Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Things Aren't Always What They Seem

Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family.

The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion's guest room. Instead, the angels were given a small space in the cold basement.

As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it.

When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied, "Things aren't always what they seem."

The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife.

After sharing what little food they had, the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night's rest.

When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field.

The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel "how could you have let this happen? The first man had everything, yet you helped him!" she accused. "The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die!"

"Things aren't always what they seem," the older angel replied. "When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn't find it. Then last night as we slept in the farmers bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead. Things aren't always what they seem."

~Unknown ~

I often read this story when I'm frustrated with something I see or experience and it never fails to be a great reminder that there is always more to something than meets the eye.



Monday, November 28, 2011

Look Who's Back

Every year I hope this little fellow will get eaten by the other Christmas decorations while stored away for the next year.

No such luck.

Each year Ian unpacks it and places it next to my chair in the living room so I can see it's creepy face day after day.

My first sight of him this year was on the coffee table.

Later on, I saw him on the kitchen counter while I was unloading the dishwasher.

When I saw him staring at me from the table beside my chair in the living room I knew something was up.

Ian said he and the children have a pact for it to follow me everywhere I go.

I've started taking pictures of all the places he's showing up and told Ian I was going to blog them all.

He said I should plan to be taking a lot of pictures.

I don't have the heart to get rid of it... apparently he had this when he was a kid.

So, I'll hope - as I do every year - that he'll just magically fall off the shelf and break.

Knowing my Ian, he'd patiently glue each piece back together just so I wouldn't miss out on the creepy Santa elf experience next year.

Oh lucky me.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Counting Mine {91-105}

I've been enjoying a gentle sense of peace this week.

I like it.

Still absorbing how powerful church was a couple of Sundays ago.

Absorbing....and basking in it.

God is good.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

91} getting the same number of socks out of the wash that went in
92} beautiful meanings behind names
93} squeezing out that extra bit of conditioner when I thought the bottle was empty
94} a wagging tail = a happy dog
95} quoting movie lines with the children throughout the day
96} being a stay at home mom
97} spending my days with my Ian
98} farm animal families
99} baby pigs
100} pink and purple sunsets
101} flowers for no reason
102} puddle jumping
103} hugs
104} the crisp scent of Autumn
105} that burning smell the first time the furnace is turned on

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

If you are counting your own blessings and blogging about them, will you leave me a comment with the link to your blog, or share them with me at I'd love to know how you are being blessed through your journey!

Counting Mine {1-15}
Counting Mine {16-30}
Counting Mine {31-45}
Counting Mine {46-60}
Counting Mine {61-75}
Counting Mine {76-90}


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends!

I hope you are all surrounded by the ones you love today!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Need A Monkey

Every day, without fail, my mind drifts back to my time at the Women of Faith conference at the beginning of this month. I love that.

Even though I knew I couldn't possibly record every word spoken, I did write down as much as I could. I hoped that what I didn't get down on paper would somehow find it's place in my memory and I'd remember it in the moment I'd need it.

Dr. Henry Cloud, who wrote the book Boundaries, shared about a study he'd heard of on monkeys and stress. Apparently a single monkey was placed in a cage on it's own, and for a period of time the people conducting the study would do whatever they could to absolutely terrify and stress that poor little guy out. Noise, shaking the cage, whatever it took to get him good and scared.

When they were certain that the monkey was highly stressed and freaked out, they'd stop what they were doing and introduce one more monkey into the cage. Within minutes, that monkey calmed down by over 50%.

Within minutes.

He went on to talk about how just the act of being in a stressful situation with a buddy can cut your stress level in half. He said we should all have a monkey.

We should all have a monkey?

I thought about this for a moment. Who was my monkey? Who did I turn to when I was terrified and stressed out? Who calms me?

My first thoughts were Ian and my mom, but they'd be the first to tell me that it can't be them all the time, that I need a female friend to be able to go to when I needed support.

And you know what? I don't have one.

How sad is that??

I have serious issues with trust, and letting someone into my life - my heart - is next to impossible for me, and it takes forever. I've been burned many, many, times with friendships so I tend to just hold back now because it just hurts too much otherwise.

Yes, I know how lame that sounds.

I have been blessed with many people to love and who love me in return, but I don't have a monkey.

And I really want one.

Now I need to figure out to let my guard down and let people in. Ugh. Just the thought makes me itchy.

Very, very itchy.

How do I go about getting myself a monkey? I suppose I could scroll through my friends list on facebook and pick someone.

Or how about and ad on the board at the local grocery store?

Monkey needed. Must like to drink wine, laugh and be trustworthy.

Hmm. Needs a bit of work I suppose.

I could parlay this into a whole blog series entitled "Kate ~ Monkey Finder".

I'll let you know how things work out :-)

In the meantime, I'd love to hear about the monkeys in your life...


Monday, November 21, 2011

Someone's Been Sleeping In My Bed

Every so often when I'm ready to go to bed, I discover a little surprise under my covers.

Like this sweet little girl.

I know I should put a stop to it but a part of me loves to just crawl in beside her and cuddle her before I move her back to her own bed.

She's so squishy and smells so good. She'll outgrow this phase soon enough.

Between you and me? I hope it isn't any time soon.

Sweet precious moments.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Counting Mine {76-90}

I've spent much of this past year angry.

Anger is not a flattering trait for anyone, much less a woman. A mother.

It's hard enough to admit it to Ian, but to the world at large? Ouch.

But yes, I have been angry. Little things have been amplified, exaggerated, blown out of proportion. All because I have been filled with this anger.

At who? Well, just about everyone. The jerk who laid off my husband when he busted his butt for him, day in and day out. The neighbours next door that make noise at midnight. The paper delivery guy for skipping a day.


He has the power to change our circumstances at any moment. So why doesn't He?

As the months passed my anger grew, and I started to feel myself becoming depressed. I was sure that once Ian went back to work life would be fine again.

Or would it?

I suddenly realized that I was more afraid of what was happening to my relationship with God than I was about our financial situation. A job wasn't going to fix what was rapidly breaking.

Back in the day I used to kind of roll my eyes when people would say that God spoke to them. Yeah, right, I'd think. But then He started talking to me. Not in a booming voice for the world to hear, although that would be nice because I can be somewhat dense. I'd just know it was Him, gently speaking right into my heart, silencing everything else.

So why was He silent now when I needed to hear Him the most?

I saw this on Pinterest awhile ago and pinned it. I remember thinking at the time that it was lovely, but really...who wouldn't want the storm calmed first?

Then Sunday happened. I've spent this past week trying to get my head around it and I haven't been able to. Someone at my church shared a message they'd received from God, and if you'll forgive me for the all about me-ness of this, it felt as though he was speaking right to me. Everything around me fell silent, and I heard Him.

He hasn't forgotten me. I am His. He is here.

I was undone.

I don't even know how to express it, and I know I should be trying harder. I'm sure that that message was meant for a lot of people in that sanctuary. But for me, with the silence and the words and the impact on my own heart... I can't get my head around it. I'd love to share the entire message here but I haven't asked for permission to do so.

So this week has been pretty awesome. It's changed the way I feel. The way I pray. The way I see Jesus.

Present, loving.

He knows me. He hears me.

The storm is still raging, but He has quieted this child's heart.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

76} watching the moon appear as daylight fades
77} the smell of freshly cut grass
78} watching the sun rise
79} wind chimes
80} those final moments of labour, just before the baby is born, when the air feels electric and a life is about to be forever changed
81} the feel of the car driving over gravel roads
82} whispered "I love yous"
83} watching the cat sleeping in a patch of sunlight
84} an unexpected package
85} new underwear
86} my favourite ice cream on sale
87} being trusted with someone else's story
88} encouragement spoken
89} watching leaves fall from their trees
90} reaching for the phone to call someone and it rings in my hand...and it's the person I was going to call

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

If you are counting your own blessings and blogging about them, will you leave me a comment with the link to your blog, or share them with me at I'd love to know how you are being blessed through your journey!

Counting Mine {1-15}
Counting Mine {16-30}
Counting Mine {31-45}
Counting Mine {46-60}
Counting Mine {61-75}


Friday, November 18, 2011

5QF ~ November 18

Well, hello again, Friday. You snuck up on me once again.

There is some kind of bug going through my house this week. I was feeling run down early last week and it hit me again this week. Julie had a couple of slow mornings but went to school anyway. It hit Sam yesterday and he stayed home and spent the day in bed. My littles are feeling a bit warm this morning as well. Ian? Well, he just keeps on keeping on. I'm hoping for a quiet weekend at home where we can all just rest and relax.

Each morning, Jordan climbs into bed with us, and I look forward to starting my day with her sweet little hugs and kisses. Yesterday Matthew was in her spot and she greeted him by saying "Hello there, troublemaker."

Um..hello, Pot? Meet Kettle.

Love that little girl.

This week's Five Question Friday marks two years since I joined in on this blog hop. Two years that I've been blessed to call Mama M my friend.

And no... I don't call her Mama M in real life. Ahem. I do know what the M is for. Magnificent, of course!

And this week's questions are:

1. Do you have a go to song that always puts you in a good mood?

Yep, Sweet Home Alabama. I don't know what it is about that song, but whenever I put it on my butt gets twitchin' and I get to singin' and my day gets just a bit brighter.

2. Are you a real Christmas tree kinda person or do you go with a real fake one?

What is a "real fake one"?

I think there are pro and cons to each. An artificial one can be put up early and taken down late for maximum enjoyment and doesn't need watering, or to have millions of needles to be vacuumed up.

Real ones smell awesome and there's nothing to store afterwards. But the needles...oh the needles. And I worry about them being a fire hazard.

Not sure which we'll go with this year. Last year Ikea sold real trees for $20 and they were gorgeous.

I'll let you know.

3. What are you thankful for?

God's provision and promises, and for all the love I have in my life.

4. Which fashion fad from the past do you wish you could wear today?

Stretchy pants tucked into slouch socks and oversized sweatshirts. Hair scrunchies. The Rachel hairstyle.

5. Do you wait until the "low fuel" light comes on before you fill up the gas tank?

Sadly, longer. When the needle is flat at the bottom of the orange section, that's when we roll on into the gas station. I'm going to get stranded somewhere, mark my words.

Ok peeps, that's a wrap for today. Have a great Friday!

Head on over to Mama M's blog My Little Life to join in on the fun!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Post Where I Talk About Random Pics I Took In Rochester

The thrill of handing over my brand spanking new passport to cross into the US a couple of weeks ago has not gone away. A trip to the US is always exciting for me.

It amazes me how differently things are done there. I don't understand why the same product is packaged differently, or why the US gets better snacks than we do.

More on the snack rip off shortly.

I took a bunch of pictures of random stuff and today I'm going to talk about them.

The money.

It all looks the same.


Canadian money is multi-coloured and pretty. See?

So pretty.

I feel compelled to point out that this is not my money. I wish.

One of the places I had to go while I was in Rochester NY was Target.

I love Target and word on the street is that it's coming to Canada in 2013.

Just one more reason to hope the world doesn't really end in 2012.

What's with the balls out front of Target?? Anyone? Anyone?

Does every Target have these out front? Is it decoration or something? They were distracting me.

And get a look at THIS:

Right there in the store. We can't buy beer in our stores here. We actually have to go to the beer store. Which is called...get ready... The Beer Store.

These huge cereal bags looked like bags of dog food.

Does anyone actually buy their cereal like this? Where do you store the bag??

And these were so cute!

Check this out.

I love yogurt. And I love m&ms. Together? HEAVEN.

Enough about that.


I am drooling. I love Reece's in any form and this dessert has my name all over it. Which is why I didn't buy it. Which I am now regretting. It's on my Christmas list.

And these... we buy these already made but I didn't know you could actually bake them yourself.

All this stuff that the US has that we don't. Maybe I'll just move there and bask in the goodness.



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Jug vs Bag

Yesterday I was talking with some of my American friends about milk.

I posted about this topic back in January 2010. You can see that here.

When I'm in the US it always amazes me how milk is sold in jugs.

Take a look at that. How do they fit in the fridge? It seems to me that they would take up a lot of space in there. And what if you had a large family and needed a lot of milk?

I don't get it.

Now, here in Canada, we sell milk the proper way.

In bags.


Each bag holds three smaller bags that go into a pitcher. Snip the corner of the bag and pour. The pitcher is slim enough to fit in the fridge door to make room for more important things. Like food.

I guess that we Canadians are just a bit more streamlined in the milk department of life.



Sunday, November 13, 2011

Counting Mine {61-75}

My heart feels different these days.


More peaceful.

I was emailing with a sweet friend of mine the other day and I told her that God is doing something to me. In me. I can feel it. I feel like He is reaching down into the pit I've been in and is gently lifting me out. He's meeting me where I am to get me. Me. It's overwhelming. Still, there is spiritual attack but I give it to the Lord and go forward. I'm living very much minute to minute these days. It's all I have the strength to do and I just sense that's what He wants for me right now.

As more and more is stripped away, I am seeing how much I truly have.

And I'm rich.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

61} funny or inspirational church signs
62} a fresh box of crayons
63} Christmas lights
64} watching my big kids walking together, heads bent close as they talk
65} driving my children to school
66} an open parking spot close to the store
67} inside jokes between Ian and me
68} the feeling of well being, no matter how fleeting
69} the scent of burning leaves
70} a wave from a neighbour
71} driving up to the drive-thru window to find that the previous car already paid for my order
72} warm strawberry rhubarb pie
73} a friend that reaches out in love
74} getting mail
75} the smell of turkey roasting in the oven

If you are counting your own blessings and blogging about them, will you leave me a comment with the link to your blog, or share them with me at I'd love to know how you are being blessed through this journey!

Counting Mine {1-15}
Counting Mine {16-30}
Counting Mine {31-45}
Counting Mine {46-60}


Friday, November 11, 2011

Ramble, Ramble

I didn't get my act together this week to participate in Mama M's Five Question Friday this week. Sorry M!

Today was Matthew's check-up and his second round of vaccinations. I was hoping that my doctor could give me some advice on how to get Matthew to sleep through the night. He's now waking up almost hourly all night long and it's killing us. I've tried just about everything from swaddling to strict schedules, extra bottles and cereal before bedtime. Nothing is working and we're burning out. He wrote down a website to look at for some tips but I managed to forget the paper in his office so I had to go back for it, then I lost it somewhere between the car and the house.

Sleep deprived I tell you.

Little man now weighs 17lbs and Dr L said he was thriving and perfect. He seems to really like Matthew. I like that.

Yesterday I went with my mother to the hospital for a couple of tests. At a red light a guy motioned to us that our tire was low so we had to pull over at the next gas station. Neither of us knew a thing about pumping air so I went and asked a Pepsi delivery guy to help us. Ten minutes later we were on our way and I knew just about everything about the delivery guy. He told me his entire day's route, how many kids he had and their ages, where he vacationed last, his plans for the weekend, and what he was having for lunch that day.

He smelled very nice for someone who was delivering Pepsi all day.

Just sayin.

I do love learning about people.

While I was waiting for Mom in the waiting room I met a lovely woman who seemed very lonely. She told me her entire life's story, from her arrival to Canada, how her children grew up and moved away, how her husband died, how she is alone now. She talked and talked as though this was the first time in a long time that she had someone to listen to her. I wanted to get her number so I could call her from time to time but she was called in for her test and left quickly.

I really wanted to hug her. I have hugging issues, you know.

It snowed for exactly six minutes this morning.

Tonight was Family Movie Night and we watched Jimmy Neutron. This is one of my favourite movies and FINALLY we got to watch it after I was shot down for 8 million weeks in a row. I know every line for every character.

Apparently my children don't enjoy me quoting them throughout the movie.

Apparently it's "annoying" and "distracting".

Whatever. That'll show them for withholding my movie from me.

I felt as though I was getting a cold on Monday and Tuesday but it turned out to be nothing. Now tonight I am sneezing and sniffling.

Today Sam was the Faith Ambassador at the school assembly. He did a little sermon on the theme of conscience. He did a practice run last night and I was blown away. Julie said he was awesome today. I'm sure he was. He used to want to be a video game designer. Now? A youth pastor.

A youth pastor! I love it.

Motivation visited me today. I scrubbed my kitchen floor, windows, walls, baseboards and cupboards. I even cleaned out some drawers and got rid of some clutter. Go Me!

I'm sure more happened this week but for the life of me I can't remember. This weekend I'm hoping to get over to my Mama's to make a few batches of cake balls. Oh my they are delicious little treats. I've yet to have someone try them and not love them.

Julie is going to a sleepover tomorrow night. I'll miss her.

Ok, that's all I've got. See you on Sunday.


Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A Sweet Friend

I miss being at Women of Faith. It's so strange to state something like that and I'm not sure if I can explain it so that it makes sense.

I feel as though I walked into the weekend with raw and open wounds and this weekend was like salve, and my wounds started to heal a bit. But now, returning to "real life", I'm afraid that this new healing will be ripped away, exposing the wounds again.

Actually, I'm terrified of that. I want to remember every word I heard. I want to keep the safe feeling I had.

I keep reading and re-reading my notes from the weekend and listening to the Rejoice worship cd that I purchased, trying to keep my head back where it's been.

While there is much for me to still share with you, I can't wait any longer to tell you about a wonderful woman I got to meet on Saturday: Angie Smith from Bring The Rain. While I've been blessed to know Angie for some time now, seeing her face-to-face took things from an online friendship to making our friendship solid in my heart.

We'd been messaging each other on Friday trying to figure out when we could meet up in her schedule but weren't able to make it happen that day. It felt so weird to be so close yet not be able to see her. I'm a hugger and I was just itchin' to give that sweet girl a big squeeze.

I woke up on Saturday morning and decided to just let things be what they would be. If I was able to make it to her book signing, I would. But if I couldn't then I would have to be ok with that.

Jen and I arrived at the arena about five minutes after the session started. The worship team was singing and the place was full of energy. I was singing away when I saw a woman coming down the aisle looking for someone. Just as her eyes met mine I realized who it was.

It was Angie. And she was looking for me.

I started to make my way to the end of the aisle with a polite "excuse me, excuse me" but the closer I got to her it became more "move! move!"

My apologies to the woman on the aisle seat...her toes may never be the same again.

We hugged and hugged and who knows what either of us said because it was so loud but there she was. My heart was so touched that she would have left her spot on the Women of Faith porch to come and find me. Later on I would learn how she wasn't allowed to do that. She's a rule breaker, that one.

I looked forward to hearing her speak and while my heart just ached for her as she shared about the devastating loss of her precious Audrey, I was so encouraged by the depths of her faith. She owned that stage, making us all laugh and cry alongside her.

I decided that I would leave just before the conference ended and head upstairs to her signing table. I'd brought my copy of What Women Fear just in case. I was the fifth or sixth person in line and quickly learned that the line would be cut off at 20. Whew!

I'll admit, I did feel somewhat guilty for taking up a spot in that lineup, considering I already had a chance to meet her but I kept my mouth shut. I figured the Lord would forgive me!

The woman waiting in line behind me was a hard core Angie fan and was telling me facts about her like she was hosting a trivia contest. "Did you know..." and more "did you know..." It was more than a little creepy. Just sayin'.

Then it was my turn :-) We hugged and hugged some more, and again...who knows who said what because we were both talking over each other. Yes, people. She truly is as genuine and kind as she comes across on her blog. Even more so. And funny. I put my purse down and leaned on that table all comfortable-like as if we had all the time in the world.

Oh I saw you giving me the stink eye, Trivia-girl. I saw.

One of my big expressions is "pics or it didn't happen" so, here's my pic.

Just so you know, I told Angie I was going to blog about this and drop her name like a ton of bricks and she was a-ok with it. She told me if I didn't blog about us meeting then she was going to break into my blog and do it herself. Ha.

We hugged and hugged and then our time was over. I felt sad leaving. There was so much I wanted to say to her that our emails and tweets couldn't convey. I hope she felt them in my hugs.

I love you dearly, sweet Angie. I'm so glad we got to meet, and your inscription in my book was lovely.

And that concludes my name-dropping for today.



Monday, November 07, 2011

Women of Faith 2011

I am just coming off one of the best weekends of my life.

Where to start! At the beginning is always the best, so I'll just take you through my weekend. There is so much I want to tell you, but I'll give an overview for now so I don't overload you with a huge post.

Thursday afternoon, I picked up my sweet friend Jen to head off to Rochester NY. We left about 1:20pm and hit the border about a hour later. I felt such pride at handing over my spanking new passport. We made it to our hotel with no trouble, checked in and touched base with our husbands to let them know we arrived safely.

We headed out to locate the arena and the closest parking lot to it, then enjoyed dinner at Perkins, followed by visits to Target and Walmart. We were back in our hotel and in bed by about 11pm.

I woke up so excited on Friday morning I could barely stand it. We ate breakfast then drove over to the arena about a half hour before the doors opened. The energy in the Blue Cross Arena was off the charts! I could hardly sit still.

We heard from Sheila Walsh and Dr. Henry Cloud first. So many great takeaways from both speakers. I was taking as many notes as I could while trying to stay present in each moment. I was tweeting pics while they spoke and eventually had to stop because I was so caught up in what I was hearing.

When Sheila spoke, it was like she was speaking right into my heart. She encouraged us to live intentionally, to thank God while we're in the storm, not just once it's passed and for getting us through it. One of the many things she said that struck me was "You are not a victim. You are a daughter of the King! And that will never change." Wow!

She closed by singing Amazing Grace and it was absolutely beautiful.

Dr. Henry Cloud is the author of Boundaries and he was fantastic. He talked about what makes us happy, and necessary endings. Those things are a blog post all on their own! He told us that in order for God to get us from where we are to the Promised Land, it's going to hurt a little. We have to let go of where we are in order to go to where we are intended to be. Lots on that.

At the lunch break I was able to meet Cassandra who I met through my blog and we sat together for the rest of the session. Fun! I've mentioned before how I suck at small talk and get all rambly, and poor Cassandra had to endure that! Sorry friend! We did get to see each other a couple more times during the weekend and stayed in touch through Twitter.

The session ended around 3:30ish and Jen and I went back to the hotel to relax for a short bit then went to Appleby's for dinner. Lots of great conversation and great food. We returned to the arena for the evening session at 7pm.

Ken Davis had us in stitches and in tears. Utter brilliance. He shared a prayer that his granddaughter once prayed over him. "Dear God, Don't let my grandpa be afraid. Help him to think about rainbows and bunnies. Don't let him forget about Jesus." So simple, so sweet. A simple prayer I am sure I will say in those moments when I am too broken to form deeper thoughts. Don't let me be afraid. Don't let me forget about Jesus. Lots of great worship mixed in as well.

Saturday morning couldn't come fast enough. It was a full day of incredible speakers: Sheila Walsh, Luci Swindoll, Lisa Harper, Angie Smith (can't wait to tell you about her) and Nicole Johnson. As well as beautiful worship by the Women of Faith worship team, Natalie Grant and Mary Mary.

One of the high points of Women of Faith was when Sheila was sharing a tender moment spent with her dying mother in law, who believed that if it was Sheila that was sick, God would have healed her. Sheila reminded her of the song that her mother in law had sung to her grandson just that morning - Jesus Loves Me. And she began to sing it, and everyone in the arena joined in to sing with her.

8,000 Christian sisters all singing Jesus Loves Me as one. Can you imagine how beautiful that sounded? I turned around to look all around me and was overwhelmed. It was incredible. Jesus was with us in that arena. I felt it in my bones.

I heard things this weekend that my mind already knew. But for the first time in a very long time - if ever - my heart heard them. I felt so safe in that arena. So connected to His church. I felt almost afraid to leave when it was over. To return to the real world. Yet, I'm also excited to share with others what I experienced this weekend and to share the change that I can feel happening to my heart.

After a quick stop at the scariest pharmacy ever (I half expected my van to be stripped or to get stabbed) we were on our way home to our sweet families, hearts and minds full of God's truths and His love.

I wish I could find words strong enough to drive this home to each of you that are reading this: at some time in your life - the sooner the better! - attend this conference. They travel all across the US so there must be a location near to you. Bring a friend with you. The ticket price and time away from your family is worth it. YOU are worth it. Prepare to be changed forever.

**I was provided two free tickets by BookSneeze in return for two blog posts on this event. Thank you, BookSneeze, from the bottom of my heart!


Sunday, November 06, 2011

Counting Mine {46-60}

I had an incredible, life changing time at the Women of Faith conference this weekend! There is so much wonderful stuff to process and work through and apply... I'm excited to tell you all about it!

It is my sincere hope that you will be able to attend an event such as this at some time in your life. It was powerful. I need to take some time to just absorb all that I've learned and experienced before sharing it with you.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

46} the flush on Matthew's cheeks as he sleeps
47} my family all together at once
48} campfires
49} getting into the car just as my favourite song starts on the radio
50} Walmart
51} walking through the conservation area with Willow in the Fall
52} freshly baked chocolate chip cookies
53} sleeping in
54} the way my hand fits perfectly inside Ian's
55} riding along in the car, cozy and warm, while it rains outside
56} small town shops
57} the first snowfall that sticks
58} laughing until I cry
59} a hot washcloth on my face
60} Willow laying across my cold feet

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

If you are counting your own blessings and blogging about them, will you leave me a comment with the link to your blog, or share them with me at I'd love to know how you are being blessed through this journey!

Counting Mine {1-15}
Counting Mine {16-30}
Counting Mine {31-45}


Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Excitement, Gift Cards And My Pretty New Red Purse

I am SO excited for the Women of Faith conference in Rochester NY this weekend. So excited in fact, that I have given myself a headache.

I have so much to do before I leave my sweet family for these precious days so I'll make this post short and sweet.

Halloween went very well. Sam really enjoyed going out with his group of friends. Julie only did a bit of trick or treating and was content to walk along with me and return early to my mom's house to give out candy. Jordan was a machine... she just kept going and going and going. She did enter a few homes - six to be precise - all home-invasion style, looking for someone to give her candy. Embarrassing, yet sort of funny. She also fell six times.

Yes.... I kept a running tally of both.

We returned to my mom's house, thinking the night was over, but Jordan wanted to go out again, so we did. I have wonderful memories of my mother taking my sister and me out each year, letting us go and go and go until we decided we were done. There wasn't ever a time limit. I wanted to do that for my children as well. As we headed back to mom's, Jordan asked me to carry her. She buried her face in my neck and said "You're my superhero, Mommy."


In other, unrelated information...

I am a gift card gal. I love gift cards. I know that some people think that they're impersonal but I love them. I also like to give them as well. It just makes it easier for the recipient to choose something they really love.

For me, I hoard my gift cards until just the right moment. It has to be something that I definitely, definitely want. And yesterday was just such a time. I was window shopping in the mall, looking for Christmas gift ideas when I saw it.

So pretty. So red. So impractical. So goes-with-nothing-I-own.

But I had to have it.

I whipped out my gift card from Christmas 2010 and used it.

I love it so much I wanted to tuck it into bed beside me last night. But I didn't, because I'm not that weird.

I also had a couple of gift cards for my favourite clothing store, so I brought my personal stylist, Julie, along with me to pick something out for the conference this weekend. According to Ian, I wear too much black, grey and navy, so he told Jules to make sure I stayed away from those colours.

That girl knows fashion. She's ten! She was putting things together that I never would have thought of and they looked so stylish. At one point we had about 30 pieces in our dressing room even though the sign said six only.

I despise shopping for myself on a level you can't even imagine. I don't like flashy, busy clothes so that eliminates a lot of choices. But my sweet girl found me something absolutely perfect. We texted a photo to Ian and he loved it too. I whipped out my gift cards and a coupon and we left quite pleased. Julie, because she had succeeded in her mission. Me, because I didn't have to pull my own eyes out, necessitating an ambulance to come and bust me out of the store.

I need to wrap this up so I can get everything done before I leave tomorrow. I'm hoping the arena has wi-fi because I'm planning on tweeting throughout the event. I'll try to tweet some pictures as well. If you're interested in hearing about the conference, feel free to follow my twitter feed right here. If that link doesn't work, look me up! I'm KatieB38.

Catch ya later!