Monday, October 10, 2005

Outta here!

Well kids, I've had it. I'm outta here. And if you want to know where I'll be, you better just come over here and see if I'll tell you!!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving, from the "perfect" North American family

Well, Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I am anxiously awaiting learning how to cook all of the fixings for Thanksgiving dinner with my mom this afternoon, and hope everyone has a great day. Let's all take a minute to remember how very much we have to be thankful for. Get some perspective on all the blessings you have in your life, and try this week to make someone else's life a little more blessed. Buy someone who's hungry a sandwich. Take some clothes or toys down to your local thrift shop. Send some money to Pakistan or Central America. Don't wait. Do it!

Me, I'm thankful for my family. For a great husband. For a beautiful daughter and a cute little boy who wore his first tie to church this morning! I'm also thankful for my extended family and family-in-law. For their example and love. And for friends to be open with and who help us become the people we want to be. I'm thankful for a house and a bed and for more than enough things to meet daily needs. For a beautiful country and beautiful world with so much diversity -- so many things to see and experience and people to learn from. But this year, I'm especially thankful that I'm being challenged more and more to love others. To do and give what I can to those in need, and especially to teach my children to look outside of themselves. And I'm thankful for God's grace to help me with this loving and giving when I fall short.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Unheard of...

It's 11:42 pm. and there is construction going on right outside my house. And what's even more astonishing is that it's either by the City or a crown corporation (SaskTel). Something must be real important. Because, let's face it, I think those guys worked about 5 hours a day when they were repairing the bridge this summer and last, and always at the height of traffic. No way you'd catch those guys working at night (heaven forbid!) when there's no traffic! I wonder what's going on. Although, I must say, I did almost take a picture of the 5 guys and 1 girl who spent all day a few days back digging a hole where the construction is going on right now. Two guys to dig, two guys to watch, and the girl for moral support, I guess. It was so funny. Your stereotypical workmen. Although, I'm sure they were wanting to take a picture of me, in my pyjamas at 4pm. Typical housewife.

"100 Posts": Let's celebrate and have some fun!

The following is a post created by taking sentence #1 from post #1, sentence #2 from post #2, and so on and so forth (Unless the post doesn't have enough sentences, then I'll just take the last sentence and continue on with sentence 9 from post 9 as before). Maybe it'll be funny, I don't know.

Well, of all my dumb luck, Blogger was down this morning when I attempted rather naively to do my first blog post ever. Which means that Ctrl S = Trouble for Dixie. However, for the past 25 minutes she's been whining and crying, and we've just let her cry. I chose that phrase because whenever I have philosophical discussions, I usually end up saying "well, it really is a fine balance", or "we just need to find that balance...". Two nights ago I had a bizarre dream in which I and some unknown person were both (male) priests and bridesmaids at a wedding between Danny Devito, Diane Keaton and some other unknown person from PA, at which there were no rings, but rather large chewable vitamins were exchanged and eaten(!!). Often before bed at night I will say, "Marc stop and think for a sec... think what's going on in the world right now. But then I think, if they brought it, they must like it, so maybe they're glad to keep it for themselves. They're usually close to a centimetre longer than the other hairs, but why don't we notice them before they hit that centimetre mark? But was the breast exam really necessary? But today I did it. In it I basically looked at whether or not we can "know" an historical event better by being an eye-witness or by being removed from the event -- either in hearing an account from an eye-witness we know or even further, by studying it in history. I wonder how long it will be before I grow up...? Does this make sense to anyone? It's how people lived in our day. I don't actually know if this even helped me find the mistake, but it did prove that I was quite the conscientious little 8 year old, with way too much time on my hands. To which granny quickly pushed me off and said "Dixie, you shouldn't kiss like that... I wonder if my mom remembers it that way?!

Well, that takes me up to about post 16. And since a lot of my posts are failing to be more than 16 sentences long, I will stop at that. Interesting. Try it for yourself.

The first time I ever played with a laptop was hanging out with friends one Thanksgiving, I believe. We were all sitting around and watching football. I love to type, so I spent the entire evening (seriously, hours... the whole time) typing our conversations out, but ending sentences a little too soon or starting the next person's phrase at just the right time so that it our conversation become completely skewed and inappropriate. Quite a bit of fun. And apparently a good party game, as it got a lot of laughs when I'd read it back to everybody. (Actually, I think we still may have the conversation saved somewhere.) That's one you really gotta try.

And beware if I ever come over to your house with my laptop...

Bride & Prejudice

Marc and I had a movie night last night. Meaning, I watched a girlie movie in bed and he watched "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" in the basement. $0.99 at Shopper's Drugmart, you can't go wrong with that. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. We don't normally watch separate movies, but neither one of us had any real interest in the other one's movie. And don't feel bad that I didn't get the big screen and the stereo sound, for there is no place I would rather watch tv than in bed. Man I love my bed. I think I spent the majority of Madeline's first 3 months of life in bed. Did everything in bed. She even ate pablum for the first time propped up on a pillow in our bed. I definitely take the love of my bed too far sometimes, but I have been emerging from my bedroom a lot more this past year, so don't worry.

I had to do a quick baby food run to Walmart before Marc and I settled in for our "separate movies" date. And it was there that I learned the struggle of Paul's words in Romans where he says "what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do". I was greatly anticipating curling up in bed and watching this movie with the lights out. And snacks are pretty much mandatory to enjoying a movie. So there I was in Walmart with McDonalds but 20 steps away. However, Marc and I had just talked about how eating out was the one thing we definitely needed to cut back on, and he had told me to buy just what we needed at Walmart. (Which by the way I did, no scouring of the children's clothing sale racks this time.) So I was fully prepared to walk out of Walmart with no McDonalds. Until I got to the exit and someone was eating fries right by the door, and I got a whiff. All the way to the car I debated. "Now I'm really craving McDonalds, but it never tastes as good as you think it will. It will go straight to my hips, and will be a $5.00 withdrawal on our bank statement that is a waste... but it tastes sooo good. But I need something to eat during the movie and we don't really have any snacks at home..." I drove the long way out of the parking lot, so I could drive right by the other McDonalds (yes, we do have 2 McDonalds within the same parking lot complex in PA... sad, really). And I had self control. But I didn't like it. I even thought of going home, asking Marc, and then driving to Wendy's or something. But instead I got a glass of water and our last strawberry Fruit-to-go and went to watch my movie. Pathetic. I know. About 15 minutes into the movie I was so disgusted with having no snack that I made a bag of microwave popcorn, sprinkled chocolate chips on it (my piano student's suggestion -- quite good), took half to Marc, and enjoyed the other half in bed during the movie... though not as much as I would have enjoyed McDonalds. (So, do you think I should have just got the McDonalds instead of "depriving" myself to the point where I wasn't enjoying my movie? Did I over analyze the situation way more than any normal person would?)

Anyway, so I watched Bride and Prejudice. It was not bad. Not super. But not bad. I mean how can you even compare to the A & E 6 hour special? And as Marc said last night (Marc, not me... though I couldn't disagree), how good can it be with no Colin Firth. And it's true. Though William Darcy in B & P looks strikingly similar to my optometrist, there was not the same heart fluttering attachment that Colin Firth brings. But I must say I loved all of the Indian culture. It reminded me of why I want to be Hindu or Muslim every Saturday when I catch glimpses of their programming on Vision network. I loved all the dancing and the family interaction. The way they adapted the story was pretty good. But I couldn't stand that they broke into beyond lame songs, turning it into a musical, with the cheesy head nods, shoulder shrugs, and furrowed brows. Worth $0.99. Maybe a video store-price rental. Definitely not theatre worthy. And I'd only buy it if I saw it for $5.00 somewhere -- and just because I love Indian culture so much and not for its cinematic merit.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A Month in the Life of the Vanderkids

Today I finally had the initiative to start going through our family pictures on the computer (we are currently 4 months behind on this -- so doing the kids albums is not going to be fun!!) So here some pictures of the kids from the past month. This is the life of two little kids called Madeline and Luke.

After a fun afternoon at the Forestry Farm zoo in Saskatoon last month.

The big, fat, happy goof in his high chair. It's struck me how odd it would be if we
all ate the way babies do. Try tonight, and see if people look at you funny. Have your legs sticking out 90 degrees from your body, and keep your arms always in motion floating in front of you somewhere about shoulder level.

Madeline with some of the "spoils" from her first trip to the dentist: a "bib" with dinos
aurs on it and 2 plastic dinosaurs. Not pictured are her bag to hold all of her treats, which also included a bracelet and a big bird sticker. (Thanks, Linea!)

Drawing pictures with chalk on our driveway one evening.

Luke wearing the Gap toque I found for myself at Value Village.

Madeline sitting in on a grade 6 class at Princess Margaret School. Did I mention the girl is obsessed with school?
Every school we drive past she says "Mommy, that's my school! Someday I can go to it." "Someday I will go to school like my cousins." And on and on... So she was very excited to get ready with her piggy pencil case and go to the class. Though, she didn't last long in the desk and spent most of her time drawing on the chalk board.

Bathtime for the Vanderkids.

Luke in the front yard after church last Sunday. Can't get much cuter than that!!

Feeding Time

This is Madeline feeding Luke last week:

This is what happens when a 2.5 year old feeds a 6 month old:

And this is how happy his sister makes him, mush-faced and all:

Monday, October 03, 2005


Marc made some comment last night about Oprah -- how she's become increasingly annoying and seems to be very full of herself.

My reply was, "Well, if you had 600 people screaming and wetting themselves when you walked into work everyday, plus millions of people watching from home, don't you think you'd be full of yourself too?!"

He understood.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

An Observation on Society... or else Marc and I are just very, very lazy

People are becoming perpetually more lazy. Let's think about how people communicated within cities before they had phones. Can you imagine? They actually had to walk to someone's house and talk. I get mad when I can't find the cordless phone and have to spend 5 minutes standing in the hallway talking instead! And a lot of the time I'm too lazy to roll over in bed to reach the phone, and I'll get Madeline to get it for me.

It's major effort to go a drop a letter in the mail box which is maybe 50 feet from our house. Actually, I think the only time I've ever done it is was when I was driving somewhere and hopped out of the car and dropped it in. The rest of the time I give my letters to Marc to put in the office mail. How did people survive when snail mail was their only form of written communication -- and even before the days of Purolator and FedEx?!

Ya, we're just lazy now. We don't want to move. And you want proof? (Besides that now people play tag while sitting on their butts in front of a computer?) Instead of going to get a phone book, I'll scroll through 60+ names on our phone to find the number from the call that person made to us last month. Or if I have the phone with me near the computer I'll look it up on Canada 411 instead of getting up.

However, we don't have Canada 411 bookmarked (and get ready, because here's where the ultimate laziness comes), so I'll will Google it (only having to type in "ca" before Canada 411 pops up) and then I'll click on it. (Though now I realize that it would pop up on address bar too!! -- which would save me a step.)

There is something seriously wrong with people these days (or maybe it's just me) when people like me will go to their own website (because it's bookmarked) and from there click on a link to another person's website because it's too much effort to move your hand 1 inch to type in the URL of that website.

Our grandparents are rolling over in their graves. The travelling encyclopedia salesmen probably only came around once every two years (and not like they could afford a set anyway) and the library was probably in the next town. And we get mad when we have a slow connection on our high speed internet which will lead us to Wikipedia and Google giving us information on everything we'd ever want to know. Or, heaven forbid, Blogger be down for an hour of scheduled maintenance!!

And then there's Marc, who will stand in our bedroom and watch tv a foot away from it and change the channels with the remote. (Now he says it's because the tv will swivel if he presses the buttons on it, but I've never really bought that.) Honestly, how spoiled and lazy are we when we're bitter that we can't scroll through 50 channels during the 30 second commercial break of our favourite show because we're too lazy to get off our chair and get the remote from across the room?

And then there were the two months that we didn't watch tv with our stereo sound because we couldn't find the remote for it, and it was a hastle to go to the stereo to turn it on, and then there was the possibility of having to get up to change the volume if one channel was louder than the other...

Why do we grumble about waiting in line at the automated teller where after a minute's wait we'll do a month's worth of banking and bill paying in 5 minutes? Actually I guess that's why we do internet banking, in the comfort of our own home, so we don't have to worry about going somewhere, at certain hours, parking, walking to the bank, standing in line, talking to the teller, showing her our bills, getting out cash, getting our bank receipt (remember the days of the bankbook?!). What a horrible ordeal that would be to live out every month?!

What would our grandparents think when we choose to wait 15 minutes in the McDonald's drive thru instead of going in and getting our food in 3 minutes, and when 1.5 minutes is too long to wait to heat up a pizza pop?

More tag

I got tagged. Here's the assignment.

1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five other people to do the same.

So, here's the 5th line from my 23rd post entitled "Website gains acclaim" on June 3, 2005 (which was actually about when Lauralea first put me on her blogroll).

"It's a proud day for VanderMeander."

I'm going to tag:
1. Marc
2. Simon
3. Ang
4. Peggy
5. Becky

Friday, September 30, 2005

I covet your prayers (but not in the way you think)

At Bible Study on Wednesday, Randall asked if someone wanted to close in prayer. No takers. And since my head was all muddled and my "m"s and "b"s where interchangeable at that point, I didn't volunteer either. So Randall prayed. And as soon as he got the first sentence out, I thought, "man that guy can pray". Nothing fancy. Really very simple. Just laying everything that's going on out before God.

So last night I told Marc that I "covet Randall's prayers", meaning I'm totally jealous of the way he prays. I don't know how he does it. I fall asleep when I pray. My mind is instantly distracted. I know this is a learned process, but I have a feeling that men are (or could be) better pray-ers because they don't have that "problem" of being able to multi-task and can shut their brains off to focus on just one thing easier than women.

I find that I can pray easier and definitely get more out of Bible reading when I do these things audibly, but I still find it difficult to both of these things by myself (in a group, I do infinitely better). I know the answer is not reading Foster's book on "Prayer" (which I really want to read and will read), but rather just sitting down and praying, etc. But I seem to be so bad at it and it seems so unfruitful that I get frustrated. So... any advice?