"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

January 30, 2010

Being away from Home...

In Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians he instructs the people to;
"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody." Ch 2 v 11,12 
Sometimes in life our work can take us away from home but that should not prevent you from being able to live such a life. However being away from home does make it more difficult to manage one's own family well and give teaching and training to one's children as mentioned in 1 Timothy Ch 3 v 4.

Since I have been away, the task of looking after the home and child has fallen solely on the shoulders of my dear wife Heather. It has been very difficult for her because looking after Isla is becoming a non stop job. 

Isla will be two next month and this period of her life has all the markings of the "terrible twos". She is getting into everything, says "No" to every instruction and question and is totally becoming a handful for Heather. 

I just want to say to you Heather that you're doing a great job there by yourself.. It saddens me that I am not there to help at this difficult time but I know that God is in control of our lives and we are very slowly getting to where we want to be. We should keep looking to our Lord every day to seek his guidance, encouragement and direction and by doing that we will get through this difficult time.

I love you and will continue to work hard for our family, soon things will become more settled and I will be back home.

Until next time,


Brrrr, it's cold

This morning, just before 8 a.m., I looked at the thermometre outside and it was -17 but it's windy too so it feels like -57 (not quite, but close)!

We've spent alot of time indoors which doesn't agree with Isla.  She's ancy, dancy and gets bored easily but she's taken too a new past-time....

Not sure if this is a good thing but she enjoys herself...

'Til next time,

January 24, 2010

Snow Repellant?

Yes, I'm pretty sure Colin and I are snow repellants.

N. Ireland doesn't get alot of snow but they get some.  The three and a half years I was there, it didn't snow at all. Ok, maybe just a sprinkling but that's it...  Almost nothing.

That brings me to Colorado.  It's snows there alot, right? WRONG.  Seriously, no snow last year.  We hardly even wore a winter coat or any coat at all for that matter.  It snowed two Sundays in April and gone by the end of the day.  That was it.

Ontario.  Canada.  According to most Americans, it snows here 10 months a year.  WRONG.  We've had  a couple of snowy mornings that leave a cm. or two but that's it.  I should say that it has snowed all around us. 

Did I mention it's January and raining?  In fact Lake Waterdown is pooling in the backyard.  Now if it would freeze tonight, I wouldn't walk outside tomorrow.

So there you go.  We are snow repellant.  Or maybe I'm snow repellant. Not sure if I should include Colin since he isn't here most of the time.  Anyways, the Black family is snow repellant.

I miss the snow.  I miss snowstorms.  Maybe, just maybe we'll have a snowy February.  It's been such a  long time since I've seen a great blizzard and I miss it!!!!!!

'Til next time,

January 17, 2010

23 Months Old!

One more month and we'll be celebrating Isla's 2nd birthday.... Where does the time go?

This month:
  • she has started eating all her meals by herself with a spoon or fork or both?!? 
  • she answers "No" to just about everything,
  • she learned to puzzle in record time;
  • she learned pb&j  is great to eat at every meal(if she could); and
  • she has found a new love for her teddies and blankie. 

She hasn't learned too many more words and jabbers more than anything but we're able to figure out what she wants.  There is alot of grunting that I probably let her get away with and shouldn't but I know she knows loads more than she's been speaking.  Mom bought her a placemat and each meal time we review her numbers and colours.  She's done really well pointing out numbers 1 to 5 and now we're working on 6 to 10 and more colours.  Purple is apparently her favourite colour but that is OK, I like it too!

'Til next time,

January 11, 2010

Here we go again...

I'll never get used to it ... Colin is away for four weeks again.... Sigh...

He left last evening for Brazil after his flight got delayed twice. He didn't say good-bye to Isla because she's been wigging out when he leaves the room and so far she hasn't asked for him. Good. And she spoke to him on the phone this morning and didn't get upset. Even better.
But we miss him already. February 5 cannot come soon enough.
He's not sure when he'll leave again when he comes home. Isla's birthday is February 17 and he's booked the day off so chances are he'll be home that week but we shall see.

She's been pretty clingy to me today. She did see his suitcase yesterday and she knows it means he's leaving so maybe she's holding onto me for security. Not sure. She isn't saying. But she has a drippy nose and I have feeling molars are giving her grief as well. She napped only 45 minutes this afternoon but my consolation prize has been some serious cuddling with my otherwise very active, don't have time to cuddle toddler. Nice.

Proof of teething - Elmo and frozen yogurt

while laying on the sofa - a sight never seen before!

We're pretty much moved settled into the apartment. There are still boxes all over the place and stuff that will remain homeless so we'll have to find a storage place for those things. Once I feel comfortable that I've been able to make it look like home, I'll post some photos.

I'm thinking of staying one night a week in the apartment until Colin comes home, after that we'll decide.

'Til next time,

January 7, 2010

What's Ahead?

I was reading through the blog and realized I've cut down the commentary ALOT! Not sure why, I guess it's just easier to share photos rather than words. Maybe my laziness?

As I write this, Isla is finally asleep, snug-as-a-bug in her crib and Tasha has been kicked outside because she feels the need to bark at something or nothing as is usually the case.

We've been in Canada almost four months now or should I say Isla and I have been in Canada for four months now. Colin is coming home for a week "vacation" now and again before heading off to the next exotic destination. No, really, it's not that exciting for him either. In fact, he's got the rotten end of the deal if you ask me and I hate that. I keep telling myself that we'll have to live like this for the next six months or as long as it takes. Our situation could be worse and we're thankful he has a job!
Isla is doing well. Her new favourite word is "no" (said in a very, very sweet little voice!) and typical with toddlers, can't be relied on 100%.

e.g. "Isla, did you do something in your diaper?"
"No" (looking down and shaking her head) despite the "smell of roses" radiating from her pants.

She's not interested in being toilet trained yet. Occasionally we'll see her hide behind a chair or she'll point to her diaper but other than that, nothing. We're in the process of moving, again, and it's not a good time to start. I'm happy just leaving the situation as it is until the spring or summer but I would LOVE to say she is trained sometime this year. I don't think that is asking alot of her, do you?

She's going to be two next month and birthday ideas are floating around my head. I feel sorry for her that she's born in February. At this age it's not too big of a deal but being a March baby myself, it sucks when you get to be school aged! In the meantime, we're just going to have family and a few friends over to the new digs for a small soiree. Photos to follow in February.

I mentioned we were moving. We sort of moved already or you could say we are in the process. We're moving into a walk-out basement apartment. The house is owned by our dear friends and just as we need a place to hang our hats, it became available. God's Providence is shown again! It's located in the country, with horses and loads of open space. Great for Isla and great for my furry girls, once the weather gets warmer of course. K & H have a little girl six weeks older than Isla so she also has a playmate! YAY, my girl loves other kids! It'll be good for both girls.

We're taking our time leaving Mom's house for a number of reasons:
1. The apartment is being slightly renovated; and
2. Colin is leaving for a month and I'd like to stay with mom for a bit longer to keep her company as she transitions and I don't have to be alone either. The plan is I'll stay with mom a few nights a week and a few nights at the apartment - at least for the first few months. We'll see how long this arrangement keeps up.

Lots of changes happening, indeed.

Anyways, Colin and I are praying that 2010, through God's grace, provides us more permanence, stability and bonding with the family. All three have been lacking greatly the last two years.

The visa application is in place and going forward (as far as I know), we have a new home and getting reacquainted with family here in Canada (both mine and his family). Colin has gotten to know my family much more as well. Just last Saturday my brother, niece and nephews along with Colin decided to go downhill skiing on the coldest day of the winter. Crazy! Despite the frigid -27 celsius temperature (with windchill), they all had a good time and if asked again, he'd go again.

I think those goals are good enough in terms of new year resolutions. They're lofty goals if you think about it but still attainable. I do have other plans that I would like to accomplish but they are minor in comparison....

Ok, so you want to what they are. Well, while we were unpacking our stuff from both N. Ireland and Colorado, I have countless baking dishes and pots and pans. I need to more serious cooking (new recipes) by going out of my comfort zone and bake much more which I love to do anyways. Maybe three or four times a month?

Told you they were minor. Boring. I'll post photos to prove I'm working on it.

A fun thing I started on Facebook - 365 photos in 2010! A photo a day in other words. Yes, I know I take enough photos anyways but I'm trying not to take 365 photos of Isla! Here's some of my handiwork from the last seven days:

One day I'll get Photoshop installed and take a photography course ~ maybe in 2011....

I leave you with this thought:
Dont work to hard to give yourself the best of everything,
instead make a greater effort to give GOD the best of yourself.

'Til next time,

January 3, 2010

Yogurt Poster Child

Isla has been feeding herself with a spoon or fork - it isn't pretty but it's the only way she'll eat so we let her. She loves yogurt and these photos are a fairly typical evening meal at dessert time...


... but when it's gone, watch out!

'Til next time,