Wednesday, October 31, 2007


We've been trying to get Abby to say "trick or treat" for a couple of days now. However, I think she thinks we're asking her which she'd like as she heartily responds "treat!" every time.

Did you know?

You can purchase a $83,000 ring at Costco. I don't know that they have a jeweler on site at Costco. (At least I've never seen one.) Who exactly is buying an $83,000 ring without a jeweler?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

I would never suggest that my mom is The World’s Best Cook. Not at all. She's not particularly adventurous nor is she very creative. But, the things she does, she does well. Very well. And cookbooks or recipes? Unessential. Today, a list in honour of my mom's cooking.

Thirteen Delicious Things My Mom Makes

1. Cabbage rolls.

2. Warenki (perogies to you non-Mennonites)

3. These shortbread-like sandwich cookies that she fills with pink icing. Always pink. Not sure why other colours don’t sneak in there sometimes.* These used to be reserved for Christmas but now she spoils us with them more often.

4. Peppermint brownies.

5. Bubbat.

6. Waffles (no, not Eggo) served with a warm vanilla pudding-like sauce that we dip them in.

7. Sweet and sour meatballs.

8. Rhubarb pie. I don't even really like pie but I can't seem to say no to Mom's rhubarb pie. (Actually, same thing with chocolate cake. I decline most chocolate cakes but my mom's?… mmmm.)

9. Cucumber salad. That might sound completely ridiculous to put in this list as how tricky is it to make? Well, not that tricky but I'll be honest with you, I've never tasted one I like as much as my mom's.

10. Jam. Frankly, I think it's why my father married her. Well, okay, it’s doubtful that she knew how to make jam that well at 21 but I think it might be why he STAYED married to her. Give her a fruit and mom will make a delicious jam. It's not any jam, it’s Grandma Jam.

11. Gravy. It annoys me a little how this woman makes gravy. She just tosses some flour into a pan of boiling hot fat and then pours in some water and somehow magically, it turns into fantastic, creamy (no lumps. Ever.) tasty gravy Every. Single. Time. I've actually nearly completely quit making gravy because of this. I can't come CLOSE. Not even a little. Mine mostly tastes like flour and fat. Ew!

12. Soup. Simple as that. Just soup. Because I can't just say, "oooh, my mom makes wicked cabbage borscht" or "my mom’s bean soup is fantastic" or "you should taste my mom's broccoli soup" or "tomato soup? You really don't know how good it can taste". Because it's true. All of them. She makes good soup.

13. White bread/buns/multigrain bread/whole wheat bread. I know, this was cheating a bit. Kind of like the soup one. Frankly, keeping this list at 13 was a ridiculous idea. (I haven't even MENTIONED her cinnamon buns.) But so be it… back to the bread. It's good. Very good. More than that I can't really say. But, the other thing about my mom is that if you ever go to visit her she will happily send some home with you. And you will hoard it. You will. And you will toss all ideas of a low-carb diet aside for just one more bite of that glorious baking.

* Just a little story to show how sweet my mom is. She's been gone for a few weeks. For some reason Abby has taken to calling her on her Fisher Price phone every single day. If you ask her who she's calling it's Grandma. And why? Well, because Grandma is making her cookies of course. What kind of cookies you might ask? Purple. Anyway, I mentioned this to Mom once when she called. Of course, she was quite tickled. And, of COURSE when we showed up there Grandma had some cookies for her. The ones with the pink icing because (according to Mom): "I thought these might be the ones Abby meant when she said 'purple'." No, Mom, she really only said purple because it's currently her favorite colour and her favorite response to so many things. But, hey, thanks for the cookies anyway. Good thing Abby got one at your house 'cause she sure ain't getting any of the ones I took home with me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Longest sentence yet

Also known as, I think we might keep her.

Last night I made something new for supper. A recipe I'd never tried before. During the meal I looked over at J-L: "So, do you like it?" "Yup." to which Abby promptly added "I like it too."

Aw, shucks.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Can't beat that kind of logic

Conversation heard in our house last night:

J-L: Abby, are you cute?
Abby: No.
J-L: Are you pretty?
Abby: Nope.
J-L: Are you ugly?
Abby: No.
J-L: Well, what are you then?
Abby: ABBY!

Oh Dad...

I can't even begin to tell you how much it pleases me that my child wakes herself up by singing, much in the same way you used to do.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

That girl

I think there's a part of me that thought the novelty would wear off. I think I thought that by this time it would be old news and I'd be more frustrated with her on a regular basis. I think there's a part of me that thought by now I wouldn't light up when I saw her.

It's just not true.

It's only getting better. As much as I've hated the phrase when it's used negatively I look at parents of newborns and think "Just you wait!"

Just you wait until she giggles when you play some peeking game.

Just you wait until you chase her/him, catch her/him and she/he shouts "'Gain!"

Just you wait until she stands up in her crib and very patiently calls out "Mom!".

Just you wait until you go for a walk and he/she points to things saying "Whastha?".

Just you wait until she teases you.

No, on the other hand, don't be too impatient - the baby stage is wonderful too.

But this I know: THIS age is a delight. I want to keep her at this age. I want to record every minute of it so that one day I can look back at it with tears in my eyes.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Over consumption/Materialism

You know, it's very easy for me to walk through Toys R Us and shake my head. "Tsk, tsk. Crazy parents who are just buying more and more stuff for their kids. More brightly coloured plastic toys that they don't need. Shame on them. Don't they realize there are so many countries where people don’t have enough to eat? They should be embarrassed. MY child has educational toys and books and very few unnecessary cluttering toys."

It's easy for me to go to Superstore with my canvas bags and quietly judge those who are filling up plastic bag after plastic bag. "Tsk, tsk. Do they not know how much extra waste that is? Do they not care about the environment? That plastic bag will still exist long after they're dead. Shame on them!"

So very easy and comfortable. Ah, sitting here in my pompousness.

I think I shall just leave it there. Look at me! I don’t over consume! I care about the environment! My recycling bin is fuller than my garbage bag! Woohoo!

But don't, please don’t ask me about how many serving dishes I have. Don't ask me how much my heart flutters when I go on cooking gadget websites and see some new cookware or bakeware (a covered pumpkin pie dish! a two-tiered server!) that I would so love to own.

And please don't remember the fact that last night I poured excess sweetened condensed milk down the drain because I didn't need it at that moment.

And don't open my closet.

Or go down into my basement.

Or see how many things I have shipped off to Value Village in the past year.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Romantic Movies That I Love

1. Princess Bride (As you wish…)
2. Before Sunrise/Before Sunset (Baby, you are gonna miss that plane.)
3. Sliding Doors
4. Always

5. Away From Her (Here comes the elevator on the left, where there is a man with a broken heart, broken into a thousand pieces.)
6. Return to Me (Elizabeth and I were married by the time we were twenty and we'd been going out since we were fifteen so this may sound a bit juvenile but... can I hold your hand?)
7. Love Actually (Beautiful Aurelia, I've come here with a view of asking you to marriage me. I know I seems an insane person - because I hardly knows you - but sometimes things are so transparency, they don't need evidential proof. And I will inhabit here, or you can inhabit with me in England.)
8. Ever After
9. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Clementine: This is it, Joel. It's going to be gone soon. Joel: I know. Clementine: What do we do? Joel: Enjoy it.)
10. Reality Bites
11. Punch Drunk Love
12. Amelie
13. High Fidelity (Laura: I'm too tired not to be with you. Rob: What, so if you had a bit more energy we'd stay split up, but things being as they are, with you being wiped out and all, you want to get back together? Is that it? Laura: Yeah.)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wherein I whine about Halloween (in 10 easy steps)

1) I don't particularly like Halloween. I mean, I like the social element of it and I CERTAINLY like Rockets (Smarties for you American readers) and the mini chocolate bars but that's really about it.

2) Well, I love seeing kids in costume too.

3) But I HATE having to come up with costumes.

4) One would think that as a single person with no children I wouldn't have that much to whine about.

5) But nonetheless I do. We as a children's ministry team from my church put on a costume party every year. And we "have" to dress up for it.

6) Blech.

7) And now I went and had myself a kid. Sigh. More costumes to worry about.

8) Stupid thing is, as much as I hate it, I care. I don't want her wearing some cheap, plastic Wal-Mart costume. And so... a whole lotta money as I'm not so much a seamstress like my sister. AND, I'm a little bit silly and don't feel like reusing friend's or family's costumes that everyone has already seen. Grr.

9) Thought I might find a costume idea for myself for our costume party this year on ebay.

10) Goodness gracious! I didn't get very far at all. The first 3 pages of costumes for women on ebay? I think there might have been 1 or 2 that didn't contain the words "sexy" or "naughty".*

Bonus: It's a KIDS' party. I don't think that would be appropriate.

* Don't believe me? Here's a sampling: Sexy vixen pirate wench, sexy German beer maid, sexy Tinkerbell, sexy official referee girl, sexy Little Red Riding Hood, sexy angel, sexy Strawberry Shortcake, sexy Alice in Wonderland, sexy girl scout. Do you feel a little dirty now? Alice in Wonderland? Strawberry Shortcake?... Are those not CHILDREN'S costumes?! shudder.


Last night we were sitting around watching tv after Abby had gone to bed. The doorbell rings. I go to the door but I don't recognize the lady. She introduces herself. Turns out she's the original owner of the house. She's there because she's curious if we want to sell it back to her. She's been having a very hard time with the transition. In fact, she's been sick since July and has lost 40 pounds. She must have asked us 3 or 4 times if we were sure we didn't want to sell it back to her. She was nearly in tears the entire time. We tried to comfort her but there's so little we can do - especially since she's basically a stranger to us.

I wish there was something we could do for her. Other than selling the house of course.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Can I just say...

It's lovely to sit in the memory of a wonderful evening with friends only to realize that tonight your boy comes home after being gone away for a few days and tomorrow is a day filled with family and the day after that is another day filled with family and a scrumptious spread of food and the day after that is a day just for the three of us to relax and enjoy time together.

How did I get so lucky?

P.S. The positivity of the whole thing overrides the horribly formed run-on sentence.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


I was wracking my brain for a Thursday Thirteen topic today*. Nothing noteworthy came to mind. And yet, I have posted 3 times already this morning (this being the 4th). Perhaps I should just do 13 posts?

* That's the problem once I start with something. I feel a need to be consistent and honestly, most Thursdays I'm reaching at best.

Minneapolis in October

Last year around this time I headed to Minneapolis with 3 people. This year I'm heading there again with 3 people. 2 of the people are the same and one is different. (Abby's not coming this year, she did last year.)

What I'm wondering is... Will Don be as entertained with a straw or will he be willing to let us laugh ourselves silly over watching him eat a lemon?

How you can tell Bug is developing a personality...

... and I'm loving it.

Just now I invited Corrie & Pam over for supper tonight and now I feel like calling Abby to tell her as she'd just be so happy.

Personality observation

Last night I did two things that basically filled my evening:

1. Shopping.
2. Transplanting 5 plants.

One completely exhausted me and the other gave me energy.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Lies people tell

I've heard it said that time heals all wounds. I'm not sure who said it but I'd like to challenge it. I don't think it does. I think time just passes and perhaps some of the rawness lessens. That's it.

Because all it takes is seeing a farmer with an old tractor baling hay in a ditch or a man of slight build in a light grey and blue jacket crossing the street or my daughter doing something with spunk that would make my father smirk or hearing Low German being spoken by a group of men his age or an old hymn.

That's it. Tiny moments that bring it all back with force.

And it's been 4 years. Shouldn't that be enough dose of time if the adage is true?