Thursday, December 27, 2012

Adventures in Christmas Part 1

This year has been an interesting one. Many changes, experiences, and circumstances have occurred. And each one has ranged greatly on the emotional scale. Thankfully through it all, we choose to trust that Christ has walked (and sometimes carried) with us through it all.

Some of these experiences have played a large role in my perspective of Christmas. In general I've always enjoyed Christmas. Growing up, I remember a section of my life in which we were spoiled at Christmas time. It truly was excessive. But I loved it anyway...well, mostly the stockings. They were my favourite; a stocking full of treasures to go through. As I began to grow and life began to change, so did my view and perspective of Christmas. There were times when I didn't enjoy it all and wished it would just pass like any other day. And then I went through a lovely season in which I began to get back to the heart of Christmas, and thoroughly enjoyed the season of Advent.

This year I had wanted to "get my act together" and have something prepared for each Advent week, but alas, it did not happen...we even missed the first two weeks of Advent at church. Regardless, changes were being made in my heart, and circumstances and happenings seemed to be aligning; pieces of my puzzle were being put into place.

It's hard to describe in writing how everything seemed to fit into place, mostly because everything is so all-over the place! But I'll do my best. I guess, in a nutshell, the pieces of my puzzle came together to reshape my thoughts of Christ and Christmas.

I completed a Beth Moore study on the book of James; my family has gone through some very dark and life altering times; I've had encounters with people that just seemed to leave me questioning humanity; I've read books; I've watched movies; I've heard some tragic news; I watched powerful thought-provoking messages; I've read perspective changing prayers. And all of it, played out at different times and in different ways has reshaped the way I view, not only Christmas and Christ, but life, heart, humanity, and purpose.

It became apparent to me that we truly are living in a war. We were born into a war. And we have the choice to decide if we want to acknowledge that or not. It became apparent to me that we have to choose to fight for our lives, and the lives of those around us.

So many people question God and His goodness because of the happenings of this world. I've done it, and I'd risk saying so have you. And well, I suppose it's a valid question, IF you have no idea who God the Father is and who His Son Jesus Christ is. But if you do know them, then I think it is not only unfair, but ignorant. I've questioned God numerous times about the lack of justice happening in the world, and even more recently how this or that could happen to me/my family. Looking back though, when I truly think about it, I begin to question myself and my ignorance on the matter. Who am I to question the I Am?

Enter in some life changing news: the Father & His Son weep when tragedy strikes. He doesn't just sit back and watch, thinking well, they chose this life. Nope, not even close. He weeps; His heart breaks. And its what makes the true Christmas story that much more amazing. God the Father sent His Son, so that I may have life and live that life to the fullest. And, HOW the Father chose to bring His Son into the world is just as incredible: as a baby, on the run, wrapped in swaddling cloth. He was born into a mess. He was being hunted the moment He physically arrived. And then, His entire life was messy; full of anguish, and turmoil, and deceit. And yet, it was beautifully orchestrated; full of mercy and grace and heart, and a love purer than any other.

So, I've come to a new perspective: if my Saviour was born into a mess, and lived a messy life, what makes me think that I'm going to get away with living a mess-free, pain-free life? Thinking about it logically doesn't make much sense for me. If Christ fought the Enemy from birth and was engaged in a battle long before He even came to earth, and I am called to live a life worthy of Christ, then why would I not also be engaged in this battle? Why would I be exempt?

It makes life that much more understandable once this is realized. And I mean truly realized. And it sheds light on the entire "Christmas Story". A babe, born at night, in a stable with dirty smelly animals, wrapped in cloths meant for the dead, and then soon after being hunted. My Lord and Saviour chose to come anyway. He chose to be born for me, so that even though "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy," I "may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10)

I hope this Christmas was a joy & blessing for you all. I pray that you were able to have a few moments where you were just in awe of the beauty of the real Christmas story, for there is nothing greater than the glorious story of our Saviour.

Merry Christmas to you

**An inspiring prayer can be found here
**A thought-provoking video here
**An intense, thought-provoking book review (book)
**A powerful study here
**A new perspective on prayer here

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Adventures in -28 degrees

Well as most would guess, it can get quite cold up here! Much colder than down in the Fraser Valley. It is quite a different cold, and I was told that it's a lot easier to get use to. It's a drier cold than in the FV, which makes it easier to warm up, or so I was told. Realistically, -28 is well, -28. And I don't care where one is, it's still cold!!

Recently since we've began to change up Ben's diet he has been wanting to go for walks after school in the evenings. Yep, you read that right: Ben has been instigating walks! I know. I was shocked too. But it's been great. We all get bundled up and head out for a family walk.

Now let me explain "bundled up" to you: I personally wear 2 pairs of pants, plus my snow pants. An undershirt, a t-shirt, 2-3 long sleeve shirts, a hoodie, a down-vest and my winter jacket. I then also have on my snow boots and gloves. Ben wears his insulated coveralls that are good in -50 degree weather. And course we have Adelynne in a onsie, sleeper, hoodie, snow-suite, gloves, with a pair of fuzzy slippers over top, a touque, and then covered in 1-2 blankets, depending on how cold it really is. That's a lot of clothes. No matter what way you look at it, it's a lot of clothes! Thankfully Adelynne is always warm, and Ben usually unzips a couple layers...but for some reason I am always still cold!! I can't get warm no matter how many layers I wear, or how big I get...if I'm going to keep living up here I think I'm going to need to invest in some good quality clothes that actually keep one warm!!

So it's been snowing quite a bit too, but the other day it finally cleared up. Which meant that the weather became quite cold: -28. Yep -28. But, we needed to get some stuff from Shoppers, so we bundled right up and went for a walk. Jeepers was it ever cold out!!

Here are some photo's of our lovely walk:

Bundled up & Ready to go!

My hair started to turn white!
So cold the frost is creeping up!

Happy Baby!

That is one large suite! At least he stays toasty warm :)

Getting Sleepy on the way home
It was incredibly beautiful day! Clear blue sky. Glistening white snow. It was beyond freezing, but we enjoyed ourselves :)

Hope to hear from you all soon!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Adventures in New Dinners

I felt that this was post worthy. Tonight I made a new dish for dinner: Rice with Raw Broccoli & Kale Pesto. It's suppose to be made with Orzo, but since Adelynne has bad reactions to gluten, and both Ben & I shouldn't eat it either I made it with Sprouted Brown Rice.

This dish is made with broccoli, kale, garlic, lemon juice, soaked almonds, olive oil, and basil. None of these are cooked. It's all raw. Blended up in my trusty Vitamix. Once it's mixed you blend it with the rice. And I made salmon to go with it, covered with lemon, onion, dill, and sea salt.

Now, we've been changing up our diet lately, which requires me to find new recipes. I am astonished at how many people don't like to try new things!! If you tell someone it's gluten free they walk away from like its diseased. And I wonder how many would be willing to try this raw broccoli & kale pesto dish. Well, I obviously loved it. I found it quite enjoyable. Ben enjoyed it so much he had seconds of it.

The best part: my daughter ate a big plate of rice & pesto and had seconds of the salmon!! Seriously. She gobbled it right up. I don't many kids that would gobble this kinda dish up, let alone even try this brilliantly coloured green dish. And that's one of the many, many reasons why I love my baby. She eats so many different things!! I love love love it.

I wish I had pictures to share, but this time I don't. I will however have some very shortly (not to mention, I actually just updated our picture site!).

On another note, some of Adelynne's most recently added words are: Elmo, Amen, eye (which she points to first, and quite literally pokes you/it in the eye), varoom/zoom (which is in reference to how fast a car goes), and she now signs sleep, shark, popcorn, and has been doing quite well at learning the actions for "slippery fish" and "my God is so big." She's also learning to put 2-3 signs/words together. She can now sign more water please (water is a new sign for her too).

Well, to say the least, I am very very pleased with my little girl; also very much in love with her...more and more everyday. She is bright, cheerful, smart, loving....ah well, you know I could go on and on and on...she really does bring a smile to my face :)

Good night!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Adventures in Shamelss Plugs

Before I actually get into my post here, I just wanted to share two important things, that you are ALLOWED to spread the news about!!

1. I deactivated my Facebook profile; I didn't delete you as a friend.

2. We moved northern, we didn't die.

There seems to be some confusion on these two truths. I know it might be hard to fathom, but both of those statements are VERY true. Simply put, I understand that it does take more effort to keep in contact when someone moves away and deactivates something so huge such as Facebook. BUT there are plenty of avenues to keep in touch with us Schartner's up here (e-mail, snail-mail, phone, this blog, our picture site). So if there is a preferred method for you and you need some info, then feel free to ask :) Also, at the risk of sounding rude, or harsh, or whatever you think, I would like to point out that it also takes effort for us to keep relationships going. We know people have busy lives back home; we also have busy lives up here. Therefore, we do tend to put more effort in where effort is reciprocated. If someone isn't taking any time to keep in contact with us, then the chances of us drifting apart and us not seeing them at home visits is obviously much higher. This is reality, not meant to hurt anyone's feelings.

Now that that's out of the way, lets get to this! A bit ago I had decided that I was going to start typing shorter blogs more frequently. So much for that one. But it's not because I don't want to, rather it's because I am trying to spread my time between multiple things: parenting, marriage, housekeeping, pregnancy, trying to make new friends, Bible study & homework, reading/personal time and building a business. With so many things on the go, and without a time increase, it can be hard to juggle many things and give the appropriate time to each one. And I'm finding that things don't just take 5 quick minutes any longer...

This post (as the title suggests) I am going to share with you what has become a large part of my life: building a home business. Now, most get squirmish and negative when this comes up. There are many opinions that come out of the woodwork when network marketing comes into the conversation...and too much, I am learning, is negative, unprecedented, and ill-informed. So for this post, I am going to encourage you to read without judging; keep an open-mind. You might find something you've been looking for ;o)

The home business that I am trying to build is with the company SendOutCards (SOC). I originally got started with this company just before I got married so that I could have an easier way to send out my invites and my thank-you cards. Then, I fell in love with the system. I could send a card with the click of a button; I know longer had to remember to get stamps or envelopes, or remember to drop the card in the mail. This was awesome. Not to mention I could send a gift with my card if I chose to! Fan-freaking-tastic!!

But building the business then wasn't at the top of my list; and while I knew that others were making money with the company, it still seemed a little far fetched for me...I didn't think it was possible.

Over the next year or so there were moments when I really wanted to get working at building a business, but excuses were around every corner. The biggest one being that no one was interested in signing up because of the joining fee.

Well, not too long ago, I once again felt that I should really work at building a business with SendOutCards. I mean, after all, not only is that the reason why I originally signed up to be a distributor, but I was (am) still LOVING the system!

The joining fee no longer existed, and the options to become a customer had become much simpler, so it was much easier to share with others.  So I began to take it seriously. And by seriously I mean, I started learning about network marketing from those who are already successful at it (which, by the way, I am HUGE believer in - if you want to know about something, learn from those who are considered experts in it). I've been reading books; following those who are successful in SendOutCards; listening in to weekly conference calls. I created business cards - with the SOC photo store of course! And I began re-sharing it with those one had once shown an interest. And I have even begun sharing it strangers.

Why all this?? One might ask. Simple: I believe in my product and believe that everyone could benefit from it, for either personal or business use (or both!!). It's a fantastic product: sending out greeting cards for under $2/card, including postage, and all I have to do is type. The company does the rest. And my recipient then receives a high-quality, heartfelt card that could be personalized to various degrees.

And, not only do I love the product itself, I love how the company was founded and their philosophy: Send Out to Give. Again simple. Why send a card? Because people deserve to know when they are appreciated; when you are grateful for them; when they've done a good job; that it was nice meeting them; when they've completed something wonderful in their life; that graduating is a big deal. They deserve to be celebrated for their birthdays and anniversaries and other important moments in their life. And the amazing thing is, once you start appreciating others and lifting others up, you begin to feel better yourself. One of the greatest things I'm learning through all of this is the importance of personal development - and not the worldly mumbo-jumbo stuff either. Concrete, real-life changing, positiveness that actually is Biblical. God doesn't want us to be depressed or negative or self-seeking. And network marketing promotes the opposite of all these too. Win-win. 

Now, I encounter many excuses from people for not wanting to sign up....this beating around the bush use to really irritate me, mostly because I don't like to beat around the bush. Straight up answers is how I like to roll. Those are the best. But thankfully, I'm learning, it doesn't have to bother me; I KNOW how great my product and the value it provides. And it's not my problem if someone else doesn't see it. Another growth. Ahh, a happy sigh :)

With SendOutCards, not only can you send a fantastic greeting card for under $2/card, you can add your own handwriting, your own signatures, your own pictures, add a variety of elements, use one of the 18,000+ cards, or create or your own. You can send a postcard, a two-panel card, a tri-fold card, or a BIG card. And you can add a gift. Simple. Easy. Amazing.

So, if you want to know more about the how it works, about how to start your own life-changing gratitude challenge, or want to give the system a free test drive,  then contact me (or click one of the links & watch a short video). Christmas is coming up, and you can use a pay-as-you-go account to see how wonderfully easy you can send out those personalized Christmas cards this year. You're never obligated or receive spam. No someone who could use this service? Put them in contact with me. I guarantee that if you start sending out a heartfelt card a day, not only will you touch lives, your life will be touched.

I'm looking forward to helping you and someone who know develop a life full of more gratitude.

Take Care!

PS. Ben & Adelynne & growing baby are all doing well. Ben has one more month of school left (Hallelujah!) and Adelynne is again, still learning something everyday :) Her vocabulary is expanding everyday too :) And the little babe growing is actually somewhat noticeable now...which is a delight to some ;o)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Adventures In Daily Change

Well, our anniversary has birthday has past...and now Thanksgiving has past too. Did I mention summer has past by as well? We are now officially into fall weather up here. But summer did last into very late September, and it was beautiful!

Adelynne is now 15 months old, and I am 18 weeks along - and therefore we are both growing and changing a lot. Adelynne learns/does something new pretty much everyday. I am always overjoyed when she does something new, and rightfully so. I believe every parent should be ecstatic when a new challenge overcome or new skill is conquered. As we grow older we begin to take for granted the little things that we can do, and the things we know. Ady now knows a bunch of her body parts: nose, ears, eyes, mouth, teeth, head, toes, fingers, hair, belly button (which she is so enamoured with!), and tummy. It's quite adorable to watch her point them out when we ask her where all those parts are: she pats her head continuously...pokes herself in the eye...wiggles her fingers while at the same time pointing to them with each hand. She is also saying a lot more words as well as signing more too. She's known dog and dad/daddy/dadda, and done for awhile now. She now knows sock, shoe, poop (yes, poop, in my early attempts to potty train, I would like her to be able to tell me when she needs to poop or has gone - I WILL have her completely potty trained before next baby Schartner comes along!!). Her signing has greatly improved - she had refused to sign please for quite some time, and then one day she just decided to do it. We were thrilled!! So she signs and says please, done, more, and play. We're working on thank-you. And we know that she knows a bunch of other words (she's learning things through books we read), because she has quite the extensive "Ady-Vocab." Everywhere we go people always comment on two things: how happy she is and how much she talks. And when she talks, she knows exactly what she is saying.

So not only is Adelynne growing in what she can say, sign, and find, her food tastes and sleeping habits are now changing too. Where as before my lovely little eater would eat everything but green beans, her diet now mostly consists of plain Greek yogourt (with honey & hemp hearts), any white cheese, bananas, and rice pasta (only if it's not leftovers though). Oh, as well as the energy bars, chia squares and coconut squares I make (which can be found here). But this is far from my choice!! Not to mention it has created a problem for bath times....which is oddly enough helping for potty training....So I am learning to become more creative with food. I thought the other day that by mixing the small-cut veggies into the pasta sauce she would eat them right along with the pasta. Wrong. Next time I am going to blend them up...yummy....

"Blinking" her eyes
Adelynne is learning how to be a really good copycat. She has already learned how to click her tongue, and she has been trying to snap her fingers for awhile now. She has recently decided that "blinking" her eyes is a lot fun and will copy you when you do it. It's actually quite humours to watch :)  

What else can I tell you about my beautiful little babe? Well, she loves to use cutlery now, and almost refuses to use her hands. She can drink from a straw (this was a long one - I know some kids get it right away, she was not one of them). She loves helping me in the kitchen. Enjoys colouring - expect when I take them away because she's eating them. But it was exciting when she finally saw how the crayons work on paper. She has a lot of fun colouring. Not so much with "magic mud" though (which is cornstarch & water). For some reason she doesn't like certain things on her hands, and this is one of those textures she just doesn't like.
A meal Ady actually enjoyed :)

Enjoying some colouring

Using her fork!
Eating a snack while helping mommy make cake
Look how tall she's getting!!!
Gotta get that finger in there to test the product!!

She LOVES the necklace from Hawaii!

In other news Ben has started his fourth and final year of electrical theory. This means that in less than three months he will be a journeyman. This then means that he will have a higher wage, which will result in us being able to pay down our debts at a faster rate. We are excited for this. Very excited.

Well I would like to update you on a few other things but my daughter is beckoning me...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Adventures in Camping

A few weeks back my husband was sent out of town for work. Since it's becoming quite nice out here, and we're up here to start saving money we thought it was a good idea for Ben to camp while out of town. It saved us a butt-load of money!! And it gave Adelynne & I the opportunity to go camping too!

So I posted the question on Facebook asking of those who have taken a baby camping before if they have any tips or hints they could pass along. I got a couple of basic answers: be OK with dirt, bring a playpen, bring something for white-noise, have fun, and bring wipes!

Adelynne & I picked a good sunny day to drive down to see daddy! We packed up our stuff and headed off! The drive from G.P. to Whitecourt is about 3hrs, and is incredibly gorgeous!!! It's so green, and lush, and just full of beauty! And wildlife!! There is quite the stretch that is actually labelled: "Moose Row" and there are a couple of big yellow moose signs to indicate that you had better be careful and keep your eyes open. Many probably don't know this about me, but I'm like a little kid when it comes to wildlife. Ben laughs at my reaction of seeing wildlife EVERY TIME! No joke! So here I am, driving, while trying to keep my eyes peeled for moose! Unfortunately, no moose on the drive down, but I did get to see dear, which is always fun.

Finally Ady and I arrive in Whitecourt and start looking for the camp ground. Now, since I'm from BC, when I think of the word "camping" it brings to mind fires, and tarps, and marshmallows, and of course, tents. So naturally I assume we're going to be camping. I was a little misled. I guess my first clue should have been the name of our campsite: "Camp-in Town." My second clue should have been the fact that our campsite was actually an RV site...we were the only tent in the site!

Add caption
But there we were, camping in our tent, our TWO room tent that is! When we go camping, we go luxury camping; it's awesome. We have our "bedroom" on one side and our "kitchen/living" on the other. And because Ben was camping for a month, he was able to get power into the tent, which allowed for a mini fridge, blender use, cell phone chargers, etc. Pretty sweet. If you notice in the picture, there is also enough space for his truck to fit underneath and beside. It was the largest tarp I have ever seen in my life.

I'd say we were pretty set up. Our set up made camping that much more enjoyable. And Adelynne seemed to do really well too! She loves playing outside, and checking things out, so it was so nice to give her this experience while she is so young. Hopefully she'll continue to love camping and the outdoors for life :)

Camping was such an enjoyable time: Ady and I just hung out, went for walks, and when she had her three hour afternoon nap, I read and caught up on Pinterst :) Such fun!

Now, of course, since Adelynne is a baby, and super curious, and teething, she loved to chew on rocks. I can't say that this is my favourite new thing of her's. She does have two bottom now, and it would be terrible if she were to chip one or something needless to say, I was constantly taking rocks out of her mouth. But not only does Ady like to chew on rocks, she likes to eat dirt/sand. Handfuls of it. Now, I'm not sure if other parents just let their babies eat dirt, because like I was warned, they'll get dirty, but I was a little apprehensive. I did however let her try some...heck, if you don't let them in front of you once to get it out of their system then they'll just keep doing it when you're not looking!! And thankfully I've also learned the are of distraction!!

Trying out some sand

Happy Girl!

We had a ton of fun going down to the river, eating outdoors, checking the town out, and of course, seeing daddy <3  Ben loved having us down too, and almost all of his work friends couldn't believe we were camping a) in a tent and b) with a a tent!

One of my favourite moments was getting to some dear...walking through our campsite :) They just came to get some food; I guess that tree just looked far better than any other!

Another favourite moment(s) was getting to watch Ady & Daddy, and just spending time out of the house as a family. When your husband works out of town, and 7 days a week, those family moments just seem to be that much more special.

I'm thankful for those few tips I received, but since having gone camping now, twice, I have a few tips of my own:

1. Bottled fed baby? While I still do majority nursing vs. formula, I still have to feed Ady formula, which requires boiled water. Solution: Bring a thermos. That way you don't have to keep boiling water for every feed. So much handier.

2. Bring a highchair. We have a kind that sits on a regular chair. I love it. This way I could give Ady some snacks while I'm making dinner, and they didn't get dirt all over them (unless she threw them of course...)

3.Water shoes. These little guys are brilliant. They are similar to socks, but they stay on the feet!! Her little feet & toes were safe the whole time. A worthwhile investment.

4. Be more than OK with the dirt. As one friend said: "kids are washable." Besides, if you're camping in or near a town there's usually a swimming pool...what a great way to get clean ;)

5. Take it easy & laugh often. Maybe this is just a regular life tip, but it sure helps when camping. Rain or shine. Tent or RV. Camping is a FUN time, not a stress time.

I hope you enjoy your summer and that you get out and take part in some fun family experiences. I think we might just go camping again.

PS. On my drive home, I got to see that moose I was looking for...and I yelled a myself...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Adventures in Growing

My husband is out of town, my brother-in-law has left, and my beautiful baby is napping...put it all together and that means that I get to put my "to-do" list on hold for a bit and type, a patiently awaited by some, update!

Today my daughter is 53 weeks, which means that in exactly 13 days she will One Year Old! Yikes! When people say that time begins to disappear the older you get they really aren't kidding!! I'm finding it hard to believe that its been nearly two years since I first found out that I was pregnant. I was driving a few days back and while listening to the CBC news it hit me that I actually have a baby, a child, who will one day be 13...and then one day be 21...I just about had a heart attack...

Adelynne (pronounced Add-Uh-Lin, NOT Add-Uh-Line, or Addy-Lin, it's Add-Uh-Lin - not too complicated) is growing and changing daily, which is what most babies do. She's finally been upgraded to a new car seat, but unfortunately for her, still has to sit rear-facing. She's still the most happiest baby that people meet (which are their words, not mine), and seems to be one of the cutest babies they've ever met as well...even young kids, boys included, think she is the cat's meow. While we were camping a young boy in the next site came by to visit and said very clearly: "that is a cute baby."

Seriously, who wouldn't love this face?
 So naturally, I believe my baby is the cutest baby in the entire world. I also believe she's one of the smartest, I mean after all, she knows how to sign "milk," comes to me when I ask her to, loves her veggies, knows which books are hers to read and which ones are mine, gives high-fives, and knows who loves her the most. Ady also loves to read, which makes my heart super happy. I believe in books. I love books. Books are good for so much!! Knowledge, learning, fun, entertainment, escape. I love love love books, and so it is such a joy for me to watch Ady sit on the carpet reading her books. While she may not actually read the words, she really does turn the pages and look at the pictures; heck she even kisses some of the pages!! Too fun!

She LOVES to eat whole apples!
While Ady doesn't eat everything the public health nurses think she should be, she does eat a variety of food: Yams, sweet potato, carrots, asparagus, peaches, pears, brown rice, cauliflower (fresh not frozen), peas, apples, millet, quinoa, zucchini, squash, eggplant, fresh pineapple, cantaloupe, honeydew melon. She LOVES avocado, but really seems to DISLIKE green beans. I'd say that's a pretty decent list of food...more of a variety than most kids I know, not to mention some adults....

As most know, we've had some concerns in the area of Ady's digestive system and allergies. I for one have been praying about this for quite some time and have put it before God that I feel it's not right for such a little person to have "deal" with things and I've declared justice of her little body; also recently my husband has been praying for her as well. That being said a few days ago I tried some dairy in my diet (I'm still nursing), and...NO bum rash!! So I ate a little bit again. STILL no bum rash!! While this is wonderful news & we are thanking Jesus, I don't feel we are fully out of the woods just yet: while Ady doesn't have a huge flare up like she usually would get if I ate dairy (from cow or goat), her nose became stuffy once again, and she has become more irritable than normal. So, I will do what any normal parent would do: keep off the dairy until I have it confirmed. Thankfully I have a checkup for her soon and will ask for some blood work for her, because not only are we concerned about the dairy, but it's coming to light that she just might have a wheat and/or gluten intolerance as well. If these two are allergies to stay, I am looking on the positive side and I know of many health benefits for not including dairy & gluten in one's diet!

Ady is walking assisted, and has taken a couple of unassisted steps, but isn't super keen on trying again. I'm not quite sure why people seem so shocked to hear that she is assisted-walking, pulls herself up on everything, and crawls around like crazy baby with an agenda. I thought this is normal. She not only gets wherever she can/wants to, she also opens and closes the doors when she wants in or out, and no cupboard is safe. She loves to pull everything out, and not only pull them out, but them chuck them. I do indeed have a little chucker. And baskets! She loves to throw things out of the baskets. Not quite sure what her motive is but it's delightfully fun for her!
Starting to chuck the clothes out

Oh, and not only does she like to chuck things out of baskets and cupboards, when she doesn't like a food, or is done with something on her tray she so carefully picks it up, moves her hand across her tray, and opens her little hand just-so. This creates both laughter and frustration...sigh...

Along with books, music is another favourite of Ady's. We constantly have the radio on, and when a song she likes comes on she begins dance. It's ridiculously cute. It's even cuter when she's got one leg extended out, and her hands go out, and she bobs up and down. Cute cute cute!

Out of all the wonderful things that Ady now does - reading books, dances to music, giggles upon giggles, eats a variety of food, high-fives, signs "milk", talks and talks and talks, says mama & Dada, claps her hands, clicks her tongue, etc. - my favourite thing she does is gives hugs and kisses. Now, if anyone one really knows me, they know that I am NOT a hugger. I'd really rather not be touched. But boy does my heart melt when this incredibly adorable, perfect little angel, comes up to me, wraps her arms around my neck, squeezes, and then goes back to playing. This little beauty might change me into a hugger! I am just so in love.

Well, I could go on and on and on about my sweet darling, but she has now awoken from her nap. So I must be off. We're going to head out for a run today and then to play in the park, another one of Ady's favourite activities :)

Looking forward to hearing your updates,

Love Rebecca, Ben, and Adelynne

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Celebration

Well, we survived our first trip home! It was jampacked from the moment we got into town until the moment we left town.While I was prepared for the madness, my poor husband was not :( He was disillusioned with the idea that we could get all of our visiting done in the first two days and then have the rest of the time to least one of us didn't have our head in the clouds ;) 

While this wasn't a holiday, we sure did have some fun moments: three birthday parties, a couple Vancouver adventures, and even a wedding. While we didn't get to see everyone we wanted to or hoped to, we certainly enjoyed the times we did get to have with loved ones. But, while our time visiting was wonderful, and we couldn't have asked for better hosts, we were quite glad to be heading home.

One of our most important birthday's, for me especially, was my Dad's big 50th. Our family has gone through a lot in this past year and so I knew/felt the importance of having a family celebration. And lately I've really been realizing the importance of celebrations. I feel we need to celebrate more, and make a big deal of the good things in life more. But celebrations should not be synonymous with extravagant (as in spending crap-loads of money). Sometimes extravagance is good, and special, and needed. But most times just a celebration will do wonders. 

My Dad
My dad has recently made some monumental changes in his life, one of the biggest (for me anyway) was giving his life back to Christ - something I have been praying for for a lot of years. Talking with my dad over the course of these past months I feel that our relationship has become deeper; I'm proud to call him "Dad" and I really felt the necessity to celebrate him & his life.
So most of my family (unfortunately not all), got together and celebrated my Dad. And what FUN we had!! 

There was great food, kids playing everywhere, laughing, chatting, playing ball, building sand castles, decent weather (until the end), running around on the playground. Family enjoying each other. Beautiful. This was for sure one of my highlights. 
Ady with Uncle Robert

I thought it was such a wonderful time for Ady to, to be able to spend time with Grandpa, Great Nan, and Aunts & Uncles. She may not remember the time, but at least some bonding time was able to happen.

Ady with Grandpa

I had such a wonderful time watching my nieces and nephews run around playing, and watching my brothers and my dad join in on their fun. It was a time that truly made my heart happy. And I'm looking forward to doing it again soon!

Below are some pictures of our celebration :)

Since I can't seem to figure out how to get my darn photo's where I want them you'll have to enjoy them as such:

 They say it was delicious!

My Dad's contribution was a cooked turkey!
Grandpa catching Ady going down the slide
My beautiful brother Ben

Ady with Uncle Ben

 How cute are these two beauties?! 

So that was just one highlight of our trip home. I'm sure you're all dying to hear how Ady is doing, but seeing as I'm tired of hearing my neighbours and can't seem to concentrate (don't they know there's a noise curfew?!?) I'll write another update this weekend...Ady is growing and changing after all ;)

Good night! I look forward to hearing from you all!

Love, the little Schartner Family <3