Saturday, April 29, 2017

Dime and Dad Renos

We are approaching three years in our country home. The home we moved to that made me think: What have we done?! The home we moved to where I cried myself to sleep for a week because I could smell nothing but poop. Thank you previous owner for leaving us that trash can of dog leftovers we eventually found in the basement. Once we disposed of that, my tears were disposed of too. Mostly.

I believe when I viewed the home, I viewed the potential. I felt the heritage too as it was built by Chris' maternal grandfather. It took a while before I saw the potential again. For a long time, all I saw was the work. After Chris redid the rundown chicken coop into a shed, I vowed to take pictures of future projects to show the potential I saw and progress toward it.

I never had a vision for the gazebo. I was fine with the way it was. Looking back...what an eye sore. My dad had the necessary vision and the skills to return it to glory. He worked hard summer of 2016 and look how it turned out. Outside of us purchasing the screen door for $150, my dad also took care of the supplies. He is quite resourceful, the panels are made from cedar fence boards. Thank you Dad!!! We will enjoy it this summer.



My dad working hard
The next project was our back door area, 2016/2017. We spent about $300 on the new door and other materials. I bought the stick and peel vinyl through an online buy and sell for $20. The paint we used was a mistint for $10. The new accessories were bought with a gift card to Canadian Tire. The picture was bought at Giant Tiger on sale for $10. Because it was an amazing price for Group of Seven, I bought a second one for for the fall/winter of a snowy farmhouse. Add in some ceiling paint for $30 and my Father-in-Law's expertise in door installation, and voilĂ . Thank you Chris and Dad for your labour! A much cleaner look and goodbye dirty ant-infested carpet! Total cost = $380

Josette with her windows and doors Papa
We hope to do some more renovations this summer, so stayed tune. Not all of them will be on a dime, but we have been patiently saving. Some of the work we have wanted to get done since we moved in and it is finally time!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Off the grid

"I'm going off the grid," were the words of Chris as he told the cell phone company why we were closing out a phone account. It had been a long complicated process, whereby we wished to retain one phone with the company and close out another. In order to ease the task, which had already been difficult, he chose a white lie. He didn't want to be pressed to keep an account we didn't need. He was technically going off their company's grid.


A friend of mine made a gift for our colleague who was leaving our school. It was a frame with a comma pictured inside. He was the Grammar King. After hearing of the gift, I often thought I would like a picture of a comma hung somewhere to remind me to pause.


This was my recent reply to a mother who, I assume, was feeling mom guilt for missing notice about a toiletry collection for the local food bank from our children's class. She had posted an inquiry about where the information was on a local Facebook group.

"[The notice] was on the [online] calendar. I missed this one too. I log in maybe once or twice a month. I did log in and look at the beginning of February and still missed it. No one can do it all. As a teacher myself, wife of a pastor, two [in school] and one at home; I find it all a little overwhelming at times. Too much. I try not to sweat the stuff I miss...I hope as a community, others catch the balls I miss."

Except like my husband, it was a white lie. I struggle when I drop a ball.


Whether it is the agenda of a cell phone company, a workplace, or my children, I am bombarded with agendas. These agendas become part of my own and can overwhelm my day. My own agendas have been guilty of pushing me and others around!

While driving to work today, I was reminded to take time for God's agenda in my day. If I don't take time to listen for His agenda, the world will take over. If not the world, definitely my children will! Today, I felt like God was asking me to write His agenda here.

To fall off the grid for 30 minutes. To pause. To drop all the balls I am trying to keep in the air for a moment in time.

I know I need to do this more often. People sought out Jesus in the crowds. So too, must I, or I may miss something important. A conversation. A milestone. Peace. Forgiveness. Compassion. Unity...

Today I am reminded to " first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and [that] all these things shall be added to [me]." Matthew 6:33

What is Your agenda, God?

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Ready or Not

"Marshmallow" the Beanie Boo found
pondering The Christmas Story
It has been a trying week. Nothing tragic, but many little things. I had thought to list them all so that you could sense my weight, but it is not a competition.

My principal has a quote read over the announcements every day. This week's quote was "Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle." Those words respected and acknowledged my own battle. They also gave perspective to life around me.

To those people who have paused in their own battle to help us with ours, thank you. To those who have listened to our struggle, fed us or allowed us to not know "whether we are coming or going." To those who have covered church responsibilities and events.

A family member shared the sentiments of feeling unorganized as Christmas approached via Messenger last night. She also wrote, "Jesus being born in a manger was neither organized or traditional." Rylyn was born December 23rd, two weeks early. I was reminded of Mary. Addisyn was born at home because there was no space at the hospital. I was reminded of Mary. Birth is not organized or pretty either.

Mary was visited by the shepherds after giving birth to Jesus. The shepherds shared with her and Joseph what the angels had proclaimed to them concerning Jesus, the Saviour. Luke 2:19 then says that, "...Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart." I am in need of some heart pondering this season.

Despite the Grinchly reminder each year that Christmas comes without "packages, boxes or bags," we bring Christmas on with decorating, donating, buying and wrapping. The traditions aren't negative, but reasons we stretch ourselves to see them accomplished need examining.

Our family was put in a position where simplifying our holiday schedule this weekend became a need. While car trouble and serial illnesses are the inconveniences causing my Christmas scrooge, I am thankful for the push to pause and ponder. I am giving myself permission to abandon some things on "the to do list" and calendar; my heart feels more peaceful.

Christmas will come, ready or not. Jesus did. This year I know it is my heart that needs the most preparation.

Friday, October 14, 2016


“How do other people do this?” My words are returned with a blank stare from my husband. I seriously want to know. How do others simply, live life. “I want to animorph into a fly on the wall on our friends’ homes and learn some new strategies.”


Treading water. Suriviving. I felt the need to blog today. I am an organized person living in chaos. For the first time in a while, Chris and I are both working, raising our family and managing the day-to-day. Sometimes before I can deal with the external chaos...the laundry bins exploding, the empty fridge, dinner plans (and that’s the easy stuff)...I need to deal with the chaos inside.

I quiet myself and pray, “Lord, what do you want me to blog about?” Discerning the voice of God is the topic of our ladies’ Bible study at church. The blog is an outlet I often find I hear His voice. Somewhere between taking iPhone snapshots for blog post inspiration and music lulling my mind in the background, I find an answer welling up inside me. God wants me to do more than survive, He wants me to thrive. I want to thrive.

And, when I stop asking how is everyone else is managing life, and I start declaring how am I living life, I move from a position of defeat to victory. I am no longer surviving. I am conquering through Christ. His victory is also mine.

Romans 8:6 and 37
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Things My Kids Say

This is technically the fourth instalment of "Out of the mouths of babes..." However, only one of my kiddos is a babe now. Time for a rebrand?

To be upfront, these posts are for me. So I can look back, laugh and remember. Today, I start this post, and like many things I set to do in life, I will chip away until it is ready.


"Donald the Duck rhymes with McDonald's. I think he cooks there."
-Rylyn, Age 5, April 2016


Addisyn eating a green sucker at the mall that I allowed her to take from a kind stranger (and senior citizen). I was curious to see what flavour she thought the green was...her response:


translation - it's sour, mom.
Age 4, May 2016


To say Rylyn and Addisyn love unicorns is an understatement. It is an obsession.

"Mom, when did we get a unicorn stone for our garden!?!?! I love it!!!"

-Addisyn, Age 4, May 2016


More on pickles...

"I like pickles because they have two bums. Imagine having two bums! One on your head, one on your foot!" -Rylyn, Age 5, June 2016


Checking in on a shrill cry from Rylyn in the playroom...

"Rylyn punched me first, so I punched her back. I think that's fair."
 -Addisyn, Age 4, July 2016

Rylyn on the "roller coaster" swing

Addisyn braves the water dump

Josette does pony tricks

Decorating daddy at the beach with cousins

Friday, August 5, 2016

A few more wedding shots

Thanks to our like-family friend, Cesare Berti (Marg Pleavin), for sharing some more photos while Laura honeymoons and her photographer edits! Enjoy the pre-show.

Jamie helping during the father-daughter dance with a misbehaving train
One of me!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Josie's First Year

Well, that went fast. I'll be white knuckling her second year if you need me for anything... Happy first birthday Josette! July 28, 2016.