Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Day 29: Someplace I'd like to visit

Usually in the winter, I would pick a nice and warm location as my destination of choice.

However, I think today I would like to go visit a castle - a real castle - not a fake one like Cinderella's at Disneyland

I want to go to one like this...

I would love to explore the vast rooms, curl up on an old leather wing back chair in front of a huge, crackling fire.

I would love to learn the history of the occupants of these glorious homes.

I would like to be a princess - or maybe a queen - just for a while

Monday, 28 November 2011

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Day 27: Myself, one year ago

I was exhausted

The day before I and my team of eager Colombia travelers, had made over 200 apple pies.

We peeled, chopped and sweetened hundreds (about 800) granny smith apples

I measured pounds of flour, lard, salt, water and vinegar

My hands blended giant bowls of pastry until my hands ached

We rolled out 400 crusts and assembled delicious pies.

In all we raised over $2000 that we in turn were able to buy tables full of school supplies, toys and other essentials for the people we have grown to love in Bogota.

I was exhausted

But it was worth it!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Day 26: Something I am looking forward to

There are so many things on my "I can hardly wait for" list
* Christmas
* Colombia
* Joseph
* Surgery  (not!)

but you have heard so much of all these, so I will tell you about our plans for summer holidays.


Dan and I are starting to talk about taking a long vacation with Eleanor.  I have started to make a list of the places that I want to go
   * Mount Rushmore
   * Grand Canyon
   * Las Vegas
   * The Redwood Forest
   * Oregon coast
   * North Cascades

It will be a wonderful trip - top down - pedal to the medal

Can't wait!!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Day 25: The contents of my purse

* wallet - from Colombia - coolest.wallet.ever!
* prescription sunglasses
* kleenex (one gently used - one pack of new)
* TD Canada trust pen & pink mechanical pencil
* medicine  (Aleve, Advil, Excedrin, Advil Cold & Sinus, Rolaids, Gravol, Halls)
* a lighter (no I don't smoke)
* hairbrush
* nail clipper
* lipstick x 2
* 2 hair elastics
* disposable tooth brush
* dental floss
* Pink Sugar roll on perfume
* hand cream
* "lady supplies"
* Icebreakers Frost breath mints
* Trident Vitality gum - best.gum.ever - only available in the USA
* receipts from my latest trip to Montana
* Victoria Secret coupon book

But really - who cares what's IN the purse when you have such a fabulous purse to fill!

This lovely little lady is called "Lizzy" because it feels like a lizzard.  No, not a snake - a lizzard.  If it felt like a snake I would not have come within 10 feet of it.

She is created by Marc Ecko and she is wonderful.  She tends to turn into a bit of a black hole for my stuff inside, but who cares when you are so incredibly beautiful!

She completes me....

I really love purses.  Not long ago I realized why.  A purse never judges you if you are up a few pounds, like a pair of jeans do.  Jeans will declare to the world, "Hey girl!  You packin' on the pounds!  I'm not even going to do up, and furthermore - here's a nice muffin top to boot!"

A purse would never say such things.  She just waits in the closet until she is needed for a new season or to complete the perfect outfit.  When you pick her up, she just snuggles up nice and close under your arm and is just happy.

The perfect friend...

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Day 24: Something that means a lot to me

I would have to say that the people in my life mean the very most to me.  I am pretty sure that I could live with out any possession, but to live without the ones I dearly love - that would be impossible to survive.

So - something that means a lot to me is Lucy.

Photo by Ron Nickel Photography

Lucy is just over 2 years old and has been with me since she was 10 weeks old.  After Alyssa and Brandon were married, and Riley moved to Red Deer, I was feeling a little bit of the empty nest syndrome.  Even Dexter had moved with Lys, so it was pretty quiet around the house.

We have never been a "dogless" family - since 4 months after Dan and I were married, so it really didn't feel complete without a little mutt in the house.

About a month after the kids were gone, I started to Kijiji puppies.  I really wanted a mini Yorkie.  There is a lady in town that has one that is so incredibly sweet so that was my new dog of choice.

Then I found Lucy.

I called the number, talked to the guy from Spruceview and made arrangement to come and meet her.  I walked in the door to MANY dogs.  These people had at least 10 dogs in their house - but were only selling this one.

She had been purchased by a couple - the husband buying a puppy for his wife to keep her company while he was on the road as a trucker.  Catastrophe struck them when she was diagnosed with cancer and passed away just days after finding it.  Her husband couldn't keep this little girl, since he was never home, so he brought her back to the people that he bought her from.

Lucy and I made an instant connection.  She wasn't a very frisky little puppy.  It almost seemed like she was affected by this sad turn of events in her very early life.  She walked across the kitchen and curled up on my lap and fell asleep - like it was where she belonged.

I was hooked.

I pulled out the wad of cash and she was mine.

She is better than prozac on a bad day.  Never has she not been completely overjoyed to see me come in the door.  She is my greatest cheer leader.  She has licked away my tears, snuggled her toasty warm body next to me, warned me of impending stranger danger, and been a true friend.

Next to humans - she is just the very best.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Day 23: Eight things you didn't know about me

I am pretty sure that some of you will know some/few/all of these things - my life is basically an open book to most...hence the blog

1)  I have a strawberry birthmark on my right shin

2)  I have a debilitating fear of snakes...like seriously

3)  I have been pregnant five times

4)  I don't have a favorite colour, but I don't really like purple very much

5)  I have only seen one Star Wars movie, one Lord of the Rings movie, and one Star Trek movie - but have seen every Harry Potter movie and Twilight movie to date.

6)  I memorize lines in the shower

7)  I don't like eating most things that ever lived in an ocean

8)  Today my weight is.... something that you still don't know  :)

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Day 22: Someplace I have traveled

Out of all the places that I have traveled - this is one of my most favorites, which is why I keep going back.


I love this place so much.  The people - the culture - the beauty

It has become my second home.

In 78 days I will be there again.  It can't come quickly enough!!

 Colombia...here I come!!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Day 21: Something I could never tire of



If you don't know what that is, you are missing out big time!  I discovered Pinterest through my friends that I strive to be just as cool as  (Makiko, Erin, Alicia)  I was on for about an hour and I was hooked.   

You can find the coolest ideas, most yummy recipes, cute pictures, funny sayings and wise words on there.  Things like this...

When I am feeling a little beat up by life's circumstances, I will often come to Pinterest for a bit of a distraction.  I never leave disappointed.  

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Day 20: A childhood anecdote

As a child, growing up in "pre-trib" home, I was always reminded that I needed to be ready when Jesus came back to take His children to heaven.  I was taught it could be any time at all but it was definitely going to happen.

At the time I had a sweet dog named Tussen.  I think it was about the 5th "Tussen's" we had - but I really loved this little mutt.

I began to ponder the thought, "What will happen to Tussen if my whole family is taken up with Jesus?  He will be all alone with no one to feed him and he will die".  The thought actually kept me up at night and I remember asking my Mom about it, only to hear the reply, "You will be in heaven, so you won't even think about Tussen back here on earth."

Well, I did NOT believe that - so I found a friend at school that I know didn't go to Sunday School, and decided that she would be my answer.  I told her that one day - and it could be very soon - I and lots of other people could vanish into thin air.  I then asked her that when it happens, if she could please come and feed my beloved Tussen.  She asked me where I would be going.  I told her I was going to heaven.  She then asked why she wouldn't be going to heaven, to which I plainly replied, "Because you don't go to Sunday School so you will get left behind."  (see?  I even gave Tim LaHay his book title long ago!!)

She freaked out.  To the point of going home and telling her mom, which in turn called my mom.  I was reprimanded for my tactics of securing a caretaker for my dog - and I think I even got grounded for it.

Funny thing - I still think about Lucy getting left, so I keep her dog food on a low shelf so that she can get it easily...

just in case...

Day 19: A silly self portrait

a few of my "alter egos"

Friday, 18 November 2011

Day 18: What I wore today

 Yes - this is what I wore today...

well at least from 6 pm until about now anyways.

For the past 6 years I have been involved with the Three Hills Arts Academy.  It is a wonderful little organization that basically was formed when Prairie decided to ax their fine arts program.

I have mostly directed the spring musicals, but once in a while I get to be on the stage instead of in the booth.

For this year's Fall fundraiser we did a Murder mystery called Mousetrap by Agatha Christie.  It is a delightful tale of twists and turns, but results in the untimely death of dear Mrs. Boyle - played by moi...

It was great fun to work again with the amazing talent that this little town holds.

I can hardly wait to start in on the next project!!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Day 17: My Family

I know - I talk about my kids and husband all the time.  Naturally one would think then, that this blog would be about them.


Today I dedicate to those that I first called "family"...  The Hansons

I was born 6th in a line of 7 children to a pair of PBI grads that were challenged to "change the world" back in the 40's.

Their "world" was churches - Bow Island, New Westminster, Calgary, Sorrento, and Three Hills.  In each of those places, they did change the world.  Dad's ministries were blessed over and over and as a family we witnessed what a life sold out for serving Him would profit.

Eternal rewards.

Today my Dad is in a room in the University of Alberta Hospital.  His frail body worn out from the years of life on this earth.

He wants to go to heaven.
He wants to be with his dearest treasure.
He wants to be rid of this tired old shell.

But he waits.  Not quite the right time...yet

And we wait with him.  This family that believes in
    * hope
    * joy
    * love
    * grace
    * forgiveness
    * faith
    * God

This is our legacy.

And when that day comes, we will not be sitting around a lawyer's desk, waiting to hear about the fortune we will inherit.

Our inheritance is much more valuable.  It is the kind that's found in Matthew 6 - the kind that
"moths and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal"

The eternal kind

So what does that look like in real life?

It's standing shoulder to shoulder with each other when we go through real life...with
   * hope
   * joy
   * love
   * forgiveness
   * faith
   * God

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places
Surely, I have a delightful heritage!
Psalm 16:6

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Day 16: Someone that inspires me

I have seen this day coming for some time now and thought and pondered long and hard about inspiration lately.

I wear a ring that says    * inspire * uplift * renew *   

Those words are goals for my life and how I react with others that God puts in my path from day to day.

But who does this for me?

In my reflections of the MANY people that have positive influences on my life, I have come to this one person.  She is not someone that many would expect - but on careful examination, it is easy to see why she inspires me.

She is beautiful - but her beauty is so much more than a pretty face.  It reaches to the depths of her soul.

Her heart is one that beats with Jesus'.  She shows her compassion for the hurt and broken - for the girl that has just found out that she is pregnant and all alone - for the family that has lost hope - for the child that has nothing

She has a deep love for her family.  Her husband and three boys never question the intensity of that love.  The rest of us have known her to "be there" anytime, anyplace, anywhere, and at any cost.

She is talented.  God has blessed her with a creative streak that is evident in her home, her client's hair, her fabulous cakes, her crazy skits, and her awesome parties.  The things that she touches are covered with the fingerprints of love and care.

She understands grace.  She has had her share of hard stuff, but has chosen to accept the grace that only the Father could give her, the forgiveness that Jesus provided, and the life that is Spirit guided.

I am blessed to have her in my family.

I love you Stace!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Day 15: Some style inspiration for the season


I am fascinated by those bright, shiny orbs in the sky

A few years ago, I decided to start incorporating them into the decor of my house.  Christmas is one of the best times to really go nuts on them.  Here are a few of the ones that shine in my home...

Monday, 14 November 2011

Day 14: A favorite movie

this is probably the hardest one to do

when it comes to movies - I love so many for just as many reasons

however, to pick just one, for today I will pick one that I am inspired by.

I don't think it was a huge block buster.  In fact, I know many people that have never heard of it.

That is a shame.  Really - if you have never seen this one, it is so worth the trip to the video store!
(make sure that you get the one with Jim Caviezel - NOT Gerard Depardieu)

I love this story because of the message of finding peace in your soul towards those that hurt you.

Edmond Dantes was a poor sailor with nothing but the love of a good woman, and a whole lot of integrity.  The combination of these two things set him on the road to success until he was stopped by a friend overwhelmed with envy.  Edmond's life was turned upside down as he lost everything.  Consumed with the need for vengeance he lived out his life to pay back the wrongs done to him.

I won't give away the ending - you will just have to watch it for yourself.

You really won't be sorry!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Day 13: Something I'm proud of

I grew up a PK - a Preacher's Kid.  Now - one of the first things we learn as a PK is that
                                                       pride is wrong

It is, after all, one of the 7 deadly sins.

So it is understandable that stating for the whole world to read "Something that I'm proud of" - well that is kind of difficult.

I could say that I am proud of my kids.  That is the "mom" answer.  Don't get me wrong, I am really proud of my kids and the amazing people they have turned out to be.

But going beyond motherhood - I think what I am proud of is my ability to create epic-ness.

I think it started back when I was just a wee child and I started writing plays and skits.  When I was about 12 and my little brother was 9 we did a whole program of Ice Capades on the homemade rink out back of our house in Calgary.  It was stellar.

Since then I have moved on to bigger things.

The process of taking black and white words and notes on a paper - then
        scheme and dream
        plan and build
        create and produce...
There is really nothing like it at all.

Right now I am in the "scheme and dream" phase of my next big project.  I have had dozens of dreams (and nightmares) about how the finished product will be.

Soon I will be confined to a rehearsal space, a theatre space, and my crazy place.  I have moments of wondering, is it all really worth it?

Then the lights go down, the music goes up, the first words are spoken, an audience becomes part of the story and in an instant - I know...


Saturday, 12 November 2011

Day 12: Three Blogs I can't get enough of

The first one is that of my friend Krista.  She has always had such interesting blog postings, but since moving to Cambridge - I am always looking to see her latest.  I love her stories and her pictures and her perspectives on life!

The next one is one that I found on Pinterest - kind of by accident.  This woman is a master of almost any household problem that can come up.  She posts things from how to throw amazing theme parties (LOVE those!!) to how to paint your kitchen cabinets.  I love love love her stuff there!  Check her out!

The third would have to be a tie between these friend's blogs.  I like them for different reasons.  Some make me laugh, some make me cry, some make me sigh and some inspire.
Some do all of the above!

Day 11: Something I've been craving


- french fries
- macaroni & cheese
- fresh, soft white bread
- cheesecake
- sweet potato fries
- pizza
- buns
- cookies
- chocolate

okay, I think you get the point.

I'm on a 25 carbohydrates-a-day meal plan.  aka - the Atkins diet.  And NO I am not related to the dead doctor that invented it.  He spells his name wrong.

Everyone thinks I'm crazy, but all I know is that for me - it works, so I will do it.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Day 10: What I love about my job

This is it...

The reason that I love to get up in the morning.  This is the wall that directly faces me as I sit at my desk.

On it are the beautiful faces that God has given me to -
      - laugh at their goofy jokes
      - give them medicine when they are sick
      - celebrate birthdays, aced tests, and new boyfriends
      - listen to their trials and tribulations with those silly boys
      - be a shoulder to cry on
      - give hugs
      - pray with
      - and love dearly

Over the past 7 years I have seen 67 of these amazing girls don the blue gowns and then leave this place that I have tried to make a home away from home.  Every year I cry when they do.

The funny thing about it is that they really never ever leave.

They always stay in my heart.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Day 9: A close up of my day

a day in the life of a high school girls dean...

7:00 am - country radio (the bad kind - like old CFAC) comes on and I hear the offensive sound of an announcer that I know is from good old Alberta, talking with an accent that rivals those of the back roads of Alabama.
 - my beloved shuts off radio and heads to work - I roll over and fall back to sleep

8:00 am - my ipod goes off - much less assaulting sound - I hit snooze - again and again

8:30 am - leave behind my fluffy duvet covered memory foam cloud to answer the call of nature.
- weigh myself tentatively (since I attended a Dinner Theatre last night) and find to my delight...down 10.8 lbs so far
- do the "happy dance"
- decide not to return to bed in case I never get out again.
- check the blackberry to see what is in the plan for the day.
- put on my face and get my hair back into its former state
- make bed - to alleviate further temptation to return and get dressed - Wednesday is sweat pants day

9:02 am - phone call from office...**** is missing from class
- confirm that the "blue sheet" was not handed in detailing the truancy - all is well

9:10 am - check facebook - write some birthday greetings, message to friend back from southern holiday, and check in with my "homies"
- catch up on some emails

10:20 am - drop some sweat with the aid of Just Dance 3 - songs for today are:  Black Eyed Peas-Pump it, A-Ha-Take On Me, Katy Perry-California Girls, SugarHill Gang - Apache(Jump on it), and LMFAO-Party Rock Anthem.  Sufficient sweat has occurred.

11:00 am - call from the Doctor's office (yea!!)  Appointment with Dr. Mark Allen on Dec 12 - the monsters are going to be released soon!!!

11:05 am - breakfast (well brunch) - eggs (of course) and Wiebes' Mennonite sausage with garlic & a cup of Candied Ginger Peach Rooibos tea (thanks Shuggy!!)

11:20 am - head to my office
- pray for my Colombia team (Mel, Christy, Justine, Nicole, Sheri, Bruna, Mike, Mark, Nolan, Justin, Dylan and Clint) - we arrive in Colombia 3 months from today
- visit with my beautiful girls as they come in for a break before afternoon classes.
- marvel (again) at how blessed I am that this is my job!
- sign various permission forms, get everyone's plans for the long weekend.
- check in with my RA on any of yesterday's activities
- brewed another cup of tea - Blueberry Bang (thanks again Shuggy!)
- read Isaiah 61...uffda!  I needed that!
- "girl talk"

1:10 pm - meet with PBI about Homecoming 2012 plans

1:45 pm - stopped at High School office to check in with my girl, Reenie
- get my fix of Diet Pepsi out of the machine

2:00 pm - back to my office
- prayed for my sweet girls in the dorm
- fill out a LONG reference form for YWAM for one of my girls wanting to go to Argentina on a Soccer DTS (another miracle)
- work on files and reports that have been put off for too long
- do Colombia team fundraiser Pie orderforms
- call ACSI in Colorado Springs to talk about Colombia plans and details...so stinkin' excited!!
- cleaned up my office... I drink a lot of Diet Pepsi!

3:30 pm - my girls are arriving back from the grind
- more "girl talk"

5:15 pm - cleaned off desk

5:30 pm - cooked supper with Dan. - stirfry - he cut up the deer steaks, I chopped the veggies.  I love it when we can make supper together....talk about our days, etc.  He is a good man

6:00 pm - Survivor & supper - BOOOO little weasel Cochrane!!!  I yell at the TV during Survivor

7:00 pm - Community Choir practice at the Arts Academy - I think Erin and I will get kicked out of the choir.  We are every director's worst nightmare.  I wish James and/or Ben were here. ...nuff said - why not buy and extra present...*shudder*

8:30 pm - back to the dorm to check in my little studious ones!
- more "girl talk"
- catch up on Facebook and emails

9:00 pm - snuck into the tv lounge to watch Modern Family - but it isn't on until 10 - so I miss it!  BOOO again

9:30 pm - meet with my RA team (minus Heather who is modelling in Vancouver :)

10:00 pm - devos - Alisha told her story - SO good!!

10:40 pm - more "girl talk"

11:00 pm (ish) - home to bed - my nice fluffy duvet covered memory foam cloud - where I started this day 16 hours ago...

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Day 8: The last thing I bought

(the last thing that I bought was actually part of a gift for a friend, but since I have have already given it away, I will have to go to the next thing)

my new tea mug

as previously stated - I LOVE Christmas, so when Starbucks releases their Christmas merchandise - i go a little nuts.  Usually i just go in and tell Alyssa what I want for Christmas - but since she is no longer working at Starbucks and is now at Festival Ford, I can't exactly do that.  

although...I could tell her that i really like that 2012 Mustang in the lot...hmmm

Monday, 7 November 2011

Day 7: A song for the day

I am one of those odd people for whom Christmas can not come early enough.

I have to show restraint when I flip the calender over to November to not go out to the shed to pull out the tree and decorations.   My eyes glaze over at the beautiful displays in the malls, the Christmas glitz in the craft shows, and the music... LOVE the music of Christmas.

I have a playlist on my ipod of Christmas music, and I will admit, I will often flip over to it throughout the year - but only in solitude.

I have been playing these beautiful melodies for some time in my office, when all is is calm.  There is one song that I have found that I press repeat on more than others.  The version of it that I love is by the Canadian Tenors.  If you have not heard of them, you really do not know what you are missing.  It is "melt music" at its finest.

This song is probably my favorite...

Instrument of Peace

Where there is hatred, let me bring love
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith
Where there is falsehood, let me bring truth
Where there is pain, I'll comfort you

Where there is silence, let me sing praise
Where there's despair, let me bring hope
Where there is blindness, let me bring sight
Where there is darkness, let me bring light

And with these words I speak
Grant that I may not so seek to be heard, but to hear
To be consoled, but to console
Not to be seen, but to see, to be loved, but to love

For when we give love we will receive 
When we forgive love we'll find reprieve
It is in dying we'll be released
Make me an instrument of peace


My Christmas list for this year.  So much better than socks.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Day 6: The book I am reading

I actually had started reading the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy.  I loved the first one and blew through it in about 40 hours.  I like the second one, but due to circumstance in my life right now, I have had a very difficult time concentrating on the words for more than a page at a time.

So, instead, I have been meditating on a different book.


This summer I stumbled across this book and was amazed at how many things in it just fit with where I was in my life.  As I started planning for our school's 5th trip to Colombia, again, it was the book of Phillipians that kept creeping back into the back of my head.  I would hear it in a sermon, or read a verse from it in a note from a friend.  It just couldn't be ignored.

I have been trying to memorize part, if not all of it.  I'm not great at memorizing, but this is just something that I just can't help but feel like I really really need right now.

Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again, REJOICE.  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends ALL understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally brothers and sisters - whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praise worthy - think about such things.

Think about such things...

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Day 5: three years ago today

Goodness sakes, I can barely remember what I did yesterday - let alone THREE years ago!

However, thanks to the marvels of Facebook and the insane compulsion that I have to live my life on this social media site, I have discovered what I think I was doing 3 years ago.

I was preparing to add to my family - in two ways.

First was through the addition of a son.  Brandon and Alyssa had been dating since November 2006.  I have always told everyone that I picked my children's spouses, since in both cases, I met them before my kids did.  Brandon lived in the dorm and from the start I knew that he was a keeper.

He was a man of integrity - even at an early age.  He clearly showed a love for God and his fellow man.  He was definitely son-in-law material, so it was never difficult to see Lys and Brandon pursuing a relationship.

They dated a LONG time.  Really long, considering that Dan and I only dated 3 months before we got engaged!  When Brandon finally came to Dan and I, asking for Alyssa's hand - we were enthusiastically in favour of it.

Then came "the plan" - how to pop the question.  Brandon wanted to do it big, so he asked the master for help.  Knowing that I was all about the production, he conscripted me to set the scene...the theatre at Prairie - full of candles, red roses and just the right music.

It went off without a hitch.  She said yes - of course, and today I am even more thankful for Brandon.  Not only did he join our family, but he brought along with him an amazing family that have become some of our very best friends.  It is a rare and beautiful thing to melt two very different families together like this.  Blessed!

The second addition I was waiting for was the arrival of my first grandson.  Amy had come back into my life just 6 years earlier, after a the separation of adoption.  Now she was having her first baby.  This was the connection that we shared together.  She was my first child - not quite mine and this her son, my grandson - but again, not quite mine.  Isaac made his appearance just 4 days after this day 3 years ago.  He is loved by many, including me.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Day 4: a friend that I adore

DISCLAIMER:   To all my dear dear friends - and you know who you are - I can only choose ONE friend to write about.  This does not mean that I do not adore you as well.  You all make my life richer in your own way...

I don't even remember the day that I met this amazing person.  I feel like I have known her forever but I know that had I actually met her in high school, I would have hated her because she went to the rival school...Dr. E.P. Scarlett  (boo!!!)

But God knew that we would so need each other later, so that is exactly when He brought her into my life.  We went through parenthood together and our kids became great friends - to the point of even being involved in both Lys and Ri's weddings.

but - above being a good family friend - this woman is my hero.

the night that I was contacted by the daughter that I gave up for adoption - she was there - sharing in my heart failure, witness to an absolute miracle

when my Mom passed away it was this dear saint that swooped in with her caring style and became the organizer of meals and everything food related.  She was THERE all the time - like one of the family.

she has let me cry on her shoulder
she has laughed with me until we almost pee our pants
she has been "Howad" to my "Fronk"  in weddings, banquets, parties, retreats, and productions
she has been a second mom to my children
she has pushed me to go see the doctor when I really needed to

she is an inspiration in every way.

she was diagnosed with a disease that stole her father from her much too early.  I would have crumbled, but she has shown strength.
she accepts every challenge with grace and peace

her relationship with Jesus is real and exciting

I do adore this woman.

I love you dear Reenie!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Day 3 - Something I never leave the house without

* cell phone x 2
* keys with swipe card
* LUG bag

Yes - 2 cell phones.  The red one is my personal phone.  It is the cell that keeps me connected to my family and friends.  The many ringtones on it coincide with whoever is calling me.  My kids ring tone is Stewie Griffin saying "Mom, Mom, Mama, Ma, Mommy, Mom,....."  It is full of other fun stuff like Facebook, games, and movie listings.  The black phone is all business - my connection to my life in that beautiful place called the dorm.

The lanyard holds 10 various keys to my many locks and doors as well as my dorm swipe card.  The swipe card is kind of ratty.  I got it in 2009 but I get so attached to them that I just don't want a new one at the end of the year.  It is held together with duct tape.  I will be sad when it finally wears out.

My LUG bag has come with me to Colombia 3 times.  It holds my computer and phones and keys and daytimer and everything I need.  I bought it originally because Oprah said it was one of her favorite things - even got the same color as she had.  She was right.  It's pretty fabulous.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

30 Days Hath November

I am a sucker for these things, so when I saw on dear Alicia's blog that she was following this, I just had to follow - being the sheep that I am.  If you want to see the list it is on this great blog... http://www.sofawned.com/   Join in the fun if you dare!  Some dorm girls are taking up the challenge so this should be lots of fun!

Here is the next 30 days -  well 29 - since I am starting a day late...so today there is 2 entries in 1

DAY 1... Self Portrait.

DAY 2...Three Inspired Quotes

" Love is a feeling of intimate belonging"   Haley Adkins

" I like you and I'm not even on drugs"  Cassandra Dobson

" I have learned that faith means trusting in advance what will only 
make sense in reverse"  Philip Yancey

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

my little monsters

so I have this "thing"

I noticed it some time this summer.  It was in the back yard and I was playing with the dogs - laying on my stomach while they jumped all over my head and back.

I thought, "what am I laying on...a football?"  I rolled over to see what was wedged between me and the ground and saw ... nothing

well that's weird.

I eventually made my way to the doctor and after weeks of waiting and being freaked by Google and WebMD, I have been diagnosed with fibroids.

2 fibroids to be exact.

I asked the doctor exactly how big are they.  He gave me the measurements - in centimeters.  Might as well been in Greek.  He recognized the ignorance immediately and replied, "the small one is the size of an orange and the bigger one is the size of a canteloup"

an orange and a canteloup...

Seriously - why do they talk in fruit??

The horrified look on my face must have been transparent as the doctor then drew me a picture.  He first drew a uterus... a longish oval.  He then drew two large head looking appendages on the top of the longish oval.  As I sat there processing this all, a picture popped into my head.

This is that picture...

Yes, this is the two-headed monster from Sesame Street.  Just picture the one on the right to be bigger - like a melon sized monster head.  I have named them.  The little one is Hester and the big one is Rex.

Eventually the monster will have to be removed.  Yes, a hysterectomy...hence the monster names...Hester-Rex-tomy.  I know, it's a stretch, but that's how I roll.  I name everything.

A few weeks ago I was not as "okay" with all of this.  I was so scared.  As I mentioned, I had the worst case scenario running marathons in my head.  I was faced with the possibility that this was actually going to kill me.  It truly was a monster - and not a cute fuzzy one either.  It forced me to really think about my life.  This whole year of turning 50 has had me thinking, but this was different.  I was faced with the possibility of doing things for the last time.

- last Christmas
- last Colombia trip
- last production

How did I really want to spend my "lasts".  I wanted to make sure that they all really counted for something. Now that I am relatively confident that these monsters are fixable, should I really think any different?  None of us really know how many beats our heart has left in it...how many breaths remain.

So Hester and Rex have been a bit of a wake up call.  Me and the monsters are going to live life bigger...like canteloup size.