What is Fair Trade?

We have recently been working closely with The Intersection: Fair Trade. I am so excited to share a giveaway soon with them and would love for you to be aware of their brick and mortar that just opened last week! check them out in Clayton heights

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So before we go into who they are and what they do, here is the answers towards what is fair trade 🙂

 

What is Fair Trade?


Fair Trade is a term and a movement that has been growing in popularity and prominence around the world for a while. However, many of us are still a little bit hazy on what fair trade really means, and why we should buy fair trade products over other products. The following are nine principles set out by the Fair Trade Federation that must be adhered to for products and businesses and cooperatives to be considered “fair trade” (used with the permission of the Fair Trade Federation).

1. CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR ECONOMICALLY AND SOCIALLY MARGINALIZED PRODUCERS

Fair Trade is a strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development. Members create social and economic opportunities through trading partnerships with marginalized producers. Members place the interests of producers and their communities as the primary concern of their enterprise.

2. DEVELOP TRANSPARENT AND ACCOUNTABLE RELATIONSHIPS

Fair Trade involves relationships that are open, fair, consistent, and respectful. Members show consideration for both customers and producers by sharing information about the entire trading chain through honest and proactive communication. They create mechanisms to help customers and producers feel actively involved in the trading chain. If problems arise, members work cooperatively with fair trade partners and other organizations to implement solutions.

3. BUILD CAPACITY

Fair Trade is a means to develop producers’ independence. Members maintain long-term relationships based on solidarity, trust, and mutual respect, so that producers can improve their skills and their access to markets. Members help producers to build capacity through proactive communication, financial and technical assistance, market information, and dialogue. They seek to share lessons learned, to spread best practices, and to strengthen the connections between communities, including among producer groups.

4. PROMOTE FAIR TRADE

Fair Trade encourages an understanding by all participants of their role in world trade. Members actively raise awareness about Fair Trade and the possibility of greater justice in the global economic system. They encourage customers and producers to ask questions about conventional and alternative supply chains and to make informed choices. Members demonstrate that trade can be a positive force for improving living standards, health, education, the distribution of power, and the environment in the communities with which they work.

5. PAY PROMPTLY AND FAIRLY

Fair Trade empowers producers to set prices within the framework of the true costs of labor, time, materials, sustainable growth, and related factors. Members take steps to ensure that producers have the capacity to manage this process. Members comply with or exceed international, national, local, and, where applicable, Fair Trade Minimum standards for their employees and producers. Members seek to ensure that income is distributed equitably at all times, particularly equal pay for equal work by women and men. Members ensure prompt payment to all of their partners. Producers are offered access to interest-free advance payment for handmade goods, or pre-finance of agricultural harvest with favorable terms.

6. SUPPORT SAFE AND EMPOWERING WORKING CONDITIONS

Fair Trade means a safe and healthy working environment free of forced labor. Throughout the trading chain, Members cultivate workplaces that empower people to participate in the decisions that affect them. Members seek to eliminate discrimination based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, age, marital, or health status. Members support workplaces free from physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal harassment or abuse.

7. ENSURE THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN

Fair Trade means that all children have the right to security, education, and play. Throughout the trading chain, Members respect and support the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as local laws and social norms. Members disclose the involvement of children in production. Members do not support child trafficking and exploitative child labor.

8. CULTIVATE ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

Fair Trade seeks to offer current generations the ability to meet their needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Members actively consider the implications of their decisions on the environment and promote the responsible stewardship of resources. Members reduce, reuse, reclaim, and recycle materials wherever possible. They encourage environmentally sustainable practices throughout the entire trading chain.

9. RESPECT CULTURAL IDENTITY

Fair Trade celebrates the cultural diversity of communities while seeking to create positive and equitable change. Members respect the development of products, practices, and organizational models based on indigenous traditions and techniques to sustain cultures and revitalize traditions. Members balance market needs with producers’ cultural heritage.

 Fair Trade Federation. “Fair Trade Federation Principles”. Fair Trade Federation. Digital Eye Web Design. 2015. Website. 11 November 2015.

content found on The intersection: Fair Trade

Monck Provincial Park

We went camping again this past weekend. The weather got up to 35 degrees and we were so very thankful to have chosen the place we did. Monck Provincial Park is located on Nicola Lake just outside of Merritt, B.C. The lake is calm, beautiful and very refreshingly clean. The campsite is set on the shore line of Nicola lake and offers over 150 different types of sites to camp on. Half of them are reservable and a fair chunk of them are first come first serve. The climate is hot and dry and the vegetation is desert like.  In addition to providing recreational opportunities, such as boating , fishing and plenty of small hikes,  Monck protects a ponderosa pine, bunchgrass ecosystem and a volcanic rock cliff landscape.

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We choose to camp at Monck early in the year, no later than mid june, due to the hot climate. Monck becomes quite busy and hard to reserve come the summer months. We avoid it all together for the months of July and August. It also gets super humid and hot.

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And this was June 5th!

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When bringing young children camping you have to be creative on how to keep them busy and out of the sunshine for too long. We would play at the beach in the early morning and then again before dinner. But during the hours of 11am and 3pm, we found refuge in our tent trailer for a hot and sticky nap or we took our air conditioned car out for a refreshing drive into the Merritt at the beautiful Starbucks and Dairy Queen Drive throughs all while our children napped in the back. shhh.. do not tell them we eat treats while they nap.

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The water was cold but when there are toys involved no one seems to care.
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picnics at the beach are always a good idea.
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This was late afternoon and we were all desperate to cool off.
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Bed time is always a little later when we are camping. So to help calm them down we bring out the puzzles and the games. This one is called Rhino Hero. It is hands down my 3 year old’s favorite. It was given to us by her best little buddy for her birthday. It is also his favorite game. Toddler and Mommy approved.

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we invested in a new game and it was well worth it. Bolo! Give it a try.

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The large trees provide ample shade where it is a few degrees cooler.
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Breakfast with a view. It was 8am and we were almost too hot in the sunshine.

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I honestly love cooking outside. This was a rare moment for me. My husband normally does all the cooking during our camping trips but on this particular day the boys were out all day fishing with our church at the father son fishing trip. So, I was left to fend for the ladies.

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We had a lot of fun this weekend and Monck Provincial park did not disappoint.

How can you go wrong when you spend time away from ordinary life and explore the great outdoors with your family by your side?

 

-Lioness

 

 

 

Featured Female: Carlee

I have been so honoured to be one of the many who have watched this beautiful lady go from a single beautiful girl to a married stunning mama. Now as she stands in the middle of owning her own little business we are proud to help spread the word about this amazing lady and the company she started.

 

Name and Business:

Hi I’m Carlee from Tumble and Roar Apparel, an online based kids apparel company. I design all my products myself and have them either printed or sewn locally in Vancouver. I started my shop in December of last year, so I just passed my 6 month mark!

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How many years have you been pursuing this passion of yours and what brought about this passion?

I am a mom to a 2 year old boy, Luca and he is the inspiration behind Tumble and Roar Apparel. Prior to becoming a mom, I worked in fashion retail management for many years and clothing and dressing people up was one of my passions! When Luca was born, I started to get into shopping locally for him. I loved finding unique pieces for Luca and supporting local shops was much more rewarding than buying from big box stores.

Around the time of my sons 1st birthday, I started to get that feeling like I was losing myself a bit in mommy-hood. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being a stay-at-home mom and I find it so rewarding to spend my days with Luca. I feel extremely lucky that I don’t have to work outside the home right now. But I also felt like I needed something else in my life that was ‘mine,’ that I could work on and use as a creative outlet; this is where the idea of Tumble and Roar Apparel came from.

Tell me about your family

My husband and I met in University, we both were recruited to play for the Trinity Western varsity soccer teams. I grew up on Vancouver island and my hubby Nick grew up in Montreal, so when we met you could say we were quite different; think island girl meets city boy. We became friends fast and by our second year we were officially a couple.

We married in 2010 in Nick’s hometown of Montreal and welcomed our baby boy Luca in 2014.

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How do you balance work and home life?

Oh this is a sticky question! I would love to say that I have dedicated hours for my Tumble and Roar workload and that I have a Pinterest-worthy, beautifully organized workspace…. But that isn’t always the case. Life with a toddler is unpredictable and chaotic, so I try my best to do the majority of my work for Tumble when Luca is napping or asleep for the night. But emails and orders need to be checked and filled and that sometimes happens right in the middle of lunchtime or backyard playtime. It’s a complete juggling act- and sometimes I feel like a super mom and sometimes I feel like a super failure; but in the end, the work gets done and the playtime never stops with a 2 year old!

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What is your goal for you company?

My goals for Tumble and Roar really correspond with my family life. I want to run a successful at-home business that brings me joy and fulfillment, but this business cannot get in the way of my first priority: my family. This business fulfills a passion of mine, but I do and always will put my job as mama bear first!

I love the creative process of designing something from nothing and seeing it come to life! When I receive photos back from customers of their little ones rocking one of my designs, the feeling is indescribable! My goal is to make my customers happy; I want them to love my designs and the quality of the pieces. Being a mom myself, I only create and sell items that I would dress my own child in. I focus on creating unique pieces that are high quality and comfortable.

What is your outlet?

When I need to clear my head- I go for a run or head to the local yoga studio. These two activities are my outlets; they are my therapy.

What motivates you?

I am SO motivated by some of the amazing people in my life; especially my fellow mama friends. I am always so humbled and inspired by how strong and selfless these woman are. Spending time with other moms is so rewarding to me because it is such a community and every family is so different and dynamic, but all these moms are killing it and are rock stars in my eyes. These ladies motivate me to be a better mom, better wife, better friend, and better business person whenever we connect.

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What sucks the life out of you?

There’s a saying we used to use in my old occupation of ‘eat the worm.’ This message relates to your ‘to do’ lists and conquering the thing on there that is most annoying, most bothersome and most difficult. A common habit is to ignore that ‘worm’ and check off all the other items and are more enjoyable. (Isn’t is so satisfying to check items off a list?!?) However, that ‘worm’ will just haunt you and weigh on you until it’s done; hence ‘eat the worm!’ Get rid of it first!

When I don’t ‘eat the worm’ and the same daunting task rolls over on my weekly to do list from week to week…. the life gets sucked out of me! I really should learn from this lesson, but it’s one that repeats itself much too frequently- oops!

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Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In ten years I see myself being THAT carpool mom, driving kiddos to school and activities and loving the mom-life. I hope I’m sitting on the soccer field sidelines with my other mom friends, with coffee in hand, watching our mini’s play their little hearts out! My hubby will be there on the sidelines too- probably coaching!

What does your dream retirement look like?

I hope it’s filled with family, friends and happiness; whatever that may look like in 30+ years 🙂

Thank you so much Carlee for your honest answers and for sharing your creativity with the world. So inspired by your heart for motherhood and for making something that is your “own”. Keep it up lady.

Also, Thank you for your generous donation of a T-Shirt for one of our very lucky followers.

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Stay tuned tonight at 6pm PST for the announcement of our give away! Check out and follow tumble and roar and you will soon become as in love with their toddler clothes as we are.

Instagram : @tumbleandroar

Facebook: tumbeandroar

Web site:  tumble and roar 

 

-lioness and Carlee!

 

Be Careful Little Ears What You Hear

Parenting is hard. When I run into a fellow parents my first instinct is to always support and empathize with them. Being united as parents against the ever chaotic child is really the only way we are going to raise this generation into some what decent human beings who hopefully won’t mess up our grandchildren. As much as I love today’s parents there is something that keeps coming up almost every time I run into a group of fellow toddler tamers.

Bad Language.

It always blows my mind when I see a mom wash and clean an organic apple and demand her child say please and thank you and then turn and  drop an f-bomb the very next sentence as she is talking to her friend. Ok, so it is not always that extreme. But that is a true life example that blew my mind. The words I hear do not just come in the form of the agreed upon swear words, some words are just as serious yet not as obvious. Talking bad about other people (gossip) complaining about their spouse and fellow parent of that little child running around by their feet. Even language explaining how annoying their own children are, all while that said annoying child is within ear shot. In my opinion all these are as hurtful if not more serious than saying a swear word. Even though some of it is said in a cutesy voice with the intent of making light of it. In the grand scheme of things, what are we teaching our children?

Why are we more concerned about what goes into our kids mouths than what goes into their ears? What goes into their mouths soon will leave (o-natural)  but what goes into their ears will stay and grow and become a huge part of who they are and how they see the world and those they love. Yes, I do believe that eating healthy and avoiding digesting chemicals and other harmful poisons is important and research should be done on the parents part about what they provide for food for their kiddos but I think more concern needs to be put on what environment we are raising those little organic loving fruit and veggie eaters.

The movies and tv shows that are being made for the younger children these days are a far cry from the friendly mr. Dress up and mr. Rogers of our day. Although I have to admit they are definitely more entertaining and exciting some of the content and dialogue is not appropriate for your little 3 year old.

I really feel like we as the next generation of parents need to take a stand for what is happening here. We can raise a generation that is better than this. One that supports each other, accepts all differences and one where bragging about people’s strengths is granted more smiles and head nods than complaining about people’s faults. Husband Bashing needs to stop (I will save that for another day)

I am a far cry from living up to being the parent who watches what goes into her children’s ears, but I am really trying. I am probably as good at it as I am at feeding them healthy food. I am a work in progress.

My daughter the other day said the word “stupid”. She didn’t direct it at a person, just as a dialogue between her two dolls. You could tell she was just testing it out and wanted to see what I would say. To see if I was listening. To see if it was actually as bad as she thought it was. I must say I was caught off guard. I know, in the grand scheme of things this is not the word that would cause very many people to be worried. But this word caught my attention because of what it represents. She doesn’t go to school and has been to about 3 play dates without me being present. She watches very little unsupervised TV. So where did she hear this? Sunday school? Nope. The answer; At home. This word is most definitely in my vocabulary when my husband and I are discussing daily life and the frustrating things that happen this word may escape my mouth. It definitely happened this weekend as I expressed my frustration towards the guy who changed our oil and obviously did something wrong which ended up in us being stranded on the side of the highway between two cities at 9 at night on our way to our campsite, with a seized engine! (That is another story for another day)

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I complain around my kids, I gossip, I state my frustrations and annoyances about my own family and friends. I do this all with in earshot of my own kids. I pretend to make it better by using “mom code” but my children are not idiots. (Thanks to their genius father) so they know. They know what I am saying without even having to use the correct words.

Remember the days when your child was a baby sleeping in your arms and your girls friends would come over and you would just talk and talk all night as you passed around the sleeping baby? Those were the days of no filters and constant name dropping and never ending complaining. When did those little ears grow into little ears with a parrot mouth. At what stage should I have stopped talking like that and changed my ways? The answer, in my opinion, is as soon as you find out you are going to be a parent you need to start being a parent.

Being a parent means to sacrifice your own needs and wants and put that new little life ahead of your own until they can survive on their own and be a decent part of our society. Of course there is plenty of room for imperfection and growth. But just like we sometimes feed our kids McDonald’s or consider pop tarts as dinner we need to make sure that there are more healthy foods going in than junk. Some days will be better than others. Some weeks, months, seasons even, will be full of greater conversations and moments with our children being exposed to healthier language.

Please read this knowing that I understand. Know that I get it. I am just as exhausted and annoyed as you. Horrible things happen in my day to day life and annoying people tend to cross my path almost weekly. I am working daily at living up to this whole idea of having healthy speech come from my own mouth. Demonstrating to my children daily what a healthy way to argue looks like, an acceptable way of being angry, an appropriate way to express frustration. These are all super important in raising healthy children into adults that you or I would want to be friends with. I once read a book called “peaceful parent, Happy Kids” and in it the author, Dr. Laura Markham, talks about being the adult. That the child roll is already taken. This stuck with me. I am often quite child like in my responses with my own children’s tantrums. I am even childish with my own spouse. This is not fair and is not teaching anyone anything but negative attitude. It doesn’t even feel good in the moment. It just gets me more frustrated and angry.

If we aren’t going to show them how to be an adult, than who will? If we are not going to show them how to make mistakes and do it gracefully than who will? If we are not going to be that positive example in their lives, than what are we doing?

Have grace for yourself and for your children because no one changes overnight.  One good day does makes a huge difference in a pile of bad ones. One positive change has a great effect amongst plenty of negative ones. Be honest when you make a mistake and ask your child for forgiveness when you respond inappropriately or when you get caught gossiping or complaining in a way that is not honouring to the other person. You do not need to make a big deal about it but I do think that acknowledging your mistake and owning it is important. With that being said do not let your child step into the parental role. Just because you asked for forgiveness from them does not mean they now get to discipline you or even call you out on it when you slip up. That is not only sassy and inappropriate coming from a small child it also is too much responsibility for someone who is still learning to wipe their own bottom. That is not the point of apologizing. The point is to show them that you make mistakes too and that your mistakes affect other people and that you are modelling to them what it means to have self regulation and what it looks like to be responsible for one’s own actions.

Raising children is hard. Hard on us physically as we lose sleep and forfeit our right to sleep through the night or take a nap  or even a sick day. It is hard on us emotionally as now our hearts are out walking amongst the world and we feel vulnerable to being broken if anything were to happen to those sweet little balls of frustration. Parenting also takes a huge toll on us mentally as we have to make all these daily decision that affect another person. No more fending for ourselves. Plus constant input and advice and opinions from those around you, be it friends, family or strangers.

In my own walk through parenthood I have found that I am definitely more drained in these areas but there’s one more area that I am using more than ever before. My spiritual life.

I have never called on my Heavenly Father more in my life than I have been the last 5 years. The more days that pass and the more situations that come up the more I realize how ill equipped I am to be a parent. If my sweet husband and I were to rely on our own strengths to raise our children I am afraid who our children would turn out to be. We have our own flaws and our own weaknesses that when you throw children into the mix they seem to become magnified. Anger turns into rage and being easily satisfies turns into lazy. My patience gets stretched and eventually vanishes into thin air. My ability to manage my time  and respect others becomes a thing of the past. This all becomes so overwhelming and throwing in this towel seems to be the only realistic answer until in walks the saviour of our lives.

With Jesus all things are possible. Being the parent your child deserves and needs becomes a possibility when you call upon the one who made it all. He did not make you your child’s parent by accident. He knows your weaknesses and he knows theirs. He also knows all your strengths. Calling upon the God who knows just what to do and cares enough to listen and guide your every step in parenthood. He has great plans for your family and knows that you can be greater than you are right now. Watching what comes out of your out and into their ears is just a tiny but huge step towards becoming the parent you were called to be.

Now if I could only find the perfect  words to summarize this whole long winded reminder and tattoo it on the back of my hand or do some fancy calligraphy and post it all over my house. I guess that is my homework assignment. Although I am sure we each could come up with our own personal way of reminding ourselves. The point is, will we all do it?
-lioness

Child Art into Styled Art

 

I put my sweet little kiddos and their little fingers at work today. Collaborating with my children makes my heart soar. Also so excited for us to work together and make a masterpiece. Today’s masterpiece is for my mom, their nana, and it just seemed fitting that her house warming gift be something that we all made together. Or as my son likes to call it: “Nana’s heater for her warmer house.”

Sure buddy, let’s call it that.

 

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This is the final Product.  I used a Tombow Monotwin pen to write over their beautiful picture after I altered it a little bit with watercolour paints.

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This is my Son’s painting. He used my watercolor paints and decided to paint his nana a flower. I tried my best to keep to his theme and just covered his whole picture so there was no white showing. I added in the background and a sunshine. I also added a bumble be by his request.

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This one is my daughters masterpiece. She used my Tombow dual brush pens because she was frustrated with how faint the colour was showing up when she tried using my watercolours. Her art lately is only “letter writing” and “people” so after she has used all the colours she wanted I added watercolor paints to create what I hope looks like abstract art and blends it all together. Then I added a twig wreath around the words.

The Words I chose are specific to my mom. I am sure they will bless other peoples hearts as well because their meaning rings true for us all in our own lives. For my mom my prayer is that  they give her hope and make her feel loved, not only by our Maker but by a family that is all around her loving her always.

I am excited to bring them to my dad and mom’s today not only to add to their art collection but to also get to see their new house. After living in an old 5 bedroom home for 20 years they have finally been blessed with being able to be the first owners of their very new house.They are so excited and we all know that means so am I!

 

Congratulations mom and dad!

 

-Lioness

Alice Lake Provincial Campground

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Camping with my family is our favorite family activity. We love spending time “unplugged” with each other  away from all our responsibilities.

When we are deciding which campsite to choose for the weekend we first decide if we are going to go East or West. Living half way between Hope and Whistler we really live in the ideal area. Our favorite luxurious campsite to go as a family is Alice Lake Provincial Campsite. It has hook ups and you are still in the forest and not camping right beside your neighbor.

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The other most amazing part about Alice lake is the playground.

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We really like the natural Playground.

It also has the most amazing natural bike path. My son had the time of his life.

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The Lake is also beautiful and an awesome place to swim and have lunch beside. There is a beach and a great wading area for children.

We ran into a few families who just go to Alice Lake for day trips. We would totally do that if we didn’t live 2 hours away!

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If you decide to take your family camping at Alice lake you will need to make sure that you book it months in advance. Alice lake is hard to book and almost never available for first come first serve basis.

Map

Reservations

-Lion

Ripple Effect of Change

I have been a little hesitant to share some of what my life has been like in the past few months. It has been filled with moving, chaos,coffee, toddler tantrums, accidents, sleep deprivation, buying, coffee, driving (lots of driving), firsts, lasts, etc.


Loving sushi date with my little.

It all started back in February, when we were finally able to start the process of looking for a new home! we have been renting (we thought for life) and have lived in a 4 bedroom large old rancher home in a little less desirable neighborhood. we made it our home, the place our son learned to CIO, crawl, walk, laugh, play in the backyard, run, fall, eat solids, and have his first official bedroom all to himself. We also brought home our second. I have had a lot of great moments in this house, family moments, and ministry moments. Inviting the whole youth over for backyard fun, or even having people come over randomly because we were walking distance from the church.

BUT, we just bought a townhouse! wahoo, in a nicer area, close to downtown abbotsford (where spruce collective, sushi, thai food, saturday market, festivals, tracycakes, duft and co, precious kargo, spruce market, ALL MY FAVES). We move in on June 1st.


Watching daddy with his best friend

Segue into another item in our lives… our Church is sponsoring a refugee family from Colombia that we are excited about, but they have some specific needs and are looking for a rental that could fit them. last week of April my husband and i graciously offer our rental house (as long as all is well with the landlords) which means we needed to move out a month early. a  month early, of living somewhere, with two kids in tow under 3 and putting all our stuff in storage. Naturally we really wanted to help, so we did it. we moved out in a week, boxed and stored, and now are spending a month with our loving and beautiful friends. I thought things were going seemingly in the family department. I did not anticipate our son struggling with each box being packed, and he is so close to fully understanding, but not close enough. he also is now a horrible sleeper, no more naps, bedtime takes 2 hrs and he has figured out every latch on every door to get out and explore without responding to me (i have had a few heart attacks these past weeks). Our beautiful 7 month old, has decided that she LOVES crawling and eating everything, and she is FAST. she also has grown accustomed to sleeping in my arms at some point in the evening.


Cuddles before everyone Else is awake

To what would have been an easy change for my spouse and I, I did not think about my kids! Despite all this change, my son is loving his temporary living situation, so many toys that aren’t his, a ride on lawn mower he can sit on anytime, a large dog he can play with, and a backyard that he can explore in. BUT it still comes with some of the other special parts in my sons new personality.

I am so happy and do not regret leaving our place we called home for 2 years, but I am eagerly anticipating our new home, where we will paint, and have all our own bedrooms. AN ENSUITE for the first time and something we can call home for longer than other places.

This is just one aspect of my crazy chaotic life. we also have recently started back to work(both my husband and I at the same time) since my daughter was born, which leads to daycare. And our church is going through a transition time and we are short staffed a bit.

I am also very excited about my missions trip in July and ALPHA church wide program in September! This year is a year of change. and I am hoping the Ripple effect will be huge, life altering, and God inspiring!

Where is God asking you to trust Him? is it in finances? prayer? comfort? or Evangelism!?

 

-OwlThiessenFamily-21

Local treasure: Spruce Collective 

Spruce Collective is located on montrose in downtown Abbotsford. I have loved this shop. On most days off I try to think of some reason why I need something or should go downtown so I can pop in and stare at everything I want and sometimes when I feel the move, I purchase.
spruce has items that are new, vintage, local small business, and they even have some great art pieces that Sydney Toews has painted. Sydney is one of my youth grads this year!

Not only is it cute, it has very friendly staff and it’s a great environment to bring your littles to. My son loves the nook they have with chalk and toys(as seen in the first photo)

This store is filled with every trendy trinket and clothing item you want! They have good husband, minimoc, Fraser valley shirts for all sizes AND chalk paint. This is one store that has never disappointed me ( can you tell).

Yes, like all small, non-chain stores, the prices are not bargain bin. But you can appreciate all the effort they go to in finding those antique items, or even stocking other small business and local items. I have learned to appreciate quality over quantity. This store has never disappointed me in quality.


I love finding wedding gifts, baby gifts, even matching shirts for my husband and son. My husband has a life is rad shirt, I am pretty sure it’s his favourite, I also bought him some nice beard/face lotion and cufflinks.

Needless to say, I love spruce collective! I feel like it helped me fall in love with Abbotsford.
DO NOT GET ME STARTED ON THE MARKET BY SPRUCE COLLECTIVE…… Do not…

-Owl

Working mom: part 2

Today I would like you to meet Kim! Part 2 of working moms

 She and I happen to have babies at similar times ( my son is a week older than her second and my daughter is two days younger than her third). 

Kim does a lot! And she manages to be an active member of the church as well as work and take care of her great boys. 

I am very thankful to know Kim and her family and be apart of her life. 

Work links…Kim Norcross Photography – https://www.facebook.com/kimnorcrossphotography/

Marketing & Social Media for Oh Sew Baby – http://ohsewbaby.ca/

Mama’s Little Troopers Designs – https://www.facebook.com/MamasLittleTroopers/

Intro 

I have had three kids (who are currently 5 years, 2.5 years, and 6 months) in the last 5 years, which means that I have been back and forth between working full time and being on maternity leave for the last 5 years. I am currently on maternity leave from my full time job as Marketing Project Manager at Power to Change Ministries (I’ve been at P2C for going on 9 years now!). I’ve dabbled in photography, one of my hobbies, over the last few years and more recently I’ve been using my marketing skills to help my sister out with her new business Oh Sew Baby. I’ve also just started designing teething necklaces and toys, so we’ll see where that goes! So, I’m answering these questions from my current point of view… I would have very different things to say if I was currently working a traditional 9-5 full-time job!
How do you balance kids and work, what is the main challenge?

There are two significant challenges that come to my mind…
All of my work involves marketing, and right now marketing is happening on social media. This means that my work is always in my pocket. I need to be sure to spend my time with my kids being present with them, and not always checking my phone to see what is happening on Facebook or Instagram. Something is always happening, but I will never have these moments with my kids back again. It may sound like I’ve got this one figured out, but it is a daily struggle!
It can be a challenge to carve out time for myself. Most evenings are spent sitting next to my hubby on the couch, half watching a show and catching up on work. I need to manage my work time so that I have enough time for all of the other things that occupy my life – relationships with friends and family and being part of our church community. I have to make sure I don’t take on too many projects at a time so that there remains room in my life for all of the things that make it so wonderful and full.
What is something that keeps you motivated?

All of these little jobs I’m doing now help me to continue to flex my marketing muscles, keep my mind in the professional sphere, and allow me to talk and interact with adults! I like the tangible results that these jobs have – I feel like I’m accomplishing something for myself. But, above all, I am motivated by my kids… and being able to spend these precious younger years with them as much as I can. I am also hopeful that what I’m doing now may lead to income or opportunities that could allow me to stay home with my kiddos longer!
How do you stay organized?! 

Am I organized?? Sometimes I feel like I don’t stay on top of things very well, like household chores or meal prep. But I guess if my kids and hubby are happy and healthy then something must be working!

Also, lists… I make a lot of lists! To-do lists for the various projects I’m working on… essentially I have to project manage my life. It’s a good thing that project management is one of my skills and favourite things to do!

Thank you for sharing! 


Follow Kim on the links at the top!

-Owl

My daughter loving her teething item that Kim norcross made 🙂

Overwhelmingly Blessed : figuring out adoption

Adoption. 

So many emotions and so much meaning packed into such a small word.

A word that provides so much hope for one person can always be a word that is pack full of sorrow and brokenness for an other.

I struggle with this. I struggle with thinking that my future children will have felt more pain and sorrow and loss than I can ever understand. It is nothing I have ever dealt with. My heart aches as I slowly come to the realization that I can not just kiss and cuddle their hurt away.

Overwhelming.

That is the word that has crept into my daily vocabulary when it comes to my life. Dealing with the mass loads of appointments and paperwork that I fit in between my children’s preschool and activity schedules. Spending spare moments packing up boxes as we prepare to move to a bigger house. A house that can fit our growing family. A house that is more than double the one we are currently in. How am I going to clean that place let alone fill it with furniture? Overwhelmingly blessed.

Blessed.

I had a dream when I was younger to work with orphans. I never really knew what that would look like or how it would pan out. When I met my husband it started to become clear. Adoption became a reality when I said “I do” to the love of my life.

Now that I am walking the road on our way to adopting our next two children I often wonder why this was a dream for me? Why would I so long to walk such a hard road. Why do I find so much peace when I am filling out paperwork? Why do I want to make life more complicated for myself? Why do I want to make it messy? Why do I want to spend my money this way? Why? Because it is the right thing to do? Nope. that can not be it. I am not that selflessly motivated.

Why?

Like everything in my life, when I dig down deep into the root of why I am motivated , it all comes down to my love for God and His Love for me. Such an overwhelming, blessed, adoptive love He has given me. He has accepted all my brokenness and mess that I have created and that was created for me and LOVES me anyways. He has accepted me into His family with no strings attached. He has called me to be the very best I can be and has promised to never leave me or forsake me. He has given me everything. He has sacrificed everything for me. He has paid the ultimate cost for my life. He has asked in return that I will Love Him and love others.

Adoption is putting that love into action. Adoption is following what God has called us to do. I know it is not simple. But nothing good ever is. I know it will be so hard. I will cry and wonder what I have done. But I am holding tight to the fact that God probably does the same with me. I make so many mistakes and He probably sits back and wonders what He has done to deserve having such a horrible failure as a daughter. I am owed nothing. God has given me everything.

By opening up our family and our home to children who have neither, we are following in the exact same footsteps as the Lord who saved me. We are called to care for the orphans and the widows. Practical Love. Practical Needs. I may feel that this is overwhelming, and it would be if I was alone. But I am not. We are not. God has our family in His hands and right now two of our children are waiting to be invited in.

 

Keep us in your prayers as we send out our paperwork next week. Gods timing. Our hearts. It is always my favorite part when I do what I can and then leave it in Gods Hands. He Never Disappoints and always goes above and beyond.

 

-lioness, waiting for her Cubs