Not a bad place to spend some time on a gorgeous sunny day eh!?! I was going to start this post by saying, "Remember this place?" Because around this time last year we were here and I stood in almost the same spot to snap almost the same photo....
It was a day earlier, this time last year...and we were here with our two girls and one very large bump! I can't say, "Remember this place?" because I took a quick look back and realized, I never did get to post those photos - the photos of us strawberry picking a year ago. We were here because my midwife didn't believe my water had broke and so with early stages of labour happening and not much else to do but wait, we headed to this farm just down the road to pick some sweet ripe berries.
And so we though it was fitting that we should return here to celebrate Joseph's Birthday!
It was hot but lovely! We picked two full baskets and brought them home. After, we headed to town to take in a restaurant for our boy's Birthday...lupper - (lunch/supper - it's a favourite meal of mine - beats brunch any day! ;) lol!)
The waitress was very nice and brought two small piece of cake for Joseph...but really - I think she knew we weren't going to give the cake to him and so the girls got to enjoy that treat! Small town hospitality, I tell you!
After home, and a nap it was just sweet family time - with gift opening and time for fun outside. My hubby caught one of our chickens (oh I will talk more about that soon - not that there's a whole lot to say but still) and let Joe have a good ol gander at it.
It was really just a sweet day - my husband was home because he is only working three days a week this month -and so we enjoyed being all together and taking in all that has transpired over the last 12 months.
I cannot believe how fast those months have slipped by! How fast and how big my little man has grown! And yes...he won't put that foot down in the long grass....a country boy still in training!
Speaking of country boy - we held our traditional family fun filled first year birthday party for him this past Saturday.
Farm yard fun theme - OF COURSE!!! Oh it was fuuun to get all set up for this one! Oh the excuses to buy burlap, gingham, denim...*sigh*...bliss! I mean...it was all for Joe's party....
And I was one happy gal when I got to go out and meander around the
barns the night before, to collect an arm full of wild flowers - I adore
them - so pretty!
Do you like the chicken coop? I DO!!!! Isn't it just the sweetest thing - my hubby did such a fantastic job...but yes, party...back to the party fun...chickens... another day!
We made a bean bag toss game with materials we had around - including the bean bags that I made from an old pair of torn jeans. The chalk board score board belonged to my dad - I missed him this weekend - he would have loved this party!
And there were refreshments - all farm yard themed, all well enjoyed! I even got to break out my picnic screens - eee! Love them!! And yes, that is homemade lemonade - and that super drink serving jug - 12 bucks! Nice eh!?!
Food, food and food - mmm, mmm, good!....I just forgot to get a picture of the 'Slop' a.k.a - poteggie salad (it's just potato and egg salad - but my dad called it poteggie and I have always liked that!)
And then there were the cupcakes - I made my traditional marshmallow fondant and had a blast making all those cute barn yard critters. People - it's so easy to make - you can find the recipe I used here it's really inexpensive, easy to store, use and colour - I love it - it's my go-to!
haha - yes that IS what it looks like...a pig in the mud!! (that last one pictured there was Joseph's cupcake...though he didn't eat the pig...uh..tail! ;) lol!!)
So it was all set up, the people were beginning to arrive it was going just peachy! Then...in a few moments it went from this....
Oh yes - the skies...they opened up! And it rained...and rained and rained...and did not stop for some time. And yes...in all honesty I was bummed - our first party our doors and farm themed no less with chickens to join in on the fun...*sigh* Oh well! It really was all good! The party was great and Joseph was surrounded - quite literally, by most of his family and our dear fremily!
So we gave our little one year old his first taste of cake - his real first taste of anything overly sweet, really! He wasn't too sure what to do with it at first...but once given a little taste of the decadent treat before him - he was all hands on deck!
It was a great day - a wonderful time celebrating our little boy making that first big milestone! I think it was well enjoyed by everyone and we were so happy that many of our family could be here to celebrate with us!
And because we just love to give gifts and because, what is a party without loot bags, we had one for each family that came! Just a few little goodies - because really, who doesn't love to get a loot bag?
And so by the time most of the guests had to leave the rain had let up and the air was cooling off nicely! It was such a fun and sweet party - and a real blast to put on - even with the rain! And as the day ended the sun made it's appearance - peaking through the clouds and illuminating the mist that was settling into the valley - it was stunning...
I don't think that picture does what I saw, any real justice but it's still pretty darn nice! ;)
And as I looked out over that scene I had a few moments to take in the day and the year leading up to this point. To this celebration of a beautiful treasure, of a wonderful gift from God - our son. I can't remember how it came about - but after learning that I was pregnant and putting one of those pregnancy counter thingies on my blog here - I found Psalm 112 and I knew when I read it, that it was Joseph's Psalm. It's not something I usually do - I don't have "verses" for the girls per say...but this verse came...how ever which way it did and it has stuck with me as his Psalm. It's beautiful - especially when I think of it as my prayer for him.
Joseph is a dear sweet blessing - all of our children are - I know that - it was special to have this day and to share it with so many of those near and dear to us...and to him!
I thank God for this gift, this sweet precious boy we have been blessed with.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOSEPH!!!
Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who greatly delights in his commandments!
His offspring will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness endures forever.
Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;
who conducts his affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;
he will be remembered forever.
He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn is exalted in honor.
The wicked man sees it and is angry;
he gnashes his teeth and melts away;
the desire of the wicked will perish!
One....ONE??? It can't be?? Tomorrow my baby boy turns one years old!
Wow that year flew by - chocked full too! It's hard to imagine the time when we only had two little blessings but this last year of triple blessing fun, has been wonderful!
So this past weekend we had a little family celebration. Gathering together with my side of our extended family, we crammed three events into one big ol' fun celebration.
The weather couldn't have been finer! With all the rain we have had, which now with a larger garden, I am thankful about - it was a blessing to have a day filled with sunshine! We were at my mom's house to celebrate Joseph's first birthday, our nephew's second birthday and a send off/good bye party for my brother and his wife.
The little lads are one year and six days apart but almost the exact same size....so much for the hand-me downs! ;) Each little guy got some nice gifts and had fun with all the family attention.
Our nephew Marcus is such a cutie and I have greatly enjoyed watching him grow! I always love when he (and my sister) come to visit - it's hard to believe his is two now! He is such a sweet, curious and busy little guy. My sister made him a super cute dinosaur cake, which was greatly enjoyed but we held off on cake for Joe until his actual Birthday.
The weather was perfect for some pool time fun. And my brother was 'on board' for some swimming and splashing around!
My brother is in the Canadian Navy - and for the last few years has been station close to us here - and it has been great - but they got word this year that he is being transferred to Washington D.C. for the next two or three years. Crazy - he had moved back to Ontario just a few years ago after living (what felt like forever) on the West Coast - and now, to have him heading south...and to another country.... I am really happy for them but I am sure going to miss them!! ♥
And so they day was filled with family, fun, food and sun! The kids had a ball even though I completely forgot to bring anything for them so they could get in the water - bad mom! ;) But dipping their feet in and splashes from my diving brother kept everyone cool.
And so tomorrow we celebrate, just the five of us, our little man turning one. This time last year, I was already having contractions and hadn't slept much that night. One year ago from tonight, I was not sleeping much again either and my water had already started to leak. One year ago from tomorrow - we would go strawberry picking, because what else do you do when in labour and your waiting around?!?! ;) Then one more sleepless night - to a full day of contractions and then baby!
Still so....surreal! ;)
So we have a little party planned this Saturday for Joseph, mostly family and our fremily - a farm themed party too no less! ;) Oh and news on that front - we now have CHICKENS!!! I'll post soon on them but I think I shall be absent for the rest of the week as I will be getting ready for this little shin-dig and well...I still have those wedding photos to edit. (I'm working on them, I promise - half way done!) So not sure I'll get a 1000 Words post this week....though I'm guessing Bevy, might be the only one to actually notice! ;) lol! But we'll see...
...and one last thought - I caught this picture of my eldest - her birthday is coming up next in just a few weeks - can you see what I see? That pose...that....attitude....man, she's getting old!
...well....June is about halfway over and I was suppose to talk to you, earlier in the month, about how our "No spend May" went. Now, let me just start by listing all my excuses as to why it did NOT happen....
....no? You don't want to hear it....oh.
Okay...fine then....let's just buckle down to the facts.
No spend May some how turned into, renovate the kitchen, May....?!?! BUT...and here at least is some good news on the budget front, we did it with very little money!
You see our kitchen was updated and quite lovely, when we bought our house, especially for how old a home we have but it really just wasn't functional. There are two windows, five doorways, a large old staircase and a pantry all packed into our sweet kitchen. I also have, HAVE to have it as an eat-in-kitchen...it's just how I roll.
Anyways, the previous owners had installed new cabinets and counter top but not in such a fashion that an avid cook/baker like myself would appreciate. I think, in their defence, they were trying to not block any of the above mentioned 'obstacles'. But I needed better...flow and functionality. So we set to work and in a few short days moved the sink and counters, added a new cupboard (and waiting to get a second one...see waiting...like until we save up the cash....or is it because my sister keeps forgetting to pick it up for us....*wink* See God watches out for our budget even when we don't! *sigh*) we repainted (yes, I did just paint it in February but bare with me) and spruced up the entire space - and to date I believe it cost us under $200!
And people - you should see this space now - this is one happy country kitchen loving lady, I tell you! ....And you will see....by the weekend...I'm hoping! ;)
Soooo....back to the budget convo....well...I did not end up entering any receipts, did not really track our spending....it really was all around...not a good month in that regards.
We did keep within our means...and as usual God blessed and lead us in many areas. I'm struggling with this responsibility. I feel so overwhelmed by the idea of sticking to a budget - as I have said to a few people - I can make a budget, it's sticking to it that I cannot do! Now that all being said...I have a little thought on this whole matter and take it lightly, as that is how I intend it and do not take it as an excuse to slack in this area....though I know how it may sound.
Anywaaays...a thought struck me this morning as I was mulling over the budget issue and my constant avoidance of actually making and sticking to one. I thought about our financial situation...and though it's not ideal...it actually...completely, hinges on God! You see, we suck...oh we SUCK at money management but in that we know that any good that comes out of this is of God. Oh; do we ever acknowledge this! And like I said, this is not meant as an excuse to keep on...not being better with our cash flow - but please, see the beauty of the situation in it's own sense.
Often I stand back and look with amazement at what God does in our life. I wonder at how we make it some months and marvel at His constant providence. No, we do not have much in ways of savings...no nothing really to speak of. And yes, we have a small amount of consumer debt but lately it's not growing and even making small, regular steps to decreasing. But I know that with all we have, and with where we are...it does not make sense. Not apart from God.
I'm not saying that our lack of financial responsibility is in any sense godly, noble or wise but what I do see, is that in this complete, given over, hands off approach, God is at least carrying us through it. He really is the one who gives and takes away and I find we are constantly at His mercy and constantly in completely and utter dependence on Him.
And I think this is all a good thing. A very good thing.
You see, I am the kind of woman who will take charge if the need arises. I handle pressure and stress very well and will often rise to the challenge when others walk away. I'll take the world on my shoulders and half the universe if the need is there. And so I look at our financial situation and in a sense I am seeing God in this. I see that this area I do not take control. I have yet to rise to the problem and seek the full solution. Instead I am constantly looking up, looking to Him, to figure it out.
Still with me?
You see, the thought that came to me today was that I feel a stirring in me to be more responsible with our money - in mostly, the area of self-control but in regards to jumping entirely on the budget train...I'm not sure I am ready. NO, don't gasp in horror! Please don't think I have thrown in the towel and please, please do not think I do not need help, encouragement or guidance. No, I desperately need all of those - but what I am realizing this day, is that God wants our dependence on Him and Him alone!
Be still and know that I am God - remember that post? Well that verse has been following me even more so since posting that -and it popped up a couple of times yesterday and I chuckled as I looked to my mug choice of today and there it was staring back at me.
So...what's the short of all of this?
Just that I know I have a long road to travel for God to change me, my heart and my self control in spending but I also see that He has allowed us the beautiful and simple truth of utter dependence in Him when it comes to money. My husband and I care little about financial gain - yes a savings account would be nice - but when my husband's work told him he was being dropped down to three days a week for the rest of this month - our honest first thought...."Sweet! More time together!"
I do worry about how we will make it sometimes, but God really has always been there. He has provided in more ways then I can remember and probably in many more ways then I realize.
So dear friends - I will continue to try to gain self control, responsibility and a budget! But in all of this I do not want to lose sight of the fact that God has carried our family along all these years in this area. He has blessed us dearly and taken away to teach us compassionately. He has giving us all that we have and we know it. By earthly means, there is no answer for why we have what we have or why we are where we are.
But by God, we are right where we need to be - dependant on Him!