Erica online

Wednesday, August 31

Fix! Fix! Fix!

Tonight Isabella invited everyone to join in the poo-poo and pee-pee contest.
I'm not exactly what is in involved so I can't explain the rules and regulations.
However, we're all invited to long as we understand that she is already the winner!

Oh, yes...the contest is fixed!
Erica at 9:40 PM

Tuesday, August 30

Questions, Questions....

In my quiet moments when I was not "doing" I found myself asking lots of questions.
My prayers are full of questions lately.
Questions, questions, questions.

But I like questions.
I also like answers.
But questions are good too.
So what's my problem?

Its the whole patience thing inbetween the question and answer part that is my problem.
That's just it, isn't it? Impatience is my problem.

Hey! Look at that! I just answered one of my own questions!
Well, waddaya know!
Erica at 7:45 PM

Saturday, August 27

Supernatural Answer Arrives...

I was trying to find a former post about Rebecca's prayers but I can't seem to find it at the moment.
I posted a few months ago about Rebecca asking and praying for a new van. She would ask frequently if we could have a van, and I would tell her that we had no money for a van so she should ask God for one if she wanted one.

So she began to pray for a van. A red van.
Over the past couple months when she would ask when the van is coming, I would tell her I don't know HOW or WHEN, just keep asking God. I was frustrated with my helplessness (financially) to grant her request and sent her to God.

This Tuesday, old friends from the north came to Winnipeg. During their prayer time, they felt God tell them to give us their van. And they obeyed.
We got our new van today. It is a beautiful 1998 Ford Windstar.
It is red.

I am in awe of God's goodness to our little girl and to us.
When we told Rebecca this morning that we were getting the van she had asked for and that God had provided it without us doing anything, she clapped her hands and smiled. She said, "I know. Let's make up a cheer for God! Like this, Yay God! Yay God! Yay God!"

Yes indeed, Rebecca. Yay God!
Erica at 10:25 PM

Friday, August 26

Drunken Sailor Sequel...

Apparently if you ever have a drunken sailor problem, you have a few options.

The options include:

1. Fornication
2. Incarceration
3. Homicide
4. Torture
5. Solitary Confinement
Erica at 12:42 PM

Thursday, August 25

Good Question...

So what do you do with a drunken sailor?
Erica at 8:43 AM

Wednesday, August 24

Diaper Be Gone...

I was reading over some posts in the last few months.
I noticed there were a few in which I complained about Isabella's lack of desire to potty train.
I spent alot of time complaining about my frustration, and a little on her frustration too.

When she did potty train, I didn't even post one little post about her success.
She is did great and has been wearing panties successfully for a couple months.

Once she made up her mind to do it, she did great. She trained quickly, with limited "accidents".

Its so easy to complain about the hard stuff, and then I said nothing about her success.

Cindy's post about Kelvin's success made me think twice about celebrating success!
Erica at 1:01 PM

Tuesday, August 23


Rebecca got her ears pierced yesterday!
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She was much braver than her mommy!
Erica at 2:27 PM

Sunday, August 21

Yesterday my joy, Today my pride...

Yesterday I expounded on the joys of having Isabella for a daughter. While she loves to make people laugh, Rebecca is horrified at the idea of people laughing at her.

My Rebecca would make any mother proud. She is intelligent, beautiful, elegant and dignified. I always enjoy our conversations, they are thought provoking and interesting. Rebecca enjoys laughing at Isabella's antics but does not enjoy people laughing in/on/around/at or about her. She wants to be treated like a big person and will not tolerate too much nonsense.

Well, last night she thought the idea of a night cap was clever, and decided to make one for herself out of a shirt. She explained, "If I use a 'nighthat' then my hair won't get messed up."

When she came out with a shirt pulled over her head, DJ and I burst out laughing. She was quite indignant!
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We explained that she looked funny, and showed her a picture of herself. Once she got over our disrespectful laughter, she thought it was funny too.
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Her spirits were lifted quickly simply by having her picture taken. She loves the camera!
Since we had the camera out anyway, she started posing and trying to make us laugh harder!
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Even our Miss Thang can be a goof sometimes too! With the grace of God and my efforts I will attempt to let my little priss be a child in her childhood.
Erica at 2:33 PM

Saturday, August 20


We call Isabella Bella-Belle sometimes! Just as Belle means beautiful, she is truly beautiful. Inside and out. She exudes joy and loves to make people laugh. This is fortunate since she is hilarious!

Today she made me belly laugh a few times. I'll share some of her crazy antics here.

After going to the washroom, Rebecca stood beside the toilet undies around her ankles grabbing some toilet paper. Isabella sidled up to her and looked at her bottom and said, "Hey! You have a white butt!" She then slapped her sister on the butt and ran away laughing.

Another moment was when I told her to put her shoes on. She is constantly making up and singing songs to herself. She was sitting by the door putting on her shoes and singing this little ditty:
Mmmmmmm....Jesus Christ. Mmmmmm....Jesus Christ. (repeat)

I wasn't sure if I should be glad or horrified!
She is currently outside making the neighborhood kids laugh by running in circles yelling, "chicken butt" and "chicken poo".

She is a little imp and a constant source of joy in our home.
Erica at 6:57 PM

Free From Judging...

I've been thinking lately about judging being God's domain and not mine.
(Hense yesterday's post about self-righteousness and judgment)

I remember being in church as a kid listening to testimonies of people who had done "bad things" who then found God and His mercy. I wept with joy over a merciful God who could even the worst of sins.

In recent years, I've known people who have been the victim of "bad things" done by people. There has been no justice for the wrongs done to the victims yet the offenders can still find mercy and forgiveness from God. Knowing the damage that was done without natural redemption, I do not understand God's mercy for the sinner when the victimized still suffer.

At times like this, the old testament law appeals to me. Retribution might ease the pain of the victim a little, at the very least it would make more "sense" to me. With that said, I love the God of mercy.

Mercy, redemption and justice are still a mystery to me. My limited understanding in these areas reminds me again that God's ways are higher than mine. There is freedom in this for me. I can be free of judging others based solely on my lack of wisdom (compared to God).

If I had my way, sometimes justice might look more like the Sopranoes than like the act of a forgiving God.
Erica at 10:48 AM

Friday, August 19

Question of the Day...

Is it possible to accuse someone of being self-righteous with being self-righteous?

Is this God being ironic? Or is God creating a catch-22 in which we are exempt from judging others?
Erica at 10:26 AM

Thursday, August 18

And The Winner Is...

Every morning Bella wakes up before Becca, and every morning we go through the same conversation.
Bella: Am I the winner because I woke up before Rebecca?
Becca: No, I am the winner because I slept the longest.
Erica: Becca is the winner of the longest sleep and Bella is the winner of waking up first.

They both smile and go on their merry way....until today!

Today they informed me that there can only be one winner. Rebecca had informed Isabella that she was in fact, the winner of the sleeping in the longest. When I tried to reassure Isabella that she was still a winner because she woke up first, she bellowed, "well that's not a prize!"

My thought: That's not a prize, but sleeping in latest IS a prize? What planet am I on? How did I get sucked into this vortex of warped logic? Help! Get me off this crazy train!
My other thought: Dang! They are getting too smart for me!

Another Anecdote...

We just got back from a bike ride to the candy store. Isabella got some belated birthday money and figured all "the bucks" should be spent on candy. On the way, Rebecca hit a crack in the cement causing her bike to wobble so she let out a fearful cry. Isabella rushed over to her, and said, "Don't worry Becca. Your sister is here." She patted her head and said, "I can be-teck (protect) you." Awwwwwww.....she is sooooo sweet.

Once Rebecca was okay again, she told Isabella that she was the big sister so she was the one who was supposed to protect. Isabella responded, "when I am scared you can be-teck me too, that's why we are sisters!"

Sometimes they are so sweet!
Erica at 11:55 AM

Wednesday, August 17

Move Over Martha...

We've had weeks of rushed meals, fast food and whatever is left in the fridge.
Its been crazy, running from the lake, to volleyball to the camp, back to the lake and living some semblance of life in between.

Tonight I decided to reclaim some sort of sanity or normalness.
The best way to do that?
Go "Martha" all over the place!

I made roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, broccoli and cauliflower with cheese sauce, and apple crisp and ice cream for dessert.

Oh, and fresh buns. (made by Sobeys---but still fresh is what counts, not that I make them!)

Dinner is served!
Erica at 5:29 PM

Tuesday, August 16

Want a Job???

Once again I've been procrastinating!
September is quickly sneaking up on me, and the drop-in center will open soon.
I hope.

I've had all summer to hire the staff to run it but have failed to even think about it.

Now as the days fly by and I haven't even hired one staff member, that old familiar panic has begun to set in again. I must go find people who care about youth passionately, would love to put their heart into a worthy cause, give up two nights of socializing per week, and get paid decently (not tons) to do it.

If you know anyone who fits this description that desires to run a youth drop-in center, just send them my way.
Erica at 10:05 AM

Sunday, August 14

Parenting Pointers...

When I became a parent the first time I became more fascinated with God, and spirituality than I had been before. When you look at your baby and are hit with a rush of love that you know didn't originate from you, you realize in a moment the "reality" of creation. Suddenly God doesn't seem so theoretical. One look in your baby's eyes and the existence of a creator filled with love just seems to make sense.

I have a friend who recently had a baby and she is experiencing some of this revelation right now. It is very cool to watch, and it has set me to thinking about other things I've learned about God through parenting my children. Here are my thoughts on the matter:

Things Parenting Has Taught Me About God

1. Even when I don't obey I am still loved. (Even if the instructions need repeating)

2. When I fail, God is not angry with me. He heart breaks for me, and He offers words of encouragement, not words of judgement.

3. God wants the best things for me and nothing less. He doesn't give grudgingly.

4. Every success I experience is met with joyous celebration. He is proud of me!

5. He talks about me to his friends.

6. God gets excited about my future, and smiles about the surprises which are in store for me.

7. God enjoys my company. Just watching me learn new things can be a joy to him.

8. When I fight with my brothers and sisters, He will pull me away, and teach me what love really looks like. Even then, I am still loved.

9. God never thinks about what I don't know or what I can't do. He is proud of where I am. He has faith in my potential and loves teaching me new things.

10. God doesn't resent me coming to him yet again. He actually loves to kiss my boo-boos and cuddle me.

Loving my children has taught me so much about the nature of the God who invented parenting. It has opened my eyes to the unconditional love offered to me, which I have often strived to earn.
If my children questioned my love for them as often as I have questioned God's love for me, I would be broken hearted. One of my major goals as a parent is to be certain that my children feel loved. Could the God whose very being is made of love, want anything less for me?

God the Father has always offered unconditional love, He is the perfect parent, I am just learning how to be a better kid....
"I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.
Erica at 9:48 PM

Friday, August 12

Productive Days...

Rock Lake was amazing, awesome and life changing! We are still a little stunned and processing all that happened. All I can say is that was pure, right, true and lovely! Awesome!

That place is incredible. Their plumbing sucks, but everything else is awesome!
I took a shower that included a few spits of ice cold water followed by scalding, steaming vapor which removed the top layer of skin, but I digress....

The score stands at:
Faith in God - greatly encouraged, energized and thriving.
Faith in plumbing from 1910 - non-existant!
Erica at 4:11 PM

Wednesday, August 10

Back in a Jiff...

We're off to Rock Lake camp for a couple of days.
Be back in a jiff, a sec, and a shake of lamb's tail.
Erica at 6:32 AM

Sunday, August 7


Still thinking about art and artists, what type of people they are the "inside". I like deep and artists appeal to me for this reason. I think I know very well what I look on the inside, and it doesn't "feel" like what I look like on the outside.

What if I could paint a portrait of myself the way God sees me? To reflect what I really look like. This outside skin will be gone in a moment, isn't life but a breathe? All flesh is grass, fading away but the inner man (woman) is what will last.

How would my life be different, if I covered every mirror in my house with a self-portrait that God painted? (I would choose His image of myself over my own...even my own interpretation of Erica is flawed).
What if I couldn't even see the outside skin that is so covered with judgement?

I think that's what Jesus was like.
At every moment He knew what He looked like...REALLY looked like. The image he had of Himself was the one that He saw in His dad's eyes. The Bible even says in Isaiah 53 that Jesus wasn't handsome--- (Isaiah 53:2) "For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him"---but I don't remember one word written in red mentioning it. Did Jesus even notice? Did He even care about His outward appearance or how people responded to Him because of it?

We have an entire culture basing identity on physical appearance. How thin you are. How big is your nose? Are you really blonde? (no, btw). I don't want to buy into that, but its really hard to fight. I want to know who I really am, to know my identity as God sees me and let that be my self-portrait. I want to wear it like Jesus did and be so unaware of my physical faults that I never even mention them.

When someone dies in the Jewish culture, they cover all the mirrors with black clothes for these reasons:
1. During shiva, a mourner is striving to ignore his/her own physicality and vanity in order to concentrate on the reality of being a soul.
2. A mirror represents social acceptance through the enhancement of one's appearance. Jewish mourning is supposed to be lonely, silent; dwelling on one's personal loss. Covering the mirrors symbolizes this withdrawal from society's gaze.
3. Prayer services, commonly held in the shiva house, cannot take place in front of a mirror. When we pray, we focus on God and not on ourselves.

I could sit shiva for my physical appearance, and mourn the loss the physical appearance I am comfortable with and have come to depend upon. I could cover my vanity in black cloth and withdraw from society's gaze.

What would I look like when I came to back to the land of the living cloaked in the image God has created for me? What will it be like when I wear the self-portrait He has painted?
Would I look a little more like Jesus?
Erica at 9:22 AM

Saturday, August 6

In Joyska's Honour...
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Erica at 8:54 AM

Friday, August 5


In the realm of visual art, I am not an artist. I once drew a straight line I was proud of, but then someone pointed out that using a rule is "cheating".

I can cook food that tastes great, which is artistic. But the only time I hang spaghetti on the wall is when I am checking if its cooked or not. (For those of you who don't know this trick, cooked pasta sticks to the wall. )

I enjoy looking at art. I love the way its not just about presenting what is, but it is also about perspective. A person's expression of their "truth" is being revealed and even that vulnerability is a gift to the audience.

I was thinking, if I were an artist. What would I paint? I would paint the things that bring me life...humor and truth. I love to laugh and I love to see what is true revealed...not just a person's "truth" but what is TRUE in the sense that it is universal, unchanging and eternally true...spiritual truths, I guess. I'm not sure how these things (laughter, truth) fit together but it worked for a certain painter named Norman Rockwell.
He loved to paint humor...
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And truth...
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To me the above painting "Freedom to Worship" has obvious themes like diversity and unity in worship, but there is also a certain darkness/depth in the picture that suggests the struggle in finding the freedom to worship. He was telling us something of the truth he had found (I am assuming) about the joy and difficulty found in the search for freedom in worship.

I think I would paint like him. I would use humor to bring joy to people and I would try to express wisdom in some paintings tohsare the wisdom God grants me with others who choose to see it.
Painting a picture is only half the story, the interpretation of it is a whole different struggle...
Erica at 11:49 AM

Wednesday, August 3

River Rats...

I think we are raising some little river rats! Today we took the girls to Rainbow Falls. A little falls and rapids near our cabin. They took to the water like little muskrats. They rolled up their pants and walked through the rapids, feeling the water pull against their legs, they squealed.

They come by their "water rat" genes honestly, my husband could not resist the temptation to ride the rapids. He just stripped down to his shorts, walked up to the falls and rode the rapids like an old pro. The girls wouldn't let him have all the fun.

We stripped them down to their undies and he took them into the rapids and let them touch the waterfall. They loved it.

I took a few pictures before they were stripped down; also coinciding with the camera's battery dying. Here they are on the rocks...
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And with daddy....
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When we got home, they napped for TWO hours, worn out by all the excitement. We then had another kind of water tour. We took them on their first canoe ride. Here are some conversation snippets from that adventure.
Rebecca: Wow! This is fun! Paddle faster mom and dad!
Isabella: Are we there yet?
Rebecca:Is this safe? Those waves are big and be careful you don't crash.
Isabella: Are we there yet? Why do we have to sit still?
* A few rounds of "Row, Row, Row your Boat"
Rebecca: Mom, we're sailing! Just like vikings!
Isabella: We're there? Okay, let's go back now.

On the way home, Rebecca made up a song about canoeing. Here are the words as best as I can remember....

Don't, don't, don't
Don't do anything in a canoe
Don't, don't don't
Don't move or anything in a canoe
Just sit still to be a good canoer
Don't do anything
Just sit still
Don't, don't, don't
Erica at 9:03 PM

Tuesday, August 2


Today was rather stressful so I am very tired and glad that my girls are in bed. I've had enough of children for the day! Phew!

I found out my scores for the triathlon today and they were much better than I anticipated. I felt very encouraged so I went and did a 3km run.

After that, and the day on the beach, the heat, the kids, the sun and entertaining...I'm beat.

Its 8 pm and I'm ready to go to bed. Whoo-hoo! Look at me! Par-tay!
Erica at 8:13 PM

Monday, August 1


Yesterday was unique. It was the first time my sister and I have participated in a Try-a-Tri.
(300m swim -10 km bike ride- 2.5 km run)

We had never even seen an event like this, and we were pretty nervous as there are some rules and conduct expectations for the athletes we were unaware of. eg. if you put unrack your bike before putting on your helmet you get a time penalty on your overall time!

The course was laid out in Lac Du Bonnet, where a swim course was made in the lake, a bike track was made along the highway and the run was on the run through town. It was pretty great. Along the beach and sides of the road were people cheering, and shouting very motivating.

We learned alot and we both accomplished our goals - to finish the race!
It was kind of unnerving to be passed on the run by an old man with a big white beard...who was running a race that twice the distance I was! But now I have a new goal in life! To run faster than little men, and small children!

It was fun, fun, fun and I will be doing that again! Fun!!!
Erica at 9:10 AM