Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A Toolgirl I'm Not...

When Les left for work early this morning, the garage door went up and down without any problem. I know, I watched as I waved good-bye to him from the front window before I headed back into the washroom to finish getting ready for work.

An hour or so later, I was ready for work, and I had Amanda ready for school, so we headed out into the garage, got into the car, backed out of the driveway and TRIED to close the garage door again, but it wouldn't close all the way. It would go 3/4 of the way down and then automatically reopen itself.

I got out of the car and tried the opener on the wall in the garage, same problem. Then I looked at the garage door and more specifically the metal thing-y that it rolls up and down on. It appeared to be bent (for lack of a better word), and this seemed to be causing the problem. I tried with all my might to un-bend it - to no avail.

Finally, I decided to leave it for a moment. I took Amanda to school then came back home. I simply couldn't leave the garage wide open all day. We may not have many treasures in there, but even lawn-mowers and well-used bikes are expensive to replace. So I called work and told them I'd be late. Then I called Les at work and asked for his advice. ("Why, oh why," I thought, "Don't these things happen for him. HE knows what to do....") ...or does he?...he suggested a hammer?!

So back out there, I went, with hammer in hand. It was no use though, I couldn't pound the rail straight. My heaviest of swings didn't budge it even. Then I got my latest *brilliant* idea....I'd use the other end (the one you pull nails out with) to pry the rail into place. It seemed to work. It's not perfectly straight, but I got it to work well enough to get myself to work. Maybe I am a 'toolgirl' afterall! (But I still want Les to look at it after work...HE'll know what to do:)

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Amanda is off to visit the Queen...

...dressed in her best dress (royal blue, no less), and she's SO excited! This week Amanda's school received some tickets to the Centenniel Gala tonight, and so Amanda put her name in to receive one. Her name wasn't chosen at first, and she was so disappointed, but this morning the school called us to see if she could still go because they had a cancellation and exactly one ticket open,"Would Amanda still be available?" they asked. Would she?! Princess Amandalena of Brophy cleared her schedule for her royal audience with Her Majesty, the Queen...this is the kind of stuff her dreams are made of!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Does shoveling gravel count?

...it better!!

This weekend I was a "bad" girl. I didn't get my regular workouts in, not even once. You see, we are preparing to have our drive-way and walk done in paving stone later this month (it's currently crushed rock...who knew? I always thought it was gravel, but I've now learned differently, but that's another story for another day...)

As part of preparing for the paving stone, we decided to plant a hedge between our drive-way and our neighbour's, so we ordered the cotoneasters on Thursday, and Friday morning Les and I went out to dig out a 20 foot by 3 foot trench from the gravel (er, crushed rock) to prepare for the bushes. That was A LOT more work than we thought it would be... Then, while we were at it, we went and dug up the fine gravel at the side of our house and took it load by load by load....to our back alley to reduce weed growth on the other side of our fence. Then we loaded (and loaded and loaded...you get the picture...) big crushed rock from the front drive-way on the wheel barrel and took it to the side to fill in the area.

Several times during this all, my husband with a background in the medical profession, reminded me not to lift with my back. To which I responded, "No, I'm being good, see I'm bending my knees and using my legs."

Well, the whole job took more than 2 1/2 hours, and when we went in for a break, Dutch Growers called, our trees were on their way. So, long story short, the hedge got planted on Friday, and I was all done in (but my shoe-strings:), so we decided to leave the leveling off of the gravel we'd dug up until Saturday.

Saturday morning, I was in a wee bit of pain, but that didn't stop me. While Les mowed lawns etc., I moved more crushed rock and leveled the driveway down. Then I pruned our new bushes (if you cut them back 6 inches right after you plant them, they grow bushier), so lots of squatting. Then I inspected the hedge we planted last year between our lawn on the other side and our other neighbour. I always pull out any weeds or grass that I see popping up in the woodchips under the hedge on our side, but obviously our neighbour does not do the same on his, so I headed over to there, and with Les' help (and much more squatting), we cleaned that up too.

After another 2 hours of yardwork on Saturday morning, we headed into the house, and I tried to muster up enough energy to get myself onto the gazelle, but there was just no strength left in me. I lamented to my husband that I couldn't miss my workout two days in a row but that surely "THIS counts!"

I had a terrible sleep Saturday night, I could not lie on my right side at all, too much pain for my right leg, and Sunday morning when I got up, well, pain or stiffness are not even close to words that could describe what I felt, particularly in the back of my legs (especially on the right side).

Now, you need to understand, I'm a pretty strong girl, and I'm used to feeling some stiffness or soreness the next day after a weight workout. You can ask Les or ask my co-workers, I really push myself. I actually like that feeling in my arms and legs the day after, I feel stronger. I'm also used to a bit of stiffness the next day after a Saturday full of heavy weeding (er, squatting) too, but I promise you, the way I felt this past Sunday was far beyond that! Though I tried to hide just how much pain I was in from our dinner guests on Sunday evening, the little squeek that came out of me whenever I got up gave me away (and seemed to amuse both my husband and Caroline to no end;) Later on, Les said he could even feel what I had done in the back of my right leg. To which I responded, "See, I didn't lift with my back!" (Incidently, I now don't know if lifting with your legs is really any better than lifting with your back!)

But, alas, the pain is getting better... Yesterday, was a wee bit of an improvement, and I did grit my way through a 30 minute cardio workout after supper, and today, I'm feeling a bit better again...now it just feels like the day after going up another 5 lbs in weights in the circuit at the gym... At least THAT kind of pain I can deal with!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Enjoyment as an Expression of Worship

The other day I read a most excellent post on Carolyn Arend's blog about laughter as a form or worship. It was really very good, and if you haven't read it, I'd suggest you go and check out her blog right now! Then, yesterday as I checked out the Blog-Father's blog, I came across a link to this article which to me is related to Carolyn's post and also quite profound in its own right.

It is funny how when I think of doing something for my own enjoyment I feel like I'm being selfish and immediately lists of things I must do and causes I must fight pop up in my mind. Perhaps that is what the enemy would like me to think...would like us all to think, when, in reality, God would be delighted to see me (to see us all) forget ourselves (our agendas and to-do lists, etc.) and enjoy life, and in doing so, lose ourselves in worship.

Here are some excerpts to illustrate what I think is the point:

"I advise enjoyment. Whereas Jesus said, “If any come after me, let them deny themselves.” Am I preaching heresy? I do not think so. What does deny yourself mean? It seems to me that it speaks of getting off the throne on which I am so prone to perch and let God get back on. It seems to me, that to deny myself means that I need to forget myself – at least a bit! That I remember that he is the saviour; I am not! He wants my co-operation; not my substitution of myself for him. "


"In Poverbs 8, Wisdom is described as being present when God was creating the universe in a spirit of play! Ponder that. Play comes naturally to the child. We may have to relearn it. Observe a child at play: What absorption! Are the child’s thoughts on him/herself? Of course not; the child is totally concentrated on the toy, the insect, the piece of string that is the object of his/her delight. My image of true Christian enjoyment is that of a child on the floor, paying no attention to his/her parents whatsoever, playing with what has caught his/her attention for the moment. The parents do not feel slighted because the child is paying no attention to them; they are delighting in their little one’s delight. But let them leave the room and play disappears in howls for father and mother.

This is a kind of parable for what we need: we can play before God only if, like the child on the floor, we allow ourselves to be secure in God’s love. After all, the distinguishing mark of Christian prayer is that we can call God “Abba.” Basic then to the spirit of play for us is trust in God, in God’s saving love, in God’s unconditioned, unconditional, steadfast love for us. “While we were yet sinners, God sent God’s only Son.” God loves us not because we deserve to be loved, not because we are good; but quite simply because God is good."


"Do we not indeed have to give thought to how we can recapture our ability to enjoy? Joy is not possible without love. One who loves nothing and nobody cannot possibly rejoice, no matter how desperately one craves joy. When we take joy in something, we are saying that it is good. Is not that what God said in face of God’s creation? When we affirm any part of life, we are really affirming life itself. We are saying with our hearts: “Yes, life is good!” Is this not worship? To recognize that the works of God’s hands are good?"

(All quotes come from Sr. Olga Warnke, I.B.V.M.)

...There's a lot more to the article...like some great stuff about the Sabbath, but I'm going to stop there, so go read the article for yourself and let me know what you think:)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Now THIS is how your computer should greet you in the morning...

...my friend and former co-worker, Vaurie, sent this to me this morning and I just HAD to share it:) Have a good day, and remember, you are appreciated!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Carry You
by Amy Grant

Lay down your burden, I will carry you
I will carry you, my child
Lay down your burden, I will carry you
I will carry you, my child, my child

If I can walk on water
And calm a restless sea
I've done a thousand things you've never done

And I'm weary watchin'
While you struggle on your own
Call my name, I'll come

Lay down your burden, I will carry you
I will carry you, my child
Lay down your burden, I will carry you
I will carry you, my child, my child

I give vision to the blind
And I can raise the dead
I've seen the darker side of Hell
And I returned
And I see these sleepless nights
And I count every tear you cry
I know some lessons hurt to learn

Lay down your burden, I will carry you
I will carry you, my child
Lay down your burden, I will carry you
I will carry you, my child, my child

I will carry you, my child

I see these sleepless nights
And I count every tear you cry
And call my name, I'll come runnin'

Lay down your burden, I will carry you
I will carry you, my child
Lay down your burden, I will carry you
I will carry you, my child, my child

I will carry you, my child, my child
I will carry you

Monday, May 09, 2005

Barnes & Noble Reviews "Rock of Ages ... Hymns and Faith"

Rock of Ages...Hymns & Faith is the rare sequel that rivals the original. 2002's Legacy, Amy Grant's first collection of old-time hymns and religious material, both familiar and obscure, was a full-fledged return to inspirational material after many years of secular material, and it was an understated delight, thanks to the smart song selection and classy, subtly shaded production from her husband Vince Gill and Brown Bannister.

Rock of Ages doesn't change their approach at all, primarily because if it worked so well the first time, why change? Some of the songs here aren't as well-known as the tunes on the first record, but when Grant sings a song that is universally known, such as the title track or putting "Jesus Loves Me," it becomes easier to appreciate what she, Gill and Bannister have achieved here. They have updated these old hymns -- most are from the 1800s, some date to the 1600s and 1700s -- so thoroughly that when they slip in a couple of new songs in among them, the fit is comfortable, not awkward.

It works because the music is never flashy, it is relaxed and assured, giving Grant plenty of breathing room, and Gill plenty of place to play some wonderful guitar. It's the rare contemporary Christian album that functions as terrific religious material and transcends its genre based on the richness of its music. It's truly a quiet, modest little gem.

By Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Happy "Mommy's Day!

...that's what Amanda calls it:) It was a busy, but wonderful Mother's Day weekend for our family...what with Les working and all of Amanda's rehearsals for the big musical, etc...which turned out awesome, by the way! I was so proud of my girlie...and of all the kids involved actually...they did great!...and I think that seeing a kids' musical is just the perfect way to celebrate Mother's Day in my books!

On Friday after rehearsals, we went with Arilee and Aurora for supper, which was awesome since we hadn't had an extended visit for a while. Afterward at home, Les and Amanda realized that with rehearsals, the musical and time we had planned for seeing my mom and Les' mom this weekend, this was the last bit of extended time the three of us would have alone together this weekend, so they FORCED me to open my presents before bed that night! (I don't think either one of THEM could have waited another day;). Les gave me a card that melted my heart and made me feel so loved along with Amy Grant's new cd (Rock of Ages...just released this week...something I very much wanted!) Amanda had made me her gift at school. It was an acrylic painting on an artist's canvas of fruit. She did just an exceptional job of it! I've already found a home for it in our kitchen which has a bit of a fruit motif going on!

On Saturday, while Amanda was rehearsing, Les and I met my parents and my brother for supper to give my mom her Mother's Day present. It was a really enjoyable time, and my mom touched my heart with a compliment in passing. Then we headed off to the Church for the musical, which, as I said, was exceptional, and afterward we headed to Jerry's so Nana & Papa could buy Amanda an ice cream for her sparkling performance. There, I was once again surprised...Nana and Amanda had cooked something up, and presented me with sweetheart roses for Mother's Day and for running Amanda around to all her rehearsals for her dance class and for the musical! (Have I ever mentioned, I LOVE roses?!!)

Sunday was an early morning, Les was up and gone early (he worked days all weekend) and I had to have Amanda up by 7:30 so we get her to the early morning rehearsal (followed by two more performances of the musical). Amanda wrote out a Mother's Day prayer for me and even poured MY cereal that morning! She is such a precious heart!! I had a bit of time to myself afterward which I used to read, reflect and get my workout in:) Then mid-afternoon we headed over to Les' folks for a visit, supper and to give Les' mom our Mother's Day present for her. We had a great visit, and Les' step-dad even made my favourite for supper, garlic shrimp!

All-in-all it was a full weekend that I wished didn't have to come to an end. I was definitely spoiled more than I deserved. I hope that all the moms reading this were blessed with a good-spoiling this weekend too;)

"Romance is the deepest thing in life.
It is deeper even than reality."
--G. K. Chesterton

Saturday, May 07, 2005


What do you get when you cross pizza with quesadilla? Pizza-dilla, my latest experiment in the kitchen. It all started when we sampled some thinly sliced turkey pepperoni during our grocery shopping trip this week...ever since then I've been craving pizza. Right now I'm kind of in a 'wraps' groove, so I just kind of combined those two and here's what I came up with...

1 - 2 wraps (we use the organically sprouted whole wheat ones from Costco)
Pizza sauce
Grated cheddar (we use light, old cheddar from Cracker Barrel)
Turkey pepperoni (thin rounds)

Warm a non-stick skillet and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray. Lay a wrap/Tortilla in the pan. Put some pizza sauce on top (I go very lightly on this). Sprinkle grated cheddar (as much or little as you want) on top of that. Lay slices of pepperoni (again as much or as little as you want) on top of that. You also might want to sprinkle parmesan on top of that. You can either stop there and just wait for the cheese to melt and eat it open face, or you can put another wrap on top and flip it over part way through cooking to warm the other side. When it's done, just cut into wedges and serve. I really like how this turned out:)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

2 Important Things to Celebrate this week...

1. Happy Anniversary, Alana & Jim!
Alana & Jim's wedding anniversary was on Monday. They have been married for 24 years now! They have both been wonderful friends to me, and as I've said many times on here, Alana is like a sister to me! But it is even more than that, you see, because long before I married Les, long before I even knew Les, they modeled to me the things I wanted most for my marriage. They taught me what marriage was about, and they gave me hope that it can be something so much more than what we see in many marriages today.

I still remember the evening at their home, when after the awesome dinner Alana prepared (she is one of the best cooks you will ever find!), the three of us sat down for tea in their living room and Alana asked me just exactly what it was that I wanted in a husband. I made some kind of 'light' comment, but they both pressed on, and Alana went and got her pen and paper and wrote my list down. 'THIS is what we will pray for,' she said. I remember about half way through the list, she interjected, "Oh, and you DON'T want him to be wishy-washy!" ...and she wrote that down too! I believe that in a large part, God brought Les (who happens to be EVERYTHING on the list!) into my life because of their prayers!

In many ways Alana is my model as a wife and mom. She models so many of the values that are most important to me. She is very relational, puts her husband first (after God) and her awesome children next...way ahead of anything else in life! She demonstrates her love to her husband and kids in so many tangible ways every day. The way she lives her life inspires and encourages me:) Jim is also a very good husband. He is very 'involved' in family life, which may not sound big, but if you look around at families today, you'll see it is very big. He's affectionate and attentive, and I see him regularly make it a priority to 'date' his wife. They are a GREAT couple!!

2. Happy Birthday, Aurora!
Yesterday was Princess Aurora's 9th birthday! Gosh, it's hard to believe Aurora is 9?! It was just yesterday that I was writing a Winnie the Pooh note for when she started school! Aurora has the sweetest run-into-your-arms-HUGS! ...and the longest lashes for butterfly kisses. She is smart as can be, imaginative, giving and courageous, and is a mother's dream of a 'bestest friend' for her daughter!

I remember so well the first time Amanda and Aurora met. It was the first week that Amanda went to Power Hour. Les and I were standing in the line to register Amanda when Aurora saw us from the distance and came running to me wanting to meet Amanda. Her eagerness made Amanda feel so special too! I remember Aurora taking her hand right away and off they went... The two of them have been inseparable at Church ever since (and inseparable outside of Church whenever we have a get together!) Some folks even mistake them for one another (even though my girlie is so much taller...ah, they're both my girlies:)...I guess their hearts bear resemblance to one another, and that is no small compliment! ...makes the Auntie and Mommy in me so proud!!

Monday, May 02, 2005

A Princess on the Inside

There's a good deal of truth in this...

"Whatever comes... cannot alter one thing. ...I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it."
Sara, A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett