Thursday, December 29, 2005
On the disc are also songs that Layne and Evan have sent me of 'the brothers' singing. I love it when they come up. The kids always want to know which uncle is singing. I mostly know but I have a hard time telling between Layne and Evan. Dean laughs at their schmaltzy singing and arrangements and general goofiness. He is jealous. He wishes that he had brothers like that to sing and play with.
So I mended shelves and unpacked boxes of books that had been packed for more than 2 years. I love my books. Why had I left them packed for 2 years? It is good to see my old friends again. Like the copy of Little Women with JM on the inside cover (Mom's initials). Silly maybe to unpack them all when I am sure it won't be long until we will have to move from here. But I hate living in the state of suspension. Better to be here while we are here. Anyways, all my books (and Dean's who is a likewise lover of books) are unpacked. I also totally rearranged the living room furniture. I think it is the best arrangement yet. I like it. It is a joy to sit in, now. I have a little bench by the window now ready to start little seedlings in a month. Flower seedlings and tomatoe seedlings and pepper seedlings and melon seedinglings.
The first night (after the rearrangement) Dean and I watched the Last Samurai (a DVD which Drew owns - he and I saw it at the theatre - and Dean has never watched). For the first time we could sit comfortably without moving furniture to watch. Dean liked the movie. It was the 3rd or 4th viewing for me. Japanese is such a gutteral language. It is like they are in contrast to the Chinese who are so nasally. It is like as a culture they swore they would never sound like that. Maybe Japanese is not so gutteral when they are not talking about war... They yelled ALOT in the movie.
Yesterday I ran my other Christmas break mini camp. I had 8 kids from 4 - 12 and they were mostly boys. Whew! That was a lot of energy. It was fun, though. We made candles for New Years and played upset the fruit basket (they loved that game - they didn't want to stop!) and went for a hike and painted. My friend Abbie came in and did an hour with them about India (where she was last year) and their traditions for this time of year. It was not so much a camp of teaching but more a camp of keeping the energy going in the right direction. And it went okay, I think. So today I rest. I would still be sleeping if Rhiannon hadn't woken me up. I'm reading a book by Amy Tan - the Bonesetter's Daughter - and I am really enjoying it.
Monday, December 26, 2005
We were under the tree by 8am. The kids all liked their Santa stuff. We don't go to extremes and try to get a few gifts that are meaningful or useful and promote our family values. Kaetlyn, Drew and Erin help Santa out for each other and that is fun. Erin got the family a DVD player. Yahoo! You can't even RENT VHS anymore in Vernon - it was getting to be very slim pickings! Dean got me a beautiful healing fairy. Just when all the presenting was done and I started work on the turkey, Bethany called and we opened our presents together. I am so honoured to have her drawing of me. Beautiful! And I don't have a copy of that picture myself so I really, really like it! (funny - when Dean sees it, he says how we are all good at drawing. I look at him quizzically and say, Bethany, Amy and Martha and that is all of us? That is only 3 out of 12 and if my parents had stopped at 3 kids, no one would be good at drawing. He is always trying to categorize us!) Beth also sent me some foot stuff from Lush which I love and there is no Lush store in Vernon so it is a real treat - and the Little Women video which I have been wanting for years. No one will watch it with me - they are all too cool but I love it!
While the turkey cooked, Dean and I walked the dog. Then Erin and I played Scrabble (when Kaetlyn plays, we call it squabble) while sort of watching her movie, Guru. That movie is really funny! Although there are some questionable parts where we had to fastforward and distract Rhiannon. Then the kids set the table beautifully. By candle light we had our turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry juice with gingerale, brocolli and cheese, yams and curried peas (Justin made). Erin never made the apple pie so we just had the usual goodies for desert but mostly we were too full to even think about sweets!
Later we watched Rhiannon's Christmas DVD - The Secret of NIMH and then Drew's Christmas DVD, Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - very funny and I went to bed after working on Dean's Christmas present. I am making him two hats but I couldn't make them without trying them on his head as when you have no hair the fit has to be exactly right - so I gave him balls of yarn for his gift. I am making one out of bamboo! It is black and silky and 100% bamboo! Weird. That one will be for on stage. The other I am making out of Lopi wool for keeping his hairless head warm in the cold.
That was our Christmas. Today everyone just laid low, played with their Christmas things, ate left overs (yum!). I went and visited a friend who was lonely and has no family for an hour or so. And the day is over already...
Saturday, December 24, 2005
I did have a bit of grief with Kaetlyn and Drew who didn't want to do their chores. They said I was ruining their Christmas eve day by making them work. *sigh* It is so nice when this ego-centric stage ends... I did protest that it wouldn't have been much of a holiday for me if I have to do all the work by myself. Kaetlyn said, why did we have to have a big dinner and why did the house have to be clean - who cares if there is mold growing in the toilet! Why indeed! It did get all worked out in the end but not after some severe-ness on my part. We went to the service at the Alliance church which had less singing and more preaching than usual and I was dying to sing. I love to sing Christmas songs and no one else really does. I was really looking forward to Martha being here and playing our piano and singing with me... The preaching was very nice and their pastor is from Scotland and had a kindly brogue. He very gently talked about how turning to Jesus at this time of year (and always) helps us to get centred again from our hectic lives. They have a part when all the children go up to the front and they tell the Christmas story. This year Rhiannon ran up there. They told the story but left blanks and let the children fill in the blanks. Rhiannon got to speak into the mic and say that the angel said not to be afraid. I could see her little hand there waving each time there was an opportunity (now where does she get that from....?) (you all might be too young to remember that about me - Doug or John would know and John was always the same way)
We picked up Erin and Justin and had our Christmas Eve dinner - this year vegetarian quesadillas (Justin if vegetarian) and I made my famous artichoke dip and put out all the goodies. I gave my little Christmas Eve talk about what Christmas means and then we each opened a gift. I opened the one from Kaetlyn who gave me some pj's and some scenting candle burning thing. We watched a Christmas Carol (I had to put Rhiannon to bed part way through at her request - I hope that is a good sign) and now all the kids are off to bed so Santa can come. I am waiting for them all to fall asleep. Then the long task of Santa begins.
I picked up Bethany's gift for me today and opened the box and put all three presents under the tree. I am so excited! I can't wait to talk to her tomorrow and I REALLY hope my gift for her got there today!
I hope Rhiannon will have a better night than she has had for the last couple! She has woken up in the middle of the night the last 2 nights and stayed awake for about 2 hours in which time she comes into my room and wakes me up several times (usually just after I have fallen asleep). Last night she woke me up so often and so thoroughly, that I couldn't fall asleep for more than an hour after she finally did. She is just so excited. And today is Christmas Eve. I'll have to wear her out really good today. Too bad we can't go toboganning somewhere which we like to do when there is actually snow on Christmas Eve. Maybe Dean can take her to the park... Probably physical exertion will do the trick (well, I can hope, can't I?). I remember how mom used to drug us when I was Rhiannon's age. Too bad they took that stuff off the market... A little dose of Phenogren went a long way on Christmas Eve...
Merry Christmas all my lovely, beautiful, wonderful sisters. I look forward to talking to you, Beth, on Christmas. Call me when you are ready. I am sure we will be 'up and at 'em' bright and early (well actually it probably won't be bright yet...) I love you all!
Thursday, December 22, 2005
It is raining here. Raining and raining. Almost like a bit of Nanaimo right here. No wind, though. Drew is very discouraged as the snow slowly disappears and his 'run' for his GT slowly melts to mush. "It was such a good run, Mom! Look at my scraped up leg from when I crashed and then Jared crashed and it was so fun!" (boys!) as he proudly shows me his calf all scratched up. Of course, Drew gives me much more detailed accounts of his slides down the hill and every nuance. He loves sliding.
I love to read Laura's posts of what you are all doing in Nanaimo. I feel a bit sad, too, to not be there and sad because I have never been there. I am jealous of Katie and Laura and Martha and Sarah and Bethany and Amy who always had lots of sisters. Brothers just don't do things like that. Makes me homesick for a time I never had.
I mailed off Bethany's present (the rest of it) today. I sheepishly went up to the counter and asked the nice mail lady if there was any chance of getting it to Nanaimo before Christmas. She laughed at me. I sent it express post and they are delivering on Saturday. So you COULD have it before Christmas - or you will get it on the 27th. Whenever you get it, you MUST open it with me on the phone because there are explanations needed and I didn't write anything on them. And then I realized that I forgot one of your little presents - it is sitting on the shelf beside where I wrapped everything. As I left, the mail lady said, "Last one?" I grinned and nodded. I didn't bother telling her it was my only one. Then she would know...
Well, I am off to make more peanut brittle
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Amongst all of that, I taught them. First I taught them about their bodies. They loved singing so we I taught them Hinges and Do As I'm Doing and we talked about all the wonderful things we can do with our bodies and how to look after them. Then I told them a story about emotions using puppets. Then we played a game that used our minds and we talked about how we use our minds to remember, solve problems, etc. Last, I taught them about spirit - listening to the still small voice and the magic of believing.
Today, I will canvas for washing windows and make peanut brittle... Dean is sicker so I will baby him. He finally got home late, late, late Monday night (well, early Tuesday morning would also be accurate). Then he had to wash windows yesterday. Today he will rest. I make him tea out of fresh ginger and lemon and that seems to help. At least it hasn't turned into bronchitis which it usually does for him. So, I'm off to make peanut brittle!
Sunday, December 18, 2005
I was especially glad that I did it at this busy time of year. Luckily I agreed to drive her there (she doesn't drive) months ago when I wasn't thinking about how busy I would be. When the time came close, I wondered what I had got myself into and if I should back out. But I am not a backer outer. I was so glad that I arranged things so I could go. It was wonderful to recharge and take that time out for myself - a luxury I would not have allowed myself otherwise. And really such a good idea!
I was so looking forward to seeing Dean when I came home. But he was not here. Their bus was not plugged in so they can't leave until tomorrow morning. I miss him. If I wasn't expecting to see him, I would not miss him quite so much. But I do. I miss him a lot. Our bed won't feel large and luxurious to me tonight, it will feel empty...
I guess it will be all the better when I see him tomorrow, right?
Saturday, December 17, 2005
And Laura, where is our bike trip thing?
Rhiannon had her piano Christmas concert today. She did very well - even remembered her whole notes in Jingle Bells which she struggled with remembering. Dean's parents were there and really enjoyed it. She played two songs on her own and her class did an ensemble (she played tambourine). Poor Dean had to miss it again. He is playing Panorama tonight.
Kaetlyn and Drew are busy with their peanut brittle business. They were taking it easy - not going out that often and then suddenly they realized that there is only 7 days left. SEVEN DAYS left. Eeep! I wish I was more like Katie (but at least my laundry room is clean... I know, I know, it is Brent's fault. Funny how that is, it used to be Laura's fault or my fault...)hehe.
Well, I had better go and finish vacuuming the living room and making my grocery list...
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Just wanted to share that with you. There is something else that is troubling me. I haven't been able to get a hold of Martha in 2 weeks (since I spoke to you, Katie) (errr, I mean Jollee..) I have tried calling several times and never got an answer. She hasn't called me which is unusual since she moved. Does anyone know anything? There are so many factors in her situation, my imagination goes a little wild. If anyone has heard anything, please let me know. You can e-mail me if the information is too personal. When I read Amay's post about being worried about something mom told her about, my mind went immediately here.
Other than those pressing issues, the Christmas baking and tree decorating went well. It was very fun to spend the time with Erin. I made a batch of shortbread, 9 batches of peanut brittle a double batch of sugar cookies (and icing) and started the Nanaimo bars. Whew! And then she and Justin took me out to dinner at a new Indian restaurant in town (Vernon's first!). The food was delicious. I got chicken korma and we shared some pakora and samosas. I went from there to the free workshop we were offering last night at the Inner World School. Several people signed up but only 2 showed up... 'tis the season. We had a good talk with those that showed up. It was on Transitions in Family Relationships so I had lots to say.
Well, that's it for now.
slightly tired chick out.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Erin is coming today around noon to do Christmas baking with her mama. Funny how things that she couldn't be bothered with when she was at home and even actively avoided, she likes to come home and do, now. We are also going to decorate our Christmas tree this afternoon when Kaetlyn gets home from school. We bought it at one of those places where you cut down your own on Monday. It is a grand fir and it is the most beautiful tree I have ever seen! We had quite a time getting it into the stand! It is standing a little crookedly but that will have to do! We had to saw off some little bit but the saw was incredibly dull and it took soooo long with Dean and I trading off sawing! Then we got it into the stand and then it fell over. So it is standing now - however crookedly is fine with us.
Rhiannon is so excited. I think the years 5 - 7 are the apex of Christmas excitement. She is just bouncing around all day. Whe wakes up around 6:30 and starts singing on the top of her lungs while still in bed. (Dean doesn't really enjoy that part!) We put the lights on the tree last night, much to her delight. I've got shortbread in the oven right now and I am about to go make peanut brittle until I run out of ingredients (I think it will be sugar).
And did I tell you that I have managed to get Rhiannon sleeping in her own bed?! YES!! She just got her reward the other day for sleeeping in her own bed for 14 consecutive nights! Ah blissful sleep! What a difference a good night's uninterupted sleep makes! (say good bye to yours, Sarah!)
Saturday, December 10, 2005
I am exhausted. There have been busy, busy days with no breaks. Thursday was the gala so all day Wednesday and Thursday were spent in that preparation. Friday afternoon I had volunteered to head a homeschooling activity (do I have a screw loose or something?!) We did beeswax candles. So I spent Friday morning searching for sheets of beeswax and getting that ready. This morning I had to get up early and make peanut brittle as Kaetlyn and Drew had sold it all. I took them out selling. When we were done, we had 45 minutes to eat lunch before the recital started... Then I come home and rush to make dinner and start the fire and, and, and... At times like this, I really miss Dean in a practical way. Being a single parent is no 'cup o' tea'...
Friday, December 09, 2005
These are my last moments with Erin's digital camera. So perhaps I am going a little overboard. I love digital cameras! Anyway, I have always loved the winter dawn here when we get to see it (ie. don't have the dreaded 'valley bottom cloud') So when sleeping-in failed this morning I took these pictures of the dawn view from my patio. This is looking Northeast towards Lumby. Its the view from my kitchen table.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Now can't you see what I mean about my nose jobs being obvious in the picture?
Okay, maybe I took them out too soon - their still damp but at least they are not 2 inches long...
Yesterday blogger was going so slow and kept not uploading my pics after waiting for 15 minutes! So I gave up. I'll try again now.
This is the first one that I crocheted from a pattern. My hat doesn't look anything like the pic on the pattern but I like it. It is pink and white wool with a mohair blend trim.
This next one is made from one strand of blue and one strand of grey wool and aplaca - the tourquoise (looks like green in the picture) is alpaca - soooo soft but too small for my giant head so I can't model it for you.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
I still have that bag on my foot and my crack doesn't feel as painful today. My right knee hurts in the cold weather and then my left heel is cracked. I hardly know which leg to limp on...
I will take some pics of my new hats later today for you. I have to give back Erin's camera on Friday. I've made some with ear flaps with Alpaca wool which is very, very soft.
Monday, December 05, 2005
Sunday, December 04, 2005
In the freezing cold weather, Redfish played outside downtown last night for the opening ceremonies of the Nordic skiing world cup. At -11 it was a pretty chilly event! I wore leatards, my pajama pants under fleece pants with thin socks, and wool socks and a tshirt, thin sweater under thick sweater, my coat, a neck thing a wool hat and my gloves. But other fools (who probably moved here from Vancouver) were wearing thin jeans and shoes and freezing. I didn't get to stay for their whole set as Rhiannon wanted to go home - she was really tired. We got about half of it but I didn't get to hear a new song I really, really wanted to hear. Oh well.
Before that we went to Penticton for Dean's Nana's memorial service. Their entire family (less 4 great-grand children) was there and we fit in this tiny room. Can you imagine? There was Dean and our family, his sister Katherine and her family (3 kids) his brother, Mark (who is gay - his two kids who live in Calgary weren't there) Dean's 1 and only cousin, Michael was there (but his 2 kids were sick so were at home with their mother in West Van), Dean's parents and his mother's brother, Uncle Barry and his wife. That's it. Can you imagine having a family you can fit in a short paragraph? It was nice and it was the first time I saw them all at once. All the grandkids except Dean spoke. Dean played a beautiful arrangement of Amazing Grace. Uncle Barry spoke and that was pretty much it. The chaplain read some scriptures. We went to Uncle Barry's after the service where he had some food catered and everyone got to visit. We could only stay for an hour as Dean had to be in Vernon for his gig. Rhiannon didn't want to leave. His family is very funny and his cousin Michael was telling us hilarious stories. We were laughing until we cried.
Before that I was in Armstrong at the Farmer's Market. I picked up my old neighbour, Evalyn, who knits slippers and drove out to Armstrong in the bitter cold. We were originally supposed to be up on the stage (death at these events) but we managed to wrangle a better spot on the floor almost immediately. In fact we ended up with 2 tables as someone didn't show up. There were a few people who didn't show up - must have had car trouble with the cold. The room was about the size of the gym (cultural hall?) rooms in the LDS chapels. They had people set up around the outside of the room facing in and then people on the inside facing out. We were at the back of the room facing out (facing the samosa man). In the past, we have always been near the door. I don't think our location was ideal. I only sold 2 hats but I sold more peanut brittle than I have ever sold before there. People were trying them on and saying how beautiful they were and would say they would be back after they made their rounds but they didn't come back. I did trade with some teen age girls who made some very pretty jewlery (or at least Evalyn did it for me - I had to leave early for the Memorial Service). I don't know if it was the location or what. Several times people with children in tow would handle the children's hats and then ask how much they were. When I would say the baby ones were $10 and the children's were $15, they would drop them like a hot potatoe. That doesn't seem like too much to me? When you consider the cost of the yarn and the time it takes me to make it. I'd pay $15 for a beautiful hat for Rhiannon... I'll post some more pictures of more recent hats I have made later. This Farmer's Market only costs $25 to go in and I only have to pay half of that so it was not a loss however you look at it. I just need to find a way to sell these hats... Any ideas are welcome.
So there, I have deconstructed my day. Sometime today I have to go and pick up all my stuff from Evalyn. And I have a crack on my heel. I've never had one of those before and it really hurts. I'm going to go soak my foot and put some more oils on it.