Saturday, December 31, 2011

End Of 2011

Here we are on the very last day of 2011.

Many of the blogs I read are talking about the highs and lows of their year, and their resolutions for 2012.

Our high was definitely the arrival of our little boy Matthew. He is such a sweet baby and a symbol of unexpected blessings and hope.

One afternoon, earlier this year, I was laying beside Jordan while she napped. One hand was stroking her hair while the other rested on my pregnant belly. I was talking to God and asking Him how I would manage everything He had entrusted me with in the season we were enduring. I felt Him speak to my heart and it just took my breath away.

"Look at her. Look at who I gave you. You asked Me for one more child. I gave you two. I exceeded your prayers then, and I will do it again."


Our lows this year have been low. No doubt about that. We are leaving 2011 battered and bruised and so tired. But. There was a lot of blessings and beauty this year as well. The way we've turned toward one another, instead of turning away. How our family has become even stronger. The people who have loved on us over and over, and met our needs in ways we never imagined. Learning to let go of the control I seem to think I have, and let God have it all. My anger, my fear, my own ideas of what should be. Choosing to let Him in. Hearing from Him in a way that has changed my life. I guess He needs to completely break me so that He can mold me into who He intended me to be, before I got in my own way.

I have hopes and dreams for 2012. Things I would like to happen. Places I'd like to go. Stuff I want to do. I don't really make resolutions anymore because I never keep them for long. Then I feel bad about myself, and I am so done with feeling bad about myself.

So, I'll share with you what I hope to accomplish in 2012.

I would like to take steps to better myself physically.

I want to spend more time getting to know Jesus. He reached out to me in a way I never ever expected and I'm dropping everything and going with Him. My hands aren't clenched closed anymore. They're open and expectant. I'm giving up control to Him I'm expecting a wild ride!

I want to be a strong supporter and encourager of my husband. He leads our family well, and I couldn't be more proud that he is mine. I feel like we've fallen in love with each other in a fresh way, and I want to date him again!

I want to be the mother that my children deserve. My daughters deserve a good female role model to emulate and I want it to be me. All of my children need to hear me speaking with a softer tone, see me making healthy choices, spending more time with my Bible open and less time with my iPhone in my hands.

I want to wear perfume and makeup even if I'm not going anywhere. To use the good dishes on a weekday night. To drink milk out of a champagne glass just because I can.

I want to spend more time being Kate, and less time trying to be someone else. God made me to be Kate, and it's time I started trying to be Kate.

I want to try baking and sewing and crafting more, and being ok when things don't turn out perfectly. I will have tried, and my victory will come from that alone.

I want to smile and laugh more, and swear less.

Not bad for someone who doesn't make resolutions, right?

I may not know what you've celebrated, lost or endured in 2011. Some of you have allowed me to pray alongside you in your difficult seasons, and to rejoice with you in your blessings. Many of you have contacted me to let me know that you have been praying for our family this year. Thank you.

The blogging community is a powerful place of love and support and I am so thankful to be a part of it.

Happy New Year, friends. May you receive God's beautiful blessings in abundance, and feel that incredible joy and peace that comes from Him.


Book Review: My Favourite Bible

Bring the Bible alive!

The most treasured stories of the Bible come alive in My Favorite Bible.

Start your little ones on a life-long love of God's word!

This colorful and dynamic gospel-centered Bible storybook guides children through the foundational truths of Scripture. Each story is fully and vividly illustrated and includes a simple narrative with things children ages 4—8 love: repetition, rhythm, and energy, along with a key biblical theme, a key Bible verse, an activity page, and discussion questions.

Adults and children will cherish time together as they grow closer to God.

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

I've been looking for a good devotional Bible for some time now, so when the opportunity to review this one came along I jumped at the chance and couldn't wait for it to arrive.

Sam and Jules have a good solid grasp of our faith and I am so thankful for that. As Jordan rapidly approaches her 4th birthday and is soaking up learning like a sponge, I was anxious to find age appropriate devotional materials for her to learn from.

I loved the colourful and cute pictures that filled each page. The stories were told in little-people speak, with different sized fonts and curly words. It is an eye catching book for children and Jordan loved it.

Aside from all of that, you know what I think I loved most? It's small and light enough to fit in a child's lap comfortably. Sounds like a minor thing to get excited about, right?

I gave it to Jordan to hold and look through, and just sat back to watch her expressions and reactions to it. I loved her face as she turned the pages, oohing and ahhing over the pictures, and then hugged it to her little chest.

"Is this book for me?" she asked.

I nodded and smiled. "That book is filled with stories about God's goodness and love for us, Jordan!" I whispered to her. Her little face beamed and she nodded, telling me how she wanted to learn all about God too.

After each story there is a Family Talk section, highlighting the key verse for that story. It includes a few paragraphs relating each story to modern day, in a way that this age group will understand. It ends with some questions for your child to think about.

There is also a Family Fun page after each story as well. It suggests a couple of options of how your child could put her faith in action.

I really, truly would recommend this type of devotional material for the 4-8 year age group. I look forward to using My Favourite Bible as an added tool to help Jordan grow her faith.

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

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".


Friday, December 30, 2011

5QF ~ December 30

We made it until the end of December before getting any snow and now it's everywhere. I don't care how pretty it is, I don't like it. I'm not a winter girl.

Only 173 days left until the summer. I can make it. I'm coming, flip flops! I'm coming!

Julie and I took our Christmas tree down on Wednesday and it's sitting on our front porch. It was too big to fit down the stairs but we just shoved it down there and out the door. I was half finished vacuuming up the needles when I managed to suck up the strap of Jordan's babydoll carrier and the whole thing shut down. When I pulled on the strap the whole bottom came off, including the rolling thing and the belt. Ooops. It was touch and go while I tried to fix it myself so I started practicing my speech for Ian, explaining why we needed to buy our 18th vacuum. (Yes, we're on #17) But Ian fixed it and all is well. Whew

I have not made any resolutions for the new year. I never keep them anyway. I don't feel the excitement of a new year like I usually do. This year will present new challenges for us as a family and I'm emotionally exhausted before we even leave the gate. Not good.

My girls are outside playing in the snow right now. I love seeing their pink faces and red, drippy noses when they come in to warm up. I'm going to crank out my questions for Mama M's Five Question Friday so I can get some cookies baking in the oven for when they come inside.

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

1. What's the oldest piece of clothing in your closet?

My school uniform! I can't seem to part with it. It's not like I'll ever wear the kilt again, right? I just can't let it go. I enjoyed my high school years and it's like a souvenir. A closet space stealing souvenir.

2. How many random blog readers have you met?

In real life? One! I met a lovely woman "C" at the Women of Faith conference last month and I like her a whole lot :)

Through the blogging community? TONS. I love the women I've met through this blogging hobby of mine.

3. Do you let your kids stay up till midnight on New Years Eve? (Or, if you don't have kiddos yet, did you get to stay up until midnight as a child?)

Yes, we let our kids stay up. When it was just Sam and Julie, we used to watch the NYE celebrations from somewhere ahead of us at 9pm so they could get to bed at a decent hour, then Ian and I would celebrate alone.

Now we all stay up. I make everyone's favourite meal for dinner, we play games and watch movies and eat snacks right up until midnight. We toast with wine for us, and pop, juice or milk for the children. I cry then we go to bed.


4. What are the gas prices where you live?

We're paying about $1.19 per litre right now. I tried to figure out online what that converts to in gallons and it came out with $5.41/gallon. That can't be right.

5. What is one resolution that you know you should do but are too afraid to try?

I'm not really afraid to try anything resolution-wise. Lose weight, maybe. I fail every time. Maybe I'm subconsciously afraid to try because I'm afraid I'll fail again. Maybe I just love cookies too much. Maybe both are right.

Oh! Speaking of cookies... I need to get them into the oven for the girls to have when they come in from the snow to warm up!

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

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


Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

Another lovely Christmas has come to an end.

Saturday night, Ian and I took the children to our friends' church about a half hour north of us for their children's service. Our regular church wasn't doing a children's service this year, and we felt that mass would be too long for the little ones, so this worked out beautifully for us.

For the drive there, I decided to sit in the very back of the van with Jordan so we could hold hands, sing songs and tell secrets. I wasn't banking on Ian and Sam playing Feliz Navidad over and over and over all the way to the church. I can't stand that song. I got to hear it all the way to my mother's house as well. Lucky me.

The service itself was lovely. I loved singing Silent Night by candlelight, and looking at my precious family. I felt so thankful for them. Afterwards our friends gave us a tour of their church and I was beyond impressed with everything they showed us and shared about the ministries there. I'd love to go back again.

After church we went to my mom's for a delicious ham dinner, followed by our tradition of new pjs and reading The Night Before Christmas. When we came home, Julie and I helped Jordan make cookies for Santa.

Speaking of Santa... guess who showed up in our backyard?? The Big Guy himself! We heard him jingling his bells and his "ho! ho! ho!" Jordan was so excited I thought she'd jump out the window!

Our Christmas morning began at 6am. Sam and Julie were already awake, so Ian and I went in to wake Jordan. As soon as we spoke she flung her blankets off and was heading out the door to go downstairs. Matthew slept through pretty much the whole thing!

We went to my Mom's for 9am and opened gifts there then had a huge breakfast. Home for naps then back for a huge turkey dinner. So good.

Today is Boxing Day here in Canada and Ian's parents came for lunch. It was a good visit and the children were glad to spend time with them before they head down south for the winter.

Late this afternoon Ian and the big kids headed out for some Boxing Day shopping, and I stayed home while the little ones napped.


I watched movies and dozed while enjoying time alone. I deeply love my family but after three straight days of visiting and eating and laughing and talking.... I need some quiet time.

I'm hoping to take the tree down tomorrow. It's lovely, but it's big and the needles are dropping all over the place and I'm ready to get the living room cleaned up and everything put away and back to normal.

How was YOUR Christmas?


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

"For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6

Merry Christmas, friends! May the many blessings of love, peace and joy be with you this holiday season and always.



Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is one of my favourite days of the year. It always has been.

So many precious traditions.

A Christmas Eve service with Ian and the children. Gathering with all the people I love most in this world at my mom's for a delicious dinner filled with laughter.

Afterwards, watching each of the children open one gift. Sitting in front of the fire to listen to them take turns reading The Night Before Christmas.

Then, going home to get the children ready for bed. Tracking Santa on the Norad site. Putting out cookies and milk for Santa. Children too excited so sleep.

Sitting in the darkened living room with my Ian's arms around me, looking at the lights on our beautiful tree. Reflecting on the birth of our Saviour. The beauty of the true meaning for the season.

So much anticipation and hope held in the heart.

Anything is possible.

How do YOU spend your Christmas Eve?


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Stuff Going On

Only three more sleeps until Santa comes :-)

I have a lot to accomplish this week and so far I'm right on track.

Monday was my day to finish up my Christmas shopping. I drove the children to school then came back for Ian, and the little ones and headed to the mall. I mentally prepared myself for long lineups and impatient, pushy shoppers. To my surprise I didn't encounter either.

Ian took Jordan with him and I kept Matthew with me.

He's not a huge shopper, as you can see.

I love what he's wearing. We all call it his Prison Break outfit. I don't know that any of us have even seen Prison Break, come to think of it.

All was going well as we shopped, even meeting up with Ian and Jordan so she could see Santa. I didn't think she would sit on his lap, but she did. Wouldn't say anything to him, but she got up there and was so excited when she came to see me afterwards.

Santa looked at me, winked and waved with a hearty "Ho! Ho! Ho!" and I forgot I was a forty year old mother of four and squealed "HI SANTA!" while waving like mad.

And yes, there were tears in my eyes.

Oh to be young again.

Another thing I wasn't expecting was to spot my ex-boyfriend at The Body Shop. I went in there with the stroller even though it was pretty tight between tables of products and other shoppers. But I wanted to see what they had so in we went. We'd been there for precisely three minutes when I spotted him.

I was calm. I was mature. I darted behind a large display of body wash so he wouldn't see me. Except I managed to knock the entire display down causing everyone to look at me. Oh man. Not my finest moment.


I picked up the children after school and took them shopping to pick out their gifts for Ian. Sam shops just like his dad. In and out, no stopping. Julie and I are browsers and can spend ages in a store together.

Aside for a few small stocking stuffers, I am done.

Yesterday I went to Costco with my Mama so she could pick out the ham for Christmas Eve dinner. No ex-boyfriend sightings thank goodness. I went back to Mom's for a bit to visit with her and my aunt.

Late yesterday afternoon I started to feel sniffly, sneezy and sore. I was in bed with the lights out at 9:30 which is very unusual for me. Usually I'm watching tv and replying to emails and such until about midnight. All night I kept waking up and feeling worse and worse.

Today Ian and I are exhausted. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Neither of us are feeling the joyful Christmas spirit although we are putting up a pretty good front for the children. The hits keep on coming and we are feeling so broken. Today was designated for wrapping the Christmas gifts, and there we both sat all morning, me in tears, both of us silent, lost in our own thoughts while we wrapped.

Things have to change. Oh Lord, they have to change. We are rapidly approaching the point where we will have some serious decisions to make. I'm choosing to praise Him still, even though I have never felt lower.


Tonight should be fun as the children wrap their gifts for one another. I'm looking forward to that. Jordan wrapped her gifts for her siblings this morning and she was so cute. I swear I have a mild form of OCD and I'm beginning to suspect she does a bit as well, so there was some rough patches. We had to laugh when she said "That's it! I'm done with this!" and flounced off.

Gotta laugh where you can, right?

I still need to complete a couple of sewing projects, two of which Julie is giving to her friends. I saw appliqued pillowcases on Pinterest and she loved the idea and asked me to make two of them for her best girlfriends.

Thursday I'm hoping to get some baking done although I'm not in the mood. Friday is for housework so I don't have to worry about it over the weekend.

And then... lots and lots of time with the people I love the most in this world. I can't wait for that.

Ok that's it for now. I'm hearing a weird noise so I'm off to investigate then get back to my wrapping.

Happy Wednesday :-)


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Counting Mine {121 - 135}

I can't believe that Christmas is just one week away. We're almost done our Christmas shopping, the last of which I'm hoping to finish up tomorrow. The rest of the week will be spent wrapping gifts and baking special treats while celebrating the true meaning of this beautiful season.

Last evening I watched a live stream of The Story Tour. Max Lucado, Selah, Natalie Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman... the list went on. Such beautiful singing. More than once I felt my eyes filling with tears. I'm hoping that it will be available on iTunes because I still have an iTunes card to spend :-)

I met up with my friend Dawn on Thursday afternoon for a cup of tea and to introduce her to Matthew. I haven't seen her in forever and it did my heart good to be with her again. Matthew took to her right away and cried when she left.

Thursday evening was Mother/Daughter night at Girls Club so Julie and I baked fudge brownies to take with us. Such a sweet evening with her. I was also able to catch up with a couple of my friends while we were there which was nice.

Ian is watching The Polar Express with the children and just pulled out a batch of gingerbread cookies.

I'm going to have to wrap this post up now, I think!

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

121} freshly brushed teeth
122} a sermon that speaks directly to my heart
123} reconnecting with an old friend
124} my snowman pjs, worn and torn as they are
125} walking down the street and hearing the clinking of dinner dishes being washed
126} having my hair brushed
127} watching my children playing in the leaves
128} praying with my children
129} going out on the porch during a heavy rainstorm and seeing my neighbours doing the same
130} a Friday evening snowstorm and we're cozy inside with nowhere to go
131} the scent of freshly washed floors
132} my grandmother's afghan
133} the sounds of my children spilling into the house as they arrive home from school
134} a warm candlelit bubble bath with a glass of wine and a good book
135} the feel of Ian's arms around me

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

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
Counting Mine {91-105}
Counting Mine {106-120}


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Words I've Been Saying Wrong My Entire Life

I married a very, very, intelligent man.

If I need to know something I just ask him and chances are that he knows the answer.

It's actually quite impressive.

He's like my own personal Google.

I find that I don't even bother to look up my own information or calculate anything on my own anymore. I just ask him.

But every so often there comes a moment when I think that I know something that he doesn't. Instead of lovingly sharing my information, it comes out more like "BOOYAH! You are so WRONG buddy!"

Take the word "melee" for instance. He pronounced it as "may-lay". I looked at him and asked him what he'd just said. He repeated it.

Oh this was my chance to set him straight.

I sat up a bit straighter and smiled at him.

"Actually, it's pronounced mee-lee." I said.

He didn't say a word. He just pulled out his iPhone and the next thing I hear is a voice saying "may-lay".


About six months ago we were laying in bed, getting ready to go to sleep. We were joking around and he used the word "cacophony".

I asked him to repeat himself. He did.

Here we go, I thought.

"Um, Ian," I said, in my booyah you're wrong voice. "It's cah-co-phony."

And then I laughed and rolled over.

About ten minutes later, out of the darkness, I hear that same automated voice.



For forty years I thought it was cah-co-phony.

My entire life.

I don't use that word often, but whenever I did, I was saying it wrong. And here I thought the person was all impressed with my word skills.


Julie has been working on a poem at school and one of the words was "ubiquitous". I asked her to pronounce it and she said she had no idea.

So... I asked my Google-Ian.

Instead of telling me, he asked me how I pronounced it. I rolled my eyes and said "I'm pretty sure it's yoo-be-qwee-shus."

He lovingly said "you-bit-qwi-tus" and gave me a kiss.


Now I wonder how many other words I've been saying wrong.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Why I Shouldn't Be Allowed To Drive After Dark

Driving is such a pain in the bum if you ask me.

So much responsibility. I can't look at my surroundings because I'm afraid I'll ram another car or run over somebody.

I don't like to drive in the rain, during winter, in traffic, on highways or in the dark.

So the five minutes I actually drive a year is a pain in the bum.

I actually considered letting my licence lapse so that I wouldn't have to drive ever again but I know that isn't a realistic idea.

Anyway, all that to tell you why I shouldn't be allowed to drive after dark.

A couple of weeks ago I drove past City Hall and the park next to it and was blown away by all the Christmas lights. It was absolutely breathtaking. I immediately thought of how Julie would love them, and we were long overdue for some one-on-one girl time. I mentioned them to her and she said she'd love to see them.

Two weeks passed. There was always something going on or it was too late to go downtown to see them. Finally, I promised her that we would go after dinner on Sunday.

I woke up not feeling that great as we've all been fighting colds. I pushed on because moms just can't get sick, right? After dinner I felt tired, but she looked so hopeful and excited that I just couldn't brush her off again. So, we headed off just after 8pm.

We were in the middle of a great conversation as we drove along oohing and ahhing over the lights on the main street. I turned to drive along the street behind City Hall looking for a place to park with a parking meter. I didn't want to use the underground parking because I just didn't feel as though it was safe.

I live in a city where you can go from middle class homes on one block, and the next is full of rooming houses, with prostitutes and drug dealers walking around. I wanted a place that was well lit for us to park.

There weren't any open spots, so we drove around the corner and down a side street. There were all sorts of No Parking signs, so I continued along to an apartment building. No empty spaces.

There was very little lighting and it was in a creepier part of the neighbourhood. The end of the parking lot curved to the right into an alley. I assumed it would circle around the building and come back out at the front.

I was wrong.

Just as we reached the end of the alley the front end of my van dropped down and we heard this awful crunching sound. We both screamed. It took a few minutes to register what had happened.

Julie and I just looked at each other.

At this point, may have said a swear word that started with s.

A few times.

Getting out of the van was hard because the alley was so narrow. Straight ahead of us was a parkette behind the building.

A parkette I didn't see at all.

Why didn't I see it??

And there hung the front end of my van, about three feet off the ground.

Oh Ian was going to kill me. I just knew it.

We walked back down the dark alley, clinging to each other. Julie was really afraid, and frankly I wasn't feeling so brave either. We walked around a bit and discovered that if we continued to drive the van off the ledge, we could drive around the parkette and come out of a different part of the parking lot and then be on our way.

But I didn't know what kind of damage it would do to the under part of the van to do that.

I called Ian and told him what happened. He immediately called my mother who hurried over to stay with the children so Ian could come and find us.

There were apartments across the parkette and I was pretty sure I didn't want to go there to ask for help. The downtown part of my city is pretty, but not the safest.

Julie was really, really scared so we held hands and prayed together. Then I did what any sensible social media addict would do.

I tweeted for prayer!

I told her that some day we would laugh about this and that I was going to start laughing now. (Because I knew there would be no laughing when Ian saw with his own eyes what I did)

About ten minutes after my 911 call to Ian, I saw him walking down the alley and relief just filled my body. I immediately felt safer and knew he'd get us out of this jam. To his credit, he didn't yell at me!

He assessed the situation and then we decided to risk driving it down, except the van wouldn't move at all at this point. Turns out we have front wheel drive. I never knew what front/rear/all wheel drive meant and didn't care. Well now I know. So, we couldn't go forward or reverse. We were stuck.

Ian asked this one guy if he could help us, but he said no. I don't blame him. If some dude asked me to go with him to a dark alley to "help with his car" I'd be out of there in seconds!

After trying to collect enough stuff to shove under the front tires to get some sort of leverage, I remembered that I had a CAA membership.

I wish I remembered that before I called Ian because we could have just avoided that call altogether!

Ian called them and told me to take Julie home, but she wasn't having any of it. Frankly, I wasn't fond of leaving him there alone either. CAA came in record time and used some sort of lift to raise the front of the van so Ian could reverse out.

As we were driving home I half heartedly pointed out the beautiful Christmas lights to Julie. She just gave me a look and we both burst out laughing.

The van seems to be ok and I am so grateful for that. We just don't understand why I couldn't see what was coming. I have very poor depth perception in the dark and that was certainly a factor.

I went to bed feeling like such a crappy mom. Instead of being calm I freaked out. I was outwardly calm, but Julie is a smart girl. She knew I was scared too. And I was. I didn't know if the wrong kind of person would come along or what. I should have just gone to the underground parking lot and be done with it.

And that, my friends, is why I shouldn't be allowed to drive in the dark.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Counting Mine {106 - 120}

This weekend was one of the sweetest weekends I've had in a long time. Ian had a full weekend of magic shows and Santa bookings, so sadly he wasn't here to be a part of it.

It wasn't like we did anything exceptionally great. We just were together, enjoying each other's company.

Julie helped me clean out a cupboard, and then I cleaned the freezer while she did the fridge. I made cake balls, and one by one all the children found their way to the kitchen, sitting on the stools at the breakfast bar. We teased and talked and laughed together and my heart felt so warm.

We ate a lot of cake balls. A lot of them. I made one big one that we called The Big Daddy just for Ian. All of us want to eat Big Daddy, and Ian is holding off just to tease us I think.

Today, I was rocking Matthew in the rocking chair in the play room, singing his favourite songs. Once he fell asleep, I moved him and started rocking Jordan, singing her favourites. Then she got cross with me for messing up the words and took off.

Then... Julie climbed on my lap and we started singing made up songs that just had us in stitches.

These are the days.

These are the moments that I don't want to ever forget.

This afternoon we put up our Christmas tree. If you know me, you know this is late for us! I'm that annoying person that is always counting down to Christmas on the 25th of each month.

Watching the children decorating the tree, I did what I do every single year without fail.

I started to cry.

Last Christmas, Matthew was still growing within me. Just a dream of what he would be. This year, he was mesmerized by the lights on the tree. I watched Sam helping Jordan hang a favourite decoration. Julie on top of the chair, hanging the ornaments on the higher branches. And Ian, putting the star on the top of the tree like he does every year. Each of us hanging a heart ornament, six in total.

I cried because it hit me just how much God loves me. He has filled my home - and my life - with people to love, and who love me. I know I don't deserve all that He has given me. I know this. I am so grateful.

There is laughter and warmth and love in this home. We fight with each other, and tease each other, and support one another.

Such love.

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

106} loading the bobbin into my sewing machine correctly the first time
107} waking up and checking the clock, and seeing that I don't have to get up just yet
108} the careful way Ian holds my heart
109} having a door held open
110} exceeded expectations
111} church family that loves deeply
112} fireworks
113} answered prayers
114} sweet family traditions
115} going to see a movie on my own
116} feety pjs
117} getting to fall asleep next to Ian each night, and waking up to him each morning
118} freshly washed laundry
119} family vacations to Sherkston
120} pushing a baby in a stroller

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

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}
Counting Mine {91-105}


Friday, December 09, 2011

5QF ~ December 9

Today is Matthew's half birthday! Six months old already... whoa. He's been so sick this week and it's been breaking my heart. I've been cuddling him and loving on him as much as possible and it calms him. I love how he closes his eyes and smiles when I kiss his cheeks. It's like he's just soaking up my love.

I finally folded the four baskets of laundry that have been taking up space in my living room.

Now I have four baskets of folded laundry taking up space in my living room.

My house is a disaster.

Remember when I posted about not having a monkey? A few of you suggested that I pray about it and see who God brings forward, so I did.


That very day I got a message from a lovely woman from my church that I admire and respect deeply and she was offering to be my monkey. ME!


I reconnected with three friends in the span of one week - each of them had been my monkey at some point in my life. In the same week!!

I'm going to have a whole gang of monkeys now. Or herd. Pack? I don't know what a group of monkeys are called. Sorry.

I started Christmas shopping this week and the children are hoping to get the tree up this weekend. Still not feeling it though. I need to put the stress I'm feeling aside so that I don't spoil the holiday for my little peeps.

I have lots to do today so I'd better get this Five Question Friday on the road!

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

1. What is your favorite Christmas cookie?

I love a good shortbread cookie. And sugar cookies are good too.

Oh who am I kidding... I love all cookies. I don't support cookie discrimination.

2. What's your favorite holiday movie & why?

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Oh my gosh that movie kills me. There's just so many great lines and physical comedy.

The children and I love to point out houses with lots of Christmas lights or overly decorated. It's always a race to see who can yell "GRISWOLDS!" first.

Which is really funny since the children have never seen the movie. I guess they just think that's what a busy looking house is called.

3. Is there a gift that you bought for your kids that you wish you hadnt after they opened it?

Polly Pockets. Nothing good ever comes from Polly Pockets.

I think they are from the same family as Lego.


4. What is the messiest room in your house right at this moment?

Jordan's bedroom. She's pulled everything out of her drawers and closet looking for something "perfect to wear".

Hello! She's three.

The runners up would be my kitchen and living room. With Matt being so sick and needing all of my attention everything has gone to pot.

5. What is the furthest you have driven for the holidays?

To my grandmother's house, two and half hours away. We used to go every Christmas morning to see her.

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

Have a great Friday!

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


Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Eyes

If you have a daughter then you know about The Eyes.

I don't know what it is about them, but I get suckered every time.

It's like the word "no" has dropped from my vocabulary and I cave.

Look for yourself.


Could you say no??

I am the world's biggest sucker when she pulls this.

Ah what can I say? I love her to bits!


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Christmas Came Early For Kate

Monday was a very exciting day in my house.

The postman brought me a package sent by my wonderful friend Mama M.


So exciting!

Want to see what's inside?

Oh mah word!

I may or may not have squealed like a little girl.

Sweet M knows and appreciates my M&M addiction and took pity on me when I told her we only had a few flavours here in Canada.

And so she sent me a care package with new flavours to try.



Cinnamon. (what!?)

Mint Chocolate.

Cherry. (two bags!!)

Peanut Butter. (my favourite)

I was in Happy M&M Heaven when I saw all that she'd sent me.

Isn't she AMAZING?

She totally loves me.

And I totally love her.

Currently they are sitting on my kitchen table like this.

Ian and the children are dying to try them.


I have sharing issues.

Thank you again, M. I appreciate your kindness and for enabling my addiction.



Tuesday, December 06, 2011

First Snow

I did a double take this morning when I looked out the window.



I was in denial that it was coming, but it's here.

Winter is not my favourite. While it's pretty, it's not appreciated in my world.

Jordan, however, couldn't wait to play in it.

Such a piddly amount but it was packing snow, so Jordan was happy.

See? Happy.

Starting on her snowman...

Adding rocks for eyes...

So hard at work...

Ta da! A mutant snow family.

Love how the ice looks on the branches.

Sorry for the picture quality. All I had was my iPhone, so I captured what I could as it happened.

I'm hoping it's all gone when I wake up tomorrow.





Monday, December 05, 2011

Purse Sisters

Remember when I told you that I bought this beauty before heading to Rochester NY last month?

Well I still love it.

Love it.

It makes me want to start collecting bags as a hobby.

I didn't think I could want anything more.

But then my sweet friend Jennifer showed me her bag and I fell in love.


It's like they're purse sisters.

Oh my gosh. Did I really say purse sisters??

Oh I did.

Look out girlfriend, one day that bag will be mine!


Sunday, December 04, 2011

Casserole vs Hotdish

There is an ongoing debate on Twitter about what this is called:

Some say it's a casserole.

Some say it's a hotdish.

What do YOU call it?


Friday, December 02, 2011

5QF ~ December 2

Well look at that... we're into December.


Is it just me or has this year just flown past??

I need to get my butt in gear and start my Christmas shopping. As usual I never know what to get anyone. Worst gift giver ever. This year I kind of wish I could go to sleep on the 23rd and wake up on the 27th, to be honest. I'm really not feeling it.

My aunt arrived yesterday to spend the holidays with us. I love her to bits and I'm always so happy to see her.

I reconnected with an old friend of mine last night, and while the circumstances were heartbreaking, I was so grateful to see her again. No matter what distance or how many years may pass, we always come back together. There is so much love between us.

There is a heaviness within my home these past couple of days and we are feeling beaten down and disheartened. I admire my husband more than I could ever express. He just keeps getting up day after day, trying so hard to do what needs to be done. Giving up is not an option, I know this, and his strength and determination is so admirable. I love him so much, and I pray daily that I will be the support and encouragement that he needs. God is with us and is our provider. I feel Him walking alongside us, and I pray that He will open doors for Ian soon. The waiting is painfully hard.

Ah well. Moving on.

Today is Friday which means it's time for Mama M's Five Question Friday.

1. What is your favorite Christmas decoration in your house?

Christmas lights for sure. We have a strand in the kitchen as well as a strand in each person's bedroom. So pretty.

2. Do you finish your Christmas shopping early or are you a last minute type?

Some years I'm ahead, some years I'm still racing around on the morning of Christmas Eve. I do like to wander the malls on the morning of Christmas Eve and enjoy the hustle and bustle.

I'm thinking of going to the mall today with the littles, so that Ian has a quiet house to work in. And to tire them out :-)

3. When do you turn on your heat?

I never touch the thermostat because I don't know what I'm doing, and I'm always warmer than everyone else so I'm not a good judge of temperature.

I just asked Ian and he said "when it gets cold".

Cheeky bum.

4. Do you ever wish your blog was private?

Yes and no.

Yes because there are people that read my blog that I really wish didn't. I've looked into IP blockers but I haven't found one that will do what I want it to do. I think WordPress has an option to block IP addresses, but I'm too nervous to make the switch. I'm still looking.

(whoa, that kind of sounded mean)

And I say no because you people are so kind to read my thoughts as I post them, and to offer encouragement, prayers and jokes when I need them. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy to know that strangers care enough about me to do that. And I've met some super people through this blog and I wouldn't want that to end.

5. Do you put your deodorant on before of after you put on your shirt?

Before. Doing it after seems like so much extra work for some reason.

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