Tuesday, 29 April 2008

SPT: Money Talks

My neighbors to the south are in need of economic stimulus?
I'll see what I can do to help!
I might buy this after I check it out in person when I'm in Utah later this week, though it falls far below Lelly's goal of around the value of a tank of gas. I could top up the tank with one of these.

Monday, 28 April 2008

52 Blessings

Spring Green

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Our week

Today was 10'C (50'F).
Balmy? No! But Carmen, Chloe and a few friends thought it seemed like a good day to catch some rays - heavy on the High School Musical II influence.
Jaclyn had a couple of special events:

On Thursday she had an award ceremony at our local Royal Canadian Legion.
From their website: For many, many years, The Royal Canadian Legion has sponsored annual Poster, Essay and Literary Contests that are open to all Canadian school children. The youths that participate in the contests assist the Legion in one of our primary goals – fostering the tradition of Remembrance amongst Canadians.
Jaclyn entered the poem she wrote last spring after we went to The Museum of the Regiments, and she was awarded 2nd place and $15 for her submission.

Jaclyn played in Badminton Divisionals on Tuesday.
{Jaclyn's left hand is in perfect focus, what went wrong with the rest of the picture? I think I need sports photography lessons and maybe a new and improved camera!}
Long story: back in 7th grade Jaclyn auditioned for the school play (A Midsummer Night's Dream) and then after rehearsals started she wanted to try out for the badminton team. I gave her permission to go to the try outs, mostly because she hadn't made any of the other teams that year, so I felt sure of the outcome. I was wrong: Jaclyn made the badminton team and she was way too busy with after school play rehearsals and badminton practises. I wised up the next year and told her she could only audition/try out for one spring activity. She chose the school play (I Never Saw Another Butterfly) but she was a little bitter about not playing badminton. This year Jaclyn went for the school play again, but when the 9th grade girls didn't show enough interest in the badminton team to fill all the spots the coach approached Jaclyn and asked her why she didn't try out for badminton again. She told him, "I'd like to, but I don't think I can handle the time commitment." (Read that last sentence again and ask yourself how your life would be different if you learned to say those words.) Well, Jaclyn didn't stick to those words because she really wanted to do both, and with 9th grade badminton practises in the early morning instead of after school she talked me into it.
Short story: Jaclyn was on the badminton team this year and was so happy to play she didn't mind getting knocked out of the tournament early.

Steven went to a boxing match last Saturday night with one of his best friends, bff's dad and bff's brother. I'm not actually so sure that boys have bff's, but hey, you get the idea. The bff's family has a neighbour who is a boxing *Olympic hopeful* and that's who they went to watch. Steven met and got autographs from George Chuvalo and Eddie Mustafa Muhammad. Ken thought the whole thing was great and refers to Saturday as Steven's *first* boxing match. Too bad for Jaclyn that Best of EFY was over early enough for Ken to pick her up and the take her along with him just in time to see the main event. After that short exposure to boxing she's not a fan.

Too bad for Steven, but lucky for you I didn't send the camera along to the boxing match. I'm sure you'd much rather see one of the new kittens from Carmen's riding stable:

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

SPT & Good Mail

I'm no *greener* than I was a year ago, but Happy Earth day, anyway!

Last night I opened my mailbox to find good mail from possibly the greenest place on earth (literally and figuratively). I won Elizabeth's contest for guessing the stats on little baby Kea before he was born, and I was well rewarded!

A little make-up bag with mango coconut lip balm. The card is sporting the flip flop stamp that embellished the large postage box everything was shipped in. If I lived in Hawaii I would totally own a flip flop stamp.

I couldn't believe that there were so many separate presents in the box! Each was wrapped in tissue and/or slipped into cute envelopes. Here is my plumeria flower pen and flip flop book mark.

I love popcorn, so how fun for me to try a new flavor! Hawaiian Hurricane Popcorn is seasoned with butter and seaweed, and blended with toasted rice crackers.

Pineapple Soap

A Hawaiian classic: chocolate covered macadamia nuts.

Thank you so much for a little piece of paradise, Liz!

Monday, 21 April 2008

52 Blessings

When Jaclyn and I parked across the street at the Drop In Centre last week we walked right past this burning port-a-potty. I pulled out my cell phone to call it in, but before I could dial 911 the firetrucks arrived. So instead I snapped a quick photo with my phone - it's just not something you see every day. (Many jokes made later in the Centre about the fuel feeding that fire yadda yadda yadda.)
What I'm grateful for this week is back up. These firefighters have each others backs, and like them we all need that once in awhile.
Here's where I'm going with this one:
I'm a mom who can make the tough decisions and stick with them. Generally those decisions leave me feeling confident and proud of myself, but also lonely.
Today I found out about another mom who is sticking to her standards on something, a standard I share with her, a standard I often feel lonely on, and you better believe I called her up to tell her I appreciate her. It's nice to be backed up. For both of us.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Six for Saturday

Huzzah for good mail!
Anne sent me this monkey notepad which, since I live by my lists, will be put to good use.
And it seems that I have benefited from yet another Creative Friday with this bookmark/thank you card from Michelle. /

I made a second effort to buy Pinch O' Peach at the MAC counter this week. This time I was told that color is on indefinite back order because of production problems and I'd better choose a new color. Which I did. I was then advised to check online, and when it becomes available again online, it will also be available in stores. I checked online just now, to create a hyperlink to this post and . . . I can buy Pinch O' Peach online. Which I have. First item going on my monkey notepad: return the overly peach blush I (thankfully) haven't opened yet.

/ /
Our young women's group went to the Drop in Centre on Tuesday night to serve dinner to the hundreds of homeless people who access this service every day. One of my counsellors was in charge of this activity - it's always nice to be the tag along when I get the chance. This special activity required a much earlier meeting time than usual for us, which meant that Jaclyn and I had to drive straight down town from Jaclyn's piano lesson in order to be on time. We were the only ones on time. By a long shot. The people at the Centre hassled me a little about where was the rest of the group, and I was so embarrassed - no need for cosmetic blush that night. Jaclyn and I worked in the kitchen while *patrons* of the drop in centre helped out serving until the group who had carpooled together arrived. The rest of the girls served dinner for the last 15 minutes and then the job was done. Afterwards we were given a tour, which made the whole fiasco worthwhile for the way it educated and enlightened the girls. But still. I know within our own church events we tolerate lateness, Mormon standard time and all that. However when we go out in the community representing the church WE SHOULD BE ON TIME!
Yesterday I went to a continuing education event that was a day of mini lectures - think Women's Conference type format (I know I'm thinking Women's Conference a-plenty lately). I avoided all tooth related classes and enjoyed some terrific presentations on other health issues. I learned that sleep is not a luxury. I learned that 3 family dinners a week reduce teen drug and alcohol abuse by 50% and 5 family dinners a week leads to good grades. I also learned that stress should be managed, rather than pushed through.
Jaclyn taught our Family Home Evening Lesson last week from the conference address titled Special Experiences in which Elder Ronald A. Rasband teaches that "our personal life experiences become building blocks for our testimonies and add to our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ". All week I've been wanting to reinforce the lesson by pulling out our building blocks and labeling them with experiences the kids can think of that have been building blocks for them in their spiritual lives. I really want to do this before our next FHE, so I guess tomorrow is the day. Which reminds me, Marie, RGLHM, or Megan, I have some family home evening files (aimed at teaching small children) sitting on my front hall closet shelf for whomever stops by to pick them up first.

I missed SPT this week. We were to fill in the photo for the caption:

"What was I thinking?"

I struggled with it. It wasn't a good fit for me. Not that I live a regret-free life, but rather that I always know what I was regrettably thinking. I almost had it when I was going through my list and came to an item that read *Fridays 3:30* and I drew a total blank. What did it mean? The s alarmed me because it inferred not just this Friday, but every Friday. It came to me eventually; it always does. And it was boring. But it was all I had, so I snapped this photo tonight. Incidentally, the marker isn't washing off well. What was I thinking?

Monday, 14 April 2008

52 Blessings

My morning commute.
What a way to start the day, driving towards the mountains as I take the kids to school. If I take a deep breath while I look towards the mountains I can get the feeling of filling myself with mountain air. It makes me want to turn on a little John Denver, actually.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Pond Hockey

Tonight we had an end-of-season banquet and awards ceremony for Steven's hockey team. I showed up with a crock pot of bbq beef, and I brought my apron intending to be of more help in the kitchen, but I spent the whole time chatting instead. I'm sure the apron made me look like I was working.
To be honest, I'm not really that interested in sharing about the evening - mostly I'm posting to show off the awesome photo I captured of Steven playing street hockey on the partially melted home ice afterwards. I can't believe I caught his reflection in the puddle - I was the cool mom who let her boy stay until all the other boys had to go, and here is my payoff:
It was good to go to the year end party, especially since Steven didn't play in the final tournament. Towards the end of the season Ken asked Steven hypothetically what he would do *if* the tournament was on a Sunday. Steven said, "Well, then I guess I wouldn't play." The hypothetical question was asked to feel out how unhappy Steven would be about missing the tournament, but the big side benefit was that Steven made his decision in advance. He was, of course, sorry and disappointed when he missed the tournament, but it was nice that he was able to make the decision when he was emotion-free.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008



They say hindsight is 20/20, so I imagine I'd see things more clearly. I try to use future hindsight when making decisions. Will I regret doing ____ ? Will I regret not doing ____ ? I'll be sorry if I don't _____ !

I used future hindsight this morning when I was feeling lazy. I told myself I'd be sorry if I didn't get out on a run on this beautiful day! I sucked it up and went out, and of course I'm very glad I did.

What else would I see?

I think I'd see my big kids rolling their eyes at me. Not Jaclyn so much any more. I amuse more than embarrass her now. But Steven. Steven. He has a new word for when I suggest something he considers to be lame. "Erg". And if I have my back turned there might be some eye rolling to go with it. Nice to know with child #2 that he'll grow out of it.

One more thing:

I'd see fewer children in the backseat of my car.

It was quite an adjustment for me when Jaclyn grew to be big enough to sit in the front passenger seat. For years the front passenger had been my command center. A place to keep my purse, my day planner, and items required for the errands of the day. When Jaclyn moved in I lost my command center, but I gained more conversation with her.

If I'd had eyes in the back of my head at that time I would have noticed Steven paying close attention to Jaclyn's promotion to the front seat and mentally noting her exact age, because when he got close to turning 11 years old he started calling "Shotgun!" This winter the heated front seats have only heated the competition between Jaclyn and Steven for the front seat, but I'm sure that rivalry will cool a little with our warming weather.

Another feature of the new van is that the passenger seat is weight sensitive and will turn off the airbag for a smaller person. Carmen believes this technology was built for her and she's trying to get some front seat time of her own, but she only challenges her rights to the front seat in the absence of her big brother and sister; she's not quite ready to take them on yet.

Monday, 7 April 2008

52 Blessings

Fresh produce in the winter. It is so great to live in an age where I can eat baby squash and zucchini and lettuce and fresh herbs all year round even though nothing has grown in my corner of the world in more than 6 months.
Marie: You know what Dad likes to say about this blessing! "Remember to say thank you for Mexicans" (when you're asked to say the blessing on the food at dinner). I still can't decide how much of Dad is truly politically incorrect and how much is pure teasing.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

The Big 4-O

Ken's big day, in reverse:

9:15 pm Ken got tackled by his buddies at hockey. They hockey-taped his arms to a hockey stick and then taped him to the net. The kids and I showed up (surprise!) and everyone took a turn shooting foam practise hockey pucks at the birthday boy. 40 pucks for 40 years.

7:00 pm keylime pie
6:30 pm birthday dinner - homemade pizzas with homemade marinara sauce
8:00 am to 6:00 pm workday full of meetings, peppered with the occasional birthday phone call or email
7:45 am blueberry pancakes for breakfast
7:30 am open gifts
6:20 am drive Jaclyn to seminary