Thursday, May 28, 2009

Highlights from my week

Kenyan Shoes - On Sunday I went to a shower where one of the other guests was an African lady. She has been here for some time, but still was wearing an African dress, and had made an African dish for the snack table. I was not sitting by her, and so did not get to talk to her until the end when we were leaving. I noticed her shoes were similar to mine (that I got in Kenya last year and was wearing for the first time this season). I asked where she got her shoes, and she said in Kenya. How fun to say, "Really? Me too!" She is from Zambia - I'm glad I got a chance to meet her.

More Africans - Tuesday morning I went to the Ladies Coffee Connection at church and sat at a table with two African ladies, and the one month old daughter of the one. Sometimes I'm not sure how to ask where someone's from, because I don't want to offend by assuming they have immigrated when they've been here their whole lives. So I asked the lady I was sitting beside (the cousin of the one with the baby) if she has lived in Regina long. A safe question. And no, she's only been here a month. So I asked, "Oh, where are you from?" I think I did laugh out loud when she replied, "Winnipeg." She came to visit and help when her cousin had the baby. I never did find out where in Africa they were from, but found out we did have something in common! I'm from Winnipeg, too...

We Win!!! - Tuesday we won our soccer game 3-1. And I think it was our first warm game, too! Our record is 2-4-1.

The Lost is Found - Tuesday after the win we went to DQ to celebrate, then to shoppers to get something, and then to another shoppers when the first didn't have what we were looking for. Then I realized my cell phone was not in my pocket. Hours of driving and checking and phoning later, we get a call that it was found at the last store. Big relief. This whole experience was more a negative than a highlight, but the getting it back was a relief.

Italian Prayers - Yesterday morning I put M's breakfast on the table and went to get her Bible (because I read a chapter to her while she's eating, since I eat earlier with Sean). I get back to the table to find her angelically praying with her eyes closed and hands clasped in front of her. Then she opens her eyes and says, "I said grace with an Italian accent!" Dear-a G-sus...

Green Trees - As I drove from our back lane onto the street, I was struck by the fact that the trees lining the street (and it's on older neighborhood, so there are lots) were GREEN! Not full leafy summer green, but they were definitely covered in new spring green. That was good for my soul. I drank it in all the way down the street.

Ultimate Fun - Last night I joined the young adults and youth at the legislative buildings to play some Ultimate Frisbee and had a GREAT time. So good to run around with friends. I'm glad I went and am planning to go again next week!

2000 Visitors!!! - When I checked here last night (when I should have been writing my paper that I never got around to) I noticed that my counter was at 2000. That's pretty awesome. Thanks for wanting to read what I have to tell! I started the counter last fall, when I started blogging more often, so that doesn't include the first two years of visitors, (but I'm not sure there even were any, then).

I've been thinking all week, "I should blog that!" and so now here you have it. FYI - if I just have a little snippet to share, I'll 'twitter' it - I'm treating Twitter like a mini blog, so check out the side -----> for the mini posts. Have a great day, everyone!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

still learning the language...

M is off on a field trip today, and she's wearing a bathing suit under her clothes, because she thought the 'adequate' clothing on the packing list had something to do with 'aqua'...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Trippy Test

Found this link on another blog: it's a test to see how well you can see color. I got 8; lower is better with 0 being perfect.



I was playing around to see how I could schedule this post to show up tomorrow (and if you know, let me know, as I haven't found it yet) and I stumbled on the 'compose' button beside the 'edit html' button on the create post page. WHY have I not noticed this before??? On this page I can do bullet points, change the font and size and color of the font, I can justify... Crazy. Funny what makes me happy. Why have I not noticed this in all these YEARS of blogging?


Where do I find all these other blogs that have all these cool links that I send you to? Well, in an attempt to increase visitors to my blog (what? It's true...) and because sometimes I have stuff that people might actually want to read, and because I like to check out all their blogs, once I post, I go to SIStv, my online scrapbooking community (where I am ranked a "fashion plate" for my 321 layouts, posts and comments) and I find the thread in the forums that says "Friday bloggers?" or something like that, and I leave a note and a link to here so they can come visit. And then I go check out the others that have been updated. And then I come back here to share the cool stuff they've found.

Moods and Emotions

Over the last two days I have experienced lots of moods and emotions.

Sadness. Wednesday night the date jumped out at me and I realized that the next day would be May 21st. There are lots of dates on the calendar that hold different memories, and May 21st holds a sad one. Madeline's little sister Lucy was stillborn at 23 weeks on May 21, 2001. Eight years ago. Every year I picture what it would be like to have Madeline and another one two years younger, and yet, my memories of her will always be of a baby. I wanted to do something with the emotions, and I figured a trip to the cemetery would be good. To go, be there, have a cry, let myself feel, and then get on with my day. Carla met me there and it was good to be there together. (And let me add too that I know there are a number of you who read this that have lost babies, and I am feeling for you and praying for you today.)

There has been one topic lately (which I will fill you in on later) that has had me on edge. Thursday I had a conversation with one person, and left feeling anxious and unsure, which had me in a really low mood all night, and then another conversation today with another person changed my perspective around (which I hoped it would!) and made me feel optimistic and confident. (I sent Sean a text after that and let him know I felt better and it was safe to come home today!) Can you say roller coaster?

Happiness and joy. Yesterday morning Madeline and I watched a cat in our yard stalking a squirrel. We almost made ourselves late it was so fun. The cat chased the squirrel across the yard where it ran up the tree, and then sat watching with it's tail twitching, just ready for it to come back. The squirrel was right into it, coming down the tree and teasing the cat; she even chased it up the tree at one point. Watching that simple drama outside in our yard was so good.

And I got out the new zoom lens to play. This one was taken from the kitchen window; she's out on the street on the way to the bus.

Some other emotions were concern for a friend who was getting test results back, and relief when they turned out to not be what she was worried about. (Imagine Arnold: "It's not a tumor!")

I suppose you're wanting an update on my soccer team. Aren't you?? We tied on Tuesday and lost on Thursday. Our record is 1-4-1. Maybe next week things will change! I helped out at M's track meet this morning; there are 4 of my team at her school - M and J (a girl) in her class, then G and A, both boys in grade 5. At one point, I was timing a race that both the boys were in, and A, who hadn't seen me yet, sees me there and says, "Hey, you're my soccer coach! G, look, it's our soccer coach!" I felt pretty special. :) I also felt special when I noticed another girl in M's class was using a bag I had sewed for her as a birthday present one year. She said she loves it and always uses it for swimming and special things like the track meet. I should do that again - M has a party to go to tomorrow and I copped out with a gift card. I should make the handmade pledge...

Here's the layout I made this week. Start to finish done at the church on Tuesday morning, which rarely happens.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

So sad you couldn't tell...

It's a Fisher Price little people face! I might have to change that if it's not obvious that that's what it is (up there by the web address, in case you missed the last post).

Here's a question:
Have you ever been mentored? Have you ever been a mentor? Please leave a comment and let me know how that experience was for you.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Savouring Sunday Silence

I just finished my last assignment for my Life of Christ class. Finally. I am VERY happy to have that wrapped up. Too bad the next one (Pastoral Ethics) has already started and has deadlines looming. But I will take a minute here to celebrate the one being done.

Sean was off to the races today and is on his way home from Yorkton, and M left a couple of hours ago to go to a sleepover, so I'm enjoying a few hours of me-time. Although is writing a paper what YOU would do with me-time? I needed to and I will relax with Sean when he gets home. And now I'm relaxing and hanging out with you. That's fun in my books!

I needed this quiet right now because today the terrible horrible no good very bad monster in my child beat up and took over the sweet obedient loving girl in my child and ruled her for a few good hours. I managed for the most part to stay calm and firm and I won. She knows I have to, but she put up a good fight today. Worse than in a long time. Maybe because Dad wasn't home to put her straight with one word, and she thinks I'm more of a pushover...? Whatever, I won, and all is good. The monster left and the sweet girl was back well before she left for the sleepover. (Or you know that would be gone, too.)

Enough of that hard real life stuff - did you notice my new little icon beside the name of the blog? Check up top in the web address. Please leave a comment and let me know if you know what that is!!!

One other thing I've been meaning to point out - I noticed in my archive list (below) that I have written more posts this year than I have in all of 2005, 2007 and 2008 combined. I've had a lot of fun playing around on here, writing and changing up the layout, showing you my stuff and just messing around. Thanks for reading and commenting (that's the part I like the best!) I'm excited to see all the dots on my map, too - it was up for 3 days then got lost in a transition, but I've added it again. The count is skewed, but a few more weeks and I won't notice. I love seeing where you all come from.

We almost bought a vehicle yesterday. This was the closest we've come yet, but we decided to wait until there's something we know for sure is meant to be. We test drove a Ford Escape, a Dodge Avenger and a Ford Fusion. Someday, maybe. For now I will be happy with the one that is paid for.

Friday, May 15, 2009

What we saw in the backyard...

Saw this guy (not THIS one - this is a handy dandy stock photo) in the back yard yesterday. Madeline and I got out our bird book and figured this is who he was - the Common Flicker, a type of woodpecker. Nice change from the usual robin!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Soccer Game #4 & Photo Shoot

We were up 5-2 at one point.
I thought we tied, but apparently I missed one of theirs.
And we lost. 6-5.
So sad.

Today, because we had pictures scheduled, we had rain in the forecast.
So I was emailing parents the plan A, B, C...
The rain held up, and we got to go with plan A, but it was cold like winter.
Poor kids.
But I actually had a lot of fun.
Getting to know the kids and their personalities, and some of the parents; there was a lot more interaction today.

We went in the van, because I had all the soccer stuff in the back already (we usually take the truck when we're all together). In the second half, Sean went for coffees. (Yes, he rocks.) When he got back, somewhere in the juggling of 2 coffees, his keys, my keys, and locking the door, everything ended up outside except my keys. The van keys. Which were safe and sound in the locked van.
Sean asked one of the other parents to give us a ride home so I could come back with the truck; slick plan, except that we jumped in the truck and halfway back I realized that I needed to get the SPARE KEYS from the house, and not just the truck. So we're even. We're both dorks. And that's ok, too, because when he got coffee, he also picked up a big yummy cinnamon bun for us to share later.

I can hear him warming it up now, so I gotta go! Yumminess calls. (And he's got a cinnamon bun!)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Down By The Bay

Down by the bay,
Where the watermelons grow,
Back to my home,
I dare not go,
For if I do,
My mother would say...

Did you ever see a bear
In his underwear?
Down by the bay!

Do you remember this song? We had so much fun singing it tonight - It popped into my head and I started singing it; Sean gave me a funny look, like "I remember that!" and joined in. M didn't know it, but caught on pretty quick (even started to do the echo without being coached!)

We couldn't think up too many that we remembered, so just made them up:
Did you ever see a Ward, driving a Ford?
Did you ever see a pig, dancing a jig?
... D o w n b y t h e b a y!

What are your favorite verses? Or come on, make some up!! Leave us a comment with them!

In other news...
Mother's Day today. I received a beautiful purple birdhouse, hand painted by M at school. She tried to give it to me last night she was so excited. (And maybe trying to stall bed time a bit.) I didn't expect anything else, except a carnation from church, which is pretty predictable, but when I got downstairs there was a gift bag on the table in my spot. It had two cards in front of it, one from each of them, and two gifts inside. I picked M's out first - I recognized the wrapping from the night before. Then I was surprised to find that Sean bought me the zoom lens for our camera!! How exciting. M's friend T came over for the afternoon and I went to the park with them and took some pictures. So fun.

A funny thing she said...
Yesterday started out chilly, but warmed up enough to enjoy finally raking the lawn. I couldn't get enough being outside, so M and I went for a walk in the evening, too. As we were walking, she said, "Mom, I don't want to go camping in the mountains." (We're planning to go to Jasper for a week for this year's big camping trip.)
"Why not?" I asked.
"I'm afraid we'll fall off. And of the bears."
HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!! She's afraid we'll fall off the mountain!!!
"Madeline - Have you ever been to the mountains?" (I'm her mother - I already know the answer to this.)
"It's not like that. And we'll camp at the bottom." (HA HA HA! I'm still laughing.)

Coming tomorrow...

I finished five layouts tonight; I'll take pictures tomorrow when the sun's up and I don't need a flash and will have them up tomorrow for you to see. They were mostly done at scrapbooking on Tuesday, but needed finishing touches at home, so I did that tonight.

This is M stuffing cannelloni for supper the other night.

And her she is winning the game of musical chairs at the last Girl Guides meeting of the year on Wednesday.

What's that? You want a soccer update?
First game we lost 6-1, second game we lost 6-3.
It can only get better from here!!!

Ok, I'm done.
Talk to you tomorrow!!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Picture of Pyetra

Here is the little girl from Brazil that I would love to find a sponsor for. I've told you about her but now you can "meet" her.

Mother's day is coming up - I heard of one family where the husband and kids picked a child to sponsor and that was their gift to honor their mom.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Dancing Matt

Have you seen this video yet? I think it's great & just saw it again today, so I thought I'd share. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Our Compassion Story

Our story starts in 2000, when Neil and I decided to sponsor a child. Madeline had been born the year before, and we expanded our family to include a girl in Mexico, too. We picked Mexico thinking that it might be the most likely place for us to get to if we were ever to visit our Compassion child. This is Lucina when she first became ours, and the latest picture:

Fast forward to 2004. Neil had been gone one year, and Madeline and I decided to sponsor another child. This is Maria:

One year later, in late 2005, Maria and her family moved out of the area of the project she had been a part of, so Compassion sent us Roberto:

In early 2007, when Sean and I were newly married, Compassion had to shut down the project that Lucina was a part of. She had been ours for 7 years! You can see from the pictures above (the first and last of 4 that we got) how much she grew in that time. We sponsored Abigail next:

Only one year later (early 2008), Abigail's parents pulled her out of the program. We decided not to take another child at that time, so just had Roberto. Later that year, Roberto's parents moved, and Compassion sent us Damian:

In April of this year, I was browsing through the kids on the Compassion site. The author of one of the blogs I read is a Compassion Advocate, and mentioned once that she looks through the unsponsored kids and prays for them every week. So that's what I was doing (since I had to log on to update my email address anyway) and I started punching in our birthdays... Well there was only one child that had the same birthday as Madeline, and she was a girl, and she was even born the same year. A twin! And she had a cute name, too: Salomey Coffie. I went into the other room and jokingly told Sean that I found a way for us to spend some money, and told him about Salomey. He reminded me that when we didn't take another child after Abigail left, we said we would again someday when money was less tight, and that it wasn't, so why not? That's how Salomey came to join our family. We haven't heard from her yet, but I've got some stuff for both her and Damian ready to go in the mail today. Salomey is a break from our Mexican habit, too; she's from Ghana:

So that's our long complicated Compassion story. I've found that although we haven't had many long term relationships with most of our kids, we have had a chance to get to know more than just one or two. In most of the cases, too, someone from the project has written to us to let us know why they have left and to thank us for our involvement - that's a nice touch and wrap up, I think. We love getting letters in the mail, and now that M is old enough, she can write her own, too, instead of just sending along pictures. I hope she and Salomey develop a neat friendship.

I told you a while ago about some mail we got from Compassion asking us to help find a sponsor for Pyetra, a little girl from Brazil. I think I might have found one tonight... I'll keep you posted on that!

Two of the writers whose blogs I follow happened to be going on a Compassion blogger trip to India lately - they just got back, and it was pretty interesting to follow their stories. I have a good friend here in town who is an Advocate, which is a volunteer who works to try to get kids sponsored. If this has raised any interest in sponsoring in you, I encourage you to check out Compassion Canada - I think that link should get you to Karen's Compassion page.

Have a great night - I'm going to print off a few pictures to send in my letters to Damian and Salomey now!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Need some help here.

Playing around again...

I need you to help me pick a header. I made this one, but when I matched the page color to the grey it was a little too much, and the other colors I used were picked from the tea colors. It's not perfect, though. It's hard being a perfectionist.

So here are a few of the headers I've made - please leave a comment with your favorite and maybe I'll use the one that gets the most votes. I said maybe. But I do value your input!!

Oh, and look up by the web address... it matches the teacup!! How fun is that?

M got sick and had to come home from the birthday party sleep over she was at tonight. Poor kid is crashed and sleeping... hope it doesn't last long.

I don't understand.

Some things just fix themselves.

This blog was messed up yesterday - I couldn't change things, messed up the code somehow... so when I got home from class tonight, I saved the template code as it was, messed around with new templates, tried downloading another one... nothing worked. I came close to having something I could live with for now, but had to go back to this damaged template to copy the widget codes, and *poof!* some fairy godmother waved her wand and it's back.

I don't understand it.

But I'm happy! Now to change a few things, and then I will get back to blogging about something other than my blog.

Like scrapbooking, and the fact that it is National Scrapbooking Day tomorrow, and I'm in class all day. That happened last year, too. It's been a while since I played... soon, though. Papers are not the only things in my life. There are pages, too...!