Monday, July 31, 2006

My Nightly Ritual

Here I sit, once again.

The boys have been in bed for more than an hour. Baby Girl is cradled, fussy and half-asleep, in my right arm. I type as best as I can with my free left hand. My trusty hand-me-down laptop is propped on a small table I've pulled up to the couch. The sun has recently set, and a few lamps cast my work space in a soft glow. A cool breeze blows in through the open patio door beside me.

This is my quiet time. I boot up my computer and check my favourite online comic, pay a few bills, and read my email. Ben often sits beside me, his feet propped on my table, his own notebook resting on his lap. Tonight I am on my own as Ben sweats at the gym. He should be home any minute.

I finally log on to Blogger and open a fresh page. I stare at the blank screen for a few minutes, collecting my thoughts. Some nights a million ideas for posts bounce around in my head. Other times, when I am especially tired, the empty computer screen glares back at me and my creativity seems non-existent.

I will finish my post, proof-read and publish it. If it's not too late I might check CBC news or crack open a novel for a few minutes. Baby Girl has finally fallen asleep and must be put down in her cradle. It's time to log off, close down, and clean up.

Tomorrow is a busy day, and it will arrive before I know it.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

So Much To Do ... So Little Time

I'm a quiet person. I don't tend to talk about my thoughts and feelings much, but inside my head I often have dozens of ideas and opinions swirling around. I love to brainstorm and daydream and make fantastic plans.

The only time this isn't the case is when I am horribly over-tired. I need to rest when I don't care about new ideas. When I become listless and bored a bright red warning light starts flashing in my brain. I take my apathy as a signal that I need a break and a nap.

I must be starting to regain my energy after the birth of Baby Girl because I have tons of thoughts percolating in my brain these days. I recently bought a fat daily planner just to keep track of them all.

What am I thinking about?

- Entertaining friends and cooking meals
- Scrapbooking
- Quilting
- Knitting
- Oil painting
- Redecorating our bedroom
- Finishing our basement
- Bible study on the books of Corinthians
- Counterpoint
- An idea for a novel
- An idea for a childrens' book
- Homeschooling
- Pilates and a new fitness regime
- Organizing a block party for next summer
- A family vacation
- Two small business ideas

Do I have time for any of these things? Not really! I can barely keep up with my necessary work around the house these days. It doesn't hurt to dream and plan, though. I may not have much extra time now, but perhaps some day I will ...

Saturday, July 29, 2006

An Easy / Hard Decision

For the past year I have been taking lessons toward completing my ARCT diploma in piano. I had intended to continue the lessons in September. I found a new piano teacher a few months ago and made arrangements for the fall.

However, I am discovering that life with three little children is full, to say the least. I can't imagine where I will find the time to squeeze an hour or more of piano practice into every day. At the moment it is all I can do to keep up with the minimum requirements for running our household.

Therefore, I have come to a disappointing, but necessary, decision. I must put my family first. Last week I phoned my piano teacher to discuss my overly ambitious plans for the fall. She understood my position completely, thank goodness. She also made an interesting proposal.

My teacher suggested that I work on completing one theory requirement for the ARCT diploma. It is called Counterpoint. The class would require one 45 minute lesson per week, and about two hours of homework. I would also write an exam next May.

I like the idea of taking Counterpoint in the fall. I would still be making (slow) progress toward my goal of completing the ARCT diploma. I think I can find 2 3/4 hours per week to squeeze out of my schedule. I also like my new teacher. (She actually taught me theory classes about ten years ago, and we already know one and another.) I would hate to lose contact with her again.

So, for now I will forgo hours of piano practice. I will miss my time at the piano. Hopefully, I will find a moment or two to play once in a while. At least I will keep my fingers in music by taking Counterpoint classes in September.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Future Book Worms

My three-year-old son loves books. He cannot read yet, but I suspect that once he learns we may never see him again. If he's anything like his mom he'll spend hours escaping into imaginary worlds through the pages of books.

Our family has chosen not to own a television. Instead, Ben and I hope our children grow up to be readers. We try to make reading stories out loud a part of our daily routine.

This week my husband began reading The Chronicles of Narnia to the boys while I wash the dishes after supper. I had thought that the Narnia books would be beyond the comprehension of our toddler and preschooler, but my kids have surprised me. The boys will sit still for an amazingly long period of time to listen to the story. After only a few days we have already read through ten chapters of The Magician's Nephew!

I hope this trend continues. I enjoy listening to the stories too! At least fifteen years have passed since I read the Narnia books myself. I remember very little, so the stories are new to me as well. C.S. Lewis' humour and imagination are highly entertaining, and the foundation of his books is wholesome.

Books are an integral part of our family culture. Ben and I hope to pass on our love of reading to all our children.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Gym Babe

Hooray! I went back to the gym for the first time in ten weeks. It has been a long absence.

I had forgotten how much I like going to the YMCA. Before I entered the "impossibly huge" stage of late pregnancy I would venture to the Y several times per week. I like working out in the evenings, after the kids are in bed. It's a time for me to unwind and burn off stress. The exercise gives me energy to chase after busy children during the day, and it's a great way to take off unwanted baby weight.

It also doesn't hurt that the Y shares a building with the public library. If I've got my act together I can stop in and check out books before the library closes. (I hadn't had time to replenish my stacks for several weeks!)

I sure didn't push hard at the gym this evening, but it felt great to get some exercise. I enjoyed moving my body, stretching and sweating. I'm definitely looking forward to getting back into a regular exercise routine.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Recommended Reading:

The Redemption Series
By Karen Kingsbury with Gary Smalley

This is a "must read" series for fans of inspirational fiction. I began the first book a few days before our daughter was born. I finished all five novels within five weeks, even with a newborn baby to care for. These books are insightful and engaging.

Redemption chronicles the struggles and joys of the Baxters, a contemporary Christian family with five adult children. It is primarily set in Bloomington, Indiana. The novels explore themes such as forgiveness, honour, sin and consequences, faith, hope, and submission to God's will.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Cute Kids

I may be slightly biased, but I think our kids are adorable. Must be good genetics. ;-)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Painful Pride and Vain Conceit

I should have known better.

They say confession is good for the soul. The problem is, God knows my weaknesses even better than I know them myself. As soon as I admit to a shortcoming I think God takes that as a cue to say, "Aha! Lindsay's finally realized this is an area she needs to work on. Let's see if she's really serious about changing her ways."

A couple days ago I confessed my obsession with cleanliness and order. I specifically made the comment that "people come before things". Perhaps I should have been more careful in my musings. This weekend has been one disaster after another! God is surely testing me in this area. My pride is taking an awful beating at the moment.

For example, this morning we were in a great hurry to leave for church. The boys were eating breakfast, Ben was re-assembling my son's car seat, and I was nursing the baby. My baby girl finished her meal and I sat her up on my lap for a burp. Out of the blue, my sweet little princess projectile vomited everywhere. Curdled milk coated my pants, her blanket, the couch and the floor. Strangely, my baby girl's dress escaped unscathed.

Needless to say, we were late for church.

I sort of feel like my life is spinning out of control. My external environment is chaotic --- the house hasn't been cleaned, our van is a mess, the baby is fussy, and I have puke stains on my clothes. The temperature outside has been over 30C and our small house feels like a sauna. My "to do" list for the coming week is a mile long. I haven't even had a decent nap for the past three days.

In the midst of it all I cry out to God: "Enough already! I get Your point! Cut me a little slack, please. Why can't my kids behave? Why does the house become a disaster zone in the blink of an eye? Why can't You grant me a little more sleep?"

Of course, by asking such questions I am missing the lesson God is trying to teach me.

My external circumstances may not change any time soon. I'm the mom of three kids under the age of four. Life is simply chaos. I must learn to accept that.

God is chipping away at my pride. He is working on my attitude. Is my heart joyful, even when my house is a cluttered mess? Do I find my comfort in Christ, even as I comfort a screaming child? Am I peaceful, even in the midst of this crazy season of motherhood?

I hear God whisper to the quiet places of my spirit, "Daughter, My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness."

If I am truly serious about becoming a woman of grace, I must learn to trust God through this stressful time in my life. I cannot allow my inner peace to be dictated by my external circumstances. His grace is sufficient. That is enough.

Even when my van smells like fermented strawberries.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Strawberry Scented Anger

I don't know what the kid was thinking. I mean, what went through his head to make him say, "Hey, this could be a good idea..."?


This morning we set off on a dinosaur hunting adventure. I whipped together a picnic lunch, we fed the kids a quick breakfast, and our family packed into the mini van. In air-conditioned comfort we cruised down the highway. After a couple of hours we arrived at our destination: the dinosaur museum.

Life doesn't get much more exciting for a three-year-old boy.

The museum was packed with tourists. We raced through the exhibits. My husband and I enjoyed seeing the dinosaurs from a preschooler perspective. By three in the afternoon our crew was wearing out, and it was time to head for home.

We stopped at a MacDonald's in Drumheller for a treat. The boys had been well-behaved at the museum. We bought them milkshakes to enjoy on the drive back to Calgary. My toddler and I shared a vanilla shake, passing it back and forth between us. I handed my preschooler his own strawberry milkshake. He was allowed to drink it in his car seat in the back of the van.

(Parenting Lesson #1: Under no circumstances should you trust an unsupervised three-year-old with an entire strawberry milkshake. This is especially true if said three-year-old has not had his customary afternoon nap.)

We drove for nearly an hour, passing countless farmers' fields and the occasional Hutterite Colony. Our toddler entertained us with silly knock-knock jokes. The baby slept peacefully in her car seat.

Our preschooler was unusually quiet.

(Parenting Lesson #2: Quiet children are either asleep or getting into trouble.)

I loosened my seat belt and turned around, craning my neck to see the back of the van. I caught a whiff of strawberries.

I couldn't believe my eyes.

My son had dumped out the entire contents of his milkshake and was "painting" the back seat with it. Sticky pink droplets covered our vehicle's floor and upholstery. Disgusting goo was smeared across the window. Strawberry milkshake coated my son, his clothes, his suede car seat, and even his special "nank" blankie.

"You need to pull over..." I stammered at my husband.

(Parenting Lesson #3: Never leave home without a good supply of diaper wipes.)

We did the best clean-up job possible under the circumstances. My husband hurled the empty MacDonald's cup into a farmer's field. My sticky son endured the rest of the drive home with a sore bum.

(Parenting Lesson #4: The punishment must fit the crime.)

My young boy is now spending the first night of his life sleeping without his precious "nank". The blankie was a mess. It is sloshing around in my washing machine. I spent an hour crammed into the back seat of our van, scrubbing away crusty globs of milkshake.

Fun way to spend Saturday night.

I could just spit nails.

It will be a loooong time before I buy my son another milkshake.

Friday, July 21, 2006

My Silly Obsession

I've said it before, and it will forever be true --- I'm a neat freak.

In conversation a while back, my aunt dredged up a story about when I was a toddler. Apparently, I couldn't stand the sight of a messy pile of shoes at the door. I carefully arranged the shoes into orderly rows.

I now have a nice little shoe rack at my front door.

I am a firm believer in the old adage: "a place for everything and everything in its place". It simply makes sense! Clutter leaves me feeling stressed. If my surroundings are orderly I feel more peaceful and in control.

However, chaos often reigns in a house full of preschoolers --- and I hope to be a mom of many little ones. I think God is using my children to teach me to relax and prioritize.

Yes, God is a God of order. I believe He expects us to be good stewards of our possessions and to exercise discipline. At the same time, He wants our lives to be balanced. It is right and good for me to diligently perform my household chores. However, the world will not end if my spice rack isn't alphabetically organized.

I recently read the following quote in a La Leche League manual: "People come before things". There is nothing wrong with categorically organizing my sons' toys in nifty plastic bins. But a problem arises if I never take the time to play with my children and their toys. Spending time with my family and friends is far more important than having a perfectly clutter-free house.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


It's a feeling I can't quite define yet. It started shortly after our daughter was born last month.

The feeling strikes when we are driving in our van and I catch a glimpse of the backseat full of car seats. Or when I'm making supper and I see my husband lying on the couch, three little people sprawled across his body, snuggling. I often feel it in the wee hours of the night when I silently tip-toe into my babies' rooms just to watch them sleep.

It's a feeling of contentment, pleasure, of fullness. It is not unlike a sense of comfortable satisfaction after enjoying a wonderful meal. My life seems to glow.

My heart is filled with optimism, and also a gentle longing. Our family is full, but I feel it is not yet complete. Our baby girl is only a month old, but I sometimes already find myself dreaming about our next little one. Lord willing, I could fill our house full of children.

I am also full of gratitude --- thankfulness that God would bless me exceedingly and abundantly more than I could ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20). I can hardly believe that the Lord would allow me to live this dream life with my very best friend, Ben.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A Pretty Girl

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Frame of Reference

I went into my doctor's office today to receive some blood test results. Nothing serious, not to worry. My iron levels have just gotten low and I'm anemic. My doctor prescribed some iron supplements, and in a couple weeks I should be doing great.

Here's the interesting thing --- according to my doctor and to the numbers on the blood test I should be feeling exhausted. But I don't. I'm tired at times, yes. Now that I'm mostly over the horrible cold, though, I feel pretty normal.

So I'm left wondering .... am exhausted but I just don't know it? Am I in denial?

Over the past few months I have dramatically altered my daily routines and activities to cope with the challenges of late pregnancy and life with a newborn. Most days I stay close to home with the children. I take a nap every afternoon. When I'm feeling tired I spend the morning on the couch, snuggling Baby and reading books to the boys. Every day is pretty much like the next in the Inkster home.

So, am I just doing a great job of conserving my energy? Or are my daily tasks and routines so entrenched that I don't notice when I am tired? Have I become used to running on half a tank, and as a result my definition of "exhausted" has changed?

I guess I'll find out once the iron pills start doing their job. Who knows, maybe I'll gain boundless new stores of energy --- the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound and all that. Hey, I'd settle for the ability to chase after an active toddler.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Universal Language

Two little boys sit facing one another in a red Radio Flyer wagon. A baby girl snuggles contentedly in a carrier against her mother's chest. Dad leads the way, pulling the red wagon behind him. Mom walks beside Dad, enjoying the cool evening breeze and quiet conversation.

The young family strolls through their neighbourhood. They stop to check the mail and to pet a frisky puppy. They pass several other families out for walks, and exchange brief hellos.

A block or so away from home the family is approached by an elderly Chinese couple. The old man and woman walk slowly, with their backs curved and eyes pointed to the ground. They glance up and spot the little boys riding in the wagon. They smile. The old woman sees the sleeping baby and her eyes light up.

The Chinese couple do not speak a word of English, but there is no mistaking their intention as they approach the young family. The Chinese man shakes the young father's hand and pats him on the back. The old man holds up three fingers. He gives the young dad a look that clearly says, "Good for you! ". The old woman gently touches the baby, making soft cooing noises over her.

It is a rare and precious encounter.

In a world where people seldom make an effort to connect, it is refreshing to see that friendly strangers still exist. A family can still enjoy an evening stroll together. And language is no barrier when it comes to expressing genuine care and a love of children.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Juicy Fruit

The summer season is wonderful, and oh so short. I can hardly believe July is already half over.

One of the very best things about summer is the abundance of ripe, delicious fruit. Apricots, nectarines, plums and peaches, strawberries, blueberries, cherries and watermelon. Mmmm. My mouth waters just considering the possibilities.

Yesterday we went grocery shopping and came home with tons of tasty fruit. For lunch our family polished off a bag of cherries. At snack time we consumed an entire tray of strawberries. And at supper we ate a quarter of a watermelon for dessert. Every bite was sweet and juicy --- all the best fruit of the season.

Sometimes I wish summer could last forever. Our warm season is too short in this part of the world. Maybe this is the year I will ask one of my girl friends to teach me to make jam. Then my family can enjoy a taste of summer all year long.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


I am slowly starting to feel like my old self. My energy and strength are returning after the birth. This week was rough, as I am still fighting a stubborn cold, but overall I am feeling healthy and strong.

How do I know that I'm getting back to normal? I am able to keep up with most of my housework now. The thought of grocery shopping doesn't leave me breathless. I am again interested in cooking for my family. Most nights I can keep my eyes open past 9:30pm. And I'm looking forward to going back to the gym in a couple of weeks.

I feel like I am slowly coming out of the "newborn fog" season.

My little girl is a wonderful baby --- easy going and mostly content. She sleeps for four or five hours in a row now, and most nights only wakes twice to feed. She also has a long afternoon sleep that coincides with the boys' naps. Hallelujah! I have not been forced to relinquish my own afternoon nap yet.

Being a mother of three small children is tiring, but not as exhausting as I had feared. I am looking forward to feeling 100% again --- to getting into the "new normal" routine for our family.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Stampede 2006

Yesterday we braved the Stampede grounds ... with three children under the age of four in tow. We dubbed our excursion "The Calgary Stampede: Highlights Edition".

Strategy is essential when you experience "The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth" with a bunch of preschoolers! Before our family left the house in the morning we decided on our essential stops. Our abbreviated visit to the Stampede included the following: corn dogs, mini donuts, Superdogs, the Stampede Marketplace, and one ride at the kiddie midway. We were in and out before the crowds became overwhelming in the afternoon.

We also set a budget. The Stampede grounds are a tempting money pit, if ever there was one. Our Stampede spending plan has always been to withdraw cash before we go to the park. When the cash runs out, we know it is time to head home. This year we left the Stampede with money still in our pockets. First time that has happened!

Our boys loved their trip to the Stampede. I'd wager they would choose the Superdogs show as their favourite part. (Sugary mini donuts would come in a close second, though.) Baby Girl slept through most of her first Stampede adventure. However, she herself turned out to be quite an attraction. All morning long, strangers cooed over her and admired her adorable summer dress.

I look forward to Stampede week all year. At the same time, I am glad we only visit the grounds once each season. Today I am exhausted!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Stampede Pictures

A Stampede staple --- the corn dog.

A serious corn dog connoisseur.

Lovin' those little donuts.

Baby's opinion of her first Stampede.

Stampede momma.

More Stampede Pictures ...

The boys "take flight" in a military helicopter. Very cool!

Mommy and her boy pose in front of a Canadian Forces light armoured vehicle.

"Stampede is exhausting!"

Big Brother "sleeps" in his car seat.

Baby Girl is tuckered out too.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Stampede Stompin'

Here's a video of my three-year-old bustin' a move at today's Stampede lunch.

Nothing says "Stampede" like hot dogs and beans...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Apple Joke

Here is a clip of my little guy's famous apple joke. Enjoy!

Growing Fast

Our baby girl is four weeks old today. She now weighs in at a whopping 10lbs. 5oz.! (Did I mention she likes to eat?)

Monday, July 10, 2006

DVD Review:
Voyage to the Planets and Beyond

Yes, I will admit it. It is inevitable. My husband and I are geeks at heart, and we can't help but raise geeky children.

Last week I took my kids to the library. As we browsed through the DVD section my preschooler found a video with an astronaut on the cover. He begged to take the DVD home. I quickly scanned the back of the video, saw that it was a BBC production for the Discovery Channel, and thought that it might be an interesting show. I gave my son permission to borrow the DVD with the stipulation that I had to watch it first (to see if it was appropriate).

A few nights later, Ben and I popped the DVD into our computer and settled in to our couch cushions. We were in for a pleasant surprise! Voyage to the Planets and Beyond is an excellent video.

The story is set in the near-future and the plot is believable and realistic. The characters come across as genuine. I thought the computer graphics were quite good. The show plays in two episodes and runs for approximately two hours in total.

The DVD jacket provides the follow description:

Five astronauts embark on an extraordinary and awe-inspiring journey. Their mission: to land on and explore the most extreme worlds that orbit the sun. As nerve-wracking drama gives way to incredible spectacle, they are taken to their physical and psychological limits in an astonishing voyage of discovery.

Voyage to the Planets will especially appeal to fans of Star Trek and other science fiction shows. It also reminded me of the movie Apollo 13. I found the voyage so enjoyable, I would like to watch the DVD again to catch the details I missed the first time through.

I am thankful that my space-loving son spotted this DVD at the library. However, some of the action depicted in Voyage to the Planets is not appropriate for small children.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Pancake-Powered Preschoolers

Stampede week is great. What other time can you eat pancakes and sausages for free every day for ten days straight? Ya hoo!

This morning our church hosted its annual Stampede breakfast. This was no simple pancake flippin' affair. No, it was an event. Live band, face painting, bouncy houses, ambulance and police car tours, a petting zoo, and all the sticky pancakes you could eat.

Preschooler paradise.

Here's the thing ... perhaps syrupy pancakes, +25C weather and five bouncy houses was not the best combination.

Suffice it to say, nap time could not come soon enough for the young Inkster clan this afternoon.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Car Trouble

This evening at supper time Ben and I were on the road. We had a load of pizzas in the car and were on our way to my parents' for a feast. Not far from our destination we came upon the scene of an accident.

Three cars were involved in the fender bender. A couple of police cruisers were at the scene. No one appeared to be hurt, but each of the cars were dented and damaged.

As Ben an I turned through the intersection, I caught a look at the mangled side of one of the vehicles.

It was a courtesy car from a local auto body shop.

You know you are a bad driver when ...

Friday, July 07, 2006

Difficult Days

This afternoon I lay in bed staring at the ceiling. I groaned. My brain felt like it was draining through my sinuses, I coughed and nearly hacked up a lung, and my throat was on fire. My newborn baby daughter lay beside me, her own nose snuffly and congested.

What a rotten day.

A splitting headache prevented me from taking a nap, so I rolled over and retrieved my Bible from the nightstand. I read the following verse:

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life --- your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life --- and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him ...
Romans 12:1 (The Message paraphrase)

I like reading The Message because it makes the Bible easier to put into context. This verse stayed with me as I shuffled through the rest of my day --- wiping runny noses, fixing snacks, changing diapers, picking up toys. When all I wanted to do was give up and crawl back into bed, I placed one foot in front of the other and offered my day as a sacrifice to God.

My life as a stay-at-home mom is not all daisies and roses, play dates and trips to the park. Some days are very difficult. But I choose to embrace my three young blessings, my caring husband, and my life at home. I place it before God as an offering --- a service of love.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

"Boy Make-Up"?

My three-year-old son is quite fascinated by make-up. He's not into the "girly" type of face paint. No, he has decided that he wears "boy make-up".

Here is an excerpt of a conversation I had with my little man this afternoon:

Mommy: Come on guys. We're going shopping. Get ready to go.

Son: In a minute, Mommy. I just have to pluck my eyebrows.

Mommy: Ummmm ... excuse me?

Son: I just have to pluck my eyebrows ... with these pliers.

Not only that, when he had finished "plucking" his eyebrows with the toy pliers, my preschooler happily "plucked" his 20-month-old brother's eyebrows as well.

I must say, my boys look very handsome now.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Revenge of the Dust Bunnies

You know it is time to clean the house when:

1. The toilet has strange black spots growing in the bowl.

2. There are clearly discernible grungy footprints on the floor of the shower.

3. Your toddler finds a large dust bunny on the kitchen floor, mistakes it for a dandelion, and attempts to blow the fluff off of it.

(I cleaned the whole house today. I am exhausted, but victorious.)

Monday, July 03, 2006

To Be a Friend

A few years ago I went through a lonely time in my life. Ben and I had been married for a couple of years. We were involved in a church that sucked too much time and energy from our lives. I was finishing my BFA degree and working on my B.Ed. Our finances were tight. In short, I was tired and burned out.

I longed for a true friend --- a woman who shared my values and some of my interests. I was "friendly" with many people, but I didn't have any close girl friends. My husband is, and always will be, my best friend. However, I also longed for healthy Christian female companionship.

I often prayed that God would send me a "perfect friend" --- someone who could share my struggles, who would call me up on the phone, who would think I was pretty cool to hang around with. I wanted a friend who would accept me as I was, blemishes and all.

I prayed for a year and nothing happened. If anything, life seemed harder and I became more lonely.

Then I came to a major realization: I needed to become the kind of friend I was looking for.

I think God was trying to teach me a difficult lesson. He was not going to magically drop a "perfect friend" into my life, but He had placed several women across my path that I could be a good friend to. I could be the person to share their struggles, I could call them up on the phone, I could show them that I thought they were pretty cool to hang around with. God was teaching me to be less self-centred.

The interesting thing is, as I started to work on being a good friend, God began to bring caring girl friends into my own life. Ben and I moved to a new church and I met several wonderful Christian women with children the same ages as my own. I also met a very special "online pen pal" from South Africa.

I've come to realize that I have much to learn about friendship. Because I am fairly shy and introverted, reaching out to others does not come naturally to me. I have to work up my nerve every time I pick up the phone or start up a conversation. God knows this is a weak area for me.

Therefore, I am thankful every day that God is patient as I learn to care for my friends. I now know the "perfect friend" does not exist, but I thank God that He has chosen to bless me with some very good ones.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

"I know where the dust bunnies live ... "

The state of my house is starting to bother me. Normally, I am a very picky housekeeper. I like my surroundings to be clean and orderly. At times I have been accused of being a "clean freak" (by certain husbands who shall remain nameless...).

My usual routine, for times when I don't have a newborn baby, is to do "zone cleaning". I generally don't clean the entire house in one day. Instead, I'll clean all the bedrooms one day, do the bathrooms the next, dust and vacuum the main level on a third day, and so on. I find this method breaks my housekeeping chores into manageable chunks, and the entire house stays reasonably tidy throughout the week.

However, my current housekeeping strategy could best be labelled "survival mode". Certain chores I try to do every day --- washing the dishes, picking up toys, laundry. Everything else has sort of fallen by the wayside.

Tomorrow I am hoping to take action. The dust on my poor piano is so thick my boys have been amusing themselves by "finger painting" with it. I am hoping to clean my entire main level in the morning --- dust, vacuum, clean the powder room, and scrub the stone floor.

Am I being too ambitious? Probably. But I can always pray that Baby takes an extra long nap tomorrow!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Joke

My toddler is 20 months old today. He has a sunny, fun-loving personality. When he gets a little older I have no doubt my boy will be a chatterbox and a clown. In fact, he already is working on his first joke:

Toddler: Knock, knock.

Mommy: Who's there?

Toddler: Apple.

Mommy: Apple who?

Toddler: Knock, knock.

Mommy: Who's there?

Toddler: Apple.

Mommy: Apple who?

Toddler: Knock, knock.

And on, and on, and on ....

I believe my son is still working on the finer points of humour. :-)