29 August 2008

[talk: The Big Give: Ok - Let Us Know!!]


Did you do something?? Wanna share?? We wanna know!! I'm hoping you didn't forget *wink* or are too shy to share *grin*. Come on ... let us in on it!

As for me - here are some of the things that I did, knowing that I'd be accountable. Gotta love positive peer pressure *grin*.

1. I donated to the Costco fund today - it went towards providing meals for a local inner city school who's students often come hungry to class. Here's a side-note, for those of you who know me and where I live: The cashier said our town is the LOWEST GIVING town in our province. She said it's embarrassing. I agree. They only asked for 2 dollars.

2. I watched a neighbour's child for them, and there's a story that goes along with this one - maybe I'll share it soon.

3. My husband and I felt led to give to an organization that is headed up by my aunt. Now - this isn't "doing something for someone you don't know" - but we still gave.

4. I paid for lunch while out with someone.

5. I sent a few encouraging emails to people for no real reason, other than to let them know they're loved.

6. I made an effort to talk with an elderly lady who was sharing a hospital room with my brother today. On a side note: He's doing well (appendix came out last night) - and will come home on Sunday, they think. And the lady? She was 90 years old and had an only daughter who was in a wheelchair with MS. Puts things into perspective, huh. Here I was trying to be a blessing to HER and she so encouraged ME.

SO - that was it. Not super impressive - but to those people, maybe it was. That's how I always think. The $2 to Costco may be a nuisance for us, but ask the child who receives breakfast how they feel about our gift. I bet you they'd be mighty happy someone showed they cared.

While I was preparing for this blog, I found this site: http://www.thebiggive.org.uk/ . Take a look - it's an informative site on charities and how to make YOUR hard earned money go the furthest it can. It's a UK site, but still - really informative.

Ok. So, I'm waiting ... a little scared no one will post and I'll be left on my own. So don't leave me hanging ... *grin*.

Your turn.

28 August 2008

[talk: "Yuck" - and Big Give Reminder]

I debated whether I would blog today ... feeling so yuck. Not sick yuck, just sad, lonely, and all those other negative words that I hate to feel. I've had a short temper with my kids, which makes me feel even more horrible, my "to do" list isn't completed, I don't have much to show for my day ... basically all that I pride myself in making me "me" today, well - it just sucked.

Wah wah wah. I know ... such a change from the happy, motivating posts I try to place - such a pity party for myself. I'll snap out of it ... and then it got me to thinking. I wonder if it has anything to do with losing this last baby, and the due date being next week. Maybe. I've done due-dates before without babies coming, so I'm pretty sure I know what to expect. We'll see.

Anyway ... I DID do some nice things for others - and I hope that you did too, and hope you're able to come back and post them ... it just stunk that this gray cloud covered any joy of doing it for me today. But I guess that's the point. It's not for me, it's for them. *sigh*.

On another note - if you think of it, offer a little prayer up for my bro. He's going in for surgery tonight - appendix. And I've been mocking him the last 2 days, saying it's gas. Ok - so that's kinda mean, but now I'm eating crow because it's legit.

SO I'll be waiting to hear from my sis-in-law ... but while I wait, I'm going to be going out with some old Jr. High friends tonight ... and I plan on devouring yam fries and dessert. Today I don't care if the scale numbers go up. Thhhfffftt. That's right. I don't care.

**breaking a smile** Ok. That made me feel better.

27 August 2008

[talk: The BIG GIVE - Challenge One]

I'm a part of a group called the "Happy Housewives 12". We're a group of 12 women who meet once a month, and for a cost of $20 per event there is an activity (essentially $10 per person) and a draw for $120 (12x the remaining $10) to one woman who must spend the cash on herself. The woman who's name is drawn, plans the next month's activity. We've done "the Amazing Race", bowling, a fashion show, flower arranging, card making, a self defense class, a fitness class and more. And last night it was K's turn.

We all met in a designated shopping mall parking lot and were split into 2 teams. Each team had a vehicle, a video camera and an envelope with $60.00. The instructions were simple: This was the BIGGEST GIVE and we had to give the $60 away. The team with the most creativity and best results would win. We had 1 hour to be back at K's house.
We were PUMPED!

Our team debated what would be the best thing to do. After a few ideas were mulled over, we decided to make our first stop "Ricky's Restaurant".

We knew that it had a Senior's menu, and maybe there was a couple that we could bless and pay for their meal. After staking out the restaurant and having the hostess and manager give us their opinions, we decided on the table of 4 seniors - one of which was disabled. I was nominated to give the money, so I went up to the table and explained who I was. I said I was with a group who was challenged to bless someone that evening, and that we had chosen them. The one elderly lady's eyes turned red with emotion and the one man said, "Well, God bless you too - but we are not in need. We think that maybe you should give it to the table over there." and he pointed to a table where an elderly, obese man sat with two tired looking teenagers.

I was touched that this first man though enough of what we were doing, to pass on the blessing - so, in essence, we had already touched 4 people (plus the 2 staff) and now we were going to bless 3 more people - and we hadn't even spent any money yet.

I walked over to this man, and his hands were covered in sores and his aging teeth were broken and yellow. Once again, I gave the little speech and he looked around and said, "What am I on??" to which I assured him there were no t.v. cameras anywhere *grin*. He began to cry and said he couldn't possibly take the money, so I asked if I could have a hug to which he agreed. I said, "If you give me a hug, I have to give you the money." and he smiled. I handed him $30 and he was just so overwhelmed and shaking his head in disbelief. THIRTY DOLLARS. Such a small gift for such a great feeling.
Our group went back to our vehicle and documented the story on the video camera and went to our next stop: Walmart. We decided to stalk the checkout counters and help out a couple of different people with $15. We chose a young couple with two small children and a bill of $75. Once again, we explained who we were and that we chose them to bless ... it was a small gift, but could we put it towards their bill. The girl looked at us and said, "Do I have to give you something?" How sad - that our society's first thought is that by us being generous, we want something from them. Now-a-days, no good deed isn't without some sort of underlining deal. We assured her it was a gift, and she gave us a heart felt, "Thank you!!".

The last family chosen was a woman with her two teenage children. She had tins and tins of canned food on the belt, and we thought that she could use some help. So, one of the girls on the team did the "speech" and blessed this women with our last $15. It was so lovely - and the lady asked for our team member's "card"!! SO FUNNY - to which our friend replied, "I don't have a card."
With our mission complete, we made our way back to K's house, met back with the other team, and shared our stories while the 2 judges decided who won. Well - we all did *grin*. And we pointed out that because of K's ideas we were able to touch almost 30 people's lives, including our own. And we were challenged at how easy it was to give - it didn't have to be big.
We've all done it, haven't we. Given a 2for1 coupon to the couple in the line who needs it, paid the last $2.50 in groceries when the elderly man was short on cash, given a larger tip to a waitress who was tired and spent.
My challenge to you is this: in the next 24 hours - do SOMETHING for someone that you don't know. Small or big - and then come back here and comment - let us know what YOU did for someone. Be creative or be logical. Maybe it's lending your cell phone to someone in the phone line at the mall, or donating a can of soup to the food bank ... or maybe giving a bouquet of flowers to the lady who lives across the street. Do something you wouldn't normally do.
I'm going to talk to my husband about having this a part of our monthly budget. Where every month, we will do something for someone just because it's the right thing to do - not because we get a tax break or something in return. And it's not just about the poor or the down-and-out. Everyone could use a blessing, so I challenge you to be creative in giving.
Put a link to this blog and have it as a challenge to as many who want to be involved! Let's do something GREAT!
Ok. GO!! And report back!!
Deadline is Friday at noon!

26 August 2008

[digiscrap: Some Layouts & Links to FREEBIES

First things first ... I hunt daily for free things on the Internet regarding Digiscrapping. Some stuff is just garbage (um, sorry 'bout that - but it's the truth). So when I find GOOD stuff, I'll be sure to let YOU know ... It won't be much, but hey - it's FREE, right??

birthday kit
preppy boy kit
street spirit (very urban) kit

Now - you may have to be "registered" to the site to be able to download. I have a fake name and address that I use for places I don't visit often *wink*.

And I found
THIS site today ... I LOVE "doodles" and how they look on scrapbooking pages. This artist gives her doodles away for free ... BRING IT ON, I say!! If you go to her site, she needs a "password" to download her stuff - and she gives funny little clues as to what that password is. And go to her "older posts" to download past stuff too ...

But I DO have other things I do during the day *grin*. I went to my church to have a Pastor promise the school that we're applying to, that we're not drug dealers, children smugglers or bank robbers. He obliged - so that was a good thing *grin*. Then, off to mail a disk to a friend who's computer is causing her grief. After that, I dropped off the $$ for Mattias' Music Class he's attending in a couple of weeks (Music for Young Children). And if that wasn't enough, to the mall for some Yogen Fruz and a play time at the playground for the boys.
Now - I'm finishing the laundry, starting to prepare dinner for company, gonna shower and prepare for my HH12 Group tonight ... and clean the upstairs bathrooms.
But before I get my rump off of this chair, here are a few layouts. Just because.
click photos to enlarge

25 August 2008

[digiscrap: Um. What Day Is It??]

Ok ... so I haven't blogged the last few days - not for lack of trying to - but simply just not enough hours in the day. I have a few projects on the go ... I'm in the process of starting to make the DVD Slideshow presentation at my sis-in-law's upcoming wedding. I'm excited to try some new ideas - I've done this before (a few times) and am usually pleased with the way they turn out. I sometimes make them as a gift to the bride & groom - usually a collection of photos that I've taken of their day, and I try to give it to them as quickly as possible ... everyone loves to see their wedding pics set to music *GRIN*.

My goal is to be in bed in the next 7 minutes *sigh* ... but I thought I'd put up a few other projects that I've done in the past. Now, most are saved onto disks somewhere. But these ones were on my hard-drive so here's a peek ...

There shall be something far more substantial for my next entry *smile*. But honestly - that last one about World Vision just trumped me ... I had nothing left to say (shocking, I know).

Ok. Here they are ...

This one was for my cousin's birthday invites...
This was a book mark I gave out to the kids who came to Tias' birthday party. I laminated them and it was a part of their goodie bag.
...the girl's version ....

... and this is a thank you card I made for a family friend who let us invade their beautiful home in Penticton *grin* ...
ok. That's it. G'night.

22 August 2008

[talk: Being Generous: The World Vision Gift Catalog]

Aren't we just so blessed?

I mean, the financial strain that the majority of us live under is due to our own choice of a high standard of living, don't you think? Realistically, we could live in smaller homes, have less expensive vehicles, less clothes, less of pretty much of everything. I'm sure that most would agree that we are blessed in so many ways.

I'm a big fan of prosperity, don't get me wrong. I think that having a strong work ethic and high motivation for a better life is a good thing - a Godly thing. But with that comes much responsibility. The Biblical parable of the "talents" comes to mind - and it's a challenge as to what to do with what God has given us. Saving for our comfortable future isn't necessarily God's perfect plan - but He is very specific about our call to the poor.
For Mattias' birthday, a family friend gave him a soccer ball along with a World Vision Card stating that 3 other soccer balls were given to children who didn't have any, in honour of Mattias' birthday. HOW FANTASTIC is that!! My friend told me of how World Vision has a catalog of things you can "buy" online for those less fortunate. Price ranges are from very small to extravagant - and the whole idea just excites me!

Imagine this - giving your girlfriend a blanket for Christmas and a World Vision Card that states a blanket has been given to someone in a remote village in the cold of China. Or giving your mom a casserole dish, along with a card letting her know that one has also been given to a family in Haiti.

I am so challenged by this - and I wonder what kind of change we could do if we gave LESS to each other, so we could give MORE to someone else. What would birthdays look like? What would Christmas look like? What would our children learn? How would our priorities change?

I think it would all be so good.
So, check out this site and be challenged as I was and dream big: https://gifts.worldvision.ca/Gifts/Forms/Home.aspx

21 August 2008

[talk: Invisaline]

When I was younger, I chose to go to a private school rather than have my teeth straightened. Nobody really thought my teeth were all that bad, but I have always been self conscious about twisted teeth and "fangs". I've adapted my smile and such so that it's not as noticeable but, for me, it's something that I always thought about when I looked at photos of myself.

After I lost our last baby in February, I decided that I was going to use my time "wisely" until we decided we would start trying again. I couldn't have the needed x-rays while I was pregnant, so when I no longer was, I made an appointment with a local orthodontist.

My first quote was upwards of $18,000+ (depending on all that I wanted done). This did not include x-rays or retainers. This doctor also recommended my jaw be broken and wired shut b/c my upper jaw and lower jaw are "one tooth off" and the lines do not line up.

Um. Ok - so that was not an option. A stay-at-home-mom with her mouth wired shut is a recipe for disaster.

I went to another local ortho, and this time I was introduced me to "Invisaline". Basically, they look like "teeth whitening trays" and are removable for meals and brushing. They are supposed to be in for at least 22hrs a day (so, that's basically 2 hours for eating & brushing). And I was quoted $6700 for everything: trays, x-rays, mouth guard and retainers.

I gave it a big thumbs up!

So - little "bumps" were sodered onto 5 of my teeth - little niches where the trays click on to, and where the most pressure was to be applied. When I insert new trays, it simply feels like someone is pushing on my teeth. The very first set, though, was very painful and made me feel claustrophobic - but that passed within about 48 hours. I rotate my trays every 2 weeks - and am almost done my lower teeth with having 9 sets of trays (18weeks, essentially). Only 4 weeks to go!! I go to the ortho every six weeks to receive the next 3 sets of trays, and have them inspect that all is going well - and at my next visit my retainer will be put in behind my lower teeth and they'll be done!

Here's a pic with my 2nd set of trays in .... not the most flattering pic *grin*. I was in New York and taking a bunch of Advil because they had moved so much with the first two sets. You can see the bumps (I hate that it looks like there's food on my teeth) - though most people don't even notice I'm wearing them. I don't usually walk around with this ridiculous look on my face. And as of late, I've had to take them out to sing. Apparently my "s"s are a bit of a microphone nightmare *GRIN*.

It is SO exciting to see the changes ... Even just looking at this pic, I can see how my bottom teeth have straightened and although I'm only half way through my top teeth, they are moving and creating new spaces and such as they find their right place.

If you're interested in knowing more about it, just ask ... and I can give you the information on my local orthodontist as well. One thing to note, is that not everyone is a candidate for Invisaline.

When I'm done, I'll post my "before" and "after".

20 August 2008

[talk: Finding A Piano Teacher]

I've had so many people ask me as of late, "How do I find a good piano teacher??". It's such a loaded question - so I thought I'd would start at the beginning.

I am an RMT (Registered Music Teacher) and have been for the past 16 years. This means that I have completed my musical education ( ARCT Performance, ARCT Teachers, and AVCM from Victoria) and I am an active member in the BCRMTA. Currently, my studio is not as busy as it as been in the past, due to starting our family. But up until 4 years ago, I had a thriving private studio with 40+ students. I taught Royal Conservatory (Classical), popular, gospel and theory to all ages and abilities.

Not everyone wishes for their child to be taught by an RMT. Perhaps there is a family friend, a familiar babysitter or someone who simply charges a rate that is affordable. But for argument's sake, I'm going to answer this question as though you are looking for someone who has completed or in the process of completing their education.

1. Are they Registered? That is, have they finished their studies and are accountable to some type of organization for insurance purposes as well as continuing a high standard of learning. Being involved as an RMT also allows opportunities for students to be involved in workshops and local festivals.

2. What type of music do you wish your child to learn? Make sure that if you desire your child to complete classical exams, that your teacher is affluent in the exam system. Likewise, if you wish to have a variety of music exposed to your child, that your teacher can accommodate those styles as well.

3. What is the teacher's expectation of you/your child? Ask about length of practice and how often. This should be something that is obtainable, and different teachers will have different expectations. Make sure that yours and theirs are in alignment. For my studio, beginners are to practice between 20-30min (depending on age) for a minimum of 5 days a week.

4. What is your goal for your child (annually)? Be realistic, but also be aware of what is the average rate of learning for your child's age. There is a fine line between pushing, and being too laid back. Nothing is worse than a child who has wasted a year due to lack of achievable goals being set.

5. What is the teacher's weekly outline (ie technique, sight/ear, pieces - all exam prep). A good teacher should have the year marked out in terms with possible meetings/report cards with the parents. Now - this does not always happen - but good communication with the teacher is imperative to make sure that your child is meeting all of their requirements and that mutual goals are met.

6. What is the teacher's business ethic? Ask about payment (check around and make sure that their rates are fair and comparative to other RMTs - obviously, experience and education play a large role in fluctuation between rates). Find out the teacher's protocol on missed lessons due to illness or school events - you won't want any surprises. Ask about Make Up Lessons and if they offer Master Classes (performance in small group settings with students). If your teacher is not organized in the business aspect, it may show a lack of organization for their weekly lessons. Also - you should receive a receipt for your monthly tuition for tax purposes. This can only happen if the teacher has a Business Licence.

7. Have an interview. Remember - YOU are interviewing THEM as much as they are interviewing you. Don't make any decisions on the spot, and
have your child be there during the interviewing process. At home, your child will be able to tell you whether they felt comfortable or not. Remember - not every teacher is for every child.

I have had people say that their child is "young" and that they may decide to invest in an RMT later on. I always say that, in my opinion, it should be the other way around. Bad habits, poor note reading, erratic rhythm recognition are all issues that start at the very beginning stages and can sometimes be overlooked or incorrectly dealt with by an unqualified teacher.

With all that said, please know that I sincerely do not wish to disrespect those stay-at-home moms who are teaching lessons to supplement their income. They would not be in business if there wasn't a demand for them. And most of them, some of whom I know personally, really do have a desire to complete their education but life has simply dealt them a different hand for the time being. Those, however, who teach without any intentions of completing their education often don't realize that their inexperience can potentially damage future musicians.

Anyway - that's my option, take it or leave it *grin*.

Hope that helps!

19 August 2008

[digiscrap: Life and a Few Layouts]

A lot has been going on in my life - good things, supernatural things ... and I'm feeling validated, confident and a lot of other positive words *smile*. It's taken a long time to get here, and it may not last long *grin* - so I'm trying to walk in it as best as I can.

That doesn't mean that I've been exempt from feeling left out or disappointed as of late, but I realize that those feelings come from the struggle of insecurity that rears it's ugly head from time to time. I'm sure that I'm not alone in that battle - even when it feels heavy and lonely. But for the most part - the good has definitely outweighed the rough spots and ... yeah. It's good.

One of those things is worship. If you know me, you know that worship is a massive part of who I am. It probably makes up too much of my Christian walk, and I'm learning to balance that with other important parts - one of which is being obedient when I feel that I should say/do something. That's a tricky thing for me ... see, worship comes very easy - I cannot explain it - but I rarely question the strong feeling of direction that I feel when I'm a part of worship. But anything else - I'm rather lost. So, I want to exercise those other parts because I know that they are important.

I went out on a limb and exercised a Spiritual muscle yesterday - and was very fearful that I was way off. But I did it - and it has been such a positive experience, for which I am so thankful. I'm glad the Lord didn't let me fall flat on my face when I was trying to be so brave *GRIN*!!

I am also in the process of enrolling Mattias in a local Christian school. He won't start until next year - but I'm a bit of a nut when it comes to Elementary School and I'm pretty much losing my mind with excitement. We went to pick up the application yesterday and as we walked through the halls and the smell of crayons and floor wax ... *inhale*. Heavenly. And if I told you how many divine appointments were set up yesterday (which is what I was talking about previously), you just simply wouldn't believe it. God is in the process of renewing some past, significant relationships in my life - as well as birthing some new ones that I have a deep excitement for. And all because of really seeking Him as to where Tias should go to school.

So those things are all linked together - and I saw God's hand in everything yesterday. It was such an awesome thing ... so awesome.

So anyway - that's where I am today ... and I actually had some time the other night to do some more digipages.

Wanna see? Too bad ... here they are anyway *grin*.

click images to enlarge

15 August 2008

[make: The "Cars" Birthday Cake]

WELL. I did it!!
**and the crowd goes wild ....**
Hmm. Not exactly - but the cake was a success and I was bursting as Mattias was in love with the first birthday cake I've really created. I had originally thought I would do a "racecar track" cake - with the theme of his party being "Cars". But last week he told me that he wanted a "broken and fixed road" cake - just like when Lightening McQueen has to fix the road he ruins.

Hmm. Ok.

So I did some hunting, talked to a few girlfriends about some of my ideas and got a few of theirs ... then - with the supervision of cake-extraordinaire "A.L." - I began my feat. She helped me lay it out, and had me walk through my vision and started implementing my ideas before my eyes. She helped me set the format of the cake, and she taught me how to ice it *sounds silly, but she did*. Then - she let me go to town with the decorating and gave me the "hip hip hooray" every time I completed another part. SO MUCH FUN!!

So - you wanna see??

Ok - here it is in stages ...

the cookies were the "fence" around the city ... or so I tried.

I used all the lego and toys from Mattias' collection - with cut straws for the lightposts.
I crushed chocolate wafers finely for the "fixed" road and crumbled for the "broken" road.

I used white lifesavers as "stacked tires" and rock candies with green sprinkles for a bit of grass.

Luigi & Guido - Tias' favourite little characters ...

The kids all wanted a peek ...

Tias tried to blow out the sparkler - so funny!!
SO - that's it. And there were over 400 pics taken too - so I have to sort through them. I'm looking forward to a little "down time" to digiscrap and clean off some photos off of my computer. Maybe next week *grin*.

13 August 2008

[digiscrap: New Layouts and a Night Out]

I got this hilarious phone call from my niece, asking if we could go out for the night so she and our cousin's daughter could come watch our boys. Um. YES!! So - we quickly planned for a dinner out and met up with our friends (who are staying with us) and headed to White Rock.

We got some yummy ice cream, killed ourselves laughing ... then came home and trash talked all the participants of Big Brother *grin*. Seriously - that place has GOT to be the most stressful place to live ...
I completely forgot my camera (what the HECK??) but our friends brought their cam and took a few memorable pics ... SO fun!

I haven't done digiscrapping as of late ... who has the time??? Not me - but here are some of the layouts I did prior to the craziness of my life right now ... And now, I'm off to the ortho ...

Tonight: the cake. WHOO HOO!!

click images to enlarge

12 August 2008

[talk: A Starbucks Birthday and Raw Soup]

Ok ... like he hasn't had ENOUGH birthday celebrations ... we had yet another. It was small and sweet, held at our little local Starbucks. After dinner, we walked up with our friends who are staying with us this week ... We brought candles and stuck them in a chocolate chip cookie and sang "Happy Birthday" as he blew them out. Now he's pretty sure he's four. *grin*

Tomorrow I shall tackle the feat of making his "CARS: Broken Road" Cake for his ACTUAL birthday party. This is Tias' request ... he wants Radiator Springs, with the road down the middle - half fixed, half broken. I'm actually really excited to jump into the project - too bad I can't start today!

One thing I forgot to mention yesterday - we got a VitaMix. This is a CRAZY, insane blender that actually heats up your food if you let it blend long enough. Our company was brave as I started throwing raw veges in: tomatoes, cauliflower, onion, garlic, red pepper, black beans ... And turned it on for 5 minutes - getting piping-hot, smooth soup. Was it good? WELLL - it was my first try. Tasted a bit "raw", if you know what I mean. Almost "grassy" ... BUT, later, I made vanilla icecream using skim milk, vanilla essence, Splenda, dried milk powder and a few cups of ice. It had the consistency of sorbet - wasn't creamy or "rich". But worth the calories and definitely a TREAT.

Love my machine. Now, what SHALL I try tonight?? Hmmmm ....

11 August 2008

[talk: In Full Swing Again]

WELL - I missed blogging. Strange, huh? But I did. So, now I'm back and am DIZZY with all the things happening this week ... if you saw my "to-do" list, you'd feel sorry for me *grin*. But it's all self-done and it serves me right for doing too many things at once. I love it, though ... it certainly is a week with a purpose!

First things first ... today is Mattias' 4th birthday. He's had two "parties" with the family already - but his "Other Four Year Olds" party is on Thursday. That was a hard thing - choosing who to invite, especially when I have friends with kids at different ages ... but those who are younger will be invited to Josiah's party :-) ... I have too many plans for Thursday ... a cake, which I canNOT WAIT to create with my friend A. Games, giftbags, crafts etc ... my head is spinning just thinking about it. I hope it all works out!!

Today - we got NEW "Guido" and "Luigi" fishes as part of his birthday present. Mattias is in love ... and hopefully they'll live a little longer than the last set ... We chose goldfish this time - they tend to last longer, apparently.

On another note, I am excited to lead worship at my church a couple of times this week - on Friday night and on Sunday morning. That requires a lot of prep for me - heart prep, song lists, band practices. I love all of it. Worship gives me life. Finding time for it gives me panic, though *grin*.

We have friends from out of town staying with us for the week too ... LOVE it when they stay. There is something to be said about people who just "fit in" and live with you ... no expectations - just love. Such a great thing.

And I'm surrounded by laundry from our camping weekend ... it was a fun weekend, with another birthday celebration for Mattias with the family - but it rained a lot. That was a drag. It was nice to sleep in our own bed last night!!

SO - that's what's happening around here - but I have so many thoughts that I've had on my mind lately ... I hope to have a chance to write about those things and am curious as to what YOU think on those topics. Hey - I always say "two brains are better than one" ... *grin*.

Here are some pics of the camping weekend ...


the DQ birthday cake that had matches as candles - lit up nicely *GRIN*

Josiah loved camping.

Mattias calls these "wishing flowers"

rain or shine - Tias loved the pool

our little spot ... but we had the cabin across the lane *grin*

07 August 2008

[talk: Luigi the Fish Commits Suicide]

How do you explain this to your 4 year old??

The fish jumped out of the tank ... and died. Seriously. Mattias came into our room this morning and said, "Mommy, Luigi's on the carpet." That's 2 pets in a month ... and the first fish that died, Guido, had his fins eaten by Luigi, and sank to the bottom (rather gross).

I think Luigi's water got too hot with the heat of Mattias' room ... either that, or he found no reason to live anymore *smirk*. You know how tough a fish's life can be.

So sad ... and there were tears again - and a small "flushing funeral".


06 August 2008

[talk: Bday Part One & Who are YOU?]

Well - what a DAY we had yesterday. Off to the waterpark during the day and celebrating Tias' birthday with my side of the family at night. We "borrowed" a family friend's pool and ate DQ cake on their deck. SUCH a lovely night ... and Tias requested us to sing the "Happy Birthday" song a couple of times *wink*.

Here are a couple of pics I took in our back yard while Siah slept ...

On a side note - I'd love to hear from you. I have no clue who comes onto this site *grin* - except for a few close friends - and I gotta admit that I check daily to see if anyone's commented. If you're so inclined, leave a "hello". *grin*.

05 August 2008

[talk: So In Love ...]

Being a mom puts a person into a place that they never thought possible. A place where they love so much, it hurts - where they care, feel responsible, carry the burdens of their children ... a place where they hurt when their child is rude, or needs to be disciplined. Such a massive amount of emotion comes with being a parent, I find.
For me - yesterday was a day of PRIDE. Josiah, our littlest one, got brave with his water-wings and was able to hold himself on his own in the pool. Plus walking off the diving board!! And - I didn't have my camera *dang* - but just as well ... I was in the pool too *wink*. And Mattias continues to gain confidence in the pool as well - jumping off the diving board, into Lu's arms. So proud of my little guys.

Tonight is "Birthday Celebration #1". Tias will be four next week - but with family being out of town and such, we've found ourselves planning 4 separate gatherings. Because of this glorious weather, we've asked a family friend for the use of their pool - so off we'll go with DQ ice-cream cake and hopefully get some exercise.

Hope you enjoyed this fantastic, sunny day!!

Here are two pics that I took at the park yesterday - my little men.