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Showing posts from 2014

Pre-Christmas Wrap-Up... we've survived and we're a little bit humbler.

We have survived the pre-Christmas chaos.  Other than forgetting to buy bacon for Christmas morning (how could I forget the bacon?!?), we are wrapped, ready, and feeling relieved!  I'm also waiting for Amazon in conjunction with CanadaPost to do their thing - one last little gift that slipped my mind and is headed to our doorstep (guaranteed delivery by 8 pm tomorrow - nothing like last minute.)

The boys are on Christmas break.  All my Wisdom & Whimsy orders have been picked up or delivered.  Toy and food drive contributions have been dropped off.  Outstanding clerical duties have been tied up (I hope!) We skipped one big family get-together to take advantage of a much-needed early night on Friday.  Saturday we visited with our in-town relatives on Kevin's side to exchange gifts with the kids and talk with the adults.  Sunday found us hosting my side of the family with so many smiles and giggles and yummy goodies (great turkey, Mom, and the potato soup... delicious if I d…

Hurry, Scurry, Fret & Worry

This time of year it's so easy to get caught up in the need-tos... need to do this, need to go there, need to find that, etc.  A season that should be reflective of all the good and joy around us become one big anxiety-ridden to-do list.  The joy gets sucked out of everything and things become an obligation that we just can't wait to be over.  We stress about the bills.  We fret about the food. We worry about the shopping list. We scurry to get it all done.But how much are we missing amongst the bustle? How many small moments and big treasures are unappreciated or undiscovered because we're stuck just trying to do it all.  How many times do we lose sight of the true gifts around us?Today I read a devotional with an excerpt from Max Lucado's In The Manger and it hit close to home.  We're no different than millions of people for thousands of year.  Sometimes it's so easy to let everyday life get in the way of an extraordinary life - a life where the truly importa…

Give generously... and without a grudging heart

Today, I was looking for a verse for a custom project someone requested.  While browsing some keywords, I stumbled across this Scripture - unrelated to the project - but it struck a chord with me nonetheless.

Deuteronomy 15:10&11
"Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.  There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land."

I have been seeing the Pay-It Forward and Random Acts of Kindness initiatives all over lately. They're amazing - really, truly are - but shouldn't giving and kindness be a part of our everyday life? Shouldn't we be teaching our children to look beyond their own little bubbles and reach out to those around them?   How many times do we pass the food bank collection box, say "no" to a charity, or think "I …

Nativity Family Ornaments: Kid-crafted

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Today was a lazy day.  As in we sat around in our pajamas, ignored the to-do list, and just spent enjoyed some down time together.  Some of us (read: those over the age of 18) had a sleep in, ate a yummy breakfast (bacon, eggs, and fresh biscuits), slowly did some chores, and just didn't worry about the rest.  My dishes are done.  A few loads of laundry made it through. Following on yesterday's theme, just decided to "be".  We've all been out-of-sorts and a little stressed out and I think some days relaxation is just what the doctor ordered.

Kevin & the boys popped by a vendor event at our church last weekend.  A friend of mine was there with her son who had his own table at the event selling Perler bead ornaments beside me.  Kaleb came home with a head full of ideas about how he can make things and sell them at my table with me.  The crafter and entrepreneur in me jumped up and down inside with excitement.  The slightly more neurotic realist wondered how we …

Making Memories

It's been FOREVER since I've last blogged (with the exception of the random posts that are always rumbling in my head.)  It's not that I don't mean well... it's just that I'm a bit of a procrastinator.  My later never quite seems to show up and then flies by entirely.   I think this is just a side effect of too many balls in the air as well - something gets missed, no?

In spite of the busy-ness (wait!  Is that right? Or is it bus-i-ness? Let's just call it chaos), I think it's important to spend time with a family - to balance, regroup, and remember that the little things are important.  We don't always have to be go, go, go... and in all honestly, the days go by so fast, we need to "be" together before it's too late and they're off having little ones of their own (yikes!)

With this in mind, and my whole scheme to shop local, support small business, etc. with the holidays approaching, I'm still guilty of shopping from some of t…

Satisfaction

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So, uh, has anyone else noticed I haven't posted anything in 5 months?  Funny how things slip to the side....Today we are midway through our summer break and enjoying 12 degree weather.  I'm wearing pants and a hoodie and not bemoaning the lack of air conditioning at all.  (On those 30 plus days, you could live in another province and hear me bemoaning profusely as I melt into a puddle on the floor.)   In between scrubbing toilets, painting signs, and folding laundry, I've been cuddling up on the couch with a blanket and some sweetheart cowboys.   I've also been half-heartedly planning a grocery list and maybe giving dinner some thought.Thoughts of food make me think of the garden.... and without the sweltering sun, it's actually pleasant to go out and putter.  I love seeing the results of my early labour.  I love being able to grab what I need with a quick pop outside the door.  Am I crazy about pulling thistles or finding a big fat spider in my sink after washing…

No Soup For You

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With Old Man Winter stubbornly holding us in his bitter grip, we've been eating a lot of warm-me up meals... stews, soups, and the like.  Especially soups.  My boys DETEST potatoes not cooked in a french fry form - we eat a lot of oven fries.  In spite of this aversion, they will eat a bowl of creamy potato soup (we call it vegetable soup) and ask for seconds.  This is big stuff in the battle of the mealtime, although Kaleb might be cluing in - the last time I made it did not go over nearly as well..  (NOTE:  The following sentence may kill your appetite.  Kaleb has actually vomited his mashed potatoes on the dinner table - I think it's a texture thing - definitely disgusting.)  Growing up, soup was always Chicken Noodle or Dutch Meatball.  Both delicious, but well, predictable.  My mom would, on occasion, make a batch of split pea... blech, no thanks!

A friend from In R Dream posted a photo on instagram the other day of a coconut squash soup she made, recipe from The Naked La…

Cookies for Breakfast

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Today I almost achieved that most enviable of all titles:  "Best Mom in the World."  It was sitting there, just out of reach.  Tempting.  Teasing.  Whispering my name.  Alas, as fate is such a fickle creature, my hopes of laying claim to it were dashed with one quick yell across the house:  "I told you to brush your teeth!  Get going."  I fell off the precipice to wallow with the mortal mothers, resounding choruses of "You're so mean!" echoing in my ears.  Such is life. I fed my kids cookies for breakfast.  Chewy, yummy, peanut buttery cookies.  With chocolate.  Justin was so excited he insisted he was going to tell his classmates.   Kaleb just didn't want to stop eating.Now, before you judge me, know that these cookies weren't just any old unhealthy treat.  Besides the chocolate chips, these babies didn't have extra refined sugar, oil, or flour added to them.  It was like eating a glorified bowl of oatmeal and were healthier than most cer…

Fizzles, Fist Fights, & Free Time

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Last night I must have known that today would start with a fizzle.  After the post-dinner catastophic clean up, I actually started prepping the monkeys' lunches.  Even with our early start school (thumbs down!), I tend to toss their lunches together in the morning.  We have our rhythm and usually, our get-out-the-door routine progress as planned.Not so much today.  My alarm turned itself off.  Seriously!   It's not like I forgot to set it before bed.  I would never do that.  I did wake up to my internal alarm, but the morning was a fog of ineptness.   And the kids would not stop fighting over who got to wear which shirt... you know, those pink ones we're wearing to stand against bullying?  (My guys may very well have gone to school sporting blood stains due to the fists that we're being thrown.  It seems we entirely missed the point of Pink Shirt Day.)We finally got our, uh, "stuff" together and made it to school just before the bell.  And now I'm feeling…

Almost a grown up...

There are days when I'm dumbstruck at how grown up my oldest monkey has become.  I look at him with wonder and awe intermingled with a little bit of sadness remembering when he used to need me for things - almost everything in fact.  He's eight years old.  Almost a grown up, according to him.  Halfway to a driver's license to put it in perspective. He hasn't needed my help with dressing, brushing his teeth, or getting his things gathered for school for quite some time.  He can get his own snacks, feed the dog, load & unload the dishwasher, and find a quiet spot to read all on his own.  He helps with chores, plays creatively, and has astounding logic that you can't argue with at all.  He's almost a grown up...

I've noticed his independence developing with little things - increased modesty, bathing on his own (even the shampoo!), not acknowledging me at school, even in how he interacts with Justin.  He wants hugs before bed, but he doesn't want to be …

Quick and Easy Cheater Apple Crisp

Ignore for the moment the fact I haven't blogged since August.  I mean, we all get distracted once and awhile, don't we?  Life is constantly changing and things get pushed to the side.
It's a PA Day here.  It's winter.  It's snowing.  I was craving comfort food that wouldn't take a mess to make.
I peeked in my horribly empty and in-desparate-need-of-cleaning (it's on the to-do list) fridge.  I had some Activia yogurt,  some bruised apples,  turkey slices, slightly wilted celery, chicken thawing for dinner tonight, a bit of butter, and a bottle of maple syrup.   The pantry isn't faring much better - some Mini Wheats, marshmallows, soda crackers,  and an unopened box of granola.
Let the creativity begin.  I melted some butter in a small (8"x8"ish) Pyrex dish.  I peeled, cored, and sliced them apples.  I tossed them in the butter, sprinkled with a generous amount of cinnamon, and drizzled with maple syrup.   I then opened that granola and uniform…