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Monday, May 13, 2019

Calm is my Superpower

Good morning! Happy Mothers Day. I'm a mom of four kids. I'm pretty excited because I get to the come to stage and look for my kids and wave!!!

Well last week, the speaker talked about "the cup of coffee before it gets cold". That is exactly the opposite of me trying to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee. First of all, as a mom, there is no sitting down; and second of all, there's no way that cup of coffee will stay hot! By the time I get to it, it's so cold enough to make ice coffee. Just add ice! But by the time, I'm done doing mom things each morning, that cup of ice coffee will be completely melted!! But why?

I think we are rushing are children here and there and doing too many activities, or maybe that's just me. I'm always saying, hurry up and eat your breakfast, hurry up and brush your teeth, hurry up and get your shoes on... Sometimes my youngest will say to me, I'm already putting my shoes on. If you tell me to hurry up, it doesn't make me put on my shoes on faster!! OK?! (mad face emoji) And then she moves slower and time seems to freeze and we move in slow motion, running to catch the bus. (Don’t worry, we’ve never missed the bus)

And the only thing keeping me from getting mad, and losing my cool, is that I've been mad before and regretted it, so it is better to engage my superpowers and stay CALM. I saw a mom with a motto on her Instagram page, "Calm is My Superpower" and I thought, wow she is my new Superhero.

But there is yet a better source of power. You all know what I’m going to say!! There’s a hymn I know, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.” I’m not going to sing it for you. All the dishes, all the chores, all the messy toys, they’ll just disappear. Right? Not. But I know that it is important pray. Sometimes I forget to pray, but my sons pray every night, even when the night time routine is running late. The older one will say Thank You to God for every small thing or big thing that happens that day. The younger one will ask me to sing the Lord’s Prayer, either the classical Charlotte Church way or the Stephen Curtis Chapman tune. We’re in a hurry, but they always pray.

But that's just it, what's the big hurry. From my perspective, each day seems to repeat itself, over and over again - the wakeup, getting ready for school, work, going out for sports, coming back home, chores, falling asleep again, and doing the same thing again, everyday, just trying to be BETTER or FASTER each day. I think there's a movie about that. It's called the Edge of Tomorrow, by Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. You should watch it, then you'll know what I mean, except that their movie is about fighting aliens and saving the world. Live, Die, Repeat. My movie would be like - Cold coffee, #MomLife, Sleep very late, Repeat...

Is that what motherhood is all about? Hopefully not. I only feel this way because the days are long, but the years are short.

My oldest just turned 12. She planned her own birthday party with her best friend! I just had to show up, at my own house, with pizza and fruits and vegetables and chips! 16 girls - they played foozball and piano; they made slime and squishy toys, dared each other to eat yucky jellybeans, and cartwheels on the grass. But I still remember it like yesterday, the day she was born, she was only this big (show: wrist to elbow length)... then her clothes kept shrinking and shrinking in the wash, and now she wears my clothes now, sometimes, because my clothes keep shrinking, and shrinking... I used to sing her lullabies. Now she can play them on the piano! They grow up so fast! lm driving her to all her hair appointments and parties, someday she'll be driving me!

But in all seriousness, there are times when my children want to talk to me, but I'm just too busy doing this and that to just slow down and listen. They want to show me this random piece of art or this worksheet from school that they're so proud of (but them I secretly throw them in to the paper recycling). Well I kept alot of them actually. My oldest used to give me lots of I love you notes and drawings everyday; the sons would draw robots and plants vs zombies too. But I have noticed, as they get older they draw less and less. My youngest baby is still little and she draws flowers, and princesses, and castles and houses and maps... But when she shows me things or tells me things, I know that I need to listen. I need to model good listening, if I want them to listen to me.

I have found a good quote that I can only aspire to achieve, to be the mom that God meant me to be.

Here's one that my friend Dori wrote, who's also a mom and professional artist - Children Need Love, Patience and Time. When guided by Love, it is easier to be Patient. When Patient it is easier to give your Time.

I'll say it again, because there might be some moments in a seemingly repetitive life, that you need to hear this again.

Children Need Love, Patience and Time. When guided by Love, it is easier to be Patient. When Patient it is easier to give your Time.

*If I had more time, I would’ve added this here*

Anyway when you start feeling that the days are too long, Moms use your Superpowers to stay calm; don't hurry so much because the years go by way too fast. May you always remember to pray, and that your children will pray for you too. Thank you.

*I’d like to include a few wise words my mom shared with me before I moved away from home, all the way from my hometown to Ontario. First of all, my mom loves plants, she has dozens of houses plants, some are even older than my sister. Second of all, she’s really good at transplanting them into bigger pots, that’s why she has so many of them! But that’s the secret, she told me that a plant has to be planted into a bigger pot to grow bigger. She told me that I wasn’t just moving away to do my masters or to start a new job, I was being transplanted into a bigger pot so I could keep growing. Sure, growing as in personal growth, or upwards in my career (or sideways too!) I miss my mom, because I only see her once a year, and she’s always travelling and going on trips with my dad. I want to talk sometimes, but they’re kinda too busy to listen… see!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Lego Gummies

My friend is a DIY superstar. She made these and gave out a big bag of them to my kids.

Scupting mode lego template from here

The page I brought you to is for Sorta-Clear 37 Pint Kit 2Lb. There are two other kinds (18 and 40). Each pack contains two jars of goop that you mix together, but 18 and 40 require measuring/weighing the right amounts to mix together. The 37 variety mixes equal parts of both goop which eliminates the need to do any measuring. Best of all, this is the 2lb quantity, which is enough to make 2 moulds (thus speeding up your gummy-making process). Once you've made this mould though, you'll never need to do it again, so I find the extra effort was worth it.

Do it a bit at a time. I first starting building the mould FOR the mould using Lego blocks. The next day I mixed the silicon and poured it in (easy peezy). Day later I trimmed off the thing layers of silicon that squeezed through the Lego blocks. After that, i just made one flavour of gummies per night until I got six in total.

Talk to Your Kids

An important discussion popped up during dinner time conversation; a tough talk that I was hoping to postpone to the future.  That dreadful talk about drugs! Bring it up sooner when they are still willing to listen!  We were able to get the point across but in a humorous and serious way.  We basically flat out said, hey kids don't do drugs. What?

I had already warned them in the past, don't take candies from strangers, and I had used the same example before about not accepting "things that look like candies" from anybody. My kids are still young but not too young to be aware of the dangers; warning them to be strong in the face of a decision point. We talked about how drugs can be addictive, make someone do crazy things, make someone waste all their money, mess up their face, lose their friends and family....

On a quiet bus ride home this evening from the downtown core, I overheard a conversation between two young men. One guy told his friend that he would like to try Ecstasy, the friend just said, "Don't do it man, it's bad for you, you don't know who you're getting it from or if it's the real thing. If you want to have fun, just have a beer, but don't drink too much..." They chatted some more and the guy had to get off the bus.  I really couldn't help but commend the young friend for counselling his buddy to stay away from drugs. We chatted about things, including the conversation I had with my kids, and how important it is to talk about it, and even be that friend who is strong enough to say no, please don't do it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Oatmeal bars for brekky

I should really use my Epicure mini-bars silicone baking sheet

Baked Oatmeal To Go
Ingredients 1 eggs 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cups applesauce, unsweetened 1/2 banana, mashed 3 packets of Sweetleaf Stevia or 3/4 teaspoons stevia powder or use ¼ cup honey 2.5 cups, Old Fashioned rolled oats 1/8 cup flaxseed meal 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon 1.5 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt 1 3/8 cups milk Cran & Apple cinnamon cheeseball seasoning mix Summer berry dip mix
Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix eggs, vanilla, applesauce, banana and Stevia together in a bowl. Add in oats, flax, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and mix well with wet ingredients. Finally pour in milk and combine. Spray petites pan tin with cooking spray. Pour mixture evenly into compartments. If using fresh or frozen fruit, drop it right into the batter. Top with either Cran & Apple or Summber berry dip mix. Bake 25 minutes until a toothpick in center comes out clean. Cool and enjoy or freeze them in gallon freezer bags.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Where do humans come from?

A man walks into a bar (ouch!) and adamantly declares that. "Man came from monkeys. it's called evolution"

Actually it happened more like this... A man of science and business with two masters degrees, holding up the newest edition of National Geographic with a neanderthal like image on the cover boldly told my daughter that man came from monkeys. I was quite speechless, but my daughter just looked up, blinked and went back to her music game on the ipad. Not quite a disaster and I don't quite feel the need to quote scripture and start thumping my bible and saying what I know is true, that God created the heavens, and earth and space, and plants and animals and man blah blah blah. We're not having an argument about that but I just feel the need to rant a bit about people who just boldly declare that monkeys turned into man, but they don't have the facts or knowledge to back that up! Nor anything else to expand on that.
Image source: Amazon

It is clearly a simplistic view because I tried to ask him what he meant by that, but I was really the only one talking for five whole minutes and I'm not even a real scientist or an anthropologist, but I have a heart and I have words!

It's not a simple jump from monkey to man; well which monkey? There are so many species of them. And which man or stage of man? Lucy? Ice man? Homo erectus? Hominids? Homo sapiens? O by the way did you even know that humans as we know them today are called homo sapien.

Have you even read the Origin of Species? How many times was the word "evolution" actually used by Darwin? Totally a trick question. Yes there is enviromental adaptation and the observation of the survival of the fittest, and diversity. This cannot be disputed, you see this in bacteria with genes mutated to be immune to the strongest antibiotic known to mankind.

The whole point of this rant is not about monkeys morphing into humans, like over millions and millions of years, which in fact isn't even the measurable age of the earth. Modern Man or Prehistoric man? There is the matter of Anthropology - the study of man or the origins of man (mankind for those who prefer this word). Where did the first "man" come from? Was she a man or woman? Did they eat a paleo diet? (do you even know what is a paleo diet, then why are you telling me about cavemen. And are you talking about monkeys or cavemen? Big diff here!) Are you talking about the first common ancestor in Africa, who moved to different regions of the earth by migration by land or sea to settle independently? What form of transportation did they use? Is he the final iteration of man as homo sapien or the model before us?

And after this monkey-man evolved into a human, did he learn to grow crops? Did he learn to form a community or a government? Nomadic or agricultural farmers? What did he eat? Did he learn to build empires and colonize uncharted lands?

On the topic of plants, is there any other species on earth that grows crops, nurtures plants? That is by definition, colonization,  when you grow plants on the new soil. Just like in the movie Mars, about the astronaut accidently left behind on Mars and managed to grow plants on Mars. Humans on Mars, and humans meeting Martians. Will there be battles, war? Who is more evil, what is evil?

What defines evil? What makes someone feel bad or feel bad about doing something bad or feel bad about doing something bad to someone? Can empathy be measured or observed? Why, because we have a soul? What is a soul, how long does it last? Does it live on? Where did it come from?

Is a soul connected to a body, if yes how long does the soul last after the body dies? What happens to a body, after a proper burial, whether it's cremation or after decomposition... we are returned to atoms and dirt. Ashes to Ashes, what does that actually mean?

I wasn't made from a monkey, I was indeed made from cells and protein and carbon. You can't just tell a child that Man came from Monkeys,

Open Up Battleship Periodic Table Style

Whether you played the game as a kid, like an armchair Admiral or you watched the recent movie that makes Art of War seem like a good book (well it is!); well here is a really new twist on this game to learn the Periodic Table at the same time!

Image Source

Get the rules here:

Get your printable Periodic table here:

Now head to your local stationary store to buy the file folders, wipe-clean markers and do your lamination on the spot. But if you just want to see the beloved Periodic Table everywhere...

You wont have to walk far for a nice hot shower...
Image Source

Or a nice ride home from the Science lab...
Image Source

Sunday, September 20, 2015

How Do You Say Happy Birthday?

Just going through my boxes of old mail and random birthday cards while preparing to pack for a big move! I found a few diaries which I quickly tossed in the garbage or recycle bin, cuz who wants to read old diaries anyway (well not my life anyway). The journal with the most attractive cover of Pablo Picasso Irises caught my eye and I happened to open it up the page about some old friends setting up a surprise birthday party for me!

Coincidentally, tonight is the night before my old friend's birthday who had passed away suddenly on Christmas Eve about five years ago. I don't have too many good friends who have passed away; there are many I've lost touch with. Memories are precious, I feel bad sometimes that I've moved on or life happens and you just forget about something neat that happened, like staring at an old photograph. I just want to remember about him a little bit longer, a friend who helped me pack boxes and move, or listen to me ramble about bad dates or breakups, introduced me to the music of Bon Jovi and the sport of hockey (watching hockey games that is) and hockey pools. A friend who wrote a software program to analyze the players stats from the regular season and choose a purely statistical estimation just for me because I didn`t official watch hockey and I really didn`t know who was who, but I just wanted to be in the hockey pool with the others at work. A friend and mentor who guided me through my first step into a career in the public service in the aerospace industry which I'm not longer a part of, but it lead me to a path I never thought of before. A friend who planned a fantastic surprise birthday party for me, and I wish that I could just do the same for him, or just to say Happy Birthday to him, again.

On a lighter note, here is my entry, word for word because it's fun to play "truth or dare" and read from any page in your dairy!!

dated 8 April
"Trevor and JF threw me a surprise birthday party! They're so smart. They just invited Anny and Alex and I for Chinese food. Trevor had a big box in his hand when I went to pick him up.  Well after we took a few detours to get to the right bridge, we finally found our way. Thx to Anny and Trevor!  JF listens to some pretty serious Rock & Roll.  He's got the ugly Iron Maiden posters everywhere.  Takeout Chinese food was ok.  Hey it was their treat! We watched Women's International Hockey, Canada vs. USA.  Well Canada kicks ass 3 - 2.

And when they brought out the cake, I was so surprised. 24 candles on a black forest cake! Wow. I was so happy!  How did they guess that was my favorite? haha. " happy face icon.

Happy times! Well among the many interesting things we used to talk about, Trevor told me about the Cayman Islands being the place where rich people go because there were no taxes and such. He told me about Lear Jets and navigation and all that.  In fact we completed one year of flight training together because of the nature of our work. All of these are unrelated facts to the uninteresting career of Geomatics Engineers lol. Anyway, that Christmas five years ago when I saw his photo splashed on the news that he was missing, my first thought was that he finally did it! He finally decided to disappear. We had previously read books and randomly talked about how people can disappear... I mean back in the day before the Internet was such a permanent digital record. I really felt deep in my heart, a bit of wishful thinking that he had just slipped away on a private jet, left the world behind and was enjoying an ice cold coffee on the beach somewhere on the other side of the world... But that`s not where they found him.  Regardless, it`s not about how somebody died but how they lived, and the moments with friends that your friends may still remember.  Even the children`s book he gave my baby girl was about the planet earth and navigation and where we are.

I don`t know where you are, but I know you`re in a safe place now, in the arms of Jesus. I creeped your facebook page again like most of your friends might every September or December. I just wanted to let you know that I still remember it`s  your birthday, Happy Birthday Sept 21.