Friday, August 29, 2008


Nate is working at home today, making built-ins for a client's closet -- and Jack is out there with him. I came outside to see what was going on and Jack is sitting under the table saw, in a huge pile of sawdust, filling a water bottle. Yes, he's wearing a brown filthy t-shirt, Nemo jammy bottoms and yellow rubber boots. No, we don't actually live in a ghetto despite the fact that it appears that way.

All of a sudden I hear him cry, "Mommy help me." And I notice that is hand is stuck inside the sawdust filled water bottle. "Stuck", he says. It took a few yanks to release his little hand and when I told him to hang on so I could get a picture, he ran away. I think even he was embarrassed about his predicament.

All's well that ends well, I guess. Having a 2 year old around is never dull...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Learning Curve

My brain is tired. I just got a new computer and I am trying to learn all the new things that come with switching from PC to Mac. It's so sad that all my settings, saved passwords, book-marks, favourites etc. are all gone and slowly have to be added back into my online life. Not to mention the documents, pictures and other items that have to be moved from one computer's memory to another. It's a lot of work and I don't really like it.

Along with the new system comes a whole new batch of lingo. The saleslady asked us "Do you like to use a track pad?" Hmmm....there was an awkward pause until she added, "Or do you want to use a mouse?" The light went on, the track pad is the mouse pad in Old English. No longer is it a picture file, it's an event file. I'll never again save programs to my desktop --I'll have them on my dock. PC is my old self and I have metamorphisized into a Mac user. It's all new -- and the learning curve is big.

I think I need a nap.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Little Helper

Today is a cleaning day - really exciting, I know. Its a change-the-beds, do-the-laundry, sweep-the-breezeway type of day. This is my little helper. You might wonder what he is doing in a sink that is full of water, fully clothed ~ he is doing the dishes. (Notice the mug on the left of him and I'm sure he is sitting on cereal bowls and spoons.)

Remember my post a few days ago about good friends?? One of my very good friends taught my son that doing dishes and playing in the sink is fun. She let her 2 year old and my 2 year old play at the sink one afternoon and they loved it. Now, I'm not blaming her for this ~ perhaps giving her the credit would be better.

As I write this, Jack is still sitting in the sink. I took the picture and thought I'd write a post before I drag his wet soggy body out of there (imagine how big his diaper will be now that he's been in there about 25 minutes!!). The thing is -- he's been very very happy for the last 25 minutes so rather than writing bad things about my dear friend, I'll thank her. It's been peaceful here this morning. Perhaps I'll add this to the list on all my cleaning days.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Girls Weekend

This weekend was Kylie's (my five year old daughter) first girls weekend. Annually, my mom, sister, sister in law and myself head to the great USA for some shopping. This year we took Kylie to see how she'd fare in the world of Target, Birch Run etc. And she did quite well -- for a five year old. We certainly tired her out and wore down her patience but all in all, she says she had a good time and I think she did.

The boys had a Boys Weekend while we were gone and went camping, biking, and swimming. Once she heard this when we got home, she told me that maybe next year she'd like to attend boys weekend. Not that she didn't have a good time, but boys weekend was definitely more appealing to her then walking in and out of stores looking at housewares and clothing. I can totally understand that and Nate was THRILLED! The fact that his daughter would chose activity over "retail therapy" made him beam with gratitude/pride that he is defeating the shopping gene that seems to have been passed from one generation of Penny girls to the next.

But remember, I told him, she's only five.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Home Sweet Home

You have to admit that good friends are worth far more than anything.

We just got back from visiting friends we hadn't seen (and barely talked to) for 2 years. Practically no contact. And from the moment we saw each other, it was like no time had passed at all -- other than the fact that all the kids had grown tremendously.

I think that relationships like that are like fresh air ~ you breathe deeply, relax, and just enjoy.

We had a great time -- playing with the kids, going to the skate-park, playing Air-Soft (which is a kinder version of paint ball that stings less and has no paint), seeing old friends and eating. And eating.

I am so grateful for all our good buddies -- and to list them would be unkind ~ but you all know who you are (because for one, you are reading my blog) BUT you also are our kindred matter how far away or how much time between visits. Thank You!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Plane Rides and Packing

That's what is happening here today.

Nolan is going on his first plane ride ~ Poppa takes the kids on a plane ride the summer that they are 7 yrs. old (from London to Toronto) and then to Chucky Cheese for lunch. It's a good deal for my dad and the kids -- bad deal for my mom. She has to leave well before the plane lifts off, to drive the 401 to Toronto (alone, I might add), where she picks up the boys at the airport, hops back in the car and goes to the worst restaurant ever for a sane adult. I don't think it's quite the exciting day for her as it is for the boys. But Granny's are like that.

What will I do while my 7 year old son enjoys the jet-setting lifestyle?? I'll be cleaning and packing for the weekend. We're heading north to beautiful Muskoka for the long weekend. Yep, I just admitted online that my house will be empty for the entire weekend. If I come home and find all my plastic jewelry and my old "ghetto-blaster" stereo gone, I'll know it's been one of you 4 who read my blog --and lucky for you, Donny, you're back in Ireland. Because I'd be pointing my finger your way first. The whole Atlantic ocean in between us is the only thing saving your hide.

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


This afternoon we decided to check out an osprey's nest that we had heard was in our area. We biked down to the baseball diamond near our house (for those of you in London who want to see this, go to the diamond behind the Good Life Fitness Club at Windermere Rd.) and found the nest without any trouble at all -- but no birds.

It was only about 2 minutes before we saw the mother bird circling the nest but she wouldn't land. We could see her and the father bird in trees beside the river, but not coming close. However we could hear them calling to one another.

After a few minutes of watching, I decided to leave two of the kids at the field and bike with the other two to the snack shack at the golf place right beside. OF course, as we are biking away we see the bird circling the two poor souls left in the field and then she lands RIGHT on the nest.

We came back a few minutes later with drinks and she was gone again -- such luck. However, we waited only another few minutes and we had several sightings of the mother, father and one of the fledglings. It took only another few minutes for one of them to land on the nest and that's when I got this shot.

Ospreys are amazing fishing birds -- their claws are huge and they have special scales on their feet so that the fish can't slip away. They stand about 2 feet tall when full grown.

This wildlife moment was brought to you by the number 4 and the letter "O" -- for Osprey.

Potty Training

First of all, I want to say that I went to bed last night (at 9:38 pm after falling asleep in the living room listening to a sermon...that'll do it.) in good time and had a full night's rest. Thanks for asking and thanks to Big Liver Girl for her comments on yesterdays post that had me laughing aloud.

I started potty training Jack yesterday. It's not working. I have a serious shortage of paper towel in the house. I do believe boys are harder to train than girls. He likes the candy, the stickers and the "woo hoo" every time he sits on the potty but he doesn't like to go. It's day 1 and I'm already re-thinking this. We bought 3 pairs of Curious George underwear for him yesterday and within the first hour of putting them on, all 3 pairs were in the laundry basket. We also have a serious shortage of size 2 underwear around here. Where are the little quilted looking ones that you used to be able to find ~ the "training pants"?? Anyone know where to get those? I don't want to buy pull-ups...they're just diapers that are hard to get on and off.

So that's it for today -- we biked to the library. Jack had a fit when I told him he couldn't play in the water fountain. We left with a soaking wet 2 year old and about 26 books.

I told you this blog could be boring...

Monday, August 11, 2008

What Keeps Me Up at Night

I've been asked this recently. And throughout this summer, I think I've had 3 sleepless nights -- okay, not altogether sleep-LESS, but more like...I'm in bed at 9:30 pm (sad but true) and I try to fall asleep (funny that the kids are still awake) and so I read. I stop reading at 10:30 pm and find that my thoughts are wandering and I can't fall asleep as early as I that's a sleepless night. However, I've had three of these. And there's a theme to what I'm thinking about. It's my kids.

Before kids I didn't know a thing about sleeplessness. I didn't know it existed. Then BAM! you have your first child and you are all of sudden worrying about things that have NO probability of ever happening to you or your children. I think this is a Mom-thing because I don't know too many dads that have fessed up to lying away making a fire-escape plan or thinking of what item in the bedroom would make the best weapon (the kids have paddles hanging on the walls in their room, so that's what I would grab and start swinging.) But moms totally do this.

I'm amazed at the images I can conjure up, the scenarios I can play out over and over and over again. It's quite creative. I can get myself worked up pretty quick.

The three nights aforementioned have had tidbits of reality that started the whole mess. One was an "almost-accident" that left me imagining it really happened and what we would have done over and over. One was when someone hurt my kid and didn't apologize even though this person should have known better and acted like a small child. And the last one was when my child was presented with an opportunity to do a very wrong thing and chose the right thing...which left me imagining the wrong choice and what could've happened there. (Nice that I focus on the negative so easily.)

Am I ill? Is it just me? I seem to have zero control over my thoughts at times. The best advice I heard is to go through Phillipians 4:7,8 and ask it as a question. We are to "think on these things" -- so I ask "Is it actually true?" The answer to the 3 nights is No, Yes, No. So 2/3 isn't too bad. "Is it lovely?'" No, No and No! "Is it of good report?" No to the power of 3 again. And the verse goes on with noble, just, praiseworthy, and so many more things that I should be thinking on.

And it works -- when I remember to do it. Funny how I think I can be a person who sees the glass half-full most of the time...but when you mess with my babies, I turn into a totally irrational person. I call it Wild Brain. It kicks in when we feel our children are at risk and God gave it to us as Mother's Intuition. I might have taken it a bit too far, perhaps!

Tonight....tonight, I'll go to bed in decent time (read 9:40 pm) and get some sleep -- and think on the right things.

Friday, August 8, 2008

My first post - EVER!

I read blogs -- but not many. I think it's funny to get inside someone's head and hear their thoughts -- and they don't know who's hearing them.

I've decided to blog for 2 reasons: first, I'm not good at journalling and thought this might help. Second, when I read blogs I feel like my life is boring or more mundane than other people's. So this blog is for the rest of us. You might read a post one day that says "Got groceries. The kids were bad." or "My fridge stinks today." That's 'cause I'm real and my life is real and these things happen. So if you're life doesn't burst with excitement, intrigue, deep thoughts or inspirational might just be like me.

As for the title...I love the outdoors. I want to teach my kids to love the outdoors and have a natural sense of wonder. If you are in awe of Creation, you'll be in awe of the Creator.