Thursday, April 30, 2009

New Color Scheme

I learned something! Thanks Wilna for teaching about the hex colors - that's good to know.

I opened my blog header in photoshop, used the eyedropper tool to get the color blue that I used, and plugged in that # into this website, which gave me a set of colors to use with it... I like how coordinated it looks.

I don't know how long it will last, though - I found a deadly fun template that I want to download and try out.

*** Update - I tried out the new template and it didn't work. Bummer. ***

Did I mention that I sent in another paper today? And that the profs of the last class and this next class (starting tomorrow) got together and gave us a bit of a break on due dates? I figured I could take tonight off and play with my 'bling out your blog' class instead.

*** Update #2 - Oh, my goodness, that was crazy!! I did manage to get that new template uploaded, and it looked great:

But it didn't work! Or maybe I should say I could not figure out how to use it and move things around and make changes...

So we're back to this. But with a few mistakes that I will have to figure out how to fix. Ah, renos...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New Header

I fooled around in Photoshop tonight and made a new header. This was after I finished all the prework for my class this weekend (yay, me!) and even did some reading for the other class...

I think I like it - not sure that's where it will stay, but it's better than the old one for now. Tomorrow I'll have to change my green font to something that matches a little better.

I did this all with photoshop stuff; no digital scrap stuff at all. I know I had some downloaded, but can't remember where it is. I like messing around with the colors and I added a gradient and a texture and it's pretty sweet - I like that it looks Bazzill-ish.

More playing tomorrow!

Not Covered???

More good content in my mailbox yesterday.

We got an envelope from our health benefit provider. I am usually happy to see one of those because usually they have cheques in them. This one didn't. It had a note about why our claim was denied. It said:


Seriously?? They seriously thought that I was submitting for the manicure and not the massage on the same receipt? The massage that was CIRCLED along with the date and the massuse's credentials? I seriously need to keep this for a laugh. French manicures. Not covered. Really.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Compassion Plug

I got mail today from Compassion Canada. They sent me a child packet and asked if I would help find a sponsor for this little girl. On one hand, I sort of feel that this is a dirty guilt trip trick. But on the other, if kids get sponsored because people think about sharing it with their coworkers or family, then ok, that's a good thing. Each child sponsored is one life - you can see the picture, look into their eyes and see how you can help. I think that's what makes child sponsor programs so attractive.

The child who is looking up at me from this packet I have in front of me is named Pyetra. She's a 5 year old from Brazil. Let me know if you're interested. Or go to the Compassion site and search for a child. You can browse by country or birthdates. This is what I was doing when I found our latest sponsored child, Salome. She was born the exact same day as Madeline; now she has a twin that lives in Ghana!

I just looked for the post with that story, and realized I never told it - I think I just put the short version on facebook and didn't get it on here. That will be my reward for finishing this paper I'm working on - I will scan pictures and tell the stories of our Compassion experiences. Now I'll quit procrastinating and get back to the paper. This never ends...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

new shoes

Remember the other day when I went on a shopping spree?

Today I bought 5 pairs of shoes.

This is not typical. Truth is, we were running low on lots of stuff; you know when your whole wardrobe needs an overhaul? I was kinda there. With shoes, too. And only 3 pairs were mine; the other 2 were Madeline's. A pair of everyday runners and CLEATS! Her first pair. I got some dress shoes, 'coach' runners and some fun everyday shoes. Let me go take a picture for you...

These are hers:

And these are mine:

Ok, mine look pretty boring there compared to hers, but they look smashing on with a good pair of jeans...

Does anyone else have a problem buying stuff? Part of the reason my wardrobe gets so blah is that I really don't like to spend money on myself. Every time I think "I need" something, that voice kicks in and says "No, you don't." And that's the truth - that is more the real me than the "I need it" voice. I have been to a lot of places where people just don't have anything. The drainboard in my kitchen that needs replacing is just one of the examples from today - What some people would give to have a KITCHEN like mine, let alone a drainboard that I think needs replacing because of a few dents and drainage problems. Here's a picture of a kitchen on a farm I visited in Kenya:

So. I am glad that I have had the chance to see a wider glimpse of what life is like elsewhere in our world. It does keep things in perspective here - we need to have a balance, right? of giving away what we have and at the same time looking after ourselves. Maybe generosity is the key - It's fine for me to own 15 pairs of shoes, as long as I am willing to provide for others who need as well. My money is not for me to provide for myself; it is God's and I am simply a steward.

And yes, they were all on sale.

Thanks, Father God, for our new shoes.

Friday, April 24, 2009

What Happened Wednesday

I am going to get to homework, I am! (Maybe.) But I just realized that I didn't tell you about WEDNESDAY.

Wednesday was the day that I had to go pick up the equipment for M's soccer team. I got a phone call a couple of weeks ago saying that they were still finalizing the coaches for the teams, but wanted to nail down people to come and pick up the equipment, and could I help with that.

Yes, I could do that. No problem. Happy to help.

So Wednesday rolls around, I go to the office and they tell me that the meeting for the coaches will start right away. "Oh, I'm not the coach," I said. "I was just asked to pick up the equipment."

"Ok, well, sit through the meeting anyway - it'll be short, and might have some information you need, and then we're handing out the equipment at the end."

I go into the meeting, and get our team's envelope.

See that C- beside my name? Yeah. That stands for coach. And the part of the meeting that I might find useful? I think that was the part where he said that they didn't get enough parents to volunteer to coach, so some of us who said we would help should contact the other parents on the team and tell them we can't do it on our own. (So not only am I coach, but now I'm recruiter, too!)

Here's all the stuff I brought home:

And here it is in the context of my 'studio' where it got dumped:

The thing is, I was thinking about coaching anyway. I hadn't decided if I would call and volunteer or not, and now I don't have to - I think subconsciously I was waiting to see if they'd need me or if I could just sit and watch like last year... Here's my dilemma. If I'm coaching, then I'm not sitting and enjoying the evening with my husband. If I'm coaching, then there's more on my plate and I will get stressed easier. (Maybe. I do have a certain limit to things on my to do list before I get anxious. And then my husband has to put up with a stressed me. While he relaxes and does exactly what he wants to, not what he thinks he should for the good of everyone else... Sigh.) But if I'm coaching, then I am meeting people. I am doing something for the good of the community. For others. That's what I want to be about. I don't believe my purpose in life is to look after myself and make myself comfortable. It's to be in relationships.

I just hope that coaching the 9 & 10 year olds might be more about soccer than it was when I coached her first year. That was more about keeping them on the field!

And THAT'S what happened on Wednesday.

Friday Fun

I wrote the title thinking about tonight, and then thought back to the rest of my day... that made me laugh; my day started out at the doctors for a physical. Not what I'd call fun. But I have a great doctor and now it's over!

I spent a few hours at work, but left just after lunch and went shopping instead. :) I've been planning to do that for a while. Needed to stock up my wardrobe a bit. I tried on some shoes I might go back for, and came home with 2 bras, 2 tank tops, 2 t-shirts, 2 sweatshirts, 1 dress shirt and 1 pair of jeans. Got some good sales, though - all that for only $150!

For supper the menu said "BBQ" so Sean cooked. Mmm. I love when he (and not I) cooks.

He went off to help a friend with his car after supper, so M and I headed out to Chapters and got some drinks at the Starbucks there and browsed. A good Friday night.

And I just realized that this Bling Out Your Blog class that I signed up for starts on MONDAY. Cool. I'm looking forward to it. Since I have LOTS of homework to do before my next class next Friday (Pastoral Ethics - you should see the texts...) I think I might go tackle some of that now. To leave more time for blog fun next week.

Oh, and a question: SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder. Anyone else suffer from this? How do you manage it? Can you do it without going the meds route? Please comment!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

More Layouts

Journalling: It's always so good to see you when you first get home from school. My other favorite time is 5:15, but dad wouldn't let me take his picture when he walked in the door.

* The backs of these photos say "Feb. 2005" in my mom's writing, so she was apparently the recipient (+recorder!) of this show.
* Madeline loves to perform for the camera, especially if Granny's behind it.
* Possibly the funniest part is that just now, four years later, I finally took away that black bodysuit - she was still trying to wear it!
* Just look at that eye contact!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

"Big Sister" Layouts

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I facilitated a scrapbooking night for the Big Sisters program here. I got supplies and made 3 simple sample pages for them to copy, thinking that if it's something you've never done, it's easier maybe to have something to copy or use as a guideline for the first time.

What was I thinking?

It was a free for all - the supplies went over great; everything was used. One girl made 13 pages. It was awesome to see the creativity and freedom these girls had in their crafting, but I was reminded that yeah, kids are sure different than adults.

Here are the pages I made:

randomness from my weekend

I played Dutch Blitz last night. It was so fun and has been so long since I played anything like that. (Pounce ROCKS!) I honestly don't remember the last time I enjoyed myself that much. It might be partly that it feels more like spring now, but it was raining yesterday; I think it was more that playing the game released those feel good feelings... yeah.

And today I felt GREAT. It has been way too long since I've just enjoyed life like I did today. The wind was chilly, but it was 15* out and the sun was shining. We went out and bought a new BBQ to replace the 14 year old one, got out our patio set, and Sean grilled burgers for supper... It might be, too, that this morning went well, and that I have felt pretty stressed this week about getting ready for my new class, and trying to find time for homework, and being out of routine with M home on spring break and not having time to do that stuff... Wow, I feel rambly, but that's ok - It's my blog and I can ramble if I want to! Bottom line, today was a great day. Relaxed, happy, played games with the kid, baked cookies, smiled, laughed... very nice.

I talked to my dad the other night. For 68 minutes. That was a highlight of my week.

We took M to Walking With the Dinosaurs on Friday night. Sean bought the tickets before Christmas but didn't get the time to actually pick them up before we left for Winnipeg so we didn't have them to wrap. We meant to print something off the computer to give her, but never got around to that either. And then we just never told her. She didn't know we were going till we walked in the Brandt Center and she said, "Is it the Circus?!" When I said no, she said, with quite a bit less enthusiasm, "A hockey game?" But she was suitably impressed when she realized...

Today was the last Sunday at church for our good friends the McIntyres. They have been transferred to Calgary and move this week. We have loved their family since they moved here 9 years ago and will miss them very much.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Prayer for the youth of Canada

I have to admit, as a prayer warrior, I am still in training. It is not often I open up the folder with the lists of people that I feel it is important for me to be praying for. Journaling, reading the Bible, those come easier for me. But today I did open it up and one of the things on one of the lists begged to be shared here. Most of my lists are people, but this one is a list that I picked up at a prayer room somewhere. It's called 'Prayer for the Next Generation' and has 31 prayers based on Scripture for the youth of Canada.

"Jesus, the one anointed with the oil of joy, raise up young men and women who, although brought up in a culture of murmuring and disrespect, will be filled with joy, thankfulness, and strength of character. May they be the radiant ones known as the offspring of the Lord in a depraved and crooked generation. (Philippians 2:14-15)"

14Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, "children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation." Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16as you hold firmly to the word of life.

Pray this with me today.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Passions That Should Define a Christ Follower

I copied this list out of the book Unchristian and just found it in some notes:

- Worshiping God intimately & passionately.

- Engaging in spiritual friendships with other believers.

- Pursuing faith in the context of family.

- Embracing intentional forms of spiritual growth.

- Serving others.

- Investing time & resources in spiritual pursuits.

- Having faith based conversations with outsiders.

How does reading that make you feel? I did a yep, uh huh, okay, oh oh, shoot... Some yes, and some are a little lacking.

Unchristian was a great book; if you think Christians are a bunch of hypocrites, I'm sorry. The list above? That's what we're supposed to be like. I doubt many people would be able to say that all seven of those characterize them, but the thing is, a lot of us are working on it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

mojo missing...

We had a great turn out this morning at scrapbooking at the church.

8 scrapbookers and 4 babysitters and 7 kids and 3 babies. Ah, spring break.

And I got pretty much nothing done. I would get a picture out, find a paper that worked for the background, then sit and stare till I put it away for another day. I did that for three pages before I got one that I actually worked on. That one's not finished either, but at least it's mostly there. One of these days I'll have to get some creativity flowing somehow and get them done. It's supposed to be a fun outlet, so I rarely make myself get stuff done, but it has been a long while. I bet if my studio was sunnier I'd be down there more.

So - watch this space - there MAY be more layouts posted someday. Don't hold your breath, though.

And let me send you off to have a laugh or two at Cake Wrecks.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Fun Find

I just had some fun playing around on a site that I saw on someone else's blog... Here's some photos I did - check out to do your own. That last one is of our niece Raelene - this was taken new year's day. She's healing from her burns really well, I hear - we are looking forward to seeing her for ourselves tomorrow.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

A Weekend of Events

Six events in four days this weekend.

Today we drove four hours up to Nipawin for Sean's Grandpa's funeral. And four hours back again. His siblings all went to the service yesterday that was held closer, for his Grandma's benefit, since she's not well enough to make the drive, but we got to see some aunts and uncles and cousins as well as his parents. It was a nice service - the pastor was a small man with a great big voice. Sean was a pallbearer; his first time doing that. (And he wore a tie. I've never seen him in a tie except for our wedding day. We had to go out and buy one last night. He looked smashing.)

Tomorrow is the Good Friday service at church; normally I wouldn't include this as an event, but it's a joint service for our 3 churches here, and I get to play coordinator and make sure it goes smoothly. It's a tenebre service, which focuses on the seven sayings of Christ on the cross.

Also tomorrow is my nephew Matthew's birthday, so we'll be taking in part of the afternoon movie / Tony Roma's supper / cake at Grandma and Grandpa's. Uncle Ian got in from England today, so tomorrow's party should be an extra good time.

Saturday is an unfortunate overlap. We have a wedding to go to, which is fine, but the Ward family Easter get together happens to be at the same time. It will be good to see everyone, if we make it to some of that. It is here in the city, so at least it's a possibility.

Sunday at church is only one service, but it's a full one with a baptism and Lori and Byron having Kaleb dedicated. Then the McCall family is having Easter dinner at Carla's. I should find out what I should take for that...

We will definitely need a good sleep in on Saturday morning!!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A Clarification is in Order.

My friend Dori left a comment on my last post (entitled "Je suis finis!!!").

She said, "hmm, perhaps you would rather be "J'ai Fini" otherwise you won't be around to write another paper:)"

At supper, I asked the resident bilingual, "What does 'J'ai Fini' mean?"

"It means you are finished what you are doing," she said.

"And what does 'Je suis finis' mean?"

With a pause and a funny look, "It means you're...dead."

Monday, April 06, 2009

Je suis finis!!!

One PM and I'm FINISHED. Done. What to do now with the rest of the day?? Oh, right, lunch and the cleaning and shopping for groceries and making supper and going to M's piano recital and maybe starting on the next paper...

And the winner is...
Mom! I was surprised that you would guess by supper - I thought it would be closer to bedtime. You had more faith in me than I did! So you'll be getting something from me in the mail one of these days...! And thank you all for your votes!

Writing up a storm!

It's 10 AM and I've just added a page and a half to the two I had last night. I thought I'd reward myself with a break and say hi to you all and show the pictures I took last night so you can picture me here hard at work...

Yes, I read some from all of these books...!

The big difference is that this morning the SUN IS SHINING, so it's quite a bit more cheery than the pictures show. Ok, back at it. Leave a comment with a guess as to what time I'll be done - oh, and I have to send the paper to BC, so I actually have till 12:59 AM. The one who's closest will win something fun and homemade. I haven't decided what yet.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Part Way

My miraculous little paper is about a third done.

Today's procrastination:
*A nap on the love seat.
*Going out for blizzards at DQ.
*Kissing the husband so he doesn't feel like a "paper widower." That's like a "golf widow" or "poker widow" or "racing widow"...
*Taking pictures of my work space to post on my blog, so you can see I am actually working. (But it would take too much time to actually post them. I'm working, you know.)

There were FOUR comments on my last post! Keep up the good work, readers!! (Oh, I guess one of those was me. Drat.)

On Procrastination

Once upon a time, there was an assignment. It was a short paper of an assignment, with some additional reading required before the paper could be written. This paper was due in two days, and the writer was not finished reading. She turned down invitations to outings, griped about the meeting she could not skip, and was thrilled when the child in her charge was happy to be cared for elsewhere to give the writer time to write.

What time did the writer get to work on the paper? Half an hour here, half an hour there, and a final half an hour after she had brushed her teeth and prepared for bed.

All day, and she's not much closer than she was yesterday. Her hope? That her 5 pages of notes will miraculously transform themselves into a comprehensive treatment of the subject at hand, and be quite satisfactorily turned into the professor on time. Which happily is 11:59 PM on the date due.

Secrets for procrastination that you can adopt to put off your own assignments:
- spend time on the other things that have been left for the last minute, like a lesson to be taught the next morning.
- spend quality time with your child because you've missed having her around all day (or because you appreciate her more after not having her around all day??)
- finish your novel so it is no longer a draw away from study.
- play a game or three to exercise your mind and get it ready to work.
- catch up on the blogs you've been neglecting, because it is Saturday, after all.

Tune in again to hear the (as yet unwritten) finale of the story of the (as yet unwritten) little assignment!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Some Good and Some Bad

So we got word today that Raelene can go home!!! I don't think I've talked about Raelene's ordeal over the last couple of weeks, so I'll fill you in:

Monday, just about 2 weeks ago, our 14 month old niece Raelene grabbed a measuring cup with boiling water off the counter and got burned pretty badly. They've been here in the city in the hospital since then - the silver lining being that we got to see them more than we usually do - but they are so ready to go home! They were hoping they'd hear today that they could, and yay - that's the good news. They'll have to come back to get dressings changed, but she's doing really well; her face is just about all healed - except for the patch along her jawline and under her chin, you can hardly tell. She's been bandaged around her chest and one arm that got the worst of it, so that will stay under doctor's care for a while, but it's so good now compared to what it was.

The not so good news that isn't really terrible news, but still sad news, is that Sean's Grandpa Cecil died yesterday. He was 99, ready to go, and talking and happy with his family right till the end.

I got to hold a friend's baby today. Solomon Peter is just a newborn; it's amazing to see the two ends of life like that. One at the very beginning, and one at the very end.