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Ambercita





Updated: 2014-10-04T18:06:39.670-07:00

 



Ramblings on Contentment

2011-03-10T11:50:57.985-08:00

I am so happy to be where I am in my life right now.  I will be starting a teaching contract in the Spring, just part time (Mondays and Fridays) and it's making me appreciate my stay at home mom life all the more.  Today I got to take Acadia's temperature and send her to bed at lunch time with some tylenol, then listen to
Blaise's theory on why the dinosaurs went extinct (God sent a meteor because the tyrannosauruses would have eaten all the people He wanted to create).

Earlier we got groceries and then went to Zaak's school to meet with the French teacher I'm taking over for.  We interrupted Zaak's math class to say hi, and it's so funny how his students asked incredulously "these are your kids!?"  It kills me how students view teachers as such flat characters, without families and homes :)

I've sworn off FB and email after 8 pm for Lent and last night it made me a little grumpy.  I've never really observed Lent before this year, and I think it will be really good for me :)  I looked for a recipe for a birthday cake for Zaak and found some good resources for Blaise's home school instead!

And so I am thankful for everything in my blessed life.



Worst sickness of 2011 (Thus far)

2011-02-07T12:05:32.542-08:00


Here's a photo of my little boy last week BEFORE he got hit with this wicked (evil!) flu virus!  I can't bear to take a picture of him now, all pale with dark circles under his eyes and scrawny looking.  So after 4 days of vomiting and stress, he is on the mend.  I fed him a spoonful of broth this a.m. and he said "Yum!  That tastes like mushroom soup!"  I was so thankful I about burst into tears.  There is truly NOTHING in the world like when your child is sick.  I hope my daughter, husband and I manage to evade Blaise's bug and all will be as it should be again.



Our Annual Christmas Card Family Photo

2011-02-07T11:59:07.299-08:00




Christmas Love & Lights...

2010-12-14T12:21:24.638-08:00


I love this shot of us from last night at Zoo Lights!  Photo credit goes to my lovely sister April.  It was a rather chilly outing (even with the chinook, long johns and wool socks) but I'm glad we did it.  The lights were delightful and the company charming, except for the little girl who kept complaining that she was "really, REALLY hungry!" ;)





My Halloween Rant

2010-11-11T12:23:35.483-08:00


With Halloween here and gone I am still rather baffled about the big deal people make out of it.  We let the kids dress up and took them out trick or treating around our neighbourhood, and they each got a nice little bag of loot.  It was a mild evening for the end of October in Alberta, and it was actually a novelty to interact with our neighbours.  
One of the things that gets me is how some people are so up in arms about the Halloween candy.  Trading it in for cash at dentist clinics or having "Harvest Parties" with healthy snacks instead.  It's ONE holiday that is all about candy, and if it is eaten in moderation, I do not see the harm in it.  Our kids eat pick one treat after they've eaten their supper, and they are thrilled about it.  

The other thing that bothers me is that Halloween comes in second only to Christmas for consumer spending.  Honestly?!  That is crazy.  Our kids' costumes were mostly dress-up things they already had, we just bought felt to make Blaise a mask and Acadia a little crown to complete her fairy princess get-up.  We did buy some candy to hand out as well but only had about a dozen kids come to our door, so I ended up eating way too many mini mars bars!



Family Photo

2010-10-26T12:10:08.357-07:00


We had our family photo taken in hopes of using it for our Christmas picture but Acadia was not feeling very photogenic that day (as you can see).  Oh well!  I'm thinking there is probably a rather small window of time when your children will smile nicely for a photo, after they're preschoolers and before they're teenagers.  But then again maybe it's the child's personality, who knows?



The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep

2010-10-16T19:53:54.399-07:00

Blaise was making noise in his room when he was supposed to be asleep tonight. "Try counting sheep" I advised him. "Actually Mama I'm going to count turtles crossing a stream," he replied sagely. Whatever works my son, whatever works :)



First Day of Kindergarten (In Our Kitchen)

2010-09-01T12:07:07.857-07:00

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Here is Blaise with his very first kindergarten math/language project. Acadia did a modified one as well, as she wants to be involved of course. I was so excited to start home schooling Blaise today that I kept waking up in the night! He was excited too (or ex-kite-ed as he would say) thankfully. It went great except for one slight glitch when our song for the week about space "See You On the Moon" by the Great Lake Swimmers, wasn't fast enough for my little student to bust a move to. But he quickly recovered, and really my lesson was fail-proof since we used marshmallows to measure the height of the rocket he made :)





See How our Garden Grows!

2010-07-31T18:53:14.692-07:00

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Here are the kids with our tomato plants, the first shot was taken at the end of June and the second the end of July. It's always amazing to me how much they grow! The rewards of having the kids in on this is awesome too. When we were there last we spotted a little green tomato on one of the plants. Acadia was exclaiming "tomatoes aren't green!" so that was a great opportunity to explain how things ripen, and that food doesn't just come from a grocery store ;)



Adventures of a Container Gardener

2010-06-22T19:16:26.137-07:00


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I slyly picked this wild strawberry plant on my walk last night :) I'm curious to see if it will produce any fruit once I confine it to a pot. I don't have the greenest thumb around but I love plants and flowers in any shape or form.

(image) These are my poor little sweet pea seedlings, and the state I found them in after coming home in a hailstorm. They actually fared better than I had imagined, with only one leaf down. I LOVE sweet peas but they always seem quite finicky to grow in pots, so I'll see if I get any lovely fragrant blooms from my plants this summer.

Tomorrow morning the kids and I are going to plant a row of carrots, beets, zucchini, tomatoes, and sunflowers at a friends house. Yippee! We planted a bunch of stuff from seed but they really need transplanting into the ground, especially the zucchini which I'm sure are going to crawl away on their own soon to find deeper soil ;)



My Little Boy Can READ!

2010-05-07T12:38:32.436-07:00


(image) (Blaise "reading" Brown Bear, Brown Bear when he was almost 3 at our house in Guate)

Yesterday I sat down with the kids and a "We Both Read" book from the library. It has a page for the parent to read on the left and then a child's page on the right. (Smart huh). So I thought I'd see if Blaise could sound out some of the words, only to discover he could read entire sentences! He read "Pets can be big. Pets can be small." from the kids page with zero prompting from me! I think the reason I'm so wonderstruck is that he pretty much taught himself to read. We have read to him since he was a baby, plus he sees Zaak and I read the paper/magazines/books all the time, and of course there are great kids programs on TV like SuperWhy. But I just love that is was a natural thing, we haven't been sitting him down every day to practice sounding out letters or anything, he just picked it up. Clever boy that he is :) And completely unbiased mother that I am ;)


(image) (Blaise and Acadia reading a giant Dora book from Grandma :)




Goodbye Grandma.

2010-03-24T12:43:13.581-07:00

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My Grandma Reding had a stroke this past February and then passed away a few days later. I was in BC for her funeral on Valentines Day. It was the longest I've ever been away from my kids, and I ended up with a lot of alone time just thinking. Thinking about how much I miss my Grandma, and what she meant to me. We lived a stone's throw away from my grandparents when I was little and the closeness we enjoyed was so precious. I always felt bad the past few years that I couldn't get back to BC to see them more, but the visits we did have were lovely. Grandma was also a very faithful correspondent, so I love that I can look back at all the homemade cards she has sent me through the years and see her handwriting. These are some of my memories of her:
-Her favorite color was purple
-She was always quick to laugh and to love
-She made the best vegetarian patties
-She gave the best foot massages
-She made so many beautiful things; blankets, p.j.'s...Acadia and Blaise's blankets on their beds that they sleep with every night. I still have a small blue and red afghan she made for me when I was little.
-She was an amazing story-teller.
-She was a faithful letter writer, sending me her hand made cards even when we were in Guatemala.
-When we were kids we'd come into her house after playing in the snow and she'd make us sweet mint tea.
-Playing with the big tin of mismatched buttons at her house.
-Picking raspberries and the huge vegetable garden we'd help with every summer.
-Calling Blaise "their little Robbie"
-Escaping the CUC cafeteria for a good home cooked meal.
-Spending every Christmas Eve at her house with all my raucous cousins.




15 Years Ago Today

2010-02-03T12:28:18.168-08:00


It's been 15 years since my dad died in a car accident. I've spent almost as much time without him now as with him, since I was 16 when it happened. It's hard to say what I feel exactly...it's definitely not the hollow sick feeling it used to be, thankfully. It's just that I'm not that 16 year old girl who had just failed her learners test anymore. I'm an adult now and I wish I had an adult relationship with my dad. I wish he could meet my husband and kids. I have lots of questions I'd like to ask him. It still hurts that he's gone. I guess it always will.



"Where the Wild Things Are" Film Review

2009-10-26T19:51:28.311-07:00

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Maybe because I am the mother of a sensitive boy with a great imagination, maybe because I am a sensitive person, or maybe because it is just so well done, this movie really bowled me over. I wasn't really sure what to expect from it, and just before seeing the film I read the book at Chapters. It's a children's picture book so they obviously had to expand on the story and wow did they do an amazing job! I was so touched I had tears trickling down my cheeks at several different parts throughout the film. Zaak asked me if I was crying at the end, and by then I had somewhat pulled myself together but him asking me set me off again!

The creatures were done by the Jim Henson Company and Jim Henson would be so proud if he was still alive! They are incredibly believable and likable, these puppets have come a long way since the Muppets and Sesame Street.

The soundtrack is also amazing. All the songs are original and by "Karen O and the Kids." The music perfectly enhances the beauty, humor and sadness in the film.

So, Zaak is usually the film reviewer in our family but I beat him to this one :)
I give "Where the Wild Things Are" two enthusiastic thumbs up!




God Sees You... and (SURPRISE!) He Likes What He Sees

2009-09-23T20:31:46.468-07:00

This is a song from a DVD Red Willow Church sent us (thanks again guys!) when we were living in Guatemala. It's called "Boz the Bear" and is from the creators of Barney BUT way less grating on the nerves :) It's also Christian, so the shows have nice little lessons about sharing and such. Why I'm blogging about this song is that I LOVE it's message. Forget teaching kids "Oh be careful little eyes what you see" and all those guilt/fear songs that are out there. I want my kids to know God thinks they are incredible, that He is delighted by them. I know I could have benefited from being told as a child that God is pleased by ME, and not just that I need to try and please God. So my kids are going to grow up believing that they are priceless in God's eyes, and that makes me infinitely happy. I actually wrote the words from the songs title in my friend Melaney's birthday card - because I think it's a beautiful thing to hear and internalize as an adult too. (P.S. Happy Birthday on Friday Mellykins!) And so for your reading enjoyment, here are the lyrics to the song: “God Sees You And He Likes What He Sees” - By Angelo Natalie (Giggling Bear Music) God sees you…and He likes what He sees God sees you…and you’re special as can be So look straight up to Heaven, shout: “Thanks for making me!” God sees you…and He likes what He sees God made you….and you’re one of a kind God made you…you’re always on His mind. So smile up to Heaven, shout: “Thanks for making me!” God made you…and you’re one of a kind So look straight up to Heaven, shout: “Thanks for making me!” God sees you…and He likes what He sees [...]



The Boy

2009-09-12T12:13:30.221-07:00

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Preschool Dilemma

2009-09-12T12:07:28.233-07:00

My little boy is 4 now, and pretty much every other kid his age is in preschool. So I have been wondering if we are doing the right thing by NOT sending him. He just seems too little still! I know it would only be a few mornings or afternoons a week, but it seems like a lot. Am I preventing him from reaping the benefits of going to preschool? Am I one of those hyper-protective moms? We go to a library story-time, he has his own class at church, and we have play dates at the park so it's not like he is cut off from the outside world. I was an elementary teacher and I KNOW there is always at LEAST one rotten kid per class. Plus Blaise is such a sweet sensitive soul, I can just picture him having a "friend" who is in reality a little monster. Another reason is that I want to be the one to teach him, not some stranger who may not value Blaise for the incredible little boy that he is. So I thought I was good with him staying home, but I've been wondering if I am making him miss out on this experience. OH the mommy guilt - it cuts deep! Any advice/wisdom on this matter is most welcome!



New Shoes Por Moi!

2009-06-26T12:21:14.711-07:00

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I found shoes to go with my bridesmaids dress for April's wedding this week! So excited :) They were on sale, they're comfy, unique looking and suit me marvelously I think. Oh and they go with the dress :) They have a bit of a heel so that makes me a good couple of inches taller than Zaak but that's okay. He's man enough to handle his wife towering over him, heehee. So the shoes are Bare Traps (which is surprising because I thought they only made comfy, casual shoes) and I got them at the Shoe Company. Happy Weekend!



The Merits of a Wagon

2009-06-03T11:57:17.333-07:00

(image) Brenda, a co-worker of Zaak's, gave us the blue wagon you see in this photo behind Blaise. I am so grateful because it is allowing me to get some (much needed) exercise! Instead of wrestling Acadia into the stroller, and then prodding pokey Blaise all the way to the park, they happily ride in the wagon while I get my heart rate up! It's wonderful! What a joy it is to be outside right now too, all the trees are flowering and people's yards are bursting with tulips and crocuses. Now I just need a walking buddy...:)



Color Me!

2009-05-12T18:55:13.191-07:00

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This is the kids doing some bath-time art the other night. All you do is add a couple of drops of food coloring to a bit of shaving cream and voila! Instant bath-time excitement :) Even Zaak wanted a paintbrush of his own to get in on the action! Do remember to wash your child (or self heehee) with soap afterwards or they will have slightly colored skin wherever they painted. Have fun!



Walnut Raisin Molasses Bread & Roast Chicken

2009-05-04T19:41:22.579-07:00

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Two of the many tasks I accomplished today :)



I Learned a New Word this Week...

2009-04-20T12:19:49.402-07:00

...and the word is "acedia" (strangely close in spelling to my daughters name - Acadia - but not at all related otherwise). The definition of the word is: "spiritual or mental sloth, apathy." The pastor at our new church just finished a series on the 7 deadly sins and yesterdays was sloth. I always took it to mean simply laziness, but it's much more than that. I need to read more about it but the message really struck a chord with me. We can be missing all that God has to offer us simply by allowing ourselves to be selfish, petty, and ignorant. For me I tend to get bogged down by what I lack instead of what I am so richly blessed with. So I am making the choice this week to see the beauty and opportunity in everything around me. To take joy in the seemingly mundane tasks that are part of being a mother and a wife, to use my time wisely and enjoy every moment of life I have been granted.



Spring I Hope!

2009-04-07T19:19:37.787-07:00

This was just 2 weeks ago! Blaise posing with a snowman he built with Papa Zaak.

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And this is today...now that's more like it! I am SO DONE with snow! (Acadia is donning earmuffs because she has a bit of a cold, and the air was still cool even thought the sun was blessedly hot :)

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I was reading up on a friends blog earlier today and it made me feel sorry for mine, and for those of you faithful few who check it only to see it appears abandoned. So I have resolved to post at least once a week, be it simply a photo, quote, recipe or whatever I'm into at the moment. Cheers!



Knitting Myself into a Lather

2008-12-04T13:20:13.400-08:00

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So my knitting saga seems to be unending. I started with some practice yarn, but somehow couldn't even figure out the slip-knot which is the very first step. Finally figured that out, then the knitting was somehow upside down once I had my first row casted onto the needle. I abandoned the mess for a few days.

I started fresh about a week later with some sort of helpful books from the library. Then I began the scarf project I wanted to make for my Mom for Xmas. 3 tries later ( I was knitting it too tightly and picked up 10 stitches by accident!) I am hoping against hope, that I will have a completed product I can proudly give as a gift. I guess this goes to show that I am more persistent than I give myself credit for.

Today I checked out a few more knitting books at my local library, and one is called "DomiKNITrix" Pretty funny hey. I get frustrated with the books that claim they are for the beginner and are full of easy projects, because they make me feel hopelessly lost. But everyone starts somewhere right. I looked to see if there was a "Knitting for Idiots" handbook, but alas, no luck. That's what I need.



My Little Girl...

2008-12-04T12:46:06.518-08:00

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..is big enough to wear her hair "up"! How cute can one little person be. Now if only I could get to leave the accessories IN her hair ;)


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