Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I hate my body, now pass the cheeseball

I have begun a sub-blog to help me be accountable and to help me moderate myself on a journey I have embarked to reclaim my body. Yes, my body has been overtaken by a secret enemy. From henceforth we will refer to this enemy as The Smoosh. The Smoosh has completely taken over my belly; I haven't seen an abdomen muscle in a VERY long time. I used to have a lovely, ripped tummy area...but I digress from my focus. The Smoosh has begun to move into the areas of the thighs and the butt. No! Not the butt! Ooooh! How I despise The Smoosh!

If you are interested in supporting me or interested in joining me please hop on over to a post I did there called "I hate my body, now pass the cheeseball". I mean, really, am I the only one who will cry into a bag of doritos all the while pinching the excess on my stomach and jiggling it for my husband to see me in ALL my glory? I didn't think so.

Oh, and as far as me sharing all this embarrassing information about myself, all I can say is, your welcome. Now let me go pull my head out of the sand so I can write down a game plan...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Just a couple more days.

Really.  That's all I need.  A couple more days of holiday silence.

I have been working on writing another skit.  This one for our New Year's Eve celebration at the church. I have completed writing it and we have had a practice.

I am pretty sure it will be business as usual once it is all done.

Unless, I get a bit too distracted once I finally get to play with my new copy of Lightroom.  I haven't even had a chance to open that puppy up, yet...

I miss you!  I miss you all.  Don't do anything too fun without me...and if you do, make sure you write about it on your blogs so I can catch up on Friday afternoon. Ok?

Ok.  I am glad we had this chance to talk.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

With age comes wisdom

Words of the aged came from Jellybean's mouth this morning as she spoke to her brother...

Let me recount this incredibly wise {and cute} conversation went.

Jellybean to Bug:  (as she was vaccuming) Bug, let me tell you something that I  learned when I was like 7 or younger.  The vaccum is too small to suck you up.  It can't eat you so don't worry; you are too big.

Isn't it great when siblings share knowledge like that? 

I know it warmed my heart.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Where'd we get #4

This ornament my husband & I bought for me as a way for me to remember and honor my son who passed away before birth (there's a lot of story to that that I have never really gotten into on my blog and I am not sure if I ever will.  Who knows.

So, here's to my little Gabriel, who is always a part of our Christmas, is a part of our family always, and will always be missed, loved and treasured.

I miss what could have been but I find comfort in the fact that he is with a Father that is giving him a better life than any of us here on Earth.

Where'd we get #3




These little walnut mice are more of our creations.  Rush and I made them when she was 3 years old.  We even had one that wore glasses; we stripped a pipe cleaner of its fuzz and formed little glasses for him.

It's easy to use your imagination for making these guys.  You will need walnuts in the shells, small googly eyes, grey and pink felt, tiny pink puff balls for noses, something for the feet, whiskers and tail, a hot glue gun and something to string the little guy up on your tree.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Whew!

Just made it through the 652 emails that were waiting for me....652! I only wish I could say I was exaggerating. Most of them were junk and all I had to do was hit delete but still...that's a lot of sorting, reading, answering, deleting...

We got rid of more stuff from our house today! Hooray! Another 5 bags of trash/junk/someone else's treasure left our home. We only have a few more rooms to go through and then it will begin again...{grin}. Hubby even got in on the action.

I will post after pictures up but BigB started before I got home from work so there are no befores.

Monday, December 21, 2009

I was going to...

tell you all about the fun night we had and how I so wished I had brought my camera with me and how much I enoyed watching Jellybean and Bug help our dear friend Shar make lefse but, I need to work in the morning and Bug is calling me to tuck him in (after all his hard work cooking lefse) so I think I should probably go to bed...after I tuck him in of course.

Still wishing I had brought my camera!

Sooo...

I hope none of you have been holding your breath to find out what happened this weekend because that would have been pretty silly on your part.  {grin}

Our visit with Rush was - um, it was... it was ok.  I had moments were I would end up snapping back to reality  because there were a couple times that it seemed like she had never left, that her voice is not a permanent part of this household.  There were a few times where the four of us were getting rather sick of her self-centeredness but the kids were so happy to be able to spend some time with her.

We decorated our gingerbread house (aka our crack house - don't laugh, it didn't fair well this year. Ok, you can laugh; I mean, after all, I am laughing. {grin}).  I have pictures from the weekend and will post them soon; they are still on my camera as of tonight.

I do have to admit that by yesterday afternoon we were ready for her to leave again.  I am sure that that is something that will change with time or over time or as wounds heal; regardless, we were more than ready for her to be picked up by my mother last night.

We did have some laughs and had no fights - a couple of strong words for her treatment of the kids or arrogant behavior but like I said, overall, I think it went pretty well.

Rush and I did a bit of baking together (in between her texting).  The kids all snuggled on the couch together.  Good times.  But there was that overshadowing feeling of awkwardness - you know kind of like a white elephant in the room.  Yeah, awkward.

I have hope that each time will simply get better...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Where'd we get #2


Jellybean made this cute little guy at school when she was in Grade One.  Good thing we don't have any dogs to be climbing up the tree to get it.


Yes, we do have a dog biscuit on our tree.  Um, don't you?
I love homemade ornaments, remembering what the kids were like when they made them.  At this point, Jellybean was a child being told she would not pass Grade One because she had Verbal apraxia very bad (didn't speak more than a handful of words until she was 4 1/2 years old), who went on to show the teachers that she would not be put in a box, passed each and every grade to this date and has done so with a 96.5% average.
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If you happen to think of me this weekend, not like I really suspect I am on the forefront of your thinking (I'm not vain that way) but if you just so 'happen' to think of me this weekend, please send up a prayer for shalom in our house, for joy, for strength and for wisdom.  Rush is coming here sometime today, having a sleepover and even plans on going to church with us (add a softening of her heart on that list and for a powerful anointing on Pastor's words and a strong presence of God in the atmosphere).

This will be her first time back here since she ran away from home August 19. In the natural I am a bit worried about the whole weekend and it not running as smoothly as I woul like for it to.  We will be decorating our annual gingerbread house tonight (I almost said making.  Um, I am not that Martha Stewartesque.  We buy, piece together THEN decorate. {Grin})

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Given the above information, it may be quiet here until Monday but I'll be sure to let you all know how it when then for sure, ok? 

Thank you, my friends, have a lovely and joyful weekend.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Where'd we get...

I love ornaments for my tree with stories, with meaning, with heart. 
This little guy has a double meaning...



I LOVE penguins!  I think they are cute, cute, CUTE, and my husband L.O.V.E.S. hockey - more importantly, he loves the Toronto Maple Leafs (he as eternal hope that they will once again be a team worth cheering)
So, when I saw this adorable guy sporting the TML logo, he was snapped up quicker than discount bakery goods.

Paint Roller Snowman

"So easy, even I can do it," she said knowing they would think she was joking, being clever but was, in reality, being very, very serious...

Look at him!  Isn't he cute?!


Wanna know how to make your own (even with your kids)?

I can tell you but I am also pretty sure you can figure it out from the picture.

Take a paint roller, a part of an old tube sock for his hat, cut off a thin strip of the sock for his scarf, glue gun some greenery to the top of the hat, glue gun some beads for eyes, nose and buttons and wire for his mouth.

His arms are thin twigs that were inserted into the paint roller by puncturing a hole into the roller. I tied some wire to each side of his arms and hung some dangly snowflakes from it, and finished it all off by putting some greenery, holly berries, jingle bells and ribbon on the bottom...pretties him up a bit, no?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We've recently had a casualty

Yessiree and I have mixed feelings about it.  You see, we have "lost", um, he's not lost...ok, there's no other way to say it.  Here goes. 

One of these guys has died.  I found the gross little critter belly up on the bottom of his terrarium when I went to tuck Bug in.

And I was SO brave getting him out too!  You'd all be very proud of me.  I grabbed a garbage bag and spread it out on Bug's desk, then I grabbed a knife and wiggled it under the creepy crawly recently deceased, put him in the bag, smooshed the top of it together, and then threw that bag into the big garbage bag and tied it shut.

You know, just in case it was just pretending to be dead so it could actually escape from the garbage bag and eat me.  Because that is just what they do - feign death in order to eat people.  Have you not heard that deaths by long-tailed grass lizard consumption has been on the rise?  It hasn't?  Oh.

In reality, I do feel kind of sad - not as sad as my kids - but sad.  This lizard was Rush's; his name was Rodriguez. Yes, I am aware that that is a very Mexican/Spanish name and long-tailed grass lizards are from Asia.  I did not name him.  I would have named it "Left at Petland". {grin}  I am wondering if I should replace it.  You know, before she comes to visit us on Saturday...or do I leave it dead because they really do gross me out?

What would you do?

This little light of mine...







Need I say more...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

On a cold winter's evening

No, I'm not about to start singing The Gambler by Kenny Rogers (winter edition of course).

No, I am not entirely old enough to know much about that song but I do; my dad loves Kenny Rogers.

Anywho...

As I said in my last post, you know the one where I am extremely relieved I did not have the foresight to take 'before' pictures), Bug is sick - he has a bug if you will.

The poor guy has been barking and hacking like it's the new in thing to love (disclaimer: I haven't seen this nor desire to but three of my children, none that live with me, are completly gaga over this whole thing).

Sorry, I did it again. I will get back on track. Seriously.

Bug is very congested but this cough has been very unproductive. After work I stopped to talk to the store's pharmacist and she told me, with no hesitation to think about it that this (Robitussin) was the best stuff to give Bug.

We were going to use a cool mist vaporizor as well, and add some of that eucylptus oil to it but, the sound the vaporizer makes scares Bug. But look what I found whilst buying the Robitussin...

This little gadget comes with 1 vapourizer and 5 refill pads (each good for 8 hours use). The best thing is, you can buy separate refills once you are done with these 5; you don't need to buy the product all over again! It releases a menthol/eucalyptus blend into the room (make sure you close the door) and is 100% quiet. I plugged it in close to Bug's bed and within a half hour it started to fill his room with soothing smells that will ease his cold this season without scaring the crap out of him.
(disclaimer: This is not an endorsed review at all; in fact Benylin, the makers of the product, don't even know little ole me exists and I bought this for the full $9.49 all by my lonesome).

Lighten Your Load

Are you like me?  Do you have WAY too much "stuff"?  Things that really don't make sense to have or seemed like a good idea, at the time, or you forgot you had, or, ahem, bought someone for a Christmas gift a few years ago?

I can't be the only one, right?

Yesterday I had a day off from work and I took full advantage of it.  BigB had the car since I wasn't working and I had kept both kids home from school as they were are fighting some kind of bug (yes, Bug has a bug). With the kids both being home, I had 8 hours of uninterrupted work time. Ok, I interrupted it long enough to make them lunch and check some extremely important {ahem} things out on the internet - like your blog. {grin} So, I guess what I mean by uninterrupted is that I didn't have to leave the house to get Bug at lunch and then leave again to get Jellybean at 3:30.  That's not that much time but it seems to really cut into my accomplished list.

Anyway, I am excited to share with you all/y'all (? - Grin) my accomplishments for yesterday.

Are you ready?

For sure?

Ok, I won't put it off anymore...I only wish I would have thought to take "Before" pictures because it did not look like this before - not even a little...


The container cupboard.

How do you get so many mismatched lids and containers?  I had way more than this when I started and I tossed most of it because they had no matches.  I can tell you, if I don't get any Rubbermaid containers for Christmas, I will be putting them on my next shopping order.  It looks a little sparse, no?



Um, the top of my fridge looked more like a junk drawer in a garage or something...there were some VERY strange things up there.  Oh, you see that picture?  That is a picture of Jellybean when she was three years old, out at my brother's farm; she fell into the "mud" in the barnyard  Why quotations around mud?  Ah, it was not mud in its purest form.  You know being in a barnyard and all, with horses....

On to the pictures of sheer glee


My calendar, grocery list, meal plan section...the empty spot in the middle is where the meal plan will go when I have completed the next one. Usually the calendar is a LOT more colorful, as I have a different colored highlighter or marker for each of us but, I had just bought this calendar for the coming year and have yet to "colorify" it.


This pantry, and I hang my head with shame as I say this, would not close before yesterday.  Things were crammed and shoved wherever they would "fit".  The crockpots and other "sometimes" used cooking pots/pans had no home...sort of.  Some of them were in the linen closet and some of them were just left on the counter top cluttering up our daily lives.  I went through this pantry, cleaned it up (Do you know HOW many bags of macaroni noodles I had opened?) and voila, there was plenty of room for those pots that don't get used extremely often but often enough...

I got rid of 4 more bags of trash.  Trash? Trash including a small container of onions that got "lost" among the cramming and rotted, and that I have been trying to find 'where is that smell coming from' for the last two weeks.  Gross?  Yes.  Honest?  Absolutely.

I never dreamt we had that much useless clutter and garbage just lying around our house.  I have another bag of things to go to Value Village and...

There is STILL more...

I guess this is what falling into a funk falling out of a routine will do.  It's coming back though!  WooHoo!  Perhaps I can end this year off right and start 2010 on a totally different path!  I like that a lot!

Believe it or not, especially after reading what I have posted here, I really do hate clutter.  I feel like I am suffocating when I am around clutter.  It weighs on me and I feel "depressed", maybe; I don't know what word really but I think you will understand. When it gets too bad, I feel overwhelmed then I get into the mindset of "why bother?  I would have no idea where to start anyway".

Sometimes you just have to pick a spot and start.  Once you get one thing done, you feel a sense of accomplishment and it will drive you to carry on.  That, my friend, is when, and only when, you begin to make a list of what needs done.  Not before hand.  It will overwhelm you too much. 

Make that list and break it down into as small of goals as you can.
Don't put:
→ clean kitchen
→ clean living room
Not when you are in that place of "where to start" anyway. And not if you are like me.

I like crossing things off a list.  Checking things done. I feel great when I can look at a list and see so many check marks - like "wow! I did a lot!" kind of feeling.  I like breaking things down into smaller goals so they look less daunting.

'Organize Tupperware cupboard' seems a lot more attainable than 'Organize Kitchen'.

Oh, and once you get a few checkmarks on that list you will have SO much motivation there will be no stopping you!  I am off to organize some more...now that our tree is up...

On second thought, I am pretty sure I am glad I never took 'before' pictures...I still have a bit too much pride...

Monday, December 14, 2009

How Marvelous

Seriously, what a great weekend I had this weekend.

Friday night was our usual service on a Friday night.  I taught in Children's Church so i wasn't in on the message but I had a life changing time during the praise and worship.  I felt such a release from a burden I didn't even realize I was carrying, and it was such a tangible release that I thought the lady beside me heard the "pop".  Kinda cool huh, how God does things like that?

Saturday during the day I did some cleaning while BigB was at Manville, the work project we have been working on as a church.  That afternoon we went to my dad's and {step} mom's for supper; had ourselves some delicious hamburger soup and homemade buns and a horribly delicious dessert, that forced us all to eat way to much of it. {grin} We visited and joked while Jellybean and Bug played with the dog.  It was a wonderful evening.  When we got home, we got the kids to bed and BigB and I grabbed a movie and the laptop and snuggled under all our blankets.


The weather outside has been frightful; we have had temperatures of -51C (with windchill) which, when plugged into a conversion chart, I hear is -59.8 F.

Yesterday we were in yet another fantastic CRC service, went for lunch with some very good friends of ours, raced home to get ready for the guys from church to play hockey, went for coffee and appetizers afterwards with new friends of ours, came home to settle in and had our very dearest friends pop by for a quick visit with a tub of ice cream...


(Jellybean made this very friendly looking sandwich herself)




It was a fun, food filled, friend filled, God filled weekend.  I feel so completely blessed with the life we have (even though there are trials, I know that it will all work out.  God will not leave me to endure it myself).

It also sounds like Rush is coming to our house this Saturday for the evening and the day Sunday.  I am doing my best to simply look forward to the time and to not anticipate trouble.  I know that there will be good times.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tonight

I get to go to my dad's house for supper and a visit! 

Doesn't excite you?

I'm not "excited" either but, I always love being with my dad; there is something comforted, soothing and safe about him being around - even amidst chaos, upheval and brokeness like when he reaced over here the morning Rush left and just held me in his arms.

It has made me think, how much more safe I feel in the presence of my heavenly father (sound too churchy?) The Bible even states in Luke 11 about our fathers not giving us a stone when we ask for bread so how much more will our heavenly father give?

All the comfort and safety I feel in my dad's presence is NOTHING compared to how safe I feel in God's presence - of how safe I should be - because the moment I am in a place of hurt and fear, what do I do?  I run to my dad, to the natural, instead of running to God.

So, tonight I am going to go to my dad's house and I am going to feel safe and secure and loved and I am going to know that there is a deeper level of that safety.  I felt it last night during worship at our church - God's presence was so strong that I was lost in Him, completely and utterly lost.  The majority of the congregation was in a place that is indescribable.  There was a strength in His presence that I can not begin to explain.  I felt things being ripped out of me that I thought were gone, hurts that I thought I had dealt with.  It was so freeing, so safe, so completely wonderful.  I only hope that more people could feel what I felt...

Now, to get ready to go see my dad....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

When I grow up I wanna...

Two years ago, I went back to school, upgraded some of my high school marks and got the math 30 mark I needed in order to go into Nursing.  I got accepted and was raring to go.  Circumstances in our family dynamics changed and it did not seem like the right time. I dialed the number to the school and I sobbed in the poor administrator's ear as I declined their acceptance letter. 

I still haven't completely got that nursing bug out of my veins but I have accepted that it probably is not something that will come to pass for me.  I am, although there is still a longing, fine to do what is best for my family and for my situation no matter what that means.

Up until about 3 months ago, I worked full-time as an Office Manager for  Early Childhood Intervention; it was a great company to work for and I thoroughly loved my job.  Last year, we had so much trouble with our sitter for Bug; she would be fine for 3 months, decide she couldn't handle it and then try all over again.  It was rather stressful and I vowed that this year we would not have to endure the same thing.

The timing couldn't have been better but I handed in my resignation (with sadness) at ECIP and began to work at Customer Service at a local grocery store from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Bug is at a friend's house long enough to eat lunch and I am done.  I pay her a meal for 7 kids each week.  Not bad huh?

Today BigB came home talking like maybe he would like me to quit my job completely and be a WAHM; where he works there is quite a demand for sitters and so we are in the process of deciding if I am going to go back to sitting a couple of kids during the days with a couple of after school kids.  Full-time daycare here is running people minimum $1000/month for one child.  I could be making more money than I am now by staying home with my children and charging someone $600-$700 a month (and save them some money at the same time).  

I don't know what to charge for after-school kids.  Any ideas?  They would be from 3:30 to 5:30.

We need to pray about this and sit down and have a meeting with each other to see if this is something that can be done.  I wonder what I am going to be when I grow up...

Goat trail alert:
Is that something you and your spouse do, have regular "business" meetings?  A household is like a business and there is a business end to it, so we like to have regular meetings to assess, amend and revamp.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Time for a little Prairie Dog slang

So, we all have them and we all use them - words and phrases that will shout to the people "she ain't from 'round here".

I thought I would share with my friends, my new internet friends, some of the words I use because after my last post, I realized there may be some confusion as to what I may be referring.

Let me present to you slang of Saskatchewan:

Back forty: a piece of land (technically 40 acres) or a field that is away from the home on a farm, or a remote location.

Bannock: (besides being absolutely delicious, especially with homemade raspberry jam) unleavened bread made using flour, water and sometimes, lard.

Bee: A co-operative work session where neighbors and family come together to complete a project. Here we use them for darn near everything - barn-raising, combining, perogy-making...

Bin: A place to store grain

Block heater: A device that allows you to plug your car into an electrical source - nothing worse than a dead car battery on a frigid prairie day.
(Do any Americans have block heaters in their cars? I know we bought a car from a friend in Kansas City, Mo and it didn't have one.)

Bunny hug: The rest of the world calls this a hoodie.

Bush party: a large teen party usually held in a field.

Coffee row: a morning coffee break. People from near and far gather at a local coffee shop for a cup and conversation. Topics usually involve weather and/or politics. Usually involve all the retired generation.

Dainties: Sweets, squares, cookies (what do you call them?)

Dugout: No, we are not about to play ball. Here in Saskatchewan it is also a farm's water supply.

Flatlander: Someone from the prairies.

Gibbled: broken, dysfunctional

Gitch: Underwear.

Grid road: A dirt road that has a gravel top.

Prairie Oysters: (disclaimer: never tried them - never will) this is, apparently a prairie delicacy of bull testicles - usually fried. (yuck)

Stubble jumper: A Saskatchewanian.

Supper: The evening meal.

Vico: a small carton of chocolate milk

Washboard: a gravel road that has many consecutive bumps, much like an old fashioned washboard. (aren't we clever?)

So? What are some of your slang words?

To thaw or not to thaw

Yes,f olks, that is the question.  However it isn't if I want to thaw but will I ever thaw.  I know; winter has only just begun but we were spoiled here during the month of November, which usually allows us to ease into the frigid temperatures of December and January.  My body feels like it has been cyrogenically frozen

It is so cold up here that cars begin to breakdown.  Yesterday the signal lights in our car wouldn't work until it had been running for a half an hour.  It can sometimes feel like you are driving on square tires.  Have any of you ever heard of square tire syndrome?  It really feels like you are driving on square tires because it is so cold out.  Exhaust from other cars just hovers near the ground and makes for very reduced visibility first thing in the morning - on a cold morning.

Saskatchewanians claim our 4 seasons are as follows almost winter, dang it's winter, still winter? and construction season. In the dead of winter, we start our cars in the morning then have our showers so it is nice and warm when we are ready to leave for work.

We never have "snow days".  When I was a kid it did not matter if we walked down our driveway to the bus in 3 feet of drifting snow (which we have done); the only time you got a day off school was if you lived in the country and the school bus wouldn't start or it was -40 celsius without the windchill.  The town kids still had to go to school but recess was dodge ball in the gymnasium.  On the days, you could feel your breath crystalize as it escaped from your blankets we kids would hover around the radio in our kitchen just waiting to hear that Joe's bus was not running that morning.  On those mornings our school's population was down by 2/3 as most of the kids were from the country.

Some of my favorite winter memories:
→ going for horse-drawn sleigh rides where we would throw or push each other off the sleigh into snowbanks that were so deep all but an arm or a leg would be submerged in the snow, seeking shelter in the middle of the bush to have a weiner roast (complete with frozen cans of pepsi) and returning home to have hot chocolate and pizza buns
→ taking all the shovels and brooms we had, cleaning off our dugout and "figure skating".  I use that term loosely because none of us knew how to figure skate but we had watched Brian Orser and Brian Boitano enough to know we need to pretend we had just done a killer backflip.
→ my dad getting us to pick our clothes for the day the night before and a half hour before we got up he would put our clothes over the wood stove so they would be super toasty warm.
→ making forts in the huge snowdrifts
→ one of our horses, a beautiful horse that was mixed light horse and percheron horse, would take my toque and pull it down over my face. yeah, he thought he was a funny guy.

Anyways, I have rambled enough for the evening but tomorrow I think I will tell you our family tradition for getting a Christmas tree...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I feel the need...the need for...

Thermal everything.

Ah, that would be so nice. It's cold here - not just cold, freezing! Or as my kids and nephews would say, "It's frissing!"

Today, without windchill, it was -35 celsius. For my American friends that is -31F. Without. the. Wind. Chill! Where I live there is ALWAYS windchill. Ok, not always but during the winter there is most always a windchill.

We don't have snow, well, we have skifts of snow. The ground is white but barely and that makes the cold, well, colder.

And so, here I am, in my flannel pajama bottoms, 2 shirts and a fleecy hoody zipped up to my chin, thinking of soaking in a super hot bath once the kids are in bed and snuggling with a hot water bottle...maybe partaking of way too much hot chocolate...

I am dreaming of a rustic log house with a crackling fireplace, a mug of steaming hot chocolate, a thick blanket strategically draped across my lap, a Samoyed dog curled up on the floor by on my feet, a fluffy snow falling softly outside the window as a beautiful horse casually runs by, with a beautifully decorated Blue Spruce or Douglas Fir in the corner. Oh, and of course, there must be a table on one side of the room heavily laden with all sorts of glorious foods - cheeses, meats, dips, crackers, rolls, etc...

C'mon, who's with me? And after seeing the pictures over at New England Girl's site, I am thinking we should meet there! (Grin)

You gotta keep 'em separated it complicated

Oh yes, yesteday got worse.  I could not imagine that it would have but it most certainly did.

Rush called last night.  She never said hello to me or anything, just asked if her dad was there.  He was at school so she had no choice but to talk to me.  We talked for 45 minutes and I found out a few things that sent me over the edge.  There is a lot of background inof to my reaction and I will try to explain it without making this the longest post in history.

Rush is not coming to our house, even though we were in the midst of plans, for Christmas.  Why?  She is going to my mother's, who, by the way, knew that we were just waiting to hear back from Rush as to whether she was coming for sure or not.  I know she knows this, even though she claims she never knew because I told her when she asked what was going on.

Apparently PB&J have talked with Rush about wanting to have kids in a while and possibly moving in a couple years so she can't saty there forever.  My mother took that opportunity, which she has been working for the whole time, to take Rush into her house.  Since Rush left my mother has been constantly calling her, buying her things like cell phones and winter jackets and paying her for good marks.  (Have I mentioned she doesn't do this for the other kids?  Any of them?)

Ever since Rush was born my mom has been trying to act like her mom, taking her on trips with her and my step-dad.  When I left my first husband, I mived in with my mom for almost 2 months to get back on my feet.  She never allowed me the opportunity to be my daughter's mom and would tell my three-year old daughter to come to them in the morning.  She is all about manipulation and twisting things to make it seem innocent.

Well, she has succeeded.  She has now got my daughter - the daughter she wanted.  You see, at the time Rush was born my mother was hoping that she and my step-dad could reverse her tubal and have a baby of their own.  Guess who was their replacement.

She has also spent much of her life trying to "make up" to us kids the fact that she left us (emotionally a couple times and then finally physically) and my brother and I would have no part of it. She has since decided she needs to make herself feel better by trying to do this with our chidren; my brother and I wouldn't allow it but now she has what she always wanted - my daughter.

I know I sound bitter and jaded.  I am and I am trying to work through it all.  This wound is so fresh and new - having ripped wide open the scars from before - and to be honest, I just don't know how to let this one go...

She, my mother, has just complicated things even farther and by rewarding Rush for good marks (and none of her other grandchildren) or buying her things that she all ready had but wanted better or just left behind when she ran away, she is showing Rush and the other chidren that they get rewarded for dishonoring their parents and for running away. 

I know it says in the Bible you need to forgive and I have each and every time she has ripped open the scar and I will continue to forgive her but, where do I draw the line?  Do I continue to be an active part of this woman's life or do I just forgive her, yet again, move on and without her in my life for now?  Where do I draw the line between what is simply an interferring woman with her own agenda and one who is willfully hurting her other grandchildren and I need to shelter them from that?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Lord, you reign

Yes.  You reign.  Over all things.  And I am finding myself needing to remind myself of that today.  I am finding I need to cling to the hope I have in You. I am finding myself in a place where it is so easy to wallow in self-pity but I keep pressing in to You.  I am thankful that I can turn to and cling to you; I know I wouldn't get through this without You.  I also know that I don't need to inform You of what my problem is - You know.  And You are not surprised by this turn of events; You are not wringing Your hands, freaking out, saying, "How did this happen?  When was I going to be told?!"

You reign.  Your word remains true.  No matter the circumstances, no matter the pain of the moment. You are my God, my King. You are good.  That is all I need to hold on to.  That is all I am willing to hold on to.  I am not willing to hold on to the broken heart that beats in my chest or the feelings of inadequecy, rejection and abandonment I am currently feeling.

My friends, I am having a struggle today.  I got a text from Rus that she is now not going to come to our house for Christmas.  Maybe sometime during the holidays but she doesn't know when.  I say, don't do us any favors.  Well, I didn't say that to her but I did tell her that she may want to let us know when she wants to see us because we may not be here.

My heart, if I were to be honest with you, is broken but I know it isn't shattered and I have faith in God, faith in Jesus, that He will, not only make new my heart, but restore the relationship I did have with my daughter.

This will be my first Christmas without her - ever.  That is a difficult pill to swallow.  It is not "My child is not with me this Christmas".  It is a case of "my child wants nothing to do with me this Christmas".  Rejection sucks but I am chosing to get over it, move on and not let it ruin our Christmas...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Getting to Know You

Just read this on Keely's blog and thought it would be fun.

Join in if you would like. Just copy and paste these questions and answer them for yourself and link up at Keely's website

1. How old are you?
2. Where are you from and where do you live now?
3. What music have you been diggin' lately?
4. Favorite food(s)?
5. Single, married, divorced?
6. Kids? If so, how many and how old?
7. What are 3 blogs you read daily?
8. What is your favorite Christmas/Holiday tradition?
9. Lastly, if you're a blogger, how long have you been blogging and if you don't have one...how long have you been reading blogs?
-----------------------

1. I am 35 years old.
2. I grew up on a farm near a very small town in Northern Saskatchewan that no one reading this will have ever heard of and I currently live in a city very near my home - in fact I was born here.
3. I have really been loving the music coming out of World Revival Church in KC, Mo and Christ for Nations and some Christmas music.
4. Um, That would make this a pretty long blog post but I guess my tops right now would be greek chicken pitas and pepper strips, raw radishes (yummo) and, I think that's it.
5. I am married. This is my second marriage and it is, like, way better than the first was! Wahoo!
6. We have 7 children. His, Hers and Ours. They are 23, 21, 16, 15, 12, 9 and 6.
7. I read more than 3 on a daily basis so I don't think I can answer that question.
8. Favorite Christmas tradition? I like so many things about Christmas. It would be so hard to just narrow it down to one. I really love spending time with loved ones (family/friends)
9. I have been blogging for quite a few years but have just started this one in August as I wanted a venue to speak openly and sort through things without family reading about it.


Friday, December 4, 2009

You demanded asked for it

Well, if you want to get me on a technicality, Cheryl was the only one to ask but I was still asked and I still aim to please when I can.

Without further delay allow me to present to you the recipe for the Honey Garlic Sauce I will be making (to freeze) for my meatballs on Saturday.

Cheryl, and anyone else who wants it, here it is.

Um, your welcome.  What can I say?  I do what I can for the people I love....{GRIN}

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Love You Forever

Well, not you guys. 

I mean, I like you a lot.

 It's not you; it's me. 

Really.  Can't we just be friends?

Sorry, I haven't even started and I'm all ready off course and silly.

Tonight, as I was getting the kids ready for bed, Bug asked me if there was time to read a story.  Yup, there was time so I asked him to pick one out.  He thumbed through his stacks of books, on a mission and found the book he wanted to read.

Voila.


This is the book! I love this book.  Bug loves this book and so does Jellybean.  I bought a beautiful hard cover version of this book for my dad one year (he is my hero after all).

My heart never ceases to get so big reading this story to my son, not only because of how much I love him but because of the moment we get to share while reading it - a special moment just for us where I am looking in his eyes and he is looking in mine, where we say in unison:

I'll love you forever
I'll like you for always
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be (your baby I'll be - um that's Bug's part)

Tonight was the first time I have read this book since Rush ran away from home and it was a little difficult to read over the lump in my throat and a little hard to see the words through the tears in my eyes but it gave Bug and I an even bigger bonding moment as he looked at me, wiped a tear that had escaped, snuggled into me just a little closer and whispered, "It will be otay, Mama."

Yes, buddy, it will be "otay".  It will be "otay" because I have you and Jellybean and your daddy and God and Rush and Lil B and PB &J and Tuff and BabyK and because I know that one day our entire family will be restored and it will be bigger and better than it was when it was busted up!  I love your faith, your compassion, your empathy, your boldness, your passion, your heart, your zest for life.  You and Jellybean, both.  You are a dynamic duo and I love you to pieces and I'm not just saying that (since, well, you have no idea that this blog exists and who knows if you ever will...)

A pinch of this and a smidge of that

Um, anyone wanna tell me where I was supposed to fit in this "let's sleep with mom so she's not lonely tonight" equation?

That's what I thought too.  So, I had to do a bit of wiggling and using a bit of gentle persuasion to get a certain child a little more centered and a lot less sprawled.

Speaking of that child.  This...

just happened to be his last night in the orange cast!  Yeppers, folks, he got that puppy off today!


Checking out the difference from one arm to the other.

The orthopedic surgeon says there is still a slight deformation which you can see in the picture but that it should "straighten itself out" with time; he is, after all, 6 years old and his young bones heal quickly. He does have limited mobility trying to turn his palm from facing down to facing up so we will be doing "at home" physio to help strengthen him up in that area again.

When I asked him how it felt to have the cast off he said, "Mom, it reminds me of that song we sing.  'Freedom'. You know "I wanna lift my hands higher than before.  I wanna dance freer than before.  Free-eeedom.  Freedom." Just like that."

Once we got home and went to pick Jellybean up from school we packed up the 4 more bags of "crap" and one more box and took them to Value Village as well.


Don't judge (grin) but I know there is more stuff that will be leaving this house in the next few days.  How much crap did we have?  I mean, seriously?  I have 2 bags, same size as the above picture, of garbage to take out to the garbage can as well.  We, ok, I will be getting this ouse ship-shape in no time, about time!

I got to do a nice sized batch of once a month cooking (oamc) as well.  Check it out.


The two in the back are lasagnas, there is a bag of a dozen mini meatloaves, the margarine container has porcupine meatballs, and the other two containers are regular ol' meatballs. I am hoping to finish this all off by cooking up a honey garlic sauce for the meatballs to freeze as well but I may have to wait to do that until Saturday.

Hooray!  So much done! Feeling all accomplished or something.  Quick!  Someone get me a hero cookie before I lose momentum! {Grin}

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Dad

He's my hero and not just because he rescued us. I know I have mentioned that before. I am a HUGE daddy's girl. I once lived 6 hours away from my dad and ended up begging my husband to move us back home. I cried for hours every time I talked to him on the phone - it was bad.

My dad was a single parent to us 3 kids and he was a darn good one. I never thought so at that point but he was. I left my dad when I was 16. Sound familiar? Yep, I did the same thing to my dad as Rush did to us - only I did it openly and my dad knew exactly when and where I was moving. It took a while for tings to get back to where they were - to where they are now (this is why I have so much hope, that and that God is in control of the entire situation - if He's not worried why should I be?)

My dad and I are very close again and tonight the kids and I got to spend a couple hours with him and Nanook (the dog); we all had so much fun.

I had initially gone over there to give my dad this picture.

This is my dad and his 4 remaining sisters at my brother's wedding in September. My one aunt passed away a few years ago and there was one more auntie who died when she was 24 hours old. We are sending this picture to my uncle who lives WAY up north (in fact, he moved to an Inuit community); he has had some kind of medical anomoly happen to him that no one has been able to explain. So far it has been described as possibly a stroke, MS, Lupus or "we just have no idea" and he is getting worse and worse as each week passes. My dad and uncle have been estranged for quite some time but this has put a desperation in my dad to get this picture sent to him so Uncle can see his brother and sisters one last time.


The visit turned into a lot of laughter and fun for all of us.

Bug getting kisses from Nook (Nanook) and thinking it was hil-ar-i-ous!
Cuddling with Pa.



Bug pretending he is going to eat "grandpa candy". He has tried it once, just as I have; we both puked. We were both around 4 years old.


Jellybean and Nook enjoying some quiet snuggle time. Nook recently hurt his back and has just been able to start walking around so the kids need to make the time to have quiet time with him or he just goes beserk trying to play with them.


Pa and Nook standing in the window to say goodbye as we left. This has been something our family does since I can remember. Even when I was a little kid and we lived in the same yard as my grandma, when we left her house she would stand in her big kitched window to wave to us and we always looked back to see if she was waving. Now, I look back to see if my dad is there, and he always is. My rock.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Interuption

I am interupting the blog slacker series to share a little something with you.


I have been in the process of purging crap out of our house. As some of you know, I am also in the process of moving our bedroom to where Rush's was and Jellybean up to our room. Common sense would then dictate that the majority of the stuff I took to Goodwill was Rush's.


I felt good about getting it out of the house. Looking at the bags of stuff to leave (70 pounds I am sure) made me feel so much lighter, emotionally and physically; I felt free or something.



This morning I packed these bags and box into my car and headed to get rid of it - feeling pretty good about myself. I dropped them off, got back in my car and...


...burst into tears and bawled like a baby. I can honestly tell you that I never expected a reaction like that from myself. I guess it just made it seem all the more final. Now, all Rush's stuff* has been boxed up and tucked away for a day that she may want it (keepsakes, special things), given to friends, thrown out or donated. (*Stuff meaning the things she didn't care enough to take with her.)
But now it's time for healing, time to move on... I just really find that reaction bizzare.

Slacker!!! Part Two

Yes there is more, perhaps nothing else quite as funny as PART ONE, but more just the same to excuse my disappearing act as of late.

I helped a friend to plan his wife's (and my friend) 40th birthday.  There was lots of texting, lots of getting my husband to talk to her husband so she wouldn't suspect why I was talking to him when she wasn't there.  I couldn't talk to her or look her in the eye for 2 weeks because I was afraid to open my mouth near her - thinking that the moment I did this verbal diarrhea of invitations, cakes, foods and presents would spew from my mouth.

She is with me on the worship team and we had decided to have a cake for her after practice with the team - the perfect ruse to make her think her husband had planned the lamest 40th birtday bash ever!  It was perfect!  Except at the last minute they needed me to get the cake and get the party somewhat organized...on the same day as the original party! 

The. Same. Day!
2 hours away from each other!

Apparently I am totally capable of doing that because, well, I did!

Party #1 ( at 1:00 p.m.)






Party #2 (at 3:00 p.m.)


Mmmm Chocolate..



Some of the yummy sandwiches.

Delicious punch (if I do say so myself)


Veggie tray!


The invitations.


The surprise!  We pulled it off! We ate.  We laughed. We ate.  I said that right? And then I was so tired from getting it all made, planned and together that I went home and napped for 2 hours.

See.  No where near as funny but very, very time consuming.  Oh and now, that the party is over, I can talk to both of my friends again.  Whew!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Slacker!!!!

Ok, well that's a little harsh of you to say to me. You didn't? That was me? Well, fine then. Let's carry on.

I've been pretty quiet here lately, I know. Can you feel my shame via internet waves? Well, can you?

Let me show you why. (and I've included pictures. How nice of me, huh?)

Let me begin with Part One of the Blogging Slacker Chronicles

Can you guess what happened here? Bonus points if you can tell me what she should have been doing.




I am never usually one to point fingers, especially at one who can't point back (as is the case), but one of us was supposed to be folding her laundry and one of us somehow got her finger stuck in the hole where the handle used to be and the other one of us had to call our dad to come from his house to our house to help "unstuck" the one who stuck oneself because the other one was quite unsuccessful at "unstucking" the first. Ahem.

I am sure you are sitting on the edge of your seat to know what happened. Ok, here it goes. We got her out. The end. Rivoting, isn't it? Ok, there was a bit more to it than that.

Somehow, we still don't understand how, her finger mysteriously jumped into this hole while the rest of her body was folding laundry. (Don't you HATE it when that happens? I know I do!)
We're in the process of getting that guy from unsolved mysteries to get this sorted out for us.

Here's what happened next:
I assessed the situation. (First Aid training comes in very handy - Grin)

The little tug I gave at her hand sent screams into the heavenlies producing tremors measuring at least a 6.5 on the Richter scale.

Olive Oil!

No, I didn't leave her to go toss some pasta; I poured olive oil onto her finger to try to grease that puppy up. Nada.

Can I admit to you that this is where I began to be a little concerned that I may have to drive my daughter to Emerg with this HUGE tub stuck on her hand like some celebrity's (24 hour) engagement ring? I know I like to do things big but, um, not exactly what I had in mind.

I did what every girl does when they are in a crisis situation. I called my dad. (Have I told you that he is my hero? I haven't? Are you sure? Because I am pretty sure I must have mentioned that at some point.)

Over the phone my dad thought I should just be able to cut the plastic but, I don't have any strange kinds of saws handy at my house.

Just when I thought all was lost and I was going to have to take her to Emerg all done up like Madam Bijou (to have all my friends laugh at my family - have I mentioned that my family, mainly my brother and Rush may as well have been getting frequent flyer miles from the Emerg? No? Perhaps another time.) Dad decided he would drive over.

With our calm, soothing voices on, we settled the trapped animal Jellybean who was beginning to froth at the mouth like a rabid dog (Disclaimer: some of this story may or may not have been grossly over-exaggerated - like, say, for instance, this sentence...)

Between my dad and I, mainly my dad, we wiggled, jiggled, pulled and manipulated her finger out of the bucket. She then cried in Pa's safe, strong arms (I know; I have been there myself.) until she felt all better and vowed to never put her finger in the hole again.

As soon as she figures out how it got there in the first place.



Thursday, November 26, 2009

I Promise, We Didn't Raise Her This Way {wink}

As I sit here, with the laptop on my, well, lap, I am watching Jellybean play boxing on Wii Sports.  Let me invite you into the monologue I am getting.

Oh!  Yeah! You want a piece of me?  You want a piece of the birthday girl?

C'mon!  How do you like that? And that? How 'bout that?

Huh? Is that making you hungry?

You wanna knuckle samich?

Huh?  You hungry?  I can give it to ya!

You likin' that?

I'm not even breakin' a sweat here!  You're probably tellin' your friends I'm a pro.  Heh, bro!  Take it!

You can't take down the birthday girl!

I'm all over this thang!  Oh yeah, that's right.  Take that!  Gettin' beat by a girl!

5...6...7...8...9...10

and that's a knockout!

Suckah!!!!

Who taught this girl to talk smack?  Oh wait...Perhaps I should be callin' by lawyer on this one; I don't want to incriminate myself...

Hard to believe

but nine years ago, I met her

(sorry for the poor quality - it's a picture of a picture.  I don't have a scanner)
This is Rush holding Jellybean (with her strawberry blond hair)





Jellybean enoying the bouncy yard toy my dad had in his backyard.

She has turned into such a fun-loving, kind-hearted, honorable, young lady with so much integrity, love, compassion and joy.





Reading along and taking notes at church - listening to Pastor Steve Gray from KC, MO



Me & my girl - my beautiful, precious girl.

Oh, Jellybean, the love I have for you is uncontainable; the things I hope for you indescribable. You are the sunshine in the darkest of nights, the finish line at the end of a tremendous journey.  You, my sweet Jellybean, are the beat in my heart (of course so are your brothers and sisters). 

Who would have known when you were born that we would wonder if we would ever hear your voice? Finally at age 4 1/2 you were talking.  You never let that get in your way.  You are determined and tenacious in a most wonderful way and you never let the system dictate to you that you would not make it.  Each grade you proved to them that you could, would and DID pass!  You have shown me how to never give up and to never allow situations to dictate the outcome.  I am SO proud of you, babygirl - so very proud!

I love your hugs, snuggles and when you pray for me - your passion shines through. You are Daddy's Uggie, Unlce Wayne's Huggy Uggie and my Jellybean and we LOVE you!

Happy 9th Birthday, darling!  I hope your day is absolutely, wonderfully, amazingly great!

Monday, November 23, 2009


Inside the front door of one of the complexes...garbaged materials pulled from the building pre-renos.


About 1% of the junk pulled out of one room in one of the complexes.


A before and after shot (keep in mind that the before side is still after weeks of work).

They work well into the night to get these homes done and to create a nicer neighborhood for some pretty great people.

Splish Splash...we were playing in the bath...