Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Life is a Stage

The girl one started dance this year and she had been so excited about it from May until September. When it came time for the first class though she suddenly panicked and did not want to go in alone. This is so rare for her. She is second born and generally fearless.

After working through the first class with her we had many conversations in the week following.

Me: "Han, after your birthday there is going to be a big dance show. You will be on a stage, in a costume, there will be lights and lots and lots of people to watch you dance and they will clap. If you don't go to dance class, you can't be in that show."

Now, most people would assume that that would be a ludicrous thing to say to a little girl who is struggling to get over her fear to go to dance class with strangers but not with this one!

Han: "Well, I'm really feeling scared but I really want to be in that show. I guess I'll go to dance class."

And she hasn't looked back since!

This past week was their dance picture day and so before bringing her for her group picture we managed to squeeze in a 5 minute mini shoot outside on a loading dock - her own little stage.

When I do a shoot of my kids (especially the girl one) I try my best to let them take ownership of it. I want to capture their personality and their creativity. So, when she insisted on her red glitter "Mini Mouse" heels (that totally clash with her pink outfit) I of course said, "Sure. Whatever you want."

Not only do we get totally unique photos but I also find my kids 100% more cooperative when they get to have input.

All poses were strictly her own ideas :)


Definitely one of my favourites.

So random.

Throwing it down cause that's how we do ;)



LOVE, love, love. This one is going big. Big, on a canvas and on the wall.

Ha ha. There has been much input for names of this pose:
" Thanks but no thanks."
" Take it easy there mister."
"Wo -oh oah"

Somebody put their sassy pants on today!

This one she calls "Look at my little baby."

Is this how ballerinas do it?

Strike a pose - now Vogue.

Ah, life is a stage for this sweet girl.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Find the Fallen Shout Out

I’m going to jump completely out of my comfort zone today and write a little about music! Here’s my list of disclaimers:
- I know very little about the technical side of music
- I can not at this time play any instruments
- I find it very challenging to sing on key

ALL that said… I LOVE to worship. In the past years I’ve come from being the person who rarely had music on ever (and would turn off music in my friend’s houses) to having my favourite worship music playing in our home a good chunk of our day. So, it is in that spirit that I want to give a little shout out to the band Find the Fallen out of Yorkton, SK!

My husband (the tall one) has known FTF’s frontman Jon Tieszen since Kindergarten and even though they started out as mortal enemies with nothing but hate for one another they eventually grew to love each other like brothers and ended up roommates through Bible College and beyond. I even owe Jon and Crystal’s (vocals/keys) wedding for lighting a wee little fire under the tall one’s butt to buy me a ring and were blessed when Jon and Crystal sang at our wedding before they were famous Covenant Award nominees. Oh - didn’t I mention that? Well, they are. They were recently nominated for Rock Album of the Year for their debut album as well as Collaboration of the Year with Fresh I.E. 

See. Famous. 

In addition to those two stars, Dustin Wilson (Lead Guitar), Kyle Brewer (Drums), and Troy Janzen (Bass) come together to make up Find the Fallen. Their debut album is titled Shooting Stars and Satellites and is a diverse album that takes you on a journey through squealing guitar driven rock, authentic modern worship and uplifting get your body moving pop.  

It really is that diverse and there is something there for everyone. I specifically was drawn most to their song “All Around” as I sensed such an authentic heart for our Father and His glory. 

I had a chance to get a little insight into their writing process and their heart for this band. They very much collaborate as a whole team and have learned to not hold onto their own ideas too tightly as every song is very much a group process that continually evolves as each of them contributes. 

I love that each song in and of itself is a testimony as to who God is, though the band takes it even further in their concerts where not only do they perform but they create a worship atmosphere that invites attendees to participate as well as respond to God. Whatever your taste in music one has to appreciate bands that pave the way for Christ to be glorified in every genre and FTF is a part of that movement. 

If you’re interested in taking a listen you can check them out at ReverbNation as well as on iTunes (and wherever else you buy your music!)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Frozen Shoot

The girl one has been making anything and everything into an Elsa costume since seeing the movie Frozen. If you've looked for an Elsa costume you'll know that Disney ran out and you have to buy one on the black market for like $1000. I'm not exaggerating. I've literally seen them on Ebay for $1000!

We decided that we just needed to make our own. I finally finished it all today and so we did a little Frozen shoot on the docks of Boundary Dam Arendelle.

This was our third option for an Elsa dress (I have 2 thrift store dresses that I refashioned). I managed to randomly find a teal lace shirt at Dollarama and then sewed the teal satin on it to make the Elsa dress. Much less expensive than buying it on the black market now that Disney has ran out of all things Elsa.

I made the awesome "ice powers bracelets" after seeing THIS cool idea. I opted to sew mine onto the stretchy crocheted elastic instead though.

The Elsa Braid. This is such an important feature. The girl one makes everything an Elsa braid. I wasn't in love with the Elsa wigs out there and the girl one is already blonde so we just needed some length. I ordered an inexpensive hair extension on, clip it under her hair and braid it into her real hair. I love the effect!


Now is the part of the post where we have our power ballad - Let it go!

She's actually singing the song on the docks. Such passion, such angst.

Being able to swish a cape at the end of the Let It Go is also very important and so we whipped one of those up today as well. Makeit-Loveit had a great tutorial for a no sew cape and I used that. Super easy. One recommendation though is not to use a bowl for the neck circle. It came out too big.

I LOVE this shot.

So there we have it. A DIY Elsa costume and photos that will make me smile for ages :)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sponsor Child Happy Mail

I am a BIG fan of Happy Mail but don't get around to sending it nearly enough. I love coming up with packages but the actual getting to the post office and mailing it is my kryptonite. Thankfully the tall one works for Canada Post and thus all I need do is slip an envelope into his jacket pocket in the morning and it magically gets mailed!

We recently got a new sponsor child and so this week the kids and I put together some happy mail for "our" adorable little 5 year old girl in Zimbabwe.

This is "T". She's pretty great. 

My love language is gift giving and so though a letter is nice I REALLY wanted to fill it with a few goodies. Like any organization, World Vision has parameters on what you can send as well as the size of the package.
- 6x9 envelope
- lays flat
- light
- challenge accepted!

World Vision mentions stickers as an acceptable gift so we added those first off.

The kids then each drew her a picture. The boy one was a bit at a loss when I explained that he couldn't draw Jedi's fighting with lightsabers as we didn't want to send anything remotely violent but he managed to squeak out a stick girl with a sun. 

There aren't too many things that are flat, paper and fit in a 6x9 envelope that you can play with paper dolls thankfully are one of them! The girl one loves to play with her Frozen paper dolls and she wanted to send them to "T" as well. I made the printables by just dragging clip art to a Pages document and printing them off on card stock. 

We also included Princess Tiana with numerous outfits. You can find the same printable HERE

Though I don't have a picture we also added two sparkly headbands for T and her sister and some fun patterned Bandaids - because I haven't met a 5 year old who doesn't love Bandaids!

In her profile it mentioned that T loves art and so we wanted to send her some "pretties" for her home. I found so many adorable printable garlands on Pinterest and finally settled on this cute butterfly garland. You can download your own HERE. I just used hot glue to attach them to the bakers twine. 

Beyond meeting a few of her basic needs I hope that through this sponsorship and connection that T understands that SHE IS LOVED! She is chosen and dearly loved by God and she is loved by our family. We printed off THIS piece for her to hang in her home and made a note asking the translator to please translate it :)

The print is adorable and GDesigned offers it in a few colour combos. Go get one!

I know this package has a very very long road to travel to get to the remote area of our sponsor child but I hope it finds her well and brings a smile to her face. If you're looking to send a bit of Happy Mail to your sponsor child click on any of the links for some adorable projects or find similar ones on Pinterest!

~ Monique