Our Blessed Chaos

My hubby + a 1st grader + twins in kindergarten + 4 critters..... Yeah it is chaos, but we are blessed!

Today's Verse

I am just getting back to the computer after being away for awhile and I missed out on many Gratituesdays, but now I am nearly caught up and grateful for that! However for this weeks Gratituesday post (Jan 13), I am using this one that I posted in November. You can find more Gratituesday posts at Laura's blog Heavenly Homemakers.

Gratitude and grateful are not descriptive enough words for what I feel towards my mom and all she does for our family. We love you Mimi!! Here is the post from November....

While my Mom was here I totally took advantage!! I locked myself in my sewing room and completed three quilts for the kids. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate my Mom and all she does for our family. She is truly a blessing and I am grateful for her!

These quilts are called "I Spy Quilts". Each square is a different pattern, so there are 36 patterns plus the borders. I chose fabrics that could be easily identified, examples are frogs, boots, houses, trains, flags, hearts, butterflies. They all have the same 36 patterns but are randomly placed. The idea is that we can all sit around with the quilts and play a game - Who can find the Snowmen? Or something like that. They also have three different flannel fabrics for the backings. The flannel made them nice and cuddly.

Sam's quilt

Carlee's quilt - Don't you just love the hat! Daddy says she looks like a hoser! (Only my Canadian friends will understand that joke!!!) It has been cold in their bedroom so that is why I gave them their quilts on Thanksgiving instead of Christmas.

Ben's quilt - I think it was still warm from pressing! I literally finished this one, wrapped them up and gave them to the kids! And of course it would be Ben that had to get on the table to snuggle with his new blankie!!!

Growing up in Saskatchewan I am accustomed to quick and sometimes drastic weather changes. A common saying is "If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes, it will likely change.

I was not however, prepared for some of the strange weather we have had in VA & NC lately.

The beginning part of November was quite cool and we had alot of rain. But Nov 15 was unusual! It was extremely warm and pouring rain. In fact it was so warm that the kids were playing in it and not getting cold. I think it was near 80 degrees.

Five days later...Even though it is only a short drive away, I had not yet had a chance to get to see the Atlantic Ocean since we moved here. So with my Mom still here we planned a day trip to the coast. Unfortunatley the day we went was only about 50 degrees, and so we did not stay long on the beach!

And then this is what we woke up to the very next morning!!! The kids had fun and I was glad to see it gone by the afternoon!

Sam had been fascinated with astronauts and rockets so I was excited to learn about the Virginia Air & Space Center. Sam's Birthday Adventure was going to be all about airplanes and rocketships!

We started the day with waffles, Daddy embellished them with bananas, sprinkles, chocolate chips and who knows what else! But they loved them, well Carlee was quite concerned about being "messy"!

Then Sam put on his Airplane shirt and flew around the house while we were getting ready to go. Later he was thrilled to be able to "fly" this little plane and then Daddy helped him to fly a model plane. It was very serious!

But the best part of the trip was the Astronauts and Spaceships!

We completed the day with a spaceship and rocket birthday cake.

For those handful of you that follow my little blog I wanted to let you know where I have been. As you may know, my Mom is still here and we have been quite busy! But then I decided to truly take advantage of her being here....

Last year I started a quilt for Sam and had the fabric to make quilts for Ben & Carlee as well. I really wanted to have them made for Christmas last year, but that was just too big of a goal. I got as far as quilting half of Sam's when I decided that there just wasn't enough time to make all three. Then we moved and I have been trying to get our house in order ever since. Now that it is somewhat manageable, thanks to my mom being here I wondered if I had enough time to get them completed for this Christmas. So I have been retreating into my sewing room every single chance I have.

My mom has been great - entertainting the kids, doing the cleaning & laundry etc. She even helped me pin baste a quilt!!! I should post this as another Gratituesday!!!! Anyways, I could go on and on about how great my mom is, but the point is that because she here and supporting me I should be able to get the quilts completed before she leaves! However, I still will need to spend every available moment in the sewing room and unfortunately that means neglecting the blogging world.

Just wanted to let you know where I have been and that I am away for purely selfish - but crafty reasons!! Well not entirely selfish, this is our kids first winter away from southern California. In other words, it is really cold here! Well not nearly as cold as I was used to in Canada, but after 5 years in California, these freezing temperatures seem down right nasty! Plus, we are keeping the temperature down and using our wood stove in the evenings, but the bedrooms are still quite chilly. So my main motive is to get the quilts done to keep my kids warm. I am hoping that they will like them enough to keep them on at night. Wishful thinking maybe?

As soon as I am done with the quilts I will be back.

I just found out that the photo I entered into the latest photo contest at 5 minutes for mom was selected as a finalist!

Click here for the link to vote for our photo. Ours is #11.

I appreciate every vote we get, but I already know that we will not win. I simply do not know enough people and do not have the means to get that many votes. major sigh....But it is still fun to enter and exciting to be selected as a finalist!

You can read why I chose this photo to enter here. However what is really quite funny is that this photo was taken the same day as the one of Carlee sleeping. That is the photo I entered into their Sleeping Angels contest that we were selected as a finalist. If you look closely at this photo you can see that she still has cake batter on her face!

I love this idea, but I have so many other things on the go right now. When I get some kind of normal routine in place I will hopefully be able to do Photo Friday.

I grew up the Canadian prairies and learned to hate fall. It meant that months of bitter winter was soon arriving. I never once missed the snow in the 5 years I lived in California!!!

When I found out we were being transferred to Virginia I started to look forward to the east coast fall and all the color. I was not disappointed! These are just some of the shots I took while driving through Virginia and North Carolina this fall.

I have started the tradition of getting the kids photos taken every year in October. This year we were a little late and didn't get them done until early Nov. This gives me enough time to have them ordered, picked up, organized and mailed for Christmas. For family we don't give gifts instead they get pictures. Everyone that gets a card will get a family photo and then grandparents and Aunts & Uncles get 5x7's of the Sears photos.

Lesson learned this year was - make sure they nap before going to get them done! We did not have an easy time getting these shots. These were the ones I chose, Sears did them up nicely in a collage, so I just added that.

For me pictures are a worthwhile investment I deeply cherish them. They will never be this age again and I will never be able to get photos of them all 2 years old. Sam turned 3 shortly after this was taken. I will always take photos and I will always cherish them!

Today's Photo Friday theme is Spaghetti Faces.

I chose to have another Fun with Food theme so that maybe you will find one you can enter into the 5minutesformom Photo Contest

Click here for the very simple and easy guidelines to Photo Friday.

Next week's Photo Friday theme will be sad faces- think big tears!

Today was a busy day.

First thing this morning was my dental appointment. I don't dread dentists but dental work is not exactly the most pleasant things to do.

I had a few small cavities as a kid, then braces as a teenager. Then impacted wisdom teeth on the bottom removed in my early twenties. I didn't have any more cavities or problems until I had my last upper molars extracted (rather than root canals) in my late twenties. Basically I wasn't brushing the back of the tooth good enough. Once the molar was removed there was room for my only top wisdom tooth to come through. Other than the pain of it, I thought it was rather humorous to be teething at 30 and to not be as smart as everyone else because I only had 3 wisdom teeth! Anyway, it eventually fell apart and had to be removed as well.

After I had Sam I saw a dentist who told me that I did not have any cavities, just a couple spots that he would want to watch closely. He sent me away with a cleaning and extra strength flouride toothpaste.

Then I was pregnant with twins and had gestational diabetes during the pregnancy. Apparently this is not a good combination and it sucked the life out of my teeth! Shortly after they were born I went for a checkup and cleaning. I had 17, yes that is seventeen, cavities!!!! It took several visits to get them all filled.

With the move we made this year I was overdue for a checkup and cleaning so I made an appointment as soon as my mom was going to be here. I still don't know anyone else well enough to subject them to three toddlers while I go for appointments. Anyway, I got a cleaning and had 5 small cavities to fill - the appointment was today. He filled the 5 cavities and found another one at the end of the appointment, so I have to go back next week. ugggg

The moral of this story is get your teeth checked and cleaned every 6 months!!! I am not a regular flosser and I should be brushing twice a day. And especially if you are pregnant - get your teeth checked and cleaned during your pregnancy. I fund out that they can (and would have) done alot during pregnancy that would have prevented the big mess my mouth ended up in.


After my dentist appointment I came home and picked up the kids and my mom and we went to pick up my order from the Grain CO-OP coordinator. This was my first order from Bread Beckers. After the discount, I think it is the lowest price for bulk grains. I have to do an inventory of all the grain we have now, but it is up over 300 pounds! And the amazing thing is that it only took a few months to do it.


After we got back from picking up the order it was time to split wood. A couple weeks ago hubby and a friend went with some other people to cut wood. We ended up with a trailer full of cut sections. A couple days ago someone let us borrow a wood splitter. Today was the day to try it out and get our wood pile started.

Of course a good storage plan includes alternate heat and cooking sources. We havea wonderful wod stove in our house. The picture of the wood stove on the realtor site was one of the big reasons why we wanted to see this house. In fact, if a house did not have a woodburning stove or fireplace it didn't even make the list to view!

Oops, got off track there for a minute! But it does remindme that I need to post more info about our preps planning. Okay, back to today - I was worried that the kids would be scared of the loud engine but they did well after a couple minutes. My mom & I stacked the first few split logs and then the boys took over. It was so cute to see these little guys gathering wood and stacking it. Well actually they were throwing it on the pile until we got them to hand it to us. They gathered alot of wood and worked really hard for a long time, but then they became 2 year olds again and the novelty wore off.

Meanwhile Carlee stood and watched us. The little princess did not lift a finger. I would have "made" her help, but she does have a nasty little injury on her finger right now. Of course my wonderful Mother decided that she is just like me - she recalls that I never helped to carry much wood for our campfires when I was young. I don't remember that at all, I'm sure I must have pulled my nose out of a book long enough to pleasantly help out! (not likely!) I do know that I enjoyed lots of campfires!

So that was my fun filled day. Pain, grain & disdain!!

The kids were outside and I assumed were supervised. Afterall, I was the only one in the house, they were out there with Mimi (my mom), Daddy, Gramma Sis-Sue & Grampa Mr.Bill!

I looked outside and saw them joyfully jupming in the puddles and smiled thinking that they were having so much fun. Then I noticed that only Sam had his pants tucked into his boots!!!

Mimi was in alot of trouble that day! hahaha It was a big mess, but they really did have fun!

I noticed that usually my photo posts get the most comments. Everyone seems to like to see cute and funny photos so I decided I am going to host a brand new Photo Carnival!!!! This is not a new idea, but I think it will be fun. I hope you will join me on Fridays for Photo Friday. Each week will have a theme and I will post the theme for the week on my sidebar. Here are the steps:

Right click on the Photo Friday banner above and save it to your computer. Then upload it to your post just like a photo.

Post your photos on your blog and link back to my Photo Friday post for that week.

Put your name and link to your post in Mister Linky



Psalm 24

verse 4 Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies.


In this verse we see what is pleasing to God. Clean hands, pure heart, worship God alone, speak truthfully.


This reminded me of the three monkeys statue that my aunt has. It says hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. So to live a godly life
- Keep your ears shut to evil, and open to God
- Keep your eyes shut so you are not influenced by the evil of the world
- Keep your mouth shut unless you are praising God or spreading the Gospel


Thank you Lord for reminding me what is important. Thank you for giving us special time with our family but help me to get back into routine and back into the Word so that I can be pleasing in your sight.

For more Wordless Wednesday visit 5 Minutes for Mom

This is my very first Works For Me Wednesday. Go to Rocks in my Dryer for more posts about Toys Worth Buying.

I feel very strongly about toys with no batteries. I believe that kids are not developing their imaginations, they are stuck in the world of electronics.

I have noticed a trend with my kids, they play more with the toys that do not require batteries. Of course the flashy, noisy toys always grab their attention at first, but the novelty quickly wears off. So last Christmas I took the extra effort to only buy gifts that did not require batteries. And I have continued that pattern. Throughout the year I don't buy them toys, instead I buy books and crafty things like crayons, stickers, notebooks/coloring books etc. But I think that birthdays are for getting fun, cool stuff. So this year I bought them these toys. The novelty is not wearing off of the cars, tools, & kitchen toys!

Ben is 150% boy and nothing is better than cars, trucks & trains. So for his 2nd birthday gift I bought him more Matchbox cars and a spiral racetrack. When I took the racetrack out of the package I found out that it has batteries and makes a comment whenever the cars are released. So I messed up a bit, but it is not that annoying, and they love how they cars race around and then go across the room.

All of them have shown interest in tools. I was not able to fix anything with "real" tools if any of them were around. It would turn into a war when I would not let them have a hammer or screwdriver! So I also bought a toy toolkit. Even though it was technically a gift for Ben's birthday I knew that they would all play with it. And Sam was the one who really loved it. Especially the "goobles"

Carlee has been very interested in kitchen stuff - bowls, spoons, measuring cups, etc. So for her 2nd birthday gift I decided to get her some play kitchen items - I found a pot & pans set, a baking set and a basket of plastic food. It was a hit! She "cooks" all the time and even pretends to wash her dishes. She carries around her basket of food and feeds everyone.

They all play with all of the toys and so this year I decided that for Christmas we would get them one big item. I debated between a swingset or a play kitchen. They have all been playing with kitchen stuff and the play items I got for Carlee's birthday were a big hit with the boys too. I had a play kitchen when I was little and played with it for many years, so I got the idea of getting them a play kitchen to put in the playroom. I found a Kidkraft one on Amazon like the one below and saved it in my cart with the intention of purchasing it closer to Christmas. Well a couple weeks later the price dropped quite a bit so blew the budget for that month (oops) and bought it. I know they will love it and I can hardly wait for Christmas! Another Christmas with no batteries!