Friday, March 29, 2013

Interesting Links

Have you ever heard of yarn bombing?  I saw this done once in a tree in front of our favorite candy store, but didn't realize it was such a big movement...

You don't have to be on Twitter to check out the tweets from Chris Hadfield; he's the new (Canadian!) commander of the International Space Station and posts lots of photos of Earth from orbit and interesting information about what it's like to be an astronaut - all the daily bits I've never thought about.

Quick Vegetable Side Dish Recipes - 91 of them!  I saw this on Pinterest & just went through them all and saved a bunch to my meal planner.  Nice to be inspired and get alternates to the usual veggies we have in rotation around here.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The One About M.

Part of why I blog is to keep our family and friends who don't live close by up to date with our family.  The last year or so M has gotten less press than her little brother; to be fair, he is growing quicker and there is more to report.  But we do have two children, and I know there's a lot of love out there for the older one.  So today is Maddy Day!

A note on her name: I named her Madeline, I call her Madeline.  (And when I write, it's usually just M.)  Most other people call her Maddy, which started in grade 4 when there was a Madeleine (Mad-len) in her class.  My beautiful girl is 13, in grade 8, and the first thing you would notice is her beautiful smile.  Or maybe her loud antics, if she was with her friends.  Or maybe that she's 5'11.  Whatever you notice, she's no wallflower.

This was her first year playing soccer with ACFC, one of the 4 clubs in the Regina Soccer Association.  We've always played community soccer before, indoor and out, but with two weekly games and no practices, mostly arm-twisted parent coaches, and very little instruction, combined with M's growing love for the game and desire to take it further, we decided to try out this other league.  It was definitely worth the money, as she was on a team with girls that all got along, and with an experienced coach with the right balance between letting them enjoy themselves and working them hard to see growth in skills.  Hopefully most of the girls will be back together for the outdoor season.

Basketball is her other main sport at this point.  Last year their team won nothing, and this year I think they might have been undefeated.  I overheard the coach saying it was tough because they don't fit well into either of the leagues, but being in this one with smaller schools and having a winning season sure was great for M's confidence as a player!  It was great to watch the games and see her score so many points.  She has developed a lot since grade 6, and I'm pretty proud of the great team player and leader she's become.

Sports are just a part of my girl - I think she'd rather be singing than doing anything else, and has a brain that is a trap for artists and lyrics and tunes... very NOT like her mother.  She does not like taking piano lessons, but we are enforcing that for now as we know it will benefit her in the long run, and really, the 20 minutes of practicing in the morning before she gets on the bus will help in whatever music she pursues in the future.

She has one great friend, Julia, and a whole crew of others that are mostly great but who sometimes prove they are more fickle than faithful.

She would much rather shovel snow than rake leaves, and was trying to bargain with me just yesterday that in the fall, she will watch Nolan while I rake...

This summer she will likely do basketball and soccer camps at the University, as well as going to camp out at Katepwa Lake - can't miss that!  She'll also be going on a ministry trip for the first time with the youth from church, and is pretty excited about that.  Combined with going camping, to family camp and to Winnipeg for a week, she's got a fun summer lined up.

And there's a snapshot of our M for you. :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cards for Sale & Quilty Coffee Cozies

Holly:  Do you sell thank you cards?
Me: I never have, but there's a first time for everything!  How many?

It's always nice to have an excuse to make stuff!

I also did a little sewing this weekend with this great pack I picked up.  If I don't find somewhere to sell them retail, there's always something that comes up (like the Maranatha Women's Wellness Day?), so I'm happy to have a stash on hand.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

More about Nolan

He is disinclined to eat 'baby food' any more and waves his hands back and forth to say no while scrunching up his face.  That's to the boxed powdered cereals that I mix with the veggies I had pureed.  His yogurt and applesauces are still enjoyed, and for the most part he just eats what we're eating.  We never know until we sit down though what he will eat or not.  He likes perogies and sausages, but not the chicken out of the chicken pot pie last night.

Did I mention that he climbs?  Up on the rocking chair in his room and the dress up treasure chest, on the coffee table, and now, on the toilet, from which he can reach and turn on the (thankfully cold) tap.  He can now get on the couches, too.  He can get down from everything pretty good, too, even off our bed.  He has been climbing on and over his exersaucer, too; it's one that transforms into a play table when they outgrow the seat, but I think it's not quite up to his brand of abuse & will have to be retired soon.

He doesn't talk too much, but sometimes his mimicking is pretty understandable: "Where is it?"  We're still waiting for "Madeline"...  These last few days he's been saying "No, no, no" and "doe doe doe" - fun new sounds.  We don't say no a lot (more like 'please don't touch'), so I don't think he means no; sometimes he gets it in at the right time, though, and makes us laugh.

He can get more shapes in his shape sorter every time we get it out - the hand eye coordination and determination are progressing!

Enjoying a bowl of snow!
One of his favorite ways to play is to run around the basement with a sheet over his head.  He's done this with the twister game sheet and a bed sheet; most recently with a crib sheet he stole while I was folding laundry in the basement while he played.  It's so bizarre that he has no fear running and not being able to see...  We love the laughs it produces, though, and between the two of us keep him from running into things.

He's a snuggler, and I believe it's the highlight of all our days when he tucks his head in our necks for a cozy hug.  He's also quite attached, and if I have to go to an appointment, Sean needs to come along or else it doesn't go well... (Very sorry, Carla, for putting you through the screaming at the eye doctors.)  He does love his Daddy, and he very often prefers to be with him when he's home.

He loves being out in the snow, walking and tasting, and loves eating icicles.  So not his mama's boy in this temperature issue - he won't touch a warmed up magic bag, but he'll hold onto an icicle until he's eaten the whole thing and his hand is red.  Craziness.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Like Reading It for the First Time

Nolan's Bible story the other morning had me in tears.

It was about Abraham being asked to sacrifice Isaac, and Sally Lloyd-Jones, the author of the Jesus Storybook Bible that Nolan got from Granny & Papa when he was dedicated, tells it so well.  The whole Bible, in whatever translation you read it, points to Jesus all the way through, but it's not always so obvious.  This book is written with every story clearly pointing to Jesus.

But this one: "Many years later, another Son would climb another hill, carrying wood on his back.  Like Isaac, He would trust his Father and do what his Father asked.  He wouldn't struggle or run away..." choked me up.


Last week I started reading to the kids at breakfast again; I used to read the Bible to M before N was born, but we got out of the habit when we added his needs in the morning.  Now, though, he is old enough (sort of!) to sit and listen / play without interrupting, so we are back at it.  I've decided that we will read from this Jesus Storybook Bible, and we weren't even half a page in, on the first day, before M's 13 year old eyes lit up in an 'Oh - that makes sense!' look.  (Passover explained: "God told his people to take their best lamb, to kill it and to put some of its blood on their front doors.  "When God passes over your house," Moses explained, "God will see the blood and know that the lamb died instead of you."")

It's gold.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Shop Update

Just a peek at the new magic bag covers I've got; my fabric store had a couple of sales recently, so I added these:

and these:

to these:

(I added the numbers for ease of ordering; you can find all the details if you click the shop tab above.)


It looks like my coffee cozies may have found a retail outlet, and I haven't even started looking yet!  Carla was using hers today when she went to the museum (she is their bookkeeper), and the gift shop owner, who already sells my magic bags, asked her where she got it.  She's interested - after inventory is done! - so I have a few weeks to build up a stash of those as well.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Creative Outlets

I like to make things.

Lately, I have made two albums for the grandparents of Nolan's first year, using the pictures from this post.  They were very simple homemade 6x6 albums, chipboard covers and colored cardstock to match the photos.  I printed the age for each picture and cut it out with a circle punch, and bound it all with two rings.  Simple, but I really like how they turned out. 

I also made a little Valentine book for Sean:

The front one was the one I made last year, and is filled with random stuff; the one in back is this year's Valentine, and is filled with unused note pages and address book pages from the back of an old planner.  I'm in an online small group based out of the (in)courage website; we meet on Facebook and it has been a good encouragement this year, actually.  (They have lots of groups with different focus areas; the one I'm in is geared for those of us who are just balancing and building the marriage and parenting relationships.)  Back in November we did a month of jotting down one thing a day that we were thankful for our husbands for - I wrote them in my journal and made a point of letting him know I was thankful for stuff, but for the Valentine I wrote out all 30 things in one place for him.

And I dug out the new I Spy quilt and started sewing again.  I found this free pattern online - maybe you want to make one, too??  I've got the main middle part with all the patterns done; next is to do the border pieces.  I adapted it... meaning you were supposed to cut a certain amount, arrange them into 5 rows of 10, and you would have 5 pieces left over...  My counter is wide enough for 4 rows, so I arranged them, cut 4 more to make the ends flush, and have 4 rows of 14.  It's not wrong - just adapted!  Ha.  I will be able to adapt the rest to make it work, so no stress.

It will come out again once I've got a good stash of magic bags built up.  My friend Lori took hers to work last week when it was so cold and ended up selling a ton of them for me.  I only had a small stash, so I've been sewing all week to keep up with the orders she has coming in.  She posted a note on their bulletin board and has been 'making new friends' all week!  I like how they sort of sell themselves.

If you've got a crafty streak, I hope you find time this weekend to play and make something!