Friday, December 7, 2007

Thank You


This is my very first blog entry. We just got a computer in our house so that's very exciting.
I just want to say that there are so many different situations going on around us all the time, it can so easily take our focus away from God, and everything that he has in store for us and provided for us. I have sooooo much to be thankful for, yet sometimes on a difficult day I get so self-centered, yet I have so much to be thankful for. These are just a few:
My Husband...the rock....God fearing, wonderful man
My Family....I'm going to be an Auntie again (any time now), I love my nieces (Mikayla and Kezia) and my mom, and dad, and sisters, and brother
My Job...God provides me Christian bosses (which is always good)
My Neighborhood...I feel safe at home, and love my neighbors
My Church.....My Stronghold.....My Brother and Sisters in Christ......What would I do without you.
My Prayer Team, and the list goes on. God has provided me and my family with everything that we will ever need and I thank him so much for being part of my family.
I Love You All

Monday, December 3, 2007

It feels so good to be home.





For weeks I have been looking forward to getting away.
Heading to the City for a day all to myself.
And the Big Day finally arrived!!
However, as I puttered here and there, I missed my little family.

Jonathan's grounding perspective.

Mikayla's mischief.


Kezia's smile.


As I headed home (earlier than I'd anticipated :P...)
It felt good.
I felt refreshed.
I felt rejuvenated.
It felt good to be home.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Dear Jon

On this day, 9 years ago...
You asked me to be your girl.
Without hesitation (and thinking FINALLY!!!)
I said yes!
You took me to the Revolving Restaurant...
We visited for a long time...
Then, as the stadium fireworks were going off in the distance...
A new relationship began.

There is much I admired about you then
And much I admire about you now.
Your attention to the little things in life...
Your perseverance...
Your courage...
Your smile.

Thank you for sharing life with me.
Thank you for being my friend.

Love Leah

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The GREAT PEROGY DISASTER!!

I never have been - and never will be - the MARTHA STEWART type.
There are some of you who can...
.... calm a screaming baby while...
.... chasing a toddler while...
.... whipping up a gourmet casserole dish while...
.... repainting your favorite room with your favorite new color for the umpteenth time.
I cannot do all these things at once.

And I have pictures to prove it.
    
The day before Kezia arrived on the scene, I was strolling about town, 8 3/4 months pregnant, with Mikayla happily viewing the world from her buggy. We popped in at the local MCC to see what kinds of great bargains we could find.

I thought I SCORED BIGTIME when I found a Hunky Bills Perogy Maker.
I have ALWAYS wanted a HBPM.
I have ALWAYS loved perogies.
I have ALWAYS thought it would be easier to use a HBPM then cut out each pocket by hand.
I have ALWAYS been wrong.
The reason that I paid .25 for a HBPM was because someone else hated it too and cast it out of their house for good.
Silly me.
It took me until now to find the time, energy and general all-around umpf to get to using my bargain HBPM.
Sigh. What a disaster.
I should've known that when the dough was too hard, and the cottage cheese to sticky and I had dough and flour and cheese and mess EVERYWHERE - to quit whilst I was AHEAD. 
But NOOOOOO.
I hated the thought that I might be outwitted by a stupid piece of plastic.
So, instead, I decided to make things even more .... interesting.
The girls got up from their naps.
Sigh. When will I ever learn!!!?

Now I had dough, flour, cottage cheese, a wild dog, an infant with a nasty cold, and a toddler who wanted to "help." Between her trying to taste-test the cottage cheese (complete with raw eggs), attempting to feed Diggy a wad of sticky dough, falling off the chair and bonking her head, I managed to salvage the mess - sort of - and throw the rest away in the garbage.

We ate supper at 6.30.

We ate the attempted perogies.

And they were .... nothing short of disgusting. 
Not even ketchup helped the "special noodles."

It took me over an hour to clean up.
I scoured the flour glue off of Mikayla before she found herself forever velcro-ed to a couch.

What do you think - should I keep the HBPM, drive over it with the car until it's in smitheriens or pass it off to another unsuspecting person and watch them wrestle with it!?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Frivolous Finds.....

Let's just get the record straight.
I am not a shopper.
I do not shop for recreation. 
I do not regularly hunt the malls for deals.
Consequently, I have a few favorite things I like to wear and leave it at that.

BUT every so often :).....

Well, let's just say .... I got out, by myself, for the WHOLE AFTERNOON, and I picked up some great finds.
And, since I was "in the mood" :)....
I snagged a sassy pear of high heels - Jon laughed since I never wear high heels!!! 
They are cute, something a little out of the ordinary for me...
... and a little reminder that we never stop discovering little pieces of our personality!
How REFRESHING!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Grace Notes


I confess.
Every so often...
Even as a very blessed stay-at-home mom...
I long for a touch of encouragement.
A "Well done." A "Way to go tiger." - okay. Drop the "tiger" part :)
A "Wow. You do a super job."

Every so often...
God has recognized this deep longing in me and has sent incredible moments my way that lift my heart and encourage me. They fuel my "umphf" when I am down and set me on my feet again.

Well, just the other day, one of these blessed "grace notes" made its appearance.

It was a particularly difficult day. Struggling after numerous doctor visits, severe sleep deprivation, a post-natally adjusting body (and hormone system!!), and the "what if/what next" syndrome... a tear slid down my cheek and I asked God - please please PUHLEASE could you send a bit of encouragement.

Somehow, I just couldn't see the Light.

Not an hour or so later, my Mikayla comes up to me saying, "garbage." As is standard with all her attempts to throw things ever-so-helpfully into the garbage, I ask to SEE it before she TOSSES it. And there, in her pudgy little hand, is my purple ribbon.

This purple ribbon has a story, you see. It was given to me by a woman who deeply desires to pursue God. It was given to me at a time when I was seeking more of Him and less of ME. 
A time when I was pondering....
"walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace." 
Matt. 11.29, the Message. 

It was .... significant. 
Purple - the royal color of God. 
A simple reminder of the One who is worthy of all my praise.

And I LOST it.

And it remained hidden from my searching until just the right time. Until this specific moment when I would need a word of encouragement. And there, in my daughter's hand, God was showing me His presence once again...

And the corresponding bible verse that had been given with the ribbon...

"Behold I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands..." Isaiah 49.16a.

What an incredible comfort. What an incredible peace.
Thank you Jesus.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Thanksgivings....






I am thankful for many people, many experiences, many things.
But today...
I want to thank...
MY MOM!!
She is a super great gal who has taught
 me much about the art of hospitality and the gift of
 sharing and generosity.

Thank you, Mom...
.... for bringing pizza and tea when I was sad
.... for listening to the same rants over and over and over :)
.... for taking care of my girls while I nap
.... for the special little gifts that you bring
.... for your encouragement, prayers and perspective
.... for reminding me that there's "no place like home" - whether that be yours or mine :)
.... for laughing with me
.... for arriving so promptly after Kezia's dramatic delivery and sharing that incredible moment with us!!
.... for your enthusiasm
.... for being yourself
.... for being my mom.
I love you.
L.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ordinary Miracle Kinda Day

Most days - especially days like today - I LOVE what I do.
I get to stay at home, raise my girls.
I have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest my time and energy into these two little people ... 
to encourage... 
to train... 
to teach... 
to love... 
and to do all that I can to draw their precious hearts to God.

There was nothing particularly special about today.
In fact, that is what makes it so perfect.
It was simply a normal, mundane, work-and-play kinda day.
There was warmth and laughter; food to share and clothes to wear.
Giggles, complaints, cries, soothers, diapers, and more diapers :)...
It was positively perfect.
Thank you Jesus.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Nesting...

How can I make my house a HOME today?

Will I use words of encouragement and affirmation?

Will I shower those around me with gentle physical affection?

Will I do menial tasks for others - even when the chores get boring - so that our home is a wonderful environment to be in?

Will I seek to spend time with those who are sharing this life journey with me?

Will I be generous in my gifts of appreciation to others?

When I can't - HE CAN

How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young - 
a place near your alter,
O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
Selah
Psalm 84.1-4

Saturday, September 15, 2007

ahhhh coffee

these two little peanuts make me laugh right out loud :)....

however, because of them I go through a lot of this :)!!

wouldn't trade it for anything in the world!!




Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Psalm 121

Why worry :)?

Because it is the easiest thing to do in all the world!

I can so quickly worry about all sorts of things - present things, future things, past things. My God-given imagination runs wild as my human nature wrestles with the realities of this world. What if what if what if.

Sigh.

The events of our summer have reminded me - uncomfortably - how things happen very differently than you expect sometimes. That is something I struggle to reconcile. I want things to be safe, secure, free of pain and harm.

And sometimes the LORD permits a reminder that He is in charge and I am not.

And then I ask - Dear LORD, how should I pray in all of this? Where are you in all this worry :)?

And slowly, carefully, surely the answer comes...

I lift my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip - he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you - the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm - he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forever more.
Psalm 121

Oh LORD. Forgive my worrying heart.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Back in blogger world

Somewhere between the end of April and the end of summer, life jumped into fast forward mode. And here we are. Shorter days, cooler nights and school just around the bend. Autumn is my favorite time of the year. Right next to winter and spring. Summer, I admit, with its looser structure and shifting routine sends me into a bit of a tailspin. What can I say :)? I love the color of autumn, the cozyness of a great cup of coffee, my favorite old sweater and my brand new slippers :). As for winter? Well, with snow flakes falling, and Boney-M christmas carols in the background - who can argue with that :)?

Life is good. Full, but good.

And tonight I am counting my blessings and naming them one by one.

At the end of June, we had a baby girl. She was born on our bathroom floor. That is a very long story (well, actually a very QUICK story since her delivery took less than an hour from start to finish!!) - I can assure you that was not in the birth plan - but all in all it is a dramatic story with a happy ending :).

Then we had some very serious health concerns with baby Kezia. The drama continued, and life started tumbling and bumbling about. While only time will tell all the details, as it is with most worries in our lives, our little girl is healthy, happy and a snuggly little bundle. We love her dearly!

I continue to be amazed at the little personality that is just bursting out of our Mikayla. At 20 months, she is a live wire, a fire cracker her daddy calls her, and it is true true true. Life is never dull when she's around.

My hubby, my own mommy :), and many dear friends who journeyed with us as we waited in doctors offices, waited for phone calls, waited for test results. God's waiting room, my mom calls this, this place where the answer is not yet "yes" or "no" but "my grace is sufficient for thee".

My LORD. The One who stands before me, behind me and beside me as I grasp and grapple with the issues of this life. He meets me where I am, messiness and all, and loves me enough to lead me on.

Then there are the simple pleasures of life that truly make each day special...
...that familiar old song on the radio that takes you back a million memories
...a great cup of something hot and tasty (coffee is best, but anything warm and soothing will do in a pinch!)
...dancing around the kitchen with my gals (every so often their daddy joins in too!)
...snuggling with my wild animal of a pooch (he's the only puppy I've truly ever loved, and he's mighty lucky about that because I am the one who gives him his hair cuts!!)
...dear friends who keep me laughing and sane and looking for all the good this world has to offer
...sun-ripened tomatoes from my garden, freshly picked for tasty tomato sandwhiches
...a few precious moments to myself to gather my thoughts, offer my worship and to stretch and dream just a little :)

Life is good. Full, but good.

And tonight I am counting my blessings and naming them one by one.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Time for a little ha ha!



How long has it been since you laughed until tears rolled down your cheeks :)?
Even one day is too long in my opinion!!
Today I had the opportunity to laugh and laugh and laugh.
And how WONDERFUL it felt!
I hadn't quite forgotten, but funny (pardon the pun!) how something so simple often gets pushed to the very back of life.
Unfortunate, don't you think :)?
The topic wasn't exactly stand-up comedy material - I was chatting with a bunch of moms, and describing how a young mother felt when she had to walk to the crib every 10-15 minutes for TWO hours in the MIDDLE of the NIGHT! We aren't exactly pretty at that point! And we laughed! We related! And we all went home a little lighter!
Hope you are able to find some LAUGHTER in your day!
Sometimes - we take ourselves FAR too SERIOUSLY!!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Great Date!


Last night I went on a date with my sisters and my mom for my mom's birthday. We always have a awesome time when we go out. We met at the Forks, http://www.theforks.com/ went for supper, and then spent the rest of the evening walking around the shops, having coffee and - trying on these hats!

Mom looks so great for her age - which is a huge encouragement for us girls for our future! Leah is 6+ months pregnant and is doing so great, has tonnes of energy despite her sleep deprivation since having a baby 16 months ago! Tanis is a tonne of fun too as she finds laughs easily and is adventurous.

I am so, so, so blessed to have these amazing women in my life!

We are family....

We are sisters....

We are best friends!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

BIG STEP!

This is the last look at the damaged goods before the FIX 'ER UP!


Laser Eye Surgery was at one time totally out of the question for me. Then my wonderful sister-in-law Susie introduced me to a company moving to Winnipeg LASIK http://www.lasikmd.com (many other locations in Canada) that was offering a special for the first 300 people to call in. So, I thought - wow, 1/2 price sounds pretty good to me. Last week I went in for my initial consultation. It went pretty good. I kinda didn't like the part about them mentioning that they are gonna slice a layer off my eye ball, fix 'er up, and then flap it down. But I'm thinking - how bad can it really be? Tonnes of people are having it done, and this company if very reputable etc. So, I booked my surgery date for May 24th. Today I learn that - they have an opening - tomorrow!! What to do?...


So, I'm in. I will be going in for laser eye surgery tomorrow morning. I'm not even that nervous (I'll save that for tomorrow!)


How AWESOME it will be to get up in the morning, and instead of groping for my pathetic glasses to tide me over to my contact lenses - I'll be FREE!! No excuses for tripping into the bed, door jam, and vanity now, but I'll get used to it !


I am pretty excited. And as per usual my ADHD is kicking into high gear. I can't really focus on one thing for more than - 30 seconds.


So, if you think of it - I could use the prayers for tomorrow!

Spring is here!




Yahoo!! The snow is allllmost gone and spring is here! With this comes a few undesirable chores - like scraping rocks off the lawn - but many, many wonderful possibilities! I am thrilled because many of the tulips I transplanted last fall are coming up. This is exciting because - not being much of a detailed type of gal - I'm never sure if I've read the instructions right (if I've read them at all!!), if I've planted things properly and if they will thrive in my care.

However, this hardy sign of early spring is sprouting all over my garden, and I am pleased!!

It also feels like spring inside. Winter items have been put away and I've dusted off the wind chimes and started the yearly freshening process :). It feels good to be here.

There are so many things to look forward to:
- watching Mikayla toddle around in her rubber boots
- having the first fireside of the season (complete with hot dogs and marshmallows!!)
- after dinner walks with my family
- garden.... experiments :)
- getting ready (with great anticipation!!) for the arrival of our second baby
- enjoying a different pace of life with family and friends

How do you celebrate the arrival of spring? Do you engage in a cleaning frenzy :)? Do you make sure you're outdoors as much as possible? Do you simply enjoy the longer daylight hours and cozy evenings?

Thank you, Father, for spring seasons!!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Book Review - Quaker Summer


As you may be aware, this is a blog hosted by sisters. It just so happens that myself (Robin) and my sister (Leah) are avid readers of Lisa Samson, and have recently been sent a book Quaker Summer.

Robin:
It never fails- I pick up a Lisa Samson book, and I am hooked, focused and inspired every time. I take pride in the collection of them that reside on my bookshelf and often go back for a re-read when looking for some comfort. What I find is a very honest hard look at life circumstances, and another pushing the envelope type of issue. These are real issues, for real people. This latest book Quaker Summer moved me in a whole new way. Through following Lisa’s blog over the last months I can see some of this taking place in her own life. The main character Heather is at the crossroads of discovering her true call in life. Currently maintaining the all American Dream she is challenged on a deeper level, to take a look at meaning of it all, and what really matters. There are two options for her really: one is to continue what she’s been doing for the last several years- make the checkmarks on the lists, do what is supposed to be done, or she can take the risk taking and rewarding alternative. The scenic route if you will. It is often easier to stay on the road most traveled, but Heather takes the plunge and enters a whole new world of new priorities, people and challenges. Inspiring really, and another good opportunity to ask myself what road I may be on. What kind of challenges have I taken, comfort zones broken through, or taken an opportunity to invest in another persons life? Kinda reminds me of what a very wise Man once said: “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” -Jesus.
Thank you Lisa for being the voice behind so many people. For speaking out what most of us are too ashamed to say or admit to otherwise. In doing so we find growth and healing.
Leah:
Ever since Robin introduced me to Lisa Sampson's work through Women’s Intuition, I've been hooked. Why? Her novels are real, thought- provoking, emotional - both laughter and tears - and draw my attention back to the Almighty God. I connect with the characters and can relate to their stories. She does much justice to the genre of Christian Fiction. She is a remarkable story-teller - clever with language, plot and character development. There is no fluff here!!
Quaker Summer is no exception. In our individualistic, self-serving age, we need constant reminders that living out Micah 6:8 is a necessary part of the Christian life. What trappings do we use as an excuse not to live as Christ did? What does it cost us to make the necessary life changes? What people does God bring into our lives to draw us to Himself so that we may worship Him and live lives that reflect His glory? Deep issues handled with crafty brilliance in a story that is witty, insightful and clear in its challenge!
And where else can you find a story that includes a drug dealer, a materialist, a 90-year-old woman who still gets jailed for her protests, a 15-year-old son, a crusty nun, a woman who used to take prayer requests on a 1-800 number and a strung-out upper class project planner? Oh Lisa, where do you come up with these characters!?
"It's funny how these two women have such a drastically different slant on the same God. Anna relies on the Spirit, has such a gentle, ethereal faith that works itself out in the sadness of others. Liza has jumped into Jesus' arms and said, "Let's go, good buddy!" And they gallop off together in search of the most awful places where their presence will make the most difference. Doing justice, loving mercy, walking humbly with God. That's the sisters. And isn't that in the Bible somewhere? Can I be a little of both someday, Lord? Someday when I grow up? A little of Anna, a little of Liza - and a little of my dad. I want to be like my dad too."

Interview with Lisa Samson:

Robin: You are truly an inspiration to me and many, and your characters seem so real! Are they based on personal life experiences, or case study?
Lisa: Some of Heather's experiences are mine, particularly cutting rot off of tomatoes and getting caught singing Pink at the soup kitchen. But the characters themselves, at least in this novel, aren't based on anyone in particular. Except for Sister Jerusha. I saw a documentary called Sister Helen, and I utilized that dear departed nun's basic personality for my book. It's a great movie, by the way. Salty language, but it really showed me that God uses anybody who longs to be used by Him. I highly recommend it.
Robin: Who is Heather C. to you?
Lisa: Heather is every woman who feels chained by her life choices and her possessions. Who asks, "Why did we have to get that new car (or house), up our payments, when the old one was fine? Why do I make bad choices? Why do I give my life for worldly possessions and get in my own way of serving God?" Heather's every woman who wonders why all the bible study, prayer, serving in church still doesn't make her feel any closer to God? In short, she's a lot like me in that way.
Robin: How has your own walk/ growth in life changed or inspired your topics that you write about?
Lisa: The general experience of changing life from one of insular churchiness to one of "putting yourself out there" is a journey our family took, and is still taking, as well. We sold our big suburban home and moved to an urban area so we could be confronted by issues of need more regularly. I'm still reeling from it, but I'm certain it's where God led us.
Leah: How do you weave characters into multiple books?
Lisa: I have a basic story idea, and then sometimes, I think, "You know, [insert name] would be a great supporting role here. Let's resurrect her!" The people who read my books are always glad when I do that. I like to give them the emotional hit, and I like reacquainting myself with old friends. The fact that I limit my books to mostly Baltimore, Lexington and my fictional town of Mount Oak, really helps me do that as well.
Leah: Where is your favourite spot to write? Do you use a laptop or old fashioned paper and pencil :)?
Lisa: I use a laptop for the most part. Every once in a while I get out pen and paper. My favourite spot to write is a cabin we have in Red River Gorge KY. No internet. I can be a writing fiend there. Here in town, my ADD mangles up all my plans most days. Sometimes I write in the car just to get out of the wireless zones. There isn't a coffee shop in Lexington now without wifi, so those days are gone.
Leah: Do you have a favourite character from your books?
Lisa: Charmaine Hopewell from Songbird is my favourite protagonist. She jumped into my head fully developed. Mildred LaRue and Prisma Percy are my favourite supporting roles. I really love my mentor characters. Although, I have to say, Anna and Liza, the mentors in Quaker Summer are dear to my heart, as well as Uncle Geoffrey from Straight Up. Leslie Summerville from Women's Intuition . . . well, you can see, I just love these people!
Leah: Where do you come up with some of this stuff?! A kangaroo in Baltimore!? (is it literal or figurative!:)? )
Lisa: Oh, literal! In fact, I got the idea from a news story a few years ago, where a kangaroo had gotten loose in Michigan or someplace and hopped into this lady's barn where it was finally captured. It was being transported to a zoo or something. So I know it sounds crazy, but, hey, it really could happen! Also, this was one of those rare occasions when I wanted to employ a God in the Machine device, and I wanted that to be unmistakable. Normally that's bad form in writing, but sometimes, in real life, God steps in so clearly, it might as well be a kangaroo. I decided to go over-the-top so the reader would know exactly what I was doing. Sometimes we can throw aside subtlety and it's okay. I try not to do that often, though!

Thank you so much Lisa! You are an inspiration and your writing is truly a gift!
God Bless
Love,
Leah & Robin.
Also - Check out Lisa's blog at http://lisasamson.typepad.com/

Thursday, March 8, 2007

some times....



some times gary larson says it all :)
he truly inspires me....
... and makes me laugh out loud.
a winning combination.

some times i take the self-help thing just a little too far....
.... i fix
.... i fidget
.... i focus
.... and my brain starts to hurt!!
and.....
i am learning.....

some times the best thing to do is simply .... acknowlege
.... and rest in my Lord ....
.... and maybe work on a craft instead :).

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Do a little dance...


To dance is such a great way to express feeling, praise, emotion, release stress and just let your hair down.
I sometimes forget to dance. Like when I'm just too busy to turn up the music and remember to not take life so seriously! I felt like that today, when my list of chores out weighed my list of fun, and those chores didn't seem too fun. I don't like it when I life gets like that, and sadly by the time a relise it, I have been that way for too long.
So - I may not look like anything special. But tonight I put my summer skirt on and did twirls around the living room (and into the dog - poor guy!) But we have fun!
I'll vaccuum when the dancing is done....
Or - I'll dance while I vaccuum!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Call in Ugly...



Today is Ash Wednesday, and I would have to admit, throughout the 27 years of my life, very
little significance or emphasis has been placed on the season of lent. I think I would like that to change.
As today marks the first day of the lent season, I would like to take this opportunity and time
to remember my dust to dust existence, and reflect on my own life to prepare my soul to be a
better person in Christ.
As recently quoted in a devotional I studied regarding lent: “I’m gonna have to call in ugly on
this one.”
There are things (ugly) that need to be laid down, repented for and learned from.
I think I’ll have a list no doubt….

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

House Guest....


This week.... we have a house guest. His name is Rosco.

My sister and her husband took a winter holiday to Mexico, and so have the adventurous Rosco for 10 days.

Here is a shot from this evening. There is always an adjustment factor when there is "new blood" in the house - and poor Rosc misses his parents. However - it is somewhat entertaining to see the amount of dog toys currently occupying our living room, the amount of dog body slamming, and interesting sounds.

I think God smiles down at me, as I am exercising my patience muscles. I am trying....

But I also love the way the guys run along side each other on our walks, hurry to the door to be the first on in or out, or gently toss each other a toy (when there all fought out!).

Never a dull moment....

Always rewarding....

Monday, February 19, 2007

Manic Mondays



Last Monday, Mikayla and I jump-started our Monday morning with a Disco Dance Party! While pregnant, I tend to forgo the caffeine boost in my mornings and this provided a lively alternative! As we giggled and grooved, I was so very thankful for the laughter in our lives. What a great way to start the week.

THIS Monday, however, we plodded into our week with colds, ills and aches and pains. A lot less fun then the dance party of last week, that's for sure! And on days when energy and patience are in short supply, well I look to naptimes with that much more appreciation!! But you learn more about each other as you muddle through the day together, and at the end of the day, I can still squeeze my baby (and my husband!) and be truly thankful for the laughter that fills our lives.

AND I look forward to how the week will improve!!

Friday, February 9, 2007

Mmmmm Muffins..



Here is one - awesome recipe! I have shared this with only one person, and she was blood, but now I share with all. It's a goodie!


Rasberry Cocoa Muffins:
-4 TBSP Butter
-2 Cups All Purpose Flour
-1/2 Cup Sugar
-2 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 egg
-1/2 Cup plain yogurt
-1/2 Cup Butter milk (or fermented milk- use reg. milk with vinegar)
-1 Cup Rasberries (fresh or frozen and thawed)
Topping:
-1/4 cup brown sugar

-2 TBSP Cocoa powder

preheat oven to 400F, and grease (or line) muffin cups.
Melt butter and set aside to cool. Cobine brown sugar and cocoa powder, set aside.
In medium mixing bowl combine dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) and stir to mix. Make a well - and then add wet incredients (butter, egg, yogurt & milk) Use spatula until just combined. Do not overmix, the mixture will be lumpy, that's okay. Fold in the berries.
Spoon batter into prepared tins, and sprink the topping mixture over top. Put ino ovento bake for 20-25 mins. until risen and golden. Turn out on a rack to cool. Wait 10-15 min before removing from tines.
Serve...

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Ooooohhh yeaaahh....


I had a flashback today about a time a few years ago which all us Manitobans will remember quite well.

The "Storm of the Century" - April, 1997. I did not know that this was actually known as "Snow Storm Hannah" . Wow, we actually have a natural disaster with a name!

Anyway, I remember that on that particular weekend I was stormed in with Leah at the farm. We we stuck. Oh - we tried to escape, but our vehicles sat stuck one behind eachother on the long driveway. Snowed under.

This photo actually reminds me of the treck that we made to the barn and back a couple of times to feed the horses. It was quite a dramatic event. I think Leah helped me up more than once on the way back to the house.
By the time it was all said and done, when we opened the door to go outside, there was only a wall of snow. The windows were the same. On the main floor to look outside was a wall of white!!

But - I still can chuckle about the memories. When the only station on t.v. was terminated (bull riding) we resorted to making colorful fish and underwater life from construction paper and taping to the window. We thought our make-shift aquarium was better then the wall 'o snow!
Hey -- we were making lemonade from lemons - right?!?

I guess, maybe I can look back on that time and feel like a survivor.
But that is not to say that I would want another one! Not to mention the flood that followed that big mama!
But it kinda makes this -45C windchill that I walk to work in everyday a little more bearable.
Atleast the sun is shining...
Now its time for warmer thoughts....

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

I'll take a bottle of that!




If a picture is worth a thousand words, a smell evokes a million memories!!
Yesterday I went to get Mikayla from her high chair after lunch, and --- delightfully!! --- she smelled like winning combo of cheerios and fruit cocktail!! I breathed in that great, baby smell -- and wanted to bottle some up to keep with me for all time!
She grows and changes so much every day - it's hard to believe it as it unfolds before my very eyes.
The days and weeks go by so fast, my memory can't keep up with it all!!



So, if you find a way to preserve some of that fruity cheerio-y yummy scent - pass it along! I'll take a bottle of that :)!!!

Friday, February 2, 2007

A little compadre












Did you know that puppies have their own unique language!?
They DO!
It has taken us almost TWO YEARS to discover this.
What a source of frustration!! What a relief!!
Diggy arrived the week before we found out we were expecting Mikayla.
Not great timing, poor dog.
Since then, Diggy & I have had a love-love-grrrrrrrrrr kind of relationship.
Oh sure, he's cute and cuddly and very, very sweet...
He's been a great companion, a partner in crime and a good listener....
....BUT!!!
Yes, he's also been a "grace-grower" in my life.
Now that we've learned how to communicate, however, our relationship has opened up to a whole different level!
Now I can not only appreciate the Diggy that curls up with me for nap time or the Diggy that quietly sits at my feet at supper,
BUT I can love him in those hard-to-love moments.

Kinda reminds me of communication with God and others too!
When we learn to speak with each other in a way that is MUTUALLY UNDERSTANDABLE!!
How much EASIER it is to cooperate in those hard-to-love moments.

Ahhhh Diago, my dear little puppy.
You have been such a source of joy - and @(*#*(&@$ - in my life!!
I couldn't trade you for the world!!

Brrrrrr Manitoba! Ground Hogs Day?!?


O.k, so if anyone else had to walk to work this morning, or from their car to their workplace, you will know what I mean!
Give yourself a pat on the back!
Here we are: a bunch of hearty Manitobans! It is supposed to be -44C with the chiller tonight!
So, officially if you are out there for like more than a second - your done.
I think at this point most people just mindlessly function when they are driving around and going in and out.
But, by this time I think we should be accepting the fact that these cold - frigid days happen, and that we are equipped to deal.
I personally will drown myself in hot tea, coffee or soup, and think of the spring ahead.
Today is Groundhogs day. I think - if there was a sorry little groundhog kicking around in our province, and he dared to come out of his hiding place to sneak a peak - he'd drop dead - frozen! HOWEVER, it was sunny... so maybe he saw his shadow!
But - I take heart, spring and summer are coming....
And... I will appreciate our warm spring days all the more!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Souper Saturday!


This Saturday I was feeling an itch for something adventerous and creative to happen in my kitchen.. it can be scary when this happens.

I decided to leave the flour alone, and play with soup instead.

I had to firstly bundle up and head out to the store to get the ingredients. Which when its -25C, and a windchill of minus a trillion, it's kinda serious!

So - I don't know what exactly this soup would be called...

Like a combination of Komst Borscht, Ministrone and ... yeah.
So, I stared with a little Onion and garlic - saute that!
And then just... add!
It was fun. I tossed in some cabbage, carrots, cellery, frozen tomatoes (from my summer garden), lentils (green & orange), kidney beans, parsley (from my summer garden), bay leaves, beef broth, water, and... whallla.. One short hour later, the house smelled like my Grandma's when I was a kid!
Johni even investigated the soup pot when he came in. And this is the man that is "allergic" to onions, and most veggies.
We both enjoyed it. And it was fun too!
So - try it - invent something, and let your creative side loose!
Let me know if - what you tried!
Enjoy!
Robin.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Homespun Happiness



It's been a wild week - full of good things, God things, family things, energizing things.




HOWEVER, I feel overwhelmed by this fullness
and am looking forward to a break!

A quiet day.... a resting day..... a day of homespun happiness with my fun little family.

A day of peace and quiet and wonderful routine

A day to breathe and sleep (as a mom of one young one and another on the way - yahoo!! - I grab all the zzzz's I can get!!)

A day to continuously reflect on the goodness of God
As He pours out His blessings day by day.

And from there, journey on, refreshed once again
To embrace all that God has in store for me.

Until we meet again....shalom.

Friday Night...

Does anyone have any Friday night traditions?
My husband and I have been married for over 6 years now, and we sorta have a Friday night tradition.
Homemade pizza.
We don't care too much for the store bought anymore.
I am totally into using my new pizza stone, dusted with cornmeal. My homemade herby (is that a word?!?) pizza dough, and custom sauce, toppings.... and cheese!
Feel free to comment your Friday night (or other night) tradtions.
If you want my pizza crust recipe... email me, and I'll send it to you!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

JOY!


I recently did a bible study regarding the presense of joy in life.A good reminder to me that joy is not dependent on circumstances, or "wordly" achievements, but rather on something that comes from something much deeper. God can only provide.Anyway, I thought I'd post this painting, the painting to the left is by Monica Stewart entitled "Rejoice". More artwork found at Monica Stewart.This is a perfect illustration of a freedom found in joy.Another note that hit me from the study was that "The opposite of joy is not sadness but anxiety". It hit me - and was a good reminder.

it is snowing today...



The Snowfall Is So Silent
The snowfall is so silent,
so slow, bit by bit,
with delicacy it settles down
on the earth
and covers over the fields.
~ Miguel de Unamuno ~

The snow is falling ever so gently here on the Manitoba prairies, and I LOVE IT! As it does for many, it reminds me of a fresh start, a clean journal page, a story ready to be written. Fitting, I think, as I embark on this new blogging experience and the new opportunities I will have to connect with others about life, God and this crazy world we call home.

I do love snow. Always have. Good thing, too, because I am born and raised in Prairie-land, and like it or not, we get our fair share of snow around here. I have always been facinated by snowflakes and their artisitc beauty. (Yahoo!! I am not the only one! Check out SnowCrystals for someone who has made it their life work to study crystal formations and photography! Stunning!!)

It is surmised that each snowflake - like each person - is uniquely created, each with a dazzling beauty of its own. I look forward to exploring that wonderous creativity with you and honoring the One who made it all.....