Friday, 26 November 2010

Fall Decor

I figured I better post some pictures of our fall decor before I take it down tomorrow to decorate for Christmas!!

I found the above idea online somewhere and made it myself - all products from Dollarama! Vases, prayer candles and leaf & berry stems were all it took (that and a lot of elbow grease getting the huge stickers off the prayer candles!). I placed it on the sofa table in our living room.

I picked up a box of these fake pears and pumpkins at Superstore last year and put them in this cute fruit bowl (breathable) as a centerpiece for our dining table. My real bananas got bumped to a regular old glass bowl on the countertop.

This is the end of our hallway.

I also had a huge fake flower arrangement that I had made at our church ladies morning out program, but it fell apart in our storage room and I just never got around to fixing it in time to display it this year. Maybe next year!

Now, because I'm all about keeping it real - you see that picture at the very top? Yeah, that's not how that usually looks. See, Jacob loves to play with his cars and trucks while standing at a table. So, I've designated the sofa table as his spot to play (though I admit to occasionally letting him play on the dining table too - tsk, tsk). Our house is a home first. So......

This is how it usually looks! ;)

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Thankful Thursday - New Office!!

Last week we did a major room reshuffle in our house and as a result, I have a large office WITH A WINDOW! I am so excited and extremely thankful for being able to sit and work in such a bright, airy room, and view the great outdoors at the same time! This window looks out the rear of our house which means I can see our children's school - I can sometimes see them at recess time and I can see them walk home from school - perfect!!

At some point, I would like to get a new desk, but for now - this will definitely work! Here is my new office!

Now, what did this room used to be? It used to be Olivia's room. No, we didn't kick her out in the cold :) For the longest time, despite the fact that they each have their very own bedroom, all 3 girls have been sleeping together in the same bed - just a tad squished, but they loved it! And I was stuck in a cramped, windowless office in the basement. Hmmm, somethings not right here. I just can't believe it took me this long to think of this!!

Until now, Jacob and Olivia both had their own rooms upstairs, and Sophia and Emma both had their own rooms downstairs which were joined together by a Jill and Jill bathroom. So, we moved Sophia so that she now shares a room with Emma, we moved Olivia into Sophia's old room, we turned my old office into a play space for the girls and we moved my office upstairs into Olivia's old room. Perfect solution!

Here's Emma & Sophia's room - it is slightly cramped, but it's not bad. We had originally had them sharing this room when we moved in but we had it set up differently (click here to see pics). The original way looked nicer, but it didn't leave much room for playing. This isn't fabulous either, but it's better! Emma sleeps in the bed with the striped bedding (used to be Olivia's but they wanted to switch).

Sophia sleeps in the yellow bed on the right. We left a bit of a gap there on the far right corner (see Tigger?) because there's a small door to a little reading nook back there that they can still squeeze past the bed to get to.

This is Olivia's new room. She loves it!

This used to be my office and is now a cute little playroom. I'm going to move more of the girls craft stuff into here so they can work in here and close the door to keep Jacob from wrecking their works of art in progress.

To see what their rooms used to look like, click here.

And, of course, a huge Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!!

Click on the Thankful Thursday button to visit our host and other thankful bloggers.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Christmas Photo Cards - freebie!

Christmas photo cards have definitely become the norm these last several years, at least in our area it has. I love it! I love getting pictures of people and would love to incorporate that into a Christmas tradition somehow - maybe picking one each day to pray for or something like that.

This fall we had family pictures taken by an actual photographer and they turned out fabulous - I'm really looking forward to ordering our pictures.

Shutterfly has a great holiday promotion going on where they're offering bloggers the opportunity to get 50 free holiday cards - click this link for details.

Of course, Shutterfly also has other cool photo ideas such as photo mugs, photo calendars and photo books (which I totally want to start creating for our kids!).

Shutterfly has numerous creative and innovative ideas for Christmas cards, whether you want to use one photo, two photos or three or more, and you can sort by those requirements which is really helpful in narrowing it down.

Check out this Christmas letter format...

I'm having a little trouble finding the perfect card for our family. I want one that has one large box for our family photo, 4 smaller boxes of equal size for each child, and then (optional) one medium one for all the kids together - plus I really want the words to be Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings - cause I'm crazy cool like that.

The designs/colours/words I liked the best didn't fit all the qualifications, but I have found a few that will work - now it's just to decide which one to get. And quickly, so we get them in time to hand them out!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Operation Christmas Child - pack it!

Operation Christmas Child - one of my favourite Christmas traditions to get us started in the true spirit of Christmas: celebrating the greatest gift of all, Baby Jesus born as God's gift of love to us. Operation Christmas Child gives us a chance to spread His love to those who may never have heard of God, and who may never have a received a gift of any kind.

The girls absolutely love packing the shoeboxes. We picked up the school supplies when they were on sale during a trip to the States in summer, and then Olivia and Jacob went with me to shop for the toiletries and fun stuff just the other day. One slight problem with that plan - when we bought school supplies in summer, I bought enough for all 4 kids. When I bought the stuff now, I thought we had only bought for 3 kids. So, we had enough for 3 1/2 boxes - I just brought the 1/2 box to church and let them finish it off during their packing project. (The Gr 5/6 girls and the Gr 5/6 boys packed well over 100 boxes!!).

This is the list of what we packed in our boxes....
box of pencil crayons with sharpener
two pens
box of crayons
two animal shaped erasers
first aid kit
bar of soap
two hair ties
stuffed animal
bouncy ball
mini tamborine

We also got the girls to make a card for the girl who would receive the gift box.

It's not too late to pack your own shoebox!! Collection week is Nov 15 - 20th.

If you prefer the virtual world - you can pack your shoebox online too! Just click on this link and you will be taken to Samaritan's Purse's secure website where you can order a shoebox custom built as per your specifications all from the comfort of your own home! You can select the age and gender of the recipient of your box and it will let you know what's all automatically included for $37 (which includes the $7 shipping fee). Here is what's included in the Girls box for Age 5-9....
1 Notebook
5 Pencils
1 Pencil sharpener
1 Eraser
2 Pens
1 Pack of pencil crayons
1 Toothbrush
1 Pair of Socks
1 Activity Book
1 Comb
1 Bar of soap
1 Wash cloth
1 Cup
1 Painting kit
1 Pack of Stickers
1 Ball
Assorted hair accessories
Assorted hard candy

You will then have the option to pick two more items for an extra cost - you can pick between shirts ($5), sunglasses for $4 (great idea - have to remember that one for next year!), hairbrush ($2), calculator ($2) or stuffed animal ($3).

You can then write a note to the child and even upload a photo to include as well!

This is a bit more expensive then doing it yourself but it's a very cool option for those who prefer to shop online, or who are simply to busy to go out and buy the supplies. Simply put - you have no excuse not to do it! ;)

If you're looking for a new tradition to start with your kids this Christmas - this is it!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Thankful Thursday - Lest We Forget

Today, on Remembrance Day, I am thankful for the countless soldiers who sacrificed themselves for the sake of freedom.

All sacrificed years of their life; all sacrificed being able to continue their lives as usual, to be with their families, to be there for births, first steps and more; all sacrificed the naivete of not knowing what war is truly like.

And some sacrificed through wounds - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

And some sacrificed through death.

I am thankful that they fought (and still fight!) for our freedom.

I am thankful when they fight for the freedom of other countries too weak to fight for themselves.

I am thankful they willingly fight so that I am not forced to.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Which reminds me of another sacrifice I am thankful for.

Romans 5:7-8 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus sacrificed the glory of heaven .... for us.

Jesus took on the sins of the world and endured the wrath of God and separation from His father - so that we could be free from the punishment of sin.

Jesus sacrificed - physically, mentally, emotionally, physically - for us. For you. For me. While we were sinners, because we were sinners, because He loves us - He offers the gift of eternal life.

I am thankful He died for me.

I am thankful because we are all incapable of paying the penalty for our sins and needed Him to do it for us.

Today, I am thankful for freedom - in all it's forms!

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Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Girls weekend!

My MIL decided to celebrate her 60th birthday by taking her two daughters and her only favourite daughter-in-law on a girls shopping weekend to the City two hours South of us. She even flew out one of those daughters from out west - she paid for each of us to get to her house - I think she promised me a quarter, since we live in the same town. However, I have yet to see said quarter - LOL!
(apparently there was a bit of a belt theme going on)

In total, we left 8 children behind with their more than capable fathers (yes, we have half the grandchildren - for now!) and packed as light as we could, to leave room for all our purchases on the return trip.

(two more shirts and two pair of jeans)

We had an absolute blast!

It was also very successful from a shopping perspective. I think it's safe to say we've done our part to contribute to the US economy ;)

Last, but not least, a jacket and purse!
(Of course, I also bought stuff for my rockin' husband and precious children)

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Halloween 2010

Emma was a pirate (apparently $14 Walmart costumes don't come with eyepatches or anything), Sophia was Miss Morticia, Olivia was a good witch and Jacob was a pirate as well (he looks very enthusiastic, doesn't he?!). And no, we do not suddenly have 5 children. The little cow is my niece Taylor. The guys took the kids trick or treating while us ladies were driving home from our girls weekend away - shopping pics to come tomorrow!

And, of course, our trick-or-treaters were the polite ones who yelled "Trick or treat!" at every house and said thank you for the candy. We followed all of my sister's excellent Trick or Treat etiquette advice before she even posted it. Cuz we're cool like that.


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