Sunday, December 23, 2007

Memories that stay in your head

Yesterday was one of the funnest days!
My friends, Dave and Tara, wanted to go to the big city to do their Christmas shopping, so I volunteered to watch their four kids for the day.
A lot of fun can happen with six kids.
We started the day by building a fort out of blankets, chairs and the broom.We read Christmas stories inside our fort.
Then we did wax art. You light candles, hold the crayons over the candle and then drip it on the paper. I have tons of Christmas stencils--the kind from the fake snow you put on the windows--and we had so much fun creating our pictures.
Josiah, the five year old, said,"This is fun. I like fire. My name means the "fire of God", so fire and I are a good match."
Quick lesson and reminder on fire safety and no playing with matches.
Lunch came without much fanfare and after it we had 15 minutes of quiet time while I put my Brie for a nap and little Hannah for a nap.
Time to make a gingerbread house! We followed the instructions and played hot potato with squishing the premade icing in the bag for 60 seconds. Then we "glued" the house with the icing. Naomi, the four year old, got the icing bag as we were erecting the walls and poured some directly in her mouth.
Then we played the Eye Spy Christmas book game while we waited for the house to settle. Everyone was having fun until everyone found the thimble before Anne. She loudly declared "I hate all of you and I'm never gonna be your friends again." She stormed off in a huff. Five minutes later, she was back. As she approached the group, Abby, the eight year old, asked Anne if she was ready to forgive them. "Never, but I still want to play."
The timer went off and we headed back to the gingerbread house. Thinking that the house was actually ready to decorate, I started layering on the icing while Abby divvied up the candy. Then the house collapsed. We iced it back into position, set the timer and played Eye Spy book. We did this three more times before the house remained standing. Everyone dumped their candies on the house.
Abby said,"Wait, we need a mint for the house. My Dad loves mints." Everyone had already eaten theirs and there was one left--only slightly licked by Naomi. Abby said,"This one will work. It's for my Dad and we're family, so germs are ok to share." So, on went the slightly licked mint.
Then the roof slid off the house and the walls caved in. Abby, the oldest of the kids, made an executive decision-"Let's just eat this thing." And,so, that's what we did.
After that, the napping toddlers were awake and we attempted a game of Candyland that ended with everyone yelling at eachother that they were never going to be friends again.
To cool everyone off, I decided to bring the snow inside. We got two huge ice cream pails filled with show and set them on the kiddie table.
"What happens when we mix paint and snow?" Josiah asked. So, we hauled out the paints and found out what happens to snow when you mix it with every paint colour you have (it turns black). We continued our experiment with observing what happens to snow when we added many glasses of water (black paint splashes all over the floor).
I set the kids to the living room to dance and Josiah helps me mop up the floor.
A fight breaks out and there's a stomping of feet and proclamations of, "Yeah, well, if you don't say I'm the best then I'm never gonna be your friend again." And on it goes.
Five minutes later, everyone was friends again as we did Colour Resist painting. Out came the crayons and watercolour paints as we painted different winter scenes.
And then, with dinner only an hour away, we had to do what we had to do. On came the ski jackets, and out came the silver bells. I lit a candle inside the hand held lantern for Josiah who, I was reminded, means "fire of God". And then off to our neighbours to sing the one song everyone knew the words to-Jingle Bells.
Oh, the fun of Christmas carolling. What a blast, as we knocked on our neighbours doors and their warm light covered us on the porch.Naomi rang the bells, Annie played the whistle, little Hannah banged the tambourine, Josiah swayed with the brightly shining candle lantern and we all belted out Jingle Bells. The neighbours smiled, cheered the kids, and Merry Christmas rang out to everyone. Once home, Josiah summed it up best. "That was good. I liked that. We made people feel happy. They were smiling." So were we.
Dinner consisted of a brilliant meal of chicken nuggets and mac and cheese. As Josiah ate by the candles, he asked if he could roast his chicken over the flames. Ah, why not? I showed him how close he could get to the flame and we agreed, after some debate, that four inches from the flame was a good comprimise. Dinner consisted of Josiah roasting everyone's chicken, which, as he explained it, made sense since he name did mean "fire of God".
Pajamas, clean up and a bowl of freshly made popcorn brought us to movie time where we set up the tent in the living room and popped in "The Polar Express". All the lights went off except for the myriad of Christmas lights I have in the house.
We watched the magical story of believing and Christmas dreaming and the gift of friendship.
And bedtime approached quickly. Annie and Naomi snuggled up in Anne's bed. Apparently, one of them had admitted that the other ws the best because they were friends again. Brie and Hannah were put in the crib and play pen respectively. And Abby got to sleep in the tent...only after I coaxed Josiah out of it and onto the couch-with the promise that I would light a taper candle in the living room for him to watch as he fell asleep. He agreed that this was a good idea, "After all," he said, "my name does mean fire of God."
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

For Jenny...

The Christmas pic I didn't send...our "artsy" family picture

A night with Miss Iz

My friend Inez came over last night. She is our adopted family member.
Peter and I love adopting college students, feeding them, encouraging them, hanging out and hearing about the drama of learning to live life on your own. Our family gets bigger every year! And Inez is as quirky and crazy as the rest of us, so she fits in perfectly.
Here's some things Inez and I learned last night:
*Jesus is the best (naturally, this is a given. But when you really look at what He's done in your life the past year, you come to the conclusion that "Jesus is the best")
*When it comes to decorating sugar cookies, there is no such thing as too much icing or sprinkles
*Foam gingerbread houses can be finicky--nothing a bottle of glue can't fix
*You can't have pizza without cheese
* You can't go wrong with a Jack Johnson song
*Soy products offer Noel Nog...because egg nog just wouldn't make sense
*The Nanny Diaries is a movie worth skipping
*Jesus is the best (Again, some truths are obvious but bear repeating)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Happy Birthday to Brie...belated

My baby girl is two!

Time has whipped by and I'm here holding two years worth of wonderful memories. My daughter Brienda is nicknamed Sunnybear. She has the sunniest disposition in the world. She wakes up and says, "Oh, hi!" She lies on the floor and extends her arms and hands and says,"I'mflyin'!" She is very polite and almost always says,"Thank you, Ma-ma." And when she is in one of her two year old moods instead of saying "no", her eyebrows come down, her lip pouts out, she waves her hand and says,"Never!"

She is complete and total sugar. Thank you God for the sunshine that my daughter brings.

Monday, December 10, 2007

PIkku Joulaa (That's Finnish for "Little Christmas" and Diva-ese for the "Gong Show Continues!")

Ahhh, traditions. Aren't they a wonderful part of Christmas?
This year I was adamant to create some sort of Christmas tradition including my heritage: Finnish roots!
We already have a little Finnish tradition in our advent celebrations-we open our gifts on Christmas Eve and our stockings on Christmas morning. But I wanted something a little more. I remembered that Pikku Joulaa is celebrated in the first week of advent-so I decided to do a smaller, less elaborate version of Pikku Joulaa.
This was the plan:
Invite Grandma Jill over to join us for a traditional Finnish meal of Mojakka (stew) and rice pudding with prune and raisin soppa (sauce). Make Finnish ice candles and decorate our tree together while singing Christmas carols (all in English because I don't have any Finnish music)
This is what actually happened:
**Jill helped make the rice pudding and soppa as I had to walk Annie's little friend home. Failed to mention that it was brown rice that Jill would have to work with and that she should boil it longer than the recipe suggested. It took over two hours to cook and still had quite a delicate crunch--this was after the attempts of cooking it on the stove top, in the oven and in the microwave.
**We take out the Finnish ice candle from it's mold and with great jubilation dance about rejoicing that it is all in one piece and has not broken. Anne is given the honour of lighting the first candle and we place it outside to send a warm and friendly glow to our neighbours. We also decide to put on our outside lights--which need to be plugged in from the inside since we have no outdoor plug--the door won't shut. This doesn't bode well. We compromise and have the door as shut as it can be and stuff towels around the open orifice trying to squelch any hopes of the cold air coming in.
**I had planned on making fish mojakka but when Peter got home after a full day and saw that he would have to clean the fish (rainbow trout) scales, head and all he opted out of cooking preparations--which left Jill and I to decapitate and de-scale the fish. New solution: Downgrade dinner to a meal of milk potatoes and fresh cut veggies. Is it Finnish? I don't know--both my Finnish grandmothers would make it for me so there's always the possibility
**Jill and I congratulate on how scrumptious the prune and raisin soppa looks and set it to simmer. Put the milk potatoes to boil as it is time to set the tree up!
**Peter wrestles with the tree stand for 10 minutes and abandons hope in search of some hot cider to settle the nerves. Jill decides to tackle the tree and untangles the lights....for ten minutes! Peter and Jill threaten...ahem...agree that my light fetish needs to be scaled back. To quote Jill when I agreed to two strands of lights : "Quick, Peter, take it. You aren't going to get a deal like that again...maybe not for years!"
**Forgot to watch the milk potatoes, milk evaporates into soft curds. With this knowledge Jill whispers to me the cooking secret her mother told her: "What the eyes never see, the heart doesn't grieve over." We decide to keep the disaster to ourselves and add more milk. Set to simmer.
**Jill and Peter join forces and try to set up the tree. They decide that someone needs to invent an Acme tree stand that is in the cartoons-you open the box and it's all set up. The tree finally stands while Anne announces that she has just found a new use for the scissors and Brienda chucks an ornament across the room. It falls and breaks. It's broken pieces lay scattered in Anne's newest creation--her My Little Pony Barber shop! The ponies have just undergone radical hairdo's!
**With the tree half-standing-half being held up by the corner of the wall, we eat our meal of twice cooked milk potatoes. Everyone is ravenously hunger, as the hour is late, and no one notices the milk curds until the end. Time for dessert...thrice cooked rice pudding with--oh no--simmered-too-long soppa sauce. I forgot to turn the sauce off--all evidence of liquid has evaporated leaving a thick mess of prunes and raisins. Oh well, everyone eats up. Peter dodges the crunchy rice, while Jill and I compliment eachother. "Allie, this sauce is delicious and perfectly made."
"Why Jill, this rice has almost a nut-type texture to it. Well done!"
Anne pipes up,"Hey, not bad."
And Brie throws rice across the table.
**Nearing two hours past their bed time and a half-empty box of chocolates eaten the girls start to dance and jump around...and Brie throws an ornament across the room. It's time to put the ornaments on the tree. Anne goes first, followed by Grandma Jill and Brie. Everyone places their favourite ones on and whatever ones they happen to catch as Brie launches them across the room. Grandma Jill places her special ornament on. Then the girls finish trimming the tree with their special daughter and Dad tradition: taping Hershy kisses onto all the branches.
Stepping back, we all wait with baited breath as the tree is lit. It would seem that my light fetish has paid off.
The room twinkles and sparkles as we sit and laugh about best intentions for the evening. We say, "Merry Christmas" and duck as Brienda finds an ornament on a low branch and hurls it across the room.
Houska Joulaa!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Yahoo! Advent calendars open up today!

Hooray! It's December 1st.
As soon as my girls woke up and came to our bed for a cuddle I was whispering to them about the surprise that awaited them in the living room.
"What is it?" SuperGirl asked, wide-eyed.
"Come see, girls," Daddy said.
They raced out to the couch and ta-da! There they found there pocket calendars, complete with a scripture to read for today, a winter activity that we all do today and, of course, a little treat--misty mints!
We are all very excited as today's activity is to decorate the house. Everyone has their own little jobs and excitement is in the air!
Crank up the Christmas tunes!

Today's Favourite Carol: The First Noel

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Being put...or rather reminded...of my place

"Mom, what 's a butler?"
"A servant."
"Do I have a butler?"
"Well, what do you think?"
"You do?"
"Well, yeah. You serve me."

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It's been a while since I've written anything about Facebook

(Fist raised at the sky)
Forget you!You addicting , time consuming thing that has stolen yet another friend into the grips of your vortex of wasting time!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Gentle words meet with a sense of humour

Proverbs 15:4 Gentle words bring life and health; Griping is discouraging.

That verse was today's devotion lesson for my girls. I'm doing a new thing with them called "A Person of Excellence...". And for the next little while we are focusing on the fact that a Person of Excellence honours and respects others. This week's feature is kind speech. (I'm using Instruction in Righteousness to help me with the scriptures and stuff --
It was a fun lesson this morning and we practiced saying gentle words to each other or imagining different things to say to other people. I was told that I was the "beautifullest Mommy and the bestest one."
Then comes the afternoon...I have a lady over to discuss some things about homeschooling. SuperGirl practices her manners and invites the lady in and says that it's nice to meet her.
Gentle words.

The girls play and prance around us while we talk about homeschooling, our passion for our kids and integrating life and learning and all the possibilities available to us as we walk down the road of home education. SuperGirl politely asks me for honey in her tea, makes a fuss about someting then apologizes for her attitude.
Gentle words.

My guest and I flit off the track we're suposed to be on and start swapping stories of life and dreams and Christmas traditions. We share a mutual laugh over Missie Moo's sudden appearance and announcement "I'm naked. I like it!"
I quickly dress my streaker, and settle down for more cozy conversation,gentle words and a cup of warm vanilla tea.

SuperGirl springs up from no where and says, "Mom, why is that lady fat?"
Rude words.
Rude words!
Horrifyingly, embarrassingly rude words.
If I had a button that would open my floor and swallow me whole, I would have been pressing it like a panic button to end all panics!

I quickly put away my lukewarm tea and stood up from my lopsided couch. Hauling Anne by the hand, I brought her over to our "A Person of Excellence" poster sheet.
I had her repeat Proverbs 15:4 "Gentle words bring life and health; Griping is discouraging."
SuperGirl, when you asked that question, did you bring life and health to that lady?"
SuperGirl's eyes were wide. "No." She looked down at the floor.
"What did your words cause?"
"Yeah. What should we do to make it right?"

SuperGirl nodded her head with the knowledge of what to do and then promptly went back to our guest and apologized for speaking rudely. Gentle words.
As my guest accepted SuperGirl 's apologies, SuperGirl said thank you.

Gentle words.

I sank back into my seat and summoned the courage to look my guest in the eye.
With a twinkle in her eye, she tilted her head and said, "Well, I'd answer her question but we'd be here a long time!"

Ah, gentle words.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The ever delicate dance of the fish and the bird...

You know the Jewish proverb? The one that is quoted in the film, "Ever After" : A fish may love a bird, Senora, but where would they live?"
Sometimes, I feel like the fish. I love to swim around, do my thing, no schedule, no order...just free to be a fish. However, life...and in particular, married life requires a certain amount of routine and order for the practical day to day living.
This past week I was complaining to my husband about how I just didn't feel "on top of" a few certain things. His honest reply--and oh, how he is always so honest!--was simply,"it's because you have no system or routine in place for these things."
Grrr!He's right. I love to be spontaneous and go with the flow. But the truth of the matter is, I am best able to be spontaneous and go with the flow when I have an organized mind and an organized space.
For the past week, I've put everything on hold and just focused on re-organizing everything that has been a stumbling block for me. I've rooted out the things that were low priorities for me but I felt I needed to hang onto them because, well, insert a reason here. It's a vague one, at best.
The point is, now that I am "getting on top of things" so to speak, I do have systems in place. I am realizing that most of the things that set me off-kilter was just a collection of non-essential things trying to grab for my attention. But now everything is finding it's place again-in my head and my home.
And now I know where a bird and a fish would live.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Just saying, is all."

I miss my husband. Just saying, is all. (wink)
Ok completely random thoughts that have ran through my head in the past...since I was born

*The day--well, life, really--never happens how you picture it in your head.
* is my new website fave!
*I really could watch the film Ever After three times in a row and still love it. I'm convinced of it. I've watched it twice in a row--so far so good.
*I have an easy time making a list in my head of all the things I want and need to buy. But I am very picky and like to take a long selection process when I actually spend my money.
*The lady who runs the consignment store is my new best friend--she honestly told me what she thought when discussing my clothes. And her assessment was bang on. A great arsonal weapon for any woman trying to figure out her sense of style.
*Sometimes I feel better about myself when I know someone is jealous of me. I want that to change.
*I can impact a lot of people just from inside my house
*Sometimes I eat food like a Hoover vacuum. Suck it all up and make a lot of noise.
*I wish Cory and Martha lived closer
*Adults make choices with their lives. We can't stop them. We can encouarage them, we can speak into their lives but at the end of the day, they make the choice. Consequence is a nasty tonic for friends who make bad choices.
*There is always enough time for what is a priority to me.
*Cash doesn't just talk--it makes people sing and dance.
*Sometimes I feel like Dorothy from the Golden Girls--a desire to be intolerably, sarcastically cruel to the dumb blonde "Rose" in the room.
*Sometimes life is like a box of chocolates and you never know what you are going to get. And sometimes life is like a box of Ferrero Rocher: you know exactly what your getting. Same thing every time. First two are heavenly, the third you just have to have, the fourth one you feel is unnecessary but you justify. The fifth you say, "I've gone this far, why stop now." And the sixth is the one where you say,"How can I love and not like something at the same time especially when it is exactly the same piece of chocolate I have been eating time and time again." Life's like that sometimes. Addictingly normal and routine...and yet so frustratingly normal and routine.
Just saying, is all.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Photos that didn't make the cut!

So, I'm on top of the whole preparing myself for Christmas...or so I think. I got our family photos done two weeks ago. Total gong show...the best part was that we got to hang out almost all day with our friends Cody and the amazing photographer, Amanda. I got a perm four days before our shoot--which promptly fell out of my hair to give me the "just got off a motorcycle but didn't wear a helmet" look or the ever popular "I forgot how to use a hairbrush" look.
Went to get the girls hair cut. Had to cancel the appointment. I did their hair as best I could but by the time we got to the photo part the barrettes hiding any possible craziness had fallen out, gotten lost or were used as a stirring stick for the leaf-pile-pie. This year's photos: we are completely and utterly ourselves! Au naturelle. Here are some pics that didn't quite make the cut. Reasons why are posted underneath.
This one's great. Here are the thought processes of everyone in this photo
A-Mom, I want to get down!
Allie-'Manda, take the picture. My hair is being pulled and I can't keep this smile forever
Jeep-I think my daughter just filled her pants...
B-Heehee! I just filled my pants!
This photo is so great! I love it. From various scheduling problems, our fall pictures ended up being well past the "lovely autumn" and straight into the "rotting fall". These leaves were crisp and dry and Peter and I felt completely fake as we endeavoured to mimic a happy fall leaf fight (that I had suggested). Instead, we mocked ourselves and our idealism of capturing a Martha Stewart happy holiday. And Amanda's camera just kept clicking*:)
Hehehe! Oh, my sis, Ames is sure to comment!

I love this one. Jeep and me being...Jeep and me.
Does anyone believe that this was taken days before November 1st? And, it still looks like this..well, the grass may not be as Photoshop green, but still-the weather's great here. The concept of this shot is fun-I love it.
This picture is our paid homage to studio portraits. You know what I mean. Everyone is looking somewhere, but no one is looking at exactly the same spot.
I sooo wanted to make this one our family portrait. But my Grandma would have too many questions for me to explain and I just don't think she'd get it when I said, "To infinity...and beyond!" (cue superhero theme music)
I actually love this shot. But it's the back of Jeep's and my head with no kids to show for it. My Aunt Edie would see this photo and say, "What a thoughtful gesture. A post card from Allie's hometown."
Hate to see you go, but I love to watch you leave!

I love this photo.It came down to the top three pics and we had to go with another (which will be revealed in December--a nice one for the Grandma's and an artsy one for all our post-modern friends). I love how Jeep is surrounded by his girls in one of his favourite spots. My love is one amazing and handsome man. sigh.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pumpkin pics!

Every Friday night is "Cookie-Movie Night" at my house. Most of the kids in the neighbourhood end up at my house where we make cookies and then watch a movie. Here's the pics from our Harvest night where we made candy apples (crushed oreos and peanuts-ymmm!) and carved our pumpkins.

cupcake treats from Miss Inez!

Inez showed us "how it is done". She made her pumpkin into Cinderella's carraige. Complete with paperclip hinges so her doors opened!

Messy and fun!

The lovely Miss Inez joined our crew and got busy leading the group in the grueling task of unwrapping our caramels. While I made up an excuse--er, I mean, I busied myself with some important non-descriptive task that removed me from any obligation of unwrapping the precious candy.

So delicious!
And halfway through pumpkin carving my little two year old got her hands on the camera and dropped it on the floor. I no longer have a digital camera....hmmm...what to get for Christmas?!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I will not forget

In Grade seven, my friend Kelly and I were responsible for creating and presenting our school's November 11th Rememberance Day ceremony. Looking back, I remember collecting the poems and the details about previous wars that had been fought, trying to keep my voice steady as I spoke in front of the entire student body and listening to the silence echo off the walls of our huge gymnasium as we took a moment to honour the lives of the men and women who fought and still fight to defend our freedoms.

I was honoured to be chosen to take part in remembering the lives of our Canadian heroes. Today I am taking my girls down to the ceremony here in town. We've made giant poppies for them to hold as we march down the street behind the regiment. My prayer is for my children's earliest memories to be ones of gratefulness and a thankful heart for the wonderful country we live in and a respectful attitude to those who serve our country today with the gentle mix of pride and humility.

I will not forget.

In Flanders Fields

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow

Between the crosses row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

Monday, November 5, 2007

the view from up here

Here are some random shots of the view from our house. Actually, the park. But the park is like two doors down from it's kinda the view from our house. We live up on the coulees. Great for hiking on and we watch the sunset from our living room.


Brie loves having her hands in her pockets. She looks like such a big girl when she does it--I had to take photos of it and capture the moment

Pictures of fall time

Sunset, as seen from our house. My camera doesn't do it justice.

Brienda-just chilling in the leaves

This is my girls chasing the roll away pumpkin. It rolled out of our yard and down the street to the park! Good times.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

conglomeration of thoughts

Just some thoughts running through my head.
In many ways, I can mark the day that childhood innocence left me. Some people have their innoncence taken from them. Some have moments were they unknowingly release it like a firefly once cupped in their hands. Some run into that moment with expectation and some meet it when they least expect it. I met it on October 27th 1990.
That day represents more to me than the day that my father died. It has a two-edged meaning for me.
I'm trying to write this without sounding dramatic or without evoking pitying responses, but it's hard to know how to put it into words that will help a reader understand what I'm trying to say. So, I'm just going to say it and let the words break and fall where they may.
My father was blue when I found him. Was he still alive? Could he hear me? Did he worry that his little girl found him and he was unable to help, unable to protect as he had so many times before? These are all questions that I've asked, looked at, polished and then placed in God's hand. Sometimes I pick them up and look at them, but for the most part I've given them to Him because I know "He is able to keep them until that day."
Childhood, for me, ended like a blast of cold water being thrown on my face. There was no option for a different course. The wonder of childhood; the soft roundness of amazement and imagination; the doughy, warm smells of contentment all vanished the moment I crept up to my father's body and peered at his bluish, gray face. There was no going back. Childhood had ended.
Surprisingly, at that exact same moment, I found myself in a greater adventure. An adventure that superseded the panic that surfaced and the fear that wrapped itself around me in that moment.
At that exact minute, I became aware of God's presence. The all-consuming, comforting and gentle Presence of the Lord. Peace invaded my panic, love burnt up my fear and the unmistakable knowledge that I was not abandoned became seeded in my heart.
Knowing you, Jesus
Knowing you
There is no greater thing
You're my Lord, you're the best
You're my joy, my righteousness
And I love you
It was a few years later when I heard Corrie Ten boom's words about living in the concentration camp and losing all her family; these words finally put all of my heart's understanding about God's love for me into one simple phrase: "There is no pit too deep, that He is not deeper still."
October 27th 1990 is the day that my childhood ended and it was the day I was swallowed up by the vastless, warm ocean of God's love.
Today feels like a good day to go surfing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

So wanting some of Jamie Oliver's chocolate pots with Mars bars sauce!

It's the last day of my cleanse. For the past ten days I have drank only water and a concoction made out of maple syrup, cayenne pepper and lemon. Oh, and let's not forget the morning drink of water and sea salt to flush the toxins out.
Well, now that I am so close to done, all I can think about is food. I'm dreaming of:
cheese smothered pasta (any kind)
crostini's caked with cream cheese and pesto
Ritva crackers with avocado and cheese
my grandmother's blueberry pie
my mother's food-all of it
Lucy H's cabbage rolls
my spring rolls
My bro in law's meatballs
My grandfather's oatmeal
Well-done Pancakes from the Hoito
My sister's cheesecake
My sister in law, Angela's, chili
My oatmeal bake
lemon loaf
saucy chicken with parmesan reggiano
Heather's cookies
Lois' anything--the woman can cook
Someone feed me!!!!!
The sad truth is that my stomach has shrunk and now I have to slowly and painstakingly re-itnroduce food to my body.
In four days from now I will be living! I will be thriving! Because I will be eating!

(pics from Jamie Oliver's website)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sharks have the ability to smell 40x more than me...

...although, after today I beg to differ.
I am on a cleanse. It's a ten day cleanse where you clean out your body of toxins.My friend warned me before I started. "Hols, the only downfall about the whole thing is how powerful your sense of smell becomes." No kidding.
My nostrils are hoover vacuums taking in the wonderful, mouthwatering aromas of food. Every smell is now keen and clear, fragrant and delicious. It's like falling in love all over again--suddenly the world is a brand new place.
Well, back to my lemon-maple syrup-cayenne pepper concoction.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I can't believe I found this clip!

This is a great depiction of comedy. Take notes!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thank you for Freedom!

My family is looking to adopt a soldier in Afghanistan to write to and encourage and THANK.
The website is getting people in touch with the injured soldiers. Please visit the site.
Watch the song. Hauntingly beautiful.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


"Come back to me."
He ran his fingers across the words stamped into the page. It was only an email, but the words felt alive to his touch.
He sighed, laying back on his bunk and staring at the matress rings above him.
He wanted to go back. Every moment he felt the tug of her love calling to him, pulling him. He squeezed his eyes shut and thought about her face rather than the violence he had seen that day. He wanted to remember the smell of summer in her hair rather than the gritty roar of the convoy trucks, the shrieks of the Afghani people running to hide from the spray of bullets, the tidal wave of fear he had to push aside as he worked with the other medics to save the victims.
He could see her face, smiling at him. Her green eyes looking steady at his. He let his memories of her wash over him like a wave reconciling with the shore. This was his solace.
But even his solace pulled at him...calling him home. He wanted to go, and he wanted to stay. He needed to stay. It was the right place for him to be. If he left now, if they all left now, what about these people? What about their hope for peace, their hope for something different?
Questions he didn't have answers to. Promises he couldn't make. A hard spot for a Canadian soldier to be in.
He picked up the letter and stared at the words, "Come back to me."

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

life in photos

Peter with his creation, "The distraught Grandmother." Granny has a pipe in her mouth, although it's hard to see.

Our table gourds.  Now a new tradition at my house. We decorate our gourds and then sit them in front of our plates. Mine is the second from the right "Opera Diva gourd" complete with gold earrings. Missie Moo's is the first one from the right. SuperGirl 's is the first one from the left. Izzy's are the two in the middle. A punk rocker and a nice girl. Hmmm...both descriptions could be said of our girl, Inez! Distraught grandmother was too distraught to come to this photo.

Seriously, this is my hair just before I went to a friend's for Turkey on Thanksgiving Sunday. Anyone who knows me well, knows that this is only another chapter in the saga known as "The Hair of My Life".Crazy, windy day.

I love hiking. So much to see.

Woke up early on Thanksgiving Sunday to watch the sunrise. Thank you God for morning!

Yes, that is snow on the ground. This weekend we hung out in Waterton with our cousin Darla. First day was kiaboshed since it snowed and no one had decent footwear except Darla. those girls from Montana...always thinking!Isn't it gorgeous here. This photo alone should convince you all to come visit me.

SuperGirl and her new buddy, Baby Pinkie Pie

A picture of Missie-Moo by our house.