the BEST part of tobogganing...

>> Sunday, November 30, 2008 the hot chocolate afterwards!

Of course, some people would say it's the only GOOD part.




because it's been a long time since i talked about walking...

>> Friday, November 28, 2008

And because today was spectacular.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again: walking, for me, is a necessity.

It is, quite literally, the ONLY time when my thoughts can be COMPLETELY undisturbed. Even on evenings when The Bushman isn't home and the girls are asleep, I'm still surrounded by distractions ~ the TV, the computer, the lists, the obligations...

But when I'm out walking,


My best arguments for Christianity happen while I'm walking. My best arguments for common sense, too! I can talk the most sense into myself while I'm out walking on my mile road, and I'm mostly likely to examine myself objectively and admit that I've been wrong while I'm walking. The best imaginary conversations, the best daydreams about how things might be in the future, the best plans for self-improvement are born while I'm walking.

I never fail to come back refreshed, resolved, and more ready to tackle my day. Which is one reason I prefer to do it first thing in the morning.

Today it was almost noon. And the valley was covered in fog. I love fog. Especially when there's snow on the ground and the horizon just ceases to exist. The road fades into nothingness after about a quarter-mile and when I'm at the half-mile on my road, I can't see our yard or the farm where I always walk to.


Here is the "view" of the hills 5 miles northwest of us:

Here's the view of the farm I walk to, a mile away, from my end of the road:

And here's our yard from a quarter-mile and a half-mile away, respectively:

Now you see it, now you don't!

Even sounds that normally carry well in cold weather, like vehicles making their way from The Little Village towards our house, are muted by the blanket of white nothingness and can't penetrate the stillness.

It's absolutely wonderful.

Snow Angel


happy thanksgiving, my american friends!

>> Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I do hope y'all have a wonderful holiday surrounded by friends and family, laughter and smiles...

and more mashed potatoes cornbread stuffing pumpkin pie
~ FOOD ~
than you know what to do with!!

Thanksgiving Thoughts


the pie is gone... {sigh}

>> Monday, November 24, 2008

And so are my parents. They left about an hour ago.

This weekend, I have to admit, I ended up biting off more than I could chew. And I don't just mean pumpkin pie!!

It was an extremely stressful weekend.

About three months ago, I was asked to preach this past Sunday, and I agreed.

About three weeks ago, my parents asked if they could come visit for the weekend and because I figured I'd have my message all prepared by then, I agreed.

Two weeks ago, I was asked to temporarily take over teaching the youth Sunday school class while the regular teacher lives and works out of province for the the next three months.... and because I figured my message would be prepared and my meals for this weekend would all have been pre-made, it would be no big deal. And so I agreed.

But I had trouble coming up with a message and it wasn't until just last Sunday that I finally solidified my decision about the topic. I still hadn't prepared anything, but I finally knew what I'd talk about. Monday and Tuesday were spent feverishly researching and writing and by Tuesday night, I was fairly comfortable with the message.

And then I got sick.

So Wednesday was spent in bed instead of preparing the house for company and pre-making meals, and then, because of a rather short-notice birthday party invitation that Peanut brought home from school, Thursday night was spent shopping instead of at home preparing for the weekend.

I ended up having to cloister myself in the office a couple of times after my parents arrived, and I managed to finish preparing the sermon and my Sunday school lesson before we had to leave for church yesterday morning, but I was definitely stressed out. And somewhat short-tempered. Even getting out for dinner with The Bushman on Saturday evening while grandma and grandpa babysat the girls didn't help much, though it was a long overdue date night.

I was so tired by the time it was all over yesterday afternoon, that I actually NAPPED, which absolutely NEVER happens! And then I still went to bed at 10 last night. I was just so completely wiped out.

But it's over. It's unfortunate that I didn't feel relaxed until the last day of my parents' visit, but it least it happened for one day. And now I'm looking forward to having a relatively stress-free week.

Haha, I know....
Good Luck

If you're interested in reading a transcript of yesterday's sermon, click here.


news bulletin

>> Friday, November 21, 2008

Woo-hoo, the donuts pumpkin pie... er, parents will be here in about an hour!!

(But I'm told they ARE bringing pie.)

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Eating Pie


anchor friday

Even though I'd decided to take a break from Live Well Wednesdays, it came as a shock and a disappointment to learn it was suddenly shutting down a few weeks ago. I think it was a valuable tool and it was certainly a great encouragement to me, and so when Joan emailed a few of us "regulars" to share with us that she'd been feeling burdened to pick up where Darlene left off, I was excited.

For those of you out there who read my blog and were regular readers of LWW or who are feeling a little lost without being able to participate in something like LWW, click the button below and head on over to Joan's place for...

Anchor Friday

I'm still not ready to join up again, but it's good to know I've got somewhere to go when I am!

Jumping Jacks


the snowbow

>> Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ever seen one before? I hadn't. But two weeks ago today it happened.

All day long, the sky to the east and south of us was dark and ominous looking. It was obviously snowing, and while there were clouds in the sky above us, they were nothing like what we saw in the distance.

The prevailing winds in our area come from the northwest and as a result, normally our weather comes from that direction. Our NORMAL weather comes from that direction. Last Thursday, the uncomfortably cold gusts of wind and the ominous clouds were moving in from the east. BAD news.

Late in the afternoon, I had to run to town to pick up a fundraising order for Fidget's Nursery School and I kicked myself for not bringing my camera. All the little scudding clouds that had been above us all day had drifted away towards the sunset and the sky was clear ~ the perfect backdrop for the descending orange-glowing sun.

And the clouds to the east were now almost upon us. With the sun being so bright, the sky looked almost black underneath the clouds, but the setting sun painted the wall of cloud facing us a brilliant pinky-orange.

And then we saw the rainbow. Just a tiny little chunk at first, close to the eastern horizon. For at least the seventeenth time in half an hour, I kicked myself for not bringing my camera along.

So you can imagine my delight when arriving home, with the sun beginning its slide beneath the western horizon, the rainbow stretched clear across the sky. Oh, my kingdom for a wide-angle lens!!!

To my recollection, I think I've only seen a COMPLETE rainbow with my own eyes once before ~ earlier this year, actually ~ and certainly NEVER a snow rainbow. But there it was, my first ever horizon-to-horizon snow-bow.

After snapping a couple of quick shots, I raced back into the house. DANG, IT'S COLD OUT HERE THESE DAYS!!!!*

Hmmmm, so if a rainbow is God's promise to never cover the whole earth with water again, does a snowbow mean there will never be another ice age?

Naaah, I live on the Canadian prairies....

it must mean something else!!


* Geez, it was warm that day... today, first thing in the morning it was -23C/-9F!!!

Click below for more...

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek


memories of happier days...

>> Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Well, warmer days, anyway.

Man, it feels like forever ago already. I can't believe these pictures are almost 6 months old.

On the positive side (I'm desperately trying to convince myself there IS a positive side!!), I guess that means I'm only about 6 months away from being able to do it again. Well, REALISTICALLY it's still 7 months away. Nuts.

I wonder if I can wait that long....



onions, onions everywhere!

>> Sunday, November 16, 2008


There's half an onion in my fridge, there's several baggies of chopped onion in my freezer, there's a bag of whole ones downstairs in the cold storage....

And last night there was a bowl of chopped, raw onion beside each of the girls' beds.

You read right.

You see, we all have colds right now. For 3 of the 4 of us, it's not too big a deal; The Bushman's and mine aren't anything out of the ordinary, and Fidget's almost over hers. (it turned into an ear infection for which we now dose her with THREE different medications totalling $90, but that's another story...)

But when Peanut gets a cold, oh boy, does she get a cold. The rest of us get the runny nose, the sneezing, the day or two with coughing fits here and there... you know, the usual. When Peanut gets a cold, all she does is cough. A dry, hacking cough. CONSTANTLY. For about two days, all she does is cough.

The first night, she usually doesn't sleep. Just lies there and coughs. Her body is just in a constant state of spasm. By the dawn of the second day, her eyes are bloodshot, her gut muscles are stiff and sore, and her poor little body is just too weak to do anything. And still she coughs.

We've tried everything. Having her sleep upright, a humidifier in the room, Vicks VapoRub, any and all cough medicines under the sun, even brandy. (which, by the way, had the best results up till now)
But on Saturday night we tried chopped, raw onions sitting beside her bed. Her teacher mentioned this trick at our parent/teacher conference on Thursday night when she noticed Fidget coughing a bit. We didn't really need it then, since Fidget hadn't been having problems sleeping, but figured we had nothing to lose by trying it Saturday night when it became clear that Peanut was indeed going to have sleeping issues.

And yeah, their bedroom absolutely reeked. Geez, the whole HOUSE reeked.

But it was a small price to pay...

Because my coughing Peanut slept all night long with only one half-hour interruption.

And considering the way she gets colds, a half-hour coughing fit in a 12-hour night is a great night's sleep.

So, while I can't prevent her from getting those horrible colds, I can darn well make sure we all sleep better despite them now.

All it takes is a stinky bowl of chopped, raw onions by the bed.


the first real snow

>> Friday, November 14, 2008

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

You may (or may not!) remember that we got our first snow on Thanksgiving Monday, October 13. It melted within minutes and since then, we've basically had nothing in the way of precipitation. Which is odd for our neck of the woods.

But last night it came, and this morning ~ after long weeks of dull, drab, and brown ~ we were covered in a soft, wet blanket of white.

The forecast for the next two weeks is for temperatures below freezing, so it looks like winter is suddenly here to stay.


Snowball Fight


"Reinventing Christmas" Blog Carnival here today!!

>> Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Reinventing Christmas Blog CarnivalOkay, today's the day!!

Today we determine to make a difference in our world, starting in our hearts and homes.

Today we begin the journey towards living in true Christian community and start actively looking for ways to give of OURSELVES instead of our bank accounts.

Today, we TAKE BACK CHRISTMAS and not only seek to remind ourselves of the real meaning of Christmas....

but to
in our gifts this year.

On my first foray into Disney's site, I found the PERFECT gift for my girls. " The Ultimate Dollhouse." Peanut actually came into the room while I was looking through the rooms ~ the site goes through the house room by room, giving details on how to make each piece of furniture and has some great pictures ~ and instantly said she'd love that house for her Peek-a-Boo Barbie.

I know it's unreasonable to think I can make one of these by Christmas ~ let alone TWO! ~ so I'm keeping this one for next year. Can you imagine their faces?! But yeah, the time factor, as well as collection of various types of containers are kinda working against me this year. So next year for sure. My girls have always loved little tiny things, so this will be perfect for them. And if I wait one more year, they'll be another year older and another year more respectful of their toys. (hopefully!)

One thing we WILL be doing is packing up two shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. Yesterday, I sat Peanut and Fidget down and explained to them that if we give them a little less at Christmas, we can help a little girl or boy somewhere far away have a very special Christmas when otherwise, they might not have one at all.

The girls are young enough that money means little in terms of size or number of gifts, and I know they're excited about helping someone less fortunate. Every time they see a Christian Childrens Fund or World Vision commercial, they say we should do something for those children. Peanut, in particular, is quite bothered at the thought of children her age wandering around in bare feet and rags, living in a cardboard hut, and eating only if they're lucky.

So this year, we're going to try and shift our girls' focus from people GETTING PRESENTS to people GIVING HOPE to those who have little. I have to admit it will take some shifting on my part as well. I'm quite used to receiving at Christmas, and mindlessly buying and feeling obligated to buy.... My hope is that if we quit spending so much time thinking about presents ~ received OR given ~ and start focusing on simply touching hearts, that will remain the focus of Christmases in the future.

Another thing the girls are quite looking forward to is making gifts for all their teachers as well as their grandparents.

Now, I realize this is exactly where many of you have problems ~ friends and relatives read your blogs and you can't really post your ideas!! It's no different here, but I will post pictures of some of the ideas that caught my eye. I don't know how many of these will get made ~ or if I'll go with something else entirely ~ but I liked these. They're perfect for teachers, prayer sisters, neighbours, babysitters, and those little get-togethers where the invitation reads, "Bring a $5 gift."

All of the above (except the food items, which were results from an "In a Jar" Recipezaar search) were found on the and Better Homes and Gardens websites. If you haven't already, I encourage you to check out these sites. They're both an incredible resource for IDEAS for EVERYTHING!

Okay, so now you've got an idea how I'd like to change Christmas at my house. How about you? What would you like to change this year and how are you hoping to do it? Or how HAVE you already done it? Sign up with Mr. Linky and share your ideas!

Best wishes with your Christmas "re-invention" and for a joyful holiday season,

There will be a "Reinvented Christmas Wrap-Up" carnival on January 6 to see how it all went down! Let us know how many of your plans and ideas you actually put into practise and, of course, you'll be able to finally show off your handiwork without fear of ruining the surprises!! Depending on what the general consensus is, there may also be a progress update or two in the mean time. Tell me what you'd like ~ weekly updates, bi-weekly updates, one check-in on December 11, etc.


a moment of silence in remembrance...

Canadian National Vimy Memorial Not only for Canadians at Vimy Ridge, but for all North American troops, past and present, who've given and lost their lives all over the world, fighting for peace.
For ourselves and on behalf of others.


the other side of the road

>> Thursday, November 6, 2008

It was a weird day on Monday. Sometimes cloudy, sometimes not. Fairly mild, almost no breeze.... perfect for going for a walk. Or burning stubble. If you have a field and you're into that kind of thing.

Above me and to the east, the sky was a beautiful blue with all these light, wispy, herringbone clouds. The sky looked like it does in summer ~ those long lazy days where you dread having to go inside.

And then I looked west....

And couldn't believe it was the same sky, on the same day.
On the same walk.

Click below for more...

PhotoStory Friday


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