Wednesday, November 29, 2006

a week already??

Wow, i have been absent for a week...sorry about that folks! haha. here are a couple pictures of what happened during my non-posting days:
bathtime frenzy! having a ball with bubbles!! bubble beard, bubble nose, bubble hair, ah, we love bubbles!

And a lovely sunny fresh brisk day at the park! i love this weather. warmish and snuggly.

some of my new(or old-but-reborn) favorite things: 1.)Bengal Spice tea. 2.)stories on tape....if i could only find our tape player!! 3.)Reformation history lessons (i'm such a geek! i love to learn) 4.) The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats 5.)Christmas lights everywhere 6.) dreams of our adventure to the Tree Farm this coming saturday....the horses,goats, fireside, hot chocolate and such 7.)natural decorations (free and enviromentally friendly, heehee) hanging in and out of my house.

Enjoy your lovely day, whether in snow or sun.

love from sue.
ps. i am now taking notes in my book, will update with a summary at some point. right now reading is more fun than writing about it! off i read read. study study. learn learn.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


DAVE IS WORKING SO HARD ON THIS. doesn't it look fantastic?????

will be a maille vest for Julia's dress-up collection.

Incredible isn't it, to think he put EVERY SINGLE RING together by hand...individually. separtely. each one. wow.

I am forever impressed.

nervous excitement

So, as most of you know i play the piano. I really REALLY enjoy playing the piano. Sitting down and spinning off some lovely tunes has always made my heart light. The somewhat unfortunate aspect of this hobby is share it requires spotlight, and that makes me nervous. I start to feel small and silly, knowing that there are much more capable hands out there to play.

Anyway. i am going to play Christmas music in three weeks for a church Christmas party. I requested only the arrival time, so that as people come in and sit down i will be the 'background' music. I am really excited about this, since i feel a little silly NEVER using my piano skills, but then, there is a season for everything. (I still hope to teach children piano in the future, and have laid out some lesson plans.) Dave is excited too. He is always trying to drop hints to people that i play piano, and that i should be playing in church. (i think it is his round about way of saying he likes how i play....hahaha, i know i'm not good enough to play for any worship team, not with my lack of practice over these last 3 years)

yep. that is my nervous excitement for the month. ha. should be fun. :)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A summary: i guess.

Church History. My brain is so full. (warning: stop reading now if you find History dull)

Where do i start?? i want to keep some summary "notes" on this topic just to solidify it in my own memories. (writing this down, forcing myself to restate that which i have read, really helps me do that)

Here goes:
Section One: Jesus and the Apostles

Christianity's roots go back into Jewish history long before the birth of Jesus Christ
- Jesus came, attacking established Judaism, brought a renewal.
-after his death and resurrection, his teachings spread throughout the Mediterranean
-The Apostle Paul stressed God' s gift of salvation for all men, causing Christianity to grow from Palestinian Judiasm and become a universal religion.
-Stephen openly proclaimed that the Old Testiment (O.T.) declared all that God was going to do through Jesus, that Jewish rules and regulations were only meant to be temporary. Quoting from Isaiah and other O.T. books Stephen built his case, showing the Jewish Council how they were God' s chosen people to receive the law, but that they had not obeyed it. Then they stoned him.
-Jewish leaders were baffled at the rate in which Christianity spread after they killed its ringleader. After all, how could so many people follow a 'dead' man?
-The first company of believers was Jewish. They called themselves followers of "The Way" until soon after they changed their title to "ekklesia" (greek) or Church. (the equivalent of the O.T. term for the assembly of Israel.)
-Christians still met at the temple for services, strictly observed Jewish laws and rituals.
the only practices that showed they were different: baptism and communion
- Christianity spread very quickly to the Hellenistic Jews (Greek) who were from all over the Roman Empire, mixed more easily with the gentiles, were more exposed to Greek culture, more responsive to new ideas.
- Hellenistic and Palestinian Jewish Christians began to have friction when the widows of H.J.'s were being 'overlooked' by the P.J.'s. Thus Deacons were called into service. (meaning of deacon: servant or minister)
-A.D. 36 marks the first major blood shed of Jesus-followers and a widening gap btw Christian and Jew.
-Hebrew Apostles did not have to run, but the Hellenistic Christians fled and began to start churches in other parts of the world due to the bloodshed . (samaria, syria, damascus, antioch, tarsus, egypt)
-Paul's conversion: he realizes that "the Law of God was given for a time to convince men of their inablilty to fulfill the will of God and to leave them with no option except to embrace the good news of Jesus Christ's death and resurrection." (page 20)
-by 70 A.D. the break btw Christianity and Judaism was complete. (Christian Jews were banned from Synagogue services, etc)
-The 'old wineskin' was torn. Christianity would remain a 'gentile' movement.

Section Two: The Age of Catholic Christianity
70-312 A.D.

we'll do that another day...i want to jump ahead to my reading in section to you again soon! (maybe)

Words for the Day: Sin. Shame. Mercy.

"Anything that belittles or obliterates the holiness of God by a false view of the love of God, is untrue to the revelation of God given by Jesus Christ. Never allow the thought that Jesus Christ stands with us against God out of pity and compassion; that He became a curse for us out of sympathy with us. Jesus Christ became a curse for us by the Divine decree. Our portion of realizing the terrific meaning of the curse is conviction of sin, the gift of shame and penitence is given us - this is the great mercy of God. Jesus Christ hates the wrong in man, and Calvary is the estimate of His hatred. "
-Oswald Chambers

Monday, November 20, 2006


Thank you for Family, Lord!
Here is our 'latest' family picture, a 'quickshot' that i managed to get before Dave and Julia went ice skating on Sunday afternoon. Yep, there is my preggy belly - 24 weeks. :)

Enjoy your day, all you dear folks. from sue and fam.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

latest decoration

In a library book we recently borrowed, there were many interesting tree decorations. Here is the one i decided to try first. Puffy Stars. i am really no good at them, paper folding is much harder than i first thought! haha. But they are cute. and i like them. perhaps i shall take the bold-print advice from the book that said, "Try not to give up" since it takes some time to learn these ones. :)

anyway. time for grumpy sue to go have quiet time.

loves. from grumps.

Church History: in plain language

This book is so awesome (thus far in my reading) that i had to post something that stuck out boldly to me:

"Gnosticism holds an important lesson for all Christians who try to disentangle the gospel from its involvement with "barbaric and outmoded" Jewish nothions about God and history. It speaks to all who try to raise Christianity from the level of faith to a higher realm of intelligent knowledge and so increase its attractiveness to important people.
in his effort to reconcile Christ and teh gospel with the science and philosophy of his day, the gnostic denied the Event (Jesus' death and resurrection) and lost the gospel. Just as nineteenth-century defenders of the faith tried to present Jesus Christ in terms of evolution, so the gnostic interpreted the Savior in light of the facinating ideas of the enlightened men of his day. but the attempt to tie the gospel to the latest theories of men is self-defeating. Nothing is as fleeting in history as the latest theories that flourish amoung the enlightened, and nothing can be more quickly dismissed by later generations."
-Bruce L. Shelley, Chapter 5 Arguing About the Event, page 52.

man. i love history.this is great.
got to go read far we have covered "the Age of Jesus and teh Apostles" and i am deep into the Age of Catholic Christianity.....

enjoy your day!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006



In general, i think we try to complicate our lives too much. We over-think, over-eat, over-sleep, or something similar to those afflictions. Why is it so hard to focus on the simple needs of everyday life and not overdo it? What keeps us from finding "the priority list" that pulls the perfect tension between overspending and being stingy; between being confident and humble; between work and play; between learning and teaching; between self indulgence and self denial? Why do we struggle to maintain a 'balanced' life?

I guess this is on my mind because we talk about it ALL the time as young moms when we are together. This morning was no different. Sitting side by side, stretching out our tired muscles, we discussed how difficult it is to be focused on kids, husband, God, bible reading, prayer, dishes, laundry, hobbies, work, being Doc. Mom, etc-- all at the same time....and be good at it all to boot. haha.
I love learning about how to
: be a good manager of the home, build my home, create an atmoshere of hospitality, understand financial wisdom, delve into deeper truths in the Word of God, teach my kid(s) about art, music, geography, scripture, and the like, etc etc....but i find it hard to do this alllllll at the same time, and keep my house in good running order. ha.

I suppose every season has a purpose, and perhaps i am to learn not to do IT ALL, all the time. Like the financial wisdom in Proverbs, saying to build it "little by little", perhaps i need to apply that to my learning and growing as well. After all, wisdom is a LIFE long process and will not "happen overnight", so i suppose i shall try to resign myself to growing over time - not all at once. haha.

After having this thought stick with me for sooooo long, it is refreshing to have moments of simplicity that teach me what is truly important. It isn't having all of my own priorities in line, but Gods.....and His are simple: Be Holy. (okay so that's pretty tough...but at least it is only ONE main priority?? haha) 1 Peter 1:13-25 is AWESOME.

"Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."[a]

17Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. 18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

22Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.[b] 23For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24For,
"All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25but the word of the Lord stands forever."[c] And this is the word that was preached to you."

I find that Julia is so often God's way of teaching me where i am weakest, where i need to ask for forgiveness, and also where i can catch glimpses of His true Joy in life.

For example: who can't but break up in laughter when you are enjoying a lovely dinner and your toddler brings up a very serious matter of discussion -- "Daddy, you shouldn't pee standing up."


Or this morning as Julia played happily in her little nook, chattering away to her 'friends' and animal toys. I came over to take her for a diaper change and she sweetly asked if she could come back to South America when she was done. (ahahahhaha) Then pointing to her nook, she says, "This is South America, and all my friends are here....Roley, Scoop....Do you want to come to South America?"

Or, on seeing a stray cat meander past, she asks, "is that our kitty?" "no" says mommy. "Maybe we should get a kitty." "yes, that would be fun." says mommy. "we could name it...Otto. Or Pluto. " I voted for Otto . Maybe in the spring we will get TWO new family members. :)
this is long enough now to put you all to good'ay and enjoy living simply by God's standard. As one mom put it, by "giving a drink of water without complaining, offering a prayer when no one is looking, giving a gentle answer in return for a harsh taunt. This is how we say "yes" to God. This is how we avoid wasting our lives." (under the post "Greatness") (source)

Sunday, November 12, 2006


This lovely grey sunday morn has suddenly become bright with the light of our dear sweet sassy Julia in her fab new Christmas dress. :) (sassy has been added to the list of descriptive words for miss J simply because it is true....she has some real sass at times. haha)

Yesterday i picked up some lovely dark locust beans (i think??) off the ground, beneath the empty trees of late autumn. Dark, like mahogany, and firm like wood, these are fabulous additions to the decoration pile. I really like natural decor: fruit, pinecones, twigs, etc. I suppose it refreshes me to see things that were once growing and know that after a long cold winter the spring will bring more living blooming color to our world again.

So tell me, what are the first signs of Christmas in your home????

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Dave and I walked to the Legion to remember the dead this morning. The suits, the wreath's, the dismal grey skies and the bright red poppy's boldly proclaiming our Freedom. We are blessed. Praise God for the freedom we enjoy! Each breath is from Him, every tear, every laugh, every baby born, each friend, our families, all the moments of love, peace, and joy we experience are blessings from Him.
James 1:17 "Every Good and Perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

But just as we experience these blessings in life, there are many pains as well. Although i am too young and inexperienced to say i have endured real pain, i know it is there. On the faces of those who have lost loved ones, are rejected, cannot feed their families, live under oppressive governments, live in fear for their life every day, or do not know the meaning of life- there is pain everywhere. (1John 2:17 - The world and it's desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lasts forever. 1Corinthians 7:31b- For this world in it's present form is passing away)

Praise God for the freedom EVEN from these things, which He has prepared for anyone who believes. (although we may not escape the turmoil here on earth.)

John 1:12
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
mark 16:16
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life, in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 8:1-2
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are IN Christ Jesus, because through Jesus Christ, the law of the Spirit set me free from the law of sin and death.

AWESOME. we can be free.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Christmas Stationary

Art Project for the Day:

what began as potatoe-print-painting slowly morphed into lovely Christmas stationary .... here is how we did it.

Bright festive poster paint
plastic cookie cutters
paint tray

Pour paint into tray, dip cookie cutters into desired color and stamp onto paper.

(I made a potatoe-stamp, but found that it held too much paint, thus making huge globs of paint instead of lots of little ones. this isn't a problem, unless you want to paint for more than 5 minutes, or you don't want to be left with a lot of soggy paper at the end.)

The cookie cutters only grabbed enough paint for julia and i to leave lovely looking shapes (which she enjoyed soooo much more than the globs, i think it surprized her that they looked so sweet).

So, perhaps you will receive a letter or card on our new stationary?? :)

loves. happy crafting.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

belt option


okay, as promised, the unflattering pictures...hahaha. i REALLY don't have a great eye for fashion...and i second guess myself all the way through designing. oh dear. but really, this doesn't look nearly as funk-ed-out and peasant-ish as i hoped. i feel like a rather round large chocolate truffle when i try this on.....oh dear. at least i am learning!!

Any fashion tips?? i need to decide how to fasten the shirt. i was pondering two side ties, coming from the right hand side of the shirt front and tying over to the left side of the shirt, in line with my sleeve. ???
i also tried a tan colored belt around the shirt at empire waist level. i really liked it, but i just don' tknow if it is silly looking and if my family would walk next to me. :) haha.
any other ideas? does it need another plain material to balance the majorly-patterned-ness of itself???

any clues, tips, hints, opinions welcome.


Another interesting Article !!

Dear readers, i received this today in my e-news bulletin and thought i would pass it on!

Sudden infant death “demystified”

Today’s Family News
November 8, 2006

New research suggests that a defect in the brain stem could be why some newborns die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the Globe and Mail reported.

The finding, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, appears to be the closest that scientists have yet come to determining the cause of SIDS, a leading cause of death among seemingly healthy babies during their first year of life.

Co-author Dr. David Paterson, a neuroscientist at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, said this is good news for parents who have lost a child to SIDS – and who may have feared that they were somehow to blame.

“To a certain extent, this demystifies SIDS and indicates that it’s a disease process,” Paterson told the Globe and Mail. “It’s not this mystical event that happens for no apparent reason.”

By performing a series of brain autopsies, researchers found that babies who succumbed to SIDS had an abnormality in their brain stems that could impair vital reflexes such as breathing, blood pressure and arousal from sleep.

Ernest Cutz, a pediatric pathologist at Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, said the study confirms what scientists have long suspected as a possible cause of crib deaths.

“This brings it out of the realm of mystery toward a rational explanation,” he said. “It gives us hope that we will eventually solve it, and possibly prevent it.”


Love from Sue. tired. sleepy.very healthy baby inside who is very active, exactly as big as 'they' say 'it' should be, yippeee. :)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ride 'em Cowgirl!


My pregnant belly at five months.
Julia's new vest, made by mommy. (and french braids!! yippeee)
homemade decorations: i dried cranberries, oranges and apples!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

New Tax Credit Folks!!

Read Here

Although it may be true that one cannot 'buy motivation', i think this is great for people like us and so many other parents who can benefit from activity cost reduction! This article outlines the requirements for activities to qualify. read on, canada!

What Do You Think?

moment of insanity

okay, so it is really late (for me at least) and i have been sewing for almost....4 hours....well. kinda. i am altering a retro dress pattern (size 11) to make a shirt, or possible jacket/shirt (size maternity, haha). yes. that i have measured myself, then measured the pattern, cut pieces, sewn, ironed, modeled, re-pinned, and re-thought styles....humph. i suppose i am stuck. shirt or jacket/shirt?? i don't know. hmmm. maybe tomorrow i'll post pictures...and let you help me to decide.

to bed i must go. aaaaaaaah. it is tomorrow already. yikes. late for mama sue.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Julia's new fleece Vest

since it began and ended after she went to bed, i had to hire a model to display her new duds.

nice?? i love the circle and dot pattern on the bright blue! :)

ah. time to make myself something....hmmmmmmmmmm..........

A family weekend

ABOVE: Dave working diligently on a piece of "armor" for Julia. His goal: having a shirt/vest of maille for Julia to wear for dressup. (he commissioned me to make a liner for it, so it doesn't snag whatever clothes julia wears under it) Very awesomely cool, i am so excited for this. Julia is already thinking of wearing it in her battles against Golliath....although, she must decline using it in the actual battle, for that is what david did.... hahaha. sooooooooooo fun.

We had a lovely long weekend together. and as promised, julia went skating for the FIRST time on sunday afternoon!! :) we had to try out our new skates you see. Dave pulled her around and around and around. Every time they came off the ice, dave with an aching back from leaning over to hold her, and aching feet because HIS skates do NOT fit well (poor man) , Julia would beg to go back out!! ahaha. cute. She had moments of fear( don't we all??haha) but the overall experience was thrilling. I on the other hand, was super paranoid about falling , since i would not want to do any damage to the five month old baby in my belly. i may have been "over" paranoid, but i would never want to jeopardize a good pregnancy by doing somehting irresponsible. (i'm not the worlds best skater you see..... and my centre of gravity is shifting just now..haha) So i did a few circles of the rink, and watched while sipping hot chocolate. mmmmmm.....lovely.
I began some Christmas decorating. A man was cutting his tree down as we drove by on sunday afternoon, so i asked dave to stop so i could collect branches. MY goal: make stars to hang in the windows, from the mantle, and perhaps large ones nailed together for on the porch this holiday season. so far i have three, and i love them! is this picture too dark to see my dear twig-star????
Ah, our large maple just outside our front door has finally let down it's last layer of leaves. Sadly, wind and storm have taken autumn from us rather sooner than i expected. But in that comes a lot of fun, combined with the loss of our colorful skyline. Julia was more than happy to sit in a HUGE HUGE pile of leaves for a loooooonnnnnnnngggggggg time. laying down to rest, throwing the leaves about. Jumping, crunching, hiding, bursting . ah. leave piles. piles of fun.

Today i began bagging our piles....the front yard fit mostly into four big lawn-waste bags....but there is still more....and more....and more.... i didn't want to rake them up because they look and sound so nice, but i needed to. Last thing i want in the Spring is to clean rotting messes of leaves before i can garden, and clearing all the yuck like we had to last year. bla.

Well, off to rest. rest. and write letters and such. loves. from sue and fam.
ps. DAVE IS FULLY RECOVERED. wisdom teeth removal was very successful. no negative side effects. hooray! God is good to us.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Good ideas...

As far as creative play ... i love costumes ! making them (however satisfying it is to me) is very time consuming, thus....the ANSWER! ... buy them 50-70% off the week after halloween!! brilliant isn't it??? Mama Naus brought this tiger over....and today we purchased an o-so-cute horse and saddle 'costume' that you put on like pants...and pretend to ride!! cool eh?? (don't tell Jules, it is part of her christmas gift!!) So affordable after halloween. Great for the Tickle Trunk.
ANOTHER GREAT SEASONAL purchase.....well, for those who don't have rental-style-rinks like we did in BC....SKATES!! yep. julia and i got nicely-pre-used skates today. Sunday is the trial run. :) At lunch, when it started snowing Julia threw her hands up in the air and said, "Hooray hooray, now we can go SKKKKAAAATING!!!!" She is VERY very excited about the prospect.

anyway. i should from sue and family (enjoying a WONDERFUL long weekend together, since dave got his wisdom teeth out and couldn't go to work! For those concerned: he recovered like a NAUS. no pain, no trouble, no problems. amazing. i am so glad, i was worried that all day i would be carrying him to the toilet, etc...but no, he did everything all by himself!!)


Thursday, November 02, 2006


1.) What was (or still is) YOUR favorite childhood activity/event/etc?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

play on!

Dear folks,

i am forever inspired by down-to-earth families. I love watching how they interact, play, listen, learn and teach each other. It inspires me to spend more time with Julia and Dave: talking to them, playing, enjoying life...not just rushing from one task to the next. Although i am a firm believer in good hard work (however i am lazy more than i should be!haha) i need to exercise balance in how i get it done.
Lately i have been thinking of creative ways to cut down on daily work without lowering the standard of cleanliness and food that we have. (cooking ahead for a week etc) hmmm... All this thinking to say, i want to spend more time planning activities (walks, parks, library, pool, art etc) to do with Julia. Play. Play. Play. I seem to go in seasons. In the spring i was totally into interesting art and science activities with her, and now i have lost that flow and switched to another focus. I wish it wasn't so hard to 'juggle' all of the things i want to do. Perhaps if i organize household 'necessities' into specific periods of time i will have more freedom to do this......

any ideas???

other than that..... Julia has been soooo super busy with imaginative play lately!! it is wonderful to see her acting things out with her soup noodles and crackers. giving them voices, names, and actions!! She is interested mainly in her farmyard, train, house, and people toys right now. Each turns in to a character that talks to the is so fun to listen to!!! i love sneaking a peek, and listening to her ramble on. play time is wonderful! :)


Creative Play

Simple play activities vanishing

(Here is an article from an E-bulletin i receive weekly.....sad sad sad and sad)

Today’s Family News
November 1, 2006

Parents and teachers are growing concerned that many young children seem to have lost any desire simply to play, Maclean’s magazine reported this week.

No longer are kids interested in “loose-parts play,” such as zoo animals and manipulating blocks or silly putty. Activities like marbles, freeze tag, kickball and skipping rope are likewise vanishing from playgrounds. Instead, children are attracted more by electronic devices that tell them what tasks to perform.

Diane Levin, professor of education at Boston’s Wheelock College, told Maclean’s, “I see kids poke at Play-Doh now and say, ‘What does it do?’” “Skipping [rope] doesn’t really happen anymore,” said Tanya Rutledge, a teacher in St. Catharines, Ontario.

An Ottawa home-daycare provider said she believes well-intentioned parents are partly to blame by overcompensating when their children complain of boredom. “We feel if we’re not stimulating and enriching our children all the time, that we’re neglecting them,” she said. “They’ve become addicted to being entertained.”

Alberta-based neuroscientist Dr. Bruce Perry is concerned that these children will be ill-equipped as adults to cope with a global marketplace ruled by innovation.

“We’re educating our kids to be cognitively homogenous and raising people who are very good at being followers and employees,” he said. “If there’s any shift in the economy, they will be ill-equipped to deal with it.”

Yet some are attempting to address the problem. Pearl Marko, a recreational therapist and mother of two in Edmonton, has launched Positive Playgrounds. It seeks to give help to parents, teachers and recreational leaders on how they can reverse this trend.

Ah, sad isn't it?? I have experienced this working in childcare centres, it is so sad when a group of children cannot think of play on their own, but look to me to supply video games and stimulating movies, etc to entertain them.

I am encouraged to embrace more and more creative play with Julia, since she is in love with it that won't be difficult! haha. My link to "likeminded mommy" has a lot to read about creative play if you go to her topical index. She is incredibly inspiring and practical and honest. Refreshing to the soul.

enjoy your day, and help kids learn to play and imagine, today! :)