Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Thirteen Years Ago - A Baby Story

Thirteen years ago, on July 24, at 2:37 pm, I was whispering "Hello!" to this little beauty:

She was due on Thursday, but her Daddy was working at camp until Friday at 5, so she waited until he was home; contractions started Friday about 7.  We went down to Memorial Park by the Legislative Buildings, and in the shadow of the Golden Boy we had samples at Taste of Manitoba, greeting people we knew, keeping an eye on our watches and our secret to ourselves.

Home again, we put sheets in the crib, the hospital bag by the door, and started playing cards.  At one in the morning, we figured the contractions were close enough to go in, and the long route all the way across town was empty and quick.  Once there, we were told 1 cm - we could go home to wait or just stay there... easy choice!  We were shown to our room and had a pretty good night's sleep; nice to not be wondering if and when.  The rooms at the Victoria General Hospital at the time were all-in-one: delivery & recovery; no moving around at all.  I was ready for some pain management at 7:30 am when they came in to check on us, and things progressed from there - no epidural, as they were 'using it down the hall' - so 7 hours later, with just laughing gas, she made her appearance.

It was a warm summer day and our doctor was wearing her volunteer shirt for the Pan Am Games that were being held in Winnipeg at the time.  All that dark fuzzy hair... it all fell out and she turned into a blond.  She was 9 lbs, 12 oz, and amazing.

This is her today - taller than her mom, and still amazing.  Love you, my first baby.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Quality of the Fruit

We heard a great sermon on Sunday.  Our church is blessed to have Ken Thiessen (an author, consultant, former pastor and area minister) as a part of our congregation, and he occasionally takes the mic when the pastors are away.

He spoke about counterfeit things, and how you can tell if something's real.  Products can be fake (Riders and Jets jerseys in Mexico?), but people also can put on a false front.  The test is to look at the fruit - you can identify a tree by its fruit, and you can identify people by their actions.

I claim to be a Christian - but how is the quality of the fruit in my life?  My actions flow out of my inner character, and prove or disprove what I claim.  The 'Fruit of the Spirit' are listed in Galatians 5:22 & 23:  
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law. 

The fruit of the Spirit - it is the Holy Spirit that produces these fruit:
* this means that the Holy Spirit must be present in me, &
* this means that it is impossible to manufacture these apart from the Holy Spirit - I can't do it on my own.

So how do I test the fruit?  There is no magic formula or checklist, but an honest self examination will reveal the quality of these characteristics in my life.  I drove my daughter out to camp yesterday, and had a great hour long drive home in silence - time to think through the list and reflect.  Honestly, there are a lot of areas I would like to see an improvement in... and since I can't make them grow, I will focus on providing a good climate for growth.  Just as plants need good soil, light and water, I need to soak myself in the word, feed on Jesus, the bread of life, worship, and be thankful and pray in all circumstances.  That's off the top of my head - I'm curious what YOU do to provide yourself with an optimal circumstances for growth.  Leave a comment for us?

So thanks, Ken, for the thought provoking message - I hope many others will take the time for reflection this week, too.  (You can hear the whole message if you go to the church website, select Worship, then Messages onDemand - it wasn't up yet this morning, but should be soon.)

And because a reminder is always a great thing, I searched 'Fruit of the Spirit' on Pinterest... might find a nice print to put up in the house on there!

I also posted along these lines on As the Bus Goes By - Prayers for my Children.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mexican Golf

In a roundabout way, a game of Mexican Golf ended up being the highlight of the family get-together last weekend.

Games were played, then one of the kids got one of the bolos (ropes with a ball at either end) wrapped around the power line up overhead.

Much of the rest of the evening was spent throwing balls at the balls to get them down.  Great spectator event with lots of laughs.

Six Months of Awesome

On Thursday - the 19th - we reached the 6 month milestone.  Nolan is a moving, learning, noisy wonder and we are amazed by him over and over.  His latest skills are new noises (raspberries, growling...) and pulling himself up to standing on all kinds of things.  He's 19 lbs, still just has the two bottom teeth, and is going to be crawling soon, but for now just flops down on his belly when he's up on all fours.

We have nothing scheduled this weekend, so we had Nolan in the kiddie pool a couple of times today and went for a long walk all together in the neighborhood.  We worked in the yard a bit and made supper together (mmm - burgers).  He's down for his evening nap, so I grabbed the time to post an update.  I know I'm not on here as often as before; it is important to me and I will keep posting as I get a chance, but I very rarely look at Nolan as we're playing or as he's eating and wish I was on the computer instead.

Madeline's birthday is coming up this week - she turns 13 on Tuesday.  Monday we take her out to camp for the week, so she'll get to celebrate out there this year.

Here are a couple shots from last Saturday when we were together with the Ward side of the family.  Eight of the ten cousins - the 'good' one, then the silly one!  (We just found out this week that the cousin on the way is another girl, for a total of nine girls and two boys!)

I'll get some good Nolan shots from this week up as soon as I get them on the computer.  May you have a great weekend relaxing with the ones you love!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

We Have a Dessert Winner!

We had a great time with family today, playing and eating and laughing...

My sister-in-law Jen is the Pie Queen, and made a fabulous mixed fruit pie. Delish.  Of the ones I brought, the Chocolate Chip Cookie Delight got the love - definitely a keeper.  (Recipe here.)

The Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispies Treats tasted good as expected - how can you go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter??  They were a tad soft, possibly just because they had been out a while.  It will be nice to have a good variation in the cookbook.  (Recipe here.)

And, as predicted, the Creamy Snowballs were SWEET.  I made them pretty small so they weren't too overwhelming.  They formed into balls better than I expected.

Creamy Snowballs

Combine and beat until smooth:
1/2 pkg cream cheese
2 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp milk
2/3 cup melted chocolate chips
1/2 tsp vanilla

Fold in 3 cups colored mini marshmallows, mix well, then chill for 30 minutes. (I left it in the fridge until the next day and it worked fine.)  Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls (pressing into shape with my fingertips worked better than rolling in my palms).  Roll in coconut.

These freeze well.  Makes about 3 1/2 dozen.  From Company's Coming Cookies.

May you have enjoyable family times this summer, and may you wow them with some Chocolate Chip Cookie Delight...!

If you want to browse other recipes and lots more fun stuff to make and do, come check out my boards on Pinterest

Friday, July 13, 2012

I'll Bring the Dessert!

My in-laws celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on July 1 (Congratulations, Keith & Mary Ann!) - tomorrow all the 5 boys and their families are getting together for a BBQ to celebrate.  Everyone is taking food; I said I'd make a bok choy salad (yum) and a dessert.  We got home from our holidays yesterday, so today was pick-the-dessert day.

I ended up making three.

From my new Company's Coming Cookies book that I picked up from the sale table at Safeway, I'm making the Creamy Snowballs (cream cheese, chocolate chips, mini colored marshmallows, rolled into balls and in coconut).  I'll roll these tomorrow - they seem like they'll be super sweet.

The other two I think I found on Pinterest, but I also searched online for no-bake desserts (no oven in this heat) and looked at lots.  (When I find something on Pinterest that I think I'd like to make, I always click through to their original sites - if the recipe calls for weird ingredients or looks too involved, I won't pin it.  No point if I'm not actually going to make it.)

One is Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispies Treats, and looks yummy.  PB in the mix, and chopped up cups on top with a chocolate drizzle on top...

The other is Chocolate Chip Cookie Delight - cookie layer, cream cheese, icing sugar and cool whip layer, chocolate pudding layer & topped with more cool whip.  I'm looking forward to trying this one.

I'll post photos, reviews, and the links if they're worth it, after the tasting.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


We're back home again after a great few days with family.  We hit up the zoo, the kids got a lot of pool time, Nolan got in for a swim, we went to the beach and out to my aunt's cabin up by Hecla... good times.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Family Camp

This past weekend Sean headed north with a few good friends to golf.  It's a trip he booked long ago and has been very much looking forward to.  They did 56 holes at Elk Ridge and Waskesiu, and had great weather too.  While they were gone, I took the kids (I like saying that - the kids) to family camp.  It didn't take me long to decide to take them when we found out that the dates were the same as Sean's trip... and I decided that of course we'd stay in the tent!

It was the first family camp Katepwa Lake Camp has held in a few years for a number of reasons, but this summer, with a new director, it had a re-birth.  And suitably, there were a good number of young families with lots of kids and babies.  Not too many families with older kids, but there were still a good handful around Madeline's age.  It was a hot, relaxed, fun weekend, and we'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Here is our home for the weekend, and here is the 'long time in the making' quilt!  I finished the top the day before camp, and took it for it's first picnic with some friends to the park at the end of the street Friday morning.  We used it all weekend, and again last night took it for a picnic supper.  So it's good and broken in already, and I still haven't decided if I am going to back it with a light waterproof layer or just leave it rough.  The edges are unfinished and fraying... it's charming.  I'm glad it's finally usable, and that I'm happy with it!