"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,
to them who are the called according to His purpose"

Romans 8:28

May 22, 2009

Next year I'm gonna try to miss the month of May!

Dear Diary,

I'm doing a bit of reminiscing today - we left our lovely Larne house at 4:00 a.m. and headed to Dublin for our flight to Toronto one year ago.

The thing is, it seems like I always move in May :

- In May 2002, I put the offer in for my condo in Burlington (moved in July 2002).
- In May 2005, I sold and moved out of my condo in Burlington.
- I left Canada and moved to the UK in May 2005.
- We bought and moved in our Larne house in May 2006.
- We left N. Ireland in May 2008.
- We are in the process of packing & moving tomorrow to our new apartment and we plan on staying there for a very long time!!!
No more moving, so yes, next year, I'm gonna try my best to miss the month of May just in case we have to move, again...

'Til next time,

May 19, 2009

Cabinet Locks

Dear Diary,

You know you have a toddler when you have to go out to buy cabinet locks or else the Comet cleaning powder is all over the kitchen. Yes, that happened last week, not pretty.

Since we're moving this weekend this is the only cabinet that isn't locked because if we installed it, we would need to screw it in... In the meantime, she's been having a blast with the Saran Wrap, waxed paper and such.

The fingers have only been caught once. So far...

'Til next time,

May 17, 2009

15 Month Update

Dear Diary,

Isla is now 15 months old and WOW didn't she enjoy her last month of life.

In case you haven’t heard, the big news is she is walking!

It started with three steps everyday for about a week but one night she REALLY wanted her teddy and nothing was going to stop her. She went for 8 steps and before we knew it was 20 steps to get to her Fisher Price telephone. Who would've thought? She is now walking 95% of the time with rarely a stumble.

She is also eating much better as long as I have 3 hours to spare. She is a super ssssllllooooowwww eater but hey, it's better than nothing! I think speed is the secret with the lady and she is eating lumpy food including meat and vegetables fairly well too. She'll eat just about anything with applesauce.

Her 15 months stats are:

Weight: 21.4 lbs.

Teeth - 1 new upper molar for a total of 11 teeth and
I’m waiting for the first canine tooth (lower left) to cut through.

Words: "hi there", "teddy" and “moo” (holding her cow)
have been added to her vocabulary list.

She loves giving "high fives" and kisses.

New foods include avocado, peppers, any type of meat.

An excerpt from a website, at 15 months:

Most babies should be able to . . .
· Toddle well - done
· Say up to five words - done
· Climb stairs – no clue, we don’t have stairs
· Like to look at books and turn pages - done
· Laugh at funny things – especially Daddy!

Some babies will probably be able to . . .
· Walk well or runs – walking, not running yet and
I’m not encouraging her
· Draw lines
· Say no and shakes head
· Like to sing – done, it’s soooooo cute!
· Follow simple directions - done

Some babies could possibly be able to . . .
· Walk up stairs
· Want to help around the house
· Remember caregiver and separation anxiety lessens – never been a problem
· Respond to verbal requests without signals of any type - done

I think it is fair to say that she has another very good monthly report card indeed!

'Til next time,

May 15, 2009

Only Dixie....

Dear Diary,

My sweet Pearl would never do this, only Dixie, Colin's cat.

Can you guess where she is?

We must've had a rip under the box spring mattress (or she scratched it open) and the furry lady made herself comfortable in it for an afternoon nap...

Did you forget we had cats?

'Til next time,

May 11, 2009

Typical Isla

Dear Diary,

I just had to share this photo from today
and to say
I can't wait to show her off in Ontario this summer!

'Til next time,

Amish Friendship Bread

Dear Diary,

You may have seen the recipe for Amish Friendship Bread making the rounds.

Basically, you make the batter and split it four ways - three parts go in Ziploc bags for friends and the fourth part is to keep for yourself and finish the recipe. The entire receipe is made over a period of ten days (see below). Your friends do the same with the batter you made and gave them and they add to it with their ingredients to give to their friends.

We received our Ziploc bag from a friend at Park Hill and together Colin and I have been smashing the bag together. It was baking day yesterday and this is the fruit of our labour (in a round cake pan).

If you would like to start to share with your friends, this is the recipe.


1 pkg. active dry yeast

1/4 c. warm water

1 c. flour

1 c. sugar

1 c. warm milk (110 degrees)

Making the starter:

Day 1:
Soften active dry yeast with 1/4 cup warm water for 10 minutes.
Stir with a wooden spoon. In a non-metal bowl, combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix, slowly adding 1 cup warm milk and the softened yeast. Cover loosely with clean cloth and leave at room temperature until bubbly. When mixture has lots of bubbles, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Days 2, 3, and 4:
Stir with a wooden or plastic spoon (don't use a metal spoon) until mixture is smooth. Do this once each day.

Day 5:
At this time, 2 cups of starter can be removed from the batch to bake Amish Friendship Bread or use in your own recipe which calls for starter.
Replenish starter by stirring in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk; stir; allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour, then refrigerate.

Days 6, 7, 8, 9:
Stir with wooden or plastic spoon until smooth. Do this once each day.

Day 10:
Pour four 1 cup starters into ziplock bags. Keep one starter for yourself and give the other three to your friends along with the instructions.


The recipe to include to your friends with the bagged batter:






Day 1 This is the day you receive the batter; do nothing

Day 2 Squeeze the bag

Day 3 Squeeze the bag

Day 4 Squeeze the bag

Day 5 Squeeze the bag

Day 6 Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Put in larger ziplock bag and squeeze until mixed

Day 7 Squeeze the bag

Day 8 Squeeze the bag

Day 9 Squeeze the bag

Day 10 Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk to the batter in a large bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula. Pour four 1 cup starters into ziplock bags. Keep one starter for yourself and give the other three to your friends along with the instructions.

To the remaining batter add:
remaining starter

1 c. oil1 c. sugar

1 t. vanilla

3 eggs

1 1/2 t. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

2 c. flour

1/2 c. milk

1/2 t. baking soda

1 large box instant vanilla pudding

2 t. cinnamon

Pour into two large, greased and sugared (with cinnamon and sugar mixed) loaf pans. You can sprinkle some extra cinnamon and sugar on top. Bake 325_ for 45-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Opt.: add 1c. chopped pecans and/or 1/2 c. raisins, if desired.

'Til next time,

May 10, 2009

Colin's new toy & stuff

Dear Diary,

Yesterday we went to three Targets (don't ask, a long story) to get a Colin a new toy - although he said it was for Isla.

Whatever (roll eyes).

How cute is this?

Elmo sings ABC!

For the last few weeks each and every time we visited Target Colin would play with Elmo with Isla. She does love Elmo but Colin is the one pressing his hands and feet to get him talking and singing that I'm thinking it wasn't really for Isla after all.

By the way, she is now walking like a pro - it's so cute and I'm AMAZED how quickly she has come in a mere 6 days of walking! I'm so disappointed we don't have a video camera to share her first steps with everyone but I'll try to post some pics once I get one or two that are not blurry.

... and finally,

Mother's Day 2009!

'Til next time,

May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Dear Diary,

Proverbs 31:28 (NKJV)
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
May we all strive to become blessed to our families today,
tomorrow and everyday.

'Til next time,

May 5, 2009

Toddler Times FINALLY!

Dear Diary,

My baby is happy...

.... because she is officially a toddler now.....

... she's a walker!!

She's been taking 3 steps and then falling down for the last week or so but tonight she REALLY wanted her teddy and went for it and took 8 steps in the process.....
We kept on practicing and she took up to 20 steps to get to her favourite toys. If I knew a Fisher Price telephone was going to get her walking, I would've used it months ago!!!!
To say the least, Colin and I are proud of her and she just beams from ear to ear as she toddles along. She's even standing up and walking from the crawling position but crawling is still the quicker way to chase the cats!

This is her new favourite thing to do - wash her hands in the sink - Daddy is so much more fun than Mommy!

.... but it wore her out. A cuddle with Daddy before bedtime....

Tomorrow, more walking!

'Til next time,

A Weighty Update

Dear Diary,

As you may or may not have noticed, I have fallen off the weight loss wagon....

... but I have crawled my way back up.

I was at the gym at 7 this morning since apparently my body has to move in order to shed the pounds. What a novel idea, eh?

For one reason or another, none of which are good, I have stopped going to the gym and pretty much since then, I stopped losing weight. Enough is enough, I have to lose at least 10 lbs. by the end of June. Anything less is unacceptable to me and anything more is woohoo!!!

My original goal was to reach my ideal weight by May 22. That is not going to happen but I'm OK with it as long as I continue to lose.

I am proud of the 17 lbs. I have lost and my clothes that were tight last summer are fitting much better now but I don't want to become complacent.

Colin has orders to push me out of bed at least 3 mornings a week at 6:45, just enough time for me to get to the gym for at least a 30 minute walk/run or do 2 miles before he heads off to work. I also plan on going Saturday mornings for a total of 4 times a week.

Keep in mind Isla and I are out walking almost everyday but that is more of a stroll with her since she has to look at EVERY car, EVERY dog and EVERY person that we meet up with. It's more for her nosiness that I do it and less for me in terms of exercise.

So kind readers, please motivate me, encourage me and kick me into gear. I still need it and will update my ticker to the right once a week.

'Til next time,

May 1, 2009

The look of guilt

Dear Diary,

This past week has been tough on Colin and I. I think the anxiety and uncertainty of the last year is wearing us down but this face never fails to make us smile...

... even when she is a naughty girl!

She loves to eat and play with the cat food and splash in their water and yes, we only laugh when she is not around.

How could we not?

'Til next time,