Monday, December 31, 2007

vacation is over -- a dose of reality! :)

Well, I am back home in the great north. It seems like vacation was over before it even began. And that is never a good thing. We were so busy the whole time we were away, and I think that contributed to it seemingly going by so quickly. But I got to spend Christmas with my family and see everyone and that is the most important thing!! I love my family so much -- everyone is unique, and yet there are so many similarities among us all. I am incredibly thankful to have a great relationship with each of my siblings and with my parents as well.

We spent Christmas morning at my older brother Andrew's house -- my parents were there, Andrew and Grace, Olivia, Matthew, and James and me, of course. A cozy family Christmas. I'm not even sure what everyone all got since there was such a frenzy of handing out gifts and a flurry of wrapping paper as the gifts were torn into. :) Later in the afternoon, we all trekked to my aunt's house for Christmas dinner, which was amazingly yummy. It was actually kind of an odd thing to be spending time with them at all, since we never really have much at all in the past. But it was really good that we went -- it was very important to be there for them since my aunt and uncle are in the midst of divorcing after almost 30 years married. None of them are Christians, and it is a really sad thing. My dad had the opportunity to witness a lot, as this time of hurt in her life has made my aunt so much more open to these things. We are praying for all of them!!

We had to do without the craziness of Boxing Day this year since we weren't in Canada!! I didn't miss it too much....

The rest of the time was spent in church, at various Christmas programs, hanging out, eating good PA food (which I miss so much!), shopping, playing games, dropping off or picking up people at the airport, trying to find our way around the new town my parents live in now, and being together. I can't wait until the next time.

We both did end up getting a cold while we were there, mainly toward the end. Both of us were pretty miserable by the time we got home, but fortunately, we both had a day off, which we used to sleep and recuperate. Today, I am feeling a lot better!!

And now the craziness of the week begins. James went back to school for his last week, and I am working a lot of shifts and trying to get up the energy to do things around here. Tomorrow is the Christmas get-together at my in-laws -- I will have to represent both myself and James, seeing as he can't come. Everyone has drawn a name and purchased or made a gift -- I can't wait to find out who has my name!! Even with my begging and pleading and prodding, I haven't figured it out, although I have it narrowed down quite a bit. :) James' grad is on Friday, and then he can come home for good. I say it's about time! I was starting to feel like I was single again. :)

Lots of things happening this week, but for now, I'm not going to think about it, and go ring in the New Year with some friends. I probably shouldn't stay up too late, seeing as I have to be at work by 7am, but I have been known to do foolish things in the past. :-D Ah well, sleep is overrated. Happy 2008, everybody!!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

an awesome recipe for Christmas or anytime!

Since I have been making so much of this lately, I thought I would share the recipe. It's super easy and super yummy and super addicting......everything a good recipe should be! :) I hope you enjoy it if you try it. I have grown up eating this at almost all church functions and dessert feasts, thanks to an old family friend from church. Now I make it for myself and others.

Mock Peanut Brittle

Ingredients needed:
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter (3/4 cup)
plain soda crackers, about 1 1/2 sleeves
1 bag peanut butter morsels (milk chocolate or butterscotch work too)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a shallow baking pan/cookie sheet with edges with aluminum foil. Spray evenly with non-stick cooking spray. Line the pan with crackers, fill to edges. It's all right if they overlap.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar together over low heat. Stir frequently until smooth. Bring just to a boil and then remove from heat. Pour evenly over crackers. Spread over crackers until all are coated.

Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes.

Remove from oven. Immediately sprinkle morsels liberally all over the crackers, as evenly as possible. After 2-3 minutes, when the morsels have started to melt, completely spread them out over the brown sugar mixture.

When the pan is no longer hot to the touch, place in refrigerator until completely cool, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from pan and break into bite-size pieces. Store in covered airtight container.

Lastly, enjoy!!!

Let me know if you try it. It seriously is yummy!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

the finishing touches

I'll be home for Christmas this year and not only in my dreams! I haven't been officially home for Christmas since before I was married, so I am particularly excited to be able to go this year. I am even more excited that Jamie is going to be able to go too -- shockingly enough, the OPP decided to give him a week off from school. (They aren't known for their generosity in this area....)

And so, we leave on Saturday! Before that, however, there is much to be done!!! I have a to-do list the length of my left arm, but I am slowly being able to cross things off. Yesterday, I worked on baking and wrapping presents. Today, I am focusing on cleaning the house and doing laundry and dishes and such so that the house is presentable while we are gone and when we come back. Tomorrow, I will finish up any last-minute things and do the packing. I am glad to have a plan -- it has been somewhat of a challenge finishing everything and working overnights at the same time.

And tomorrow night, I get to do one of my favorite things of the Christmas season -- caroling!!! I am going with a bunch of people from my church. There is just something about standing out in the cold, decked out in toques, mittens, and scarves, singing about the birth of our dear Lord. It makes me very emotional and very happy and very thankful that God loved us so much to send us His very own Son. I love Christmas!

Ok, gotta get back to the list......

Friday, December 14, 2007

a feeling of emptiness...

I juggled an armful of packages and a huge stack of Christmas cards as I maneuvered my way up the icy steps of the post office. My arms were full of joy and cheer, ready to make its way around the world. I sent out two boxes and about 35-40 cards, half to Canada and half to the good old USA. The lady at the post office hardly seemed to notice the pretty wrapping paper I had used, and the cute Christmas stickers I had put on the envelopes. She shrugged in annoyance when I asked if I could have Christmas stamps to put on the cards. And then said "your total is $54.46." Yikes. For that price I could buy a tank and a half of gas and hand-deliver most of them. :)

So, I handed over the money after holding a quick funeral for my diminishing bank account, and smiled brightly at the postal workers. They rolled their eyes and did not even so much as wish me a happy holiday. I got in the car with nothing in my hands, a gaping hole in my checking account, and not even the sound of "Merry Christmas" in my ears.

I felt.....empty. The post office for sure will take the Christmas spirit out of you! :)

P.S. Just kidding, I love Christmas and sending cards, just wish it didn't cost so much!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I wish.....

....I was the kind of person who could just sign our names to a Christmas card, address the plain white envelope, and drop it in the mailbox with a Canadian flag stamp. But nooooo.

I have to write a personal message in each card. I tell myself this is b/c I care so much about the people I'm sending the cards to, but it's really probably half a "I-don't-want-them-to-think-I'm-a-jerk-and-just-sign-my-name" thing. :) That being said, after the card is safely in the envelope, I have to make sure it is very neatly addressed. I also like to add Christmas stickers and whatever "holiday" stamp they happen to be selling.

I really don't have OCD or any other disorder like that. If you saw the state of my kitchen, you would immediately agree. :) I'm just a perfectionist in SOME areas of life. Usually it's in silly areas that don't really matter.

My sister and I were talking about this a couple weeks ago (she and I are a lot alike). Both of us like to have things clean and neat, but neither of us likes the actually "doing it" part. :) Therefore, it gets put off a lot......lol. Anyways, we determined that is just how we're wired. Because, believe me, I (and she) have sat down and said steadfastly that I was going to be a neat freak and keep everything in the house amazingly clean, etc etc etc. And that resolution lasted all of 38 seconds, b/c, well, there's just so much other stuff in life to enjoy.

I am a firm believer in organized confusion. :) Neat clutter. As long as my house looks presentable to the human eye, I'm not going to worry if there is a dust bunny behind the sofa or an unwashed dish in the sink. But when it comes to Christmas cards, well, they'd just better be perfect! :)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

in heaven....

Well.....not really......but......


I am drinking savoring a cup of Tim Horton's apple cinnamon tea.......and it is one of the yummiest things I have ever tasted. As soon as I get a spare dollar, I'm right there in the drive-thru, ordering a cup of hot steamy goodness. I'm more of a Starbucks girl myself, but this stuff is unbeatable. :) Sitting here drinking my Tim Horton's and wearing a winter toque, one might almost think I was (gasp) Canadian!! :)

Except, well.......I'm not! But I sure enjoy their tea. :D

pics from my trip to Oregon :)

a pic from the Singing Christmas Tree performance we went to
my niece Gabi (22 months)
my one and only nephew David (7 months)
me and my (older) sister Jeanette :)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

new winner!!!

Since my original winner of the giveaway did not respond in the allotted time, and I had no way of contacting her, I have picked a new name out of the hat!!! Second chances, second chances......

The new winner of the Christmas package is -- Chyrll!!

Please comment on this post or email me through my profile. :) Congratulations!! (I'll email you or comment you tomorrow, I just don't have the time right now.....)

Julie, I will send yours out as soon as I receive Chyrll's mailing information.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

winner, where are you?

Pwwbear, you have one more day to respond to let me know your address so I can send your goodies! Your profile is blank, and there is no way to contact you on there. So, I am begging you, please log on and check my blog and see that you have WON!!!

Sadly, if I do not hear from you by 7pm EST on December 6 (that's tomorrow), I will have to pick another name to be the winner. I still have a hatful of names......

All the rest of you who entered and didn't win, you might get a second chance!!! Cross your fingers.....

Pwwbear, where are you?

happy

What? It's 7:15 in the morning and I'm happy? What's going on here? :)

I just got home from work (I work overnights) and picked up the mail from yesterday. In it was our new car insurance policy. And let me just say, hallelujah for my husband turning 25 this year, b/c it has made a HUGE difference in what we are paying to insure the car!!

And that is definitely something to be happy about, even though it's early and cold and snowy and slippery.......

Now the question is......what shall I do with the money we'll be saving? LOL!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Christmas music!!

I stayed up late last night working on loading up my iPod with Christmas tunes!!! Well, loading it was definitely the shortest part -- before that, I was importing lots of CDs and other music from my hard drive and even downloading a few new tunes for the season. I got a couple CDs when I was in Oregon too -- we went to an awesome live performance called the Singing Christmas Tree.

All this to say that I now have my tiny iPod filled with 164 Christmas carols and songs for hours and hours of great listening!! I think the iPod is the most amazing invention -- now I don't have to carry CDs around with me everywhere. I can even plug it into the tape deck in the car and listen that way. There are very few places I go without my shuffle.

One of my very favorite Christmas carols that you don't hear too often is "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day." I was just researching it a little bit the other day and found the amazing story behind the writing of it. You can read about it here. I have three versions of it in my music library -- Steven Curtis Chapman, MercyMe, and Jars of Clay -- and they are all so amazing I can't decide which one is the best. :)

There is so much amazing Christmas music out there!! Go buy yourself a couple of CDs or download some of your favorites. I think the music of Christmas is definitely my favorite part of the season.

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is NOT DEAD; nor doth He sleep!
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!"
---words by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow---

So what's your favorite Christmas carol or song? :)

Monday, December 3, 2007

my new year's resolution -- a bit early :)

I don't even generally make New Year's resolutions -- probably b/c I am not an overly ambitious person and get discouraged and depressed when it is July and I haven't even started on something I resolved to do. Haha, okay, so maybe I'm just lazy.

Anyways, there is something I am planning on doing sometime early in the New Year of 2008. I have wanted to do this for a long time; however, there has always been something getting in the way. But....there shouldn't be this time. So......my resolution is......I am going to cut my hair short and donate it to a charitable organization like Locks of Love!! I am so excited about it. Before, my hair was either too short, or I had colored it or put highlights in it or whatever. But now I should have enough and I can go back to short, wash-and-wear hair.

So stay posted for news of the haircut. I'm thinking January or February sometime -- I need a few of my layers to grow a little longer. Yay -- I am getting excited just thinking about it!!!

P.S. -- I am still waiting to hear from the winner of my Christmas giveaway -- so if you go by the name of PWWBEAR, give me a shout. I have heard from the runner-up so far. :)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

and the winner is.....

The long-awaited post is here, for those of you who have been checking every hour......haha, just kidding. :)

I have decided to pick TWO winners. Aren't I great? There will be one winner who wins the original package of stuff, and then one runner-up who will receive a smaller package -- just cuz I feel like it! :D Christmas certainly puts one in the spirit of giving.

Okay, here ya go -- congrats to those who won, and sorry to those who didn't. I hope everyone will come back and visit my blog again, and I shall visit all of yours. I put all the entries in my husband's police hat, shook them up, and pulled out these two lucky names.

Winner of the big original Christmas package is pwwbear.

Second winner/runner-up/consolation prize/whatever is jewelshud.

So, here's what ya gotta do if you're a winner -- leave a comment on this post, and tell me a way to get in touch with you. Or you can message me -- click the link on my profile page. Whatever you do, make sure to contact me within the next 5 days -- deadline is December 6 at 7pm EST. If I have not heard from you by that time, I will draw another winner(s).

Thanks for entering, everyone!! I hope to do something similar to this again soon!!!

Friday, November 30, 2007

home again!

Well, I made it home in one piece, and what do you know -- there was snow when I got here!!! Typical Canada....

Anyways, I just wanted to do a quick post and say that the Christmas giveaway contest is now closed. Thanks for all the participation, I am definitely overwhelmed. :) Arlene suggested I have my giveaway advertised by Laura, and I guess that really worked. I am going to have to head over to each and every one of your blogs to meet you and read about y'all!

Watch for the winner to be announced very soon.....

Saturday, November 17, 2007

CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY!!!!!

*****EDITED -- This contest is now closed. No more comments will be accepted at this time -- we will leave it at 51 and draw a winner!!!*****


I am sponsoring a little giveaway in honor of the Christmas season and the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ. I hope I get a lot of participation!!! I will ship to any of the 50 states and all of Canada -- sorry, no other countries. Anyways, here is what I am planning on giving away -- but who knows, I might throw in something else when the time comes to send it. :)

1. a box of chocolatey chai tea -- this is my new favorite drink!!!
2. a box of dark chocolate mint candy canes
3. a pair of penguin socks
4. a little striped mitten Christmas ornament
5. a cute stuffed snowman -- you can hang him on your tree or sit him wherever
6. a little gingerbread man picture, also can be used as an ornament -- hand-stitched by ME!

Anyways, here's what ya gotta do. It's pretty easy -- just leave a comment to enter! In the comment, please mention your name and your favorite Christmas treat. Oh, and tell your friends. If you have a blog, I would ask that you put up a post and link to this giveaway so others can enter also! If you don't have a blog, obviously don't worry about that.

I am going on vacation tomorrow for a little while, so I won't be around to pick the winner for a bit. That means you have a LOT of time to enter and tell other people. I will be home on November 30, and I will probably pick the winner and post it on December 1.

I am expecting to come home and see a lot of comments, so don't disappoint me. :)

confirming what we already know.....




You Failed Your Driver's Test



You only got 5/10 correct.

If you have a driver's license, it needs to be revoked!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

whew!

Is it really possible for a person to work 137 hours in the space of two weeks? Well, of course, the answer is YES, it is humanly possible, but definitely NOT recommended. At least, I don't recommend it if you like to do other things besides work and sleep. Despite working allllll those hours, here are some things I was able to fit in in my "spare time":

***made a pan of lasagna
***went to my in-laws for dinner and talking and all that
***went to my in-laws again for Cheryl's birthday (sans gift....lol)
***went to my in-laws yet again for Mike's birthday (this time with a gift)
***went to church on Sunday morning and played the piano and even talked with a few people and didn't nap during the service! :)
***went grocery shopping
***worked on my Christmas project a LOT
***cleaned up after my kitties (this could really be a full-time job)
***went to the movies
***went to Walmart probably 7-8 times.....lol
***went to Timmy's a few times
***watched a couple of my favorite TV shows
***wrote some emails
***checked Facebook frequently :)
***talked to my sister on the phone for like 2 hours
***paid bills
***did about 7-8 loads of laundry
***chatted online
***and probably 41, 278 other things that I can't think of right now!

So, the next time you feel like asking me what I do all day.......don't. :D Haha, actually just bookmark this page and I'll probably be doing something on this list if I'm not at work. Which I usually am. And if you want me to do something for you -- I don't have the time. I just proved it with the above list. :D

Vacation is right around the corner. Whatever shall I do with 12 whole days that I don't have to go to work??? Pure bliss, I tell ya!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

new post!!!

This might come as quite the shock to anyone who has been checking my blog lately -- there's actually a new post here!! I have had my work schedule disrupted changed over the last week, and it has left me with little time to do anything!! I was so used to working nights and being able to do things during the day that working during the day all the time confused me quite a bit. But that's ok, b/c after I work two days and two nights this week, I am off for almost two weeks!!!! I can't wait, I am headed out to the west coast to see my sister and her fam, should be an awesome time.

So, in the midst of all the busyness last week, there was time for the first major annoyance snowfall of the year. I hate cold weather, I hate driving in the snow, I hate waiting for the car to warm up, I hate scraping ice off the car, I hate having to wear six layers, I hate winter!!! I think I would love winter if all I had to do for three months was sit by the fireplace with a hot cup of apple cinnamon tea with Christmas music playing in the background and stare out the window at the snow swirling all around. But alas, that is not the case and never will be. Unfortunately, life keeps going during the winter, which means I still have to go outside and I still have to go to work and I still have to buy groceries and I still have to do every little mundane task of life, except it's freezing out and the roads are dangerous!!! Not a good tradeoff.....

Happy November birthdays!!!! There have been quite the bunch of them over the past week or so. So I'll just give a group shoutout to all of them -- Opa, Violet, Cheryl, Mike......and Matty, my little bother's brother's is today!!!

Okay, I think I am done with the exclamation points for now. :-D I have been thinking of doing a giveaway, but I'm not sure how much participation I would get. I know a bunch of people come on here and don't leave comments.......sooooo......if you would be interested in a giveaway, leave a comment on this post, and if I get enough people that seem interested, then I'll do another post and give away something fabulous!!!

Happy the-day-my-brother-was-born, everybody!!!

Monday, November 5, 2007

silliness by me and Cheryl :-D

So, here is the scene -- there are six people sitting around the living room. Four laptops are shared amongst the six of them. Instead of talking across the room like normal people, the only communication is little popup windows on their screens. Oh, and also the occasional "get out of here, David!" Ain't technology grand? There is also a dying fire roaring (well, ok, dying) in the fireplace, if that adds to our homey scene any. :)

Ok..this is how I see the homelike scene here in the livingroom. There are six beautiful looking human beings in the livingroom. Times have changed and computers are the thing as we keep in touch with family and friends across the province. We are all comfortably settled here enjoying a, yes I do agree, dying fire....David can you stoke the fire please?...Mom enters with the baby who looks weirdly at us all not understanding the change in technology has arrived...yes we all are weird.

-------Cheryl gets up from the comfort of her seat to add to the fire-------

We all thank Cheryl for the warmth the fire may/will bring. On to the next subject.....which is.....addiction. Why does Coke have to be so good? What is it about it that makes me crave it at all hours of the day and/or night? If caffeine is that much of a drug, I'm really glad I never took up smoking. I have not had Coke in almost a week, and I swear I am going through withdrawal.

You are welcome everyone for stoking the home fires. I try my hardest to keep the home fires burning. Now on the subject of caffiene! Oh my...I can hardly get through a day with out some sort of caffiene. Timmy's coffee or good ole Coke! Yes even when I am in so much pain a coffee just beats everything! Is it an addiction? No...its just a true love!

Signed by Melissa and Cheryl! :)
Thanks for reading our meandering and, well, let's face it, crazy thoughts. :)

how it's going

I am proud of myself!!!

I have faithfully done my 30 sit-ups every night....and even with very few complaints. There's no one around to hear them anyways, and trust me when I say the cats don't care. I am working on adding pushups and something Jamie calls tricep dips. We'll see.

I also have had no Coke!!! Actually, no soda (pop) or even any caffeine!! I thought I would be tempted over the weekend, since I had to work soooo many hours in a row, but I held strong and drank lots and lots of water and a little orange juice.

Could the (somewhat) healthy lifestyle really be for me? :-D

Thursday, November 1, 2007

resolutions and what I'm up to

I don't know if you'd really call them resolutions, but they are things that I have told myself (and my husband) that I am going to do/work on. The first one is to exercise more often. This has started with my doing 30 situps every night, which will gradually increase. I am not really a self-motivated person in this area, and it has been a little hard to keep it up since I don't exactly have company around here (for now). When my husband comes home for good, we're going to do some things together, so that should help. So far, I have done 4 nights worth with no plans to quit (despite the burning feeling in my poor tummy -- it is not used to such activity). :)

The other thing I am working on is not drinking soda, specifically Coke. Now, before I started this kick, I was something of what you would call a minor addict. Ok, major. Whatever. :) It was getting to the point where I didn't like how I felt when I didn't have a Coke that day! Scary really. And it's not like Coke has a lot of nutritional value or anything.....lol. So I have determined not to keep it in the house and only drink it every once in a while. I have had one Coke in the past week, and that was at someone's house where it was handed to me and I didn't want to make a big thing of it. But no more buying a couple cases at a time, no more ordering Coke when we go out to dinner, no more stopping at Mac's on the way to work to feed my addiction, no more raiding Violet's fridge in the middle of the night.....

I will keep you posted on how I am doing with my goals, however boring they may be. :D

Other than that, my free time has been quite occupied lately, which is great! And I haven't been watching a lot of TV! I am hard at work on two top-secret projects -- one for Christmas and one for our church. Both are a little time-consuming, but should be worth it in the end. I am totally busting at the seams wanting to tell someone about the Christmas one, but alas, I need to keep my mouth shut for now. And what a trial that is for me.....

Stay tuned for updates.....

P.S. Oops, I lied when I said I had no company when I do my situps. I have a small 8-pound, orange purring machine who faithfully lies next to me while I do them. :) Harry sometimes walks under my legs or my back and sometimes gets smooshed when I come back down!! And he often pulls my hair while it is flying around. :) But when I am done, he is there, lying next to me, purring up a storm, and nipping at my ear. What an encouragement. :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

pictures of me meme

Well, this kinda looked like fun, so I stole it from Abbi's blog.....hope she doesn't mind. :) It's not too difficult -- just post a current pic of yourself, and also a childhood one too, if you so desire (since most of us looked better back then). And since I don't have kids to keep track of (yet), I can sift through pictures and make sure I post one where I am at my absolute finest.....lol. :) So, if you want to steal this from me, definitely go ahead --- I wanna see your pics!

So, what do you think? Personally, I don't see that I have changed all that much....lol.

this is from this summer, maybe July?
a much younger and much balder version of me :-D

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

pics

These are some cute fall pics of my niece and nephew, Gabi and David. Who doesn't like adorable pictures of kids? And if you don't, well, then......







Monday, October 29, 2007

do you really love God?

Our pastor preached an excellent message last night on the topic "how much do we really love God?". He used the passage in John 21 when Jesus was asking Peter if he loved Him. Although Peter kept insisting to the Lord that he indeed did love Him, he was talking about a different kind of love. Jesus asked Peter if he "agape" loved him, as in the most perfect, Godly love of all. And Peter kept responding, "Yes, Lord, I 'phileo' love You," which is the Greek word for brotherly, or familiar love. In other words, Jesus asked Peter, "do you love me?", and Peter would answer, "Yes, Lord, I like You." Ouch. What a blow. No wonder Jesus kept asking. Imagine a boy says to his girlfriend, "I love you," and she responds, "Yeah, I like you, too." Peter must have really hurt Jesus with his replies.

And I wonder, really, how much do I love God? Do I say I love Him and do nothing about it? I love my husband, therefore, I work at our relationship and try to do things that would please him and make him happy. Do I take my relationship with God for granted and never work at it, because, let's face it, He's never going to stop loving me like some human would. Do I make an effort to do things that would please God? Sadly, the answer to all these questions is sometimes yes, and that is not the way it should be!! I should love Jesus, my Lord and Saviour, above all, above any other human, above any other thing in my life. I am really going to start praying that I would love Jesus more, that He will always be number one in my life, and that everyone around me will know it!

I wanted to put these words in from one of my favorite songs. This is part of the chorus, and it is Jesus speaking. Just to realize that Jesus loved us that much -- I don't think we can ever fully understand it. And I don't think we have to understand it, it is what we do with it. What we need to do is accept His love, accept His forgiveness and grace, and love Him with everything we are. (Lyrics are courtesy of Mac Powell and Third Day.)

I know that you don't understand the fullness of My love,
How I died upon the cross for your sins;
And I know that you don't realize how much that I'd give you,
But I promise, I would do it all again.
Just to be with you, I've done everything,
There's no price I did not pay,
Just to be with you, I gave everything,
Yes, I gave my life away.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

things that have been on my mind.....

1. Well, the candle mentioned in this post has bit the dust.....quite literally. Ironic? I think not. :) Two days after the hot wax incident, my husband was vacuuming (yes, I said my husband was actually vacuuming) and accidentally hit the coffee table with the vacuum. Not even very hard, but the candle (one of those big jar ones) fell off and shattered into millions of tiny pieces. At first, I was a little sad b/c it smelled really good and those kinds of candles aren't exactly cheap. But then, I thought, good riddance. Die, evil candle, die!!!

2. Wanna talk about irony? Well, almost five months after I had my wallet stolen, I find out that the person who took it actually used one of my credit cards!!! Obviously, I had canceled this card almost immediately after I knew it was gone, but apparently, I wasn't fast enough. The thief bought about $150 worth of gas with it, bless their little heart. :) I thought because I had canceled it and told them the time and date it was stolen, then all charges after that time should be canceled as well. But apparently, my brain is a little ahead of theirs or something. Not once in the five months did I receive a statement from the credit card company that said here is how much you owe. It was only after four months of nonpayment that I receive a notice that says why haven't you paid your balance for the last four months? Needless to say, I was shocked that there even was a balance, as I don't even think I have used this card in more than a year. Also, the new card with the new account number that they sent me after cancelling the old one was still in the envelope it came in and had never even been activated. All this to say, I had to spend many hours on the phone trying to straighten this out, and I think maybe it is now all fixed. Lesson learned -- and someone got $150 of gas courtesy of Capital One. Next thing I know, my husband will be getting a phone call that I was doing 128 in an 80 zone b/c someone is using my stolen driver's license!!!

3. Today, I realized more and more how much I don't fit into a worldly workplace. That is not to say I can't get along there, but I really am not liking it more and more. I work with a lady who is probably close to my parents' age -- I usually have a good time working with her and we get along rather well. But today, something happened that made me lose all respect for her whatsoever. It saddened me, really. I was being questioned by the supervisor about something that had occurred earlier that day. Even though I knew the supervisor would have a problem with what I said, I told her the truth about what had happened. The super then turned to this lady I work with and asked her about it. She proceeded to out-and-out lie about what happened, all the while looking at me with a straight face. The supervisor looked at me triumphantly and said, see, you were wrong, etc etc etc. I looked this woman in the eyes for a few seconds, thinking maybe she would retract her story, but nothing. So it ended up that I got in trouble and she didn't, even though we were both equally responsible. A few minutes later, we were working together out of earshot of the super, and she said to me, you shouldn't have told her that, you might get in a lot of trouble now. Just tell her what she wants to hear. I told her that I don't lie and I wasn't planning on lying about it. She shrugged and said, well, it's your butt. And she's right, it is, and I can take care of myself and defend myself, but it was all I could do to kick down my human nature -- b/c I really felt like running to the supervisor and telling her, it's a lie! She lied to you! But I really didn't think that would accomplish much of anything, and it really wasn't my place to tattle on her, seeing as we are all adults and can make our own choices. It just really bothered me in a lot of ways. Not that I had infinite amounts of respect for her before, but now it's down to zero. But this is the worldly mindset -- do what you have to in order to please the boss, even if it involves sin -- do only what you have to in order to get by --talk behind each other's backs at every opportunity -- and the list goes on and on. While I am definitely not perfect, I AM a Christian, and it is my business to make sure my work is honest and thorough. And while I am not happy about the situation today, I AM happy that it bothered me......because if it hadn't, I would be in a really bad place. We are to be in the world and not of it.

And that is the state of my rambling mind today......

Friday, October 19, 2007

finally.....

....a post that has the potential to turn into something that is worth reading.....lol. :-D

Anyways, a little update on what I've been doing as of late (besides watching Gilmore Girls and eating and sleeping and working and stuff -- none of those things hold much interest in the way of blogging about them.....except maybe watching GG....okay, I'm off on a rabbit trail already!). Back to the point.

Thanksgiving was last Monday, and James got to be home for an extra day, so that is always a blessing. We had a big dinner at his parents' house, including his parents (duh, they live there), the nine kids that still live at home, Cheryl in from Ottawa, Rachel in from her apartment down the street from ours, me and James, Liz, and Opa and Oma. Needless to say, we had a serious feast, full of all the Thanksgiving trimmings. James had to leave pretty soon after dinner, after we had a time of prayer and thanksgiving. I stayed however, and I don't think I ended up leaving until almost midnight. We played lots of games and talked and held the baby and talked and ate more pie and talked. Oh yeah, and Cheryl gave the baby a bath, even under dire warnings that she might accidentally drown him.....lol, sorry, inside joke. :-D

I should have left a bit sooner, b/c I had to come home and clean and pack yet, but time spent with family is never wasted. I just got to sleep a little less. In the morning, I got all my junk together and tried to straighten up the place before I left --note, tried. Never said I succeeded. :) Rachel and Cheryl picked me up around 10am and off we went to the capital city of all of Canada. That would be Ottawa for those of you who failed history and geography.

I must say, it was really fun to have a just girl's vacation, almost like being in college again! It rained a lot of the week and we didn't really do too much touristy stuff, but that was fine by us!! Mostly, we shopped and ate and shopped and ate and played games and watched TV/movies and played with the kitty and ate and all the stuff you wish you could just do every day instead of having to go to work and actually be responsible for your life. :-D Thanks, Cheryl, for letting us come and invade your space.

Things I learned on this trip:

  1. Pringles cans are not just for eating chips out of. :)
  2. I really can do cross-stitch!!
  3. Rachel always wins Scrabble....I think the key is to take 3o minutes with every turn, so by the time the other people get to go, they're so annoyed with having to wait, they just play any old word, regardless of the point value.
  4. You can never really watch too many episodes of Gilmore Girls.
  5. Coke is super-addicting.
  6. Everyone really is fat -- we all have a chunk somewhere.
  7. When everyone else is making fun of you and laughing at you, it is the kitty who will bring you comfort.
  8. I can make my lasagna without the recipe!
  9. Rachel and Cheryl can now go into La Senza without blushing and maybe actually even enjoy themselves.
  10. The only time you will have go to the washroom is when there is not one around.
  11. Medical humor is not appreciated by everyone.
  12. I have some of the coolest sisters around!!!!

I won't bore you with pics of the science museum we went to, but here is a pic of the three of us at Denny's. The trip was too short and definitely something we will have to do again!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Olivia

Just a quick post, been too lazy to think of anything and actually type it out. ;-D The story of my life..... Anyways, here is a picture of one of my (seven) nieces. This is Olivia in the middle of her first haircut. :) I don't think she was overly impressed. She's cute, though!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

been away for a while.....

.....and I still really don't have time to update this!! :) After Thanksgiving, I went to Ottawa with Cheryl and Rachel to visit Cheryl and see where she lives and make her life happier. :-D Just got back last night, so I'll post a little about the trip sometime soon!

In the meantime, I wanted to share a very very very cute picture of my nephew. Enjoy!!

Friday, October 5, 2007

up to my ears in pumpkin (and candle wax)

Soooo....

Thanksgiving is on Monday, and I am getting ready by making all the pumpkin pies!!! Pie number four is in the oven, and the house smells heavenly. I should really make them more often, if only to get the aroma. We are having dinner at James' parents' house, I guess there will be 16 or 17 people -- the more, the merrier. And (ahem) there are a couple of other creatures in the house who really love when I make pumpkin pie -- Harry and Spencer. Actually, this was Harry's first experience with it, since he is only six months old, but he loves it just as much as his big sister! They go crazy over pumpkin -- sit at attention in the kitchen and purr approvingly as I work. They love the taste of pumpkin for whatever reason.....not even the sweetened stuff.....they eat the raw stuff like it's a steak or a piece of fish or something. :) It's kinda cute to watch. (In case anyone was wondering, Harry and Spencer are my cats......not kids.....lol).

About the candle wax.....

Well, it seems like stupid things always happen to me......and there is always someone around to witness these events too (of course). Beth came over yesterday after work, and we were getting ready to head out to the grocery store. I had some candles burning, so I figured I'd better blow them out before we left.....just in case, ya know. I think it would have been safer this time to leave them burning......lol. Anyways, Beth tried to blow out the one on the coffee table, and it didn't go out, even after two big puffs. I was like, stand back, I got this. And get it, I did. :-D I blew with a huff and a puff and all that fairy tale nonsense, and yeah, the candle definitely went out, but I ended up with a faceful of hot liquid wax!! I screamed, b/c I was so ready for it to burn me, but it didn't seem that hot after all. It solidified pretty much right away, and I was left with a green wax pock-marked face......looked kinda ghoulish or snotty or whatever.....when I saw it in the mirror, I definitely had to laugh......it was really funny. Beth was relieved that I wasn't hurt, so she thought it was okay to laugh too (which it wasn't......lol, j/k) and also thought it would be a good idea to take a pic. However, I didn't exactly agree with that idea, so no pic -- sorry for all those of you who wanted to see me with a spotty green face. Thankfully, I didn't burn my eyes or anything, I think it could have been so much worse.

After scrubbing my face (and removing all the makeup I had just so carefully applied), we headed out to the store and returned home without incident -- had a wonderful dinner and watched a movie. I, however, could not bring myself to light the candle again. Maybe another day. :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

October is here again....


Another year has come and gone. October is here -- and it is breast cancer awareness month. I think probably everyone knows someone who has been affected by this awful disease, if not dealing with it firsthand in their circle of family and/or friends. It hits especially close to home for me, as my mom was diagnosed in January 2006, and has been dealing with it ever since.

My mom is the strongest person I have ever known. If you had any idea of how much she has been through in her life, healthwise, you would understand what I'm talking about. Through it all, she continues on with life -- not just existing, but carrying on with many activities like a whirlwind -- she's a redhead after all. :) I love my mom, I am so proud to be her daughter. I definitely pray that God will give me the strength to be one tenth the wonderful woman that my mother is.

No one knows what the future holds for any of us, and I know that God has a perfect plan for my mom. I just really want her to stick around for say, 40 or 50 more years.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

live the life

I know I do a lot of posts on song lyrics, but music really speaks to me, and I think it says things in a way that I never could. Haha, that could be why I'm not a lyricist..... Anyways, I just love the words to this song -- it points out how our actions as a Christian speak way louder than our words ever could. We can say we're a Christian, but does the way we live our life say that as well? I have heard of so many cases, and personally encountered, where a person will be so closed to or turned off by Christianity b/c the "Christians" they know aren't living it. They act just like the world, and are Christian in name only. How can we expect to win the world when we act just like them, only claiming the name of Christ with our lips? I challenge you to live the life.....

We're passengers aboard the train,
Silent little lambs amidst the pain,
That's no longer good enough;
And when it's time to speak our faith,
We use a language no one can explain,
That's no longer good enough.

And God knows it's a shame,
As we look to pass the flame,
We are not the worthy bearers of his name.

For the world to know the truth,
There can be no greater proof
Than to live the life, live the life,
There's no live that's quite as pure,
There's no pain we can't endure
If we live the life, live the life,
Be a light for all to see,
For every act of love will set you free.

There's something beautiful and bold,
The power of a million human souls
Come together as one;
And each in turn goes out to lead
Another by his word, his love, his deed,
Now the circle is done.

And it all comes back to one,
For it is He and He alone
Who has lived the only perfect life we've known.

For the world to know the truth,
There can be no greater proof
Than to live the life, live the life;
There's no love thats quite as pure,
There's no pain we can't endure
If we live the life, live the life;
Be a light for all to see,
For every act of love will set you free.

lyrics and music by Michael W. Smith

Thursday, September 27, 2007

my starbucks pro/con list

Hi, my name is Missy, and I'm a Starbucks addict. :) Our tiny town has finally gotten a dose of reality and brought a Starbucks to town......no more Timmy's for me! So, going through the drive-thru today, I was thinking of this funny list......

PRO: I get to have a frappuccino whenever I want!
CON: I have to drive all the way across town to get it.

PRO: I get to have a frappuccino whenever I want!
CON: This can clean out the bank account fairly quickly!

PRO: I get to have a frappuccino whenever I want!
CON: I have to suffer with whipped cream on it, even though every time, I specifically tell them not to put it on -- brings to mind my mom's infamous lie......

PRO: I get to have a frappuccino whenever I want!
CON: Frappuccinos aren't exactly low in fat and calories.

PRO: I get to have a frappuccino whenever I want!
CON: Sometimes their card swiper isn't working and I have to go withdraw cash to feed my addiction.

PRO: I get to have a frappuccino whenever I want!
CON: Idling in the drive-thru is bad for the environment.

PRO: I get to have a frappuccino whenever I want!
CON: Sometimes the nerdy teenage boy who works there (and insists on putting whipped cream on my frap) will flirt with me.

PRO: I get to have a frappuccino whenever I want!
CON: I'm out of them......

I say the PRO's beat the CON's any day of the week!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

thought for the day

What is love all about?

"It's hanging on when your heart has had enough,
it's giving more when you feel like giving up."

I think that is a pretty accurate description.

Thanks, Martina.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

cooking questions

I found these questions to answer on Susan's blog, so I thought I would post my answers in case anyone is curious about my cooking abilities, or lack thereof. :) I would just like to note, for the record, that I have only really been cooking for a little over two years......I started right after we got married. I like to think that I have gotten better, though!

So what kind of cook are you? Meat-and-potatoes? Gourmet? Or somewhere in between?
wellllll, I don't know that I am any one type......my husband likes to have meat at every meal (I would cook vegetarian if I could!).......I guess I will say I am a fan of simple but very tasty cooking.

What's your favorite cookbook/cooking magazine?
I love Taste of Home, of course, and I also like the Company's Coming series of cookbooks

What is usually in your pantry, your staple ingredients that you can't do without?
tomato sauce, some sort of flour, rice, lots of pasta, and there are always fresh mushrooms in the fridge -- we put them in everything!

What is your favorite type of dish to cook: main dish, sides, breads, desserts?
definitely desserts -- I love baking way more than cooking!

Do you have a signature recipe, one that everyone knows you for?
haha, well, here in Canada, people think all my PA recipes are original, like pickled eggs.....lol. No, really, everyone loves my chocolate chip cookies and people at church are constantly asking for them. So I guess that would be it.

What's your favorite appliance or gadget that you couldn't get along without?
my smoothie maker!!!!

And finally, what is your husband's favorite recipe that you fix? You know, the one that says "I love you - this is especially for you!"
well, it's always a good night for him when I make lasagna, but his recent favorite is Chicken Bruschetta Bake. And I love it a lot, b/c it's way easier and less time-consuming than lasagna.

So there you have it! The confessions of an amateur cook!

Monday, September 24, 2007

update on sadness

I just wanted to post this in case anyone was wondering what was going on with these two situations. It is good news in one instance, and not so great in the other.

The good news is that Joe has officially woken up from his coma and is in a rehabilitation facility. He is making amazing progress every day, more than anyone would have ever thought. Again, this brings to mind the question, why are we surprised when God answers our prayers? Just a thought. Anyways, he has started to respond to others, started to talk again, and started to follow more commands. He is re-learning a lot of daily activities, such as getting dressed, tying shoes, brushing teeth, etc. The stroke was on the left side of his brain, so the right side of his body is affected. Although the right side is not completely immobile, he is having a lot of trouble doing anything with that side. Obviously, his journey through this is far from over, and prayers are still needed and appreciated. But it is so great to hear all the encouraging news!

On the other side of things, Violet is not doing nearly as well. After being in the hospital for the better part of a month, the doctors finally delivered the news that no one wanted to hear. Violet went through colon cancer years ago, and now apparently it is back, and has spread to her lungs. Because of her age, the doctors will not operate, and chemo is not really an option. All this to say that they believe she only has a few weeks or months to live. This is a hard burden to bear......for me, yes, but so much more so for her caring family. I realize that she is elderly and older people die and that is how life goes, but it is never an easy thing to accept when you are told such a thing about YOUR mother. I am praying for opportunities for me to be a testimony, to be a strong support in this difficult time. Violet is at home now, where she will live out the remainder of her days, so I will be taking care of her to the end. We cannot always understand the whys in life, but I believe that something good can come of this. If you think of it, please pray for me as I try to be encouraging and show her family the power of God's love.

and now, go Pack!

yep, I'm a cheesehead!! Granted, a disappointed cheesehead in the last 8 years or so. :) But this year, the Pack is back!! 3-0, and best-quarterback-ever Brett Favre is breaking all the records.

So, yeah, I am always proud to be a cheesehead, but this year, I can actually say it in public. :-D

Thursday, September 20, 2007

go Yanks

Suddenly, with 10 games left to play, the Yankees find themselves within a game and a half of the coveted American League East title. Can they really do it again, after playing most of the season so far behind?

Me thinks nothing is out of the question when talking about the New York Yankees. At the very least, they should get the wild card and hopefully play well into October.

Go Yanks, make this fan proud!!!!

i'm boring

well, there is nothing new to report -- I had a very lazy type of day, but maybe it was needed/well-deserved after the frenetic pace of the last couple of days. I slept in, and then got up and did nothing. I wasn't feeling so well --had a major headache and nausea, so I went back to sleep in the afternoon. All this to say that it is now 2:07am and I am wide awake. I can't win.

I don't like myself when I am this lazy. I miss my Jamie and need him to come home.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

busy busy

I have had a very long 26 hours. ;) Let's just say I'm thankful I'll be paid for 17.5 of those hours!

I went to work at 9pm last night, worked (well, babysat overnight, which we all know isn't really working) til 7am the next morning. Skedaddled from there to my next job, where I started at 7:30am. Worked there until 3:30pm, and yes, this job really IS work. :) And for those who are wondering, yes, my hair was looking rather pathetic by this point.......lol.

Hmmmm, one would think that as soon as the clock hit 3:30, I'd be out the door and home in the 4 and a half minutes it takes to drive there, and in bed sound asleep by oh, say, 3:44 or so. But such is not the case when one has a shopping date with one of her (many) sisters-in-law!!!! I'd say the prospect of an evening out shopping does much to rejuvenate the spirits!!

So I showered, and we left around 4:30......ran around Brampton looking for good deals......didn't find too too many. Well, I did get two skirts for a grand total of seven dollars and something, so that was ok. But we talked and talked and talked and managed to squeeze in dinner, which was amusing in its own way. :-D

It is now 11pm and I need to go to bed. Badly. But apparently not badly enough that I couldn't take the time to tell the world about it on my blog first........lol.

Tiredness......is.......setting......in........

Sunday, September 16, 2007

thankful

I just wanted to do a little post and say what a blessing my church and the people in it are to me. Yes, I go to a small church, and yes, sometimes I wish it were bigger, but overall, I am blessed beyond measure.

My husband started going to our church about a year before we were married, and we have gone there faithfully ever since. Despite normal ups and downs, we are excited about the work there and excited about all the growth and activities. It is often hard to start in a new church, but I have honestly felt accepted from day one.

I am thankful to have a pastor, who, along with being an amazing and dynamic speaker, is a genuine live-it-every-day-of-his-life Christian. I am thankful to have a pastor's wife who never fails to make us feel welcome in her home. I am thankful that the both of them have taken it upon themselves to help us out whenever and wherever they can. I am thankful to be the pianist in a church where no apology is made for good solid Christian music. I am thankful to be able to go every Sunday and hear a message preached from the heart of God's Word. I am thankful for church members who are ever friendly, ever loving, ever hospitable. I am thankful to have found a place that has beliefs that are almost identical to mine/ours. I am thankful for this season of our lives while we attend Brampton International Baptist Church. Although I know, undoubtedly, someday we will be called elsewhere when we have to move, for now this is our church, this is our home, and we are extremely grateful for it.

an amazing promise

My absolute favorite verse in the whole Bible -- I guess some would consider it my life verse -- is Psalm 84:11.

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly."

It is ever amazing to me that God wants to give us things, wants to love us, wants to see us happy. And this verse promises us that He WILL NOT withhold good from us if we are walking with Him and following His will. If that isn't motivation, I don't know what is!!! Although we shouldn't really need motivation if we really and truly love the Lord our God.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

fear of the elderly?

I can't say that I have ALWAYS liked working with and/or being around elderly people, but I don't think I was ever afraid of them or put off by them. So why is it that I run into so many people today who immediately cringe when they find out where I work? Or can't find enough in common with an older person to have even a three-minute conversation with them? In all honesty, it really saddens me.

My first real exposure to older people was obviously my grandparents, although since they were not as old as some, that may not have counted. I do remember visiting my great-grandmother regularly in the nursing home where she lived. And I loved it. We would take her outside, read to her, sing to her, etc. I loved talking to all the other residents there, too. I don't remember ever being scared of them or being disgusted that I was there. (And I wasn't a little kid, so my memories of this ARE intact!) She passed away when I was 14, and I remember thinking that was the saddest I had ever felt. I do know that was the most I had ever cried. Looking back, I am glad I did not allow that experience of loss to keep me from getting close to other elderly people in the future.

All of my grandparents passed away in seemingly quick succession when I was between the ages of 16 and 18. I struggled a lot at that point in my life. I was very close to at least two of them, and had a relationship with all four. Very soon after my first grandfather died, I took a job in the kitchen of a retirement home on the recommendation of my school principal. I was unwilling at first, but soon grew to love the senior citizens I served meals to. This was the first time I noticed it, but it still rings true today -- older/elderly people thrive on the attention of younger people.

Eventually I had to leave that job and pursue other things. After graduating from high school, I was still a little disillusioned as to what I really wanted to do with my life. My dad was not excited about this indecisiveness......in his eyes, I was brilliant and needed to further my education. One night, he came in my room and handed me a college catalog and told me to pick a major. At first I said no, and then I looked through it and found an excuse as to why I hated every major. I finally said, well, maybe I could do nursing, but I don't really like science. My dad said, great, it's settled, you're going to go to school for nursing!

And go to school for nursing I did! Even graduated four years later with a bachelor's degree! During the summer breaks from school, I continued to discover my love for working with the elderly by working as an aide in a local nursing home. The third summer, I was able to expand by working on the Alzheimers' floor and discovering a new dimension of elder care. There was no one I could really talk to about my job. Most people thought it was disgusting, and all my classmates just couldn't understand my wanting to work with older people when the fast-paced intensive care units at the hospital were so much more exciting. When we graduated from nursing school, all of us had to write and read an essay about why we wanted to be a nurse. I wrote in my essay that I was pretty sure it had all started in a nursing home, whether it was with my great-grandmother, singing with school groups, or working there.

I graduated two years ago. Today, I am working more hours with elderly people than I ever have in the past. I work three or four days a week taking care of an 83-year-old lady in her home. I work two or more days a week at a nursing home, providing full resident care. I volunteer with my church in the nursing home ministry, and also volunteer at a local retirement home on occasion. There is so much to be learned from these people, so much respect they deserve, so much love you can show.

I hope no one thinks this post is me trying to pat myself on the back for my community service, b/c that is not what I intended at all. I am nowhere near as caring as I could or should be. Do I always go to work for the right reasons? NO. Do I ever get frustrated? That's a big YES. Do I like everything about nursing homes. That's definitely a resounding NO. I am beyond frustrated with the politics of most nursing homes. the administrations making rules that are just that, with no room for compassion. Have I ever gotten disgusted doing my job? OF COURSE. (not with the people, with the situation)

But, on the other hand, I can't understand you if you're put off by the sight of an elderly person. I can't understand you if you choose not to visit your family member in a nursing home, b/c it's too weird or it makes you uncomfortable. I don't understand how putting a smile on an older person's face couldn't make your day (but maybe that's just me). Is it sometimes hard? YES, it is, but I think it is worth it. In the end, it is never about you in the first place -- it is about them. I may not like all aspects of nursing homes, but rules and administration and politics do not a nursing home make. It is the people who reside there. In the same capacity that I would feel honored to care for either of my parents or any of my family members really, I feel honored to do for these people what they can no longer do for themselves.

Psalm 71:9 -- "Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth."

Monday, September 10, 2007

my baby nephew

Here is a pic of my only nephew, David. Isn't he a cutie?

Friday, September 7, 2007

more meaningful lyrics

I love this song!!! I find singing makes my day go faster and better and happier -- therefore I am always singing some song or another while I'm at work. Some of the people I work with can't understand how I could be singing all the time, how I could be happy at work. Thanks to Jesus my Saviour, I can have a song in my heart 24/7!

Why do we do the things we do?
How can we sing when there seems no reason to?
How do we smile when there's not much to smile about?
When the world is down, who are we to stand and shout?
They wonder why we do the things we do.

It's all because of this,
It's all because of this,
We've tasted love, tasted hope, tasted holiness,

And they wonder why, do we do the things we do.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

commercial stuck in my head all the time

This commercial is so great, and the song is soooooo addicting and singable. There's a strawberry one too, I'm gonna have to get the words for that one.



My little story takes place at a tropical villa,


I fell in love with a flavor, yes, it was vanilla.


Mini........wheats, wheats, wheats, I wanted vanilla for so long,


Mini wheats, wheats, wheats,


It's high in fiber, you can't go wrong.


Vanilla flavor mixed with wheat,


Put it together, it can't be beat,


Vanilla flavor mixed with wheat,


Tastes so good, what a treat!


New vanilla mini wheats cereal tastes so good, good, good.
(image courtesy of joeymoggie.wordpress.com)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

quick news bit

I'm an aunt!!!! For the eighth time! :-D

Violet Charity was born at 12:07 pm today, weighing in at 8 pounds and 10 ounces.

I don't live anywhere near them (so what else is new?), so I have not had a chance to view her cuteness (I'm sure she is cute, as all Vasels are). :-D But I will post a pic or two in the coming days as soon as I receive them!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

for lack of originality

I stole this from Rachel, b/c I am too tired to think of anything original. Copy and paste it yourself if you want. :)

Tired of those same old 55 questions about me surveys? Well here are 55 I guarantee you've never answered.

1. Is your second toe longer than your first? that would be a negative

2. Do you have a favorite type of pen? whichever one is closest and works well :)

3. Look at your planner for Sept 14, what are you doing? I actually have nothing scheduled!!! Actually, that is the day I was hoping to go to Buffalo, not sure if that's going to happen or not.

4. What color are your toenails usually? whatever I'm in the mood for, today they are white and sparkly

5. What was the last thing you highlighted? I really have no idea

6. What color are your bedroom curtains? no curtains

7. What color are the seats in your car? gray with blackish seat covers

8. Have you ever had a black and white cat? nope

9. What is the last thing you put a stamp on? a birthday card for my brother-in-law

10. Do you know anyone who lives in Wyoming? not that I can think of

11. Why did you withdraw cash from the ATM the last time? for James to get a haircut

12. Whose is the last baby that you held? my new little brother-in-law Daniel

13. Unlucky #? uh......

14. Do you like Cinnamon toothpaste? yes, I love it!!! I hate mint toothpaste.... I am using Crest Cinnamon right now.

15. What kind of car were you driving 2 years ago? the same one I am driving now, a blue-green Saturn

16. Pick one: Miami Hurricanes or Florida Gators? I'll go with the Gators b/c my brother likes them

17. Last time you went to Six Flags? ages and ages ago

18. Do you have any wallpaper in your house? I don't think so, just borders

19. Closest thing to you that is yellow? a mini stapler

20. Last person to give you a business card? the vet's office

21. Who is the last person you wrote a check to? either the church or the landlord for the rent

22. Closest framed picture to you? one of my husband's entire family, taken a couple of months ago

23. Last time you had someone cook for you? last week sometime, we went over to the pastor's house for dinner

24. Have you ever applied for welfare? thankfully no

25. How many emails do you have? too many, I need to weed through them

26. Last time you received flowers? for our anniversary in July

27. Do you think the sanctity of marriage is meant for only a man & woman? that is what God says

28. Do you play air guitar? no, I'm nerdy enough as it is

29. Has anyone ever proposed to you? yep! Every day I sat next to Andrew in school, he asked me to marry him. :) And then came the real one on June 12, 2004!

30. Do you take anything in your coffee? I don't take coffee, thanks

31. Do you have any Willow Tree figurines? nope, but I think they are cute

32. What is/was your high school's rival mascot? this question is somewhat humorous to me......

33. Last person you spoke to from high school? as in face-to-face talked? Well, that would be Kaysha or Mrs. G.....although I sometimes chat with others online

34. Last time you used hand sanitizer? probably 2 hours ago at work

35. Would you like to learn to play the drums? not overly

36. What color are the blinds in your living room? boring white

38. Last thing you read in the newspaper? either the obits or the classifieds

39. What was the last pageant you attended? describe this "pageant" you speak of :)

40. What is the last place you bought pizza from? Pizza Pizza (what an original name, I know)

41. Have you ever worn a crown? yeah, from Burger King.....

42. What is the last thing you stapled? most likely something on a scrapbook page

43. Did you ever drink clear Pepsi? I used to love that stuff.....

44. Are you ticklish? depends where you try to tickle me!

45. Last time you saw fireworks? maybe last year? We skipped Canada Day fireworks this year.

46. Last time you had a Krispy Kreme doughnut? oh wow, forever ago, probably sometime at college

47. Who is the last person that left you a message and you actually returned it? haha, good question.....probably Kathy or someone in James' family

48. Last time you parked under a carport? I really have no idea

49. Do you have a black dog? no, I had one most of my life, but she is sadly gone.......sniff sniff (RIP Raisin)

50. Have you had your mid-life crisis yet? I sure hope not!

51. Are you an aunt or uncle? aunt to six little girls, one baby boy, and two unborns!

52. Who has the prettiest eyes that you know of? hmmmm, I don't even really know that I've thought too much about that :)

Where's question #53?

54. Do you remember Ugly Kid Joe? who? apparently not.....

55. Do you have a little black dress? well yes I do.......I got it for graduation 2 years ago, but I don't know if it fits so well anymore........depressing.....

Monday, August 27, 2007

$6.16 to wreck $2400 of dental work?

As the cashier told me my total at the 7-11 last night, the irony struck me, as I have already shared in the title of this post. :)

Earlier this year, I had a bit of *lovely* dental work done, to the tune of $2400. It wasn't overly extensive or anything -- a root canal, a couple tiny fillings, a crown, and a cleaning. It wasn't as painful as I had worked myself up to think it would be, but still is not something I want to repeat anytime soon. So what was I doing at the 7-11 counter with a giant Slurpee and a load of sugary candy in hand???

Welllllllllll, I'll just chalk it up to depression.......lol. I had just returned from driving my husband to police boot camp. He'll be there this week, and the next, and the next, and the next, etc etc etc. Let's just say he'll be away the better part of the next four months. And that makes me sad, and sugar makes me happy.......and that all works out in some equation in my head, and only MY head. :)

I got home with the loot and kinda felt bad. Not too bad, just bad enough that I made sure not to eat it ALL in one sitting, and then ran and brushed my teeth afterwards. Sometimes I just can't get enough sugar........and I've always always always been a fan of really junky candy. Apparently, the tooth that had its nerve killed and a root canal done was NOT my sweet tooth! :)

Just keep brushing, just keep brushing.....

P.S. For all you sugar buffs, here's what I got...........Fun Dip, Bottlecaps, Nerds, Skittles, and a Cow Tail. (shut up, I was really depressed! :)

funny email from my mom

A study conducted by UCLA's Department of Psychiatry has revealed that the kind of face a woman finds attractive on a man can differ depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle. For example: if she is ovulating, she is attracted to men with rugged and masculine features. However, if she is menstruating, or menopausal, she tends to be more attracted to a man with duct tape over his mouth and a spear lodged in his chest while he is on fire.

No further studies are expected.

P.S. You can laugh -- it's funny! :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

my new cell phone!

James and I used to share a cell phone, which became kind of a drag, especially if we were both out and about and wanted to get a hold of each other. But, for the time being, that is what we had -- it was economically convenient and all that.......but......it was time to move on!

So move on we did!! On Monday night, we each got our own cell phones! Now we are connected. It will be especially great when James will be out of town every week.....he can still have his, and I can have mine while I'm driving around town/to work/etc. Plus (bonus) I can make my cell look girly and he won't have to look at it or be embarrassed to be seen with it......lol.

Anyways (drum roll please), here's my new phone! You can click on the pictures on the left. It's a Motorola Razr V3c in pretty, pretty pink! I told you it was girly. Anyways, it's pretty cool for a cell phone. James got some black, guy-looking thing ----- bo-o-oring! :)

Now, if only I had watited to buy my iPod until they came out with the pink version, I'd be all dolled up in pink technology. :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

sadness

On a more somber note, we just recently found out that a guy James knew in college (was his floorleader, in fact), was in a very bad car accident (hit a semi head-on) and is in serious condition in an ICU in Iowa. He is in a coma, and also suffered a massive stroke, which has left the doctors wondering whether he will be able to walk or talk when he wakes up. Please pray for Joe and his wife Jaime -- they need a lot of intervention. And we know our God is up to the task.

Also, I just found out today that the lady I have been taking care of for the past nine months is in the hospital. I'm not exactly sure yet what's going on, but she has been going downhill for a while. Pray for Violet and her daughter, Kathy. Both of them are very dear to me, and I believe both of them need Christ!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

update on life

Soooooo.......now that all the summer birthdays and events have tapered off, life has become a bit dull (AKA I'm working more......lol). And the summer is beginning to come to an end, which saddens me immensely. It's only the middle of August, but already I can feel the change in weather and the shortening of the days. It didn't get light until after 6am this morning, and it is not even supposed to get up to 70 degrees today! Excuse me while I go mourn the loss of the wonderful sunny warm weather!

Anyways, life is still happening, even if it is dull.

1. James is going away to Ontario Police College in just a tad over a week. He will be gone Monday to Friday for about 16 weeks. I am very thankful that he has been able to get a ride to his destinations (over 2 hours away), which means I will be able to keep the car to get myself around town and to work and such. That is, if the car decides it will keep running (see #2).

2. Ah, the car! The good old 1993 Saturn that has serviced us so well for so many miles and trips. Something is wrong with it. It overheated majorly yesterday (wasn't even hot out), and it appears that either the thermostat or the water pump may be broken? I know next to nothing about cars -- my knowledge consists of insert key, start car, drive away......lol. :) But I did know there was something wrong with it, just didn't know what. It is at the repair shop now, waiting to be fixed, if it will be worth the $$ to do so. Meanwhile, we are car-less and pretty much option-less at this point. Haha, I make it sound so dramatic.

3. I bought myself a plane ticket to go out west and see my sister and her family in November! That's a bit of exciting news, I have never been to see where she lives. And since James will be away, and doesn't really dig girly things and babies anyways, it's a perfect chance for me to go. I also got a ride into Buffalo, so I can fly out of there instead of Toronto. You wouldn't think traveling a couple of hours to another airport could make such a big difference in price, but it does -- to the tune of $400! I am definitely okay with that kind of savings!

4. Niece #7 should be making her entrance in the next couple of weeks. Yay for being an aunt again!

5. I have hit yet another wall in the process of trying to become a fully licensed registered nurse in the province of Ontario. My test date has been delayed yet again, this time to Jan/Feb 2008. I am getting a little discouraged by this time, it seems to have taken forever to get to this point, and it feels I am still no further along. I guess I should just be thankful to be able to work and that we both have steady sources of income. I just hope I don't lose all the knowledge I worked my butt off to learn!

6. Jamie's grandparents celebrated 50 years of marriage last weekend, so there was a big open house and extended family get-together. It was actually a pretty nice time......sometimes I loathe these events, b/c I am not a huge fan of chit-chatting with people I don't know overly well. But all went well. It was James' mom's side of the family, and they are mostly pretty nice people, easy to talk to and all that. It was a long day, and I was glad it had finally arrived, b/c that meant I was completely DONE with their scrapbook! Thankfully, they really liked it -- I could tell it meant a lot to them -- that always makes you feel like the time you spent was not wasted! Most all the children and grandchildren were able to be there (missed you, Cheryl!), and overall, it was a pleasant day.

7. We went to an OPP party the other night and socialized with all the cops. Yeah, it never hurts to be on their good side, right? :) I thought it might be awkward, seeing as I don't know most of them, but it was a good time, and they even made me feel included. James works with a good group of guys, so we are definitely thankful for that!

Well, if you don't care about the tiny details of our lives, then I'm sure this post bored you to death. Sorry about that! I just felt like writing something newsy, as opposed to philosophical (it's too early in the morning for one of those!). Come back again, maybe I'll dig up something that is intelligent and meaningful (ya never know!).

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

b/c i don't feel much like writing anything......

........ here is a pic of us on our anniversary I am being lazy, maybe I will feel like posting something later. :)

Friday, August 3, 2007

daniel andrew

Daniel Andrew
July 31, 2007
7 lb, 6 oz
21 inches long
2:27 am
A true miracle from God
and my brand new brother-in-law!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

a good month (and my 100th post)

July has always been my favorite month. It's a little selfish, but oh well. :) Favorites are selfish to begin with. Anyways, here are the great happenings of July 2007.

July 1 -- Canada Day and my brother-in-law David's birthday -- he turned 12.

July 2 -- my sister-in-law Tabitha's birthday -- she turned 14

July 4 -- Happy Independence Day!

July 8 -- James' grandmother's birthday -- we won't mention her age :)

July 11 -- my in-laws' anniversary -- celebrated 27 years

July 20 -- my dad-in-law's birthday -- the BIG 5-0!

July 23 -- our wedding anniversary -- celebrated 2 years!

July 24 -- I turned 24! And yes, that makes me feel old!

July 28 -- my sister-in-law Beth's birthday -- she turned 22

July 31 -- rounding out the month of July is the brand new addition to the family. James' mom gave birth to a baby boy named Daniel this morning around 2:30 am. Yippee, another July birthday!!!

As you can see, we are celebrating practically every other day in July. August only has a couple, and then pretty much nothing until November. Funny how that works out. So I love July! Plus, this month found us doing many other fun activities, lots of working, dinners out, and appointments. A very busy and a very good life.

P.S. I made it to 100 posts......a miracle in itself. :-D

Thursday, July 19, 2007

so it has been 10 days.....

I have not felt the need to post anything in a while. Summer is a busy time, a great time, the best season in my opinion, and there is usually something way more fun to be doing than sitting at the computer and blogging about my life (or lack of one). :)

Hmmmm, what's new? Well, I got my new Chris Rice CD in the mail today!!! I preordered it (yep, I'm a geek) and it actually came the week it was released, shockingly enough. It is even autographed!!! If you've never heard of Chris Rice or heard any of his music, then you are definitely missing out! Check it out here! (Click on LISTEN). His lyrics and music are amazing.

Other great stuff -- my anniversary and birthday are coming up in a few days here. If you'd like to contribute a gift, message me and I'll gladly give you my address. :) LOL!

Mostly, I am just working a ton, working on the big scrapbook here and there, hanging with my husband, and celebrating tons of family events. My mother-in-law hasn't had the baby yet, so I guess that will be the next big news item. Oh, and I'm working on being able to fly out to Oregon in the fall to see my awesome sister!!!

Ok, done!

Monday, July 9, 2007

my favorite smoothie

hey yeah, I know I haven't posted in a while.......oh well. Such is life.

Anyways, me and my sis-in-law Rach went strawberry picking last week.......so fun!!! Maybe I'll post a couple pics when I get back on my own computer. With all the fresh fruit in the house, I've been blending up some smoothies. Total yumminess. Next week, we're going to get fresh raspberries. Mix this one up -- it's healthy and will cool you right down.

You need -- 4 pieces of ice -- 1 cup of low-fat milk -- 1/2 cup of fresh strawberries -- 1/2 cup of fresh raspberries -- 1/2 cup (4 oz container) of your favorite nonfat yogurt -- 1 or 2 tsp of sugar to taste

Mix it all up in a blender for a minute or two, making sure to break up the chunks of ice. Wow, is this good! You can do all strawberries or all raspberries if you want, too. For the yogurt, you can do something like vanilla, strawberry, or raspberry, but for an extra kick, try lemon. Or I put in chocolate the other day, and it was amazing! For the sugar, you can just mix it up and taste before adding the sugar.....you might not want any at all.

P.S. This recipe makes about 24 oz worth. :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

my dna




Wow, I am pleased with what I got.....for the most part. I love that it found me to be a creator.....I love making things, I love thinking up ideas for making things. Anyways, if you wanna try, click HERE.

sunburn, job offers, and shoe shopping

So, yeah, the title pretty much says it all. Continue reading only if you want the boring details. :)

1. Sunburn -- yep, I got it!! And I'm excited about it. If only b/c it will soon become a tan and that means I won't be bright white any longer. I even wore a tank top so I wouldn't have a farmer's tan, but alas, I forgot about my pink breast cancer band, so now I have a nice white one to go along with the pink. Anyways, it was fun to get, too -- Jamie and I went kayaking today. I had never been before, and it was pretty amazingly fun. That is, it was fun after I freaked out for the first 10 minutes about how I was going to fall out. :) Yeah, it was fun after that. Good times, we are definitely going again!

2. Job offers -- not for me, but for Jamie! He's now an official full-time police officer for the Ontario Provincial Police. He has been working toward this for quite some time.....and the day has finally arrived. Taco Bell to celebrate! Well, actually, Taco Bell pretty much anytime we feel like it, but whatever. :) He starts August 27.......has to go away to school for 4-ish months. And we don't have to move!!! They could have posted him anywhere in Ontario, but they kept him right here at the detachment he has been working at for the past year. Good all around!

3. Shoe shopping -- hasn't actually been done yet, but is in the works for this weekend! I was in Walmart picking up some pictures and started looking at the shoes. Before I knew it, I tried on about 25 pairs of sandals/flip flops and decided it was so super addicting that I definitely need to do some more of that and soon! I do happen to need tennis shoes, so I'm sure I can throw in a couple of pairs of flip flops too. :) Yay summer!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

yay!

I got two words on my kitchen bingo card so far!!!

Hmmmm, in other news......

  1. I am currently loving 7-11's Slurpuccinos!!! Yum! If you try it, don't be expecting anything gourmet, but expect all the goodness of a Slurpee from a convenience store.....my personal favorite! And much less fat than a frap......it's all good.
  2. Jamie successfully made it through his interview and will be hired by the OPP any day now!!! We don't really know if we're moving or not yet......we'll keep our fingers crossed.
  3. Our kitties are buddies now, for the most part. The little one is a lot more affectionate than his older "sister" ever was. He loves to curl up in our laps and sleep with us. Spencer is independent and could care less if we existed, as long as her food bowl gets filled every now and then. :)
  4. It's hot! Summer is finally here!
  5. I hosted a baby shower for my mom-in-law this past Thursday. Overall, it went really well.....there were 30-ish people there, and lots of yummy food and fun games! I was pleased with the outcome.
  6. I am currently working on a big scrapbook for my husband's grandparents. They will be celebrating 50 years of marriage in August, and this is supposed to be their gift, if I ever get it done. :) It's weird scrapping someone else's memories, especially since I wasn't there for any of it. Oh well, it seems to be going along okay, maybe I'll post pics of some of the completed pages.
  7. And so it goes...... Life is good and busy and that's the way we like it. Upcoming is July, probably the busiest month of the year. Five family birthdays, two anniversaries, and an impending birth. Party on! We'll have no money, but hey, what else is new?

Friday, June 22, 2007

I bet you didn't know......

.....these weird, funny, strange, entertaining, and sometimes gross things. :)

  1. 40% of McDonald's profits come from Happy Meals.
  2. 315 entries in Webster's 1996 dictionary were misspelled.
  3. On the average, 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents daily (scary!)
  4. Ketchup was sold in the 1830's as a medicine.
  5. There are no clocks in Las Vegas casinos.
  6. Because metal was scarce, the Oscars given out during World War II were made of wood.
  7. It took Leonardo da Vinci 10 years to paint the Mona Lisa's lips.
  8. The original name for the butterfly was the flutterby!
  9. Dentists recommend that a toothbrush be kept at least six feet away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush.
  10. Michael Jordan makes more money from Nike annually than the entire Nike factory workers in Malaysia combined.
  11. Adolf Hitler's mother seriously considered having an abortion, but was talked out of it by her doctor. Thanks, Doc!
  12. The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.
  13. The only domestic animal not mentioned in the Bible is the cat.
  14. Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.
  15. The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.
  16. "Dreamt" is the only word in the English language that ends in "mt."
  17. In Chinese, the KFC slogan 'finger lickin' good' comes out as "eat your fingers off."
  18. A cockroach can live for 10 days without a head.
  19. Every person sheds 40 pounds of skin in his lifetime. (yuck!)
  20. Mexico City sinks about 10 inches every year.
  21. Your brain is more active when you are sleeping than when you are watching TV.
  22. There are more chickens than people in the world.
  23. The average 4-year-old child asks 400 questions a day.
  24. The first owner of the Marlboro cigarette company died of lung cancer.
  25. The world's youngest parents were 8 and 9, and lived in China in 1910.
  26. Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying.
  27. The Mona Lisa has no eyebrows.
  28. Colgate faced a big obstacle marketing toothpaste in Spanish speaking countries, because Colgate translates into the command "go hang yourself." LOL!
  29. Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people. As a lefty, I definitely take offense to this!
  30. If the population of China walked past you in a single file line, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.
  31. China has more people who speak English than the United States does.
  32. Every square inch of human skin consists of twenty feet of blood vessels -- cool!
  33. Wearing headphones for an hour increases the bacteria in your ear 700 times.
  34. More than 40,000 parasites and 250 types of bacteria are exchanged during a French kiss.......ewwwwww!
  35. Coca-Cola was originally green.
  36. The most common name in the world is Mohammed.
  37. Women blink nearly twice as much as men.
  38. It is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky.
  39. 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321
  40. If a statue of a person on a horse in a park has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died of a wound sustained in battle. If all four feet are on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
  41. Honey is the only food that does not spoil.
  42. A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out.
  43. A snail can sleep for three years.
  44. All polar bears are left-handed.
  45. Butterflies taste with their feet.
  46. American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one olive from each salad served in first class.
  47. Elephants are the only animals that can't jump.
  48. On average, people fear spiders more than they fear death.
  49. Shakespeare invented the words "assassination" and "bump."
  50. The electric chair was invented by a dentist -- makes sense!
  51. The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out to the body to squirt 30 feet!
  52. Rats multiply so quickly that in 18 months, two rats could have over a million descendants.....that just makes my skin crawl.
  53. The cigarette lighter was invented before the match.
  54. Most lipstick contains fish scales.......yuck!

Well, there, now if you've read this, you can say you definitely learned something today. :)