Friday, May 27, 2011

The Bathroom

Seriously a post about our bathroom?
Mark and I worked so hard on this particular room I had to share it with you.
The transformation is quite remarkable.

It started one day when Mark and I were talking about replacing the tub surround because it had actually been painted? and we didn't care for the paint flaking into our children's bath water.
Lucky for me Mark was on afternoons that very same day so I thought I'd do us a favour and go ahead and get tub surround ripped off and surprise him when he got home that night. Also this would be a great motivator for us to get it done since we couldn't shower without it.
When it comes to home repair projects I would like them done yesterday.
Unfortunately my plans to do good don't always work.
I got the tub surround off but I had not planned for the taps which were alot bigger than the holes where the pipes ran threw and I couldn't cut the plastic, so I had to reveal a semi-surprise for Mark and let him finish the rest.
He is such a sweet man he didn't even get upset when he walked in the door around 1:00 in the morning to find the tub/shower in such ruins.
The happy ending isn't coming yet, wait just wait.
While putting the new tub surround the taps had to be removed and well they were pretty old and they never stopped leaking when we put them back on. I measured and it was leaking about a bucket of water a day.
Not good. So new taps came next.
Well the new tub surround and new taps made the rust on the tub look more prominent, so we talked about a new tub.
No, I didn't rip out the old tub while Mark was at work!, but a new tub got me thinking.
If we were replacing it why not go real authentic with a claw foot tub?
That would look way more original in our 1920's house.
My mind was reeling with ideas.
Out came out my Victoria magazines, if we were going to do this I wanted to get it "right."
Had we of know how much work it was going to be, I think we may have stayed with old rusty and kept him as part of our family.
It took us over 3 month to re-do the bathroom. Just as the project got under way Mark started working a bunch of overtime and since we were going all out, the extra money was coming in handy.
I tried not to complain.
We were able to spend alot of time at my mom's since that's where we were showering and bathing the children.
We demolished the old walls, replaced it with all new drywall.
Re-did the floors.  There was carpet ? in the bathroom really? carpet!
New tiles, new claw foot tub (yippee!), new sink, new toilet. The works
We even ripped out a huge cabinet section in there, giving up the extra storage space for the end result was so worth it.

I wish I had a before picture for you. We re-did the bathroom before the digital age, and a scanned picture wouldn't show the sheer ugliness of before, but I do have plenty of afters!

Sorry about the plunger, I'm just keeping it real!

What is completely amazing about this entire project is that Mark had never done any plumbing before.
It has been over 6 years since we re-did the bathroom and nothing leaks. That's pretty cool.
 So in a way my plan did work out, Mark may have never discovered this hidden talent had it not been for me ripping down the tub surround.
See, Happy ending.
 Your welcome Honey;)

Until next time,  Joceline

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Purity Banquet

Last night was a beautiful night for us as a family.
We took our daughters to a purity banquet.
For those of you who are unsure of what that is, I will take the time to tell you all about it.

We are so grateful to be a part of a wonderful home-school community.
We meet Monday mornings for ten weeks and then we break having a total of two sessions in one school year. The girls have made so many precious friends and we are encouraged and uplifted being surrounded by others who have the same passion as we do for our children.
With that being said, one of the classes the older two girls partook of this session was a class on purity.
The Princess and The Kiss.
It is a children's book which kind of set off the older girls in the class but it was so full of truths for them.
The class was ranging from Gr 4 - Gr 8.
The premise of the book is taking them on a journey with a Princess whose been given a gift, her kiss, her purity.
Many men tried to court the princess but none of them were right because they didn't honour her kiss.
Until the prince who came along and he too had saved his kiss. With a blessing from her parents they were married.
Seeing past the idea of them reading a children's book, I know the girls took much from this class.
Each week we would dive into the Bible and see what God had to say on being a woman of His word.
It was wonderful to see the excitement in Ireland's eyes as she found the scriptures for the class.
I was honored to be a helper in this class and was given the privilege of sitting with the girls from Gr 4 -Gr 6 for question and answer time. I had to pray about how to answer alot of the question as I wanted to make sure I was giving them sound Godly advice. Those girls are very bright and very intuitive

I think the best part of the class was the banquet we had last night.
A celebration honouring our daughters in the steps they are taking in guarding their purity,
realizing it is a gift they have been given.

What a fun celebration it was, a beautiful meal, and we even had a wedding cake.

I know that this made the girls feel very special.

Part of the ceremony was Moms and Dads speaking about theirs daughters.
Mark and I sat down earlier that day and wrote these words for our girls.

First of all we are very honoured to be your Mom and Dad.
We are very proud of you for taking the purity class and choosing to understand how valuable you and your purity are to yourself, your parents and to God.
Right before our eyes you are becoming a powerful young woman of God.
You already love the Lord with such passion. We are looking forward to what God has in store for your life.
Kerrington, we love you.

We are so pleased and proud to be your Mom and Dad.
We are so glad you took the purity class and how excited and involved you were in the class.
You love God's word and it is already very evident in your life. We are very excited for what God will continue to do as you grow more and more into a Godly woman.
Ireland, we love you.

We were also able to present them with a Princess Prayer box necklace.
On the box is a cross, which reminds them that Jesus is the greatest gift ever given.He gave His life so they could have eternal life. His love never ceases.
A Heart.
The heart reminds them that, if Christ is at the center of their heart, they will have a sincere desire to be pure for Him.
A letter "P."
 For purity, and it also reminds them that they are God's princess.
A Kiss.
They have only one first kiss. Be wise and keep it safe for the man you will marry.
The "kiss" also represents their purity. It is a special gift given by God, to be opened only when they marry.
The Chain.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. My daughter, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains around thy neck.

A wonderful suggestion was made to the parents, as the charm on the necklace is a little box, a small diamond could be purchased and placed into the box and then later on, set into their husband's wedding band.
What a powerful idea.

Mark and I are so proud of our girls.
We thank God He has entrusted us with these precious lives.
We pray much wisdom on this continued journey.

Until next time,  Joceline

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Today I met the Boy I was Going to Marry

Seventeen years ago today, I met my soul-mate.

My life was forever changed.

Let me take you down memory lane.

I was just about to graduate high school and we were off to a convention, for private schools.
The convention was a three day competition of various events, from singing to sports.
The school I attended was requiring we do at least two sporting events.
Since I was already doing volleyball, I thought I'd sign up for something easy, like running long jump.

That's where my first encounter with arrogant boy comes into play.
My turn had come up and I didn't have a chance to practise but really I thought "How hard can this be?"
So a running I went, mentally preparing to hurl my body forward.
I  apparently am an over achiever, because I lunged myself forward so hard I couldn't stop.
I landed flat on my face in the sand.
Wow did that ever hurt!
Arrogant boy laughed at me.
Here he was standing there, when I was devastated because I had dirtied my new sweater and he laughed.
I had thought he was cute but not now.
Rude, just rude.
The teasing continued throughout that day from arrogant boy, and my annoyance was mounting.
After some time of harassment, a friend told arrogant boy that my feelings were possibly becoming hurt and that he should apologize.

Out with arrogant boy, enter Prince Charming.

After a lovely apology, things began to change.
I found myself looking to find him at each new event and have some exchange of a look or words
That was by far the fastest three days of my life before I knew it, it was our last night and we were leaving.
I had resigned myself that this had been a wonderful, fun time but that was it.
Until a slip of paper was handed to me by Prince Charming.
I held it in my hand and wondered if it was what I was hoping it was.
A phone number and an address.
An exchange of information was made.

Thus beginning a wonderful, long-distance relationship.
Our phone bills were quite high, but we couldn't help ourselves.
We were falling in love and the sound of each others voice was all we had.

Until Mark, my soul mate moved so we could be closer to each other.
We were engaged after 8 months of knowing each other.
We were quite young, but I knew this was the man I was supposed to marry.

When I was younger I had spent alot of time thinking and praying as to what I wanted in a husband.
I had even written a list of things I had asked God for in a mate.
What is completely God, is that Mark was my list.
Everything I had asked God for, things only He and I knew.
He gave them to me in Mark.

Neither of us were planning to go to convention that year, but God had already planned we would.
Isn't He Amazing!

Until next time,  Joceline

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Our weekend was full of fun, all in celebration of our now seven year old.

Every other year we have a birthday party with friends and one with family.
On the opposite years we let the girls choose what they would like to do for the day.
It can be a movie at the theater, bowling... whatever they would like.
This year Jillianne chose a kids play place. You can dress up and well just be a kid.
Sounds like fun.

First, she was an astronaut

Then she was a pilot,

A baker.

A hair stylist.

A very smart looking doctor.
I would definitely trust this doctor!

A very thirsty seven year old who barely stop to take a drink because she was having so much fun.

What a great way to spend your day as a seven year old.

 My most favorite picture is this one,

My sweet little girl who really isn't so little any more,
I have loved every minute of being your mom.
Thanks for being my little girl.

Love, Mommy

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Jillianne

Happy Birthday to my baby.
Today you turned 7.
What a whirlwind it has been.
You are so much fun.
You have brought us so much joy.
You are full of sugar and definitely some spice.
You add alot of variety to our family.
Right from the very beginning we knew your personality was going to be strong, you are very outgoing and you like to share your thoughts.
I used to become easily overwhelmed and often felt like I wasn't doing a good job, but now I take it as a compliment from God.
 He knew we could handle you and love you like He wanted.
All I can say is Thank you God for this beautiful girl you have blessed us with, we are so grateful you chose us for her.
We love you sooo much !!!

 You are so sensitive and sweet.
You are very caring and compassionate to others, especially when some one is hurt.
Your heart is very tender.
When my grand-mother was in the hospital, we went to visit her and you walked right up to her bedside with no hesitation and held her hand and stroked her arm and loved on her so sweetly.

When others in your group are too shy to try something, you jump right in and set the others at ease.
You are a natural born leader.

You love to dance.
You already live life with such passion.

I am so honored to be your mom.

Happy Birthday to my spicy, yet, sooo sweet seven year old.

Love,   mommy

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


My girls always make me feel so special on Mother's day.

I awoke to breakfast in bed, complete with a candle and a twisty straw!

Coming down the stairs a beautiful banner.

Adorable cards with sweet words inside, a hand-painted wind chime
and a delicious smelling peach candle.

My Sweetheart bought me the chandelier I've been wanting for our bedroom.
He even put it up Saturday night so I would wake up to seeing it on Mother's Day morning.
I am loved.

I am so thankful to God for my little family who poured sweetness
on me and made me feel so appreciated.

Until next time,  Joceline

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

I can honestly say God gave me the most wonderful mom, He knew exactly what I needed.
As I think back to my childhood, I remember so many wonderful memories which all include my mom.
Being the only daughter and the youngest, gave us a lot of time together which I loved.
My mom is very creative and hardworking, yet she chose to use all that talent and poured it into her children.
My dad worked very hard, yet money was not in abundance in our household ( it was later on and come to think it I should have asked for more clothes!).
I never knew. I thought we were rich.
We never went without, because my mom was very thrifty and organized.
 My lunch was always the envy of my classmates.
Everyone wanted to trade with me:)
Our home was always clean and well decorated and Oh, so cozy.
No matter where we lived she always made it home.
I couldn't wait to get home from school each day because I knew my mom would be there waiting for me.
One of my favorite things I remember that brought me such peace and comfort was when my mom would sing as she did things around the house.
I loved that because everything felt right.

My mom always made us feel special, little notes, a treat, and our birthdays were fantastic.
We didn't get a bunch of things but we were certainly made to feel that that day, to my mom was a very special day because it was the day God blessed her with us.
(Well it felt that way!)

Every night before bed was story time. We'd sit together and my Mom read some wonderful stories.
I actually have the books now and have read them to my girls.

Often times when I'm relating to the girls, I'll think back to how my mom was with me and I am  humbled at how much patience she had.

When I think of the Proverbs 31 woman, My mom reminds me of her.
I rise up and call her blessed.

Thank you mom for your love to me.
Thank you for being such an example to me.
I am so thankful to God for having blessed me with you.
You are truly a gift.
I love you.

Happy Mother's Day.

Your loving daughter,   Joceline

Last but certainly not least,
 Happy Mother's Day to two very special woman in my life, Mark's mom and birth-mom.
Thank you, Thank You, Thank you.
The love, sacrifice and dedication you have given to Mark is evident in the wonderful husband and father he is today.
 I appreciate you both.
Happy Mother's Day with love,
Your daughter in "love",    Joceline

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Memory Keeping

I am a picture taking kind of girl.
When Mark and I were first married we couldn't afford a camera of our own, fortunately my mom let us borrow her camera to take some pictures. We have some snap shots but not as many as I'd like.
It is the little details that I wish I'd have.  More of what was in our apartment, some memorable first for us, like our first Valentine's Day, our engagement anniversary etc....
I guess you can say I am now making up for lost times or lost memories that are now just stories I can tell to our girls.

Right from the day each of my daughters were born, I have kept a diary for them.
The first entry in each is of their birth story, little details I was sure to forget were recorded for them.
Kerrington's book was usually written in on a weekly basis, with Ireland's it was monthly and with Jillianne's it became every couple of months.
Not because I love any of them less but because my life became much more full with each girl added to our lives.
The girls often like me to read from their books at bedtime, the funny things they use to say and do all give us a good laugh.  I am so glad I have kept these journals because I know I would have forgotten the sweet little details.

This is Kerrington's third book,  Ireland and Jillianne's second book.

I have also been scrapbooking pictures of their lives since they were born. A book they'll be able to take with them when they get married or move out.

My favorite way of now preserving the everyday memories is with Project Life.
Becky Higgins a scrapbook extraordinaire and busy mom came up with this wonderful memory keeping method.
A picture a day to tell your story.
When I came across this concept I was hooked.
Looking through our 26 photo albums I had plenty of trips and parties, but not alot of our every day happenings. Which is really what our lives are all about.

I have been taking a picture a day since January 1st 2009.
I honestly thought I'd never be able to fill an album of 365 pictures of  things we do or that were a part of our lives. Wow, was I wrong!
To date I am on picture (approx) 855. and the ideas and events never stop.
I love this part of our lives.

2009 Album

2010 Album

2011 Album

Here is what the inside of the albums look like.
A place for pictures and a corresponding place for journaling about that day.

I never realized taking a picture a day would be so powerful.
I had often thought my life was so ordinary, but doing these albums has showed me that even the ordinary is really extraordinary, that the mundane of life is truly miraculous.
 It's all in how you look at it.

Until next time,  Joceline