Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My apologies to Charles Wilkins

Choose Your Own Adventure #3

In order to get my point across about how easy it is to write funny posts, I've spoofed the poem Pancakes by Charles Wilkins. Mr. Wilkins, I am sorry for any way this embarrasses your brilliance.

Writing Funny Redeemed Diva Style

There's a trick to writing funny
That everyone should know
The trick is this: Be Honest
Loosen up! Let go!

Hit 'em with a metaphor
Hit 'em with a rhyme
Go and repeat yourself
Half a dozen times

Til

your

post

is...

Filled with expectation
Higher than your house
Higher than your mortgage payments
Higher than a mouse?

Then dose it with reality
Pour it on strong
Let them see how obvious
It is that you are wrong



Thursday, December 4, 2008

CORRECTION: My Christmas List

I want one of these...


to help me deal with my anger.
I'm going through a marriage course right now.
Naturally, I need one of these. There are some scriptures in the Bible that make me want to use this bag--not because the word of God is wrong. But because it is right.
That leaves only one person to be wrong and in sin: me.
I need this punching bag.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Thanksgiving: a good time for reflections and meltdowns...not necessarily in that order

It is one of those days.
You wake up groaning because you suddenly have a sinus cold and you are acutely aware of the fact that you stayed up much too late last night cooking food for today's big dinner and should have gone to sleep instead so that you had the physical wherewithal to fight off the cold you will battle all day
You drag your sore self out of bed, you rush around getting four people ready for church while your husband grabs a shower and gets himself ready. You grumble, you complain. You say to yourself, "Just once I would like the luxury of getting only myself ready and YOU can get the kids ready. Just once." Which you know is a complete lie. You would like that to be the case more than once.
Your kids are dressed, diaper changed, breakfast eaten, hair is done and you venture into your closet to find something to wear. And then you realize you have nothing to wear. You pull down the basket of seasonal clothing because it has snowed and you realize that you cannot get away with one more Sunday in summer capris. You rifle through your seasonal clothes and see everything that you've worn for the last two years. You realize that the last time you went shopping for clothes was in March...at a second hand store. Your mind floats to the images of the beautiful women at church. Women, who it would seem, have just stepped out of a catalogue. You try not to be envious as you think of a friend who has $70 high heel boots. You love this friend. And yet, all you can think of is, "Just once....just once, I'd like the luxury of being able to spend $70 on something other than groceries! Something on myself." Which is a lie, of course, because you really want it more than once.
So instead you take a deep breath, you try and tell yourself that your friend and her husband both work and have no kids. You have a different course that you are on. You are not willing to go into debt for clothes, you are living on a single income so that your kids can have you at home, you are being obedient to the things God wants you to do. But your heart betrays you and you find yourself still wanting those high-heeled hooker boots and a suede skirt, knit sweater and fitting accessories.
In frustration, you approach the mirror and realize that if you were any good with scissors you would chop off all your hair and give yourself a haircut that would somehow take away the dramatic reality of the dark bags under your eyes. You fiddle with your hair clip, and hairspray and swear to yourself that if paper bags placed over your head ever come into style you will champion their cause.
Checking the time you yell, with a voice far from meek, that in 10 minutes we're leaving whether anyone is in the car or not. You grab the vacuum and dramatically clean the carpets thinking, "Just once, just once, I would like it if I wasn't the only person who cared about how the house looked." Which, of course, is a lie because you'd like it to be more than once.
And as you miserably vacuum the floor--aware that you will have to wear running shoes with your outfit because you have no appropriate footwear (hooker boots included), that you look like you just came out of the laundry pile because you have had to get three children ready, that your hair is a possible example of a bad hair commercial--you ask yourself, "Why the bloody hell am I doing all this?"
And as you vacuum, you answer yourself, "Because it's Thanksgiving, and I want to celebrate it with my friends and family."
And then you stop. The vacuum hose falls to the floor as you cover your face and start to cry.
It's Thanksgiving. A day to be thankful. A day to count your blessings. A day to rejoice that your son isn't fighting in Afghanistan, that your husband has a job, that your children are healthy, that you have clothes to wear, a house to clean, a vacuum that works, food to have dinner with and friends and family to celebrate Thanksgiving with.
And you think to yourself, "Just once, just once, I'd like the luxury of not comparing myself, not complaining about my life, not focusing on myself."
And then you decide that that "once" is now. Today you will be thankful and be grateful to God for all His blessings. Today your whole heart will praise Him for His goodness and favour towards you. Today you will say "thank You".
And not just once.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

True Story

When I was in kindergarten, I told my classmates that I rode a horse to school everyday.
I lived in the country, it was possible. But it wasn't true, of course. Obviously.
I just wanted to be cool like the girl with boundless energy, pretty hair clips, and the pudding pop snacks in her lunch pail.
I was questioned by her and her groupies as to why the horse wasn't standing outside waiting for me when it was time to go home.
I told them, with a straight face, "I just slap it on its bum and it knows the way home."
True story.

During show and tell a kid named Clinton stood up and bragged about the gift his Dad got him. I am from a family of four and cool gifts happened--just not as often as Clinton's did. My Dad was currently in Toronto and we were very excited about him flying home on a plane that night. So I stood up and took my turn with Show and Tell. I told the kids how my Dad was flying on a plane, and how he was in Toronto...and that he was bringing me a tricycle from Toronto.
I still remember the look on my teacher's face when I said that. It was one that was mixed with the arched eyebrow that questioned whether or not I was telling the truth or really believed it and hoped it would happen, crossed with the wide eyes of "how in the world would he fit that in his suitcase!"
True Story.

I sometimes sit by myself and laugh out loud when I'm alone. I'm thinking of what a tricycle would look like in my Dad's brown suitcase. And how a horse would determine which road to turn down in order to get to my place.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Blindsided!

It happened.
And it always seems to happen in the grocery store.
The grocery store is always an adventure when I take my kids. I could go by myself, but
1.there are so many teachable moments for my kids in a grocery store that I always take them along.
2. I have precious few hours with my husband in the evening and I like spending it with him rather than the melon man and the checkout girl
3. If I went by myself that would probably happen during my scheduled alone time during the week, and in my books, it doesn't count to have alone time when you are with the melon man and the checkout girl.

Our Little Man was blissfully sleeping in his car seat while we piled high our cart with all the trimmings for our upcoming Thanksgiving dinner this weekend. I was trying to be thorough and yet quick since I was aware that Our Little Man had been sleeping for quite awhile and that when he woke up he would start wailing for his food.
We had only encountered a few teachable moments (no, we don't lie on the floor at the supermarket, yes, you can have ONE box of Kraft Dinner,no, we don't pester the melon man with unwanted bird facts and you stay with Mommy and stop hiding in the aisle because you are freaking me out!)I headed for the checkout line thankful that I had made it this far without complete catastrophe.

And that's when it happened.

I had a rather large order. It's $200 Tuesday--you spend $200 and you get $25 dollar gift card. So, with Thanksgiving coming this weekend, my cart was full. And the checkout girl at the counter was in no particular hurry.
I live in a small town and so stopping and chatting with every patron is just part of the checkout girl's job--being thorough, taking her time...precious minutes slipping away only to equal up to the throaty yell of my newborn son!

He cries for his food, he wants his mother, he hates his car seat.
Pick a reason.
He's loud and he's awake. But I don't panic because I'm nearly ready to pay and the littany of endless chatter with the checkout girl and her conversation with the people next in line is almost at an end.

And then it really happened.

I was blindsided. I didn't see it coming because my back was to my baby and I was paying the cashier who had finally stopped talking and was taking my money.
I turned around and some woman in her forties had her hands all around my baby's face, stroking him, cooing him and telling him everything was going to be ok. Her face, mere inches from his, breathing her breath into his face.
My jaw was open. I stood shocked, and tried to find my voice to say, "Hey lady, get away from my baby."
And just as I find my voice, the lady sees that I'm finished at the counter and she steps up to pay and starts her conversation with the checkout girl once again.
I stand for a moment, wondering how I couldn't get the words out of my mouth. Praying that she didn't stick her finger in my son's mouth to keep him quiet as he has suddenly settled. I temporarily think about finding the melon man and asking for a large pumpkin to carry as arsenal to throw at anyone who attempts touching my child without asking.
And I leave the store feeling as though I had missed the opportunity to protect my child.

I leave completely blindsided.


Monday, September 22, 2008

It's a boy!




Tada! Here he is!
Our Little Man


Early Friday morning at 2 am my water broke and we woke up to go to the hospital. Jeep was quickly getting our girls into the car, while I did the dishes. I have an aversion to the idea of coming home to a sink full of dirty dishes.
Jeep announced that my contractions were 5 minutes apart and that if I had any ideas of vacuuming the living room, he would put me in the van right away! So we left.


We raced down the highway since we live half hour away from the city with the hospital that would do our delivery. Speeding along, Jeep noted that my contractions were 4 minutes apart.
As we did, we drove past an RCMP officer, who immediately turned on his lights, signaling us to pull over. Too hilarious! When he walked up to the window and asked us why we were speeding, Jeep enthusiastically declared,"My wife's in labour!"
The officer encouraged us to drive a cetain speed with our emergency lights flashing and to get there safely.

Once at the hospital, we only had to breathe through 2 and a half hours of contractions before we were shocked and surprised as we delivered a litle boy!
Jeep and I were stunned for about 5 minutes as we realized we finally had a son.


This is Jeep re-enacting my final moments of labour. As the pain intensified, I took the breathing gas for the final ten minutes as we waited for the doctor to arrive. My body was ready to go but the doctor was not there yet. Our Little Man is a man of momentum--he came in 3 hours and 47 minutes! And he was 9 lbs 6 oz. A very big boy!

Thank you to everyone who has prayed for us, encouraged us, and congratulated us. We appreciate you and value the time that you've taken to celebrate with us.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

This must be what happens when you eat pickles early in pregnancy...

...it manifests itself in the ninth month as a sour attitude.
I cannot believe how many meltdowns I've had in the past few days. How emotional I've become...over the dishes needing to be done, or the need to vacuum the floor again.
I've gotta get out of my house. But when I do, I realize that I have to take a walk and so I sit down, because I no longer can walk. I waddle. Rocking back and forth from side to side, like the ship from the movie "White Squall."
I keep telling myself to take a deep breath,that I am modeling for my children how they are supposed to respond in stressful situations. Lately they've learned that you sit down on the bath tub ledge and cry and say, "Why must I repeat myself over and over again...just pick up the crayons off the floor."
Suffice to say, my kids are getting great lesons in forgiveness and I'm doing my share of apologizing for erratic and unacceptable behaviour.
My oldest, SuperGirl, comes up and says, "Mom are you ok?"
"No," I reply. "I'm not. My emotions are trying to tell me how to behave."
"Well, that's silly," she says.
And wiping away my tears, I say, "Yep. It is."

I blame the pickles.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

No baby yet!


I'm due tomorrow and no baby has arrived yet...even though family members from out of town keep calling me. Yes, Amy...that means you!
And this week had it's own moments of panic and the sudden realization that everything is about to change...again! Good change, but change nonetheless. It made me realize that I hadn't washed the sheets on my bed, my sock drawer needed organizing and it was finally high time I vacuumed out the lint trip...after all, who knows when I will have the chance to do that after the baby is born. (Let's not talk about the fact that I hardly ever do those things)
I'm in hyper-organization mode. My husband brought a file box into the office/baby's room. This week I finally put the crib up,did the sheets, washed the baby clothes and organized my office. And then he brought in a file box and I had a meltdown. Was he not aware that I had spent the last three days putting the room together and finally had it fully cleaned and he just upset the entire equilibrium of the universe by bringing in a file box? He didn't get a chance to respond to my rant because I moved to the kitchen where I started talking about the evils of clutter and how dare he bring in a box of things that belong to the girls room and just set it on the table. He didn't have a chance to respond because I then noticed...the poor man, he was probably more grateful then ever to go to his work's golf tournament and leave his ranting, emotional wife following him out the door saying, "Why didn't you put this tool in the garage...it doesn't belong in the living room...but in the garage, where all tools belong."
So, clearly, I'm emotional and wound up--I'll spare everyone my grocery store story and my tone used with my little girls and the nice lady at the check out counter.
Today was just a grumpy, I'm big and about to give birth and if one more relative calls me and says, "Any baby yet?" I'm going to eat the remaining two sleeves of the Oreo bag kind of day.
Which is funny because I've actually been relatively upbeat and calm throughout all of it.
And the only place i can vent is my writing--so everyone gets to hear my grumpy side!
Love to you all. There will be a baby soon. I promise.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Where did Summer go?

Remember Summer?
Where did it go? I was busy living it up and making memories and avoiding sweating like a pig in the pregnant pants I wear every day now because they are the only ones that make me feel comfortable. And now, it's September, our homeschool started yesterday and I am a little dazed as to how 3 weeks went so fast.
Has anyone seen the rest of my carefree days?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

plug my ears and sing lalalalalala

I woke up this morning, felt a bit of a chill. The grey clouds hung low and threatened to release the rain. And my first thought was,"Ymmmm, I'm going to make some stew."
Stew? Stew! Stew is fall time talk.....Not yet.
This always happens...my mind flips a switch when August is approaching. I know that it is still summer...but I know it like a dying man who knows he only has a few weeks left to live. Only a few more weeks to savour and soak up the memories of fun that you pocket and pull out when the winter day blahs come over you.
So, excuse me, while I stick my fingers in my ears and sing and pretend not hear the wind blowing or the looming approach of August 1st.
Lalalalalala!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sneaky thief!

Miss Lolo B was kind enough to drive out to our place and spend the day with us. It was full of our children's laughter as we had a picnic beside the river, went swimming in the pool and headed out to show them the local historical sites.
Lois had mentioned going to the museum and said, "I'll take my girls. You've been there four times already, I'm sure you are tired of paying the entrance fee."
"Lois, there's no entrance fee. We'll go together."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes. I've been 4 times already. There's no entrance fee."
As we plodded along down the sidewalk heading towards the Musical Horse Ride, we laughed as our girls pretended to be horses while the two younger ones whined from the heat. As we approached the door to enter, Lois pointed at a sign: ADMISSION FEES.
My eyes nearly bugged out of my head..."Admission fees!" I croaked.
Lois just started laughing. "I'll pay," she said, knowing that I left my wallet behind because we obviously wouldn't need any money to get in.
So...apparently, my family has been stealing from our community by somehow getting into the museum and not paying.
After we got into the museum, I wondered several times, "How did we get into the museum? How did we think it was free? We've been here 4 times!"
Lois just kept laughing and saying, "I knew there would be a fee."
After stopping at the stables, enjoying the horse show, going through a few historic buildings, I once again found myself saying, "I just can't believe this. I feel terrible."
And then Lois cheered me up the way all great women and mother cheer up friends and children. She smiled and said, "Let's go for ice cream!"

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Almost free gas for me

I, officially, live in a small town.
I stepped up to the counter to pay for gas. The teenager behind the counter smiles at me as he tries to process my debit card (checking card for you Americans). Suddenly there is a flurry of button clicking sounds as he tries to process my order.
“Dude,” he says to his buddy behind the counter. “What did you do to get the board going again?”
‘Dude’ comes over and hits some keys...which does nothing to proceed things. Instead, he shrugs and says, “Looks like you’re screwed, man.”
“Dude,” ‘man’ says, “can you get me the old keyboard?”
“Man, it’s not gonna do anything.” But he still goes and gets it.
It would seem that Dude is prophetic because it does not do a thing.He picks up the phone to call “the Boss.”
Enter Cranky old guy.
“Pump one isn’t working. Are your pumps not working?”
“No,” Man says, “I just haven’t authorized it.”
Old Cranky Guy wearing a look that says, “Why the hell not?” asks, “ What does that mean? Does that mean the pumps aren’t working?”
“No, the keyboard’s broken. I have to hit a key to authorize it.”
“Ah, I see. The pumps are not working.”
Exit Cranky old guy.
Dude hangs up the phone and gives an update to the now growing line of sweaty patrons in the cramped gasoline booth. “I’m gonna go put out the pylons, man. Take cash for orders.”
Enter pregnant lady amused by lack of problem solving skills the staff have. “And what do you do if you only have debit and no cash.”
Man and Dude look at each other for a moment.
Dude, clearly the leader in the group, tilts his head to the side and says, “Do you happen to live close by?”
“mhmmm.”
Sigh of relief from both boys.
“Great! Could you just write down your phone number and address. When the pumps are up again we’ll call you.”
“Ok” says pregnant lady. “I’m good for it.”
After leaving my number and address, I push open the door seeing huge line ups of cars, vans and trucks.
One lady keeps saying to Dude. “I think something is wrong with your pump. Are the pumps broken?”
Men, women and children all have their heads sticking out the window listening attentively as Dude addresses the crowd and says, “Yeah, pumps are closed, guys. Keyboard problems.”
I walked toward my vehicle at pump 5, and hear a family in the car say, “No gas here. Looks like the pumps are broken.”
I’m half-tempted to say, “No, it’s a keyboard problem.” But I keep my mouth shut. I just walk towards my vehicle as pandemonium among the townsfolk bursts forth repeating the small town news: “The pumps are broken.”

Living in the Old West


A re-enactment of a buffalo hunt

hanging out with Miss Inez

ah, there's nothing quite as handsome as man in uniform.

Sweet old lady from the WEst

These people were thrown in jail for pretending to be an officer of the law and a sweet old lady.

When this picture was taken, the photographer said, "You're in jail. You shouldn't be smiling."
And we said,"You would smile ,too, if you did what we did."

Monday, July 7, 2008

Trip Highlights

Since Happydoodler Holly begged so nicely...I'm back. I got back a while ago. But the day after I returned I felt compelled to move into our new house...and so I have finally plugged in my computer, caught up on youtube's version of So You Think You Can Dance and have downloaded some pictures of our trip.
A blurry pic of the City of Fountains-Kansas City, MO
Kansas at night in the Light and Power district
The only WW1 Memorial in all of USA
Downtown
Another fountain--at night this has a flame that burns on top

Best part of the trip: time alone with my man!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

culprits got caught!

yay! the dudes who stole my wallet got caught. Hooray.
I pray that this changes their lives in the best way possible.
For those who don't know, my wallet was stolen from our van (smashed the window to do it). I still can't believe I was too busy to grab my purse that day. A whole day of filing police reports, finding out my card was maxed and cancelling it, notifying a bunch of places would have been avoided if I had just grabbed it. errrr.
Anyway, the blessing was that, even though they took my wallet and maxed out my credit card, they returned my wallet and left it sitting on the drivers seat. No id taken, none of my kids id taken, our health cards still intact and oddly enough, only my Airmiles card taken.
I'm thankful for our local police who did a great job and caught these guys in less than a month. It was a robbery for a drug debt that these two guys owed.
I hope that God uses this to turn their lives around.
Thank you Jesus for good policeman, for strangers who return things they stole and for insurance policies that cover damage to vehicles.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

If only summer was my excuse...

So, it's raining. It's pouring. Old men...you know...they snore.
Anyway, if only my lack of communication on my blog could be blamed on the fact that I'm out skipping in the sunshine and completing my summer list! No, no. I'm inside, watching the rain for the tenth day straight. Shaking my fist at the grey skies and sighing a sigh of boredom as the rain pelts the windows.
It's left me trapped inside...trapped and facing the inevitable: PACKING.
Yes, I'm back to brown boxing it. Stuffing all my stuff into boxes so that in a few days I can take them out of boxes and put them into a--hopefully--permanent home.
Ahh, rain...it's God's way of gently nudging me into a task I'd love to procrastinate over.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Self esteem and the old bag of bones

My kids are so great for my self-esteem.

Today SuperGirl and Missie-Moo played a fun game that made me feel like a queen...er, a humble queen.

It started when SuperGirl said, "Mama, you're the beautifulest."
Missie-Moo added, "Mommy, you're so cute."
SuperGirl reminded me, "Mom, you're the best hugger ever."
Missie-Moo giggled,"Mommy, you're just so wonderful."
SuperGirl said, most thoughtfully, "Mama, you are just so great."
And Missie-Moo , being two and trying to be thoughtful like her sister, put her head to the side and let the wheels turn. Eyes brightening, she said, "Mommy, you're so...so...heavy!"

We all burst out laughing and Missie-Moo said, "Mommy, you are such a big girl!"
Indeed.

Easy to get on a pedestal.
Easy to get off.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Finally, Yahoo news can get on with life!

I am so grateful that the US Democratic Party has finally chosen their leader.
 Why?
Because finally, maybe the news can get on with pointing out some actual news.
 I can't even say how bored I have become by the whole thing. For months we've seen blazing photos of both Hillary and Barak. This thing has dragged out longer then Victor Newman's return from the dead on the Young and the Restless .
What I would really love to see is the US just try and do campaigning Canuck style. Canadians have 58 days--that's it!--58 days of campaigning. For less than two months we hear talk and promises, we hear flaws pointed out and we get to hear a good little rant by CBC funny man journalist Rick Mercer. But that's it.
We vote. We got on with business.
How grateful I am that this is over? Very, very grateful.
But now...the long and never ending story part deux happens as the campaigning for President starts. Oh, that I had a US political news filter on my computer.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The art of taking a photo with Ed

I have an aunt named Edie. We all call her Ed.
She is such a fun lady. She is the aunt who has travelled around the world and has her own slide projection machine. If I had had the time this trip round I would have made her set up the slide projector and dig out the slides of the archaleogical dig in Israel, the trip to visit our missionary cousins in Indonesia, the California trip with my Grandma and, of course, always a hit with the kids: the photos of the giraffes licking her head in Africa.

She is a pro at taking pictures...and hiding in them! Here she is with my sissie trying to dodge me as I take photos.
And here's why: Ed is sneakily trying to hide her eye that looked a little bloodshot. She probably got this from some incident with the youth group she leads, no doubt.
This is a desperate attempt at avoiding her eye in the pic...but good for a laugh
Oh, Edie, you are sneaky. With this loving pose, you look like the angelic aunt that sings soprano hymns in Finn and gives good hugs...oh wait, that is you--go au naturelle. Very clever.

Gotcha! Happy sunshine face.
All that's missing is the famous family camera shot where everyone in the picture is asking if the flash went off.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sleeping...er..beauties?!?

Since I was only in town for two days, Lori Ann and her girls decided to come and stay at Mom's house so that we could soak up every possible minute of fun. Lori Ann and I trumped Mom and took over her bed.
We said g'night at least 15 times and then would start off with, "Hey, did I tell you..."
And after a few conversations, we reflected on the fact that the room we were in was the first room we'd ever shared as siblings...and then we giggled late into the night recalling all our games of Old Maid and sneaky stunts pulled on each other to get the other in trouble!
So the following pictures are the result of not many hours of sleep.
'
Note how Lori Ann's eyes are closed
We tried the photo again. Lori Ann purposely opened her eyes wide, while I closed mine.
Third attempt. Didn't work so well...

We then realized that our third sister was missing from action so we thought we'd put her in the bed too. We're trying to mimic her smile in this photo.
This is what happens to Finnish girls when they get no sleep.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Scrabble laughs

Scrabble is mine and my Grandmother's game. As early as age 10, Grandma would get out this exact board and she would teach me how to make the most of a Triple letter score, to save my 's' for big point words and where to put my leftover letters at the game's end
Last weekend, as I spent the day at their house, Grandma got out the well-worn board and said,"Well, do you think you can take on this old lady ?"
To which I responded, "Do you think you are ready to take on this ol' pregnant girl?"
And thus the games began.
No one, with the exception of my brother, can make me laugh as hard as my Grandma can. When she gets bad letters, she says, "Curses!" When she she has too many i's she says, "What am I going to do with all these damn sticks?!" And when she gets letters that are hard to work with she says,"Well, how is anybody supposed to make a word around here?" So, it's a regular comedy show.
My favourite part is when I put a word on the Triple word score. Then she gestures her hands as if they were around my throat and says, "Kill!" You have to see her do it to understand.
I caught her giggling in this picture. And even though she was losing at this point, she was giggling!

And here's the final product. I beat her by a score of 100 points.
The last time we played and I tried to help her find a spot to make a word, she eschewed all aid and said, "I'm not some old lady who needs help you know?" And then when I won, she was kind enough to guilt me with the knowledge of, "Sure, beat an old woman with no mercy."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Visits with Gigi

This past weekend I had the wonderful pleasure of being in my home town (thanks Mom!)
One adventure found me at my Grandma's house--or Gigi as the great grandchildren call her.
My Grandma has always had a home filled with wonder. From childhood to parenthood, I find myself still fascinated with the little treasures that made her home my haven growing up.
For old time sake, Grandma humoured me and pulled out all the old favourites:
Grandma's spoon collection--collected mostly by friends in the form of gifts
The picture below is all the stir sticks she gathered from her different visits. She has some from airlines, hotels, casinos and vacation spots. After looking them all over I said, "Grandma, you are quite the drinker!" and she answered, "Actually, I'm quite the thief."And then she showed me which ones she actually took from bars that were along the beach without ever ordering a drink!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Happy Finnish Girl



Pulla! I love pulla!
I just got back from a visit to my hometown (photos to come) and my Grandma and I went to the bakery across from my favourite restaurant, the Hoito.
Just a side note, I love the Hoito's panukakku (pancakes) and order them well done or extra crispy with strawberry soupa. I didn't get time for any karjalanpiirakka but I did make it to the bakery to purchase my favourite coffee bread-pulla!
Oh sweet cardamom, how I love thee!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Blessing and Mourning

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4 NIV
Without a doubt, this has been the hardest few months of my life.I'm fine on moment and crying the next. The only word that I can use to describe it is: disappointing.
I find myself mourning, weeping, crying without relief.
And yet, I am blessed.
I'm thankful for the blessing that comes from mourning. The blessing that's found in saying goodbye to a season and chapter in your life. The blessing that comes from the pain of loss and the hurt of disappointed hopes. The blessing of His presence in a time of complete and sheer aloneness. The blessing of tears. The blessing of regret. The blessing of standing still because it hurts too much to move forward. The blessing of grief and all that it encompasses. The blessing of such sorrow that leaves me with the truth of His unfailing love.

You are blessed when you feel you've lost what is more dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. Matthew 5:4 The Message

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Clothes!

I love my friend Lois. I have many reasons but the latest one (besides prayer and a great cup of tea) is clothes.
We've both be pregnant a few times and I called her up saying, "Lois, I bought most of my pregnant clothes from the Sally Ann over 5 years ago when I was pregnant with Anne. And...they are starting to look like I bought them 5 years ago from the Sally Ann. Can I borrow your pregnant clothes?"
And the glorious and generous "Yes, of course," that crossed her lips made me dance!
I have clothes. Jeans, T-shirts, a few nice dress outfits and a new lease on life.
Love you, LoLo Bean!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Great news for Canada

I am very excited about the news I heard on the radio this morning.
MP Rick Casson has succeeded his 5 year+ battle with the government to raise the age of consent for sex here in Canada. Previously, the age of consent was 14. This law has created an environemnt for Canada to become a Top 5 Country to be visited by pedophiles and has entrapped kids in prostitution with their parents unable to help them because legally they could be living with their 42 year old sugar daddy/pimp.
I am so excited that this MP did not give up on his commitment to kids and safety. For those of you who want to congratulate this man and his team on all their hard work, you can email him at
It's a great day for Canadians.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

How marriage happens

SuperGirl was talking with her younger sister Missie-Moo today.
"You don't know how weddings work, so I'll explain it, ok?"
I eagerly leaned my head back to learn how my 5 year old will explain marriage.
"Well, you have a man and a beautiful girl. And they dance. And everybody watches them. And that's being married."
And you know what, my kids a genius. Because when I sit back and think about it--she's absolutely right.
Jeep, thanks for being a great dance partner. Patient when I step on your toes, yet always up for disco, waltz and the oh-so-fun tango!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Gong Show Tuesday

You ever wake up on one of those days that seem righter than right, and then suddenly things go two miles past wrong?
Well, not quite two miles past wrong.
Alot of things went very right today:
Got a great hug from my hubby
Smooches from my kids
a kick in the belly from the one on the way
I got to see my hairdresser and she made my hair beautiful again
and I got to treat my eldest for a special snack at the mall

Really, it's just small things went wrong. But they went wrong at time-specific moments that induced a great deal of stress and the immediate need to problem solve.
Ugh! Just a typical day really. Things that went wrong that would normally be no big deal, became big deals because of the time demands and obligations needing to be met on a deadline.

Completely forgot it was Earth Day. I love you, Earth! So on Gong Show Tuesday here are all the wonderful things I am thankful for about the glorious earth that the Lord made:
Water-water that trickles down in a little stream, raindrops that make momentary fingerprints on a puddle, a ripple formed on a smooth, calm lake, the roaring ocean and the rushing river
Wind-wind that makes kites fly, my hair whip around, cools on a hot day and makes the snowflakes dance around my window
Dirt-dirt that makes messes, mud that squishes and makes wonderful pies,sand that gently tickles my feet and rocks that are collectibles for my family
Trees- I love trees. Trees that shelter, that mourn and weep. Trees whose leaves sing me to sleep Trees that grow tall and shelter from heat, Trees that grow things that I get to eat
Animals-all majestic: great and small
Morning-soft dew, mist rising, quiet song of a bird singing,the glorious announcement of a new day with a sunrise leading the way
Clouds and Stars- always something beautiful to see. Always something to remind me How Great Thou Art
In six days the Lord created all of it. All of the beautiful things that bring me hope, inspires me, brings me instant peace and always speaks of the Creator.
Thanks Jesus. Once again, You are my creative Lord!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

How to tell if a woman is pregnant


IdaB: Is Allie letting herself go?
Annika: She does look like she gained a bit. All that chocolate...you know what they say, "a moment on the lips..
IdaB: a lifetime on the hips."

Annika: Oh, wait. Clearly, we were wrong. She's pregnant.
IdaB: What? Are you sure? How can you tell?
Annika: Her hand is resting on her stomach and every once in a while she rubs it in a circular motion.
IdaB: You're right! Gosh, she hardly looks pregnant!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Airports


Nadine played this game on her Blog and I will join in as well. It's originally from Pinks and Blues Girl Blog.

I have to preface this with saying that since I was thirteen I had made a commitment to pray for my future husband and to not date until I was done high school. Two years after high school, there was no one in the picture (though I started to feel very old and the prospect of never getting married seemed like a legitimate reality-ah, youth). I was set to go to work with a ministry called Broken Walls, and I had to take a plane to get there.
The night before my trip, I wrote my sister a big long letter about how I was committing the next 5 years of my life to pursuing the call of God on my life and I didn't want or even need a relationship. I was going for Jesus 100%. I remember that I wrote in my journal that night: I am completely content with living and Loving Jesus Christ. I don't need a relationship right now. Meeting someone right now would just interrupt the dreams that I have living for God."

The next day, before I took the seat on the plane I heard God's voice ask, "Are you ready to meet your husband?"
Startled I sat in my seat and just looked out the window for 5 minutes. I turned the idea over in my mind. I had plans of being totally committed to God,missions, and media and had completely laid down any idea of marriage. Suddenly, I realized something. I realized that if God was bringing a husband to me at this time in life...then He knows what is best for me. I remember shrugging and saying, "OK. If this is Your plan, I'm in."
That's a long preface I realize...but to me, it's all part of the story

The First Time I Laid Eyes On My Man
I had just got off the airplane and went to claim my luggage. I heard my friend Erin's voice, but I looked up and saw this handsome guy walking towards me. I can still see him walking towards me. Instantly, I knew that he was the one God had told me about.
Were there fireworks? Nope.
Was it love at first sight? Nah.
The only way I can describe it is that my spirit recognized him as the man I had been praying for and been committed to for 7 years before we even met.
And it's funny, because he and I were at the same event talking with the same people four months earlier and we never met.
So, he picked me up at the airport...drove me to where I was staying. Hehe. I did take the back seat that was angled so I could watch him drive. I grew very fond of his hands and those amazing green eyes that kept checking the rear view mirror and every once in a while locked with mine.
And my journal entry the next day started with, "It is with great irony that I write this next sentence: So, I met this guy named Jeep...."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The inner workings of a diva

Took this from Cheryl's site:
What I was doing 10 years ago:
I was living in Wisconsin. An interesting experience that brought forth two great friends (Jenny and Mary W), pruned a bunch of other relationships and brought a whole lot of life lessons. (ugh! I worked in a daycare while there! What was I thinking?)

Five Snacks I enjoy: (not in any kind of order!)
1. Salsa and nachos
2. Yogurt and berries
3. Ritva crackers with old cheese and avocado
4. Warm blueberry pie
5. chocolate of some sort-has to be dark though. Can't stand that cheap milk chocolate!

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
(if I was a billionaire, obviously I'd be tithing and giving. And clearly, I'd be imparting wisdom to my children so that they would handle the money they would inherit. And since my love language is gift-giving and I'm a billionaire, it goes without saying that my kids are very blessed and my friends are generously loved)
1. Find investments that bring a return of 300 to 400% returns annually
2. Establish a fund/grant for people with disabilities enabling them to follow different dreams, fully pay for proper accessibility within their housing, pursue educational opportunities, money for families who want to adopt children with special needs,etc.
3. Partner with Compassion International and work in the worst hit countries (Haiti, African nations, etc) helping to create infastructure and meet practical needs
4. Buy, sell, flip real estate (apartment buildings, malls, etc)
5. Help others learn how to create wealth

Five jobs that I have had:(most recent first)
1. Television producer
2. Cleaning lady for homes
3. Gladiola Farm worker (great job! Always got to take home flowers)
4. Dance Teacher
5. Mall worker schlepping luggage for minimum wage

Three of my habits:
1. Taking a very long time to decide what to order at a restaurant
2. Braiding my hair or putting it up when it's wet so it dries with a bit of curl
3. Always locking the door

Bad Habits...
1. Procrastinating about the dishes
2. Sometimes telling myself "I can't" and believing it
3. making it sound like I know more than I do about the topic I am discussing with other people

Five place I have lived:
1. Thunder Bay, ON
2. Stevens Point, WI
3. Tyendinaga Territory
4. Medicine Hat, AB
5. Narnia-I mean, only in my imagination, but surely that counts

Five things not many people know about me:
1. I like not having a lot of stuff. If I could live life out of a back pack, I'd be so happy.
2. I always wanted to be a librarian
3. I used to bite my sister til she would bleed
4. I don't use a credit card. If I can't buy it in cash today, I don't buy it.
5. I like to go ultra light flying (that's a plane that has no real sides and the only thing holding you up is a chair that's held by buckles and welding)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Little Girl's Prayer

In home school today, we were working on SuperGirl 's printing and she said,"I'm going to write out a prayer."
Here's what she wrote:
Dear Jesus,
I love your stars.
Amen.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Idle Party Chat

Confession: I'm not any good at party chat.
I like good, down to earth talks, so the light stuff is not something I'm good at it. It's usually filled with my fake laugh and awkward statements.
Yesterday, I was at my friends housewarming--great party, Co and Mar--and saw different people that I haven't seen in awhile. People that I know but don't really know.

Top five moments of the night:
5. Verbatim, my conversation with Heidi ( a woman I know, but don't know):
me-Hi, it's Heidi right?
her-Yes.
me-I'm Holly. I don't know if we've ever formally met.
her-Yes.
me-Oh. Well, I wasn't sure. It's good to see you again.
her-Yes.
me-Yes, it is.
her-(just staring at me)
me-(desperate to fill the silence and salvage a 'quickly-becoming-awkward-conversation'): You're very pretty.
Someone else-Hey Holly, how's it going?
me- (thinking) Thank you Jesus! Rescued again.
Exit with flourish.

4.I offer Hiedi a drink.
Then someone comes up who I haven't seen in a long time and we get talking and I get distracted. I suddenly remember to get Heidi a drink. I ask her what she would like, and she says "Wine".
There's a problem:no wine opener at this home (it is, after all, a new house party. Boxes are still in the basement and needing to be unpacked).
I look at Heidi and say, "There's no wine opener...so, the pop's over there...."
Heidi looks at me and says....(you guessed it): "Yes."

3.To every Spanish speaking person there I say, "Hi, I'm Holly. I think we met at the Canada Day BBQ at Zaoul's house. (Martha stands behind each person shaking her head "no").
Apparently, I only met three Spanish speaking people at the Canada Day BBQ and I have just asked over 6 Spanish speaking people if they were there...and none of them were.

2. Zaoul arrives at the party and I come up to him and give him a hug and ask him how he's been. He looks at me and says,"Who are you?"

1. Co and Mar invited Josh Fritz and friend Colin McInnes to come and play Spanish guitar at the party. It's a nice touch having live music at a home warming.
Anyway, I couldn't hear very well and thought the other guitarist's name was Paul, not Colin. So when Josh takes a break, and Colin keeps playing, "I stick my fist in the air and shout, "Go Paul!"
My husband, Jeep, and Mar's sisters look at me.
Jeep asks, "Who's Paul?"
I point at the guitarist and say, "He is."
And oh, how everyone laughs!!!

The party was a lot of fun.
I did connect with some really amazing people (Hey Natalie, the scrapbook pages I mentioned are here: For Corrina).
Zaoul later recognized me once he realized I was with Jeep and that Jeep was wearing glasses now.
Colin never heard me call him Paul, even though the story was told several times :)
... and I ate soooo much good food.

I love parties--idle talk and all.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Crazy Cravings:Salsa Noodle Salad?

I love Salsa Ranch. President Choice Salsa Ranch. And lately, I've put it on everything. And the latest weird baby food craving, was shell noodles, with mixed greens slathered in Salsa Ranch. hey...don't knock it til you try it!


Ricotta cheese is the new yogurt! Yesterday morning I had to have ricotta cheese with mango, frozen grapes and pecans. It just made sense. And it was very yummy! (Gotta love my Pooh bear bowl)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Crazy Cravings:Laap


I have been craving Laap for a few days now. I love this Thai dish. It is my favourite and it is so delicious. It's one of those foods that is really hard to stop eating, so make lots of it!
This is usually eaten with a really neat sauce but I didn't have all the ingredients so I used straight lime juice and, oh, did it suffice!
You use the cabbage like a wrap and eat the meat and rice together. Romaine lettuce is a nice substitute and gives it a fresh, crisp taste. The cabbage balances it well. It's hard to decide which I like better.
As said earlier, this is highly addicting and you have to make a lot of it because you just eat it and eat it and...I'm hungry now and need to get another bowl of it.
*Note, I use ground beef instead of pork, and sweet chili sauce for chicken instead of fresh chilies. Gotta use what you have on hand!

Simple pleasures


Waffles with whipped cream and berries
Colored glass-broken or whole
The park


Monday, April 7, 2008

Confession #1 The word strong is sometimes used to describe a bad smell

DIVA CONFESSION: I am strong. I can do it by myself. I need no one.

When I was in high school, my friends and I used to sing a song we made up that went:
I am so great
I am so great
I can beat you up
with my little pinky finger
'cause I am so great.
For a long time, I really believed the words of that silly song. I really believed that I was super great and could take on the world and all the hell it might bring against me. In my naivete, I thought, "I am a Christian, I can handle the worst life has to offer."

I'm older now. Hopefully wiser. I'd like to remedy that statement and say, "I know Jesus. I can't handle anything without Him. He is my strength."

I've gone through a very emotionally difficult month. It's been draining and revealing, all at once. I've suddenly realized that I can't keep my house clean effectively, I am not the best at disciplining my kids consistently, I am horribly mean to my husband when I, myself, am emotionally vulnerable and I fail so often at loving others like Christ has loved me.
And that's great news!

I am poor, weak,powerless,broken and unresolved. Yahoo!

Consider the rich, young ruler in Matthew 19:16-22. He came to Jesus, told Him that He had kept all the commandments, what more did He need to do to have eternal life?
Jesus replied,"Go, sell what you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
I don't think Jesus necessarily cared whether the young ruler had money or not. It seems that Jesus was pointing out an area that needed surrendering. Perhaps this rich ruler took a lot of comfort knowing that he had money that could be a back up plan or an emergency fund in case this "following Jesus thing" didn't work out. Jesus was pointing out that the ruler didn't have need of Jesus in this area of his life. The rich young ruler didn't need Jesus to be his security, his source or his safety net: his money provided that. This isn't a money issue, in my eyes. This is a heart issue. And Jesus is asking for the rich young ruler to have need of Him-to boast in his weakness rather than his strength.

I cannot beat you up with my little baby finger. I am unable to stand firm, be consistent or loving without the strength of my Saviour, Jesus Christ.I have need of Him. Desperate need. In Him alone I boast.

REDEEMED DIVA CONFESSION: I am weak and He is strong.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Find Me


Find me

I'm gonna move on down to Elliston
Let my hair grow wild and free
Rent a second story studio
Find the other side of me

I'm gonna sit out on the edge of the fire escape
Feel a little destitute
Search for feelings that will help me remember
The love that I had for YOu

Find me, find me
I'll wait for You
Find me, find me
I'll wait for You

I'm gonna give away my stereo
Give away my T.V.
I'm going back to essentials, a chair and a lamp
And the Book that You wrote to me

You see, I'm looking for the You that used to speak so clear
I'm looking for the me that had a heart to hear
And I'm looking for the passion that held me here
On the edge


Find me, Find me
I'll wait for you
Find me, Find me
I'll wait for you

You see, I'm looking for the me that I used to know
I'm looking for the love that was out of control
'Cause I feel a little cold here in the afterglow

Find me, find me
I'll, I'll wait for You

-Margaret Becker, The Reckoning

Monday, March 31, 2008

Learning to ski

Hard to believe, but true...I live close to the Rockies and had never learned how to downhill ski until this past Christmas.
Here are actual photos of my adventure.

Look,lovey, no hands!

Getting tips on how to stop

Me and Jeep before our ride on the chairlift

Oops!

This time I actually slide right off the hill and landed in the ditch

This one I actually fell up a hill. hard to explain. So much fun though!