Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Catching Up

Well after feeling near comatose for the last 5 days I feel back to myself and oddly enough awake after 11. I have had some domino effect issues in the past couple weeks but the last several days have been interesting. Very low iron or whatever it was... it didn't feel good.

But regardless I have been feeling like blogging but then realizing I haven't in a while so there's lots to catch up on. So I will do some little point form about what I've been up to.

In the last bit I have...

- Gotten very close to perfection on my multigrain foccacia bread. Divine. Have to have a very good reason to make it otherwise I eat too much.

- I have made a non-Chinese but very good lemon chicken.

- I not only got the camera I wanted for my birthday but Steve bought me an air compressor to which I then purchased a nailer and I have been having LOTS of fun with them. Projects galore are made so much simpler with heavy duty tools.

- I have started a bunch of projects. Key word being started. I HATE the feeling of a whole bunch of unfinished business.

- I have started a whole bunch of bibs for the St. Norbert Y Neighbours Used Toy and Clothing Sale on Saturday. Pam and I are having a table with goods from Tiny Treehugger (including my sewn lovelies)

- I was gifted a new-to-me mitre saw and had it fixed this week and now that I'm feeling better I am ready to rock and roll with getting stuff done. No more hauling my wood to Steve's brother who has graciously let me use his tools for the past while.

- I went to the Steven Curtis Chapman concert on Thursday with my beautiful cousin Twylla and her friend. His story is so powerful and he is a testament to what God will do when you draw close to God in times of sorrow.

- It was Spring Break. It was nice not waking up to the phone call with my daily assignment. I was very busy though. On the Tuesday Steve was off and we took our little dude to the pool. Fun fun.

- Speaking of the phone. I was really hoping to get a leave that was coming up for the end of the school year and to know where I was going each day instead of living in uncertainty. But I found out that God has a different plan and I wasn't chosen.

- I will continue working out my desire for stability and trust that God has a plan and that within this plan he has me as a substitute right now. Whether it is to touch the lives of many children or to teach me humility, patience and trust, I do not know the full purpose of his plan but his timing is perfect.

That's it for now. As that phone call is only 7ish hours away and while I feel full of energy I will not if I neglect to sleep.



Thursday, March 3, 2011

Evangelized by 9:30 am!

There are definitely ups and downs to the world of subbing and today definitely had both but more ups than downs. Today I had a student in the class I was subbing (Grade 2) that blew me away.

Here's our conversation:
Child (yelling from across the room): "Hey Mrs. Smith, do you have the Son of God?"

I didn't quite know how to answer that. There was no left field alert. I mean I do have the son of God. He's quite the guy. I just legally can't really talk about that. Nor did I want to just flippantly say no or ? .... so I say

Me: What are you talking about? (I did want to know why he was asking)
Child: You know, God's son. He saves you and gives you life. (And this is where he starts quoting scripture including John 3:16 and another verse I need to look up I was just blown out of the water)
Me: Where did you learn those verses?
Child: Awana

I just find this so crazy and awesome all rolled into one. A tiny little 7 year old evangelist. He also might have been my most interesting child of the day. Spunky.

Another one from today which was so great.
Child: Mrs. Smith I really like you as a sub. You have a great attitude.
Honestly, best compliment I've received in a super long time. Spoke right to my heart as my attitude is something I am constantly mindful of.

So that... is that.



Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thoughts for a Sunday Night

Living joyfully has been a struggle many times in the last couple of months. I have struggled through so many emotions and still find myself so much in the valley.
I have been struggling to be who I am and figure out who I am in a state in which I don't always like myself. I look in the mirror and don't like what I see on the outside especially after gaining 10 pounds in only a couple of months. I have been struggling with knowing whether it is my voice or God's I hear and knowing how to respond.

Struggling with hearing the word wait.

I am struggling with friendships and feeling like I want deep and strong friendships with people that are around and available. Friends that will be lasting and want to spend time with me, with us. I am struggling with believing (some days) that God has a job for me.

I want to feel important.

I know in my head that the valley I'm in is only a portion of the journey that God has planned for my life and that the journey will be worth it. I know in my head that there are people out there that love me outside of my parents and my husband. I know in my head that God has a plan for my life as a teacher and that subbing is where he wants me right now.

But my heart and my head are not in the same place right now. I deeply want to follow God and his plan for my life. I want to follow his will. I just don't want to have to feel like I don't belong and that I am not worthy.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bye Bye Football

Okay so I didn't really know what to name this post. We did bid farewell to football this week (perhaps that is what I was celebrating at the Superbowl party last Sunday). We had a big party which was lots of fun but was overwhelming at times. I was so afraid that there wasn't going to be enough food, etc. By the time the game came I was pretty wiped.

Then Monday I got the sweet surprise of waking up at 5:45. ON MY BIRTHDAY. I didn't get called to sub so I could so have slept in. Oh well. I did have a couple short naps in between cleaning and other things that were generally relaxing. Steve and I celebrated my birthday by going to Earls St. Vital for supper. A couple months ago we went there and I had a pasta that was fantastic as well as their grilled foccacia and one of their red wines. I liked it so much when I had it then that I ordered the exact same thing. It was very good.

And I know you're on the edge of your seat wondering if I bought the air compressor or the camera. Welll...... the camera won out for right now even though I had to shell out for the remainder. My brother and SIL bought me the memory card for my birthday so that was one thing less I had to buy. And here's the best part! Steve is going to get me the air compressor as a birthday/Valentines' gift next time it goes on sale because unfortunately we missed it this time round. The camera has been super fun to play with. I have taken a couple hundred pictures already (with many being deleted already) just to test out the different features. Like this one feature that will only take the picture once you smile. Very fun.

I had an interesting week as far as subbing. I went as far as St. Adolphe this week and also had a day in which I taught high school and Kindergarten in the same day. Do you want to guess which was a walk in the park and which wasn't? I also had some moments this week where I felt really low. I was feeling like I was giving and giving and giving and my well was running dry. Thankfully through my devotions and my awesome cousin I realized that you have to live without seeking return. Unfortunately, because we are imperfect people we do not always get back what we give out and God can use our humble hearts and generous spirits even when we feel dry, because he will fill us up again. Thankfully this weekend has been nice and calm and just what I needed.

And if that's not enough. It is our two year home ownership anniversary. Yay! As a look back at how our home has transformed in the past two years I integrated one of my old slideshows with some new pictures (that I took with my new camera : ) ) While I often get really caught up in what needs to change it's great to see where we are and stop and be thankful. God has provided us an awesome house that is perfect for parties and for hosting cell and so many things. While we maybe should have looked at more than one house when we bought this house it all worked as it should and God set things in place for us.

So here's the slideshow. The one I put on FB has actually captions if your curious. Cheers!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Choices, Choices

My birthday is a mere 5 days away and I am pumped. I look forward to this day all year actually. Since Christmas I had been planning to buy this camera with the birthday money that may or may not come my way. Chad got this camera for Christmas and there's been awesome reviews. It was on sale several times before Christmas for under $200 but it has been back to it's regular price of $279 recently. Which is a little high.

In comes the Canadian Tire flyer (duh, duh, da) and a 8 Gallon Air Compressor with Nailer on sale until next Wednesday (not exactly the same as this picture).

Oh the dilemma. On one hand I do want a new camera because my current one is not good at focusing, or indoor pictures or outdoor pictures.... A camera is something I would use LOTS. But the one I want is not on sale... (and I'm not going to pick another one. Not even an option)

But on the other hand the air compressor is on sale, for almost the same amount as I usually get in birthday money. I know of so many ways I would use this. I am wanting to redo the baseboards in several of my rooms and the trim outside and in some rooms inside the house. I would be able to use it when constructing furniture and almost best of all with a sprayer I could use it to "spray" paint my furniture and the trim that I would put in and my doors that I painted last year that still look gross I could redo. All giving things a better and more professional look.

I know that if I get the air compressor and with all the home projects that we need to do that buying the camera might get pushed very far into the future. The air compressor may go on sale again. After all it is at Canadian Tire and none of these projects need to be done now. And it would be likely that we would still buy this item within the year because we will need it for stuff this year.

In other "news" my culinary challenge is going well. I have been tasting and adjusting spices, I have made a lemon chicken that was horrible so on to another recipe and I have been working on my breads. In fact I have a batch of buns in the oven right now.

I have been looking online at books I am interested in buying to focus myself on the foods that I want to perfect.

This one called Laurel's Kitchen: A Guide to Whole Grain Breadmaking sounds like just what I'm looking for.

There's also this Mexican book that looks like something I would love to read and cook from. It looks like all of Rick Bayless' books are great Mexican cooking tools.

Well my buns are beeping, well not the buns persay, but I better go. Let me know what you would do. Air Compressor or Camera?


Friday, January 21, 2011

Culinary Challenge 2011

Yesterday I was out with a friend for coffee (well actually London Fogs) and she asked me if I could work on one "thing" Decorating or Cooking/Baking this year which it would be. I thought about it and decided that because many if not most of the things I want to have done decor-wise are done or not a huge priority. So I picked Cooking/Baking. Together her and I made goals for ourselves in Cooking and Baking for the year. It's more focused than a 101 list and doesn't take nearly as long. So I have a whole year to work, perfect and hone the skills I choose. And I think it will be AWESOME and super divine.

1. Make amazing breads- a variety of great breads with different grains especially working on using whole wheat. I would be very interested in making focaccia with whole wheat after my attempt failed this weekend and in making ciabatta, and so on and so forth.
2. Find MY perfect brownie, chocolate chip cookie and other favourite recipes.
3. Make a double layer GORGEOUS cake.
4. Make a real deal Tiramisu

1. Work on making my own dressings. In particular Caesar dressing.
2. Make homemade pasta
3. Make sushi
4. Work on honing my skills in my two favourite cuisines. Mexican and Asian
Mexican- make amazing Enchiladas including homemade enchilada sauce
learn to make tamales.
Asian- make a mean Lemon Chicken and a Honey Garlic pork or chicken or ?
-perfect making stir-fried veggies- in particular timing. Either they are ready too early
or get mushy.
-learn to make Pho. It's a Vietnamese soup. I had it roughly 3 years ago. It was the last
thing Renee and I ate together. Maybe I will try to make it on the 3 year anniversary of
her passing or her birthday.

Theme Ingredients- Like the Iron Chef but a little less intense
1. Work with more spices and learning what to add, how much to add and how to to make dishes pop with flavour with the right combination of spices.

Spices/Herbs I want to work with more- Cumin, Corriander, Ginger Root, Garlic, Rosemary, Flavoured Oregano, Saffron and I want to successfully grow basil, thai basil and cillantro.

2. Potentially roast some of my own spices and get a mortar and pestle to grind them and use
them in my dishes.

Things I will need to buy or acquire in order to complete these challenges
1. A mortar and pestle. I don't know if I will get an expensive one because I don't know how much I will use it.
2. More baking pans, for breads and such.
3. Serving dishes including a cake stand for the double layer cake
4. Sushi making stuff
5. Books about great breads, Asian, Mexican or spices. (Recommendations would be fabulous).

I want to take notes on my recipes so that I can adjust them. I have found WAY too many times that I use a recipe from online that has great reviews and then it sucks. And chances are if I made some tweaks that it could be okay but if I go back to it most often I don't know what I didn't like about it.

I am hoping to come out in the end of 2011 with my signature dishes that are flavourful and even a little bit healthy.

So here's to a year of good food!



Wednesday, January 19, 2011


(Warning- Andrea this one might not be for you)

If life is a test, I think we passed our pop quiz today.

We had the Dude today and soon after Steve got home from work, said Dude, started puking. Complete projectile vomiting. It caught us quite off guard and we definitely had a look of panic in our eyes. But, we were able to stay calm clean him up and strip him down after the first round, then bathe him after round two (bonus points for the tub being a fairly contained area to clean if round 3 came). We stretched out the bath for a long time based on this (plus he was having fun).

Finally, we hung out with him a little bit more and unfortunately round 3 came. So we decided to bundle him up and take him home (we had him because our SIL was sick and Steve's brother was OOT). While I got the vehicle ready Steve was able to get the dude into his snow suit all by himself. : )

Why am I talking about all this? Because it feels awesome to know that when the time comes with our own kids that we can handle it. We can stay calm and handle the bodily fluids. I know that we can work as a team and deal with anything that comes. Now when the time comes I know that we won't be able to bring our kids somewhere else for night but we'll handle that when we need to.

Until next time!