Sunday, December 25, 2005


Don't you just hate it when you have just written a really long blog entry and then something happens and your browser crashes? Yah. Me too.
Garrr....stupid yahoo browser.
ANYWAY...back to my Christmasey entry. *sigh*
This morning we spent Christmas with Jamie's parents and sister and got loaded up with presents.

Me with my spiffy Napoleon Dynamite cards from Erin. *Flippin sweet!*

Then in the afternoon we went to my parent's house and got more presents. And had an incredible dinner. The only thing was that I was hoping to have more time to play games. I was surprised at how fast time flew by! But it's always fun to hang out with my family.

The Taylor Crew enjoying Christmas Dinner.

Shereen and I watched The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Good movie. If you like chick flicks. I read the book and I quite enjoyed both the book and movie.

But I am ridiculously sore from working out yesterday with Shereen. Whooboy. I've never been so sore in my WHOLE LIFE. I'm not kidding. I can't walk up or downstairs, I can't sit on the toilet, I can barely even walk without looking like I have wooden legs. It's quite preposterous.

To be honest, I'm not really looking forward to Winter Conference. Well, I am and I'm not. I am because I know it'll be a great time and good to see everyone. I'm not looking forward to how we just go right from Christmas into the conference. It's too crazy and I'm exhausted. And I know that it's work for me. It's not a conference FOR me, but I am taking part in running the conference. And sometimes that's kinda crazy. But I guess it makes sense because of the student's schedules.

Anyway, I'm pretty exhausted right now. I think I may read or do something really relaxing.

OH! And one more VERY exciting thing; I got a TON of scrapbooking stuff! I'm UBER excited to get scrapbookin' (and Tamsin, if you're reading this - we are SO on for the 1st week of January!) because now I'm all re-stocked and I'll have a ton to scrapbook! Hoorah!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas eve and conversations with myself

It's Christmas eve! I can scarcely believe it! I even had a dialogue with myself this morning (since Jamie was still sleeping and I was getting up early).

"Self, can you believe it's Christmas eve?!? It's finally here!!!"

"I know. But why, oh why are we waking up so ridiculously early? After all, it's Christmas eve AND it's Saturday!"

"Well," I said to myself, "there's a little someone named Shereen who is waiting for you to pick her up so you both can go to Goodlife and do a workout class."

"Workout shmorkout! When was the last time we worked out? And look and how fabulous we look!"

"Yah, well...not quite. There's the issue of the 15 pounds you've put on since you've been married. Or did you forget about that?"

"Why do you keep saying "YOU" when it's you too?!?"

And then I actually got out of bed and ate some wheaties for breakfast.

But all in all, I'm thrilled that it's Christmas eve. It does seem odd, though that it's a Saturday and I'm not at work and neither is anyone else who does the usual 9-5 job. Strange. But nice. I had a lovely nap and quite enjoyed it.
Tonight will be church and then off to Lil's (aka, my mother) for some good eats and most likely some delightful games. I am looking forward to that, to be quite sure.
And then tomorrow will be full of family and presents.
We'll start off here with Jamie's family and then late morning we'll head over to my parent's house for the rest of the day and for Christmas dinner.
So merry Christmas to all, and I'm sure I will blog about it all on the morrow. (I've ALWAYS wanted to say that).

Friday, December 23, 2005

Friends & Family

Oh the anticipation. I feel like I've been waiting for Christmas for forever. I think it's because the Stricklands always buy all their presents and get ready so early. But I think I feel this way every year. Last Christmas was so different. This Christmas shall be just as different. No home of our own and yet 2 families just as eager to have us. It'll be a great time with both families and I'm really looking forward to it.
Last night Steve & Rebecca came home (or at least to TO) and we all went out with them to Kelseys. It was a really great time. I really miss those two. It'd be fantastic if they lived here but that's not what they want so we just have to accept that. I'm so glad we can stay in contact with them.
And that's what I also enjoy about this season. Friendship. It's great to have close, long-time friends.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


It came. It finally came! Our new digital camera came. Oh the joy. Oh the hilarity!
I anticipate mucho picture taking as soon as that silly battery charges. It's got a ton of fantastic modes (including underwater and panoramic) and I'm giddy with excitement.
Merry Christmas to me (& Jamie)!
It's an Olympus Stylus 500 and I love it. *girlish giddiness*

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

peace in the midst of madness

For the past...maybe month I have been feeling that the timing issue in our lives and regarding a STINT in Tanzania may be off. I felt that and understood the position that our superiors are taking by saying that they want everything to be the best that it can to send in a STINT team. I had been feeling that waiting a year might not be so bad. I began to see a lot of positives. Like more training for me. And more time as a couple together in our own place (after 6 months of "rooming" with the in-laws). Whew. It will be nice to have our own place. The thought just sends shivers down my spine.
But I digress.
Anyway, so on Sunday night on the way home from Kitchener Jamie and I prayed about our future, about Tanzania and all the people thinking of doing STINT there right now. I prayed for clarity and wisdom and direction in what to do with support raising and time on campus and whether or not we were to go to Tanzania in '06.
Yesterday we heard back from HR. They said that it's better if we wait a year. And just like that, God has given us clarity and direction. It may be disappointing, but we KNOW from His promises that He has given us a hope and a plan for a good future. We can rest in that.'s a bit sad to let go of that dream.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

i'm getting a new digital camera. wahoo! anticipate more pics to come on We ordered it on ebay so I hope we get it before Christmas.
Just picture Burl Ives as if he's just eaten the entire Christmas turkey. That's what it sounds like when he sings. Mwuah haha. RANDOM.

Friday, December 16, 2005

high in the sky, apple pie hopes...

Things I want to do:
1. go to a U2 concert
2. go to a Coldplay concert
3. make a FULL OUT gourmet meal
4. go bungee jumping
5. experience the wonder of carrying another human being within your own body
6. run a 1/2 marathon
7. start playing guitar again
8. start playing piano again
9. write a really good song
10. make an entire Thanksgiving/Christmas meal for my very own family
11. visit every continent
12. take another photography course
13. eloquently express myself
14. take hip hop dance lessons
15. paint a picture
16. own my own home
17. learn another language fluently
18. be used by God to change lives in whatever situation I am in
19. start exercising on a regular basis
20. eat healthier

I anticipate additions to this list as time goes by.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Baker Extraordinaire

I'm so tired. I just spent from 11am-8pm today baking my little heart out. I'm absolutely exhausted. But I have these cookies to show for it:
Mocha Nut Biscotti
Mini Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies
Glazed Chocolate stars (those were a headache and a half!)
& some other glazed sugar cookies.
Whew. That was ridiculous. OH YEAH! And my infamous Cheese Stars. Yum.
But yeah...I'm down right exhausted.
Tomorrow's the cookie I'm really looking forward to that with the ladies. :D
Yay for lady nights.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Tea and Theatre

I wanted to blog about a few things.
First and foremost - well, maybe not foremost - I love tea. I love all kinds of tea. And I have come to realize that there is literally a plethora of teas to choose from. Ultimately tea comes down to 3 categories. Black tea (ie. orange pekoe, earl grey, etc.), Green tea (that speaks for itself) and a third and very rare type of tea called White tea. The rest of teas that you see (ie. blueberry, cranberry, cherry cheesecake - what the?) are actually not teas at all. Because they are not made from tea leaves.
Now that that history on tea is finished - - -
I love tea. I just bought two new teas today. One is Orange Tangerine Zinger. It's delicious. I tried it last weekend and knew that I had to buy it to sip on a regular basis. The other tea is Vanilla Hazelnut. That's right, folks. Vanilla. Hazelnut. Exactly. I was pretty pumped when I saw it. Thank you to Celestial Seasonings for fulfilling my every tea desire. They literally have kajillions of different flavours such as: (and these were my favourites - from the sounds of the name) Almond Sunset, Morning Thunder, Country Peach Passion, Grandma's Tummy Mint and Honey Vanilla Chamomile...the list goes on and on!

Secondly, is that my baby brother (well, he's not really a baby at 15 and taller than me) has the lead role in his highschool play. They're doing The Outsiders. I've never seen the movie, but I will probably go out and rent it now. I went to see them on their opening night tonight. I was really impressed as Curtis has so many lines! He did a really great job and I was really proud of him.
Actually, it's something I've noticed about myself. I enjoy seeing plays and musicals but every time I do I always get this feeling inside of me. Like I wish I could be on that stage acting my little heart out. I always loved being in plays/musicals growing up. I think maybe I will get involved in some kind of Christmas play or Easter play or community theater when I can. I really do love being involved in that kind of stuff.
Lastly, it's supposed to snow a lot over the next 24 hours. You know you're getting old when your very first thought isn't "Yay!". I love the snow, I really do, but my first thought was about driving conditions...and then I thought "yay". :D

Monday, December 12, 2005

time flies when you get older

.It's unbelieveably cold out.
Today I went to a funeral. I was freezing the whole time. I wore a skirt with no nylons. I hate nylons. They suck. I swear they must have been invented by someone who enjoys being uncomfortable. Weird.
I got to see people I hadn't seen in a very long time (probably 10 or more years). It was crazy. I forgot that when I grow up, other people grow up too. The guy who I had my very first kiss with was there. It was weird. He's not a little kid anymore. In fact, he HAS a kid. Very weird. And all these little boys that I used to know are not so little anymore. They are definitely closing in on being men. MAKE IT STOP!
Growing up happens so fast. How many times have I heard friends of mine say lately that time is just flying by now. It's so true.
So this has been a pondersome email.
The end.

Friday, December 2, 2005

Treat pic o' the month

With Christmas upon us and so many different holiday editions of candies this month's pic is hard. So I've decided to go with an entire line of holiday chocolates. December's treat pic 'o the month is Terry's Chocolate Oranges. They come in a delicious assortment of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate (the snowball) and mint chocolate (which I have not tried yet, but I MUST.). If you don't like orange or chocolate...what kind of treatster are you?!?

Searching for God knows what

I'm currently reading Searching for God knows what by Donald Miller - the same dude who wrote Blue Like Jazz. While I do find his writing entertaining, it is usually light reading. Once you follow your way through all the rabbit trails he goes off on, he often makes some great observations. And I appreciate his dry humour. I really liked this paragraph in Chapter 3 called Feet of Trees;

If you ask me, the real way to tell if a person knows God for real, I mean knows the real God, is that they will fear Him. They wouldn't go around making absurb political assertions and drop God's name like an ace card, and they wouldn't be making absurd statements about how God wants you to be rich and how if you send in some money to the ministry God will bless you. And for that matter, they wouldn't be standing on a beach shouting about how they are God, twirling around in the waves.* It seems like, if you really knew the God who understands the physics of our existence, you would operate a little more cautiously, a little more compassionately, and a little less like you are the center of the universe.

*Donald is referring to a comment earlier talking about Shirley Maclain in a made for tv miniseries called Out on a Limb.

I agree. Our God is not safe. He is to be feared.

A movie not worth your time

Late last night I had the unfortunate occurance to view the remade Dukes of Hazzard featuring Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott and among others, Jessica Simpson.
Despite being a regular dude who chooses to hurt himself and do foolish things, Johnny Knoxville looked like an Oscar winner beside Jessica Simpson. Yes, she's got a goregeous body and kudos to her for working really hard to get it. But when I say her acting was brutal, I mean it. It was B-R-U-T-A-L.
And what's with the PG rating? There were numerous scenes with bare breasts and the F bomb being dropped occasionally as if it were just a pound of sugar (leave that one alone). There's no WAY I'd sit by while my children (if I had any) sat through that!

My mother the mobster

Mom: I was thinking, that someone should smash Alfredsson's knees.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

So I'm writing you this letter...

Dear God,

I know you know all things. That your ways are NOT my ways. I know that I shouldn't question you when things happen. But I can't help but ask why? What is the purpose? It seems that no matter how hard we work, people keep cancelling appointments with us. How are we supposed to ignite a fire or cast a vision to people if we can't even meet with them? How is the money supposed to come in? You said you own the cattle on a thousand hills. You've put a fire in our hearts to go to Tanzania but we won't be going if we don't get our support raised. And doesn't look like our support will be raised by the new year. I know you already know what our situation is, so please God, increase my faith. Implant in me a new hope. I feel down, discouraged and just plain sad. I know you've called me to this ministry. And I know that all things happen IN YOUR TIME. So please, I am waiting on You. Say to me what you said to the rose to make it unfold. Rain on me. Shine on me. Grow me. Make me into something beautiful. Something that reflects YOUR beauty and YOUR glory.

Your daughter,

Monday, November 28, 2005

Island life

You know when you are driving at night and you're the island?
Do you know what I mean?
It's when you can see lights in front of you and in your rear view mirror you can see lights behind you but they are both far away.
When you are bridging the gap between the "behind-you" cars and the "in-front-of-you" cars.
When you are the island in between the two mainlands of cars.
It's a cool feeling.
And if you drive slow enough, the "behind-you" cars will catch up and you'll soon be surrounded by other people in their cars driving to their individual and unique destinations.
I like being the island.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Unfailing Love - Reflections on a Chris Tomlin song

You have my heart
And I am Yours forever
You are my strength
God of grace and power

God you do have my heart, but it is so weak and frail and prone to wander. Thank you that you hold me in your love when I am falling down.
I thank you that I don't have to live on my strength. It's in your strength, God of grace and power that I can do all things!!!

And everything
You hold in Your hand
Still You make time for me
I can't understand

You! The God of the heavens and the earth, the God of millions of stars, galaxies, planets, glorious's YOU who holds me in YOUR hand! You make time for me! You care about what I'm feeling, you forgive me when I sin against your Holy name when I deserve to be blotted out.

Praise You God of Earth and sky
How beautiful is Your unfailing love
Unfailing love

Yes God, your love is beautiful. I thank you for it. You love me unfailingly...what a concept.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Winter Wonderland

I love snow. I love winter. How can you look outside, see a soft blanket of white covering everything and shake your fist at it? Ok, so I know that tons of winter-haters do this every day of winter, but I LOVE it! Done and done.
I prayed every day for 2 weeks when I was like 10 years old or something because I wanted snow and a week later (it was in January) we had snow like never before. Of course I felt this was something amazing (which it was) and so I shared this story at church as an answer to prayer. There weren't too many people loving me that night. But I did get a lot of offers to shovel their driveways...:D

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

How Great Is Our God!

Genesis 1:1, 16 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.
Psalm 8: 3-4 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
Psalm 147: 4-5 He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
-Thom­as Ken 1674

These pictures were taken by the Hubble Spacecraft in outer space. For more info or pictures check out

Monday, November 21, 2005


I love Danone's Silhouette Grapefruit & Green Tea water. Thank you to the lovely Tamsin for opening my eyes to the beauty of this water.
Mmmm! Delish!

The ball is rolling...

Thanks to those of you who have been praying for us in regards to support raising - don't stop! :D
This weekend we did a "blitz" and tried to get back on track and get that big, metal, ball of support raising rolling. And roll it did. I made almost 50 calls and over this week and a bit of next we have 9 appt's set up and I still have a bunch more people to call. Please pray for us for referrals as we are nearing the end of our contact list. If anyone knows of anyone who'd be interested in hearing about what Jamie and I do, PLEASE don't hesitate to get in contact with me.
God's showing and teaching me a lot and on the drive down to Kitchener, Jamie and I listened to a sermon by Miriam Charter on the great commission and the importance and command to make disciples. It was so CCC and so bang on to what we needed to hear (or at least what I needed to hear) to rev my engine and get me pumped for a support appointment. God's placed a passion in my heart to minister to women and build into them - and yet often I feel so inadequate for the job. I know He can use me and I know I have a part to do in learning and taking time to read and educate myself so that I can pass on information and life lessons and God's truth to others.
Something else that God has put on my heart is the intense desire to be mentored by an older woman who can build into me. It has been a really long time since I had that kind of relationship and I know that it's a godly desire. That will be something I will be praying about in the next little while.

Friday, November 18, 2005

One step closer...

As I was listening to U2's "How to dismantle an atomic bomb", the song, "One step closer" came on and as I listened I really identified with some of the lyrics in this valley of support raising.

I'm on an island at a busy intersection
I can't go forward, I can't turn back
Can't see the future
It's getting away from me
I just watch the tail lights glowing

One step closer to knowing

I guess with how the past month has gone, and the lack of momentum, it's just going to be so hard to get the ball rolling. It's like I've got this huge metal, iron ball in front of me, and if I can just get it rolling, things will pick up and it will be a whole lot easier to keep going. But it's just the whole problem of getting the ball rolling. I push and push and it's just so darned heavy!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Supersize Me

A couple of nights ago, Jamie and I sat down to watch "Super Size Me". I was both blown away and really disgusted. I mean, who doesn't know that fast food is bad for you? But I guess I just didn't realize how bad and how processed and pretty much poisonous for you it is.
Jamie and I both really liked the part where they had this guy talking about a group of people he was sitting near to at a restaurant. One person was berating another at the table for smoking and of course telling the person how bad it is for you, and yadda yadda yadda. Which it is. But what he noticed was that there was an extremely large woman also at the table. But it would have been entirely inappropriate for this person to then turn around and start berating the woman for eating so much and hurting her body with the bad food she was eating, etc. Being fat and overweight is completely acceptable in our society.
In the end, I was challenged to take a look at the food I eat. I don't really eat fast food that much, but I want to cut it out all together - and I want to start eating healthier foods, foods that haven't been processed and are all-natural. Unfortunately this means a definite spike in the size of the grocery bill.
Why is it that the healthier, all-natural foods are more expensive? By calling them "all-natural", does that not mean that they are doing less to the food? ie. not processing, putting crazy pesticides, etc. into the food?
I'm sure there is more to the story, but I'd actually like to watch that movie, like once a month so I can remind myself how important it is to a) stay in shape by exercising, and b) eat properly and healthily. (Is that a word?)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Christmas is coming...

I don't have a whole lot to blog about...except that I'm very excited to be approaching the Christmas season. I love the whole season. The decreasing temperatures, the snow, the Christmas songs in the malls, and I'll admit it, I love the whole commercial aspect to it as well. I love the baking, the relatives, the memories and buying presents for people.
This year will be sad as Jamie and I don't have our own place to decorate and celebrate in, but it's all for the best I guess.
And this year I'm hoping that all my cousins and I can get together and do Christmas together - a Cousins Christmas! I am pumped so I hope it works out. Games, food, drinks, movies...good times all 'round!
Much to look forward to and much to do in the meantime! :D

Friday, November 11, 2005

Coldplay - Square One

These lyrics struck a chord in me the other day (it's not the whole song, though):

You just want somebody listening to what you say
It doesn't matter who you are

Is there anybody out there who is lost and hurt and lonely too
But they're bleeding all your colours into one
And if you come undone as if you'd been run through
Some catapult it fired you
You wonder if your chance will ever come
And if you're stuck in square one.

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Treat pic 'o the month

This month's treat pic is Hershey's Cookies n Cream chocolate bar. In highschool I used to buy these all the time, break the bar into small pieces and the suck the chocolate until the cookie pieces were loose. Mmm...delish! Go out and enjoy one today!

I love recipes

I have this obsession with browsing online for new and exciting recipes. I love looking at recipes. I don't know where I got it from - my grandma maybe? - but, are two of my favourites. There are many more, but here is a little exciting recipe I came across:

3-Step Nanaimo Party Size Cheesecake
Prep Time: 10 min
Ready In: 3 h 50 min
Serves: 16

4 pkg (250g each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
3 Tbsp. (45 mL) Bird's Custard Powder
1 cup (250 mL) sugar
4 eggs
1 prepared, unbaked 13x9 in. (33x23 cm) crust, made with Oreo Baking Crumbs, prepare by doubling ingredient list on box, adding in 1/2 cup each chopped pecans and coconut
1/2 cup (125 mL) whipping cream
6 squares Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate

1 MIX cream cheese, custard powder and sugar with mixer until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until just blended.
2 POUR batter into prepared crust.
3 BAKE at 350°F (180°C) for 40 minutes or until centre is almost set. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Heat whipping cream and chocolate over low heat. Pour over chilled cheesecake.

And my favourite part about recipes is the picture...*drool*

Monday, November 7, 2005

He is Sovereign

This past weekend (as I mentionned before) I was in Bancroft for a retreat. It was a good retreat. It was filled with laughter (LOTS of it...I can't remember when I laughed so much and so hard!), a good amount of quiet time to spend with God and reflect upon Him and His goodness, time to catch up with some wonderful people that I don't usually spend a lot of time with.
God really met me there and spoke to me and I think it was undeniable that the Holy Spirit was working in the hearts of those who were there. He has been orchestrating this past weekend for a very long time so that in the 20-something group at Rexdale life change would occur and continue to occur and all the glory would go to Him.
I have been blessed, now I want to be a blessing.

Friday, November 4, 2005

sharing my heart

This evening Jamie and I head up to Bancroft to Joy Bible Camp for a retreat with Rexdale's NEXT> group. As I have gone about this day, I'm filled with a sense of anticipation, excitement and nervousness. I know that I don't really know any of the 20-something age group that well any more and so this is a time when I will have to put forth the energy it takes for me to go out, involve myself and meet new people. I do love meeting new people, but it is not completely natural for me to do so. I want to make some good connections and I am praying that God will bring some godly, amazing women into my life that I can minister to and be ministered to as well.
We are also doing an informal interview with Adrian (the wknd's speaker) on our ministry with CCC and how God has called us into full time missions. Here in Canada and possibly overseas in the future. I know this will also be a key time to meet some new contacts and help us seriously boost up our support so that we can finally get on campus.
I am feeling unworthy, untalented and unequipped - I know that God has and will continue to equip me to what He has called me to but I know that I will have to rely on His strength to remain joyful in a place of my own weakness and be a reflection of Christ.
I just have a feeling of ... anticipation about this weekend. For what God is going to do in the hearts of those who attend this weekend as well as in my own heart and Jamie's.
I would love to meet other Christian couples, but I think that it's a well-known fact that the 20 Something group is for Rexdale's hottest young singles. ;) It should be a fun weekend overall and I am looking forward to it - despite my weaknesses.

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

I'm a chicken

I hate scary movies! I have an overactive imagination that goes into overdrive once the lights are turned out...yipes...*shifty eyes*

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

funny typos

Don't you just love it when you're typing something and you totally type the wrong letter but then it ends up being something really funny?
I just wrote in an email "Thanks a log." For some reason that made me laugh out loud. It's too funny...thanks a log. heeheehee.
Let's just say I'm easily amused.

Monday, October 31, 2005

...and the two shall become one

Before I got married it used to disgust me when couples would say "we are doing this" or "we really loved such and such". I'm not sure why. I think it bothered me the most when it was couples who were only dating and not married yet. Probably because it always sounded to me like they were finding their identity in a relationship - which probably wasn't the case. It really, really bothered me and my friends would always laugh and make fun of me for it saying that soon enough I would slip into that. I guess because I am so stubbornly independant and want to be me and not "Vanessa and Jamie". But inevitably, I find myself saying "we" this and "we" that and ... it's not as bad as I thought it would be. It's kinda hard not to say it as Jamie and I seriously do pretty much everything together. Still, it was quite a shock when it just slipped out while writing a reply to someone's evite and I said that "we" had something else scheduled.
I guess it's true that the two really do become one. I think what worried me the most is that I would lose myself in this couple identity and that I would stop learning about who I was created to be and what my skills, talents, interests, passions, and quirks are. But that hasn't happened yet and as I continue to be that stubborn firecracker, I continue to learn about myself - and with marriage, more often than not, it's the faults and things that I'm not great at that I am confronted with. Perhaps that's because there are more faults than great things...not to say that I'm not a wonderful person - :D all I know is that I'll be learning and growing for the rest of my life. If I ever stop learning and growing it will be a sad, sad day.
So all that to say, I am quite happy to incorporate "we" into my daily life.
Especially because it involves this handsome fella.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

motivation such an aggrevation

I think I need to take a course or something. I'm bored and I'm not learning and I'm having trouble focussing. It's probably just an "off" week, but all week I've been so lazy, lethargic and just plain bored. I know that boredom is a bad thing and supposed to be a sign of something bad, but I can't help it. Support raising is HARD, we're nearing the end of our contact list and we still have another 20% to raise. *sigh* and *sigh* So I feel like a bit of a downer right now.
I know it will clear up...I think I just need to do something creative. Like take pictures. I really wish I was taking another photography course. I really enjoyed my last one at Humber.
I think I will start up on making some of my Christmas gifts.
Oh you know what I think it is? I need my own space. I'm getting cabin fever and I need my own place and space to do what I want. Privacy has never been a HUGE priority (ie. I've always felt the need to have an "open door" policy if you know what I mean) but I think as humans we ALL have at least a need for some sort of privacy.
Phew. This has been a rambling ranty entry that I haven't done in a while.
Oh and I bought the new Broken Social Scene CD as well as the Killers CD which I know isn't new but I've wanted it for over a year now.
That is all.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Something New!

I just started up a photo blog to only post pictures. Check it out if you are interested!


Over the last month or so, the topic of racism has been talked about and analysed and brought up over and over. So I have been dwelling on this topic quite a bit lately.
Yesterday I was browsing online and found this article/video clip of these two pre-teen twin sisters from the Southern US who are singing Nazi songs with the facade of cutesy folk tunes. It honestly made me sick to see it. They sing at White Supremicist rallys and they are very honest about their racist beliefs. One of the twins said that Hitler was a great man. The other one said that she didn't believe that over 6 million Jews were slaughtered. She said she didn't believe there were that many on the earth at the time. What? What on earth have you been brain-washed with? The brainwashing comes from their mother and grandfather who are both White Supremecists. The grandfather even brands his cattle with the swastika. What? How can a symbol that so much of the world shudders at the picture of, be something that this man feels completely comfortable branding on his cattle and even on the side of his truck?
Call me naive, but I had no idea that groups like that were tolerated. How can you get away with having public meetings to discuss how your race is better and even supreme over all other races? Promoting hatred and racism towards other cultures and races should be illegal.
Racism is something that I feel very, very strongly about and when I think about how rampant it is (especially in the US), I feel sick to my stomach. Growing up in Toronto and being white, yet being the minority in both my junior-middle school as well as my high school, it was very normal to have friends from many different countries and cultures. I'm so thankful for that experience and that childhood and I wouldn't have it any other way. I was educated in different cultures long before I ever took a "Cultures of the World" course or any other type of course that explores peoples of the world.
Toronto is one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world! You can find a restaurant that serves food from practically any country in the world, you can go to "Little Italy", Chinatown, explore areas that are Polish, Greek, German, Russian, West Indian, etc. Toronto has it's problems I'm sure, but there's no other place I'd rather be. How can a biracial child not be beautiful? How can a human life not be beautiful?
Racism comes down to ignorance, and ignorance is ugly - no matter if it does have blue eyes and blond hair.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Celebrations for a 24 year old.

Yesterday was the big 2-4 and despite skulking around like a hermit during most of the day, the evening definitely redeemed itself.
Jo and Shereen came in from London and then we met up with the rest of the gals at a pub in Bloor/West Village. And I had a great time! The Silliness Factor was up by at least 10 points and the laugh meter was off the charts. We had a really, really good time and I even did a shot of water. Ahem. Yes, it was all fun and games, really.
It was nice to chit and chat and a bit of "seat grooving" (where you just shake it up a bit whilst's really quite enjoyable). It was nice even though the service wasn't entirely up to par (hence the shot of water) but we were upstairs, relatively by ourselves and I enjoyed some delicious sweet potato fries - DELISH!
I had a fine time and thanks to the ladies that came out and made it the fun night that it was!
This morning, however, my dear mother put on an amazing spread for brunch. *insert tummy rumbling here* Everything from a cheese spread, sticky buns (my fav) yogurt, spinach dip with pumpernickel bread, fruit, cheesecake!, and a sweet sassy apple cake. MmmMmmMmm. I may just have to go over there later on tonight!
So all in all, it was a good one, a memorable one, a fun one. And it's all in what you make it.
24 always seemed old...but now that I've arrived it doesn't feel that old. I really only feel it when I've crossed my legs for awhile and go to stand up. Hello? Bones cracking anyone?
So bring on year # 25. I'm ready.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Blue Man Group - you should go!

Last night Tamsin took me to see Blue Man Group for my birthday. It.Was.Amazing. It was! I loved it. A combo of humour, weirdness and rhythmic collaborations. It's hard to describe, but it was literally like being in a dream - a really weird dream - and everyone else knows exactly what it was like. Everything from one guy throwing at least 20 marshmallows and the other catching them in his mouth - the Ultimate Chubby Bunny - to playing a drum beat on a plumbing pipe - to eating twinkies with a fork and knife (and involving an audience member) to being taught how to be a rock star, to playing classic rock songs on a bunch of pipes.
It was SOOOOOO much fun and thank you so much Tamsin!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Crusades

Yesterday I watched the movie, Kingdom of Heaven. It's a movie about the medieval crusades that I know I need to do much research on. But the whole movie (though I did fall asleep for about a half hour) seemed to have an over-arching sadness to it. What possessed these people to kill, slaughter and rape those who did not share the same beliefs as them? And throughout the movie those in authority kept saying over and over, "It is God's will for us to do such and such." Usually that such and such was killing, slaughtering or even initiating a war. What? God's will? How do you know? Are you coming before God in prayer, meditating on His word day and night and begging for peace and salvation for all? They were so misguided. It makes me so mad and so sad that Christians and Muslim's today have this huge gap between them because of these foolish crusades that happened hundreds and hundreds of years ago.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Our first apartment

Last night as I was lying in bed - the time when all my productive thinking occurs - I got to thinking about our apartment in Kitchener. It was our first apartment and I loved it. So I was thinking that I should write a blog about my memories there and things that I liked (and also disliked) about it. It probably will not interest anyone except for myself and possibly Jamie. But for posterity I am writing this blog anyway. (Oooh "posterity"....such a good word!)
One night last summer I woke up at around 5am to Stanley (our cat, see post entitled, "Stanley") running around and around our room, over our bed, in a pattern as if he were chasing the ceiling fan. I soon realized that there was a bat in our room. I immediately went into panic mode and wanted to hide under the covers while Jamie was trying to take the covers off so we could get out of there. It was a tramatizing experience and sometimes I think I hear that awful squeaking noise in the middle of the night. We still have no idea how it got in - but my theory is that it got in through the bathroom vents. *shrug*
Then there were the nights where Jamie and I stayed up past 2am doing a whole lot of nothing - so one night I decided to make mashed potatoes. I made enough to feed an army! But they were delicious! Another night I made peach cobbler. Some might say I'm crazy.
I loved having people over. Girls and guys! Jo and Shereen came over on a couple weekends. That was fun - the Spa place just down the street was amazing - choco fondue and some of those sweet mocha drink things.
I miss my kitchen. I miss my food processor (even though I used it, maybe a few times...but it's so cool and I know one day I'll use it!), my clean counters and floors. Even the oven that always burned everything. For some reason it was 200 degrees hotter than it should have been.
The sweet balconey where we often smoked cigars while sitting on those little stools from Cuba.
The door that you had to give a shove and lean against while you locked it.
Oh and those foolish hallway closets - the silly doors kept falling off. Annoying at the time, yet funny to think upon now.
My birthday party where I sulked at the end of the night because the guys wanted to watch something else - precisely why I am doing an all-girls birthday thing this year - where I think about 16 people slept over? Crazy.
Our sweet, sweet Zehrs where you could do your own check-out. I loved that.
Getting ridiculously snowed in during the winter. Crazy snow in Kitchener. And ice!
Going for walks around the neighbourhood and attempting to regularily go for runs.
I love our sweet, old black leather couches. They are scrappy, but sooo comfortable.
Opening the door in a dark apartment to see Stanley come running up with squinty "sleepy eyes" and do his double "meow".
My birthday indoor picnic that Jamie put on for me after work. Candles, a delicious meal and some fine, fine wine.
Having our families over for dinner or games or whatever. I loved making food and trying out new recipes in my kitchen. I've said it before, but I'll say it again - I miss my kitchen.
Those silly bathroom drawers - the bottom one was kinda mouldy. Ick.
Oh and how amazingly hot it got in there once the heater was fixed - at the beginning of November!!!
Lugging all our laundry up and downstairs - I don't miss that!
Our sweet landlord and his family. I only wish we coulda gotten to know them better.
I love that we never really heard our neighbours - only on summer nights when the kid a few apartments away would attempt to play the guitar. He was horrible.
How blessed we were - and still are.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Treat pic 'o the month

I've decided that every month I will feature a treat on my blog.
This month's treat is M&M Almonds! I love 'em! I love 'em! I had a large handful of them (thanks Erin) last week and I loves 'em! I loves 'em!
You should try them. It's like chocolate covered almonds - but better!!!

I took this picture on our way home from Montreal. I really like it - I'm not sure why. The cool clouds, driving into the's a road trip picture and I likes it.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

We win!

A happy couple after our Leafs win!

Trip to Montreal

Me & Jamie outside the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec for our birthday presents to each other.
The teams face off - it was incredible to see so many Leaf fans 6 hours away from home to support their team!
The final score - oh yeah, we won - much to the disappointment of those overconfident Montreal fans.
Celebrating the game-winning goal scored by Eric Lindros!
The (drunk and very mouthy) guy in front of us who bought a Habs flag so he could rest his feet on it - you can see it at the bottom of the picture!

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Revolutionary Online Life

I was just thinking the other weird it is that you can just go online and find photos about anything. People post their pictures online about their life, they journal online about their life, post private and intimate details of their life for the world to see. It's so weird because I find the North American culture ridiculously private. And yet we are obviously yearning for intimacy with people - so we post it online for millions to see. It's so strange.
I guess having experienced such an open culture in Tanzania where you could talk about most everything - your life, your family, your religion or faith and you could talk about it with anyone - even a stranger from Canada - it's just such a stark difference in Canada where you have to constantly be thinking of how you're going to transition from a "surface" conversation into something deeper. I think this online phenomenon just goes to show that people are looking to discuss the deeper things in life and specifically the deeper things that go on in their own life.
And I am just one of many.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


I was lying in bed last night thinking and the only thing going around my head was the song "Photograph" but Nickelback. Now I'm not a die-hard Nickelback fan, but I do like quite a few of their songs. This song, however has really resonated with me for some reason. Maybe because I really enjoy reminiscing about my childhood and growing up and looking at pictures. We were all so different then and life was so different then.
It's just about looking back on how things were and saying good-bye to the past and hello to what's to come and what is in the now.
All I know is that it gets stuck in my head for hours and when I hear it on the radio when I'm driving, I end up speeding because I'm belting out the song and I don't even realize it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


I have this love-hate relationship with sleep and more specifically sleeping in. I love to sleep in! I always have really good dreams AND it's also just a nice feeling to be lying in bed when you should be awake and dressed and doing something productive.
At the same time, I hate seeing the time on the clock past 9am and thinking about how much I could have been doing by now - the day goes by so much faster when you sleep in.
It's also a vicious circle. You sleep in. So you stay up later because you're not tired. So you sleep in because you stayed up so late. And so on and so forth.
But sleep.
It's truly a wonderful thing.

I stole this from Travis (

....Rules of the game: Post 5 Weird and Random facts about yourself, then at the end list the names of 5 people who are next in line to do this.

1. I love the feeling of having clean feet when I go to sleep.
2. I have a horrible sense of direction and yet still feel the need to blurt out suggestions or directions (and what I feel to be corrections) to Jamie when he is driving (despite his impeccable sense of direction - don't say I never said it, babe!)
3. Sometimes I pretend not to hear Jamie's questions so I don't have to answer them. (If you know Jamie, you'll understand that he asks 100x more questions than the average person - per day.)
4. I love it when people laugh at their own jokes - and when actors crack up on SNL.
5. I have an uncanny sense of smell.


Being Thankful

I am thankful for a house to live in (though not my own) while so many in New Orleans, India and many others all over the world are without what we so often take for granted.
I am thankful for my health; that I am not living daily with the pain of cancer, the limiting paraplegia, or even something as little as asthma.
I am thankful for my family; for my immediate and blood relatives as well as the wonderful in-laws I have married into. That I am welcomed by all and experience no shunning or rejection as do many all over the world for various reasons.

I am thankful for friends; my girlfriends whom I can laugh, cry, chat and vent to and know that they still love me even when they see my HUGE faults.
I am thankful for a car; to be able to get around when I need to despite the high prices of gas.
I am thankful for heat and warm clothes as we are going into the seasons when the weather gets colder and many homeless die on the streets of cities across the globe.
I am thankful for my husband Jamie; a man who loves God more than anything else and who loves me far more than I deserve.
I am thankful for my God; who chose me before I was formed in my mother's womb. Who made his light to shine in my heart and daily beckons me to Him with abounding mercy and grace. Who loves me far more than I deserve and yet calls me His daughter - even when I was the worst of sinners - that I am an heir with His own son, Jesus Christ who is everything my life is about.
I am thankful.

Saturday, October 8, 2005

Families are weird

Why are family functions destined to be full of mishaps and usually a few arguements?
I don't have the answer to that question, but looking back, as frustrating as it is at times, it's like watching a comedy. It's funny if it's not happening to you.
Do families like The Brady Bunch exist? And while I actually have never even seen the Brady Bunch, I would say, nope. Miscommunication is the cause of something like 90% of all arguements. People have higher expectations, or ideas of what they want to see happen or how they expect people should act. What would happen if we had no expectations? This blog is really not going anywhere...but I mostly just wanted to say that apple picking and visiting the grandparents with your family is a lot more complicated than it sounds!

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Good old fashioned fiction

Currently I'm reading a book called Redemption by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley. Last night I started it and after only 6 chapters I was bawling. I never cry when I read books. Watching movies, yes (and sometimes good Bell commercials), but never books. It's a story mainly about a husband and wife and how their marriage falls apart (due to infidelity) and how they want to fight to keep their marriage. It's so refreshing and heart-wrenching as there are just so many couples out there who have lost the will to fight. Who don't even know that people out there FIGHT for their marriages.
I read a quote recently by an actress who said that marriage shouldn't be hard work and if it is then you've married the wrong person. I disagree. I think you need to work very hard at marriage at times and especially as the "excitement" wears off. I think if you don't laugh in your marriage then you've probably married the wrong person - I guess I shouldn't say that but to me, it's HUGE to be able to laugh with my husband. It's a lot more than laughing, though. It's so much more on a physical, emotional, intellectual and highly spiritual level.
I know there will be rough times and hard times in my marriage (I'm going on two years - woohoo!) but I want to say that during those times, I fought to keep my marriage strong. I want to be like the couple I met at the bank who had been married for over 60 years who were so happy and so in love. I want to be like that!
I am so thankful that I married Jamie. He is so much of what I am not. He is patient and loving when I am short and spiteful. Our Pastor once said that "Marriage destroys the ego and enlargens the soul.". I have found this to be so true. More true as I open more of myself up to change from the inside out.
So...for those looking for a good Christian fictional novel, pick up Redemption (it's the first in a series!) and grab the Kleenex box!

Tuesday, October 4, 2005


I came into my bedroom to find my cat Stanley sitting like so. What an idiot. And he stayed like that for about 15 minutes. Jamie proceeded to take numerous pictures on my camera - film, not digital. What a guy. What a cat. What a lucky girl I am to have so much humour in my life.

Now that's some facial hair!

They actually have a World Beard and Moustache Championships. This guy entered into two different categories: Partial Beard and Freestyle.
Partial beard? I'd hate to see what a full beard looks like.
I wonder what his wife thinks.

Monday, October 3, 2005

Summit 2005

Heartfelt worship, LOUD cheering and songs from different universities, challenging messages, a Napoleon Dynamite spoof, cardboard boats and one crazy staff member zip-lining into a crowd of over 400 students were just a few of the things that happened at Summit 2005 and what made it even more exciting than any other Summit before it.
One of my favourite things about Summit is the competition between the different university campuses. There's Queens with the jacket slapping and typical song/cheer. There's the Toronto campuses (Ryerson, U of T and York) with their T-O chant. It gets in your head! Guelph and Mac's cheer worked together as they both were doing the "O-le, ole, ole, ole" chant. You know I was singing along.
I wished I were on campus by now. It's hard to be support raising, but I know in the end it'll get me where I desire so much to be. How lucky am I? I get to work with awesome staff who have a heart to change the world and build into student's lives and to literally transform our university campuses for Christ. The students are so passionate and on fire that it often puts me to shame in my passion and heart for this ministry. It's exciting, though. And I love it.
And then there's STINT. Short Term International. Ever since Jamie went to Tanzania the first time and then ever since we both went to Tanzania in May of this year, we've both had a desire to spend at least a year in Tanzania to help with the ministry at the University of Dar es Salaam. I know that this is something I want to do, but I'm having a hard time focussing on it as I'm focussing so much of my energies on just getting on campus here in Canada! But it was great to meet with the Tanz team at Summit and see the passion that God has placed on some of their hearts to do the same with Jamie and I.
I know this will be a long journey that God is going to take me on, but I'm almost scared to "go there". Especially in my mind and emotions. I guess missions is something I've always been open to, but never really had a clear heart for a particular part of the world. Until now. As one of our supporters said, "If you are open to missions overseas, then you should go. Most people are not even open to going anywhere. If you are open, God will use you and WILL send you." That really spoke to me. I guess I thought most people were at least open to going somewhere, but I guess that's not true. I know that the "travel bug" God put in me, was to lead me to eventually go into missions overseas. And that's really cool.
After this weekend, I was just so refreshed by the amazing and awesome worship and just had some intimate communion with my maker and the lover of my soul, Jesus Christ. I just got the new Chris Tomlin cd called Arriving. I recommend it to anyone looking for a worship CD of solid lyrics and sweet melodies (how's that for a review?!). There's one song that I just love and it's called "Mighty is the power of the cross" and I am always brought back to the simplicity of my faith and the extreme and absolute love Jesus displayed for me on the cross.

What can take a dying man and raise him up to life again?
What can heal a wounded soul?
What can make us white as snow?
What can fill the emptiness?
What can mend our brokenness?

Mighty, awesome, wonderful
Is the holy cross
Where the Lamb laid down His life
To lift us from the fall
Mighty is the power of the cross

What restores our faith in God?
What reveals the Father's love?
What can lead the wayward home?
What can melt a heart of stone?
What can free the guilty ones
What can save and overcome?

It's still a miracle to me
It's still a mystery
It's still a miracle to me
The power of God
For those who believe

In a world filled with brokenness, hurt and pain, praise Jesus that the power of the cross is enough to heal, comfort and welcome back the prodigal sons and daughters.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Shakin' things up

I love re-decorating. Or at least changing things and moving things around.
This afternoon Jamie, Erin, Olivia and I changed up the living room. It was in dire need of a face lift and we gave it one. We switched the couch from the kitchen (honestly, a kitchen with a couch in it?) to the living room and put the table in the living room into the kitchen. It's opened up the entire room and I love it. And it was like "While you were out", the decorating show on TLC that re-decorates a room with the help of someone while the owner is away from the home. When my mother-in-law came in the door I think she was a bit surprised, but she's learned to roll with the (weird) punches she gets living here at 4 Norgrove.
I seriously get HUGE satisfaction by seeing a clear and distinct change from the way things were at the beginning to how they are now. I love doing things that are hands on and I can just "get 'er done!".
But a thought just occured to me - where are we going to play poker now?
...insert shocked contemplation here...

Jelly Bellies

My very first posting on my new blogspot.
I left livejournal for this hip, happenin' space on the world wide web. So far, I'm disappointed and frustrated. I tried and tried to figure out how on earth to post a picture in my profile, but I just couldn't get it. I also think that blogspot is having issues with posting pictures in general right now so maybe I'll try 'er out tomorrow.
But if anyone knows how I'm supposed to get a picture in my profile...please let me know.
But anyway, apparently not everyone knows what a jelly belly is (aka, Jamie!). It's a delicious, smaller-than-usual jelly bean that comes in a plethora of delectable flavours - in reference to my blog URL, the green usually being green apple but could also mean: sour green apple, watermelon, sour watermelon, jalapeno, juicy pear, kiwi, margarita, lemon lime, mango (which is really yellow with green speckles and splotches) and believe it or not, grass and spinach.
The wonderful world of jelly bellies. It really is a Willy Wonka paradise.
If you don't believe me, check out for all flavour listings.
My LEAST favourite jelly bellies (taken only from the 50 original flavours) are:
  1. buttered popcorn - if I wanted to eat popcorn, I'd eat it. But I'm eating candy. I want a candy flavour. But I guess you could say the same for the other flavours; I dunno, to me it just tastes WRONG.
  2. peanut butter - yuck. I hate peanut butter. Or at least this jelly belly version of it. Normally I'm a big fan of the stuff...but not in a jelly bean.
  3. tied for 3rd is tutti frutti and sizzling cinnamon. Tutti frutti tastes so...plastic. I can't think of a better word to describe it. And sizzling cinnamon just sizzles my mouth right off. After that I can't taste some of the better jelly bellies to be had.

Sigh. I still have much to learn about the jelly belly business. I think it's time for some research.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...