Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Lets Get It!

There is so much out there for children that almost everywhere you go you can be tempted to buy one more thing which is really unneccessary. I know that I am tempted often with cute little shoes (my weekness for sure) or an adorable outfit. For Dave, it was this:
We were in a store looking for parts for Dave to build a ride on car for Matty and we came across the last one in the entire store. And, it was on sale. So we talked about it and it went like this:
Dave: we should get it for Matty for Christmas.
Kate: How about we just put it away and give it to him on his first birthday. (keep in mind this tractor is for the ages of 2-6 and matty is 3 1/2 months)
Dave: well, if we got it, we would have to give it to him tonight. (5 days before Christmas) I dont want it sitting around in a box.
Kate: It wont get hurt in the box. We can leave it in the basement and it wont be in the way.
Dave: No, we can just get it another time.
Kate: Are you sure? The sale is really good.
Dave: no, if we cant have it now, we can wait.
(we then walk to the front of the store resume talking)
Dave: How about you get it for me and it can be my Christmas present?
Kate: I already got you something I know you would like.
Dave: I want to build it now and the kids can play with it until Matty is old enough.
(the conversation continues like this-get it, no dont get it, get it... until finally)
Kate: Ok, lets do it. The other kids will enjoy it and we can just make sure it is taken good care of.

So we shoved the box into our Golf and headed back to Jo and Aidans house. Dave got right to it building the tractor for "Matty" and all of the kids enjoyed it.
Matthew fits better in the shovel than on the seat. Ha ha ha!

Apparently, Jo and Aidans kids ask about coming over now because they know we have the tractor. They always have a good time here but now tey arevery excited about it. What can I say? one gift made 5 people happy and hopefully it will last quite a while.

Look at my happy boys after playing with their new toy:

It was definetly worth it just for that beautiful moment.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

So Much Christmas!!!

To begin with, Merry late Christmas from Dave, Matty and myself. These days I have been terrible at updating my blog.
Our Chirstams tree cut down from Dave's parents yard.
It's been up since the 5th of December.

It was such a fun Christmas. We spent Christmas eve at my parents place playing games (a game called WHAT? from chapters. It was a hoot) and visiting friends. We also ate some yummy appetizers and boy was I STUFFED.
The Millar Christmas Tree

We spent the night, and the rest of the family arrived early the next morning to begin the present opening. This year we chose to pull names when buying gifts to cut down on the expenses. Each parent was to take care of gifts for the kids (still) living with them and had a persons stocking to take care of and a persons gift. My sister had my stocking and my brother had my gift. My husband spoiled me rotten and so did my mom. The name pulling didn't stop us from feeling so increadibly spoiled this year. I think it was mostly because we were all together. Like Dave and I were saying the next day, it wouldn't have mattered if we only got one gift or even none. It is being with family and having a nice, happy time with everyone. I praise God for such an amazing family.
Matty in his Christmas outfit. Sorry for the quality.

Matthew slept through most of Chritsmas morning since he woke up pretty early but we had a chance to get a few pictures of him opening his present from us.
Matty wondering what this shiny green things is
and why it is that we are putting it in his face.

We Bought him some cloth rings that make up a turtles shell.It has a mirror on the bottom.

Once gifts were done, my dad prepared the traditional Christmas breakfast (ham and eggs) and I did up the dishes. Then, it was relaxation time until Jo, Aidan, Dave and I along with all the kids went to the tobbaganing hill. Dave, Matty and I just went for a walk while the others went sledding (we hadn't thought to bring nice warm clothes). Then it was time for dinner. Roast, Yorkshire pudding, gravy, a yummy new green bean recipe my mom made, squash, roasted potatoes... so good. The men tidied up and after a bit of a break we broke out dessert.

It was my responsability to make the dessert so I made two new recipes. A peach pie with candied pecans and a chocolate truffle tort. They were both good but both had room for improvement.

Boxing day was Christmas with Dave's side of the family and it was so warm and wonderful too. It began with visiting in the van der Meer home and meeting the new neice (Brenna) and enjoying those around. Then we opened gifts slowly, each person getting their chance (nice having everyone relax and just take their time). We pulled names here as well for the first time. It was a success I think. I got a breadmaker that I am excited to use.

Again, Matty slept through most of this since he was so increadibly tired and crabby. He received some really nice gifts too (he was more spoiled than I thought he would be for his first Christmas.

Once all the gifts we opened, it was off to the Helmer's (Daves Aunt and Uncles house) for the Chritsmas dinner. Imust say YUM! as always. Candied yams, turkey, duck, stuffing, mashed potatoes, creamy vegetables, ham...salads and buns and dessert...Needless to say I over did it with the eating again but boy was it enjoyable. more gifts were received which was so sweet. I had no idea we would leave with another 5 gifts. So generous.

Uunt Angela bought one of her boys a talking Elmo and Matty was very... confused? fascinated? terrified?
Here he is talking back to Elmo... or trying to bite his nose.

It was late by the time we got home. Matty was a wreck (he had been most of the evening too) and it took us a while to get him to sleep again. Once down, I had a very good nights sleep.

Today is a very down day. Dave is home, relaxing and he helped me tidy up. Matty is getting back into the habbit of going for naps without being rocked or walked (lots of screaming later) and I finally have a moment to sit down and share this post with you.

My sister and her family will be arriving soon to spend the night with us. Can you tell we LOVE being around people? Jo and I will go do a bit of bowing day shopping and maybe find a deal or two to put away for next Christmas. Until then, I have some pictures to get uploaded and catsgorized.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


In the recent past I have felt very far from God. Not due to anything I had done but mostly what I hadn't been doing: my devotions. I felt stuck, alone, frustrated and guilty. All the tings that should happen when one distances themselves from communion with Christ and His word. Then suddenly there was an abundance of studies and classes made available and I have become a part of many of them.
To learn is to gain knowledge and skill, to memorize and to find out.

Learning is exactly what I have been doing in my 8 studies/classes. Let me try to break it down.

A Woman of Worship: This is a womans study (obviously) that is going through several Psalms and teaching how to be a woman of worship. The book is certainly not the best part of the study. The questions are good sometimes, but other times are really basic. The best part is the leader. Her gift of teaching is very apparent. She manages to take from the questions and go much deeper. It is always through our discussions of her questions that God really teaches me. I've been reminded that God is always near, that it is we who can easily put other things in the place of God in our lives but that He never lets us go.

The Legacy of Biblical Womanhood: Here is another womans study. It occurs in Vanessa and my house but it is with the women of Vanessas church in Russell (same denomination but different place and pastor). This book has really been enjoyable. So far it has dealt with the idea of women being a help meet and how that is a covenant. We have looked at what a covenant is and it has really made being a woman a beautiful thing. In our society, it is very easy to see womanhood as something undesireable... that we should be like men, not women. It has also been able to keep me interested. I have read other books on womanhood that I have had to put down because somehow it presented its ideas in a way that has put my back up even though it's arguments were backed up by theology. I guess they have somehow managed to present ideas less beautifully... I dont know. This study is great because we have so many different women who have so many grreat things to say.

James: This is a study by John MacArthur that is going through the book of James. It is the study book that I am using to lead the youth group at my church. We have only done one study but it was really good. It dealt wit hthe idea of taking trials and making our situations triumphant. How God is there to not remove our trials but to help us through them so that we can grow. I am excited to learn and grow through this book some more.

Ephesians: Dave and I will be attending this study together most of the time. It is for young adults and we are going through the book of Ephesians together. The leader has decided not to do a really deep study of it but to do it chapter by chapter. I think either way we will be greatly blessed by this study. I missed the first one due to my other bible study (but it was just an introduction).

Sister to Sister: This is a study that is more of an accountability group. Its name is because it is a group of women who are realy close (Karin, Jo, Vanessa, Me and sometimes Katy). We get together and discuss what we have learned over the past two weeks and how we wish to apply things and then we pray together for many different things. This is a womderful time because there are no hinderances to share. When we are hurting we can openly cry and know we will receive love and guidance and prayer. It's a very warm, beautiful study that I always look forward to, even when I haven't been in the word.

Biblical Parenting: This is a Sabbath school class that Dave and I have been attending. A man from our church has had this on his heart and has put together a number of classes for us to discuss the way parents should parent according to God's word. Our manual is the bible and we have been looking at various themes and bringing it back to Gods word. The next few classes will be on discipline and I am interested to see what is discussed since there are so many different ideas about the right way to do this. (Is there a right way? I think everyone thinks there way is the right way. The biggest and most important thing to remember is that judging is up to God. People really love to judge parenting.)

Understanding Biblical Doctrine: This is another Sabbath school class that I am excited about. It is lead by two of our elders and it is somthing I know very little about formally. This does mean, however, that Dave and I will not be in the same class every other Sunday but it also allows us to talk to each other about what we've learned. It deals with how doctrine is really central to our Christian life and not just a part of it that doesnt really need to be learned. I can't wait to get into it more and more.

Kids Group: This is sometimes my responsability and sometimes others. depending on the activity that is being done, we choose an appropriate study. Last time we built treasure boxes so we discussed treasures in heaven. Kids can always teach us a lot and so I know throughout the year I will learn from them as much as they might learn from me. Plus, I love working with them. they are fun.

These are the 8 studies I am a part of and through them I am learning numerous things. unfortunately, the main thing that I seem to learn is that I have bad time management. The word of God always comes once everything else has been completed. Dishes done, Matty asleep, house cleaned, e-mails checked... If anything can be learned, its to be in the word daily and it should be priority. So, if in all of these studies I learn nothing new (which I know wont be the case), I have learned something very important.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Two ministries have been on my heart: Boys and Girls group and Youth Group.

Our church has many younger kids at this moment in time so I felt like I should try and start a ministry for them. Something where they could begin to get to know each other outside of worshsip and Sunday school class and also to make a nice transition from kids group to youth group. Others thought this was a good idea too.

When it came to beginning it, however, there was little support from many of the parents. I have two regular kids. We continue to meet every month. Why? They enjoy each others company and I wish to minister to the kids who wish to be ministered to. Really, they minister to me with their adorable comments and stories.

The youth group has had an even harder beginning. I lead it last year and we had some successful events, though commitment was lacking. Many events were cancelled. I thought that if I lowered the age I would get more people interested this year. The schedules were made and annoucements announced and the feedback was very disappointing. Eventually I had 5 people signed up for youth group and when we were ready to finally meet, I was told that three of them were busy until the new year. The lack of commitment had started again, I feared. I didnt want to give up though. It is really on my heart to have a bible study and some activities with them. So, every month I waited to get some feedback. Today, we finally succeeded in having our first meeting. Only three people were there but there are 4 others who would like to come but couldn't make it tonight due to illness, being out of town and having a hockey game to attend. I was so pleased with how it went. Our next meeting will be one of service of sorts. We will all be getting together to bake cookies to give to all the families in the church. This was one of our successful activities last year and so I hope it will be again this year.

There may be few people attending at the moment but I am happy. Lord willing they will grow and God will be pleased with us. I look forward to seeing how things develop. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Yesterday evening, Dave, Matty and I went out for dinner with Jo and Aidan and the family. It was a very nice time (we don't do this often at all). However, before the food was served I began to feel very sick to my stomach. I decided to ignore the pain in my stomach and eat the food I had ordered. I actually thought about cancelling my order but was too scared. I didnt manage to eat all of it but I sure ate a good amount.

From there, Dave and I went to go look at something for a Christmas gift and I was in so much discomfort that I had to wait outside because I was afraid I might throw up in the store. The moment we got home, the nightmare began. Either stomach flu or food poisoning. A while back I remember thinking "what on earth would I do if I got really sick with a baby?" and last night and today I got to experience this. God is good and answered my prayer that Matty would sleep most of the night. He only woke once, ate quickly and went right back to sleep. Thankfully, because I was running in and out of the room to the washroom and really wasnt sure what I would do if something hit me while I was nursing. When the morning came and I had to get Matty out of bed, I had no strength at all. Dave ended up having to bring him to me and I could barely hold him. I don't remember ever feeling so weak.

Matty had some good naps that allowed me to get some sleep since I didnt get any last night and I think I am finally starting to get better (though my stomach still feels a bit queezy). I was suppose to have two friends over and have a bible study today. I was very disappointed that I had to cancel with them but it isn't very fair to make them sick if I do indeed have stomach flu.

Dave came home from work and complained of a sore neck, sore thoat and he had a really stuffy nose. He lay down beside me and fell right to sleep. I hope he feels better tomorrow. I could tell he was annoyed at being sick since he has a lot of work to do... but what can you do? I am happy he is sleeping, He is passed out right beside me.

With all of this sickness I am praying that Matty will be fine. I would really not like him to get stomach flu or this cold or whatever Dave has. How would a little baby like him handle it? I know God is bigger than sickness but it scares me nonetheless. I put Matty to sleep and he has already woken twice, very unhappy. I hope it is just because he wasn't fully asleep, not pain or sickness.

Matty has been neglected today since I was so tired, sick and weak. I pretty much nursed him and put him to sleep but there was little cuddle or play time. At times he was almost inconsolable and I think it is because he was so tired of being in the bedroom. I literally didnt leave the bedroom with him until 2:30. When we did leave the bedroom, I got some adorable smiles and a story or two. That ensured me that he was still feeling ok.

Anyways, sleep calls and I pray that I will wake up tomorrow feeling 100%

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Power of Television

Just the other day, my hands were full and Dave was holding a cranking Matty. He sat down at the computer to watch some Top Gear when Matty suddenly quieted. Dave called me to come into the room as quickly as I could with the camera.

This is what I saw:

Not only does he like television but he seems to love cars as well. :)

TV is not the only discovery Matthew has made. He has started to look at his hands move. And, he has started to try and grab for toys. Very exciting. So suddenly, a day before this he had no idea what hands were. I love it.

Monday, November 24, 2008


We had boys and Girls group a while back. Once again, a very tiny turn out (2 kids) but they always do have a blast. Dave was the leader and he taught us how to make wooden boxes and the theme was treasure. We discussed treasures in Heaven rather than here on earth. It was nice.

While assembling our boxes, there was a time when both Dave and I had our hands full of glue and wood. What did we do with Matty?

Yup! He became our recycling. He tolerated the seat/box for about 2 minutes but that gave us enough time to finish what needed to be done.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Picnic in November

This was not my own idea but Vanessa's. I stole the idea because it was just so good that I had to do it and I got all into it.

She told me how her and Cory sometimes have picnics on their living room floor and watch movies together at the same time as eating. So, I did it too. I spread out the blankets and decided to make it a romantic picnic. When Dave walked in, he saw candle lights in the hallway, and the living room was glowing with candle light on the floor and on the tv ( I was constantly looking back into the room to make sure none of the candles had fallen and lit the blanket on fire).
I had dinner waiting for us on the blanket and I even had wine glasses out for our drinks. I made Three Cheese Tortolini (sp?) in Creamy White Wine Sauce. Boy oh boy was it good. We sat on the blanket and ate our dinner while watching 2 Weeks Notice and keeping an ear open for our sleeping boy. It was such a beautiful night and so much simpler than a real picnic.
Thank you, Ness, for the idea. Hope you don't mind me sharing it with whoever might read this post.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Odd choice

Today has been a confusing day for me and Matty. All day he has fussed and whined and refused to sleep for more than 15 minutes at a time and I just can't figure out why. I thought maybe he was hungry but he refused to eat. I thought he might be gassy but doesn't seem to be struggling in that way. I gave him a nice warm bath at around 5:30 and it was the first smile he gave me all day. Once out of the bath, the strange upsets began again.

Dave came home and at first Matty seemed fine but the whine and sadness came again. Dave walked with him, cuddled him and eventually thought to put him in the jolly jumper. He still isn't big enough for it and he can't support himself in it so Dave always props a blanket behind him to help him out. Right away, while swinging, he was calm and happy. We kept him swinging in it for 15 minutes and then he was fast asleep. Odd place to sleep. It looks so uncomfortable. He has a nice comfortable swing but he really doesn't seem to care for it much.

Adorable, but comfortable?

He is now finally asleep in his crib. Lets hope it lasts for a little while longer than his other naps today. I might even try and grab a few winks during this time in case we have a bad night (I really hope not). Wow, I should have knocked on wood. He's awake within one minute of me writing he was sleeping. OY!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Large (Huge)

A few years back I went to the allergist because I was miserable. Sneezing and itchy eyes... so much so that it was beginning to be debilitating. At times i wasnt even able to breathe with all the sneezing.

Off to the allergist I went and found out that I was allergic to dust and cats and dogs. They started me on a round of allergy shots. You go every week for 6 weeks until you are up to a regular dose and then you can go every three to four weeks just to maintain the dose. This continues for a year in the hopes that you will overcome your allergy.

My shots were fine. It was a bit annoying having to go all the time but it really seemed to improve my allergies. At times my arm would react to the shot by getting a little swollen or itchy but never really an issue.

When I found out I was pregnant, they had to lower my dosage and keep me at that level for the rest of my treatment. Then they renewed my treatment after he was born.

Today, I went in for my last weekly shot that had the biggest amount of ... stuff ...in it. I sat down with my ice (it helps with the minor swelling and the itching) and waited. You always have to wait a half hour before you leave just in case.

About three minutes later, I looked at my arm. I always do just because I'm curious, not because I feel anything. I was very shocked with what I saw. I even did a double take expecting everything to be normal. I walked up to the receptionist at the desk. She was on the phone so I waited patiently. She looked up at me and quickly asked if everything was ok. I told her I thought my arm was a little too big so she called, "Staff!, Steff!" in what seemed a bit of a panic. Turns out my nurses name is Stephany. I had her look at my arm and she was a bit surprised. "Are you feeling anything else?, Lets go sit down and Ill go get the doctor."

He came to look at it and was quick to tell the nurse to get my some antihystemines. I told him I was nursing and so he made sure to give me a childs allergy medicine that would be fine for nursing mothers and babies. He said there was another type I could take but it would make Matty sleep too much. He then took my chart and started to write something. I looked over his shoulder and saw him describe my hive as "large (Huge)". I chuckled silently to myself because I agreed with him. It was huge. Then the nurse came back with her ruler to measure the hive. The largest I ever had was about 1 1/2 cm in diameter. You know how large this one was? I was going to get a picture taken for you all to see but I forgot and when I remembered, it had already disappeared. It was (are you ready for this?) 8 1/2 cm long by 6 1/2 cm wide. EWWW! It sure was HUGE!

They decided that from now on I would have a lower dosage. You think?! It is odd though, because I was on the full dosage before and my reaction was never anywhere like that.

Stephany was really sweet and was sure to check on me. After over 35 minutes they figures it was safe to go. The hive hadn't grown at all and the width of it had even shrunk a wee bit.

My journey to the allergist was not suppose to be that exciting. At least I have a story to tell about today. Oh, and my arm is mostly back to normal and its only been a few hours. One concern however. Matty has been sleeping for a long while...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

All Effort and Little Success

Yesterday I decided to be domestic again and make a nice meal. I invited some friends to join us for dinner and I spent my morning and any free time without Matty to work on the meal.

I was making Curried Chicken with Rice and Naan bread. The last time I made it, it was so delicious that I just wanted to eat more and more.

This time, it wasn't so. I was so disappointed. I made the curry and it smelled great. I transferred it to the crock pot and then when I went to serve it, it was burned in places. I was not impressed. I also forgot to add the lemon juice. It still tasted ok but it was dryer than I am used to.

The naan bread is what I was most looking forward to. I mixed away and everything until I realized it was not becoming dough. It was just batter. When I looked at my recipe again, I realized my mistake. I'd added a cup too much of milk. So, I just kept adding flour which of course destroyed its taste all together.

Finally, the rice. For some reason, the rice remained sticky. I let it sit and sit and sit on the burner until the bottom began to burn. So, we had sticky rice to put our curry on (not normal).

Thankfully my guests were close friends and they were fine eating my foiled meal. It wasn't disgusting but no one was asking for seconds :( It's probably a good thing I didn't have time to make a dessert. I'm sure something would have gone wrong there too.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The First Snow

October 29th marks Ottawa's first snow for the "winter". We didn't get as much as they were predicting (15-30 cm) but it was still a good cover. Currently, the snow is still on the ground but the weather tomorrow is suppose to be higher than average for the year. Isn't Canadian weather odd?
The backyard and shed. I forgot to put my bike away a while ago. Now it has snow all over it.

The bush I see from my kitchen window. Interesting to see the leaves with no snow and the bushes covered.

Matty didn't seem to notice the snow. He is, after all, only 7 weeks old. He did, however, notice the wind. The poor boy. Every time I took him out of the car, he would gasp for air. I tried to turn him away from the wind but it was going every which way, I tried covering his seat with a blanket but the wind just blew it off and he hates it when I cover his face. I think I will do the face covering anyways though. Better he breathes than is happy, right? I have a winter bunting bag for his car seat that my sister leant me. Hopefully that will work well enough to keep him happy and breathing.

Matthew has been fighting a cold on and off since he turned one week old. I feel terrible for him and I am feeling terrible. He passed the cold on to me and now we are both stuffed up and sick. The thing about him though, is he can't just blow his nose. Last night he woke up several times chocking on his mucus. So, both mommy and baby are tired but netiher one of us can really nap either. He just keeps coughing and sneezing and I can't sleep while he makes all of his coldy noises. I'm sure once I get tired enough that will change. Until then, I'm slighly Mummy like.

The first Boys and Girls Club meeting is tonight. I hope it goes well with the whole two kids who are coming. I'll update you on how that goes.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Jan and Sophie

Today was a fantastic day. I didn't really do anything productive but some fnu things happened and I thought I would fill you in on it.

In the morning, Vanessa and I along with our boys in their strollers went for a walk into the Glebe. It was for the exercise but also for a sale. La Cache, a store full of beautiful items designed by April Cornell is going out of business and EVERYTHING in the store is currently 50% off. I had to get there3 in the hope to find a table cloth. I was fortunate and actually left with two. Different sizes and designs. I thought I might buy a cute girls dress if one jumped out at me just because she makes beautiful girls clothes and doesn't make any boys clothes, but I didn't. Matty started getting fussy so I got out quickly. I might have to go back and have a better look around.

Next we hit Starbucks for hot chocolate and then on to the pharmacy. I had to purchase Bio Oil. It's suppose to help rid me of my very bad stretch marks. We shall see.

The next fun thing I did was go to the church to help Jane (a lady from church) decorate the youth bulletin board. I had fun picking out the colours I wanted and I have to say, no one will be able to miss the board. I hope to snap a picture tomorrow and post in later.

While I was there, Jan, a missionary to West Africa who used to be my Sunday School teacher, handed me a gift that she had bought Matty. She said she had bought one for her neice and apparently she loves it.

Before I tell you about this toy, let me tell you a little bit about Jan. Mostly, I know her from church. When I was younger she was my teacher, as I mentioned, but she was the woman who first made me think about the world and I think my desire to visit Africa came from her. She taught us about praying for other nations and she gave each of her students a book about other countries. I still have the book. Needless to say, this toy I opened already meant a lot to me.

Meet Sophie:

Here is a description of it that I found online after learning that this is a VERY popular toy that i knew nothing about.

Born in 1961, her success is legendary in France. Made in the French Alps with natural rubber and non-toxic paint, Sophie has been safely cuddled and chewed for over 40 years! The famous giraffe 'Sophie', in natural rubber (phtalate-free) is soft, light, and easy to grasp and fits perfectly into little hands. Sophie is loveable and amusing. She even makes a happy sound when squeezed. Babies especially love her bumpy head to soothe their teething gums.

Over 600,000 Sophies are sold EACH YEAR in France!

Sophie is 7 inches tall!

Designed to stimulate the senses and soothe the teething gums, Mothers recognize right away the benefits of this little giraffe for their child.

Sophie the Giraffe is one of Vulli's most popular characters. Her success is legendary with more than 10 million units sold in Europe since her creation.
In today's fast paced world it is unusual to see a high production toy still made by hand: Sophie requires 14 manual manufacturing steps.

Slender, Flexible, and Soft, Baby can squeeze and chew her in complete safety. Lovable and amusing, She laughs when her body is squeezed.

0-12 months +

Anyways, when I got home I decided to introduce Sophie to Matty. I took her out of the box, gave her a squeeze right near Matty's face and... he smilled the biggest smile. He got super excited and it looked like he was going to giggle. He loved it. afte about 5 minutes straight of happy smiles and stories, I put the giraffe and Matty down to quickly get the camera and when i returned Matty was done with being happy. Why does that ALWAYS happen?

This evening, Dave and Cory went to a hockey game together so Vanessa and I spent the evening together watching movies. First we watched Martian child which I really enjoyed. Then we watched Penelope. I think this movie is really cute.

Now, Im in bed typing and waiting for the most recent episode of the Office to buffer so Dave and I can enjoy it. That is one of the greatest shows ever.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Changes... so many

All of a sudden, life is becoming busy. Obviously, a baby keeps me pretty busy. But September in general brings forth new activities and my life is also continuing to change.

First, all of a sudden I am a part of three bible studies, leading one study and organizing a group or two at church. This is NOT a complaint. I am enjoying it so far, although it has only just begun. Youth group and Boys and Girls club will potentially bring challenges and disappointments but I am prepared for that. As for the studies, I am so happy to have several groups to be learning with and meeting with.

Next change: Dave and I are trying to entertain at our home with people we do not know very well. This past Sunday I got all into playing hostess and I:

decorated the table. I also had it set and ready to go the night before. (This picture was taken after the entertaining was over hence it being a little messy.)

I cooked a soup from scratch (same soup as the baptism which people really liked.)

and I made this amazing caramel brownie tart. The greatest complement was from my sister, who after eating said, "Looks like I now have some competition". Everyone knows she is an excellent cook so that pleased me greatly.

I really enjoyed being a hostess and serving yummy food. This is a very new thing for me. Being in the kitchen used to make me kind of grumpy. Im now learning to see the fun and satisfaction in cooking and having clean dishes and a clean counter area. I still hate putting dishes away though.

My next change has to do with my laundry situation. I am very fortunate to have a washer and dryer in my apartment (unlike Ness upstairs) but I have tried very hard to conserve energy and keep the bills lower by not using the dryer. Dave made me a wooden drying rack a while back and it has been my laundry companion for a long while. This week, it died. I didn't mourn it's loss right away... I was angry at it instead. Thankfully it is just an object and wont be hurt at my fickle feelings. This is what my laundry room looked like after the second load of wash. I literally had no where to put the clothes to dry since the dryer was being used for all the towels and sheets.


Thankfully, Vanessa has a dryingrack and she let me borrow it so I was able to put the next load of wash all on that rack. I should really do laundry more than once a week. It would likely make things much easier.

Finally, Matty. What is changing in him? EVERYTHING!

Here is Matty at 6 weeks and one day. I don't know if you can tell but he is getting so big.

These are all of the clothes he has already outgrown. It happens so fast. I took some close ups of some of them because I think they are just so cute.

Booties knit by Great Oma

The teddy on Matty's first pair of overalls from Tante Vanessa. He wore these on his very first trip to church.

An adorable sleeper from Aunty Jo's collection of clothes that I was so blessed to use. It always reminds me of Africa.

Matty's 'coming home from the hospital' sleeper from Grammie. I just love the blue with the helicopters.

Oh, I just thought of another change: Sleep! Matty has begun to sleep for 4 hour stretches and sometimes even longer. Just a few nights ago he actually slept through the entire night. I admit I was in pain when he finally woke up BUT I was very well rested.

Other news: I had my 6 week appointment and have a good report. All is healed REALLY WELL and I have yet to find out about my thyroid. If I hear nothing, I continue to stay on my hormones. If I hear something I either stop taking them or I will have to increase it. We shall see.

Matthew is talking now. Not actual words, of course, but he will look at you, smile and say things like "goo, a goo..." I don't really know how to spell out any of the other sounds he makes but it is so cute. Today he spoke to his Uncle Aidan and his Tante Katrina, to me and to Dave(all seperate occassions). I tried desperately to get him on tape and only have a very little snippet. Unfortunately, I still can't get the videos to upload. Perhaps one day I can share them. I guess I should get a lesson on how to do it. Until then, take my word for it, it's ADORABLE!!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fall Harvest Feast (soup)

This is the soup recipe I used to make the soup for Matty's baptism. By the time I got to eat, there was none left and people were asking me for the recipe.

I also meant to take a picture but it was all gone very quickly. Sorry!

Here it is!

4 bacon slices, chopped

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasthalves, chopped

1 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. chopped carrot
1/4 c. chicken (or vegetable) broth

6 c. chicken (or vegetable) stock
14 oz. can of pure pumpkin (no spices)
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. ground sage

Cook bacon in large saucepan on medium until crisp. Tranfer with slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp. drippings in same saucepan on medium-high. Add chicken. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring often, until browned.

Add next 4 ingredients. Heat and stir for about 5-10 minutes, scraping any brown bits from bottom of pan, until vegetables are softened.

Add remaining 4 ingredients. Stir. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender. Add bacon. Stir.

Makes about 81/2 cups (2.1L.).
Serves 4

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Some days things are impossible to get done (these end up being chinese take out nights or restaurants), Other days, I feel like I could do everything I used to in the house. The house gets clean and there is a nice meal on the table.

The past two nights, I have managed to prepare nice enough dinners while maintaining a fairly presentable home (a bi messy but clean mostly).

Last night I prepared a ham dinner with baked potatoes and squash. I was most excited about the squash. It worked out pretty well but the squash was a bit over done. I was a little disappointed but it still tasted quite nice. I also managed to get a fruit salad made for my pre-natal reunion.

The reunion was actually quite nice. There were 5 babies there which is more than I was expecting. All so cute and in such different stages. I had never been to the house before. I went on to google maps and got directions and followed them perfectly. Unfortunately, the final destination was NOT where it was suppose to be. I drove around and around and couldn't find it. I then decided that it couldn't be too far away from where it was in my directions. One by one, I chose the side streets and wove in and out of confusing little areas until I happened upon the street I was looking for. In perfect timing too, because I was just about to give up and head home. Onceat the home, I was slightly confused by the wheel chair ramp but I recognized the woman who answered the door and the afternoon went well from there.

Tonight I prepared a stew that I knew Dave liked. I made it once before for a campng trip he went on and he came home and told me, almost right away, that it was the best stew he'd ever tasted. So, I thought it would be a special treat for him tonight. Unfortunately, he failed to mention he wasn't going to be home for dinner tonight, so he gets to eat it cold since our microwave is broken (eww!). I really enjoyed the stew and so did Vanessa. I figured I had enough to go around so I was very please to share it with Ness and Cory.

Here's the stew brewing (sorry the picture sucks, it fogged up the camera).

Here are the carrots and the potatoes that needed to be added after the first part of the stew had simmered for 1 1/2 hours.

These are pictures of the disaster I call my kitchen. I can't keep it clean while cooking. It always looks terrible while I'm on the go.

Finally, here is the finished product. Looking much less like a soup and more like stew.

So, that is the result of my productive days. Matty cooperated so well by being happy and having good sleeps during the day. I'm so proud of my little man.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Saturday, Sunday and Monday

Here are some pictures from our crazy weekend. I didn't get as many as I would have liked because my battery died :( I need to remember to bring backups.


We went to Dave's family's house and visited with Melissa, Chris and Eleanor (family from out of town). Eleanor is meeting her new cousin for the first time.

Uncle Dave holding Eleanor.


Matty "sitting up" for his 5 week picture in his baptism clothes.

Daddy and Matty waiting to be called up to the front.

Taking the baptism vows.

Rich getting ready to baptize Matty.

Matthew Aidan van der Meer is baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and Rich is now praying for him. Matty didn't cry at all. We were impressed
Two proud grandpas/pakes admiring their grandson after the service.

A family of three on a special day.

We started our Thanksgiving Monday by going to the Third World Bazaar. It happens for a few weekends in October and it has so many neat things. Today, however, it was so crazy that we barely got to look at anything since so many peopole were crowded in there. Matthew was not happy because he was getting overheated and I just didn't like being unable to move. So, it was a pretty quick visit, unfortunately.
A beautiful red tree in the park near my parents. We took the kids here to play and we played a game of catching falling leaves for a while (the wind stopped which ruined the game).

Proud cousin Caelah holding her little cousin. She is so good at holding babies.

Caelah, me, Matty and Gabriel. Believe it or not, Elijah took this picture. My face looks funny because he took it while I was explaining to him how to take a picture. Obviously he didn't need my help.

It was a wonderful weekend. Now all I want to do is sleep for days. It wont be possible, of course, but it is how I feel.

Tomorrow is voting day. Then I am visiting with some people from my prenatal class and then in the evening I have a bible study which I am very excited about. Wednesday will have to be my relaxation day. Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and has a good week.