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


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.


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. :-)