and Andy comforters. I still have mine and LOVE it. It goes on car trips with me and is always the best blanket for movie time. So much so that I now have to fight the kids for it because they love it too. I can picture the scene that morning - yellow shag carpet, piano in the corner with the tree beside. Warm, snuggly blanket to follow. Awesome.
We started the day with our first official snow fall. The kids were so excited! I did drive them to school as we were going out immediately afterwards to the playgroup. The snow was gone by lunch time unfortunately as it got up to about 7 degrees. It seemed fitting though that we FINALLY got some snow and not just a thick frost on the ground. So unlike this time of year here. It was really cute though - C asked if we could play at the playground after school so we could play in the snow. I had to explain that the snow was all gone - just like it was in our backyard. "But it was just here!" He was quite sad.
Today is the beginning of a big adventure. I can already feel the stress in some ways so my vow this year is to let go and just do what I can. What am I referring to? Oh, only advent, JYC, Holidays in Hand and Daily December. I want to do so much but I know I can really ONLY do so much. I mean get real. I already missed the first 2 days of advent because I couldn't find our calendar. For someone who claims to be organized - get real. But we did find it last night and I had the kids decorations in it ready for this morning. I think I mentioned in a previous post (if not I'll return with the details), but I am going with the Jesse Tree theme for advent this year. So the kids got a decoration in the pocket to colour (note to self - print on cardstock next year!), and this morning got a clue to find the chocolate daily countdown calendar. We read the scripture and discussion this evening at dinner time as well as lighting the candle. They were quite receptive. As much as part of me would like to to have additional treats each day, I think I will really keep it simple and just do the decoration and then they can have their chocolate. We are also aiming to do a family activity each day. It's not like they need any more candy in their lives.
It's just amazing to me how long everything seems to take these days. Drew is always on me about my sense of time (or lack thereof) and I am beginning to see what he means. The kids want to do so much each day but it just doesn't work. and things you think will only take a few minutes stretch into 15 or 20. Like our Welcome to December photo for today. Matt wanted to take the photos so that added time in itself. They were fun but then he wanted to play a game and he still had to have a shower. In comes mean-y mom. Needing to enjoy what we have already done and not make it more stressful by adding in more activity. It is so easy to fall back into wanting more but this HAS to be it.
I have to remember that our family values around the holidays really center around the true meaning of the season and being together as as family. It isn't about how much we can do and get done. It isn't about how many presents to get each other. It is to remember the most amazing gift I have received ever. The gift of confidence of knowing I am never alone. The assurance of being able to get through anything life throws us. The promise of a life everlasting - of knowing our kids will always be with us as they share our faith. The awareness of being able to share my innermost thoughts and not be judged - although I will be forgiven. The acceptance of not being able to do the right things on my own strength. The joy of being unconditionally loved by my creator. These gifts are what life is all about - and it is all brought closer to mind at Christmas.
So how does this all fit into the natural busy-ness of the season? My goals shall remain:
I PROMISE to take a few minutes each day and BLOG about our holiday together. I HOPE that we can do something festive each day together - even if it is just reading our advent story. I PROMISE to continue taking a photo or more each day. I will strive to CREATE something meaningful to me for the holiday season, daily if possible. I will continue to REFLECT on holidays of the past, ENJOY the holidays of the present and DREAM of holidays of the future. I will CHERISH the time and traditions that are being spent with our family by taking back Christmas and making the most of what we do, finding a balance between the reason of the season and the daily busy-ness of life. I will also SHARE what makes this holiday special with those I interact with around the holidays
How will I do this?
It REALLY helps to have the laptop upstairs - so much easier to grab a minute here and there.
I have made half of my pages already for an album.
As mentioned, I will decrease my expectations for advent giving.
I will not stress if I don't do 25+ pages.
I will keep notepaper handy to jot down ideas.
I will do digital when time necessitates.
I will let go of my perfectionism to have it "just so" and try to ENJOY the process!
Onward and upward adventure!
Exercise – again, not worth mentioning other then the fact that Rina is keeping me in shape with our weekly 52 card pick up
Books Read – n/a
Children From Heaven;
–Safe Church Training (2nd)
Gratrix’s here for dinner (6th)
Matt to Gavin’s 7th birthday (7th) – movie Astro Boy
Leader’s retreat (19th-21st)
Drew’s work Christmas party (28th)
One of A Kind Craft Show with Kristy (29th)
Travel – n/a
Significant Purchases/ changes
basement stair railing up;
new washing machine;
paid off mortgage portion of LOC (Gr & Gr);
2nd garden bed installed (awaiting dirt before winter)
Matt - tooth number 10 & 11 came out
Drew - several moles removed
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Anyway it is one of the easiest recipes and here it is:
Cover metal baking with saltine crackers, salted side up.
Boil 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup butter (you can use some margarine but I've found it should have some butter)
Pour mixture over crackers; spreading out to edges.
Put in oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Open oven door and sprinkle 1-2 cups chocolate chips over top.
Once melted, spread out over top and remove from oven.
Place tray in freezer for at least 45 minutes.
Crinkle tray and crack cookies into pieces.
Store in refrigerator.
A few of us were thinking it would be good with skor bits or crushed walnuts on top as well. I can't wait to try!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
As December will be upon us pretty soon, I thought it prudent to start with the good ol wish lists. I come from a family of wish list makers and believe me. I like it. I know I can get something that they will actually want and use - and they still have some "openness" to them too. We are also trying to cut down on extra "things" - for the household and for the kids so this tends to help keep the items practical and desired. The problem is, I haven't actually given this a tonne of thought yet but I know I can always add to it as time goes on.
- Wii games ( must be E only at this point)
- Lego Indiana Jones or city sets (he particularly wants the big temple set that DOESN'T have the ball)
- Goalie equipment for ball hockey? details???
- a good pencil sharpener
- Itunes gift certificates
- At this point anything Strawberry Shortcake, Polly Pockets or Pet Shop, Barbie or Disney Princess
- She has a tonne of clothes but always loves cute things; she is particularly into mismatched socks and cool patterns
- music certificates (itunes) - or her own ipod (blue) to trade with Matt's
- leggings to wear under skirts
- Anything Hannah Montana (she will be getting the movie)
- I saw a cool dance program for the playstation featuring Family Channel characters, including HM - if something comes out for Wii....
- Cool t-shirts
- Magazines on teen stars
- Clothing - TBD (from Costco and Land's End)
- Wooden cutting boards (8,5x11-14" size - 3; one for meat, veg and fruit)
- Pampered Chef muffin stone
- Scrapbook.com gift certificate for albums
- Michael's certificates
- JessicaSprague.com (Grow your skills) ecertificates to learn PSE
- DesignerDigital.com ecertificates to purchase digital supplies and how-to classes
- large wall clock (ask for details)
- Life jackets (elementary school age size)
- Wii Fit
So - just a few things to consider. I'm sure there will be more fine tuning as the days go on. The kids are doing quite well I have to say in terms of "wish list" requests. Actually I think I am just about done their shopping but I know there are lots of relatives starting to consider. Just remember - it's not all about the gifts - we love time and togetherness. And as Sam is demonstrating - we can also buy for others in place of ourselves - we definitely aren't lacking in any areas.
Now back to those teeth - Matt lost his other front tooth yesterday. Isn't he just adorable?
Monday, November 23, 2009
This past weekend worked out well to work on this as I had Drew trapped in the car on the way to and from our retreat. We used this time to go over some of the preliminary questions and how her mission might relate to ours. Drew is usually quite willing to work on things like this but interupt the evening golf routine? Uh uh. Car trips are great for this. I was happy to see that we were pretty much on the same page. Similar goals for the future and we are seeing things similarly in our family right now.
So yes, I have taken many if not most of her ideas and have made them into our goals as a family for us (it is SOO awesome that she loves God!). I imagine that some will change over time and as we work on it, more ideas will come to light, and some may not work at all. There may be things that do make it more OUR family. But for now, these goals look like they will work - many we have already been working on. As I don't claim to be creative in this way, I again am thankful that most of the work was already done. Does it seem wrong to have another family's goals? I hope not. I truly appreciate the work that was put into it.
I hope to somehow "scrapbook" this in some way and then post it in our house as a daily reminder (I know I need it to be seen in order for it to be effective).
For anyone interested in exploring this topic, this post on creating a family mission statement is excellent - with questions and how to follow up included. More will follow as I type up our progress.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
First and foremost, Jesus is the reason for the season. How do we keep Him the main focus?
Secondly, it is truly a time for family and relaxation (I mean it is a time off school, relatively little commitments)
tradition - I want the kids to have a sense of tradition - some things we do every year that are important to them. This isn't to mean that traditions can't change - why do it for the sake of doing it if it doesn't mean anything to anyone? And as we hear or discover new things, to be open to trying new things that may end up being traditions too.
Togetherness - we are fortunate to have both sides of extended family near by and even more awesome is that in the last several years, they have all come together for the major holidays so time juggling is less of an issue. The gifts are less important then the sharing of time together.
When family from afar can join - all the better.
Gratitude - I want our family to always have a spirit of gratitude. We are SO blessed and no matter how crummy a day we've had, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for.
Giving - Along with gratitude, I want our family to have a spirit of giving. To realize how much we do have and how we can share and be a blessing to others. There are so many out there less fortunate then us and we have in abundance. We need not store up treasures here on earth.
As the kids get older I look forward to being able to work together with those that are less fortunate to help give them a blessed holiday as well.
How do we do these things?
We need to be clear in our expectations and our goals. Decide what our priorities are and what expectations are actually realistic. How much can we handle?
We need to be organized and have a plan. Last year went really well. I followed a lot of Flylady's prompts for getting ready for Christmas and I also took a lot of advice from Organized Christmas.com. Great resources. My Christmas control journal has been a HUGE help to keeping me focused.
We need to be clear in our communication about what comes into the house gift-wise. Often we give the wrong message to the kids and we want to be changing our focus from the gifts towards family and together time.
We need to set goals for the future. A lot of what I would like to do isn't practical for the kids at this age. Too much for such a short amount of time. But maybe in a few years.
And finally - making sure that the foundation for the season is already laid and built upon every day. Christmas isn't just about December. Jesus is the reason for not just this season but for every day. Making this an everyday thing will go a long way to keeping the focus right at Christmas too.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
The office had some vaccine leftover from their clinic and if it is not used up within 24 hours they would have to throw it out. After the scare with a church friend (who ended up having strep throat), Drew didn't want to take any chances. We've upped our hand washing, our vitamins, our sleep time, keeping up with our outdoor time and have added saline nose swipes and gargling. And for me, I'm still praying and waiting.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Here I share my top 10 photos - in no particular order. (BTW - I still have yet to put my photos in an album - or even to scrapbook a page on it). I have tried to do a digital page many a time but end up frustrated. I still have a goal to put together an album that coordinates with the video that a member of our church put together. I still cry when I see it. His pictures tell the whole story. One day. For now, here are my favourites:
It was so awesome to go with my whole family. Here we are in the Garden of Gethsemane under an olive tree. We'd just heard scripture recalling how Jesus sat here in prayer, moments before He was betrayed. There was a quiet time for reflection and then remembrance of the fact that it has all worked out for His plan.
This was a tree at the Holocaust museum. They have all been planted and a plaque sits in front and commemorates individuals and families that helped save the Jewish people during the Holocaust. This particular one was for Schindler - from the popular movie Schindler's list. What was pointed out and has stuck with me, is that we need to look beyond those "popular" names and see the many many individuals who are not well-known, but did their best to help in some small way. Each of these people made a difference. How true.
This was Masada. An amazing mountain palace for King Herod who was paranoid about being overthrown so he built a secluded palace here overlooking the dead sea. What is more amazing is the whole story of Masada and the Jews that lived there for a time. As I heard our host tell the story I kept thinking this sounds familiar - and I finally realized that I had heard it in our Bethel Intensive class. Just being here has made the story so much more meaningful. Check it out here.
Sarah and I in the mud pit at the Dead Sea. What an experience. It is all that people have said it to be. The floating the stinging in the eyes, the luxuriousness of the mud. We tried it all. Head to toe. I'd show that picture but that's a bit much LOL!. One of our poor friends had such a hard time getting out - but it really was quite a laugh. We all tried out the skin products at the store (and most of us purchased some of course - the Ahava foot cream has been the best so far). I even brought home some actual water and some mud from the sea (okayed at the airport btw).
This is an excavation site at King Solomon's palace. What was really neat about this area was the way our leader described the "pie" showing all of the different layers of civilization. It was such a clear description.
This picture shows one of our group getting baptized in the Jordan River. It was such a moving experience - for many it was a renewal of faith and for many it was the first time declaring their intentions. (It was also cool seeing Dad performing some of them - I'm sure as a pastor it must have been a dream of some sorts).
We passed this art piece several times a day at the hotel in Jerusalem. Drew commented on it every time. It was definitely worthy of a photo.
Dad got to read scripture to the group at the Sea of Galilee. This is just down the hill from where the miracle of the loaves and fishes took place.
The Garden Tomb. It is posted, "He is Not Here, For He is Risen". He is risen indeed. Our tour guide for this site was a retired pastor from Florida named Al. He was so passionate and it was obvious that he loved his job. He had great insight to offer us. The thing that struck me the most was his comment, "When people ask you what was the favourite thing you saw? It should be what is was you DIDN'T see. For Jesus is not here. He is risen indeed." So powerful and true.
Such an amazing blessing to have been a part of this group and witness all that is in this beautiful land. After all the worry about getting there, I felt completely safe (as did Drew), the kids were well cared for, we had great family time, got to know church member better and am that much closer to Christ. I would highly recommend this to anyone questioning a trip here. I'm so glad we went.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
And now on to other projects. As October wound down and November begins, I'm excitingly awaiting a new project. This one begins November 2nd and again involves Shimelle (Journal your Christmas). It's all about blogging and scrapbooking and how they are related and how to make the blogging part work for your scrapbooking. I'm in! That has always been the main goal of my blogging - to use it as a sort of on-line scrapbook - a place to help me jog my memory and give me a common, organized format for when I actually get around to doing a layout. Either way - I'm looking forward to what I can learn. Stay tuned - I'm not usually able to keep up with the pace of the classes I take but I am betting better at at least getting the daily information down.
Favourite Layout #5:
I finally finished Matt's calendar page for December 2004. This has been sitting around for ages. I don't do a lot of this style anymore but I am so glad to be done and now I can bind it and show it off. It was a calendar following all of the daily things he did for his second year. It's hard to believe he is almost 7!
Favourite Layout #4:This is one of 3 layouts I got done on Christmas cards received layouts. Very simple in design and quick to make (Becky Higgins scraplift CK Dec06) - I don't know why I procrastinated so long on these ones. I think I am going to start a separate album for them as it will be neat to see the changes in families as they grow over the years.
Favourite Layout #3:
Another catch-up project I got back to working on. This one is 28 days through Big Picture Scrapbooking. I actually can't find all of the journalling I thought I had done but once I made the cover page and got my head around the format I wanted, I got several pages done. It still isn't complete but I know now it won't take long. It's very much a everyday life type album - one that will be really fun to look back in a few years (what am I saying - it was Feb07 that I started it!!!) Note to self - who would have thought it would be the start of something similar to Project 365!
Favourite Layout #2:
I found this quick page on Scrapping with ikea goddess and loved it (other then the skull but I'm choosing to overlook it). It really was quick and it has become a favourite because it really showed me that I can actually do some digital layouts without a lot of difficulty. I like the colour and simplicity in this layout.
And now for Favourite layout #1;
This is my favourite for a number of reasons: 1) I didn't actually scraplift this one - it's mine! 2) I really like how the masking turned out. It was fun and I like the result! 3) I love that it shows all of a month's work at one time on one layout 4) it doesn't hurt that quite a few people doing LOAD liked it too =)
So there you have it in a nut shell. What I was doing for the month of October. For more check out my flickr account and the slide show going at the side. I think the next LOAD challenge in coming in February. I just hope I actually get some layouts done before then!
Exercise - - um yeah – not worth mentioning – once a week? This extra weight in my belly area is making it impossible to run!
Books Read – The Gift;
Movies Seen – Annie Hall; Tom Jones; The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas; A Jurassic Ark Mystery;
Melissa’s 40th birthday celebration (3rd)
Nicky – baby shower (4th)
John’s 62nd birthday (7th), Melissa’s 40th (7th)
Thanksgiving Dinner here (11th) – announced new member to be to family
Field Trip with Marlee’s Class – Pumpkin Patch (14th)
Matt to Joshua’s 7th birthday party (16th)
J & B R’s for dinner (17th)
Colts game (22nd)
Williams family here for lunch (25th)
Halloween Party (31st)
Accomplished LOAD project (Oct 1-31st)
Travel – n/a
Significant Purchases/ changes - n/a
Marlee - strabizbus eye surgery in Newmarket
Matt - 2 teeth removed due to absess (28th)
Friday, October 30, 2009
I am also not sure that a lot of this isn't hype and hysteria. We regularly get emails telling us natural course of action to take and why the flu shot isn't necessary. Yes we need to question the sources and we need to really weigh the information. There again lies some difficulty with family being in the medical business although the plus side is we are able to get things checked out very quickly and conveniently. Tough sometimes though. Especially when it comes to serious issues like this.
So anyway, I've really been struggling with this especially given that I am now in the "vulnerable" group. Which gives me even more questions.
So I've been praying. A lot. About discernment. And why can't I just be told blatantly with a big billboard - "Alison - do this"! I know it doesn't work this way. I also have a tendency to over read overwork over think things. Like the following:
Today I was reading an email about the flu and the vaccine and again, just really pondering what I should be doing - for me and for the kids. As I got to the section on pregnancy, my heart started beating faster and I was just like "Ahhh - I'm so confused - what do I do?" Then I caught the words of the song on the radio. Read the lyrics:
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
I will wait
I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait I
will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord
And while I listened to the song, it brought tears to my eyes and get this - I actually felt the baby move for the first time. So, more tears.
So at this point I am waiting. For what? Til the 20 week point? To get more opinions? I don't know. That's my over analyzing part. So I'm trying to be patient, to be trusting, to follow good health practices and just wait.
By the way, I recognized the song but not who it was by. I actually emailed the radio station who relayed that it was "While I'm Waiting" by John Waller from the movie Fireproof (watch the song video).
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
I don't get many things right the first time In fact, I am told that a lot Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls Brought me here
And where was I before the day That I first saw your lovely face? Now I see it everyday
And I know That I am I am I am The luckiest
What if I'd been born fifty years before you In a house on a street where you lived? Maybe I'd be outside as you passed on your bike Would I know?
And in a white sea of eyes I see one pair that I recognize And I know
That I am I am I am The luckiest
I love you more than I have ever found a way to say to you
Next door there's an old man who lived to his nineties And one day passed away in his sleep And his wife; she stayed for a couple of days And passed away
I'm sorry, I know that's a strange way to tell you that I know we belong
That I know That I am I am I am The luckiest
The Luckiest by Ben Folds
Saturday, October 3, 2009
As for the stewardess? Well that obviously didn't pan out but I certainly have a love for travelling - which is probably why I wanted to be one. So while I may not get to see the many places of the world for free or less cost, I also don't have the jet lag, the time away from home and the hectic schedules. (Well I do have that but oh well). And really, we have been able to do so much travelling in our lives. Thankfully Drew is pretty good with wanting to see new places each time too.
So am I happy doing what I am doing? You bet. I am a wife, a mom, a sister, a daughter, a careprovider, a teacher, a healer, a volunteer, a driver, a traveller, an artist, a creator, a homemaker, a sewer, a gardener and much, much more.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
A Woman's Place;
Have a New Kid by Friday
Movies Seen - Anne of Green Gables; When Did You Last See Your Father?; Love Comes Softly; Bolt; For One More Day; Annie; Run Fat Boy Run; Million Dollar Baby; House of Sand; Moll Flanders; Love's Unending Promise; Love's Long Journey;
- Will, Preston Birthday (12th);
- LSNED (blogging)
- U2 concert with Melissa!!!
- My birthday (37)
- haircuts (girls)
- 22nd- meet and greet school barbq
- Drew men's retreat (25-27)
- Melanie's baby shower (26th)
- RR with church friends (27th)
Travel - ...Thunder Bay (Aug 22 - Sept 5)
Significant Purchases/ changes - n/a
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I had the opprotunity to take a few chances today and am thankful that I did. And I wish i had in another instance.
Let me start by saying I feel naked without my camera - and I learned that when I forget it I should "take the chance" and go back for it. Now that I am thoroughly involved in P365, I almost always have my camera with me. On the way to church I realized I had forgotten it. I wasn't that far from home but decided oh well - I'm sure someone at church would have one if something came up. I wasn't thinking of afterwards.
After church A&E invited us to meet up at the local pumpkin patch as they had been asked to do some videography for their website. In order to assure that the place was busy, they were invited to bring along some families for free. I am often not spontaneous in this way, but since Drew was away, we had no plans and it was involving our small group, I "took a chance" and decided why not? Of course there are always things to do at home but we had wanted to go to the pumpkin patch anyway and what better way then with friends?
On our way out (I decided we didn't have enough time to go home, have lunch and get my camera b/c I had to practice some flagging before leaving - but that is another story) we went to Wendy's for lunch - where low and behold we met up with A&E. We had a nice chat over lunch and even though it was starting to rain, we "took a chance" and decided to still go figuring it would probably be fine up the road. It was.
We had a great time. The kids played so well together, we got to try out all the areas of the farm, took part in a pie-eating contest (mmm pumpkin), picked some great pumpkins for home and had no photos to show for it. But there will be some lovely shots I'm sure on the website at some point.
So yes - today I learned - take a chance - you never know what it might lead to (and you might be able to have pictures of it too!)
Saturday, September 26, 2009
1. You can't always go by the weather network. Case in point - at Matt's ball hockey game today it started to rain - not muc, just a few sprinkles. But the weather network said it wouldn't rain until 2 pm - and I actually said this to a few bystanders!
2. As much as I hate to say it, summer is coming to an end. Yes it is September 26th and we have determined to close the pool Thanksgiving weekend (becuase there is always a slight possiblity we can get one more swim in isn't there?), and yet I caved today and bought our first pumpkins and fall mums. We went ot the garden store looking for some black-eyed susans (of which there weren't any) and left with pumpkins. I had told myself no pumpkins until October 1st - fall comes soon enough - but the kids won out. I'm going to put tem into the planters this year instead of fall flowers - and we just got the one pot of mums for the ground.
3. I have said it beorfe and I said it again today - I love that we have the 4 distinct seasons here. We went to a baby shower today where the grandmother-to-be was up from Ohio. I'm not overly sure what the weather is like there but I did comment about living here and how much I enjoy the seasons. Again - one day I will scrpabook about this because obviously it is a theme in my life!
Another BTW - the mother-to-be (who is 34) - this was her first baby shower EVER! She had such a blast. It was a real pleasure watching her sheer enjoyment of the event. Their baby is due in November.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Oh - and another thing I learned? One person's impression of another does not necessarily live up to the truth - and that can be a good thing (a lesson better learned BEFORE one puts one's foot in their mouth!)
Thursday, September 24, 2009
So often I look at something and think, Oh, I'll just do it later. I am now learning that it is much more to my advantage to just get it done. And more often then not, it doesn't take me nearly as long as I thought it would.
This is another of Flylady's principles. Perfectionsism, pracrastination, getting sidetracked - all of which I am definately guilty of. This new lesson is a good thing to learn!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
When you want things to go fast, life inevitably slows down. And I'm glad. Life has a way of teaching us that it has its own pace. For a reason.
I had a day at home today. How I love these. I didn't particularly accomplish much. I had a good run (10 and 1's!) and then puttered in the garden (finally trimmed the tree) and picked Cierra up for a doctor's appointment. I had a lot I wanted to accomplish today and really didn't get to any of it. Life has a way of doing that to me. It's almost like when my to do list is too long, I'll get into a good book. Or my run will be good I make it longer. Or alternately, I'll get sidetracked into surfing the net for too long. Either way, it's a reminder at the end of the day that these kind of days are okay. We need some days to just step back and enjoy. Take part in the day. For they pass so quickly.
On another note, it was meet the teacher barbq at school today. I hope the time so far this year is a good indication of how the year will go. The kids had a great time showing us around- and again I am reminded of what a nice community of families we have around here. I finally met the neighbours on the corner and Drew was reaquainted with a family in the court. We did talk about missing J and B though. They were our "Steadies" at these type of functions. I'll have to put their number in my cell phone.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
We had a great day today - I am just so amazed at how well the kids are getting along. We quickly went to the grocery store where the kids of course picked up some boxes to play with. As soon as we got home they set about painting them. As they dried they moved on to other things. Later in the day as they watched tv, they sat in their boxes on the couches. It was quite the sight.
Monday, September 21, 2009
I'm trying to work on some digital layouts - simple (???) collage templates, but they are just not coming together that well. I did do a step-by-step one by Jessica Sprague which I quite like - now I am not sure exactly how to get it printed out. I know I saw somewhere how to transfer it to a 12x18 and then add 2 copies of 6x6's to fill the page. One of these days I hope to come across the instructions again.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
I had a hard time getting into my run today. I could only get 5 and 1's going but at least I did get some exercise. It was beautiful though. I ran home from church today - well walked and ran! When I rounded the corner and started down the hill toward the lake I was just struck by the beauty. The sun was sparkling all over the water and the view over the fountains was breathtaking. I even talked with a young family who was taken by it as well. I do love this area!