Friday, August 4, 2017

10 years and counting

I'm sure you expected a card. After decades of scrapbooking, I am happy to give our marriage an honour which takes up less space. Besides, the best things in life, cannot be bought. While this year marks 10 years of marriage, next year will mark 20 years of togetherness.

An awkward teenage photo
High school sweethearts
Prom, 2001
Kara's graduation from Brock University, 2005
2007 - After nine years of dating, including a year and a half engagement, we buy our first home in Smithville, ON and are married on August 4, 2007 by Pastor Henry of Cornerstone Church at Kingsview Community Church. We travel to Colorado Springs for our honeymoon and go spelunking, hiking, horseback riding and ride a cog train to the summit of Pike's Peak. We stayed in a renovated caboose!

I teach grade 7/8 at Bellmoore and you finish working in HVAC and home renovations with a family friend and begin working as an auto mechanic apprentice for Shawn's Auto. Our Friday nights are spent running youth ministry at Cornerstone Church.

Photo credits Cole Garside
2008 - Facebook history (yes, I actually needed to scroll back and look) indicates I am bored, watch Grey's Anatomy and reality-TV, including American Idol. I spend more time than needed cleaning. We work, argue about petty things, make-up, garden and take care of our cats, Quincy and Charlie. By the leading of Holy Spirit, we find ourselves serving and making friends at a new church, Tree of Life.

2009 - You study auto mechanics at Mohawk College, apprenticing under cars by day at Shawn's Auto and serving at Tree of Life by night. I do a lot of marking! We drive in the black, 1966 VW, "hood ride" beetle you got running! Facebook indicates on September 9, 2009 "For once, [my husband] talked more than me." We go on movie dates. In December, I get in a car accident after hitting black ice, but am unharmed outside of some whiplash.

2010 - We travel to British Columbia and Washington state. We welcome our first daughter, Rylyn, two days before Christmas. After a couple of years forging our independence as a married couple, we recognize the importance of our own families for support moving forward.

Rylyn, photo credit Jeremy James Photography
2011 - We have a memorable family trip to Sauble Beach with both sides of the family! Surprise, we are having another baby...hi ho, hi ho it's back to work I go. You take paternal leave.

Grandpa Dan with Rylyn

2012 - We welcome our second daughter, Addisyn, in March. Rylyn becomes ill: failure to thrive. My days are filled with doctor's appointments with a newborn and a sick toddler. I pray myself to sleep many nights. Mid-year Rylyn is diagnosed with Celiac Disease and we learn how to prepare her food gluten free. A cloud has been lifted. Praise God.

Addisyn's other surprise, home birth!

2013 - You give your children an amazing gift. You become a stay-at-home-dad for two years and are able to devote more time to pursuing your dream of pastoring with a 1 year-old in one hand and a 2 year-old in the other. After helping Tree of Life through a pastoral transition, we feel released to move and we keep coming back to Kingsview Community Church. I continue my dream of sowing into the lives of children, including my own, and teach. I try my hand at Grade 6. We visit Sesame Place in Pennsylvania.

With Grandmas at the Santa Claus Parade

2014 - We move into our current home. A home with your heritage and soon to be mine. We are blessed with the purchase of your maternal grandparents' home, which has been out of the family for about a decade. Rylyn starts school. More space? Why not another baby?

Saying good bye to Swayze Court
Our current home, picture 2017
2015 - We welcome our THIRD daughter, Josette in July. You are hired as youth pastor at Kingsview Community Church. After years of dreaming, apprenticing, volunteering and people doubting, you held to the plan you believe God has for you.


2016 - I return to teaching part-time, something I have been longing to try out since having children. Addy starts school. Grandparents help us with Josette two mornings a week.

2017 - Happy 10th Anniversary! There is so much more I could write about the past ten years. We have added brothers and sisters through marriage, nieces and nephews and said a few goodbyes too. As for a fourth for our own family? Three strikes you're out! Our faith, family, friends (new and old!), youth ministry, teaching at Bellmoore and Grey's Anatomy have all been consistent in our decade-long journey. Having each other, our children, both our parents, and our siblings, with their families, present and healthy, are blessings we count.

Laura and Jamie's wedding, photo credit Cesare Berti
A whole lot of "Dalgleish" cousins
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." - Jeremiah 29:11

God says this to the Isrealites during a time of captivity. This is the promise He provides in advance of 70 years of captivity in Babylon. It was also a scripture at our wedding. Chris, if I am a captive in this life, I am glad it is with you. It is my prayer we can trust in the light of Christ when all seems dark and remember our future and hope is in Him. I love you. Happy 10th Anniversary. I pray for many more years with you.

Our most recent selfie

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