Saturday, February 21, 2015

Snow Fun!

This is a few weeks ago already. On the eve of our first big winter storm, we decided to walk to the back bush for some play time in the snow.

It was coooold!! But oh so fun!!

 Heading out to the bush.

 Had to stop to play in the ditch. The water is generally minimal in here and if there was any at this point, it was completely frozen.

 A fun climb out!

 Destination: Bluff.

 We made it!! Now the climb!! Maverick looks like he's standing on two legs!

 Snow pug.

 Buried alive! :o)

 I think she's wishing she had a hot chocolate and a book.

 Back to conquering the bluff.

Just one of my favourite tree lines.

Inside that oasis of evergreens hot chocolate, a fire in the fireplace, and our books await. It was a perfect Sunday afternoon -- especially because Monday ended up being a snow day. No school and no work for anyone.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Cleaning the Crock Pot {Pinteresting Day 2}

I don't know about you, but I use my crock pots a lot! That also means that they go out in public -- well the one does anyway. The handle on the other one is broken, so I don't take it to pot lucks or anything anymore. The one that does go out still is my 7 quart one. It's big and it's dirty! I knew there had to be a way to get the inside clean again, so I perused Pinterest. I found his little gem at The 5th Brick House on the Right.

Now I don't own oven cleaner and have no plans to own oven cleaner, so I used straight ammonia. If you use ammonia, or even any product containing ammonia please make sure you do not mix it with bleach or any bleach containing products.

Unlike with oven cleaner, ammonia takes longer and requires a little more elbow grease. I soak my rag in ammonia and then lay it on the dirty areas. I also cover it in plastic wrap for at least a few hours. (Overnight is even better.) Don't be like me and wait for a freezing cold day in February when you can't do it outside because you will choke on the fumes. Ask me how I know? :0) I did wear gloves though.

Not perfect, but definitely cleaner than before.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pinteresting {Day 1}

I need to get motivated to start blogging more regularly again. With all the children in school every day I seem to be lacking writing material, so I thought I would try this idea. I of course, found the idea itself on Pinterest. The author did a daily post of something she pinned on Pinterest in that she used an idea, she found and then recapped how it worked (or didn't) for her. I thought it was a very pinteresting idea ;o) and concluded that it just might get me blogging again. I'm not making any promises at this point, but here goes day one.

Sweet L, a friend of two of our daughters had birthday recently. She loves owls and after scouring the stores and finding nothing I liked, I decided to make her a present.

The idea came from Gingercake. They're adorable! I do believe mine turned out well also! :o)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

For the Organizing/List Lover

Yes, that would be me in the title. I'm still enjoying my days at home and they are very full. It still would be handy if there were two of me, but there's not, so I continue to work on balancing things out.

I wanted to share two sites I discovered that I am putting to great use in my uninterrupted home time. The first one I found is from Home Storage Solutions. It's a 52 week challenge to an organized home. I am a HUGE fan of organizing, but cleaning, well, not so much. This site has a week by week printable of the tasks that need to be done and lots of information each week on how to do them for those who are not naturally organizers. The nice thing about it being printable is that you don't necessarily have to follow the week by week order. I am doing my kitchen first, but that is because I tend to keep it pretty organized anyway. There will also be weeks where I might not have much to do to accomplish that weeks task. eg. Week 7 is coupons. Coupons are not too popular here in Canada, so the amount of coupons I have at any given time would not be more than ten -- and I'm doing good if I even use them. Often a generic brand is still cheaper even without the coupon.

The other site I discovered is The Confident Mom.Oh myyy! Being an ISTJ personality, this helps revolutionize the way I think/work! I've mentioned before how much I love lists. Well for me the only thing better than making lists and marking the tasks completed, is having the lists already made up for me, with spots too add more to the list to make it even more personalized. One of the reasons I have always hated cleaning is that once I start, there doesn't seem to be an end. There is always more. More! MORE!! With this planner there are visible start and finish points for cleaning. I don't have to clean the whole house in one day!! This excites my strongly-felt internal sense of duty! It motivates me to get things done!

Below is this week. You will see that not every day is not completely finished because, well, life happens. I had to take a Little to the eye doctor, my brother stopped in for coffee. You know. Life! However, hopefully before I turn the page to the next week, everything will be marked off.

Well, I'm off to put my freshly laundered sheets back on our bed and get that master bedroom dusted and vacuumed!

I'm not making any promises, but hopefully soon I will have some kid posts. This is supposed to be a family blog after all!

Please note: neither site asked me to endorse their product. I only do so because I am super excited about them!


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Habits

It's already been a week again since I last posted. I am enjoying the quiet of everyone back in school. I am working on establishing new habits and new routines for myself. At the moment it feels as if the months stretch out before me with not a single daytime commitment outside the home. That means lots of time to clean, store, organize, read, craft, and whatever else suits my fancy.

So far, some deep cleaning has occurred, I've exercised regularly, practiced cello daily, devotions have been happening, menu planning has been in the works, along with some photography work, and not much else.

The Christmas tree, nor the few decorations I put up this year have been put away yet, I have hardly touched a book since Jan 4, and I've only darkened the door of my craft room to add to the ever growing stuff piles on the island again.

But, I'm okay with that. Instead I am getting other things accomplished and enjoying the process. I am very much enjoying my clean again kitchen. The absence of stuff on the counters is refreshing and dare I say it, even exciting!

It's so good to be home!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The 2015 Reading Plan of Action

Surprise! I'm starting off the new year with a post on the very first day. I'm pretty sure it is not going to be a forecast of great things to come, so don't get too excited my two dear readers.

If you read here occasionally, you will know that we live in a house full of readers and I am of course one of them. A couple of my long time friends are also avid readers, so when we saw the following reader challenge come across our computer social media, we decided to accept the challenge and hold each other accountable.

It's a pretty grand challenge, and I am not promising that I will even complete it, but I am going to try. Fifty-two books in fifty-two weeks, but not just any fifty-two books. They need to fit into fifty categories. I have found a book for most of the categories, but there are a few that are still missing.

The following is my list of books to read for the year. The ones written in red are the ones that I have not chosen a book for yet.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K.Rowling
Emma by Jane Austen
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Published this year.
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
Somewhere Upriver by Patrick Loafman
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Holes by Louis Sachar
Olive Kitterdge by Elizabeth Strout
The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Quiet by Susan Cain
A Time to Kill by John Grisham
Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good
A book a friend recommended.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
A book at the bottom of my to read list.
A book my mom loves.
Boneman's Daughter or the Bride Collector by Ted Dekker
The Three Muskateers by Alexandre Dumas
A book based entirely on the cover.
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo
Fire and Ice by Dana Stabenow
Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
A book with a bad review.
The rest of the Mortal Instruments series.
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
Atonement by Ian McEwan
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
Brisngr by Christopher Paolini
Watchmen by Alan Moore
A book by a never before read author.
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut
Dexter in the Dark by Jeff Lindsay
Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

I think this list might be a little too lofty for me, but regardless it will be fun to see how many I will have crossed off by the end of the year.

What about you? Do you have any reading plans for 2015?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 in Photos

I thought I would post a year in photos, since I have become the world's worst blogger. 2014 was a year of many firsts and a few lasts too. On the whole, it was a good year. If you ask me, it's been a bit of an exhausting year too. In know a busy life is expected and even normal with seven -- well six now (mostly) children at home, but there are a lot of days where I want to scream, "stop the world!! I want to get off for awhile!" As December of this year dawned, I began to think a lot of how to make changes to keep ahead of this crazy life we live. Ugh! I'd be happy with maybe just some catching up with things at home. January, February, and March are looking like they will be quieter months -- or I'm hoping so anyway. I have some thoughts that I am going to try and put into practice. Maybe, just maybe, I will even find some time to blog about them.


A quiet month with lots and lots of snow provided hours of outdoor fun.


 A ski trip for five of us. Two were off with friends so only three of us are in this through-the- window photo. This was the first time skiing for Beans.

 Tubing fun with friends.

And lots more snow. I remember thinking the snow days would never end!


The Engineer and I did get a break from the snow though when I was able to accompany him on a business trip to New Orleans, Louisiana. I think it's my third, or maybe even fourth time accompanying him there, and it never gets old. It contains such interesting history, architecture, art, and people! Oh, and the food it great too!

The view from our hotel room window.

 A day that was warm enough for a fire,

 and to hang wash on the line,

 despite the fact that snow could still be found (and made into snowmen) in the shadowy places.

 Heading out to a masquerade.

Yuck! More snow!

But don't despair, by Easter it was warm and sunny again.


 First piano recitals for two girls.

Prom. (These two are actually dating now.)

One very sick black lab and his concerned fur brother.

Chaperoning a grade 8 class trip.

 A grade school graduation.

A high school graduation.


A beach day and
a beautiful sunset for Canada Day.

Our first camping trip since we grew our family.

Swim meet season begins again. First time for Bella! Possibly a last time for Peach and Beans.


 H and Bub, sharing their faith journey while our pastor looks on.

 A first cottage vacation up north. What a relaxing week!!

Dropping our first born off for his first year of university.


 Another one off to high school.

 All the grade schoolers are in full time! Woo hoo!

Back to the university for the Investiture service for Bub's dorm.


 Thanksgiving weekend. A time for family portraits, and a first time home for Bub.

 A Sunday afternoon walk in our back bush on one of the most glorious autumns that I can recall.

We've never done Halloween, but that doesn't stop my high schoolers from dressing up when given the opportunity. Peach is Ariel from the Little Mermaid and Beans is a flapper.


 A chilly family leaf clean up day yielded lots of fun despite the cold.

 The death of the 21.5 year old family car.

A mid November snowfall lead to some winter fun -- for the pug at least.


 And suddenly it was Christmas Day!

The six girls playing restaurant in the basement. *Sigh!* What else is there to do when you have no snow!?

Wishing you all a great 2015!! God bless!


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