Monday, November 30, 2009

All things Christmas!

Do you remember that feeling you had getting up at 4am or earlier to run downstairs and see the house on Christmas morning? That feeling that something was special, the smell of cinnamon buns, turkey, bacon and eggs followed shortly after the parents were up. It was and still is my favourite time of year. I loved coming home from school, walking down Glady's Street in Brights grove and arriving at my house to see that my mom had been in the Christmas mood all day. The house would be decked out including the outside with our lights turn on and everything looking so great with the snow. No matter how much I had to shovel and how much I complained it was my favourite season. In fact another memory I have is one year my Aunt Sandra and my mom and some of their friends had a craft sale in the studio in the side yard. Everything was all pretty for Christmas and it was so great. We could smell the goodies and I loved seeing everyone leave with their treats. I made 'reindeer treats' or something like that for Christmas. You were to sprinkle it on your lawn to help the reindeer to come to your house. That Christmas, and every one after in Brights Grove, after sprinkling some on the lawn I would yell out MERRY CHRISTMAS! then head back inside. It was my 'Christmas thing'.

This year I'm enjoying seeing everyone else's decorations. Although we haven't had snow this November (first time since 1937) slowly people are getting into the Christmas Spirit. On Sunday afternoon I went to a friends house for a cookie exchange. I LOVE her house. It is my favourite place to be no matter what time of year it is but her place is perfect at Christmas. She puts Martha Stewart to shame. Last year we had Christmas photos at her house. I managed to snag a few photos of her house before everyone got there:












I made the choice last night that even if we have to pack up the week before Christmas or the week after I want to have fun with Christmas. So slowly but surly I'm going through everything we have. I have found we are missing a box of stuff. It has movies, some tree decorations and some musical toys but we will manage until we find it (I'm thinking my parents house?). For now I have a few of the decorations up. I'm hoping to get up some more but I'm not in a rush right now. This past weekend Arnold and I figured out where to put the tree so today was moving things around and making it work. I think I'm going to end up doing more work but for now it works. I am just enjoying the Christmas music for now. When we get some money for groceries we will head out and get some apple cider, that will be the perfect addition to the house. Right now this is what my house looks like:






This morning Quinton told me he could juggle. I laughed but sure enough. He is so funny. He took two oranges and tried to juggle. Here's what we got, click quickly and it should be like 'real time'

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Million and One things

Ever have those days where you have a million and one things going through your head? Not a million, not a million and two, just a million and one?

Today is that day. I can't seem to think straight. So again another random post, feel free to skip. I promise tomorrow will include some photos :)

*I keep getting worried about our housing situation. I know God is in control and I know He is the one to make everything happen and in His time but sometimes I wish His timing was mine
*I want to know when to start packing. We have alot of things in this house we need to go through
*I'm worried about December. It's always the crazy month out of the year and I could use a planner to remind me not to double/triple book myself and to keep me calm!
*I am excited for Kylers schooling. I love his teacher/school/friends and I'm so happy with how things are going. It's incredible! He is so cute and loves school so much. Tonight while doing his homework with his dad (btw I love that Arnold does his homework with him) Kyler was telling Arnold that Mr. Browns favourite colour was purple and that he was going to colour the space ship purple so Mr Brown would like it.
*I wish we could afford more things. It's not even things out of our reach, like buying a house, but today I came upstairs and said "When we have money..." and Arnold laughed and said "I need new undershirts" and I said "I need new shoes for Church that don't hurt my feet". How sad is it that we have such simple requests. Not to say that we don't have things, cause my sandles are working out ok and my shoes that hurt are cute but still.
*I love how productive I can be in 30 minutes or less. I got up from my computer at 8:30pm and did laundry, folded and put in the next load, spot washed all the clothes that needed it and put them in the washer, packed up a box of things, went through some things in the scrapbooking room and made mental notes for some items, unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, filled the fridge with water for tomorrows C&C group, got the meat in the house for the next 3 days, emptied the recycle, updated the calendar for the next month and sat down to blog!
*I would like a housekeeper/organizer/packer to come and live with me for a week, I would pay them by feeding them and giving them an uncomfortable bed to sleep in but hey, who wouldn't want that
*I love my new sewing machine. I have now finished the IL's gift, fixed my pants I was steping on because they are too long, fixed arnold's pants and made covers for my apple sauce!
*I can't wait to put up our Christmas tree. I'm so excited for it and I can't wait to have it in the house... but on that note I want to have my living room cleaned up for the tree.
*I wish I could lose some weight, I mean who doesn't but in the last week from eating so many cookies I have gained back at least 6lbs of the almost 30 I have lost this year!
*I need/crave/want stability. I want to know how much money we will make every year, plan a budget, know where I'm going to live, how my landlord will be, what things will be like in the future.

I know there is more...... but I feel a bit better.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

a "Ruprise"

I know I don't normally post on Weekends but this just popped into my mind and I had to share.


Last night while I was pulling some more Peanut Butter Cookies out of the oven I hear this conversation going on in the living room.

K - "Dad, can we give mom her prize?"
A - "Her prize?" (I want to point out that right about now I knew Arnold was getting worried/nervous and I realized what was going on and kept very quiet)
K - "Yeah, her prize! no no ruprise!"
A - "I'm not sure what you are talking about"
K - "Daaad, you know.. her ruprise! We got it for her at the"
A - (cutting off K) "No no Kyler, that's a surprise and it's for Christmas"
K - "But Dad the leaves are off the trees" (we have been telling him that when the leaves are off the trees, snow will come and then Christmas)
A - "I know K, but it's not time for Christmas yet. We will give it to Mommy at Nana and Papa's house"
K - "ok"
A - "But remember boys, no telling Mommy what it is until then, ok?"
K - "ok"
Q - "yep!"

I was *killing* myself in quiet laughter in the kitchen. That was SOOO funny. I guess that last weekend while I was gone they had a good time getting things done around here. Now if Arnold can only keep the boys from saying anything we are good!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Family Night

It seems like it has been forever in our house since we have had a "Family Night". We always seem to have something happening. Monday nights are C&C at our house, Tuesday nights are Bible Study (every 2nd and 4th) or Scrapbooking (every 1st, 3rd and 5th), Wednesday night is Youth/Kids Klub/Mens Bible Study, Thursday is Choir, and Friday's used to be our Family Night.

Lately something has been going on. Arnold was gone on the Sr. High Men's retreat, Promise Keepers, Going to Sarnia, I was gone on the Jr High Bedlam retreat and now we are finally having a family night.

Ours started with dinner. As soon as Arnold got home from work we had Spagettie and Meatsauce. After we were done and put most of the dishes on the counter we got everyone to go potty and get their coats and boots on. Arnold found his old lights for his bike and each boy got one and we headed out the door. We went to see "Santa Lights" as Quinton calls them. We walked down 2 blocks and back up the other street and across to our own. It was a nice walk, although it's finally getting cold and beginning to feel like Christmas, heck, winter would be good for me :)

Once we got home everyone went potty again and washed their hands. Arnold made hot chocolate for everyone and the boys sat on the counter for their drinks. Arnold and I are pretty sure that in our 'forever' house we want an eat in kitchen, or at least something a bit bigger than ours now with room for the boys to hang out and do homework while we do dinner or clean up. I went in and got everything ready for our peanut butter cookies and off we went. Kyler got to start the blender and turn it up and down then we got the boys in their spots. Kyler on one side of the corner counter, Quinton on the other, and then we went at it. Arnold would give peices to Kyler and he would roll them and dip them in sugar. I would take them and put them on the cookie sheets. Q would get already rolled ones to dip in sugar (and then sometimes lick his whole arm). We made at least 5 doz. It was great.

After we got the first set in I continued to roll them into balls and set the plate in the fridge so I didn't have to keep getting my hands messy. The boys went and washed up and started watching Frosty the Snowman. It's Q's favourite movie right now!

Then we paused and got our pjs on and now Q is watching his movies (Frosty the Snowman #2 and St. Nicholas (aka in our house Greese Greese Greese). Kyler is playing 'connect the dots' on Arnolds computer. And Arnold is matching all the DVDs to their cases. Ahh the joys of being parents.

I love our family nights. Even if we don't always do something as a group it is still alot of fun.

Thinking Positive

A few days ago I was reading my e'mail devotions. I subscribe to Proverbs 31 Ministries. They e'mail out a devotion every Monday to Friday and anything else that's exciting with them. You can listen to them live but I never seem to have time. This devotion really caught my attention. I thought I would share it with you:

Thank You Power
25 Nov 2009
Rachel Olsen

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

In my (part-time) job as a university teacher, I'm frequently reading research. I know … it sounds as dry as an over-cooked turkey. Sometimes it is but often I find interesting stuff in that scientific prose. For example, I read about a study that showed just how great it is to be grateful.

The researchers found that grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, more satisfaction with life, and more vitality and optimism. All good qualities I want more of in my life. They also found grateful people show lower levels of depression and stress - two things I'd like to experience less in my life.

What's more, they found that people who write weekly in a journal about things they are thankful for are healthier. They exercise more regularly, report fewer physical symptoms, and feel better in general than people who journal about neutral or negative life events. That sounds great, and I'll take all the help I can get in the exercise department.

Finally, the research showed that people who daily count their blessings report higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, and energy. Wow, the benefits of being grateful are remarkable and many! I guess that shouldn't surprise me after considering today's key verse. The Bible urges us to give thanks … all the time … in every situation … because this practice is the will of God.

Let me be clear, there are terrible things that happen to us that may not be the will of God, but us praising God and giving thanks in spite of them certainly is the will of God.

As Christians, we can always find reason to give thanks – thanks for the salvation of Christ, the nearness of God, and the counsel of His Spirit for starters. The psalmist declared, "I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High" (Psalm 7:17, NIV). We can do that too.

Christian poet John Milton once wrote about every grey cloud having a silver lining. Purposing to give thanks, no matter the weather, will train us to look for it. Continuing in this manner day after day ensures that gratefulness will become a normal mode of operation.

No wonder those researchers found that people regularly counting their blessings grow happier, healthier, and more optimistic. After all, that research wasn't discovering anything new, but rather confirming the will and wisdom of God. God already knows how great it is for us to be grateful. Now "science" does too.

What can you give thanks for today?

Dear Lord, thank You for this day. Thank You for Your Son and Your Spirit, given to me. Thank You for the provision of shelter and food I have today. And Lord, thank You for this reminder to become more mindful of my blessings. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Application Steps:
Start a gratitude journal. At the end of each day between now and Christmas, take a few minutes to jot down 3-5 things you are thankful for. Keep the notebook and pencil by your bed. Your list can include "big" things like good health, or "little" things like a flower in bloom. Give thanks to God for all of these.

See if you feel any happier, healthier, or more optimistic after a few weeks of regularly giving thanks.

How often do I give thanks to God?

Do I notice, or remember, the little blessings in my days?

Do I want to feel happier, be healthier, and think more optimistically? More importantly, do I want to do the will of God?

Power Verses:
Psalm 118:19, "Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the LORD." (NIV)

Psalm 107:22, "Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy." (NIV)

© 2009 by Rachel Olsen. All rights reserved.

It totally reminds me of what my mom used to say about "3 Things". Every day when I came home from school(during the time period where I *hated* everything) she would tell me to think of 3 things that made me happy during the day. I actually had a journal, I believe, to write it all down. Personally I'm thinking I may have to restart this!

Hope you enjoyed it.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

One of *those* days

Ever had one of *those* days? The kind that seems to suck, and yet not; makes you feel down, and yet not; seems productive and yet not; and most of all make you question God, and yet not.

Last night at Youth, Pastor Steve gave a great sermon to us. It was about how when something bad happens in our lives its not because God hates us or wants to hurt us, it's because He is trying to get our attention, to help us to learn something, and help us obey Him more.

I know it's an easy lesson to learn and yet, it's not! See... there it is again... and yet. And yet means alot to alot of people.

This morning we dropped Kyler off at school and got home just in time for the doctor to call and we got an appointment for Q. We headed out as soon as we could and Arnold came as well. We are worried about a wart on his foot. It's horrible. It seems to grow and bother him more now and it's been done 3 times! Next is an appointment with a dermatologist. Thank goodness it's covered my OHIP. Only if the wart is on the foot, weird hey?

Anyway we got home and I did some checking on the internet and Q watched a movie. I also got to chat with my mom for a bit about some things going on. I e'mailed back someone who's house we want to rent. Checked new listings and then went to get Kyler.

Ever since the other day when Q went pee at the school he wants to do it all the time so today he had to rush in and sit on the potty and do *nothing*. I'm not impressed with him. Anyway he did it again today and then we waited outside. Kyler came out and we headed home. I made some lunch and the boys watched a movie.

Lately they have been getting on my nerves. I think everything with having to find a new house, moving, packing, keeping things organized, trying to keep life normal for the boys, ect, is starting to get to me. Oh yeah.. that and the weight gain. Ever since this whole thing happen I haven't been able to lose any more weight. It's killing me. I know I eat because I'm worried or nervous but still.

I did get in 2 loads of laundry today and I'm working on the 3rd. I just need things to go a bit easier.

I was telling my mom today that I feel like God got my attention by making us leave this house but I just wish he would show us where to go next.

I have faith, I trust Him but sometimes I just wish it was easier.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cleaning Bells, Cleaning Bells, Cleaning all the way!

Haha.. if only things were that 'jolly'. Today I need to clean my house. Funny how cleaning comes AFTER everyone has come over for the week. It's been hard to catch up after our blast of a weekend.

I can say that when I was growing up I used to think how *easy* it would be to have my own house and to keep it clean. I continued to feel this way until I had kids. Being married and no children wasn't so bad, things seemed to be pretty easy and generally 2 adults can keep things sort of clean. But not when kids arrive. Somehow everything they 'bring' into the house it seems to make things so much more messy!

I used to think when K came along that I could just assign jobs to each day. This worked for about a week or two until I had a long weekend then things would be thrown out of wack and no matter how hard I couldn't get it back.

Then when Q came along and we moved into our first house in Toronto I used to think it was going to be so easy, we could unpack, clean up and everything. Little did I realize that unpacking would take almost a year and cleaning up at that house was never easy.

At one point I did even try the 'clean for 15 minutes, timer dings, get 5 minutes to do whatever, clean for 15 minutes, timer dings, get 5 minutes to do whatever.... ect' but that didn't work so well. I would forget to redo the timer for 5 minutes and then my schedule went out the window!

Now living here, just steps from Kyler school and with that 2 hour block while he is gone, it is still not easy. Generally my 'planned' cleaning time goes something like this:

Q and I get home from dropping off Kyler, I check my e'mail and Q gets his coat and boots off.
I get Q something to eat because he is hungry - even after just eating breakfast - and we play with some toys
I attempt to figure out what's for lunch and supper. This involves a trip out to the garage to get meat or whatever the meal is and then making sure we have everything else.
By then we have an accident or a poop on the potty which takes another 5 to 10 minutes since Q loves to have books read to him, or at least face to face conversations while he is there (I truly hope he grows out of this one)
Then it's back to making sure Q is dressed and ready to pick up Kyler!

So much for cleaning!

Now yesterday I did manage to get 1 bathroom cleaned and today I'm slowly working through the mess of things in the living room and dinning room. I'm also going to try and get to the boys bedroom but I'm not 100% sure how well that might work out. It may include (more so than may) alot of laundry since I'm not sure what was just taken out of the drawers and thrown on the floor and what they have worn lately. I really hope to have more of that organized soon. Then it's onto the play room to get it ready for my brothers visit this weekend. And if everything goes according to plan I hope to have a few minutes to finish doing some clean up in the kitchen and maybe even get back out to the garage to move the garbage bins and compost bin to the front yard.

I have high plans!

But the one thing that does make it easier is the Christmas music in the background!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I'm still working on recovering from this weekend. We had *so* much fun.

Our 5 girls were wonderful and it was great getting to know each and every one of them. The boys (all 7) were great too. We had alot of fun with them.

The speaker was Dwayne. He was really nice and did a great weekend. His main talk, at least the one everyone can remembers or is their favourite, was about the 2 sons. Their Father asked them to go to the vineyard and work. One said no but later went. The other said "Yes Sir" but never went. He talked about where you the 'no, but later go' or the 'yes but never go' Our main theme was GO so this worked well. Overall he was GREAT

I took alot of photos, all/most, are on facebook. Here's my favourite one I was goofing around with last night.


Anyway I'm still recovering. I loved every minute of it and wouldn't change it for the world but I do love my big bed!

Friday, November 20, 2009

St. Nicholas and Nicknames

I'm not sure if any of you have seen the new Veggie Tales movie about St. Nicholas but it's really cute. Basically it's the story of how St. Nicholas came about... how there was a little boy (pepper in this case) named Nicholas, and how his parents helped everyone and believed in God. One day they died and Nicky was so upset he left Grease and travelled around the 'world' at that point. Finally after stopping in Bethlehem he realized the 'true meaning of Christmas'. He went back to Grease and helped others the best he could. Through this whole thing there is a 'servant' of sorts who lives with him and his family and takes care of him (and his house once he left), and eventually went out helping Nicky deliver gifts. He would call Nicky nicknames.

This got me thinking about nicknames I call my kids. None of the nicknames in the Veggie Tale movie were bad names, and I like to thing that mine aren't either.

I call my boys letters. Each boy has no real short form we are 100% fond of but we make some work. Kyler becomes Ky or K; Quinton becomes Quin or Q. I have always, or at least for as long as I cam remember, called people hunny, sweety, sweetheart, and sometimes darling.

I also call my kids q-t-pie, doodle, doodlebug, hunny, sweety, sweetheart. I'm sure there are more. I asked Kyler what I call him and he responded with K and Kyler and then after thinking for a bit he said "Mommy, when I'm bad you call me Kyler VISSER!". So true.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Puzzles, Packing and Junk food!

I know random hey?

This morning the boys and I got our rubber boots on and pulled out the umbrellas for a walk to school. We got there gave K a hug and kiss and headed home. On rain days his school lets them in right away so we just go to the door and said goodbye!

Q and I made it home just a bit wet-er than before and we jumped in the car. We headed out to a mall near by that has a Bulk Barn in it ( We were on a mission to get some junk food for me and the girls this weekend. I didn't get alot but hopefully it's enough. We started walking the rows and Q brought along our reusable bag. I would fill up something we needed/wanted and he would put it in the bag and carry it along. Eventually it got to heavy and he would just drag it. It was so cute.

We managed to get alot of junk. When I was done putting in what I needed Q got to pick something he wanted for helping out. He chose santa head jujubes. I put a few in a bag and he couldn't wait to get home and have his 'ho ho nak'.

Once we got home and in the house Q got his snack and played with them. If you are on facebook and my friend you might have noticed what I was writing. Q was playing with them. It was a family of a mom, dad, and kids who were going to the zoo and riding the tran. Eventually they fell off the train while going over a bridge (they fell off the table). Oh and my favourite was going inside something to check out the snakes and butterflys and they ended up inside my puzzle box!

Q had fun doing that while I worked on my puzzle. The last few days I have been working on my puzzle I got while at the Miko/Samko sale. It's a cute puzzle. I finally 'finished' it today. I'm missing a piece. I'm sure I'll find it somewhere. It's such a nice winter setting. I wish we had a bit of snow here. I miss it actually. It just doesn't feel like Christmas here without snow. Part of the reason I love Alberta. And I'm sure that had something to do with the fact that I was more in the Christmas mood in October there!

I got the kids to go down for their nap and I'm sure I should be packing but I'm just not ready too. I have a bit more laundry to do but I just want to relax for a bit more before rushing around. If only it worked like that always hey?

Well I will be gone for the weekend so no updating on here unless Arnold randomly thinks he should. I'm taking the camera so you can see photos of my girls later but for now please say a prayer for each of them. My girls this weekend that are going are: Skyler, Anna, Molly, Izzy and Guen. As well as myself and Sue the other leader going. Please pray that we all have fun, that there are no injuries and that we are able to take away what message God has planned for us.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My ups and downs

It's been one of 'those' weeks and it's not even Wednesday!

Yesterday was good. I managed to get a lot of things done during the day. Those included things like - make 3 doz peanut butter cookes (trial batch for my cookie exchange), make rice crispy squares for Arnold for work, prep and make supper (note - Bacon Cheeseburger pizza is not something for date nights) and even sort of get the house claned. Over all it seemed to be good.

But I swear, something always seems to go wrong, or I just rub people the wrong way. I'm finding it a challege from God to be careful with what I say and who I say things to. He has been working really hard in my life the last while and it was my goal to do one day, with His help, without screwing that up. I guess I just picked a bad day, and I made someone mad at me. That is always hard to deal with.

Then when I was heading off to bed I realized how much stuff I *should have* gotten done and wasn't and it made me feel like there was more I could/should have done.

This morning we had a busy day. I got Kyler off to school (super early so he could be at the front of the line), and got home with hopes of working on some more christmas gifts. I ended up snuggling with Quinton watching Barbie in The Nutcracker. I didn't get anything I planned on getting done done!

We picked up K (who's teacher was 15 minutes late letting them out) and zoomed to the doctors appointment. We were late, as was the doctors but I *hate* being late. Then we got the kids their H1N1 shots and delt with K screaming. After that we went to McDonalds and had lunch, then over to get Pumpkin, Q's fish, who was finally all better! We went home and put the kids to bed, only to find out my internet wasn't working. After heading to the basement to fix that and feeling more overwhelming thoughts about how much more things I need to pack and clean up I just desided to chill on the couch. I hate these feelings.

I'm hoping that it will get a bit better. I'm going to have to work on getting a babysitter after school again, and work on getting things in our house ready to go. I'm sure I can get everything done, just not at the pace I want... where is that nose you just twitch and everything happens?

Monday, November 16, 2009

House looking

The time has come. Arnold and I started searching for a new house. For those who don't now the story our landlord came over the weekend of my birthday in October and said that he was getting married and instead of giving us a lease we had to move out by April 2010. We were devistated. It's been hard to deal with lately.

I started looking as soon as we got the news and we have been looking at random houses for a bit now. We found a few and checked them out, and did drive bys but nothing for sure.

This weekend we had our babysitter, Rachel, come over and watch the kids after church. It was perfect. Arnold and I managed to check out a few houses.

The first house is on our short list (keep in mind we are renting not buying. It is the top 2 levels of a townhouse. The first level, basically like a basement, has a closet, washer and dryer, bedroom with sliding doors to the 'backyard' (about 8 by 10 feet of space) and the bedroom has a full bath attached to it. Then there is the access to the garage. The second level (which is with the rent) has a kitchen, large dinning area (these are the only parts of the house not carpeted), as well as a large family room. The third floor is the bedrooms. It was 3 bedrooms but the owner before this one created 2 large rooms. One bedroom (which we thought was the master bedroom) has a full bath and is huge. The second bedroom (which is the 'master bedroom') has a half bath and is MASSIVE! It's crazy. We really like the house. For the rent ($1100) for the 2 floors with the option of renting the first floor for another $300.00 is looking good. We would use that floor for an office/music room and it would give us access to the backyard. But we could start saving for a piano again. I would be so excited.

the second house we checked out was the main level of a house. There was usage of the backyard but the backyard is used mostly from the guy who owns the house. He is a contractor and uses it for storage (the back half of the backyard was all 2x2's). The basement had laundry but he didn't want us to use it if we had animals (the girl in the basement is allergic to dogs). The house was as small as Sue's (the house we lived in before moving to the campground). There was a bit larger living space but the kitchen looks like a walk in closet (and has about as much space in total). It was not something we were interested in at all. We did manage to talk the guy down to $1300.00 plus utilities. But nope. I don't think we would live there. The hard part is that it is in the school area we need for Kyler to stay in school.

I e'mailed off the first guy a few questions but when I checked my e'mail this morning I had an e'mail from someone who saw my add on kijiji about wanting a house in the Pharmsay/St. Clair area. they said they have a 4 bedroom house that is up for rent in March. So I'm waiting for a responce. I'm kinda getting excited about all the options out there.

Please say a prayer that God will help us with what we should do. It's hard to figure out but we want what is best for us. Thanks

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Decorating and Making.

Today was the last day of Promise Keepers ( that Arnold and my dad were at. They left early in the morning and as a result our day started early as well.

We started with watching some Christmas movies and hanging out and then we moved onto making some gingerbread (or dimdimbed as Kyler calls it) cookies and houses.

Now in case you have never made or decorated anything "dimdimbed" ish then you need to follow these directions:

Have someone take a photo of you before so they remember what you looked like before you were on a sugar high:


Dump all of the candy out on the table like so:


Decorate cookies, with alot or little bits of candy:


kyler perfers alot

When you are done decorating, move to a safe place for photo taking:

Kyler's cookies

Quinton's cookies

Mommy's cookies






Most important step. While parental unit is not look sample some of the left over icing:


Once the icing sugar has had some time to harden taste test! This is important and do not skip this step:


This was our morning. We had so much fun. Then we went to Walmart and did some exchanging (a Christmas Kids CD we bought the other day was NOT Christmas music. They had to pull ALL of them off the shelf after me demanding to listen to it at the store so I didn't have to return it again), and went home and had some lunch. The boys taste tested then and did great. Everyone at Walmart kept telling them that Santa was coming tomorrow. It is true, the Santa Claus Parade is tomorrow but they are going to church this year, mainly because I'm singing but still.

After lunch the boys had a nap and I made the sugar cookies and cleaned up a bit around the house. We made Arnold his birthday dinner of steak, beans, fresh rolls and potatoes. It was really good. Then we all decorated sugar cookies (sorry no photos of that... the icing wasn't the best to use with a spoon so we all ended up with it over our fingers). Since everyone was so sticky the boys were dumped in the bath tub.

Once they were cleaned up we sat down to write our letters to Santa. **Random note, if anyone who wants to write to our kids is reading PLEASE do. They love getting letters and are a bit confused to how writing back works so this would be a good thing** Kyler went first (this is after reading about book about writing to Santa) and we wrote to Santa. While I was writing it out Kyler drew a pictures for Santa of what he wanted for Christmas, or whatever he was feeling at that time.


Quinton went next and asked Santa if he was Happy or Sad (being Happy in this house is a BIG deal to Quinton). We wrote out the letter and Arnold took it to take some photos of it all.


Once everyone got to lick their envelopes (seriously a big excitement for them) we sat down and watched Frosty the Snowman. I made the boys some hot chocolate and they watched the movie. When it was done Arnold put the boys to bed. I'm finally feeling a bit more caught up for this weekend.

Hope you all had a great weekend. Wish us luck! We are going to look at 2 different places tomorrow after church.

Friday, November 13, 2009

All by myself.....

Today I got to spend some time all by myself. I have to admit I love those days. Today was a bit harder. Trevor, our babysitter, came over and watch the kids freeky early in the morning :P We went over everything that needed to get done and I headed out. I got a call from my mom and she said dad was heading out and would be there in 3 hours. So my relaxed morning changed a bit to a very busy morning.

I first headed out to the mechanics. I paid him for what we still owed and we talked about the wheels for the car. He also did a bit of backing up for me since I swear I hear something. He heard a bit and promised to take a look at it next week when it was up getting the wheels changed.

Then I headed to walmart. I wanted to look at a few things there and pick up some stuff on sale. $220.00 later I wasn't even half done my grocery list but I had got some great deals on meat!

Next was M&M Meats. I LOVE that place. They have the best foods. A bit more money but totally worth it. I got talking to the guy about new stuff coming and I'm really excited to try some of it. $40.00 gave us 2 boxes of chicken fingers, 2 boxes of dip (so good) and 2 boxes of bacon! A good deal I think.

The last stop was at Price Chopper. It was the stop that got me the most stuff for less money. Odd how that works. I found everything on my list but 2 things (bacon bits and maranara sauce). I have to remember to do frozen and refrigerated things first then the cans and then the fresh stuff last, oh and breads. This way nothing gets smushed. This was a dent of $207.00. Not too bad.

I have to admit that was all of our grocery budget but still alot of fun. We do have a bit leftover as some of the things I want to use is for the boys and I for this weekend and that's more of an entertainment thing than anything else.

I got home and Trevor and the boys helped to unload the car and we got it all in the house. Then T stayed to help me unload everything around the house (ie kitchen downstairs and the garage freezer). It worked out really well as when we were done and Trevor was about to go my dad showed up! The boys had so much fun going from one person to another.

Now I'm alone with the boys. Arnold and my dad are off at Promise Keepers ( I'm really excited for them. I'm just chilling at home with the kiddos and we are watching movies. Tomorrow I have big plans. hopefully pictures will come tomorrow as well :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Budgets budgets and more budgets

I can't even count how many times we have done budgets in our house, how many times we are onboard to fix our money and spending habits and how many time we are going to do it this time. But I swear this time, it's not that we are 'going' to do it. It's that we HAVE to do it or we have some more issues that I don't even want to think about.

Our family consists of different thinkings on money:

Quinton - He thinks that money is there, and that everything can be bought with 'monies' ie pennies, dimes, nickles, ect. And that sometimes treasure is just spare change Papa had in his pocket.

Kyler - Knows things cost money. He is starting to realize (with our help) that he has to have money to buy things. Now how money works and how much you need of everything is TOTALLY not there yet but he is getting it. He gets an 'allowance' of 25 cents a week. He puts 5 cents into spending, 10 cents into saving and 10 cents into God. We started this a while ago and he is doing ok at it. Any extra/random change he finds he tosses into saving or the God container. We are really enjoying this. He knows that his God container could be used for cans for the food bank at church. It's great.

Arnold - wants to save. He always tells people that when he started university he had no credit cards and over $5000.00 in saving. When he ended university he had a wife, a credit card and no money in saving. Now he is a firm believer in 'sleep on it then get it' mentality. He also wants me to have whatever I want but he also wants to know we are safe as far as money goes. And he is my reason for doing what we do all the time.

Me.... well as I'm sure you can see I like to spend. But not on me. I like to buy good food, clothes for the kids, gifts for Christmas, dessert for when friends are over, things that make our home comfortable, and things that make my family happy. I like to show my love to people by way of gifts. The gifts don't have to be matterial (but more than not they are) but they cost money none the less.

Since I married Arnold ad weh had been together for just over a year or so we began to realize we had to get our money wasn't going to last forever and we really needed to be careful how we spent it. We did our own budgets, our own plans, or own everything for a while. It worked, but then with extra money I would want to spend it (see a pattern) and it just got worse and worse and worse. We bought a book by David Ramsey. It was GREAT! We desided when we moved (since we got it *just* before we moved) to Ontario and were own our own we would work on it and try doing it just as he suggested. While our plans didn't work out the way we wanted (we thought we would be on our own in 3 to 4 months instead of just over a year) and we never did start the program. We worked on it, really worked on it, in 2008. Arnold and desided we were going to buy a house and we had to get our money in order. I had *tried* starting it earlier (I think October) or so to get a handle on it and I'm glad I did. There were so many questions, concerns, things didnt' work perfectly for us. anyway we finally got it to work and really focused on it in Jan of 2008.

I am proud to say we paid off at least 3 of our 5 credit cards. It was great! We did so well (our tax refund helped ALOT) and then things went south, or into the red, depending on how you look at it. It was hard to handle. We had gotten off the DR program and were spending like crazy.

I can honestly say we feel as if we have hit rock bottom now. I'ts horrible and hard to take but I'm just not too sure what to do. We are focusing again on the DR program. We have had a 'new chance' at things. We have had to do some cashing in of my investments my parents made when I was little to stay afloat lately. I'm so frustrated. But I know that this time, with Gods help, and a whole lot of prayer and careful planning we can do this.

And so our crazy budgeting starts again. We are trying to scale back on everything. The DR program suggests cutting things you don't need. Well to be honest, we don't have much to cut back on. He suggests things like cut cable package (we don't have it), sell cars (we only have one and use it all the time) cut cells (we don't have a home phone) ect. Anyway he does great with his suggestions.

For those interested here's his site

These are his babysteps. We are on #1 and part of #2

Baby Step 1

$1,000 to start an Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is for those unexpected events in life that you can’t plan for: the loss of a job, an unexpected pregnancy, a faulty car transmission, and the list goes on and on. It’s not a matter of if these events will happen; it’s simply a matter of when they will happen.

Baby Step 2

Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
List your debts, excluding the house, in order. The smallest balance should be your number one priority. Don’t worry about interest rates unless two debts have similar payoffs. If that’s the case, then list the higher interest rate debt first.

Baby Step 3

3 to 6 months of expenses in savings
Once you complete the first two baby steps, you will have built serious momentum. But don’t start throwing all your “extra” money into investments quite yet. It’s time to build your full emergency fund.

Baby Step 4

Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement
When you reach this step, you’ll have no payments—except the house—and a fully funded emergency fund. Now it’s time to get serious about building wealth.

Baby Step 5

College funding for children
By this point, you should have already started Baby Step 4—investing 15% of your income—before saving for college. Whether you are saving for you or your child to go to college, you need to start now.

Baby Step 6

Pay off home early
Now it’s time to begin chunking all of your extra money toward the mortgage. You are getting closer to realizing the dream of a life with no house payments.

Baby Step 7

Build wealth and give!
It’s time to build wealth and give like never before. Leave an inheritance for future generations, and bless others now with your excess. It's really the only way to live!

I'm sure this will take us quite a long time but we are working on it. I strongly suggest you check out his site, and feel free to ask if you have any questions.

This time, with Gods help, we are going to do this!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Little things they do.

I've been having a rough week so this post is to focus on the funny things or random things that my children do!

-always makes sure his brother knows he is the boss and sometimes even tells him that
-loves the song "Grease, Grease, Grease." from Veggie Tales St. Nicholas one and sings it alot!
-reads his "I can read" book all the time. He does great with it and even calls his Godmother once and a while to 'read' his stuff to her.
-is enjoying school. Every morning he is dying to get out of the house first to be first in line and 2 and a half hours later is so excited about the things they did at school and can't wait to go back the next day
-getting used to his routines. Monday is back to school and Mommy and Daddy's friends come over, Tuesday is school and library day (which changes this week), Wednesday is gym and big boy church, Thursday is Mailer day and cleaning the fish tank day, friday is I can read book as well as the last day of school
-just realized lately that he likes Mac and Cheese. He hasn't liked them forever and now all the sudden he loves them.
-is more vocal about what he wants to wear for school. Sometimes we have to say no but generally is a good dresser.

-says "blue" like making your lips vibrate and then put a b in there and then say blue. It's so cute!
-follows his brother but when he is not around Q is very good at getting his own way and doing what he wants
-isn't as much of a 'screen' kid. He can amuse himself with random things (today was a scarf) for hours
-loves the ZOO, and the song about it (We are going to the zoo zoo zoo, how about you you you, you can come too too too, we're going to the zoo zoo zoo)
-is a singer. He will walk around the house singing random things. Lately it's been "Sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow (notice a theme?)". It truly is his favourite song
-I *think* this year he is really getting the idea of Santa. He sees decorations all over and says "Santa Santa HO HO HO!"

They are getting to be cute little boys.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Nana and Papa's house

So after mananging to get ready for our road trip we got there safely. It was interesting. The boys and I picked up Arnold at work around noon and we headed out (we all ate at our respective places). The boys fell asleep shortly after leaving and didn't wake up until we were on the 402. I was impressed.

When we got to my parents house we realized I forgot the right set of keys so we didn't have the key to the door. We left the trailer there and headed to the store. We picked up the keys, said hi to everyone and headed back home again.

I was dropped off at my grandparents house so I could talk to my grandma about my stocking I was working on.

We spent the rest of the evening playing around the house and waiting for Nana (and the cookies in her car) to get home. They ate and played with nana for a bit then went to bed.

Saturday we hung out at home and I brought mom to the store, hung out (read: shopped) and then went home to call and double check my hair appointment. There was a no-show so I went super early and got my hair done. It worked out well and I had alot of fun. I'll post some before and after photos. She said she cut off about a foot of hair (from the top layer at least).

Sunday we packed up and headed home after a yummy breakfast of eggs. We stopped by to see my brother and drop off some stuff and then we finished our route home.

We had a rough time with our van though. I'm really thinking we are slowly at the end of time. We have to get some things fixed on it and they are going to be about $1000.00. It's alot of money we just don't have. We do have some things that have to be fixed ASAP and that alone will be about $500.00 so we are freeking out a bit. Hopefully it will all work out ok.

Random things from this weekend:

-the boys and nana got to play in the hot tub. When they tired getting in Q screamed "HOT HOT HOT HOT" and wouldn't get in. When it was time to get out he screamed "NO NO NO NO" so I think he liked it!

-K was so excited that he got to do a book order with Nana. They picked out some books they wanted and he brought the form to school today. He was so excited that his Nana picked out his books with him.

-Arnold found out what his Christmas gift is (well he had to try it on) but now he can't wait for it. Silly boy.

-we had some McDonalds coupons we wanted to use on the way down and back for the boys but every time we passed a McDonalds the boys were asleep!

-we brought home a big fish tank. We started filling it and we are really liking it. We hope to add the fish to it soon.

-Nana and Papa started their library while we were there. I picked out about 10 books that I read when I was little and the boys are going to use those for the next little while. They are very excited. We read one last night (But no ELEPHANTS!) and it was really good!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Road Trip

Today we are heading out to my parents house. Everything started last night with packing. Sometimes I think it's more work to pack for a few nights away then it is to stay home and do nothing.

Last night we started with doing the rest of our laundry (which was about 2 loads or so). We got everything done and packed up what we needed *note to self still need to fold the laundry*. Then it was a matter of packing up the things we want to bring with us. There's so much stuff we need to pack for just a short weekend. This weekend we needed our clothes as well as the remote for my parent's TV. Also I had to pack up some books for the boys, the book orders, my cross stitching, my gift card for my hair cut, our personal stuff (tooth brushes ect) and a few random things.

Our plan right now looks like this:

K went to school for 8:45am we are picking him up at 11:15am.
Come home and eat lunch
Fill the dishwaher and start it
Head out to get Arnold
Pick him up between 12 and 12:30pm
drive to Sarnia!

Not alot but when you have to say it a billion times a day so the boys remember it is alot!

Oh something random we did today... we put up window stickers. The boys had so much fun getting it up today. I like seeing them so happy with little things.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Last night Quinton thought 4am was a good wake up call (trust me this is better than the 3am wake up the other day). Generally his wake up calls hold off until around 5:30am and that's doable.

Arnold got up with him (like normal) and went upstairs, went back to bed in Q's bed and were great until around 7am.

This is about the time I woke up and was doing my devotions and heard their conversation. Sometimes I just want to stop what I'm doing and hold it all in. They were so cute.

Their conversation went something like this:

Daddy - Kyler what do you want for breakfast?
Kyler - Pancakes!
Daddy - Pancakes?
Kyler - you know you take the milk and mix it with the mixing thing....
Daddy - I know how to make pancakes but we don't have time this morning. How about a peanut butter sandwhich?
Kyler - humm
Daddy - plus we don't have any sauce to dip it in so it wouldn't work anyways
Kyler - oh ok.

Around now I went back to my devotions laughing and thanking God that he gave me this family.

I get upstairs after finishing my devotions and Arnold has made them pancakes. They are sitting at the table eating. I go in and they are so excited about their breakfast. Kyler tells me they didn't have any sauce so Daddy let them use his "special cute little bear sauce" (AKA Honey). They were so happy.

It's moments like those that compete with a day of running around, house hunting, dealing with some emotional little boys and finishing up everything that needs to be done in the house. They make my day fun.

If you guys don't mind please say a prayer for my cousin. This morning I felt a big need to text her and see if she needed a ride home this weekend. I chose to call her later in the day to get a responce quickly. Well after talking to my mom this morning I found out that my aunt and uncle left around 2:30am and drove to up here to pick her up from the hospital. She has H1N1. Please pray her recovery is quick.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Introduction to our lives

Welcome to our Visser blog!

I did blog during our 'Summer Adventures' of living in our tent trailer and now I have actually had more people ask for a blog so here it is. I hope you all enjoy it. I won't be able to blog as much as I did during the summer (every day is a bit much lately) but I'll try my best.

First here's a bit about our family, for those who don't know or need a refresher:

Arnold is my wonderful, incredible and loving husband. He is a stellar father to his two boys and does everything in his power to make sure they feel loved. He works as a computer programmer in Toronto. Arnold has been at this job for just over 3 years and still very much so enjoys his company. Arnold's birthday is in just a few days (November 10th) and will be 'old' as I like to remind him.

Kyler is our first born son. He has started school this year and loves it every minute of the day. He is really enjoying the time he spends there and is learning so much. His favourite thing right now is play dough and singing songs. Yesterday he told us his favourite colour was green but he uses purple more than any other colour I have seen on his papers. Kyler will be 5 in March (8th).

Quinton is our baby right now. He just turned 2 and a half and will be 3 in April (10th). He really enjoys being home with Mommy for a few hours during the morning while Kyler is in school. Quinton is exploding with words lately. It's incredible what he can say and picks up quickly. Oh and our latest thing. He is potty trained! I'd like to think so anyway. He even mastered going to church in 'tigers' (underwear) and not having any accidents.

And then there is me! I'm Miranda. My jobs include: mother, wife, sister, daughter, niece, cousin, aunt, stay-at-home mom, hostess (at home), youth group leader, as well as a Doula. Every one of my jobs I love so much and love taking care of each of them. I'm sure there is more... oh right. And for now I'm the writer of this blog. It is open to Arnold writing if he wants (and randomly the boys) but for now it will be me. I'll try and post some photos of the family soon for you.

If you have any questions feel free to post. I'll get back to you as soon as I can!