Walking Through Streets Of Life

Hey Folks,

Today, after a nice long (2hr) walk with my hubby talking about different facets of our lives, I just felt like I should write something so here it is: life is amazing even in the most mundane aspects of it. The fact that we’re here, breathing, controlling most of our body by sheer will all through electrical impulses, growing every day in some way, never mind all the unique talents and traits we each have, the list goes on… is all amazing. Many people do not look at the ‘minor’ things, or take notice of how God interacts in our everyday lives, but I am one of those people who is all about the details. Sometimes too much detail for my own good mind you, but still, that’s how I was designed, and it was for a purpose. It doesn’t matter what anyone else tells you with regards to the special traits you possess, so long as God knows you’re doing your best to use those traits for good, that’s what matters. I learned this the hard way, but I guess that’s the only way I would ever have learned it.

You see, I was pretty stubborn as a kid, but I can say that God knew better and so allowed me to experience many hardships throughout childhood and beyond in order for me to come to the realization that I was spoiled, I didn’t appreciate what I had, didn’t even realize what I had I guess at one point, until my family hit rock bottom. It was rough, and don’t get me wrong, I hated it, and despised myself for many years afterwards because I felt so ashamed of my life. I was depressed, and that lead to me hurting myself and others in different ways, mostly subtle, but in the end, God knew that it would all work for my own good, so He allowed it. And I’m thankful for that, because now that I’m a parent, I can relate to the feeling of wanting my own children to appreciate what they have, and who they have in their lives, including God. And it would be so easy to continue to spoil them, sheerly out of the desire to show them love, but there is something to be said as well for tough love. As when you know that someone does not appreciate what they have, they need to experience a time of less – not to deprive, but to take note of all that they already have/who is in their lives, and to realize that they have much to be thankful for. Especially in this era we live in, at least in North America, where we have so much, so easily available to us, even those of us who are part of the ‘working poor’, we have SO much. How much do you need to live? Well, coming down to basics, we need to stay hydrated, and we need rest, and nutrients of some sort, and medical care when necessary, as well as shelter/clothing to keep us warm and safe. The rest is gravy really, but you would never say that to someone in our society, they would call you crazy. But really, TV’s, computers, furniture, cars, fancy clothing and devices, games, videos, etc., they are all extras. Sure, in our part of the world, we thrive on living online, using computers in pretty much every industry we have, but isn’t that a dangerous thing? Think about it – if anything was to happen to our electronics or internet, we’d all be in the dark – literally. We probably don’t have much skills to keep going, short of any possible camping skills we may have, or special training, but for many people, when the power goes out, they panic. It’s inevitable when your whole society is used to living off the latest technology. Anyways, where I’m going with this is, I have realized throughout my years of having less than everyone around me, that life will go on if I don’t have everything that everyone else has. That is because God knows what I need, and those things quite honestly, I don’t need. He may decide to bless me here and there with something extra special, (which He does), but He is more concerned about my walk with Him than showering me with the latest trendy stuff. As the responsible Father that He is, He allows me to struggle with some things for a while, usually until I realize that I can’t do it without Him, then He comes alongside of me and holds my hand. And THAT my friend is all the reminder that I need to know that I am blessed. Amen.

~Roxy~

Tough Times But God is Near

Welcome Dear Reader,

How’s life going on in your part of the world? Do you have a story to tell? If so, do you have a blog? Where is it at? I have all these questions and so little time as it’s bed time lol, but you can leave a comment if you wish and I can check it out later! ๐Ÿ™‚ The more the merrier as they say…

As for me, well, summer’s been interesting… and tough. I must say, after being off work (outside the home) for two years, it takes some getting used to. I worked all the time at home of course, but now, with working later hours than I was used to before, and getting used to new responsibilities and a new schedule, I know it’s been taxing on my whole family. The kids for instance – they have been acting up more, and I’m sure part of that is due in part to my being away from home. They are used to me making them their lunch, taking them to the park, doing crafts or playing games etc., but now they must get used to doing things on their own, or with Daddy, though he works from home so it’s not too good for him in terms of getting things done. I know it’s hard on him too, as he’s used to me helping the kids out while he works and now he’s constantly interrupted. That’s part of the struggle with working from home with a family, but sadly few people really understand how hard it is. I appreciate that he can do it, because I know for myself, I find it difficult to concentrate on anything when the kids are around, playing, shouting, running around (and I usually end up feeling guilty doing my own thing, ignoring them). I need to wait until they’re in bed to do stuff that requires thinking, but by then I’m usually out to lunch as my brain says, “Okay, you’ve worked the whole day, now it’s time to shut ‘er down!” I’m sure you can at least relate to that little bit. And don’t even get me started on doing math at night, lol! I’ve tried to help my hubby with taxes, but late in the evening never works very well for me, but sadly that’s the only time I have to help out with this stuff. Let’s just say, its been trying. On top of other things, it’s been a rough summer, but I’m still thankful for all that I have, including a job, as it took 3+ solid months of job searching to finally find something, which is odd for me, but a sign of the times we live in. I know that God will use me in my new position, and He already has. Now I just need to adjust to the new type of atmosphere. It’s different being in ministry. I must say I’m not used to it yet, because this is my first real (paid) job for God, and it’s different than what I’m used to. However, it’s been good, just getting busier by the day, which is awesome, but now I need to practice balance and taking my breaks as I know that it’s good for my health and necessary. ;p That’s just the workaholic side of me stepping in, and my customer service ideals, but this girl has to start looking out for her own health too! Hopefully doing some exercise, and getting back into some personal projects will help with balance – that and spending time with God. Have a great week everyone, and don’t give up; God is with you!!

On another note, my hubby and I have finally been finishing up some TV series’s on Netflix – so far, 24 (a long time coming), BBC’s Robin Hood (well done!), and the Netflix season of Arrested Development (was nice to re-visit the family but felt like more could have been done at the end). Now we’re continuing the 4400, which is a neat series to be sure. Gotta love late night TV time. But morning comes too soon! ;p

Many Blessings,

~Roxy~

Getting Back on Track

Hi Readers,

How’s your week going? Good? Bad? So-so? I’ve had a busy week, and while it was good for the most part, I’m glad its the weekend, this mama needs to relax lol! So yeah, while I’m talking about my week, I just wanted to share with all of you something that’s been helping my family feel better – Melaleuca. I’ve been a customer of theirs for over a month, and in that short time, I’ve noticed many little things that have helped make our lives better. One thing – vitamins. I’ve had different stomach pains off and on the previous months, but after taking their vitamins the past 3 or 4 weeks, I’ve noticed how those pains have gone away… interesting. Also, I’ve been using their Mela-gel on mosquito bites and it helps take the itch away for the kids and I, which is handy, especially because not everyone carries other natural mixes with them in their purse – this fits nicely into my bag and works! And another thing that I suffer from has been sore feet. I think its back related, hence why I must get back into Pilates, but tonight I had some friends over for a presentation on Melaleuca (which they love!), and I decided to try some of their menthol rub on my foot just cuz and what do you know? Within 2-3 minutes of using it, my pain is gone is and my foot is relaxed! Wow, me and my friend both tried this tonight on sore spots and noticed how fast the pain was gone (anyone with tendonitis would benefit)! I’ve tried using Rub-A-535 and other stuff and if it works it usually would take like 15 to 20 minutes to do anything. I am stunned. I’ve also been enjoying washing my hair with their salon quality shampoos as my hair has never been so soft feeling; I’ve noticed and my friend has noticed how we’ve each been playing with our hair all the time lol! And the list goes on and on. Quite amazed at how all these little things make me happy, but they do. And I’m also happy that my friends and family can share in the benefits of it. I’m excited to be doing something good for the environment as well for my family and friends, something that I’ve always been passionate about, and now can share with others. If anyone wants to see more or has a success story they want to share with me, I’m open to that as well. After all, we could all benefit from getting back on track. ๐Ÿ™‚

Until Next Post,

~Roxy~

Teach Them While They’re Young

Hello Readers,

I’ve been so busy with my new job, just learning the ropes and getting used to working outside the home again so it’s been an adjustment for my family, including learning to take it easy a bit with the chores. I work all day and just can’t finish everything on the list when I get home. So my hubby and I have been teaching our kids to help out more, as not only is it good for us parents, but it’s also good to teach them responsibility and the value of helping out. I never had to do much as a kid so I was pretty lazy and spoiled, not in a monetary way (quite the opposite), but in the way that I didn’t have to learn to do chores. Now that I’m a parent I want my children to know that it’s good to help out Mom and Dad, and to learn how to do this stuff now so when they are older it won’t be even harder to teach them. Yup. gotta start somewhere right? They are both old enough to make their beds, clean up their rooms (sometimes with help for organizing), and to pick up after themselves. They like to help in the garden, with weeding or raking, and sometimes with vacuuming or sweeping in the house. It usually helps too if you offer to give them a “star” on the white board. In our house, that means they get 10 cents at the end of the week. It adds up pretty fast if they help out every day, and teaches them the value of money. I set up “chore day” for Saturdays, so every weekend their rooms get organized/cleaned up once for sure as during the week it’s pretty hectic sometimes so that goes on the backburner.

DSCF1599My youngest just played his last game of soccer for the season the other day. It was a fun game and season. Ah… soccer. Now that it’s over for a while, I’ll have 2 new evenings freed up to do other things, like relax! ;p What does that word mean? Hrmm… not sure, never been good at it as a parent lol! But I’m trying, and that has to count for something right?

~Roxy~

Out and About in Winnipeg

Last night, my hubby and I went out to a fundraiser art auction for Timeraiser.ca, an organization that holds events for non-profits and charities to match up causes with volunteers with appropriate skills. My hubby’s childhood friend, Paul Gagnon was overseeing the even at Hydro Place, and though we were only able to attend the second half of it, I would say it went quite well. I enjoyed the tasty appetizers and the showcase of art, as well as speaking with some of the different organizations that were there, including Elaine from CYBF – Canadian Youth Business Foundation who gave me a pointers about getting information for business start up. The people were very friendly, plus it was a chance for my hubby and I to hang out with friends, something we don’t do enough. It was a nice evening overall, ending with a cozy drink and appis at Rudy’s Eat and Drink (in the same building). I must say, I half expected the prices to be crazy given it’s location downtown, but we were pleasantly surprised the food was fairly priced with generous portions and very tasty! I would definitely go back again. My one complaint, which isn’t really a complaint more than an observation, is that the washrooms are a little crazy to get into. You go behind a glass wall to get to them which is see through from the side of the washrooms, but not see through on the other side, and there’s a wall of wood panels, and doors with the same wood panels which blend right in to the wall. There are no door knobs or handles or signs that say push or pull on them so it’s confusing at first to figure out how the doors open or where they begin, except there’s a small metal circle on each door that says, “Vacant” to let you know that no one’s in there. Strange? Yes. I’ve never seen doors like this. Needless to say, I found out you push on the metal circle to open the door lol! So funny! I joked with one of our friends that this is why moms don’t go out – (we just end up getting embarassed or have weird struggles like this). We laughed quite a bit over this. But it felt good to get out of the house even though it took me way to long to figure out what I was going to wear (at first I was going to wear something plain jane but then my hubby was wearing a nice blazer and shirt and I didn’t want to look out of place so I hurried to find something a little more dressy but not too fancy). Anyhoo, I’m so glad the evening turned out; we all had a nice visit with friends, Timeraiser.ca raised many volunteer hours for the organizations there, and a bunch of artists got paid for their artwork. Oh, and I got aย  job, which I start on Monday! Yay! Happy Mom!

Hope you all have a splendid day!

Roxy

Being Myself part 2

Hello Readers,

Just wanted to share that I’m on a journey back to being myself. What do I mean by that? Well, pretty much ever since becoming a Mom, as probably most of you can relate, I’ve found that I’m drifting ever so slowly away from being myself – or rather, taking some time for ‘me time’. And yes, I do feel the guilt start to rise whenever I try to start doing something and of course a little one starts calling out my name or something else needs my attention. But as my hubby pointed out, he’s not playing the guilt trip thing anymore as a dad, so I shouldn’t do that to myself as a mom either. I need to shift my thinking as I’ve always found it easier to do stuff for others before doing stuff for myself. I think a lot of that has to do with different disappointments I’ve experienced in childhood and life afterwards, but it doesn’t mean it has to end that way. We all can take small steps to ensure that we don’t burnout because we’re ignoring ourselves completely. And let’s face it, it’s so easy to do this as a mom (or dad). I find though that moms just always worry about everyone else’s needs first, as I believe this is how we were made, as the typically supportive role, and emotionally it’s how we operate. We worry about everyone making sure they have their stuff before leaving the house that we often, (I believe), forget to take or do something for ourselves. At least that’s what I find for myself many times. And it’s frustrating, but I brush it off and try again the next day. On top of this, in the midst of soccer games, other events and everyday life, I find I just don’t have the energy to do anything I want to do for myself at the end of the day. And the idea of waking up extra early just to do them doesn’t really sound good to me either, but I also realize I need a bit of encouragement. I admit that. I’m so good at encouraging others to follow their dreams, but when it comes to myself, I tend to give up too soon or just leave things be. It’s just easier I guess not to be disappointed yet again. Like today, when I went to use the rest of a can of spray on primer to hopefully spray one side of a room divider I made, I was only able to coat two thirds of one side before I ran out of paint. Now I need to wait until I can afford more. But I’m going to try again… so please pray that I continue to enjoy the rest of the life God gave me in a way that is pleasing to Him and part of that is by enjoying being me. Thank you. I hope I’ve been able to reach out and touch at least one other soul out there who’s struggling with the same thing. Perhaps we can encourage each other?

Blessings,

Roxy

Homemade Ice Cream

Hello Foodies – this post is for you!

Caramel Apple Ice Cream

I recently made my own ice cream for the first time. It was a choice between chocolate and caramel apple so I asked the kids, and guess what? They chose apple! (I know, I thought the chocolate would win too!) Well, since I have an ice cream maker that I got for Christmas that I didn’t use yet, I decided to give it a try. It’s a Big Boss Ice Cream Makerย and as a bonus it’s fairly straight forward to use. I just washed the mixing bowl, and froze it in my deep freeze a few days earlier so it would be ready to use. Next I went to work looking up recipes!

bigbossicecreammaker

Poured liquid into bowl for cooling in fridge

I had looked up recipes online and found the caramel apple one, (see here for recipe), so I went to work making it! Basically, I just processed a bag of frozen, cut up apples in my food processor. Then I went to the stove, and heated up some white sugar, constantly stirring it until it turned into liquid (caramelized). At first it wasn’t seeming to do anything and wasn’t browning so I asked my hubby who is more experienced at cooking than me, and he said it would liquify fast – which it did, so I was happy that it only took about 5 minutes! Then I had to remove it from the heat fast and stirred in my milk and whip cream, but the sugar had started to solidify so my hubby helped to stir it up again on the heat until it liquified again. Note: Sugar will solidify fast so keep stirring it if you take it off the heat! Eventually we got it all smooth so we let it cool afterwards and put it in the fridge for a few hours.

Chopped up apples

The next step was to cook the apples so I took the chopped up apples and put them in a sauce pan with melted butter, and cooked them up nice then cooled them, adding cinnamon afterwards. I could have ate the apples right then! ๐Ÿ™‚

After the liquid was all cool from the fridge, it was time to take the ice cream bowl out of the freezer and put it into the Big Boss Ice Cream Maker. So I put the mixing arm into the bowl and the lid on top and poured in the liquid. Read to mix! I just plugged in the machine and turned it on. It said to mix it for about 30 minutes depending on the amount – I think next time I’ll leave it longer until it is more frosty as it was still a little runny when I took it out.

Mixing Ice Cream

Next I added in the apples and mixed it some more, and afterwards, poured it into a plastic tub with a lid and put it in the freezer for a few hours until after supper. Verdict: The flavour was amazing, one kid liked it, the other didn’t, but hubby loved it so that’s a bonus! :p I would make it again but next time just let it churn a bit longer for ice cream perfection! Et voila! You have some yummy, homemade dessert! Love the organic lifestyle. ๐Ÿ™‚

Till Next Time,

Roxy