Wednesday, July 26, 2006

because I don't want to forget ...

Someone is teaching my daughter to be inappropriate - I can't think who. Witness the following conversation:

Me: A, please come back and finish your lemonade.

A: I already finished my lemonade.

Me: Well then somebody stopped by and peed in your cup.

A: (without so much as a split second's pause) Well it must have been a point-and-shooter then.

I told her that as her mother, I could not in good conscience laugh at that, even though I thought it was funny, because that would be being a bad example to the children.


B and I are on our own tonight. As so often happens when it's just us, my normally reserved boy has been talking my ear off. Or his head off. Or both. Here's a tidbit of information he offered me right out of the blue.

B: "Mom, do you know sometimes I get up at 1 in the morning? And come into your room? Just to see if there are any cars running?" (you can see the freeway from our bedroom window, way across the green space and the river, etc) "And do you know there are millions of cars going at one in the morning?"

Me: (making a mental note to make sure to wear a nightgown on hot nights when I lie on top of the covers) "I did not know that."

B: "I wonder where they could all be going when it's tomorrow and they haven't had a nap."

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Kid Snips

A, just before we leave for church: "do you think I can wear my pink - " she sees her father putting on his socks and stops. "Well if he's wearing those socks with those pants, I can certainly wear these shoes!"


TechnoDad took the kids backpacking this weekend. Packing in, camping at wilderness campsites, the whole nine yards. (I didn't go because of MY STUPID KNEE and our lovely puppy, who wanted to CUDDLE after church) B is cautious about new things but has learned that there's no point refusing to do something he's nervous about it, because the only way out of it is through it. So TechnoDad and I are discussing the Burying of the Toilet Paper and when we're done, B turns to A and says "Don't you think we should ask for some MORE tips, since we have never done this before?"

Saturday, July 22, 2006

the problem with a puppy ...

...if your whole family is away for the weekend without you and you spend the day doing whatever you want to still have to get dressed for it, because you have to take the darling wee mutt outside every hour or so.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Why I'm not posting

and the puppy ...and then the puppy ...and did I mention the puppy ...? and also puppy puppy puppy puppy ?

not to mention the puppy.

I'm in love.

Seriously - why blog when you can be lying on the floor on your stomach playing tug of war with 3 and a half pounds of ferocious mammal, whose ears are flyiing like a little girl's pigtails? (you should hear her growl - sounds like a flatulent mouse. Very ominous.)

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Also, while I'm boring you to tears with the Dog Talk

The last of the dozen or so kennels I left messages with last Monday finally called me back, so now it's official.

Not only did we get the cutest cockapoo in the three westernmost provinces, we got the best deal there was to be had.

(Did I mention she's smart*? She's already not barking her head off in her kennel tonight. She barked and whined and puppy-cursed us for two hours last night, and tonight she tried it on for 5.3 minutes and then just went to sleep.)

*"it's so young who can tell". And if she's so smart, she should say something.**

**if you're not a sibling of my husband's, or married to one, you likely won't understand that. And if you do, I want to know why!

Smartest Puppy In the World.

Only one accident today, and that was because when A took her outside at 6 am, "she didn't go right away so we came back in because I didn't have any shoes on."

Here's what they looked like at 7:30 this morning.

Yes, they're both asleep.

Three pictures worth more than a thousand words EACH

A and Toopka

B and Toopka

That's the puppy that I AM NOT LETTING OUT OF HER CRATE no matter how cutely she barks and whines and grumbles at me. She'll thank me for it later.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Will 5:00 p.m. *never* get here??

I read a blog the other day where the blogger had to list five things she was good at, and one of those was "figuring out the worst case scenario".

So I ask you:

If the puppy is put into her crate at 10 am BC time, and we pick her up at 5 pm AB time, will she need a bath?

What if her crate comes undone and when they open the cargo hold she darts off, never to be seen again?

What if there's a plane crash? ("People will die", says TechnoUnsympathetic. "Grab some perspective!")

What if there's turbulence and she smacks her head on the crate and is knocked out and I take my happy excited children to pick up a corpse?

TechnoLaughingAtMeRightOutLoud said I could probably do some research and find out how many dogs have actually been killed by getting knocked around in their crates in airplanes. His suspicion is the number is Zero*.

I know he thought he was making fun of me, but I found that comforting.

*If you know any different - SHUT UP. Or tell me tomorrow. SATURDAY. or SUNDAY if you live across the international date line.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Much excitement at our house

We have purchased a puppy, the cutest wee puppy in the world. I know you think your puppy is cute, but you haven't seen ours.*

A's reaction: she's sewing the dog a bed. And a blanket. When confronted with the fact that her brother also wants to provide the dog a blanket:

"Well, fine. But *I* get to sew all its clothes!"

B's reaction: (after the hooting and hollering stopped, the next day, waiting for the puppy to arrive on a plane from B.C.**)

"How big will it be?"
"If the puppy is born in BC, will it cheer for the Vancouver Canucks, or the Calgary Flames, or the Edmonton Oilers?"

*don't read this post until Friday, because Toopka is arriving Friday, and we don't want to get out of our minds with excitement before she's actually here.

**you'd be surprised how cheaply you can ship a puppy. This breeder had such reasonable prices that it was cheaper to buy the puppy there and have her shipped than it was to buy one locally

Monday, July 10, 2006

I don't suppose ...

Anyone out there is selling cockapoo puppies? or labradoodles or goldendoodles at a price my children can afford?

Or any of you Winnipeggers want to drive out to Lorette to check out the very reasonably priced, very tiny cockapoos that guy on the buysell is selling?

(never hurts to ask)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Hanging out with darien-whose-name-shows-up-in-the-comments, relaxing

We arrived Thursday night, on time, and we found the car rental place and got our car (a PT Cruiser! we were very excited!!! We're like that!) and I found my way out of the Big Airport In A Strange Big City and onto the right road and two and a half hours later, we got to the motel in the small town (first hint we were headed to a small town? "You're in Room 20 - I'll just leave the door open and your key in the room.") without any trouble. First worry out of the way.

The rest of it? As usual, no details, but here's a verse:

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!" Ephesians 3:20-21

Beyond all that you ask or imagine. I am so grateful for the prayers and support, and to God for the miracle of this weekend, funeral notwithstanding. Elsie, you got it just right in your comment on the last post - "Nothing happens that God cannot use redemptively, and for good, and for His glory." Much good has come of this weekend, and I am thankful to the point of tears.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Right then.

"Open adoption is the best way to go", we say, holding our bundle of promise and possibility, in a flannel blanket we bought years ago, in a moment of giddy hope, when we went off the Pill.
"I couldn't do this if I hadn't met you", affirms the brave woman who can somehow manage to give you the baby she's given birth to.

We can't fast forward. We can't look at all the scenarios, because life has a larger imagination than we do. And life is complicated and messy and emotional even when you don't throw in adoption.

So we couldn't talk about it then, how we would handle it if, say, one day this baby's biological grandfather died. A grandfather that this child has had a long relationship with. A child who is very aware of passages and needing closure, who wants to go his funeral. And we couldn't guess that by then, the incredible woman who gave birth to this incredible child would, out of deference to her husband, no longer be in contact with her first-born, and we might not have considered the fact that very few of the birthmother's extended family (aunts, uncles and cousins) know that she placed a baby for adoption. So here we are, winging it, and I am terrified for my child's vulnerable heart and terrified that we are doing the wrong thing and so very terrified that more than one person I care about is going to get hurt.

But we're getting on a plane, my child and I, in a few hours, and please please please will you all pray for us. Even if prayer is new to you - God will still hear you.

And we need Him. Desperately.

(I am so unsure about posting this. This is my children's story, not mine, and I am very afraid that I betraying a confidence by talking about this here. But I know there are many of you who are the praying kind who read this and I so strongly believe in the power of prayer. Please, those of you know us, be careful in commenting - it's important to me that it is not obvious which of my children this post refers to)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

A Weekend of Ups and Downs

"The pain and the longing
the joy and the moments of light
are the rhythm and rhyme
the free verse of the poem of life"
-Michael Card

Friday night: Up. MusicBoy and FunnyGirl's grad. They've just spent 9 months at a YWAM school studying the Bible. While this may sound easy - let me clarify. 9 months, through the entire Bible 5 times, homework of upwards of 10 hours a day, six days a week. And finding time in there to be a husband and a father, the whole family living in two small rooms in residence onsite. This is an accomplishment, and we are SO proud of his tenacity and dedication. (FunnyGirl is the first student ever to audit the entire 9 month course. And she did it laughing!)

Saturday:Up. Did nothing of any value, slept in for the first time in months, laughed with TechnoGeek over a hundred things. Cooked dinner for MusicBoy's family - and man, is it satisfying to cook for his boys. They've got lumberjack appetites and it's just so pleasing to watch all that food disappear.

Sunday morning: Down. MusicBoy and FunnyGirl drove away from our house headed home - not home to the YWAM base 40 minutes away, but home to their lovely farmhouse two provinces away. What a marvelous interlude it's been, and oh, how I will miss them. FunnyGirl is one of those rare individuals who challenge me to be the best I can be in all areas - especially when it comes to parenting and being a Christian, both directly and indirectly. Her going has left a large hole.

Sunday afternoon - Monday evening: Up. TechnoGeek watched MusicBoy's van disappear and said "Let's go camping." I was much more interested in climbing into a hole somewhere to sulk, but the kids were REALLY interested in going camping, so I went along just to humour everyone. And we had a great time - roasting marshmallows and riding bikes and sleeping in our tent and even picking our way to the bathroom at midnight. (and two a.m. And five a.m.) And swimming in a freezing cold mountain lake (all except TechnoGlassAnkles ...) and the ritual end-of-holiday stop at "the candy store in Banff".

Monday evening: Down. Home for a late supper, and a sobering message on the answering machine. As is sometimes the case in families built through adoption, it's not my story to tell, except that I sat helplessly praying for God to comfort my heartbroken child tonight. And you can pray too, for either a miracle, or comfort, or both.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

100 Things About MusicBoy*

*who has done nothing to deserve this, unless you count sitting just across the room from me. See if you can guess which ones his wife helped me with. Oh wait he's helping too.

1) he is currently reading a magazine and ignoring me

2) he does not, to my knowledge, trim his nostril hair

3) he is wearing grey shorts and a grey wifebeater, but he never beats his wife. Not even at cards. I don't even know if it's technically a wifebeater, but I can see his armpit hair.

4) he has a nice wife who has many good qualities but most importantly, she is funny and people should just shut up about all the other stuff already because she just wants someone to get up in public and say she's FUNNY.

5) he wears glasses

6) he has a cavernous belly button

7) his wife just stole his Coke

8) he likes surfing and shopping

9) and getting his hair done (what's left of it)

10) he's really into high fashion

11) and latte

12) and generally hanging around the mall, shooting the breeze

13) his lips and jaw are sexy

14) he likes flowers

15) he likes living close to the mountains

16) he likes cows

17) he likes plants and stuff

18) he has a rubbermaid box filled with cuttings planted in a mixture of coarse sand and vermiculite

19) he slips his snippers and a bottle of water into his pocket when going for walks

20) he loves lasagna

21) he likes Lorna

22) he tolerates his sister-in-law

23) he knows he's having a holiday if he can read for fun

24) and have a snooze in the afternoon

25) he likes making chili

26) he loves raw weiners with ketchup but has learned to eat them in moderation

27) he likes rivers and pretty much any other body of water

28) and rocks

29) and trees

30) he loves his kids

31) and he hardly never yells at them

32) he is quick to do the dishes after a meal (which meal is under debate)

33) he rescued an owl last week

34) he's very, like, strong

35) he's a lot of other adjectives, too

36) apparently he has two nostrils, more than two hairs in those nostrils, and two nostril hair trimmers

37) he married for money

38) he's clean

39) he hasn't showered today

40) he used to have ducks and geese when he was a kid

41) his horse died while he was driving it

42) he lost his wedding ring

43) by accident

44) while he was pruning trees

45) he saw a lynx at the end of his driveway and followed it with his two young sons

46) he has neat handwriting, much neater than his wife's, who has teacher printing that she hates

47) he can spell

48) his wife can still be surprised by flatulence (this is a rephrase of a much longer, sadder story)

49) he should never stay up past midnight

50) there is some debate as to how we are going to react to this post in the morning

51) he hatched woodpecker eggs once

52) his brother once put him a dryer and turned it on

53) which explains his laundry ...fascination

54) sometimes he acts like his Dad

55) he is a hero, and don't make light of it (snogging on the couch - I'm averting my eyes)

56) time to mention family. He's older than his youngest sister, AND his oldest sister.

57) he doesn't really care for hockey (this would be understatement. The big whiner. And he calls himself CANADIAN.)

58) he doesn't get his wife roses, because she likes other kinds of flowers better

59) did I mention he's thoughtful?

60) he slept in the women's hospital

61) he has never had a needle in the butt

62) he's had one root canal, but it wasn't his fault

63) his wife has had none (apparently SOMEBODY thinks this list is about her)

64) his wife didn't follow the lynx because she was mowing the lawn and nobody told her

65) his wife is a Proverbs 33 woman, only less imaginary

66) well, last Sunday he sold a lot of CD's

67) he's irrepressible

68) he's irresponsible

69) good with money, bad with wealth

70) he's never taken a wealth management course of any kind, and foresees no need for it in the future.

71) verbatim from the couch:
L: His favourite flavour is curry.
MB: Shut. Up.
L: He speaks only kind words to his wife.

72) He can't wait to get home and weed the trees.

73) He has a son who picks potato bugs with style and grace.

74) He really admires his sister-in-law.

75) he wears glasses

76) he has more nieces and nephews than you do, and many of them are older than you, too

77) he's not exactly a computer-savvy, a computer ...a ...he doesn't even know what to call computer geeks

78) he decorates his kids birthday cakes

79) he comes when he's called

80) his wife says Umm a lot, especially right now

81) one of his dreams would be start a perennial greenhouse

82) he bought his mother-in-law's farm

83) his favourite cow Blackie died this year. She always came when he called. He called "Come, boss" like his Dad did before him.

84) he talks and walks with his wife.

85) he really draws pretty well

86) he can draw reasonable facsimiles of people. When C was little, the way to keep him quiet in church was to draw cows, so that's what he did. Presumably, they didn't look like people.

87) his youngest son likes to play piano like he does

88) a robin built a nest in his verandah light this year and he didn't destroy it because there was already an egg in it when he discovered it.

89) if it had been a barn swallow, he would have shown No Mercy. And cried about it later.

90) His mother-in-law says he reminds her of her father-in-law, who died when L was 6.

91) Yikes! from the couch potatoes. 91 already! this is followed by accusations that I am making things up.

92) he's brave

93) he is both singing and preaching at his church on July 30, you can all come and listen, if you want to stay for lunch, call ahead.

94) he loves being in the hot tub at his brother's house.

95) he's learned to play Cities and Knights which is remarkable for an old fuddy-duddy like him

96) His oldest son is still up

97) he has two handsome sons. At least one of these sons objects to having his appearance commented on.

98) he likes to walk around outside in the nude, I mean, the rain

99) he likes milk

100) he is moving BACK TO MANITOBA tomorrow and I think that's just plain RUDE.

Lorna* tries her hand at MadLib blogging

*not her real name**
** okay, it's her real name, but don't tell anyone

Once upon a time there were some purple pants. They were tickled pink every time they got a chance to scrub the tissue. Thirteen days before Canada Day, they twiddled their nonexistent scar tissue as they servant-heartedly drank their .5 silver platters full of prawns.

The End.

(No we have not been drinking, not even seafood.)

Saturday, July 01, 2006


This is from Annie Herring's CD, Glimpses

He's the one who loves you more than you will ever know
He's the one who dries the tears you cry
He has formed your very soul and knows your every need
He will guide you through your darkest night

For you
still carry inside you
His light that never dies
and you
are always before Him
the apple of His eye

He's the one who holds you close when no-one will come near
The one who sees what no-one else can see
He's the one who keeps your burden light enough to bear
For He will be your strength when you are weak

For you
still carry inside you
His light that never dies
and you
are always before Him
the apple of His eye

Nothing in this world
could ever keep His love from you
and He gave His life
to see this promise through

He's the one who loves you more than you will ever know
And He has counted every tear you've cried
He will mend your tear-stained heart and make it light as snow
And He'll become your wings so you can fly

For you
still carry inside you
His light that never dies
and you
are always before Him
the apple of His eye