Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Welcome Cecilia

Born at 7:07 am

8 lbs 12 oz, 17"

Many, many thanks for your prayers and thoughts! God bless!

Baby sister sitting with 2nd oldest sister.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

no news...

...they say is good news. Or so they say. So, that being the case, I have only good news to report on the baby front: which is to say NO NEWS.

Please pray for me for faith and perseverance and, better yet, for a baby to produce herself - VERY SOON.

Thank you in advance for the prayers.
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Friday, December 26, 2008

St. Stephen's Feast Day

...or as it is known in Canada and England - Boxing Day. Today is our big Christmas dinner - with THREE Priests coming. And I am having contractions... typically every 20 minutes. Now and then they stop for an hour or two and then start again. CP - If this baby comes today as you predicted... you are in big trouble!! I have told baby to be - she must be born by 12 or not till after 5 pm!

Will let everyone know what happens!


POST SCRIPT - Contractions stopped shortly after 12 so no baby... she is either very lazy or very obedient. CP - you may breath a sigh of relief as we got through dinner with no surprise arrival. And I got TWO blessings. Now that every one is gone... contractions have started again. Hmmm.... lazy or obedient! Only time will tell.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Christmas Adam...

...which means we are the day before Christmas Eve. Where did Advent go? Is Christmas really just around the corner or to borrow an expression from the Muppet Christmas Carol - just two more sleeps till Christmas!?

Now that we are so close to Christmas, as impatient as I am to have this baby, I also now want to get through Christmas before she arrives! Ack!

Last night the children and I put together two ginger bread houses and decorated them. One is a gift and one is for us. I will try to get some pictures but first I need to locate my rechargeable batteries while also praying they are actually charged!

As ready as I thought I was - here we are only a few days... and I still have some important tasks to complete! Lots of baking still to do and clothes to double check for Mass. Benjamin and Noah are serving and Anna and Gabriela are bringing up the gifts. Emma is going to be GREEN with envy as she is dying for a chance to do that!

Well... I will let you all know what happens with this possible Christmas baby - she has lots of dates to arrive on so as to spoil plans of some sort, and after all, isn't that what babies LOVE to do? Arrive at the worst possible moment. Say on the 26th when we have three priests expected for dinner? I'll let you know - so stay tuned!

For some fun strolling down memory lane here are two posts from previous Christmas Adams:



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Monday, December 22, 2008

Overheard at the mission

On the fourth night of our parish mission a fellow parishioner introduced herself to our two youngest daughters:

"Hi - my name is Mary!" she said.

To which 3 yr. old Elsa responded:

"Aren't you supposed to be in Heaven?" Read more!

Friday, December 19, 2008

No - no new baby yet...

... just lots of contractions complicated with a couple of gall bladder attacks. Yippe - so much fun! I certainly can not complain that God is not loving me with lots to offer up this Advent!

Confession time - our Jesse Tree is a dismal failure! Between a four day Mission that we attended at night and colds and contractions and ... you get the idea. At least I got all of the posts up and can just follow them again next year. I am planning on creating permanent ornaments and focusing on the readings next year with each child taking a turn according to age to place an ornament.

We are betting on the Holy Innocents as her birthday - anyone care to place some bets - Due dates range from Dec 27 to Jan 04!

Love and blessings to all my dear readers. I promised someone will post as as possible after baby to be arrives, with her stats etc. Even a picture or two if possible.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008


...to Casey P. of South Carolina as she won this month's giveaway! Next month I hope to feature another book! So be sure to stay tuned in.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Don't Forget...

...to enter the giveaway this month. Just leave a comment with your first name and a means of contacting you should you win! This is the last day you can enter!

May the best reader win!

Only one comment/entry per reader please.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Note to Self

When passing the new kitten tuck in pajama strings to avoid tempting her to play... OUCH!

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Don't forget...

...to enter the giveaway this month. Just leave a comment with your first name and a means of contacting you should you win!

May the best reader win!

Only one comment/entry per reader please.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Following our Advent progress...

I promised a few pictures of our progress through Advent. I will be honest, we have not done as well as I had hoped. Often by evening - I have been too tired to do the Jesse Tree every night - so we have sometimes been doing double symbols! I have been very focused on getting ready for the baby. I think I am ready... until I remember one more thing that needs to bought, washed or brought out of storage. Umm like the swing.... ARGH!

Anyway - I am posting a picture with this post so that you can see how the chains are shortening and also enjoy a vision in pink in front of a pair of the chains. It is Elsa all dressed up and waiting to leave for our parish Christmas party last weekend. So the chains are even shorter now!

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Where was my brain?

Where was my brain when I added the following to my fun things to do while waiting for baby to be this Advent/Christmas season:

'Take trip to tree farm in the mountains, on the 14th, to find and cut down tree with kids.'

Ummm, yeah. I guess it has been a while since I have been 37 weeks pregnant - otherwise how could I plan such an arduous expedition when somewhere between37 and 38 weeks pregnant. Typically I am pretty much immobile at this point into my pregnancy, a trip to the bathroom requires planning on my part. And I thought I was going to drive and hour or more to the mountains, clamber through the woods for another hour or so looking for the perfect tree, with eight kids in tow? Mind, my husband would be there too - but still - what was he going to do - piggy back me through the woods?

This thought struck me last week as I struggled just to maneuver out the front door and into our 15 passenger van! I looked at Hugo after settling myself into the passenger seat in the front and said, "There is no way I can go hunting for a tree - like this!" He sagely nodded and we drove off. A little while later he came up with a much better idea than mine.

"Since we would have had to spend money on gas to drive up there, let's use that money to take the kids out to breakfast at Cracker Barrel next Saturday, and then find a tree lot to buy our tree from. Then they might not be too disappointed about not going to the tree farm!"

Excellent idea and all of the kids, without a murmur, agreed to it. After all, they are watching me hourly waddle here and there in the house. Being reasonable kids - it is just too painfully obvious that I would more than slow them down on the tree farm, I would plain out right bring it all to a full halt after about 10 steps! That would probably get us from the van - to the barn... never mind out into the cold, still acres of Christmas trees!

So Cracker Barrel - here we come: "A table for ten please, with two boosters, non smoking if you don't mind."

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

At long last...

... this month's giveaway! This cool little sleeping bag would make a lovely gift for a daughter, niece, grand daughter or a neighbour's little girl you have been wondering what to give to for Christmas.

This is a hand made sleeping bag - sized for an Only Hearts Doll. These are nine inch dolls and you can learn more about their unique features here. I decided to make these sleeping bags because when I took a look at the ones being sold online - the price was more than I was willing to spend. Now the factory made sleeping bags do have zippers, but my experience told me that this was one more thing to break and until it broke - one more thing for me to have to open and close for little girls who would inevitably get the zippers stuck - as they do on their own clothes. (This sleeping bag would also work for Skipper, a member of the Barbie family and is about 9.5 inches tall)

This contest will be open until midnight of the 15th.
I will pull the lucky winner's number on the morning of the 21st.
(Only one comment/entry per reader please.)

All you have to do to participate is to leave a comment with your first name and a means of contacting you so that if you are the lucky winner I can let you know. Winner will be announced by first name only and the State they reside in.

The girls, who are ten and under, in this family really enjoy the Only Heart Club dolls and our boys are pleased with the fact that if a doll is left around undressed - they are not staring the adult female anatomy! I am pleased to be able to provide a well made doll that has lots of clothes to wear, fun and innocent accessories and does not provide an anorexic view of how a female body should look. There are also a number of books that go along with these dolls.

Please feel free to share the link to this contest and help get the word out on these really cool dolls!

(Note: I am providing this gift myself and have not received any compensation for the endorsement of the Only Heart Dolls or for mentioning Skipper/Barbie! Only the sleeping bag and matching pillow are included, The doll was for looks only and is not included as it is a well loved member of my daughters' family of Only Hearts Dolls! )

POST SCRIPT: Unless I am in labour, every attempt will be made within 48 hours of the end of the contest to mail the sleeping bag so that the winner can hopefully receive it in time for Christmas. This contest is open only to US and Canadian Residents to keep shipping simple at this time. )

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(Photography credits: Miss Bethany!

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Woo Hoo!

I won a draw... I don't think I have EVER won anything in my life. I certainly can not remember ever winning anything! Do you remember Scribbit's week long giveaway? Well - I won one of the items and here it is!. Awesomeness! Thank you Scribbit!

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Some really Cool Advent Calendars...

...a little too late for this year but maybe next year? To check them out click here. I found the link on Danielle's site so you might have already checked them out. I really like the magnetic one - but I Have to wonder how long before we managed to lose some of the magnets. We have done well in the past with calendars but still - I wonder - magnets are so fascinating. "Will it stick here, how about here or here - oops - guess not!"And this little manger scene is adorable and so affordable! It would make a great distraction for the youngest magnet tester in my family. I need to remember to check out this site after Christmas and see if they are offering any of the Advent items at a discount.
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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Some calendars we made for Advent

We made a couple of Advent calendars for ourselves. One was based on Bethany's idea that since Advent is a time of waiting wouldn't it be a good idea to have a calendar that gave us little sacrifices to do as we wait as opposed to treats. Now we didn't have any calendars with treats but I guess she has noticed the ones for sale that have a little chocolate for the person who opens the door that day.

I thought that was an excellent idea so I went to work on it that very night - it was jsut a few days before Advent was to start - so I did not have a lot of time.

I ultimately created two calendars, one with little sacrifices and activities for us to do that helped one to focus on the quiet spiritual side of Advent and another with the fun things we were planning on doing, such as crafts or baking we need to get finished in time to give away for Christmas.

I only have pictures of the calendars before we started to use them, but I thought I would share them anyway. At some point today - I hope to take a picture of the chains so we can see how we are coming closer to the removal of our bondage.

So enjoy the pics and look forward to some more as we come closer to the light of the world being revealed to us all in a little manger in Bethlehem.

The one above is the calendar with the prayers and sacrifices we are doing daily to help draw us closer to the Infant Jesus.
The one below is the fun stuff we are doing. Remember that you can click on the pictures and they will open up allowing you to study them closer - if you would like.

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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Happy Feast Day, St Nickolas!

We love to celebrate Saint Nickolas (or Nicholas) Day in our home. Years and years ago we replaced the secular image of Santa Claus with Saint Nick and our children just adore him and the little ones have a great respect for St Nickolas' assistant, Black Peter . In fact, as I type this up - the two youngest girls are helping Bethany to clean their room as they were reminded that Black Peter would be letting St. Nick know what shape their room is in.

Some fun articles to read and recipes to check out.

An interesting article about the variations of Saint Nicholas is here.

Here is a brief article that introduces some of the various names St Nick is known by around the world.

A wonderful page filled with cookies and treats for St Nicholas' day is here.

Interested in buying some cookies cutters shaped like the famous saint - click here. I will be looking into getting some of these.

And two more links to some baking ideas are here and here.

Enjoy and have a wonderful feast day.

On a different note - while my Advent Jesse tree posts will be consistent and I have a few posts already and pre-scheduled to post, any actual real time posting may come to an end, for a short time, soon as I am struggling both with pre-term labour symtoms, and severe back ache.

I am almost ready for Christmas and am thankful for the distraction of preparing for it, this has helped tremendously. While the Chiropractor has done wonders to keep me mobile I am finally reaching that point (that I usually reach much sooner) of just not being able to walk very well. Sitting is even becoming hard on my back so prolonged times at the computer have become painful.

Prayers are very welcome as I seek the graces I need from our Lord to be patient at a time of my pregancy when I am typically not patient!

Blessings to you all and we will let you know when this bundle of joy arrives and in the meantime enjoy the Jesse tree postings and the additional ramblings I have pre-posted. (Is that a word?)

Oh, and I am still trying to get the contest for this month up and running so keep an eye out for that, eh? I already have a wonderful book rounded up for possibly January, and another for later in the spring!

(Found the picture above of St Nick here.)

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Friday, December 05, 2008

is THIS my baby????

Where oh where did my baby go?

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Christmas Baking

Are you looking for some new ideas, tired of baking the same cookies every Christmas? Well this year we decided to buy a magazine for the price of a book! Not something I often do but I really wanted to try some new recipes this year. It is fun perusing the pages - but sitting here bored... drinking herbal teas and taking herbal tinctures to stop early labour... I started googling and came up with a really nice site. I am still exploring the site but thought I would share it so that others who might be looking for new ideas could have some fun too.

If you like to bake and want to try something new, or are just looking for some tips on how to make some of your traditional cookies look a little more professional - click here and have fun!

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A complete week of giveaways at Scribbit's place.

Scribbit is having a weeks worth of giveaways so jump on over to her place and try your luck! I put my name down for a nursing camisole. Can't wait to see what else she has to give away!

Best of luck to you all! Oh and she also has a link on the left side called the Message Board where you can see other giveaway blogging events that are going on. So check that out too.

Keep in mind that in a few days I will have Decembers giveaway up and running. This time it is a hand crafted gift - just ideal for that little girl on your Christmas list.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

We were privileged to enjoy...

...THIS tonight as we drove home from Raleigh. It was an awesome thing to see - even though we were not too sure exactly what was happening. It was clear though that some astronomical phenomenon was happening. However, not all of the family was with us - and it is possible that tomorrow another view, though not as clear as tonights, will occur. So perhaps we will take an after dinner drive tomorrow and like the bear who went over the mountain - see what we can see. After all, this will not occur again for another 247 years.

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Chef and Music critic...

Elsa appears to be both master chef and music critic at the ripe old age of 3 as determined by the following observation she made while deftly mixing up pumpkin bread while I added in the ingredients. We had Christmas music playing in the background and a particularly pretty piece had just finished playing when Frosty the Snowman came on. Within seconds Elsa sagely stated as she solemnly stirred without spilling a fleck of flour:

"That is not a beautiful song, Mummy."

"Well - it is a happy song, even if a little noisy, isn't it?" I asked her.

She nodded her agreement as she continued to studiously and carefully mix the flour into the wet ingredients.

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Following our Advent progress...

Well - we squeezed it all in today. Hugo left for a business trip with Nathaniel this after noon and we baked pies and then some gingerbread forms for 2 churches we hope to build. Then after a quick supper - we cleaned and tidied and did our advent readings, got the Jesse tree ornaments pasted on trees and each child broke a link off of his or her Advent chain.

I will include pictures as we progress in these projects! The first batch is of some of our chains which we constructed yesterday and of our Advent wreath, before the candles fell in. Tuesday I will head out and buy some candle holders. This happens EVERY year - my candles collapse. It is time to for some solid candle holders! Move over playdough... you are about to be replaced.

(These are two chains attached at the red links - which is for Christmas Eve. I attached them with a straight pin, simply to make them look more decorative in the windows where we hung them. I will continue to post pictures of this pair so you can watch them grow shorter!)
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The wreath... before the calamity hit....

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Playing with Static...

E L E C T R I C I T Y!

(I never know just what I am going to find when I check the gallery of photos on my cell phone!)

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Thank you notes...

I am at the beginning of a search for the perfect set of thank you notes to send out to the various people who have surprised with us with lovely gifts for the baby, and my search brought me to this little article on do's and don'ts of thank you notes. In this article the reader is asking about a wedding shower, but it was the last line of the answer that had me chuckling. CLICK here, if you would like to enjoy a light smile as well. Read more!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

An answer for a comment ...

...that was left today below the Jesse Tree Reminder post by CP. CP pointed out that there are more ornaments/symbols to be put on the Jesse Tree than there are days in Advent this year and she wondered how best to handle that. I had noticed that as well. Originally I had decided to drop a few, picking the ones that are most relevant to the fast approaching nativity from the last 5 or 6 symbols.

Then as I contemplated my answer to CP's query, it struck me that this was a good teaching moment as to how the number of days in Advent change from year to year and that this 'calendar' of dates is based on starting the Advent season the fourth Sunday before Christmas and hence the difference in the number of days.

Therefore I have decided that on the last days of Advent, I will double up the symbols that we place on our tree each day so that we end up with the nativity symbol being placed on the tree on Christmas Eve. Part of my reasoning was that since this is a "family tree' it was not right to drop any of the family off of it. This decision will also be reflected in my daily postings so that the symbol, its brief explanation and the accompanying reading will be doubled those last exciting days as we await the rebirth of our Saviour and Lord - the precious Baby Jesus.

I hope some of you will join us as we travel through the centuries reflected through this family tree that represents the original period of Advent - or waiting of the Messiah. And whether you join us or not - I have an important question - do you have your candles yet? I also have good news - I found my wreath! My regular readers know I have to hunt for it every year!

(Jesse tree picture was found here.) Read more!

Christmas Tree Poll

  • Thanksgiving weekend
  • Christmas Eve
  • Second week in Advent
  • First week in Advent
  • Fourth week in Advent
  • Third week in Advent
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Introducing a website...

...that I recently discovered. Brimful of Curiosities, I discovered it when we had our first giveaway on our blog for the book and Brimful of Curiosities uncovered our little event and posted it on her weekly announcements of free giveaways. But the author of this blog also writes book reviews. This week she reviewed a new book by Margaret Wise Brown (author of the famous Good Night Moon!) I am adding her to my side bar - just need to figure out what category to put her in - fabourite blogs & links I guess. At any rate, I have subscribed so I get an email announcing anything new on her blog so I can stay up to date on any new contests she is announcing - and did I already mention that all of them are free! A good place to hang out through out the week and see if I can win something! Check it out! Oh - and click here to read her review of M. W. Brown's new book and maybe even win a copy as she has three to giveaway! Good luck and may the best reader win! Read more!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Christmas is coming...

... and is clearly on Elsa's mind as evidenced by the following conversation between Elsa (3) and her older sister Bethany who is 10.

Elsa: Is Christmas everyone's birthday?

Bethany: No - it is just Jesus' birthday.

Elsa - sounding and looking rather distressed "Oh no - does that mean only He gets all the presents?"

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Monday, November 24, 2008

A poll just for fun.

  • All year!
  • We start Thanksgiving weekend.
  • Whenever the radio starts playing it.
  • Not until Christmas Eve.
  • Sometime during Advent.
  • Not sure, it's different every year.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

GASP! Its how many days to # 13?

FOURTY SIX days... yes, that is D A Y S!!! The other evening, I glanced at my igoogle home page and thought 'wow only 46 days to Christmas' but then caught the actual title of the time ticker I had chosen and it was 46 days until baby to be!! (It was 36 days to Christmas.)

I almost fell off my chair - which in my condition would not be the smartest thing I could do right now. Fourty six DAYS??? Now of course - that is assuming she will be on time - which she most likely will not be, so I am trying to focus on mid January as the due date - but still.

You see, here is my to do list:

  • Set up baby hammock...... check
  • Find cartons of new born clothes .... check
  • Go through and pull out OODLES of new born baby girl jammies and church outfits..... half a check.(Last two babies were born in Spring and early Fall -which down here means very warm to almost hot temperatures - so there was little fit for the winter season.)
  • Return cartons to storage......
  • Buy diapers.......
  • Prepare changing area.....
  • Buy baby laundry supplies......
  • Buy baby bathing supplies.....
  • Locate stroller and clean up......
  • Locate baby swing and test that it still works....
  • Buy Mylicon drops because ALL of my babies suffer from reflux varying from mild to severe....
Now ask me about my Advent and Christmas list and you get a very different story. I am almost completely ready for this upcoming joyous season, but clearly I am in denial about a new baby about to arrive on the scene.


UPDATE: I have tried THREE times to correct boen to born (hope it shows with an "r" and not an e here!). However blogger has decided it will not allow me to write newborn above.... Argh!
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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Now you see her and...


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Friday, November 21, 2008

A little Canadian Humour...

A Little Canadian Humor,
Here is what Jeff Foxworthy has to say about Canucks.
(To be honest I had never heard of this comedian until one of my daughters forwarded this to me.)

If your local Dairy Queen is closed from
September through May,
You may live in Canada

If someone in a Home Depot store
Offers you assistance and they don't work there,
You may live in Canada.

If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time,
You may live in Canada.

If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation
With someone who dialed a wrong number,
You may live in Canada.

If 'Vacation' means going anywhere
South of Detroit for the weekend,
You may live in Canada .

If you measure distance in hours,
You may live in Canada

If you know several people
Who have hit a deer more than once,
You may live in Canada .

If you have switched from 'heat' to 'A/C'
In the same day and back again,
You may live in Canada .

If you can drive 90 km/hr through 2 feet of snow
During a raging blizzard without flinching,
You may live in Canada .

If you install security lights on your house and garage,
But leave both unlocked,
You may live in Canada .

If you carry jumpers in your car
And your wife knows how to use them,

You may live in Canada .

If you design your kid's Halloween costume
To fit over a snowsuit,
You may live in Canada .

If the speed limit on the highway is 80 km --
You're going 90 and everybody is passing you,
You may live in Canada .

If driving is better in the winter
Because the potholes are filled with snow,
You may live in Canada .

If you know all 4 seasons:
Almost winter, winter, still winter,
And road construction,
You may live in Canada .

If you have more miles
On your snow blower than your car,
You may live in Canada .

If you find 2 degrees 'a little chilly',
You may live in Canada .

If you actually understand these jokes,
And forward them to all
Your Canadian friends & others,
You definitely live(or have lived) in Canada .

And to these I need to add my own:

If someone stepped on your foot

And you apologized because after all

Your foot was obviously in the way...

Then you are a Canadian or, as we are sometimes called,

A Cannuck!

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

And the winnah is....

Thank you to everyone who participated in the first of my monthly giveaway contests and without further delay I am happy to announce that the winner of Hear My Voice, A Children’s Translation of Gospel Readings of the Catholic Mass for 2009 , is ..... drum roll please...

Cathy of Virginia

If you were not lucky enough to win the book - please feel free to click on the advertisement on the left sidebar and you will be taken directly to the site where it can be purchased. I do earn a small percentage for each sale made from my site, so in purchasing this book you are not only getting a lovely book to help you prepare your children for Sunday Mass, but you are also supporting two small Catholic family business ventures!
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'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him." Mathew 25:28-29

This Sunday in Mass the gospel was Mt 25:14-30 and as our Deacon began to expound on this idea of talents and possible of loss through miss use or lack of use of them.

Emma sat up straight and I heard a little gasp from her. My head swiveled in her direction to see what ailed her and her eyes looking like a little owls were wide and clapped on my face.

"Did he mean that Mummy? Was he joking?"

"The Deacon? I asked. "Did he mean we can lose our talents if we don't use them?" is that what you mean?

"Yes!" she whispered back

"Yes he did mean that, if we don't use the gifts God gives us - we will lose them."

Her breath drew in sharply and her face grew more anxious. "But Mummy, I am too young! I don't know my talents yet!"

I smothered my smile and settled down to an act of mental bi-location while I kept one ear on Deacon's solid homily and at the same time tried to quietly whisper to Emma what it means for a six year old to use her talents. I was not too successful at the bi-location part but while I missed a good deal of Deacon's homily, I was able to make use of a great teaching moment and best of all, I learned that my six year old is actually listening to the homily - at least some of the time!
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

An awesome giveaway on another blog!

PEGGY! My dear friend Peggy F. here in NC - this post is dedicated to you and Holly because the items featured in this giveaway at the Dirty Shirt seems like the perfect gift for YOU and Holly - 'cause if Holly could fall asleep and stay asleep all night - I know that would be the best gift you could get this Christmas. Am I right or am I right?

So whether you are my good friend Peggy F. or another reader with a sleepless baby - get yourself over to the Dirty Shirt and check out her review and giveaway contest for one of Cloud B's products.

And to be honest - if I do not win one of the items, I am going to buy of the night lights for my 10 year old daughter who has a very hard time quieting all her thoughts once she snuggles down into bed. I think that watching the changing constellations would be a great distractions. Heck - I could use one of those some nights! Read more!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Contest Reminder...

Just a quick reminder that the contest I am running this month ends at 1 AM of the 19th - or in other words, an hour after midnight tonight! So if you have not yet left a comment in the in the post announcing the contest - be sure to do so soon. Don't miss out on the chance to win a great book - just in time for Advent.

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A birthday with a special gift.

Do any of you remember the disastrous results of my attempt to hide the container of hot chocolate that I had purchased in honour of Benjamin's 12th birthday that was coming up in the following months? We had purchased it at Tim Horton's, our favourite coffee shop when traveling up north on business as Benjamin is always asking if we can bring a tin home when we are up there.

I was quite sad that I was not going to have a container of this to surprise him with for his birthday when a reader suddenly wrote to me and asked if I was open to her mailing me a container of this special hot chocolate. It seems she, her husband and boys had been in Ohio for a quick trip and decided to check out Tim Hortons as I have mentioned our love for Tim Horton's coffee frequently on my blog. While there her husband, remembering my plight, suggested they pick up a tin of the much desired chocolate. She even thoughtfully offered to mail it to a local church if I felt more comfortable with that arrangement.

Speculation began in earnest when the mysterious package arrived and I explained it was a gift from a reader for one of the up coming children's birthdays. As a birthday came and went without the mysterious gift being presented the process of elimination continued with great mirth.

Finally it was October - Benjamin's special month. After he opened the gift and was astonished to see the cherished container of Hot Chocolate along with a cool bag of marshmellows shaped as baseballs, footballs etc Noah, his older brother by a year and a bit, got busy and made him a birthday breakfast which consisted of the following:

using my Tim Horton's mug, of course. What else would you serve it in!

Thank you D. and your lovely husband for your incredible thoughtfulness.

(Photo credit Noah using my cellphone)

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Monday, November 17, 2008

32 weeks and still growing

This little baby in the ultra sound is at 32 weeks gestation which is just about where our little baby is. So amazing! She weighs about 4 lbs now and is about 16 inches long. Pretty much a small doll right now. Christmas is just ahead of us and I am so grateful to have this time of Advent to help me have something else to focus on besides the aches and pains that accompany this last trimester as God puts the final touches on His masterpiece that Hugo and I are so blessed to have a hand in bringing to life.

I am praying that all will go well. I have many fears as I face labour for the first time in over six years. Elsa was a planned c-section that became an emergency c-section. I am having to really focus on my diet as I had a scare with pre-eclampsia symptoms last week when I got careless and slacked off on my protein and water intake. So now I am having to really pay attention and make sure I keep to a minimum of 70 gms of protein daily and a least 4 twenty oz bottles of water. I have found it easy to keep on top of the protein - much easier than I thought it would be. However the water, oh - now there is a challenge. However, when I stay on top of these two requirements my blood pressure stays down as does the swelling and I don't have the strong contractions I was having.

But keep me on your prayers please as the Advent season approaches with all of its pleasures and stresses! Please especially pray for peace of mind as I struggle to just completely leave the next two months in the hands of our Lord!

(Photo Credit ivillage.com)
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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fall Fun

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Jesse Tree Reminder....

We are only two weeks from the first Sunday in Advent and so I am posting a reminder that if you are hoping to follow our daily Jesse tree posts this Advent, so if you haven't already, it is more than time to gather the materials you will be using.

At the time of writing this reminder, I am planning to simply create paper symbols for the children to colour and make a large paper green tree that children can add their symbols to. Or perhaps I will have them each create a smaller tree - as a bedroom door or window decoration. At any rate - it will not be a permanent creation made of wood or, say, felt. Not this year - maybe next year!

So whatever type of material you are planning to use - start gathering it now. Also you might want to start hunting down your wreath and buy your candles. I know where my candles are - but, as is usual, I am not so sure where the wreath is!

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Help is needed...

Please add your prayers for this family - recently converted to the Catholic faith. Here is their story but to read about why this dad of 12 is in the hospital and how you can help - click here.

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Scribbit's Apple Turnovers!

I have been hankering to try this recipe ever since I saw it over on Scribbits Blog, a blog I read every day now! However, I am going to try it with cherry pie filling and no cardamon spice! I'll let you know how it goes - especially since I can not stand for more than about 3 minutes at a time without having to sit!

Foolishly or bravely I am not sure - but I am going to engage my two littlest ones as my helpers. I think as long as I let them have the occasional stir and lick, they will happily gopher their way through the three recipes I hope to make this afternoon.

I have very little energy and figure I might as well sit and stir some yummy baking as just sit and just go stir crazy!


No turn overs! I discovered we are almost out of milk and do not have any where near enough butter. Not sure which I am more - disappointed or relieved? I have been hankering over these turnovers since I first read the recipe on Scribbit's site but the recipe is designed for a bread machine - of which I have two. But... neither of them have turned out decent loaf of bread in forever and so they are packed away... somewhere....

So I have re-written the recipe as I think it might work sans the machine and for the type of yeast I use which needs to be allowed to rise separately in liquid.

Now if sometime before the baby is born and I:
1) come across one of my bread machines
2) have sufficient energy to try a recipe that requires my standing at the stove stirring milk - I will try the recipe. Until then - I must simply be satisfied with pining over them.

In the meantime I have four loaves of pumpkin bread baking and the ingredients to the pineapple bread sitting on the counter - waiting for my second wind. In my pregnant dazed state - I mistakenly used a HUGE can of pumkin instead of a smaller one and had to do a double recipe. But no worries - my gang can polish off four loaves as quickly as they can two!
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Double Birthday

We discovered sometime earlier this month that one of our parish priests has the same birthday as my husband. So we had a double birthday this month! Here are some pictures of the cakes we enjoyed earlier in the month and also one of Hugo with Lydia at the birthday dinner John and Jenny had at their home for just Hugo and I, Jonathan and his lovely new girlfriend.

Hugo with adorable, squeezable Lydia snoozing on his shoulder. This is referred to as the "tough job" in our household and I noticed that Jenny has carried the term over into her family! Everybody wants a crack at the "tough job'!

Hugo's cake.

Father's cake!

The children and I bought Hugo a radio controlled dragonfly for his birthday and he and they have really been enjoying it on the weekends in the parking lot next to us.

We had a birthday last month that brought a really neat gift from one of my readers, but I have "misplaced" the pictures on one of my many computers.... So as soon as I find them I will create a pictorial post of the special occasion!

PS - if you have not yet submitted a comment to November's give away contest below, be sure to do so. Don't miss a chance to win a copy of this book of Sunday's Gospel readings Hear My Voice, A Children’s Translation of Gospel Readings of the Catholic Mass for 2009 - and just in time for Advent! Read more!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mylicon Gas Relief drops recalled

Infant Gas-Relief Drops Recalled

Johnson & Johnson has recalled 12,000 bottles of Mylicon Infant Dye-Free Gas-relief drops due to the possibility that some bottles may contain metal
fragments. The recalled drops come in one ounce plastic bottles and were
sold over-the-counter on or after October 5, 2008.The lot numbers of the
drops are SMF007 and SMF008, and the numbers can be found on the bottom of
the recalled boxes or on the lower left side of the bottle's sticker.

To go directly to the manufacturer's site click here.

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A Give Away for Advent!

Good Morning!

I have a very happy announcement to make!

I am sponsoring a giveaway - something I am hoping will become a monthly activity. I already have a gift lined up to give away for December as well as the wonderful gift that is to be given this week.

Hopefully some, if not all, of my readers have read the review on the book that is being advertised on my blog - Hear My Voice, A Children’s Translation of Gospel Readings of the Catholic Mass for 2009 , which was written by Jonathan Stampf and illustrated by Robert Conrad.

Here is how the contest will work. Leave a comment in the comment section of this post and with your first name and an email address so that I can contact you should you win the give away contest. Feel free to convert the @ sign with the word at to help reduce the possibility of email spam. You will be assigned a number based on your spot on the list of comments. So if you are the fifth person to leave a comment you will be assigned the number five and so on. (Oh, and there is only one comment per person!)

At the end of the seven days of accepting comments/names for the contest (which will remain open until 1 am of the 19th.) The winner will be emailed on the morning of the 19th and I must hear back within 48 hours so that I can provide Mr. Stampf with the winner's shipping information so that he can mail the book to the winner. I will announce the winner after I have been contacted by the wining reader.

So hurry up and leave a comment on this post and pass the word around about this great freebie that will be a wonderful addition to our upcoming Advent preparations. And if you haven't read the review of the book yet - be sure to read it over here.

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