Monday, March 29, 2010

Birthday Weekend

This past weekend we celebrated not one of our daughter's birthdays but two. Yep, our daughters were born 7 years and 2 days apart.

Julie turned 9 on Saturday. We wanted to bring her breakfast in bed but she was too excited to stay there, so as soon as the cinnamon rolls were baked, we all gathered to eat together and watch Jules open some of her gifts. Her main gift was a DSI and she was over the moon.

She wanted to have a sleepover but we weren't sure we could handle that just yet, so she had a sleepover-themed party and her guests came in their pjs.

Once the girls arrived Ian set them up with the Wii and they played Just Dance (which you may or may not recall that I once told you I rocked at) and then they moved into the kitchen to decorate cookies.

Daisies, bear heads, hearts and ice cream cones...



Rings, bones, cupcakes and butterflies...



Tulips...



They used a store bought canned icing for the base, and decorated with tinted buttercream icing and several different types of sprinkles...



I figured that this activity would keep the girls busy for about a half hour but they worked at them for almost an hour and a half!

BONUS!!

Ian picked up pizza and they ate it while snuggled under blankets watching the finale of Hannah Montana.

Julie requested that I bake her cake myself (gulp!) and asked for vanilla with blue and red icing...



Cake time!



Her guests left by 9:30 and once I cleaned up the kitchen and Ian straightened up the living room, we both crashed.

Sunday was their Family Party. My mom, sister and nephew came over for dinner and I served a ham, which is the girls' favourite. I baked another cake for dessert but I took it out of the pan before it was completely cooled and it crumbled in my hands.

Ian picked up this cake and all was well...



Monday was Jordan's 2nd birthday and we played all day together. We had a small family dinner and you guessed it...

...another cake!!



So excited...



She couldn't wait to eat it and got started right away and loved it.



I don't know what it is, but while everyone was celebrating those wonderful days, I felt this underlying sense of sadness that they are growing so fast. Julie is racing towards the teenaged years and it feels like Jordan just got here. I wish they'd slow down...

I love these little girls so much. The Lord has been so good to me.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

5QF - March 26 - Vlog Style



Want to join in? Head on over to Mama M's blog My Little Life!

Happy Friday!

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Book Review: Somewhere To Belong



Johanna Ilg has lived her entire life in Main Amana, one of the seven villages settled by devout Christians who believe in cooperative living, a simple lifestyle, and faithful service to God. Although she’s always longed to see the outside world, Johanna believes her future is rooted in Amana. But when she learns a troubling secret, the world she thought she knew is shattered. Is this truly where she belongs?

Berta Schumacher has lived a privileged life in Chicago, so when her parents decide they want a simpler life in Amana, Iowa, she resists. Under the strictures of the Amana villages, her rebellion reaches new heights. Will her heart ever be content among the plain people of Amana?


~*~ ~*~ ~*~


The story begins with Berta, a willful and spoiled teenager from Chicago, forced to settle in Amana against her will and wanting desperately to return home.

Johanna has lived in Amana her entire life and secretly longs to experience the outside world, like her brother did. She is simple and sweet, and she follows the rules.

Berta chafes against Johanna's way of life, and Johanna yearns to have Berta's experiences. Over the course of the story, Johanna learns a startling secret and Berta learns to settle into this new way of life.

When I agreed to review this book, I was expecting to love it. I had reviewed an Amish story before and really enjoyed it. I quickly realized that it wasn't an Amish story after all, rather the Amana are an entirely separate group. I had high hopes for this book, and while there was a lot of drama and unexpected twists, I didn't enjoy it. I found that I had to really focus on the story lines to keep up with what was going on as it just didn't hold my attention.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~


This book is courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available now at your favourite bookseller.


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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Kate Goes To The Laundromat

Today was extremely exciting for me for two reasons.

1) I went to the laundromat today. I have fallen terribly, terribly, terribly behind in my laundering duties and I needed to get caught up. Ian offered to go on Saturday but I felt bad and said I would do it myself.

And today was that day. So exciting.

Ian loaded up the van (and by saying "loaded" I need you to envision a van all puffed out) and I headed off.

I headed towards the one closest to my house but I was a little turned off by the creepy dude standing out front and the bars on the windows. Being that I wasn't in the mood to be killed or have my laundry stolen, I figured I'd better go on to location # 2.

Location # 2 was located next to the police station so that was a bonus. No bars on the windows here, thankyouverymuch. It was clean and empty.

I won't tell you how much laundry I had because then you will think I am a pig and stop liking me, so I'll just say that it was a lot.

A lot.

I loaded up four washers to begin with. Then I got all brave and loaded another four washers.

Oh yeah, that laundromat was all about me today. All about me.

I danced and sang along with the radio and shook my badonkadonk like there was no tomorrow. I used their little laundry baskets on wheels and then hogged six dryers.

You know that urban legend about people that will wait until you aren't looking to open your washer/dryer and toss their stuff in with yours? Didn't happen on my watch. Oh no ma'am.

The owner came in while I was folding and talked and talked while I folded my underwear. I would have thought he was creepy except he was just as interested in my towels. Weird. He proceeded to tell me the population of just about every country there is, that Pakistan doubled it's population in 20 years, and Newfoundland produces most of our Canadians.

I had a wonderful time.

Time spent? 2 hours, 30 minutes.

Cost? $41.50

I told you it was a lot. Don't be rolling your eyes and judging me now.

2) The second reason I am so excited today is because I have discovered grape juice. I don't know where its been all my life, but right now it's in my belly. I am going to have to buy more tomorrow because it's starting to invade my thoughts.

Yeah. I know that sounds lame but I just can't help it.

And that concludes my most exciting day.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I Won! I Won!

I have a very cool reason to be so excited these days.

Two reasons, actually.

I won two giveaways!

So excited!!

First up is this adorable Let's Play Veterinarian playset from Megan over at All A Bunch Of Momsense.



I'm going to give it to Jordan who will love it!

Thank you so much, Megan!!

And the next one is a book called The Care and Keeping Of You from Jackie at A Step At A Time.



I really, really hoped to win this book and I did!

Yippee!

Thanks so much, Jackie!!

You know what they say...things run in threes... who knows what I may win next! ;-)

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Book Review: A Distant Melody



Never pretty enough to please her gorgeous mother, Allie will do anything to gain her approval - even marry a man she doesn't love. While Allie has nearly resigned herself to that fate, Lt. Walter Novak - fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women - takes his last furlough at home in California before being shipped overseas.

Walt and Allie meet and begin a correspondence that will change their lives. As letters fly between Walt's muddy bomber base in England and Allie's mansion in an orange grove, their friendship binds them together. But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart?


~*~ ~*~ ~*~


This story, set in 1942 during World War II, begins on a train headed to Antioch. Allie, who is en route to participate in her best friend's wedding, meets Walt who is on his last furlough and headed home to visit his family.

Turns out that Allie's best friend is well acquainted with Walt as they share the same group of friends. They spend the week together as a group before Allie and Walt each head their separate ways, but not before exchanging addresses and promises to write.

The story plays out over the course of a year, flipping back and forth between Allie's and Walt's perspectives. When the reader is "with" Allie, we see her growing into who she is meant to be, breaking away from her parent's expectations. When we are with Walt, we are given a realistic portrayal of the second world war through his flight missions.

I loved how strong Allie and Walt's faith is portrayed, and that Allie would follow God's will even though it went against what her parents wanted from her.

I loved how gently the author moved the characters from mere friendship into love. The obstacles between them up until they realize how they feel for one another are realistic and sweet and silly.

I loved it all.

I'm so excited that this isn't the last I'll hear of this author - she has two more books slated for release that will introduce us to Walt's two brothers. I enjoyed this book so much, I tweeted the author, Sarah Sundin, to tell her so.

And she tweeted me back!

Happiness.

If you like romance novels set in the WW2 era, then you will absolutely adore this one.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~


This book is courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available now at your favourite bookseller.


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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Why Did I Watch This Movie?

You know the hype going on about the world ending in 2012? Well, I haven't been paying too much attention to it because I didnt want to get all caught up in it.

Then, last night...I watched this:



And I wish I didn't.

About 20 minutes into it I started to feel anxious and sweaty.

It took me back to my elementary school years when I went to school with a kid named Matthew. He started telling the kids at school that the world was going to end on May 12th and I believed him. I started dreading that day and was so full of fear that we were all going to die that I begged my mother to stay home from work so that we could face the end of the world together.

Imagine my embarrassment on May 13th.

Would you believe me if I told you he did this three times before my family moved to another city? Well he did. You'd think I'd have caught on after the first time. Seriously, what elementary school kid can predict the end of the world? And what kind of dork would believe him three times??

Remember the Y2K hype? Yep. I fell for that too. I stocked our fridge, filled our bathtubs with water, made enough baby formula for three days and so on.

So here we are with the 2012 hype and guess who's feeling anxious?

Ian told me not to watch this movie. One of these days I'm going to listen to him.

Ugh.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

5QF ~ March 19

Normally I'm thrilled that it's Friday but I'm not this week.

Why?

Because Ian and the children have been on vacation this week and I love being with them. Come Monday, everything will be back to normal.

:-(

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your loving and encouraging comments on my last blog post. I was feeling so low and you helped to make me feel better. Yesterday I wore my Lisa Leonard necklace with my children's names stamped on it as a reminder to be thankful for the blessings I do have.

I'm thankful for Mama M's Five Question Friday blog hop because without it, I'd have nothing for you today. I've got Spring Fever and can't concentrate on much other than this gorgeous weather and hanging with my wonderful family.

So, without further ado...let's get a move on!



1. Have you ever had a celeb sighting?

I saw Captain Kangaroo's hat at the doctor's office when I was a little girl. I would have seen all of him but I was in with the doctor while he was waiting and by the time I came out he was gone.

I saw Joe Carter (formerly???) from the Toronto Blue Jays at a basketball game. He was sitting right in front of us. Ian and I knew we knew him from somewhere but we couldn't figure it out. Ian had the bright idea of buying a program and asking him to sign it, and he did very graciously. We then flipped frantically through the book to see where he signed and then I said "Who's Joe Carter?!" louder than I intended (which happens often, but we don't need to talk about that right now) and he laughed and turned around and said he used to play for Toronto.

My response to that (insert eye roll here) was "OH! My mother LOVES YOU!" I wanted to ask him to sign my pregnant belly but Ian put they kibosh on that right away.

I also saw Ray Liotta on the jumbo tron at that same game and my concentration was lost. How could I possibly concentrate on a basketball game when I was breathing the same air as Ray Liotta??

2. What temperature do you keep your house?

I don't know. All I know is that this house is always too hot for my liking.

Wait, I sent Julie to find Ian to ask him what he sets the thermostat at and he said 20. (I think this is 68 in American)

3. Do you notice dust at other peoples homes?

Nope. I'm not there to inspect their homes, I'm there to visit with them.

4. What's the worst job you ever had?

I worked at Tim Horton's when I was 14. If you don't know what Tim Horton's is then I don't know that we can remain friends, you and I. I worked for the meanest woman EVER to walk the face of the earth. I think I worked there for about six months or so, long enough to gain 5,000 lbs that have lovingly stayed on my *badonkadonk all of these years.

*500 internet points for using badonkadonk in my post

5. What is your most sentimental possession?

I have two. The first is my blue teddy bear I've had since birth. I've cried many, many tears onto that bear over the years. He never had a name until Ian came along and named him Blue Bear. Thank you for your creativity, my love. He comforts the sad, sick, scared and lonely. He is a fine friend.

The other is a felt rat I made in the third grade. We had just finished watching Charlotte's Web and our teacher had us make them. I named him Templeton. (What...you think Ian has the corner market on creativity?? ) That rat has been everywhere. I know that as a Christian I shouldn't have a "good luck charm" or be superstitious, but I truly cannot help it. If I travel, he comes with me. If I, or someone I love, has surgery then a piece of him goes with him. He's always in my purse. I pinned him to the inside of my dress on my wedding day. He's so dirty but I'm afraid he'll fall apart if I put him in the washing machine.

Well that concludes my exceptionally chatty Five Question Friday. Join in if you'd like - it's what all the cool kids do on Fridays :-)

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Heavy Hearted

My heart is so heavy tonight.

Today's project was to pack up all of Jordan's outgrown clothing for donation. I ended up with two big boxes and two extra large garbage bags full. Ian loaded everything into our van and we dropped them off at a nearby church for donation.

This particular church has a program they've set up where mothers in need can come in and choose items for their babies, free of charge. When they are done with the items, they return them for the next size. It's a brilliant idea.

I had been putting it off for so long because I knew it would hurt. I was right.

I cried. A lot.

Jordan is it. She's the last one. There will be no more babies.

Oh how that hurts my heart to type it out.

I feel like I can't breathe.

My head knows that I'm too old to start again, and that have been blessed with three wonderful children that we are able to provide for. A fourth would be too much.

But my heart... oh my heart. It feels something else entirely. I'm not ready to leave this part of my life behind.

I don't want to.

I will never feel a life growing inside me again, and I miss that feeling so much more than I could ever express.

I envy women who know without a doubt that they are done having children. I don't think I will ever feel "done". I don't know that I want to feel that way.

Giving away all of her baby clothes felt so final. Like a door has now closed.

My heart hurts.

I know I'm whining and complaining. Forgive me. I try so hard to keep this blog positive, but tonight I just didn't feel like doing that. I just wanted to spill my hurt somewhere.

Ah well. Tomorrow is a new day.

Thank you Lord for brand new days...

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Checking In!




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Monday, March 15, 2010

What The Heck!?

Oh.My.Word.

What would possess a person do this to themselves??











You know I usually have something to say, but these pictures have left me speechless, not to mention a little queasy...

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Random Ramblings

Today I thought I'd shake things up in my world and shop at a different grocery store because I was feeling pretty wild and crazy.

Instead of shopping at Metro as per my usual routine, I went to Sobeys. I don't go there very often but when I do I get so excited. It has the feel of a US grocery store and I think you all know by now that I love all things American. (Hello Walmart)

I don't know how to explain what a US grocery store feels like, so just pretend like you know what I mean.

While I was driving there, my most favourite song EVER came on the radio: Good Vibrations by Marky Mark And The Funky Bunch.



Oooooooooh mother of pearl.... I loved Marky Mark back in the day. I would listen to this song over and over and over, wishing I could be one of his back up dancers and wear paper bag jeans (remember those?) and go on tour.

My friend and I used to cruise all around in her little Hyundai Pony, all four windows down with this song blaring. We thought we were so cool.

We also used to drive up alongside other cars and point at their tires and say "Your tire's a wheel! Your tire's a wheel!" with panicked looks on our faces and we'd laugh as they'd wave their thanks and pull over.

Yes. I really was that lame back then.

All that just to say that I loved hearing that song again.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~


I'm out of the loop as to what is happening on Lost lately. Our tv has been acting up because of pixelation issues. Do you know what that means? I was trying to sound all tech-y there for you. THANK GOODNESS I have Ian because he is downloading the last couple of episodes for me.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~


Today Julie fashioned a sling out of her scarf and stuck her arm in it and wore it all day so she could pretend what it was like to have a broken arm. She also wore a pair of Harry Potter glasses too. Not sure what was up with that.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~


I had to buy a new purse last year because the one I had was all nasty and worn out. I don't enjoy purse shopping and I only buy a new one when absolutely necessary or every ten years depending which comes first. Also, I have an extremely small budget when it comes to them: $25.00 before taxes. I will not exceed this amount, even if it means I have to cart my belongings around in a brown paper bag.

I am kind of in love with Coach, but as my friend loves to remind me, "$25.00 won't even buy you a luggage tag at Coach, Kate."

Anyway, I was shopping last summer and found a bag I loved. Loved. The price? $24.99.

SCORE!

It wasn't until I got it home and went to snip off the price tag that I realized the bag started out costing $100.

DOUBLE SCORE!!

From that moment on, it was known as My One Hundred Dollar Purse.

All that to say, it appears to have a small hole in the bottom of it now.

Grr.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~


I am so excited that the clocks are going forward tonight. More daylight = a happy Kate. It's my most favourite time of the year after Easter, Christmas and birthdays.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~


I've been wanting to polish my nails for weeks now but I never get around to it. I'm not sure, but I think that could be classified as Extreme Laziness.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~


I am loving Beth Moore's book So Long Insecurity. We have been discussing chapter one in my BlogFrog community this week and I am loving it.

If you are interested in joining in it's not too late! You are more than welcome. The chapters are short but full of great things to think about.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~


That's a wrap for tonight!

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Friday, March 12, 2010

5QF - March 12

Well hello there Friday....you snuck up on me this week.

I am very excited today because my children are now on Spring Break!! Ian is taking a few days off next week and I'm really looking forward to spending some lazy time together.

So excited.

Hey! Who's ready for some Five Question Friday action?



Me!

Here I go...

1. How much time do you spend on the computer a day?

Not as much as I used to, but still more than I should.

2. Will you pay for your children's college or raise them to pay for their own way?

I will encourage them to get jobs in high school to save money for college. While I'd love to be able to pay for all three children, I think it's important for them to pitch in a little as well. If it's their own money then they'll be less likely to fart around while in school.

In theory anyway.

3. Have you ever been in a car accident?

Yes. I was driving with my mother when I was hit by a transport truck while driving 100 Km/hr on the highway. We were sent flying and stopped facing oncoming traffic. Neither of us was hurt, but the driver sued me for a million dollars. He lost.

4. What is your favorite book?

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and The First Time by Joy Fielding.

5. Do you make your bed everyday?

Yep. Every single day. The rest of my house could be a disaster but by golly...my bed has to be made!

You can join in on the fun at My Little Life.

Thanks Mama M!


MckLinky Blog Hop



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~ Happy Friday ~

Happy Friday Pictures, Images and Photos


Have a GREAT day everyone!

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Black And White Wednesday - March 10



**Edited to add - I took this picture two summers ago. The children and I were walking up the pathway to our house and we saw this snail, so I zoomed in and took the pic. He's a gross little fellow, yet oddly perfect.

Join in on the Black and White Wednesday fun at The Long Road to China!

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

I Will Produce A Cookie I Like Or Die Trying

Lately I've been feeling the pull to try baking and decorating sugar cookies again. This urge started the same way it always does, with grandiose images of how perfect my cookies will look.

I wanted to make some pretty cookies to give to a friend to lift her spirits and some for a coworker of Ian's as a Thank You.

I scoured blogs for ideas. I gave myself pep talks in my head. I said affirming statements out loud.

Oh yes. I will produce a cookie I like or die trying.

I baked two batches of cookie dough.

Two batches is a lot of cookie dough in case you were wondering.

I decided on tulips, daisies and sunflowers. I also baked a whole whack of hearts and circles, just in case.

In case of what? Emergency??

Good thing I did bake those "in case" cookies because I ended up needing them.

This cookie decorating business is hard work let me tell you. I learn something new every time. Want to know what I learned this time? I learned that piping and flooding are for the birds. No matter what method I use, or what frosting recipe I try, I cannot get my cookies to look the way I want them to.

So, after destroying a dozen tulip shaped cookies, I decided to crack out my decorating tips and try something I saw on this blog.

The result?

Take a peek...



So simple, yet so sweet.



Encouragement...



And thanks...



These cookies are just about my speed and I'm ok with that. Finally.

Now, if I could figure out how to package them safely for shipping I'd be all set!

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Sunday, March 07, 2010

So Long Insecurity!!





Just a reminder that tomorrow we will begin our new book study So Long Insecurity: You've Been A Bad Friend To Us by Beth Moore in my BlogFrog community.

Everyone is welcome to join in, whether you begin with us tomorrow or jump in along the way - know that you are welcome.

You don't need a blog to participate, but you will need to sign up for a free account with BlogFrog so that you can post in response to the threads, or to begin new ones. Your account will also give you access to several other wonderful blogging communities.

See you tomorrow!

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Friday, March 05, 2010

5QF - March 5





Want to join in? Head on over to Mama M's blog My Little Life!

Happy Friday!

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Willow Goes To School

Remember when I posted about feeling so bad about missing Willow's half birthday last month?

Yeah.

His half-birthday is this month.

For the love of pete. Pay attention please, Kate.

I have time to bake him a bone-shaped birthday cake and pull out the party hats!

You know I will do it too. That is...if I remember. Ai yi yi.

So here he is at FIVE months old and 46.4 lbs:



He started obedience classes last Saturday and I was so excited to take pictures of him on the front porch, on his first day of school.

Yeah. That didn't happen.

But I did get these!

On our way...I was so excited.



I think he looked nervous. Do you think he looked nervous?



Here we are!



I don't think he was paying attention. Or maybe this is his Concentration Face.



Did you know that PetSmart will return anything? Well they will. They took back the leash we'd been using - and got mighty dirty - and exchanged it for one used for training.

We bought a bucket-o-treats for him. If he doesn't like them we can return them.

Our expandable leash that goes up to 40lbs? Yep, they'll exchange it for the next size up.

Apparently I even could have returned the dog bed that he enjoyed, before he ate the entire bottom out of it. Too bad I didn't know that, because I would have returned that half-eaten bed for a brand spankin' new one.

Can you please tell me what kind of dog would need a bone this size?



Goodness gracious. That's a big bone.

One week down, seven more to go!

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