Saturday, February 26, 2011

In Defense of Snow

Now, I realize that I may be treading on, um, thin ice addressing this topic of snow.  It's entirely possible that I will alienate part of my vast readership by coming out so strong on this issue, but it needs to be said.

Snow is awesome.

There.  I said it.  Can we still be friends?
Look Mom....HNOW!  (that's how it sounds, anyway)
I know, just about everyone that has ever lived anywhere remotely east of Hope, and still many that live here in the Promised Land will scoff and say "Well YOU should trying LIVING  in fill in the name of any and every city beyond hope*  for a whole winter and see how much you like it after that."    And, in a way, I get it.  It's possible that  if I were to have months and months of sub-zero temperatures, and wind, and school cancellations, I might not like the snow either.  It's possible that if I actually had to own a snowblower just to get out of my 12 foot long driveway, I might grumble a little more.  But here's the thing...that's why I live in i can LOVE snow.

I also happen to live in BC because I was born and raised here and happened to marry someone from Abbotsford, and his business is in Abbotsford, and our friends, and church and some family live here too, but don't judge me.

We are supposed to get a dump of snow in the next 24 hours, and I couldn't be more excited. I realize that 90 percent of the time when the weather office puts out a snowfall warning, little to nothing happens - but this time, I think they're gonna come through.

Even the thought or threat of snow sends people into a proverbial panic, and that in itself is fun to behold.  Grocery store lineups grow long with people buying, no, hoarding food, diapers and tylenol like it's gold.  Shelves once bursting with merchandise lay bare; every crazy carpet, bag of salt and shovel purchased in the mad rush.  I have to wonder to myself - who is buying all this stuff?  I have had the same bag of ice melter for three years now, and it gets used whenever we need it - but seriously, how does a city as big as Abbotsford sell out of stuff like that? Betcha it never happens in Blumenort. Maybe people do with ice melter like I do with icing sugar - pick it up just in case - only to find there are two unopened bags in the closet.

Kids lose sleep wondering if possibly, maybe, perhaps the next day might be declared a snow day cause it really only takes more than 5 centimeters of snow to shut everything down around here. You'd think that homeschooling would remove the excitement for my kids - but no chance, they still hope that their teacher will cancel class for the day too.  It wasn't until I was married to a (now former) teacher that i realized that the only people that like a snow day better than students, are teachers.   Silly kids, they like a day off (to mark) too!  I do realize it throws commuting and business into a kerfuffle for a day or two, but there is magic to be found amidst the chaos.

Note to self:  must use the word kerfuffle more often
Snow days are a welcome bright spot amidst the drabness of the day after day of rain and fog.   I like a good rainstorm too, but the endless drizzle and lack of sunshine can really get to a girl.

On a snow day, the kids are allowed to break the "7 o'clock" rule and get up a little early. They scurry to eat breakfast, do their chores, practice piano, compose a Shakespearean style sonnet, do a study of Egyptian math in Latin, and then run outside** before the inevitable rain starts.

They stay outside till their cheeks are rosy and wind-burnt (but not frost-bitten, Dad, I'm careful).  They build snow men, coax their slides six inches at a time down the minuscule hill in the backyard until it's good and packed and then they fly, repeatedly into the fence or almost over the retaining wall and into our neighbours driveway.  They like to try and make something that resembles a snow angel - or a body outline, they aren't picky.  Either way it's fun.  It's only when they are good a drenched with the wet wonder that they reluctantly come inside.  They know they might not get another chance before it starts to pour.

Snow days make me hungry.  I do some of my best comfort-food making and cookie baking on snow days.  It's probably because I spent the night before hoarding in the grocery store, so my cupboards are full.  And there is nothing like a full larder that makes me want to do something with it all.  I also happen to do some of my best eating on snow days, which is another reason why it's good we don't get too much of the white stuff.
Betcha he'd like a snow blower right now.
I love the silence that snow brings.  I love to wrap myself in a big blanket, open the front door and listen to the sound of nothing after a big snowfall. (I may or may not pretend I am Caroline Ingalls when I do this.)

Going for walk after the snow has fallen is especially magical.  It's even better when you are the first one out - leaving your footprints on uncharted territory, even if that uncharted territory leads to the mailbox and back.  Some of my favorite winter memories are of Josh and I going for walks into downtown Chilliwack hoping to find a coffee shop open for business after the Fraser Valley Snowpocolypse of 1996, or walking down the deserted streets of Whatcom Hill after the Snowmaggeddon of 1998.  I would like to forget the slamming Morgan's head in the van door incident during the Snowtastrophe of 2008, but we all got over that.  I am sure food was involved in the healing process.  

I say yes a lot more on snow days, cause I am reminded that a lot of little things that seem like a big pain to me (like bundling kids up in snow gear - which reserve the right to hate, even if I love snow), add a lot of fun to their day, and days like this don't happen very often.

Check out the carrot - a result of snow deprived children.
So there you have it.  A confession of sorts, from one snow loving mother of a bunch a kids.  Forgive me if my glass of hot cocoa seems a little more than half-full.  You are welcome to live beyond hope and hate snow - just don't rain on my parade...feel free to snow on it though.

*Hope is a town just beyond Chilliwack,. "living beyond Hope" is kind of like the "why is Alberta windy?" joke, only better.

**They might only barely eat breakfast before scrambling to get outside.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Schmalzy but True

Today is my Dad's birthday.  He's 54...I think.  Yes.  He's definitely 54.   As long as I don't forget my age, I will always be able to figure out his.  Anyway, today is his birthday and I think it's only right to take a couple of minutes to say how fantastic I think he is.

Cry Me a River
Crying in relation to birthdays, celebrations and people we love is practically a family tradition; one that I think started with my Dad, or at least he is the first person that comes to mind on the subject of being sentimental.  It's one of the things I love about  Dad.  He just can't talk about the people he loves without getting a little choked up, or in the case of talking about Mom - a lot choked up. In fact, I think our family likes to torture ourselves on such occasions by writing really nice things that make us cry on purpose. We give cards, except for when I forget - I think I'm the only one forgets, but I also blame that on my Dad.  Anyway -there is that awkward moment where you are watching the person you gave the card to open and read it, and tear up, and then we look at each other and laugh, cause we're both crying and say something about what useless saps we are, wipe our tears, and feel really good.  'Course - I'm just speaking for myself right now - maybe everyone else in the family wishes it would all go away - but I have my doubts.

In terms of crying there is nothing quite like our Christmas cry fest over the Christmas poem that my Dad writes every year.  It has a nice lilt, great pentameter, usually a Suessical quality to it, and yet, it makes all of us Strahl kids cry.  Our spouses, and now the oldest grandkids have learned to just sit quietly and smile - (they'd not dare to smirk, would they?) at this little tradition.  I know deep down, they love it like we do.

He Loves Her, Ya, Ya, Ya
I love the way my Dad loves my Mom.  Next to Jesus, there really is no one that holds a candle to her in my Dad's eyes, and she loves him back just as much.   It's hard to write a little Ode to my Dad without mentioning her, cause they are one, really. There was such security growing up knowing how much my Dad loved my Mom.  I have learned so much watching their marriage, and hope that my kids see the same thing in  us.
Chuck and Deb

Name That Tune
Something else I love about my Dad is his affinity for having a partial song for every occasion.  Now, he doesn't know full songs - but he knows a tune and a line for every occasion.   Whenever I break out into song (and it happens a lot) and I start singing the first line that comes to my head of a song I don't really know (which happens a lot), I think of my Dad.   It's quirky, and I love it.  He introduced me to the partial songs from the Beatles, Neil Diamond, and CCR to name a few, and I'm not ashamed to say I love it, even though I still don't know all the words to the songs after all these years.

Get 'Er Done
If there's one thing I know I got from Dad, it's the love of a project.  Something to do.  A purpose for the day.  It might be gardening, landscaping, building a fence, painting a room, or cleaning a garage - but I love that Dad always has a project of some kind going on.  It was from my Dad I learned the value of a sketching out the latest dreams and schemes for the house and yard.  They're just ideas, and ideas are free, and fun to share.  I think the family motto for doing projects goes something like:  "We're not good, but we're slow".  Did I mention self-deprecation is also a gift we have learned from Dad?

Regardless of whether are not we are adept at getting a project completed, I think there is such joy in having purpose.  I am thankful for the ability to work, and to work hard.  I learned that from my Dad. I may have also learned the art of getting a project 7/8 done - but we're just talking about the good stuff today :)

Wanna Work, I Mean, er, Play?
When we were kids, "playing with Dad" usually meant going into to town to get parts or pieces to whatever it was that was going on.  Then we got to come home and "help".  I looked forward to those times a lot - it may be because Dad always needed a chocolate bar along the way too. Mmmmm, chocolate bars.

Having kids of my own now, I could question how much my Dad actually loved having us along for the trip, or the help, for that matter, but it's the memory I have - that he always was glad we were around.  For the record, I play "Get 'Er Done" a lot with my kids, and for the most part, I love it when they do a project along with me. If that means I am more like my Dad in that way too -that's a-o-k with me.

A Man and His Convictions
I have always, always, been proud of my Dad.  I did my best to make my parents doubt that I felt that way in my rebellious youth, but honestly, it was an almost impossible task to not be proud of him. I remember trying so hard to think of something not to like, to fit in. I remember tearfully complaining to a youth leader (I may have been a tad dramatic, but I outgrew it) that my parents were just too young, and that they needed to be older so that they could understand less what I was going through.  Ah, hormones and teenage angst.  Funny thing when your Dad  never rolls his eyes or speaks poorly about his kids being teenagers (or any stage, for that matter) - it tends to make it harder to say how lame your parents are too. In fact, I remember it seemed like my Dad went out of his way to tell others how much he always enjoyed his family.  There is a lesson in there somewhere.

I have always trusted Dad's word. I know that he will never compromise on things that really matter.  He loves God and wants to do what is right by God's standards.  He has set the example of doing what is right, regardless of the personal cost.  Actions truly speak louder than words.

Here's To You, and Cake
I could write so much more; like how he calls all of us girls, "babe" and my brother, "son".  Or how he runs for the sole purpose of eating more dessert.  I smile a lot when I think of my Dad, and that's a good thing.  I am looking forward to gathering as a family to eat way too much good food, followed by way too much dessert, followed by statements of self loathing for over-eating.  It will be totally worth it, cause a man like that deserves to be celebrated at least once a year.

Happy Birthday Dad.  I love you.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Stamping Fun

So, once a month (or so) I have what is affectionately referred to as a Stampin' Fun Night.  I have for years been a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator, and basically do it to support a very healthy and legal habit of paper crafting.  It was at one time a profitable side business for myself, and now, 2 more kids later, it's not so much a business as a group of friends that I can't let go of, that keep me in the habit.  We gather, I make a project or two for everyone else to duplicate, and then we create, and eat, and laugh, and eat.  So yesterday some of us gathered and this is what we made:

This card was fun because of all the texture.  The background pieces were run through the BigShot  using different pattern folders - a fun alternative to patterned paper, which, no matter how much I have, I never seem to have the one I want.  Which, in turn, leaves me to not purchasing patterned paper very often , which leads to needing to create my own, which leads to...I think you see the vicious paper cycle i have gotten myself into.

The image is from a new, very fun set called Take a Spin,  from the new mini catalogue.  The two colour section was created by stamping the image once in each colour, then cutting out the Cherry Cobbler names...and then adding it to the original wheel.    Enough said?  I dunno, I'm new at this write up thing!

Then we used what is possibly my favoritest (I think it should be a word, so I am ignoring my spell-check thank you very much.) new Big Shot die - Fun Flowers.  We made a card using two of the flowers from the die, and then - oh the fun I had.
 I used the new Seam binding ribbon - and ruffled it - without a sewing machine.  Basically you "just" pull a thread from the end of your ribbon piece (not sure how to explain this - a vertical? thread the runs through the entire length, not the shorter horizontal ones - grabbing those will just unravel the whole ribbon), and this just causes the ribbon to bunch or gather on itself.  Rock My World.  (As an aside, I realize that whenever someone prefaces instructions with "You just..." or "All you do is..." it's because it seems simple to that person, but doesn't always seem simple to the one on the receiving end, but I can't think of another way to explain it!) Thanks to Jo-Ann for showing my that - you are awesome.  Then I showed a few other fun things you can do with the flower die:

Thanks to Kari Metzger for the inspiration on the paper daisies, they are so fun! Please ignore the windows that need cleaning in the background.

I also took some of the fabric that was in the mini and made a bunch of cuteness and put a big button on it.
It took all of three minutes to make that fabric flower - I can only imagine how mad I would have gone making barrettes and adding flowers to socks, shoes, hats and shirts for Morgan if I had had the big shot and this die when she was younger.  I still might go a little mad - I can think of so many possibilities with this - for funzies, I stuck it on a cheap hat I got at Old Navy when I was in Seattle:

I feel a new fabric addiction coming on!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

First Things First

I love a lot of things about my life.  But every once in a while it is important, even necessary, for me to leave all the things I love behind and get away.  This past weekend was that weekend.  After months of trying to align the stars, schedules and sick-free weekends, everything came together and my honey and I took off.  My kids were more than happy to be left with my parents - I think sometimes they need a getaway from their parents, or at least their mother !  It's a win-win-win, really. (I cannot find the Office clip where win-win-win can be properly explained, but it makes me laugh just to think about it, so hopefully you will too!)

The pictures never do the moment justice, do they!
The weekend was everything a weekend away should be - and really, anywhere with just Josh is my happy place.

We went to Seattle, and it was good.  In fact, one might say it was an Academy-worthy weekend on all counts.  So let me begin my list of thank yous to all the people who made this weekend possible:

The well-priced hotel - (thank you Priceline), the view from said hotel , (thanks God and Seattle's engineers)  The food was also fantastic, (thank you Gordon Biersch, twice.) and the coffee was epic (thank you Seattle Works Coffee, you alone are worth the trip).  And thanks Mom and Dad for really making the whole thing possible. (thanks for loving my kids so well when we are gone.)  And thanks to everyone else at the Academy that I forgot to mention..  Wait, is that the music? - I'll stop now before you cut me off.

Getaways, mini-holidays, escapes, whatever you want to call them, are a fabulous chance to just reflect on how those "everyday" things are going.  We did that - in the form of listening to Grace Based Parenting on cd for the drive there and back.  Love it - that book is one of my faves and it's good to kick my parenting-butt back into shape every now and then - with as much grace as possible. :)  (I should also give an Academy shout-out to Tim Kimmel for writing the book, plus many others - books, not authors) Plus we had time to talk uninterrupted.  That should also get a shout-out of it's own, but I'll leave that for another time.
Seriously, I am in love with him.  So much.
The weather was cold, but the sun was brilliant and I was more than happy to freeze my toes to increase the ol' vitamin D levels which have been sorely lacking this winter.  

We did the Coffee Crawl - basically a chance to learn how Starbucks is going to take over the world, one acquisition at a time. Seriously it was a fun way to spend the morning touring some different coffee shops and talk about the coffee culture and history of Seattle. 

And now we are back.  Back into the swing of things - the day to day, the loads of laundry, and lesson plans, sick kids and busyness of a very full and blessed life.... I love it all.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

All for Love

So I write that title, and now I have a cheesy song from high school going through my head - and it's not the Bryan Adams one either.    In fact, I have no idea who sang the song, I just remember the boppity rhythm of the part that says "I do it all for love".  Surely it's the onset of early dementia...more on that later.

So Valentines day has come and gone, and I am happily picking up the pieces.  I love to celebrate.  I love it that, so far, my kids are happy to indulge any extra-special things that I might throw at them.  Granted, a lot of what I throw at them is food related.  I'm no dummy.

Part of our Valentines Day celebrations included making these really fun lollipop cover valentines.  It is wonderful seeing them choosing the colours and images that are "just right" for them.  They each have their own motive for choosing what they do:  one chooses to reflect the holiday, another, who the gift is from and another who they are giving to.  Then the youngest crafter chooses to reflect what his big brothers and sister made.  If mess made equates the love felt - boy did we feel the love!

The thing I am trying to learn in all of this, is it to do it more in advance.  There have been years where we've ended up doing nothing because my lack of planning ended in the time being gone. Like a good mother I vow to do better next year.  If I'm still blogging, I guess we'll all find out if do better :)  And because I have to justify the plethora of stamping and paper crafting supplies I own, I never buy them.  Truly I WANT to make them, and so do the kids - I just have to plan better.  This year was the best yet, but we still ended up doing a big push to get these things done in time.  

Date Night Trauma
Three or four times a year, our church hosts a "Parent's Night Out".  To coincide with the ensuing holiday, they hosted one on Feb. 12th.  We took advantage of the night of free babysitting and decided to break with tradition and rent a chick-flick.  It has been a good 10 years or more since I watched a chick-flick. The last one I remember watching was When a Man Love a Woman years and years ago, and I was thoroughly traumatized.  I loved the movie- just not the ensuing blubbering and snot. 

We rented and watched The Notebook.  Wonderful movie.  It honestly was.   I was in full ugly-cry mode by the end of it.  Funny thing, being a woman. Tears...Crying... Cause you feel happy and loved.  I have often wished I was a pretty cry-er.  But I'm not.  I just skip straight to the ugly-cry no matter the occasion.  Hence my avoidance of chick flicks - I can cry well enough on my own for all sorts of good reasons.  I am sure when we went in to pick up the kids from the church everyone there assumed we had just lived through a whirlwind fight, or I that my dog had just been run over by a bus (this would require me having a dog, and living on a bus route - but I digress...)  I have no idea how women subject themselves to such things on a regular basis.   Having said that, it made for a memorable Valentine's Date!

Did I mention how much I love my husband?  Cause I do.  A lot.

For the Love of Food
By the time V-day actually arrived we had already eaten all of the sugar cookies.  (You may call to mind that we baked a whole whack of them just three days earlier.)  They make a well balanced snack, lunch, snack, and dinner, and they can be eaten very, very quickly.  All in the same day.  Note to self:  make more sugar cookies...and start Pilates again.

I did take time to make lunch a little special to mark the occasion.  Pizza was on the lunch menu, and really it wasn't much more work to make them more lovey.  I know they talk about all the different love languages, but I think food deserves it's own category.  So we ate heart shaped pizzas. We felt the love.

Reason to Celebrate
I love occasions to remember.  I like to make things that help me to remember - that's me.  You don't have to be crafty or bake-y (it's a new word I'm trying out) or whatever to remember, but I think it's good to take a moment and do whatever feels like You  to mark the occasion.  I want to remember to be thankful for the people I have been given to love.  Thinking of and doing for and giving to someone else is a great cure for what ails you!

Even after all this time,
The sun never says to the earth,
"You owe me."
Look what happens with
A love like that.
It lights the whole sky.
Hafiz of Persia

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Little Rant

I like to rant.  I may even be famous for ranting. Well, I suppose it's wrong to say I am famous for ranting when I'm not being paid to rant like Jon Stewart , Monte Solberg or Rush Limbaugh.  But in my own mind I am famous for ranting.  Ranting is fabulous.  It's like getting on a soap-box wearing a pretty dress (Don't try and picture Rush Limbaugh wearing a pretty dress or this whole analogy falls apart.) I don't rant with the purpose of offending people, although it's possible I do, cause passionate responses to anything usually offends someone out there.

I think I'd like to rant a little cause a blog seems like the right place to rant, or maybe even rave.  I'll save the rave for another day.

For today -
The Pancake Mix Rant:

Pancake mixes are wonderful.  They are convenient.  Just pour some mix, add an egg and some milk and voila!  Pancakes!  or Waffles! or Whatever!  But do yourself a favour and don't go looking at the ingredient list.

This is exactly what I did today, and poor Jo-Ann had to endure the "live" version of this rant that I have decided to share with you, my faithful readers.

Normally, I don't buy pancake mixes, cause I like to make my own.  (mixes and pancakes)  However, I had bought a spelt-flour pancake mix a few weeks ago from Costco.  And my contemplations/ inner conversation prior to said purchase  (that I am sure you want to read) went like this:

"Hey look, a wheat-free pancake mix!
"At Costco, no less!"
"How convenient!"
"Sure it's twice the price of buying that much spelt flour, and I usually make my own, but think of the time it will save when entering into the laborious tasks of measuring and mixing."
"Plus, it's wheat-free."
"Let's do it!"

So I did.  I decided not to make a wheat- free version of the scrumptious Cinnamon-Oat Pancakes that I usually make and I bought the mix.   Then on Tuesday as I was making a convenient and quick lunch for my kids and some friends, (pancakes aren't just for breakfast, you know) I happened to glance at the ingredient list:

"flour, sodium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate, salt"

Now, at first glance, that looks like a totally unreproducible grocery list.  Those pancake mix people are so tricksy.  Lucky for me I homeschool and had to teach a basic chemistry unit this year.  Those unreproducible ingredients: baking soda and baking powder*.  I hang my head in shame.**


As Jo-Ann put it:  "Clearly, I am in the wrong business."

Am I alone in thinking this really isn't worth it?

Ok now, I am done my rant.  That wasn't so bad, was it? 

What things have you bought that, in the end, left you gob-smacked?

*(or the equivalent thereof)
**I am in no way saying it wrong to buy pancake mixes, or that you are less of a mother if you enjoy purchasing and using pancake mixes or other pre-packaged foods. 

Veni, Vidi, Vici.

Veni, Vidi, Vici.
... more commonly known as " I came, I saw, I conquered."  I wonder if when Julius Caesar said these words (in Latin, of course) he ever though someone would use them with respect to glitter.  Methinks not.

Having said that, Friday was a great day.  I had the privilege of taking Sher's kids under my charge that day. She had done the same for me earlier in the week, and seeing as how we have a friendship built on keeping things equal - it was my turn.  I love having a gaggle of kids roaming about the house.  It pushes me to set aside my own agenda and focus a little more on the things that are important to them.  So, we baked.   

When I say "we" I should clarify that I mean: the girls and Keaton and I.  "We" all donned aprons,  put on hairbands (safety first, y'all) and got to work making cookies in preparation for Valentine's Day.

Some may have eaten more raw cookie dough than they put on the cookie sheets and I may have had to remind myself more than once that it was the "journey" of making cookies together that was important, but we had fun. 

And what of the "we" that decided not to bake?  They looked a lot like wii more than we, but I think they had a good time too:

They went outside Sher, I promise.
Doppelganger Anyone?
Maybe it's the hairband, the perfect skin, the fantastic "smile" pose or just the mounds of curly hair, but my baby is rocking the Olivia Newton John look:

Ooh, ooh, ooh, Honey.
Josh would probably like me to take this opportunity to point out that Keaton needs a haircut.  And I will.  One day.  But right now those curls and that goofy smile have saved his life more than once.  He NEEDS those curls right now.

You don't have to sleep, you just have to lie down...
Or something like that.  I love quiet time, I hope we never grow out of it.  It's been worth convincing each kid that a little down time is a good thing - especially when there are nine kids.  Keats still has a real sleep every day.  Tyson and Em were only willing to "read" when they realized that crafting was directly linked to resting beforehand.  I specifically told them they could stay awake.  So they did.  For five minutes. Then it got quiet.

There is nothing that strikes fear into the hearts of a mother of a four year old quite like quiet. Obviously they were cutting each other's hair, or painting the wall with Sharpie markers, or maybe, just maybe, they were sleeping.  
Yay for sleeping !
The Part Where I Confess My Love for Glitter
You'd think that a girl would eventually grow out the need for glitter and tissue paper.  You'd think that my crafting skills may at some point in my life graduate from all things pre-school.  But they haven't, so this is what we spent the afternoon making:  a mess and a craft.  

And it was very, very good.

"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back
 and realize they were the big things"
Robert Brault

Friday, February 11, 2011


I still have many thoughts percolating here about what this blog should or shouldn't be. I think, those that have said "you should blog" are hoping that I am going to write some really funny stuff. The problem is, I don't think I am terribly funny, especially on my own. So really, again, I have to do whatever feels write, er, right. See - not funny.

We are in the midst of a break week right now. I am not gonna lie - one of my favorite things about doing school at home is that we can take breaks when we want to and need to. This year we are going with a more "year round" schedule, and it's quite lovely actually to work for 6 weeks and then to take a week (or so) off and to just be. We'll see how well this theory works in mid-April when the desire to not finish all of our curriculum hits big-time and we long for new things.

I called the blog "Being More" because it really is something I want to excel at. Ah, the blessed choice of just being. I long to live a purposeful life and instead of always doing, doing, doing, to get off that treadmill and just choose to "be". To be in and build relationships that matter and strengthen and challenge me; to be present with our kids; to be available for others; to be a wife; to be a mother; to be a friend; to be still and listen; to be able take time to question why I do what I do and to see if it's fitting with my manifesto for life.

Taking time to BE, takes practice - especially living in a culture of "do". I have to fight myself every step of the way, cause I LOVE to do. Doing brings me immense joy, too - but the older I get, the more I find that being fuels the doing in a more positive way. I've tried running around like a chicken with my head cut off, and boy do I get a lot done - but the price everyone around me pays, is just not worth it in the end.

I have written down a very basic life manifesto that helps keep me grounded, to remember what is important. It's on the fridge, where I am sure all manifestos are meant to be posted. Cause seriously, there is nothing that I visit more in a day - except maybe my facebook page. I am also terribly forgetful so I need it written down. I have great plans to make it into a beautiful piece of artwork one day, but seriously - if I wait for that it won't happen- so on my fridge it says:

We will work together to make our home a fun, encouraging,
and safe place to be ourselves.
We value doing our best in everything, 
helping others;especially those less fortunate,
and we will celebrate when others succeed.
We will serve each other and celebrate 
our God-given differences with JOY!
May God's Grace & Love be seen in everything we do.

Writing that, I realize how many other things that I value that I could add to the list - but a lot of the other things are really just extensions of those things, and a girl's fridge is only so big; especially with all the other to do lists and sticker charts, and subject lists that are on that fridge.

A fridge really is the ultimate to-do list holder isn't it? Maybe my manifesto there is trying to help the poor thing "be" a little bit.

So here's to today - where I try and be with my kids, and their friends, and take time to ignore my to-do list - or rather make a different to-do list. One that has less to do with folding laundry and more to do with having fun and preparing for Valentine's day and another of life's little celebrations. My list needs to involve paper. And scissors. And glitter. Glitter is definite must - it fuels the being. :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Don't Get Me Started I go. Blogging. So 2002, I know. Can't believe I am gonna attempt this - but then, there are a lot of things I do now that I said I would never do.  I can't believe that more than 5 people on this good earth will even care that I have anything to say.  But maybe I will care, years from now, that I took the time to write down some thoughts and maybe even take and post some "I wish I took better pictures" of my kids and family.  I am hopeful that I will be able to do this justice.  I love to live big - maybe I can blog big too.  Life is full of so many wonderful small things that make life, very, very big. So maybe I am doing this for me, maybe it's to keep better in touch with the parts of my heart that are across the prairies, or across the Atlantic.  If you want to watch the journey, the more the merrier as far as I'm concerned! Maybe the world really needs another blog about everything and nothing.   Where do I begin?