Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wishing You All a Merry Christmas!!

This may be my last post for a while. It is confirmed that my husband is coming home tomorrow and then on Christmas eve we will be travelling to my parents. We have all really been looking forward to this break!! We have so many things that we are hoping to do while out there! My son has been having melt downs several times a day about the fact that he thinks we need to go to Grandma's TODAY! Even without Daddy :) He just wants to go! So needless to say, we are planning on having a great time during the holidays! When I get back, I hope to have a bunch of pictures :) Don't forget the reason for the season! So here I am wishing you all a safe and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Birthday Pictures

I took a few pictures on TJ's birthday. I made TJ a cake (didn't have time to decorate it, but the kids don't care). We then went to McDonalds playplace (one of TJ's favorite things to do) and coincidence would have it that there were some kids there that we knew (my cousin's kids, they are similar ages to my kids).
We then went out for an evening sleigh ride (pulled by horses decked out in jingle bells and everything!!) at a local park that was decorated with Christmas lights!
All in all, I say it was a pretty good birthday for my boy, especially considering he was sleeping by the time we got home from the sleigh ride :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Birthing Day - 4 years later :)

A big shout out to my boys.. each of them having a birthday!! My little TJ just turned 4. That's right F-O-U-R!!!!!! I still remember his birth day like it was yesterday! I remember not being able to sleep at all that night (I was being induced) and around 5am I would wake up every hour. I remember watching the numbers on my clock turn from 6:59 to 7:00! I slowly jumped out of bed, grabbed the phone to call the hospital (to see if they had room for me to come in). Any of you that know me know that I am NOT an early bird at all!! Butterflies in my stomach!! Sure enough they had room but told me to shower and have a light breakfast and call back. So I followed orders, and shortly called back. They told me that the Dr. was going to be late so I should take my time making my way to the hospital. Let me tell you it's hard to 'take your time' when you are so excited to meet your baby!! Either way by 9am I was in the hospital bed being monitered (they moniter for a good 1/2 hr before induction). By 9:30am we were told that the Dr. was going to be a little late (because he'd been up late the night before at a Christmas party, lol) but was on his way. 10am arrived and so did the Dr. :) I was induced. My beautiful baby boy was born at 5:31pm! 7lbs 1oz, 21" long. I didn't have a very good first night, even the nurse didn't know what to do to make my little TJ stop crying at one point. So by morning lets just say I was extremely emotional and by the time I went home I had the baby blues! Four days after my little TJ was born, we travelled to my hometown for Christmas (about a 6 hour drive). Christmas eve we decided to go in to the ER in the next town because my mom noticed what looked like the start of thrush. We quickly got in to see the Dr. and the kindhearted pharmacist unlocked the doors so we could get our perscription and head back home! It was a good Christmas. Although I was pretty emotional at the drop of a hat. Early morning on boxing day we left my hometown and drove about 16 or 17hours to my husband's family. We had a good time there as well, showing off our newest addition. We travelled back home on New Years day (about 11 hours) and then we finally had a few days to settle in at home as a family. We had a few days together and then my husband went back to work... or away to work. He then left for 3 weeks of work (which is standard for his work especially at that time of year). So there I was, all the whirlwind of the holidays over, just me and my baby boy at home to figure out all of this 'baby' thing :) Lets just say there were a lot of sleepless nights (yes probably a lot of them I felt sorry for myself) and sleeping all morning/afternoon while TJ was napping.
Long story short, Happy birthday to my big boy! Mommy loves you so much and I hope you had a very special birthday! You are and always will be mommy's precious boy, with your lopsided grin and infectious giggle. Your facination towards anything that is somewhat mechanical or seems mysterious (like how does that work??). You can be so loving and concerned for you sister, trying to comfort her when she's upset. You always have so many questions and so many things to say! I love trying to help you learn and understand how things work. I am trying my very best to teach you many important things in developing your character and every now and then you show me a glimpse of sucess :) I am so glad that I can be your Mommy and pray that everyday I can realize and remember that you are a gift, not to be taken for granted!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sweet Morning Find

Lately my kids have been getting up earlier than usual, but staying in their room. The first few mornings this has resulted in them destroying their room!! This morning was different. I had to get up earlier than usual. The kids didn't hear me get up. I peaked in their room, and what did I find? A sweet surprise!! They were both sitting on K's little bed and TJ was reading a book to K! Not only was TJ reading the book, but he was explaining things to her too! I didn't disturb the two, but continued on my morning. After I finished my morning routine, I checked in on the kids again and they were both busy climbing into the closet together, with their blankets :) I snuck in and surprised and cuddled them both! Then for the next 30 minutes we all cuddled on the loveseat, playing and sharing and being silly... what a difference from the usual fighting and bickering that I've been dealing with for the last few weeks!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

How Much do You Love Your Children?

Maybe that's an odd question. Just follow my thoughts. How much do you love your children? On the days where they listen to you, play nicely together, help each other, co-operate with you and others things seem easy. It is easy to love your children on those days. One might even say those are the days that bless you the most as you can see your hard work and disciplining measures at work: the rewards of teaching children!!

What about the hard days? Tantrums and tears? Screaming and disobeying? The days where your kids bicker with each other, constantly fighting and pushing each other's buttons just to rile the other up. The days where you have to grab the collar of their jacket while they are kicking and screaming because they don't see the vehicle coming across the parking lot that you do. Or the times you are so tired of them not listening that you let them fall off the couch they are jumping on so they can learn the hard way. Do you love your children in those hard times? You must think I've lost it, the answer is a resounding "Of course!!!"

Even when we get tired, even when we get frustrated with the little one's antics, even when we think we are ready to pull out our hair, we love the kiddos more than one can express!! Many of the things we do on the hard days we do BECAUSE we love our children and want them to learn and to protect them. Now I don't know about you, but in my 4 yrs of being a mother, I know I have had some pretty bad days. Do you remember exactly what your kids did that made you have a bad day? I don't. Every night, even after a rough day, I still tuck my kids into bed, shower them with hugs and kisses and tell them I love them. It doesn't matter what happens in the rough times, at the end of the day they are still my children and my heart still overflows with joy and love for them!

This may not seem like anything new for some of you mothers, but recently a friend revealed a truth to me. A truth that may seem trivial or something that you and I really already know, but it was said so plainly to me that it's impact seemed resounding! You see there are many different displays of God's relationship with us, the parent child relationship is one of those. Read through the last few paragraphs again, can you see it? No matter what we've done, the mistakes we've made, at the end of the day our Father's heart overflows with love for us. He doesn't see us as the bad things we've done, He just sees His child! It is a freeing thought that once you have asked to be forgiven of sin, that you no longer are defined by it!

How much do you love your children? How much more does the Father love His children?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Letter to Santa

Translation: Dear Santa, I want a monkey. (TJ's name) He did it all himself! (he's almost 4)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

What a Great Idea for Advent!!

A friend saw this in the newspaper this weekend and thought it deserved to be passed along! Please feel free to copy and paste and tag others.

Advent Calenders mark the beginning of the Christmas season - A time for giving and celebration. This advent Sharing Calender takes it one step futher. It helps us to be mindful of those in need everyday of the year and reminds us how truly fortunate Canadians (and Americans) are. To create your own Advent Sharing Calender take a small box or coffee can and put a slot in the lid, then wrap it in Christmas paper. Each day of Advent, monetary gifts are added to the box. At the end of the holiday season, send a cheque to your favorite charity. Gifts should be added as follows:

December 1 - For every finger and toe on your children's hands and feet, intact and unblemished by landmines - add 5 cents. Landmines have killed or injured more then 70,000 Afghans in the past 2 decades.

December 2 - For every female in your family who is free to go to school, pursue a career, or walk openly in the street, add 50 cents.

December 3 - Add 10 cents for everytime you've voted in a democratically held election

December 4 - Add $1 if your drinking water is safe. An estimated 5 million people die every year from illnesses caused by drinking poor quality water. 1.1 billion people lack access to safe water.

December 5 - Add 25 cents to every shower or bath taken by members of your family today. Two and a half billion people lack access to water for sanitation.

December 6 - Add $1 if you attended a church service today. Millions of people all over the world are persecuted for worship.

December 7 - Add 50 cents if you can name your family doctor. Add $1 if you've paid a visit to his or her office this year.

December 8 - Add 5 cents for every year of your life untouched by civil war or conflict.

December 9 - if you live above sea level, add $1. The World Health Organization estimates that 150, 000 people die every year as a result of global warming. Many of them will drown in low lying costal areas.

December 10 - If you have flood insurance, put a loonie in the box and count yourself lucky.

December 11 - Add 25 cents for every toy gun in your house (don't forget video games)

December 12 - Add 25 cents for every time you have called 911.

December 13 - If you have a permanent address for more then 6 mths add a $1.

December 14 - If you have open access to information through newspapers, tv, internet or radio, add $1.

December 15 - Add 50 cents if you've ever written a letter to the editior. Add $1 if its been posted.

December 16 - Add 1 cent fo revery book that you own. If you own more then 200 books, add $2.

December 17 - Add 50 cents for everyone in your family or circle of friends that serves the public as a member fo the armed forces, police, fire or ambulance. Now call them and say Thank You.

December 18 - Add 50 cents for every on of your children that attends a publicly funded school. An estimated one billion adults are illiterate. Two thirds of them are women.

December 19 - add $1 if you've ever sought legal council.

December 20 - Add $1 if you've been called to jury duty. Add $2 if you've been privileged enough to serve.

December 21 - On this, the darkest day of the year, add 2 cents for every light bulb in your house. Don't forget your Christmas lights.

December 22 - if your free to visit with family and friends over the holidays add $1.

December 23 - Add $1 if you've sung Christmas carols this season. Add $2 if you've sung them in public.

December 24 - When the stockings have been hung by the chimney with care, add 25 cents for every gift under the tree.

December 25 - If your family celebrates Christmas Day with a sumptuous feast add $5.

December 26 - If you recycle Christmas wrappings and boxes add $1

December 27 - If you Add $1 if you had fast food today. One billion people suffer from obesity in the developed world. In the developing world, one billion people are starving.

December 28 - If you have a prescription drug program add $1.

December 29 - If you have a pension plan add $2.

December 30 - if you have ever collected EI or disability benefits add $2.

December 31 - Add $5 if you attend or host a New Years Eve bash.

January 1 - Add 10 cents for everyone you called to say "Happy New Year"

January 2 - Add a loonie for every member of your family who received the flu shot this year.

January 3 - Add 50 cents for every member of your family who has lived past 70 years. In Zambia life expectancy dropped from 44 to 33 years between 1990 and 2000.

January 4 - Consider how fortunate you are. Then consider that 50% of the worlds children live in povery - add $2.

January 5 - Sit down with your family and decide where you would like to send the contents of your Advent Sharing Box. Suggestings include Unicef, local shelter, etc.

January 6 - (The Epiphany) Add up the contents fo your box and then send a cheque to the charity of your choice.

I've decided that me and the kids are going to try our ABSOLUTE best to follow this. I think it will be good for both me and the kids.. so here is our box:

Monday, November 30, 2009

Chance to Win!

I don't do this very often, but here is my shameless plug for my home business :) If you haven't already, check out my webpage www.mysignaturehomestyles.ca/ellenb and click on the online catalogue link. I am doing an order TONIGHT by 8pm MTN time. I have a great sale flyer I can email out to you if you are interested as well. There are a lot of fantastic Christmas gift and decorating ideas! So much so that Signature is selling out on items fast, so get that one thing that catches your eye before it's gone! Anyone that puts in an order is going to be entered to win the "Weathered Wood Photo Gallery" (valued at $40). So if you are interested, please contact me, leave a post with your email address and I will get back to you :)

**Any orders not in my area (or an area I will be travelling through in the near future) will need to add an extra $7 for shipping directly to their door. Once you contact me I'll let you know if I'm in your area :)

Sunday, November 29, 2009


So I'm pretty sure that we have now had THE flu virus in our home. My son ran a fever from Wednesday afternoon until Sunday, at one time spiking to 39.5C, so I am thankful that the fever is now gone! Even though the nasty cough he got is still sticking around. My daughter was about a day behind him with symptoms and her fever was never quite as high and she still has a slight fever but by tomorrow I think it should be gone. What a helpless feeling; to be a mom while your child is sick is not fun. All I could do is make sure they were comfortable and keep the Tylenol going to lower their fevers! Another thing to watch for is dehydration, my daughter had what I thought was teething diarrhea, but I think now it was actually an early sign of sickness (since she already has all her molars for now) and I kept giving her pedialite and "liquid" foods (like soups, fruit, etc). I think we are on the healing end of things, except for the lump in my throat :) In a way I'm glad that we've been through this as we will now have immunity to this flu, no more worry or bathing in sanitizer :) I opted not to vaccinate because I really didn't like how the government pushed through the approval for the vaccine just because of the flu threat. That's the short version, and my personal opinion. Either way, I'm especially glad that the kids got sick now and not at Christmas time!! Here's to hoping for a healthy Christmas!!
**I did consult with Healthlink nurses at the peak of TJ's fever just for confirmation of how high is too high and when to bring a child to ER. A temperature of 41C that is measured twice (with an hour in between) warrents a trip to the ER (this is while a child is on Tylenol and the temp does not go down) and a temp of 39.5C for 3 days also warrents a trip to the Dr.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I am hoping to make yummy cookies and squares for Christmas baking. What are some of your favorites? (and recipes or link to recipes if you have time). Yesterday I baked some Monster cookies.. very yummy
Monster Cookies
1/2c butter
1-1/4c br. sugar
1c wht sugar
3 eggs
1-1/2c peanut butter
2 tsp baking soda
4-1/2c oatmeal
2 tsp vanilla
1/2c M&M's
1/2c chocolate chips
Mix butter, sugar and eggs; beat well. Add remaining ingrediants. Bake @ 350 for 12 min. Yield: about 4 dozen. (I added smarties & reese pieces)
My mom makes Snickerdoodles every year and my kids really like them so I think I will try them this year :)
1c shortening
1-1/2c sugar
2 eggs
2-3/4c flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp sugar
Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs; beat well. Stir in flour, salt and baking soda. Chill dough. Roll into balls. Roll in cinnamon and sugar mixture. Bake at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes.

Learning New Things

A few weeks ago I took my son out to try and teach him how to skate. Now I've never attempted to teach a child how to skate, but one would think it shouldn't be that hard, at least with the aid of one of those push things :) Well, I guess I was wrong. It took all of my patience to try and get my son to stand up on his skates! The biggest problem was that he didn't want to push down with his feet (to stand) so he had 'limp leg' most of the time.. here is a picture of my success.. although this was the only time he actually would stand :)
We hope to go back again soon - hoping for better luck next time :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: My Weird Kids

I don't know what it is, but on two seperate occasions this week I discovered my kids weird sleeping habits :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Family Portraits

I had our family take portraits in the end of October.. they turned out fantastic.. here's a sneak peak :)
I am sending our family picture out with my Christmas letters (not pictured here) and in the Christmas spirit if you would like your name and address to be added to my list, if you could let me know by posting a response :) I know there are a few of you that I would like to add!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Wonders in the Waiting Room!

This morning I had a Dr. appointment (due to complications that have arised from my miscarriage, not serious, but just something needing to be addressed) and after a short wait, we were informed that our Dr. was at the hospital dealing with an emergency and we could wait it out or make another appointment. We all decided to wait it out. I started talking to a woman that looked VERY pregnant - and was 4 days overdue! (as I discovered) Before you know it there were 4 of us, having never met before, chatting about all things children/babies. It was so refreshing to talk with these strangers and we could all encourage and empathize with each other. Such a base human experience of the goodness of 4 worlds colliding :) What stories of challenge, turmoil and yet sucess and strength! One woman had just lost her 4.5 month baby boy due to SIDS just 7 months ago!! She had also gone through 4-5 miscarriages in between her 3 live births. They adopted a little girl and talked about their open adoption with the girls birth mom. It was such an encouragement to me to see her love for her kids despite all the painful circumstances in her life. There was another lady who had had an abruption (internal bleeding) at 32 weeks, basically the baby was already dead but by the time she was at the hospital, the Dr's were fighting for her life! She is glad to be alive, and now has a 2.5yr old boy! I had to try my best to fight off tears, such sad stories, but at the same time what wonderful perspectives these women had in light of their grief and sadness that they had been through and continue to struggle with. I was reminded once again of fragility of life, and of giving life! These women were such an encouragement to me in the hour we all talked as we waited for the Dr. To think, if I hadn't started conversation with one woman, I may have missed this opportunity! Have you talked to a 'stranger' lately?

Saturday, November 07, 2009

I miss my baby

I guess yesterday was just an emotional day. I just missed my baby. I would have been around 20 weeks or so.. I would have been half done my pregnancy. I miss not feeling the twirling and swirling and bumps and thumps from those little hands and feet within. Feeling the wonder and roundness and changes in my body. Going through my miscarriage I went through the initial grief although it was not a long time mostly because I was not pregnant for that long and tried to prepare myself because of the signs I was seeing that it might happen. I also have the comfort knowing that my baby is in the best possible care, in the arms of my dear Heavenly Father. Every now and then I remember, seeing a pregnant mother go by, seeing a newborn baby, and I feel the longing of what may have been. I think what brought on my feelings yesterday was the fact that I found my hospital bracelet. I have kept each hospital bracelet from when I delivered my babies, so I decided to keep the hospital bracelet from when I found out I had miscarried. A small reminder of my angel child. I think it's ok to have sad days, remembering days and dreaming days. I don't dwell on it (not that I really have time to with my two active children!) that may not be healthy - but just as everyone who has lost someone special, you have those days where you remember and ponder.
Just over 2 years ago, hours after my daughter was born :)

Thursday, November 05, 2009


Have you ever seen PMK? Have your kids? PMK - Popular Mechanics for Kids :) Recently on a trip to the library, I found a kids dvd about space rockets, submarines, monster trucks and boats. My son LOVES this DVD and could watch it ALL DAY LONG (on repeat!). The best thing, I love it too, for him!! It is totally up his alley. TJ is very mechanically minded and likes to know how things work, he will destroy things (in my opinion) just to find out how something works (so really it's not destruction, it's a means to an end). Even though some of these concepts are probably geared more towards 6-8 yr olds, TJ just soaks it all in! There are fun cartoons explaining the ins and outs of a working motor, they do silly experiments and get to go into a lot of places we will probably never see!
It's great to see how a new world has openned up for him with these great education videos :) As the website recommends, "Encourage your child's inquisitive mind today."

Monday, November 02, 2009

Travel Tip Tuesday: Travelling with Children

I read this interesting article a while back about travelling with children - more particularly flying with small children. Although it had a few good suggestions, the biggest issue was whether or not giving Gravol to your children was a good idea or not. Have you ever 'drugged up' (tylenol or Gravol or anything the like) your kids for travelling purposes? What were the results?

Check out the article :)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Daylight Savings...

So we've just experienced daylight savings time once more... and the results are still the same. Somehow my kids just don't seem to get the memo. I prep my kids, let them stay up an hour later, and you know what time they got up... 6:45am!!!! Now remember that on there internal clocks that's 7:45am, which really isn't so bad for my kids. Let me tell you, we are all going to have a nap this afternoon!! Do your kids have adjustment issues with time change as well? Either way, Happy November :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

It's been so long, I forgot how this feels...

Peace. Like real peace and calm in your soul. It's funny, you think something that happened so long ago wouldn't really affect a person, but it's like I've been breathing stale air for so long that I've gotten used to it. I've finally got a breath of fresh air and I forgot how wonderful it can be. I know this may not be very theologically sound but indulge me a little. I heard this song this morning and I love it (I loved the catchy melody from the first time I heard it) and this morning I realized that it defines what I feel/felt or have gone through in my relationship with God (I know, I know, that's not what this song is about, but it is about a relationship and I just applied it to this one). Take a listen see if I'm crazy or if you can see how it could be a parallel? **video isn't really for kids, although not explicit**

The good thing is, I know what God says. He forgives. Hence the peace!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Random Conversation

My daughter had her bath and was in her nighty, all ready for bed.. she was being really cute, and then when I managed to get the camera out she stopped, but I did get some really good random conversation :) enjoy!

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Travel Tip Tuesday: Experiencing Culture

I have found that the greatest way to experience a country or area's culture is to find a destination where you know someone that lives there. If you don't know anyone that lives near a destination that you would like to visit, find a pen pal, or look into doing a homestay or even bed and breakfasts - they can give you an opportunity to get to know the area on a deeper level, like someone who lives there instead of just a tourist!

Heart Housekeeping

**This post may be kind of confusing as I skirt an unknown issue, but this is such a big thing in my life at the moment I have to share what I can, and I hope you can take the principle away from this post.**
For those of you that I have on Facebook, you'll notice my status today. For those of you that I don't have on my FB, my status goes something like this, "Ellen has been doing some heart housekeeping.. it's a lot harder and takes a lot more courage than I thought!!". I have marked this last weekend as turning point that has been in the process for more than 5 years, a turning point in my heart. With this turning point, I have a responsibility to myself to clean up some of the skeletons and cobwebs that have been in my heart for a long time. What an incredibly hard thing to do, admitting to yourself about the skeletons and admitting to key people in your life about where you've gone wrong. Harder yet, putting your whole self on the line - openning everything up to people, knowing that there is a chance, a very likely chance that they will not only reject you but probably reject all that was so hard to share. I suppose that is the price for doing the right thing - doing the right thing is hard, harder yet when it involves people you love. The reason for all this: my heart feels like it has been freed, knowing that I have done what God has asked of me, the rest is out of my hands but now I can sleep like a baby :)

**no he is not posing, I litterally found my son sleeping like this a while ago!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ladies Retreat and more..

This weekend I was lucky enough to attend our churches ladies retreat. My husband was home and had the kids all day while I spent the day being refreshed :) I loved getting to know a few new ladies, and not just getting to know them but really being real with each other!! I was in such a wonderful state of mind that when I walked in my house to find it a COMPLETE disaster, I wasn't even phased, just got to it and clean everything up within 1.5hrs and then made supper!! God is good!!

On a different note, I have been going through a bout of baby envy.. or maybe pregnancy envy. Now I don't want to make anyone feel bad about their expecting child, that is not my intention, on the contrary I am extremely happy for each and every announcement that I hear - having children is a wonderful thing!! That's part of it though, the announcements.. since having my miscarriage in July I have heard of at least 8 pregnancies (from people I know) and probably half of them are due around or in the month that I would have been due. I know that with my first two children we conceived easily and had relatively no complications with labor and delivery, and of course I am so thankful for that! I suppose now it's my turn to feel that ache, after so many others I know have gone through it and probably looked at me thinking it wasn't fair. Either way, I send love and congratulations to all who are expecting a precious bundle of joy, and I know that my turn will come soon enough. Who knows, maybe this is God's way of helping me KNOW that I want another child - it was such a big uncertainty for me (to have a 3rd or not) but after miscarrying I KNOW I want another one!!

Me and my two turkeys :) K and TJ, I love you so much!! Love Mommy

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ah-ha Moment!

I just had one of those Oprah, ah-ha moments.. you know, one of those where the it's like the lightbulb just turns on.. I have this thing with my house. Well, maybe it's more like a thing with housecleaning. I don't particularly care much for being a housekeeper BUT at the same time I know that when things are crazy disaster messy, I get cranky and I can really appreciate a clean/tidy house. Not only that but I feel tremendous pressure to have this perfectly kept house, keeping up to the 'perfect' standard. When we have friends and family over I ALWAYS tidy all day before they come or appologize profusely if we have 'surprise' company and things aren't picture perfect. It has a lot to do with my complex of perfectionist and people pleaser.. so needless to say, my lack of desire to clean can create a frustration within myself.

Lets open up the playing field - I have 2 kids, 4 (almost) yr old that likes to dissect and discover how things work and a 2yr old that continues to discover new things, 2 daycare kids (3-4 days a week) ages 4 (almost) and 2.5yrs - excellent accomplises!! So there is a little window into what I'm really dealing with.

My ah-ha moment: my house is comfortably clean with a lived in look!! You know what, I think I can accept that! It's not perfect, but it's clean (not necessarily tidy, and yes there is clutter), but it's a fact of my life that there will be toys that you will step on, toothbrushes in the kitchen, scrapers on the living room floor and blankies strewn on the floor. As long as I can keep it to that level, I think we can manage. What is your style of clean? Any tips to a busy mom how to keep things to a happy-medium?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Travel Tip Tuesday: Tourist Attractions

If you are on holidays, and you plan on going to major tourist attractions - 1. check out what time they open 2. plan to be there early (close to opening time). In doing so you will probably not have to wait much in line, and you can enjoy the attraction while there are not as many people. When you are ready to leave, check the line again - I bet you'll be glad you went early!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The BEST Toy in the Whole Wide World!!!

It's also a really inexpensive toy too.. and very versitile :) Have you guessed yet??

Yes.. a cardboard box :) I built a house for my kids with one, it lasted 2 hrs, but the second one lasted a day. Let me tell you, they played in those boxes until they were falling apart!
My silly kids.. :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Making Salsa? *updated*

I know I'm a little late on this, but I have to show you some pictures of the tomatoes I grew in my garden this year. It's not a lot, but they are really good!
Now this picture may not really do these tomatoes justice, they are yellow tomatoes! Beautiful yellow, they are heirloom tomatoes. I am excited because today I am going to make salsa with my yellow tomatoes (and some red ones too).. should be interesting :) I'll show you the results when I'm done!
*So I made salsa, it tastes delicous!! I had kind of hoped it would turn out to be a cool color (since I used mostly yellow tomatoes) but it's just a lighter shade of red. Too bad, I guess I added too many red tomatoes :) well I'll try again next year!!

Wordless Wednesdays

New sweater from Grandma B for her birthday!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Travel Tip Tuesday: Flying Cheaper

Besides checking out seat sales, make sure to check and see if it is cheaper for you to fly out on a weekday like Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Very often these days are less expensive. If you can be flexible it may be worth it to check it out. Also, sometimes if you stay over the weekend, or if you stay a week at your destination it can affect the price too. Either way, check out a few options before booking the first flight you see :)

Monday, October 12, 2009


First of all, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! Our little family had an amazing turkey dinner and spent some quality family time together. A few things I am thankful for, a nice warm house, a loving family, our health, our jobs, and our many moments and memories!!

Today, I am in a mood... in a restless mood. I need a change. A little change, a big change, it doesn't matter what, just a change. If nothing were to inhibit me, today I could paint my house, go on a roadtrip, take a vacation, sell my house, move to another town, move to another country. I get this feeling inside of me, this drive, that I NEED a change in my life somehow. I know that it's not necessarily rational, and I know it's definately not possible on a lot of levels because I have obligations and responsibilities that I have chosen. I don't know what it is, if it's the changing of the seasons or if it's the fact that other friends are making big changes in their lives. It's definately not that I don't like where or how our life is headed, things are actually going well for the most part.

I feel like a bird with clipped wings. I know how it feels to fly, it's in my blood and bones but it's not possible right now and all I can do is dream about it. Call me strange, call me crazy, but this is me :)

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Travel Tip Tuesday: Mexico

Have you ever wanted to go to Mexico? Why? Well I'm sure the first reason why is because of the warm weather! Two of the biggest names in Mexico are Cancun and Puerto Vallarta (PV) - I will list a few reasons to travel to Mexico and which area better suits the reason :)
Snorkeling - Cancun!! The water is incredible!! Warm and clear - PV water is cold and muddy :)
Authentic Mexican culture - PV will definitely provide you with this! Cancun is a very Americanized center, although if you take excursions you can get a glimpse of the Mexican culture. Another great place to check out is the Mayan Riviera, with small towns through out the area that you can explore.
Clubbing/Partying - Although PV can offer a great party, Cancun offers some incredible and popular clubs (Coco Bongo) again this has a lot to do with the Americanization of Cancun!
Markets - Although Cancun has some great markets, they are harder to find through all the malls. PV, with a lot more of the Mexican culture, caters a lot more towards markets (don't forget to barter!)
Authentic Mexican Food - Although you can find some Authentic Mexican food in Cancun.. it is a lot harder to find than the restaurant chains you are familiar with!

There are a lot of great places to experience in Mexico - but please don't go to Puerto Vallarta for the sole purpose of snorkeling!!! You will be disappointed! :)

Friday, October 02, 2009

New Website!!!

So here is my shameless post about my home business :) I finally signed up for my own website.. so take a look - and while you are there, take a look at the MEGA SUPER SAVINGS SALE!!! It has so many great sale items!! (and I do get commission from your orders) Also the catalogue is online as well, so if you feel like doing a book party with your friends (in order to earn FABULOUS free stuff and half price items as well as an opportunity to get a great deal with our hostess special) just let me know!! You can also order directly as well.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

First day of preschool :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Travel Tip Tuesday: Hawaii

If you've ever wanted to travel to Hawaii here are a few tips...
  1. Hawaii does not have all inclusive resorts - only hotels, so any hotel that includes breakfast for a good price is a bargain
  2. When you are there, check out corner stores, a lot of them have racks of coupon books that can reduce your meal costs.
  3. You HAVE to go to a Luau (feast and native dance program) although check with your travel agent to recommend an authentic one as there are many that are not. (also the coupon books may come in handy for this too)
  4. Hawaii has nice weather but not necessarily HOT weather if you are looking for a 35+C vacation.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Precious Moments :)

At the end of August I packed up the kids and we headed north to visit my parents. The kids had a great time and many precious moments were captured. I wish we could live closer to the kids' grandparents (both sets!) and that we could visit both families more often - but right now it's not a reality for us. I grew up with my Grandparents in the same town and I knew I was lucky, I got to know my Grandparents farely well and remember many special moments that a lot of my cousins never got to experience (because of distance). So here are some of the captured moments my kids had :)Sunday after church, waiting for lunch time - this one is a favorite of mine!TJ with the best ever grin on his face!! ICE CREAM!!!TJ watching as Grandma and Grandpa prepare to lead the music for church the next day. One of TJ's favorite things to do... make COFFEE!! Grandma and Grandpa even have a coffee grinder!!! (we don't drink coffee at home)

The kids playing wonderfully together!! (better capture that one for sure! haha)
K playing with the new kittens we brought to Grandma's house - the look on her face is one that means she would just like to pet the kitten SOOOOOO much that she might squish it :)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Before and After: the Garden

We have been pretty busy throughout the summer - I just downloaded my camera and have a ton of great pictures to share!! So I am going to try to blog through them, and so some of these will go back a little :) I'm not sure if you remember my sidewalk/garden project, this was the start:

Here is a picture of what it looks like now that I finished :)

It sure makes a world of a difference :) A lot of hard work, I laid every one of those 12"x12" blocks!! Now when it gets wet outside I don't have to worry about the kids getting all muddy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Travel Tip Tuesday

When you are travelling always leave a copy of your itinerary, flight numbers, passport, travel insurance, reservation numbers, any other important phone numbers, etc, with someone you trust. That way if you lose your originals (or they get stolen) you have a back-up. You can also take an extra copy of your important documents and store them in a different spot than you do the originals.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Feeling Sad..

I got some sad news today. A young woman I know, who is a cousin to my cousin, that is from the same town as me, died unexpectedly today. Even though we were never close, it has really impacted me today. I cannot imagine the sadness and shock her family and husband will be going through, she was so young (about 25ish). Life is such a gift, I need to remember not to take it for granted and to cherish each moment and make it count!! Make sure my words are sweet and not harsh, that grudges are forgiven and not held - we never know when our time is up, I wondered if she would have known today was the day if she would have done anything different - if today was my last day, would I do anything different?

I know that this young woman has gone home to be with Jesus, but there are many people that will miss her deeply, so if you have a moment today, say a little prayer for Bobbi's friends and family.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Travel Tip Tuesday: Flying

Although some of you may have heard this before, it's worth saying again!! When you fly, make sure to pack on set of clothes in your carry-on. In the sad event that your luggage may get lost, at least you will have a clean set of clothes to wear at your destination while waiting for them to find and deliver your luggage. (and for while you go shopping for some new clothes :) Don't forget to ask or check out the luggage/carry-on restrictions that apply to the airline and any airline that you connect to or return on (if you have a travel agent, she can tell you these guidelines). Happy flying!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Can YOU help??

I just read a very compelling post. This post is on a blog that I frequent; the author is actually a relative of mine (distantly) and her and her husband are missionaries in Africa. They are with a legit mission organization (AIM I believe) and are doing a great work out there. The post I am referring to is an amazing, heart crushing life story of a man named Elly - Elly could use your help. So please read and pass on his story!! I want to assure you that if you do decide to help, your gift will be put to use wisely. Even if you can only give a small amount, give.. if $9 is a days wage for him, think about what we waste $9 on!! If you can't give (or even if you do) pass along the story of Elly, blog about it - God can work a miracle through everyday people!! I will be honest with you, I have pledged a small amout as we don't have a lot of money to spare these days but I'm hoping that by passing along the need - if we can all contribute a little God can multiply!!

Can you help?

**Note that I do not believe that tax receipts will be given as this is a private donation from the goodness of one's heart!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Travel Tip Tuesday...

I love travelling - so I decided to do my own special weekly post (or I'll try to keep it weekly). Tips may be funny, they may be common sense or they may seem unimportant, or maybe slightly useful, but there will be a tip none-the-less :)

Travel Tip: When travelling abroad (or even if it's just a long distance) do a little research about whether it is high or low travel season. If you are like me and don't care for crazy line-ups at attractions or streets PACKED with tourists, check and see when their low season is. If you think low season is only when the weather is cold, think again - very often the beginning or end of low season is a GREAT time to travel weather wise, and you can avoid the majority of tourists and most of the time prices are CHEAPER!!! It can be a good idea to also check out if there are major holidays (like spring break) happening at the time you want to go (unless you want that kind of atmosphere) and remember that not everyone has spring break at the same time!

Friday, September 04, 2009

You are not alone!

I am not sure if anyone has noticed my sidebar - but let me explain, along with my kids birthdays there is another ticker, a ticker to remember our third child. July 30th my third little angel went to be with Jesus. I had a miscarriage at around 7 weeks. I have never known what really to say to someone who had experienced a miscarriage, and now I know - really there is nothing a person can say. I understand you can try to encourage or say things that are well meaning - but nothing a person can say can really touch the hurt and pain of a loss. Besides the natural grieving process that one goes through, it was really great for me to talk to a few friends that had gone through miscarriages as well - they were probably the greatest comfort to me. I think that one thing that complicates everything is the fact that besides the emotion and grief that a woman feels after losing the hopes and dreams of her child, there is also the added hormonal affects - it just intensifies every feeling! A good piece of advice from my mom was to talk about it (once I was comfortable), mention it to friends so they understand what is going on in my life - it is great therapy. Miscarriage is a very common although you don't necessarily hear about it. Someone once told me that 2 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage - that's a lot!! Anyway - I just wanted to do a shout out to all the women who have gone through or will go through a miscarriage, you are not alone **hugs**

Thursday, September 03, 2009

New Layout :)

I kinda like this new layout :) I was fooling around this evening and this is what I came up with. The only thing that I'm not supper happy with is the header - anyone have a good idea how to center it a little more.. or any other good idea to make it look a little more even :) I figured I was due for an update!

It's my birthday this weekend, so I decided to do a little fun morning with the kids and daycare kids.. so besides a few extra fun activities, we baked my favorite kind of cake too. Husband is away at work this week - so other than my self-induced birthday party I am taking my kids for breakfast Sunday morning with a friend who also shares my birthday and her husband shares the same type of job that mine does.. so we decided to celebrate together :) Happy long weekend everyone!!

Me and my boy and my 'non photogenic at the time' girl :)

Monday, August 31, 2009


Wow!! It sure has been a busy week last week! Not only was my house full of kids, but I also managed to wheel and deal.. and sell our car!! Now you may ask, so you sold a car, so what? Well, lets just say that we've had it up for sale for 10 months!! One evening I get an email asking if I'd sold the car already (through Kijiji), I said no. They came over the next morning to look at it. They came over in the afternoon to test drive it. Then I spent the rest of the day on the phone organizing everything that needed to be done on our part to sign the car over. I had to negotiate price and details. The next afternoon they picked up the car!! I guess I should add that I HATE negotiating price and my husband was not at home (working out of town) and out of cell service while I completed all of this.. needless to say.. STRESS!! After that I had to start tackling the disaster my house had become, because I was getting company for the weekend :) Needless to say, here I am, Monday has come and I'm still alive enjoying a few hours of reprive while my kids are napping :)

200? Just a little note, this is my 200th post!! I can't believe it!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Different Kind of Mom

I've had this topic on my mind for a little while now, so I decided to take some time and write about it. It is the endless battle of stay-at-home mom versus working mom, better versus worse, guilt-free versus guily, self-less versus selfish; whichever way you put it, it does not sound good.

Why does there have to be such a competition; why is one good and one bad; I do not understand how we can call such harsh judgments about such an individual choice? How come we feel justified in condenming one persons choices without knowing any circumstances? Not only is the condemning other women wrong, but also the self righteous attitudes with which the condemning is done! Now I know that these are generalizations, but I find these attitudes prevelant in a LOT of different mom circles!

If you have not guessed yet, it's the stay-at-home moms (SAHM) that seem to pass judgement on the working moms and that working moms are lesser mothers than SAHM's. I am a SAHM myself, or more specifically a work-at-home mom (WAHM) to two children and two daycare children. My view on these criticisms, as a mother, if you are doing what is best for your family and your children than you are doing what is right for your situation, do NOT feel guilty or any less of a parent. I believe that sometimes a mother working out of the home can be the best choice for a family. Got your attention? Think about it - single parent? there is not really any other choice for a single mom! There may be many situations, the father can't get a job, but the mother can; should the family become homeless because "Mom HAS to stay home"? Especially in these difficult economic times, it's becoming a reality for a lot of families that both parents have to work in order to support their family.

I think it IS ideal if a mother can stay at home with her kids, but it's not always possible. As long as in the situations of a working mom that she is not making her choice because of greed or selfishness but rather due to the best interests of her family. Sometimes this can even include a mother's sanity. Not all women are domestic engineers by instinct and have a hard time emotionally/mentally with all the duties that are required. Not to say that they should just give up on staying at home, but sometimes a little reprive can do a lot, sometimes that reprive is in the form of a job. Which is better the better mom, the mom that stays at home all day with her kids but is a negative influence, and resents her kids or the mom that goes to work and when she comes home can spend positive, relationship building time with her kids?

Staying home with my kids is something I am glad that I can do but it doesn't make me any better a mom than the mother that drops her kids off at my house for me to watch. They are trying to do the best for their family as I am trying to do the best for mine. Why do us women have to be at odds and discriminate against each other when this is the time in our lives that we need each other's support the most! Next time you SAHM's see a working mother, instead of judging her, be glad you had the opportunity you did to make your choice and try thinking of what you would do if your situation was different!
**I'm also going to do a post on the value of a SAHM - Occupation: Mom**

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tenting & kittens :)

Tenting went well with the kids - it was such a treat for them to sleep on an airmattress, they kept bouncing me all over the place.. until I got my tough mom face on :) Although it was really sweet how they both cuddled me all night, even though that meant I woke up every time I needed to turn over. Overall, it was a success :)

This weekend we have a little treat (and extra work for me). I picked up two kittens for my parents, and we are taking care of them for the weekend. There have been some pretty priceless moments.. like my daughter running away because 'they bite' (they don't bite, but you know how little kittens are with their claws and she figures thats bitting), but mostly she wants to get right in there and hold them.. even when they're scrapping :) Sorry no pictures yet, I need a new battery for my camera and just haven't done it yet.

K is also cutting her 2 year molars these days, so we've been a little more forgiving of her moodiness. In the potty training department things have been going well, depending on what we're doing, K wears panties although there is usually an accident or two during the day (usually between when she wakes up from her nap and supper time, have to figure that out yet). I let her wear pullups when she's teething though, my kids get really nasty diarrhea while cutting molars, and I just don't feel like dealing with cleaning that up (sorry all you cloth diapering moms, I guess I'm not really cut out for that, lol). So overall, my K is doing super good for not even being 2 yet :) Which reminds me.. there are 2 birthdays coming up in September, hehe.. mine and K's. I'm looking forward to planning her party, I've decided that I want to do a Word World theme (since she LOVES that show, just like her brother). I'm hoping to attempt to make her cake too.. so lots to look forward to!!

Friday, August 07, 2009

So Much to Do, So little time...

Do you ever feel like that? it happens to me every summer! It happens otherwise too, but I'm thinking particularly of summer stuff.. It's already August!!! Where did the summer go??? Anyway enough about me lamenting time past - time to share all those fun and exciting summertime fun things :) So we went on a long road trip with my parents, the kids loved it!! We did too, but our aim was for a family reunion and then a long trip back. It worked out really great, I was travelling with the kids (my husband had to work) for an hour and met up with my parents and we travelled together from there (in two vehicles though). I really enjoy driving by myself - it's my thinking time, things that I've put aside to think about another day well I pull those out and mull over them. It's funny how I find such a freedom in driving, like it's just me and the road. Anyway my son got to ride with Grandma and Grandpa for quite a bit of the time and I heard there was some silly stuff going on in that car! :)
Gma: Look there are some horses.
TJ: No they're cows!
Gma: They go neigh.
TJ: They go moo.
Such a silly boy :) He had so much fun being silly with Grandma! We had a good time at the reunion, saw family that I hadn't seen in MANY years (some I hadn't seen since I was a little girl). My kids did pretty good, we didn't even use the 'back-up' new toys. The ride back was just as fun and uneventful except for the fact that I got to visit Ikea :) That was a treat!!

This weekend my challenging/fun task is - camping, in a tent - just me and my kids.. although I will have family camping too, but it should be fun, my kids first tenting experience :) I'm looking forward to it! I figure we might as well try to get as much in while we can!

In other news, just a curious shout out to all you bloggers, anyone know of a good blog to visit that deals with post-partum depression? It's not for myself - but for someone I know that I think is dealing with it but has not been diagnosed.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

More holidays :)

Off on some more holidays :) Hope everyone has a great long weekend!! I'll post more when we get back!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Learning Fun!

We recently spent some time at my mom and dad's and we all had a blast - one of the very important or should I say fun things the kids got to do was help my mom make buns. Or at least it's one of the fun parts of making buns!! Punching the dough :) This is something my mom always got me and my siblings to do! So thanks Mom for spending the time and teaching my kids something new! It is really special for me to see my kids learning and experiencing things that I did as a child! I think it really helps to create a wonderful balance and array of experiences for the kids - never mind the special time with Grandma :)