Wednesday, January 26, 2005

100 Years of HEART!

2005 is Saskatchewan's centennial year (, and last night I saw an advertisement about it. I knew it was the centennial but must have been under a rock someplace because I didn't know the theme they had picked was....heart?! I've always told Les that we were a 'heart-y' people:)

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I Love Figure Skating...

...well, watching it anyway...I'm still working on learning how to actually skate, with last winter being my first real foray into learning. My patient husband says I'm doing well...I'm less convinced. We haven't headed out to try again yet this year. Les says we need to get me some new skates with ankle support. I say, anything to help my ankles feel better when I'm on the ice can't be bad...but I digress...

I have always loved watching figure skating and have taken much teasing from my brother and other 'guys' in my life for years because of it. My husband, however, does not share their opinion, and spent some time watching the 2005 Canadian Championships with me this weekend. Canadian skating is looking very promising this year! My favourite moments of this year's competition include:
- Joanne Rochette skating as in a dream...she could not put a blade wrong
- Jeff Buttle building on Joanne's momentum
- Cynthia Phaneuf's grace as she learned about fear
- Marcoux and Buntin's humility in repeating as pairs champions; they skated well but not as well as they wanted to
- Mira Leung...15 years old with huge jumps and a smile even bigger...she may have a ways to go in presentation, but look out!

As I reviewed the sporting news after the event to get other people's take on what happened, I came across this article... Finally a guy who is not afraid to admit he likes skating (other than my husband, that is:)! Here are some excerpts from the article:

He likes it ... go figure
MIKE ULMER -- Toronto Sun

I've decided to come out: I love figure skating. I know, the headshot infers a two-fisted, hard-drinking John Wayne type, not some sequin-loving, teddy-bear lutching sissy-boy. I know what you're thinking. "Come on, man. They'll settle this lockout thing and everything will be fine. Don't say something you can't take back."

It's too late. I can't take the lying anymore.
Figure skating isn't stupid.
NASCAR is stupid. You can't see the drivers, you can't hear yourself think and they just go around in circles.
NFL? Stupid.
The NHL? I don't know, I forget.
Baseball. Stuuuuuupid.
Call me unmanly, but I like sports with women, and figure skating has women.......

....Apparently, some figure skaters are gay. Whoa.
Better stay away from that.
While I'm at it, I won't watch a movie, take in a play, and, just to be on the safe side, read a book. Why is it okay to dismiss figure skating because you're comfortable with the sexual preferences of one group of athletes but not condemn the sometimes serial sexual practices of another?

Is skating a sport?
Well, can you do it?

Why is facing a
100 m.p.h. fastball courageous, but having your unprotected head whirled an inch above the ice just a trick?

Why is golf, in which a player has to navigate
his own psyche as much as the course, laudable, but the crucible that is the long program somehow less so?

Why is it that 400-pound guys pulling off
their shirts in sub-zero cold is kind of fun, but grandmothers knitting in the stands between skaters is a sure sign of the sport's illegitimacy?

Sure, no other sport has a kiss-and-cry zone, but is crying so bad? Maurice Richard cried when they closed the Montreal Forum. Lou Gehrig cried when he told the world he was the luckiest man on earth. Wendel Clark cried when he retired. Did that make them any less compelling and human?

Sports is sports.
There are no good or bad ones, no right ones or wrong ones, no legitimate ones and bona fide ones (aside from the Original Stars Hockey League, of course.)
And so I say to you, my name is Mike Ulmer and I love figure skating.
At least until hockey comes back.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Oh how this chorus speaks my heart...

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
Incomparable, unchangeable
You see the depths of my heart and You love me the same
You are amazing God
You are amazing God

This is a red porsche boxster. It is my husband's favourite car, and since this post was inspired by him, I thought I'd put it up there. My husband is an excellent driver, and coming from B.C. has driven in alot busier and congested situations than I probably have. And while winters are milder in B.C., there tend to be very slick road conditions when tempertures drop in the rain. Me, I'm a Saskatchewan girl, I drive in the snow most of the year, have since I was 16. I remember the first winter we were married, the amount of snow we got was alarming to Les' parents (who now live here) on their visit, yet I drove them around to all the places they wanted to go, safely. They dubbed my car (a silver cavalier) 'a little tank' as they were surprised at how well we got around.

Before I got married, I never really thought about getting around in the snow. In fact, when I lived in Regina for a few years after finishing University, I would drive to Saskatoon each weekend to see family and friends, and the snow never deterred me. It bothered my father though. He would pace from the moment I left the house until the moment I called him from Regina to say I had made it safely. I always thought that he was overly concerned about this, that he was just a nervous sort...

I have never considered myself to be a nervous sort, nor a backseat driver, but since getting married, I have found myself giving advice to Les when he is driving. I don't mean to. He is an excellent driver. I justify my comments in my mind with the fact that he hasn't driven in the snow all his life, but then we'll be coming up to an icy area, a little faster than I'd like, and I'll say something. I know this bothers him, so I try not to say anything, but he says he still knows...apparently, I squeeze his hand tighter if I want him to slow down, and if I want him to be braking I really squeeze it. And apparently, this doesn't help?! I'm sorry, I don't mean to do it. And as much as I respect his driving and try not to do anything that will bother him, there are still moments when I do them.

I have a far greater concern for safety these days, you see, people I love deeply are in the car... It's not just me any more.

The other day as I drove alone to work I was thinking about this. We had freezing rain the previous day and a big snowfall that morning. The roads were caked with snow ontop of ice, and as I carefully made my way around, I thought to myself, "I remember driving on highways that looked like this sometimes when I lived in Regina..." "What was I, crazy?!", I thought, and then I suddenly understood why my father would pace until he heard that I'd made it home. It was a sign of how much he loved me. He never liked me being on the highway alone even in good winter driving conditions. And this got me to thinking about Amanda. In a little over 6 years she'll be able to drive, and it freaks me out to think of her driving in what I was driving in that morning. No way, she can't have the car on those days!

Every day when I kiss Les good-bye before he heads off to work, I tell him to drive safely...and when I pray for him, I pray for his day and ask God to bring him home safely to me, and if I'm at home before him, I anticipate his arrival time and pray and watch for him. My heart flutters when I see him pull up into the drive-way and I race down the stairs to kiss him hello. I love him so deeply that I just can't help it:)

So drive safely folks, there are people who feel the same way about you!

Dear Lord, please keep us safe in our travels. Help us to never be in such a hurry that we take chances on the road that we don't need to take. Protect us as we drive. Protect those we love. Help the other drivers on the road to be safe too. Thank You for Your love, Your protection and Your grace. Thank You for our loved ones and our lives. We love You. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Amanda's 10th birthday is coming up next month, so we have started planning. Amanda has decided that this year will be a DIVA party, and tonight she and I came up with our definition of what a DIVA is for the invitations...

What is a DIVA?
She's a girl with light in her eyes, love in her heart and a positive outlook on life. She is comfortable being herself. She is genuine. She believes in herself and is loyal to her friends. She is kind. She can be a girly-girl or a tomboy.

She is D-elightful I-ndividual V-ibrant and A-uthentic!
She's YOU!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


I don't make muffins as often as I'd like. It seems I seldom have enough time. Sometimes I pick up some at IGA when I haven't baked them in a long while. They have a couple of really good low fat varieties, an apple cinnamon and a bran blueberry. When I make muffins, they generally aren't low fat (well, except for my raisin bran ones which are low fat and tastey). I make a really good blueberry muffin complete with sugar crusting on top that I don't even want to know the nutritional information on...or I might not be able to eat one again. But this gotten me to thinking... Why is it that something that sounds like it is so good for you, a muffin, often really not? Once in a while, Les and I have gotten fruit explosion muffins from Tim Horton's with our coffee for a treat, but I read the other day that there are actually more calories in one of those muffins than in a donut! You mean I've been skipping the double chocolate in favour of a fruit muffin all this time for not?!

If any of you out there have any good low fat muffin recipes, leave me a note in the comments...

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Such a Thoughtful Gift!

Alana is a very creative and caring woman. As I've said before she is more than a friend to me, she's my big sister (in my heart anyways:) Every year we exchange presents at Christmas. She's given me some of the most creative and thoughtful gifts I've received over the years. Every year there is an ornament. Usually there is something she's made, if time permits, and sometimes there's a parcel shaped or wrapped in such a way that I can't even begin to guess what's inside. This year, what was inside was a basket tray with a hot shot water heater/dispenser, tea and the fixings (including Simple Pleasures Almond cookies, my favourite:) Attached to the hot shot was a note explaining that she wasn't sure this was the answer, but she wanted me to be able to have a decent cup of tea at work... So, I've been trying it out this week at work, and it works great (minus the problem I'm having with the outlet in my office and the longgggg extension chord I'm running from across the room, minor gliche)! But more than a decent cup of tea at work, Alana gave me something more precious... You see work has not been my happy place lately, and she was trying to make that better (...tears...)! Such a thoughtful gift:) ...such a precious friend!!

Sunday, January 09, 2005


This morning in Church, Pastor Dean asked us to think about what our answers would be to these 3 questions:

1. What makes you happy?
2. Make makes you content?
3. What makes you feel fulfilled?

My answer to all three questions was the same thing, I was holding his hand and his other arm was around me. How thankful I am to God for him! For a moment I worried though...should that be my answer...I mean, shouldn't my answer be God? Well it is God, in the biggest, fullest sense.... For how many years did I sit in Church each weekend and He was the One who's hand I held and who's arms were around me?! And now for over two years I have been married to the one He brought to me to put flesh on His love in many ways and teach me more and deeper things about His love. It is indescribable! Today, Church was about worship, and if you know me, you know I LOVE worship...especially singing my heart out to God. But I think I realized today in my answers to the 3 questions, that I worship God another way everyday by loving my husband. I wish I could do it perfectly, I wish I could do more... Dean said that when you live your life in a way that fulfills the purpose that God created you for, that's worship. We were made to worship God. Oh Lord, may you be glorified by all that I do and redeem anything in my life that does not glorify You. Thank You for my adoring, strong and handsome husband. Thank You for Your love through him. Please help me to be the wife You desire for me to be for him. Thank You for our precious daughter. May we raise her to grow in love for You. Help me to be the mommy You mean for me to be. I love You:)

Last night, two precious girlies headed out to their first big rock concert! ...for more details go to

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

In our travels about today, Les and I were listening to Revival in Belfast II. It's one of our favourite worship cds! Robin Mark is probably Les' favourite worship leader, and he would certainly be near the top of my list too.... And just to think, in a few weeks we will blessed to not only worship with him, but to be taught by him:)

Don't you love this song of worship....

I Heard The Sound Of Voices

I heard the sound of voices, from every tribe and nation
As they were walking, singing songs of deliverance
For going on before them, a little Lamb was leading
And I could hear Him singing songs of deliverance.

For out of Egypt you have called Your sons, Your daughters
That they might be a witness to Your holy name
So Father I am walking, Lord can You see me walking
Oh my deliverer, I am following the Lamb.

Where are the chains that bound me, the cords of my oppression?
Jesus the Lamb has loosed them. He's my deliverance.
My heart cries "Abba Father". For He has led me to You
And I can hear You singing, songs of deliverance.

As for me and my house we will serve the Lord
As for me and my house we will serve the Lord
As for me and my house we will serve the Lord

Copyright © 2004 Integrity's Hosanna! Music.

I love Robin's phrasing in this song, and I LOVE the tin whistle...I may have to learn me how to play one:)

Today is 10% Tuesday...which means that many of the grocery stores give you an extra 10% off your grocery total. I always try to plan a grocery run on 10% Tuesday each month (especially since my household has grown), and today was no different. Usually I try to go to whichever store advertises the majority of the things I need at the best price, but today we hit more than that.... IGA had an awesome price on lean ground beef ($3.29/kg), and with fresh pineapples for $2.99, we had to stop there. I always enjoy the IGA. They seem friendly, their fresh items (produce, meat and bakeshop) are all good, and they always try and help you out with your order. I don't get there often, but I definitely like it there. Then we headed to Safeway...all kinds of specials there this week, so needless to say, our cart was quite full. As always our cashier asked if we wanted parcel pickup, which we said yes to (something I often do ever since Les has made me see that it is silly not to). But this time I noticed something different... When I said 'yes' and the cashier coded it in, a penny was actually credited off our grocery bill?! That's right, they actually pay you to let them load your groceries for you! I have to say that I really like Safeway. They carry a lot of the brands I prefer, and the people there are always so friendly to me. Les often asks how I know a cashier who wishes me well, and I say, "I don't, they're just friendly." You do have to watch the prices, but if you watch the sales, you can do pretty well there AND they will pay you to let them pack and load your groceries....gotta like it!

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Les put the new Amy Grant - Greatest Hits cd in my stocking this year, which was something I very much wanted:) Yesterday I listened to it over and over again as I cleaned and cooked in preparation for our company. I like most of the songs, of course, but the two new tracks are particularly good. There is one called The Water that tells a recent story of hers when she asked to be re-baptized in a river that ran through the yard of a pastor friend they were visiting. The words are amazing...

"The Water"

Quicksand, my heart is sinking
I try to run but I can't stop thinking
I'm climbin' walls, I'm on the ceilin'
Its gonna take a miracle to heal me

I'm starin' down into the quarry
I see a stone for every sorry
I'm on the edge, I'm goin under
And after I die I'm gonna rise from the water

I wanna blast off,
let gravity disappear
I'm tired of fallin, fallin, fallin
from the weight of fear
Come and lift me up
into the clean and clear
I'm waitin' on you Jesus in the water here
So come and wash me clean

The sky is red, there's blood on my hands
Cant deny, you're clear where I stand
The burn of sin, I hear them shoutin'
Send me a river to drown this mountain


Wash me clean...
Let it wash me, let is wash me, let it wash me clean


I wanna blast off,
let gravity disappear
Come and lift me up,
into the clean and clear

Let it wash me, let it wash me, let it wash me clean

Here's a link to a recent interview with AG (