Friday, January 31, 2014

One Thousand Gifts

991. Blue skies and sunshine.
992. Bringing Patrick his lunch, and him hanging out with us in the car.
993. Having such a wonderful rescuer when I ran out of gas.
994. Vava going to sleep so easily after some papa-snuggles.
995. The kids' rhythm band of pots and pans.
996. Sam asking for cuddles before bed.
997. An awesome girls' night.
998. Fresh, clean night air.
999. Being wrapped in a new awareness of God's sweet ordinary and extraordinary gifts.
1000.  Knowing I'm Jacob ... undeserving, grace-flooded Jacob.

That my glory may sing Your praise and not be silent, O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever!
Psalm 30:12

Thursday, January 30, 2014

981 to 990

981. The Month of Julune.
982. Letter and picture from Kennedy.
983. Whole lotta love and preciousness in a parcel.
984. Sam just wanting to be held after closing himself in his room.
985. Kids being so happy to eat cheesecake.
986. Nachos and laughter for supper.
987. A great Skype-date.
988. Beautiful baby off-sock almost crawling!
989. Vava waving goodnight upside down and delicious.
990. Writing poetry again. :).

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

971 to 980

971. Sam bringing a smile to sick&fussy Vava by giving her one of his favourite trains.
972. All unprompted, Sam saying excuse me at an appropriate moment.
973. Vava needing papa-snuggles before bed.
974. Quiet time and living words.
975. Hearing joyful adoption news.
976. Playing hide&seek in our giant fort.
977. Running spoon & cotton ball races with Sam.
978. Sam and Vava singing the VeggieTales theme song together.
979. Argan oil for my baby's chapped nose.
980. A special story.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

961 to 970

961. The kids sleeping a bit later than they usually do.
962. Cuddling with my darlings on the couch, Kleenex and snippy cups at hand.
963. This conversation. Sam: "ooh, what on face?" Me, "face cream." Sam: "ice cream? Me! Me! Me!" Me, "no, not ice cream, face cream. Can you say face cream?" Sam: "fice cream." Vava: "me! Me! Me!" (I gave them face cream. It was, erm, quite the disappointment.)
964. Three happy owls :).
965. My tender-heart mama.
966. Sam wiping Vava's nose.
967. Vava devouring hot&sour soup (Sam actually spat his out on the floor, so Vava's enjoyment was way more than I expected).
968. Patrick cleaning the living room.
969. A comment on my blog! Thanks, reader-friend! ♥
970. Cheerful little messages on my cough drops ... thanks Halls!

Monday, January 27, 2014

951 to 960

951. Snowbanks worn smooth from the wind; my yard a small white Sahara.
952. Kids playing happily together.
953. Removable, washable couch cushions.
954. An unexpected phone call from someone I love.
955. Cake & kindness.
956. A real conversation.
957. Groceries ... delivered!
958. Lounging in the spare room, giving the kids horsey and airplane rides.
959. Reading in bed.
960. The hidden message in my tub: kids live here, blessed, blessed mama!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

941 to 950

941. That perfect moment when bacon sizzles in the oven, pancakes cook on the griddle, my handsome husband is playing with the kids and I get to be right there, enjoying it all.
942. Sam giving me a million sweet kisses before bed.
943. The way Vava says "ye...ah!"
944. Hot, delectable soup.
945. Warm sweet cinnamon tea and muffins.
946. Friends loving us and bringing us food.
947. Praying with Patrick.
948. Vava so vivid and silly after her bath.
949. Dreaming of the summer and a cottage by a lake.
950. Loungey afternoon while the kids napped long.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

931 to 940

931. Having a migraine last only a few hours instead of all day ... first time ever!
932. Sleeping in.
933. Laughing with Vava.
934. Sam gobbling his banana pancakes and helping me cook more.
935. Dayquil.
936. Nyquil.
937. The kids saying "ahhhh" when I pour warm water on their backs in the tub.
938. Sweet friend bringing Vava a dolly cradle, which she adores so much she took it to bed and kissed it goodnight.
939. Patrick handling the vomit-laundry.
940. Blogs that make you cry.

Friday, January 24, 2014

921 to 930

921. Sam practicing manners at breakfast.
922. My amazing friends.
923. Vava pointing at Sam's knee and calling it "belly button!"
924. Sam blissing out on his weekly timbit treat.
925. Seeing happy Patrick in the middle of the day.
926. A squirrel in silhouette against the sunrise, skittering on a wire strung across the street.
927. Orange snow swirling fast and slow under the streetlight.
928. Patrick putting Sam to bed and cleaning up.
929. Cozy cuddles and a movie.
930. A perfect gigantic mug of lemon tea.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

911 to 920

911. When Vava came up to crying Sam, wrapped her arms around him, and laid her head on his chest, and he stopped crying.
912. Sam inviting Vava to play trains with him.
913. Angel Aunt driving Patrick to work so I didn't have to bundle the kids up and take them out in -41.
914. Slowcooker supper again :).
915. Reading and cooking while the kids napped.
916. Vava sleeping through a diaper change.
917. Finding out about answered prayer.
918. Seeing a new friend again!
919. Trusting in the Only Trustworthy One.
920. Checking out real estate in Hawaii and Zambia ... because why not! ... and pretending it's not minus a zillion outside.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

901 to 910

901. Stormchips ... way to make a homesick girl miss her sea-bound coast a little harder (but in a good way).
902. A milder morning drive (only -16*).
903. That my kids think it's awesome to help me with dishes.
904. Unexpectedly productive naptime.
905. A new gym book.
906. Juicy & sweet cold grapefruit.
907. Praying with Sam when we got stuck in a snowdrift.
908. Happy visit in a gorgeous house.
909. Vava playing the piano like a born entertainer.
910. Sending my cold & tired hardworking man to bed early with a good book.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

891 to 900

891. The delicious bliss of hot milk and coffee.
892. Both vinegar and oil jugs were open, but Sam only poured out the vinegar.
893. Vava lying down beside me, and asking "read book?"
894. Sam apologizing without my reminder.
895. Vava hiding, then bursting into the room yelling hi!
896. Patrick coming home and restoring my frazzled heart.
897. The kids painting in the tub with shaving cream & food colouring.
898. Making a grapefruit oil lamp.
899.  Strength to enjoy
900. My darlings.

Monday, January 20, 2014

881 to 890

881. Cold blue sky, brim-full of sunshine.
882. Friendly Monday morning.
883. Vava falling asleep in my arms.
884. Sam drawing a circle with a tail and calling it A!
885. Building a surprise track for Sam during naptime.
886. Patrick coming home.
887. Skype date with lovelies.
888. Patrick cleaning up and putting Sam to bed.
889. Vava relaxing against me while I prayed and sang to her before bed.
890. Coming home to a cozy house and hot shower.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

871 to 880

871. Sam and Vava being happy, all dressed and ready for church *early!*
872. Buying more tracks for Sam's train set.
873. Slow-cooker chilli.
874. Practicing mindfulness and hope.
875. Midday rest.
876. Holding Vava.
877. Safety on slippery patches.
878. Sam, excited to learn how to fold towels and help me.
879. Freshly laundered snuggle-blanket.
890. Beer flavoured pepperoni stick.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

861 to 870

861. Sam sleeping in.
862. A cozy morning with Vava.
863. Brunch with friends.
864. Adorable kids playing with balloons.
865. Gorgeous and unexpectedly comfortable new shoes.
866. Shopping alone for the first time in a long time.
867. Supper at the mall with our hilarious toddlers ... wasn't it just yesterday I was doing that with my nieces?
868. A date with my handsome husband.
869. Relaxing because I knew our sitter was so awesome.
870. A fun night meeting nice people.

Friday, January 17, 2014

851 to 860

851. Hanging out with moms ... sisters ... happiness while the kids play.
852. Popping in to see Patrick and stealing a few kisses.
853. A warmish day ... pumping gas without mittens.
854. Sam's quiet enjoyment of Vava going to timeout for bothering him (at last).
855. Sam smiling up at me and pressing his shoulder against mine.
856. Picking up Patrick without the kids.
857. Vava behaving so nicely while I showered.
858. Kind friend showing Vava how to pet her cat.
859. Kids settling down so well at night.
890. One of the rare wonderful moments when all my favourite bedding is on my bed at the same time.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

841 to 850

841. Patrick's amazing & thoughtful aunt picking him up and taking him to work so I can have the car for playgroup without bundling up the kids and driving him in. Seriously. Amazing.
842. Sam grinning proudly at Vava when she copied him.
843. Loving friends.
844. Sam & Vava sharing a sweet hug.
845. Vava clapping for herself when she climbed up the slide all on her own.
846. (Oh sweet mercy) Sam was standing on a tray during the Terrible Awful.
847. The world's yummiest potato recipe.
848. God guiding our car into a parking lot instead of the oncoming transport when we lost control on the ice.
849. My handsome boy in his old-man jams.
850. Vava tenderly kissing her cousins' photos.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

831 to 840

831. A happy visit over a cup of tea.
832. Shoveling easy; knowing the kids are okay while I haul the ice-rocks away.
833. Chatting with my sister and choosing our survival team for the zombie apocalypse.
834. The way my norwex cloth made short work of Sam's crayon floor art.
835. Sam's post-nap curls.
836. Gorgeous omelettes.
837. Chats and chuckles.
838. Cushion Mountain; messy living room and happy kids.
839. Puffy white snow.
840. Heart to heart. ♥

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

821 to 830

821. Sunshine and snuggles with my loves.
822. My cousin's beautiful heart and honest writing.
823. The absolute miracle of two kids who usually nap at the same time. Toddlers. Same room. Miracle.
824. Vava's feisty temper and soft kisses.
825. Patrick coming home to spend lunch with us today.
826. A reminder that God is good and holds us from beginning to end in His hand.
827. His Word, rich and nourishing.
828. A phone call from my very favourite brother.
829. Generosity like a river.
830. Winter temperatures turning the car into a mobile refrigerator during errands :).

Monday, January 13, 2014

811 to 820

811. Vava so excited to see Sam in the morning she wriggles and kicks like a cheerleader.
812. Sam pats the cushion he's sitting on and asks "watch George, Va?"
813. She climbs up beside him and grins.
814. How much she loves him; she cried and called out for him when she woke after naptime and he was still sleeping.
815. Sam bringing her baby to her in his mouth.
816. My wonderful husband who bought takeout when I ruined supper.
817. Vava bouncing and jumping on our bed, silly before sleep.
818. Funday-Monday playdates.
819. A totally absorbing read.
820. A well-shoveled parking spot ... and a hardworking husband ♥.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

801 to 810

801. While we were singing in church this morning, Vava smiles up at me, gives me a kiss, then snuggles her face into my neck. Pretty much perfect.
802. Sam hugging a kid who cried in Sunday School.
803. Patrick building a great track for Sam's trains.
804. Vava calling "mama come!" instead of crying in the night.
805. Playing a family game of catch on the stairs.
806. Sam telling us to sing quietly because Vava was sleeping.
807. A good chat with my dad.
808. Snow falling thick and fast.
809. Sam talking to himself as he fell asleep.
810. A restful, snuggly, happy Sunday.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

791 to 800

791. Sam asking Patrick to feed his happy-face balloon.
792. A quick, quiet drive all alone; time to pause and pray and grow.
793. Sam & Vava chasing each other around the house with balloons.
794. Taking a big nap all afternoon.
795. Not cooking supper.
796. Having a fantastic supper out instead!
797. And a decadent dessert.
798. Prepared by loving friends.
799. Who made us all feel so welcome.
800. And Vava didn't break the glass I let her hold. : D

Friday, January 10, 2014

781 to 790

781. Sam and Vava playing timeout, giggling together like best friends.
782. Going for a walk with just our boots and jackets! No snowpants, mittens, hats, or second jackets, and the wrestling they entail ;).
783. No hair-dryer blasting on my drain, because it wasn't frozen this morning.
784. A really great Skype date. ♥
785. Vava tenderly hugging Sam after a true timeout.
786. A cute Facebook announcement about my new niece or nephew!
787. Both kids gobbling their stirfry at supper.
788. Love notes on the bathroom mirror.
789. Prayer.
790. Soul sisters and deep-dish nourishing goodness.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

771 to 780

771. Sam being gentle to Vava, and her offering of a bottle to him in return ♥.
772.Vava dressing up as Rainbow Bear at playgroup.
773. Vava clapping for me and bringing me a toy because I "pee poy!"
774. Sam's beautiful face flushed and happy as he played in the snow.
775. Normal winter temperatures today, instead of the -40 we've been hiding from.
776. Sam discovering we all have belly buttons and exclaiming "wow cool huh?!"
778. The kids' excitement that Christmas decorations were still up at Victoriaville mall.
779. Vava and I being pulled down the sidewalk on the sled by the two best reindeer ever.
780. Peperoncinis stuffed with cream cheese.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

761 to 770

761. Tucked into bed for the night, Vava wakes up and cries. Sam talks to her gently, calms her, and they jabber happily back and forth ♥.
762. Sunshine filling up the rooms, making them warm and golden.
763. Yop on sale!
764. Sam & Vava sharing crackers. She eats half of each one and replaces them in the bowl; he gobbles the remains.
765. Vava joyfully brushing her tiny wisps of hair.
766. Wonderfully simple homemade wraps, stuffed with chicken, cilantro, and salsa.
767. Help from the Maker of heaven and earth.
768. New jeans.
769. Vava cleaning up Sam's spill; her precious helpful self melting my heart.
770. Finding tons of jewellery I'd forgotten I owned.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

751 to 760

751. The way that holding hands to pray for breakfast makes everyone family in a heartbeat.
752. Sam's magnificent bedhead.
753. Patrick's selflessness.
754. The wonderful ordinariness of lying on the floor reading to my kids while they play.
755. Making silky smoothies with our new blender.
756. Showing Vava how to write her name.
757. The sheer pleasure of reading fun and well-written poetry aloud.
758. Sam's absorption with sunlight reflecting from utensils, chasing the gleams like a cat on a laser.
759. Pork chops with cream cheese and tart sliced apples.
760. Vava deliberately being naughty to go in timeout like Sam.

Monday, January 6, 2014


Pulling down my old calendar and putting up the new one came with no small sense of relief.  Ahh.  It's over.
2013 feels a bit like a pile of rubble.
Just ... junk.  Useless.  Dust.
But - hope for 2014?
Oh yes!

Heart of fear, take courage in grace, take hope in thankfulness.

I know Someone who takes dust into His good hands and makes beautiful things.
He took dust and made humanity.
He took a valley of dry bones and made them live.
He took a barren womb and filled it with a baby.
He took a little boy's lunch and turned it into a feast.
He took a bloody cross and turned it into the door of Heaven.

He restores.
He renews.
He exchanges death for life.

He makes beautiful things out of the dust.

Go forward with hope, friends.

741 to 750

741. Comfortable friends who come and play.
742. Sam & Vava's serendipitous symbiosis: he pours water on the floor, she gleefully wipes it up.
743. Having a dad who regularly calls to see how I'm doing.
744. Having a mom who looks for something to love in any situation.
745. Seeing Grammy Swan when I look in the mirror.
746. Cuddles with my sleepy Vava.
747. Reading blessings You pour into my friend's life.
748. The gorgeous sound of a South African accent, right in my own house.
749. Smoothtastic raspberry cheesecake.
750. Sam asking for kisses before bed.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

731 to 740

731. Sleeping in and waking up to find the kids fed and dressed for church by my amazing husband.
732. Reading tear-jerkers to the kids.
733. Sam and Vava painting cards ... and themselves.
734. Having the clothes closet all to myself!
735. Sam saying "so fun!" when we went to fill the car up with gas.
736. Vava wearing red&yellow striped pyjamas under a pink&purple jacket ... and still being irresistibly gorgeous.
737. Listening to kids in Sunday School recite verses.
738. White smoke against a darkening sky.
739. Making cheesecake cups with my OTL.
740. Putting on warm jams after freezing outside.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

721 to 730

721. Lunch with a friend.
722. Well-loved loaner books.
723. Free stuff at Superstore.
724. Flaxseed-crust pizza.
725. Vava standing on her head, saying "side down!"
726. Sorting through my clothes and discovering tons of closet space.
727. Sam asking for Monkey and heading upstairs to bed on his own.
728. Yummy new lemon&echinacea tea. (in my giant mug, whee!)
729. Monkey and Zebra getting through baths they've been avoiding for weeks :S.
730. It's noticeably lighter later in the evening ... yaaaaaaay!

Friday, January 3, 2014

711 to 720

711. Sam deliberately spraying his face with water, laughing.
712. Vava carrying Patrick's lunchbox, proud to be helping.
713. Friends ♥.
714. Hfxtraffic's hilarious blizzard tweet.
715. Sam and Vava sharing ice cream.
716. It's Friday!
717. Receiving love and photos in the mail.
718. Sam (naughty) getting the markers from on top of the fridge and (wonderfully) only colouring where he's allowed.
719. Getting to talk with my sister because she got a snow day :).
720. Vava's adorable food-belly after supper.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

701 to 710

701. Our garbage men, who work so hard in the freezing cold and still take time to wave to the kids.
702. Vava saying "no thank you," when I offered her a bite.
703. The kids playing together while I took down the tree.
704. My super-handy basement shelves.
705. The slow-cooker and its daily magic.
706. Audio Bible.
707. Practical parenting advice.
708. Four cute kids kicking Patrick's butt bowling tonight (although to be fair, he can probably take credit for some of their points too hehe).
709. Sam losing his mind with excitement when we told him we were going bowling.
710. Sam finding the dainty crescent moon and waving hello :).

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

691 to 700

691. Vava escaping mid-diaper change, running and shrieking with glee.
692. Patrick playing with both kids.
693. Vava clinging to her bodywash and insisting "mine!" long after her bath.
694. Hugging in the sunshine.
695. Damp-sanding the drywall in the bathroom; no dust!
696. Using my giant owl mug twice today ♥.
697. Sitting with Patrick.
698. Realizing how much growing up I have to do.
699. Choosing a watch-word for the year (hope; the surprise gift hidden inside a big stack of thankfulness).
700. Writing happy plans on my calendar.