Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April showers.....

Our family recently said goodbye to a great grand parent. We have been busy lending a hand dog sitting and cleaning up the kids Nana's backyard. Needless to say, we have been busy.  As April comes to a close we have been dreaming about our garden at Nana's and our salad pots that we will be making for our neighbours and some seniors who still love to garden but find it hard to do. I have been collecting salad green seeds and herbs for the past month and cannot wait to get started!

Here is an idea...
if you have a taller planter make a little salad planter for a neighbour or family member. It doesn't take long and is fun to do! there are many tutorials of pinterest!

Another idea...
already have a garden? share your produce with someone who is sick! or contact your local JIIV AIDS organization and see if they know someone who could use your yummy food!

Don't like to garden but go  to the farmers market?
Split up your loot and share with a neighbour.

well I better get back to dreaming!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fifteen minutes

Spring is here!!!!!!!!!!!
We have been enjoying our days of schooling with the doors and windows open, laundry hanging outside and the coconut oil in my pantry is getting easier to scoop out!
With that, people are moving about, that means some homeless people are setting up their dwellings outdoors and some shelters are no longer available.
For the past two years I have been trudging coffee and water to people under a bridge in our old community on Sundays. This year we are in a new city and we are looking for bridges, streets, wherever to share coffee and water with others. Now that the kids are a little older they will be joining us on our excursions.
Saturdays we plan on helping the elderly and those who are finding it difficult to take care of their yards clean up and maintain flower beds. Sundays we plan on handing out water at parks on hot days, sharing coffee's with others and my favorite? handing out t shirt bags at the grocery store. A simple gesture to a neighbour but also to our environment. AND IT'S EASY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know weekend's are sacred to some, or just too busy for others so we would like to challenge you to a 15 minute challenge.
One time a day leave fifteen minutes early with the intention to bless someone.

  •  leave fifteen minutes early for work and grab coffee's for co workers once a week. 
  • leave fifteen minutes early for church and swing by another members home to help wrangle children or meet them at church  to get them to where they need to be. 
  • leave fifteen minutes early for your child's dance class and bring the teacher FANCY water.. hehe. 
  • Or take fifteen minutes to write a thank you note, email or whatever to someone who made an impact on you that week. 
  • pay for someone on the bus
  • pack the groceries for the lady behind you (you have time!)
  • read a story to a child at the doctors office

Enjoy your spring!

Monday, March 31, 2014


Sometimes you have a great idea, one that MUST be made a reality RIGHT AWAY. Our little "library" was a GREAT idea... until the middle child saw it. " MY BOOKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!" needless to say after much screaming and explaining we packed it up and put that idea away for now.

Kids cherish items we consider trash or not as useful to us anymore. They cherish the non sticky sticker, the doll missing an eye, the barbie with no neck (you know what I am talking about) and they NOTICE when those things have disappeared.

As much as we would like to have our kids participate and give selflessly sometimes you need to compromise, or as I learned, include them in the choosing of items.

I didn't get my library, but we did donate bed sheets to a local shelter on behalf of a little gal in California. We also started our herb pots to share with others this summer. A lesson was learned, now excuse me while I go dream up some more activities (with the kids of course).

Friday, March 28, 2014


We have generous friends... the type that come to visit and bring a bag of books... every time!
Today's fifteen minute give was done by Jack and I, we grabbed a plastic bin and filled it with books, some board books, some learning books, some chapter books and even a few cooking magazines. we posted a little sign encouraging people to borrow and return and welcomed them to add books and bookmarks. We also put together some learning resource bags that we will keep in our home. We live in a building where English is a second language for many tenants so we are hoping these bags will be useful!

Cannot wait to share a photo with you!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rubber Ducks of Gratitude

Today is a sad day for me, it is the anniversary of my biological fathers death. Although I did not get the chance to meet him I have quietly grieved on this day for the past three years.

 Six months after he passed I found out his name and an address, it was an old address so after some searching on Google I found his obituary. That December we packed our little family into our van and went to visit his church family in another city. We were welcomed warmly and I got to meet the special people who had loved him at the best and worst of times. A man picked up my little girl and called her "little Kevin" FINALLY after hearing how my children only looked like their Daddies side of the family, I heard they looked like mine!

Today we are thanking my birth father for what he did many years ago, for fighting for me and attempting to place me with family, for kisses and hugs, and also tears.  His picture is my profile picture on facebook today, we are planning on blessing fathers at the mall today with little treats and rubber duckies (a cousin said he would sing that song to her as a kid).

I also wanted to thank other birth dads... they seem to be forgotten when it comes to thanking parents for their decision to put a child up for adoption. Not every Dad is the bad guy, sometimes they just cannot make it work and a decision for the child's future has to be made. THANK YOU Dad's. One day I hope you get to meet your child and you are welcomed into their lives and  hear words of thanks. It cannot be an easy decision to hand your child over to another person, to not know if you will ever see them again. KNOW that what you and your partner decided is a huge blessing for another family. That every day that babies new family thanks God for the decision you two made.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Why we do not donate money

It's a touchy topic, one my Husband would rather I not talk about but I would like to explain why we do not put money on the collection plate at church or give to the people collecting money at the mall.

When I spent four months in Spain I was often approached by Gypsies asking for money. This was routinely done by handing us a print out with the request for money in a few different languages. My friend Alexi had to explain to a country bumpkin the way these things work. So I didn't give for a week (that's big for me) then one night on the Ramblas it hit me, I can buy an extra fry and bottle of water and give it to the man who makes pop can vases and asks for food for his dog.

When we got married we decided that giving directly was the best way for us to see results and also solve the immediate problem. We called a local food bank and asked what they were low on that week, then picked up as much as we could. Sometimes it was 15 jars of peanut butter some days we could only afford two. We always carry bottles of water in our vehichle for those we see on our daily acventures. A church we attended used a lot of rolled paper during worship to keep the kids busy, we would pick up rolls of paper when we saw it to contribute. We understand money is needed to keep organizations running and to purchase bigger items but we also feel that smaller items are forgotten when the budgets are made.

Here are a few things you could do if you know a family in need.

  • Gift cards to a local grocery store or gas station
  • Send a meal in a bag- spaghetti, sauce and garlic bread, that way they can make it when needed
  • Arrange a vegetable delivery from a local farmer (this is getting popular)
  • Offer to do laundry or buy the family a clothesline or drying rack (will help reduce bills)
  • To save money we make our own laundry soap and share with another family
  • Send snacks for kids lunches  (we have also sent reusable drink boxes) 
To contribute to your church

  • As a group prepare freezer meals that are easily accessible for families in need or a family dealing with a death or a new baby 
  • Donate art supplies and collect craft store coupons for VBS organizers to use while purchasing supplies
  • Offer your skills, if you tweet offer to tweet upcoming events etc
  • Offer to help deep clean the church twice a year (fun for families)

In your neighbourhood

  • Have a fix it day! - ask neighbours to utilize the skills they have to help repair eachothers items, maybe someone can do small electric repairs for lamps and toasters, or someone has tools they are willing to set up for a day to let others use to finish a project. 
  • Have a paint swap
  • Have an sports equipment and instrument swap
  • Host a furniture swap 
  • Canned food swap (this is fun if you have a coffee group and would like to try a few different items before buying) 
  • Share clippings of plants with neighbours 

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Love Month

February is tomorrow! WHAT?!?
We have three birthdays to celebrate, a family we love dearly is bringing home a baby through adoption and its Valentine's day and Family day (all in one weekend!) We will be making cakes... many cakes but will also be sending treats to our neighbours and friends. Here are a few ideas on how you can love your neighbours this month!

  • Bring them dinner!  A bottle of your favorite pasta sauce, a loaf of garlic bread and a bag of your favorite pasta in a fancy bag.
  • dessert for 2- bake a special pie or something else yummy and include two spoons!
  • for a single person make a body scrub (there are some great sugar scrubs on pinterest!)
  • shovel someone's drive way
  • decorate your loved ones door with love notes
Hope you all have a great Month! Do not forget to treat yourself as well!
Blog Designed by Melissa Lyon West