Sider Family Blog

Boy (Brad) meets girl (Pam). Boy and girl get married (1999). Boy and girl have a baby (Lily, 2002), and another (Ella, 2005), and another (Abigail, 2008), and another (Levi, 2009). Boy and girl get a dog (Charlie Brown, 2010). Boy and girl and kids and dog live in Toronto. Boy works at Evergreen (Yonge Street Mission). Girl stays at home with the kids and works part-time at Starbucks. And they all live happily ever after...

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Family Pictures

It's been a while.  Sorry.  I guess with Facebook and being able to share instantly there, this whole blogging thing may have gone to the wayside.  In case anyone is still checking this I thought that I would update.  If you're reading this and we're friends on Facebook, than this is not news to you.

School pictures.  They are expensive, and normally the kids look a little "off" in them.  I don't buy them.  I don't feel like it actually captures my kids personalities, and I think it is more economical for us to get a lot of pictures of our whole family for the same cost.  It also helps us to document our family as we are all getting older and growing up.  Yes, I still feel like I am growing up.

So, one brisk day in December (still no snow), our friend from Church, Jay McIntyre , took some pictures of everyone.  Here we are:

There are more than just these six.  But these are my most favourite.  With this many people its hard to keep everyone looking at the camera, or cooperating.  But we've been captured for this year.  I will treasure these pictures and this moment.  I hope that we will be able to take some family pictures every year.  I really like to see how everyone changes year after year.

There you have it.  Another post.  For anyone who is still reading this.

Sunday, May 01, 2011


If you have kids, you probably know that a bandaid can heal anything.  Anytime something happens, "I need a bandaid".  Right now, we're hoping it "heals" Abby's need to shove her fingers in her mouth and nose all hours of the day and night!  She normally has her fingers in their selected holes regardless of what we're doing.  Eating.  Driving.  Walking.  At the park.  Sleeping.  Potty.  Bath.  As a joke, I said that she was multitasking, being able to have your fingers in your nose, your mouth, and continue doing whatever it was at the same time, that requires skill!  A while ago she did get a sore on her thumb from sucking it so much, so I put a bandaid on it.  Magic!  No more fingers in their holes!  Eventually the bandaid came off, and she was reluctant to let me put another one back on.  So she retreated back to her usual ways.  This time around, so far, so good!  Even when a bandaid falls off, she comes to let me know that she needs another one.  I'm hoping that I'll only need to keep the bandaids on for a week or so before her habit has been curbed.  Otherwise, another week of bandaid magic it is!

Monday, March 28, 2011


Right now, as I type, Cesar (aka Basement Super Hero), is working in our basement!!!  WOOOHOOO!!  Brad was able to finish up all he could do, and we've called in Cesar to finish... everything else.  It's still going to be a couple of weeks until we move everything in, but its getting closer and closer.  Last week Cesar finished installing the lights. Every night I've been downstairs, turning on all the lights, just because I can.  I can hear that he's prepping our walls for tape and mud.  I can't even contain my myself!    Exciting times people.  Boring post, but exciting times!!!

The house.  We've seen progress there too.  We're setting into our routines, and everyone is helping out.  The load seems lighter and easier to accomplish.  This morning I went out for an early morning walk with Lyndzie and Charlie, so Brad was responsible for making the bed.  And it was done before I came home.  Wonderful!  The kitchen has been clean since I posted too.  Well, minus this mornings dishes because I'm blogging... but as soon as I post I'll clean up, I promise!

Um, that's it.  Spring is in the air.  The air is crisp.  Wish it would warm up just a smidge so my walks with Charlie in the morning are a little more comfortable, but that will come.  Progress!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Working Overtime

Everyone is hard at work!  Brad took today and tomorrow off to get the last little bit on the basement done before we call someone in to do the taping and mudding.  He also spent most of Saturday working too.  We are getting closer everyday!  I can almost picture ourselves settled down there, reclaiming the space, and s-p-r-e-a-d-i-n-g  o-u-t!!  That means more space on our main floor, which we've been living nice and cozy with all seven of us, along with Charlie Brown.  I can hardly believe that we still entertain people through all this.  I suppose I should start looking at some paint.  I'm pretty sure that once Brad is done this week, the rest of the basement is handed over to me, paint, carpet, furniture, pictures, etc.  I'm looking forward to it.

In my last post I was complaining about my to-do list, but I think I've figured it out.  I just have everyone clean up their own mess!  I'm sure no one has ever thought of that before, but its marvelous!  And so far so good. 

Kitchen: dishes are cleaned after every meal.  The kids are responsible for clearing their dishes, and the adult who made the meal is in charge of cleaning the bigger dishes.  We've figured out the best time to run the dishwasher is right after breakfast dishes have been cleaned.  With all the people eating at the house, we normally only run it once a day, hand washing all the rest of the stuff that doesn't fit. 

Laundry: I'm still in charge of that.  I wash and fold, but everyone is responsible for putting away their own clothes... even Brad. 

Bedrooms:  The kids are also asked to spend time cleaning their room for 15 minutes.  The room is normally clean faster than that, but the kids like to beat the clock.  I'm not looking for perfection, but I just don't want to be stepping on anything when I walk in their room.  The toys don't need to be organized (until we move the girls downstairs!), but they need to be in the right area, not scattered all over the place.  The girls are responsible for tidying their beds too, which means Brad and I need to as well.  We've decided that whoever gets out of bed last makes the bed.  That's normally me anyway, but not today! 

Bathrooms: During my nighttime routine, I give everything a good wipe down.  This keeps it looking nice everyday and I'll do a good scrub once a week where ever it fits in. 

Wow, sounds like I have a pretty messy house!  Which, I know I don't.  My neat-freak personallity means that I always see something that needs to be cleaned, organized and straightened.  I've tried to give that up.  With all the people in the house, it's just too much responsibility to carry all by myself.  So, I don't.  This is a lot more manageable.

Joan, I'm NOT pregnant!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

See you in September?

This blogging is hard stuff!  I last posted something in October... it's MARCH now.  BTW, happy birthday Nolan and Darryl... how does it feel to share your birthday with Justin Bieber!!!!  Maybe I could get you purple hoodies to celebrate?  Or should we go see "Never Say Never" - it's in 3D!!  (This makes me sound like a superfan... I'm not.  In case it doesn't translate on the screen you're reading this, I'm being sarcastic.)

I gotta come up with a routine for blogging!  My friend Jenny has a 365 day project where she posts a picture a day and a short paragraph or two of whats going on.  Sometimes its just a picture of Starbucks cups, representing a (well deserved) date with her husband.  Maybe I'll save this project/routine for my New Years resolution for 2012.

Like everything right now, I'm feeling behind.  The kitchen needs to be cleaned, laundry is starting to pile up, the girls room is a disaster... too much for me to ask them to help.  I normally help clean up the floor (which actually means putting most of the stuff on their dresser or beds) and then they'll come in and put things away.
Enough complaining about what I should be doing... because I'm obviously blogging and this has become my priority right now... or does this mean that I'm crossing something off my list of to-dos?

Kids.  They're all good.  Teacher interviews were last week, and we obviously like to hear all the wonderful things the kids are doing.  Best thing?  Lily is reading above her grade level!  We've tried to encourage her with purchasing a couple of chapter books, and some younger books she can practice reading to Ella for her to listen and follow along.  Another plus is that Ella is at par with her classmates.  It's only SK, but its French, so we were worried that she wasn't picking things up as easily as Lily seemed to.  I think that we'll see a huge growth in Ella's French next year when she is at school all day.  And I'll know for SURE she's got it when the girls start speaking to each other so Brad and I don't understand what they're saying!  Heather and I used to do that with Sign Language and it would drive my Mom CRAZY!  Ha ha!

Basement, yes, we're still working on it...

Brad got a haircut. It was the first time that I decided to go with him. Last time he hardly got anything cut off, and he never said anything. I'm sure that Brad was upset when I kept telling the lady that there was too much bulk here, and there, a little more. When we walked out of the door, I asked if that was the last time I was allowed to come with him... BUT, he looks SO GOOD!!! It didn't seem very genuine (maybe because I was laughing when I said it) but he was upset that it was shorter than he had wanted it. Thanks to everyone for complementing his new look. He may have forgiven me. And he does look good! No giggles.

Well, now I seem to just be thinking of things to write about.  It's not interesting.  And there are all these other things that seem to be nagging me on my list....

See you in... September?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dedication Day

Today was a special day for our family.  Today we had Levi dedicated at Church.  Really it was about dedicating ourselves (Brad and I) to teach Levi about God, to encourage him in the faith, and to one day hopefully see him make his own decision to be a follower of Christ.  We've done this special dedication for each of the girls, and each time it has been a reminder about our decision to live out our lives according to the Bible and to raise our family in this same way.

Levi is our last addition (as far as we have planned...), so this service was kind of for our whole family, commissioning us as parents.  For those of you who weren't there, here is an overview.

First we are asked if there is a special story or reason how we came to choose his name.  I'm given the mic.  I explain the obvious, and say that before Levi we already had a big family.  When we found out our family was going to be getting bigger, we wanted this next baby to be a welcome addition, someone who gets along well with the family, no jealousy among the kids.  We're also looking for a name that is from the Bible, as we want him to know that this is important to us.  "Levi" means "joined" or "combined in harmony" - EXACTLY what we're looking for!  I also explained that my cousin Amy pointed out that it must be because of my love of a comfy pair of jeans!  One thing I forgot to mention, that his middle name, Andrew, is after Brad's brother.  If Levi grew up to someone like him, any parent would happy.

We're also given the opportunity to share a life verse(s), kind of our dream for Levi as he grows into a man.  Although the following verses were picked specifically for Levi, they really are something we wish for each of our kids.  

"Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it.  Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good.  Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame.  Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant.  Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder.  Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath.  Laugh with your happy friends when they're happy; share tears when they're sown.  Get along with each other; don't be stuck-up.  Make friends with nobodies; don't be the great somebody.  
Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone.  If you've got it in you, get along with everybody.  Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do.  "I'll do the judging," says God.  "I'll take care of it."
Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he's thirsty, get him a drink.  Your generosity will surprise him with goodness.  Don't let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good."
Romans 12:9-21, The Message

Each of the girls were also given rocks with their name, and Levi's name on them, to help them to remember today.  To remind them to be good examples for their baby brother.

Thanks for those who came to the service.  Thanks also to those of you who pray for our family.  Although you weren't able to be a part of the service, we appreciate your love, support and most importanly your prayers.  Brad and I need it!!

Love you lots Levi!  So glad you are here.  A dream come true.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dear Yonge & Park Home,

Looking back over the four years this store has been open, I think I can safely say that this is the best team ever!  You all know it too!  Can't you feel it's different when you phantom or move to another store?

I appreciate each and every one of you.  At one time or another each of you have picked me up... backed me up when it's been busy, encouraged me with a talk, a hug, or a laugh.  

A lot has changed for me personally over the years, and you have helped me through it.  You know that once I leave the store I'm a busy Mom. The store has been my "grown-up" time, and a getaway from my Mom responsibilities.  

I'm fairly quiet about my personal life, so most of you won't know that 8 months after the store opened, I lost my Mom to cancer.  Diagnosed in early October and then died in February.  The store showed me support by giving me the time off I needed, but also raised some money for the Cancer Society in honour of my Mom.  Most recently, my sister had a bone marrow transplant.  Although most of the partners were different from before, the team continued to stand by me with notes of encouragement.  

You have all supported me during two pregnancies, and believe it or not, you've all prepared me for the "better and worst" of being a Mom!  I've seen you all change too.  You're making wise and hard decisions, working towards something and getting it, whether its a promotion or graduating from school.  As a Mom, I'm all very proud of you and wish you all success is work and life.

Last words... remember to be kind and thoughtful to each other.  Use the cards in the back and write a note to someone for their good and hard work.  I love each and every one of you and will surely miss you.  I will probably never have a better team beside me.  I'm glad to be able to call you all friends.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

LOL Lyndzie

My friend, Lyndzie, is staying with us for a bit.  She's fun, and laughs a LOT!  Here's some pictures I took of her late one night (scratch that... it was early in the morning).  Here's a little play, by play when she got the giggles.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010


PHEW!!!  School's OUT!!!  What a crazy year!  I think I've been looking forward to summer since last September.  Finally, it's here!!!  No more pick-up/drop-offs (3/day - Sept & Oct it was 4/day), no more bag lunches or snacks, and no need to worry about food allergies (unless we're hanging with my nephew - but he's worth it), no more running to the bus (or missing the bus), no more late slips, no more getting out of our pjs (well, maybe sometimes we will).  Summer is all about the backyard, bubbles, sprinklers, lazy days, BBQ's, tents, and playdates. 

Lots is happening for the Sider family this summer.  It'll get kick started with Brad's birthday on Friday.  Sunday we head to Wainfleet for a 50th wedding anniversary, congratulations Uncle John & Aunt Ethel!  Next, Lily and Ella are headed to Buppa & Grandma's for a week of VBS, swimming, and maybe even frozen yogurt.  Then Lily is off to camp for the week.  This year they have an extra activity to choose from... cheerleading!  I think that Lily is really looking forward to this week in particular.  This is her second year at all day, full week camp.  I love that we are able to give her this opportunity as camp was such a big part of each of my summers.  Next a quick family gathering with our "Pipeline" from Michigan.  Then Brad's vacation, a week at Moose Deer Point.  We'll be helping to provide a day camp for the kids there.  Lily and Ella will be joining us for the week.  They'll be able to participate in the different activities and make some new friends.  Abby and Levi will be at "Boo's" that week, and Charlie will be enjoying the easy life at the kennel.  That's the first three weeks.  Other days here and there include a trip to Centre Island with some good friends, the zoo, Science Centre, two more family reunions, a week at MBC, 11th anniversary, Levi's 1st birthday, and then maybe some back to school shopping.

I'm already tired.  Is it September yet?

Friday, June 25, 2010


Happy birthday Lily!  8 years have gone by and you're quite a little lady.  You are smart, curious, sensitive and very creative.  You are loving and helpful to your sisters, brother and friends.  So glad that you are my little girl!!!