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Friday, December 30, 2011

Rolls, Sticks, & Crunch



Mock Cinnamon Rolls.

That's not what they are really called, just my personal name for them :)


Peppermint Marshmallow Sticks



Toffee Crunch
{Must of not gotten a "final" picture; anyway, this was not high on my list!}

More to come!

Monday, December 5, 2011

10 Things

Take Time for 10 Things

1.  Take time to Worship the Holy God--it is the foundation upon which makes or breaks your day.

2. Take time to Work--it is the price of success.

3.  Take time to Play--it is the secret of youth.

4.  Take time to Read--it opens up a fountain of information.

5.  Take time to help and enjoy Friends--it is the source of happiness.

6.  Take time to Love--it is one of life's greatest treasures.

7.  Take time to Dream--it hitches the soul to the stars.

8.  Take time to Laugh--it is the singing that helps with life's loads.

9. Take time to Plan--it is the secret of being able to have time to take time for the first nine things.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Song of the Week {Christmas In The Trenches}

 My name is Francis Tolliver.  I come from Liverpool.
Two years ago the war was waiting for me after school.
To Belgium and to Flanders, to Germany to here,
I fought for King and country I love dear.

 It was Christmas in the trenches where the frost so bitter hung.
The frozen field of France were still, no Christmas song was sung.
Our families back in England were toasting us that day,
their brave and glorious lads so far away.

 I was lyin' with my mess-mates on the cold and rocky ground
when across the lines of battle came a most peculiar sound.
Says I "Now listen up me boys", each soldier strained to hear
as one young German voice sang out so clear.
"He's singin' bloody well you know", my partner says to me.
Soon one by one each German voice joined in in harmony.
The cannons rested silent.  The gas cloud rolled no more
as Christmas brought us respite from the war.

 As soon as they were finished a reverent pause was spent.
'God rest ye merry, gentlemen' struck up some lads from Kent.
The next they sang was 'Stille Nacht".  "Tis 'Silent Night'" says I
and in two tongues one song filled up that sky.
 
"There's someone commin' towards us" the front-line sentry cried.
All sights were fixed on one lone figure trudging from their side.
His truce flag, like a Christmas star, shone on that plain so bright
as he bravely strode, unarmed, into the night.

 Then one by one on either side walked into no-mans-land
with neither gun nor bayonet we met there hand to hand.
We shared some secret brandy and wished each other well
and in a flare-lit soccer game we gave 'em hell.

 We traded chocolates, cigarettes and photographs from home
these sons and fathers far away from families of their own.
Young Sanders played his squeeze box and they had a violin
this curious and unlikely band of men.

 Soon daylight stole upon us and France was France once more.
With sad farewells we each began to settle back to war.
But the question haunted every heart that lived that wondrous night
"whose family have I fixed within my sights?"

 It was Christmas in the trenches where the frost so bitter hung.
The frozen fields of France were warmed as songs of peace were sung.
For the walls they'd kept between us to exact the work of war
had been crumbled and were gone for evermore.

 My name is Francis Tolliver.  In Liverpool I dwell.
Each Christmas come since World War One I've learned it's lessons well.
That the ones who call the shots won't be among the dead and lame
and on each end of the rifle we're the same.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Perfect Stranger...Strangely Perfect

I work in our Print Shop during the day, and then I do after school childcare--finishing around 6--which makes reaching a business only open between the hours of 10-4 impossible. So, I'm very glad for Saturday!

First thing I had on my agenda was to pick up some tickets at a businessonlyopenbetweenthehoursof10-2. The tickets were for Handel's Messiah. I am so, so, SO excited to be going this year. I was in highschool when I first learned about it from the choir director. Unfortunately, I was always asked to baby-sit...for him! And then I went to college and we always got out a week after it played. After that, I went to the Northwoods to teach and didn't make it back to Canada at all. So, this is my first opportunity to go, and I'm going! A group of us--10 adults and 5 teens--are all going together and it will surely be a memorable event. I'm taking my brother for his birthday, as it is on the same day.

Next, I swung by Canadian Tire to get some car mats that were on sale and also a couple other things. I did self check out and hurried out to my car. I normally just put all purchases in the back seat, but I wanted to vacuum out my car and so decided to put everything in the trunk.

I popped it up, put everything in and shut it--at least I attempted to. It would NOT close. I checked to see if the trunk-pop-up-latch-thingy was down because I've forgotten in the past. It was down. So I tried again. And again.

Imagine me standing at my trunk--switching between slamming the lid down and prying at the hinge thingy. In the middle of a huge parking lot, on a super busy Saturday. And I was only a couple spaces down from the store. I had tons of people passing me by; I'm sure they were staring but I was way too busy trying to figure out what in the world I was going to do as well as giving my car a few choice names. Not that it was listening to me.

Finally I just got into the drivers seat and looked at my choices:
  1. I could just drive away and pretend I didn't know my trunk was open
  2. I could take it in to the mechanic shop {it was right next to the store--but, remember how I said everyone tells me never to go to that body shop?}
  3. I could use the paperclip I was playing with to somehow hinge it together
  4. I could use my scarf to "tie" it together
  5. Can you tell I was getting desperate?
  6. I could just go buy a bungee cord {a lot smarter than my scarf ;}
  7. My biggest thing was leaving my car unattended with the trunk open.
  8. I could wait for Dave and Theresa {they were going to come to CT after they went grocery shopping...only thing, I had no way of knowing if they already had been or even if they were still going to come}
  9. I could just ask a stranger, or just stand helplessly by my trunk until someone offered to help
  10. I could PRAY.

I was so frustrated with no way of contacting anyone for help. #10 should have been first on my list of choices, but it was soberingly last. I sent a plea to my Heavenly Father asking for help.

Not a minute later, the car beside me made some beeping noises and a man put some things in his trunk. I scrambled out of my car saying "Excuse me--can I ask you a question about my car?". I explained to him that my trunk  wasn't closing and if using a bungee cord would help until I got someone to look at it.

He very willingly came over, mentioning that he was a mechanic. This guy had worked in a dealership body shop for years. I couldn't believe it. This guy actually knew what he was doing! It was his profession. I just stopped in my heart and thanked God for bringing this perfect stranger who was perfect for my need. There are so many scenarios I could have gone through, but God so graciously answered my prayer by sending the best. How humbling.

This young man fiddled around with the latch and hinge and told me it was an easy fix. He then asked me if I had a 10m so he could loosen the nut which would help it close. I didn't even know what he was talking about, let alone have one in my trunk. I asked him what I would do with a 10m once I bought it from the store, and after explaining, he offered to do it for me.

We went into the store and he showed me what I needed. After I purchased the package of wrenches {it was cheaper to buy a package of 3--on sale for $10 from $30--than an individual 10m!} we headed out back to the car and the Mechanic fixed it in just a short amount of time.

I was so grateful. He was very kind to take time out of his Saturday to help a total stranger. I was able to give him a little something, but he will never know how much he has given me and what I learned driving away from the parking lot on this blustery, winter day.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pinterest {Better than Twix Bars}

Tonight we have a college & career get together and I decided to try making these "Better than Twix Bars" off my recipes board on Pinterest.

Better than Twix Bars

Shortbread layer:

2 sticks salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour


FOR THE CRUST:

1) Preheat your oven to 300°F. Line 9" x 13" pan with nonstick foil.
2) In a bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the flour. Mix till it comes together.
3) Press it evenly into the pan.
4) Prick the crust all over with a fork {I found that the dough was too soft, so I baked it for 10 minutes before pricking and it was fine.}
5) Bake 35-45 minuets until the crust is lightly golden brown on top and the edges are deeper golden brown. {This step fluctuates with different ovens so watch carefully; remember you want to go with the lower time adding as needed. Also, convection ovens bake/cook foods in less time.}
 Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen the crust. Set it aside to cool completely. 
 

Caramel layer
20 ounces Kraft Caramels, unwrapped of course! (I bought some from our local Bulk Barn--MUCH cheaper!)
3 tablespoons heavy cream (I used Neilson's fresh Whipping Cream 35% M.F.}

FOR THE CARAMEL LAYER:

Melt the caramel and cream over low heat in a small saucepan {I sat a metal bowl onto a pot for use as a "double boiler"}. Pour the caramel over the cooled crust and set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill and firm up.

Chocolate layer:
18 ounces milk chocolate, melted (I used 2 bags of chocolate chips)
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening (if chocolate is too thick for pouring--I used sunflower oil)





Now, you have two options for the placement of the chocolate.

EASIEST OPTION:

Melt the chocolate slowly in a double boiler or over very low heat. If it seems very thick, add a tablespoon of shortening to thin it. Pour evenly over the chilled caramel layer and spread to cover all of the caramel. Return to the fridge until the chocolate is well set. Cut into bars or squares. It's best to store these bars in the refrigerator but take out a few minutes before serving.


Yummiest OPTION:
Cut into bars once the caramel has chilled and dip each bar individually into the melted chocolate. Lay on wax paper in fridge until set.


Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Giving Thanks {Education}

The Fall season would not be complete without a "thankful" post! Today, I'm thanking God for my education.

When we moved to Canada, my siblings and I attended a public school. I don't remember too much of my time in the system--I remember my older brother struggled in his class and my younger brother didn't learn to read until the middle of second grade {the teacher did not do a thing about this--as ESL kids, we were naturally going to struggle with learning a new language, but communication between the teacher and my parents about his reading problem was nil until the middle of the school year. And, even then, my brother only learned to read because my parents and us older siblings made it a priority.} but me? I remember being with a group of kids smacking a ball that was tethered to a pole; I remember having a cake for my birthday {in each grade--and I specifically remember making one in class in 3rd grade}; I remember having to sit out at a class party {halloween? Christmas?} because I had tons of math pages to finish {it must have been Christmas because the teacher saw them when we were all dumping out desks to "clean" it out and take things home. I hated math as a kid because I didn't understand it and my remedy was to shove it in my desk...until the end of the school year! That was the only time I remember being reprimanded/asked about math.}; I remember we had to learn a square dance and lots of the kids wore cowboy/girl boots/outfits...I remember thinking it was all a little strange!; I loved--and remember her fondly--my third grade teacher; I popped my bottom tooth out in her class while trying to separate Lego pieces...on my birthday :); in third grade we were in a portable classroom; I remember thinking my 4th grade teacher was just GORGEOUS and was so disappointed when she went on maternity leave after Christmas break; and then we got Mrs. Acresh...a French teacher...she was the one who made me do all my math homework in a little secluded room down the hall...no, of course I'm not bitter--why do you ask?

Anyway, the summer before I went into 5th grade, my parents decided to send us to our church's academy. We got tested and each one of us had to go back a grade or two {I'm not sure about the boys}. Back then we did Landmark and although super different from what I had done up to that point in my education, it was not too difficult. Basically it is like ACE in which you do the work yourself with just a monitor in the classroom but instead of paces, you have a book for each subject that is divided into 36-week lessons. I remember still struggling with math, but doing well in everything else because the fundamental tool used was reading skills and I was a really good reader.

Eventually our school changed over to A Beka and BJU curriculum and by this time I was back in my grade and although I still had some trouble in my math, I feel like I received a very good education. My English, literature, and history classes were above par because of the teacher I had--seriously, Mrs. Fountain is the BEST. I've always loved reading, but with her, literature came alive and I was introduced to so many good classic novels and writers. And, English. I had so much fun in that class and because of her, my love for it was born.

I have been blessed. I have been privileged enough to attend  Bethel Baptist Academy and then get a bachelors from Fairhaven Baptist College. I know this post is getting quite long, but ever since I began watching some girls after school, I've been exposed to the in's and out's of school in the public system...and it has made me ever so grateful for the education I've received. And, especially after having taught K4 &K5 for 2 years I have so much pity for these poor girls and anger at the system and those who just want to push their agenda along not even caring about the kids they are hurting. The youngest of the three just turned 6 today and she doesn't know how to read; the 10 year old twins have a 3rd grade understanding of math--they're in 5th grade. The methods employed by their teachers...is incomprehensible. And of course, 'NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND' is their motto...no matter how much a child struggles. And I could go on {which I will in a future post :} because there's no end to the discrepancies in the public system.

So thankful we have Christian schools and teachers...so thankful for the education I received!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Song of the Week {Silver Bells--Instrumental}

The song of the week today is a Christmas song! I've already been singing as well as listening to Christmas songs since the second week of October--after Monday of course ;). It has been so great not getting ribbed about it being too early for Christmas songs by my American friends. :)

You know I still love you ;)

Anyway, lights are popping up all over making houses glow with soft Christmas colors and anticipation for the season has begun!

The only thing lacking is snow! This past weekend was super windy, but it seemed to be coming from the south! It was pretty warm for being the second week of November! This week I want to get the last of my "fall" things done and then it will be time to get ready for Christmas!

Now for the song...

video

Friday, November 11, 2011

11*11*11 {Remembrance Day}

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army



uh...

*Clears throat* So. The last couple months have been pretty shaky for this here ol' blog. One part was due to Internet access, another to busy-ness {that more recently}, and a big chunk to not having very much to say [no motivation]. I hope you few faithful readers forgive me for deserting ship! Thanks for being patient.

So. I'm back. I now have a more reliable Internet connection, I've settled into a routine, and I'm not sure how interesting my posts will be, but I've missed writing and posting pictures {my camera is still dead so I stole borrowed my parent's camera (they hardly ever use it--yay for me :); and I'm still saving to get a Canon (not easy to narrow down to 3 choices!)} and being on a schedule. And, well, here I am :)

I'm sure Pinterest is not new to anyone, and I really like the site. Before, my favorites bar was filled to capacity with things I thought were interesting and wanted to make/remember. Now I use Pinterest! It is really neat, and opens up lots of possibilities.

From this site, I ran across a recipe for Reece's Cheesecake Brownies. Since this weekend I needed to make desserts for church functions, I decided to try it. I must say I'm sorta disappointed in the final result, but I'll chalk it up to be my fault: I'll have to try it again using Canadian measurements in (...). I used this calculator for this post.

Ingredients:


One 19.5-oz. (552g) box chocolate fudge brownie mix
One 8-oz. (226g) package cream cheese, softened
One 14-oz. (396g) can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup creamy peanut butter
12 oz. (340g) Reese’s Pieces candy
One 12-oz. (340g) bag milk chocolate chips
3 tablespoons whipping cream
12 large Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, chopped

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.

2. Prepare the brownie mix according to package directions. Spread the batter in pan and set aside. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with hand-held mixer until fluffy. Add condensed milk and peanut butter and beat until smooth. Stir in the Reese’s Pieces candies. Spoon the mixture over the batter. Spread evenly.

3. Bake for 40 minutes or until cheesecake layer is set and edges are golden brown. Cool for 30 minutes and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

4. In a small microwaveable bowl, microwave the chocolate chips and whipping cream for 1 minute, or until chips are melted. Stir until smooth. Spread over cheesecake layer. Sprinkle Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup pieces over top. Store covered in the refrigerator.


A single bite satisfies any sugar craving you might have :p


It was SO, SUPER sweet--bleh. I do want to make it again, but with my variations :) But for sure it is not very high on my list of yummy treats.

Have a great night!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Song of the Week {Calvary's Blood}

 What a price was paid for our souls!! When I stop to think of how I got saved and the course of events that transpired: I am simultaneously humbled and grateful that He chose ME.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Meetings

We are celebrating our 29th anniversary here at Bethel Baptist church. Our speaker for the week is Brother Cloud. He and his wife are missionaries in Nepal and Brother Cloud is the founder and editor of Way of Life Ministries. His topic for these next couple days is on the subject of separation.

Tomorrow we have all day services and then on Saturday we will have our banquet. We hope to see a lot of people come out and pray that these meetings will be a challenge and encouragement to fellow believers.

Our print shop also produces his books {I have bound some! :} and if you would like to look at any, you can go here to Brother Cloud's website. We have friendly secretaries that can help you out if you call our church, or if you call the print shop, you can talk to the printer!

{Speaking of the Print Shop, I started working there back in September and have learned so much about the making of books. I've learned to keep the printer going, coiling books, using the binder, UV coater {makes the covers shiny}, the puncher, and stapler. It is really quite fascinating to see the different steps and then the completed project. Of course, it's not without its frustrations, but then what job isn't? It's also been neat seeing author's who I know personally, or know of. If you want to learn more about our Print Shop, visit our church website http://www.bethelbaptist.ca/}

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the messages and the Lord speaking to my heart.

Have a good night!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Dear Editor

Tonight I found about the protesting going on at Fairhaven Baptist Church.

My first thought? This so absurd. It makes me so terribly upset {read super angry} how truth is so incredibly TWISTED. All of this is so one-sided; I do not see anyone doing a segment on how much good FBC has done for so many and the many POSITIVE experiences MANY people have had while there.

But, of course...who wants to hear truth? How would truth make an interesting story? A shocking headline. It's so much "juicer" to dig up "dirt".

To be completely honest, I thought the interviews with the ex-members was superficial. Like they were putting on a show to be on national TV.  If they really had something to say...could they not have done it with the person who wronged them? I am pretty sure when people get into arguments/situations they do not televise it and turn it into a scandal. Of course not. What TV station would give them the time of day?

If just for the sake of journalism...why not let the other side fully speak their mind? Show what we have to say? And just as you did not have one "spokesman" for the group you interviewed but each had a "voice"...I expect the same courtesy extended to us. Oh, and no editing...as is so famously done to get your own agenda across. Why do you not want the truth to get out--are you a coward? But of course: once the truth comes out, than you will have been played the fool.

Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again;

Th' eternal years of God are hers;

But Error, wounded, writhes in pain,

And dies among his worshippers.”

William Cullen Bryant








Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11

Their Courage






Their courage deems utmost respect

Their mission clear, our way protect





It’s sure to each what they must do

No give or take, keep freedom true





With the Grand Old Flag, they'll unite

Whenever they must, march to fight





A life we know counts hard on them

Without their ranks, hellish problem





If our Armed Forces ceased to be

How long could we survive as free





Let’s well realize the truthful score

We need our troops just like before





Boils down to this, words to engrave

Land of The Free, Due to The Brave





God Bless each one for being there

Their loved ones too, unending care





Hope born from love touches the will

Do back them strong, means to fulfill





Americans – Who Serve To Give

One Nation – Under God We Live





©2005Roger J. Robicheau

Monday, September 5, 2011

Monday Moments {An Anniversary}

In August of '91, I experienced my first life-changing event: I, along with my Mum and Dad and three brothers, made a transatlantic move from Africa to North America.

I was five and half years old.

There's not much I remember about Africa, more specifically, Sudan. I don't know if the memories I do have are because of repeat family tellings, or moments stored in my own memory banks. Either way, I want to record them just in case I lose my memories of Africa completely. :)

I remember...

*Swallowing a coin that my Uncle gave me.
...My Mum told him not to give it to me, since I had a habit of putting everything in my mouth. He just laughed, looked at me and said "You wouldn't do that, right?" and proceeded to place it in my eager hands. I remember walking behind him on the path to our house and putting it my mouth several times but always able to take it out...until the last time when it slipped all the way down and got stuck in my throat. The coin got stuck sideways so I was still able to breathe and drink water but couldn't eat. My mom was so frantic because at first she didn't know what was wrong {I kept quiet and didn't let her know I had disobeyed}. Finally we took a taxi to the hospital. I remember walking around a circular garden type thing in the middle of the courtyard, and then being put on a stretcher. While I was knocked out, the doctor pulled the coin out. I remember being wheeled out of the operating room, the doctor at my side. He held up the coin and asked me if I was going to swallow it. I grinned and shook my head. He gave it to my Mum for a keepsake, and also some x-ray shots, but I think both got lost in the shuffle of life. I was probably close to being four years  old.

*Eating fish at a neighbour's house.
...I remember it being really yummy and I *think* fish is tasty...but, I won't touch any kind of sea food...even the fake breaded stuff you can get from the freezer section at the grocery store! Maybe I don't want to ruin a good memory?!?!

*The facilities
...I am so, so thankful for modern toilets! There was only one time that I had to visit the local bathroom. My Mum normally took care of things for us since we were all so young, so a visiting lady must have taken me. Let me tell you that a hole in the ground in pitch black surroundings conjures up a whole lot of scary ideas! I was so afraid I would fall in!

Moving on.

*Some neighbourhood children
...I only remember one family with several children that played with us. I use to remember their names, but it has slipped my mind now. I still remember as we would chase each other to and from our homes.

*Going to a funeral
...I believe this was the grandpa of the kids who played with us. I remember going into the house where this old man lay dying. There was a stench of sickness, that coupled with the heat of day, just made me sick. I remember him lying on a thin mattress so decimated that I was scared. His eyes had shrunk in his head and he was just skin and bones. The room was dim and dirty...I never saw him again. He passed away that night. After, I remember being part of a crowd watching as some men carried a stretcher type thing that carried his body.

*The heat
...it was ALWAYS so hot. I don't remember it ever being cool. Maybe that's one of the reasons summer is my least favorite season!

*Twisting my arm
...My older brother and I were doing cartwheels on the bed. As soon as Mum said we would get hurt if we didn't stop, we crashed into each other and I ended up hurting my arm.

*My first scar
...Some of the Mum's were having tea inside while a fellow baby and I played outside. We got into the usual mischief and then everything became quiet. Our Mum's knew that there was something wrong and came outside to find my arm sliced open from elbow to wrist and a bite mark on the little boy. Apparently, Baby and I made an agreement: I could bite him as hard as I wanted and he could cut me using the razor he found. We were about two and half years old. I still have the scar so I doubt I'll ever forget this memory {or telling ;}!

*My first flight
...And then, at five and half, my family boarded for their first flight on an airplane. The only memory I have of this is my Mum taking turns with having two kids in the bathroom...being sick. It lasted the entire flight. Maybe this also is a reason of why I don't want to ride on planes?!

On August 30, 1991, we landed on Canadian soil. And from that moment on, my life was changed.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Song of the Week & Blessings

During the announcement time of our evening service, our church takes a few moments to share blessings they received from their personal devotions, an answer to prayer, or a testimony.

This week I was reading through the beginning of Psalms--one of my favorite books--when verse 4 of chapter 16 caught my eye:

"Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god"

This verse is talking about a god may have been built of wood or stone. We see in the time of Israel, especially during the time of the Judges, how they would forsake the true God and follow after the powerless gods made by the heathen hands around them. Then they would experience multiplied sorrows as they became subject to the different powers during that time period.

Throughout the book of Judges, we notice a cycle of the children of Israel following God and then going after strange gods. Once they were fed up with the emptiness that comes from following anyone/thing except the God of heaven, they would lift up their voices and weep for mercy and deliverance.

And God would graciously forgive and deliver them from their enemies.

I thought about now: I may not have an idol made from wood or stone sitting in my living room, but I can have other things that take the place of God in my life. It made me pause and think about what I'm following after and what fills my life. Am I following after gods that just bring an emptiness to my heart and life? The sorrows that will multiply as a result of not having God first in my life--is it worth it?

I continued reading and came to the last verse in this chapter:

"Thow wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."

Being in God's presence--having Him FIRST in our lives--brings us joy. At His right hand, we have pleasures for evermore. There is a satisfaction, a joy, in putting God first. Have you noticed a restlessness and dissatisfaction when you let your personal walk with God slide?

I have. And this verse has been such a challenge and blessing to me this week to always, ALWAYS, keep God number 1 in my life. I'm thankful for the mercy He shows me when I fail.

I love the following song about the mercy of God. It is such a blessing and reminder of what God does for me every time I listen to it. I hope it will be the same for you.

Every morning that breaks there are mercies anew. Every breath that I take is your faithfulness proved, and at the end of each day, when my labors are through, I will sing of your mercies anew.

When I've fallen and strayed, there were mercies anew. For you sought me in love and my heart you pursued. In the face of my sin, Lord, You never withdrew. So I sing of your mercies anew.

And Your mercies they will never end; for ten thousand years they remain. And when this world's beauty has passed away, Your mercies will be unchanged.

And when the storms swirl and rage, there are mercies anew. In affliction and pain, You will carry me through. And at the end of my days, when your throne fills my view, I will sing of your mercies anew. I will sing of your mercies anew.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

My Experience In Getting A Car

What a crazy past few days. Literally, I thought I was going crazy during the process of getting a car.

I have been looking on Kijiji {like Craig's list in America} for a car since the beginning of summer, but nothing really panned out. Well, my brother offered to sell me his car, but I'm not a huge fan of Pontiac Sunfires and didn't really want to get it. I eventually gave in and this past Tuesday went through the process of changing the ownership over to me.

What a N.I.G.H.T.M.A.R.E.

In Ontario you have to get an emissions test as well as a safety anytime you change ownership. Drive Clean is Ontario's mandatory vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance program. It improves our health and environment by reducing smog-causing pollutants through testing and repairing vehicle emissions systems. I suppose it is good for the environment and all, but the mechanic bill sure racks up if your car fails the e-test! The real sinker is the safety test. Basically, you have to get everything that is wrong with your car fixed before you can get ownership. And, if you get an older car or a previous owner didn't take care of the car, you'll have major problems.

On Monday, my brother and I went to Service Ontario to see what exactly we needed to do in order to have the ownership transferred over to me. The lady at the counter told us the right spots to sign on the back, said I would need to get insurance, and that the car need to be safetied as the certificate is only good for 30 days. Nothing about getting another e-test done.

My brother left for college that night leaving me to wade through all government requirements.

I started looking for the best insurance rates on Tuesday and made an appointment for Wednesday morning. I talked to the insurance lady {which, incidentally, is the same one my Dad has dealt with and one I used when I was a secondary driver before I went away to college} and we got everything set up. Since there is history between her and my family, we talked and one thing brought up was getting the safety done on my car. Notice, I never told her definitely I was going to take my car that day to get it safetied.

Now that I had insurance, I could get my temporary plates and drive the car to get it safetied and so on. Upon receiving my temps, I was told I had 10 days to get the safety done. Alright, that gives me enough time to figure out which mechanic to use. I asked around and the general consensus was to NOT got to Canadian Tire which is what I was going to do originally since my brother had taken it there. Apparently, they have a bad record of over charging and finding things to fix.

I ended up taking it to Ultra Care Auto upon recommendation and they did a quick look at the framework--so a pre-pre-safety. They said the car looked pretty good but that I would definitely have to change the front two tires.

I planned on visiting several body shops to find the best deal, but matters were taken out of my hands when I got a call from my insurance lady asking me for "the papers". I was really confused as to what she wanted from me seeing as I had a full 9 days before my temps expired. That's what I understood, but apparently--which the insurance lady failed to inform me--the insurance company requires new policy holders to bring a copy of ownership and safety to the office within 24 hours. Based off of our hour+ talk when I got my insurance, she assumed I would get my safety done immediately and therefore saw no need to tell me of their 24 hour policy.

So, I did what any young-doing-this-for-the-first-time-single lady would do: I panicked. Looking back, that was my first big, BIG, mistake. With pressure from my insurance lady to get this done {since what she had done could get her fired} ASAP, I parked my car at the mechanic's around 2:00 Thursday afternoon. The mechanic was doing me a favor since they were pretty busy until the following Tuesday.

I called to let my insurance lady {IL} know I had it parked and would bring her the papers as soon as I could. She told me she wanted them by noon the next day {Friday} since the office people would be mad at her if she gave them paperwork at 3:00 in the afternoon on a long weekend. And also, she would have to re-do the insurance policy if the present one became null and void.

My second big mistake was accepting blame that all of this was MY fault and rushing around trying to rectify the problem without thinking through the situation.

Friday morning T was gracious enough to pick me up in the morning so I could pick up my car from the mechanics. The print shop is just down the street a little ways so I was going to help out until the car was finished. The mechanic had assured me it would be well before noon, but the closer it got to 12:00 and no phone call, the more my stomach started to be queasy and I was losing concentration on my task at hand {packaging some books for Reformer's Unanimous}. I recounted the box twice because L & A didn't think I had counted right. The first time they thought there wasn't enough in the box; when I recounted into a different box--I reached 500 before the first box was empty!! While A--the expert packer--was sorting through, L, seeing that I was far away in my thoughts and terribly worried about the strict timetable I was on, gently suggested I go call the mechanic to get an update. I threw her a grateful smile and walked up to the front of the building where Mr. K gave them a quick call for me. They would be done in 15 minutes and not a minute to spare. The IL was not going to get her papers before noon.

After leaving the auto body shop, I went over to the Service Ontario to get my permanent plates and ownership. I looked in dismay at the long line of people, and settled in to wait. It went surprisingly fast, and soon I was at the counter and told the lady what I needed. She asked me for a paper  and after a blank look from me, gave me a form to fill out. While I was doing that she punched some info into the computer, asked for my driver's license, temporary ownership, safety, and e-test. I showed her the only paper the mechanic gave me. She shook her head. I showed her the e-test paper my brother had gotten when he got his done, thinking that is what she wanted. Nope. She wanted a current one. I almost told her that I was told by her people that all I had to get was the safety. But, there was a long line of people behind me and I just didn't want to get into it with her. So, I packed up my papers and left.

I went back to the mechanic to ask him if they could do a quick e-test. They didn't, but he referred me to a mechanic over at....Canadian Tire. By this time it was nearing after 1 so I asked the CT guy if they could do it before 3. He said yes, but it might be about an hour before anyone could look at my car. I told him I would wait in the waiting area and sat in a spot where I could see my car. Bad move. Every few seconds I looked up only to see my car still in its parked spot. I tried reading, and even writing a letter to my friend but nothing worked. I was super conscious of the time and knew it was getting later and later in the day. By 2:00, I realized that my car might not even pass the e-test. But, I still couldn't relax until I knew for sure whether it failed or not and my all day running around and stressing out and being sick to my stomach was all for naught.

Finally I saw a mechanic pull my car into the body shop and anxiously watched through the window. He would do something and scribble on a piece of paper and test something else. His face didn't give me one clue as to whether or not my car would pass. "This is ridiculous" I told my self  and I didn't care whether or not I was on time at my IL's office. Of course, I wanted my car to pass the e-test, but I was done catering to my IL. If things worked out, they worked out; if not? so be it.

I watched as the mechanic slipped the paper into a protective sheet and walked to the entrance of the service center. I quickly got up out of my seat and went to be checked out. I pulled out my wallet ready to pay, when the words of the cashier stopped me cold: She didn't pass.

I knew it was a possibility, but I didn't think the car would actually fail the e-test. I paid for the service and drove away. As soon as I could, I called the IL to let her know that I wasn't going to be coming in. By this time it was 3:00. She told me for a fee of $200 I could get plates for my car for this year--overriding the failed e-test. I asked her how much it was to get my plates after re-doing the e-test, but she didn't know. I agreed to call Service Ontario to see if I could do as she suggested.

Third big mistake. Why I kept pursuing it after all that had gone on during the day, I have no idea.

I couldn't do it {which I already had my suspicions} and learned the normal fee is around $75. I called my IL back and told her there was nothing more I could do and I was not coming in on Tuesday {as she kept saying for me to do} and told her I would think about it and see what my options are this weekend.

I better hurry...time is running short.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Song of the Week {Like A River Glorious}

Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious, in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way.

Refrain:

Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there.

Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;
We may trust Him fully all for us to do;
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.

~Francis R. Havergal

Friday, August 26, 2011

Just Pictures For Now

Pictures of scenery from out West--Calgary, Alberta--where my parents went for an Anniversary trip.









These pictures are from a recent visit to Washington DC.







Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Short Update

1. I gave my first ever two weeks notice. I had a job with a grocery store, but things were just not working out. During the week of training I had 24 hours; the next week 10; then 5; and the last straw was getting only 4 hours. I understand they don't "guarantee" me any hours, but seriously? How is anyone supposed to make ends meet on 4 hours a week? Perhaps it is because I'm new and I would have to "work" my way up, but how long am I expected to wait? The last time I was in there looking at the schedule, two other employees were complaining they only got a couple days off--I would have gladly traded them!

I have jokingly said I would teach overseas...but that is looking more promising than looking for work here!

2. I have been looking for a cheap car just to drive around to and from work {when I get some} and have not seen anything promising until right now. Hopefully, everything works out! It's a green Honda and looks to be very well maintained, but I don't know the first thing about the running of a car, so I'm going to ask David's Dad--a mechanic--to look at it with me. I'm soo excited too because it's just down the street from where I live!

3. My parents are going on another trip...this time to Washington and they are taking all but three of the kids with them. Erm, Ruth, and Heyab will be staying with me.

4. My Dad's birthday is on Thursday and he will be turning 48 years old! My Dad is going to be in his 70's before my youngest brother is in his 20's! Crazy.

5. And for all of you interested in my border issue...

I have a plan tentatively set for the end of the month to go up to the consulate to talk to them in person, but after doing tons of reading and research online, it looks like I can't go back to the States for the complete 10 years. Unless, I marry an American--then I would need to do tons of other paperwork stuff. We'll have to see how things pan out, but my optimism and hope is running kinda low right now.

So, that's all for now; hopefully soon I can do an update on answers to prayer!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Moments {A Trip to the Farm}

My Mum is a huge fan of healthy eating and organic foods. Only about 10% of the foods we eat comes from the grocery store.

Most of the foods we get comes from a farm about thirty minutes away from us. Angela and my Mum have known each other for 7 or 8 years and have formed a pretty good friendship. Angela usually comes to our house on Wednesday mornings to deliver goods after which she and Mum will have a cup of tea and discuss different topics.

Angela invited us out to her farm today so we made a day of it. We packed up most of the kids and arrived about mid-morning. Angela has two German shepherds--one is a purebred, and the other a Husky mix.

Dogs always run to greet newcomers, and these girls were no different. Only problem, most of us in my family are not too keen about animals. My philosophy is: as babies--great...once they grow up, I enjoy them from a distance. I prefer not to have dogs or cats rub against me; I do not like petting or playing with them; I don't want them jumping on me; I think that animals belong outside....our family has never had pets, so I suppose some people might think these views come a deprived person, but still. I will admire your pet from afar :)

My Mum opened the door on the passenger side, so I opened the rear door on the driver's side to let all the kids out. I learned something today. I learned that Ruth is absolutely T.E.R.R.I.F.I.E.D of dogs. The minute she got out and the dogs came over she climbed back in the van SO fast. She only came out with her arms wrapped around my neck and her legs hoisted up around my waist--far away from any snapping jaws!

The dogs soon went across their driveway into the field nearby, so I put Ruth down thinking she was pretty safe. Wrong! They were back in a flash and Ruth just started screaming and shaking like you wouldn't believe. Poor girl...she wasn't used to the dogs the whole time we were there, but she did get to the point where she didn't shimmy up the nearest person and hold them in a death grip and scream her head off whenever she saw the dogs.

Later, when Mum told her it was time for bed, she kept trying to tell us something. She started crying and refused to go in her room. I guessed that she might be trying to say dog, or perhaps that's what she was remembering since she did have a traumatic experience earlier in the day! So Mum walked over to the room and sure enough that's what Ruth was talking about. There was a big suitcase on the bed and to Ruth, in the darkened room, it seemed like an animal. Mum quickly reassured her, but I'm sure the memory will stay with her for a long time!

On a sad note, my camera died. I don't know what's wrong with it or what happened, but I'm officially in the market for a new camera. I've been reviewing/talking about the pros and cons of different makes...namely Cannon or Nikon. I have a Cannon that uses film, which I absolutely love; and my present Nikon...which is alright, but definitely not as loved as Cannon. So, right now I'm leaning more towards a Cannon. We'll see!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Song of the Week {The Crayon Box Song}

The Crayon Box Song

When I was just a little child
No higher than your knee,
My mother bought a box of crayons,
Just for me.
I picked them up and I opened them up
And I looked way down inside,
And the colors there reminded me
Of Jesus when He died.

O… Red is the color of the blood that He shed,
Brown is for the crown of thorns they laid upon His head.
Blue is for royalty! In Heaven He does dwell;
And yellow is for the Christian who's afraid to tell.

I colored and I colored
'Til the crayons were all gone,
And though I am much older now,
The mem'ry lingers on.
And when I see a little child
With crayon box in hand,
I tell them what they mean to me
And hope they'll understand.

Afraid to tell of a Savior
Who died on Calvary,
He died for lowly sinners
Just like you and me;
And someday soon He's coming back
To be our King,
And the colors of the crayon box
We will sing!

O… Red is the color of the blood that He shed,
Brown is for the crown of thorns they laid upon His head.
Blue is for royalty! In Heaven He does dwell;
And yellow is for the Christian who's afraid to tell.
So, don't you be a Christian, who's afraid to tell!

Written by William V. Mason

I first learned of this song at VBS/Teen retreat up in the forests of Wisconsin, way out north. Mr. R taught it to us and I remember it was a favorite with the whole group--young and old! Love it!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Don't Touch

Is respecting people's property really a hard thing? Is it too much to ask that you ask before taking something that doesn't belong to you? Is the requirement to check first--before doing whatever it is you want to...with my property?

I love sharing and giving of what I have. And, in most cases, I'm fine with a note being left if I'm not there to be asked. Case in point: college years. Having two to three people in a room, you pretty much treat each other like sisters once the ice is broken. But the rule was, you asked before you took, or left a note if you had an emergency and the would-be lender is not there. And if you were in too much of a hurry, you got someone else to tell the lender, or the borrower told them as soon as possible. In the four years I was at college, I only had one incident that went against the "borrower-lender" policy.

Also, if you are using something that is not yours, TAKE CARE OF IT! That is just plain common sense! You want your things treated with utmost respect and care, so do the same for others. Follow the Golden Rule. It will save much headache and annoyance.

As a rule, I love helping people out; if I have it and you need it--by all means, you are more than welcome to it. I'm not ranting talking about being selfish and hoarding all your things. What's the point if you never give...Ebeneezer Scrooge.  What I do want to stress is respecting people's property. And if you were not raised to respect others and what is theirs, then please learn now! I will thank you for it, and the lenders will thank you too.

Alright...I'm done now. I had to get it out of my system.

Hope everyone is resting easy! Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Night Out

Reece called me up this afternoon and said, "Hey, I have the car--you want to do something?"

I love impulsive, impromptu get togethers. Nine times out of ten, those work better than actual planned events. Not that I'm against planning or anything. Because I do love planning and organizing.

Anyway, she came and picked me up and then we headed over to Aunt T's house to see if Carolyn could do stuff with us too. Care and Aunt T were just getting ready to have a coffee break, so they invited us in for a few minutes before we headed out to...well, we hadn't decided yet what we planned to do, but that's the joy of being impulsive. Or the curse of being indecisive.

The majority of our time was spent talking about politics and history. The debut of HST--"harmonized sales tax" was during my years teaching, so it has taken me a little bit to get used to. To form the HST, the powers that be combined the provincial sales tax {which our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper has lowered from 7% to 5%!!} with the goods and services tax {8%}...so we are now taxed 13% on everything. Regardless of whether or not it was exempt under the separate taxes. I say we get conservative, money-wise leaders in office for our province. Good thing elections are this Fall :)

We also talked about WWII and specifically about the Holocaust. May we never forget.

After, Aunt T showed us her pictures from their anniversary trip. They traveled up through the northern part of Ontario and into Quebec. Canada is such a pretty country! And I just love our nation's capital building. It's so full of character and is so majestic. I hope that I can visit up there soon. My province houses the capital of Canada, so I should be able to make it up there...right? It would make for a good road trip :)

So, back to our impulsive night out...

Care couldn't come since she was already expecting a guest, so after the pictures we said our thank-you's and good-bye's and headed out. I should mention that Dave and Reece just got a different car several weeks ago. A little gray Toyota...that is standard. Poor Reece {and me!} is still trying to get the hang of it, and let me tell you we had an interesting car ride. Care has a standard and drives it effortlessly, that I was convinced driving standards was a breeze...not after riding with Reece tonight! I see that having 3 pedals can be confusing, and stalling on busy roads during evening rush hour on a Friday night is absolutely terrifying! It's exasperating trying not to have to brake, but just coast along...only to stop on a hill for a red light. My heart was in my throat the whole time because I was afraid we would stall in the middle of an intersection {Thank the Lord we only stalled at the stoplight and stop signs!} or roll back and hit the car behind us. In one particular spot we were in a valley. And we stalled throughout the whole light. I look back now and I can laugh, but it sure wasn't funny then! Reece is pretty good at driving a standard, but having a lot of people lay on their horns as well as rolling back into someone on top of a stalling car, played on her nerves. Finally I just told her to put her hazard lights on and people could just go around her. I told her she could take as long as she needed and just to concentrate on getting us out alive. I didn't care about the horns, the stares, or even the obscenities as long as we made it safely up the hill. And she did. And I know the more she practices, the better she'll be :)

One major lesson I learned from our "impulsive" night out was to not "impulsively" buy a standard!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Timeless Treasures {Skills}

Peanut and Beans trying their hand at Bow and Arrow on the last day of school the first year I taught. They are so stinkin' adorable!






I think this is in the top 5 of my favorites of these two. Just love them!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

RED MARBLES

A story I came across in my files:

I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas. I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes . Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.

'Hello Barry, how are you today?'

'H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas. They sure look good.'

'They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?'

'Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time.'

'Good. Anything I can help you with?'

'No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas.'

'Would you like to take some home?' asked Mr. Miller.

'No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with.'

'Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?'

'All I got's my prize marble here.''Is that right? Let me see it' said Miller.


'Here 'tis. She's a dandy.'

'I can see that. Hmm mmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?' the store owner asked.

'Not zackley but almost.'

'Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble'. Mr. Miller told the boy.

'Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.'

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, 'There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.'

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado , but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles. Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one.

Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts...all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket.

Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me ab out her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

'Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his m ind about color or size....they came to pay their debt.'

'We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,' she confided, 'but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho '

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.
We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.

It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of  life you have lived.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday Moments {For JD & Marsh}

I frantically rush to get the five kids ready for school. I send the two older girls to take a shower while I give the boys their breakfast. The baby is wailing to be fed and changed. I leave the boys with specific instructions to eat quickly, and go pick up the baby. Phew-wy. It smelled like a stink bomb went off in her room. I decide to give her a quick bath but realize that the girls are still in the bathroom. I tell them to get out before all the hot water is gone. They quickly get out and after telling them to eat their breakfast once they change, I get the baby in the tub and sweet smelling in no time. Thank goodness the boys took their shower last night! By the time I get the baby dressed in her clothes, it is 7:45. There is still the lunches to make and myself to get ready before we have to be at school by 8:15. The baby starts wailing again--oh no, I forgot to give her a bottle.


While making her a bottle, I tell the boys to get their shoes and socks on and make sure they have their back-packs all set to go by the door. I put the baby in the car seat, strapp her in and give her the bottle. After making sure she is holding it and drinking, I turn my attention to making lunches. I get all the lunch pails set up on the counter so I can pack them assembly style. Each gets an apple, yogurt, chips, and cookies quickly thrown in. I don't have time to make everything pretty this morning. I hurriedly make some PBJ sandwiches for each child. After placing a juice box in each, I zip up the lunch boxes and stand them up on the edge of the counter for the kids to take. By this time the girls are done eating and I've just realized the younger girl is completely mismatched. I groan as I head her back to her room to find a suitable dress for school--the time is now 7:55. I get her changed and then brush her hair and put in a ponytail. Good thing she has short hair. I call the older girl in the room and start brushing her hair to put in a ponytail, as well.


I hustle the kids out to the van so we can drive over to school--which thankfully, is not far away. We get there at 8:13, and the older kids scramble out and rush into the school building. There are so many people milling about the front of the building which is quite unusual. I wonder what is going on. I get the baby out and head into the school. There are a lot of kids around; some I recognize. I see a few college kids I know, but none of them even acknowledge my presence in any way. I briefly wonder if I am invisible. Really strange.

Once I get in the building, a little girl asks me directions for something. She spoke as if I should know. I pointed her in the direction of the right stairway leading downstairs and explained that they led to the other wing of the building. How that information was lodged in my brain, I have no idea.

"Elsa" I heard my name being called and swung around to look behind me. I vaguely recognize the person, but he disappears into a room before I can remember. By this time, I no longer have the baby with me, but don't remember dropping her off anywhere. In a frantic state of mind, I rush outside the school building only to be met by a mom...of one of my students? What the lady was trying to tell me, I have no idea because right then I heard Marsh call my name. I turn to find her beside me to inform me I am late for teacher's meeting. What!?! Oh, man! How could I have forgotten! As we walk upstairs, I ask her why all the college kids were outside the building. Before she can reply, I happen to glance in the window outside the office. I stop dead in my tracks and look down at my outfit. There was spaghetti sauce splattered all over my shirt and skirt. I'm not going to teacher's meeting like this, I whisper horrified. How did I ever not change before coming to school?! I tell Marsh I'm leaving and she asks what I'm going to do about my class. I am so disgusted with myself. And mad that I am going to be late starting my class on the first day of school. As I turn to rush out of the building and go home, I have a startling thought: I am no longer the kindergarten teacher...JD is.

Then I woke up. What a crazy dream huh? I think it was a combination of Marsh's FB stats and thinking about the approaching school year...wishing I could still be a teacher to my favorite students.

JD, make sure you check your first-day-of-school outfit for spaghetti sauce splatters ;)