Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

The gifts are all wrapped, the overnight bags are packed, the meatballs have been made and we are soon headed to my home town to celebrate Christmas with my family. This year, Christmas will be different than past years as part of the celebrations will be held at the hospital since my mom is unable to come home for Christmas. An adventure I'm sure it will be as my parents have 10 grandchildren, ages 6 and under. Too many to be in the same room together, so we have to do shifts. But before I go, I wanted to wish everyone out in blogland a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Name Game - Part 2

Over the last number of months, I've been pondering my blog title...thinking about changing it. Cheri, mon Cheri didn't suite me as it had nothing to do with what I blog about. So I'm changing my blog title to...Cheri and Family...which is what this blog is all about.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A visit to see Santa

C's been asking lots of questions about Santa Claus. Out of the blue she'll ask...Is Santa really real? We been able to avoid giving her a definite answer. I'm not into lying to my child, so I usually say...You'll have to ask daddy. She's very perceptive, so I don't think it'll be that much longer before she figures out he's not real.

Today daddy took her to see Santa at the mall. She's been begging to go see him ever since she saw the display set up there. When she came home form the visit, she burst through the door all excited to tell me that there wasn't a lineup to see Santa, and that he gave her a candy cane and daddy let her eat it. She then said..."Guess What!!!" I was prepared to hear her tell me that she knew that the man in red at the mall wasn't really Santa when she blurted out..."I'm getting an iPod for Christmas!"

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Birthday and a Farewell

Yesterday we said goodbye to our Irish home stay. Her eight week work placement had ended and she was flying home to Ireland. C was quite sad when we dropped her off, and as we drove away C kept telling me that we had to get her back...she had become attached to her big "sister" that filled her purse with pennies.

During her stay, our Irish guest turned last Monday we had a little birthday party for her. C and I spent the day decorating the house with balloons, streamers and a sign as well as decorating a cake. Hubby lent us a basket full of a different sprinkle containers from his class room and C had to sprinkle the cake with each of them. Most of the sprinkles landed in the centre of the cake so I wasn't too surprised when C requested a piece from the centre of the cake.

C wanted to give a special birthday gift to our Irish guest, so we decided to pick out a couple of Christmas tree ornaments. It was a tough decision for that required us to put all the ornament options on a display tree. I had to steer her away from the fragile glass ornaments that may not have survived the suitecase trip to Ireland, as well as the overly large ones meant for a over sized, extra tall tree. She really liked a white bird ornament with feathers that fanned in a half circle. The ornament was larger than a dinner plate and would have been hard to pack in a suitcase where I knew space was limited. After much deliberation, she finally chose a sparkly snowflake and purple stars.

We enjoyed this hosting experience and could not have asked for a better house guest. She was considerate, kind and gentle and did not mind the antics of an excitable talkative five year old that wanted to be with her all the time. We'll miss you L. God bless you on your future endeavours.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Face Painting

Today we went to a parade and C was quite excited that part of the event included face painting. She asked to have her face painted as a lion. The guy did an amazing job and when he was finished, she looked liked she was ready to try out for a part in The Lion King. She loved it and said she never wanted to wash her face again and ran through the house roaring like a lion. I was prepared to let her wear it for the rest of the weekend, but by bedtime it was smeared and wearing off on anything she touched. By this time, she looked more like a character from Star Trek than she did a lion.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fashion Fun

C loves to do crafts and one of my desires for the school year was to spend some quality craft time with her. About a year ago, my brother gave C a little book that contained about 20 different craft ideas. She loved going through the book and ogling the different ideas. There were sock puppets, miniature gardens, decorated boxes, fabric painting and lots more. C has asked us to take painting lessons, so it was no surprise to me that one of the top "I must do this" crafts was the fabric painting.

This past week, C and I put paint to fabric and created her new favourite T-shirt and pants. She loves rainbows, so that was the first item she wanted to paint on her shirt. Then she suggested items that were either too complicated for me to stencil, or for her to grasshoppers, peacocks and hot air balloons. We settled on a sun and some flowers.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Car Games

"I'm thinking of a food and it's white."



"Mashed Potatoes?"


I scratch my head wondering what food is white and starts with an S. Before I can guess again, C blurts the answer out.


Friday, September 21, 2007

A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That

Just a few little things I wanted to blog about over the summer but never got around to it...

Our 15-year old international student went home at the end of June. C was quite sad to see her go as she enjoyed having a big sister. When we told C she was going to move into our student's room while we painted her room she asked..."Can I have the desk?". This question surprised us at first but we soon realized why she wanted the desk. We found her "working" (aka creating artwork) at the desk and sipping from a water bottle. She was imitating what she had seen our student do in the room. We enjoyed having a break from hosting during the summer but we are now preparing to host another Irish work placement student. She arrives tomorrow and stays for 8 weeks.

C turned 5 at the beginning of July and her birthday was celebrated with parties for both sides of the family, as well as a little friend party. I was not overly prepared for the friend party as we were on vacation the week prior to the party. We had planned to keep it pretty simple with games, hot dogs, cupcakes and presents. The night before the party I was shopping for a few last minute things when I stumbled across party supplies that were drastically reduced. I was able to purchase activity sheets, hats, cups, cutlery, decorations and favour bag items all in the Strawberry Shortcake theme for a fraction of the cost. What a blessing. The kids had a great time and C was thrilled that her cousin K gave her a littlest pony.

We did not succeed this year at preventing our garden from turning into a jungle. Earlier in the season we had our landscaper friend re-edge all the garden borders. We tried to maintain the edges but this effort exceeded what time allowed us to do. It did not take long for parts of the garden to grow into the trench and our lawn. Perhaps we will be more successful next year otherwise we may remove some of the gardens and plant grass. Our neighbour has already been eyeing up our plants...offering to take them.

C enjoyed her experience at Vacation Bible school this summer. The first day she came home with her face painted and a CD of kids songs. By the end of the week, Awesome God had bumped Freedom (Nicole C. Mullen) from it's position as her favourite song. I downloaded the Rich Mullins version of Awesome God onto my ipod and every car trip we had to listen to it while she sang along. The song ends with string instruments playing and she always yells from the back seat...."That's my favourite part!" C tells us she wants to learn to play the cello.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

How Marketing Influences C

"Lucky Charms have grains in them."

"Oh yeah?"

"That means they are healthy and I can eat them!"

Friday, September 7, 2007

Shoelaces and Facebook

These two things really have nothing to do with each other…unless you are a 5 year old.

Today is C's first day of senior kindergarten and in preparation for back to school, I retrieved a new pair of running shoes from my "grow into" bin that were her size. These running shoes had real tie-up laces instead of velcro and I had purchased them a couple of years ago in hopes that when it came time for her to wear them, she would be old enough to learn how to tie her own laces. I have a friend with a daughter who learned how to tie shoelaces at age 5, so I knew that it was feasible.

C was excited about the new shoes and that they had real laces, so after supper last night we sat together and I showed her how to tie shoe laces. After about 10 failed attempts, she flopped the shoe down and said "I can't do it! I'll never be able to do it! Maybe you should just get me velcro shoes…". I told her that it takes practice to learn how to tie your own shoes and that I knew she would be able to do it. That even mommy had to practice too when she was a little girl. C asked me how many times I had to practice before I was able to tie my own shoes. Two? Three? Ten? I told her probably around 100. I really don't remember learning to tie my own shoes, but I knew I had to say a large, yet reasonable number to keep her motivated.

I told her that she should practice for 5 more minutes and then we would continue practicing another day. She seemed satisfied with this response and sat back down to try again. A minute later I heard her exclaim "I DID IT! I DID IT!" I looked and sure enough... the shoe laces were tied into a bow on one of the shoes. I was quite surprised and amazed since moments before she had been ready to quit. I told her that she did a GREAT job and that she would have to show daddy when he came home. She immediately jumped up, eyes wide with excitement and said...

"I know! You can put it on Facebook! You can tell everyone that I can tie my own shoelaces! Tell Ruth and Aunt Becky! Please!!! Please put it on Facebook!"

I sat there staring at her. I could not believe what I had just heard. How could my 5 year old have any comprehension about what Facebook was? It's not like I'm on Facebook as much as other people I know. She must be listening and understanding when I am talking to hubby about what I read or saw on Facebook.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

C's Favourite Food

Today is C's first day at her new daycare provider. Last night when my hubby mentioned that she would be going to her new daycare today she immediately protested and burst into tears. "I want to stay home with you guys!" She has enjoyed being home with daddy this summer. We told her that daddy had to go back to work and neither of us would be home...but still she sobbed. After she calmed down enough to be able to listen, I explained to her that she would only be going to the new daycare 3-4 days a week for a few hours after school. She would be able to play with all the new toys and games we had seen there. I then mentioned that this daycare provider sometimes took the kids to the park and bbq'd hot dogs. When she heard the word hot dogs, she sat up in the bed with a big grin and bounced with excitement. "YEAH!" We then finished her prayers and she drifted off to sleep without further protest...with visions of hot dogs dancing in her head.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Blue, White and Red: A Tale of Three Jeeps

Eight years ago, my hubby and I went to Maui for our honeymoon. While my hubby was planning our trip he learned that 4-wheel drive vehicles were recommended for some of the roads. Since he wanted to drive around the island coastline, which would require us to drive on one of these roads, he rented a jeep.

Our jeep was blue with one small didn't come with zip in windows. After one day of sight seeing on the island, we decided to exchange the blue jeep for a different jeep as driving at highway speeds was drying my contacts out and making a frizzy mess of my hair. As I waited in the blue jeep for my hubby to come back with the keys to a different jeep, one of the rental company employees backed a van up into the blue jeep...scratching and denting the back driver's side.

Our second jeep was white and came with zip in windows. We took this jeep on our "road to Hana" excursion. A coastline road that is 45 miles long and contains 54 one-lane bridges and over 600 hairpin turns. A drive where I was constantly reminding my hubby to slow down (he was driving too fast because there were alot of places he wanted to see) and to keep his eyes on the road (he would cross the middle line when he lingered too long looking at the scenery). The drive was beautiful and breathtaking and we saw some amazing waterfalls, a black sand beach, and hiked through a bamboo forest.

Hana is about half way around the right side of the island and instead of returning home on the same route, my hubby decided we should complete the loop around the right side of the island, driving on one of the "4-wheel drive" recommended roads. This route was not a well travelled route and we were very happy to finally reach a real road again. By this time it was dark out and the road was quite hilly and barely lit. As we crested the top of one of the hills I saw something ahead and yelled "Slow Down!" for the millionth time that day. "There's something on the road!". My hubby had not seen what I saw and asked "Where?" as we crested the top of the next hill. There in front of us the dark images were easily recognizable. Three large dark cows in the middle of the road. Slamming the brakes on, we missed two of the cows and hit the third one in the shoulder...tenderizing him I'm sure. The cows ran off and we drove away, a little shaken but very thankful for God's protection and that we and the cows were not harmed seriously.

The accident caused about $1000 damage to the jeep. The next day we exchanged the white jeep for a red jeep. The red jeep survived the remainder of the trip.

Monday, August 20, 2007

When I Grow Up, I Want to Be...

Lately C has started talking more and more about what she wants to be when she grows up. She went through a phase where she would tell me that she wanted to be a doctor and a dentist when she grew up. A doctor on Tuesdays and a dentist on Thursdays. After starting school, she changed her career choice to a teacher because she adored her JK teacher. About a month ago, she decided she wanted to be a cashier because cashiers get to stay in one spot and don't have to walk around. I wasn't very excited about this line of reasoning. The other day she watched Richard Scarry's Best Busy People Video Ever and has decided that she wants to be a travel agent. When I asked her why she said...

"Because they get to help people go places and get to be on the computer all day."

Not sure why she thinks that is exciting.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Role of a Mommy

We've had numerous conversations with our daughter over the last few weeks about what whining and complaining are, and that part of our role of being parents is to train her to not whine and complain...

"C, you're whining again."

"How am I going to remember all these things when I become a mommy?" said with a sigh.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Happy Anniversary to Us

Today is our 8th wedding anniversary.

My hubby proposed to me at the top of the CN Tower. I had no clue he was going to propose and when he got down on one knee, pulled the ring out of his pocket and asked..."Will you marry me?" initial response was..."Are you serious?" I was shocked. The box was not open so I was wondering..."Is there really a ring in that box?". There was...and I said yes. Why was I shocked? He proposed during my final university term when I was in the middle of job interviews, term projects and preparing for final exams. Not a lot of mental energy left over to wonder when he was going to propose. As well, prior to this day, he had never said "I love you." to me. A phrase he wanted to save for his wife and was not going to use as meaningless words.

We were married less than 5 months later on a slightly overcast day. My car broke down the day before, my hairdresser slept in, one of the bridesmaids had to wear shoes that were too small. But in the end, everything worked out. My dad sang me down the isle (many years ago he travelled in a gospel singing group). He sang Sunrise, Sunset...modifying the words slightly to be for me...a special, proud moment.

We went to Vancouver for the first week of our honeymoon and then to Maui for the second week. My hubby kept Maui a secret until the middle of our week in Vancouver. He had led me to believe that we were driving to Banff. When he told me we were really going to Hawaii, my response again was..."Are you serious?"...but I think this time, I asked him two or three times. Maui was awesome, beautiful and eventful (Ruth the cow story will come later). We had an amazing time and hope to return for our 10th anniversary.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Why we got married

Last Saturday, my hubby made some really yummy stir fry for lunch. As the three of us sat around the kitchen table and enjoyed it, I turned to my daughter and said...

"Mmmmm. This is yummy. I married daddy because he can cook."

She smiled back at me and said...

"Daddy married you because you are smart...and you can do two things at once."

Saturday, July 28, 2007

He has a reputation...

"Daddy needs a bib today!"


"Cause...He has a new shirt on." said like it should be obvious.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Big 4-0

Today my hubby turned 40 and I have to say, I think he looks awesome for 40. He still has all of his hair and none of it is grey…or at least not enough for me to notice. For his birthday, I thought I would list a few things that I love about him.

I love his smile. It's my first heart-skip-a-beat memory of him...waiting in the doorway of my parents house on our first date...grinning away. He has a smile and laughter that lights up his eyes, just like our daughter.

I love that he can cook and that he's a good cook. He actually does most of the cooking in our home and it's a rare and much appreciated occasion when I cook (I can serve a mean bowl of cereal). Now for my defense, he is finished work almost 3 hours ahead of me.

I love his sense of adventure. He has a desire to see every province in Canada as well as other countries. Before we take a trip, he researches that area to determine what are the most interesting things to see and do, jam-packing as many activities as possible into our trip.

I love his sensitivity to the Spirit of God. A sensitivity that will often move him to tears when he shares what God is speaking to him. It's a calming reassurance to me that this heart is open and all the things that I want him to do quickly pale in comparison to what God wants to do in him.

I love that he is an extrovert. He loves to talk and socialize and thrives in social gatherings. His confidence has rubbed off on me and drawn this introvert out of her shell.

I love that he is a father and spends time with our daughter...playing, praying, teaching, training and laughing with her.

Happy 40th Birthday! I love you.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Welcome to Blogland

My friend, the Den Mother, has recently started blogging. She's a new mother to a beautiful baby boy who is not quite 2 months old. I've enjoyed reading her posts over the last few weeks, especially her Badges of Motherhood post. I'm sure most mothers can relate to most, if not all of these badges. So head on over to Notes Written by the Den Mother and wish her a warm welcome to blogland.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Happy Birthday C!

Five years ago today, C made her entrance into this world...almost 6 weeks early. My due date was August 14th, but on June 30, at 33 1/2 weeks, I started to go into labour...I lost my plug and started leaking. I was suspicious that something was up, but when I looked these changes up in the pregnancy books, I found numerous suggestions that were normal pregnancy side effects (like bladder control). It wasn't until 4 days later at my midwife appointment that I found out I was 3-4cm dilated and leaking amniotic fluid. What I had thought were Braxton Hicks were real contractions. My midwife said..."We have to go to the hospital NOW".

I was put on bed rest in the maternity ward and given an IV to fight any infections that could be passed to the baby through the sac tear. The doctors said they would keep me here for up to 2 weeks (to reach 36 weeks). But C was not going to wait that long. Two and a half days later, at 2:20am, C made her entrance into this world. Weighing in at 6 pounds 10 1/2 ounces. No...that is not a typo and dates were not wrong. She probably would have topped 10 pounds if I had gone full term. She was whisked away to the Special Care Nursery where they monitored her breathing (the pediatrician thought it was raspy) and other vitals. Here she spent 4 days sun tanning in an incubator (jaundice) and after 8 days we were allowed to bring our healthy baby home.

If I had to describe C in one word, it would be Precious. She can be feisty and strong willed (knows what she wants and is not afraid to tell you)...but she loves to hug and cuddle and will often tell people she thinks are special that she loves them. She has a smile and laughter that lights up a room and her questions and the way she views this world never ceases to amaze me. I love hearing her talk about Jesus and listening to her prayers as it shows me that children can be soul winners and prayer warriors too.

When C was a baby, I would often sing Jesus Loves the Little Children to her as I loved the line "they are precious in His sight". It made me realize that just as C was precious in my sight, we are precious in God's sight.

Happy Birthday C! I love you and I am so glad that God gave you to us. You are Precious.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Beach...Here We Come!

The last load of laundry is done, the bags are almost packed and the beach gear is waiting at the door. Tomorrow we are headed to the lake for an extended long weekend at my in-law's trailer. I'm looking forward to this time away as the last few weeks have been very busy. I've packed a couple of books (No Ordinary Child by Denise Mira and Making Children Mind, Without Losing Yours by Kevin Leman) that I plan to read, as well as a pad of paper to do some writing (we don't have a laptop). I am not sure how much time I will spend doing either of these as in addition to amusing our daughter, we also have a few family events planned for the weekend. Therefore, I will be quite pleased if I'm able to squeeze in reading a few chapters before we come home.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Project Birdhouse

Mondays are mommy and C days. I work during the morning while C is at JK and then I take the afternoon off to spend time with her. Sometimes we go visit friends or family, sometimes we do errands or tasks around the house (like gardening or cooking) and sometimes we do crafts. The past two Mondays we have worked on a build-your-own birdhouse kit. Last Monday, C painted the birdhouse and today we glued it all together. It just needs some varnish before it's ready for it's first tenants. C kept the wood circle that popped out of the entrance. She is convinced she's going to use it to trap a bird in the birdhouse that she will keep as a pet.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Bible School?

"C, we are sending you to vacation Bible school for a week this summer."

(Bursts into tears and crys like the world has caved in)

"I don't want to go!"


"I don't want to read my Bible all day! I don't know how to read!"

Friday, June 15, 2007

Where O Where is my Camera?

In February I misplaced my digital camera. I hunted everywhere for it...under beds, in drawers, behind dressers, in closets, on shelves, in the car...but I could not find it anywhere. When my initial search was unsuccessful, I started to pray.

"God, please remind me where the camera is."

A thought popped into my head..."garage sale boxes". Huh? Why would my camera be in the garage sale boxes? The boxes were packed in the basement and I had not had my camera down there recently. I quickly dismissed the thought and continued to re-search all the different places that made sense to me. After 3 months of searching, I was starting to wonder if my camera was lost...gone...never to be seen again.

Two weeks ago, on the night before our garage sale, I passed by my battery charger when a thought popped into my head..."Charge the batteries. You're going to need them for your camera when you find it in the garage sale boxes". Yeah....right. Again I dismissed the suggestion thinking if it's true, I'll charge the batteries when I find the camera.

Later that evening, we opened the garage sale boxes and to my amazement, I found my camera in a bag of sweaters. Then it all came back to me...I had taken my camera to my mom's house to show her some pictures. Before I left, she gave me a bag of sweaters to sell in our garage sale and I put my camera in the bag to carry to the car. When I got home I put the bag in the boxes downstairs...forgetting about my camera.

A few days before I found my camera my daughter had asked me..."Why can't I hear God's voice?". I explained to her that God speaks to us in many different ways...through his Word, through people, through dreams and visions, and sometimes through a little thought or idea that pops into your head when you are trying to figure something out.

If only I had listened to that little voice, I would have saved myself a lot of time and stress. did give me a good "hearing God's voice" example to share with C.

Friday, June 8, 2007

A New Nephew

On Tuesday at 3:05 pm, my sister and her hubby had a baby boy...9lbs 14 oz. During her pregnancy, everyone wondered...Would the X chromosomes continue to dominate and produce a 4th girl? Or would a Y chromosome finally win the battle against the X's and produce a boy? We were all excited that a Y won. Although according to my niece, if the baby had been a girl, "Mommy would keep having babies until she had a boy".

We now have 11 nieces and nephews...with 9 of them coming from my side. Including my daughter, my parents now have 10 grandchildren (7 girls and 3 boys)...all under the age of 6. Family gatherings are very entertaining.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Mystery Toot

"C, did you toot?"

"Nooooo! My butt didn't move!"

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Birds and the Bees according to C

Part of our bedtime routine with our daughter includes bedtime prayers. A time that has proven to be quite interesting (see this post and this post). Recently she has started adding to my prayers...either praying her own prayers quietly while I'm praying, or adding statements onto my prayers. The other night after we prayed for a baby brother or sister she piped up and said...

"And let the nut crack the egg."

Huh? Nut crack the egg? What was she talking about? Was it something at school or daycare? Unable to figure out what she was talking about, I asked her to explain. She said...

"Babies come from eggs. The egg needs to crack open so the baby can get out."

"C, what is the nut?"

"Your vitamin."

Ahh...the folic acid I take every morning.

Hubby and I had a good laugh after I relayed the conversation to him, and he was able to explain some of her reasoning. C has been asking lots of questions about they get in mommy's tummy and how do they get out. During one of these conversations my hubby had told her that there were eggs in mommy's tummy, and that a seed would hit the egg to make it a baby. He said..."She never asked me what the seed was". I'm ok with her thinking it's a vitamin for now.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Beans, Beans, the Musical Fruit

"C, do you want some beans for supper?"

"Oh yeah! I want the toots!"

Friday, May 25, 2007

C's new bike

Tonight after supper we told C we had a surprise for her. After asking "What is it?" a number of times and not getting the answer, she started to guess.

"Is it a camera?"
"Is it a new pair of flip flops?"
"Is it a Webkinz? I hope it's a Webkinz. I want to play in Webkinz World on the computer."

Webkinz? I didn't even know what a Webkinz was until a couple of days ago when my hubby mentioned that C was asking for one. And even though I told her that no, it was not a Webkinz, she still kept talking about how she hoped it was one. I was starting to get nervous that she would be disappointed that the surprise was a bike. But I soon realized that I had no need to worry...she was excited when she saw the bike. It was was had streamers, a hand brake and a bell. She rode the bicycle up and down the sidewalk, around the school and to the park with the biggest grin on her face...dinging the bell the entire time.