Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Here's a not at all original idea that I believe I first learned of in Kindergarten. The 'poem' using the first letter of a word. (clever - eh?) So in the spirit of giving thanks and as we are learning to celebrate Thanksgiving in November(American) instead of October(Canadian) - here are a few things I am thankful for:

T - Time - spent in fun with family and friends and also spent in work and raising children - I'm thankful for the time I have.

H - Hannah - our sweet and sassy girl. I'm thankful for her good health and sharp mind, her quick wit and generous heart, her loving kindness to her brother and her spirit of independence.

A - Apples- my favorite fruit at my favorite time of year. I'm thankful for good food and abundance.

N - Nathaniel - our loving, cuddly boy. I'm thankful for his sound body and mending spirit, his silly jokes and infectious giggle, his gentle adoration of his sister and his all-boy energy.

K - our Kitties - though they drive me mad at times I am thankful for for the sweet joy and silly antics they bring to our family.

S - Spouse - this should be its own blog. I am thankful for having such a partner and friend in this crazy life - I would be lost without him!

G - Girlfriends - I am so, so blessed to have so many wonderful and caring friends. There is nothing so sweet as having girlfriends to share laughs, complaints and comforts with. I am thankful that my cup overflows in this area!

I - Invitations - to spend time with friends where we can share of ourselves and grow from the fellowship. (Plus every time I get an invitation it makes me feel like a popular kid again!) I am thankful to be invited.

V - Votes - although I cant vote in the US, I am grateful for the process. I'm thankful for the chance each of us has to voice our opinion.

I - Inspiration. I could not think of anything to be thankful for that starts with another I . . . helpful though my husband's suggestion of irregation was . . . I am thankful for the inspiration to write, and create and perform.

N - November - after growing up in the cold and snow of Canada's winters (that often start around Halloween), I love the fact that November in the Northwest is still painted with the reds and oranges and yellows of falling leaves. I'm thankful for the beauty of my corner of the world.

G - God - our Father from whom all blessing flow - may I continue to grow in your Love all the days of my life. I am thankful to be your loving child.


So you've heard me blog about Nathaniel a couple of times. (It's true that when one child in the house has special needs the focus tends to shift there more often.) In light of that I am going to devote this entire blog to my other special child - Hannah.

Hannah is entering that mystical pre-adolescent age when everything begins to change. At (almost) 11 she is growing up - not quite full kid - not quite full teen. It's a weird time. She is moody, challenging, wilful, independent, spirited and emotional. (wait a minute I just described her at 2, 5 and 7 as well!!)

She is also a gifted child. She is incredibly bright, has a tremendous talent for singing and acting, loves to read and write and is a very, very, kind-hearted and responsible kid.

Here are some of the things she is busy with right now: Excel program at school (advanced learning for gifted kids), All Star Choir at school, Orchestra at school (she is learning the cello - good choice!) Kids Choir and Kids for Christ Club at church, gymnastics, theater (as often as she can get it) and writing.

Hannah's biggest dream is to be a writer - and she is well on her way. She keeps about 7 journals, has written nearly a half a dozen plays, countless short stories and is working on her second 'novel'. None of these are published of course - unless you count in the school library. And while she is frustrated that kid authors do not get recognized - she has already won two literacy awards at school - way to go kiddo, we love you!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Martial Arts

Martial Arts was suggested to us by one of Nathaniel's doctors as an effective treatment of Anxiety, Depression and PTSD. (our poor baby!)

My sister had a good experience with TaeKwonDo and Eric's sister is a Black Belt in Kung Foo. I was a bit sceptical at first but I figured if Thaniel learned some discipline and self-defence then I was all for it. I was expecting it to be like other kid's sports a bit of fun and exercise a couple of times a week. How wrong I was - TaeKwonDo is really a lifestyle - and one that meshes well with our families beliefs and convictions.

Here are the "Family Rules" that all TaeKwondo participants are encouraged to live by:
1) Be obedient to my Parents
2) Be repsectful to my Parents
3) Be faithful to my Spouse
4) Be respectful to my Brothers and Sisters
5) Be faithful to my Friends

We have seen amazing gains in Thaniel's confidence, self assurance, and obedience. For that we are truly grateful and excited. He has just completed his ORANGE belt test and has hopes to go on to his Black belt. And while we realize that martial arts is not a replacement for God and Faith it does walk hand in hand with some other family rules we have:

"So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the Law and the prophets." (Matthew 7:12 RSV)

"Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back." (Luke 6:36-38 RSV)

"Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12)

"The Commandments, "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, "You shall love your neighbour as yourself." Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the Law." (Romans 13:9-10 RSV)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

You MAKE me feel . . .

Lately I've been hearing a lot of grumbling about being MADE to do things. My kids complain when I make them clean their rooms or make them finish their homework. And I expect this - I did my fair share of grumbling when I was a kid too!

But more disturbing to me is the attitude that one can make another feel a certain way. You make me feel angry, you make me feel sad, you make me feel guilty. (And no - these aren't coming from my kids!)

It is really shocking how little responsibility we sometimes take for our own thoughts and feelings! As Eleanor Roosevelt reminds us "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission" (italics mine). And its so true.

We all can relate to having that person (or persons) who seem to rub us the wrong way. They have a way of saying things that is offensive, gets under our skin or hits a little too close to home. I still struggle sometimes with people like this. I still bite my tongue to keep from lashing out - I don't know if I will ever will really stop letting their words and actions affect me!

My friend Carla always reminds me - it is only 10% what happens to us in this life but 90% how we respond. This has been put to the test for me in some real and painfully devastating ways in the last couple of years - with my mom's cancer - with my struggle to accept loved ones choices - with the abuse of my sweet, sweet, little boy (and the long and painful aftermath). But I do know that I CHOOSE MY FEELINGS. I CHOOSE HOW MUCH I LET IT AFFECT ME. I CHOOSE HOW I RESPOND. No one else chooses for me - no one makes me feel anything. Not anger, resentment, inferiority or guilt.

It really is how we perceive and believe what happens around us - the snide comments, the grating gossip, the nasty emails, the pointed looks, the annoying habits. And while Ms. Roosevelt gave us something to consider - here is one I like even more:

"It is done unto you as you believe." - Matthew 9:29

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My old friend


has been paying me visits more frequently lately.

Some people don't understand that I don't invite him in - I tell him he is not wanted. I tell myself tonight I will have a great sleep! Tonight I will best this thing that hovers . . . I drink some wine so he can see I am very sleepy after all . . . but like a guest who stays too long

he doesn't take the hint.

He will wait - while I try to read, while I turn out the light, when I toss and turn, when I flip the pillow to the cool side, when I listen to the bumps in the night. when I concentrate on breathing, when I force my eyes to close and calm my heart, when I get up to use the bathroom, when I sigh loudly, when I check the clock again and again

and again . . .

and it's already tomorrow . . .


Thursday, November 6, 2008

okay now that I'm a blogger . . .

So my brother Ken asked me how I was enjoying being a blogger. I wasn't sure what to tell him so I thought I'd just blog about it instead! (so Ken here is your answer) I'm still really new to the blogging world and also never having kept a journal (except one in grade nine devoted entirely to a boy named Luke) I've discovered a few things.

Bloggers are all the same. Bloggers are all completely different. Deep huh? I'll expound:

Every blogger writes because at some level they love to put things down on paper. For me I wasn't much of a writer - unless you count lists. I love to make lists. I make lists on just about everything. I suppose if you gathered all my lists up they would make their own kind of journal. At any rate all bloggers are the same in that they are writers - at least to some extent they think on paper.

Every blogger is completely different. Some, like my aforementioned brother Ken, are deep and insightful while remaining humorous and relate-able (I think its a occupational coincidence). Or like my friend Dana, who is an excellent writer, who has something to 'say' that is thought-provoking and thoughtful in each of her posts. (both of their blogs are linked here on my page - by the way and I highly recommend them!) Some bloggers give daily accounts - today I bought milk, heres what my bathroom looks like with the new paint, I dyed my hair etc . . .

Most often though it a mix. A mix between those semi sermon-istic posts that make us think and ponder life and salvation and those fun posts about everyday life that chronicle our little ups and downs. At first I felt the pressure to have a point of view, my view of life, God and what makes us tick. Or worse to be able to provide cute little incidentals - the 'here's what I did today' blogs (so much harder for me!)

In the end though I think I will strive for a bit of both. One day I may feel like pondering grace, or motherhood, or assurance of salvation. One day I may feel like relaying some little inconsequential incident. And that's okay. Because blogging is really just that. Writing it all down, getting it on 'paper' and letting the world do with it what it may. So in answer to my brothers question. Yes, I think I like it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Do they really have more fun???

So lately I've been in a bit of a rut - not that I haven't got plenty to do - I've just felt a bit restless.

Today I walked into the beauty school and said 'okay, let's go blonde!' And I have to admit - it was pretty fun, exciting but scary! I decided against the double processing that would take me to a Platinum babe (and fry my hair irreparably) and in favor of the gentler single processing sans the bleach.

The results are not really a true blonde- more like a strawberry blonde. I dont know yet whether I really will have more fun (I dont think having fun has ever been much of a struggle for me!!) but I am enjoying some of the reactions!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

there are no small parts only small . . .

So with the close of Arsenic and Old Lace and the pending move into our new building - its been an exciting time for Magenta Theater and for me too.

I've been dreaming big.musing big really,about what projects I want to tackle in the future. And for the fist time in a long time - I'm also dreaming about roles I want to 'play' not just shows I want to 'direct.' (not necessarily with Magenta - just in general) So here we go:

Blanche DuBois (Streetcar Named Desire)
Joy Gresham Lewis (Shadowlands)
Betty Hayes (White Christmas)
Anna (The King and I)
Mary Magdalene (Jesus Christ Superstar)

That's all I can think of for now . . but I'm gonna keep dreaming!