Thursday, 19 December 2013

A Dose of Everett

Here is a super short clip of Everett in the Jumperoo. He didn't seem to jump much when it was on the carpet in the living room. I moved it into the kitchen so I could do some dishes (I know, few people believe I ever do dishes) and Everett took off!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Mexican Bean Soup

Super easy & super fast!!!

This moderately spicy bean soup was great for the early winter that decided upon us.

(You can even see the steam!)

1lb of ground beef
Salt & pepper to taste

2 tsp of chili powder
1/2 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of oregano
1 540mL tin of kidney beans
1 540mL tin of black beans
1 tin of canned corn
1 796mL tin of diced tomatoes
1 56mL tin of tomato paste
1 c. water
1/2 tsp of Tabasco sauce (or any other hot sauce), add more if you like it spicy!
1 pkg. of taco seasoning

Brown beef, seasoning with salt and pepper, and drain fat

Add the remaining ingredients to the beef and simmer in a large pot for 20 minutes.

Note: Can easily double and freeze this recipe. To make it soupier, don't double tomato paste or beef and add more water when doubling (or if heating from frozen).

Note: Can also heat this in a slow cooker. On high for 30 minutes, then switch to low for 1-2 hours.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Christmas Preparations

We went to our local tree farm and got our Christmas tree on November 30th:

It remained undecorated until my family came over and helped put up the tree lights and decorate it.

My sister also decorated the mantle for us!

Here's the first family Christmas get-together of the season (Dec 7):

And here is a picture of Everett with his Great-Uncle Andy from the next day's get-together (Dec 8):

Baby's first Christmas is off to a great start! 

We're eagerly awaiting the celebration of Christ's birth!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Christmas Via Online Music

Breath of Heaven (Amy Grant Cover) by Elsa Jayne (free download!). Probably my favourite Christmas tune of all time!

Angels We Have Heard on High by Four Guys on One Piano:

Mele Kalikimaka by Gianni and Sarah:

Little Drummer Boy by Sean Quigley:

Monday, 11 November 2013

Fall Soups

I love them!

Andrew was away last week for work and so he took today off so I could recover a bit :) He came with Everett and I to swimming lessons and afterwards we stopped at Zoup! Here we could taste-test the soups first before ordering (best idea ever!).

Since Andrew and I have different tastes in soups, this makes it easy for us to both get what we want. He had a chicken pot pie soup and I had pumpkin pie bisque. 

He likes soups full of lots of good stuff and I usually like mine creamy with no chunks. This means that home-made soup will really only completely satisfy one of us - me. Both since I'm the one making it and because he's easier going, and also because I'll make stews that satisfy his want for chunky soup.

So this fall/winter I will share a few of my favourite soup recipes with you!

Look back to one of my first posts to hear mention of a great soup. Link here. The full recipe for Vegan Curried Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup can be found here.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

A Dose of Everett

On this grey day here are some laughs to make you smile!

And yes, I messed up the difference between nose and chin... it's hard to be the camera person and off-camera voice / baby-mover too!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Why I Love October: Part 5

Apple Crisp.

This doesn't even look that appetizing after it's mostly eaten... but boy is it delicious!

Here's a recipe from my mom!

6 cups of thinly sliced apples
2/3 cup oatmeal
1/3 cup all purpose flour
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon of nutmeg
¼ cup of butter

Place apple slices in glass baking pan

Combine remaining ingredients in bowl, cut in butter until crumbly (with a fork or your hands)

Sprinkle on top of apples

Microwave 12-16 mins on high (not covered)

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Why I Love October: Part 4

Fall Mantel.

You can view last year's mantel here.

This year I reused most things from last year, here's the end product:

I picked up a couple tiny (real) pumpkins at Nauman's Farm to add to the mantel :)

Monday, 28 October 2013

Why I Love October: Part 3

Our Anniversary is October 18th.

This was our 5th anniversary and our first with Everett. We went for dinner at the Keg (the three of us) and had the best meal I've ever eaten there! We came home, put Everett to bed and watched Silver Linings Playbook.

I gave Andrew a recent photo taken of us as a family in September and a cute "romance kit" that I found on The Dating Divas website.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Why I Love October: Part 2

Thanksgiving! (including outdoor ping pong)

Andrew and I were bad and didn't take any photos of his family's Thanksgiving :( Probably because I was exhausted that day.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Why I Love October: Part 1

Ride for Refuge.

Each year we participate in a biking fundraiser to raise funds for refugee initiatives that we support. This year Everett and I were cheerleaders as Andrew rode 100km on a foggy October 5th.

We supported Gord Skopnik and Impact Southern Sudan. As well as initiatives such as Welcome Home, the Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support, and local initiatives such as sponsoring a Congolese man and taking newly arrived refugees on canoe trips to explore Canada's wilderness.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

8 month catch up...

Since I haven't posted since February there's a lot to catch up on.

Like the birth of our baby. 

May 30th 2013.

June 11th 2013.

August 20th 2013.

September 29th 2013.

We've come a long way since May 30th. Everett weighed 5 lbs 15 oz with all those tubes in, on the day of his birth. He weighed 14 lbs 0 oz as of his 4 month checkup. He's completely healthy and is working through his bad gas issues and now teething :P So, a completely normal baby!

And the completion of my Master's thesis.

In case you want to read it... here's the link :P

I turned 27 on July 7th.

Andrew turned 29 on September 30th.

A first plane ride.

Andrew, Courtney, Everett and Gramma took a trip to Winnipeg in August!

And many other things.

Stay tuned. I hope to be posting more regularly again.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Day 164: Results from 20 week Ultrasound

So we found out that we're on track to have an average-sized baby, which was music to my ears :) Hopefully that continues to be true.

We have to have a 28 week ultrasound to check for placental position, as it could be a little close to the cervix. But the midwife said it didn't look like anything to worry about.

Lenten photo journey:

Feb. 20th - evil
This isn't my picture/photo but I thought it was topic appropriate.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Day 163: The Who Concert

Had a great time with friends at The Who concert in Hamilton :) The baby loved the film clip of their (now deceased) bass player playing an amazing solo!

Baby's First Rock Concert:

Lenten Photo Journey:

Feb 19th - Wonder

Weekend Re-cap Day 159-162

I'll give our weekend recap and post my Lenten Photo Journey pictures below the corresponding day.

Friday February 15th - Missionaries in Europe

Andrew and I have been supporting a missionary couple in Europe for the last year or so. We went to hear the exciting update of their time there as well as the plans they have for the upcoming months and year. It was great to be able to reconnect!

Feb 15th - See

Saturday February 16th - A Friend's Baby Shower 

Had a great day in Toronto celebrating the upcoming arrival of a new baby girl to our friends from university.
This is a very hypocritical picture since I do occasionally shop here...

Feb 16th - Injustice

Sunday February 17th - Visit from my Sister and B-I-L

My sister and her husband came up to Waterloo Saturday night. We went to church in the morning and then I attended another baby shower for a friend from church to shower blessings upon their family before their baby boy arrives.

After lunch my sister decided she would rather help me organize my craft room than go cross-country skiing so we spent the afternoon tidying and going to Michael's to pick up some shelves and baskets to put things in. I will do another post on the before/after and all the details.

My brother and his girlfriend came over for BBQ dinner and games :)

Feb 17th - Settle

Monday February 18th - Family Day & Real Estate

My sister and I spent the morning finishing the craft room. Andrew and my B-I-L helped us move some furniture around and took out the garbage :) I am so excited with how it looks! Now that the double bed is in the craft room (out of what will be our nursery) we're one step closer to being ready for the baby.

We're in the market to buy a second house as a rental property and so we went out for the first time looking at houses. Nothing really promising at this point, but it was fun to get out and see what's there.

Feb 18th - World

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Day 158: Lenten Photo Journey

I just saw this idea on Talk and Tea Leaves blog - a photo a day Lenten journey. I then looked into the original project she found from the United Methodist Church.

I love what they say about the 40 day challenge of photo taking:
"You don't have to be a great photographer. This project is hopefully more about the practice of paying attention and being intentional, than it is being the best photographer [though we encourage you to get creative!]."

Here is a link to what you should take a photo of each day (if you want to participate). I'll type the inspiring word or phrase under each of my photos but likely won't do a ton of explanation. I should have started yesterday so today will have two photos.

Feb 13th - Who am I?

Feb 14th - Return

I'll also try to keep up with posting other things on weekdays too, but this will likely become difficult with all the school work! Looking forward to a great 40 days!

Also, Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Day 157: Basket Success

A couple weeks ago I posted about my lack of success at finding a basket to organize our card games (see post here). Last weekend I was happy to find the PERFECT BASKET!

The basket fits all the card games we have (that aren't in large boxed game sets):

Dutch Blitz
Scrabble SLAM
Hearts & Spades
Five Crowns
Buzz Word Bits

As well as 11 decks of cards, our folding cribbage board, the extra wax bits for our Scentsy (safe wax melter - it doesn't get hot).

It's also a pretty good colour for our green dining room :)

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Day 156: Bell Let's Talk Day Recap

See yesterday's post explaining Bell Let's Talk Day.

Canadians talked like never before on Bell Let's Talk Day.

tweets, Facebook shares, texts, 
& long distance calls meaning

additional dollars Bell donated 
to mental health programs.

What an awesome fundraising job Canada! Addded to this, the awareness the campaign brought to mental illness/health and the benefits these programs will be able to afford to bring to people suffering from mental illness! What a great day :)

[post written after numbers came in]

Monday, 11 February 2013

Day 155: Let's Talk about Bell Let's Talk Day

Tomorrow is an important day. While a it's a fundraiser sponsored by Bell (and it is very nice of them) the fact that mental health awareness is being promoted on TV, radio, and the internet is really my main focus.

That being said it is a fundraiser and the funds will go to many important projects across Canada. Which I think is amazing. A lot of programs and charities have seen a decrease in funding from governments, corporations, other large organizations, and individuals throughout the hard economic times while the use of these programs increase (often because of these same difficulties).

Why mental health?

"Often invisible, mental illness is one of the most pervasive health issues in the country with far-reaching consequences for every Canadian. One in five people will experience a form of mental illness at some point and most will be reluctant to talk to a co-worker, friend or family member about their struggle, let alone seek treatment. While you may never experience mental illness first-hand, it is likely that you know someone who will."

So tomorrow Bell will donate 5 cents to mental health initiatives across Canada for every:

  • 1
    Text message sent
     (using Bell or Bell Aliant)
  • 2
    Long distance call made
     (using Bell or Bell Aliant)
  • 4
    Facebook share of our Bell Let's Talk image
    (link here)

For more information go to

Weekend Re-cap Day 153/154

Saturday February 9th - Iron Ring Ceremony

My parents and sister came up for the day. My dad was able to attend my brother's Iron Ring Ceremony ( which is a ceremony for engineers. Right before they graduate they have to (or get to) take a pledge of integrity to their profession. I think they then have the option of taking a test and paying fees to become a "Professional Engineer". Some jobs would require this more than others - if you're in charge of building a bridge versus writing some computer code to have a bird attack a pig.

The three of us girls did a bit of shopping while this went on and Andrew went cross-country skiing with Banner.

Sunday February 10th - Baby Shower in Barrie

Sunday was a very busy day. We had a shortened church service from 9:30-10:15am and then our Annual Meeting where we go over finances and visioning for the upcoming year from 10:15-11:15am.

I left around 11am to drive to pick up my one sister-in-law and my niece on the way to Barrie for a shower for our other sister-in-law. Thankfully it was a great day for driving - sunny, dry, and not windy and not a lot of traffic.

I really enjoyed the car ride in which I was able to spend time in good conversation with my S-I-L, more than two hours total. Perhaps she was ready to not be in the car with me though, I can talk A LOT, or maybe not :P.

The shower was really nice. Great food, music, and time with everyone. I enjoyed both the games we played. (I think I had a slight advantage in listing out everything she would need for the first year of the baby's life as I've been planning for this myself!) Congratulations to you both, looking forward to meeting my nephew!!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Day 152: Enjoying Banner

I love the snow, but not nearly as much as Banner does! We went for a walk in our local conservation area today which was more plowed than our subdivision. So we could actually walk while still having a ton of snow to play in :)

I wish I had remembered the good camera though...