Saturday, December 30, 2006

Sacrament Meeting Talk from Christmas Eve

Before I came here today to share my time with you I wondered what I would say and what I could share with you. I thought "These people know so much more than me, what could I possibly share that they do not already know?" I am not going to read the Christmas story from the scriptures or amaze you retelling a special christmas miracle from my life. I am not sure I can teach you anything new about Christmas but hopefully I can help you remember Christ at this special time. I continually reflected on what the true meaning of Christmas was for me when Brother Inlayo asked me to speak. Preparing this talk has enabled me many times to stop, slow down and reflect upon the true meanings of Christmas. It is very easy to get caught up in the excitement of the season with all the cooking, housekeeping, wrapping, shopping. Is the madness worth it, I've hear some ask. This year I didn't make fruitcake and shortbread. I did not untangle the lights and spray snow on the windows. I did not watch endless christmas cartoons or dig out the flashing earrings. There are no elaborate decorations at our house. We aren't going caroling after church or feeding the homeless. We have however taken this opportunity to teach our children about generosity and gratitude and how we can strengthen our family relationships through service. I feel priviledged. We have so much. We are fortunate to have our immediate families close by to celebrate this joyous event. We have a comfortable roof over our heads and plenty of food to eat. Our joy will not be dependant on a picture perfect holiday. My children don't really care if there's turkey or pizza. We have already received so many gifts of the heart. My visiting teachers came and brought themselves, their beautiful spirits and cookies too. Our neighbors have show compassion, generosity, interest and heartfelt words in writing and with their actions. They have held the doors for me, carried things for me and smiled at me. President Thomas S. Monson 1st counsellor in the presidency of the church said that the Christmases remembered best usually have little to do with worldly goods and a lot to do with the spirit of caring, a spirit of love and a spirit of compassion. Christmas to me means gifts from the heart, warm smiles of strangers and letters of remembrance. President Monson also said, "The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love, generosity and goodnessI What other time of the year do strangers reach out to each other so readily. President James E.Faust 2nd counsellor said at this year's devotional, "Christmas seems to make us better, kinder, more thoughtful and considerate of others." President Hinckley, our beloved prophet said in his calm loving voice, "At this marvelous season of the year we experience the mystique of Christmas love...Strong hearts are a little more generous. We are more inclined to strengthen the feeble...Children' hearts are made glad. There's an added magic in the air. There's a deep underlying current of happiness." Many remember their postmen, teachers, janitors, acquaintances, distant relatives with kind words and appreciation. It is wonderful and amazing to see how somany people reach out to those in need at this time of year. The love is stronger and people are more giving. Peace on Earth! Good will towards men. What I enjoy most about Christmas is the music! I love the many carols and hymns. I heard the bells on Christmas day! Hark the Harold Angels sing. Oh little town of Bethlehem, Silent Night and a host of others. The children's songs are fun too. Who could forget the children's songs-Jingle Bells or that hippopotamus song. I remember being fascinated with Rudolf and his story which was actually he'll go down in HISTORY and I couldn't get enough of MecaKalikiMaka. I love to imagine the songs of the angels at that blessed event. What an announcement the shepards received. I often wonder why they were chosen. Lowly shepards, probably minimun wage earners, maybe new immigrants, somebody has to do those jobs. Both the wise men and the shepard were the privileged ones, notto the kings Herod or Ceasar. Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior which is Christ the Lord. What amazing news. I wonder if they really could comprehend it's meaning. Luke 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly yost praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. The angelic hosts joined in to praise God. That sounds like a lot and there must have been music. I am sure in their excitement they dropped everything, immediately setting aside thethings of the world to follow our Savior. They were among the first mortals to bear witness to this miraculous event. It has been said that they must have confided to Joseph and Mary that they had seen angels. It blows me away to imagine the scene. Luke 2:17 'And when they had seen it they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.' These days it would be similarily broadcast but world wide. Luke 2:20 'And the shepards returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things which they had heard and seen, as they were manifested until them.' God sent the shepards to be witnesses, then he sent the wisemen, and others all lending their testimonies. Isaiah 9: 6 'For unto us a achild is born, unto us a son is given...and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.' Our Savior grew up to become a wonderful example, a teacher, a healer, one who showed love and compassion. The effect he had on the world is permanent. He brought salvation to all men and does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Without him repentance would be futile. Jesus came to Earth in the most humble experience. Even though there was no room for him at the inns I hope we can find room for him in our hearts. I imagine there travel must be slow and difficult. I thought I had a difficult time being pregnant and making several trips to the bathroom each night. I didn't have to ride a donkey and give birth, virtually unaided, outside with animals. Mary and Joseph must have had amazing faith and had to be spiritually in tune to receive the communications they did. I am amazed at how closely Heavenly Father and Jesus watch over us. How lovingly how generous they are with their guidance. What a gift our Savior's birth has brought us. Now that I have my own children I am more keenly aware of the the love and pride Heavenly Father must have for us. He sees us living independant of him in a new environment away from him. He's encouraging us and helping us even when we don't notice. The atoning sacrifice was made by Jesus because of the love they have for us. Without our Savior we would be unable to return and experience immortal life. Resurrection should be exciting.I pray we can each remember the true meanings of Christmas in our hearts and minds and carry it with us in our lives. As I read and contemplate the Christmas story, it becomes clear to me the story of the Saviour is unique. He humbled himself to come down in the most vulnerable state. He has given us so much. Is any other event in history so significant? What a treasured gift, his life,his work, his antonning sacrifice, his resurrection, his gifts of peace of hope of love of immortale life. President Monson's said, 'All that we hold dear, even our families, our friends, our joy, our knowledge our testimonies would vanish were it not for our Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.. Among the most cherished thoughts and writings in this world is the divine statement of truth:"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, thast whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.'" I hope you all have time to reflect these things and know through the power of God how true these things are and that we can all take Christ into are hearts and receive his image in our countenances experiencing the mighty change in our hearts that the love of our Savior brings.
My son wouldn't sit still and came running up on the stage, clinging to me. He then stood quietly beside me. I hung on to him for support. Jessica and Patrick were sitting in the back. My mom helped me too. I wished i could see her better when I was at the pulpit. It was wonderful to have Patrick and the children with me at church even though it was a bit more stressful. This was the first time there was no anger after church. That was good. What a perfect Christmas Eve. We had fun in primary and later I was able to have a little nap and we went to Mark & Gen's for dinner. Giving a talk in sacrament meeting was easier than I thought. Probably because I relied on the Lord for help.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I always tell my son that Santa and Jesus are good friends, hmmmm

What do you think of this? What an interesting ad campaign!
This is from the United Church and you can check out their website at

Sunday, December 10, 2006

97 and still kickin'

Happy Birthday Granny! happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday, happy birthday, happy birthday to you, and many least 3
My gran turned 97 yesterday and here's a 3 generation picture. I hope I am not that crabby when I'm old. We brought her a black forest cake from Safeway, thinking she could serve it to anyone who came over and she got pissed off because it was so huge. She cutherself a big slice and sent the rest of it home with us, along with 2 copies of the large print reader's digest from the subscription i got for her birthday last year. She complains about it all the time, it's an American version and there aren't as many jokes and they are not even funny ones. That gift was a dud. This year all she got was cake and carnations and a tiny pointsettia which apparently will be root bound shortly, in that little pot. We thought it was cute. Thank goodness we didn't bring marvin along with us. She was awfully grumpy. We played one game of crib while pat entertained the baby. I was NOT allowed to hold her. Apparently you cannot play cards and hold or nurse a baby at the same time. Her children, of course were potty trained at 6 months of age on the chamber pot in queensborough. I beat her in the game but it was close. I hope i don't live that long because i am tired already and i can't image being that old or crotchety. She's sharp as a tack though and we are enjoying our 40 kiwis. They're tiny and flavourful, perfect for cutting in half and scooping out with a spoon. The kids love 'em. She had a mantle full of beautiful birthday cards and was irritated by the two Christmas cards she had already received. She doesn't like to get them before her birthday. She had hard and stale pieces of bread all lined up by her door to feed her squirrel, one for each day of the coming week. They were spread with peanut butter. I think his name is Wilbur the 2nd. Lucky for us anastasia didn't notice them. She really does like anastasia and she kept getting little kisses from her. Pat took this picture with his phone. Her throat was sore from answering and talking on the phone all day. I am glad we went because we were the only ones who visited her on her 97th birthday.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Lillian's been at it again. Projects for her Winter Stamp Camp

All images are copyright Stampin'Up! Wow this is a beautiful window box. I recently made something similar without the window in and it was fun! It looks like she used her initials but you could put pictures there too.
I love what she's done with the domino. It looks so shiny and bright. Do you think Santa has time to juggle snowballs? Well, not at this time of year. My son just filled out his letter to Santa. It says simply, "I saw an ad on T.V. for you and Canada Post." Wow children are amazing. I thought it would be all gimme, gimme, gimme. Marvin is really excited especially each and every time we drive by Moody Park or Herbert Spencer because they both have huge lit up trees. He yells, "Look Mommy! A Christmas Tree!" and I mean yells. His Christmas concert is this Wednesday night. I am working(groan). I hope there's a dress rehearsal. I'm going to dress him up like Jesus or maybe a white shirt will do. Wouldn't want to offend anyone. Don't forget about the stamps! It's not too late to make Tags and Christmas thank-you notes or even New Years cards if you were too busy in December and didn't get around to it.

More about CosyKnitsLiterally

Interview: Cosette from CosyMakes
Published by Shannon July 8th, 2006 in Knitting, Spinning, Interviews
Flickr has become one of my favorite ways to find new crafty goodness — I was updated my Squidoo lenses (handspinning, dyeing and learn to spin yarn) when I spotted the fantastic hat pictured at left. It reminded me of a cross between Pippi Knee Socks (who has an awesome article on spinning coiled yarns in Knittyspin) and Kristi Porter’s Frankenknits (see Kristi’s latest column on intentional stitch-dropping, something I’ve been doing a lot of myself lately!)

But I digress! Back to the object at hand: I sent the waterlily hat’s creator an email and ended up doing an interview with Montana-native, Vancouver-resident artist / teacher / poet / knitter Cosette Cornelius-Bates. Enjoy!

You sell handknit, handspun and recycled items on your Etsy shop, Have you always combined thrift yarns with new materials? What was your inspiration?

If nothing else, I have always been thrifty. I inherited it from my mother who I call the ‘queen of all garage salers.’ Sometimes when one thinks of garage saling, it’s with a bit of disdain because many are quite cut throat and rude… my mother is nothing like that. We both just enjoy unique and interesting things.

I have always tried to combine thrifted and new yarn since I began knitting, but only since I entered graduate school have I emphasized it so much. Disgruntled by yarn prices and unwilling to use synthetics for the most part, I started looking for alternatives. I believe in knitting as a creative, daily, practice that should be affordable. Through the on-line fiber community I learned about recycling sweater yarn, and I was blessed enough to move to a neighborhood where there is actually a lot of wool at the thrift stores.

I initially found you through a photo of your waterlilies hat on Flickr (cosymakes on Flickr). You’ve been using a lot of yarn embroidery and vintage buttons lately — what do you like about them? Do any of the buttons you’re using have stories of their own? (I know my button box does!)

I like that embroidery and buttons add an additional creative element to my hats. When I embroider and add buttons, I use the same part of the brain as when I’m adding paint to the canvas. The other draw for me is (of course) that they are both thrifty. I started embroidering after I found a bunch of wool embroidery floss at a thrift store. When I look for more buttons, I can use up all of those singular buttons that nobody else knows what to do with.

Only a couple of my buttons have stories (sad!). My favorite is a button from my mom’s old bathrobe when I was young.

Which fellow crafters do you admire?

I especially enjoy crafters who also have a thrifty mentality and make high quality goods. But, alas, this could be a long list! I also am inspired by others who love making handknit/crocheted accessories, use buttons and embroidery, and those who do traditional spinning or knitting. I really enjoy it when craft is part of a person’s lifestyle choice and I can know them through it.

Here are a few of my current favorites:

Melissa of Tiny Happy makes amazing bags out of thrifted materials.
Stine mixes the used and the new in her sewing to make fabulous clothes and pillows.
fellow hat creator Croshay.
another fellow hat creator, Ruth.
and lastly, an amazing knitter and spinner, Adrian of Hello Yarn.
You knit your thesis (see this Flickr set) for graduation from Regent College — how did that come about?

I am in the process of knitting my thesis for a Masters of Christian Studies degree. I came to this school because it is the only program for professional artists that combines theology and art with the final project being mostly made up of the actual art (not just the paper).

It is a curious thing how I came to knit my project because I only started knitting 3 1/2 years ago. I have undergraduate degrees in art and English and so I came to Regent planning to do my arts thesis in either poetry or painting, but somehow knitting seemed like the thing to do. It just became a larger and larger part of my life. I started sharing my talents and my methods of recycling with other people who were interested. I give free knitting lessons to those who want to learn in my community.

My project will be the first craft arts thesis project at Regent (there were some quilts, but they were pictoral). It is interesting that it hadn’t happened before… many people leave Regent and go into full time woodworking and things like that. Craft is very respected here.

The Holy Spirit lace scarf, part of your thesis work, was made from a garage sale-purchased 100% hand dyed Italian merino wool Banana Republic sweater that you ripped out. This is what you said about it:

i was working on the trinity in knitting for my ‘vocation of the artist class.’ i brought in paintings and poetry also, but everyone was most taken with my knitting. They were also very excited about the possibilities of recycling. during class i was convinced to not seperate the function of the object to display it (ala the feminist reclamation of craft as art). when i got my paper back for the class, i was further convinced by my prof that i should try to knit my thesis.

Were you the only knitter in your art classes? What kinds of recycling were your classmates incorporating into their art?

I was the only knitter in my ‘Vocation of the Artist’ seminar. That has a lot to do with why I was so influenced to do knitting as my thesis. I didn’t realize the ways in which what I was doing was so powerful and accessible to people. It is human nature to understand what handknit items mean- they are care, comfort, warmth. The other students in my class were not recycling anything in their art, but they were excited about my recycling. It seemed very profound to them to deconstruct a mass-produced sweater and make it into a unique lace scarf. Their eyes literally lit up.

You’re active in the Recycled Yarn group on Flickr, as well as several related groups. How do your fellow artists inspire you there? Do the photos set off a spark that leads to something new for you?

I actually started the Recycled Yarn group on Flickr. The whole reason that I started my flickr site was to track my thesis and along with that I wanted to start a conversation with people about thrifty knitting and encourage people who are thrifty knitters. Recently, it seemed to me that there was a need for a more generic group on flickr, so I renamed it Thrift and Craft. I find my fellow artists in Thrift and Craft utterly exciting. They’ve got me admiring old curtains and bed sheets and pondering sewing up some bags. I really, really want to learn how to sew. I have not started sewing yet though.

In the caption to this photo, you write:

sweater ripping is hard. in knitting culture we are so used to being told the weight and the brand of the yarn and then following the directions. sweater ripping does not conform to those expectations ever.i wonder if i can teach people to be more creative and intuitive about knitting? it’s not really an issue with all of my poor friends who i generally knit with… plus i’m there to give advice. for the most part their lifestyles are creative — you have to be creative to be in graduate school with a couple of children. i wonder who will show up to the classes? what happens when they leave and don’t have the support of a community?

Do you think it’s easier to be creative when you have the support of a community, online or off?

Community is essential to all art. I really, really do not survive well as an artist in a box. When I moved to Vancouver, I had an aweful time finding people to be creative with. Around the same time my friend Jessica recommended a craft blog and I found it really encouraging to read about other people’s crafting adventures. However, it seems to me that there is no point having only an online community. The great thing about the internet is that it connects people together who may never meet otherwise. It has made craft a viable job and is an AMAZING place to find inspiration. I don’t know if my craft would be valid as only an online thing. I believe that knitting is part of who I am and that if I’m really being a part of the community in which I live, it needs to be a part of the community in which I live.

Would more knitters be willing to experiment if they had crafty mentors? Why do you think so many “casual knitters” are scared to deviate from patterns, or experiment with materials?

I think that knitters would be way more willing to experiment if they had crafty mentors. Really, I think that it’s about having a community and support. I have taught many, many of my friends how to knit and recycle yarn. Because we are an active community, they know that they can at any time come to me for advice and help. My other trick is to use the “The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns” above and beyond all other knitting pattern books. I think that many knitters are scared to break out because they’ve never been exposed to creative ideas when it comes to knitting. Many, even if they were exposed, wouldn’t want to. I don’t have an issue with that. Knitting, in itself is a good thing and means something in their lives and to the people they knit for.

My favorite terrifying statistic is that something like 80% of all knitters make the pattern in not only the exact same yarn pictured, but the exact same color, too. Why is that?

WOW. That statistic is terrifying. I had no idea. I was just basing my judgment on what I see in the Crazy for Knitting group at flickr. It seems so irrational to me. I have no idea why that many people are that way. I wonder what they’d do if they were given some yarn and some needles and told to make something. One thing that I started doing that has helped people I know to experiment is the community scarf. Here’s mine. Low stress knitting. No need to create something useful. Maybe Western culture, with its emphasis on production, doesn’t have a sense of playfulness or creativity?

What are your favorite items to knit?

I love to knit accessories. Hats are what I knit most, but I enjoy knitting socks, mitts, and scarves also. The large items that I most enjoy are shawls and stoles.

Do you knit much for yourself?

I do knit for myself. In fact, sometimes it is difficult to not keep things that I make. Each item always seems like such a surprise and a miracle when I complete it.

My husband and I usually end up deciding that we don’t really NEED another winter hat.

How do your other artistic pursuits influence your knitting?

For me it’s more about how knitting influences my other artistic pursuits. Knitting shows up in my paintings: this was inspired by this.

I also write poetry about wool (can I get any more geeky?!?).

Actually, the way that I go about other art is similar to the way that I go about knitting. I assume that my creativity in knitting comes from already knowing how to be creative. Like I said earlier, an absent knit is like a blank canvas and there are so many options of what to put on it where. I use my brain the same way no matter what art I’m creating.

Thank you, Cosy, for letting us peek into your creative process! This is the first in a series of planned interviews with artisans online. Leave a comment if there’s someone you think I should interview!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Kinda lika Gingerbread house...

Except it is made of Wasa crackers. My son made it on Tuesday in Kindergarten. They brought extra candy home in a coffee cup lid. The house is built on a paper plate. They had so much fun doing that craft. I have seen it done with graham crackers but never with Wasa ones. My mom always bought those when I was a kid. They are hard. In the car on the way home Marvin said, "Mom, don't eat too much of the creamy, white, sticky stuff or you'll get a tummy ache." I guess that guy doesn't know what icing is. Figures. I asked him if he was speaking from experience or if another child in the class had done this. Nobody had, but they were warned and he for one heeded the warning. That kid has never over eaten in his life, he's like his dad. Even if you put down the most favorite thing ever they won't even touch it if they're not hungry. Wish I could listen to my body like that. My mom admitted she's a chocoholic to me this week. Funny because she never eats the stuff, although lately she has been drinking this chocolate tea she ordered from somewhere and is now making herself with Callebaut, yummmm. Anyway here's a photo Patrick took with his new phone, yes we have finally relented to buying a mobile phone. No, wait I didn't, he did, for business. I'm in on it too. It's very handy and now I can always track him down. Insert Laughtrack Here.

Peas in a Pod

Look closely and you can see them. Each pea has catnip inside! Lucky is so happy now and very frisky. They are hand knitted. Love it!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

check out my new hat

Made by Cosette Cornelius-Bates an excellent, inspired knitress also known by many as Cosy
It's snug, comfy and warm and has my favorite colour combination-pink and brown with cute buttons.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

making BuffaloVeggieLasagne....

...And it smells mighty good bakin'in the oven right now! Our weather is SO crazy! I love it-I am on my way to being some kind of arts and craft addict, no i guess i'm not that bad. Recently I heard there is a fine line between insanity and creativity. How true is that? I really want to make tons of Christmas stuff but mostly it will happen when I am asleep, that is in my dreams. My brain is excited but my energy is still too low. Need more rest and a lot more WATER! I guess the reason so many grandmas have the time to create is because they don't have all consuming little ones under foot or giggling under the covers a with flashlights. My little monkey can read! I can't believe it. He'S reading up a lostorm. It is very exciting to be a part of that. Speaking of books...
The books are here! Contact me for pickup or drop off. This should be a good one! I love MaryEllenEdmunds. She is such an interesting, funny, amazing women, one of many who inspires me. Wanting to join us? You can contact me. We're even trying to set up a virtual section where others can participate online for some outoftowners wanting to participate. Remember for every purchase you can receive Deseret Reward Points which can go directly toward purchases anytime.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Pictures stolen from Tricia's blog, check 'em out


Wow who knew magnets could provide a 5 year old with hours of fun on a white board easel! Anastasia had a nasty fall and has fat lips, cut lips, and a yuchy bloody mess on her top gums, spent day in ER yester, discharged from suture room with popsicles and advise only, keeps bleeding, off to the doctor. Poor baby is very unhappy and doesn't like to eat, only nurse, why did i not think of poopsicles, frozen bananas good too, update to follow

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sleep need sleep

Well I peed on a stick and it says we are not pregnant but my body and heart say and feel differently. I was however very surprised how it affected me. It was disappointing. Daddy was relieved. We were both getting used to the fact that #3 was coming a little sooner than expected. I am still late though, we'll see. We looked at a cute little house on Durham Street, a bit small but very cosy. Why am I so tired?
More later

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Everytime I sit down in the car I immediately fall asleep or want to.
Nausea galore.
Now we really need to move.
It's too soon to say anything to anyone but I couldn't contain my excitement so I thought I would publish it for the whole world to see.
Congratulations Josip and Daniela! You two are doing a good job growing that precious little baby girl-Jilian.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Another day another dollar

Brutal and busy in emergency and all over the hospital the majority of the time. Why don't they lock the front doors? Possibly it has something to do with the hypocratic oath or compassion or healing or politics or money or obligation. Yes, we are trying to uphold some integrity and provide the best care even if you have no fixed address. Some people think their patients are the only ones who need immediate attention. There are a few who seem to be unaware of the seriousness of the emergency, trauma, intensive care, surgical and other acute care patients. I am glad to be gone from there tonight. I almost lost my
My boss remained calm and asserted herself while appropriately expressing her disatisfaction as well as the frustration experienced by those affected by various injustices however minor they may seem. All without seeming like a bee with an itch too. Thank goodness I have such personable co-workers who have a sense of humor and stand up for each other while still providing quality care and caring about the patients as much as one can when desensitized by the frequent exposure to complex situations. They look out for each other as well as forgiving and fixing and spotting minor errors that if left unchecked could cause difficulties later on. They order pizza on rainy days like today. It is good to be accepted despite imperfections and to be celebrated for ones strengths. Everybody wants everything stat!It is difficult to prioritize without adequate information. Imagine the patient is sick. How vague is that? Don't we fill our facility to the brim with ill people needing attention? Remember the children's game where you sit in a circle and one person starts by whispering some strange statement into their neighbor's ear and then as it is passed from ear to ear the metamorphisis occurs. By the time the statement has arrive back at the origin it has been change beyond belief. It no longer makes much sense even if it was pure nonsense to begin with. That is what some conversations I had this afternoon and evening came close to being like. We have been feeling the effects of 'Welfare Wednesday' combined with bad road conditions due to dark and rain and the craziness of the outside world. It feels good to get home safely. It would be good to be a cat on days like this, a domestic cat of course, who ahs a cosy home. Must sleep now.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

HappyThanksgiving! Now we can start thinking about Halloween and possible costumes. Hmmmm...Marvin wants to be a RescueGhost.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Byebye Dad

I just found one really good picture of Dad with Iris. So i had to include it.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Lolo's leaving to go to the Phillipines! We'll miss him but this time he's only going for 3-4 months. He has to return in January so the doctors can check out his liver with a CTscan to be sure the cancer hasn't returned and that his liver is regenerating itself. Tuesday he departs with one suitcase and one big box full of stuff for Yhong, Darius and Yasmin. He's returning to Lagawe, Ifugao. Surely it will be warm and sunny. I will really miss him. He is very kind, gentle, sleepy and really balance out my mil. She gets lonely without him around. They'll be all kissy huggy again when he returns like usual if she doesn't decide to jump on a plane and meet him there in a few months. I think she'll remain in Canada until his return this time. I'm sure it will be strange to go to the Phillipines without stopping at Aunty Norma's place in Manila. Everybody used to visit her upon arrival to the Phillipines. She was very devoted to education and had a wonderful sense of humor. She snored really loud too. It's been a year since her brutal murder. We miss her. Love and prayers for Lolo Julio and Aunty Norma. Doesn't Fayth look cute in that picture with Genny? The ones below that are of Dad at Anastasia's birthday celebration out back.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Patience, gotta get me some...more of it

Congratulations Hien & Ha on your baby boy born this morning weighing 8lbs 2oz. Babies babies everywhere!

"Patience is tied very closely to faith in our Heavenly Father. Actually, when we are unduly impatient, we are suggesting that we know what is best--better than does God. Or, at least, we are asserting that our timetable is better than his. Either way we are questioning the reality of God's omniscience."

—Neal A. Maxwell (Ensign, October 1980, p. 28.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Back to Ikea again

Brutal, we had to go back to Ikea tonight because the two shelves we purchased last night require 32 screws each. For one shelf 9 were provided. How irritating. Oh well we had a nice dinner there, relaxing too. And all for $15. Marvin had macaroni. I had quiche and salad. Daddy had meatballs and veggies. Ana had veggies too but most of them ended up on the floor surrounding the highchair. Marvin got them to give him a free refill of mac n'cheese plus fries just by batting his long eyelashes and flashing them a charming grin. Plus just keep him from asking for what he wants. I dare you. The closet is now neatly organized. That's two down and two to go. Closets that is. When i get around to it i'll post b4and after shots. Get ready world the Manghi's are gettin'it together.

It's all about Food and Thursday

I am not sure why but I've been looking forward to Thursday all week. Anastasia and Marvin and Lola and Lolo and Uncle mark have the 'coldS' I'm still fighting it off. Good. Why do filipinos add 'S's in the strangest places. Tonight we were at Ikea, enjoying the SmallLand services of course and picking up some galvanized steel shelves for the laundry closet. We are getting so organized thanks to Marnie and Savvy Space Solutions. Check out her website My husband was giggling in the as is section at a buggy with wood/laminate scraps labelled $15-cart of woodS. He says it with an accent and points out the guy who obviously marked it. He's bugged him for discounts enough times. Calling it, 'using the brown card' Strange since he won't even mark off the 'visible minority' box on any kind of forms or applications. I am so grateful to be exposed to his culture especially the food. My nieces Jessica and Aimee really like it too which was a total surprise. If you don't already know Filipinos and Filipinas are very friendly and giving. They love parties and food. Lots of food! Good food. A lot of honkies don't like the food but I am not one of them. I like the chocolate meat (dinuguan), the kilawayne(kinda like sushi but with smelts), the danackdugan(snouts and ears,my new favorite, especially when cooked by Jhun), the bittermelon salad, champuraddo, caldaretta(especially with goat), calamansi, adobo, arroz caldo, and the scary fishes with eyeballs included, granted kari-kari (peanut butter and oxtail stew)and pinakbet(a name considered for our first child) isn't my favorite but I eat it anyway. I am probably making some spelling errors on the names of these dishes, but i gotta let you know what you're missing if you haven't tried Phillipine cuisine. There's more than rice, lumpia and pansit you know. I was lucky to be exposed to this varied cuisine at a young age however and blessed with a mother who taught me to try everything and enjoy a wide variety of foods. Plus my mother-in-law aka Lola is a fabulous cook! Do you like Pho-the Vietnamese soup? Our friends Hien and Ha just opened a new bubble tea and pho shop on 25th and Oak. You gotta check it out. You'll love the sign. It's near their salon and it's called Gizmo. It's yummy. If you are saying, 'What the Pho?' then you gotta try the Vietnamese food out there. I'm not a foodie but I do like Asian foods. My son's favorite besides mcdonalds is sushi. My daughter really likes cucumbers. I think Patrick's favorite must be pasta because we're always cooking and eating it. He's a great cook and that is lucky for our whole family. Thank-you Carolina for teaching me to make the Caldo from Columbia. We had it tonight again. It's a yummy soup with chicken, cilantro, plantains, squash and corn on the cob inside it. Also congratualations on your new baby boy-Edwin. You have 3 kids now. Unbelieveable!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Jilian are you ready to come out now?

Jilian are you ready to come out now?

Don't ya think they'll make great parents. Uninterupted sleep may be a thing of the past. I can confirm it, parenting is by far the most challenging, tricky, exhausting, rewarding job in the universe according to my limited experience. Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be a Mommy. I didn't know how much I would sacrifice, love and constant improving on my part it would actually take. Even though it's not all sunshine and roses I wouldn't trade it for the world. It's not all poopy diapers and teething either. Lucky for me there are plenty of others willing to share what did and did not work for them. That really helps. Plus my mom and granny and their limited memories. My grandmother still swears her boys were all trained on the chamber pot by the time they were six months old. Mother in law offers plenty of advice and help too. My mom said I never slept. When I look at my son I know he's a minibetty but more subdued. I can only imagine how hyper I was. Actually I can remember until the ritalin and sugar free diet put a damper on things. It gave me such bad nightmares. Pregnant woman and newborns are everywhere,is it time for another one? We'll see. Pat says with a big goofy smile, "We might have a bun in the oven." Imagine baking and not knowing exactly when to take it out of the oven. Guesswork. Nope there's no buns rising at this time. I'd be feelin' it or puking it up or falling asleep at the wheel, my body reacts pretty quick and really knows asap when something's up or inside. I swear I was physically built to bear children. I didn't know I was so fertile. That other husband must of been shooting blanks like his dad always implied. I can't believe I didn't get pregnant until I was 30. Probably a good thing.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Planet Woman

Wow, I worked out finally with the help of a friend. It felt so good to take care of myself. It's so easy to put that aside until it's more convenient. There are a thousand excuses aren't there? I'll be sore tomorrow.
Check it out at

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

There's a hole in my bucket

Wow I really figured something out this week. I went to a meeting a few weeks ago on prevention of depression and all about the illness. The speaker talked about filling our lamps but I'm not a lamp. I'm a bucket. I keep trying to fill up my bucket so I can keep sharing it and have enough for myself too. Everytime (it seems far and few between)I have alone time, a nap, a date with my husband, a walk with a friend, a good read, time for meaningful prayers, time to create, bake, stretch, pick flowers, fruit, actually shop alone for anything, paint my feet, put on make up, bead, stamp, blog etc I do feel recharged but it doesn't last. I keep trying to nurture my soul, lift my spirit but am unable to keep my bucket full. It seems to be leaking in spots. Some days it has large gaping holes. Maybe if I repair the patches I can keep the bucket sustained enough to properly carry the water, keep it clean and quench my thirst. Wow, discovering this has really helped me. Now I just need to know what is causing the cracks where the water leaks out. I was so excited I tried sharing this with my husband but i am not sure he really got it. He suggested getting a new bucket. This is huge for me. If I can determine what is depleting me maybe I can cope better. I know I need to lower my expectations of myself. This week I will work on not criticizing myself. I thought about it. Nobody feels good after being criticized, nobody benefits. I wouldn't do it to others I love. I would focus on the positive and tell them not to worry about it. I will do this for myself. I judge myself too harshly. I am doing a good job, there is a lot going on. Now to find out what is causing those big bad holes. Thanks for listening, this helps. Maybe one day I will brush my teeth slowly and carefully or get a haircut or just sit in the sun with no time to be anywhere for anyone, unscheduled, undiluted, unrestricted hopefully before i come UNdone.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Mice, work, cake,dreams, kindergarten

You gotta try this, my co-worker Dawn made a chocolate cake with plain dessert tofu instead of eggs and oil, plus a little extra water or milk. It was so delicous and with a cake mix to boot. Rich, moist and a little less guilt inducing. I usually stay away from those but here it goes. Kindergarten has arrived, and with it so much excitement. Gradual entry killing me. Marvin has a delightful teacher. They'll do yoga and tennis in Gym class, without the brutally geeky gymsuits. 2 1/2 hours isn't long though. Finally some well deserved time off from work, even though I haven't really been back long. I can water plants, nurture my soul, do kindergarten, catch up on laundry (just the putting it away part), get the science projects out of the fridge, scrub mildew and create some art. My ambitions are too wild, while I probably won't make soap, do any canning, volunteer, print vast amount of labels with wild abandon, alphabetize, golf, paint, sew, build a 3-D mural or play video games until 4am, I might get to mop the floors, stamp, sing, play, or ride my bike if I'm lucky. Being away from the florescent lights, the phone, battling label printers, burning cds, dregging patient, someone yelling, "Breathe and hold it, that's right and exhale" repeatedly, the hum of computers, the smell of the hospital and the commute will do me good. Except that it is definitely easier to be at work, but not as much fun. Last week I told my son the story of the country mouse and the city mouse with apprpriate variations. We were at a cousins' on Sumas Mountain. There was freshly baked buns, sunshine, wild fruits growing everywhere, a trampoline, dirtbike, go kart, lawnchairs, a creek and people not seen in eons to shoot the breeze with. My son and I pondered which mouse catagory we fall into. Any ideas? This week we'll do the modern version of Never cry Wolf.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Yes that is my husbands butt! (below)

I only had eyes for the children when they had this bath at the Super8 in Auburn. We went to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the White River Amphitheatre and they did not start at 3pm like we thought but we all had a good time, dancing and watching. Marvin really likes them now! Hmmm. Glad he can share something with his dad.


We had a fun summer but it went by awfully quickly despite our efforts to keep it slow and simple. I can't wait to see the bare branches and my husband in his long underwear.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Change to walking club time!

Weekly Walking Club Note New Time
Bring yourself! Bring your children! Bring their bikes even. Bring your dogs! Everyone Welcome!
Queen's Park in New Westminster *weather permitting*
10:30-10:45 Tuesdays we meet in front of the Arena across from the Baseball Stadium, just near the Rose Garden
Parking is free and abundant even shaded spots available.
Inside are telephones, washrooms, change tables, vending machines, historic displays etc...
We follow the Millennium Trail back to the Arena & continue walking to the Playground/Picnic Area. Our 2.5km walk takes about 30-40 minutes depending on the speed/size of the group.
We hope this new time when it isn't so hot will bring out more people too.
This park offers a petting farm, spray park, huckleberries, off leash area, concessions, an art gallery and more!
We hope you can join us!
For more information just call
Betty-Ann Manghi 6045239839 or Brooke Jenkins 6042992940
Queen's Park is located between McBride Blvd. and First Street
from Royal Avenue to Sixth Avenue
If you need to see a map go to or check my archives SundayMay7thWeeklyWalkingClub post.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Anastasia is One today!

Well, between painting our apartment, returning to work, train camp, clutter control, my health and the heat, plus having 2 small children to keep me busy I haven't really been near the computer in roughly a month. July has been rough but rewarding too. Returning to work has been really overwhelming but i am doing it. I usually get home exhausted by midnight. After being semialert at work it is really easy to get to sleep even if I am full of adrenaline from a busy or stressful shift. I am still trying hard to focus and be more detail oriented at work. It is a struggle when i am tired, distracted, and depressed. I think I am back into a bit of a funk, not really triggered by one singular thing. Perhaps the fact that my husband has forbidden the children to attend church with me, or because I am overextending myself. It could be the long hours each day holds or the fact that my motherinlaw is MAD at me AGAIN. Breastfeeding, hormones, the return of menstration doesn't help either. I just finished my temple preparation classes but will be unable to proceed with the next step due to lack of permission from my husband. Somehow,some day I will get there. Our Bishop came by this week on Wednesday night but I was not home. My husband refused to let him in but was willing to talk/argue with him outside. It didn't last long. All these challenges have made me feel very defeated. For the past 3 weeks I have been really feeling blah, just going through the motions but unable to take care of anyone but myself, not including the bare minimum of feeding and cleaning our children, no small task. My doctor is pushing more meds but after attending a womens's retreat in Squamish last weekend, hanging out at the pool with some moms,talking with a counsellor, stamping, dreaming, praying, pleading for help from the Lord and hiring an organizer I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. I have also accepted a calling in primary and will be teaching CTR8. That should be fun. Saving graces in my life lately have been my mother again and my neice Jessica. They are so good to me and mine. Jessica comes everyday at 2:30pm to watch the children so I can get to the hospital for my shift. It is good to have her around even if I don't get to hang out with her much. I think the fact that Pat hired her to come here is the reason my motherinlaw is angry. She arrives promptly and keeps the kids fed, entertained, loved, and the like until 6pm when Pat gets home to make their dinner and put them to bed. I have had no energy to start or prepare dinner in the morning, clean the house much, run errands, brush my hair, kiss my husband, iron, organize, communicate or connect like I would like to. Going to church alone seems to have been the straw that broke the camel's back or my spirit. At least I arrive near the beginning with myself well groomed and don't feel spent at the end. I am able to listen to everything too. My husband is getting burnt out from picking up the slack. I have to stop working so much. It seem to be the one thing I CAN change. On the plus side I have managed to provide myself and my children some nutriticious meals and made it to a fitness class or the gym at least once a week. My new goals are to accept what I cannot change, keep praying, reading, exercising and to make some time for me to take care of myself, to nuture my soul, and to go on some dates with my husband again. So far so good. I booked a pedicure and got my legs waxed and on Saturday we spent 3 hours organizing the bedroom. Tonight we went out alone for dinner. Today is Anastasia's first birthday. We planned for cupcakes and lemonade in the garden out back. Hope the neighbors don't make a stink. It should be nice and I finally got a memory card so pictures will be posted. Thank you to all of you have have been so kind and concerned. Life is an interesting journey. It is hard to see the benefits of our challenges until they're done, isn't it. Temple bound and tired. Good night.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Back to Work, Not sure how it happened but it did

Holy Macaroni! I went back to work. I am not sure why but for some reason I totally blocked the fact that I was supposed to return to work full time on July 4th. I was so sick over the weekend with the weirdest symptoms. Badbadbad headache and sore throat, fevers plus vomitting for good measure, not a lot of vomitting, then again there wasn't a lot of eating going on either, except Tuesday I was feeling a bit better so I ate a whole watermelon, should replace some electrolytes.I could barely lift my head and now almost a week later my husband has some of it accompanied by red eye, nasal drip and a dry, persistant cough. Anyway I suddenly get a call on Tuesday afternoon enquiring why I am not at work, being refreshed with my trainer. Goodness it NEVER occured to me that yes I had promised weeks ago that I would indeed be there. I spoke with my doctors about it and was advised to put it off or do a gradual return. I just never implemented it. How insane is that? In my mind it was all set up. Anyway I was carrying around that doctor's note for quite some time but now have seemed to have misplaced it. What a scatterbrain. I shouldn't be allowed out. Weekend passes only. Needless to say I had to make quick childcare arrangements and get my butt over to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon. Not a lot has changed in EmergXray in the last 16 months. My bosses forgave me, thank goodness. The staff has changed. There are a lot of new faces! I like my new boss Maureen and we have worked harmoniously in the past. She is very real. She has demention and is very understanding. I have seen her reach out to others and not be afraid to do the same when she needs to. There are tons of students and fattening snacks about. The work is relatively the same. Three days back and I feel like I've never left. I do miss my family though. The hours are late and seem long even when it's busy. I actually had to fill my tank this week. It cost me sixty dollars and I drive a sedan. Fortunately was able to find free parking two out of three days. I still can't believe I am back there. The baby seems irritable with me and just wants boob all the time. Poor daddy is the bedtime general and the cook and the washer and exhausted too. It is hard to get to sleep right away when I get home. Luckily I can get home by midnight. Good-bye life, hello work.