Friday, December 03, 2010

Jude 24-25

The kids are gone today, so I thought it only fitting that I sit down to update while I won't be interrupted.  I really should be napping at some point, but I waited too long for my morning coffee, and my fingers are feeling the buzz.  :)

I'm feeling inspired to write, except I don't feel like I have anything inspiring to say.  Does that make sense?  I was sweeping the floor (yes, sweeping the floor, go me!) and thinking about what to write, and I remembered that I had started a list of possible future blog posts at one point.  So I went to my list.  I honestly don't remember what I was thinking when I made that list because when I looked at it, it didn't help me think of anything to write.  I'm not sure when those posts will get written because I have no idea what I was intending to say when I thought they were good ideas.

I do remember that at one point I alluded to a longer story that needed to be told (see this post).  Well, don't get your hopes too high because I'm not intending to tell the story quite yet, but I thought I might at least give a little more details.  As most of you are family or close friends, you may know that last spring I was seeing a therapist for depression and actually ended up also going to a naturopath and started taking some natural anti-depressants.  The story that I intend to tell at some point will hopefully outline the long road that led to me finally seeking help for the way I was feeling, as well as telling the tale of how that road has eventually led to recovery. 

It's hard to tell the whole story now because in a way, I still sometimes feel like the road hasn't ended.  Don't get me wrong.  I am feeling significantly better than I did, and I would not say that I'm depressed anymore.  But through it all, I've come to see that to a certain extent I will always be facing some sort of battle with depression, whether I'm completely in the pit of despair as I was last winter/spring, or if it's just teetering on the edge of a slight dip in the road.  I'm hoping that by recording my journey here (at some point), maybe it will help me (and perhaps others) to be more aware of how this impacts life and the way that faith can play such a huge part in the healing process.

Life has its ups and downs.  I need to continually remind myself to return to God's grace and love to find peace amidst life's chaos.  This is not always easy to do while chasing after a preschooler and a toddler.  So many times my prayers throughout the day are brief cries for help, "Lord, I can't take this anymore!"  But somehow, He grants me the strength to continue on.  The last few weeks I've been clinging to the verses from Isaiah 40:30-31, "Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

I don't expect to be able to fly like an eagle or be able to run and not grow weary.  Maybe that means I'm selling God short.  But I haven't fainted yet, and I know each day He's carrying me in His arms and keeping me from falling.  And even though sometimes I might trip over my own feet, He's there to pick me up, dust me off, and set me on my way again, confident that He is faithful.

May you know His peace, my friends.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cut short

I don't have time for an extremely lengthy post, but I did want to put up something so that you would know I haven't completely forgotten about my blog.  Moving has made life busy, and I've also started a new part time job as the admin assistant for our church.  I'm continuing with the transcription part time as well, so that has meant I have significantly less time for blogging.

So we have moved.  We're settled into the new house.  There's only a few boxes left in our room that need to be unpacked, and we need to sort through the random stuff that got tossed in the garage.  Otherwise, things are mostly where they need to be.  The kids are settled in pretty well, although Reuben continually complains of being scared of shadows in his new room, and the nightlight hasn't helped a whole lot.  We're still working on figuring out a solution for that one.

I was finally catching up on some of the blogs in my side bar today, and I'll admit, it was reading them that inspired me to get this post in quick today.  (The kids are in the middle of eating breakfast, so I may have to cut this short at any time.  It's a good thing I type fast.)  I was reminded once again of how important it is to have quiet time with the Lord, and even though I've totally bombed on the getting up early thing -- well, in all fairness, I haven't totally bombed.  I now get up with the kids in the morning when they wake up.  They don't get to go downstairs and watch TV while I go back to bed anymore.  I did think, though, that they still do watch TV while I do some stuff like catching up on blogs, so I could turn that into my quiet time.

Anyway, Reuben is done eating, so I have to go.  Hopefully I can continue this again soon...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Just an update post

I don't really feel like I have anything profound to say, so I think this is just going to end up being more of an update post.  It's Thanksgiving weekend, and I'm hanging out at my cousin's house while Reuben naps, and everyone else has gone to go check out the other cousin's new renovations.  They all walked, and I'm suddenly wondering how they're going to get back because it's now raining.  Hm.  Kaylee is with them in the stroller.  Hm...

Besides that, I have to admit, the waking up early in the morning thing has not been going all that well.  I think more times than not I end up ignorning my alarm, and the times I've gotten up early have usually not been to do my devotions and have quiet time but to get Tim to work or something like that.  I am really not a morning person, and I think that may be playing a part in all this.  I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to make this stick, as much as I would like it to.

We close on our new house this coming Friday, October 15.  It hardly seems real yet.  There are a few little details to deal with, such as finalizing the insurance and signing mortgage papers, not to mention I have most of my packing left to do.  It's going to be a busy week.  Once we get the key, we're planning to paint the ceiling in the living room because for some reason, they painted it yellow and not white.  Very odd.  It's the only painting we intend to do at this point.  I am also planning to get most of the house cleaned.  It hasn't been lived in for at least two months, so there's quite a bit of dust piled up, and who knows what else.  I'm going to take a closer look on Wednesday when we go for another walk-through with the realtor.

Other than that, nothing else to report, so I think I will close for now.  I hope everyone has had a blessed Thanksgiving!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Maximize Your Mornings

I'm taking the plunge.  If you ever check out any of the blogs in my sidebar that I read regularly, the one titled "Inspired to Action" does a thing called Maximize Your Mornings.  The basic idea is that you get up early, usually before everyone else in the house, and you spend time in daily devotions, exercising, and planning your day.  I've been considering attempting this, but I haven't really felt all that motivated since getting up before everyone in my house means getting up at 5am, a whole two hours earlier than I currently get up. 

But I think my current morning routine needs to change, so I'm going to make an attempt at this.  I'm starting slow.  The plan is to start getting up a half an hour earlier than I do right now, which would mean I'll be getting up at 6:30.  The kids are usually up by 5:30 or 6, and then I let them watch TV while I go back to get more sleep.  Well, this will probably still happen, but I won't be going back for quite as much sleep.  Eventually, I plan to be getting up when they do, and maybe someday, I'll actually manage to get up before they do.  I'm really hoping one of these days they just start sleeping till 6:30 or 7, and that will make this whole process WAY easier.

Thankfully, I've found a friend who's going to be trying this new plan also.  We're going to attempt to keep each other accountable, and hopefully it will help to know that someone else is struggling to crawl out of bed at the same time I am.

I'll keep you posted on my success...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

2 Corinthians 1:2-5

I took that thing called "Grief" off my shelf again this evening.  It's funny how this always seems to happen on the nights when Tim is gone, and I don't have any work to do.  I just sit around, watching TV shows that inevitably contain something that triggers that feeling of melancholy.  I think I'm coming to realize that there's been a lot that's happened over the past four years, and now I'm finally finding the time and energy to deal with it.

My thoughts today turned this time to our first baby.  I'm finding my thoughts are turning in that direction a bit more lately, probably because we're coming up on four years since we lost our little one.  It was interesting to think about how we celebrated Reuben's third birthday today as a family, and how our little angel would have been three years old by now, but that if we hadn't lost that first child, we wouldn't have Reuben now.  It's funny, but that thought almost makes it more painful, to know that we couldn't possibly have both.  I can't imagine not having Reuben, but I still wish that we could have had a chance to know the one we never will in this life.

And it really sucks that we can't have both.

I think as time goes on, and as life adds more and more grief to my shelf, I'm coming to realize that it's something you can't ever get rid of.  Once it's on that shelf, it's there to stay.  Sure, with time, it gets easier to put it up there so it's not taking up so much of your life.  And day by day, year by year, those griefs become a bit smaller. 

But not smaller in importance.  Never that.  They will always remain on the shelf, never to be forgotten.  And even though they get smaller, and we feel like we can sometimes forget they're there, they never really cease to be painful.  Those moments when we can draw up the mental stamina to pull them off the shelf and look at them, they still hurt.  I don't think there's any way to change that.  It is in the very nature of grief to be painful.

But through it all, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows." 2 Cor 1:2-5

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fresh Tomato Linguine

Two posts in one day, look at that!  So I tried a new recipe for supper, even though I didn't have anyone to share it with but the kids.  I'll admit, it is a little depressing that they don't really appreciate my cooking yet.

Anyway, we had fresh tomato linguine, and I got the recipe from a coffee break recipe book I've got.  It goes like this:
4 cups chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

In a bowl, combine tomatoes, basil, oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper.  Let stand for approx. 1 hour.  Boil linguine noodles (about half a 900g pkg).  Drain well when cooked and toss with tomato mixture.

Apparently, it's optional to add cooked chicken strips or cubes to the mixture, but I didn't do this.  I also used slightly less than 1/2 tsp of pepper, and I found it to be just right.  All in all, quite tasty.  It made a lot, though.  This could probably have fed about 4 adults.  The kids and I did not really do justice to it I'm afraid.

So here's some shots of the dish pre-tossing, after tossing, and served up in a bowl:

This is also a picture of today's loaf of fresh bread.  This particular recipe was 5 cups white flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour.  It has turned out quite nicely, my best so far, I think.

I've also got some shots of the kids eating our supper, cuz they're cute, and I can.

Some pictures and the story of my lunch

I finally got around to uploading the pictures from our camera onto the computer, so I thought I'd share a few of the good ones I found.

Here's a picture of the steak skewers I made a few posts back:

This is the first loaf of bread I made:

This is Reuben being a goof:

Kaylee decided it would be fun to climb into the oven drawer one day.

Here's a neat shot of a couple birds that were sitting on our fence once when we came home from being out somewhere.

 And here's my lunch today:

I made this by toasting some bread, then buttering it and putting some mozzerella slices on it.  On top of that are two slices of tomatoes with the skins taken off.  (I discovered it is so much easier to eat them that way.)  Then I sprinkled on about a pinch of oregano for each sandwich, shook on a little salt and pepper, tossed them in the toaster oven for about six minutes, and voila, yummy lunch.  They were absolutely delicious.  I've decided that I have a thing for tomatoes, and next summer, I have every intention of growing some in our backyard so I can have fresh ones.  Mmmm...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A new skill

So I thought I'd share a new skill of mine that I've just learned over the past few weeks. It is -- barbecuing! Yes, believe it or not, until now, I have never actually barbecued anything myself. Tim has always been the one in the family to handle the grilling, and whenever he's been gone, I've been limited to stove-cooked meals.

Until now. I forget exactly how it happened, but one day, I had planned on Tim making sausages for supper, and then, he got stuck working late. (I think this was one of the days he was helping Jon at Artech.) Anyway, I didn't have any ideas for a good backup plan for supper, so I called Tim, and he convinced me that I would be able to handle the barbecuing on my own.

Truthfully, my main concern has always been how to light the darn thing. Tim had tried to teach me once, but at the time, we had a crummy tank (which we figured out when we swapped it out with a new one), and I could never get the barbecue to light. Anyway, with the new tank, it suddenly became much easier for me to get it started, and with a few simple instructions from Tim, voila, I now know how to use the barbecue. So far I have made sausages, hot dogs, hamburgers, and those chicken foil packs I posted about a while back. I definitely appreciate the increased options I now have for dinner while Tim is on the road.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Homemade Bread

Well, I did it. I made my own bread yesterday. The recipe I used was this:

1/4 c. warm water
1 tbsp yeast
2 cups scalded (and cooled) milk
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 c. white flour
3 c. whole wheat flour

To simplify the directions, you mix the warm water with the yeast and let it sit for a bit so the yeast dissolves and starts growing. Then you add in everything else except the flour and stir it up. Then you add the flour one cup at a time. After the fifth cup, you can start kneading the bread, and you knead in the last half cup or so of flour until you get a smooth ball of dough. Then you let it rise for about 2 hours. After the two hours is up, you punch it down and shape it into two loaves. I wrapped one loaf with plastic wrap and put it in the freezer. The other loaf went in a loaf pan to rise for another 45 minutes. Then, I baked it at 350 for about 40 minutes.

It turned out pretty darn tasty. I had to have a couple slices after it came out and was still warm. There is nothing tastier than fresh bread with a bit of butter. I think with the next loaf I won't keep it in the oven the full 40 minutes. The top crust ended up a little darker and crunchier than I'd like. I'm also considering trying it without milk; I've seen a couple bread recipes like that. I'm also planning to try just plain white bread, all whole wheat, some variations on the blended ratios, and also using the all-white dough to make buns. We'll see how that goes. I picked up a great cookbook of breads at the used bookstore in Chatham last weekend, and it's got some good recipes for cinnamon rolls, tarts, and other cool bread-like things. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Looking back...

I was going over some old posts of mine tonight, looking back over the past few years, seeing how infrequently I posted at times. It does make it easier to read back when there aren't that many posts to read. It's left me in a bit of a pensive mood, and I'm reminded of my blog's description, "In memory of feelings felt..." Tonight I've really done that.

A few months ago, I was seeing a therapist (that's a long blog post for another day), and she once told me that grief is one of those things that you can put on a shelf when you aren't able to deal with it, and now and then, you take it down, and you can look at it again. You can feel the pain of the loss again, you can regret the missed opportunities, maybe cry some of those tears that were leftover, and then, you can be thankful for the happy memories that take the sting out of it all. Every now and then, you'll have moments when life gives you a chance to deal with it a little bit more.

I looked back at one post where I was asking about the whole when does time actually heal the wounds, and how do we know when that is? Well, it's been interesting tonight to look back at the healing process that's happened over the last few months in my life and see where I'm at today compared to then. Gosh, does it ever feel good not to be in that pit anymore!

And the funny thing is, I don't really remember when it was that I started to feel like myself again. It's just been a gradual, slowly over time, bit by bit, little by little, life goes back to normal -- "whatever your normal is".

And this has been WAY more introspective than I intended. Funny how my fingers sometimes go running off on me, and I end up in a place far from where I started. There's a lot of untold stories in all of this, but as I said earlier, that's a long post for another day.

To end off on a completely unrelated and somewhat more update-like note, Tim has been promoted to having a steady run at Northland! It's a run to Iowa, leaving Thursday night, back Sunday or Monday. It's not ideal to be over the weekend, but we'll take it for now, and the consistent income/work schedule will be a nice change. So that's that.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lessons from little ones

A little thing happened yesterday that stopped to make me think. I'm not even sure what the exact situation was, but Tim was trying to help Reuben with something, and he (Reuben) kept fighting him on it because he didn't understand what Tim was trying to do. So finally, I said to him, "Reuben, stop yelling. Daddy's just trying to help you."

Then it occurred to me, how often do we find ourselves in the same situation with our Heavenly Father? Life brings us into difficult and challenging situations; God pushes us out of our comfort zone and leads us down various paths -- all for our own good -- but we don't understand what He's doing for us, that He's trying to help us. And so we fight back, not realizing that if we would listen to Him, if we would follow His leading and His instructions, that it will be okay in the end because He really does know best.

Just a little thought I had...

(...and for the record, I did remember to sweep my floor last night!)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Some things I've been working on...

Well, the kids are napping, and I'm heading up for a quick snooze shortly, but I thought I'd get a quick post in while I've got a minute. There's so many things that I keep thinking to write about lately that I'm having a hard time sorting out what to say. One of these days I should probably just sit down and make a list of future posts.

In a continuation of my new goals for improving my homemaking skills, I thought I'd talk about some of the things I'm trying to work on. Two tips that I read from the blogs on my list include sweeping the floor every night after supper and making the beds every morning before going downstairs. So far, I've done pretty good at remembering to make the beds, although Reuben's bed always gets messed up from him playing on it and napping in the afternoon. I'm not doing as good at sweeping the kitchen floor, but the ants are doing a great job of making me motivated to keep the floor crumb free. If I leave anything tasty down there overnight, they've found it by morning, and I end up sweeping ants along with the dirt. Ick.

My next project is to attempt to start making homemade bread instead of buying it. Since I don't have a breadmaker, this might be a little work-intensive. Stay tuned...

Friday, August 27, 2010

About Homemaking...

Some of you may have wondered about a few of the blogs I've got posted on my blogroll and how so many of them are starting to be about homemaking. Well, it's been on the back of my mind for a while, and starting to be more at the front of my mind lately, that I want to get better at this whole being a housewife thing. I remember as a kid all I wanted was to get married and have kids. But now that it's happened, I've come to realize that I actually had no idea what all of that entailed. Life at home all day with the kids is not what I expected -- except that I don't really know what I was expecting.

Anyway, the point is that recently I've decided that I want to get better at being a good wife and mother; I want to be a better homemaker. This is my job, my mission that God has given me, and frankly, up till now, I've been doing a piss poor job of it. Sure, there's the standard excuse, "I've got two kids to take care of. I can't expect my house to be perfectly clean." And I don't. But there's not really any good reason to have my kitchen floor covered with crumbs for weeks at a time. Is it such a big deal to sweep up every night after supper? No, it's not.

So I've been reading blogs from other women who have made homemaking their career, and I've started to realize that it is a great source of encouragement to read about other women in the same situation as me, who have the same struggles as me, and I've found that some of them have some spectacular advice and tips on doing what it takes to keep the house running smoothly.

So that's why there's these homemaking blogs on my blogroll. Who knows? Maybe if I get better at posting stuff here on my blog, I'll go public again, and they might start reading here, too. We'll see...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Meet our van

This is a very nice picture of our new vehicle. It's not an actual picture because we still have to pick it up yet, but we have paid for it, and the used car dealer is taking care of switching over the ownership etc. We should have it no later than Thursday, although I'm hoping we'll get it sooner. Ours is, of course, used and therefore not in as good condition as this picture, but I think it will suit us fine. It is a 2004 Ford Freestar with a little over 120,000 kms on it. There are no current plans to provide it with any sort of name.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Of wine touring and new homes...

We're just back from a lovely afternoon of wine touring with some friends. It was the first wine tour we'd ever done, and I quite enjoyed it. The tours were informative, the wine samples flowed freely, and I think a good time was had by all. I would definitely recommend it if you've never gone on one.

I will admit, though, that now that I'm here at home and looking back over the day, I don't remember having any particular moments of revelation. Which feels weird. I think my brain got shut off at some point, and I just went through the day being with the people and enjoying the wine, but not thinking about anything. That is so not like me. I'm not sure if I quite like it.

Anyway, enough being maudlin. In more exciting news, we finalized an offer on a house today! That's right! We're buying a house! It's in Stoney Creek, a lovely little 1 1/2 storey detached home with three bedrooms and a garage. It's perfect for us I think, and we got it for a good price, too. The closing date is Oct 15, and we should have a bit of overlap time from when we get the keys to when we need to move out of our current place, which will give us time to clean and paint etc.

We haven't found a new vehicle yet, though. Hopefully that will come soon...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Easy Chicken & Broccoli

I made this for supper tonight.

I've made this several times before. It's one of my favorite quick and easy recipes. The only thing is that you MUST add salt and pepper or else it ends up totally bland. I usually add two or three pinches of salt (yes, pinches) and about a 1/8 to 1/4 tsp of pepper. Also, I find it works better to wait to add the cheese until you are absolutely certain the rice is cooked all the way through. I don't find the five minutes is quite enough time, so I will often stir it at that point, then let it cook some more. Once it's done, I'll put the cheese on to melt while I set the table to eat and call everyone to sit down. It stays super hot, so you don't have to worry about it cooling down too much too soon after you take it off the stove. DON'T BURN YOUR MOUTH ON THE BROCCOLI!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Caramelized Beef Skewers

I made these for lunch today.

They were very tasty. They definitely need to be eaten soon after being taken off the bbq because they cool down quickly. If you click on the picture, it will take you to the recipe. I have done this for all the previous food pictures I've posted as well. For the record, I have taken my own pictures of the skewers. However, our computer had to be rebuilt today, and Tim is gone, so I have no idea how to get the program on our computer to get the pictures off our camera. You'll have to wait to see how mine actually turned out.

Also, for all who may be yet unaware, we have decided that instead of fixing our car (which needs a new transmission to the tune of $2,000) we are going to buy a new-to-us van. Unfortunately, Tim is gone for work till next Tuesday or Wednesday, so I am currently driving a rental car until he gets a chance to go out and find something for us. Not that I'm complaining. I get to drive this:

It's a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt with AIR CONDITIONING!! Anyway, I need to go to bed now because it's late, but I just thought I would share.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Saucy Pepper Steak

I'm in Chatham for the weekend while Tim is out on a run, and last night for supper I made Saucy Pepper Steak.

It was very yummy.

In other news, our car broke the other day while we were on the way to bringing Tim to work. Thankfully, and quite ironically, I had to drop him off at an auto shop where he was picking up the truck for work that had been brought there for service. The shifter on our car stopped working just on the last hill before we got there, and we were able to coast into their parking lot. We have to wait until Monday for someone to take a look at it and give us a verdict, but it looks like we may need a new transmission. Ugh.

Friday, August 06, 2010

BBQ Chicken Packets

Wow! I was so impressed to have three comments already on my previous post! I can't believe people actually check my blog that often.

In honor of that, I'm actually posting two days in a row. It helps that I tried a new recipe for lunch today, so that's my main reason. This is what we had:

Barbecued Chicken Packet

It was quite tasty. When they say 15 minutes on the bbq, they mean 15 minutes. Don't leave it on longer because you're worried about it not being done. I left it on slightly longer, and I didn't need to. Also, we (Tim and I) decided that more bbq sauce would be better as well, or maybe some salt and pepper on the chicken. Either way, the chicken needed slightly more flavor. All in all, an extremely easy meal to make, not at all ingredient-intensive, and I would definitely recommend trying it.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Some yumminess

Isn't it funny how I say I'm going to get better at posting regularly, and then I never do? The problem is that every time I have a spare moment to post something, I'm not feeling particularly inspired. And then, of course, the times when I am inspired, I'm nowhere near my computer, or the kids are up, and I couldn't get the time to post if I wanted.

Anyway, life moves on. We are currently in the middle of a ridiculously hot spell of weather. I was appalled this morning when I heard the weather on the radio, and at 10:30 am it was 24C, but felt like 33C. I haven't left my house since about 11, and I'm a little concerned how much hotter it's going to be now. Even worse, I have to actually get into my car, which has a black interior and no air conditioning, and drive to pick up my kids. Ugh. So much for my shower...

Besides the weather, the kids are doing well. Reuben loves to tell stories about anything and everything, and boy, does he have a lot of words to use up! Kaylee says "Mama" now and has begun making babbling noises, so I fear she is not far behind him. She walks everywhere and even looks like she's about to take off running on occasion. She is sleeping generally better, but occasionally still has a rough night where she's up two or three times. I consider it a good night if she's only up once. (It's an even greater night when she sleeps all the way through, like last night, but those are few and far between.)

I've gone on a bit of a domestic kick lately, which means my dishes sometimes actually get done twice a day instead of just the customary once in the morning. I've also had some fun going through my Kraft What's Cooking magazines, and I've picked out some new recipes to try. I've been getting them for years, and I always look through them thinking, "Oh, that looks yummy. Oh, I should make that." But then, I never do because I'm always missing one of the ingredients. So I decided to go through them and pick out some recipes BEFORE I get my groceries so that I can make sure I have what I need in the house. Maybe I'll have to use that as my inspiration for posting more, letting you all know the new and yummy things I've been making. Here's some pics (from the Kraft website) of the recipes I've tried so far.

Southwestern Stuffed Burgers

Garden Vegetable Salad Stackers

Oreo & Fudge Ice Cream Cake

Chicken Berry Spinach Salad

Saturday, June 12, 2010


I'm sitting here in my parent's house in Chatham with just me and Kaylee while everyone else has gone garage sale-ing, and I feel like I should be doing something productive like updating my blog. Of course, I just woke up from a nap, so my brain is foggy and not really thinking of anything inspirational to write. As always, I love getting a break from the city to visit my parents beautiful home. They recently purchased a hot tub, so that is adding nicely to the relaxational value of being here. I will admit that sometimes I do wish that I didn't have two children to watch so I could go sit in it and just chill. Maybe then I'd be able to come up with something a little more worthwhile to post...

That being said, even with Kaylee whining at me and pulling on my leg as I sit here, it is so nice to be able to hear birds instead of road noise and see gardens and trees instead of townhouses and concrete. I remember in one of my religion classes at Redeemer that we talked about how the Bible moves from garden to city (Eden to the new Jerusalem), and that is apparently the direction we're all headed. I sure hope that God's city, the new Jerusalem, is a heck of a lot nicer than the cities we humans have made because I find our cities to be pretty doggone crummy and not at all peaceful places.

Anyway, I feel like that was kind of random. My brain is definitely not thinking clearly, even after two cups of coffee for breakfast. And yes, I actually managed to have a nap at 9:00 in the morning after having said coffee. What does that tell you about how tiring my kids are? Kaylee decided not to go back to sleep this morning after her 5am feed, and I was not impressed.

Well, I'm not sure what else is to be said. I can't think of anything deep to say, so now that I've done my duty and updated with nothing, I'm going to go now.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hebrews 10:25

So I should be going to bed. I've typed up the file that's due Monday afternoon, and I'll proof it tomorrow. I'm tired. But for some reason I decided to procrastinate on sleeping and catch up with blogs, so now I feel like posting too.

I've had some interesting thoughts lately, but of course, never got around to writing them down when I had them. The most recent bouts of thinking have surrounded something I mentioned in my last post about how our church is taking an eight week break from Sunday morning services. We're working through The Tangible Kingdom primer in small groups as an alternative to having regular services. My understanding was that the exercise was supposed to help us lose our dependence on Sunday morning services as our way of doing "church", that we're supposed to learn how to do church throughout the whole week.

Well, I can see how that is a noble purpose, but as tomorrow will be week four and only the halfway point through our "break", I can honestly say, I don't think we're accomplishing the intended goal. There are a number of reasons for this, the main one being that I don't feel like there's been enough of an emphasis put on us as a church body to maintain contact with one another throughout the week during this whole process. Yes, we've been put in small groups. But the groups are very, very small -- as in, Tim and I are with only two other couples. Other than the close friends we already have from the church, we aren't in contact with anyone else from the church, and we haven't been encouraged or given opportunities to make that contact. It's really hard to cold call other people from the church to say, "Hey," when you don't know them that well to begin with except for when you would normally see them in church on Sunday. But at the same time, I miss being able to connect with those people.

That being said, I had originally started out this process being really excited to see what was going to happen over these eight weeks. I'm not that excited anymore. I don't think we're accomplishing what we were supposed to. Frankly, I realize now just how dependent I am on that Sunday morning service, and I don't think it's a bad thing. Yes, we are supposed to do church all through the week, but at the same time, the Sunday morning services have an extremely important place, and I don't think we should be downplaying that. It really is the most convenient time of the week to reconnect with people. Life happens during the rest of the week. People have jobs. Not to mention, there is seriously something to be said for needing that corporate worship setting to experience God in a way that you just can't while listening to worship music in your car while driving.

I have discovered that I desperately need my Sunday morning church services. I think I knew this before -- it was actually a lesson I learned one summer while doing a French immersion program in Quebec where I went five weeks without going to a single church service because the closest church to where I lived was still a good half hour hike in both directions, not to mention the fact that it was a French Catholic church. After five weeks of no Christian fellowship to speak of, let's just say I learned how important it is to keep meeting with other believers. This time around, I had hoped that the small group settings would fill in the gap a little bit better, but I'm afraid that I'm finding it's not quite cutting it. I don't know if it's my group, or the curriculum, or something else, but I miss going to church on Sunday.

I miss it even more this weekend while Tim is away at the All Ontario Youth Convention, and I'm stuck here at home with the kids trying to figure out how to entertain ourselves for four days while he's gone. Our pastor had discouraged us from going to other churches on Sunday mornings as a replacement; well, tough luck. By golly, I'm finding a church to go to tomorrow morning whether he likes it or not!

Anyway, that's my rant for the night. I think I'm finding it particularly frustrating because I just wish I could be at Convention with Tim this weekend, but can't be because I'm still nursing Kaylee. Well. Next year.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Bland and uninspired

Okay, so I was bad and didn't post for a while. I guess life got busy again. I think I was waiting for inspiration, but didn't have anything come to me for a while, and then, I didn't think about doing just an update post. I think maybe we'll stick with bland and uninspired today so you can all catch up on what life has been doing for us lately.

Tim has a new job. He has officially (and finally) quit working full-time for Artech and has gone back to driving for Northland Transport. He is doing long hauls, usually leaving Monday and back Thursday. Some weeks look a little different, but in general, he's gone about three nights a week. I'd prefer if that were down to two, but it has been their busy season with Easter and Mother's Day.

Kaylee is crawling, pulling herself up on furniture, and doing stairs (up, not down). She is also finally getting some more teeth, although has been quite miserable with it. She spent last week dealing with a fever and being utterly inconsolable, but the tooth that's coming seems to be a monster, so I don't blame her for being so cranky. I would prefer if she would go back to her happy self, which she has for the most part, but I'm not going to have any hair left after a while if this keeps up for too long.

Reuben is himself, a very busy two and half year old that has discovered he likes to come out of his bed, and when he wakes up at 6 in the morning, it makes for a very tired Mommy. I'm trying to find ways to keep him occupied from that 6 to 7 stretch so that I can get some more sleep before Kaylee wakes up for the day. Veggie Tales videos have become my friend, and I like that the old VCR's are a lot more child-friendly to use. (I know, my son has already figured out how to make it rewind/fast forward and then play again. It's scary what he can do with technology.)

I am managing. With Kaylee still not sleeping through the night, giving me at the most two or three hour stretches (on a good night), I'm quite exhausted. One night this week, she actually slept from 8:30 till 3:30, solid. I got a five hour chunck of sleep for myself, and I couldn't believe how much better I felt in the morning. What I wouldn't give for her to make that a habit! She's gotten much better at being able to settle herself to sleep when I put her down without me needing to keep my hand on her, so I'm hoping that will slowly translate to her being able to settle herself down through the night as well.

Well, that's all for now. Maybe someday soon inspiration will strike again for another more indepth post. Our church is doing an interesting 8-weeks without Sunday services thing that might provide some thought-provoking possibilities...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I am extremely wound up at the moment and feeling the need to blow off some steam, so I've put the kettle on to boil for tea, and with the smell of fresh apple bread filling my kitchen, I'm settling in to do some ranting.

First things first, whoever thought it was a brilliant idea to spray poison liquid in our houses to kill ants was not a genius. To begin with, it takes a ridiculous amount of work to prepare your house for said spraying, especially when you live in a tiny, two-bedroom townhouse with small children and every wall has furniture on it and every cupboard and closet is crammed with stuff. Then, you aren't allowed to clean your baseboards and cupboards for four weeks after the spraying has been completed, which basically means you're living with poison everywhere for a month. When you have children under the age of three who are crawling around on the floor and putting everything in their mouths, this is a disgusting and scary thought, not to mention the fact that our dishes and food are sitting in cupboards that have also been coated in poison. Ick.

Secondly, to make an official announcement along with my ranting, Tim no longer works for Artech. He has finally taken the plunge and gone back to trucking at Northland full-time. So far, we are ecstatic not to be dealing with the stress that is working at the mis-micro-un-managed Artech Communications. However, we do still have do deal with an overtime settlement in regards to Tim's hours for 2009, as well as somehow getting a check for his vacation pay owing, as well as some corporate expenses that went on our credit card that shouldn't have. Suffices to say, they are a bunch of idiots, and I'm getting an ulcer just thinking about their stupidity. I won't go into great details about just how stupid they are, but I will say that if they don't get their act together and come up with a number that we can agree on, we will go to the ESA and file a claim, just see if we don't. Honestly, we were ready to deal with this peaceably, until they started saying that when Tim worked a 40 hour week, 9 to 5 every day, that he still owes them 2.5 hours of lieu time for lunch breaks. GAAAAHHH!!!

Anyway, I'm not feeling anymore settled, and I have an inkling that thinking about this as I blog is only adding to my sense of angst. My water is almost boiled; I'm going to go have a cup of tea and work on a puzzle until Reuben wakes up from his nap.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"See, I am doing a new thing!"

I had the great privilege this past weekend of going to a Living Proof conference in Toronto where Beth Moore was the speaker. It was an excellent experience, both because of the opportunity to get out for a Friday evening/Saturday morning without the kids and because of the spiritual experience that I got to have reconnecting with God. I found the theme for the weekend, the title of my post, Isaiah 43:19, quite appropriate. I have been desperate for God to do a new thing in my life, especially when it comes to my relationship with Him, and I hope that this weekend will prove to be the turning point as far as that goes.

I had actually thought that I would have some more profound thoughts to say on the subject, but I'm drawing a blank at the moment. Go figure. I have an evening to myself, Tim's gone on a trucking run, the kids are in bed, I have no work tonight, there's nothing good on TV yet, and I can't figure out what to say on my blog.

...however, as I finished typing that, I just remembered something that I've been meaning to do and never seem to find time for, and that is to watch Season 1 of Stargate Universe that a friend gave me...hmmmm...first I have to figure out how to play movies off the XBox another friend is lending us as the format that I received Stargate in won't play off of our DVD player...

Anyway, I think I'll end this there, then. Isn't it great that I'm blogging more regularly again?!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Inspiration from the Olympics

In reference to Justine's comment on my previous post, yes, I am the one you had the discussion with about the Olympics in reference to people needing something to believe in. I had intended to blog about that at some point, but then I forgot all the profound things I was going to say on the subject. Maybe I'll attempt to cover it now, although I'm sure it won't be as good as I originally intended.

Now, granted, the Olympics have been over for a while now, but it was around the time it ended when there were different discussions happening about how Canadians were really coming through to show their pride in their country etc. etc, that I started having some thoughts about nationalism and patriotism and how all of that fits in to our lives as Christians. I did not come to any firm conclusions on the matter, but one of the things I had commented about to Justine (and maybe to a few other people, I can't remember) was how it really goes to show just how desperately people are looking for something to believe in, and the Olympics gave that to them. I had to wonder what the world would look like if as many people put the passion they felt for the Olympics and being Canadian into a passion for God.

Leading out of that, and this I did not get into in my discussion with Justine, was a massive sense of awe that I experienced after the closing ceremonies. It struck me that the emotions we felt during the Olympics, pride in our Canadian atheletes, joy at watching them win, the awe we felt when watching the opening and closing ceremonies, the sense of solidarity and togetherness we felt as a nation -- think about how much more of that we will experience as Christians when Christ returns and we see God in all His glory; how much more awesome, how much more joy -- my mind was absolutely blown away, and I felt actual fear when I thought about it, fear that when that day comes, I just might not be able to handle all the incredible awesomeness that God is, that my heart just might explode in my chest. I actually prayed to God that He would not let me be too overwhelmed on that day... Is that wierd?

So, in all this, you may be interested to know, dear Reader, that in this past week since writing my last post, I have felt God's presence in my life in a way that I have not felt for a very long time, if ever. It is a rather pleasant change that I hope will stay around for a while...

Friday, March 05, 2010

Jonah 2:2-9

Earlier this week, I had some really good ideas for another blog post. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to write them down right away, so now I forget most of what I was going to say. This is a feeble attempt to remember what they were for you...

I was driving home from my Mom 2 Mom group on Monday night when I had most of these thoughts. For some reason, driving is a very therapeutic time for me. The kids (when they're with me, and for once, they weren't that night) are usually quiet. I can put some music on and just think.

On Monday night in particular, I was driving my sister's car, and she had a Sarah McLachlin CD playing -- excellent music to emote to. The moon was full, and the reflection on the water as I drove over the Burlington Skyway bridge made my heart ache. The car passed from shadow to light, shadow to light as the streetlights passed overhead. There's something about driving at night that makes me even more melancholy.

I found myself wondering, when do we begin to heal? The cliche, "Time heals all wounds," comes to mind just now, but it's just such a lame statement that, while maybe true, doesn't really offer much in the way of help. Do we heal gradually, without noticing it, until one day, after "time" has gone by, we wake up and realize we no longer hurt? Or do we somewhere along the way force ourselves to heal by engaging in therapeutic acts, writing blog posts that haven't been written for too much time, laughing at funny movies when we'd rather be crying, playing games with our friends when we just want to be alone, cleaning the house when we'd rather just let it stay dirty...the acts of living life to the fullest instead of wallowing in our misery...

I think sometimes we have no choice but to do those little things that help us claw our way out of that deep pit. Maybe if the pit weren't so deep, we could wait for it to slowly fill back in with dirt until we get back on even ground. But sometimes...sometimes, it takes a litle more effort.

Okay, that was deeper than I meant it to be (hah, no pun intended). Leaving now. Kaylee's done her snack. Ponder that if you will...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

In contemplation...

Lo and behold, I find myself with a small desire to blog today, so I'm taking advantage of the urge to write something a little more contemplative, seeing as how I just did an update not that long ago. The funny thing is, life has taken so many twists and turns that I hardly know to where I should turn my thoughts, to focus my contemplations.

I could think of Grandma, and how a silly little thing like using milk bags to store my cheese in reminds me of her. And how thinking of her makes me also think of the funny way she used to say, "Yep, yep" in a kind of breathy way, and how she used to call Grandpa "Daddy", and now I do that with Tim.

I could think of Aunt Jean, and remember how I taught her piano for a little while, and how she really wanted to learn some Christmas songs to play to her kids. And I could think about how we never did get to have coffee together sometime after Christmas like we'd talked about... Or I remember how stark and cold the landscape looked the night we drove back to Hamilton after finding out she had died; the way the moon reflected off the snow on the fields echoed the bleakness in my heart.

I could think about how exhausted and drained I feel; tired from lack of sleep (I blame Kaylee...); worn out from experiencing so many emotions, so many changes; lost in this odd feeling of fogginess when I try to think about who I am now and what my life has become. I feel like I need to somehow catch up with myself and where I'm at in the timeline of my life.

I could think about the good things that are happening in my life behind the scenes of all the sadness. How absolutely adorable my kids are...the way Kaylee smiles with her whole body and gets so incredibly excited every time she sees her Daddy; the twinkle in Reuben's eyes when he smiles. How I'm starting to make new connections and friends at our church... How we have been so supported by all of our friends and family with everything that has gone on... How God continues to be faithful to provide for us in so many ways, and how He is always there, even when I am not good at drawing near to Him. You'd think with everything going on I'd be so much better at leaning on Him...I'm not.

*big sigh* That was a lot of contemplating. Kaylee is now fussing to be fed, so that is where this will end. Not sure how much longer it will be till I get back to this much contemplating, but there it is...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"...through shadow, to the edge of night..."

On the off chance that anyone is still checking this, I figured it was high time I posted at least a quick update. Kaylee woke me up early this morning, and I haven't managed to get the energy to get Reuben out of bed yet, so I've been checking other people's blogs and felt guilty that I haven't posted since last July. Clearly, it's been a while, so much has happened.

To be really quick: Grandma Moelker passed away November 29, 2009. Oma Wikkerink (Tim's grandmother) passed away December 27, 2009. Aunt Jean (Dad's sister) was killed in a car accident January 30, 2010. Three funerals in the space of three months has been a bit much.

Kaylee is not sleeping through the night yet. She gets absolutely miserable when she's teething, and it seems like she's constantly teething, although we have yet to see anything more than her two front bottom teeth.

Reuben is basically toilet trained. I still have him in pullups for naps and overnight, but he doesn't really need them. He talks a lot, but it's not always understandable, and I end up spending a lot of time translating for him.

Tim is still at Artech, but I think he's quitting as soon as he gets back from Vancouver.

I'm still doing transcription. Kaylee's pathetic sleeping habits have me quite exhausted, which is probably why I don't post much anymore. Frankly, I don't do a whole lot of anything on the Internet anymore. Funny how two kids will change your priorities.

Anyway, that's it for now. I'd like to say I'll post more regularly, but I wouldn't count on it at this point.