Friday, August 29, 2008

Funny little quiz


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

Longer post later. This was a fun little quiz.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

First Digital Layout

I didn't think I'd ever try digital scrapbooking. I bought Photoshop Elements 6 in May. I had to have it. Then I didn't have a clue what to do with it. Small problem, right? After asking around a bit, I decided to take a scrapbook-focused Photoshop class at I have finished the Week One lesson and have my little layout for you to take a look at. What do you think? Surprisingly fun and I've learned how to do a lot in Photoshop (which maybe isn't saying much since I knew nothing, nada, zilch prior to starting the class). What do you think?

Thank you for all the kind thoughts and concerns regarding my last post. I can say that this is a necessary valley for me to walk through in order to move forward in my marriage, my walk with God, my ability to be an effective mentor, and just to live life abundantly. It's a dark valley, to be sure, but I came across this verse in my reading this morning and I think it describes what I'm clinging to right now:

Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy
Though I fall I will rise;
Though I dwell in darkness, the LORD is a light for me. (Micah 7:8, NASB)

Monday, August 25, 2008

New Look?

Playing around with settings and such. Anyone know how I can stretch the template to make it take up more of the screen?

Started school this morning with some hostility from the masses. They'll get over it, I'm sure. I try to ease into our schedule, gradually adding materials and subjects as we move towards our full load. I'm desperately trying to stick to a wake-up time and basic morning plan for myself so that I can spend some time with God, make some coffee, have a shower, make the bed, that sort of thing. Years of getting up in the night developed a habit of getting up when the first child arose but I really need that time in the morning before they need me. Hoping to see a little more fruitfulness from the work of the day.

Personally working through some tough issues that have come to the surface this summer. Be encouraged to seek godly counsel (notice I did not say "counsellor" in the societal, pay-for-it, letters after the name kind of counsel) and work through anything that is hindering your walk with the Lord. I am in a valley right now but leaning on the promises of the Faithful One.

I completely enjoy this blogging thing. Thanks for taking the time to read this, dear one.

I leave you with a layout I recently completed:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fleeting Days of Summer...

I wasn't much of a summer kid. Plagued by seasonal allergies, I passed the summer in strange ways. Practiced penmanship by copying out the descriptions in the Sears catalog. Cross-stitched in the cool basement. Read countless books. Babysat. Longed for a tree to sit under (we lived in a relatively new subdivision with no trees to speak of). Daydreamed. Watched "The Price is Right" faithfully. Took swimming lessons. Fought with my sister.

The outdoors has grown on me over the years and there is nothing I enjoy more than providing opportunities for my children to be out in the sunshine. Maybe my perspective has changed over the years to an understanding of just how very long our winters are here. Maybe the years of having to get four children ready to go out the door for various things helped me appreciate sandal season (as opposed to snowsuit, boots, mittens, scarf, and hat season). Maybe our camping trips have taught me to appreciate nature. Maybe the break from homeschooling and teaching music lessons is truly needed.

Nah. I think it's the fact that my blond-haired blue-eyed blessings look so darn cute with those bathing suit lines separating their golden tanned skin from their lily-white bottoms.

Job 12:7-10

7 "But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds of the air, and they will tell you;

8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish of the sea inform you.

9 Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the LORD has done this?

10 In his hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all mankind.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A New Arrival

Nope, that's not our puppy that my youngest is holding in this photo from the church picnic over a year ago. That's Princess Fluffy and, last night, she gave birth! We are so excited that in eight weeks a cute little cockapoo will be joining our family. Not sure if I've lost my mind in its entirety but we did agree that this would be the kind of dog that would work out for a city family lifestyle. Our children, especially the one pictured, are over the moon with excitement and in a fair bit of disbelief that we would say yes. I called my husband at work this morning to give him the news and he said, "That's great. I think." Fun times ahead as we learn about caring for a real pet and sharing in a bit of responsibility.

Isn't she just the cutest thing? And her husband (yes, we attended the dog wedding earlier this year) is just as cute and ever-so-friendly!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Saying Goodbye

I've been remarkably blessed as far as friendships are concerned. For as long as I can remember, I've had a close friend. Of course those close friendships have changed over time. Some have developed into lasting friendships that defy geographical and life situation challenges. Some have ended, just kind of faded as time progressed. Others have ended less gracefully; fortunately very few fit into this category, but still taught me something about having and being a friend. Hardest of all are those friendships that have been as close as a sister until God's calling leads to a physical separation. See, I've had extraordinary friendships but I've had to say goodbye more times than I'd like.

This weekend was no exception. We were thrilled to host a dear family in our home for just two short nights. The last time we spent time together was in 2003, shortly before they left to go overseas as career missionaries. In a country with limited access. Building a ministry from the ground up. Intense stuff. They do well to communicate as frequently as they can which isn't all that often. I know how busy life is for me on the Canadian Prairies where I have nearly every amenity you could hope for and I speak the language. They've spent the last four years learning two different languages, building relationships with their ministry team, and preparing for a more remote destination, all the while adjusting to daily life in a different culture and raising three boys, and raising them well. My heart swells with joy when I think of the choices they've made. Big-time difficult to let them go.

We talked. And laughed. And hugged. And cried. Knowing that this time would be short, there was no patience for surface chit-chat. The stuff of life, the stuff that changes us and how we view God and the world and our family and our roles. I waved goodbye to them knowing that we had used our time well.

And so we pray. For their safety. For their ministry. For their family. And for them to know just how very dearly we love them.

I am changed by God gracing my life with a handful of sweet dear "heart" friends. And for this I thank my heavenly Father with a heart of gratitude and joy.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

This son of mine

Eleven years (and some change) ago this child entered my life and set me spinning. What was I, the oldest of two girls, happily feminine, highly emotional, going to do with a...BOY? What began that moment is one of the sweetest turns my life could take. Imagine it: me, a boy's mom. And what a boy he is. Rough and tumble. Loud. Mischievous. Brave. Smelly. Challenging. But also thoughtful. Sensitive. Funny. Creative. And so very very original. Can't imagine life without this guy, who is so like his father in many ways and so very different in others. The man I married is an academic. Plays tennis. Sings Tenor. Reads. Strong. Thoughtful. On the quiet side.

When a boy like this is enthusiastic about something, he goes at it full tilt. My son loves football. He loves watching it, talking about it, and playing the game. He enjoys it so much that the grueling practice schedule doesn't phase him. He talks of living in rural Illinois and playing for either the Chicago Bears or the Green Bay Packers when he grows up. He's seldom seen without his Chicago Bears hat. He'll even forgo a second helping of one of his favourite foods to ensure that he doesn't go over the weight limit for his league. Season is in full swing now and he is going at it with gusto!

When a boy like this had an opportunity to meet a professional football player at a recent football camp, the gesture really encapsulates this moment. Here is our son with #96 of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Defensive Lineman, Scott Schultz:

Today is game day and my son and I will be at the field, on the 45-yard line, cheering for the whole team. But maybe just a little bit stronger for #96.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Discovery of Podcasts

We're not really known around here for having the latest and greatest gadgets. I suspect we might have been the kind of people in the 1950s who were waiting "for this Television thing to just blow over." It's not that we're skeptical of technology, just not overly quick to open our wallets and jump onto a bandwagon of any sort. We've got plenty of other things to open our wallets for. (Like pants. Pants are good. And somewhat necessary for things like church and shopping for other pants). That's why my own technological revelations have been a year or two (or more) behind the mainstream.

All of this to let you all know that I have discovered the wonderful world of podcasts! A girlfriend of mine recommended Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill Bible Church in Seattle to me and I decided to check him out. After reading a few things online I decided to do the unthinkable and download a podcast. It was easy! John Piper over at Desiring God has a weekly podcast as well. And there are more. Just the tip of the proverbial iceberg!

What's so great about podcasts? It makes certain things in life a bit more bearable. Like yardwork. And walking for exercise. And accessing good solid preaching. We are under incredible teaching and leadership at our local church and I would in no way use an impersonal podcaster to replace that. Of all the things that technology can lend, however, I am downright enthusiastic about this new way to access good information. I'm not likely to listen for hours at a time (around here you don't do anything for hours at a time) and I can get some of my other work done while listening to something uplifting and challenging.

Okay, are you willing to share any of your podcast preferences with me? I'd love to know what is out there that you think is worth a listen.

Lately I don't feel like a blog post is complete without a photo, so I leave you with this photo I took at a recent wedding. I've been playing with some of the manual settings on my camera and am quite pleased with how this turned out:

Friday, August 1, 2008

Not Exactly Stellar

That's probably how I would describe my day today. My sweeties and I arrived home early last night after spending a few days at my parents' place. I was thrilled to be coming home, we've been away enough. We left Gary behind this time as he's trying to hold onto a few holiday days and also wanted to work on some renovations we have underway. This man still makes my stomach flip and I was so ready to see his face. What I didn't expect was a fried modem, chasing after my firstborn's football coach trying to get equipment, and other such inconveniences. After spending time waiting on the phone with the modem stuff and finally getting the footballer outfitted, I was ready for an easy day today.

Not to be. One piece of football equipment didn't make it into the pile. I found an equipment store that carries the item we needed, tucked the fried modem under my arm, and piled the five of us into the van to get things done. Arrived home in time to get lunch on the table, dropped our athlete off at the university for camp, and headed off to the museum for cheap movie and popcorn afternoon. So far so good even in the 31-degree Celsius heat. Arrived on time to catch the last bit of practice with my three wilting girls in tow, picked up a sweaty son, piled into the van and....SMACK! Backed into another vehicle backing out at the same time in a crowded lot of impatient parents. Urgh! Minimal damage to her vehicle (a bit of paint scraping but no dent) and a slightly crumpled back bumper on mine. Exchanged information, drove home, uploaded some scrapping design team stuff that was due last night, and praised my sweetheart for preparing dinner before feeding the hungry and sending our son back off to camp.

I enjoyed a quiet couple of hours while my husband took the girls on a bike ride and decided to go to the field a bit early to watch the last bit of practice. Great idea but I couldn't find my keys! The two little girls had used them earlier to get something out of the van and hadn't put them back. Looked everywhere, phoned over to where the bikers were trampolining, and enquired after the keys. No luck. "Mommy, they're either on the counter or in the van somewhere." Gary quickly borrowed our friend's vehicle and started to drive home with his keys. I, of course, found the keys as soon as I got off the phone, scribbled off a quick note, and headed for the field.

Not exactly stellar. I told you. However, at the end of the day, we are all here: safe, weary, giggling, and still an intact family. I am thankful for God's hand on our family today and for inconveniences that are pretty small in light of the world around me. None of us were hurt as a result of my little collision, our footballer returned to us injury-free, we parented together and saw glimpses of His love for us. Not perfect, I know. But not that far off of a really good day.

I leave you with one of my latest scrapbooking layouts, revealed today as part of the Design Team release over at