Saturday, January 28, 2012

What I've Read in January... and a new adventure

Maintaining momentum when it comes to reading so far...

Amazonia - James Rollins
The Beloved Disciple - Beth Moore
Henry the VIII's Last Wife - Carolly Erickson
Separation of Power - Vince Flynn
How to Get Kids to Help at Home - Elva Anson
Winter - Mary Engelbright
The Four Hour Body - Timothy Ferriss

Coming up next in no particular order:

The Book of Negroes - Lawrence Hill
*For the Children's Sake - Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
A Constant Princess - Phillipa Gregory
*The Four Loves - CS Lewis
*Boys Adrift - Leonard Sax
*Rainbow Valley- LM Montgomery

*second or more reading

I figured here would be a good place to announce publicly (mostly to myself to keep me accountable) that I've decided to bring 2 major back burner projects up to FRONT burner status - effectively immediately.

ITEM ONE -Photobook Redo

The great "Computer virus of 2011" that caused the loss of a great deal of photos (about 3 years worth) which were stored on my computer and some photo books that took HOURS to compile (I watched my husband back them all up onto our external hard-drive before blowing the computer away...which later were irretrievable!!! It still pains me to think about... hence why I've avoided dealing with it for over 6 months.

Anyways, last week i got to work and...we've managed to salvage more than we originally thought!


1. Costco PhotoCenter is awesome was willing to import all the photos I had uploaded to their site
(Yay, it was ALOT of them) to a CD - I can have them in digital form again!

2. My bestest friend and photographer extraordinaire Jodi had given many of them to me via CD which I also found...

3. Facebook/Costco has a new feature, where you can save, upload print photos from the site! yay - has helped to fill in the gaps in some places where i lost photos but other friends took some - Happy Dance commence!
and FINALLY...

4. Creative Memories restored all my downloads and programs (thanks Val Esau for the advice). As well, they had my photobooks up to 2009 on file!!! yay - so I only lost one book (2010) which I managed to find all the pics for and can redo. The major holes I have are from January through July 2011 and I'm believing even that will turn out OK.

Soooo, that's it, I'm redoing 2010 and then doing a version of 2011 too, as well, I may start 2012, since 2011's may be a lot less labour intensive.


It's time, I'm going to pull together all the notes I've jotted down through the years and as my second born would say... get er done. I haven't determined if I shall utilize my blog in this process or not, so stay tuned, but either way - this idea that has had 5 long years to germinate is about to be cultivated. Hint, it's about a different kind of garden...

Wish me luck :)

with love,


Saturday, January 21, 2012

A New Normal...

We've had a great couple of weeks. In our home, in our home school and just all around...

It's been a whole lot of nothing extraordinary. Just ordinary, home days. Full of vision, full of learning, full of living....

Of course, we did have a nasty freeze on Monday which caused a pipe to burst and subsequently had/have to deal with plumbers and work crews...and of course our van died at the same time so I was stuck at home, and we just had stuff to deal with... the old me would have still been stressed out about this.

In fact... about 4 years ago we had a series of similar experiences in our house, and back then, my heart and head were a mess and I was a stressed out grouch-bag. I was working part time, home with two boys under 4, and pregnant with a third. Our We were barely holding things together, still reeling emotionally from sudden tragedy and dear hubby was in his old position at work which required frequent travelling, so he was away... a lot.

Our oldest son caused a flood in the house that caused upwards of $16,000 in damages (that's right). Chaos.

Back then, I felt very alone. Though God provided amazing people to help me get through it. One of those people came by almost everyday, or at least called - because, I as found out much later...she was worried I was going to have a nervous breakdown...and I probably would have if not for her and the prayers of many... (things were going to get much worse before they got better).

Anyways, I felt alone.
I was stressed and depressed.
I was angry and tired.
I felt like I had to be strong (or at least pretend I was), regardless of the fact that I was overwhelmed.

I pressed on like that for a long time, still things got worse, and worse...

Until I was broken.
Until I was forced to surrender.
Until I was forced to take up peace and keep what grace gives.

After the flood of 2007, we had a few years of serious challenges.

Some which we are still dealing with.

Years of STORMS.

And then the rain stopped.

A year of CHANGE.
A new "school", new church, new schedule, new focuses... after all that change, I feel like we've finally found our new normal. Happy Sigh!

Though I should mention, it's not all sunshine. There's still the odd rain, aftereffects and such. But the storms are passed. The white knuckles are gone. HOPE and PEACE reign.

Now I can say, I'm so grateful for those horrible seasons, because we GREW in them. We were forced to make choices and decisions that made us stronger, better and trust God most. We received favour. Purely unmerited. We grew in wisdom and knowledge (though we still have so much more to learn). We found about about little things like extra insurance and coverages (an extra $30/month saved us $100's in plumbing bills), the difference of quality tradesmen ($10,000 quote vs $1000), price shopping, and keeping a home calendar (flip that switch every December). We learned big things like trusting the inner voice (should have checked that fusebox when I had the recurring inkling 3 weeks ago) and welcoming God into the mundane (sending baby boy to take out food waste and hearing a gush of water when we opened the door, right as it happened, not an hour later)... these big and small things all make a huge difference.

I know it, because the past two weeks have been awesome. The "incident" on Monday, barely registered a blip on my "drama meter". I've had a great couple of weeks.

Needless to say, I am SO HAPPY that the person I was then and the person I am now are soooo different. I have not been stressed. I actually got to the end of today and said to myself "what a great couple of weeks we've had". I had already forgotten about the "crises" (even though things are far from cleaned up).

Perhaps part of this "new normal" is also because with the home schooling we've "settled" into things... a routine of sorts. I've relaxed into a state of peaceful trust (in my heavenly Father and myself), so I'm not worrying about them learning what they need to learn. I'm told this is normal. (It helps that they've surpassed my expectations curriculum-wise). There are still interesting and frustrating moments, but overall it's been fun and peaceful. Though I feel like we're definitely NOT normal, part of the minority, swimming upstream so to's better. Since the changes, we're different, and we're OK with it. We've enjoyed the "winter" we've had, one sunny and mild day hiking, then other days skating and today finally tobogganing! quiet visits, afternoons reading or watching movies, some days hardly leaving the house, others out and about, but not stressed.

Or...perhaps part of this new normal is acceptance. Things change, people change, I change. Changing churches was really hard on me. I find I still think about it, but not as much, and it doesn't feel as bad. I miss the people I used to see all the time (but only at church). I find it's forced me to be proactive in getting together with people purposefully. I find it's deepened the relationships I do have (especially the ones under my own roof). I also find that I'm trusting God in these relationships more. Trusting that seasons come and go, and who knows what this one, or the one after that holds?

HE does, and He loves me. So it's all good.

When I think back about the time we spent in our previous congregation (18 years), the seasons came and went, bringing people and activities and memories, which also came and went. But I STAYED there through those years and those seasons, while they came and went. Now I'm one of the people that came, and stayed and went.... a new season.

It's been a season of reconnecting. People who were prominent in previous chapters, then moved on...are back again. It's great! So I find it's easier to trust God through this season that people I've loved, and still love, will probably show up in seasons down the road, it helps... alot.

It's been a season of meeting new people, new positions, new groups. I love that I've made some new friends who don't go to church. I suspect they don't even know Jesus yet.
I love that I've gotten to read soooo much, and learn so much. I love that I've gotten to spend so much time with my family. I love that I've been able to pick up writing a bit more. I love that through all of this, I've never felt alone...even though I've definitely been alone a lot...I've never been ALONE, because He is always with me.

It reminds me of something from the messages I heard Sunday (yes I went to 2 church services at 2 different churches - and guess what, God does not change - I heard him say the same thing loud and clear) - the storms of life will hit both the godly and the ungodly... the difference is what foundation they build on. The principles of the world or of God? (Matthew 7:24-27) I'm so glad we built on the Rock.

Yes, I've had a great couple of weeks, and I think this is going to be one of the best years yet.

With love,


Saturday, January 7, 2012

An Open Window and the Restoration of the Soul

I find that so many "reports" and so much "information" that I come across does nothing to lift me up - to encourage or exhort have more hope, faith or belief... so when I come across something that is full of these things, I like to pass it along...

My husband follows several people in the body of Christ who operate in the prophetic (as in reads their books and blogs and then follows the news, etc). I don't want to get into a spiritual debate with anyone over this. If you accept the operation of these "gifts" great, if you don't, I fully respect that too. As my mom would say..."Eat the meat, spit out the bones".

I just found this note he passed along to me encouraging and thought I would share it. We can compare notes a year from now if you like, just for now, I hope that you are as encouraged as I was.

Prophetic Message (Paraphrased by myself) - Jan. 3/ 2012

1. The Mountain of Debt will go.
Who is going to take down the mountain?
Your sons and your daughters

2. Just a Little Faith needed.
He (God) will do great things.
He will do impossible things.
Even though some of you find it so hard to believe.
Just a little bit of faith and the mountain will be conquered.
There's a mountain He will conquer in the middle of the year.

3. Your sons and your daughters, they will prophesy like Joel.
In the last days they will prophesy like Joel and Elijah,
Elisha, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Daniel, Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego.

4. Fear Overcome

The Spirit of the Lord says clearly, and I heard the word, "This day in which you live, there are creatures of the night that have caused My people to fear, caused children to take their lives. Fear has been rampant. There shall be earthquakes, floods, that will bring damage to no one in My kingdom. I will slay a beast that has stood and watched over you to destroy you. They will come and they will cause the earth to shake, the mountains to erupt, but there will be no damage.

5. Windows Open
But in this year, beginning now, there will be small windows of opportunity.
There are new wells that will be dug.
These new wells will bring new resources to My people.

6. This is the Year of the Youth.
It shall move from the older to the younger. Leaders will topple; kings will fall overnight. This shall happen throughout the East, the Middle East, and even in the West." What I gave Daniel, I will give to them. Watch this year, for you will see your mountain conquered," says the Lord. "Whatever your mountain is," says the Lord, "I will give you the faith of a mustard seed, a small window of opportunity, new wells that shall be dug." Within one day, for some of you, you will be free of your debt. This year is the Year of the Youth. I will take them and cause them to do what I told Joel. They will prophesy night and day and they will bring down the forces that have stolen what belongs to My people," says the Lord.

We are in 2012.
You know the trouble and the resistance and the attack – all of this that has come against you and God's people – He said, "This is over." There will still be little struggles and things you have, but this huge monster of resistance – He said, "The worst is behind us. It's over. We've entered into something brand new."

and my favourite part of all...

This year the Lord told me there's going to be a restoration of the soul of our families and the soul of our nation. That's very important and we're going to deal with that this year as well."

It always seems incredible to me how God orchestrates things in my own little life that are so obviously His doing. It is beyond my understanding in fact. So the thought that He is at work in things that are so far beyond "my own little life" is quite incredible and fills me with awe and wonder and a desire to live even more fully for Him in 2012.



Friday, January 6, 2012

Meal Plan - 2012 week 2

Cooking for the Heaslip Boys - Meal Planning

Trying something new to keep me posting more frequently. Got this idea from Erin's blog - she has a separate page for this. We'll see how far I get and if it requires one from me :) I particularly like reading her posts at her main site here because she's a mom of 2 boys and another on the way and I find we often thinks alike :)

Here we go...

Week of January 8-14

Sunday - Out for Dinner (gift card - yay!)

Monday - Sandwiches & Turkey Soup

Tuesday - Skillet Veggie Lasagne

Wednesday - Mama T's Meatloaf & Greek Roasted Potatoes

Thursday - (BBall Practise) - Veggie Wraps

Friday - Salsa Chicken w Rice

Saturday - Tacos and Salad

When I eventually get in the groove for this, I'll post recipes too :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Seasonal Home - Welcoming Winter

It's been a productive (yet oddly still very relaxing) few days at the Heaslip Homestead. I've been changing out the seasonal decor (Christmas is put away and organized); cleaning both my home and my heart and mind - writing, making lists, reading... It's been great! I love this season of my life where I have a singular focus. It's been so many years of having a gazillion things on my plate... I almost get giddy realizing this season at home is at the 9 month mark. Yay!

Crazy thing, I still feel like I'm playing hooky or on a surreal vacation and am enjoying every day far too much for it to be OK.

We've been so relaxed we've done all that, as well as our grocery shop yesterday, had a 5 hour visit with friends (at their place) went to the mechanic, went to a meeting Monday night and even managed to "waste" a number of hours in front to the tv - and my baby boy fell asleep on me... twice! Oh, and I blogged too :)

Back to the point of today's post...

I am a firm supporter in having my home reflect the season we are in, literally as in what's happening outside, as well as figuratively - where's we're at as a family. So, to battle the January "downer" that naturally comes as a result of packing up the Christmas decor... I purposefully have a bin of "winter" items that only come out after the holidays (this has a lot of snowy stuff and snowmen)

After the festivities and busyness of December, as the "freeze" that naturally accompanies January, I love to do a CLEAN sweep of the entire house. I re-organize as much as possible, pantries, shelves, bins, drawers, closets, under sinks, garbage/recycling areas, etc.

The first area is usually the kitchen cupboards (since I have to switch out the Christmas dishes again). This year I decided to only put in the white dishes as well as a few necessary coloured ones, but our big black plates can wait a few more months. I also update all the family photos that are sent to us from friends and relations over Christmas. I have kept them on the insides of my cupboard doors for years. I like to be able to see them without them cluttering up my fridge even more, or getting damaged from the constant traffic there. This way I can be mindful of them and lift them up in prayer as I think of them :)

New calendar, red candle holder (Michael's clearance), the snow man cookie jar is a beloved favourite goodwill find.
I also clear up the counters and set out some simple, fresh decor. Lots of warmers and candles to help with the smells of boys and the dog (and help create more coziness and light for the longer nights).

Here's my kitchen mantel for Winter. Most of it is made up of gifts through the years. Trio of pillar candles - gift from sister, Silver-white star - had it, assorted red candle holders - had em, snowy white wreath - Dollarama, Topiary - gift and new H - gift this year. Hanging pillows - gift from Jodi.
I've incorporated one of my fav Christmas gifts from Crackerbarrel. It pretty much sums up our family. H for Heaslip and Home. Our story love it.

This hurricane was another gift this year.

I even give the bathrooms a good overhaul.

This year I asked my dear hubster if we should leave the red decor up Fall/Winter and change to the blue tones for Spring/Summer. He said yes, it's warmer. So we kept the red in the family room/ kitchen.

Red books and misc. items collected from around the house...

snowmen were a gift years ago, and were in the winter bin...

Moved some furniture in closer to each other, moved around some faux greenery and dusted and plumped a lot.

Here's a couple views of the area leading to our formal living room/ entrance area which is downstairs.

I kept it pretty natural. Changed out the red accents (on my homemade wreath with gold/ cream) and in the shadow box with a ball I already had...

Here's our formal living room. After the tree is put away, it seems so open and I putter for a few days putting things into the "best" arrangement. I bring the trees back in by the window, rearrange the shelves with whites and silvers and replace the hints of red with brown and earthy items.

This tiered shelf tries to hide the plethora of wires needed for the internet/ cable/ phone etc.

I left these "mutlicoloured" light pieces on the top of the TV "mantel" because I like the glow at night and the sparkle of the crystal during the day :)

This sign went up by the entrance this year, it still needs something, just not sure what yet.

This is my antique dresser. I like to keep using the fresh greens from outside, the white branches have little birds nestled in them and I added the warmer and the antique lamp.

Areas I still haven't done are...

OUTSIDE, because it's nasty out there. -10 the past couple days and WINDY.

Am idea I'm toying with, is creating a different area for coming and going from the house in our BREEZEWAY. This will require some work, and I will leave until spring I think, but it's occupying a portion of my mind.

Another thought I've had is to get on top of the situation with my photos, etc after losing them to at virus last summer. I have various things I need to do with this. It will become a priority I think.

Also, I need to get into my calendar and organize it BEFORE life gets back into swing with basketball, birthdays, outings, travel, schooling, skating and hopefully swimming... yeah. I should wrap this up, and go get started with that. Or I could just have my tea and waste another hour in front of the TV... hmmm. I'll let you know what happened :)


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