Sunday, December 9, 2012

It's been awhile...

There's a few reasons why you haven't heard from me in quite awhile.

Numero 1. We had a baby. It's our fourth. It's been 5 years. I'm understand. I know this and appreciate it.

2. My computer has been dumb, dumb, dumb. The fact that this blog post is getting written is almost miraculous.

That's the gist of it.

That being said, I have SO MUCH to catch you up on, and so much I really really want to blog about...

So here's how I will approach the enormity of the task, I will make a list of the topics I need to blog about, and then one by one, attack the list.

Here's my list (and if you have anything you'd like to add to it, feel free to leave your requests/suggestions in the comments section).

1. Our Summer Wrap Up  
2. The Baby (with the following sub posts)
                              Her Delivery (I even have pics...well I'm waiting on those, but will have some)
                              How I feel about having a GIRL after my 3 boys, and all that jazz.
                              A perfect baby shower (with pics)

3. Our Fall
                              How we celebrated the fall
                              Major events of the fall

4. Our Christmas Decorating

5. What I've been  reading - the last 6 months

...and for the Homeschooling Blog

1. Our Summer Wrap Up

2. Curriculum Choices for 2012-13

3. Our Little Homeschool Group

4. Field Trips and the Like From Sept. Oct and Nov.

That should keep me pretty busy, as well as keeping up with the present, but I'm looking forward to it :)

Anyways, baby's crying... I'll be back!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Gratitude List 2012

Well, it's not super funny or poignant or anything like that, but for posterity's sake, here's my list for 2012. It's a simple reflection of where we're (I'm) at right now. I hope to write more soon, but the numbness in my fingers and the frustration with my computer has not subsided yet, so the infrequent posts are the unfortunate result. The good news is that I'm enjoying my new mom status to the fullest with so few distractions J

Thankfulness List 2012

  1. Everything baby. The noises, the softness, the smallness, even the smells – well most of them.
  2. A full nights sleep.
  3. My community of friends and family. I am so very, very blessed. God has a way of putting the best people in the right place, for the right season, every time.
  4. Hot showers.
  5. Knowing that we learn from our mistakes.
  6. Living in a country where we can choose how to educate our kids, where to worship, what kind of food/ products to buy, our health care options, etc. We have no idea how free we really are.
  7. Belly laughs.
  8. Having come to the place where I enjoy spending my whole day, everyday with my kids (and still feel like it’s going by too fast)
  9. Elaina Grace Heaslip, our long awaited daughter. She is everything we dreamed and more.
  10. That God made me a mom to three amazing boys who inspire and challenge me every moment of every day.
  11. That I married my best friend and that he still loves me in spite of me 18 years from the day we met.
  12. Listening to the boys giggle and whisper after they’ve gone to bed.
  13. Our new Language Arts Curriculum.
  14. Our Little Homeschool Co-op. It has been instrumental in maintaining my sanity from week to week. 
  15. Summer Baseball Games
  16. My Saladmaster Cookware…I am still 100% in love with it. What an incredible investment for our family, our health and my efficiency as a wife and mom.
  17. I hate video games…so I’m super grateful when they are over.
  18. Upward Sports for my boys.
  19. That my mom moved into our basement for the year and God has redeemed much.
  20. Morning snuggles.
  21. Grandparents who are involved in my kids lives.
  22. Good health care.
  23. Organic living.
  24. Finding a new to me author and devouring all their books. Ie. Frank Viola.
  25. A really good blog to follow.
  26. Jesus. My best friend, My everything.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

25 Things

I'm totally copying Shannon's idea here, just because I need to write, but nothing comes to mind.

1.  My due date was moved.
...kind of. Essentially I'm told I need to be ready to go anytime now. Great for a planner like me (sarcasm implied). They will induce by mid September if I haven't gone already. I'm cool with that.

2. The girls (Korean girls).
...go home in 17 days. They are great kids, but I am pregnant, and ready for my house to be filled with "just us" for a few months.

3. The Dresser.
I wake up everyday and look at the blue dresser in my room that needs to be painted black for the baby's room, which then reminds me that the girls are in the baby's room so what's the rush since I can't do anything for 17 days, except that my due date got moved, which throws me into a form of angst, which is a vicious I leave my room and start the day so the countdown will diminish.

4. The Spare Room
It was supposed to house a full time student, which cancelled 3 times (hence us being "just us" for a few months - and working out for the best anyways)... the spare room is full of the baby's things... a pink shag carpet, pink drapes to hang over the closet (which also needs to be painted - sigh), odds and ends, the crib, makes me jittery because I just want to have things "ready"...sigh

5. Baseball
Finally, Chris' team won the last game. So after something like 7 or 8 consecutive wins, we're done with  spending our evenings at a ball diamond...except that he's in a tournament on Monday.

6. School
We started 3 weeks ago, it's going OK. Love the new Language Arts curriculum my friend Moni recommended.

7. School
Our local support group had it's first meeting Tuesday night, and our "co-op" starts on Friday with a hike (which will probably end up with me watching everyone else hike at Happy Rolf's from a bench)  I'm looking forward to everyone else's kids going to school too, so it's quieter outside)

8. Cleaning
My very wonderful friend Vanessa came and cleaned my main floor floors yesterday, they smell awesome and still look clean - yay. She also brought dinner for us (a family of 7 right now) - she is a supermom with special powers and I love her.

9. Labour Day
My sister and her husband are having their annual bash on Sunday despite having a 3 week old baby in the house - I love this bash and the only thing that will stop me from attending, is going into the other kind of labour.

10. Chats
I have some really amazing friends. I love them very very much. They are a form of family to me. I love the random and planned chats with them, I always come away feeling refreshed, challenged and/or blessed. I had a nice short chat at the ball game last night with one of them :)

11. My sister
...came over yesterday with her baby boy. I love him. He's named Aristotelis after my dad. Baby Telly is perfect as far as babies go.

12. My garden.
Depresses me. It's a mess. What a bad growing year for us. On the bright side, the sunflowers are impressive and moving the tomato and peppers to the balcony was genius (thanks for the suggestion mom). Looking forward to having the "umph" to clear it out so I'm not so depressed.

13. Fighting
I HATE listening to my kids fight. It turns me into a no less scary version of the Hulk. Someone help me. They have been fighting all morning.

14. My Dear husband
He is my hero. Sums it up.

15. I canned over a dozen jars of tomatoes. That's about all I did last week, but I did it.

16. I also took the boys to Safari Niagara last week. If Jodi had not gone, I wouldn't have made it.

17. The boys started soccer, while Chris was in playoffs. Sigh.

18. Korean 12 year old girls have little understanding of the discomforts and needs of pregnancy. I feel  sorry for them having to live with me some days. I'm pretty sure they will tell their parents they've seen the Hulk's mom when they go home.

19. I'm really glad the humidity and heat have taken a breather, now I can breathe and the swelling is limited to my hands and feet.

20. I miss TV.
Since I can't find any more books that will engross me right now, and I can't do much else because of my size and the aforementioned swelling, I want to watch TV. But I refuse to click the channels, so I go to bed early, which means I get up through the night more. I wish Glee was back on TV, and maybe  Grey's Anatomy, and maybe CSI New York - why do I like Gary Sinise so much? And why do we have to wait to JANUARY for Suits to start again? - I love that show even more than I liked Lost and even more than Gilmore Girls...

21. The aforementioned fighting boys... I love them. Especially when they come and apologize for fighting so much and want to kiss the baby and hug me. But I love them even when they don't do that.

22. I would like to make a trip to IKEA, but I'm afeared to travel that far. For the same reason I've not crossed the border in 3 weeks.

23. It will be September in 2 days. I love September. I can't wait to change the house into the fall decor.

24. I've only been up for 2 hours and am ready for a nap. Probably because of the fighting and previously mentioned Hulkish episode.

25.  Maybe if I eat something and drink something with caffeine, it will replace the need for a nap, at least for the time being... we need to get our school work done. 

Have a great day!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Looking Forward to Fall...

I love Fall, Autumn, the season after summer, etc, etc. It's my favourite. Always has been.

Though as a mom I have gained a serious appreciation for the other months, especially summer, and though I'm not wishing it away at all...(in fact we're squeezing as much summer fun in as possible), still... I'm really looking forward to fall :)

Firstly because my baby girl is due to arrive in early October and I'm so excited to be having a fall baby (the boys are all winter babies). As much as I'm trying to enjoy this last pregnancy, it's been one of the hardest. I had more morning sickness than the 3 boys combined, I've had serious swelling from the summer heat, which has left me with gestational carpel tunnel in my arms and hands (I had never even heard of this until this summer) which seriously interferes with my sleep, and I've had a couple serious infections requiring antibiotics. I have been and continue to TRY and enjoy this beautiful season of my life, but it's a serious effort some days, especially during the blast of heat we had for a chunk of the summer. So in a sense, for me fall is the season when I meet my girl and when this discomfort will start to fade too :)

Another reason I'm looking forward to it is because we started school today, and it's always a bit of a challenge with the boys when they know it's still summer. In the fall, the cooler temps and shorter days seem to make the transition easier, for all of us.

Finally, I'm looking forward to it because I adore the season. The smells, the sounds, the colours, the temperature, the fact that kids go to school, the school buses, the start of the hustle and bustle of all the special holidays that we celebrate in the last 1/4 of the year.  This year I hope to be on the ball in September so I can participate in this...

For the past 3 years I've enjoyed this series from the inspired room, and hope to partcipate in my own way even this year, though it will probably be a challenge.

This Fall nesting party inspires me to get started (at least to come up with a plan). I love decorating my house all year to highlight the seasons and celebrations around us, but I'm especially inspired in the fall. This year I am super excited to figure out how to use these babies in my decor... 

Ii found a whole basket of them on the side of the road in the trash - SCORE.

I like to ease into fall decor Sept. 1st by taking down the summerish stuff, clearing out the dying vegetation on the front steps (etc), dusting and de-cluttering the inside of the house, and putting out a few pretty things to start. Then I add in the hardcore fall stuff, in Oct I add the pumpkins, near the end I add in a few spooky things for Halloween, and then gradually take it all down as I start the Christmas decor by mid  November... that's how I roll. With a new baby in our Homeschooling House, I'm expecting some delays and hiccups, but if I'm organized, it should still be manageable, maybe? 

Anyways, I'm looking forward to fall... are you?

Friday, August 3, 2012

More than you can handle?

Yesterday someone asked me how I'm getting through the days...

They were referring to that fact that these 2 beautiful girls from Korea...

joined our family for 7 weeks. That's right, I now care for 5 kids...

No biggie.... except I look like this...

That's right, in case you forgot, I'm 31 weeks pregnant. So if your math is on target, I'll be 38 weeks when they go home... (which means if I went early, they'd be here when I deliver).

Anyways, back to the start, someone asked me how I'm doing this without falling apart, and my reply was not cliche in any was and is by GRACE. The grace of God. Every day, every moment. I'm reminded that it is wrong to say that "God doesn't give us more than we can handle"... he does give us more than we can handle, all the time. He gives us more than we can handle, but never more than HE can handle, never more than His grace is sufficient for. 

So that's how I smile, and try to do it with a song and keep busy and keep on keeping on and living through the laughter and the fights, and the struggles of having 2 extra kids, who speak english as a second language in my home.  GRACE. It's more than enough :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

My Sisters Baby Shower

In my last post I mentioned one of the many things I did in June was host a baby shower for my sister Stephanie. It's her first baby, it's a boy, and the shower was a big one 

At one time I fancied being an event planner so when I'm hosting... I like to really throw a party when I do showers, especially for my sisters, but Steph had quite the guest list, it grew from 40 to 60 to over 80 within a few weeks.... and I was also pregnant with my 4th pregnancy myself, so couldn't afford to overdo it...

So...I suggested a garden "open house" style shower on a Sunday afternoon. People could come and go as they please, no shower games or prizes to organize, and a light menu since it's not lunch or dinner. Steph is having a boy, and they really love travelling and she likes vintage decor so my bff Jodi and I brainstormed some ideas for a vintage-baby boy-travel theme.

We planned on serving finger foods, desserts and cold drinks (cheaper than feeding over 60 people lunch for sure) - and I begged recruited the rest of the family and some good friends to help with the decorations and food - which they did because between the 2 of us, we have some pretty awesome, amazing, wonderful and irrecplaceable friends.

Thankfully, the weather co-operated with us beautifully, early that morning we started trickling in an setting up. Here's a few before pics courtesy of our good friend Chantie who also did the favours and a bunch of stuff the day of... she is awesome, and if I ever do decide to go into event planning, I would ask her to join my team
Chantie and I (after I had "cleaned up" and put on a dress)

The Gift Table

Rather than have one time of opening all the gifts, we directed the guests directly to Steph who opened the gifts as they arrived, and then we displayed them on the table. 
This way, the flow of the afternoon kept moving along. 

We stationed one of my other sisters beside her to write down who the gifts
 were from to send thank you's out later. 

The Sign In and Favour Table

The favours were provided by our friend Chantie - "B-shaped cookes in the cellophane) and in the bags were bath bombs in a couple of gorgeous scents. (I used mine at the end of this long day for my aching back - AWESOME!)

We had this book for people to sign and add their advice, etc.
Its also a photo album that Steph can add pics of the shower to later.




Almost all the flowers were pulled either from my garden or "harvested" from the plants growing at my husbands work (with permission of course - Thanks Honey!) Then they were arranged by one of the may helpers who showed up early. We collected a variety of small vases and canning jars, and then I asked for as many bouquets as possible to be made. Steph and her husband Cam also used the opportunity to finish off the barrels on their porch with plants from my hubby's work too.

The Refreshment Table

On the Menu:  Fresh veggies and dips, crackers with a variety of cheeses, nuts and spreads. my fav. was the brie with maple butter and pecans. Various fruits and sweets.


To me, presentation is everything. We did up fruit skewers so we wouldn't need to use forks and it was an interesting way to display it. (The fruit was all brought in already chopped and washed by friends)

The Beverage Station

We offered iced coffee, iced tea and 3 variations of lemonade. Originally we were going to use mason jars for the drinks, but a friend brought disposables and we opted for the ease in clean up.
We also served champagne to celebrate thanks to the daddy-to-be.
Many guests commented on this lovely piece for serving the lemonade.
It was borrowed and kept stocked by our good friend Julie.
The Cupcake Station

I am very blessed to have a good friend who runs her own very successful cupcake business. She gave me a great deal on the cupcakes which were enjoyed by all! Thanks Vanessa - check out her site here or her Facebook page here. Tell her where you heard about her too please 

Misc Details 

For the vintage travel theme we collected and borrowed globes, 
small luggage pieces, atlases, maps, binoculars and books. 
We also borrowed white vintage table clothes, serving dishes, quilts, and anything else.

These are small pics, but I love the mobile of trains and planes above the food table. The banner was done up by Julie with burlap, twine and fabric. She's amazing!
she also made this vintage framed chalkboard, just for the shower 

This is the closest to a game we got - no prizes, just something to look at and talk about. 

The Sistas (well 4 out of 5...sorry Jennette)

How We Enjoyed the Day

Guests enjoying the refreshments

Guests enjoying the company.



Special Thanks to...
Jodi - Invites & Planning                      
Sisters: Food, Set Up, Clean Up, Decor
Chantie - Favours, Set Up, Food, Decor        
Christine: Favour Labels, Set Up
Sarah W: Food, Set Up, Clean Up
Julie: Decor, Food, Set Up, Clean Up
Lisa: Food, Decor   
Laura: Food, Set Up, Clean up 
Christina, Charmaine: Food, Clean Up
Food: Mom, Mom Marconi, Sheri, Laura, 
Charmaine, Christina, Estelle, Amanda, Rebecca W
Cupcakes: Vanessa's Cupcakery

*A side note here - we decided that the most viable location would in fact be Steph and her husband Cam's large country property. They have a giant deck and are located beside a vineyard. Lovely natural decor and since it's their first baby, and Steph has run a cleaning business for several years - their house is ALWAYS clean. So it was not a big hassle for them to physically "host" the event and we didn't have the funds to rent a hall. Plus we felt it was the least stressful for her as she could take it easy while the rest of us did the work...and all the gifts were easily transported to the new nursery afterwards. So it was most easy on the new parents to be overall.

Another positive note, most everyone on the list RSVP'd, which I was happy about. If you don't remember my rant on this, click here

Overall, we had a lovely day and Steph and Cam and the soon to arrive baby were very blessed. Thanks again to everyone! This mama is going to relax before coming up with dinner for 4 hungry men before daddy's ballgame tonight! 

Search This Blog