Friday, December 10, 2010

Link Loves aka: What I found while avoiding homework...

Let's start with the cutest little crochet bomber jacket pattern that I want to buy and make in every size so my boy can wear one until he's 4 years old! and I want to make one for me... and for B....

This is such a great idea for people who have only a little space for a baby, or maybe for people who are looking for new space for a second baby. I'm in love with this nursery-within-a-nursery.
I've also found some really great kitchens for kids made (inexpensively) (and not so inexpensively) from furniture from IKEA! I love both kitchens and really wish I had tools to make one and a place to put something like this in our apartment.


On the topic of kids and kitchens, if you're looking for toy food to fill the toy kitchen, LoooLoo Textiles has some awesome Play food that's organic and looks delicious. (Mind you it is $37.99 for the bagel, but doesn't it look awesome?)
And then there's the fantastic hamburger...



On those days when it feels like my knight has tarnished armour, here's a less than glamourous look at marriage at Im Gonna Kill Him...


Hopefully tomorrow will be a much more productive studying day!
~A


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

That's why they call it "Buyers Remorse"

Less than 24 hours from when my husband told me he wanted to spend less time on the computer and more time "unplugged", I forgot completely about the whole conversation and we purchased a Wii AND a TV...

And now the regret is sinking in.

Questions are running through my head:
Why did I really get the Wii? Was it for him, or was it because I've wanted one for so long?
Did we really need to get a new TV? Why didn't we check Kijiji first?
Should we bring them both back? Or should we just bring back the TV?
Why did we waste so many hours tonight shopping for a TV?
Can't we just keep them both? It would be so much easier...

So many questions, yet the answer that keeps coming is "You silly, silly girl. Things will never satisfy you when what you're really longing for is closeness with me."

So tomorrow we're returning the TV. I'm still weighing the pros and cons of keeping the Wii. I had mentioned it to our babysitter, and since her family has been dreaming of a flat screen TV for Christmas, she offered her old TV to us if they get a new one. A free TV is much better on the pocketbook than one we have to pay off over a few months...

I've learned some lessons from this:
1. I've always wondered what it would be like to be more impulsive and how I would feel if I could just spend whatever money I wanted... Now I know that I feel much better when all my purchases are planned and needed. Impulsivity is not an attribute I want to emulate.
2. Just because a gift would be a really nice and fun thing for my family (and just because I've wanted it for a while) doesn't mean that I need to get it at the first chance it's on sale.
3. I'm really glad that my husband and I can talk about everything. Even if it means that I can never keep a surprise...
4. My 2 year old is not the only one who throws temper tantrums...Even if I'm not crying and throwing myself on the floor, I can behave in the same selfish manner.


And as my husband said tonight, "That's why they call it 'buyers remorse'. "

~A

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Birthday Week and Christmas Countdown!

Today is B's birthday! Last year was the "quarter-century" milestone, but we forgot to celebrate with a quarter of a cake and all those other fun quarter-themed decorations. I'm going to go big next year when I hit that milestone...
Anyways, this week we celebrated my birthday AND B's birthday, and we had a really good time and didn't go present-crazy.

My birthday was Wednesday, but I got my first card from a friend on Tuesday. Wednesday was my crazy 11-hours-of-labs-with-no-breaks-day.... But other than coming home with sore feet, I had a fantastic day. My classmates in the AM sang happy birthday to me, and in my PM class I got to go home early without cleaning up... Top that off with all the yummy food I got to take home (TONS of hors d'oeuvres from a retirement party we catered), and it was a great day.
I also received birthday cards from C and 2 of his friends from daycare (really sweet drawings of cakes...) and I got phone calls from my sister and from B's aunt.
Yesterday (Friday) B and I got cards in the mail from B's mom and aunt, and MIL sent us some $$, so we decided to celebrate as a family by eating out.

Dinner was great (we went to Swiss Chalet, nothing super fancy), the service was great, and when B went to take C to the potty, I snuck in a request for B's favourite dessert (carrot cake) with a candle....
the boys came back from the washroom...
the servers started singing...
B said to me "oh, it's someone's birthday"...
and then they stopped at our table, and he started to laugh...
He hadn't expected dessert, so I got him good.

Tonight we're celebrating with some friends and family. I'm making pizza and carrot cake (and cookies for national cookie day) and we're going to play board games and have some nice wine and pie (made by my dad).

For presents, we didn't go really big. B got me nice flowers and a book on decorating cupcakes(well to be honest, I bought it and told him it was his gift to me), and I got him the newMumford and Sons CD (and he bought himself Civ5).


It's starting to feel more like Christmas is coming. I've got Christmas presents for my mom and dad, and we're partly done buying for my immediate family and B's mom, but we still have presents for the North Bay family's gift exchange, and also for each other and for C... so I guess I have more shopping left than I thought I did.
We've put the tree up. I was hoping to do an advent calendar with an ornament a day, but I'm a little behind. we've got a red bead garland and round red ornaments up, and I'm hoping to make a few ornaments with C, (like this and this and this) but I might do that in a week or so when exams are over. (I just realized that this is my last pre-Christmas exam period EVER! I would cheer if I wasn't trying to get a grumpy 2-year old to sleep right now)


How is your holiday decorating going? Any suggestions on kid-friendly holiday decor?

~A

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Top Ten: Things I Love About December

December...what a wonderful month! I think it's my favourite month of the year.
There are so many things I love about December, but I'll try to narrow them down to the best ten.

10. Snow! I love snow best on 2 days. December 1st (so I have snow for my birthday) and December 24 (so we can have a white Christmas)

9. Christmas decorations! Hubby usually makes me wait until my birthday to decorate (but I snuck our tree up on November 29 this year)

8. Craft Shows! This weekend is an AMAZING show that I've been looking forward to for weeks!

7. Food! According to Family Crafts at About.com, December has national days for such foods as Pie (1), Fritters (2), Cookies (4), Cotton Candy (7), Brownies (8), Cocoa (13), Maple Syrup (17), Oatmeal Muffins (19), Egg Nog (24), Pumpkin Pie (25) and Chocolate (28)... no wonder we pack on the pounds if we have to celebrate each one!

6. Vacation time! Since I've been in school for 83% of my life, December is synonymous with Christmas vacation. This year I've got almost 3 weeks off.

5. Sunlight! The days have been getting darker and darker, and we still have a few weeks where it will be getting dark earlier, but then the days will start getting longer. We rejoice that our God is in control of the sun and the moon and the changing of seasons.

4. Family! We are so blessed to celebrate the holidays with B's mom, grandma, and aunt and uncle in North Bay, and also to celebrate with my cousins, aunts, uncles (and whoever else wants to come) in Bowmanville, and ALSO to celebrate with my immediate family in Cobourg. We're going to have a busy week, but what joy and memories we'll have too.

3. Parents! My parents celebrate their wedding anniversary in December. What a blessing to have both my parents together after all this time. I love you mom and dad.

2. Birthdays! My mom said that we had a cake-a-week in December. My birthday is the 1st, brothers birthdays on the 9th and 15th, sister-in-law on the 16th, Aunts on the 13th and 19th... and my Husband's birthday is on the 4th. What a busy month!

1. Christ's Birth! December is the month that we celebrate the best event anyone could possibly imagine. God loved us all so much that he sent his son to be born to rescue us from sin and death. I don't have words enough to give thanks for the amazing gift that was given to us on that first Christmas morning. No other gift on heaven or on earth can ever compare to the grace that I have through Christ Jesus. Thank you.

~A

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Things you say when you have a toddler...

Tonight at the dinner table, which of these comments were made?
1. "C- we do not throw forks."
2. "Stop stabbing yourself with your fork"
3. "You can't drink your milk with a fork"
4. All of the above.

Not only were all of these said, we then followed this craziness with a round of Beethoven's 5th to the words "get in the tub"... and later started singing about bananas and potatoes... I think we need more sleep.

~A

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Diaper Drama

I am an honest person, I tell it like I see it, and I'll call my friends out when they're putting on a front and pretending to be someone they're not. I've been writing here (sporadically) for a year now, and I guess it's only fair that I remain honest about myself.

Now that I've put that out there, I'm going to talk about the real reason for this post.

I want to talk about diapers.

I know, boooring...(or groooosss) whatever. I don't want to talk about what goes in them, but about the mothers and families living in poverty who sometimes have to choose between diapers and putting food on their tables.

Did you know that 1 in 5 Canadian moms have had to choose between clean diapers and putting food on the table? In a study done by Huggies, some mothers admit cleaning out used diapers and putting them back on their children. The Huggies site says:
"Moms struggling against diaper need are more likely to miss work or school, stay home when they need to go out, or keep their babies out of daycare—which usually requires a full day's supply of disposable diapers. Without enough diapers for routine changes, moms feel distressed and find parenting even more difficult."

These nameless, faceless mothers might seem very far away from where you live, but I want to tell you that they are closer than you expect. And I want to tell you about a way that we can help.

Huggies has a program called "Every Little Bottom", and the purpose of this program is to collect diapers for those families who have to choose between diapers and food. This year, "every little bottom" will be sending almost 500,000 diapers to food banks across Canada, and they want to raise awareness about this issue.


This is very personal for me, because last year when my husband enrolled in Teacher's College, we had very carefully budgeted our expenses so that both he and I could go to school. Early in 2010, we learned that a donor who had pledged us $5000 had backed out, and we wouldn't be receiving any more money (we had received $1500 in the fall but were still counting on $3500). This problem meant that I needed to use the food bank for 3 months so that my little son and myself would have food. The food bank was great in that area, but with C being 15 months old, he was still in diapers, and the diapers I received from the food bank lasted us maybe a week if I used them sparingly.
I didn't have money to buy cloth diapers (as I didn't have money for meat or milk) and laundry was done as infrequently as I could because it cost almost $5 to do a full load (wash and dry). This program will help families like ours be able to use the little money they have on other necessities.

I found out about this program through the Yummy Mummy Club, and some of the comments written on their article about every little bottom said that people in need should just use cloth diapers:
"You can cloth diaper a child from newborn to potty training for just a few hundred dollars, and those diapers can be used for subsequent children. Environmental issues aside, disposable diapers are a luxury and i hate to think children are going without food for their parents convenience."

I'm sorry, but for a family who is living from paycheck to paycheck, where is that few hundred dollars supposed to come from? After living like that for a time, I've come to have a lot more respect and compassion for the families who are forced into choices they would rather not make. (such as feeding formula because the mom needs to work, or using disposable diapers, or going to the food bank.)

This comment from ymc_candace put my thoughts perfectly:
"Disposable diapers are not a luxury, they are often a necessity. Most daycares do not allow cloth diapers. Additionally, if you are financially strapped there's a good chance you don't have a washer/dryer at home. Which presents another hurdle...most public laundromats do not allow cloth diapers to be washed for hygenic reasons. Then there are the mothers that are transient, escaping from abusive relationships. These mothers would find it difficult to use cloth diapers. There are countless reasons why cloth is not always practical. Local food banks, shelters and aid agencies could probably name more than I could ever.

There is a time and place for the cloth vs. disposable debate and I don't think this is it. I will say this though, I think that helping people is never wrong...either way.

I appreciate that you'd like to help people in need and I do believe there are many mothers who would love to use cloth instead of disposable if their circumstances permit. I'm sure your local food bank would not refuse a donation of cloth diapers should you be so inspired."


This program was not created to force people to buy more Huggies diapers, it was created to help out families like mine that don't have the ability to choose cloth. Maybe families who receive help now will give help down the road, and maybe some families will be able to choose cloth for their next child (we're hoping to use cloth with our next beans) but right now, let's help people where they have needs.

That's all I'm asking.


Every Little Bottom 2.png

~A

Pray Without Ceasing

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


Today was a day when I took that passage literally.
From going to bed last night until tonight, B and I have been praying for a wonderful friend of ours.

I'm not going to go into details, but I do want to say that we have an amazing God who knows all things and has control of all things. Earlier today I turned on the car radio, and the local Christian radio host was commenting on how God answers our prayers in ways that we don't always expect.

I know that our God is not here to complete my life checklist, or fulfill my wishes like a genie. I know that in my head, and I'm learning in my heart what it means to have the answer "No" or "Wait. This is not yet time." I also know that today, when our praying was focused on a family court custody battle, the last thing I wanted was for God to give one of those answers. I wanted a yes, and I wanted it now! I wanted God's will to be done, but only if His will included my friend winning her case. I was putting God in a box. Thinking that because I see my request as a good thing, it must mean that God was going to make it happen. But there was no lightning on command, no "instant message" in response to my prayers. And I don't take that as a bad thing. I take that to mean that God is in control, and whatever His will is, will happen IN HIS TIME. So I'm learning. I'm not very good at the waiting thing, but I'm watching my friend, and if she can trust in a time like this, I'm going to trust God too.

The peace that I have seen in my friend throughout this crazy stressful week shows me her faith in God. It shows me the power that an army of prayer warriors can have. And tonight we celebrated with ice cream. Not because of a verdict (which will come in a few weeks) but because the Lord has been her strength in good times and in bad. She knows this, and I'm learning it anew because of the faith she shows in every breath of every day.

My dear friend. You are an amazing mother to four kids whom I've been blessed to grow to love. I know that you have left a legacy of love in these children that will bless them for decades. I thank God for you and for allowing me to serve you these past few months. Because of you I will never be the same. Thank you.

~A

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Sweetest Thing

I was just about to head to bed, and as I was turning of the lights, I heard one of the best noises...

C was laughing. in his sleep.

There is no better sound in my mind than the laughter of my little man...

So goodnight, and sweet dreams! I know mine will be.

~A

Friday, November 19, 2010

Crafty Christmas Ideas

I love making presents...I don't like going out, being given a price range and buying something that adds up to exactly the dollar amount of gift I will be getting in return...(it's boring to me. I want a challenge! )
I like to give from the heart, which means that my presents don't always have dollar amounts, or at least can't be found in any department stores. So I've found some ideas that started the "creative monkeys" in my brain on what I hope will not be a totally crazy creative rampage...

At Feels Like Home, I found a list called 10 Handmade Christmas Gifts You Can Make Now where I found this amazing wreath and cute little ornaments. Instructions for the wreath and other crafts can be found at Countdown to Christmas: Crafts, Food and DIY Gifts ( I especially love their brownie tree and advent calendar)

As for food craftiness...
I'm not a huge Oreo fan, but these Oreo Pops could be decorated in so many different ways! Change the colour of the chocolate to orange, and make pumpkin pops...or dip the pop fully in one colour, and then half in another, and you're on your way to making fun Christmas ornament looking pops... Endless possibilities! (well at least as many possibilities as there are round objects to mimic)


Wait, should I keep posting? I don't want to spoil the surprise of all the gift ideas I have floating in my head...

~A

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas Craziness

In 5 weeks and 4 days Christmas will be here... sorry to remind those of you who haven't started shopping (I am included in this, but only because my giftee hasn't provided a wish list yet) but there are (5 weeks means 7 times 5... which is 35...plus 3...) 38 shopping days until Christmas!

And it's going to be crazy.
At least in chef mom's mind it will be. Let's run down the list of all the people we need to visit:

N-Bay:

-Mama T (and all the in-laws... and all the dogs)
-Grandma T (oops, this reminds me I need to send her a thank-you card for C's birthday present...)
-Aunt L and Uncle V (while trying to keep C's hands off all the un-child-proof things)
-Elvis and Kiwi, and C's betrothed...and MAYBE if we're lucky all Kiwi's family (like a third family for us...I would have said second, but I've got B's family for that)
-Joey! (I don't know how, but I really want to see her)

B-Ville/Ptbo/C-burg:

-The annual "Thyristes Atun" family celebration(and ESPECIALLY Opa Thyristes Atun)...that's a fun one to decode!
-Grandpa S and Grandma S
-The "On-the-Corner" family because my parents were crazy and decided to get married 2 days after Christmas, so we are DOUBLY guilt-ridden to make them a priority...

And guess what?! We only have 5 days in which to do this all!!
I'm guessing we'll put about 2000 km on the little-white-car (which is going to cost us about a million dollars in gas the way the prices are going up) and I'm going to need a vacation when I get back from this vacation...

So here's an article talking about how to prevent insanity over the holidays... Maybe I just need to eat a lot of sugar...





~A


Knife image from here.
Gingerbread man image from here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

~Giving Update~

15 days have come and gone already in this 30 Days of Giving Challenge, and I wanted to give an update on our journey.

Some of the ways we've given:
-Operation Christmas Child: we filled 2 boxes and I wrote a letter to each of the kids, and we actually sent them in!! (last year we got 2 boxes but never filled them)
***If you want to give to OCC, This week is National Collection Week so hurry!!***
-visited a friend who is going through a tough custody battle and gave her the gift of a listening ear and unconditional love
-donated my time and talents at a nutrition program for the YMCA (I finished up 5 weeks of cooking lessons for kids)
-made a cute baby blanket and "Welcome" cake for my cousin's brand new baby girl
-gave my little man a full afternoon of "Mommy time" and we got his hair cut, went out for ice cream, and played and tickled and read whatever C wanted
-used my coupons to get extra cleaning supplies (super cheap) for a friend who just started a house-cleaning business
-brought coffee to my amazing daycare provider to make her Friday afternoon a little easier
-baked treats and delivered them to friends
-I helped at church in the nursery
-B helped do powerpoint for both services on Sunday
-donated new toy for a toy drive at a local shelter

More plans for the rest of the month:
-donating gently used clothing to the Salvation Army
-spending quality time with my grandpa who has recently suffered a few strokes
-finishing and donating baby blankets to an organization called Sunshine Hugs or Blankets for Canada that will send them to Interval House or Morningstar Mission (both in Napanee)
-donating unused yarn to volunteers for Sunshine Hugs to make other items including dish rags, hats, scarves, mitts, and afghans
-giving time and organization to our family by de-cluttering our home
-getting an early start on my Christmas baking, and bringing some treats over to the Bethel Houses (a program started by my church to help men recovering from addictions)
-using this list from our church to help us find more ways to get involved in volunteering locally
-listening to the promptings of the still small voice to give even when I don't think I have time and especially when I have to step outside my comfort zone

Do you have any more ideas on how I can give?

~A

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Quivers Full...

Lately I've been reading a lot about large families and the "quiverfull" perspective. And I like what I've been reading.
The article that got me started is called "The Case Against Birth Control" and it is very well supported by scripture. I'd like to take a look at some of the medical evidence backing some of the claims, but the spiritual evidence was overwhelming to B and myself.


The Source of both these links was a blog that's really been educational, called "Raising Arrows". The Blog has a few articles that I really enjoyed, namely "Becoming Quiverfull" (parts 1-4) the whole section called "Large Family Living", and an article called "Enjoying Your Quiverfull" which talks about having peace in whatever number of children God blesses you with, whether it's none, sixteen, or somewhere in the middle.

I have a full quiver today, and if the Lord blesses us with more, than we will raise however many blessings he gives us.

-A

*I'm hoping to make this a regular topic as I go through my own research into what being quiverfull will mean for our family. Thank you for any insight you have about this issue.

Link Loves of the day: Giving Ideas!!

"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God."
-Micah 6:8

I found this image on the Etsy shop for We are THAT Family when I was doing some research for ideas on giving this month. The entire profits from this painting (and anything else in their Etsy shop) go to an organization called "The Mercy House" which provides nutrition, housing, prenatal care, Bible teaching, and job skills for pregnant girls living in the streets of Kenya.


For those who want your Christmas presents to last more than one day, check out the World Vision Christmas Catalogue to send gifts like chickens or school supplies that will support needy communities. Shop for gifts from the Ten Thousand Villages website (or go to their stores if you're blessed with one in your town as we are!) for beautiful, one-of-a-kind, fair trade gifts.


There are many organizations encouraging us to start sponsoring children this holiday season. If you can't find room in your budget to sponsor more children, but still want to make a difference in the lives of sponsored children, why not write Christmas letters to one of the many sponsored children who have never received letters... I read a post this week about the importance of these letters to the kids who receive them.

If you wish to send personalized Christmas cards, Compassion International has teamed up with Studio DaySpring to send cards to children in Ecuador. Check it out here and bless a child with a Christmas card today!

This last idea is one of my favourite ways to celebrate giving every holiday season. Operation Christmas Child! Pack a shoebox (or 2 or 3) with toys and other small things, add a letter and some $$ for shipping, and bring it to a drop-off location near you. The Canadian website is here, and the international site for Samaritan's Purse is here. Just remember, the deadline is SOON so pack those boxes quickly!!

I'll be posting soon about how I've been giving this month so far (even before I heard of the 30 Days of Giving Challenge)

-A

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Learning to grow my giving heart...

*From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. (Luke 12:48)*


Today is the first day I've heard about the 30 days of giving. Apparently it was started last year (2009) for the month of November, and this year it's running online from November 1-30.

I was expecting to find a to-do list on the website of exactly which action to take on each day of the month, and I was really excited that it's nothing like that. What the 30 Days of Giving is about is bringing the whole IDEA of giving to the front of your mind, and helping people to focus on doing things for others.

It's like the new song from Matthew West called "My Own Little World." If you haven't heard the song, here's a link to the song on youtube. What hits me about the song is just how simple it is to find people every single day who are in need.

Physical needs like shoes, coats, hats, scarves...
Needing food...
Needing clean drinking water...
Needing someone to talk to...
Needing hope...
Needing salvation...

How often do I look the other way when there are needs before me? How often do I AVOID the homeless man or woman because "I don't have time" or because "they look funny." I want to become aware.

I remember Service Week in grade 10 with my high school class. We went to Toronto for a week, and I don't remember what month it was, but it was cold outside. There were people sleeping on the streets in boxes. There were people sleeping on park benches. There were people who wouldn't even meet our eyes begging for money, or food, or even just the recognition that they are human. I remember feeling shocked that these people lived so close to me, and I had all my needs filled when they didn't have anything.

This month is not going to rid the world of poverty, or find homes for all the homeless, or feed every hungry child in Africa; but if we can change our hearts, maybe we can change the life of one person.
Maybe we can give shoes and coats and food.
Maybe we can speak of the hope we have.
Maybe we can be all the difference between life and death.

I'm going to give. And I hope it won't just be for a month.

-A

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Daybook: October 12


Outside my window...
trucks driving on the 401, street lights shining the only light. a peaceful night.

I am thinking...
tomorrow is my dad's birthday. does he know how much I love him?

I am thankful for...
so many blessings I can't name them all.

From the kitchen...
soft-shell tacos for dinner, and a few cakes in the works for the babes that are soon to be born...

I am wearing...
cozy pjs.

I am creating...
royal icing decorations for the long list of cakes I'm hoping to make. also I've got probably 5 baby blankets on the go...

I am going...
to start 2 new classes this week! Looking forward to advanced baking, but I'm not so sure about vegetarian fusion...

I am reading...
Think Like a Chef, by Tom Colicchio

I am hoping...
that I can come up with a fun meal for our (Swedish) guests coming for dinner tomorrow night

I am hearing...
sleepy breathing from the wonderful man next to me who takes care of my when I'm sick

Around the house...
dishes are done, fresh roses are in a vase, bathroom is clean, leftovers are away... the place is almost ready for company tomorrow night.

One of my favorite things...
baking cakes and bread! Hopefully in lab tomorrow I get pulled for one of those jobs!

A few plans for the rest of the week:
reorganizing my tool boxes, writing my essay for class, and helping out at the Y by partnering with students who are learning how to cook!

Here is a picture reflecting what I'm thinking...
Happy Birthday Dad. I love you.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thankful

A few texts on my mind today:

Psalm 95: 1-7 (NLT)

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.

For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
In his hands are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.



Philippians 4: 4-9 (NLT)

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again - rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
And now dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you.



I wish you all a blessed thanksgiving, and I pray that you would be filled with joy.

-A

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Local Farms, Awesome Flavours!!

Today is the day I've been waiting for!
K-town is surrounded by many local farms and amazing local produce that we as a family get to experience, and TODAY is an event called "Open Farms" where many of these local farms open up and allow the public to see what goes on!!
We grabbed a brochure in the middle of the summer that highlighted local farms with a brief description and a map that listed all these farms. Check out the Local Flavours website and take a look at the maps for the producers, and also for the outlets which serve local foods.

Looking at all those local farms really got me excited, and I wanted to see ALL of the farms participating in Open Farms, but there's too many for just one day, so we've narrowed it down to 4 that are close enough (and on a semi-direct route) so that we don't wear ourselves out.

The top choices of the day (not the BEST, just the ones that are close to our place and that interest us)
-in the summer you can pick your own strawberries, raspberries.... and in the fall pick your own pumpkins, go through a corn maze, and go on hay rides!!

-pick your own apples and pumpkins!!
-great website with fun recipes I want to try for all things APPLE!!

-great variety of local produce including squash, sweet corn, garlic and pumpkins
-they also sell flowers, fall decor, and Christmas greens!

-I'd heard about Wendy's Mobile Market because we order from them at work, but this farm is going to be my favourite trip of all....
-they focus on local, in-season produce, but they also sell meats, artisanal cheeses, maple syrup, baked goods, herbal teas.....and lots more! AND they deliver products through their mobile market (Check out their GIANT order form!!)

TODAY! I'm super excited to get going... but the little man is sleeping, so we have to wait until he wakes up...

Don't you wish you lived in Kingston?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Daybook: Monday August 23

FOR TODAY
Outside my window...
cool night air after a wonderful rainy day.

I am thinking...
I'm so glad tonight that we have only one little monkey... 4 is a lot of monkeys, and a lot of mess...

I am thankful for...
having my little boy back after he spent a week at grandma and grumpa's

From the kitchen...
we had breakfast for supper tonight: yummy whole wheat chocolate chip pancakes and breakfast sausages! And the picky children we fed actually enjoyed the pancakes!! However Hubs and I are starving, so here comes a reheated pizza creation from work...

I am wearing...
comfy jeans and my warm red sweater.

I am creating...
a menu plan that will actually be possible to complete.

I am going...
to bed soon. Midnight shift plus a day full of activities makes one very incoherent mama...

I am reading...
"House Works" by Cynthia Townley Ewer of OrganizedHome.com

I am hoping...
that my hands will start to feel better and the eczema will go away in time for school (which starts in 15 days!!)

I am hearing...
random alien words from a video game called "Spore" that the Hubs is playing.

Around the house...
the fans are going, the baby is sleeping, and the Hubs and I are once again in our own separate screened-in bubbles

One of my favorite things...
Disney movies that have jokes specifically for adults! Looking forward to re-watching "Enchanted"

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Seeing my mama friends on Wednesday...I've missed them for the past few weeks. Also I need to attack the Shaggy Dog that is my head...preferably before I start school.

Here is a picture reflecting what I'm thinking...

I love you little man. Welcome back, and I'm so glad you have a name for me now. it was a long time in coming, but your mama has to smile every time you call my name...

-A.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

LOVE Week (Part 2)

I guess our "week" was a bit longer than 7 days, because we continued to celebrate into Saturday, Sunday, and even into Monday... what can I say? I LOVE celebrating with the man ILOVE...

I'll pick up where we left off...

THURSDAY we celebrated the receipt of our anniversary present from my wonderful mother! We LOVE board games and as soon as we got Ticket to Ride home, we broke it open and played 3 times... for dinner we had TV dinners so that we didn't have to do any dishes. LOVE easy suppers and simple nights in!!

FRIDAY we had some wonderful open conversations and really shared what was on our hearts. We also got to walk around the mall and see the pet store. LOVE honesty and cute animals!!

SATURDAY we went treasure hunting at garage sales...and we found some really great treasures!! LOVE other people's junk that becomes treasures!

SUNDAY was the end of our child-free week, and I don't know if we could have taken another day...even after working all night I couldn't sleep because I was counting the hours to baby C coming home...so I LOVE Hubs for cleaning the house, and for letting me "sleep" when really I was awake and waiting...

MONDAY is my official end to LOVE week... because even though it's been more than a week, we make the choice to LOVE every day. Tokens of affection, and little adventures together are wonderful, and today my favourite man brought me some beautiful flowers, but I don't LOVEhim only because he does these things, I LOVE him for who he is and for his heart which he has given me totally and completely...So, my LOVE....for all these things and millions more, I choose you everyday, I thank you for three years of YES, and I LOVE you more and more and more....



Wednesday, August 18, 2010

LOVE Week (Part 1)

So three years of marriage have gone by already, and I still feel like I'm back there in that moment saying "Yes" every day...


This year, celebrating marriage-day on the actual date that Hubs and I were married was not really possible...We tried to make dinner reservations... then delayed them... and then ended up cancelling them...AND I was sick with a stomach virus... I did end up getting a KILLER summer dress at an unexpected shopping trip that only came about because dinner plans were cancelled, but that's not the point.



The point is the lack of celebrating the big day...SOOO we decided to make it more of a week long celebration, and since this is the week that C has a vacation at Grandma and "Grumpa's" place...(he named himself that...)...This is LOVE week!!!



SATURDAY we started with the celebration of LOVE for two wonderful people. My heart felt like it was trying to explode with happiness for the two of them. I couldn't stop smiling... LOVE weddings!!!



SUNDAY we celebrated LOVE in the anniversary of my aunt and uncle, and also LOVE for my best cousin who is now across the ocean teaching for the third year...LOVE anniversaries and amazing jobs (and family!!!)



MONDAY we celebrated our LOVE for the amazing world God has given us by taking an extra long drive home from Gram's and Grump's place (after raiding their garden of course). Oh, and we celebrated quirky little diners in tiny little towns, and finding cute antique shops in the middle of nowhere!! LOVE great food, great laughs, and great inspiration!!!



TUESDAY we celebrated our LOVE of movies and junk food by doing a snack run to Bulk Barn and then taking in a double feature at the drive-in!! LOVE laughter, sugar, and the drive-in!!!



WEDNESDAY we celebrated LOVING others by helping a friend out. We got to spend a nice evening talking about everything and anything, and just being honest and open. And then instead of buying presents for each other, we were able to buy a gift for this friend that will help her and her kids be able to listen to the amazing Christian broadcasting we have in this area. We absolutely LOVE UCB Canada and K-Love, and being Christ's hands and feet!!



And that's my first half of LOVE week! I'm not sure if we have plans for the rest of the week, but there are many things that I LOVE, and I'm hoping that if I look close enough, I can celebrate those things every day.



What kind of things did you do this week that you LOVE?



A



ps...I already miss C... I LOVE both of my wonderful men...

Saturday, July 31, 2010

"C" is for "Corn on the Cob"


C is a fan of corn.

I grew up in a home that was blessed with an abundance of fresh produce in the summer, and in August especially, I got so tired of corn because we would eat it every night!! Now that I'm on my own with my own little family to feed, I am appreciating where food comes from, and it is so beautiful and simple to me to pick food from the garden, peel it, and then eat it...

What is better than warm butter dripping on your chin from a juicy fresh corn cob?
Love.

Hopefully next summer B and I can grow our own!!

~A

looking into the future....

“…remember you are not a stay-at-home mother when you have your own business. You are a mother that works from home. It is impossible to do both.”

So B and I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to be blessed with baby number 2... but we know that until we get rid of the scary evil debt monster, we need to be watching every penny we spend. So there's not a lot of room to plan right now. (But dreaming is free, so I'll keep doing that)

HOWEVER (lots of caps this post...either I'm really tired, or I just want to make a point) I've been looking into mommy bloggers and other online work from home jobs. I'm not expecting it to be easy, and I'm nowhere near launching anything myself, I just found that quotation to be inspiring. If I do eventually start an at-home business, I'm not going to be able to do everything all by myself all of the time, so that quotation puts things into perspective for me.

Happy Civic long weekend everyone!! I'm really hoping that tomorrow after work I'm not too exhausted to make the long trip to visit my extended family at their annual camping trip. I love family!!


~A

PS Once this weekend is over, I have 4.5 weeks until my FINAL year of schooling!! I'm excited to finally get my expensive piece of paper hung up next to the two my wonderful hubby has.

Friday, July 23, 2010

My Link Love

I've been reading Link Loves at Prudent Baby, and I wanted to share some of my favourite links from this past week...

B and I have been trying to downsize our "stuff" and get rid of a lot of the clutter we've been accumulating throughout our marriage (and from before we married) and I've found a bunch of wonderful sites like this one which deals with the journey to get organized and stay that way. Here are ten easy anti-clutter tactics if you find yourself wanting to get organized.

I love making cupcakes and decorating them, and this is a wonderful idea to take cupcake decorating to another level by using special cupcake liners!
Dress up your cupcakes!!

I saw this article on the kLove site this week about a man who live in a 182 square foot home. I love minimalism, and while I cannot say that I am a minimalist (by ANY stretch of the imagination!) I want to be able to use every square foot and live in every part of my home like this man does.

We are not expecting another bundle, but I always love looking at how other people decorate their baby rooms, and here is a site with some really adorable nurseries! Also if you want to create a list of baby names you love, check out this baby name site that saves your preferences and chooses names that are similar for you to enjoy.

I read a post on a friends site last week about writing a letter to your 17-year old self, and this week I found a site where you submit letters to your own body. What would you say to your body if you wrote it a letter?



Another blogger that I love is Sarah London whose amazing crochet work is filled with vibrant colours. I've been looking all over for crochet books and patterns, and finally I've found a crochet-er whose work I adore! (PS is that a word?)



I'm starting to think about the holidays this year. My family chose names of who we're buying gifts for, and so Christmas is on my mind already. On top of that I have a birthday party to plan for my monkey, and also a halloween costume to either buy or make (HELP! I need ideas!!)....well I was clicking around, and I heard about the Jesse tree, and I was ecstatic to find a wonderful new Christmas tradition I'd love to start with my little family!


I hope you enjoy my links! Please send me any that you've found this week that you love!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

To Do lists

I read this article today, and it made me smile.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/08/the-funniest-kids-to-do-l_n_599758.html#s95829

What would our lives be like if we focused on the little things like these kids. I hope today that I can delight in the small "to do's " of my life.

inspired by these kids, here is my 'to do' list:
1. make banana chocolate chip muffins and eat one when it's warm.
2. stare at Connor
3. read Harry Potter #5
4. kiss Ben
5. be happy

I wish you all more than enough smiles to get through the day!!
-A