Saturday, December 30, 2006

Little Princess

These pictures aren't of the best qualities, my apologies. The cloudy one down here says that my little baby is 2 feet 8 inches tall. Making her officially half as tall as me. And she's not even 2 yet! I can't believe how big she is already. It feels like just yesterday she was joining our family. We got this height chart for her awhile ago and were waiting until we painted her room to put it up. The room isn't painted, but we decided not to wait. After measuring herself she stepped away and told me quite confidently "I a Princess." Yes Isabella, you're a princess.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Back to the Grind

After Christmas gifts we all had naps and watched tv for a bit. Then Nick headed off to work and I took the girls to the youth pastors house for their family gathering. The majority of the people there were teens so it was a very fun time. We stayed until 1:00am. Belle was awake the whole time. Good good times. We crashed on Boxing Day, hit Costco for some groceries and then had Christmas Dinner as a family with some friends. We put the girls to be and watched The Break Up, which we greatly enjoyed.

But now it's December 27th and it's back to the grind. I think something died in my fridge. I like to take December 27-31 and do a huge cleaning in my house, like everyone else's spring cleaning. So that's on the agenda. We're letting Brooklyn cry it out a bit for naps and sleeping, which is always harder after a week of being held by eager arms. There aren't any huge events on our calender to look forward to. The bills are all there waiting to be paid and all that other every day stuff. Christmas is definitely over here. I just have to finish cleaning up after it. The every day makes me a bit anxious, but we'll just keep doing each day at a time and before we know it Christmas will be here again.

Christmas Day!

Belle saw her picture on the presents right away. She went diving for her kitchen set. We got her a cup of milk and read the Christmas Story then we went into opening gifts. Belle got three main gifts: clothes, a kitchen with plastic food and some pots and pans and musical instruments. But we wrapped each thing individually. Funny us. Never again. Here are some pictures of our morning. We gave Brooklyn an activity thingy, I'll put some pics of her playing in it later. Then there were gifts from family and friends which had all been opened before Christmas morning.

Christmas Eve in Photos

I uploaded the pictures backwards, so here's our Christmas Eve in reverse. This is our Christmas tree waiting for the girls in the morning. Well, technically waiting for Isabella as there is one gift under there for Brooklyn. We wrapped Isabella's three gifts in individual pieces so it looked like a lot of loot. We learned our lesson the next morning when she was bored after three presents.

This is the Alphabet Wall all finished up. We were done at 3:30 am. I was ready for bed, but Nick insisted we hang it on the wall outside her door so it would be there when she woke up. Turned out to be a good idea. Nick and Belle started off Christmas morning with some ABC practice while I fed Brooklyn. The pictures are things from around our house beginning with each letter, as many as we could. So for I it's Isabella and B is Brooklyn and M is mommy and P is poppa. Just to help her relate the ABC's to her life.

This is what I look like at 3:30 am.

We went to church in the morning, then out for lunch as a family. We came home for Isabella's much needed afternoon nap. Nick and I did the photo editing for the Alphabet Wall and sent it off to Walmart to print. So I took Brooklyn out of the house to kill the hour waiting for the photos and Nick and Belle made a gingerbread house together! Ofcourse the batteries in the camera died during the experience. But this is the finished product. Then we had to rush to the Christmas Eve services. They started at 6:00 and we had to stay for both. Well Nick had to stay but I wasn't going to bring the girls home and put them to bed without him on Christmas Eve! The service was very fun. Some carols and selections from our Christmas Variety Show. After the girls were in bed we had appetizers and wrapped gifts while watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and X-Men 3. A very fun Christmas Eve.

But for some reason it really didn't feel like Christmas to me. There's still no snow and it just felt like another day with some extra gifts. Totally bizarre. I didn't even get any baking done, (did I mention that in my last post, cuz it's really bugging me). So I am now doing New Years baking.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

One Sided

This year we had a family Christmas with my mom's side of the family. The above picture is my grand-father, (my mom's dad), with Brooklyn resting after dinner. We kids call him Poppy and he is notorious for making babies cry as soon as he holds them. Both of my girls cuddle up in his arms and fall asleep. What a great Christmas gift. Usually my grand parents spend the winter in Arizona, but they didn't go this year. I'm sure the girls made things a little sweeter.
Isabella did a great job at this loud outing. There were so many people talking to her at once, and a bunch of presents under the tree that she didn't even try to touch! After dinner she did get a little whiny, (we missed her afternoon nap), and so I went to cuddle with her while the grown-ups finished up the wine in the dining room. It was some nice quiet time.
Then we started doing the gifts and Isabella wanted to stand in the middle of the room and take it all in. With so many people getting gifts she didn't realize some were for her. Nick tried to get her excited to tear open some boxes. I'll post what she got a bit later. It's loud, and can get annoying, but she loves, loves, loves it.
Then my Aunt Shell requested some baby time after the excitement died down. She hosted the event making a delicious roast beef and all the trimmings. She was quite disappointed as the whole meal didn't turn out. The Yorkshire puddings she had made spilled into the back of the oven. This caused the oven to burst into flames. This caused baking soda to be poured into the oven to squelch the flames. The baking soda went all over the Yorkshires. Then black smoke filled the house. Then the fire alarms went off. The fire alarms are hooked up to the house alarm system which also went off. Then ADT called. Then we spent about half an hour keeping Belle and two dogs calm waiting for the smoke to clear and the alarm to turn off. Brooklyn was whisked up to the top floor and sealed in a bedroom by her quick thinking second cousin so as not to get smoke inhilation. It was a great fiasco. The stuff stories are made of. Not sure when I'll get to try those Yorkshires.

That was the first of our Christmas events!

Friday, December 22, 2006

I heart Ikea

A few days ago we went to Ikea to pick up some stuff for Christmas. We're making an 'Alphabet Wall' for Belle for a gift and needed picture frames. We also thought we'd check out the holiday sale. We went in and found something totally unexpected, great storage solutions for the kitchen set we bought Isabella. We went through the check out and after wards noted that they charged us twice for an item. We headed over to the Customer Service. While the Ikea worker was adjusting our receipt she noted that one of our totes was cracked and sent someone to get us a new one. Isabella ran over to play and was enjoying herself. Brooklyn had a small melt down, (just tiny), and I was gathering my wits again. All of a sudden the Ikea worker said "It might be a few minutes, I'll get you guys something for your wait.". Then a manager comes over and gave us coupons for free drinks and hot dogs! All we were doing was waiting around. I heart Ikea.

However, I un-heart the Ikea crowd. Now, it's just a small demographic of them, which I wont identify. You know the crowd I'm talking about in your neighborhood. There are the fun people, (which I enjoy), they look at our girls and then coo to their men: "They're so adorable!" and then search around for my husband to see what two people could make children this beautiful and if they have a chance at getting the same. (I'm not boasting I'm just saying people like the reassurance that two negatives do in fact make a positive). But then there are the others-the ones who walked past me and spoke another language and then all of a sudden exclaimed "It's alive!". I was holding Brooklyn on my hip so she was facing away from me enjoying the store. This family thought Brooklyn was a doll I was carrying for Isabella. Now if it ended there, cool. Or even when they exclaimed, "I thought she was a doll. My she's beautiful.". End discussion, cool. But when they start mauling her trying to find out that she is in fact a doll and we're just fooling them, I start to get irked. And once one person is mauling my daughters other people feel they can do the same. Then I get very irked and literally push Nick into an elevator and put Brooklyn back in her car seat to spare her further maulings. Why do people treat kids like that? When I see a cute kid, I might talk to them or play peek a boo around store shelves or something, but I would never touch them. I definitely un-heart some Ikea shoppers.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Thanks for the Advice

Thanks for all your suggestions. It has to be a combination of things I'm sure. She doesn't sleep steadily because Isabella cannot be quiet for more than two seconds and Brooklyn is not yet a sound sleeper! It's quite the challenge to get Isabella to stay on the ground floor while I run Brooklyn to her bed, and so Isabella always follows and inevitably screams or something just as I'm putting Brooklyn down.

As for the sling or bjorn, I'm just too clutzy. I fear bonking her head while I'm doing things. .I tried that with Belle, (so I could be a good mom and bond the way the books said), but I felt like she was just going to slip out and Brooklyn is extremely wiggly.

I'm sure it will just take will power to get us all on a schedule. Consistency is the key to a happy household. We have no plans next week, and most people will so most likely I'll be home for about five days straight and we will persevere on a schedule then. Tonight I left Brooklyn to cry it out in her bed after her final feeding of the day. She didn't cry solid, but it took half an hour for her to calm down and sleep. Belle did that the first day when we started "training" her, so we're on the road to goodness.

And the lights did get on the tree, and tomorrow we're going to decorate it as a family.

And Jen, all these plans for Baby #2, just thinking through the itch or not saying something?? (I only post it here cuz you made the comment here and who knows when I'll get around to a real email!)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Update from the Front Lines

Well, things have gotten better already on the breastfeeding battle lines. I finally had a few moments to myself and happened to get an email newsletter in which the main article was breastfeeding challenges. I read through it looking for the "symptoms" of what Brooklyn was doing. Her actions made me think I was trying to feed her too often. She was spitting up everything that went in her, only sucking for a minute and then just started bouncing her face of my boob. But, my logic was totally backward. Apparently she was too hungry and I had been waiting too long to feed her! So I fed her every two hours instead of every three and today was a much better day in that regard. (I know I'm supposed to watch for the signs, but running after Isabella has taken up a lot of my attention and I miss them sometimes.) She ate hard every time, then she burped hard and she didn't spit up even once! I'm quite happy for that. But someone tell me this wont be the way it is for the next six and a half months, it is so hard to stop life every two hours for 20 minutes.

I don't think it would be that hard to do if she let me put her down ever. She can be dead asleep in my arms and I'll just put her down on the couch next to me so I can read/play/cuddle/feed Isabella. It takes about two minutes before she realizes she isn't being held and she begins to cry. Scream in fact. Belle did not get held all the time. She just needed to know we were in the same room to be fine. Brooklyn is quite the clingy little one. I've tried to let her cry it out as we did with Belle, but she just cries and cries. She will not stop on her own. Is this a phase too? Or how can I get her to at least nap in her own bed during the day? I simply cannot hold her 24/7 I have three other people to take care of.

Any advice?

And thanks for all the sweet words. I feel your virtual hugs! I'm so glad everyone enjoyed our Christmas letter. It's great to be candid and let people know the good and the bad things that are shaping our character and have them be met with positivity.

So, it's about 11:00. The girls are finally asleep and I have been working for three days on getting the lights on our Christmas tree. I will finish tonight. I will.

Monday, December 18, 2006


Even though you can see that I'm basically losing my mind a few posts down, I did have a moment of ingenuity I thought some of you might be able to use.

We were thinking about the presents for the girls under the tree and how they wont have a clue that they're for them until we give them to them. Neither of them can read so their names on boxes mean nothing. So we decided to print wallet sized pictures of their faces and put them on the gifts instead. That way they can see that the gift is for them.

This little tidbit brought to you by the obsessive scrapbook-aholic in me.

Christmas from the Franks

Merry Christmas from the Franks
It’s that time of year, time to reflect on 365 days of living. Usually this letter is about one big event, but this year, (which I think we’ll affectionately call the ‘Year of the Roller Coaster’), there are many events to share.

January found us frozen on the pristine prairies with the Rocky Mountains in plain sight just beyond our backyard. I was working from home for SCM, delivering the Calgary Herald and caring for Isabella each day. Nick was just as busy with classes at AUC, studying for accreditation and working full time at Sport Check selling athletic shoes. We took a refresher trip to Vibank to visit my family then returned to Calgary ready to give all our gusto to finishing the academic preparations of entering into ministry.

Early into February our energy was quickly zapped. My exhaustion was due to carrying our second child and Nick’s busy schedule began to catch up with him in the form of a physical tiredness. We also experienced a spiritual and emotional exhaustion as Nick did not pass through the accreditation process and his classes mounted in their level of difficulty. We found our zeal being replaced with disappointment and our fervor with weariness. For a few days we were knocked down and chose to do nothing but lay on the couch. Thankfully we received many kind words from family and friends and by God’s grace we continued to put one foot in front of the other trusting in His plan for us. It had been decided that Nick must complete an apprenticeship before he could become an Alliance Worker. This apprenticeship would include many academic requirements as well as mentoring by other pastors, preferably in a ministry setting.

In March Isabella turned one!

In April Nick’s parents came to visit and graduation was on the horizon. Nick got really stressed out about his final exams and did not do so well, but he passed. Three days before graduation it looked like Nick would not be receiving this accolade either. After many meetings and phone calls, much consideration and prayer it was decided that Nick could walk the stage with his class and graduate “pending requirements”. This meant that Nick must take a class over, or another class approved in the BTh curriculum, to boost his GPA at least one one hundredth of a grade point. Much confusion and frustration was evident within us. Why were so many hurdles being put in the way of Nick following God’s call on his life? I confess that I still don’t understand it, but I trust in His wisdom and His plan for us.

Somewhere in the next bit Nick approached his home church about the possibility of completing his apprenticeship under the tutelage of the pastors of his youth. From the moment that Nick first expressed this desire to me we both had a peace that we would indeed be returning to the center of the universe for the next leg of our journey. The pastors and elders at Georgetown considered Nick’s request and an invitation was extended to us to come. We eagerly accepted and moved across the country.
In July we did a four day car trip. It was long. Isabella watched Cinderella on the portable DVD player so many times that both Nick and I can quote it. We made this trip a family time with stops at the Mall of America and Comerica Park. Our arrival seemed to refresh us once again and smiles returned to our faces. It was so nice to move but have it be to
a familiar place with familiar faces.

I would describe August and September as harsh. I had forgotten about the Eastern heat and humidity. Moving across the country is not an easy feat for anyone and we had our share of unexpected “surprises”. Our movers ended up costing almost double what they estimated and our belongings arrived late due to a heat wave that cause
the moving truck’s radiator to blow. Nick’s transition into his new employment did not go as seamlessly as anticipated. There was also a miscommunication with my employer that resulted in a delay of us receiving my maternity leave benefits. Many days were spent behind our front door wondering how we would put food on the table or keep our roof over our head- and our family was about to grow again. Confusion consumed me as our bank account dipped into the red. Even though I had complete peace that we were exactly where we were supposed to be I couldn’t understand why it had to be such a hard trek.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to friends who fed us countless meals and fun times during our transition. Somehow we were not consumed by stress, worry or doubt. Each day we left our worries at the cross and enjoyed life: definitely not an accomplishment of our strength, rather a testimony to God’s grace.

In October we welcomed Brooklyn Adia to our family. Nick’s parents were in town and spent the day with Isabella while we were at the hospital. My parents and Deanna were able to visit at the end of October as well.

The dust seemed to settle a bit at the beginning of November and as we put the events of the year into perspective and consider the big picture we’re thankful that we can see up the side of the mountain from the valley. Slowly but surely we continue to take baby steps and understand that our journey is more of a marathon than a sprint.

In the new year Nick’s time will be split in many directions as he works, continues to wade through his apprenticeship requirements and lead our family. I will continue to cook and clean and plan on becoming a consultant for Creative Memories, (scrapbooking), which would allow me to bring in an income at home. Isabella and Brooklyn will keep us on our toes and melt us with their cuteness everyday.

Although this year is coming to an end I am very sure the roller coaster we’re on has only rounded it’s first loop. We’re looking forward to the blessings we’ll experience and trusting in God’s provision during the trials. Who knows what I’ll be writing about at this time next year!

Here's to family, friends, transitions, trials, and blessings.
Cheers and Happy New Year!

Nick, Amanda, Belle and Brooklyn

Refreshments anyone?

This weekend was busy. And hard. It probably wasn't as hard as it feels but for the last week Brooklyn has been on some kind of weird hunger strike and so I listen to crying a lot. I'm trying to stick it out and get back to some breastfeeding goodness, but it sure is a trial. Formula is so tempting. Isabella was a formula baby after three months and she is perfectly healthy and well adjusted, and seeing that it's hard to stick it out. But then there's the price tag of formula so I'm not quite ready to give up. But I have used up all the frozen gold I had from the month I pumped as well, we're definitely in the breastfeeding trenches right now. And that does not make for one happy mommy.

We did so many things this weekend. Date night on which we saw 'The Pursuit of Happyness', (which I would highly recommend), and then we window shopped in Chapters which led to me having a small break down. Then on Saturday we did Santa pictures with Belle, errands, writing the Christmas letter, planning a Sunday School lesson, a 3 hour frantic search for a babysitter, the Christmas Cantata at the church, coffee after said Cantata and then visiting with our baby sitters. Sunday we had church, then more errands, then we finally started putting up and lighting the tree and then it was time for the Survivor Finale. We had invited a bunch of people. We get together every thursday with the Sauves to watch Survivor so we knew they would come, but we invited others. None of the other showed up. If I knew they weren't coming I would have been much less stressed and tried to do much less as well. It was hectic. I was up until 2:00 am, each night just trying to gather my wits.

And Brooklyn cried virtually the whole time. And Belle is defintely in the terrible twos.

My dishes haven't been done in a couple days. My house is a mess. My house is not decorated for Christmas. (and if anyone tells me that doesn't matter, you have to let those things go in order to be a mom, I will shoot them), I haven't had time for more than a spit shine shower all week. I'm also having an incredibly hard time with not getting anything for Christmas. I wouldn't say I'm greedy, but everyone works hard all year long and gets spoiled at least one day every year. It's really crushing me that I have to work as hard as everyone else but I don't get that spoiling. I know, I know, I'm the grown up now, I have to be mature. I'm making the right choice. That extra money we were given for Christmas should go to paying off debts not buying stuff. We're making the right choice I know. But it hurts, and I'm not hypocritical enough to pretend it doesn't.

I probably wont be posting again anytime soon I imagine. This breastfeeding thing is going to bring me to my knees, (and to tears), many times over the next while I'm sure. And on that note I better go pick up my wailing infant so she can refuse to eat even though she's obviously hungry. What's a girl to do?

Here's a picture from our Family Christmas Picture Shoot which took place at the church with a friend of ours taking pictures. We thought Isabella would melt down less if she knew the photographer and a familiar place. Not so much.

Friday, December 15, 2006


I'm not sure what to title this post. I just realized how busy I have become in the last few months. Today my issue of Today's Parent arrived for January. Nothing out of the ordinary there, except I'm still working on October's! That's busy. I do have a lot of fun things to post, so hopefully I'll get some free time amidst our date night, Christmas shopping, tree decorating, light hanging, gingerbread house making, christmas letter writing, cantata, church and Survivor finale. And that's just the weekend! Hope you are all enjoying the holiday season.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Fourth Trimester: Month Two

It's that time again! I began posting about my post partum journey here and it's time for an update.
I think that Month Two can be coined as the month where sleep deprivation and mommy guilt hit their all time high. About a week ago Brooklyn began sleeping from 9pm to 7am and it has been good. Ofcourse I still haven't convinced myself this is a trend that will be hanging around and so I stay up way too late and don't get enough sleep, but I think that's part of the discipline I am currently lacking. Since I'm not sleeping as much as I can, or should, I don't do the stuff during the day that I want to and that's when the mommy guilt kicks in. Yes, the sad but true news is that Belle watches a heck of a lot more tv than I would like and we don't do anything cool during the days. Thankfully Elizabeth writes about the cool things she and her son do, so I am inspired to try. I'm just not quite sure what Belle is capable of. Anyone know a good site of activities for children under 3? It seems like once they hit 3 all doors open and all activities are made for them, but try and find something for a 2 year old.....well at least I can't find much.

I took Brooklyn in for her two month check up and the disappointing news came about. Now, she's not unhealthy and the doctor is not concerned, but she was right at the 25th percentile for height and weight at month one. She had gained 1.5 lbs in Month One. She has now dropped to just above the 10th percentile putting on a mere 8oz in Month Two. She has stayed at the 25th percentile for height though. Isabella did the same sort of trend, but she continued to decline after Month Two until I put her on formula. I do not want to do formula with Brooklyn, (simply because it's expensive), so I'm hoping we can bring her back up. In Month One I pumped, but it got so complicated with Isabella running around and once she started sitting on my legs and holding the pump adaptor thingys on for me I decided to just give Brooklyn the boob. She eats like a champ most times. She gets lazy at her last feeding of the day so that one is usually a bottle, and we do bottles when we're out as well. But to hear that she stopped gaining so well I wonder if pumping isn't worth all the extra effort. I am torn.

As far as 'taking care of me', I didn't do anything in the weight loss/exercise front this month. I remain at exactly the same weight as last month. I have been eating like crap though. It takes a lot more discipline than I currently have. I also fell of the Coke wagon and had about 3 litres this month, but that is way down from what I used to drink. We got a reverse osmosis water system installed and our water tastes so good I think this month I will finally conquer the Coke. I have, however, been taking time for me. I've been going to Volleyball on Monday nights and taking a time each week to do something. This week I just went and wandered around Chapters. I think I'm going to need to become a regular at Amazon because there are so many books I want!

Well I think I could go on and on and on as this month has been an incredible rollar coaster and a tonne of personal stuff has gone down, but I think I'll cut it off here and hopefully next month there will be some measurable changes and some consistency to toot about.

Twenty Holiday Questions.

Now that the Holiday season is in full swing, everyone take some time to sit down and answer the questions!
If you do this on your blog, can you leave me a comment so I can check it out? Thanks. There are only 20 and I think they're very fun questions!!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Egg Nog for Christmas you can have Hot Chocolate any time.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Wraps them or maybe the missus does.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Colored on the tree, white on the house.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? I would if I had some
5. When do you put your decorations up? After Nick's birthday, although this year they have yet to go up, YIKES.
6. What is your favourite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? STUFFING
7. Favourite Holiday memory as a child: Driving around looking at the house lights after the Christmas Eve Service.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I don't remember.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Not traditionally. However, we are starting the tradition here of buying a board game and opening and playing it on Christmas Eve. In the future we hope to include a family or people from our church who do not have family around to celebrate with.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? This year we will be buying our first big tree, so we'll see.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Snow I enjoy. The cold and wind that accompany it I do not like.
12. Can you ice skate? Yes, I actually figure skated as a kid.
14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? I'm working on that one. I want to say focusing on Advent and doing practical things during the holiday season that express each week's candle theme. I'm not there yet.
15. What is your favourite Holiday Dessert? Chocolate covered cherries and everything my mom bakes.
16. What is your favourite holiday tradition? I love the whole season, all of it!
17. What tops your tree? A cheesy light that we will have to trade for an angel.
18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? I like them both when done together. I always feel bad when I receive without giving, but I wonder if I make the other person feel bad when I give and don't receive.
19. What is your favourite Christmas Song? Right now 'Rockin Around the Christmas Tree' cuz when I sing it to Belle she breaks into peals of laughter and wants to dance with me.
20. Favourite Christmas Movie? I don't have a favorite right now. Oh wait, The Home Alone's. And I really want to see Polar Express.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A Rose by Any Other Name

Brooklyn Adia
responsible freedom
Last night I was preparing a gift for a baby shower and as I wrote in the card I was struck once again at what an awesome privilege it is to be a parent. So I thought I would share the meaning of Brooklyn's name.
If you look in any baby name book Brooklyn means 'stream' or some form of water. It doesn't for me. I love New York. To me it's a symbol of freedom. The thousands of immigrants who started fresh and came through Ellis Island. A tonne of people who flock there looking for fame and fortune. I can remember on my honeymoon the sense of dreams coming true in the streets as I walked through. It may take a person years of shining shoes to get where they want to go, but the people of New York continue to plod on until their dreams are fulfilled, and then they are set free. Free from all the 'I wishes' and the 'If onlys'. Now I don't have the courage to name a child New York, or Manhatten, or Bronx, or Harlem, so Brooklyn it is.
Adia is the name of Sarah McLachlan song. A song she wrote after falling in love and marrying her best friend's ex boyfriend. It caused a lot of hurt between her and her gal pal and she very easily could have walked away, I mean she got the guy and that's what counts right? But Sarah took the road less travelled and mended the relationship with her best friend and now all of them are buds, chumming it up on Vancouver Island. This song reminds me of the responsibility we have to make choices and deal with the consequences, whether good or bad.
As a unit the name, responsible freedom, is a challenge to me as a parent to raise my daughter(s) in God's image to give them to tools to make their own chioces and the morals to take responsibility for those choices. It reminds me that for a time I do most of that work, teaching and being the example. But one day I will set them free to do the work on their own and they will be responsible for making choices and being responsible with them.

Answered Prayers

When I found out I was pregnant with Isabella I began to pray for a socially skilled child. The typical pastor's kid, if you know what I mean. Isabella brings a smile to everyone's face, she is jovial and loves meeting new people. She is the most socially adept child I know. When I found out I was pregnant with Brooklyn I feared losing her and so I prayed for health both mental and physical. She is so strong. People who hold her for the first time inevitably exclaim, 'My she's strong!'. Nick likes to say she's enriched, although I think she's probably devolping just like she's supposed to, but she focuses on lots of things and can follow my voice around a room even in a din. And then God did a little more, they are beautiful, and everyone who has met them has fallen in love with them right from the get go. I've already begun praying for the next one, whenever they may come to join our family.It's so awesome to have these daily reminders that God answers prayers!

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Everyday

I think that being a spy would be a hard job. Obviously if someone needs to be spied on they are leading an interesting and exciting life. I think I would get caught up in what other people are doing and forget that I had a life of my own. I would start regalling people at cocktail parties with stories, only to stop mid sentence and remember that that's someone elses' story and not mine to share. Not that my life doesn't have any interesting moments, it's just that 90% of everything I do is the daily grind. And while the majority of my 24 hours of life are filled with laughter and fun and good thoughts, I don't think they're things people would find spy worthy.

The reason I would say that is because I don't have any pictures of these things.

I was doing some scrapbooking, working on Belle's album and planning ahead for Brooklyn's. Only to realize how many events in our recent lives I just haven't taken pictures of. Sometimes I don't have the camera, (how was I to know there would be a surprise shower for Brooklyn?), sometimes the batteries have died, (in the middle of taking a pic of Brooklyn's beautiful smile, or Isabella dressed up adorably in her new pea coat and mittens), or I just don't want to be a dork, (which seems to be everytime I want to take a picture of someone over the age of 5).

I think that on December 31, 2006 I will resolve to take more pictures, even if it does make me a dork. Even if it means resetting a scene I previously missed. And I will do so not only to have scrapbooking fodder but so that when I die and my children are looking at my photo collection they can see we lived a life worthy of spying on.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Have we Converted?

If you look closely at this picture you may be able to guess the subject of this post. However, since I know you are all distracted by Belle's beautifull face I'll point out that her shirt says Dreamy.

Her PJ's come from Old Navy not some fan obsessed web site that one can purchase attire from in order to feed this addictive obsession. It's true, with the exception of the season premiere, I have been watching Grey's. Friends of ours come over on Thursdays where we eat and watch Survivor and then normally Grey's. Then they head home and I continue to feed my tv diet with ER.

I do like Grey's, I'll admit. Not enough to tape it should I be going out for the evening. But it's not tortuous to watch. I would be a much bigger fan if McSteamy and Izzy where the main characters. I just don't find Patrick Dempsey intriquing and I just want to give Meredith a hamburger and some prozac. I'm also a large fan of George. Maybe I just like the underdog.

Not So Much

Last night I was surfing some blogs and it seemed like everyone was posting pictures of their Winter Wonderlands. I think people in the Prairies have been posting such pics since August, and am surprised at how much snow there is in BC. This picture above was taken last night after a full day of snowing. No joke. That's all the snow that was on the ground after 24 straight hours of it falling.

Then this morning here is what we awoke to. Sure not Wonderland. Up and down our block tonnes of people have their decor a flaming, and I have several ideas for our decor, but with no snow on the ground it's easy to say 'I'll get to it tomorrow.' cuz Christmas still feels a zillion light years away. Here's hoping we have a white Christmas, but even if we don't I need to kick my butt in gear to get the Christmas theme happening in our home!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Fun Times

I mentioned the Christmas Fun Day we took Isabella too last weekend. It was thrown by the children's department, but all the staff and their wives helped or showed up to 'press the flesh' as Nick said. Our time at Georgetown has been a bit frustrating/confusing for me thus far but it's hard not to trust that it's for the best when I consider moments like the above. The man in the yellow shirt is GAC's Sr. Pastor. That's right, the man in charge of the whole flock sitting with preschoolers, decorating cookies while wearing a cheesy halo.

I don't know him all that well, but Nick speaks the world of him. I've spent a few evenings with him the most recent being the Staff Christmas Party. We did a gift exchange. He ended up with a cheesy mug full of mints. He then tried to talk everyone into taking it off his hands while eating the mints.

It's moments like those that still the doubts in my heart. The doubts that Nick and I are maybe not really cut out for ministry. But when you see leaders being so human, (for lack of a better word), it makes me feel more confident to keep on trekking through this journey.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Bump and Flop

Tonight I tried to be adventurous and make something from the Take Home Chef show. I tried to make Mushroom Risotto and Deep Fried Eggplant. I didn't realize how long it would take, or how complicated the process would be so I ended up working in a bit of a rush. While I think we may eat Risotto again, (and hopefully I'll get it right), we definitely wont be eating Eggplant. I like the taste, but both Nick and Belle left their entire portions. Belle will eat anything, even if she shakes her head, you can tell she likes it cuz she comes back for more. She did not come back for more eggplant. And Nick flat out told me he doesn't like it. I guess that's one vegetable that will be left in the produce aisle.

I went out for my second week of Volleyball tonight, (go me!). For some reason my serve was totally off, and they kept on sending it back to me for re-serves. I was so embarrased. But I wasn't the only one getting the re-serve. There is just something that smarts about a 12 year old telling you that you can have a re-serve. By the end of the night I hit three good ones in a row and scored the three points! Awesome. I also got smacked right on my right cheek bone, not a good time, but it was by a friend of mine so I know no one went home beating themselves up for hitting the frumpy mommy.

In my books another succesful Monday.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Time Flies

The other day I was realizing that our "year" in Georgetown is already a third of the way over. I thought that this time would fly by but I really had no idea it would be going so fast. Our girls are growing so quickly, both mentally and physically. I am doing alot, but it feels like not much at the same time. Nick is busy, busy, busy.

I haven't taken many pictures of the girls lately, I must remedy that, but here is a shot of Brooklyn this week. She has been holding her head up by herself for extended periods, (like 2-3 mins), since she was about 2 weeks old. It's truly amazing to me. She is coo-ing and smiling and seems to be loving life. Last night she went to bed at midnight, slept until 4:30 and fell back asleep until 9:30. It was the most glorious night we've had in a long time. Today she even slept in her crib!! I think I forgot that the crappiness of the first few months does end, and I sure hope the end is in sight.

Isabella is amazing. On Saturday we went to a church function for kids. She was by far the youngest, but had a good time anyway. This is her with an older friend who arrived later. She was just "enjoying" the sprinkles for decorating cookies. She proceeded to drink them right out of that cup. But we did decorate a huge cookie earlier and she made her first craft! She understands so much. Today at a friends house, Nick and the friend were painting inside their garage. We told Isabella to go knock on the garage door. There are three doors in the hallway and she immediately went to the right one. She can feed herself with a fork or a spoon. Sometimes in the middle of the day she just stops and then shakes her head and says "Poppa at work." When we call her and she's doing something she says "Just a sec.". She is growing such a sensitive spirit and is a great helper. I just love every day with her!
We aren't yet in the full swing of Christmas because we do not yet have any snow. Today was our first dusting and it didn't happen until around 6:00 this afternoon. Maybe it will pour snow tonight and I'll be feeling it. We'll see. On Saturday we're going back for our family photos which will be followed by my favorite Christmas tradition, the yearly Christmas letter!!
And before I know it Isabella will be singing in a school Christmas concert and while I hold the camcorder to my eye I'll stop and try not to blink because it all goes by way too fast.