Monthly Archives: June 2007

I’ve got lots to say

I’ll start with the disclaimer: This post will be random and rogue and may jump all over the place. We had a very full day and there was lots that I couldn’t wait to blog about so I’m gonna try and keep it interesting but don’t feel bad if you zone out part way through because it could be lengthy and out of context 🙂

First off, I regret to inform you that I am not doing a book review this week. I did a bad job of reading, in fact, I think I only got the whole way through once. I liked when Paul talked about giving but that’s all that really stuck out in my mind. I’ll be back on the wagon next week!

We made plans to take yet another car hunting trip to Lower Sackville today. Last week we were too rushed and decided we needed the better part of a day to find the “gem in the rock” that Mike was looking for. I think he meant “diamond in the rough” but, you know, same difference so I let it slide for awhile. My mom offered to come look after Chloe so we took her up on her offer and got things in gear. Just before we left, Patti from my ball team called and to make this long story short, our team has folded due to lack of players actually showing up (I wasn’t surprised, a little glad actually, I’ll explain some other time). So, now I have one day to find a new team before the deadline for the rosters goes in on Monday. Yup.

Anywho, so we were off. We had a plan. Sort of. There were two cars we wanted to test drive from last weekend that we had spotted so they were first on the list. We made our way to Edgar Eisenhowers Used Car lot to try out a Mazda Protege. Well, Edgar himself sauntered over after a few moments of us looking at the aforementioned car and mumbled somethng about it being a nice little car and handed us the key so we could look inside. Now, I don’t know about you but when I’m about to drop several thousand dollars for a car I want the sale person to be peppy and nice but not over bearing and rude. Edgar was niether. We decided to take it for a spin anyway and as Mike started ‘er up, it sounded a little tired but we gave it the benefit of the doubt because it doesn’t get driven very often probably. The fan belt started squeaking right away. Ok, still something that can be dealt with. We drove it a Kilometer or so and Mike wanted to park it and look underneath it for a bit. I think he was looking for rust but I didn’t ask and he didn’t tell me I just accepted it and stayed in the car. Anyway, he gets back in and decides to turn it off and start it again to see if it sounded any better this time.

Off it goes.

Turn the key.

Nothing happens. Hmmmmm.

At this point it is pretty much a given that unless he offered us the car for eleven dollars we weren’t prolly gonna buy this one.

Glad we had a cell phone because I didn’t feel much like hoofin’ er back to Edgar’s so we called 411 for his number and he sent some guy to rescue us. Turns out the battery was out of juice and we got the jump and took it back to the lot. Where we promptly got back into our car, never to return to Edgar’s again.

Sidebar to car shopping: Very good friends of ours live in Shearwater (which in case you don’t know, is not too far from where we were car shopping) so after about six cell to cell phone calls we settled on a place to meet for lunch in the city of Halifax. It was a beautiful day to be on the waterfront and we ate some goooooooood lunch at Murphy’s on the Water. Shala and I had Cedar Baked Salmon with a Maple Syrup glaze and it was as good as it sounds. Mmmmmm. And I found out that the Spinach salad that I had as a side is my new favorite salad. Fabulous! It’s the first time in a long time that I have eaten out and felt full but not fat…helpful information, I know. It was really nice to have lunch with them and not have our girls all yelling and getting covered in ketchup. But, in true parental form, we talked about our kids alot of the time. I guess it can’t be helped.

We parted ways with our friends and continued the search for the gem in the rock.

I’ll skip to the good stuff because there was alot of dead time between 2 and 4pm where we just drove around aimlessly, bought some advil, and drove around some more.

Then we get to Sunset Auto. By this time, I am so disoriented from crossing the road, dipping and dashing into car lots, and skipping from City to Sackville that I’ve just about given up hope for the gem.

It’s funny you know, we went thinking we would prolly end up with a Saturn Ion because there seemed to be quite a few with low kms that were around our price range. They’re a nice sporty looking family car and we had tested one out last weekend so we were deal hunting for one of those today. Sunset had three or four of them. We tested a black one and made the discovery that it didn’t have AC…which is a luxury but when you have children, it’s a nice feature in the summer so that you don’t blow thier hair off or let a bee fly in the window whilst trying to remain cool. Then no one remains cool if there is a bee in that car, isn’t that right, Erin? So we started scoping out some of the other ones on the lot.

Oh yes, I forgot to tell you about Tom. He’s the sales guy that came right over. He wasn’t pushy or rude. Cheesy maybe but he was nice enough. He had a bushy mustache, dark tan, bling on his hands (bling = gold rings and stuff), and a plaid-ish shirt with the top few buttons undone which seemed all too used-car-salesman to me. Whatever car we even looked at it, he urged us to take for a drive and I quote, “Take it for a half hour or so, give it a good test and then come back and we’ll work a deal.” Ok, sure Tom. After we got back with the Saturn, which was a nice ride and all, we were kind of standing around then out of what seemed like no where, Tom shows us the Ford Focus wagon that he’s been driving back and forth to work because it’s “so darn good on fuel” Our interest peeked because we just retired a Ford that had been pretty good to us up until the last year but you gotta give it credit, it was 12 years old. Anyway, this focus was loaded with yummy features such AC, power everything, sunroof, CD player, etc with decently low kms and a price we could work with.

Now I realize this is getting very long but stick with me there is a gem of a “sitcom moment” coming up.

I’ll try to be brief. I won’t lie, during the test drive, we had warm fuzzies and pretty much new this was the car for us. I had prayed before we left for God to help us both feel the same about the car we should buy so we would feel confident that we should get it. Well, we both really liked it. Step one seemed complete.

Step two – Making a deal. We chatted amongst ourselves about our price and we settled on what we thought our bottom line was, we mustered up our best confidence, and went to talk to Tom. We said our price and he did the ‘ol, “Oooo, I don’t know, I just don’t know if he’ll go this low” (who is HE?) “I’ll write it up but I don’t know. The man upstairs makes the decision.” (the man upstairs? I highly doubted he was talking about God) He did some paper work, went to see the man upstairs and came back with a counter offer. I’m not gonna bore you anymore but I’ll tell you that my husband did me proud and countered again with “two winter tires and we would have a deal.” Tom went to talk to the man upstairs again and as he came back, we heard Tom announce across the room, “Call the cops, someone call the cops cuz you’re robbing us blind here!”

Oh, I’m so serious. He said that. Isn’t that so sitcom?

Well, we got the 2002 Ford Focus sporty wagon with lots of yummy features and two winter tires. We pick up “The Gem” on Tuesday. Isn’t that an appropriate knick name? I think so.

I realize I have bored the socks right off of you here but I pretty much wanted to record this day for my own benefit because it was fun. I enjoyed myself and the time I got to spend with Mike, the super deal maker dude.

Here she is, the pic doesn’t really do The Gem justice.

focus.jpg

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This is how it normally is

I don’t know why I feel the need to share a funny email conversation between Mike and I with the world  five people who read here, but I’m going to.

Mike sends first: Jenn, go to procraft.com and look at the 12″ trimmer. we have them here now is this what you and Erin were looking for?

Slight confusion and then a lightbulb goes off…card making supplies, ok…

My reply: that website brought me to a very large website and i don’t have time to find it so can you just bring one home for me to look at? also, i have some email addresses for places we can list the ford if you want to write something up. let me know if you have time to do it and if you don’t, I’ll try and write something up and you can see what you think. but it’s prolly better if you do it 🙂

To which he replies: K

Nope, I’m not kidding, that was his reply.

I write back: well that was vague…k, you can bring one home? or k, you will write something up?

Mike: Sorry, k, I’ll bring one home and k, you better write something up and I’ll proof read it 🙂

So I try this: How’s this sound? 95 ford escort, runs well, not inspected, $500 obo

His reply: Sounds good. The only thing is I’d like to see those tires off it. Cuz they are only 1 yr old. Michelin’s, worth more than the car at this point. could save them for the next car?

Me again: no ones gonna buy a car with no tires. besides, who says the tires are even gonna fit the new car? I vote no on taking off the tires and trying to sell it. all of a sudden “runs well” turns into “engine works” cuz no one can drive it away. I’m willing to part with the tires to get rid of the car. sorry. unless you have other less impressive tires to put on it.

Mike: I would put the snow tires I have out back on it and get 2 other cheep, cheep ones (his spellling, not mine) to put on it. I know no body would buy it without tires!!

Me: Oh. Sorry, I didn’t know what you meant.

Mike: No problem, like always, I didn’t make myself clear.

That, my friends, is communication the hard way. Just a taste of daily life in the Slauen household 🙂 I love it .

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come ooooooon weekend!

I’m cheering for the weekend to hurry up and get here. It’s just been one of those weeks that nothing around here seems to have gone right for any length of time that is acceptable 🙂 Today has been a day and a half and it’s only 1:00pm. The girls are all up to trickery and deceit and that’s not usually thier style. Maybe it’s the humidity, I don’t know but they sure are on my last nerve…and I didn’t have very many nerves to begin with today.

Last night on the patio, one of my cats bit some strange looking flat brown bug and it either tasted REALLY bad or it stung her because she took to heaving and drooling and I had visions of the dying little bird (see below) and having to deal with my cat croaking too. Luckily, she seemed to get over it rather quickly. Crisis averted.

Mike and I have been looking at every used car on the floor of the valley that has four doors. I’m hoping soon he might make a decision. See, he is very careful and calculated when it comes to that sort of thing. I’d buy the first one that fit most of our criteria as long as it was a nice color. I guess in this case it pays to take your time. But I keep thinking of all the great cars we saw last weekend that will probably be sold when we go back to Sackville on Saturday. Pretty soon Mike’s parents are going to want thier second car back. They have been very good to us with loaning us cars. I don’t know if they read my blog but if you are, a big THANKS to the in-laws!

I really hope to be coming home with a new-to-us vehicle on Saturday but I’m not holding my breath 🙂

We made a really cute wrapper for a kit kat bar at Kim’s Stampin Up party the other night. I’ve shown much discipline in not tearing it open and eating it. I thought I might give it to someone because it’s so darn cute. But I have decided that NO ONE would appreciate that yummy morsal of chocolate as much as I would today. So I’m gonna eat it. And you can’t stop me. I think I’ll take a picture of it first, just for good measure.

I have a new favorite drink. And I know we went off pop in January and we’ve been really good…I’ve only bought pop one or twenty (I kid) times but there was Rasperry Gingerale on sale the other day at Zellers and I just bought it because it was pink and cheap and I didn’t expect it to be so delicious. Darn. It’s so delicious.

Well, this post was neither informative or exciting. I just like freshening my blog after a few days whether I have something worth saying or not.

Now go get yourself some Raspberry Gingerale and a Kit Kat bar and have a nice day.

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Lessons from a bird

I went to a Stampin Up party tonight and as I drove home I thought about what card I would make before I went to bed. I had it all planned.

It was dusk when I got home (I love June) and there was a bird singing so loudly and so happily in the tree right next to the driveway. It was beautiful and I actually said out loud, “You are one happy bird”.

I walked into the house and kicked off my flip-flops (have a mentioned I love June?) and just as I was walking towards the kitchen I heard that noise that no one likes to hear. A bird hit the living room window. Now, if any of you know me, you can tell by the fact that I am the cat rescuer that I have a soft spot for animals of all kinds. So of course I had to go right back outside and check to see if what I feared had happened really did happen.

There it was a little bird on the ground breathing heavily on it’s back. As I type this I’m fighting tears again because my heart immediatly broke. I can’t stand to see an animal suffer. Part of me wanted to ignore it so I wouldn’t have to see it suffer but I couldn’t just leave it there.

I came back inside and found Mike working on the back deck and cried to him the story and then grabbed the oven mitts and went back out because if it was going to suffer, it was going to do so in a comfy spot. Of course there was nothing I could do for it. It probably had a broken neck. So I just stood there, with a little bird in my oven mitts, crying my eyes out while Mike watched. I prayed for God to let it die. And then I prayed again, begging God to let it die so I wouldn’t have to watch it suffer or get Mike to put it out of it’s misery. Finally, after my third request to God for mercy on this little bird, it stretched out it’s left wing, opened it’s eyes wide and took it’s last breath. I was so relieved and sad at the same time. I thanked God for letting the little bird go and I asked Mike to go get a box so I could bury it.

While Mike was off finding an appropriate box, I thought about how out of control I was in that situation. I thought about how all I could do was cry and pray and wait for God to do whatever it was he was going to do. That was the lesson for me. Cry and pray and wait for God to do it. Knowing God knew that little bird was dying made me remember His everywhere-ness. God and I had a moment. He knew I was paying attention and I knew I had to give it to Him.

I don’t know if that was bird who had been singing beside the driveway but I do know that there was no more singing while I held the bird in my hands.

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Book Review – 2 Corinthians 1-7

What a week it has been! I turned 30 (I have to keep saying it so I can believe it) on Thursday, went “previously owned” car shopping with Mike this morning, and then attended a birthday party in my honour this afternoon organized by Erin. She gave me the nicest hair clip ever from Bargain Harley’s 😉 Oh the hair clip…

Anyway, this is the second time I have sat down to try and formulate some thoughts into what we read this week. I’m telling ya, I seem to have a harder time with the New Testament books because they are SO FULL of instruction and marvelous bits of Biblical goodness that I often don’t even know where to start. I’ll try and touch on one or two things that were most meaningful to me.

I think the first moment I had in reading these chapters this time was something I had already previoulsy underlined at some other time. Chapter 3:16 “But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” I’m sorta at a loss for words here because I haven’t been good at “seeing and reflecting the glory of the Lord” lately and that makes me sad. Imagine all I am missing by not concentrating on God’s glory! Imagine what other people might be missing by me not fully reflecting  the Lord. I’m not doing my job the way The Father would have me to do it. I don’t remember exactly when I had underlined that passage before but I do remember that I did it so I could work on that and for a time I did. I used to have in my profile write up: “He’s still working on me” and I’m so glad He doesn’t give up on me even when I give up on myself but imagine who I could be if I hadn’t stopped concentrating on God’s glory for a time. What would my reflection be like now? I think I want to find out.

Chapter 4:8 “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. Wow, what a great thing to tell Christians that have been or may be persecuted. What a great thing to tell Christians who have troubles and trials and suffering. What a great thing to tell Christians. I know this is one of those passages that you hear alot and this time it has new meaning for me. My trials and troubles would pale in comparison to some people I know…but God knows how much I can handle so for me, things that some other people would snuff at, are hard. Everyone has trials and troubles that are hard for them at times. I think for me, this passage was a good reminder because sometimes I give up. Sometimes I forget the Power that is in me that is Christ. I forgot sometimes that God has not abandoned me and I can get back up when I am knocked down. What I need to actually do is give up on myself (the old me who wants to control every thing) and rely on God for the things that make me feel beaten and battered. It sounds so easy…I’m learning. I don’t think I communicated that the way I wanted to but maybe you get the picture.

4:18 “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. I forget this alot, too. I get really caught up in the day to day stuff of life and forget that I am aiming higher. The trick seems to be to make the day to day stuff part of your “aiming higher goal” and I’m working on that too 🙂 I’m trying to imagine Paul saying this to the Corinthians at that time. What an encouraging thing when you are suffering for the cause of Christ. I bet they repeated it to themselves every day so they wouldn’t forget. Maybe that’s what I should do!

6:3We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. 4 In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. 5 We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. 6 We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us,[v] and by our sincere love.” Ok, I’m going to make a comparison here and by no means am I trying to change the word of God but I am trying to apply it to me. I’m not trying to take anything away from the suffering of Paul and his friends at this time. I know I wasn’t alive in Bible times because I couldn’t have handled what they were given. I’m just trying to show myself my downfalls (and you since I am publishing it;) Ok, I need to live in a way where no one will find fault with my ministry and currently, my most important ministry is my family. Do I patiently endure hardships and calamities? Nope. I fly off the handle and try to place some blame. There are days that I feel like verse 5…sleepless night (oh I had plenty of those), gone without food (not for too long, just some meals when Chloe was keeping me on my toes), angry mobs (of children), worked to exhaustion (trying to do it all will do that to ya). So, during those times do I prove myself with patience, understanding, kindness, and sincere love? Nope. See above about flying off the handle. Oh dear, that’s an eye opener tonight. I know these things, I know I’m messing up but being told flat out by God’s word makes me want to stand up and try harder.

Well, I think I’m glad I wrote this. I didn’t think I had anything to say when I started. I can’t stress again how important it is to sit and write it down somewhere.

I am T.I.R.E.D so if this didn’t make sense to you, that’s ok, go read the other ones, I got what I needed tonight 🙂

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30

So. This is what 30 feels like, eh? Hmmmm, I guess I feel the same. I’m tired (because it’s been a long week) and that makes me all thoughful and reminiscent which can be good and bad when you’re me. I’ve been thinking about how it seems weird not to be in my 20’s anymore and that being 30 makes one believe that they should be all grown up now. I don’t feel any more grown up yet. But that’s ok, I’ve never been one to grow up much anyway 🙂 I remember turning 10 and literally telling my mom that I didn’t want to get any older…double digits seemed so old when I was 9! I wasn’t in any hurry to grow up and I’m still not.

On the other hand, even though I don’t feel “mature”, there are some areas that I do want to mature in. I want my relationship with the Lord to grow…and even though I have been finding that difficult lately, I think I am making some progress. Book Review Friday has been HUGE for me and it’s something I SO needed, cuz serioulsy, who doesn’t need to study their Bibles? If you think you don’t need to, you’re wrong. A Christian must study to find out what God has to say. How else would you know what He wants you to do? And even though it is the most challenging and sometimes difficult thing to do what the Lord says, it is very important. I’ve got a LONG way to go but at least I am on the right track. A few months ago, I wasn’t even on the track so I’m glad to be back on.

I also have alot of growing to do as wife and mother…and this is where BRF comes in again…I am learning that there is nothing I can do on my own and I can want to be a great wife and mother but if I try to do it myself, I will fail…and I fail all the time because I keep forgetting I need the Lord’s help. But God hears my smallest prayers, my loudest prayers, and my broken-hearted ones when I fail and He answers. And I’m so grateful for that.

So, I’m going to stop obsessing about the number today represents and start being thankful for the 30 years I’ve been given so far and pray that the next time I reach a new decade, I will be a better wife and mother, and most of all, closer to the Saviour.

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Breakfast logic

Conversation between the two 3 year olds that I look after:

T – You gotta eat your bekfist so you can get big

E – I am eatin it and I am already big

T – That’s right, you big but you aren’t as big as Jenn yet

E – Nope, Jenn is really big and I’m not as big as Jenn

T – Yeah, Jenn is a big girl

E – But she’s not as big as Erin, I’m gonna be as big as Erin!

T – Erin is the biggest girl!

Sorry Erin, couldn’t resist posting this one today 🙂

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