Happiness is… (vol 19) & Canada Day

Happy Canada Day from the Korvemakers!

2015.07.01 happinessCelebrating in style with sparklers on the deck. Do you know they say they shouldn’t be used unless at least 8 years old? Pffffft. No one’s hair caught fire.

And, of course, a traditional Canadian cuisine: poutine!

An in-action shot of this specimen in the wild...

An in-action shot of this specimen in the wild…

He loves his fries!

He loves his fries!

Perhaps my best-ever photo of this girl

Perhaps my best-ever photo of this girl

Happy Canada day from us to you!

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The Sky is Falling

There are some crazy forest fires north of us currently. Overnight, the sky went from this:

2015-06-28 18.44.06 1.2Natural cloud – a storm to the north passing by, blue sky and sun on the left.

To this by 11am the next morning:

2015-06-29 11.27.02All smoke. Thick, palpable smoke. You can see it hazing well down the street on the left.

This smoke is apparently heavy all the way into the US as well. We are meant to go up to Prince Albert for a friend’s ordination this evening and I’m hoping that the roads stay safe to drive (1.5 hours north). I’ve heard it’s raining ash in Prince Albert.

Today is also the feast of Saints Peter & Paul – two very big saints in our faith who have crazy stories about their lives and about their evangelization. Both are a huge inspiration to me in my faith. They weathered some heavy storms themselves, always conveying joy in their encounters.

It was a beautiful day yesterday with a cooling-off storm in the evening. We woke up and everything had changed. The circumstances we are in have changed so drastically here (and in other places) that it’s not being recommended for the elderly and those with lung problems to go outside due to health concerns. This is not the same place I woke up in yesterday! I’ve had to alter my schedule and approach – no playing outside, being cooped up and watching a few shows, potentially not engaging in an activity that would be life-giving and celebratory this evening. The kids are not happy about it. I’m not terribly happy about it. We are, it would seem, more grumpy today due to the changed circumstances.

It makes me wonder – how many times did this happen to Saints Peter & Paul? Many times they were in more drastic circumstances than we find ourselves in, where their very lives were at stake. However, they didn’t shut up the doors and windows and become hermits. They found ways to adapt and continue sharing the message of Christ, despite the dire circumstances they faced and (sometimes) willingly walked into.

Their witness is a call to me as well. Shake off the dire circumstances I feel faced with and adapt – find a new way to proclaim Christ’s message of love and salvation. I don’t know what that might mean for us today. Perhaps take up the invitation to go to a gym with friends. Perhaps focus on cleaning those never-ending dishes. There might be other opportunities that come tomorrow (as it’s the same forecast of smoke) that bring forth sharing, community, and love that I wouldn’t have engaged in otherwise.

While it’s likely mostly coincidence that these events have occurred at the same moment, it’s a great chance for me to reflect on my attitude towards change and my ability to adapt. And not just to adapt, but to choose joy, not grumpiness and disgruntledness. To choose joy.

Inevitably we can choose joy because our source of joy is not from the weather patterns. It’s not based off of circumstantial changes in our personal lives or the way in which our countries are run. It’s not based off of the negative way my parish treats me or the snarky comments left for me in any particular website or forum. And our joy is not based off of whether we are being persecuted and crucified for faith or able to live out our faith freely. Our joy is from Christ, no matter the circumstances we are in. I definitely need a good reminder of that fact, especially since my children are wonderfully independent thinkers, with whom I have a tendency to disagree. Especially when we are cooped up on a day like today.

So come rain or shine, smoke or clear, blue skies, I will choose joy today. I might be starting this at 3pm in the afternoon, but I’m going to make the most of it today and make the same attempt tomorrow. Maybe I’ll be surprised at how easy it is. More likely I’ll be humbled as I realise again how much I need my God to help get me through each day.

2015-06-29 14.51.31This is what I get for trying to take a picture while they watch a show.
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Answer Me This & What I Wore Sunday #wiws

Answer Me This summer1. How long have you lived in your current home?

We have lived here 3 years and have nearly loved every minute of it. So much better than the renting we were doing and I love having the freedom to renovate as we see fit (though I don’t love the actual renovation work). And we happened into a really great neighbourhood that has kids similar age to mine (which totally rocks).

2015.06.26 happiness A recent change in our landscape…
2014-07-09 11.25.44What we built last summer.
What we built the summer before.

2. How do you find out about news and current events?

Online – BBC news and CBC news. I almost never pick up a physical paper to read anymore. Apart from that I can usually see trends through Facebook and Twitter that let me know if I’ve missed something. I receive Zenit by email, which is a news agency that reports on all things internationally Catholic. As they say in their description,

The coverage we offer focuses above all on:

  1. The Pope’s activities: apostolic trips, documents, meetings with state officials, and leading personalities from the realms of society, culture and religion. Our reports focus especially on the Holy Father’s activities and addresses. His words stimulate reflection for all peoples, not only Catholics.

  2. Interviews with men and women of the Church, as well as politicians and cultural leaders, on themes of interest.

  3. International current events, with special attention to issues relevant to human rights, peace and development around the world.

There you have it. All my news sources. All of it is digital now.

3. Would you be able to make change for a twenty right now? For a dollar?

Certainly. I have change that I keep around for my business, Mama Knows Best Natural Products, so I don’t usually not have change at home. If I was out and about, I would not be able to make change though. I hardly ever carry cash.

4. What’s the craziest food you’ve ever eaten?

I don’t usually go all crazy. I guess for me the craziest might have been fish tacos when I lived in San Clemente. I have to say, I’m not really a fan. And if we’re honest, it’s not all that crazy either. The strangest thing I’ve eaten was when I was in Paris: an artichoke. Like, the plant. Not what one buys in jars at the store. Can’t say I enjoyed it all that much, but it was definitely an experience of French cuisine.

 2015-03-16 11.24.20 1.2Fish in San Clemente. But not fish tacos. This dish is just the fish. And fries. Delicious.

5. Which of the commonly removed parts have you had removed? (tonsils, wisdom teeth, appendix, etc.)

Appendix is gone. Sometime in mid-high school. I remember agonizing pain, my mum not really wanting to deal with me being sick (and it presents like the flu, right?), eventually going to the emergency where it felt like they were taking forever to come to any conclusions because they weren’t certain if it was just pre-menstrual pain (which I remember telling them that I never really have) and they couldn’t commit to a decision for a long time. Turns out that the appendix nearly ruptured in that time frame. Shame on them for not believing a 15 year old might be truthful about her bodily experiences.

At any rate, I healed well and apparently a few days (or a week?) afterwards I was out playing soccer again. So, no long-term harm done.

And wisdom teeth are gone. I had a horrible surgeon and was teething pieces of crushed teeth for about a year afterwards. I can totally understand babies’ problems when they teethe. And I have to say, rice was a problem to eat for months afterwards. I’m so glad that never has to happen again. Blah.

6. What’s your favorite sport to watch on TV?

Soccer. Hands down. But I hardly ever feel I have time to even watch World Cups anymore. I feel like I’m copping-out of my favourite sport by not watching, but it’s so hard with the kids around all the time; who’d’ve thought that nothing ever gets done?

I will watch hockey socially. If you invite me (and consequently my children) to watch a game, I’d likely take you up on that. Probably has something to do with the fact that I’m Canadian.

For more answer to this week’s questions, check out Kendra’s site Catholic All Year.

whatiworeAnd now, for the ever-inspiring, but ever renewed look of one of my more favourite dresses:

2015.06.28 wiwsOne me: dress – Thyme Maternity. It’s a nursing dress, but it’s so light and comfortable that I couldn’t put it away in the box with all the other nursing clothes. That’s my excuse. It’s just so comfortable.
Shoes – Payless Shoes; brand – Predictions (Comfort Plus). And I just have to say, these are the most comfortable pair of heels I have ever owned in my life. I love them to pieces.
Necklace – Reitmans.
The kids – everything is either a hand-me-down or from Once Upon a Child. I’ve given up trying to remember which is from what; it’s been too long for most of them for me to remember properly.

For some perhaps better-inspired clothes, head to Fine Linen and Purple to see what others are wearing this weekend!

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Happiness is… (vol 18)

2015.06.26 happinessFinally braving it and mowing the jungle down. We may have been a little lax in mowing the backyard on one side.

Continue reading

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Happiness is… (vol 17)

2014.06.25 happinessMy peas and beans are arriving! I’m more than thrilled to welcome them. Especially knowing that their sweet goodness will be making their way into our meals so very very soon. Huzzah!

And in follow up to Felicity’s teething – she’s still at it, but I think a few stalled on her and will show up later. She’s doing much better today, and has maybe a couple teeth that stayed through the cutting phase. I’m glad her body is giving her a bit of a break! Such a sweet little one.

2015-06-25 16.24.14Taking a water break at the spray park today.
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