January 29, 2013

Scrap Happy

Are little bits of fabric breeding and multiplying in your crafty-area? Here's a sweet little idea - make a scrappy fabric bunting! 

I was rummaging around in my fabric-stash tote the other day and happened upon a collection of vintage fabric scraps that have been waiting patiently for just the right project. It so happens that just the right project has been waiting for the someday when I can put school work down and pick something else up. However, since this whole little blog began by taking a break from report cards, I really have no excuse! Besides, these sparkling, frosty, freezing days seem to need a little colour.

Do you have any little projects you like to save your scraps for? Do share!

January 24, 2013


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Grace upon grace. I am feeling it friends. Beginning a new teaching position mid-way through the year has its ups and downs. What an impact God's grace and the grace and support of others has made, on both my sanity and my heart. I have been blessed with the privilege of teaching in several schools filled with amazing, caring people and I am thankful. Transitions are so much easier when you feel supported and cared for.

These opportunities are grace, unmerited and unsought. My prayer for you, friends, is that you would find a measure of grace in your day. Tuck it into your pocket, let it warm your heart, extend it to others,  press it down and watch with joy as it runs over.

"From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another"
~ John 1:16 ~

January 21, 2013

Looking Back & Looking Ahead...

A list was jotted in January last year, a list of hopes and dreams for 2012.

New Year Dreams:
{pulled from the archives}

1. a settled place to call our own
2. jobs which use our giftings and serve others
3. God's wisdom for Big Decisions we will have to make
4. constant pursual of God in all we do
5. a little furball to grace our home again
6. and oh, I know it's a crazy time to add children to this list, but in hope (and probably moments of insanity...), I do.

And here we are, freshly into 2013. So what did the past year hold? 

1. Still working on it, but we have learned to be content where we are (well, most of the time)
   Lesson: owning a home does not necessarily make a home.

2. Wow - did we ever see God's hand in this one. Full-time, longer-term jobs for both Neal and myself, more than I could have dreamed and in different places than I expected.
   Lesson 1: God delights in the surrender of our gifts and talents, which He can then take and use in His way for His glory
   Lesson 2: His ways are not my ways

3. Still in progress, but I did decide to let my previous teaching contract go in order to embrace the open doors where we are right now (grade 3 for me!)
   Lesson: see Lesson 2 above

4. Always in progress. Daily seeking is work, but so worth it. I read this quote today and tucked it      away in my heart;

5. No cats allowed where we are renting... but someday soon...
   Lesson: patience, with a capital 'P' (Patience)

6. Nope, not yet
   Lesson: Patience, in all-caps...

So here we are, and my type-A 'wanting to turn my life into a list of things to check off' is slowly losing its voice. 

In its place, a wildly, rebelliously thankful one that sings...

"Hold on, is this really the life I'm living?
Cause I don't feel like I deserve it
Every day that I wake, every breath that I take you’ve given
So right here, right now
While the sun is shining down

I want to live like there's no tomorrow
Love like I'm on borrowed time
It's good to be alive.

Hold on, if the life that we've been given
Is made beautiful in the living
And the joy that we get brings joy to the heart of the giver
Then right here, right now
This is the song I'm singing out

I want to live like there's no tomorrow
Love like I'm on borrowed time
It's good to be alive

I won’t take it for granted
I won’t waste another second
All I want is to give you
A life well lived, to say “thank you”

January 12, 2013

January Inspiration

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Crisp whites, sharp contrasts and low light seem to be the order of the season this month. In the bustle of a busy teaching schedule I am revelling in a quiet Saturday, a moment to capture a clean-lined yet cozy aesthetic. Days like today are much anticipated. With no schedule and no demands, we are free to rest and re-charge. I'm currently tapping my foot and harmonizing along to the sweet sounds of a newly found musical crush...

If you'd like bluegrass, indie and folk to mix and mingle, you'll fall in love with Beta Radio too! Here's a little taste of a few faviourites;

Seven Sisters, the debut album from Beta Radio, is haunting and heart aching. The songs on Seven Sisters take you to a place where love is essential and simple, the landscapes are familiar and ghostly and the stars hold the promise of your future... When you leave the album, the minimalistic arrangements and the sincerity of the lyrics stay with you and call you back for another listen.

If you are in the mood to curl up on a cold January day with an inspiring read, you may want to check out Darling Magazine. I first heard of Darling through Bonnie at Going Home to Roost. I was captivated by their manifesto;

Imagine my surprise when a dear friend pulled out the debut issue and presented it as a gift at our monthly girl's coffee night! Turns out her brother and sister in law (along with a wonderful team) are the brains and heart behind Darling! You can view and order issue #2 here. Digital issues are available as well at just $5 a copy (which is extremely affordable, but trust me, the paper copy is worth it, super high-quality and there is just something about flipping real, beautiful, thick pages...).

Happy January friends! May this new year bring new inspiration to you, and may your heart find joy in simple things...

January 7, 2013

Creature Habits

I like routine. I also like adventure. When my little red car took a different route to work one morning, I knew something inside craved change. Not that taking another route to work is really an adventure... I was simply desperate to not do the same thing each day. Eat the same thing for breakfast. Drive the same route to work. Hear the same click of my heels down the long hallway to class. Eat the same lunch (claiming creativity was too much effort). Drive the same way back home. Make supper. Eat supper. Rinse. Repeat. At one point I realized I was wearing the same work clothes on the same day of the week. When you have a Tuesday Outfit, you have a rut... and a terribly predictable existence.

Or you are compulsively Type A, and if so, don't worry, I get you.

It is in this haze of day-in and day-out that I began to feel as though I might just inwardly implode. All I could think about was the next break in the calendar, because even weekends had taken on an eerie predictability.

But little changes are slowly creeping in. I might take one route to work in the morning and another route home in the evening.

Oh the unpredictability! 

Sometimes I go through a different door upon arriving at school, which requires squeezing through a small cut-out in a chain-link fence. 

I like to begin my day with a little imaginary trip to Narnia, thank you. 

I am *trying* to broaden the scope of my lunch contents. Little changes, yes, and uncomfortable, because they require effort instead of cruising on auto-pilot. I think I'm tired of auto-pilot.

Last Saturday I awoke much earlier than usual and drove to a near-by community for a hair appointment. A hair appointment on a Saturday is certainly nothing earth-shattering, yet it is a break from The Usual. I turned right down the highway instead of left, greeted by bright sun and clear blue sky. Upon arriving, I opened the car door and heard the sweet chirping of birds enjoying the break from our ice-box weather. How had I missed the birds?

My next stop was a community centre close by, picking up tickets purchased as a gift. The parking lot was suspiciously full for an early Saturday morning, and when I walked through the doors I was handed a bag full of coupons. Somewhat startled by the sudden bustle, I smiled a quick thank you and hurried off to the ticket office. Curious about the hubbub outside, I inquired at the counter and discovered that a women's trade show had taken over the centre. Epicure, Pampered Chef, Princess House, Steeped Tea, crafts, jewelry? Don't mind if I do! Randomly stopping at the mall later because suddenly I was in a shopping mood? Why not!

I love my husband, and he is a real trooper, but sometimes a girls just got to shop on her own (and he's ok with that because he knows that Thrifty runs in my bloodstream...)

I arrived home a few hours after I would have normally risen, feeling completely refreshed, awake and alive

Is there a moral to this rambling story? Perhaps not. I just need to remind myself that breaking away from routine is good and needed. Especially when you have a Tuesday Outfit.

January 5, 2013

Dear Judah,

This week you would have turned five. I thought about five yesterday; about playing Lego and curling up in pilled cotton pj's reading dinosaur books. I thought about sledding in the park, crunching boots through crusty snow and breathing through frosted scarves. I thought about skating on frozen ponds and warming feet on furnace registers, rolling soft cookie dough in the kitchen and building pop-bottle rocket packs. We could run around the house like super-heroes. Oh, I wish we could. 

I know that interspersed between these sweet times, if you inherited any of my stubbornness, you would find yourself in time out once in a while. None of us are perfect, least of all me. But what I would give to have nurtured your heart,  loving you fiercely through the imperfections of life.

How can it be that 5 years have passed so silently...

On the outside I may not look like other moms, but I carry you always in my heart.

January 1, 2013

Filling my heart...

This is me not writing a new year's post. There is much to say, to contemplate and to give thanks for, but *this* piece of my heart arrived in the mail recently, and I read;

Thank you for paying my school fees. A reminder that our giving is real. It really is making a difference. It sends Arach Christine, who likes the colour yellow and is the same age as my students, to school where she can learn and grow and dream big dreams for her future. 

Every child deserves to dream, and grow and eat and be safe. I am so thankful that God is using Amazima ministries to serve the people of Masese in Uganda, may His hand be on each one in their daily tasks, and may He remind us all that we are called to love. To love here at home, and with hands that can reach half way around the world. As I look ahead to new students and full days, remind me Lord, to love as you have loved.

"We are hoping that one day we shall stand and say thank you Jesus, for helping our children to be who they are today."