Monday, December 31, 2012

What Christmas Looked Like

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you all had time with family, time to relax, and time to think about the Baby who came to be Savior of the world; the Savior or you and of me.

We made it to Winnipeg for a few days and had a great time with all my family there.  Mom asked if I had any use for this old sleigh that came as a fancy gift package once upon a time.  I said no, but that we should do a little photo shoot with Nolan before she got rid of it...

I think this one was my favorite!

Have to get a cousin shot!

Fun to see the next littlest one playing with Nolan, and getting a glimpse of what he might be like in a couple of years.

Christmas morning!

Nope - didn't plan that.

Her best reaction may have been when she opened up this onesie - she's been wanting one for a while...

Here are the cousins from Sean's side - we had the Ward family Christmas yesterday out in Balgonie.  Sickness kept some away at the last minute, so we had only six of the 11 cousins.

I think he likes it!

A few family additions to announce!  This shot was taken two years ago; Lynsey found an engagement ring in the pocket of the jacket she got for Christmas, so this year, there is a new Mrs. Ward!

This is the other addition - sweet, hey?  Alexa was born November 13, and we were so disappointed to not get to meet her yesterday.  Hopefully they're all feeling better soon, and hopefully we get to meet her soon, too.

I'll leave you with this one that we used for our Christmas card this year - all the best to you and yours, and may 2013 be a great one!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas!

A quick catch up before I snag a nap - little man was up OFTEN last night.  Forgot that he doesn't need mom to get to sleep after days of holidaying and lots of mom putting him to sleep.  We'll get back on track... This too shall pass.  :)  (It just means that I need to nap so I don't lose it on either child!)

A few highlights:

Doing dishes with a new dishcloth from my sister and having the water turn blue.  Getting new kitchen stuff from two sisters and having them match.  That and new dishes from IKEA = mini kitchen reno!

Calling Nolan to open his gift from Auntie Carla and having him run over and use it as a stool to climb on the couch.

Nephew Zach smitten with Mad-a-den...

Silas and the ugly Christmas sweater.  You wore it so well.

Dave telling the (toy) story of Woody's missing hat on repeat.

A visit to Winnipeg's new IKEA.  (Not so great - wanting to nurse Nolan part way through and finding the awesome family care room at the end of the visit.)

Nolan wearing red & white striped jammies Christmas morning that Zach wore his first Christmas.

Madeline getting to visit with her friends at church as well as a whole day at the cousin's house.

Sean and I getting each other 'just right' tops.

A super pro reflector shield for my camera from Sean.

Madeline's reactions when she opened her footed 'onesie', her bright yellow Aero sweatshirt, and her Beauty & the Beast tickets.  Thanks, family!

Just hanging out with family made the trip to Winnipeg with an 11 month old worth it.  So glad the celebration of our Savior's birth has turned into a tradition where we spend time with those we love, enjoying and gifting each other.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Social Media Roundup

I've noticed myself making decisions lately where to share what...  I'm not on the computer much, and rarely go on Facebook on my phone (I can't turn off all the silly game notifications and it's a pain to scroll through the junk to find stuff I actually want to see), but I know that's where the most people see stuff, so when I took this photo, that's where I shared it.  It got 46 'likes' - that's maybe the most attention anything I've posted has got other than Nolan's introduction!

Twitter is fun and actually the source of most of my news.  Yesterday Sean and I were mentioned in a tweet by my friend Lori (the one with the orange star, because I 'favorited' it):

We then tried to get Nolan to say Anna, but he's not there yet.  She is 4 1/2 months older, after all.  I showed him the picture I took in the nursery that morning to help him, but he just kissed my phone instead!  They are pretty cute together.  #littlefriends

Twitter also played a role in getting our streetlight fixed...

SaskPower tweeted a link to their site where you can report a burnt out streetlight - I retweeted it to Sean, who replied that he already had reported it... twice.  So SaskPower, seeing this negative publicity, got right on it, replying and promising results, and it did happen - about two weeks later.  I took this from the front window and tweeted that, too.

I shared this photo on facebook on Saturday and got myself a job! 

The longer story: We are often at the soccer facility to watch Madeline play, and there's a Tim Horton's there, which we sometimes make use of.  Tim's doesn't have coffee sleeves, though, and I thought I would make myself one to keep in the diaper bag so we didn't have to get a double cup each time.  I ended up using it for the first time the other day, and posted a pic on Facebook, with the caption "First time using the rad little coffee sleeve I made. It's making me happy." and a friend asked if I could make her some to give as Christmas gifts.  I had been thinking of sewing more of them, but hadn't found time yet... I will post pictures here when they are done, and add them to the shop, too.  Here's a shot from the original photoshoot:

While Facebook and Twitter get their share of attention, my favorite place to share stuff is right here... and as soon as I am done wrapping gifts and baking, I will be back, showing and telling.  I do appreciate you being interested in our lives and in the stuff I post; thanks for coming along for the ride!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Our Favorite Muffins

According to the date stamp on this well used recipe, this has been a staple in our family since 2002.  Originally from this recipe on, I only modified to add chocolate chips.  I wanted to print out another copy of the recipe both to get a cleaner copy and to lay it out exactly the way I do it, so I thought I'd share it here with you!

Chocolate Chip Banana Crumb Muffins

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted

1 cup chocolate chips

1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter

In a medium bowl, mix together the first four ingredients.
Preheat oven to 375 and spray the muffin tin (or line with papers)
In a large bowl, mix together the second bunch of ingredients.
Mix dry and wet ingredients together and add chocolate chips.
Spoon batter into the muffin cups.
Prep topping by mixing the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl, then cutting in butter till crumbly.  Sprinkle topping on muffin batter.
Bake for 18 - 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.


Saturday, December 01, 2012


Madeline - Soccer is keeping us going 3 times a week or more; good exercise for her and she's really enjoying being on this team.  This weekend there is a tournament - she had a game at 6 last night (a blowout loss of 8-0!) then went off to youth at the church where they decorated for Christmas.  Today's first game was at 7 am (I'm still not fully awake) and they won 3-1.

Nolan - Clapping, waving, whistling, temper showing, 10 months old.  Loves to knock down towers, carry around Dad's lunch bucket, and play with water in the sink.  Eats his veggies well and loves meat; still eats pureed stuff / applesauce / yogurt, but loves finger food he can manipulate himself.

Scrapbook - I'm keeping Nolan's album up to date & am really loving the way it's turned out.  I have to decide if I want to keep going this way (Project Life style) since my original plan was to do this for his first year.  I may scale it back and do highlights of each month rather than each week - that would still be a treasure, and not ending up needing a whole new bookshelf.

Crafty McCrafterpants - I've had the sewing machine out and have 4 different projects on the go... the back to my big denim quilt, a new I spy quilt (found the free pattern here), bean bags (to use up beans from last year's thanksgiving decorating), and tag blankies (because I saw a great deal on ribbon on this site and thought I'd pick it up for my stash...).  Then there are always more magic bags to sew.  I'm thankful for that little sideline business!

Online Shopping! - I've ordered more stuff from online lately than I ever have before.  Scrapbook paper and ribbon and Christmas presents from Steal Network, fabric and Christmas presents from Etsy, and more Christmas presents from  So good to have a few things checked off already, and without having to do any car seat wrestling!

Weather - It's a winter wonderland here.  I heard the other day that we already have more snow here than we did all of last year. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Read it!

You can read that title as 'I read the book,' which I did, and also as 'you should read it,' because that's what I'm recommending.  I'll admit I wasn't sure where he was going with the first few chapters, but wow.  Gripping.

Thanks to Catherine Friesen for the suggestion!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Give a Book a Chance

I was in the middle of two books the other day.  One I had picked from the library because it was set in a different time and place, and we had just finished a great one like that for book club (Cutting for Stone).  It was interesting for the first couple of chapters, then got pretty tedious and strange, so I left it and started another one.  This one was recommended by a friend, so I was expecting a winner...  It, too, was a little hard to get into.  But because it was recommended, I thought I'd stick with it and see how it turns out; before I did, though, I went back to the first one, and give it a chance, too...  I finished that one, and am farther into the second - the first, while I would not highly recommend, did pull together somewhat satisfyingly.  The second is showing more promise - I'll wait till I finish it to declare it recommendable or not.

On a different level, we just got these winners from the library and I highly recommend them!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Influence of Parents: A Spiritual Treasure

Over the long weekend, M spent a night over at her Grandpa's.  She came home the next day with a treasure:  One of my old Bibles!  I guess at one point between moves we left some books there.  She had been going through the bookshelves and brought home Little Women and Jane Eyre, too; some good classics.

I took some photos of all my old Bibles with the set now complete (the one she brought was that second one) and got to thinking about what message they send... I think there's a few, but what impressed me most was about the influence parents have.  Those first three Bibles?  They all have my Mom's handwriting on the dedication page, with my name and the dates of when I was five years old, nine years old, and for my 15th birthday.  They went from the King James to the Children's Living Bible (easier to read), to the New American Standard Bible (best mix between readability and literal translation).  The fourth, the New Revised Standard Version, was new from Neil for our wedding, since the middle one saw me from 15 to 22, including four years of Bible school, and was falling apart, and the last one that I'm using now, is a TNIV (Today's New International Version), from Sean for our wedding, when we both got new ones (also because my old one was falling apart again...)

Parents and spouses - people in your life who should encourage your spiritual self; I'm so glad they did for me.  Thank you.

Madeline got a kick out of the spine that had fallen off and that was stuck as a bookmark in the text: "I will read 3 chapters and a Psalm every day and on Sunday 5 chapters and a Psalm..."  I read that Bible from when I was eight to when I was 15.  I wonder what she thought of that commitment?  I wonder if it made her think about her own commitment to read?  We try to encourage her to read first thing in the day, before she reads anything else just for fun, but you can't be legalistic about something like that.  I just hope and pray that God's Word becomes as important to her as it is to me.  As it always has been to me.

Pray with me, won't you, for our children, that they would have a love for God's Word, a desire to commit both to him and to the good habit of reading it?  I will pray for you as parents, that you would influence your children in a positive way and leave a legacy that lasts.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

That's Snow Fun!

Sunday we spent a good chunk out in the back yard, all bundled up.  Nolan didn't show much expression at all - just taking in another new experience.  Madeline tried to get him to make a snow angel, but he might be a little more playful later on...

His swing was piled high with snow, so we just plopped him on top - I think he enjoyed the ride!  That's a great snowsuit - both the hands and feet have flip over ends, so you can use boots and mitts, or just pop them over and let life be easy!  That's how we did it today - I pulled out the wagon and we walked up and down the front sidewalk for a while soaking up the sun.  He thought that was pretty ok.  I sent a photo to fb from my phone if you want another peek at him.

This is from this morning - he got a little cut on his thumb, not sure from what - a paper, maybe?  But there was a little blood so we washed him up (notice the wet jammies) and stuck a bandaid on it.  It kept him entertained for a good 15 minutes before he had it just about chewed right off, and by then it had stopped bleeding anyway.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thankful for...

Veterans and all those who have sacrificed so we can enjoy peace and freedom.
A day off with the family at home.
Hours playing and enjoying each other.
Bright fabrics.
Online shopping.
A win for M's soccer team.
Sleepovers at Grandpa's.
Brownies and cookies and desserts.
Pinterest and new ideas to try.
Small group friends.
A new niece arriving soon.
"Dada" and "Mama."

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Life in the Snow

Here's what I was looking at a moment ago - this is the view from my back door after two days of snow.  There was nothing on the ground when we woke yesterday, and now it feels like Christmas.

I got some great shots of Nolan and the Snow when it snowed earlier this week - that link will take you to see them on Facebook.

I'm feeling quilty these days.  I got a quilting book from the library yesterday, snagged on my way to check out my other books (I keep a list of recommended books on my phone, and found two - looks like some good reading this week!)  This sparked my interest and I started browsing fabric online...

 I tweeted to see where my friends buy fabric online and was sent to Etsy, which I forget has supply stuff like fabric - I always think of it as a 'finished product' marketplace - and I placed an order!  Ah, shopping online.  So great to get stuff in the mail!  I've ordered a few scrapbooking things lately, too.  I ordered from the Surly Sheep shop and got an email that it shipped today.  Can't wait!

Here's another favorite book lately:

We got it from Jamie, an old friend (and blog reader!).  It's been the before sleep story of the week - he always grins at the first picture of a cat and my meow no matter how tired he is.

Madeline has a soccer tournament this weekend, and Nolan and I made it to last night's game and will make it to tomorrow's, but had to miss both of today's.  We did go for lunch with the team and all the other parents, though - it's good to get to know some new people through that.

Well, there you have a slightly scrambled snapshot of life here right now. While N is sleeping and the others are still out, I'm going to go finish sewing up some magic bags and perhaps pull out some material and the quilt pattern I'm thinking of starting...  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

What is a Colon?

Mom:  "Madeline, you're not moving."  (She was supposed to be cleaning her room.)
M: "Yes I am!  My heart's beating, I'm breathing, and my colon's moving...  What is a colon?"

We made her look it up and read it out loud from the dictionary.  She had to read the word rectum, too!

Monday, October 29, 2012

She's so confused...

Madeline was sick Saturday night, and had a dozey Sunday.  She went to bed right after supper and came up at 8 pm.  She used the washroom, peered in the office at Sean and I, went back downstairs, then re-emerged a minute later.  "What time is it?" she asked.  "Eight o'clock," I answered, to which she said, "Monday?"

Poor kid was messed up - thought it was Monday morning and that she missed her bus and we hadn't woken her, but didn't know why Dad was still home...  Then she went back to bed and slept all night.  She's off to school today, and hopefully whatever was making her pukey is gone.

Nolan also had a weird Saturday night, an off Sunday and went to bed early.  In consequence, he was up at 5:30 this morning, ready to play and make noise.  After a whole weekend of messed sleeps, I kept him up as long as I could to try to get naps and nighttime back on track.  Sleep, glorious sleep, I miss you.  But truthfully, I am enjoying the boy at this age and will miss it when it's gone, so I will take the tiredness with it and will do my best to not let the lack of sleep affect my mood!

Happy Monday, everyone!  May you be healthy and may you enjoy your circumstances even if they are not what you'd call perfect.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Nolan at Nine Months

I've had a nine-month-old for a whole week now, and the biggest development is that HE'S WALKING!!!  Yes, an early stepper; takes after his dad, who according to my mother-in-law also walked at nine months.

I counted around 35 steps at the library the other day - they've got a great open space for him to cruise around in.  His balance is great, he can stop and go, and turn around... so fun to watch.

We had him dedicated at church this past Sunday.  I always find baby dedications to be a special time, since the congregation speaks out loud these words:

As your faith community, we support you as you bring this child of your love and the love of your Heavenly Father. As you commit your child and yourself to the Father, we commit ourselves to you, to support, to encourage, to pray and to take an active part in the nurturing of this young life. As God is our witness, we receive this child in love, and promise to be unto your child, father, mother, brother, sister and friend.

It is one way that you can practically feel the ties between us growing and strengthening.  A great picture of church, and a great reassurance that we are not alone in our desire for this boy to grow up with a heart for Jesus.

We are so thankful that our parents could be there as well as a few of his aunts, uncles, and cousins, and that they could all spend the day with us.

Book Club List 2012/13

Book Club - catching up with friends, eating well and laughing about the trend of the table (this month, cheese), passing around the latest baby, and of course, talking books.  We all enjoyed and recommend Cutting for Stone, and I thought I'd share our list for this year in case you are looking for suggestions of something to read:
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald
Postcards Never Written by Janita Van De Velde
Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
The Hotel on the Corner of Better and Sweet By Jamie Ford
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Bel Canto by Ann Pachett
Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Divergent by Veronica Roth


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Praying Police

I read an article this morning about Winnipeg's new Chief of Police, and his advice to citizens to pray for a safer city.  It of course included criticism, and because it was online, had a host of comments, some for and more mocking.

Read the article here.

My two cents?   He says his faith is part of who he is, and can't be separated from his job.  So the people who named him to this crucial role of chief would already know this and understand that it helps or at least does not hinder his ability to do the job.  I don't know any background other than what I read in the article, but I think it's great to see an unashamed Christian in such a position of authority.  Good job, Winnipeg.

Friday, October 12, 2012

I Could Tell You

I want to update my blog, but I have nothing to say.  That's what I just told Sean.

I could tell you about Nolan - he's into the kitchen cupboards these days and tonight bit through a K-cup for the first time.  He also shut his little finger in the cupboard door tonight, for the first time.  He's napping less and sleeping not as great at night these last few days.  Sigh.  He went 3 nights of sleeping right through, and we're hoping those come back soon.  He got two teeth on Monday - that makes 8.  We've got his dedication service planned at church for October 21, and are looking forward to having family join us for that.

I could tell you about Madeline - she's really enjoying this new soccer experience.  Three practices and one game so far, and she comes home with a red face and a smile.  She's off bowling with the youth group tonight, has a haircut booked for tomorrow morning and a soccer game in the afternoon.

I could tell you that balancing life is better some days than others, but I have pretty realistic expectations of myself, so I don't feel behind.  Today I wanted to clean the bathroom and change the bedsheets and got both done!  Plus managed a workout and shower during morning nap.  A successful day before noon even.  Today was P90X, Wednesday was Tae Bo.  I try to get to the Y for a weekly swim class with Nolan but skipped this week.  I was reading up on sleep issues for Nolan and read how routine is not only important for babies (makes for better naps which makes for better nights), it's also important for the mommies...  Which of course is true - if you schedule in the things that are priorities for you, you will end up doing more of that and less stuff that is less important.  So I thought through my week and our daily schedule - basically I'm going to try to accomplish my workouts and chore stuff in the morning; some while he's with me and some while he's napping.  His afternoon nap will be for quieter chores or reading or napping - recharging myself for the rest of the day.  It won't be too much different than it has been, but I'm going to focus on his naps again for him, and focus on getting in more exercise for me. 

I could tell you that Compassion's Blog Month in September was a success:  "Thanks to you 3,159 children were sponsored online in the month of September. We exceeded our goal of 3,108 children by the not so insignificant number of 51 additional lives"! 

I could tell you that Cutting for Stone was a very good book.  It is our book club read this month and I finished it up last night.  Sad to have it end, but good to know how it all resolves, you know?  That may have had something to do with why today was so productive.  Maybe.

I guess I found a few things I could tell you.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Happy Birthday, Jess!

It's my little sister's birthday today, so I'm sharing a few old photos - hooray for the 70's!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Surviving... and Enjoying

Two days ago was really rough.  Not enough sleep made for a day that took a lot more effort on my part!  I'm glad for the friend that called out of the blue and came over for tea.  Thanks, I needed that.

Yesterday was great all day long - we had two productive outings, and the time at home wasn't spent trying to keep Nolan out of places he shouldn't go.  Until the evening.  We really need a baby gate or two...

Today has been up and down a few times already.   Funny how diapering a baby can be the most frustrating part of your day - he flipped over INTO the poop and smeared it all over making his getaway.  I just put him down for a nap and wanted to post a few photos for you before I go grab some ZZZ's myself. 

Oh, and...        ***Happy Birthday, Mom!!***


I had a few minutes of creativity last week - made some cards for my mom's birthday (with the 'medal'), my sister's birthday (green), and for some friends to celebrate their baby boy (blue).

Thursday, September 27, 2012

At the Moment...

Celebrating... my man's birthday.  He's caught up to me again, for the next 5 1/2 months.

Watching... comments roll in on the little album I posted on Facebook of Nolan.

Loving... the weather this week.  Warm temps, no wind, colored leaves still on the trees, sunshine...

Excitement... went for a cruise in Sean's new ride - he bought a red  97 Cobra Convertible Mustang this week.  We went out after Nolan went to sleep, and left M in charge.  So nice to have that option!  I know most people with babies can't just leave like that, so we appreciate the flexibility she gives us.

Glad... to have Sean back home after being sequestered away on jury duty.  He was at the trial all last week, but was able to come home nights, and we had some nice lunch dates downtown, too.  Monday morning till Tuesday supper they were locked away - felt long.  Felt way longer for him!  He said it was an experience everyone should have.

Looking forward to... soccer season.  Madeline is playing city league this year, which is a big step up from the community association league she has been in.  The preliminary emails have been rolling in, and it should be starting soon.

Wondering... church small groups will be starting soon.  We've said we'll host, so we're wondering who our group will end up including.

Tasting... a nice little treat Sean whipped up.  He had birthday cake at work today, so tomorrow we'll be having DQ ice cream cupcakes (did you know they had such a thing?) and going to the Keg to celebrate on Saturday.  Those should both be tasty, too.

Feeling... lots of little aches and pains.  Nolan is almost 22 lbs, but is still a baby that needs a lot of carrying.  I did get in a long walk yesterday, a good stretch this morning, and a workout in the pool this afternoon (Fit for Two at the Y downtown).  Those all help.  I should do them all more often!

Going... to bed now.  Looking forward to another night without getting up with Nolan!  He's only done one night where we haven't heard a peep from bedtime at 7:30 to 7 am, but most nights this past week he's only woken once and cried just for a minute or two before soothing himself back to sleep.  The last 2 days he's gotten up at 6:15 and 6, though - I'm ready for those 7 am's again!!  Sleep is such a good thing.  We all are enjoying this new phase, and are thankful that training him for this only took a week or so.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Compassion on Pinterest

I'd like to introduce you to our 'other' two kids.

On the left is Damian - he lives way down in the south of Mexico.  On the right is Salomey - she lives in Ghana.  We got this frame with their pictures as a gift from Compassion Canada a few years ago, to celebrate 10 years of sponsorship.

Part of what I did for Compassion's Blog Month was make a new Pinterest board just for Compassion stuff.  Come by and see the stuff I've pinned there!  I wanted to post this shot on there to show how we display our kid's pictures; I would be curious to see how other people display theirs.  

Where do you keep your sponsored kids photos?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Nolan's 8th Month

Just a few shots, as promised, of our favorite little man:

Loves playing the piano.

Seeing M off on the first day of school.

Granny & Papa came to visit!

Bowl and spoon drumming.