The Perfect Saturday

I started this post yesterday afternoon, and finished it today. I just thought I would clarify that. 

I think…

that today, April 30, 2013, has almost been the perfect Saturday. There would be a few alterations that could be made that would have made it even more wonderful, but it has been excessively pleasant so far. In fact, I can’t think of one single thing about it that was not pleasant. I guess that the fact that I was going to have a new dress made for Easter Sunday, but now doubt that I will get it  finished in time is a little bit of a letdown. But it’ll be okay. I’ll just wear it next Sunday instead. This will not ruin my beautiful day.

And no, this is not a big, happy, end of month post. That will come on Monday, I have decided. I have it started. It’s really not going that great so far. Don’t get too excited about it. March was a weird month, cause it was mostly small things that happened, and I spent a lot of time just thinking, which, let’s face it, does not make for a particularly entertaining blog post. But we shall see how that post turns out on Monday.

For now, I am going to tell you how to have the perfect Saturday.

First of all, you must wake up at 8:30 and notice that the sun is shining, and then take a picture of your window.

Much like this:

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Exactly like this.

And then you must notice how the sun makes everything look pretty, and is making cool reflections on your wall.

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Next, you get up, and make toast, and put peanut butter on it, and dip it in maple syrup, and then eat it. Oh! And drink mint tea. Once you are done that, it’s actually time to get on with your day, and so you should get dressed and do your hair  and stuff. Then, you find your youngest sister, and ask if she is ready to go shopping with you, because you had previously told her you would take her shopping to buy a birthday gift, because you didn’t know what to buy her for her birthday.

So the two of you set off for the mall, with you in the drivers seat and her in the back seat. You make faces at eachother in the rearview mirror. Obviously. (This is an important step. It must not be eliminated.) You stop at Hillcrest to buy fresh donuts and maple syrup for the sweetest, best grandma in the whole world, and then the two of you stop by her house for a visit. However, it won’t be long before your sister gets anxious and thinks it is high time that you left for the mall.

Say goodbye to your grandma, and inwardly vow to visit her more often, because grandparents are awesome, and a gift, and let’s face it… it feels like the supply may be dwindling. (For me, anyways.)

Head to the mall. Feel proud of your little sister when she chooses to buy the most awesome pair of sandals in the world. Laugh when you realize that the reason she keeps making comments about how your legs are longer than hers is probably because your steps are too big or you are walking too fast for her.

Buy “The Hobbit”. (At some point, you should also make plans with your true friend to have a sleepover and watch the Hobbit on Sunday night after church. This may mean that you won’t be able to do some of the other things you usually do on Sunday night… but that is what Monday will be for! Okay? =))

Go to Wal-Mart. Meet lots of people that you know. Eat lunch with a friend that you randomly meet in McDonalds…. one of those kind that you rarely see, but always feel completely comfortable with, because she is the kind of friend who was your friend when you were a kid, and remembers inside jokes from like, four years ago. It’s a nice kind of friend. If your little sister asks if you are done eating yet, and you realize that she has been done her happy meal for a bit now, whereas  you are only halfway done your meal… kindly pick up the pace. Maybe try talking a bit less.

Go home. Drive a bit faster when your sister says that she has to use the bathroom.

Thank your little sister for being funny and awesome and fun.

Feel happy because it is still a beautiful, warm day.

Head outside and take some pictures.

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Me and Blitz being like “Yay! It’s spring!”

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We need a new net thinger. It’s not the same without it.
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Be so happy that the vein in your forehead shows up.

Jump on the trampoline with Wendy and Owen.

Be the Tickle Monster for them.

Every single time they ask you to.

Ask if you are always going to be the Tickle Monster for them.

Laugh when Owen says, “Yes. Every single round.”

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Go back inside and entertain yourself for the next few hours, by doing  things like some sewing and devotions and pondering the greatness of life, and then go out for supper with Meg, and then go to church and hear really good things.

Talk to people.

Go to Tim Hortons with people.

Come home and watch one Youtube video.

And then another one.

And then another one.

And then another one.

And then…

Yeah.

Fall asleep feeling happy.

And that is how to have the perfect Saturday. Now you know.

The Story of The Past Few Weeks

So according to my “blog schedule”, today’s post is supposed to be a big, happy end-of-month post. But that’s not what I’m going to blog about today. I will blog about that sometime later this week. (Probably.) 

Today I am going to blog about how I ended up as next year’s first grade teacher at CCS. 

It’s a long, detailed story, you see. And I always feel bad for people when they so innocently ask me about it… if teaching is something I’ve been interested in doing for awhile. They have no idea what kind of answer they are about to get. And I do my best to abbreviate the story, but then I end up leaving out details, and it’s just confusing, because parts of the story are missing! So today, I am here to tell the whole story. From the beginning to the end. Well, not from the beginning, because that would mean going back to the beginning of me. And not to the end because, well… I don’t know what the end will be. 

But we’re going to start with me working at Hillcrest. 

Hillcrest has been a really great job for me. It has been pretty much perfect… three days a week (I guess that now it’s turned into four days a week), withing walking/biking distance, and awesome funny people to work with. I really do believe that God sent me my job there. I remember praying and asking God what I should do, and being like, “Okay, God… I’m going to trust that the next opportunity that comes my way is from you, and I’m going to take it.” And Hillcrest came my way within several days. So I believe that God gave me that job. BUT I don’t think He wanted me to stay there forever. Which is great, because as much fun as I have there, I don’t actually want to spend the rest of my life working there. 

After Christmas was when I seriously started to feel restless, and like it was maybe time for me to be doing something else. I just didn’t know what. So I started thinking about going back to school…. I thought about that a lot. I looked into lots of different stuff, and considered many things, but couldn’t really figure anything out. I couldn’t even decide if I wanted to be in school again, much less decide on a career. So I took my indecision as a sign that it maybe wasn’t the time for more school just yet. I felt better once I decided that I wasn’t going to go back to school yet, but I still hadn’t really solved my problem. 

And then I just didn’t think about it for a few weeks. Cause ignoring stuff is a really mature way to handle things, right? 😉 But the feeling that I was supposed to be doing something besides baking bread at Hillcrest wasn’t really going away. So I decided that it was time to start taking some steps, even if it just meant making short-term plans. That was when I decided to apply to SMBI’s WATER program. 

I did apply, and I told my boss at Hillcrest that I would be quitting in June, which felt kind of scary, because it would mean coming home after being gone for most of the summer and not having a nice, secure job waiting for me. And it would mean starting a new job… and Hillcrest had become so nice and…. comfy. I had started to feel like I was actually doing a good job of working there, and the thought of starting all over again with a new job was just kind of scary. But I reallyreally felt like it was what I was supposed to do. So I decided that I was going to trust God and go for it. 

Soon after I had applied for WATER, the idea of teaching was mentioned to me by a friend. 😉 And afterwards, I went home and thought, “I would never ever be a teacher. I could not even do that.” Teaching was not something I had ever even thought about doing before, and definitely not something I felt qualified to do. But then I realized that my reaction to it had been all wrong. Someone who had just decided to trust God shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss new ideas, right? So I prayed and said, “God… I really do want to do what you have for me to do. Even if it’s something really scary. Send me whatever you have for me or guide me whatever direction you want me to go.” And then I thought, “Wow. It’s really good that teaching was suggested to me, or else I might have never realized that I should be open to doing whatever God wants me to, even if it’s something I’ve never considered before. That suggestion was a really good prompter!” 

So I felt pretty good about my decision to trust God for the next few days. 

And then I found out that CCS still needed a grade one teacher. And Meg was like, “You could pursue it!” And I was like “What is up with this teaching thing??? Why won’t it go awaaaaaaay???? I don’t want to teach!” and so I decided that I would not pursue it, even thought it kind of would have worked really good with my summer plans, and let’s face it, working with Meg would be kind of awesome, and I really like teaching Sunday School, and I love kids, and CCS holds a special place in my heart…. yeah. It was then that I realized that I was slowly warming up to the idea of teaching. But there was still way too much about it that scared me. So. I decided not to do anything about it, but if I got asked by the school to do it, then I would have to consider it more seriously. 

And then nothing happened for like, two days. 

Well, I went to Target in Guelph. But that is completely unrelated to this story. 

Except that when I got home from Target, there was an email from Mr. Lichty waiting for me, saying that I was going to be getting a phone call asking if I would consider teaching grade one next year. 

So basically, I freaked out. =) 

And then I was like “Seriously??? Really??? God, why would you want me to do something that I’m very possibly going to be terrible at???? Why?? IT MAKES NO SENSE.” But then I calmed down and seriously started thinking about this. Logically. From all angles. I think I thought every single thought that could possibly be thought on this topic. I thought about learning to use the photocopier at school (that thing has always scared me!). I thought about my weaknesses. I thought about my strengths. I thought about decorating bulletin boards and coming up with Christmas programs and disciplining children and noon hour games and teaching kids to read and doing art and helping them all get their outdoor clothes on in the winter and tying skates and helping them skate and telling them Bible stories in the mornings and staff meetings. I thought about things I wouldn’t like about the job. But the list of things that I would love was longer. 

I realized that there was really only one reason that I would turn down this opportunity. And that was that I really did not feel qualified. I didn’t have a clue how to be a teacher (still don’t!) and the thought of learning was (is) scary. But then I started thinking about all the people in the Bible that were given a job by God. And I seriously doubt that any of them felt qualified for what He gave them to do. Like Gideon. And Esther. And Moses. And David. And Mary. The list goes on and on. It really does. I actually did make a list. And I have developed a theory. It is this: I don’t think that God asks his people to do easy things. Like ever. I mean, can you think of anyone- any Christian who has done amazing things for God- who was given an easy job? Do you think God ever presents a task to anyone by saying, “So… I have this job for you to do. No, no, no. Don’t get all worried! It’ll be easy! You won’t have to step outside your comfort zone at all. You won’t be challenged. You won’t make mistakes. You won’t learn or grow or change at all.” That’s not how God works. So I concluded that being scared of teaching was not actually a legit reason to not do it. But then there was still kind of this question in my mind of whyLike why is it that God doesn’t ask his people to do easy things? But I have decided that it is because there really are some things that we can’t do on our own. Things that we would fail miserably at if we tried to do them on our own. But with God? Nothing is impossible. Absolutely nothing. So our weaknesses are a way for God to accomplish what He wants to, using us. We just have to trust that He will. See, we shouldn’t limit God to what we are able to do. We have access to the most incredible source of power… the most powerful force in the world. In the universe. Except that God is so powerful that he created the universe. So even saying that he’s the most powerful being in the universe does not accurately portray how powerful he actually is. And we have all of that inside and around us. Doesn’t it kind of make you feel all tingly? =) So the long and short of it is… God isn’t limited by what you can do. You are limited to what God can do. Which is anything. So yeah. That makes you pretty powerful. And it also means that we don’t ever really get to take credit for what we do. Because it wasn’t actually us. I could go on about this for a long time, because it’s one of those things that I’m having trouble putting into words. Those kinds of things are so annoying, and yet so awesome, because usually if it’s hard to capture an idea in words, it means that it’s just too awesome and too big of a concept to be limited by words. So you just kind of try, and hope that people can kind of understand what you are trying to say. Ooh! Kind of like in Inception! Where the most basic part of an idea is planted in someone’s mind, and their mind takes that tiny, simple beginning, and goes with it, and it becomes their very own idea. Okay. Now I have gotten distracted. All that to say that I pretty much decided that I was going to say yes. 

But the phone call didn’t come that night. 

Or the next night. 

And so I basically had a heart attack every time the phone rang. 

But then the phone call finally came. And at that point, I was starting to feel a bit uncertain again, and so I was like, “Well, do I need to give an answer right now?” And I didn’t have to, but I realized very quickly that that was stupid, because I did actually know that I was going to tell them that I would be happy to teach grade one. So I called back the next day and said “Yes.” =) Then I had to wait for an email telling me when I would be interviewed. And while I was waiting, I started seriously thinking about my summer plans, because I was kind of thinking I should maybe be going to Faith Builders instead of WATER, considering the fact that I know next to nothing about teaching. But I had been getting all excited about WATER. So that was another decision that was on my mind. Until, of course, I got a call from SMBI saying that I had been accepted for the program, but all of the places I had applied to were already full. So that seemed like a pretty definite answer to that question, and kind of also cemented in my mind that this was what God wanted me to do. Because He was doing a pretty good job of clearing the path for me. 

And so on Friday afternoon, I had an interview, and I have the job, and I’m going to apply to Faith Builders for the summer term and teacher’s week, and I’m going to try to keep from freaking out about how much I do not know about this and just focus on learning as much as I can and trusting in God’s power and being the best teacher that I can be. I am excited. =) And scared. And a little bit sad that after this spring, I won’t get to wear my pink apron on such a regular basis. It was such fun to wear a pink apron. And I will miss Florence. And Amber. And everyone else too. And I will miss eating freshly fried and glazed donuts for breakfast. Although I will save $1.10 by not eating those two donuts every week. Seriously… if you want a donut and are driving through Floradale between 8 and 9 in the morning…stop at Hillcrest and I will buy you one. Because you are worth 55 cents to me. =) Also because donuts that are that fresh are just one of the greatest things ever, and everyone deserves to have one! =) 

But back to the whole teaching thing… I was kind of surprised by how quickly I made my decision about teaching. Normally I am bad with decisions. But I think I am better at making the big ones rather than the small ones (cause seriously… if you would ask me right now if I want to go to Smoking Tony’s or Bourbon Street Grill for supper, I would not even know what to say. The good news is that I am staying home and eating leftover spaghetti instead). The problem came after my interview when I realized that I had the job and that I really WAS actually going to be a teacher. That was when the problem came. Saturday was bad. Sunday was worse. Sunday resulted in me crying while watching the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, which are NOT worth crying over. Really. But today? Today is goooooooooood. And I feel excited again. Because I realized that I shouldn’t stop trusting in God just because I have this job now. I trusted Him to provide one, and He did (He did it really quickly too! =)). I don’t get to start depending on myself now. I don’t know why I would want to, but it seems to be my natural tendency. I think it may be cause I’m like, a human. But I trusted Him before, and now I need to trust Him to help me do the job He sent me. 

I feel like I am learning so much. =)

But also like there is much left to learn. 

So yeah… that is where the story ends for now, I suppose! 

And they all lived happily ever after…. 

The Life and Times of Wendy

Wendy’s birthday is this week, so I thought that I would do a blog post about her! =)

It wasn’t hard for me to find pictures of Wendy for this post. No other childhood has been so well-documented in photos as Wendy’s has been. It doesn’t hurt that the kid has three billion different expressions that never cease to amaze and amuse me. Wendy is perhaps one of the most entertaining people I know. She is always ready to have fun, and is happy to go along with the crazy plans the rest of us come up with. She has giggle fits. Often. All by herself. I mean, it happens to me too… but it’s not like when it happens to Wendy.

See, Wendy does everything completely.

When something strikes her as funny, the result is uncontrollable laughter.

When she plays, whether it’s with her pets or her friends, she throws her whole heart and energy into it.

When we’re at the beach, she plays hard. Thankfully, Kenton is her companion of choice for that, so I don’t have to play hard too. 😉

When she’s skating, she is always willing to get back up when she falls.

When she hugs, she hugs tight.

When she loves, she loves a lot.

I remember the time this winter that she had pneumonia and just laid around for a few days… it was pretty boring and calm around this house, and I think we all missed the lively Wendy that we were used to. She is so expressive, and although pictures can kind of capture that, I think you have to live with Wendy in order to fully understand and appreciate this. =)

I still remember the day that Wendy was born. That was a seriously exciting day for me. I was in grade 5, and it was just before lunch when I found out. And then I had to wait all afternoon and part of the evening to go see her. I cannot believe that she is going to be 8 years old. That is just crazy.

I wish I had some pictures from when she was a baby for this post, but that would require searching and scanning and I’m just not feeling quite that ambitious today. =) But here are pictures from the past two or three years.

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So glad that this little escapade resulted in laughter, and not tears. I remember watching it play out and thinking that it really could go either way.
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Honestly, birthdays are just so exciting.
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Gah! Look at how young we are! What happened to us????

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Smile nicely? Why yes, of course we can! If we want to.
Smile nicely?
Why yes, of course we can! If we want to.

I hope that you have an incredible birthday, Wendy! I’m so glad that you are my sister and that you figured out how to email pictures to me! 😉 And I’m glad that you like Despicable Me, and that you wanted to watch Wreck It, Ralph the other Sunday night. And I’m glad that you’re brave and can protect me from Bruce. And you know more about your Kobo than I know about mine. And you pick awesome bedtime stories. And you put awesome outfits together for yourself. And sometimes you and Owen sit on the fence and yell “Radishes away!” and it makes me laugh. And you hang out in my room. And then Renee hangs out in my room. And it’s the three of us hanging out in my room. And you know all the words to that “Good Time” song, by Owl City and Carly Rae Jepson. I don’t know if that’s admirable or not. And you love “Springsteen”.

So.

There is lots of reasons that I love you.

Like because you’re awesome!

That’s a pretty good reason in itself right there!

I can’t wait to make more membories with you! 😉 We are gonna have such good times together! I can tell. I am wise like that. I always tell you that I know everything, and I think you’re old enough to know that I have actually been telling the truth when I say that. =)

Happy birthday!

Happy Monday!

It’s a random monday!

I wanted to call this post something else. Something besides “Happy Monday”. I wanted to call it “In Which I Share All The Great Moments That My New Camera Has Captured Thus Far”. Actually, I often want to give my blog posts titles that begin with “In which…”. (Sidenote- When you say “in which” does it make you think of sandwiches? Cause when I say “in which”, it makes me think about sandwiches). But I  never actually do it, due to the fact that it’s kind of an overused thing. It is unfortunate, because it’s just such an excellent way to begin something.

There was one time that I gave in and used it. It was in my very first chapter of the book I’m working on, and it was begging to be used, and so I finally just gave in and said, “Okay, Inwhich. Welcome to my book. But just this once. Got it?” And really, Inwhich has been honoring that agreement quite well. In my book, that is. Blog posts are a different story. If only I had never read those stories by A.A. Milne, that all have awesome titles like “In which Tigger comes to the forest and has breakfast” and “In which a search is Organdized, and Piglet nearly meets the heffalump again” and “In which Rabbit has a busy day, and we learn what Christopher Robin does in the mornings” and “in which Tigger is unbounced”. See? Things sound good with Inwhich in front of them! Inwhich infront of them. Okay. So I have used it once in my book. Hey! Do you want to read a sentence from my book? You can read the inwhich sentence. I guess. If you’re begging that hard. Okay. Here is a sentence from my book (two sentences, actually):

“I realize that my story has gotten off to a slightly melancholy start. Which is okay, because it is a slightly melancholy story, in which secrets are kept and revealed, death is sudden and unfortunate, true love is discovered in unexpected and yet completely familiar places, betrayal abounds, and the meaning of life is found.”

Well. There you go.

See? We are still just at the introduction of this blog post, and it is already random! This is going well.

So as you know, I bought a new camera, and I have been having lots of fun taking random pictures with it, just because I want to use it, but don’t really actually have anything that exciting to take pictures of.

So I take pictures of my family. They are actually quite exciting sometimes. The things that go on around this house….

So. Random pictures.

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This was the very first picture that I ever took with my camera.
I know, stunning, right?
I was actually really mad at myself for this, because I had decided beforehand that the first picture I took with my camera was going to be a really special, meaningful one.
And then, I just got excited and a bit carried away, and before I knew it, I had taken a picture of the box that my camera came in.
And you only get one shot at taking a first picture with your new camera. It’s like all the other “firsts” in life. Once it’s happened, it’s happened. There is no going back. BUT the great thing about firsts is that no matter how great or awful they may be, there is always the chance that they will get better. So yeah… my pictures can only get better from here on out. =)
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My, what big eyes you have….

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Books I’m reading and loving right now…
So I found this really great blog that I really love, and she is always quoting wise things from books that she is reading, and she is always reading something. It just makes me want to be a really well-read person.
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Gmail is without a doubt one of my favourite things in the world. It goes right up there with spaghetti.
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Remember how there was not a picture of icicles in that one blog post?
Well, this is not a picture of my semi-colon/colon key.
Because it fell off last summer. And now my baby finger has become a “precision instrument of speed and aerodynamics” (much like Mater, from Cars, you know). It looks a little bit like my keyboard is missing a tooth. A tooth that will never grow back. *sigh. I still have the key actually. It is in my Spongebob pencil case. The great thing about this picture is that it also allows you to see exactly how clean I keep my laptop. It’s quite disgraceful, actually. One time a bug crawled into my laptop when I was writing outside. And I never ever saw it crawl out. So it might still be in there somewhere. It might have had babies. My laptop might be full of bugs. I don’t know. Ew. I am going to seriously clean my laptop after this. Really, I am. I use my laptop all the time (as long as there is an outlet nearby, of course!), so I guess it’s understandable that it gets dirty… but I should really take better care of it.
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This winter, I have drank (drunk? drinken? probably not drinken. But it’s a cool word, is it not? Reminds me of the Barney movie that I watched over and over again when I was a kid, and there was a weird little furry thing in it named Blinken.) insane amounts of tea and hot chocolate. I do this awesome thing where I dump a ton of sugar in my tea, and it is kind of hot and sweet and milky and I feel veryvery happy and energetic. Sugar will do that to a person. And it doesn’t help that my mug of choice lately is awesomely big and yellow, so there is more sugar than there would be if I was just drinking from a regular sized mug. But isn’t it a happy mug? So happy.
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Can somebody say “biggest peanut butter cup in the world”?? Because I think that might be what this is. Thank you, Trish, for giving me the biggest peanut butter cup in the world. You know me so well. =) Do you know how big this peanut butter cup is? It is so big that I could not even eat it all at the same time. Like, I ate half of it, and then decided to eat the rest later, because it was just so awesomely big. After I took this picture, I remembered that time that I took a picture of my tiny garbage can, but no one could actually tell how tiny it was because I didn’t put anything beside it to compare it to. And I didn’t want to make the same mistake twice. I want you all to know how big this peanut butter cup is. So I took a picture of it with Dilbert the Golf Ball.
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See??
It’s big, right??
It’s perfect. =)
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And this- this is a tiny banana.
As compared to a toothpick. Do you see the toothpick to the left of the tiny banana? That’s how tiny the banana is.
Sarah brought this banana to work, and we all thought it was the cutest fruit ever. And Amber thought that I should put the tiny banana peel in my tiny garbage can. But I try to avoid putting foods that are going to decompose and smell bad in my tiny garbage can. So I didn’t. Much to the disappointment of all. (This was not taken with my new camera. It was taken with my iPod.)
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So Renee and Kenton were doing this thing, where they would throw a ball at eachother, and my room somehow became Renee’s base. And then she turned on me too? “This is the face I make before I throw a ball at you.” She said that. And made this face. But I knew that she could make a better face than that. So I said, “Harder! Scrunch harder!”
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And then this happened.
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And then she tried again, and I think she reached her full potential with this face.
She never did actually throw the ball at me. Due to the fact that I distracted her.
That’s how clever I am. 😉
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Renee hid behind my door to avoid Kenton- twice. The brilliance of using the same hiding spot twice in a row is just underwhelming, as Kenton and I informed her. We have some work to do on her yet.
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I don’t know why she was on my floor. But… she was. And she looks pretty happy curled up down there. I like my floor too. It’s a good floor. I just like lying on the floor. That’s it.
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This was after church yesterday. I said, “Guys, do something awesome.” And this is what they did. So if you ever wondered what “awesome” actually looks like- this is it. I know, right? I was impressed too.
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Another iPod picture. But seriously… I have had some beautiful beautiful walks to work in the mornings. I am going to kind of miss those silent, snowy mornings. This past Thursday was particularly awesome, because it wasn’t really cold. It wasn’t windy or anything. And the snowflakes were big and fluffy and just fell straight down. It was wonderful.
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Yeah… the pictures really don’t do the morning justice.

I think that is the end of the pictures. Finally. Sorry bout that.

Random things that are on my mind?

Well, last night Wendy and I had the funnest ride home from church ever. The rest of my family may not agree. But we had a great time. She got one earbud, and I had the other, and we sang the greatest, singiest songs ever. We sang loudly. Expressively. We put a lot of soul into it. I love that my little sister loves the song “Springsteen” so much. When we were getting close to home she sighed and said, “We are going to have such good membories from this.” (And yes, there was actually a b in there. And yes, I do have such good membories of it.) At another point she said, “It’s really too bad that we don’t have a piano in here, so that we could go ‘plink, plink’ when the song does.” That just made me laugh, because I have never thought about how we should really have a piano in our van before. But it was just fun. It made me feel excessively hyper and happy and awake. Things didn’t really change when I got home.

And I am officially an introvert. I read http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sophia-dembling/nine-signs-that-you-might_b_2251932.html#slide=1849770 and was like “Wow. This makes so much sense. This is me she is talking about.” Although, I don’t generally hide out in bathrooms. Mainly because that seems just a little bit silly to me. And because I never really considered it as an option. And although I do not hide out in bathrooms, I do know the feeling of relief that comes from being alone after being surrounded by people. So I guess I am kind of an introvert. But it was kind of exciting to realize that there are other people in the world who feel exactly like I do.

And although penguins can’t fly, flamingos can. However, they prefer to fly at night, and taking off is a little bit awkward. At Hillcrest the other day, I was told that I was brought by a flamingo instead of a stork. Because I have a pink apron.

This summer, there will be a Despicable Me 2. Could it possibly be as awesome as the first one? I don’t know. They set a pretty high standard for themselves to live up to.

I think I like raisins now. Not enough to eat a raisin pie. (We sell those at Hillcrest, if anyone is interested.) But I used to think that I didn’t really like raisins, and then I accidentally ate one the other day, and it wasn’t half bad. I may eat another one sometime. I’m still deciding about that though.

I think that if people have great confidence in you, and expect great things from you, the chance of you actually doing great things immediately goes up. I really do believe this. I have felt it in myself, and I have seen it in others. So seriously… believe completely in the people in your life. It’s good for them.

There’s a few songs that I’ve been listening to a lot lately, and I thought that I should share them, just in case anybody needs some new music in their lives. So here they are: “Where I Belong” by Building 429, “Promises” by Sanctus Real, “You Are I Am” by MercyMe (this song goes along perfectly with the book “Wrestling Prayer”. Sometimes I feel like I have no idea exactly how powerful my God is), and “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave. Good songs. I love them.

I got to eat lunch beside Stephanie yesterday. She’s so cute. Honestly.

Watch this: http://fortheking.tv/death-of-yolo-jefferson-bethke/. For those of you who were at youth retreat, it’s the thing that Eric did on Saturday night during the worship time. I thought it was really good, so I searched and searched for it. And I found it. Just when I was about to give up. It was totally worth all the searching though. Powerful words.

Okay… I think it’s time to wrap this up. 2, 224 words is long enough, I suppose. =)

Have a good Monday!

Optimism

Guess what?

This afternoon, when I slid into the driver’s seat of the van, and closed the door, the air that wrapped around me was warm and still and full of sunshine, instead of the thin, chill, gray air that comes in the winter.

And it felt like spring.

I love when you can feel winter start to change into spring. I’m not sure that it’s quite happening yet, but I think that it will happen sometime soon-ish. I feel like I am soon going to feel like spring is on its way.

And that makes me feel optimistic.

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My flip-flops. They’re from Meg. Which makes them special (insert appropriate intonation here. ;)) Warmer times are coming, folks. I believe it.
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I love starting a new chapter. Correction: I love starting a new chapter when I know how to start it. I must think of something wise to expound upon. And I’m not really one of those people who can write the rest of the chapter first and then go back and come up with the perfect introduction. I must write the introduction first. Gah. I know what I’ll be thinking about tomorrow while I’m mixing dough. Well, it might not take up quite all my thoughts. There might be room for a few other thoughts too. One time, I was so busy thinking thoughts, that I almost put my finger through the bread slicer. There was blood. Oh yes, there was. And pain. A little bit of shock and “did I really just almost do that?????”. But some thoughts just deserve your full attention, you know? ANYWAYS, new chapters make me feel optimistic because they have the potential to be good. I haven’t had a chance to mess them up yet.
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This makes me feel optimistic for obvious reasons. And it’s worse because I won a free coffee the very first time that I got a roll up the rim drink. So now, I expect to win every single time. Cause clearly, I am lucky. Except that I’ve only won once so far. But all hope is not lost. I could win again. I could win something great. Like a car. Or a barbeque.
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The future makes me feel optimistic. A bit scared too, due to the uncertainty of it all….But optimistic. The future is beautiful. I’m excited about it. I want it to come.
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Oh look.
In order to be able to wear these dresses, I first have to sew them.
But I’m looking forward to wearing them!
And sometimes, sewing isn’t so bad.
But if your little sister is watching the Cosby Show, and then goes upstairs, and leaves the disc at the menu, and the theme song just plays over and over? Then sewing is bad.
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Blue sky! It’s a beautiful thing!
Now if only there were some leaves on that tree.
I have some kind of spring fever, I think.
I’ve got it baaaaaad.
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This is not a picture of icicles. Do you know why this is not a picture of icicles?
It is because the icicles- they have melted.
Ha ha!
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A puddle!
It comes from melted snow and icicles, I think.
Puddles are beautiful things at the end of winter.
I wish I had a pair of rubber boots. No really, I do want rubber boots.
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Easter.
I can’t wait for Easter.
I love Easter.
And eggies. The bigger the eggie, the better, is what I always say. 😉

So basically what I’m saying is that life is pretty good right now. And I’m really excited about the next few months and finding out what they hold, cause it seems like they could be kind of big, exciting months. =)

Also, someday soon, I will stop posting every single day. I promise.

It will probably be tomorrow.

And I think there might be a Giant Empty Space at the beginning of this post. At this point, to me, there appears to be one, and once again, I don’t know how to fix it. But maybe it will miraculously fix itself again.

But in case it doesn’t, I’m sorry about the Giant Empty Space.

And if it does miraculously fix itself once again, I’m sorry for apologizing about it unnecessarily. Again. Because this is the second time in two days that this has happened.

The old blog was a lot simpler than this one. Just saying.

But I do like this one. We are just getting to know eachother yet. But due to the fact that I feel like blogging about every single little thing that happens to me, or every single thought that I have, I would say that this blog and I definitely have a shot at this.

And now I am personifying my blog.

Amber and I personify things all the time.

Today, we named the little thing that we use to get the air bubbles out of rolled out dough. We named it Peaches. After the Peaches in Ice Age. We were going to name it Fred, but then too many jokes were made about it. So we thought Peaches would be a much more fitting name. Cause it sounds much better to be like “I need Peaches” than “I need Fred”.

Now I’m just talking.

Good night all! Sweet dreams!

Renee and Kerra

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This blog post is about two of the absolute cutest. Their names are Renee and Kerra. They let me take some pictures of them on Saturday afternoon, even though it was freezing cold.

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No children were harmed or placed in any danger during this little project. No one even fell in a river. Seriously. No one fell in a river. I realize that now that I sound all defensive about it, it might sound like someone did indeed fall in a river. But really, no one did. You have to believe me. Not even one of us fell in a river. No one was even close to the river. I mean, okay, someone may have been close to the river. But not in it. Seriously!

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Sometimes I wasn’t sure what was going on.

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Sometimes there was a difference in opinion as to whether or not it was a smiling picture or a solemn picture.

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This is not Kerra and/or Renee. This is just a thing that was growing and so I thought I would take a picture of it because I like how my new camera can focus so specifically on one thing and blur other things. It is wonderful.
This is not Kerra and/or Renee. This is just a thing that was growing and so I thought I would take a picture of it because I like how my new camera can focus so specifically on one thing and blur other things. It is wonderful.

And the laughing. Oh, the laughing.

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Cause see, sometimes this would happen:

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They would be standing there, and then the snow beneath them would give out, and one of them would suddenly be significantly shorter than the other. And I’d be like, “Okay, that’s fine, we’ll just move over a few feet.”

And oh boy, you should hear them sing. They do quite the rendition of “The Call”, by Regina Spektor. Which ironically, is a song that my friends and I (okay, so me and Meg and Ben) also have loved.

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We did manage to get a few “solemn” pictures. But if  the solemn pictures and the laughing pictures would decide that they wanted to teeter totter together, the solemn pictures would be stuck dangling in the air and the laughing pictures would not leave the ground. Not even an inch. Or a centimeter. Or a millimeter. I don’t know why I put these pictures on a teeter totter. They would have much more fun swinging together. Ahem. What I’m trying to say is… laughter is an important part of friendship. I am convinced.

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And these last ones are probably some of my favourites. =)

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I am a huge fan of my new camera, but I have so much to learn about it! So a huge thanks to Kerra and Renee for standing out in the cold and letting me take pictures. And sorry about that dog that almost ate you. Floradale has mean dogs. But you guys are great! =)

(And my apologies to everyone for the Giant Empty Space at the beginning of the post. I have spent far too much time trying to fix it… and I just can’t. So yeah. We are just going to have to accept that it is there, and deal with it, and stop freaking out about it, and maybe even stop furiously poking our backspace key in an attempt to make it go away. Okay? We’re just going to not think about it any more, no matter how much it may annoy us.  Good bye.)

(Oh look. Now that I apologized for the Giant Empty Space, it has magically disappeared, and you were all thinking that I’m crazy. Well, I’m not. There really was a Giant Empty Space. Would I imagine a thing like that? I think not. Good bye again.)

Psalm 78

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Are you sick of hearing me talk about Psalms yet? It’s kind of too bad if you are, cause I’m not really planning on stopping any time soon. Well, I might. I don’t know. All I know is that there is much to be learned from this book. I always used to think that it was just kind of a “boring” book. Kind of repetitious, even. No stories. Authors who are either in complete awe of God’s power or feeling like He has abandoned them. Where is the consistency in that? If someone picked up the Bible and read Psalms, would they not come away slightly confused about the character of God?

So I have never been a huge, huge fan of Psalms. But now I am. I have decided that in the end, the book of Psalms is just realistic. That’s what it is. It’s people expressing their feelings and being completely honest. It’s a testimony to the power of God.

And today, I am going to talk about Psalm 78, which was written about the Ephraimites (I don’t know exactly who that is. And I even googled it. But from the rest of chapter, it sounds like they had something to do with the Israelites), but might as well be written about me. Unfortunately, this is not a positive thing. But it makes me want to be different and better. My thoughts about Psalm 78 might be kind of random and not particularly connected to each other. But hey, what is new about that? =)

I’m not going to type the whole chapter out, but I will give the verse numbers for the verses that I want to specifically talk about. So if you want to know exactly what the verses that I am talking about are saying, then you should go get your Bible right now. Don’t worry… I will wait until you’re back to get started. But you better hurry. =)

Okay. Ready? (And actually, you could have taken as long as you wanted to get your Bible. Because I had to go fold laundry right then. And then I had to eat cake. And then I thought I should really eat some ice cream too. And then I made tea. And now I am finally back. Back. My back really hurts. I think it’s from sledding yesterday. Sledding is the best fun ever. But now my back hurts. But it was totally worth it. =))

Ready I am now. (I’m talking like Yoda! Yes. Yes, I am. Okay. Time to be serious it is now. Something is wrong with me. Too much sugar consumed in a short period of time, perhaps? Happy I feel. ))

Okay. Seriously.

Psalm 78.

It starts out talking about how it is the duty of God’s people to tell their children what God did for them, so that they can pass it on to their children and they can pass it on to their children and they can pass it on to their children and they can…. I think you get the picture. And why is it so important for the stories of God’s love and power to be passed on?

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In verse 8, it says that it is so that they would not be like their stubborn, rebellious fathers. So that their hearts are steadfast and their spirits are faithful to God. So think about your spirit being faithful to God. Is yours? Mine has a bit of work to do yet. Or a lot. Cause your spirit… that is what makes you who you are. It is, essentially, you. Everything else about you is just kind of extra. Your spirit… the most basic part of you. Is it faithful to God? If everything else about you was stripped away, would a desire to serve, love, and obey God be what was left of you? Is your spirit faithful to the One who loves you? Or does it wander all over the place, easily fascinated by many different things? A steadfast heart and a faithful spirit- I believe that God deserves and requires them. And I believe that having a steadfast heart and faithful spirit is much more satisfying than anything else. Something else that I thought was interesting about verse 8 was the use of the words “stubborn” and “steadfast”. Don’t they mean basically the same thing? And yet, stubborn has such a negative connotation, and steadfast is just kind of a reassuring word. It makes you think of something stable and strong and unchangeable. It’s just kind of a reminder to me of how important it is to believe what is true. Stubborn is when you need to make a change, or do something other than what you are doing, but you don’t want to, or you fight change every step of the way. Steadfast is being convinced of something that is true and unaffected by all the lies and opposition that may come, because it doesn’t matter who opposes you, because you know that you are right.

And then verses 18 and 19…

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They thought that they knew what they needed. They demanded God to give them what they craved. It says that they “tested” God. And then it sounds like they kind of mocked God. They made their demand for food. And then they insinuated that God couldn’t actually give them what they had asked for. They taunted God. Which seems like a little bit of a dangerous thing to do.  Sometimes, I think I know what I need. I think I know what I can’t live without. Sometimes I ask God for those things. But more often, I fall into the ditch on the other side of the road… where I don’t even ask God because I’m scared that He won’t answer and I won’t hear/see His answer, and then I will just feel all confused and disappointed, and so I don’t ask. I’m not really so different from them… either demanding but not believing that God can actually do what I asked, or not even bothering to ask, which is not any better. So what can I learn from these verses? Ask God for things, and believe completely that He can do them, but if I don’t understand His answer, gracefully accept that He has something better in mind. Because after all, He does know what is best.

When God heard what they were saying to Him, He got angry. It says that He was full of wrath. Why? “Because they did not believe in God and did not trust His saving power.” (verse 22). He is more than capable. Believe it. He wants you to.

God gave them what they wanted. He sent them manna. I love how it is described. It says that God opened the doors of heaven, and gave them the grain of heaven. “Man ate of the bread of the angels.” But even while God was so actively demonstrating how powerful He is, they sinned and did not believe. So God took a different approach. It says that once He killed them, they repented and sought Him earnestly.

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Verse 35 says that they remembered their redeemer. But apparently, their repentance wasn’t genuine. Because it says that they were merely flattering God with their words. They were lying to God. And their hearts were not steadfast toward Him, and they were not faithful to His covenant. Verses 38 and 39 talk about God’s mercy towards them. He remembered that they were only human. It calls flesh “a wind that passes and comes not again”. So insignificant compared to an eternal God. If you are going to acknowledge God as your rock and redeemer, you should mean it. Don’t try to fool Him, because you can’t.

And a final thought about this passage: Verse 58… it says they provoked God with their high places and moved Him to jealousy with their idols, and He was full of wrath and utterly rejected Israel. He allowed the people who He had poured His love and power and grace over to be captured by their enemies. That had to hurt God. It says that He delivered his glory to the hand of the foe. One doesn’t just easily give up something that is their “glory”, their pride and joy.It says that God utterly rejected Israel. They had chosen other things over Him, and their own will over His, and had rejected Him so often, that something needed to be done. And I do that too. I have idols- things that I find more captivating than God. It’s a serious thing to love something more than you love God. God hates that. God has taken drastic measures in the past when it comes to eliminating idols or punishing people for worshiping them.

So what was the problem with Israel?

I think it might have been simply that they did not truly acknowledge and believe in God’s omnipotence. Verse 42- “They did not remember his power or the day when he redeemed them from the foe.” They forgot what He had done for them.

Do we possibly have the very same problem?

I think so. I mean, I can’t talk for the rest of you. But I can talk for myself. And sometimes, I do not give God the credit that He deserves. And I devote too much time and thought to other things.

The end of Psalm 78 is hopeful though. Even though God gave His people up for a time, He still had a plan for them, and it talks about how David was chosen to guide God’s people back to Him.

Yesterday, in church, a really great verse was read, and it had this amazing description of God in it. The verse was Isaiah 57: 15.

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God: the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is holy, who dwells in the high and holy place, and with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit.

See, that is a pretty powerful God to serve.

 

 

Like, “stop eating the paste” special?

Well.

This proves it, I guess.

I officially have the greatest friends in the world. I do. There’s just no way around it.

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19 got off to a rough start for me. I got home from work and concluded that really, it could only go uphill from here on out. It was the dumbest thing, because I rarely have bad days, and then I have to go and have a bad day on my birthday? It just didn’t seem right. Work was bad, but my family was nice, but I was tired, and so I went to bed.

Thursday was infinitely better! Meg had been talking about my birthday for awhile, telling me how awesome it was going to be, and how special I was going to feel. And she was right… it was awesome and I did feel special! =) Also, I have to take back what I said about my birthday not being particularly exciting… because this was exciting!

So what did we do?

Meg had this all very carefully planned out, on her little blue recipe card that she kept pulling out of her pocket and checking, which obviously drove me nuts because I wasn’t allowed to know what was coming next. But basically, we drove to 19 of our very specialest places, and at each place, she had a gift and a note from one of my other friends for me. And we took pictures. 19 of them. Not 19 at each place. Just one at each place. =)

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This was the very first picture. When I was beginning to catch on that it was going to be a very, very niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiccccccccccceeeee evening.
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I don’t know if this is our best shot of our favourite pose…. but hey, no retakes, right, Megga? =)

Random Quote- Me: “Those were some good dudes.” Meg: “Right stand up old chaps.” (We were talking about in-class memories, which obviously brought JustinRickyandDale to mind. I wonder what their plans for St. Paddy’s Day are this year.) There was lots of funny things that got said on Thursday night, and I kept thinking that I should remember more of them, but the above quote was the only one that I can remember because it was right after we laughed about that that we talked about how we should be remembering other quotes too.

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Hands on!
Yeah.
I don’t want to explain it, and you don’t actually want an explanation. You really don’t. But I would like to mention that when Meg smiles like this… her head shakes. I felt it. She smiled so hard that her head shook. How great is that?
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This is us being disgusted.
In the parking lot of Wildcraft.
Perhaps another expression that would have been fitting here would have been disappointment? Because we were really expecting something much awesomer than what we actually experienced. We have much higher hopes for this year’s Valentine’s Day celebration. Because how can you go wrong with Italian food? I like spaghetti. Love it. 😉 And do we always celebrate Valentine’s Day late? Apparently, yes.
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Will we be beat?
The answer is no. We will not.
This is a picture of us looking like we love Kenton (in the Tim Horton's parking lot!), because he is the best little brother that we could possibly have. We love you, Kenton! =)
This is a picture of us looking like we love Kenton (in the Tim Horton’s parking lot!), because he is the best little brother that we could possibly have. We love you, Kenton! =)
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I have the most beautiful book in the world.
Sorry to all you other people who thought that you had the most beautiful book in the world. I actually hold that position now.
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A backwards “d”?
I would love one, please. So much awesomer than all those regular d’s. Hey, Meg and Greg, remember that time when we were really young, when we chatted, but weren’t allowed to use any d’s? That was wonerful. Goo memories. =)
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Prettiest book ever.

So basically… I feel incredibly blessed to have such awesome people in my life. And if you were one of the 19 people who wrote me a note… thank you so much! You are all so awesome! I don’t even know what to say to properly let you know how completely great I think you are. Cause I do.

There were so many encouraging and inspiring and motivating and loving words! Quite honestly, I feel kind of undeserving of all of those words. It makes me want to actually be everything that people were telling me I was. I didn’t cry the first time that I was reading them, but I did the second time through. Not like a whole lot of crying. Just a few tears here and there. You know how I am. =)

And some of the greatest, most inspiring words of them all? II Timothy 1:6,7- “…fan into flame the gift of God, … for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

And that is unbelievably awesome.