Thursday, November 30, 2006

Christmas Cookie Countdown

I love baking Christmas cookies. A couple weeks ago the boys and I surfed the Calgary Public Library website and we placed holds on all the cookbooks with yummy-looking cookies on their covers. One of the best books I found is titled FamilyFun's Cookies for Christmas. Between its pages I discovered a great kids' craft idea --- an advent calender made of cookies!

Over the past couple of days my boys and I made our own Christmas cookie calendar. We rolled dough, cut out stars, baked, and liberally decorated our cookies with colourful candies. I wrapped the star cookies in plastic and tied them with ribbons. We've displayed the cookies in tidy rows on a bulletin board.

My boys are very excited by the prospect of eating one cookie every day until Christmas. (I am slightly less excited about the potential sugar crashes, but it's the Christmas season so I'm willing to bend ;-).

As we decorated our cookies yesterday, I had the following conversation with my nearly-four-year-old son:

"Our advent calendar will help us count down the days until Jesus' birthday," I explained, "We will eat one cookie every day. When all the cookies are gone we know it is time for Christmas to come!"

My son's face fell and his bottom lip began to quiver. I was momentarily confused by his reaction. "But Mommy," he cried, "It won't be time for Christmas ... It will be time to make more cookies!"

Here is a copy of the recipe I used to make our advent cookie calendar. This dough is wonderful to work with. Enjoy!

Best Ever Sugar Cookies

3 1/2 C. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. unsalted butter, softened
2/3 C. sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the flour and salt. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar, stir in the egg, then the corn syrup and vanilla extract. One third at a time, add the flour mixture until thoroughly mixed. Pat the dough into two disks, wrap them in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, or until firm enough to roll. If the dough is too firm, soften at room temperature for about 5 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness between two pieces of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Remove the top sheet of waxed paper and cut out the cookies with cookie cutters. Using a spatula, transfer the shapes to an ungreased baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between the cookies. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cookies start to brown lightly around the edges.

Set the baking sheet on a wire rack and cool for about 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to racks to cool completely. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month and for up to 3 days at room temperature before you frost them. Makes 12 to 50 cookies, depending on their size.
Hungry Man

"Would you like some more orange juice?" I asked my preschooler this morning.

"Sure!" he said.

"You've gotta wash down all those eggs you ate," I commented.

"Yup," he replied.

My son smiled, "I've got to wash them right down ... into my leg!"

(My son is tall, thin and hungry all the time. We often tease him about his "hollow leg".)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Continuing Saga ...

Our kiddies are all still sick. :-(

I took my two-year-old to the walk-in clinic last night. The doctor looked in my little guy's ears and winced. He had a bad infection in each one. The banana medicine seems to be working today, though. He has been more lively and happy. Hopefully. my little sunshine will be back to normal tomorrow.

My preschooler started out happy in the morning, but he got progressively grumpier as the day progressed. He needed a nap! He had a wicked cough this evening.

Baby Girl is doing pretty well. She still has a runny nose and cough, but she's perky and cute. She was very smiley and snuggly today.

The kids and I usually volunteer at preschool drop-in gym at the YMCA on Wednesdays. We skipped out today. We missed last week as well, and I am starting to feel a bit out of the loop. I sure hope everyone is healthy by this time next week!

At least tomorrow the cold snap will end. The temperature might even go above zero. It would love to take the kids outside.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Update On the Sickies

Our family has been battling a pesky virus for eight days now. I am feeling much better after my painful bout of mouth sores. Unfortunately, all three of our kids are still sick with wicked colds.

Our preschooler is the healthiest of the bunch. He has a runny nose and "barky" cough, but is basically fine. He's been running through the house and building spaceships all day. Nothing unusual there!

Baby Girl has been sick for a whole week already. She also has a runny nose and stubborn cough. She has not been running a fever, and is sleeping and eating normally. She continues to be smiley and happy through it all.

Our two-year-old seems to have a weaker immune system than his siblings. He always seems to get the worst of the germs in our family. He's got a horrible cold, his face is pale, he's coughing, and he's had a fever the past couple of days. He is not sleeping well at night. Last night he threw up in his bed twice, poor guy. Our little toddler is usually a bright and sunny boy, and he's trying so hard to have a good attitude. He will be singing and dancing one minute, and then start crying and need "suggles" the next.

I've been reluctant to take our two-year-old to the doctor. I don't like to give my kids unnecessary antibiotics. However, I think my little guy might be fighting a secondary infection because he's developed a fever and is uncharacteristically listless. I think it's time to have him checked out.

All in all, this has been a difficult week. We've been housebound by germs and frigid weather. Ben and I are getting sleep deprived. I'm ready for some sunshine in my life, Lord!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Winter Getaway

It is -30C outside tonight. Tahiti sounds nice right about now...

Sunday, November 26, 2006


I had a revelation, of sorts, this afternoon. It happened as I sat on my son's bed, reading Curious George and the Puppies aloud to my two-year-old.

I realized that George has no tail.

Curious George is always described as a "very curious little monkey". If George is sans tail, he cannot be a monkey. Technically, he must be classified as an ape. Curious George is probably a young chimpanzee.

A profound thought for a frosty Sunday night ...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Why We Don't Own a TV

I am glad our family doesn't have a TV. We have two computers and a WiFi network instead. Our kids watch their fair share of DVDs, but we have never owned a television.

Today I realized one big bonus of not owning a TV: Our kids do not watch commercials. We stay out of the malls at this time of year, and our children are quite sheltered from Christmas consumer panic. They don't have a clue about which toys are "cool". I don't think they realize that Christmas could involve getting lots of expensive presents.

My's son's innocence was reinforced today when someone asked what he would like to receive for Christmas.

"I'd like this game," he said, "You know what it is? It's called trekkers."

"Trekkers? I don't think I've heard of that game."

"Oh, " my three-year-old explained, "It's a game you play with black circles and red circles, and they jump over each other."

"You mean checkers?"

"Yeah! That's what I want for Christmas."

Ben and I had decided to start a tradition at Christmas this year. We want to buy one new board game as a group gift for our family each year. For this Christmas I bought a nice set of dominoes. I love classic games that have stood the test of time.

If my little boy would like a set of checkers too, I think I might have to make another trip to the store. :-)

Friday, November 24, 2006

DVD Review:

Over the Hedge

Looking for an entertaining, family-focused show? Need a good belly laugh? Into lovable, fuzzy, cute and cuddly critters? You might enjoy Over the Hedge as much as I did.

I'll admit, I've become a bit jaded towards Dreamworks' films. Shrek was hilarious, but the humour was too rude for my impressionable little guys. I thought Shark Tale was too adult, and some scenes in Madagascar were too intense.

I believe Over the Hedge strikes the perfect balance between kid-friendly fun and clever humour aimed at adults. The casting is terrific. I especially liked Vern the turtle and Hammy the manic squirrel.

Over the Hedge's story centres around the meaning of family. Courageous critters repeatedly put themselves in danger to rescue other family members. The movie also explores themes of forgiveness, teamwork, leadership and contentment.

I actually viewed this DVD twice in one day, I liked it so much. I watched the movie with my kids in the afternoon, and again in the evening with Ben. I love the way Over the Hedge lampoons our consumeristic suburban lifestyle. R.J. the Racoon's "food" sequence is particularly hilarious.

This film does earn its PG rating, with several scenes of intense (cartoonish) action and a few strong words such as "stupid". It is not suitable for very young children, but my three-year-old loved the show.

With so few good children's movies available, Over the Hedge is a DVD I may consider buying for our own home library.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Last Legs

I thought I might have to plan a funeral this afternoon.

No, no. Not for me! (I'm feeling much better, by the way.) The funeral would be for my computer.

Alas, my trusty little notebook appears to be nearing the end of its life. Ben, geeky hero, has backed up and reinstalled its operating system countless times. He's opened it up, removed faulty RAM, unclogged goobers from the fan, and installed a new OS called Ubuntu.

But the video card on the machine is flaky and one of the hinges is broken. Worst of all, today I received a distressing hard disk error when I tried to boot up.

My little friend is showing it's age. It's almost ready to be put out to pasture is that great, big, grassy technological wasteland known as ... my furnace room. It's a good thing we all aren't forced into retirement at the ripe old age of four. (I know I don't like to spend extended periods of time keeping company with my furnace. I'd rather be working on interesting stuff --- like my blog.)

Which brings me to my next dilemma: I will require a new computer soon. I have my eye on a few models, but I think I might splurge. I'd love to get my hands on an iFruit.

Ben's notebook needs a delicious girlfriend ...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Techno Kid

He is his father's son ...

I'd like to know when my three-year-old learned to drag and drop using the track pad on my notebook. Are all the children of this generation born with innate technical knowledge?

For the past couple of days I have allowed my son to play games on the CBC Kids site. He especially loves "The Art Machine". He probably spent thirty minutes painting rainbow turkeys today. My child is developing computer skills.


Our two-year-old, however, is not so ready to explore the wonders of computer technology.

I left him alone with my notebook for three minutes this afternoon while I changed Baby Girl's diaper. He quietly played downstairs for a short time and then wandered up to find me.

"Mommy, Mommy. I got a button," he called out.

My sweet boy found me in the bedroom. He reached out his chubby, little hand and dropped a small piece of black plastic into my outstretched palm.

It was the letter G.

From my keyboard.

Good thing I've gained a little technical savvy along the way. Long ago I learned to communicate in the language of love --- geek-speak. I choose to own my family's geekiness. (Hey, it's in the genes.)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Woe is Me

I've had a tough go of it the past few days. My body has a weird flu bug or something. I've had a fever for the past three nights and the crazy part is, my mouth is full of sores.

I went to see the doctor this morning. He couldn't pinpoint anything, but at least he doesn't think I'm contagious. He prescribed some medicine for my mouth. Hopefully the sores will start to heal soon.

I've been communicating a lot through gestures today, as it hurts too much to talk or smile. My poor tummy is growling away because it's hard to eat. (Moan, moan, complain, complain.)

It took me a looong time to eat my sandwich for lunch, so I've put on a big pot of soup for supper.

I don't think I'll be up for eating a piano any time soon ;-).

Monday, November 20, 2006

Babies, Babies

Yesterday I hostessed a baby shower for my friend. I must be in the "baby" stage of life --- most of my friends are either pregnant or have young babies. Three cute little babies attended yesterday's party.

Growing up, I was never very interested in babies. I was not much of a "girly" girl. I liked dolls, but my sister and I mostly played Barbies. I did some babysitting as a teenager, but I didn't babysit any small babies. I could count on one hand the number of times I'd held a baby before my own first son was born.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that I love babies. I love being pregnant, giving birth, breastfeeding, snuggling and loving little babies. Of course, I think my own babies are the cutest in the world. I'm happy to cuddle any baby, though.

When my children are older and I am able to work again, I think I'd like to do something with mothers and babies. I'd be interested in teaching childbirth education classes or becoming a lactation consultant. I'm very interested in midwifery, but I know myself too well. I couldn't keep the hours required of a midwife!

My own baby girl is growing by leaps and bounds. She turned five months old last week, and she weighs 16 1/2 lbs. now. I wish I could keep her small forever. This stage of babyhood is my favourite of all. Babies are wonderful. Lord willing, our family will be blessed with at least one or two more.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


I wish Craft magazine had existed when I was in art school. It makes creative crafting hip, cool and modern. These are not your grandma's knitting projects!

Check out the Craftzine blog here.

Last night I accompanied my two-year-old during his swimming lesson. Usually Ben takes the kids in the pool, but I was feeling a bit left out yesterday. I donned my bathing suit and we had great fun dunking and splashing.

The thing is, my eyesight is poor. I am pretty helpless without my glasses. Whenever I swim I am faced with one of two choices:

1. Go without my glasses and use echolocation to feel my way around.

2. Wear my glasses in the water and endure splashes and speckles on my lenses.

Last night I chose to wear my glasses. (It wouldn't be prudent to loose sight of my active toddler in an enormous pool of water!)

When I went to bed late in the evening, I was dismayed to find the arms of my glasses were faded and discoloured. I've worn various styles of funky plastic frames for a few years. Over time, the plastic tends to scratch and fade a bit. Unfortunately, I think the pool chemicals hastened the aging process. My trendy glasses looked gross.

I went to bed feeling disgruntled. My glasses are a necessary wardrobe accessory. I wear them all day, every day.

I woke up this morning with a brilliant plan. My plastic frames looked dry and gray. I decided to try rubbing Blistex lip balm into the plastic. Hey, it moistens my lips. Why not use it on my glasses?

Eureka! Success! My experiment actually worked. My frames look decent once again. Who knew lip balm had so many uses?

Next time I venture into the pool I definitely plan to wear my old, already-worn-out glasses.

Friday, November 17, 2006

What's in a Name?

My husband downloaded a silly song from iTunes this week. It's called Istanbul (Not Constantinople) by the group They Might Be Giants.

The song has a line that goes: "Even Old New York was once New Amsterdam..."

My three-year-old son sang this song to me as he ate his lunch this afternoon. I was impressed that he knew most of the lyrics. I did chuckle, though, when he sang:

"Even Old New York was once New Hamsterland..."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Organic Panic

I made pot roast for supper tonight. When I put the meat in the oven this afternoon, I realized that I had no potatoes for our meal. "No worries," I thought, "My grocery order from Spuds is due to arrive today. Surely it'll be here before supper time."

Five o'clock rolled around. No groceries. I called Ben and asked him to pick up a few potatoes on his way home from work. (His office is only five minutes away.)

At a quarter past six my dear husband came waltzing through the door, potatoes in hand and a sheepish look on his face.

Our groceries finally arrived at seven.


I do like getting our fruits and vegetables delivered by Spuds. Over the past week we have eaten considerably more produce than usual. This can only be a good thing. We've been eating fresh, organic fruits and veggies. Our bodies are loving it!

I see at least two added advantages to buying my groceries through Spuds:

1. I only need to shop at Superstore once every two weeks, rather than every week. This gives me an extra night to work out at the gym (or do other stuff I enjoy).

2. One of my sons has some serious bowel issues. We removed dairy from his diet several months ago. The Spuds website has an entire section devoted to dairy-free products. (We have discovered that almond milk is quite tasty.) With the combination of his dairy-free diet and lots of fresh fruits and veggies, my little guy's bowels are at their best ever!

I just may become an organic-evangelist. (Orvangelist?) Nothing beats fresh and delicious, real food.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Hiding Place

This morning I was in a rush. I planned to take the kids on the bus to preschool gym at the Y.

We left the house in a flurry of coats, toques, mitts, boots, bags and kids ... all crammed into my faithful double stroller. We ran out the door and arrived at the bus stop just in the nick of time. My boys kept up a steady stream of dialogue throughout the entire trip. Who knew taking the bus could be such a fascinating experience?

After a quick dash to the library, a snack for Baby Girl and a trip to the babysitting room, the boys and I finally arrived at the gym doors. We were late. (Story of my life these days.) I volunteer to run preschool gym on Wednesday mornings, so I felt hot and flustered.

"Quick guys!" I said, "Take off your coats and boots so we can go in. We have to hurry!"

I unzipped my two-year-old's coat and tugged at his left boot. The boot was stuck. I gave his foot a good yank. A small, white piece of plastic went sailing through the air. It skidded along the polished tile floor and came to rest in front of the gym doors.

It was a Lego man.

My toddler had kept a Lego storm trooper carefully concealed in the bottom of his boot for the better part of an hour.

You know the lyrics to the old song "these boots were made for walkin'"? I suppose my son had a different purpose for his boots this morning. That little boy didn't do much walkin'. He sat back and enjoyed the scenery from his comfy, cozy stroller seat.

While the Lego man stayed toasty warm in his secret hiding place.

I've Been Chastised

I received a stern lecture from my mother over the phone this evening.

"I was worried about you. Have you been sick?" she asked, "You didn't post anything on your blog yesterday."

"Gee, Mom. Cut me some slack! I only missed one day!"

"Have you decided to cut back on your writing or something, dear?"

No, I still plan to post on my blog at least once a day. I wish I had an imaginative excuse for missing yesterday's post --- something like this:

My kids ate too much blue food colouring yesterday and went berserk, pulled the chandelier off the ceiling, fell and bumped their heads, so we spent seventeen hours in emergency getting their noggins sutured, and Baby Girl received the most stitches of the lot because she's such a little monkey, and we had a rotten night because we didn't get home until after two in the morning ...

Here's the truth: My piano lesson went longer than normal last night I and got home late. I was too tired to boot up my computer before I fell into bed.

I'm sorry my life is not more exciting.

To make up for my lazy blogging habits, I spent a few minutes editing my previous post on Life of Pi. The writing felt too self-important and rough around the edges. I hope the new version sounds a little better.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Book Review:

Life of Pi
Yann Martel

I finished reading Life of Pi this weekend. For several days I have struggled with whether I should post a review on my blog. In good conscience, this is not a book I can freely recommend to Christian readers. At the same time, it is an absolutely brilliant work of fiction and fully deserving of the critical acclaim it has received.

Life of Pi chronicles the journey of a young castaway, Picine Molitor Patel. Pi is marooned in the middle of the Pacific --- stranded on a lifeboat in the company of a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra and a Bengal tiger. Against all odds, Pi survives his ordeal. Though the premise of the book seems completely unbelievable, the story is amazing because of its plausibility. Through intelligent narrative and attentive description Yann Martel skillfully weaves the details of the plot (but not necessarily in sequence).

Life of Pi is constructed of many layers. It is a book that begs to be discussed. This novel is perfect fodder for a book club or university class. I was grateful that Ben finished reading Pi a few days before I did. The book provided fuel for several engaging conversations (and debates) this weekend.

Unfortunately, Yann Martel's masterful story is tainted by several truly gruesome scenes. The first of these disturbing sections occurs about a third of the way into the story, shortly after Pi becomes shipwrecked. I had greatly enjoyed the novel up to this point, but I very nearly put the book away unfinished.
I am not accustomed to exposing myself to such terrible imagery and it was a shock to my system. The most horrific scene comes at the end of the novel.

Savagery is one of the central threads of Pi. Can Pi Patel survive and yet resist becoming a savage? Does Pi retain his humanity? Is he any less an animal than Richard Parker? As much a I hate to admit, Life of Pi would not be as believable without its accounts of extreme depravity. Pi must journey to the outer limits of savagery in order to test his own humanity.

Life of Pi also explores themes of religion and a belief in God. Pi Patel longs for relationship with God, so much so that he resorts to worshiping multiple gods. Christ, Allah, Vishnu ... all are worthy of respect and adoration according to Pi. He hungers for redemption and divine connection. Where my Christian beliefs cause me to fill my spiritual hunger with faith in Christ, Pi turns to multiple religions and expressions of faith. Because he survives his horrific ordeal, it appears that Pi had exceptional divine protection. He believed in many gods and therefore kept all his bases covered. I do not agree with this presumption.

I am glad I read Life of Pi. I do believe that, as a Christian, I should not be afraid to engage popular culture. Pi is a brilliant piece of Canadian fiction, without question. When I choose to read such a book, I pray for discernment and the mind of Christ, guarding my heart and emotions. Life of Pi is not what I would consider "entertainment reading". It is not the type of novel I feel safe escaping into. However, it is an engaging story and worthy of careful thought and discussion.
Lego Kid

My son has been building space ships with Lego all morning. This is nothing unusual --- he loves Lego. He builds things all day long. Do you know what he's working on right now?

An original creation called THE BATTLE SNAIL.

Lego is awesome! It's not hard to guess what our imaginative son will be receiving from Daddy and Mommy this Christmas.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Big Brother

I have uploaded some photos of our oldest son. I can hardly believe he is nearing his fourth birthday. As he often reminds me, our son is becoming a very "big boy"!

Master Yoda displays his great skills of concentration.

The spiky hair dude.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Movie Review:
Flushed Away

This evening my husband and I (attempted) to go out on a date. We made it about halfway through the movie before our babysitter called us home. To be honest, I wasn't terribly disappointed to leave the theatre. Flushed Away was not as good as I had expected. (The theatre manager was also kind enough to refund our tickets, so the night was not a total loss.)

I very much enjoy movies by Aardman Entertainment. I think Wallace and Gromit films are brilliant. The Curse of the Ware-Rabbit was a terrific movie. I enjoy British humour, and appreciate the artistic skill and dedication to detail displayed in Aardman's claymation pictures.

Flushed Away did not meet my expectations. Admittedly, I was not able to view the entire movie, and perhaps this fact coloured my perception of the film. At the same time, I believe Flushed Away had several factors working against it.

Flushed Away was jointly produced by Aardman Entertainment and Dreamworks Studios. I hate to say it, but I think the involvement of an American studio was not beneficial to the project. The humour of the movie held none of Aardman's characteristic British charm. The jokes were often crude and obvious. (Perhaps potty humour is unavoidable in a film titled Flushed Away?).

As well, Flushed Away is a CGI film. I believe Wallace and Gromit movies are appealing because of the human touch evident in claymation productions. The animation in Flushed Away is too polished, too American. Yes, the characters still possess round "Aardman eyes" and wide, expressive mouths. However, they lack the soft touchability of plasticine models. They are artificially generated, and therefore less believable.

All in all, Flushed Away was nothing special. It was not a movie I would like my children to see. I am glad the theatre refunded our money. At least we did not lose $20 in viewing a lack-lustre film.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Mmmmm ... Bacon

"When's Daddy coming home?" my son asked late this afternoon.

"Soon, Buddy," I replied, "He'll be home at supper time."

"What's he doing?" he asked.

"Well, he's working. Daddy's bringing home the bacon," I explained, "That's what Daddies do. They work hard to provide for their families."

"Oh ..." my son said as the light of understanding dawned, "So, are we having eggs for supper too?"

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Going Organic

I think I may have caught "organic fever". It seems that organics and natural products are the latest consumer fad. My local Superstore has even been redesigned to include an entirely new section for organic products.

I've been experimenting a bit over the past few weeks and our family has tried some new foods. Last week I bought organic chocolate animal cookies and shredded wheat cereal. (My boys thought both were very yummy!) I also purchased organic broccoli, grapes and tomatoes from the grocery store.

My greatest foray into the organic jungle arrived on my doorstep this afternoon. I placed an order with (S.P.U.D. stands for Small Potatoes Urban Delivery). I purchased a bin filled with fresh organic fruits and veggies. I also bought some special non-dairy products for my son and a tin of sinfully delicious organic dark hot chocolate. My entire order came to about $50. (Delivery is free on orders over $35).

The prices at are slightly higher than at the grocery store for most things. However, you can't beat the convenience of having groceries delivered right to your door. I also like shopping from the comfort of my living room couch! I plan to give a try for a few weeks. If I can have items like produce and milk delivered to my door, I might reduce my trips to Superstore to once every two or three weeks. I'm likely to save money by staying out of the store! I won't be tempted by impulse purchases.

I also like the idea of buying organic products --- especially fresh produce. I would like our kids to eat wholesome, nutritious, real food. I don't mind paying a bit more for quality, chemical-free produce. Maybe I'm biased, but the organic foods we've tried so far really do taste better!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Mommy and Daddy were feeling silly at the supper table --- lots of teasing, giggling and stolen kisses. Their young sons quietly ate and were entertained by their parents' antics. At one point, Daddy created a shield with his hands and gave Mommy a long kiss.

"Hey you guys!" the three-year-old exclaimed, "I know what you're doing. You're kissin' ... like mammals!"

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Sponge

My three-year-old son has a memory like an elephant. He loves reading books, "hacking" things (i.e. taking things apart to see how they work), and building space ships with Lego. This evening he had quite an extraordinary conversation with my husband ...

Preschooler: Daddy, you know Mars?

Daddy: You mean the planet?

Preschooler: Yes. It's a dead planet, you know.

Daddy: Yes it is. Nothing lives on Mars.

Preschooler: Yeah. And when a planet dies, is explodes into a tiny ball and becomes a dwarf star.

Daddy: Well, no, not exactly. When a star is dying it becomes a dwarf star.

Preschooler: But Daddy, Pluto is a dwarf planet.

Daddy: Oh, yes. That is true.

Preschooler: So, will Mars come back to life again?

Daddy: No, I don't think so.

Preschooler: Well, you know, Jesus came back to life again!

Daddy: Yes, but Jesus is not a planet ...

Monday, November 06, 2006


I enjoy being pregnant. I've been blessed with three normal, easy pregnancies. (I also have three beautiful kids as a result!) One great benefit of being pregnant is that my hair grows strong, healthy and thick. I shed far less hair than usual.

Here's the problem ... a few months after Baby is born my long, lustrous hair starts to fall out. Heaps of it. Great big gobs of it. I find long, brown hairs everywhere --- clinging to my sweater, tangled in my zipper, wrapped around my baby's fingers, on my pillow, in my cereal. I don't even want to talk about my disgusting, hairy bathroom.

Last night my sister helped me give Baby Girl a bath. I stepped into the bathroom and reached for the faucet, intending to start the water. A scummy, cold puddle greeted me from the bottom of the tub. It was the water from my morning shower. The drain was completely clogged.

Ben pried the drain cover off with a screw driver, and I boldly reached inside the hole. My fingers met a slimy, tangled mass. Hair. Long, brown, soapy hair. I pulled more hair out from my drain than Ben has on his entire head. Small wonder the drain was clogged!

This morning I diligently cleaned the upper level of our home. As I vacuumed the hallway carpet I caught a whiff of something burning. It smelled hot, like electrical fire. I vacuumed for a few more seconds before I realized my vacuum was overheating.

I quickly flicked the off switch and pulled the plug from the wall. I flipped the vacuum over and examined its rotating brushes. I wondered if something had become tangled in the mechanism. I was shocked to discover hair --- great, long gobs of the stuff --- tangled all through the vacuum brushes.

At the rate my hair is falling out, I may be bald within a couple more weeks! I don't know if I can handle many more disgusting hair encounters. Oh well ... at least if I am balding, my husband will have some company.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

My Birthday Boy

This evening we celebrated our son's second birthday. We invited about a dozen family members over for a wild party! Our little guy was so excited about the festivities. He danced, played, ate lots of food, and was all-around adorable. I believe his favourite part of the party was blowing out the candles on his Bob the Builder birthday cake!

The birthday boy received an awesome concrete mixer from his godfather.

The boys look handsome in their party hats.

Baby Girl snuggles with her uncle.

Our two-year-old reads a birthday card with Daddy.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Party Pics

It seems this is the weekend for parties. Our family is looking forward to our two-year-old son's birthday party tomorrow. Yesterday we also enjoyed a low-key kiddie party for one of our son's friends. Here are some cute photos from yesterday's birthday bash...

Friday, November 03, 2006


Guess I wasn't paying close enough attention...

As I waxed eloquent and worked on my previous post, my preschool-aged son quietly played with his craft supplies.

"Look Mommy, look!" he exclaimed, "My glue stick sticks to the fridge!"

Sure enough, it did.

"Soul Mates"

I have a decidedly unromantic statement to share: My husband and I are not soul mates. Fate did not decide that we were "meant to be". Our lives were not preordained to intertwine.

Don't get me wrong, Ben and I share a terrific marriage. We love one another fully and plan to stay married for a very long time. ('Til death do us part.) However, we talk about our relationship quite often and have concluded that we would each be equally satisfied being married to other people. Do you know why? It's because we've decided to make love a choice.

If Ben had gone to a different high school, or we had been different ages, or I had not moved to Calgary, chances are Ben and I would have not formed a relationship. We would have met other people, may have married different partners, had children and formed different families. Our lives could have taken divergent paths.

I am truly glad we did meet and were attracted to one another. But do you know what I am even more thankful for? I am grateful that Ben comes from a good family, he serves God, he's loving and caring, he enjoys being with children, and he takes the responsibility of providing for us seriously.

The thing is ... if I had met someone with the same character qualities as Ben, I think I could have been equally happy being married to that man. Why? Because I would choose to love him.

Yes, when Ben and I started dating as teenagers I was totally infatuated with him. We were "madly in love". The sight of him made my heart flip flop and turned my knees to jello. I though he was the cutest boy in the school. (And I know I wasn't the only one!) I could hardly wait to become his wife.

But the rush of first love does fade over time. Daily life begins to take over. A truly strong marriage isn't built upon the foundation of intense emotions. "Falling in love" is fun and pleasurable, but the feelings don't last forever. Hollywood would like us to believe that "love conquers all when two hearts are meant to be joined as one". (But we all know how long Hollywood marriages last...)

Ben and I have a solid, loving marriage because we try to put God first, we have compatible personalities, and we share common values and beliefs. Sure, it doesn't hurt that we are physically attracted to one another. Let's be honest, though --- I weigh twenty pounds more than I did on my wedding day, and Ben has a lot less hair! We choose to love one another despite our shortcomings.

Yes, I believe it was God's will that Ben and I marry. But God's will is not a mysterious thing. I believe the Lord presents us with many choices in life. It's just a matter of following the guidelines He's given us through in the Bible. It could have easily been God's will for me to marry another man instead.

But you know, I'm glad that the man I did marry is named Benjamin Inkster.

... and the sight of him still gives me butterflies in my stomach. :-)

Thursday, November 02, 2006


It took a few hours, but I've finally finished applying category labels to all my archived posts. Hooray! Hopefully, the new labels will make it easier to search through my blog.

I like the labels because now I have a better understanding of where my areas of interest lie. My blog contains lots of posts on homemaking and parenting, but not many regarding travel or media & culture.

I'm completely set up on Bogger Beta now!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Birthday Boy!

Our little guy turned two years old today. He celebrated the day with a trip to the dentist, an extra-long nap in the afternoon, a roast beef dinner, and pumpkin cake complete with birthday candles. (I think the birthday candles were his favourite part of the whole day.) We have invited our extended family over for a big birthday bash on Sunday.

Our little man also enjoyed opening his presents after supper. He received a new outfit (pants and a shirt with trucks on it) and the Curious George DVD. He loves the movie. Ben and the children all snuggled together on the couch and watched part of it tonight. (I really enjoy the music on Curious George.)

I can hardly believe my baby boy is already two years old. Where has the time gone? Before I know it he'll be going off to school!