Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Season

Crunch time!  Christmas is just a week and a few days away!  And I'm not too far behind...okay, so maybe I am.  I have only baked one batch of cookies, and those are slowly being eaten so I will most likely have to make more for my gift tins.  Not to mention the other kinds of cookies that I need to make, as well as fudge.  I did mail off our parcel of presents for family, but I have a few straggling cards that were waiting for addresses that I am just preparing today.  So I hope they still make it!

And yet, when I think of it, I don't really think that we are huge "celebrators" of this season.  We have no family down here, really just our one family of friends that we have dinner with.  Though this year we are more involved with a local church body so we have a Christmas Eve service to not just attend but participate in.  And Mark has a work Christmas party now too.  And after Christmas there is a party I'm sort of helping get together, though not at my house.  Hmmm, maybe I am a celebrator.

I have grand visions of what our Christmasses will look like, but they aren't there yet.  I suppose it takes time to organize our thoughts and ideas and implement them.  At least for me it does.  I didn't even do a tree this year!  Well, that's not so different since I haven't done a tree since we've been married.  At first my hubby and I went through a stage where we were against having trees, but now we don't care.  I just didn't want to be constantly fighting with Leigh about it, trying to keep her away.  I hung garlands across the living room wall.  It looks alright, just not great.  I wish it looked great.

Buying gifts was also a stress for me.  I love giving people gifts, especially if it has special meaning or thought behind it.  It doesn't have to be expensive, I'm fine with inexpensive finds (unlike my hubby who is slow to start, but once he's started he is SPENDING).  But I have a hard time actually deciding what to get for others.  Some are easy, like my sister-in-laws, I found things right away for them, but all the men I had to buy for, I couldn't decide, so I just gave them money.  And the annoying thing about money is that I had to give more than I likely would have spent.  But it's done for this year, so I have until next year to figure it out again.

I would actually like to maybe make our gifts for others.  A couple years ago I did scrapbooks of our oldest daughter's first year for all the grandparents and those were a hit.  I would like to do something like that again.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Picture Perfect Family (Or A Close Approximation of One)

My parents (Mom and Step-Dad) were here visiting this past week, so I haven't been online much at all.  It seems like I have two extremes, on all the time, or not on at all.  Maybe I'll find a happy, moderate medium someday.  They left just this morning, so the girls have been a little puzzled; they can't figure out why Grandma and Grandpa aren't around.  They keep calling for them, and Abby keeps going "Where's Gramma?"  It's cute, though a little sad too.

All of my husband and my's family live up North where we had originally lived as well.  So I was hoping that I would have all my Christmas cards and gifts ready to sent up with them so I wouldn't have to send them all by mail.  And I would have had my cards ready, except I forgot to print out some family pictures to put into them.  So now everything is going to be sent up by parcel.  I can only hope and pray they make it there safely.

My best girlfriend is actually a photographer, so we had her take some family pictures of us in a cherry orchard this fall.  It is a beautiful backdrop to some beautiful people (yes I think that my family, not necessarily myself included, is beautiful).  But my girls didn't want to stand or sit still for any pictures, so we don't have many pictures with them smiling.  Actually, I think it would be acurate to say that we don't have any at all.  There are some where their expressions are just neutral, so those are the ones that are getting sent out. 

I am sure that our families will appreciate the pictures and not grumble about the lack of big, super-cute smiles.  But I sure feel like grumbling about it.  Why can't we get just one picture with the kids smiling?  They are happy kids, and they look so darn cute when they smile.  But I think that everyone has this issue, or at least I hope they do.  If it's just me I may have to hide in my closet and cry.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wintery/Christmassy Thoughts

As I type The Wiggles are playing in the background, making it difficult for me to focus.  I should wait until tonight when the kids are in bed but I am saving that time for making Christmas cards, so I will push through this.  Just be warned that I am sorry if I break out into song sometime during this post.  It isn't my fault, it's those singing/dancing men's fault.

It is snowing again today.  I feel sad about the snow coming.  I think because I can't pretend that winter isn't here anymore.  I wore my flip-flops up until last week.  But -15C is a little chilly on the toes.  (Oh no, Old Dan Tucker is playing, that's like my favourite song...Git Out the way old Dan Tucker, you're too late to get your supper.)

Winter has it's good points.  I am looking forward to building snowmen with the girls, taking them out in the sled, maybe even going boarding with my hubby, though that last one is not for sure.  I used to love to snowboard, and I think I still would, only I haven't been out in, um, almost five years.  Five years!  I have new snowboard boots that I bought just after my last time boarding, but I got pregnant before the next winter and haven't been since.  Mostly due to babysitting issues. 

But the cold, I dislike the cold.  It makes it so much more unfun to go outside.  We have to bundle up, make sure all our limbs are covered.  I can't just open the door and let the kidlets run.  And walking places isn't going to be nearly as much fun.  I don't even know if I can fit the toddler backpack on me with my winter jacket on.

I should stop complaining.  After all, we're not half as cold as up north where we lived before.  They just had a bunch of days at -30C ish.  And I am definitely grateful for that.

Another fact that I have to admit is coming is Christmas.  It is a month away.  One month!  Since we are staying down south and not going up to our parents' houses, I technically don't have a ton of preparations to do.  I can do as much or little as I want.  I have no parties or anything planned, oh well actually we are getting together one night with our friends down here, but just the one family.  So nothing HUGE or anything.   And, I will openly admit it now, we are not even doing a tree!  It almost feels sacrilege to me, but it just doesn't fit into our lifestyle right now.  I don't have the patience to keep the girls (namely Leigh) away from it.  I don't know if we will ever have a tree. 

But I do love the idea of making ornaments and doing decorating with the girls, so my plan is to hang garlands around windows and bookshelves and the china cabinet, and to decorate those with ornaments.  So this year is really my first year  of decorating our house for Christmas.  I'm kind of nervous.  I hope it will look nice.  And I can already hear all my friends and family telling me that it will and does.  Don't you love the voices in your head of all your friends?  I don't need to talk to them in real life ever because I already know what they will say.

I had planned on having my Christmas cards and shopping and decorating done by mid-end November, but so far I haven't done any shopping or decorating.  But my cards are very close to being done so that is something!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

God Truly Does Answer our Prayers

I've been drafting this post for like a week.  I just seem to get too busy to finish, and I didn't want to slap up some half-finished piece of work.

Awhile ago I wrote about my stress over the decision to go to church or not.  It was a huge deal with me.  But God saw and heard my stress and totally reached down and helped me.  Two Sundays ago we were at the Pentecostal church here in town, and I was busy trying to occupy the girls.  Abby was really good, but Leigh just wanted to run around and around.  I was glad to finally drop her off at the nursery.

After I dropped her off there was a few more songs in the praise and worship.  I sang the songs, but I could sense that I was holding myself back.  I find it hard to explain exactly how I felt.  I tried to pray, to focus myself on God, but I found that I was very distracted by the music, and my own critical thoughts of the whole service.  So I went out to our car. 

I sat in the front seat and started to pray and this time it was easy.  Through my mind had been going the memory of a time 6 years prior, before I had left the church I had then been attending, when I asked God if I was supposed to leave the 'organized church'.  I heard a No.  Well obviously I left anyways.  The reason being that I thought that the no I heard was just my mind, I didn't think it was God.  So as this is running through my mind, I prayed and asked Him if I had been supposed to leave the church back then.  And God told me, No, I wasn't suppposed to have left.

Wow, now that was a big, big revelation.  I made a mistake, and one that seems like a big one.  But I am glad that I had the courage to ask.  So I then repented of leaving and not heeding His voice and asked for His forgiveness, which He gave to me!  God is so good.  I asked afterwards if I was supposed to attend this church here, but He didn't say.  He just told me that He was going to change my heart.

I went back into the service, though I spent the majority of  the time in the nursery with Leigh since she was crying.  But last week we went again, and I felt a HUGE difference.  I wasn't critical of the praise and worship, and I was able to feel my heart enter in, I didn't hold myself apart.  And perhaps the biggest change of all is that I actually have a desire to get invovled in church programs. 

I am glad to have a peace about this.  I know that getting back into the swing of things will be a process, and I don't even think that we will go all the time either.  We didn't go today because our kids kept waking us up last night.  But I do feel that this is where God wants us so that is the best place to be.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Surviving Meringue

Actually, the meringue was the easy part.  Surviving my children, on the other hand, was the not so easy part.  It was my hubby's birthday yesterday.  In my mind's eye I had a perfect day all planned out.  The gist: when he got home, the living room and kitchen would be completely tidy, supper (chicken pot pie) would either be in the oven or just out, the computer would be off the table and the table would have a table cloth and be set with our nice dishes, the girls would be dressed in some nice clothes with their hair brushed and possibly even curled, I myself would have showered and blowdryed my hair.  We would eat a nice meal together and then the girls would give him the cards they had made earlier in the day, along with the present, I would give him my card (he got his present from me in the summer) and then I would unveil the cake I had made.

I have been planning for a couple weeks now to try a new recipe for a Coconut Cream Meringue cake.  It was a three layer cake, with a browned meringue icing.  I made the cake around lunchtime yesterday, and had the layers on my wire rack cooling.  I then went into my bedroom to fold some laundry.  After awhile I realized that it had been fairly quiet in the house, so I went to check on my girls.  Leigh was playing fine in the room, but I found Abby on a chair pulled up to the freezer above the fridge, eating a chocolate bar I had frozen in there.  I gave her a scolding, and took her down.  But when I closed the freezer door, I saw my cake layers on the counter.  All three with big gouges taken out of them. 

I lost it.  Poor Abby had no chance.  She was exiled to her room until Mama was calm and rational enough to be nice again.  And that wasn't anytime soon.  Even when I finally let her out, I don't think I was over it.  The thing was, this cake was a little bit of work, so I might have had time to make another, but it would have pushed some other things off the list.  Also, it takes a lot of eggs, and I didn't have enough left. 

Mark ended up coming home early since him and his co-workers had a funeral to attend.  The house wasn't ready or decorated or anything at all when he got home, but I could get over that.  I was happy he came because it meant I could run to the grocery store for sugar because I ran out. 

Supper ended up being later, 6, though I guess it was actually at regular time, it just felt late because he was home at 5.  The table was not set with our nice dishes, there was no table cloth.  The girls were still in their random-clothes-thrown-on-in-the-morning-that-don't-match-at-all clothes.  I was at least in semi-clean jeans (ususally during the day I can be found in some kind of leisure pant) and a nice t-shirt.  I hadn't showered, and the girls didn't have their hair brushed.

I had prepared the meringue before we ate, but waited until after to ice the cake.  The meringue had actually turned out fairly well.  I waws glad because they can be finicky and I was worried it would flop.  Well I iced the cake, and the cake actually looked much better iced.  It hid all the holes and crumbling.  But I went to try my torch, and the lighter was empty.  And do  you think that any of the other lighters we had in the house would fit in the torch?  Of course not!  So I run out to 7-11 and pick up two more to try.  No such luck.  Mark even went out to find some and his didn't fit either.  So my browned meringue was not browned. 

I was soooooo disappointed.  I had worked hard all day and nothing seemed to work.  I think the only plan that materialized was that the living room was tidied.  The kitchen I tried to keep up on but I had run the dishwasher three times and still had dishes to wash.  Chicken Pot Pie takes a lot of pots.  I had washed my stand mixer bowl at least a couple times during the making of the cake as well.  All this work and things still didn't turn out how I wanted them to.  But I guess that is how life goes, right?  We can't count on anything, especially when we have little kids? 

I had wanted to make Mark's birthday special so he would know how special he was to us.  And he told me that night that his favourite part was when Abby gave him his cards and gift.  She gave him a kiss and a hug, and then another kiss.  Without either of us coaxing her.  It definitly was a special time, and I will have to make sure that that is what I remember.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Carnival of Homeschooling

Carnival of Homeschooling

The Carnival of Homeschooling is up at Dewey's Treehouse.  Go and take a browse through the submitted posts.  It's a nice read.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I Just Had to Share

We had pork tenderloin for supper tonight and it was sooooooooooo good that I just have to share it with you.  The picture does not do justice.  It was oh-so-tender-and-delicious.  And I will also share the recipe because I'm just that nice.

1        tsp      Chili Powder
1/2     tsp      Paprika
1 1/2  tsp      Salt
1/2     tsp      Pepper
1/2     tsp      Cumin
1/2     tsp      Cinnamon
4-7ish           Strips of Bacon, cut in half
Combine the above ingredients and pat all over the pork.  Put the pork into a roaster and cover the pork with the bacon strips.  Add a little water and put in a 325 F oven. Let cook for about...2ish hours.  Add the carrots and cook for another 15-20ish minutes.
1      cup      Brown Sugar
2      tbsp     Flour
2      tbsp     Cider Vinegar
1/2   tsp       Dry Mustard
Combine the glaze ingredients in a saucepan and heat.  Pour some over the pork.  I didn't use it all; in fact I think I used less than half, but the original recipe used it all so I put it up there for your own discretion.  I am going to freeze my leftover glaze for the next time.  Cook the roast for another half-hour-ish.  Take out and enjoy!
Sorry about all the "ish"es.  I am a very random cook so I don't really have set times for anything.  If it's done, it's done.  I hope you all make this and enjoy it.  My hubs couldn't stop raving about it tonight.  
Bon Appetit!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Glittering Leaves of Fall

About a month or so ago I read a post at The Homeschool Classroom about a glitter-tree craft that I stored away in my brain to do with Abby.  We finally got around to it this week.  (I had completely forgotten on what site I found this so I had to go digging through my Reader looking for it.  Of course it was one of the ones at the bottom.)

She liked to pour a lot of glue on, without smearing it around much.

So decisive about which colour to pick.
Right at the end she got a little distracted and wasn't as interested in glittering the leaves as she was in pointing to and naming various body parts.

Like armpits, for example.

It was actually really simple to do, and since I used an old cookie sheet, there really wasn't any mess.  The only part that I found hard was drawing the leaves onto the cardboard.  I am not an artist, so we just got leaves that were the basic tear shape.  I did attempt a maple leaf, but they looked so pathetic I didn't have the heart to cut them out.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Motive Behind the Prayer

I am so thankful that we have an interactive God, not just some stone/wood idol that sits on the shelf and does nothing else.  Yes, it does require more effort serving my God, but the benefits are eternal.  What He has been speaking to me last was about reasons and motivations for worshipping Him.  He showed me that in my heart I was only worshipping Him for the benefits to myself. 

Like I know that God is the only one who can change me and my heart.  I am constantly stressed.  So I go to Him because I want Him to unstress me.  I need an attitude change.  I go to Him.  Yes we need to be going to Him not ourselves or any other human.  But God is God!  He deserves to be worshipped just because He is. 

There should be no other reason.  He is awesome.  He is righteous.  He is holy.  I could go on and on.  And I shouldn't be coming to Him for my selfish reasons.  I need to praise Him for being Him.  And if my problems never get fixed, that is inconsequential.  But that isn't likely to happen, because if I consistently praise God, and keep my attitude about Him right, the rest of my life will fall into alignment.  Because by focussing on God, I am focusing on the most important thing and also am feeding my spirit.  And a helthy spirit will definitely improve my mind and body.

So my encouragement to everyone is to take a break from our petitions to God, and to just think about who He is.  It is a thought that is too big for me, and I could think about it all day and still not get my mind around Him.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Now It Feels Like Summer is Truly Over

Yesterday we pulled up the remnants of our garden.  I kind of felt sad doing it, even though the plants were all mostly dead from frost anyways.  Earlier in the week I had harvested the last row of potatoes, and got 24 lbs.  That made me happy.  I had enough carrots left for one last beef pot pie last night (we didn't get a very big carrot crop).  I have frozen beans in the freezer, but only enough for about 2 meals since the crop came late.  And I have been blanching, peeling, seeding, chopping, and freezing tomatoes to save for tomato sauce.  I have around 3.5 lbs frozen and had hoped to get another 5-7 lbs, but we lost a lot of tomatoes to frost.  I brought some green ones inside to try to ripen them here, but I've never done that so I hope it works!  I put them in a box with a banana.  Cross my fingers.

I have to admit that I am what I call a minimalist gardener.  I really like the idea of a garden and enjoy working in it, but I also don't want too much trouble.  I weed for the first couple months but after that I tend to let it go.  I enjoy eating the produce, but am not going to kill myself with tons and tons of different vegetables, and I can't since I don't have a ton of room anyways.  I turned a hillside flower bed into my vegetable garden.  Maybe it doesn't look as pretty, but I like the look of practicality.

My gigantic potato plants with the carrots at the bottom
Potatoes on the right, tomatoes just visible on the left with my onions in the middle on the bottom (I don't want to talk about the onions)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Stressful Thoughts Spill Out

I feel like such a newbie to this homeschooling thing, which I am, so feeling like one should be normal.  But I hate this feeling!  I feel so lost and wondering if I'm doing enough, or if I'm doing the right kinds of activities, or just plain doing it right.  I think that the stress I feel of this is comes back to something I have dealt with, well probably all my life.  I expect myself to be perfect at anything I try and do.  Seriously.  My first time snowboarding, I spent half an hour at the top of hill, yelling at God because I was losing my balance. 

But I have read enough books and blogs and other such wisdom to know that there is no "right" way, and that the first year or two is always hard to find a rhythym.  It is all about being flexible and constantly reevaluating where I and the girls are at. 

Maybe I am stressing about what a responsibility it is.  Teaching my own daughter!  Not just academics, but life skills, character-building skills.  What if I screw up?! 

Okay, it's time to calm myself down.  Today I checked off almost all my list of the activities to do with Abby.  The only one we didn't do was a glitter-tree craft, and I am ok with that since I had forgotten to prep some materials anyways.  Doing the worksheets went well, but first the getting her to sit at the table with me was a fight.  Well actually she came fine for the colouring, but I wanted to do a lesson from The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading and she didn't want to come for that.  I had to discipline her for not listening to me and so she ended up throwing a big fit and running to her room. 

Will it always be a fight?  Or will she eventually get used to doing lessons with me?  I hope so otherwise we are in for some stressful days.

I also have been wondering if I have too many colouring activities/worksheets.  A lot of the stuff we do for math and language stuff is colouring sheets, or circle the correct answer type of things.  Should I be looking into more things.  Probably. 

Sorry for how random and crazy my thoughts are today.  I'm just writing how I'm thinking.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Wiggly Weekend

What a weekend!  And it's still Sunday.  It feels like it should be Monday, but that is because we started our weekend on Friday.  We went to Calgary, which is 5 hours away, for The Wiggly Circus!  My mom and step-dad had given Abby and Leigh tickets for an early Christmas present.  This is the closest they would be to us. 

Our plan was to head out Friday morning between 9:30 and 10, to get there an hour or so before the show began so that we would have time to check into our hotel and get unloaded.  Well, the travel there went fine, but we hit the city right at rush hour.  Poor planning on my part.  Obviously I am a small town girl because I totally didn't even have the smallest thought about rush hour.  It took us almost an hour to get from the outskirts of town to our hotel.  I was worried that we wouldn't make it to the show on time, but we did. 

We had seats on the floor, so after an attempt to make it down, only to have to to walk back up a bunch of stairs, we made it down and finally found our seats.  We were in row 15, so fairly close, though definately not the closest.  But our seats were half the price of the seats closer so I didn't care.  It started soon after we sat down and it was FUN! 

Murray Wiggle (Red) wasn't there because of some family commitments, but his substitute did very well.  Leigh loved the whole thing.  She stood on Mark 's lap, and sometimes mine, almost the entire time, bouncing and waving her arms.  Abby was a little more subdued.  She loved the gymnastics, and the slapsticky humour, and liked it when she recognized songs, but she was very cranky, especially after the first half hour.  She didn't want us to notice any dancing or clapping that she did, and half the time she would just sit on the chair, not even wanting to sit on our laps, or stand up to see better.  But I know that she gets shy around strangers, and I think sitting around so many strange people did make her a little self-conscious.

They did lots of older songs, a few new ones, and some ones that I hadn't heard before.  I wish that they would have had a few more newer ones, but that isn't anything to complain about.  Kids everywhere in the arena were bouncing and dancing.  It was a great time overall.  Near the end they had everyone who had brought a sign hold it up and they tried to read them all.  That was a nice interactive thing with the audience. 

I forgot my camera at home and I am so frustrated that I did!  What a waste of a perfect opportunity for some pictures to remember!  But I will post this picture of the activity sheet that we got there.  At least it's a little taste of our night.

The concert went well, but I can't say much else for the rest of the trip.  Our hotel was fine, we had a family suite so the girls had their own room.  We ordered some room service for supper, and the food was really tasty.  But Mark and I were at each other's throats all night.  Abby had a bad night, and I ended up spending the last half of it with her.  I woke up with a huge, and I mean huge, headache/migraine.  So Mark and I were at it again.  Fighting, fighting, fighting.  I felt ill and couldn't even think of eating. 

We had planned on taking the girls to the zoo, but since I wasn't feeling good we decided to skip it.  We just headed out on the road.  I was able to give Mark directions out of downtown, and once we were on the freeway I tried to block out the world and sleep.  I didn't sleep, but we stopped in a town a little ways outside the city and Mark picked me up some pop and crackers.  I ended up being sick there, but after eating the pop and crackers, along with some Advil, I felt much better, and we had a fairly easy ride home.

I think that the concert was fun for the girls, even though I don't think they remember it at all now.  I would most definitely take them to something like that again, though maybe as part of a longer trip; I didn't like the quickness of this, drive there then drive right back.  I enjoyed the show for my own sake, since the Wiggles are my favourite kid's show I think. 

Today we cleaned up our front "yard" (I always feel funny calling it a yard, since it is so tiny, like a closet bathroom size).  We also dug up the last of our potatoes.  I am happy with my potato crop this year, I have been digging them up whenever I need them, and the potatoes have been a fairly good size.  These last ones were especially big.  I have a few carrots left, though not many.  And I am praying that the rest of my tomatoes ripen before they are killed by the frost. 

So that was our weekend.  Hope everyone else's was good.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Non-Silent Reading

The girls are always asking me to read them books, and I try to make sure that we read quite a few throughout the day.  Leigh doesn't have the patience for a book with lots of words, but Abby likes those ones.  I definately like it when there are more words, not just two to a page; that irritates me for some reason. 

But whenever we sit down together on the couch, or whereever we happen to be, once I start reading, the girls start commentating on the story.  Loudly.


"BA, BA, PU, PU"


"DA, DA, DA, DA"

This goes on the entire time.  Since they are talking so loudly, I talk even louder so that I can be heard above them, until I am practically yelling the story out.  This is definitely annoying, and it tries my patience.  I am glad that they are interacting with the story, but why even bother to get me to read when they will just talk the entire time? 

A quiet moment of 'reading' to herself

Monday, October 11, 2010

I Have Decided and It Will Begin in the Morning

I have needed a big kick in the butt to start losing weight, and tomorrow morning I am self-administering that kickstart.  I have wavered with tons of indecision and been tossed between this diet or that one.  I debated Weight Watchers, Weighdown, the Special K diet, Atkins, low-fat diets, and possibly all other ones.  And this indecision has caused me to not stick with anything, and therefore to not lose any weight.

Well no longer.  I have decided that I just have to pick something and run with it.  So tomorrow I start running (figuratively) with the Atkin's Diet.  I didn't pick it because it would be the easiest for me; far from that, actually, it will probably be the hardest one for me.  Cutting out carbs, since a LOT of food that I like (or love) come into that list.  But it seems like a good fit to me.  When I think of it, I think that this is where I am hung up, with carbs.  So I am bravely attempting it.

I will (again) start attending the deep water aqua fit class.  I have been to classes before, and I enjoy the workout I get.  I feel invigorated and happy at the end.  I will try to take up walking more again with the girls, but since winter is approaching that probably won't last long.  So I will keep updating on how it goes, and hopefully I will have something to show for it (or rather a loss of something).

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Who Couldn't Love These Faces?

Tonight I am thinking about my girls and how much I love them, and I wanted to introduce them to you.

Here is Abby:

My 3-year-old, who should still be a baby because it can't be three years yet, can it?  She is such a character, I could watch and lsiten to her play for hours.  She has quite the imaginztion, with her best friends at the moment being her hand puppets (really, they are just her hands) who always fall off high cliffs and usually beat up on me.

She does a hilarious deep, growly bossy voice that must be accompanied by a hard poke to the victim's (usually Daddy's) chest.

She has become so much more affectionate this year.  She still is very active and will run around outside for hours, but she also likes to curl up on the couch or in bed and pretend to sleep while you really try to sleep.

When she finally does go to sleep at the end of the day, it makes my heart hurt, it's so full of love, to watch her.  I like to crawl into her bed then.  In her sleepy state she is super cuddly and there is nothing like feelig her skinny little arms around my neck, holding me close.

And this is Leigh:

Her smiles are to die for.  I love this age because it is so easy to make her smile, and laugh!  Oh, her laughs are so cute.  Mark and I gush non-stop over how cute her giggles are.

I love having the sister dynamic with her.  She puts up with all of Abby's 'love' (like hair pulling, and big bear hugs that knock her over) and always wants to be doing what Abby is doing.  She learned to bounce and jump from Abby, and now when I get her from her crib, she is always jumping up and down saying "Ju, ju, ju, ju."

She is more cautious than Abby was; she doesn't like to feel unsafe.  Yet I can see her getting braver, venturing out of her zone, though sometimes too far, like onto the road.

Her eyes remind me of my husband's.  I look at her and I see him in her so much and it makes me love her all the more.  I can't wait for her to keep growing so I can see how beautiful she is going to be, because I know she will be a knockout.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Once I Think About It, It's Not a Life or Death Problem so I Shouldn't Stress so Much About It

I am in the middle of a personal dilemma.  Actually, I always seem to have dilemmas, but let's focus on just one at a time, shall we?  Everything and everyone around me seems to be leading me to one final destination, "The Church." 

Church?  That's not bad, is it?  It's supposed to be good right?  Well, that depends on your definitions and your beliefs and your perspective, and so many other variables.  When I am talking about church here, I am speaking about the building where Christians gather on Sundays, specifically to worship and learn about God. 

I grew up in a Pentecostal church and loved it.  I had my moments where I wasn't following God wholeheartedly, but underneath it all I had a solid-rock foundation of faith.  I am so thankful that this was and is in me.  Jesus has always been my saviour and I am glad that, for whatever reasons, I stuck with my Christianity.  About 6 years ago, though, I made the decision to stop going to church.  Not because I was turning my back on my faith, but because I believed that the whole church organization was set up wrong and I didn't want to be a part of it anymore.  I attended a home fellowship for 3 years following that, until we moved down south.

There is a whole history to my leaving the organized church that I don't really have the patience to talk about today.  I will say that when I first left, I thought that church was a horrible system, and that everyone was decieved and that nothing would induce me to start attending again.  But in the years that we moved, I have slowly been changing my mind.  Overall I still don't agree with a lot of things about the church organization, but I will acknowledge that it is everyone's choice to go, and it's not such a big deal to me anymore.  I chose not to go, others chose to go.  That's that.

The last couple months, our close friends down here with the same background with the church as us, have been attending a church here.  My friend and I have gone to their Biblestudy on Tuesdays for the past couple years, so we have gotten to know several ladies in the church.  My hubs and I went to a service a couple times as well, but our friends now go almost every Sunday.  It makes me feel pressured that I should be going too.  (A fault of mine, if I haven't mentioned before, is being a people-pleaser and follower.)  Hubs has talked a lot over the last months about wishing we had more closer Christian friends to fellowship with.  The crew that he works with are believers, but two of them are strict Mennonites, and the other fellow is also of a conservative bent, so while they have very good talks and discussions, he would like some more people of a like mind, more charasmatic that is to say.

So he and I have talked lots about occasionally attending a church or something like that.  And here we get to the issue that is irritating me, like a stick poking into my side.  I don't feel a deisre, or even a need to go to any Sunday services.  And I don't feel guilty for feeling this way either.  Abby does well when we go to a service, she goes to Sunday School, and sits quietly, but Leigh is at the age where she just wants to go go go.  It is hard to keep her entertained the whole time.  They are starting up a nursery, but she doesn't do well when I leave her places without me.

Going to Biblestudy throughout the week is great fellowship for me, and I don't feel like I need any more.  I enjoy getting together with the ladies, and we have good discussions.  Biblestudy gives me good fellowship I feel.  But my husband doesn't get any of that.  He wants to get to know more people, and now he feels like he would like to go to a service a little more often.

I don't know how I feel.  He has said that his going doesn't obligate me to go.  But I feel that if he goes, I should go, for a couple reasons.  I would worry that people would wonder why he was going and not all of us as a family, since they actually know me better than they know him.  (Yes I know I shouldn't care what other people think or say.)  And I feel that since my hubs is the head of our house, I need to follow his leadership.  I submit to other areas that he asks me to, even if I don't feel a huge necessity to, so why should this be any different?

So can I go to church, even if I don't agree with everything in it?  Is this what God wants?  Why can't my life and relationship with God and other believers align with my ideals?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Last Thought of the Night

I sat down tonight and spent some time with my Father, my Heavenly Father that is.  And it was so refreshing to my spirit.  It has been over a week since I actually took the time to spend more than 2 minutes praying, and I am ashamed to admit that.  I hate the fact that I know how much I depend on God, I know how much I need Him, I know that my life falls into chaos and stress when I don't rely on Him, yet still, still I try to do it on my own.  I am thankful that He doesn't walk out the door when I don't show up for days.  He is still there, waiting paitiently. 

What I Have (or Don't Have) to Show for the Month

*Quick Update on Abby:  She is fine.  The whole "dental surgery" went well and she now has a mouth full of silvery fillings.  Ah, welcome to my life babe.  We were in the hospital a total of 4 hours, about half of that spent in recovery.  She wasn't even groggy yesterday, just had a little nap around 4. So thanks for anyone who prayed, I know my family was.*

It is the last day of September, and I am looking back over what I have done preschool-wise with Abby.  Let me tell you, it is a pitiful offering to the school gods.  The only week's 'studies' that I finished completely, was A (along with all the other activities that went along with it like Bible crafts, numbers, etc.).  I only got about another half a week done.  So to sum it up, we only did a week and a half of work.  Though I'm not sure if I can even call it work!   We just do some crafts and worksheets and other stuff.  Sit down time maybe totallying one hour a day if I'm lucky.

Even on the days that I got all the activities done that I wanted to, I felt like it wasn't enough.  Is this going to be enough to get her to the point that she needs to be?  Who am I to know?  On the other hand, why am I stressing so much over this?!?  It's preschool, not high school math or anything.  Maybe I just need to chill out.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I Hope I Don't Forget to Brush her Teeth in the Morning

For anyone out there listening, please pray for me and my daughter, Abby.  Tomorrow I am taking her to the hospital to have her cavities filled.  Originally the appointment wasn't until November, but one of the people who was scheduled for this day is out of the country for a couple months, so we got bumped up last minute. 

We have to be at the hospital by 7 tomorrow morning, and I'm not sure how long we will be there.  My hubs has the day off, thankfully, so he will be home to watch Leigh.  I do have a friend who is willing to watch my girls anytime for me, but Leigh has been very fussy anytime she gets dropped off there, so I thought it would be best to just have her at home.  Plus then he will be at home with me in case I need extra help with Abby.

The doctor will put Abby to sleep with the gas mask first, and then insert the IV.  I am allowed to be in the room for this part.  I am a little nervous because the doctor said that even though she is asleep after the mask and will remember nothing, she might squirm and cry out a little.  That thought clenches my heart.  And the doctor also told me that she put in a tube to help with the breathing.  That thought really clenches my heart.  I don't know if I will actually be able to take seeing that.  My little girl!  With a tube in her throat!  I think they might make me leave the room anyways.

She will wake up in the recovery room, and I will be able to be there when she does wake up.  I am so very thankful that I can be there for her, and I am thankful that this is covered under the Healthy Kids program in our province.  If it weren't for that, I don't know if we would have the money for all the dentist apoointments.  We sure don't have it for us adults.  I am also thankful that it is only for a few cavities that we are going in tomorrow.  I am so blessed that both my girls are healthy.  It could be so much worse.  There are parents out there who have to deal with much bigger problems, like surgery for any number of fatal problems.  Mine is just teeth.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Can It!

I haven't written for the past week because my mom has been down visiting. I love my mom, and I am so thankful that she doesn't ever complain about all the travel she does to come visit us at least a couple times a year. It is a 14 hour drive, but we flew her down here with our airmiles this time. She is such a help to me, always cleaning up, doing the dishes, the laundry, almost everything! She takes the girls for a walk everyday, and always trying to entertain them for me. It is excellent. And I enjoy visiting with her too, though a lot of the time, we just are together in the house, not having depp, in-depth conversations. She will read a book and I will do whatever it is I am doing. (Maybe reading blogs.)

Every fall my mom cans peaches and pears, and this year, she helped me do it. I have never canned before so I was very excited to try. First we went to the fruit stand to buy our fruit, and we decided to only do peaches because the pears were still too hard and we didn't have the time to wait for them to ripen. We only did a 10 lb box. Some were too soft already, and we just used them for pie (which I am baking at this moment). We blanched the peaches to make them easier to peel, but it only worked for some of them. I enjoyed the peeling, even if it was difficult on some of them. We had the syrup boiling beforehand, 14 cups water to 7 cups white sugar. Mom would take our jars as we filled them and pour the syrup in them right away. Once we filled them all and put the caps on we put them in the canning pot, boiling them for 20 minutes.

I actually enjoyed the whole process; it was not as much work as I thought it would be. My mom was obviously there overseeing it, so I don't think I would attempt doing this by myself, but would ask (force) my hubby to help me. He likes to cook and he is the one who likes to eat the peaches. I had borrowed my friend's canning pot, so I think that I will just invest in my own.

Surveying my cans after sealing them, I felt very proud of doing this for the first time. The only down side was that my husband commented that the slices looked small, he was used to seeing canned fruit in quarters. He didn't complain, but I felt like I had disappointed him. Next time I will remember to make the slices much bigger. So maybe next week I will have pears done!

Monday, September 20, 2010


While pregnant with my first daughter I gained about 50 lbs.  (Yikes, that sounds huge!)  After her birth I only dropped down 30 of those pounds (mostly from the initial birthing of her, about 10ish afterwards) before I became pregnant with my second daughter.  I didn't gain as many pounds with Leigh, even though I surpassed my top weight from Abby's pregnancy.  I gained about 30ish lbs.  So all of this has combined to create a scenario in which I am about 30-35 lbs heavier than I was pre-pregnancy. 

So I have been trying to lose weight.  For the last 9 months.  And do you know what my sucess is?  I'm in the negative.  I have gained more weight.  Pathetic.  I had actually come down about 8ish lbs, and was maintaining there, but over the summer I totally gained it all back!  I can't believe it, isn't summer when people are supposed to be the most active?  But I became less active since my activities like Biblestudy and stuff were shut down over the summer, so I didn't have anywhere specific to walk every week, so I just didn't walk as much.  That definately didn't help.  Neither did the fact that I acted like I was on eating vacation, just kept eating without caring.

Throughout this whole time that I have been trying to lose this weight, I haven't done any actual diet programs like Weight Watchers, etc.  I have just tried to limit my portions, not eat sweets and junk, with the occasionaly exercise evening thrown in there.  It obviously hasn't been working.  My friend did this for a month and lost around 15 lbs!  I felt quite upset at my body for not being like that.  But I know that it isn't totally my body's fault.  I haven't stuck with my 'rules' long enough for it to have any effect.

Therefore I have decided that I need to try some kind of 'diet' plan.  I browsed through the Weight Watchers website, and seriously considered signing up for the online plan since I am not always free to go to meetings in the evenings.  But I have a hard time justifying spending $30 a month.  We are not exactly rolling in the dough at the moment.  But it would be worth it if I lost the weight right?

So I looked into the Special K Challenge, and right now I am seriously leaning towards this.  My reasoning is this: I am an admitted picky eater.  I have gotten much better over the years, especially since I married my husband and had to cook things that he would like, but there is still quite a bit that I just don't like.  Most of the food that I would get with a diet service I would probably not like, or not like as much.  So if I'm not going to be able to eat what I want to, I would rather have a strict plan involving specific food items, such as the Special K challenge, with the protein meal bars and drinks and cereal and such. 

I know that I can discipline myself.  I have fasted before, so it is possible.  But it seems almost impossible for me to curb my eating by myself.  I am getting very frustrated and depressed that all my efforts continually fail.  So I am looking for some good plans that will work.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Too Many Choices!

I am printerless.  Just as we are starting Preschool, I am printerless.  Actually, I have been printerless since early spring, but it never mattered until now.  This will teach me to procrastinate.  No, it probably won't teach me.  It's been years, and no matter how many problems I run into because of my procrastination, I keep on putting it off.  Anyways, this is a bunny trail.

I took my printer into a repair shop because my at home fixes didn't work.  They told me that they tried everything, and it is toast.  It would cost more than a new printer to fix my old one.  It is unfortunate that we have to spend the money on this now, but a positive is that we had the old printer given to us by my sister-in-law so we're not really out any money. 

The choices for a new just boggles my mind.  I am officially stumped.  I have been looking at reviews, debating HP vs Lexmark vs Epson vs Canon etc.  I thought about laser vs inkjet, and decided that I would go inkjet.  I was considering the laser because it is cheaper in the long run, but I do use the printer to print off some photos, and the reviews said that the laser didn't do a very good job on printing photos. So at least that is one decision.  Oh, and I know that I want an All-in-One, with a scanner and copier, so that is a second decision.  But there are still so many options. 

I am going to be doing a fair amount of printing, probably around 15 pages a week, maybe a little more.  And as we progress in our homeschooling years, I will be printing more, I think.  So I want something that will stand up to time, and not fall to pieces in a few years.  But I don't want to spend a ton of money initially, though it also is hard for me to buy a cheap printer, and know that in the long run I am spending more money. 

Argh!  I just can't decide!  Help me someone!  Tell me what I should do. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I have been doing a few activites with Abby every day, like I posted here.  She seems to enjoy them, just like any other time we do any colouring stuff.  My printer had been at the computer shop and I just found out that it's toast, so I hadn't been able to print off some worksheets that I wanted to do with her until yesterday when we went to the library. 

I was excited to try them with her.  In my mind, I had hopes of her exceeding what I thought she could do.  She would ace the sheets, following the directions exactly.  But that wasn't how it went.  The first one was a small maze where you had to follow the 'A's to find the end.  Any other letter led you down the wrong path.  I wasn't concerned with her following the path from start to finish, I just wanted her to identify all the 'A's in the picture.  She did get a few, but she also called a B an A, as well as some other letters.

I have to admit that I felt a little disappointment and discouragement.  I felt like she was so horribly behind where she should be.  But then I reminded myself that she is 3 and it is more important to feed her knowledge and information than trying to 'test' her with worksheets.  Because that's essentially what it was like, I tested her and she failed.  So today we did another couple worksheets, first identifying pictures that started with A and then identifying pictures that had the A sound in the middle.  Basically I just talked through it with her.

And I felt good about it.  She knew all the names of the pictures (well, she called an ambulance a truck but that's ok) and I just told her that they started with A, or had the A sound in them.  And I circled them for her.  Then I just let her colour them.  It didn't look as academic as I might have liked, but I think that it is a good step in the right direction.  It is a lesson for me on how this year might look, and I like the feeling that we are starting our journey! 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back in August, we took Abby to have her hearing tested.  We did this because sometimes she is difficult to understand, and though she does have an adequate vocabulary, she doesn't talk as fluently as I think that she maybe should (or as fluently as other 3-year-olds that I see).  So off we went.  I won't write all about the test, but basically the results were that all her 'hardware' was working fine, but her 'behavioural response' was poor.  That means that she should be able to hear us, but she doesn't respond like she is.  They did recommend that I see a speech specialist, though. 

Fast forward to now, I talked a bit to the Public Health nurse awhile ago, and she had sent me some pamphlets on play-based activities to help with speech.  She also sent me some 'tests' to sort of gauge how Abby is doing.  And yesterday I took Abby in to the doctor and the doctor said that she had had a request from the audiologist to refer Abby to the speech pathologist.  I was a little upset about that yesterday, though I know I shouldn't be.  It just seemed like they were rushing forward and I was being forced to take Abby down this path, when the more I think of it, the more I feel like she is just a little slower, and I realize how much she does say.  She does use 3 word sentences, more than I realized once I started paying attention. 

So I just got a letter from the speech pathologist in the mail, and it has a sort of questionaire form for me to fill out and send back.  Once they get the form and go over it, they will call me back.  As I am fillling it out, I can feel myself sinking back down into the "Pit of Horrible Parenting."  I have failed my child.  I should have done so much  more with her, read more, played more, talked more.  Something more!  It all spirals down to the same conclusion that I am a selfish mother who doesn't do enough with my girls because it doesn't come naturally to me to be that 'everyday-teacher' that seems to be all the rage right now.

I don't know where I am going to end this post because it is far from resolved in me.  Yes, I have started doing activities with Abby, so maybe there is hope that I can change.  I know that there is, if I just rely on my Heavenly Father.  But how likely am I to do that?  I know myself, I constantly am taking back the reins of my life from God and saying that I can do it myself.  Pathetic.  But I must allow Him to work in me, if only for the sake of my children.  I want them to have the best.  So I will press on and keep my eyes on what is truly important in this life, God and my family.  And by working towards that goal, I will ultimately help myself be happier.

How's that for a little pep talk to end this?

Monday, September 13, 2010

We Have Begun!

And we're off. Today I did my first "official" homeschool-preschool activity! But the secret? It sure didn't feel like a school activity. This morning Abby and her friend Geeves, who is spending the day with us, decorated a cut-out letter 'A' with stickers.

Writing this down, it doesn't seem as momentous as it did when I actually sat them down and did it. But it is a big thing for me, and the reason it is a big thing? I planned it.  Yes, I finally got my butt in gear this weekend and planned out my first week of preschool.  I knew that I had reached my limit of reading up on different activities and methods; I had to take what I had learned, decide what would work for me, use the resources I had, and start implementing them. 

Each week will have a different 'unit.'  (As a side note, I feel so official calling them units, and it makes me feel kind of funny.)  This week we are starting with the letter 'A', even though Abby does recognize the letter already, I wanted to do them all.  We will also learn a number each week, obviously starting with '1'.  And there will be a Bible story for the week, and maybe even a shape, though I haven't decided on that for sure since I seem to keep adding stuff.  But everyday we will do some kind of paper craft with the letter and the number.  I will read through whatever Bible story we are learning, maybe with a different children's Bible each day since I have plenty.  I also have a craft book for Bible stories, so we will do that after reading the story.  We will read through the lesson for the letters from The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading by Jessie Wise and Sara Buffington.  I am just using the first 26 lessons that teach letter sounds for now.  I also have Modern Curriculum Press's Phonics level K book that I am going to use for some activites for the letters. 

I am not scheduling a time for these but am basically just checking them off my list each day.  We will see how that goes.  It seems like a lot to me, especially since Abby and Leigh have never had any kind of structured activities before.  We have always just let them do what they want, within reason obviously.  But since we are serious about homeschooling, they will need to learn to sit for a specified amount of time sooner or later so why not now. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Day After Yesterday

God is gracious. Truly. Yesterday was a day that I defined to my husband as the day from Hell. It was definitely one of the hardest days of my life. The girls just weren't satisfied with anything, except maybe TV watching, but I didn't want them to watch TV all day long (ok, a part of me really did just want to give in). And anything that I tried distracting them with was rejected.

Abby threw several temper tantrums, usually over small, silly things that I don't even remember now. And she displayed a shockingly teenager-like attitude that is starting to become a real problem. I have tried talking to her about it (she just continues talking back), putting her in her room makes no noticeable difference either. I am running out of ideas.

But today was a walk in the park, comparatively. We had a friend over who is the same age as Abby so the girls were less under foot. And over-all they seemed happier. I am so glad because I don't know if I could have taken another whiny day, especially since Leigh was up in the night for several hours.

And as I was bathing the girls tonight, I was reminded how much I love them, and how blessed I am to be able to be their Mama. They are so precious to me and I can't let the bad days overshadow the good tea, because they will soon grow up and be gone.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Lessons in Glue

On Saturday I decided that I would try to do a craft with Abby. I feel guilty admitting that this would be the first time but I need to get over that. I'm not perfect and I can't even keep up an image of perfection. Anyways, I won't go down that well-used bunny trail.

An elephant-toilet paper roll was what I decided to do, so I got the tp roll (right off the rack in fact) and drew up an elephant head to fit. I sat Abby at the table and let her draw eyes and a mouth on the elephant. I showed her how to swipe the glue on the 'body' of the elephant and she seemed to like that well enough. She did fine squishing the paper onto the tp roll.

But when I tried to show her to put glue on the back of the head and put the head on the body she started to freak out and pulled the head back off. I tried reasoning with her (why?) but she refused to cooperate. I was getting very frustrated as well and was ready to throw in the towel for the whole homeschooling thing. But then I recalled that she is only three, and I have never really sat down and required her to follow my directions so I decided to try something a little different.

I got a single sheet of paper and then cut up some squares of a different colour and had her glue those squares onto the paper. She did much better with this project. She would only usually apply glue to one spot on the paper but, though this aggravated the perfectionist in me, I told myself that she did really well.

And it's true. Maybe it wasn't what I had originally planned, but it was the same lesson in a way that worked for her. And that is what matters most.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Where Do I Put It All?

Yesterday I bought a bookshelf, secondhand, and finally, FINALLY got to unpack some of my books. We moved into town four months ago and all of our books, except for the kids ones were in boxes by our front door. It makes me feel unsettled. But yesterday I hot to fill the shelves and now I only have four boxes of books left! And actually two of those boxes are magazines.

It is amazing how great I feel just because of this. But now it has me thinking of my other storage issues, like all our craft/coloring supplies. Right now they are taking up space in my pantry but I am running out of room there. And I would really prefer an area more specifically just for them. Maybe something like a bookshelf or cubby holes. Maybe drawers.

I'm just not sure what is the best way to go. Another thing to consider is that my one-year-old likes to get into everything, so something that closes, like cupboard doors or drawers, might be best, especially if we can lock them.

The problem I ran into while looking for a bookshelf was money. New ones were very expensive, and even the secondhand ones were more than I was willing to pay. I think that this may be an issue for this as well, trying to find a storage cupboard within my price range.

All I can do is keep an eye out. If anyone has any storage/space-saver ideas I'm thankful to hear them.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

One of Those Days

Today was a day; not an ordinary day where even though you may not want to do your housework (who does?) you still do it because you just have to. No, today was one of those days. The ones that come to me sporadically, though more often than I care to admit, and being with them a lethargy that defies definition.

All day long I lack motivation. I see all the things that I could and should be doing yet I can't muster the energy to get off my lazy butt to do them. I sit around and let the kids veg out with me. That is probably the worst, that I drag my girls down with me.

I guess it's never too late to get started, and actually I have. I did a quick clean so that my hubby would not be frustrated with a messy house when he got home, and that actually turned into a bigger clean than I intended so I'm glad for that. So fear of my husband's disapproval got me motivated today. I wonder what other people use to get motivated.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

How Do You Follow the Leader When You are the Leader?

How did I ever get to be an adult? I think that before we are allowed to be considered adults and have children, God should administer a test. Or at least have some criteria to fill.

I am a chronic follower. If possible, I will always let someone else make the decisions. But I am ashamed to admit it because all around I see and hear of these super-moms. They are capable of making millions of decisions in a single instant, like what to have for supper, what to play with the kids, how much tv is too much, to homeschool or not, what curriculum to use, what to do with the toddler while working with the preschooler. I think I feel overwhelmed.

I have been trying to plan what I want to do for the year with my three-year-old. I would like to have a sort of sit-down time every day, to ease her into the school feeling. We have been very easy-going and laid back with our girls so far. I don't have a strict set schedule for our days at all. I have Biblestudy once a week that we go to but that is the only thing. We don't even attend a church so the girls don't get practice sitting still there.

I have purchased a Bible stories craft book to do with Abby. And I also have 'Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready' by June Oberlander, but I haven't done any of the activities with the girls yet.

I think I just need to get my butt in gear and do what I am constantly talking about. I think I'm scared of failing, but anything is better than nothing.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Removing the Stick

Do you know who I am? Because if you do, I would like you to tell me so that I can know too. But wait! That's not right, I am actually trying to stop relying on other people's opinions and trying to please them by being who I think they want me to be. So off with all the covering up layers that disguise the true me, I will not be ashamed of who I am because God made me this way.

The reason for this resolution is that o am tired of all the work it is to try to be perfect. Also, I have realized that by trying to male a so- called good impression, I am not very fun at all. I act like I have a stick up my bum. And I don't want to be boring, I want to be fun! I want my husband and me to goof around together. I want my kids to play with me. I want to wear bright coloured clothing and accessories and not feel like a little child.

So here I am. Take me or leave me.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The First Dentist Experience

Abby had her very first visit to the dentist today, and we both survived. And not even just survived, but there was no big, screaming fit either! She didn't want to lie down on the chair, but she sat on my lap with her head in the dentist's lap and was fine! I was so relieved. I was prepared to be sent from the room while they forcefully held her down.

But I really liked the manner of this dentist, he was so patient with her, and he explained everything so well to me. Definitely a good experience.

Abby does have some cavities, but I already knew that. So the plan to fix those is to take her to the hospital and put her under general anesthetic. I am glad that we can get them dine, but it feels a little hard for me to think of my girl going under. But the appointment isn't until November 2, so I have plenty of time to get used to it.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Vacation Highlights

•Wrangler's Pro-Rodeo Tour. My hubs and I spent an afternoon at the rodeo and really enjoyed ourselves. The little kid's events were among my favorite. Who wouldn't love watching 50 kids chase a calf and try to pull a ribbon off it's tail?

•Lunch at The Noodle Hut. We gave been waiting months to taste their Chinese food. There is none other that comes close. They are a tiny little restaurant but make the BEST Chinese food ever. I can't say enough how good it is. I already miss it!

•Fall Fair Parade. The kids really liked it and so did I. What with moving away and working before that, it had been years since I had watched it.

•Quadding. I rode behind my hubby on his quad on a trip down to the river, and I realized that I had never had an opportunity to do fun things like this with him before, not even when we were dating. I really enjoyed it. I felt like a teenager again, only better because I'm married to my "crush" and I had a beautiful family waiting for me at home.

•Free Babysitters. Need I say any more?

•Realizing how much I love my home now. Nothing against my old hometown, but I love my life down here. I am glad for my vacation because it showed me so clear that I am doing the right thing.

•Being with my awesome family. They are so encouraging, telling me how good I'm doing. It was a nice boost to my self-esteem.

•Watching Leigh bond with my Grandpa, her Great-Grandpa. It made his day, and it made me wish we were closer.

•Watching Abby bond with my Mom. My Mom is pretty special, and Abby realized that too.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Vacation Musings

We only have 3 more days here before we head home. The first week we were gone it felt like the time ahead was so long, but now it feels like it went by fairly quickly. My hubs doesn't want to go home yet, but I have to admit that I miss my own home and life there.

I feel guilty for missing my home since all of our family live here but I can't help it. The guilt of moving away is something I still deal with. Maybe not on a daily basis anymore, buy still often. I am sad that my parents and my hubs' parents don't get to see all the everyday cuteness of our girls growing up.

Yet the guilt and the longing to be closer to our families are not enough to entice me back North. I love the scenery of home, the weather, the atmosphere of the small town not driven by the oilfield. It is now truly home to me. So I will stay there and maybe I can convince everyone to move down there with me. (though maybe in a neighboring town since it can be stressful having too much family in the same place!)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Teaching The ABCs

*I lost the whole draft I typed so this most likely won't be as nice as the one I had already written. Lucky for you, you don't know what was already written so you're not missing out.*

Lately I have been reading books about how to teach your child to read. I have even purchased a couple phonics primer program books to use when it comes to be time to actually teach her that. I know that she isn't ready for phonics instruction quite yet, but I do want to make sure that she has all of the pre-reading skills that she needs.

Among those skills is recognizing the alphabet letters by sight and knowing their sounds (duh). Abby doesn't yet. She knows the alphabet, but she doesn't recognize any letters except for O and the capital A. And I wonder to myself, at what age do other kids know their letters and sounds?

And yes I know that I shouldn't compare to other children because each one is different, but if we moms are honest we all so it.

Anyways, I have been making some alphabet flash cards for Abby. Nothing fancy, just the capital letter on one side and the lowercase on the other. I decided to try th out with her today. I took the A, B, and C. She recognized the capital A but called the lowercase A B. But after the first round of me asking her what letter this was and then helping her if she didn't know it, she grew bored and wanted to play with the cards and wasn't focusing on me at all. We ended up in a big fight over this, resulting in her going to her room.

This felt supremely discouraging to me. I had hoped that we could get at least ten minutes on the cards. I guess that I just need to have patience since she hasn't ever really had any kind of structured activity in her life before. So I will continue with the cards, and hopefully I will be able to one day report that she knows all the letters.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Pack It Up

If I had the dull blogger app for my iPhone, I would upload you a picture of my bed, which has about a thousand articles of clothing on it (my girls' and nowhere near all of their clothes). But I am nothing of nor cheap and I declined to pay the two dollars, or however much it was. I know that I will eventually cave and buy it, once I make sure that I am posting regularly. But I was talking about clothes. We are going on vacation, up North to visit our families for two weeks. And it is up to me to pick and pack all our clothes for this. How do I choose?

My first try, I soon saw that there was no way it was going to fit in just one small suitcase so I considered using two, one for each kid. But I didn't think that they would both for in our car along with the big suitcase for me and Hubs so I has to do a weedout of the clothes. I ruthlessly left out the shirts and skirts and pants that weren't on my absolutely-love-it list. And, I fit it all in!

I hate packing.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Day at the Lake

I know that the week is almost at the halfway point and it may be a little late to discuss my weekend, but I'm going to do it anyways. In my life that is full of lots of everyday, mostly unremarkable events, leaving the house to go anywhere is definitely something to tall about.

So we finally made it up to the lake. For the past month we have been trying to spend some time at the beach, but something always seemed to prevent us. One week my hubs has to work, the next he was sick. So we vowed that nothing would keep us from going this weekend (though I'm sure we might have been willing to negotiate if a storm happened to be that day). The day arrived, beautiful, clear blue skies that promised us some hot weather ahead. We had decided that we wanted to leave our house at ten a.m. so that we would beat the afternoon crowd and get a good spot on the beach.

Miracle of miracles, we are heading out the door at five after! I think this may possibly be the first time since we've had our kids that we have hit a self-designated timeline. The lake is about a forty-five minute drive from town but we didn't arrive until almost 11:20 due to the fact that no one in town sells water wings. I mean, really? Is it not summer? You would think SOMEONE would have them, but apparently not. Anyways, we get to the lake, park our car and carry all the stuff to the beach.

It is the nicest beach I have been to on the lake since we moved here 2 1/2 years ago. We are approaching the "local know-how stage!" it is all sandy, with some big rocks against the shoreline. We found the perfect spot between two of the big rocks; they sort of formed our own little private cove (though not for long, but more on that later). There wasn't very many people there, maybe 2 or 3 families. I was glad since people bring my shy nature to the forefront.

Abby and Leigh settled right in, heading right for the water. Abby had her waterwings on (we found them in the trunk) and splashed all around. Leigh liked to stand at the edge with just her feet in. We have a floatation tube that she cam sit in, but she started screaming when we put her in it so we just let her play in the sand, sometimes venturing to the edge.

After a little while another family came and parked their blanket right beside ours. I know that they have the right, it's a public beach, but I wished that they would have picked a spot that wad not right in our little area, but was instead on the other side of the rock. The beach wasn't crowded at all, so it's not like they didn't have a choice. I find it so restricting when others are around. I think that they are scrutinizing my every move and word and judging me by that, ultimately coming to the conclusion that they are far superior to me.

But I survived, and after being there for about threeish hours, we decided to pack up and go home. Leigh was needing her nap, and the adults (that's us) were getting tired of being there. So we head home.

All-in-all it was a good day, but I do have a list of after-effects that I possibly could have done without:

•Abby fell asleep on the ride home and peed in her car seat, which wouldn't be so bad except that I had washed it just THE DAY BEFORE.

•Both girls were covered on sand and got everything they touched covered in sand.

•My hubby and I got super sunburned; him on his back and front, and me on my shoulders and front. But mine is soooooooo bad, I am still really sore.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Back to the Basics

I have a problem of overlooking the present while I try to see what the future looks like. This can be a good thing as or may give motivation to get things done, but sometimes you need to inventory the present to get an accurate view of what's ahead. And sometimes you just need to appreciate the mention without thinking of what's ahead. For example:

•My hubby and I are looking to buy a tent trailer - cheaply. We looked at one for $200, l had thought that it could be a project for us to work on but he said that it would be a LOT of work. Too much work. It was hard for me to let go of the dream of camping in that trailer.

•Everyone always tells you to cherish each moment with your children because they grow up so fast. I am sick of hearing it because I know it's true. Yet I still find myself thinking about what I will be doing when the girls are 1, 3, 6 years older. As I was holding Leigh this morning I realized that it's been a long time since I have held her and just focused on her alone.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What Matters

"Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ."
Philippians 3:8. NKJV

I had planned to write my second post on how I am trying to choose a curriculum for homeschooling my daughter but I read this verse this morning and it's been sticking with me.

It is such a comfort to me, not that I will lose all things in my life, but that if I have to lose things, what greater reason than Christ. To be able to say 'I know Jesus Christ.' That is truly IT.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Introduction

I hate trying to start this. It can feel so awkward, yet it must be done. I'm Erica, mother to two girls, ages 3 and 1, who we'll call Abby and Leigh. I have started this blog for a few reasons which I will share with you:

•I have read blogs that have encouraged me, letting me know that I am not alone and I want to spread that encouragement.

•I adore my girls and think that the whole world is just dying to hear of all the cute and funny things they do.

So those are my reasons (in a nutshell) why I am here.