Archive for December, 2008

Thriving On Less

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

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Every now and then I read some articles on zenhabits.net. The writer, Leo, has a lot of really great, practical advice for simplifying life, being frugal, and making time (and room!) for what’s important in your life. He recently published a free eBook, Thriving On Less. It’s only about 20 pages and is full of tips that make so much sense that a person just needs to be reminded of now and then. I recommend you read it to help you focus on what’s important to you as we head into a new year. “The first step in simplifying, and living with less, is to identify the essential – that which you want to keep in your life. Then eliminate as much of the non-essential as possible.” He suggests making a short list of 4-5 things that you value most – these are your essentials. For me it was growing my relationship with God, time with family, managing our home well, photography, and being physically well. Then you can start simplifying your life based on your essentials. Start clearing away the things that are not important to you to make room and time for the things that are important. It’s such a *duh* simple thing really, but sometimes it takes hearing it to realize how important it is. Download the book here and check out what else he has to say :)

My exciting new toys!

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Of course I know that Christmas isn’t about presents, but I got some very exciting gifts this year and I wanted to tell you about them!

From my hubby I got….
cannons
A new CD by Phil Wickham, he is amazing. Totally my style, sort of Brit-rock-ish, but he’s not British. Very worshipful music, I highly recommend it!

cookbook
A new cookbook that is FULL of incredible looking recipes and loads of hints and tips. Very exciting!!

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And a new lens for my camera! It’s a 50mm f/1.8AF which means the aperture can go as large as 1.8 creating a gorgeous depth of field. Can’t wait to do some more shooting with it, along with something I bought with some Christmas money from my parents and in-laws…

speedlight
A speedlight! This thing makes SUCH an incredible difference in my photos! Now I have no excuse to not be taking more pictures!

I also spent some Christmas money on…krzr
a red krzr! I finally have my red phone! I couldn’t care less that it can play music, am somewhat thankful that it has a camera, but I just love the fact that it is skinny, flips, and is RED :)

And last, and most insane…. let me preface this by saying last year Clay got a MacBook Pro as a Christmas bonus from his boss (yes, we love this man, and for much more than this gifts!) and this year he got a generous bonus again so Clay wanted to spend it on another (used) MacBook Pro so that he could take one to the office to make work easier and I could have one at home, for my very own. WOW!
macbook_pro

And I still have money leftover to go buy shoes, get a pedicure, and who knows what else! I am overwhelmed by the generousity of those around me, I received more than I ever, EVER expected!

Clay

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

I got this from Janelle’s blog and thought it would be fun to share a little about my man with you all.

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1. He’s sitting in front of the television, what is on the screen?
Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill Church in Seattle. We rarely watch TV anymore, it’s much more entertaining – not to mention edifying – to watch sermon vodcasts after the boys are in bed. I love how Clay’s love for Jesus and the Word of God has multiplied from hearing Pastor Mark’s solid Bible teaching!

2. You’re out to eat what kind of dressing does he get on his salad?
Sundried Tomato and Oregano. There is no other.

3. What’s one food he doesn’t like?
He’s choosy about seafood, but who wouldn’t be? The stuff is suspect no matter where you get it here on the prairies!

4. You go out to a bar, what does he order?
We wouldn’t go to a bar, but at a pub he’d order a Guinness.

5. Where did he go to high school?
J. Percy Paige in Edmonton.

6. What shoe size does he wear?
11

7. If he was to collect anything what would it be?
He has a collection of hockey jerseys but thankfully hasn’t insisted on continuing to add to the collection like he did before we got married. I’m glad he thinks a warm house and food in our tummies are more important!

8. What is his favorite type of sandwich?
Jerk Chicken Burger from The Yard & Flagon.

9. What would he eat every day if he could?
Ground beef. He says he’d eat it plain and would still be the happiest man alive. Oh boy.

10. What is his favorite cereal?
Honey Nut Cheerios, or this PC granola that I can’t remember the name of. Don’t worry, I know what the box looks like.

11. What would he never wear?
Pink anything.

cutout

12. What is his favorite sports team?
Edmonton Oilers.

13. Who did he vote for?
Conservatives.

14. Who is his best friend?
Me.

15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn’t do?
Pull out my eyelashes. I rarely do anymore, partly because I know I shouldn’t and partly because Clay catches me everytime and gives me the gears! :)

16. How many provinces has he lived in?
Two – Saskatchewan and Alberta.

17. What is his heritage?
German and Mennonite.

18. You bake him a cake for his birthday what would it be?
Apple pie. Or any cake with a lot of whipped cream. Just NO ice cream cake!

19. Did he play sports in high school?
Hockey and he also did kung fu. Don’t mess with him!

20. What could he spend hours doing?
Playing with Markus and Wyatt, shooting and editing video, and eating my apple pie.

firetruck

21. What’s something cool about him?
My husband a can write code better than your husband! :)
He drives a classic convertible (well, one day it will be a classic. It’s almost 20 years old already!)
He cooks on weekends – yaaaaaay Clay!

22. What’s something not cool about him?
His love of ground beef :) I am not so keen on cooking the stuff on good days, and when I’m pregnant, forget it! Sorry honey!

So that’s a little bit about my amazing husband. The Lord picked the perfect man for me!

A First Time For Everything.

Friday, December 19th, 2008

Markus is going to be three in March, and I can’t believe that today will be the first time we have ever left our boys with a babysitter that isn’t family. We are so blessed to have my parents nearby who are more than willing to watch our boys for us almost every time we ask. But tonight is Clay’s work Christmas party and I always feel a little bad asking Mom and Dad to be over so late, I know how early they like to hit the hay :) So we decided to have a babysitter. I’ve spent the last day making a list of every detail she might care to know about. I feel so under prepared and at the same time I’m sure I’m over prepared. Have to make sure I have all the bases covered! Oh man, I’m such a worry wart. They’ll do fine, right?

I’ll just keep telling myself that.

The Verdict

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

Now that I know what’s going on I can breathe a sigh of relief and disappointment and share my story with you all. Two weeks ago I had a doctor’s appointment and she was checking my tummy and said, “What is that fundus doing way up there?” (For those of you who don’t know, the height of the fundus is just a weird way of saying how high your uterus is). Umm, I don’t know? She figured I was measuring bigger than I should have been for how far along I was and wanted me to get an early ultrasound to make sure my due date was correct and find out how many babies I was having. Ack! So at first, the earliest I could get in for an u/s was December 31. Are you kidding me?? There’s no way I could wait that long to know if I was having twins, so I kept bugging them and got bumped up to today. And the answer is……one baby. One healthy baby. We are disappointed and relieved. I know I am not alone in thinking it would be so cool to have twins but know the reality of it would be quite a rude awakening and now that I know that I am only having one I feel like it will be a breeze, haha! Only one baby: that means I’ll get 3 hours of sleep instead of 1, and I’ll actually be able to (barely) pack all my kids into my van to go places without my husband while he’s at work :) So we wait with anticipation for the arrival of our tiny treasure in June, perhaps July since my kids seem to always be late.

More exciting news: Clay’s cousin and his wife had a baby girl this morning! So happy for Cas and Lindsay and can’t wait to meet baby Ivria!!

comments on my blog

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Ok everyone, Clay thinks the problem with some of your comments not posting properly is that the blog program I use screws up when you use an apostrophe. Apparently apostrophes wreak havoc for computer programmers. Go figure! He’s going to fix it sometime but until then, just write very properly without contractions and you should be okay :)

For the holidays, you can’t beat home sweet home!

Monday, December 15th, 2008

A few shots of what makes my home cozy at Christmas…

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Markus decorating the tree.

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Wyatt handing out ornaments.

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Me trimming the tree.

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Robert Goulet Christmas. We bought this CD as a joke and now we listen to it every year as we decorate the tree :)

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Beautiful ornaments, I love, love, love those stars (from TTV :).

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The top of my piano.

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One of my beautiful nativities from Ten Thousand Villages, made in Peru. It just seems is peaceful and serene to me.

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Another TTV nativity, this one from Cameroon. We got this as a wedding gift from my siblings and I love the shape of the figures and the fact that it is just so non-traditional and a taste of Africa, a place I would love to go back to someday.

can-tree.jpg

The candleholder I mentioned in my previous post, got this as a gift from my friend Janelle a few Christmases ago and absolutely love it. (TTV! Can you tell I love that store?)

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Another shot of my candle tree.

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Last but not least, the pointsettia my dear hubby brought home for me the other day :)

It’s COLD!!

Monday, December 15th, 2008

I know I should not be surprised that winter is cold when I live where I do – and I guess I’m really not surprised but somehow it always takes me aback when the first cold snap hits. It really is delightful though, to sit inside my warm house, look out my frosty windows to the snow covered yard and streets, drink my mocha, and revel in the silence that is naptime as my favourite candleholder glows next to me. (I’ll be sure to post a picture of it soon, it’s too awesome not to share it with you). I am so thankful today for electricity and a furnace that keeps my family and I warm, as we dealt with another power outage last night in -30 degree temperatures. Praise for the Lord for his faithfulness to care for us in every circumstance! We had quaint Sunday School Christmas program at church last night with the power out and candles glowing everywhere, as the children were dressed in their gaudy costumes and recited scripture, we were told again the incredible story of our Savior’s arrival into our world. How sweet to behold my eldest son, whining as he was, on the stage with the other kids in his first Christmas program wearing his donkey ears, refusing to sing Away In A Manger even though he knows all the words and can drum in time to the song. He’s just too cute! (Sorry, no pics). And the newborn babe up there with her mommy and daddy was so precious. I love tradition and I’m so excited for my boys to begin to take in all the things that I delighted in as a child. It’s so fun to be able to start family traditions of our own this year.

On Saturday we hoped to take the boys to the Enchanted Forest for the first time. I was so looking forward to hearing Wyatt exclaim, “Yights!!” every five seconds as we drove through, and Markus would probably have said something like, “Look at THOSE lights, THAT’s Cool!” But our plans changed slightly when we locked our keys in the van at McDonald’s and had to wait an hour for a tow truck to get us back in, haha. Hopefully we’ll do it this week sometime.

Coffee….mmmm…..coffeeeeee…….

Friday, December 5th, 2008

blogcoffee.jpg
I usually love coffee but for at least the past month I could barely stand the smell of it long enough to make a pot for Clay in the morning. The thought of actually drinking any was…well, let’s just say it was not appealing! I could drink fussy drinks (like a half decaf, half sweet, extra hot, peppermint white mocha from Starbucks – my signature drink!) because it was more about sugar than it was about coffee. But this morning, as I put a pot on for my love to take to work it just smelled so good that I thought I had to give it a try. Mmm, so glad I did. I’m back in the saddle. Woohoo! (this is not a recent pic, my hair’s much different now but not looking good enough to take a picture at the moment!)

p.s. Sorry to anyone who’s been trying to leave comments and haven’t had it work for you. I don’t know what the issue is but I’ll have hubby look into it again and see what we can do.

Much left to do

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

The ones in bold are the ones I have done.

1. Started your own blog (obviously)
2. Slept under the stars (at a Shell station in South Africa)
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis (in a bug catcher)
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped(The world’s highest!)
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon (maybe one day!)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse (of the heart!….I had to throw that in)
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (not exactly sure where that is)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa (Must go back!)
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight (One of the most enchanted moments of my life)
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (Snorkel)
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to the drive in
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Guide Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter (someday)
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (I’ve got a few stashed away)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Post this on your blog and tell me what you’ve done!

I never…eat the red ones last.

Monday, December 1st, 2008

I am… a child of God, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, maybe foe, student, teacher, and a major homebody.

I want… a good espresso machine.

I have… been richly blessed. I’m in awe of the fact that I’m not yet 25 and we are debt free.

I wish… our house would sell so we could move back to Saskatoon.

I know… God has everything under control and I’m trusting his plan and timing.

I hate… the politically correct “holiday season”. It’s CHRISTMAS and it’s about JESUS.

I search… for everything these days since my brain went AWOL.

I always… need to have the dishes washed before I can go to bed.

I usually…wait for movies to come out on DVD before I watch them. I think I’ve been to the theatre twice in the past two and a half years.

I am not… able to walk past Starbucks without walking in and buying something delicious.

I miss… the people and places of South Africa.

I love… Jesus.

I never… eat the red ones last.

I rarely… text.

I cry… when I’m sad, happy, frustrated, overwhelmed. Usually any cry except a depressed one makes you feel better and I’m thankful to not have had one of those in a long time.

I lose… sometimes. And I’m okay with that now.

I am confused… about nothing in particular.

I worry… sometimes, about being a good mom.

I dream… of traveling the world with Clay someday.