Friday, December 28, 2007
Christmas Dinner
We had our family Christmas dinner early this year so that Dad could be with us before he flew to meet Mom, my sister Lindsey and her husband, and most of the rest of our extended family in Ontario.

These photo sessions usually dissolve into hysterics at some point as one or more camera timers go off before they are expected to and there are various shots of people's backsides as they are running to get into the back row of the picture or diving for the floor spot in front. This time didn't disappoint either. I don't have any of the "bloopers" on my camera but I'm sure I can hunt one of two down...

We had an excellent dinner and a nice, relaxing evening together. Fun, food, and fellowship!



From left to right, back to front:
My brother-in-law Andrew; Dad; David (pretty much a brother to our family); Aunty Hilary (David's mom); Grandpa Ib (our adopted Danish grandpa); Dwayne; Hendrik; Jen(me); Riley (on Jen's lap); my youngest sister Christen.

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The house!!! A sneak peak. :)
Here are a few pictures to get you started. The kitchen, bathroom and loft are almost indiscernible right now so you'll have to settle for the living room until we get some more organizing done. :)

But first, what's a log home without a little taxidermy?



From left to right:


Our "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree. :)








Back door, woodstove, stairs to the loft.



Taken from beside the woodstove, looking across the dining table to the kitchen and front door.



From the kitchen, looking into the living room. Our couch is backing onto the dining table.

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posted at 12:19 AM  
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Wednesday, December 19, 2007
MOVING! ~ No phone!!!
We are in the middle of moving this week. We spent the first night at our new house on Saturday night. However, we are without a phone as the phone company is trying to get service set up for us. Hopefully I will be back soon with pictures of the new place and an update!

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The Birthday Girl!
Watching Strawberry Shortcake with her big brother.



Bathtime!



Caught between smiles and making funny noises. :)



A little bit of excitement.



Studying her new toys.



An audience with our little princess.

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Happy 1st Birthday Riley!
Our sweet baby girl is one today! I can't believe how fast the year has gone by. Riley is the most mellow, happy baby anyone could wish for. We are so proud of Riley and of how she growing and developing. :)

Riley has quite the collection of pet names. Here are the most common ones:

"Sweet Pea"
"Leigh-leigh" (Hendrik's name for her before he could say her full name. We've spelled it like Aunty Christen's middle name.)
"Miss Riley"
"Smiley Riley"
"Riley Pie"
"Muffin"
"Pumpkin"

We will open a present or two with her today but will save having cake for the weekend when everyone is feeling 100% again.

Don't worry Grandmas, there will be pictures to follow soon!

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007
What's Your Design Style?
Autum, over at Creative Little Daisy, provided the link to this style quiz at HGTV.com and, like her, I couldn't resist!

Here is my result!
Eccentric
For you, it's all about the mix. Any style is welcome in your world as long as it complements something else. You're drawn to funky interiors and eye-catching color combinations (think red and blue, orange and turquoise, purple and gold0. You like contrasting patterns and unconventional architecture. You enjoy furnishings that remind you of your travels mixed with modern pieces and offbeat antiques.

According to your results these styles suit you best:

Eclectic
Southwestern
Mediterranean

I think this is pretty accurate, although, the only one of the three recommended styles that appeals to me is the eclectic one! :)

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Making Your Home a Haven - Day Seven
Today's Challenge from Crystal:
Since I'm a bit behind around here due to Kaitlynn's teething issues, I'm going to keep this challenge short and sweet. In addition to spending some time refreshing your spirit in the Lord, doing your morning routine, making out a simple prioritized to-do list for the day, and preparing dinner by noon, your challenge today is to either:

1) Clean out, declutter, and organize a drawer, shelf, or closet.

2) Tackle a project you've been procrastinating on for too long.

Or, you can do both!

If you have time, blog about what you accomplish today including before and after pictures, if you'd like. Leave your link to your blog post below. Let's all inspire one another on to making our homes a haven for our families!

----------------------------------------------------------------

Yesterday did not go according to plan as there wasn't a plan aside from trying to help Hendrik recover from a stomach bug and hope that the rest of us stayed well. I ended up staying awake all Sunday night with Hendrik and then when Dwayne got up in the morning I went to bed and he watched the kids until about 2pm. Then it was running some errands to pick up essentials and back home to do some packing. We got quite a bit done, aided by the fact that Hendrik was so docile after being sick that he just lounged in the living room and watched some cartoons. Dwayne took a load of our stuff out to Bell Rock and returned only to announce that he needed to go to bed right away. Unfortunately, he caught the stomach bug as well. My dad also had it today. I think Riley and I had a milder form on Thursday but I'm not sure. My immune system seems to be slightly boosted while I am pregnant and I tend to get sick less. At least I am hoping that I have already had it...

Today I hope to get done the things that I wasn't able to accomplish yesterday. I did get some laundry and dishes done during the night but there are still stacks of both to finish off.

1. Wash ALL dishes.
2. Sweep/wash kitchen and bathroom floors
3. Clean bathroom
4. Vacuum main carpeted areas

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Monday, December 10, 2007
Making Your Home a Haven - Day Six
Crystal has started Week 2 of the "Making Your Home a Haven" challenge over at her blog.

Today's Challenge:
I've added in a few extra items this week since hopefully some of us have established some basic routines now. If it feels too overwhelming or too much, just pick one or two of the following items and do those. Don't bite off more than you can chew!

1) Refresh Your Spirit

2) Do Your Morning Routine

3) Take Time to Plan

1. Vacuum living room/dining room/hall
2. Wash all dishes
3. Sweep/mop kitchen and bathroom floors


4) What's on the Menu for Dinner?

Take a moment to plan what you'll be having for dinner and then do as much of the prep work as possible before noon. Fix up a pot of soup, throw something in the crock pot, whip up a casserole, or pull something out of the freezer.

I recommend you have this dinner prep work as part of your morning routine or scheduled into your morning somewhere. Then you'll save yourself realizing it's five o'clock and you haven't a clue what to fix!

What are you serving for dinner?


5) Project of the Day

Turn some uplifting music on, light some candles, put an apron on, roll up your sleeves, and let's get busy!

Set your timer for five minutes and start at your front door again and quickly walk through the main living areas of your house straightening and picking up and putting away anything that's out of place. When the timer beeps, you're done, so work fast and don't get distracted.

Then, go to your kitchen (you knew we'd get there soon, didn't you?) and wash, dry, and put away any dirty dishes there are (or use the dishwasher) and then quickly straighten anything else that's out of place, wipe down your counters and cupboards, and replace your dish towels.

If you have a chance, take before and after pictures of your main living areas and kitchens and share them with us.

posted at 2:54 AM  
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New haircut
Last Wednesday Hendrik and I got haircuts! Neither of us had been in several months and we were due. I needed something a little bit different than what I've been doing the past year and half, but also a cut that would work if I didn't blow dry it and that was still long enough to be pulled back when playing with little ones or cleaning. This was the result. I am quite happy with it and am loving how healthy my hair feels. :) It hasn't been this smooth since the day it was done as I haven't blown it dry or used a flat iron on it, but I still like how it looks with a little bit more flip and body to it. Thanks Judy!

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Unexpected cleaning
WARNING: Not for the squeamish! ;)

Tonight(Sunday) we experienced the first true case of stomach flu in our toddler. The poor kid. We were driving home from having dinner with my dad, sister, and friend-who-might-as-well-be-our-brother and all seemed fine. As usual Hendrik didn't want to go home just yet because he wanted to look at more Christmas lights. When that didn't work, he tried for going to see planes at the airport. Still a no go as it was after 10 p.m. at this point.

We were now parked in the driveway and Dwayne had gone to unlock the front door. Less than 30 seconds after his typical toddler maneuvering he suddenly said to me, "Need a new snowsuit.". I thought that was odd. He's never said that before and he LOVES his red snowsuit. I asked, "Why do you need a new snowsuit? What happened?" I turned around to see if he had gotten the lid off of his sippy cup and spilled milk or something. While I was investigating this possibility I heard a strange gurgling noise followed by a sight I won't describe here, followed by a more pitiful repeat of, "Need a new snowsuit." Poor kid. He was a mess.

We got him inside, still buckled in his car seat, and then transferred him, still wearing his snowsuit, into the tub. He was crying by this point and saying to himself, "Don't worry," and "It's okay." Very pitiful. We got him cleaned up and he seemed his usual self until about 15 minutes later. Another bath and some carpet cleaning for me.

More normal behaviour for about 20 minutes. Yet another bath and more carpet cleaning. I figured he must be empty now.

Another 20 minutes proved me wrong. This time I got smarter and found him a bucket which he gamely used. Another bath.

One more small incident in the bucket. A quick wipe down. Poor baby.

Thankfully that seems to all and he is now sleeping soundly on his little Cars couch.

I am still doing laundry and will be for quite some time. Poor little Riley has had some variation of a bug for the past couple of days too. I'm glad we hadn't moved to our new place yet. Dealing with sickness without running hot water would not have been fun. Everything happens for a reason I guess!

Tomorrow is a new day and hopefully everyone will be feeling better in the morning. The kids have both been little troopers and have been smiling through all but the worst of it.

This has been my first real experience with this sort of thing since I last had the stomach flu myself at age 12. I inherited the cast-iron-stomach gene from my dad and so this is not something that happens to me. Dwayne is pretty much the same way. I think only four phrases have come out of my mouth since this whole adventure started - "Poor baby!" alternated with "I don't know what to do!", "How do I clean this up?", or "Help!"

Lots of Google searches for me. Hooray for the internet. :)

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posted at 1:02 AM  
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Sunday, December 09, 2007
Little People
"Many cunning tricks & a great deal of noise." You'd never guess by the way she's sleeping now. :) I bought this shirt and another that says, "Piracy is our only option," from the Republic of Pemberly Shoppe at Cafe Press when Hendrik was just over a year old. I couldn't resist the Jane Austen quotes!


Hendrik's favourite photo expression lately.

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Friday, December 07, 2007
Making Your Home a Haven - Day 5
Today's challenge:
Today, instead of the usual challenges we've been doing all week, I'm encouraging all of you participants to make your home a haven by taking some time to spend as a family or spend some time doing something for your family. Have fun with your family! It's one of the best ways to make your home an oasis.

We are still working on packing around here and getting that done is requiring family effort! While Dwayne is finishing off the details at the new house, I am trying to get details taken care of at our apartment. I would love to have the whole living room packed and ready to go by the end of the day today.

I have to go to the lab this afternoon so the kids will get some unexpected extra time with Daddy for a bit today. Dwayne is going to come home for a while so I can go to get blood work done without hauling the kids with me.

Once the living room is cleared out tonight I'm hoping the kids and I can have some fun in the wide open space. Hendrik loves to spin and run and jump but we've told him those things should be done outside to avoid crashes with furniture, etc but it has been far too cold lately to be doing much of anything outside for any length of time. Once the room is clear I'm going to give him the all clear to spin to his little heart's content. :)

The kids had fun with their dad this afternoon during his half an hour at home. He suprised us about an hour later when he came home early from work. His boss told them they could leave half an hour early if they wanted. No need to tell Dwayne twice. :)

This evening Dwayne got the propane conversion done on our stove/oven and checked over the propane lines. The kids and I didn't get anything done. We all fell asleep together on the living room floor for a nice two hour nap! I've decided to stay up a little late tonight to do some laundry folding as Dwayne will be home tomorrow morning and I can sleep in a little. Hendrik is going to help Dwayne with some projects in the shop tomorrow morning for a bit as well.

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Getting closer!
Last night Dwayne hooked up the propane lines to our house. He is going to put in the stove conversion kit tonight to switch it from natural gas to liquid propane. Then he'll test the lines to make sure that there aren't any leaks. The bathroom sink is now installed as well. If all goes well we might be staying out there this weekend! We won't have a hot water heater right away though. It turns out that the one we ordered from China is not CSA approved so we are having to buy another one. It's not the end of the world, we'll just have to boil water if we want hot water. We will probably be sneaking in some showers at Mom and Dad's too!

Tomorrow Dwayne and I are going to finish packing up the rest of the apartment and work on getting it cleaned as well. It still doesn't seem quite real yet that we are moving. We have been working on this project since the spring of 2004 when we started clearing the land. It definitely takes longer to build yourself, especially with a full time job and a young family but it sure is less expensive and very satisfying. I think Dwayne is looking forward to enjoying all of his hard work.

Clearing the property - lot of chainsawing and bonfires! The house currently sits back on the property behind where that big pile of evergreen branches is. Most of the cleared area in this picture is part of the driveway.



Some of the logs for the "practice cabin".



Peeling logs with a log spud.



Big tree!


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Glucose Challenge Test
As I type I am drinking a bottle of what tastes like orange pop on steroids. Extra sweet, extra fizzy, extra orange. I am doing the 50g test. You are supposed to drink the little bottle of liquid sugar in about 5 minutes and then an hour later go to the lab and have blood drawn so they can determine how well your body copes with copious amounts of sugar in a short period of time. It basically rules out gestational diabetes. Thankfully it's not a fasting test so you can have something in your stomach before you swallow all of that sugar. Blech. I don't find it as bad as many people warned me it would be but it is very, very, very sweet and I wouldn't voluntarily drink the stuff for any other reason.
The baby is already more active, poor thing is on a sugar rush!
Now I'm off to brush my teeth. The stuff is definitely a dentist's nightmare!

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posted at 1:44 PM  
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Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Making Your Home a Haven - Day 3 (Laundry Room)
Day 3 of the "Making Your Home a Haven" challenge.

Today's Challenge:

1) Refresh Your Spirit (5 minutes)

I am thankful for...
- a wonderful family, immediate and extended
- our new home
- washing machines!

STOP: Is your morning routine done? Don't move on to #2 unless it is!

2) Take Time to Plan (5 minutes)

A lot of my list is leftover tasks from yesterday that didn't quite get finished for one reason or another.

-Haircuts
-Finish Christmas shopping
-2 loads of laundry
-Pack fragile items from living room
-Dust
-Pick up birthday present for 3 year old friend
-Pack clothing
-Vacuum
-Pack remaining items on white bookshelf
-Wash walls in entranceway

Lunch: Meat pie
Supper: Kraft Dinner (AKA Mac'n'Cheese in the US) - really gourmet tonight!

3) Do Something! (15 minutes or so)

Today we're going to focus on the laundry and laundry room. Light a candle, put on your apron, turn on some uplifting music, and get busy!

Your goal by the end of today is to have all of your laundry finished, folded, and put away.

For those of you with a laundry room or laundry area, take some time to organize and clean up this area. Wipe down your washer and dryer, check for socks and other articles of clothing behind and on the sides of your washer and dryer, and clean out your dryer lint.

Pictures to come later...

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Making Your Home a Haven - Day Two (Living room)
Today's challenge:

1) Refresh your spirit (5 minutes)

STOP: Have you done your morning routine yet? If not, stop here and start with that. When you've finished it, come back here for your next assignment.

My morning routine will vary greatly for the next week or so as we get ready to move and as we get settled into our new home. For this week as long as everyone gets fed and cleaned up I'm happy!

2) Take Time to Plan (5 minutes)

If you have not done so, make a short to-do list for today of things you need to do or would like to accomplish. Keep your list it to ten items or less. Number the items in order of importance and tackle the first one. Don't move on to #2 on your list until #1 is completely finished.

Remember, though, to see your list as a guideline, not a slave master. The list is just meant to help you not be aimless. If other things come up which are more important, be cheerful and flexible.


-Put in a load of laundry
-Run dishwasher
-Make lunch for Dwayne
-Run errands
-Pack clothing
-Vacuum
-Clear off piano
-Pack fragile items from living room
-Dust
-Water plants
-Pack remaining items on white bookshelf
-Wash walls in entranceway

3) Do Something! (10 minutes)

Since we tackled our entryways yesterday, we're moving on to our living rooms today. Light a candle, put on your apron, turn on some uplifting music, and then set the timer for ten minutes and get busy cleaning your living room! Start by putting throwing out trash, putting away misplaced items, and straightening up things. If you have time, do a quick dust and vacuum of the room.

This is going to take much more than 10 minutes for me today. All of the clean laundry in the house is in the living room right now waiting to be packed for our move. I also need to give the room a good vacuuming and dusting.

I will post pictures later on today once some progress has been made!

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posted at 11:21 AM  
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the vegetable orchestra


Hat tip: Mrs. Wilt.

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Monday, December 03, 2007
Making Your Home a Haven - Day One (Entrance)
Crystal from Biblical Womanhood is hosting a two week challenge entitled "Making Your Home a Haven".








Today's Challenge:

1. Refresh Your Spirit (5 minutes)

2. Take Time to Plan (5 minutes)

Today's planning project is centered on creating a morning routine.

1) Breakfast! I don't do well on an empty stomach.
2) Spend time with Dwayne before he goes to work
3) Load of laundry
4) Exercise
5) Shower

3. Do Something! (5 -15 minutes)

Put on an apron, light a candle, and turn on some uplifting music. Then go to your front door and pretend you are a first-time visitor to your home. Walk in and take a look around. What is your immediate impression of your home? Is it calm and clean or cluttered and chaotic? Take five to fifteen minutes to clean, de-clutter, and beautify your entry area. Do a quick pick up if there are items out of place, mop or vacuum the floor, shake the rug, spot clean the walls, and rearrange things.

Our entrance is a mess right now! We are in the midst of moving so there are boxes and recycling and stuff to be thown away or donated. Plus, all of our winter boots and shoes which we are putting to good use. Another -30C day today! The walls also need a good washing from all the furniture moving and just general everyday dirt and fingerprints.

I will add pictures tomorrow!

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Saturday, December 01, 2007
Kidlets!
Riley, like her big brother, loves tools. She managed to find a screwdriver...



Not so happy when Mommy took the screwdriver away.



A very serious looking Hendrik after his nap.



Inspecting the socket.

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posted at 11:18 PM  
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The Latest
The kids and I went for a drive this afternoon to see how things were coming along at the house. It is starting to look more and more finished. The fridge and stove are both inside now and Dwayne was finishing off the shower stall. There are piles of boxes and bins everywhere. We are hoping that we will be able to spend the night out there very soon.

Tonight Dwayne and Dad moved out some more of our furniture - couch, chair, dining chairs, dining table, bench, assorted pictures, etc.

Here is the kitchen! The odd shaped white object on the floor is the range hood waiting to be installed. The dishwasher will sit to the left of the fridge and eventually we will put up some cupboards to the right of the fridge. Pardon the array of tools spread everywhere!



Here is the shower stall. The little white bits you see are tile spacers. We'll take those out when we grout the shower tomorrow. The pipe sticking out on the right of the picture is for the sink which has been moved out of the way to make it easier to tile and grout the shower.



Dwayne, hard at work, as usual!



This is our wood stove with the back door and stairs in the background.

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posted at 11:14 PM  
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About Me



Name: Jenny
I blog lately at www.chickadeemanor.com
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