Friday, January 29, 2010

Marshmallows...For His Glory

I've been camped out in John 14:13 lately.
"And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father."
To be quite honest, many times I was focused on the first part of that scripture: Jesus will do whatever I ask in His name.
That in itself is long as it goes hand in hand with the second part: SO THAT the Son may bring glory to the Father.

It's changed the way I pray. It's helped me realize that maybe my motives haven't been as pure as I thought. Maybe sometimes I was more interested in getting glory than watching Jesus bring pleasure to the Father.

I am camped out here today.
Marshmallows, anyone?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I fought the Pilates ball and the ball won!

I love doing Pilates.
I love video workouts.
I walk with my kids for exercise too, but we all know that you don't get your heart rate up walking with your kids unless you have a runaway stroller on your hands.
So I do Pilates. On DVD.

I *heart* Pilates. I love the slow breathing, the calm movement, and the soothing stretches. It's all so slow. S L O W. S L o w

Pilates has a bit of a trick to it and the trick is the breathing. It's almost the opposite of how you normally breath doing exercises. But once you conquer the breathing, you feel it. Oh, my friends, you feel the burn the very next day.

Another trick to Pilates is to do the exercise on the workout ball. First of all, the ball requires that you pay more attention to your muscles and breathing. And we all know: I need to pay more attention (to life in general, but here especially).

Here's my story. It all starts with a new DVD.
We start with familiar moves. Moves I know all too well. And I don't need to follow Jennifer--the girl on the DVD whose been crammed in the back and is doing moves for those who can’t keep up who want to do variations of the exercises.

And it begins...

Ok, now stand up with the ball behind you. Put the top of your right foot on the ball behind you and roll the ball back with your foot.

Oh, this is new.

Breathe deep and as you exhale, making little circles with the ball.


My son comes up and hugs my leg.

Not now, son.

--your foot is in front of your knee. You don't want to hurt it--

Wait, wait. Go back, who's going to get hurt?

That's right. Now breathe deep. And repeat.

Repeat what? I don't know what's going on here.

(My son understands repeat as he comes up and hugs my leg. Again.)

Now one more time--

I haven't done it the first time--

That's it. Now come to a standing position.

I decide to put my boy into a bouncy chair and continue my routine. We're on the floor now.

Now for some abdominal work. Place the ball on your head.

Easily done.

Inhale to start and exhale and go down one vertebrae at a time as you lie down.

I'm back in my groove.

Now, keeping the ball on your head, arms by your ears, come up to a seated position.

Um...easier said than done.

If you are finding difficulty, follow Jennifer.

Heck, no!

And now for our final move, the Mermaid.

Oh, this is new.

From a seated position extend your legs sideways and bend them. Then cross your ankles. Put one arm over the ball...wonh-wonh-wonh-wonh. You should look like this:

pilates picture

Mermaid - Pilates Stretch

by Peter Kramer, courtesy of Kolesar Studios, (c) 2006

(Only your supporting arm is on the ball and your legs are extended a bit more. Imagine it. You can.)

This feels like a good stretch.

We're going to roll up onto the ball.


I look to Jennifer to guide me but she's still getting into position. Slacker.

Now with control, roll up onto the ball.

I roll up the ball.

And then I keep going up. Up, up and away and I roll over, legs splayed, arms flailing as I fly to the other side of the room.

I'm sprawled on the floor, the ball leaving me as it rolls away. My daughter, who is sitting on the couch points out, "That's not how they do it on the video, Mama."

I laugh. "Nope. It's not quite like that."

And exhale.

I exhale.

If you are doing this exercise for the first time, follow Jennifer.

Oh, shut it!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Perhaps I don't have to rule out having my own cookbook one day

Success! Success!

I finally did it! No more smooshed, flattened cookies. No more must I bear the burden of delivering burnt cookies to loved ones. No longer, friends, no longer.
I made yummy, and puffy with a bit of crispiness to it type of cookies. They were gobbled in mere moments and the hit of this house.

I know what you're thinking. Diva, we remember the last time. Are you sure these are not a store bought mix?
I'm positive my friends. I made these with my own hands.

You're dying to know my secret aren't you?

Ok, I'll tell.

These are actually blueberry muffins gone horribly wrong.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Introducing Nestor...give him a great diva welcome

This is Nestor. Named for The Nester and her wisdom found here.
I place him at on the bedstead, but he tells me that he wants to try some other places first.
In the hall? No. Not enough natural light.
Back to the bedside table!
This is colorful--but it's my garbage can lid, so no.
This could work. However, look at that dinosaur. He's all bones. He will devour Nestor in mere moments.

Ah, perfect. On the bed stand.
See his smile?

Flashback Friday: So that's what happened to the bangs

I found this the other day. I remember it all so clearly.
Antics and mischief that day. I was at my wit's end. I needed a creative solution for correction and this was all I had:

How about you? Any hair cutting stories you care to share?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The New Interpretation of the Early Bird gets the Worm

I have a love/hate relationships with cliches.

At first, I loved them. Just take a look at my grade five creative writing journals. Every story ends with one.

And then I didn't like them. They fell in the same category as air quotes and the constant over-use of "Excellent, Smithers!" while drumming my fingers together. I didn't particular like them but I kept using them as I communicated.

And now I find that I'm back to sorta liking them again. Although, today I've decided to modernize a few and re-invent a few to reflect my life.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder
New meaning:
10 minutes locked in my bathroom in silence makes me a better mom

All in due time
New meaning:
No, I said you need to wait for me to finish this before I get you a drink

Never pet a burning chicken
New meaning
Well, this is just sage advice. You don't mess with a classic.

One bird in hand is worth two in the bush
New meaning
It's easier to carry a duck than a tree full of blue jays

Slow and steady wins the race
New meaning
Someday the laundry will get done

Things aren't what they used to be
New meaning
Does anyone know where Mom's broom handle went to? Is that what's holding up your fort right now?

Chatty Cathy
New meaning
Please be quiet and don't interrupt, you're Dad and I are trying to talk.

Fork it over
New meaning
The cutlery is your job and there's no playing til it's done.

Full of himself
New meaning
Mom, 'Drew's diaper is full

How about you? Any cliches you can turn into Mom-isms?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Let's hear it for mistakes!!

Heaven is on my side!

Remember this?

I went to the library yesterday and was prepared to pay my fine. She pulled up the book and grimaced. (It is not good when a librarian grimaces)

"I don't want to make you pay this." she says.
(Uh-oh! $$$$$$ is all I see and so truthfully I say in my head, "I don't want you to make me pay this either")

It turns out this book is a reference book. That's library talk for a big, fat price tag book. And it's a book from the adult section. And I have not been in the adult section in months. Sad, but true. I usually order my books online and just pick them up. (On second thought, if I went upstairs to the adult section with my kids, I could have a whole lot more posts!)

Anyway, the librarian asked me if I remembered what it looked like. I said I had no clue. I hadn't even read it.

Then the librarian said something that was like Pepto-bismal to my anxious wallet.
"I think this book might have gone onto your library card by mistake."

Good-looking-librarian-lady says what?

"I think this book might have gone onto your library card by mistake."

(I think so too!)

We decide to give it a week, they are going to look for it upstairs and I'm going to believe they find it...otherwise I will need to work out a payment plan for this book ...that I still haven't read!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The blog post in which I cleverly link my favourite blogs

**with one of my favourite posts by them

When I get on the computer and I need a good cup of tea,
I head over to Messie's house and I read on with great glee

When I'm in search of bran bars and wise words
I go here for the tasty treats and paintings of birds

Does chalk paint have a use? Oh, you betcha!
And check out all the other things that she has sketch-ahed

Encouragement for a Jesus-loving Mom
Can be found on this site along with a song

My new blogging buddies are in different phases of life

A new blogger on the block who is finding her voice
She likes to be real and finds time to rejoice

I go here for happy doodles and fun recipes
And spend time on here-projects with ease

My secret best friend (if she only knew)
Has a door on her wall and nest eggs so blue

For the best homeschool idea sites go to number Se7en
And this gal is my Unschooling heaven!

By my favourite, most favourite, is the girl who wears pink
For she writes what she does and all that she thinks
(She needs 5 links for you to really capture her uniqueness)

Friday Flashback: Spinning

I remember spinning around and around and around when I was little

super fast
smile growing
fingers free combing the air
hair extended
eyes crinkled
my world blurring into colors
beautiful colors

oh to be little again wearing that big, fancy dress.

Did you spin when you were little?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What do you think: Grape or Cherry?

Do you ever feel like a sucker?

Today, I do.

Someone emailed me. She doesn't usually email me unless she wants information to pass off to others in a way that makes her look like she's good friends with me. She's done this a few times. It's because of a mutual friend we have and for some reason she has this competitiveness that says, "I know her better than you" attitude she displays to the other friend.


I got an email from her.
Out of the blue, like usual. I debated writing her back. I wondered what her real motive was. And then I thought, 'you know what, I'm not going to be petty and not email her back. I will tell her about cleaning my closet and painting my walls.' (Yes, I know. That's a deep friendship when you can talk so openly about mundane everyday life things-ha!)

And she responded today...telling me that our friend is coming to visit here in a few weeks.

I felt really stupid. Once again I played into her warped childish game. The sad thing is I don't even think she is aware that she does this.

I think there is something in the water in Wisconsin.

Dear Lord,
I pray for those who use me.
I pray You would bless her. Cause Your glory to shine on her. Let Your deep, rich love reach the spot of sadness inside of her that feels compelled to make herself look better by being a person who knows more or thinks they know more about others. Fill her loneliness Lord Jesus. Remind her that Your blood was enough. That she is accepted--your nail scarred hands say as much. Free her from any trace of self-hatred and shame that she carries with her.
God, let her hear the song You sing over her. Let her be awakened by the sweetness of Your Spirit and help her to stop believing the lie that says 'she's only good enough if she does this or that.' Set her free, God. Break the power of shame in her life.
Let the only thing that is worth talking about to others be Jesus Christ and His radical love for her.
I trust You, God.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Death to cheeky nouns sitting on my desk

*I'm at it again (responding to emails that is. Check your inbox, my friends...coming soon to a computer near you!)

*Cleaned out the cupboards, dumped everything in a bag and moved it into the garage. That can be July's problem. For now I have clean cupboards and FOCUS! (or so I like to think)

*I am (sorta) seriously contemplating learning how to make my own sour cream. My friend Marlies does this. Mind you, she has access to fresh milk from a cow, and does this thing all the time...she has to since she lives in Africa.
Hmmm...if going organic is that simple, maybe I should move to Africa. She says the bananas in Canada are beautiful to look at but taste horrible. I could eat brown bananas. She also says that they have the squatting toilets in Africa and most public places don't have bathrooms or toilet paper in them. Organic living can wait for a bit, non?

*I now have a huge laundry basket full of papers to be sorted through (thanks to cleaning out the closet). I have plans to finish this blog post and get the shredder from the office and get right to soon as I'm finished this blog post.

I am now thinking of extra things to write on my blog post so as to delay production on the great epic called "Filing 2009".

The snow is melting.

A cat is thinking about stepping into my yard. I scowl at it. It thinks twice. That's right, keep walking.

Did you know that the moon has several stages? One is called waxing gibbous. I did not know that before yesterday. I am passing on these facts for your future Jeopardy contestant spot. Don't forget me when you win big.

I have a red flower pin that I never wear. It's sitting on my desk currently staring at me, saying, "You are reaching a new low by blogging about me to avoid filing."
To which I say, "True. But in all fairness, don't you want to be on my blog?"
To which it responds, "You do realize you are talking to a flower pin and making up a conversation in your own head?"
To which I respond, "OK, time for you to go to the Salvation Army."
To which it says, "I'm starting a "Save the Red Flower Pin Campaign". Readers, join the resistance!"
And then I turn my head, snap my fingers to my imaginary guard and say sinisterly, "Release the hounds."
And then dogs come and bury the red flower pin and I never see it again.
The end.

After so much excitement, clearly it is time for me to do something mundane and brain-numbing...filing.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I do not have a blokus obsession

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I did not stay up til 1:30 am playing this computer game.
No, I wouldn't do that.
Number one, I go to bed early and number two, I strictly follow rule #2 on this manifesto. (unless, of course, I was following rule number 5, which I soooo was). And we all know that I am a consistent rule follower.

I do not play Blokus at any given opportunity. Not even when my friend, Rachael, came over to visit. I did not sit her down and quickly explain the rules so that I could beat her mercilessly several times. I don't beg friends to play games with me. Not even when my husband gives me a look that reads "Are you sure you want to do this right now?"

And when we played Blokus, I'm not at all competitive. Rachael never heard me mutter, "I'm not here to make friends. I'm here to win." Nor did I say, "You're going down.", "Sleep with one eye open", or "You're going to ive to regret that move,Rachael." That sounds a bit gangsterish and I don't have a gangsta lean.

And when I won, I didn't gloat. I wouldn't gloat. Gloating is so immature and only children--snobby children who stick their tongue out at people-- gloat. I don't know how to do that. I'm a mature adult.

And when my husband threatened to take the win, I didn't snarl and tell him, in front of our guest, that he should re-think his life strategy, cause 'I was gonna take him on and then take him out.' Civilized folks don't talk like this. And I am civilized folk.

And when I did happen to have one less point than the winner, I didn't try to say, "Let's play again so that I can win one more time." That isn't the sign of a gracious loser. And I, naturally, am a gracious loser. It's almost my middle name it's so close to who I am.

Because there is not a competitive bone in my body. Truly. And it's not just because there is no scientific name called "competitive" for bones. It's because I believe that when it comes to games, it's just about having fun. It's not about winning or losing. It's about 'how you play the game'. Any other attitude would be vengeful, spiteful or cut-throat. Pirates are like that, not me.


Friday, January 8, 2010

And lo the floodgates opened... and nothing poured forth

I have a confession to make.

I know, another one? Yes.

Confession: I am not very punctual at returning emails to people.
Well, let me clarify that. I am not punctual replying to emails that have no direct, must be answered now, content within them. I usually read the email and plan to reply the next time I get on.

We could call it procrastination, but that word is not allowed on this show. So, we'll call it 'delayed reciprocation'.

Yesterday, I decided to respond to emails that were from 2009. I wrote my little heart out. I got in touch with everyone who has written recently and everyone that I wanted to send a quick "Hi, how ya doing?, been thinking about you" email.

I used up a good portion of my computer time doing this. I left feeling pretty good about myself. Ah, something is getting accomplished this New Year.

And so it was, with great anticipation, I logged onto my email account today fully expecting a huge amount of reciprocity of emails from friends saying they were glad to hear from me again.

And lo...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The jig is almost up on this library racketeering ring I've got going on

So...I have this book that is overdue at the library.
It's been due since September.

At first, I had it. Then three weeks went by and *poof *suddenly it was due.
Then I couldn't locate it so I renewed it for another 3 weeks. That brought us to October.
Then I still couldn't find it. I renewed it for the 2nd and final time we are allowed to renew it. That took me to the first week of November.

Then something magical happened.
I was at the library picking up some books while on a break from my little Saturday job. The lady in front of me took waaaaay too long and my break was almost over by the time I got to the counter to take out my books.
I was explaining that I had to get going when the clerk--who I am well-known to since she sees me twice a week when I get out books--says "Give me your card and go! I'll take care of it."
"I think there are some overdue books."
"Don't worry. I'll override it."
That brought me to December.

Then I renewed it again. That brought me to the middle of December.
Then I thought it was time to face the music and pay for the book that my house has eaten. I told the other librarian that I think I had misplaced it and that I should pay for it.
She shook her head. "I'll renew it one more time. Why don't you see what you can find at home."
That brings me to next week.

A week that is approaching rather quickly in my mind.
Especially since cupboards have been searched, bookcases moved, underwear drawers looked in (I am desperate. I know, who puts a book in their underwear drawer? I can't think straight when I'm desperate), and I even took a trip to the garage to see if I might have accidentally recycled it.
Can't find it.
Can't find it all.

And the worst part is...

I've never even read it.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Face Etiquette for Beginners

Now, since we are best friends and we tell each other everything--and I do mean EVERYTHING! I feel, as your best friend, that it's important to pass on these three things that I observed today while people watching.

1. Always cover your mouth when you yawn. I'm glad you had dental work, but let's keep that as your little secret, m'kay?

2. Put that dental use to work and smile at strangers, then make eye contact and nod. Connect with others.

3. It doesn't matter what you think or how sure you are...someone is always looking. So, yes, use Kleenex if you must pick in public.

By the way, there's nothing in your teeth.

You're welcome. That's what best friends are for.