Friday, March 12, 2010

This says it all...

A Father's plight to bring his children home from Africa (Rwanda I believe)... I love YouTube!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Playground Craze!

Marbles! Or as my husband would call them (and quite possibly, no other person on the face of the earth... Allies). My kids are obsessed! It's the latest playground fad and do you think I can get my hands on any? NO! None in town. Once I do... it's going to be a great incentive program for chores I tell you!

We never played marbles as kids... I think I missed that fad. I was however, reminded of some of the schoolyard crazes that we were apart of while looking for marbles in a wonderful little toy store here in Nelson. Cats Cradle! Oh! I was overjoyed to find it and be reminded of the hours that my brother and I would spend perfecting it! I had to buy it for Muffin. Determined to start a whole new craze - one for the girls! Well, can you imagine what it is like to try and teach a 6 yr old how to do it, when I only have 2 hands and am the only one in the household who knows how to do it! Lol... it was amusing. I'm going to have wait until I can find another knowledgable participant.

Then that got me to thinking about other fads... yoyos, slap bracelets, skipping rope, friendship pins, friendship bracelets.... hours upon hours spent making bracelets that were pinned to the knees of your pants. Those were the good days...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Imagine 1 Day story...

Here is the story of their mission. Brings tears to my eyes... sigh. Notice how beautiful the children are??!!

Imagine 1 Day

This is sooo cool! This is a video of a flashmob that took place on Robson Street in Vancouver, on Feb 13th during the Olympics. This is a charity that raises money to educate Ethiopian children. Did you hear about this Mike???
I would have loved to have been a part of this... what fun!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Girl Effect - Ethiopia

The first Girl Effect video seemed to get a lot of response... so here is another from Ethiopia.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Adding to the menagerie...

2 baby red eared sliders.... Why? Because the kids wanted them, and we were crazy enough to allow it. Adding to our 2 cats, 2 dogs, Quaker parrot and 10 hermit crabs. Nutz! What the hell were we thinking? Well... they are damn cute for starters! The one problem is that these little guys can get up to 12" long! I'll need a spare bath tub to house them for crying out loud!

Anyway, here are some pics of "Sam" and "Sarah" (named by the kids).

 To the left here is a picture of the turtle chasing one of the guppies we put in there. They are so comical, the dart after the fish so clumsily, just like a toddler.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Chili for a Crowd

We had an Olympics Party on Friday... and made it a Martini party as well, and served Chili. How is that for a mixed up party? Ha! We had about 20 people over... so needless to say, the pot of chili needed to be large! I heard about this recipe from my SIL, and then found it online. It's a great recipe... that I adapted a bit.
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 lb yellow onions, coarsely chopped
1 lb sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
4 lbs beef chuck, ground
1 can tomato paste - (12 oz)
1 1/2 Tbs minced garlic
1/3 cup ground cumin
1/2 cup chili powder
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 Tbs dried basil
2 Tbs dried oregano
1 1/2 Tbs salt, or to taste
1 1/2 Tbs freshly-ground black pepper
3 cans Italian plum tomatoes - (28 oz ea), drained
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 cans dark-red kidney beans - (16 oz ea), drained
2 cans pitted black olives - (5 1/2 oz ea), drained

Heat the olive oil in a very large pot. Add the onions and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 15 minutes. Add the sausage meat and ground chuck; cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the meats are well browned. Spoon off any excess fat and discard.

Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, cumin, chili powder, mustard, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes, wine, lemon juice, dill, parsley and kidney beans. Stir well and simmer, uncovered, for another 15 minutes.

Taste and adjust seasonings. Add olives; simmer for 5 minutes more to heat through. Serve immediately.

This recipe yields 20 servings.

Per serving: 260 calories, 19g carbohydrate, 26g protein, 10g fat, 55mg cholesterol.

Comments: When choosing chopped meat for chili, you'll find that beef chuck adds great flavor. And you never can have too many spices. Look for dark-red kidney beans. Lemon juice brightens all the tastes!

Okay, I'm not a "bean" fan so I omit 1 can of beans and replace it with 1.5 packages (I love lots of mushrooms) of chopped mushrooms. These should be cooked seperately and then drained, or they will add too much moisture to the pot.
I also double the garlic and dill and serve it with sour cream, grated cheddar, chopped gr. onions and the black olives on the side to add on top.
I didn't take a pic unfortunately.... but here is a similar photo.
February 14th, and our Crocuses and Irises are already 2" out of the ground! That is CRAZY!
Happy V day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


No plans. We are having an Olympic party tomorrow night (byfm - bring your favorite martini), and we will problem lie low on Sat, and have a family day on Valentines.
Here is a pic of my Valentine...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Girl Effect

House showing...

We had a showing yesterday, despite the fact that we have not been listed for a few months now. One of the realtors called and asked if they could show it.
No, Dan is still not finished the renos. We know this is our largest roadblock in selling, so that is why we pulled it off the market. We are hoping to relist in a couple of weeks. HOPEFULLY, the renos will be finished. I'll take some before and after photos and post them.
Here is a pic of our house and ...............over here is a pic of the house we have already started to build.

This is the year we would like to finish it... so hopefully, we can sell our big brown beast this spring!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sleep, or lack thereof... Okay, I am going to layout the weekend sleeping situation in my house. First, some background...
Myself - light sleeper, no bad sleeping habits. I get the chills at the sound of grinding teeth.
Dan - Snores, talks, walks and chews in his sleep and grinds his teeth.
Mr. Man - Does not ever sleep straight in a bed, nor does he sleep under the blankets. Starting to talk and grind his teeth in bed. Xtreme kungfu kicker in bed.
Muffin - Grinds her teeth at least 20 times a night (and I wake up every time!).
Mikha - 9 yr old lab x collie, starting to snore.
Koda - 8 month old collie x australian sheppard, loves to sleep on the bed and lick your feet and ears.
Sugar - 9 yr old cat... loves to knead on anything soft... usually the children.
Spice - 9 yr old cat... LOVES to sleep right above my head, and purrs louder than a John Deere tractor.
Weekends mean: all of this in one King size bed. I get a orchestra of talking, grinding and snoring, compounded by a painful kidney massage by Mr. Man, several visits by Spice who's purr is loud enough to cause an avalanche, crying children because Sugar is digging her claws into their bellies, Muffin complaining of being cold, as Mr. Man is laying on the blankets, and a special suprise last night - Mr. Man got diarrhea twice in the middle of the night! - then Koda wakes us all us up bright and early with kisses in the ear.
I do get to sleep in on the weekend mornings... after all, the only sleep I get is after they all leave the bed!
It's a school day tomorrow and children are in their own beds tonight (until around 2am, when Mr. Man sneaks in), so hopefully I will achieve some sleep tonight!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I have a dream....

I want to adopt from Africa, and return every 5 years to make a difference. A BIG difference. You can build a well for a village for as little as $10,000.00! Some people have to travel 3 hours by foot to retrieve water (and then 3 hours return) that is full of parasites. Children run bare foot through creeks etc. that are so polluted it burns their feet... Water that cannot be used for irrigation let alone drinking or washing. I can raise $10k in 5 years... easy. I just need to figure out the adoption part... Ethiopia is such a long wait, but I would REALLY love to adopt from there.
I recently heard from a Canadian who is starting the process for a Rwandan adoption. You have to do it independently... there are no programs for this country. This means a faster process, less money, but is much more risky. I am really trying to find more information. However, there is not much out there.
Then, there also is Haiti... which is just an unmitigated disaster at the moment. All adoptions are ceased and may be for a good long time.
Here's hoping for some direction...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Purple Poo!

It's been a few years now that we get weekly deliveries of local, organic produce from Endless Harvest. Yesterday's delivery came with 6 large beets, a huge head of cabbage and a fantastic bundle of dill! That can only mean one thing... borscht! My kids are generally pretty good eaters, but borscht is not necessarily a kid friendly soup. To get Muffin to eat it, I just need to include her in the making of it. She peeled the carrots, added all the ingredients to the pot and was the official stirrer (if that's a word?). With boys you need to be more creative. You need to think BOY. The key to get Mister to eat borscht or beets in general, you tell him it will turn his poop purple! And then... he gobbles it up! (It is true though... haha!)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

This deserves some attention...

"There is a tribe in a Africa that has a culture rich in tradition. However, this tribe lives in fear of evil spirits who they believe bring ill fortune to their villages. They use the word “Mingi” to describe persons they consider cursed or otherwise imperfect. Those deemed Mingi face severe consequences, as they believe the presence of these children on their land curses the tribe. Their solution to this perceived threat is to drown Mingi children in the river. Last year, 7 percent of the children in this tribe were associated with Mingi, resulting in the deaths of at least 77 children. If the two other nearby tribes practice the Mingi tradition at the same rate, then combined 3,000 children would have their lives at risk."
Please visit this website:
They are a small organization that rescues these children. Please read some of the accounts... it is truly heartbreaking. They rely on funding and donations to be able to save, feed and house these children. We sponsor 2 children with world vision, and quite honestly... I would've sponsored here first if I had known about it at the time.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Does it get any cuter??!

Colour me surprised!

I was going through some pics last night on the web and came across United Colors of Benetton previous years ads. One that was quite shocking to me. Certainly an eye catcher! I actually think it is a beautiful photo... but it is still shocking that they would print this! From what I understand, they ended up having to pull the ad as it did invoke some strong feelings in many people. Tell me what you think....

Then there is this ad... which is just humorous to me......

Monday, February 1, 2010

Pook Toque

Mister got this toque from his Grandma (thanks Mom!), and he absolutely loves it! There are no fights getting him to wear this that's for sure. The toque is made out of 2 socks, and is lined with a soft fleece. It is probably the warmest toque you will ever find! Mister typically wears in the "bunny ears" style... knots in the picture however. Here are a few other styles.

You can also get mittens and scarves. The scarf has pockets at the ends to hold your mittens (or beer ;). Very cool idea... and Canadian too! Check it out...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Frozen Veggies... a great tip!

I had my children 17 months apart, and I had to be creative to entertain them at dinner time so I could get dinner made and on the table. All parents know that this time of the day can be challenging. The kids are hungry and getting tired. One of the tricks I kept up my sleeve was to give them a handful of frozen peas (organic if possible) on the tray of their high chair. For some reason, babies, toddlers and children love frozen veggies! A great way to keep them quiet for a few minutes and get some good nutrients into their bellies! This is a great tip for children who aren't great eaters... I have not seen a child turn down a frozen snack! To this day, my kids go nuts for frozen veggies whenever we have them in the house (prefer fresh when possible), and fruit!

The other day, when my kids were having lunch... I got the bright idea to cool their soup off with frozen peas instead of the old standard ice cube. Why did I not think of this earlier!?? Of course, they loved it... got some extra greens and their soup didn't get watered down!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Three, Tres, Trois, or maybe more importantly "sost"...

"Sost" translates to the number 3 in the Ethiopian language of Amharic. Why is this important? Well, we have decided to expand our family... to a third child.

There are 4.6 million orphans in Ethiopia! This number is astounding to me, and I would like to do my best to make it 4.6 million minus 1. No, we cannot save the world... but we can try to make a difference one life at a time.

Unfortunately, there are a few roadblocks that stand in front of us. The first is the bankruptcy of Imagine Adoption Agency. They are 1 of the 2  Ethiopian facilitators in Canada, and the only one we feel comfortable doing business with. (I know... doesn't make much sense... you can email me for an explanation if you care to know.) So, currently I am on a waiting list with them... waiting until they get back on their feet and start taking applicants. I am #60 on the list... and the hope is that they up and running in a year.

The other is the cost. Approximately $25,000.00.... without taking the kids with us to Ethiopia to meet their new sibling and bring them home with us. Of course, this is very important to us and would be such an amazing experience for them.

Where there is a will, there is a way! And we will find one... the kids have just given all their piggy bank money and extras to Haiti (bless their hearts).... but starting Feb. we will start strategizing ways to save money... It will take awhile, but unfortunately time is on our side in this process. Unless the Haiti program starts up any time soon that is (we would consider a Haitian orphan as well). It is rumoured to be awhile though.

 It will be a long and emotional journey... but we can't imagine a more amazing experience!

I will leave you with this wonderful Ethiopian song that I cannot get out of my head... I love it. I have yet to figure out a way to upload an add on to my blog that will play this song. (Any ideas? Pls fill me in! - I can't find an add on for Canadian IP addresses that have this song in their library.)
(Fast forward the video a quarter of the way - music start.)
"Home" by Bole to Harlem
or click on "Home" here - (Better!)