Thursday, October 30, 2014

God's Wisdom

I just finished reading the book of Job.  Job and his three friends have finished their speeches, and then Elihu speaks up - a 'young punk' who waited until his elders had had their say (very polite of him); but his speech goes on and on for pages, saying basically, "I'm right - listen to me!"

I found myself scoffing a bit... what a fool.  But then I remembered that we are are on the outside of the story.  We know what has happened behind the scenes and we know what comes next.  We know his is wrong.  Being quick to judge him means that I am just like him...

And that got me thinking - Am I quick to judge and quick to speak?  When others have a disagreement, do I itch to step in and correct?  Yes, sometimes.

What's better? I need to pray for understanding for those involved, and recognize that it may not be my issue to interfere in.  Pray for respect and good clear communication between them - not necessarily from me.

I need to let God's wisdom rule, not mine.  Like we learn in Job, His wisdom in infinitely bigger.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Miss M

A few friends and I have a scrapbooking retreat that we like to get away to, and it's coming up this weekend.  Yay!

While I was getting a few things ready, I found these photos and the papers to go with them all ready to put together.  I would have prepped them at our April retreat, and haven't scrapbooked since then!  So I pulled out the cutter, tape, a few embellishments, and here they are!  Felt good.  Maybe I won't wait six months after this retreat to pull stuff out again.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Importance of an Encouraging Word

**NOTE** I first published this last weekend while in Winnipeg for Thanksgiving, using the new iPad mini we got when we switched banks, and somehow it published to an old church blog I wrote while working at Westhill, instead of this one.  I just noticed now when I published the Anniversary post and saw that it come up all wrong.  Oops!  Sorry for the blog silence!!  

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An intentional pause, thought, and putting pen to paper... You can never tell the results that will come of making an effort to send that note, but I'm pretty sure that the effort is never a waste.

I was chatting with a friend the other day and she was talking about her daughter's upcoming birthday and how she thought she might ask a few friends to write her notes of encouragement or blessing. Count me in - I love writing, letters, encouraging others - and I wondered, as I sat with my Bible picking verses for this friend, why don't I do this more often?

My kid had a rough time this week, and in the mail one day came a card full of love and encouragement - a real help and support.

So my goal is to try to notice who might need encouragement, and to carve out time to make that happen. 

Is there anyone you can think of that could use a bit of lifting up? Don't let the opportunity pass!

Happy Anniversary Alice&Victor!

I started my shop - Alice&Victor - on Etsy one year ago, and wanted to celebrate with a sale.  For you, my loyal blog readers, I am giving 20% off everything, for one whole week!  Use the coupon code BLOGREADER anytime between now and next Friday night at midnight.  It's a way to celebrate my one year of running my shop, but also a way to say thank you to you who have been with me here on my blog, even in the slower writing months of having a toddler who doesn't nap.

I appreciate you!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Shop Update: A New Product!!

I launched a new product in my shop last week.  Years ago I sewed us a bag to fit a score pad & pen, a deck of cards, and our dice.  It's been so handy to grab when we want to play something at home, and we throw it in whenever we go camping or on a road trip; nice to have it all together and ready to go.  One thing I love about it is having a long term record in the score pad notebook - I love looking back at who played what when, and who won!  I thought of making some for Christmas gifts last year, and did make and give one, but thought they would be great to make for the shop, too.  I've got two finished and listed, and plan to have a bunch more available soon.

The fabric I used for those bags was leftover from a big project I did for my friend Holly.  She is a teacher, and is using tables instead of desks in her classroom.  She asked if I would make her 30 seat sacks - pockets that fit over the backs of the chairs to hold the student's books.

So that's what September has looked like from my sewing machine's point of view!  I've also been trying to build up a good stash of stock - the more you have in your shop the better you fare in search results, and also I am doing a sale in a couple of months, and want a good selection of each product for my table there.

Friday, September 26, 2014

It's the weekend!!

Nolan dropped his nap this summer, and while I am mostly fine with that, there are a few things that I used to do in those wonderful hours that I can't find much time for these days...  Blogging is one of them. :(  But it's Friday night and I will stay up late so I can say hello and stay connected.

Tomorrow is Sean's birthday, and today he took the day off, to get a long weekend and much needed break. There is still much to be done at the shop, and he and Madeline are going in tomorrow morning to do a little painting, but progress is for sure being made.  Tomorrow Nolan has swimming lessons in the morning, Madeline has soccer evaluations in the afternoon, and then she's babysitting in the evening, so today was a great relaxing day to celebrate - we drove out to Moose Jaw for a soak at the spa and then went out for brunch.  When we got back to the city we did a little shopping and got most of our gear for sledding this winter; it was 28* out and we were trying on heavy winter coats and boots...  Then we went to a new restaurant for a birthday supper.  A good day.

Nolan started his second ever set of swimming lessons last week - Sea Turtle! - and had a great time.  Today at the spa  I asked him if he wanted to go under and he was all for it, and kept jumping in to me off the in-pool seats, going under the water and growing up before my eyes.  Wow.

One new thing I've picked up this fall is a babysitting job.  It's temporary and a favour to my friend as she waits for her parents house to sell - once they move here, Grandma will get the kiddos for the one day a week that my friend has gone back to work.  These are my three buddies: Nolan is between the two boys in age, and he has a fine time spending the day at their place every day three.

The other things that's a big deal with us right now is working out.  We've decided we needed to get back in shape, and can't just ease into that.  No, we have to go hard core and do P90X again.  Last time we did that was just before I got pregnant with Nolan... and I haven't done much since. Ha.  But since we did it in 2011, there have been new versions that have come out, and we are doing P90X3 this time around.  It's only 30 minutes.  So good.  Not 60 or 90 like the last one.  We've been at it 3 weeks and already see some results.  Working out like that helps motivate healthy eating, too - we've tried to get into some better habits.  Working out after Nolan falls asleep at 9, then showering and right to sleep doesn't leave much time for evening snacking, that's for sure!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

September Firsts

Featuring the lovely Miss M... First day of grade 10.

First school soccer game...  She had evaluations for city soccer yesterday, too - that should start up right after the school season ends. 

And just for fun, a shot from 10 years ago.

Happy Sunday, all.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Hot and Cold in the Bedroom

Nope, nothing sexy in this post.  Just a few temperature stories...

Yesterday morning we woke up to a furnace malfunction - it was 29 degrees in the house.  Even Madeline in the basement woke up at 6 am in a sweat.  It's a new furnace and under warranty still, and they came and fixed it pretty quick, but it got up to 30 before we got the breaker turned off to kill the hot air flow.  Batteries weakening in the thermostat?  Causes some havoc.  Have to change up those babies every 6 months like the smoke detectors, I guess.

Nolan gave up his nap this summer, but was sleeping in till 9, so managed fine until bedtime.  This week he woke up at 7:30, then 7... and needed a nap to get through.  I thought maybe it was the temperature, and now that it's cooler in the mornings it was causing him to wake earlier.  But then the hot-house morning he woke early, too, so... not the correlation I thought.  It's evened out the last couple of days - he wakes up at 8 am and falls asleep at 8:30.  Those are some pretty good hours.  Especially that earlier bedtime, since Sean and I are doing P90X3 starting Monday!!

Lastly, in the spring we were looking for a lightweight bed cover to replace our winter duvet, and Sean had the bright idea to just use the duvet cover without the duvet - does anyone else do this?  It's brilliant!  The perfect weight for summer, and you don't have to change up all your colors.  Not that we would anyway...

Have a great perfect-temperature night!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cousins, A Wedding, A Move, and Elk

We've packed a lot into these last few weeks of summer.  Nolan and I went to a little 'beach' just outside of town with some friends - a perfect little spot for the little ones.

Remember that time I took Nolan on a bus adventure downtown?  We did that again, but with the whole family.  This is us on the bus... goofy.

There was a wedding in the family last weekend, so we had a full week of visiting with out of town relatives and playing with cousins.  This was the little family shower, getting pedicures.  I'm on the right, and going clockwise, there is Theresa, the bride, Ana, in from Portugal, Colleen, mother of the bride, Laura, cousin from Portugal, Carla, and Madeline. 

Here is a rare shot of all the cousins together.

And on the big day!  Madeline with her Auntie Carla, Uncle Warren and new Aunt Theresa, and Uncle Ian.  The wedding was out at Lumsden Beach, and during the reception Nolan and I got in a good hike in and around the cottages.  I shouldn't have worn heels.

To add to the family fun, the Friesen's came to stay for a night (the wedding eve) on their way back home from holidays.  Always glad to have them here.

I'm working on a big sewing project for a friend - this is often what it looks like when I sit at the machine.

And the biggest thing for us this past week - well, all month, but this week has been 12 hour days every day for Sean - is the big shop move.  As of this morning, the old location is empty and clean and locked and left for the last time.  The new shop is still a big work in progress since the contractors who were supposed to be all done three weeks ago are still not finished.  It's hard to put things in their places when their places aren't finished!  But they will be open for business again on Tuesday, done or not, and hopefully the settling in process isn't too bad.

This afternoon the kids and I took a quick trip out to a local park where they were thrilled to feed the Elk.  We went for the big slide, but this was a treat we weren't expecting.  I like looking at the animals out there, but this time there was a lady with bags of bread, feeding them, and she gave us a bag so we could join in the fun. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Weekend Meal Idea

Looking for something different to do this weekend?  Why not have an "Appie Meal?"  We do this every now and then and I thought I'd share because it's a fun break from normal healthy food...

An Appie Meal is when you have appetizers for your meal.  Simple.  We did this last weekend and had chicken nuggets, pot stickers, eggrolls, perogies, dry ribs, and fries.  Other times we've had mozza sticks, potato skins, an oriental party pack, and wings.  Oh, and an essential side is a big platter of cut up fresh veggies. You know, to try to add something healthy.  You'll also need fixings - sour cream, plum sauce, ketchup & veggie dip.

The concept is simple, but the kitchen is pretty non stop for half an hour...  Before you start, check all the cooking times and temperatures - you'll have to do some figuring to coordinate the '20 min at 375' with the '28 min at 450.'  This is what my list looked like this time:

450 - Dry Ribs - 10 min
turn down to 400 & add fries & egg rolls - 5 min
add nuggets & start stove top stuff - 5 min
flip egg rolls
10 more min then done

This is Nolan's plate - he tried everything!  You can see the one bite out of each of his things.  And no sauce for this kid. (Except on ribs. He devours ribs.)

If you try it, let me know what your favorite appies are!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Thankful x 1000

It's amazing how much you can accomplish when you get up two hours before your kids!  Today is fall program registration, so I got up so I could be on the phone at 7am to get Nolan into his Sea Turtle swimming lessons.  Only 18 minutes on hold and I got our first choice.  Nice.  And yes it's nice that Nolan sleeps till 9; but the trade off is no more naps... So maybe I should get up earlier more often.  Maybe.

So today as I was reading my Bible (without interruption!) and writing in my journals, I reached 1000 things in my 'thankful journal' - only 4 years after I started, way back on a road trip to South Dakota.  I was reading a book that I don't even remember, but it was about happiness I think, and suggested writing down what you were grateful for.  I had a new notebook (I have a weakness for new notebooks), and I liked the idea, so I jotted down a handful of things every now and then as I thought about it.  Then I read Ann Voskamp's blog and book about being thankful, and now I'm working through 40 Days to a Joy Filled Life... so many different ways to convey the same message - being thankful is good for you in every way!

What are you thankful for today?  Do you write them down? 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fabulous Fifteen

We celebrated this girl all day yesterday.  Happy 15th Birthday, firstborn!!  Mom and Dad came out for a quick visit and we had a nice day together.  There was a last soccer practice that was called half way through for a thunderstorm, but there was enough time for cupcakes with yummy buttercream icing (thanks for the recipe, Mom!), and then a sleep over with a friend that didn't end until suppertime today.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer Came!!

Welcome, Summer.

We spent a week camping at Duck Mountain right after school ended, Madeline was off to Senior Teen camp at Katepwa Lake Camp right after that and then yesterday we took her back to do her first LIT (Leaders in Training) week.  The way she greeted her friends you'd think they'd been apart for ages, not just two days...

Today feels like a little bit of normal; Nolan and I up in decent time, taking it easy, going on a park / geocaching / library adventure this morning (the pool was intended to be the main feature of our outing, but I forgot to check out that sneaking suspicion that this might be when they close for their annual cleaning).  And now, bliss, he is down for a normal-day nap.  We've had more off-normal days than on this summer, and combined with being in different places, messed up (short, late, and non-existant) naps have led to more than a few 11:00 pm nights.  That's just wrong. 

The first three days camping, it rained. Thankfully, our friends (with their trailer big enough for all of us!) were also there, so we spent lots of time over at "Mr. Harder's Campsite" as Nolan called it.  We were thankful for the trailer we were in, too, and that we weren't in a tent!

The most fun we had was on the lake - we rented a canoe for us and Nolan, and a kayak for Madeline.  Good family time, and the kids both loved their new experiences.

Sean had a guy's golf trip booked, but it morphed into a 'two families' trip.  The guys got in two games of golf, us girls had an afternoon at the spa, and it was a good weekend in spite of the long drive to get there.  Elk Ridge (by Waskesiu) is a nice place.

Nolan and E (also 2) checking out the balcony.

The boys: N in red is 5 and M in blue is 4.  Nolan had fun with all of them.

The trip overlapped a day over M coming home from camp, but aunts and uncles are wonderful and she happily spent time with Carla and Larry, taking in the Rider game and her cousin's hockey game.

There's a bit of a catch up for those of you who need to see photos of the kids... :)  Hope you're all having a great summer and getting a chance to get away and relax.