Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Tried to be a Good Citizen...

Okay, I will admit right off I am not the most politically savvy person in the world, to say the least. However, I do make the effort to vote as I know we are a privileged country to have that freedom, which I am very thankful for. So, knowing I would still be on vacation on October 14th when the election is held, I made the effort to go to our local electoral office to vote by special ballot the day before I flew out. I even had to go home and get a bank statement with my current address and return, so I could vote. I was ushered behind the little cardboard cubicle on the desk and took out my special ballot and was confused. It said simply, "Write the initials or name of the person you are voting for and put this ballot in the envelope." Usually, they have the names of the candidates and you simply check the box beside the person you are voting for. So in my confusion and ignorance, I wrote the name of the leader of the party I was voting for instead of the municipal candidate (whose name, quite frankly, I did not know.) After telling various people about this strange ballot and being told I probably voted wrong but they didn't know why it was set up like that, I called my local electoral office in BC. I discovered that my vote is "spoiled" as she said, and won't count, due in part to my ignorance and their failure to follow procedure. The official ballots with names were just printed this past Saturday because up until that date people can still put their names in the running. What was supposed to happen before I voted was that I should have been shown a piece of paper with all the candidates up to that point, which I never was shown. She told me, "Good for you for trying though!" Small consolation. Well, now I know for next time, though I wonder how many other ignorant people miscast their vote as well. I'm not sure if I want to think I was the only one that ignorant with a wasted vote or not!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wonderful Weekend

On Friday, I spent the day with my best friend, Alisha, her mom, Sharon and her daughter, Ella. We started our day together by going to The Owl's Nest, which I think is the most amazing second hand bookstore I've ever been in. It is a huge maze of rooms filled floor to ceiling with books on every subject... I could easily spend days in there browsing. After lunch at Pizza Delight (where Ella got the cutest "cat" pizza with a face made out of olives with licorice whiskers), we went to The Lighthouse (another favourite bookstore with a huge clearance section) and Value Village. After a quick supper, we hit Chapters (do we see a theme developing here? Sharon and Alisha love books as much as I do!) and Walmart. I spent a lot of money but got lots of birthday and Christmas presents to leave at home so I am saving money on postage! It was a wonderful day with my dear friends, doing our favourite things - talking, laughing, eating and looking at books!

Saturday, my parents and I were up at 4:30 so we could be at the farmer's market in Fredericton by 6:00 AM. Lots of fresh produce, baked goods and handmade items including jewelery, beautiful wood work, and art. Mom and I supplemented our meager night's sleep with a nap in the afternoon. It is so nice not to have a schedule for awhile, to sleep when you want to (for as long as you want to!) and not always be worrying about rushing to get something done or get somewhere on time. My older brother, Dan, picked me up in the afternoon and we loaded up on movies. We watched Pirates of the Caribbean 3 (the first one is the only one worth watching over and over) and an action movie called Crank (I liked the Transporter movies starring the same guy much better) as well as Resurrecting the Champ (I was pleasantly surprised and recommend it!) and Sex and the City (which we watched with Dan's wife, Melissa) and which I loved as much this third time around. Sunday afternoon, Dan and I went to the Fredericton flea market and bowling... fun and good for many laughs on Dan's part as he watched my skill (or rather, lack thereof) in action ;)

Despite the rainy weather the past couple days (vestiges of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Kyle), I've enjoyed seeing the vibrant colours of autumn... this place is so beautiful... my BC friends, I wish you could experience it!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Here I Am!

Had a good flight yesterday - the only drawback was that the movie system was experiencing "technical difficulties" so I didn't get to see the end of Prince Caspian, whose accent I found distracting in its inconsistency; otherwise, I was enjoying the movie, despite how it differed from the book, which Layni and I finished on Sunday. I got in at 12:30 AM, visited with my parents for a couple hours (well, my dad went to bed after half an hour) and slept in this morning. This afternoon, mom and I went to one of my favourite stores, Giant Tiger, where I got a whole wardrobe for $40, including a $2.00 pair of jeans, several tops for $1.00 and $2.00, and three pair of shoes that came to $11.00 between them. I love the shopping in New Brunswick! And we didn't even get 1/4 of the way through the store! Tonight, my dad barbecued steak and baby potatoes from his garden and afterward, my brother and his wife came for a visit. It was a great day full of simple pleasures with my family.

I'm a little traumatized though, because my parents have decided to replace the siding on the house. It will no longer be the little (pale) yellow house across from the airport... it will be a non-distinctive beige/brown. I've lived in this house all my life (well, visited for the past ten years)... what will I do when they get even more drastic and sell it?! I love the big maple tree in the front yard and the "little" maple tree (which was little when I was little and is now huge) on the right side of the driveway. I love the new squeaky swing my father made this year to replace the old, falling-apart squeaky swing. I love my parents' flower and vegetable gardens and our deck that my dad built, that is lovely for eating out on nice days. I have been really blessed to have had the stability and security of a house that has also been a home all the years of my life... not just because of the house, but the wonderful people in it. I love my parents and my brothers, and I am so blessed that God gave these particular people to be my family - they're not perfect but we're wonderfully imperfect together!

P.S. I do miss our crazy household... someday when we're rich (haha!), I want to bring Jolie and her mom and the girls out to see my beautiful province and all the special places from my growing-up years - and all the special people, of course!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Less Than 24 Hours!

It's 11:06 PM and I'm pretty much packed up... hopefully our scales weigh correctly so I don't have to go through my suitcases at the airport giving stuff away (cause I'm not paying that $75 charge for overweight bags!) Watched the season premiere of Dancing with the Stars with the family tonight, cuddled Lysa while she kicked, and am letting Layni have a sleepover in my bed one last time before I leave. I can't believe this time tomorrow night I will be (hopefully!) sound asleep in my childhood room in New Brunswick. I can't believe it's actually here - that I'll very soon be seeing my family and friends again!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

You Should See My Bed...

One more day (two sleeps) and then I'll be in the air, flying to New Brunswick. My bed is loaded with my suitcase, duffel bag and stuff to take home. They're charging $75 now for each overweight bag, so I'm trying to distribute everything evenly and praying that I'll be under 50 pounds each. I have so much stuff to take back for people, that I'm not sure I'll have room enough for my actual clothes... oh well, Frenchie's here I come! That's one of the best thrift stores on the East Coast. I can't believe it's almost here! Funny, I'm the only one bursting with excitement in this household; otherwise, there's a distinct feeling of dread and impending doom. It's nice to know I'm appreciated - and I'm sure they will survive without me ;) I'm also quite sure they will be very happy to have me back!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mourning...

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
- Romans 12:15

Tonight, I'm mourning with my friend Shelley and her family as they grieve the loss of her stepmom. Please pray for them - that they will find comfort and strength in happy memories and the love of everyone around them.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Please Pray

Please pray for my friend Shelley and her family. Her stepmom has been missing since Wednesday - please pray she will be found safe and for strength for her family as they await news.

Keep your eyes out for a 2002 dark blue PT Cruiser with British Columbia licence plate 711 EFB. There is an inverted yellow looped ribbon in the rear window (veterans ribbon). If you see it, call 911 please!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Two Weeks

Yes, I'm still counting down... and freaking out a little. I have a list of things to do before I leave and time just keeps whizzing by. And I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to see everybody in three weeks... especially when most people are working and/or going to school so I have three weekends to fit everyone in. Different people have suggested just having a big barbecue and inviting everyone, but that way I don't really get to visit with anyone. It's hard being so far away from family and friends... but I have "family" (Jolie and the girls) and friends here too... I just wish I was closer or it was cheaper and/or I had more time to fly back and forth. Three weeks will go by so fast (well, for me there, not so much for Jolie here, haha!) Oh well, what gets done, gets done and what doesn't, doesn't.

The girls are finally getting into their classroom tomorrow... but Jolie needs to switch them. They've been put into a classroom with NONE of their friends or support system (which is weird, because especially for Lysa they usually try to make that effort) and they really need it - Layni even more so than Lysa, I think. So hopefully, that will get worked out quickly and easily for everyone's sakes. Layni was actually home with a cold today... what a way to start the school year! Other than that, we're all well and as busy as ever... just trying to keep our sanity in the midst of our usual craziness!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Back to School

Wow. The summer is gone and the kids are back in school. Mattias started kindergarten and the girls are in Grade 3 - unbelievable. It seems time goes faster with every passing year... pretty soon, I won't be able to keep up! Layni got a new Hannah Montana backpack, so life is good for her :) (Good-bye Dora, Good-bye Barbie, Good-bye Disney Princesses... we will miss you!) Lysa has had a very busy couple days. Not only back to school, but she got her Botox injections in her calves so she can get her new leg splints made in a couple weeks and she got her fancy new bath seat, which goes up and down to make getting her in and out easier... I think she just thinks it's a cool carnival ride. She would happily wear the battery out, zooming up and down!

The grown-ups watched "Be Kind, Rewind" last night. I was expecting a glossy, slapstick, stupid comedy, but it was more of a warm-hearted, funny indie type film. Jack Black always makes me laugh.

I'm looking forward to Bible study and scrapbooking starting up again... and of course, vacation in three weeks to see all my family and friends in New Brunswick!