Merry Christmas

Luke 2:8-20

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.


"Helping" put up the tree

It's been a couple of years since we've had the tree up. Last year we were away half of the month, and the year before we had a new baby and didn't think about it too much...besides not having room with a swing and excersaucer taking up so much space! In fact, we had to remove our papasan chair so we could have the tree up this year! But the sight of a pretty lit-up tree is nice, even though it takes up so much of our living/playing room. Callum loves to help. With everything. His favorite saying lately has been "No, my do it!" or "MY turn!" Note the concentration...

Callum loves the "kismis tree".
I see you, Mommy!


Another Great List

Have no fear! Help is here! After scouring the web for the best toys for kids that don’t contain questionable chemicals like phthalates and BPA or heavy metals like lead, Healthy Child, Healthy World presents the ultimate gift: a guide to save you tons of time this holiday season. Forget paging through catalogues (do people still do that in the digital age?) or spending hours traipsing from store to store. You will find everything you need for everyone on your shopping list right here. So, bookmark this page and start amassing the amazing gifts that will light up your child’s eyes this season (with the durability to last for many more).

Healthy Child also shares some tips for choosing toys, as well as a handy pocket guide for when you're out and about.

• Opt for solid wood instead of plastic (look for FSC-certified wood [sustainable] that is either unfinished or has a non-toxic coating).
• Choose soft toys made of organic textiles (cotton, hemp, wool, etc).
• If you select toys with batteries, choose rechargeable ones.
• Save money and reduce pollution by considering used toys from your local thrift store, eBay, Craigslist, Freecycle, or yard sales (follow these tips for secondhand safety).
• Look for toys made with post-consumer recycled materials and those made with minimum packaging, or packaging made from post-consumer products.


Malachi 3:3

I recieved this in my email the other day and it really spoke to me. Trials that come our way bring us closer to God, and that is what I've experienced.

Malachi 3:3 says:
'He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.'

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: 'He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.' She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed..

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, 'How do you know when the silver is fully refined?'

He smiled at her and answered, 'Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it.'


Dreaming of a Green Christmas?

Featuring the best eco-friendly gifts for babies and kids, girls and boys, new moms and dads, and veteran parents, Inhabitat's Green Gift Guide is your one-stop shop for eco-friendly gifts, and the best place to find the latest and greatest, greenest TOYS! Giving green presents to everyone on your list this holiday season is a wonderful way to spread good cheer while simultaneously bestowing the gift of eco-consciousness. A well selected present may plant the seed of green living in a recipient — making it truly priceless!

Inhabitat.com is a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future. Their sister site, Inhabitots, was created as a resource for parents, families, and anyone else interested in sustainable modern design for children. On the Inhabitots website it states, "We recognize that the birth of a child is a turning point in people’s lives and the impetus for many people to ‘go green’ and really start researching the materials and production involved in all items that closely touch our lives." I know this is true for me! I subsrcribe to their blog and love seeing all the eco-friendly products available out there. It's a States-based site, so if I see something I really love, then I'll search and see if it's available in Canada. Then put it in my someday-maybe-I-can-get-it list!

Check out the guide here! Green Gift Guide


Show them something once...

Baby at 25 weeks

Some Old Pics

Recently a friend of mine gave me some photos from last year when we took our biweekly walks. I would usually forget my camera... Here lil chubber is ten months old, back when he only had three teeth, only one being on the bottom. :) I forgot to bring a hat so we had to borrow a nice pink one! As you can tell from the look on his face, he didn't think it was so nice...
These ones are later that year. I think he has a few more teeth.


Apple Bran Muffins


1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk (sub 1tsp lemon juice or vinegar and add milk until it reaches 1 cup)
1/3 cup butter, melted or 1/3 cup oil
3 tbsp molasses
1 cup natural wheat bran
3/4 cup wheat germ
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups finely chopped apple

  • Combine first five ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  • Combine bran, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a seperate bowl.
  • Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
  • Stir in apple.
  • Spoon into 12 greased muffin cups. (I use silicone liners, no grease needed)
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-23 minutes, or until set.


Good Grammar!

I don't know are they why.
My posts builds strong followers!
Find out why I posted this blog and a happy puppy for every boy.


October Photos

I haven't been taking very many pictures lately, I'm not sure why! Lately most have been for my food blog, y'know, recipes I want to post but never get around to doing... Eventually lemon squares will make it on there, plus I just made some yummy apple bran muffins and oatmeal raisin cookies today. I have three draft posts there right now that are just photos, I have yet to fill in the recipe! I'm such a procrastinator.
My little goofball

Mmm, laybugs for supper.

Reading Clarion. Ok, he just loved the tractor picture and dragged the magazine around all day.

Watching the dough mix.

Homemade naan. So yummy.


Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp salt (reduce to a pinch if using salted butter)
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips, chunks, or a combination

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars together with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy.
  • Add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed.
  • Add flour and baking soda, mix until just combined.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips. I like using a combination of milk chocolate and Skor toffee bits. Or dark and white chocolate!
  • Drop heaping tablespoons of dough on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly. I like to use a small ice cream scoop for uniform-size cookies.
  • Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before removing. Transfer to a wire rack.
  • Try to eat just one!

Bargain Books

Whenever I'm at a second hand store, I go through the children's books there, because at 69 and 99 cents each, they're a great bargain! I make a thourough search of all the shelves, snatching up any Dr. Seuss on sight, and maybe a few other promising-looking hardcovers on the way. I'm collecting the Sesame Street Treasury and Sesame Street Library books, too, they're great classics! I love the illustrations in the ones from the 70's. I keep trying to get more old school Golden Books, but they're hard to find! So far I've only found Tawny Scrawny Lion.
Some of Callum's favorite books like Hide and Snake have come off the shelves of Talize here in Hamilton.
One day I ran across a book I remember reading in grade school. I squealed for joy (ok, I squealed in my head) as I snatched it off the shelf, recalling how much I loved it. Socks For Supper is a story of an endearing older couple who don't have much except a turnip garden. They eat turnips every day and gaze wistfully at the neighbor's cow, wishing they could afford one so they could have milk and cheese. They search for something they could trade to have that luxury, but they don't even have materials to make anything.
The wife ends up using the old man's sweater to knit socks to trade for milk and cheese. I still remember feeling so happy for them as they feasted on the milk and cheese, and even though the cheese was just a yellow ball, I imagined how delicious it must have tasted to them after eating turnips for so long!
I won't give away the ending here! If you want to find out how Socks For Supper ends, you'll have to come over, or borrow it from me!

A Neat Ad

September Photos

Playing with Daddy
My almost-dead gerbera bounced back!
A friendly cat came to visit us one day. So Callum said to him "C'mon, cat, go for a walk!" Then he took off...and the cat followed!
He made a face..."fathe" out of these pegs. (Eyes, nose, mouth)
He likes making triangles "try-gang-goh" out of the cupboards. So proud of himself.


Chocolate Truffles

8 oz. (225 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

3/4 cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons alcohol (Cognac, brandy, Grand Marnier, kirsch, rum, bourbon, or Kahlua to name a few) (optional)

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth. If desired, add the liqueur. Cover and place in the refrigerator until the truffle mixture is firm (this will take several hours or overnight).

Place your coatings for the truffles (cocoa, toasted coconut, chopped nuts) on a plate. Remove the truffle mixture from the refrigerator. With your hands, or else a melon baller or small spoon form the chocolate into round or mis-shaped bite-sized balls. Immediately roll the truffle in the coating and place on a parchment lined baking sheet or tray. Cover and place in the refrigerator until firm. Alternately, after forming the truffles, put them in the fridge to firm up, and then dip them in melted chocolate before returning them to the fridge to harden. Truffles can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks or else frozen for a couple of months. Bring to room temperature before serving.

revised from Joy of Baking.com


Time Flies

Where does the time go? Sometimes it seems like only a short while ago that Callum came into our lives.
As happy as I am to see him reach every stage and learn so much, there's still that selfish part of me that wants to keep him as my little chubby boy forever, so full of wonder and laughter! I can't help but be amazed at his development so far. He knows so many words, some of which I don't know how he knows! For instance, we were reading his "chicken book" and for some reason the mama hen had black and orange striped legs. He pointed to them and said "Tiger stripes!" He knows tigers, and he knows stripes, but he has this really neat ability to put two things together. It must be all those books we read to him, because he will take concepts from the books and apply them to his play.
He knows all his colours, and shapes including "legam" (parallelogram) "umbus" (rhombus) and "ockagone" (octagon), and can count to twelve! He's pretty good at following instructions, even a few at once (push down on the car, pull back, then let go!) I have asked him to ask daddy to get his pajamas on. He went into his bedroom, got his pajamas and brought them to Stu, asking him to put them on. Time to start potty training?
It's so fun to watch him play (now that he's doing that more by himself) all his characters have a high-pitched voice when they talk to each other, they all eat grass (carpet) including the tractor, and go to sleep (lays on their sides and snore). The other day the bunny was telling the tractor and horse that it was suppertime and then they would go and eat.
The imagination that boy has is astounding. There are things he does that I thought only older children would do. He crawls on all fours and pretends he's a cat, or a tiger, or hops and he's a frog. Once we were playing and he picked up something invisible and put it on my character, a tiger, who was sleeping. I asked him what it was, and he said it was a blanket.
He seems to understand so much, and it seems that we only have to tell him something once, and he gets it. He says "Coos me." when he burps. He knows concepts like up, down, big, little, etc. Seeing him put them all together in well-structured sentences is great. "Bird! Up there in the sky in the clouds!" "Where Daddy go? Daddy! Wh'are yooooou?" Me: "Daddy's at work." Him: "Daddy at work in a grass in a tractor!"
Trying so hard to make it work!

Running through laundry is fun!
Big shoes to fill...

What's that strange creature?

Pure boy, bumps, scrapes and all.

Hmmm....where did Callum go...

Playing with Daddy

"Helping" do dishes.

"Helping" make cookies.


C-note's Two!

My not-so-great attempt at making a car...afterwards I wished I could do it over!
Thanks everyone for coming even though it was pretty cold! C-note was really excited to have so many people over.
The wind actually blew the candle out. (Don't tell him that...)
C's buddy.
There's never been that many children in there before!
He was very excited to get a card.
...then came the first present! He was extremely happy about this one. Tractors are his favorite! It never left his hands the rest of the day.

He was so spoiled with all his gifts!
"What, Mommy? Clothes? Yeah...sure...nice...."