Jan 28, 2015

Much to do about Nothing

Okay, long time readers....remember how last time my hubby was on parental leave and when he tried to go back to work, they had basically forgotten that he was returning and it took over three weeks to get his pay and get him back on the job?!?!  Well, we learned from that mistake and so Dave called his supervisor, this past Monday, two weeks prior to his return to work.

Only to discover, that his contract had been dropped and his position terminated!

Needless to say, we were a bit shocked! And the worse part was that they had known since the beginning of January but were not going to tell him util he called to find out why he got his R.O.E. (record of employment).

And so we face another time of joblessness....our third...or fourth is it now?!?  We honestly didn't see this one coming though! I mean, most people don't but this was so unexpected!  He has a ...err....had a mundane but essential job.  He had been there over five years, where before him they couldn't keep anyone in that position for more than 6 months!  And basically, the only reason he was terminated was because the company that employs Dave didn't fill his position while he was off.  So the place where Dave is contracted to work, hired someone else from another company and so Dave's position with his company is gone.

I can say that, and maybe it's from being here a few times already, this time we are not so forlorn or in despair.  I mean, we have questions, the whys; "Why now?  Why when it was so secure? Why when we were just needing the benefits?  Why when it allowed him the time off he needed for when I am sick!  Why when, most importantly, that job gave Dave the opportunities to work on his preaching, plenty of time for prayer, bible reading and there was little negative influences around him?!?"

But as my besty reminded me, "We don't need to know the 'whys'. "

And she's right.

I had to chuckle at my last post, where I mentioned how I felt "great anticipation for this year, not sure what it meant and that maybe it was nothing"....apparently it wasn't nothing...or is, technically! HA! ;)  lol!

I mean, I am not without my worries and wonderings....but a small part of me is excited!  Excited at what it is God has in store for us, of where He is leading us and what the future is going to look like!  Mind you...that could all change once his EI is up (in two weeks), or if he lands a job working nights.... but then, I still know God has us in His hands.  So the twinge of excitement lingers still...and again, it comes from experience, from being here before, standing at the cusp of unknown and what will be and looking up.  Looking to a heavenly Father who cares intimately for us.

Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent.  But even the hairs of your head have all been counted.  So don’t be afraid therefore; you are worth more than many sparrows.
    Matthew 10:29-31

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! Romans 5:8

And well...what more can I say then that.  


Dave has already applied to a number of jobs and we are contemplating what else we can do.  We are searching out God and His ways....and just taking it all, one day at a time.

So I will keep you posted.  I also welcome and thank you for your prayers!  

Love and blessings!

Jan 18, 2015

Quiet Thoughts for the New Year

Well....for all my talk of deciding to continue on with my blog...I've been neglecting it so far this year!  There are a few reasons...I've been busy, just tidying up after the holidays, re-arranging furniture, getting back into my art and spending time with family and friends.  There was also the fact I had the flu twice, back to back, so that kept me down and out for a while!  And I guess, I have my mind full lately....and I think I want to write it out...but then I get on here, stare into the white square abyss, blink, and shut the computer.

And so folks...I guess my first post of the new year will be simple and sweet...because if I don't post something, I may not do it at all!

The ONE good shot I got - mention in this post - of all four kids!
Can you believe this was taken in the middle of November?!?!


I've been enjoying the days, when we haven't been sick, filling them with simple pleasures and trying to be purposeful with my time...at least most of it!  I can't tell you how eager and excited I am to get back into my art more this year and with the re-arranging of furniture, (mentioned above) I have a lovely, dedicated, studio space!  I kicked the kids out of their zone and took it all for myself! Muahahah!!  *wink* This has moved their place for colouring, crafts and Lego, to the kitchen table and you know what? I love it!!  Now when I'm in there making meals, cleaning up, or whatever, usually some, or all of them, are in there with me now too!  So this is a real win win for all of us!!

My husband has taken to toilet training Joe and hoping to get it done before he has to return to work in a few weeks.  It's been a couple of weeks now and things are progressing....veeeerry slowly, but progressing!  I hear boys are more challenging the girls in this department...and so far that's proving true!

My eldest has been giving us lots of chances to work out new parenting skills.  She's getting older and with that comes more complicated issues....character, emotional, spiritual, issues.  It's tough and she is a particular one, so we never really know if what she does is something she completely understands or if she just doesn't 'get it' fully and therefore can't be held completely responsible. *sigh*  But that's a whole other topic for another time....!  But God is good...I just need to remember to pray more about all of ....about everything!

My other two little Ladies, are doing just fine.  Both getting bigger and both very snugly lately too!  I can't believe my second Little will be six in a couple of months! That's crazy indeed!  And the babe, will be eight months in a couple of days!

And well...that sums up the highlights for me tonight....like I said, simple and sweet!  I feel great anticipation for this year....no idea really why....though a few things have me already excited for the days and months ahead...but that isn't what is fueling my feeling....but we shall see what the year brings.  It could be nothing...! So I'll just take it all one day at a time...that's all you can really do!

Blessings and joy to you all!


Dec 31, 2014

Christmas, Blogging and a New Year

And just like that, the Christmas season is over!


What fun we had though!!  Even if it was the first green Christmas since the year before Olivia was born! But that didn't hold back our Christmassy feelings!  Having the girls home has been great, especially because Dave is off so we all got to enjoy their break together!  And unlike the song, we are not already waiting for school to start again....even if these gals took it upon themselves to dress like little hipsters this season....


....maybe there's a little more 'city' in these girls then I realize?!?!

We had family in on Christmas eve and on Boxing day and then went to Dave's side of the family on the Saturday.  My brother and his wife could not make it home for the holidays but sent gifts that the kids got to open earlier on Christmas eve - a great way to keep them happy and busy while I prepared food for my mom and her husband later that night.


Our Christmas morning came...not so early actually....I think we slept in until about 7:30! A treat for us with these Littles of ours!  We tourtured them by making them wait until after breakfast to open gifts!  I loooove drawing it out like that!  And, for the second year, we had no where to go and no one coming that day so we could take as long as we liked!


And though I tried hard to cut back (see my post here) I still might have....technically tied together two or three gifts...making them one...for their gifts under the tree! I know...bad....it was suppose to be only ONE but I'm learning...I am...cutting back...baby step style! lol!


So the kiddos got plenty of gifts...not too much...I think...but they had fun and were very excited!!! And even Alice got right into all of it, after her nap that is!  We had the bigger kids open their stockings and presents and while they were busy enjoying their new goodies, Dave and I had our gift exchange.  Alice woke up after and had fun opening...and munching on her gifts.

I can't believe we just celebrated her first Christmas!  It doesn't feel that long ago we did this with Joseph...though I guess it wasn't really...still, how fast these kiddos are growing!

And yes, I found time to get a few more festive activities in, mostly pertaining to baking for gifts for family.   Last year, after Christmas, my hubby was at the store and picked up (on super clearance sale) the best little gingerbread cookie cutter.  It makes the cut-outs for baking up mini gingerbread houses...and so I have been waiting almost a year to use it!!  And use it I did! Pumping out fourteen of these babies....much to the dismay of my wrists! (later learning that I was using too much icing in my icing bag! duh!)


Aren't they adorable?  And my lens cap is there to give you an idea of the size, they were about two inches in height but seriously tall on the tasty factor!!!

So that sums up the happenings for the past week.  And now, the new year is on the horizon and with that, marks the fifth 'birthday' of my blog!  January first, five years ago I started plunking away words and images in this little corner of the internet.  I find it hard to believe that I am entering my sixth year of blogging....or more so of rambling! lol!

I have tossed around the idea of whether to continue it or not....my readership seems to have quieted down...or at least those that comment and no, I don't just blog for the readers or the comments but they certainly are encouraging.  I do, however, realize the true significance of what my little blog has done.  It has created a record for me of the last five years....more so the last three, where I really opened up and made it more personal...but a wonderful record of the life of my family for a half decade.  It has been a testimate to the workings of God in our lives, both the big and small and our struggles, joys, and everything else in between!

And not only does this space provided a running record of our lives but it has also brought me a dear friendship!  One that I treasure up dearly! ;)  I also have found great encouragement at the fact that, despite my average to poor English marks in school, I find that I enjoy writing and on occasion, I'm not too bad at it either! hahaha!

And so the new year is fast approaching and in the fashion of most since adding to our family, we will have a quite night at home.  I look forward to the new year, as I often do, with it's fresh start feeling and the sense of endless possibilities!  I do plan to continue to blog...not sure what it will look like, if I will change formats, feelings...or just keep on keeping on, with my various rambles and notions.  

I feel that 2015 should be a year of me getting more serious about things....maybe being a bit more intentional about....everything! lol!  I have high hopes that both encourage and overwhelm me, but I will take it all, one day at a time....at least I'll try to!

And well, the kids are outside waiting and Dave is getting the baby in her snow suit so we can go take a walk on this gorgeously sunny, last day of 2014.  So I leave you all with a prayer of much joy and blessings for a year that brings you ever closer to our Lord!   

Love to all!!!

- Kaitlin


Dec 22, 2014

Cranking Out Christmas

Only three more sleeps people!! Oh what fun we have been having this Christmas season! We've been merry making the whole month long, partaking in all sorts of Christmassy fun and really soaking up the season!

And in no particular order here are some of the highlights of the month:

Our girls' school Christmas play!  LOVED IT!!  It was called "Christmas in Black and White" and it was adorable!  My gals were apart of the penguin chorus as they are too little to have speaking parts.  The play is super sweet and has a great gospel message!  My sweet little Ladies did amazing, especially our Olivia who was old enough to be apart of every song and who certainly knew all the words and actions! 


And no, my Catherine did not 'steal' the show this year - she kept her socks on and did not pick out lint from between her toes! (see last year's post if you want a refresher on that! lol!)  And my favourite part of the whole production was after the evening show when they closed the night in prayer!  It was just beautiful!

Our house was more full for the last week or so.  My mom's two dogs were staying with us while she and her husband were on vacation for two weeks.  All I will say is that it was a great chance to confirm my thoughts that we do NOT need a dog any time soon!  My sister was staying at my mom's and took care of the pups for the first part of their time away....but we had the dogs for ten days which was long enough...a nice treat for the kids but it was great to be able to send them back home at the end of  it all!

Joseph insisted that the dogs have their treats served on a plate! lol!


My sister was here for a few days as a stop over before travelling back to BC.  She and her boyfriend had moved to Ontario five months ago but things didn't work out quite as well as they would have liked and apparently the pull of the West has won (for now!).  So she and her lovely boyfriend have just completed the five day venture back to B.C.  I'm sad that they went, but I know it's what they need right now....but I will in no way relent on enticing them to return! *wink!*


I've been busy being crafty this year.  From the oodles of decorations around the home, to baking, chocolate making, creating and sewing, it's been busy but fun!  I made three festive pillow covers in one afternoon.  Easy peasy, envelope style ones and all for super cheap!  All three were made mostly with fabric I had on hand and also using some tea towels I purchased at the dollar store! 

Two of the pillow covers I made and my paper Noel sign that I created a few years back.


One crafty project I did was with two dear gal pals of mine, my besty and the third component to our trio of trouble!   It was something I had wanted to do for some time now but hadn't actually gotten around to it.  So when my sweet friend suggested we get together and get busy I was on board!  Our little project?!  Home made lip balms!

Using only four ingredients, we set to work.  There was a bit of trial and error and a few things we might change for next time but in the end we had some fantastic lip balm!  And one thing you might not know about me (unless you know me outside of blog land) is how much I am addicted love lip balm!

We made two great flavours; a sweet orange, grapefruit and a peppermint one.  They are all natural and feel amazing, they didn't take that long to make them and it was a great team effort!!  And in the end we all had oodles of balms to give away...or keep!

The kids are super excited for Christmas this year, even Joe...though I know he doesn't 'get it' exactly.  One of my favourite traditions we have as a family is our our annual, hot chocolate and light watching tour.  We make (or buy) hot chocolate (or something else for mom and dad!) and load everyone into the van.  We put on the Christmas tunes and then drive around "ooing" and "awwing" at all the lights.  It was loads of fun and with it being such a mild winter this year, it felt like there were more lights then ever!

Breakfast one morning this month - all four of them,
 bright eyed and chipper and it wasn't even light out yet! 

I really enjoyed decorating this year...though with hubby still off from work for parental leave we had to watch the dollars a bit more (or should watch the dollars!)  Other then buying four new sets of lights for the tree (because ALL of our other ones had burned out....because I believe it has been a number of years since we bought any new ones) and I spent $5 on the greenery to make the basket on my front porch, I spent no money on decorations.  That might not sound like a big deal to some of you but I love to decorate for Christmas and usually pick up a few new things each year.

Re-purposed and creatively altered decorations!  The greenery is new, but the basket is from last year.
You can see my wreath looking a bit different in this post.  I like a good decorating challenge!


But the house is all festive, cozy and a little more simplified them most years....and even though I'm enjoying all the holiday decore....I'm already looking forward to taking it down and a fresh start for the new year!!  Yeah...I'm strange like that!

If you remember from last year (this post) where I finally got around to a project I had been wanting to do for some time!?1  It was to make, from my girls' baby clothes, Christmas stockings for them.  I loved the final product and how easy they were to make, so I gathered my supplies once again and got to work on a stocking for Joseph!


It too, turned out great (if I do say so myself!).  I love how this idea all came together - even though a baby clothes quilt would have been fun, (my original plan for these articles) this idea is much more realistic for me! lol!  And I love how practical, useful and sentimental these stockings are now!  And Joe likes his stocking too!

So now, next year, I just have to make one for Alice!  I'm already, as she is outgrowing piece, putting some aside with this idea in mind!  

And speaking of my sweet cheeked babe - she's seven months old now!  She's just as much a doll as ever and growing so fast!  She absolutely ADORES her big siblings and refuses to not be apart of anything that we are all doing together.  Which means, even though she's not onto finger foods yet, she insists that she sits with us for every meal! 

She's such a sweet and good baby and I'm really enjoying watching her grow!  I love seeing her eyes light up whenever one of her siblings walks into the room and how intently she wants to be with them and do what they do!  

But one thing little Alice did not get to be apart of was our traditional short bread cookie making.  Actually...we haven't done this one in a couple of years but this year we got back to it.  It was the first year that Joe could help put the cherries on the cookies and he did a pretty good job!


This recipe was my granny's and it's a classic in our home.  My granny always used one of those old fashioned cookie presses to make her shortbread and when my dad was younger he found, for 98 cents at a second hand store, the same cookie press his mom used.  So when he made these cookies with my gals, he would bring his press with him.  When he passed away a couple of years ago... (almost three now...wow...) I asked my step-mom for the press.  My Aunt has my granny's original one but now I have my dad's press.  I'm not quite as good as the 'masters' but I think I did a pretty decent job and I'm happy to officially add this tradition to our family's Christmas celebrations!

This year both of my girls are reading, so it's neat to see so much of the world opening up for them!  Even right down to them reading the gift tags, I love it!  And thankfully too because apparently we bought them a lot of books for Christmas!!  My little Ladies are maturing so much lately, yet they are still very innocent and I treasure that!  I love seeing the people they are becoming!  They are so excited for this Christmas and I am excited for them!

And well...that's a number of the highlights from this busy, joyous, hectic, wondrous, memory making month!  I pray that each of you is wonderfully and amazingly blessed this holiday!  May you enjoy all the good gifts that our God gives to you daily and truly, find joy, in the greatest gift ever given - our saviour Jesus!


Dec 20, 2014

The Donkey in the Living Room - A Review

The Donkey in the Living Room - written by Sarah Raymond Cunningham and illustrated by Michael Foster, is a modern approach to the nativity advent tradition.

The story opens with an invitation for your family to use this book to begin a new tradition. The author explains how each morning, starting nine days before Christmas, the children in her family would rush downstairs to find a figure wrapped in paper.  They'd open it to discover a character from the nativity scene.  After opening the little package, their father would tell them a part of the story of Christ's birth but told from the point of view of the character that was unwrapped that morning.

The author shares with us, how over time, she began to realize that the true gift of Christmas was not the figures unwrapped each morning but the telling of the story of the birth of Christ.

The rest of the book is the guide for parents to read to their children, telling their little ones Christ's birth story and all from the points of view of the various 'characters' that were present at that blessed time.

The whole story is written in rhyme and in today's language and slang, including phrases such as, "As Mary's belly was getting ready to pop..." and "The shepherds didn't know what had just hit,".   Not your usual telling of the Christmas story but not with out it's accuracy as well.

I liked how it touched on things such as the census being taken and why Mary and Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem.  I enjoyed the fact that the author included the importance of Christ's coming leading to His death and resurrection.  She really tried to keep the focus that this time of year is to be about remembering who Christ is and what He did for us!

I certainly loved the illustrations!  They are bright, cheery and fun!  I love the people and the animals are adorable.  Each day has a full coloured picture and also a smaller illustration to give you an idea of where in the stable to place each character...not to mention a few other details.

Over-all, The Donkey in the Living Room is certainly cute and catchy but not exactly for my family and I.  Partially because we already have our own advent countdown and this offered nothing especially new for us.

But if you have young children, (or even for the grand babies) and are looking for something a bit different or just a way to start your own nativity tradition, then this just might be the book for you!  You can also order the book with the matching ten wooden characters, here.


And if you haven't been counting down the days....there are only five more sleeps!!

The good people at B&H Publishing gave me this book in exchange for my honest review.



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