Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Photo Challenge - 31

My photo challenge for today, July 31st, looking down.

I thought I'd have a little fun with this one, end on a lighter note :)

Don't worry, I'm not really down, just looking down. I'm fine...see!

Yes, I know I'm corny and a little bit lame, lol.

Monday, July 30, 2012

July Photo Challenge - 30

My photo challenge for today, July 30th, something you are grateful for.

well, I'm MOST grateful for my mom's recovery and that she's still around, period. but I don't have a picture of that. but a secondary thing I've become SO grateful for over the last week is how much the people in my life have surrounded me with love and support. I got another reminder of that today on Facebook.



Sunday, July 29, 2012

July Photo Challenge - 29

My photo challenge for today, July 29th, something you don't like.

the one thing that bugs me about our dog-sitting situation is he won't go to the bathroom in the yard, which means a 'just before bed' bathroom trip...don't like late at night walks where you have to get all decent again to walk outside, especially just for the purpose of picking up poop. : P

Friday, July 27, 2012

July Photo Challenge - 27

My photo challenge for today, July 27th, mail.

the mail hasn't been too interesting lately, so instead I'm documenting the 'getting the mail' ritual. Cinder needs to check out the door everytime it's opened so when Sean opens it to get the mail he picks her up first because she needs to 'help.' she actually likes it and it keeps her from trying to escape, but as soon as the door is closed she's done helping!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Three Things Thursday

Three things I will wish for when blowing out my proverbial candles in a few days (to narrow it down, I'll keep it to things I actually know I can receive, not like 'more hours in a day' or 'world peace' type stuff :)

1. A birthday cake I don't have to make or buy. I am a sucker for birthday cake, especially when it's mine! It doesn't have to be this caliber but I wouldn't complain ;)
2.A new iPhone cover, I love the idea of having a little bitty pretty with me wherever I go. Pretty is a 'happy place' gateway. I clearly have been wanting a new one for a while, I have saved plenty to this Wishlist Pinterest board.


3.Or a pretty journal from the same Wishlist. The rule is I'm not allowed to buy one as long as I have a current one that hasn't been used (at least a few pages). But if I don't buy it there isn't a rule about that!

July Photo Challenge - 26

My photo challenge for today, July 26th, younger you.

my mom and myself almost exactly 35 years ago. thought a joyous hospital picture was fitting for this challenge considering my mom may still be in the hospital on my 35th birthday next week.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July Photo Challenge - 25

My photo challenge for today, July 25th, home.

We are now in our 4th home but this is the first one that has instantly felt like it was where we belonged. Maybe because it finally had the space to accomodate us for the rest of our lives. Maybe because we had the money to furnish it with our own stuff rather than hand-me downs. Maybe it was the neighborhood and the neighbors. Maybe our fenced in back yard that was actually inhabitable.
Maybe all of the above.

We certainly do love having the freedom of getting our outdoor fix right in the privacy of our own backyard, I don't know if I've ever considered my yard as an extension of my home, not since I was a kid anyway. It's the place we gravitate to when we want to hang out to actually talk, whether just us two or with friends. 

Of course, having this guy there is what truly makes it home. Home is wherever he is.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July Photo Challenge - 24

My photo challenge for today, July 24th, artwork.

waiting room art. not my style but it is pretty and calm looking.


Monday, July 23, 2012

July Photo Challenge - 23

My photo challenge for today, July 23rd, animal.

my kitty has missed me over the last few days.



Sunday, July 22, 2012

July Photo Challenge - 22

My photo challenge for today, July 22nd, something old.

this is no disrespect to my mom, calling her 'old' but in the light of this weekend's events, there is nothing that brings attention to the age of your parents like medical difficulties. 'massive heart attack' is about the scariest thing you can hear about your mom at only 63 years of age.

this is mom, uncomfortable but pain free and other than a few questions mostly at peace.

This is the whole story of my  mom's heart attack.

At about 3 pm on Saturday mom started to complain of neck and back pain, combined with some nausea, symptoms seeming familiar to a stomach issue my sister Jodi gets, so between the waves of symptoms and my mom’s high tolerance for pain she dismissed going to the emergency until it was finally too bad. When they got to the Steinbach hospital at about 8 pm they admitted her for tests, telling my dad to go home and they would call when he could pick her up or with an update. At just before 10 pm a nurse called dad to say mom was having a heart attack right then in the hospital. Blessing #1, can’t be in a better place having a heart attack than the hospital! We don’t want to think what would have happened had mom dismissed the pain and gone to sleep that night. They discovered it was due to a blood clot, they gave her medication to clear the blood clot, pain killers as well as medication to stabilize her erratic heart rate. During the clearing of the blood clot mom’s pain scale was at 9 out of 10. The pain was gone as soon as the clot was. Dad called us all at about 10 pm but couldn’t get a hold of any of us girls until closer to 10:30 pm. Only Jodi was able to go see mom in the hospital. Dad called to update us that they then determined she would be sent to St. Boniface hospital in Winnipeg on Sunday for a short ‘cleaning of the pipes’ surgery, we assumed that meant an angioplasty. Dad was under the impression it would be short and there would be no chance to visit her in Winnipeg so we were going to wait for word on Sunday when she’d be sent back to Steinbach and we could visit her.

Sunday we waited for word from Dad, he had Jodi call us about 11:45 am with the first update, mom was at St. B already and what Steinbach hospital had said before they left was that they concluded it was a massive heart attack, she would need to be in Winnipeg at least a few days and now it was likely she would need bypass surgery. Dad would call back after the St. B tests. Jodi called back about an hour and a half later to say what they saw in the arteries was much worse than they thought and that they were wanting us at the hospital asap because dad wanted all us girls there to help with the decision on which surgery to choose, they wanted to begin surgery asap. Sean and I got there first of course, mom was mostly in good spirits, pain free other than she wasn’t comfortable having laid in bed for so long already. She also had to keep her leg still as the tube inflating a balloon in her artery was through her leg, moving her leg could cut off the balloon so it had to be completely still, which was hard for mom to do. And her only concern was she couldn’t quite get her head around the surgery options, for a number of reasons she couldn’t recall all that the doctor had explained, it was a lot to take in.  Dad explained it to us and then we waited for my sisters to arrive from Steinbach and Altona.

Dad explained this, the head of heart surgery at St. Boniface was the one consulting mom and dad (blessing #2) and he explained that mom’s artery that had caused the heart attack was 50-60% blocked up until Saturday and then with the blood clot that artery became 90% blocked causing the heart attack.  This is because this artery was the almost sole supply of blood to her heart, her main (middle) artery was 100% blocked and so blood flow was minimal. This main artery has likely been blocked for years, it sounds like she has probably already had a few small heart attacks that were missed because her high threshold for pain and not sharing the extent of her pain/tiredness with dad. She’s been experiencing a lot of tiredness lately. Blessing #3 is that they caught this first massive heart attack, in a hospital, so it wasn’t fatal like many heart attacks, and now they should be able to rectify the problem because they’ve caught it.

Her heart is now at 66% capacity, with at least those two arteries needing surgery, the third seemed clear. Our options were a stent on the 90% artery or bypass, and we could leave the 100% blocked artery alone or also have a bypass on that. The doctors told mom and dad that the stent life average from St.B is 10 years with it progressively working less over the years where as a bypass would be almost ‘good as new’ and add 20-30 years of life with not much deterioration. Their average failure rate of a stent was 1% chance and the failure rate on a bypass was 2-3% (failure meaning, deaths during surgery). That of course was the average at St. B, the best heart hospital in Winnipeg, and additionally the head cardiac surgeon factored in that mom is about 20 years younger than most women who face this surgery and much healthier having never smoked, did not have other unhealthy eating habits, and being significantly physically fit since her hip replacement surgery, her risk was much less and he recommended multiple bypass (didn’t want paperwork to limit to 2 in case they found the third artery was also significantly blocked upon opening mom up). Speaking of the hip surgery, she had EKGs to clear her for that surgery and as post op checkups but blocked arteries are not detected by that and only someone looking specifically for that would have found it. After dad explained all that he asked mom what she wanted and she wanted the double bypass, we all agreed.

The head surgeon then came back to hear the verdict and said he could try to get the surgery tonight if the OR was available or tomorrow morning, he would be the one doing it tonight but not tomorrow morning. Mom was her usual self and said, ‘whatever is best for you,’ but the rest of us said now would be optimal. Sure enough they were able to get the OR today before 5 pm she was prepped and wheeled to the OR with the head surgeon able to perform the surgery, blessing # 4! Not before one of Southland’s pastors was able to come out and pray over mom. She had a lot of peace about it all and that is a great testament to her faith and everyone’s prayers!

Just after 6 pm they came to say mom just went under because they had to wait for blood thinners to be countered against. The surgeon came in the waiting room at about 9:30 to let us know the surgery ended up being a triple bypass, that it all went as planned. He said the heart was pretty damaged from the heart attack, it had been pretty weak but there was already some improvement and he expected that to continue improving. They prepared us it would be about 45 minutes before we could see her and prepared us for how she would look.

Well, 45 minutes just about doubled by the time we actually got to see mom. She has a dedicated nurse in the cardiac recovery area, which is comforting. Because of a balloon in her chest helping her new arteries heal they have her heavily sedated to keep her still enough it doesn’t not deflate the balloon. She is so heavily sedated she can’t breathe on her own for now. They also have her on additional medication and plasma to counter act the fact she was on blood thinners before the surgery, making things slightly more difficult but it was expected and her recovery is ‘typical’ for her situation.  They are very careful not to use hopeful words, they still classify her as ‘sick’ which is about as descriptive as they’ll get, but they assure us with it is all ‘what was expected’ and it’s ‘normal’ for her specific situation.  The 24 hours after surgery is critical, but the surgeon said that is the case in all bypass surgeries.  We can begin to expect her to be more alert and recognize us hopefully tomorrow afternoon or evening.  She will likely be in this ward until Wednesday and then a different ward for a week after.  The nurse wasn’t sure how things are done on that ward, if she could be moved to Steinbach instead is not clear. We were able to see her and ask our questions but we all went home for the night as nothing will likely change before morning at the earliest and we need to catch up on our sleep as many of us couldn’t sleep last night.

Thank you again for all your prayers and care for my mom and our family during this time. Your prayers have been felt, and as you can see God had his hand in this throughout. Continued prayers for optimal recovery over the next few days especially, but also the weeks ahead, would be greatly appreciated!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

July Photo Challenge - 21

My photo challenge for today, July 21st, something new.

my new sun dress and hair cut for the heat wave! and for my upcoming trip to California.


Friday, July 20, 2012

July Photo Challenge - 20

My photo challenge for today, July 20th, something I drew.

this is circa 1998, a bored day on the phones at an old job, so I drew my lap.



Thursday, July 19, 2012

Three Things Thursday

Three things that made me smile this week

1.A great day with the kidlings! Smiling all day :)



2. A visit with my long distance cousin who I have only seen about 3 times in the last 9 years! And of course, when we see each other, it never seems like enough time to catch up, so the few hours we spent were far too short but I'll take it over nothing! (oops, forgot to take a picture of it! :( )


3.A freebie from a friend! Something I really wanted (sorry, it's a secret what it is for now) is now mine for free, thanks to an old friend who I just so happened to have a chance to visit with a short while. No such thing as luck....this was one of those orchestrated moments you'll never forget.

July Photo Challenge - 19

My photo challenge for today, July 19th, hobby.

a collage painting in progress.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

July Photo Challenge - 18

My photo challenge for today, July 18th, written words.

Some of the hard words we are reflecting on at our recovery small group tonight.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July Photo Challenge - 17

My photo challenge for today, July 17th, trees.

these are trees in the book Teigon picked for me to read to him today. he's wondering why I'm taking pictures rather than reading :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monthly Miscellany Monday


Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Here's my monthly collection of ordinary happenings and moments I don't want to forget.

~ so, I did much better this month and kept a journal in Word of the moments I wanted to record here :) haha, I'm out-smarting my forgetfulness!!


~ well, the Muki puppy has reappeared in our lives, his mamma has returned to Manitoba with a new job but it still involves some travelling so if it's going to be a long trip we take him now and then.  we had him from June 17-June 20th. it was quite interesting, he remembered us immediately, an adorable reunion between he and Sean. he actually remembered his exact routine, even the treat he only received after his evening walk. Ember remembered but wasn't so sure about him as she was when he left, until of course his last day with us. Cinder of course being new to this creature was really ticked off, puffed up and hissing every time he came near, of course the little piggy liked having his food.  he didn't quite understand the rejection since Ember didn't hate him.  it was a funny trio of playful and poofy for a few days.  he was even a great puppy therapy for my recovery small group.
we'll be getting him back for a few weeks again soon.

~ we had a CR BBQ for all the leaders and those that serve on Friday nights, out at our director's farm near St. Adolfe. they have a beautiful and very large yard, which accomodated croquet, volleyball, a fire pit, lawn bowling, and that was amongst the large, lush flower and vegetable gardens.






we played 'getting to know you' games like figuring out who belongs to which 'fun fact', guessing which Bible character you are, writing a story together, things in common, stranded on an island, etc. and one of our leaders is amazing at free handed body painting, these are my cherry blossoms.



~ I did get 2 days in the yard when it was sunny, almost too hot but I had to get the weeding done while it wasn't going to rain for a few days.  this time I found a homemade weed spray, but one specifically to kill anything living indiscriminately, so that's probably why it worked better than my concoction last year.  and since then it's been too hot for the weeds to come back....too bad it's doing the same thing to my garden.

~ Riverwood is in full blown reno-mode at the Firehall.  It was nice getting to serve in a completely different capacity and I like getting into the demo/rebuild stuff.  I hope I may yet have another opportunity to help on the building up portion next.  we also just got word back about our 2 new buildings on the other property, it turns out the larger building isn't as financially viable as the other smaller building so now they are going to start work on making that our first satellite sanctuary.  it would be nice if either of these places could afford us some extra room because the Global Leadership Summit is back at the Riverwood building this year! Yikes! Sean and I have volunteered again, and being that our CR director is one of the 2 ladies pretty much running the GLS show, she asked us to join the GLS leadership team as the Registration and Registration Solutions leaders. She really has a lot of faith in us since we've never done anything like this before, but I guess we've proved ourselves a lot on Friday nights. So...October will be busy :)

~ July long we started off by hanging out at Sean's brother's on the Friday after CR to watch the Bomber game happening out in BC. after that Sean and I took our usual Friday post-CR debrief ride :) and ended up talking into the wee hours of the morning, about everything from struggles at CR, our callings in CR, our callings outside CR, searching for/finding mentors, and general growing in our spirituality discussions.  it was awesome and I wish these talks happened more frequently.  although, it did set the sleep schedule off a little, it was worth it.
I was disappointed not to be able to go to the Farmer's Market on the first, because it was a Sunday they didn't do it as an additional day open like usual, they just did their normal Saturday open so I missed my chance to go. during the week on Wednesdays it's been too busy to take off for the market.
it was a scorcher of a weekend so we unfortunately spent most of it inside with the A/C because the little bit we tried in the yard, even in the shade was uncomfortable. Sean had to work on the Monday so I took it easy, reading, catching up on organizing my photos, taking a soak in the tub, then we went out for an early dinner with my parents.  a nice weekend of catching up on rest.  until I couldn't sleep that night....ugh. that happens way to often the night before returning to work after I've caught up on rest. :(


~ after the long weekend I spent a lot of time waiting for my nephew, who was due on June 27th, so I tried not to commit myself to anything I hadn't already so I could drive out there on notice :) that meant another quiet weekend on the 7th and 8th, which we have really needed, and especially since the weekends are beginning to fill up again fast!

~ I had an 'accidental' evening of getting to hang out with a girlfriend when our small group reduced to just she and I spontaneously, but it was awesome since we haven't hung out again for a few weeks.  as usual we found the time went by too fast, we had a bit to catch up on but we just end up getting into these great discussions that are always edifying. I really love the friendship that has developed with her, a gift from God :)

~ speaking of my CR small group has been through a challenging last little while but we just had our first group with all of us together again for the first time in over a month and it was really great, we're back on track and loving being friends and partners in recovery all the more!


~ and of course, last but not least! my nephew Paxton Zayne was born! he was born at 5:38 pm July 10th, 8 lbs 6 oz. 20 inches long. he's the heaviest baby in the family so far! afterward the doctor said that was one of the most difficult births he's had in 20 years but he didn't let on DURING so mom and dad did just fine! mom was not yet tired and in very good spirits, and in very little pain when we came to visit at 8 pm. Teigon was getting used to pointing to Paxton the baby rather than mommy's tummy.
Paxton is a content little guy. he was placed on Tami during the clean up and he just quietly stared around at mom and dad, didn't make a peep except his first short cry and another one when they took him away from mom to be weighed. we even saw his eyes open the first few minutes I held him, the minute I walked through the door, and then a little just as we were leaving at 9:30 because it was feeding time.
they say he probably wasn't 2 weeks late, probably just a few days, but his skin was very clear for a newborn. and despite the vacuum marks his little head was perfect, not as round as Teigon's, and full of short dark wavy hair. definitely think his eyes and nose remind me more of Tami, and a few people say he looks like Avery.
so I can't wait to smother this little guy with love, which starts tomorrow when I go out there for the day :)


July Photo Challenge - 16

My photo challenge for today, July 16th, self portrait. :)


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday Stewardship Update


Well, it's been over 2 months since I've looked at this list so I'm hoping I'm still on track :)  God has been 'helping' me realize the priorities He has for me, I haven't been too off base and a lot of what I've desired to be a good steward over in my life is good, just not top priorities for me at this point in my life.  I think it was about 2.5 years ago I started to feel 'the winds of change' in my life blowing, it was just a breeze but I was right, and I think I'm feeling that breeze again.  Only God knows for sure where He is leading me but I am very happy where He brought me then and I'm looking forward to where He's leading me now!
But for now, while I'm still figuring things out, I'm not completely abandoning these stewardships, but my progress may just be 'on hold' :)

Stewardship of My Finances
1. Before buying anything new first consider reusing/recycling – I've been trying to do this with clothes but haven't really been doing a lot of buying period.  The sewing machine is on hold because sewing is on hold :) I do have a long 'one day' list of items I want to re-purpose or re-upholster that I am certain I'll get that sewing machine one day.  Just not this year.
2. Pay off ALL debt and invest smarter – paid off the last loan we have other than vehicle and mortgage. Now most of that payment is going to pay off our Journey faster. I also moved my failing RRSPs (which was all of them) into company shares, which even in the worst have times have shown an increase, starting this month.
3. Give more tithe than we already give – we have the cash value pay out sitting in savings until December when we'll hand it over to our Church building fund.

Stewardship of My Home
4. Better scheduling of Fly Lady cleaning tactics – even with my re-arranging of these tactics I find it hard to fit these in.  I try to do as much tidying as I can on Mondays, and have concentrated effort not to let the areas that don't get tidy-ed get any worse so that in a pinch they are easy to clean up or hide. It's just not the season for having this as a priority. I already have to squeeze in bigger priorities, like my health!
5. Establish a Meal Plan – I am almost at the end of my planned meals but I'm thinking of taking a short break over the summer months and doing a mini-summer meal plan version.  Some of my planned meals still have a fair bit of prep, mostly because I've never made them before, and some of them I 'scheduled' not thinking it would be 31 degrees the days I had planned to turn on the oven. So, I want to make a summer plan to make only the easiest meals with as little use of heat possible. I'm hoping to do that this weekend...we'll see!
6. Make as much food from scratch as possible – well, I think this is one of those goals that, while admirable and a great lifestyle change, I won't be learning any new 'scratch' techniques on purpose for the rest of this year.  That means, no homemade bread in the foreseeable future. I will continue to use any 'scratch' techniques I have already learned...no reverting!
7. House Improvements – the shingles have been replaced and Sean's on to talking about the next thing he wants done, electrical and our sidewalks.  I'm hoping we have enough money for that next year as well as a trip, since we haven't GONE on vacation for 3 years already, by next year it will be 4 years.

Stewardship of My Body
8. Wake up at 6 am for strength training – This is one of those priorities I've been fiddling with to try and find the best way to fit it into my life so that it sticks.  Work got crazy busy so fitting it in at lunch wasn't happening, I was getting no time for lunch. And during making dinner I've been trying to use that time to keep my kitchen clean. So back to waking up early, but now it's at 6:20 for Pilates only for 20 minutes.  I've managed 2-3 times per week to accomplish this so I'm happy with this new schedule. Other than being tired for a myriad of reasons, but I'm determined not to let that be an excuse, and discipline myself to do this anyway.
9. Lose 8 lbs and maintain that weight – the goal weight I’ve had for myself is back to 18 lbs away! I haven't been able to shed the 10lbs I gained back in April. My food choices really haven't changed other than I've been allowing sugar and snacks after supper. Even with my pre-planned meals, the side dishes are 50% unplanned so I've been sorely lacking on the veggies as well, partly because of lack of time and partly because I'm tired and can't seem to summon the desire to stand in the kitchen a little longer to add veggies to the meal.  I'm going to have to look up some ways to pre-plan veggies and make ahead like I do my main dish. As much as I'd love to be as intentional about this as I was back in November, again I just don't have the time.  I find it interesting my weight gain coincided with 2 things, one of them being an increase in my busyness by adding a small group. The other was something I'm not quite ready to share yet, but wasn't a physical change, rather an emotional and spiritual change. I've been hearing from God that all my health knowledge and implementations are just my way of controlling my health rather than being healthy. To a point I feel I need to know this stuff so it can assist me in making healthy choices, but it's not about the knowledge, it's about turning to food rather than God. This is another one of those areas that He's shown me it's not so important to work hard at this every day but to work hard at turning over my weakness to Him in those moments when making an easy healthy choice feels hard instead. He's helping me make peace that my body may never change on this course, but this is the course He wants me on right now. He just wants me to be healthy, not have a bikini worthy body, even if that means I have to live with this flabby stomach forever because He's got more important priorities for my life.
I'll talk about the running in the next point.10. Run/Jog the Father’s Day 10 K – Well this goal went off the beaten track early, as it was rooted in running with Tami who I knew was pregnant when I made this goal, and I guess I thought I could find another partner but life got in the way. So this did not happen, and I've found someone willing to do this with me next year, but I'm encouraging both of us to just see what happens because while we both have this as a goal, it is not a priority goal in our life, we both have a few other things that trump it. 
In the mean time the Couch to 5K app has helped a bit, a well as Googling some tips on getting faster, I am slowly getting faster but I've dropped down to one day a week with busyness going on.  I've easily fit it in once per week, but I while I want to be more intentional and disciplined about adding a 2nd run in each week, it will have depend on the other priorities in my life on a week to week basis. Again, trying to turn to God when I come up with excuses not to run and see if He deems them legitimate or not.

11. Quit an unhealthy habit – For over a month now I've found myself not getting quality sleep. I don't know if it's because I've been lax on the sugar, I know partly it's because my allergies are at their worst and I'm congested and likely not getting a lot of oxygen at night. Long story short, I've been drinking coffee every day for about a month. That's where a big source of my sugar has come from, since I've already admitted I can't drink it anyway. Caffeinated tea does nothing for my alertness, the only other thing that helps is a sugar boost, either way, it's added sugar. So now, it really is a habit, and when I have a moment (hahaha) I'm going to have to find a way to nip this in the bud.

Stewardship of My Earth
12. Continue composting and gardening – hahahahaha, that's me laughing at my last post 'I feel like my garden this year will be much more promising.' Well, that isn't happening after all either. Between busy weekends and weather that seems to only cooperate when I'm busy, I'm going to have a few carrots, maybe potatoes, the peas are piddly, my spices had to be replanted and died, my Farmer's Market visit was postponed too long so no tomatoes or peppers, only my oregano is going strong...of course!  And as for composting, not being able to keep up with the weed pulling, it turns out my compost started growing as if seeded, so without regular maintenance a compost dirt pile is not a good idea.  I really do need to get one of those self-containing units to keep this up. Valiant effort Lori, but once again, I'm having to say 'on hold' to the gardening life this year.

13. Eating local – I'm still figuring out local lamb, the local beef is still in the meal plan although the taste difference takes some getting used to in the steak cuts, I may just get roasts and ground beef in the future. I forgot to stay informed on the local chickens through my friend and missed that boat but that's ok, I think I like roasting turkey better for taste and size. Need to find some grass-fed turkeys instead :)
14. Acts of Green – nothing new here, or it's on hold.

Stewardship of My Talents/Purpose
15. Blog/Journal- I think I've been keeping up with this one fairly well, I've been journaling a little more, part self-evaluation we've been learning about in recovery, partly to document the more personal things that I don't want to share on the internet :) Of course there are the "I wish I had more time for" moments because my creative journal has sat untouched for awhile but...you know how that story goes already.
16. Capture memories in scrapbooks and photobooks – as previously mentioned, working on finishing the wedding scrapbook finally.  I think I'll set aside time specifically for that after summer, once I'm tempted back to the couch again and I can work on it at the coffee table.
17. Continue developing my creative tendencies - as I've blogged about extensively already, the collage paintings are addicting. I've finished another one I'm waiting to give away shortly, another one to be finished in a few weeks and another one that is yet to be started but doesn't have a deadline.
18. Continue my work at Celebrate Recovery – I'm still enjoying my time at CR, we're still figuring things out, shuffling things (and me) around to accommodate the needs at this point.  We're going to a CR conference in California at the beginning of August, really looking forward to that and finding better ways to do things.  This is probably one of the biggest priorities God has shown me in my life, but I think He's also told me it's only going to be this big of a priority for a time. He's showing me other things He's created me for as well, and only He knows the timing. For now, I'm doing my best to do my part to help CR flourish and become what we envision it could be.

Stewardship of My Communities
19. Marriage community – this is about the same as last time, still going well. Sean and I are really enjoying our drives to talk and on the long weekend we were still so deep in conversation after our drive we sat out in the back yard and talked until almost 3 in the morning! I love those talks!
20. Winnipeg Community – I finally donated blood! It went awesome :) I can actually go again already, which I will try soon.
21. Friend/Family/Neighbour Community – at LOVE Winnipeg we handed out water bottles to those who were working hard to clean up the trash out of Elmwood in the heat.
22. Aunty Community – haven't done any babysitting this year yet but I will be going to spend a day with my sister and her newborn son this coming Tuesday, yay!!! Then a quick visit with my other sister and her 3 kidlings for the afternoon.
23. Friend Community - well, we haven't hosted or been the one organizing a friend get-together in awhile, but there have been so many get-togethers already we just haven't been able to squeeze in any more! We are in no shortage of being able to spend time with our awesome friends, and there are quite a few more opportunities competing for time in July and August!
24. Church Community – we've had 1 out of 2 hosted events at our house with 2 couples from Church, thinking another one in fall will be nice.
25. Small Group Community – we're still waiting to figure out more details on the small group we will potentially be joining in fall.

Stewardship of My Growth
26. Continue to step out of my comfort zone – avoid labelling ‘that’s not me’and just try things first!
27. Media fast Tuesday evenings – I have been back on track with this for almost a month ever since I've made it non-negotiable for exercise and reading my Bible time. The only exception I made was to drive out to Winkler last Tuesday when my nephew was born, if there was ever an exception that is IT!
28. Read at least 6 books, at least 4 non-fiction – I have now made another part of my routine to read from 10-10:30 Mon.-Thu, so that I get to bed at a decent hour and finally can start plugging away at my books!  I have in the last 3 months finished The Case for the Real Jesus, The Me I Want to Be, Sun Stand Still, and I am now starting Chasing Daylight, all non-fiction.  I also have 2 other non-fictions on the go, that I read when I just have some downtime I want to fill, one about poetry as a healing tool and the other about the end times.
29. Bible Reading and Prayer – My Bible reading has been improving now that I have dedicated Tuesdays to 30-45 min of reading in a row, uninterrupted because I go out in the sunny backyard :) Funny how the sun will come out every Tuesday for that but not for the days I'm free to spend in my garden. Of course, this is more important.  I'm also still trying to find ways to consistently increase my prayer time, and I think having a variety of 'motivators' I'll call them for lack of a better word, because I have a mish-mash of ways that remind me at different moments in different circumstances, like a prayer journal that sometimes reminds me at night because it's next to my book.  Or a prayer bracelet, different colour for each day and each day is for a particular group of people....I just need to fix it because it broke. And although I have lacked in intentional listening to God, He has really been speaking into my life unexpectedly and I am feeling I am hearing Him quite often in the form of intuition. I have never been good at intuition, I've read so many people wrong, or been clueless in some circumstances where everyone else seems to get it. It's been a real blessing and I look forward to God using this much more in my life.

Stewardship of Living My Life
30. Take a short road trip within Manitoba – I've taken 2 road trips down south since the beginning of June, a birthday party in Altona for my nephew who turned 2, and then as I mentioned down to Winkler for the birth of his little brother.
31. Go to some kind of art showing – maybe next year WAG.
32. Pamper myself – I had a lovely soak in the tub on July 2nd while I had the statutory holiday to myself.  Although, not thinking, I ran my bath hot like usual, forgetting the extremely hot and muggy weather outside and just about sweated myself OUT of the tub. Hopefully there is a pedicure in my future, a birthday month tradition.
33. Relax – I have been getting much better at recognizing when I am doing too much, and I promptly take an evening, or afternoon on weekends, off from all my lists and goals. I felt that way on July long and so my Monday to myself was all relax, no agenda. It was very nice and recharged the batteries to start full tilt all over again :) 

I am still strongly desiring to get to the point this isn't done out of need so much as back to my original intent of quieting myself so I can rest in God and hear Him.  I'm making progress but the point I want to get to is almost a complete re-wiring in me, I'm just not hardwired that way and so it will be a long work in progress.  I read in The Me I Want to Be that we all have different ways to connect to God, and not all of us are wired to do it the meditative way, which isn't to say we shouldn't try, but find ways we know connecting to God works for us to keep the relationship strong. I felt strongly like I was doing much better than I thought after reading that book, and although I still want to grow in my meditation and stillness, it's something I've recognized is going to be one of those life long disciplines because it doesn't come natural to me.

July Photo Challenge - 15

My photo challenge for today, July 15th, your weakness.

mmmm, Candie's Chicken and fries with the yummiest gravy.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

July Photo Challenge - 14

My photo challenge for today, July 14th, favorite colour.

a snippet of my fav colour, pink, on a plate of birthday cake we were able to partake in today :) mmmm chocolate!

Friday, July 13, 2012

July Photo Challenge - 13

My photo challenge for today, July 13th, water.

the spray bottle we have to keep on hand to help try to keep Cinder in line.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

July Photo Challenge - 12

My photo challenge for today, July 12th, where you ate breakfast.

I eat my breakfast here Monday through Friday, my office desk.

This is actually only a small part of breakfast, I ate it too fast before I remembered it was today's photo challenge. The smoothy and mini-muffin already got downed, but here are my strawberries, coffee and water.

Notice my 'happy place' in the background :)



Three Things Thursday

Three things it is 'the season for' in my life:



1. Growing in trust of the rhema words and intuition the Spirit has been giving me.


2. Trying to balance the bounty of friendships God has poured into our lives over the last 2 years! It's a new but awesome problem blessing to have!


3. Coffee

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

July Photo Challenge - 10

My photo challenge for today, July 10th, summertime.

Well, we all knew whatever day my nephew was born I would stretch the picture challenge to mean a picture of him.....so I won't disappoint.

My nephew Paxton Zane just joined our July birthday clan today (he is now the 4th July birthday in our immediate family, lost count where he's at in all the July birthdays of extended family, friends, etc.). So when I think of summertime I think of July and I think of all the people in my family I share a birthday month with and now it includes this lil' guy!

Without further ado :)




Monday, July 9, 2012

July Photo Challenge - 9

My photo challenge for today, July 9th, hands.

Well, I was really hoping for tiny, adorable nephew hands for this picture so I will show off my adorable kitty's hands instead :)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

July Photo Challenge - 8

My photo challenge for today, July 8th, books.

Most recent book order just came in! It's like Christmas!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

July Photo Challenge - 7

My photo challenge for today, July 7th, transportation.

Doing a brake light check after we replaced the bulb.

Friday, July 6, 2012

July Photo Challenge - 6

My photo challenge for today, July 6th, toes.

I love wiggling my bare toes in the cool grass on a hot day.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Three Things Thursday

Three things I need to work on:

1. Loving my husband with the infatuation I had when I first fell for him.


2. Loving the people God places in my life the way He wants me to.


3. Loving myself with self-acceptance like I've never had before.

July Photo Challenge - 5

My photo challenge for today, July 5th, filthy. filthy, stinkin' weeds!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July Photo Challenge - 4

My photo challenge for today, July 4th, clean.

Cleansing rain. Nothing smells quite as clean to me as fresh rain.
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