Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tony's Story of the Lady, Two Cars and the Key that Didn't Work

My favourite part of the day is when my husband tells me a story. Usually it's something new, something that's just happened to him that day or happened that week. Quite often I will hear him tell an old story to a whole new group of people. I know where all the punch lines are, where he will pause for effect and how it will end, and still I love to hear it like it was the first time.

There are so many of his stories I could share with you but today let me tell you his latest one.

Tony had just dropped me off at the grocery store and went to park and wait as I quickly grabbed a few things. Not long after he parked he watched a lady pull in and park just in front of him. This in itself wasn't unusual, what was unusual was that she parked right beside the exact same car...same colour, same model, same everything. Just a few minutes after that, another lady came out and walked to her car. Tony watched with increasing interest as she walked to the car that had just parked. She got out her keys and proceeded to unlock "her" car. Of course the key didn't work. So she walked to the passenger side. That didn't work either. Let's try the hatch. Nope. By now she's getting noticably frustrated so Tony decides to end her frustration. He rolls down his window and says to her quite nicely, "Maybe that isn't your car." Much to his surprise she barks at him, "I think I know my own car!!!" OK then.

So he decides to just sit back and watch the show for a while. The lady has now got out her cellphone. Who she decides to call is a mystery but whoever they are, they are getting an earful. Tony sat with the windows rolled up and he could hear her quite distinctly. The whole time she's on the phone, yelling at the poor soul on the other end, she is continuing to try her keys in every lock.

At this point Tony can't stand it anymore. He decides to give it one more try. This time he gets out of the van and walks up to her and gets in her face. "Lady! he says, "that's not your car." He points at the other car which she has amazingly not seen this whole time. "That's your car!"

She is silent, her tirade suddenly over and then proceeds to get very red in the face. Without another word she gets into the right vehicle this time and speeds away. Not a word of apology or thanks. It's a miracle that she didn't take out a few people on her race to get out of there.

I laughed when Tony told me this story and then I thought how sad it was, that she didn't accept the help and advice when it was freely first offered to her. How many times in our lives does God freely offer His help and advice and we bluster back, "I can do it myself!" How many times will he have to get in my face before I pay attention.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Trees, Trails and Tupperware

Let me paint you a picture....

It's pouring rain and the trail in the dripping forest is muddy and slippery. It smells like pinetrees and wet earth. The creek is running fast and getting higher by the minute. Good thing her boots are Gortex. Now the rain is coming down harder and she slips climbing out of the creek, her jeans soaked to the knees. She can barely see because her glasses are all fogged up and covered in rain drops. She climbs the hill, slipping and grabbing roots to keep her balance, her fingernails clawing into the hillside to get a better grip. She's almost there. What did the paper say? Inside? Under? Suddenly she notices that something doesn't look quite right. The leaves and branches under that stump look too perfect, laid out in too precise a pattern. She moves the leaves and there it is! She has done it!

That "she" is me and that was me this morning searching for a geocache. The whole time, while I'm pushing my wet hair out of my eyes, I'm thinking, "what a stupid hobby," but then, there it is, in my hands, the elusive hide and what is the thought going through my mind at that moment? "I wonder where the next one is hidden." I can't help it, I just love it! I love what one cacher wrote online after they had had a particular difficult time finding a cache. He said, "All this to find hidden tupperware." That's probably the most eloquent thing I've ever read about geocaching and I can totally relate.

Why do we do it? I know I've always been a curious person and I love puzzles. I love a mystery and trying to solve it. And I love being outside in nature. I am so glad that God created us this way giving us that desire that makes us want to explore and learn new things. It just makes life so much fun. Aren't you glad that He gave us this whole amazing planet to explore?

There's only one thing that scares me about that.... do you have any idea how many places on this earth a person could hide a piece of tupperware?

Friday, October 12, 2007


I am going to Disneyland in a few months. Yes... again.

Those of you who know me, know I love Disneyland and just about anything related to Walt Disney. I've been asked many times why I love it all so much and I'm really not sure but it started when I was about ten years old. My first trip to the Magic Kingdom was in 1976... the Americans were celebrating their bicentennial that year and there was red, white and blue everywhere. One huge celebration! It was incredible.

Walt Disney himself had an amazing imagination and it seemed like he could see into the future. His attention to detail was masterful.

Here are a few bits of trivia that you might not know about Disneyland. Did you know that:

  • Gum is not, and never has been, sold inside Disneyland. Any gum found on the ground is scraped up immediately. The moment Disneyland closes the garbage is searched out by crews with flashlights.

  • All the gold used throughout Disneyland is real.

  • There is a gymnasium inside the Matterhorn. Next time you see me, ask me why.

  • The lady who played Tinkerbell during the fireworks jumped off the Matterhorn till she was 65 years old!

  • Up until 1982 the Frontier Shooting Arcade was repainted every night. It took 2000 gallons of paint a year to keep it fresh and new looking. (now they use lasers instead of lead bullets)

So by now you're probably asking yourself, "Why is she writing all this? Does she have a point?

I do. I've thought about it all day today. Because I've been wondering why I don't have that same sense of anticipation, the wish that the days would hurry along, before I go to heaven. I know it's going to be incredible. I know that there will be celebrating and singing. God built it with me in mind with a supernatural attention to detail. He is the master creator. The streets will be paved with gold and there will be a mansion built just for me. I will never grow old there and I will feel like a kid all day long.

I really do want to be excited and filled with anticipation about meeting my Lord face to face for the first time. I think I just need to read His "brochure" again...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

26 Years

It's my anniversary today. Twenty-six years ago I was a new bride. Sometimes it feels like we've been transported in time, like in a Star Trek episode. Beam me to 2007 Scotty.

Tony and I celebrate our anniversary the same way every year. We go away to explore some remote place in British Columbia (that's me, hiking in the rain, up Stoyoma Mountain this past weekend). I have many friends (OK most of my friends) who don't quite understand the whole "sleep-in-tent-4x4ing-hiking-fishing" thing, but for us it's the perfect way to celebrate who we are and who we've become. Twenty-six years ago I was a very fresh faced teenager whose most rugged camping experience was staying at Manning Park with her family. He was 22 and grew up in a family where words like venison, thirty-odd-six and ford fender were used in every day dinner conversation.

How we ever got together still remains a mystery.

Looking back at these past years, I realize that we both were willing to embrace each others' passions in life, we were both willing to learn new things and we were both willing to give the other the space to grow . We are so not the people we were that day 26 years ago.
So today I thank God for that man he brought into my life in 1977. I thank Him for the strength and courage he gave us when we needed it.

Because August 30th was when the true adventure began.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Do you Facebook?

OK, I admit it. Yesterday I signed up for Facebook. I really tried hard to stay away... really, I did. I valiantly resisted the urge to go into that cyber world of Super Walls, Photo Albums and Friend Poking. I am weak.

A few minutes after I joined up. I received three postings on my "wall."
  • my daughter, Eleah, said..."You know Dad will find out eventually."
  • my daughter, Jenna said... "Mom, you are going to get addicted to Facebook...and when do you have time for this?
  • my computer-whiz cousin, Kevin said... "Welcome to the Dark Side."

Very funny.

And then the most wonderful thing happened. Through Facebook I reconnected with another cousin. I haven't spoken to her in over a year and I missed our weekly email chats. I didn't know what had happened to her, her emails just stopped and I was getting a little worried. We had a wonderful little "talk" yesterday and now I know where she's at. Big relief.

So today I am thanking God for the internet. Yes, there is all that stuff that can clutter our lives... chat rooms, forums, pop-ups and spam. I know I have to be so careful not to let it take over. But if used right it can be a powerful instrument to explore the world. Yesterday it helped me find my friend.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


If you're an emailer or a blogger or you love "talking" in your favourite forum, then you're probably familiar with all those acronyms that people use. You know...like LOL or SYL. I use LOL a lot, way too much probably but I joke when I write and so I want to make sure that you (the reader) laughs at the appropriate moment. OK, now... LOL.

But this was a new one for me. LYLAS...

I belong to a group of seven. No, not the Group of Seven (I'm not nearly talented enough for that). This is a group of seven women. We've dubbed ourselves the Seven Sisters. Sometimes, when we feel it's necessary, we add an adjective in between the seven and the sisters... like silly or sleepy or senile. LOL.

Back in October some of our group went to the Ladies Retreat at Stillwood. The speaker was Moira Brown (fantastic, btw) and she told us how she learned about LYLAS. The moment was very poignant for me, since I don't have a sister. I have one brother and he's an amazing man, but he's also a man of few words. I am sure that when we were growing up, he decided he didn't need to talk because I did it for him (and then some). I am sorry to say but I grew up feeling quite jealous of any friend who had a sister.

So God, in His wonderful, mysterious wisdom decided to bless me instead with an amazing group of friends.
Wendy, Laurie-Anne, Pat, Rita and Dorothy
and the six of the Group of Seven - Joan, Carol,
Yvonne, Cindy, Rachelle & Lorraine.

To you I say LYLAS.
And to the rest of you - have you figured it out yet? LOL!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

What's the Point?

I have been meaning to write this for a while now.

This happened after our friend's memorial service. I had to go buy groceries after the service. It was the only time I could fit it in in that week. I really didn't want to be there, somehow it felt disrespectful to her. I looked at all the people I passed as I slowly went up and down the aisles. Everyone looked so busy, staff working stocking the shelves, customers (including me) checking off those long lists. All of the sudden I was overwhelmed with an empty feeling of pointlessness. And then it happened. God gave me a gift right there in the middle of PriceMart. My song began to play over the speakers! (read my previous post for the story about my special song.) I couldn't believe it! I stopped and listened to the words, said thank you to God and kept on moving.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Dare you to Move

The other day just before I was leaving for work and I found Eleah's "Walk to Remember" soundtrack. For seem reason I decided to listen to it on the 20 minute drive to work.

If you've never seen the movie A Walk to Remember, don't, unless you have an entire box of kleenex handy. Trust me on this one.

I popped the CD in my player and the first song came on.... a ballad called "Dare You to Move" by a band named Switchfoot.

Have you ever had God speak to you so directly that there is no way you can ignore Him. Some times He is subtle and he speaks to you in a soft voice and sometimes He is in your face. This was an in your face time for me.

Here are the lyrics that I heard that morning:

Welcome to the planet
Welcome to existence
Everyone's here
Everyone's here
Everybody's watching you now
Everybody waits for you now
What happens next
What happens next
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened before
Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistance
The tension is here
Tension is here
Between who you are and who you could be
Between how it is and how it should be
Maybe redemption has stories to tell
Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell
Where can you run to escape from yourself?
Where you gonna go?
Where you gonna go?
Salvation is here
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened before
As I listened to these powerful words I went over every terrible thing that had happened to me in the past. The passing of my father in law, the traumatic birth of my youngest daughter, the loss of a friendship. I remember literally being on the floor after Tessa was born with no desire to move on. Who dared me to move? How did my Christianity show as I went through these dark days? Was I a witness despite everything?
Because it is so true, what the song says.... "everyone is watching you now. What happens next?" As Christians we are under the world's microscope.
Thank you God. Forgivness and salvation is right where I fell.

Thursday, May 31, 2007


If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!

I read these words from Ecclesiastes today and I realized how true they are. I’ve always placed a high value on my friends but hearing it straight from God’s word was just what I needed to hear.

I am constantly guilty of not having enough time for my friends. Just last night I sent an email… “Sorry, can’t make it this week. Too much to do.” I think I said the same thing last week. Boy, that’s lame.

About 6 months ago I went through a mini crisis. I sent out an email to my Wednesday night friends (you know who you are) and asked them to pray. I didn’t send out any details, I wasn’t ready to talk about it yet. And they didn’t ask. I just felt their prayers all day. What an exceptional experience that was, to be able to just reach out, and minutes later know that they are there for you. No questions asked.

Now I have to ask myself. Am I going to let that slip away or am I going to work at cultivating it and making it better and better? If I don’t, maybe the next time I fall down there will be no one there to pick me up.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Let me Share...

While I was driving to work this morning I did some thinking about what I was going to write in my Blog today.

There are so many things I would love to write about, not necessarily important, but a little noteworthy nonetheless. So I thought to myself, "What is it you love?"

  • My Lord? Yes - though I don't tell Him often enough
  • My husband? absolutely, with my whole heart
  • My girls? - without question
  • My job? - you bet
  • My family? - they are the best
  • My friends? - each one is good for my heart

As I was thinking about all this, I realized that I put all these things I love in my scrapbooks. Did I mention that I love scrapbooking? I do - it is my joy.

So today I am going to share some of my scrapbook layouts. These are some of the things I love...

Love this photo of Tessa and Karlee. The three of us went to a sleep over at the Aquarium for Tessa's 16th birthday. What an awesome time we had.

Every year Tony pulls this old homemade trailer up to Shuswap for his mom. His dad built the trailer in their basement and they're all pretty proud of it, as you can tell!

We love Disneyland. This was one of our favourite trips there. Just us girls - 2006.

This layout is called "Pass It On." I designed it for a competition to celebrate marriage. We are very blessed to have had these wonderful marriages before us.

This is me.

I think Joan or Carol took this picture. We love to go pictographing together (looking for indian rock paintings) and they love to tease me about how I have to touch every one. Just can't seem to be able to help myself.

This is probably my favourite photo of Tony. We had found this wonderful old homestead on the west side of the Fraser and of course I was taking way too many pictures. When I turned around, this was how he was standing, waiting for me to be finished. When I saw the photo for the first time I thought how well it captured everything about him. I call this layout,"Born 100 Years Too Late."

What do you love? Have you thought today about how God has blessed you? Why don't you share your blessings with someone today.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Did I Tell You I Got a New Camera?

My family is getting so tired of this sentence but it's true. I've been waiting for this for so long so they're just going to have to put up with me for a while - I got a new camera!!

I have always loved taking photographs...there’s just something about capturing a moment in time and preserving it for posterity. I walked the Fort-to-Fort trail this morning (looking for a geo-cache of course) and my beautiful new camera was with me - it has become my constant companion. It seemed that wherever I looked there was another "kodak moment" - a tugboat with an enormous barge, a beautiful trillium, a old, old barn that was built a hundred years ago. They are all now captured on film (ooops...memory card.)

For some reason looking through the lens of my new camera has given me a renewed sense of the beauty around me. I think I have a pretty good appreciation for God’s creation... but lately I have appreciated His artistic ability more and more.

I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

My List

I am a task oriented, list person with a short attention span. Problem is I'm 44 years old and I have just figured this out.

I think maybe it has something to do with all the things I want to accomplish in one day. Tony gets so exasperated with me. "Pick one thing and finish it!" he blusters. It drives him crazy... I tell him that Oprah calls it multi-tasking. He doesn't care what Oprah calls it.

I love my daily "to-do" list and there is nothing like the thrill of adding another checkmark to that list. (Some of you know exactly what I'm talking about.) My goal (usually unattainable) is to have everything checked off that day. The problem is that if it doesn't get on the list it's not going to happen. Tony thought he'd be funny and added his own ideas to my list one day.... things like "breathe" and "blink" were on the bottom. Very funny.

I've come by this habit quite honestly. My mother has lists everywhere, usually on little yellow post-it notes stuck in obvious, make-sure-I-don't-forget places. My father has kept a coil notebook for his lists for as long as I can remember.

I don't understand how people can function without a list. I've tried it and it's not pretty. Usually I end up somewhere, like Safeway, wandering aimlessly.

So what is my point in my Blog today? I'm not sure, but now I can put a check mark in front of "Write in blog" on my list.

Monday, March 19, 2007

"Thanks God... I Found it!"

Have you ever thought that there are just too many wonderful things in this world for you to absorb? That God made this world with so many hidden gems & secrets just for you to find?

I have. I think that all the time, every day.

Yesterday Tony and I went geo-caching in a little known park north of Campbell Valley Park and the moment we stepped off the road onto the trail I was in awe of the beauty around me. The trees were dripping with bright green moss and huge ferns grew all around. It was like stepping onto a green painter's palette. I never knew this little park existed and I've lived in Langley for almost 40 years! Can you imagine what else is out there for us to find?

Like I said, we were geo-caching - one the hottest new hobbies to take hold of people these days. In a nutshell this is what you do.... you use your GPS unit to locate a box with specific co-ordinates. The box (or geo-cache) has been hidden somewhere on the planet. They are hidden everywhere, (that's me pulling a cache out of a tree) with little trinkets and a logbook inside. There are thousands just in the lower mainland. It's so addictive, the moment you say the words, "found it!!" you are ready to find the next one.

Why is it that we don't treat God's hidden wonders the same way? I truly believe that God made all this just for our enjoyment. And what do we do? We race by, going 120 on the freeway because we have to "get there." One of the greatest lessons I learned from my parents was that the holiday, the adventure, your day-to-day life, begins the moment you leave the driveway, not when you arrive at your destination. God must truly puzzle over the way we race around His planet, trying to keep up, missing everything.

Thank you God for Your creation. Please help me appreciate what a gift it truly is.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Everything I Learned From Washing Dishes

For the past three Thursdays Tony & I have been washing the dishes for the Marriage Course Dinner at our Church. I told him, "It will be fun" and he agreed to it, though he wasn't too sure about the "fun" part.

After three weeks this is what I know for sure:
  • Our church dishwasher rocks - I want one just like it.
  • My husband is a much better cleaner than he has let on.
  • Apricot stuffed ham is so yummy.
  • The care groups in our church are simply amazing... I've never seen so many happy, willing people in the kitchen.
  • Serving others is so good for your heart.
  • We're signed up for next time.

Monday, February 26, 2007

I'm supposed to be working....

I'm supposed to be working. Shhhhh...

But here I am blogging in the church office and technically this is work since I am in charge of our soon-to-be Blog website and all our new bloggers. I am very excited about this new ministry that we're undertaking and all the people who have agreed to "blog" are so talented, I'm sure everyone will enjoy what they have written so far.

I've got to say that it's exciting to be here at this job - to be able to see and hear all around this place. The upstairs is busy with running little feet at the Preschool, the parents busily coming and going. I hear the laughter coming from the fireside room as the women have their Monday Morning Bible Study, Jennifer is huffing at her computer (though she does her job with a joyful heart I'm sure) and Wes was just in here chatting with us both.

There's a feeling of excitement around here. Of things past and wonderful things to come. I know I am right where God wants me to be. And now I'd better get back to work.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Time Flies....

Tomorrow is a special day for my husband and me. Tomorrow it will be exactly 26 years ago that he proposed. How can that be? I remember when my parents celebrated their "Silver Wedding." They were old.
How on earth did time slip away so quickly? How can it be that I have a child who is 23?
I don't feel old. Honestly, I feel like I'm still 18. I enjoy so many things and I feel like there is so much I still want to do. So many places left to explore. I wish that I could just hold on to time and make it stand still for a little bit.
I guess there really is some truth to the adage: "Time flies when you're having fun." It has been an amazing, thrilling, wonderful ride with just a few unexpected bumps along the way.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Welcome & Let Me Explain.

I know, I know.... the first thing you're wondering is "Why on earth did she name her blog "Have We Got Any Peanuts?" Well.... here's the story.

This sentence describes me and my husband and our relationship to a T.

We were sitting watching a movie (a chick flick he would say) and the moment was intense, the climactic ending to a heart-wrenching story. I am weeping with emotion, not a few tears mind you, but weeping, into my soggy tissue, when my dear, dear, completely-devoid-of-any-sentiment husband turns to me and says... "Have we got any peanuts?" I looked at him like "Are you kidding me? Are you watching the same movie as me?" and he looked at me like "What?"

That moment has become the defining moment of our marriage. It happened years ago and we still laugh about it and talk about it. It has become his sentence of choice when I am sad... he uses it whenever he can see that I am becoming overcome with emotion. It lightens the moment. Because, you see, I am the most sentimental, weepy person on the planet. To quote Dolly Parton... "No one cries alone in my presence." That's me. I cry during movies, I cry at commercials, I cry when someone wins a car on the Price Is Right. In the past 25 years he has had to learn to deal with me and my emotions... this man who could be Grizzly Adams the second. I on the other hand have learned to be a little tougher and a little less sentimental. It's funny, but we both think that the other has been the one to change.

So that's it in a nutshell (pardon the pun). One sentence that reminds me to lighten up. One sentence that reminds him to tread softly. One sentence that tells the both of us to not take life too seriously.... we're only visiting this planet.

Welcome to my Blog.