Sunday, December 30, 2007

Snow Day!

Kodiak the photographer, La Diva trekking up the hill again, Ice laying in the snow.


Turtle bites it!



Love the frosty trees!


Saturday, December 29, 2007

A firefighters wife never sleeps....

.... once the tones go off, you hear the beginning of the call, get the kiss goodbye, watch the Hero run out the door.... sit for a few minutes more and then hear the sirens as they head off. The last call was just the other night and he didn't get in til 3:00 a.m. So here I sit again with nothing but rerun TV, even Food and TLC are reruns for me!!! That means you get to listen to the tired rambling of a firefighter's not sleeping but so tired wife.

As the year comes to a close I find myself getting fed up with some things around here. We live in a smaller place than our last home. It suits us fine for the most part but I have not adjusted well to not having a fully developed basement with organized storage and going from 3 full baths to 1.5. Several of my attempts at organizing have failed and I really need to get some things under control. I've moved most of Kodiak and La Diva's personal hygiene products to the half bath downstairs which is closer to where they live. I tried baskets but they just seemed messy all stacked up around the pedastal sink. I found this yesterday and my problems have been solved!! I'm so excited and the Hero thinks I'm a bit off because something so simple has made my day! Whatever... he is the master of chaos and I'm the opposite. One problem down!

My next big task is to figure out a better way to tackle the toy problem in Iceman and Turtle's room. It seems that no number of bins, labels or pictures are helping me there. I think I need some sort of shelving but it needs to be quite substantial to hold the depth of the bins. I just don't know what to do but I must figure out something. It looks like the Tasmanian Devil lives there on most days. I don't have a problem with them playing but plowing a path through their destruction every night to tuck them in just doesn't sit well with me. I'm thinking that I may invest in some of these. I'm open to any solutions you may have to this dilemma.

I also need to work out a solution for Troy's clothes in our closet. He needs to do a T-shirt purge. Honestly how many fire rescue shirts does one really need? We don't really have a proper dresser as we've always had walk in closets that have worked for us. For some reason this walk in situation is just not doing the trick. I bought this horrible wire frame thing with wire drawers from IKEA which is utterly useless. If you have more than 4 things in each drawer they are too heavy and fall off the tracks. It is a mess of wire bins stacked on top of each other in a wire frame half the time. I curse that thing regularly as does the Hero. That needs to hit the curb and soon! I think I will go back to the faithful wire cube shelf solution. They won't break the bank, are sturdy as all get out, you can stack a whole ton of things on each shelf and when we move again it collapses in a neat little pile until it is reconfigured to meet our needs in the next place. Now to find these shelves in stock in a store!!

I'm also thinking of investing in some space bags for the seasonal clothes situation. I do the rubbermaid thing now but it takes up a ton of space and I could probably cut my bins down in half by using the magic space bags. Anyone use them before?

Tomorrow we are going sledding. I can't remember the last time I did this and I don't think we've ever done it as a family before. The snow of the south just isn't the greatest for sledding, it's drier and gets a crusty top on it. In the north it is fluffy, stickier and wetter. The kids are so excited. Hoping that no one breaks anything and that I don't freeze to death. I'm such a wuss in this northern, damp cold. I feel it right through to my core and end up feeling like I'm 90 with achy joints. I miss my chinooks and balmy winters. The Hero bought me an awesome winter coat that is toasty warm. I have some fleece lined wind pants that I hope will keep me warm enough as I don't own any ski pants. It is forecasted to be -13 Celsius, that's about 8 Farenheit.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Buffalo came to visit!

We have never done Santa at the Hutch. It's not that we have a problem with Santa it's just that Kodiak has always been such a serious kid that he never bought into it at all. For him, Christmas = Jesus Birthday and that was enough. So we just didn't start the tradition with the rest of them. We have our own traditions that are equally as fun as my memories of Santa as a child. Up until just last year Isaac called Santa, Buffalo, we are not sure where on earth it came from but to Iceman that guy in the red suit with the white beard was "Buffalo" there was no correcting him on it.
Christmas 2007 Buffalo came to visit for the very first time. Iceman and Turtle were all tucked in their beds for about 20 minutes and then Ice comes flying down the stairs "Mooooommm... we forgot to put cookies out for Santa". I'm sure the look on my face was something else. I said "When did we start doing that?" He says, "NOW!!!" So we get the gingerbread cookie he'd decorated at the VFD party over a week before and put it on a plate, Ice runs to the fridge in the basement to get an "ice cold Coca-Lola" for Santa, I get down a glass, Ice puts out a napkin and then charges back up to bed. I look at the Hero in complete bewilderment. Considering they had just had discussion earlier in the day and comments from the Turtle during the traditional reading of the Hallmark Pop-Up book of "The Night Before Christmas" about Santa not being real. We figure we will play up the fun for them if this is what Iceman wants to do. So I quickly open a yahoo email so Buffalo can send them an email thanking them for the cookie and Coke. Also reminding them to be good boys. I figure Santa surely doesn't write letters with his right hand like my left-handed Santa did to leave with the empty plate of cookies. Santa has to be online in these times. We had one gift for them that wasn't going to be wrapped anyway that we had planned to build and put by the tree. We opted to put it outside their bedroom door with a tag that read "To Iceman and Turtle From: Santa". We laid their stockings alongside it (we don't have a fireplace).

The next morning was like a comedy act. They were both so over the moon about this cool fire station that Santa had left them and all the neat things in the stocking that he'd left. I found this especially hilarious because Iceman had chosen several things for Turtle's stocking while we were shopping and vice versa. They went on and on about how the elves built this fire station. After all the excitement of the stocking and Santa gift died down a little they came barrelling downstairs to find a plate with crumbs (I'd grated some off the cookie that was horribly stale and hid the rest of it deep in the garbage) and crumbs on the table. An empty glass and just a sip left in the can. Ice grabs the wrinkled up napkin in disgust and says "Look what Santa did to the napkin!" Turtle surveys the crumbs on the table and declares "That Santa is a PIG!!" I'm dying trying to contain my laughter. They go to grab Kodiak and La Diva from the dungeon and are blabbering on about Santa to them. They look at me completely confused and I tell them to just roll with it.


We get caught up in all the rest of the gifts. Everyone was spoiled rotten and we had such a fun morning together. As we were getting organized to head out to my parents I asked Iceman to take this box down to recycle. Being a rookie with this "Santa" thing I didn't even think about it being the box that the fire station had came in. He is halfway down the stairs and comes charging up saying "those elves didn't make that fire station, it came in this box!!" The Hero says they can't carry it built and says he can't believe they didn't hear them building it outside their door. Turtle says "I heard that hammering but I was sleepy". Then we remember the email and show them that which saves the day. The guilty looks on their faces when Santa said "there better not be any pouting... this means you Turtle" and "there better not be any sassing... this means you Iceman" were priceless.


I'm still not quite sure if they have convinced themselves that Santa is the real deal all of a sudden or they are just playing an elaborate trick on all of us. It made for an unexpected bunch of laughs.


We had made rice krispie shapes for Jesus' birthday cake this year and the littles and La Diva had a blast decorating the snowmen and bells. We had it after singing Happy Birthday on Christmas Eve. La Diva found the pickle but Turtle was working as part of the team so he helped her open the present which was the DVD of Elf. Kodiak read the Christmas story from Luke while we lit the Christ Candle in our advent wreath. The Hero read the Small One and the Night Before Christmas. The kids begged for just one more story so they chose another from our stack of seasonal books, unfortunately the name escapes me at the moment.


We had a nice dinner up at the 'rents. It was good to have some extended family together. We ate too much as usual but it was a relaxing day. Which was a pleasant surprise. We didn't get home til after midnight.

It's hard to believe it is all over. We spent Boxing Day in our jammies enjoying all the fun new things that the crew got for Christmas. We ventured out briefly today to spend money and GCs that were received as gifts but the icy roads had us heading home quickly. Tomorrow we hope to get the rest of the returns done. La Diva needs to find a replacement for her iCat that won't work. It's the one thing she really wanted and it was such a disappointment that once we got it out of the package, batteries in, etc that it just didn't work. I hope that it won't be as hard to find as a Wii, another thing they want to spend Christmas money on.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Twas the Night Before the Night Before Christmas

And all through the house not a creature was stirring........ quiet. What a beautiful sound! My whole family is asleep, even the dog. I tucked the Hero in and told him I needed some time to unwind, get my head on straight and prepare myself for the busyness of the next couple of days. There are so many things I love about Christmas. However, I always start to hyperventilate a little when I have to deal with either of our extended families. It is a stressful balancing act of trying to maintain some sense of sanity while dealing with the drama that is family. I do my best to keep my children oblivious to all the crap and focussed on just loving their grandparents and rest of the extended family. It is not an easy task some times.

Last year we had our first, and likely last, trip out to the Hero's family for Christmas. It was hard to watch the Hero get hurt by his own family but it was harder to see it happen to our children- it was just horrible. Thankfully, there are a few lovely family members out there who genuinely love and care about our children. They made up for the ugliness of Christmas eve and day. So in the midst of crappy memories they also have some very happy ones.

It has been many years since we have spent a Christmas with my family. We have had many Christmas' alone and they are all lovely memories of closeness, reflection on the true meaning of the holiday, no strees and tons of fun!! We so loved being on our own schedule, staying in our jammies til noon, playing with all the fun gifts and enjoying each other. My childhood memories of Christmas are of Martha Stewart going crazy trying to make everything perfect. I remember much tension in the household every year we hosted dinner. I love Martha dearly but she is a perfectionist by nature and it's her way or the highway so to speak. Throw my Hero, who thrives on chaos, into that mix and I walk a tight rope trying to balance the mood of the day. It is so stressful for me. I'm trying to alleviate the stress of the day by preparing several dishes to take. We only live a little over an hour away so we can have our Christmas Eve and morning together. I am so very thankful for that. I hope and pray that the rest of the day is stress free and full of joy. I'm trying to be optimistic about it but history tells me that I need to brace myself for drama and stress.

So tonight I will concentrate on the things I love about Christmas. I love......
  • sitting in the dark with only the lights on the tree
  • watching the children play with the nativities and tell the story of Christ's birth in their own words
  • giving gifts that are well recieved
  • the smells of baking, turkey, all that yummy holiday food
  • Christmas music
  • lighting the advent wreath as a family
  • hiding the Christmas pickle and watching the kids hunt for it
  • The Hero with all the crew snuggled around him while he reads the Christmas story from the Bible on Christmas Eve
  • Making the birthday cake for Jesus and singing Happy Birthday!
  • that the house looks so festive with all our decorations, it's like we are ready for a celebration every day
  • filling our shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child and helping out with Santa's elves or whatever charity we chose to give to during the holidays.
  • blessing strangers or people on the fringe of our life with unexpected surprises
  • that in the midst of the hustle and bustle you can change the mood of a crowded line with a smile and a friendly word, that there are still people out there that care enough about those around them that they give up something to insure that others have a Merry Christmas.
  • that Jesus was sent to earth so that we would be saved.

I pray that you would all have the most blessed Christmas! Try to remember the things you love and don't let the things that stress you steal away from the joy of the season. I know that is what I will try to do. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Christmas Gift

I received an early Christmas gift this year. This is not something that I can call my own but it is truly the best present I have received in a very long while. My very dear friend who lives an ocean away received the gift of a daughter. This is the answer to many years of faithful prayer. This is a reminder that God hears those prayers and answers them in His own perfect timing. Thanks to the courage of a young woman my dear friend and her husband have a daughter to call their own. I'm overcome with joy for them and my heart is filled with praise.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Monday, December 10, 2007


My daily inspiration from Heart Math

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Dear Children

Dear Children,

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. Although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be so many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1-8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

  1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know,they tell Me all the time.
  2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.
  3. Instead of writing George complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.
  4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth,and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.
  5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.
  6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.
  7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home and going to Church with their families.
  8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary--especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.
  9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.
  10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember :

I LOVE YOU, JESUS

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Angels

But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God" ~ Luke 1:30

Read the Bible story of Mary from Luke 1:26-56. How exciting it must have been for Mary to find out that she would become the mother of Jesus. Families can discuss how scared Mary must have been when the angel first appeared to her. Talk about how important of a job God gave her.

You can do an Angel Craft with your family too.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Hope

Sorry I didn't get this posted earlier... best intentions and all. (go ahead roll your eyes you know I am)

Today marked the first Sunday of Advent and tradition is, in my experience, that the first candle represents Hope or Expectation (Prophecy). Our scripture reading this evening was read by Kodiak and he took it from the NIV but I thought this version from the Message was great:

"Get out of bed, Jerusalem! Wake up. Put your face in the sunlight.
God's bright glory has risen for you.
The whole earth is wrapped in darkness,
all people sunk in deep darkness,
But God rises on you,
his sunrise glory breaks over you.
Nations will come to your light,
kings to your sunburst brightness." ~ Isaiah 60:1-3, The Message


La Diva lit the first purple candle. We had a brief discussion about what we are looking towards and why we are adopting the tradition of our own Advent wreath. Brief because I had to very goofy little boys at the table this evening. The Hero closed with a prayer.

Are you hopeful this season? Are you filled with expectancy? The American Heritage Dictionary defines hope as:
  1. To look forward to with confidence or expectation;
  2. To expect and desire.
My prayer is that you would be filled with hope as we draw nearer to Him in anticipation of the celebration of Jesus' birth and all that the gift of His life has brought to us.

For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.) ~ Romans 8:22-25 NLT

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Tis the Season

It's the season of giving throughout most of North America. While you are frantically running around trying to please all the loved ones on your list with the latest and greatest gift I beg you to stop and take a moment to think of those that don't have the basic necessities of life. Check out, my friend, The Hippy Goodwife's blog and jump in on the challenge started by Big Alice. They are asking that you would give up that red cup from Starbucks, a skien of yarn, a scrapbook supply, that trash mag from the checkout stand or whatever your vice is and make a donation to the food bank. If you aren't familiar with the food bank in your area you can check out Second Harvest or in Canada, please go to Canadian Association of Food Banks to find out how to donate.


The Hero left bright and early this morning with Kodiak, Iceman and Turtle in tow. Today is our community's drive for the Christmas Elves program. They will be going around town collecting donations of food and toys for those in need in our community. La Diva and I will be involved in the packing of hampers at a later date. It only takes a small amount of time to make a huge difference in the life of someone in your community. Get out there and do your part!

It is also the season for reflection and this year we are starting our own tradition of observing the Advent season in our home. I went out and purchased 3 purple candles and 1 rose candle. I already have a white candle. We put them on a decorative plate and later I will get some greenery to stuff amongst the pillars. I'm hoping that our family will be able to take a moment daily, together, to reflect on the reason that we celebrate Christmas. Following the Star is a great resource to help us with devotions. I hope that this will draw us together and be a great new tradition for our family.

What kind of family traditions do you have during the holidays? I'd love to hear about them.

Jesus.... said, "I am the light of the world." ~John 8:12

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Baby It's Cold Outside!

Winter hit us this week. The Hero is out dealing with their first accident of the season to prove it. I hope no one is seriously hurt. With the white stuff also comes that bitter cold that I can't adjust to. I want to curl up on the couch with my coffee and watch food network all day. The magic thing about the white stuff is that it kicks you in the behind and makes your realize just how quickly Christmas is approaching. The Hero had to take a trip south so the crew and I went to get my Mom and she stayed overnight. Yesterday we did a marathon shop. I managed to cross a few people off the list but really need to get at it. It was only yesterday that I realized how much time I don't have. Now I'm hoping and praying the weather improves so I can get out there again. I have probably mentioned before how much I hate driving. Winter driving with the world's morons, who are deluded into believing that driving an SUV or a pick up truck makes them invincible, is even worse than regular driving. I'm of the mind set that there is no sense hurrying to my death on icy roads so I don't take chances in the passing department. I think a 360 spin into the ditch during my first winter with a license scared me for life. I'm also hauling precious cargo most times and they are worth more to me than redneck dummy riding my tail because they are in a hurry to get to Tim's.

Be safe out there!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Perceptions

I've recently been involved in a discussion about Jon and Kate Plus 8. It has been interesting to hear the different opinions about this family. Some people say they are so "real" and that is refreshing for a reality show. :S Others cannot stand how Kate is a control freak and snipes at Jon constantly. Some agree her behavior is over the top but excuse her because she has 8 children. Jon needs some backbone to stand up for himself are other opinions. I wonder how people in this discussion are perceiving each other by the answers they are giving. I wonder how many of those defending Kate are like her. I wonder how many against her are unlike her or maybe want to be unlike her.

Then my mind goes on to think of how people would perceive my own marriage. Would they say that the Hero needs a backbone, that I am a doormat, that I snipe, that either of us is a control freak, that he is a jacker, etc? Would they think we have a good marriage or a rocky one? I think of how we behave around others. We both have a sarcastic sense of humor, could that be perceived the wrong way by those looking in? I tease the Hero that no one else would put up with him and he agrees with me. We banter back and forth. Does that look like dishonor or disrespect to strangers or to those that know us? Do we really care what it looks like? We have come such a long way in our relationship and we truly have a fantastic marriage. I wonder if that is the witness we give to the world. I wonder all these things and then the Hero comes home from fire practice the other night saying that they all seem to think we have the perfect relationship. I ask why they think that and he says "I guess because I never talk badly about you. The fact that I work from home and we spent so much time together yet we can still have fun and stand each other." So I guess our witness is solid despite our sarcastic humor and crazy banter.

When we know love matters more than anything, and we know that nothing else REALLY matters, we move into the state of surrender. Surrender does not diminish our power, it enhances it. ~Sara Paddison

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ramblings

I've updated my favorite things list and added it to my links list in the margin. Check it out for updates as I discover new favorite things.

Today was report card day for the crew. Kodiak is totally rocking out the Jr. High experience. I'm very proud of him. La Diva is also doing quite well but needs to pick up that spelling mark. She is an atrocious speller. Iceman is struggling but I knew that already. I'm not overly enthused with his teacher and his report card has confirmed my concerns. I'm really disappointed that the discussions I had in the beginning of the year with the speech therapist and his teacher seem to have fallen on deaf ears. Maybe I'm jumping the gun and perhaps our parent-teacher conference next week will make me feel better. However, I'm pretty convinced he has dyslexia. I'm looking into getting him some help through Sylvan Learning Centres. The positive thing is she says he is working really hard and his marks for effort reflect that. He truly enjoys school so I hope that we can get him the help he needs to succeed without being discouraged. He asked how he did in his report card. I told him that he is working really hard, trying his best and that is so AWESOME! Turtle is doing very well. He is a smart cookie and tries to chime in when I'm working with Iceman. That ticks off the Iceman so we've worked out a system so Turtle is off somewhere else when Iceman and I are working. While it would benefit the Turtle to be with us it is too hard for Iceman when his younger brother is getting it and he is struggling.

The Hero is on the west coast today. He just emailed me that he forgot to consider the time change when he went to check in for his flight. He's a whole hour ahead of the game. LMBO! Sounds like he had a productive trip. We will be glad for him to be home. He's done more traveling than usual as of late and I miss him when he's gone. Shhhh, don't tell him.

I finally did some much dreaded sorting of our equivalent to a junk drawer. We have these 2 baskets that are dump zones for the Hero when he walks in the door. They were overflowing with junk. I tossed, sorted, returned things to their proper place and had an empty basket. It's amazing the weird things you find in these catch alls. Just a few of the odds and ends that I discovered today:
  • ear protectors, those big safety kind for operating heavy machinery or mowing the lawn
  • a pee in a bag kit~ for men to pee in when they can't find a washroom. Essentially it turns hard when you pee in it and is biodegradable. :S
  • lip balm
  • flashlights
  • tetra helmet stickers
  • pens and pencils
  • gum
  • allan key
  • various keys and keychains~ for what I'm not sure.
  • business cards
  • receipts
  • measuring tape
  • CDs of photos I've yet to have printed
  • sunglasses
  • safety glasses
  • lanyards
  • screws
  • paperclips
  • elastics
  • moist towelettes
  • gloves
  • rubber gloves
  • CPR mask
  • waterproof notepad
  • Sharpies
  • lint brush
  • mini pack of clorox wipes
  • a sucker
  • a plastic fire chief badge
  • a hotwheel car
  • glowsticks
  • loose change
Hey Giada is going to Martha's Vineyard. Cool, I've always wanted to visit there. Guess I get to go tonight courtesy of Food Network. I always watch Food Network, TLC, HGTV, etc when the Hero is gone. It keeps me company and is far more interesting than COPs, Detriot SWAT and the Military Channel.

Well I should go and put the Turtle and Iceman to bed. I may just open a bottle of merlot tonight. I think I've earned this week.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

25 Things you may not know about me

I have a friend that has a 100 things list on her blog (hey Shannon) but I think I may have trouble coming up with 25 let alone 100. I'll give it a shot. Let's see if I surprise anyone.

  1. I love to read cookbooks. Yes read them. Sometimes I cook from them too but mostly I read.
  2. I hate socks but as I age I have to wear them more often than I care to because my feet freeze.
  3. I like to pop zits.
  4. I cannot properly make anything that requires rolled dough. I have a severe handicap when it comes to rolling dough.
  5. I cannot make puffed wheat squares to save my life, they are either hard as rocks or do not stick together. I can make just about anything else but not something as simple as this.
  6. I have a love affair with purses but in these past years I rarely buy them. However, I drool over them and spend much time looking at them in the stores.
  7. I have a card problem. I've been better the last 2 years with no Winners nearby to raid on a regular basis. I used to clean out the clearance rack of stationary very often. I love note cards. I love paper. It makes me happy to open my metal container that stores them all. I can kill some serious time in a Hallmark store or any store that has paper. I love to go to scrapbook stores to drool over the paper but I can't scrap to save my life.
  8. I love wine and could drink a glass daily but I don't.
  9. My favorite sweet treat is white chocolate almond bark.
  10. I have created a cookbook of all my favorite recipes. It is on the computer but I have not made a hard copy of it.
  11. I played alto saxophone for 6 years. I also played organ.
  12. I used to speak fluent french but I can barely keep up to a bilingual speech in parliament anymore.
  13. I did my first income tax return at 12 but my dreams of becoming an accountant were crushed by my Math 10 teacher. Thanks Mr. Tucker. I've struggled with math ever since.
  14. I'd love to run a B&B one day.
  15. I am not a cat person at all. I don't even like Garfield. Bling Bling Kitty is the only exception but she is mostly human.;)
  16. I cannot stand for anyone to touch my belly button.
  17. I hate to vacuum.
  18. I collect nativities and Christmas angels.
  19. I have a bread problem. I love great rustic breads but my body doesn't love them. I've gotten a handle on it but I yearn to eat a loaf of dark rye or sourdough every now and then.
  20. I love cheese. I have not met a cheese that I didn't like. mmmmmmmmmm .... Cheese!
  21. I have zero tolerance for out of control children and no respect for the parents that have created them. Yes I know mine are not perfect. Trust me I'm far from perfect as well. I also know some children have special issues. I just have no tolerance for wildness and disrespect.
  22. I have really good discernment. I can see things in situations or people that others don't see. If I had to rate my accuracy it would be in the 94% range.
  23. I was born with black hair. It fell out when I was a few months old and came back blonde. Now it is whatever color I feel like which is mostly red with various highlights and lowlights.
  24. I hate driving. In a perfect world I would have a chauffeur.
  25. I want to write a book on parenting/being a wife one day.

That was hard. There is no way I could do 100. Can you do 25?? I'd love to see your list.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Change

Winter is coming. So far the snow has not been sticking. Today the wind was bitter cold and howling. Everyone was complaining but we are pretty lucky to not have snow. I hate this limbo time of year. I love autumn, all the colors, the beautiful weather and especially getting back into routine after a summer of freedom. Then comes late October and November... the trees are naked save for a few tenacious leaves hanging on for dear life, the ground is brown, the plants have been pulled or have gone into hibernation, the wind is bitter and the sun spends more days hiding than coming out to play. It is the gray, gloominess that gets me down. As much as I dread the cold that comes with the snow I appreciate the blue skies and sunshine. Right now I'm deprived of the sun and it's making me grumpy.

While I'm waiting for the season to change I'm going to try to change my attitude about this time of year. I really want to hide under the covers until the sun starts shining again. I don't feel like doing my daily chores or being around people. But I'm going to do my best to push through this mini season of gloom and look forward to the season to come.

Looking forward and making some changes:

  1. Change blog template, this seems bright and happy to me right now.
  2. Stop being in denial that the year is almost over and Christmas is almost here.
  3. Get back on track with my exercising. I've done really well and lost almost 20 lbs since September!! I'm feeling great but I've been slacking on my exercise. I need to stay motivated despite the gloomy gray clouds.
  4. Stop making excuses and call to volunteer with the local organization to help families in need this Christmas.
  5. Get my gift list sorted out.
  6. Make my baking lists.
  7. Plan date night.
  8. Finish my 100 list.
  9. Find something to wear to the Christmas Gala.
  10. Start decorating.
  11. Blog more regularly.
That should be plenty to help me focus on the good stuff and stop wallowing in the blah of this limbo non-season of gray.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Remembering Thoughtfully


November 11th marks Remembrance Day or Veteran's Day in North America. I encourage you to take a moment of quiet reflection and prayer out of respect for the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Remembering Thoughtfully....

Men waiting anxiously

Soldiers fighting fearlessly

Search for freedom endlessly

Death toll mounting daily

Blood flowing continually

Women and children crying hopelessly

Civilians dying needlessly

Orphans searching desperately

Heroes are made unexpectantly

Praying for freedom and peace eventually.

By Kodiak, Age 11 © November 2006


Friday, November 02, 2007


I've been really trying to apply this to my life. Today it has proven to be more difficult than other days. I'm only human right? I'm posting this to remind myself to let it go. If you are interested in getting these daily pearls of wisdom than you should visit HeartMath.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Get your JOY on!

I recently challenged some people in an online community to join me in a week of finding JOY in their lives. I was finding that all people were talking about was how miserable or challenging their lives were. When you only dwell on the negatives naturally your troubles become insurmountable problems. You dread every task, chore, waking up in the morning and facing your day because you are feeding yourself with dread and woe. We, in North America, have so much to be thankful for and even our worst day is nothing compared to the trials and tribulations that millions of people live with just meeting their basic needs. We are a bunch of spoiled brats who are not content with what we have. We want the magic fix to our situation and we don't want to do the work because it requires effort. Where is our joy?

My challenge was:

I am challenging you to spend the next week with me getting your JOY on! Let's be joyful in spite of our circumstances and in the face of our challenges. We are children of the King of Kings yet we mope around moaning about our troubles. We get stuck drowning in our sorrows. We pout because it is not fair that bad things happen to good people. I know some of you are thinking "but you don't know what mountain I am facing, you can't imagine what it's like to live my life". I may not have walked your exact road but I know that every one of us have challenges that can seem insurmountable. What we have in common is that the battle has already been won for us. We need to walk in the victory that is ours and be filled with the JOY of the Lord. Are you with me??? Can you find something to be joyful about today, tomorrow and the days that follow? I think that the reward of this challenge will be felt in your homes and your relationships by letting JOY control you rather than hopelessness, frustration, bitterness or disappointment.



".....the 'JOY' of the LORD is your strength."
Nehemiah 8:10


"Though you have not seen HIM, you love HIM; and even though you do not see HIM now, you believe in HIM and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious 'JOY' "
1 Peter 1:8

Joy, love, are and appreciation are powerful motivators. They are all feelings that humans experience around the heart. Joy is a feeling of pleasure or delight that arises from the heart. Positive feelings are what make life worth living. ~Deborah Rozman


This is the true joy of life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it what I can.
~ George Bernard Shaw

Saturday, October 27, 2007

When Did Everyone Become so Afraid?

I like to think that I'm educated. I went to university and I worked in the legal field... yeah that was 10 years ago and I've been watching soaps and eating bon bons for the past decade. (insert sarcastic eye roll and for those who don't get sarcasm I don't watch soaps... even Desperate Housewives is too mindless for me). I read alot of news on the net, keep up on current events, documentaries and educational tv. I read the newspaper and know what is up in my community, my own little world. The Hero and I discuss these things too. I like to think I'm open minded. I have my own ideals and morals. I walk a path of faith that is different from many of my friends yet I have friends from many walks of life. Perhaps some would judge and say I am compromising my own beliefs by not only being around like minded = same people but I don't think so. I hope if you asked any of my friends, who are different than me, they would be able to tell you who I am and what I stand for.

Recently I have heard some things that have blown my mind. Not because they are necessarily crazy, wild thought processes (at least not all of them) but the fact that the defense of those ideas is so virulent. When questions for clarification and understanding of the thought process are met with stonewalling, accusations and non-answers it puzzles me to no end. To be blown off with answers that I'm not them so I can't understand, well that insults my intelligence. I may not agree with them in the end but a respectful answer of questions with factual information is never a bad thing. That is how we become more understanding of each other, more.... dare I say that word....tolerant.

It seems that we judge first to avoid judgement. We are only concerned with the affect on our own life and not how it touches those around us. We become afraid of our governments and forget that we have a voice in creating them. We have a voice to stand against things without fear of persecution. We have FREEDOM!!! So if we are free why are we so afraid? What has sent people into hiding? We have all the information in the world at our finger tips but we take little snippets and run with them. (all the warnings of false things in my email box and the need for snopes is evidence of the amount of crap info online) We take things at face value and forward them onto the world. When did we stop asking questions? When did we stop demanding answers and facts and just take "because I said so" as truth? When did we become too afraid to share our beliefs and passions without putting ourselves on defcon 1 status first? When did learning and discussing become such a war? I remember a day when I would learn so much from a hot discussion about something, with several sides passionately giving us their views. Now you just get "you aren't one" so you can't possibly understand. So when did we become so afraid of those who don't think like we do, don't believe like we do, don't live like we do???

The LORD is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid? ~ Psalm 27:1

We will not walk in fear, one of another. We are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes which were for the moment unpopular. This is no time . . . to keep silent. ~Edward R. Murrow

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Love this!!!

My heart is hurting...

La Diva takes piano through a community music initiative. They utilize a church for the lessons. The Hero has taken her to most of her lessons so far. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to take her and sit quietly in the sanctuary while she played. I did my busy work for that time and had some time to spare so I decided to flip through the hymnal to look for some hymns I remember from my childhood. I grew up in that denomination but we left when they started going sideways with their teachings. Anyway... I was in a girls group called Explorers and our song was "This is My Father's World" so I looked it up and was so sad to find that they had changed the words "This is God's Wondrous World". Then I flipped through to find other hymns that traditionally contained reference to Our Father had also been changed. The saddest to me was finding a new version of the Lord's Prayer in the back of the hymnal... it starts "Our Father-Mother who art in heaven.."

I knew that they were going to all inclusive language. In fact, I worked for a lawyer who was defending my former Pastor against the presbytery because he refused to teach their new doctrine. It was seeing it in black and white while I was feeling nostalgic for hymns from my childhood that really hit me with the full force of it. It was very odd to me how much it shook me last night. I've known about this road they were taking for years as it started when I was in high school. I watched my parents and other members of our church fight against it, watched old timers leave all church forever, watched my parents surf from one church to another trying to find a home, saw myself turn my back on everything I grew up believing in my late teens and early 20s. Now at 39 years old it hits me like a ton of bricks. Perhaps it is the memory of how it shook my faith, how I saw hypocrisy in Christianity for the first time, how I saw brothers and sisters in Christ divided in ways that I never thought possible. Since coming back to the Lord the cry of my heart has been:

Psalm 133: 1 How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!

Sadly, that seems a hopeless goal. Sadly, I often see "Christians" treating each other worse than I see those of "the world", as we like to say, treating their fellow man. Sadly, the hypocrisy has become greater since that moment in my life. Sadly, their I times when I wish I could love the Lord as I do but not be lumped into that group that is labeled "Christian" as sometimes the actions of myself and others shame me.

I guess seeing it all with my own eyes in a hymnal, that red book of familiarity found in the back of every pew of any church of this denomination, that book that kept a little girl from fidgeting too much during service from the time I could read the words therein... seeing it in that book somehow made it real to me.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I wasted my whole recess saving a life and well.... I must be a celebrity

Ice came home from school on Thursday and he was rather worked up. First off, he tells us how he wasted his entire lunch recess, that is the long one you know, saving someone's life. Apparently one of the Kindergarten students forget to take his asthma inhaler along with him. It is not clear to me whether Ice was given the inhaler to take to this boy in Kindergarten or he was sent on the mission to help find him. His view of the events were that he spent his whole recess looking for this boy in order to save his life. He was dead serious about the life saving part but he was also completely bent about the wasting of the recess. It was an intense recounting of the events of the day. Kodiak let out a giggle that he couldn't stifle and that set him off in a fit of tears. "I did have to save his life!! It is NOT funny!"

While unloading his agenda and homework folder I discover a picture of a fire truck with Ice's first and last name written on it but it is not his printing. So I ask him about it and he says that someone slipped it under the classroom door and he has no idea where it came from. He shrugs and says "I guess I must be a celebrity or something". LMBO On Friday, he discovered another drawing with the same printing on his desk. He has resigned himself to it being the price of fame. He is in a firefighter calendar after all. Oh the life of a grade 1 lifesaver and celebrity!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Heroes in the Sky!!

WHEW!! It's over, we made it through the weekend. I was very proud of my Hero. He pulled off a great event against some odds. I don't think even he realized how much of our life was wrapped up in this until this weekend. The Hero and his buddy Shrek worked so very hard to get this off the ground and keep it going. Shrek singlehandedly sold the lions share of calendars and it was inspiring to watch him in action. They did a fabulous job and I hope they both get the credit that is due them. Even though they will each say "it wasn't us, it was everyone". Yes they had a great deal of help but they put in very long days and it really would not have happened without them.

I was amazed at how the Heroes in the Sky campaign, coupled with the attention of the press and the public, took the departments morale from an almost flatline with blips of moaning and complaining to a full charged, strongly beating heart of pride and excitement. It was awesome to watch the transformation in the guys. They all appeared a little taller by the end of the weekend. I've always said that the most important thing for a volunteer firefighter is having the respect of their peers and their community. They were able to experience that on a whole new level this weekend. They could see that it didn't matter what town was on their crest it only mattered that they were a firefighter.

One of the most touching moments of the weekend was when a tearful young woman came in with a handful of money. She wanted to show her gratitude for what they did for her brother. Her brother was a young man who lost his life in a motorcycle accident in a neighboring town. The volunteers of that town's department worked hard to save him. She needed a tangible way to express her gratitude and that opportunity came this weekend. She didn't want to purchase a calendar and her moment of contact was brief but I imagine that as much as it humbled the guys it was a cathartic moment for her. It didn't need to be the particular group of individuals that worked on her loved one, it just needed to be someone from the brotherhood of firefighters to hear her thanks.

This week is Fire Prevention Week. So while you are checking to ensure you have the proper smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers and practice your escape plan remember the firefighters in your community. The odds are high that the group of brave men and women that are tasked to keep your community safe are volunteers. Show them the respect and appreciation they so richly deserve.

I'll add some pictures later... must get to my neglected house. Eek!!!!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Where are we runnin'?

Today was the annual Terry Fox Run for our schools. Kodiak placed 4th out of over 300 students. The High School students helped with marking the route and such so his "competition" ranged from Grade 1 to Grade 9. He was very proud of his accomplishment. La Diva and Iceman enjoyed their "run" as well. La Diva wore a sign saying who she was running for with pictures of her Great Papa and Zackary. She also had a list of people we know who have survived cancer, those still battling and those who are in our memories her poster. Iceman had made a copy of her sign but decided to leave it at home because he was afraid it would get rained on and ruined. He has it hanging in his room so he can remember to pray for Great Papa and Zackary every night.

Turtle did not have school today but was able to go in the fire truck and help Daddy with the traffic control for the big race. The Hero came home rather discouraged at the lack of community support. Everyone is in such a darn hurry that they were trying to sneak around the road blocks when children were crossing the street. The Hero almost had to take on one jerk who was throwing a fit. What an example to the children who are doing a great thing, raising money for a cause that affects nearly every person in our country in one way or another and these pinheads think they are more important than the safety of these children.

On the bright side, one of Kodiak's teachers stopped to talk to the Hero during the run and told him what a fantastic kid he is. That is always great to hear. Kodiak really looks up to Mr. D and thinks he is a fabulous teacher. Kodiak has been really stepping out of his comfort zone and taking Jr. High by storm. He is the class rep in the Student Union for his grade. In years past he would have just let someone else come forward. This year he threw his hat into the ring against 3 girls in his class. I'm really proud of him. One of his goals the beginning of this year was to become more confident in his leadership skills and he is definitely stepping up to achieve that one. I shouldn't be surprised as he achieves or exceeds any goals he sets for himself.

La Diva is involved in the "Pay it Forward Posse" and the Spirit Squad. She is also taking piano and finally has a fabulous teacher. Piano teachers are really hard to come by these days and the group lessons seem to be very popular. We tried that last year and it was a complete gong show. Her teacher recently graduated with her degree in music; she is young, talented and a great teacher. I'm so glad that we found her as La Diva has a natural gift and I was worried last years fiasco would discourage her from growing her talent.

We are crazy busy this coming week. We are moving La Diva to the basement with Kodiak. The Hero is talking over her room as his office. He's been working from home for almost a year and his little perch on the top of the stairs is just not working for any of us. It will be great to be able to shut the door on him. Kodiak has X-Country meet, La Diva has piano, we have hair cuts for Kodiak and Turtle. I need to get the invitations made for Turtle's birthday party which will be in mid-October because our life is just too crazy right now. The Hero is going to be on TV on Wednesday to promote the Heroes in the Sky event this weekend. We have tons of organizing to do for that weekend. Friday I need to take the crew up to Gramma and Poppa's for the weekend. We will pick them up on Thanksgiving. This way I can dedicate my time to all the things the Hero may need as he orchestrates this big fundraiser and media event.

I'll be so happy when next weekend is over and some of the craziness goes with it. It's no wonder that I chose my latest phone ring tone to be Lenny Kravitz's Where are We Runnin'?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Favorite Things

I haven't been very inspired to blog lately as I've been dealing with pain from my wisdom teeth removal. It has been the most tedious of healings ever. I have pain that radiates in my jaw, my sinuses and the other day even my ear ached. I'm on antibiotics for possible infection. Aleve and Percocet make it tolerable and I sleep like a log which is a bonus for the poor Hero who is usually dealing with my tossing and turning.

Here are a few of my favorite things - some make my life easier, some taste great, some are guilty pleasures, some are great gift ideas.

Westham Island Estate Wines. My favorites are blackberry, snogoose and their fabulous pumpkin dessert wine. We found this treasure while on holidays this summer. Cheers!

Method Home Aroma Sticks make my house smell great and they don't aggravate anyone's allergies.

Method Home Wipes in any scent make cleaning my bathrooms an easy daily occurrence.

Nellies Dryer Balls have helped cut down my drying time immensely. My clothes are no longer covered in animal tallow and fragrance, no static, better for the enviroment.

Lash Exact Mascara No clumping!

Wish Upon a Necklace Great gift idea for teachers, teens, friends, sisters, etc.

Coastal Goods I received a few things as a gift last year and I'm hooked. Fantastic quality seasonings for all the foodies you know.

Carrot and Stick Press Gorgeous letter pressed stationary. I love, love these.

Swoon Candles My favorite scent is Violet cocoa. Another thing I received as a gift and fell in love with.

Cell FX This has totally changed my quality of life. I was having horrible bouts of pain to the point of making it difficult to do much but sit or lie down. I went to the doctor and got the run around. My Hero is a die hard Cold FX user so I decided to give this product a try. My bouts of pain are few and far between and when they come it is most likely because I have missed some doses of the Cell FX. I'm so thankful for this product. It has improved my life 10,000 times over.

Ganache for Lips No lips should be without this lip balm. YUM-O!

Honey I washed the Kids Soap

Trichomania Shampoo Bar I bought this for La Diva and was very skeptical about the whole shampoo bar concept. I tried it a few times and it is fabulous. It totally changed the condition of my hair. This is great stuff!!

Flying Fox shower gel The smell is like an aphrodisiac. Nuff said.

Butterball Bath Bomb A necessity of winter.

Jake's World Famous Tartar Sauce To. die. for.

MEC Windstopper N2S Gloves These rock!! My hands are warm, they are thin enough to stuff in my pockets and they look sexy.

Ergodyne Work Gear I haven't tried these yet but the Hero says it is better than Under Armor. He is in love and they have a cool slogan on the clothes as well "Be Tenacious".

MEC Seamless Boxer Briefs Another recommendation from the Hero. He has an almost disturbing case of love for these. I have tried the women's version but sadly my ample behind needs to shrink a bit more to fit into them in a manner that I would find comfortable.

Almay Nearly Naked Touch-Pad Liquid Makeup
I ran out of my normal foundation and then Wally World was out of my shade. I was desperate as I was scraping the corners of what I had left. So I decided to give this a try and I love it so much that it will be my new foundation. It covers great and it doesn't feel like you have anything on your face. If I didn't have raccoon eyes from getting my contacts out (don't ask) I probably would forget I had makeup on and not wash my face at night. It is that light!

Friday, September 07, 2007

They're Poppin'



The Hero snuck down and caught this clip of Kodiak and Turtle jammin'. Make sure you are not drinking anything and you've just gone potty. ;)

We did it!!!


We survived the first week of back to school.

The biggest challenge for us was my body's revolt against waking at a set early time. I'm the first to admit that I am a night owl and hate waking up in the morning.

Kodiak, La Diva and Iceman started on Tuesday. The Hero escorted Kodiak to the secondary school while I took La Diva and Iceman to elementary. As we walked by the secondary we passed several of Kodiak's classmates so he fell into step with them and didn't really need the Hero there afterall. He has embraced this new adventure with so much excitement. He comes home with exciting tales of his teachers and classes. They have options now and while he was disappointed that he did not get into his top pick of digital imagining he is happy with the rest of them so far. They do options with all the jr. highs in that class so he is with 8s and 9s. The prospect of that was a bit daunting, especially in the phys ed ones where everyone is bigger than our little bear. He proved his place though because he outran all of them in cross country (he lost count and did 2 extra laps). His coach was very impressed and asked him who taught him to run and why did he do 2 extra laps. He said his Dad is a great runner. Which made me giggle because he only started running again since his treadmill Father's Day gift. The Hero can run for 30 minutes on it so that impressed his son. In soccer/touch football option they played soccer, the older teens barely gave our little bear a second glance when the class started but by the end of the class he had their respect with his skill and perserverance. He has scientific experiments as his other option. He comes home for lunch but took a lunch the other day so he could attend the meeting for the trip to Greece. He was disappointed to discover it was only for the sr. highs. I told him he can start working towards the senior high trip now. If they still head to Greece I'll glady chaperone. There is a dance this weekend but he has no interest in attending. I assured him that he'd merely be holding up the walls and making his harem happy that he was there. He told me this morning he'd rather watch a movie tonight so I won't push it. His harem will be phoning and disappointed at his no show.

La Diva was very worked up the week prior to school and that we both survived that week was nothing short of a miracle. She was very stressed out about not having "friends" in her class. I told that was just an opportunity to make new ones and that she is awesome at that. I was shocked she was so full of drama over it as this is the first year in a long while she has not had to adjust to a new school and a new city. She has the same teacher as last year even!! Girls!!! I know the tweens are here, I have to find a way to cope. Nothing a good bottle of vino can't help. So it turns out her friends from last year that are not in her class still play with her and still ring our phone off the hook. She has met at least 1 new friend too. It hasn't been all that horrible afterall.

Iceman was so ready to get back to school. He is such a social being and was getting bored with all of us. As we walked to school we ran into his red headed buddy from last year and discovered they were in the same class. They both had huge grins and then found out their "lockers" (aka cubbies) were next to each other. After I hung all his things in his "locker" and got him organized I asked if he'd like me to stay to which he replied "What for?" which was a much different response than the sobs of the year before. Suck it up Mom and be assured that you made the right choice to keep him in Kindy another year as he is very ready to be in Grade 1. He is a bit disappointed that a "weird" kid is in his class. This kid threatened to kill him and his siblings while walking their dog this summer. He is a bizarre child but we assured Iceman that he would not in fact kill him and that he would probably spend much time out of the class with the resource teachers. When we walk to school in the morning it amazes me how much charisma this child has as he is bumping fists with popular kids in Kodiak's class that are barely friends with him but they all know the Iceman. The girls from Kodiak's harem are always tickling and chasing him in attempts to get a hug. Kodiak said to me the other day that he doesn't know why the girls are all over Ice. Then I enlightened him that it has nothing to do with Ice and everything to do with him. They need to get his attention somehow, his obliviousness to their goo goo eyes makes me laugh.

Turtle had staggered entry day yesterday. I was so worried at how he and I would make out. The Hero had his wisdom teeth removed that morning so he was unable to come with us. I expected tears, clinging on for dear life and physical removal from the classroom. I'm talking about me not the Turtle. He had been anxious the night before and we read The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn. I'll admit that I became rather weepy and nostalgic. I grabbed Kodiak's hand and showed Turtle the kiss I had put there so many years ago. Of course Kodiak hammed it right up rubbing his hand on his face saying "Mommy loves me, Mommy loves me." We saw the kiss on the hands of La Diva and Iceman too. Turtle embraced the tradition and was excited to come home and tell me they had that book at school too. He settled into class the next day with little hesitation. I was very happy that I had decided to go a fair bit early so that he could get some face time with the teacher from the start. He happily said goodbye and I was out the door without a tear. The artwork that he brought home proves that all is well, his traced hand with a heart in it and the words "Turtle came to school on the first day and he felt happy." He has sure come a long way from the barnacle that was stuck to my hind end last year.

The house was so quiet yesterday, the dog was depressed as all her kids were gone and the usual noise of the Hero talking or his crackberry ringing constantly and the typing of the computer was missing. I did a bit of laundry, organized Kodiak's closet and then had to get out as the quiet was too much. The next little while will be filled with long overdue appointments - dentist, chiropractor, hair, etc. After that I will have to figure out what to do to fill my days when all my bunnies are out of the Hutch. The irony..... when they are small you long for days of peace and quiet but once they've left the hutch the quiet is too much to bear and you long for those noisy days again.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Cupcakes, Costumes and Chaos

I made the Barefoot Contessa's Coconut Cupcakes today. It was my sister's birthday yesterday and my Mom's is on Friday. So the crew and I are heading up there to visit them tomorrow. The fabulous food staging and photography was done by my aspiring photographer, Kodiak. He is very keen on building a portfolio since we investigated what colleges or universities offer photography degrees a few days ago. He chose this photo for me to share on the blog. We managed to make enough for sharing tomorrow and having a small taste today. They were so yummy! I have been looking for an excuse to make them for some time and am so glad I finally did.

We also made Kool Aid Playdough. Iceman and Turtle thought is was very cool that the Kool Aid colored the dough green. La Diva has been playing with it on and off most of the day. She has made cabbage rolls, cookies and other things out of the playdough.

One would think that with cupcakes and playdough we'd be having a great day. However, our Hero is away for work this week and that means that all heck breaks loose in the behavior department. He really isn't the sole disciplinarian and is much easier on them than I am most of the time. For some bizarre reason day 2 of his absence is always the day of chaos, sass mouths and deaf ears. I think they have finally got the clue that Mom is not putting up with any of it and they have found things to amuse themselves, are being helpful with the laundry and Kodiak even came and apologized for giving me so much attitude today. Woot! I'll take that as a small victory in my day.

You are asking yourselves how costumes fit into this equation. While I had tasked La Diva and the littles to go through the tickle trunk to try on the costumes in there. This way I can get things that are too small washed and out of my house in plenty of time for those looking for Halloween costumes. For reasons unknown to me this has been a near impossible feat for them to complete. So today I said get it done already so we can get this mess put away!!! So they got it done and Cody managed to snap this photo of one of Iceman's costume creations. He is apparently a cross between a mad scientist and "Bubbles". This kid is obsessed with his Bubbles face. One of our Hero's former employees, who Iceman adored, did a brilliant impersonation of Bubbles. So naturally Ice wanted to imitate Cpt. D but we never imagined that he would be so good at it. Now some of you may have no clue who Bubbles is and Isaac has only seen this character on the likes of Canadian New Satire Shows and the Juno awards. He is oblivious to what the Trailer Park boys represent and the full scope of the character that is Bubbles. He knows that he gets a giggle from everyone and that is all that really matters to him. For comparison purposes:















Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Venting!!!!!!

That always gets attention on internet forums. People flock to the posts that are moaning, complaining or griping about something or someone. I'm finding more often than not at one site I frequent that the vents are about their spouse. This aggravates me to no end. I am sure if the shoe was on the other foot that these same women would be loosing their minds to find that their DH's were venting to their buddies or co-workers or strangers on the internet about their behavior, their lack of action in certain aspects of their lives together, etc.

What does "venting" accomplish? I hear things like "if I don't get this off my chest I'm going to explode" or others who just vent to get commiseration or validation that they are somehow the right party in the situation. The thing is you are not getting a true picture of their relationship. You are getting a skewed view from their eyes of how perfect, hard working, Godly, hard done by or whatever they think they are. The fact of the matter is that it takes 2 to make a marriage and 2 to break a marriage. I just don't see how venting is an effective tool for making things better. If you are venting at your spouse he more than likely has tuned you out by the second sentence. If you are looking for commiseration or validation than you are wallowing in the problem rather than finding a solution. If you will explode if you don't "vent" to the world than you need to exercise some self-control.

Surely there is a better way to express our feelings than "venting". Surely our time is better spent looking for solutions to the things that drive you mad over letting them bottle up to the point that the need for an explosive vent occurs.

I hardly have all the answers nor do I live the perfect life free from controversy, disappointment or strong emotion. In fact, this is venting my frustration of these women bashing their men. So maybe it isn't the act of venting that bothers me so much but the bashing of ones spouse in that vent.

Proverbs 15:1~ A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

So incredibly thankful

The Hero has been passionate about firefighting and emergency services since he was a kid. He has thrown himself out of helicopters into forest fires, he has helped with an oilwell blowout, he has fought numerous fires in fields, forests, houses, industrial situations, vehicles etc. I know he knows his stuff. He also sells and wears the best safety gear available to firefighters. I try to put aside the dangers that come along with his passion. I try to just trust that he knows what he is doing and that God will keep him safe.

On Saturday I got that phone call with those words that a firefighters wife never wants to hear "I got hurt". The rollercoaster of emotions in a matter of seconds was very intense. The colour draining from my face and the tone of my voice was enough to even cause my tween to notice that something wasn't right. The Hero was in a house fighting the fire (that's my job he says. You are a volunteer and don't have to be a hero, I think.) and while trying to do his job a gigantic rock star like speaker that was mounted on the ceiling fell onto his foot. They originally thought it was an old school big box tv but after investigation in daylight discovered it was a gianormous speaker. He did not break his foot but crushed the ligaments which the doctor said will be more painful than a break. He has to stay off his feet for a week, his foot is very swollen and it hurts (more than he will ever let on). He has some killer drugs to take but they have him stoned into the next day so he doesn't like to take them at all.

Thankfully it wasn't life threatening. It will be a lesson in patience for my man who is used to going a million miles an hour. I'm just getting past the busyness and shock of it all and realizing how incredibly blessed we are that it wasn't worse and that it is something he will recover from without lasting ramifications. I'm thanking God for His protection of my Hero.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Chowder

It sure feels like summer is over around here. The weather has been very cool and our evenings out on the porch have disappeared along with the miserable weather. I'm still holding out for a bit of summer but did take advantage of that cool air to make some Cheddar Corn Chowder (this recipe by the Barefoot Contessa is the family favorite). We are not big soup eaters but chowder seems to pass as something more than soup in our house and everyone eats and enjoys it. That in itself is no small feat with 4 kids and a husband who can be fussy (even though he will never admit to that). Turtle put up a stink this time which I attribute to his sudden deep dislike for all things potato. He curled up his lip and started to pout when he discovered that he would be expected to eat more than the crusty french bread before him. Once our Hero removed the offending potatos from Turtle's bowl he was good to go.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wisdom???

The Hero and I went to the dentist today and it turns out that both of us have to have our top wisdom teeth removed. Happy, happy, joy, joy! NOT!! Ugh. Why do they call them wisdom teeth? What is the purpose of them when everyone eventually gets them pulled out? Will I be less wise after September 10th? LOL. I guess the wise thing to do would be to put it out of my mind, trust that the dentist knows what he is talking about and pray that my recovery will be quick and easy.


Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens. - Jimi Hendrix

Monday, August 13, 2007

Happy Anniversary! Happy Anniversary!



13 years of marriage. WOW! We've sure come a long way in our life together. In those 13 years we've had 4 beautiful children, lost a babe, moved 8 times, changed jobs, quit working, achieved dreams, revised the plan a zillion times, cried, fought, laughed, prayed, loved, had moments of despair, mediocrity, uncertainty and pure joy. I'm so very thankful for every moment of it for it has made us the strong couple we are today. We are in an amazing place in our marriage and I am thankful every moment for my wonderful husband. I Love You so much! Happy Anniversary to my Hero.

True love does not come by finding the perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.~ Jason Jordan

Thursday, August 09, 2007

You've Got Mail

I just finished watching this movie on TV. It is one of my favorites. Our first date movie was Sleepless in Seattle so I've always been a sucker for Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. We were in a Mom and Pop bookstore on our vacation. Our kids thought it was very cool. It dawned on me that they had only been to the big box Chapters for books before. Little book stores are rarely found in the towns we have lived in and we've not made the effort to find them in our neighboring cities. It really is too bad that those Shop Around the Corner type places are becoming fewer. We used to shop in those eclectic areas of our city before kids. They aren't so stroller friendly or spacious for our huge tribe so it is a rare event when we get to those areas to shop. I think this weekend while we are sans crew we need to head down to one of my old haunts in our neighboring city and check out some non-chain shopping.

If anyone cared

I'm a bit of an idiot when it comes to blogging so I don't know if I can add a video here or not so instead I will offer up a link: http://www.veoh.com/videos/v369810QkmXjc5t

I've always enjoyed Nickelback's music. I think it is a flashback to those rocker days as a young adult. This song has really struck me and I recently watched the video and it hit home why I love it so much.

Last week a woman was brutally assaulted and murdered on a city street, 3 people have been found to have heard her cries but did nothing. How many others heard those cries and also did nothing? Does anyone care?

My DH is a volunteer Firefighter and is constantly faced with ignorant people who are too busy on their cell phone or too wrapped up in their own hurry to be somewhere to get out of the way of a gigantic fire truck with lights and sirens blazing. One day it could be your Mom or spouse or Gramma or child that they are racing to help. Move out of the way, show some respect!! There is an old lady in town whose hedge is very close to the fire hydrant that is down the street from the hall. They use this hydrant to refill their trucks and every single time she calls to complain that they knocked leaves off of her hedge. In any other place her hedge would just be cut down because it is too close to the hydrant. They are volunteers for crying out loud. Does anyone care?

The economy is booming but homelessness is growing, the food bank shelves are empty, children are going hungry. Does anyone care?

Darfur, Sudan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iraq, China....... Does anyone care?

If everyone cared and nobody cried
If everyone loved and nobody lied
If everyone shared and swallowed their pride
We'd see the day when nobody died

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Bend it Like Kodiak


This spring/summer we have been all about soccer. All 4 of the kids played but this was truly Kodiak's year to shine. He had an amazing year and learned so many skills. He has always enjoyed playing soccer but this was the year it became a passion. He has bought books on drills and skills, he practices for endless hours with his little brothers, his buddy across the street, his sister or on his own. He has a soccer ball on a sort of bungee teather to help him with his footwork. He pours over his World Cup program (thanks to Auntie Mel), studies his books, watches the stats and takes in as many games as he can.

We had a free subscription to soccer TV on the satellite and when that ran out he offered up his bottle return money if we would add it to the subscription again. LOL - those were slurpees being offered up for the love of the game. We said if he loved it that much he could keep his bottle money as long as he kept up with his chores.

We were really fortunate to have the FIFA U20 games in Canada this year and we travelled into our neighboring city to take almost all of them in. One day Cody, a friend and his sister sat in garbage bags during an unexpected downpour while Dad shivered in the cold alongside them. He said nothing short of lightening was making those kids leave that game.

I imagine that there will be indoor soccer this fall which will be a good extra curricular to keep him busy as he hits Jr. High. As it stands he hopes to improve his skills and to maybe get a scholarship for university from his passion for soccer. He knows that not everyone gets the $140,000.00/day for warming a bench like Beckham.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Rare Turtle Sighting


Turtle is a happy boy who is always singing, smiling, smirking, dancing, etc but catching those moments on camera are next to impossible. This rare moment was captured by Kodiak who has taken a keen interest in photography lately. He aspires to be a wildlife photographer/next David Beckham at the moment.

A picture worth 1000 words


Iceman is a character to say the least. This photo, taken by his brother, captures his crazy personality so well. He is doing his infamous "Bubbles" face combined with his Reitmans commercial modeling pose. His name means "laughter" and he certainly lives up to it on a daily basis. We are always cracking up over his antics.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I'm getting all grown up....

Ice has discovered that turning 7 is a big deal. He decided his idea of utopia at Chuck E. Cheese last night as he declared "I'm in heaven!!". Today he lost his first baby tooth to cries of "I'm growing to be such a big boy now!!" Where did my overdue little baby go?
At The Beach
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