Friday, April 30, 2010

Recommendations... please :)

A friend of mine showed me this quote years ago and it went something like this: Read the best books first.

On that note, I would like to hear any and all book, film and music recommendations that you can offer me. Please. :-)

Does anyone out there like Karen Kingsbury?
Does anyone like mysteries?

“When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.” -- Mark Twain
Does any like to read Cynthia Voigt? She wrote one of my favorite books entitled, “Jackaroo”.
What about Brock and Bodie Thoene?

And what about films? Period? Historical? Modern?
Some of my favorites are: Pride and Prejudice (1995; Jennifer Ehle), Pirates of the Carribean (Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom), The Cinderella Story (Hillary Duff), Amazing Grace (Ioan Gruffudd, Romola Garai, Benedict Cumberbatch), Fiddler on the Roof (Topol, Norma Crane, Leonard Frey) and Miss Potter (Renee Zellweger, Ewan MacGregor).

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April 27th Update with pictures

So the past few days have been very busy. I feel like I've been going non-stop since last Wednesday, when we went up to Swan River, MB for our braces appointment. I have this sneaking suspicion that it's not going to be slowing down anytime in the near future. :-)

I had a minor cardiac arrest on the 22nd. I had spent the entire morning, practicing, working on the program books, making sure all my notes were in place. I loaded things up going out the door and we were on our way. Just as we got to the long term care centre, I realized that the books were not beside me. A frantic search ensued which only showed us that the books were still at home... obediently sitting in their bag.

Of course, I then had to figure out what we could play without books. As it turns out, you can't think well when you're stressed out, so I had to get my heart working normal speed again. Lol! Between all of us that were playing, we managed to play enough songs from memory for 45 minutes worth of music. I was so happy. I didn't think we knew that much music. :-) :-)

So in spite of the panic, I am glad it happened. It means that we aren't stuck to our books and we can actually sound ok without them. Thank goodness though, it wasn't a real concert or show!

Yesterday morning, a woman called from the Mackenzie Training Centre in Preeceville to ask if we would play for the monthly b-day party they put on. We decided that we could, even though we hadn't practiced the past couple of days. Lydia and Zeke decided that they weren't going to come because it would wreck their day's activities. So we kind of survived without them and had a wonderful time. I love the spirit there.

It's a place for people who are mentally retarded. We've done one other show at a place similar to it but they were so dull. It was hard to be around them because everyone seemed so severe and sad. But this place was different. It was like a huge party. :-) They did the hand motions with the kids, danced on the fast tunes, sang and laughed with us. I made a blooper on one of the entros and had to replay it but the atmosphere was so easy that I didn't feel embarrassed at all. :-) They simply appreciated the music. It was so nice. :-)

Other than music, I've been writing a lot. Reviews of books, movies and music. So that's been keeping me very busy. Right now, I'm trying to read “the Forgotten Garden”. It's very nice so far. I love mysteries and I love Britain, so this fits the bill for me.

Does anyone like “The Princess Diaries”? They were pretty clean, I thought and I love Julie Andrews, period. :-) I love it when she sings.

We had another calf on Saturday. Lydia's Caresse had a huge heifer and they had to pull it. Thankfully, mama and baby seem fine. The heifer is named Lotte. Lydia's now milking in the mornings as well as Ellie and Martha. Peter and Gabi W. happened to be over at the time that Lotte was being born and Peter really wanted to get his hands dirty. :-) They had never seen a calf being born before... and it only takes having friends like the Holters to give you completely new (and perhaps a little bizarre) experiences. Hehe. ;-)

This morning, the director of the camp Hannah, Lydia and I are going to be teaching at called... he needs people to help him clean up the camp before it starts. Some kids he had set up for the job canceled. Anyways, it looks like we'll now be gone for the entire month of June as well as July and most of August. When he called, I told him that we would have to talk about it... kind of thinking that it wouldn't be something my sisters would want to do or my parents would want us to do (because that means we'll be gone for three months this year). But everyone was really gung-ho about it and I'm still catching my breath! Lol. It's going to be quite a summer!!

So if you think of us, please pray that we'll be a blessing to those we come in contact with. I sometimes feel very weak... not just physically. :-) But with God nothing is impossible.

Ladies Time Out is on the 30th and things are coming together. Please, please pray for that, too. I want it to be an evening that is so fun and full of goodness that everyone will come away with sweet memories.

My Grandparents should be arriving sometime this week, too. I am looking forward to seeing them so much! I just can't wait. :-) :-) :-)

Well, I'm going to be heading over to the neighbors after dinner so I should be posting this today. I hope you all have a wonderful week. God bless!

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Poppies in the Garden

The poppies in the garden, they all wear frocks of silk,
Some are purple, some are pink, and others white as milk,
Light, light for dancing in, for dancing when the breeze
Play a little two-step for the blossoms and the bees.
Fine, fine, for dancing in, frilly at the hem,
Oh, when I watch the poppies dance I long to dance like them!

The poppies in the garden have let their silk frocks fall
All about the border paths, but where are they at all?
Here a frill and there a flounce – a rag of silky red,
But not a poppy-girl is left – I think they went to bed.
Gone to bed and gone to sleep; and weary they must be,
For each has left her box of dreams upon the stem for me.

-- Frida Wolfe, 19th c. poet

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Blood Sisters -- Melody Carlson -- 2001

Blood Sisters

Melody Carlson

My Rating: 5 Stars

There are not many Christian novels that I can recommend, but I've read two of this author's books and was impressed with both of them. Plot, characters, spiritual lesson. It was all there and it was good.

Judith Blackwell is at the end of her hopes and dreams. Her son had died of cancer years before and more recently, her beloved husband had been killed when the small plane he was traveling in crashed in the mountains. She was alone and there was no reason to prolong a miserable existence.

Her fingers picked at the pills the doctor had given her. He had meant for her to take two at a time but Judith had other intentions in mind. She divided the pills into rows of ten and filled her glass with water. But just as she returned to the table, she saw that week's mail and out of habit, began sorting through it. She found the envelope. No return address; no letter. Simply a newspaper clipping of an obituary.

Jasmine was dead.

Jolted back to the land of the living, Judith's mind slips back to Cedar Crest and Jasmine. When they were young, the girls had listened to the story of Tom Sawyer and when they had heard the part about blood brothers, they immediately went out and pricked their forefingers, mixing their blood for eternity: blood sisters.

Something about this untimely death seemed unbelievable to Judith. Images of the young, merry, beautiful Jasmine dance through her head until she simply had to know more... and that was when she called Cousin Polly. Cousin Polly owns and runs a beauty salon in Cedar Crest and is probably the biggest gossip in town. She's also probably the jolliest, happy person Judith had ever known. But even with her reputation, Cousin Polly becomes reticent and cool when Jasmine's name is mentioned. No matter what Judith says, Cousin Polly is mum on the subject.

When Judith puts down the phone, she realizes that there is only one thing to do: go to Cedar Creek and discover the details of Jasmine's death for herself. But she isn't going there for herself. She's going for Jasmine... for the sister she never had.

What she finds shocks her.

What I Liked:
1: The story was well told. Lots of talent and experience there.
2: The romance. Pretty sweet... and pretty subtle.
3: The mystery. I like.
4: How difficult issues, such as racism and suicide, are addressed and the reader is made to think.
5: Judith realizes that she was never alone, even in her darkest moments. God was always there for her.
6: This story showed how people can come from all circumstances and find the grace to succeed at whatever God has in store for them.

Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19th, 2010

I apologize for the lack of edited/timed posts lately. I was in town the other day and the internet connection was not working at the library... which messed things up royally. Thankfully, I was able to get a bit of a connection at the Trade Show we played at later on. But I was in such a hurry that I wasn't able to date the posts, so all four or five appeared at once. I have been kicking myself every since then. Lol. Hopefully I didn't overwhelm ya'll with reading!

This morning, we practiced for our show on the 22nd. It's at the hospice... I have been dealing with the temptation of “they're all deaf anyways so our music doesn't need to be perfect” ... :-P These are times that I am glad I'm a perfectionist. Anyway, the practice went very smoothly, for all that was happening simultaneously.

Lydia: needed to do dishes.
Ellie: needed to go outside.
Hannah: flossing her teeth.
Naomi: trying to keep songs rolling smoothly.
Zeke: needed to do schoolwork.
Cilla: ditto
Uriah: wanted to go outside.
Ruth: ditto

We were just getting ready to begin when Cilla said to me, “Nomie! We need to pray!” ;-) :-) :-) I feel thankful that she, of all my siblings, would remember that we needed to do that.

Sara is back to normal. PTL! The day her fever broke, she had quite a rash so Mom put her in a soak for a couple hours. She fell fast asleep while Mom was holding her... and when she woke up, Mom unwrapped her and you could already tell that she felt better. It's so nice to have her laughing and smiling and obviously feeling 100%.

I've been reading a lot lately: Terri Blackstock's “Last Light” and Melody Carlson's “Blood Sisters”. The former wasn't a real favorite but it wasn't bad. Melody Carlson's book was wonderful. I'm pretty sure she wrote another of my favorites, “Finding Alice”. I love both stories. I'll post a review of “Blood Sisters”... it certainly hit a lot of issues that people sometimes don't care to talk about.

Yesterday in youth Sunday school, our pastor/Sunday school teacher taught us about the pride issue. It was interesting thinking how many ways we can be proud. Even about good things. It has made me do a lot of thinking yesterday and today. I think I'm going to have to look up the word in the Bible and make notes. :-)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Our Comforter

Mary stood in the shadow of the cross.

The Man who died on that cross was her Son.

From a human being's point of view, the life of Mary, mother of Jesus, was not one to be envied. As a girl, on the verge of womanhood, she was visited by an angel who told her she was with child by the Holy Ghost. She was betrothed to a good man, Joseph, whom I'm sure she respected, if not loved.

I wonder if she worried. I wonder if it was a struggle for her to simply trust in her Lord? What would Joseph do? What would her parents do? But God spoke again through his messenger Gabriel and Joseph took Mary as his wife... and claimed the baby as his by doing so. Can you imagine what their neighbors said? But Joseph and Mary believed.

Their lives forever tainted in the eyes of their countrymen.

There were those beautiful years when Jesus was growing up. A perfect human being for a son. Can you imagine? We don't know the details... in fact, I have a hard time even imaging what perfect is, in household life. Perhaps we have a glimpse when Jesus speaks to Martha about her sister when Martha complained that she had to do all of the work, while Mary sat at Jesus' feet and listened to him teach:

“Mary hath chosen the good part.”

And when Jesus left home. Imagine waiting for word about your son. Imagine knowing in your heart that someday, very soon, your son will die for the good of the entire world. Imagine keeping these things in your heart: knowing, waiting, pondering.

Our pastor preached a short message on Christ's death not long ago and he mentioned that if the family of Jesus had raised enough stink over him, the law demanded they set him free. But Mary said not one word. She let her son die.

Imagine having the faith and strength to do that. Even while your heart is breaking... and you are knowing pain as no other mother has.

I've been thinking about this a lot over the past few days and sometimes I think the essence of Jesus' life was uttered in one sentence.

When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, “Woman, behold thy son!” Then he saith to the disciple, “Behold thy mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

Of all people on earth, you would think these two would be the strongest, would have the most faith. Of all on earth, they had loved him most and known him best. But Jesus knew that each needed someone to comfort the other. And even while he was dying and in great pain himself, he didn't forget those he loved.

He did not leave them comfortless.

The past few days, I've been really struggling with some issues in my life. Fear, desire... the feeling of a certain emptiness in my heart... wondering if God will ever see fit to fill it. But over the clamoring voices of my struggling, God's voice is always strongest.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.

...and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Remember in your darkest moments to look for God. As with His mother and friend, He will not leave you comfortless as you walk the dark valleys or reach the mountaintop. Over and over again, He is faithful and ever will be.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pattern please! ;) :)

Our neighbor (the same one who let us borrow her grandmother's hats!) sent us a box of clothing for Ladies Time Out. In the box, there was this wonderful dress that I promptly fell in love with. You just don't find clothing like this anymore!

I wasn't crazy about the skirt but I love the bodice. Seriously, I have never felt so comfortable in my life. It's fitted, but just so that it looks very feminine... ever put on a dress/top and felt like you were on the verge of being immodest? That's me. Usually, when I dress up, I feel either frumpy or immodest. This was delightfully in-between those two points... perfection. :-)

Does anyone know where I can get a pattern for this dress? There were no tags in it so I assume it's homemade. If you know where I could get a pattern like this, please let me know. I really would like to duplicate the bodice... Thanks! :-)

Note: I did add more pictures to this post, as you well know by now. ;-)

Ladies Time Out 2010

Ya'll have seen mention of Ladies Time Out and I wanted to share some information with you, in case anyone in the area wants to attend. :-)

All you Dolls and Chics are invited to
get in your chevy and cruise on over
Endeavour School Community Complex
April 30, 2010
7:30 pm
Endeavour Ladies Time Out is

“Gonna Take A Sentimental Journey”.

There will be “moments to remember” when we
sing-a-long to the oldies and see how
“the times they are changin'” in fashion.

“Music! Music! Music!” by Jessica Young from Weekes, SK

Caroline Vanee from Saskatoon will be sharing inspirational thoughts about
the real “Book of Love”.

So invite all of your friends and leave “Johnny B. Goode” at home!

Feel free to dress in “a white sports coat and a pink carnation” or any
other 1950 “threads”!

Tickets are available until April 26th at
Sears/Xcessories by Kerry, Preeceville
Endeavour Store
Carol Steppan 547-4268


I'm really looking forward to this event... the ladies really put a lot of time and effort to pull this thing off and I think it's going to be spectacular. :-)

For those of you who are prayer warriors, please pray that we will be protected and surrounded by God.. and that everyone who comes will be blessed and spiritually challenged.

I'll for sure post pictures when I get them. :-)

Miss Potter -- movie review

Miss Potter

Rated PG brief mild language
My Rating: 5 Stars

Renee Zellweger
Ewan McGregor
Bill Paterson
Emily Watson

The other evening, the teenagers were at youth, the younger set were tucked in bed and we had company to occupy my dad, so Mom and I settled on the couch and watched “Miss Potter”. I had watched it a couple times but Mom hadn't seen it before and it was a pleasure to share one of my favorite films with her. It was an even greater pleasure to have her to myself for a entire hour and a half. I am the oldest of 11 children, the youngest being a year old. If you can imagine our household, you'll know what a rare thing this opportunity was. :-)

On my mental list of movies, Miss Potter ranks right up with Fiddler on the Roof (which is #1 :-)). I love the detail. I love the story. I love the scenery. I love Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor. I love how clean this film is. I love how I can recommend it to anyone. Okay. I admit it. I love everything about this film!

Sheltered artist Beatrix Potter is single (:gasp:), in her early thirties (:gasp:) and hasn't any desire to marry at all. (:faints:) In fact, all she wants to do is publish her illustrated story, Peter Rabbit. Beatrix's father enjoys her art (he wanted to be an artist when he was younger) and compliments her on it, but does nothing to help her along to her goal. Her mother, on the other hand, thinks that anything Beatrix does, besides getting married, is foolishness.

So when Beatrix gets her book published, in spite of all obstacles, and begins spending more and more time at her publisher's office, said mother is less than pleased. And when Beatrix invites her publisher, Mr. Norman Warne (Ewan McGregor) and his sister Miss Millie Warne (Emily Watson), to the Potter's annual Christmas party, her mother was horrified. But she would have been even more horrified had she known about the romance budding between her daughter and her publisher.

But the rose is slowly unfurling her petals and the beauty of womanhood is upon Miss Potter. Romance has a way of making life never be the same again.

What I Liked:
1: Renee Zellweger.
2: The painting... picking brushes, mixing colors, selecting paper, experimenting with colors...
3: Mr. Potter's wisdom in letting Beatrix mature (at last) and go.
4: The romance. I love how Beatrix and Norman fall in love.
5: Millie Warne. I love her. She is so endearing and sweet. “Hogwash!” ;-)
6: The veritable black crows... Fruing (David Bamber) and Harold Warne (Anton Lesser).
7: Norman Warne. I'd marry a guy like that character.
8: How rich this movie is on all counts. It delights the senses.
9: Miss Wiggin (Matyelok Gibbs). She is so prim and proper... the type of old maid society was turning out. She was actually the most most comedic part of the film. Well done.
10: The score is lovely. Probably the most beautiful I've ever heard. I love the reoccurring theme, “Teach Me How to Dance”.

This film is more of a girl's film because of the romance and 'gentle' quality to it, but I highly recommend for anyone. I wish there were many other films with this quality.

Maidenhood -- Longfellow

Maiden! With the meek, brown eyes,
In whose orbs a shadow lies
Like the dusk in evening skies!

Thou whose locks outshine the sun,
Golden tresses, wreathed in one,
As the braided streamlets run!

Standing with reluctant feet,
Where the brook and river meet,
Womanhood and childhood fleet!

Gazing, with a timid glance,
On the brooklet's swift advance,
On the river's broad expanse!

Deep and still, that gliding stream
Beautiful to thee must seem,
As the river of a dream.

Then why pause with indecision,
When bright angels in thy vision
Beckon thee to fields Elysian?

Seest thou shadows sailing by,
As the dove, with startled eye
Sees the falcon's shadow fly?

Hearest thou voices on the shore,
That our ears perceive no more,
Deafened by the cataract's roar?

Oh, thou child of many prayers!
Life hath quicksands, Life hath snares!
Care and age come unawares!

Like the swell of some sweet tune
Morning rises into noon,
May glides onward into June.

Childhood is the bough, where slumbered
Birds and blossoms many numbered;--
Age, that bough with snows encumbered.

Gather, then, each flower that grows,
When the young heart overflows,
To embalm that tent of snows.

Bear a lily in thy hand;
Gates of brass cannot withstand
One touch of that magic wand.

Bear through sorrow, wrong and ruth
In thy heart the dew of youth,
On thy lips the smile of truth.

O, that dew, like balm, shall steal
Into wounds, that cannot heal
Even as sleep our eyes doth seal;

And that smile, like sunshine, dart
Into many a sunless heart,
For a smile of God thou art.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Talent Show -- April 11th

April 11th
Club 60
Preeceville, SK

When we were asked to participate in the talent show Club 60 was putting on for the community, of course we said yes. I like talent shows. They're fun. The audience is usually wonderful and, especially in small town Saskatchewan, supportive of anyone who comes onstage. You feel like you're just jamming in front of a group of friends. :-)

The Woodland Chorus -- wonderful singers!

There were nine other participates, among them Mark Dolton (singer), the Kosheluk family (musicians), The Woodland Chorus (old-tyme singers), Andrew Meroniuk (fiddler), Anhelina Havrylyuk (singer), Stella Holmes & Alina Havrylyuk (musicians/singers) and William Brown.

While picking music for this event, I knew right away what one of them would be. “The Old Rugged Cross” with Ellie on the fiddle, Hannah on the banjo, Lydia on Guitar and myself on piano makes for a unique and beautiful sound. I never thought a fiddle and banjo combination on this song would sound so nice. But it does. :-)

The K kids

Stella Holmes, who had helped organize the event, asked us to do a folk song. Until around six days before the event, I was stumped... we don't know many folk songs and... even fewer that we sing well. But we were looking through an old fiddle/folk/cowboy song book and found “Red River Valley”. I tried it on the piano and found that it had potential. Was I ever relieved! I had been praying very hard...

What was left was solved by Ellie and Ruth. Ellie figured out a fiddle medley that sounded great and that she and Zeke could both play on. Then, Ruth came to me, asking if we could do “I've Got the Joy”. We've done that song a million and one times but the kids still love it and the audience still loves it. In fact, after doing Club 60, a woman came up to me and asked if we would perform that song at their Cornfest in September at Okla. :-) I guess it's a hit.

Willie J., our mc of the afternoon and Hannah. He asked to sing the chorus of The Old Rugged Cross with us... after we'd finished the song. It was an honor to say yes. :-)

The time of practicing was an interesting experience. Some of you might remember my blog post awhile back about praying before each practice. Well, I must say that I had forgotten to pray the first couple of days and things were not going nicely. In fact, it was so stressful that we were all dreading practice times and I knew that our playing and singing were also being effected by the stress. So I decided that no matter what (God, please remind me!), I was going to pray before each practice time and really trust that He was going to take care of things. He did. :-)

The show went very well. We had put the songs together so we had lots of variety. Each song had a different group of people playing:

Fiddle Medley:
Joys of Quebec/Chinese Breakdown/Redwing

Zeke (fiddle)
Ellie (fiddle)
Hannah (banjo)
Lydia (guitar)
Naomi (piano)

The Old Rugged Cross:

Naomi (piano/singing)
Hannah (banjo/singing)
Ellie (fiddle)
Lydia (guitar)

Red River Valley:

Martha (singing harmony)
Hannah (singing melody)
Naomi (singing melody)
Ellie (fiddle)
Lydia (guitar)

I've Got the Joy:

Ruth (singing)
Uriah (singing)
Cilla (singing)
Lydia (guitar)
Ellie (fiddle)
Hannah (singing)
Naomi (singing)

Anhelina H.

Alina H.

The way the show was put together was ushers would pass ice-cream (4 litre) buckets down the aisles and people would say which performer they were donating money to. The performer with the highest amount of money raised was declared the winner. The three top money garners would receive 10% of the money they raised. 50% of the money went to the hospital, while the other 40% went for expenses.

The winners were thusly:
1: Kosheluk Family
2: Holter Family
3: Anhelina Havrylyuk

We were all thrilled to pieces to win 2nd place. :-) It was quite a surprise! Our 10% came to $18, so we get $2.25 apiece. Cilla was literally hugging herself in excitement... “This is the first time I've ever won anything! ...[thinks for a moment]... well, except for that halter I won.” (That happened 4 years ago... when she was 4 years old, but still a red-letter memory. :-))

Anyway, I just wanted to share the excitement with ya'll. If this post is boring to you, go ahead and skip it, now that you're finished. :-) :-)

Has anyone else out there competed with music? Family group or otherwise? What are some of your best memories with music? What are some of your favorite family groups to listen to?

Monday, April 12, 2010


Please pray for Sara as she is teething. She's having a terrible time with it. Fever. Stomach upset. Just feeling plain rotten. :(

Friday, April 9, 2010

Dress-up and Old Hats

What is it about girls and dress-up? Little girls carrying purses as big as they are, sporting long dresses that fall off at both shoulders and whose hems are tripped over each step, even though the young wearer uses her free hand to hold up one side.

It's beautiful, really. And I'm not the only one who has thought so. I remember reading Grandma's Attic and Little Women, wishing I had the same selection of shawls, lovely gowns and fans... even the corsets sounded like great fun. And we haven't gotten to the hoops. Who of Arleta Richardson's readers doesn't remember Sarah Jane and Mabel's adventures with the old hoops they found in one of their attics? I vividly remember my Mom reading that story out loud to us for the first time because she laughed so hard while reading it that she had tears running down her face. :-)

But it isn't only the authors who have immortalized little girls dressing up, many artists have captured the innocent fun and glory of the brief time we have as children. And for most of us, some of that time is parading around in Mom's or Grandma's old clothes. Scattering shoes as we go and getting our trains stuck as we go around a corner.

[Note to newer mothers: never let dress-up girls around anything that's glass. The girls are innocent but the clothes have a mean sense of humor.]

Norman Rockwell and Paula Vaughn are two artists I especially think of when the words “dress-up” come to mind. Both artists' work is excellent but in different ways: Norman Rockwell caught the innocence and the humor of it; Paula Vaughn caught the dreaminess, sweetness and beauty. Both understood how vital dress-up is for little girls... and boys, in some cases. :-)

Now me, well, I'm still not quite an adult. I haven't got that solemn, mature aura that exudes from those fortunate beings. No... not really, I'm afraid. I'm quite in love with dressing up and I've just had a wee bit of a taste of how in love I am.

You've heard me mention “Ladies Time Out”, an outreach of our church for ladies in the neighborhood. This year, it's about the 50's and people from our church are all trying to scrounge for everything they have from that era. (My Grandma is bringing her wedding dress!) I was talking to our neighbor about it and she said that her grandmother saved everything she ever wore. Instantly, I was all ears.

1: How does anybody do that? [When I'm finished wearing something, it's because it's falling apart at the seams.]
2: Could I please borrow anything she might have had from the 50's?

Our neighbor said, of course and just recently, she sent over a bagful of lovely hats. I am in heaven. :-D And so are my little sisters and one of my brothers (Hannah, Ellie, Lydia and Martha are excluded from that number, being inducted into the grown-up sphere long ago) (Jesse and Zeke... well, what can I say?). This morning, I decided that Ruth, Uriah and I were going to have a photo shoot with these hats just in case there is someone else out there who likes them as much as we do. I have two I especially like... a cream one (my favorite) and a black velvet one.

Most of these hats, to my surprise, were made to be worn resting on top of a bun or twist. I find that charming... I hadn't thought of hats being made that way since the early 1900's. I love wearing these hats. The way they shape to the head, with the netting daintily falling over over the eyes and gently brushing the bridge of my nose makes me feel very feminine. The hats of this time are also very demure. I've never cared for hats that have huge brims... for all of their usefulness in keeping the sun off, they simply scream, “Look at me!” But the 50's hats, if worn with the proper apparel, allows the wearer to feel attractive but not as if she were the attraction.

We took some of our pictures downstairs, then Ri and Ruth went outside to play, so I decided to go upstairs and use a mirror to help me take some self photographs. Lydia has a junk fan in her room that lets the air be circulated. It's so wimpy that it isn't a problem... usually. I've always gone around it before but this time, with my arms full of hats and camera, I got tangled up in it. I stopped the fan and me. It shredded the deluxe President's Choice white plastic bag I had the hats in and somehow almost broke my big toe. I'm still not sure what happened, other than my toe still hurts and by the time I finally managed to make it upstairs (I hate those stairs!) I was crying/laughing because 1: it hurt so bad and 2: it was so ridiculous. Pure Naomi. You do not want to be me. Lol!

[Note to self: when arms are full and in vicinity of fan, refrain from going about stocking-footed on cement floor.]

But I recovered sufficiently to pose and take pictures of myself. The fact that none of them are phenomenal shots can be blamed on my suffering member. Aren't the hats darling though? :-)

Does anyone have a favorite era of hats? Do you get to wear hats on a regular basis? Can you order hats new from somewhere or do they all come from our grandmother's attics? Does anyone else out there over the age of 20 like to play dress-up? :-) :-)

Now, I must digress. If it wasn't for the fact that I have so many young siblings who love to dress-up, it wouldn't be half so much fun for me to act immature. :-) But I'm so glad I have I have a chance to have fun like this. Not many people have been given the gift I have been given: 10 brothers and sisters who love me in spite of me. :-)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

True Canadian Home Conversation

Mom: “If you want to play Hockey, you'll have to leave the table.”

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

God, Thou Art Love

The other day, I was feeling so down about myself. Right in the middle of all the turmoil of discouragement and self pity :-), God brought this poem to me and what an encouragement it has been the past week or so.

God, Thou Art Love

If I forget,
Yet God remembers! If these hands of mine
Cease from their clinging, yet the hands divine
Hold me so firmly that I cannot fall;
And if sometime I am too tired to call
For Him to help me, then He reads the prayer
Unspoken in my heart, and lifts my care.

I dare not fear, since certainly I know
That I am in God's keeping, shielded so
From all that else would harm, and in the hour
Of stern temptation strengthened by His Power;
I tread no path in life, bear no pain, alone:
My soul a calm, sure hiding-place has found:
The everlasting arms my life surrounded.

God, Thou art love! I build my faith on that.
I know Thee who has kept my path, and made
Light for me in the darkness, tempering sorrow
So that it reached me like a solemn joy;
It were too strange that I should doubt Thy love.

--Robert Browning

Monday, April 5, 2010

April 2nd update with pictures. :-)

April 2nd, 2010

I intended to post this last week but as it turns out, a farmer driving through Preeceville caught a power pole on his seeder and snapped it off. So there was a power outage for several hours, in which, people at the library were tsking and murmuring about farmers who don't watch where they're going. Lol. I guess you can tell that Spring has arrived early in SK.

But I'm not holding my breath! We could still get dumped with snow. However, I am so thankful and happy for the warm weather. It's wonderful...

Sara is walking. This evening she walked the whole length of the living room. Everyone is applauding, cheering and making a general uproar over the new accomplishment. She's really cute. :-) It's fun watching her pitter-patter across the floor, enjoying the new found freedom and... (shall we say it?!) speed.

It's hard to believe that she's over a year old already. I remember last year at this time... we were just getting used to having a new baby around. She was so tiny and perfect (she's still perfect ;-)). I remember that her fingers were so fine that they were almost transparent.

Now she's laughing, walking, growing up so fast. She's not much of a baby anymore. I'm sounding ancient... and a little sad. How quickly time flies. How little I truly appreciate each day spent with her.

Btw, if my spelling starts looking like I'm under water, I am not. I just have the hiccups. They came on very suddenly and at full ::hic:: force.

Today I was reading in The Works of Robert Browning and found a poem about him reading a book he found not to be his liking. This particular piece of literature had been a “book in its time” but nevertheless, out of disgust, he tossed it into a hole in the trunk of plum-tree that had rain water in it. Then, he went to the house, brought out sustenance (bread, cheese, beverage) and his favorite book and forgot all about the poor book in the tree, slowly sinking into it's puddle. The next morning, however, he spotted a web of a spider across the opening of the tree and felt a prick of conscience. Out came the rake and he fished our unfortunate friend from it's watery grave where the “mother-beetles and father-efts” were wreaking havoc on it's besmeared pages and blistered binding.

I found this poem so endearing because I found it so... human. It makes Robert Browning seem more normal than a genius who's poems are and have been loved for over a century.

Robert Browning writes in such a fashion that even just a few words out of a poem are enough to convey what he expresses:

“Was it love or praise?
Speech half-asleep or song half-awake?”
(Garden Fancies – The Flower's Name)

“All I know
Of a certain star
Is, it can throw
(Like the angled spar)
Now a dart of red,
Now a dart of blue;
Till my friends have said
They would fain see, too,
My star that dartles the red and the blue!
Then it stops like a bird; like a flower, hangs unfurled:
They must solace themselves with the Saturn above it.
What matter to me if their star is a world?
Mine has opened its soul to me; therefore I love it.”
(My Star)

“That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!”
(Home Thoughts, From Abroad)

The other day, I went out to look at our creek, which I suspected might be running but wasn't sure. It was and it was very full, indeed. :-) I love the sound of running water! Of course, I had Lydia's camera along so I took quite a few pictures of the creek, melting snow, leaves, moss, etc. It is difficult at times to catch on film what you see with your eyes. For some reason, it just doesn't look the same on film. But I did manage to get some pictures that I liked, so I was happy. :-)

I read Clive Cussler's “Sahara” yesterday... I really enjoyed it. The story in the book is different than the movie but I didn't mind that they changed the movie. What is fine in a book is sometimes impossible to produce on screen without wrecking the essence of the story. Both were excellent, though the movie is for a younger audience.

Martha on up to Hannah are taking the hunting safety course in Preeceville. Our pastor is the assistant teacher and catches (or gives them) a ride to and from town, so they come home with lots of great stories to regal us with.
For instance, Brad gets into the van saying earnestly to Dad, “So last night I got chased by three cougars.”
Dad threw him an appalled look, “Whoa!”
Brad said, “Well, in my dream.”

It's fun watching the kids studying their books and writing things down and quizzing each other about gun parts, different types of firearms, accident scenarios, how to load and hold guns, etc, etc. I don't think you can ever be too careful with guns or hunting. A few months ago at church, someone asked prayer for a family they knew... a guy had shot and killed his best friend while hunting. I can't imagine having to live with that grief for the rest of your life. I can't imagine how it would be for the family of the deceased, either.

Which brings to mind an (much happier) incident that happened at church last Sunday. Our pastor always has the kids come to the front of the church for a quick lesson before he starts the sermon and this morning he was talking about people dying and how when we have Jesus... About that time, a four year old boy spoke up, saying, “My Grandpa died. But he believed in Jesus and he's in Heaven and he's alive again!” It gave me such a glimpse into the faith of a little child that the Bible speaks of... I almost got tears in my eyes.