Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Past


Hmmmmmmmmm, the feeling of not shopping, not baking and not cleaning. Yet. Its good. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm good. I'm not the boxing day type. I'm feeling like I've shopped enough. And cleaned enough and all the rest. But something gets in me around this time of year and I want to rip apart every nook and cranny and reorganize the stuff. Old stuff out, new stuff in and a place for everything. I'm feeling over stuffed at the moment. But truely blessed. We are a blessed people on this side of the world. Peace is true here. I think of the unrest on the other side of the world and just marvel at the peace of Christ. Truely. This Advent we have seen 5 people pass away (one as young as 15) and as sad and horrible as it is, there's still peace. Its a fragile peace though, so attached to finance and commerce. I'm looking for that Peace that surpasses all understanding peace. The kind that only comes from the King of Kings. I can't imagine separating from that Peace. Peace to you friend.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Funerals and Christmas

Trying to channel the absolute peace of Christmas during a funeral is harder than I thought it would be. My plan this year was to have all my shopping done in November so I could enjoy my Advent. That almost happened. I did get the bulk done and am I ever glad. Now these few days when my hubby has been home only to sleep (and even one night away with his dad) have been less stressful and more of a smooth experience. You know, ironing everyones clothes so we have 2 outfits, one for funeral home, one for funeral. Does everyone have shoes? Do we all have black socks without holes? Who needs a haircut? All these chores would normally have to be done anyway in preperation for Christmas Day, but now its just amplified. And thankfully, my focus isn't on 'stuff' its where it needs to be. I will definately do that plan again next year.
Anyway, this song helps me focus on where I need too. I hope it blesses you as well.
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sad news


It's always sad when someone dies because we the ones left behind miss the people so much. Its almost selfish to want to cling to them, but releasing our loved ones the The One who loves them Most...like the Most High God...that takes trust. And that requires much. To say God is sovereign and knows what He's doing is one thing...to believe it is completely another. Its still sad. Hubby's Grandmother passed away today. She was 84. One of my favorite people was this woman. She exuded wisdom and love. I will miss her greatly, my kids will miss her, my husband will miss her, my mother in law is devastated. She was best friends with her mom. Nonna gave birth to her last child 2 years before her daughter gave birth to her first child. They raised their kids together. What a blessing. Sad days ahead, but joy in heaven today. Nonna gets to see her husband today! She was a smart woman her whole life, I'm not surprised she chose heaven. Always the best choice.

Monday, December 17, 2007

...and the snows they came!

Wow! We got socked! Buried, almost alive...well, not really. But it is a ton of snow. For sure a ton. These are some pics my son took around our house and this was only at the half way through the storm part. Over the tops of the houses should be the Niagara Escarpment...can't see it can ya? The storm started a few hours later than predicted with freezing rain that actually was hitting the bedroom window so hard, it woke me up. Then it teased a little with some chunky flakes but sorta stopped for a while. About an hour later, the escarpment was missing from view and the road was invisible. Suddenly, the winds picked up and we were taking cover. I think it was a pj day for many..family church, cozy time. Loved it. I finished Christmas cards and just generally hung out with my family. My beloved went out to shovel at one point and I couldn't see him. I saw the shovel once in a while but he was a blurr. So neat. And this morning, beautiful clear sky...what a treat.
Enjoy the hills...we will!





Thursday, December 13, 2007

Orca


I found this really neat website called orca-live.net where you can listen to Ocean sounds and occasionally hear some whales. Its really neat but it takes some time to be able to sit and listen. I'm running it now as I blog and its really cool. Makes you think about the majesty of God's creation. His hand is so big and so wide to cover so many wonderful areas. What a mighty God we serve. I'm sad these beauties are captured and yet, its amazing to understand them better. Its a bitter sweet battle between us vs. nature. I love that I've been able to touch one and I'm appalled that they live in tanks and hurt. orcalab.org is a nice website too...it explains the pain of capture. A tug of war for certain.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Here Am I

Along with my humble pie here is my fav. Mercy Me song...

Oh Christmas Tree....blahhhhhhhh


Ever have one of those days when your just not proud of your behaviour? That's me. I'm about to apologize to my husband for my rotten Christmas tree hunting attitude, but I wanted just one more moment to confess before I do....I was really mad at him. I thought it was his bad mood, his attitude, his lack of excitement, but really, its me and my way too high expectations. And so, now, my husband is out hanging lights, trimming the tree to fit the space and probably walking on egg shells thinking about what he's going to walk into. So...here's to humble pie! I have to put him out of his misery (which is me), change my attitude and walk lovingly, even though my heart isn't really in it right now. Because I know, I walk by faith and not by sight...so in faith, I will adjust my bad mood because if I walk by sight, someone might catch a dagger....time for heart surgery!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Logan

Its been a tough week. The music director at our church passed away Sunday and it was really hard for my daughter. She's been in the choir since grade 2 and has a special relationship with her. Very hard to say goodbye. But we know she was a great woman of God and is singing with her voice that she couldn't use near the close of her earthly life. She's singing with choirs of angels in heaven most certainly. And we also had news of another pillar in our church taking a stroke that sounds fatal. Heaven is near for her too. And sadly, one of the most inspiring women I've never met passed away. She's been beating cancer for a year and is one of the most courageous, lovely women I've never met. I keep saying never, because truely, I never met her. I know of her through a few friends that church with her family. Her story was blogged by she and her husband. Completely inspiring. So, Jesus took her cancer away this week and she is healed in her new body. It's been hard, thinking about her family, her husband is this knight in shining armor kind of guy who loves their 3 kids under 5 with so much dignity. He's a great man of God who will do great honor to his wife. This clip is an amazing testimony to the understanding of our pain that God has. We often say things like, "Why did God let this happen?" Well, this clip helps us remember, that God understands our pain from personal experience.
Its sweet, but get a tissue!

Everything

This video is incredible...I never thought of Jesus this way before and it makes me weep to think of His strength that oftens is just simply ignored....

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Lots...

Hey, remember me? Its been awhile! I've had computer issues with regards to my posting and I'm just not sure why. Hoping it'll work out. I have a new wee cousin who I haven't met yet but is really cute! (I've seen pics...) And I'm almost done my Christmas shopping. My goal is to be finished before Advent begins...I might not make it, but I'll be close. Today was Grey Cup, Saskatchewan won it...but Winnipeg gave them a good game. Alright, busy week ahead...cookie exchange, Beethoven and a surgery. (not mine) Focus is my priority. We went to the CN Tower on Saturday and spent the afternoon on Bremner street taking in the Grey Cup excitement...free food, live bands, koolaide and The Troops were there. We signed a banner headed for Afganistan and climbed in and out of several armed vehicles and planes. Moving experience to shake the hands of those who serve. It made me weepy at first and then very proud. It was really a great day!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Worship

Its raining and I need to express my worship on days like this...on my walk today I found so many great and wonderful leaves. And my walking buddy and I were talking about art galleries and it made me think, if we can stand in front of amazing art that people created, and love it and honor it as a creation, how do people function without looking at the infinite creation God made, and how much more beautiful that is. Really, consider a raindrop for a moment. What's in it? Chemicals, water, oxygen. Accident? Nope. God. Making rain. And its hard to pray for rain sometimes. Think of the bold leaders in Georgia right now...praying for actual rain. Bold leaders over there. But even praying that God could be glorified through the rain storms that come up in our life. Wow...I'm inspired. Fear is an area I'm trying to gain victory in. Praying that God could be glorified if my greatest fears came true is a prayer I've never made before. This Mercy Me song sounds like my new life song. I'm blessed by the language used here. God is so good to show me that even in my worst moments, he's right there with me...my next breath. Praise God with me today!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Souled Out

Our youth group started up last week and wow...what a night! I think 30 youth, Rockin tunes and an amazing message!
Check it out...

Testing

My posts haven't been working well lately...whats up with that?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I have a new teenager


Yes, its true...I have a new teenager. My daughter turned 13 yesterday. I know, I look way to good to be that old. And yet, here she is, turning 13 on me. I think I blinked or something because a moment ago she was born. How did I get here? Well, Happy Birthday Sara-Beary! Love you with my whole heart!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Group of Seven



Do you like art? I do. I love Canadian Art and its just my favorite thing to enjoy.
A guilty side pleasure I guess. If I had money to burn, after all my tithes and bills were accounted for, I would indulge in a beautiful piece of work from The Group of Seven. The neatest story was on CBC today about a really wonderful art discovery in the States. Sad how it happened but a fairytale non-the-less.

"Randy Boswell, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2007
A previously unknown Tom Thomson "masterpiece" capturing Canada's autumn splendour has been discovered amid a treasure of long-lost Canadian art found in a Vermont farmhouse after the death of a little-known collector.
The small sketch by the legendary landscape artist, showing a fall scene in the Ontario backwoods, is expected to fetch up to $600,000 at an upcoming Sotheby's-Ritchies auction in Toronto that will also feature dozens of other notable paintings -- including prized works from the seminal "Beaver Hall" school of Canadian female artists -- found last month collecting dust in the unkempt country home of a former Montreal art lover.
"It began with a gentleman dropping dead on a sidewalk in Zurich, Switzerland, on a Monday," David Silcox, president of Sotheby's Canada, said. "On the Tuesday, the executors of his estate phoned to say they'd been left instructions (by the deceased man) saying, 'I have a collection of Canadian art which has some value and you should probably call Sotheby's in Toronto.' "
Sotheby's asked the executors to name some of the artists.
"They phoned back the next day and said there's an artist named Varley, somebody named Harris, somebody called Jackson," recalled Mr. Silcox, who then realized that the mysterious collection included works by Group of Seven artists F. H. Varley, A. Y. Jackson and Lawren Harris, and could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
By week's end, Mr. Silcox -- one of the country's leading curators and art historians -- was standing wide-eyed in the living room of the late Michael Dunn, gazing at more than 100 significant Canadian paintings worth, in fact, millions of dollars.
"It was like a hermit had lived there," said Mr. Silcox. "It was pretty messy, things piled in the corners, piles of paper and clothing, stuff stacked all over the place. But there were pictures on the walls -- quite amazing. In the living room, which wasn't easy to get through, there were paintings piled on chairs and the sofa and the side tables, and three or four paintings leaning against walls and dressers. And I picked up this one that was sitting on the floor behind an easy chair -- and it was a Tom Thomson."
Mr. Silcox had found Algonquin Park -- a small oil sketch capturing a fall scene in the Ontario wilderness region made famous by Thomson and his Group of Seven associates, and described by Sotheby's as an "entirely unknown" work by the Canadian cultural icon.
"As far as is known, it has never before been published or exhibited, and was sequestered outside of the country for decades," according to the statement announcing the Nov. 19 sale.
Expected to sell for between $400,000 and $600,000, the painting "probably dates from his last autumn, just prior to his death," Sotheby's said.
Thomson, who was a friend and artistic inspiration to the future members of the Group of Seven, died in uncertain circumstances while canoeing in Algonquin Park in 1917.
The rediscovered Algonquin Park scene isn't the only Thomson painting that will draw national attention next month. Another small, but dramatic, work by Thomson -- a 22-by-27-centimetre sketch depicting the northern lights -- is expected to fetch close to $1 million at a separate sale of Canadian art being held by Heffel Fine Art Auction House in Toronto on Nov. 23."

Isn't that something? I can't believe how exciting that is. And the picture they found is simply stunning. The best news of all, is that my homeschool group will be going to the McMichael Art Gallery in Toronto on Friday and they house a spectacular collection of Group of Seven works. I'm sure it will be a buzz! Can't wait!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Is it just me?

Is this not a homeschool moms dream? My poor kids...


YAKKO'S WORLD
(M: Traditional [The Mexican Hat Dance] L: Randy Rogel)

Lyrics:

United States, Canada,
Mexico, Panama,
Haiti, Jamaica, Peru;
Republic Dominican,
Cuba, Carribean,
Greenland, El Salvador too.

Puerto Rico, Columbia,
Venezuela,
Honduras, Guyana, and still;
Guatemala, Bolivia,
then Argentina,
and Ecuador, Chile, Brazil.

Costa Rica, Belize,
Nicaragua, Bermuda,
Bahamas, Tobago, San Juan;
Paraguay, Uruguay,
Suriname, and
French Guiana, Barbados, and Guam.

Norway, and Sweden,
and Iceland, and Finland,
and Germany now one piece;
Switzerland, Austria,
Czechoslovakia,
Italy, Turkey, and Greece.

Poland, Romania,
Scotland, Albania,
Ireland, Russia, Oman;
Bulgaria, Saudi Arabia,
Hungary,
Cyprus, Iraq, and Iran.

There's Syria, Lebanon,
Israel, Jordan,
both Yemens, Kuwait, and Bahrain,
the Netherlands, Luxembourg,
Belgium, and Portugal,
France, England, Denmark, and Spain.

India, Pakistan,
Burma, Afghanistan,
Thailand, Nepal, and Bhutan;
Kampuchea, Malaysia,
then Bangladesh, Asia,
and China, Korea, Japan.

Mongolia, Laos,
and Tibet, Indonesia,
the Philippine Islands, Taiwan;
Sri Lanka, New Guinea,
Sumatra, New Zealand,
then Borneo, and Vietnam.

Tunisia, Morocco,
Uganda, Angola,
Zimbabwe, Djibouti, Botswana;
Mozambique, Zambia,
Swaziland, Gambia,
Guinea, Algeria, Ghana.

Burundi, Lesotho,
and Malawi, Togo,
The Spanish Sahara is gone;
Niger, Nigeria,
Chad, and Liberia,
Egypt, Benin, and Gabon.

Tanzania, Somalia,
Kenya, and Mali,
Sierra Leone, and Algier;
Dahomey, Namibia,
Senegal, Libya,
Cameroon, Congo, Zaire.

Ethiopia, Guinea_
Bissau, Madagascar,
Rwanda, Mahore[?], and Cayman;
Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi,
Qatar, Yugoslavia,
Crete, Mauritania,
then Transylvania,
Monaco, Liechtenstein,
Malta, and Palestine,
Fiji, Australia, Sudan!

Finished? Not quite.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Usta!

I was inspired at a meeting...never mind. This is in honor of Chris. Have a great day. USTA!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"There ain’t no disguising the truth..."

I'm Catholic. Capitol C. I view myself as a Pentecostal Catholic if there is such a thing. I'm a Christian Catholic. To me, that means, I believe Jesus died on the cross for my sins and rose again, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. So, that makes me Christian. I practice being Christian by purposing to walk out my Catholic faith. I don't just go to church on Sunday. I evangelize youth to come to the Lord. Not just to the Catholic Church but to the Lord. I read the bible, in fact I own about 10. How God speaks to each person is unique to that person. I believe the relationship with Christ has to come first. And, yes, there are luke warm Catholics walking around and there are also luke warm Baptists, Methodist, CRC's, Pentecostals (well maybe not...) but you get my point. There are people everywhere that are Christians in waiting. Denominations get so legalistic sometimes. Catholics blew it in the early centuries. Badly. But time and time again, other churches do too. Why? Because people run them who are sinners. We all are. Even the Pope. Blasphemy for a Catholic to say that? No. Pope John Paul spent 8 hours a day laying on his face in prayer and confessed every day his sins, one to another. He was a good and holy man. He was also a sinner. So was Mother Theresa, Augustine, Francis, AKempis, Luther and Calvin. So am I. I know that it is only by Grace that I am saved and that I really don't deserve it. It's the blood of the Lamb that paid the price. And still, the Creator of the Universe wants to love me. He wants to be my everything. He wants me to choose Him. And I do. Daily. I have to die to my own desires all the time to choose Him. When I converted to Catholicism, I felt like I had come home. Here was a place, rich in history, mistakes, and beauty that I could rest my thoughts on. I could go deeper here. So, while our church continues to make horrible mistakes, I take comfort that 2000 years later, it's still here. Flawed? Yes. Scared? Most definitely. Working on it? Certainly. Ever get it right? Not until Jesus comes back. So, please, ask me some of the deepest darkest Catholic questions that have been burning in the back of your mind. There are answers for most of the things people assume to be true about Catholics. Like, why do we pray to idols. Simple answer...we don't. Go ahead and ask me...because I am in love with Jesus. I am not afraid to say how much I love Him. I'm certain, that He loves me back. How I choose to worship Him is flawed. But He speaks to me here. Where do you hear His voice? Where do you feel His breath whispering across your face? I pray peace to you my brothers and sisters in Christ. And I'm not offended. I love you. One God, One Baptism, One Faith (one day...)

What will people think
When they hear that I’m a Jesus freak?
What will people do
When they find thats its true?

Separated, I cut myself clean
From a past that comes back in my darkest of dreams
Been apprehended by a spiritual force
And a grace that replaced all the me I’ve divorced

I saw a man with tat on his big fat belly
It wiggled around like marmalade jelly
It took me a while to catch what it said
Cause I had to match the rhythm
Of his belly with my head
Jesus saves is what it raved in a typical tattoo green
He stood on a box in the middle of the city
And claimed he had a dream

(chorus)
What will people think
When they hear that I’m a Jesus freak
What will people do when they find that its true
I don’t really care if they label me a Jesus freak
There ain’t no disguising the truth

Kamikaze, my death is gain
I’ve been marked by my maker
A peculiar display
The high and lofty, they see me as weak
Cause I won’t live and die for the power they seek

There was a man from the desert with naps in his head
The sand that he walked was also his bed
The words that he spoke made the people assume
There wasn’t too much left in the upper room
With skins on his back and hair on his face
They thought he was strange by the locusts he ate
The pharisees tripped when they heard him speak
Until the king took the head of this Jesus freak

People say I’m strange, does it make me a stranger
That my best friend was born in a manger
People say I’m strange, does it make me a stranger
That my best friend was born in a manger

What will people think
[what will people think]
What will people do
[what will people do]
I don’t really care
[what else can I say]
There ain’t no disguising the truth
[Jesus is the way]

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Van D Retreat Centre

You know when God places people in your life and your just so amazed that He put the quality of those people in YOUR actual life? Like I don't deserve these friends because I'm just not worthy? These are really great people. Well, years ago, God gave us the VanD's through soccer. And these are the kind of people that your friends with in a heart beat, and you see them a few times a year after soccer season is over, and they are in your life for the rest of your life, and without them you notice something is missing. We are blessed by the VanD family as they generously let us use their cottage this past weekend. So, we piled the inlaws and the outlaws into the van (Bessy may have made her last run north...) and we had the most refreshing weekend we've had in ages. It is always a good thing to bring the mothers because I never really have much work to do. My mother in loves gifting is service. She pours her love into the food she prepares, the cleaning she does (I swear the place is cleaner than we found it and really you could have eaten off the floor when we got there!) and generally the care she takes of people. My mom's gifting is teaching. She is a great teacher. When my inloves needed some help with government forms, she was able to help them and encourage them rather than allowing them to feel inadequate. What a heritage my children see in their relationship. And my father in love, well, he really does need a hearing aid, but he's really happy in his private little world. Even though he battles depression, he had a wonderful weekend. So here are some pictures of the beautiful country God made and thanks to our forever friends for letting us share in the beauty.




Ahhhhhhhhhhhh



Thursday, October 11, 2007

50 And Counting


No that's not my age...its my 50th blog post anniversary!!! Wahoo! When I first started this whole thing I wondered if it would be something I did once in awhile and forgot about. But, I love it! So I'm in for another 50, I hope you'll come along.
The election went well, my guy won, but overall the Liberals won the Majority which means another 4 years of gobbley goop. But interesting turn of events, the Opposition Leader, lost his seat. If his caucus won't support him as leader, they will have to have a convention and guess who's name the pundits are throwing around? My guy...Tim Hudak! That would be so great. I think he was born to lead Ontario. And really, how cool would it be to live in the riding the Premier is from. So so cool. Anyway, the Referendum was good too...we keep our current system of governing instead of changing to the non-effective MMP system, which would allow ANY group with an agenda to hold seats in government, which effectively stops government from working. Italy uses this system and anyone who follows politics knows that they are forever held up in making decisions because some party is always in opposition. Its too hard to actually govern. So, the old fashioned, First Past the Post stays. I for one am quite pleased. So, its a good day all over my house. We're packing to go away for a few days and I'll have some great fall "away" shots to bring home and post. I still have the party shots too but my batteries died this week and it was a few days before I got more, so I have yet to download. Anyway, thanks for sharing in my 50th Blog. That's all I have for now. Ciao.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Name Game Fun

I've seen this floating around in blog land and it looks like fun...so here goes.

YOUR ROCK STAR NAME (first pet and current car): Bobby Aerostar
YOUR GANGSTA NAME (fave ice cream flavour + fave cookie/biscuit): Chocolate Chocolate Chip
YOUR FLY NAME (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name): S.Pel
YOUR DETECTIVE NAME (fave colour + fave animal): Blue Dog
YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME (middle name + city where you were born): Lynn Hamilton
YOUR STAR WARS NAME (the first three letters of your last name + first two letters of your first): Pelsa
SUPERHERO NAME (The + second favourite colour + favourite drink): The Yellow Cosmo
NASCAR NAME (the first names of your grandfathers): Steve Aurther
WITNESS PROTECTION NAME (mum and dad's middle names): Anne Aurther
TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME (your fifth grade teacher's name + a major city that starts with the same letter): Walsh Waterloo
SPY NAME/BOND GIRL (your fave holiday/season + flower): Summer Daisy
CARTOON NAME (fave fruit + item of clothing wearing at the moment + ie or y): Honey Dew Jeansie
HIPPY NAME (what you ate for breakfast + your fave tree): Oatmeal Sugar Maple
YOUR ROCK STAR TOUR NAME (The + your fave hobby/craft + fave weather + Tour): The Scrapbooking/Blogger Sunny Day Tour

What's your name?

Get Voting or not

Today we have Provincial elections and its a beautiful day to vote! I love politics. Crazy, I know, but I just love the process. I love the language and the organization and the ideas. I love the accountability and the idea that I myself am the government and I get a say in the ideas that happen. And, if I actually vote and don't like the results, I feel that I have the right to say something to my MPP (Member of Provincial Parliament for those not in Ontario). So for me, its a fun day. I actually get emotional when I vote because I think of how many before me fought for the right for me to freely do it. Its a huge honor. People lay down their lives for my rights. That continually blows my mind. I don't know how they do it. Do they really know what they're doing? Do they ever really know how blessed we are because of their sacrifice? And the families who sacrifice everything to let them go. Its really incredible. So, if for nothing else, I honor those people who fought for my right to vote. Its hard to think about, but they also fought for my right to choose not to vote. So for those exercising that right today, well, even though I disagree, just think of the soldiers and women who fought for that too. Freedom, its a huge responsibility.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tag Your It

I have been blessed with a lovely award today. What a huge honor and I have my blogger buddy Aduladi to thank. So, publicly, thankyou. Its a huge honor to say the least and I'm really speechless about it. (those who know me know I'm never speechless, I probably most likely tend to ramble than be speechless...) ah ehm.....
anyway, I am honored and will dilegently set out to honor others as per the requirement. If I could, I'd award Aduladi, but she already has it. So...here goes.

Indescribable

I'm having a particularly great day...warm weather in October, a great weekend feast of friendship, family and food...and, it was a decent school day after a huge long weekend. What better than to stay in a thankful mood and offer this song to God and to bless my friends. I hope your day is great too, and if its a struggle, find one thing to cling to...a beautiful leaf, a baby's smile, or just a simple breath, I pray you are all well. He loves you that much.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Happy Turkey Day


For all you Canadians out there, Happy Thanksgiving! We've been giving thanks all weekend long. First with our Homeschool Group Enoch on Friday night...we had such great food and really lovely fellowship, complete with a rockin' Dutch Blitz Tourny. Saturday brought extreme rain while we enjoyed a day at Marineland with friends, talk about soggy. And Sunday was all about coming together as family. After church we enjoyed dinner with my in-love side of the family...my mother in love, sister and brother in loves and all my nieces and nephews. Festive food, fantastic family and phenomenal fellowship. And now, today, we're off for more Turkey and my side of the family. My brother is in town and my aunt (dad's sister)is joining us, and my mom is working away cooking for us! This is the first year in a long time that I haven't cooked on the long weekend and its been so great. I'm rested and full and content. Not just full on food, but on family. Its been such a great feast of fellowship this weekend.
Anyway, wherever you are in your turkey journey, I pray God's blessing on you and a peace that surpasses all understanding.
photo credit: gallery.spacebar.org/.../fall-leaves-1.jpg

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

My Talented Son Part 2

Here's part two for those of you hanging on my the edge of your seats....

Too funny

Okay, I promise I'll post pics from the big birthday party on Sunday, but you have to have a listen to this and then pop over to Aduladi's Blog to hear a hysterical dad version to Pachabels Canon in D...so funny. Man, these people are talented!
Anyway, enjoy, even if your kids are grown, or if you don't have any, its really funny to listen to.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Do you have an Ebeneezer Stone?


I've found this neat article and lately I've been looking at all the Ebeneezer's in my life and love the way God places each and every one in each and every situation. Most are joyful, some are mournful, but they are all filled with Gods love. So here's to all my Ebenezer's...thankyou each and everyone, for filling me with God's love and His Holy Presence through you!
“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah, and named it Ebenezer; for he said, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.” So the Philistines were subdued and did not again enter the territory of Israel; the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. The towns that the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath; and Israel recovered their territory from the hand of the Philistines. There was peace also between Israel and the Amorites. (1 Samuel 7:12-14 NRSV)

What is an Ebenezer Stone?

“It is usually transliterated as a proper name by dropping the definite
article (Ha) from the Hebrew word for “place” (Ezer) and putting it together with the Hebrew word for “stone” (Even) to create: “Ebenezer.” The etymological roots of the word, thus defined, should demonstrate that an “Ebenezer” is, literally, a “Stone of Help.”
Literally speaking, an Ebenezer is a “stone of help,” or a reminder of God’s Real, Holy Presence and Divine aid. Spiritually and theologically speaking, an Ebenezer can be nearly anything that reminds us of God’s presence and help: the Bible, the Sacramental Elements, a cross, a picture, a fellow believer, a hymn – those things which serve as reminders of God’s love, God’s Real Presence, and God’s assistance are “Ebenezers.”
Dr. Gregory S. Neal
I encourage you to find a stone, an ugly, bumpy, warts and all kind of stone, to place in your garden, or on a table, but somewhere you can see, to be reminded of all your Ebenezers.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

My talented son

My oldest made this cool stop motion movie and I just had to brag on him a little!

Its just a great day

My Blogger Buddy Aduladi got me on a Newsboys kick...its such a great day! Have a wonderful sunny fall moment...
God is Good! He Reigns!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Away


Isn't away such a great place? But home is even better...I love going but I love coming back even better. So where was I you ask? I was at a women's retreat this weekend par excellance! So so spirit filling. I'll give you the details of it shortly because its alot to write and I'm in a hurry, but couldn't resist posting this picture my oldest son took while he was also 'away' this weekend. It was just the icing on the cake for me.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sad days ahead


We've had some sad news...our cat is dying. He's a wonderful 13 year old tabby that we adopted from a barn. What a love our sweet Murmel has been in our lives...He has the cutest purr, sometimes its so loud you have to raise your voice if he's nearby your conversation. Not much of a cuddler, he loves his space, but when he plays hockey, well, he loves an audience. We'll miss him so much. We don't know how much time he has but he'll be loved into a coma if I say too much to the kids...so, they know what's going on but not too much. I just don't want them to find him dead one day and not even have a clue it could happen. So, we just wait, which I think is almost the hardest part. Oh sadness creeps in...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Week two completely through


Well, we've made a bit of a dent into our schedule and find out along the way what looks good on paper isn't always what works. And so we tweak and bend and squish and squash and it comes into place. Happy days coming too...we have some nice things planned. Friday is a Field Trip to the Locks at the Welland Canal Museum, then we have a Thanksgiving Party to plan for the 5Th, and a Public Speaking Festival to pull together. Lots of neat activities to get the year off to a good start. Things are good on the High school front, the oldest having a J.O.B. now after school a few days a week...its good. Things are really, really good. I do love my little family and covet the time we share together.
Today was tomato day at my mother-in-loves house. We boiled 5 bushels of tomatoes for canning and it smelled gorgeous out in the shed all day. I was freezing and my hands were cramping while cutting down the tomatoes. But it was just so lovely to be making sauce with my family. Then it was off to help my sister-in-loves house to help her with a little critter situation. God Bless. And finally off to my mummy's for dinner to celebrate my son and brothers birthdays with my Aunt. And so we rolled home with full belly's and happy memories. What a great day.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Week One


So week one is almost done! What a great way to start school. We have a tradition in our homeschool that we go out for breakfast on the first day of school to celebrate the time we have to spend with each other and not have to rush out the door. My oldest son went to high school last year, so sadly, he misses out on our traditional breaky! But, we let him by lunch at school on the first day so he still gets a treat...not that caff food is a treat, but he's happy. So this week we started a new math program with Saxon Math called DIVE CD's which are basically the whole lesson taught on video by a professional math dude. Talk about taking the pressure off me! I'm not a math girl and I don't have the language to explain it well, so this CD is already blessing my daughter. She does math twice a day right now because she wants to be done one book by Christmas and a second by June. This way she's in great shape if she goes to highschool and if she stays home, the pressure is off a little. My littlest man is having summer free time withdrawal. He is a stander at the school table and will not sit for very long. There is always something to discover. Its like if he presses his bum into a chair, his brain shuts off. Which is cool, because I know that boys learn differently than girls. My oldest son did the same thing. And now he sits through 70 min classes everyday just fine. I think boys bums have springs in them the propel them into movement if they rest too long. So all in all it's been a great week and now we look forward to a fun weekend of camping with our whole homeschool group. We'll be playing bocce and soccer baseball, fishing and hiking! So pray for good weather for us, so far its really hot and looking like rain, but really, there's nothing like sleeping in a tent with a gentle rain falling around it. So, I'll post some shots next week of the great event! Until then, happy weekend!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Woo Hoo Woo Hoo Hoo Woo Hoo Woo Hoo Hoo


Today was the big court day and may I have a resounding AMEN! It is finished. My brother won and its over. I'm telling you the poor guy was dressed just adorable in his WOOL jacket (you have to know we are in a heat wave, well not official but its really hot 37 degrees on my deck in the sun) his 1980's skinny leather tie that he's had since high school,nice pants and you got it...running shoes. Now, you have to know that my brother is Autistic and going to court was a huge challenge to begin with. But dressing for court is a challenge on its own. He's a very large man and nice looking clothes that he can afford are hard to come by. So the fact that he chose all by himself to wear a jacket and tie tells me that on some level, he gets it! The court support workers were amazing and so helpful. And of course storming the gates of heaven with my prayer warriors was a wonderful blessing. Knowing we were covered before we got started was fantastic. So, bottom line, the issue was dropped and he is free to roam his city in peace without worry that he could unknowingly break the peace bond and go to jail. That would be horrible. So all in all, a very good day! But man, its hot!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Monday, September 3, 2007

My Garden

I love my garden as it shapes and becomes what it will be one day. Its not there yet, but its coming. Here's some pictures to share.






I'm a survivor


I say that tongue in cheek...I did make it and it was a largely busy week but I was busy in a good way. Once I got over myself, I was able to tap into some really interesting qualities about myself that need further exploration. They are as follows...who is that man I married? Will I know him when my kids are grown and gone? Who is that woman in the mirror staring back at me? Will I know her ever again? Am I wrapping myself too deeply in my kids? Do I have the ability to let them go when the time comes? Can I actually put myself out of a job? And will I retire at the right time or drag it on way too long? I pray not. I learned that I have alot of letting go to do and this week was about me in a way I didn't expect. Because I really thought it was about Simon. Praise God that he can teach and show and grow us even when we aren't looking for it. As for Simon? Well, he was just fine and had the time of his life. Truly. For real. He loved it more than I can even imagine. God is so much more capable of showing me how to parent my kids than I let him be. So, this year, our school theme will be one of holiness. Growing in holiness, coming further in trusting God's plan for us and moving further into his will. And that involves trust. Hmmm, I feel a new talk coming on...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Harder than I thought


Okay, I know, enough whining but this is harder than I thought. I thought day one might be overwhelming because of the 6 hours of driving we did but I wasn't counting on being so (dare I say) consumed with my thoughts on my son. I find myself wandering off my train of thought to think about what he might be doing. Is he regretting this decision? Is he strong and of good courage? He's probably having such a great time. But I really, really miss him. There is a real hole in my heart. My friend encouraged me today with this..."God is with him. God treasures him and will not abandon him. He alone can be there 24-7, and He alone cares for Simon with a greater love than you have. So continue to pray - that you would know what to pray, and that you will be content to release Simon to his Heavenly Father's care. "In this world we WILL have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have OVERCOME the world" John 16:33. Times of aching can be so hard, but remember that everything that comes your way has been through your Father's hands first. He truly is in control. And everything is working for His good and glory from an eternal perspective. So try and keep your mind and heart stayed on sweet Jesus."
I just love what she wrote. Its God's perfect word in the perfect timing. So, enough about me, because its really not about me at all!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The unthinkable


I just did the unthinkable...I left my first born 3 hours away at camp with total strangers. Mind you, he wants to be there and the adventure he will have will out way my aching heart strings, but really, the thought of doing that on purpose makes me truly nauseous. Now, I know he is going to be just fine and not think of me as much as I think of him...but, ouch. Okay? This really hurts and its hard and its just me whining because I can't control everything that happens to him. Okay, I admit it, I'm a control freak. My name is Samantha and I am a control freak! I homeschool, I must have some bit of control issues. Any way, I'm trying to think of all the fun he's having and the people he's meeting. I sent him with his Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (B.I.B.L.E) and it's a Christian Adventure Camp. He will have so much fun...I just have to keep saying that so it really sinks in and I believe it. In the mean time, I released him to whom he belongs and that helped a lot. So, this week will be spent in lots of prayer and busy work until I get to go and pick him up. And then I'll feel good again.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Its coming


Okay, yikes, what ever happened to summer???? Our weather is simply weird, but weirder still...school! And more so, my son's buddy leaves for University in a week. I can't believe we know kids that old...because that makes me old (er)...
Anyway, birthdays are coming, camp, camping, and busy scheduals are all on the way.
But, I'll always have summer!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Where I'm From

I found this idea on another very lovely blog that I visit and was invited to participate in that post. So here I am...

I am from outside breezes, from Tide Crisp Linen and candles in the moonlight.

I am from the escarpment, lush and green, full of heavy musky fragrance and comfy familiar shadows.

I am from the Daisy and Cedar mulch carpet, from beaches and waves, seashells and sand between your toes.

I am from Jammie Runs and family bonds, from CJ’s, Grammy’s and Grampy’s and from mysterious relatives of another place and I am strong like them all.

I am from the details in a photograph to the antiques my mom has collected and a story to go with.

From twinsyohs and 6x to Mrs. Beasley and Pillsbury Dough Boy (and pool cue chalk).

I am from Gods workmanship, brought through much to find peace and freedom in Him. Because He knows the plans He has for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me a hope and a future. Jer 29:11

I'm from Canada as are my relatives and relatives before them. eh? I am from Boiled Steak and Taco Night.

From the Race Car Driver, the Fighter for the rights of the child, and the blood is thicker than water mantra.

I am from the photos in the basement, too numerous to handle but too precious to loose.

If you choose to post this too...let me know, I'd love to look in! Thanks Ang.

Cheers


Have you ever had someone say cheers to you at the end of a conversation? I have a few friends that say it and for longest time it sounded so foreign to me...like what you say at a toast, not instead of goodbye at the end of a phone conversation. But lately on the radio, (I listen to CBC while cooking) there is one guy who always says it. So it has caused me to pause and really listen to what is being said. I don't know if I'm even close to getting it right, but, to my ear it sounds so joyous. A person actually wishing another person cheer. What a blessing. So what is Cheer? According to Websters Dictionary it means the following:

1. cheer \'chi(*)r\ n [ME chere face, cheer, fr. OF, face] obs 1a: FACE
archaic 1b: facial expression 2: state of mind or heart : SPIRIT 3:
ANIMATION, GAIETY 4: hospitable entertainment : WELCOME 5: food and drink
for a feast : FARE 6: something that gladdens 7: a shout of applause or
encouragement
2. cheer vt 1a: to arouse to hope or courage when dejected : COMFORT 1b:
to make glad or happy 2: to urge on or encourage esp. by shouts 3: to
applaud with shouts obs 1: to be mentally or emotionally disposed 2: to
grow or be cheerful : REJOICE - usu. used with up 3: to utter a shout of
applause or triumph

I really like those ideas. So to offer someone cheer at the end of a conversation somehow sounds like a wonderful thing to do. So, I hope I remember, my new plan is to try really hard, and offer you dear reader, Cheers, each and every time.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Life with a toddler for four days


Can I say how arrogant I am and how full of myself and my own greatness? I thought for sure, having my niece who is 2 for four days would be a piece of cake. And that I would just manage it all just fine and life would be great for everyone. No problem! Well, again, let me say, I am arrogant. Toddlers are sweet, loving, wonders who need to be fed on a regular basis and actually need you to do it for them, they want to actually take time out of their day to nap, and regularly they enjoy a clean bum and a bath. I have old kids. They do all that stuff all by themselves. My niece needed my 100% attention all the time, which I was prepared to offer. I forgot what 100% actually means...to say I'm tired is an understatement. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. I learned more from her in 4 days about myself than I have in 4 years of self discovery on purpose. She is a gem. This little loving toddler takes no prisoners when it comes to the heart. Your all in or forget it. And she is full on in the learning department. She is a sponge. Her language is incredible. My daughter is convinced her little cousin will be 'something smart' when she grows up. My older niece is a joy to be with. She is lovely and sweet, kind and on purpose with her affection. She doesn't waste it. This girl is genuinely beautiful and smart. Watch out world... And little man nephew is my sweet love. This little man delights in the love of his mother. He does all things to bring her joy. He is the little brother to my youngest son that he wanted so much. What a blessing to see these children blend into our family for 4 days. Make no mistake, having extras is work for sure...but its the glorious kind of work that at the end of the day makes you feel like, yeah, that was a great day!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Red Marbles


I was sent this email recently and although it came annonymous I would love to publicly credit the author if anyone knows who wrote it...amazing~

I was at the corner grocery store buying some early
potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged
but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas. I
paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green
peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering
the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr.. Miller
(the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.
"Hello Barry, how are you today?"
"H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas. They
sure look good."
"They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?"
"Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time."
"Good. Anything I can help you with?"
"No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas."
"Would you like to take some home?" asked Mr. Miller.
"No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with."
"Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?"
"All I got's my prize marble here."
"Is that right? Let me see it" said Miller.
"Here 'tis. She's a dandy."
"I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of
go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?" the store owner
asked.
"Not zackley but almost."
"Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this
way let me look at that red marble". Mr. Miller told the boy.
"Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller."
Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With
a smile she said, "There are two other boys like him in our community,
all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with
them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red
after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green
marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store."
I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short
time later I moved to Colorado, but I never forgot the story of this
man,the boys, and their bartering for marbles.
Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just
recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho
community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were
having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I
agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to
meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.
Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform
and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts...all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and
smiling by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed
her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket.
Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man
stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in
the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.
Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded
her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about
her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took
my hand and led me to the casket.
"Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about.
They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim "traded" them. Now,
at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size....they
came to pay their debt."
"We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world," she confided, "but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho. With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.


The Moral : We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind
deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments
that take our breath.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Ontario Court Mental Health Style


Why should we defend ourselves when we are misunderstood and misjudged? Let us leave that aside. Let us not say anything. It is so sweet to let others judge us in any way they like. O blessed silence, which gives so much peace to the soul!"
St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Wow...what a day. My brother has Aspergers Syndrome which is high functioning Autism and he's recently had some issues with the law, partly through his own fault and partly not. So today was the interesting day where we go to court and ask for a hearing. It went well, and with a Mental Health advocate we were able to get a hearing. It amazes me how far we've come in the area of Mental Health but also shows how far we have to go. There are some wonderful people in the world who truly care about the hardest people to look after. Some of these patients look, speak and almost pull off acting what most of society would call normal. But just below the surface lies all kinds of things that make it so hard to live in the world society has created. Aspergers folks are forced to live in our world but participate on their terms. It would be interesting for us to try to walk a day in their shoes. I bet most of us (including myself) would quit as soon as someone looked at us sideways. Our desire to fit in and blend away into the fabric of 'normal' limits us in seeing the shining examples that Aspergers folks really are. My brother judges know one. He accepts people just as they are. What a gift. If we could only accept ourselves as we are, maybe it would be easier to accept everyone else as they are.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Introducing Randy DeBoer


I'm so pleased and excited to promote our friend "Randy DeBoer" who recently released his very first worship CD called "To You Alone". He has written all the songs and music himself and is supported by an amazing worship band from Forestview Church. I encourage those of you who are lovers of worship to check out his pages at www.myccm.org/randydeboer and www.myspace.com/randydeboer where you can sample some of the tracks and meet him. My friend Leah (his wife) is the wonderous angelic voice hovering over his...and if your fortunate enough to purchase a CD (where all proceeds are going to the Forestview Church by the way) you will be in for a treat when you hear track 7 called Heaven written and sung and drummed by their son Jacob. I'm enjoying blogging to you now while listening...what a treat! So welcome to the journey and be blessed by Randy's heart for the Lord. Congratulations guys...

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Teenage Mouth

I just ask the forgiveness of everyone I have ever offended or stung with my mouth as a teenager...especially my poor parents who didn't deserve the wrath of my tongue. Stoma is the Greek word for tongue and it means two edged sword. It has the ability to cut from both sides when applied...I am getting it back 10 fold. Man, oh man...I love my teen...I do, I do. We are experiencing teenage righteousness about now, coupled in with over tiredness, added to a dab of attitude and a washing of raging hormones. I so remember this time in my own life, where everyone was well an idiot and I knew way more. I even remember the raging feeling inside when things were 'stupid'. I think the word for this mality is Pride. It takes maturity to ask for Humility and I know every time I've prayed for it in my own life, God is only too happy to bless me with ample opportunity to practice it. But what do you do when you live with the smartest kids on the planet with an answer to everything? That's what really gets me, the answer to everything portion doled out. I mean I'm not kidding...there is usually a really good point or a logical argument about why I'm wrong. Consequences of homeschooling I suppose...we studied logic. Okay, now I know, I'm dealing with pride and strife and issues of respect and I'll just say now, for the most part, we have really great kids. I know this is true because when they're out in the wide wide world doing good things, someone always tells me what great kids we have. So yeah, maybe they practice attitude here at home, where its safe and unconditional love is available and no matter what is said, they still feel accepted. At the same time, even though this is training ground for life beyond the family home, it is flipping hard to live with. So what to do? I think its time for a pull up your socks talk. I think I'll turn to my favs like Dr. Dobson and Kevin Leman and read some encouragement into me... And then, time for me to land firmly on my knees and pray for wisdom. I think this is the position I found my own mother in most of my teen years and I was just too full of myself to notice she was praying for me...man, thank God for praying mothers.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Survived the heat wave last night

Well it was hot. So hot even the crickets were silent. I mean really really hot. Okay you got the idea. So the soccer game got started late, but our team won. They actually played really well. They don't hover over the ball like they used to. There was some actual passing and some very good discussion on the field. I like passing almost as much as goals, but I'll tell you when my son almost scored...well, it might as well have been me out there. I was so excited. And he kicked with the left foot and the ball grazed the post on the wrong side. Oh well, next week maybe. He's getting there...half the game in net and half at mid. Not bad. The bonus is that he loves it and that's all I care about. It was so funny though looking at all the melting parents on the field. Man...we are pathetic. I include myself in there with the best of pathetics...sighing, moaning, just sitting there baking away while our kids are out there running at top speeds. Yep, only the best for our kids. Are we nuts?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Soccer Night

Its soccer night in our town and yuck, the heat is oppressive...I'm so not looking forward to going. But what am I complaining about, my 9 year old gets to put on long sleeves and gloves and stand in the sun. My name! Hoping they give water breaks tonight...they usually do in this heat. Otherwise, we go home...this isn't a career move at this age and he isn't a Beckham.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I have a headache


Ever get one of those headaches that make you feel like your brain is rolling around in your head? I have that. Ouch. Coffee and Advil and a good Chiropractic adjustment are my best remedy although my Chiropractor would lovingly disagree with that approach. Anyway, I've really discovered Flylady this past 2 weeks and recommend that sight as a good kick in the pants kind of get up and go sort of start to dive in and conquer clutter...and I have. Its been so therapeutic. I love home keeping but not housekeeping. I love doing laundry but not putting it away. I'm funny. Not funny ha ha...funny weird. So my headache is making it next to impossible to think and plan a good blog entry but I'm bored because I can't do anything that makes me move too much. So I thought I'd ramble and share my huge happiness with Flylady and feel like I accomplished something worth while. I don't know how much value there is to rambling though. Anyway, a headache is just my body's way of saying slow down...so I think I might just practise "being still" today.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Planning, planning, planning


I love planning...this time of year is sweet to the homeschool teacher! It includes rest and lots of books. I think, not sure, but really do think, that homeschool teachers have a 'thing' for books. I get simply giddy around them (I think I've mentioned that before somewhere). So, while my kiddies are away at camp for the morning, I get this incredible 21/2 hours of complete quiet in my home. This is an unusual sound for me. My ears are actually ringing right now due to the click clack of my keyboard. So amazing downtime for me but also, a time of refreshing, reviewing last years mistakes and taking great heart that there is a new beginning in a few short weeks. School will be starting all too soon for some, but the gentle rhythm of routine speaks to my heart. And so, I'm planning my year. As I pour through my curriculum choices for my kids I've discovered that I made a gem of a find and it makes me think of my friend Kelly who loves all things Victorian. Its a book called 'Story Starters' by Karen Andreola and I highly recommend it to everyone who homeschools or simply takes a great interest in their kids education. It could be a fun weekend activity or rainy day thing...or an extra credit. It is valuable for every grade K to 12! What a resource. And...it doesn't have to be done in a year, it doesn't require marking in the traditional sense and it envelopes the Classical Approach to education that I love so much. There are the sweetest Victorian pictures to stimulate the imagination and the beginnings of great stories that our children get to finish. Their way...they are in charge of the outcome and really, for a reluctant writer, how cool is that! There's a quote in the book that says, "The soul without imagination is what an observatory would be without a telescope." H.W. Beecher
Is that not just a summing up of exactly what we hope education will do for our kids? Instead of beating the soul out of them, this shows us how important it is to pour imagination into them. And if they do go to school (I have one in there too...) then how much more important is it to feed that part of them when they come home. I've often heard it said that it takes 11 positive comments to erase the effects of 1 negative comment. We have much work to do when our kids return to us. And so, I just bless you parents, who work so hard and give up so much for the efforts you pour into your sweet bundles (even if they do tower over you..) and I say to you, be encouraged. You have great kids...great kids make great parents.

Friday, July 20, 2007

a REALLY great quote


I just love this quote...enjoy.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Out deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our own light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God! Your playing small doesn't serve the world! There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us! And it's not just in some of us; it's in everyone! And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others!" - Nelson Mandela

Happy Birthday to ME


Yep! Its my birthday, its my birthday...well, yesterday was...but I like to drag it out! The big one is coming up next year...and I'm excited! I love getting older...wiser, calmer, more relaxed about actually living! So many good things in a life...even in the hard parts. So, for my birthday, I was blessed with an MP3 from my kids, which I am loading as I type and a GPS from my husband...now don't worry, its not for when I get lost...its a handheld, for hiking with my kids. We love to Geocache...check it out on Google, very fun! And our homeschool group plans a few hikes a year, so it'll be handy in these events! Also, a lovely pedicure my daughter gave me...complete with orange polish and a blue stone set into my big toe (very fun looking!) What a fun day I had doing exactly what I felt like! My little one is having his 3rd party to celebrate his birthday...today it is Pirate Day around here! Look out...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

JP turned 9 up North

JP turned 9 up North
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Cancer is ugly


I don't like cancer. I hate it. I always say to my kids, "Hate is a very strong word" but that's exactly how I feel about cancer. I know too many people with it, lost some people to it and I hate it. Can I whine about that for just a moment? Its so hard to see really good people go through it and its just a horrible disease. But there are so many victories too...my mom, my aunt...famous people...there are survivors all over the place. So I'm encouraged. God gives us so many places to rest in his comfort, like in the greatest prayer ever written..."Thy will be done on EARTH as it is in HEAVEN." So the promise is for those who will grab hold, that cancer is not in heaven and God's perfect will is that it is not here either. Getting into that perfect will is hard. I imagine for a person dealing with cancer, it would be nearly impossible to get into the mind set when faced with chemo, radiation, pills etc. I'm just trying so hard to stay away from asking 'why' and ask 'what can I do'...'how should I pray'? If this is hard for me, I can only imagine how hard it is for those dealing with it. Give us strength God, wash us with your healing waters. Let us be in a continual waterfall of peace and healing. Bring comfort and good rest to all the families fighting this battle. You have already won Lord, show us how to win too. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bad Spellers Untie


I love words...the way they come together, the way they flow without a bunch of effort. I should have studied Lingustics but the thing that holds me back is that I can't spell. I mean, I can but...the dictionary and spell check are my best friends. And then, the cruelty of spell check is that it sometimes corrects a miss spelled word as correct because it's American. Can't catch a break...my uncle has the best shirt I've seen for this issue. It says, "Bad spellers of the world...untie!" Isn't that great? I had a stellar round of scrabble at the cottage and just loved my win...because it just never happens! That makes it really sweet. I won't post my score or my opponent may never speak to me again, but lets just say it was really good! So good, I had to take a picture of the board! It's all good...untie~~~

Monday, July 9, 2007

Daily Decalouge for Living


1) Only for today, I will seek to live the day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once.

2) Only for today, I will take the greatest care of my appearance: I will dress modestly; I will not raise my voice; I will be courteous in my behavior; I will not criticize anyone; I will not claim to improve or to discipline anyone except myself.

3) Only for today, I will be happy in the certainty that I was created to be happy, not only in the other world but also in this one.

4) Only for today, I will adapt to circumstances, without requiring all circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes.

5) Only for today, I will devote 10 minutes of my time to some good reading, remembering that just as food is necessary to the life of the body, so good reading is necessary to the life of the soul.

6) Only for today, I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.

7) Only for today, I will do at least one thing I do not like doing; and if my feelings are hurt, I will make sure that no one notices.

8) Only for today, I will make a plan for myself: I may not follow it to the letter, but I will make it. And I will be on guard against two evils: hastiness and indecision.

9) Only for today, I will firmly believe, despite appearances, that the good Providence of God cares for me as no one else who exists in this world.

10) Only for today, I will have no fears. In particular, I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness. Indeed, for 12 hours, I can certainly do what might cause me consternation were I to believe I had to do it all my life.