Tuesday, December 29, 2009

pancakes, again???

Yes, pancakes again. And I'll tell you why.

day one: I pull out the pancake mix, add the egg and then realize too late I don't have 1 cup of milk. Or even 1/2 cup of milk. I improvise, but get, "These pancakes don't taste right, Mom."

day two: Out comes the pancake mix. I am determined to give some good eats this morning. Here's a little tip I learned that I'm giving you for free today. Don't put pancakes to cook in the skillet while you help your kids shower and try and get a load of laundry done. You only end up with, "These pancakes taste burnt, Mom."

day three: No distractions. No forgotten ingredients. No comments on pancakes gone wrong.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Jesus is Born

Merry Christmas to all!
Hope is come. Man is restored to God through the gift of Love:Jesus
Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Attention all single ladies..new theme song

For everyone who used this Rebecca St James song as a theme song. You now have a new song to put onto your iPod.

You remember my pal, Greg...from here?
He's done it again. A theme song for all you set apart girls who are waiting and praying as God brings you your beloved.

It happened to me. Trust in the Lord, He will bring you the desire of your heart.

..Maybe even Greg! Find your theme song here.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Flashback: Cookies, and globes and fun...oh my!

Our college girls came over last Friday...and what a blast!!!
They got to open Christmas crackers that we made from toilet paper rolls and they found the mustaches!!! (templates found here and here).

Charlie Chaplin? No, it's L-girl!
Now that I see this pic, I should have taken the pictures like an old Western WANTED poster.
G-girl, you look a bit like the Pink Panther's Inspector Clouseau!! G-girl reads my blog and therefore shall get a shout-out for the unique woman that she is!!!
We made cookies with icing sugar and loads of sprinkles...
K-girl brought the little silver balls that she admitted was afraid to eat as a child because they looked like metal ball bearings! And then my children thought they were metal ball bearings. And then we all ate one to show them that they weren't metal ball bearings. How many times do you think I can slip metal ball bearings into a story?
Check out the fine detail on the reindeer and the bell. K-girl seriously rocks using sprinkles.
This has got to be the easiest gift to pull together. And when I say easy, I mean, I put one together while the girls were playing their French horn, harmonica and violin in the other room. Get directions here.
L-girls instrument playing clown. Honest. I know the photo doesn't show it, but trussssst me.

The snowman globe.

I love our college girls. We ended the night with a fantastic time of prayer and we're looking forward to meeting in the New Year.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The No Wax Revolution

I've had a tenuous relationship with facial hair waxing, Dr. Psychiatrist. I believe the reasons are deeply rooted in my past.

When I was a child, I remember watching my Grandma never getting dressed until she "put her eyebrows on." She had very little eyebrow hair.
And my mom use to pluck her chin hairs and sigh heavily as though wishing one day it would all end, but knowing it wouldn't.
My Grandmother never grew leg hair. I didn't get her genes. I got my Dad's. His hairy legs and his blackish coloured hair.

When I was a teenager I was driving a little boy to school for a friend. The sun was shining through the windshield, and we were smiling at each other.
Then he looked at me and said, "How come you have a mustache?"

When I was working in television as a producer, we needed a segment with a new on-air host.
Now, I was currently growing out my eyebrows. Which means, my last experience at a beauty parlor was a 20-minute grueling session of hearing the wax eyebrow-artist say "omigod" and "wow" over 100 times as she tried to groom my eyebrows. Those words by were followed by her bringing over other hair stylists because "You've got to see her eyebrows. They are poker straight". Then she used the scissors--yes, scissors-- on my eyebrows!!!
(Ok, they were small eyebrow-sized scissors. But still.)
So needless to say, I was growing them out and avoiding getting them re-done.
At work, we decided that I should do the new 2 minute segment. In the meeting with my team I said, "Thanks. That's great."
Then a friend piped up, "But wax your eyebrows before you tape anything, ok?"
My other friend, "Defintely."
The only man in the room squinted his eyes and studied my eyebrows. And let out a slow, "yeahhhh. Do that."

Well, I have found a good wax lady now. She's my best friend for $17 every six weeks.

But lately I've decided to come up with a new solution.
A revolution, if you will...Join me, friends.

We could change the world with this, could we not?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Because we all should say 'Top of the Morning To Ya!' more often

Sometimes, just for fun, I pretend I have an accent.

There are several reasons for this:
1. I want to see if anyone will seriously consider that I'm from a different country
2. I always wanted to act, but don't have the time...or the skills
3. It's fun saying "Jolly good."

I recently went into a gas station and felt that it would be nice to mix things up and practice my Scottish accent. But I wanted to pull off an accent that sounded like I'd been in North America for awhile. A gentle lilt, if you will.
And this is what happened:

"Excuse me, pump five is not filling my tank up."
The people who just finish paying look at me. I know what they are thinking, "Where did this person come from. Ireland? No...she sounds more like Braveheart. Perhaps Scotland?" They look at me with inquisitive stares.
The clerk behind the counter gestures for me to repeat myself. (Apparently my accent is a little hard to understand, maybe?)
So I repeat myself, "Pump five is empty. I noticed stalls two and three are empty too, but they have markers. I believe pump five is empty."
The people in front of me look out the window to stall five. They nod their heads. I know what they are thinking, "She's visiting from Scotland and has come to our town and the first gesture of kindness she gets from us is an empty gas station...or do they say petrol station in Scotland?"
The clerk leans against the counter. I know, I just know, he's ready to apologize for the inconvenience seeing as I'm from out of town and all.
So he says, "O.K. Thankyouverymuch. Pull around your car and try pump seven."
He says it in an Indian accent...as in a person from India who has moved over here to start a business and make a better life for their children. Someone with a REAL accent.
So, much for my vague attempt at being a worldly traveler who is a mysterious stranger with a can't-quite-place-it accent. I've just been upstaged by a man with a genuine accent.

Do you see what I mean about not having the skills for acting??

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Q-What did the chicken say to the apple?

A-Don't mix us together or we'll look like barf on a plate.

My crockpot and I have been bonding lately. Mainly due to the fact that my hubby cannot drive himself to and from work due to his injury. We pick him up from the office and bring him home. It's great having him home at 5 pm everyday, but it threw our dinner routine into a bit of a whirlwind.
When I would normally be getting dinner ready, I'm now bundling up my kiddo's and warming the van up. (Did I mention that it is -38 degrees Celsius here? The van needs warming!!!)
We don't mind this trip at all. It's quite fun for the lot of us. The only downside is that dinner was getting started later and I love to have dinner for my man when he gets home. It's great family time to reconnect.

My solution to this dilemma is my crock pot. Blessed thing. Throw things in there, let it cook all day, and presto-change-o you have dinner ready just when you pick up your husband from work.

But today, things went awry.


My girlie got sick. Puking sick. Mama-I-don't-feel-well-and-I think-I'm going-to-just-be-in-bed sick. A quick phone call to my man to let him know we won't be picking him up and could he please find a ride home. I'm not too worried the crock pot is working it's magic.

4:45 pm I put the rice in the rice cooker and things are cooking
5:00 pm Hubby comes home to much pomp ad celebration from the kids
5:06 pm I break an ornament we had spent all day making ( Sadness to the power of ten)
5:09 pm Vacuum is now forever in the on mode. Not sure why. Unplug and move on.
5:15 pm Dish up dinner. A new recipe (in my quest for trying out new things in a crock pot):

Chicken in Applesauce.

If you are saying, "Ewww, gross." Then your voice is rising with the clamor that came from my house this evening. In my defense, it sounded like a good idea at the time (The time may have been late at night).

Girlie isn't feeling any better. We help her puke in the toilet and then return to the kitchen and we look at the crock pot's offerings. The gloppy, bland, runny and neutral colored offerings.

Just a word to the wise...between friends and all.
Don't make applesauce chicken...because not only does it look like puke. It tastes like puke.

Why you shouldn't use Christmas greeting cards to send a subliminal message that says "I've got my act together"

I was going to use my old standby stamp this year for decorating the outside of the envelopes. It's pretty--a dove that says PEACE. After two years though, the bird needs a break. So, I came up with this:
It's a drawing of mistletoe (it is so!) above the name and then lipstick mark of being kissed. Underneath that it says, "Kiss ya under the mistletoe!" Fun, eh?
And this year, we had enough set backs with my hubby's injury that all thoughts of getting our family picture done went right out the window...so we did thumbprint drawings. That's me at the bottom right hand corner. My eldest did the artwork.

And then, I realized that some people can't be sent the envelope with the mistletoe kisses on it. People that are important to you, but you would rather give them something more formal. Something that makes you seem a little more dignified and put together. So you go to the fall back stamp and say: There, they will get a smile seeing that and they will thrill over how precise and amazing we are. Until...

they turn the card over and realize that I've sealed it upside down

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A guide to staying off your blog...

...and having a life!
I am not on the internet very much, and yet I have a blog--isn't that a paradox? No, no it's not. But let me tell you the tricks that I use to get lots done on the net and still have a life-maybe some will work for you.

1. Ditch the H1FacebookN1 virus- I think I've made it clear that I dislike Face*book. I know that for some this is a great tool for you, blah, blah,blah.
Here's my beef with FB, I actually think it lulls people into a false sense of relationship with one another. If you want a real friendship with someone, have them over to your house. (yeah, yeah I know...what if they live in Africa? Get a calling card.)
Real relationship is built up over time spent together, memories made and conflicts being resolved. (I also think that conflict is the catalyst for deeper relationship if handled properly, but that's a post for another day). Ditch Facebook if you are on it more than once a day and redeem the time!

2. Put a Time Limit On It- I love being a wife and mom. It's where I want to focus the majority of my time. But I'm easily distracted. (Anybody remember the time where all I did was post what I saw on youtube???!?!) So, time limit's work well for me. I have an hour and a half a day to do my computer stuff. And it's between the hours of 5 am and 7 pm. Once it's 7 pm, I am done with the internet world and on to more important things like hanging out with my husband.

3. Work the Time Limit- Here's the power of pressure. I know I only have an hour and a half and it forces me to be efficient. Often times, I am done all my blog, homeschool searching, emails, etc. within 45-50 minutes. Frees me up to make water xylophones with my kids orbake smooshed cookies.

4. Priorities, Priorities, Priorities-My family is my priority. Making my home a safe haven for memory-making, mistakes and laughter is extremely important to me. Instilling the values and the truth of Jesus is priority numero uno. When answering emails, looking at blogs, I ask myself, "How does this contribute to my family's goals? Does this build me up spiritually? Could I be having fun with my kids right now instead of reading up on macrame?" Knowing my priorities let's me be selective and productive on the internet.

5. Splurge-Internet killed the video star. People can spend hours on the internet in total amusement and caught up in eye candy, the same way people were glued to the TV tube a generation ago. Sometimes it's ok to splurge and take an evening and get caught up on blogs, and surf around and look for random things that you type into google just to be goofy. Every once in a while I get on the net for a few hours and let loose. But don't make it a lifestyle. Make it a splurge! A random occurence! Something you do now and then! Someth--you get the picture.

There you have it! This is what I do to make the most of my time on the internet and still have a life.
What do you do?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Because who doesn't want to hang out with a guy named Ned??

Friends, my woes over my cooking fiascoes are over.
The answer has come to me via a book. Blessed book.
I introduce to you my redemption:

Come on, friends. We all know that mastery of skill that Nancy had. She danced in the Ringmaster's secret, skied down the alps and easily molded pottery. She met every challenge. And whether or not you think the recipes are hers or that handy housekeeper of hers, the proof will be in my pudding and how well it's made.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Late Night Book Club for Me, Myself and I

"What? Who me...you talking to me?"
"Yes. I am talking to you."
"I need to stop talking to myself...especially in two voices. It creates a picture of unsteadiness."
"You are side-stepping the issue."
"Ummm...what issue?"
"You went to bed late last night...again."
"It was for a good cause."
"Reading a whole book is a good cause?"
"It is. I'm....honing my vocabulary skills. I'm..."
"staying up til one am reading a book."
"Well, that wasn't the plan. I started it at 9 pm and I just couldn't put it down. Ok, I put it down once at 11:30 pm, but every time I closed my eyes all I could see was the character in Kenya and her fight against her bizarre kidnappers."
"You were at the part where she was safely in England studying birds."
"Now you're sidestepping the issue. The point is that I couldn't rest until I finished the book. So that's what I did. I read the whole thing from start to finish."
"And finished at one am."
"Yes. True."
"And your children wake up at 6 am, correct?"
"Yes. True again."
"And you remember how well you function on five hours sleep."
"Oh, shut it."
"ok what?"
"Ok, I won't read books after 8:30 pm any more. This time I mean it."
"We'll see."
"What? You don't believe me?"
Sigh. "I think you just need to be honest with yourself."
"Ok. You're right."
"And so?"
"I've resolved: to nap today."
"That's what I thought, too!"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sorting Myself Out

My husband had an accident at work today.

He's fine. Don't panic. Well, sorta fine. His leg is in a rubber velcro leg cast and he's on pain medication.

We're all very thankful that he's ok and that his leg should return to it's normal size. Soon.

I was merrily chatting with my kids at the kitchen table earlier today. We're learning about germs right now. And I got a text message from him saying he was at the hospital, that I didn't need to come and he was ok. (Of course, we hopped in the van and made raucous noise in the ER room over our safe and wonderful Daddy-man!)

Moments before I was playing with my kids, having a grand old time. We had been at the library when we heard the ambulance go by. The ambulance that was carrying my husband. I was unaware that he was inside, even though I peeked out the window to see if it was a fire truck or an ambulance.

Sometimes I've known he's been in danger. And other times I haven't. There's this deep hope I have that because we are so connected to each other and share such a deep love that if he were to hurt himself I would instantly know.
But today I didn't know. I was blissfully unaware that while I was enjoying my life, he was being laying on the ground being made to laugh by the co-workers jokes . While I chased my one year old around, he was looking around the ambulance and wondering about all the people who've ridden in it before him.

I don't like that feeling.

I like being safe in his arms, his chin resting on my head as he strokes my hair.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Attention! Attention! She's at it again

Brambleberry Grace is making a whole lot of sense. Great writing, fabulous thought and, of course, something to make one smile. Read the jazzy hair post. Just do it.

And just for giggles, here's a clip of a song that makes us laugh. A family performed this last night at the Homeschool Variety show and we were all laughing so hard. At the end the whole audience was singing along. Fabulous!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Flashback: His glory revealed

My sister twisted both of her ankles once. We were supposed to dance our duet, a duet we had spent months working on. But you don't dance on twisted ankles.
We got together as a family and started to pray. My sister felt strongly that she was to get up and jump and praise the Lord. You don't jump on twisted ankles.
She got up,in faith, and started to jump. And then cry, laugh and dance.
"My feet feel like they are on fire. He's healing me. He's healing me!"
And she danced because He makes you dance on twisted ankles.

People die. Some never get healed. Some never become whole on this earth. It doesn't change the fact that He heals. That He is the Healer and the Great Physician.

Some people remain faithful to Him. I've been pondering a statement I read here:

During my dad’s journey with ALS, I had always assumed that a miraculous healing would have most definitely brought God the most glory. Until recently, I didn’t pause to consider that maybe, just maybe, my dad’s unwavering faith through one of the most disabling diseases out there could have glorified God, possibly more than a miracle healing. I don’t have the bird’s eye view of the mysterious ways of God but would it be possible that the faith of God’s people through the storms of life bring more glory to Him than a miracle?

I believe that both experiences bring glory to His name. We were made to bring Him glory and honour...in all things. In vacuuming, in serving, In working, in living and dying. It is all for the King!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Simple ways to say i love you to yourself

Lately I have been saying 'I love you' to myself in the following ways:

The crock pot. Dear sweet friend who does my cooking for you while Im out all day. You are good to me.

A few drops of essential oil of lavender on the pillow at night. Instant relaxation and a restful sleep in minutes.

Peppermint essential oil in the morning to va-va-voom the day

Wearing my big bling rings around and talking with my hands more

Chasing my son around on all fours

Calling my husband and talking to him on the phone and listening to him. Listening is powerful gift to give your marriage. I love what he has to say.

What do you do to say I love you to yourself?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Benefits of Human Observation

Sometimes I think about the girl on TV whose mother had her in two types of cheerleading and dancing six times a week.
She was 10, I think. Her coach made a statement that she was stressed and she had told the mom that it would make her daughter a better cheerleader if she cut back on the lessons. Her mother couldn't fathom that.
I wonder, 4 years later, does that girl talk to her mother now or just slam the door?

Sometimes I think about the woman at the bottle depot shop. She always grunts her answers with a frown on her face. As I ask her questions about herself and she responds bitterly to each one, I ask myself, "Why is she so mad at life? Why is she working at a job she hates so much?"
She owns it. Another situation of rock and hard place, I guess. She lives for the month of November when they go the Dominican.
As I drive away from the bottle depot, frustrated that they close down while they are gone, I wonder if she's happy. I can't picture her with a smile, though.

How random that there is a diaper left on the sidewalk. Did someone just leave it there on purpose? Was it an exasperated mother who couldn't take the stress of changing a baby in the car and as a small token of sharing her pain with the world she tossed it out of the moving vehicle and didn't care that it littered the roadside? I mean, how does a diaper get on the sidewalk?

Frost on the grass eking out an existence until the sun's rays consume it. A brilliant, short reminder that life is brief. I almost miss small things like that because I'm too busy, it seems, washing my dishes to pay attention to the world outside my window.

We all see things and wonder. We all make up stories in our head.

That's why everyone can write a novel.

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's that ojibway woman!

Last night I was chatting with my faithful blog reader (and a bridesmaid in my wedding) That Ojibway Woman on the telephone. I am a multi-tasking mama so I thought it only reasonable to make the icing for my daughter's birthday cake whilst on the phone.

Now, my last birthday cake for my eldest daughter was s.w.e.e.t. And I'm not saying 'sweet' in the way the young kids today say it either. I'm saying it as in in 'book a visit to the dentist's' sweet.
So, naturally, this cake has to be my redemption.

I told Tamatha about this on the phone and she lamented my cause and said if I only lived closer she'd come to my house and teach me all the things that she knows--baking and otherwise. I think this is good. I share with her how I am trying a new recipe that someone promised up and down that it is the most elegant and light icing concoction you will ever meet.
I follow directions. I almost have enough milk, but other than that I have all the ingredients necessary. Surge ahead.

Blend ingredients. Cream until fluffy.

(Quick interjection: My beaters are busted and I'm wood spoonin' it these days. Creaming things doesn't quite happen on Kitchen-Aid level of expert, if you follow me.)

Anyway, things progress and my conversation with Tamatha is suddenly interuppted with an "uh-oh!"
"Tam, please tell that the most elegant icing concoction is supposed to taste salty."
"Oh no."
"I wish you lived closer."

It's getting late. I say goodbye to Tam, and stick the icing in the fridge hoping that by morning some magic fairies will come and repair the damage.

No such luck.

Morning comes with a wave of sorrow over salty icing. I google "how to fix icing that's too salty". I end up with recipes about adding potato to soup or tabasco sauce, but be careful not to put too much or you'll be hooped when it comes to having a too hot stew.
I semi-contemplate giving the potato thing a try but reason I have only so much time and peeling potatoes doesn't fall into that category.

I google "too salty icing" and I learn that no one in Internet history has ever done this because there are no solutions posted. I go back to the soup posts praying that some inspiration will leap out at me. Nothing.

Oh no, wait. What's this? Oh cute. A little warning about paying attention when adding salt to a recipe and not to be distracted by talking, thinking or breathing. Thanks for that.

Then I google "how to make chocolate icing using cocoa powder" and I figure, "Chocolate could fix this couldn't it? Couldn't it?"

Over at the mixing bowl, things are getting interesting. I've added cocoa powder, removed some, almost added white sugar but thought better of it, and went with some powder sugar.
I have the kids test it.

"That's not bad. I would eat that."

Whatever. I throw it in the fridge and spy...dun...dun...dun "Whipping cream!"

My kids whip it up with those old fashion I-bet-Laura-Ingalls-used-these-kind of beaters.
I mentally go over if I'm trying to hard to make cake for my kids. I'm pretty sure I'm not. I'm after creating memories with them about their birthday, and one is decorating the cake together. It's hard to say...when it comes to food being prepped on a deadline, it's so easy to doubt every motive you ever thought was pure.

My daughter and I do decorate the cake. It's not the turtle that she wanted but it's green and we cover it in sprinkles in the shape of a teddy bear. She beams with delight as she is given her cake. She thanks me for her cake. Ah, memory making.

The day goes on until I am confronted with dinner. I open the fridge and spy the icing.

"I'm going to give you another chance," I say.

I taste it and it is the most elegant, the most supreme concoction of icing I have ever had the pleasure of eating...er, making!

Chocolate has once again saved the day. The need for the Ojibway woman has been delayed for the moment.

Although, I am baking muffins next week. The Good Food box arrived and I have loads of cantaloupe again! Oh, Ojibway woman!!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

How To Succeed in Getting Lost Without Really Trying

I had the fortunate opportunity to go to the BIG city this past weekend. Yes, the BIG city. The BIG city that requires four lane traffic and sometimes six lanes, possibly eight but I can't count that high. Here's my observations on traveling the highways.

1. Print off a google map.
2. Find a friend to explain the map. The map means nothing unless someone can say, "Remember we went to the Starbucks at this spot."
3. Start the car and lock the doors. You are, after all, in the big city. And while you haven't heard of any carjackers jumping in the cars at a stop light...lately...you don't want to become a statistic.
4. Memorize in your head the "signs" to watch for. (You'll cross this street, you'll see this exit and then watch for the big green sign)
6. Happy Ending

6a. If you have been foolish enough to think that there is a big green sign coming up that reads, "Take this one! This is the one you want. That's right, merge into the lane. Great job!" Then you are a fool. If this is the case, here's what you do.
7. Drive an immensely long way to the next exit. Caution: Pay attention that it's coming. Berating yourself at loud volumes causes you to lose focus.
8.Turn the old bus around and head back to your exit of choice.
9. Inhale deeply as you approach the exit. This time you won't be decieved. This green exit is INDEED the sign you are waiting for.
10. Merge! Success is yours.
11. Panic, meltdown, scream at the top of your lungs and freak out in the two seconds you have to decide which fork you take: North or South.
12. Expletives almost slip from your mouth as you realize that you have once again chosen your own adventure and taken the wrong direction yet again.
13.Repeat steps 7-10
14.Unless...when you take the exit you realize that you forgot to factor in that you were previously going east when you took the wrong exit and so you should take west. But you've taken east and you find yourself completely and utterly back at 6a.
15. Fight tears off.
16.Promise yourself you will never, never come to the BIG city again.
17. Unroll the window and yell at the highway, "You will not defeat me." Don't shake your fist, as other motorist take that personally.
18. Take calming breaths. And pray, pray,pray.
19. When approaching the exit obey the voice of Holy Spirit. Because when He's says go right, He's absolutely right. And even though you are fairly certain you are to go left, trust Him when He nudges and says go right.
20. Praise the name of Jesus! The Holy Spirit has once again got me where I needed to be and I've taken the right exit.

Hmmm...kinda like life,eh?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I will not forget

Thank you soldiers.
I will not forget nor will I let the future generations forget.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I did not say those pants make your bum look flat

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama.

I did not purposely post a blurry photo of me and my girl, Jacquie, having serious bedhead and major tired eyes. That would be a cheeky way to post a picture and I'm not cheeky. You have to be British to pull off a good bit of cheekiness and I'm Finnish and therefore uncapable of cheekiness. Plus, it's embarrassing to post tired and bedhead pictures on the internet and I never do anything embarrassing.
Jacquie is too dear a friend to embarrass. A friend who did not fit the perfect little grey shoes better than I did, so naturally she did not take them. And I never insisted that she did. I am serious about shoe shopping and I would never give up a pair of shoes if it pinched me in the toes ever so slightly. I don't have how-things-feel-on-my-feet issues.
We did not take this picture late at night, in our hotel after gorging ourselves on "the Works" pizza. We are civilized girlie-girls and gorging and pizza aren't things we do. Not even after a day that included massive retail therapy and buying nothing at full price. We are not hunters who stalk the prey of quality fashion and then kill it at it's most vulnerable moment (a slash discount sale). We couldn't do that--we don't even have hunting jackets to wear that would allow us to engage in a sport that requires such skill.
And we most certainly did not watch Hannah Montana for half an hour. Little girls watch Hannah Montana. And we're not little. Or girls.
We're women--mature,behaving ourselves, never giggling at sweaters that look like they came from the dryer lint trap women.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Flashback: My Grandma dances

I have the most incredible Grandma.
She has red hair, has never grown hair on her legs (a trait she did not pass down unfortunately) and an incredible sense of humor. She giggles and it makes me laugh.

She taught me how to make pie. She read goodnight stories to me while I was tucked under the blankets. Her soft voice would float around the room and then was carried out out the window to dance with the fireflies. Tea was our thing. She'd brew a cup of tea for us and we'd sit at the table while playing 500 rummy or a last minute Scrabble.

She taught me to love Robert Frost and took me hazelnut picking. Her hands pressed on top of mine as we rolled out the bread dough and made special treats for Grandpa. Her warm softness would swallow me up in a hug and she would dance with me.

We'd always pretend to waltz and she would hum and sing as we did.

My Grandma is 82 today. And she is still dancing to her own song.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Under cover

We're under the weather
So we're under the covers
Sneezing and coughing
Spewing and sputters

We're snuggled up on the couch
Reading books, drinking tea
We read Shakespeare's Tempest
A man-made storm on the sea

We learned about germs
And our body's system of defense
Then we read Rudyard Kipling
And had a big rest

We listened to the Arabian tales
of fair Shahrazad
And said that snuggling while sick
wasn't all that bad

Robert Munsch entertained us
as we ate bowls of grapes
We looked up the word 'curtiosity'*
and fables of apes

Later, we did word puzzles
and coughed in our sleeves
watched avalanches on you tube
and talked of disease

Finished the Gospel of Mark
and ate crackers of graham
Then tried to stop squabbling
that broke out into mayhem

Now the day is all done
And was like any other
Because we cozied up on the couch
Under the covers

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It was not on purpose...this time I mean it

We all remember this conversation, do we not?

Well, I'm taking this Novel Writing thing seriously and last night, I decided to get writing. (I am writing everyday as outlined on the website). I started at 8:30 pm. I always write by hand first because there is something that is quite artistic and therapeutic about writing by hand. Plus, I can still only type 33 words a minute so...naturally I do my first draft on paper.
After a good session of writing, I felt it was time to go to bed and hoped that hadn't gone past my 10:00 pm bedtime.

Lo and behold it was 1 am!

1 am, folks. A.M. as in after midnight.

I was completely absorbed and lost all sense of time.

But I am pleased to announce that by a rough estimate, I have written approx. 7 000 words. Only 43 000 more to go!

Stay tuned, I need help naming a character and you guys get to name her.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Broken and Spilled Out

The woman with the alabaster box has always been a story that has connected with me.

I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because I hope that, if I lived in the day and the hour that she lived in, I would be her. I would come to Jesus with oil that cost so very much and I would pour it on Him.

The Bible says she broke open the box and washed the Lord's feet with her hair. How intimate-how worshipful.

I think about when my hair was long I would wash it with flavored shampoo so that at night when I would go to sleep, my hair by my face, I would go to sleep smelling the wonderful smells of wildflowers or exotic fruit. And now, I think about this woman who washed the smelliest, dirtiest part of Jesus' body with this fragrant perfume-how did her hair smell that evening?

Did it smell to her like the picture of her life--smelly and dirty mistakes overwhelmed by the scent of His majesty?

She committed herself to the act of worship when she broke that box. The oil spilled out, never to be recaptured or contained again--it now had the purpose of serving the King of Kings.

How I long to live my life this way...broken and spilled out for the purpose of serving the King of Kings. I long to never be contained again with the way that I passionately love my Saviour. Never again to be afraid to share His name or the power and truth of His cross. Never to back down from giving Him glory...all the glory.

Lord, I commit my life to You. There is nothing You can't have. There is nothing that You ask for that I won't give You. There is nothing that I will withhold from the One I love with my life. Ask for any of it. Ask for all of it. I will freely give it to the One who is so kind and accepts all gifts.

Even those gifts that are broken and spilled.

Monday, November 2, 2009

In my defense, I was very...oh, I don't have an excuse for this one

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by Mckmama.

I did not make the remaining last bit of whipping cream in the carton all for myself. Nope. I am a woman of moderation and excessive use of dairy products is not something I do.
Nor did I run and get my camera thinking, "Hey, this would be a great blog post?" I do not think about my blog other than when I'm on my computer. That shows a weak constitution revealing that digital hobbies are starting to dominate other areas of my life. Me? Have a problem like that? I don't think so.
I did not take 3 big heaping spoonfuls of whipped cream and then gobble it right up and then put another 3 heaping spoonfuls of whipped cream before actually even tasting my hot chocolate. I wouldn't do that. That sounds like a crazy girl out of control with no moral-hot-chocolat-ish restraint. I am the picture of self-containment.
I never once ditched the hot chocolate for the bowl of whipped cream. There's something very childlike about that and clearly, as we all know from reading this blog, I am a very mature, reasonable and grown up adult. I don't "do" childish.
And I absolutely never bailed on the cup of hot chocolate and poured it into my bowl of whipping cream so I could enjoy it's creamy goodness and put an end to this time-wasting efforts of transferring whipping cream into the cup time and time again. While it is logical, I would never do that because, and I feel this bears repeating: although it is logical, it is very unsound in practical application and leads one to believe that there is a strong sense of whimsy nonsense going on in the kitchen.

And that never occurs at my house.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's all in me head! It's all in me head!

Have you ever had a conversation with yourself. I did. It went like this.

"Diva, you went to bed late last night."
"Do you remember what you decided?"
"No more going to bed at midnight."
"That's correct. Any idea why you fell off the band wagon?"
"Old habits die hard?"
"That's an old habit from your 20's. Remember when you didn't have as many kids and you didn't know that sleep is integral to health and skin elasticity. Remember what old people look like who have lived wild? It's not pretty, Diva. You don't want that to be you."
"I don't. It's true."
"So, what are you not going to do tonight?"
"I won't stay up late watching a movie. Ever again. And then I won't have a flabby face when I am 55."
"This time you mean it?"
"Yes. Absolutely."
"Good. Now go have some mint tea and try not to talk to yourself today."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Pumpkins from Harvest Time Past

Before I reveal this year's masterpieces--take a look at what we did one year.
Cinderalla pumpkin carriage--go Inez!

Sparklers inside our pumpkins...because that's how we roll
This one is a bit blurry, but it's someone with their hands on their face as they say, "oh!"

Like chewing cud-only not-since I'm not a cow

Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Psalm 37:3

I've been feeding on His faithfulness today.

Just thinking, and reminiscing on how faithful He is and how dramatic He can be when He comes through at what seems like the last possible moment. Here are a few to share with you:

-The x-ray technician told us that we would miscarry our first child. He looked at the screen and showed us how the egg was imploding, told us that there were vital parts missing and that if we looked at what he was showing us we would see a very broken beginning.
We went home that day and prayed. I told the Lord that I would worship Him and call Him good no matter what happened. I believed Him for a miracle but trusted all things to His care. He spoke the word "Shalom" to me and gave me a poem to go with it. I looked up the Hebrew meaning of the word Shalom and it means "complete peace, total wholeness, nothing missing, nothing broken." And that's exactly how my daughter was born.

-At 9:27 pm one night, the Lord instructed me to stop what I was doing and pray for protection over my husband. I found Psalm 91 and declared the Lord's promises. My husband came home one hour later. The vehicle he was in what side swiped while stopped at a red light by a vehicle that was traveling 80 km/h.
It left a small dent and nothing more.

-My husband shared with me how he felt the Lord was telling him to go on paternity leave when we had our last child. At first, I panicked knowing it would cut our single-income family to an even more meager amount. As I prayed, the Lord only spoke to me with the simple words of "Trust Me." My husband went on sabbatical, much to the derision of family members.( I love how he would rather be obedient to God than to anyone else). He had no promise of a job as he took sabbatical, but got on His face before God and pursued His presence like nobody's business. When we had a $200 commitment that needed to be paid and we waited on God to provide, our church called saying that someone had donated some money for us and left it with them.
It was the exact amount we needed.
My husband went to Africa--a dream that he's always had in his heart. In three weeks, a five thousand dollar trip was fundraised. Money that came from very unlikely places. And nothing we could do ourselves as we were on...a meager income. He came home and reminded me that paternity benefits would run out in the next week and a half. We prayed for about two minutes--we knew that the Lord had specified this time off for His purpose in our lives-- so we knew He would provide a job.
And He did. The guy who took over for my husband left that job a week before our paternity pay ran out. My husband had his old job back. A job he loves.

-My father died 19 years ago today. I found myself fatherless.
. But then He found me. He picked up my broken heart and broken life and gave me His Son who died broken so that I could be whole. Nothing missing, nothing broken. Totally whole.

For this feast, I give thanks. Shalom.

What a novel idea! And now the news...

Good morning. Our top story this morning is one of exhausting proportions.

I was up from 3:30 am-4:30 am with a sick girlie

I woke up at 5:15 am with a chipper boy-ca

I made pumpkin tarts for breakfast

I went back to sleep at 7:30 am and tucked all the kiddies for a nap. I was on the edge of becoming a grumpy cow.

I turned on the computer, checked the weather and saw this:

Snowfall warning in effect

Rain changing to snow early this morning. Snowfall amount 10 to 15 cm. Local blowing snow. Wind northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50. Temperature steady near plus 1.

I'm going back to bed!

And this special bulletin has just been handed to me. Thanks to this website, I was reminded of what I've wanted to do for many a November now. And this November I'm going to do it. I am now an official member of this year's NaNoWriMo. (Loosely translated as the National Novel Writing Month). Yup. I'm going to write a novel starting November 1st. So, stay tuned to this station for the next week or so as I will be giving you a chance to name a character, pick a plot twist and read the opening pages.

I will keep you posted as this story unfolds. And now a word from our sponsors....

Monday, October 26, 2009


I did not spend the majority of the day re-organizing my linen closet. No, I didn't. I wasn't even inspired when I saw this closet and thought, "I could do that too!" I don't do things because other people have done them. That's copying and I am completely original...and organized.

I did not throw stuffed animals at my children today because that would be ignoring all warning labels on toys and I always pay attention to the labels. I didn't let me 13 month old feed himself a saucy-saucy-super-saucy meal tonight because I was too lazy to do it myself. Nutrition is important and developing positive eating habits is vital to good health-I wouldn't jeopardize that.

I did not make more work for myself by letting my son feed himself an uber-saucy meal that required an immediate bath following dinner. After all, I'm organized and don't waste my time getting caught with unplanned work. (see above for proof)

And when my little family came up to me while blogging and demonstrated that they knew how digestion worked by dropping carrots from their backside, I did not roll my eyes and stifle a laugh. Digestion and all the sounds that go with it are not funny.

It's not.


***by the way, the aforementioned announcement that is supposed to happen today will be told tomorrow. My timer rang and I'm outta blog time!

I know...the suspense! Oh, the suspense...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Flashback: And that's why I don't drink lemonade

OK, before Friday Flashback begins...I must tell you to come back here on Monday. That's right...come back Monday. Semi-sorta biggish news being announced then.

When I was little I drank some lemonade. I thought it was gross. It rolled around in my mouth for a minute and then I spit it back in my glass.

And then I poured the glass back into the pitcher.

"What did you just do?" Big sister Lori Ann said with her most authoritative voice that mimicked my Mom's angry voice.
Fear and trembling fell upon me, so I decided to omit certain truths. "Nothing."
"I saw you. I saw you gargle the lemonade, put it in the cup and then into the pitcher."
I just stared blankly, hoping the incident would go away.
"That is dis-gus-ting! Do you know what you just did? No one can drink that now. You put all your germy germs in their and now no one can have that."
"Well, I didn't like it."
"That's no excuse," Lori Ann said, once again sounding quite motherish. "You are going to drink this whole jug now."
Here's the thing. Lori Ann was bigger than me, she was six years older and babysitting me and she had this really firm grip on my arm. So I relented and started to drink the jug of lemonade, gagging the whole time.
Well, you can only get so far before the inevitable happens.
"I have to go pee, Lori."
"I do. I have to go."
"Fine, but you're still drinking the lemonade. Don't think this bathroom trick is going to get you out of anything."
There I was, on the toilet. My little seven year old self drinking and peeing lemonade.
It was a rude and harsh introduction to manners when it comes to double dipping.
But it worked.
Scarringly, so.
And that's why I don't like yellow beverages.

How about you? What was your Friday Flashback about manners? Was it as horrifying as mine or quite pleasant?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Oh, for the love of Monte Cristo Sandwiches!

Thanks for all those great comments from my last post!
After I read them, I re-read my post and realized that, in some ways, it sounded like a desperate cry for some blog-love for this diva.
I want to put your mind at ease. If I was desperate and wanted to shamelessly ask for blog-love, it would go something like this:

Nobody loves me
Everybody hates me
Think I'll go eat worms...

How I wish someone cared. I wonder if anyone reads my blog. I'm mean really...what's the point anymore...I might as well pull the plug on my imac and call 'er quits. Siggggggghhhhhh. Why doesn't anyone care?
Does anyone care?
Do you care????
Do you?
You should.

Naturally, I would never even contemplate such a selfish post. I've got better things to do. Like bonding with my library's copy of Rachael Ray's Express Lane Meals. I'm rockin' the love boat with these wafflewiches.
Doesn't everyone want one?
Don't you want one????
Don't you?
You should.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Does anyone else here suffer from blog envy?

I do.
This isn't the first time I've written about being jealous.
Jealousy. Coveting. Envy. It's all green and I find that it's happening to me as I look at blogs lately.
It's starts with a simple..."ohhh, look what they are doing?"
And then it moves to..."I would write a blog just like this if I lived there."
And then, the ominous, "Why don't I have a house that looks like that?"
"Hey, I should take up knitting. Everybody's doing it!"
"You know what I need to do? I need to craft more. I need to buy more crafty things or junk that I can re-finish and make look crafty."
"Why is my blog only about God's grace in the midst of my embarrassing moments that I seem to collect like a bad hobby? Why aren't I showing the world how to make paper from leftover spaghetti noodles or use dryer lint to make an emergency shelter? Where are my skills???"


And then, you read over what you've just written and you say, "It sounds very childish to be jealous."

So, you pull your thumb out of your mouth and you go back to looking at blogs and make an imaginary list of things you want to do...one day....one day.

DISCLAIMER: I do not know how to make an emergency shelter out of lint or noodles into paper. It was joke.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

You can read Pride and Prejudice online? You bet your dupa!

I unearthed this from my email inbox--remember, I told you about these? Here are some excerpts from a letter I wrote to a friend who lives in Thailand. (I love you, Beckkkkkky!) She deserves a blog post all her own and one day I will write about her. (She's in the top 5 hall of fame of the best type of friends a girl can have).

Here is how I write a letter with very little sleep under my belt:

Dear Becky-Jean,

So...update on life. I got a hair straightener for Christmas.

I read the book Pride and Prejudice online.

Yup, on the computer. I googled it and there it was.

It sounded like a good idea at the time. It did.


I couldn't get to the library and I had never read it before. And, hello, I live in North America and have no concept of waiting, so I went online. It was very good, and although I had sore eyes, I'm glad that I got to read it.

My youngest girl is walking and consequently trying to climb up the bookshelf and eat bottles of food colouring. She says "hi". Not sure if it's a general statement or if it's directed at you.

I was on the tv show Behind the Scenes and in my own unbiased opinion, I have to say that I looked very, very good on TV :) Thank you Revlon for making sparkly eyeshadow.

God is awesome (I was hoping to have something surprising to write, but you know Jesus, He's always consistent with Himself) I've been growing in His word a lot and been learning about forgiveness again (one day I am going to write a book called "When will the Healing end?" followed by a sequel "Will it ever end?" and then the trilogy clincher "Just accept it. You will need healing until your last breath, and by then, it won't really matter because you'll be face to face with Jesus and you are going to worship for all eternity” I'm expecting it will become a bestseller. Possibly a movie deal.)

I'm contemplating doing a triatholon this year. Not sure if I want to have a baby or to swim,bike and run. It's a tough call. They are kind of the same thing--except you look better in a bathing suit for one of them.

After 6 months I've finally unpacked every box from our move this summer.Which is perfect timing, because now I can use those empty boxes to start packing up our stuff for the move in May!

I ate a bag of dark truffles chocolate and now I despise milk chocolate candy--beware of the best...it spoils the good for you.

I spent New Year's with L. We were both without our husbands. I ate ham out of politeness because I don't actually eat pork, but I didn't know how to tell L. that, so I ate it and said that it was a good meal. This weighs heavy on my conscious....

I watched the Pride and Prejudice movie with Keira Knightley seven times in a span of 8 days. This prompted me to read the book.

Online. I read it online. I know I told you that, but it bears repeating.

Everyone tells me that the A&E version with Colin Firth is better. I'm eagerly anticipating the opportunity to verify this piece of information. My subsequent lack of vehicle has prevented me from obtaining such an opportunity, but I am conviced that the right moment will come and when it does, I will seize it and use it to my full advantage. ... I am still talking about renting a movie, right?

I think I need sleep. Or chocolate. Or a combination of both.

Miss you and hope that you are eating food that is good for your digestive system.

Love, Diva-Allie

If you liked this letter, you will laugh harder at this one.