Monday, April 26, 2010

I'll miss my laptop tonight

I've been banned from it for the night.  My eldest son and eldest daughter have booked a hotel room for DH and I for the night, with a couple of stipulations, I'm not allowed to take my laptop and he's not allowed to take any fire department work.  Seeing as the playoffs are on, I think they should have added another stipulation - no hockey.  I'm trying to decide if I'll add that stipulation myself or just take a book to read while the game is on.  Hmmmmm.....

Sunday, April 25, 2010

When your children ask...tell them

These words, taken from a passage in Joshua, sum up my philosophy of parenting and teaching - when they ask, tell them.

I remember being struck by these words years ago and I was reminded of it again tonight as our pastor's message was taken from Joshua 4.  In the passage, God divides the Jordon river so that the Israelites can cross to the other side on dry land, but He gives special instructions for them to do something while the river is divided.  He tells them to collect stones from the middle of the river bed and to use them to erect a memorial so that when their children ask about it they can tell them about the miracle of the dividing of the Jordon.   I think it is a lesson in the importance of handing down the stories of our faith and walk with God and how "memorial stones" or items can spark our children's curiosity to ask and remind us to tell.

I've taken the words, even further, however, and I've used them as the basis of parenting and teaching my little one.  I haven't set up a structured learning plan for her yet, but I have followed her leading, while at times putting things in her path to see if she wants to explore them.  When she asks questions, I answer them as best I can and try to expand on her curiosity to make the most of her interest, but I stop when the interest is gone.  This method has been working quite well with her so far.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Blech! I hate hockey play-offs

For quite some time now I have been enjoying some peace and quiet and time to myself rather late at night when everyone else is gone to bed.  Lately, however, my time to myself has been interrupted.  I hate it!  There was a time when I loved to watch hockey, but that was over 20 years ago before I married a man that lived and breathed hockey.  Before long I become totally sick off it.  Even then, for many years I still liked to watch the playoffs, but finally there came a point when I couldn't tolerate hockey at all.  This year it seems worse than ever to me.  I really hate it!  It make it that much worse now because it's cutting into my time to myself.  The over time lately is really, really making me want to scream!  I can't wait for it all to be over and done with.  Hence my six words for this Saturday

Hockey play-offs are wrecking my routine!

Friday, April 23, 2010

By the Rivers of Brooklyn by Trudy Morgan-Cole

The first book I read by Trudy Morgan-Cole was Esther: A Story or Courage and I absolutely loved it.  By the Rivers of Brooklyn is only the second book by her that I've read, and while it is nothing like the first, I thoroughly enjoyed it too.

I am a big fan of historical fiction, and, being a proud Newfoundlander, I especially like finding a good historical fiction book that is based in Newfoundland, or about Newfoundlanders.  In By the Rivers of Brooklyn, Trudy Morgan Cole tells the story of three generations with Newfoundland roots, starting in 1924.  The story concentrates mainly on the women, with the men being mostly in the background.  It tells about how many family members had to leave Newfoundland for work and how some never did come back to stay.

The story starts with a girl searching for the illusive trunk in the attic that holds information about her family history.  I think it's something we all do in one way or another.  She never does find the "trunk" but there is a scene near the end of the book that does tie back to the opening scene in a really neat way.

Though totally different from the first book I read by Trudy Morgan Cole, this book, like the first, has left me wanting to read more of her work.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Today is the Launch of the Get To Know Contest

All children/youth ages 19 and under are invited to submit art, writing and photography to the Robert Bateman 2010 Get to Know Contest.  Check out the official Get to Know Contest rules page for information about the prizes and guidelines as to what is expected.  For inspiration and ideas, check out the past winners of the Get to Know Contest.

The idea of the contest is to get the kids outdoors exploring and learning about the world around them.  They have until the 28th of May to submit entries and they can submit as many entries as they like.  So take advantage of the nice days for the next month and a bit and get out and "Get to Know" the amazing world around you.

Today our local homeschool support group went on a hike and I introduced the contest to the children/youth and they set to work right away.  I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

I'd love to hear from you if you decide to join in the fun.

God Let's You Choose Your Own Adventure

I had a thought today.  Psalm 139 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible and the last part of verse 16 is one of my favorite verses.  It says, "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."  I've always loved that thought.  Before I was born, God wrote the story of my life.  He had it all planned out for me.  One thing I never really understood, however, is how to reconcile that thought with the fact that God has also granted me free will to make choices in my life.  The way I've always reconciled it was to think that God knew me so well He knew which choices I was going to make, so that's how He could write the story of my life before I even started to live.  Today, however, I had another thought.

A nice while back I heard about these Choose Your Own Adventure books where the reading could determine what happened in the story by making choices along the way.  Now, I have to admit that I have never really seen one of these books.  What I've heard and read is that at certain points in the book the reader is asked to make a choice between a couple of ways that the story can proceed and, depending on the choice they make, to turn to certain pages in the book to continue.  The choice they made would determine what happened in the story.

I have always been fascinated with the "if..then" statements in the Bible.  Some great examples can be found in Deuteronomy 11:13-17.  God sets before His people a couple of different paths they can take and tells them the results of each path, and the results are quite different, depending on the choice they make.

My thought today was that maybe when God wrote the story of my life, He wrote it like a Choose Your Own Adventure book.  He gives me choices to make along the way.  The choices I make determine how the story goes.  But He doesn't leave me stumbling along not knowing which way to go.  He provides direction, but it's up to me whether I follow His directions or not.  That's doesn't mean that every path leads to the same ending.  It doesn't.  The ending is determined by the choices I make.  I must choose carefully.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fun, Colourful Newfoundland Art

 A day or so ago I came across The Grumpy Goat Gallery blog and I spent a lot of time checking out the fun, colourful artwork displayed on it.  Go take a look.  Be sure to read some of the blog posts, too.  They are quite entertaining. The blog, and artwork, is the work of two artists living in Upper Island Cove, Newfoundland and on their blog they extend an open invitation to all to drop by their studio.  How I would love to do that!  Maybe some day.  For now I have to be content with a virtual visit via their blog.

I came across their blog thanks to the Newfoundland and Labrador Blogroll, another site which I very recently discovered.  Being the proud Newfoundland that I am I had to add the blogroll to my reader so that I could discover other Newfoundland blogs to boast about.  The blogroll has a blog of the week feature and I can't wait to see which great Newfoundland blog will be featured next week!

Monday, April 19, 2010

I Don't Like that She Reminds Me of Me

Have you ever seen yourself in a character in a book you read?  That's what's happened to me, and I'm not happy about it.  I don't like this character.  She's a good woman that's been dealt a hard hand in life.  She tries to make the best of it but she makes some big mistakes.  She tries, really tries, to make things right but reaches a point where she doesn't want to try any more.  She becomes bitter and unhappy and she doesn't realize how much it affects those she loves.  I don't want to be like her, but I am.  Is it too late to change?  Can I make up for the damage I've caused?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Straight Out of the Camera

Here's the photo that I used in the banner I created.  This is what it looks like straight out of the camera.

As you can  see, there's isn't much colour in it but I wanted a black and white, with shades of gray colour, scheme for my blog so I totally striped it of all colour before using it in the banner.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

No more snow...

... at least on my blog, but there was plenty outside my window when I got up this morning.  Blech!  It was snowing and blowing most of the day.  The snow seems to be disappearing fast, though, and I'm hoping we don't get any more.  I'm also happy to finally have managed to clean the snow flakes off my blog.

Here's what it used to look like:

It was a great look for the winter but winter is over, at least it's supposed to be.  :)

I did a lot of playing around with my blog today.  I just couldn't get a background that I like but I'm finally satisfied.  Having said that, however, I don't know how long I will keep this look.  It's okay for now but I might want something more summery for summer.  We'll see.

I created the blog banner using a photo I took a while ago while little one and I were checking out our favorite summer haunt.  The sun was starting to go down and it looked so nice.  While playing around in my graphics program I discovered the tree graphic and thought it went well with the picture.  I used it in the banner and also in the background.  I decided to make the trees white in the background graphic to contrast the tree in the banner and also because the silver birch tree is my favorite tree.  I created a number of different background graphics before I finally settled on one that satisfied me.

So, what do you think?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Working on a new look!

Tonight I managed to find some time to play around and recall out how it was I gave my blog a new, personalized look a while back.  I know it would be so much easier to just use templates that are available but I like to use my own graphics and really personalize it.  I'm not quite ready to publish the new look yet but I do have a new banner designed and hopefully I'll find the time tomorrow to design the new background.  If all goes well my new look should be ready to publish before next week!  Yeah!!

Kind of ironic though, I'm trying to get rid of the snowflakes on my blog while the weather man has forecast snow for us tonight and tomorrow.  Blech!  I love snow and wish we had more this winter but I do not want snow now!  Guess we'll see what happens

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A great local band makes the big time!

A big shout out to some friends!  Anyday is a local band that has made the big time - today they went to Nashville!  My girls and I are big fans of theirs.  We go to every concert we can.  My eldest girl took photographs for them at their first concerts.  It was really nice of them to give her a chance to work on something she enjoyed.  The band members have great talent and great hearts.  Check out their music on their website and if you ever get a chance to see them live, don't miss it.  They are great!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How do you choose what CD to buy?

I recently discovered that my daughter chooses which CDs to buy based on how cool the band members look on the CD cover.  Is that weird or what?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Feeling Frustrated

That is how I am feeling, for so many different reasons.  Many of those reasons are related to this blog.  I'm frustrated because I want to update the look and I can't remember how to do what I want to do and I don't have the time at the present to research it and do it.  I'm frustrated because I don't know what I actually want to write here or what the purpose of it is.  A part of me wants to be able to just share whatever I want whenever I want here but another part of me really hesitates because I don't want to give up my privacy.  Yet I feel like I need a place to share some things to get them off my chest.  I always found it helped to write about my feelings but I really don't think that putting them out there for the whole wide world is a good idea.  Some things are meant to be private, but some times I wonder if it would help to let some of it out.  So many frustrations.

Perhaps I should get back to counting my blessings and using Monday as a time to post them.  I certainly wasn't as frustrated when I was doing that.  Hmmm...I need to get back on track and get rid of these frustrations.  I know that airing them all is not the answer.  The answer is to get back on track with all the things that I've gone of track with lately.  See, even writing it out in all this vagueness helped.  It doesn't matter that it might not interested anyone else.  It helped.  Then again, it just might help someone else that might be feeling the same way.  Who knows?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

"This is a work of fiction."

Ever read that in the front of a book?  It usually continues with "Any resemblance to any persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental."  There have been a number of times when I've read that and thought, "Yeah, right!  That's a fine way to cover your behind."  And that's really what it is, at least I think.  Trudy Morgan Cole also thinks so.  She says so in the front pages of her book By the Rivers of Brooklyn.

Trudy also reminds as that often "writers mine their own lives for material."  In talking about her book she says "This book, finally, is pure fiction, and its story includes things that really happened in my family and in other people's families and a few things that may never have happened in any family."  I love that honesty, and I think it is true of all fiction books.

BTW, I am enjoying the book and you may find it referred to in a few more blog posts in the future.  I already have another planned out in my head.  :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Stun One!  Forgot to post yesterday!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Living out the Message of Easter

Dear Fallen Leader,

You, of all people, should rejoice in the message of Easter.  It is a message of hope and renewal.  He died to take away your sin and make forgiveness and new life available for you.  It won't be easy.  Even with forgiveness there are still consequences to sin.  Your life will never again be the same.  You have lost things that you can never get back but He can still work through you as you humble yourself and allow Him to do the work.  You cannot do it yourself.  You must lean on Him and learn from Him.  He was wounded and said not a word in His own defense, instead He prayed for others. There are so many others that are hurting because of your fall.  They need your prayers. He took the punishment and allowed the work to be finished, so that God could be glorified in the end.  May you do the same.

I am praying for you, and for your family and all those affected by your fall.

With love,
A fellow sinner

Dear Disappointed and Hurting Comrade,
How hard it is to watch your leader fall!  How easy it is to question everything and lose your focus.  You have discovered that one of your leaders is human and prone to err. Don't let that knock you off the course. Look to the cross. God is still God and truth is still truth. The message of the cross is still one of forgiveness and new life and victory over sin, even for your fallen leader.  Will you follow God's example of forgiveness or will you join the masses that will kick him while he's down? Now is your chance to live out the message of mercy and grace.  No, that doesn't mean that you sweep it all under the rug, but it does mean that you leave it all at the cross.  Let God handle it.  Pray for your fallen leader.  He will need it.  Pray for his family.  They will need it.  None of us are perfect.  We all make mistakes and we all need forgiveness.  Thank God that He offers that forgiveness to us all.  May we all do our part to forgive and support one another.

With love,
A fellow disappointed and hurting comrade

Post inspired by the April 8th theme, Happy Easter, for Letters That I'll Never Send.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Minor Hockey Madness

My boys were always involved in Minor Hockey.  They loved it.  I loved parts of it, but I also hated parts of it.  My boys are now 20 and 21 so I haven't been involved for a few years, and I can't say that I miss it at all.

The tales I heard tonight reminded me of the minor hockey madness that I hated.  DH just got back from officiating an end of season minor hockey tournament in a community a few hours away and he was telling me about the wonderful time he had.  It's such a pleasure to have parents and kids and coaches swearing and uttering threats at you.  Not!  Not a pleasure, that is, but that is exactly what he had to put up with, and that is exactly what I don't miss about minor hockey.

I don't understand why there is so much minor hockey madness.  What does it accomplish?  Absolutely nothing. Well, that's not really true.  It does accomplish something.  It teaches kids to disrespect authority and to let loose with whatever emotions they might be feeling at the moment without any thought for how it might affect someone else.  It doesn't have to be that way.  If the coaches and parents would set the example of good behaviour and insist that the kids act the same, there wouldn't be such minor hockey madness.

One of our boys was into hockey big time and it did crazy things to him, but he didn't get away with it.  There were many, many times, when he was quite young, that I made him sit out games and practices for his behaviour and attitude.  I would not allow him to return until he apologized to the team.  I had coaches and parents tell me I was crazy because it was a part of hockey.  My son wasn't impressed with me at the time but recently we chatted about how it helped him develop character.  He still loves his hockey, and he still has to fight to keep control, but he knows how important it is to do so.  He's learned to be aware of when he is starting to slip into the hockey madness and he's learned how to walk away, and still hold his head high.

It's not easy to stand against the crowd and stand for what's right but if more of us did it those that do what is wrong would eventually find it harder to do what is wrong and we might finally get rid of the Minor Hockey madness.  Wouldn't it be nice to be able to enjoy watching your children play hockey and have everybody leave the game feeling proud of the way that every body acted?

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Broke Posting Streak

I am bummed.  I have been on a posting streak since the New Year started.  I hadn't missed a day, until this past Sunday.  I had computer trouble and couldn't post.  Missed the next day for the same reason.  I'm bummed.  But I'm trying to get over it.

I'm not sure what I'm most bummed about, breaking my posting streak or all the computer troubles I've had to deal with lately.  But I'm really trying to get over both.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

New Bibles!

I finally got a new Bible!  I'd given up taken my old one to church for a while now because pages, and whole sections, were falling out of it so I was always afraid I was going to lose some.  Today I got a new Bible so tomorrow I can finally take a Bible to church again!  I'm so excited.  I like to be able to look up the scriptures that are mentioned and of course I always have my trusty pencil and paper on hand to jot down notes.  I had the pencil and paper even when I didn't have the Bible but it's just not the same.  Sometimes the wrong references are given and I prefer to look up the verse and make sure the reference is right before jotting it down.

Along with my new Bible to take to church, I also got a Chronological Study Bible.  I spotted this Bible last week when I was checking around for a new Bible to take to church and I really, really wanted it.  I was torn because I wanted a new Bible to take to church, but I also wanted this Bible.  Thankfully DH agreed to purchasing both today!

I have followed chronological Bible reading plans a few times in the past, including last year, and I found that it helped me to understand some things better.  What I really like about the Chronological Study Bible is the study notes and features that are included throughout.  I'm thinking this will help even more.

I started reading the introductory pages right away and I've learned so much already!  It's really interesting to read about how they decided on the order they've used in the book.  They make no bones about the fact that there are many different opinions about the correct order and they do not claim that the order they have chosen is the correct order.  I like that.

I'm looking forward to using both my new Bibles.

How about you?  Do you own a Bible?  Do you like to take a Bible to church with you?  Have you ever read the Bible through?  Have you ever read the Bible through chronologically? What is your favorite Bible Reading Plan?  What is your favorite Bible Study tool?

Friday, April 02, 2010

Good Friday

Every year I have good intentions of doing a better job of acknowledging Easter and all that it embodies, but that's as far as it gets.  Oh how I wish I was more like Ann.  She has been posting about Easter for a while and sharing great ideas.  The one that stuck with me the most was the Easter Garden which she posted about in Family Activities to Celebrate Jesus This Easter.  Maybe I'll do better at fulfilling my intentions some year.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

April is National Poetry Month

Want some help to celebrate?

A Year of Reading is attempting to post a day about teaching or learning.  If Poem #1- Teaching is any indication, it is going to be well worth checking the blog each day this month.  Go check it out.  It ends with a good question - "Who is guiding you?"

At the GottaBook blog there will be a new children's poem/poet combination posted every day.  His post today - Alice Schertle - Triolets that Trouble my Sleep - has me wanting to find some Alice Schertle books in my library and also wanting to try my hand at a triolet.

Have you found any good resources?