Thursday, November 19, 2009

Auction for Olive - You're Invited.

My friend's Rusty and Lynette are missionaries in Thailand. They are also just seriously fantastic people. Lynette delivered their first baby in Thailand at 28 weeks. Since her birth Olive Hope has had many, many problems. She is such a fighter. As they get ready to hopefully fly to the States this next week. There friends are family are finding ways to help them with the huge medical bills that are stacking up against them. You are invited to an Auction for Olive. Starting Sunday November 22. You will be able to bid on the many, many items up at Auction for Olive.
You can catch up on their story at

I have up for auction one awesome Norwex gift basket. Full of $200 worth of the best Norwex products. Included in the package are

Mop Starter Package
1 telescopic handle
1 large mop base1 large Antibac wet mop (blue)
1 large dry mop (yellow)
Pad Size: 20"
Here are the thing
s about Norwex's mop that make life easier:
mop pads are microfiber (contains static electricity to hold dirt)
mop pads stick to the base easily and keep sticking over time
mop pads allow for quick and easy for dusting and shining my floorsmop pads pick up dust bunnies, crumbs, pet and people hair
mop is easy to manipulate
easy-to clean
-mop padsmop handle telescopes in and out for different mopping jobs
rubber edging on the mop base to protect walls
locking/unlocking base so you can clean floor with a full swivel or walls without
works extremely well on linoleum, tile, hardwood
and even laminate flooring - although with any unsealed flooring you need to be extra careful to get all the water up off the surface of the floor
makes cleaning large bath stalls, showers, walls and windows a lot easier (with mop bracket - sold separately)

The Norwex Microfiber Antibac Enviro Cloth cleans every surface in your house and is an absolutely indispensable tool in your cleaning arsenal.
There is no limit to the number of places you can use your antibac cloth, but a few ideas of where it can be used are:
granite countertops
stainless steel appliances
cleaning your car

Antibacterial Window Cloth - This cloth cleans and polishes smooth and mirrored surfaces to a streak-free shine every time. No more chasing hazy post-cleaning fog around your mirrors! To clean glass: To remove fingerprints simply spray with pure water and wipe with the window cloth.
To clean stainless steel: Use slightly moist (very little water) and wipe the stainless steel in the same direction as the grain. For heavily soiled fridges, first clean with a moist Envirocloth, then finish with the Window Cloth in the same direction as the grain.
To clean granite countertops: Clean countertops first with the Kitchen Cloth or Envirocloth and pure water. Then finish the counters with the Window Cloth unfolding to a new side to ensure you are always finishing with a dry, clean area of microfiber.
2 year warranty

Ultra Power Plus - The Norwex laundry detergent is seriouly fantastic.
Things to know about it:
Safe for High Efficiency machines
Low-sudsing, scent-free, biodegradable and it washes 60-70 loads (or 120-140 loads if used with the Magnetball).
Superior stain removing powder, whitens whites, brightens colors and cuts grease and grime on clothes.
Has optical brighteners and color enhancers.
Contains no fillers or perfumes, so is safe for newborns and people with sensitive skin or eczema.
Re-sealable 2 kb. bag

Dryer balls - Whether you currently use fabric softener, dryer sheets, or nothing at all in your dryer, you need Norwex dryer balls!
These little guys replace all forms of fabric softener, and generally last 3-5 years. They are made from a rubbery-feeling plastic (like a dog's squeaky toy) and can be used on all fabrics. Their job is to reduce drying time and to soften fabrics naturally without the use of chemical fabric softeners.
Norwex describes their dryer balls work this way: "Centrifugal force lifts and seperates clothes allowing air to flow more efficiently, reducing dryer time. They are non-toxic and allergy-free; reduce lint on fabric; make ironing easier; soften fabrics; and reduce drying times by 25%."

Antibacterial Body Pack - Use Norwex Body Pack cloths with only water for removing makeup, regular facial cleansing, exfoliating or in the shower.
This new breakthrough in ultra fine microfiber technology enables you to clean your skin deeply and thoroughly with only water.
No alcohol or cleansers are needed.
Pack of 3 cloths.

The Static Rubber Brush - removes hair, lint crumbs and dust from textiles, pets and furniture and the fronts of carpeted stairs.
It also works extremely will in removing the dust and dirt from dry mops by moving the brush in one direction over the surface. Lets you use your mop pads more times before washing!

So, there you have it. Remember to check out all the other bids. I also have decided to donate 20% of all my sales to Olive. So keep Norwex in mind when shopping for Christmas. Family, friends, teacher gifts. If you want to be on my mailing list leave a comment. I will be sending out a holiday newsletter with awesome gift ideas.
So in this Holiday Season lets remember others. Giving is the best!!

Monday, November 16, 2009


imagination is a wonderful thing. my boys are so full of imagination these days. they love to play school and they seem to have groups of "friends" over all the time. I feel overwhelmed and blessed to be able to bring them to Shirley's while I go to work. They love their friends and are currently playing with Aiden and Tyzer upstairs - "Actually mom we are watching them play gameboy" says Noah.
They amaze me these days.. still testing my patience on m
any occasions but also just plain fun. 
I know I have not been posting regularily and honestly don't know when that will get better but for now I'll be here when I can. My banner is gone and i have no idea how to put one up there.. sorry about that.
I'll leave you with these cuties from Halloween.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

i'm here.

hi, i am here. i have been wanting to post but feeling i need to come to you all with pictures! and unfortunately with the craziness of moving i cannot find the camera cord... i am looking! 
we are enjoying making this new home our home. slowly but surely.
unfortunatly our house has been hit with some sickness this weekend - dave and noah. poor little guy has this horrible croupy cough, fever and is just generally not himself. i also hate when dave is sick.. he is weak and just not himself. hopefully we are nearing the end of a short illness. i have been beefing them all up on major vitamins and thankfully i have been feeling great.
not much else is new. i hope to be back this week with lots of photos for you.
oh and did i mention i am typing this up on my new macbook!! holy blessing. 
okay take care. 
see you soon!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

for now.

no time for words but here are some pictures... an inside tour to come soon. I have so much to blog but no time.. bear with me. I'll be back with lots to share :)

this is our backyard.

in all her loveliness. i still get shivers when we drive up.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

open doors

This week has been a whirlwind.. beautifully chaotic. A little back story. We moved to Winkler in 2006 and moved into a house my parents lovingly picked for us. It was a small, quaint, lovely home we brought our boys home too and lived in for about 19 months. It was small and having twins had us outgrow it quickly. We also had come from missions and being self employed. At that time in Winkler there was nothing to buy that was used and no completely abused or overpriced so we decided to build. It was the best bang for our buck. So with employment under our belt and a good selling market we put our house up for sale and built the house we live in now. We moved into it January 2008. It's a nice house. We poured ourselves into it picking out each thing. Knowing in our minds it was never our dream. I love old, vintage, unique and character. This house checks none of those boxes.
We have been happy here since we moved and could have been happy here till we were old. Until one day last week I was just mindlessly flipping through the Lifestyles magazine (local real estate mag) I set my eyes on the most beautiful house. Old 2 story house with a wrap around porch. I read the description (although it had me at wrap around porch) and felt goosebumps. It was in a village about 5 minutes south of Winkler. I wish I could describe to my non manitoban friends what a village is but I can't. You would never get it even if I tried. Anyways... I had to see this house. But we were happy here?? why look. I just had too.
I called up our Realtor friend and asked him to set something up for that Thursday. I had an appt south of town anyways.. it would do no harm to look right?
The night before we drove up to it just to look and it seriously took my breathe away.. did something emotionally in me. I couldn't wait to get inside.
It did not disappoint. I walked through each room and it gave me that feeling! Old farmhouse.. orginal hardwood floors, trim, radiator covers, old doors and knobs. Beautiful old wood stairs and staircase. Lots of windows. Updated kitchen and updated bathrooms - 2.5 of them :)
The house had been moved in 2003 onto a new basement with a walkout!! A WALKOUT! seriously... It's on an acre with woods and a creek as backdoor neighbors.
I tried to reign myself in knowing that Dave would most likely not feel the same way. We made another appt to look the next afternoon.
We had to take the boys this time. They took off exploring the minute we got out of the van. Dave had the feeling too... I remember being in the basement and him walking out the double french doors into the backyard.. there was something about his shoulders and the way he let out a breath.. I could tell he was also in love. It was as if you could just picture our boys growing up here and playing. Having freedoms they didn't have now. A sense of adventure.
To make a long story short. We waited till the following Tuesday when my dad came back from vacation to have him walk through it. His final stamp of approval went something like. "Village living is not for me. But if I was you with a young family I would move here!" Done. Thanks Dad.
The next few days we made offers, countered, sold our house and were approved at the bank. Papers were signed and we are now owners of this beautiful house!
Possession is this coming Friday and we have til Nov 1 to be out of our house. It's been a crazy week and the next few won't be easy.. but when a door opens you just sometimes got to run through it. This is the only pic I have right now. I am going there tomorrow and will take more pics. I'll update this post when I have them.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


that's how many comments I got on my last post.. the five of which i am very thankful for. but blogging is hard work and time consuming and i realize i was gone for awhile but that was part of it. do i have time and energy to blog for 5 people to read it.. i'm not sure.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

20 things...

1. Show us the inside of something cute
My apron drawer.

2. What's the last homecooking you had?
-Yesterday's meal made by my parents for my birthday which was plate licking good... pork tenderloin with mango chutney, bak
ed potatoes (loaded), bread sticks, shake & bake broccoli and DQ cookie jar blizzard ice cream cake!

3. What do you miss? (alive)
Lately my good friends Rusty & Lynette who are missionaries living in thailand. They had a baby 2.5 months early and are really struggling. You can read more on them and Baby Olive Hope HERE. They are just such good people... I would give anything to be eating a sampler at Denny's right now. Maybe even in Shelton, WA. If you are the praying kind or even if your not These guys need it!!

4. What makes you laugh often?

These guys - seriously.

5. What's your favorite word?

6. What are you trying to quit?
Eating. and spending money.

7. What's your favorite commercial right now?

hmm good questions. I am a fan of all mac vs pc commercials.. very funny.

8. Whose style do you dig?
Design Goddess Sarah Richardson
Fashion - Jillian Harris! Take me shopping with you Jill!

9. Link to a great blog you've discovered lately...
I can't think of a new one I am still stuck on apartmenttherapy. especially now.

10. What's the last craft you made?
I scrapbooked for 11 hours last weekend at a crop.. these are most of the layouts I made.

11. A photo of the last happy mail you got :]
Gift Cert from my sister in law's for my birthday... they bought me still pants :)

12. Something you've got lately?

13. What are you looking forward to?

mmmm moving. we bought a new house.. i know for real!!

14. Post a recent snapshot of yourself.
yes i know it's not just me.. but it's cute.

15. Recent Favorite Movie?
have not seen any good ones lately cause winkler does not get good movies so I am changing the question to recent favorite music?
my friend master dj chris mixed a wicked mix for my party... on it are the most amazing, thoughtful songs.. my current faves are:
Lucky - duet by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat. Fix You - acoustic version of Coldplays kick ass song. It give me chills and does something to me emotionally and most often physically. And many more. I plan on posting the complete play list soon.

16. Something you're working on right now?
Planning a banquet for 20 with the other half of Master Chris. Mastress Crystal. It's next thursday and is going to be amazing.

17. If a movie were made about you, who would play you?
Keri Russel.. I just like that girl.

18. What gives you goosebumps?
hearing about miracles and hearing Chris Martin.

19. Share a new obsession.
Design.. mainly wallpaper and paint.

20. What's the meaning of your life
To live with intention and integrity. To love and allow myself to be loved by others and myself.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

generally speaking...

Okay here is the last one. It's not so much a tour but a clear window into the necessities that make me a person.

Coffee - I love coffee... good coffee. Most of my favorites can't be found here but reside on the lovely streets of Commercial Drive in Vancouver... so I will settle for Starbucks. Beans or the Tassimo version. I love my tassimo and will make most anything in it so those pods are great too. Tim GC's are also good... I am known to frequent the drive through for a cup of black coffee and two apple tim bits for my little bits.
I collect mugs.. I LOVE mugs. Right now Starbucks has a gorgeous Canada Mug...

Red Wine - I like.

Scrapbooking - A pleasurable hobby of mine so gift certs to My Scrap Shoppe are a great thing for me.

Pampering - I belive that every woman needs severe pampering and I am in need. Charity Faye would be a lovely spot to spend several hours having body scrubs, rubs, pedi's, and facials... ahhhhhhhh

Itunes - I love filing my ipod with good songs to listen to while I cook, bake and run.

That's me in a nutshell. I will be leaving the internet world for the 10 days starting the 15th (Tuesday). You can reach me via email. I will check in once every day.
I have been feeling like a big pile of garbage lately and it's not going to go away unless I start doing something about it. I want to prepare for this next year by going through myself and filling me with good things... so I need a break from the distraction that keeps me from pressing in and getting rid of the garbage. I'll be back... I'm excited to start this next chapter in my life.
I'll be back.. better than I was before. Loves!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

enter the bedroom...

not what you are thinking.. we are continuing to tour my house in hopes of you getting to know me better. my bedroom is boring. the contents of my closet are boring. mostly black. a bit of grey and purple and one white shirt.
i own 26 cardigans (not all of them are worn often). i LOVE cardigans.
here is what's missing:

This gorgous clear Umbra Partridge Jewlerry tree. It would look great on my dresser and would add a practical element to my life. All my jewlerry lays crumpled in a box in my drawer. Those birds are soooooooooooo cute.

Gift Certs:
Lets face it every girl loves a good gift certificate. You can buy them for me here:
RW & Co.
ugg that's all I can think of. Wish I lived somewhere with cooler stores.
Ikea - for online catalog ordering
Target - for the next time I go south.

Urban Barn
We need nice alarm clocks.. cute ones. something retro and round.

Wanna buy a gift and make a difference. TOM'S SHOES seriously. Buy a pair and they give a pair to a needy person in a third world country. Amazing company. Cute Shoes. I would take them in grey and they have a this one is GORGEOUS. Size 6.5

So many cute things. Now get out of my bedroom!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


So I am turning 30 in 29 days!!!!! In lieu of that I declare this month all about me. Okay what the heck I declare this year one for ME!
I am starting a new series. Things I want. I will tour you around my house and give you ideas on what to buy me (for those who are asking)
Take a look around my kitchen. These are the things missing.

Recipe book holder like this one by Umbra Prop Cookbook Stand

Here are the top three cookbooks missing from my home:
1.) The Mennonite Treasurey

2.) The Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook

3.) Real food for healthy kids

These are by far the cutest aprons i have ever laid my eyes on. Thank you

Good Grips locking tongs like my favorite chef Crystal owns... they look so nice and since she says she has to have them.. so do I.

and last but not least I have always wanted one of THESE!!!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

best thing i ever did...

was to marry this guy.
he is one in a million.
i love you.
happy five years babe!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

brought to you by the letters a & n

What you would have heard the other day at the Difran house.... I'll set the scene for you.
Chaos everywhere... dirty crumb filled floors, dishes on the island leftover from breakfast, sippy cups line the window sill, some spilt milk running down the couch, cars, trains and anything else with wheels litter the floor strewn down the hallway, every light on, treehouse is the background noise along with whines, screams, slapping (each other).
Mom curled up in a ball on the couch pleading for help... mostly cries for Jesus to come help us and make it all make sense.
Not much changes in 5 minutes except Mom is now consoling Noah who has tripped and fallen on poor Bertie the Bus and is a wreck. Tears falling down both their cheeks wondering if we will see the end of this day. Ari walks over to Mom and says "It's okay Mommy Jesus is here and He will help you" You can imagine the smile that takes over her face as she looks into this little boys eyes.
"Thank you Ari. Can Jesus also help Noah?" Ari looks over at his brother and caresses his legs and says "Yes, Jesus can help you too Noah"
End scene.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

H Fest

Ahh another Harvest Festival done. This year was fun.. the boys are at such a good age for stuff like this. There is nothing quite like a small town festival. At least nothing quite like H Fest.
We took on the parade like every other year on my Aunt & Uncle's driveway... it has never felt quite complete since we are missing important family members.. but we have fun anyways :(
This year's parade was on of the best yet... not too many farm tractors or weird random mini vans with people waving. I felt there were even more floats than usual. The candy of course was good and what would a winkler parade be without farmer sausage burgers hot off the grill at 10AM.
The boys were so excited I thought they might pee their pants. Ari was right in the action holding out his hands for piles of candy while Noah was more content to either sit with Daddy or Grandma taking it all in from the comfort of being held.
We hung around and had lunch with the Loewen's. After quick naps we were up and at em to Fair Grounds with Grandma and Papa. The boys rode the ferris wheel.. thankfully not with me :) although I was that mother yelling for them to sit down from the bottom. They LOVED it. Me not so much.
Noah rode the train. They both took on the lady bugs and had a great time!

We met up with Jenelle and wandered to the petting zoo and the reptile trailer.
Ate delicious Mini Donuts and had lemonade.

After a quick stop at the rodeo we called it a day.
The boys stayed with my parents while Dave and I went to a good friend's birthday party.
An enjoyable great day.
Sunday we met with friends at the Fair Grounds for the Community wide worship service in the park. Nothing like a few thousand people worshiping God together in one space. Our church was actually on this year for Worship and they did a great job.
After lunch and naps we ended up back for another ride on the Ferris Wheel, more ladybugs and a carosal ride that almost made me loose my lunch. Another stop at the petting zoo and the rodeo and we were festivaled out.
We ate supper with friends at A&W and ended the evening playing outside in the backyard.
I was reminded over and over this weekend how blessed we are to live in a great community with family and great friends. Blessed.. I feel blessed.

See ya next year H Fest!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

eye candy.

Well due to our aging computer and it's state.. I can no longer upload photos to my computer so this blog will be boring for a bit. It's starting to get to me and hopefully after a few months on our new budget (insert fingers down throat motion here) we will be on our way to our new Mac Book :)
I also have an announcement to make but it requires a good blog post (it has NOTHING to do with anything like pregnancy!!!) I hope to have that at the end of the week... just a few inner thoughts to process first. So since I can't leave you with any of my own photos... go check out the lovely things that have been giving me inspiration lately....
Lovely Amy Olson has beautiful jewelery. Vintage handcrafted one of a kind. This Blue Dalia necklace caught my eye.

I have been on the hunt for a new clock for our dining room. I have a bunch of stuff to hang but it needs the right clock to go along side... I LOVE LOVE this Chartreuse Abstract Wall Clock.
This doily clock is also equally as gorgous.

Wow... this bag is beautiful from it's shape to it's color.. it sure would make the perfect fall bag...

And someway I am going to get my hands on one of these posters.. I have been wanting one for awhile now. Torn between the turquoise and the Sunny yellow.

Okay that's all my computer can take for now. I promise to be back by the end of the week. Enjoy yours!

Friday, July 24, 2009


I am so lucky to have such great friends. One in particular who always puts up with my little family and captures us beautifully. She did the same for my whole family and got us some great pics. You can check out the cream of the crop HERE.
Thanks Marcy.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

the value of meaningful friends

On a gorgeous Sunday evening we said good night to the boys, got in our friends car and traveled with them to Waterloo. It was a highlight being able to go to Morgan & Martha's for the next few days. Morgan is Dave's best friend and they are treasured friends to both of us. They have a lovely home and successful business! To say their home is lovely is an understatement. It was pure relaxation and eye candy. I felt instantly at home and purely relaxed. We were treated to Lychee Martini's and spent time on the patio before curling up in bed never to be woken by little ones.

Monday we woke up (after sleeping in till almost 9!!!) and were treated to a delicious breakfast and the best coffee I had tasted that trip. Lucky me, I got it for the next three days!! We had Toronto on the agenda for the day so after breakfast we drove there. I must admit first off I set myself up pretty good... I had been anticipating this for so long and had placed all my desires in this one city. I admit that this was my downfall. Most of the shops I wanted to go in were of course CLOSED on a Monday! Driving in Toronto is not pleasurable so I felt bad for our hosts. We did end up in lovely shops and I tried on magnificent dresses with price tags that almost gave Dave a coronary. After a few unsuccessful attempts we excelled at what we do best.. eating! We ate at an all you can eat Korean BBQ place. It was AMAZING!! Beautiful meats and side dishes all cooked in front of you. Morgan was master griller and I was so stuffed I was sure you would have to roll me out of there.

We headed down to the Eaton Centre and checked out some more shops. I made some purchases at H & M and regrettably walked away from a gorgeous pair of purple shoes at Town Shoes. After I stopped in Urban Outfitters and found some nice house stuff we set off in my top of the list destination.. Anthropologie. It did NOT disappoint. I was in love. I walked around the store for hours touching, looking and trying on things. I found dainty door pulls, industrial D's, some small gifts and a lovely dress fit for a girl about to turn 30!!

My shopping desire was fulfilled (for that day) and we headed to the second best place on earth The Bier Market. Whoa. Over a hundred beer and steller food to boot. We sat on the patio and decided on the sampler. We each got a different sampler which is 6 beers all beautiful placed on a lazy susan type thing. It was AWESOME! Dave and I shared Poutine and we had a great time!
After a long drive home we settled in for yet another night with no pitter patter....

Tuesday we decided to stick closer to their neck of the woods and explore the Tri-Cities (Cambridge - Kitchener - Waterloo).
After yet another yummy breakfast we set off to shop. Another very successful day of retail therapy for me! All in all we are talking. Clothes, Bedding, Shoes, and Decor.
We dined at an Indian Restaurant that was tantalizing to the taste buds. It had been so long since I had such good flavorful food. We also spent some great quality time with our friends and lingered over Chai Tea.
We went back to their place for a night cap.

Wednesday we had a leisurely day the kind you dream of when on vacation. We ate late, we played Wii, we spent time just chilling. We packed and sat out drinking beer in the afternoon. We decided we must eat All you can eat Sushi again and set off for another place they discovered. So good. We must have had 30 pieces of fresh Sashimi each. Buttery Salmon - YUM!
After our stomachs (well except for Dave who gained at least 10 lbs on this trip) were full we set off for Huron Park to reunite with our lovely little guys.

It was the best three days spent with friends who are generous, kind, warm and just make you feel like you are the most important people in the world! It was more meaningful than we could have imagined.

Next up. the end...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

vacation continued...

this has been the best vacation! i am blogging trying to document it all and its unfortunate I can't add photos yet but i don't want to loose the memories of what has happened. after i left you last we traveled to Dundas where Dave grew up. Omas house is vacant since she has moved in with daves parents so we were fortunate enough to settle down there for our time. the first day we got to see friends and the boys hung out at the park. i headed to ikea for some retail therapy which was super successful (although we will be bringing home many more suitcases then we came with) lol. we went for dinner and i was just amazed at how the boys were so well behaved all day. they really are growing up!! That evening I did one of my most favorite things when we head to Dundas. I went to the Westdale second cup with it's huge patio and read a book. I devoured "The Time Traveler's Wife" This vacation. It was the perfect spot for a good book and a latte. It made me feel full of life.

thursday we hung out with auntie ev and went to visit oma where she is staying while daves parents are gone (after we leave) it was nice to see her. after we headed home for lunch, naps and then spent time at Websters Falls with our good friends Morgan & Martha. Ontario is beautiful. The landscape and the great big green trees. They have beautiful parks and lovely water fall spots. We even climbed down (on stairs) to the bottom of the falls and graciously Morgan carried Noah back up for me. It was hard enough on my own.
After we fulfilled Noah and Ari's dream to ride a city bus. I can't wait for you to see the pictures... they were so excited. They loved sitting in the bus stop and were clapping with excitement as the bus came up. They put the monies in and we took our seats. Sometimes when you do something they love so much it's awesome to just watch their little faces and see them take in each thing through their eyes. We rode the bus to the plaza and at at East Side Mario's. We have learned on this trip as long as the boys can have Pasta a restaurant experience is a good one.Dave stayed to help me put the boys to nap and then he took off to spend a couple nights with Morgan.

Friday I was up with the boys and we went to pick up Auntie Ev and headed to the Dundas Driving Park. It was a hot gorgeous day. I can't even explain in details how awesome this park is. It has a splash pad and awesome wading pool. Multiple large play structures. Great green space and a fantastic view of the Escarpment. It was awesome. The boys loved it and all we had to do was stand in the water and watch them have a blast. We drove Auntie Ev to work and then home for naps. After we headed back to the park for more water fun. Had a McDonald's picnic, baths, books and went to bed. Ari struggled with sleep Friday night, I think he just missed Dave being there.

The weekend marked the time for DiFrancesco family fun. Dave's oldest sister Lydia and her boyfriend Dan (who we met for the first time) were out from Ottawa. Daves parents and sister Julia who live near London also came down. After Ari finally fell asleep I went over to Evelyn's and had drinks with the girls and Dan. Daves parents were also staying at Oma's and Evelyn lives in the house they grew up in right down the street. Its a lovely set up.
Dave arrived back early Saturday morning. Evelyn had prepared a nice family breakfast. We all crowded in her diniing room and had a great morning. The girls and I went to the mall for a bit around lunch time while the kids all went for naps. We had fun browsing.
After all the kids were up we headed as a family back to the park so the kids could run around. We also celebrated Dave's parents 30th anniversary with some things prepared for them. It was great to all be together. With the threat of rain we headed back for a nice family supper.
After the kids were in bed.. all the adult kids headed to a local pub and we had a blast!!! Probably the most fun I have had with the whole gang. It was so nice to just be together.
Enjoying maybe a few too many pitchers of Rickards White, Nachos and for Dan and Dave ending the night with cheeseburgers at midnight in mcdonald's.

Sunday we all headed to the church they grew up in and took some awesome family shots before hand in the courtyard. The service was awesome... most awesome was how well Ari & Noah did. They even went to Sunday school (of course they will do just about anything with Zoe who is their cousin and she's 4.) I also was extremely blessed by the guest speaker. A young woman from Rwanda with an amazing life story. She is a genocide survivor and was 11 when the Militia killed all her family. She tells a courageous story of God's redemption and forgiveness. It was moving.

After church we took the boys back to Ev's and left them with Grandma and Abuelo. The adult kids ended up at all you can eat Sushi. A place in Hamilton we visit whenever we are in town. SOoooooooo good! A few close friends also joined us and we ate and ate and ate and ate. It was fabulous.

We said goodbye to Lydia and Dan who had to get back to Ottawa and then headed back to the house. There was a nice family supper (which we ate none of) and got to see Dave's Aunt and Uncle as well.

After the boys were in bed we packed up and headed out with Morgan and Martha to Waterloo where we spent the next three days of pure relaxing vacation time.

Till next time......

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

day 1, 2 & 3

It is nice to be on vacation. It's been a bit hard to adjust.. mostly for me. Just trying to relax and undwind. The boys have been pretty good for the most part. Lacking in the sleep area which makes them kind of cranky but mostly good.

The airplane ride was fantastic. Other than almost being late and the plane waiting for us.. ooops.
The boys loved it. They were fascinated with everything. We flew westjet so the personal tv's were awesome. They got to watch Treehouse and were so cute with my ipod ear buds in their ears. Eating snacks and playing with the trays. They loved looking out the window and were just excited the whole time but sat nicely and didn't fuss around. The flight went by so fast and before I knew it we were on the ground being greeted by Grandma D and Abuello. The boys took to them quickly and we had even more fun watching the bags come off the belt.

We were greeted by Julia and Zoe as soon as we got to Huron Park (which is where they live.. about 40 minutes from London) in the middle of nowhere. :)
Ari, Noah and Zoe have become instant friends and they love being together. Sunday was rough cause Saturday night did not hold much sleep for any of us. I overestimated them and their need for a play pen or something. They were up LOTS and it was hard to stay sleeping for long.
We did end up borrowing two on Sunday which has made a vast improvment.
We had a disasterious church expereince with very overtired boys and after a nap they were much better... We spent most of the day outside just hanging out. Auntie Ev came over in the afternoon and we had a great day!

Monday was amazing. The whole day. Ev made us all breakfast and then Auntie Ju, Zoe, Grandma, Abuello and all of us spent the day in Grand Bend and the beach!! It was glorious. Perfect weather. I forgot how nice going to a beach on a huge lake is. (This was Lake Huron).
After lunch the kids all even napped on the beach in the shade of a big tree. I can't load pics on this computer but will when we get back. It was so cute to see all three of them cuddled up on a blanket. Julia and I check out the strip and did some shopping and ended with the best smoothies ever!!!

It was a great time. We had a nice dinner here at home and then after the boys were in bed Dave and I got out to Exeter (the nearest small town) and walked around the park and enjoyed a nice coffee. It was nice to just be together with nothing else to do.

Today was good. We spent the morning in London at Kidscape. It was this huge indoor play place (it was raining). So much fun for the kids (and adults).

Tomorrow we head to Dundas to spend the next few days anticipating seeing good friends and having the whole family together again this weekend includinig Dave's older sister Lydia and her boyfriend Dan who we are very excited to meet.

I plan to shop Ikea on Thursday and look forward to our time away from kids in Toronto with friends early next week. I won't have much computer access after tonight. Other than checking email on my phone :)

Just wanted to update more for me than you I guess. Wish I could show you pictures.. but that will come.

Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

mental memory

I am officially on holidays!!!! School is over for another year and although their were some yucky goodbyes it was a great last day!

so today was such a good day. i didn't take out my camera once which is sad so here is my mental memories for today that can't be forgotten.

Happy Canada Day
-dave is off today!!!
-scrambelled eggs, turkey bacon and coffee for breakfast
-packing up sand toys and picnic lunch
-heading to the beach with my whole family (including Ruby & Crystal)
-spending a great morning sitting in the sun with everyone having so much fun.
-picnic lunch in the sand
-heading downtown for Canada Day festivities that included: blow up bouncy things, big bouncy slide, petting zoo, a ride on a train, getting to help the fireman with the water hose. (all of the above things my big boys did with no trepidation!!
-heading back to my parents for margaritas and more family time
-iceburg for supper
-yummy coffee and conversation
-crashing at home after a long day in the sun with a one sided sunburn and a full tummy.
-life is good!

and just because i want to leave you with some pictures of this past week...

taken at our church picnic just to document the amazing ways my kids are exactly like their dad.

and in honor of the amazing woman who made this last year so easy and who loves my kids and all her kids with the most grace and generosity of Spirit. we will miss her this summer and look forward to being there again in fall!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

random june

I am in awe that it's almost the end of june. I have one week left of work before being off all summer. And a bit less than two weeks till we head to Ontario. We are also gearing up for mega loewen family fun as my brother and his family are going to be here by the end of the week. I am so looking forward to that!
We've been enjoying the weather that June has brought.. finally summer. We have been working on the yard. We planted seed in the front and have seen it start to come up. I planted a flower bed along with a tree. I just need to finish edging it. I picked out paint for our front door.. I went with pale avocado which goes so nicely with the old vintage blue milk jug that I inherited from my aunt. It was a long story of how it ended up here but I am so happy it did. It carries even more meaning knowing that it came from her farm where she grew up. I love that it's the star of my house.the picture is taken because I had thought I wasn't getting it and Dave surprised me with it one morning. I was so happy!!!
There has also been lawn mowing going on at our house. This picture is especially funny because if you notice the contrast in the lawn it's actually from Dave fertilizing one early morning and obviously not in a strait line. Too funny. You may be able to see it here but the boys are Dave in mini form. In all ways. It's fun to watch them.

We also got to welcome Baby Gavin this month! We had been waiting for him and he is so sweet. I almost forgot how nice a newborn can be.....

We also enjoyed the zoo a couple weekend ago with amazing friends. I don't have great photos nor can I outblog the story. So you can read about it in two places HERE or HERE. Such fun, Such good friends.

Dave is super busy at work these last few weeks. He has been working a ton of overtime so he's tired and we are all so ready for a vacation.
So from the difrans for now we send you all this loving.. for free :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009


In only a couple weeks we leave for vacation. We are going to Southern Ontario to visit Dave's family. Now to all of you who live there and read this.. I am 100% most excited to see you and visit and just hang out. You will love the boys and we will all have so much fun!! That said this post is now completely 100% also dedicated to the shopping that I have been anticipating for over 6 months now. I have been diligent and putting my pennies away and making route maps online of all the stores I will enter. If you are not from Manitoba you will not appreciate the lack of stores we have and how most of us have to travel to do some good shopping.. so to take you on a tour here is where you may find me in ontario this July.

Anthropologie - I have been here before but I was still insecure with my taste and style. I can't wait to walk around and see all the beautiful things I will surely want to by. All I have to do is browse the catalogue and I get goose bumps. Check it out HERE.

H&M - nuff said.

West Elm- never been but my love of decor always leads me to online shop here. It is mentioned often in House & Home magazine. I have been wanting a new light blanket for summer sleeping and this organic set screamed at me. And this lovely display of birds is beautiful.

Designer Fabric Outlet - for the LOVE of fabric. Oh my. I will be so happy here.

There are three antique/vintage stores in Toronto on Yonge street that I have mapped out. They are favorites of Sarah Richardson herself. I am hoping I don't pee my pants.

Of course there will be the stop at Ikea. I have many prints waiting for frames. It will be nice to look at finally use a gift cards I have there. If we are being honest one trip probably won't cut it.

Pottery Barn - I can't wait to peruse the isles of decorating goodness. I would gladly take one of everything seen HERE. And I may just take this idea and run with it.

So as you can see my retail senses are on overload and I can't wait to hit the streets. I also have some days off from kids where I hope to dive into many more treasures. I am also on the search for a killer turning 30 party dress and a new purse. I am sure Ontario will not disappoint.
Happy Shopping!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

3 year olds know how to party

well noah and ari are three. and yes their party has come and gone. i just fell behind. but better late than never here are a few shots to show the excitement. we did a cars theme. and of course no party is complete without hats.and friends and food.. notice the estrogen overload.
we decorated. yes i made those puffs.. they were supposed to be easy cause martha said so but i found them a bit more time consuming than i thought..
the cakes of all cakes. thanks to amanda of course. the boys were speechless and couldn't believe they had theire own lightening and doc. the cakes alos tasted AMAZING!
and what party would be complete without presents. the boys were thrilled!!

before and after

ok so as requested here is a photo of the makeover of my lovely mcc chairs ...

before. and after.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


i am in the process of a birthday bash post but in the meantime.. i found some great thrift finds last week at MCC. the chairs (there were two) have already been painted a lovely glossy white and look amazing with my egg chairs (also a find at mcc). the vintage quilt with flowers is even lovlier in person and although there is no baby on the way or in the works it was too lovely to pass up. the yellow blanket is crocheted with obvious love in my favorite color. dreamy. if i could live near amazing thrift/vintage stores i would be so happy. do you like to thrift?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

turning three

I feel proud today. My boys are three! I have three year olds!

It’s hard to imagine those little teeney tiny guys in the NICU are now these handsome stocky boys. I celebrate you today Ari & Noah not only for who you are but who you have made me.

Ari you are so goofy and fun loving. You are stubborn and hard headed. You are funny and love to play rough. You love trains, tractors and anything with wheels. But your heart has been stolen by anything from the Cars movie. You love Mack and Lightening and all their friends. You have an incredible imagination and can keep yourself occupied coming up with new scenarios for all your four or two wheeled friends.

You have a love/hate relationship with growing up I think.. you are still holding on to your soother (thankfully only for naps and nighttime) You were fully potty trained till this week when you decided you didn’t want to be anymore and could care less how much pee you walk around in. You love to drink out of cups but often want to be carried like a baby. You still love your frog stuffy. And there are not many places you go where he doesn’t follow.

I see strength in you and the quality of a leader. I can only hope you continue to grow in your individuality. I love you.

Oh Noah my sweet soul. You have a depth of character already and such a sensitive heart. You are hurt easily but after some cuddles can usually bounce back quickly. As much as you love people you also love quiet time. You use imagination as an art form. You can quickly immerse yourself in the life of tractors and trailers and ramping any emergency vehicle you can get your hands on. You love to be held and carried and I often feel such guilt when I realize all you want is my attention. I find some days I just need to sit and watch you in order for you to feel content. Like your brother you love anything with wheels. I find you talk more than Ari not necessarily to anyone but you love to make up games in your head and talk to your cars. You also love to drive and point out where we are and what we passed. You yammer on and on about combines and busses and tractors and the bells in the tower at the church down the road. I hope you continue to love people to wholeness.

I love you through & through.

Bedtime has evolved into such fun these days (ok still some fighting too but mostly fun) you must read books and daddy reads them the best (let me tell you a secret though and one day you will find out he doesn’t really read the words but is awesome at telling the story through the pictures) You then curl up in your big boy beds and we sing three songs.. Jesus loves me, Alive Alive and Deep & Wide... the later two thanks in part to Shirley. We then go through the list of your favorite people and pray for them including things you may have seen that day.. ie. praying for buses, excavators and bells.

I can't wait for you to see what we got you this year. An awesome train table with some train sets. Hopefully hours and hours of fun.

My wish for you this next year is that you would always feel safe and loved, unafraid to try new things and that we would instill a sense of identity in each of you that is unlike any other and each your own.

Love love love you.