Simple Woman’s Daybook: July 26 2010

FOR TODAY

Outside my window… it is cloudy and windy. I’m not complaining though, it’s the perfect temperature for doing housework. 🙂

I am thinking… about everything I have to get done before we leave for the family reunion on Friday!

I am thankful for…
early morning meetings with my God.  …Alright so maybe I’m not exactly thankful for the early morning part but I am thankful for the growth that is happening because of them.

From the learning rooms…(if this applies) I have all my planning books and materials in my basket, plans for this winter are starting to take shape, I can’t wait!

From the kitchen… easy summer meals. Fish tacos for dinner tonight!

I am wearing… a green t-shirt and this recent thrift store find. I don’t think it was ever worn before coming to me and it’s super comfy, I love it!

I am creating… something very exciting! Stay tuned!!

I am going… on extended vacation for the month of August. It is going to be a busy month!

I am reading… way too many books. I just finished Favourite Wife though and really enjoyed it!

I am hoping… the possible job opportunity for my man works out like he is hoping!

I am hearing… nothing. Normally that would be a good thing but right now it means once again the laundry has stopped and needs to be switched over. *sigh* Someday we will be rich and I will pay someone to do my laundry for me. 

Around the house… much to do! Too much for me to be sitting here at the computer blogging…

One of my favorite things… watching my man build things… with power tools. Can you say hot? *ahem* sorry, that was probably tmi 😉

A few plans for the rest of the week… packing and organizing and playdates with friends we won’t see for awhile. And laundry… but no one wants to think about that.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…

He is working on a remodel of this:

It’s not quite done yet but I’ll blog about it soon!

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On Answered Prayer.

The gospel reading at mass today was from Luke, chapter 11 verses 1-13. It was all about prayer, and perseverance in prayer. Jesus uses the example of a man asking his neighbour for bread in the middle of the night; even though the neighbour doesn’t want to get out of bed to get the bread he will because the man just keeps asking. The verses that follow are the “ask and you shall receive, search and you will find, etc” verses. I often hear people quote these verses when they are praying really hard for something. Then if God gives them what they were praying for they exclaim:


“GOD ANSWERED MY PRAYER!!!!!”

Right.

This is possibly one of my biggest pet peeves, this whole my prayer has finally been answered thing. It’s almost as if if God doesn’t give them exactly what they want they don’t consider their prayers answered. Let’s get something straight here people: God always answers your prayers. Every single time you pray for something God listens and He answers you.

Sometimes He says yes, sometimes He says not right now, and sometimes he even says no. God is not a genie in some big heavenly lamp just waiting to grant you unending wishes, He is our heavenly Father and just like our earthly fathers He wants the best for us. 

Just because we ask for something doesn’t mean God is going to give it to us. Now I’m not talking about praying for wisdom or guidance or any other virtue, of course when we ask for those things God will give them to us. I’m talking about praying for a new job, or someone to be cured from cancer, or a new car. 😉

Next time you want to proclaim to the world that your prayers have been answered think about the message you are sending to others with your words. Is it one of complete trust in God, even when He says no? Or is it a message of a spoiled child, who is only excited because you got what you asked for?

New looks all around.

Well nothing like the provider of your old background deleting everything to get you to redesign!! It was time for an update anyway.

Speaking of redesigning… I updated my sidebar recently and added a blog most of you won’t be familiar with. Through the Thorns to the Stars is my sister in law’s blog and I think you should check it out! They do weird things like raise meat rabbits but if you can overlook that it’s a neat blog! (ahem, I do love you Josee!)

As promised, a post about my exciting book finds!
Now I realize that most people won’t find these as exciting as I do… but when you have to wait and hope to find something at the thrift store because you can’t bring yourself to pay full price, finding something you really want is rather thrilling!!
I’ve borrowed both of these books from the library countless times. I adore the beautiful ideas and especially the illustrations. 
Sarah Ban Breathnach's Mrs. Sharp's Traditions: Reviving Victorian Family Celebrations Of Comfort & Joy 
This one is full of beautiful Victorian family traditions. It is organized month by month and full of recipes, illustrations, crafts, and activities. It has taken a prominent position on my planning shelf and I can’t wait to incorporate more of the ideas into our own hoidays. 
The Country Diary Of An Edwardian Lady 
I am completely, head over heels in love with this book. I am looking for a way to display it open on our nature shelf as the illustrations are gorgeous! I have been hoping to find this book for ages but didn’t hold much hope. I found it tucked away in the corner of an antique market in Edmonton, I may or may not have actually squealed with delight when I found it… at least I will never see any of the people casting strange looks in my direction ever again. 😉
I really really love both of these books, and I’m SO excited to add them to my library!

Our trip to Edmonton (or: Thrift store shopping has RUINED me!)

We took a short trip to Edmonton this week. Hubby had to go for some work thing so we decided to make it a little holiday and go together.
Everything started out great, I booked our hotel through expedia and when we got there we were pleasantly surprised to learn that our room had been upgraded to a family suite for free! We had two rooms, a full kitchen, and a dining room.. all for less than $100 a night. It was awesome.

The kids hanging out with the prairie dogs at the zoo

We took the kids to West Edmonton Mall to ride some rides at Galaxyland which they loved, we took in the show at Sea Lion Rock which was also fun and then… we did some shopping. Well tried to do some shopping. Now before I go any further I should tell those of you who don’t know I used to LOVE to shop! Especially places like this that have a GAP and Old Navy and Mexx and Lulu Lemon etc etc etc. I loved shopping!
This time was different though. Every time I went into a store I found myself thinking “Twenty dollars? For that shirt!? There is no way I am going to pay that!!” I had been so excited to do some shopping but there I was, wandering around the stores not buying anything and getting more depressed by the minute. We left the mall with a hoodie for hubby. That’s it. It was on clearance at Old Navy.
So there you have it, I’m ruined. I can no longer bring myself to pay new store prices for almost anything! I love thrift store shopping, sifting through piles of people’s old stuff and coming out with little treasures. Hubby reminded me that this is actually a good thing, and that it saves us money but a little part of me was still sad.

The next day we stopped at a couple thrift store/antique mall places and it was so fun! I didn’t find much but I did find two books that I have been looking for forever, I’ll blog about them tomorrow. 🙂

The Good ol’ Days

This weekend we went to Pioneer Days at a nearby historical site. I have always really enjoyed things like this, maybe it’s because I can kind of fulfill some of my Laura Ingalls fantasies from when I was a little girl. (Don’t I look the part with my sunglasses and Horton’s coffee?)

I have always enjoyed reading about the past, I think it’s something about the simple lifestyle that appeals to me. Historical fiction, Amish fiction, those are my favourite novels. I’m not sure I would actually want to live back then but it is fun dreaming right?

Since having children I have found myself more and more concerned with the chemicals that are bombarding every aspect of our lives. I’m finding myself looking more and more to the past to find ways to complete simple household tasks and feed my family while avoiding these chemicals. I make our laundry soap, use natural cleaning products, avoid plastic wherever possible, do some preserving/canning to avoid buying canned, etc.

This weekend some very exciting opportunities presented themselves. There were demonstrations of butter & cottage cheese making, soap making, lard rendering and a plethora of other ‘old’ ways of doing things. While watching some of these demonstrations I started talking to the people doing them and made some fantastic connections with some local farmers!!

(Laundry is something I would NOT want to do the old fashioned way!)

Now in my freezer I have a few pounds of lard that was rendered from the fat of one of the lady’s own pigs, some flour that was stone ground fresh in front of our eyes (NO preservatives in it!), and in my cupboard I have freshly made soap!!

Probably the most exciting thing that happened this weekend though is I hooked up with a source of raw milk for our family!!! Since the sale of raw milk is not legal we will trade for it but she has as much as we want as often as we want it!!

Soon I’ll be able to blog about my endeavors making butter, cottage cheese, and yogurt, all out of fresh, healthy raw milk!

Meditating on Motherhood

 From Mulieris Dignitatem (On the Dignity and Vocation of Women) by John Paul II:

Motherhood implies from the beginning a special openness to the new person: and this is precisely the woman’s “part”. In this openness, in conceiving and giving birth to a child, the woman “discovers herself through a sincere gift of self”. The gift of interior readiness to accept the child and bring it into the world is linked to the marriage union, which — as mentioned earlier — should constitute a special moment in the mutual self-giving both by the woman and the man.

the unmentionabe verse.

There is only one verse in the Bible that really scares me. One verse that I try hard not to think about and strikes fear in my heart when I do.

It’s not about hell, it’s not about damnation, or demons, or anything like that.

It’s much scarier…. so scary I’m hesitant to post it… but I will.

“…Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” Luke 12:48

SEE! See what I mean?

There is no point in beating around the bush, I know I’m blessed. I have an amazing husband who works hard for our family and loves me like crazy. I have an awesome marriage, it’s not perfect but we’re not in heaven so that can’t be expected. I have two beautiful, healthy children who bring indescribable joy to my life.

I have been given so much, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s because I’m more worthy than anyone else… not at all. But do you know what that means? It means much is required of me. Sometimes I want to tell God “WAIT! I think you were confused, I’m so thankful for everything you have given me but I am not holy enough for all this! Sure I’m trying but I’m as human as they come.

I have been feeling more and more convicted lately to spend more of my time with God and less on other things. Let’s face it, if I’m going to get into Heaven I need to step things up a little! God has given me so much and I’m starting to think that an hour on Sunday, morning prayers with my kids, and quiet prayer time whenever I get around to it probably isn’t going to cut it.

As a mom with littles I’m pretty busy and don’t have a whole lot of time in my day to sit and be quiet. I tried telling that to God but it didn’t go over quite as well as I had hoped… you know what He suggested? That I get up earlier.


NO! NO! Anything but that! Please, I’m not a morning person! I need sleep!! PLEASE!!

Nope. He didn’t buy it. Talk about dying to self and sacrifice… I’m now doing my very best to get up an hour before my kids. Now for Luke that’s not hard to do considering he often sleeps past nine. Mary on the other hand… well let’s just say she rises a little earlier which means I have to rise earlier than that. It’s not pretty. Most mornings I kind of sit there and think “Okay God, I’m up. NOT happy but here I am.”

I wish I could tell you that all of a sudden I’m a morning person and I so love getting up and spending quiet time to start my day. That would be a lie. I’m learning a lot about self sacrifice and penance though, let me tell you.

I’ll leave you with a book recommendation (this amazon link thing is SO handy for posting books!):
Mom to Mom, Day to Day: Advice and Support for Catholic Living

This book is by Danielle Bean and very simple and to the point. It has wonderful advice from an experienced Catholic mother and I have found many treasures within it’s pages. 🙂

Simple Woman’s Daybook: July 12 2010

Outside my window… it is *finally* cooling down a little. Our house has been 28°C or hotter for a week and we have been dying! I love summer and warmth but that was just too hot. Especially since we don’t have air conditioning. We seriously looked into getting one but to spend $200+ for something we would maybe use 2 weeks a year didn’t seem very smart.

I am thinking…
about Elizabeth’s recent blog series Velveteen Me. Lots of food for thought there!

I am thankful for…
new shoes! My sketchers finally bit the dust and so we went off in search of new shoes. Saturday we went to the farmer’s market and visited a nearby shoe store, it’s usually too expensive for us but they were having amazing sales! I got a pair of keen whisper sandals and a pair of Mary Jane shoes for half of what the sandals normally cost! The kids and I have been going on tons of walks and we have been doing family hikes every weekend so it was time to invest in some shoes that don’t give me blisters. 🙂

From the kitchen…
not much has been happening! I haven’t turned my oven on in over a week not wanting to add to the heat in here so we have been eating whatever I can scrounge out of the freezer.

I am wearing…
a denim skirt and green t-shirt. Nothing exciting.

I am creating…
rhythm and order within my home. With so much traveling and visiting in the last month it is so nice to settle back into our routine. So much peace and calmness is created when little ones know what to expect throughout the day.

I am going…
nowhere for the next two weeks but the month of August is going to be nuts! We’ll start off with a family reunion and from there I don’t think we get much of a break until September. Lots of visiting and summer fun though so it won’t be too bad.

I am reading…
Real Learning by Elizabeth Foss again. Time to start thinking about what Mary and I are going to do in the fall.

I am hoping (and praying!)…
that my friend who came here to visit her boyfriend will make smart choices from now on. She is sleeping on my couch right now because he got drunk last night and was really awful to her. She needs to get him OUT of her life for good. Why do nice girls keep going back to losers like him?

I am hearing…
the sounds of the fan blowing cool air in from outside. Since naptime is the only time I get to blog there are no other little voices to distract me.

Around the house…
almost everything is in it’s place. Another perk of routine is my house stays way cleaner!

One of my favorite things…
toes with no blisters! Dh has been after me forever to get new shoes, I should have listened ages ago.
 
A few plans for the rest of the week:
Well the kids and I are on our own so we are going have a laid back week. Play group, parks, perhaps some thrift store shopping. 🙂

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…


  I wasn’t sold on them at first, they aren’t exactly my normal kind of sandal but they are SO comfy and I love walking in them. This might just be the first time I have ever bought practical shoes over pretty ones… what is happening to me!?

SWEET!! (alternately titled: I ♥ kijiji!)

I love kijiji. A lot! We got Mary the plan toys dollhouse from a lady on kijiji (I really don’t think she realized how much it was worth because we got a wicked deal) and I have found some other neat stuff on there too.

Today I picked up this plan toys geometric peg board.
Plan Toy Geometric Peg Board

And this Plan Toys shape matching puzzle.
Plan Toys Shape Matching

I also got a wooden Melissa & Doug puzzle and a magnet maze kind of like this one:Educo Wood Magnetic Maze, Explore-a-Sub

All for $10!! Of course whenever I find exciting toys like this the first thing I do is come home and find out how much everything is worth new, all together those 4 puzzles would have been over $75!

Needless to say, I’m pretty excited. Since we made the decision to watch very closely the toys we allow in our house my kids haven’t had a whole lot of toys. After getting rid of pretty much all the plastic toys and all the toys with batteries there wasn’t a whole lot left. I have slowly been building their collection and these will make a nice addition.