Friday, December 31, 2010

Relaunch

It was time for a change. I've been thinking a lot about my blog, and what it says (or doesn't say) about me. Truth be told, I've been thinking a lot about my life of late, and feeling the need to make some changes. The real me has gotten lost in the chaos that has been my life of late. Lost in the titles of wife and mother. And somewhere along the way the dreams I once had, and the passions that once drove me got lost too.

So it's time for a change. Time to refocus, renew and revive. Time to be still and listen. Time to dream. Time to discover who I am now, as a 37 going on 38-year-old wife and mother, and what it is He is calling me to do. Time to plant seeds, invest time, and make a mark. 

With a new year dawning... it seemed like the right time then to relaunch my blog. I took some time coming up with a new name and landed today on "House Blend 365." My house is afterall my calling-card, and we are a "blended" (meaning interracial or multiethnic/multicultural) family. And this blog is my journal 365 days of the year. 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A True Blessing

It's Christmas Day and we feel blessed. Not because the house is a mess with wrapping paper and mountains of gifts. But rather because of the lack of mess. Yes, we opened some gifts, but it was by all accounts a very modest amount. We planned it that way. We planned to intentionally take the focus off of the gifts.

The truth is, over the past two years, we've become sickened by the materialism of the holiday season and, as I've mentiond in previous posts, challenged to consider making a Christmas change. Christmas isn't about presents, blowing budgets and going home with an arm full of things you really don't need. It's about love, hope, peace, family, and... the simplicity of that humble night in Bethlehem. 

Recently a friend showed me a picture that greatly offended me. They didn't mean to, but they did. The picture was of their Christmas tree, or rather of the large (and I mean HUGE) amount of gifts beneath it. The caption attached to the picture simply read: "We are blessed." 

Riddled with a variety of emotions over this simple photo and comment, I've spent the last few days mulling this over. Apart from my annoyance with how blantant their "bragging" was over the overwhelming amount of gifts, I was more offended by their choice to refer to the gluttony of gifts as a "blessing." Was it really? 

Is it really a blessing to receive things you don't need? Is it really a blessing to spend money on toys, trinkets and other "wants?" Isn't there truth in the adage that it's better to give than to receive? And what about the simple fact that Christmas simply isn't about the gifts?

The truth of the matter is, I feel more blessed this Christmas than I ever have before. Having deliberately chosen to spend less and give more, my heart is full with the joy that comes in sharing what we have with those that don't have anything. My camera is full of photos that have capture quality time as a family, doing things that will forever be savoured in our memories. My hands are tired from baking and cooking to bless those around us. And my faith is strengthened for having spent more time meditating on the humble birth of my Saviour. 

Happy Birthday Jesus. YOU and the love that flows through us becuase of you are why we are blessed.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Where's the line to see Jesus?

A friend shared this on Facebook today, and it moved me. Given that we've made the intentional choice make a Christmas Change, I was touched by the profound message of this song. May it move you to make your own Christmas change.

"Where's the Line to See Jesus?" Becky Kelley

Christmas time was approaching, the snow is starting to fall,
Shoppers choosing their presents, people filling the mall,
Children waiting for Santa with excitement and glee.
A little boy tugged my sweater, looked up and asked me,

Where's the line to see Jesus? Is He here at the store?
If Christmas time is His birthday, why don't we see Him more?
Where's the line to see Jesus? He was born for me.
Santa Claus brought me presents, but Christ gave His life for me.

As I stood in amazement at this message profound,
I looked down to thank him, he was no where around.
The little boy at the mall might as well have had wings
As the tears filled my eyes, I thought I heard him say,

Where's the line to see Jesus? Is He here at the store?
If Christmas time is His birthday, why don't we see Him more?
Where's the line to see Jesus? He was born for me.
Santa Claus brought me presents, but Christ gave His life for me.

In the blink of an eye, at the sound of His trump,
We'll all stand in line at His throne.
Every knee shall bow down, every tongue will confess,
That Jesus Christ is Lord.

Where's the line to see Jesus? Is He here at the store?
If Christmas time is His birthday, why don't we see Him more?
Where's the line to see Jesus? He was born for me.
Santa Claus brought me presents, but Christ gave His life for me.



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Breath of Heaven

I remember it like it was yesterday. Head spinning. Palms sweaty. Heart racing. Fear gripping. Pregnant. Our own miracle, after 10 years of giving up all hope. I felt so unprepared. So unsure. So overwhelmed. 

As I sit under the glow of our Christmas tree, mind wandering back to that day, my eyes fall upon a humble little nativity scene. 


A toy really. A simple way to teach our miracle about The Miracle. As I gaze at this simple scene, my eyes meet Mary's for a moment... and I am in awe. 

Knowing how I took the news of our child on the way, I try and imagine all that Mary must have been feeling the day the angel gave her the news. To be told you are to carry the One, the Messiah. I can't even fathom it. 

And then to give life to this child, in the way that she did, with the humble surrounding she was in... again, I can't even fathom it. 

Oh to aspire to the faith that Mary had. A faith that, despite the fear she must have felt, moved her to say yes, "I am the Lord's servant..." (Luke 1:38) and accept the Lord's plan. A faith that endured the long and most likely painful journey to Bethlehem. A faith that pushed past the pain and clung to the only person who was there, her new husband, to bring forth a child that was to be King! A faith that clung to the very breath of Heaven...


 

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

It's Brownie Day!

It's Brownie Day and I can think of nothing I'd love more, or "need" more than an ooey gooey brownie. Nuff said.

 

Monday, December 06, 2010

Ecuadorian Gifts

With the gentle hum of the dryer in the distance, I sit and type. Eyes heavy from a filled day of ministry, both at work and at home, I am tired but my heart is full. Gratitude lives here.

There is joy found in the discipline of giving thanks. And so with steady hands and a smile on my lips I type; with each stroke of they key I count gifts. Gifts from treasured memories that warm my heart and rekindle a love for a past I am so grateful for. It is fitting that today, the sixth of December, is a Monday. For I have a multitude of gifts to be thankful for on this seis de Diciembre.

- 476 years of a city (mi cuidad) that will forever live in my heart 

- "El Chulla Quiteno" and lost conciertos de Quito with the very first friend I made when we moved to Ecuador (Te amo Marti!)

- knowing that 20 years later I still have contact with beloved friends

- Humitas, Manichos and "agua con gas"

- Pichincha, Cotopaxi, Cayambe and Antisana -- the Rocky Mountains of BC will never live up to you

- The class of 91

- Casa Blanca

- strolling Amazonas, having coffee at the Colon Hotel and singing the national anthem at the top of our lungs outside the presidential palace

- "regalitos de navidad" and burning "el ano veijo"

- El Bosque, my second home

- Choir trips and marriage proposals

- teachers I called friends, missionaries that were my aunts and uncles, and classmates who were more like siblings...

Que viva Quito!



Monday, November 29, 2010

Small Gifts

I unpacked a box of Christmas decorations today, and found a gift we were given last Christmas. It was yet another symbol of God's blessings to us, and a reminder to never forget to count those blessings... those gifts.

281. Beautiful, thoughtful gifts from our former congregation; an expression of thanks to my husband, their shepherd, as we moved on to a new flock.


282. The glow of the Christmas lights on our tree, and how they warm the dark, cold nights of winter.

283. A little girl fascinated by her shoes.

284. The hum of my diswasher and the extra minutes it gives me to do something else that needs doing.

285. Warm baths and giggly, splashing little girls.

286. The holiday scent of apples and cinnamon.

287. The joy of giving.

288. Advent meditations.

289. Laughter -- contagious and real.

290. Sweet memories and old friends.

What are you grateful for?

holy experience

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Grateful for "Cheese"

While I may not be American by birth, I have always felt American at heart. Most likely due to the "brainwashing"... err... I mean "educating"... err... of course I mean "lovin'" I've received from my years on the mission field with friends, adopted aunts and uncles, and teachers who all came from the US, celebrating American Thanksgiving has always come more easily to me than remembering that Canadian Thanksgiving is in October! After all, we got several days off school in November, but Canadian Thanksgiving (more commonly known in the US as "Columbus Day") passed by with a mere mention! 

So, as my parents enjoy a visit with my brother, who very wisely married a wonderful Oklahoma girl, and now is raising two mighty fine little Texans, I join my American friends in giving thanks today. I may not be able to say I'm grateful for Turkey, since we'll be having meatloaf tonight, but I am grateful for cheese. The cheesiest of cheese wrapped up in a silly little bundle of energy known as my 2 year old, Abbie Joy:



She makes me grateful every day, for God's unexpected gifts!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Give It Away

Last year, after fighting the holiday crowds in the mall, stressing over last minute gifts and wondering how I was going to pay for it all, I came to a rather disturbing realization. I hated Christmas. Or rather, I hated what Christmas had become. Without realizing it, I had allowed the materialism of the holiday, the anxiety about finding the perfect gift and the pride of ensuring my home looked like a Hallmark Christmas card, to overshadow the true meaning of Christmas! It was a humbling moment.

Not long after this revelation, I tuned in to our local Christian radio station and heard words that led my husband and I make some rather radical changes to how we spend the holidays. “Give this Christmas away.” *

With those words, we did a complete about-face in how we approached the holiday season. Intentionally putting less emphasis on the decorations, the baking (and eating!), and gift giving, we turned our eyes to that lowly manger and chose to follow God’s example by giving of ourselves and from the abundance He has blessed us with. From the lonely widow down the street, to the family struggling to make ends meet, to the orphan in Africa, we discovered a multitude of creative ways to “give this Christmas away."

*"Give This Christmas Away" by Matthew West

Many Thanks

It's been a busy week, full of blessings. 

holy experience


250. Family date nights - out on the town with my best peeps, daddy and Abbie.
251. strolls after dinner
252. "love yous" and hugs unprompted
253. silliness and money to buy fun toys for a silly little girl
254. Sun, crisp morning air and mountains dusted in snow
255. veterans and those who gave their lives for my freedom
256. moments that catch me off guard, and make me pause and say "we are blessed"
257. a hubby who announces that I can sleep in in the morning and that he'll make breakfast!
258. calls home and fun chats with family I don't see often
259. Saturdays with nothing to do but watch movies on TV
260. Panago pizza literally right next door to our home


What are you grateful for?

Monday, November 08, 2010

My Morning Cup of Gratitude

I love it when I can combine my random holiday celebrations with my Monday list of gifts for which I am grateful! Today, in honour of National Cappuccino Day, I give you my ongoing list of all coffee-related gifts (starting with the cappuccino) for which I am thankful in images:








What are you thankful for today?


holy experience

Monday, November 01, 2010

Simple Things...

In the stillness of our quiet home this afternoon, I took stock. While listening to the gentle rain hitting the living room window, I snuggled under a cozy blanket, breathed in the smell of a clean house, and savoured the silence that comes as a energy-filled toddler naps. And I counted.


225. Beautifully knit blankets, full, soft and warm. 
226. The hum of a heater. 
227. Creativity in action. 
228. Christmas lists and plans. 
229. The sounds of praise in a variety of languages. 
230. African brothers & sisters dancing in worship. 
231. Tender moments and stolen kisses. 
232. Warm mugs of coffee on dreary, weary Monday mornings. 
233. A little monkey named Momo. 
234. The smell and softness of my daughter's skin after a bath. 
235. New fragrances and body mists. 
236. Tea party's with little princesses. 
237. Simple meals and full bellies.

What are you grateful for?

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Mother's Grateful Heart

It's Monday and after a week of birthday party planning, and a long but fun weekend of birthday celebrations, this post is all about the blessing that is our little Abbie Joy.


212. precious pictures that capture moments in time of a little girl who is growing up too fast.
213. looking back on two years of joyful moments and frustrated tears on this journey of parenting.
214. extended family who shower our little one with gifts, love and legacies.
215. friends who share in our joy over our bundle of energy.
216. birthday cakes that, while lopsided and clumsy, are decorated with love from this inexperienced cake decorator!
217. old friends with helpful tips on cake decorating!
218. a grateful two year old, who thanked us over and over for her special day.
219. a husband who was moved to tears when singing "Happy Birthday" to his princess.
220. tired feet, weary arms, and overflowing hearts at the end of a busy weekend.
221. celebrating the moment Abbie was placed in my arms, by marking each year, on that day and time, with a photo.



Monday, October 18, 2010

Growing a Grateful Heart

A person however learned and qualified in his life's work in whom gratitude is absent, is devoid of that beauty of character which makes personality fragrant. ~Hazrat Inayat Khan


193. The privilege of serving like "Martha" and blessing the church leadership with dinner while they meet.
194. Snuggly naps on chilly, cloudy afternoons.
195. Warm pjs.
196. Monday nights on CBS - "Mike & Molly" and "Hawaii 5-0" with my hubby. 
197. Star shaped pancakes and a giggly, hungry little girl.
198. Having enough.
199. A husband with a burden to re-prioritize our budget so we can do more for others.
200. Reaching 200 in my journey to 1000 of gifts from the Lord, and looking back on a growing list of blessings. 
201. Pants that fit a little too tight... because it means I have plenty of food to eat (even when I shouldn't be eating it!).
202. Seeing the discipline of gratitude being cultivated in my daughter. 
203. The ability to order things online!
204. Fuzzy socks for cold toes.
205. Cupcakes, pasta, chicken caccatorie, sweet things and other random holidays!

Monday, October 11, 2010

An Attitude of Gratitude

I've been attempting to cultivate an "Attitude of Gratitude" and to practise the spiritual discipline of gratefulness thanks in part to the challenge put forth by Ann Voskamp of A Holy Experience. And as I work my way toward 1000 Gifts, I can attest to the joy that fills you when you take your eyes off your troubles and count your blessings. It's so easy to get lost in the chaos of life; to lose sight of what is truly important. 

So on this day, Thanksgiving Monday, I officially begin blogging portions of my own list, and challenge you to do the same.

holy experience

170. Slow days at home, just playin' with my daughter.
171. Watching Abbie enjoy her first Kinder Surprise.
172. Delighting in Abbie's learning experiences.
173. Wii Party games as a family on "Family Fun Fridays!"
174. Enjoying a drive to visit family while my hubby and daughter sleep in the car.
175. Dim Sum brunches with the inlaws.
176. Watching friends and family love on my daughter.
177. Sleeping in.
178. The crisp air and the radiant colours of Fall.
179. An overabundance of lefovers in my fridge.
180. New recipes.
181. The pile of laundry waiting for me -- because it means we have clothes to wear.
182. Long weekends and lazy days.
183. Birthday party planning for an almost-two, "never even thought we'd have one" little girl!
184. Calls home.
185. Getting lost in worship as I sing. 

Happy Thanksgiving!


Friday, October 08, 2010

Flutter...what?

It's "Flutter...what???" That was my reaction when reading Punchbowls.com's random holiday for today. Apparently, today is "Flutter nutter Day." I say again, "flutter...what?"

Let's face it, I grew up on the mission field. As a result, there were some delights of the North American childhood experience that I missed out on. However I am happy to say that "Flutter nutter" is not one of them. When I learned what "flutter nutter" was, well, let's just say I "revisited" my breakfast. Disgusting. 

For those of you who are just as oblivious now as I was this morning, a Flutter nutter is ... get this... a sandwich. According to Whats Cooking America, a flutter nutter is a peanut butter and... drum roll please... marshmallow fluff sandwich. To use a term from the 80s, "gag me with a spoon!" Why on earth would you want to ruin peanut butter, or for that matter two perfectly good slices of bread, with marshmallow. And not just any marshmallow... but "fluffed" marshmallow. The whole idea literally makes me want to vomit.

And so I'm left with a dilemma. How do I celebrate something that makes me want to hurl? After careful consideration, it occurred to me that this was the perfect opportunity to add to my 1000 gifts list! No, I'm not (nor will I ever be) thankful for flutter nutter. However, I am thankful for the abundance of food we enjoy that allows for the creativity (or insanity... it's a fine line sometimes) of such odd concoctions to exist. And so... while choking back the lunch I just ate... I give you: The Flutter Nutter.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Picture It!

A week's worth of celebrations in images...

Vegetarian Day (Friday, Oct 1st)

Fried Scallops Day (Saturday, Oct 2nd)

Caramel Custard Day (Sunday, Oct 3rd)

Taco Day (Monday, Oct 4th)

Apple Betty Day (Tuesday, Oct 5th)

Mad Hatter Day (A celebration of silliness -- Wednesday, Oct 6th)

Frappe Day (Thursday, Oct 7th)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Aromas of Autumn

I love the fall. The cool fresh autumn mornings. The vibrant colours of the changing trees. The harvest of apples, pumpkins, squashes and other fabulous fall foods. And, the wonderful aromas associated with this time of year! Like mulled cider! We're headed to an apple/pumpkin farm tomorrow to celebrate the beginning of fall, and look forward to coming home with an arm load of apples, shoes full of hay (from the hay rides), and a pumpkin or two (my daughter included!).

It's Hot Mulled Cider Day. Try this recipe and enjoy the aromatic delight of all things fall!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cup-a-Joe

In the stillness of the morning you call to me and I answer.
The aroma of your freshly brewed juices wrapping itself around me like a warm blanket.
I stumble toward you with anticipation;
mug ready to be filled with your dark goodness.
And then I stand, 
savouring the way the steam of your readiness delights my senses.
I feel my body come alive with that first sip.
Like a friend you welcome me. 
And I settle in for a long conversation.


Happy National Coffee Day!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

True Confessions

Ok, I'll admit it. I used to be one of those childless people who watched parents and their unruly children with judgement in my eyes. I used to mutter under my breath things like "Discipline. Ever heard of it?", and watched episodes of SuperNanny in utter amazement at how some parents could be so naive when it came to parenting. I prided myself in believeing that I knew exactly what I would do in their situation, and even quoted from books and well-known parenting experts to back up my beliefs. But then something remarkable happened...

... I became a parent. 

This week, I have eaten my words. I haven't blogged in just over a week now, because all hell has broken lose in our home. That haughty attitude I used to carry, has been replaced by the sheer humility and feeling of utter helplessness that comes from doing battle with a strong-willed, soon-to-be two-year-old. Almost as if overnight, our adorbaly cute, compliant and well-behaved baby has transformed into a self-absorbed, know-it-all, "I want it NOW!" toddler, and everything I thought I knew about parenting and discipline has gone out the window. I'm now the one sitting red-faced as passers-by stare at my child's demon like temper tantrum and roll their eyes at me. I'm the one crying into my pillow in my bedroom as I listen to the sounds of a full-blown temper tantrum take place outside the door. And I'm now the one desperately reading all the expert tips and taping episodes of SuperNanny

Bill Cosby was once quoted as saying, "Give me 200 active two-year-olds and I could conquer the world." I used to think that was funny -- even cute. Now I chuckle and sigh at the same time, and seriously consider putting my daughter up for adoption. "What have we gotten ourselves into?" has now replaced the "let's try and have another one" conversation with my husband. And instead of meeting for a hot date to rekindle the flame of our romance, we are finding ourselves collapsing into bed at the end of the day for an emergency meeting to hammer out new battle tactics! 

And so while the past week of celebrations has come in second to the joys and frustrations of parenthood, I resolve to find a way to celebrate in spite of it all. I promise to rejoice and celebrate the fact that I have a daughter, instead of complaining that her actions are driving me to drink. And, I pledge to celebrate the little moments when she's still and quiet, cute and adoring, and will cling to those memories in times when I'm pulling my hair out. 

Here's to celebrating the good, bad, happy and sad. Now...

... what's SuperNanny's number?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Love Served Here

Garlic wafts through the house like a welcome blanket of homey goodness. My once clean t-shirt, now stained red with tomato sauce, serves as a towel for my hands after washing brillantly green lettuce in the sink. And I smile as I listen to the sounds of my daughter and her daddy hard at play. Working up an appetite for what promises to be a feast for the senses.

I go back to my pot and stir. I stir and know that simmering on my stove is a pot full of love ... and linguine. It is linguine day, and we will soon sit and savour this italian delight and the joy of time together. A meal served with love from this grateful momma to her little family. And my heart is full.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Just call me Martha...

Toast and peanut butter in hand (it is Peanut Day afterall), and a mug of freshly brewed coffee at my side, I sit. I sit and I breath. The silence calms my heart, clears my mind and allows me time to reflect and feed my soul.

I consider all that happened yesterday when we gathered for fellowship at The Life Centre. I allow the Spirit to wash over me and fill me with His joy, His peace, His presence. And as I sit, pondering how I can be used in this new faith community, my thoughts to turn to a pot of chili con carne. Yes. Chili con carne. 

Just call me Martha.

Ann Voskamp of A Holy Experience spoke words the other day in her blog that fed my soul. Words that captured what my heart has always known... that I am a Martha, and that my ministry is in hospitality. On a recent trip to Guatemala, she penned the following words: 

"She asks to speak at the pulpit, to say a few words, her apron still on, her eyes love worn and lined with gentle strokes. Her name is Ruth. She's a woman ‘who makes her pots a holy thing’ (Zech. 14:21), who stirs eternity at the end of her spoon. The translator serves us Ruth's first words: ‘My mission is the kitchen.’ Many saints  have dishpan hands and I eat her words. They preach rich truth to me, that the kitchen with a plate is the place where the strangers at Emmaus and the starved of this earth meet the face of Christ. That the table can be a holy revelation." (Read more here...)
 
And so here I sit, chili con carne simmering, and brownies fresh from the oven. Food that will feed a team of people who are called to nourish the souls of our faith community. They nourish souls, while I nourish their bodies. I am filled with unspeakable joy. For in this, my "Martha calling," I commune with Him and am made whole.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Clearing the Cobwebs


I haven't posted in over a week, but that hasn't been for a lack of trying. Truth is, I've been staring at my blog for days trying to figure out what to write. This journey, of celebrating the random holidays as a way to remember to celebrate life each day, has been more of a challenge than I anticipated. Not because the random holidays have been difficult, but more because I haven't felt much like celebrating lately.

Truth be told, for the past few months I've been doing a lot of "faking." I despise people who aren't genuine, and yet here I am the biggest faker of all. I've been putting on a "happy face" and pretending to celebrate life, but in the spirit of true honesty and openness... I have felt like I've had nothing to celebrate. Note the way I phrased that... I have felt like I've had nothing to celebrate. It's not that I've had nothing to celebrate, but rather that I've been so preoccupied feeling sorry for myself and stuck in the rut of my daily stale routine, that I've felt like I've had nothing to celebrate.

However this past week God has been opening my eyes, and shining a rather harsh light on my life. What I've found when I pulled back the curtains hasn't been pretty. The light has revealed a life that has gotten stagnate, stuck in a rut, and without purpose. I've been so busy caring for my toddler, and getting my husband back on his feet, that I've neglected myself. I've neglected my relationship with God. I've put aside my own growth and passions for the sake of survival. And in so doing I've come dangerously close to the "grass is greener on the other side" temptations than I care to admit. 

But as I sit on the other side now, having seen the cobwebs and having begun the spring cleaning my soul needs, I am feeling a renewed desire to celebrate. And what I've been learning, through friends, a wonderful blog I've been following, and other surprising sources, has been like a breath of fresh air. I'm learning that I must cultivate a heart of gratitude. I'm putting aside my own pettiness and seeing how truly blessed I am. And I'm beginning to understand how important it is for there to be a purpose and a vision for everything -- even a marriage and family. 

So here I am, still blogging. Still trying to remember to celebrate life. Determined to cultivate a heart that is truly grateful (and working toward my own list of 1000 Gifts). Seeking the Lord's purpose, not just for me... but for my marriage and family. And using the random holidays to remind me how blessed life can be.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Cinderella

I tuned in this week to Focus on the Family's broadcast with Steven and Mary Beth Chapman, and listened to them relay all that God has been teaching them since the death of their 5 year old daughter Maria in May of 2008. Their story breaks my heart me each time. I was 1/2 way through my pregnancy with Abbie when I tuned into the radio that day in May and learned of the Chapman's loss. After the announcement, the station played Steven's song "Cinderella." I sat on the bed, hand on my belly, and cried.

Now, over two years later, their broadcast this week was the gentle reminder I needed to stop worrying about naps, potty training, and battles of the will... and savour each moment with our own little Cinderella. She'll be two soon... and we are amazed at how fast those two years have gone.


Celebrating Simplicity

I haven't posted at all it the last couple days purely because the "random days" on the calendar have left me feeling very uninspired. I mean, who wants to celebrate eating outside ("Eat Outside Day" was Tuesday) in the middle of a torrential downpour? But that hasn't dampened my desire to celebrate life anyway, and in fact... it forced me to be creative. It also led me to the realization that the art of celebrating life doesn't have to be complicated. Often it's the simple things in life that should be the most celebrated. 

Monday was the first day of a new routine in our house with the fact that our 22 month year old finally went from two naps to one. So we celebrated (albeit with some reluctance from me, who frankly has enjoyed her delay to drop her 1st nap) the fact that our "baby" is growing up, by welcoming two new additions to our family -- two goldfish we named "Dorothy" and "Elmo." 

However the celebrations of Tuesday, as simple as they were, led way to some unexpected, and not necessarily "happy" celebrations on Tuesday. As stated above, Tuesday was a particularly rainy day, and that seemed appropriate since we also started the day off with the first of what likely will be many pet funerals in our family. "Dorothy" was found floating belly up that morning. A simple reminder, at least for my husband and I, that nothing lasts forever. That led me to celebrate the little moments with my daughter that afternoon...

Wednesday, despite the lack of rain, started off much the same way Tuesday did, with yet another funeral... this time for "Elmo." Again it got me thinking about the circle of life, and how precious each day is. That thought was reinforced when I read a note from a friend who was grieving the potential loss of data from her computer that contained pictures of her daughter's first year and a half of life. A good reminder to back things up, and treasure the simplicity of each cuddle, each giggle, each little moment. 


Today however is a day I can celebrate, for today (along with the return of our sunshine and warmth) is Blueberry Popsicle Day. When Abbie went down for her nap I savoured a blueberry/lemon popsicle in honour of the occassion. It was worth every slurp.


What have you done to celebrate life lately?

Tomorrow: Welsh Rarebit Day.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Banana-land & Cherry Turnovers...

Yesterday was "Banana Lovers Day," the perfect day to celebrate what is most likely the most common, most eaten, fruit in the world. Having grown up in Ecuador, which provides 30% of the bananas exported around the world, I am well acquainted with this fruit. From the common yellow banana North America knows well, to the plantain served up fried like chips or cut long and fried along rice and a carne (meat) of some sort, to the sweet little bananitos that are pretty much like sugar, bananas have been my life.  

Ironically, we didn't eat a single banana yesterday thanks to a whirlwind trip across the border to do some shopping... but that doesn't mean I wasn't thinking about them and longing for a taste of home.

 
Today was "Cherry Turnover Day." I'm not really a fan of turnovers... or cherries. I know, I'm weird. But hey, as I stated above, I grew up in Ecuador. And Ecuador does not grow, or consume cherries! Nevertheless, I can appreciate how beautiful cherries are... and I can be amazed at the wide variety of cherries! 




What have you done to celebrate life today? What about yesterday?


Tomorrow: Chop Suey Day!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cherry-licious!

Happy Cherry Popsicle Day! 

 

If you are in need of a cool treat today, why not try this easy recipe? 

Easy Cherry Popsicle Recipe
1 packaged cherry flavored Jell-0
2/3 cup hot water
2 cups cold water
1 cup sugar 
In a large pitcher mix the Jell-o, hot water and sugar. 
Stir to dissolve the sugar. 
Add cold water and pour into molds and freeze.  


Enjoy!


What have you done to celebrate life today?


Tomorrow: Banana Lover's Day

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sponges, Waffles and Banana Splits

Monday was "National Sponge Cake Day." I'm not a huge fan of this sorta cake... unless of course it's soaked in Rum. "Why is the rum always gone?" (Jack Sparrow, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"). Check out this oh so yummy ethnic recipe: Rum-Soaked Sponge Cake.

Tuesday was set aside to remember with fondness the person who invented the waffle iron. God bless them! ;-) I chose to celebrate by having waffles for lunch. It's always a good day when waffles are on!

Today is all about the banana split. Sadly, however, our bananas are not ripe enough, we don't have any chocolate sauce (for shame!) and I'm all ice-creamed out (yes, that is possible)! Instead I chose to find the biggest banana split known to man. Surprisingly, several people boast to having the biggest one! All I know is I got hungry when I saw this one:




How have you celebrate life lately?


Tomorrow: National Cherry Popsicle Day.