Tuesday, November 23, 2010

MWA weekend and a Mini Vacation

It was six months in the making and lasted just 36 or so hours but the memories of our second annual MWA/SKU (ska depending on who spells it) weekend will last forever.  Mom's Weekend Away is what I painted onto the gold stars to give out to those who came.  Sku/ska is a long running nickname for Dutch Blitz and the term of choice to shout out when you need to in the game to indicate you won.  SKA!  There were several games of it this weekend and I happened to be the winner of one!

Last year we had a couple of cottages at Darcy's By The Bay.  It was fun but the cleaning our way out wasn't hugely thrilling.  This year I found a different location thanks to a college friend who had a trip planned to Ontario.  I found Carriage Hills Resort.  There are all sorts of resorts around here but finding one that allowed 8 women in the same space and that didn't cost the earth? That was tricky.  Then our sweet Julia figured out that if she used RCI to book it she could book the week for the same!  SOLD!

And tada we have a MWA weekend and a Mini Vacation rolled into one.  Julia offered the extra days out to anyone who wanted them for $20/night.  In a condo.  Near home.  With a pool. Add those things up and mix in us not going anywhere for Christmas this year, me feeling very sorry for myself because of that and just feeling sad and you get a chance to have some fun anyway. 

Now, what happens at MWA stays at MWA so I can't tell you more details.  Although the chocolate cake recipe (wheatless!) is fantastic and so amazing.  Dense, rich, it's more like eating a truffle or a super rich brownie than cake.  It was amazing. 

On Sunday afternoon the last two ladies headed out.  I had the condo to myself for a couple of hours before Tim and the girls arrived.  I filled the giant tub with water and soaked for a bit. I have to confess that without a book it was boring.  You know a girl doesn't watch much tv when she's sitting in front of one, on a Sunday afternoon and wishes there was something to do and checking the TV for a basketball game or football game doesn't even cross her mind.  Yes, I'm that sad. And Yes, I was that tired.

After Tim and the girls came we went to the pool.  It is an indoor/outdoor pool with a swimout.  They have a hot tub outside too.  This in my opinion is sheer brilliance.  There is nothing like sitting in a tub of hot water when the air is frigid around you.  It's like sticking your tongue out at winter.  Bring it on!

The last couple of days have been fabulous in a simple, quiet way.  I brought no school work.  We had literally nothing to do and it was wonderful.  We swam a couple of times a day.  The girls did an activity yesterday making edible necklaces.  Today they had local vendors set up and we shopped for a little bit and chatted a little bit more.  One of the vendors is neighbors with another homeschooling family we know.  The one night we were swimming G made friends with a little girl only for me to realize the girls is a daughter of a rather new friend.   Small world.

Today I am calm and relaxed.  I'm tired, it's true.  I'm praying I sleep before one tonight. I'd sure love to wake up feeling rested and ready for the day. 

This week is Thanksgiving week in the States.  This Thurs. the girls and I will be back at the condo for a night to play with friends this time.  Just one more small day of fun.  This year instead of sitting at home wishing to be with family and friends I will be with friends.  We probably won't have turkey, maybe pizza instead, but when it comes down to it, it's not really about the food it's about the people. 

I am so thankful for the time we had, for the friends I have and for a God who loves me without strings. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I was getting an Iphone.

Last night I was buying an Iphone.  I'd done the research and due to the screen size of the Blackberry Torch I was getting an iphone.  I could hardly wait!! Anticipating it was fun.  I decided to go to Costco to price check, not to buy.  I'd buy at Rogers from Brad, the amazing cell phone dude. 

And then. 

And then there was a customer in front of me so I had to wait. So while I waited I played with the Iphone.  The touchkeypad is a pain in the butt.  It kept typing the wrong letter and then I'd have to slow down to fix it.  Grrrr. But still, it's an Iphone!!  Then I looked over and they had an HTC Desire and I played with that.  Oooh, sweet!!! It has a slideout keyboard.  No way!! And the camera is awesome! And it has the potential for up to 32 gig memory!!  Hooo this is fun!

And then. 

And then she told me I could get $25 back with that phone, and it was already about $35 cheaper than the iphone.  Then she said I'd get a free charger with the HTC and I could keep my plan and just add a data plan to it. . . . . sweeeeeeet.

So then.

So then I texted Tim that I was in Costco.  He called me and we chatted.  He said to go for it. 

So I now own an HTC Desire and it is beautiful, fun, wonderful and ooh so amazing.  I don't want to own another phone ever. I want it to work forever.  YAY!!!   I'm still a tad sad not to own an iphone, but I am super happy with my new phone, my new mini computer like phone.  :D Merry Christmas to Sara.

Monday, November 15, 2010


I am not a maid, a housekeeper, a cook, a nanny, an entertainer, or a magician. People who are those things get paid for doing them.  I do not get paid for cleaning up the messes you made which is why I will not do it for you, you need to learn to do it yourself.  When you drop your toys, clothes, books, paper scraps on the floor, when you make a sandwich and leave jelly on the counter I will not simply pick them up or wipe them up.  I am not Alice from the Bradybunch getting paid to pick up after mess makers.  I am a MOM. 

As a mom my job is to provide meals that nourish your growing body and brain.  It is not to deliver food that tastes yummy to your mouth every single time.  So no, I do not care that you don't like it.  You will eat what I make because that's what's been provided, and you will not complain.  This is not a restaurant, I am not a cook. 

I do clean the house, wash clothes, prepare meals, do lesson plans and teach you things you need to know.  All of this is done in the few waking hours I have that I am not working a part time job to help provide the things you actually need.  So when you do not have school work to do or a job that needs done, which you will do because you are part of this family, I will not entertain you.  God gave you a brain, an imagination, and your dad and I have bought you toys.  Grandma got you a Wii, and God created a gorgeous world outside for you to play in, go entertain yourself! If I hear, "I'm bored" I will find you a job to do because I am your mom. 

I know where your shoes, boots, pencil, eraser, Awana book, and much more are supposed to be and if you, the owner, put them in the correct place that is exactly where they will be.  So you will have no need of a magician to help you locate them.  In fact if your room is tidy and the toy/school area is too because you have done your jobs and kept them that way you won't need a magician either.

 Because this world is not magic but things cost money I can not and will not buy the entire American Girl catalog, get you a horse, or even be able to do things that I really would love to give you.  If I were a magician and could just fill our bank account with money then we would have a larger house in the country and you would have a dog and maybe a horse.  But I am not, so we don't. Talk to God about it.

Let's go back to the housekeeper/maid thing.  Cause and effect here. . .if you make a mess where I just cleaned I will be angry.  Count on it.  When I work hard to clean up the upstairs and come downstairs and it is such a disaster that we can not do school until we spend an hour cleaning up I will be angry.  I will work along side you to clean it up, but I will also warn you that if this keeps up I will sell the Wii and I will get rid of toys and things that are left out.  If you can not take care of what you have then you can't have it. 

I am a mom.  My job is to train children in the way they should go.  That means I teach you, the child, to clean up after yourself, to learn to learn, to respect other peoples property and to be responsible with what you own.  It means that I teach you to love God and honor him.  It means that when I lose my temper and yell I apologize.  It means that my heart breaks when I can't give you what you want and sometimes what you need. 

I am a mom.  I do not earn money for jobs I do in our home for our family that if I did the same for another family I would earn a lot of money doing.  It means that I love you more than I would love any child I was paid to care for in the same way.  So no, I am not a maid, a housekeeper, a cook, or a magician I am more than that. So much more than that, I am your mom.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Christmas Cookies

Two heads shared space over a favorite cookbook.  They flipped the pages discussion the merits of one cookie then another.  After several sessions they reached some conclusions.  They each chose at least one recipe they wanted to make.  Boo picked Chocolate Clouds, and Chocolate Almond Biscotti.  Kinz picked Chocolate Sugar Cookies.

So Boo and I went shopping to pick up the almonds we need for her biscotti.  We picked up a chicken for supper, some bread for the party tomorrow and a few other ingredients.  We didn't get baking chocolate so Kinz had to switch cookies and chose peanutbutter blossoms instead. 

Now on my counter there are two dozen Chocolate clouds (Meringue with cocoa and chocolate chips), and a dozen Peanut Butter Blossom cookies.  Dough for the next couple of dozen PBblossoms is ready to go into the fridge and finish tomorrow.  The biscotti will have to wait too.  This mom is whooped.

But the season has begun.  Our first round of Christmas cookies are in process.  Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Daily Stuff

My couch is covered in clean folded clothing waiting to be put away.  I hate putting laundry away.  So glad the girls are old enough to put it away themselves!

My kitchen is clean. I love that. I love clean countertops, shiny sinks, open space.  Thanks to my two new pantry cupboards my kitchen is looking more open, more spacious than it has in a long time. 

There's one cupboard still in the kitchen that I can't decide if I want to put in the laundry room or leave there.  I have a love/hate relationship with it at the moment as I love the convenience of it but hate the way it is THERE in the way, cluttering up my space. But if it's not there then the stuff inside needs to go back in that same spot but be out in the open, and the other stuff goes back into the cupboards which is fine.  But I could really really use that same pantry cupboard in the laundry room.  I could put the clean linens in it, put the many needed rolls of toilet paper in it, and paper towels too!  Ooh, the possibilities!  Which do I want more? I don't know.

I want my kitchen painted brown.  Blast it all for not getting my stuff together and buying it during the paint sale when I could've got 30% back! I suppose I will simply have to wait for the next sale.  I'm going to paint it (Tim is going to paint it) chocolate brown.  It will go beautifully with my lovely red wall in my living room.  Then I'm going to put some wall-words up.  Just have to decide which ones and then get the money together to buy them.  Coffee is a theme in my kitchen/dining room area.  I'd love a cool poster with all sorts of coffee cool things on it. I love antiques too.

I love it when things are orderly and tidy.  Why is it that it's so hard to keep it there once you get it? 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Too much.

There is so much going on in my head right now. I can't even separate it out into nice tidy blogs because there's too much and it's all mixed together.  I'm thankful that in a few minutes the girls and I are going to a friends house just to hang out and play.  I think I need it. 

My head is pounding.  Stress is hovering and pushing down on my shoulders and back.  Interesting how something not physical can literally weigh you down. 

I have so much to be thankful for.  There is so much I am thankful for.  I still want to scream STOP! And have a week, a month, a year to straighten things out, fix things, make them work properly.  But that's not the way life goes.  Hang on, work as you run ahead to tomorrow.  Try not to screw it up like yesterday.

The sermon Sunday was about forgiveness.  About how Christ's death on the cross once and for all healed that break between God and man, if we will just accept it.  There will still be consequences on earth, humans are not God and do not  grant immediate and full forgiveness.  I appreciate the reminder that in God's eyes I am forgiven because in my own I am condemned.  Again and again, beaten, broken and unworthy. 

On the outside I look calm for the most part. I work to keep a sembelance of cheerfulness (fake it til ya make it!).  Inside  my head, my heart, my spirit though I can feel a tightening like a spring pushed down just before it releases. 

When there's too much I'm overwhelmed and paralyzed.  Too much to deal with? Just shut down and run on autopilot.  And my too much is so little compared to so many.  Here comes another cycle of guilt for the very thought of not being content and strong in my reality. 

Why so downcast oh my soul? Put your trust in God.  Put your trust in God.

I will put my trust in God. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Good Things

Tonight was a plain and simple night of the most wonderful kind.  We had a simple dinner of omelets and toast.  Then we packed up our bags and box for the Library.  I'm thankful we waited until Tim could come too.  He's so good at carrying big heavy things! 

We spent an hour at the library and then stopped at Walmart on our way home to get chocolate chips so I could make him cookies.  Tomorrow he is going hunting for the first time in several years.  He's excited!! He's also excited about homemade cookies.  He called his dad before we left home and checked about taking a lunch.  His dad is bringing ham sandwiches and Tim will bring the chocolate chip cookies.

I started mixing the cookies and realized we had a critical problem.  No brown sugar.  I could make a different cookie but he wanted chocolate chip!  So my sweet husband looked at our middle child who was on her way to bed as the time was already 8:30, and said, "Get your coat and shoes on."  Her face lit up and she hurried to obey.  A daddy date is not something you take your time deciding on, if he offers, GO!  And she did.

They called me from Walmart and confirmed the dark brown sugar would work.  Then he grabbed baking soda for me, and checked for pecans, of which there are none.  He asked if I needed anything else and I said no.  There wasn't. Not that I need.

Just a few minutes later they are home and my sweet middle child sang out, "Delivery for Sara!" She called me into the kitchen to see the treasure she'd found. I knew she had a Twoonie so I expected to see a pack of gum, or a bag of candy.  Instead she held up a frozen Turtle Cake.  The one I had drooled over and put back on our first trip this evening to Walmart. 

She then grinned, her eyes sparkling and told me, "My daddy date's not done, I have to watch him play cars!"  Which means x-box. He looked at me with a sheepish grin and said, "Just ten minutes!" Of course I didn't say a word, just smiled and they scampered down the stairs before I told them it was way too late for her to be up, which it was.  But for a daddy date?  How could I say no?

So I spent the last hour listening to Josh Groban serenade me with Christmas songs while I baked chocolate chip cookies for my husband to take with him hunting tomorrow.  As I sit here I am filled with contentment and thankfulness.  It's been a good day.