Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Childhood Smells

Today I had a day full of childhood memories all through the wonderful sense of smell! First of all, this morning I was washing dishes with my lavender dish soap and I just kept "smelling" Grandma. I don't know what she had in her house that was lavender scented, but the smell of lavender always reminds me of her.

Then after taking Oma to the store, Timothy, Stephen and I headed for the backyard. I had to mow our jungle back there before the tigers started to think this was their new home. Ok. It wasn't that bad, but it was getting there! The smell of freshly cut grass triggered memories of summer nights when we would be in bed and Dad would be finishing the mowing outside our window. I can still hear the mower (or maybe it's just our neighbor's still humming tonight) and smell that sweet smell of cut grass...all mixed in with a little gasoline from the mower. Ahhh. Summer!

The older boys and I also dug deep into the garden today and planted a long row of carrots, the same of beets (the boys' request for this year's garden), some zucchini and two bean plants that Stephen planted in school. The smell of that musty, dusty dirt brought back memories of the hours and hours we spent out in the garden as kids weeding and hoeing and messing around when we were supposed to be weeding and hoeing! I never dreamed as a child that one day I would be thrilled to have my own little garden.

Tonight before supper I experienced another childhood smell that was as clear as the days that Mom would create this aroma in her own kitchen! Cabbage and noodles!! I also had some meat on the barbeque, so when I walked back into the kitchen after checking on it, the smell of sauteing onions and cabbage was overwhelming. I had to just stand there and stir that mixture, breathing in the smells that actually brought back specific scenes of Mom standing at the stove stirring the same ingredients thirty years ago.

It's amazing how certain smells can conjour up memories that were almost completely forgotten. Good smells. Bad smells. Unique smells. I wonder what smells are creating memories in my boys' minds that will reappear in their future some day.

Monday, May 26, 2008

HELP! Travel Information Needed!

Ok. I'm desperate now. I've been on this computer for hours and hours now over the past few weeks looking for a decent and affordable place to stay in Vancouver, BC. I just can't believe how expensive it is in that city just for ONE NIGHT of lodging! I'm worn out from looking at option after option that are just not affordable. I've been looking at Bed and Breakfast options, Inns, Guest Houses, apartment rentals, etc, because they are tending to be less expensive than hotels, but so many of these places are "adult only" facilities.

Can any of my readers help me out? Have any of you ever gone to Vancouver and had success staying at an affordable place that will accept children? Any suggestions, my friends?


Saturday, May 24, 2008

I'm Tired!

I don't think I've felt this tired for a long, long time! I've had such a busy week and now I'm ready to crash. But I can't yet. I still have to work on my Sunday School lesson, make tomorrow's lunch, get our clothes ready for tomorrow, empty the dishwasher, sweep the floor, finalize my Watkins event from today .... the list goes on.

I think my problem is a result of a couple of days of sleep deprivation. This week I had a Cookie Kitchen order for a bridal shower that needed to be ready for pick up today. Today I also had an interesting Watkins-related day. Both of these events had deadlines that I had to meet and a lot of my preparations for these had to be done at the last minute. That's why I had to stay up so late and get up so early to get everything done the past few days. Besides that, I had the privilege of spending the night with my cousin, Bianca, since she lives so close to my Watkins event today. We stayed up way too late talking and I had to be up and out the door way too early this morning. I'm tired!! Forty-one year old women don't do well at late night sleepovers.

Today I was in Loweville, Ontario (Ever heard of that? Me neither ... until now!). I participated in a Home Parties Event as a Watkins representative. I had a table along with 23 other vendors such as Pampered Chef, Tupperware, PartyLite, Discovery Toys, etc. What a great day! I take after Mom and love meeting new people and talking to them, so this was a perfect opportunity for me today. People would stop by my table and sample the dips, the MSG-free chicken soup, the peppers, try on the lotions, spray the cleaners, etc. My favorite customers, by far, were the little old ladies that would turn the corner to my table, see the products displayed and gasp with wonder. "Watkins! I haven't seen Watkins for YEARS! I didn't know they were even around anymore! Can I smell this? Oooohhhhh! It's the same smell as when I was a little girl! Look! The packaging is still the same, too!" Remember now, these are little old ladies talking here ... little old ladies with hearing aides turned down because of all the background din, so they are speaking quite loudly at this point... and I'm hollering back at them so that they can hear ME! What fun it was to talk to them. Some of them even remembered the name of the Watkins Man that would come by their house every week with his goods, and then he'd sit and have coffee with their dad. It was such a joy to listen to their stories of their childhoods and hear their excitement of seeing something from their past that hasn't changed. It was also interesting to see some of them write their e-mail addresses down on their orders because they want to be included in my mailing list! Sweet ladies. They were the highlights of my day.

So my event is over. The cookies have been picked up. The boys are in bed. I still have all those things to do, but this little break here has rejuvenated me. I've got my second wind so I'd better get going before it dies out!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Stephen!

On Monday, Stephen turned a glorious FIVE years old! Maybe "glorious" isn't the word. I think it's more like a "rambunctious" five years old. Or a "curious" five years old. Or for Mommy and Daddy, it's a "confusing" five years old. We thought we had it rough when he was younger, but now that he truly exerts his own will and his own personality, we remember the days of infanthood with fond memories.

Stephen had a birthday perfectly fit for any five year old! We got to go to Ohio to have a Candyland birthday party with all our Ohio cousins. What fun! Laurel made us a delicious sheet cake and frosted it white and then Lily, Timothy, Stephen, Aunt Liz, Aunt Dianne, Grandma S. and Grandma B. went to town decorating the cake with all the candy available to make the perfect Candyland cake. Even Christopher helped by sucking off the Starburst pieces before putting them down on the cake. His slobbering into the chocoate rock bowl turned some of the adults off of the cake, but the kids went right on taste-testing as they decorated.

When cousins Isabel and Faith got to the party, we played a HUGE Candyland game that was all over the living room and hallway floors. That was fun because at the end of the gameboard was a gigantic bowl of prizes for everyone! We made Fruit Loop necklaces and played Guess the Gumdrops and Pick the Lollipop games. If you were in need of a sugar fix, this was the place to be on Stephen's birthday! For most of us, the thought of all that sugar was revolting, but the kids loved every minute of it.

Stephen, may God be the One to make you sweeter and sweeter every day. May He bless you with a love and longing for Him and may you find your joy in His presence forevermore!
Happy 5th Birthday to you, Stephen!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Something to Consider

We were talking about germs yesterday, and how they are found on everything we touch. Thus creating the need to wash our hands regularly and well. Stephen came up with a brilliant idea. If we would just touch everything in the world and then wash our hands, all the germs would be gone and we'd never have to wash our hands again.

Something to consider, especially if you are an almost-five-year-old boy who can't stand to wash his hands, not only when he wants to help in the kitchen, but at any time, for any reason.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Nap Time!

I guess I should have clued in that Christopher was tired when I stopped hearing noise upstairs in the boys' bedroom. Poor guy. He fell asleep hugging Curious George!

PS. Notice his wet sleeve? That was after he had a grand old time playing in the toilet! I discovered that, too, when I went in and saw the disaster in the bathroom!