Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Children's insights and funny visuals.....

This morning on my way in to work there were two rather interesting occurrences; one, a conversation with my daughter and two, something I saw on West Saanich Road (VERY busy street near the prison!!)

First of all - the street visual. I had dropped the kids off at their Grandma's house while I headed in for a rather short work day (thank you Anne!) when my head did a double take. On the side of the road, an extremely busy bustling street, was a house that cornered a cul-de-sac. It had no fence either on the side or front of the property. And on it, wandering around to their hearts content, were three live turkeys !!!! I'm not sure if they escaped from the farms across the road or if the owner of the home was giving them one last free walk before Christmas dinner!!!! It was quite a sight and I couldn't stop laughing. I really did feel like they may be escaping some farmer's cleaver, intent on selling them to the highest bidder!

Secondly, my talk with Brooklyn: there have been outside-movie viewings these past few weeks at the Ocean Point Hotel. Our tenant, Sherisse, said she went to one of them and it was really fun so I thought maybe we could try and catch one as a family. You know, our own little special Christmas moment. I explained this to the kids and they asked what movies were being shown on what days etc. Well we missed ELF, and a few others, and in fact tonight's is the last showing. I was told it was "It's A Wonderful Life". Let's be honest, whether or not you love the movie it is a Christmas Classic. And I have always believed that my children should be exposed to the Classics as much as possible during their short childhood.

Well the first thing that pops out of my daughter's mouth is "Is it a black and white movie?" Upon answering her affirmatively there was a sigh from both children in the back seat. "No thanks, I don't like black and white movies; they just don't make enough sense". After explaining that since the movie is still IN ENGLISH (!!!), the script would make PERFECT sense to her, Zachary chips in "Although I do agree with you Mum that it would still make sense, I do think Brooklyn is right about this one", (SHOCKER - that rarely happens.....), "black and white movies just aren't as good."

So you can imagine my slight disappointment of seeing my family moment crushed into a pile of dust, but here is where it got interesting:

Me: "Brooklyn, why do you think b & w movies aren't as good?"

B: "Because colour talks."

???? - I wasn't about to assume anything here so I probed a bit further....

Me: "Colour talks?"

B: "yeah, colour is more alive and awake and tells a story.... for example, if there are two sisters on the screen, and they are twins, you may not know it with a black and white movie. But if it is in colour then you can see that in fact they are twins as their clothes were exactly the same."


Colour does talk doesn't it?

The evergreens tell us there is still life through Winter.
The bright wrapping papers cry out to be torn open to reveal precious surprises.
The golden turkey shouts out 'Dinner time!'
The red raw skin on your husband's hands tells you he finished building that Christmas present (thanks hon!).

And the fresh pink skin of a tiny baby in a manger told us the Light of the World had come. His red blood was shed at Calvary and his white garments showed the way to Salvation.

May you experience Jesus throughout this season, and 2010.

Merry Christmas to All, and to All a Good Night!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Things We Do For Our Kids

So I had a wedding cake to do for Katie Peterson from our church and her wedding was last Saturday. As I was prepping for it a few days earlier my son says to me "Oh Mum, by the way, I told my teachers that you would make a cake for our class Christmas Party!" As sighs went off quietly in my head I calmly said to him "Ok, and what day is that for Zachary?" "Next Wednesday" he says.

So really, no big deal. I'll whip up a rectangular cake, toss some icing on it and call 'er done.

No chance.

This is how the conversation went two days later, while I am in the middle of completing a 3-tiered wedding cake for 160 people:

Z: "Mum, what have you got planned for my class cake?"
Me: "Ummm..... planned?"
Z: "Yeah, is it going to be a 2 tiered or 3 tiered fondant cake ?"

WHOA! Back up the grocery truck! We are talking about a class of grade 5 students and two teachers here, who are probably so run off of their feet they would eat ANYthing as long as they didn't have to prepare it themselves !!!!

Me: "Ummm.... well Zachary, it's going to be a ONE-TIERED cake with no fondant in sight. Plus, children don't like fondant."
Z:"Seriously???? Coz I don't want it to be a lame cake."

Insert thought - so apparently, every other cake I have ever made if not for a wedding, baby shower, engagement party etc., has fallen under the 'lame' category. To my son, who has probably seen more cherry blossoms than any 10 year old boy would wish to see, it appears that any 'normal' cake (you know, the ones we ALL make.....) is 'lame'.

Me: "Oh really? And what exactly were you expecting on this NON-LAME cake of yours?"
Z: "Well not too much, just Santa in the sleigh being pulled by his reindeer."

Right. Not happening!

Me: "I'll give you a snowman and 3 trees and that's it."
Zachary: "Alright then."

Then after the fact I remembered something.... when I was young my parents were always having people over for dinner. It involved us three children having an earlier supper, and my Mum working away in the kitchen to prepare their friends a meal at which time us 3 kids would disappear to play in our rooms together and stay out of the way. Then one week my parents told us they were having friends over again (which had been happening a lot at this time) and explained that the same routine would ensue. Well, as a treat they had actually prepared the meal for US! The fondue set which was usually only brought out for the special guests, was intended for us kids - WE were the special guests! And then I thought that this cake was kind of like that; Zachary watches me do all of these special cakes for other people and I thought, you know what? He is as special as any one of them.... (More so - he's mine !) So the snowman and trees were not 'iced on' but were made with the 3-D dimensions and love that only a mother can give. And a little extra effort was taken to make sure that the snow looked just right and that the holly he requested made it into all 3 corners.

I hope I take more time in the future not to be so busy for people around me, that I don't notice the little things that make my children's eyes light up.

Footnote: the fondant trees and snowman? Apparently eaten by the entire class in little chunks.
And finally yesterday when unpacking his backpack....

"Zachary - why didn't you eat any of your lunch?" "I was too busy serving people cake....."


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Baby shower

Today there was a baby shower for sweet Helena and her new son Charles. I saw a shower cake once with a nursery scene and thought it would be neat to do a replica of little Charles' nursery for the shower cake. I was pretty pleased with the results and Darrell even helped finish off some of the woodgrain for the hardwood floor.

Then we went straight to the Saanich Municipal Hall where Brooklyn's little Grade 3 class had a recorder recital. Afterwards there were different stations around the hall where the kids could answer an energy quiz and win a pair of gloves, ride a horse drawn carriage around the property, go 'fishing' for toys and buy hot dogs. The kids kept disappearing from our site but we figured since the police station is right there and there were police-people all over the place, they were probably fine!
A fun Saturday.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Kids Say the Funniest Things.....

I've always loved children's quotes... how they see the world.... how they see other people.... how they see God.....
Darrell sent me this one from his work and although I often get emails like this that I've read before, this was the first time I had seen this bunch. Precious, precious, precious..... (& Johnny is very astute!)
The Sunday School teacher was describing how Lot 's wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt, when little Jason interrupted, 'My mommy looked back once while she was driving,' he announced triumphantly, 'and she turned into a telephone pole!'

A Sunday school teacher was telling her class the story of the Good Samaritan. She asked the class, 'If you saw a person lying on the roadside, all wounded and bleeding, what would you do?'

A thoughtful little girl broke the hushed silence, 'I think I'd throw up.'

A Sunday school teacher asked, 'Johnny, do you think Noah did a lot of fishing when he was on the Ark ?'

'No,' replied Johnny. 'How could he, with just two worms?'

A Sunday school teacher said to her children, 'We have been learning how powerful kings and queens were in Bible times. But, there is a Higher Power. Can anybody tell me what it is?'

One child blurted out, 'Aces!'

A Sunday School teacher decided to have her young class memorize one of the most quoted passages in the Bible - Psalm 23. She gave the Youngsters a month to learn the chapter. Little Rick was excited about the task, but he just couldn't remember the Psalm. After much practice, he could barely get past the first line. On the day that the kids were scheduled to recite Psalm 23 in front of the congregation, Ricky was so nervous. When it was his turn, he stepped up to the microphone and said proudly, 'The Lord is my Shepherd, and that's all I need to know."

Rabbi said to a precocious six-year-old boy, 'So your mother says your prayers for you each night? That's very commendable. What does she say?'

The little boy replied, 'Thank God he's in bed!'

A pastor asked a little boy if he said his prayers every night.

'Yes, sir,' the boy replied.

'And, do you always say them in the morning, too?' the pastor asked.

'No sir,' the boy replied. 'I ain't scared in the daytime.'

Little Johnny and his family were having Sunday dinner at his Grandmother's house. Everyone was seated around the table as the food was being served. When Little Johnny received his plate, he started eating right away.

'Johnny! Please wait until we say our prayer.' said his mother.

'I don't need to,' the boy replied.

'Of course, you do,' his mother insisted. 'We always say a prayer before eating at our house.'

'That's at our house,' Johnny explained. 'But this is Grandma's house and she knows how to cook!'

Monday, November 02, 2009


Well it's November and you know what that means in the Richmond home - I can start decorating! Yep, as of November 1st each year I slowly start the Christmas decorating process. Usually just one or two things per week but I have so many fun Christmas stuff that to do it all in one or two days would just be exhausting. And besides, I like to enjoy it for the ENTIRE December month so this way it's less work and more enjoyment.

Big news at our house would be - Darrell & I went and saw U2 last week in Vancouver - AWESOMMMMMMME
Now to be truthful, the sound at BC Place is not the best and when the Black Eyed Peas opened up, if they played a song we didn't know we had no clue what the lyrics were. But, the sound was better for U2 and Bono's voice does not disappoint live one bit. They were incredible and it felt like a 'once-in-a-lifetime' kind of moment if you know what I mean. I almost cried when they played WITH OR WITHOUT YOU because my mind flooded back to an end-of-semester party with friends in England in the 80's, right before we all moved away to separate 6th-form colleges. Memories flooded back. Fantastic.

In other news, our friends Luke & Helena had a baby boy, Charlie (love the name!), which meant I led worship for a few Sundays while the new parents enjoy their new bundle. And I'm also going to be hosting an Adore Women Tea Party at our house in a couple of weeks. I just have to provide the house as the Adore Women committee are organizing food etc. But there will be a couple of English items I will be contributing - Devonshire Cream being one of them. YUMMY! I've also had a couple of wedding cakes, the last one being our friends Katie & Darron who had a beautiful wedding downtown. The next one is December 12th for Katie & Scott. And our good friend Kelly, is now engaged to Chris and will be going to South Africa to get married and live for a year - it's a great adventure for a girl we love to pieces and couldn't be happier for.

The kids had a fun Halloween which I will post pics of soon but I forgot to take my camera so will have to wait for the shared ones to appear. That's about it really. We've been very blessed with mild weather for being early November, Darrell & I even did yard work Sunday in the sunshine.

Hope all you friends are enjoying the Fall season wherever you are.

A few more pics from the 'Mother', plus one of my Mum, sister and sister-in-law at the sibs reunion in Kelowna, August long.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I've Returned

Well it seems I've been very absent from the blogging world but I'm back. I guess the allure of facebook with all of its speed pulled me away for a week months. Or rather, seasons. But the need to journal always come back eventually and here we are. I won't even bother to document everything that has happened since the last entry but will instead highlight a few great events.

There were weddings, babies, camps and parties!

The lovely Elise Michalski got married to Fred in the Spring in a lovely service at Glad Tidings followed by a reception at the Faculty Club at UVIC. I was fortunate to be asked to make their wedding cake; a Red Velvet Cake as it was the same cake Elise and her Dad would get every year on their shared birthdays.

Then in August Chelsea McQuade, a friend of several years thanks to teen camp - and a fantastic young, vibrant woman of God, married her prince, Johnny Sugrue. The wedding was beautiful at a quaint church in Brentwood Bay, followed by a vintage-themed reception at the Fireside Grill. I don't think I have ever had a friend who thought and planned any more for her wedding than this girl. She was organized! Every detail was taken care of including the vintage themed table at the reception with the vintage scrapbook she created for her guest book, and the gorgeous small wooden chest used to hold all of those precious money envelopes! The name place-cards were even little birds nests! I made this wedding cake too - a four-tiered ivory chocolate raspberry cake with Callebaut Chocolate Ganache and matching cupcakes that were presented in these gorgeous cupcake liners she bought online.

July each year brings camp and this year we had one at kids camp and one at pre-teen. PRE-TEEN???? SERIOUSLY??? But yes, at Nanoose Bay Camp if you're ten you go to pre-teen. Fortunately Zachary loved it and Brooklyn equally had a blast at kids camp where the speaker was none other than our last kids pastor, Caroline Bergeron. Teen Camp this year was a huge success, very few issues and overall extremely smooth. If you haven't yet seen our Katy Perry Hot 'n Cold video go to and type in Nanoose Bay Camp hot n cold. I don't think you will be disappointed ;)
Then August brought possibly the funniest reason for a party we have ever had. One morning Darrell woke up to tell me about the dream he had. He dreamt we had a massive BBQ in our backyard, that he rented tents and tables and a huge industrial grill from his work and with a live band playing on our sundeck. So guess what? That's exactly what we did ! The band consisted of 3 of my friends who used to play in the old blues band I was in, Soul Commotion, along with my friends Luke & Park who I play with at church.
It was AWESOME~ they did two sets of about a half an hour each, maybe even 40 minute and everyone loved it! Brooklyn and I counted - we had exactly EIGHTY PEOPLE ! Which included 20 children who I have to say were behaved amazingly well. They all just looked after each other and the whole thing went like a dream. Darrell made homemade hamburgers and then everyone just brought something to share. So we had lots of food - and we even invited the neighbours - partly as a gesture of friendly neighbourness, and partly to prevent any noise complaints. We had six neighbours come and they had a great time! I was really happy about that because I remember as a kid our neighbourhood being much more of a community than I have experienced in Canada and I feel like sometimes people miss that sense of local community when they don't know the people who live on their own street. So yes, big success.
Well that will mostly catch you up. Throw in a couple of long weekends in Kelowna at Anna's house - one for baseball and one for a family sibling reunion along with my Mum - and that is pretty much our summer in a nutshell. And we're still enjoying summer as the weather has been gorgeous. Fall has started off well :)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

April Update

As prompted by my sister-in-law, I am updating my blog.......

And, since my last post we had a little girl turn 8 (WOW!) and a son about to turn 10(MORE WOW!!) this coming Tuesday.

There is something eerie about having your first child turn double-digits. It's weird. It sounds old. And you can't believe you have now been a Mother for a whole decade! It is by far the biggest blessing (well two blessings actually...) in my life and I just treasure them both so much.

So for Brooklyn's birthday she decided she wanted a party at home (cheaper but far messier!) and would like to make AND ice her own birthday cake!! Girl after my own heart..... so we had a horse-themed party and she made a horse's head cake. Not bad hey?

Then today I finished my first of 3 wedding cakes; one every Saturday until April 25th. The colour scheme was gold and teal and this was by design of my meeting with the bride and groom.

Not much else to report but I guess there will be after Zachary turns 10 !!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Showers, Babies and Birthdays

Well, since the Narnia party Aaron & Jeni (a.k.a. Turkish Delight!) welcomed little Benjamin Findley Norris into their lovely family. At 8lb. 2oz (i think re the ounces....) and born at 2:11am on February 3rd. What a little cutie-pie he is! So Sherisse (Aaron's sister) & I hosted a baby shower at the church and over 30 lovely ladies came out to welcome the little one.

So I haaaad to make a cake....! The plan was for it to be in the shape of a baby crib and in the colours of little Benjamin's nursery. And of course in honor of Jeni's awesome rock 'n roll vibe there were a few personal touches on the walls of the crib!
Then the Norris' along with Luke (whose lovely wife was up island) came over for supper and Brooklyn got to hold the little munchkin. So cute.

Then last night was my mother-in-law's birthday so I made a chocolate-raspberry cake covered in some of her favourite things - diamond rings, purses and shoes!!! Dinner was the Paesano meal at Macaroni Grill. Most delicious.

Saturday, January 31, 2009