Friday, October 28, 2011

Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child is one of my absolute favourite charities to be involved in. Packing a shoebox - a tangible way to help children in need around the world - is something we can all do. It doesn't cost a lot of money (about $20-$25), it's a great family project (even young kids can pack a shoebox), and it gives a child a wonderful gift with school supplies, hygiene products, books & toys, something they may have never received before.

Want to know how to pack a shoebox?

First, you'll need the box.
Any regular size shoe box will do (not the giant work-boot sized boxes) or you can use the shoebox sized plastic totes. You can wrap your shoebox if you want, as long as you wrap the lid separately to accomodate inspection. Customs are very sticky these days.

Boy or Girl?
Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the child’s age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14.
Stick the label on the outside of your shoebox.

Fill That Shoebox!
....with a well-balanced variety of items such as:
•School Supplies - pencils, pens, crayons, note pads, and picture books
•Toys & Other Gifts - stuffed animals, small musical instruments, marbles, ball, slinky, hair clips, toy jewelry, t-shirts, socks, and candy (loose, individually wrapped hard candy in a sealable bag)
•Hygiene Items - toothbrush, comb, brush, soap (in a sealable bag)
•Optional Personal Note - Include a personal note and/or a photo in your shoe box (NOT inside the donation envelope)

•Toothpaste (due to customs regulations)
•Food and any chewy, crumbly, or soft candy: Including gum (due to customs regulations)
•Used items (due to customs regulations)
•Playing cards (card games such as UNO are allowed)
•Liquids or items that could leak, melt, freeze, or break – Shampoo, creams, lip balm, bath gels, mirrors, or glass, etc. (these can damage other items in the shoe box).
-Items that can scare or harm a child – War-related toys, knives, and toy guns, etc.

Make your Donation

A minimum of $7 for each shoe box is needed to cover shipping. Place a cheque or cash donation in an envelope inside the box (separate from the envelope used for your letter/photo) OR, make an online donation and include the donation receipt in the shoe box.

Drop it Off
November 14-21 is Collection Week. Click here to find a location near you.

If you are in my area, the pentecostal church is collecting the shoeboxes.
Our deadline is Sunday, November 20th.

If you don't have time to do it yourself, you can go Pack a Shoebox Online and OCC will do the work for you. This option costs $37 including shipping.

For more info and updates 
Follow them on Facebook
Check out the website at

Now go visit the dollar store (you know you love that place) and get packing! :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Blooper Shot

What's a family photo shoot without a ridiculous blooper? The one with the baby grabbing Daddy by the nose, Mommy talking, and the 4 year old with the "Get me outta here!" look on her face?

However, I have to say I love the red heels, regardless ;)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall Photos

Back in August, I contacted a photographer in Deer Lake and made arrangements to have our family photos taken during the first week of September. I scrambled to get coordinating outfits for all of us, ordered hair accessories online, got new red shoes (of course!), etc. The first week of September came and went and no sign of the photographer. She did send an email a couple of weeks later saying, "Sorry haven't forgotten you, will be in touch." and then that was it. I checked back with her a couple of weeks ago and didn't receive any reply at all. Wow! Now there's a young photographer who has definitely not yet learned the importance of customer service. And then so many do everything for customer service and struggle to gain clients. Urgh!! The frustration!

So, there I was, duped, and with the cold weather fast approaching. I decided I was going to make the best of it and use the beautiful weather on Sunday to get some family shots anyways. I grabbed my tripod and my parents: my Mom as the "push the shutter as many times as possible in an effort to get at least one good shot" person, and my Dad as the "get the kids attention" person. lol.

After looking through the near 300 photos, I'm quite pleased to say I have a few good ones. I won't be showing you our family of 4 shot - you'll have to wait for your Christmas card for that - but here are a couple miscellaneous shots in the meantime:

Mommy & Sarah
Mommy & Charlotte
Daddy and his girls
Sarah & Charlotte looking at the birds...they were going crazy with the fishing boats out in the water
I must say it all worked out okay. I didn't get all the shots I had hoped, the shots I would have gotten with a professional photographer, but I did save myself some cash. (the hubster liked that part).

Stay tuned....before you know it, the Christmas cards will be going out...

...except mine might arrive a little late, as usual :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Charlotte learns HOT!

As another installment of me feeling like a terrible mother, Charlotte burned her hand on Thursday night. It was my fault. I was working late. Mom had the girls. It was almost time to leave when Mom dropped the girls off at the bakery. She put Charlotte down, assuming everything was safe. Charlotte was over by the oven, sorta stumbled against it, and then used her hand to push herself away. I was watching the entire thing happen but didn't react because I thought the oven was OFF! But then Charlotte started to scream and I realized I had forgotten. The oven was still ON, and unlike the nice cool-touch oven door at home, the bakery ovens are super HOT!! I felt terrible. I immediately got her hand under the cool water, got out the non-stick gauze in the first aid kit, put on the aloe gel, administered some tylenol, and then had a good cry about it all. Charlotte was inconsolable for a while but calmed down when the meds kicked in, even played for a little while when we got home, and had a decent nights' sleep.

Charlotte's heart-shaped blister :(

And in true girl fashion, Charlotte's injury didn't deter her from calling her friends the next day and telling them all about her terrible ordeal. Oh the drama!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sarah's Interview

Going through one of my journals and I found an interview I did with Sarah in January. I do these little Q&A's every once in a while - started it with my sisters kids and now with Sarah - mostly because some of the answers can be hilarious. It's also a great way to look back and remember what your kids were like at a particular age. We often forget the small details, or at least I do. When you scribble it all down in a journal or add it to a scrapbook page, there's a guarantee you'll re-read it one day and it will make you smile.

January 31, 2011
Age 3 years, 11 months

The Good stuff....(so girly!)
What is your favourite colour: pink...and purple
Favourite toy? Dollhouse & dolls & princesses
Favourite book? Strawberry shortcake
Favourite movie? Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Jasmine, Ariel, Fashion Fairytale Barbie
Favourite tv shows? Dora, Toopy & Binoo, Diego, "How to Train Your Dragon" (which is actually a movie)
Favourite food? Toast and cereal

What made you happy today? "Playing with my stamp kit"
What made you sad today? "When I didn't want to play"
What did Charlotte do today? "Charlotte didn't do things because she was a baby"

Me: What do you like? (she kept going on and on and on....)
Sarah: "Um, I like...
-Tiaras and hearts
-tea and cereal Interject Me: What does tea taste like? Sarah: "A sweet rainbow" (awesome answer! Don't you agree, Tara?)
-baby Charlotte Interject Me: Do you remember when you were a baby? Sarah: "Yeah, I camped out"
-my bear
-my rock
-sleeping in my bed (just like her mama)
-butterflies and birds
-possums (not sure where this came from)
-reading books
-playing on my computer
-talking chipmunks
-and Yes, I like yes too (lol...the No and Yes are my favourite "likes")
-and candy."

And as an added detail:
Sarah stated, "Kitty has fur because he's not hard, he's soft" (can you tell we were learning about opposites?)

And then she was done, so concluding our interview.

How about giving it a try? Do the same with your kids and blog about your interview...please share if you do. Kids can say the darndest things!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

There are so many things I am thankful for. I am blessed beyond measure. But above all....our two girls...

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

If Only Running Late Counted as Exercise...

...and I would be a very skinny girl indeed!

Christa sent me a "Check out this pin..." message - and then I had to repin it because it is just sooooo me. My friends know me all too well!

Anyone need a Christmas gift idea for me? haha!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

A Prayer of Tears

I was angry. For the first time in my life, I didn't know how to pray. Prayer had always seemed completely natural. Like an open line. No fancy incantations, just simple thoughts. I didn't always feel I got through. But I always knew what to say.

Now, I didn't even have words. I was wrong and selfish and tormented. How can one pray within that mindset? My life is good. Why do I have to question everything?

A friend reminded me that it was in that mindset when I needed to pray the most, regardless of the words.

So I did it anyways. Prayed. Broken. Tearful. No words.

And a Bible verse came immediately to my mind. So clear, like God knew exactly all the words I could not say. Was it exactly what I wanted to hear? Not necessarily. I guess God doesn't always say what we want to hear. Yet, in this verse, I felt a sense of peace.


Do I still question things? Yes, absolutely. It's in my nature to ponder, dissect, obsess, wonder. I hold onto that verse. Go back to it many times.

I don't know why I'm writing this now but I felt compelled to share. Perhaps you are in a place where you do not know how to pray. Maybe you've never prayed in your life. Maybe you, like I was, are angry, hurt, confused. You want to know "Why?", you want to know "What if?". You feel foolish even considering talking to the Great Almighty about such a thing.

I need you to know that your tears are enough. They will not go unseen. Your cries will not be unheard. You will have your answer. You can have peace.