Do People Wear Sweat Pants in Hawaii?

hawaii sweatsI heard somewhere recently that when someone wears sweat pants in public, it’s a sign that they’ve given up on life. It’s a thought that burrowed into one of the hidden shadows of my mind, and then began to itch, as most annoying little things do, like a mosquito bite. It’s been bothering me for a while now, and is now at that throbbing, can’t ignore it, what will make it stop? itching stage.

So here’s the rub…

You see, I have spent a good portion of my life in the company of people who have taught me to nurture having a hunger for something more…more money, more success, more happiness, just more. That abundance is good, and lack, is well, lack is bad. That having more was a sign of God’s blessing, and therefore, if you don’t have more, you are not quite as blessed as those that do. Mind you it was not always about material things, in fact it was often very balanced between having more things, or more money (so we can be a blessing to others) but also to have more opportunities, more fun, more friends, more spiritual gifts, more wisdom, you get the idea.

Then a number of years ago, we started having trouble with the more, (even though it was nowhere close to where we thought it should be). We couldn’t manage it properly. We started losing money and opportunities, and losing them fast. Then we started losing people too (literally and figuratively). We had had so many people in our lives we couldn’t take care of them all. We also lost TIME. So, so much time. Watching dreams and years of work go up in smoke. Our peace was shaken, almost destroyed by circumstances, and stress. Faith became work. Hard, impossible work. The harder we tried to hold onto things… the more we tried to scramble and be honourable, the worse it got. Our family was beginning to suffer.

Then the thoughts of “maybe we were wrong” crept in.

Maybe LESS is best. Maybe we should let go a little. Maybe we should be content with what we have (even though it won’t be enough to get the kids through college, and at this rate we’ll never be able to go on those missions trips we’ve dreamed of, or write those books that will help people, or just be able to be a part of changing our world, heaven forbid an emergency comes up) Maybe we should throw in the towel and put all our stock in our kids…maybe we should just go quietly into the night. Maybe it’s game over for us doing anything notable.

But the old way of thinking, dreaming, hoping, imagining the world covered with God’s glory…well that was still there too. Though just a whisper…

Somewhere along the way, we started to give up a little. Letting go of little dreams at first. Then the big ones, not outwardly, but inwardly. Letting go of everyday opportunities for fear of making things worse. Having grown weary of the struggle, we stopped trying to do good with what we did have. We went into crisis mode and got stuck.

But you see, internally, I still had this subconscious voice telling me that “more is better”. So on top of giving up on so much, I started eating more, because more food made me feel better, even if momentarily…we used to talk about a trip to Hawaii, but then I began to think that was a selfish pipe dream…less is better.

And one day, I found myself going out in sweat pants.

Just once.

Then a couple times… and then it got to the point that none of my non-yoga/sweat pants even fit… and I didn’t have a choice in the matter. At that point, it was easy to take in more food, in fact I’d think that “I was never going to wear a bathing suit in Hawaii, so why not eat what I want today”…so I ate, but it didn’t help me deal with the itch long term.

The warring thoughts and beliefs needed to be put to rest and the appropriate choices must be made between more and less. I knew I would not be less tired by carrying around the extra poundage, but I will be energized by doing things that are exciting to me. And helping people is exciting to me. Travelling, making small differences in people’s lives energizes me. I am not meant to “go quietly into the night”. This decade of struggle will not be in vain. I have a reason, beyond myself for being alive. I repent, I turn away from this double minded thinking. I think the biggest struggle is not when your beliefs are challenged, but when you give yourself over to thinking the opposite of what you have always known to be true.

I have known that I am not here on this planet just for myself. I am here to be an image bearer of God, the one who created me. In order to bear His image, I have to reflect what I know to be true of His nature. His beauty, His grace and His love. His justice and mercy. His provision and compassion. The God who held nothing back, not even his Son, to save the entire world and to do away with sin, once for all.

Is living with less a fair representation of Him to my kids? Maybe regarding some things, yes. But with limitations on my joy, peace, ability to share and provide, health, dreams, creativity, adventures? Perhaps not.

On the other hand, is taking more of whatever I can get (like food) a good representation of Him? Absolutely not.

So, here’s what I walk away from the struggle with..

An open hand.

Not closed, not grasping.

But open.

Receiving in rest.

Resting in the One whose image I am to bear. A return to faith that is not work, but simply faith. Yet, knowing still that faith is exercised by works. Not for my own profit, but His, through faith, and not by my human strength or understanding, but through His rest.

As always, I’m reminded that this is nothing new, Paul the Apostle summed it up in Philippians 4 this way:

Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess – happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.

So there was a moment, a few nights ago, when I said no to that night time snack. I said no, because I thought “just maybe when this battle over my weight has been won, when I can lose the sweatpants for good. Just maybe we’ll be ready to make that trip to Hawaii”… didn’t feel like a selfish pipe dream anymore.

It felt like a possibility. I returned to the way of thinking that maybe the Hawaii seed was dropped in there, because there’s a reason to go to Hawaii bigger than me… and that the goal to get rid of the sweatpants is bigger than me too…

There is the grace that I can be thankful for, even in this season. When I’m on the other side of hurdle, but still growing through the struggle. This old dream has been given new life, and the journey to renewed thoughts has begun again.

Sooo…I turned 40…awhile ago…

Disclaimer~~~ I’m late in posting this. My birthday was February 14th. That’s right, February. I’m not posting now because I have a problem with turning 40 ~ but rather because today I finished writing my thank you cards. Yes, it’s taken me that long. I’m a terrible person. But I read somewhere that you have up to 3 months and I’m holding to that as truth. They go in the mail on Monday. So finally, I can share how I was celebrated, with you.

First things first,

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do to celebrate turning 40. After a turbulent bunch of years in my early to mid 30’s (there were even a few years I didn’t celebrate my birthday…because I just didn’t want to), however, I felt like I turned a corner in my late 30’s in many areas of my life so I’ve come to feel like life is good, it’s beautiful, right now…and therefore 40 is beautiful and good too. Totally worth celebrating. Still, I didn’t know what I wanted. Small and intimate or a big rip roaring party? The problem small and intimate was, where do I cut off the guest list? Impossible… The idea was, since my hubby turns 40 this year too, we talked about celebrating both of our birthdays in the summer… Jodi, decided however that a girls night was in order. I still feel like I want that big party, so maybe we’ll still make it happen…at least for him maybe?

Anyways, back to my party. So Jodi told me she wanted to host a soiree, and asked for me for names, and I was thinking small. I knew I was going out for sushi with my mom and sisters in the beginning of the month, so I thought I’d keep it to non-family and keep it small since I wasn’t hosting, I didn’t want o presume to invite a truckload of people. Jodi then took my list and added to it herself, family and etc… I also knew that I had no need to worry about the details. This lady has a gift for details, and shines in it. She recruited Laura, who knows how to throw a party, and how to really bless someone best, and…

The result was a beautiful night with a lovely group of ladies that really just touched my heart. There were friends I’d made in the last couple years, and also friends who’ve been around for more than 20. How richly blessed I am.

How stylish and beautiful the decor. The Audrey Hepburn-esque, black, white and pink details….delicious food, a signature cocktail, the perfect gift, great memories, being able to tell each friends in person how much they mean to me…yep. A Perfect Night.

40th Party

She does these beautiful banners…


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I loved these little quotes on the table. Loved the diamonds, the pearls, the roses, the silver…


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Another quote…love.


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Even the vase was detailed…the signature drink Laura made up. Yum.

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Sweet treats…


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These cake pops were delish…


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The favours – personalized Lindt chocolates.

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Some of my homeschooling mamas,a.k.a the ones who help me survive the crazy…the ones who make me laugh til the wee hours or til I pee my pants, whichever comes first.

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These sisters have been my friends since we were all 19… they’ve been through so many seasons with me, I could write a book about it.

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The hosts, and more friends who’ve been around for more than 20 years…they’ve seen the good and the bad, and still love me, what more can you ask for in a friend?

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Some old photos, fun and embarrassing and all that, were scrolling on the TV through the night.


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These girls celebrated my 20th birthday with me with a sleepover way back in college…we had a sleepover after the party at 40 too. Sleepovers are different when you’re body isn’t 20 anymore – but I wouldn’t have traded either night for anything.


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I was soooo blessed! A DSLR camera – I’ve been wanting one since Lucas was a baby (he just turned 11) – it was never in the budget for us. But my friends decided it was time. So blessed!


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Jodi even arranged for my sister Jennette, who lives in Tulsa and misses so many of these special events, to send me a video – which I will post here soon. It was hilarious and so perfect I watched it twice that night. She’s the best. I have 4 sisters, and often people don’t realize it because she lives so far away. Thank you Jodi for including her.


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Saying thank you, and I love you to the friends who were able to be with me that night. I must mention here, that many others who weren’t there that night, made a point to contact me and bless me in their own ways throughout the month with dinners, cards, gifts, coffee outings…the list goes on and on. I honestly felt like I had a birthday month, not just a day… 40 has been wonderful so far.

Thank you Jodi, and Laura and all the rest of the ladies for celebrating this  milestone with me. I am truly blessed. Relationships are so vitally important to me and I will always have this night as a lovely memory, reminding me that I am blessed, so very very blessed.

The Heaslip Herald 2013

 Just a friendly reminder… there are days til Christmas!
I must preface this post with a disclaimer… The reason we are posting the newsletter online this year is simply to save money (printing and mailing costs). If we get enough complaints that you don’t like this format, we hopefully will have it in the budget to print next year if the majority of you wish for that. 
Second, I apologize that I am not tech savvy enough to post this on here differently (ie – so it’s bigger). The hubby has promised to figure out a way to create a link for you to be able to access this in a couple other formats – so you can read it easier (esp. if you also are not tech savvy enough to know how to enlarge the view) and also so you can print it out if you are so inclined (without having to print the whole blogger page. So if you are too annoyed with this format, just wait a wee bit longer, and you’ll have other options.  

Without further ado…I give you the 7th edition of the Heaslip Herald! Grab a coffee and enjoy. 
Much Love and Happy Holidays,
                  (aka Mama T aka Tammaymay aka Mimi, etc.)

25 Things

I’m totally copying Shannon’s idea here, just because I need to write, but nothing comes to mind.

1.  My due date was moved.
…kind of. Essentially I’m told I need to be ready to go anytime now. Great for a planner like me (sarcasm implied). They will induce by mid September if I haven’t gone already. I’m cool with that.

2. The girls (Korean girls).
…go home in 17 days. They are great kids, but I am pregnant, and ready for my house to be filled with “just us” for a few months.

3. The Dresser.
I wake up everyday and look at the blue dresser in my room that needs to be painted black for the baby’s room, which then reminds me that the girls are in the baby’s room so what’s the rush since I can’t do anything for 17 days, except that my due date got moved, which throws me into a form of angst, which is a vicious cycle…so I leave my room and start the day so the countdown will diminish.

4. The Spare Room
It was supposed to house a full time student, which cancelled 3 times (hence us being “just us” for a few months – and working out for the best anyways)… the spare room is full of the baby’s things… a pink shag carpet, pink drapes to hang over the closet (which also needs to be painted – sigh), odds and ends, the crib, etc…it makes me jittery because I just want to have things “ready”…sigh

5. Baseball
Finally, Chris’ team won the last game. So after something like 7 or 8 consecutive wins, we’re done with  spending our evenings at a ball diamond…except that he’s in a tournament on Monday.

6. School
We started 3 weeks ago, it’s going OK. Love the new Language Arts curriculum my friend Moni recommended.

7. School
Our local support group had it’s first meeting Tuesday night, and our “co-op” starts on Friday with a hike (which will probably end up with me watching everyone else hike at Happy Rolf’s from a bench)  I’m looking forward to everyone else’s kids going to school too, so it’s quieter outside)

8. Cleaning
My very wonderful friend Vanessa came and cleaned my main floor floors yesterday, they smell awesome and still look clean – yay. She also brought dinner for us (a family of 7 right now) – she is a supermom with special powers and I love her.

9. Labour Day
My sister and her husband are having their annual bash on Sunday despite having a 3 week old baby in the house – I love this bash and the only thing that will stop me from attending, is going into the other kind of labour.

10. Chats
I have some really amazing friends. I love them very very much. They are a form of family to me. I love the random and planned chats with them, I always come away feeling refreshed, challenged and/or blessed. I had a nice short chat at the ball game last night with one of them 🙂

11. My sister
…came over yesterday with her baby boy. I love him. He’s named Aristotelis after my dad. Baby Telly is perfect as far as babies go.

12. My garden.
Depresses me. It’s a mess. What a bad growing year for us. On the bright side, the sunflowers are impressive and moving the tomato and peppers to the balcony was genius (thanks for the suggestion mom). Looking forward to having the “umph” to clear it out so I’m not so depressed.

13. Fighting
I HATE listening to my kids fight. It turns me into a no less scary version of the Hulk. Someone help me. They have been fighting all morning.

14. My Dear husband
He is my hero. Sums it up.

15. I canned over a dozen jars of tomatoes. That’s about all I did last week, but I did it.

16. I also took the boys to Safari Niagara last week. If Jodi had not gone, I wouldn’t have made it.

17. The boys started soccer, while Chris was in playoffs. Sigh.

18. Korean 12 year old girls have little understanding of the discomforts and needs of pregnancy. I feel  sorry for them having to live with me some days. I’m pretty sure they will tell their parents they’ve seen the Hulk’s mom when they go home.

19. I’m really glad the humidity and heat have taken a breather, now I can breathe and the swelling is limited to my hands and feet.

20. I miss TV.
Since I can’t find any more books that will engross me right now, and I can’t do much else because of my size and the aforementioned swelling, I want to watch TV. But I refuse to click the channels, so I go to bed early, which means I get up through the night more. I wish Glee was back on TV, and maybe  Grey’s Anatomy, and maybe CSI New York – why do I like Gary Sinise so much? And why do we have to wait to JANUARY for Suits to start again? – I love that show even more than I liked Lost and even more than Gilmore Girls…

21. The aforementioned fighting boys… I love them. Especially when they come and apologize for fighting so much and want to kiss the baby and hug me. But I love them even when they don’t do that.

22. I would like to make a trip to IKEA, but I’m afeared to travel that far. For the same reason I’ve not crossed the border in 3 weeks.

23. It will be September in 2 days. I love September. I can’t wait to change the house into the fall decor.

24. I’ve only been up for 2 hours and am ready for a nap. Probably because of the fighting and previously mentioned Hulkish episode.

25.  Maybe if I eat something and drink something with caffeine, it will replace the need for a nap, at least for the time being… we need to get our school work done. 

Have a great day!

An Open Window and the Restoration of the Soul

I find that so many “reports” and so much “information” that I come across does nothing to lift me up – to encourage or exhort have more hope, faith or belief… so when I come across something that is full of these things, I like to pass it along…

My husband follows several people in the body of Christ who operate in the prophetic (as in reads their books and blogs and then follows the news, etc). I don’t want to get into a spiritual debate with anyone over this. If you accept the operation of these “gifts” great, if you don’t, I fully respect that too. As my mom would say…”Eat the meat, spit out the bones”.

I just found this note he passed along to me encouraging and thought I would share it. We can compare notes a year from now if you like, just for now, I hope that you are as encouraged as I was.

Prophetic Message (Paraphrased by myself) – Jan. 3/ 2012

1. The Mountain of Debt will go.
Who is going to take down the mountain?

Your sons and your daughters

2. Just a Little Faith needed.
He (God) will do great things.
He will do impossible things.
Even though some of you find it so hard to believe.
Just a little bit of faith and the mountain will be conquered.
There’s a mountain He will conquer in the middle of the year.

3. Your sons and your daughters, they will prophesy like Joel.
In the last days they will prophesy like Joel and Elijah,
Elisha, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Daniel, Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego.

4. Fear Overcome

The Spirit of the Lord says clearly, and I heard the word, “This day in which you live, there are creatures of the night that have caused My people to fear, caused children to take their lives. Fear has been rampant. There shall be earthquakes, floods, that will bring damage to no one in My kingdom. I will slay a beast that has stood and watched over you to destroy you. They will come and they will cause the earth to shake, the mountains to erupt, but there will be no damage.

5. Windows Open
But in this year, beginning now, there will be small windows of opportunity.
There are new wells that will be dug.
These new wells will bring new resources to My people.

6. This is the Year of the Youth.

It shall move from the older to the younger. Leaders will topple; kings will fall overnight. This shall happen throughout the East, the Middle East, and even in the West.” What I gave Daniel, I will give to them. Watch this year, for you will see your mountain conquered,” says the Lord. “Whatever your mountain is,” says the Lord, “I will give you the faith of a mustard seed, a small window of opportunity, new wells that shall be dug.” Within one day, for some of you, you will be free of your debt. This year is the Year of the Youth. I will take them and cause them to do what I told Joel. They will prophesy night and day and they will bring down the forces that have stolen what belongs to My people,” says the Lord.
We are in 2012.
You know the trouble and the resistance and the attack – all of this that has come against you and God’s people – He said, “This is over.” There will still be little struggles and things you have, but this huge monster of resistance – He said, “The worst is behind us. It’s over. We’ve entered into something brand new.”

and my favourite part of all…

This year the Lord told me there’s going to be a restoration of the soul of our families and the soul of our nation. That’s very important and we’re going to deal with that this year as well.”

It always seems incredible to me how God orchestrates things in my own little life that are so obviously His doing. It is beyond my understanding in fact. So the thought that He is at work in things that are so far beyond “my own little life” is quite incredible and fills me with awe and wonder and a desire to live even more fully for Him in 2012.

2011-2012 goals and recap

My Recap of 2011


I blogged about our Snow Days and started to blog 100 Things about myself (I ran out of steam at around 60).

I shared my thoughts on A House or a Home? and started the challenge to do 3 in 30 i lasted about 3 months.


I should have written out my adventures with an Exterminator and why we needed one, but did write about our Valentine’s Day celebrations and my favourite dessert recipe Chocolate Skor Trifle.

I also should have written about my trip to visit friends in South Carolina and how healing it was for me, but didn’t.


I un-intentionally began a new series New Reads which carried over through the rest of the year and also tackled one of the concepts I wrestled with all year in Where do you go to Church?


Wrote about more new Reads and tried some creative writing in Every Once in awhile…


I spent it Remembering… as its a pivotal month for our family. 5 anniversaries (including ours), 5 birthdays, 2 dads/grandpa’s passings…


I shared about all the changes that contributed to my less than consistent blogging.

So much to figure out… What we’ve been up to – Changes


I shared a bit on the internal workings of the external “what we’ve been up to” in Revelation Road? and how the boys are Changing – Growing Up

I did not blog about how MY COMPUTER GOT A VIRUS and I lost all my photos and unpublished photobooks! I am still grieving. (yes we though everything had been backed up, but were wrong)


I shared about our Homeschool Room & Why we Chose to home school and also a little bit of our Summer Fun and more Reading as well as a nice End of Summer recap and shared my thoughts on Moving Days


I finally got My Mantel and wrote about my thoughts on Doubt?. I also couldn’t help but vent a bit on one of My Pet Peeves and linked to the Fall Nesting parties with my Fall Nesting post.


Was completely consumed with the posts for the 31 Days series and link parties with 31 Days of Fully Enjoying the Season.

This series incorporated our Thanksgiving and Halloween celebrations as well.


School & Life – over at The Heaslip Homestead Academy

This so far has been monthly recaps of our adventures since September.


I wrote about our home decor in A Home for the Holidays and how we celebrated in Glimpses of Christmas and finally did a Reading Recap.

My Goals for My Home in 2011 were…

1. Redo the Main Floor Bathroom:

Status – Done – though oddly I did not blog about it. You can see the after picture here.

2. Overhaul the Sunroom

Status – Not Done – no extra cash. Postponed until possibly 2012 or later.

3. Reorganize the Garage

Status – Done – also, did not blog about this. I think these things were done in the summer when my computer was dead.

4. Enjoy every room

Status – Done. We really did use the entire house better. Part of this I think is because we are home more now because of home school and not working/running around so much.

5. Keep up a changing seasonal theme or table.

Status – Done.

SUMMER. See the shells?

FALL – birds, nuts, books, etc. ( I added a couple things for Halloween later)

CHRISTMAS – which also morphed into…


6. Update the Boys’ Rooms and the Playroom for as little as possible.

Status – Partly Done & Done & Unexpected Blessing Done – we moved the boys in together, but I still need to tweak the room this year. The playroom, became the home school room and Grandpa Jim bought and together with Daddy, built the boys a play yard outside this summer too. (much more enjoyment of our outdoor space happened)

So most of the goals were met, which is GREAT! We’ve had a busy and productive year. I’ve also realized, I left a couple things UNFINISHED gah! So here’s a few goals for 2012…

Home Goals for 2012

1. Do something significant with our Front Step.

My feeble attempts, need some serious help.

2. Finish the Boys’ Bedroom.

3. Repairs on Guest Room and Student’s Room Ceiling.

4. Blog more diligently:

A. Blog about the Little Projects More

For example I did a gallery wall, and never posted about it.

and a DIY wreathe, that I never posted about.

B. Blog about my garden more. Like how we made our own scarecrow.

C. Blog about what we’re doing seasonally.

For example, I’m sure many of you would like to hear about our CRAZY MOMS CAMPING trips and how we survived a severe storm/ tornado.

Or our family trip to the National Museum of Play and the boys first baseball game in a stadium, or how we went up north or when I went to SC, etc… At the very least, I would like the record on here for posterity.

I also think I should finish up my 100 posts about me, before I hit 200 posts maybe?

Thank you for sharing this journey with me so far 🙂 I have been so very blessed this past year and look forward to sharing the blessing in 2012!


The Glory of It All…

Here in Niagara I think it’s safe to say that the best part of autumn has past.
She went out in a whisper of glory.
The colours have faded and fallen and the grey, cold winds of November have shown up. More and more frequently…soon they will be all we know.
Until the lovely first snow blankets our wonderland.

The light displays down by the falls are up.
It is beginning to look a lot like… i will spare those of you who do not share my absolute love of all things Christmas with any more…
…for now.

Where have I been you may ask?
I have not posted since Oct. 31st…
Well I’ve been living.
31 days of posting was intense.
Thoroughly enjoyed mind you, but intense.
I had a lot of catching up to do with the rest of my life.
November heralded the fall clean up, a birthday, a visit from a sister and her newest baby boy who live far, far away; a trip to the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto, another birthday, Remembrance Day, more fall cleanup, home school, hikes, gym days, basketball tryouts, another birthday, Christmas decorating (post on this will happen soon), drafts of our annual newsletter, baking (well, er, buying baking from my friend), a long awaited movie, holiday movies, girls night, poker night, hubby away for a week in Alberta, cooking dinners, open houses… you know….life.
…and there’s no sign of stopping any time soon, shopping with the sisters, another birthday, more dinners, and then it’s officially started in the rest of the world… home school will take a break, commitments will thin out and we’ll get back to the simplicity of celebrating the Saviour together. You may doubt me in this, but it’s true, with this new shift in our lives, the schedule is much much different, slower, calmer and just plain different. It’s hard to believe that we’re only 5 months away from the one year anniversary of the start of all the changes.
God is so good!
He sees us in our helpless estate…
Reaches down
and makes a way for us.
He never changes.
Well, my mind is distracted now after talking about all that stuff we did and what’s still ahead… back to schooling my boys today. For those of you who don’t check out my home school blog, I’m still loving it. Absolutely.
I’m just plain doing good. though very distracted, any depth in this post is not going to happen at this point. But I’ve gotten myself jump started, so more posts should be soon to follow. Have a happy day friends!
Here’s a sneak peek at some decor in the Heaslip house.

Top of TV Cabinet (mantle) in Living Room.
Kitchen Dining Area
with love,

Day 16 – Holiday Baking Exchange

Week Three How to ENJOY Entertaining

Day 16 A Holiday Baking Exchange

I think this is simply one of the smartest things you can participate in at the beginning of the Holiday Season. I personally have attended one since the year I got married – so 13 years now. It’s a time saver, and a little bit of work for a big pay off.

At first we only exchanged cookies, but over the years we’ve found it to be more useful to just have it open to treats served during the holidays. We’ve had everything from Chex party mix to caramel corn to home made vanilla extract, to Christmas Morning Muffin Mix jars, to breads, pies, cakes, squares/brownies, candies, fudge and of course cookies. It helps to have a variety of treats on hand for parties, small get togethers and even to doll out in fancy containers as last minute hostess gifts. I freeze the majority of my goodies in the freezer in my garage, that way no one “raids the Cookie jar” unnecessarily.

If you don’t know of any that already take place, why don’t you start one? Invite 4-10 ppl (however many batches you are ready to make of one treat)

PS – another fun way to get some baking done is to do it with a friend. Pull out fav recipes, buy the ingredients, pick a kitchen and go to town. Split the fruits your labour. Voila, your board is full and you are ready to entertain.


Enjoying the Season Day 10 – Thankfulness List 2011

Week 2 Autumn Traditions

Day 10 Thankfulness List 2011

The Small Stuff

1. Catching a “wiff of wonderful” when I open my tea/coffee cupboard and the smells surround me in the early morning
2. When people comment on my blogs
3. Toothpaste, deodorants and perfumes. Sometime people smell and it ain’t nice.
4. Living 3 minutes from the border (literally) and being able to fill up the gas tank and the refrigerator for a fraction of the Canadian prices.
5. Neighbour Dan and his family (and lawnmower)
6. Home made Soup
7. Seeing the dog poop in the yard before stepping in it.
8. My sister Stephy’s hospitality and ability to plan for the kids even though she doesn’t have any of her own yet J
9. Amazing family photos, especially of those who’ve passed on ahead of us
10. When people like my cooking and take seconds.
11. Seeing the Salmon running in the streams…in Niagara. Very cool.
12. When my three year old boy says, I love you so much mommy!
13. When my five year old boy will randomly stop playing and run up just to give me a hug.
14. Bunk Beds
15. The library lady who smiles when we come in.
16. My mom’s Rice Pudding and/or Greek cookies. Come on Christmas!
17. Discounted anything, but especially pretty shoes and costume jewellery
18. Eating veggies I grew, or bought from Bartel’s
19. When our mechanic says it’ll be less than half of what we thought it would be
20. Calling my sister and hearing her kids screaming louder than mine in the background.

The Big Stuff
1. New Beginnings in my life and heart.
2. My home
that it is large enough have more than one guest stay at a time
3. My 316 Titanium Stainless Cookware
They’ve revolutionized how I cook and feed my family

4. That we live in Niagara
5. When my seven year old boy still wants to hold my hand.
6. My little and big home schooling groups and the friends that are in them.
7. My Husband – I know how lucky I am to be adored, to be supported and believed in.
8. My family – those born into it by blood or faith.
9. That my life has never been boring
10. That the majority of my time right now is spent with my kids and that I am finding I really really like them as people and am becoming better person by being with them so much.
…and Ultimately that I encountered God at 14 & took the path less travelled.
There we go, another fall tradition down. Love this season! Does anyone else keep a tradition like this one? Let me know, I’d love to read them J

He who thanks but with the lips
Thanks but in part;
The full, the true Thanksgiving
Comes from the heart.
~J.A. Shedd

My latest read

Loved this one. When I thought I couldn’t take much more “revolution”; I got some more.

This was enthralling, like the days long ago when I read a good romance, but better, because it’s real…
I’ve fallen into a deeper love with God and the Bible and the great romance between Christ and his Bride the church.
It’s awakened a love for the books of Genesis and Revelation. Truly books I’ve thought were too “advanced” or “mysterious” for me…
It’s made me want to go back through some of the classics from when I was in Bible College. Authors like Watchman Nee, Bonhoffer and E W Kenyon.
It’s also made me want to read some of the works for Myles Monroe on the Kingdom. I remember my mom and sister telling me about it, and this seems very similar. Nothing like a recurring theme in revelation.
I love a book that challenges me not to swallow what it’s saying, but to dig deeper. So so so good, especially after all the other books I’ve been reading.
I’m also still reading A New Kind of Christianity by Brian McLaren. I love books that ask questions. I love asking questions and growing through searching for the answers. I love how in God “everything works together”.
Finally, as a family we’ve been reading The Magicians Nephew by CS Lewis. Need I say more? Awesome!