Jan 25, 2011

Indoor Yard Sale and More Camera Thoughts

So the last week is gone, a blurr, a period of lost time - the flu will do that to you!  My whole house was down and out, even the girl who is renting a room from us is sick!  But we are on the mend and now I'm just stuck with this terrible hacking cough - it's quite annoying, but ah well at least I'm up, mobile and have some brain power back.

We were in a bit of a panic mode last week because we had set in motion the plans for an indoor yard sale for this past Saturday.  We had already submitted the ad for the paper and posted it on Kijiji when we all fell ill.  But by the grace of God we prevailed and hosted the sale anyways. 

We had the sale because we really feel God telling us to rid our lives of excess stuff.  And after reading in a book about how we need to act when the Spirit tells us to, I decided that now was as good a time as any to have a 'yard' sale.  I mean we had one in the summer and it rained so we had ended up having it indoors, so what was the difference in the snow?  It was a success and people seemed to like the idea of an indoor winter yard sale!

But God's been doing that to hubby and I lately, telling us to get rid of the excess, learn the true difference between needs and wants and to put our focus where it matters most....on Him!  So we gathered up all kinds of things that have been hanging around the house, cluttering it and our lives and sold them.

And through this, and not to mention the hours spent sick with nothing to do but pray and think of all God has been telling us, I came to the conclusion that I will not be purchasing a new camera.  A week or so ago I posted about buying one for my up coming birthday but God has really been telling on me that He does not want me to do that.

God has been teaching me (and I'm doing my best to be learning) to be content, to not covet and to have self control - all important lessons and all things I need to really focus on!  So though I could excuse and ration away a bunch of reasons why I need a new camera, I don't actually need a new camera.

So I'm still going to enjoy the photography lessons the Becky is sharing on her blog and use them to better acquaint myself with my current camera.  Plus this allows me to use the money for my birthday on some new music and who doesn't love new music?  This is one area God is really opening up to me, a whole, large, lovely world of wonderful Christian music.  So what better place to spend money, on something I so greatly enjoy, a thing that brings glory to God and draws me close to Him as well?

I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O Lord, I will make music.
I will ponder the way that is blameless.  Oh when will you come to me?
I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.
I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.
A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil.

Psalm 101:1-4

Jan 24, 2011

The Flu

We have the flu.

I have been MUCH too sick to think, let alone write.

We're still here...

I hate the flu.

I'll be back soon...

God bless you all.

See you when things are right side up again....and I can stop hacking long enough to formulate a thought....

Jan 18, 2011

Hospital Hallelujah

So we were loaded up and on the road by 9:00am, a whole half hour later then I had hoped to leave and that is just the beginning of the day....

It was time to head back to the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, to take our eldest daughter Olivia to see the dentist for a consultation.  It's been over a year since they saw her last and they were over due to see her at this point.  The hospital in about an hour and a half away, so we packed a lunch because the appointments are always later then expected and the cost of parking eats up our lunch budget (no pun intended...or is it?)  A gas fill up (okay, not with these prices, just enough gas to get us there and back again!)  drop off our rented (and surprisingly not late) movie and then we hit the highway.

But you know, our God is sooo good, the roads were crystal clear! If you don't live in Eastern Ontario then you may not know how much of a blessing this actually is! (though I'll leave out the part about how it was minus 26 degrees Celsius)

Smooth sailing all the way to Ottawa, where in a split second the traffic slows to a crawl.....crawling along we've got an hour before our appointment.  (because I freak out with appointments and have to leave super early, I hate to be late...but I'll get into that another day)  Okay, so an hour to go and traffic snailing along.  Tow truck and one cop car go by and ten more minutes of inching our way through about 5 km and we see the small fender bender that has slowed down four lanes of traffic.  We pass the accident scene and we're moving again.

We get off on our exit but miss-read the map and instead of staying right we go left....ever driven in Ottawa?  It's the stupidest city to drive in and no word of a lie, we always get lost, seriously ALWAYS get lost when we go there!

So we drive around, run a couple of yellowish lights, take a few more random turns and miraculously find one of the blue signs with the big H on in, indicating the hospital is near.  So we follow those for a bit.  Oh and I forgot to mention that I had only drank quite a few cups of coffee at this point and was more then ready to find a bathroom.

Following sings, following signs, T-minus 30 minutes until the appointment and wait, where did those signs go?  So we're lost....again. 

I really have to pee now!

Okay, lets try this again.  We get back on the highway and think okay, take the exit with the hospital signs.  We do, we follow the signs, they disappear...again. 

I really, REALLY have to pee now!

Gas station - STAT!

A few...okay more then a few, minutes later I feel much, MUCH better!  I decide to ask for directions because we are now T-minus 15 minutes.  I look around, the line up is pretty long and I'm judging the odds of waiting it out or trying to drive around some more.  When I notice a man sitting eating his lunch in the section that sells coffee and such.  I think "Do I ask him?  What's the chance he'll know where the hospital is?"...except that I see he has on a postal uniform.  Thanks be to God, a post man on lunch break!  The man was very kind and was happy to give directions!

Arrival, hubby drops me and the girls off at the door and goes to park the car, you know in the parking lot that costs more then lunch for a family of four, saving me and the girls from walking in the minus 26 weather.  (Good man eh!?)  T-minus FOUR minutes!

I go in, register and go to hand the lady the card to cover the cost of this visit.  For my US readers, Canada has free Health Care but not dental and imagine if you will, the parking at this place costs what it does, so take a guess at what a consultation might run you....?!?

So I'm handing the lady behind the desk the card that is suppose to cover the cost of the visit (we get this through the Health Ministry due to Olivia's special circumstance)  The kind lady informs me this is the wrong card!  I want to cry but then I remember how as a last minute thought I stuffed all the paper work into my purse, reaching in I pull it all out.  "That's it!" she says.  I want to cry...again....but in joy.  I had no idea why I felt I should bring the rest of the paper work, I really only thought we needed the one piece, but I had. Oh Lord, you're more then words can express.

T-minus zero minutes.  So we take a seat, hubby walks in, cold hubby that is.  We made it and with not a minute to spare.....45 minutes later we see the dentist......catch the disdain in my 'voice'....

Anyways, Olivia was great, she did so well as they prodded and poked around in her mouth.  She's up to eight teeth now, a little random in their arrivals as she has four upper molars, her two upper front teeth and a couple on the bottom.  The dentist are baffled but say that Olivia's teeth are healthy and look good.  They hope the genetic testing will help to answer some of the mystery but we'll have to wait and see for now.

O Lord GOD, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as Yours?
Deuteronomy 3:24

Jan 13, 2011

Camera Thoughts

I feel strange....I'm without my camera....

It decided it has had enough of me and my relentless picture taking, so it is thinking of going on a vacation. 

Okay, truth is - I'm considering buying one of those fancy shmancy DSLR cameras.  My birthday is just around the corner and so instead of gifts I'm asking for cash - to all be put towards a new camera.  As for my old one, well my folks are considering purchasing it from me and so they may be taking it with them on their vacation for the next three weeks - *gasp* what will I do with out my camera????

Ah well, there's always hubby's little camera to tide me over and it does an okay pretty good job.  See, it captured our purple oatmeal that the girls and I had for breakfast.


This is probably common knowledge but in case you don't know; making oatmeal and then throwing in a handful of frozen berries, not only adds great taste and nutrition, but also cools the oatmeal and thaws the berries (at the same time).  So when you sit down to enjoy it, everything is at the perfect temperature!  Bonus, my kids LOVE it!!!  On a side note:  if using frozen strawberries, cut them up first or the centers will still be frozen.

The reason I am looking into purchasing a new camera is not that I need to keep up with the latest technology, it's that I want to expand my skill as a photographer.  I am even considering branching into wedding photography....or at least start with family photos.  I'm not going high end, just entry level...trying to keep it budget friendly...though I don't think that's actually possible!

I do believe that taking great photos is more about the photographer then the camera and I have been very happy with my camera.  But I see the difference in quality of the pictures that a DSLR can take and I think that this is the next step for me, especially if I want to make some money and expand my hobby.

So friends if you have a good ol' point and shoot camera - don't knock it!  I love 'em and for so many reasons too!  I hope that when I do make the leap that I'll have some kind of clue as to what I'm doing - thankfully Becky at Farmgirl Paints has recently purchased a new camera and is taking a photography course and she is sharing all that she is learning on her blog - so free photography course for us all - Thanks Becky!!!

As I was composing this post, my dad stopped by and returned my camera.  He liked it but he's afraid that he will get sand in it so thought it best to not take it with them.  So I breath a sigh of relief, I'll have my old friend with me...that is, until I sell it on Kijiji...


Jan 10, 2011

Winter Wedding Preperations

It's mad dash time - wedding in....six weeks now.....but ah, like most creative minded people, I work best under pressure!  This past week we went dress shopping, having no time to order a dress we needed to find one off the rack and that isn't always the easiest thing.

My sister is not a Christian (yet), no one in my immediate family is - but God is working through this wedding, showing His goodness, grace and provision!  (we serve an awesome God indeed!)  

We hit one of only two wedding stores in town, the woman who owns the store was super nice to open it for us after hours.  So it was great, just my sister (well step sister actually but we're so close that who cares - same with my step mom so for ease of writing I'll just say sister and Smom, okay, with me so far?)  so yeah, just my sister, Smom and me in the store. 

You gotta love my sister.  She's the sweetest girl you'd ever meet - but also quite scattered brain at times and the pregnancy brain isn't helping...this is what she had on to try on wedding dresses

Did you notice the striped sock??  What you can't see in the photo is the pinky/red checkered bra she has on and her bright yellow underwear (I love you Kristen, I hope you don't mind me spilling the details... ;) 

We had a blast, she tried on a bunch of dresses, a real variety, different colours and styles.  She and her man are not necessarily the conventional type.

If anyone is suffering from the winter blahs, I recommend you head into a dress shop for a good dose of colour and beauty!

I kinda wish this was my closet...you know my everyday, around the house stuff! ;)

I love her face in these photos.......*sniffle* my big sister is growing up....*sniffle*

This was just one night last week - she did decide on a dress but I have been instructed not to mention anything nor show photos of the finale choice - so you'll just have to wait.  We were at the seamstress' house the next evening and then to Ottawa for shopping on the weekend.  Where by the grace of God we found a dress for me and all the decorations, favours, and cake topper for under $200!!!  That's right, super amazing easy on the budget wedding, here we come!

I can't express how happy I am for my sister - like I said she's not a Christian and so she does not (yet) know the full joy there is in all of this but I am happy that she finally has met someone who treasures her and truly loves her.  I know it's a blessing for her but it is also a blessing for me - because I know she is happy and I feel that finally she has met a man who will be there for her and care for her. This is going to be a great celebration and though my house is now full of artificial flowers and items to create centerpieces, it is all so worth it. To see her so happy (and yes still somewhat scared and overwhelmed) is truly a blessing! 

Congratulations Kristen, I Love You!

Jan 5, 2011

One Day at a Time or One Year of Blogging

So I sit here...wanting to blog for the past few days, but nothing is coming.  It's not exactly that I have nothing to say, it's quite the opposite actually - my life is running in about a million directions and I can't seem to catch up.  Not to mention, though I am (and really I don't get that saying but anyways) I have this weird ear problem where I feel like I'm underwater.  It's not painful just really annoying...anyywaays...

It's crazy, I just realized the other day that I have been blogging for a year now...say WHAT...how did that happen?!?!  Okay, so technically it isn't a year until the 21st but I'm shocked none the less! 

It's interesting how I came to blog...never thought I'd be here - especially a year later.  For those of you who don't know I started the blog when I got the notion to start an online Christian living magazine for women.  It launched last March and ran for three months.  It was great but oh sooo much work.  To make a long story short, I had started with the blog, turned it into a webzine and then back into the blog, where I have, somewhat comfortably, found my groove.

I had lofty goals for the webzine and if I didn't already have a full time job as a Homemaker, they might have come to be - but ah God is good and I learned many a lessons through all that and well here I am one year later blogging - crazy, I tell you!

So back to my life in a million directions.  Really it's mostly not even my life that's that busy, not directly anyways.  As I mentioned in my Merry Christmas post, that I'm going to be an aunt, but that's not all that my sister had for us.  No, in a two week span, she found out she was pregnant ( a feat she was explicitly told would not happen), she also bought a house and got engaged!  Now they want to have the wedding in their new house - SEVEN WEEKS FROM NOW! So yeah...we've got some work to do!  Now my sister-in-law, who I mentioned a while back is in a relationship, is heading into marriage and possibly as early as June - no ring yet, but we ALL know it's coming.  So I'll finish weddiing planning for one and be warmed up to help the other! *heart*

So this is really all such super and exciting news and truly I couldn't be happier for either of them!!!  I see a lot of good for the people around me in 2011 - so many people have such a positive attitude for this year and it's only just begun and I'm not just talking those around me.  Take a look around blog land and you'll see what I mean.  2010 was a tough year for many people and there is much positive energy surrounding this fresh year - so let's keep it going!

I know this post is long and it has deviated from my regular posts, you know the ones saturated in pictures, but if you go back over the last year you'll see that this is how I used to post, more writing and less pictures.  I'm like that, constantly changing things up - but still the same person at heart - keeps things interesting....hopefully! 

I've mentioned numerous times about plans that God has for us and never really elaborated and mostly it is because Dave and I have thought many times we knew where God was leading and well we weren't exactly right...so I try not to say too much until we know better.  So we are searching out the Lord and His plans for us - we think we know what He wants but it's kinda scary and I'm not sure because there is so much going on around us that says different to what we feel His plans are.....does that even make any sense....  So I celebrate the new year with anticipation and bated breath, waiting on the Lord and taking everything day by day.

I have plans, ideas, hopes and goals - like anyone else I put expectations on myself for the new year - I just don't make them resolutions per say.  I am eager to see what God has in store for my family and I this year - heck, this week even - because three weeks ago I wasn't going to be a maid of honour or an aunt - so really who knows where each week could go.

One of my plans it that I hope to bring more to my blog for you all - more in depth Homemaker ideas and encouragement.  I'd love to hear more from my readers, let me know what you're looking for or what you like or don't like that I already do/don't do.  I hope to take my original plans for the webzine and incorporate them here, making this a place and resource for other Homemakers.

So here's to all that is new and exciting and here's to all that is old and comfortable.  Here's to the future....one day at a time....

Jan 1, 2011

Ordinary Day

As I posted for my Facebook status "Goodbye Christmas, Hello New Year!"  So it's here - the 'new' year.  The tree is away, the decorations packed up and the Christmas music retired for the next eleven months.  I don't have tons of photos to share with you all, nor many stories but it was a wonderful Christmas and a superb New Years Eve! 

I had decided to not take any photos on Christmas morning as I wanted to really experience it and not just from behind the lens...know what I mean?!?  I have no real interesting stories but that's fine with me.  You know how sometimes life is well...just life?  So that was it.  We had sickness and health, family and friends, late nights and early mornings and well we just lived this past week, day by day - it has been great!

I'm not one for New Year's Resolutions, so you won't find any listed here, though the new year does come with it's expectations, doesn't it?  I see so many people around me are more then ready to be done with 2010 and are more then excited to welcome 2011 and I'll drink (coffee) to that!

But today, January 1st 2011 is for us; well, it's an ordinary day.  Lazy even.  The skies are overcast, the snow has melted and these is way to much food mulling about and in reach of me....

We hosted our annual New Year's Eve party last night and it was great - if I do say so myself! ;)  Good food, fun games and amazing people, that's how we ring in the New Year!  After 3 hours of sleep we're up and cleaning, restoring some order to our lives - as seems to be customary on the dawn of a new year - and enjoy oodles of coffee from our new coffee maker. 

So there you have it, a little post to say Happy New Year to you all!  It's an ordinary day, but one full of promise, hope, expectation and a day that follows a night were I got to wear these shoes....

....well it's got to be a good thing!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!


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