Saturday, April 19, 2014


Do you remember my New Years resolution? It was to make Gary a greater priority than our kids.  More than that,  it was to work on our marriage.  It has been going well and I just wanted to share one major thing that I learned this past week.

I'm part of women's group at church and the study I'm doing now is on marriage.  We just did the first week and hopefully I'll have more to share over the weeks to come.  

What I'm going to share probably sounds really basic and many of you will probably think `Duh, who doesn't know that?'.  But, for those that say, `That's a good point!', this is for you.  

I was/am a very independent strong young woman.  I know how I like to do things.  I like to be efficient.  I feel like I can pretty much do anything I put my mind to. I love to ask questions to figure out the best way to do something.  Over time, I have become less independent and I like that Gary is there for me to help in so many areas.  However, I still have many strong opinions.  I also organize most of what happens in the home so I have even more thoughts on how everything should run.  I guess my sisters are right when they say I'm a bit bossy (but so are they!! ha).

{The day after we got engaged up at Green Lake}

There are certain areas where Gary doesn't like my questioning/help which I won't share here.  He is so laid back so when I first witnessed his anger, I was totally shocked and I will never forget it.  You can probably think of `the area' where the man in your life is more sensitive.  This week I learned the following, which helps to explain it:

Women want love, first and foremost.  When they feel unloved, they may cry.

Men want RESPECT, first and foremost.  When they feel disrespected, they may get angry.

*this obviously doesn't apply to all men and women, some are going to be different.*

Ephesians 5:33 `To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.'

When I say `Do you know where you are going?' `Why are you building the garden bed like that?' `Why are you parking here?', he hears `She doesn't trust me or believe that I can do it.'.  I'm just thinking `Is this the best way to do it?'.  Does it matter if we get a bit lost and are a few minutes late? No. Does it matter if he takes an extra minute to park?  No. Does it matter that the garden bed looks different than I thought it would?  No. 

Just as Gary has chosen to love me, I need to choose to respect his decisions/thoughts/work. I need to hold my tongue when I really want to say something that I know will come across as disrespectful or show that I don't trust his decision making.  I have witnessed relationships with great respect in them and I do want to be more like that.

This doesn't mean that I don't provide any feedback or gentle reminders, but I know the areas where he is most sensitive and I need to keep my mouth shut.  

So, maybe you already knew that respect is of upmost importance to the man/men in your life (could be your sons, dad, husband, boyfriend).  But, if you didn't, there you go.  Wish I was told this 9 years ago even though I feel like I should've known it.  So instead of saying `I love you', throw in some `I appreciate how hard working you are' or `Great work on fixing the sink!' or `I knew you could do it!'. Or, in many cases, just keep your mouth shut.  That's the big one for me.

If you choose to focus on the negative things, it's a cycle that makes things worse.  Dwell on the good and the feelings will follow.   Philippians 4:8 says, ` Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.'.

Love, Louise aka the wife who will keep her mouth shut just a little more. Hopefully.

PS Several people have asked if Gary is cool with me posting these things and yes, he is, or I wouldn't do it :)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Thankful for...
1. Our trampoline.  I had to buy it new because it's very hard to find one this small (7 feet across) :)  This is the third year we've had it and we only put it up for spring and summer.  It's the perfect height and size for Nya.  The boys still use it too although it pretty much turns into a wrestling arena for them.

2.  Plants and flowers that we can grow.  Koen was sooo excited to see how much his bean plant had grown over the past week.  Wow!  Gary will be planting his vegetable garden this weekend and I've already planted bulbs so we'll see what happens!  It's so great to live in a climate where things grow so easily.

3.  Our Easter Tree.  I'm not into crafts.  A group crafty activity?  Not something that jumps out at me.  However, our Women's Group at church was doing it and I thought I might as well try it out.  It was much better than I thought...sitting around a table together talking and crafting.  I could even do it again.  Every day, the kids pick an egg (numbered 1-12) and inside is a picture (donkey, prayer, crown, coins etc) that we hang on the the tree.  Then we read the part of the Easter story that corresponds.  They love it and it's a great way to go through it leading up to Easter weekend.  The picture was taken before we started and we're on day 8 already.

4. Bottle donations.  We've been gifted several large donations of bottles and I'm so thankful!  We don't actually have much recycling of our own (maybe just one wine bottle every 2 weeks?!) as we don't drink bottled water or juice or pop or beer.  So ya, we have to definitely walk a lot to collect them or we get donations from others.  Our disneyland fund is up to $60 :)

5.  Our mixer.  I remember when we got married I was against it.  I wanted a hand held one like my mom had.  However, I quickly found out that this thing is soooooo useful. LOVE it. It's 9 years old and going strong. Wow.

6.  A short wait at the passport office.  Koen's was expiring so I finally got it all filled out and pictures taken.  We went to the passport office at 8 am when it opened and were done in 15 minutes! So great! 

7.  Funny things kids say.  Nya was complaining that her popsicle was too cold.  Koen said `What do you expect? They are called popsicolds for a reason'.   Another funny thing?  Kai just got home from school and was running towards the bathroom saying `I learned how to draw a grasshopper today!' and Koen said, `With your pee?!!!'.

8.  So many parks around our house.  We have about 5 within walking distance.  It's fun when I babysit Georgie and Kenzie because we go to a different one each week.  They are also building a very fancy park a couple of blocks from our house which includes tennis courts, gardens, water park etc.

9.  Neighbourhood friends.  The next door neighbours have two boys who are a year older and younger than Kai.  They love to play sports.  They play hockey for about an hour a day when it's nice out.  Growing up on an acerage, I missed out on having neighbourhood friends and I'm glad to see that my kids get to have it!

10. 24 hours away.  I wouldn't say it was super relaxing the whole time but it was just nice to worry about myself for the most part.

11. Bonus one:)  Vij's at Home cookbook for $2!!!  I've wanted this one for a while and when it came up on Bidding Wars (facebook site) I can't believe I got a $40 book for $2.  Perfect condition.  We already made a vegetarian meal (potato and pea a samosa on toast!).

I hope you are having a good week.  Mine has been about a 7/10  which is pretty normal :)

Love, Louise

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Day In The Life...

I've been working less and therefore have more time to take photos throughout the day.  I love to photograph my own family more than anything.  I am so thankful that we have some snazzy equipment and the know how to use it. I wish that my creativity also extended into fashion, design, sewing, decorating etc :)

 I get grumpy when Nya does not nap (at least 50% of the time) as there is no down time for me to work in the day.   I can do all my housework with her awake (although when vacuuming she insists that I hold her) but if I sit at the computer for a minute to work, she will not have it.  Yes, I can have her in quiet time in her room but that lasts less than an hour.  Taking cute pictures of them helps to remind me of their awesomeness.

 Koey always sleeps in the longest (7:30am)  and he loves when Nya joins him for a morning cuddle in the bunk bed.  Yes, he still has a safety rail on his bed as he falls out every time without it.
Trampoline + fine hair = great lesson in static electricity
The whole `close your eyes and relax' method didn't work.  Bird didn't get any seeds.
It was the perfect morning to walk at Campbell Valley Park (north entrance...must do it again soon)
Nya's first time playing `Hungry Hippos'.  She's a fan.  Koen did not go easy on her.
Rule #27 in photographing people: always have the eyes in focus.  This one did not follow that rule but she's too cute.
In the bath, Kai and Nya play `mean auntie Jackie' and Koen gives Nya vaccinations :) {Jackie gave the kids their hep A shots and boosters}
Tea party with bear and baby
You don't wear a helmet when walking to the park?  You must not have an Elmo one.
Sibling fun.
Perfect end to a great day?  Peach and Strawberry (and mango) Crumble.  This was the recipe I used...I replaced arrowroot flour with cornstarch. So easy.
Although it can be boring be with the kids day in and out, I am so glad that right now it works for us.  I get to enjoy all these moments with them.  I know soon enough they'll all be in school, and suddenly, running around with an Elmo helmet will not be very cool.

Have a wonderful day.
Love, Louise

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sister's Getaway

I don't get away often without Gary (maybe every 3 years?!) and this weekend my sisters and I all went away together.  We went to Harrison Hotsprings which is relatively close and suits our personalities; outdoorsy and relaxing.  It's hard to get away because all of us work (three full time) and I work almost every single weekend.  Throw into the mix toddlers, newborns, pregnancy, breastfeeding, working husbands and ya, it gets a bit tricky!
{Below is a picture of me setting up the timer for the shot above. My sisters love making fun of me for taking pictures so often but I think they appreciate it.}
We did a hike, hung out in the adult only pool, went out to eat, walked and enjoyed some beer and wine.
It's easy to be together in that we all get each other and we can say what we think to each other.  We're all in the same place (married, young kids, live in the lower mainland, working etc) which makes for many things to talk about candidly.
We are all  quite close in age as all 5 of us were born in 8 years!  I'd say one of the biggest differences is just in our intro/extrovertedness.  We've got the extremes and I'm in the middle.  
{Youngest to oldest.  Jackie is 7 months pregnant.}
My dad came by Saturday night to join us for dinner and talk about his big upcoming trip.  I won't share too much about it, but you can ask me in person.  However, I will say that he has done some specialized training in a capsule in the pool learning what to do if his plane crashes in the water.  Who knew you could do that? 

Thanks for dinner, dad!  It is pretty interesting when people find out that we are his 5 daughters.  It seems like a lot when you see us together.
I know that some people do not have siblings.  Some have lost siblings.  Some people have difficult relationships with their siblings.  Some people live far away from their siblings.  I am thankful that I have these girls/young women/ladies in my life (even if Jan turns on the light at 7 am and wakes us all up).
{From Jackie's camera; I win! I jumped the highest.}
 It was always very important to my mom that we did not hold grudges and that we had a positive relationships with one another by being full of grace and working through things.  She had 5 brothers and no sisters so I think she was a little envious that we had so many sisters :)  I think she'd be happy to see that we choose to hang out together.  Sometimes.

Our next time away will probably be my 40th (oh my) in 4.5 years.   

Hope you had a great weekend.  It's incredibly beautiful out there.

 I need a nap.  

Love, Louise

Friday, April 11, 2014


I am so thankful for my family.  They drive me absolutely nuts at times but I love them so much.  I know that anything could happen at anytime.  It's not that I'm pessimistic, I'm realistic.  I don't live worrying about it but I do appreciate what I have every single day.  That is one thing that I've really taken to heart from the loss of my mom as well as my dad's heart attack; every day is such a gift. Appreciate it.
This week I was reminded of how so much is out of our control.  My friend Rachel, and her husband Paul, have three young boys.  Their youngest son, Jaxon, is just a week older than Koen.     Yesterday, they found out that he has leukemia.  I am so sad for them.  Heartbreaking news.  I am glad that they are in a great hospital and have an amazing community supporting them.  

If you could remember their family in your prayers, they would appreciate it. 

Also, being that they live on Vancouver Island, there are, and will be, many expenses involved
with travelling to and from BC Children's Hospital.  If you feel led to donate at all, here is a link to more information and a safe way to give.  This is a picture of Jaxon that I took from the fundraising site.

Thank you for reading.  I don't really know what to say except that we will be praying for Jaxon and his family over the days and months to come.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thankful Thursdays

Thankful for:

1.  Kids growing up & continuously learning new skills.  Although it's sometimes sad to see them move from cute little toddlers into smelly (beautiful) boys, I love that they can learn so many different skills as they work towards independence.  Kai has dreams of being a Top Chef so I think he will make a lovely lady very happy one day :)

2.  Being able to attend my niece and nephews birthday parties.  So fun for all of the cousins. Happy birthday Sami and Jack!
{Nya was very thankful for the cupcake}
{The boys were very thankful for these toilets in their goody bags that made farting noises the whole way home}

3.  March Madness.  Gary's top sporting event of the year is the NCAA basketball tourney so I'm happy that he was happy to watch some great games. (He was also trying to fix one of our back up drives at the same time).

4.  This cheese grater.  So grate (ha).  Right into the container and it has a separate top for storage.  From Ikea.

5.  Our lazy susan!  We just put the leaf in our table and added the lazy susan.  Our family is now big enough. Love it. 

6.  The `Push Daddy Off The Couch' game.  Started about 6 years ago and now Gary has 3 attackers.

7.  Nya's beautiful eyes.  I love how big they are.  She melts me.  Well, except when she doesn't nap, then she destroys me. 

8. Kai's maturity.  Sure he jokes about farts just like the next guy, but you can have real deep conversations with him.  I love that we are able to explain so many different ideas/beliefs/processes with him.

9.  Koen's complexity.  I don't know how to explain him.  He is a very focussed  kid that can play for hours and hours making up creative games on his own.  However, he is very, very goofy and has no personal space whatsoever.  He gives 100% without thinking of possible consequences (example: run as fast as he can and runs into things).  He loves his siblings and LOVES teaching Nya new words every day. He also tries to teach her math which is not going so well.  I guess I love that he continually confuses and amuses us.

10.  Planting flowers.  I'm excited to make our yard look a little prettier. I have plans for a section by our fence that has the perfect evening light for hope is to put in a flower bed there in the next week.

Happy Thankful Thursday everyone. 

So much to be thankful for.

Love, Louise