the graduate

>> Friday, May 29, 2009

My li'l Fidget graduated from Nursery school last night.

Nursery school grad

In three short months, she'll be gone to kindergarten full days two or three times a week. ("even" days on a 6-day cycle)

I try to imagine how it will feel, having the house to myself for a full 8 hours a couple of times each week. I mean, I've had kid-free days here and there over the years, but never on a regular basis. While part of me looks forward to the glorious silence and potential productivity, part of me knows it will seem TOO quiet. Too empty.

Nursery school grad

After 5 years of non-stop chatter, the silence will be deafening.

But last night, I tried not to think about that. I tried to think about how much she's learned over the last 9 months. How much she's loved nursery school and making new friends; how much she loves her teacher.

And I know she's looking forward to "real" school. Even if I'm not so sure.

Grad '09 Wakka

Just for the heck of it, I dug up the picture of Peanut's nursery school grad two years ago. Man, I never really think they look alike, but wow, sometimes they really DO! (It helps, of course, that Fidget wore her big sister's hand-me-down dress last night, too!)

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the logistics of housework

>> Thursday, May 28, 2009

How is it that 90% of a job is the work of convincing myself to get started?! PLEASE tell me I'm not the only one with issues like this!!

My best friend is a self-starter. I wish I was more like her. When something needs to be done, she just does it. I don't think she ever thinks about how much work it will be or how long it will take; I'm pretty sure how much effort might be required never even crosses her mind. She just DOES IT.

Me? I just don't get that.

I'll think about it for a couple of years first. Then I'll strategize. Then I'll think about different obscure housework chores and various other impossible dreams for a couple of years. Then I'll tentatively pencil it into my list of chores for the week. Then I'll promptly scratch it off the list because I've run out of time.

And then a year later, it's back on the list again.... you get the idea.

Like washing my kitchen floor.

When we were first thinking about moving out of our teeny house in The Big City, one of my requirements in a new house was dark flooring in the kitchen because I hated how quickly my white floor got disgusting-looking.

Well, guess what? The house we bought ~ our current house ~ has white flooring in the kitchen. Huh. Guess that wasn't a deal-breaker! Great. And it's the kind of flooring that's got built-in pockmarks that are AWESOME at catching dirt and grime and kitchen spills. (Don't you love that kind of linoleum?!) Which it's been doing now for at least the last 5 years. While I've been strategizing and plotting and planning and scheduling exactly how and when I'm going to wash it.

I think my mom may have washed the floor when she was living with us the week after Fidget was born way back in June 2004. Maybe. If not, it likely hasn't been done since the day we moved in way back in March 2002.

Well.

Tuesday night I FINALLY washed my kitchen floor. Like, not just with the Swiffer, but down on my hands and knees with a brush, getting into all the corners and pockmarks.

Five to seven years' worth of grit and grime ~ gone.

Seven years' worth of procrastinating and I can finally cross it off my "to do" list.

And it took me all of half an hour.

Duh

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mud soup and other good clean fun

>> Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I had fun with my girls this last weekend. On Saturday, we went to Fidget's Nursery school because I was responsible for cleaning ~ just basically dusting the room and washing the toys that end up in the mouth. The Bushman had a breakfast meeting at 8 am, so shortly after he left the house, the girls and I did too, picking up an A&W breakfast along the way to eat once we got to the school.

nursery school cleaning

Obviously, the girls didn't help at all, but they had a great time playing and having the whole place to themselves. Mostly, they actually played outside and I enjoyed some childrens' renditions of the latest dance hits while I washed all the play food and dishes.

I've dreaded this weekend responsibility ever since Nursery school started way back in September, but discovered it was actually sort of fun to be able to give the girls this opportunity to play somewhere else. And it's funny how well ~ and willingly ~ they cleaned up after themselves there!! It must have something to do with everything having its own special place, designated with a little picture of the item! Hmmmmm....

And then on Sunday, we made MUD SOUP!

Peanut's Grade 1/2 class visits our village's little public library once a week in addition to the school library, and last Tuesday, she brought home this book:

Mud SoupIt's the story of a little Spanish girl who loves her grandmother's Mud Soup and how she manages to convince a little friend to give it a try, despite its name and appearance. At the end of the book, the recipe is given, and I was thrilled when Peanut asked if we could make it.

I LOVE experimenting in the kitchen and have obviously passed that on to her as well, because she's the most adventurous young eater I know! So I had no problems adding dry black beans to my grocery list last week.

Essentially, it's a very basic Black Bean Soup, and I added a few things, according to the recipe I've linked here. And then I made these delicious garlic breadsticks to serve with the soup. I've made yeast breads from scratch only once or twice before in my life, but these turned out SO well and SO-O-O delicious, that I will definitely be making these again. The soup and breadsticks together were a huge hit with the whole family.

Mud Soup!

On top of all that, after The Bushman and the girls finished seeding the garden, he found some large appliance boxes in the garage (that we were hoarding who-knows-why!) and created a couple of "houses" for the girls that they have since decorated and spent a fair bit of time playing in. Someone remind me again why we bother asking for and buying them store-bought toys!

So yeah, it was a pretty banner weekend! The Nursery school cleaning was a pleasant surprise, the Mud Soup was a great-tasting experiment, and the weather's been nice enough that playing outside is actually FUN again ~ woo-hoo!!

Smile
PS. The Bushman tells me that he actually bought those appliance boxes specifically for the purpose of making "houses" for the girls, but he'd kinda forgotten about them because he'd stored them in the garage due to their size. What a great dad!

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Canadian kids can SO have fun ~ even without snow!

>> Monday, May 25, 2009










Sledding

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i'm virtually FAMOUS!!

>> Friday, May 22, 2009

I know I said I'd never talk about weight loss here on this blog ever again, but I had to make an exception for this!

The wonderful people over at

The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

have named me THE BIGGEST SHRINKER in their most recent challenge!!
Imagine that!

Me.

WINNING at WEIGHT LOSS!!

I know! "Now I've seen everything," right?! They've interviewed me and everything!! You can pop on over to read it if you like. And bask in my fame.

I love it that I've been given this opportunity to share my faith and the testimony of God's recent work in my life on somone else's site! I think that was my favourite part. Oh, and this SWEET little badge that was created JUST FOR ME!!

Shrink Into Summer's Biggest Shrinker!
Wicked awesome, eh?

But you know what's even better? I'm going to SHARE my prize with ONE lucky fellow blogger!

The wonderfully creative and talented designers from

Ruby and Roja Design

(who also designed the fancy shrinkage-bling badge) were all set to give THE BIGGEST SHRINKER a blog makeover, but I'm passing this incredible opportunity on to YOU!!! I'm picky and restless and I like to be able to change my header and the colours of my blog and whatnot, so I thought this prize might be better appreciated by someone else.

Like, maybe...

YOU!

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post. And you'll get a second entry if you pop on over to my other blog and leave a comment on any of my posts over there. (except the contest post, 'cuz you've already done that over here!) That's it! Just make sure there's a way for me to contact you.

This contest is only open to regular readers/commenters on my blogs, to bloggers using Blogger or Typepad platforms, and will close on May 29th, 2009 at midnight, Central Daylight Time. The winner will be announced on June 1st, and I'll put you in touch with Christy, who will work tirelessly with you to create a unique, personal, sensational new blog design!!

Good luck!!

See? It pays to know famous people! (And comment on their blogs. Winky )



Oscar Red Carpet 1

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this bud's for you

>> Thursday, May 21, 2009

It really is amazing how much more fun walking ~ and being outdoors in general! ~ is when it actually LOOKS like spring!!

Our spring has been SO cold and slow this year that some of us were beginning to wonder if it would happen at all. We've had some quite beautiful days, but for the most part, it's been cold, windy, and disgustingly snowy.

But I think, just maybe, the warmth is FINALLY winning.

I love the red and the green.

But mostly how it doesn't look at all Christmasy!!

I love the pelican face-in-the-sky. I tell ya, if reincarnation were real, I'd wanna be a pelican in my afterlife. They have got to be the most laid-back birds around. Have you ever watched them soaring up in the clouds? I guarantee there will be a layer of dust on your eyeballs before you ever see one actually flap its wings.

Oh, AND they get to gulp their food and spit at the table.

I love fuzzy caterpillars.

And drowsy calves.

And beautiful black stallions.

And my goofy mutt.

Because they all make waiting for full-on greenery more bearable.


Sunny

Click below for more...
PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

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before and after

>> Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I talked the other day about wanting to start over ~ right from scratch ~ with learning to be a better homemaker, mother, and wife.

The first thing I decided to do was scrap the scheduling!!! It never worked anyway! Not for me, that is.

Let's see if you can guess why. Here's what my former, beautiful, colour-coded daily "schedules" used to look like:

Photobucket

Yikes, talk about inflexible!! Notice how I have very carefully scheduled all of seven hours a week for spontenaity and fun! (the blank spaces) No wonder I never stuck with any of these horrid schedules, pretty as they might have been!!

After Thursday's post, I drew up a new schedule:

Photobucket

Ahhh, just looking at this one brings a sigh of relief! And you know what? My success rate since then has already been much better than with any of my previous beautifully colour-coded charts.

Hula Hoop

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sunday sermon

>> Sunday, May 17, 2009

I was asked again to fill in for our pastor this morning in church. I didn't have so much a message as a testimony. If you're interested in reading a transcript, click HERE.

Current Mood - Wiped Out

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God, i don't mean to complain but...

>> Friday, May 15, 2009


SERIOUSLY?
Is this really necessary on May 15?

I don't mean to question your judgment, God, but we've been blessed with so much snow that we're starting to get a little embarrassed. There are so many poor people in hot, sunny countries who've never even SEEN snow ~ and here we are, getting more than we know what to do with.

Please feel free to share our bountiful blessings with others.

Amen.


Pouty


*UPDATE:
It seems I really have nothing to complain about. Word has it that towns within a 2-hr drive of here, both west and south of us, got a FOOT of snow overnight. Sorry, I really didn't mean YOU guys. I KNOW you know what snow looks like ~ you've been experiencing pretty much the same "spring" we have!

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starting from scratch

>> Thursday, May 14, 2009

After writing the post I did on Mother's Day, I decided I need help. I want to be a mother like my mom was, but I don't really know where to start.

I seriously browsed the Internet for "Homemaking Lessons" and "Guides to Joyful HomeKeeping," etc.! There's TONS of information out there, but very few step-by-step guides to becoming a joyful Keeper of the Home.

I guess that's partly because you really can't start with just one thing. There's cooking, cleaning, organizing, and parenting, and a horde of other aspects to the responsibility of "homemaking/keeping" that all have to be taken care of at the same time. Multi-tasking is the name of the game!

So I decided to rather make some goals for myself. They will seem very basic and elementary to some of you, but maybe there are some of you who've also felt convicted at times that you're really not the mother God would have you be. I hope you'll find encouragement in knowing you're not alone and that it's really never too late to decide to change. Maybe we can even help each other along the way!

These are my goals for this summer:

1. Find a daily devotional guide for young kids and start having devotions either at breakfast or at afternoon tea time.

I'd prefer free and online so that I can print out, modify, etc., but now that I think of it, that's a LOT of paper over the course of a year ~ I might have to break down and just buy a book! I found this online daily devotional, but I'd really like one that had some kind of activity or object lesson each day. Suggestions are welcome!

2. Leave the computer off until my daily "to do" list has been completely done.

A couple of weeks ago, my sister-in-law's Facebook status said something to the effect that she would need to start working harder at getting everything done in the mornings so that she'd be able to spend her afternoons outside, now that the weather was getting nicer. (Of course, the weather up around these parts hasn't been CONSISTENTLY nice yet ~ we had snow again last Friday and Saturday and there's PLENTY more in the long-range forecast! ~ so I can put it off a little longer, right?!)

I've thought about it a lot since reading that and I've decided to make it a goal. Virtually every single day, I fritter away several hours here at the computer first thing in the morning, while the girls watch TV, and then in the afternoon, when they're finally sick and tired of sitting around and they ask me to do something with them, I can't because "mommy has too much work to do."

Of course, if mommy would've gotten off her lazy butt and done her work in the morning, she'd have PLENTY of time!!

I've drawn up numerous "daily schedules" for myself over the last few years (all pretty and colour-coded and everything!), but never actually stuck to them. It's always just been wishful thinking. I think part of the problem is they haven't been flexible. I'm not very good at flexible. I need improvement in that area. Kids are random and unpredictable. The weather is random and unpredictable.
I need to learn to accomodate and work around both!

I want my mornings to be about business, looking after my home and raising adults; my afternoons about enjoying life with my girls, savouring their childhood; and my evenings about gratefully remembering and cleaning up the spoils of a full, rewarding day ~ preparing my home and my heart for the adventures of tomorrow.

And, if necessary, to be able to do all these things in the opposite order!!

That sounds very ideal, and I know there will be many days when that is NOT AT ALL(!) how I'm going to view my day, but if that's what I'm aiming towards and asking God to keep reminding me of my goals, I think someday ~ before my girls are all grown up and moved away ~ I'll get there.

Photobucket

For their sakes and mine, I really hope so.


Picnic

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christmas in july may

>> Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Recently, I received a wonderful gift from one of my mom's sisters ~ pretty much the only aunt I know on my mom's side of the family. She's considerably older than my mom and lately, her health has been on the decline, so she decided to give all her neices and nephews (apparently there are 63 of us!) a monetary gift.

Even though we REALLY could have used the money to pay some bills or buy some groceries, The Bushman put his foot down and told me I was not allowed to use her gift for necessities. It wasn't really that difficult for me to accept his suggestion!

I had trouble deciding, though what to do with the money. My first thought was an Amazon order. My wish list keeps getting longer and longer... My next thought was a weekend away with The Bushman ~ I think it's been almost two years since the last time we had that ~ but since the gift would not have even covered the cost of a hotel room for two nights, I scratched that idea off the list, too. And then there was the lens kit for my camera that I've had my eye on for the last year and a half ~ a wide-angle lens, a telephoto zoom lens, three filters, and various other accessories. On eBay, there was still one available and even with shipping, the gift would have covered it, but I asked Canon customer service a few questions about compatibility with a newer model of the same camera in case I needed to replace mine for whatever reason and the response was less than encouraging. So, back to square one.

In the end, I decided to do a little of both my first two ideas ~ a few new books and a date night.

The date night has yet to happen ~ no surprise there, really!

But my books arrived today!!! ::squeal::



Don't Waste Your LifeWhy We're Not Emergent
Inside Delta ForceThe Discipline of Spiritual DiscernmentSinner

(Click on any of the pictures to read more.)

Hmmmm, guess I'll have to update that reading list!!

And make sure I send a Thank You note to my aunt for a wonderful gift that I'll enjoy for many years.

Reading

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