Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Concert

December 15th 9am
I didn't get too many photos and the first photo may help you to see why.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I am really enjoying my monday/tuesday/wednesdays with my little girl due to my new position at the hospital still in the Switchboard. We are spending a lot of time drawing and playing, especially hide n'go seek and a little bit of watching Clifford the Big Red Dog. It's really nice to be home with her more. I can't wait for my maternity leave.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


I cannot believe how hard my husband works and just how thoughtful he can be sometimes. I feel so blessed to love and live with him and to have him as a partner and as a parent to my children. It just amazes me when he does things sometimes when I know he is pushing himself and I know how tired he must be but he keeps on working and working to make our family life more pleasant and to make things better for our family.Frequently he will go the extra kilometer in some way to show just how much he cares and thinks of my well being and happiness. It is very touching and humbling at the same time. I feel silly about getting frustrated about hairs in the bath tub and his toast crumbs everywhere when those kinds of things that are really quite insignificant. He is constantly working hard also to improve himself and has grown so much during our marriage. I also try to go to great lengths to make things easier for him but men and women do things in such different ways. When I tell him what I need and ask for help when I need it he always listens and puts forth a good effort. He has taught me about patience, about forgiveness and helps me to lower expectations of myself and encourages me to dream and to follow my passions. I think he just figured out how much a firm kiss on the lips can make me forget my worries for a moment enough to focus on the what is really important and I didn't even realize that is all it takes sometimes. He is my best friend and yet I haven't known him deeply for all that long. I have known him a long time but on different levels as he was the older brother of a friend. What a grown up responsible man he has become over the last 24 years that I have known him. I know if we had been together earlier neither one of us would have been ready for all we are doing now. What a loving husband. I had no idea he would be such an awesome father. Although he is not perfect and isn't all this 100 % of the time he makes the huge responsibility of parenting clearly easier. It is a job that takes a village. Sometimes I can see just so well how we can work together and feed off each others strengths and make up for moments of weakness or impatience. He has many wonderful talents and is very giving. Heavenly Father must have known what kind of partner I needed to fulfill the obligations I have right now as a mother, as a daughter, as a wife, and beyond those. I am grateful for the times when he can see my potential when I am discouraged and for the time he relentlessly gives to our family as I do the same. Sometimes I wonder if we'll ever get enough rest, enough done and I remember he's right along side me, lightening my load, sharing the good and the bad and the in between. I love to laugh with him and to hold his hand and see the love in his eyes. I am full of hormones in my 24th week of the pregnancy of our third child so I am probably a certified cornball right now. I have so many many good people and good things in my life and it didn't always seem like I could get even close to this place I am in right now. Christmas is a wonderful time for gratitude and to reflect upon the where we are going and where we have been and how we got there....and the journey is not yet complete. I do think I have written a post similar to this one before....or maybe it's deja vu.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Festival of Nativity

November 29th - December 1st
5280 Kincaid St
(604) 291-1734 (Office)
(604) 299-5633 (Hallway)

Celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ at the 2007 Festival of the Nativity.
View Nativity sets and artwork owned and created by members of the community and listen to Christmas music performed live each evening. Open daily, 10 am to 9 pm in Burnaby, BC. Breathtaking nativity displays from around the world held in a winter wonderland. Live Christmas music from 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm every night. Bring your family and friends.

Happy Go Lucky is feeling better...

It turns out that besides the bladder infection Lucky had an extremely low thyroid, common in older cats and some kind of tumor. I am not sure about the tumor but Pat said they biopsied it and we haven't heard any results. I thought old animals just get lumpy and that if it wasn't bothering him we didn't have to worry about it. Now that he is on the thyroid medication he is gaining some weight swiping at the children's toys, purring and rubbing himself all over the place. You may have already heard that in the summer Patrick decided he should be living it up and eating canned tuna and salmon, all the time. He went to Army & Navy and got tons of the fish for him. He decided Lucky would be much happier if he wasn't a carbohydrate addict. He was hoping he might do less biting. He has giant teeth and although he never scratches he does bite and hard! He doesn't bite the children unless they are really mean and poking and pulling at him a lot. Then they just get a warning nip instead of his usual impaling of the teeth and dragging of them that the grown ups get. The lovely ladies at the vet got one of those and they had to use a towel around him because he was so scared and being so vicious. Anyway after Lucky switched to the fish he was very happy but he lost weight so quickly I started to get worried. My friend Dora told me about this Inova Evo food that contains no grains. Usually he has to have a special vet food to reduce crystals in the urine but he didn't have any peeing problems at all after switching his diet both times, thank goodness. Now that you've all been bored with this terribly interesting recent medical history I can tell you that he is feeling like himself again and is much happier. His coat looks shiny again and he has a lot more energy. Since he went off of commercial and veterinarian foods he doesn't shed nearly as much so it's nice to be able to wear black again. I am pretty sure it cost my husband quite a bit of money but it is a lot nicer not to be stressed out about the health of the cat and our family is happy to have our good old Lucky back to normal.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Halloween memories...

I know Halloween is so long gone, so over with and we're all moving on to Christmas but I am slow getting my photos posted. We went trick or treating and had a nice fireworks display in my mom's back yard put on by Daddy. The Saturday previous we went to the chapel where they had a children's Halloween party in the morning complete with Trunk or Treat in the parking lot. That same evening we went to Lillian and Rio's house for another Halloween party. It was all fabulous and fun!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Amma's Breakfast Cookies

My mom makes these breakfast cookies so on the mornings when Marvin arrives hungry he can wolf something down before they do the one mile walk to school. Daddy doesn't always have time to make breakfast if he gets busy with Anastasia and Marvin won't get out of bed so she tries to keep some on hand just for that or else they eat M&M's chicken nuggets. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day they say...
Here's her recipe:
Mix 1/2 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice with 1/3 cup freshly ground whole wheat flour, set aside.
Cream 3/4 cup soft butter and add 1 egg, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup molasses, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.
Blend together 1 more cup of whole wheat flour, 1 tsp of baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/3 cup non fat skim milk power.
Add grated orange peel from the oranges used to make the juice, 1 cup of nuts, chopped, 1 cup giant organic raisins and finally
1 cup rolled oats or similarly steel cut grains such as flaked rye, spelt. Be careful not to add hard spring wheat or whole wheat berries or oat groats that may not cook enough during baking. Be careful if you disregard these instructions adding some of these ancient grains may be hazardous to your teeth. Recently my mom did this and while she was eating the cookies which still tasted good but it seemed like there was bits of rock in them, her filling came loose and fell out of her mouth! It fell to the floor where the smokey snauser named Elliot gobbled it up! He's no worse for the wear but my mom had to visit the dentist.
Add wet and dry ingredients all together and bake in gobs put on baking sheet at 375 degrees Celsius for 10-12 minutes
I added 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips and used a combination of walnuts, pumpkins seeds, and sunflower seeds. The big one in the first picture was from the original batch. They kept coming out too flat and too big, not like Amma's at all. I checked with her and checked the recipe, then refrigerated the dough. When i pulled it out I decided to add the left over peanut butter from the bottom of the jar, about 1/4 cup and some cinnamon, ginger, and clove powder. That made all the difference, now they taste like real cookies! Also they came out formed better after being in the fridge.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Yerba Mate

When we were at BC's Creative Expo last week we were drinking this tea the whole time! It's really good! It's called Yerba Mate and it comes from Southern Brazil at an elevation of 800 to 1500 meters above sea level. The subtropical forest consists of rolling hills with ravines, canyons and many creeks and rivers and that is where the tea is harvested from. The weather is cooler, the Mate trees thrive. Yerba Mate is a combination of cultivated trees (which grow up to about 12 feet tall) and wild shade grown trees (which reach up to 60 feet tall and are more difficult to harvest). Both are grown and maintained organically and responsibly. The fellows we met that had a booth opened up a store in Chilliwack with all their delicous teas available and some organic baked goods.
Long ago, in South America, there was unlocked a secret for maintaining good health. It was found in the healing qualities of one of their native plants. It was the Yerba Mate tree. The Mate beverage made from this tree was discovered to benefit health, vitality and longevity. It has been used for centuries to boost immunity, cleanse and detoxify the blood, tone the nervous system, restore youthful hair color, retard aging, combat fatigue, stimulate the mind, control the appetite, reduce the effects of debilitating disease, reduce stress, and eliminate in somnia, promoting overall good health.
In current practice in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, Mate tea is made from the leaves steeped in hot water. Properly brewed, Yerba Mate makes an excellent beverage that aside from all its nutritional properties, tastes good!
But Mate is much more than a very nourishing and refreshing beverage. It is a drink that has a long traditional use in South America. It is the focal point of a culture famous for their hospitality and brotherhood. Mate remains the center of their social lives. The gentle stimulant effect invigorates their warm interaction and conversation.
Yerba Mate is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including carotene, vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B-complex, riboflavin, nicotinic acid, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin C complex, magnesium, calcium, iron, sodium, potassium, manganese, silicon, phosphates, sulfur, hydrochloric acid, chlorophyll, choline, and inositol.
In 1964 The Pasteur Institute did a study on the properties of Yerba Mate. Their conclusion was:
“it is difficult to find a plant in any area of the world equal to Mate in nutritional value. It has most all of the vitamins necessary to sustain life.”
The Pasteur Institute study indicated Yerba Mate to be a more potent antioxidant than ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Antioxidants are the body’s main defense against free radicals! Free radicals are chemical compounds produced in the body as a result of toxic exposure to pollution, radiation, heavy metals, and pesticides. Free radicals increase the probability that affected cells will become susceptible to a wide range of infections and degenerative diseases including cancer, diabetes, heart attacks, premature aging, and strokes. Antioxidants are nutrients that seek out free radicals and neutralize their damaging cellular effects.
The pleasantly stimulating effect of Yerba Mate comes primarily from a compound called mateine. While mateine is related to caffeine, and sometimes referred to as such, the way the body absorbs it differs significantly from caffeine. Yerba Mate affects your system by gradually bringing up your energy level more slowly and evenly. It has a more long lasting effect and most people find this much more enjoyable than coffee.
Mate seems to act like a tonic, invigorating a weakened and depressed nervous system and relaxing an overexcited one. We have found that Mate gives more energy and vitality; better ability to concentrate; less nervousness, and eliminates fatigue, stimulating mental and physical activity. Yet for the most part, Mate does not interfere with sleep cycles, but helps to balance them.
Perhaps the main area to benefit from Mate is the gastrointestinal tract. We have seen that it helps the digestion, and even seems to have the ability to repair damaged and diseased gastrointestinal tissues. Constipation, acute or chronic, can be relieved by drinking lots of Mate.
Heart ailments of all kinds seem to be helped by drinking Yerba Mate. Mate supplies many of the nutrients required by the heart for growth and repair. In addition, it increases the supply of oxygen to the heart, especially during periods of stress or exercise.
Mate increases the immune response of the body, stimulating natural resistance to disease

It is said to energize naturally without caffine,

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Crop n'Howl at Clipper Street Scrapbooking Store

I am a medical mystery. Doesn't Dunja look cute with her Dorothy costume on!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Isn't pregancy fun?

Hormones are running through my body making me I N S A N E and teary eyed at commercials, children's books and all the beauty and kindness surrounding me. I have been very meticulous at work lately feeling easily irritated if I get to 'my' desk in the morning and the pens and the maps aren't in the right places or the books aren't standing up instead of laying down. I must have been driving my co-workers crazy with my little reminder notes about where to put this and how to leave that until I realized what I was doing. Lately my husband is buying all kinds of brown bread from a Celtic bakery in Whiterock and eating toast like crazy which is good if i feel sick or tired and nauseated or there's no leftovers. He just eats toast which normally he never eats. Usually we can't finish a loaf of bread before it goes stale or moldy to save our lives. Tea and toast, tea and toast, tea and toast and then there's crumbs everywhere and gooey knives left out, lids off j am jars, peanut butter on the counter instead of back in the cupboard where it belongs.Several mornings last week I was going to wrap up the toaster and take it to the donation bin! We didn't even have one a few months ago and just used the oven because we made toast so rarely. I left the whole mess out the previous day and refused to clean it up and it just got worse. Every afternoon I come home to it and just deal with it but with the way I've been feeling lately after doing that I feel too tired, frustrated or overwhelmed to start dinner right away. I even found peanut butter on the sock monkey I'm making which was across the kitchen on my counter, nowhere near the toaster I might add. I was feeling sorry for my cat Lucky who has a bladder infection but that is a whole other post. I decided to feed him some wet food that morning because I felt so sorry for him and had a bit of extra time before I left for work, although not enough time to clean up the mess from the day before that I had nothing to do with only to have it magically reappear the very same afternoon when I arrive home at 1pm. Lucky usually gets dry food and is fortunate if I have the time to feed him before I leave. Anyway, I used the ooey gooey knife and then put it back on the cutting board near all the crumbs and toast paraphernalia. THEN just before 6am when i was about to put my coat on my husband springs (literally) out of bed and asks me if i had time to prepare my lunch or eat/bring some breakfast. I said, "No, and i don't have time to wait." with panic in my voice. He INSISTS on making me a peanut butter sandwich which I like to eat at 8:30 with milk. By the time i got my coat and shoes on he was chasing me with the cat food and peanut butter sandwich! that he made practically in the dark because it IS still dark at the time I leave. I was wincing as i heard him scrapping the sides of the peanut butter jar with the contaminated knife as I scrambled to get dressed for the outdoors. Right now even thinking about this can drive me to kneel in the bathroom to puke. The other morning I almost puked because I stepped on a bug and saw the remnants. I use that jar too, what was i thinking! Why did i do something so petty and immature? Now i think it is so funny! and i think I may have learned a lesson. I think the toaster may be hidden sometime soon, or put in the cupboard right beside the box of Cream of Wheat that says in giant letters written across the box, 'PLEASE COOK ME IN THE MICROWAVE ONLY' from 2 years ago when I was pregnant with the little girl and cleaning the burnt pots was driving me nuts, which was just recently found with a big, 'What's this all about?' said to me. Now you know exactly how neurotic i am being lately.

Monday, October 22, 2007


Since my son was a toddler I wanted to dress him up like a little bird for halloween but I thought the boas might be a little too hot and I just couldn't seem to find the appropriate headgear or find the time to make one myself. Well when I went to Portland, Oregon a few weekends ago I popped into the Old Navy store at Lloyd Center and even though I wasn't really looking the 50 % off sign near the Halloween costumes caught my eye and I took a second look. Last year I picked up a cute little orange bat covered jumpsuit for $5 at Kiss a Frog with a big moon and a smiley faced vampire. After Halloween we realized if you push on the dracula image it laughs a spooky laugh. Well this year it seems to be too scary and she won't even go near the thing. Also I am not sure it still fits. I am pretty sure she will want to be a chicken since that's my son's favorite name to call anyone who does anything to displease him. I figure he could be using a lot worse names to be calling people so I let him get away with it and we all cluck like hens if he uses it on us. She adores chickens! Here's some photos of other children in the aforementioned costumes and I will post when I have some of my own little ones in their costumes.

Friday, October 19, 2007


Patrick bought the 3 day passes months ago and we were a bit unsure about bringing the little ones with us. We accepted the fact that we would not be staying into the night or seeing any of the big name bands appearing in the various stadiums around the site. We thought we were all set, mentally to enjoy ourselves. In previous years I always noticed children and different activities there for them. We brought bathing suits for the different fountains on the site and plenty of snacks too. We certainly weren't prepared for chasing our little ones through the crowds and I didn't anticipate how difficult and exhausting it might be to keep track of them in this kind of situation. Overall we were able to enjoy ourselves but mostly they did the enjoying. We did see some bands in the outdoor venues that were good and I still was able to enjoy the art displays but was not able to meander and luxuriously take my time wandering and gazing at all there was to see. I felt distracted the entire time by the children and meeting there needs.

I finally am getting around to posting these photos from Labour Day weekend. We took the children with us down to Seattle Centre to Bumbershoot.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Cravings: Real or Imagined

Being about three months pregnant lots of my co-workers have been asking me if I have any cravings. I keep answering, "None, that I noticed, so far." Well I think I notice something and I think it's mint! Yesterday one of my kind co-workers brought in some Girl Guide Cookies, the chocolate covered mint ones. I had a hard time keeping my hands off them even though I didn't want to start eating cookies at 6:30 in the morning. Between then and 1pm I admit I did gobble down 5 of them and then it occurred to me that lately I was chewing gum and enjoying a lot of mint tea. I don't usually go out of my way to have breath mints or gum but right now I have been. Last week I even shared an After Eight chocolate bar with my husband. Last time when I was pregant it was plain yogurt balkin style and before that it was lemons and limes. These certainly are not as strange as the stereotypical pickles and ice cream but nevertheless they are odd things for me to suddenly prefer. Our bodies want the craziest things! Real or Imagined? Is it all in our heads? Our tongues are in our heads.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Chris Cornell at the Center for Performing Arts in Vancouver

What a venue!
What a show!
What energy!
You know when you're listening to the pros play live on stage in such an intimate setting I could see Chris Cornell's navel. You know how you usually go to a concert and the stage seems so far away. Well not here, mind you our seats were pretty good but we were still half way to the back of the room. The band was practically sitting or rather dancing in our laps. Well, maybe I am exaggerating a little but it seemed really cozy in there and my 37 year old eyes didn't even have to squint. The venue was much too civilized for the crowd really. There were ushers showing us to our seats, comfortable seats, young ladies cleaning the washrooms and no line ups in the ladies room, how amazing is that. I will go there again anytime. The opening act Earl Greyhound was a bit heavy for my liking and just a bit too strange too but the main event was something else.
I met a Fox head!
Take a listen here.