Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Creation of the Cherry Blossom

Today was a little less gray... here's what my tree looked like today.... this is one of my favorite weeks of the year watching them open!!
Then the bees start buzzing!
And the cherries start popping!




Guilty! in my lounge chair (at least someone lounges), hoping for time to use it soon!



It's Super Boy

Woke up to lots of sniffling, from me. Apparently I was snoring a lot
last night. I'm a wittle stuffed up. So the day was slow, but very cheerful after an REALLY NEAT coffee date I had this afternoon. I'll tell you more later.

All photos courtesy of the "little Canadian girl"

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Party Planning

Well today was supposed to be a day of putzing in the yard and getting some yard work done. We did get some things started outside on Sunday, so I am excited with my ideas that are starting to take shape. So I guess today my house will get cleaned instead... oh when faced with the choice between outside and inside, outside always wins! There is also some serious 10 year old party planning that needs to get done!
So the weather today determines my fate.

It's a grey or gray day, however you choose to spell it.

But there is hope for my cherry blossoms that endured last week's snow.



This garden is going to make room for the pool- big boo hoo!

This is the NEW bed we made on Sunday!
Looking a little muddy at present.
A new canvas waiting to be planted!
It was intended to make room for veggies (mostly tomatoes) from the space I lost, but I don't know, a big bed of flowers is sort of calling to me!

A few spring flowers starting to poke out, in desperate need of weeding! All the orange rock is also on it's way out!!! Hate it and tired of picking it off the grass and now the dog EATS it and drags it around! That will be a large project because I have a lot of it on all the rock gardens.


Tulips starting to open! We're about 2 weeks behind the rest of the city being up on the hill!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

It's not Ditto

It just looks exactly like him and something he would do. Made me laugh how the ears are sticking out of his mouth. hahaha hehehehe

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Linda : the Early Years

The princess
Isn't she so cute?





I wasn't tagged to do this, but figured I would anyways... so looked through some old photos to find some of me as my younger self. I don't really have any baby pictures of me. I think this is almost the youngest one I could find at about 3 years old. So different from us, who have 100's of photos of our kids. I so wish we had digital when my kids were small, but we still took a lot.

This picture cracks me up. Is that not frowning me and laughing Jacob? No it is my brother!



And here's us posing at the photographers... 1974


The new baby brother, and a really nice boy's haircut.


Don't you just love that wall paper? And look at the black and white stuff in the dining room, that might be back in style nowadays. I don't know whose birthday this is, but it must be my brother's since his friend is there. That's my kitty Rascal who was an indoor cat, Gramma came for a visit from Ontario, let him out and we never saw him again. She grew up on a farm so probably wondered what the heck is this cat doing in the house. She was known to flush newborn barns cats because there were too many. Ahhh.... the fond memories...




Stay tuned....

A Day of whatever


Yesterday I had a list of all the things I wanted to accomplish, my first mistake, as God is teaching me to just live a little less "TO DO ishly".... to spend a little more listening instead of racing... but right after coming in the door from taking the kids to school, we noticed the hot water tank leaking on the floor. Yes on my new red laundry room floor. Thankfully we noticed it right when it started and there was no carpet or drywall damage in the next room. And even more thankfully the guy I phoned was there in an hour and had a new one in by 1:00. So first on my list today after blogging of course is the hot shower I didn't get yesterday. And touching up the red paint where they dragged the new one in. One coat on already.

So today I am thankful for hot water, accessible in an easy manner. When I was in Africa, if we thought we needed hot water, we had to turn on this little tank about an hour before hand and then use it right away and turn it off since it was run on propane. And that was high-tech for there. I think of all those with no hot water, or boiling it in a pot after collecting wood or fuel and starting a fire. What a luxury! I am thankful for the dog who barked so we came to notice the leak (score one for Ditto-still doesn't make up for the bear spray incident). I am thankful that an old gentleman had the morning free to come install it for me. I am thankful for the ease in which we live so often, but then also think it is too easy for us and we get so frustrated with these little things. I think if life were a little more difficult, we might be a little more thankful. And so today I want to take my kids somewhere for 6 months and beat out of us the mindset of our N. American culture. The greed and the materialism. I am thankful for the ability to move and do things and fix things and think. I am thankful for my daffodils that survived the snow on Saturday. I am thankful today that I don't live in Alberta. I am thankful that I have nothing on a real to do list today, only swirling ideas of a boy's birthday party fast approaching.

Someone sent me this man's blog and I have found it interesting reading. OK did anyone see this episode of American Idol? I think I am totally offended!

I like this post in particular and several more like it. That one I sent to my husband, I know he'll like it. The man isn't always so sarcastic, but it makes me laugh!

Here's my new diet plan.

So from hot water tanks to quit eating crap, have a great day... oh the mind and where it travels when it wanders....

Monday, April 21, 2008

I can't Relate

Part of my venture into the "real" world of the workforce, was because I wanted to be with real people. But sometimes I just can't relate to the 20 somethings and their dating and sleeping (or not sleeping) around escapades. I am just an old married woman! And love it that way! I made an off-handed comment about waiting longer before sleeping with someone "like til after marriage". I might as well have had 2 heads! I feel a little bi-polar with that all day and coming home to my very quiet, subdued, STRAIGHT-laced life :)

Friday, April 18, 2008

I Love Beth Moore

I think actually I want to be her. But then I remember that I'm supposed to be me and it seems so mundane. Every time I hear her speak though, I am totally inspired. The teacher in me wants to do what she is doing. I started a new group last week and am loving this study. Makes me get into reading and study mode and using my brain. My new friend, the one with the small child licked upon profusely by my stupid dog, and I have been walking twice a week at 6:30 am, yes A.M., and I am not a morning person!! We are having some terrific talks about what we're learning.

"I lift my eyes to the hills,
Where does my help come from?
It comes from you,
Maker of heaven and earth"

Yes even at 6:30 am I lift my eyes up after I pry them open!

We had a fascinating study about the 3 Feasts in the OT and how they relate to the NT days especially up to and surrounding the death of Christ. Our God is so much full of details!! Jesus was crucified on Passover (representative of the death of those who were not covered under the blood back in Egypt). He is described as the Passover Lamb and shared that last meal with His disciples making it a new feast from then on. The next Feast directly following in the Jewish calendar is the Feast of Unleavened Bread where they were not to have any yeast at all, in preparation for their journey out of Egypt quickly. Yeast became symbolic of sin on the NT and Jesus was in the grave during this Feast time. His Body was like the unleavened bread, sinless and broken for us. It really struck me the need for us to get rid of the yeast in our own lives (including the yeast around my belly). The 3rd feast that followed was the Feast of First Fruits. It wasn't immediately after as far as I can tell, I'll have to check on that again, but it was in celebration of the firstfruits of the harvest and Jesus was the completion and fulfillment of that as well in being the first offering given for all of sin. He became the offering to God so that we only need to turn to Him the perfect scarifice. I think it is amazing to rediscover these things and say WOW, He really has all the details worked out. So how much more will He care for me when He worries about every small thing.

"He sees the little sparrow fall I know He loves me too"
remember that Sunday school song?

Kind of significant as today is the start of Passover. Imagine the Israelites hiding in their homes all night waiting to see what would happen, wondering if they would hear the angel of death, or see him, or see what he would do, wondering what God had planned for them. Eating this first meal of lamb together in this special way, wondering if they had done it right. Worrying about whether or not they would ever be free from Egypt. And we are just given this freedom handed to us.... but how often do we not quite reach out and grab it all? Worried about the sacrifice or the uncomfortable-ness of being totally and completely submitted to Him?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

21 days and Counting

The count down is on for the 10th birthday! I have already stalked Randi's post from her 10th party, but am now on the prowl for ideas. My baby is into double digits. I think parenting is just a downward slide from here. I might just start having empty nest if I think about that now! I am planning ahead which I am usually good at, except last year it was all last minute. We bought this last night, since Costco had only 2 left. The kids have seen it so we'll have to come up with some great way of making it the birthday gifts, since they are only 3 weeks apart! We've been discussing it all week and Daddy caved! Sort of like how he caved about the dog, which yesterday I was not so happy about when he knocked down and licked my new friend's 3 year old on the ground who is already terrified of dogs. I thought he was locked up, Kevin accidentally let him out not knowing there was a 3 year old in the sandbox. Not a good first coffee impressiong over at my house. She phoned later and said it was all fine! She's a keeper!! Knowing I was stressing about it all day after they left she called to calm ME down. I needed a Starbuck's that day.

Errands

Because of the similarity in names, between erin and errand, it has become a family joke that I am either running "Erin's'" or "Jacob's". Really try saying errand with lots of emphasis on the D and make it not sound like erins. So depending on who I am running for, the errand can be called different things around here. (Yes I had to use their actual names for this post). So this morning was full of erins, jacobs, kevins, and all sorts of other errands that don't fit anyone, like buying stamps and windshield washer fluid, and returning cleats that don't fit (I guess that's a "Kevin") and looking after stuff for our stuff, to organize stuff, or clean it, or move it around... that is material for another post I think.

Jacob has issues with his clothing! I am just happy that this year he decided that underwear was a good thing to wear. Last year he moved up to socks after one of the boys in his class pointed out that the room smelled so bad because of Jacob's feet sweating barefoot in his shoes. I could have kissed Blake for the comment that I had been struggling to deal with for over a year, it all changed overnight. So underwear was a good next step. I know it sounds absolutely ridiculous that I would let my child leave home at 8 years old with no socks or underwear, but it wasn't always a battle I always wanted to fight, but happy it's over. .... and it has made me much less critical of the way other parents have had to parent their specific children, because they are all soooo different. You just don't know what anyone else is dealing with. It really is an amazing thing! But frustrating at 8 am when it's time to leave for school and this morning, the clothes just don't feel quite right! So my initial mission was to find a hoodie (also known as a kangaroo jacket, a hooded sweatshirt, an Australian jumper) because that is the clothing of choice for the weather at present-- too warm for a jacket-- too cool for just a t-shirt. And he has 2 but they are both filthy and 3 would be much better so I wouldn't have to do wash every 2nd day. They REALLY need to be washed after 1 wearing, again, this is a unique child. So I came home with a black one, thinking it may hide the dirt more :) You get out running around and more and more things pop into your head, oh I'll just stop here and pick up whatever.... So I came home from the Sport Chek tent sale with 2 pairs of shoes, 2 t-shirts (matching for father/son nice touch eh?), and 2 long sleeved items for the father, since he also needs me to dress him, all for $50! What a deal! It was buy one get one free.

Sorry for my ramblings, I know it's just details of someone else's mundane life, but maybe good for a chuckle. So next time you're out on some errands, maybe you can call them something else because they are for someone you care about.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I know I haven't blogged for a week!

Things have been happening... busy family life, house projects, start up of soccer, issues with kids, my Mom visiting, track and field starting, soccer team photos, joined a new Bible study... you know how it goes. The good part is I have a master "To Do" list and lots of things are getting crossed off. I bought a new compost bin and that's pretty exciting for me. So my mind is starting to churn of all the gardening things I want to do. The past 2 years, barely just maintenance happened because of me being in school and starting back to work, but now I'm getting more balanced again. There's so much joy in looking out every day to see what new greens are popping up. That makes me smile today! So does this picture... Can't wait for 50 years of marriage to wake up to this every morning :)

Boys fooling around

My boy and his partner at the Hot Shots contest- they came in 2nd

My new hydrangea waiting to be planted outside, and mostly
this is to show you my new baseboards- in the whole upstairs!!
The grey bedroom photo didn't turn out, so I'll have to get Kevin to take
one for you Tara, or you can see it in May.



Puppy, well not so puppy anymore will be going to obedience soon, but this it pretty good!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I love paint chips!

I wish for once that I could pick a color of paint off the paint chip properly!! I think that I do have a good sense of color, like I can be trying to match a color to something at home and I bring home the exact right color or fabric swatch. But the paint chip thing just about kills me every time. The problem is that I love colors!! Confession-- I used to have a paint chip collection as a child, with a notebook where I would write my favorite combinations. Well I still have a paint chip collection, but only because when I'm painting something I bring home every possibility so I can look at it in the right light and decide which one is perfect, have all the samples and then go back and buy it. I'm probably to the point where I don't need to go and get the chips because I HAVE them all. Kevin says all I need if the display board. I always have the perfect idea in my head of what I want, but can't get it right when I choose the chip. When I did the family room, it was the 3rd shade of green that was finally right! They really love the "re-tinters" at the Home Depot.

So it's happened again. I want a nice grey- yes I know that sounds bad- but I have wanted the bedroom a toned down silver grey for quite some time and decided to go for it yesterday. Well it looks too baby bluish!! So back again this morning, and I think it's right! The funny thing is Kevin and I always have the same idea and we just know when it's right and we almost always agree! Now don't think I have all kinds of 1/2 cans of unused paint in the garage, because that would be so wasteful, but I have gotten quite good at self mixing too :) The downstairs bathroom was the wrong green for the family room, but looks great in there!

So I'm between coats.... I almost called Tara last night for her color advice. Maybe I'll take a photo when it's done :)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

a fun Saturday

OK, she posted her comments on the big day so now I can do mine :)
We had a fun day watching a hunter/jumper show- a new experience for all of us. Gramma and Del happened to be in town and Auntie Tracy came out to watch too, so it was quite exciting. There was a few slight hints of snobbery, but for the most part we felt like it really was a relaxing and fun environment. We were there early grooming Robbie to gleaming perfection and doing a lot of warm-up riding mostly to tire him out so he would be more lazy than speedy when it came time to ride (he still wanted to do a little running right past the judges at the wrong time), but also to calm the panic that was setting in. I thought that was it for her, but she got him under control and slowed him down and did a beautiful ride for the rest which was much shorter than she was anticipating. Funny how that anticipation is sometimes scarier than the actual thing. We all get that don't we?


A little pre-show nerves that were settled by her wonderful coach. Thanks Karen.

Isn't she SO CUTE in her little show jacket (borrowed) and
riding boots (last year's Christmas present)? Almost perfect posture.


This is my fave, looks like a lazy day stroll except for the fact of what she's wearing.

Can you imagine getting on this big guy?

My boy having a little fun that day too. Lots of things to climb and explore.

Zing Fling

she rides with grace and poise....
a few teasers before we get to Kevin's real good ones... (the rest are still "raw")
these are from "dress rehearsal" the day before....








I told her she could be the first to blog.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Butterflies


The day that was compared to being as exciting as Christmas is happening tomorrow. If you've been following my girl's blog, you know about the horse show tomorrow. There are some major butterflies fluttering around here tonight after being down at the barn today and seeing everyone getting ready for the big event. It'll be an early start and lots of fun and not too much stress I hope! If you think of it breathe a small prayer for calm nerves (not just for me-thanks)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

all about me con't...

If you were a smartie pants, the first words out of your mouth would be… "this however is not a hidden immunity idol"

One thing you’ll never ever throw away... my kids Mother's Day cards

The best smell in the world ... wet dog- no just kidding... cinnamon buns baking and warm milk, plumeria and sweet peas, a spring morning and the ocean breeze

favorite dessert... again related to the guilty pleasures... I think either chocolate ganache torte, or something strawberry

Nickname: Lin, Linny, Linder

Early bird or night owl? My natural rhythm is about 9 am to midnight, but because that doesn't happen so I go to bed earlier.

Winter or summer? Why do you think I live in Kelowna?

Words to live by? See my header


Name a line from a movie you regularly quote:

"Find the duck Gilbert"

"I used my eagle powers to rip my blouse"

all about me....

One place you visited that has changed you:
Pioneer Ranch Camp- had a very healing, God encountering summer there in 1991
Zambia- I never look at the world the same way again; a week doesn't go by when I don't compare our life to theirs

What is one of your guilty pleasures? food, pretty much any kind... I like things that are creamy, like pudding, ice cream bars, milkshakes, chocolate... again.. I'm trying to stop. OK but today I went for lunch with a friend and I introduced her to Butterscotch pot de creme from Milestone's. She went crazy as she's a butterscotch fanatic. I was thinking about this dessert when I was writing this last night.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

all about me...

I was challenged to answer the all about me quiz, so I'll give it a whirl (love that word whirl)... I think on all the questions I can't narrow it down to one thing so you may get some chatter...be forewarned

One thing that’s on your wish list:
these are totally selfish, superficial ones....a hot tub, a trip - anywhere pretty much, but I would love to take Kevin to Africa and him to take me to Europe. Deep and meaningful- joy every day and for my children to turn out great!

If you were excited, the first words out of your mouth would be… Yippee!

If you were upset, the first words out of your mouth would be…
Holy crap - I know I hate the expression especially when my kids say it, there is absolutely nothing holy about crap. I'm trying to stop.



Hot Shots


There has been a lot of this going on lately at our house in preparation for tryouts for Hot Shots!!


It's a fun competition that the elementary school runs for the kids. With a partner they see how many baskets they can get in one minute from different spots on the key. It is a BIG deal and the kids look forward to it for a long time. The top 2 partners of boys/girls from each grade (4-6) go in front of the whole school ( and parents) for the finals!! Erin and her friend won it 3 years in a row, so the pressure is on for the little one. Jacob came home Monday beaming that he made the finals! So now there's even more practicing happening! The the biggest part is over getting in it out of all the boys, and he could care less that the whole school will be watching. That doesn't phase him one bit!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Gotcha

So in the spirit of the day...

A little saran wrap over the doors was the parents' contribution.


This found on my desktop this morning! Still figuring out who did it.

Kevin's mouse was taped down so he couldn't move it, all the spoons in the drawer were taped together, the toothbrushes were glued down to the cup, the toothpaste had raisins in the tip (gross to squeeze that out), the dog came upstairs in some shorts, the bathroom tap was plugged up with kleenex. I thought the kids were quite ingenious with all those ideas.

Oh and one more late night snack brought to MOM:


Tell me that doesn't look like ice cream!!??
Salty much!!!

Cynicism Unleashed

Do you remember my post on this book? Well I have long since finished it but have yet to put my comments about it. And now I realize I NEED to return it since I've had it so long!

I have been increasingly cynical of the what I call "marketing of Christianity" that I am getting at my own church and that seems so common in a lot of churches. It's like they are trying to convince people to DO it, like they try to convince them to buy pop. To me it seems to be "seeker-friendly" churches that have gone too far and are starting to lose what the real relationship with Jesus is all about in the first place. Now - I am not criticizing my church in everything, but have felt this blah feeling of lack of depth for awhile. And maybe it is my own blah-ness compounding it because the people I know there, I love. But what happened to talking about holiness and more depth. I understand the difficulty a preacher must have trying to appeal and teach to all levels of an audience, and our preacher is a good one! He is Bible preaching, Jesus teaching.... but after picking up this book, it makes me feel like Jesus needs to sift the goats from the sheep.

The authors are pretty blunt and critical in some of their observations about different churches they visit. The atheist who is along for the ride and for his opinion has some insightful and very real things to say that about 99% of the time I agree with him on. The lack of sincerity or the way church is done the same everywhere- a couple songs (whatever style), a message of some sort, collecting money, and some sort of greeting, all within an hour or 2. I want more!! I want to not go to church, but to be THE CHURCH. And I know that is sometimes a struggle for me too, so who I am to criticize how they do church since I'm not there helping "plan it."

Anyways enough of my soapbox.... here's some mind provoking quotes from the book for you:

He talks about "defending the space" not just the faith, and knowing all the right answers and apologetics, but the space that exists between any 2 people when they trust each other. "Fro some reason Christians continue to believe that we can talk people into following Jesus. That's why we think we need to memorize the right words or even our own story. We all know the impact it has on us when someone listens to us. This simple act is so rare that whoever practises it (even poorly) is immediately set apart in our minds as someone we would like to spend more time with. Defending the space means we practise listening."

"The final ministry years are the tip of the Incarnation, the visible interaction of humanity and divinity, but the first 30 are just as vital to understanding what God looks like when he is living a life more like the one we live. Defending the space involves embracing the ordinariness of our lives instead of pretending to be something we're not. When we practise leading with weakness rather than strength we let God be the strong one."

"Jesus didn't just teach principles, he taught practices. He gave people something to do. He didn't just each about forgiveness, He told them to forgive their debtors. He didn't just talk about love as a concept; He told people to love their enemies. He didn't just tell people to think about changing their behaviors; He told them to repent."

"Jesus never intended His movement to become part of the religion business, but it has. Consequently when you ask people about their relationship with Jesus, they might begin with something personal, but are likely to add the name of the church they attend, who their pastor is and the unique attributes of their belief system. Today a shift is taking place in our culture-people are more and more comfortable talking about their spirituality and less about their beliefs or religion. This should not be an obstacle for followers of Jesus since he had no interest in religion."

OK I know that was a bit long but..... now you don't have to read the book unless you really want to know what he thinks of Saddleback or Willow Creek. Some really good stuff even with all their constructive criticism of the N. American (well I guess only American- which I found quite different than the Canadian version, but we're similar). Makes me think about how much I do that is religion and just bearing the image of a "Christian" and how much I do that is Jesus and bearing only His image. I'm a long way off, so maybe this atheist has helped me realize more that we're all just people to be real with. I've been getting a lot better at listening than I used to be, but asking good questions-- I want to be better at, to initiate some interesting discussion without feeling like I have to defend anything- HE can defend Himself.