Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I know its been a long time. I have been busy. I think I've also been a little lost. I'd kind of like to stay there, but I guess its not the best place to be. I think I should just be able to see the joyful things around me and the darkness will disappear, but that would just be pretending. I didn't want to pretend, but didn't want to be honest either.

Ian's coworker decided to take his own life the week before Christmas. At the funeral, the pastor said something like - what we know today is that even though we all try to act like we have it all together, we really don't. We played ball with Garry last summer. As I knew him, he was fun-loving, easy-going and laid back. I couldn't, and still can't, get over the fact that he didn't feel that he could really talk to anyone about whatever was going on in his life. I kept thinking what is wrong with all of us, that we don't really share with each other. I was trying to figure out why are we so scared of being judged?

I don't know though that it is about feeling judged. I think sharing probably brings people relief more than worry about judgement. I wonder if keeping everything to ourself has more to do with our own personal struggle to deal with the pain we feel. We lost a baby in November. I don't talk about it, because I want so badly to forget. I do everything I can to not think about our loss and the baby. So I don't talk to anyone while I try to ignore what I feel. All its done is make me feel very far away from everyone and it still hurts. Typing that is painful but brings relief from my silence. Honesty is good.

When we recently lost Grandpa, it was obviously a time for a lot of reflection. Not just on his life, but on who I am. The reflection made me want to be more honest with myself. I learned some new things about Grandpa and his experiences in life - like the Muscox expedition he was on. But everything that was said about WHO he was, was not at all a surprise. He was steady and strong in who he was. I have longed lately for that feeling of steadiness and the peace that I imagine comes with it.

Last night we drove back from the farm to Moose Jaw with the car vibrating. The tires on the VW always get build up inside of them in the winter that cause that. Ian has to clean them out a couple times during the winter. However, this time we should have considered an alternative theory to what seemed obvious to us. When we stopped in Moose Jaw, I saw we had a flat tire. We had to laugh at ourselves for not checking the obvious. After we were on our way again, the thought crossed my mind - what else is an obvious in my life that I don't recognize because I assume something that is untrue?

Assuming I can't have that steadiness is untrue. I have the faith that my Grandpa had. I'm sure he had more personal struggles than I knew. None of us have been given a path that is free from some bumps. I'd like to be more honest about my journey - with myself and those I am blessed to share it with. I think I'd find more steadiness walking this way than in my solitude of late.

Hmm. I sat down to write a little Christmas letter. Full of the highlights of how we've been blessed. But, this is what came out. A little more honesty (and babble) than I was prepared for. But maybe for myself I will go ahead and share it anyways, in the spirit of honesty and transparency. Maybe it will be good for more than just me. There you have it - although pretty roughly written through my blurry vision - I guess that's it for my 2009 review and wishes for 2010. Happy holidays and love to you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Colorless Fall Photos.

I have tried and tried to get out to the park for the annual fall pictures. We never had a nice sunny day when I had a chance, until yesterday. However, by now they are very colorless when I compare the previous years. I'll have to update the blog header with these soon.

I also found it even harder this year, with 2 mobile kids to get any decent ones. Kellen was mad he wasn't digging in the sand and kept scowling. I have really been trying not to use bribes, but I finally broke down and promised him a Lightening car (he has had about 10 and has lost them all!) It was amazing how quickly the smiles showed up.

Winter then Fall

A few winter pictures.

I love this expression. I can tell this is him beginning one of his stories.
Then fall returned and I got a few pile of leaves shots. Although they are pretty few. It was hard to catch any that were not of their backs as they ran around.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Chicken and Eggs

Kellen told me yesterday that he would draw me a picture. That usually means some scribbles and color. I had never seen anything that looked like anything. He was quite delighted when he exclaimed that he had drawn me a chicken. Then he took it back for a minute. "Oh, I forgot it needs a beak! Oh, how do I draw a beak?! Umm, yeah, like this..." and put a few scribbles down.

I thought it was a pretty big step and thought I should scan it to save the first (what I call) "real" drawing. So, here I share. I really enjoying watching him do new things.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpkin Spice Latte

I don't know my source. I scribbled this off a blog and didn't note where I stole it from. Sorry to whoever. But its so good I think I should share anyhow.

2 cups milk
2 T canned pumpkin
1 heaping T of sugar
2 T vanilla extract
1/2 pumpkin pie spice (or in my case a dash of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves)
1/2 cup very strong coffee

Combine milk, pumpkin, and sugar in pot and cook on medium heat until steaming. Remove from heat, add vanilla and spice. Process in blender for 15 sec (or in my lazy case, whisk frantically for 30 sec.) Pour into 2 large mugs and add coffee.


vacuum advice

wishing I had a vacuum advisor tonight. Mine is not working. No suction. I thought it had been getting worse for awhile. Even with a brand new bag in it, the button flips over to full every time I turn it on. My carpet looks really awful right now.

So, I picked up one that was 40% off at Ian's favorite store. Dirt Devil Vision Power Pak Canister. Looked good - HEPA filter and it says POWERFUL on the box. It also said #1 consumers choice. But, then before I open it, I go looking for reviews online. I find only a few, and they are not that great. I'd really like to vacuum my carpets right now. I'm sitting here beside a box, wanting to open, but not so sure anymore, and wishing i had a vacuum advisor. Maybe I just should have just vacuumed instead of investigating.

UPDATE: Amy, funny that I tried a friend's Dyson from next door just after I wrote this. After that trial, I would have liked to get one until I looked into the price. If we were keeping our carpet, I might have felt more like investing. Since we are hoping to go to hard floors soon, I opened the Dirt Devil and found it actually works great too. Someone else told me after that according to Consumer Reports, there are other very comparable vacuums to the Dyson that are not as pricey. The Dyson was pretty awesome though - I especially loved the swivling head that made it super nice to vacuum the stairs.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

a little fun around here

I couldn't choose just one of Kellen the Artist. He doesn't often spend this much time on "art". A couple scribbles on the page and he's gone. This was fun to watch him work so intently and to have a story to tell about this bird he painted. I loved it! So, sorry for the many pictures of this event.

And here I display some of my work from today. I did make my bread. I think this will be a new habit, so I might as well go purchase a couple more bread pans, although round bread in pie plates is kind of fun.

I don't know how to take good pictures of cards. Well, I don't usually do it, seems an odd thing to do. But I really liked these ones I whipped up the other night and the camera was sitting there.

I wish I also had some new pictures of my kids in the beautiful oranges, yellows, and reds at the park. It was on my list of things to do today, but it was so cold, rainy, and dreary that plan didn't get carried out.
So, that is the only recent fun from our lives that my camera captured. I really need to take more pictures. I don't even have one from our wonderful visit from Grandpa Gerry and Grandma Lorna last weekend. I'm hoping to have some pictures of a newly painted entry way and a "surprise room" soon. Paint was purchased, now I just have to find some time. Ohhhh, what color, you wonder? What room? Hee,hee - the suspense, eh? I should also have some pictures of an adventure to the cabin next weekend!

crazy late night

The bread turned out absolutely wonderful. I hope I have time to make it again tomorrow. If I don't forget the molasses again, it might even be better. I am really, really looking forward to my day at home tomorrow.

I loved, loved the Food Secure Saskatchewan conference I attended the last 2 days. I sometimes feel that I won't learn anything new at some conferences, but this was not just the same old. I did learn some new things. A practical thing - The Green Ranch that runs a CSA for Weyburnites. They are from Osage and I did not know about them. If you live around that area, you should check them out here.

We just finished pureeing a mound of tomatoes, I think we must have done almost 15 L.

I bought paint today for the porch. I'm itching to get at it now, I can't wait to see if its how I envisioned it. I hope its not a disappointment. I hope I'm posting pictures of that soon.

Why, oh why, is there not more time in the day? And why am I up so late again?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

crazy bread night

I'm up for another 40 minutes. Waiting for the bread to come out of the oven. Yep, homemade bread, mmm. Thanks to Kristal for inspiring me to make bread when she talked about making it every Saturday morning. Hmm, thanks or no thanks, I'm not sure. I read the recipe (Dietitians of Canada cookbook, of course) and decided it was so easy, I should just do it tonight. Sounded like a good idea at 7:30, but my eyes are really heavy and I'm wishing I could just go to bed right now. Since I can't, I'm here rambling. Sorry.

I was listening to CBC radio last night. Some guy is just finishing his 50 jobs in 50 States in 50 weeks adventure. It sounded pretty cool so I was listening closely (thank goodness). I thought being a surfing instructor, working at a winery, and other things sounded pretty cool. When he asked what one job stood out to him, I never expected (in fact, I almost fell over) to hear being a dietitian! Seriously? In fact, I feel funny telling this story because I think I must need to replay that and check that fact. He said something about with the obesity issue, its a complex, interesting job (I was still recovering from the shock of what he said, that next line is kind of fuzzy). I always thought my job is pretty cool, but to hear that just made me really happy.

Sunday morning I had a little adventure. After playing with the kids downstairs for a bit, I went up to make us some oatmeal for breakfast. I got it on the stove and since things were still so quiet and peaceful downstairs, I started doing a few other things. Then, it dawned on me that maybe things were too peaceful. When I headed downstairs I saw the front door wide open and the bike that had been sitting in the porch was gone. Once outside, I quickly realized they were long gone, out of our quiet bay. I wished I had time to put some clothes on, but decided against it. Grabbed a sweater and and sandals and went running down the street in my pajamas with my crazy morning hair flying. I headed one way, then decided to turn around and try the other way first. I was worrying I was wasting time going the wrong way. Luckily a kind, old lady stepped out of the house and pointed me down the street and around the corner. Rounding the corner, I saw my 3 and 1 year old in bare feet and their pajamas. One riding his bike and the other one pushing a fire truck. Still running away from me. How far would they have gone if they had the chance I wonder? They both spent some time crying on their beds and Kellen did not get to play with his trucks the rest of the day.

I'll let you know how the bread adventure turns out.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


ok, just one more post tonight (I finally was getting a wack of pics off the camera). Here are just a few random favorites that made me happy.

Isn't it fun how boys want to be just like their dads? Isn't this girl beautiful? And oh, is she ever strong willed and showing a lot of confidence lately. I love the way she struts around.

I really did pick up the knitting again. Here's the second project so far. I'm almost done the second leg warmer for Lanelle. The first one fits great! It is much more relaxing than trying to scrapbook when I'm up late.


This summer Kellen asked me why Grandpa had a combine. When I told him to cut the crop that grew in his field, he looked confused.
K - But how does it get there?
M - you mean how does the combine get to the field?
K - yeah?
M - it drives there.
K - how?
M - on the road
K - oh! (surprised) Can it go super fast??

The conversation came out of nowhere. So, I put it on the priority list to get him out there to see how things work. Once we were there, Kellen was pretty nervous to get on the combine, so I had to ride with him and Uncle Tim for a bit until he would let me leave. Tim said I had better try and see if I could remember how to drive. Kellen didn't think that was a good idea. So, I did just so he could see that mom can drive mighty machines too. Kellen stayed out real late with Grandpa in the tractor with the grain cart. He came in dirty, happy, and a little more informed about the farm machines.

garage sale weekend

This was the weekend to garage sale in town! I had Friday afternoon off and noticed the balloons on almost every street on the way home. So, I found a great case for the small, but hopefully growing costume and hat collection ($1). I asked about the stickers on it, and the lady talked about her trips there, which was very fun. The coolest little coffee set up I think I've ever seen ($3)
And a beautiful tea set ($4)

And that was not all. We participated in a parade this morning (Kellen did really well biking and Lanelle was very happy in her backpack). We were pretty much at the end when I jumped out of line and grabbed a Fisher price art easel that I've been keeping my eye open for. Kellen is sleeping with the big semi truck he got. He told me he loved me tonight. Why, I asked. Because you bought me the best truck! At the rate I was going, I will be planning my own garage sale for this weekend next year to try get rid of stuff!

Monday, September 14, 2009

i'm still here

making: myself tired
cooking: tomorrow - lasagna
drinking: coffee
reading: nothing, sigh...
wanting: more time
looking: forward to the weekend
playing: lots of trucks on the floor
wasting: my last hour of wakefulness
sewing: baby crinkle toys
wishing: i could stop time
enjoying: lanelle singing happy home
waiting: for the washer to finish
liking: the peace and quiet
wondering: if i can find harmony
loving: my family
hoping: to always remember to treasure this stage
marvelling: at the smooth monday morning we had
needing: more time to play
smelling: coffee, mmm.
wearing: my favorite brown shirt
following: my whim this moment
noticing: how good it feels to reflect
knowing: there is always tomorrow
thinking: life is really good
bookmarking: all the crafts I love in a to do file
opening: my cardmaking supplies
giggling: because I choose to
feeling: like I might regret this late night tomorrow

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Lanelle & Bear

Lanelle and I are having a wonderful day together. We waved goodbye earlier to Papa Bill, Daddy, and Kellen (to the cabin of course - do I need to say?!) Garage sales, Farmers Market, and a long walk with a stop at the coffee shop have been highlights. We got to hang out with Auntie A and the cousins and visit around at the Market. Fun.

Also fun, Lanelle's new bear from her cousins is a real hit. His name seems to just be Bear, she shook her head if I suggested otherwise. She absolutely would not eat breakfast without him in her hands. Oatmeal wipes off fur (kind of).

Old news

I'm posting old news first. I don't know where this past month has gone. Really, I've said things like that before, but I REALLY mean it this time. I feel like I don't know what happened to time.

So, this beautiful piece came into our house in July. We talked about what to do with this corner of the kitchen since we moved in - take down the wall and open up the kitchen/dining room/living room into one space, OR put up some shelving in this corner and put in a island, OR put a table here (which I really didn't want since there's already one just a few steps away). Anyhow, I saw this advertised late one night and the next day we went and bought it. Kitchen - done! Beautiful and functional. It's the baking corner. Kitchen aid, bread maker, flour and all such things stored here. When the top is pulled out, plenty of room to work. I will admit to having pretty bad buyers remorse for a bit after such an impulse by, until it made its way from the garage to its corner in the house. I especially fell in love when I was making biscuits peacefully here while Ian was making soup in the other corner of the kitchen.

The only thing we need to do is put some glass here. I'm wondering if my wonderfully talented cousin Monica would be interested in helping us out here? Any thoughts Monica?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cute stuff?

Me: Kellen, what would you like to be when you grow up?

K: (with snotty look, squinty eyes, and a shake of the head) nuthin

Me: I mean, I'm a dietitian and I teach people about food. Dad operates equipment and works for the town. What would you like to do?

K: Nuthin. Just whatever I want to do.

Me: Oh, so if you were not working and doing whatever you wanted to do...what would you do?

K: I'd do nuthin.

Yikes, should I be concerned?


Me: Kellen, what was your favorite part of the circus?

K: The elephant pooping!!!!!

Me: Oh. What else did you like? (sounding hopeful for more)

K: Nothin. Just the elephant pooping.

Dad: Yeah, that's pretty interesting.

K: Yeah, he pooped, just like me.

Dad: (laughing) But we don't clean up after you with a shovel and a garbage pail.

K: No, but maybe we should use a combine! Yeah, just like BOOF!

We haven't really figured out a definition for boof, but it is the word around here and seems to be applied in any way you could imagine.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Our magical morning

We had a magical morning down at the beach, just a short bike ride away. It always seems to be quiet at this rocky little spot.
Kellen requested to come here. The monkey bar beach he calls it. There's a little grove of trees behind the monkey bars. I said to him, lets go on a hunt in the woods. He was right with me and his eyes lit up. "What do you think we'll find? Is this the woods with Fox and Franklin? Let's go hunt for treasure!"

Of course, this was after he abandoned his shoes.

And had gotten all wet. He stripped naked while I was looking the other way and refused to wear his wet clothes. Well, he tried to. He did wear his shirt and underwear while we played in the woods and I hung his pants to dry a little.

Lanelle explores in her own way at her own pace. Today, rocks were very interesting.

Kellen was so excited about his treasures that we took them home and displayed them for Dad. Rocks, bark, leaves, twigs...
While I was taking pictures of that excitement, I realized I had never taken pictures of Ian's table. Not that I wasn't excited about his project. I really love it, even more than I hoped to.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Week thoughts.

My week flew by at an amazing speed. I'm counting down the remaining carefree days of summer minus work. I'd like to say I've been enjoying every second, but its been hard to. Lanelle was sick this week - grouchy and fevered. So sleep was far from optimal and she's been very demanding. But, we carried on and Kellen did his swimming lessons every morning at the beach. He did real well and got his duck sticker. It was difficult for me, because he found it very cold and didn't want to stay in for the whole time. It went better when I finally resorted to bribing. We would get ice cream if he listened and stayed in the water. I hated doing it, but it worked so well. It's only bad if you do it ALL the time, right? (We only did it 2 days, just to clarify.)

Do you like Lanelle's dress? I'm very proud of it and had her wear it almost every day this week. I think my sewing machine is going to make a few projects, as I might get addicted. The little afternoon project was a bright spot for me and made my week feel successful and happy.

Until Friday anyhow. Friday was a "hmmmph" kind of day. I'm not sure if I woke up grouchy or if the kids did and then made me grouchy. Maybe, I realized that the week had flown by and I didn't get to do many things on my fun list. I couldn't seem to get anything done and didn't really have enough motivation to tackle life. Anybody out there understand? I just felt stuck in a rut I didn't want to be in.

I really wanted to feel motivated again. I was hopeful I would have an inspiring Saturday morning on a fun shopping adventure with Lanelle in the city, since Ian and Kellen were off to the hunting cabin. After picking up the necessary wedding gift (which we needed for this evening) and being tortured at Michael's by each other. I decided to shorten my fun shopping list, since it really wasn't fun for either of us. But, I still did hit Fabricland since I wanted to be able to make a couple more dresses this week.

And then I stumbled across this. An amazing deal on some beautiful curtains that match our living room/dining room perfectly. I'm sure I've dreamed about them, but never thought I'd find exactly what I wanted and especially at such an amazing price.

Good bye you ugly old red curtains. I'm feeling more inspired about the upcoming week and making my list of what I really want to do - with the kids and my own projects. I'm thinking its going to be a good week. I know I've shared some weak week thoughts here, I just find it interesting what little happenings make me feel like its a sunny, happy world. Little dresses, curtains, or whatever.
Now that I'm smiling again, its easier to remember more of the good things about this past week, which included, fun times with sister Kathy visiting for a day, good times reconnecting with friends at the beach that I've missed since being back at work, seeing the beautiful relationship between bride and father tonight that made me cry...just a few more of the sunny spots in my week.