Monday, December 27, 2010

Boy Or Girl?

When I was pregnant with Sam, I was often asked if I was hoping to have a boy or a girl.

I always answered that it didn't matter, all I wanted was a healthy baby.

When I was pregnant with Julie, I was regularly asked if I was hoping for a girl this time.

I always answered that it didn't matter, all I wanted was a healthy baby.

Years later, when I was pregnant with Jordan, I was asked about my gender preference over and over.

My answer was always the same: It didn't matter, I just wanted a healthy baby.

At church on Christmas Eve I was asked whether I was hoping for a boy or a girl.

I said I had no preference.

Then she said, "As long as it's healthy, right?"

I just smiled.

Healthy or not, perfect or not, we want this child. We will love whomever this little person turns out to be.

I pray daily that God will take my worries about this little one away from my heart, and to be able to enjoy this pregnancy and look forward to that beautiful day in June when I will see his or her precious face for the first time.

I'll be 40 when this baby is born. I know what the statistics are for certain disabilities in a baby born to a mother in my age group.

I'm no longer afraid. We weren't expecting this little one but God had a plan to bless us with this new life. Whatever is to come, He will prepare us.

For now.. I'm choosing to just feel thankful.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

Another beautiful Christmas has come to an end.

Friday night we went to the children's service at our church and they told the Story of the Three Trees. I've heard the story before but it really touched me this time around. We all have goals and dreams for our lives but when they don't turn out like we expected we become so disappointed. But God will use our lives for His glory if only we let Him, and in ways bigger than we could ever imagine for ourselves.

Afterwards we went to my mother's for a fabulous ham dinner. I absolutely love being with my family. After dinner my mom gave the children a gift to open - new pjs! Ian started a fire in the fireplace and Sam and Julie took turns reading the Night Before Christmas.

When we came home, we made a big fuss about putting out milk and cookies for Santa. Sam and Jules know the truth about Santa and are loving being a whole part of it for her. Jordan carefully chose which cookies she was going to leave out, then she sat on my lap while we tracked Santa on the Norad site. When it was time for her to go to bed she blew kisses to Santa and told him to be safe.

Ian and I didn't exchange any gifts before bed this year. I was exhausted so I went up to bed early (as usual!) The children wanted to get up at 6am the next morning but I was able to talk them into 6:45am.

Ian had other plans. He blocked one of the clocks in our bedroom so I couldn't see the time and started bugging me to get up just before 6:30. I wouldn't, so he tortured me by singing Feliz Navidad over and over and over. I had to get up just to make it stop!

The children were spoiled again this year and it took them almost an hour and half to open all of their gifts. Our living room was a MESS! I was given such thoughtful gifts from Ian and the children. A couple of them made me cry!

We went to my mom's for 9am and opened gifts there then had my favourite breakfast ever, visited for a bit and then came home just after lunchtime for Jordan's nap. Ahem...and my nap.

We returned to my mom's for 4pm for hors d'oeuvres (is that how you spell that?) and dinner at 6pm - turkey, my favourite! I heard my mom call from the dining room, "we don't have enough room on the table for all of this food!" What a beautiful blessing to be able to say that. We stayed until almost 8:30 and came home to get Jordan to bed.

Today is Boxing Day. I don't know what the significance of Boxing Day is but there's some crazy shopping sales on that day. We went to Ian's parent's house for lunch and the children played outside in the subzero weather for almost an hour, tobogganing and snowboarding and playing with the dog next door. We left in the early afternoon and did some Boxing Day shopping on our way home.

And here I sit.... longing for bedtime. My own, that is, not the children's. ;-) It's been such a busy weekend, but I've loved every minute of it.

Today marks the beginning of my second trimester. One third of the way to Baby Day!

I hope you all had a beautiful Christmas with the ones you love.

Be blessed!


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

May you be surrounded by the ones you love on this most blessed day!

Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 24, 2010

It's Christmas Eve!!

I am SO excited that today is Christmas Eve!!

My office closes at 2pm today and I can't wait!

Tonight we'll go to our church for the children's service and then to my mother's house for dinner with my whole family.

My aunt arrived on the 16th to celebrate with us and we're just so excited that she's here. My sister will be there too.

After dinner the children take turns reading Twas The Night Before Christmas and my mom gives them one gift to open. We head home, leave cookies and milk for Santa and I get all excited tracking Santa on the Norad site.

Once the children are in bed, Ian and I will sit in the dark looking at the lit Christmas tree. Then I usually cry because I love Christmas Eve so much. We exchange one gift as we have for the last 17 years then hit the sack.

Apparently we're getting up at 6am tomorrow morning to open our gifts. Sweet mercy! I think we'll head over to my Mom's for 9am, open gifts there then have the best breakfast ever. Can't wait!

Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Week Already??

How is it that Christmas is this week??

I now officially have pre-Christmas anxiety because I'm not finished my shopping. I hate that I leave it to Christmas week every single year. Ian has been amazing as always and has bought all of the children's gifts. I picked out a couple of things for them last week but I still have a few other people to buy for.

What do you buy the man who has everything?? I always struggle with what to give Ian. I make him give me a list of the things he wants and where to buy them. I give him bonus points if he picks them up himself ;-)

You know the Gift Giving Gene that women have? I don't have it. I don't have the gift of looking at something and having a "Oh my gosh! So and So would LOVE this!!" moments. I need people to tell me what they want.

Are you a gift card person? I am. I love me a gift card. Some people think they're so impersonal but I think think they're great.

My dog smells so bad right now, but I don't have the strength to give him a bath. How can a dog that doesn't do anything other than sleep smell so bad? And he's on my couch so you know my couch is going to smell too. Oh but I love him.

Tomorrow I see my doctor for my monthly prenatal appointment and I can only imagine the weight I've gained in this first trimester. Did I tell you that I'm on medication for my blood pressure? I get pre-eclampsia in all of my pregnancies but only in the final days and I get induced. When I saw my doctor at my last appointment he was uncomfortable with how high my blood pressure was so he gave me a safe prescription. It's really helped with the tightness in my chest and shortness of breath.

Yesterday I started wondering if I've been drinking enough milk and in a panic had three glasses in a row. I'm not a big milk drinker so remembering to drink it every day is hard.

What else can I tell you? Hmm...

Jordan is saying new words every day and makes me laugh so much. Yesterday she wanted me to do something and I said no and she said "Peese?" and I said no again, and she said "oh come on!". She is a riot.

Julie and I have a mother/daughter shopping date on Tuesday night and we're both really looking forward to it. She's crocheting a scarf for Jordan. How sweet is that?

Sam went to the Christmas Banquet for the youth group last night and had a great time. I love that he's so comfortable there. He looked so hip in his outfit.

My temp assignment continues. I think I might be there until the end of February and possibly into March. There have been some bumps but I'm managing. Every morning, before I do anything else, I ask God to give me what I need for that day, and He does. I'm exhausted when I come home at night. It's a dark place to be and people aren't what they seem. I just do my thing and leave when it's time to go. Don't get me wrong, I'm very grateful for the work.

That's about all the news I have to tell you at this point! Talk to you soon!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Update On Last Week's News

I have to begin this post with a big fat THANK YOU for all of your lovely comments on my last post announcing my pregnancy. I appreciate you so much.

I am now 12 weeks along and it still feels so surreal. But I'm excited.

I'm feeling pretty good :-) I don't feel nauseated as much anymore, although it does tend to hit me when I sneeze for some reason. I'm still very, very tired though, and some nights I'm in bed before my two year old! Ian has been wonderful to me, and has been very patient with my sleep/nap schedule and is holding down the fort in terms of meals and child care.

I'm not craving any one particular food. More like everything! We had KFC on Friday night and my kids thought they'd died and gone to Heaven. I haven't eaten KFC in YEARS because of a statement I once read put out by PETA. But Friday night I didn't want to think about my years long ban. I just wanted the Colonel's special recipe in mah belly. STAT! I'm also enjoying cucumbers with ranch dip. Oh, and pickle juice. Not so much the pickle part...mostly the juice.

I'd forgotten what early pregnancy was like. The multiple trips to the bathroom, the ravenous hunger that would hit me all of a sudden.... Many nights I have sat up in bed at 3am absolutely starving. And let's not forget the hormones! Laughing one minute, ready to rip someone's head off the next... then dissolving in a puddle of tears. I cry at everything . I just can't help it.

It took me a very long time to accept that we were having another child. It wasn't even on our radar when I started going to the specialist this Fall. The doctor sent me for a whole slew of bloodwork and at the very end tacked on a pregnancy test. I told him it wasn't necessary because my family doctor said I didn't ovulate anymore and couldn't get pregnant. I just about fainted when the nurse called with my results. But that's a story for another day.

I struggled with blogging about this because I know of so many people struggling to have their first child, and here I am having my fourth. I don't understand why life works that way, but my heart goes out to these women. I have never experienced their type of pain, but my heart hurts for them all the same.

That's a wrap for now.


Monday, December 06, 2010

Psst... I Wanna Tell You Something...

I love secrets.

If you tell me something I'll go into lockdown and keep your secret forever.

But one of my own secrets?

Well... I'm not so good at that.

Which is why it killed me to not blog about what's been going on with us.

There will be a new little one joining our family on or about June 25th.

Aside from being exhausted all of the time I'm feeling alright, and I seem to have made it past most of the morning sickness.

We've seen our little one on the ultrasound twice now, and he/she has a beautiful heartbeat.

So there you know. Now you know what's been going on with us and I can breathe a sigh of relief because I'm not keeping any more secrets.



Friday, December 03, 2010

5QF ~ December 3

I survived my first week at my new temp assignment. I'm doing collections for a cleaning company, and let me tell you... it's weird to be collecting on past due invoices while listening to Christmas music! Specifically Christmas Shoes...

I've been exhausted every night and therefore haven't spent much time with Ian or the children. This weekend they're away visiting my inlaws. I miss them.

The job is ok. A little boring but I'm grateful for the work. I'm not sure how long I'll be there though. The agency said a month, but the woman I report to said two months, then when she introduced me to the manager she said three months. Beats me.

I miss being at home. But Ian's here with Jordan, so that's good.

One of the things that's been going on here that I haven't felt ready to talk about is that Ian was laid off a few weeks ago. I haven't wanted to say anything because it's just such an awful situation. He is networking and has some really good contacts, and applies to several positions every day.

Anyway. Jordan loves having her dad around to play with all day, every day.

Tomorrow I'm going over to my mom's to visit and I can't wait :-)

I'm thankful for Mama M's Five Question Friday blog hop because otherwise it might be another week before I blog anything!

1. What's on the top of your holiday wish list and why?!

I can honestly say that I have everything I've ever wanted and more, and it's a beautiful place to be.

I am just looking forward to spending Christmas with my family and basking in the love we have for one another.

2. What is your favorite Christmas gift from the past?

My favourite childhood gift was the year of the Cabbage Patch Kids craze. I desperately wanted a Cabbage Patch doll and my mom got one for me. Her name is Lillian Paula and I thought I'd die from the excitement.

My favourite adult gift is the throw blanket Ian gave me two Christmases ago. It has the picture of our family woven on it and it just took my breath away when I saw it.

3. If you had life to do over, what would you be when you grow up?


I have entered into each new phase of my life with such fear that I believe it's changed who God intended me to be. I wish I had rushed at each phase with excitement and been content in all circumstances.

I'm not giving up... I will be content some day!

4. When do you put up your tree?

I wanted to put it up on November 1st but Scrooge Ian said no. So he's going to put it up on Sunday, and then we'll go to my inlaws to pick up the children, have dinner, then come home early enough for them to decorate it. I'm really looking forward to it. I don't know how they're going to top last year's tree - it was perfect.

5. What is your favorite Holiday?

Easter. I love what it means to Christians and the hope it gives each one of us.

Alright friends...that's a wrap.

Head on over to Mama M's blog My Little Life to join in on the fun.

Have a great weekend :-)


Monday, November 29, 2010

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off To Work I Go

Today was my first day at my new temp assignment. I'll be doing collections and billing, and whatever special projects they need me to help out with.

No, this isn't the hostile environment temp assignment. Thankfully I didn't get called back for that one! The agency called me mid-afternoon on Friday to ask if I'd like to go to this place and I said yes.

I went to bed last night at 8:30 so I'd be all rested and relaxed for today. However, my neighbour had her four thousand nephews over and they pounded up and down the stairs, opened and slammed the front door, and yelled on the front lawn...until 12:17 am.

Turns out that my friend Cindy works about five minutes away, so she met me at the Swiss Chalet and then proceeded to lead me all the way to my new job! She put the address into her GPS and took me right there. It's been awhile since I've driven in rush hour, and some dude cut right in front of me on the highway. Jerk!

Everyone I met was super nice to me which was a relief. People kept coming over to introduce themselves. I've done temp assignments at places where no one talks to the temp. This place makes me feel like one of their own.

The day was a bit dull with all the training, but I was able to get to some collection calls towards the end of the afternoon. It'll take a few days to really settle in, and then I hope the days fly by. I missed the children today.

So here it is, 7:15pm and this girl is ready for bed!

Hope everyone had a great day.


Book Review: The Waiting

She was waiting for love--and found it in the most unexpected place.

Jorie King's life is on hold. She has been waiting for Ben Zook to return to Lancaster County. Waiting for him to settle down and join the church. Waiting to marry him.

But when news arrives that Ben has been killed, Jorie is devastated. She finds unlikely comfort in the friendship of his brother Caleb. Friendship ripens into love, and two broken hearts plan for a life filled with the promise of a fresh beginning--until their worlds are turned upside down.

With her realistic characters whose weaknesses develop into strengths, Suzanne Woods Fisher offers a reading experience that rises above the others. You will love growing in spirit with these complex people living the simple life as The Waiting transports you into a world where things aren't as simple as they seem.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

I fell in love with this book right from the first few pages.

Jorie is a schoolteacher, determined to teach her students everything they need to know to pass an important test in the Spring. She is in love with Ben, certain that once he returns home from the war he will be ready to marry her.

Caleb is a father, and raising his younger brother in the wake of his parents' deaths. He is a pillar in his community, looked up to and respected by all.

When tragedy befalls both Jorie and Caleb, they slowly begin to fall in love with one another. I found myself rooting for them, excited for their future. But just as they are set to begin a life together there is a shocking turn of events. I was quickly flipping the pages to see how the story would play out.

This is a gentle love story with the Amish life as a beautiful backdrop. I adore everything I have learned about the Amish, and am completely in love with their gentle and simple way of life.

The author is wonderfully gifted in how she creates realistic and likeable characters. Each character is developed so well that you can almost hear them when they speak, and picture them in real life. I love a book that sucks me in like this one did.

If you're looking for a great read, I can't recommend this one strongly enough. It's just lovely.


Book Review: More Glimpses Of Heaven

There is more to death than simply ceasing to live. In Glimpses of Heaven, retired hospice nurse Trudy Harris offered an intimate look at the final days and moments of terminally ill and dying people. Now she shares more of her stories and also stories from other medical and hospice professionals, allowing the veil to be drawn back on God's handiwork, while we are both living and dying.

If you have lost a loved one, are facing a terminal illness, or are simply curious about what happens when we pass from life to death, More Glimpses of Heaven offers you an even deeper insight into God's plan for our lives every day.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

I have always been curious about the end of life. I love to hear stories of things people see, or the sense of calm they feel as they reach the end of their life. It gives me such peace to know that they felt peace.

Each chapter is a story of its own, gently told by the hospice nurse that cared for that patient. Their love and care for each person was so evident as they helped them prepare for eternity.

I felt comforted reading these stories, that the peace that passes all understanding fills a person as they prepare to leave this life for the next.

If you are curious about this topic, this is a lovely book to read. May it give you the peace it gave me.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends!

I hope you are surrounded by the ones you love today!


Friday, November 19, 2010

5QF ~ November 19

Friday already? That didn't take long, did it?

I was supposed to see my doctor last Friday but I woke up feeling terrible. I thought I was just hungry so I had a huge bowl of Cheerios but I still felt hungry, so I ate two pudding cups. (I know..not the best choice!) Then I was sick and realized I had what the children had all week. Of course they got it and were fine the next day... I was sick for three days.

Ian was wonderful to me as always. He held down the fort so I could rest, even though he felt sick as well. I watched movies and slept and slept and slept.

All that to say, I went to see my doctor on Monday evening and talked to him about the specialist's findings and I was able to share how I had been feeling for the past year. I said that I felt he poo-poo'ed me, dismissed me and brushed me off, and that I felt like I was an annoyance to him and wasting his time. He apologized and said that was never his intention, and that he was glad that I spoke up. I felt so much better afterwards.

I did a five hour temp assignment on Wednesday as a receptionist for a paving company. It wasn't bad at all, and a great way to get my feet wet. I got a call from a different agency this afternoon about a "hard core collections" job working in an "extremely volatile" environment for 2-3 months. I'm not thrilled about it, but agreed to let them present my resume anyway. If the company likes what they see then I will start on Tuesday. Apparently the last temp refuses to go back because the manager yelled at her. Oh boy.

So that pretty much catches you up on my week.

Time for Mama M's Five Question Friday!

1. What Christmas song do you loathe?

Feliz Navidad. I cannot even begin to describe the level of loathing I have for this song. Not only is it horrible, it reminds me of a woman I used to work with, and she would perform it at the Children's Christmas Party every year and she should not have been singing. If you catch my drift.

Whenever I hear this song I can't help but sing along, and the whole time I'm singing, I'm feeling so cross and bothered. And then it just sticks in my head for hours and hours and hours.

I just stopped to break up an argument between the girls and found myself humming this wretched song.

Thanks Mama M.

2. Do you and your significant other cuddle at night or sleep on opposite sides of the bed?

We sleep on opposite sides of the bed usually. I tend to go to bed earlier than Ian does, and I have this whole OCD ritual of how I get to sleep. It starts with my two pillows stacked one on top of each other, perfectly evenly, ruffled part of the pillowcases facing out. Then I lay flat on my back until I feel myself start to drift off, then I quickly flip to my side. Usually it's the side facing away from Ian. He will hug me and cuddle me for a few minutes before he goes to sleep but I usually miss it because I'm sleeping. If I wake up during this, I have to start all over again.

Sometimes we cuddle but not nearly often enough.

3. Have you ever had surgery?

Yes. I've had a D&C, my gallbladder removed, a cystoscopy to remove a cancerous cyst, and my wisdom teeth removed.

4. When do you typically have your holiday shopping done?

I'm usually done a day or two before Christmas. I'm not one of those people who get it all done before the holiday even starts. I like to have a few things left to buy so I can wander through the malls at Christmas time. I get a perverse sense of joy at watching people frantically shopping, knowing I'm almost done.

Also, if we shop too far in advance then it's easy to pick up "one more thing" because you didn't see such a thing months ago.

5. If money were not an issue (and you HAD to pick something), what would your ultimate luxury item be?

I'm one of those people that can honestly say I have everything I need. But if I HAD to pick something, then I'd say a second car. The extra freedom during the day would be nice.

That's it! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Head on over to Mama M's blog My Little Life to join in on the fun.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Checking In

I don't really know what to talk about today. I'm just very aware that I haven't posted anything of substance in awhile. I check my stat counter every so often and I'm amazed that so many of you still check in every day to see if there's something new up.

Thanks for that. I'm sorry there hasn't been.

There's a lot going on here but I can't talk about it yet. It's not that I'm trying to string you along or anything, I just can't get my head around some stuff that's happening right now. I feel so unsettled and afraid.

I barely slept at all last night and I'm tired and I'm not feeling well. Everyone in my house has the stomach flu.

I haven't felt like baking anything or sewing anything. Everything is an effort right now because my mind is so preoccupied. My house is a disaster... God bless Ian for not complaining. He just pitches in wherever he can.

I'll be seeing my family doctor today and I'm praying for an opening so I can tell him what the specialists findings were, and to share how I feel about his treatment of me this past year. I'll let you know how that goes.

Sorry I'm not more upbeat. I just don't have it in me right now.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I Love This Commercial

I'm not a huge fan of commercials. They annoy me and there are too many of them.

But... every so often one comes on that I just love.

Like this one from Geico.

I have now added "jackwagon" to my vocabulary.

Do you have a favourite commercial that never fails to make you smile?


Friday, November 05, 2010

5QF ~ November 5

This week has been incredibly surreal. I can't go into details right now but if you could pray for peace for my family I would truly appreciate it. God is certainly shaking up our lives right now, and even though I know in my head that He is in control and none of what is happening is a surprise to Him, my heart is very fearful.

Happy Diwali to those of you that celebrate! Mom and I always go out for lunch on this special day. Rather than go out for lunch like we usually do, we went out for breakfast since her friend was arriving to visit mid-morning. I wanted to bake some treats for my neighbours for Diwali but I've been feeling so run down all week and never got around to it.

Yesterday afternoon I met with another employment agency. This woman was so helpful and gave me several tips on how to improve my resume. I need to finish it this weekend and then she's going to present it to a company on Monday. It's for a three month assignment.

Other than that, I really haven't done much of anything this week.

Ian is having a bunch of his buddies over for a game night tomorrow night, and a few of them are bringing their sons, so I'll need to take the girls out for a bit. I'm not sure where to take them.

Sunday is going to be SO exciting! The daughter of one of our dear friends is being baptized and I can't wait!! We've been invited to go back to the house to celebrate afterwards. There's going to be chili. Oh yes please.

Enough chit chat! On to my wonderful friend Mama M's Five Question Friday blog hop... only the coolest blog hop in the whole world.

1. If you could have any talent and turn it into an occupation, what would it be?

I'd love to be able to sing, and to make a living from it. I'd also like to be able to dance all hip-hop like and be a backup dancer for some famous person.

Oh yeah. You know you'd watch my videos.

2. Would you rather have a house at the beach or a cabin in the woods?

Definitely on the beach! I find water very restful and could just look at it all day long.

I wouldn't want to live in a cabin in the woods because I've seen all sorts of horror movies and I know what happens to people that live in isolated cabins in the woods. No thank you.

3. Is there any meaning or reasoning for the names you chose for your child/children?

We chose Sam's name (Samuel) because it means "asked of God", and he certainly was. We were sitting in church a few months after we lost our first child, and I was flipping through the Bible randomly. It fell open to the book of Samuel and after reading it I nudged Ian and pointed at the final verse (1 Samuel 1:20 - look it up!) and we knew that would be our next child's name.

Sam is Samuel James Emery ~ James is Ian's middle name, and Emery is his favourite uncle's middle name.

Julie is Julie Roma Nicole ~ Ian liked the name Julie, Roma is my mother's name and Nicole is a name we both liked.

Jordan is Jordan Theresa Faith ~ Jordan was the only name we agreed on, Theresa is my middle name as well as the name of my favourite aunt, who is also my godmother. Faith is something we all need, doncha think?

4. What is your guilty pleasure? (I know we've done this one before, but I'm guessing people's "guilty pleasures" change frequently. At least, mine do!)

A nap on a Sunday afternoon. A large steeped tea from Tim Horton's. A dish of my favourite ice cream. When my favourite pjs are fresh from the dryer. Celebrity gossip.

5. Do you live in a house that is deep cleaned or straightened? there a third choice? I live in chaos. I try to keep things straightened up, but as for "deep cleaned"...could someone tell me what that is?? I haven't had much energy for anything of late, so things are pretty messy 'round these parts. I'm so thankful for a family that pitches in wherever, whenever.

That's all for today!

Head on over to Mama M's blog My Little Life and join in on the fun!


Sunday, October 31, 2010


Am I the only one who feels as though this year is just blowing past?

Here it is...October 31st already.

The children had a wonderful night of Trick or Treating despite the cold. Sam went out as a zombie, Julie was a Spanish dancer and Jordan was a chicken.

Have you ever seen those inflatable costumes? We love them and have quite a few. This year Ian wore the inflatable Grim Reaper carrying a man. It's so funny to look at because while Ian's body is in the Grim Reaper part, his head is in the man part. I hope you can picture that because I know I'm not describing it very well. He covered his face with zombie makeup and looked awesome. I wore the same inflatable pumpkin costume I wear every year.

The children have enough chips and candies to last them until next Halloween!

I loved watching Sam and Julie helping Jordan up and down the stairs. She was able to keep up with them for the most part which surprised me. I'm sure they'll sleep well after all that fresh air and exercise.

What did your little people dress up as for Halloween? Did you dress up too?

I'm off to bed - I'm pooped!


Book Review: Don't Look Back

Twelve years ago, forensic anthropologist Jamie Cash survived a brutal kidnapping. After years of therapy, she has made a life for herself--though one that is haunted by memories of her terrifying past. She finally lets herself believe that she can have a close relationship with a man, when signs start appearing that point to one frightening fact--her attacker is back and ready to finish the job he started all those years ago.

Can she escape his grasp a second time? And will she ever be able to let down her guard enough to find true love?

Filled with heart-stopping suspense, gritty realism, and a touch of romance, Don't Look Back pulls you into its twists and turns to hold you there until the very last page.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

While this book is the second in the Women of Justice series, it holds it's own as a stand alone book. Suspenseful and dramatic, this book will capture your attention from the very beginning and hold it right until the end.

The main character, Jamie, is a survivor who rose above her terrifying ordeal. She is a strong Christian, and I liked the realism of her character. I figured out who the stalker was before the ending, but that didn't take away any of the drama or suspense because I looked forward to seeing exactly how the story would play out and finish.

Romance, faith, suspense, drama... this book has it all and is a true page turner.

Be warned, some scenes are graphic and disturbingly detailed. Having somewhat of a weak stomach myself, I had to skim past these parts.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".


Friday, October 29, 2010

5QF ~ October 29

This has been a very busy week around here - I've been working on potty training Jordan and she's doing wonderfully!

We started on Monday and she did her bidnezz right away. I wasn't expecting her to do it and figured it would take a few days, but no... I didn't have any M&Ms in the house to reward her, so I used a mix of praise and granola bars.

Just yesterday she pooped on the potty and I wouldn't be surprised if you heard me cheering all the way at your house! Today she's going on her own without me asking or reminding her. She even dumps the contents into the toilet and hands it to me to rinse out.

Brilliant I tell you.

Last night was our Halloween party for Girls Club and I wore my inflatable pumpkin costume. Jules went as a spanish dancer and looked beautiful. I did her makeup before we left and was caught off guard at just how lovely she is.

Tonight we're going to my mom's to carve pumpkins, tomorrow night the children are having a Halloween party with some friends, and then of course Sunday is The Big Day.

Are you ready for some Five Question Friday fun? I know I am.

1. If you could be a fly on any wall, which would you choose?

Anyone's really. I'm that nosy. I'm not particular, just nosy.

2. Do you budget your Christmas shopping or just get it done without budgeting?

We set a budget for our extended family that we follow pretty closely.

Ian and I start out with a set budget for each other, but he ALWAYS goes over. I tend to stick closer to mine but not him.

As for the children...I have no idea. Ian does all the electronic/gadget/toy shopping for them, and I tend to shop for clothes or pjs. Yep, I'm the practical one. I tell him how much I'd like to set aside for that and he does the rest. And he exceeds it every year. What can I say? He can't help but spoil the ones he loves.

I guess the short answer would have been we sort of have a budget.

3. What is the craziest fad diet you have ever done?

I've tried them all I think. Probably the Slimfast one. Man alive... I thought I was starving to death on that one. I've also tried the Grapefruit Diet as well as the Eat Only Green Things Diet.

Right now I'm on the Seafood Diet. You know.. I see food and I eat it...

4. Is there a TV show that you have seen every episode/season of?

I don't think so. I seem to always miss something. I would have said LOST but the final season was just ridiculous so I stopped watching.

5. What one song always pulls at your heart?

Jesus Loves Me. I get teary every time I hear it. We sing it at baby dedications and I lose it.

The song from Ice Castles... Looking Through The Eyes Of Love? Yeah, that one.

Oh and sweet mercy... the Christmas Shoes one. I have cried in the middle of a department store listening to that song.

(If I was being honest, I'd list the million other songs that make me cry but something tells me you have other things to do today than to read the titles of every song ever written)

That's it! Hope your little ones have a happy and safe Halloween!

Head on over to Mama M's blog My Little Life and join in on the fun!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Hate Confrontation

Back in the day, I used to be very confrontational. I had no problem whatsoever telling someone what I thought without regard for their feelings. As my mom said just the other night, a thought would barely form itself in my mind before it was coming out of my mouth.

Um...thanks Mom. ;-)

She was right of course.

Rude cashier? I'd call her on it. Someone treating me unfairly? They'd hear about it. Did you just give me a dirty look? You're goin' down...

Then I grew up and mellowed out.

I still say all the things I want to say, but only in my head.

Nowadays, I avoid confrontation at all costs. Partially because I've softened over the years and partially because I have little people watching and listening to how I treat others so they know how to behave.

There are two types of people that I cannot for the life of me assert myself with: a hairstylist or a doctor.

I had an ongoing medical issue that lasted between six and seven months that my family doctor kept brushing off as being normal, and a part of aging. Each time I went to see him for this problem he treated me like I was an annoyance, and would speak down to me with frustration. Finally I pushed for blood work, an ultrasound and a referral to a specialist.

He pushed back and suggested we take a 'wait and see' approach.

I stated what I wanted yet again.

Finally he agreed to refer me and the whole time he filled out the paperwork he spoke to me like I was overreacting because my issue was no big deal.

Yesterday, almost four months later, I went to see the specialist. Apparently my issue is somewhat of a big deal and not so normal. He's ordered more detailed blood work as well as another ultrasound. He has his opinion as to what my ongoing issue was and it's so sad. While we don't know for certain that his suspicion is correct, a lot of my issue could have been addressed months ago.

I really appreciated how the specialist listened to my questions and answered them. He didn't talk down to me, he wasn't frustrated by me. He didn't rush me. He actually asked me to stop speaking so fast, a habit I have when I see my family doctor because he doesn't give me much of a chance to talk at all.

When it comes to my Ian or my children I don't have a problem speaking up for them. But myself? It was incredibly hard, and I just want to kick myself for taking so long to do it.

When I settle down and have a bit more information (I see the specialist in another 2 weeks) I think I will go back to my family doctor to talk about the specialist's findings and how he (the family doctor) made me feel when I tried to speak up for myself.

Or maybe I won't. Because I hate confrontation.

I feel like I dropped the ball on my own health because of my fears of speaking up.

Can you advocate for yourself? Do you find it easy or hard to do? How long would you wait before you insisted on a referral?


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday's Treats ~ Apple Crumble

One of the things I love the most about Fall is apple picking with my family. We've gone to the same apple orchard for over thirty years.

Usually I never get around to doing anything with the bags of apples that we pick and most of them just rot which annoys Ian to no end.

But not this year! This year I tried my hand at Apple Crumble and fell in love with it.

This dessert is so easy and man oh man, is it ever good!

You'll Need:
8 apples
6 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of butter

4 teaspoons of butter
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of rolled oats

Peel and slice apples into a greased baking dish. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over apples. Dot with two teaspoons of butter.

Blend the remaining four teaspoons of butter into brown sugar. Mix and add flour and rolled oats. Sprinkle mixture over apples.

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

Serve warm or cold - it's delicious either way!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Job Interview Results & One Creepy Dude.

Thursday was the job interview I told you about on Wednesday. I was stressed out about what to wear but was able to find something in my closet. The agency told me to "dress sharp", something I haven't done in a long, long time. Willow ate one of my black heels, so my mom loaned me really cute pair of hers, as well as a pair of pantyhose.

Pantyhose. I think Satan himself created those things. I hadn't worn them in so long that I was surprised I could even remember how to put them on. I had one leg in and was working on the other when I lost my balance and crashed head first into the wall and fell down. My mom is much smaller than I am so the pantyhose didn't quite cover all of my butt, but I figured my pants would hold them up. (They didn't, but we don't need to discuss how they slowly fell down, taking my pants with them)

Next I managed to poke myself in the eye with my eyeliner, as well as the mascara wand thing. And I sneezed while putting it on, so as I am sure you can envision...I was a mess.

At least my hair looked good.

The interview was with Staples Head Office and it went very well. I didn't expect to get the job but I wanted to give it my best shot anyway. They asked a lot of tough questions, and I began to see that my time as a SAHM was going to make a difference. I felt like I said everything I wanted to say, and walked away feeling good.

I found out later that afternoon that they felt I interviewed well, however two other candidates had more of what they were looking for. I feet ok about it. It would have been beyond my abilities.

And so, the search continues. The next job will be the winner :-)

Thursday evening was Girls Club which was awesome. Lots of hugs and laughter. When Jules and I came home we took Willow out for a walk. When we were a couple of houses away from ours, a car came around the corner and hit the brakes and just idled there. I thought maybe it was someone we knew and they were stopping to talk. We lingered for a moment then continued up our driveway.

We were just reaching our porch when a man came walking along the sidewalk and stopped in front of our house. Willow went nuts barking and snarling. I couldn't believe it, it was completely out of character for him. The guy started to say something but I could hardly hear him. I think he said he wanted to talk to me about God, so I said "Oh no thanks! We're Christians!"

Oh my gosh, who says that? What Christian says that?

Meanwhile, Willow continued to growl and bark, and I was starting to feel really, really unsettled. I was trying to hold him on the porch and push Julie inside when the door swung open and Ian was there. He'd come to see what the heck was going on outside. I said goodnight to the man and practically shoved Jules into the house and locked the door.

If he did really want to talk to me about God, where was his bible? His pamphlets? Creepy dude.

This is a very long post, isn't it?

I have other things to tell you, but my fingers are tired and I'm sure your eyes are tired from reading.

Hope you had a great weekend :-)


Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Neighbour's Dog

I got this in my email today and thought it was too cute note to share!

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

An older, tired-looking dog wandered into my yard.
I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home and was well taken care of.

He calmly came over to me and I gave him a few pats on his head. He then followed me into my house, slowly walked down the hall, curled up in the corner and fell asleep.

An hour later, he went to the door, and I let him out.

The next day he was back, greeted me in my yard, walked inside and resumed his spot in the hall and again slept for about an hour.
This continued off and on for several weeks.

Curious I pinned a note to his collar: 'I would like to find out who the owner of this wonderful sweet dog is
And ask if you are aware that almost every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap.'

The next day he arrived for his nap, with a different note pinned to his collar:
'He lives in a home with 6 children, 2 under the age of 3 - he's trying to catch up on his sleep.
Can I come with him tomorrow?


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Six Things On Wednesday

1) All day I thought today was Tuesday and it's Wednesday. I feel like someone stole a day from my week. This is not good.

2) I have a job interview tomorrow afternoon. It's in my field, however I suspect it's way out of my league. I am a mess tonight thinking about it. I don't know if I am more worried that I won't be offered the job, or anxious that I will. As I type this I am tucked in my bed, crying like the biggest crybaby you've probably ever seen, thinking about how much I will miss Jordan during the day, or who will watch the kids over Christmas break? And on and on...

3) Willow is lucky he's a cutie patootie because I was ready to list him on eBay this week. I took him to the conservation area on Saturday as usual, and he ran and ran and ran with Kali, his beloved. He swam for the first time and really enjoyed it. He somehow injured his back paws and they were bleeding. I don't know what caused it but the bleeding stopped shortly after we got home. Then the whining and carrying on started and went on all afternoon, all night, all the next day.... He wouldn't eat or drink anything either. I couldn't find anything outwardly wrong with him and I was getting worried about his insides, so I booked an appointment with the vet.

Long story short, he's completely healthy. Diagnosis? Love sickness. Nice. $77.40 to learn that he was missing Kali. We got them together last night and he was a happy dude afterwards. No whining, he's eating and drinking again, and Mama is happy.

4) I haven't really been baking much of anything lately. Not feeling all that inspired to be honest. Well, I did try Apple Crumble and will be showing that to you soon.

5) We're going to Ian's parents' house this Saturday to celebrate his Dad's birthday, and I believe we're going to visit the pumpkin patch as well.

6) I encountered the most annoying cashier at the grocery store on the weekend. I am certain he was new, so I tried to be patient with him. I asked him if the cases of pop went through for the sale price and he said "Maybe they did....maybe they didn't." I asked him if he could please check and he said "Maybe I will....maybe I won't." They were offering free pumpkins if you spent over $60 and I said something about not forgetting that I had a pumpkin in my cart and he said "It's not your pumpkin. It's my pumpkin. It isn't yours until you pay for your groceries."

I managed not to jump over the counter and strangle him. Because I'm nice like that.

That's about all I have to report. I've been a very lazy blogger lately because I've just been feeling so blah. I'm not one of those bloggers that only talk about the sunshine and roses, but I'm also not one that whines endlessly. Even though there are times I really want to. And inwardly there's Whinefest 2010 going on in my head.


So I will end this on a positive note. I love my iPhone. I love Fall. I love my sleep and I'm going to go get some of that right now.

Be blessed my friends.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

5QF On Sunday!

Yep. I'm late to the Five Question Friday party this weekend.

Not just late, but seriously late.

Mama M will forgive me because a) she loves me best and b) I keep letting her win at Words With Friends.

Ok, I don't let her win, she kicks my butt. Every single time. It's embarrassing, really.

Anyway, on to this week's questions!

1. What is your favorite Halloween candy?

Reece's Peanut Butter Cups. I love them so much I just want to lock myself in the bathroom and eat them all so I don't have to share them.

If you know me then you know my stance on sharing. It's overrated.

2. Do you fold your socks?

I used to roll them. You know, put them together, then fold one of them over the other and pull through until you get a ball.

I hate folding socks. Hate. I don't like how some go missing and then I have lonely singles. We have a few "sock spots" around the house that have mismatched socks in them and the kids go digging for two that match. Ian's socks are mostly black so I'll roll his.

Sometimes I get fed up and buy new socks.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

And now you know more about our sock-life than you probably wanted to.

3. What is something that you wish you had been warned about?

I wish someone warned me that life hurts and dreams change. That planning a marriage was about more than who balances the chequebook or how many kids we'd have. I wish someone would have told me about the ways we could hurt each other so I could have avoided my part. I wish I was warned that pregnancies end abruptly, that layoffs are realities, that I would have to fight tooth and nail for some of the things I wanted.

I also wish someone had warned me about the steal-your-breath love I'd have for my children, that I'd worry about them every single second they were out of my sight, that no matter how hard I tried to be a perfect mother, I would still have moments of failure, and it's ok.

4. What is the most significant difference between you and your significant other?

He is patient and I am not. He loves to be social and I'm a homebody. He trusts the Lord with all his heart and I struggle with questions and doubts and periods of silence.

5. What are three words you would use to describe yourself? (And, just for fun...if your significant other is around, ask him/her what 3 words they would use to describe you!!)

Loving, funny, encouraging.

I asked Ian this question last night and I think he said caring, fun and loving.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend :-)


Friday, October 15, 2010

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day - October 15th

**Re-Posted from last October 15th**

On February 27th, 1998 we lost our first child. We were heartbroken.

It amazes me how much my heart still aches for this little one, even after all of these years.

We feel it in our hearts that this baby was a boy. I don't know how we know, we just do.

I wonder what he would have looked like. Smelled like. Laughed like.

I wanted to bake cookies for him. To comfort him when he fell. To tickle him until he collapsed in a heap of giggles. To fold his little shirts. To tie his shoes.

I wanted to hold him.

I wanted to feel his hand in mine.

I wanted to hear him call me Mommy.

I wanted to feel his lips kiss my cheeks.

I want to understand why we couldn't keep him.

If you have experienced the loss of a child, know that my heart hurts for yours and that you are in my prayers today.


Monday, October 11, 2010

End Of A Great Weekend

While I'm sad that this wonderful weekend is now over, I feel like the days were well spent.

Yesterday I decided on the spur of the moment to drive a few cities over to a fabric store to see what kinds of prints they had. Julie decided to come with me, and after a quick stop at Tim Horton's we were off.

Just over a half hour later we reached our destination, only to find that the store was closed yesterday for the Thanksgiving weekend. It didn't even occur to me to call first.

We drove around for a bit looking at the little shops and houses and enjoying easy conversation and laughter. I try very hard to have one-on-one time with Julie at least once a week to keep us connected and yesterday was perfect for that.

We browsed a clothing store and she gave me her opinion on back-to-work clothes. I feel like I've been in a bubble for the last three years and have lost all sense of style. If it isn't comfy then I don't wear it. I felt a little excited about the looks for Fall...right up my alley.

We grabbed a quick lunch at McDonalds, went to our local grocery store and after dropping everything off at home we took Willow to the conservation area to run around.

When we were coming home Julie looked at me and thanked me for our time together and said "I can't get enough of you, Mom."

She melts my heart.

Today we visited Ian's parents and stayed for dinner.

In other news... I am now an iPhone user. And true to my weird addiction to naming all of my belongings, I have named my phone Javier. He's a lot of phone for me but I'm learning slowly.

I like that it's basically a little computer. With fun games. And a police scanner. And I can play Words With Friends with Melissa. It's amazing how many cool apps there are.

Now when people say "There's an app for that!" I'll know what they're talking about.

Anyway, our phones are up for renewal and Ian got the new iPhone 4G and so he gave me his old iPhone so I can get used to it, and in another month or so he'll get me my own iPhone 4G.

I don't know if I can handle that much technology. Seriously. I can't even switch the input for the tv so I can watch a DVD. I have to get one of the children to help a mother out.

I felt lousy all last week with the onset of a cold, and it's really starting to settle in. My nose is sniffly and I'm sneezing a lot.

Is it true that every time you sneeze your heart stops? I'd google it but I'm too lazy.

Ok, enough chatter for now.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend :-)


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Checking In On Sunday

Did you notice the date today?


And I'm posting this at 10:10 am.

Because I'm a dork like that.

Yesterday was a busy day. It started out with eye appointments for all of us, minus Jordan. It was a frustrating experience because two employees were being trained and it took forever to get us all registered. I was so happy that no one tried to blow air in my eye to check the pressure or whatever that does. I had it once in one eye and decided that was enough of that.

Because I'm sure you're burning to know, my eyes have only weakened a little bit, and I am sporting a new pair of contacts. The world is crispy once again.

Afterwards, Willow and I met up with Cindy at the conservation area. She brought two dogs with her this time and it was like a little doggy party. I think I overestimated my energy level after having a cold all week, but I enjoyed the walk. The trees were even more beautiful than last week.

I came home, popped a strawberry rhubarb pie in the oven, rested for a bit then headed over to my mom's house where we celebrated Thanksgiving with my side of the family. My mom invited two of her friends and it was a lovely dinner.

Today is all about baking apple pies and apple crumble and using up all the apples before they go bad. And a nap. I think there needs to be a nap in my day somewhere.

How is YOUR weekend going?


Friday, October 08, 2010

5QF ~ October 8

I am so excited for this weekend!


It's Thanksgiving, that's why!

I'm heading over to my mom's house in a few minutes and we're going to get started on the preparations for dinner tomorrow night. We're going up north to celebrate with Ian's parents on Monday. The children love weekends like this when they get to see all their grandparents.

I love Thanksgiving so much that I've decided we're going to have two this year - the Canadian one and the American one :-)

Umm...could someone who's American please let me know when that is? My belly I need to know so I can look forward to it.

Thank you so much for your encouraging and supportive comments to my last post. I can sometimes be a bit over protective when it comes to my little people, so it was very reassuring to know that you would have handled things the same way.

I appreciate you guys, you know that? I love that you read this blog, and it means so much to me that you comment on what I write and give me so much support.

Thank you.

Ok. Enough with all the sap and on to Mama M's Five Question Friday!

1. What do you listen to while driving?

I'll listen to the radio if there's a good song on. I alternate between four stations. Or I listen to a worship CD and sing along to that. Sometimes I get very carried away and start belting it out, hands lifted, freaky stares from the cars next to me...

I love to sing, but the good Lord did not gift me with a beautiful singing voice!

2. What is your least favorite thing about Fall?

I love everything about Fall. The crisp air, the changing leaves, Thanksgiving, stews in the crock pot, pies in the oven....

I wish it lasted longer... and didn't have Winter on it's heels.

3. What does your dream house look like, inside and out?

I'd love a fenced yard, a kitchen with a window overlooking the backyard, main floor laundry and four bedrooms.

4. Would you ever own a minivan?

I love my minivan almost as much as I love my children. We've had ours for about five years and I love it. There's room for everyone - including Willow! - and everyone's belongings. I like that I'm high up so I can see over cars at intersections.

I know of many people who would rather die than drive a minivan and I just don't get it.

5. Do you wash new clothes before wearing them?

No I don't. I love the new-clothes-feel. And they're usually already ironed so I'm good to go.

I have a thing about buying things that someone else has already touched (like magazines at the store for one example) so I'll take the one in the back. I imagine that I'm lowering the cootie-factor and therefore it's ok to wear before washing.

OK that's it for me today - I have to get moving here or I'm going to be late!

Have a super Friday!

Head on over to Mama M's blog My Little Life and join in on the fun!


Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Someone Is Bullying My Kid!

Last week Sam got into his first fight at school.

I was shocked. He is so mild. Such a peace keeper.

He came home from school and said his day was ok then went to his room. Shortly after, I got a call from the vice principal informing me of the fight. I'm sure he thought I was an idiot because I kept saying "My son? MY son was in a fight?" I was that shocked.

He said he couldn't give me names of the other children involved, but there had been an exchange of words that led to shoving, and that led to punching.

I felt the Mama Bear rising up in me. "Someone punched my kid?"

He said Sam's punishment was to serve detention for two recesses. Yikes. He lives for recess.

When I finished speaking with him, I called Sam upstairs to get his version. He said that the other boy was cheating at the game they were playing in gym class, and Sam made a comment to another student about it. The boy got right into Sam's face, swearing and chest bumping him.

The details are hazy at this point, but apparently Sam pushed him back and when they were in the change room, the other kid was yelling profanities at Sam and pushing him. Sam was in the middle of putting his shoes on when the kid pushed him, so he stood up and hit him with his shoe.


Oh boy.

The boy retaliated with three punches: one to Sam's cheek, the next to his temple and the last to the side of his head.

Sam said he wasn't proud of what he did, but he just couldn't take it anymore. This kid had been bothering him for a year now, swearing at him, threatening him and pushing him, and he just couldn't take it anymore.

Oh my goodness. It took me right back to my own childhood when I was bullied every single day. I lived in constant fear and I hated school. I'd either take off running for home the second the bell rang or I'd hide in the bathroom until I was sure every last student had gone home. I would take the long way home to avoid my bullies. I did whatever it took.

My kid isn't going to live like that.

Ian and I talked to Sam about it and how he could have handled himself better. Ian showed him some self-defence moves. We said if someone hits him first it's ok to defend himself, just drop whatever he may have in his hands at the time and not use it as a weapon. We didn't punish him because the school already took care of that.

Turns out that the other kid got a one-day suspension.

Then on Monday Sam was holding the door for the kids in the class and this same boy started bugging him. Sam told him he had the door and to please just go back in line. The boy got up in Sam's face asking him if he wanted him to punch him in the face again. Sam said "just try it" and the kid backed off.

Today I called the vice principal to discuss the entire issue, and to give him some background on this boy from last year. I told him that Sam said he wasn't proud of what he did, and that he's becoming more withdrawn at home, which is a huge danger sign to me.

The vice principal took a bunch of notes and said he would speak with the teacher. I said that as a parent it's my job to protect my child, and as an educator it's his job to protect him while he's at school, and we needed to work alongside each other to eliminate this problem.

The conversation went well, he thanked me for calling and asked me to report any further issues. I'm prepared to take this as far as I have to, to ensure my son's safety at school. Bullying isn't something we can take lightly.

Being that I was constantly bullied as a child, it's definitely a hot spot for me. I've certainly moved on from it and don't carry it with me every minute of the day. But there are wounds. I want to protect my children from those same wounds.

Where do you stand on bullying? How far would you go to protect your child? I'm interested in your thoughts and opinions on this topic.


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Book Review: Choosing To SEE

Mary Beth Chapman's life was not how she planned it. All she wanted was a peaceful life of stability and control. Instead, God gave her an award-winning singer/songwriter husband, crazy schedules, and a houseful of creatively rambunctious children. Most difficult of all, she would live through loss that she never could have imagined.

In Choosing to SEE,Mary Beth unveils her struggle to allow God to write the story of her life. She wrestles with some of life's biggest questions: Where is God when things fall apart? Why does God allow terrible things to happen? How can I survive hard times?

No matter where you find yourself in your own life story, you will treasure the way Mary Beth shows that even in the hard times, there is hope if you choose to SEE.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

My heart broke when I first heard of the untimely death of Mary Beth and Steven Curtis Chapman's five year old daughter Maria. I wanted to read this book not for the gory details surrounding their heart breaking loss, but to learn how a family moves on from a devastating tragedy like this while clinging to their faith.

Mary Beth is painfully honest and open as she takes the reader through her life and dreams for her future. She wanted to marry a quiet stable man and have some children. But God had different plans for her life, plans that included an award-winning singer/songwriter for a husband, six children (three biological and three adopted), a devastating loss and a ministry for her to lead.

She fought it. She questioned it. She longed for something simpler. But she held fast to the Lord, and lived the life He willed for her with grace and authenticity.

With a beautiful foreword by her husband Steven Curtis Chapman, and a powerful prologue by Beth Moore, this book reveals a woman after God's own heart. Her story is one of submission, forgiveness, healing and a deep faith. She shares her struggles, fears and disappointments with such transparency, and I found myself relating to her in so many areas.

This book is about more than the loss of their daughter. It's about believing in what we cannot see, trusting that God has a plan for our lives, and the redemptive love that comes from loving and serving Christ.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".


Book Review: Have A New You By Friday

How many times have we tried to change our own habits, only to find that changing ourselves is even harder than trying to change someone else?

Now, what the bestselling Have a New Kid by Friday has done for families and Have a New Husband by Friday has done for couples, Have a New You by Friday will do for you. With his signature wit and commonsense psychology, Dr. Kevin Leman walks you through your own personal five-day action plan.

You will come to:

Accept the truth about yourself
Boost your confidence by identifying the lies you're telling yourself...and putting them to rest for good
Change your life by concentrating on becoming who you really want to be

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Dr Kevin Leman is a well known psychologist who has written several books in addition to Have A New You By Friday. He has also written Have A New Husband By Friday as well as Have A New Kid By Friday.

I don't believe that you can change you whole outlook by reading a book, nor can you do it in a mere five days. Still, I found this book more entertaining. Dr. Leman is very humorous, however he doesn't really share any new news.

The book is broken down into chapters,one for each day of the week. Monday covers what kind of dog we are. I am a standard poodle in case you are interested. I laughed at that because a poodle is my very least favourite dog.

Tuesday covers how our birth order shapes our personality. I am the youngest child in my family, however I do not possess the qualities of a last-born, rather that of a first-born. I don't believe your birth order determines your lifelong personality, rather your life experiences do.

Wednesday talks about how our earliest childhood memories shape our beliefs about ourselves. I don't know if this is true for everyone, but I see this in my own life.

Thursday is all about our love languages and reads much like Gary Chapman's book on this very topic. Again, in case you are interested, my love language is Words of Affirmation.

Friday is the day to make yourself over! Change your thought patterns by changing your self-talk and the power of positive thinking.

This book was a very light read and entertaining at points, but if you're looking for a true self-help book, I think a meatier type book would be more helpful.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".


Monday, October 04, 2010

What Happened To Customer Service?

Yesterday I went to the fabric store. I love going there because it inspires me to be creative, but if I spend too much time there then I get overwhelmed and bored and end up leaving with nothing. Which is actually a good thing since I'm not spending any money that way.

But yesterday the fabric store was having a sale and everyone and their uncle was there. Man was it crowded. I had Jordan with me which is always nerve wracking for me, because she is a typical 2 year old and has to touch everything.

(Oh how I love her!)

I found some Halloween fabric I liked and went to join the lineup at the cutting table. Before I could even stop her, Jordan had grabbed a handful of fabric from a nearby table and pulled on it, bringing down about eight bolts of fabric onto the floor.

Being the calm and patient mother that I always am, I screeched "JORDAN NOOOOOO!"

But it was too late. I looked at the lady and apologized profusely while I tried to pick everything up.

Then she barked at me, "Just leave it!! That's why we don't like having little ones in here!"


I was shocked.

I looked around at all the people looking at me and I felt so embarrassed. Then she told a young girl to take over for her so she could lock up the doors. As she walked through the store I could hear her shouting "Fifteen minutes to closing, people. Fifteen minutes!!"

Once my fabric had been cut I went to stand in line to pay. I saw her going up to each person to tell them that they were closing in fifteen minutes and that they needed to start wrapping things up.

When one man pointed out that there was fifteen minutes left she said, "Yes, but we have to check everyone through the cash register and I'd like to go home sometime today you know!!"

When I paid for my stuff I asked for the woman's name and for the name and number of the manager then met up with Ian in the mall to tell him what happened. He got all cross on my behalf and when we passed the store I pointed the woman out to him. He asked if I got the name of the manager and I said yes and he's going to call tomorrow.

I love it when he does stuff like that. Gets my back. Defends me.

I don't want anything from the store, I just want the manager to know what kind of people are representing it.


Has anything like this happened to you? Would you have said or done anything if you experienced this?


Sunday, October 03, 2010

It's Happening Again...

I'm having another great weekend :-)

Friday night we took the children to a farewell party for Ian's coworker. His children were performing at a local pub and it was lovely. Jordan danced with her daddy and it was such a precious sight to see.

Saturday morning brought rain, but it didn't stop Cindy and me from taking the dogs on another hike. Even though we ended up very wet, very chilled and with two very muddy dogs... it was an invigorating start to our day.

I dropped Wills off at home and headed off to get my hair done and I feel so much better! I have very thick hair and it grows so fast, so I looked like I had some sort of dark rooted nest on my head. But not now, my friends. Now I look fab-u-lous.


Our wonderful babysitter came to stay with the children so Ian and I could go to see Resident Evil 3D. Great effects and the pop-out factor was rather high. I think I screamed a half dozen times and with all the jumping, I lost approximately a third of my popcorn. This new polarized 3D business is amazing, so much better than the old style of 3D, with the red eye/blue eye paper glasses.

When I say "polarized" I feel very smart. I'm not entirely sure that's what it's called...I'll have to double check with my Ian.

*Ok, I just checked and Ian said it is polarized. See? So smart.

This morning has been extremely lazy so far. Ian let me sleep in until 11, then brought me a perfectly made cup of tea in my favourite Eeyore mug. I've showered and had my cereal, and now I'm just lazing about. I'll be heading out shortly to run a couple of errands, but nothing terribly pressing.

Not a bad weekend at all.

How is YOUR weekend?