January 21, 2014

Arctic blast ahead

As Toronto braces itself for another arctic blast, I find myself reminiscing of warmer times.  John Steinbeck said, “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”  Well I am decidedly yearning for the sweetness of summer as I experience this bone chilling winter.  So, how this winter is treating you?  Are you enjoying it to its fullest, or are you ready for warmer weather?

Berries in Presquile

Epic mom camping

bee on flower

cannot wait to1

January 20, 2014

Choose to serve…

As a mom, I serve all day, everyday. Many might think there is no choice when it comes to this act of service, but there is. I choose to approach parenting with a joyful heart, not worrying about whether my kids value and appreciate the effort I put into everything I do where they’re involved. Some days this is easier to do than others. What I’ve realized though, is that I do all of these little things in the name of Christ – just like Dr. Martin Luther King encouraged us to do in his sermon adapted from Mark 10 in 1968. I do these little things in hope that all the love notes in lunch boxes, kisses on boo boos, phonics to silly dance moves, toothbrush parties, homemade costumes that fall apart (I sure ain’t no Martha Stewart lol), cookie baking sing alongs, all of the seemingly inconsequential little things I willingly do, are a blessing to my children now, will be a great blessing to my children in the future and I hope that one day, they will choose to serve their families with joy, grace, love and thanksgiving too.

MLK quote

January 13, 2014

Soup’s on

There is nothing like a bowl of hot soup on a cold winter’s day to warm your bones and fill your belly. My family’s favourite soups this winter have been a hearty chicken noodle, a yummy beef barley and a decadent butternut squash curry soup. I love that I got a chance to use my crockpot, dumping in ingredients the night before or the morning of. I love that feeling of walking away from the meal knowing that the hard part is done. I love that feeling of my family walking through the door, stopping, taking an appreciative sniff of the air, the slow smile on their lips and the twinkle that I get in my eye when I tell them, ‘Soup’s on’.

Hearty winter soups

beef barley

butternut squash curry soup

enhanced-buzz-5548-1354225169-0

January 7, 2014

Beauty in a Blackout

Our city’s recent blackout, gave us Torontonians a chance to stop and marvel at the might and wonder of winter. Here are some snapshots of the beauty I found during our blackout.

blue

setting

green

icyblue

ice

sunset

September 4, 2013

1st day of Senior Kindergarten – Oh the places you’ll go!

To my baby girl who is growing up so fast. Happy 1st day of Senior Kindergarten. I hope you have a wonderful time, learn lots, remember to smile – it’s the best way to make friends and don’t ever forget that you are wholly and completely loved by  us.

Epic 1st day of kindergarten

I couldn’t help but add this poem for you. Daddy and I have read it to you since before you were born. In addition to the poem, take these thoughts with you and hold them close to your heart as you enter this new phase.  ‘You are a wonderful little girl – God truly blessed us when he gifted us with you.  Be yourself.  You can always talk to us about anything.  We believe in you.  You are not alone.  You are going to do great!  We love you!!!’

Brie collage1

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
by Dr. Seuss

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.

It’s opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.

OH!
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…

…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

NO!
That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. there are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t.
Because, sometimes, they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
and I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So…
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!