Wednesday, December 31, 2008

:: Happiest New Year To You ::

We're all busy getting ready to host an appy's and game night at our place tonight.....considering the vast majority of those coming are married couples, I doubt any of us will make it to midnight but I'm so looking forward to the fellowship!It is our prayer that 2009 will be full of love, life, family and blessings for you!
:: Happy New Year ::

Goals-I'll-Never-Accomplish-Without-The-Strength-And-Grace-Of-God (aka NY Resolutions)

Well, as of 12:00 tonight, we will say goodbye to all things 2008 and welcome 2009. This time of year, as we all know, sometimes comes with the heaviness of resolutions unkept and the pressure of resolutions to make.
I personally feel like labelling any goal with the word resolution is overall, asking for failure and disappointment. That being said, I've never been one to make resolutions. But this year I'm going to make "goals-I'll-never-accomplish-without-the-strength-and-grace-of-God", because nothing in this life is worth doing outside of Him, and nothing is do-able without Him.
Looking back over 2008, there are some areas in my life that I feel have improved that I want to dig deeper and improve more, and there are some areas that are sitting rusted, cobwebbed and dusty due to my lack of attention.
Before I go ahead and start though, I want to make it known that it is not on my own strength or motivation or willpower that I will succeed, but by the never-ending faithfulness and provision from my Heavenly Father because "I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13)
Goal #1 -To Become More Financially Responsible
I don't feel the need to share details but I've never been particularly strong in this area of my life. It's always been a struggle because I am such an impulse buyer, instant-gratification type girl. I've already sat down on Microsoft Excel and made out a budget and was shocked at what I've already learned about my spending habits. I'm going to start saving reciepts and really paying attention to what I'm paying. In just under six months I have to decide whether I want to re-enter the workforce and I do not want that decision to be forced because we need the income. I want to learn to trust God even more, tithe even more and watch him pour out his blessings.
Goal #2 - To Decrease My Carbon Footprint
I've always been a very energy/save-the-earth conscious person. Not just for the environmental reasons, but because in the end, I have to pay for it.
Here are some ways we are doing our part to be good stewards of our Father's world.....
-recycle all paper, cardboard, plastic/tin/aluminum containers, plastic wrapping etc
-leave our heat turned down to a minimum during the day, turned low at night, and turned off in the spare room
-insulated our electrical outlets
-turn off the heat dry function on the dishwasher
-wash all our laundry in cold water only and only wash full loads
Here are a few things I would like to start doing.....
-turn off and unplug our computer every night
-unplug our downstairs phone and microwave at night as we don't use them (and any lamps or electronics that we don't use during the day or night)
-dress warmer and keep the heat turned down even more
-start composting food waste rather than throwing it away
-chose environmentally friendly cleaning products, dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent etc
-continue to drive as little as possible and make as few trips as possible
It has long been my conviction that humans are missing the mark when it comes to the earth that was left in our care and as Christians we need to step up our game and start taking responsibility and make the effort to do all we can.
"Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.' "Genesis 1:26-28
#3 - To Be More Diligent With My Time
I want to re prioritize my life and start to analyze what the really important things are and what things am I wasting my time on. I know that my time is not my own and I want my life to count for something.
#4 - To Enjoy The Simple Things And Be Thankful For What I Have
This one really needs no more explanation. I want to live every moment like it is my last and use each day to make someone else's day brighter and wear the light of my salvation in Christ where ever I go, whatever I do. I want to see the magic in a blossoming flower and become more childlike at heart. I want to experience all the beauty that is so close around me, not wishing to be anywhere but here. I want to be thankful for my home, family, belongings and life and not spend that life wanting after the new and shiny.
I think I will stop there for fear that you may be falling asleep at your computer. I figure there's no better way to keep myself accountable than knowing how many people know about my goals and can keep me in line and support me.
We've been uber busy around here......we're hosting NYE at our place tonight and a big (like 20 people big) breakfast in the morning before we jet off to the mainland again for a wedding and won't be home until Saturday. So check back for complete Christmas, NYE, and B&R wedding coverage, as well as Christy's Favourite Things of 2008....move over Oprah!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

And.....I'm Back

Just a quick note to say hello, I'm here and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!
:: Here's my favourite family shot for Christmas 2008 ::
I'm busy like a SAHM editing my pictures from the last few days while trying to get my house back in order so pay me another visit soon for a play by play of our crazy-amazing Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

:: Until Next Time...Merry Christmas ::

Well I think I've got you all updated on the goings-on around here so I will leave you for a little while, during which I will be celebrating this.........with some people very dear to me. It overwhelms me sometimes, thinking about the Son of God, born into this world of a virgin teenage girl, as human as you and I. We keep the Christ in Christmas around here and now with my own child, I know it will be the best one yet.
It is my sincere prayer that each and everyone of you will feel the warmth and love of this season and are able to celebrate the birthday of our Saviour with those nearest and dearest to you. And as I watch the snow start to fall yet again, I pray also for safe travels for all you who are on the roads over the next few days.
From my heart and home to you and yours, Merry Christmas.

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this."

:: Answered Prayers ::

I mentioned a few posts ago that Trev and I were going through a bit of a rough patch and I'd asked you for your prayers. I wanted to update you all on what's going on because God is faithful and answered our prayers. Not in the sense that the problems went away, but he's provided for us within those issues.
Our dear boy, Elmo, started acting funny a couple weeks ago and after two days of, um, let's say unpleasantness, we took him to the vet. He said he's having a normal problem but it will take a couple days overnight to deal with it and quoted me a high but manageable number. Long story short, and almost one week at the vet, that number had doubled and Elmo still wasn't better. We began tearfully considering putting him down as the cost was too much. Then the vet phoned last Monday and told me they were capping our bill and were willing to put in the man-effort to get Elmo better. So even though the cost was already sky-high, it could have been more and they certainly were not obligated to stop charging us. After a full week our kitty came home and I can now say he is 100% again.
As for our vehicle, we did our bit with ICBC and had the truck looked at and it turns out there is nothing mechanically wrong, which means we can drive it until the body shop can fit us in. It's going to cost us in insurance over three years but not anything like what we thought and way less than paying out of pocket for the repairs.I guess it would be really easy to chalk these little things up to nothing but I am absolutely choosing to see it as God letting us know that even though things feel bad, He's still got His eye on us. Through generosity or strangers and not-so-strangers (you know who you are) we've been blessed and supplied for and are going to have to spend the next while paying down our credit card, we know we will be okay. He's used this to teach us invaluable lessons and as His word calls us to, I will give thanks in all things.

I will declare that my God is good, and that my God is faithful and that he uses all things for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose.

Thank you friends, for your prayers. There are some of you who read this that I've never even met, some that I've met once or twice but I know that we are all family in Jesus Christ and it means so much that I can reach out across these lines and ask for prayer. May God bless you all as you have blessed me!

:: Piercings and Grandparents ::

As I'm sure is the same for all of you, things have been non-stop around here. But I think I can say with a fair amount of confidence that we are ready for Christmas.
I think everyone picked out the surprise in my last post, we got Denay's ears pierced. We'd wanted to do it for the longest time but I didn't have the guts, I hate watching her cry. My mom offered to do it for a Chrismas gift so I thought I was off the hook until my husband told me that if I wanted it done I had to stay with her, so I put it off.
My mom and I were grocery shopping and I mentioned the salon was across the street so over we went. As soon as we walked inside I got terrible butterflies and as soon as we got in the room I started to cry. My mom held her and they did one ear at a time and she cried for a minute or so after but was quickly distracted by the candycane the lady gave her. It was so not as bad as I thought it would be! She's just like her mommy, a trooper for pain.
:: She looks like such a little lady. I'm so glad we didn't wait any longer ::It was so nice this week to also welcome my grandparents into town from Ontario. My dad is an only child so we are their only grandkids and Denay this first and only great-grand daughter and they haven't seen her since she was two weeks old, so that was very special.
:: Oma trying to get Denay hooked on pickles. She loved them! ::

:: Don't worry folks, the can was empty. Sure made for a cute picture ::
Hope you're all having a happy Tuesday. Cheers!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

:: Not Biased At All ::

:: Could this child be any cuter? And no, I'm not biased at all ::
Just a couple shots from our grocery shopping trip with Oma today. We found the most adorable little hat at Superstore....Denay's giving a big thumbs up in the upper left corner.
:: And those of you with a discerning eye, can you pick out something special in the two shots with the candy cane?? ::
- click to enlarge -
I hope you are all gearing up for Christmas and enjoying the excitement of celebrating our Saviour's birth!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

:: #11 ::

A few posts ago, I made a list of ten things that I love that started with the letter "T" and I can't believe that between my husband and I, we didn't think of the most obvious one! So I'm adding number eleven.......
#11. Tattoos - I got my first tattoo when I was about 20 or so. It's on my right ankle and says "sunshine" (my childhood nickname) in black Chinese lettering, and the addiction began. I went back the next day and got a tribal sunflower design on my lower back and after three hours of gruelling pain, I was ready to wait awhile before I got another one. I got number three while living in Edmonton and it is a snowflake on the back on my neck. It is colored in purple (signifying royalty, I am the daughter of the king), blue (signifying hope) and white (signifying purity and innocence) and the snowflake comes from a couple bible verses that speak to me being washed "whiter than snow". The next one came on my 21rst birthday. My mom came with me, and got a tattoo last minute herself, and is pink (signifying love) Hebrew writing down the left flank of my back that says "my bride" (as in I am the bride of Christ). The last one I got just a couple years ago on my honeymoon in Hawaii. It is a yellow and orange (our wedding colors meaning joy and happiness) plumeria (Hawaiian flower) that sits behind my left ear. In Hawaiian culture, wearing a flower behind your left ear (over your heart) means your heart is taken.
All in all, I've had about 20 hours of work done between all five tattoos and I definitely see myself getting more in the future. It's some kind of weird adrenaline rush, love-to-hate the pain thing for me and I love being able to share the special meanings behind each one.
Hope it's okay that I stretched the rules of the game a little :) And again, if anyone would like a letter, leave me a comment and I assign you one!
:: Cheers ::

:: In Color (from above) ::

As per Amanda's request, here are some piccy's of the above mentioned artworks, in the same order.
:: Right Ankle ::
:: Lower Back ::
:: Back Of Neck ::
:: Left Flank Of Back ::
:: Behind Left Ear ::

Monday, December 15, 2008

Candles & Evergreens

On Saturday night, my bestie Kerry and I, got a chance to see George Canyon in concert. To say the least he was fantastic. I don't think I've ever enjoyed myself that much at a concert. There are just some things that you miss out on in a huge arena with thousands of fans.
:: Pre-show, freezing in the newly falling snow ::

:: The stage ::

:: George Canyon ::
:: He also asked all the kids in the crowd to come up and help him sing a Christmas carol and even took the time to sing happy birthday to a girl in the audience ::
We laughed, I cried.....George and his band are big troop supporters and had made a trip to Afghanistan in July to play for them. He dedicated his song "I want you to live" to all the families who have lost their loved ones to the mission. It was so touching.

Unfortunately, our night didn't end as well as it began.......

.....Bumpers and Telephone Poles.....

.....(contiuned from last post) Kerry and I left the theater and were welcomed by three inches of snow. We jumped in the her car and headed toward my house. Before we turned off the first road we had rear-ended someone. Kerry decided she wanted to just head to her house and get her husband to drive me home in his car, that had winter tires. After exchanging info with the guy we hit, we got to her place and both proceeded to try and get a hold of our husbands who were at my parents house watching the hockey game together. Trev wasn't answering at home so I'd assumed he went to bed, but Kerry couldn't get her guy which was not normal. We kept assuring each other they were fine and not to think the worst. After awhile of no luck, I called my dad to come get me so Kerry could be rid of me. My dad and I were almost at my house when the cell phone rang and I figured Trev had woken up to see I had called. Bear in mind it had been about an hour since leaving the concert (about 10:45) and over an hour since Trev had left my parents house. He goes on to say he just got home and got the baby to bed.....and crashed the truck.
Another long story short, the brakes locked up and the truck slid into a telephone pole about 4km from my parents house. Kerry's husband had pulled over just after to help out and his car also slid down the hill and landed in the ditch. So both our hubby's were getting their cars pulled from the side of the road. I called her right away to let her know and she was going to do the same.
Amazingly and thankfully, there were no injuries. It was scary but the situation was mild, compared to what it could have been.
The truck doesn't look bad from these pictures, but we're thinking it's going to need a fair amount of repairs.

:: The bumper, grill, hood and light are all dislodged and loose ::

We felt much better by last night after finding out that both of my sister-in-laws had also been in accidents on Sunday. We are so grateful that God kept all of us safe.....Even though we don't know where the resources will come from to get everything put back together, I have got an overwhelming peace that we are going to be taken care of and that God will once again show Himself faithful and be our Jehovah Jirah, the Lord that provides.

I would also reach out to our brothers and sisters in Christ that follow my blog, for their prayers. We've been hit pretty hard this week and I would humbly ask for your support in prayer! Thanks in advance and God Bless!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

:: Our Home....Ready For Christmas ::

* Deep Breath*
I feel like I can finally relax and enjoy the Christmas season, now that I've gotten the house looking festive. I originally had gone and bought and bunch of stuff, put it up, they took it down and returned it. I just didn't feel like all the money was worth it and we couldn't really afford it at the time. Then, while returning our fake tree, I took a stroll through the decorations section to find everything on sale for 50% off! When all was said and done I ended up saving almost $100.
Here are a few of my decorations......:: Garland with berries and pine cones in the front window sill ::
:: Counting down the days ::
:: This is probably my favourite decoration. It was a second-hand gift from Trev's Nanny last Christmas and it is so great. It normally has mini lights in the holes but I found these great bows on Ebay for $3! ::
:: The fire place/mantle ::
:: View from the kitchen looking to the back of the house ::
:: Our lovely tree. We had just gotten it up the first time, then it fell over and smashed a bunch of the balls. But we got it back up and fixed. I am more than pleased with it! ::
:: What is Christmas without snow, right? Starting Saturday and into Sunday afternoon we got a bunch of it! And more unfortunately it put Trev and I both in car accidents within 30 minutes of each other (more later on that). But here is our backyard......
:: And out our bedroom window ::

So there you have it.....our home, ready for Christmas. The tree skirt is now filling up with presents, as are the stockings and I am getting more and more excited about celebrating the birth of our Saviour and Lord with my husband and daughter!

:: God Bless ::

Friday, December 12, 2008

:: The Perfect One ::

With Christmas approaching, and this one being Denay's first, I've been feeling the pressure to really do it well this year. A couple years ago Trev and I bought a small, cheap, fake tree from Canadian Tire. It was up the first year, didn't bother with it last year, and got it out this year and was reminded of how ugly and spindly it looked. So I told Trev we needed another one. So the hunt was on......and after buying and returning two expensive, yet somehow still ugly, fake trees, I finally convinced him yesterday to buy a real one. Now, this may not be a big deal for your average person, but, I have never had a real Christmas tree as long as I've lived. From as early as I can remember my folks had an artificial tree, and being a girl who loves the outdoors, the thought of having a real tree in my house was exciting. So while visiting our poor Elmo boy in the kitty hospital (more on that coming up), I found a great vendor selling local, fresh-cut trees. Denay and I met dad at the lot yesterday and picked the perfect tree. It is so beautiful. I also pillaged a couple local stores of their half-off Christmas decor and managed to make the house look pretty great and saved a bundle. So when the tree is done I'll be sure to give ya'll a peek of our home-for-the-holidays!
:: Daddy and Denay with her first Christmas tree ::

Five Whole Months, Mamma

On Wednesday our not-so-wee-anymore babe, turned five months old. It's still hard to comprehend....Anyways, I blogged a few weeks ago that we had started her on rice cereal. So, per usual, we made her a bowl last night and started feeding her......this is what our petite princess looked like after.......

Trev and I could hardly bear it, we were laughing so hard....especially the first time she rubbed her eye, it was all downhill from there. As you can see in the top picture, she's also started sucking her thumb regularly and she enjoys it even more when it tastes like cereal!
These are the pictures that will show up on her wedding day slide so for sure! Happy Friday everyone!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

All Things "T"

This is a fun little game that has been floating around on some of the blogs I frequent. You are assigned a letter and then must list 10 things, beginning with that letter, that you love.
My friend and fellow blogger, Amanda, assigned me the letter "T".
:: Here goes ::

#1. Trevor - He is my husband and I love him. Sometimes I overlook how much he does for me and how good he is to me but I am one lucky gal. He is giving and thoughtful and somehow manages to stand me and my wacky ways. He also helped me come up with lots of suggestions for this post.
#2. Talking - Meet my grandfather and dad, it runs in the family people. And before I prove myself right, nough said.
#3. Tequila - Okay, before you get really concerned, some people like wine, I like tequila - big difference being I don't drink it as much as a wine-drinker would drink wine. For the past four years or so, a very good friend of mine have rung in very special occasions with a shot of Ol' Jose. Just a fun tradition that I hope to carry on for a while.
#4. Taking Pictures - I find this is increasingly true now with a wee babe in the house. This is not to say that I take amazing pictures, I just like snapping away and every once and a while I get a couple good ones. The simple proof is in a dresser drawer upstairs that is so heavy and full of pictures, I almost can't open it.
#5. Television - Again, don't get the idea that I'm a TV-aholic. My husband and I only get five channels but there are a few shows that we watch almost every week. Those include Law and Order: SVU, CSI (Las Vegas of course), and it just ended on Sunday but the Amazing Race was also a weekly tradition.
#6. Tidying - Just "tidying" is a bit of an understatement but it started with a "T". I love to clean. Vacuuming, straightening, dusting and rearranging are everyday activities for me and while sometimes I don't enjoy the doing, I always enjoying having them done.
#7. Teeth - If any of you have ever had braces you may be on this same boat. I love my teeth and have actually caused some gum problems for myself because I brush "too" well. My oral health is something I take seriously because I am so grateful for the money my parents spent to make them as straight and pretty as they are today!
#8. Trails - Hiking is something that is very dear to me. Never do I feel more alive or connected to my Creator than when I am surrounded by undisturbed nature. I am lucky to live in a place where I can take my pick of mountains to explore. I have hiked the world famous West Coast Trail three times and still take myself back there sometimes when I feel bogged down in life. I remember the forest and sea and sand, the smell of nature and the unbeatable sound of waves crashing on the shore.
#9. Third Trimester - I was fortunate enough to have an extremely wonderful, almost perfect, pregnancy. And I have to say that the third trimester was my favorite part. I loved FINALLY looking pregnant, as I didn't start to really show until almost seven and a half months. I felt so awesome.....never more beautiful or womanly. I loved the compliments and attention from well-wishing strangers everywhere I went. I loved feeling our bambino move around in side and occasionally get the hiccups. And most of all I loved that at the end of it, after the most wonderful, incredible labour, I finally got to see and hold my precious Denay for the first time.
#10. Taking hot showers - Okay, this "T" is a bit of a stretch but I'm making it work alright.....It is not hard at all for me to drain our hot water tank with one shower. No, really, I'm serious. I justify my long shower by the fact that showers are far from an everyday activity for me. Most often I'm even lucky to get in a shower every other day. To be honest, I have days where I'd rather "tidy" than "take hot showers". I love the quiet, feeling clean and of course, the really hot water.
So there you have it folks.....10 random fact about me you never knew before.
If any of you would like to be assigned a letter and have a little fun, just leave me a comment and I will respond with a letter for you via a comment on your blog.

Monday, December 8, 2008

:: A Very Special Gift ::

I have the most fabulous in-laws. You may remember a post I did a few weeks ago about the chipper postal lady ringing my doorbell with a package full of baking goodies from my MIL.
As I mentioned earlier, it was my birthday on Wednesday, and I was again surprised by a postal worker at the door with a large package. I had ordered some things off Ebay but they were small and not due to come yet. So, curiousity killing me, I got out a knife.
This is what I found when I opened it.....
To be honest I was totally speechless, alone in my house. It was so beautiful.....I found the card and (not to my surprise) it was from my husband's sister and her family. This lady has seriously awesome taste and she's got mine down to a science.
:: Mounted in it's new home ::

Words can't say thanks enough L* family for your thoughtful gift! It's truly beautiful!

::It's Beginning To Look.....Colorful ::

Well people, there is no denying it.....Christmas is on it's way. I have to say that now having my own house to decorate, I enjoy this time of year even more.
The whole Christmas light thing was a but pulling-teethish because I wanted to do something better than last year, which of course meant work for Trev. But the first night he drove up after putting the lights up HE decided it needed more.
So here we are, Saturday morning, on the roof, putting up more lights.
:: In all my glory, on the roof of my house.....haven't brushed my teeth OR washed my face OR put on deoderant. What you can't see is my lulu's stuffed into my black and white rainboots and my oh-so-flattering grey highschool hoodie. Look up "sexy" in the dictionary people, this is what you will find ::
:: The final work of art ::
I might add that it is VERY difficult with my simple camera to take pictures outside, in the dark, of lights. But you get the idea.
It's SO pretty. And because I am slightly OCD and a very serious practising perfectionist I had to take every light out of it's original spot and arrange the colors in my own special pattern.
If there was a "Grinch to Santa Claus" scale of Christmasiness we would be the only people in our complex at one seems to be into the light thing.
But it's all good......just means we stand out more :)

Partying Kal Tire Style 2008

This past weekend Trevor and I spent our first night away from Denay and attended his annual staff party at the Tigh-Na-Mara resort in Parksville. After a very tearful goodbye to my baby (sigh) we left around 3:00. We tried to get into the Grotto Spa for a couples massage to no avail so we rented a movie to kill a little time. We made our way to dinner just after 6:00 and the party began!
:: One Cosmo down :::: Trev's co-worker and his girlfriend ::
:: Trevor's co-worker and his wife ::
:: Trev's boss ::
:: And his assistant manager ::
:: These are apparently the "big-wigs" of the company ::
:: Trevor and Bruce ripping up the dance floor ::
:: And again ::
:: He saved a dance for his dear boss ::
:: That's my "Yeah, he's with me" face ::
:: Bruce performing a hat dance ::
:: Self Portrait ::
:: Third Cosmo down ::
:: "Na na na na, na na na, Ken's gonna start a fight!" ::
:: I have no clue who the dude in the background is ::
:: Having a great time ::
:: Bruce is, uh.......I have no idea. Don't want to know ::
:: This is's a whole wall made of gingerbread. I should have taken a bigger picture but it covers two full walls of the banquet hall ::
Trev and I had a really great time, minus being awoken at 3:00am by an intoxicated individual claiming he was the police slamming on our door.
Denay did so well for Oma and Opa! They are already asking when she can spend the night again. Thanks Mom's such a blessing to have you so close and we are grateful for all your help!