Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Joy and Delight

Do you ever catch yourself in a moment and quickly think to yourself  "this moment in time is important.  Remember it."?

Maybe it was because I was more aware, or looking for those opportunities.  Perhaps God just knew I really needed to see glimpses of Him today.  I was blessed to share in some delightful moments with my boys today.

Early this morning we heard the recycling truck pulling into our lane way.  Little JJ gave me a look of surprise when he heard the noise.  He pointed to the window and I carried him over to see.  His whole face lit up as he pointed to the front yard, '"Tractor", he squeaks.  "Yes my darling you see the recycling truck," I reply.  JJ cranes his neck to watch the big truck pass up the laneway and back again.  He waves good bye and we go about our morning.  In my heart I swell with joy because I just got to share in my son's first time pointing out and calling to a truck. While many other children his age are being bustled off to daycare, I am so blessed to be allowed the true gift of being home with my children.

At breakfast time there are some left over treats from an event the night before.  JJ grabs a powdered donut off the counter and takes a bit.  His eyes light up, his little tongue sticks out. "Ohh!" he says jus before cramming the rest of it into his mouth. I realize that I have never shared in or savoured the moment when someone tastes a new food for the first time.  Of course I've fed my boys new foods as babies and such over the years, but today my mind took a video of that moment and it brought me joy.

This afternoon we were all in the yard playing.  MJ stands on the edge of a big puddle on the driveway.  He dips his toe in and I watch as the drops make beautiful circle patterns in the sunlight.  He dips his toe in again, and suddenly dashes off across the puddle, leaping in pure joy.  He is a child, playing out side just as he should be.  Thank you God for allowing me to be here in this moment.

No need to pull out the iphone for photos.  These delightful joy-filled moments are now forever in my heart in my memories.

No matter what your circumstances are, or what is going on in your life.  Please try to be present and aware, allowing these small little moments to surprise you.  Finding joy in the every day may just fill you and refresh you enough to keep going.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Our favourite Authors for young children

Not sure if anyone noticed or not but I haven't posted a new blog for a bit.  Our family was sick last weekend.  After that life got busy and I had little motivation to blog.  One thing about me is that I post blogs when I feel compelled to share something.  This blog is very personal. I don't make any money from it and I share what is relevant to our family. I won't make any excused for missing a week or anything like that.  I'm just a real mom doing my best!

I did however want to check in with everyone about the READ WHAT YOU"VE GOT CHALLENGE!!!

How are you doing? Any progress is to be commended.  My boys are loving this and we are reading about 18 books a week!!

There are so many amazing books on our shelves.  Sometimes it feels like getting together with an old friend when you pull out a familiar story.  There are a few authors that we seem to have quite a number of their books.  So my children must love them

Anything by Robert Munsch is a hit with my boys

Stan and Jan Bernstain have so many great topic they cover

We don't have all the books but we do have a whole lot and lots of audio one too!!

This week we read about 15 books.

This week's absolute Favourite was "The Book With No Pictures".  TJ excitedly read to his brother and MJ started to copy words from it in the night.

Please do share with us your favourite authors and be sure to join us on FB for more lively discussions.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Our Favourite Baby Books

As part of our "Read What You've Got" challenge, we are also reading through all the board books in the house. Our little toddler just loves to be read to, especially on the potty. We have a lot of board books so I didn't bother keeping track of them all.

Some of our favourite authors are:
Al Perkins
Dr. Seuss
Sandra Boynton
Karen Katz

All of these books our family favourites.  We have read them so often over the last few years that everyone in the family has them memorized.

Can I say that board books make excellent readers for children who are learning to read.  The words and sentences are simple enough for young readers.  Chances are that they have memorized the books too and that does help them know what is coming next.  My boys love reading to their little brother!!

MJ falls asleep reading often. Love it!

This week we also read more than 20 books
Among our favourites are:

The Penguins of Madagascar
The Bearnestain Bears
Ninjago comic
Little House in the Big Woods

Be sure to comment on how you are doing with the challenge and share with us your favourite baby books!!

Click Here for more on our "Read What You've Got" challenge

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Let the Challenge Begin!!!

I'm so excited!!! Let's Read What We've Got

I am so happy you have decided to make an attempt to read through all the books in your own home library.  I have nothing against the library.  In fact we purged a great deal of our own books so that we didn't have to store them all and could make use of the library system.  It's just very difficult to take our busy toddler there right now and I wanted to actually be accountable to someone and read what we had at home for a while.

So will you join us?

Don't worry about the details. (If you want to check out our first post here).  Just read, share, and enjoy.  My family is going to do our very best to read all our book. We are going to record what we've read and share some of our favourites with you.

I am still looking for guest posts if you are interested in sharing anything literature based with my readers. If you are interested in offering a giveaway please contact me too!

Oh I also have some great tips from some of my FB friends to share with you...

  • One family has done this type of challenge personally before by taking all the books and putting them in a pile and then after reading each one either putting it on the keep shelf or the donate box.

  • Another family passes on some of their books after they have read them.

  • Oh another great idea I saw was that one of my friends (with a huge and amazing library) labels the shelves so books are easier to locate.
Do you have any awesome suggestions to share with us??
Be sure to join us on FB and share your ideas in the comments below.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Our recent adventures

Every day is an adventure with my boys!  They have so many projects and ideas in their minds.  They certainly keep me on my toes.

This new year I have personally been trying hard to make more intentional use of my time.  I'm focusing on priorities and really thinking are about where my priorities should lay.  Well because I am a woman of action this has been difficult for me.  I'm an "All or nothing" kind of gal.  I hate doing a half job of everything just to say I'm balanced.  So I'll be honest and let you know that I wrestled a lot with how to use my time and energy. I'm still daily having to remind myself of my thoughtful decisions.

Slowly I feel more present with the boys and I'm loving it! I know I was missing out of so much from worry and other distractions.

Here are some photos of what we've been up to recently.
Playing at the local nature centre

Wood working

Stacking wood


Writing a book

TJ's three motor vehicle

One of MJ's many Lego cities

Snow catepillar

MJ's Super Mario character drawings

Ice skating


Board games

Forrest play

Bringing home a tree

One apple up on top

crafts time

TJ's glow bug

I'd love for you to follow our adventures on Facebook and Google+ too.
Be sure to share what you have been up to in the comments below.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Book Challenge: Read What You've Got

Do you have books at home? How often do you read them?

Would you like to join our challenge to read what you've got??

Keep on reading to find out more...

Back story

I have a toddler so going to the library along with my other boys is becoming a challenge.  The little guy is curious and I love him, but the second I try to turn around he is pulling books off the shelves and running down the isles.  Needless to say we haven't been in the library for a few months!!

Recently while doing another major purge of our belongings, I paused at our bookshelves.  There were a few books that we really weren't going to read again, but the rest were pretty good books.  After nicely organizing them I realized we had our own little library right here.  Why not actually get to reading them more often.  Of course most of the books are down the hall from where our toddler plays so they get forgotten (out of sight, out of mind).

So an idea popped into my head.  Why not read every single book (okay mostly the children's books), we own.  Then we can talk about the books, decide which ones we like, and enjoy them more often.  My boys love the idea and I hope you will too.

How does it work?

Okay there are no set and hard rules. Each family can decide for themselves how many and which books they'd like to read. There is also no set time limit. The thing is that these are books you already have at home (not the library books).

For my family we are choosing to read all the children's fiction and non-fiction books we own and try to read the larger novels too.  We may skim through some of the non-fiction ones but will do our best there.

Personally I want to read the books on my shelf too, but I'm going to need some accountability for that one.

I figure it'll take us 2-3 months to read all the smaller books if we only read a few a day.  The large books will take much longer, so I'll be keeping this challenge going on a monthly basis.  Let's do a 30 Day challenge and I'll poll everyone at the end of the month to see if we should keep going.

We will be recording the books we read, along with our opinion.

If we do an activity related to a book we will post about that too.

Each week we will share with you what we have read.

How can you participate?

  • Decide to take on the challenge.  I will have an event set up on my FB page to help track the number of families participating.  You can also let us know you are joining us by commenting below. 

  • Record the books you read each day/week.  There are many great book logs.  We made our own here! 

  • Share with us what you have been reading either on my FB page, Google+ , or in the weekly posts.
  • If you have a family favourite, an activity, or something to share I'd love for you to write a guest post (you don't need to have a blog to write a post for us).
  • If you sell books, or have written a book, I'd love for you to guest post, offer a give a way or promote your book/business.  My family would also be happy to read your book and write a review for you. I'll be sharing in any groups and communities I can.
  • At the end of the challenge lets all have a huge celebration!!! Yup a book party.  Why not?! Maybe we can crack open some cookbooks too and have fun with that.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

So are you ready to read??? The great READ WHAT YOU'VE GOT CHALLENGE begins March 1.  

Help us spread the word....

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Banana Bread

I've been trying to make some healthier snack for the boys.  When I asked which types of muffins they liked banana came out as a definite favourite.  Next time I went grocery shopping I happened to see a whole bag of bananas on clearance.  So a few days ago was a banana baking day.

don't we all bake in our PJ's?

Rather than have us all do one recipe, or baking alone, I figured I'd try out something a little different. Each of us made our own batch of banana bread and the boys could make slight variations based on what we had in the cupboards.  They loved the ownership this brought!

So here is the basic recipe we used.  It is from "Company's Coming"

Banana Bread
1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 cup Banana (about 3 medium ones) mashed
2 cups Flour
1tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Chopped Walnuts

Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time, beating until smooth. Blend in mashed bananas.  In a second bowl stir flour with baking soda, baking powder, salt an nuts.  Add to banana mixture, siring only to moisten. Transfer to greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 F for about an hour.

TJ's banana bread

TJ's variation
Substitute 1/2 cup brown and 1/2 white sugar
Substitute 1 cup Spelt, 1/2 cup bread flour and 1/2 whole wheat flour
Add in 1Tbsp apple cider spices
Add 1tsp vanilla
Substitute 1 cup of a variety of chocolate chips for the nuts

You could really taste the brown sugar in this loaf.  Very tasty with all the chocolate too!

MJ's banana bread

MJ's variation
Substitute 1 cup bread flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup Spelt
Substitute 1/2 cup honey and 1/2 cup white sugar
Add in a few shakes of pumpkin pie spices and gingerbread spices
Add 1tsp vanilla
Substitute 1 cup of a variety of chocolate chips for the nuts

This loaf was lighter than the others.

Mommy's mini loafs

Mommy's version
Substitute 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup Spelt and 1/2 cup bread flour
Substitute 1/2 cup Brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar
Add 1tbsp cinnamon
Omit nuts

JJ had fun playing with al the ingredients with his own little bowl and spoon.

They all ended up tasting delicious.  It was really interested to note the subtle differences in taste.  I could totally taste the brown sugar in TJ's loaf after having some of MJ's.

Boy was I thankful to have my Norwex cloths around.  After our awesome baking fun there was lots of sticky goo all over the table and counters.  The netted dish cloth scooped it all up in a breeze and rinsed clean off the cloth!  Then I was freed up to do a through wash with my enviro cloth and just water.  baby JJ even helped me mop the floor.  Have I told you how much I love Norwex.  I feel so much safer knowing that we aren't using harsh chemicals to clean our home. If you want to learn more check out my FB page or ask to join my VIP group.

I'd love to hear some of your favourite recipes.  What are you baking this week?