Monthly Archives: April 2009

guinea pig.

I love the look of french braided hair and I’ve always wanted to learn how to do it. Amelia’s hair is finally long enough for me to use her as a guinea pig for figuring out this tricky finger-twisting skill. This picture is of my second go at it and with Amelia’s fine hair it is by no means perfect…but at least it’s a start. (Amelia was strapped into her high chair while eating her toast when I braided her hair this morning, it makes it much easier!)

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an update on the thrifting journey.

Thrifting for a year hasn’t actually been that hard for me…amazing, I know. I’ve been able to get some hand-me-downs from my mom and a few ‘spend-this-money-on-new-clothes’ gifts for Christmas and my birthday. When I have needed something I’ve gone to the thrift store, found the item, and then quickly realized that I don’t actually need it. While the thrifting has provided a good character building year for me it’s also been good for our bank account. I’ve even found that when I go to the thrift store to look around at what they have I’ll inevitably put all of the clothes back on the racks. I guess you could say I’ve learnt to live with what I have. I’ve also found that buying the newest ‘look’ isn’t always fashionable or classy. Not to say that it’s all been a breeze, there have been days and weeks that I’ve battled the shopping bug, especially when those around me are able to buy nice new things. It’s been good for me none-the-less. I’m actually considering setting a similar goal for myself when this thrifting year is up.
*shopping abstinence is also made easy when my mother buys me a brand-spankin’ new winter coat for only $1.95*

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hobby farm heartache.

I anticipate the arrival of a few magazines every month; Style At Home, What’s Cooking, Canadian Gardener, and last but NOT least, Hobby Farms. I know that I’ve blogged about homesteading before, but since receiving my last Hobby Farms magazine in the mail this past week I feel as though I’ve been going through some ol’ hobby farm heartache. Bizarre, I know.
When I open up the mailbox and see my nicely packaged brand-spankin’ new magazine sitting there I get excited…possibly a bit too excited (I did a happy dance last time). I love everything about this magazine because I get to read about people who are actually doing what I dream of doing. I get to read about sheep, goats, ducks, chickens, donkeys, alpacas…all things that I want to have on my farm one day. One particularly good read in this months issue was all about Blossom-end Rot, which all of my lovely tomatoes suffered from during our last growing season. I learnt what the rot was, what the cause was, and how it could be treated and fixed. Very beneficial if you ask me.
After I finished reading this months issue of Hobby Farms I curled up on my bed and felt like crying…I felt as though my heart actually hurt. When James came upstairs he noticed something was wrong and I began (again) explaining my dream and how I would love for our family to live on a homestead. I want my children to grow up taking care of animals and working the earth. I want them to understand what hard work is. I don’t want them growing up like cushy suburban kids who get a Blackberry for their fifth birthday and experience ‘life’ through their Wii. I feel like my dream is so counter-cultural that I often loose touch of it…or I just push it so far back into my mind because it feels so far away. When I read through the pages of my magazine all of what I hope and dream comes flooding out…oi. So I’m left with hobby farm heartache and I have no idea what to do about it.

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joy in the simple.

I love seeing how excited my kids get over such little and seemingly trivial things; wearing rubber boots, finding hidden eggs, popping floating bubbles. They are both genuinely enthusiastic about so many things. A fresh bowl of popcorn and a rented movie is enough to make them skyrocket into bouts of laughter and anticipation. I know that I need to follow in their footsteps in so many ways, but lately I’ve been feeling like this is one of them…finding joy in everyday activities (even *gasp* doing the laundry).

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random bria – time for some funk.

Lately I’ve been feeling like my hair is dragging me down. Blah, blah bland. TIME FOR A CHANGE…


Ah, that’s way better. Hair with a voice and personality…way more me (and it only cost me five bucks!).
*and on another totally random note: i love jack white. i thought that i’d just throw that out there on the table*

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cozy crafternoon.

My sister has been hosting these wonderful events we are calling Crafternoons; you bring whatever craft you like, drink some wine, and chat away. Good fun if you ask me.

Anyways, the day of our last Crafternoon I decided to stop asking for my coffee to be double cupped (one is just too hot for my sensitive girly hands) and just knit myself a Coffee Cup Cozy. Lo and Behold, I give you….Da dum da da……

My beautiful work of art! You have no idea how excited I was when all was said and done and it actually worked. It’s a Christmas Miracle…oh, what I meant to say was that it’s a miracle and you’ll be getting one for Christmas. Hehe.

We also went to the Museum today. Loads of fun for a hefty price, but at least there were dinosaurs and pirate ships!

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rivendell.

This is what the LORD says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look;
Ask for the ancient paths,
Ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
And you will find rest for your souls.”
– Jeremiah 6:16
Rivendell came at just the right time and I couldn’t’t help but feel God’s hand leading me down the pathway into the welcoming old home. The rooms were quiet and strikingly peaceful filled with beautiful furniture and refreshing plants. I loved it. The place made me want to think and pray and be still, fulfilling its intended purpose.
Our first night was spent doing a Lectio Divina (a method of praying scripture) on Jeremiah 6:16 in which we dispersed about the three storey house, letting the words come alive speaking to us individually. It sounds odd and slightly boring, which was indeed my first reaction, reading and re-reading one verse, focusing on one word then a phrase and back to one word. How long can you sit and do that for? I thought that I was going to fall asleep repeating the words ‘stand’ and ‘the good way’. It turns out that a few forgotten doors of my heart quietly opened in the solace of the home and allowed God to softly speak words of refreshment. It’s as though I was sitting by a peaceful stream on a hot summers day, swishing my toes around in the cool water and feeling a slight breeze on my face…just enough. It was lovely. I was surprised when our time came to a close, I could have gone on for awhile more, yet I was excited for the next day brought at Rivendell.
James and I got to the house early the next morning, poured ourselves some coffee (that someone else had rolled out of bed to make!) and plopped down on one of the most comfortable couches known to man…seriously. The sun was streaming in and I was ready for what God wanted to talk to me about. Saturday morning was dedicated to a guided journal exercise in which a person evaluates their present situations with the idea that it will help them ‘reorient’ themselves. I’m not going to go through the whole process or explain everything that I got out of it, but I will say that it was very beneficial. I found that a lot of the answers came easily for me due to the fact that I’m left alone with my thoughts fairly often, but it was good to take the time to actually think about why I feel certain ways and get things down on paper. I don’t know why it is, but the simple act of writing something down can be so clarifying. Questions like ‘What new movement is starting to emerge in me?’ or ‘Where is deep healing needed?’ really got me thinking and I found that I was able to sift through a lot of garbage.
One of the best things that I took away from the whole experience was actually something someone else had encountered during their time of reflection. When we all came together after the two hours were up, we had a time of sharing. One man talked about how God was showing him verses about Jesus’ ministry and how, even when His ministry was doing well in one town and flourishing, Jesus would move on. He was saying that sometimes God calls us to leave behind good things in order to make room for better things or different things. This really really spoke to me. I’ve been feeling like the things that I used to define myself with are fading away and I’m left with a bland taste in my mouth. As soon as I heard this my ears perked-up and my heart warmed. The things that I’m leaving behind aren’t necessarily bad, but maybe God has better. Maybe God wants to fill me with new passions and a new purpose.
I left Rivendell feeling uplifted and refreshed. I was reminded just how important rest and reflection are during this busy time of our lives, even Jesus would leave the crowds to go into the wilderness to pray. I need to follow His lead more often and take the time to reorient myself so that I am walking beside Him and not away from Him.

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