Friday, June 29, 2012

Five Years Ago Today...

we left Germany and immigrated to Canada.

We left our jobs, our home, our family and friends. We left behind our fears, worries and anxieties about raising our children in an extremely unstable economy. In the media, Germany is portrayed as a strong economic country. The truth is, the government steals from you and gives it to other countries in trouble. You live without much dignity or hope. Children are often considered a burden and you are shunned upon if you have more than two or if you bring them to church. Don't ask! Homeschooling is VERBOTEN! Five years ago today, we left Germany and started over from scratch in a foreign land, a place far away from where any of us had any friends or family.

This is the plane that brought us to Toronto.
This is Sascha and the kids waiting to board the plane. By golly, they look so small!
On the plane.
Our stuff was packed and stuffed in here...
the 20 foot container that took five weeks to arrive.
This is our luggage plus carseats and of course us after arriving in Toronto. We were waiting to be picked up by family. We spent our first week as new immigrants with family before moving west into the unknown.
Our first week was spent at my grandma's place. My uncle took the kids fishing for the first time.
They slept in tents in my grandma's backyard.
We roasted wieners 'Canadian Style'.
And roasted marshmallows for the first time.
It wasn't my first time. Mom and I tried to see who could stuff more in.

Our first week in Canada involved some of the best memories we had made as a family. And to think, it all began five years ago today. I am so thankful that our experience has been mostly positive. Immigrating to Canada has been the best decision that we as a couple have ever made.

Since moving here, our children have grown closer together, are more confident and have more zeal for life. The kids can be kids here. We have the freedom to homeschool and can afford to support their learning efforts. We are not dictated to as to how to raise our children. Our family has grown since moving here. Children are seen as blessings here, although we often get comments about the size of our family. This move have made us more of a family.

We have made some really good friends here. Sascha has been blessed with good jobs since moving here. We also have a much larger living space (about 325 sq. ft) with a garden of our own. But most importantly, moving here has brought us back home to church.

There are beautiful churches where we were living in Germany. The Masses that we attended were beautiful. Nothing hurt more than not going. But how could we go when every time we went the people there were so mean to us. We were told, "How dare you bring children to church. They have family Masses that you should attend." We hardly set foot in a church because of the people, because of the way we were treated. I was so weak, so broken, so in need of Jesus and I let them cast me out. All that changed in Canada. We located the nearest Catholic Church and started attending. We were greeted at the door. People introduced themselves to us. We were invited to Children's Adoration and attended daily Masses, joined a rosary making group and learned our prayers.

Five years ago today was the beginning of our new life. I am grateful and truly filled with joy. I thank God for all of the graces He has given us and look forward to many more anniversaries.

God Bless Friends and Have a Wondeful Weekend!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Needle & Thread - June 28th, 2012

My to-do list is so long, but I have been working hard at accomplishing the most important tasks. With baby #5 due in 7 weeks, I have to hussel a little.  This week though, I was fortunate enough to get a few items checked off of my list.
  • make a car seat cover
  • make a prayer intention book cover
  • make a birthday gift for a birthday boy
  • clean our the closet and hutch in the office/sewing room
  • buy some small cloth diapers and get them washed and ready for baby
  • order and start to get homebirth supplies ready (ie. faucet adaptor, protective sheets for under the pool, pads and various other things on my midwives' list)
  • bind a wall hanging
I will share pictures of the items that I have sewn.

Car Seat Cover using this pattern. I still need to wipe down the car seat and wash the padding, but that will have to wait until I get around to it.

Prayer Intention Book Cover. This is acutally a cheep photo album that I bought on sale a long time ago after seeing this idea on pinterest. It is supposed to be a prayer book for the children. I have started to gather photos of people and families that we want to remember in our prayer intentions. The digital age has made this a little more tedious. I don't have many hard copies of the people I want to include. I have to order some prints to add. BUT, at least the cover is done. It was a white wedding album with a little shadow box with a gown and tux in it. I initially thought they would be easy to remove, but I was wrong, hence the cover.

A Baby Bib using this pattern. I whipped it up out of the scraps that I had left over from making the car seat cover. The original isn't pieced, but none of my scraps were big enough. It is backed with some fleece that I had laying around.

I will share a picture of the wall hanging once I have it hanging. I just bound it, but didn't add the hanging sleeve yet. I am in no rush because I have no where to hang it yet. My sweet 'painter' husband has offered to paint the office/sewing room this coming long weekend. I will try to get it done after that. I am excited to have a pretty space for my creative endeavors even if I will soon be taking a babymoon break.

As far the reading part of my needle and thread post is concerned, I have a confession to make. I haven't been reading much lately. I spend every waking moment preparing for the baby or spending time outdoors with the kids. When I open a book, it puts me to sleep instantly. I guess that is all part of being pregnant.

I also did some sewing that wasn't on my to-do list yesterday and it includes a tutorial. Take a look if you have time.

Go and see the other needle and thread entries for this week over at Elizabeth's blog

God Bless and thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Riding Transit & A Tutorial

Riding transit in this city while 8 months pregnant with 4 kids in tow is no easy task. A stroller is useless unless you aren't 8 months pregnant or you have a really, really nice bus driver to help. I have a midwife appointment that I have to go to and hubby has the van. I also have a run-away type toddler who doesn't like to hold hands while walking down the street. This trip could turn out a disaster, but I think I came up with a solution. - THE WRIST STRAP AND LEASH

Yes, doesn't that sound awful! I have to treat my toddler like a dog, but I can't wrap a collar on him, so I made this....

It looks rather cruel, but it is my quick version of the harness or toddler backpack that you see people use at the zoo and other public places. The wrist strap can also be attached to a backpack or a stroller. My 6 year old demonstrates what it looks like on.

The toddler wasn't impressed.

I have yet to try this out for REAL. I will be doing this later today. Wish me luck. And just in case you have a rogue toddler that has to or insists on walking, but likes to run, I have a tutorial. Just follow the links for the printable version. One is for the pattern and the other is the template you need to place the snaps. I hope the pattern makes sense. I would love some feedback.

Template - make sure you print at 100%
Toddler Wrist Strap
Toddler Wrist Strap Template

Now I have to run. Wish me luck. God Bless friends.

UPDATE: My little guy was great and actually enjoyed wearing the wrist strap and lanyard. He only tried to run off once and that thing saved him from an oncoming c-train. It wasn't even a close call, but I am sure glad that we had it. He was proud to wear it. The cuff looks so cool by itself. The midwives even made a nice comment.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Immaculate Heart of Mary

In anguish, danger or doubt,
Think of Mary and call upon her
Let the name of Mary
Never be far from you lips or heart.
And to obtain the fruit of her prayers,
Do not forget the example of her life.
Following Mary
You will never lose your way.
Praying to her
You will never go wrong.
With Mary's support
You will never fail.
Beneath her protection
You will never fear.
Under her guidance
You will never grow weary.
And with her help
You will reach your heavenly goal.
~ Doctor of the Church, St. Bernard of Clairveaux

Happy Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary,

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thankful Thursday ~ June 14th

I have been a bit lazy when it comes to blogging. Some days I just don't feel like it. Other days I am just so busy trying to check items off my mile-long to-do list that I just don't get the time.

Today, I wanted to pause and take the time to be thankful. I am thankful for so many things. I marvel at God's generosity and need to share.

 For a cuddly husband.
For a handy husband.
For green grass that tickles the toes.
For an extremely cute two year old.

 For an awesome daughter and big sister.
For afternoons spent building Legos.
 For a big sister who reads book after book after book and does all of the voices andsound effects for her little brother.
 For a hair clipper that cleans up the boys' hair in a matter of minutes. I love brush cuts and how handsome all of my men look. I am also thankful for all of the money we save when the little boys and dad hop onto a chair and let me clip away.
For a handsome young man.
For a daughter who still lets me play with her hair.
 For a girl who plays Lego and has an open door policy. There are no "No-Boys-Allowed" signs in this girl's room.
 For crappy weather that forced me to be creative. For lots of scrapbook supplies and paper to make these mini books for the kids. For the six-year old who's idea it was to make little books.
For more stinking weather that forced us to stay indoors and put on our creative thinking caps. For lots of unused art supplies that ended up being transformed into Fairy Garden accessories. For nice weather to actually put it in the garden.

 For gardening children...
 Fresh lettuce and spinach...
and lunch.

There are so many other things that I am thankful for, but don't have pictures to share. I feel so blessed to have a beautiful family and ones who care.

Thank you friends for stopping by,

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Husband - My Hero

I don't think that my husband and I have prayed harder than when we did last night. It poured rain and it started pouring in through our new bedroom window. If we hadn't reacted so quickly, we might have had the whole basement flooded.

My husband did everything in his power to stop the basement from flooding. He stayed awake all night scooping water out of the window well. I couldn't do much for him except call the city and ask for help and give him some dry clothes everytime he came in. They gave me a number to call and four local firemen showed up to assist us. Since we weren't flooding into the house at the time, they couldn't really help us. They did however find out that the neighbour's downspout ends right beside our fence and was assisting in the rapid flooding of our yard. They recommended that we direct the water all the way out to the alley from both properties.

I was so scared. We sleep in front of that window and the nursery is just outside our bedroom. I am so thankful that we had stayed up to watch a few minutes of the news. We still have a puddle under our bed, but that is all. Divine assistance and the prayers I am sure helped.

I have never admired my husband more than I did last night. He worked so hard to protect our growing family and our home. He took little breaks, but was out all night scooping water from the window well. The rain has stopped, but he has not. He left for Home Depot at 20 to 6 to buy some new rain gutter and will extend both our and the neighbour's gutters.

I am so grateful for such a wonderful husband and answered prayers. God is good.

Oh and by the way, the one fireman's name was SCHNELL. Their names are written on the back of their coats. I chuckled because schnell mean fast in German.

God Bless friends,

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bug Identification

Oh excitement! Having a garden also means knowing your enemies. In truth, I don't know one bug from another except for the obvious ones likes ants, bees and  house-flies. Today, Noah had a rare specimen crawl up his jacket sleeve. It looks like this:

Courtesy of

This specimen is actually rare. It is a Limenitis archippus - Viceroy and as a butterfly, it looks very similar to a monarch except for a black stripe that is on its back. So today's specimen is a good guy and will be released. If I am wrong, which I hope not.... I don't want to be chasing bugs out of my garden all summer.

Have a great rest of the day friends,
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