Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sweet Sister Friends



I received a friendship card in the mail the other day from a very dear forever friend, and again pondered the amazing gift I have in the women God has given me. There are days or moments when I feel alone and like no one notices or cares, or that I don't belong anywhere. But all I need to do is stop a moment and think of the many gifts in friends I have been given. One of the problems is that some of them are too far away for my liking.

So I think of the gifts of each one. The things they have taught me. How different we all are and yet so much the same. The ways that we change because of who we've known, and how they have touched our hearts. For those I have known for longer, I am amazed at the different paths and experiences that have changed who we are and where we have gone with our lives. The way God has directed each step...

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She teaches me about being real and true to yourself at whatever the cost. To always say what matters and always ask the tough and deeper questions; to not be content with the same. She is about knowing God even when it's hard or doesn't make sense. She is confident and assertive, and easy to talk to. She is creative and feminine. We can always pick up right where we ended, or even ahead of that.

She is warm-hearted, consistent and even-keeled, even tempered, always reliable and always caring. Athletic and beautiful, faithful in prayer and never ending in speaking clearly of God's promises and blessing, when they haven't always been hers. She has a man just like mine and we understand that part of each other. She is like a sister to me.

My friend can do anything she sets her mind to. She is creative and full of love. She is confident in who she is and always fun to be with. She is a wonderful mother and the most faithful friend. She never complains, and always looks to the bright side. She can organize better than even I can. With every word that is spoken she has a whisper of encouragement to add. Every occasion is reason to celebrate and there are many. Her hands are skilled and her mind is sharp, but not after 9 pm. Her life is a gift to be shared with many; thankful I am one of them !!

My friend said to me that I am one she wants to know when we are old ladies. That is a great compliment, and so I send her to funny old lady cards. She has the gift of inclusion! Everyone is her friend and she knows how to introduce everyone to her BEST friend. I have never met anyone with as much joy and enthusiasm, the ability to entertain a crowd, but draw in just one person into a deep conversation, that is a gift!

She is a true gift. She who is soft spoken and adored by any who meet her, even though she thinks she is easily forgotten. Who could forget such a warm and loving person? Always a listening ear, a wise word, and strong cup of coffee. I see inside her quiet inner world and noisy outer world to a place of contentment in her soul. That spontaneous, wild adventurous side lurking beneath the phlegmatic is such a delightful contrast.

She stands full of grace and beauty. A quiet soul waiting to be discovered. She sees the world through a different lens. There are people that you wonder how they think, and where they possess such ideas and creativity. And thank God He made them, to show the world another kind of beauty and a reality apart from the everyday normal. She never says no to anyone she cares about and I wish she were my auntie.

I have another friend who can make me laugh and the faster we talk, the faster we walk. Her heart is alive and excited about possibilities. She looks to the Father in every moment. She asks questions and shares openly her struggles. Someone who lives in the moment and enjoys life.

So joyful to walk down life's road with you!

My heart is full.....


Monday, March 24, 2008

Home Sweet Home

We are home and happy! After waking up to snow yesterday morning in Calgary, we headed out with a prayer and a little trepidation, but the roads were totally fine almost all the way. We had 4 full days in Alberta visiting ALL of both families and also squeezed in a visit with our 2 favorite friends, Tara, and the Hoggs- still have garlic breath from that lunch out. Their dog inspired us getting Ditto so they finally met and played some fetch together. Ditto is bigger than Misha, and much more puppy, but Misha put him in his place and still beat him in the chase. I wish we had more time to see a few more people (like maybe Sandi :) because I know you're reading)- next time!

We had 1 1/2 days in Olds and 2 1/2 days in Calgary. The kids loved the evening at the Olds pool with the waterslide and a boys vs. girls water basketball match. We celebrated #65 for Kevin's Mom with a day at the zoo with all the kids and grandkids, dinner out and cake.






Our favorite animals (besides the one above):
Me - river otter (I wish I had that much energy and I love how fun loving they are)

video

My girl - hippos (she got some awesome photos with its mouth open)
Do you know hippos will drown in deep water because they actually don't float?


My boy- sting rays and snow leopards

Kevin - hippos and giraffe (did you know the giraffe can only run for 6 seconds because its blood pressure goes too high otherwise and it can't get to their head and they will have a heart attack- if they can't outrun whatever is chasing them, they will turn and fight, and they can decapitate a lion with one kick, so a lion will not stalk a giraffe) Men learn such interesting trivia don't they? video

















We spent some time at my Mom's in Calgary. The kids went out to see Del's new race horse yearling he bought in Kentucky, and we had a big Easter dinner with the whole clan. Actually, I think we pretty much just ate the whole time we were there. So much for starting a diet! We had turkey dinner one day, Chinese food, Greek souvlaki, ham one night, lunch at Tara's and steaks with all the works for Easter! And of course all the usual traveling junk food both ways. It was good to see our nephews - well and of course our 1 niece, but she doesn't change as much as the little ones right now. We need some more girls though I tell you!

Wish we had more time off so we could spend more time there, but it's good to be home and sleep in our own beds.

All the Handsome Men in My Life


#1 Man

#1 Boy


Brother #1


Brother #2


How much fun can you have with an old guy in a blue wig?
#1 Father-in- law


Nephew #1



Nephew #3 and Brother-in-law #2 (the French one)


#1 Man and #4 Nephew
(Doesn't he look like the spitting image of my daughter at that age,
but more boyish of course!!)

video

Nephew #2 gets video because no photos turned out and he's adorable!

And now for some LOVELY ladies:


Me - of course - getting in some snuggles from the littlest Drew


Mom-in-law became an official senior citizen- the reason for our trip to Calgary.


My 2 lovely sister in laws and my most lovely daughter. It's a contest every time to see who's tallest, but we didn't think she'd pass Auntie Rose too :)


#1 Mom!

Copyright- all photos taken by my girl not me!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Zing Fling

We are gearing up for My Girl's first horse show! She said it's as exciting as Christmas!! So this is pretty awesome! I'll keep you posted. We have to get the correct English attire for this big event. Thankfully we know someone from whom to beg and borrow.

Here's the lucky fellow... Robbie and the lovely rider. Looks like a winning team!

Road Trip Ready



My boy has always been very patient about not having a "pocket" on his side of the van. My girl always sits on the right and she always had a pocket. So now he has his very own ready to stock with anything he might need while on the road. She gets a new one too, easier to clean than the one attached to the van. You wouldn't believe all that was found in there this week!

St. Patrick's Day is cancelled

It actually officially was canceled by the Catholic church and I'm not joking. Because St. Patty's falls during the Holy week, they did officially cancel it, although Ireland and the Orthodox churches were still celebrating. It gave me a good excuse for not having planned a single green thing at all to do with the kids yesterday! Thankfully I had green socks on in the morning. I did tell the family that they really didn't want the green meal that they would have gotten- green salad, green mashed potatoes, green asparagus, green vegetables (and lots of them), green eggs and ham. They were very happy with pizza! And I was off the hook!

I did however finish painting my green bathroom downstairs last week so I'll share a photo with you :) We put in a new light fixture, new cabinet and new accessories, maybe next time the sink and brown counter top will go out, but it was a nice fresh update!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

a Match Anyone?

So in my attempts to get into better shape and not continue on my downward physical condition, I have decided to take up tennis this spring. I thought maybe a new sport would bring me some new inspiration. One thing I love about my husband is he jumps right on board with stuff like this. I came home last week with Costco's latest deal of a tennis racket and today he said we're buying 2 more so the whole family can be involved. The old wooden one from who knows where just wouldn't do. So we all headed off to the nearby courts for a nice doubles match. I have NEVER really played this game at all. Squash, raquetball, badminton are all things I have tried, but I think tennis maybe I have tried twice EVER! I learned a few things.... first I suck at this, I don't like not being able to do something.... 2nd... you spend a lot of time chasing the ball and picking it up off the ground, and apologizing to the people beside you for interrupting their game. I wonder how the back of my legs and butt will feel tomorrow from all the bending over. I guess that's a good thing in my overall goal for this. 3rd... I like playing with Kevin but I hate when he whoops me at something. He gets this cute little smile that I want to smack off his face with my brand new tennis racket. We, OK maybe I, am a little competitive, and he likes to play off it. Sorry no photo of today's experience. Maybe if I don't wear jeans it'll help next time. I am busy recruiting friends who are going to want to play me. Any takers?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Hallelujah!

Spring break has arrived! The kids have 2 weeks off, I have 2 weeks off, and Kevin has to work :( But it'll be so great to have the relief from the routine! Sleeping in- tomorrow will be wonderful!! Get a little yard work done... see some family.... relax...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Lion Humor

I totally stole these right off this lady's blog (OK i have searched and cannot find it, but believe me I am not trying to plagarize), but they gave me a good chuckle. No I don't know her, somehow I ended up on her page chasing a recipe or something.









I especially like # 3 and #4 because they are just like my life!
OK I think it's from here, but still can't find it. I tried and will continue to tell my children not to copy off other peoples' work http://beautifulheritage.wordpress.com/

Stayin' Alive

For those of you questioning my choice of header photo.... I am "Stayin' Alive". Sometimes at this time of year, when winter fun is long over and spring fun wanes here and there some days, but not others, a little music and dancing is all one needs to get the family laughing.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Project Day

Thanks to Randi for the pattern, I have finished a gift for a friend's sister, the one who adopted the little guy a few weeks ago. His dark hair will look great with the bright green, don't you think? I managed to figure out the toes only having to pull it out 3 times. I'll bring it to knitting club Thursday, they'll be so impressed :)



We have a scrapbook that I do 1 page in every year, so it's compact information!! I want to have 50 years of pages in there when I'm done. Well today I finished the last 3 years!! What have I been doing the last 3 years that it never got done? It's one page!! See why I don't scrapbook?! You can't remember as many good details when I don't do it right away, but now I am back on track. I skipped my prayer group this morning because I felt the need to do nothing. The past 3 years have been a little busy, ever since I went back to school! So glad I have turned over a new leaf to not working much and staying home more! Not that I was working tonnes, but just getting re-established you know.

And just when I was going to tell you how good Ditto has been lately, I walk into the family room and he's staring at me through the FRONT window. Hmmm.. new escape route? So I know what I'm doing now. He's figured out how to open the side gate, rotten, too smart for his own good, dog!


Monday, March 10, 2008

Pizza Pops

Monday probably isn't the best day to blog, since it is after all Monday. I was woken up this morning by the phone at 5:14, which is the common time they phone when they want me to come into work on short call. I said no, but then couldn't get back to sleep until the last I checked it was 6:18. Bummer. At least it didn't wake the boys which occasionally happens. I knew they were short staffed today but forgot to turn off the ringer.

So in my attempts to have a better idea what goes at middle school and be a better, more involved parent, I spent 2 1/2 hours in the "Snack Shack" at lunch microwaving pizza pops, making slushies, selling chocolate bars, and just generally watching the goings on in the cafeteria. I was pleasantly surprised by how many thank yous I received and how many kids I knew that said hi to me, and how many of my soccer girls asked me if I was coaching again this year (the answer is NO by the way). We will both be pouring heart and soul into the boys' team rather than attempting to do both like last year. Actually I will just assist Kevin since I know very little about the sport, except cheering and crowd control.

I don't know if I want to spend time and energy on something I probably mostly disagree with (feeding large quantities of sugar and crap to our kids and encouraging them to spend needless money), but it is about the only place a mom can get involved at the school and be around a bit to see what goes on to be better able to relate to this generation. So my dilemna to pizza pop or not......

I feel at a point in my spiritual life where things are sort of staying the same, which isn't necessarily a good place, but also just wanting to be in relationship with regular people in the regular world more than I am, so maybe pizza popping is a good place to be even though it is very boring. I can't always be stimulated and exposed to new and interesting things now can I? Hey wait, isn't that what middle school kids want? Maybe I should hang out with them.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Oh it drags on...



I know I cannot complain to you who live in Alberta, but waking up to snow today just about made me crawl back into bed. The thought of the newly painted downstairs bathroom, needing some finishing touches gave me a little momentum to get up. Also knowing that I only had to pack 1 lunch today because I get to have my girl home for the afternoon made the day seem much more bearable. We are declining the public school board's attempt at educating my children about sexuality and "family life". Don't even get me started on what they feel is necessary for a 12 year old to know!! And so I pray Lord give me patience. I did see some tulips and crocuses poking out yesterday, and I am eager for more of that!! I guess change is very slow, especially for us humans (I think even more so when it comes to weight loss)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Sweeping off the Driveway

Playing a little hockey and basketball today on the newly swept area! Both boys are getting over some 101 degree fevers the last few days. I felt so bad I was scheduled to work the one day and NOT be home to look after them- looking after some strangers instead. Kevin said they'd be fine. They were, I wasn't. So it's a good day to see them out running around :) The girls remain virus-free for the moment!

Happy March! No leap year celebrations around here. I'm already married so I can't Sadie Hawkins anyone.