Friday, April 30, 2010

busy with nothing

I didn't realize how much time has passed since the last time I posted. I'd like to say that I've been busy, but that's not completely true. I am, as my Dad put it, "busy with nothing". I've done a lot of thinking though, but even that excuse seems weak! Thinking obviously hasn't gotten me ahead! So to keep you in the loop, here are some random updates:

*I pulled a muscle or pinched a nerve in my shouder last week. I was walking back to the van after picking up the kids from school and all seemed fine, but as I drove away, my right arm felt like a dead weight. It just hung there and it ached. It scared me, too, because I couldn't figure why it was so sore. My mind started to wander as I tried to guess why it was so limp--did I have a stroke and not know it? Yeah. I didn't say my wanders in sane areas!

An hour later, the achiness turned to pain that ran down from my shoulder, radiating in my elbow and wrist. The pinching in my upper back was intense. I went between Rub A5-35 and Motrin. What a night! And I couldn't go see anyone for a massage or for some chiropractic work! Thankfully, now it's just a dull ache, because 3 days of it was crazy bad!

*Since it's starting to get warmer and the sun is shining more, I've decided it's time to switch to contact again. That way, I can wear sunglasses this summer. I used to wear contacts, but in the last few months of my pregnancy with Rhys, I bought glasses, anticipating late nights and needing an easy solution to see. That was 2 years ago and my glasses are on their last legs, if it had legs. The plastic rim isn't going to last much longer and I'm already having problems with the lens popping out.

I saw my optometrist & found I need a new prescription (one eyes is better, one eye is weaker, go figure) and I picked up a trial pair of contacts. They didn't last long. Within 15 minutes, my eyes were so irritated and itchy that I had to take them out. I kept trying them every few days though, but had the same reaction,so I returned them for a new pair.
Same thing. Very disappointing. I kept them the obligatory week before popping back to the doctor's office. But I started to feel bad. Ian probably thinks there's something seriously wrong with me! He suggested that it's allergies bothering my eyes, but they seem fine when I'm wearing glasses, just tired.

While I waited for Ian to arrive (I decided to just go in unannounced one day) the receptionist helped me find a super cute pair of glasses. After all, if I can't get this next pair of contacts to work...sheesh! This will be my third attempt. I think it's safe to say that it's not going to happen. I'm not meant to wear contacts right now. Or sunglasses (since I can't afford a pair of clipons or an extra pair or prescription sunglasses). So I admit, I tried these with mixed feelings. I really liked those glasses! But I really wanted to wear sunglasses!

Within half an hour of wearing the contacts, my eyes were so sore that they burned. Was it allergies? Severe fatigue? What in the world? Hormonal changes? (someone suggested that to me, I forget who, but they said it happened to them. I thought it was bizarre and didn't want to consider than an option for me!) I even tried some eye drops, but man! Was that Not a Good Idea! That burned just as bad, if not worse!

So the good news is that I have a credit on my account for the cost of the first two boxes of contacts I purchased last month (but returned unopened), but the bad news is that I still need $300 to get those awesome glasses! So I'm using my old, falling apart, weak-prescriptioned glasses! My eyes are less irritated though.

So there you go. Don't you feel better? I'm so glad I popped in to tell you this! :) Told you there wasn't much to say!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Our Monday Morning

What a morning! We were all bundled up and ready to head to school, when I realized that I didn't have my van keys. Oh great! Now, I tend to have a *bit* of a reputation of losing things, especially my keys and my pocket calendar and cell phone, to be specific, so I felt pretty crummy. I was thankful that we didn't have to drive Kai's classmate today, as we drive him each day, to and from, as I just knew we would be late! Since it was my Hunny who used my van last night, and I didn't remember him ever returning the keys to me, I called him. Of course, he didn't answer his cell phone. (That drives me nuts; he has the ringer off, which I don't understand!) So I call his work, but it turns out he's not in yet, so I try his cell again, but since he's driving, he doesn't answer, which is good because it's against the law to use any hand-held devices here. *sigh*

In the end, he called me when he got to work, told me that he had my keys, and said that he was going to come back home to return them to me. (it was that option or the kids miss school today and he leaves work early to pick up Eric, the classmate of Kai's, and take him home. Hunny opted to return!) So to keep me busy (since I was starting to feel slightly sleepy again), I started another load of laundry, folded the laundry I did last night, and thought about cleaning up my Stamping Room! (notice how I said "thought". *smile*)

I got the kids off to school, and yes, of course, they were late, but it was all good. Everyone was in Chapel, so they hadn't missed any schoolwork yet. I helped them both into their classrooms, chatted with the teachers a bit (well, Abi's was going home as she was suddenly feeling really ill so I told her that Abi felt strange this weekend too, with a sore tummy, and headache, and generally 'off', to make her feel better! I don't know if it worked; I think she just wanted to go home!) Then they joined their respective classes in the gymnasium and I went back to the van.

What is it about Mondays that people have a hate for? It is because it's the beginning of a new week? The fact that the weekend is over and it's back to work? Or it is truely "cursed"? People have a tendancy to blame things on the day, or assume it's going to be a bad one just because it's Monday. It was interesting to see that we weren't the only ones late for school. As I was leaving the school, another one of Kai's classmates came in with his father! And our neighbours were late too; they slept in! Strange! Must be "Monday"! Poor day with such a bad reputation!

To thank Bryn for being so well behaved (Rhys was too, but that's because he was napping!), I took the boys to Tim Hortons for Timbits! We even went inside! I don't know if you're like me but I've chosen the lazy way out: I always use the Drive Thru instead of going in. Sometimes (ok, most of the time) taking 4 children out just to pick up some food quickly is a lot of effort and not really fast in the end! But I decided to be different. Of course, having just two children makes it easier! (gosh, that does sound lazy, doesn't it?) Inside, with our Timbits, Hot Chocolate (for me) and Apple Juice (for the boys), we chatted and Bryn told me his grand plans in life. (this was a continuation from the conversation in the van with Kai and Abi) He has let me know that when he's six, he's going to be a policeman and ride a motorcycle and fly a helicopter! When he's six! I guess when you're three and a half, six seems awfully old! (I don't want to offer my own age to him, what'll he think? 30-ish is so ancient and inconceivable!) Then we talked about what we'd do today. Bryn decided that we should make some playdoh!

So we did!

Okay, so *I* did. Bryn helped as much as he did. When Abi was in preschool, I got a recipe from her Teacher Michelle, since she would get a parent to make a new batch each month for the kids. It was colour-coordinated to the theme. (ie: red for February and Valentines, green for March and St. Patty's Day, etc.) I love this recipe! Have you ever made Playdoh at home? It's a gooey mess and very salty and you just dry your hands out and it's creepy and you spend the rest of the day applying hand cream because you just can't get the moisture back. Just sayin'. Maybe that's just me. This new recipe requires an ingredient I've never heard of and you cook it on the stove! Wow! I've included a handy-dandy tutorial for you!

Homemade Playdoh
2 tsp cooking oil
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
food colouring

Mix the first four ingredients in a sauce pan. (the dry ones ....oops, I guess the oil isn't considered "dry", is it?)

Add water and food colouring together, then add to the sauce pan.

Stir constantly over medium heat. It will start out all gooey, but that won't last long!

When it becomes thicker (it'll happen suddenly) and dough-like, remove from heat.

I place it ontop a sheet of wax paper to cool. It doesn't take too long, maybe about 5-10 minutes. (When cool, store in an airtight container or ziploc bag at room temp.)

I told Bryn to pick out a video to watch while we waited for it to cool. I figured a Veggie Tales one would be good; you know, they're only half an hour! Bryn put on the newest one, Pistachio, which also happens to be my newest favourite! In the time it took to watch half of it, I had made a few more batches! (in total, I made green, red, yellow, and blue. Nothing fancy, just the food colouring bottles!)

When they had cooled enough, I let the boys play with the playdoh on our "coffeetable" (it's the last 12 boxes of bamboo flooring that'll be for my bedroom!) while watching the video.

What a fun morning! Of course, now bits of the colours are mixed into the green. I'm going to be a Big Girl and not let it bother me. I'm going to be okay with that. For some reason, it doesn't bother children to have one large mixed-colour playdoh ball. For some reason, it bothers me! I'm sure that even as a child I wanted them all in their separate containers! And no, this has nothing to do with skin colour or racism (goodness, you jump to conclusions, don't you? lol) but because I wanted the playdoh to last longer. You couldn't make a multi-coloured house or blue-red-yellow grass, could you? Just sayin'. But I am going to be OK with the kids mixing up new colours with their dough. I'm good like that.
Now if they would just return the dough to their bags....

Friday, April 9, 2010

Awash With Spring

With Spring now here (although some days you can't quite tell with the chilly wind storms we've been having and the -eek, what in the world???- snow the other day!) and the brand new soon-to-be-released stamp set, Awash With Flowers, in my hands (I love being a Stampin' Up Demonstrator and having a pre-order option!) I have been having fun playing. (wow, that was a long sentence!) I am putting together a class near the end of this month to celebrate Spring and flowers.

Would you like to see some samples? Of course you would! While these are already on my Demonstrator Website under the Creative Projects section, it's good to actually post something in a more personal way.

This mini card comes as a CASE straight from the Two-Step into Spring Promotion going on right now. This card is a mini one, only sized at 3x3, so it's perfect for little notes or adding to a gift. (who doesn't like gifts?)

Isn't she so cute? She makes me smile! *smile*

Awash With Flowers stamp set, Thank You Kindly stamp set, Certainly Celery card stock, Apricot Appeal card stock, Whisper White card stock, Pretty in Pink card stock, Basic Black Classic ink, Almost Amethyst Classic ink, Barely Banana Classic ink, Blush Blossom Classic ink, Certainly Celery

The next one is my favourite card currently! I admit, I also CASEd this one (that means Copy And Share other words, the design wasn't my own concept. *gasp*)

I tried and tried a good 4 times to get this picture clear, but alas, no such luck. Maybe if you squint, it'll look more clear! Oh wait! I meant it to look that way! It *is* clear, it's just the watercolour effect going on that you're seeing! *smile* She's gorgeous anyways!

Awash With Flowers stamp set, All Holidays stamp set, Whisper White card stock, Mambo Melon card stock, Basic Black Classic ink, Mambo Melon Classic ink, Bermuda Bay Classic ink, Crushed Curry Classic ink, Old Olive Classic ink, Mambo Melon 1/2" polka-dot grosgrain ribbon, Stampin' Dimensionals.

In this class, we will be making 4 cards altogether, plus a project, but I have to keep some things secret, don't I? Contact me and get yourself into this class! Bring a friend along too!
Awash with Spring: April 26 @ 7:30pm $15

Check out my Stampin Up website for my class list, as well as the current promotions and some project ideas. If you like anything you see, you can order online, any time of the day and have it arrive at your house within a week! Or you can contact me and schedule a time for us to get together and stamp; make a workshop out of it and get FREE Hostess deals! You can also sign up on the site to become a Demonstrator and join my Fun Team! (contact me for the password) I will be posting cards & projects and classes to the blog that is on the site as well. (click under About Me in the top left hand side and click on the My Stampin' Blog when the option pulls down.) There's just so much great stuff happening over there, check it out! *smile*

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

how can you not know???

Can you be pregnant and not know it? For real?

I read a very interesting article today on the very subject! It was based upon an 11-year study, and from the sounds of it, they're still baffled by it! I know that I am! I've had four children and not once have I not known about it right away. Oops, I lied! My second ectopic pregnancy in 2004 (which technically doesn't fall under my "four children" comment anyways!) was an unknown pregnancy, but since it was an EP and diagnosed with severe pains, and given that typically pains occur within the first few weeks, it's not altogether surprising that I didn't know. It's sad though; I didn't get a chance to even mourn the baby. The same night I "lost" the baby, I found out that I was pregnant! But that aside...I can't imagine being 7 months along, with a wiggling baby keeping you up at night, and not knowing what it was! Of course, I've always been as big as a house, so there's no option for concealing it, and the baby was often as wiggly as an octopus. (or as I assume one would be in a confined space..limbs everywhere!)

you can read the article here> Women Who Don't Realize They're Pregnant.

I am reminded of my Hunny's cousin who didn't realize she was pregnant until she saw the doctor because of the constant feelings in her tummy. I think she was 5 months pregnant. I couldn't imagine!

Although, I have to admit, I wished I had that ignorance sometimes! After an ectopic and/or miscarriage, you tend to have anxiety during your first trimester. Will the baby survive? Will you bleed? Will you have to have surgery? Will you survive? It's a scary thing. I am often partially jealous (but mostly really truely happy) for women who never have to go through that fear, who get to have easy pregnancies and wish I could skip through it sometimes! To suddenly know when you're past the first trimester would be nice!

Any thoughts on this phenomenon? Leave me a comment!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

the bridge

There is a sign that has been posted outside a church that I pass sometimes on the way to my children's school. I've been meaning to take a picture of it, but well, stopping to take a photo of a sign is a *bit* strange, so I haven't made it a priority yet. I think I may have to stop being so silly and take the picture! This church tends to have good ones posted.

Jesus built a bridge with two boards and three nails.

How true.

A bridge for us to meet God. No holding back. He became the bridge for us to cross. And it cost Him his life. No matter what you believe, no matter where you sit with Him, no matter if you've stumbled or if you feel you have nothing to offer but a tainted past, you can cross that bridge. Jesus did that for you. You have nothing to fear and so much to gain.

Sunday is the day that I typically celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, although I was lovingly told by my daughter that it was technically Monday that He had victory over death, thus making it a full three days. (sheesh, my kids are smart! ---I will even admit to you what I said to her, I was always wondering how Friday to Sunday was considered Three Days, but whatever! I'm so silly. Someone should teach me to count and recognize that it's Easter Monday that most of us have off of school and work for! But I digress...) As I dress myself in bright Spring colours to celebrate, I will try not to get aggitated or stressed by the excitement my children possess as they are filled up on chocolate energy that the "Easter bunny" left behind for them! Instead, I will fill my mind with the glory of the Lord, the power of His ressurection and what it means for me.

Death couldn't hold down him and it will not hold me either! I will walk that bridge! I pray that you will choose to walk that bridge too.

In Christ Alone
~Julian Keith Getty, Stuart Richard Townend

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied -
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.
*my favourite parts of the song, the ones that effect me the most, are bolded.

Friday, April 2, 2010

I remember you

Today is Good Friday and it passed like any other day and it bothers me. I wish there was something spectacular about today. I wish it wasn't so easily forgotten or ignored. I wish it moved people. But it doesn't. And that grieves me.
I'm not just talking about those who don't believe or take a personal interest in today, I mean everyone, even me and my family. I struggle with wanting to make this day important, to impress upon my children the deep meaning, but I struggle. I want them to know the power of today, not just "know". I want the power and the intensity of The Passion of Christ to fill their senses and minds. I want it to be real.

Today we celebrate the death of Jesus. Which seems strange to say. Celebrate? Oh yes. We weep and we fall to our knees at the crucifixion and the depravity of it all, but we celebrate because one man, one God, chose to die this way. For us. For me. For you. We needed it to happen as much as He needed to do it, and it cuts us to the core. We can choose to ignore it, and many do, and they spend the day doing their own thing, enjoying an extra day off of work or school, but it will not leave us. Everyone knows what today is. We all have it in us to know that someone died for us. It was horrific, it was gory, it was downright terrible. We have all seen the images of Jesus on a cross. It's there, ingrained in our minds.

Today passed with the typical rainfall of Good Friday. It's funny, it happens every year; I actually expect it. But I like it that way. I think the rain is perfect. I love the solitude it gives, the feeling of retrospect it forces (ok, maybe only on me!) We also had strong winds today. And anyone can tell you, I do not like wind! I don't mean the wind that comes in and sweeps your hair off your shoulders as you run across the beach in a bikini chasing a frisbee like a wonderful calming hair or tampax commercial, I mean the wind that whips your hair off your head and smacks you across your face and turns your umbrella inside out! I don't like that. But even today the wind was welcomed. (well, from inside the confines of my nice toasty house, that is!) But it wasn't enough. I wanted it to get fierce. I wanted the sky to go black. I wanted it to look ugly. I wanted the earth to tremble. I wanted the death of my Saviour to be noticed by all. I wanted the power that was felt at his death, where all those things happened, to be felt here. It was so incredible that day that the Roman soldiers standing by Jesus' cross, fell to their knees and said immediately, "Surely this was the son of God!" (Matthew 27:50-55)

I want my sorrow to be felt by the world.

He died. For me. For you. For the world. So that I am no longer owned by death. I can come clean to the Father. I can be changed. I don't have to be held down by sin. I am free.

He did that for me and you. And I want it to mean something. To everyone.

Precious Jesus~Steve Hindalong
I remember you
precious Jesus, I remember you
healer of my heart
lover of my soul
on your sacred head
a crown of thorns pressed on your sacred head
mighty king of the universe, merciful lamb
for my sin you suffered and bled
still father, forgive them, they don't understand
sweet savior, I heard what you said
and we remember you
precious Jesus, we remember you
Jesus, we love you
precious Jesus, we love you
Jesus, we love you
precious Jesus, we love you
healer of our hearts
lover of our souls
Jesus, Jesus, we remember
Jesus, Jesus, we remember
as we drink from the cup of salvation, your blood
we remember your sacrifice
we remember the way that you suffered for us
risen from the grave
Christ immortal risen from the grave
at Jerusalem's gate how you wept for the lost
even as palm branches waved
then you proved how you loved us on Calvary's cross
and rose up on the third day
so all who believe might be saved, yes
and we remember you
precious Jesus, we remember you
Jesus, we love you
precious Jesus, we love you
Jesus, we love you
precious Jesus, we love you
healer of our hearts
lover of our souls
(song found on the City on a Hill: songs of worship and praise compliation that came out in 2000, way back when, that is still one of my faves.)

If you are looking for more information as to what I believe and why and how this can change your life, please ask me any question! If you just want to search online, this is a great article to read: Beyond Blind Faith. Was Jesus a Liar, a Lunatic, a Legend or the Truth? Or if you want to talk to someone right now, call 1-800-NEED HIM or check out their site HERE. Or if you are looking for something to read of your own, I will send you a copy of the book "The Case For Christ" by Lee Strobel, a book written by a lawyer and (former) athiest who had the intentions to "debunk" the story of Jesus as Christ. Just ask!

Today is a Good day. Don't let it pass without knowing WHY it is. In the words of Kai, today is Good "because Jesus died and rose from the dead so that we can go to Heaven and be with Him." (I guess my kids are learning some truth of the day after all!)

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