Monday, January 31, 2011

A Day in the life of my Toddler

Today is a normal day for my monkey...

Today he threw his pull-up in the garbage, and then he threw his pants in too...

Today he climbed onto the toilet to pee, and then watched himself pee all over the floor while not quite sitting on the toilet...

Today he brought a library book to a stranger in the library, and she actually sat with him and read him the whole book.... (I couldn't find him for a second because that same mom had been reading to her own child just a few seconds before my son stole her lap from her son...)

Today in an effort to get him to go to bed, I shut off all the lights and locked myself in my room, telling him "Mommy has to go to bed. Good night!"

Whatever works for us I guess!


Make it Happen (Intentional) Monday

Our word for this year is Intentional, and we've been making family time a priority, and really focusing on things we can enjoy together as a family. On that note, we have decided to make Monday our Sabbath day since Hubby doesn't work Mondays, and I don't have class Monday until the end of March).

Today was such a wonderful blessing. It was cold, but amazing.
Our fun activities included:
-Skating at an outdoor public rink (C's first time skating and he loved it!)
-Reading and playing at the library (C got to choose a movie)
-Going out to lunch at McDonalds where C played in the Play land (and I played Mario Kart)
-Colouring and playing at home, and watching Toy Story 2 together (while eating dinner)

I love Mondays! Next week, we already have plans to go swimming.

As for my to do list for the week, things I MUST do include:
-Find a family doctor, and Hubby needs to get to the clinic
-Phone those government people so I can get a(nother) copy of my NOA from 2009...
-Contact the friend of a friend at my potential job to make sure I still have a potential job
-Pay phone and internet bill
-Clean the fridge

Things I would LIKE to do this week:
-Meal plan! I need one to use up everything in our freezer...
-Finish group project for Cuisine and Culture
-Go to Coffee break on Wednesday (I miss those ladies)
-Do my homework for Bible study on Thursday
-Clear our dinner table and put the tablecloth on...
-Spend time with a friend I've been neglecting because of busyness

Things I would love to PUT OFF until next week but better do tomorrow...
-Laundry... preferably before running out of clean socks and underwear for our (almost) potty-trained little man
-Put away the clothes and toys we've organized into bins in our monkey's room before they get dumped out again...

I'm still wishing for a laundry and dishes fairy to appear in my house, but the longer I wait, the less likely it seems she even exists.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Deslobification Update: 111 in 1/11

So, a few weeks ago I mentioned a goal I set of decluttering (donating, selling, or otherwise getting rid of stuff) 111 things within January 2011.

We surpassed 111 things!
We've got a "to donate" box, and we kept filling it and forgetting to drop things off, so when my wonderful husband finally did make the trip to Salvation Army (and then to Value Village because Salvation Army wasn't accepting any more donations) We had almost 4 boxes of stuff to donate.

Presenting our 111 Items:

1: Large Bag of Cotton Batting (I thought I'd take up quilting 2 years ago... nothing happened)
2-3: Speakers (they still work)
4-8: Computer games
9-11: Board Games
12-41: Books
42-44: Musical Instruments
45-57: Kitchen equipment (including dishes, coffee maker, and cake pans)
58-72: Candle holders/Home Decor
73-76: Craft Items (sewing kits, wreath form...)
77-104: Toys (stuffed animals, balls, cars, noisy toys)
105-11: Clothing and Random objects (locker shelf, blind for a car window...)

(I donated the toys to the church nursery so that our monkey can still play with them, but also so I don't need to constantly pick them up. Everything else went to Value Village)

We're hoping to keep decluttering, and maybe this year we'll shoot for decluttering 730 things in 365 days! (that's an average of 2 items per day, and so far in 30 days, we're already 15% finished!! We have 619 items to go and 338 days left)
I think we can do it. I have a whole bookshelf of cookbooks to go through, and we've got only a million toys or so for the monkey... I think we could get rid of 638 toys, and he'd still be fine! (he's got those mini plastic army figures...)

So far, my decluttering goals for 2011 are right on track.

Now I'm off to clean my partially decluttered house...


Monday, January 24, 2011

Start the Car!!

Do you remember the IKEA commercial from a few years ago? The one where the woman saves so much money she thinks she robbed the store?

That was me tonight. Except not at IKEA.

As of tonight, I am officially an Old Navy convert. I have to give the credit to my best friend's sister whose love of Old Navy might have been mocked a few times by me... I apologize completely.

What I got tonight at regular prices (and then sale prices).

1 mens argyle sweater vest $24.50 ($7.19)

My husband is going to look SO handsome!

1 childs dress shirt with tie $19.50 ($2.99)

1 childs long sleeve shirt $ 7.50 ($1.19)

1 pair childs hightop sneakers $16.50 ($2.08)

I want to get these in all colours!

1 pair childs winter boots $22.50 ($2.98)

4 pairs girls bloomers $ 9.50 ($0.28)

1 pair cowboy boot slippers $10.50 ($1.79)

Aren't they CUTE?!

Grand total: $139.00 ($19.34)

I SAVED $119.66 or 86% !!

Best shopping trip ever... I am SO going back tomorrow....


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Link Loves (January 22) and Word for the Year

I love the links from the Finer Things this week!


-the one talking about the National Debt (I'm Canadian, but we could still learn something from this article)

-the one talking about living small (This goes with my goal to organize, declutter, and simplify my home this year)

-the one about training your children (or how to be a lazy housewife) (Of course, if I wanted to follow this one, I would need to have 3 more kids, which could take quite a while...)

Also, tomorrow is National Pie day (not to be confused with pi day which is in March) and Life as Mom has quite a few pie-baking tips and recipes.

I'm hoping to make an Apple Pie, and maybe a Chicken Pot Pie (except I'll use turkey).

I should probably make a Lemon Meringue Pie too, for my sister's birthday, but I'll probably make it from a mix, not from scratch. (I know that it's cheating, but I'll be at my parents, and I'd rather not bake all day)

Other things I've been reading this week:

-I love the concept of making a different crochet block every week and then sewing them together into an afghan when I’ve got enough.

-These are the cutest Apple, Pear and Strawberry coasters! I know a few teachers I’d love to make these for.

-In the spirit of helping me get organized, I’d love to make a day planner like this one.

-This year I’m turning 25 (I’ve been trying to forget about that). I guess I should make a list of 25 things to do before I’m 25. Check out Tabitha's list.

I almost forgot! The Hubby and I have decided on our word for the year. We really want to live on purpose instead of coasting through. For that reason, we've decided that 2011 is going to be all about living intentionally. Our first intentional act this week was to redo our budget so that we could see where our money has been going, and where we are going to put it. Our priorities in life are the things we put the most time and money into. We as a family want our priorities to be clearly identified, so we're trying to clear out the clutter from our home, from our bodies, and from our minds.

This will be an amazing year of growth and changes, and we're all excited for where God brings us. I hope you all have an amazing weekend! We're headed to visit my sister for her birthday!

until next time,


To my FAVOURITE sister....

...well actually you're my only sister, but you're still my favourite.

Happy Birthday.

There are a few things I want to let you know before you head to high school next year.

-You are beautiful. Always remember that. The song called "A More Beautiful You" by Jonny Diaz says it so much better than I can:

Little girl 14, flipping through a magazine,
says she wants to look that way
But her hair isn't straight, her body isn't fake,
and she's always felt overweight

Well, little girl 14, I wish that you could see
that beauty is within your heart
And you were made with such care,
your skin, your body, and your hair
are PERFECT just the way they are!

There could never be a more beautiful you!
Don't buy the lies, disguises and hoops they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that ONLY YOU could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you.

-You can do anything you put your mind to. You say you want to be a missionary or a teacher. I know that you will be wonderful at whatever career you follow. I believe in you.

-You have an amazing infectious smile. You make me laugh like nobody else in the world can.

-I am so impressed with how mature you are in your awareness of the needs of others. You are so empathetic to the pain of others. This is a wonderful quality, and I hope you never lose it.

-You are unique. Be strong and feel safe choosing interests that not everyone around you may share. Know who you are and be confident in your choices.

-Show me your friends, and I'll show you your future. Choose your friends wisely, they will all influence who you become.

-Study hard. Not just to get good grades, but to learn perseverance, diligence, and patience. These attributes will help you to accomplish whatever goals you set for yourself.

-Respect your teachers, your fellow classmates, and most importantly yourself. Set standards for yourself so that you don't give in to peer pressure and have regrets later.

-Above all, trust in God. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He will never give you more than you can handle.

Verses to remember:

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. (Proverbs 16:3)

...Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31-32)

I love what a beautiful, amazing woman you are becoming, and I'm so proud to be your sister.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What I'm Loving this Wednesday (01/19/2011)

I'm loving.... cooking dinner for myself as part of my class work! Tonight the menu was fresh pasta in either tomato sauce or mushroom cream sauce, followed by shrimp in spicy broth and cheddar and herb biscuits....yummy. (These pictures are not my own, sources are found below)

I'm loving.... taking home leftovers so I don't have to cook dinner after cooking all night at school!

I'm loving.... lazy evenings with my husband, playing games and just laughing together.

I'm loving.... amazing music from these amazing girls called The Good Lovelies (and maybe seeing them in concert in April?!) (check out "Lie Down")

I'm loving.... snow that's perfect for snowman building and snowball fights.

I'm loving.... friends who know just what to say to make a crappy day brighter.

I'm loving.... new babies and pregnant mommies. (Congrats Nikki, Alida, Leanne, Becky, Sarah and anyone else who's expecting a little one soon!)

I'm loving.... job possibilities (like the SLC Job Fair on February 1st!)

I'm loving.... one whole week without any toilet-training accidents!

I'm loving.... freshly baked chocolate chip cookies dunked in tea!

I'm loving.... clean kitchen counters, clean dishes, and clean floors (especially when I don't do it myself!)

I'm loving.... sloppy chocolate kisses and a little boy's voice telling me he loves me.

It doesn't get much better than this.


Linked up with WILW at this kind of love.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

According to my Toddler...

When asked if he has pooped or peed, he always responds "No!"
When asked "Who poops in your diaper?" he replies "Bullseye." (Or Jessie, or sometimes, one of the little girls at daycare)

His version of Skinnamarink (the closing song from The Elephant Show) is:
"Stinky-doo. Love you. Morning, morning, morning."

There are many uncles in our family. Uncle Grandma, Uncle Emily, and Uncle Daddy are his new favourite uncles.

In the last few weeks, he's been dressing himself, and he tells us constantly "I do it." It's nice seeing him learning these skills... How fast time goes.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Baby-Naming Obsession

After reading "Please Let Me Name Your Baby" by Nina at Nina Badzin's Blog, I realized that I'm not the only one who has a name-researching obsession.
I thought that it was by "baby on the brain" that was drawing me to baby name book after baby name book, writing lists and pouring over the origins and meanings of hundreds of names...

(Let me interrupt here to say that, NO, as far as I know, we're not expecting)

But back to the lists, I LOVE names! I always have. When I would play Barbies growing up, I would first write a list of all the names I wanted for my Barbies, and then each time we played, they would all have fancy names like Cassandra, and Juliette and Isabella...

So this "obsession" is just another manifestation of my OCD... I guess I could get rid of all my books and lists, but then what would I do if I did get pregnant? I want to have some sort of starting point...

I mean, your name is something you have for life. For some children (like Frank Zappa or Jamie Oliver's kids) they might want to change the names their parents gave them when they get old enough to do so...

Crazy Celebrity Baby Names:
(They are crazy in MY opinion. Feel free to complain if you love any of these)
-Alabama Gypsy Rose (Drea de Matteo and Shooter Jennings)
-Audio Science (Shannyn Sossamon and Dallas Clayton)
-Banjo (Rachel Griffiths and Andrew Taylor)
-Bogart Che Peyote (David "Puck" Rainey and Betty Rainey)
-Camera (Arthur Ashe and Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe)
-Crumpet (Lisa Vidal and Jay Cohen)
-Denim, Diezel (Toni Braxton and Keri Lewis)
-Diva Thin Muffin, Dweezil, Moon Unit (Frank Zappa and Gail Zappa)
-Elijah Bob Patricus Guggi Q (Bono and Ali Hewson)
-Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches Honeyblossom (Bob Geldof and Paula Yates)
-Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily (Michael Hutchence and Paula Yates)
-Kal-el (Nicholas Cage and Alice Kim Cage)
-Kyd Miller (David Duchovny and Tea Leoni)
-Moxie Crimefighter (Penn Jillette and Emily Jillette)
-Poppy-Honey Rosie, Daisy Boo Pamela, Petal Blossom Rainbow, Buddy Bear Maurice (Jamie Oliver and Juliette Norton)
-Pilot Inspektor (Jason Lee and Beth Riesgraf)
-Sage Moonblood (Sylvester Stallone and Sasha Czack)
-Seven Sirius (Andre 3000 and Erykah Badu)
-Speck Wildhorse (John Cougar Mellencamp and Elaine Mellancamp)
-Story Elias (Jenna and Bodhi Elfman)
-Zuma Nesta Rock (Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale)

Okay, so not every part of these names is horrible. I personally love 'Elijah' and 'Rose', but seriously Camera?!
I'm reminded of this friends episode where Ross and Rachel are choosing a baby name, and they shoot down each others choices so many times, that Phoebe says "Is it me, or is Veto starting to sound really cool." How did the name "Camera" even come up in the naming process? Did they say, "Get the Camera" so many times that they started thinking it was cool?

And then there is Pikabo Street (pronounced Peek-a-boo). Her parents let her name herself! Imagine letting your kindergarten child come up with their own name! What would you have named yourself when you were 5? I would have been Ashley. I loved that name so much, that when I actually MET an Ashley, I thought she was some sort of god.

Crazy, huh?

But seriously, a name is the legacy that parents bestow on children. It reflects the hopes you have for that childs future, and also the past that came before that child.

A name is a huge thing

And to be perfectly honest, I think there are many other worse things I could obsess about.

~Angela (heavenly messenger) Jeanette (God is gracious)

(Two of my top picks when you want lots of name ideas with their meanings)

Cake-Worthy Events: January

Okay, so one of the goals I've set for myself this year is to make at least one major themed cake each month, and in my search for inspiration for January's cake, I googled "special events in January"...
I found some pretty fun things, so I'm going to write a master list each month to choose events from.

National Month of:
-Braille Literacy
-Bath Safety
-Hot Tea
-Blood Donors
-Staying Healthy
-Thank You
1. New Years Day
3. Fruitcake Toss Day, JRR Tolkien's Birthday
4. Trivia Day
6. Bean Day, Cuddle Up Day, Sherlock Holmes' Birthday
8. Bubble Bath Day
9. Apricot Day, Static Electricity Day
11. Step in a Puddle and Splash a Friend Day
13. Make Your Dreams Come True Day, Skeptics Day, Rubber Duck's Birthday
14. Dress Up Your Pet Day
15. Hat Day
16. Nothing Day
17. Ditch New Years Resolution Day
18. Thesaurus Day, Winnie the Pooh Day (A.A. Milne's Birthday)
19. Popcorn Day
20. Penguin Awareness Day, Cheese Day
21. Hugging Day, Squirrel Appreciation Day, Hat Day
23. Handwriting Day, Measure Your Feet Day
24. Beer Can Appreciation Day, Compliment Day
25. Opposite Day
26. Spouse's Day
27. Chocolate Cake Day, Punch the Clock Day
28. Fun at Work Day, Kazoo Day, Ernie's Birthday
29. Puzzle Day, Cornchip Day
30. Inane Answering Message Day
31. Backwards Day, Inspire Your Heart With Art Day

UPDATE: The event I chose was "Thank You" Month... I made cupcakes for C's last day at his old daycare. No pictures (sorry) they were Cherry Chip cupcakes with homemade buttercream icing and fondant flowers.
C was so excited about them...the morning I made them, I had to clean up a mess, and when I got back to the kitchen, he had eaten the flowers from 3 cupcakes, so I had to remake them. When the cupcakes were pulled out for snack time, C kept saying "Mommy do! Mommy do!" because he knew I made the cupcakes special for him.

I also made a cake for my sister's birthday, highlighting her spectacular volleyball skills. It wasn't the prettiest (and there were a few little finger marks from where C snuck icing...) but it was yummy. Chocolate cake with chocolate and white buttercream, flames on it, and the words "You're On Fire!" because of how well she did in her volleyball tournament.

Those were my January cakes! Next up: February!!


Am I Still Strong if I Cry?

Lately there has been a lot floating around in my head....

When people say, "When God closes a door, he opens a window" which one is better? Could the thing he closes be a window, and a door is opened? Could he close one door and open a different one?

Can I love a life that is filled with change and uncertainty, but at the same time love an organized life with a schedule? Am I crazy to expect that order can be found even amidst chaos?

Am I a terrible mother for wanting to send my son to daycare on days when I don't do any schoolwork or even work at home?

If I would love to have a dozen children, but my husband wants to join the military (which means he'll be away for a few months or more at a time), should I try to give both options a chance, or should I stop with the one wonderful child we have because it 'wouldn't be fair' to have more? And what happens if I want to work but have more than one child?

Does it matter if I go to a respected teacher for advice rather than my pastor if I feel more comfortable talking with my teacher? Or should I go to my pastor because he has the same beliefs as me, even if I don't really feel comfortable talking with him?

Why are goodbyes so difficult, even when they're not forever? Even when the person you say goodbye to lives down the street and you'll see them a couple times a month?

Why do people say that change is good if it hurts so much?

Am I still strong if I cry?


Monday, January 10, 2011


Thanks so much to Nony from A Slob Comes Clean for this wonderful word which so aptly describes the process the Steeds are going through this year...

Two posts are inspiring me to be exceptionally strict this month with what I keep and what I get rid of. The first is from Nony from A Slob Comes Clean, who is taking over for Amy of The Finer Things and the 730 in 365 Challenge. I didn't get involved in this challenge (to declutter 730 items from your house in 2010) because I just found it a couple weeks ago, but I would love to make a similar goal for our family this year.
The second post that inspired me is from Jenny at Words on Wendhurst about 111 in 1/11, and decluttering 111 thing in January 2011. This is a large challenge, but we've got the stuff, and I'm hoping to not have it for long.

I'll try to take pictures, but I'm not promising anything fancy. Our camera is on the fritz, so I'm using a polaroid from my mother, and I'm not sure how it works yet.

Any suggestions or encouragement is really welcome!

Check back later this week as I'm narrowing down my word for the year. I'm leaning towards either "home" or "intentional" but I want to talk it over with hubby to see if he has any other ideas.

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Guess How Much I Love You

Today I want to remember that (despite all the struggles of having a toddler who loves to destroy/play with everything in the house) I love my son more than I could ever describe.

1. I love snuggling with him in the middle of the night when the only one who can comfort him is me.

2. I love listening to him laugh when he gets tickled, or when he "fawts" (farts), or sometimes he laughs for no reason at all...

3. I love being led around our home, whether to read with him, or play, or just to come see what he's done.

4. I love his new phrases, like " 'top, hammuh time."(stop, hammer time) and "oh dee-uh"(oh dear)
I love his new words, like "teg-uh-saw-us" (stegosaurus) and "ah-wien"(alien)
I love his names for his aunt (Emi-yo), and his uncles (Jo-wah, Wy-an, Timmy, and Jemmy), and I can't forget his "uncle Daddy"

5. I love when he 'sings along' to songs on the radio, or joins us in singing at bedtime with "deedah deedah" for Jesus Loves Me, or "wooold" for He's Got the Whole World in His Hands

6. I love watching as he makes up games for his new toys, or he colours pictures, or he dances around the room to any music that plays.

7. I love hearing the manners we've tried so hard to teach him, like saying "bless you" to himself when he sneezes, or saying "thank you" when someone holds a door for him. I especially love when he says "thank you Mommy" when I put dinner in front of him.

8. I love reading any book with him, even if he only wants to see pictures... or hold it upside down...because for those moments, he wants to sit on my lap, and he'll only be this small for a little while

9. I love the way his bum sticks up in the air when he sleeps and he still sleeps while he sucks his thumb.

10. I love that his name for me is "mama." and even when he says "Nooooo mama" I can't be mad because I love that he knows I'm his.

I might have the same condition a friend of mine mentioned a few weeks ago. Sometimes when I look at my monkey my heart starts to hurt really bad, my eyes start to water, and I can't breathe well or talk much...

oh, little man... I love you to the moon. and back.



There's a song running through my head, and I don't know if you'll know it. My parents had vinyl records that we listened to growing up, and I don't even remember who sang this song, just the words...

"Backwards again, backwards again.
When will I ever get it right?"

I think the original song is about a little boy putting his shoes on the wrong feet... but when I think about the words, to me they reflect the feeling that I want time to go backwards lately. I want to take the time to remember all the little things C does. He's growing up so fast, and I don't have a baby anymore, I've got a 2-year old, and I want to cherish all the moments I have with him.

This week I'm really trying to look back at 2010 and see what I've learned, what I struggled with, and where I grew the most. Thanks to this great list of questions from (in)courage, I can put all those thoughts in writing.

1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?

Completing my first year of culinary school with top grades!

2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?

Living on complete trust that God would provide for us, and relying on our church and food bank in order to survive.

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?

B and I both found job almost immediately after we started looking for them.

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?

Just before Christmas, I got in my very first car accident. Nothing serious, but the car was in the shop getting fixed for about a week.

5. Pick three words to describe 2010.

Trust, Relationships, Thankfulness

6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2010 (don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you).

Baking, Strength, Determined

7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2010 (again, without asking).

Completion, Uncertainty, Change

8. What were the best books you read this year?

-And the Shofar Blew (Francine Rivers)

-Redeeming Love (Francine Rivers)

-Think Like a Chef (Tom Colicchio)

-Why I Need You (Gregory E. Lang)

-Debt-Free Forever (Gail Vaz-Oxlade)

-Cut the Clutter and Stow the Stuff

9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?

-My husband. He loves me in the good and bad days, and he always apologizes first when we fight.

-Alysha, who knows me and still wants to spend time with me...

-Janis, who makes me smile and laugh, and who I think of first whenever I see hippo anything...

-Kim, who I've learned so much from, and who I was blessed to be able to help with her kids...

-My mother. I don't know what I would do without her...

10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?

I stopped making excuses for my mistakes. I face up to things I've done without trying to blame someone other than myself.

11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?

B and I went to a marriage seminar in the spring. The course really taught me how the things my husband says have different meanings to me than they do to him, so I learned to put my emotions aside and really listen to what he was trying to say, instead of assuming I already knew what he meant. (It's a work in progress, but last night, our "argument" lasted only a couple minutes instead of the whole night, so I really think we're getting it!!)

12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?

We as a family learned what complete trust in God was. We had no money, and no idea how we would pay our bills, but God got us through 4 extremely lean months at the beginning of the year, and we all grew closer to Him in that time.

13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?

I lost about 10lbs early in the year, and I can do more pushups now than I've ever been able to do!

14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?

I let myself become vulnerable, and opened up to new friends. We started having people over for games nights and for dinners so that we could really grow in our relationships with people from church and school and work.

15. What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?

The constant ability to learn and challenge myself, whether that was with deadlines, or with learning new recipes, or just studying the processes of baking.

16. What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?

The hours. Working midnights made sleeping hard, and made maintaining relationships really hard.

17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?

Facebook, TV, and computer games (so basically, the computer)

18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?

Wednesday morning Coffee Break from January to April helped to recharge me, and throughout the summer and fall, we as a family were able to serve a friend in need for a few hours every week.

19. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?

I am a strong, determined, competent, talented woman who can maintain a home well, even when I'm the only adult doing it.

20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2010 for you.

With God ALL THINGS are possible.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Words to Live By (Part One)

Instead of "Resolutions" this year, I'd heard a few people talking about using a word to be the theme of their year.
Since I'm indecisive, I decided to make a list of words that inspire me. After some brainstorming, I'll choose one word (hopefully it will be before the end of the week).

-Intentional (found here)
-Simplify (found here)
-Adventure (found here)


I've got a bit of a brain freeze right now (probably because it's after 12:30) so I'll come back and brainstorm some more tomorrow.


Are there any words that you've found to be inspirational in your life lately?

Time to Give Thanks

Happy Twenty-Eleven! (and Merry Christmas to everyone, Happy Anniversary to my parents, Happy Birthday to 2 of my brothers and 2 of my aunts!)

I'm sorry I've been gone so long. Final exams started the second week of December, and then for the last 2 weeks I've been internet and cell-phone free. I'm glad to be back.

I want to start off the new year with a post about being thankful. So often new years resolutions focus on things we want to change about our lives, specifically things we aren't happy about. I want to focus on the blessings my life is filled with.

Ten things I loved about 2010:

1. The completion of hubby's final year of education. B finished teacher's college in April, and before he even returned home from exams, he had a job! What an amazing blessing.

2. In my first year of culinary school which ended in April, I got straight A's. This has made me so proud because of the many weeks I was a single-parent as hubby was away at school and on placements. I was proud of myself for just completing the year, the top grades were a huge bonus.

3. I found a job after applying at only 2 places. The first one lost my application, and the second place hired me! What a blessing.

4. I worked in a bakery in the summer! I loved stretching my skills that way and learning about some of the work that goes into running that kind of business.

5. Our little monkey began toilet training! He's doing great, and we're loving the lower diaper bills.

6. Monkey turned 2, and he's talking up a storm. This week he started naming dinosaurs-not just T-rex, but also stegosaurus, brontosaurus, and triceratops! Also he's learning the proper names for construction equipment, he can count to 10, and he sings along to his bedtime songs!

7. I got to take cake decorating classes! I've always wanted to have a small business, and the details of cake decorating really appeal to me (I'm a little bit of a perfectionist. It comes from my dad).

8. Hubby and I celebrated birthdays with a couple new board games! Our collection is growing, and we love it!

9. We visited friends and family in North Bay for Christmas, and while it was busy, we had a wonderful time. If there were jobs for us up there, we would probably have stayed because of our wonderful church and friends.

10. We ended the year together as a family and got family pictures taken to prove it. My parents had all 6 of their kids home (plus their son-in-law and grandson) and we did a photo shoot. We had a wonderful Christmas all together.

For the next few days I want to focus on my reflections on this past year, and the hopes my family has for this new year.

But for tonight, I'll leave you with a verse:

Colossians 3:15-17

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."