Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah!

Last night, as things were winding down and I was preparing for school the next day, I finished cleaning the kitchen and started the dishwasher. I set the boys' clothes out and sorted through the mountain of papers that somehow find their way home each day. I pulled out the lunch kits, which smelled of garlic sausage and cheese, and headed for the kitchen and some antibac cleaner.

And stepped in a puddle of water.

I glanced down to find a small pool forming under my dishwasher door. Huh? What did this mean? What would I do? Don't tell me my new-in-April dishwasher was failing! What was to become of me?!

I woke Chad, desperate for answers and reassurance. He looked at it, asked me why I hadn't mopped it up, told me he couldn't deal with it now, and went back to bed.

I got up this morning and hand washed two cereal bowls and spoons - Chad had fed Kolten already. My dishes have been piling up all day and I haven't had the time to deal with them. My plan was to cook the kids an early supper, rush them to piano lessons and from there to Awanas, and then, in the short hour-and-a-half of blissful, child-free time, come home and hand wash a day's worth of dirty dishes.

Welllll, Chad was home for lunch and took a quick look at the dishwasher. We decided to give it a go and see what happens. So far it's running fine and there is no water on the floor...yet. I'm continuing to check on it, but praise the Lord! It looks like it's hands-free dish washing for me!

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Day Stuff Happened

Ten years ago today, at almost exactly this time, I was standing before a preacher, pledging my love and fidelity to the man of my dreams. Since that day, he has become more than a dream. He is my life, my love, my friend, my support, my encourager and my comfort. He is the soft place to land when life knocks me down. He has filled the last decade with love, laughter, fun, excitement and challenge. He is the father of my three sons and a wonderful partner in parenting.

Ten years ago I could never have imagined where this life would take me. It has been a journey on which I have learned much and hopefully grown - not counting the *few* extra pounds I've picked up along the way. I have been abundantly blessed for one so undeserving. God has given me more than my heart's desires.

Chad, I love you more with each passing day, month, year. Thank you for the last, and best, ten years. I can't wait to see where life and love take us from here. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Happy Birthday, BFF

My good friend is turning 30 today. She's one of those very special, unique people that, if you're lucky, you meet once in a lifetime. We've been friends for just over five years and our friendship is one of God's greatest blessings in my life. I count it a privilege to know her and an honour to call her 'friend'.

So, Happy Birthday, T. You are truly "30 and Fabulous!"

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The New Additions

I realized I forgot to include our puppy's name in my previous post. His name is Oscar. We got him from a family and they had already named him, but I like it. He's used to living on an acreage, but is doing well adjusting to city life.

He's been with us for three days and has already been to see the vet for his shots. He goes on July 6 to have the snippity-snip, and then back two weeks after that for a booster and rabies shots. In his short time with us, he's also taken his first swim in a pool. He ran straight into our friends' yard and headed for the pool. The cover was on and I guess he thought he could walk on water. Craig managed to fish him out.

I took him yesterday to get him a bigger kennel and also got his face shaved and nails clipped. Here's his new look.

I also had to call a tow truck service to come and let me in my car. I had left it running (didn't want the dog to get too hot) with my purse and spare set of keys inside while I quickly ran into the church. Oscar hopped up to see where I was going...and stepped on the locking button. No amount of encouragement could get him to jump up a second time. He just sat there looking pathetic and innocent with this aren't-you-going-to-let-me-out? look on his face. The towing people had a nice laugh, but made me feel better when they said it's not the first time someone had called with the same predicament.

Since I wrote the above, Oscar has been fixed and is back home with us. They sent him home with a cone around his head to keep him from irritating the incision site. That lasted all of 24 hours. By then I was done with following him around to carry him up the stairs. The cone was too big and him too short. Every time he tried to run up, the cone would hit the back of the next stair and send him tumbling backwards. While comical, probably not the best thing after surgery.

Also, I discovered he didn't fit in his kennel when I tried shoving him in and got him stuck. I had to twist the cone - and his head - to get him back out. Connor was also sick that night and sleeping on the floor in our room. It made for a VERY long night, lying awake, worried that Oscar would sneak out of the room and puke on my new living room carpet - which he's done a few times already - or that Connor would end up kicking the dog, starting a chain reaction of events, or need a middle-of-the-night emergency trip to the hospital. THANKFULLY, neither happened and Connor is now feeling better and the cone is gone.

In other exciting news (a little sarcasm there) we have another family that decided to move in with us. There's six or seven of them altogether.

This family has their nest right under our deck on one of the beams. I was outside with Oscar after it rained, and peeked under to see if the eggs had hatched. I had seen the mom and dad coming back to the nest with worms a few days prior. This is what I saw. I sat on the grass and took a bunch of pictures. After about ten minutes I heard a familiar call and turned around to see the dad returning with supper.

The next day I went out to check on them and both parents had left the nest. I was able to capture these pictures.

The chicks have all since left the nest and we see them around every now and then. Today I saw one hop into the weed bed on the side of our house and shortly after, the mamma bird returned with more worms. We're really hoping they will continue to use the nest year after year.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Finally, Something to Blog

Okay, that title is just a joke. These last few months have been busy with lots of happenings I would love to have shared at the time. BUT I'm just now getting around to it and to spare the two people who check this blog (Hi Ron and Grandma), I'll give the abbreviated versions.

- In February we celebrated three birthdays. Kolten, Connor and Chad. Those are just in my household. We also celebrated my brother's *now* wife's birthday as well. So happy VERY belated to you! March brought three more birthdays for us. Busy months and also a reason why...

- Chad and I took a weekend away at the end of March and headed to the city. We left the children with my parents and spent three days foot-loose and fancy-free. It was bliss. We ended our mini holiday with the annual dinner theatre we do with Chad's parents and brother and sister-in-law. It was FABULOUS! We're planning on making it a yearly tradition to give us a breather after the craziness of previous months.

- Sometime in April I realized that while I had thought my health was improving from the last year, I had in fact stalled and was slipping backwards. I saw my doctor and found out I'm anemic. We're working on finding the reason, but he's put me on extra iron and it has really boosted my energy. It's strange to have all these emotions after months of numbness, but it's good. I feel good.
- I turned 29 in May and that's all I'm going to say about that!

- My good friend got married the last weekend in May and I did the music for her wedding. It had long been planned that she would not force me to wear another bridesmaid dress, and in exchange I would take care of the music for her. She knows I love her and, had she asked, I would have put on a dress and smiled for the camera. She also knows me too well and didn't make me. ;-) (Love ya, Kristen!)

- My older brother got married the very next weekend. YEAH! He married a gem of a girl. Chad was a groomsman, Connor was the ring bearer and I played and sang during the ceremony, along with good friend and worship team member, Ira. That guy has mad skills on the guitar and I accompanied him while he played musical numbers of "The Hallelujah Chorus" by Leonard Cohen, and "This Year's Love" by David Grey. During the signing of the register, we did the Steven Curtis Chapman song "I Will Be Here".

My boys had SO MUCH fun at the wedding and dance. Benen went strong until 1:30 a.m. Connor took a short cat nap around midnight and then was back at it. Kolten lasted until about 11:00 and then crashed on some chairs and slept the rest of the night away. The music was a live band called "Five on the Side." My brother is the bass player of the band and they are AWESOME! We've also gotten to know the lead singer, Sarah, and her husband and drummer, Justin, quite well over the years.

Anyhooo, during rehearsal the night before, they played the song "Ballroom Blitz" and my kids went nuts! This happens to be one of their favorite songs from Rock Band. The were psyched to learn the band would be playing that song at the wedding reception. When it came time, Sarah called Connor and Benen up to the stage to dance. I think she wanted them to dance at the front, but Connor didn't miss a beat. He hopped RIGHT UP ON STAGE and began dancing. Benen wasn't long in joining his brother and the two tore it up! At one point, the lead guitarist got down on one knee and rocked out beside them. Connor also got to end the song singing alongside Sarah to "It's, it's a ballroom blitz. It's it's a ballroom blitz." They LOVED it and so did everyone else. One guy came up to shake Connor's hand at the end and handed him $10! The entire night was a blast!

- So, after the last crazy six months (and the previous year), I finally decided to take the summer off worship. I won't be leading or participating in any way. Chad really encouraged me, and with the support of the pastor, other worship leaders and my friends, I finally took the leap. Or, in this case, giant step back. I haven't had a break in at least seven years and I have never completely stepped away. BUT, I was feeling the need for a summer filled focusing on my kids with no other responsibilities. I can hardly wait. School is officially out at the end of this week and I can't wait to hit the pool, the beach and have lots of water fights. I'm gonna stock up on water balloons and try to enjoy each minute of the next couple of months.

Side note: This is the first week my team is playing without me and it's all I can do NOT to step in and help plan and organize it. I'm finding it harder than I expected. I love everyone on the team and I think that's why it's so hard to step back.

- And now, some pretty big, significant news. WE JUST ADOPTED A CUTE SIX MONTH OLD BOY! I always thought if we adopted, it would be a girl. You know, sorta balance out the testosterone that flows through this house. But what can I say? When it's right, it's right. I think he will be the perfect addition to our home. I mean, just look at that face.

The boys had absolutely NO idea that we were considering getting a puppy. With Chad's and my allergies,we've always told the boys that it just wasn't an option. BUT kids need pets and boys need puppies. This little guy is so sweet and mild tempered. My hubby never had any pets growing up and I had to do some fancy talking to get him to accept the idea of a dog. Notice the dog's collar and tag? Edmonton Oilers. Whose idea do you think that was?

I went early this morning to Camrose, about two hours from where I live, to pick him up. I took him to the school when I went to get the boys and they were SHOCKED. Benen's exact words were.

"No way! Tell me the truth. You're kidding! Have you told Connor yet?"

Anyways, he's not as playful as the boys would like, but I think that will come as he settles in.

And that, in a nutshell, has been my life the last few months.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Ultimate Reality Show

I have always been a person who sees in black and white, right and wrong. I love to see justice prevail - the good guys win; the bad guys get what's coming to them. My heart goes out to the underdog, the person or persons who are faced with extreme odds, the ones who are picked on and persecuted. Combine that with my love of MMA (mixed martial arts) and I believe you'll understand why I'm so excited about the premiere of this new reality show. My hubby showed it to me. He said it's as if someone custom-made a t.v. show just for me.

Well, I guess you know what I'll be doing this Sunday.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Since there has been a lot of stuff I haven't had the chance to blog about, I figured I'd do a picture blog. It's all the stuff I've wanted to share, but haven't had the time or energy to pull together.

A random day in January...

Chad took the boys tobogganing. We live across the street from a big park with two sledding hills, bike paths and a lake. The biggest hill is directly across the street from my front window.

When you live in Canada...

A convenient way to dry skates.

My son, the artist...

Benen drew this wonderful portrait. Can you guess who it is? Yup, it's yours truly. If you missed the resemblance, check out my profile pic on the sidebar.

Let's rock...

Kolten and his BFF formed a band and put on a show.

The birthdays...

Kolten turned three and Connor turned seven. We held Connor's birthday at the bowling alley and had twelve kids; nine boys and three girls.

Valentine's Day...

Do I have the best BFF or what? Chocolate and coffee - she knows me well.

Wounded little soldier...

Kolten, two days after his accident.

The End

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to ER we go...

Here's something I never want to experience again - taking my three-year-old boy to the hospital for stitches. I realize I'm not the first mom to go through this kind of ordeal, nor will I be the last, but it's certainly something I pray I will never have to repeat.

Now, being a mom of three boys, I've always understood that emergency room visits would be an unavoidable part of my life. I just didn't count on my baby being three the first time I had to hold him down while a doctor sutured his face. No one really knows what, exactly, happened, but we're guessing he fell off the foot stool in my parents' basement and smashed his chin on one of the chairs. It's actually to the left of his chin, along the jaw bone. It took five stitches in total to close the wound; one on the inside, and four on the outside. The fatty part of his cheek was actually hanging out a bit and the doctor tried to poke it back in as he stitched. One piece refused to stay in and I watched as the doctor took scissors and snipped it off. Yes, I was there through the whole procedure, helping the the nurse and...male nurse/doctor/paramedic (not sure exactly what he was) restrain my thrashing baby.

The one thing I can say is God is good. Actually, He's down-right amazing. I have bragged on this blog that I have THE most amazing, wonderful doctor EVER! And we've seen quite a bit of him in the last two months. As we drove to the hospital, I had the fleeting thought of how nice it would be if he was the doctor on call. I immediately dismissed the notion, not even bothering to put the thought to prayer. The first sound I heard as I entered the sliding glass doors was the sound of Wonder Doctor's voice. At least I thought it might, could possibly be. I stood in disbelief, straining to hear. Then I snuck closer so I could get a tiny peek in the curtained off room. I didn't want to totally violate some one's right to privacy, so I settled for checking out the shoes I could see below the curtain. The feet were the right size, the shoes the right style and...IT WAS HIM! Isn't God awesome? I was humbled as I was reminded again that he knows the deepest desires of our hearts. He knows our inner-most thoughts and even when we can not put words to prayer, He answers.

So, now we're home, my family is sleeping and I'm even contemplating calling it an early (for me) night. Kolten's left cheek and jaw are swollen up like a chipmunk and he's not able to open his mouth wide enough to fit a spoon in which is making it a little hard to feed him. BUT, he has all his teeth and although he's going to turn all shades of blue, black, purple and green over the next couple of weeks, the bruising will fade, the swelling will recede, and the gash will heal. The kids are off school for spring break next week, so I think we'll take it a bit easier. I have play dates lined up for them, but nothing important that can't be changed.

And now, I've got to go change over the laundry and then I'm heading to bed. I may even turn the light off before midnight. Maybe.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I was hoping to maintain this blog better in the new year, hoping to post more regularly, but obviously it hasn't happened. Which goes to show that good intentions will get you nowhere...or in my case, as far as the coffee pot.

My life has been a series of doctors' appointments and sleepless nights. I know, I know, it sounds like I'm whining, but it seriously has NOT stopped since the beginning of January. I'll come to a place where I think it's finally behind us, only to have some other strange symptom appear and then it's off to the doctor's office or emergency room we go.

Anyways, my ambition and creativity are at an all time low. BUT, I'm gonna add a quick update and hope you'll all forgive me for the scattered, unedited, sloppy, wordy sentences that is my mind lately...thought runs into thought, which runs into thought...you get the picture.

* First off, please, if you are a praying person, pray for my son, Connor. It sounds bad to say, but I am exhausted with all the weird things happening to him and just need it to stop! If I'm not losing sleep because he wakes me, I'm losing sleep worrying about the weirdness that's cropped up in him. Nothing serious or life-threatening...just weird and bizaare...and I need it to end and for him to be healthy.

Since I wrote the above, we saw our amazing doctor and I believe Connor is on the final stretch. One last thing to fix and I'm hoping, praying, we'll all remain healthy.

** A conversation a couple of weeks ago...

Connor - "Dad, do I have to go to school tomorrow?"
Chad - "Yes."
Connor - Big long sigh. "I don't want to go. I'd rather stay home."
Chad - "Why? What's wrong with school."
Connor - "There's this girl I sit by, and everday she loses her pencil and then she always says I took it and I don't! Why would I take her pencil? I have my own pencils!"
Chad - "Well, next time she does that, tell the teacher that she's blaming you and you don't like it. The teacher will deal with it."

A few days ago...

Me - "Hey, Honey, how was school?"
Connor - "Good."
Me - "Did you eat all your lunch?"
Connor - "Uh...I don't think so....no."
Me - "You didn't? Why?"
Connor - "Some of the girls took my nutrigrain bar and smashed it until it was all in little pieces."
Me - "They did?! "
Connor - "Uh-huh. And they also took some of my lunch and hid it. They took my napkin, I think."
Me - "Oh."
Connor - Sounding confused and frustrated, "Why would they do that?"
Me - "Um, they were probably just trying to be funny. They were just teasing you."
Connor - "Well I didn't like it and I told my teacher. She said that she would take care of it and that they wouldn't do it anymore.
Me - "Okay, that's good."

Later at supper that night...

Connor - "Dad, I told my teacher that the girls were taking my lunch and she said she would stop them. That was some good advice you gave me, Dad."
Chad - "Good. Your welcome."
Benen - "What's 'a-vice'?"
Me - "Ad-vice. It's when you suggest to someone a way to deal with a situation. You give them an example of what they could do."
Chad - "I told Connor to talk to his teacher if he was having any problems."
Me - "It's suggesting to someone how to fix a problem."
Benen - "Oh, like this! Connor I have some advice for you. Like maybe next time, whatever she does to you, you just do it back!"


*** My baby turned three on the ninth. I can't believe how quick the time has gone. He's still my baby, though. The problem is he knows it and he's beginning to work that angle. Such a mix of "adorable" and "mischief."

He has this one best friend and they are soooo cute together. It's my good friend's daughter, and the two of them are only 6 weeks apart in age. They've grown up together and they have the most unique friendship. I have never seen two kids connect, play and communicate like these two. They are hilarious together!

****At supper tonight...

Benen: (trying to get Connor in trouble) "Mom, Connor opened his eyes when we were praying."
Me: "He did?"
Benen: "Uh-huh."
Me: "Benen, you know what that tells me? It tells me you had your eyes open, too."
Benen: (pauses to think) "Well, you know, I just had my eyes open to check."

A little later during supper...

Benen: "Mom, you know, God can turn into a dinosaur."
Me: "Well, it's not really like that Benen. God doesn't turn into a dinosaur."
Benen: "But mom, he could turn into a dinosaur if he wants to."
Me: "Benen, God doesn't have to turn into a dinosaur. He's God. He created everything."
Benen: "But he can!"
Me: "Benen, no."
Benen: "But, Mom, he CAN! He's the Amazing God."

How do you argue with that? I agreed.

After supper...

Benen: "Hey, Mom, I'm your fan!"

I just laughed. It was completely random, out of nowhere.

*****This weekend we're celebrating Connor's seventh birthday. He turns seven on the twenty-third and I can NOT believe I have a son that old. He's growing up so quickly. He's such a smart kid and I love the conversations we have. He's a deep little thinker, which can be VERY frustrating when he's plying me for details a hundred times, but he thinks and reasons beyond his years.

The other day I had just finished filling his prescription at the pharmacy. As we're walking away from the counter, Connor turns to me and lets out a deep sigh. "I'm worried I'm costing you too much money."

"Connor, you are worth every penny!"

"But, I'm just thinking you won't have any money left."

"Connor you're not suppose to worry about money. You're six. When you have a family of your own to take care of and support, then you can worry about money."

"No, I'm not worrying about it, just thinking. I don't want you to run out of money."

"Are you concerned I won't have money and that you won't get all the toys you want for your birthday?"

"No, it's not that. It's just I really care about you a lot and I don't want to use all your money."

"Honey, don't you worry. We have money. And I would give anything for you. Okay?"


Now, when my kids have been begging for stuff in the toy aisle, I have used the phrase, "No, that costs too much money" for expensive toys, but I remember my mom saying things like that, or saying we didn't have the money for stuff and I never worried about it. Connor is such a sensitive soul and sometimes I'm still surprised at the things he takes to heart.

******Well, this post is getting long and I have to get ready to head to the church for worship practice. I have no idea what songs we're going to do this week, but I'm planning to work on this new Brian Doerksen song tonight and use it for Sunday. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

UFC 94 - BJ Penn vs. Georges St-Pierre

I am ON TOP OF THE WORLD right now! Georges "Rush" St-Pierre just finished BJ "The Prodigy" Penn in four rounds. GSP dominated inside the ring for twenty minutes before a decision by Penn's corner and an octagonside physician put a stop to the fight, thus declaring GSP still the undisputed Welterweight Champion of the World. It was incredibly thrilling to watch and I admit my throat is a tad sore from all the whooping, hollering and cheering I did from my parent's basement. With the exception of my wedding day and the births of my children, this would have to rate as one of the most anticipated days of my life!

Of course I was cheering for GSP, and not just because he's Canadian. I mean, how can you NOT cheer for him? He's one of those once-in-a-lifetime fighters whose skill and ability seem to sharpen and improve with every fight. He offers his opponents a great deal of respect inside the ring and always shows a level class that is above and beyond the average fighter.

I really don't know what else to say. I don't want to go on and on and bore you all with the details, and it's too soon to post any of the highlights. I just know it's going to take a long time for this adrenaline rush to wear off so I can get some sleep.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A New Year

I started this blog post on Janaury 4 and am just now getting around to finishing it. There was so much I wanted to share over the last couple of months, but somehow none of it made it onto my computer. I kept meaning to get it all down, but then it started piling up, higher and higher till it just all seemed a little too overwhelming. So instead I've decided to give you the condensed version of the things I can remember, complete with pictures from my new Canon digital camera - Christmas present from Chad. This one has a stabilizing feature, so hopefully no more blurry pictures. Let's begin.

* All December we teased Connor, singing "All I want for Christmas..."

** Benen was given this shirt as an early Christmas present.

If you can't read the writing, it says, "Dear Santa, I can explain everything." It so completely defines our Benen and I laugh everytime I read it.

*** Here are some pictures from Christmas at my in-laws.

**** The boys got skates for Christmas and Chad built a rink in our backyard. This was their first day on skates.

***** Yesterday's interesting conversation:

Chad - "I found gum on the toilet seat."

A long pause.

Me - "How did you find it?"

****** December and January have been the months of sickness. Before Christmas, Kolten came down with a 'chest infection'. He started showing the same symptoms as last year when he got pneumonia, so I rushed him to emergency. The xray showed a white spot on his lungs, but the doctor said he was "hesitant to call it pneumonia." Basically it was a milder case and he's better now.

Although we had our first sickness-free Christmas in 10 years, January has more than made up for it.

- Connor developed a lump on his neck; we went for an ultrasound and they put him on antibiotics. Basically, there were multiple enlarged lymphnodes due to some viral infection - or so they think. It eventually went away...mostly. In February I'm taking him back for a follow-up exam and will have the doctor check the sore lump on his foot.

- The next week Chad got the flu.

- The next day Benen developed a fever and a cough. Fever lasted one day and he's still coughing ocassionally.

- Kolten followed Benen by a day, but his strange fever lasted five days and was hard to control. He's been feeling better for the past four days.

- Three days after Kolten started, Connor caught the fever and also had severe stomach pains. The fever lasted for three days, the stomach pain for two and now he's coughing. He's mostly better and because I think his cough is just due to postnasal drip, I sent him to school.

- I thought we were getting back to normal, but yesterday Chad came down with fever, chills and body-aches. It's some weird virus that seems to be running through our house, but *fingers crossed* I think we're at the tail end of it. Thankfully.

I'm not whining - honest - just giving you the low-down on the past month-and-a-half.

******* Benen comes up with the greatest words.

Toilet paper = wiper towel
Lost and found = Lost 'n fountain
Rice Krispies = Rice Kripsies
Grandma Sturge = The long Grandma (she lives a long ways away)
Normal = Nermal (he cannot say it right; makes me laugh everytime)
Root Beer = Root Beard
Mustache = Muss-beard

******** Boys - The Way They See It

Benen - "Mom, you hang with Tracie too much."

Me (chuckling) - "Hang? I hang?"

B - "Yeah, you know, like 'hang out'."

Me - "I know what you mean, and I like 'hangin'' with Tracie 'cause she's my friend."

Connor (in all his big brother wisdom) - "Benen, she does coffee with Tracie because that's what moms do."

Me - "That's right. It's how we keep our sanity."

Okay, I'm done. It feels good to be back and I hope to keep blogging a little more regularly.