Sunday, November 29, 2009


What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Langston Hughes

What a cheery way to start advent eh?

It's funny. I always think of this poem on the first Sunday of Advent. This is the day that we light the prophet's candle. In a way, the prophets had a dream. They prophesied a Messiah. A saviour. A rescue from their slavery. This was a dream that not one of them would see realized. In fact, most of the Jewish nation is still waiting.

4000 years they've been waiting.

I have trouble waiting in line at the grocery store. I cannot fathom the patience that nation has learned.

This is the Sunday we remember the promise. For those of us who believe the New Testament, the promise has been fulfilled. The dream is realized. And we rejoice.

But today, I choose to remember. I remember those who believed. Those who walked by faith their whole lives. Those who trusted a God they could not see for a Saviour they would not know.

I rarely have that faith myself. I prefer the stuff I can see and hold and know. My natural tendency is to choose one of Mr. Langston's options. I stink sometimes.

Yet, I do believe in a God I cannot see. I believe there is a Saviour whom everyone can know.

I will have hope.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Small Story

Once up on a time I had sent the boys upstairs to get their jammies on. They've been doing this fairly well for a few months now. I came up a minute or two later after tidying the kitchen. I rounded the corner at the landing and gazed at my precious baby who was just starting to urinate on my carpet.

On purpose.

I may have raised my voice just a little bit.

He stopped. Which is why he is still drawing breath today.

We then had ourselves a time of correction.

When asked why he was doing such a thing, he shrugged and grinned. Apparently one does not need a reason to use my hallway as a urinal.

Then we had the following conversation while I scrubbed urine out of my carpet. I do believe in having my kids clean up the messes they made, but I also believe in clean carpet. This is one thing I do myself.

"Mommy, I am sorry for peeing on your carpet."

" I forgive you."

"Mommy, you need to say you are sorry."


"You was mad at me"

"I raised my voice to get you to stop your inappropriate behaviour. When we had our talk, mommy talked in a quiet voice. Mommy did not sin and she is NOT sorry that she disciplined you."

"I forgive you anyways."

And then my head exploded.

The end.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Pretend Sort of Post

I had full plans to write a deep and insightful post today.

But then something very very strange happened.

Very strange.

I felt this urge to decorate.

I KNOW. It's like aliens took over my body or something. For those of you new here, I am not being sarcastic. For a change. I really hate to decorate. Usually, I don't.

So, instead of writing, I put up the Christmas tree, decorated my mantle and decorated the Christmas tree with the boys.

I wasn't exactly looking forward to decorating the tree with my helpers, I figured that they would last for about 4 ornaments each and they would take off but I guess a lack of love for decorating isn't something I passed onto them.

They were decorating machines. The lower half of my tree was fully covered in less than 20 minutes. I had to race against them to just get enough ornaments for the top half.

I am sure you would like pictures but the lighting in my living room is rather poor, and I have enough trouble taking a good picture when conditions are excellent. So, no photos for you!

So instead of pictures (or a post )I give you some links that made me laugh so hard I think I may have scared my children.

Tim Challies has a proposal for the ultimate Christian novel.

Melissa attends the funniest funeral ever. Rest assured, it's not for a person.

Beck writes her yearly commentary on Oprah's gift guide. Do not miss it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I have a dear friend who has an amazing daughter. She is funny, determined and smart as a whip. And for some reason that hasn't been fully explained yet, she will not talk in public. Or around people she does not know. They are working hard on getting to the bottom of it but in the meantime whenever my friend goes out in public she is accompanied by a silent five year old.

I am trying very hard not be jealous.

While I understand how challenging it would be to try and get into the mind of a five year old and help her communicate there is a very small part of me that wants to know how to get my child to stop talking All.The.Blessed.Time.

Case in point.

A few weeks ago I had to run some errands with Sprout while Spud was in school. This is a short excerpt of the running conversation we had for 2.5 hours.

Sprout:(as he asked in every single store we went into) Mommy, why are we in here? Why this one? Is this Canadian Tire? What do you need here mommy?

HG: Mommy is looking for peat moss for her garden. They didn't have any at Rona or at Home Depot so we are looking here.

Sprout: Oh right. Peat moss. (To random stranger) Mommy is looking for peat moss. (To the air as loud as he can) Peat moss; where are you? Peeeaaaatttt mmmmmooooosssss.

HG: Sprout we use our inside voices inside.

Sprout: that's right. Sorry Mommy. (Whispering) have you found the peat moss yet? Do you know where the peat moss is? Does this store have peat moss? What are you going to do with the peat moss? Peat moss; where are you?

HG: I found it.

Sprout: You found the peat moss? Is that the peat moss? Good job mommy. Good for finding the peat moss. What are you going to do with the peat moss? Are you putting it in the cart with me? Hello peat moss! That's a lot of peat moss. Look, it is squishing me. Oh no, I am squish-ed. Oh, thank-you mommy for moving the peat moss. It was squishing me. What are we doing now? Are we paying the peat moss? Then we are we going? Can I help you with the peat moss at the house? (To another random stranger) Look, mommy got peat moss. They didn't have any at Rona, or at Home Depot, so we had to come here, what is this store again mommy?

HG: Canadian Tire

Sprout: That's right. We had to come to Canadian Tire to get peat moss. Look at all the peat moss my mommy got. (Turning to the other random stranger who is cursing his lack of choice of lines) Mommy got peat moss. Do you have peat moss? Look at all the nice peat moss.

And on. And on. And on.

I know that when they are teens they will lose their ability to speak in sentences and will mainly grunt and so I should be treasuring these days of ALL THE TALKING but I must confess, sometimes I do long for selective mutism. Or at least selective hearing.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A New Song

A while ago, Jennifer at Conversion Diary had a wonderful post about how some of the prayers she was praying through in the liturgy of the hours didn't seem to apply to her at that moment in life and she had come to pray them for others, even those she didn't know.

It struck me like a ton of bricks.

Now, I am not Catholic and do not pray through a liturgy. I'm evangelical. We sing.

A lot.

I think by the time I was ten I had half the hymn book memorized. I had expressed my boredom one day to someone much wiser than I and they told me to pray what I was singing.

So I do.

Just not about me anymore. Well, not much. I am trying.

Thanks to two very wise people I have forever changed the way I view "worship time" at church. While I still worship, it is also I time I reach out and worship on behalf of those who are so burdened that they cannot yet praise. I then hope that someday we will stand together and sing. If not here, then hereafter.

Maricella needs compassion,
A love that's never failing,
let mercy fall on her,

Nidal Hasan needs forgiveness,
The Kindness of a Saviour,
The Hope of nations,

Saviour, you can move the Mountains,
So I ask that you save,
You are mighty to Save,
Forever, be their salvation
For them you rose from the grave,
That's why you rose from the grave.

So Take Mar as you find her,
All her fears and failures,
Fill her life up new,

May she give her life to follow,
May you be the one she believes in,
Help her to surrender,

Jesus you can move these mountains
You are mighty to save,
Mighty to save,
May they take your salvation
Save them from the grave,
You can save them from the grave.

Friday, November 13, 2009

7 Quick Takes

1. Because of all the sick, all four of us have been home pretty much non-stop for ten days. No school, no church, no park outings, just us, here. I realized that maybe it was getting to me a little bit the other night after I put the kids to bed. Since they've been sick they have been getting out of bed for every little reason, something they normally never do. I really DID NOT want to deal with anything more so I hid in a closet. Seriously. I went to the storage closet in my laundry room and read there for 45 minutes. At one point I realized that I was sitting on the floor, next to the vacuum hiding from my kids. Maybe I wasn't handling the whole sick thing as well as I thought.

2. The other night I made this chicken for supper. I really wasn't sure how it would turn out, but it was very moist and super tasty. Spud kept calling it Swiss Chalet chicken. Which in our house is a supreme compliment because Swiss Chalet chicken ranks right up there with ice cream and chocolate. Plus, I got two meals out of the chicken aannnddd made two liters of chicken stock. All that from a 5 buck chicken that required zero effort on my part.. It just does not get better than that my friends.

3. Pomegranates are now in season. My kids almost jumped out of the cart for sheer joy the last time they were in a grocery store. I like them too, but I cannot quite fathom the level of happiness my kids get out of this fruit. I wish the suckers weren't quite so expensive, but when my kids willingly eat something that good for them, I grudgingly shell out.

4. My boys make up their own prayers at mealtimes. It's a good way for them to learn to express real gratitude, plus it's cheap entertainment for us. Recently Sprout had slipped into using the same prayer over and over again as fast as he can. So, the other night Way Cooler told him he had to pray a nice, new prayer. This is how it started. "Deaaaar Desus. This is a nnneeeeewwwwww prayer." I can't remember anything after that as I was laughing too hard to even breath. Told ya. Cheap entertainment.

5. I am a technical weenie. Doe anyone know how to have the 7 quick takes banner actually show up on a post? I've tried a bunch of things and none work. I like to comfort myself that I at least know how to work a mouse. There may or may not be people related to me who find that a challenge. So, I come by my technical illiteracy honestly.

6. There are a whole bunch of bloggers right now in El Salvador. If you click on the link in my side bar (or here or here) you will be directed to their posts. Go. Read. Learn. Be changed. Sponsor.

7. Seriously. Go read a compassion blogger. I've been reading the posts with the boys looking over my shoulder. It's been a great time to talk with them about how much we have and how little others have. It's put a face to a concept that is so horribly abstract for someone raised in such affluence. I think my boys might be "getting it." Their mom is too.

For more quick takes visit Jennifer at Conversion Diary.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Money for Nothing.

When I first started blogging, it was met with some rather healthy skepticism by a certain husband of mine.

He wasn't exactly sure he saw the point and was a bit nervous that I would be airing all our dirty laundry right out there on the internet. A concern that does have a fair bit of basis in reality, as I do like to over-share. And then share some more.

So, imagine my surprise when I was asked the other day, "So, how do you set up one of those blog-things?"

It turns out, that his blog has a purpose. As does everything Way Cooler does. In direct contrast to his much flightier wife.

One of Way Cooler's BIG interests in the stock market and wise investing. Always has been. He spends hours researching, analyzing and generally doing stuff that makes my eyes glaze over. I honestly cannot think of a more boring hobby. Watching bowling on TV holds more appeal to me. But he truly loves it and I love that he has a hobby. Keeps him out of my waytrouble.

Plus, another upside to all this research and stuff is that we have a portfolio. And money in it. If I was in charge, there'd just be dust.

And now, my hubby wants to share his insight with the Internet. He's good that way.

So, I'm pleased to introduce Way Cooler's blog. It will be full basic investment advice, tips on how to pick good stocks, and all that fun stuff. And no dirty laundry. (That's my job.)

So, if you've got a second, head on over, and say hi.

Welcome to blogging sweetie. You're gonna love it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I Get by With a Little Help From My Friends

This week all three of my men have been sick. ALL WEEK. ALL THREE OF THEM.

We even lined up at the doctor's office for an offical diagnosis. It coughed like a pig, had a persistent fever like a pig and is lasting forever like a pig, but it's not a pig. It's a mild case of Pnemonia for poor Spud who is probably wishing he will never cough again.

Anyway, it certainly is not a cause for alarm, just no fun for those who have it.

However, this has been one of the easiest "sick times" we have had. I think it helps that I have a baseline to compare it to. Tough is when you have an infant and a barely two year old and all four of you have the tummy flu AND due to an incompetent plumber you are without running water for 36 hours. That's tough. This, not so much.

Plus I've had a lot of help from my friends.

Internet, meet my friends.

The medicine. Just in case you thought I was crunchy or something. Not even close. Natural- smatural. Bring on the drugs baby! We burned through our first Costco sized bottle of children's Advil in 2.5 days.

The games. This has actually been a lot of fun. Sprout is quite the gamer and to have all of us playing with him, he is pretty much in hog heaven. However, if I NEVER play Go Fish again, it will still be much too soon.

The sweatshirt. This is my favorite shirt, it's red, it fits just right, it's super comfy and I have been banned from wearing it in public. By numerous people. SO, I've been able to wear it ALL WEEK since we haven't gone anywhere. AWESOME. Just in case you were wondering, it was what all the staff wore one Christmas concert when I taught in Texas. I did not pick it out. My taste is a little dubious, but not quite that umm, bold.

The Youtube playlist. My kids are nuts about the Salsa Twins. If I go near the computer they clamour to check Ree and Ro's blog. When I told them the girls had picked out their favorite Youtube videos and we could watch them too they were utterly delighted. It's killed many hours this week. Because what could be better than an operatic orange?

The stash. When my kids are sick, behaviours I was certain we had addressed and eradicated come back. ALL OF THEM. So, yes, that is a bag of cheese curls hidden in my laundry room. Don't judge me. Please.

It's good to have friends.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Hole Story

There are many great mysteries in life.

Stonehenge. Why people enjoy watching Cricket. Man's true purpose. Why little boys must wear the knees out on their pants.

I do not have the answers to the questions, but I do have a solution for one of the problems raised by these mysteries.

Sears Kidvantage.

Sears rather foolishly guarantees all their kids clothes. If a child wears it out before they outgrow it, they will replace the item for free.


It's enough to make a mom of little boys do a cartwheel at the cash register. Except that would lead to a visit from the paramedics and who has time for that?

Anyway, last year at Christmas time I bought Spud three pairs of pants from Sears. I cringed at the price as I am much more accustomed to buying things from clearance racks and second-hand stores. However, second hand pants with the knees intact for the 3-7 year old set are about as common as a keg party at a Southern Baptist Convention. And pants from clearance racks still lose their knees in about a month in this house.

So, I bought the pants, paying nearly 40 dollars for three pairs. It has been worth every last penny as we have replaced those pants 12 times in less than a year. Yep. I go pretty much once a month and they give me a new pair. Spud wore one pair less than five times before we were back getting new ones. It means that I have paid less than 2 dollars for each pair that we have worn through. And he still isn't done. I noticed last night his jeans have a day or two left in them. At best. There's a lot to be said for slow-growing children, more time to totally abuse take advantage of this money-saving program.

There are other retailers that offer this program as well. Which is a good thing as Sears may be forced to cancel their program because of us. So, if you have little boys, and Nana wants to know what to get them for Christmas, now you have a suggestion. Pants from Sears. Truly the gift that just keeps on giving.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


My boys are good at many things. Talking, hugging, singing and spilling. They are especially good at spilling. I must sweep after every meal and at least three times a week (on a good week) a full glass of milk is spilled at mealtimes.

This is an area where I am struggling to be patient in. You see, we have hardwood floors. Yes they are beautiful, but only when clean. And mine stay clean for 2.5 seconds once a week. I read a post recently where an amazing single gal was day dreaming about dancing on her hardwoods with her future hubby. I too dream about my hardwoods, Way Cooler and I, only we are ripping up the stupid things and replacing them with linoleum like God intended for homes with young men.

Last Tuesday I had just cleaned all morning because we host our caregroup every Tuesday night. So, at lunch both boys spilled full glasses of milk on the floor. To say I was a little upset is like saying the Mississippi is a small creek.

I was a ball of fussing, grumping resentment.

But then a voice reminded me of what I had prayed for that very morning.

A heart overflowing with thanksgiving.

Mine wasn't even beginning to drip.

So, as I cleaned the milk, I practised that which I wanted.

Thank-you that I have boys to spill this milk.

Thank-you for milk to spill.

Thank-you for more milk to refill the cups.

Thank-you for a floor to spill it on.

Thank-you for a husband who works so hard to provide milk and floors.

Thank-you for strong arms to clean this spill.

Thank-you that my boys are able to receive correction and can be trained to change the behaviours that caused the spill.

Thank-you for grace.
Grace that forgives an angry momma and allows to her to extend it to her boys so that milk is not the only thing overflowing today.