Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I'm leaving on a jet plane ....

I am off to visit my sister and her family and my mom and dad for a week! I am very excited, but this is the first time in 18 years I've ever traveled anywhere for more than a day without my husband and/or my girls. I am very excited to see my family and especially my niece, Alandria (5) and my new nephew, Xander (2 1/2 months). Baby cuddles and little kid chatter make my heart soar!
On the other hand, I am worried about my husband and kids at home. My husband has reassured me over and over again that they will be just fine ... but, I don't want them to be too fine! I want them to still need me! I never imagined that my heart would be so torn ....
I will enjoy my time away, but will look forward to being reunited with my own family in a week.
Here I go .....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Aerosol AND organic?

I saw this product at Wal-Mart today. Really?? Pancake and waffle batter in an aerosol can can be organic? To me, "aerosol" and "organic" shouldn't be in the same sentence!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

It's all about the coffee ...

Coffee is simply part of who I am. From the time I was a little girl, I can remember my mom waking me up for school and sharing her cup of coffee with me. Pretty soon, rather than share her cup, she would bring me my own cup of coffee. I remember being in grade 3 and opening up my thermos at lunchtime and in it was coffee. For most of my life, the coffee I enjoyed was instant coffee - Taster's Choice. However, in recent years, I have come to enjoy a much richer, fuller taste of coffee. It's no secret that my husband and I enjoy Starbucks, but we mostly brew it at home.

Last week, my husband was given a sum of money to buy us an espresso machine. Things have been very tight financially around our house and of all the things we really need, an espresso machine was not on the list! However, this money was specifically given for that purpose. We found the machine we wanted, found it on sale and then got an even better deal on it! We brought home our new "baby" ... "Collaboration with BMW Group DesignworksUSA and Saeco Italy Creates the New Starbucks® Sirena." We have spent the last few days, brewing over and over again until we've got it just about right ... the perfect espresso ... appreciating the layers ... the crema, the heart and the body.

I attended a Ladies Conference with my friend, Rhonda, last weekend and one of the points made at the conference involved coffee! We were encouraged to make our relationships worthy of a second cup of coffee. You see, we can all meet someone and enjoy one cup of coffee with them. We can bluff our way through one conversation ... our marriage is spectacular, our children are wonderful, we have all the self-confidence needed to conquer the world! An "instant coffee" relationship.

However, in actuality, people are looking for authenticity in relationships. We need to be honest with each other, admitting our faults, admitting our fears, sharing our discoveries, learning from each other, bearing one another's burdens. Once our conversations and relationships move to that second cup of coffee, it is much more difficult to hide. Honesty begins to show. Authenticity develops. Yes, this does take an investment of time and energy, however the dividends are immeasurable!

I'm lifting a glass of warm, rich espresso ... here's to you and your relationships ... may you take the time to invest in someone else ... enjoy that second cup of coffee with them ... allow yourself to be authentic.
May you enjoy the crema, heart and body of not only coffee, but of relationships as well!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Yum ....

We had company last weekend and I served this for dessert! Absolutely scrumptous! Definitely worth sharing the recipe ...

Prep Time:
15 min
Total Time:
3 hr 15 min

12 servings, 1 slice (103 g) each

What You Need!
2 cups orange sorbet or sherbet, softened
1 pkg. (250 g) PHILADELPHIA Brick Cream Cheese, softened
1 can (300 mL) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup orange juice
3 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

Make It!
LINE 9x5-inch loaf pan with foil. Spread sorbet onto bottom of prepared pan to form even layer. Freeze 10 min.
MEANWHILE, beat cream cheese in large bowl with mixer until creamy. Gradually add condensed milk and orange juice, beating until blended. Gently stir in Cool Whip. Spread over sorbet in pan.
FREEZE 3 hours. To unmold, invert pan onto plate; remove foil.

Saving money ...

As a 'stay-at-home' mom, it has always been my feeling that because I wasn't contributing to the household income, at least I could help save money by buying smart. I have always shopped according to the sales and made my meal plans with the weekly flyers in front of me. In the past I have been an avid coupon user and have recently started using them again.

Yesterday I got a great deal! 'Feminine products' were on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart for $1.99. I had a $2.00 off coupon!! All I had to pay were the taxes ... so the total was $0.40 for 4 packages!

However, my hubby headed to Canadian Tire to pick up some stuff for our van. He had a scratch and save coupon I had given him from the weekend flyers and ended up scratching "Save $5.00". Then he swiped his CT MasterCard and used his "money on the card" to cover the rest of the cost. His total ... $0.00!!
So, he won .... this time!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Are all your eggs in one basket?

So, over the course of the last several weeks, I have been concerned that my husband and I have 'put all our eggs in one basket' so to speak.

Wikipedia says ... "'Don't put all your eggs in one basket' is an idiomatic phrase meaning that one should not focus all one's resources on one hope, possibility or avenue of success."

I realized this morning that indeed, our 'eggs are all in one basket', but that basket belongs to God!! If 'all our eggs' are in HIS basket, what do we have to be concerned about!? Oh yeah ... I am focusing all my resources on one Hope, Possiblity and Avenue of Success!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Technology is Precious ....

Very early in 2009, during a phone conversation with my sister, I noticed some apprehension in her voice. When I questioned her, she just said she was scared. I questioned her further until I answered my own question, "You think you're pregant?" ... "No." ... "You KNOW you're pregnant!" ... "Yes."

Because of her medical history, getting pregnant for her was very risky. She had been warned that there could be problems with the baby or with her own body. She had been told that miscarriage was a very real possibility.

I was the first person she told that she was pregnant and together we began to believe for a healthy pregnancy resulting in a healthy baby. We held our breath as the first 3 months passed with no sign of miscarriage. Then we waited patiently for the ultrasound to show that the baby was perfect in every way!

Although she was scheduled for a C-section in 3 days, Charlene went into labour early yesterday morning. My mom called me and let me know that Charlene had been admitted into the hospital. I e-mailed my brother-in-law knowing he would get his e-mails on his blackberry. He replied with 2 words ... "in surgery". Just a few moments later, my mom called on her way to the hospital. She had her cell phone up to one ear talking to my brother-in-law and my dad's cell phone up to her other ear talking to me! The message was passed to me ... 7lb 7oz ... 21 inches long ... lots of black hair ... and then ... my mom put the two phones together so I could hear THIS ...
the beautiful cry of a newborn baby from 1400km away. What can I say except in situations like this, "Technology is Precious!"

Alexander L. Kloster (aka Xander)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

To Do List ...

For July and August ...
Things that are done:

-Finish schoolwork with my kids - didn't finish until the end of July, but they both are Honour Students!
-Make appointment for MacKenzie to get her wisdom teeth out
-Do some sewing ... mostly mending
-Go to Canada's Wonderland with our kids and their friends
-Clean the carpets in the school/playroom and the dining room
-Paint the school/play room
-Load in the school/playroom with only things the girls will need for highschool (gasp!)
-Sign Savannah up for a 3 week course in "Advanced Theatre and Acting for Teens"
-List old homeschooling materials on eBay
-Spend 4 days in Niagara Falls with our family, Andrew's sister's family and Andrew's mom and dad camping at the KOA (swimming, campfires, a few local activities and lots of good food)
-Organize my kitchen cupboards and drawers and give away anything I don't need
-Lose the last couple of pounds to make it 20 lbs lost and keep a regular work-out routine
-Freecycle old homeschooling stuff not worth selling on eBay
-Organize schoolwork for 2009/2010
-Read some good books
-Watch some favourite movies
-Give my blog a new look, update it and get back to writing on it ... even my DAD mentioned that I hadn't posted anything since April!

Things not yet done:

-Paint the downstairs bathroom
-Go to the Toronto Zoo
-Spend some time at Andrew's gramma's cottage
-Frame some photos
-Clean the family room carpet
-Go to the beach
So, what have YOU been up to??