Monday, December 8, 2014


I have been adhering to standards of online posting. My own standards. Adopted from ideals of others. I may post: to bring other's joy or perspective, personal record keeping. I may not post: to brag, to complain, to eliminate name a few. Censorship has it downfalls, it has been more challenging to write.

Additionally, I have been avoiding my blog, mainly because my last entry was about how kindergarten wasn't emotional for me. That was after one week into the program, when I thought all was peachy. Things got emotional about three weeks in, after I found out my 3 year-old wasn't adjusting as I thought. Happy at home, not-so-happy at school. These lessons are for another day, because I don't want to write about them today, but I would feel misleading as to say everything was still hunky dory in the kindergarten department, when it is not. My initial reflections, although genuine, completely ignorant.

I did some digging. My Grade 12 English teacher wrote me a note. Tonight I thought of this note and I was determined to find it. Success.

It is the P.S. in the note which I wanted to reread. A lost sixteen year-old, who sometimes wore a cat collar as a necklace, was described as having excellence. Excellence that lingered. I needed to reread that tonight. Sometimes despite our success (occupational, relational, cerebral...whatever), the rote parts of the day-to-day and the curveballs life throws our way cloud our self-perspective. I worked late tonight and went to a Christmas party, feeling like I passed on the important (and rote) duties of wife and mother. I was reminded that I have excellence. Not am excellent, but possess an ability to be. Empowered to be excellent.

If a teacher can empower me 14 years later, then how much more can God empower me? Who does my Father say I am?

I am strengthened with His power for all endurance (Colossians 1:11)
I am forgiven. Debts cancelled. (Colossians 2:13-14)
I am God's chosen. Kind. Patient. Forgiving. (Colossians 3:12-13)

For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in out hearts to give the light of the knowledge or the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power [excellence] belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair. ~2 Corinthians 4:6-8

Who might I empower today by speaking blessing over them?
Am I letting His excellence continue to linger for me?

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Rylyn happy and home after her first full day.
Rylyn started kindergarten this week. To be honest, while an exciting milestone, not an emotional one for me. Perhaps because school is everyday for a teacher? Perhaps because I know this is something she needs and from which she will have great benefit? Perhaps because Addisyn has two (seemingly long) years before she starts kindergarten? Perhaps because I am more concerned about having to teach 100 minutes of kindergarten myself this year and am wondering how I am going to survive it?!

Having the privilege of experiencing the first day of school with other's children makes sending my own to kindergarten exciting and not emotional for me. I believe in our public education system and know she is in capable hands. I believe all education first comes from parents, so the responsibility to educate is still mine first and not one I am handing over. I believe in the light that is Rylyn and that it will shine brightly to love others.

Memories from the first few days:
-the caterpillar in her class made a cocoon
-played on the iPad
-riding the big bus with her big friend
-coming home dry and in the clothes we sent her (!!!)
-"I was mean and went to the principal's office." (After much probing I learned that the new word they learned about that day was "principal" and she in fact was not sent to the office).

Rylyn, those 30 wide-eyed kindergarteners I teach twice a week will get my best because of all the things you have taught me thus far about the small and mighty. Congrats on your first day and week of school!

Rylyn and Mom on the morning of the first official day of school
Family photo as requested for homework

Goodbye Quincy

There will never be another cat like you. Even the feline haters could fall for you. My Quincy. It has been heartbreaking saying goodbye to you.

Treat-lover. Shifty eyes. Plastic bag eater. Ribbon addict. Molter. Muppet. Dandelion head.

Loved also by your first mom, Cindy. We first met on her hair dressing chair where you would watch me get my hair cut and even sit on my lap. Little did we know that one day you would become one of my favourite wedding presents.

I will miss most your final few years with our girls. Hiding from them all day long and coming up for lap snuggles with me, after they went to bed and I turned on the television. During the day, when they did catch you, not once did you bite, hiss or even cry as they dragged you around. I will miss brushing your mane and petting you when freshly groomed.

You tried to end our first year of marriage by drinking from the toilet and cleverly putting up the seat. Chris was continually blamed and nagged for leaving the seat up, until I caught you one day. I probably wouldn't have believed a cat could play fetch before you either. How you enjoyed running down the stairs after your jingle ball.

You had a loving and content disposition. Easy going. Dog-like. Eager to play or snuggle whomever came through the door. I remember taking you to the hospice to visit Great Auntie Vee. I take comfort in believing that she is taking care of you now in "green pastures" with "calm waters, " her favourite verses. I imagine you basking in the sunshine when you take breaks from playing with your brothers, Sonny and Charlie, who went before you.

Goodbye dear companion. There will always be a special place in my heart for you.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Out of the Mouths of Babes Part 3

I think this is the third installment. I am starting to lose track.

Over dinner, Chris (husband), exits to use the washroom. After a couple of minutes I exit to do a quick check to make sure he is still having respite playing the iPad, while leaving me to contend with dinner, in there and return to the table. The following conversation occurs:

Didi: "Mommy? Where's Daddy?"

Me: "I dunno, hun. He seems to have disappeared."

Didi: "You killed him?"

Me: laughter

I am hoping Addy's response is due to the number of flies and insects we kill in the house on a daily basis since moving to the country.

A recent fav pic after hiking the Dundas Valley

Monday, June 30, 2014

Moving Smart: What Not to Pack

I am back-blogging. We are in the new house and right now I don't want to blog about it! Shall we say home in progress? Packing my clean and organized home was fun. Unpacking to a home that needs scrubbing and repair, less so. Don't worry, I will have tons of stories for you and am still excited about our new home journey.

Here are things we did not pack until the 11th hour. Even then, they were in ready to grab formats. We put them in the truck the morning of the move. The rest of our boxes were in storage and our furniture awaited movers. I have included cost details about the storage and movers as I had trouble finding details of other's experiences for Ontario.

Hiring movers was a larger expense. $132 an hour plus insurance, taxes, tip (we decided $30 each mover)...etc. They showed up early...more money out of our pocket. We phoned the company afterward to let them know that we felt overcharged due to their error and they reimbursed us $100 (probably $132 x 2 hours early would have been more accurate). The 3 movers themselves were amazing and very professional. The dispatcher was where our error was made with arrival time. We were less happy there as the time was confirmed three days prior. We felt it was worth money despite the hiccough because it took all pressure off of us on moving day. As this was a local move, we moved everything else into a storage unit and moved all boxed items and small furniture ourselves over a month.

Total cost for movers ~$900 We used Birds Moving. They had the lowest quote for us of five local companies, cheapest hourly wages, most professional quote employee and the final cost was less than quoted. The movers, themselves, were great.
Total cost for a month of storage ~$225 plus fuel. We used Smithville Mini-Storage. They were fantastic and we had a 10' by 20' locker.

And now for the items (other than furniture) we did not pack until the end:

Large box for sheets, laundry, medicines, scrapbooking essentials and important files


Cleaning supplies, school back pack and purse

Control centre - pens, paper, packing tape, box cutter, AND modem box to mail modem back

One set of dishes, electronics (printer, computers...etc)

Picnic pack of plates and cutlery, two pans, flipper, one bake sheet, cheese grater, garbage bags, dish soap

Garbage can!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Good-bye 57

On Monday, we say good-bye to our first home.

As newly weds, we moved in with hope of dreams fulfilled. Many have been and many await at our new home. Here are a few memories of our almost 7 years at 57:

-We hosted Thanksgiving, with grocery-store rotisserie chicken and boxed stuffing.

-Our neighbours. When you share roofs and driveways in a town home, it is important that your neighbours are not annoying (you aren't). I will not miss having nowhere to pile snow, but I will miss our small driveway!

-BBQs on our deck, our real living room, with family and friends.

-Learning how to garden, and realizing, like many things in life, it is a journey not a destination.

-Having my water break on December 23rd for an early Christmas present, Rylyn, 2 weeks before her due date.

-Giving birth to Addisyn at home.

-Learning how to cook gluten-free and realizing I love to bake bread.

-Walks to the park and under doggies on the swings.

-Having PoultryFest and Smithville fair in our back yard.

We hope that we have more opportunities to love and build heavenly treasures in our new home than we have had in this one.

2 Corinthians 5:1 We know that our body—the tent we live in here on earth—will be destroyed. But when that happens, God will have a house for us. It will not be a house made by human hands; instead, it will be a home in heaven that will last forever.

Front porch
Back porch with Dad
The irises bloomed
Peonies (happy I have a bush at the new house too)
While I was taking pictures, Addy decided to eat mulch

We have been busy with some legal complications relating to our move and, of course, packing. We are trusting in God that all will come through at the eleventh hour. I look forward to blogging more about our adventure of Moving Smart with our time, money and sanity on rainy days during the summer!

One of our last (funny) memories at 57...
Rylyn: "I want to watch Caillou."
Mommy: "We are not watching Caillou."
Rylyn: "Why?"
Mommy: "I think Caillou is whiny and he doesn't need to learn any new tricks from you."
Rylyn: "Ya, I could teach 'im."
We decided on Curious George.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Moving Smart: Thrifty Tips

We're moving in a month or so. As a result, my blogging will take a turn from motherhood, faith and Jesus, Celiac, among other things, to a series on Moving Smart, where I plan to document the smart (and not-so-smart) of this new adventure. We are attempting to balance the commodities of money, time and sanity.

Disclaimer: at this time, some of my tips are untested and could be Pinterest fails. I will of course edit  tips and label any that fall under the not-so-smart category once tested.

Frugal. My middle name. Photo essay time...

We plan to move everything FRAGILE ourselves and separately from other items. Chris' parents are storing these items for us at this time.

Glassware. Ahem...crystal.

Wrap bottom and stem with tea-towel (or other kitchen fabrics)
Place inside paper bag
Twist, tuck, voila!

China. Using the fancy pants storage box they are housed in. It is about double the size of a shoe box.

Paper bags in between China plates and toilet paper tubes to hold snug

Meals. A friend told me to budget for extra meals out surrounding the move. I have been selling unused items, that need a new home, online for months and this money will contribute to this fund.

The Food Fund jar
VISA points have been going to food gift cards 
This is what happens when Rylyn plays with marker

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Funny

Setting: Dying eggs at the kitchen table.

Mom: "Would you like pages to colour while we wait for the eggs to dye?"

Rylyn: "Yes, please. We will wait for the eggs to die, and then, when we are done colouring they will be alive again, just like Jesus."

Need I say more? Happy Easter!

1 Corinthians 15:20-23

New Century Version (NCV)
20 But Christ has truly been raised from the dead—the first one and proof that those who sleep in death will also be raised. 21 Death has come because of what one man did, but the rising from death also comes because of one man. 22 In Adam all of us die. In the same way, in Christ all of us will be made alive again.23 But everyone will be raised to life in the right order. Christ was first to be raised. When Christ comes again, those who belong to him will be raised to life....

Saturday, March 29, 2014

McDonald's Solved My Health Problem

If you know me, you know the Golden Arch and I have a love-hate relationship. Mainly because I shouldn't eat it and have to drive by it twice a day! While, not good for your health, it did solve a health problem for me.

One day after lunch at work, a fishbone, from salmon (see I try to eat healthy), was caught in my throat. I calmed myself down, told myself I could breathe and, therefore, was not in a state of emergency. I did try to self-induce vomiting in the bathroom (thanks for sharing, I know) but couldn't. Once I calmed myself down, it was more uncomfortable than anything else. I made it through the rest of the work day.

After some Googling, my remedies of choice, before calling the doctor, were bread and Coca-Cola. The bread was to be the right consistency to push the bone down and the Coke acidic enough to help break it down. Bread seemed a little dry to me, and I wasn't about to go grocery shopping, as a result, a hamburger seemed like the better and closest option after work. Hamburgers seem to go down in a gooey ball, that in my mind, would be perfect for dislodging the bone.

Armed with 2 hamburgers and the largest Coke I could order, I fixed my fishbone problem. When I was home, I took a painkiller and gargled with salt water. Finally, I laughed at the fact, that in this case, McDonald's had been good for my health. That my friends, is how I dealt with a fishbone caught in my throat.

Cake probably would have worked too, Happy 2nd Didi!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Gluten-Free Butternut Squash Gnocchi

I have found a quiet moment to share. Chris (DH) is picking up some routine groceries. The girls, now 3 and 1.8 are falling asleep(???). Actually, moments ago Addisyn finished yelling "fie-wok, fie-wok" and Rylyn crying because someone is lighting fireworks in the neighbourhood. They clearly have confused the January thaw for the first of July.

I tried a new recipe tonight. I had a butternut squash left over from my "Good Food Box" from December. While I will eat butternut squash, I am not a huge fan of the texture and am the only one who will tolerate the texture in my family. My Gluten-Free-Recipe-Fairy from work placed a new mini-cookbook in my box after Christmas break and I found "Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Savory Herb Butter."

To be honest, trying this recipe on a school night was a dumb idea. I thought it looked so simple…it was…but it was also a lot of steps. It was like making pierogies! Fortunately, the gnocchi turned out great so I have a new and different butternut squash recipe to use when I have an extra hour and a half on my hands…ha! The lemon sauce was a little tart for the girls (and me). Next time, I may try a cheese sauce. As my husband says, everything tastes better with cheese.

"Better a bread crust shared in love
    than a slab of prime rib served in hate." -Proverbs 15:17

(by the way the gnocchi was shared in love…despite the ordeal to make it!)


Credit to the recipe PIL Cookbook's Gluten Free Recipes, November ed.

1 butternut squash
1 cup rice flour (I used a little more to make the dough more pliable)
2.5 tsp salt (divided)
1 tsp Xantham Gum
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup butter
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp rubbed sage (I used fresh)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 lemon
Parmesan cheese to taste

-Cook (cut in half, bake in a water bed at 400 degrees for 45 min) and mash squash (ricer is best). Add rice flour, 2 teaspoons salt, xantham gum, and pepper. Mix well (I used dough blades on my mixer).

-Dust cutting board with rice flour. Scoop batches of dough and hand roll into 1/2 inch ropes and cut into 1 inch pieces.

-Drop 8 to 12 gnocchi into boiling water until they float to surface. Remove gnocchi with slotted spoon; drain on paper towel.

-Combine butter, garlic, parsley, sage, thyme and 1/2 tsp of salt in skillet and heat until butter begins to brown. Add lemon juice (I squeeze the lemon through a sieve) and cook for 30 seconds. Add gnocchi and toss. Cook 2 minutes or until browned and served topped with parm.