Thursday, 29 January 2015

The Secret's in the Sugar

A spoonful of sugar that is all it takes
It changes bread and water into tea and cakes

A spoonful of sugar goes a long, long way
'Ave yourself a 'ealthy 'elpin' ev'ry day

 Generosity, imagination, laughter, and love are the lessons she teaches... and without them- Disorder! Chaos! Moral disintegration! In short, we'd have a ghastly mess!

I got to listen to this soundtrack today while helping a student bike around the gym. The words echoed, both literally and figuratively, in ways I've never heard before. Without the pretty scenes from the movie, the words made a stronger impact regarding the constant battle between structure and freedom, conformity and individuality, and duty and grace, especially regarding parenting and our tendency to focus on work, success and achievement. Thank you, Mary Poppins, for the reminder that life is too short to live without a bit of sugar to help all that medicine go down.

Friday, 23 January 2015

{Gratitude Today}

Sometimes I get so bogged down in the blah-blah, whyisn'tmylifeinstagram/twitter/facebookworthy, pity-fest that becomes my life around this time of year- especially when I have a grumpy, screaming, teething, sick, tired baby- that I forget to be thankful for the fact that I have way more than I could ever really need. I have a husband to who works his butt off at school trying to better himself and his career, a goofy, silly baby with an a-ma-zing babysitter who loves her even at her worst, and not one, but two, jobs provided for me. I have a warm, safe apartment (with not one, but two, paintings from my favourite artist... and all my favourite books!), a loving, Christ-centred church to attend and many, many friends who love me. 

Today I'm thankful that God provides me with the slap in the face I need when I spent too much time pitying myself and not enough time being thankful for the provisions I have.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Friends in their Finest Form

James had an opportunity to volunteer for Ontario Streams stocking Atlantic Salmon eggs into streams near Mono today, so we made a surprise visit to Grandma and Grandpa's! Erin and Jaron were off to a wedding, so all three cousins had a chance to play together all afternoon. They made a huge mess playing, but I think they really enjoyed getting to spend the time with each other. It's so fun to see these three attacking loving each other so hard! Brynn is so blessed to have not only these two, but also 3 more (and another on the way) cousins to be her friends for life!

“Cousins are friends that will love you forever.” ~ Constance Richards

Saturday, 10 January 2015


 Brynn spent half of her sled ride leaning back looking up at 
the snow covered trees and the skies, then promptly fell asleep.

Friluftsliv means "free air life" and is a term in Norway that is used often to
describe a way of life that is spent exploring and appreciating nature

“Time in nature is not leisure time; it's an essential investment in our children's health (and also, by the way, in our own).” 
― Richard LouvLast Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

Thursday, 8 January 2015

{11 Months}

I was looking at Brynn the other day, and it came to me that I no longer have a "baby". We have a little girl who is millimetres away from being a toddler! She is this close to walking, and is losing a lot of her baby-ish looks (although the cheeks are still in full form :D ). I'm pretty sure she has grown at least 2 inches since last month and she's pushing the 25 pound mark!

The last month was a flurry of activity what with celebrating birthdays, Christmas and New Year's, but man, the Brynnasaur has kept up with a stamina that defies her early age! She was a trooper with all the travelling and was still happy as a clam, even with all the missed naps and late nights.

She's added to her skill repertoire by learning to shake her head yes and no, saying please in sign language, dancing when music comes on, and copycatting like nobody's business. She loves copying any noises she hears... laughing, burping, groaning, etc. (and her cousin's screams during a temper tantrum... we put a stop to that real quick, haha!) She's taken her first steps, I think about 10 at the most, but is feeling pretty timid (or just laid back?) about really getting down to walking. Maybe next month I'll be posting videos of her toddling around on her own two feet! She has discovered the joy of dolls, and is becoming quite attached to the ones she owns... she loves dragging them around by their hair, screaming into their bodies and biting their faces. I think she's going to be a greeeaaat mother when she gets older!

Brynn and James have spent quite a bit of time together this past month because James got 4 weeks off from school (lucky duck). He loves taking Brynn out in the stroller/sled/bike carrier and I think Brynn loves it even more than James! She is always as quiet as a mouse when out in the great outdoors.

We can't get over what a joy it is to watch Brynn grow up! I could leave the temper tantrums she has started to throw (I think the term strong-willed child may be thrown around quite a bit in our very near future) but there are a thousand good things for every one bad. I can't wait to see what the future has in store!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

A Very Bu... uh, Merry Christmas Season!

What a whirlwind the Christmas holidays were! I feel like this week is a week of recovery after more than 20 hours of driving and about 5 different locations visited. Rather than give you all the mundane details of where we were and what we did, I'm going to settle for the pictures from our adventures. We didn't take a ton of pictures because we preferred to enjoy the scrumptious victuals and rousing company instead...

Christmas Eve Tenhage Family Gathering

Grandpa and Hayden reading Hayden's new book from Oma

Erm... Cousinly love?
No, Colsen, no!

Christmas with the Groenwolds

This one is my favourite! (All of them were...)

All the girls teaming up to open Brynn's present
These cuties sure do love their princesses and horses! 
... and their Christmas lights!

Christmas at the Kottelenbergs

Colsen torturing loving Brynn again!
Hayden had very little patience with Brynn when it came to opening her presents!
So much fun with the cousins!
New Year's Eve with the Langendoens and Stevenses

Jackson and Brynn engaged in James' thrilling narrative
Sweet little Shiloh
Stealing all of Jackson's toys
The First Days of 2015 in Collingwood
( I admit I didn't take any pictures... these are from Chris' GoPro)

Cross-country skiing at the Scenic Caves!

Thanks for the invite!!

We hope that you all have a wonderful 2015!

“And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands; and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it has to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary, serious, and great things.” 
― Rainer Maria RilkeLetters of Rainer Maria Rilke, 1892-1910

“For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning."
(Little Gidding)
― T.S. Eliot