Friday, December 26, 2008

Remembering Christmas Past

This was our first Christmas without my mom.

Over the last few days, I've found myself thinking a lot about Christmases in the past...and mom. Mentally reliving different Christmas memories over and over again and wondering...if only we had known then what we know now.

I remember the Christmas that my dad presented my mom with a really large box. We all wondered what could possibly be in such a large box and thought it was very exciting that the large box contained another box...and another box....and another box....I do not remember how many boxes (to a kid, it seemed like a lot) there were, but I remember the new ring my mom found in the smallest box and was very excited about.

I remember the Christmas when I found out who Santa Clause really was. Santa had brought Lego to my siblings and I...regular Lego for the older kids...and big Lego for my younger sister. My sister had no interest in the big Lego...but wanted to play with the regular Lego. I over heard my mom telling my dad in the kitchen that they should have gotten my sister the regular Lego. Aha! Now I knew who Santa really was.

I remember Christmas mornings when my siblings and I would race back and forth between the living room and my parents connecting bedroom to tell them what Santa had brought us...squealing with excitement. We did this even in the years after we knew who Santa was.

I remember Christmas mornings when after all the presents were unwrapped, dad would bring out his presents for mom. Showering her with perfume, clothing, and jewellery. She would be excited about each one...just as my siblings and I were excited to see what gifts dad had hidden from her.

I remember the last Christmas before mom got sick. My sister and I (with families) stayed over night on Christmas Eve. After all the kids went to bed, my sister and I started to fill stockings. Mom got out her bag of toys and stocking stuffers...excited to be able to play Santa with her grandchildren.

These memories may not be that interesting, but they allow me to visual and remember my mom as if she was still with us today.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gingerbread Village

Last week, C and I made a gingerbread village. I’m not sure what I was thinking when we chose the village kit over the single house kit. I certainly wasn’t thinking that 5 tiny houses would be a lot harder than one large house. The packaging was deceiving. The picture on the outside of the box made the house look larger than the tiny pieces of gingerbread that were included in the box.

Assembling the ginger bread house didn’t start out on the right foot…I broke part of the church roof. I didn't realize the gingerbread pieces would snap apart easily and I had tried to use a knife to split them apart.

After assembling the houses it was time for C to go to bed...we would have to wait a few days before we would have time to decorate them. I followed the instructions and covered the unused icing with a damp cloth. Over the next few days I would dampen the cloth whenever I noticed it was bone dry not realizing that all the moisture in the damp cloth was seeping into the icing. By the time we were ready to decorate, the icing was quite runny. I had to add lots of icing sugar to try to get it back to the proper consistency. Now we were ready to decorate.

We had only been decorating for a few minutes when...the icing bag blew the tip out...I must have cut the hole too big. The kit did not come with extra icing bags...just a bag for each of the 3 colours. So...I tried to improvise with a dollar store zip lock bag by cutting a hole in the corner, inserting tip and then filling the bag with icing. All that work for nothing, the bag blew a hole on the first squeeze. With no other options left, I had to use the icing bag reserved for another colour. This time, I made sure to cut the hole smaller.

This is the third year that C and I have made a gingerbread house, and we have never had issues with the icing bags. So, I was quite shocked when after only a few minutes of decorating...the 2nd icing bag blew a hole in it. GRRRR. Now what? I didn't want to use my last bag for the white icing. So...I resorted to duct tape. Hubby was skeptical but humoured me anyway and retrieved the duct tape for me. I taped around the bag where the hole was....and away I went. The tape held for the entire time I needed to use the white icing. It also held the green icing bag together when it too blew a hole. I now have a whole new appreciate for duct tape.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


A couple of weeks after my mom's funeral, I came across the song Homesick by Mercy Me on one of my CDs. The words really spoke to me as they summed up really well how I felt about losing my mom. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

In case you wonder, here's a link to the story behind the song.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mom's Eulogy

October 12, 1947, my mom was born en route to the hospital delivery room. She was the third of four daughters born to a milk truck company owner and his wife. As a child she loved to entertain family, friends and neighbours with her stories, spinning tales for anyone that would listen...often getting into trouble for telling stories that were not true. She had a strange desire to eat interesting things and was known to eat egg shells, wall plaster, crayons and cabbage salad mixed with scrambled eggs. She also had an interesting sleeping arrangement with her younger sister. She would put a board down the middle of the bed and tell her sister to not cross the board and to face the other way so that she wouldn't breath on her.

In December of 1969, my dad spotted my mom at a fellowship after church. After tracking down who she was, he invited her to a church Christmas banquet. Mom got all dressed up in her pink graduation dress complete with a corsage and off they went to the banquet...only to discover that my dad had the wrong date and the banquet was the following weekend. Instead they went out to a fancy restaurant. After a few months of dating they became engaged and were married in July of 1970. Together they had four children of their own.

In Proverbs 18:22 it says, He who finds a wife finds a good thing. And dad found a good thing. Mom was dad's best friend...his princess. She was the centre piece of the family and a Proverbs 31 women.

In the early years of their marriage, mom babysit a number of cousins and neighbourhood kids. She would make up silly names for different meals...just to be funny or to get our cousin to eat foods that weren't orange, or were different than what he ate at home. Mac and cheese was referred to as Noodle Scroodle from Bim Bom Boodle.

Mom was very creative...we had some of the best trick or treating costumes in the neighbourhood...often winning awards at school for the best costume. Some of the costumes she came up with were...a hobo, an apple, Little Bo Peep and Little Miss Moffitt.

Licorice allsorts, black licorice, chocolate, house coat, slippers, rose bushes, popcorn, snakes, broom and dust pan, clean socks and giggles. These are a few things that will always remind us of mom.

For many years, mom worked part time along side dad in the tree service business and in 1992, mom became a full time partner and was known as the "ground crew". She was a hard worker and did everything from axing wood, dragging brush, to meticulous clean up...building some serious muscle. She wasn't afraid to flex her muscles to her future son-in-laws to let them know that she might be tiny...but she was mighty.

Mom loved her grand kids. Mom adored her grand kids...all 10 of them. At family gatherings there was at least one grandchild attached to her...if not multiples. She would entertain them by reading stories or making interesting animal noises. Her favourite was pretending to be a gorilla...our daughter loved it.

When mom became sick, she was really sad that she couldn't be the grandma she wanted to be. But that didn't bother the kids, they still adored her and wanted to climb on her or push her wheelchair. They would come with us on our regular visits and fill the room with life...and a few squabbles too. They would make mom artwork...lots of artwork. Her room was full of artwork. The nurses would comment that they had never seen a room as decorated as much as mom's was. The grand kids would sing to mom, pick out special ornaments, blow kisses, pray for her and out of the blue...tell her they loved her.

Mom was a special women. I've heard so much praise from family, friends, and customers over the last few days. I was was a lucky man...your mom was such a beautiful women...faithful to her Lord.

A favourite memory of my mom was always hearing her pray for us before we left the house for school. If the hectic rush to get out the door caused this daily routine to be forgotten, we would run back inside and say..."You Forgot To Pray!". We knew everything would be OK if mom prayed for us.

She prayed protection over her kids. Even as grown adults, before we left for home after a hospital visit. She would tell my dad to pray and then say...Drive carefully...or Drive wisely...Watch out for deer. And God answered her prayer many times including last night as we drove back home. We hit a deer going 95km an hour. There was no time to react. The deer was launched away from the windshield. The damage to the front was extensive, but praise God, no one was injured.

So many people over the last few days have said to me...You look just like your mom....You sound just like your mom. I hear these words and I want to put my head a little higher and stand a little taller as that is such a wonderful, awesome be compared to a beautiful, classy, faithful, loving women.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Summer Summary

Before we get too far into the Fall season, I thought I'd share a few events from this past summer.

Our summer started on a sad note. My mom passed away at the end of June after a 2 year battle with Multiple Systems Atrophy. A terrible disease with no medical cure. There are many things that I've wanted to share about this time, but I found it difficult to write the words down. I couldn't bare to see the words mentioning my mom's passing and I would delete them as soon as I wrote them. Words could not express the sorrow I felt. But, I'm ready now and I plan to share a few things over the next few months.

July started with a bang...literally. On the way home from the funeral visitation a deer ran in front of our car and we hit it going 95km an hour. We are very thankful for God's protection as the deer was flung over the car instead of coming through the windshield. There was enough damage to the car that the insurance company wrote it off...which at first was not the result we wanted. We liked our 99 was diesel, we had roof racks, extra tires, and it was paid for. But we soon realized that in a way, it was a God send (not that God sent the deer) as there were a lot of things that didn't work on the car...power windows, keyless entry, and speedometer to name a few...let alone the floor rusting and the gears grinding. The insurance settlement amount exceeded by far what we would have been able to sell the car for because they don't factor in the things that don't work. The Jetta was laid to rest at the scrap yard and the newest member of our family is a 2006 Toyota Corolla SE.

C turned 6 on July 5th. This year we held her birthday party in mid June so that her friends would be able to come (and not be on vacation). She wanted a "mixed-up" party so we made a Candy Land cake, bear pinata, Winnie-the-Pooh game, Strawberry Shortcake decorations and Princess grab bags.

C's swimming skills have dramatically improved over the summer. She can now swim with no water wings. She's not a strong swimmer and we have to watch her at all times, but she's able to jump off the diving board and swim over to the edge of the pool all by herself. And...she's learning to dive. We were pretty proud parents watching her practice....seeing her strong determination channelled in a positive direction with great results.

We did a number of day trips this year...which was quite fun. One day trip was to a local water/fun park and it was here that I saw just how much of an adventure seeker C is. She wanted to do didn't matter how hard or scary it looked...and she tried everything that she was permitted to (height requirement). At the rock wall when asked which course she wanted to try she said..."the hardest". She didn't do the hardest (the instructor directed her to an easier one) but she climbed to the top...3 times. At the trampoline, she master double flips and keep trying to do triples flips. And she loved the water slide and wanted to do it over, and over, and over again. I can't wait to go back next year when she should be tall enough to do more attractions.

Another day trip we took was to Niagara Falls. I haven't been there for probably close to 25 years and I was shocked to see how touristy it was. We had a beautiful, hot day and the cool mist off the falls was refreshing. We went on Maid of the Mist, Journey behind the Falls and of course...the Sky Wheel. A 175' + Ferris wheel which from the moment our adventure seeker laid her eyes on it kept asking..."When can we go on it?"

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My Grade One Photo

I thought it would be fun to post my grade one photo since C is in grade one this year. I don't think she looks like me at all and I have to admit, sometimes I wonder if C was switched at birth (she was a preemie and rushed away to be monitored). When I mentioned this to hubby he said..."She has your big toes."

I wore my hair in two pigtail ringlets until about grade 4. There's enough curl in my hair that my mom would brush it around her arm to form the ringlet and it would stay like that all day.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First Day of Grade One

Today was C's first day of Grade 1. She was so excited and a little nervous too. Excited because she gets to see her friends again, and nervous because she has a boy teacher this year.

My little girl is growing up too quickly...confirmed by her insistent request tonight to walk to school by herself tomorrow. I'm not ready for that yet.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Breakfast in Bed

Too much sun, too much hiking and not enough water meant I was in rough shape last night. This morning C insisted that I had to have breakfast in bed. She served me orange juice and heart shaped peanut butter and jam sandwiches. She said she got the idea from a Corduroy show. Breakfast was finished with a big hug from C who said she made me breakfast in bed to make me feel better.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

6 Quirks I Have

Shash has tagged me. When I read her blog the other day and saw that she was tagged...I knew before I reached the end of her post that she was going to tag me. At first I thought...I don't have any quirks...but as the day wore on, quirk after quirk kept coming to mind. So I thought I'd better do this post sooner than later...otherwise my list of quirks will greatly exceed the number requested.

Here are the rules...
1. Link the person(s) who tagged me
2. Mention the rules on my blog
3. Tell about six unspectacular quirks of mine
4. Tag six fellow blogger's by linking them
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

So here Shash is what you've been waiting for...6 quirks.

1. I drink orange juice when eating spaghetti. Growing up, my mom made us drink milk with our lunch and orange juice with our supper. Certain foods trigger a craving for orange juice...spaghetti is one of them.

2. I put potato chips in my sandwiches. I like the crunch.

3. I would rather not watch a movie at all than to start watching it partway through.

4. I don’t carry a purse. I'd feel like an old lady if I carried a purse. If I can’t fit my wallet in my coat pocket…I’ll carry it or just pull the necessary cards out and stick them in my pocket.

5. I love cereal and have eaten it for snacks and supper many times.

6. I can sit cross legged and hop up on my knees and walk while keeping my legs crossed.

So who do I tag…lets see…I’ll tag…

Redheads…because she has not posted in almost a year.
Max…because he shares a blog with Redhead so why not get him to post some quirks too.
Ang…because I know she has lots of quirks….like dry shaving.
Amanda…to see if she’ll post on her blogging break.
Ruth...cause I just realized the rules say "person(s)" so I can tag someone that Shash tagged.

Hmmm...This is difficult...I don't have a lot of people who I know haven't already done this. So, I'll break a rule and only list 5 and look for a volunteer for the 6th. Any takers?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Crusts...Good or Evil?

"C, eat your crusts."

"I don't like them."

"If you want dessert, you need to eat your crusts."

A few minutes later...

"I prayed and asked Jesus and he told me to not eat my crusts."

"Eat your crusts."

"Jesus says to not eat my crusts. The devil says to eat them. Do you want me to listen to Jesus or the devil?"

Thursday, June 26, 2008

'Me and Mommy' cards

Over the last few months, C and I have been creating home-made blank cards. We have a small suitcase full of scrap booking paper, embellishments, glue, tape, stickers and scissors that we take to the hospital so that we can set up production in my mom's room. C loves crafts and making cards helps to pass the time during these many visits.

This activity was a learning experience for me. I can be a when it came to making cards, it was difficult at first for me to let C flourish in her own creations. I was concerned about wasting supplies, using items I needed, or making cards that would have no use. She got upset when I didn't use her ideas and I quickly realized that I had taken the fun out of the activity. I knew I needed to change. I gave her her own cards and paper and told her to do whatever she wanted. The speed with which she put together an orange card with metallic balloon and heart sequins and big green maple leaf gems on it, I was sure she'd complete all her cards before I finished even one. But over time, I saw her creativity and confidence grow as she moved from random designs to imitating my card designs to designing her own ideas. Here is a picture of the I'll-miss-you cards she created and gave to her friends on the last day of school. I was very impressed with them.

Here are some of the other cards we have created. C suggested the snowman as a card design. She drew a picture of a snowman, and then I cut out coloured paper to match the shapes she had drawn.

I told C that we needed a name for our card making company. I made a few suggestions, one being Mommy and Me. C said ..."How about 'Me and Mommy'". I know grammatically it's incorrect, but I liked it. So as a finishing touch we write 'Me and Mommy' on a small label and stick it to the back of each card.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

"Mommy, why did you choose to marry daddy?"

"Why are you asking? Do you think I should have married someone else?"

"No. I just want to know...why did you choose to marry daddy? Because you liked him?"


"I like him too. I think you made a good choice for a daddy!"

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

C's Zoo

C drew this picture in church on Sunday. This is the first picture I've seen her draw with this level of detail and I was quite impressed with how she sounded out the animal names. She has really progressed, over the last year, in drawing, colouring and writing/sounding out words.

I asked her who the 2 people were in the picture. I expected her to say "Daddy and me"...but instead I was told..."It's Rowan and me". This is a boy from daycare that she's told us she's going to marry.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

C arrived home from school on Friday with her mother's day gift. She couldn't wait until Sunday for me to open she let me open it early. It was a paper mache baby jar with a candle inside. She was so proud of it. When I went through the rest of her back pack, I found this other mother's day gift inside that made me smile and feel so appreciated.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

It's that time of year again

When I look out into our backyard and think...

What did we get ourselves into?

I'm so glad the snow is gone. I'm so glad that it's getter warmer. But I'm not looking forward to the time and effort required to keep our came-with-the-house garden under control.

Hubby and I spent a number of hours this weekend clearing the garden of last year's growth and pulling up evil plants that like to take over our lawn. This is an act of service for me as I don't like dirt or bugs...and I was a little paranoid that I would find a mouse in the garden. I kept alert at all times, ready to run if I came upon such a critter.

I did discover one special surprise in the tree along the back fence line. A bird's nest. C and I will have to keep checking on it so that she can see the eggs and hopefully baby birds.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Praying for Good Dreams

C was excited when she woke up this morning...

"Last night I had a GOOD dream! It was a movie dream."

A movie dream is a dream that has characters from a this case it was from Adventures in Odyssey.

"I had two bad dreams before my good dream. I prayed to Jesus to never have the bad dreams again and it worked!"

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Oranges From Heaven

As told by my mom...

God has been so faithful to us in other areas of our lives. Philippians 4:19 says “But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

When our children were very young, we had very little money. I became very concerned about them not getting enough fruit in their diets. So one day I got down on my knees and prayed and asked God if he would somehow give us a few oranges. Within that week the phone rang. It was a local grocery store looking for someone to take away their unwanted produce, as their truck had broken down. They wondered if my husband would be available with his truck. He came home with 13 dozen oranges, each bag had one bad orange in it. They could not sell them this way. God had given us 12 dozen good oranges.

This then lead to a fruit market giving us the job of taking away their produce for the next few years. God then blessed us with every fruit and vegetable you could imagine. We were so blessed that we began giving boxes away to other needy families in town. The more we gave away, the more we brought home. And do you know what? The day I could go to the grocery store and no longer had to count money in my purse... the fruit market moved out of town and the job ended.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my birthday and I thought I would share with you an amazing story of what happened 35 years ago today, as told by my mom...

On a rainy March 14th morning around 5 a.m. I was awakened out of my sleep to a soaking wet bed; my water had broken. Contractions began almost immediately and by 7 a.m. I was on my way to the hospital. By 8:15 a.m. I had very quickly delivered a healthy beautiful 7 lb. 5 oz baby girl. As I lay in recovery I was elated that I not only had had an easy delivery but a precious baby girl

My excitement however was short lived as pain began to engulf my body. The nurses first kept telling me it was after-birth pains. I tried to tell them it wasn’t because the pains were in my right leg, but they thought I was imagining it, until the pains became so intense I had to be rushed into surgery. There it was discovered that the doctor who had done the episiotomy, had by accident cut the main blood supply to my right leg and not knowing this had happened, stitched me up, and a blood clot the size of a baseball had formed. After the surgery I was placed in a private room for rest.

Around 8 that evening I suddenly felt faint, and literally could feel death overtaking me. The nurses quickly pulled back the cover to discover that my bed was saturated in blood. Hurrying my bed out of the room they tried to take my pulse, and found it only read 60 over 0. They looked at each other and said “this one is a goner”. At that moment I cried out to God in faith, I couldn’t imagine my little girl growing up and I wouldn’t be there with her, or our son. Immediately on the tile ceiling over head of me in the hall a vision appeared of Jesus and the women who touched his garment with an issue of blood and was made whole. I said “Lord, if you can do it for her, you can do it for me”.

Into the operating room I was pushed, and the surgeon who was waiting for me was amazed to discover that on its own the bleeding had stopped. By this time I had lost so much blood my body was in shock. I was very blue, very cold and my veins had collapsed. I was wrapped in oven warmed blankets and they began to give me blood transfusions only to discover my temperature had dropped so low, they had to put the blood in ice water to match my body temperature so the veins would not sting as badly.

Through this ordeal they were surprised that I never lost consciousness, but an inner voice told me it would be alright and not to go to sleep, and there was an overwhelming sense of peace. I had tried to speak to one of the nurses that my husband and I knew, but she told the doctor she didn’t know me. The next day she dropped by my room to apologize for not recognizing me. The doctor who worked on me came into my room , looked my way and went out, to ask the nurses where I was. He couldn’t believe I was the same lady. As news spread through the hospital, nurses from different floors came by to see the lady who fought death and survived. It gave us then and still now a wonderful testimony of God’s faithfulness.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Paper Plate Portraits

Almost all the walls and doors in my mom's room are covered with artwork created by her grandchildren. The nurses tell us they have never seen such a decorated room before and will pop by my mom's room just to see new artwork.

One of the projects that C undertook was drawing family member's on paper plates. Here is a portrait of my hubby with his trademark goatee.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

How to NOT compliment your sitter...

“My daddy is 40…so you must be 80 or 90. Are you in your 80’s or 90’s?”

C’s after school sitter is 42.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Blogging Time

Life has been busy busy that our Christmas tree is still up. There always seems to be something more important to do than putting the tree away. Between work, church and family....there has been no time or energy left over to blog. I'm not giving up blogging (I have too many more stories I want to tell), but there are times when I can't post as often as I would like.