Thursday, July 31, 2008


Blue is not at the top of my colour list. However, if I had to choose the most pleasing shade it would be this fresh mediterranean tone. It makes me want to fly to the Greek Isles or rent a cottage my the sea. I can smell salt water.
PERIWINKLE Facts & Photos: Wikipedia & Flickr

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

::Shower for Matty::

::Coffee calculations::Punch puzzle::Guess what?Pee-Pee Teepees!::MadLibs & belly laughs::Excited Chico::LOTS of ladies::

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

::Old school::

Faint memories of the place returned to me as we walked among the old buildings. A strip of unspun wool. . . a stern-faced teacher at the school house. . . the smell of wood chips and horses. . . What impressions will my children take with them? Gabriel was both terrified by the grinding machinery, while delighted by the grunting piglets. Elijah seemed pleased with his renegade stroll through a garden of head-high plants. Caelah was quite taken with the tinsmith, but may be haunted by her session at the school house:

"And for those of you who do not seem to be reformed by milder punishments..."
{said the teacher, as she smacked a thick piece of leather repeatedly into her palm.}

Caelah {Wide-eyed}:
"Will this be what school is like for me next year?"

No, my dear. Things have swung, drastically, in the other direction these past few decades.
*See S-209 HERE*

Sunday, July 27, 2008


A few shots of the pretty everyday.

{See Maple & Lemon Cream Cookie Recipe *HERE*}

Friday, July 25, 2008

::Inexhaustible wealth::

A note of joy for the depths of God's Word and the inexhaustible wealth of wisdom within it's living, breathing pages.


{Click image to enlarge}
The thing I love about the black & white palette is that it showcases colour like no other palette can. See the pink flowers against the black kitchen cabinets above? I never used to enjoy white walls, nor the murkiness of a predominantly dark room. But with the right balance of both, along with a splash of colour--wow!

WHERE: Our downstairs! It's pretty much a black and white space with a punch of fuschia or golden yellow.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

::Creativity:: ELLIE

In honour of my newest 2nd cousin, Ellie Rose, I have painted her name. Susanna sent me the image at the bottom of the post as a sample of the colour scheme she'd prefer: "Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake," so. . .

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Baby Bag

I have lost count of the number of helpful tidbits and marvelous baby items I have only just discovered-- the fourth time around. I attribute this to the fact that, for the past five years, I have been the only one among my friends having babies. Now all my girlfriends, freshly arrived to motherhood, are a wealth of baby knowledge & paraphenalia. Introducing the Baby Bag. I did without it for three babies, but HOW? I love this thing! It is the baby blanket that can't be kicked off. It also stops Saiah from rolling onto his back and waking himself up. Plus, it makes my baby look like a chubby pillow! Connor gave him a try, but assured me it wasn't as comfortable as it looks, what, with all the squirming and hair pulling and all. So while you've all been enjoying your babies in a sack for ages, I am revelling in the newness of it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Director's Chairs

A long time coming. . . bar stools! I walked into Pier 1 and found these Director's Chairs for 50% off. I snatched them up, set them up at the end of the island, and have been living there ever since. Yeah!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Week with my Little Brother

{::Kid food:Hot Chocolate. Popcorn. Ice cream::Digging for clams at the beach::Concert in the Park::Library loot::Stamp-carving with my artistic little brother::Lots of drawing::}

The more I get to know my littlest brother, the more moved I am by God's time line. Very few couples marry, look into their future and decide; "We ought to have two kids; wait ten years, have another; wait ten more then have our last!" Most of us like to think some good planning will land our little ducklings all in a row. We are a people of order. Line it up. Check it off on the list. Wrap it with a bow. . . But haven't we learned yet? He laughs at our desperate attempts to hold tightly to the reigns of control. And, in His mercy, to keep us hopelessly reliant on Him, He messes up our straight lines and crumples our pretty packaging and. . . gifts a baby to a couple in their forties. (Or in their nineties and beyond, as was the case with Abraham & Sarah). He is often a God of curve-ball blessings. Ones He flings our way from an unlikely direction.

Connor has been our biggest curve-ball blessing to date. We simply did not see him coming. He's a gentle kid, packed with creativity. He is the best friend my children have. And we got him all to ourselves this past week; the longest he has ever been away from home. I was expecting sniffly moments, phone calls, and maybe a drive home. But, instead, we had so much fun that his mind was kept aloft. His thoughts never touched upon home long enough to miss it. For one week, I mothered my little brother; something I have not had many opportunities to do these past nine years. It gave me a chance to know and observe him more deeply. I love what I see. And I adore my God and his marvellous curve-balls.

::Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake::

I know I am ahead by a season, but I made this yesterday, just because: Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger-Pecan Crust & Toasted Pumpkin Seeds. Oh, so GOOD! See the recipe

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

101 Cousins::Neutel Family Reunion 2008

Drive up to Uncly Harry & Aunt Deet's any year during the second week of July and you will find a string of campers and tents encircling a spring-fed pond. "One day, maybe we will make a complete ring around the pond. . ." I heard one of the Uncle's say last year. First instituted three generations ago by a family of nine, it would not be a stretch of the imagination. Already, there are more cousins than I can name. The Neutel family is, indeed, a big one, but more importantly, one that welcomes new folk into the fold with open arms.

I steamrolled into the family. In just over a year, Aidan and I were engaged, married and expecting our first baby. Other than the whirlwind introductions at our wedding, I had yet to meet the bulk of the family. And so I arrived that first year unprepared for the vastness of the family. So many relations! Having only five first cousins, myself, this was a completely overwhelming reality. And yet. . .

It is hard to put my sense of instant belonging into words. All I know is that I might have met upwards of 50 Aunts, Uncles and cousins that weekend, and each one made me feel that I was home among them. They cared about my well-being, and listened to the details I revealed about myself with genuine interest and rapt attention. They wanted to know me. And they loved me before they even got to the end of who I was. Their love came without hesitation, and it came fully. What a family.
{::Hibiscus in bloom::}
{::Sunscreened-up::Mr. Baggy pants & Denise::Mmm icecream::}
{::Stefan sharing with Uncle Harry::}
{::Belated birthday gift from Uncle Colin: Water guns (4-pack!)::}
{::Willow in a canoe::}
{::Isaiah cuddles::Gabriel drying off::}
{::Digital fixations::}
{::Camp food::}
{::Dragonfly for dinner?::}

Monday, July 14, 2008

Pretty::Aunt Deet's Hibiscus

{::Neutel Family Reunion 2008::}

More pictures coming. . .

Friday, July 11, 2008

Love lightly bound

D. W. James

DW James and his rockin country band Wagon Tales are possibly Canada's most exciting country group. Using a wireless microphone, the athletic DW is free to participate with the audience while he is performing -- dancing with a fan one second, jumping across tables the next. The two guitar, bass, drums, lap steel backup of Wagon Tales both on DW's Jack Of All Trades CD and live embellish his original material and selected covers.
"Concert in the Park series at Fitzroy Provincial Park." That's where we were Thursday evening. And we had a wonderful time. Not because of the music, although these guys really did put on a great show. No, it was great because we went with our neighbours. Aidan and I have been gently nudging our way into our neighbours lives. Invites here, holiday cards there, waves and smiles everywhere. But with Mrs. Gibson, we were met with open arms.

She is an older woman living with her step-son a few houses down. Her driveway is lined with pines, and her dog, Jade, has a bark worse than her bite. We first met her outside our door. She was one of the few intrepid residents of John Shaw to make it that far without prompting. Just a "hi," but the "hi" led to tea and biscuits which led to after-dinner visits with the kids, playing fetch with her dogs and basketball with Bruce. . .

She holds my baby and kisses my kids on the tops of their heads. She bakes us cookies and fresh buns and makes a very good effort with regards to the names of my children. She is a warm, wonderful lady. And we were delighted to join her at the park for some music. She seemed so pleased to be surrounded by our rambunctiousness and laughed with her head thrown back at our dance moves and parental antics.

She is one of those women who has love lightly bound within her; held just under the surface of her skin. And when given the chance, she lets it loose in abundance upon those lucky souls who stumble into her path. We have stumbled into her love, and it is an easy and comfortable love to receive. The verse goes; to he who gives much, much will be given. The one woman is giving this family her love, and it will be returned to her six-fold.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cars & Combines; Beer & BBQ

{::Die-cast combine::}

For all intents and purposes it was my boy's fourth birthday yesterday, and my husband's --th birthday. Yeah, they may have been born on the 5th and 12th respectively, but a birthday, in our household, is marked by the gathering, and gather we did last evening. The house was packed and the kids ran like a pack of wolves, here, there, and everywhere in a loud flurry. The weather, which had been hot, grey and muggy, broke around dinner and a fresh breeze kicked up and swept the mosquitoes away, making the back porch a viable social space. My boy was blessed with a fresh insurgence of toys on wheels. His favourite. Along with other various and sundry boy-delights. And my husband now has a heavy set of Lagostina pots, beer and campfire paraphernalia. All set.

Certain yearly gatherings trigger a trip of nostalgia. For me, this July bash is one of them. And what kept giving me a jolt of incredulity yesterday was the fact that this time last year, 45 people gathered here in a shell of a house: no fixtures, no water, a bit of drywall... And yet it was as beautiful a gathering then as it was now. My Aunt Gladys made her way over to me as we were preparing salads last night; "You know, it isn't the house, but the people that make it special." True. very true.

{::Homemade waffles & Berry patch berries::}
{::Brewery Buggy::}
{::Triple Berries::A Ruth-smile::}{::Dad in the looking-glass::Porch time::}
{::Zoo-ology! Aunty Karin knew I would be just as pleased as Elijah::Fancy pots::}
{::Sunlit boys::}