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There’s that old saying that goes like this, “Some people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.”

Toady we said good-be to a special someone who joined us both for a reason and a season.

Last year, a family friend of ours who has connections with her own family and friends in Germany, asked if we knew of anyone who was looking to have a university-aged girl come and live with their family to help out around the house, tend to the children, and improve her English while she experienced life in Canada for six months.  She knew of a nice girl named Janina who was looking for that situation and I started jumping up and down, hand raised, saying, “PICK ME! PICK ME!”

Life is crazy for us. Three kids, unpredictable work hours, apple orchard to run, home renovations. I needed some help! We ended up making arrangements for Janina to come and live with us for six months and on a stormy August night, she flew into the Okanagan at midnight and began her journey with our family.

Over the past six months she has been an amazing addition to our home. The girls loved chatting and playing with her, she packed their lunches (SCORE!) and helped me keep the laundry situation under control. Whenever I had to dart out for work to go and show a house or meet with clients, she was happily there to hold down the fort. She even made us schnitzel! What touched me most was the way she loved our kids.

The last half-year has flown by in the blink of an eye and today we drove Janina to the airport and she bid us “Auf Wiedersehen” as the girls clutched her tight in a long, final embrace.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I wholeheartedly agree. Thanks for joining our village, Janina, and making it wonderful! We will miss you!

We wish you all the best as you return to Germany. Prost!

Angella - Aw. She is such a sweet girl. Safe travels, Janina!

Steph - So wonderful! She seems delightful and kind and a great match for your girls.

rachel joy - I love this! Your story reminds me of a very beloved Australian we have with us here at camp. She came to us in the summer and stayed on for our college age discipleship program. She’s not sure what’s next for her after April – are you looking for another fantastic helper?

What I Know For Sure: Bangs Edition

It’s been about a month since I got bangs and here are my thoughts on the matter:

1. I haven’t groomed my eyebrows in weeks and even though they look like lopsided fuzzy caterpillars, NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT IT because the bangs cover them.

2. I tend to have bad acne breakouts on my forehead but now the volcanic pimples are shielded by my bangs. This is wonderful news.

3. The deep wrinkle I have between my brows, the “mom line” that shows up when my kids are being loud or annoying, it’s also hiding behind the bangs. Praise be.

4. When I wake up in the morning my hair looks like this:

Wow, that’s intense.

5. A good flat iron is basically the most important thing I own (see above).

6. The maintenance isn’t nearly as high as I thought it would be to style the bangs, so that’s nice.

7. Preteen boys approach me at coffee shops and tell me I look like Taylor Swift. I’ll take it.

8. I like the change, and will keep the bangs for now. Yay!



Heather - Oooh! Please recommend a flat iron!

Steph - You are so cute!

Mel Stevens - hahaha that’s a very funny pictureñ. I personally really recommend the karmin g3 flat iron, you’ll love it!

Bangers and Mash


January is a tough one. December is her manic sister who flits wildly from party to event, never taking a moment to breathe, while January is dark and broody and kind of fat.

In order to make it through January, I planned a few things to look forward to: a haircut and an upcoming getaway to the Rockies to visit a life-long girlfriend of mine. We have also been trying to get outside more with the kids and soaking up the frigid winter air by taking them skating, sledding, skiing, etc. Everyone is just so much better off after a healthy dose of fresh air.

I am a little freaked out that the whole wide world is going to catch H1N1 again and we’re all gonna die, but aside from that, January and I are making our version of peace.

I hope you’re pleasantly scraping by, just like me!

Jen Wilson - LOVE the bangs!!!!!

Amber - Great cut! So different for you, way more edgy! Enjoy your get away!

Kristin - Wow, I would have walked right by you at the airport. You look so different and yet as always, so beautiful. Can’t wait to see you!

Cold, Hard (Air Miles) Cash

Every year I say we’re going to reign in the holiday spending but then every year the credit card statements come rolling in in January and it kind of sucks. This year, though, I am going to save money by redeeming some of our Air Miles Cash.

You know how sometimes you go to check out with a cashier and the total comes out way lower than you expected and you realize that the stuff you’re buying is cheaper than you thought? On sale but not yet showing the great deal on the price tag? So you had braced yourself to spend a schwack of dough and then they’re like, “It’s actually way less than a schwack! It’s only half a schwack!” and you’re like, “SCORE!” and you feel great for the rest of the day?

Well, that’s what it’s like when you redeem your Air Miles cash!

There are so many great sponsors out there who offer this program and it’s such a helpful way to make savings a part of this crazy season. We drive a huge beast of a truck that guzzles the gas, so I can redeem my Air Miles Cash at Shell, and we always seem to have a renovation project on the go, so we can also do the same at RONA.

(Gas is better when it’s free.)

I am always looking for ways to cut costs, to pad the bank account and stretch our holiday dollars.

Where will you use you Air Miles Cash this year?