puzzle pieces

Friday, February 26, 2010


Sometimes things in life look too hard to handle.....

......so step back and look at it from another angle.

I've been trying this out a lot lately.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


"Why can't people hear and interpret words the way I actually mean them?"

The question I sit and think about on this gray morning- and have been thinking of for a while now. It seems as though I have gotten myself into a bit of hot water lately in several issues...all because of words. Whether on paper or hanging out in the air, I am not good with keeping a lid on it!

A few thoughts and questions on words I toss around wildly in my head at times like this, would be as follows:

~Would it be that hard to invent liquid paper for words that are in the air? I mean- it would be incredibly wonderful to quickly erase the words as soon as they came out if they sounded wrong.

~I wish that words sounded the same when I write them down, as they do when I actually voice them.
And even in writing I blunder...sending comments or e-mails, only to cringe every time I realize just what that must have sounded like to the person recieving my words.

~I wish I had more of a positive vocabulary of words than I did negative.

~Why do words carry so much weight?

~Can't there be a way to interpret my words to others so they understood what it was i was REALLY trying to get across? Why can't people hear and interpret words as I actually mean them in my heart?

I sometimes sit and go over and over what I have said, or typed, and I wish there was a net to capture words back .....

Another option would be my son's Nature Journal entry the other day....Filter Feeders in the ocean.
These Barrel Sponges suck in ocean water, filter out debris and tiny animals -which they eat- and then squirt the clean water back out into the ocean.
Without these filters the water would be a filthy mess....probably similar to the ones I get into.

Could I not capture one of these Strawberry Barrel Sponges and tack it on to me in someway? Oh how I wish I could....

Of course, we all know this could be resolved if only I kept my mouth shut.
Or....truly thought about what it was I was going to say or type- work it into a way that could at least come close to how I truly felt- and maybe by THAT time- I wouldn't feel the need to say it at all!

What a concept.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tri-update #2

Well after 21 days, we are still really enjoying our training for the triathalon this spring. And I haven't told the kids yet...but I found another one in May we can do!
(Seeing as we're doing this "training", we may as well use it for more than one race.
It only makes sense!)

Our totals after 21 days:

41 miles of running

2300 metres swimming

105 minutes on the bike

I think that I was expecting to have more resistance to all this excercise than there has been.
So far I've handed out 4 prizes for completion points, and we only have $3 in our non-completion jar. I thought I would have more money in the jar by now to help pay for registration fees. At this rate, I will have to fundraise to pay for all these triathalons:)

Well...I'm off to sign us up for the new race I found.
(No one tell the kids until I've filled out the forms and get them mailed, ok?)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday is Here!

Another week gone...and Friday night is almost here.
I've been looking forward to Friday night since my birthday.
That's when I got 2 tickets to the play Wuthering Heights at a college in the city.
And the show is finally tonight.

I loved reading Wuthering Heights, as I enjoy all "Bronte writings".
There is something magical to me in these books.
They make me wish I lived way back then....AND- they make me wish I could write like that!

Another good part to tonight...is that I get to share the evening with my mom and dad. He got tickets for his birthday too, which is today!

And this leads me to the reason for this post of today.

Dear Dad,
I just wanted to thank you for being the Dad you are.

The dad ....
...who took me fishing when I was little, on the lake in the early morning.
Who taught me what it is to be respectful of others and work hard.
Who makes us all laugh with his sense of humor and goofiness.
Who has been an incredible model to all of us- in the way of loyalty to family and always putting family First.
Who built a real tree house for my kids.
Who teaches my kids art, woodworking, and fly-tieing.
Who is always willing to give up your time for any of us.

You are an amazing father and an incredible Pops.

Have a wonderful Birthday, Dad.
Love ya lots,

Wishing you all a Happy Weekend!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Just for FuN?

What do we think is fun?
Fun may be in the eye of the beholder...or rather in the individual partaker.

Aren't personalities interesting?
What is fun to one may be a drudgery to others....

I love PIT! But....I know people who would never want play.

Some may think it fun to talk on a banana....others would just want to eat it.

I have to admit I love dancing to this music....
but don't really enjoy sitting thru the entire duration of the movie.

Do most people love parties?

Some like drinking the soda....others have fun using the bottle caps.

Science Projects....me- no thank you.
My 10 year old.... everyday.

To canoe or not to canoe.
Some just like the pictures.

Interesting poster art.

Do not know if he was considering this "fun".
But he did peel a lot of potatoes for this meal...which made
 it a lot more fun for me:)

Running for an hour...or 2...at a time.
It CAN be fun.

What do YOU think is fun?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sweet Decade

veRy SweET
my niece, Arika
(a.k.a. Pig Parade)

Aunty Dawnald

Have a super, wonderful day, girlie-girl.
i Love you!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday Musings

Nothing really exciting happened today.
But it was a good day.
It was quiet.
And I did get a cross-country ski in, which meant I had time to think.

I've been pondering a few things lately. And in a sort of way they all fall into the same kind of category....

First, did you know that it took an Egyptain king TWENTY YEARS to build the Great Pyramid? He designed it with secret passages and dead ends, stuffing rocks into the entrance and building a secret passgage way out. This of course was so that no one could break in and steal his possessions that he was going to be buried with- things to take into his next life such as furniture and books, clothes and jewelry, and even a full-sized boat! TWENTY YEARS he spent on this!!!!

Then I was thinking of the Cicada- a type of insect. Did you know that after it hatches, it digs its way below the surface of the ground, and lives on the sap from tree roots as larvae for SEVENTEEN YEARS!!! It then uses it's powerful legs to crawl back to the surface to climb the nearest tree. They fasten to the bark, change into adults after breaking free of their exoskeleton, and live for a mere month!

And closer to our world....the Olympic Athelete. He trains for FOUR YEARS- Only to spend roughly 24 seconds on a mountain side covered in moguls- all in hopes of winning a gold medal. Four Years!!!

I know that these 3 things aren't really related at all. But 20 years building your tomb, 17 years underground as a larva only to die within a month of coming back up, and 4 years or training for 24 seconds....wow.

Why do we spend time on things? Why do we invest our time doing the things we do?
We humans are interesting. So is nature. There seems to be a Purpose for everything.
And so there should be.
What would we live for if there was no purpose?

The days I feel down, are the days I feel there is no reason for what I do.
We all need a reason to get up in the morning. Whether it's a long-term goal or just a day to day purpose to live.
I don't think any of us could survive- at least happily-  without a purpose for something.
(I just don't know if I would want to spend 20 years of my life building a place to be buried:)

Just my thoughts on this quiet Monday...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Family Weekend

Every year around Valentines I send out invitation/questionnare's to my family. I ask them to fill in the blanks to what their favorite food is, and then I invite them to attend a Special Dinner just for them.
In past years, I usually have turned it into a Mystery Meal...using all the foods they said were their favorites. It's alot of fun....for them and me!
Especially when their favorite food consists of a root beer float, Strawberry Cheescake, pancakes and spaghetti!
Needless to say we've had a few "interesting meals" in years past!

This year I decided to send out a different type of invitation...and got them to write down what their favorite food was in every category....Meat, Veggie, Fruit, and Drink. Seeing as they're older now...I turned it into an "Everything Fondue"...meat and seafood, Cheese Fondue with veggies and bread, and of course the Chocolate Fondue.

Fondue Fritters

Happy Heart Family Time

I love Memory Making with my kiddos!

My favorite cheese fondue recipe:
                Cheddar Fondue Recipe

             Heat the following together:
            1 can cheddar cheese soup
               1 cup cheddar cheese
           1/2 cup parmesan cheese
             2 green onionschopped
             1 tsp. garlic powder

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Existence(?) of Right and Wrong

A friend lent me a book... just a fun-lighthearted read titled, "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency", written by Alexander McCall Smith.

I read a paragraph in there today which struck me as very true. As the lady in the book was telling "part of her story" regarding her country and the downfall of it, she made the following comment:

"The problem, of course, was that people did not understand the difference between right and wrong. They needed to be reminded about this, because if you left it to them to work out for themselves, they would never bother. They would just find out what was best for them, and then they would call that the right thing. That's how most people thought."

How much of a chance do you think there is, that THIS is exactly what's wrong with our world today?
Right and wrong is no longer defined...it's become a haze...a smog that surrounds us.

And we all seem to have been caught in it, and now are merely trying to find a way to stumble through it.

OR,  do we think our own world IS clearly defined by our own sense of right and wrong, and really all we've done is created our own standards so they work for us.

The TRUTH...the REAL RIGHT and WRONG....is it even out there anymore.....????? Can anyone see it in our world?

This is just my own humble thought for today.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Building on What you Know

(GPS versus the good ol' globe)

There are days when I'm learning with the kids...and instances overwhelm me. And I get to thinking that even though I'm older than my kids- I still feel the way they do.
For example: In helping my 10 year old son with his math and correcting his work he had just completed/struggled through. I was showing him what he needed to correct, when my 15 year old came and plunked his Algebra to be corrected down on the table beside me.
My 10 year old looked over...to the Grade 10 math sheet....and his eyes welled up with tears. "Oh mom....I have to learn THAT? How am I ever gonna learn THAT!"
Needless to say my eyes filled up with tears too....(but probably more because I realized that I have 3 more kids to GET to that point of a grade 10 math sheet...)
Regardless of why we were both dismayed...this moment struck me.
How we jump ahead of ourselves. We want to know how to accomplish something at the tail end of it. Forget learning what's in between the end result...we want to see it happen.
We forget that in order to get farther on down the road- we still have to walk (or stumble. And sometimes crawl....) down the road to get to there.

I think I can apply this to many other areas of my life as well.
There's so much I wish to have accomplished, finished, figured out. I want to be there...but things need to build on one another to allow that to happen.

Puzzle Piece: patience, longsuffering
To DO: refresh myself in Algebra...even if it means starting way back in grade 6:)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Remedy for a Jumbled Mind

I was just sitting here doing nothing but thinking about life and all its heartaches....and eating cinnamon hearts. You know those hard little candies that are really spicy and come out around February 14th?
I buy them by the bagfuls this time of year. And I eat them that way too....(not healthy but it's the truth:)

I had just finished tucking all 4 kids in bed...when I had this urge to do a candy throw. Does anyone else get these urges???
Please say yes:)
I started by throwing a few...and within minutes the noise brought one, then 2, then all the kids into the hallway wondering what I was doing. Handfuls of candy hearts flew up  in the air and bounced everywhere...into rooms and down the hallway, down the stairs. Molly had them falling out of her hair every time she took a step.
It was wonderful. And the sound was lovely.
The entire bag was emptied.
The kids all got out of bed for a late nite bit of fun.
I threw the bag by handfuls into the air and the noise those hundreds of hearts made bouncing  everywhere was stress relieving -along with all the laughter.
And now, they are no longer being eaten by me and turning into calories I don't need.

Best of all.....my jumbled thoughts have stopped.

What a good candy throw won't do!
Sometimes life gets too serious.

Monday, February 8, 2010


So I threw an idea out to my 4 kids a few weeks ago.
"How about we try a TRIATHALON this year?????  You all have run in  a few 5km races, what's a little biking and swimming in there too?"
Guess what? They all went for it! And I honestly did not have to use one line of persuasion.
Last week we began our "training". If you can call it that.
I like things organized when it comes to working towards a final goal. And I like consistency. And I love it when everything is written down in a nice new blue binder and we can "cross out" what we have done throughout the week.
I came up with a "kind of" plan for each one of them and have incentives every so often...as well as penalties for not completing the goals listed out for each week. (Nothing severe of course....a dollar for each incomplete gets dropped in the "Tri-Fund" to help out a bit for registration:)
They all have their motivation...the prize box...which consists of goggles, swim caps, bike reflectors, wrist reflectors, bike equipment, snacks for the "competitive athlete", and so on....but I wonder if I'll need motivation throughout the next few months as well. I mean, how many times am I going to get to hear complaints, excuses, and wishes for a drop-out in registration "please"!
Yes, maybe this whole idea is crazy. Maybe it will end up in a disaster and some of my kids not liking me a few times here and there. Maybe their positive outlook on this "fun adventure to try" will blow up at me in the end. But now that we committed to it....we are.
So to hold me accountable as their "coach" (haha)...I will update every once in awhile on OUR training. Yes...I do everything they have to do - doubled at least! (If nothing else...I may end up in shape!)

Here are our totals covering the first 6 days of "training":
Combined....we have run 13 miles, swam 46 laps in the pool, and biked 50 minutes on a stationary bike. Woot! GO TEAM!

(oh boy....it's going to be a long few months....)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Get Real

Okay.....I'm going to reveal something that has not been revealed to more than 3 people in this world- 2 of them being my own kids.
My closet.
Now closets are more than just where we hide our clothes that fit- or don't.
It's where we put things we have no idea what to do with. It's  for wrapping paper and gifts for the next birthday or holiday. It contains belts, shoes, and slippers.
Mine even has seasonal bedding (feather duvets or summer bed covers), boxes of pictures and old photo albums not quite yet complete. My closet holds bags and purses, hats for every occasion, (like my maple leaf for Canada Day or my Santa Hat), and even a scrapbook containing crafts from my "creative children".
It holds all this and maybe a bit more.
But the one rule of the closet:
It's revealed to NO ONE.
It's doors are shut (or wedged shut) when company comes over.
When I want to make my room feel "neat"....the closet doors must be closed.
So why do I feel the need to share this private space with you now????
Because...I'm tired.
I'm tired of me (and all of us) making it seem that everything is perfect and done up properly in our lives.
I'm tired of hoping that no one will see what really is behind those closed doors...and if they ever do...
Ah! I don't even want to think about what everyone would think of me then!
And on that note alone...I'm tired of the judgement that's out there. Who knows WHAT the next person will think, say, or do should they find out the real truth behind those doors!
So...this is for all the people out there who think I have everything organized and in place and properly in position.
This is for those who don't feel they can have me over because you think your house is a disaster and I just might look down at you. This is for those who think my closets are "together".
Cause guess what.......this is mine, and it's not.

After I took this picture I realized that maybe I should be a better example and at least try to put things back together....at least as well as I could.
But the funny thing is...I wanted to show you all the "after picture". I wanted to prove that my closet could be better....that I'm not "really that messed up". Even after I put it all back together in order...I felt it wasn't good enough....and honestly, I took more than one picture and re-arranged things more than once so you all would get a "perfect view" of a fairly organized space in my life.
After a third attempt of trying to get the right After photo to put on here....I realized that in doing this, I was defying the entire reason of what I set out to do.
Be Real.
How I cleaned this closet up was me...and the way I do things.
It didn't have to be put in order of color or lengths of dresses. The boxes didn't have to be all lined up and angled the right way.
I did the best I could in the way I knew how to try to clean it up....why was I ashamed to STILL show  you the end result of my closet??????

I always want to look ok.
I want you to think I have it together.
Who am I kidding?
I WANT to have it together!!
All the time...and in every area of my home, heart, life....and closet.

But I don't.
This is me.
And this closet isn't the only thing that's messed up.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What I Believe

I believe...
two people can look at the exact same thing,
and see something completely different.

I believe...
that you shouldn't be eager to find out a secret.
It could change your life forever.

I believe...
that our background and circumstances
may have influenced who we are,
but we are responsible for who we become.

I believe...
that no matter how bad your heart is broken,
the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I believe...
that either you control your attitude,
or it controls you.

I believe...
that we are responsible for what we do,
no matter how we feel.

I believe...
that you should always leave loved ones
with loving words. It may be the last
time you see them.

I believe....
that it is taking me a LONG time
to become the person I want to be.

I believe....
that you can do something in an instant, that
can change your life forever.
I believe...
that being angry at a person for even a minute,
means you have lost 60 seconds of happiness
you will never get back.

What is it that you believe?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Birthday Day

I almost forgot.....these are a couple pictures I have of my Birthday!

                                   I came down in the morning to a very
                                                    decorated waffle.

And Molly made me this banner and hung it up early....she
set her alarm to do it before I got up.
They bought me one of my favorite movies "UP", my snorkel set, a pair of hiking socks.....
Then each of them gave me something they had made.
Molly had sewn me a hoodie, Corben created a super fun game to play, and Ben gave me a perfect note on a special card he made.

I love family.
I think most days they are the only reason to get up in the morning.

And even though there are days where it seems the demands are never-ending, it is alwys worth it at the end of the day.

A couple nights ago Mike and I were out with some wonderful friends. Toward the end of the night I recieved a call from one of my kids to find out when we would be home and to say goodnight. A few minutes later our friend got a call from hers....wondering if they were ok and when they were getting home.

I was thinking how neat this is. How our kids grow up and in their own ways, show us they love us by the little things they do. Even if they don't always say it....or act like it.

And some days I really need to hold on to that thought!

Monday, February 1, 2010


I have a few fears. 
One of them is that I am claustrophobic. 
Another is of things grabbing my feet when I'm in a lake or ocean. 
And I absolutely HATE being in small places underground or under any type of something heavy...especially rock ceilings.
These 3 fears I confronted on a day out snorkeling.

This picture was taken the day I left for Mexico....the kids bought me a snorkel, flippers, and mask for my Birthday. This was the first time I had ever worn one and the only practice I got. 
Some  may think that this isn't a big deal. But when you are claustrophobic and it is a HUGE fear in you...

I always see things I think I would absolutely love to do....and wish I could try them. But when it actually comes right down to it, fear usually stops me in my tracks. And I let it.
This time I was absolutely determined not to let my fear of being closed in...even if it was a mere mask on my face and snorkel in my mouth....take control.

At first shot in the ocean water, I panicked.....there was NO WAY I could do it. I even took my stuff off and got out of the water...thinking in my head that snorkeling was probably over-rated anyhow. I could go find other things to do.
Then it hit me. If I didn't do it now I never would...or at least it would even be harder the next time I ever tried to do it.
I put the mask on, the snorkel in my mouth, and I stuck my head under the water. 
After I hyperventilated for a minute, I gained control of my breathing (and my head), and .....I saw fish. Beautiful fish....and rocks, and coral, and plants you never see anywhere else.
It was incredible for me.

Then I swam to where I never dreamt I would go...ever. (Given my fears I have that are so real to me.)
I swam...into a cave. And I sat under a roof of rock. And had my picture taken.
Don't ask how I managed to breath properly....my heart was racing the entire time I was in that cave.
But I did it.
I actually beat my fear and did something I thought I would hate. 
I beat my claustrophobia....and my fear of low-down (rock) ceilings that could land on my head...and my fear of something grabbing me while in the water.

Just think if I could do this with all the areas of fear in my life. 
How much I could conquer....how much I could accomplish...how far I could go and do and be what it is I'm supposed to do and be.