Sunday, January 06, 2008

2007 wrapped up. I was tagged.

This is probably the shortest post I have ever written and yet the longest post I have ever published. I know that people will likely say to themselves, "Margaret, this is your best post of the month?" Well, a lot of times it was my only post of the month.

I am not going to tag anyone, though, because Chris already tagged everyone who might have one or more posts a month. So, this branch of Chris's tag fizzles out here. Sorry Chris.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Hoopla

Ok. Chris tagged me so here goes.

Christmas Baking.
First we have this project at school called "Cookies for Inmates". We get the kids and their families to bake a ton of cookies and then the kids decorate those brown lunch bags with a Christmas scene. We put a bunch of the cookies in each bag and send them to the Correctional Centre in Nanaimo for each of the inmates there. Not only have I baked for that, but I also baked 10 dozen cookies for The Bethlehem Walk. Needless to say, I haven't gotten a lot of baking done for my own family, although I did keep some of the other baking for us. As usual it disappeared about as fast as i could bake it.

Decorating the Tree and the House.
I have had the same tree for about 15 years. It was quite expensive when I bought it so, to me, it still looks fine. Jack is my Christmas Critic and this year he decided that we needed a change. My rule of thumb is, "If it's not broke, don't fix it." However, now that Jack has a full time job he has gone a little nuts with his buying decorations. So we have a bunch of new stuff to put up this year. Sadly, for Jack anyway, we still have our old tree. I think it looks quite nice.

Christmas Shopping.
I made myself a promise last year at this time that I was going to be done my shopping by December 1st. Sadly these promises go the same way my New Years Resolutions go. Real strong until it just isn't a priority any more. I have to go shopping with Jack today. We have to get some groceries and I still have all my stocking stuffers to buy. Jack also has one more gift to buy, but that doesn't concern me. Oh, wait. It does, since he is shopping for me.

Cleaning my House.
This gets done almost every day, but then along comes a family gathering and any of you who have been to my house know that I have quite old carpets. They look exactly like the carpets Mom and Dad had in their house in Osler. The brown, sculpted ones. I have shampooed it 3 times in the past 2 years, but it still look like garbage. So, at each family gathering I spray it with Febreze Alergen and then vacuum like crazy. Somehow, though, my bedroom always gets left to the absolute last. I'm not even sure if I will get it done this year. So all my guests will have to out their coats in Jasmine's room.

Another thing Jack did this year was buy a bunch of Christmas movies. So we have been watching the old Christmas Classics like Miracle on 34th St., It's a Wonderful Life, The Grinch That Stole Christmas, and then a truckload of Claymation Christmas Stories. On Christmas Eve we will watch A Nightmare Before Christmas, The Nativity, and if we have time The Polar Express.

Christmas Eve Party.
Ever since Emmett moved in with us we started having a Christmas Eve party with just me and the kids. Every year this party has become more and more elaborate. Now we have reached the stage where we have a feast of snack food like crab dip and chips, taco chips with melted cheese and salsa, candy, candy candy, punch, fruit platter, veggies and dip, and the list goes on. This is also when we watch the list of movies from the previous paragraph. Just before we start to wind down we each open one of our small gifts. Then I read the real Christmas story form the Bible. Then we pray for a blessed Christmas for our family and friends. Then it's finally bedtime around 11 PM.

Christmas Morning.
I had to make a rule years ago that the kids could not wake me up until 6 AM on Christmas morning. Well, I have gotten older and since I had the car accident almost 3 years ago, I wake up every morning at about 4:45. So, for the last couple of years my wake up time has shifted a bit, to 5 AM. Tye is usually the first to get up and he wakes up Jack. The the two of them wake up the girls and they all crowd around my door ready to "surprise" me awake. The girls have not had much for Christmas traditions so this one seems really important to them. Once we are all up, we go into the living room and open gifts. It is wonderful to see how the kids all want me to open their gifts first> I will get a gift for Gracie and she opens it. Then she gets a gift for Jasmine and she opens it. Then she gets one for Alethea and so it goes form youngest to oldest until we are all done. Then I make pancakes and bacon for breakfast and we all eat together. Then it's time for relaxing again with a movie, which someone got for Christmas or a board game.

So that's my Christmas Hoopla. Now I will tag;
Jude Saskwatch
Abe This WOrld is Not My Home

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I Feel Scolded

I just read my sister-in-law's post and I feel like I should feel. Lazy about posting. I need a good scolding. Thanks, Chris. I agree with you about facebook. I still check my blogs every morning, but I never post. I just seems easier to check all the status reports, my email, and then play a quick game of Scrabulous before getting my girls up for school. So, I am going to do what Chris did. Random ranting.

1. What's up with people who demand that you meet them for an important "meeting" and then not show up for that very meeting. I hate that. My girls' birth mom set up this meeting for her and I to meet with the adoption worker, who had to come all the way from Campbell River, and told the social worker that this was an important meeting and could she please call and make sure that I knew how important it was. Then she doesn't show up! What's up with that? I hate stupid people.

2. Why do good people always get burned/used by their so-called friends. Tye had this friend, Eli, who has had a terrible childhood and has chosen to take that kind of life style right into adult hood. He is now 27 years and still always makes excuses for his bad choices. When I came home from Saskatchewan this past summer Eli was staying here because the last place he was staying, his best friend, had asked him to leave because Eli owed him quite a bit for room and board. Since Eli can't hold down a job, he wasn't paying anything. So I told li that he could sleep in the tent in the back yard and he had to pay at least $100.00 a week for groceries for a month until he could find a place to live.. He agreed and then ended up staying for 3 flipping months! then, when it got too clod in the tent at night he found a place to stay in the Old Dutch Inn down the street. That's when he borrowed $800.00 from Tye's student loan money for rent. Tye trusted him to pay it back in 3 installments. When I found out I was so upset. I knew he wouldn't pay it back and guess what? I was right. Not only did he not pay it back, but he didn't use it for rent either. As soon as Tye paid it he moved out and got the money back and disappeared. What a creep! I hate creeps!

3. This is not really a rant; more of an observation. I have noticed that when you smile at people they smile back, but the smile never reaches their eyes, but if you make eye contact for at least 5 seconds, smile and say "good morning/afternoon" or whatever, they actually smile. I also noticed that old people smile at you, really smile, much more often than young/middle aged people do. Maybe it's because they are no longer caught up in making something happen in their busy lives. They have time to stop and look out at the world and notice people. I love old people.

4. This weekend we had a storm go through and, apparently, it went all the way to Sask before it finally quit taking down trees and power lines. (I heard it on the news last night) Anyway, when the wind died down a bit I went down to the beach with a cup of coffee and a warm blanket. I sat on a log and sang some song, One Day At a Time, Homesick, I can only Imagine and some of the hymns we sang in the hospital. Then I prayed and cried and then I sang again, David's song for Dad. I was there for about an hour and when I got up to leave there was this old couple sitting on a bench behind me and the lady said, "Oh, are you leaving? We so enjoyed your singing. We got up to leave when you were praying, but then you sang again so we stayed. I hope you don't mind?" Of course I said no, I didn't mind. It felt a little weird, but I thought they were so sweet. Oh, and the waves were so big and crashed into the rocks at the edge of the beach. Later that afternoon I went back there with the girls and we fed seagulls bread that we threw up for them to catch. We also ran into the water and froze our feet, but we brought our good shoes to change into. What a great place to be. I love the Island.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


When we think of the word "refreshment" we usually think of a cool drink on a hot day, and for you in Saskatchewan, on a hot, windy day. :) Normally refreshment come after not having had a drink for quite some time and you are thirsty.
I need refreshment. I can't find a church that gives me the longing to go back. Most of the churches here are either filled with oldsters and are really slow or they are a bit hyper-charismatic. Neither feels right to me and so I haven't gone to church very often. So the only place I go regularly for Christian fellowship is my job. How blessed I am to have that. So I do get to have devotions at home with my kids as well as at school with the teachers, but there is something to be said for being in a room full of Christians and raising our voices and our hands in worship. I miss doing that. The last church I went to where I enjoyed being a part of that kind of worship was Midsun Community Church in Calgary.
Don't get me wrong. We still go to church. We attend the Oceanside Community Church on the Alberni Highway and it is a wonderful Church full of wonderful people. Mostly over 70 people. I have been invited to the Alliance Church by one of the teachers at school and we probably will try it, but that means driving all the way into Nanaimo and not just North Nanaimo, but almost into the downtown core. Do I want to drive that far to church every Sunday? I don't know. I just know that I need more continuing refreshment and I need to find somewhere that I can get what my heart yearns for. A church to belong.
So, I am going to a teacher's conference for Christian schools in Lyndon, Wash on Wednesday. I will have the evening of Wednesday, all day Thursday, and Friday morning to be with a large group of Christian adults who all believe in Jesus. There will be praise and worship, prayer and workshops. There will also be other opportunities to fellowship with other Christians.
I am so looking forward to this conference. My girls are in school every day so will only be alone for about 2 hours after school. Then Tye comes home to assist with making dinner. Then at 8 PM my wonderful, amazing niece, Carrie, will come and get the girls to bed. She will sleep here and get the girls up in the morning and out to school. On Friday I will return and be a new woman. Well, maybe not new, but refreshed.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

It Has Been A While.

I am so hooked on facebook now that I haven't really taken the time for blogger the way I used to, but since Becky did go to all the work of making my blog so pretty I will try to post at least once a month. At least. So, first I want to brag a bit about where I live. We have had a few weeks of beautiful weather. The kind of weather that calls you to the Beach Hut for a coffee and maybe a visit with family or friends. If you get there and you don't know anyone, it's OK too. Sitting and watching the sunn go down and drinking a coffee or a Screamer is a great way to unwind after a busy day of laying on the beach or walking along the beach stomping gooey ducks, which can be very hard on the feet.

Here is what you could see in the evening if you were fortunate
enough to live in Canada's paradise.
This was taken while Mom and Sue were visiting this summer.

This was a very sad day for me even though it looks like it should
have been fun. This was taken at Qualicum Beach
On David and Carolyn's last day living here. They actually left early
the next morning, but this was the last day I spent with them before they moved.

At first it was a little chilly, but it didn't take long to warm up
after the sun came out. Ethan didn't have a jacket
so he wore David's sweater. It didn't take long and he was stripping
down until he was in his shorts.

This has nothing to do with anything. I just love this picture.

Doesn't this just pull you back here, David?

This video was taken at Stamp Falls. It's about 20 minutes from my house and we went there with David and Carolyn and our families for a day of fun in the river.


I was going to start off bragging about BC and I ended up finishing the same way. Sorry, people. I just can't help it.

August, 2007

Hmmm. Again with nothing.

Friday, July 06, 2007


I am going to Sask! The ministry gave me money again this summer to take the girls to visit their relatives in Regina. That means I get to see my family and friends as well. So we are leaving tomorrow evening, spending the night at my friend Pauline Meakin in Vancouver and leaving early Sunday morning. We will stop for the night in Vermilion with my "adopted" daughter, Allysyn. Then we will leave for Saskatoon on Monday. We will meet the girls Aunt and Uncle in Saskatoon and the girls will visit there for a week. Then I will go spend a few days with them on the farm. Then we will come back to Saskatoon for a day or two and then leave again for home. On the way home we may need to stay at a hotel, though. Getting to Sask late at night is one thing, but if we get to Vancouver late we don't get a ferry. So, I will see all of my Sask family in a few days. I have a new motor in my car, new tires, transmission check and new brakes a couple of months ago so I pray we will have a safe, uneventful trip. See you all soon.

June, 2007

My Big News!

Some of you are very confused, like Melanie. I wasn't going to say anything until it became official, but I guess the cat's out of the bag. That'll teach me for not telling people that this is kind of a secret. My girls don't read my blog, so I will share my news. Now I will say to all of you who live here and see my girls, this is a secret from them until the social worker comes and talks to them and gets them to sign their consent. Then they will officially be mine. I have been approved for adoption! It has been about a week since I found out and the girls should find out today after school. So that is my good news.

I do have another little praise item, if you all are interested, I found out yesterday that the funding came through for my student, which means that I will be back at work in September. I will also get a raise, which will be nice.

So, I hope I have stopped the confusion for everyone on my pregnancy and labor. I will post again soon with an update.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Summer. Where Art Thou?

I'm tired. And sick. I'm tired of being sick. I have been sick since Christmas, on and off. Mostly on. I don't want to cough anymore. I'm tired of the adoption thing taking so long. I'm tired of the must have routine of school days. I'm tired of homework, permission slips, field trips, making lunches and getting up at 5 AM. Oh yeah. I'm tired of getting up at 5 am. I want to be one of those people who goes to bed about 10:30 pm and sleeps till around 7:30 or 8 the next morning. It doesn't matter what time I go to sleep, I wake up at 5 am. I want summer to be here. I want to stay in bed until 7 am and then get up and go for my walk/run and stop at the Beach Hut for a coffee with my sister before coming home to start my day as a parent. I want a car that won't break down ever 2 to 3 thousand kms. No I want a brand new mini-van, and Becky, I would be happy with taupe. The problem with a brand new mini-van is the brand new payments which I don't want. I want a clean house. I'm not talking about a clean house on the weekend because I've finally had the time to spend with Jack and the girls doing a thorough cleaning, only to have it disappear by Sunday night. I mean a clean house like Mitz or like Mom or Orlah always have. I want to know that I can call a friend to meet me at my house right after work and know that it will be clean. The problem is I want kids and somehow I can't have both. I think mostly I'm tired of being alone. I want someone to come home to that isn't a kid. OK. Tye isn't a kid, but he's my kid. So is Jack. I want Tye to not have to feel like he needs to take care of me. I want to go visit him in his house and bring him summa borscht because I know he'll never make it himself. I want Jack to do better at school and get a job. I want him to be excited about growing up and moving out with friends, but he's not. I want him to get his driver's and a life. I guess I'm just feeling a little battle bruised today. Sorry for such a depressing post. When I think of my brother John and his family I feel like a big baby writing this.

April, 2007

I am sorry to say, I have no post for April. Life must have been REAL exciting. :)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

When We Were Young

I went through some of my old pictures and decided to share some of them. I love looking at pictures and it seems, by looking at our family's blogs, that you all do to. So have fun.

Oh how I wish I was that skinny now. The glasses leave some to be desired, though. I must have been about 21 or 22 here.

This is a blast from the past. Mom wearing that kerchief. Is it just me or does it almost look like Mom is holding Connor?

This picture is one of my favorites. This is the way I want to remember Aunt Lena. Here she is holding Abe and Jake shortly after they were born.

I saved the best one for last. This one is a really old one. You can't really tell unless you enlarge it, but the calendar on the wall has a date of Feb. 1958. I was only one year, 9 months old. As you can see I had a real problem looking straight ahead. My focus point was quite skewed and Dad is on the right pointing, trying to get me to look at the camera. I am looking at the camera. What he should have done is have someone on the right distract me and I would have looked at them and it would have looked like I was looking at the camera. Anyway, from top left to right we are Helen Mansuay, me, Reg Andres, brother Henry. Bottom row is brother John, Kathy Kalyn (sp), Dave Braun (Hawk), Ron Andres, and Ken Andres. I don't know where brother Peter was when this picture was taken.

Well, that's it for today. I have a few more, but I will save those for another post. Keep you in suspense, so to speak.

Who Am I?

When I was a young girl I always thought that I would never grow up to be like my Mother. I was going to be a great Mom. I would be my children's' best friend. I would never yell at them, I would teach them all the right things and they would love me more than anyone in the world. I was so smart. I knew it all and my mother didn't.

Now I am 50 years old and I am so much like my mother. I do all the things I said I would never do. I yell at my kids. I do things myself instead of teaching my kids to do it because it's easier and quicker. I think my kids love me, but I think they love video games more. LOL

When I look back now, as an adult, I can see that I am not the parent my Mom was. So what happened? Who changed? Me or my Mom? I think the answer to that is, both of us have changed. She became more mellow and I turned into my Mom. I don't know how often I have heard my family say to me, "You are just like Mom." When I was young I probably would have been offended by that, but now I look at her and I take it completely as a compliment. I wish I were more like her in some ways than others. I am forgetful like her. I have some weird ideas like her, and some people say I look like her. There are many ways I am not like her, though. I think she was much more patient than I am. I think she taught her children much more than I have taught mine. All in all, I think she was pretty smart and a pretty great mother. I'm not sure how my resolution to not become my mother suddenly became much more attractive than it was when I was young.

So, to sum it all up, I think my Mom is a pretty great person. I think that if I could be thought of the way most people think of her, I would be a very fortunate woman. I think the greatest legacy a parent can leave is their morals, ideals, and values and in that my parents have not fallen short. What a family to be a part of. What a legacy to hand down to our children. I pray I will live up to it.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I didn't get very many pictures this Christmas, but I will post the ones I have. We had a real feast again this year with Art bringing his cabbage rolls, I did a turkey, Mitz did a ham and Carolyn brought a huge pot of mashed potatoes. We had Pumpkin pie, cherry pie, and apple pie. I don't believe anybody left the table hungry and a also think that many of us should have left the table sooner. We sat around and talked about everybody in Saskatchewan and how we missed the gatherings where the whole family was together at the hall in Grandora. We played the white elephant game and this year there were probably more tools there than there were girlie gifts. It took about an hour and a half to play the game and there was plenty of laughing and gift stealing.

We instated a new rule at Thanksgiving this year that the adults sit at the big table in the dining room. They also got to eat first. Real adults consist of Mom and Dad's kids and friends from the same generation. The young adults took their plates into the livingroom and the kids 18 and under took their plates downstairs to the family room.

The young guys sitting in the livingroom after we finished eating. Jack is teaching Paco what NOT to do on his PSP. Seated on the couch are Colevin, Peter (Melanie's husband) and Reagan.

Luke is such a cutie and a more content baby you would have to search for long and hard.

This is Connor, who has one of the quickest smiles I have seen. What a cutie.


Christine said...

O.K.! Yes! That is the longest post you have ever done! LOL My favorite is the post about becoming like your mother. It is so strange...sometimes I almost feel like my mom. It is a weird I am no longer myself but am my mom. Very odd indeed. Am I alone here? Should I go and see a shrink?

Margaret said...

Please don't. If you see a shrink then I would have to and that would mean that almost every daughter in the world would have to. LOL I see my Mom shining through with Mitz and Sue also. I think I took my share of that pie, though.

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