Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 in review

so my friend Mike did a photo review on facebook - and a stellar job of it, I may add. it got me thinking that I should do a year in review - but I can't really remember what happened in January or February. mmmmm. I love being over 35. maybe I can make a video montage.

January - March: I seriously don't remember. I know that seems rather odd to some of you, I know darn well that it is very normal for others of you. I can guarantee that I was busy with work [because that NEVER changes!!]. was easter in March or April? not sure, but here's an easter picture!



April: I went to Palm Springs with my sisters and my mom [my dad was there too!!]; Marcy & Madi flew in from Mexico and I had 36 hour overlap with them! In addition, John & I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. "celebration" is a bit of a hyperbole. I think we may have spent 5 minutes together that day! However, I did do one whole scrapbook page with wedding pictures this year. yeah me!



May: okay, so this was a pretty big deal. I walked the Vancouver half-marathon with my mom & Joy. absolutely no pictures of this. the pictures that were taken were awful. not to mention, I didn't take them, so they are no where. hehehe! oh, and soccer started for the boys - John coached again!



June: well, Ty turned 3. still not potty trained. I think at this point it's a mom issue and not so much a ty issue. also in June, I got my application in for the leadership course. I almost didn't apply. and Steph moved out into her own place.

July & August: we kicked off the summer with a big Canada Day party for the boys birthdays. I turned 36. Nate turned 6. Susan had a baby [yeah, Izzy!] I took a road trip to Canmore with Audra. I went to SLC with Erika for the Stampin' Up! convention. I went to the lake with the boys and to the farm to see Aunty Coralee! and then it was back to school to get organized for the fall.






September: yeah, I don't really remember this either. LOL Nate started kindergarten. Chad moved in with us. I got my acceptance letter for LED and general chaos began again!



October - December: I started my LED course, started a student achievement project, wrote an article review, I wrote a kazillion IPPs, report cards were in there too, parent-teacher interviews [as both the teacher AND the parent], Christmas concerts, John's birthday, a weekend trip to Calgary [the BEST move evah!], conducted interviews then wrote a paper on it, sick kids, sick mom, stamp nights, piano recital, home reading, Remembrance Day [planning the whole gosh-darn thing], PHEW!!! I don't know what else was in there...oh yeah! and Coralee had her baby!!



and today. silence [okay, so I can hear John snoring over the sound of the dishwasher, but general silence!]. although it's been a busy year, it's been generally good. no major illnesses. no major hoop-ups. no major disasters.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

the song in my head

I can't seem to get it out.

click here to get it stuck in your head too...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

merry christmas

I hope you had a splendid day - we did. got some good vid footage of the boys in their new hoodies. I will try to upload. if it works, great. if not - it's on my facebook page! I actually remembered to take some photos' as well, so I will try to get some of those posted this weekend. so crazy how fast it goes eh?

video

do I dare believe that it's working???? if so, my wee flip cam may be worth it's weight in gold! I could vidblog. eek! even more of me. okay, kinda scary. maybe just more of my kidlets for now! maybe I could talk about the gift fun that was today/yesterday. nate got a ds for christmas, ty got a leapster2. my kids have turned into gaming monsters. and they are loving it. nate especially. he is at the age where learning responsibility is super important and this is "THE" toy to reinforce all that teaching. we talked today about where it goes, how it is stored, how to treat it. all good. the boys also got a huge stuffed zebra from my mom and dad - totally crazy, but kinda cool! they've been riding it, playing "knights", playing "horse", playing "starwars" [not too sure how the zebra fits...]. hopefully I survive the weekend, and I really hope the weather improves so I can kick them both outside tomorrow for some fresh air.

anyways, it's late. my vid uploaded. woohoo! and tomorrow is brunch with friends/family in celebration of a true canadian holiday - BOXING DAY!!!

xoxo

Sunday, December 21, 2008

the crazy that is me

december, well really this whole fall, has been more insane than I could have imagined. I am so thankful that I made it through in one piece - there was a couple of times through october and november that I was questioning all of it. the course I was taking was a lot of work on a couple of levels. first, it was just a lot of extra work - projects, papers, professional reading, classes. but more importantly it was a lot of emotional work. I have been so indecisive about the direction I want to take in my career and completely baffled about my purpose as a mom, wife, teacher...all those important roles that define my life. that's perhaps been the problem - I've been really busy "doing" life and I've not really been connecting with my life. how oprah of me, eh? well, this fall has brought to light a few things. 1. I want an admin position. 2. I need to wait until ty is in school before I pursue further schooling. 3. I need to take care of me - mind, body, soul. 4. I really love my husband. 5. I don't want to turn off my life - I want to spend more time enjoying it. I spent even less time than normal with my friends, my support network. bad move. I gained 5 pounds and haven't worked out in FOREVER. was it worth it? don't know if I can answer that. I have good friends - friends that understand, support, get the lack of phone calls and coffee dates, but I also know that I don't want to ever abuse that generosity. I started at weight watchers a couple of weeks ago, so I feel like I am back on track in the health/weight department and I will figure out the whole workout thing in the new year! my kids are going to take some time - some love smothering will need to be the focus of the next two weeks - my wee ty was not a happy camper with the lovely schedule I was keeping.

so, my plan for my break: SCRAPBOOK!! send out Christmas cards [better late than never, right?], have coffee with some friends, get a pedi, potty train ty, drink wine, read some good books, lose 4 pounds, watch some tv...reconnect with some people that I'd like to spend some time with - good for the soul.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

the end is near!

2 more weeks until christmas vacation - a couple of blissful days of complete rest. then the flurry of activity that is christmas. regardless, my shopping is basically done and my course is 2 classes from being done. i really can't complain. as busy as it's been as of late, there have been some highlights...I will try to "top 10" them!

1. Nate had his piano recital last monday. I've birthed a rock star. seriously, [and I am COMPLETLY biased!], my kid kicked butt on the ol' piano. Love him.



2. the house is decorated for Christmas. I like it this year - lot's of red & white & silver. LOVE!
3. have I told you about my robot? we got an irobot a couple of months ago - best investment in house cleaning ever!
4. I went to weight watchers for the first time ever. need a kick in the pants.
5. If the kids at school fill one more HUGE box for the food bank, I'll be dying my hair hot pink.
6. I went to H&M today and got my kids some long sleeved t-shirts, since nothing fits Nate right now.
7. I did a curb crash with my car on tuesday - slid into the curb off a piece of ice. $1200 later...yeah. love.
8. I have Christmas cards all made, don't know where all my addresses are.
9. we are hosting 2 Christmas parties in the next week or so - my work party & our "small group" party. thank God for the robot.
10. my kids really believe in santa. grrr. I have tried to fix this - no such luck.

and a few more pics - random things!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

remember me?

yeah, neither do I!

HOW Y'ALL DOIN'??? so the busy life is beginning to subside, just a touch - and the end is in sight. only four or five more weeks until christmas, and that really signals the end of the insanity. all is well. my course is going well - I am truly enjoying it, and learning a lot, but the pace has been a bit crazed. oh well, just a project to finish/report on and literature reviews to type up, after my IPPs get finished!

so I went to a thing tonight, with my old friend brenda - she's NOT old, we've just known each other for some time - and it's a thing that really has coincided with a unit I just started with my kids at school: slavery. [oh, and erika, I have a serious list of books going for you! will send it SOON!] well, this thing I went to tonight deals with justice and modern day slavery and all the horrible things that, to be honest, just pissed me off BIG TIME. needless to say, IJM is doing some great work in many different countries and for the first time, I met an organization that is doing something about injustice in our world.

on another note, john & I went to calgary last weekend for his birthday and had an awesome time. we got almost all our christmas shopping done and just had a great time hanging out. and considering how busy things have been, it was a good time just to have an adult conversation with the wonderful man I married. he really is a good guy, and for that I am SO thankful. so, for your [or should I say my?] viewing pleasure, a picture of my dear love [oh, and some of the kidlets!].



Friday, November 07, 2008

I like success

well, really, who doesn't??? LOL

although time seems to be passing by at some sort of insane rate, today was opportunity to slow down and reflect. we held our remembrance day ceremony at school today and I was pleased with how it went [being the co-planner, I had a vested interest!!!]. it really was opportunity to pause and think about those abroad today, and those who paved the way before. We had a veteran from WWII come and speak to the kids - it was unfortunate that I didn't have more time to spend with him, or to take some pictures of him with the kids. needless to say, today was one of those days where I am thankful for my job, thankful for the kids I teach, thankful for the colleagues I work will, and above all, thankful for those who have fought for a country where I can worship freely, vote, speak my opinions, and raise my children how I see fit.

and, if I can get it working, I'll include my updated version of O Canada! yeah, THAT's not wanting to happen...I love plan B! yeah, even plan B is giving me grief!

good thing there's always tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

adoption

so I have to talk about adoption at church on sunday. I am going to use my lovely blog as a way to type it all out and get it fleshed out - I'd love the feedback, if you are willing to share!

Ephesians 1 says: Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!).

this piece of scripture reminds brings to mind the whole concept of adoption - the choosing of someone to join your family. the process of adoption is so significantly different from the 9 months of pregnancy. pregnancy is such an intimate, memorable process, yet generally uncontrollable. and let's be honest, those of us who have birthed children are just happy that they are cute because THAT process HURTS! adoption on the other hand, adoption is opportunity to choose. adoption is never random. never an accident. never the unintentional result of passionate night with someone whose name you may or may not recall. adoption is "on purpose". adoption is choosing to focus your love on someone because of want, out of desire to bring an individual into family.

this concept is close to my heart, as it is part of my family. I am the oldest of 6 children in my family: there are 4 natural children and 2 adopted. those of you that know my family, know that my parents are generous, kind, wonderful people - people who saw a need and took in children not out of obligation, but out of love. the circumstances of the adoption of both my brother and my sister are enormously different. my brother was in a situation of extreme neglect and physically handicapped. my sister had been well cared for, but needed a home where her deafness could be assisted. in my family, as in all families, nothing is perfect. the big, open hearts of my mom and dad have come with a price - time, money, emotion, love. and the children that they adopted have been more complex and intense in their needs than any of us could have imagined.

recently I have meet another family that so desires to adopt a child, a child who is currently a foster child living with them. as I spoke to the father on the phone this week, I was so moved by his passion and his love for this child that his wife and him want to give a permanent, stable, loving home for. and as I sat down to write this, a recent episode of House came to mind. the scene of when the mother of a newborn, tells Dr. Cuddy that she's changed her mind about giving her child up for adoption. the anguish that Cuddy felt in that moment was that of grief and death.

I say all this to say this. before the creation of the universe, your adoption was planned. he had us in mind. he chose all of mankind for this complex and wonderful plan. he loved us so completely that he wanted to, willingly and sacrificially, bring us into his family. to focus his love on us. not just a chosen few, but all mankind. all people. every single person. before the beginning of time he decided to focus his love on you. like adoption, there was no off-chance, no mistakes, just choice. a desire to bring everyone of us into his family. and not under obligation, as if he's saying "oh, I have to go and create a rescue plan YET AGAIN", but with great pleasure and joy! he chose each of us. He called each of us. he is like the foster parent saying to the neglected child, "I want to give you a home and peace and love...forever". with open hearts, asking to adopt us with all our disabilities and struggles, all of our sinful nature still holding on. with such grief and despair and heaviness when that hope and plan for adoption is taken away. pre-destination is not about who is in and who is out, but everyone human soul being chosen before time. every person being the focus of God's love. every person being on His mind. every person being thought of with intent. with purpose. how profound. I am awed by that love. and so thankful that he had me in mind. and has always been choosing me. and you.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

MIA

sorry I've been MIA the last week or so. the busyness is catching up to me and now that I have a voice and am over the whole hacking-up-lung issue, I am actually able to get some work done. this week I need to start/finish my ipps [15 in total, plus another 30 goals]; not complicated, just time consuming. I have 3 interviews to conduct, and a paper to write as a result, a school project to implement, a speech/thingy to write for church on sunday, music practice on thursday night, 2 showers on the weekend [WOOHOO!! BABIES!!!!!] and in the next three weeks, report cards and 2 5-page papers. not to mention the marking and teaching that normally gets done in my day. HOWEVER. [phew, there is a however!!] next weekend John & I are going to calgary. just the two of us. for two whole days. no kids. no work. just shopping. this makes me happy!

so, although there is nothing inspiring to report, no great books read ['cause lets be honest, you don't really want a review on the books I've been reading - assessment data is just not that exciting!] and not even any scrap booking to share, I appreciate that all my friend get my schedule and are so kind and gracious about the whole thing that is my life. I don't say it enough, but I really appreciate everyones patience. especially the patience that you need to be my friend.

xoxo!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

a few more...

and a few more layouts - this class has really pushed me out of my zone...and has given me opportunitiy to scrap europe photos...WOOHOO!!





another weekend

well, another weekend has come and gone, after a long, long week. and I find myself, on this sunday night, feeling totally behind yet again. yes, I've been sick [no voice, lovely cough] so I should cut myself some slack, but not being at school on friday cost me prep time and some special needs time - both which will need some catching up on. and tomorrow, my student teacher starts. I was going to start some new social units, but alas, that may have to wait. grrr.

so, as I always do, I spent some time distracting myself with things that didn't really need to get done, but fun stuff. and, it means that this week is once again going to be a busy flurry of activity and craziness, making up for the lack of work done last week. sigh.

some new creations, a new baby [we LOVE baby Ty!] and a kid shot [they are loving each other for once!]:







I have to find my other pages that I did this week - and see if I can change the title on my blog - still unsure of the whole photoshop thingy...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

some more pages...

so I did a bit of scrappin' this weekend - I was very pleased with the results! I love being pleased with the results, considering the ones I did last week were a bit more hit and miss!!

hope you've all had a great weekend!



Wednesday, October 15, 2008

holy schikers, batman!

just for a brief update.
1. term plans are done and handed in.
2. year plans are done and handed in.
3. professional growth plans are done and handed in.
4. article is read. discussed. enjoyed. new one assigned needing to be read by monday.
5. plans done for the week.
6. new moon read.
7. eclipse read.
8. breaking dawn started.
9. project proposal outline done.
10. pizza ordered.
11. six pies made and eaten/given away.
12. piano solo practiced, played, enjoyed.

really, not too bad for a couple of days of work. all is well - I JUST NEED TO FINISH READING SO I CAN GET ON WITH WORK THAT MATTERS!!!!!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

grrr.

don't know why I need a title that is purely an onomatopoeia, but hey...you can hear it, can't you. LOL how can you tell that I am teaching figures of speech?? LOVE IT!!

so, I've decided that my brain is full. full. topped up. spaceless. completely without vacancy. I plan to brain dump this weekend to make some room: make pie and think. this is a very good combination. that and the following: read an academic book, read "new moon", finish my term plans, write ipps, plan for next week, write a couple article reviews [oh, have to read the articles first!], do my LED homework, scrapbook, make some cards. yeah, I'd feel okay if all that got done! if I am efficient with my time, it is totally manageable. then I'd have some more room in my brain. a good thing, indeed!

little interlude. I am listening to delirious right now and this song came up in the mix. the lyrics totally fit me right now. not because I am falling apart, but just that I will get through all this busy stuff and be okay.

Every Little Thing

Everything must change
There’s a mirror showing me the ugly truth
These bones they ache with holy fire
But I’ve got nothing to give, just a life to live
If your world is without colour
I will carry you, if you carry me

Every little thing’s gonna be alright
Every little thing’s gonna be alright [x2]

There’s no-one else to blame
I live my life between the fire and the flame
I’ve built my house where the ocean meets the land
It’s time to live again, pull my dreams out of the sand
Let your world be full of colour
I will carry you, if you carry me

When it’s all falling down on you
You’re crying out but you’re breaking in two
When it’s all crashing down on you
When there’s nothing you can do
There is someone who can carry you


oh, and some new pictures of the kids - I LOVE FALL PICTURES!!!

Monday, October 06, 2008

eeekkkk!!!

okay, I am making this quick. I started a book on Saturday [after I talked to erika on the phone...!] and literally did not put it down until I was finished on sunday - AT MIDNIGHT! now, I am not usually a fan of the "popular" when it comes to books, but HOLY SCHMIKES!!! I get it. I get the hype. I get the obsession. I dreamt about the characters last night and had to go and buy the next book after my brutally long day.

Twilight [by Stephanie Mayer] is AMAZING. It was such a great story and really figurative and descriptive on so many levels. I could see the movie playing in my head as I read. Like a vampire to blood, I am addicted. Edward. Bella. GO GET THIS BOOK [or borrow it from me once I get it back from my sister!!]; it is an easy read and just an enjoyable piece of fiction. like a good cup of coffee. or a good song on the radio. pure entertainment. anyways, as I rant, I am eagerly awaiting "New Moon", the sequel, so this IS short!



on another note, I started the epsb leadership course today [hence the long day]. I am going to be one tired little cookie by the time christmas comes. forgive me now, while I am still able to ask!!

hugs,
me!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

fall in edmonton

I really love this time of year - and this week has been no exception. hot in the afternoons. fresh in the mornings. crunchy. orange. happy. it's all good. school has not slowed down at all, but my head and my body is up to speed, so really, all is good. other than the strep throat I have - or the strep throat the doctor suspects I have. I do not have time to be sick. too much that needs to get done, too many things that have deadlines. alas, it will all have to wait until tomorrow - because today is officially a sick day. I'll let all the drugs kick in and then it should start to feel better. okay, so enough about my ramblings.

I am doing an on-line scrapbooking class with erika. it starts today and I had to do some pre-work for it. I am going to see if I can post the picture [it has given me hassles!!!]



and then some random creations:


Monday, September 15, 2008

so sorry

so sorry friends, I've been on vacation. HAHAHA!!! yeah, not on your life!

I can't even say that it feels remotely like vacation. it feels like work. lots of work. speaking of work, that part of my life is pretty okay. it is challenging and interesting and busy and decent. and the rest of my life, well it's finding time to happen - with or without me. this week is looking quite like last week - UBER BUSY - with the exception of tomorrow night. this is a very-good-God-organized thing, I do believe. the season premier of house is on tomorrow. YIPPIE!!! that means I can stamp myself happy for 2 whole hours. YEEHAW! no seriously, this is what it's come to. tomorrow is the one day with no soccer, no commitments, no nothing. and then it all picks up from there into a whirlwind of crazed frasers! I mock my life, but it is full. and this week, I am not treading water. my feet are firmly planted at the bottom of the lake.

so, in light of all the changes in my/our lives, I bought myself a new toy. an iphone. let me explain [reason/excuse?]. in the last 2 weeks I have totally wanted to kill my wee pink razor. I loved that phone, I really did. then I started needing to text message more than one text every couple of days. on the wee razor, the numbers and letters all share keys. try having an in depth conversation with the mom of the boy that is boarding with you [who is also deaf]. yeah. I was ready to kill the sweet pink razor by friday afternoon. the friday afternoon where all hell broke loose and I was the one link of reason with a little, stupid phone in hand. ready. to. kill. so I went to visit my friends at the rogers store, because I really wanted a crackberry. turns out that would have cost me close to $600. yeah no. [or wait until december and live in texting hell until then] then, just as I was feeling all rejected by my cell phone guy, he says to me: "but you are eligible for the iphone". SHUT UP! no blackberry, but an iphone. so, instead of doing a dance of joy right there in the store, I put on my adult face and told him I would have to think about it. and I left. and then I went back, 2 days later. got the phone and have been in mac heaven ever since. LOVE. and texting, so darn easy. so simple. so elegant. it's all good. and, I did the responsible thing and sold my ipod touch. so, send me a text message. I dare ya. LOL

over & out friends, more in the life of cori in the days ahead. I promise.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

arggggg!

I hate that my life goes on auto pilot the second school starts. I am tired, cranky and generally not nice to be around. although I have worked hard to take away some stress, more keeps coming. so tonight I vent. nate is doing great with school, but he is SO tired when he gets home and "the grumpy dance" has been making a daily appearance. ty doesn't want to come inside, he just wants to ride his bike outside all the time. food, heck no. I'm three and I don't need to eat! then we gained another child - a 13 year old deaf boy who goes to alberta school for the deaf. he is living in steph's old office and I am SO not used to also scheduling a teenager and adding him into the mix that is our house! it's been awesome that steph has been helping out...she rocks, but I am the one on the phone trying to figure out bussing, school and all that! yeah. wow. and that's hot even school [which is wonderful, by the way]. and in the mix I just want to scream. I need a hair cut and John's job is driving me nuts. like over the bend. I wish we could afford for him to just quit. and I want to go for coffee with my friends, but I feel like I am a prisoner in my life - the kids need me to be home, John can't sign, nate is over tired and I am just going nuts. oddly enough, school is my reprieve. so sad. I know that "this too will pass", but I'd like to just not be the mom/wife/organizer/teacher/boss for the length of a pedicure. mmmm...maybe I'm on to something.

Monday, September 01, 2008

first days

tomorrow is the start of a brand-new school year. I may be odd in a lot of ways, but I LOVE the first day. I became a teacher so that I could have "first days" every year. this year, however, my heart is torn. although it is my first day tomorrow, and I am excited to see all the kids and hear all their stories, it is also nate's first day on wednesday. I am feeling quite sad that I can't be with him on his first day of school. and really, maybe it's better for both of us that I am not. will john dress him in the right clothes? will he remember to take a picture? will nate like his class and his teacher? will he hate it? oh, I hope not! this whole thing is just such a new experience and emotions that I just didn't really anticipate. I haven't done my september calendar page yet because I want to scrap this...

still can't upload my cards from yesterday. grrr.

and, although you may be used to reading my lovely ramblings daily, that trend may be done...because as you all know, when september hits, I am often no where to be found! I have tried to set myself up with way less commitments this month, but because october is going to be extraordinarily busier than normal, I am trying to pre-prepare as much as possible! so, let's see if I can make a difference in my annual crawl-into-the-hole that is school and attempt to maintain some level of normal.

oh, 6 am comes early...off to sleep!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

corrections and thoughts...

okay, so I have made some mistakes in my last couple of posts:
1. in the book Pajama Time, the words to the little ditty are really: jamma, jamma, jamma, jamma, P! J! [trust me, i think I now have the whole book memorized!!]
2. contrary to what I said yesterday, I didn't read the whole book in one sitting - more like three quarters! regardless, I was re-reading both yesterday & friday's posts and I was confused. thought I'd set it all straight!

I figured out how to reverse the mirror image on photo booth, so here is yet another picture of me peering over some recent creations...new DS paper, upsy daisy stamp set & some in colours [all SU!]. aw shmuck. I can't get to load...will do tomorrow!

I've also been thinking lately about joy. as in joy vs. happiness. I am trying to sort out all my thoughts and usually writing here gets all the bugs out. well, not tonight. LOL just too many thoughts? who knows. regardless, it will have to wait.

happy labour day, chickies!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

it's cold, dude.

okay, so I officially froze my arse off today while sitting outside manning the garage sale. the garage sale that was suppose to get rid of all the stuff and put some coinage in my pockets. yeah. well, it wasn't awful - got to meet some neighbours, hang out with the kids, make enough money to buy booze and read a book [oh, and susan stopped by with kids...and by kids I mean seth and THE CUTEST BABY!! at 4pm I was warm, as the wind died down and the sun shone brightly on me. I actually took my scarf off!

regardless, it was a fun time and hey, I got to read a book. the book. LOL okay, not THE book, but the next book review book!



Take the Risk by Ben Carson, is totally NOT a book I would have bought. would I still buy it? well, I've read it, so I guess I don't have to, but I would lend my mom's copy to my husband and share it with y'all! and before you all panic, I did read a book in between this one and the last one...murder mysteries just don't qualify as books to write reviews about [it was a Lisa Gardner book, if anyone is looking for a creepy psycho-thriller]. and for those of you that know that I generally obsess about africa and the state of the world, humanity and justice, I am also reading "a long way gone: memoirs of a boy soldier" by ishmael beah [that review will come soon!] BUT, back to ben carson, the man is a neurosurgeon. I totally wanted to be a brain surgeon when I was a teenager...just never mastered the whole science thingy. and he's not just any neurosurgeon. he is one of the world's top pediatric brain guys. let's put it this way: he's known for separating conjoined twins...the ones that are joined at the head. so the guy knows risk. well, I sailed through the stories he told about the risks he's encountered and his formula for assessing risk [which is very good & helpful, if you are looking for some decision making guidelines]. then I got to the part about "taking yourself out of the middle" - okay, TOTALLY got my attention. it was more about taking risks and assessing decisions when you take your own emotional energy away from the decision. above all, that is the part I took from the book. is ben carson's story amazing? without a doubt. will his writing style drive you nuts? perhaps. is it a worthwhile read? absolutely. I totally had a perspective change when I read it and there are words now that I have that can describe the decision making process I tend to favour. so, if it gets passed your way, take a read.

Friday, August 29, 2008

a funny ty story

okay, so ty's new favorite book is called "pajama time" and it's this quirky little board book that rhymes. anyways, I go to read it tonight and I was doing the little song-ish part before I started [it goes like: jammy, jammy, jammy, jammy...P! J!] and ty says, "mom, pee is a bathroom word." and I agreed, yes it is. okay, so that is the prelude to the reading of the story when I get to the little song-ish part when I read, ty starts saying it with me: jammy, jammy, jammy, jammy Poo! J! totally made me laugh. try telling a 3 year old that P is a letter AND a word!

we've been running a garage sale this weekend...one more day! it's been great fun meeting all our neighbours and just hanging out outside in this last bit of summer. school started for teachers this past week and although i am feeling pumped for monday, it's just a bit stressful getting all the things organized and ready for the big day. nate's kindergarten teacher called this week and they are staggering the entry, so that nate starts wednesday with a small group and then all the kids go on friday. hopefully all will be well and he'll be okay with it all!

although I feel like I've been really introspective and philosophical as of late, I have NOTHING for you tonight. just know that I am, as always, grateful for your comments and that I am half done a new book that I am LOVING!

sleep tight...
:o)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

"those" times

so I've contemplated telling this story, or maybe I've just been distracted and forgot, but I was reminded again today of the impact one person can have in just a moment. this is maybe only the second time in my life this has happened. let me tell you the story of the first [then maybe it will all make sense].

I have no idea how old I was, but I do remember I was working the merch table for a carmen [dude, remember HIM???] concert, so really, I must have been 17 or 18 because I was the BOSS of the merch table -I used to volunteer for a production company EONS ago and I was the go-to girl on concert nights..merch, security, the whole 9 yards. now, doing merch for concerts is a b*tch because the world of the band is one that thinks they can treat people like crap on a stick. no literally. band guys are totally NOT nice to the common folk. the ACTUALLY band guys are usually okay, but the "for-hires" not so nice. as the BOSS of all things merch, you get to see this first hand when you work concerts. needless to say, I remember very vividly a guy named kim [yeah, still remember his name]. he was carman's band guy - the guy who had to coordinate all the merch people from city to city. I had a moment with this guy. not a sexual-ickish-ewww moment, but a connection moment. kim was the kindest, most patient man I ever had the pleasure to work with in a concert environment [and he smelled really great!]. I walked away from the carmen concert with this moment that really, to me, was a moment where I was in contact with a person who was authentic and a true reflection of christ. and, indeed, I remember his name 18 years later.

well, heading home from SLC I had a similar moment. not one that was so impactful, but a moment nonetheless. I was standing in the security line and I started talking the guy behind me in line. he was tall, cute, bald and he was carrying a television camera. I was curious...so, for once, I struck up a conversation. well, we got all the way through security together [like a 15 minute ordeal] and when it was all over, he came and found me and asked me my name and shook my hand. then he was gone. I have no idea what caused me to start talking to this guy [his name is Christian] and maybe that is part of it - I almost NEVER talk to strangers. and I have really no good idea why this even made such an impression on me. he was heading to new orleans to shoot some footage on post-katrina. maybe in this moment it was because I thought for a second that I am not "that" old. that I can still have conversations with cute guys and not be dismissed or whatever. regardless, I have sorta been thinking about this a lot and just praying for him when I think of it.

both of these moment get me thinking about my own life and my interactions. am I "that" moment for someone else? and what am I doing in that moment? am I being the complainer? the b*tch? the one no one wants to really be with? or am I being a true representative of what I believe? kind. compassionate. gracious. grateful. content.

and what about those times that are not moments, but relationships. how much more important to be authentic.

Friday, August 22, 2008

patience

patience and I have issues. I wish I could be the person who could tell a good "patience" story and be the hero at the end of it. I wish I could tell you that I sing the little "music machine" song and I no longer lose my patience with poor customer service people and phone solicitors. I am not that person. however, I believe that being a patient person is a good thing, a virtuous thing. but contrary to popular belief, I am not really a patient person. at least in my head I'm not. but what does it mean to be patient? well, I looked up the word "patience" in the dictionary and this is what I found: 1. the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like; 2. an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay; 3. quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence

in looking at the definition, I think even further of my inadequacies. I read it and just think of driving on the yellowhead at 8 am on a friday morning and I am the antithesis of all things patient. in that moment, stuck behind a dump truck and blocked in by idiots, I am provoked, annoyed, pained, complaining and generally I lose my temper. or, I think about trying to get out of the house with 2 kids who are pretending to zap me because they are batman and spiderman and in that moment I am not able to suppress my restlessness and annoyance when confronted with that delay. or I think about trying to potty train a little boy named ty and I know that I am not the picture of a quiet, steady perseverance, let alone even-tempered. then I threw the word into the on-line thesaurus and synonyms of the word "patience" are words like "fortitude", "perseverance", "composure". these are words/concepts that are strong character traits. these words describe who I would like to be.

I remember some time ago - like seriously before I was married, maybe even before John & I were dating, I prayed that God would give me patience [maybe it was because I had met John, liked him and totally wanted to date him!]. yeah. bad thing to ask for. in asking for patience, turns out I was asking for opportunity to practice patience! turns out though, that the more you practice, the better you get at it. okay, so in my head I feel impatient and restless all the time, but funny enough, although I feel rather inadequate in the patience department, I know that I am practicing it daily and in that practicing, some of the character of God is perhaps becoming something I reflect better than I realize.

most of the comments i get about patience from people is in the reaction I get when I tell people what I do for a living. the conversation is usually like this:
them: "a teacher. what do you teach?"
me: "yeah, I teach jr high special needs"
them: "wow, tough job. you must have a lot of patience"
and at this point I cringe. and then I think about my prayer and I think about the job I do with kids. maybe they are connected. maybe in that moment that I choose to persevere, when I choose to be even-tempered, when I choose to suppress my annoyance at their lack of ability, when I demonstrate fortitude and composure when I am screaming in my head - I am choosing to practice patience. when I choose to read with a grade 9 boy who still doesn't know that t-h-e is always the word "the" - I am choosing to practice patience. and when I walk into my classroom and create a safe and caring learning environment with my example, I get to practice patience and fortitude and hope and perseverance. and in this, I am so fortunate that I have these opportunities.

just in reflection of this, I am almost tempted to pray this prayer again. maybe instead I will pray not for more opportunity to practice patience but to demonstrate it on a more regular, consistent, daily basis. maybe I will pray that I can wait in silence when I am restless and annoyed with colleagues or family members. maybe I will pray that I will not be provoked or irritated with little things like traffic and toys on the floor or dishes that don't seem to know when to leave the dishwasher. I know, however, that with any of these prayers that God will give me opportunity to hone this skill. mmmm. so maybe it's a no-win situation. or perhaps for those of you that interact with me a win-win situation.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

so I had an idea

LOL yeah, always the ideas, rarely the follow through! but susan got me thinking with her friday fun day [what do you call it again???] I love books, I love reading so maybe I should do a biweekly, unscheduled book review. although i have a HUGE stack of books by my bed that I was suppose to read this summer, there are a few that I have, and that I'd love to share. SOOOOOO, here we go. the first review!

The Shack, by William P Young



[we'll see if the graphic worked or if I'll be cursing this grand idea!]
well, this book was recommended to my by my friend erika. we were killing some time at the mall in SLC and we decided that the book store was a safe place to cool off and hang out. she saw this book on the front display and told me it was a good one and that I should read it. to be honest, personal recommendations can go either way...what I love may not be what you love and vice versa. and being an ex-employee of a well-known christian bookstore here in town, I am very skeptical of most all christian literature. however, I have a few exceptions and so since not all is bad, I bought the book. erika was telling me how many people who have read it have claimed that it was life-altering [totally didn't help the cynic in me!] so as I began to read, the skeptic/cynic needed a boff in the head for her bad attitude!

so, I read it twice. not the whole thing, but parts. let me explain.

this book is totally cool. really. it's fiction/theology/realism all rolled up into one. it is the story of mac, a man who has lost his youngest daughter in an act of extreme violence. then one day, he gets an invitation to go back to the place where his daughter was murdered - and the invitation is signed "papa", the name his wife uses to address God. I don't really want to give too much away, just in case you decide to track down a copy and read it, but mac has an encounter with God, in the shack, that changes his life. I couldn't put the book down when I first read it, mainly because whenever I read a book for the first time through, I just want to know how it ends. I had to go back and re-read just because there were theological parts that hit me deeper than I had imagined. there is a section in the middle where mac is having a conversation with someone [can't remember if it was papa, jesus or sarayu] about the human need for hierarchy. in return, the term "circle of relationship" is used - a concept that I am wanting to explore further [when I read it again after I get it back from my dad!]. it also talks a lot about trust [something I have big issues with]. anyways, it got me thinking about things that I rather not think about.

but, I digress. I thought this book was exceptionally written. it is thought provoking and interesting. it may just sit in my top 5.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

grrr

okay, so I can't figure out how to make pictures smaller on my new computer. I am very frustrated. grrr. so, if there are any mac users out there, email me and tell me what I'm doing wrong!

on another note, the boys and I went up to st paul this week [2 nights in a camper was a good time!!]. we had such a great time with coralee & lance. nate "drove" the tractor with lance and LOVED it!! ty was totally out of sorts and didn't want anything to do with tractors, but hey, nate was the same way 2 years ago.




went for a walk this evening. felt good to get back into the groove. I am going to walk the st albert half marathon in september, so the training has begun. realistically, I need to be 10lbs lighter before then, so whether I feel like it or not, crunch time is now. all my goal setting seems to go by the wayside when I feel like crap, so I don't know if it's even worth my time...[totally pms'ing today], but here are the goals: 5 weeks until marathon day. I need to walk AT LEAST 5k every second day until then [just to bank kilometers on my shoes] and then 10+ km every other day. in addition, I need to support my training with a shmuck-load of water. and then there is my nemesis. food. I like to eat. I like to eat sweet, sugary things. maybe the whole no-plan is the way to go. maybe I need to get back on weight watchers. maybe I need to just track my calories. maybe. all I know is that i am rather disgusted with myself right now and above all, my bad attitude needs to change. I am discouraged. disappointed. disgusted. irritated. and THAT is what needs to change. so, really, it's all up to me. love that. [not!]

Sunday, August 10, 2008

the bad mom club

okay, let's have an honesty chat. no seriously. today goes down as one of the bad ones. now, I love my kids, I really do and so much of today was based on just sheer exhaustion - me & the kids. I am not too sure where it went south, because we were having a pretty decent afternoon. we'd gone to the collingwood market after church, then to DQ for a treat lunch. then, we came home and they boys went on the slip-n-slide. really, a good afternoon. then they came in and were playing and there were toys flipping everywhere. all I asked was that they cleaned up. really, a reasonable request, I would think. yeah, not for nate and ty. oh no, I ask WAY too much! yeah, they laughed at me. so the bad mom yelled [nate yelled back...boy that kid has some lungs on him!]. the good mom started putting toys in a recycle bag because obviously they don't really want them. then nate really screamed. ty got the message and started cleaning up. nate started hitting me, so good mom was steady freddy and walked him to his room for a time out. ty & I finished the clean up [in hind site, nate totally got off the hook]. then they went back outside and played. then came in and I dried them off. I told them to get dressed for bed [it was 630 by this time]. yeah, well obviously that was unreasonable as well because they proceeded to yell and holler and bad mom yelled back and sat on the floor and cried as the boys laughed. yeah. they laughed. somehow I got them dressed and put them in their room for a mom-time-out. I cried some more, then went and tucked them into bed. ty said "sorry mom for being sassy" and kissed me. nate, just asked for a tuck in. at that point, I was just happy that they were going to bed.

now, I know we all have bad days with our kids, but this one wasn't pretty. I need more sleep. so do they.

I am off to bed, I work for a few more days at the bakery...and tomorrow I am so excited to be having lunch with suz & kath. and it's my open house/catty party/garage sale gig tomorrow. I need a project!!!

the backtrack, the bet, and other misc. things

okay, so I was looking for a quote for John back in my January posts, and got thinking about January. I was following weight watchers on-line and actually had lost 4lbs. I keep wondering why this time it's so tough. turns out I've been eating almost the same [okay, so this weeks eating has been the pits, but overall I haven't been over my calorie limit], but I haven't really been walking or doing anything active. now, I do have some good excuses [tired from salt lake, sick, working at the bakery] but really, they are all excuses. I have 3 weeks until school starts and I want to be 6lbs lighter. so we are on the +/-6 plan as of right now. I do have boot camp again on tuesday night and I want to do at least a 30 minute walk everyday for the next 3 weeks. do-able goals? I think so.

one of my motivators is that I made a bet with my friend Chris. whoever loses the most weight by christmas day wins the bet - $200. plus, if we both win/tie, then we are just going to go on a shopping spree together. let's be serious. I want to buy a size 10 pair of jeans. and I want to "OWN" those jeans.

okay, so the kids are downstairs...wearing their halloween costumes from last year - playing dress up. I need to prep for my open house tomorrow. so I am going to shut this one down.

oh, and the quote was: do not "try" or "hope" for results. either do it or don't.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

sleepy little bunnies

we've had some late nights at our house. this is what my sweet bunnies are doing at this very moment:

Monday, August 04, 2008

sneak peeks

so, my camera on my computer takes reverse images, so all of these convention samples/peeks are reverse! the little set with the square scalloped images are the new Ronald McDonald house stamps - they match with the new square scallop punch!!

it's good to be home. and although the boys didn't come to the airport as planned [nate got sick and with my delayed flight, we thought it wouldn't be good to have the kids make the trip], they both ended up in bed with us. I had such a good time in slc with e - seriously a great time, and although sad to leave her again, it really is good to be home. I will try to post more stuff/pics/sneak peeks this week!






Sunday, August 03, 2008

in denver

okay, I will blog "for real" tonight when I get home. but, I am in denver with George, my new soft-faux-boyfriend. a little "colorado" starbucks bear. uber cool. also here with susan, aaron & crowd...good times. our flight is delayed...but of course. delayed flights seem to be the flying experience of choice today. alas, mere hours until I am home again, able to sleep in my own bed. okay, so my brain is fried out on coffee..so here are my airport pictures for today:



Thursday, July 31, 2008

bad convention goer



yeah, so we went out last night: had EXCEPTIONAL sushi + more than 1 [like 3!] EXCEPTIONAL martinis + a 630 am wake up time = one VERY TREMENDOUS headache/hangover. yeah. today has not been a happy-happy-feeling day. as a result, I don't remember morning session and this afternoon is a bit less hazy - am going to try a great new card idea when I get home!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

the bag, baby...THE BAG!!!

okay, we checked in at convention today and got to see the new catty...and got the bag - THE BAG!!!! the bag ROCKS! anyhoo, a few pics from day 1! [front cover of the new catty, new ribbon & see - tart & tangy DID make it!!!]