Tuesday, December 23, 2008

for the zillionth time

every hour of every day it's the same thing... "when is christmas, mommy?" anyone else hearing this phrase as often as i? ;)
honestly though, i love it! it's so cute! kaia has been perpetually waking up long before the sun wakes up for the past week or so. i think it's because she really is so freakin' excited for christmas. every morning she wakes wondering if "today is THE day". it's hilarious. our days of late are spent marveling at the christmas tree, checking out the snow from indoors (since it's -35 celsius outside every day), watching christmas programs on TV, running around the house (this doesn't ever change season to season), eating dozens of those tiny mini honey mandarin oranges and listening to a whole whackload of christmas music. we might as well enjoy it while it's here, right? the line i JUST heard on our stereo, "soon it will be Christmas day!" 2 days and counting! hope everyone out there is enjoying the festivities this time of year!

here's a few photos from the various christmas programs the girls have participated in the past couple of weeks.

Monday, December 15, 2008

i love to read!

oh man, i just finished another fabulous book. seriously... i LOVE to read. i could do it all day, every day. i prefer fiction, but will read true stuff once in a while too. the book i just finished was this one. i was sad when i was done reading it yet i couldn't put it down because i had to know how it ended! it was so enjoyable and i was so engrossed by it that i felt i was in russia this past week. and i don't know if i'm the only one but i love to read to get away from it all and live in another world. sometimes life seems a bit monotonous and blase so i like to read to enter a new world. the world in this novel was set in the 1920-1930's in rural russia and it's full of passion, political fury, friendship, courage and so much more. honestly, i couldn't put it down. if you like this book, try Kate Furnivall's other best seller, "the russian concubine". also a fab read. now, to decide which book is next... another heavier read or a light chick lit? whatever i choose, i know i'll revel in the quiet times when my kids are napping and escape to a new place! i can't wait!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas, Christmas... a happy time each year!

does anyone remember that song? by evie? the swedish singing sensation? ha ha! i remember listening to that song when i was little and it always, always put me in the Christmas spirit. and now as an adult when i feel the Christmas 'spirit' then i get my house all decorated! none of it certainly all matches, but it all conjures up the good feelings... well, for me anyway. ;)

here's a few pics of my Christmas decor:

kaia and me decorating the tree!
kaybs, putting on her own ornaments.

some of the wrapped gifts.

my new fav ornament. does anyone know about my current obsession with anything bird decor?

my gorgeous willow tree nativity scene.

a couple stockings.

the pretty garland... a la clunky tire from last year.

the finished tannenbaum.

so... from my decorated house to everyone else around the world... have fun celebrating the season!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


i'm so blessed. let me say that again, i'm so very, very blessed. this past week has brought a multitude of happenings that have made me realize how much i actually have. in retrospective, i've noticed how much is special in my life. i have two beautiful daughters. ok, they're not perfect little angels, they have their moments, but they are healthy, living and breathing souls. i'm so blessed to be able to take care of them. God is good and He knows the desires of your heart. i have a fantastic husband. he loves me unconditionally (and if anyone knows me, that is sometimes hard to do... especially around THIS time of month). he loves me for me, all unperfect and flawed. i have an amazing family. 2 moms, 2 dads, 3 sisters, 3 brothers, nieces, nephews, an omi, 2 grandmas, a grandpa, lots of aunts and uncles and cousins. they all know me... and love me, each in their own special way. i can count on them for support. i have unbelievable friends. my heart swells when i think of these loved ones in my life. they are the life-giving fighters in MY corner! they would do anything for me, as i would for them. you know who you are! i have a warm and inviting house to live in. as i look out into the snow and cold winds, i know i am kept warm and cozy in my home. it protects us and welcomes anyone who steps through the front door. yes, i know my house isn't the cleanest one in the neighborhood. there are usually dust bunnies prancing around, hardened mac 'n cheese noodles under my kitchen table, but... BUT, my house is lived in. there is laughter, there is screaming (the good kind and the bad), there is lots of playtime, some good barbie movies, a fridge full of food and there is plenty of love! my house is lived in... in the best possible sense. these are the things i'm truly thankful for. but they are not the most important... the greatest blessing in my life is Jesus. really, He is. even if i lost everything else that's 'special' in my life, i will never ever lose Him. i've put my trust in Him and i know i will have everlasting life. even if all else fails on me in life, He will never let me go. that is comforting to know. Jesus is the greatest blessing of all. it's easy to forget the simple message of Christmas in the hurry and scurry of the holiday season. but if there's only one thing you ask for, for Christmas, let it be love. love of family, love of good friends and most of all, love from our Heavenly Father.
i'm so blessed. let me say that again, i'm so very, very blessed.

as a side note, this picture is very special to me as i used to have a copy hanging on my wall as a child. i used to think of myself as the little girl in the hands of Jesus. it just showed me how precious i was in His eyes. i still love this picture. isn't it amazing and affirming?

Monday, November 17, 2008

the season of white

guess what i'm listening to?
yup... christmas music. and yup... country christmas music! ;) i had started out listening to my frank sinatra christmas album and then kaia said she wanted the one with the guy who sang jingle bells with the picture of him sitting in snow. little does she know he's actually sitting on a white sandy beach. which is exactly where i'd like to be now... or anytime in the next 4 months. i'm trying, trying REALLY hard to convine mike that we need to go south this winter. you know, wait 'til a week before we want to go and get a cheap last minute deal. i think it might work. however i think the big M has unrealistic expectations about how much $ we need for a half decent vacay. i know i don't want to go anywhere that isn't at least 4 stars. any less and i'm scared the suite next to us might charge by the hour. yikes! and i'm not sure where to we'll go. mexico? domincan? cuba? those are the least expensive options, i suppose. friends of ours are heading to the mayan riveria in january. man, i'm ultra jealous. i think the mayan might be out of our 'last minute, cheap trip' price range though. maybe we'll just make the 35 hour drive to chihauhau. that might be a good time. chillin' with the mexican mennos. drinking yarbe tea. oh wait... those are the paraguay mennos, right? so, stayed tuned to see if we'll actually head south or not.
in the meantime, we'll be playing in the snow with the girls, eating homey food from the slow cooker and relaxing in front of the fireplace. although that sounds pretty good for winter too.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Look what the big M got me!

take a look at these pretty flowers that mike brought home for me last night! aren't they beeeyootiful? it was one of those 'just because' times. i love those times! they make me feel so special and loved. everyone needs that once in a while. it doesn't matter if they are simple daisies plucked from a field or an extravagant bouquet/arrangement of the most expensive flora and fauna, a girl needs to feel appreciated once in a while with some flowers. it just makes us feel good inside.

and with some flowers, i decided to put my tv watching skills to good use. yesterday on "America's Next Top Model" (or ANTM as it'll be referred to from now on) the girls were taught how to 'sell' a product without words. one such item they were attempting to sell was a huge pail full of pickled herring. mmmm! i'm sure it smellt divine. so, i did the same pose except replacing the bucket of dead fish with my vase of fresh flowers. what do you think? modelesque or what? ;)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

costco -- a.k.a. the money sucking black hole store

oh yes... costco. aisles and aisles of brand name merchandise at substantially lower prices. i was there today and what was supposed to be a trip in and out, just to look for twin beds, turned out to be purchasing over $200 in stuff. and i only bought like 6 items! actually, i'm surprised it wasn't near the $500 mark. i had to put things back as we waited in line. you know how it is. you find the line with the people with the least amount of stuff in their carts, hoping it'll go quicker than the line next to it with only 2 carts but they are filled TO THE MAX with crap. and what makes shopping at costco even worse is the food testing tables. not like those people are enjoying their jobs (jeez... could they smile a little?) but they are handing out free food to 'taste test'. how do you say no to $20 worth of healthy fruit leathers? ("2/3's of your daily serving of fruit/veggies in 1 bar!!") or how 'bout the $10 jar of spicy pickled beans? or the monster 50 gallon bottle of sweet chili sauce? well, i said no to only one of those. can you guess which one? ;) on the bright side, i did pick up a few christmas gifts. and the girls had some singing, banjo-plucking santas in the cart to amuse themselves. oh costco... the place where dreams come true. you know, because you can find everything you could ever need, EVER! like the big mother frying pan, the pack of a thousand ball point pens, the holiday lindt chocolate truffle balls (only 350 in a package), and for fashionistas like myself, the highwaisted, light-wash kirkland brand jeans. very nice! why is it that i only go to costco once a year again?

oh yeah... the bill afterward.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

easter, among other things

we're always trying to think of new and exciting games to play with the girls. when all of a sudden, some amazing and clear thought pops into our heads.

this one was my idea, with a little help from kaia. easter egg hunting! she pulled out her cute pottery barn easter basket and wanted to hunt. then i remembered that we have little plastic eggs. so away we went! this has been keeping the girls occupied for a good 3 days now.

this morning's hunt must have been especially rousing because after we breaked for breakfast, something really awesome happened. *insert gagging eye rolling smilie here* kaia had been complaining about not eating her toast this morning (not a normal occurance) but i just chalked it up to her not wanting to sit at the table. i was cleaning out the dishwasher when i look over and saw kaia proceed to throw up... ALL over the floor (not the carpet, thank goodness), chair and table. it was like slow motion. my hands cupped could not reach her in time. on a side note: why is that a mom's first reaction anyways? who thought up that one? "ok, when we see our child puke, let's put our hands out and catch it all neatly in our palms." yup, because there's always just a teaspoon amount that can be neatly kept in the cup of our hands. um, i think not. ok, back to the story. mmmm... grey goopy stuff and a few little pieces of toast with jam on it. great start to the morning. poor girl... poor mom. you know how it always goes. trying not to vomit yourself as you clean up the puke. good times. if all those boys who i had crushes on junior high could see me now! i'm a stellar puke cleaner uppper. let me tell you. the paper towel was a flyin', the clorox wipes were out faster than you can say, "acid reflux". the floor was cleaned, the chair and table wiped down and my little (big) girl was thrown into the tub. now she's savouring the premium plus soda crackers like there's no tomorrow... and little kaybrie is finishing off the toast. ;) isn't it great when sisters share? let's hope kaybrie doesn't puke in a few hours time. sigh... then it's mike's turn. dang it! why didn't i sleep in this morning?!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

To MO or not to MO...

so, apparently this is the month of movember. yup, you heard me right... MOvember. november has disappered from our calendar at home. in the month of movember, you're supposed to grow and keep a moustache, all month long (men, that is). let me repeat that again... GROW and KEEP a moustache ALL month long!!! and guess who's decided to join in the ralley? you guessed it. my significant other, my spouse, my husband, mike. actually, it's a very clever scheme that creates awareness around men's health issues and raises funds for prostate cancer research. but i just don't 'dig' my husband with a stache. ewww! does anyone 'dig' moustaches. ok, sexy men with staches. can anyone think of any besides the cunning and super sauve Tom Selleck? i'm thinking not. not burt reynolds. not alex trebek. not dr. phil. certainly NOT ben stiller in dodgball. and most definitely not this guy. my uncle has had a moustache, i think, since he was able to grow one. he's never been without. i wonder what makes a man feel like they need the upper lip hair? whatever the case, the month of movember will be the ONE and only time my man will have a moustache. on december 1st, i will watch him shave it all off! and then, i suppose, i can borrow his razor and shave my legs. you see, i'm having my own contest to not shave for a month. ha ha! a little payback never hurt anyone, has it?

for more in depth and actual information about the fundraising efforts behind this 'movember' fun, check out their website here.

and, for fun... a little pic of mike while he was shaving a chin strap one day a few months back.
ladies, back up... step away. he's MY mo-man! (honestly, i'm shuddering looking at that facial hair)

Monday, November 3, 2008

pondering stuff

so, i decided to start my own blog. i've been inspired, you could say, to put down in words my daily life. i'm not exactly sure if i'll be the only person reading this or not, but that's besides the point. the point is to find the joy in the simple things of life. joy, being my middle name, is the perfect word to use. s & t meaning stephanie and thiessen. my first and last names. however, you can decide for yourself on what particular day whether you want S & T to mean my names, or any other noun/adjective, etc. if you're reading my blog, beware... i am horribly bad at grammar. i happen to just write and write and not think about my basic 'english' writing skills. perhaps that's why i got an almost failing mark on my grade 9 english exam. ouch! sorry mr. knelsen! i think drama was more my game. so... here goes my journey into blogdom. i know there are countless others before me who i've looked up to, so to say. let's hope not to disappoint!