Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Soccer Star #2

If you've read anything much on here, you will have noticed that the girl plays soccer.  This fall, the boy was old enough and we got him involved, too.  The U4's all had a big person with them on the field, and the group, split into four smaller groups, rotated through four stations, each working on a soccer skill or gross motor skill.  It was a fabulous way to do soccer with this age, and Nolan loved going.

So stinking CUTE.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

I Read.

And oldie, but a goodie!  It's little M the bookie.

I read to relax.
I read because I love getting into a good story.
I read to experience different times, places, and cultures.
I read because it takes me away from the present - a coffee break from my stay-at-home-ness.
I read because I am too tired to sew anymore.

I haven't blogged about what I've read for a while, so while I do read fast, rest assured that these haven't all been devoured in the last few weeks... I do have a life outside the pages!

These are the ones I rated 5 stars out of 5, which means I quite enjoyed the book.
 The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
 By the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley
Star Girl by Jerry Spinelli

These were 4.5 stars - not amazing, but better than just good.
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

These ones rated 4 stars: a decent read; something worthwhile in it.
Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Run by Ann Pachett
Paper Towns by John Green
Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
The Thousand Dollar Tan Line: A Veronica Mars Mystery by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
I am Malala by Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai

And then there was The Maze Runner by James Dashner that only ranked a 3.5.  I know it's aimed at a younger audience, but meh.

So there you have it - a list of names to refer to if you are wondering what to read next. 

Happy reading!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Today marks the 10 year anniversary of my first blog post.  Wow. 

I have written about our family, things we've done and updates on the kids, to keep my family and friends in the loop.  I have written about books and trips and things I'm thinking about; shared scrapbook pages and recipes.

I've had years where I've written lots (162 posts in 2009!) and years of less (including 2006 when I wrote a big fat zero posts - but that was also when I met and married Sean...)  The name has changed a few times, and the look has had a number of makeovers.

A few major changes have competed for my blogging time in the last few years - having a little one around, for one, means very little computer time at all! and starting my shop online where I sell the goods I sew.  (I still love that, by the way, and it's going stronger than ever.)

I started with the idea of putting my voice out there, to share my thoughts, my heart, my faith, and today, I have the same desire.  So thank you to all my faithful readers and all my random readers, for sharing in this journey with me, for listening to my voice, and especially for when you share yours back with me.  I'm not going anywhere, and look forward to picking things up again in the new year.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Tis the Season... for Craft Sales!

I don't often go to craft sales to shop, honestly; when I do go, I'm one of those who shops for ideas that I can go home and make.

I am going to a bunch this fall, though, because I am selling at a bunch.  I am hoping that most shoppers are not like me, and are happy to buy rather than shop for ideas only at my table.  [If you do make your own stuff, that's awesome. I bet we would be friends. :)]

Last year I did two sales, they were moderately successful, but I figured this year I would rather do a few big ones through the year and then focus on the online side at Christmas.  Plans changed.  I did a sale at my nephew's school a few weeks ago, picked up a cancellation spot at Christ Lutheran last weekend, and now have 3 shows in the next 3 weeks.  And this weekend, while I'm not at a sale, I had a table at the Women's Wellness Day at my home church in Winnipeg.  Just got a report that it was a good day - thanks to all who bought my goods there and to my sister for manning the table! 

If you are in Southern Sask, this is where I'll be in the next few weeks:

First Annual Indoor CVAF Street Fair Christmas Craft Market
(Cathedral Village Arts Festival)
Saturday, November 14, 10-4
*There are sales in both the Westminster Cathedral and in the Cathedral Neighbourhood Centre.  I will be in the Neighbourhood Centre, 2900 13th Ave.

Wascana Rehab Crafty Creations Christmas Craft Sale
Friday, 20th, 12-8
Saturday, 21st, 9-5

Caronport Christmas Craft Sale
Friday, 27th, 5-10:30
Saturday, 28th, noon-10:30
Sunday, 29th, 1-5:30

Now my focus is to find balance between the sales and the online side - I've been sewing lots and producing buckets of goods, but haven't found the right time with the right lighting to get photos and then get them listed.  I aim to do that this week so there's actually stuff to buy in the shop...  Wish me luck!


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Adult Colouring Books

A while ago, on a trip to Chapters, I splurged and bought myself this colouring book.

On the first page I used both fine point markers and pencil crayons, and decided I liked the look of pencil crayons better; purging through some of M's cast offs last week, I expanded my pencil crayon count from 24 to 72.  I've completed a few pages and Nolan and I have coloured together a bit, and it's been a fun thing to have close by.

I've seen a number of other colouring books geared to adults lately, enough to know that is is a 'thing', and today I got an email from Margaret Feinberg (Author, Bible Teacher, Joy Seeker) talking about the one she has for sale - with Scripture! Her email highlighted 5 reasons why colouring is so great - read it here if you'd like.

While I was talking to Mom on the phone.

I loved the idea of an adult colouring book with Scripture.  Shipping was too high to order from her site, unfortunately, but it got me looking around online. I found this article from Business Insider saying that the best selling books on Amazon right now are adult colouring books! This one I've got was #2, and the #1 book was The Secret Garden by the same Author / Artist.

I know M has had some more intricate colouring books over the years that I've enjoyed with her - what about you? Have you been captured by the beauty of some of these new books? Are you thrilled with this new trend?

Friday, August 28, 2015

Summer Memories

August is trickling away... I know there are more hot days to enjoy and we even hope to get in another camping trip, but it is change time.

We often get out camping right at the beginning of summer, and this year was no exception.  This was the first time we went with the Ward clan, though, and it may be the start of an annual thing, it went so well.  We camped on Madge Lake in the Duck Mountain Provincial Park, which has become one of our regular places, and it was great. Clear water, all our campsites right together, lots of cousin time...  The only downside was that a certain somebody had to miss out to go to summer school.

Nolan's first tube ride.
Another crazy ride with Dad.
Monica photobombing a mother daughter shot.
 Also in July this beauty turned sixteen, and chose to celebrate with a load of physical upgrades - makeover, nails, hair, ear piercing...

August saw M at camp for a few weeks, and then an adventure filled road trip week with her Aunt & Uncle & cousins, to Minneapolis, Chicago, then Toronto, where she flew home from while they went on to visit relatives on the east coast.

I was just looking through my August photos and I think that will have to be another post.  I was reminded of all the little fun things we did - good memories!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Books, Books, Books

Good Morning, Friends!  We just got home from camping and I averaged a book every two days.  That's a good trip.  These are the ones I took with me, plus another I'm half done.

The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani - 9 - Set in Italy and then in America, it follows the story of one couple who emigrate because they have to, and how they find the better life.  The description of Italy makes me want to get on a plane (and a time machine).  Nicely written, and great characters.

Decider by Dick Francis - 9 - Always love his books.

The Innocent by David Baldacci - 8.5 - Just picked this one off the shelf and was pleased with it.  Lots of shooting and death, but the good guy figures it out and wins in the end.

Thunder and Rain by Charles Martin - 8.5 - A Texas Ranger love story isn't what I'd normally pick up, but I really like the others I've read by him, so figured it was a safe bet.  I enjoyed it.

Also read in the last months and worth a mention:

The Secret Place by Tana French - 9.5
Faithful Place by Tana French - 8
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - 9.5
Landlines by Rainbow Rowell - 8

The Unexpected Pilgrimage of Walter Fry by Rachel Joyce - 7 - A sometimes funny story of an older man almost stuck too far in life's rut to make any changes, who ends up on a journey walking from one end of England to the other.

Home Front by Kristen Hannah - 8 - Full of  marriage issues, woman soldier issues, and dealing with injuries, it stays believable.  A decent read.

The Accident by Chris Pavone - 8 - I expected a little more because I really enjoyed the Expats, but this was still good.

419 by Will Ferguson - 6 - Have you ever got a Nigerian scam email?  This book is a story of a Canadian family who is deeply affected by one, and their search for the root of it.  It's also the story of the Nigerians who do this for a living.  Some parts I enjoyed, like the part set in the Nigerian village before it was all spoiled by the Oil companies.  Mostly it was just sad. 

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith - 9 - I quite enjoyed this tale of a girl growing up in Brooklyn in the mid 1900's.  Loved her character and the way she details the setting.

We are off to the library today to get some more.  :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Indoors Day

With the wildfires up north sending loads of smoke our way, it was an indoor day today.  We played Planes Fire & Rescue up in his room on his train set and on the Planes play mat... while I hand-sewed up some bean bags.  It clouded over & rained this afternoon, but the morning sun was nice. 

Just a few shots to say hello...

Thursday, June 04, 2015

A Prayer for You

I love my blog, even though it is sadly neglected at this point.  I am not gone, just sewing or out for a bike ride or being with my family.  Thanks for sticking around to read what I have to say when I get a chance to say it. 

I pray for your health - that the way you feel physically does not get in the way of how you want to live.  May the aches and pains of your bodies be understood and healed at the source and gone forever.

I pray that you would enjoy good healthy friendships; that you would have people that you pour into selflessly, and that those people would continue to fill you up, too.

I pray for the hard relationships; the ones that drain you & leave you weary.  Your children, maybe?  I pray you get a glimpse of the big picture, and the good you are doing by sticking with them and being a loving presence.  May you find deep within yourself, a strength to continue to love, and a knowledge that the One who gives you that strength has an unlimited strength and love that he offers to you.

I pray you are content in your circumstances, and that you also have goals you are striving for.  May you see progress in your working toward those dreams.  May you experience breakthroughs and success and joy.

May you be refreshed today, and may the Kingdom of our Jesus come in you and through you today.

Amen and Amen.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Blank Journal

Madeline gave me this beautiful journal this past Christmas. The girl knows what I love. And, it came with chocolate. Mmm.

A beautiful journal - ok, seriously, any new notebook - is hard to break in. There is something pristine about all those blank pages... All that potential. Once you make that first mark, it's gone, so deciding what to use it for can be tough. I've had notebooks sit blank on my shelf for years before using them.

I was happy to come up with a use for this one pretty quick, though, which is nice - it gets used pretty regularly instead of sitting untouched.  It has become a place to copy out verses I like.  Like these:

Sometimes Nolan helps.  Notice the red lines on a few of these?

Ok, some are nicer than others...  But God's Word - it's always beautiful.

Blessings on your Sabbath.  Rest well. 


Friday, April 17, 2015

The Latest

I got an exciting email yesterday - an official acceptance to have a booth in the Cathedral Village Arts Festival street fair on May 23!  I've thought about being in that one for a couple of years now, and this year took the plunge.  I bought a canopy and three 4 foot tables; one of these nice days I will set up in the backyard and make sure the canopy works fine and do a trial run set up; all my sales so far have been just a table, but in this one I have a 14x10 foot space.  That means I have to get sewing and build up my stock!!

Spring...  It's beautiful here now.  There is one snowpile out in the back alley that will take a while yet to disappear, but it's nice enough to go for walks to the park or get Nolan's bike out.  Sean is still working on sleds, but that is an ongoing thing.  With his buying, fixing, & selling we have five sleds in the garage right now.  The latest is this one...

M's knee is still on the mend, but she has the physio's approval to play sports this spring.  She loves soccer and her girls on that team, but decided to play rugby on the school team to try something new instead.  She's got the mouth guard, now we just need to get another knee brace...

In other M news, she is sporting some new ink on her arm.  She has wanted a tattoo for a long time, but of course our answer was no.  The long story of why we changed our minds and what it symbolizes for her is not fully my story to tell, so it will wait for another day.  It says Strong&Courageous Joshua 1:9  She went with her Aunt Carla and they bonded over getting tattoos together. :)

Strong&Courageous Joshua 1:9

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Because Reading is Sometimes All I Want To Do

Having an evening with nothing pressing to do, with a boy who went to sleep on his own well, a husband working out in the garage and a girl hanging out in the living room with me, and a book that is gripping, is pretty much heaven. 

Here's what I've read since last book post:

Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline - 7.5 - Not bad for a random pick off the shelf.  The second half picked up and the story twisted pretty good.

Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson - 8.5 - Her characters are so much deeper and stronger than anyone in real life, but she tells a good story.  I have liked her books for a long time.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath - 6 - I have seen this one on many 'Have to Read' lists, but while it may be an important work as a portrait of someone descending into insanity, I didn't enjoy it much.  Oh, well!

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple - 8 - Funny.

Holes by Louis Sachar - 9.5 - Awesome.  I loved it.  It's a kids's book, and I know M read it years ago; there's a reason it's won so many awards.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes - 9 - So excellent. I couldn't do anything till I had read the last page.  And then I couldn't do anything because I was crying.

Happy reading!

Oh, I'm also reading through the Gospels during Lent.  There is no better story ever written...

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Funny Things My Kids Say

The other day I got out Nolan's Bible to read to him at breakfast.  He pointed to a picture on the cover and said, "Read that one.  The one with all the animals and Jesus."
I said, "Noah."
"No, it's Jesus.  But I like Noah and Jesus."

And at lunch:  "Nolan, will you say grace?"
"Thank you Jesus for our food. Amen.  You pray, too."
I said the same thing he did, but he came back with, "No, you pray lots more things than that."

"Mom, is that lady walking a pig?"
"No, it's a dog, called a bulldog."
"Oh.  Well, it has a funny face."

Dad: "I'm eating you up!"
Nolan: "No!  I have ribs in there holding me together!"

Madeline was at the dentist the other day getting some fillings and was quite frozen on the one side, making her talk funny.  Of course, I was laughing at her, and even more when she told me to "Thuth!"

And at supper, Dad to M: "Hey, do you know what gets rid of the freezing really quick?"
M: face lights up, gets all excited.
Dad: "Nothing!"
M: face falls.
Dad: laughs and laughs and laughs...

And one from last night.  I went up to bed and found Nolan sleeping on the floor (his bed is a twin mattress on the floor).  He half woke while I picked him up. "Mom?"
"I'm just putting you back in bed, buddy."
"Because you were sleeping on the floor!"  All tucked in, I give him a kiss.  "I love you."
"I love you."
"Good night."
"You're welcome."

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Discussion Questions for An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth

As I said yesterday, the last book we read for Book Club was Chris Hadfield's An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth.  This particular book was Lisa's pick, and in our group that means that this month we met at her place, and she led the discussion on the book.  Usually you can find discussion questions for books online, but Lisa said there was nothing out there that she could find.  So, being the competent teacher that she is, she wrote her own.

And here for you, and all other book clubs that might be looking for discussion questions on An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, are the questions, courtesy of Lisa Ashton. 

Chris Hadfield: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth
Discussion Questions by Lisa Ashton

1.   What was your reading experience? Did it take you awhile to get into it? How did you feel reading the book? Amused, confused, bored?

2.           Have you had a similar goal or job that you broke down into daily tasks like Chris did when he was 9 years old? Example: If I want to be an astronaut should I stay up late, or wake up early and read a book?

3.           What has been your experience with the theme of space? As a child were you fascinated? What elements of space interest you?

4.           What have you learned about space exploration from this book?

5.           How do you think his marriage survived?

6.           Describe Chris’ personality traits.

7.           Does he remind you of anyone you know? Explain.

8.           Does Chris change throughout his life? Grow and mature, or remain the same?

9.           What themes does Chris explore?

10.       What passages strike you as insightful or profound? Read these passages.

11.       Has the novel changed you? Broadened your perspective?