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"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



July 31, 2009

A New Look and A New Name

Hi Folks,

Dear Diary has been kicked to the curb.


It lost the diary affect years ago and I was getting bored with it anyways.


Since the blog has taken on the design of our everyday ordinary family life, it has a new title to reflect what is really going on. At the same time I didn't want scrap the blog altogether and start a new one. This "new" blog is the continuation of our life.


If there is one thing that Colin and I have learned especially in the last 18 months or so is to live for today and do not worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow is sure to bring it's own worries and anxieties but enjoy today, it is a gift.

Specifically I have Luke 12: 22-26 in mind


“Then Jesus said to his disciples:
‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.
Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.
Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn;
yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?’”


I'm guilty in getting caught up with what may or may not happen because of my never ending quest to plan but in the meantime I sometimes loose focus on what a temporal life we have here on earth and the glorious life that is to come.


Until that day comes, I will focus on today and let tomorrow be what is planned for it.



'Til next time,

July 30, 2009

Don't be shy ~ leave a comment!

Dear Diary,


A big THANK YOU to those who have left comments on our blog - we love hearing from you. In fact Colin makes the point every evening to go and read them (if there are any!).


If you would like to leave a comment but don't know how it's very simple. Below each post is the fine print where you'll see "# of friends have something to say". Just click on the phrase and follow the steps Blogger takes you through. To limit spam and other bad people you'll have to enter a verification code. Easy peasy, eh?


You can post anonymously but honestly those types are not my favourite unless you leave your name at the end of your comment. Another alternative is to create a blogger identity if you don't already have one. I can't remember how to do that but I'm sure it's straightforward.


This post is my way of saying, please don't be shy, if you're reading, you're amongst friends. How many other times in life can you leave your unsolicited opinion or advice! ;-)


I know alot of our readers but there are some that I can't figure out so please let us know who you are and where you're from. We would LOVE to hear from you and while you're at it, why not become a follower (see the right column under "Our Followers")?.


Blogging makes the world alot smaller and we love to share our story with you. Often I wonder why anyone would want to read about our boring little transient life but it's a great tool to stay in touch with family and friends and make new ones at the same time!


Hope you're well wherever you are and God bless!



BTW, I've been playing around with the template again which also got me thinking about comments and this topic!


'Til next time,

An update of sorts...

Dear Diary,

Just another day of not much going on which I suppose is a good thing.


The weather has cooled down significantly (I'm wearing sweat pants and sweat shirt!) and it's been wet. It's forecasted to get back into the 80's this weekend but I can't say I'm looking forward to it, I kind of like it the way it is.


Colin's "new" boss was in town the past day or so and told him the plan for the American operations. It sounds good especially the part about getting a company car. Now all we need is the stupid visa but there is a plan to speed that up as well and we're hoping it works out but other than that, nothing new on the visa front either.

I took a few photos of the lil lady this morning before lunch. How cute is this?

I gotta say this could be one of my favourites EVER! We're so in love with her, how could we not be?

Enjoy your day.

I'm going to get myself a cup of tea and relax until she wakes up from her nap.


'Til next time,

July 28, 2009

Just hangin' out at home

Dear Diary,


Isla and I spend alot of time at home and I admit the days can be l-o-n-g and boring at times.



Yes, she does keep me on my toes but it doesn't always mean exciting as in stimulating. She is content following me around, "talking" together and "helping" me - yes, she can dust and clean windows - but periodically throughout the day we stop to go for walks, read books and play mega blocks.




There are even times that she goes in her Pack 'n' Play - that would be a playpen to the "older" generation of readers. I can't believe it, I thought that by 17 months I would've had that thing packed up by now but she still loves to go in there to just hang out by herself and since it doesn't take up alot room, we leave it up.

She loves to read her books, talk on the Fisher Price phone to Oma & Opa (did you get all those phone calls mom and dad?) and it's very conveniently located for watching tv! It's also great for me to put her in and keep her safe while I have a shower in the morning.


The last week or so she has found herself in it a bit more often than normal because she has taken a liking to the trash can....
How annoying is this scene?


About 80,000 x throughout the day I have to get her out of it. For now we turn it around so that open button faces the wall but I'm wishing I had a trash can that goes under the kitchen sink. Yesterday she found a banana peel and for the next 45 minutes all we heard was "nana, nana".

She's annoyingly cute!

Colin and I have been putting on our Betty Crocker hats - not literally, we bake from scratch, we don't cheat! Last week it was muffins, pie and brownies and this week it's a blueberry pound cake but the problem is there is only 2.5 of us that eat it!

Not too bad for my first attempt and even Colin said it tasted "OK". That's about as big as a compliment as I'm going to get from him.


Oh and while I remember because 9.5 times out of 10 I forget to mention birthdays, to our lovely little neice -
Happy 15th Birthday Julianna!


'Til next time,

July 27, 2009

Anniversary Preparations

Dear Diary,

Last summer Colin and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary apart - he was in the UK working on getting the business visa and I was at my parents house in Canada. This year we should be celebrating our 3rd anniversary together and I want to make it special since it's been a bit of a downer year for us.


I already know what I'm going to get him but I've been drooling over this custom bracelet created by Kristen Andrews on etsy.com for awhile and I know that he wouldn't be able to order just the way I want it so I did it myself a few weeks ago. It arrived last week and I love it!

The first charm is our anniversary date and the second charm has Isla's name along with her birthstone. The nice thing about this bracelet and all the jewellery Kristen creates is that you can keep adding to it as all the charms are attached with lobster claws and each charm is hand stamped so each piece is unique.

Until our anniversary at the end of August, I am trying very hard not to wear it but I couldn't wait to show it off! Feel free to check out her website, she also does some beautiful necklaces (and no she isn't paying me for giving her blog and etsy shop a plug!).

I must go now, the little girl is hungry and apparently Dixie is thirsty!!



'Til next time,

July 25, 2009

Saturday Sundries

Dear Diary,

It's finally Saturday!


I love the weekends because Colin is home and there is someone to talk too during the day and we go out together even if it is sometimes just to the grocery store or Target. Not to mention we usually get to sleep a bit longer, ah nice....


Today was no exception. We are up at about 8:30 (Isla has her milk and fell asleep again at 6:30) and I craved french toast with coffee for breakfast so I made some for the three of us. After a walk for Isla and Colin and a shower for me we headed out the door together.


First stop was Atlanta Bread for a latte and a pastry after which we headed to Target. If only I had shares in Target. We're there all the time and this week we even did our groceries so spent even more $$$ than normal! For the Canadians not familiar with Target, it's like Zellers, only better. Even the logo is red and white, very similar!


Then it was back home lunch and a nap for Isla before heading out to Expo Park to watch the ducks and a walk. By the time we got there it was raining but not before I snapped a few photos of our beauty:
I can look at that sweet face forever!


Anyways, I'm not outdoor rain girl so I convinced Colin that we should go to Chili's for an early dinner and then come back when it's drier. Well, that was the plan...


Isla is eating much better this week and got really stuck into her milk, broccoli and chicken at Chili's. She loves eating out - that's my girl! She was well behaved as usual and could've eaten the entire dessert by herself if we let her - that's my girl!

Sadly it hadn't stopped raining by this time and as I type this, still is but that's OK because it hasn't rained much since the monsoon on Monday night. In fact the cranky weather all the Ontarian's are whining about on Facebook seems to be coming our way - scattered rain showers for the next five days. Good thing we spend alot of time at home, eh?


As Isla says "BYE" (waving) and said with a southern accent - where did she pick that up?



I think she looks so grown up in this photo...


'Til next time,

July 23, 2009

A little bit fruity....

Dear Diary,
Isla LOVES fruit, especially the "yellow fruit" (code words for banana or nanas as she calls them) so last week when I saw cherries on sale at the grocery store I thought I would buy her some to see what she thinks. Personally, I don't like cherries and while she didn't mind them the amount of work it is to get the pit out by hand we decided they're not worth the effort.
Colin had the great idea to make a pie with the leftover cherries.
Do you see the scruff on his chin? Do me a favour and tell him to shave it for me. I didn't have high expectations that he would shave it for me but even Isla doesn't like it and it's still on his face!
Speaking of hair, check out Isla's hair. I put pigtails in this morning for the first time.


I have figured out that the best time to put them in is when she is distracted by playing with the bathroom faucet.


Her sticky-outty hair has been driving me crazy! The curls are only cute when they don't stick out and that hasn't been happening lately.


I'm tempted to trim it and give her bangs but I think it needs to grow a bit longer. To be honest, I'm not sure I want her to have bangs. Should I or shouldn't I? What do you think? Either way I think she'll need a proper trim in a few months and it buys me time to make up my mind.


Today we're not up to much, just tidying up and cleaning. Yesterday I had the van so I was here, there and everywhere and still didn't get everything done that I had planned. I went back to our old apartment because there is a store there that I buy my vitamins from and I realized how much miss the neighbourhood!


I HATE this apartment - it's full of spiders and ants. Don't even start me on the noise, it's ridiculous. The kitchen and living room windows leak with every rain storm (and we've had some good ones) so the maintenance guys are always putting more caulking around them. I don't know why they bother, it hasn't worked yet - it needs a new window!!!


Our other apartment was in a newer neighbourhood, good shopping and just greener and nicer. When we moved here, our car insurance went up - that should say a bit about this area. If we ever buy a house over here, it will be in the area of our old apartment.
Anyways, with that rant over, I'm going to enjoy the rest of her nap time with a lovely cup of tea and enjoy the quiet, I may even have a snooze myself!

'Til next time,

July 22, 2009

What's going on....

Dear Diary,


As I type this I'm listening to Isla practice her loud voice in bed. What a stinker, usually she goes down for a nap without any noise. We have the van today to do a few errands like groceries and a bit shopping to keep me sane so perhaps she's in overdrive and needs to calm down first.


Nap times are easy for her to get to sleep. By noon she is more than ready for her nap and she'll stay in bed about 2 hours which gives me enough time to eat lunch, do a few things and still have a bit of time to relax with a cuppa. Bedtime however is another story. The past month she has been fighting us and if she is asleep or at least quiet in her room by 9 p.m. it's a good day. I'm not sure what happened to my 7 p.m. baby - I lost her months ago.

I had to share this photo. She has MY baby blanket over her head. Did you recognize it mom?



Despite it's old age those are not moth holes, the lady did it but don't ask me how. I dare say that her daughter will not be using it at this rapid stage of destruction! The funny thing is that blanket is STILL cuddly and soft after 30-something years so I hope she appreciates it!!

A few readers of enquired into our visa situation. It's unchanged at this time. At last word from our attorney, she was reviewing the documentation but I'm sure by now it is in Texas awaiting a verdict. Honestly, we (especially me) are hoping to recieve a denial as it will then enact Colin's boss' plan B which is to set up an office in Canada! YAY!

If that were to happen, we don't know how long we have left in America or where exactly in Canada we will return to. I know it will be Ontario somewhere between Oakville and Niagara Falls. It will be a ton of work for Colin to set up a new office and for us to find another home to rent... We are soooo done with moving, I just want it to be over with.

If we are to stay in America, lets just say we won't be retiring here. How long we'll be here is anybody's guess but if I have my way, we'll be back in Canada by the time Isla starts school. The fact that we don't know what is happening makes me extremely anxious. We can't plan a thing, even a holiday which we haven't had since our 3 day trip to Prague back in 2007. A vacation is long overdue, we both need it to calm down and relax and enjoy each others company but I just don't see that happening for a while.

Not much else has been going on now that we've recovered from a nasty stomach bug last week. Isla was sick just about everyday and I even had to take her off milk last weekend and that didn't go over too well with her. Colin and I also took turns taking care of each other but thankfully it wasn't anything serious, just 12 hours of gut-wrenching sickness...

On that pleasant thought, here's my girl lounging in her high chair. She has learned to get in and out of it which is handy but I loved it even more when all she could do was get in it and not out!!!




Hope you're well wherever you are and please pray that a visa verdict is coming soon, either way at this time would be appreciated.


'Til next time,

July 20, 2009

When she thinks I'm not looking...

Dear Diary,

I did some baking today (muffins and brownies in case you're interested) and took the locks off of the island doors to get to my baking supplies and small appliances.

The little lady took advantage of her chance to explore and destroy....



Is anybody looking?
Take a good rummage around for anything good to play with....

ahhh, a lid - what fun!!!

She's a handful but no worse than any other toddler her age and she's a ton of fun.
A funny story from this weekend. Colin took her to Target on Saturday to pick up a few things. She was whiny in the car but as soon as she got in the store, she turned on the charm by smiling and saying "Hi there" and waving to everyone, especially the grandmas. This girl is a grandma magnet!!
What can I say, we love her!


'Til next time,


July 18, 2009

Flags in July..

Dear Diary,


July is a month full of national holidays;



July 1st - Canada Day

July 4th - Independence Day (USA)

July 12th - Orange Day in Northern Ireland.



With so many flags about during this month and the fact that Heather and I have different national flags, I wondered how a flag for Isla might look and came up with this one;




All we need to do now is decide on which day to fly it.

'Til next time,

Colin..

A rant...

Dear Diary,

Today is just about over....

YAY!!!


I'm so done with sick people (myself included) and cats... Yes, I love my family but prefer them healthy.


Yes, cats too! A great big furball in the hallway tonight and just when I thought it couldn't get any worse.


Isla has been sick everyday this week but Wednesday. I've washed her bed linens including bumper at least 18,000 times I think.... Everytime we think she's over it, she's sick again. That probably explains why she isn't into food - she is eating and drinking but not much.


I was sick Thursday - yuck and had to recover quickly because today....


....Colin is sick but on the road to recovery, I hope....


Whatever we had or have, is contagious, very contagious so I suggest nobody come to visit until this apartment is sterilized and disinfected...


There, my rant is over, I'm ready for bed and my washer and dryer need a rest too until tomorrow...



'Til next time,

July 17, 2009

17 Months old but no photos, sorry folks

Dear Diary,


I'm thankful that Isla is starting month 18 on a healthy note because she has been sick this week and has spread the germ to both Colin and I. Right now Colin is in bed which is where I was yesterday. Other than this germ we are trying to get rid of, she's has had a good month. She's getting along well with the cats, she's great at entertaining herself and she is speaking more. She has become miss independent which is sometimes good but sometimes frustrating for us - I guess it's a sign she's growing up!

Her stats are:
Weight: 21.8 lbs - she's been off food this week and lost weight :-(
Height: 31 inches
Teeth: I THINK she has 16 but possibly 18 - we're waiting for at least 2 more molars.
New words: hat, cup, banana and a few others I can't think of right now. The good thing is if you say a new word she will at least try to say it.


Some of her favourite things:

- tubby tub - she could stay in there all day and just this week will splash on her tummy.

- throwing balls

- mega blocks! Colin has showed her which round blocks to put together and when you pull them apart make a popping noise - she loves them!

- Elmo and Elmo's World on Sesame Street

- going for walks where she can actually walk and not sit in the stroller.

- drinking from a straw sippy cup.

- Bananas, we can never have enough in the house and that's pretty much all she has had to eat this week.

- climbing onto everything esp. in and out of her high chair.


That's all I can think of right now - my brain is still mush after being sick yesterday but during her 18th month of life she could be doing the following:

Most toddlers should be able to . . .
Start to climb and explore - done
Respond to simple directions - very well
Enjoy certain games - ring-around- rosey
Like to ride toys - not so much but she does it
Some toddlers will probably be able to . . .
Say up to 10 or 15 words - getting close to 15
Become picky about certain foods - YES!
Separation anxiety lessens - never a problem
Run well - YES, watch out for walls!
Uses certain words regularly - done
Some toddlers could possibly be able to . . .
Talk more clearly
Kick ball in forward direction
Like to sort toys
String more words together to make phrases or puts together pairs of words
Brush teeth with help - done


I better run, it's quiet here and everyone knows that is not a good sign but before I sign off,

Well done Isla!

'Til next time,

July 15, 2009

My poor girl...

Dear Diary,

... hasn't been feeling well the last few days.

Just when we think she's feeling better, I'm washing the sheets on her bed again and she has slight temperature...


For now she's eating the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast) and I'll probably keep her on it for a few more days until we're 100% sure her tummy is recovered. Funny thing is, that is pretty much all the lady likes to eat anyways...



Please pray she recovers soon and returns to her usual toddler self.


'Til next time,

July 12, 2009

Happy 12th of July...

Dear Diary,



I haven't forgot about it ye know...

'Til next time,

Colin..

A wee bit lazy and tired...

Dear Diary,

... and can't be bothered to add much commentary about our day today....


We drove into the mountains to a little town called Estes Lake, Colorado after stopping in an even smaller town called Lyons, Colorado for lunch ....


Go ahead, look it up on a map - they are both close to the Rocky National Park which we didn't visit today but have in the past.

















Colin showing off his new hat which of course Isla had to try on too!









It's such a pretty town and it was a great escape from the ugly city landscape. If I could live in the mountains, I would!

'Til next time,

July 10, 2009

Evian Babies

Dear Diary,

Have you seen this? You gotta watch it - it cracks me up!





Last night on the 6 o'clock they showed how they made the commercial, it's amazing what they can do with technology!



'Til next time,

July 6, 2009

Another first and a proud mommy!

Dear Diary,

Another treasure for the memory box....


Isla's first drawing!


It can't be all work, a little of play time too...
The artist hard at work.
The masterpiece!
Okay, maybe I helped her a little bit but this was the first time she ever used a crayon and I think she did really good job!


'Til next time,


July 3, 2009

Panicing, fat lips and other events from this week

Dear Diary,

I've always known I'm not a quick thinker on my feet but twice this week (Wednesday actually) I paniced and froze. It's bothered me ever since and I'm thankful Colin springs into action while I come to grips with what just happened. I'd be horrible a ER nurse, that much I know. Anyways, it scares me to think what could've happened if it weren't for a quicker thinking person. I feel awful about both incidents and I wish I sprung into action like WonderWoman. Thanks be to God nothing serious resulted.

I won't go into detail of the first incident but the second involved Isla stumbling and putting a tooth through her lip. She cried and cried and it bled something horrible. She's OK ,didn't require stitches and I'm sure there will be many more fat lips in her future. In the meantime, I'm coming to grips with the bloody side of parenting. I shudder at the thought of a broken limb.


Take a look at that lip....
By dinnertime it was almost normal and by Thursday you couldn't even tell she was injured.

Our routine every morning involves watching Sesame Street. She loves it, especially Elmo so when I found her holding her Elmo while watching Elmo's World, I had to snap a photo.

Is this kid cute or what?

She has also become little Miss Independent. She must feed herself, do what she wants and walk everywhere. The only way to allow her out of her stroller and still be safe is to have a monkey on her back - the harness and leash. No, she's not a dog and we don't get anywhere quickly but she gets the freedom she wants and we can still keep her safe.

In the van she is still in a rear-facing carseat. The rule is one year old AND 20 lbs but it's proven that children under the age of 2 suffer far fewer and less injuries if rear-facing in an accident. Right now she is still comfortable and doesn't mind it but that could be because rear-facing is all she knows!

She just woke up in this photo - notice her sweaty hair!

Since she had sweaty hair we brought Miss Independent into the pool for a swim. She doesn't like to be held in the pool either and thinks she can swim off by herself but we are much more comfortable with her being in her turtle this summer! She doesn't mind, she likes it.

In the Colorado heat the pool is a must-have and we're usually in it every day.
'Til next time,