Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Newsletter 2010

Greetings to your home from ours this Christmas season!  Even in this age of instant information through Facebook, we still enjoy receiving Christmas newsletters and hearing about what has gone on in people’s lives in the past year.  If you’ve read our newsletter before you know that most years involve at least one baby being added to the extended family!  This year was no exception, as we celebrated with K’s sister C and her husband R as they welcomed a 5th son into their family in October.  Who will have a baby in 2011…?  Stay tuned!

For us it has been a busy year as usual!  After beginning her Master of Information degree in September 2007, K will be finished as of December 10th.  Needless to say we are excited about this accomplishment, which couldn’t have happened without J’s unfailing support.  Her convocation ceremony will be in June 2011 and then she will officially be a Librarian.  She continues to be employed by the City of M.

J continues to work at the Home Depot as an inventory associate and this summer we officially registered his handyman business.  Since doing so, God has been blessing us with consistent work opportunities for him – everything from painting, to bathroom makeovers, to basement renos.  This on top of all the great work he has completed in our own home – including finishing his office, a storage are with custom shelving, and the basement bathroom.  If you'd like more information about his business or to see photos of his work just email me.

DS1 is 6 and in Grade 1 – he is such a bright and inquisitive little boy!  He really took to reading and is reading “The Little Pilgrim’s Progress” on his own.  He recently marveled to K that when he’s reading he’s not saying it out loud but his brain is telling him the words!  He continues to be very affectionate and loves his little sister very much!

DS2 is 4 and started Kindergarten this year – he too is very intelligent and scored in the 91st percentile when we had some testing done on his language comprehension abilities.  He is doing a great job with his penmanship and drawing and shows a great deal of interest in reading.

Both the boys continue to enjoy attending AWANA on a weekly basis and do an excellent job memorizing Bible verses and earning their badges.  We are so glad that they have a good understanding and foundation for their faith.

DD1 turned 1 in November and we had a very pink and girly tea party for her birthday celebration.  She is a delightful little girl – always has a smile!  She has been scooting around the house for a while and recently began pulling herself up so we know walking is not far behind!  She waves “hello” and “goodbye” and shakes her head “no”, as well as the general chatter that only she can understand at this point!

And now to answer the question posed at the beginning of this letter – WE are looking forward to the arrival of a baby boy due February 12, 2011.  We believe children are a blessing from the Lord and welcome those He sends to us in His perfect timing.

Blessings to you for the New Year!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Books read recently

Be Fruitful and Multiply
Nancy Campbell

Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with Your Baby
Tracy Hogg

Kid Cooperation: How to Stop Yelling, Nagging and Pleading and Get Kids to Cooperate
Elizabeth Pantley

Loving Our Kids On Purpose
Danny Silk

Bringing Up Boys
James C. Dobson

Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit
Teri Maxwell

Plain and Simple: A Woman's Journey to the Amish
Sue Bender

Lights in a dark world
Ronald Thomas Morin

Life in the Balance: A Physician's Memoir of Life, Love, and Loss with Parkinson's Disease and Dementia
Thomas Graboys MD

Debt-Free Forever: Take Control of Your Money and Your Life
Gail Vaz-Oxlade

Marjorie Harris

How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It
James Wesley Rawles

98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive
Cody Lundin

The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life
Ben Sherwood

The Space Between Us
Umrigar Thrity

Until We Reach Home
Lynn Austin

Posted on an old blog Nov. 17th, 2010


- my grandfather is locked up in a nursing home due to his Lewy Body Disease & dementia - so very sad
- DS1 lost his first 2 teeth this summer and turned 6
- J registered his handyman business - still keeping his full time job but has also been kept busy with steady handyman jobs
- DS2 turned 4 and we started Kindergarden this Fall
- DD1 is turning one tomorrow!

- I'll be done my Master of Information courses as of December 10th!
- baby #4 (a boy) is due on February 12, 2011

Posted on an old blog Nov. 17th, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Large familes & groceries & meals

So my sis has a grocery shopping survey going on with 2 other friends and I because we have "large" families (ie more than 2 kids!)  Sis has 4 boys, friend A has 3 kids, I have 3 kids, and friend B has 2 or 3 of her own plus 2 foster kids.  I thought it would be interesting to share this info and get input from others with larger families.

Sister's message:

I shop on Wednesdays because that's "payday" and we do all our bill paying and purchases on that day to make sure we don't miss anything !  This week I shopped at  Walmart and my bill was $134.02 HOWEVER.... they were out of homo milk so I had to stop somewhere else and spend another $6.00 on homo milk.

 For the weeks menu lets start with today and go to next Sunday....

Breakfast : Blueberry pancakes with syrup, milk (M has his with pb and jam)

Snack : Bagels from Tim Hortons

Lunch : Kelseys ... a whopping $50 which we were not expecting to have to get but were in a difficult situation today and after 1:00 the kids couldn't wait anymore... Tim Horton's lavish spending also a result of the days events....

Dinner : pasta and plain canned sauce and cheese, milk (I am a bad, bad mother....).

My tip .....hmmm.... I bring water in reusable bottles and some sort of snack if I go out and anticipate being gone for a couple of hours . I brought them today but it wasn't enough :(    Drinks and snacks are wayyyy too expensive !

Also - In  the grocery picture (not included) I should have propped up the 5 bags of milk !!!! We also go through about 4 loaves of bread which we receive for free so they didn't make the picture :)

My message:

First, I must say that dh does all the grocery shopping and cooks pretty much all the dinners.  Breakfast is usually toast, cold cereal, or waffles (usually with no name "Nutella") and a cup of milk, lunch is usually reheated leftovers from the previous day's dinner.

Dh shops on Saturdays at No Frills.  Our total this week was $105.11 but I had to return the lettuce mix ($3.97) because it was bad, so total of $101.14  We also go through about 4 loaves of bread a week but (so far) it has been free, so not included in total.  We earn PC points because because we use No Frills, AND because we use our President's Choice mastercard.  You earn 10 PC points for every dollar of every purchase made with your President’s Choice Financial MasterCard so we earned about 1,011 points.  The minimum redemption is 20,000 PC points (worth $20 in free rewards) and in increments of 10,000 PC points thereafter, which we will then use towards groceries on a week where the budget is really tight or if we need extra items for a birthday.  We pay off the balance on our card each month so no interest is accrued (otherwise it would make our total $120.36 if we weren't paying it all off).

Our family consists of 3 adults because we have a 22 year old student staying with us, and 2 kids.

Sunday meals:

Breakfast: coffee for me & dh, milk for the kids, toast with cream cheese, toast with butter, cold cereal (no name "Cheerios")

Lunch: I had a (no name) PB sandwich x2 on free bread and a cup of milk, others had leftover chicken parm from the night before, and tuna.  We serve water at all meals, except the children get a cup of milk at breakfast.

Dinner: steak (cut up in little strips to go farther), seasoned fries, Keg style mushroom & garlic mix, garden salad.  Water.

Snacks: sour cream, salsa & cheddar with tortilla chips; bananas (x3) and yogurt (x5); package of 14 rice cakes (on the 1 hr drive home from church around 1pm); 2 snack cups of "Bits & Bites" (for the boys at church).

My tip: use a PC credit card and earn points!  Just make sure you pay off the balance so you're not paying 19% extra for what you buy!

Posted on an old blog Feb. 22nd, 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Year and Decade in Review

2009 in review

1. Getting a reference position at the library
While the pay didn’t change, it was a step in the right direction in terms of applying my learnings and gaining more experience as a future librarian.  As a bonus, the location is closer to home.

2. The death of my brother-in-law S
July 24th … hours after arriving home from a vacation with my sister and their family he went out on his motorcycle and was in a fatal accident not far from home. 

3. Attending a “Healing Week” at church
The work J and I did discovering and dealing with our personal and relationship issues during this week of counseling and spiritual insight at our church will change us forever.

4. Giving birth to DD1
She broke even DS2’s speedy arrival record – 45 minutes from when my water broke to when she flew out after 3 non-pushes.  To quote J “Here we go again!”

5. Hosting our first Asian student
We had never had an Asian student before (just European and Central American) and had also never hosted longer than a month.  This girl is such a blessing – she is pleasant and so helpful and loves the boys.

Memorable moments from 2000 - 2009:

1. Meeting J & getting married
We met in November 2000 and got married December 29, 2001  This involved my moving from ABC back to XYZ and his moving from DEF to XYZ.

2. Giving birth to DS1, DS2 & DD1
DS1 was born July 2004 in hospital after about 10 hours of labour; DS2 was born November 2006 at home after 1 ½ hours of labour; DD1 was born November 2009 after 45 minutes of labour.

3. Starting a Masters degree
I started my Masters of Information Science in September 2007 and hope to graduate in 2011 as a librarian.

4. Traveling to India, Nepal, and Brazil with J

India & Nepal in 2003
Brazil in 2006 along with DS6 and DS4 in utero

5. The loss of my brother-in-law S
July 24, 2009 – I don’t think the 24th day of any month will pass by without us remembering our sudden and tragic loss.  I lost a brother-in-law, my boys lost an uncle, my husband lost a friend.  The men in our family grew up in a new way as they realized the importance of their role in the lives of my sister and nieces.  While we do not grieve as those without hope, we grieve nonetheless.


A decade ago I was 26 … living on my own in BC, a bit of a workaholic doing fundraising for a non-profit.  I was an auntie to two beautiful little girls and was afraid I’d never marry and have children of my own.

Posted on an old blog Jan. 2nd, 2010