Thursday, January 24, 2008

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten we belong to each other."

- Mother Teresa

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My secret identity.

On Saturday I was shopping with my cousin. I finally found the most adorable baby outfit for sweet Olivia. I don't know when all the baby clothes turned into miniature versions of grown up clothes but I don't like it at all. While we were in line a mother/daughter duo behind us started gushing over the gorgeous outfit. The mother then asked if it was for my granddaughter. ~knock me over with a feather, I don't even have a grey hair~ The look on my face must have been something else because than her daughter chimes in "or for a friend". My cousin is killing herself laughing. We had a good giggle over it. When she was a babe and I was a teenager her mother was called Grandma as I was pushing the stroller. She's always been my baby.

Yesterday I stopped at the grocery store for a few things. I did not have my store card with me so gave them my phone number instead so I could get the sale prices (why do they do this??? I know, whole other rant.). Well, even though we changed our information at the store over a year and a half ago it has not been updated so I get thank you Mrs. K or thank you Inez. Apparently Inez still belongs to our number.

I am Inez. Inez the Grandmother.


I know 5 incredible women and I am humbled to be a part of this group of 6. They are funny, intelligent, loving, giving, insightful, creative, gorgeous, real, sassy and so many other things. They make me laugh, cry, feel loved and challenge me. I am incredibly thankful for them and know my life would be less full without their presence in it. One of the ladies had a wonderful word of wisdom one day ~ "Breathe". To remind us of that another gave us all lovely bracelets with that word inscribed upon it. Mine arrived yesterday with such perfect timing for what I've been dealing with.

It is upon my wrist and when I look at it it reminds me:

  • to just breathe
  • that I have friends that care for me deeply and though I cannot see them daily they are always in my corner and they really *know* me
  • of one of my favorite praise songs Breathe
  • of Psalm 150:6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
  • to center myself to focus on that which is within me
  • that when things seem out of control, when I seem out of control all I need to do is breathe
  • to be thankful for every breath that is given me and those that I love

“Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.” ~ Unknown

Monday, January 21, 2008

It's hard to do the right thing.

Our own heart, and not other men's opinion, forms our true honor.~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Sometimes it is hard to do the right thing. It would be so much easier to just ignore situations or things said. It would be so much easier to not become invested in people. Life would be easy if we were not faced with difficult choices or tasked with doing things that are not popular.

One thing I've always told people is that they can expect several things from me- I will be honest with them, I will be true to who I am and I care deeply for people. I do not give superficial words to make people feel better - they are genuine or they are not heard. I feel deeply but I trust carefully. If you have my trust you have a rare gift, if you break that trust it is not something that is gained back easily.

My character, my faith and my heart have recently been attacked because of my boldness to speak truth in a situation. It was not a choice that came lightly but one that had me arguing with Him because I didn't feel up for the battle that could potentially ensue. I had predicted disagreement and potential anger but I was not prepared for that to be coming most vehemently from a dear one who I considered a friend. I trusted this person and thought that they were one of the few that *knew* me. It would appear that things they said they appreciated about me were only superficial words. So now I'm left with peace of knowing that I was obedient to my heavenly Father but also wrestling with the crushing heart of being publicly maligned and flogged by one thought to be a friend. I know that the opinion of men isn't what matters but I can't help but be hurt. I stand by what I said and I will not argue the point of it with those that chose to tear me down or accuse me falsely. It is pointless. I was obedient and if suffering these consequences is the price I pay than I must come to terms with it.

Galatians, 6:9~ Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

2 Timothy 1:7-12 ~
7For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.8So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, 9who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. 12That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.

John 14:1
5-21 ~"If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."

Friday, January 18, 2008

I smell gooooooooooooooddd!!

I love my new perfume. It was a gift from Troy's Aunt. She discovered it in a girlfriend's store, sampled some, had so many compliments on it that she had to buy it for herself and me!! It is called Armand Basi in Red. I love the fragrance and I have also received many compliments. In my attempt to be a better blogger I will include a gratuitous picture of it. ;)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

An Honor for the Hero

Let me introduce to you Deputy Chief Hero. Last night my Hero was elected as D.C. of our local VFD. I'm really proud of him as he has gained the respect of the majority of the department in a very short amount of time. I'm also happy because it is a 3 year term which makes me hopeful that we are putting down some roots here. He was really humbled by the overwhelming support of his peers and their surprising decision to nominate him. It's usually the old boys network that run the show in these small town departments. To have a young D.C. is a rare thing. My Hero does have 19 years of combined experience in the firefighting/ems/SAR fields so he is definitely qualified for the position despite his age. I think that they made a great choice as his passion is to ensure that his crew have the best training, equipment and PPE that is available to insure that they return safely to their families after every call. Another bonus is that the white uniform shirts are so much sexier than the boxey blue ones. ;)

Our friend, Shrek, was elected to the presidency of the association. So I know that together they will be a force to be reckoned with. I hope they will be able to do great things to further the safety, credibility and camaraderie of the brotherhood.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Bucket List and the Green Bowl

Last night the Hero and I went on a date. We rarely go to the movies for our dates because I like to talk to the Hero. However, we both wanted to see The Bucket List and we got a killer deal on passes at Costco. It was a really fun movie with lots of laughs, some tears (from me of course) as well as thought provoking. I started a 100 things list some time ago, I need to find it, I know I had a hard time putting anything to paper and doubt I even made it to 50. I think I wanted it all to be something huge that would make a difference to the world. I need to revisit it and be more honest and less holy in my ambitions.

The evening started off with me sitting on the side of the highway, a place I am familiar with. There were 2 cars part ways into the ditch along the highway but with considerable distance between them. The road was dry and weather clear so it was rather peculiar to see cars in the ditch. There were a couple cars already pulled over but the Hero needed to make sure they were ok and no medical assistance was needed. He always has a reflective coat of some sort in each vehicle and for that I'm thankful. I can spot him easily in the darkness of the road. Turns out that one car was stopping to help the other and as he slowed down the people in the first car started throwing things at him. He then misjudged the shoulder and the soft, slushy snow dragged off the road. The Hero informed the police and called back the little nurse who had also stopped and was headed to the first car. What the heck is wrong with people?? No wonder everyone is getting so hard hearted towards their fellow man when you have lunatics who attack a good samaritin.

Remarkably this ordeal still left time for us to get to the movie with 30 minutes to spare, which it took almost all of for the Hero to get snacks. While he was gone I watched the see of blue and grey heads with their balding partners make their way up the stairs of the theatre. I was enjoying how tenderly they took care of each other as they climbed those dimly lit stairs. I was then alarmed as several of them near collapsed into seats and started taking their pulse. When the Hero finally slipped into his seat I told him to be prepared to spring into action because I feared someone was going to collapse.

After the movie we stopped for Decaf Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Lattes at Starbucks but sadly there was not a table to be had so we headed back to town. We took a little cruise around our little town checking out the for sale signs while finishing off our Lattes. We no sooner pulled in front of the house than the phone started to ring and it was Kodiak informing us that Iceman had just hurled all over himself and his bed in his sleep. Kodiak was so thankful when we came through the door mere seconds later. He was not looking forward to cleaning up his little brother or the mess that he had left. Leftover spaghetti had been Iceman's choice from the offerings of the week. Nasty! So the Hero got Iceman in the shower while Kodiak and I stripped the top bunk. Miraculously he missed all 4 of his stuffed animals! Kodiak ran down to the basement to bring up the big green tupperware bowl a.k.a the puke bowl. Thankfully that was the end of the puke session and he is his normal self this morning. I was worried as he had spent the afternoon at a birthday party in the petri dish known as McDonald's playland. I hope it is nothing that will spread through the entire house. I don't do puke well and the Hero is heading south later this week.

Hero had a call at about 4:00 am so I'm tired. He took Kodiak and La Diva boarding today so I hope to get a nap out of Iceman and Turtle. I have BBQ beef cooking in the crock pot, I used that recipe as a guide and just went my own way with it. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Friday, January 11, 2008


I'm so proud of this boy. I'm always proud of him but this week has been one of those stellar weeks for him personally. First off, he was called to the Principal's office (which totally freaked him out because that has never happened before) and asked to be one of the torch runners for the Winter Games that are coming up next month. He was one of four chosen from his school (grades 7-12) so that was a huge honor for him. He is very excited as he gets a games track suit and this huge honor.

In the mail this week we received a Standard of Excellence award for Kodiak. This came as a result of his provincial achievement tests from last year. We went through plenty of frustration preparing for these standardized tests which don't count an iota towards their school year. ( I promise not to go off on that rant today.) This made it all the sweeter for him to receive recognition for his hard work.

Kodiak also advised us that his math average for this term so far is 93%. Thank you Mrs. W, the best math teacher ever from last year for preparing him so well for success in Jr. High.

He will head off on his first school trip later this month to go boarding in the mountains. There is only 1 other boy in his grade going and the rest will be older kids. To say I am stressing about this is an understatement. I'm trying not to let him know how hard it is for me to let him go. He is a really great kid and I know he will make wise choices during the weekend. He has such a great desire to go out and see the world that I know that this trip is nothing in the scope of what may come. My mind just goes off onto crazy street thinking about avalanches, mob mentality crazed teenagers, broken bones, him getting lost and not knowing what to do, all those worries that come with sending one of the bunnies out of the hutch.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Comfort Food

Today I made French Onion Soup inspired by this delicious recipe tweaked by my friend Hippy Goodwife. It was so yummy. I don't have oven proof bowls so I melted cheese on rounds of baguette under the broiler and floated them on top. YUM-O!! We had a lovely salad with mixed greens, toasted soy nuts, sunflower seeds and poppyseed dressing. Simple but delicious supper.

Another problem down

I think I've finally found the solution to the toy disaster. We found a good deal on a pantry. It has several shelves and doors that close. It is durable and can be reused as something else when we move on again. I was able to organize the toys and they are now all neatly tucked away in the pantry. I think that now that the boys see how much real estate they've gained to play in they will be more cooperative with the cleaning up and putting away of toys. They can reach all but the top shelf with the aid of a bathroom stool. So the top shelf is filled with games and they usually play them with me or their older sibs.

Next task is my closet... it should have been done by now but I think I'll have more success when the crew is back in school this coming week. I'll let you know if I come up with any brilliant solutions for that disaster.

While we've enjoyed our Christmas vacation I'm looking forward to getting back to routine next week. When the crew is in school I know what day of the week it is and I work around the routine of our life. I've been a bit of a slacker during vacation but we've had fun and that is all that really matters. I'll be sad to tear down all the Christmas things. YES, they are still up, including the tree but in my defense it's not Ukrainian Christmas til the 7th and that has always marked the day past which I cannot stretch the Christmas season. I will miss my pretty tree, the meaningful ornaments and the twinkling lights, the nativities and angels scattered through my living room and kitchen.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

words of wisdom from my daily quote from Heart Math

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Life Lessons

dis·cern·ment (dĭ-sûrn'mənt, -zûrn'-) n.
The act or process of exhibiting keen insight and good judgment.
Keenness of insight and judgment.

trust (trŭst) n.
Firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.
Custody; care.
Something committed into the care of another; charge.

so·ci·o·path /ˈsoʊsiəˌpæθ, ˈsoʊʃi-/
–noun Psychiatry.
a person, as a psychopathic personality, whose behavior is antisocial and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.

Thanks for the vocabulary lesson right? lol I'm thankful that my discernment has made me cautious to trust people and saved me and my children from being directly affected by the behaviors of a sociopath. Thankfully the Hero also listens to my discernment and has kept this loon out of his "circle of trust". I'm sad for the damage he has inflicted upon his family and others but very thankful that he has always been kept at arms length from ours.

However, this has made me take a step back and re-evaluate relationships. I was just starting to feel like it was ok to take that leap and trust, to be able to lean on others a bit and to let people into our lives. I'm trying not to retreat all the way back behind the stone wall but I'm finding it a bit of a personal struggle. My family has been hurt enough by the acts of others, including our own set of nutjobs that are related by blood. I think we will keep the moat and only let the drawbridge down with much caution. Call me Momma Lion, crazy paranoid or whatever you may....

Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us. ~ Stephen Covey

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Do you make New Year's resolutions? Are they realistic, hopeful, attainable? Do you keep them? When do your throw in the towel on them? On December 31st do you even remember the promises you made to yourself way back on the 1st of the year?

I'm not a New Year's resolution kind of gal. I tend to take stock of my life during the change of seasons and set little goals for myself throughout the year. I can't recall if this is something I've always done or just something that has come with age.

However, some things happened during the end of 2007 that have caused me to reflect and take stock a bit. I haven't really processed it all and not sure that resolutions will come of it. I'll keep you posted.

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day. ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce