Tag Archives: blog recommendations

Friday Favourites 31

I am finishing up this blog in the van as we wing our way up the picturesque Sea-to-Sky Highway on our way to Whistler for the weekend.

Or I would be if we weren’t stuck in Vancouver traffic. We have passed 3, count them 3, car accidents in 6 blocks. White PT cruiser meets grey junker. Black hatchback meets black nondescript mid-sized. Red car meets pole.

So glad we can all slow down and take a good long look. Pole girl looks so embarrassed. Trying to act nonchalant, “whatever, no biggie, I do this all the time… we’ll all laugh about it someday… please Lord let the earth open up and swallow me whole… my dad is going to kill me.”

Been there.


“The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.”
~ Aristotle
I’m totally pulling this quote out for my husband the next time a concrete post in an overcrowded parking garage jumps out in front of the van. It’s obviously the post’s fault, but we can be gracious about it.

Russian Dashcam Video

In honour of pole girl… it could be worse, so much worse.

And the runner up is…

Makes me glad to be alive. And not on the road with any of these people.


The friend who forwarded those last videos also encouraged me to check out the Bohemian Bowmans. Let’s call him… ummm…. Mr. McDreamy Hair. I quickly realized that I had read her work already and enjoyed it, especially her Chick-Fil-A piece. Jessica’s approach to parenting, faith and fitting into a new pair of jeans is funny and, above all, authentic.

She recently wrote a series about returning to church that was both shocking and encouraging. That’s MY church! Not metaphorically, for real. And these are my people (they may not be aware of my ownership, but nevertheless MINE)! I appreciate her guts in posting something both deeply personal and self aware.

And the nicknames. I really appreciate the nicknames.


I’m not exactly on the cutting edge these days. I still can’t bring myself to watch Blue’s Clues without Steve at the helm. This week I finally watched a movie that several people have recommended to me, many times. So you’ve probably all seen it already. If not, I’m adding my “Like” to the mix. A quirky take on the holocaust. Strange, but intriguing.

For a good time, do NOT watch this movie…

Hot Topic to Ponder and Discuss

This interview with Brian McLaren was a good follow up to the movie about a “perfectly nice” family’s participation in genocide. A discussion about Religious Hostility. What is Christianity to do?

Sappy Song

It’s kind of embarrassing crying the ugly cry while folding the laundry, but it reminded me so much of my grandpa. He wasn’t a perfect man, but he loved my grandma fiercely. He was lost without her those last 7 years.

So here’s me, in Squamish B.C. regretting this morning’s abbreviated nap time. The boy’s not a fan of road trips and he’s not afraid to show it. A crowded hotel room never sounded so good. Anything to get us all out of this van!

Isn’t That Just Lovely?

So, a while back I posted a very snarky, angry post (You Can’t Make Me).

But I’m Canadian. And I grew up in a very conservative Christian culture. And it’s quite important to me to be, well, nice.

So it was actually very polite, with only a slight edge.

But I made it clear that I am in no way a fan of chain letters or the like. I hate the pressure. And I’m one of those uptight, super-conscientious types who has a hard time “letting people down”, so even something silly like this hangs over my head and stirs up all kinds of impolite feelings. Which is hard for me. As a nice, Brethren, Canadian gal.

BUT last week I received an “award” for having a lovely blog. And it’s very much like a chain letter, circulating amongst the bloggers. Except that it’s an award. For me.

Turns out that kind of thing totally trumps all my icky, unCanadian resentment of the genre. I’m thrilled. And honoured to be chosen.

Take that, all you gym class captains who didn’t pick me year after year! Ha!

The best part is, I was nominated by a blogger I really respect. Mrs G at With Wit, Not Leisure is an adoptive parent of teenagers. She blogs about loving children who have been seriously damaged by RAD and FASD; the real behind the scenes story that you won’t see in Dave Thomas’ adoption ad campaign. She writes with honesty and hope and faith. AND she’s funny.

So here it is, the Lovely Blog Award:


Thank the person/people who nominated you and link back to them in your post.

Share seven possibly unknown things about yourself.

Nominate fifteen or so bloggers you admire.

Contact the chosen bloggers to let them know and link back to them.

Seven Possibly Unknown Things About Me

I’m not sure these are things anyone ever wanted to know about me, but no one is making you read this, so suck it up.

  1. I have an outie belly button. Like a cabbage patch doll. If you don’t know what that is, you are too young to read this blog. Go play webkinz or something.
  2. I have had 7 operations in my lifetime. And spent significant time in the hospital over the years. But I’m okay now. Mostly.
  3. I only have 1 kidney (see previous point and note that I had one of my kidneys removed).
  4. I never believed in Santa Clause. Don’t even remember hearing about him until I went to school.
  5. I HATE answering the phone. I have been known to run walk with dignity to the other room when it rings, then yell calmly request that someone else pick it up. But mostly I just let it go to the machine. I look forward to a world that operates entirely via email/text.
  6. I am a dork (this is known). Possibly unknown, I have been known to read fan fiction online. I love reading the continuing adventures of a series that has been cancelled or more background about my favourite character in a novel series. Granted, some of it is terrible, barely readable stuff and some of it is worse than that (I mean come on, if you want to write creepy porn, fine, but don’t pervert my favourite characters to do it!). But some of it is excellent.
  7. I cannot stand whipped cream, cheese cake, pudding, marshmellows… basically anything with a phlegm-like consistency. Blech.

Bloggers Whom I Admire

In choosing some Lovely Blogs to nominate for this award, I am struck by the generic nature of the word (like nice or competent) – hardly narrowing down the field, so I’m including the reason these bloggers are lovely to me.

  • Honest – Maybe it’s cheating, but I pick With Wit, Not Leisure even though she picked me first.
  • InspiringSober Boots often surprises me with lessons about addiction and grace which apply to my everyday life.
  • SweetVita Familiae cost me an entire evening as I read through their entire adoption story. This beautiful family brightens my day.
  • EloquentLast Mom on Earth is an amazing writer. I come away from every post feeling like I was right there with her, in the middle of her memory, her truimph, her despair…
  • FunnyBecoming Cliche makes me laugh. Enough said.
  • PracticalModern Mrs Darcy gives advice, encouragement AND she wrote a whole series of “Lessons from Green Gables” that I love.
  • FascinatingA Portia Adams adventure is one of the few blogs I follow by people I know. My very good friend from High School is writing a novel series. On her blog we can follow the process and her research along the way.
  • Creative – So I don’t actually scrapbook anymore. But I still love to see what my bestie Marjolaine has come up with at Twelve Stones Scrapbooking. I love looking at the beautiful things, but don’t intend to do anything about it. A lot like Pintrest.
  • Also creative – Along the same lines, but in a whole other way, A Turtle’s Life For Me is full of home-making tips and recipes that I thoroughly enjoy, but rarely do anything about. I consider her my pintrest guru.
  • KindredLove That Max is a great blog for special needs parents, not shying away from the hard realities, but celebrating our wonderful children just the same.

So, I realize I owe more recommendations, and certainly I have read many other lovely blogs, BUT life is crazy right now and I’m out of time…

So here’s me, the WINNER!

Friday Favourites 7: till death do us part

This week I told my love story. That’s right – cue the “awwww”! Suffice it to say, it’s been a nostalgic love fest in our house all week. And it’s not my fault.

You may not know this to look at my husband, but beneath his scruffy, cynical concert t-shirt beats the heart of a real SAP. He is definitely the romantic in our relationship. I must confess, I would never have remembered our first date-iversary, but he’s not one to let these special days pass.

In high school I was the grateful recipient of not one, but a dozen “I love you” mix tapes.

Tapes are like CD’s, only they fit in a ghetto blaster…um… cassette player…it’s like a…walkman… never mind kids. It’s what we called “playlists” in the olden days.

Our song du jour is a tune I’ve always loved, but hadn’t really notice the words until Glen told me the last part reminded him of me. Eat your heart out Bryan Adams, there’s a new “our song” in town!


Then the letters all flash through my head,

with the words that I was told about the fading flesh of life and love, the failures of the bold.

I can list each crippling fear like I’m reading from a will.

And I’ll defy every one and love you still.

I will carry you with me up every hill.

The Airborne Toxic Event – from The Graveyard Near The House


Not everyone will find this song about decomposing corpses romantic, but we sure do!


Speaking of death, one of my favourite bloggers is a funeral director. That’s not just a clever segue. Caleb Wilde offers a glimpse into the bizarre world of modern mourning. Nothing like unusual casket options and wacky eulogies, or Slogans for Death’s New PR Campaign to brighten my day. But most importantly, he provides an insight about life that only someone who walks with the bereaved every day can offer. Challenging and uplifting, because often life is seen most clearly in the light of death.

iPhone/iPad App

Speaking of grabbing life and sucking the marrow out of it… ya, this clever segue is not going to work. How about: in this life we all have to learn our times tables, might as well have fun doing it!

For the first time in C’s life she is not kicking arithmetic butt. No matter how thoroughly she understands multiplication, she has not memorized and deeply ingrained the times tables on her soul. Until now… we have tried a number of apps, songs, videos and good old fashioned drills, but Math Bingo is our favourite!

After playing each round you earn a “math bug” which you can use to play another game. It looks like the love child of Angry Birds and Pong to me. And the price is right at only $0.99!

Free Stuff

Personally, I don’t like audio books. Give me written word or give me nothing (or, you know, television). But my kids love it!

They still listen to Adventures in Odyssey each night. They LOVED the Narnia audio books, so I was pretty stoked to hear about Free Audio Books at booksshouldbefree.com. They have every classic I could think of, including some of my favourites: Jane Austen, Montgomery, Alcott… We are starting with Little Women and Pinocchio.

You can stream them from the website or download as a podcast. If you go through Amazon audible, it’ll cost you in the end, so be careful. Thanks for the tip Janis – everyone needs a home school mom in their pocket.

Instructional Video

Cute and funny – my kids even laughed. Okay, made a chuckling sound, maybe just a smirk, but I’ll take it! It’s a Book for anyone born in the last 10 years, and a reminder for the rest of us.

Is it ironic that I watched this on my iPhone? I’d like to buy this Lane Smith book in print. I hear people can still do that.


If you are like me and need a real book in hand (or at least on the kindle) try Mennonite in the Little Black Dress. If you grew up Mennonite, or brethren (like me), or any old school church that spent a lot of time trying to be “in the world, but not OF it” you will LOVE this book. My sisters and I howled over it on our road trip. We sang all the old bible camp songs at the top of our lungs until Glen was ready to chuck us out of the car on our “sitter-downers”.

Don’t expect a devotional or some Janet Oke-ish love story, but it’s an interesting peek into both this strange little subculture and the cold world of academia.

So here’s me, with mine hand on mine self and vat is das here, das is mine tinker-boxer mine Mama dear. Tinker-boxer, tinker-boxer, ja, ja, ja, ja. Dat’s vat ve learn in der school. Ja Ja!

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