Thursday, December 16, 2010

Good performances and Burnt Cookies

I've been mulling over a blog post for the last week. I talked to my sister about the topic, I said to my colleagues "I'm going to blog about this" ....and still I haven't blogged about it.
I think it's because the topic is just too boring - I'm even bored thinking about can I think that you would want to read it.
Instead I have some fun pictures to show you of my girls' school Christmas program last night. I was so proud!!
Alison's class sang a rendition of "The 12 Days of Christmas". Each of the days was a different Canadian thing including "5 Stanley Cups", "Three Caribou", and "One porcupine in a pine tree". Super cute. Here she is in the middle wearing the hockey jersey.

Hannah's class put together a John Lennon "war is over" presentation. Everything was kept a huge surprise for us. Mrs. P, Hannah's teacher, told the class to not tell us Hannah didn't. But let me tell you, she wanted to tell us so badly. Every day she came home she would say "mom, I want to tell you so much but I just can't." It was worth the wait. Before their performance Hannah came out in front of all of the parents (probably 500 people) and read an introduction. She explained about how during the holiday season soldiers who are stationed over seas will walk thru the villages singing Christmas carols using sign language. Hannah spoke so clearly, and slowly. I was so proud of her. As her class sang and signed I noticed Hannah's face change a little. She had found us in the audience!! So my mom and I decided we would wave at her the next time she looked in our direction. Just a few seconds later she looked, and we waved...and she couldn't help but smile so large. It was really cute. I don't think she expected it. And at the end of her performance she looked over at us again and my mom, and Tim and I made fools of ourselves and waved large arm waves. She was sufficiently embarrassed. We laughed and laughed.

And then there was Emily. Her first school performance. Her class sang "The Gingerbread Ran" to the tune of "The wheels on the bus". She knew all her lines. Can you tell that I wasn't with her the last few minutes before her turn? She looks a litttle bedraggled with her ribbon hanging loosely. I can't believe she goes to school did that happen?
So there you go....
One more thing...I decided to bake a little this morning with Emily and my day care kids. We had fun. But you gotta see the ridiculousness of what happened. I made chocolate chip cookies. The recipe made 6 dozen. I burnt the first two. The oven was set too high. Oh well, I thought, I've got four more pans to go...
The next two dozen were beautiful. I took a picture. I patted myself on my back. I planned on giving some away. Aren't they pretty?
And then some time during the pat on the back, and the picture taking, and the planning of sharing......this. happened.

Less picture taking next time. More timer watching. :)

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Binding our Wounds

My church is following a video series about the Fruit of the Spirit by Beth Moore. It has been so fabulous! I have learned a lot. I want to share with you one of the main points she discussed with us in this week's session. Beth talked about the importance of submission to God in our lives. Sometimes it is difficult for us to submit to Him because we have wounds from situations in our past that have hurt us deeply. God wants to heal us from our hurts. There is no need for us to be walking around with bloody wounds. It is important that we give God time to bind those wounds.
I think that many of us don’t know how to let God bind our wounds. Beth encouraged us to carve out time to spend with God to allow Him to do this for us. But that isn’t specific enough for me. I left Tuesday night thinking that I wished I could call Beth and ask her for a specific formula that I can plug into my own life and ba-da-boom ba-da-bing my wounds are bound.  I realize that the time with God would include prayer and reflection and time alone....still it seems a little confusing to me. As I was praying about this this morning a seminar I attended almost three years ago came to mind. It was a seminar taught by Shymala Krishnan about Praying for your Children. She shared with us a step-by-step guide on what our time with God can look like. I believe that we can use this “formula” during our time with God when we are seeking Him to bind our wounds.
Here it is:
1. Set aside some time to spend with God (it’s not about the quantity of time, but the quality of that time). Be intentional. Write it on your calendar. Ask your spouse to watch your kids. Make it happen. Jesus wants to take care of you. He wants to wash your feet. Let Him.
2. Prepare yourself: use whatever works for you to enter sacred space. For example: listen to worship music and follow along reading the words or singing.
3. Enter with thanksgiving: tell Him how glad you are to be in His Presence.
4. Clear the slate by confession.
5. Ask God to open your eyes to hear his voice. Ephesians 1:17-18. Ask Him to set the agenda.
6. Read scripture out loud.
7. Listen to the words. Ask God to use your imagination. Let Him tell you His thoughts. Be still.
8. Respond accordingly. Take the images God gives you and pray them back. If you don’t know what to pray, read Scripture and pray it back to Him. Repeat it verbatim.

One more thing: Beth had us think about the question “why do we have to keep our scars?” Why is it that our wounds can’t be bound and then disappear? She suggests when people doubt the goodness of God they can feel our scars and see our joy and know that our hearts have been healed because our wounds have been bound.
I hope that encourages you as much as it has encouraged me.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Say "Cheese"...Please?...oh, just forget it.

I have been trying to get a good family photo for the longest time.

Something always keeps us from accomplishing this.

Often times we don't get a good picture because someone is doing this:

And often we don't get a good picture because my hair looks like this:

And of course...there was also an angry face that time. So needless to say, NOT a good family picture.

Last year we went to Myrtle Beach and I planned and organized and dreamt about the photos we would get of our family. I knew what we would wear. And I knew where we would stand on the beach. And I knew what time of day we would take the picture. One of the mistakes we made was to wait until the last night of our trip. We would have only one chance, one evening to get the photo.

Too bad Emily woke up from her nap in a vile mood. Too bad she had a temper tantrum on the way to the beach. Too bad the temper tantrum gave her red blotchy skin.

This is how I photograhed them:

And our family photo?

The one I dreamt. organized. obsessed about.....?

The one I wanted to send to Europe and western Canada - so that our relatives could see what we look like now.

It didn't happen.

Instead, this happened.

I guess there`s always next year, right?

Does everyone have such trouble getting a good family picture?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas baking for some. Card making for me.

Do you know one thing that makes me happy?


I absolutley LOVE making cards. And each year I look forward to designing and creating my Christmas cards. I usually start thinking about it in August. And by the end of November I usually have them all finished and ready to be mailed.

Many people do not give Christmas cards anymore but it is my gift to those people in my life that I love. I enjoy every moment of the creation of this little piece of art.

The ribbon. The crisp card stock. The color coordination. The way my card fits perfectly in my envelope - a size specifically purchased just for these Christmas cards.

I also love to handwrite the addresses on each of the envelopes - no labels and printers for this gal.

Did you know that I actually work for a company that makes handmade cards? Mostly wedding invitations; but it's because of this job that I now know how to pound out 60 cards (that's how many I usually send out at Christmas) in one or two evenings. When one is putting together 180 snowflake wedding invitations there is a special order to putting them together.

I many of you will be sending out Christmas cards this year?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Generation Princess

Neither dolls nor barbies was my "thing" when I was a little girl. I remember playing G.I. Joe and pushing large trucks thru big piles dirt or whatever else my older brother would let me play with him. I don't remember watching princess movies or dressing up in gowns. Our dress up consisted of old curtains that my mom made into a bridal dress of some sort.

This is not the case with my three daughters. We have more dress up dresses and princess gowns in our costume trunk than I have dressy clothes in my own closet. Tim and I didn't intentionally introduce them to the world of Princess - it seems like they were born to love all things girly and pink and fairy-tale-ish.

It's been on more than one occasion where comments have been made to me about their so-called obsession with Princesses and for some reason I have always felt like maybe we were making a poor decision to allow them to watch the movies and play the dress up. Were we encouraging a dream of beautiful dresses, lives living in castles with a Prince Charming, voices that sing like angels, I think you get the picture.

Well, today I read a chapter from the book "Bringing up Girls" by Dr. James Dobson. I don't always agree with everything Dr. Dobson has to say, but I really like and agree with the things he had to say about the "princess world" (chapter 12).

Here are some of my favourites:
- being a princess honors girls and "girliness" and separates them from boys.
- girls want to be treated like they are something special and worthwhile.
- When a girl sees herself as a princess, she feels valued for who she is. She has the confidence to wait for Prince Charming and not settle for less.
-"they also promote femininity, kindness, courtesy, the work ethic, and service to others".
- traditional princess clothing encourages little girls to be children and is not blatantly sexualized.

So I'm going to continue to allow the Princess movies, and the early reader Ariel books, and the yellow frilly Belle gown, and the Cinderella glass slippers.

Saying all this though, my number one desire for my girls is that they would model themselves after the Proverbs 31 woman where I am reminded that "charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised" (vs. 30).

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Bubbling Heart

I really like to sing. I like to sing in my car - really loud. I like singing in church. I really love to sing in a choir. I'm not microphone worthy - but I am a good solid member to have in a group of singers. I remember fondly my grade eight year. Our teacher, Mr. Van Meggelan, was a very accomplished pianist. There were 16 girls in my class (and only 2 boys). Most of the girls enjoyed singing so we managed to convince Mr. V to let us sing almost every day. The songs that were my favourites were the ones that I could sing harmonies with by reading the music. Since then I have always chosen to sing harmony with any music.

One of my favourite memories of high school was being part of the choir and attending MusicFest each spring. Over 600 high school students from other Christian high schools would practice for months on their own and then gather together for one day to rehearse for a mass choir concert in the evening. It was such a beautiful sound. I loved it!

So recently I bought Tim a ukelele for his birthday. If you know Tim, then you know that he has an amazing singing voice. One of my friends says that "if Tim was my husband I would make him only sing to me. No talking". But it's not often that I and my kids hear Tim sing at home. But now he has this new instrument - and he's singing all. of. the time. And ask me how happy that makes me? So happy.

And yesterday - you will never believe what he asked me. "Honey, can you sing with me while I play?" Now, I have never told anyone this but I think it's really romantic when a guy and a girl sing together; just the two of them. Not like when it's done in church. Because Tim has sang duets with lots of other girls and it was never a romantic thing. But if the guy and girl are a couple and singing together I think that is romantic. I have always secretly wished that Tim and I would sing together. So cheesy, right? But that's me: Cheesy. So he asks me to sing with him while we're sitting at the kitchen table. And he has no idea how much my heart is bubbling up inside and I'm trying not to smile too much. And you know what we're singing? Christmas songs, and some gospel songs, and some kid songs. Good times.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Will I?

I've been thinking about starting a blog for a very long time. I don't think that I have profound things to say or funny stories to tell...but I really enjoy reading other people's blogs...maybe someone will enjoy reading mine.

Through these blogs I have been inspired by a photographer in Indiana; laughed at stories written by a mom in Guelph; been taught by a teacher in Houston; been motivated by a mom-preneur in Toronto; and have been moved to tears reading about the journey of a family who adopted a child from Africa.

Will I teach you? make you laugh? motivate you? inspire you?

I hope so.

A Little Bit Everyday

BLOG UNDER CONSTRUCTION - but so excited to finally be doing this. Can't wait to actually get started.