Monday, 27 February 2012

This past weekend brought: Constructive (deconstructing) Togetherness

Demolition Time Brings: Lots of fun for the boys!! Destruction. Dust. Mess. Lots of noise. Fresh start. Plans. Laughter. Accomplishment

Baking Time Brings: Fun for the girls! Togetherness. Creating. Sweet smells. Stickiness. Giggles. Sharing. Accomplishment.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Proverbs 15:31-32

 Through some of the things I have been reading I have really had some issues laid on my heart. I was pondering who some mentors are to me, but I got sidetracked by thinking who  could (or am) I be (or are) a mentor to? And I believe that it is a healthy, good thing to aspire to but shortly after that thought, I realised I was missing the point of what I had been reading. God wanted me to be a teachable person. Then another question later in the week, provoked from what I was reading (God wasn't done with this issue): Can I take constructive criticism? I thought, sure. But it doesn't seem like I get it very often, which is probably not a good sign. So I thought this needs a prayer. "Lord guide me to allowing myself to openly accept constructive criticism. Amen." Well that was good... and forgotten. The Lord moved in quickly on this one. This same evening my prayer was answered. During a conversation a friend prompted me to think about an issue that happened in my life recently, with (very gentle)constructive criticism. My first reaction, without realising was probably typical. I wanted to defend myself by explaining away. So later on, after our conversation, I was of course mulling over it. And then, I even went there--could she be right? Mulled over that for a while and then it hit me! Lord, I see how you are working on me.
 If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise. If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding. Proverbs 15:31-32
 I see now, going back to the beginning, how I was getting it mixed up. Wanting to first aspire to be a mentor.Instead I need to focus on being obedient and humble. Thank you Lord.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Family Fun with sneaky lessons

 In the spirit of Family day this past Monday in Ontario, it really inspired us to do some fun activities. All winter I have been wanting to have a fire outside. We have never done this before, during the winter. So we had some hot dogs and called that dinner. It was cozy, a bonn fire is definitely a nice idea for the winter. We sat close, warmed our hands. When that was done we went in for veggies with dip.

 Another activity we did was a great idea from the "Thriving Family" magazine( It gave different ideas for cabin fever rescues. The kids all participated in the Helping Hands Scavenger Hunt. Their list consisted of:
  • a good pair of pants they had out grown, for donation 
  • 3 good shirts they have out grown, for donation
  • 2 nice toys, for donation
  • 4 socks with holes, to be thrown out
  • a nicely written letter for a relative far away
  • a treat picked out for a classmate (not including a friend)
The kids had fun racing around, and they accomplished a lot in the meantime! The winner got a big cookie.
 We also had an evening of reading together. We each picked what we wanted to read to everyone. Violet wanted a picture book "Saying Goodbye to Lulu", Lake picked "Captain Underpants", Holly picked a girly novel, my husband picked the news (the kids were surprisingly interested), I picked my healthy eating book "You Are What You Eat". It was a good idea we got from the "Do Good" book we look through. It was a neat way to share our differences and be cozy together.

Here is the latest pile on the coffee table, that I have started looking through, hopefully the kids will join me.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Sewing and wieghing Issues

I was just taking in a couple tops I like and hardly got to wear, because I have been loosing quite a bit of weight consistently. When I say “taking in” I mean sewing a new seam up the side of the top, about an inch in, on either side. I think it’s probably not the type of thing most would do, but I hate the fact of passing on these shirts already, when I’ve hardly had a chance to wear them. Well its me also being frugal, too, I guess J I’m wondering if I’m the only one that does this(?) But thinking on this has also made me think about the whole weight loss thing. I’ve lost a total of 70 lbs this past year, and I really look different. Really one of the many changes, right!? But that makes me feel like I’m HUMAN. Doesn’t that sound messed up? But its true. People look at me now (not that, that’s what I was going for). No more: averted eyes, pretending I’m not even there, looking the other way. It’s sadly amazing how I feel like a person in public. Anyways, I still am continuing on in my weight loss journey. And I’m praying to keep that in mind all through the rest of my journey: To acknowledge everyone on the same importance level. I hadn’t realized how ignored I really was, until now that people acknowledge me so much more. Everyone deserves to feel like they belong.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Baking: Cookie Pizza

After dinner time devotions with the family we take a look at a book called "Do Good" for inspiration to do some good for others and with each other. Well the other night it said, bake together. And as much as I love baking, I don't typically include my kids as much as I intend to. So we wrote it on the calendar-Family Baking Day. And the recipe for cookie pizza popped into my head and I never realised it at the time how kid friendly this recipe really is! So the whole family gathered together to make this recipe. And it worked out great.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Pizza
3/4 c. flour
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
6 TB. butter or margarine
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1 lg. egg
1 t. vanilla
1 c. oats
3/4 c. semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375. Mix ingredients in order listed. Cover round pizza pan with a sheet of parchment paper.
Dump dough onto the pan and press out the dough to evenly fill the pan.

Bake in the oven for 20 min. Cut slices when it has cooled slightly.
That was so easy. YUM!

Friday, 17 February 2012

Merry Winter Occasions

 Frosty the snow man, who had a carrot nose and two eyes of broccoli florets! Hey, it worked :)  This was what my youngest and I accomplished a mild afternoon recently. Its not too often that its a mild enough temperature for the snow to be packy to make snow men. Along with the mild weather, comes lots of melting. And mucky spots that the kids run into during their playing outside. Does anyone else feel guilty about how little the snow suits go into the wash? Its not until I am sitting beside them at an appointment or on our way to church that I notice the mud smears on their coats and think- oh my, when was the last time I washed those jackets?
 Well I'm happy to say the Valentines celebration I planned turned out great! The meal was good (similar to a traditional Christmas turkey dinner). Dessert was excellent! red and white cake with cool whip and strawberries (thanks mom), pink frosted heart cupcakes (thanks sis) and heart cookies sandwiching, icing and jam, which I contributed. They have been a hit 2 yrs in a row, for class parties.

During the dinner, conversation was enthusiastically centred on questions asked on cards I had placed under the dinner plates. On each card was a fun question. Each one of us had 2 cards. Questions like "What super hero superpower would you like?", "What is your best and worst quality?". It was a great way to have all people included in conversation, kids and adults. I'm gunna make a point of doing this again. Also I have concluded that making Valentines day a family celebration is the best way to go. Everyone is joined together in a loving, fun, and tasty get together and no pressure on the romantic side, no let downs of unfulfilled expectations of romantic dinners or that sort of thing. Do I sound like I'm trying to convince myself? Ha Ha Ha!! (I am) A card would have been the least! :(  But I did have fun and we all did. That was the important part.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Making Winter "Warmer"

 So it seems to me that winter has been sitting around for a while, and its not as exciting as it was at the beginning. So it made me think... there needs to be another thing to look forward to. Valentines day is coming up and when I think realistically I know that my husband and I will not be having any plans for that day. This day was not even intended for lovers anyhow. Its to recognize and remember a certain loving Saint. I decided to make a big deal out of this day. Loving on our loved ones by having a big dinner and dessert, dress up (kids in red), give cards and play games. This way it also gives us a little extra something to look forward to, during these dark cold days, after Christmas has passed.
 I've been trying to optimistically join my family outside for those wintry activities as well, seeing how the fresh air is good for ya. I do love the tobogganing and skating, its just hard to leave the warmth. We made it out to Winterlude in Gatineau and walked across the bridge to Ottawa to check it out over there too. It was a lot of fun!
 I really want to strive to see Gods beauty during this time of year when we tend to day dream of spring and try to distract ourselves with the tv or the net. I wonder what helps others embrace the cold months?...