Thursday, April 28, 2011

Markie Mark

This is my brother-in-law Mark. He is a super talented singer/guitarist/songwriter, check out a couple of his songs here. I think he should make an album, don't you? Mark is about to graduate from Master's College in a couple weeks, then him and his awesome wife Tara will be coming back to Canada where he's going to be our church's Worship Pastor - woo hoo! Not only is Mark musically gifted, he's also one of the most gentle, humble, and kind-hearted souls you'll ever meet and Harvest Durham is going to be oh so very blessed to have him leading us in musical worship.

Congrats on your upcoming graduation Markie, we are so proud of you on this great accomplishment and also for the man that you are, we love you and can't wait to have you and T back here soon!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

"If in Christ, we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied." - 1 Corinthians 15:19

Praise the Lord for conquering death and for rising from the dead so that we not only have hope in this life but also in the life to come. 

We had a wonderful day celebrating this truth today as we worshiped with our church, Harvest Durham. Afterwards, we had an Easter/belated birthday lunch for Ive. On the menu today: Southern, Southern, Southern! I know, not typical Easter brunch fare but Ive had mentioned BBQ as one of her desired food choices so we went with that. 
p.s. I'm not posting a recipe link to every dish, only the ones I think are worth making again.

We had a fun time eating, hanging out and catching up; we thank God for giving us His Son as a propitiation for our sin and for the innumerable blessings He bestows upon us everyday of our lives. Praise be to God, forever and ever!

The crew

Homemade lemonade with sliced lemons and fresh mint - so good! I could've drank the whole pitcher myself.

BBQ'd ribs. Okay, so I didn't cook it the real way (on the grill) but I started them out in the crockpot then finished them off in the oven, baked, then broiled for some charring and it was still pretty tasty!

 Potato salad

Buttermilk biscuits

Coleslaw; since we don't have big mayo lovers in the family, I found a recipe that uses a vinaigrette instead, Matt loved it.

Baked beans

All together now...

Ive mentioned that she would like a cake with an Oreo crust so I made an icecream Oreo cake, which is very easy to make and turned out quite tasty.

And last but not least...
Climbing stairs: Jet's newfound hobby:)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Ive!

Today is my hopefully soon-to-be sister-in-law's birthday (cough, cough, nudge, nudge Adam!). Ive is an adorable blonde Latvian, French-speaking cutie, who has such a sweet heart, is an amazing cook (check out her blog here), who rocks at her PR job, and is so easy going and fun to hang out with. She is always spoiling Jet with hip and stylin' clothes and is always willing to do whatever she can to serve you. You are such a blessing to us Ive, we are so thankful for you and love you so much! Happy, happy birthday!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dollarama rocks!

I love cheap chic living; sure there are some fancy things that are worth splurging on but in general, if I can purchase something that looks and functions great and can save our family some money, I am all over it!

A couple weeks ago, I broke one of my mother-in-law's cool white serving bowls. After informing her of my unfortunate clumsiness, she responded by saying, "Oh those? They only cost a dollar so don't even worry about it." I'm thinking, "Uh-huh, sure Mom, you just don't want me to feel bad because you're sweet like that. $1? Nice try." But then I went into a dollar store and saw those same exact bowls there. I couldn't believe it because I thought she got all her dishware at some fancy-schmancy store but as I later discovered, most of her great-looking serving dishes were purchased at the dollar store.   

Now I was never a really big fan of the dollar stores in the States, the inventory I saw in there didn't impress me, most of the things were cheap, and looked cheap. Then I come to Canada, go into the dollar stores here and am blown away by their stock. Granted, not everything is $1 but the highest something will be priced is $2, which in my book, is still a steal.

So I was in a Dollarama this week when I spotted these fabulous dinnerware items and after being advised by my mother-in-law that once they sell out, they sell out, I went back today to make an investment for future entertaining. I love white and glass dishware and serving pieces because they are so versatile for any occasion and season, and look so elegant, chic, and simple. And if you ever wanted to have open cabinetry, they could serve as decorative pieces too. Compared to very similar looking plates you can get at a place like Pottery Barn, a square dinner plate about the same size would cost you $9 each, at Dollarama: $2. The Dollarama plates are also oven/dishwasher/microwave safe so they not only look pretty but are fully functional as well. 

I purchased 8 martini glasses, 8 rectangular plates, 8 square plates, and 8 decorative balls and walked out of the store spending a total of $65.67 (okay, so the tax here hurts a little) with a smile on my face and a spring in my step.

Martini glasses: $1.25 each

Rectangular & square dinner plates: $2 each

Decorative wooden balls: $2 each. I had to get these too, I thought they looked so awesome, like I got these in Africa, hand-carved by a local native. These will look cool grouped together in some sort of bowl.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Boy in a Box

Jet has always had a thing for sitting in any type of box, even if he doesn't always fit into them:)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Medicine Hat

Not only is this the actual name of a place in Canada but it's also a fun remedy for sick little babies. Nothing battles a cold like a photo shoot wearing Dad's hat, here's proof:

Monday, April 4, 2011

Homebirth? In water?

I know, I know! I never thought that I would be the type to even consider doing a homebirth, and a water one at that, but it looks like we're leaning toward that direction. 

So let me start from the beginning: this whole idea began because I don't have health insurance yet (due to my immigration paperwork taking forever to be processed) so one of my midwives (yes, midwife! more about that in a second) asked if we would consider doing a homebirth, to which I immediately replied, "Uhh...I don't think so." I mean, what if something goes terribly wrong and we can't get to the hospital in time? And what about the magical pain reliever called the Epidural? Could I or would I even want to try to have an all-natural birth? This conversation took place a few weeks ago. But a couple days after our appointment I started to really consider it. Midwives here in Ontario are super popular and I would say more the norm for pregnant women than OB/GYNs, where in my experience being from the States, midwives were more for the uh, should I say, "granola-hippie" types. And here's an amazing thing, the government of Ontario funds midwifery care here, so even without insurance, I am receiving their services free of charge (excluding blood work, ultrasounds, and lab fees). Midwives here work with doctors in the hospital and they are also certified to do births at home as well with low-risk, healthy moms/babies at no cost! I am a patient of a midwifery center here where I am being looked after by a team of 3 midwives. 

In addition to prayer, I have also been doing a lot of reading and research on this whole issue and there are definitely passionate believers in both camps. At this point, I love the idea of doing a homebirth: having the freedom to move around however I want, being able to be in a shower and bath, feeling comfortable and relaxed in my own environment, not rushed to give birth quickly with the threat of being unnecessarily induced, giving birth in the most comfortable and efficient position (i.e. not on my back), saving ourselves money, etc., etc.

But then there's this other part of me that thinks, what if in that rare instance, something does go wrong where every second matters and something happens to Baby Girl? Or what if I kick myself in the midst of labor wondering why I cut myself off from access to drugs? So I'm not quite sure what to do!

I share all this because I would love to hear any feedback/insight/birth stories that you think would be helpful for me to hear. After watching "The Business of Being Born" I definitely see much more pros in doing a homebirth if you and your baby are healthy and low-risk for any health issues but that doesn't necessarily mean that I am now anti-hospital or anti-drugs or anti-doctors.

I also share this because we would love it if you could pray for us, asking God to give us wisdom to know what the best thing is for us to do for our family. We want to make an informed and confident decision while also clinging to the fact that God is sovereign and that we can put our trust and faith in Him for everything, including the birth of our little girl.

We are attending a homebirth class in a couple of weeks so hopefully that will give us more insight into the whole thing, will keep you all posted!