End of Summer Post

We are coming to the end of the summer and as always I am pretty happy with that. It’s no secret that Autumn is my absolute favorite season. I could list off the things I love about it but I have done that many times over on this blog, I’m sure.

My mother is getting remarried in just a few short days and although I am very happy for her, there is so much emotional baggage that goes with it that I am trying to keep busy and focusing on Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

DSCF2278I am so thankful for this little cutie who lights up every time I come into view. He is God’s *hug* to me these days!!

Here’s what’s been keeping our days happy lately..

Listening: Mary Poppins Original Soundtrack …my girls are in love! Chim-chimney! and for me.. my I-need-to-cry-and-be-inspired music.

Reading: Kisses from Katie ..I just finished this the other night. It has touched my heart and challenged me in ways I never       thought possible. It’s got me praying that dangerous prayer again… show me YOUR will Lord and help me to do it! I give you my yes no matter what.  The girls have been reading anything by Elsa Beskow we can manage to check out of the library. Their favorite right now is “The Curious Fish“.

Watching: I found You’ve Got Mail at Value Village the other night and almost cried. It is “my” movie! If I ever had to identify with a character in a movie, it would be Kathleen Kelly.. this movie makes me sob every. single. time.

Eating: This weather has got me thinking about fall foods I am excited to bring back into rotation. We have a dutch oven we bought at the end of Spring last year and I am super pumped to try  cooking this chili. I am also pretty happy that it is Pumpkin Spice Latte season, I won’t lie. The girls helped me make some pretty killer cookies two weeks ago that are going to get made a lot. I just know it!  We subbed half of the butter for peanut butter.

Touching: I have GOT to sort out the mistake I made on Lucy’s birthday sweater. I’ve just got the sleeves and hood to go and just under a month to sort it all out. I’ve never knit anything so big before, but I know I can do it! It is, of course, purple.

Here’s to the end of summer, friends! It has been a full and busy time for our family. We have been very blessed to spend time with family, watch Oliver start solids and sit up on his own, the girls had their first swimming lessons, we added to our family, Oliver cut four teeth and we started preparing ourselves for our first year of homeschooling this fall. God is so good to our little family and I am thankful for all the crazy days and the fun that goes on under our roof. In all the times I prayed about my future as a teenager, I don’t remember praying for an easy or comfortable life. I prayed for love, adventure, passion, joy, laughter, and warmth. Wow, did my God deliver!! 🙂

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Vintage Radio Makeover

When I was about eleven we moved into a house and found that they had left a few random bits behind. One of the pieces was an old school radio that look like a plain old cabinet. It moved with us a few times and recently when my mother knew she would be selling her house, she gave it to me. I have always liked it but wasn’t sure what I would do with it once we got it into our house. It needed a bit of love and so one night I decided to just go for it and give it a fresh coat of plain old white paint. While I was at it I painted the mirror from an old vanity my grandmother gave me years ago.

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Surely, I could have done a better job or painted it a fun, bright color but I am really happy with the pop of brightness it has brought into our space. I’m still looking for a nice bit of fabric to replace the gold fabric down on the bottom half of the cabinet but apart from that it is done and it didn’t cost me a single penny! We had a gallon of white paint in our crawl space. Score! I’ll post some pictures of it again when it is totally finished. What do you think?

Spring Days

This last month has been kind to us. Lots of wonderful things have happened including welcoming my sister home from Niagara! We were all so happy to have her home again, especially the girls. I turned 29 which I haven’t decided if I am happy about. It isn’t the 29 that is bothering me. I think it is the looming 30 that unsettles me. In the end I had a great extended birthday/mothers day weekend. Next week Oliver will be five months old! I cannot say where the time has gone but our family is in a really good place right now. The kids are growing so fast and so beautifully and I am just thankful, thankful, thankful each day that I get to be here to witness it. Here is a bit of our days lately between home and school mornings and a few from a lobster feast at my mom’s on Mother’s Day.

DSCF1922 DSCF1917 DSCF1912 DSCF1911 DSCF1900 DSCF1903 DSCF1904 DSCF1908 DSCF1879 DSCF1878 DSCF1874With the weather finally turning sunnier we are starting to spend more time outdoors and the girls are very excited to plant a little garden with me soon. We’re going to grow some carrots and maybe some leafy greens of some kind. It is so nice to finally see more sunshine streaming into the living room first thing in the morning. I hope you are all getting the very best out of these Spring days..

I can hear all three kids chatting happily away in their rooms. Time to start the day!

Baby Days

The early days with Oliver started out very early since we came home only a few hours after he was born. We woke up in the morning all under the same roof and the girls came very excitedly into our room to meet the little brother they had been waiting months for.

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My mother and Ben were total rock stars taking care of the house and the girls so that I could rest and get to know our new little guy. It’s funny looking back through these pictures because they were only taken a few months ago but it feels like a lifetime away. Oliver will soon be 3 months old and I frankly have no idea where all of this time has gone! I do my best to be in the moment but honestly sometimes it is a fog for that first little bit. I know we spent a lot of time at home together and it worked out well that way since it was Winter anyway.

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Lots of snuggles. Lots of silly play. Lots of being in their underwear and playing dress up. You do what you’ve got to do to get through it!! Here’s a little look into our days..
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God Has A Plan

There really is nowhere to start except by saying that six days after moving into the house we got water in our basement. I know, right?? We had a pipe blocked by a build up of previous owners dog hair and other random stuff. We don’t have a water problem, it was just bad timing that it happened right after we moved in. Someone came to clear the pipe out for us but the damage was done at that point and there was water under almost all of our laminate in the basement. You could hear the water squeak when you walked on the floors. Thankfully Ben came home to help handle the situation while I kept the girls upstairs and out of the way.

We are covered by our home insurance, minus the first $1000.00 thanks be to God! Not that we have $1000 just sitting around, but at least we don’t have to pay the entire cost. The following morning they sent a contractor and some workers to tear the floors out of the hallway, our bedroom and the girls room. They also had to cut a bunch of drywall out since the moisture had started climbing the walls. They set up a huge dehumidifier to help dry out the floors and went on their way. They’ve been here a few times to take care of little things and we had someone come and measure the rooms and hallway to get an estimate for the floors. Our insurance is now just waiting on some quotes from contractors to decide who will do will do the job for less. Once that is decided I suppose they will start laying new floors. We are praying that it will be this week sometime.

I really wish I could say I handled all of this like superwoman. I wish I could say I was positive, strong and trusting that God was taking care of all this. But it wouldn’t be the truth.

The truth?

I cried. I cried and cried and cried. I chewed my lips. Bickered with my husband and wasn’t very kind to my children. Suddenly we were right back to being unsettled and bringing things back up into the living room, boxes and boxes worth. We were told that our home was ‘habitable’ for the process of changing flooring. Clearly these people don’t understand or appreciate the importance of napping children.

The past week and a bit has been spent living out of a suitcase, trying to keep the girls busy while we take care of business and praying that this rain would just end already so we can play outside and feel the hope that warm sunshine brings.

This is not how I imagined our first week in our first home. I don’t suppose anyone really sees these things coming. What has given me great comfort in the last few days has been this scripture verse:

“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you.”
-Jeremiah 29:11-12

I know why we had a blocked pipe but I don’t know why it happened when it did or why it happened to us. But I do know one thing. One truth. It is what I cling to when I am ready to throw in the towel.  Wanna hear it?

God. Has. A. Plan.

God’s plan is not always clear in our lives. Actually, it rarely is. It’s not always what I had in mind or what I think I needed at the time. In the moment I might cry and crumble and show my weakness and distrust in the Lord, but after a little time, a little prayer, some quiet with my husband or a hot bath, God’s peace starts to settle into my heart. Why is that?

Because I have been here before. I’ve tasted disappointment, anxiety and uncertainty and have come to the other side of it. God loves us just as we are but He loves us far too much to leave us there.

Water in our basement? God has a plan.
Hard times financially? God has a plan.
Waiting nearly 4 years for Ben’s permanent residency to come through? God has a plan.
Losing baby after baby in miscarriage? God has a plan.
My dad dying at 48 years old? God has a plan.

God is faithful. Even when I don’t feel him near, I can see his faithfulness to me when I look back at all the difficult moments of my life. I would bet that I am not alone in this.

With everything going on in the house (plus my own personal intention) I decided to start a novena to Mary, Undoer of knots. I am on day 8 and can say that it has already bore fruit. In the closing prayer of each day there is a line that chokes me up everytime and it says, “O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me”. I have known this to be true when I am struggling and Christ feels far away, His mother is an ever gentle presence in my life waiting with open arms to receive me. Telling Mary about the frustration of our situation and about my personal intention feels like I am talking to my own mom on the phone, which I am thankful for because my mama was in Florida last week. She is a comfort to me in the hardest of times, Mother of sorrows, she knows what it’s like to walk a hard road. She never had more than one child to deal with at a time that’s true, but she did have to stand back and watch people hate her only son and crucify Him. She is there to hold our hands when we need her.

I don’t have a poetic way to bring this post to an end. I guess I just want you to know, since we all need to be reminded from time to time, that God has a plan. He knows where we’ve come from, where we are and where we’re going. The choices are entirely up to us, we do have free will, but He is right in the thick of it with us. And His mama? She’s right next to Him (i.e right there with us)

*Please say a little prayer for us if you could, that all would happen as it should…and soon, God willing!!*

home at last

Welcome to our new home! Please forgive these pictures since we are still unpacking and there is stuff eeeeeeeverywhere. When you come up the stairs you will see our living room. This picture was taken from the dining room. The gate to the left of the picture is the top of the stairs.

Never too proud to roll pennies! Go, Ben, go!

Enjoying a little time out in the yard. Abigail has decided to go straight for the flowers and pick them all out. Hmmm. I may have to keep an eye on that one.
Lucy sitting in our rock garden. Nothing has really bloomed here yet other than a few teeny flowers here and there. It has been so rainy/gloomy/gray since we’ve moved in. I’m hoping for better weather soon so we can get out walking.

It has been a very busy time for all of us. Luckily, Ben was able to take a few days off so we could get the majority of everything done. Our entire upstairs (living room, dining room, kitchen) is unpacked. Our rooms are filled with boxes and clothes strewn about the place. I know it will come together a little at a time. I won’t say that it wasn’t stressful to move with toddlers who depend so heavily upon their routine, but I will say that we are home. We are in our home, and it’s starting to feel like it already. The one thing I have found is that I am suddenly always cold! Our apartment was always warm, usually too warm but here…here I am dressing as if it’s January! There is not a stitch of carpet to be found in this house so it will take time to get used to cold floors beneath my feet. I am fighting back by knitting more slippers. I may even knit a whole basket of them for when you come to visit. Now if you don’t mind I think I may go do exactly what miss Abbie did at lunch today. 

Hope you’re still enjoying some Easter feasting and having a blessed week!

Hallelujah!

The time has finally come. Most of everything we own is in boxes or Rubbermaid bins and we are ready to go. This year’s Easter was exactly what we needed this year. Last year Abigail was only about 6 weeks old at Easter and I honestly don’t remember much of that time. Ben had just started working his second job for five nights of the week and we were all pretty exhausted.
This year, I was able to get to Holy Thursday mass which I have not done in several years. We went to the Good Friday service as a family where Lucy was very pleased that she was able to ”kiss her feet”. She is in the stage of figuring out her he’s and she’s and still mixing them up most of the time. We had a very quiet Good Friday spending most of the day at home, puttering around, napping and praying. In the end I decided not to make hot cross buns. We had a lovely Lebanese meal the night before and I had made a big carrot cake for dessert. We ate the leftovers of that as our small meals for fasting. It was really different for me this year as well because it was the first Lent/Triduum in three years that I was able to participate in the fast. I found it really did help me to focus and truly connect to the heart of the day.
Holy Saturday was quiet for us since Ben was working. We played with some friends in the morning and did all of our last minute preparations that night. We both would love to participate in the Easter vigil but have decided that that will come in time when our little ones are older and can handle the sleep disruption. I just don’t see the point in spending half of the mass trying to calm over-tired babes so that everyone else can enjoy the evening. We went to bed that night after laying out our Easter goodies and setting up our refreshed altar. I wish I had a picture to show you as it’s quite lovely but sweet Lucy broke our camera lens and we only have pictures from my mum’s camera.
On Easter morning the girls got up to find empty baskets in their rooms.  Upon opening their doors they found a lovely trail of colourful plastic eggs to collect which led them into the living room and to our family altar. I put away all of our Lenten decor and replaced it with a white sheet, our big print of the Divine Mercy, our statue of Mary, some flowers and all of our treats. Ben asked Lucy, “What happens today?” and she replied, “Jesus is Aliveeeeeeeeee!” We had a delicious coffee cake, made by my darling husband and fruit salad for breakfast then got on our Sunday best. After mass we all had a nap and then headed up to my mum’s for supper. We had delicious pineapple ham, potatoes, brussel sprouts, butternut squash and really cute birds nest cupcakes for dessert.
For the cupcakes I just toasted some medium coconut, made an easy buttercream icing, and decorated the tops with mini eggs. Lucy really did most of the work. It’s a very easy dessert for kids to help with. Especially if you make the icing runny enough for them to also dunk the cupcake top into.

      
                                    
Tomorrow is our closing date so we will be doing the final walk through of the house at 9:00 am. This will be the first time we see the house empty and I am really looking forward to it! Until then I have much cleaning to do….the really boring kind like scrubbing out the insides of all the kitchen cabinets. Pray for me! I will try to be back in this space next week sometime once we are more settled. I will hopefully have some pictures to show then! Have a blessed weekend!