Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gratitude and advent

Advent started on Sunday and we are setting up for the countdown to Christmas. I put up mom's fabric 'calendar' with pockets and got a number of our daily readings ready. I'm combining the Jesse tree format along with a daily activity and treat. This really helps to keep the reason for the season in focus. I reworked my own version of Ali Edward's Advent Action tags to suit our activities and am writing these out daily. These activities will vary from service oriented activities to just fun family activities. They will be rhymes, word scrambles, cryptograms and scavenger hunts. Lots of fun!

December Daily and Journal Your Christmas all start on December first but I think I am going to focus on documenting our advent activities this year. Hopefully I can use some of the prompts for the whole family. Journal Your Christmas has offered 4x6 templates to make an album and I think that might suit my needs. As my past experience has shown me, my follow through isn't that great. It would be really nice to have a paper/ book record to show us how this year passed by. We will see.
The Jesse Tree daily reading starts with a scripture, a reading, a talk about and then a prayer.
We weren't 'together' enough to start on Sunday so it works that we can use last years materials (Written by Christina Van Eyl. Illustrations by Helen Phillips except for the lion which was drawn by Jeff Brown - site unknown). There are all sorts of activities when I googled it this year. One site has a colouring paper for each day if I want to add that in some day.

In the meantime, I hope to post our daily advent activities. It is still one form of scrapbooking isn't it?

Monday November 29 - 'gratitude'
What is another word for gratitude? Unscramble the words for a clue of our activity today. ... As we clear away our thanksgiving and fall decorations, let us take a minute to add any final thoughts to our give thanks board. As a family we are truly blessed.

Scripture: Isaiah 11:1-2
Reading: God has a plan for everything. Long before Jesus was born lived a man named Jesse. Jesse had seven sons; the youngest was named David. When David grew up, he became a great king of Israel. God had a plan for Jesse and for his son David, even before they were born.
Jesus was also part of Jesse and David's family tree, born many, many years after David. People waited a long time for the birth of the savior. The season of Advent is a season of waiting for us, too. We wait for Christmas, the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus.
It is hard to be patient, especially when we are waiting for something wonderful like Christmas! But it is important to learn to be patient, and to trust that God has a plan for us, too.
Talk about: Why is waiting so hard?
It was interesting that our sermon on Sunday talked about waiting. The topic was then fresh in our minds as we talked with the kids about patience and how it is important to learn to wait even though in many cases we are able to get a lot of things immediately.

Prayer: Dear God, we thank you that you have a plan for each of us. Help us to be patient as we wait for Jesus' birthday.
Tuesday November 30 - 'advent'
Advent has begun! Help set up the advent wreath and the Jesse tree. Colour the ornament for today and read the story.

Scripture: Genesis 1: 26-31
Reading: God is the creator of all things. God made the world and everything in it: the air and the water, the plants and the fish, the animals and the people. When God finished creating the world, it was perfect. When God first created people, even they were perfect. They did not sin or do anything to make God unhappy.
Even though there is now sin and sadness in the world, God still cares for us. We have been given a beautiful world in which to live, and God has asked us to take care of it. We can care for the world by showing kindness to all living things.
The world is God's gift to us. God wants us to enjoy this gift, but God also wants us to treat it with care.

Talk about: What are some ways that you can take good care of plants, animals, birds, rivers, people, and everything else in the world that God made?
The kids came up with some good ways to do this. We talked primarily about reduce/reuse/recycle which led to the discussion of a lot of our family's practices. Things like buying used clothing to reduce manufacturing, buying in bulk to reduce packaging and freight costs, using cloth diapers [did you know that a baby uses 6,000 diapers in the first 2 years of life?], growing our own food, baking foods from scratch instead of buying from the store. We hope that they will start to see this lifestyle as not only environmentally friendly but also the will of Christ.

Prayer: Thank you, Creator God, for making our wonderful world.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Mitchell is 8 months!

Our little guy is becoming such a little 'person'. We are loving how his character is developing. He is such fun!

  • weight? [20 lbs 10 oz - Dec 11)
  • length 28.25" (Dec 30)
  • sitting independently; not transitioning to move yet
  • creeping more quickly
  • new foods - grapes, baby mum mum, cheerios, applesauce (duh! why not earlier?)
  • discovering his tongue - and how it goes in and out and all around...
  • very babbly
  • likes his toes (and anything else that can go in his mouth)
  • enjoys nakey-butt (EC going really well - we are getting several hours a day with nakey butt and only a few accidents - if we could just move that first BM away from 5-5:30 to at least 6:30 lol!)
  • drooling!!! must be getting more teeth
  • sleeping - so-so, night time is good and daytime is improving. I've learned that the trick is getting him when he is ready and not getting overtired - hard to do with this busy household.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November Good Food Box

I picked up my small good food box yesterday. It inlcuded:
  • a 10 lb bag of red potatoes
  • 1 cabbage
  • 2 lb bag of onions
  • 2 lb bag of carrots
  • broccolli
  • 1 bag of cranberries
  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 4 macintosh apples
  • 1 red pepper

all for $10! Good deal!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A sweet sleep blessing

I can honestly say that I kind of enjoyed bedtime routine this evening.

I went up with Mitchell around 6:45, started to wipe him down and change him but he was getting agitated so I ditched that and sat down to nurse. He nursed for about 1/2 hour and showed no signs of falling asleep so we got up and continued the bathroom routine. We then went back to the bedroom and "played". He got a lot of crawling/creeping done and I interacted with him and also caught up on some emails (LOVING the ipod touch!!!). He was in a great mood and just playful. It was awesome. The kids came up around 8pm and said their good nights and I toileted him and did the final songs and prayers. I then nursed him again for about 5 minutes (he wasn't that interested so no problem). I then put him into bed whereupon he started to cry. It wasn't the cry that indicated he needed to be up but I soothed him by shh-patting and talking softly to him. He continued off and on for about 15 minutes with me picking him up intermittently but him not getting overly upset. Could we be getting the hang of this? Anyway, he calmed down so that he was actually just lying in bed making noises. Then his noises turned to the raspberry sound. Which he has been making when he needs to go poop. And which he has been making because it is a fun sound. But I thought I should probably respect the communication part and reaffirm the sound for what we are wanting it to be used for. So I toileted him - no go. I then put him back in bed where he continued to make the noises as well as blowing. No tears. I was just so overcome with his cuteness right then. He rolled over a few times, looked up at me, blew some air and some raspberries. Just content. A few more rolls, some rubbing of his eyes and he was asleep. Amazing. I can only dream that this may happen more in the future but for now, I was so blessed with the time we spent together tonight. Thanks buddy!

BTW - thanks also buddy for an amazing nap today. I was actually getting frustrated that he wasn't transferring (after 3 tries) to his bed after an hour of nursing and falling asleep!!! I prayed "thusly" and then [yes] he did transfer with the next attempt - and slept for 3 1/2 hours (until 2pm)!!! God does have a way...

Gettin' techy with it!

Oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah!!!!

Okay I admit I am a little slow at some of this tech stuff that is going on around us.

I was blessed to get an ipod touch for my birthday and since the kids were wanting to use it so much, Drew has since gotten one as well. As of 2 weeks ago I have reclaimed mine as I have started listening to the paperclipping round table and digi podcasts. They have been great - particularly while I trying to get Mitchell down to sleep, and also for while walking to school. I've been learning a lot of new things and the panels are always so entertaining.

But anyway... I just got to "exploring" the ipod today and actually hooked up my email. Oh my goodness! What a timesaver this is! I get a lot of blogs subscribed because it is easier to keep up on them this way - but it means that some days I can get 20-30 emails and it quickly fills my inbox. It's almost overwhelming but there are so many interesting things to read! I then miss the "real people" emails I get. So it was really cool to be able to zip through a tonne of emails today.

When I got a phone call from Drew who noticed that I had replied with my ipod I was overcome and giddy and gave a little "oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah". I was a happy girl.

That's me - gettin' techy with it!

[Now if only I could download my ebooks and pdfs on it - but I'll have to save that for the ipad won't I?]

Sunday, November 14, 2010

November to do list progress

I am still plugging away at my November to do list. 13/30 done so far and we are on Day 14. 3 more are in progress.

Here is my list so far:
1. Jewelry holder – made but not on wall
2. Mending
3. Kids art work
4. Plastic bag recycling
5. Sort Matt’s outgrown clothing for Mitchell
6. Purge kids toys in playroom
7. Receipts - started
8. Cierra’s receipts
9. Cierra’s inventory
10. Label Cierra’s photo albums
11. Sort scrapbooking letters a-z
12. Scrapbooking inspiration files
13. Get rid of VHS tapes
14. Garage bucket
15. Cierra’s magnet boards
16. Tissue paper
17. Cierra morning routine pictures
18. Mitchell’s food list
19. Update health books
20. Print out family mission statement
21. Mitchell’s dev’t list
22. Scrapbook pages into albums –started
23. Label LOM albums
24. Marlee’s 6 year photos in frame
25. Move frames upstairs
26. Kids school photos in frames – waiting for photos to come back from school
27. Dust hallway landing
28. Pull out fridge and clean
29. Safe church – something!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fresh from the farm

I forgot to mention that the other day when we were at the surprise party we got talking with some older friends we hadn't seen for a while. It turns out they are living a little out of town on a small hobby farm. And they are raising chickens! Over 60 to be exact. Actually those are just the laying chickens. They just got their meat chickens harvested and will wait to that again until spring. Anyway, I made arrangements to call and then to visit so that I might get some of their "produce". I went out on Wednesday and after a lovely visit, tour of the house and farm, I got 4 chickens and 2 dozen fresh eggs. I was so excited! Marlee got along really well with their daughter at the party and was actually quite upset that she couldn't come with me to the farm but I promised that if this went well that we would all go out some weekend together. After this visit we will be sure to do so.

Thursday night I made a roast chicken and roasted root vegetables. It was so yummy! I did up carrots, parsnips, turnip, sweet potato and potato in maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. They got a little overdone but were still really good. I will be making them again for sure. It is so nice to know what we are eating and how it got there. So much healthier!

Friday, November 12, 2010

He is clearly communicating!

Just after I finished feeding Mitchell a few minutes ago, he made the raspberry sound I didn't really think much of it (I was looking at the laptop and he has been "playing" with the sound a lot in the last few days). But then he pooped. Clearly. I made mention of the sound, took him and changed him and then put him on the potty. Where he then made the noise and pooped some more! Totally cool! We continued on and about 15 minutes later we went downstairs so I could download what I had on the computer and he went in the exersaucer. Again he made the sound and the facial grunt. Too late. He had gone. But cool - he is making the connection!!!

Now I have to learn from this too. Take him seriously. And spend less time on the computer lol!

November Task list continues

I've been moving right along with my November tasks. I'm right on target as today is the 11th and I have done 11 of my tasks. Today wasn't that productive as Mitchell didn't really go down for a nap. I had to take him for a drive and ended up starting to sort the receipts while he slept in the car. At least they are started. I also got the family pictures up this morning (#25). Last night as I waited for things to load on the computer I was able to sort most of my alphabet letters (#11). I have a lot more then I thought! (Really that is no surprise).

One thing I have been noticing while I've been working on this list is that I have just as many MORE things to add to a new list. But that, is for another month!

Monday, November 8, 2010

This weekend...
- we got our electrical issue fixed
- we went to see Matt's hockey game (he won 4-2)
- we watched the movie Babies together as a family
- we stayed home for dinner (ate in front of the tv) and rushed out to small group
- we attended small group for dessert, snack, video and fellowship
- we dumped our stuff at the door and got the kids into bed
- we picked up Cierra on the way to church
- Mitchell flooded his pants in church, went pee on the potty and then was dry for an hour (pottied x3)
- we delivered church flyers door to door for 20 mintues
- we dropped Marlee off at a birthday party
- we relaxed and each did our own thing (I worked on the computer)
- we ran out the door for a surprise birthday party
- we witnessed some interesting attitude from our oldest daughter
- we felt the repercussions of daylight savings time change (umm it's an hour later remember?)
- we got home and dumped our stuff
- we realized that Matt forgot to do some important homework
- we got everyone into bed and collapsed...
...and left the house in utter chaos

oh and stayed up with Mitchell when he woke up and wouldn"t go back to sleep

So today...
i cleaned the bathroom
i am going to get the little guy down for a (hopefully) long nap and THEN
i am TIDYING up
i am going to put the garage bucket away
i am going to sort the plastic bags for recycling
i am going to sweep and mop the floor
i am going to put away the halloween and thanksgiving decor
i am going to put my laundry away
and after he wakes up
i am going to call about chickens and eggs
i am going to email about notes for our video series
i am going to email about Flat student opportunities
i am going to put up some pictures
i am going to shop for digital savings
i am going to put away my scrap albums

let's see how we do. See you later!

Saturday, November 6, 2010


We watched the movie Babies today as a family. It was really quite good.
Summary: A look at one year in the life of four babies from around the world, from Mongolia to Namibia to San Francisco to Tokyo.
I had originally heard about it from the Elimination Communication yahoo forum that I read and it peaked my interest. I bookmarked it at the library for when it came in but expected to be waiting for quite a while before we could watch it as I was like #50 in line.
Some of our favourite parts and comments:
  • When the boy from Namibia checks himself out - classic!
  • the boy from Mongolia playing amidst the cows
  • the boy from Mongolia tied to the bed
  • the boy from Mongolia going to the washroom
  • the boy from Namibia being fed while walking
  • how all the babies babbled similarly - regardless of where they lived

As you can see, we really enjoyed the two boys in particular. The culture in Mongolia and Namibia was really captivating. I thought the boy from Namibia was just adorable. Just a note, that there was some nudity but everything was culturally related and we didn't make a big deal of it. The kids didn't either.

Our main gist of this film was that the more different we are the more we are the same. We highly recommend it!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November task list - Day 2 and 3

My progress has been going well. I did Mitchell's food list (#18) and Mitchell's Dev't list (#21) yesterday and got Marlee's 6 year old photos in the frames (#24) today. I started to arrange the photos for the wall (#25) but I think I will need to wait for Drew's assistance.

I've posted Mitchell's lists in the kitchen so that I can have easy access to note his development.

I also found my list from this post and re-evaluated where I am. Funnily (lol) I haven't gotten that far. Of this list I have completed the following:

- read ella's book on portrait photography
- completed at least 1/2 of October 2010 LOAD - I did all of it!
- I am getting caught up on my PSE tagging (Oct and Sept are done)

I made and am in the process of getting my blogbook for P365 2009. Speaking of which, I got an email today that I've been booked! I'll be adding the blinkie to my 365 blog momentarily. I can't wait to see the book.

I am now off to do some back tracking on my 365 - 2010! TTFN!

Monday, November 1, 2010

November Task List Day 1

I need to remember before and after photos...

I did the tissue paper and gift bags today (#16). Yey! It was a nice and easy one as I was out of the house most of the day but it already looks so much better in our storage area.

LOAD day 29-31 and final thoughts

Day 29 - Oro Beach Park

Day 30 - Email

Day 31 - U R SO CUTE

And in recap - here are my stats!
Layouts created for LayOutADay October 2010
31 days
31 layouts submitted
24 paper layouts (15-12x12, 3-12x24, 6-8.5x11)
7 digital layouts (3-12x12, 1-12x24, 3-8x8)
4 double page layouts
201 photos scrapped!
All in all a very successful month. Showing me again that I can do a little bit each day if I put my mind to it and the rest of our lives won't fall apart. That being said, it keeps coming back to finding a middle ground. I'd like to do some scrpabokking each month, but I'd also like to be able to tackle my to do lists, and do some reading and watch some tv. Now I just have to work out HOW that is all to happen!

November To Do List

I have a To Do list that is a mile long. I like lists. I like to do list. I like to check off my accomplishments in a day. I am also a procrastinator. I have a number of things on my list that have been there for a very long time. Some not so much. But I am figuring that if I can devote 15 minutes to 1 1/2 hours to LOAD for this past month then maybe this month I can devote to my to do list. Some are longer and some should only take a few minutes - once I actually start on it. So here is my list (in no particular order) - let's see how I do!

1. Jewelry holder - sand, add hooks and hang
2. Mending
3. Kids art work - purge and sort
4. Plastic bag recycling
5. Sort Matt’s outgrown clothing for Mitchell
6. Purge kids toys in playroom
7. Receipts
8. Cierra’s receipts
9. Cierra’s inventory
10. Label Cierra’s photo albums
11. Sort scrapbooking letters a-z (and add foam letters)
12. Scrapbooking inspiration files - hang
13. Get rid of VHS tapes
14. Garage bucket
15. Cierra’s magnet boards - hang up
16. Tissue paper - sort
17. Cierra morning routine pictures
18. Mitchell’s food list
19. Update health books
20. Print out family mission statement
21. Mitchell’s dev’t list
22. Scrapbook pages into albums
23. Label LOM albums
24. Marlee’s 6 year photos in frame
25. Hang frames upstairs
26. Kids school photos in frames
27. Dust hallway landing
28. Pull out fridge and clean
29. Safe church – something!
30. print digital scrapbook pages

Lollipop, lollipop...

I'm overwhelmed! The kids had a great time trick-or-treating last night. Essentially it was the first time all and out going door to door. Up until now they have always gone to our church party and visited a few hand-picked friends houses on the way. This year the church went for a harvest dinner instead (which turned out very well btw).

So trick-or-treating we went. Well Drew went. I went to the neighbours houses and then Drew and the kids met up with friends and they went around the neighbourhood. They came home after an hour and a half and then went by car to our family's houses.

We had the usual few pieces of candy eaten once they got home and then the bedtime routine began. Yes they were a little high on sugar. This morning? My mistake, I left the candy out, which might have helped, but the first question was Can I have one? Then, Can I take one to school? To which of course I answered no. Yep I'm mean. And then I feel guilty. And then I think but no, Drew will get mad, our "policy" is no candy until the weekend. Which I TRY to follow but I will admit I give in and give one or two here and there. And I sometimes like to surprise them and put one in their lunch to find. When I do that though I find that they tend to expect it. So what is a mom to do?

Interestingly, I found a few articles in my inbox about this topic today. I have forwarded them to Drew and we will be having the discussion tomorrow (as he has now gone to bed). Basically they are suggesting that if we restrict the sugar intake too much it only makes the kids crave it more. Hmmmm. So they let the kids have free reign and actually find that the usage tapers off after a day or two - which they say is the same for the adults. I think that may be true in my case! Maybe not with cookies though... The other article talks about the Switch Witch (might need a name change) where they let them have free reign for the night (Halloween) and then the switch witch switches the candy for a cool toy that the child(ren) have been wanting (and the candy goes to the husbands work - out of the house). I actually really like this idea. I had thought I heard something similar but couldn't remember the details. I'm wondering if we can still work this into the plan. Part of the candy problem is that Matt is a hoarder. He will basically still have candy next Halloween. Marlee does not have as much control and Cierra, well, we can control her intake more easily but I know she likes it. And me? well I just like to eat whatever is around and I have very little self control. There you have it.

Soo - until the discussion - here are the links:

I have bookmarked this site - it looks like there is some interesting discussion on handling the sugar habit. I know I need to read up on this.