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I am attempting to carve a pumpkin with my kids today. It should be interesting. I am pretty certain that ours will not ressemble any of these! Happy Halloween my friends. I have a love/hate relationship with this holiday. Mostly because of our struggle with fear. We are celebrating today, but keeping this at the forefront of it all..

 "Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."
phil 4:8

War on Fear


*feel free to print this poster if you like!*

We've been struggling with fear in our home. I hear the terms "that's scary" or "I'm afraid" multiple times a day, especially at night. It really bothers me. I was tormented by nightmares when I was young. I remember sitting up for hours at night with my dad, wishing I could sleep but too terrified to close my eyes. I struggled with fear all the way up until I came to know the Lord at 18. I know He is the reliever of our fears.. That is why I made this poster to hang in the kids' rooms. A scripture for every night of the week. His word is our sword and I am battling this fear with the Lord on my side!

Apples of Gold

Retro Redo - DIY



My closest friend was getting rid of this piece that had been in her basement since sometime in the 70s. Since we moved into a house for which I do not have enough furniture,  I told her I would take it off her hands. I hoped I could make something good out of it. I had heard about this amazing product that covers almost anything with only a little time and effort. I had almost thought it sounded too good to be true, but I thought it was worth a try. Was it ever! It really is amazing! My husband and I completed this project in less than an hour and a half. It took 1 coat of paint and 1 coat of wax. Done. It may almost be too easy to use. I now want to paint a million different things in my house..

For those of you wondering what this wonder product is it's called Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. In my city I could only find it one place. A cute little store Apple Box Boutique which, by the way, was another great find. Its an adorable place I hope to spend much more time in..

I am so happy with my brand-new old piece!


*ps.. Annie Sloan paints & Apple Box Boutique did not ask/pay/bribe me to review this product :), although I would have gladly accepted if they had*

Dear Honesty.


I second guessed posting this earlier this week. Being honest about weaknesses sets you in a pretty vulnerable place. Somewhere I am not always comfortable being. In society today many like to paint a picture of perfection. I, however, am not perfect. My brush strokes are both good and bad. Only by God's grace does it all come together to create something beautiful. So, I will not manufacture perfection. I will just be real..






Coen's 4th birthday was a few weeks ago. I find picking birthday and Christmas gift for my kids difficult. I want to get them something they will enjoy, but I also want it to be meaningful and useful! We certainly do not need more toys! My husband came up with the perfect gift for him. See, Coen is obsessed with sports. He pretty much loves every kind of sport, but he seems to favor football. Jeremy and I find this very strange because neither of us are particularly 'sporty' nor have we ever faithfully followed any sport. Coen, however, seems to have a natural talent for sports. The kid can throw a football better than I can! So, we got him a football jersey for his birthday. He wore it every day for an entire week. He sleeps with it hanging on his bed rail. I'd say it was a success!

Sienna's birthday is coming up in December (she is a Christmas Eve baby). I am open to any suggestions for a great gift for a 6 year old girl!

Mercy & Truth


I want to raise my kids well. I want them to grow up confident of who they are and who their God is. Sometimes I feel as though I am failing them. I sometimes struggle with feeling like I'm not a good parent. Yesterday was one of those days. Coen was tired and emotional. He screamed and cried at my every word. By the end of the day, after literally dragging him out of our church screaming at the top of his lungs, I had run out of patience for him. I was angry. I hate that feeling. That 'at the end of my rope' feeling. My anger, however, was not towards Coen. I was angry at myself. I was angry that my temper got the best of me. I was angry that I allowed myself to be overwhelmed by my emotions. After getting home and getting all the kids in bed I sat quietly and prayed. I prayed for strength and wisdom. I prayed for the ability to be a better example to these young lives the Lord has blessed me with. I felt a scripture rise up in my spirit. Proverbs 3:3 "let not mercy and truth forsake you." It is a well known scripture in our home. In fact, my husband has it tattoo'd across his chest! I am more than grateful for God's wonderful mercy. I know that He would not have given me these beautiful children without offering me the wisdom needed to raise them. I want to live by His mercy so His Truth will not depart from my children. How I need his mercy. When I feel inadequate I will dwell on His mercy. For in my weakness He is made strong..


Apples of Gold

Dear Canon..


Dear Husband. Thanks for getting so much done on the house this past week. It is all coming together and it feels great. Maybe I'll do my part today and put away the laundry that has been sitting in baskets for days weeks.
Dear Canon. Please stop tempting me with the mark ii. I really can't justify such a purchase.

Isn't she lovely?

Dear Editing. I'm actually impressed with myself how on top of you I've stayed. Although I can't allow myself to get too relaxed about it or I know you will pile up.
Dear Kids. You really need to work on picking up after yourselves! I just can't keep up!
Dear Houston. I'm loving how you must copy everything your brother does. Everything. I hope you continue to look up to him in that way..
Dear Weekend. I won't have a second to breath once you begin. Two photo shoots, 2 church services, a belated thanksgiving meal, dinner with friends, and a ministry event all must be fit into your little 48 hours. It's going to fly by..

Hope you all enjoy every minute of your weekend!
Brandy Jane Mabel


Jane Mabel Photography


I had the privilege of taking a few pictures of this lovely couple a few days ago. They were celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary. Amazing.


I felt so honored to be able to capture this special time for them. Just as I feel privileged to capture moments of time for any person and family. I can not express how grateful I am that the Lord has allowed my photography to grow into something more than just a hobby. A year ago I received my DSLR camera as a 30th birthday gift. I had always loved the art of photography, but I never believed I would hold a talent for it. As soon as I had it in my hands my love and passion grew. I wanted to pursue photography in a bigger way, but I didn't want to have to promote myself. I prayed that God would open the doors. Never could I have imagined this result! I am booking shoot after shoot and I am blown away. I still have much to learn, but I am looking forward to all of it!

Happily Missed..


We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving this past weekend, and we had a wonderful weekend spending time with family! My brother-in-law and his family moved 3 hours away from us this summer, and we finally had the opportunity to go and visit them. Their move has been a lot more difficult for me than I had anticipated. They have 4 children who my kids adore, so it has been hard to transition from seeing them at least once a week to not seeing them for a few months! I know, however, that they are exactly where God wants them to be. I know that this is the best place for them! So, I lay my selfishness to aside and rejoice for God's goodness in their lives!

I find this is relevant to so many situations in life. While we may not always view things as being ideal or convenient for us, we must always remember that God's way is best! If we always choose what is comfortable when God is perhaps directing us down a path that doesn't seem as straight we will find ourselves more lost than ever! My heart wants to be exactly where God wants me even when it doesn't appeal to my flesh..


Apples of Gold

Dearest Blog: It's your birthday..


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So, the first post I ever wrote on this blog was written 1 year ago from tomorrow. I didn't know if I would even enjoy blogging when I began since I could never get myself to journal. I didn't know if anyone would be interested in reading it. I didn't know what I would write about. All I knew a year ago is that I wanted to give it a try and see what became of it! I am so glad I did. While it has had it's ups and downs, and I still feel like I haven't really found my focus for this blog, it has been a blessing in my life in so many ways. It has caused me to be creative. There are so many inspiring people I have come across that have pushed me to try new things! It has caused me to focus on the positive. I want my voice to be uplifting, never negative. It has caused me to be real. While I want to be positive, I never want to come across as having it all figured out (which anyone who knows me KNOWS that is not the case lol). It has caused me to be more attentive. The little things in life seem magnified. I never thought that something that seemed so small would have caused me to grow in so many big ways. That may sound strange to some, but however strange it is true. I am so thankful for this little space of mine! Thanks to those who have faithfully read from the beginning, and thank you to those who have joined along the way! I pray that this would continue to be a place that will bring encouragement to whoever happens to stop by!


The Tooth Fairy Fiasco..


So, Sienna lost her tooth at the beginning of September. It was a big deal around here. As soon as she realized that it had become loose, every single person she encountered was told about it. She wiggled it non-stop, and she would ask numerous times a day, "is it ready to come out yet?" When it started to get really loose I  had attempted to pull it out a few times, but I would get lightheaded as woozy every time forcing me to stop. You would never guess I used to be a nurse! So, we waited for it to fall out on its own. One morning as we were all getting up I heard her yell from another room that it had fallen out! Finally, her wait was over. That night would bring her what she had been anticipating for so long.. The tooth fairy (which I have told her is me, but I am not sure she has put it all together)!! The day went by, and we all went to bed. The next morning I was awoken by Sienna running up the stairs yelling, "the tooth fairy came!" Thats when the wave of confusion and horror came over me as I realized that I had forgotten to be the toothfairy! Sienna dashed into our room holding up a dime! She was so excited for her little 10 cents so I just rejoiced with her thankful that somehow a dime had been randomly left behind for her to find so my forgetfulness was not found out! After a few minutes had past Sienna came to me and explained that she had to take her sheets off her bed to find her money and she couldn't get them back on. I told her I would come help, but what I found when I walked into her room left me speechless..

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After seeing this I could not stop laughing! My little girl believed so strongly that the tooth fairy had come she would stop at nothing to find her reward! I am thankful there happened to be a dime hiding under her mattress cause I couldn't imagine her heartache if she had found nothing after all her searching. I am thankful she was content with a dime. One dime. That's one cheap tooth fairy if you ask me... While driving later that day Sienna says to me from the back, "Mom, the tooth fairy sure hides the money well." I chuckled to myself and agreed. I think I may carry on this tradition and continue to hide tooth fairy money under the mattress rather than under the pillow.. That is if I remember next time!



You are 4 today!
My sweet, sensitive boy.
You can throw a football like a pro. Not sure where you got that from..
You still carry your blankie around. Its probably time to put it away or you really will take it to kindergarten with you!
You like to be loud! All the time!
You have moments of kindness towards others that astound me. 
I love how you say to me frequently out of the blue, "mom, guess what?.. I love you."
You love to worship. Watching you raise your hands and dance for the King is one of the most beautiful things I've experienced as a mom.
I pray you would continue to fall more in love with Jesus every day.
Serve Him with all you have. 
I am so blessed to be your mommy.

Your Mom


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