Monday, February 25, 2008

Little White House

I've been struggling lately with being tired and unmotivated... feeling Blah, even with all this beautiful sunshine. It's hard to get up in the mornings and get going. I just feel like I need some inspiration in my life or something. Anyway, I'm thankful for friends and sunshine, walks in nature and cuddles with the kids, fun stories to read and music to sing along with... all the little things that mean so much and make the days worth it all.

Today, Jolie, Marty and I went for an impromptu adventure in Fort Langley. I love that place! I wish we had more time to savour all the beauty and atmosphere it holds, but even the little tastes we get are so refreshing. One of my favourite places is the Little White House. It's funny because I'm not really inspired to BUY anything that's sold there, but I love wandering through, admiring the furnishings and build of the place, the sunshine streaming through the windows and all the old-fashioned beauty of the building. It reminds me of my grandmother's house and all those old houses that have so much character and beauty... nothing modern compares... I can't even begin to explain it. I told Jolie, "Wouldn't you love to plop this house in the middle of several acres of land and live happily ever after?" Marty thinks we're crazy - he was getting seasick from the slant of the floors, but Jolie and I have similar tastes in loving old things with character and history. We often joke (though only half-kidding) that we were born in the wrong era... though let me say, I will always be pro-indoor plumbing and hot showers! It's fun to dream of living in such a beautiful house or owning some of the gorgeous antiques sold in all the treasure troves in Fort Langley. I never anticipate having that, but it's still wonderful to know such beauty exists and to enjoy its existence in the world, even though it's not "mine" - the idea or dream is free!

I don't even know if that all made sense, but it was a fun day. We stopped at the old-fashioned diner there for lunch... Jolie and Marty are a hilarious couple when they're not fighting ;) Tonight, we watched Ratatouille, which was a delightful movie. And now, it's time for bed!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Check Out This Blog!

I am pleased to announce that Jolie has jumped on the blogging train! Behind the Bead chronicles her adventures in starting up her jewelery business. It captures her sense of humour and style, and allows you a glimpse into the mind of this fascinating woman, as well as the opportunity to ogle her beautiful designs. Check it out at www.joliemack.blogspot.com and invite your friends as well. You have Jolie's blessing to link it to your own blog or facebook page... she wants to get the word out!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I Am Rich... in Friends and Family!

Tonight, I went to "Leland Klassen's Comedy Tournament" at our church. Okay, first of all, what a gift to get out on a Saturday night! The girls are visiting their grandparents this weekend, and Marty worked day shifts this weekend and got home early enough tonight so I could go. It was great to get out, see friends and laugh. But I was also completely shocked when a friend paid for the ticket... what a wonderful surprise! Earlier today, another friend treated me to coffee... well, in my case, cranberry juice and a chocolate chip cookie! Another friend surprised me with some scrapbooking supplies and chocolates last week. When I had my birthday breakfast last year, I could not believe how spoiled I was with goodies... but all these surprises lately have been for no particular reason.

Let me tell you, God has brought me a LONG way to be able to accept this amazing love. For so many years I was consumed with self-hatred... I thought I didn't deserve anything good... and that if people really knew me, they would hate me too. I was terrified to let anyone get close to me, sure that they would hurt me and that I would deserve it. Even after God brought me out of the pit of self-hatred and self-destruction, I still didn't feel "worthy" of love. Yes, I'm okay I realized, but I don't deserve to be treated REALLY well. I loved to lavish love and presents on other people, but couldn't accept it for myself. Now, my initial reaction is, "Why are you being so wonderful to me?" And I catch myself starting to think, "I don't deserve it..." But then I think, that's how God loves us. We don't usually "deserve" it... so often we treat Him like crap or entirely ignore Him, but He still loves us unconditionally, lavishly, always showing us, trying to woo us to Himself...

I may never be a millionaire but I am SO rich in the people who love me and who I love, and in God's amazing love and grace. How can I be anything but eternally grateful? So thank You, God, for You, and for all the wonderful people You've brought into my life, and thank you to all my family and friends... I love you!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Tidbits From and About the Kids

One night, I was climbing up onto the top of the bunk bed to read Geronimo Stilton with Layni before bed when she asks me, "Janis, when are you going to get a job?" I get so little respect ;)

Lysa is getting to do lots of fun new stuff at school. One day, she went bowling. They have a special slide that goes from the top of her wheelchair and curves down to the floor and all she has to do is push the ball (with a little help from her SEA) and the momentum takes it down to (hopefully!) hit some pins. I heard she had a great time once she got used to the new noises and atmosphere of a different environment. Mattias just wanted to know if she won!

One Sunday after church when we went to McDonalds, Mattias came out of the play area with tears welling up in his eyes and a pout on his face. "Layni was hitting me!" Layni soon came out and when asked if she had been hitting Mattias, responded, "Well, I was hitting him NICELY... more like patting really."

Today, Mattias wanted me to play video games with him, so we put on Curious George. He was having trouble getting past a difficult section and begged me to help him. "Well, I don't know how much help I'll be, but I'll try." (I am infamously bad at video games.) Less than a minute later, he gently took the controls from my hands and said, "Janis, let me help you."

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Attention Ladies... Tell Your Friends and Husbands Too!

Jolie will have a table at Gallagher's Cafe (at 232 Newport Drive in Newport Village) filled with her beautiful creations for sale tomorrow, Wednesday February 13th, from 1:00 - 5:00 PM. Check out her gorgeous designs at www.joliemack.com and/or bring a friend and see them in person tomorrow... or send your husbands to do some Valentine's Day shopping! Support a hard-working, single mom who's trying to escape the bar scene... she deserves it!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Bird Poop Theories, courtesy of Mattias

On Sunday, as we were waiting at a crosswalk on our way to McDonalds after church, I suddenly felt this big splash of liquid on the sleeve of my jacket. At first, I thought it was dripping water from a tree overhead, but there was far too much of it for that, and it was a milky colour. Turns out there was a crow sitting on the light post above us, who got me and Layni good. It was in Layni's hair and down the sleeve of her coat. Mattias, in the stroller, got off scot-free. Well, I just burst out laughing and Layni was soon joining in; for some reason, this struck us as hysterically funny... the fact that neither one of us got it in the face probably helped :)

The next day, Mattias says to me, "Janis, I think I know why the bird pooped on you and Layni and not on me. Maybe it's because Jo yells at the crows when she puts the peanuts out (for the squirrels) and so they don't like girls."

That's a pretty good theory from a four year old!

Blessing

Dear Jesus,
Bless the person who stole my umbrella today. I wouldn't mind so much if it had been the red one or green one or one of the black ones, but it was my blue one with the happy faces that cheered me up on dark, rainy days. And I know it's sort of ridiculous to complain about this, but it was just so sneaky and rude! I guess, that's pretty much a part of stealing anything, but still... thank you that when I came out of the library, it was snowing instead of pouring rain, so that I didn't get quite as soaked one the way home. And the snow is really pretty too. I probably wouldn't feel as unforgiving if it was someone who really needed an umbrella, rather than someone who was just being a jerk. I hope they don't just throw it away on the side of the road either... they stole my favourite umbrella, so they better appreciate it! God, I don't know who did it, but whoever it was, I pray that you would bless them, and that instead of just stealing an umbrella, they stole a blessing too. I pray that You would keep them warm and dry, and fill their lives with smiles. I pray most of all that they would know Your love and forgiveness and grace, and that it would set them free, so they can be a blessing to others. I pray that one day in heaven, I will meet the person who stole my umbrella, and we can exchange hugs and stories and praise Your name together forever. I pray this, Jesus, in Your precious and all-powerful name, amen.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Random Thoughts on a Monday Night...

Well, poor Lysa has been off from school for a week. Every time we think she's getting over it (whatever "it" is exactly), she wakes up again with a fever. Jolie took her to the doctor today and he's guessing it may be a particle of food that went down the wrong tube and ended up in her lungs, where it's getting infected. She's on a short term antibiotic, and hopefully that will help her recover quicker. I hate seeing our little bunny feeling under the weather!


Mattias and I had a funny conversation as we were walking to church yesterday morning:

Mattias: "Mommy's growing a baby, but it's taking a LONG time."
Me: "Yes, babies do take awhile to grow. Do you want a brother or a sister?"
Mattias: "I want a brother. I already kind of have two sisters."
Me: "Well, Mommy doesn't have any girls, so she might want a girl. Would that be okay with you?"
Mattias: "I guess so, but I'd like a brother better." In a VERY worried voice, "I don't want the baby to pick my nose!"
Me: Burst of laughter, then, "I think the baby will be too little to pick your nose."
Mattias: "Well, it might try when it gets older."
Me: "Well, you'll just have to teach your brother or sister not to pick people's noses."


I have been really tired lately. Everything seems overwhelming... household chores, cleaning my room, doing Bible study... everything just seems so hard. And I've been worrying way too much about things I can't control, but I don't know how to stop. You can pray for me, if you like :)


We had a great turnout at Women's Connections tonight. We had chocolate and cheesecake, which was delicious - and you know how picky I am! - and a great guest speaker, Krista Penner, who had us all laughing but also hit home with some challenging and inspiring truth too. It was nice to actually get a night out... I'm usually home with the kids!


Have I mentioned how excited I am that Lost is back? I may be a geek, but I love that show! And let's face it, Sawyer is not hard to look at :)


We watched a portion of the Miss America pageant last night, and in its quest to be "modern" and culturally relevant, it has turned into something truly awful. I mean yes, it used to be cheesy, but it was classy-cheesy; now, it's just tacky-cheesy. It was like American Idol crossed with Survivor or something... hideous. I like my fictional TV like Lost or the interesting show that followed it, Eli Stone (looks like it could be a fun quirky show... and I love quirky!), but I find the news or most reality shows totally depressing. (I do enjoy my Amazing Race though.) It really scares me how much the world has deteriorated already in my lifetime, and I can't bear to imagine what it's going to be like in another thirty years. Of course, struggling with chronic depression probably doesn't help my viewpoint, haha!


I am reading a biography of Johnny Cash... fascinating! I also have a biography of June Carter Cash and a book by his first wife, Vivian, on hold at the library. I like hearing the story from different perspectives.


Okay, I think that's all my random thoughts for tonight. I think I'll have some popcorn and Coke... I'm big on my comfort food. I do have to say though, I am SO grateful to have so many wonderful friends and family in my life. Sometimes I feel guilty for struggling with depression, when I am so blessed. I know I wouldn't make it through my days without all the love I get... and I wish that kind of love into everyone's lives!