Saturday, 30 July 2011

Friday, 29 July 2011

One habit at a time

If there is one thing that has improved my ability to lead an intentional life, it is the idea of one habit at a time.

Pick a new habit and just start doing it, consistently, until it's simply "what you do".

This has immensely improved my housekeeping. It has been the only thing that has successfully brought some semblance of routine into my life. I'd say it has even improved my relationships. My self-care. My practical devotion to God. Pretty much any sustainable change in my life has happened one habit at a time.

The big one for me was not letting the dishes pile up. So I started cleaning the kitchen every night after supper. I load the dishwasher, hand-wash the pots and such, wipe down the counters and table, and sweep up the dinner crumbs if necessary. Now it's just "what I do", and it feels so good to wake up in the morning to a clean kitchen.

Once that was second nature, I picked a new habit - bedtime tidy. The boys put their toys away and I do a quick tidy of the living room, entrance, and bedroom. Now it's just part of their bedtime routine - it's just "what we do".

A daily load of laundry...an afternoon quiet time...a weekly clean of the bathroom...pick one habit in whatever area most needs it or would be personally satisfying for you to implement and force yourself to do it until it becomes second nature. Focusing on one habit at a time is a lot simpler and more sustainable that trying to do a major overhaul and ending up burnt out after a couple of weeks.

As I was writing this post and considering what habit I should focus on next, my lovely sister-in-law sent me a link to a TED talk by Matt Cutts, "Try something new for 30 days". The idea is similar - do something, anything, for 30 days in order to develop a new habit and boost your self-confidence.
"I guarantee you, the next 30 days are going to pass whether you like it or not. So why not think about something you have always wanted to try, and give it a shot...for the next 30 days."

Why not, indeed. That turned out to be my sister-in-law's opinion as well. She suggested that we pick a 30 day challenge together - something achievable but worthwhile. As we talked, we discovered that we both wanted (needed) to be more intentional in our personal relationships with God. Prayer, Bible reading, whatever, just daily time spent with God, no excuses.

We'll be starting our 30 day challenge on Monday, the beginning of August. Would you like to join us? Choose your own 30 day challenge or join us in a daily focused time with God. We'll be checking back in at the end of the month to review our progress. Did we succeed? Did we learn anything? Did we develop a new habit, a new "something that we just do"?

Small, sustainable change...one habit at a time.

Will you be joining us? If so, what challenge have you chosen to take on for the next 30 days?

Introverted Church

You can find me over at Introverted Church today, guest posting on the topic of mothering as an introvert:

Introversion feels like a constant struggle between reaching out to create community and drawing in to protect/replenish my energy reserves. Rather than a large group of acquaintances, I desire a smaller number of deeper, more intimate cherished friendships - a process in which I am doubly disadvantaged by my inherent shyness (a different trait from introversion). Because of this, I am careful in choosing which relationships to invest in, looking for people I can relate to, have something in common with, and enjoy being around. As an introvert, I've had to learn how to enforce boundaries for my own mental health - boundaries with strangers, acquaintances, friends, family, and even myself. I've had to learn to say no (and mean it), to be cautious with the amount of things I take on, and to jealously guard my quiet time.

It wasn't until I became a mother, however, that I really needed to develop and depend on these skills. Motherhood leaves little room for drawing inward or finding time alone to recharge. The constant interaction, sacrifice, and meeting of needs can be exhausting even for extroverts; the additional challenges for introverts can feel insurmountable at times. I've found that these parenting-related strategies keep the near-breaking point days to a minimum for me...


Read the rest over at Introverted Church!

Introverted Church is run by Adam S. McHugh, author of Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture. He is an ordained Presbyterian minister, spiritual director, hospice chaplain, speaker, and retreat leader. He is currently working on a second book, tentatively entitled "The Listening Life," to be released in 2013. Be sure to check out some of the other great posts while you're there (such as my personal favourite, Why I Don't Give My Kids My All).

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Fun with Oma






Chalk drawings by the boy and his Oma.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Checking in with this year's themes

With the year more than halfway over, I've found myself thinking more frequently about my 2011 themes. Somehow the second half of the year always passes by so quickly, much of it a whirlwind of holiday planning. More opportunities to allow these themes to take deeper root in my life, yes, but what progress have I made so far?

Enjoying and Rejoicing
"This year, I will seek to enjoy God and to rejoice in all things. I want the root of both, joy, to overflow in our lives through our gratitude, our thanks, and our praise. I want our joy - our light! - to bring glory to God. I want to tell of the good He has done in our lives! I want to delight in Him and be content in every circumstance, ever praising Him and singing of His Glory. I want to enjoy and rejoice."

Some days I am so good at this. Other days, I lose my focus and slip instead into a distracted, reactionary, negative frame of mind.

To my surprise, I have discovered that my greatest joy-sapper is my computer. As it eats away at my time, it takes with it my presence, my awareness, and my productivity. A few minutes here and there seems like no big deal at the time, but then I reach the end of the day and find little joy has come of it. Oh, it has its benefits! The community, support, and encouragement I find online is invaluable. I would not be the parent I am if not for the people and information here. But it would be an unconscionable irony to allow that same positive research to detract from my presence with my children.

In line with this theme, one of my more recently-developed habits has been purposefully offering thanks for each new day. Most mornings find me wanting to stay under the covers and put off beginning the day for as long as possible. I'm a night owl; I've never been a morning person. Intentionally stopping that line of thinking and replacing it with a prayer of thanks for the morning has given me a far more positive perspective and attitude when it comes time to get out of bed. Gratitude that embraces the moment, seeking beauty and contentment in what is, truly does lead to the deepest joy.

Routine
"A challenge for my distractable and disorganized self, I will work this year towards building an intentional rhythm into our lives. I want to mark the rhythm of our days, our weeks, our seasons, our years. I want the comfort and security of routines for my preschooler. I want to strengthen my marriage with time set aside just for us. I want more (computer-)screen-free time that we can all count on and benefit from. I want to continue our journey towards intentional living, ensuring that the things we value are not forgotten as our time idly slips away from us. I want an ever-evolving framework our family can grow up in. I want rhythm."

I thought I was getting nowhere with this one. And then I discovered that, little by little, routine was slipping into our lives. One habit at a time.

Again, my biggest detractor from a good routine? The computer. "I'll just finish reading this one thing..." When I intentionally limit my online time, our days pass smoothly. When I allow myself a lazy day and spend too much of it idly clicking through page after page, I find myself irritable and reluctant to get on with what needs to be done. Self-discipline in this area is imperative, and I am glad for the awareness that being too lax in this area detracts from not one, but both of this year's themes.

Nonetheless, routine is slipping into our lives, a comfortable expectation of what will be done when and followed by what. Beyond the comfort and security of daily routines, we are forming more and more family traditions to help celebrate the seasons, holidays, and special family events. Sometimes I find myself discouraged - "we don't have enough family traditions!" - and then I remember that our family is still so young. Of course we don't have a lot of traditions. Every tradition, though, begins with a "first annual". Our traditions and unique ways of celebrating will grow and evolve along with our family. I want to create a haven of memories for my children and a storehouse of family traditions from which they can draw if they so choose.


I feel content with this progress and eager to discover what the rest of the year will bring. Reflecting has given me pause to consider how I can best further these themes over the next few months. It is helpful, too, to realize where my biggest hindrances lie so that I can be particularly intentional in those areas.

Enjoy and rejoice. Build routine.

Refocus.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Attachment Parenting: A Christian perspective

Today in our Attachment Parenting Series, we will be discussing Attachment Parenting from a Christian perspective. If you have written a post on faith as it relates to Attachment Parenting, please do share it with us in the comments below!


Introduction

We are our children's first picture of God. It is of utmost importance that the picture we give them is as accurate as our human selves can offer. This requires that we ourselves first have a holistic understanding of God’s character.

When reading Scripture, it is helpful to take note of the many descriptions of God’s character. These descriptions tell us how God interacts with His children, and we can use them as a model as we raise our own children in love and grace. While the details will be different for each family, an exploration of God’s character reveals a strong congruence with the underlying values of Attachment Parenting.

Three Truths

There are three distinct areas that support a relational, attachment-based style of parenting: God’s character, God’s design, and Christian instruction. We will explore each and its relation to Attachment Parenting below.

God’s character

God answers our cries (Jonah 2:2), draws us with loving-kindness (Jeremiah 31:3), and is slow to anger and rich in love (Psalm 145:8). He comforts us “as a mother comforts her child” (Isaiah 66:13) and has compassion on us “as a father has compassion on his children” (Psalm 103:13). His kindness leads us towards repentance (Romans 2:4).

We discover more of God’s character in the parable Jesus tells about the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). After the younger son squanders his wealth on wild living and prostitutes, he returns to his father, hungry and ashamed. Rather than chastise him, his father was filled with compassion for him. He ran to his son, threw his arms around him, kissed him, and called to the servants to prepare a celebratory feast.

The more we understand God’s character, the better we can present that picture of God to our children through our words and actions. We build their perception of God as we answer their cries, treat them with kindness, withhold our anger, lavish them with love, comfort them, have compassion on them, and celebrate them as a unique creation of God. Attachment Parenting encourages this responsive, wooing, relationship-based approach to raising our children.

God’s design

God created our babies, their cues, and our instinctive response to those cues. He gave us the hormones that facilitate bonding, the ability to nourish our babies through breastfeeding, and the means to naturally space our children through lactation induced amenorrhea.

By design, babies cry to signal their needs, and their mothers respond to that cry both physically (as their milk lets down) and psychologically (by wanting to pick up and comfort or nurse the child). Our babies feel safest when sleeping near their mothers, and mothers as well often sleep easier when their children are nearby. Babies thrive on touch, and a high-touch attachment relationship offers physiological and psychological benefits to both parent and child.

Breastfeeding imagery is used extensively in Scripture (see, for example, Isaiah 60:16, Isaiah 66:11, and Psalm 22:9). There is perhaps no place that should be more encouraging of this natural, God-designed practice than the church, and yet too often it is those within the church who hide nursing mothers in back rooms, holding fast instead to a misguided and misdirected notion of modesty. Breastfeeding is a mother's first foray into learning to read, trust, and respond to her child's cues. The infant, likewise, develops a strong emotional security as he learns to trust that his needs will be quickly and appropriately responded to. The more sensitive a mother becomes to her child's cues, the better the child becomes at giving those cues. This is the beginning of communication and connection between mother and child.

As connection grows, the mother/child relationship becomes increasingly natural and instinctive. The resulting mutual trust and sensitivity is the basis of the parent/child relationship and the foundation upon which future discipline will rely. The better the mother knows her child, and the more the child trusts his or her mother, the easier discipline will be as the child grows.

Each of the AP tools serves to strengthen that foundation, which will be built on with each passing year. (More about this in the next installment of the Attachment Parenting series, "Attachment Parenting: Beyond the baby years".) Not every family will use every tool or use them in the same way. It is the heart behind the tool – the desire to respond sensitively to our children’s needs and to seek ways to build and strengthen a mutually-trusting parent/child relationship – that is of true importance.

Christian instruction

Scripture offers many instructions for Christians on how to practically live out the commands to love God and to love our neighbour as ourselves. None of these instructions exclude children.

The Bible instructs us to comfort those who mourn, to feed those who are hungry, and to love the unlovely. We are instructed to be compassionate, to sacrifice, and to extend mercy to others. We are exhorted to be gentle and kind, building others up through our encouraging words. When we are walking in the Spirit and practically living out our faith, our lives will begin to bear the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

We circumvent the work of the Spirit when we accept a quick parenting fix in place of the sacrificial hard work involved in relational parenting, with its goal of heart-level change. This sort of convenience parenting – such as leaving an infant to cry alone, spanking a child, or yelling and punishing instead of guiding and teaching – serves the desires of flesh (ease, convenience, outward appearances). It may have short-term gains, but it fails to pay off in the long-term.

When we are living according to the Word, however, we will seek to apply these exhortations not only to other adults, but to our children as well. We will comfort them when they cry, feed them when they are hungry, and sacrifice sleep to meet their nighttime needs. We will be kind and gentle, speaking words of encouragement into their lives. We will guide them in grace and mercy. We will demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit to them rather than demand it from them. In all these things, whatever we do “for the least of these”, we do for Christ himself (Matthew 25:31-46).

Jesus told his disciples that “if anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” He then took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking the child into his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” (Mark 9:33-37). We are called to a life of loving servanthood. To deny such service to a child is to refuse Christ himself.

God is love (1 John 4:8). Paul describes love in his first letter to the Corinthians:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

Patience. Kindness. Humility. Slow to anger and quick to forgive. Protective and persevering. These must be the hallmarks of our love as demonstrated to our children. Attachment Parenting provides a holistic approach to demonstrating this love in the context of a healthy parent/child relationship.

Three Heresies

There are three heresies that have worked their way into much of the church, all of which serve to draw us away from a natural, instinctive approach to raising our children. These beliefs encourage a harsh, rule-based approach instead, often starting with newborn babies.

Our children must be punished for their sins

Jesus died for the sins of all, breaking death’s hold on us and opening the way for our restored relationship with God. To say that further punishment is required is to negate the message of the Gospel, and yet many of the big Christian authors will tell you that your child’s salvation depends on you punishing them. Punishment is considered the method of paying for their sin and removing the child’s guilt.

This is completely contrary to the message of the Gospel, which says that all of our sins have already been put to death by Christ on the cross. Punishing our child again takes away from that message. It says that what Christ has already done was not enough.

The idea that any parenting method can save a child is likewise contrary to the Gospel. Only the Holy Spirit can draw our children to Christ. Only Christ can save our children through faith. This faith is a gift of God, lest any man (or parent) should boast.

Moreover, punishment is often unrealistic, as we begin to demand more from our children than we expect from ourselves. We talk of God’s mercy, grace, patience, and kindness when speaking of ourselves; should we then demand perfect obedience from our children and punish them when they fail to achieve it? Our debt has been paid through Christ. We must be cautious, then, not turn around and demand payment from our children for their wrongdoings, lest we become as the unmerciful servant of which we were warned.

God punishes His children when they sin

Rather than saving them, punishment presents a distorted view of God to our children. God raises His children with grace and mercy, not punishment. In His love, He does allow us to experience the natural consequences of our actions, but He does not punish us or send us away from Him. Likewise, Jesus did not punish His disciples, but rather patiently taught them and guided them toward a fuller understanding of God.

The idea that God punishes His children is contrary to His grace. It further serves to negate the Gospel, suggesting that further punishment is needed on top of what Christ has already accomplished on the cross. We feel pain when we sin because we are walking apart from God and from His best for our lives. This pain is self-inflicted as we choose separation from His loving guidance. When we repent and turn back to God, He forgives us without first demanding repayment or inflicting punishment. We are called to offer this same generous forgiveness to those around us - including our children.

God is Love. God is good and merciful, the same then, now, and forevermore. It is a flawed understanding of His character that leads to delineation between the “wrathful” God of the Old Testament and the “merciful” God of the New Testament.

Some argue that God punishes His enemies, those who are evil and unrepentant. Our children are not our enemies and their childish antics are not evil. Even if that were not the case, we are instructed not to take revenge, nor to repay evil for evil, for the Lord is judge and it is His to avenge.

Rules and good behaviour produce Godly people

A strict focus on rules and behaviour suggests that what matters is our outward behaviour. Scripture tells us, however, that God looks at the heart. This misplaced focus also suggests that rules can keep us in line, and yet the Law proved otherwise – and “grace increased all the more” (Romans 5:20).

There often seems within the Christian community to be a hyper-focus on verses intended for others. In this case, many parents quote Ephesians 6:1 (“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right”), and yet ignore the verse directed towards parents that follows (“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and discipline of the Lord.”). It is not our place to make our children obey us; that verse contains an instruction for them, not for us. Rather, it is our duty to “bring them up in the training and discipline of the Lord”.

Indeed, we cannot make our children obey us. We can make them comply with our instructions, but true obedience comes from the heart. That sort of obedience can never be demanded from anyone. It arises from a relationship of love and trust. As parents who wish to assist our children in fulfilling that command, we must tenderly cultivate a mutually loving and trusting relationship with them, in order that out of that they may respond to us in true heartfelt obedience.

A proper understanding of child development enables parents to respond to their children in a helpful and understanding way. It allows parents to put aside the false notion that babies cry to manipulate rather than communicate, or that their child’s immature behaviours are sinful rather than normal (and ultimately healthy) developmental stages. With a solid understanding of age-expected behaviours in place, parents are able to actively and respectfully move their children from inappropriate behaviours to appropriate ones, guiding them towards what they should do rather than focusing on what they shouldn’t do.

There is no fear in love (1 John 4:18). You cannot beat a child into salvation. A child is not saved through a parent punishing him in order to "atone for his sin". A child is not saved by "being good". A child is saved through a relationship with Jesus Christ - nothing more, nothing less - and anything that suggests otherwise is outright heresy.

Summary

A child’s deepest understanding of God will be formed through their relationship with their parents. In order to ensure we model an accurate picture of God, we must first understand God’s character, design, and instructions for living.

God’s character is one of kindness, compassion, and love. God’s design encourages nearness and responsiveness. Christian instruction points us towards the sort of sacrificial love that leads to the fruit of the Spirit being evident in our lives.

Each of these three areas speaks to the heart of Attachment Parenting. Far more than merely the decision to breastfeed or co-sleep, Attachment Parenting encourages a responsive, relationship-based approach to raising our children. This is what an examination of Scripture calls us to, that we woo our children with kindness, guide them with gentleness, and respond sensitively to their needs. Attachment Parenting provides a holistic approach to demonstrating God’s love and grace to our children in the context of a healthy parent/child relationship.

There are three lies that serve to pull us away from this responsive, relational, instinctive style of parenting. First is the belief that our children must be punished for their wrongdoings. Similarly, next is the belief that God punishes His children for their sins. Last is the belief that rules and good behaviour produce Godly children. Each of these beliefs is contrary to the message of the Gospel, and each serves to suggest that what Christ accomplished on the cross was either insufficient or unnecessary for our salvation and the salvation of our children.

The wages of sin is death, separation from God. It was the sacrifice of Jesus that allowed restoration and reconciliation, opening the way to eternal life. Our children are saved through that relationship, not through punishment, good behaviour, or fear. God loves you, and He loves our children. We must be careful to treat them at all times as cherished creations of a Holy God.

Not every parent will choose to use all of the AP tools, nor choose to use them in the same way. It is not the specifics that are demanded of us, but rather the relational approach behind them. The more we understand God’s character, design, and instructions, the better we can determine the specifics in a way that is right for our family, with an understanding of the underlying heart and purpose: responding sensitively to our children’s needs and seeking ways to build and strengthen a mutually-trusting relationship with them.


“But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children.”
1 Thessalonians 2:7



Recommended Reading:

Parenting Freedom
Gentle Christian Mothers
The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson
The Complete Book of Christian Parenting and Child Care by William Sears, M.D. and Martha Sears, R.N.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Crafty

My "serious blogging" is seriously backlogged. Attachment Parenting series posts, guest posts, personal growth posts, homeschooling posts, general parenting posts...the drafts are piling up!

So what's an overwhelmed blogger to do?

Ignore it all and post about crafting instead.

My favourite recent sewing project has been these adorable yet practical fabric baskets. I made my first one to send along with a care package to my mother-in-law after she underwent surgery earlier this year. I love the cheerful fabrics and colour combination.


I filled it with a few goodies (including chocolate, of course) and sent it off. I want to make myself one at some point. It would look great on my sewing desk, holding all my random sewing supplies.


But instead of making one for myself, I made two of them for the boys to use as their Easter baskets this year. I lined one with yellow and one with red (not pictured). They use them as toys baskets, doll beds, and general carry-things-around-the-house baskets.


I included some cute little knit gnomes in their Easter baskets. These were quick and fun to make. I used cotton yarn in green (below) and purple (not pictured).


And finally, a project for me. After spending all winter taking off my mitts every time I needed to buckle up a carseat, wipe a nose, or do anything else that required fingers, I came to realize that fingerless gloves are not the nonsensical item I once believed them to be. So I sat down and made myself a pair, just in time for the somewhat-warmer spring weather. Ah well.




The details are on my Ravelry project page, and the Ravelry pattern can be found here.

Currently on the needles, almost finished, is a larger wool diaper cover (the Curly Purly soaker) for the toddler. Just have to add the cuffs and it's good to go.

As for sewing, I have about as many planned projects as I have planned blog posts. And as we all can see, I tend to go with the "avoidance is the best policy" method, so it could be a while before I pull my sewing machine out again.

Want to check out some of those planned projects? Take a look at my sewing board on Pinterest. My desire to organize everything is absolutely in love with this site. I adore all the new inspiration I've been finding there!

Because as we all know, the one thing I need right now is more projects to add to my "must do" list.

What have you been crafting lately?

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Wordless Wednesday: A progression

"Honey, could you sit still for a moment so I can take a nice picture of you?"





Ah, four year olds.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Friday, 8 July 2011

Summer distractions


I've got a post editor full of drafts and a yard full of sun. It's the sun that's been winning out most days lately.

A long wet spring has finally given way to a warm summer. We've been spending long afternoons playing in the yard. The train tracks have migrated outside along with the buckets, chalk, and toy cars. The sun has been warming us up and the sprinkler has been cooling us down.

Our littlest walker has adjusted to the boundaries of our unfenced front yard, reigning in his new-found freedom enough for me to sit a while and read a book from our sun-warmed concrete stairs. It's not much, our patch of green, but we've come to love it. The baby (he's not really a baby anymore, is he?) calls out his irresistible greeting - "hi!" - to everyone who walks by. The boys watch, mouths agape, as the man across the street uses his chainsaw to clear away the encroaching brush. I wave hello to the teenage girl as she walks her massive German Shepherd up our steep hill. The neighbours' boy cranes his neck to stare at the kids as his parents carry him inside. Our elderly landlords stop to chat a while before disappearing into their suite.

This unfenced front yard has become our gateway to community, and we are loving it.

Forgive the quiet around here. The words aren't flowing so easily and my time is in short supply. Blame the sunshine and our neighbours.

Forgive, too, my neglect in sharing June's installment of the Attachment Parenting series. It has proven to be my other big hurdle right now. "Attachment Parenting: A Christian perspective" - few subjects are nearer to my heart. So much to say in so little space, this topic could easily be a series in itself. How to dig into the many facets of Attachment Parenting and Christianity? How to expose the lies that have worked their way into much of the Christian community? How to replace them with the Truth that comes from a holistic understanding of God and Scripture? But the words are coming, slowly yet surely, and I hope to share it with you soon.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying the sun with my boys. I'm preparing for visits from both sets of parents. I'm breathing deep this fragrant air and reading soul-refreshing books. I'm serving food on the grass with a side of immune-building dirt from grubby fists. I'm taking far too many pictures of happy boys and sand and falling water and yellow dump trucks.

It is very good.

What are you up to this summer?

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Not-so-wordless Wednesday: A baby's first year

After losing a few months' worth of family photos, I've been thinking about just what it is I want to do with the pictures I take. So few of them get printed out, and again I'm falling behind on regular picture emails to far-off relatives. I post a handful of them here and there online, but the vast majority get uploaded to the computer and then just...stay there.

I had put together photo books as Christmas gifts for the grandparents when the boy was a baby, but my neglected second child had no such thing so far. Since the poor baby lost both his birth pictures and first birthday pictures when the hard drive died, I was feeling rather guilty about the whole thing. Wanting to make up for it in some small way, I created a photo book of his first year.


Thanks to the postal strike, it was a bit slow in coming, but yesterday it finally arrived! It was so much fun to look through and well worth the time I put into creating it. The boys grinned their way through it with me.


I tried a new photo printing company this time, Kwikpix.ca. It had a great interface and was very easy to use. I had to do some file transfers from my Mac to my laptop since they don't support the Mac operating system, but their website says they plan to offer a complete Mac site integration later this year. Excellent!


I love the full-page layout they offered. It's a fun change from the usual multi-picture layout. The full-page pictures were the boys' favourite pages.


I included his one and only first birthday picture that I managed to rescue. I had printed it out and sent it to a relative, so I was able to scan it and include it in the photo book.


What a difference a year makes! His first Christmas, at only a few days old...


...and one year later. Such big boys!


The boy loved the index in the back. "LOOK at all the pictures!!!" I love that it includes the page numbers; very handy!


I'm currently working on a family photo wall in our living room, uploading pictures to our digital picture frame, and looking for other ways to get those photos off of the computer and into more memorable formats.

What have you done with your family's pictures lately? Any suggestions or favourite photo projects?

Disclaimer: A portion of the photo book was sponsored by Kwikpix.ca in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Out of the mouth of babes

During the sermon in church on Sunday, the boy leaned over and asked his dad what a "false doctrine" was. His dad whispered back that a false doctrine was when someone teaches wrong things.

The boy replied, "like teaching people to hit?"

You got it, kiddo.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

The Saturday Evening Blog Post


It's time again for the Saturday Evening Blog Post, hosted by Elizabeth Esther. Elizabeth collects the "best of" posts on the first Saturday of every month, an opportunity for bloggers to gather and share their favourite post from the previous month.

From June, I've chosen Elusive lasts. If you've written something you'd like to share this month, swing by her blog and add your link!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Weekend Reading


Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians! To my American readers, have an excellent holiday weekend and a happy Independence Day.