Saturday, June 27, 2009

This evening's entertainment!

I got my whirlpool duet washer and dryer a couple of days ago (17 pairs of jeans at once!!!We don't even HAVE 17 pairs of jeans!) and Ben recognized it from Grandma's house as they have the same set. He likes to watch the bubbles go around in the washer which previously wasn't an option with our old ancient top loading set. I just had to TRUST it was washing my unmentionables...there was no witnessing it. Ben was very excited to sit on my lap and watch the bubbles go round on our exciting inaugurate wash cycle!

Ben's Baby

Here is Ben introducing his baby.
(Jon would like to give some credit to his new Iphone that automatically uploads video right to you tube to make it this easy to share!...I don't despise you as much as I used to Ms. Phone...)

Ben's Fort

Just press play!

(He really wanted Grampa to visit his fort!)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

"What?! She has finally run out of things to write about?!" you ask incredulously (I don't think I have EVER used that word before!) No no, it's not so, I have lots more to write about but I do like the idea of a weekly column...I tried to start a journal and I tried to start a gratitude journal. Each have one complete page. This blog is my journal and I want to put more focus on the appriciation in my life, in the little things and on what specifically brings joy to my journey...and I am going to tell every Thursday (mostly becuase they both start with "th" and I do love an alliteration!)

I am thankful for...

elastic waist yoga pants to bridge the gap between buttons and panel waist maternity shorts. ew.

lemon squares and my Mother in Law who made a bazillion of them for Ben's preschool teachers when I was too tired to move but full of appriciation for all their hard work (yes that count as three things...)

berry season

cold basements

hats (curly hair and humidity do NOT got together...with my new short do I can't just put my hair up anymore...)

ritz crackers...I really really love them this week.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Apron Strings Wound Tight

When I was 3 years old I went across the street, knocked on my little friends door and went into her house to play. I looked both ways on our quiet Newfoundland street where everyone knew their neighbours and I was aware of my mother watching me out the window. Nevertheless I was three years old. When I was five years old I walked down our street to meet my friends at the playground in Ontario where we would play unsupervised until our stomach's called us home or a Mother came to round us up. When I was eight I rode my bike around the neighbourhood and met up with other children to explore the ponds and trails. We would scale trees, climb through creeks finding tadpoles and build forts with scrap wood. I stepped on nails multiple times only to limp home to get a band aid and reassurance that my tetanus shot was up to date (from the nail the month before...). We used our allowance to buy gum at the corner store and saved up for a visit to the local chip wagon. If you were polite they would give you your fry box half full so you could put ketchup halfway on the fries before they filled it to the top.

I always walked to school, alone most of the way, until I reached a friends house. There were swarms of other children walking around me though and I certainly never felt scared or alone.

We scraped our knees, banged heads, teased, got teased, fell off our bikes, played in the rain, got yelled at by other adults when we asked for it, made lots of memories and learned a lot.

20 years ago I didn't feel like the world was a scary place. Now I do.

In my safe, family oriented neighbourhood full of thirty something families and hordes of children everywhere you look times have changed. Parents walk their children to school, even though it is within site from the end of our street. Children play in their driveways while parents set up camp chairs at the end to watch them drive up the road. I know parents who don't allow their children to play inside other children's houses and the two large ponds behind our home and the woods full of adventure beyond that remain virtually untouched aside from the teenagers who managed to sneak out on a Friday night as evidenced by the beer bottles they leave behind. The playgrounds are still, thankfully bustling with children but not far from arms length stand their doting parents ready to break up a disagreement and police the swings. Many Parents find it safer to allow their children to simply alternate their play from computer screen to television to game console and back again. Thus eliminating any risk of injury or negative childhood experience at all. Tetanus shot is not in their vocabulary.

I had a great childhood. I had lots of freedom and I had street smarts. I learned many valuable lessons, including Independence. I did not have particularly negligent parents, just the opposite in fact, of all the kids in the neighbourhood I had the most restrictions but it didn't impede too much on our adventures. I wish Ben could have the sort of childhood memories I reminisce about. I don't want him to look back on his early years and remember all his favorite shows with a small callous left over on his video game thumb to serve as memories. I want him to EXPERIENCE, to make memories, to get into trouble and to learn the hard way which tree branches will not hold a 60 pound seven year old. I want him to get muddy and have sword fights in the woods. I want to be in the house cooking dinner assured that boys will be boys and have the band aids permanently on the counter. I think this unfortunately is not to be.

Ben already knows that two steps ahead of me without my hand is too far. He is cautious and calculating and looks at me often for silent permission or assurance. I am teaching this way because the world of my childhood no longer exists, maybe it never did but we didn't know better then. We hear about every abduction, freak accident, drowning, hit and run and choking that happens on the continent. We can't help but be more careful, or paranoid now that we know of all the possibilities that could happen because it happened last week to a little boy in Omaha. I wish at times for the blissful ignorance of Parents in the 80's. I wish Ben could play alone in his yard or wait for a moment in the car while I ran into the gas station. Instead I put another knot in the apron string and grip his hand a little tighter wishing for a freedom for him he will never know.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How Very Ben

Isn't he wonderful?!

How Sweet

I gained 90 pounds when I was pregnant with Ben. I am NOT gaining 90 pounds while I am pregnant with this baby. Do you know how much work losing 90 pounds is? Do you know how little fun the process is? Do you know you can't eat chocolate at all?!

I have gained four pounds in 11 weeks and considering increased blood volume, my bigger gazungas and a little water retention this is about on track...but now people know I am pregnant and something comes over a person when they are around a gestating woman...they have an overwhelming desire to feed them. This must be biologically driven to aid in the successful nutrition of the future offspring. Everywhere I go, people feed me. I was at a guest speaker series the other day and there was one piece of delicious coconut cake left. "Give it to Jenn, she is pregnant" silent nods of agreement ensued and I had a second heaping portion of cake on my plate. Thank you and thank you...

I mentioned in a past blog recently my love for Mennonite rhubarb crumble cake. My always thoughtful mother in law read this blog and to my utter delight sent J home from work with my very own Rhubarb crumble cake from her own oven for me! She is not Mennonite, but you'd never guess that from her baking! How sweet, how thoughtful, how so very scrumptious! (J did not even get his token bite this time!)

I love food, I love being pregnant but I will NOT gain 90 pounds...

Monday, June 22, 2009

This could only mean one thing!

My first sign was the insatiable craving for dill pickle chips...and frozen yogurt...
The second and more obvious was the positive pregnancy test and the one that really drove it home of course was the less then subtle picture of a person growing inside me at the ultrasound clinic. With our skills in logical deduction then we think its pretty official... A NEW NEEB IS COMING TO OUR FAMILY! Estimated arrival time is around January 15 2010!

We are of course super excited to meet this new little bundle...which I am SURE is a I should start buying pink right?!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Confessions of A Daddy's Girl

When I was five years old I was awoken from sleep by my Father.
"Shhh he said, I have a surprise for you". We snuck down the stairs, past my sleeping brother's room and got into the car. It was dark and well outside of the norm. I knew it didn't matter where we were going, the main thing was it was past my bedtime and I was with my dad, it could only be exciting. Fireworks. He brought me to see fireworks, just him and I. In the memory bank of defining moments when one quickly rewinds life this is a memory that jumps out as it represents so much; I really love my father and I really feel like I was special to him.

When I was six he brought me to see my first movie. It was the Land Before Time and the theatre was full. We found one seat in the front and I sat on his lap. I saw a friend from school behind us and was proud someone saw me out to the movies with my dad. I fell asleep with a half eaten kit kat bar in my hand (sworn to secrecy not to tell Mommy about) and woke up with no recollection of the movie but my dad's white shirt covered in chocolate stains from my drooling mouth. It was a new shirt, I remember that. I thought fleetingly that he would be angry. I stared at his shirt and he smiled. "It's just a shirt Jenny-honey".

How many times my dad would make things okay with that phrase.
"It's just money" he's say when there was none.
"It's just a car" he said after I totalled his.
"It's just a phase" I'd hear him telling my mother when I was misbehaving.
He always knew his priorities. It was always us.

When I was 9 my Dad asked me if I wanted to come with him to work one night. I was honored to be invited to this place reserved for adults. I wore my church clothes and had my mom do my hair. He laughed when he saw me and although it embarrassed me at the time, in hind site I think he felt proud that I regarded this as such a special occasion, church shoe worthy even.

The times in my life when it was just my dad and me are some of my favorite memories. I loved being his little girl. But I wasn't his only girl.
I was always aware of the other woman in my dad's life. He loved her very much and I watched this relationship with interest. My Mother and Father were in love my whole life. I cannot remember a time when I questioned their devotion to each other. I saw how he treated her, always first, always special, always lovingly. When I got out of line and said something I shouldn't to her my Dad only intervened to gently remind me I was not to speak to his wife in that way. If annoyed at the time I was relieved at his defence. I learned how couples in love treated each other, doted on one another and supported each other.

When asked in my preschool years what I planned to do when I grew up I proudly answered "marry my daddy".

My mother explained that I couldn't marry Daddy because she married him, but I could marry someone just like him. She explained that there were only ten men in the whole world that were a ten out of ten. She got one of them and she knew of only a couple more so now there were only seven left. I would have to be very picky to find my ten.

Somehow I remembered this, and through my early adolescence and into my later teenage years I looked for this man. While friends were dating any boy who looked at them twice I was searching for something better.I was looking for someone who could fill my fathar's shoes, a ten. I didn't have to settle because I knew until I found the one I could marry I had a Father who loved me more then any high school boy could and offered me the support and advice I needed, I had the confidence to wait.

I was in my early twenties when I finally met a worthy man, coincidentally of the same name. He was everything I loved about my father and more. When I brought him home for the big test, I waited anxiously to hear my father's opinion. "Jenny- honey, I have one thing to say to you. You will marry him or I will!"

I did marry a great man, (now there are only 6...) but I didn't replace my father. A girl always needs her dad. I love my goof ball, stubborn, sarcastic, show off, generous, loving, supportive, old joke telling, hard working father in a way I could never love anyone else!

I love you Dad!!!
Happy Father's day!

My Son's Father

I was asked recently what I hope for my son. I didn't need to think long before I answered,

"I hope that he will be a man of integrity, a man who will do the right thing, even when it's the hard thing. I hope he will find honor in the high road. I also hope for my son a life of authenticity where he has the confidence to be true to himself and not fall prisoner to conformity. I hope he finds what is genuine about himself and the freedom to pursue it".

"how are you going to help give him this?" I was then asked.

"simple", I said.
"I married a man who as his father is the greatest role model in his life. My son's father exemplifies integrity and being true to oneself better then anyone I have ever known".

Had I gone on in conversation I would have told her as well that my son's father is intelligent, handsome, funny, thoughtful, diligent, faithful, hard working, honorable and despite this, humble. I would have said from the moment I met him I loved him. Something in his eyes told me I could never be apart from him again, I would never want to be. He is not an open book. To know my son's father you must get past a test of trust and should you be be grated entrance to knowing him, really knowing him you will find in him a great example of a man, a husband, son, friend and father. You will be better for knowing him. Really knowing him. I would tell her I have done so much for my son already in this. The greatest gift I could give him is a father like his.

Happy Father's day to a hand picked father!

We love you forever and ever and even after that! Jenn and Ben xxoxooxoxox

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

So confussed

As we continue learning to use the toilet Ben is getting more interested in the body parts involved. He points and we tell him the name and function. He now knows exactly where both number one and two come from. This is helpful as we instruct him during the process. Tonight Ben insisted he needed to use the toilet. Even though I had just changed a full diaper he hopped on and stared hard at himself willing the pee to come. "push Ben, and make the pee come out" I told him. Ben complied and pushed so hard his face turned red. He exhaled deeply and with a somber look raised his head to stare at me. Still breathing hard he looked sadly at me, his eyes welling with tears,

"broken mommy".

I tried to reassure him that no, he is fact certainly not broken but only run out of pee to no avail, he was still upset. I left his diaper off so that we could make it to the toilet as soon as he had to go next time. I found him a short time later crouched down watching the flood of pee make its abundant exit and grinned up at me from his squat,

"All better Mommy".


To Market, To Market

On a beautiful Saturday morning there is nothing better that we like doing then heading over to the St. Jacobs farmers market. This is n ot a only a huge tourist attraction (as evidenced by the swarms of people from all over the world eager to sweep up as many Mennonite maple candies and pies as they could cram in their suitcases) but a convenient way to support local produce. Many of the vendors are old order Mennonites who, true to name follow the old fashioned way of doing everything from cheese making, preserving, baking and crafting. You can imagine it is just that much better. Somehow you can always tell a Mennonite strawberry from an import! It is fun to take in all the people as well. Every single kind of person you could imagine (and some you couldn't) come out to the market. It is really something that appeals to everyone! Ben enjoys taking it in from Daddy's back and taking a quick trip to petting zoo on our way out. We noticed the horse drawn tour bus (as is the common mode of transportation around that area) and we keep meaning to take the bus tour around the farm. We may wait until the fall to do that now...or maybe spring, during syrup season!

We always leave the market with full stomachs, fresh buns ("3 bags- 5 Dollar!" she yells...) and some Mennonite strawberry, rhubarb crumble haven't truly lived until you have tried this. You will have to get your own though as I don't share...well maybe if you ask nicely enough you can get a bite as big as Jon's...but he will tell you, you may as well get your own for what that is worth! :)

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I was thinking just yesterday in fact that I have never won something in a draw or a lottery or sweep stake. I always wanted to win something, it could be anything really and I would be SO thrilled!!! Today I was just informed that someone out there thought my little ol blog was worth some recognition (People are reading??!!...then why don't you comment?! stop hiding!)It seems that a prize awarded for hard work or creativity is much more fulfilling ( I imagine) then winning something at random. I am very proud to accept my "One Lovely Blog Award". Thanks Angela from

When I accept this award I agree to pass it on to 15 other blogs I feel are readable and noteworthy. Hmmmm I don't think I read 15 blogs! I will try to find 15...if I can't I hope my award is not revoked!!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009




On Tuesday June 09 2009 at approximately 5:25 pm Ben alerted his parents to an impeding bowel movement. Out of habit more then past successes his father asked if he wanted to go to the potty. He complied and after 5 minutes of reading books on the toilet he announced what had just been left in the potty!

Ben's mother and father for all intents and purposes lost their minds in cheering for him while he beamed.

Ben's mother did not have an appropriate "treat" as promised for months for such an occasion and had to scramble in the kitchen. One piece of a chocolate chip granola bar seemed to appease him...this time...

Ben continues to lead his cars, blocks and balls to aforementioned potty so they to can eliminate to his cheers!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sounds of an Afternoon

In what I thought to be a lazy, quiet, rainy afternoon this is what I heard;

rain against the window
whirl of a ceiling fan
Ben crying out in his sleep
computer keys typing
car door slamming
birds singing
geese honking
screen door shutting
car horn
hum of the fridge
neighbours voices outside the window
spoon dropping
phone ringing
toilet flushing
couch creaking
water running

Not so quiet after all...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Dometic Diva

My sweet cousin Kristie from Nova Scotia is living with my parents right now for school. It is so nice to have family close as that is something very different for us. Whenever we go to visit Grammie and Grandad and "tisty" she always has something coming out of the oven. Of course my mom had to buy new bake ware as hers was long thrown out in a final fit of burnt muffins/cookies/pie. Kristy is very "Martha" and I am very envious of her natural attraction of all things domestic. While watching her one afternoon take another batch of delicious smelling somethings out of the oven I realized what her secret must be. The APRON. She always wears a beautiful apron, 1950's June clever style. You cannot possibly put on an apron like that and not immediately want to crochet or mix something. I have commented on this apron many times since my discovery and when she arrived back from a visit home she had in her suitcase a secret for me too!!! True to suspicion my baking has improved and my crafting taken off all thanks to my sweet cousin Kristie and an apron one cannot help but tote a wooden spoon with!
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