Wednesday, December 24, 2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

The stockings are filled.......
The presents are all wrapped and under the tree......
The tree is brightly lit and decorated......
The candles are lit on the mantle......
Cards and packages have arrived from far away with more to come.......
Snow is on the ground.......
Christmas music is playing on iTunes.......

Yes, Christmas is definitely here. However, none of the items mentioned above are the reason or meaning behind this most special of days. We, as Christians, are blessed above everyone to realize that the reason for Christmas -- our wonderful baby Saviour Jesus Christ -- became the man who would die on the cross and take all our sins away. I can't even wrap my mind around that -- that He would love us ME enough to be born into this world, only to die. Thank you, Jesus.

May you be blessed as you celebrate Christmas this year, remembering in awe the birth of Emmanuel -- God WITH us. But please remember -- the baby in the manger became the Christ of the cross. Without that, the Christmas story is incomplete.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

snow and other such winter happenings

Well, I guess this is a record year for snow. And all over the place too -- not just in the northeast!! Even though I become quite annoyed with snow at times, I do have to admit it wouldn't quite seem like Christmas without all the snow. However, that being said, it would be pretty great if it would all just disappear by the end of 2008. :)

I think it snowed pretty much all day Friday. Fortunately, we were both off, so we just stayed inside by the fireplace all day. There was no snow on Saturday, but the temps were beyond frigid. Probably the coldest I've felt this winter so far. Brrrrrrr. We record our temps in Celsius here, but it worked out to about 1 or 2 degrees Fahrenheit. Pretty bone chilling.

On Saturday evening, we went to a Christmas party with some of the people where James works. I didn't really know most of the people, but I had a really good time anyways. Lots of laughing and lots and lots of GREAT food. James thought we might get home by 10pm, but I think we pulled into our driveway about 1:30am. And it was just starting to snow. Again. We got several more inches overnight. Although thankfully, I was tucked away snug in my bed for the duration of that.

Sunday morning (well, at least the daylight hours of the morning) came much too quickly, and then I tried to figure out if it would be wise to drive to church in the lovely conditions. We drive about 30 or so minutes one way to church. After cleaning a mountain of snow off the car and looking at our uncleared street, I thought maybe it would be okay. After all, it was the last Sunday before Christmas, and we were supposed to have a Christmas service at the nursing home that afternoon. So I decked out in winter gear -- including my extremely stylish snow boots -- and drove reallllllllllly slowly to church. It took a bit longer than normal, but I didn't slip or slide and I safely arrived in one piece.

The rest of the happenings of the day will have to wait for another time, bc I have to go to work now (boo). :) Let's just say I didn't exactly make it home Sunday night......

P.S. I just wanted to congratulate myself on a major achievement. I was making banana ripple cake (a great recipe of my mom's) to take to the party on Saturday night. One of the steps in the recipe requires beating a couple of egg whites to meringue-y perfection. Well, I have really only tried this on my own one other time in my life (last week) and it was pretty much a disaster. Well, the whites didn't stiffen AT ALL and just became a foamy white milky substance. And being the amazing chef I am, I added them to the batter anyways, just bc I didn't have any eggs left and I thought it would be okay. And essentially, it was -- the cake just wasn't as fluffy and light as it could have been. Anyways.......off the rabbit trail.......I beat the egg whites on Saturday afternoon, and I beat them to amazing PERFECTION. I was soooooo impressed with myself and soooooo proud. I kept showing them to Jamie (he thought they were great too). It was just such a shame that they had to get folded into the cake batter instead of being put on display, as all PERFECT things should be. Haha. I'm sure it will never happen again......shoulda taken a picture.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

snowmageddon??

Kind of a dumb term in my opinion. But that is what they are forecasting here in our part of Canada for the next several days, starting tomorrow. It's going to start snowing in the morning and not quit until evening. Then perhaps a day of no precipitation before it snows EVERY DAY next week. I guess that means a white Christmas. :) That's something some people only get to dream about, so I'll be thankful for that!! And I'm also thankful we don't have to work this weekend, so we can stay inside and veg by the fireplace (and listen to the neighbor snow blow the driveway and sidewalks for us!!).

Ah snow. The substance of winter.

P.S. I'm talking real snow here, people. With accumulation and everything. Unlike the dusting my sister in Oregon got and dared to call snow. Hahaha. :) :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

i'm a simple girl, really.....

This is the life, I thought to myself on Saturday night. What was I doing, you ask?? Dining on caviar and brie at an upscale party at the finest hotel in Toronto, wearing an elegant evening gown and diamonds galore??

Haha no. Never in a million years.

I was drinking apple cider and eating peanut M&M's. I was working on a new cross stitch pattern. And I was watching Anne of Green Gables. Quite possibly one of the best movies ever. Ah, this IS the life.

See, I told you -- a simple girl.

P.S. I was also at work and therefore getting paid for my entertainment. :) :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

funny funny

Well, I think I finished most of my Christmas shopping. All that's really left is my dad and the rest of Jamie's stuff. And I've spent the past couple of days wrapping the gifts and getting most of them in boxes ready for the post office. Yuck. I hate living far away from everyone and having to mail gifts. On the other hand, I love GETTING gifts in the mail!! :)

Anyways, I'm tired and I need to go to bed, but I thought I'd post this video. It makes me laugh hysterically every. single. time. I watch it. And I watch it a lot. Like at least once a week, and sometimes every day. It's pretty much the funniest thing I've ever seen. Watch it and see -- make sure to turn my music on the sidebar off first. :)






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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

snow sky

I'm not sure it will ever be dark again. Even at two in the morning anymore, our sky is not dark -- it is what I call a snow sky. Kinda white-ish, like snow is just hanging there, waiting to fall. Oh snow. I can't say I missed THAT while we were gone to PA. For all those interested, we got another truckload of snow dumped on our little town last night. Yippee. Maybe I should stop writing all my blog posts right after I finish shoveling........it might make them sound less bitter. :-)

Sooooooo I am feeling better. Mostly all the way. Last night, I was even able to fall asleep without having an hour-long coughing fit first. And I finally feel like I can function during the day without falling over, I had some serious TIRED issues for a while there. Yep, I'm getting there. Thanks for thinking of me. I did decide to skip going to the dentist yesterday though -- too afraid I would sneeze all over the place or accidentally bite the hygienist while trying to suppress a cough. Oh well, I'm not tooooooo disappointed about that, even though I love going to the dentist so much (eye roll). :)

Anyways, we had a wonderful trip. It was busy, but relaxing at the same time. It was great to see my parents, and my brother and his family. My nieces are getting so big -- Madelyn is already 8 months old!! All of us spent Thanksgiving and Black Friday at Andrew's house, and it was so so nice to have a Vasel Thanksgiving once again. Certain things like the stuffing and the salad with bacon dressing cannot really be duplicated anywhere else in the world. :-) The last time I had Thanksgiving at home was in the year 2000, if you can believe that. Definitely long overdue. Watching football (yay!) and playing many many LOUD rounds of Last Word filled up the day. We have such a competitive family, and there was some serious arguing catfighting going on. Hehe.

And because we can't really go a day without retail therapy, we actually went shopping on Thanksgiving Day. I know, I know, some people think we're sacrilegious. But Michael's (ah bliss) was open 6-9 pm, and we just had to take advantage of the great deals!!! Seriously, I think it would have been a sin not to. :-) Then, on Black Friday, my mom, Grace, and I braved the cold and the crowds and left the house at 3:45 am. We had been contemplating starting at midnight, since that's when one of the outlet malls opened, but we were just too tired. So I think we hit Penney's, Macy's, Boscov's, other stores in the mall, Kohl's, Walmart, and JoAnn's by the time we were done. I seriously could not wake up until maybe 5 am or so.......I was just walking around the mall in a bit of a daze. But once I became conscious, I had so much fun. We all did. And we all got a lot of Christmas shopping done!!! Judge us if you like, but we accomplished a lot in the eight hours we were out. Good thing it's only once a year though, I really think I'm STILL catching up on the sleep I missed. :-)

Anyways, it was a great time spent with my family. I love all of them so much. I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families.

Friday, December 5, 2008

home

Yep. I'm home.

And home is still cold and snowy -- unlike the practically balmy weather they were having in PA.

I also don't feel very well, so this is going to be short, and I will post later about all the details of our fun and exhausting trip.

But I just wanted to say I am alive.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

going home

So I'll be leaving for a little while. We're going home (well, home for me) to the fine state of Pennsylvania to eat lots of turkey and visit what family is left there. Too bad Rita's won't be open, but I guess I'll live. :-)

Anyways, we're leaving sometime tomorrow morning, and will be back the following Thursday sometime. I have to come back by that day, b/c I'm attending and helping out with a ladies' Christmas dinner thing at church. Then, on Friday (Dec 5), Jamie and I are going to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra live in concert!! So excited about that.......

I'll be back........eventually.......

P.S. I just came home from seeing the Twilight movie!! Aside from the fact that I had to watch it with about 300 or so giggly teenagers, I enjoyed it a lot. But, I have to say, the book was probably at least 1000 times better. But that seems to be the way it always is (for me, anyways). I'm working on New Moon now......

Monday, November 24, 2008

new moon

So I'm finally getting the second Twilight book today!! Patience and being cheap have paid off. Maybe if I like all the books, I'll ask for the whole set for Christmas. We'll see. :-)

I really need to be cleaning up the house in anticipation of our trip instead of sitting here and blogging. Thankfully, the house is pretty clean already, and I just have to finish up a few dishes and do the packing. Oh, and I also have to remove most everything from the bathroom b/c it is getting demolished remodeled while we're away. I hope it is all done by the time we get home, b/c I hate living in a mess. We've already been living for three plus months with no carpet or tile on the floor and a big hole under the sink. I really can't wait until we move.

The Packers are playing tonight, so I'll definitely be watching that at work. James seems to think they're gonna lose. I can't wait to text him when they win!!!

Off to finish the housework.......

P.S. It's snowing like crazy here........again.......sigh........

Sunday, November 23, 2008

missed a day :)

Well, I just noticed that I actually posted seven or eight days in a row. And then I had to go and mess that up by not posting yesterday. And I'm not actually sure if this will post on Sunday or Monday, seeing as it's pretty close to midnight.

Oh well -- not much has happened. We had a lazy Saturday and a busy Sunday -- just the way I like it. Tomorrow (today?) is back to work for both of us, except it's only for two days and then we are on vacation!!! Which is our reward for working hard all year. Too bad the exchange rate is so terrible right now. AT least gas prices are pretty manageable for a road trip.

It doesn't really matter -- as long as we get to be with family, it will be a good great Thanksgiving.

(OOPS, just remembered......family isn't the ONLY important thing. We also need stuffing. Lots and lots of stuffing!!!)

Friday, November 21, 2008

spoke too soon??

Well, I complained in my post yesterday. And lucky me, the CNO just happened to be reading my blog, and sent the results to me straightaway!!

Haha, well, not really. They didn't really read my blog.

But I did get the results, and..........I PASSED!!!! Yippee!!!! I was a little nervous to open the envelope, but in the end, I just tore it open and then kinda peeked inside until I knew it was okay. And it was more than okay!!! It said something like, "we are pleased to inform you that your attempt at the examination was successful" or some fluffy garbage like that. :-)

But it's all good. Still need to do a little paperwork to make it official, but there will be no more studying exam questions and no more freaking out. Well, no more studying anyways -- I'll work on the freaking out thing. And now I get to sell my study guide on eBay, hopefully someone else will get as much use out of it as I did.

Anyways, all that aside, we had a really nice day. James and I are both off for the next three days, so it's always nice to have that time together. We went out and got the rest of the stuff we need for Christmas decorating and finished that up when we came home. I know, I KNOW, it's not even Thanksgiving yet, but we like our Christmas and we like our Christmas stuff and we like it up for a long time. So now the mantle and fireplace and doors and windows are all decorated, and it looks so so pretty.

Oh, and we also got to go out for a nice dinner to celebrate my (ahem) accomplishment. Just had to throw that in there again, in case you missed the first part of the post. Hahahaha...... :-)

On a side note and totally off topic, I took my cat to the vet today for her annual checkup and rabies vaccine. She has been eating diet overweight management food for a while now, and I didn't really think it was making much difference. I mean, she still felt like a ton of bricks when she would unceremoniously plant herself on the middle of my back while I was lying in bed. But, apparently, the food is doing the trick -- she weighed 17.5 pounds (I KNOW!) in March, and today she weighed 15.1 pounds. Yay!!! Just like that, in 8 months, she dropped 14% of her body weight. Ahhhh, if only I could do the same........

(Note to self -- eat 1/3 cup of nasty dry pellets two times a day for 8 months -- yeah, that actually probably WOULD do the trick.......)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm starting to get a little impatient......

My test results have STILL not arrived. You know, from the test I took forever ago.

The CNO promised me results in 4-6 weeks. As in not before four weeks' time is up, and certainly not after six weeks had passed.

Well, the 6-week-mark was YESTERDAY, and I am still in the dark about whether I passed. Which, of course, I did, right?? Right.

And I certainly don't go out and check the mail every 10 minutes between 11am and 1pm (our normal window of mail time). Nope. Not me.

More like every five minutes. :-)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

WW, part three

Ahem.

I totally forgot about the next part. :) Remember the huge chunks of ice in the driveway??

Well, my relief arrived in the morning bright and early. I had thought I should probably start warming up my car and cleaning it off BEFORE she got there, so I could leave semi-on-time. Well, thanks to a little early-morning nap, I kinda didn't do that and awoke to the sound of her trying to get in the locked door. Haha. Anyways, after filling her in on the wonderful events of the night, I suited up and went outside to start the car. I started blasting the heat and defroster (and my wonderful seat warmers) and then got to work on the outside of the car.

Can I say YUCK? The snow was sooooo icy and therefore, unbrushable. No powdery white stuff here. Just 2+ inches of icy white hardness all over my car. Well, it had to get done, so I chipped away at it, and by the time I was done 15 minutes later, my car was toasty and warm.

Except I couldn't get in it yet. Because I was blocked in the driveway by chunks boulders of ice that the snow plow had shoved at the end. Sigh. It's one thing to clean off an icy car with a scraper, but quite another to try to shovel boulders. :) I started chipping away at it, except they didn't really go anywhere. Come to find out later, they were actually super-glued in place..........haha, just kidding. I got a little piece here and a little piece there whacked away, but nothing notable. I thought of the possibilities of doing this for an hour. I also thought of just walking home. :) Or maybe going back inside V's house and making myself a cup of tea.

Just then, a car drove by, and the man driving it waved at me. I'm like, um, ok, nice of you to wave at me when you're DRIVING and I'm standing here looking at boulders I would like moved. :) He pulled off to the side of the road and got out. I started reaching for my cell phone and the 911 on speed dial. I wasn't really looking at him, but I heard him say, "here, I'll help you with that." And I immediately felt bad for my previous thoughts. :) Then I actually looked at him and realized it was V's son-in-law who lives around the corner!! I gladly handed over my shovel and thanked him at least 14 times for saving me. Meanwhile, he was apologizing to me for not coming sooner!! Of course, he put me to shame in the shoveling department -- he finished clearing the boulders in a matter of minutes, and I was left wondering if I should start doing upper arm exercises lol. :) After approximately 33 more thank-yous, I was on my way.

Yippee! I warmed my tushie and fervently wished that our driveway would be clear when I got home. Or at least have no huge unmanageable BOULDERS. I mean, I wouldn't want to have to drag V's son-in-law all across town to help me again, now, would I?? :)

Thankfully, our driveway was fine. Thanks, baby!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

a couple pictures

my two babies :)

okay, okay, the snow is pretty!! :)

snow, branches, and berries


our pretty pretty Christmas tree

Monday, November 17, 2008

WW, part two

When I got to work on Saturday night, I got warm and determined to forget about the snow and just deal with the aftermath in the morning. So much for determination.

V was sleeping (yay!), pretty soundly too. I checked on her every now and then, but there wasn't much else to do. I watched a little TV, read a little, texted friends, etc. The lights flickered on and off around midnight, but I wasn't too worried. I carried on in my lonely little world, and V kept sleeping.

But an hour later, the power went OFF. Completely off. Like, I was in total darkness. Ahhhh!! I was in the living room at the time, and quite suddenly I could see absolutely nothing. I picked up my phone (yay for cell phone lights -- no matter how small they are, they are a BIG help in total blackness) and stumbled around looking for a flashlight. I found one in the kitchen; the light wasn't very bright but a little better. I thought I'd better go check on V b/c I heard a very LOUD beeping coming from her room. Her room was the darkest -- the window was covered for sleeping-during-the-day purposes, so I walked around, bumping into things, trying to determine the source of the beeping. I finally figured out it was her bed/mattress. She has one of those hospital-type beds that move up and down with an inflatable mattress. Well, as soon as the power went out, the mattress deflated (!!) and quite obviously the bed couldn't go up and down anymore. I turned off the beeping and wondered what to do. I didn't want to call her daughter, b/c then she would freak out that something was really wrong with her mom (which it wasn't).

So I thought, well, if the power's not back on in an hour, I'll call someone (again, yay for cell phones). I perched on the little sofa outside her room, cell phone and flashlight at my side. I'm not a big fan of being alone in her house at night anyways -- sometimes the little noises creep me out. Well, let me tell you it's about a thousand times worse when there is no light. I prayed for God to turn the lights back on. Then I remembered I had brought my Nintendo DS, so I got that out and started playing with it -- that provided a little more light.

About 1:45am, the lights came back on.......and stayed on!!! Yippee!! I didn't have to call anyone, and it was light years less scary having some light and the dull roar of the TV in the background. V's bed started working again and her mattress reinflated, so all was well. She even slept through it all. Well, I mean she slept through it as best she could, in spite of me shining a dim flashlight in her face every few minutes to make sure she was still breathing. :-)

P.S. When I came to work the next night, someone kindly pointed out there was a much more powerful flashlight on V''s bedside table. Haha. YOU try finding a hidden flashlight in pitch blackness.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

winter wonderland??

Well, the snow season is upon us. I knew it was coming, but refused to accept it until the white stuff was falling all around.

Here's the thing -- I think snow is pretty. I really do. I don't mind snow on trees, snow banks, snowballs, snowmen, snow angels -- I like all of those. Snow on the street and in my driveway and on my car are entirely different things!!

Yesterday, the forecast changed so much. First, it said we would be getting 2-4 inches in the evening, and then 4-6 inches overnight. Yuck. Later in the afternoon (as it poured down rain), the forecast changed to rain/snow mix, as it wasn't supposed to get cold enough to snow. I had to go to work last night, so around 8pm, I turned on the weather channel, and it said it was raining. Yippee. I'll take it. Anything but the white stuff. I decided to walk outside -- we live in a basement and can't really see outside enough to know what the weather is like. And what do I find -- SNOW is falling prettily swirling around me from all sides, pelting me in the face, and covering EVERYTHING. It was icy snow too, not the easy-to-clean powdery stuff. And it was coming down at an insane rate.

I cleaned off the car at 8:30, trying to give myself enough time. I left the car to warm up for a bit, came back outside about 10 minutes later, and the car looked like I had never even touched it. And you wonder why I hate snow! After a little more shoveling and brushing (courtesy of my husband), I was on my way and driving very very slowly to work. None of the streets had been cleared -- because (DUH) according to the weather channel, it was RAINING. :-) So I kind of just drifted along, maybe 10km/hr. A normally 4-minute drive took about 15, but at least I arrived safely. The poor lady I was replacing at work hadn't even brought a coat with her because she hadn't expected it to snow. AND the weather channel said it was RAINING. :-)

Oh the winter fun has only begun. Now that it's started, it won't stop until March at least, or if we're REALLY lucky, maybe April. :)

Stay tuned for part two -- the blackout in the middle of the night and HUGE chunks of ice blocking me in the driveway in the morning.

Oh how I love hate loathe like tolerate snow. :-)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

verse of the week

My memory verse for the week is Colossians 4:11. I guess the pastor has been putting the book of Colossians in the bulletin for us to memorize, and we are at the last few verses. I wonder what book or topic will be next. Anyways, I have been working on it, and should be able to say it word perfect tomorrow!!

"And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me."

There, that wasn't so hard, was it?? The great part is that these are probably verses I never would have picked out to memorize. So I get to delve into God's Word a little deeper.

Friday, November 14, 2008

pretty exciting news!!!

Well, I guess since we have told most of our family and some of our friends, it's okay to post it on here too. :-) And if it's not, well.......too bad.

Come spring, James and I will be the proud owners of our very own brand new home!!! It will be so. amazingly. glorious. to have more space!! And closets!! And a (much) bigger kitchen!! And, well, you know, our. OWN. place.

And we are so excited to be able to build our own, as opposed to buying something already on the market. We have chosen the floor plan we liked best, and tweaked it a little with the help of an architect. And we get to pick absolutely everything that goes into it -- we had our decor appointment yesterday, and sat down and picked everything from the carpet to the color of the hardwood to the handles on the cabinets to the grout between the tiles!! It is truly an overwhelming experience, and I hope the finished product is as amazing as I think it will be. We have heard nothing but great things from this builder, so here's to hoping all continues well. I started to have a bit of a freakout moment yesterday -- what if I don't want a gray garage door in 5 months?? And what if I hate my counters when I see them all laid out instead of as a little sample piece?? Thankfully, the design crew was there to keep us in order and tell us if something would look majorly tacky or stupid, as interior decorating is not exactly my forte. :-)

House specs -- for those interested in these types of things :)

Area -- just under 2000 square feet
Garage -- two-car
Bedrooms -- three
Bathrooms -- two and a half
Basement -- unfinished
Laundry -- on second floor

There is a gas fireplace in the living room. The living room and dining room will be hardwood; the kitchen, foyer, half bath, and breakfast nook are all ceramic tile. The entire upstairs is carpeted. We got a lot of extras thrown in, such as the fireplace and hardwood, as well as a cool front door, a glass shower and soaker tub in the ensuite bath, a mission style railing, and a conservation lot.

Hopefully, I will be posting pics as the house progresses!! For now, here is a pic of the piece of land where our new home will be built.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

a cool deal

I'm not sure where I found this, but it's a pretty sweet deal.

Make a FREE 20-page 8 1/2 x 11 photo book at Snapfish and just pay shipping. The value of the book is $29.99, and the shipping you have to pay is maybe 6 or 7 dollars.

And the books are beautiful. And they make amazing Christmas gifts.

So click here and start making your book!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Scripture memorization

There are a lot of verses in the Bible about the importance of reading God's Word and storing it away in our brains.

"Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee." Psalm 119:105

"Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life." John 5:39

"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." I Peter 3:15

Honestly, I can't think of any better manual to help us in our lives than one written by God Himself. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness -- that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

I heard it explained like this last week.
DOCTRINE = what is right
REPROOF = what is NOT right
CORRECTION = how to make it right
INSTRUCTION = how to keep it right

I really believe that we can find answers to all our questions and problems in the Bible. Sure, it doesn't address every specific issue that we might face today. Does the Bible say we should not smoke? No, but it says we should take care of our bodies. Does the Bible say women should wear skirts and dresses only? No, but it says we are to dress modestly. Some issues, the Bible has VERY CLEAR statements for or against them. For instance, obedience to parents is a command and not optional. The Bible says murder is wrong. EVERY TIME. Even if it's an unborn baby. Certain things may not be as clearly laid out, but we can look to the Bible every time for principles that will guide us in the right direction.

I am really thankful that I went to two schools growing up, and later college, that put a special emphasis on memorizing Scripture. I grew up memorizing at least one verse a week for Sunday school. Also, we were required for school to memorize passages of Scripture every few weeks. One year, we memorized quite a few verses from the book of Proverbs. In third grade, I memorized the entire chapter of Hebrews 11 (40 verses!). In high school, we had a new passage every week, and we had to write them out from memory and be graded on it. In college, every Bible class/elective required a few verses a week for memorization.

I tell you all this not to boast about the number of verses I have memorized in my life. Frankly, memorizing Scripture really does nothing for you if you do not believe the words you are memorizing. It means nothing if you are not gleaning from the verses you have learned and applying them to your life. I could memorize long passages from great classic novels, and what good would it do me?? Knowing every verse of Jingle Bells might be entertaining for some, but not exactly worth anything. However, taking God's Word -- written directly to us and for us -- and tucking it away in our memory helps us to live as we should.

In all honesty, I really haven't memorized any verses in a while. At least not any new ones. The other day, I decided to see how many Psalms I could remember that I have memorized in the past. I was pleasantly surprised to see just how many I could write out. While my brain is still young, I want to continue to fill it with good things -- Scripture that is profitable! Every week, there is a memory verse in our church bulletin. I never really paid attention to it before, but I think I am going to start taking those verses, writing them out on cards, and trying my best to memorize them throughout the week.

After all, knowing the entire dialogue from Napoleon Dynamite probably isn't going to make a big difference in how I live my life. It's not something I can quote to someone and help them learn how they can go to Heaven. It's not going to help me know what is right and wrong. It's not going to help me encourage or help someone. It's not going to help me stand up to the devil. It's not going to help me study the Scriptures more effectively.

The Bible can do all these things and more. I am so glad God wrote down His Word for us, and we have it so readily available to us. I'll let you know how the memorizing goes.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

so much for posting every day :)

Well, what can I say?? I've been a little busy with, well, you know, LIFE.

On Tuesday night, I went to work and watched the election returns all night. Well, not really all night -- I was kinda hoping it would be a close race so I could watch it long into the night and maybe then my shift would go by faster. Instead I was watching Obama give his victory speech just shortly after midnight or so. Obviously, he was not the candidate I wanted to win, but he did and that's the end of it. I don't really have a speech about it. Except maybe to say -- check out the link to FOCA in my sidebar. And please please please sign the petition against this horrid piece of legislation.

On Wednesday, I took my 15-year-old sister-in-law T shopping. It was her birthday in, um, July, and so I finally decided to buy her something. :) The weather this week has been absolutely gorgeous, and I quite enjoyed our time together. And I'm pretty sure she did too. Good convos, good food, good weather, and new clothes = one fun afternoon. We headed back to their place around 4pm, and I stayed for a birthday supper for Opa. Then back to work around 8:30pm. And yes, by this time I was realllllly tired -- it was quite a struggle to stay awake at work.

Thursday morning, I came home and was planning on sleeping, but I didn't. I had just gotten the first Twilight book from the library the day before, and I only have 10 days with it, sooooooooo I read instead. And read and read and read. Because, unfortunately, it's one of those books you just can't put down. I finally decided maybe I should sleep a LITTLE, since I had plans for the evening. I curled up on the sofa and napped a little, but mostly just lay there, my head full of Twilight-y thoughts. Turns out I didn't need ten days after all -- I'm done after a day and a half. :) And I want so badly to start reading the next one, but I'm cheap and going to wait until I can get it from the library, hopefully in the next week or two when my name comes up on the list.

Thursday afternoon, I went and picked up my friend A and we went to Michael's!! If you know anything about me at all, you know this is my one little heaven on earth here in Canada. I only wish they had Joann's!! They were having quite a sale on all their fall stuff -- mostly Halloween, but I managed to find some awesome autumn paper from K & Company at 80% off. Plus a Thanksgiving flag for my mama and Halloween Kinder Eggs.

Off to Taco Bell for dinner, and then we (actually) managed to find the bowling alley we were supposed to meet other friends at (with guy-given directions!!). Sadly, the bowling place was JAMMED and they said we would have to wait like 1 1/2 hrs for a lane. No one really wanted to do that, soooooooo instead we drove all the way across town to go glow-in-the-dark mini golfing. Which was pretty fun, even though I was pretty bad at it. Okay, maybe not BAD, just inconsistent. I would do great on one hole, only to mess up the next one terribly. Needless to say, I didn't win (worst out of 5), but I had lots of fun anyways. On the way home, I cranked up Alvin and the Chipmunks, and me and A cracked ourselves up singing along with all their silly songs.

Yesterday was a bit of a nothing day, except that James finally got home from his trip and we went out for dinner. To Montana's!!! We've kind of been obsessed with their newest appetizer lately. The meal that James got came with a coupon for a free order of buffalo potato wedges (seriously to die for), so I'm sure we'll be going back again soon. :) James' meal also happened to be FREE -- a nice surprise!! James ordered his steak well-done, and it came out pretty medium-rare looking. Perfect for me, but he pretty much detests the sight of any pink or red in his meat. So he sent it back. The waitress brought it out a few minutes later, and needless to say, it was still quite pink. He was not impressed -- neither was the waitress -- I'm sure she had a few things to say to the person who was cooking. Apparently, she decided to tell the manager as well, who thought that the non-cooking of the meat was unacceptable and took the entire amount of his meal off our bill. Not a bad deal. But our waitress was so good and nice and kind about it all, and did a lot of running around, so we gave her a pretty healthy tip based on the full amount we would have paid. I'm sure that made her happy. :)

Now we are both off for quite a few days, so either we'll be really productive or really lazy. I've spent today making breakfast and lunch, and working on making Christmas cards. James has been playing xBox for about 5 hours. I'm sure you can figure out who is the productive one and who is the lazy one. :) :) :)

P.S. Yes, I know I linked to like a MILLION things in this post. I was bored. :-)

P.S. #2 If you don't do ANYTHING else today, at least please go over to the Fight FOCA website and sign the petition!!! It is so important!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I interrupt this very important election day.......

......to add my two cents. Two words, really.

GO MCCAIN!!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

oh yeah......

How are the gas prices where you are??

Ours have really dropped, but I think they're holding steady now around $3.40 a gallon. That would be in Canadian dollars though -- since the exchange rate is sooooo different now, that equals about $2.89/gallon in US funds. So overall not too bad in the scheme of things. I think that's pretty much the average price in the States right now.

Hey, I'll take it!! Especially since we were paying over $5 a gallon not too long ago.......

trying to keep up

So I'm not so good at the blog thing. Not really a surprise. The only thing I've really been able to keep up with in my life is my love of the Green Bay Packers. :-) Oh, and also my marriage -- that's a big one though!!

Sometimes I wonder about these people who post on their blogs daily, if not more often than that. I say kudos to them, since I certainly enjoy reading about their lives. But what fantastic time management skills they must have, something I have not yet learned. That's probably what my mom was trying to teach me as I holed up in my room reading and listening to music and wasting time as a teenager. :-)

James is still away, so I have even less motivation to do ANYTHING. Hence the reason it's 7:30pm, and here I sit in my PJ's and ponytailed, unwashed hair. But I AM doing laundry.....

Enough about my laziness.

Are we officially in the Christmas season?? Just when does that start anyways?? We've been listening to Christmas music in our house and in our cars for weeks now. It's kind of an obsession of ours -- never can really have enough!! And I think we're going to set up our tree soon!! That'll make our little space here seem much more homey. Hopefully next year, we'll have our own house with much more space to decorate as we please!! I didn't even put up a tree last year, since James was away for most of November and December, and we ended up going to PA to celebrate Christmas. One of our cats (the evil one) has never seen a Christmas tree, and I can only imagine the climbing and wickedness (and consequent disciplining) that will be coming once we put it up. Our other cat was around for one tree (2006) and she quite promptly claimed the tree skirt as her own personal blanket and mourned for days after we took it down. Cats.....

Election Day is tomorrow -- not really a big thing up here in Canada. Canada had their election a few weeks ago, without all the pomp and circumstance of the ridiculousness going on in the USA. I am definitely praying for all the goings-on of tomorrow. America needs God's help more than ever, no matter which of the candidates takes office (and I have a feeling it will not be the one I hope it will be). Thankfully, our God is bigger than the election, and He already knows exactly what will happen. No matter how scary things seem at times, it's really comforting to know everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) is under His control.

I'll try to be a bit better about posting -- let's see if I can post every day this week!! Now that would be.....well, let's face it.....a MIRACLE. :-)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

life is a whirlwind

Or so it sometimes seems. Before I know it, 2008 will be gone -- Jamie said today this has been the fastest year ever. But we probably say that every year. I think the solution is to stop sleeping so much. Either that, or maybe we could petition to lengthen the days or months or something. Not that it would help -- we would just start dying at earlier ages. :)

I'm still waiting on results of my RN exam. In the meantime, I am hoping to secure a job sometime in the very near future so I will be able to work just as soon as they say I have passed (because I have, right??). Playing the waiting game has never been one of my strong points. :)

We just took a mini weekend trip into the US last weekend to see my little brother get married. We drove through Michigan to get to Indiana where he lives, and the fall colors were AMAZING. I think we were driving through there on the perfect weekend. I will have to make a separate post with all the pretty pictures I took. Anyways, Matt got married on October 17, and now I have a new sister-in-law Lauren -- yay!! Although we probably won't get to see them much -- boo! :( We WILL get to see some more family come the end of November, b/c we are going to PA for American Thanksgiving!! It will be our second Thanksgiving this year. Also, maybe I can do a little post-Thanksgiving shopping a la American tradition. So I really need to start hoping/praying that the exchange rate improves for such things. :-) Here's a pic of Lauren and Matt.


Our little church is in a transition period right now. Our pastor (a missionary church planter) is planning to leave and start another church in another area. So we are working through finding another pastor -- who knew that was such a job?? We had a guest preacher and his family in today, campaigning for the position. Okay, so campaigning is not really the right word -- just visiting and preaching and getting to know the people and seeing if it's a good fit for both him and us. Hopefully, everything will work out and we will get a new pastor who can continue to lead the ministry in our young church. Also, we are helping to get another new church started in the area, so that has been exciting. Their opening services are this week, and a bunch of us are going to go over and be a part of that.

I have really come to love the people at our church. Granted, everywhere you go, there will be a few "oddballs" or people you don't quite line up with. But mostly, our church has an amazing camaraderie and such a genuine friendship among the members. Jamie and I have both made some great friends there, even in our church "small enough to know everyone's middle name." :-) Eventually, we will be moving a little further north, and that will most likely move us to another church. It makes me a little sad to know that we won't have these friends so close at hand anymore. But the distance won't be too great, and I know we will make more friends. Hopefully the times we share together now and later won't be TOO few and far between. Sometimes it's really hard to coordinate everyone's hectic schedules (okay, pretty much all the time)!! But....friends are friends FOREVER if the Lord's the Lord of them. And for now, we are trying to make the most of the times we can actually get together. Of course, it doesn't help when certain people are moving to the other side of the country for 3+ months.........you know who you are!!! Hahaha.....

Will life ever slow down?? I doubt it. Do we want it to??

Well.........sometimes. :-)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

yikes

Has it really been almost three weeks???

Well, the past few weeks have kept me pretty busy, mostly consumed with studying for the dreaded Canadian RN exam. However, as of yesterday, I am DONE with that and hopefully will be an RN here in Ontario before too long. I just have to wait 4-6 weeks for the results. Ugh, I hate waiting. Which might explain why I didn't do so well on the trip home yesterday from Toronto during rush hour. Lots of sitting still and crawling and people changing lanes like idiots. DEFINITELY glad I'm not a commuter!!

The exam itself wasn't too terrifying, and I think I did okay. I hope at least okay enough to pass. Haha, isn't that encouraging to hear a nurse say that -- someone who will be taking care of individuals and their very lives?!?!? There's a different standard for each exam as to what percent will pass, as they deem some versions harder than others.

So I took the test at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre along with 229 other hopeful candidates. And being in Toronto (or Ontario for that matter) I was in a significant white minority. Oh well. It was almost like going back to kindergarten. We had to keep proving who we were in order to enter the test room. We got neon pink bracelets with our seat number -- so they could tell who we were AND so we could remember where to go. :-) If we had to use the bathroom during the exam, we had to raise our hand at which point we would be personally taken there by an escort. (NO, they did not go in the stalls, just outside -- I know you were thinking that!) And we all got to hear about the rules for taking a Scantron (AGAIN! Didn't I take a million bazillion of those in college??). Don't make an X or a check mark, fill in the complete oval. Erase completely any stray marks. Yadda yadda yadda.

Ah well, I'll find out the results in 4-6 weeks. If they are positive, they will be gloriously posted here. If, for some reason, the outcome is, uh, not-so-favorable, I'll probably be dropping off the face of the earth and deleting this blog altogether. Hahaha. My coworkers already bought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers just for taking the exam, so hopefully there'll be a monetary gift of some sort involved when I tell them I actually passed. LOL just kidding, the flowers are beautiful and I certainly wasn't expecting them. It's nice to know the people you work with actually care about you a little (or else they're excited I'll be leaving soon and are sucking up to me to see if they can take my hours). :-) What a life.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

a beautiful day

Today, I was able to attend a wedding for Tiffany and Sebastian, a young couple in our church. Of course, being a girl, I love weddings and all the pretty things that go along with them. And it was really beautiful and sweet and everything a wedding should be. I would post a picture, but I really don't know if they want their mugs pasted all over the web, so I'll refrain. But it was a great time, and I'm glad I got to go. :)

The weather is absolutely gorgeous, and I am one happy girl -- Jamie was away for a week and came home last night. I really hate when he has to go away, so I'm excited that he's home!! I love him. :) Going to the wedding today reminded me of our own wedding three years ago, and that was fun, b/c those are some of my sweetest memories.

Friday, September 19, 2008

woes

As irony would have it, gas prices have dropped substantially in the past few days. Of course, it just happened that both of our cars needed to be filled up on the day the prices were sky high. Now when the prices are somewhat manageable, neither of the cars need gas!! And I have this (very) funny feeling that they will somehow go up by the time we need to fill up again. Because that's just the story of my life. :) Ah well.....

FYI, instead of the ridiculous $5.17 per gallon from the other day, most stations were selling it for $4.27 per gallon this morning. Quite a drop. And I have already done the handy dandy conversion math for you, since most of you probably don't buy your gas in liters like we do!!

If I really felt like doing some more complaining, I could point out the fact that (almost) everyone in the USA is paying lower prices than us right now, even with our "lowered" prices. But I won't -- point that out OR complain. :) :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

thank you, hurricane Ike.....

......for the oh-so-wonderful gas prices you have brought our way. Overnight, the prices went from $4.61 per gallon to $5.17 per gallon. There really needs to be some law against that ridiculous of an increase. And it just so happened that I had to fill up both of the cars too -- I would much rather have spent that $112 on something FUN. :) :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

a few pics from Niagara Falls





little trip

A couple weeks ago, James and I both had a little time off, so we decided to go on a mini vacation, just the two of us. I really think we need to do this more often!! Usually when we go away, it is to visit family or for some holiday or whatever, but this time, it was just us doing whatever we wanted with relatively no time constraints. That's what makes it truly relaxing, in my opinion.

We just went away overnight, but it was very refreshing. We spent Thursday at Niagara Falls. If you have never visited Niagara Falls, you are definitely missing something amazing. We've been three or four other times ourselves (and James probably countless times beyond that), but we enjoy it so much every time we go. It kinda felt like we were on our honeymoon. :) The day was overcast, so no bright blue skies, but the weather was very ideal for walking around. (Walking around NF is great exercise too!!) The forecast said 50% chance of rain, and it did decide to rain a little bit right when we were getting up around the main falls. Coupled with the wind that was blowing the mist from the falls all across the road, we ended up getting SOAKED. Well, at least our back sides -- our fronts were completely dry. :) We ran across the street into a souvenir shop (loaded with a billion other people trying to avoid the wetness) and bought ponchos with Canada stamped all over them. Well, they were really $2 trash bags with hoods. :) What can you do when you're in tourist land?? After that little shower, there really wasn't any more rain for the rest of the day. We took tons of pics of each other and the falls, and then spent the rest of the day on Clifton Hill (aka Expensive Tourist Land). We try to do something different every time we go, so this time we went to one of the wax museums and the Ripley's moving theater. We also rode the Sky Wheel, a big ferris wheel that overlooks the falls, and ate dinner at the most expensive TGIF's I've ever been in. All in all, a wonderful day.

Oh yeah -- on the way back to the car (pretty long walk cuz we're cheap and don't like to pay for parking), the mist/rain soaked us on the front this time. At least we had dry butts to sit on in the car. :) :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I stand corrected!

A little birdie told me some of the answers were wrong on my little husband questionnaire thingie, so I guess I need to publicly acknowledge the correct answers!! :)

4. Steak and ribs are right, but he says chicken wouldn't be his first choice (although I have personally seen him order chicken on numerous occasions!)

8. Scratch the ham/roast beef and just stick with the grilled cheese.

9. He loves potato chips but doesn't know if he could eat them EVERY day (rolls eyes :)

15. He says he loves when I ask him lots of questions, which I know to be a complete lie. (lol!)

19. Apparently, even though he was home-schooled, he managed to play volleyball -- not like on a real team -- but with his oodles of siblings. :)

I hope I got everything straight now. I love you babe!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

hmmmmm

I am so thankful for my family and for my husband. They are the ones who will always be there for me, always love me, always support me, always always always. They make me laugh and they never intentionally hurt me or make me cry. I can say what I'm thinking or feeling without worrying they are going to laugh at me or think I'm weird (they already KNOW I'm weird lol). :)

I have had a couple experiences lately that really just made me value my family and husband even more. People can claim to be your friend and then turn around and do something really hurtful. I realize this is because they are humans, and the only one who will never let me down is Jesus Christ. I also realize that my family or husband can let me down -- I think the difference is they are willing to fix it and try to make it right. It bothers me when "friends" just let things like that go and don't seem to care if they've hurt you or not.

I don't know if this even makes any sense. I was just really upset by something that happened a couple weeks ago.........

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

how well do I know Jamie?

So I totally stole this from Arlene's blog. :) And I didn't really have anything else to post. So this is what you get.

How well do I know my husband???

1. Your spouse is watching TV. What is he watching?
wellllll, football if it's on -- otherwise the Simpsons, Mythbusters, American Chopper, etc etc etc

2. You're out to eat. What kind of dressing does he get on his salad?
ranch every time b/c he doesn't want to try anything else

3. What's one food this person doesn't like?
almost every vegetable

4. You go out to a restaurant. He orders...
steak or chicken or ribs

5 .Where did he go to high school?
at his mama's house :)

6. What size shoe does he wear?
12

7. If this person were to collect anything, it would be...
die-cast model fire engines and police cars

8. What is his favorite type of sandwich?
grilled cheese or ham/roast beef

9.This person could eat __________ everyday.
potato chips

10.Favorite cereal?
Oatmeal Crisp

11. This person wouldn't be caught dead wearing..
pink or purple, tight jeans, etc etc

12.Favorite sports team?
Toronto Blue Jays for baseball and Buffalo Bills for football

13. Who will he vote for?
we live in Canada, so whenever there's an election, he votes conservative

14.What is his sign?
Leo, same as me

15. What is something you do that he wishes you didn't?
ask him lots and lots of questions!!

16. How many states has he lived in?
none really, except for college -- he has lived in Ontario his whole life

17. What is his heritage?
Dutch, Dutch, and a little more Dutch!

18. Did you bake him a cake for his birthday?
nope I didn't, but I bought him one ;)

19. Did he play sports in high school?
uh probably not, see question 5

20. This person could spend hours...
playing xBox 360, talking about police stuff, working on his models

Sunday, August 24, 2008

why is it.....

.....that my frappuccino cup is empty long before I am ready to stop enjoying it???

Yep. Life is unfair.

foot reconditioning

So, last night, I wore a pair of sneakers. Pretty amazing stuff I do, isn't it? :) Haha. Anyways, it was the first time since the beginning of APRIL that I had worn closed-in shoes, and with socks. BTW, I hate socks. And I am beginning to remember why.......

Oh the pain......I guess my feet have forgotten how to be enclosed instead of free and open in flip flops. I hope they remember soon, like say before snow starts to fall in the next month or two. :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

it pays to speak up!!

On Wednesday evening after James got home from work, we (well just me really) decided to go out for dinner. I didn't really feel like cooking, and we hadn't been out in a while, so I decided on East Side Mario's. I doubt that anyone in the States has heard of this place, although it looks very American, what with its huge Statue of Liberty replica. :) Very homey.

Anyways, we ordered our food, and when James got his burger, he noticed there wasn't bacon or cheese on it. He thought perhaps he hadn't said he wanted these items, so he decided not to say anything. When we got the bill, James just paid it without looking at it (always a mistake....). When I got the receipt back, I looked at it and saw we had been charged $2 for the bacon and cheese. James said oh well, it's just $2. And I said, it's $2!!!! I am very passionate about making sure I am charged the appropriate amount for the service I receive! And in case you were wondering, I am also very diligent about giving things back that do not belong to me, aka too much change, etc etc. So I asked the server about it, and she said she had written it down to have bacon and cheese on it, but the guy in the kitchen must have forgotten. When she went back to find out, the guy in the kitchen admitted he had forgotten to put it on. Because they didn't want to go through the hassle of refunding us a couple dollars, the manager decided to give us a coupon for a free entree next time we visit, up to $25 value. !!!!! I certainly hadn't expected that, I just wanted my two dollars back. So I guess we'll have to go back..... :) :)

P.S. It doesn't always pay to speak up. Tonight, James and I went to a Jays/Yankees game with Ryan, a friend of ours. Before we went, I talked a bunch of trash to them about how the Yanks were gonna win big time, and the Jays were losers, and so on. And yep, you guessed it -- I spoke a little too soon. The Yankees were embarrassed to death by the Jays, the final score ended up being 14-3. Yikes. It was fun times anyways, but I STILL haven't seen the Yankees win in person.

Friday, August 15, 2008

new nephew!!!

Yesterday afternoon, I became the proud bearer of one of my favorite titles -- AUNT! :) I am now the happy aunt of ten (yep, TEN) little nieces and nephews.

My sister gave birth to a new little guy at 4:03 pm yesterday. They named him Michael James, and he weighed in at 8 lb, 11 oz and measured 20 3/4 inches long.

New life is amazing!! I can't wait to see him in October!

Congratulations to Jeanette and Chris! Pictures will follow, I'm sure. :)

Friday, August 8, 2008

today I am thankful for.....

  • a place to call home
  • always having everything (and more!) that we need
  • a forgiving Heavenly Father
  • all my new scrapbooking supplies!!
  • the overwhelming love and generosity of others
  • Coca Cola! :)
  • a happy marriage with a great hubby
  • FAMILY
  • spools and spools of beautiful ribbon
  • keeping up with the laundry for once!
  • my iPod shuffle -- music on the go!
P.S. I'm listing my "thankful things" because Terry at Ornaments of Grace told me to!! :) :) And I'm such a good listener.....

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

as promised....

(or at least part of the promise)

You may remember that I posted about an early New Year's resolution last December -- to cut my hair and donate it. Last December!! And I said I was going to accomplish it by February at the latest. :) :) Well well, here we are five months after that and I have finally gotten around to it. In all fairness to me, I really DID need to wait until now -- I was just overly ambitious/hopeful before and really didn't have enough hair.

I have had enough hair probably since June, but I kept putting it off and putting it off, but I finally scheduled myself an appointment for July 22, just 2 days before my birthday. In the week or so before, I kept looking at myself in the mirror and thinking how attached I had become to my long hair. I really couldn't imagine myself without it. However, I HAVE had short hair before, so I knew it couldn't be that big of a deal. And it really wasn't. After the stylist unceremoniously chopped off a 10-inch long braid, there was no turning back.

I loved it the first day, hated it the second day, and got back around to liking it pretty well on the third day. Really, I don't think guys can relate to the bond we girls develop with our hair -- how much it is part of who we really are. But I'm still me, just with short hair.

However, adjusting to short hair is not the main thing. The main thing was donating my hair to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program. My hair will be used along with other people's to create free wigs for women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments. The ultimate reason behind it all was in support of my mom. Although she has not lost her hair, she has been fighting this war again breast cancer since early 2006. And she's still fighting.

A couple months ago, my dad's company decreased all their health benefits, and now my mom has to pay to visit the doctor and to have any tests done. Also, she is pursuing additional treatments that insurance does not cover at all.

My parents aren't rich -- they don't exactly have the kind of money it takes to do this. Who does really? So I decided to try to get people to pledge money to sponsor me -- all the money would go to help my mom with her medical bills. At first, I thought I could get a few hundred dollars, but God worked in people's hearts in an amazing way and I was able to collect many times over that to give to my mom. I am so thankful to everyone who opened their hearts in love and support of my mom. It is just so incredible to me that people would give so generously, and mostly to an individual they had never met. Eternal rewards will be reaped for sure for these people. Thank you, everyone -- you are amazing.

P.S. Have you ever thought of donating your hair?? Your own hair grows back, and in the meantime, you could be giving such a meaningful gift to another person. Find the link above, or click on the graphic below for more information!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

new look!!!

I've been playing around with a few things, and this is what's sticking for now. But I'll probably change it tomorrow..... :) :)

We just went to PA for a few days and had the best time!!! Well, at least I did, b/c it was kinda my birthday trip and all. I will have to update later with all the fun stuff we did, plus stay tuned for news about me keeping my new year's resolution.

Enjoy my new look!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

does it work today???

Let me try this again.....

Here is that cool picture that I promised yesterday (or early this morning, I can't remember). :)

playing with my camera

Soooo, I was playing around with the different settings on my camera, and I thought this pic turned out really cool. It is of my engagement and wedding rings (in case you couldn't tell lol). :) :)

Okay, okay, I guess I'm not posting any pictures right now, because Blogger is not accepting anything I do. So I'll have to try again later. I'll be kinda surprised if this post even publishes.

Have a wonderful day!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

July....

....is a busy month. It seems every day that we aren't working, we have plans elsewhere. Which is why today is July 10 and I haven't even changed the calendars yet. :) I wonder if I should even bother now, or just wait until August.

James has been working a few overtime shifts lately, which is good for the extra money, but not so great for spending time together. July birthdays and holidays have kinda taken over our free time. But we did have a few hours this past Saturday, so we went to the lake and relaxed for a few hours. It was a pretty nice day to spend outside, and we were able to read and talk and toss around a football. I was going to venture into the lake, but it smelled and looked so dirty that I quickly changed my mind. :) The day passed with no major occurrences -- except maybe my very sprained right pinky finger, or James' blotchy sunburn from wiping off patches of sunscreen. :) I also have a very interesting sunburn pattern around my neckline.

Tonight, we shall spend with several siblings and James' grandparents -- Tuesday was Oma's birthday, and we are celebrating that tonight. Definitely one of my favorite in-law relatives.

We are fixing to head to PA at the end of July, and as usual, I am so excited about that. (!!!) As long as my mom is feeling okay, she and I are going to attend CKC in Valley Forge. We went in 2006 and had the best time! It didn't work out to go last year, but this year, we signed up for four classes and are going to spend the rest of the time shopping and oohing and aahing over all things scrapbooking. I wish it was today!! And I pretty much say that every day....

Well, there's a little update for now -- may not get back for a while due to lots of working and lots of celebrating. I'm definitely okay with the celebrating, but it can get costly. Beth and I are going to Vaughan Mills on Monday night for our birthdays. They are only four days apart, so we like to try and do something together. This year, we are going to Build-a-Bear, just like little kids!! :) I'll try to get pictures of our dorkiness. :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Canada Day

Happy Canada Day, everyone!!

I'm headed over to the in-laws in an hour or so -- to celebrate Canada Day, I guess, but mainly to celebrate my brother-in-law's birthday. Happy 13th birthday, David!!!


P.S. This is my third Canada Day since moving here in 2005, and I have yet to see Canada Day fireworks!!! And I won't see them this year either, maybe I'll be able to hear them from work. We did see the Canada Day fireworks over Niagara Falls in 2005, but that was about three weeks before we got married, so I don't know if that counts. :)

Monday, June 30, 2008

random photography

I usually like taking pictures. I'm still kinda learning all the ins and outs of my camera though, so they don't always come out so pretty. Hopefully I'll get the hang of it one of these days. :)

So last week sometime, I saw (very randomly) on the news that the moon was supposed to be bright and full and appear to be very large. In short, it was supposed to look amazing. I had to work that night, but I toted my camera to work with me in hopes that I might catch a glimpse. I kept going outside (and leaving my client alone, bad me), but there seemed to be a heavy cloud cover that night. Finally, around 10:45 pm, the clouds parted and I managed to see the moon. Yes, it was bright, and yes, it was full, but I failed to see why it had made it onto the evening news. Nothing spectacular, I tell ya. But I was there, with camera in hand, so I snapped this. Is it just me, or does it look pretty much the same size as normal???


Okay, so after that incredibly wonderful picture, I will insert a picture of a rainbow. I love rainbows, they make me happy. Anyways, it started pouring the other evening (like it has pretty much every day for the last 22 or so), and the sun was shining, so I knew there would be a rainbow somewhere. And it showed up right in front of our house. I don't think any picture does a rainbow justice -- this one was so beautiful, and I couldn't even manage to get the whole thing in the viewfinder, seeing as I was way too close. I just wanted to reach out and touch it -- and grab the pot of gold lol. :-D Anyways, here is my best attempt.


Something else that makes me happy is shopping!!! There were Old Navy ads plastered all over TV all week, and something that caught my eye was the one-day sale on Saturday. They were offering all their classic flip flops for just $1!!!! I know a bargain when I see one! I was quite pleased with the haul, paying just $4 for four pairs of flip flops that would normally cost $20. The limit was five pairs. I was going to get five pairs for myself, but I had one generous bone in my body, and bought a pair for James as well. However, after seeing how ungrateful he was, I think I should have stuck with five pairs for me. How sad I had to leave the green ones behind.... :(


And last but not least, is my ever-willing photo subject Spencer in her ever-lazy pose. :)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

overheard in the drive-thru

"Welcome to McDonald's, may I take your order?"

"Yes, I'd like a junior chicken sandwich and a double cheeseburger, please."

"Okay, so, a junior chicken combo?"

"No, just the sandwich, and also a double cheeseburger."

"A junior chicken sandwich?"

"Yes, and also a double cheeseburger." (sigh!)

(silence)

After a minute.....

"Welcome to McDonald's, may I take your order?"

uh, hello?

"Um, I just placed an order, did you get that?"

"Oh. I guess it didn't go through, do you want to order again?" (as if I have a choice, now that I'm stuck in the middle of the drive-thru)

"I'll have a junior chicken sandwich and a double cheeseburger please!"

"A McChicken combo?"

ARGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

"A JUNIOR CHICKEN SANDWICH!" (said in a very loud voice) "and a double cheeseburger too!"

"Okay, so, just the sandwiches?"

"YES!"

"Please pull ahead for your total."

"Thanks." (or not)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

adventures of our cats

Our children cats are named Spencer and Harry. And before you ask, no, we DON'T have an obsession with Princess Diana. We just picked those names because we like them.

Anyways, on to the tale.....

Last Saturday, I was trying to relax after coming home from work at 7am. We were supposed to head over to James' parents house around 11am, so I wanted to be as rested as possible. In the past few days, we had noticed the apartment had an interesting odor hanging in the air. I figured this was just because the litter boxes needed a good deep cleaning, and we were out of air freshener. Little did I know it was much worse. I went to tackle the litter boxes and realized there really wasn't much to clean out of them. Which was weird, seeing as I hadn't done it in a few days. So therein lies the problem -- I can smell it, so I know it's there, so WHERE IS IT???

I didn't feel like doing anything else, so after freshening up the litter boxes, I settled on the sofa to rest a little. Spencer was running around and crying -- didn't really know why, didn't really care. :) She started pawing in one corner so I yelled at her to stop. She ran over by James' toolbox and started scratching around there. Again I yelled at her, and was very annoyed that she should disturb me in such a fashion. After that, she squatted not far from where I was sitting and made an ENORMOUS mess on the carpet.

By this time, I was livid. I yelled at her some more, picked her up, and carried her to the bathroom, where she was to remain a prisoner. :) James had been sleeping, but was now very much awake due to the commotion. Harry was looking on with interest, trying his hardest to be good so I would not turn my wrath on him. As I was cleaning up the mess, I began to smell that wonderful smell again, and not just because of what I was doing. It was in the vicinity. So I looked in the areas Spencer had been scratching around in this morning, and found another huge mess, all over James' winter coat. Plus, she had taken it upon herself to pee all over a large box of scrapbooking supplies I had stashed in the corner. Now this is where I draw the line -- do NOT mess with my scrapbooking stuff!!!

Needless to say, I did NOT get any rest that morning, as we spent most of it cleaning up the house and running to Walmart to get stain and odor removing cleaners. I guess the problem was the humidity in the house had made the litter in their boxes damp and it wasn't clumping properly. Spencer wasn't fond of this, so she decided to take her business elsewhere. Luckily, Harry did not decide the same thing. :) We fixed the problem with a dehumidifier and brand new clean litter, and all has been well ever since.

I have always been the one to defend the cats when James gets mad at them or wants to get rid of them. But let me say, I was THIS close to leaving Spencer out on the street when she decided to pee on my patterned paper. And my alphabet stickers. And my rub-ons. And all the rest of my stuff. That is just an area too close to my heart (no pun intended). But she remains, as the princess of the house (for now).

P.S. I got her back today -- I gave her a nice long bath, and by the time it was over, she was mad and has gone into a corner to sulk for the rest of the day. Hopefully, she won't pee in that corner lol. :-D

Friday, June 20, 2008

spoiling ourselves :)

We work hard!


We earn our own money!

We deserve to buy ourselves nice things once in a while!!

That being prefaced, we went out shopping yesterday and bought a couple things. Not-very-cheap things. Pretty expensive things. :) James has been wanting a video game system for a while now. And while I'm not big on war games and the like, I do enjoy other fun games and games that make me think.

So, before we could talk ourselves out of it, we came home with.....


The xBox 360, of course, being for James, (left), and the Nintendo DS Lite for me (below). I had to go to work last night, but I would venture to say that James probably stayed up half the night playing Splinter Cell. :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

confessions of a mall addict :)

My name is Melissa, and I like shopping. Okay, I love shopping. And most of all, I love shopping all by my lonesome self. Don't get me wrong, I like shopping with my sisters-in-law and my sister (when I get to see her), and I definitely like shopping with my mom, but there's just something about strolling along in the mall all by yourself -- taking your sweet time, spending an hour in one store, and maybe 2 minutes in another, because I want to and I don't have to worry if the other person is getting bored or wants to look at stuff I don't want to!! Basically, what it means is I'm selfish lol. :)

As a little side note -- I have never had my wallet stolen or lost my credit/debit cards when I'm shopping by myself, so there's another pro to add to the list. (And yes, that has happened more than once.....)

So I set off this afternoon to a mall about 40 minutes away. Our tiny town has NO good shopping, and I'm not even exaggerating. We have Walmart, Zellers (kinda like Target), a few old lady clothing stores, drugstores, dollar stores, and yeah, that's pretty much it. Fortunately, we live in a pretty central location -- drive 30-40 minutes in any direction and hit great shopping. So I kinda rotate through all the good malls.

Before I left, I went to the Salvation Army and donated a huge bag of clothing, and tons of books. Getting rid of some stuff beforehand made me feel better about the money I might spend lol. :-D

Anyways, it was a very therapeutic 3 1/2 hours -- I got a bunch of great (inexpensive) shirts and a few other things. Plus a piece of pizza and a Frappuccino. :)

Pretty much the perfect day. The only thing that could possibly have made it better was if there had been a great scrapbooking store to shop at too. :) Oh, and unlimited money would be nice.......

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

this and that

I have certainly been neglecting this blog again, as per usual. I'm always thinking, I should put this on my blog, and then I never do! So I think what it boils down to is I have a blog in my head, if anyone is interested in reading it. :) :)

My mom had surgery on June 12 to remove the cancerous cells. They also removed several lymph nodes so they can try to determine whether the cancer has spread. The surgeon was looking for a particular lymph node but couldn't find it, so hopefully they have taken ones that will be a good indicator, as she definitely doesn't want more surgery. She also had a drain put in this time, which annoyed her to no end, but that was removed yesterday and she is recovering at home. She was even able to attend church on Sunday AND sing in the choir. I don't believe there's anything my mother cannot do!

James and I have been pretty busy lately. We finished up our Missions Conference at church on June 8, and that was a great time of fellowship and learning. Going to church five times in one week certainly put a drain on our gas money. It is rather unfortunate that the closest good Bible-believing independent Baptist church is about 30 minutes away, but we believe in being faithful no matter the cost, and we believe this is the best possible church for us right now. One day, we hope to move closer to a Godly local church.

A couple of weeks ago, we went to a Jays game in Toronto. We always love to do that -- ride the subway into downtown Toronto and watch a baseball game from the upper decks. The tickets are fairly inexpensive, and I got to try out the amazing zoom on my new camera. Some of the pictures I got look so close-up, and we were sitting on the top level! I'm going to have to get some pictures of the Yankees when we go in August. The only bummer to the day was it was probably the hottest day of the summer so far. :) Not that I mind the heat, but the sun was out in full force, and there we were with our bared, sunscreen-free shoulders. Haha, yeah, I was in pain for almost a week after........that'll teach me.......

James seems to have done something to his shoulder. On Thursday, he was in so much pain he was practically crying, but he wouldn't let me take him to the emergency room. He went to the doctor on Friday, who thinks it's a torn muscle of some sort. He loaded him up on pain meds and scheduled an x-ray and ultrasound for later this week. Yesterday, James said his shoulder is feeling so good, only a twinge here and there, and he wants to go back to regular duty at work. :) I say let's wait until the test results -- he might be feeling good as a result of taking all that pain medication around the clock. Hopefully, it was only something minor to begin with, and has already started to heal.

Hmmmmm.......anything else? Oh yeah, I was able to quit one of my jobs and I am so happy about it! I worked at a nursing home every other weekend, and it was really draining me. I loved all the old people, but unfortunately, that was the only thing I loved about the place. This particular home had such an uninviting atmosphere, and staff who would rather gossip and argue among themselves than take care of the residents. In the last few months, I ended up having to work BOTH of my jobs on the same weekend, which meant working 46 hours in the space of only 58. Let me tell you -- a few months of that equals total exhaustion!!! I am very thankful that it was only an extra job, and not necessary to our financial situation, so out the window it went! I am sending in my application to register for the RN exam sometime this week, so I am working on perfecting my resume and a cover letter to send out to area hospitals. I thought this day would never come.

And there you have it -- my incredibly newsy post.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

up and up and up

Just a note on this fine rainy day that should make EVERYONE happy they don't live in Canada.

And that is.....

Gas is $4.84 a gallon here.

That's right -- rejoice and be thankful for the $4 or so you're paying.

Cuz now you know -- it could be a lot worse.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

an AMAZING answer to prayer

In case anyone has been keeping up with how my mom is doing, I thought I would share some news I heard today!

My mom has been having oodles of tests done over the past couple weeks -- all very tedious and some quite painful. They did discover quite early on that the larger lump found was indeed cancerous. However, most cause for concern were the lumps under her arm, indicating that the cancer may have spread to the lymph nodes (not good). After all the other tests, they concluded the tests were inconclusive (ironic), and decided they needed to do biopsies on the lumps under her arm. Those biopsies were scheduled for today. So my mom went in for her appointment and did NOT have the biopsies done......because the lumps were GONE!!!! The radiologist said this happens sometimes, but we know it was ALL God. What a wonderful God we have to give us what we so desperately want but know we do not deserve!

Now, that being said -- the cancer is not all gone, but the prognosis looks much better. She is scheduling surgery to have the other lump removed, and then will have six weeks of radiation, but this is one of the best-case scenarios for her situation.

I am so grateful to God for hearing the prayers of His children and seeing fit to work in a wonderful way. And I am also very grateful to those people who have been fervent and faithful in their prayers for my dear mama.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

how long has it been? :)

Well, I haven't written anything in a long time. And I can't even think of anything I even want to write. I went to visit my parents last week and had such a great time. Maybe I'll write about that sometime soon. I guess I'm just feeling lazy right now.....


Anyways, please keep praying for my mom -- she's still going through tests so the doctors can decide what they might want to do next. Here's a pic of me and my mama. :)


Monday, May 5, 2008

praising Him in this storm

My daddy called Saturday afternoon. I wasn't home. He left a message that said "your mom is sick." My heart dropped to the tip of my toes. And I thought, NOT AGAIN. Why is this happening? Cancer is evil, and my mom does NOT deserve it. When I called him back, and he explained what was happening, I cried and cried and cried -- and now I'm crying again.

I can't help but wonder why. But my dad reminded me on the phone "all things work together for good to them that LOVE GOD." Jesus, the Master of the sea, is right here with us, holding us close during this storm. Sometimes we doubt, but He is always there. Sometimes I can't hear His reassuring voice through all my worrying and crying. He will never ever leave my side, and I must praise Him, my God who knows better than I.

This says it better than I ever could:

I was sure by now
That You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away,
Stepped in and saved the day,
But once again, I say "amen,"
And it's STILL raining;

As the thunder rolls,
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
"I am with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God
Who gives and takes away.

I'll praise you in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are Who You are;
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You've never left my side
And though my heart is torn,
I will praise you in this storm.

Lyrics courtesy of Mac Hall and Casting Crowns

Monday, April 21, 2008

happiness

Happiness is being in the house of God or the company of Christian friends ALL DAY LONG.

Happiness is seeing the old folks at the nursing home light up with joy when they see us walk in the door.

Happiness is playing the piano -- not once, not twice, but three times -- in one day.

Happiness is sharing a laugh (or ten) with a friend.

Happiness is driving my little car with the sunroof open on the open, clear roads.

Happiness is unexpected invitations.

Happiness is being the recipient of hospitality.

Happiness is a steaming cup of apple cinnamon tea from Timmy's.

(Ultimate) happiness is knowing that God has saved ME despite what I have or haven't done.

Happiness is going to Rita's. (gulp)

Okay, okay, well, nine out of ten ain't bad! Hopefully number ten can be fulfilled in a couple of weeks or so. :)

P.S. If you want to be happy, stop driving by gas stations.