Monday, November 28, 2011

Grateful on a Monday Morning

 I am a little tired this morning, but will pop in a workout video anyway, when I've finished here.  Monday mornings are always a full-head-space time for me: planning the week's meals and shopping list, thinking of the week and our plans and what needs to be done when, doing cleaning and chores and fitting in work, too.  I don't dislike Monday mornings, I just am aware that they take a different level of attention, and I'm feeling like a nap to start off the day wouldn't be a bad thing.  I am thankful for this Monday morning.

I've been napping more lately... I think that's ok for being almost 33 weeks.  I am thankful for this little active one inside me and look forward to our meeting! 

Especially since things may get infinitely more crazy before baby comes in January.  We are looking at the possibility of moving.  Looking after our future and investing... we want to buy another place and keep this one to rent out.  We already have people anxious to move in here, but we don't get to go look at places till tomorrow.  There are two that are possibilities in our minds, but I am convinced that our God is big and powerful and on our side, so I am praying for a great house at a great price at the perfect time.  I have my ideas of what those would be, but I am trusting in Him and in Sean and we'll keep you posted.  I am thankful for potential and exciting times.

I have had better mornings lately getting M out the door - my attitude has improved as I've been more aware (thank you, small group) of what I am letting into my life and how that affects what comes out.  I want to have a heart full of peace and joy, so when I tell M to get a move on in the mornings now, it's usually more patient and kind, sometimes joyful even - she likes her silly mom and if I can help her mood stay up, I will keep trying.  Amazing how that makes so much sense and how little we think about it - My actions affect her actions.  My words and tone of voice affect her words and tone of voice.  My attitude affects her attitude.  And until she learns to control those things on her own, I will keep trying to lift her up in all those ways.  How easy it is to bring her down (and let her bring me down!) - but I am the adult!  I am the parent!  I am the one who's responsibility it is to be aware and intentional about my actions, words and attitudes.  How else is she going to learn it?  So I am thankful for a week of good mornings, and look forward to more as I keep working on me.

Have a great Monday!  What are you thankful for?

I thought I'd link up with all the other grateful people over at A Holy Experience today...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

DVD Player on the Dark Side

Here is a little round up of the week...

Today Madeline and I spend much of the day at the church, decorating for Advent.  It's a huge job, but a huge transformation, and there were quite a few youth out to help.  I'll post pictures sometime if I remember to take some.

We also went to meet a little girl that M is going to babysit next week.  Her first real 'other than family and small group' babysitting job.  The family goes to our church and we will all be at the Christmas Banquet together - we also live quite close, so it's a great set up for them, and for her.

I'm in 'making' mode, but it's all for Christmas, so I can't show off anything yet!  It has been nice to sit and relax and be productive at the same time.

I got a photo of 7 months, a few days late...  I'm wearing the same clothes as in the 6 months shot so I can compare month to month.

Baby is still doing fine - moving differently now that there's less room.  (S)he had the hiccups twice now - kind of a funny feeling.  I've been feeling fine, but I do notice that I run out of steam sometimes.  I had a few naps this week, including one on a pew at work!  I weighed myself this morning and have gained 25 lbs so far.  I gained 30 with M, I believe.  We're getting closer all the time to having the house ready - Sean's been steadily picking away at the fixing up of stuff.

We went to Sean's work Christmas party last night - it was dinner and a show at the casino.  They give you oodles of time between eating and when the show starts - they want you to go spend some money on the games is my guess.  We did a walk through, and I find it just really sad.  Yeah, some will win a bit here and there, but for the most part, it's just people throwing money away.  The rest of the night - dinner and show and visiting with the co-workers - was not bad.

Madeline had pyjama day at school this week.  She didn't have any slippers, and I remembered a couple pairs of 'Granny Slippers' I had stashed away, so I dug those out.  This has been her every day since then:

'Granny Slippers' because they were knit by MY Granny.  AKA Elf Slippers.

The other end of her - the frog eye covers are a recent and every night addition to her pj's.  She uses them actually over her eyes all night long, and as a headband like this lots of other times.
The reason she's reading on the couch ( I just took those shots) is because our movie was a dud - AGAIN!  We borrowed the Star Wars Trilogy a few weeks ago, watched Star Wars and The Empire Strikes back both two weekends ago, and watched the Return of the Jedi last Sunday night.  We got half way through it when it started acting up and freezing, and we had to concede defeat.  The next night at small group, we noticed our friends also had the set, so we borrowed theirs.  Tonight we had enough time to watch the final half, only to have it zap out at the exact same spot!!  Different discs, same player - is it unreasonable to think that the machine has it out for the Rebel Alliance?  Maybe it's the Ewoks it doesn't like - it quit right between 'Speeder Bike Chase' and 'Leia Meets Wicket.'  Sigh.  Someday I hope we get to finish it - Madeline's classical education will not be complete if she doesn't know what an Ewok is!

That's our week & a little snapshot of our lives right now.  Thanks for checking in!

Question: How much is the going rate for babysitters for you / your friends / in your area?  We're curious, because M and I both thought $5/hour would be fine, but apparently some think that's slave labour wages!

What's your favorite Star Wars moment? (Each of the three times I've typed that, I've typed Star WARD.)  Hmmm... maybe if baby's a girl??

Monday, November 21, 2011

Resources to Help You Pray

Kat over at Inspired to Action has a list that I printed off this morning to help me pray with variety.  Do you ever get stuck praying the same things over & over because your kids bug you in the same way over & over?  I'm working on changing me in those areas that bug me, but I'm also aware that using another resource to help direct my prayers is useful.

Here is the Inspired to Action Prayer Calendar for Mothers  The link is at the bottom of her post.

I went looking for this because of a new routine I have of praying for my husband.  I found this list on See Jamie Blog, and keep it in my journal so each day I pray for Sean one thing on the list.  It has a great variety, all Scriptural, and things I don't always think to pray for him.  I thought having a list to pray for Madeline and the other children I try to keep in mind would be a helpful thing.

I hope that these resources are a help to you, too.
(I posted this this morning over on my Prayers for My Children Blog.)

What routines or methods do you use to remember what you want to be praying about?  I've used lists and charts over the years and am always curious about how other people make it work for them.  Thanks for leaving a comment!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Baking Fail, A Mom Win and A Bunny Named Josiah

It was more of a mom fail, really, if you saw my attitude and impatience during the whole thing.

My 12 year old came home yesterday with, "Oh, yeah, it's our potluck tomorrow - I have to take something from New Zealand."  What?  Sean & I had to go out to our hospital tour, so I had an hour that I could help, but no time to shop if we didn't already have the ingredients...  She found a traditional meringue cake called Pavlova that I was skeptical about - to my mind, it looked not quite simple enough for her to pull off on a first try.  But I told her to pull out all the ingredients and after supper we'd give it a shot.  I just coached - she did it all herself.  It may have been the bit of yolk in the egg whites, it may have been the blended too fine sugar, it may have been the imprecise measuring, but it ended up a nice flat meringue layer instead of a big glorious puff.  This morning she broke it up into cookie size pieces and took the cool whip and kiwis to top it with... If worse comes to worse, she'll just cut up and serve the kiwis solo.

Part of what made this a stress was that she also asked if we could make something for her friend, J, who's mom was catering a wedding and would be busy in their kitchen and not able to help her make something for the potluck.  They each did a report on a different country and had to bring food from that country for their potluck today.  I didn't promise anything, but we found and printed out a recipe for Icelandic Pepper Cookies - "a recipe made in every home in Iceland at Christmas!"  M's recipe used all the eggs, but on the way home from our outing, we stopped and I got some eggs and I made the dough - here's where the mom win comes in.  I don't even know for sure if her friend ended up coming up with something, but on the chance that J would have to miss out on the potluck, I baked the pepper cookies.  I was glad they had to be in the fridge overnight - I had more energy for baking this morning than I did  last night.  So this morning I baked them all up, and M got her stuff for plan A and plan B packed, and everyone's happy.  We also had apologized to each other last night for our attitude fails, which was a good thing. 


Out my window at work this fall I've noticed a fair sized divot in the grass.  Then I began to see a rabbit lying in it sporadically.  This week, with the snow, he's been there quite a bit.  I told Peggy (our secretary) on Tuesday that if he was back tomorrow, he was getting a name.  And so yesterday, my friendly neighborhood bunny was christened Josiah.  I chose that because I am currently reading through 2 Kings, and had just got to the end of a long list of king fails and up comes Josiah, a boy who became king at age 8.  He was good and led his people in God's ways - even though he was small, he made a big difference.  I thought Josiah would be a great name for my little bunny friend.  I wonder if I'll see him today?

Now I'm off to do a third trimester workout video before I head to work.  Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Compassion Letters

I'm a little late getting these sent, but I'm putting our Christmas cards in the mail today for our Compassion children.  I wanted to put a little something in them, and I came up with these:

They're little paper ornaments made from yellow (Bazzill) paper from my scrap folder - I used a template to trace a star and cut it out.  There is a silver glitter glue outline and I drew a little snowflake design with a blue gel pen.  Then on the back I wrote parts of Matthew 2: 10&11, about the star & worshiping Jesus.  I don't know if they decorate trees in Mexico or Ghana, but these can go anywhere if the do want to put them up.

Have you written to your sponsored children lately?  We need to send a good proper letter and pictures soon.  I think Madeline will add pictures she's colored and I want to cut some snowflakes to send.  I think they'd like that.

Have a great Wednesday!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday at the Shops

The only thing on the agenda today was to buy M a new pair of dress shoes before church tomorrow.

We had a good sleep in, I made homemade corn chowder for lunch, which we had with ciabatta bread and spinach dip, then we hit the shops.  No luck at the first one, but Payless was having a buy one, get one half off, so she ended up with new runners as well as the new dress shoes.  Her runners were trashed, but not as crucial as the dress shoes.  So, mission accomplished, and not too long into the afternoon, either.  Paderno, the kitchen store was in the same building, so we had a look there for dishes to go with our brown set that we can't add to.  They had a very limited selection of those, but lots of other fun stuff.

Since Thyme Maternity was in the same area, we popped in there to see if there were any decent sweaters on the clearance racks (no) and if there were any maternity winter jackets that I liked and were a decent price (no and no).  Home Outfitters was in the same shopping complex as well, so we stopped there too, to check out new shower curtain options and price out curved rods... and walked out with the works, including a new soap dispenser and toothbrush holder.

Then, Sean had an "idea" and we ended up at La Macaron for drinks and treats.  Mmm...  And just down the strip from there was a mother and baby store.  We just looked, but had fun looking!  And no coats there, either - well, there were, and I tried them on, and even liked one, but it was way too pricy.

From there, we popped over to Visions where Sean dealt with some return issues he's been having - they promised to have it all cleared up this week, so that was a good stop.  While they were there, I went next door to Fabricland.  I didn't buy anything, but got some ideas.  Then we all went next door the other way to a carpet place and got some samples and prices for carpet for the basement.  Carpet for the basement was not in the immediate plans, but that may change.  It would be amazing to have the whole basement renewed.

Then we came home.  Sean installed our new shower rod and got the bathroom style cranked up a notch or 4, Madeline chucked her old shoes, and I made banana bread, inspired by the loaf pans at Paderno.  A good outing all around, and some good satisfaction at home because of it.

Now we'll heat up some leftovers for supper and have a family movie night watching Star Wars.  Good times.  I hope your Saturday was as satisfying as ours has been!

Friday, November 11, 2011


So here, as promised, are the layouts I made at the retreat two weeks ago.  We'll start with some oldies - this one has pictures from 2005, 2009 and this year.  Cousins are awesome.

This one is a real oldie -  2004.  I love this pic of these 4.  So cute.

These shots are from last summer, and I just got around to putting them on a layout.  A couple are from our South Dakota trip, a couple are on the golf course, and a couple are just during random drives.

 This is one of those pages that take me back to the fun at that time.  What a great day together.  The background has a touch of red glimmer mist.

I've had this shots printed for a couple of years now & wasn't sure what to do with them.  Nothing like a retreat to get stuff down on paper.  Last line:  "I love my zoom lens that lets me get shots like this without you noticing."

hee hee hee.  I like this one.  So simple, but great.

I'd planned this one for so long that I actually printed out 2 5x7's and 3 4x6's of this shot...  The great chipboard pieces are called Tiddlybits, which I stained.  I like the treble clef as the &.

From Katie's wedding on July 2 of this year.  I can't get enough shots of us together.  And I made it a 8 1/2 x 11 - threw it and the memories one above together in amidst the 12 x 12's.

Kinda basic - played with stuff I could find on the cricut.

This is an 8 x 8 for M's KBK album.  I like the way it turned out.

And finally, another simple one from this summer - just a bunch of photos matted on white and stuck on a black background.  Again, one that takes me back to that great day.  Love the shot of Jess in there, even though it turned out a touch blurry.  Silas falling in the lake will be one of those never-forgotten stories.
Hope you enjoyed!  More to come as I finish up a few things.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Plans for the Baby Book

I've had my eye on Project Life for a while, thinking that would be a good way to do baby's first year.  I know I will have tons of photos and will want to put more in an album than I will scrapbook.  I also know that I won't be doing a picture a day, exactly, but could still make use of that format.

While we were at the scrapbooking retreat, I found that We R Memory Keepers has a line of page protectors that are divided in different ways, in the style I like about the Project Life ones.  Carla and Suzanne were also interested in them, so between us we bought a bunch of different styles (they come in packages of 10) and split them up so we each have a wider assortment of styles to choose from.  I wasn't quite sold on the Project Life albums, either, and was thinking I would probably go with an American Crafts cloth 12x12 ring binder like the last couple I've used and liked.  I can pick that up at Michaels with a 40% off coupon, so it will be reasonable.  I did see a couple of other ones there that I liked, by Amanda Blu, but they are the post style and wouldn't fit a whole year, I don't think.  If someone got me one of those, I would make it work, though - they are pretty cute.  :)  If you follow that link, the first and third ones are the ones I was eyeing.

At the retreat I also picked up some pages by Simple Stories - the ones in their baby line.  They are meant to coordinate with the We R Memory Keepers divided page protectors, so have different shaped bits that you cup apart and put in the pages along with your photos.  I think I will order some of the journaling cards from Project Life, and maybe some of their page protectors as well, and then I'll be all set.  Except for the album, but I've got lots of time for that.  (Ten weeks is lots of time, right??)

A Catch Up Post

A morning with room to breathe and catch up.  Lovely.  High on my priority list is catching up with you, so let's jump right in!

The Scrapbooking Retreat was a nice weekend away with lots of pages accomplished, and hours spent with friends.  I am photographing them right now and finishing up a few details on some of the pages as I go, and should have them posted for you today or tomorrow.

Baby is 30 weeks along and growing nicely.  Ten more weeks only till we get to meet!  I am still feeling fine, but am noticing that it is harder to bend over as easily.  It is also time for wearing winter gear, and my jacket and coat, while still able to do up this week, will not last me all the way through.  I am looking online for used ones, but may splurge on something new if I have to.

Madeline and I took a trip to Winnipeg last weekend and had a good time.  Often when we go it's for a holiday and we spend most of the time with family, but this time I planned to fit in a few extra days and made plans with friends a month in advance - it was good to see Melanie and George and Jen and MaryAnn and catch up with them.  One of Madeline's best friends from her class here moved to Winnipeg the same day that we drove out.  They got to have a visit and a sleepover on Friday, after Nicole's first day at her new school.  I know it helped M to see her again so soon, and hopefully it helped Nicole's transition, too.  Then on Saturday night she had a sleepover at Granny and Papa's (or at my place, as she calls it) with Grace, a friend from church there - it's funny to think she has friends there other than her cousins, but it's good.  The women's event that we actually made the trip for went well.  I spoke twice during the day and think it was well received.  I also sold my magic bags at a vendor table and made some good change, which was a nice extra.

A funny story from our trip - when we were packing up, my brother had just changed Z's diaper and made a crack about how back in the day he would have tried to hide it in our bags...  The first snow of the season came as we were driving home, and didn't make the roads too bad, but did lengthen our 6 hour drive into 7.  M was sleeping when we arrived, so I told her not to worry about unpacking, but to go straight to bed and look after her bags in the morning.  Can you guess what she found in her bag as she unpacked, looking for something to wear to school?  Yep - Z's dirty diaper, which had smelled up the entire thing.  She of course had taken all her clothes with her and ended up wearing the same thing as the day before, since it was the only thing that didn't smell.  It was all quite funny, really.  Her comment?  "Uncle Clayton, you stink!"

That's all for the moment, but watch for more posts coming soon!