Sunday, May 31, 2009

Survey Says

Every Saturday Amy Beth from Ministry so Fabulous does a little survey.  I thought I'd play along this week.  Only you will be subjected to it on Sunday.  And I took out a few questions.  Because I am a rebel like that. 

If you don't read MSF you really should, or at least read this post.  Just don't take a drink of anything while reading, unless you like cleaning liquid off of your monitor.  It is laugh out loud funny.

1. How late did you stay up last night?

Later than I should have, since my kids rise earlier than the sun.

2. Do you prefer someone taller or shorter than you?

Everyone is taller than me.  Including most ten year olds.  So it doesn't really matter what I prefer.  I'm just a delicate flower in a forest of trees. 

3. Are you okay with making a total fool of yourself?

No.  Which is too bad because I do it on a regular basis regardless of how I feel about it.  

4. Name one thing you did yesterday.

Went to a parade of garage sales.  I made out like a bandit.    My deal loving heart sang the whole way home.  If you know me at all, you will know that there isn't an ounce of sarcasm in those sentences.  There are few things better in life than getting a really good deal.  If that isn't proof of geek I don't know what is.

5. Who were you with the last time you went to the movies?

Way Cooler.  

6. Do you ever get “good morning” texts from anyone?

No, but I get good morning kisses from two of the most handsome boys on the planet.  That's better I think.

7. What were you doing Friday night?

I'm drawing a blank.  Like  I've said, my life is a thrill a minute.  Oh, now I remember, went out for supper with my M-I-L, her hubby, Way Cooler and the boys.    I ordered meatloaf.  Because I like to walk on the wild side.

8. Do you like being home alone or does it freak you out?

Home alone?  I get to be home alone?  When, when is this miracle occurring?  

9. What’s the greatest thing that happened to you today?

I kissed the three most important people to me in this world.

10. If you could move away, no questions asked, where would you move?

Somewhere where winter is illegal.

11. Have you ever told anyone you were okay when you really weren’t?

I'm Canadian.  It's part of our citizenship.  Right up there with apologizing to the wall we bumped into and always taking our shoes off upon entering a house.

12. What’s the first thing you did when you woke up?

Smiled.  I actually slept in to 7:30.  For the first time in about a year.

13. Have your friends ever randomly stopped by your house?

It happened a lot more when we lived in a small town.  Yet another reason I miss our small town.

14. Who is the last person you had a deep conversation with?

I have small children.  I'm hoping to have an uninterrupted deep conversation sometime in 2014.

15. If you could have something back right now, what would it be?

My pre-baby body.

16. Are you keeping a big secret right now?

No.  Wanna tell me one?  

17. Has anyone ever sang to you?

Just this morning I got a serenade from a tiny man still in his jammies.

18. Have you ever fallen asleep while texting someone?

No.  Someone might have fallen asleep waiting for me to finally find the right letters to text them however.

19. Do you like the rain?

I lived in Vancouver for three years.  I thought I might learn to like the rain.  Turns out I hated it more passionately when we left than when we started.  I'm amazed Vancouverites can even smile at all in the winter.

20. Say your last ex runs up to you and hugs you, what do you do?

I'm gonna echo Amy Beth on this one, it's just funny to think about.  It would never ever ever ever happen.  Ever.

21. Did you ever tell your parents you were going somewhere but went somewhere else instead?

No.  I was a little bit scared of them. Even in high school.  Looking back I'm not exactly sure why, but I was.  I'd really like to learn how to develop this fear in my kids.  

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sprout Says

This made me grin.

You may need to share my DNA to find this funny, but hey, it's my blog, I'll bore you if I want to.

Me: And today we are going over to A's house to play in their yard because they have grass and a fence.
(For those of you new here, this is my back yard. Isn't it purty?)

Sprout: A fence! Holy smokes.
( He's three so it sounds bit more like Hony Shmokes)

Me: Oh Sprout, we don't say that. Only God is Holy. We are to be very careful with the word Holy.   It's very important.

Sprout: But Jesus can.

Me: Jesus can what?

Sprout: Jesus can say Holy smokes. Because he is Holy too.

Me: You're right, Jesus is Holy too. Hey look, the sun is shining! (Please let this conversation end, please please please.)

We may need to brush up on the third commandment again.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It Only Looks Easy

For the childless friend who wondered why I love grocery shopping alone so much, a breakdown on popping into a grocery store with two boys.

I needed milk, orange juice, and wanted to use up a coupon for Wagon Wheels that were on sale. That's it.

So, I went to grab a loonie for the cart only to discover that Way Cooler had taken all my change out of the car. All of it. Thanks sweetie. So, we toddled into the very, very large store and walked over to customer service for change. Then, Sprout had to go to the bathroom so we stopped for that. Funny how he can go 5 hours without needing the potty at home and when we are errand running he has to go every 37 minutes.

Potty break over, we got our change and headed to the other side of the store to grab a cart. They were out of carts. Of course. So, back to the other side we headed, but not before we petted the fake dog and looked at all the cheap loonie trinkets.

Once we had the cart I loaded up the boys and turned to look for the Wagon Wheels. In the 4.6 seconds my head was turned Sprout disobeyed my direct instructions and attempted to backflip out of the cart. He was successful. The sound of his head hitting the ground still rings in my ears.

Once all the blood was cleaned up and Sprout somewhat consoled we headed for the dairy case. One hand pushing the cart, the other holding 28 pounds of sniffling boy.

They were out of our brand of milk. The only milk they had tastes what I imagine raw sewage tastes like. Strangely enough I took a pass on that. Which means, I now had another stop to make. Yee haw.

They were sampling fruit gummies and chocolate chip cookies. I thought this might distract the still-sobbing Sprout so I gave them each a gummie and a bite of cookie. Turns out Spud did not like the gummies so thought the best way of dealing with it was to spit out everything, cookie and all onto his shirt. Problem solved. So, now I had one child covered in blood and snot and the other with a large mess of chocolate spit on his shirt. Klassy.

But hey, we finally found the wagon wheels, got the juice and checked out without further complications. 45 questions, two minor tantrums, a stop at the fish tank and a lot of strange looks, but no complications. Only 47 minutes after we entered the store we were on our way.

So, sweet friend, any questions?

Saturday, May 23, 2009


The following is another phone conversation with my sister.  I'm the one in red.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


The other night we had a picnic at the zoo.  It was a lovely 21 degrees.   Then the next day it snowed.  I really do love my city, but the weather is absolutely nuts in the Spring.

But I am not complaining.

ANYWAY, while we were having a perfectly lovely picnic, the following conversation took place.

HG: Sprout, eat the rest of your sandwich, it will help you grow big and tall and strong.

WC: (In a subtle way to remind me that these are not things we are focusing on as a family)  but you don't have to be big, or tall or strong.  That's not important.  The sandwich will help you be smart.

HG:  But you don't have to be smart either.  Just be you. 
(In a not-so-subtle way to remind Way Cooler that I am a smart-Alec.)

And that right there is why we don't get invited to many parties.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Trying Hard

I am making up a meme.  Because I am all about goals.
Please feel free to steal it.  

This week I am trying hard to:

-Not snack in the evening.  Because my definition of snack doesn't involve fiber or nutrients of any sort.  At all.

-Forget that I heard the following conversation at my kids' swimming lesson 
Lifeguard to parent "Sir, the next time your son has to go to the bathroom, please take him to the toilet, don't just have him pee in the shower."  She may or may not have muttered something about using common sense after telling him this.  I'm not exactly sure, I was too busy shuddering.

-Buy watershoes for the boys before the next swim lesson.

-Pray for Patrice.

- Teach Spud how to button.  I keep putting it off and off and off, but it's supposed to snow this week, might as well jump into the fire and just do it.  

- Not complain about the weather.  Did I mention the snow?  In May?  Not complaining, just mentioning.

-  work on memorizing Psalm 139.  

- Play Hi Ho Cherry-O without cheating.  I don't care if  I win, I just try to move the game along a teensy bit faster, so sometimes the spinner may get a gentle nudge off of the space that requires the emptying of the baskets.  If you have ever played this innovative form of mother torture game, you will TOTALLY understand.

- Not mock out really conservative people.  At least not to their faces.

How about you?  What'cha trying hard to do this week?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Witness Challenge

Shaun Groves has posted a witness challenge based on a pastor he met in Kolkata, India who told him that "our witness is our service."

He's asked us to think about the needs of those around us, dream big and respond to the needs.  I've been thinking on this ever since I read his post about the pastor earlier this week.

In his original post he had some criticisms of the North American church and our ability to build huge buildings that sit vacant all week.  I responded that not all churches do that.  Mine included.  My church has a number of service and outreach things going all week.  But I'm not there.

I need to be.

So, in response to the Holy Spirit's prompting and Shaun's excellent question, this is the stuff I am going to do to show my Jesus to my neighbourhood.  It's not huge, radical stuff, but it is stuff that I know I should be doing, and sometimes choose not to.

1.  Our church has a huge ESL ministry.  This is a pressing need in this city of immigrants.  I have a ESL minor just collecting dust.  I'm calling the pastor of intercultural ministries this week to find out how I can help.  It'll probably be in the form of a conversation class with kids running around our ankles, but maybe a need will be met, a friendship will be formed, a Saviour glorified.

2.  That couple across the street?  He works for the same company as Way Cooler, she seems really lonely.  I'm having them over for dinner this month.

3.  Our church is doing a garage giveaway.  It's a garage sale without price tags.  People can come and take stuff home for free.  I'm planning to donate a bunch of stuff and to go help get the sale ready.

4.  When a needy friend calls, (for the 4th time today) I'm not gonna screen the call.  I'm gonna answer.  I'm gonna give her the love she is so desperately seeking.

5.  I donated blood.  Not really an act of witness, I kept the tracts in my car (so kidding) but it's just serving.  With no motive but meeting a need.  I plan to do it again in 56 days.  

This is my start.  This is not the end.  What about you?  How will you serve this week?  

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Just the Short of It

Spud had his 4 year old immunizations the other day.  In Alberta they are administered by a public health nurse at a community health clinic.  The nurse also checks weight and height and general milestones.  This is usually where people run into problems.  The public health nurses are wonderful women but a bit earnest.

Really, really earnest.

At the four year old shots the focus is on BMI.  They are trying to identify kids who are at risk for obesity and teach their parents about healthy eating and living.  Let me be the first to say that while I am a bit tubby and do not have the best snacking habits, my kids really do.  They never have pop, I don't even get them chocolate for Easter and such, and a potato chip is a very rare thing.  They eat tons of fruit and veggies, home-made bread and only lean meat.  I also try to get them outside and active as much as humanly possible.  

But, we are short.  All of us.  So, Spud is in the 25th percentile for height, 75th for weight and his little BMI is off the chart.  I'm ANYTHING but concerned.  However, I had to sit through the little teaching time on nutrition just the same.  You'll be very proud of me for not rolling my eyes at all.  I really wanted to.  I was even gracious.  Must be Canadian. 

The very best part is when I got home I was curious so I calculated Sprout's BMI.  His is worse than Spud's.  Those of you who know us IRL stop laughing.  I'm serious.  Yes indeed.  My three year old who still wears 18 months pants because 2t slips right off his non-existent hips is at extreme risk for obesity.

It's just funny.  At least to me.  Four years ago I would have been in a dead panic.  I'd have planned extra exercise times, really re-vamped our menu and spent waaay too much time on Dr. Google.  It's amazing how even just four years of navigating the world of developmental delay, acid reflux and facing the startling reality that every kid is different has made me mellow.  Well, as mellow as this high strung geek is gonna get.

Now if I could just pass that on to the health nurse.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A New Sleep Aid

My weekend in a re-cap.  QueenB, if you are still struggling with insomnia, this post should take care of that quickly.

-Garage sales.  I was looking for some clothes for Spud.  I don't know why I bother.  Boys from 4-7 are clothes wrecking machines.  There is NOTHING out there in that size range.  And what is for sale, well, those people should be embarrassed at asking that price for a hole-y piece of fabric. 

-M and M's BBQ.  My kids had a bouncehouse to themselves.  Their joy was complete.  COMPLETE.  And as always, I forgot my camera to record the moment forever.

- Out to Poppa and Nana's.  My dad took the boys to Dollarama to buy me something.  This is what they chose.  I cannot tell you how much I LOVE these flowers.  It is a perfect representation of their personalities right there in a vase.

-My niece's baby dedication.  Can I just say again how cool it is to be living this close to family?  I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that my baby brother is a dad, but it was awesome to celebrate with him and his new little family.

- A mother's day BBQ.  Because really, Mother's Day would not be complete without forcing a three year old to eat a corndog.  

- When he got home from work, Way Cooler made nachos and cheese and we chatted.  Perfect.

How about you?  Do anything fun?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Me, All the Time

So, I saw this on Beck's blog and thought it might be fun. Plus now I have a cold and even my parenting mojo has left the building. This morning I found myself contemplating how wrong it would be to just hand my boys a couple of granola bars, switch on Treehouse and go back to bed. FOR THE REST OF THE DAY. I decided that any rest I got would not be worth the damage those two could inflict so I hauled myself out of bed anyway.

8 things I am looking forward to:

1. Spring
2. Summer
3. Sod. Not that it isn't exciting for the boys to have a backyard of dirt to play in, they love it, but my washing machine is about to have a nervous breakdown if we don't get grass soon.
4. Our summer vacation - we are taking a road trip to the Lower Mainland. YES, I AM looking forward to it. Yes, we are taking the boys. Three words: borrowed DVD player.
5. Wearing sandals again.
6. Kindergarden. For Spud. Not me.
7. Fresh BC cherries.
8. Seeing Way Cooler after work tonight.

8 things I did yesterday

1. Babysat a friend's kids.
2. Wondered what was wrong with me to volunteer to do this.
3. Took everyone to the park.
4. Ate steak that I didn't have to cook. It was super yummy. Everyone needs a dad who can cook. No, you can't have mine.
5. Visited with some family friends who I haven't seen in years. This family was a huge part of my growing up and it was so cool to introduce them to my kids.
6. Blew my nose. Repeat 1000 times.
7. Listened to Veggietales.
8. Showered.

8 Things I wish I could do.

1. Sing parts. Actually, I just wish I could sing without the person next to me cringing.
2. Put the winter boots away. But, it's only May. To do so would be inviting trouble.
3. Wear my hair in a french braid.
4. Get a nose stud.
5. Speak French.
6. Negotiate calmly with a toddler without losing my mind.
7. Make dinner just by blinking my eyes.
8. Grow two more inches. Have arms that extended at will. Like Inspector Gadget. It's annoying not to be able to reach stuff on the top shelf at the grocery store.

8 Shows I Watch

I only watch three. So, I will list eight that Way Cooler watches and mock them provide insightful commentary.

1. Mantracker. A dude on a horse tracks down two people in various parts of the Canadian wilderness. Yes, it is as boring as it sounds.
2. UFC Fight Night. It involves a cage and two dudes fighting with no rules. So, basically lunchbreak at my junior high.
3. The NHL playoffs. His favorite team is in the second round of the playoffs. It's best to not even breath loud when the game is on.
4. The Office. He keeps making me watch this in hopes that I will learn to like it. All I can say, it is a good thing I still like him.
5. The Bachelor. SO NOT KIDDING. What can I say? There really are no words.
6. Cops. But what man wouldn't like this one?
7. The Mercer Report. Actually, I really like this one too. I think if he actually said something decent about the Conservatives he might implode, but, otherwise, rather funny.
8. 24. I am the only person in my family who does not like this show, including my mom, who up to this point has never ever watched TV. EVER. So, I'm thinking that maybe something is wrong with me on this one. What do you think?

I don't tag, but if you feel game, go for it!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Ummm Bread

A while ago I had posted  a picture of my home-made bread.  A few of you commented and said that you wanted some.  I'd mail you your own loaf but 

A) I am too cheap to pay for the postage
B) it is preservative free so unlike Wonderbread it does not have an infinite shelf-life
C) my kids love this stuff and you'd have to wrestle them for it.  Spud is deceptively strong and eats anything that is not nailed down.  If you took his food he'd take you down in a heart beat.

Being the altruistic sort that I am, I'm gonna do the next best thing and give you all my favorite recipe for bread.

Now bear in mind, I'm really not all that granola.  So, I cheat and make the dough in my bread maker then pull it out and shape and bake it myself.  I find doing it this way the bread has a texture that is closer to store bought and the size is more conducive to sandwiches.  

One more note.  This recipe will work best on the North side of the 49th parallel.  I don't know how to tell you this kindly, my wonderful American readers, but your flour, it is weird.  I discovered this firsthand when we moved to Texas and all my recipes flopped.  Repeatedly.  Our wheat is much harder than yours and this affects the bread chemistry somehow.  I passed chemistry simply by the grace of God so there is no way that I can ever explain it, just be forewarned, it may not work quite as well if your wheat wasn't grown in Saskatchewan.

Yes, indeed, Saskatchewan is good for something after all.  I'm kidding.  Saskatchewan is good for lots of things.  Mosquitos.  Snow.  Incessant wind.  

And now that I've riled up the entire population of our neighbors to the East (all 17 of them) I will share with you the recipe.

Double Oat Bread
(Taken from the Rogers Bread Machine Cookbook 2nd Edition.)

This recipe makes a 1.5 pound loaf.

1 1/4 cup water
1.5 tbsp margarine
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp skim milk powder
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp oat bran
3 tbsp quick oats
3 cups white flour (I use the Robin Hood all purpose)
1.5 tsp instant yeast

Measure ingredients into pan in order given.  
Set bread machine for dough cycle.
When cycle is complete, shape bread into 2 loafs and place into greased 9x5 loaf pans.  

Let rise 30-40 minutes until bread is double in size.

Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes until golden and bread sounds hollow when knocked on.

One last thing.  This is truly yummy, so it shouldn't last long, but if you do find it kicking around for more than a day or two stick it in the freezer.    Unlike Wonderbread which will last longer than most celebrity marriages this bread doesn't have preservatives and it will stale very quickly.