Thursday, December 04, 2008

Knitting Myself into a Lather

So my knitting saga seems to be unending. I started with some practice yarn, but somehow couldn't even figure out the slip-knot which is the very first step. Finally figured that out, then the knitting was somehow upside down once I had my first row casted onto the needle. I abandoned the mess for a few days.

I started fresh about a week later with some sort of helpful books from the library. Then I began the scarf project I wanted to make for my Mom for Xmas. 3 tries later ( I was knitting it too tightly and picked up 10 stitches by accident!) I am hoping against hope, that I will have a completed product I can proudly give as a gift. I guess this goes to show that I am more persistent than I give myself credit for.

Today I checked out a few more knitting books at my local library, and one is called "DomiKNITrix" Pretty funny hey. I get frustrated with the books that claim they are for the beginner and are full of easy projects, because they make me feel hopelessly lost. But everyone starts somewhere right. I looked to see if there was a "Knitting for Idiots" handbook, but alas, no luck. That's what I need.

My Little Girl... big enough to wear her hair "up"! How cute can one little person be. Now if only I could get to leave the accessories IN her hair ;)

I'm Thirty!

On November 28 I turned thirty years old. It feels strange to bid my twenties farewell, but I'm not in mourning or anything silly like that. We had a great potluck dinner with some of our Calgary friends and then finished off the last episode of Six Feet Under. It was a lovely day. I am blessed and lucky to be who I am, where I am.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I haven't been in the blogging spirit lately, not sure why. Visited with Michelle today and she asked why I haven't here I go! Maybe because I've just been so very busy. Our move went well and we're pretty much settled in now. I've been enjoying my sisters Alanna and Jessica who are here. They are great babysitters too, which I so appreciate when I get calls to sub. We'd had two snowfalls so far, and the trees photo is the view from my kitchen window. Sounds like the kids are up from their naps - must run!

Sunday, August 17, 2008


We've been back in Canada for over a month now. It feels strange and normal both at the same time. I think I have some culture shock going on, but it's nothing a little food therapy won't cure - chicken and vegetable pot stickers, cranberry juice, and chocolate fudge crackle icecream to name a few of my faves :) (haha).

Whenever I overhear strangers in stores speaking Spanish I want so badly to say something to them, but I always chicken out! I better get up the nerve before I lose all of my espaƱol! Luckily there are some friends back in Guatemala that I have to email in Spanish.

We had an amazing time in BC. I was pleased to be reminded of how utterly breath-taking it is there; the mountains, the lakes, the rivers - it's all still as wild as ever. (Although there is talk of Wal-Mart coming to Smithers, perish the thought!) The two weddings were wonderful celebrations and my kids basked in the attention of the many aunties, uncles, grandmas, grandpa, and cousins we got to spend time with.

Now this week we move into our own place, and I am VERY ready for that. There's nothing like living out of a suitcase for a month - as gracious as all of our hosts have been. I am also looking forward to my sister Jess coming to live with us at the end of the month.

Monday, July 14, 2008

OH Canada!!!

We are back. I was almost in tears as we gazed out of our airplane at the prairies of Alberta. The canola fields! Oh the canola fields! I want to get out in one and take about a zillion photos. I'm sorry I never sang your praises Alberta, but I am converted and now a believer.

The air here always smells clean and fresh, I step outside of the house just to close my eyes and drink in a breath.

The internet! Oh my stars! It's lightning fast!

The grocery stores! I could spend hours just admiring the variety they have to offer.

Most of all my heart is gladdened that Blaise could spend his 3rd birthday with our family. What a blessing to see him and Acadia doted upon by his Grandma Debby, Auntie Saison and Uncle Dean.

Okay I've got to get ouside again :)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Garden Wonders

I love gardening. I hope to someday have a real, huge, out of control, too much produce for my family to eat, kind of garden. Until that fine day, I make do with growing what I can in containers. The strawberries amaze me at how they are so desperate to spread. My plants have rooted themselves in the gravel and managed to produce some fruit! Edwin, a really poor boy from the school who machete's our grass for us, has asked me if he can have the strawberries when we leave :) They're quite expensive to buy in the market so that makes me happy knowing he will get to enjoy them when we're gone.

In the front of our house we have a small flowerbed where I planted some sweetpeas. I adore sweetpeas, their aroma is like nothing else. They are growing nicely but I am afraid they may not bloom before we leave! I sure hope they do. In amongst the sweetpeas a vine started to grow that I did not plant. I asked the guys who work at a greenhouse next to us if they knew what it was and they said it was "sandia" (watermelon). These same greenhouse workers like to lounge on the edge of my flowerbeds eating their snacks which have included: Surprise! Watermelon. So they must have spit out some seeds into the dirt and voila - my very own melon patch, sort of. There are a lot of little yellow blossoms on the vines so I've asked my neighbor Ruth to send me a photo if they ever grow some little melons. We don't live in the hot part of Gutemala where melons are grown, but it would be neat to see if some did grow.

Papa's Day Fun

We finally got Zaak to Chamche, our local "tourist centre" here in Tactic - he'd been holding out but how could he resist a Father's Day picnic with his adoring wife and children? We saw some neat animals there, I especially liked the baby marguay (looks like a jaguar) and the baby armadillos! I am such a sucker for baby animals! Maybe it's a female thing, I don't know. Because generally I'm not a big pet person at all.

Blaise also braved the frigid waters of the swimming pools, and we had our lunch with only a few stray mongrels staring us down. All in all, the outing was a success.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Kids abd Stuff

It's been a rainy couple of days thanks to Hurricane Alma which was supposedly hitting Nicaragua this past week. Our internet connection has been terrible so we haven't been able to read the news, blog, email or go on FB much at all. I think I talk about the internet like Canadians talk about the weather, maybe it's a missionary thing :) (I have to post this at the city nearby where we do our shopping - at an internet cafe. Grrr.)

The kids have both been sick, Blaise with his recurring croup and Acadia now with a cough too. Poor little lambs. Acadia has taken off walking now, and can toddle the length of each room in our house. Blaise is potty-training (this time for real) we hope!?! He will be 3 in just a month and a half so it is HIGH time!

Still no word yet on where we'll be this fall, but I am getting excited for the trip to Canada nonetheless. Zaak's sister Saison is due to have her baby about a week after we arrive and his other sister Salome about a month later, then there are some weddings to go to, and just catching up with family and friends will be so wonderful. I'm banking on putting on a little weight with all the visiting we'll be doing :)

Hope you find me next time with better internet and news about our pending move!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Catching Up

It's been awhile hey? I didn't post for the entire month of April, hmm. Acadia celebrated her first birthday on the 13th, and is keeping us entertained with her many kisses and pointing at everything. We enjoyed the company of Alan Kydd and Justin Jeffery for a week that went way too fast. They were SUCH amazing guests; playing with Blaise, having heated discussions with Zaak, taking incredible photos of the kids, cooking, baking bread and doing dishes - wow. Your visit was a blessing guys, thanks.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Security Blanket

Oh my funny sweet girl. A few nights ago as I was putting Acadia to bed she did a huge projectile vomit. Thankfully only half of her blankets got hit, and she was happy as a clam right afterwards.

The next morning she had the worst time napping! Later I brought in the clean blankets from the line and when she saw her fuzzy pink one she was so excited! I now see that she almost instantaneously goes from snuggling her blankie, to thumb in mouth, to zzzzz... (She has sucked her thumb from day one, so she likely sucked it in the womb too :)

I was so surprised because I didn't realize what an attachment she had to this blanket! Blaise was a soother baby so that was his security object, and once he gave that up we made the mistake of letting him sleep with his bottle - which became his new security object. Since breaking his bottle habit he hasn't attached to any new stuffed animal or blanket.

April, one of my younger sisters, had this tattered old blue blanket that I remember her dragging all around the house. I can't remember if I had one though, or if my other sisters did. I'll have to give my Mom a call and ask her about it.

Knit One, Purl Two!

We have this kids show DVD called Nanalan' that my sister-in-law Salome got for Blaise. One of the episodes has Nana the nanny knitting something that Russel the dog snatches away from her. A wild chase ensues with the star of the show, Mona, retrieving the scarf from a repentent Russel. All this to say that while Nana is knitting she is saying aloud "knit one, purl two, knit one, purl two" and that has been going through my head as I have taken up knitting.

My mom taught me when I was little but I had forgotten, plus I don't rememeber making any really stellar projects as a child. I have really wanted to learn again, so a few weekends ago I took out the needles I had brought here with me over 2 years ago. I recalled seeing Julie (the Peters' kids tutor from Alberta) knitting a scarf around Christmas so I got her to show me how to get started. Zaak, Julie and myself always play Settlers (and eat churrascos) Saturday nights but that night all I wanted to do was knit! That must be why I lost both games, I kept knitting when it wasn't my turn to play :)

I quickly finished off the small amount of yarn I had started with and promptly gave it to Blaise for a teddy bear blanket. Unfortunately I didn't "bind off" (I think that's what it's called) so my first practice project soon unravelled itself, whoops. I won't make that same mistake this time.

Today with the rain coming down and the kids blessedly napping in unison, I looked up some knitting instructions. Julie had started me off so I needed to learn how to "cast on" - all these fun terms, like a new language! I found a great sight with super simple knitting instructions.

And so it begins! My hope and dream is to get to a point where I could be proud to see my children and husband (and myself too of course!) wearing items I have knitted. I also would love to be able to give as gifts the things I we'll see how I do on this knitting journey I've embarked on - wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sweet Sweet Sleep

Here she is, the little girl who, after 11 long months, is finally letting me get my beauty rest. That's right, Acadia has started sleeping through the night! She gets up early (6-ish) but that's fine by me when I haven't seen her since 7 o'clock the night before. It is amazing how I can feel my energy level going up! Now as long as I can get myself to bed before 10 and evade Zaak's "Wanna watch a movie with me? Just watch the beginning...then you can go to bed" pleas, I'll be conquering the world in no time. Or at least getting a lot more done in my day :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My New look

My blogs new look that is! Wonderful Zaak helped me to put together these 3 photos I wanted to have at the top of my blog. I keep going to my blog now just to look at how beautiful the banner(?) is! I took all three photos, and in case you are dying to know this is where they are from:
The pink and purple lupin flowers photo was taken near Zaak's grandmothers house in New Brunswick. The lupins bloom there in the summer for miles upon miles - it is breath-taking.
The second photo is of a statue paying homage to mothers, an hour away in the town of Salama, Guatemala.
Third is the beach just before sunset in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

7 Things

Chef Mama Aimee tagged me for a meme and so here I am dutifully doing it :) I actually had lots of fun thinking about what seven things I would put on here, and look forward to reading others...

7 Things you may not know about me:

1. I cycled across Canada and haven't been on a bike since the last day of the trip.

2. I have kept a journal faithfully since the age of 15.

3. My claim to fame is that one of my sisters kissed a boy in high school who now plays for the NHL.

4. My son Blaise has been to 7 countries and not yet seen his 3rd birthday.

5. My husband Zaak and I are blessed/cursed :) with the spiritual gift of "voluntary poverty."

6. Both of my babies were anesthesia free, midwife-assisted water births.

7. I don't know where I will be living in 6 months time.

And the 5 lucky bloggers that I am tagging are...

Zaak of Zaakistan
April of New Beginnings
Kelsie of Kelsiespot
Justin of Am I There Yet?
Dawn of Colours of Dawn

Now you are supposed to write your own list of 7 things and then pass it on to five friends. Make sure and notify the friends you tag by commenting on their blogs. Whew this is feeling complicated!
P.S. I won't be offended if you don't do this meme thing - it may not be your cup of tea so no worries :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Book to Ponder

The books that help you most are those which make you think the most. The hardest way of learning is that of easy reading; but a great book that comes from a great thinker is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and beauty. -Theodore Parker

This past weekend with Zaak away and I decided to immerse myself in a new book. I had forgotten that April had brought me Khaled Hosseini's second book, "A Thousand Splendid Suns". He is the author of "The Kite Runner," and if you haven't heard of it you must be a hermit:) I was instantly drawn into the story and kept forcing myself to put it down and go do other things. I still finished it in less than a week though unfortunately.

The story jolted me out of my missionary Mama life and into another world (Afghanistan) where women receive no justice. Any self-pitiying thoughts I was having about being lonely flew right out the window. It reminded me how completly fortunate I am to have been born a Canadian.

I had a good cry when I finished the book - for the two women in the story and all the misery they endured. The joys in their lives made them endure the many hardships, and I think it is their resilience that moved me most.

So run, don't walk to your nearest library or bookstore and get this book. It will not disappoint.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Sunburn Woes

Our vacation to Mexico was wonderful. Zaak did an awesome overview of it, so check out his blog if you're desperate for details:) I was just catching up on our blogroll and can't believe how many of you out there talk about the weather?!?! It's pretty funny. So here's my tribute to all of you who like to bemoan the cold. Picture one is me and Acadia on the beach, and picture two is a few hours later - oh the burn! We bought some Solarcaine cream and I could have kissed the bottle it felt so good on my fiery legs. I'm feeling fine now and hope to not peel, skin cancer is not something I want to experience in life thanks. (I thought I had put sunscreen on my legs but I must have forgotten! What with making sure to lather up the kids I tend to get the short end of the stick.)
So for all of you who hate the cold, at least you're not sunburned:)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Back in the Saddle:)

Haha, the blog saddle that is - I'm not much for horse back riding:) I've had a bit of a long hiatus from blogging with my sister April here for two weeks and then our internet being on the fritz.

I had such a wonderful time with April! She's such a kindred spirit. We had great fun with the kids, cooking and baking, and going on a couple of trips. The highlight for me was hiking the volcanoe just the two of us (thanks again Zaak for watching the kids so I could go! You're the best:). We laughed almost all the way there at our driver who was circling Antigua at 6 a.m. in search of the Hotel Belen which turned out to be the Hotel Bella. Nice. Then the hike itself was freezing cold and windy until we got to where the lava was flowing and could feel it's heat. There were even people who brought marshmallows to toast! What a great idea.

Now Zaak's sister Salome is here and in just 3 short days we are making the trek to Mexico to meet up with the rest of my in-laws. We plan to break the trip up but it still means 7 hourish days of travelling, so that's a little hard on the kids. I'm praying they are healthy and up for it!

Awhile ago I got an email from Kurt where you answer a bunch of questions about yourself. One of them was "What four things are you looking forward to this year?"
Mine were:
1. The trip to Mexico
2. Acadia sleeping through the night
3. Moving back to Canada and becoming a home owner and
4. Welcoming two new members to my extended family, a brother in law and a neice or nephew. So lots to look forward to!

What's the new year got in store for you?