Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Taking account......

This morning I was browsing through my face book page, as I do most mornings while I am drinking my tea, when I stumbled upon a website by a young woman in Hait(website: http://mafkrul.blogspot.com/). I read her blog for about 20 minutes and then went to my kitchen to make some breakfast - instantly thankful for my stuffed fridge, clean floors and sturdy roof. I love how my daughter can ask for more when she is hungry, rather than having to wait another day to get her next meal. I couldn't imagine not having food to feed my child and yet that is common occurrence in Haiti for many families. In our cozy Western world we are our rounded prosperity, a surplus of food,huge homes, multiple bathrooms, air conditioned grocery stores filled to the brim with food. (Trust me, grocery stores are VERY hard to find in third world countries) Nathaniel and I can attest to that. Usually you find markets that look like this:

These are what some of the tent cities look like in Haiti right now while we complain that our children don't have their own rooms or that our car isn't new enough. Seriously, sometimes I think we need a reality check!

Even now I am struggling with the decision to buy a better, newer camera even though my current one works fine. With the money that it would cost to buy the camera I want (a Nikon D90 digital SLR with a fancy lens) I could probably finance the construction of at least one home for a Haitian family. It is uncomfortable to think about my frivolous purchases in light of such information. Dah!

Check out this website by my friend Shelly and her family. This is a photo of them with their adopted children.

She is helping women use their creativity to support their families. She has taught them how to made necklaces from paper, cereal boxes and beads. The results are beautiful:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

If I was ever to........

home school.... this would certainly be an inspiring classroom to teach in. Honestly though, I don't think I am cut out for being a homeschooling mother. More on that in a minute. Firstly, check out these photos a home a home school classroom by the pioneer woman. Here is the link to her site:


I find these pictures incredibly inspiring. I mean, who wouldn't want to learn in this room. Over the years my views on homeschooling have changed. I was home schooled for a number of years, and it wasn't a horrible experience but it wasn't terribly memorable one either. I went to public school for kindergarten (which I remember fondly) and spent grades 1 through 6 either home schooled or in a small one room school our church ran in their basement When I think back about my time at home I remember my mother crying in frustration, having a lot of time to play outside, wistfully watching other children walk to school with their backpacks, helping cut firewood in the afternoons and hating math. I returned to the public school system in grade 7 and flourished there. I loved competing with my classmates, having projects, recess, art, gym, social studies. I loved all of it. Although I was only in grade 7 I remember that some of my classmates had already started using drugs and that a girlfriend of of my mine had started having sex with her much older boyfriend, but these things helped me grow in my faith and have more conviction in the things that I had been taught at home. Throughout high school and University I found that I grew the most when faced with adversity and secular thought. That being said, I don't think that exposure to worldly ways always has that effect of impressionable children and teens, but I do think that parents need to remember that they can't always protect their children and that some day their children are going to have to learn to make good choices... ie "when the rubber hits the road".

My parents were extremely protective and sheltered us from many things.
To list a few....

1) Secular music.... especially music with a syncopated rhythm (we all laugh about it now). I am fairly useless where classics are concerned and people are still shocked that I have never heard of certain movies or artists.

2) Television and commercials: (I didn't see a color TV until I was at least 7 or 8 and once we got a TV my dad ALWAYS muted the commercials. I actually still do this today (my husband hates it. he actually sits in front of the computer and watches funny commercials on YouTube.

3) Home schooled us: My parents didn't want us to have a secular education and because we lived in a small remote community, Christian school was not an option for us.

4) Being around drinking: my parents NEVER drank alcohol or spent time around people that drank. As a teenager I was almost always frozen in fear around a group of friends were drinking. I wanted to shrivel and die because I didn't know what to do with myself.

I think the biggest problem with these things is that it makes people unable to interact with the "real world. I know this from experience.I think that instead of creating a "bubble", it is important to talk to children about the things they see and hear, rather than avoid having to deal with "it".

I have to admit, I REALLY admire mothers who home school, although I don't think that ALL mothers are cut out for it. I don't think children school be home schooled to protect them from the "world". I think children SHOULD be home schooled if their parents feel that they can give their child a better education than the mainstream schools and if they think their child will do better in a one on one learning environment. In recent years I have met a lot of families that home school (for the right reasons) and their children are INCREDIBLE. Their mothers are attentive to their academic abilities and interests and have made it possible for them to skip grades study the things they are passionate about. That being said, I have also had many friends that have survived the public school system and are God fearing, intelligent people with strong convictions and faith.

What are your thoughts on home schooling?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

yummy, pretty things.....

I made the most delicious pecan raspberry muffins yesterday afternoon. I included the recipe below in case you may to make them yourself. The only part I skipped was the lemon glaze.


1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. milk
1 c. fresh or frozen raspberries (thaw if frozen)
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1/2 c. pecans, finely chopped
1/2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
2 tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the egg, 1/2 cup melted butter, and milk. Stir just until all ingredients are combined. Gently stir in the raspberries and 1 teaspoon lemon peel. Fill each cup of a 12-cup paper-lined muffin tin 3/4 full with batter. Combine pecans, brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon lemon peel. Add 2 tablespoons melted butter and stir until combined. Sprinkle over top of each muffin. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden. Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice. Stir until smooth. Drizzle glaze over warm muffins.

I also finally got to make the little mini book I have been daydreaming about for awhile.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Today I was scrolling through my face book home page, as I do most mornings, and was shocked when I came across this saying on some one's status: "there is probably no god. so stop worrying and enjoy your life". This person had posted pictures from the pride parade in Vancouver and many of the people in the photos were carrying signs that said similar sentiments. Some of the posters said Humanism. In case you are not familiar with this word it means:

humanism [ˈhjuːməˌnɪzəm]

1. (Philosophy) the denial of any power or moral value superior to that of humanity; the rejection of religion in favour of a belief in the advancement of humanity by its own efforts
2. (Philosophy) a philosophical position that stresses the autonomy of human reason in contradistinction to the authority of the Church

It breaks my heart that people want nothing to do with God and feel that his exsistance could/is a damper on their lives. When God lovingly created us he did give us choice - the choice to choose to live our lives for ourselves or for him. He didn't want robotic followers, he wanted us to choose him because we love him and recognize that our lives are better with him in it.

The ironic thing is that people think that choosing God is choosing bondage when in truth choosing to serve your self is ultimate bondage and generally results in self detruction. I am no proponet of self flageration or lifelessnness - Christ came to give us life and life abundatntly.

The life I live is a life of joy, peace, and hope. There are thigs I choose to not partake in, not because I can't but becasue I know that they would ultimatly destroy me.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Loving my cruiser......

I recently purchased this sweet ride from a girlfriend who no longer had room for it. I have always wanted a cruiser, especially one with a basket. One day I envision myself biking to a market and returning home with a baguette and a bouquet of peonies. *bliss* For the time being I will be haapy pulling my Amelia Bedilia in her chariot while she serenads me with her mooing. Cows are her new favorite animal.

Amelia loves my shoes and always has a big grin on her face when she is clomping around the house in them.

Just a little bit more silliness :0)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Promises of things to come.......

There is something about a garden that invokes anticipation and excitement. I remember how thrilled I was when I saw our first few seedlings push through the soft earth and stretch toward the light. It is interesting that in order for a seed to germinate, it has to first die. This evening, I was delighted to discover hundreds of tiny promises of things to come on my tomato plants. Within another month or so I will be feasting on cherry tomatoes (LOVE LOVE LOVE cherry tomatoes). There was a time when we didn't think our tomato plants would survive and now they are bursting with life.

In some ways, I am feeling a little like a seed these days. Motherhood is teaching me..... or rather forcing me to die to myself on a regular basis. Nearly every hour I have to give up something I would rather do, to help my child grow. The past few weeks have been particularly challenging. My dear sweet Amelia has decided to start waking up throughout the night again and it has left me feeling wasted. I tried to take a little nap on the couch only to be rudely awakened when a jar of spaghetti sauce was dropped on my head. I laugh about it now, but at the moment I felt furious! Fortunately I was able to catch up on my sleep a little later when I put her down for her afternoon nap. Two and half hours later(Hurray for long naps) I woke up a new woman! I opened the curtains and felt the sun on my face. All was well in the world again.

Sometimes, when I am in the midst of something, say sleep deprivation or dealing with a whinny toddler, it feels like my world is mired in misery, but I often forget that those moments don't last forever and each day is filled with tiny promises of things to come.

We are still on evacuation notice but I have hope that patches of blue sky mean that we are not under immediate threat of loosing our home and belongings.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Choking smoke....

Today was actually a pretty good day. Amelia slept in and then napped for an hour and 15 minutes this afternoon before we went to Big creek (a community 40 minutes from Alexis creek via a dusty, washboard road). We HAD to get out of the house today or we were both going to go stir crazy! The smoke from the forest fires is starting to become unbearable and a bit depressing. What is difficult to accept is that above all that thick chocking smoke are sunny blue skies. My husband has been working a lot of extra hours as he has been evacuating communities and closing down roads - not to mention dealing with a massive accident that landed five people in the hospital. All in a day's work. Makes my job feel a lot easier. Nevertheless, I miss him....... This evening I was feeling sorry for myself so I sat in front on the computer with a chunk of chocolate cake as my solace. Bad idea - I can already feel my insides rejecting the overload of sugar.