Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Welcome back to Thankful Thursday, a feature started by Louise at Talk Nerdy to Me, where we look back over our week to remember our blessings.  It is so good to see the good things that have happened, especially if you have had a particularly tough week. Being grateful is good for the soul. Here are just a few things that I am thankful for...

1. Essential Oils

I have always been interested in Essential Oils and the ways they can help heal your body, but have never actually gotten around to trying them out. Until now. With a friend's advice, I used Lavender on Abi's throat and neck for her large tonsils, and Peppermint for her upset tummy, and Eucalyptus on her feet for her congestion (which is also what the doctor suggested) I thought I had bought a diffuser, but instead it was a oil burner, which meant that I couldn't let it run during the night and had to apply these with a carrier oil, but it all worked out just fine.

I am so happy to say that it has helped! Within a few days she was feeling better and we didn't need to continue with the oils after the week! Woohoo!

2. Little Cousins

Eden and I spent the afternoon with her little cousins and had fun playing together. I love my nephews and am happy that my sister got to see the doctor and do some errands alone.  They have been dealing with colds and illnesses most of winter as well, so she needed a break!

3.  Aquarium trip

We let the kids skip school this week and took them to the aquarium! it was a fun surprise!  It's good to do spontaneous things like this every now and then! 

4. Once Again Designs

We did it! It's Facebook Official!  We opened our business on FB. Look us up!

5.  Night Out with Friends

During highschool, there were three of us who hung out all of the time (it helped that we lived close to eachother). Our friendship continued until our 20's, when we were separated by University, marriage and moving to a new province, but now we're all back together and in the same situations in life (well, almost) It's been so wonderful to renew our friendship and to purposely make time to get together every month!

This past week, we went out to celebrate Julie's birthday! We shared many laughs as we remembered the crazy times we had as teens, and vented over frustrating situations going on in our families. It's so good to have friends!

6. Date Night with the Mountain Man

We don't go out too often just the two of us, and when we do it is usually to do family errands (like grocery shopping); however, on this day we used the time to go out for an early dinner! You really need to invest in your relationships if you want them to grow. It's so easy to use excuses or treat our relationships casually, so Hunny and I try to do things together to feel close to eachother. Sometimes it's just in snuggling up on the couch to watch HGTV (are there other channels on tv?), and sometimes it's to do so some shopping. It doesn't really matter what you do as long as you are spending the time talking and sharing without interruptions.

7. LCS

I've mentioned it before, but it's worth mentioning again: I love the school that my children go to! I love the teachers. I love the community spirit. I just love knowing that they are learning in ways that I lack in communicating.  We have had some wonderful teachers that I have been so thankful for (I can only think of one or two that I have not enjoyed in all of the ones we've been through); they have been really invested in my kids' lives and encouraging to me in solving struggles. I am thankful for the quick after-school meetings they have been agreed to and for the many ways they have helped us get the kids back on task after missing so much school already this year.

This afternoon, Abi's teacher sent us a picture of her during class. Apparently it was to show us that our children actually do work when they are there!  haha. I love this man!

8.  BSF Fellowship

Every few months, my little group at Bible Study Fellowship gets together for a Fellowship. This is done without children or spouses and without any homework or lectures to listen to. Just a time to gather without a time frame (mostly) and get to know eachother better.  This month, we gathered at my house. Or some of us. Many weren't able to come, but it was still a nice evening with uplifting stories. I enjoyed it.  And, hey, my house is so clean right now!

9. Friendships

Bryn got invited out to a friends' house on the weekend. I am so thankful that he is starting to develop stronger friendships and that it has worked out to get together outside of school.

10. Eye appointment

I got a phone call the night before to remind me of my eye appointment the next afternoon, which is a good thing since I had forgotten! I didn't have a day planner for the new year at the time, so I didn't have it written down!  I learned that my eyes are dry (which I didn't realize at the time, but now can understand why they are always feeling so irritated! ugh) and that the shape has changed on them (I have a stigmatism on both eyes now), which explains why my eyes are sore often. While my eyesight hasn't changed, my perscription has, which means that to help my eyes I need to get new eye glasses. But seeing as I just bought new ones recently after my glasses broke, this isn't completely in the budget yet. But I am thankful to have solved this, and to know that it is a simple fix.

I read in my daily devotional, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young,  the other day "My Nature is to bless. Your nature is to receive with thanksgiving."  I found that interesting and encouraging.  What are you thankful for? I'm sure if you looked you would find many things. 

Family Field Trip

I let my kids skip school earlier this week!  It was actually their Father's idea! I know, how unusual for him, but he thought it would be something fun to do. Our annual membership to the Vancouver Aquarium was coming to an end and so why not take one last trip downtown? He took the day off of work and we planned to surprise the kids in the morning.

Our first plan of action was to not set our alarms, but to sleep in. Of course, this is my husband, who doesn't know how to sleep in, but that just meant that we could plan it more accurately. He got out of the shower and woke me up and then rushed into the room, yelling at the kids that we were late, we slept in, let's get moving, we have no time for breakfast, let's go!  I was surprised at how calmly the kids were, and how much they didn't grumble!

Our ruse was to say that we had to head into Surrey to drop off Hunny at the skytrain station. That was just so they didn't question why we were going the opposite direction of their school. But then, we stopped at the SMH Outpatient building so that we could FINALLY get Rhys' bloodwork done. (Remember our Genetics apt and the tests that he wanted to do way back in the summer? It has taken us this long to do it. First, the phlebotomist' couldn't figure out what one test was and was waiting to hear back from the doctor. Then we had to fast for one of them. Then Rhys didn't do well and had his vein collapse during one test. And then we just plain forgot over time. *blush* But we have finally done it. And hopefully it is all good and we will get answers next month!) I went in with him while Hunny took the kids for a quick breakfast, grabbing us something as well (Rhys had to fast for one of them, so we just made everyone wait on breakfast to make it easier!)  It was after we got picked up from the Centre that we told the kids the news!  They actually responded not as excitedly as we were hoping! Instead, they talked about how they already guessed something was up! haha. We have astute children!  Having their Father and I so calm about being "late" probably threw them off. They also guessed since I "forgot" to make them all lunches for school and suddenly Hunny had some course to go to for the day that they hadn't heard of!

It was a fun morning trying to be sneaky!

 The Rainforest section. I like this part. It's so humid inside though, but I like being warm, and I like how you see other animals other than just aquatic ones. There are Marmosets, tree frogs, ducks, sloths, parrots and these macaws to name a few.  I obviously have toddlers because I was thinking of all the Baby Marmosets and Blue Macaws that Dora and Diego have rescued or helped out or seen in their Nick Jr. shows!

Jellies!  They fascinate me! I love the jellyfish section. I didn't realize there were so many different varieties!

Rhys found a different type of "fish" in this tank!  By coming early in the morning, and on a school day, we got to watch some tanks be cleaned. We also weren't trying to keep track of kids or find spots to see through crowds. It was nice!

I love the Tropical section where you can see some sharks and the sea turtle! Thanks to the movie Little Nemo, now every time I see the sea turtle, I have to say "Duuuude!"  (the kids don't get it!)  This tank is huge and very busy!

Little Nemos!!! The Clownfish were Eden's favourite.

We had a great day at the Aquarium. Since it wasn't busy (two or three classes arrived by lunchtime, or at least we were all in the same place at that time) we got to watch the Beluga show and the Dolphin show. We had never been able to see those before due to crowds, so it was so neat! I had no idea that dolphins could swim so fast!  I love seeing all of the tricks that the dolphins and belugas had learned to do. I'm not a big "fish" person, but it must be amazing to work with these animals!

It was worth it to skip school!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Welcome back to Thankful Thursday, a feature started by Louise at Talk Nerdy to Me, where we look back over our week to remember our blessings.  It is so good to see the good things that have happened, especially if you have had a particularly tough week. Being grateful is good for the soul. Here are just a few things that I am thankful for...

1. On the Mend

I am so incredibly thankful that it appears that we are on the mend!

2.  Birthday Parties

Eden was invited to her first birthday party; it was for our neighbour's girl, who just turned three!  That was exciting! In the end, Rhys and Bryn were invited also, so that they could play with Joanna's older brother, Josh, who is their friend.  It was a fun afternoon at Go Bananas!


I was impressed watching Eden climb up those landings to get to the slide. A few months ago, she needed help. Not anymore! She is getting bigger!

3. Little Helpers

Due to so much cold and flu hanging around out house, I wasn't able to do much cleaning, and our house still looked like Christmas threw up all over the place!  On the weekend, I put on some fun music (some old school Newsboys!) and pulled out fun cleaning supplies (like the Swiffer and sponges) and suddenly the Youngers wanted to help too!

 {even princesses have to clean!}

4. Encouragement from Friends

To be honest, what helped a lot this past week was the comments, prayers, encouragement and just a sympathetic ear from my friends, online and in person! I am so thankful for FB and for my online support groups (chatting with other moms who deal with the same issues you is amazing), and for friends who who let you cry and vent!

5. Double date...with chaperones

We finally were able to go see The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies with our friends this past weekend. It was a fun double date. Except that we had brought along Kai and his best friend as well!  What a great movie!  I am looking forward to starting our Tolkien-a-thons in the future! (The Hobbit triology followed by TLOTR trilogy)

6. Sunshine

I was so happy when I noticed this week that the sun was coming up before 7:30am...and staying out until after 4:30pm! Woohoo! That means that longer days are coming and sunshine is staying and Spring is on it's way!!!  It is good to have hope again!

7. Recipes that suprise you!

I meant to make brownies this week, so I started to mix together the first two ingredients in a bowl from memory. (it's unsweetened chocolate and butter) I didn't have the other memorized yet, so I consulted my recipe card. As I'm mixing them, it all sounded good and proper, but the card also didn't look right. Of course, as I'm mixing everything in, I realize that I had the wrong recipe card! Oops!  

In the end, I made Brownie Sugar Cookies. And they were yummy! Not too bad for a mistake!

8.  Thieves that are picky

I discovered yesterday afternoon that my van had been broken into. That is, my neighbour pointed out that my van door looked strange. And when I say "broken into", I really mean that they opened the door that I had accidentally left unlocked.  I was hoping that maybe one of the kids had left it open slightly, but when I went to investigate, I recognized it right away by the unwrapped gift in the backseat.  We had left a gift in the trunk since we were expecting to see someone over Christmas but plans fell through so it stayed back there. The would-be thief opened it up and discovered a Nerf gun. I guess they don't care for those since they left it behind! They also didn't take any CDs (our musical tastes aren't up to typical standards I guess) and my insurance papers were still there. 

The thief(ves) was hoping to grab something for an easy sale for money, but couldn't find anything worth while. Which is quite the relief, and also laughable!  I am thankful that nothing was stolen. I am also so thankful that they didn't destroy anything just to be jerks, as some are want to do. And I am also thankful that they didn't smash my windoes to get into the van. (I'm assuming they targeted my van since they saw it was unlocked. Maybe if I had remembered to lock it, they would have walked on)

9. New Teeth

Rhys' second tooth came out this evening. He wasn't too sure about that since he wasn't expecting it to; it came out when he tried to pull apart some Lego with his teeth, so it was painful and was bleeding. But it is exciting, and maybe he will be more excited once that silly Tooth Fairy visits and leaves him something!

10. Easy Catch-Up

I met with both Kai's and Abi's teachers and managed to pick up any homework of things they missed over last week.  I am so thankful, and pleased, that they are both caring and compassionate for my kids' illness (some ongoing...), and that they didn't overload them with projects and assignments! It's actually almost funny just how little work they have to do. I guess in being sick they just miss out on these things; too bad for the rest of the class!

Not too many photos this week, sorry.
It's just a small glimpse of my week. How was your week?  What are you thankful for? If you start your own list, let me know. I'd love to read it!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Needed Reminder

I have been feeling so much stress lately due to my kids being sick. I haven't slept. I have been worrying about what to do next, how I could help, and just feeling overwhelmed. So much so that on last Friday night, I was done. Done with my week. Done with everything. I just wanted to curl up in a ball in my bed, eating chocolate alone in the dark.

And I saw this:

Lord, look -- we're facing some big things.
And You whisper: "Child, look -- look at Me.
Now You're facing the Best thing, who dwarfs all the other things."
And we exhale.. and we get it, God, because that is the thing:
Prayer isn't so much to remind our God of what all the problems are --
but to remind all the problems of who our God is.

And You cup us close tonight and tell us: No matter what you're facing, look into My face -- and know it, feel it: Your God is greater than what you're trying to face, your God is bigger than what you're trying to escape, your God is better than anything you're trying to chase.
And our problems fade in the light of Your gentle face, Your tender embrace....

It was on Ann Voskamp's FB page and it was just what I needed to read.

I had to stop and consider something after that. Just how much of this unnecessary stress that I was carrying was brought before my Lord? The one who holds the earth in place, who put breath in my lungs, created me and knows my innermost being, how much have I shared with Him? 

It wasn't guilt that hit me that night. But more of a silence. What is there to say when you are face to face with the truth? 

I hold on to things and I struggle to let go. Even when I want to. It is such a habit of mine to think that I can carry it all, and to fail miserably when I can't, and then to feel depressed when I fall. Isn't it so encouraging to know that He picks you back up again, without judgement or anger, and just holds you? What love!   Maybe when I struggle with trying to do it all, I need to remember that I am not meant to, and that He is the one who is Greater.  I don't need to carry this. It's going to be okay.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

mornings with jesus

This came across my newsfeed on FB and I had to repost it here!

it is a super funny video that just needs to be considered for our pre-morning worship at church! Church Appropriate Dance Moves  << click on this link here

Who doesn't need a good morning dance to get yourself into the sprirt of worship? I personally love The  Resurrection  and Crush the Serpent's Head and Holy Spirit Free Style and Jesus In The Temple (throwing those tables) and Lot's Wife (salt salt salt salt...) and  The many fun ones!  

"no, I'm not going to puke!"

I wonder if I could do all five minutes of it? Forbidden Fruit at least gives you a bit of a breather...So many great dance moves I need to learn!!!

This is filled with all kinds of awesome!  is the full URL, if you need to look it up)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Welcome back to Thankful Thursday, a feature started by Louise at Talk Nerdy to Me, where we look back over our week to remember our blessings.  It is so good to see the good things that have happened, especially if you have had a particularly tough week. Being grateful is good for the soul. Here are just a few things that I am thankful for...

1. tylenol, advil, inhalers...

Oh yes, the Stuffs of the Holidays. We have been dealing with colds and flus for over three weeks now. It's getting frustrating.  I have been worried more than once, and praying for direction and wisdom in dealing with kids' illnesses, but thankfully things haven't gotten worse.  I am thankful that we have been able to deal with things at home and haven't needed intervention. (other than a doctor's visit to confirm that things didn't need more serious medical attention)

2. nebulizer

I am so very thankful for our nebulizer. This was purchased many years ago and it has come in handy so many times. I like to think that it has kept us out of the ER a few times too.

I wasn't happy that I had to pull it out for Kai this week though, but I was thankful that we had it and it was an option that could help.

3. Painting

The Youngers spent some of their afternoon painting....while still in the pjs. I love the colours they pull out and the work they do, even if it is it mostly scribbles still.  

I am thankful for creativity and for distractions and enthusiasm to be artsy!

4. Somewhat normal

I am thankful that even though I had to call in a Sick Day when the kids were supposed to be returning to school, we managed to have a Somewhat Normal day the next day. Where two of the four made it to school! It's a start!

5. Quick Visits

I am thankful for friends who call ahead and ask to stop by. It is always nice to see friends; especially if you have been stuck indoors with sickies for a while. I am also thankful for the warning as it gave me just enough time for a quick clean up, which means I am also thankful for energy to clean, and for well-enough kids to help out.

6. Quiet Time Outs

I am thankful for a husband who knows when I need a break and time out, like I did this week. I have been a *bit* stressed and frustrated with not enough sleep, too much asthma, toddler tantrums, and thinking too much, and my own attitude sucked. I am not thankful for that! But I am thankful that I was able to go out and let my Hunny take care of bedtimes and walk around Walmart for a few hours in quiet.

7. Prep work

I spent some of my free time distracting myself from other stuff (read: housework. It doesn't end, I can't fight it, sometimes I just give up on it!) and painted and prepped for an upcoming craft fair. I'm slightly excited, but mostly freaking out!

8. Pinterest

Yes, I am thankful for this website. It is seriously addicting and a great time-waster and an easy way to avoid doing things you should be doing! (read: housework...refer to #7) But I am mostly thankful for the many ideas that it has given me and the courage and for the inspirations. In some ways, I feel prepared for my craft fair (in one month, eek!) and (somewhat) confident in how it will be.

9. board games

The kids got an assortment of board games for Christmas from their Grandma Lynn. We haven't been able to play too many with young kids in the house, but the Olders are now old enough to sit still and play and enjoy the challenge, without losing pieces. And that is so good to see!  The Youngers still need work though... I cringe every time I see Eden pull open a game; I know it is going to get dumped out and half of it missing. (I am already doing a search for the players to her Chautes and Ladders game. *sigh*)

I was especially happy that one of them got the game of Clue (I think it was Abi). I love that game! It was one that I could play with my siblings and had a remote chance of winning! My brother dominated any type of stragetic game like Monopoly or Risk!  But in Clue, it was an even playing field! It was random and sleuthing and seeing who could get to the room fast enough and narrowing down suspects. I loved it!  

We played the new version, which has updated charcter profiles (I always had to be Col. Mustard, who is now some young guy!) and new rules and even a flip board, so you can play in the mansion or the boardwalk!

I am thankful that we are entering this stage in life. Fun times lay ahead!

10. Immediate answers to prayer

I was having a rough day, just dealing with tantruming toddlers and not enough sleep, and I began to think of the song "Worn" by Tenth Avenue North. I don't know if I have posted this one before or not, but I will add the video below.  I felt weary and weighed down with a lot of thoughts and I just needed Him. I needed to feel that weight lifted off of me. I needed to get rid of this stress and to feel peace.

As I got Eden into the van several minutes later and ready to leave to pick up the boys from school, I was thinking about how much I needed to hear that song right then. And, lo and behold, I turn on the van and it was playing!

God is good! I felt overwhelmed that it was on just as I was asking for it. It reminded me that He listens. He cares. He is Emmanuel. God with us.

So that's just a glimpse of my first week of the New Year!  I hope that yours has been good. We have so much to be thankful for, even in those rough sick days.  What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

strong enough

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

To the magenta-haired woman in Walmart tonight

Hi, Magenta-haired woman. 

I saw you arrive at Walmart the same time that I did. I was getting out to pick up some tape and milk, and to get a breather away from fussy kids. (Basically, my Hunny made me go because I needed a Time Out from my own grouchiness). I don't know why you were out with your three young boys, but I heard you warn them that they had better not ask for anything while shopping. That made me smile.

I found you here and there as I wandered. Mostly I heard you. You kept telling Riley to stop touching things. And hanging off things. And climbing on things. And running around. Dear Riley was just plain getting on your nerves.

I felt bad for Riley and I wondered why you were so grouchy with this boy, who only looked about three years old. He was bound to get into mischief in the store. Plus, it was past his bedtime. (that is, it was past my girl's bedtime; she went to bed early because of her naughtiness!) 

As I wondered about how you were possibly being too harsh on children who did not know any better (they were boys, in a store, at night, bored.... But I will add that they weren't badly behaved) I also saw a refelection of myself.  Yes, before you start thinking this is a post about mothers who are verbally abusive in public, or those who 'shouldn't be mothers' or something about poor innocent children, this isn't that at all.  Dear Magenta-haired woman, you were annoyed shopping with them and you were acting rushed, and all at once I understood.

You stood in the shoe section, telling Riley not to pull all of the shoes down, while telling the older two to try something on. And I browsed the toy aisle for birthday ideas, and I remembered.  That annoyance of having to last-minute shop for a child. "What do you mean you need new shoes? We just bought you a pair two months ago. Where are....what did you do to them???" I remember having to drag children out to the store at a time when you hoped would be spend quietly and politely doing homework or pre-bedtime ritual stuff (not that it's usally quiet, but I always hope it will be). Instead, they are running around a store, touching eveything, asking for junk, laying on the floor, driving you bonkers.

And I remembered the frustration I felt today for my own three year old. Who wanted to assert her own will, her own personality, her own demands. And I just wanted her to be quiet and obedient.

Remember how I said that I was out shopping alone because I needed a Time Out?
Yeah. I get it.

So, as I found you and your boys checking out at the same as I did, I did give you more Grace. Because we all need it. And we've all been there. Some days just go on so long, and are so tiring and you are grouchy, and you are just longing for your own Quiet Time.  For those days, I give you the Solidary Pound It!  I did avoid your check out line though. But I wanted you to know that I was thinking of my own behaviour today. It was less-than-steller. 

Tomorrow I will offer more Grace. And Patience. And Kindness. We could all use it.

Especially my three year old. Maybe I'll let her bake cookies with me.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Ventures

This is a post that I have been working on a while now. I've had trouble putting thoughts into words, so I kept putting it off. How do I explain ideas, hopes, and fears over things that aren't even to pass yet?

If you remember, back in October I took a huge jump and booked a table at a local craft fair. Without a clue what I'd be offering as a vendor. But with a ton of ideas and excitement to carry me.

I met with my parents on the day I agreed to the craft fair, and my excitement was catching; my Dad wanted to join in and make projects too! I showed him some pictures of items I was going to make, and we talked about what we could do and what we'd work on, and it was just a quick meeting that made me feel energized and ready to start something new! It was amazing how stepping out and doing something completely new and unusal for me could make me feel so happy!

I decided to tackle making projects that I'd always wanted to try and had pinned to my Pinterest boards, which is what got me started in attempting to make my own chalkboard paint and my own chalkboard frame to greet my husband when he returned from his trip in October. That was quite the challenge!  I have decided that even though making your own chalkboard paint at home is much more cost-saving than buying a small is also a lot more work, and a lot more frustrating!

I used this tutorial on making and colouring your own chalkboard paint found on A Beautiful Mess.

Just a FYI: unless you are doing a huge batch, don't be deceived into thinking that stirring a cupfull will be enough. I tried various methods and I used less or more amounts on the paint and on the grout mix, but each and every one ended up lumpy. It was seriously disheartening. I have no idea how these other DIYers were able to make theirs without any lumps just hand stirring. After a good six attempts, I had to give in and just accept the bottle of chalkboard spray paint from my Dad!  If you do happen to make your own chalkboard paint up, please please tell me how you did it! I am obviously missing a step (or two)!

Now you know. Just a few tips because I care. 

And because I remember how frustrated I was. 

You're welcome.

I ended up distressing and painting frames for the chalkboard. I was pleased with how they turned out! I also hand painted some signs. My Hunny, the Mountain Man, had found some pallets at work that he was able to take home for me, so I tried my hand at that. I also painted some new pine wood signs, which I wasn't too sure about at first, but ended up liking the most. Go figure!  My father made shelves and sconces and votive holders that turned out beautiful. (I grew up with him always building furniture. He has made almost all of the cabinets and shelves in my parent's home. I admit to wishing that I could build like him.)

 {my favourite sign. I was torn on even wanting it to sell!}

 {I made some chalkboard labels for these mason jars. it wasn't easy, but they turned out so good in the end....after four attempts. I also made some shabby lace rosettes, which I love!}

 {I had to make a Canadian flag sign!}

  {my dad's beautiful rustic wall candle holders}

When the day of the craft fair came up, I admit to having feelings of doubt (would we have enough stuff? would anyone buy our items? what if we didn't sell anything? what if we sold out too soon? what if I just sucked at this?) and to having thoughts that we'd do great (who wouldn't like our products? or us? we're fun and our hand made items are beautiful and priced well.)

The craft fair was a super short one. Just only four hours, and the first hour was spent walking around and seeing if we could barter with other vendors for items before the doors were opened. I had my eyes on some jewelry, some essential oils, some lotion and books, but not every one had items to trade or wanted to, which was disappointing, but I guess that's ok too. The more I traded, the less I had to sell.

 {All ready to go!  Abi helped out and even made a few items too! Craftiness runs in the family!}

Except it was so poorly attended that I really didn't have anything to worry about. It sure would've been nice to sell out early that afternoon! Instead, we spend our time chatting with the neighbouring vendor (check out Dirty Hippie Naturals on FB. She has some great lotions and soaps, plus she's nice!) and trying to keep warm in an old school gymnasium with open doors on a chilly October day.  I made two sales. Just two. And one of them was an item that Abi had made. I guess technically I made three since I had traded one of my chalkboard frames with another vendor for some earrings and rings. If you include that, I ended up making just a measily $5. (taking into account the cost of the table at the fair) So it really wasn't worth our time and efforts at all.

A part of me blames the organizer. After all, it was up to her to promote the craft fair. (There were no signs at the school when we arrived and none to be seen as we left at the building or at any intersecting streets, or even a handmade one at the main street in town) I did see that she posted about it on a few FB groups though. But I really think that she was hoping that we'd all tell our friends and customers (for those with existing buisinesses. There were a lot of home-based companies there, like Mary Kay and Usborne Books and Jamberry Nails and Fifth Avenue Collections, plus a good 7 others!) I'm sure we all did our part. But it wasn't enough.

Despite the fact that there was such a poor turn out and so little sales going on, I was encouraged by a few things. First that it wasn't just us that didn't sell, but every vendor. It was a good thought that it wasn't our products or our prices. Second, we enjoyed ourselves despite it being disappointing. It wasn't boring or awkward. Thirdly, we met some great people (like Jen at Dirty Hippie Naturals!) and were introduced to the crafting business world. And for our first venture, it wasn't terrible. 

We went away feeling hopeful for our next show.

But with the holiday season so soon upon us, and us being so busy with up coming events, and some fairs being too late to join in, we weren't able to attempt another show. Which was also disappointing. So much for recouping our costs somewhere. But we have to remain hopeful and confident that our items will sell, just not now. Instead, we spent our time checking out the other fairs that were happening. We looked at what other companies were selling, what was similar to ours and their prices, and what we could change. We checked out the bigger fairs too, the ones that have been around a while that had attracted a following (such as Crafty Affaire and Great Candian Craft's Fall fair we went to) And while I do have a healthy dose of inadequacy in comparison to the many other established companies out there, we are also willing to try this out!  And that makes me excited!

Watch out for more crafty goodness and more challenges and more posts about this new venture!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Done with the holidays

Okay, I admit it: I am feeling ready for these Holidays to be over. Yet, with just two more days left before the kids return to school, I am also feeling those almost-done-holiday blues. You know, where you feel regrets and wishes that you could've done more and you remember all of the things that you had hoped to do? Those kinds of thoughts. I wish that we had gone out and done things. I wish that we had friends over like I had hoped. I wish that we didn't spend it all sick and cooped up inside.

It's been a good three weeks already of illness. Colds. Flus. Asthma.  And it's been a good three weeks of questioning if things could be handled at home or if I needed to seek medical attention; that's always the hardest part of being a parent. Second-guessing yourself. I watch my kids and I look for signs that they are worse or needing help. I actually spend more time wondering if they are okay than I do in feeling that things are going well. 

I was mentioning to my Hunny the other day that it is frustrating how going through medical complications should give you confidence, but instead it gives you more worries. Sure, I feel confident that I could handle another asthma attack like Abi's, and we could deal with another bout of pneumonia with Rhys (although that makes me worried that I will miss the signs just like I almost did four years ago), but I worry that the next inicident will be different. After all, Kai's signs of asthma are different. Abi will tell me that she is having trouble breathing and her chest is tight and she will wheeze. Kai just coughs and coughs. 

Both of which they have been doing all week. It's been tough. I am thankful that they have inhalers, and that things haven't gotten worse for them. But it's been hard for me to know that they are struggling with chest tightness, but not being able to help them other than give them suggestions on how to deal with it. We've done inhalers, and cold drinks and Vap-o-rub, and even pulled out the Nebulizer; nothing helps long term.

I am tired of the coughing, and I am tired of the unsuriety (is that a word?) and I am tired of not enough sleep because I am listening for signs of sickness and pregression in my kids.  I am ready for back to schedules and normal living and health. I am ready for the New Year to begin!

Thankful Thursday (on a Friday)

Welcome back to Thankful Thursday, a feature started by Louise at Talk Nerdy to Me, where we look back over our week to remember our blessings.  It is so good to see the good things that have happened, especially if you have had a particularly tough week. Being grateful is good for the soul. Here are just a few things that I am thankful for...

1. Dinosaur lunch

What's not to be thankful for about dinosaur-shaped grilled cheese sandwiches? The kids eat them up just fine! 

2. a little singing, a little playing

I caught Kai putting together Lego while singing out loud to the song Let It Go! At least he has diversity!

I thought it was cute. I love that he will show his fun, quiet and sometimes sensitive side.

3. Olliebollen

I love family traditons. and I love olliebollen. and I love that my Hunny lets me make it, even though he can't stand the smell of the deep frying oil in the house.  

4. family

We were invited over to Hunny's Uncle and Aunt's house on Boxing Day for lunch. This is the same relatives that had to boys over for an afternoon of play earlier. We don't get to see extended family too often, so it's nice when we can get together and the kids can meet eachother. I don't have any cousins nearby (I have 19 just on my mom's side, but all of my relatives live back in Ontario), so I think it's great when we can get to know extended family better. I do wish it were my relatives though sometimes, but I have been blessed with a few visits this year!


I introduced my Olders to the Fellowship Of The Ring on New Year's Eve. I thought it was time. I know a lot of other parents have let their young kids watch the movie already, but my kids are sensitive and I think that I have to keep them sheltered from things that aren't important. The movie creeped me out when it was in theatres thirteen years ago {{shudder}} Orks  {{shudder}} Dark Death Riders. Why would I want the young impressionable and imaginative minds of my children to be filled with these images before they are ready to handle it? This year, they could. (We watched The Hobbit pt 1 last NYE, which isn't as dark)

We stayed up until 2am, wishing each other a Happy New Year at the time where the Council are meeting and the Fellowship of the Nine are put together. I have missed the whole Lord of the Rings story, and Aragorn and Sam....

6. Quiet days of nothing

Sometimes it is good to have a break and to not do anything. We have stayed in our pjs and watched too much tv and ate snacks and just hung out as a family for these two weeks.  I am thankful for days where you don't have to do anything, and you don't have to get dressed and you don't have to accomplish anything but rest and relax.

8. Creative Spark

My parents visited this week and we talked over business-y stuff and I felt a bit more motivated again. I felt like I had lost that creative spark and excitement that I had earlier last month. I am thankful for ideas and for sharing plans and for that hope again.

9. Sleepover

The boys share a room and the girls share a room, but due to bedtimes, Eden goes to bed on her own, and Bryn and Rhys go to bed at the same time in their room. Needless to say, more often than not, I am in the boys' room reminding them to stop playing and to get back into bed and to actually go to sleep! Eden is pretty easy and ends up falling asleep on her own pretty fast. But some nights she feels lonely and doesn't want to go to bed and asks to have a sleepover in the boy's room. Usually Bryn will let her stay with him, since he is kind hearted like that.

I thought it was sweet when I came to check on their quiet room one night and found both sound asleep together! I am thankful that they can share moments like this. I am also thankful that they slept well! (that is, until around 2am, when Eden woke up and she and Bryn wanted her to go back to her own bed! I'm thankful they were just down the hall from eachother, instead of at a friend's house!)
10. Big Hero 6

The kids and I have been wanting to watch the newest Disney movie for a while now and we finally found a moment this week. Have you seen it yet? It is a really good movie that uses a lot more tech, with more forward-thinking. which is so neat to see. (Hunny didn't get to come watch it with us, he stayed home with the sick girl, while I went with the four others, but he will really appreciate the machining and Makers in the movie when we get it on DVD later this year!)

We saw it in 3D with maybe 15 other people in the early evening. (the parking lot at Colossus movie theater was packed, but they weren't watching this movie; I wonder which one they were all at? I very badly want to see the Hobbit: the five armies! Abi wants to go see Into The Woods.)  I had to keep shushing Rhys for the first few minutes he kept saying, "every thing is beside me!" With four kids, I had to get up four times in the movie to help kids go to the bathroom, so I missed a bit of the movie. But from what I saw, I enjoyed it a lot! I may have teared up twice as well! (Disney has to stop playing with our emotions like that; it's not nice!)

I am thankful for fun memories like this.

How has your week been? What are you thankful for?

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